Night, inside the tent.
Renya lightly opened his eyes catching a weak sound.
Being satisfied with the comfortable warmth within the sleeping bag, he relaxed his attention and was about to sink into sleep once again, but somehow he preserved in keeping his eyes open.
There were the sounds of the cackling camp fire bursting open outside the tent and he could see its glow slowly swaying through the tent’s wall.
As only one tent was set up this time as well in the end, Renya almost ended up repeating the conversation, he had with Shion and Rona last time at the dungeon capture.
With the result being the same as last time too, Renya declared “Sooner or later I will really assault you!” in desperation, however Rona beckoned him with a composed smile and Shion didn’t reply with a clear refusal, as she slightly blushed.
Although Renya tried saying “Your taste in men is quite bad!”, it likely didn’t appear as anything but a loser’s whining.
Self-destruction, you can call it blowing himself up.
The order to stand watch was decided to be Renya, Rona and then Shion.
Renya opposed that as being probably too hard on Rona, but since Rona ended up explaining “As Shion will cling to you again anyway, I can tear off Shion from Renya, if it’s this order, and will be able to change shifts with her. Also, if something happened, it would be possible to mobilize swiftly”, he was unable to object any further, once he looked at Shion.
As for Shion, who was smiling while scratching her head with a “Ehehehe”, he couldn’t see even a tiny sign of remorse.
It seems that the event of clinging to me has already been decided.
Renya tightened his fist to hit her once for the time being, however once he was asserted by Rona of the side benefits, he lost even his will to hit her and they settled on that order.
Extracting his upper half from the sleeping bag, he can vaguely see the figure of Rona, who completely wrapped herself up in the sleeping bag, wholeheartedly sleeping with a peaceful sleeper’s breath, once he looks to his side.
Rona being next to him means that the current period of time is when Shion is standing guard.
At the moment he crawled out from the sleeping bag and put on the tunic and sword belt, he took off for his sleep, the tent’s entrance was quietly opened and Shion stuck just her head into the tent.
“You haven’t done it?” (Shion)
Renya regarded her with futile killing intent due to her voice somehow enduring a laughter, but he controlled himself with an effort there.
“I will cut you and send you flying. You… what happened?” (Renya)
For the sake of threatening her he shows her the slightly unsheathed katana, however didn’t Shion comprehend it or was it that obviously a threat? She wasn’t shaken at all and only grinned at him.
“Pass it off as light joke. Somehow it feels like the forest has become noisy.” (Shinon)
“Are you prepared for the day to come when your head goes flying due to those jokes? So, noisy, you say?” (Renya)
“I don’t know, I feel it somehow vaguely. It makes me uneasy.” (Shion)
Shion called her own feeling ambiguous with little confidence, but Renya immediately shook the sleeping Rona next to him awake.
While releasing a small yawn, Rona opens her eyes.
“What’s wrong?” (Rona)
Although she looks drowsy, one can’t sense any sleepiness in her voice.
As expected of a former knight, Renya ends up admiring her.
“Shion sensed some unusual event. It’s indefinite information, but we should try to check it.” (Renya)
With that curt answer, Rona carelessly extracts her upper body half from the sleeping bag.
Rona, who took off her usual priestess’ garb for sleeping, wears only her underwear. Given that two objects, which were very thick and heavy accompanied by a swaying, made their appearance with a *burun* in front of their eyes without any kind of preface, Shion’s and Renya’s looks got glued to them involuntarily.
“No, wait. Leaving me aside, why even you, Shion?” (Renya)
“Ah, just… those are somehow amazing, you know.” (Shion)
“There’s no feeling of tension, eh?” (Rona)
While laughing with a pleasant, high-pitched sound, Rona, without even minding at all being stared at by those two, began to quickly put on her equipment.
Should I call it as expected of an adventurer or of a former knight? Anyway, it’s too early to make up my mind to resign myself here.
“We will vacate the camp-site and investigate the vicinity. Extinguish the camp-fire. I will create a light with lowered intensity.” (Renya)
“Renya, what will you do about the jars?” (Shion)
Being asked by Shion, Renya’s face distorts in mortification.
He didn’t want to easily leave behind the jars, he laid out at great pains.
“I want to recover them, but… we probably don’t have … such spare time.” (Renya)
“Isn’t it fine, if you want to retrieve them? Let’s dig them up.” (Shion)
Shion, who readily declared that, says “Lend me a shovel” and holds out her hand towards Renya.
Renya is hesitating whether such thing is really alright.
