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In a part of the Miasma Forest there was a somewhat open space that had suddenly been cleared out.
It’s something that wasn’t there the previous day, a campsite built at top speed by Renya and the others who arrived there from the city of Kukrika after being transported in cages carried by dragons.
Originally it was considered normal to set up camp outside the forest and go into the forest from there. As such, the soldiers, who had been brought along by Renya, thought that they would do just that.
However, Renya immediately rejected that notion.
“Since we have come here to train, what’s the point in having a safety zone?” He asked the soldiers.
Everyone except for Croire got surprised by Renya’s words.
Maybe due to her being an elf, Croire didn’t try to hide her good mood as Renya declared that they would set up camp inside the forest.
For her it’s natural to stay inside the forest rather than outside, because there was no doubt that she could spend her time in the forest safely.
But this is something that only applies to her because she’s an elf. In Shion’s and the human soldiers’ eyes, the tree groves are a hindrance as they obstruct the view.
The dark forest blocked the light thanks to the leaves of densely grown trees, which made it an area where one cannot spend a pleasant and safe time.
If possible, the soldiers wanted to set up their campsite outside the forest.
Even so, they obeyed Renya’s orders of building a campsite inside the forest without complaints.
Soldiers that didn’t abide to what they were ordered by the instructor didn’t exist anymore after all.
Once they decided to follow the order, their movements were fast.
Given that Renya didn’t have the intention to ask something unreasonable of them such as building a campsite in the gaps between the trees, the soldiers all together quickly drew their longswords and started to chop down the trees that are standing in the way.
“You know, we do have axes with us…” (Renya)
Renya mumbled while watching the soldiers’ backs, who had started before he could say anything, but his murmuring apparently didn’t reach the soldiers’ ears who wanted to get the work done swiftly.
Renya thanks the dragons, who had transported them, for their troubles and urges them to return to their dwelling. Meanwhile trees with considerable thickness are felled one after the other around him.
The cut-down trees have their branches pruned and are processed into lumber. Then the soldiers stab their longswords into the ground to sever the roots of the remaining stumps and pull them out of the ground by upheaving them with the cooperation of several people.
Afterwards other soldiers fill the holes that were created by pulling out the stumps with earth and flatten the ground by stomping the area.
“I have slightly complicated feelings about this.” (Croire)
Croire grumbled due to the ground being quickly evened out in front of her eyes.
In Croire’s eyes, as an elf, the situation of the trees being casually and indifferently processed is apparently something that she doesn’t like to see overly much.
Was it a slightly bad idea to have brought her along? Renya wondered, but it’s not like it’s possible to send her back at this point.
Even while Renya and Croire are having such a conversation, the soldiers cut down one tree after the other and process them.
The felled trees are further cut into equally long parts. These logs are shaved on one side and transformed into stakes with sharp tips.
The finished stakes were thrust into the ground at the edges of the completely emptied lot in order to fence the area in.
Since the soldiers naturally don’t have wooden hammers or such to drive in the stakes, they stabbed them into the ground using human strength. And then they clober in the stakes with the wood that hasn’t been processed as a replacement for hammers.
“Something’s weird”, was what Renya noticed after the empty plot had been surrounded by quite the number of stakes.
The plot with its decent size has been surrounded by a fence constructed by connecting the group of stakes, each having a height of up to a man’s chest, horizontally with lumber and tying everything together with cords. Now the soldiers have begun to assemble something similar to steady and simple watchtowers in the four corners of the plot.
Entrances had been prepared on the western side of the fence, which continues into the depth of the forest, and on the eastern side of the fence, which continues to outside the forest. In addition, the soldiers dug out a moat with a width of roughly two meters and a depth that reached up to their waists. They were even about to install bridges which had been built by lining up several logs and tying them together.
“Say, Croire.” (Renya)
“Yes? What is it, Renya-san?” (Croire)
“Does this look like a campsite to you?” (Renya)
Items had also been placed inside the cages they had the dragons carry, but those were only materials.
What has been loaded there were medicines, a small amount of food, water, tents, sleeping bags, cooking ware, the hoes to which the soldiers had gotten completely attached to, shovels and axes which Renya had created in his workshop, and ropes as well as hammers they had bought in a general store.
