Dear readers, I know it’s hard to accept Rena but please give the novel a chance. Don’t drop it yet.
We will reach Rena’s tragedy past soon and it will explain why Rena behaves that way.
And I can promise you, Mile will be hilarious in a few chapters.
Mile Chapter 51: Joint Parties
“Everyone, thank you for accepting this quest, even with the bad conditions this time” (Merchant)
Early in the morning of the next day, the meeting of the merchants and all escort hunters was done at the central square.
There were six carriages in this group.
Each carriage had one merchant and one helper (like cook or worker).
The merchants seemed to be on good terms with each other and the purpose was to introduce the escort hunters.
The escort hunters didn’t need to be intimate with the merchants, but the escorts did need to grasp the other hunters’ abilities, feats, etc. for collaboration and allocation of roles.
If everyone was planning ahead, they could raise the safety for the next 9 days.
“Some people were absent when I explained the details last time, so I will briefly explain the details of this request again.” (Merchant)
Besides Rena-san, it seems some members of other parties were also absent yesterday.
As Mile was thinking so, the client continued talking.
“This time we are heading to Amuros with a 4 days trip, 4 days for the back trip and you will have 1 free day when we stay over there.
And, as you have noticed, this time the compensation amount is 1.5 times compared to ordinary escort requests.
You may have already heard it from my colleagues, but there’s a big bandit group active in this direction.” (Merchant)
At that moment, the merchant leader of this group, the client, looked around at every one of the escort hunters, but no one was surprised.
The girls also explained this to Rena last night.
“And the story is not limited to that.
This merchant group isn’t going for the purpose of profit, but for the people who are in trouble because of the decline in the number of merchants traveling to Amuros.
And we are picking mainly “not so expensive but absolutely necessary” tools for that purpose.
And even though our purpose is to deliver those important items, actually there will be one more important mission, and that is …” (Merchant)
Again, the client looked around at the escorts before continuing.
“It is the annihilation of thieves” (Merchant)
Yes, that was the true purpose of this merchant, as heard from the client yesterday.
“It takes a long time for the lords and the state to move, and waiting for them will completely stop the trade with Amuros.
So for that reason, you will move with our merchant group and prepare for the thieves’ attack.
If they don’t attack, we will just trade with Amuros like normal.
And if we get attacked, we will fight with the purpose of annihilating the enemies, instead of escaping.
While unconfirmed, thieves are expected to have more than 20 people.
And I think that with a total number of 12 hunters: 1 B rank and 11 C ranks including a mage, you can handle them.
For this purpose, I am aware that the rewards aren’t enough.
However, we could not prepare any more than that. Please forgive us.
And also, there is no need to protect our merchants in battle.
We will wield swords to protect the carriage ourselves.
Because we have a positional advantage, we will be able to push back thieves that try to climb on to the loading platform, and there aren’t many people trying to climb to the platform while escorts are still fighting with them.
If you defeat them, you can come to help us later.
So, please concentrate solely on the annihilation of enemies.
Even if we are taken as hostages, you can ignore us.
Even if we surrender, we will just be killed later anyway.
Are there any questions?” (Merchant)
Some of the escort Hunters were mocking the last words of the client.
“… Why would you do that?” (Hunter A)
This question came from a member of a party consisting of three young people aged about twenty years old.
“Why, you ask?
Well, if I must say, then it is because, for us merchants, Amuros is a good customer from the past …” (Merchant)
“… Stupid! That’s just foolishness!” (Hunter E)
This time it was a hunter from a party of five with three men around 30 years old and two girls.
The man seemed to be the leader and was laughing while being hit by a girl.
“Well, what were you thinking when receiving such a request?” (Hunter E)
“It’s already decided” (Hunter D)
“You are a big idiot!” (Hunter E)
The three other members were watching with a wry smile.
Apparently, it seemed to be usual in their party.
After laughing for a while, that leader looked at the other hunters and started talking.
“Well, for now, let me introduce myself. I am this 『Dragon Breath』 party’s leader, Bart (バート), a rank B swordsman.
There’s no other rank B in this collaboration of parties.
So, I’d like to be the leader of the entire escort plan and the battle commander, are there any objections?” (Bart)
As everyone seemed to have no objection, he nodded and continued talking.
“Our members are Swordsman Karam (カラム), spearman Fagas (ファーガス), knife user Vera (ヴェラ) and magician Jeanne (ジニー).
Jeanne is good at battle magic but please don’t expect her to cast healing.” (Bart)
And then the members of the three 20 years old males party introduced themselves.
