Chapter 24 – It seems to be a strange story

Renya chose to stand guard at night as second.

Although the sequential order of the turns in the rotation were Shion, then Renya and finally Rona, there was a specific reason for doing it this way.

After finishing the meal and taking a rest, the things like tableware etc. were cleaned and put back into the [Inventory]. Considering that there was around 8 hours until the next morning after going to sleep, when it came to standing watch, as there were 3 people, it turned into one person having a 2 hour shift and 2 having a 3 hour shift.

For the sake of Shion, who had the first 2 hours shift, there was only one possible option for who had to do the second shift.

Thus, with Renya taking the second shift, Shion and Rona were able to sleep for a long uninterrupted time.

As he had the second shift, he had to endure interrupted sleeping hours as he would sleep for 2 hours, then stay awake for 3 hours and then go sleep for yet another 3 hours.

This was simply hard.

Since he certainly understood that it would be difficult, there was no way to make Shion’s group do that.

However, there are no clocks in this world.

While there are no clocks, how do they measure the time? Speaking of that, for some reason hourglasses exist. The adventurers were able to roughly measure one hour with a portable hourglass.

As he measured the timing by frequently turning the hourglass upside down in alternation, time passed without anything happening that night and before long the day dawned.

The problem occurred at dawn.

Changing the guard with Rona, Renya crawled into his own sleeping pack and, single-mindedly closing his eyes and ears, he fell asleep. In the middle of entering and exiting a drowsy and shallow sleep, he was awoken by the feeling of suffocation.

To start with, he noticed that he couldn’t move his body at all.

Because he was inside the sleeping bag, even though he was aware that he was unable to do anything more than squirming around like a caterpillar (Lit: bagworm), even those wriggling movements were partially sealed off in his current state.

Furthermore he felt something heavy on top of his body.

He rejected the first thought of being attacked from the beginning.

In case it was Shion on watch outside, it would be a conceivable possibility, but currently it was Rona who was standing guard outside.

Even if she were in a mood like *poya poya*, it appears that beyond being someone who received training in her own way, the person herself was a knight. (T/N: ぽやぽや is the sfx, no idea what that is symbolising though)

Therefore it was difficult to imagine her allowing someone to attack without even raising her voice.

If that’s the case in this situation, the other person inside the tent had to be taken into consideration from the start. That’s the reasoning he arrived at.

“No no! For such an overused event to actually occur, there is…” (Renya)

The shape of the sleeping bag is easy to understand if you imagined a single person entering the length of a pouch. (ED: Everyone knows what a sleeping bag looks like, BAKA!)/

In order to enhance its nature of retaining warmth the bag was made out of clothes filled with cotton. For the sake of not letting the air inside escape it had a drawstring near the head.

Since warmth is something essential for somehow sleeping comfortably, they thought it to be something convenient for travelers, but it was a purchased article which was extremely unpopular with adventurers because you would be delayed in dealing with suffering a sudden attack no matter what you do.

Although Renya decided to absolutely remodel it sooner or later, at the time he saw it for the first time, he hadn’t this kind of time right now. At the time of reluctantly entering the sleeping bag, he entered it holding his knife. He made it a rule for using the sleeping bag so that he could tear it apart from the inside when he tried to leave in case of an emergency.

Even though it was more or less normal for commoners to put on a light blanket for sleeping, Renya, who strongly opposed this by stating that he wouldn’t be able to sleep in such thin bedding, could be called the cause of bringing along the sleep bags.

Given that sort of circumstances, he only bend his neck looking at the top of his chest. There he saw the appearance of a head with black hair somewhat pressing and grinding against his chest.

As expected, it would become a nuisance while sleeping, huh? The usually done up hair placed high on her head was naturally spilling down the back. But, despite this being the only difference, he was surprised to feel that she somehow had a more than usual powerful feminine allure.

The facial expression, which always gave off the feeling of looking dignified, is slovenly happy. Is that because of her still being half asleep? Although Renya wasn’t able to guess what kind of dream she had, she sometimes rubbed her head and face with a grinding sound.

Suppressing his boiling head with the force of reason, Renya sorted out his current condition.

Though I don’t know how it came to be, Shion has skilfully crawled out of her sleeping bag. Since it is within the camping ground for the time being, we will be able to immediately deal with it in case something happened. As she had entered the bag wearing a thin shirt and trousers. I guess she was able to withstand the night’s coldness in that outfit.