Renya had crammed various items into his inventory as well, but he thought that it would likely be necessary to train while operating, to a certain extent, with a limited amount of resources.
There wasn’t any scoundrel who would try to put their hands on the foodstuff, but the soldiers still checked the materials. The moment they noticed the various tools included among the materials, they rushed to Renya
“Instructor-dono! We request permission to use the tools!”
“Ah, yeah. Go for it…” (Renya)
Renya ends up nodding, while being pressured by the soldiers’ somewhat strange zealousness.
Once the other soldiers heard that they got the instructor’s permission, they immediately unpacked the materials and swiftly divided the tools within. Having obtained the necessary tools, their work speed entered an entirely new level.
The completely assembled watchtowers, which had even been reinforced, had ladders added to them so that they could easily climb the towers.
They made something similar to impromptu huts by using the lumber and the cloths which has been intended to be used as tents.
I wonder, is the conspicuous, tall hut, which they erected in the centre of the plot, an operation command centre or something like that? Renya thought absentmindedly while having completely missed the timing to stop the soldiers.
Before long the sun was going down and the forest, which was dim even at the best of times, became even darker.
The soldiers gathered cut-off twigs and fallen withered branches from several places and ignited them skillfully.
Relying on the illumination of the fires, they successively built small huts as well as long and narrow huts as if surrounding the larger hut in the centre.
“Hey, I told you to set up a campsite, didn’t I?” (Renya)
Renya tries asking Keith who passed by.
Keith had taken out several sleeping bags from within the cages and was in the process of taking them to several huts that would apparently be used by the soldiers as rest areas, but after being called out by Renya, he stops while still holding the sleeping bags in both hands.
“Yes, instructor-dono. We were told something along those lines.” (Keith)
“This is a campsite?” (Renya)
Renya asks while gazing at the premises.
After following Renya’s eyes and surveying the surroundings, Keith looked back at Renya again and confidently answered,
“Yes, instructor-dono. There’s no doubt, it’s a campsite.” (Keith)
“To me it looks a bit like a fortress though…” (Renya)
The fence that surrounds the site is even now getting reinforced by the soldiers.
As expected, it was apparently impossible to have water flow in the dug-out moat, but due to the existence of the ladders and shovels, it became possible for them to create an even deeper and wider moat than the one initially created.
The log bridges that had been built across the moat were made sturdier as to take their weight tolerance into consideration, but they even have an elaborate mechanism that allows to drop them immediately at times of emergency by simply cutting a few ropes.
Renya had planned to have them build something very crude and simple since it was merely a place to spend around ten days in, but the finished site diverged greatly from Renya’s train of thought and made him want to question them Just how many years do you guys plan to spend here?
After intently staring at the scenery, Keith gave a clear reply,
“This is a campsite.” (Keith)
“Oh… you insist on that part. The person who speaks up wins, is it…?” (Renya)
“If you command us to rebuild it as a fortress, all hands will work on that throughout the night…” (Keith)
“No, it’s fine as it is. I think that’s more than enough.” (Renya)
Renya agreed in a slight panic.
I wouldn’t know what I would be shown at dawn, if I told them to rebuild it into a fortress at this point.
Therefore, agreeing here that this is a campsite was also something for the sake of Renya’s mental stability and as such he has absolutely no intention to have the soldiers work all night long.
However, if it’s like this, I don’t seem to have any option other than setting up a tent at the edge of the plot as my own sleeping place. At the moment when Renya started to walk in order to get a tent from the luggage, it was now Keith that made Renya stop by calling out to him while looking slightly curious.
“Where to, instructor-dono?” (Keith)
“I have to set up my own sleeping place, don’t I? Can you let me use a place at the edge?” (Renya)
“No, instructor-dono, your house is in that direction though…” (Keith)
What Keith pointed at was the largish building they had built at the centre of the plot and which Renya had considered to likely be the operation command centre or something similar.
“That’s something else, right?” (Renya)
“It has been built in the centre of the site. Who except for you, instructor-dono, is to enter that place?” (Keith)
Being asked that by Keith, Renya didn’t know what would be a good answer to that question.