“It’s not a particularly urgent situation either. Isn’t it fine?” (Rona)
“That’s right, time is too valuable to be wavering around, Renya.” (Shion)
Since even Rona held out her hand while saying “Please lend me a shovel as well”, he takes out two shovels from his inventory while pondering whether it’s truly fine like that and hands them over.
“Well, then we will dig up the jars.” (Shion)
“Please dismantle the tent, Renya.” (Rona)
As soon as they said that, the two step up to the planted jars and start to them dig up without even waiting for Renya’s answer.
Renya, who came to the conclusion that time is too valuable to say anything about it, begins his work of folding the tent and tossing it into his inventory right away.
“Uwaa, Renya! Something disgusting has entered! Hey, you! Don’t stick to me!” (Shion)
“The little ones or the large ones, you have the choice, you know.” (Rona)
While being drained of strength as there’s truly no feeling of tension, Renya took out further clothes and strings from his inventory.
“Please cover the jars’ openings with the clothes and tie them with a string. I will store them away in my void storage afterwards.” (Renya)
“Got it, Renya. Isn’t it a splendidly big catch?” (Shion)
“It was worth it that we came here, you know.” (Rona)
“Though I’d like to say that as well. You guys have really no feeling of tension…” (Renya)
Compared to him being told that they are difficult to find, a wonderful amount of large and small octopuses settled in the planted jars.
Were they lured by the bait? Or is it their habit to gather and rest like that to begin with? Renya wasn’t able to reach a conclusion, however since it’s a nice thing to have a big catch, I guess it’s unnecessary to mind it either way.
It’s like that because the adventurers aren’t deliberately aiming for the forest octopuses. Isn’t the cause of the big catch triggered by them having absolutely no wariness towards traps, or rather gadgets as there doesn’t seem to be any dedicated hunters for those? Renya conjectured.
He throws the sealed jars into his inventory.
There’s a single problem in regards to this, at the time Renya made various attempts in his free time, he wasn’t able to store living creatures into his storage as it is.
Even if he was able to store away plucked flowers, storing away potted flowers was impossible.
However, there’s a loophole. If he packed them properly into a casing, he was able to store them away as they were treated as 「Box: <Containing potted flower>」.
If I properly put a person into a box, I might be able to store them away as well as they will probably be treated as 「Box: <Containing human>」.
Since he couldn’t simply ask Rona and Shion to be packed into a box for a bit, as expected, it was currently at the stage of guessing though.
“So, what will be our next move after this, Renya?” (Shion)
Shion asks Renya, who tossed the jars into his inventory.
“First we will slowly move towards the outer circumference. Immediately report, if you you find or sense something strange.” (Renya)
“Though I have been the one saying it. Is it good to make a move based on such vague information?” (Shion)
Although it was her, who said that she feels uneasy, that doesn’t mean that there’s definitely something.
Shion doesn’t seem to be able to comprehend Renya’s action of vacating the camp-site and moving upon such unreliable talk in addition to Rona’s behaviour of not complaining at all.
“It would be nice, if there was nothing. Then there won’t be any kind of problem either.” (Renya)
Without chanting he activated the spell <Light> on his palm in a state of lowered illumination.
As he tried this out in a part of his training, Renya recently noticed that it has a proper practical use because he will be able to make sure that the light doesn’t leak elsewhere, if he grasps it with his hand at the time of actually using it.
He activates the same thing on Shion’s and Rona’s palms as well.
“The problem would be when something happened. If someone senses something strange, we will cope with it more or less. You might regard this as timidity, but if I’m able to evade danger to my life by only being laughed at for being timid, then I will gladly accept being a coward.” (Renya)
“Such a… coward?” (Shion)
“Well, you know. I don’t know stuff like the common opinion.” (Renya)
Even if it is a talk about his odd common sense and principles, Renya is unable to react in any other way than being troubled.
He doesn’t know what he might have done, if it was his previous life, as he has no recollection of that. He hasn’t found another method either.
Maybe his previous existence might point at the current him and laugh, if he saw him now.
Also, it cannot be helped that he has thought something like that several times.
“The chatting ends here. Let’s move.” (Renya)
“”Roger.”” (Rona & Shion)
After he sees both of them nodding at the same time, Renya begins to walk while leading the group.
Even if there’s moonlight and even if it enters the forest, the light mostly doesn’t reach the ground.
As expected, even Renya, without being able to see things in the current state of there being hardly any light, has no choice but to advance by mostly fumbling around while depending on the weak illumination from his palm. Naturally the walking pace has become slow.
Moreover it was also necessary to pay attention to the rear.
