Chapter 0282 On the First Course
Leading the mission from the Central Nations was the Kingdom delegation led by Hugh McGrath.
However, the Kingdom delegation had stopped on the way to Ayteke-Bo, one of the corridor countries.
They did not move to the side of the road to rest, but stopped right on the road.
“What soothing spectacle.”
Ryo set up ice chairs and a desk, sighed in relief over a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and muttered.
Niels, the leader of ‘Room 10’, while sipping the coffee Ryo brewed for him, agreed in part, though with a puzzled look on his face.
“Well, it’s certainly a rare experience, that’s for sure.”
Etho, the priest of ‘Room 10’ agreed with a smile on his face while sipping the coffee Ryo had brewed for him.
“It’s so spectacular!”
Amon, the swordsman of ‘Room 10’ said, looking around very gleefully while sipping the coffee Ryo had brewed for him.
Incidentally, Swordsman Harold, Priest Zeke, and Dual Swordsman Gowan of ‘Room 11’, were all drinking their coffee in silence….
Currently, a clump of tree monsters, Treants, were moving from right to left in front of and behind the Kingdom delegation.
Treants are tree monsters.
Many of them seem to be a type of coniferous trees with legs.
However, upon closer inspection, some of them had legs growing out of what appeared to be hardwood trees.
It seemed that there were many different kinds of ‘Treants’.
It was a very, very fantastic sight from the perspective of Ryo who was born on Earth.
Because the trees have legs, and they walk and run, it’s totally insane!
Some of them were trotting not too fast, and some were hopping around slowly….
It seemed that there was as much diversity in the Treants as there was in vegetation.
Only, for Ryo, it was a fantastic sight….
The road that these Trents were crossing.
That road wasn’t wide.
Nevertheless, a road is a road.
That road runs through the ‘Pitch-Black Forest’.
Therefore, monsters moving through the forest inevitably cross the road.
That was an ecological necessity.
That was why there were no warding pillars, such as those found on the highways of the Central Nations, along this road….
Fundamentally, the tree monsters, Treants, are said to be gentle monsters and will not attack unless attacked.
Even so, some people may not feel at ease when there are no less than several thousand of them moving in close proximity to them.
At the very least, not many people will describe it as ‘a soothing spectacle’….
“The big ones are kinda dignified in their own way, but the small ones are pretty cute.”
“Oh, you think so too, Ryo? If only all monsters were like this~”
Amon nodded and replied to Ryo’s words.
“Hell no, it’s taking all I got to keep from unsheathing my sword…”
“Hey Niels, calm down a bit. There might be Treants’ kids or whatever, so don’t accidentally attack them.”
Niels expressed his honest opinion, and Etho soothed him with a wry smile.
“But thankfully, it’s just a bunch of Treants this time, next time could be a pack of war wolves crossing over, right?”
Priest Zeke spoke up and voiced his concern.
“Yes, that seems highly likely. And apparently running into one could very easily result in the annihilation of an entire party.”
The one who answered his concern was Etho, also a priest.
Hearing this, it was probably inevitable that the other two of Room 11 shuddered a little.
Even Niels, their senior B-rank swordsman, shuddered as he pictured the scene in his head….
However, a certain water-attribute magician opened his mouth confidently.
He seemed to be somewhat confident. Then he continued.
“When that happens, we’ll leave Niels alone and we’ll all run for it!”
“You’re going to buy us some time while that big body of yours is being eaten…”
“You’re assuming I’m going to get eaten…”
Just kidding, of course.
… Of course, he’s kidding, right?
Yeah… he’s kidding… probably.
While ‘Room 10’ and ‘Room 11’ were having such a conversation at the tail end of the Kingdom’s delegation, the leader of the delegation, Hugh McGrath, had a difficult look on his face at the forefront of the delegation.
He was holding in his hand what appeared to be a simple map.
“Although there’s no helping it… this is going to take up a lot of time. Doesn’t look like we’ll be able to make it to the campsite we originally planned.”
“Looks like it. We’ll have to set up camp at the secondary location.”
Hugh’s words were answered by Delong, the leader of the B-rank party ‘Coffee Maker’, stationed at the forefront.
‘Coffee Maker’ is a B-rank party with a great deal of experience.
Their accomplishment in handling escort quests can be said to be among the best in the Kingdom.
It was no coincidence that the first escort quest that ‘Room 10’, which included Ryo, took on, was a Whitnash round-trip escort quest in cooperation with ‘Coffee Maker’.
Hence, ‘Coffee Maker’ was the lead escort for the Kingdom delegation this time, and Delong, the leader, was also Hugh’s advisor.
“Was the secondary campsite on a riverbank?”
“Yes, it is. Along the road. So far there seems to be no danger of flooding, and the only thing to watch out for is…”
“Yeah…. It could be a waterhole.”
Most things, whether animals or monsters, need water to survive.
The riverbanks are therefore a watering hole for them, and they would likely come by.
In particular, this ‘Pitch-Black Forest’ doesn’t have many travelers, unlike the forests in the Central Nations.
Not that there weren’t any whatsoever, just very few.
So, the monsters in the forest weren’t accustomed to humans….
Monsters and humans.
One way or another, a clash would almost certainly break out.
“If only we could make a fence…”
Hugh muttered to himself and suddenly had an idea.
“… Maybe he could?”
“Mr. Hugh, I’ve more or less used Ice Wall to… I’ve surrounded the entire delegation with walls of ice.”
At Hugh’s request, Ryo built an ice wall around the entire mission and arranged it so that even if monsters appeared, the mission would not be attacked.
Hugh asked Ryo on a whim, but was at a loss for words when he was told, “I sure can”, and saw that he had actually built it.
An ice wall with a radius of 100 meters… and a total circumference of about… 628 meters.
It wasn’t something that could be built by a single magician.
Hugh had seen several large-scale magical constructions on the battlefield, including in the last ‘Great War’.
He also recalled that it would have taken more than twenty earth-attribute magicians to build an ‘Earth Wall’ of this scale.
(Ryo… still a monster as usual.)
Hugh muttered in his mind.
“It’s pretty large!”
“It’s got a roof too, so we can sleep in peace.”
“We probably don’t even need a lookout.”
Hugh was struck by the fact that Niels, Amon, and Etho’s impressions were quite normal in the face of such an outrageous thing.
He muttered to himself.
“So, they too, have already been poisoned by Ryo, huh?”
Then he thought.
If perhaps he had made a mistake making those guys from ‘Room 10’ look after those of ‘Room 11’….