5-1. Journey (1)
Satou's here. Typically in a game, it's walking in the beginning, carriage in the middle and teleportation or airship in the endgame, getting convenient as it goes.
A friend said that going on an adventure in a carriage is miserable.
Since this isn't an adventure, I guess it's okay to enjoy myself right?
The wagon makes clattering and rumbling noise as it travels through the highway between hills.
Whenever small animals like rabbits and rats show up near the bushes, Pochi and Tama react as if they're going to jump out of the wagon. Every time it happened, Liza seized the two by their waists. Alhough the wagon is only about 20 Km/H fast, so they won't get hurt even if they jump out.
"Pochi, Tama, you'll fall if you lean over too much, sit on the back of the coachman's stand."
"Yes nano desu."
The two reply with good answers and place themselves on the left and right sides of the coachman's stand.
Though it's probably only until they find something else.
The winds are slightly cold, but since it's cloudless the warmth from the sunlight is pleasant.
After we got out of Seryuu city for a while, we came into a forest, or rather, a gathering of branching thickets. We came out of it after 1 hour, and now we're advancing through what you'd call hilly areas.
I could see shepherds herding their sheep on the other side of the hills sometimes. I've only seen goat-made products in the city, but there are shepherds too huh.
The wagon shakes as the wheels are climbing up. From behind, I'm hearing Lulu's small shriek, and Arisa's abusive languages, but I'll pretend that I didn't hear it and let it carried away by the wind.
Since the highway is made to avoid the hills, it's winding. The ground is not paved with stone pavements, the soils are bare. As a result, the wheels stumble into rough spots several times. Although the horses are just moving along the course of the road by themselves, it's the coachman's job to fine tune the wagon.
Even though I'm supported by skill, due to the lack of my actual experience I couldn't avoid them all.
Arisa climbs above Pochi's head and shows her face from behind (me).
"I'd love for you to drive more carefully~."
"Don't be unreasonable to a novice coachman."
I put aside Arisa's protest irresponsibly. Pochi looks troubled with Arisa who nests on top of her head.
Oh, Pochi is counterattacking, she catches Arisa's hands and playfully bites it.
"W, wait Pochi, stop that. The sleeves will get sticky with drools~."
Arisa who pulls her arm back and Pochi who hounds her rush toward the luggage rack near the coachman's stand.
"Don't get rowdy now~", I warn them lightly. The wagon is shaking, it'd be bad if they fall.
Tama who sees Arisa and Pochi playing around looks raring to go.
Ah, Tama also participates in the war.
Since Tama isn't suited for patience or perseverance, I guess this can't be helped.
The trip is more relaxed than I thought it'd be. Since this is a fantasy world, I thought that we would encounter some monsters or something, but there weren't any even up to now.
I tried searching in wide area but there were no dangerous animal or monster. At most it was just foxes. I spot packs of wolves sometimes but they're 10 kilometers away at the edge of the forest earlier, so there's no need to be vigilant for the time being.
When I went on a date with Zena-san back then, she said that the military is doing practice by regularly eliminate dangerous animals and monsters around the perimeter of Seryuu city. This is probably thanks to that.
Liza who seemingly couldn't let the little girls who were still playing around any longer, warns them. I had thought that they should be stopped soon, so it's helpful.
Replacing Liza, Lulu who took refuges on the back of the wagon sitting behind me.
Come to think of it, I haven't talk with Lulu much. Communication is important, let's talk with her properly from now on.
"Lulu, are you fine? You don't have motion sickness or the like right?"
I thought that she wouldn't reply, but quite a surprised voice came out.
Right, she moved behind me silently, so she would be surprised if I call her out without turning my head.
The beastkin girls have high physical abilities and I thought that it's natural, but for Lulu who is just a normal girl, it would be surprising. I've almost replaced my common sense with unreasonableness--- I should be careful.
"You don't have to be so nervous. Just like Arisa--- or rather not, be more like Pochi and the girls who casually interact with me."
"Such things... Since I'm slave, it's unbecoming."
Lulu lets out a faint voice that sound as if she's about to disappear, seem like this will need some time.
For the time being, I should get her to get accustomed with having conversations with me.
"Lulu, do you have anything you like?"
"I like taking care of Arisa."
Is she a siscon? No, it's probably just a normal sisterly love.
I'm reluctant, but I continue to talk about Arisa as the topic. To clear away her reserved attitude, it's important to continue the conversations no matter the topic.
"You really love your younger sister."
"I sometimes question who is the older one."
"Certainly, she really doesn't act like a 11 years-old."
"Arisa is a genius since she was a child."
"How was she?"
Rather than genius, it was because she had the experience from her previous life, but I'd better not talk about it huh?