Although it would be originally fine for her to return to her own sleeping bag, he deemed it impossible for her to be that skillful while still asleep, even if she wanted to.

Therefore Shion clung with all her might to the bundle right next to her trying to get cosy, I suppose?’

If the contents of that bundle were Rona, it wouldn’t have been a big problem. Unfortunately, the contents were Renya.

What kind of look would Rona have if she were to find us at this point? was something he didn’t know. Even though Renya tried to somehow escape from within Shion’s embrace, since Shion was fully using both her arms and legs to tightly cling to Renya, Renya was in the state of a caterpillar in the sleeping bag. He wasn’t able to slip away while wriggling and since he couldn’t extract his hands from the sleeping bag, he couldn’t tear it off either.

On top of that Shion’s head was placed on top of Renya’s chest to begin with. Furthermore, as consequence of the sleeping back being thick and stiff, such things as the pleasant fragrance of a girl and her soft touch, as it was told in some tales to be the side benefit for typical protagonists, couldn’t even be felt at all.

She had merely become a restraining device.

Moreover, in case they were discovered like this, it would cause a lot of misunderstandings, resulting in bringing damage on the scale of a god of pestilence. (ED: How would it be misunderstood, jackass! You’re in a sleeping bag!!!)

This is how highly Renya valued getting Shion off in this current condition.

“Hey! …Wake up. Shion?” (Renya)

“Nyu…?” (Shion)

Due to the somehow weird reaction, Renya ended up in silence for a short while.

Towards him calling out to Shion, she only showed a slight reaction similar to being cranky and immediately ended up once again falling asleep gripping the sleeping bag and grinding her head against it.

“Ne…” (Shion)

“Don’t utter such strange groans. Hey! You got to seriously wake up! If we are discovered by Rona in such place, It will become something disastrous for me…” (Renya)

“…What is it about me?” (Rona)

Looking at the entrance of the tent because of the slow voice, Rona came and poked only her head inside the tent with a sleepy facial expression with her eyelids half closed.

Renya felt uneasy about that expression wondering whether she would raise her voice finally after first misunderstanding the situation. I have to somehow wake Shion, huh? Though he struggled violently to escape from within her arms, he stopped writhing as he noticed that there wasn’t any kind of reaction from Rona either after a short time.

Looking at Rona, because of her posture of having only poked in her head first, she motionlessly stared at Renya and Shion with her still sleepy face.

Although her mood felt somehow odd, Renya timidly called out to her.

“O-Oi. Rona?” (Renya)

“…ai” (Rona)

Her reaction is odd after all.

Notwithstanding that she should have slept for at least 5 hours, it felt like it wouldn’t even be strange for those eyelids to completely sink in at any time as she was repeatedly opening and closing them.

“… What’s wrong? …” (Renya)

“For some reason I am… somehow terribly… sleepy.” (Rona)

“What the heck’s with you? What are you saying…” (Renya)

“Uu… I am sleepy. Shion, you are hugging something nice…” (Rona)

As she stared fixedly, Renya became flustered again.

“No. Being seen getting up like this… it will cause another weird mood.” (Renya)

“Well… Shion is unhappy unless she has something to cuddle with. Although recently I didn’t see this behavior very often… In the first place, even if you getting up would cause a strange mood… Renya-san, you can’t take out your hands from there, right?” (Rona)

That is certainly true.

Even though it was said that just moving within the sleeping bag was already difficult as well, Renya was in a state of being embraced by Shion with both arms. As both of Renya’s arms were tightly restrained, he wasn’t able to move.

Tentatively, since he held a knife in his arms, he should be somehow capable of cutting the bag in the end, but on top of the sleeping bag not being such a cheap item, it wasn’t a state of emergency where his life was directly in danger either. Thus it would be wasteful to completely destroy it by cutting it apart.

“Rona, I am unable to move like this. Can you tear off Shion one way or another …” (Renya)

“Ah, you seem to be a good hug pillow, no…?” (Rona)

“He?” (Renya)

Not understanding what she was talking about, Renya responded with an idiotic voice. Sweetly smiling with her usual smile, Rona intruded the inside of the tent and sidled up to him.

He felt that her appearance was somehow like lioness moving towards its prey. Trying to retreat, Renya couldn’t wriggle away after all.

“I am… extremely sleepy, you know?” (Rona)

“Just wait a second, what about standing guard?” (Renya)

“In such safe place, there aren’t any monsters or humans that would attack us.” (Rona)

On the opposite side of where Shion was clinging, Rona threw herself down. In order to do the same thing as Shion, she tightly squeezed Renya’s sleeping bag.

