94 Helping Other
As the sun reached the zenith above. We came across another problem.
A carriage has been driven into a ditch on the roadside, blocking the path. Looks like the wheels hit a hole.
A young man is staring at it with a troubled look.
(What's with this encounter rate? Can't this trip just go smoothly. I'd regret it if I ignore him, guess I'll ask if there's anything I can help at least.)
'I'd just go on ahead if he doesn't need one', I thought to myself as I took off my hood to look less suspicious.
"Is something wrong?"
Looking again, the carriage is the type pulled by a steed beast. A Grudos is worriedly looking at the young man, like it knows what's happening.
"Ah, the wheel's axle broke a bit...."
I crouched down and found a crack obvious to even an amateur like me.
"Might I trouble you with something. Could you lend me a hand? Please if you could."
He bowed his head very low, and I got a bit taken aback by the seriousness in his words, but since I was the one asking first, I replied back calmly.
"We don't mind. As they say we're all companions in travels and world."
"Are you sure!? I'm afraid I'm unfamiliar with such a phrase, but those words truly speak to me right now! Thank you so much."
"Can you fix it?"
"I believe I should manage... It's not completely broken down so I can do a temporary fix with the tools I have. I'll get it repaired for real at the empire... Ah, how fortunate I am. You have my gratitude."
The young man looked relieved before immediately going inside the carriage to fetch his tools. Looks like he's got some spare parts.
I thought this young man was a decoy some bandits put here to let our guard down, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
Afterward, we all unloaded the carriage to lighten it first, and pulled it back to a level road.
The young man asked us to lift the carriage so he could work from the underside, thus the six elves and me complied.
The young man dived in and started working, it didn't even take five minutes before the loud tap-tap and bang-bang noises went away.
Looks like he was done, the young man sighed before loudly giving his thanks.
"Thank you! Thank you so much! I couldn't have done it on my own."
He went and shook hands with us energetically. That included all six elves. He was so enthusiastic he even swung our hands around. By the way, the elves are still hiding their faces behind their hoods, he doesn't seem aware of their identity.
Afterward, he speaks with a serious look.
"I would love nothing but to shower you with rewards, but as it stands, I presently don't have much on me."
"Ah, don't worry about it. We're not doing this for reward."
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I recalled the same exchange I did with Aryl.
"Please! It's the least I could do! I believe you are all heading to the empire. Then this carriage can carry us all there. I'll give you my best hospitality at my house."
"We've got our own circumstances. I appreciate your offer. And besides, remember what I told you. Companions in travel and world. We're not doing this for rewards. Don't worry about it."
After carrying the carriage's load back, he insisted on rewarding us again so I blurted something.
"Aren't you running on a tight schedule. Shouldn't you hurry on ahead?"
I saw a Grudos running at full speed yesterday. Pulling this carriage. At quite a high speed.
Thus I'm guessing this young man is in a hurry, and that seems to be right.
The young man froze up for a moment when he heard the word hurry, he shut his eyes in frustration and then said his gratitude once again with a bitter look on his face.
"Truly! Truly! You all have been such a huge help! Excuse me for my late introduction. My name is Tagdes. Please drop by my place once you have arrived at the empire! It breaks my heart I can't exactly offer anything you want as a reward, but I'll do to the best of my ability to give back!"
I replied back while flinching a bit at his fervor.
"Then I'll take you up on your offer and ask, let's see, some good tea. This is good bye then."
"Thank you ever so much! If you'll excuse me."
Thus Tagdes left with his carriage. The Grudos swiftly took off, gone in a flash.
Serena asked as we saw them off.
"Was that acceptable, milord?"
Not sure what she meant by that but I answered all the same.
"I'd have been looking for help if I were in his shoes. Extending a lending hand there is what it means to be people."
The six elves looked to be overcome with emotion with their hands over their mouth once they heard that.
I could only question their over reaction in my mind.
"We are truly in awe of milord's magnanimity and kindness."
(You're way exaggerating... What the heck's up with this event...)
I'm not trying to raise affection or anything. I don't want it.
(I'm fed up with getting dragged into a mess, yet saving people also got me dragged into one... Is there just no way to avoid these events...?)
It's a mystery how it keeps occurring, so I can't even formulate a plan to avoid it.
(Still, helping Tagdes here feels like raising a flag for a later event, or is it...?)
It's only been my fourth day out of the village. I could only wryly smile at myself when I realize how much I miss the idyllic life at the village.