Seemingly having taking Renya’s silence as affirmation, Keith continues,
“The inside has been split into several rooms. Of course there’s also a room that can be used similar to an strategic control room. And, since Croire-dono has a room as well…” (Keith)
Renya instinctively asks back after having heard something that was definitely wrong.
Apparently incapable of comprehending why Renya has a surprised expression, Keith asked him in reverse,
“The two of you will be staying together, am I correct in my assumption?” (Keith)
“Indeed, that’s, only natural.” (Croire)
Croire cut into their conversation while smiling sweetly before Renya could say anything.
Renya turned towards her and tried to close Croire’s mouth before she could says anything else to Keith, but his action was interrupted once more by Keith’s somewhat relieved voice.
“Oh, that’s great, ma’am. I was worried that I overstepped my bounds here.” (Keith)
“No, not at all, as expected, you are quite observant, Soldier Leader-san.” (Croire)
“Even soldiers can discern these kind of circumstances, ma’am. And, only that building has two layers of cloth within its outer wall. Please do not worry as it will be difficult for sounds to leak outside.” (Keith)
“Thank you, very much, for your sincere, considerations.” (Croire)
Renya wanted to press Keith for an answer about what he means by there being to nothing to worry, but he stays silent as he hesitates to speak to Keith who scratches his head while smiling brightly after quickly bowing to Croire.
“Instructor-dono, we will post sentries in two shifts at night. As long as you kindly inform us, we will prepare a bath and cloths at any time…” (Keith)
“Soldier Leader Keith… to what extent are you telling me that seriously?” (Renya)
This question didn’t disturb Keith’s serious expression, but Renya’s eyes noticed the twitching around the corners of Keith’s mouth although it was only very faintly.
It’s completely as if he’s holding himself back from bursting into laughter.
Nevertheless, Keith summoned all the force of will he possesses and said while denying his expression to change,
“I’m serious in all respects.” (Keith)
“So you are saying that I will do something with Croire during the night that will make a bath and cloths necessary?” (Renya)
“You won’t?” (Keith)
Keith looked as if he couldn’t believe it while fixedly staring at Renya’s face.
Blushing for some reason, Croire squirms her body while covering her face with both hands.
These guys are probably doing this on purpose, Renya’s expression turns grim.
“Are you such an insensitive person that you won’t do anything even after we have gone this far with the preparations, instructor-dono?” (Keith)
“That’s not it, Soldier Leader-san. Renya-san is, simply shy.” (Croire)
“I see. In that case allow me to offer my apologies for my impoliteness, instructor-dono.” (Keith)
“You two…” (Renya)
I suppose it’s fine now to stop them for real, Renya scatters his bloodthirst.
Not just the soldiers who listened attentively while continuing their work and even those soldiers who were slightly away and didn’t know what was going on froze in place, but even the beasts lurking inside the forest ran away in a hurry while screaming due to the intensity of Renya’s bloodthirst.
Croire and Keith, who were close-by, received it directly and have stopped moving as if paralyzed.
While staring at those two, Renya slowly asked,
“Which one of you doesn’t want to greet tomorrow’s morning?” (Renya)
“”I apologize, so please don’t kill me!”” (Croire & Keith)
Due to Croire and Keith starting to beg for their lives while being in synchronization, Renya sighs and stops coercing them.
“In the first place, Shion is here as well… so there’s no way that we can do something like that, right?” (Renya)
“Shion-sama has had a seperate hut prepared.” (Keith)
“Only I’m left out?” (Shion)
Maybe it was by coincidence or because Shion approached after noticing Renya’s coercion, but she showed up and asked as if having received a shock, and moreover, Keith shouted also with an expression full of shock,
“No way! Staying together with even Shion-sama!?” (Keith)
“Alright, Keith. Give me a little moment of your time in the back. I don’t know where the back is, but the darkness around that area will do just fine.” (Renya)
“Ah, excuse me. Please, spare me by all means. I don’t know what kind of suffering you will mete out to me, but I have a reliable premonition that I won’t live through it.” (Keith)
Renya grabs Keith’s nape and is about to drag him somewhere.
Keith, who was being dragged as he was unable to escape Renya’s grasp, began to apologize frantically as he seemingly understood very well that it would be meaningless to struggle.
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