In the end the prepared pasta stock became less than half.
You could say this was something that couldn’t be helped.
Since originally they prepared it to be used by a party of one man and two women, namely Renya, Shion and Rona, the quantity they took along was to satisfy just them.
Although Renya had also taken along a surplus considering some unforeseen situations occuring, adding 5 grown man to this was still harsh.
Rather, with adding this many, it is good that there is still close to half remaining, he thought bitterly.
Renya had a high opinion of himself.
I want to praise my former self, while thinking such trivial things, he used his hands to wash the tableware devoting himself completely to the task.
Without having to mention the dishes, as hygenic conditions couldn’t be really mentioned to be well in this world, he couldn’t leave the pot and kitchen knife without properly washing and suitably drying them either. Doing so could cause something like somache ache and in the end the ability to enjoy the meal would be lost.
The used tools were washed sufficiently and dried with a cleansed cloth.
This is already a matter of my previous life’s common sense concerning someone who touches foodstuff, Renya judged.
While wiping the tableware with a clean cloth, he surveyed the surroundings. He could see them fully enjoying the early afternoon with full stomachs sitting directly on the ground with the only difference being the variation of spread out carpets they were using.
It was a really peaceful view.
Peaceful, even though it couldn’t be helped to just call it peaceful, it was still a fact.
While helping to wipe the tableware next to Renya, Az seemed to likewise feel the same. He started a conversation with a low voice to the extent that it couldn’t be heard by the surroundings.
“They haven’t… returned.” (Az)
That voice didn’t contain anything like the feeling of anxiety.
It was no more than an indifferent way of confirming the truth.
“Ah, that’s true.” (Renya)
Without resting his hands on the task, Renya agreed.
A young dungeon didn’t have a size to such an extent. Although he had heard that, Renya didn’t concretely know just how big the size actually was.
But, with the ranks of the parties as it is, secluding themselves for a few hours without emerging in a dungeon said to not have such an extensive size, is that something ordinary?
Renya wasn’t able to judge it.
In the first place, since there wasn’t such things like dungeons in his previous world, it was just reasonable for him to not have the knowledge related to this.
How could it be fine to judge that without having the knowledge?’
If it is something that you don’t have, it will be a good idea to borrow it from someone who has it.
A pretty simple matter.
“Az, can you be my teacher? Please, there is something I absolutely want to ask…” (Renya)
Although it certainly seemed as if he wanted to ask something, it could also really be called something close to getting free information about this place.
As Renya tried to act modestly as there was the possibility of him thinking like that for sure, Az’s reaction was something completely unexpected.
“Stop it, it feels sickening. What will you do if I drop a plate due to that? Although it might be particularly good since it is yours.” (Az)
While retreating half a step, Az raised his voice in protest expressing a truly unpleasant look on his expressionless face.
Tentatively Renya had intended to ask earnestly, but he also felt a slight satisfaction seeing such unusually reluctant facial expression on Az.
If the plate ended up being broken because of that, I wouldn’t be able to bear it.
“What do you want to know? I will listen to you normally.” (Az)
“Is it normal for 2 parties to not come out from diving into a small dungeon after a few hours?” (Renya)
Since he didn’t know when Hartz’ party entered the dungeon, he couldn’t say anything concerning that. But if the discussion was restricted to only talking about Zest’s party, they had dived into the dungeon for around 5 hours without any news.
Speaking of Renya’s quesion, as Az answered right away, did he think about the same question?
“Although I can’t say it’s normal, I can’t say it’s abnormal either.” (Az)
Finishing wiping the plate dry, after giving it to Renya, he picked up another plate that was still wet. While beginning the task of wiping it once more, Az replied.
As he was quite skilled with something like that, Renya could comply with Az being usually in charge of cleaning and cooking for the sake of the four on guard duty. His performance was quite agreeable.
“Though it may be a small dungeon, it isn’t something unusual to spend time in it. Even if it doesn’t mean that it is very strong, you can still randomly encounter such things like a tough guardian.” (Az)
“I see?” (Renya)
“However, because we have manpower here, in such a situation it would also be normal to think of doing something like calling for reinforcements while some people hold it off.” (Az)
No matter how solid the defense power it possessed, assuming you beat it up with a large number of people, it would be an obvious matter of shortening the time needed to defeat it.
Even if they were determined to do it by themselves they were still undermanned. If they had reinforcements close by, they wouldn’t have a choice but to call them over.
