Shortly after daylight, we arrive in a small village.
Dinner was made from the food we had left at home, but breakfast was not.
We decided to head to the town’s tavern for a meal.
Not long after we sat down, a ‘take care of yourself meal for four’ was brought to the table.
A whole roasted chicken-like animal, soup, and fried vegetables glowed appetizingly under the yellow light.
“After we’ve eaten a bit, we’ll have a brief meeting.”
The warrior spoke, waving a curled map in the air.
Their destination was the northern tip of the continent, but they hadn’t yet decided which route to take.
For now, the small town was just the beginning of the territory just up the road from the capital.
The location was exquisite, making it easy to cross over to the other two provinces aside from the capital.
From here, the warrior would decide whether to move on to another province or go deeper into the province to which the village belonged.
In short, it was a fork in the road.
I looked at him wistfully for a moment, still thinking I could choose my own route.
He felt my eyes on him, and the handsome face that stared back at him like a ghost made me feel even more sympathetic.
In fantasy novels, heroic parties always try hard to decide where to go, but nothing ever goes their way.
Besides, this is a tavern.
The only tavern in a small town.
The smell of the incident was too great.
I reverently picked at the flesh of my leg, preparing myself.
It was my first time eating in a place where I didn’t know what was going to happen at any given moment, and I was nervous.
“Cylon, are you feeling sick?”
The warrior sitting across from him asked worriedly.
There was a funny moment of mutual concern.
“No, I’m fine.”
Not wanting to take another bite when he didn’t know what was going on, he put down the meat he was holding.
All he could say to him was to eat it.
If he tried to say something like, ‘I think something is about to happen’, he’d only end up looking like a clairvoyant or a prophet.
As I pursed my lips to eat, I heard the conversation I’d been waiting for.
“No, you mean Grandpa Char’s Harley?”
“Yes, man, you can’t keep the forest out, and that’s a problem, and it’s not the only one.”
“No, you mean there’s something more troubling than a bunch of kids in the woods talking nonsense?”
“I heard that Harley, back home, is suddenly using magic.”
“And Tom says it happened in the next town over, and the next, and the next.”
Tom? It’s a common name, so there must be Tom in this town.
For a moment, I had a faint impression of Uncle Tom.
“I heard there’s been a demon on the loose lately, and I was wondering if this might cause some trouble….”
“Huh, that’s not a big deal! Did anyone report it?”
“Grandpa Char and Anne have already run to the guard.”
The forest? Magic?
Magic was a mystery that could not be attempted unless one was naturally gifted.
It was possible that some of the people who had been to the forest were gifted with magic, but from what I’d heard, they were few and far between.
Something was definitely wrong.
No matter how attached a manor was, it was unlikely that the people of the manor would be familiar with the neighboring villages.
Surely the other villages in the conversation were part of the same estate.
Suddenly more magical people in one manor?
In my fantasy career, my next stop was a foregone conclusion.
The other two focused on me at the sound of my call to the warrior.
“Shall we see the lord before we decide where to go?”
The warrior’s long lashes fluttered a few times before he nodded in the affirmative.
Fantasy law, events that occur outside of the main character’s manor are related to that lord!
From the outside, the manor seemed to say, ‘I have a lot of money.’ The shiny white exterior walls seemed to be well maintained.
“This is the Panko estate?”
It’s currently ruled by an earl.”
I gleaned the information about the manor from the conversation between the Warrior and Herrin.
The Dreskogaro family ruled over the Panko estate.
It was a fairly prosperous place, as it was right in front of the capital.
I was told that there were many immigrants because of its outward image as a ‘happy place’.
Normally, there would have been dozens of feudal battles, but they were popular among the nobility, not to mention feudal battles.
He was a resourceful count.
But in a fantasy world, the person who always smiles and gets along with everyone when something like this happens is the most suspicious.
A person who gets along with good people but not with bad people is a spy, a black hole.
Even if it’s not what you expect, it’s still worth investigating.
“But is it okay to just walk in here?”
Reg asked, right in front of the lord mansion.
“Probably, it’ll be fine.”
“Because we’re warriors and allies?”
“That’s one thing, but Count Panko is a nobleman.”
And the Marquis of Morocco is the head of the noble faction.