“Well then, good night…” (Rona)

“Wait, stop it! This is definitely strange!” (Renya)

Because he was squeezed from both sides, Renya wasn’t even able to wriggle anymore.

While rubbing her face against him with grinding sounds, just like Shion, Rona said,

“Rather than Shion’s light pressing, the way of my pressing is heavy. I guess Renya feels good as well…” (Rona)

Suddenly pressing upon me like that in one go, is the volume of fabric of a different kind? Even her clearly detectable softness is being transmitted through the cloth of the sleeping bag.

Unintentionally thinking that it would be also fine to stay like this, Renya shook his head in a hurry.

“Well, a problem of that sort… the heck, what kind of difference does it make whether it is heavy or light?!” (Renya)

Somehow Shion’s expression became sullen and she filled her arms with strength.

Even under normal circumstances it was a tight restraint, but right after tightening even more, Renya got the feeling as if he had somehow heard an improper sound from the area of his chest or arms.

As Rona was conversely in some way elated with her success, Shion made sure to entangle him with her arms in such a way that Renya’s body was giving off a grinding sound while being constricted with force.

On one side there was a swordsman, even though she’s an apprentice.

On the other side there was an apparently official knight, although self-proclaimed.

Those fellows had doubtlessly trained that arm strength well in order to wield their weapons. Renya’s body screamed in pain from having something like that on both sides.

“O-ouch!? It’s breaking!? I will be torn to pieces!? You two, get away from me!” (Renya)

“n~…ya~…” (Shion)

“Didn’t I tell you? I am sleepy…” (Rona)

Although Renya didn’t catch up with comprehending the feeling of the situation, apart from the circumstances of the two, an alarm began to resound within Renya’s head.

This situation is odd.

It is not about two woman embracing me.

It is about the matter of Rona, who should be vigilant in standing guard, complaining about sleepiness, even more so without resisting it.

She introduced herself as a knight one way or another. Thus she should have received some kind of training. And yet it is difficult to believe is being this negligent towards her guard duty and succumbing to drowsiness as she was certainly chosen as Shion’s guard by some unknown person with an apparently reasonably high rank from somewhere.

However, the reality was that Rona was embracing Renya’s sleeping bag starting to carelessly drift asleep.

This would normally be impossible.

As Renya was by now certain that he had to destroy the sleeping bag and forcibly regain the freedom of his body, when he put his strength into the hand holding the knife, it came.

Renya was violently assaulted by sleepiness.

Impossible! he shouted in a corner of his mind.

Certainly, my sleeping time was irregular, but I got a reasonable amount of sleep.

Furthermore, waking up upon seeing this kind of situation, something like drowsiness was completely blown away. And still, why is it? I remember it being difficult for drowsiness to take effect.

“Artificial… or the attack of something inhuman?” (Renya)

If I were to surrender to the sleep assault, I fear it to be likely that I won’t wake up for a long time. That’s my premonition.

If that’s the case, it will end up in the three of us being in a state of being completely defenselessness.

Staying like this can be thought of as being incredibly dangerous for our lives.

“Shall we strike to kill those guys in one go?”

Such a voice reached Renya’s ears as he was frantically fighting the drowsiness.

Towards the word ‘kill’ the core of his mind grew cold and he realized that the sleepiness drew back.

“Isn’t now the only chance to do that shit?”

“You should stop it. Though we chose the method of attacking with <Sleep> magic, there are times when it will be completely dissolved by sounds or pain. It’s not so bad if it’s just a single person, but in case it is several people huddled together, it is better to not make a move.”

“Tsk. It’s can’t be helped. Maa, I just have to do with seeing the stupid looks on their faces afterwards.”

The presences of the people outside the tent moved.

The voices sounded familiar.

It was the rough voice of that guy called Zest.

Stopping his action, as it was the voice of a young woman, I think it was most likely their magician, Renya guessed.

It somehow seems that they used magic to cause the living things in the entire area to fall asleep.

However, why do such a thing? Although Renya considered it, he reached no solution.

While he was in that state, for some reason it seemed like various presences were moving outside. Becoming distant after a short while, the sounds vanished.

What the hell has happened outside?

As he didn’t get any answer to his question, while racking his brain the extent of danger by being pressed hard from both sides gradually increased. Will I ever be able to leave this tent safely? Renya became worried.


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