“I see.” (Renya)
“Although that brown-dyed hair baka, who doesn’t happen to have any particularly noticeable intelligence, will very likely end up shedding tears, Hartz doesn’t seem to have realized that.” (Az)
“Inde… oi, don’t use such spiteful words.” (Renya)
Az ignored Renya, who had inserted a tsukkomi in his agreement, without even blinking.
“In conclusion, I think something has happened.” (Az)
Az held out the plate he finished to dry to Renya.
After taking it and confirming that the water had been properly wiped away, Renya tossed it into his [Inventory].
“I am deliberating what might have happened.” (Az)
“Both parties that went ahead have an evaluation to be higher ranked than us.” (Renya)
“Though I don’t think I can tell how far we can go, they will die without exception if we continue our picnic here without doing anything.” (Az)
“I dare say as for ingredients, we still have some leeway.” (Renya)
Renya spent almost all of the prior preparation time on securing ingredients.
Although the amount of money he possessed including the amount for selling of the magic cores was down to merely 3 gold coins, the reason for that happening could be attributed almost entirely to him buying ingredients, tools and materials.
The reason for the only meager remaining amount was it vanishing into such things such as ropes, tinderboxes and lanterns which he gave Rona, who was in charge of buying them.
“Our side as well. Even though I say that, we have nothing but hard bread and jerky stocked.” (Az)
Even though it was a talk about something having no taste, it was still something called essential for normal adventurers.
Due to equipment and tools being important, it could be said to be the obvious choice, even going as far as calling it rational, to prepare food that wasn’t bulky and heavy. Originally it would be strange to put importance on taste and bring something that didn’t last long on top of being unwieldy like fresh vegetables and milk like Renya did in this situation.
“And isn’t this a slightly bitter picnic, I wonder? Though it is also fine to receive and include our ingredients, there has to be an end to it.” (Az)
“Even though I want to do something to take care of it if possible, I have nothing to pay with anymore either. In other words.” (Renya)
“”There is nothing left but passing the bounds and get started on acting.”” (Az & Renya)
Sending out the same phrase at the same time, Renya and Az looked at each other faces.
Staring at each other for a short while, they averted their gazes from each other with the same timing again.
“I see, I see, I don’t dislike such things either.” (Renya)
“Although I thought you might be of the same type as that brown-haired baka, why, just why is it something good to be next to a fellow who properly understands matters?” (Az)
“Why are you are you thinking I am the same type like that?” (Renya)
“Though you have nothing but women in your party?” (Az)
Declaring it as if it was only natural, Renya smiled bitterly.
Even though I think there are various problems in a party made out of only women, if you also enter a single man in there, there will be some problems left after all, he thought.
While that may be true, with Rona strongly opposing the idea of adding other male members, it seems that it will be very difficult to realize this.
“We should decide on the objective of action. It isn’t my hobby to blindly charge into something.” (Az)
“Internal investigation and confirming the preceding parties. The conditions for retreating are…” (Renya)
“In case of discovering something considered to make the well being of the preceding parties hopeless or encountering the cause of that one way or another, it is.” (Az)
At the same time Az finished saying this, he handed the last plate that had to be wiped to Renya.
Renya checked the state of that plate.
The water was completely wiped off.
He admired the truly good work.
“Well then, maa, let’s get started, huh? The higher ranking parties have been completely annihilated ~ saying that, would it be sufficient reason to abandon the request?” (Renya)
Without moving his mouth, as if telling Renya that it was fine in that case, Az showed a nod.
“Ah, somehow saying this is similar to giving an order to stop it.” (Az)
“Well, then it is decided. Shion! Rona!” (Renya)
Having their names called out and having the cloth spread on the ground under them pulled away, the two, who had been sleeping with a *suya suya*, quickly got up halfway.
As if wanting to be praised for their quickness in reacting like this, their ears stood on end with a twitch due to having their names called in an appearance that could be described as cats. It was such a scene.
“Get prepared, we are entering the dungeon.” (Renya)
“You guys, start preparing as well. We will enter the dungeon forming a common front with Renya’s group’s party.” (Az)
With Az’s issued instruction, his members started to get armed.
The equipment of them, who were entrusted to serve as shields, were plate mail and a massive shield.
Although it was extremely heavy equipment, what caught Renya’s eyes was their weapons.
All of them wore a short small sword that was easy to swing in one’s hands.
“Are you surprised?” (Az)
Did he notice the item which stopped Renya’s eyes? Az asked a question.
Renya, who had checked those small swords for a while, shook his head left and right before long.
“You have considered it well.” (Renya)
He understood that far from causing a fatal injury it would be difficult even give damage by cutting with a long sword against a sturdily made plate armor.
An attack like chopping through man and armor altogether in one swing wasn’t possible except within novels or mangas.
