Chapter 0027 The End of Slow Life
“Ryo, I have something to discuss with you.”
After finishing their roast meat meal and cleaning up, Abel started a conversation.
“Hn? About what?”
“Actually, I wish to return to the beach where I washed ashore. I have something I need to check. I’m sorry but could you guide me there?”
“Ah, that’s fine with me. Then, let’s go.”
Ryo only had his usual loincloth, sandal, and two knives.
Nowadays, he didn’t even use the knife-tipped bamboo spear anymore.
Originally the bamboo spear was used because the longer reach gave him a sense of security during battle.
However, after days of interpersonal combat with the Dullahan, close combat with the one-eyed Assassin Hawk, and with Murasame in hand, a longer reach was no longer necessary.
Yes, Ryo had improved.
But that didn’t appear to be the case in Abel’s view.
“Ryo. You mentioned that you are a Water Attribute Magician.”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“You don’t need to bring your magic staff along?”
In the central countries, magicians typically carry staves.
That was because the magician’s staff was a conduit for magic to assist in magic activation and supplement the effects of magic.
A magician without a staff requires more than 10 times as much magical power to activate magic and the effect of the magic would be about one-tenth in comparison.
In other words, to put it bluntly, they would be useless.
But Ryo had never used a staff to date.
“A-ah … I don’t have one.”
Abel regretted his question after he heard that answer.
(Another mistake … when living in poverty, it might be possible to lose your staff. I embarrassed my benefactor. Asking such a stupid question …)
“Ah, yeah, there are such instances. I am a swordsman so we’ll be fine as long as I have this sword.”
Abel said and tapped the sword on his waist.
“If anything happens, I’ll stand in front as the vanguard and fight so Ryo can watch from behind.”
“No, there’s no need to …”
“Please, let me do just this. If I keep getting help even after you saved my life, it would damage my dignity.”
Abel replied and brought his face directly in front of Ryo’s.
“Ah, yes, then I’ll entrust it to you when the time comes.”
It took his all to give his reply.
There were no longer any corpses on the beach.
It had only been five hours since Ryo carried Abel away but it seemed that the corpses of the two smugglers had already been cleaned up.
Of course, it wasn’t Ryo who cleaned them up.
Probably something from the sea did.
“Those two were already dead. It seems that they had been eaten or dragged into the sea.”
Ryo gave a simple explanation without any emotion in particular.
But that wasn’t the case for Abel.
“In other words, if Ryo didn’t drag me away, that would have been my fate too.”
Cold sweat ran down Abel’s back.
“Abel-san’s luck is good after all.”
Ryo smiled broadly.
“No … well, yes, I’ll think of it that way. And Ryo, if possible, could you call my name without honorifics? It’s a little hard for me if you call my name with –san but I call you, my lifesaver, without any honorifics.”
“But I believe Abel-san is older than me … Well, if you are fine with it, then it is okay. Abel.”
“Ou, thanks. All my friends call me that so this is better.”
(Even though I wanted to be alone and told Michael (pseudonym) to send me to a place where no one would come to … I feel a little envious of having friends. After all, 20 years alone is a long time.)
Ryo thought to himself emotionally.
On the contrary, Abel was searching for something.
(Ah, so there’s nothing after all, to serve as proof. Did it sink to the bottom of the sea? Well, it can’t be helped, I should join up with everyone for now.)
“Ryo, thanks. In the end, it seems that I can’t find what I am looking for.”
“That’s a shame. What do you plan to do now?”
“For now, I wish to join up with my friends. I should be able to contact them if I go to the City of Rune but …”
Ryo tilted his head and answered.
“Sorry but I do not know where that City of Rune is. I think it is probably far north from here … I believe you drifted a considerable distance. There are no people around this area, not to mention cities.”
“I see … I’ll have to prepare myself for the worst.”
At that moment, Abel paused for a while. And after thinking for a little, he said to Ryo.
“Hey, Ryo, do you want to travel together?”
Abel’s invitation came as a surprise and was completely unexpected by Ryo.
It certainly would be difficult to travel through the forest alone.
Even if Abel was a skilled swordsman, traveling solo would increase the difficulty immensely.
The greatest difficulty would be 『resting』.
With two people, one could sleep while the other stayed up and kept watch.
However, a lone person would not be able to get sufficient sleep.
They would have to stay vigilant at all times. And staying vigilant for long periods would be tiring.
And fatigue would cause mistakes.
That was a rule of the world that even a skilled person cannot escape from.
That’s why even in the armies of modern Earth, the smallest unit was a 『two-man cell』, a pair of people.
However, Ryo had never imagined leaving Rondo Forest.
He had created paddy fields around his house, dug sewers, and laid cobblestone roads to places where he often visited.
He was also cultivating many fruits within the barrier.
There were fewer vegetables but that did not pose any inconvenience to life.
He had no difficulties living here but … the fact was that his heart moved a little when he was asked if he wanted to ‘travel together’.
(No inconveniences. No difficulties. But I am just a little curious to see a city built in this world of swords and magic. That said, discarding the environment I made around the house and this slow life feels a little wasteful …)
Abel panicked a little when there was no reaction from Ryo.
“Sorry, it must have been too sudden. At the very least, I would be grateful if you could travel to the City of Rune with me. As a guide, or yes, as a request. A request. If you come with me, I’ll pay the request fee and help you if you wish to live there. To be honest, I’m totally lost here so I can’t imagine how I can get to the City of Rune from here. How about it?”
Abel said and lowered his head.
(Ah, that’s right. I don’t really have to leave Rondo Forest forever. I can always see the world a little before coming back again. I’m confident that by that time, Michael’s (pseudonym) barrier would still be functioning.)