After that, Lulu continues to brag about Arisa happily until noon. Humans are good at speaking about the thing they love, this is no different even in another world.
Lulu who talks about Arisa, looks very happy. Her eyes are sparkling, her cheeks faintly blush too. Her face which is normally that of beautiful girl, gets even more beautiful. I'm scared that I would fall into a dangerous world (lolicon) if I'm careless.
I could hear Arisa who seems to be in agony for being praised very highly behind but maybe because she understands my intention, it doesn't seem like she would interrupt Lulu's story.
When the wagon goes on a straight line for a while I look at the luggage rack. Arisa is writhing on the floor while Pochi and Tama are mimicking her by lying down on the sides. Noticing my gaze, the two look toward here while still on their mimicking position. I gesture that it's nothing, and then they resume to imitate Arisa happily.
Yup, peaceful is nice~.
Then, Lulu continues to talk about Arisa for nearly one hour after that.
Let's change the story since Lulu's voice started to become hoarse.
Of course, I'm ready to hear Lulu's talk about Arisa anytime. Let's make Arisa participate if I need to punish her.
Just as I try to get the timing, I hear a cute growl from the side.
Confirming on the menu, it's about time for lunch. We could eat in the wagon as it continues but I want to check on the condition of the horses fixtures so I decide to take a break for the lunch. It's not like we are in a rush, and we won't reach town for two or three days anyway.
According to the map, there's a boulders formation just up ahead, so I pick that place for the break.
"Let's have a lunch soon."
Pochi and Tama answer faster than Lulu who has become red on my side. Jumping from back of the wagon, a girl shows her face.
"Shall I cut some cheeses and breads if we're going to eat in the wagon?"
Liza, weren't you just keeping watches on the back of the wagon?
Arisa who has revived follow after Liza. Her voice has become hoarse while her hair is in disorder, she's a bit scary.
"We have a nice weather today, let's eat like we're having a picnic~."
"That's right. Looks like that there's a boulders formation up ahead, let's take a break for 1 hour there."
After that we advance through the road for awhile, in the middle of the way we get out of the highway and climb a hill. The carriage shakes and loses its speed because the ground is underdeveloped grasslands. I advance the wagon carefully.
Soon, we can see the boulders.
Each and every one of them is quite big. The boulders are about 2 meter high and nearly 7 meter wide.
I stop the wagon near on the side of a boulder.
I descend from the coachman's stand, and help Lulu to get off it.
Arisa jump toward me while saying, "Tou!", like some kind of hero, I avoid her.
"Wait~ Aren't your treatment toward me getting worse?"
"That's not true at all. You're cute Arisa.", I answer half-heartedly, and lowered the fixture of the wagon.
"You didn't put your heart into it! You'll stray off the path of delinquent soon~"
Your vocabularies reeks of Showa era like usual.
Pochi and Tama also imitate Arisa, "Tou~?""Tou nano desu~", they're jumping while saying that. It's good that they didn't imitate the pose.
I release the yokes on the horse and tie the veins on the wagon. I check on the fixture of the wagon, and it seems that the horses bodies don't have scratch so it's fine.
Liza comes down with a barrel filled with water, I give it to the horses. I'll give them the priority because they're the ones who work the hardest today.
"Liza, prepare something that's easy to make like sandwich or salad."
I ask Liza for the meal.
Since it's bad to only have Liza to do it, let's try to see whether Lulu or Arisa can cook.
"Unfortunately, Arisa's female power level isn't high enough for cooking."
Arisa said so in monotone while looking toward the day after tomorrow. Is she feeling guilty? I won't say such old-fashioned thing like a woman have to be able to cook, okay.
"I've no experience in cooking, but I could do things like peeling fruits or making tea."
"Then, Lulu will act as Liza's assistant. Help her cooking by following her instruction."
"Yes! I will do my best."
I ask Lulu to help Liza. I wonder if she's happy for being helpful, I feel like she could get her voice out more around me like she has accustomed to me. I wonder if it's too early to think that?
Should I ask Pochi and Tama to collect firewood?
When I look at the two, they're exuding atmosphere like they're about to run toward the meadow. Their faces turn to me, but their ears twitches every time the bushes make sound.
Let's occasionally let them play appropriate for their age~.
"Private Pochi! Private Tama!"
"I will assign you two a mission! Check the security around the perimeter of the boulders!"
The two begin to run like arrows. Let's remind them, "I'll call you two back when the meal is ready, so don't go too far~", so they won't overdo it.
I guess I'll make Arisa to collect the fuel.
"Arisa, gather things like dead leaves and firewood near the bushes around here."
I direct Arisa as I give salts to the horses. Arisa who doesn't have any particular complaint go to gather the firewood while singing some minor anime-like songs.