Usually, if you were to encounter a warrior equipped in plate armor, there was no other method other than either causing him to faint due to the attacks and then finish him off or aim at the gaps in the armor.
The opponents are restrained with the individual defense power of those four and by easily passing this small sword around, someone can stab the enemy. That is likely the division of roles while fighting, Renya conjectured.
Because all four function well as defense, Az can focus on attacking with magic.
“We aren’t something like knights. Thus we don’t fuss over the methods of fighting. Some restrain the enemy and some diminish the numbers of enemies. If you are properly able to do this, there won’t be any kind of problems.” (Az)
Although Rona frowned slightly as the talks turned to knights and so on at this point, Az didn’t become aware of it.
“Renya, the preparations are complete.” (Shion)
Shion called out.
She wore a steel breastplate and a forehead protector (T/N: like the ones in Naruto) additionally to her usual miko clothes type of old ceremonial costume.
The outfit was complimented with steel reinforced leather tekkou’s* and boots with steel inlets. Renya ended up suspecting whether she wasn’t somehow even a much more Japanese person than him with her truly Japanese style.
Rona, whose armaments he had seen in the carriage already, stood next to her.
Both of them carried a small backpack on their back.
The contents were such things as medicines, bandages, a water-filled canteen and portable food.
Although it wasn’t really needed considering that Renya was there, it didn’t mean that they might not fall into an unforeseeable situation ending up being separated from each other.
If they were to only count on Renya’s void storage, they would be in real trouble at the time he couldn’t use his hands and feet.
After looking at them, Renya took out his equipment from the [Inventory].
It was something simple that was sold in stores, leather and copper armor with tekkous.
Since it would only obstruct his field of view, he didn’t feel inclined to wear something like a helmet.
Even though he put on boots as footwear, those were something common without having a reinforcement with something like iron differing from the boots Shion and Rona were wearing.
Only on the shoe sole there was an iron plate inserted to prevent treading something into the sole of his feet.
As a weapon he had the katana he exchanged with Kirie.
When he took that out from his [Inventory] the looks from the surroundings gathered on it.
“What to say? This shape of weapon, I have never seen it before.” (Az)
“Isn’t the sword blade too thin? Although it has a beautiful shape …” (Shion)
Az and Shion each expressed their opinions.
While thinking something along the lines of Is that how it appears to you?, Renya coiled the belt he had procured before leaving the city around his waist and hung the katana there.
He tied the scabbard to the belt with metal fittings. The construction was such that he could disconnect the scabbard from the belt with a strong snap from his fingers at the attached clasp protuberance in times of need.
Although Renya thought that there likely weren’t such things as inserted gimmicks for the different types of weapons circulating in this world, he was able to find it surprisingly easily in a regular store.
He heard that in cases such as falling into water while having weapons equipped, there was a necessity to immediately remove them from the clothing.
In preparation for such times, it appears that the sword belts being circulated possessed such a mechanism.
Even though the purpose was different, Renya immediately bought it since its efficiency was plenty sufficient in practical use.
Because it was after purchasing the ingredients, he ended up having to secretly borrow money from Rona as his own capital wasn’t enough.
“What will we do about the carriages?” (Renya)
“There shouldn’t be any monsters who attack horses if it’s this area. It will be fine to leave them as they are tied to the stakes. If we return within roughly 2-3 hours, it will be alright.” (Az)
“Is that so? Well then, is everyone done preparing?” (Renya)
As Renya called out to them, each of them nodded.
Seeing Az’s party members nodding, Renya turned around into the direction of Az.
There Az nodded as well.
“In this case it goes without saying that you as a swordsman is much more suited as leader than me as a magician.” (Az)
“Why?” ( Renya)
“Since there is no point in telling you, I won’t tell you.” (Az)
Az threw out his chest challenging him as to whether he had any complaints.
Is it fine to take this as proof of trust? Or is it fine to take this as forcing a role onto me including all the troubles along with it?
Thinking about it in a positive way that it would make everyone happy, Renya took a single breath and said,
“I understand. I will give the instructions. Please tell me at any time you don’t want to follow them.” (Renya)
“Understood, is that fine with you guys as well?” (Az)
Az confirmed it with all his party’s members,
It didn’t seem that they were dissatisfied either. With the same timing four full faced steel helmets nodded vertically.
“Good, then prepare the lights… let’s go.” (Renya)
He didn’t leak his inner feelings whether it was fine to leave the leadership to someone who was traversing a dungeon for the first time in this and the previous life. While dedicating himself to be seen as confident as possible, Renya gave the command to his seven companions.