378 Declaring Intention
We're deep inside a forest. It gets darker much faster than in towns.
As the setting sun got hidden between the trees, the temperature dropped to a rather pleasant one.
I'm done preparing our camp ground. All that's left is cooking our meal.
"There's still leftover soup from this noon, just gotta warm it up. Ah why are we standing around like this, let's all sit down."
The only spot to rest inside that cave is at the very end.
I'd like to avoid staying in somewhere with no escape routes. That's gonna restrict our movements. If anything happened we'd be deadlocked.
(My 'power' can easily break through that, but there's no need to willingly put ourselves in that possibility.)
What's worrisome to the common people don't work on me. But I don't want to flaunt my power.
I only do that when I go with the flow, which is akin to getting dragged into the flow.
"May I ask you one thing? Oh but feel free to ignore me if you don't want to talk about it. I'd like to know just who are you really."
Linda asked me a question that's all too familiar to me.
Thus I gave her the same tired answer.
"Not telling, I've my own circumstances. You may not like that, but that is your ego speaking. It's human's nature to wanna know the unknown. But expecting to always get an answer is arrogance. I understand that knowing my identity will give you a sense of relief in this situation, however, I am under no obligation to comply. Isn't this enough? You're safe and sound anyway. If you're still not satisfied with that, it's on you to bear, not me to care."
I might sound too brusque here, but I'm fed up with her constant pushiness.
I've got the impression that Linda won't back down otherwise.
Thus I opted to outright reject her, and that seemed to be working.
"Seeing as you're going as far as saying that, I can't exactly pursue the matter as the rescued here. But you will accept my reward since you have agreed to take my 'commission', won't you?"
Or so I thought, turned out she hadn't relented yet. I pulled myself together and rejected her attempt again.
"I'm not a merc y'know. I never agreed to taking on your commission. Therefore, I have no reason to accept your reward."
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My refusal ended up giving Linda a piece of information.
"You're not a registered mercenary despite your strength? I'm more and more intrigued with your identity..."
This brought a chill down my spine for some reason I couldn't fathom thus I gave her a warning.
"Keep probing my background and it's a good bye. I'll be on my way, you lot can stay here."
Looking visibly panicking, Linda took back her words. All while the other two ladies were sending her censuring gazes.
"Forgive me. I won't say anything uncalled for anymore. So please could you give it another thought? We wouldn't know what to do left behind in this place."
Silence ran afterward. Unable to bear it any longer, I took a drink from a cup I took from my bag and started warming up our soup.
I also brought out a barrel full of drinking water from my magic bag without thinking much about it.
I had no idea how unusual that was, nor did I know that intrigued Linda even further.
From this point on, Linda would keep observing my every move until our parting, but I simply had no way of realizing that.