The warrior showed off his handsome face.
His smile was believable.
I exclaimed, and the room erupted in applause.
He glanced at me and blushed.
True to his word, the count welcomed us.
He stood us up in front of him and laughed merrily as he told his butler to serve us with utmost respect.
And for the first time, I saw the nobleman’s true colors.
“Haha, how are you doing with the Marquis of Morocco?”
“Yes, he still enjoys hunting on horseback these days.
By the way, my father often praises Count Panko, and I can see why, haha.”
“Oh, you old fool, you can’t stop laughing.
So, those behind you are your colleagues?”
The seasoned nobleman’s eyes swept over me, Regs, and Herrin in a flash.
The warrior, who was displaying a certain dignity in his posture, responded with a grim smile.
“Yes, a ‘precious’ colleague chosen by the Lord himself.
Companions worthy of me.”
“Well, that must be good for you.”
It was an insincere compliment, even for me.
We both smiled and exchanged meaningful glances.
After a while, I was finally shown to my room.
And there I saw the bed of my life.
I feel myself sinking!
“You like it, Cylon?”
“Well, I like it a lot!”
“Aha, that’s awesome….”
For a moment, the warrior stumbled over his words, seemingly embarrassed by the words he spat out without realizing.
He quickly regained his composure and walked over to the bed.
He lay down and looked up at me, and I paused for a moment.
“… Cylon, do you like the bed?”
I could live with this bed for the rest of my life.”
“For the rest of your life, hmm.
I’ll keep that in mind.”
What are you going to do with that?
I wondered for a moment but decided to ignore it.
I’d ask Count Panko where he bought the bed later.
Phew, that felt good.
Once again, I dragged the warrior standing by the bed and sat him down on it.
Before, I’d been too caught up in my research, but now I knew that eating, sleeping, and playing were the best things to do.
It was a short life, and I had to make the most of it.
Even though this was a party of warriors who wouldn’t be able to rest until they killed the demon king, they needed to rest their bodies, especially at the beginning, since they didn’t know how long they would be on the road.
“Mohan lay down too, it’s so good!”
“I’m going to go to my room and lie down.”
“Oh, you can lie down there and lie down here.”
The warrior was led to me and laid down.
Since I had flipped over while sitting, his head was on my stomach.
I absentmindedly stroked his light blond hair.
The soft hair felt good.
I yawned as the tension left my body.
I hadn’t researched the castle yet, hadn’t asked where to buy a bed, hadn’t asked my coworkers to make plans before the dinner, and I was sleepy.
…I’m lazy, can I sleep a little? There wasn’t much I could do before the dinner.
The warrior made a dazed sound.
I glanced down and saw his blank face.
Maybe he’s thinking about something else?
I studied the warrior’s face through my blurry vision.
I dozed off for a moment, and when I woke up, the warrior had rolled onto my side and was looking at me.
His pale-colored eyes sparkled in the sunlight streaming in through the window, like gemstones.
“…Cylon, do you like my face?”
A voice, lower than usual, tickled my ear.
I shivered slightly, and the quilt immediately covered my shoulders.
The warrior sat up and looked down at me, waiting for a response.
The deep sleep slowed my brain.
They say good looks save the world, and you certainly have a face worthy of a warrior.”
“Besides being handsome, I wonder if it’s Cylon’s preference.”
Was I staring at him too much?
He was unnecessarily serious.
He must have felt mt gaze even though I said I was refraining for fear of making him uncomfortable.
It was a three-star sensation.
He must have gotten a lot of stares in his life, but to still be able to sense them so sharply must have bothered him.
Somehow, I felt sorry for him.
“I know you’re in bad mood, but, um.
“Now that I think about it, I realized I was staring at you too much….
You asked me because you were uncomfortable… right?”
His voice drooped in thought.
Cylon is not uncomfortable.”
“Oh, that’s good to know….”
“So you can stare at me often.”
The warrior’s face came closer.
He seemed to be leaning forward.
I could see his face too clearly, paused at a slight distance.
As I studied his face, he gave me a small smile.
“I’ll wake you up before dinner, so you can get some sleep.
Once you’re awake, you’ll tell me why you asked me to come here, right?”
The warrior has a good sense.
The eyelids that had been forced open dropped gently.
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