Chapter 068: Tough Spot
“Are you really showing respect?”
Bart and the Prince had been having a pointless argument since morning. Apparently, someone tried to break into the inn. Their purpose was probably to kidnap me.
“No matter how profitable it may be, I still can’t believe that they would try to attack somewhere the prince is staying. And they even tried at night. Hollows may not appear much here because we’re far from the mountains, but they’re risking their lives.” Bart turned his head. He caught me when I’d just entered the dining room and lifted me up high. I laughed in delight while swinging my legs.
“I know that Lei is cute, but do they want her that much that they would take that risk?”
It’s true that I’m only an infant even if I have magic.
“They’ve failed so many times. Don’t they want to recover their expenses? They’ve exposed themselves, risked their lives and even pretended to be messengers,” Kyaro said as if it was bothersome. It really is annoying. They could have worked a regular job and lived a normal life. Bart gently lowered me down.
Dory took me as soon as I woke up this morning and washed me, changed my clothes and fed me breakfast. Alistair had breakfast with everyone on the first floor. I also wanted to have breakfast with everyone, but I thought that we should get used to living separate lives when I looked at Alistair, so I let Dory take me without complaining.
Dory is over 40, she is slender and has good posture. It feels as if her whole family have always been maids. Actually, she has children too, and that was why she became the Prince’s wet nurse. It was also the reason she’d come this far with him. She is quick but kind to me.
Still, it is challenging for me to ‘do things by myself’ because nobles are rigid in their thinking and believe things should be done in a certain way. They can’t believe that I’m used to living life as a commoner, and things got more and more enjoyable.
I also had a wet nurse, but she only fed me milk, and Hannah was young, so she didn’t fuss about noble customs. I feel that Dory is endearing when I think that someone like her would also be with me if mother were alive.
“Well, it’s not something you can change into by yourself.”
“I’ll wipe your hands!”
“Ah, you’re holding the spoon by yourself. Ah, it’s spilling!”
She doesn’t have to do these things, after all.
From today, I can’t afford to waste time like on the first day. There aren’t many big towns, so we have to get to the next town before nightfall. And we’ll be late if we don’t act fast and there are people who can’t ride Rug Dragons by themselves like Dory and me.
The Prince personally checked my pockets and took my grass whistles. Still, it was fun to go out and travel.
It was troublesome to prepare a rug for me to sit on every time, but they always got it ready for me along with snacks and water because I’m a child. It was pleasant. And unlike last time, we were taking the seaside road to stay as far away from Hollows as possible. We didn’t go directly to the sea, but I could see it far off in the distance from the dragon’s basket and sometimes, I could see the sun shimmering in the sea.
They set up a flexible plan since they had a small child with them, but things were going smoothly because I didn’t complain and didn’t get sick. A guard told me that we were going at the same pace as when normal adults travel.
“It’s because Lei-sama is smart. But, starting from tomorrow, the next three days will be the biggest challenge.”
“We’ll be in a tough spot. Mm, the Wellington Mountains spread all the way out to the sea, and the passage will be narrower.”
Was there such a place when I travelled before? I looked at Bart, “We passed it. The passage is as big as a small town even if it’s narrow, so it probably didn’t look that way.”
It had already been almost two weeks since we left Lentforce when I was told this. After two weeks passed everyone had gotten used to our journey, and they also talked to me. It was established that they would be calling me Lei-sama.
“We’ll reach Kaylie in a week if we get past that place. It’ll take another week to get to the capital of Wester. We’re about half-way there,” Bart explained as he prepared for the tough spot in the town right before it.
“We stayed in our tents with the barrier box, right? That’s why we didn’t have much trouble, but it’s too close to Wellington Mountains to build a town. Actually, they could build a town near there, but people probably don’t want to live in a place littered with Hollows. But, peddles will definitely pass through here. That’s why there are big huts built everywhere so that travellers can use them freely.”
Those huts were built so that Hollows can’t enter them, in the same way as the houses in town. I wondered how big the huts could get and what Bart said next in a whisper shocked me, “Listen, Lei, you have to stay close to us for the next two weeks. Apparently, the kidnappers didn’t bring a lot of people, but the guards’ first priority is the Prince and then Alistair. I can tell that if you’re the only one who got kidnapped, they might search for you, but they won’t be able to find you because they’re not familiar with this place. So they’ll give up after a few days.”
Bart continued while pretending that he was talking about the tough spot, “It didn’t seem like they stayed in town, so they probably have a barrier box. And they’re moving around with a small number of people. This might be a tough spot, but those with barrier boxes can move around freely. None of the Prince’s people seemed to realise this.”
He crouched down and gently gripped my shoulders while looking at me, “We’re hunters who specialise in Hollows. We can’t kill people with Rhodolite swords. Be careful not to be alone.”
“Ai,” I agreed firmly. I had already tasted the bitter experience of being kidnapped.
The large huts, which were made for travellers, didn’t have any beds and people huddled together to sleep. Around 10 people could stay in one hut. There were five of them built away from the sea.
“There are three places like that, and there are a few huts built for evacuation along the way, but that’s it.”
“Whath if thhere’sh a woth of peopwe?”
“People don’t usually travel in large groups.”
“It’s hard to maintain them. Instead, people from towns on both sides of that place make money by lending out Rug Dragons.”
If people prepare sleeping bags and cooking utensils just for that tough spot, then they’ll have too much luggage. So, they load a Rug Dragon with sleeping bags, cooking utensils, lamps, and ingredients in the town before the spot, and return the dragon in the town beyond the tough spot. That was the system, but it cost as much as staying in an inn.
But people, who cross over this spot, would usually do this, so the towns in the area make a lot of money.
It’s interesting because it’s like a rental car. We got an extra Rug Dragon and departed for the tough spot.