Ryo thought to himself without any basis.
He had complete faith in Michael (pseudonym).
“All right. For the time being, I have to prepare some things so if you are okay with leaving tomorrow, I will accept the request to travel together.”
“Yes, Ryo, thank you!”
Abel grabbed Ryo’s hand with both hands and shook up and down happily.
To Abel, Ryo was kind of a ray of hope.
He drifted to somewhere he had no idea where and was fortunate to be the only one who survived but it was thanks to Ryo who found him and took him home that …
Although Ryo mentioned that he didn’t exactly know where the City of Rune was, he was confident that it was ‘fairly far north’ so he should have some basis for that information.
In the first place, it is extremely difficult to cross a forest when you don’t even know how long it would take.
(A magician without his staff might have difficulty fighting but I can handle the fights. I would be grateful for having somebody to take turns keeping watch when resting. Ah, right, I’ll get him a staff and clothes from the very first city we reach. That probably won’t be perceived as insulting. Actually, there’s a possibility that he can’t enter a city looking like that …)
Abel had completely misunderstood that Ryo didn’t have a staff and was only dressed in a loincloth because he was poor … although it was true that Ryo had nothing to his name.
On the other hand, even though he was only leaving the house for a while, Ryo had to prepare some matters.
The functions of the house were made by Michael (pseudonym) so Ryo didn’t mess with anything.
The barrier and the storage would probably work fine even in his absence.
The paddy field can’t be saved. He’ll just have to remake it when he comes back.
He had stored some frozen paddy. He could eat it or grow seedlings from it so he could get started as soon as he comes back.
There was no helping the fruits in the garden.
He’ll just have to pray that they survive with just rain …
Basically, the things he will be leaving at home would work out somehow.
The problem was the things he will be bringing with him.
The convenient classic otherworld story ‘Item box’ that is a spell capable of storing items in a subspace … he didn’t have it.
He didn’t have any items with similar functions either.
He had to be careful with what he chose to bring with him.
First, he decided to bring the seasonings.
Salt and black pepper.
He placed them into small wrapping cloth bags … about the size of a drawstring bag … made from tanned Kite Snake leather. It probably won’t get in the way much if he hung them on his waist.
Since they were seasoning, it wasn’t necessary to bring a large quantity of it.
But the taste of food would be completely different with or without it. They were essential for traveling.
Similarly, he placed Wound Grass in paste form in a drawstring bag.
Next would be flint. It would generate sparks if struck against Michael’s (pseudonym) knife.
Water, he could create it.
(Eh? Is that sufficient? It turned out quite little.)
It appeared that if you don’t consider 『A change of clothes』, the things needed for travel were quite little.
(All that’s left is … saying goodbyes.)
After eating dinner, Ryo told Abel that he would be going out for a while.
“At this timing?”
That was suspicious even to Abel.
“Yeah. Since I can only meet them at this timing. I plan to tell them that I won’t be home for some time. I think it will take some time so Abel, please wait here.”
“Yeah, all right.”
(Even though he said that nobody lives around here … he has to tell somebody that he won’t be home? Perhaps, is there a spirit of a person important to him? Even if he is alone now, it doesn’t mean that he had always been on his own. I shouldn’t pry into his circumstances.)
Ryo came to the center of the wetlands to the north, near the shore of the lake.
When the moon reached the middle of the sky, the Dullahan on the headless horse appeared as usual.
Normally, Ryo would hold up Murasame, the Dullahan would ready its stance and their combat would start.
But today was different.
Ryo approached the Dullahan without readying his sword.
“I wish to tell you something today. I will be leaving this Rondo Forest for a while from tomorrow onward. Therefore today will be the last.”
He didn’t know if his words got through.
In the first place, Ryo didn’t know what kind of being a Fairy King was.
Nevertheless, he felt that sincerity could be communicated to it.
Even if it didn’t understand, it has been true that it had been training him with the sword so it was natural that he would want to express his gratitude.
“I am truly thankful for all you have done until now. I have survived until now thanks to you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Perhaps it was his imagination but he felt that the Dullahan seemed a little lonely.
Of course, it was a headless knight so it had no face. Therefore he didn’t know its expression.
But still, Ryo could sense its lonely atmosphere.
“I won’t be able to practice after tonight. As the final practice, I will fight more seriously than usual.”
After saying that, Ryo formed the blade on Murasame.
In response, the Dullahan pulled out its sword from its scabbard as usual.
Their sword battle began.
The fight lasted for two hours without rest.
The points were two to three.
Ryo was able to deal two fatal hits … but he received three hits so he lost.
Well, his record has been straight losses so far.
But today he didn’t stay down. He had to give his final greetings.
He managed to stand on his feet despite them swaying.
“Thank you very much.”
Ryo bowed deeply.
The Dullahan approached Ryo and presented something in its hand to him.
“This is … a robe? For me?”
It was white, or rather a pale blue robe.
The kind of robe a magician wears in RPG games or movies, along with a hood, that would hide a person from the tip of the head to the ankles.
A classical magician outfit!
He certainly would get caught if he entered a city with just a loincloth …
Ryo accepted it and immediately put it on.
It was a perfect fit.
Moreover, it was tailored perfectly around the arm to shoulder to make it easy for him to swing a sword.
Rather than a pure magician, it felt more like something a lightsaber-wielding galaxy knight would wear.
Ryo immediately took a liking to it.
“Thank you very much! I will take good care of it.”
He bowed deeply once again.
Seeing that, the Dullahan gave off a satisfied atmosphere.
He didn’t have a face but Ryo imagined it that way.
The Dullahan straddled its horse and disappeared as usual.
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