<Grindam> left in the morning and came back in the evening.
Fighting magic beasts in <Dungeon of Swords> take a huge toll on the body. Even short term combat is intense. Anyone would be exhausted if they leave in the morning, engage in several combats during the day and only come back in the evening.
The three were especially exhausted that day.
They silently ate their early dinner, turned down tomorrow breakfast, and quickly went to bed upstairs.
Afterward, meal-only guests came, and just when there was only food for five left, or three servings for the guests, Lecan and Arios came back. It was past four of Water Buffalo (Sutlan) period, almost Yellow Frog (Touza) period.
"Welcome... oh it's you guys."
Arios and Lecan quickly got inside and quickly shut the door.
"Nark-san. Do you have rooms for two?"
"Yea. They're vacant. Got some food left too."
"That's great to hear! I'm starving over here. Ah, I see one open table there."
Nark brought two servings of meal to the table.
"Get me a bottle of fermented Kizolt."
"Ah, a bottle of red wine for me."
"Three silver coins for fermented Kizolt. Five big copper coins for red wine."
"By the way, does this inn have a bath?"
"Yea. But sorry, we don't boil hot water this late."
"Understood. I'll ask about it earlier next time."
"Firewood'd cost ya one big copper coin."
"I got it."
"Also, a party who's staying long term in this inn often uses the bath. They can get in first if they order it first, you guys can get in first if you order it first."
"So it sounds like this inn has a long term plan. How much is that?"
"Eight silver coins for 40 days."
"Oh that's really cheap."
"We ain't gonna give yer' money back even if there are days ya don't come back. Same if yer' canceling halfway through."
"Yes, that sounds reasonable. Then I and Lecan-dono will be on long term plan from today on."
"Is there a problem? The other party on that plan is a three-person party, right?"
Nark wondered how he knew about the number of people, but since there were two vacant rooms yesterday, he might have guessed it.
Arios glanced upstairs in front of Nark who was thinking that. As if he could see the members of <Grindam> sleeping on the second floor.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
The next morning, Nark went to the field to harvest crops and got startled when he saw an unexpected individual there.
Arios is standing in a corner of the field.
Standing still in front of a Hortis tree.
At first Nark didn't think there was anyone there since his presence was so thin.
As he got closer to see what he was up to, turned out the young man was staring at a wind-swayed branch on the Holtis tree.
His eyes aren't sharp. They're composed. However, his gaze is focused, his nonchalant bearing instead brought upon Arios's unworldly concentration on display.
He's both standing up casually and calculatedly.
Bending forward a bit.
His left hand is holding the sheath of his sword hanging on his left waist, with his right hand lightly gripping the sword's handle.
Nark had studied in the ways of swords for a bit. Hence he understood that a stance that looked like it had no strength put into it could afford a quicker draw instead.
(This guy's got skill.)
(And not just decent skill.)
Nark was unable to tell when the young man drew his breath in.
Arios is standing completely still, and yet he also looks as if he's slightly adjusting his body's center of gravity along with the swaying winds. In a word, it's fluid. He doesn't move yet he hasn't lost the softness either. Nark is aware that one must have undergone unimaginable training regime to attain such a form of stance.
Nark quietly harvested the crops as to not get in Arios's way and went back inside.
Once he was done washing the vegetable, prepared the amount needed today, and cleaning the dining room's tables, Arios came back.
"Got tea for ya."
"That's so kind of you. How much is it?"
"It's on us."
Nark poured two cups of tea and brought it to the table.
He put one before Arios, and another on the table before sitting in front of it himself.
The two enjoyed their tea in silence for a while. Hot tea in a cold morning has this something that can really soothe the mind.
"Nark-san, you were an adventurer, weren't you."
Even while giving affirmation, Nark wondered just what did this young man see on him to work that out.
And then another quiet period passed.
This time, Nark broke the silence.
"Where'd ya sleep last night."
"In a vacant room in the dungeon."
"Coulda just go back and sleep tight here than in places like that."
"You think so too, Nark-san? Please tell that to Lecan-dono."
"Tell 'im yerself."
"Oh I did, lost count how many times I did."
"Guy wouldn't budge eh."
"Apparently Lecan-dono couldn't curb his excitement because it was his first dungeon excursion in a long while."
"How far did you two get?"
"We got to Floor 26."