Is this also a result from training? Although Rona was apparently able to move to a certain extent, Shion was a complete novice in regards to moving within darkness.
Watching her groaning from being hit on her face and head by low branches several times as she is unable to walk adequately with only the field of vision, secured by the palm’s weak light, Renya grabs Shion’s shoulder.
“Put your hand on my shoulder and keep up with me. Don’t grasp my clothes? It will become a hindrance at the time I have to suddenly move.” (Renya)
“I’m sorry. Thank you.” (Shion)
Shion apologizes while gently placing her hand on Renya’s shoulder.
Renya, who lightly taps that hand, said,
“You will eventually get used to it. Such stuff is a matter of experience.” (Renya)
“That’s right. Once you are able to do it, you can answer “I’m able to do it for some reason, I guess” to the question “Why are you able to do it?” Skills and their likes are those kind of things.” (Renya)
“In the first place, I won’t be able to answer, even if you ask me about the common sense of something like the trick of being able to act at night-time.” Once Renya said that, Shion laughed.
“Renya, I want to hold onto your shoulder as well.” (Rona)
Rona, who enviously observed Shion walking while holding onto Renya, tells him, however Renya completely ignores that.
“Be silent, you’re annoying. Aren’t you capable of walking even without help?” (Renya)
“It’s a problem of my feelings~” (Rona)
“If I drag both of you along, I won’t be able to mov… wait a bit.” (Renya)
Cutting off his words in the middle, Renya calls Rona’s attention.
Even Rona, who was complaining with a grumbling, immediately held her tongue and followed Renya’s look.
On top of being unable to follow the suddenly changed atmosphere of the two, Shion lets her gaze roam around as she doesn’t know in which direction the two’s attention lies.
“Something stirred. … It was fairly big.” (Renya)
Even though Renya couldn’t clearly look ahead with his field of vision, he noticed that something was moving around.
That appeared to be the same for Rona, too.
“I have a feeling that it made a metallic sound. Is it a person?” (Rona)
“Eh? Which way? Where?”`(Shion)
In order for Shion, who is unable to recognize it, to follow, Renya points the light on his palm in the direction where he felt like saw something moving.
In his back Rona extinguished the light she was grabbing in her hand.
“That way. Do you see it?” (Renya)
Shion strained her eyes fixedly for a short while, but in the end she shook her head.
“… Sorry, I can’t see anything.” (Shion)
“It’s not something you will be able to grasp within a brief time.” (Renya)
Renya says to comfort Shion, who has dropped her shoulders feeling despondent.
“Renya, it seems to be heading over there.” (Rona)
“Nicely seen. Do you know something about the other party?” (Renya)
“I’m sorry to say… I think that it’s probably a person, but any more than that in this darkness, that’s a bit…” (Rona)
If we increase the illumination, we will likely know what the other party is right away, however if it was a dangerous being, the act of increasing the illumination would warn that being and draw it to us.
If it’s like that, there’s also the means of letting the other party pass by without increasing the illumination, but the other party’s direction of movement seems to overlap with ours. If the other party was actually something that’s able to infer the state of its surroundings even without relying on its visual field, it would become an one-sided disadvantage for only us.
Did the other party draw considerably closer to Renya’s group while he was pondering this and that? It reached the point that the sounds of firmly stepping through the undergrowth could be heard by Renya’s group.
“What shall we do, Renya?” (Rona)
“Let’s increase the illumination. We will check out the other party. If it is something dangerous, we will run away with all of our strength. Is that fine?” (Renya)
“I leave the decision to you, Renya. Will you do the timing to increase the illumination, Renya?” (Shion)
“Yea, also, if it gets too close, it will become troublesome at the moment when we want to run away. I will give you a signal.” (Renya)
After exchanging those words in a whisper, Renya fixedly stares into the almost total darkness.
I won’t be able to see it, even by increasing the illumination, if it’s too far away. If it’s too close, we will very likely be unable to get away once it’s time to run away.
While considering the balance of those two aspects, Renya, who judged that it’s probably fine around here, called out to the two in his back.
“Make sure to be able to escape at any time. I will increase the illumination. Shade your eyes with your hands so that you don’t look directly into the light source. You will get disoriented.” (Renya)
After ascertaining that both of them have covered their eyes with one hand, Renya cast the spell towards a branch in the grove of trees, which was as far away from them as possible.
The fair amount of intensity, which was set to the usual continuation period, brightly shines within the night’s forest and allows to see the state of affairs in the vicinity.
Seeing something, which was bathed within the illumination of that light, Shion gulped and Rona prevented to leak her voice by holding her own mouth.