“『Flame Wolf』’s party leader Brett (ブレット), Both me and Chuck (チャック) are swordsmen and Darryl (ダリル) is a spearman.” (Brett)
“Huh…!?” (many people)
A lot of people unexpectedly raised their inner voices.
No matter how you looked at them, the party balance was rather bad.
If the party were B rank, they may not have needed a lot of members, but the appropriate number for F to C ranked party was around 5 to 7 people.
If your party only had 4 people, you should aim for low-level monsters and it would be no problem with the party balance.
If there were 8 or more people, you should divide the additional members into two parties.
It was dangerous if a party was too small, but if a party had too many members, it would be harder to cooperate with one another and distribute the rewards.
Unless you had a joint quest like this time, the number should be kept at 5 to 7.
And regardless of the number of people, the balance is what’s most important.
A four people party should have two swordsmen, one archer, and one magician.
There’s no party with four swordsmen. It was too unbalanced.
And right now, before our eyes, 『Flame Wolf』 party was too unbalanced.
Moreover, there were only three people.
“No… I understand the principle behind the number of people and the balance! Until a couple of months ago, we still had an archer and a magician, two girls!” (Brett)
“So both of them are…?” (Bart)
At that moment, Mile and other sew the change in Brett’s face and understood, but it was already too late.
“They were transferred to a four people party that had a cool guy, and after that, they came back the other day and told us to party again, but I refused.
We do not intend to take pregnant women to the battlefield and we don’t want to raise children of other men.” (Brett)
“I… I see” (Bart)
And then when everyone became silent, Maevis-san broke the silence by speaking.
“I… I’m the 『Red Oath』’s leader, Maevis, I’m a swordsman.
These girls are the magicians Rena and Pauline, and the magic swordsman Mile” (Maevis)
“Magic swordsman?” (Flame wolf members)
The three-member of『Flame Wolf』seemed like they still didn’t know about it yet so they asked the question.
Apparently, the members of 『Dragon Breath』 had watched the graduation test, so they weren’t surprised like 『Flame Wolf』 was.
Didn’t 『Flame Wolf』 wonder why the client accepted children like that in this kind of quest?
The client must have watched the graduation test.
Otherwise, he would have refused.
Even so, he still hesitated to accept this request because of 『Red Oath』’s members besides Maevis.
“Ah, that’s right, I can use a lot of magic, I’m also good with a sword, and you don’t have to worry about water!” (Mile)
『Flame Wolf』’s members still let worry show on their faces, while the members of 『Dragon Breath』 had a wry smile while thinking “you don’t have to worry, they are even stronger than you”
“Rena is an Offensive magician, Pauline is good at healing and support magic, she can also use attack magic” (Maevis)
“What? Because they are only young girls, I thought that we needed to protect them, but it seems they can be helpful for us.” (Brett)
『Flame Wolf』’s leader Brett who didn’t know the strength of 『Red Oath』 made such a remark.
Maevis just made a bitter smile.
Then, after the information exchange concerning magic and roles, it was time to depart.
All the escort hunters also rode on carriages.
Unlike knights, hunters didn’t have horses to ride, and hunters also needed to conserve stamina to be prepared for when thieves attacked.
They rode on four of the six carriages, three members of 『Dragon Breath』 rode on the top carriage, while the other two rode on the second carriage.
Three people of『Flame Wolf』 rode on the last carriage. And four members of 『Red Oath』 were on the fourth carriage.
This was a position to deal with an attack from any direction.
Those who were in the very front and back were in the farthest positions from the center.
If one side were attacked, they wouldn’t able to rush to the other side quickly to help.
It was probably because of Bart’s concern that the girls were arranged together in the safest central part, the place that was easiest for both the people in the front and the back to provide assistance to.
The 『Red Oath』 was placed there.
It is a man’s instinct to place the girls who hadn’t reached maturity in a safe place, even though they knew that 『Red Oath』 was probably stronger than 『Flame Wolf』 and maybe even stronger than themselves.
The three people of 『Flame Wolf』 were only twenty years old but they were also adult men so they never complained about it.
On the first day, the merchant group was still close to the kingdom’s capital, so neither thieves nor demons appeared and they safely set up camp at night.
The merchant laid out a blanket and rolls in a narrow gap of his carriage and went to bed.
Even if it was narrow, it was far better than sleeping outside.
Outside, the cooks lie with a blanket, sleeping next to each other.
Some escort hunters were sleeping under the carriage or under a big tree to avoid the rain.
However, 『Red Oath』 was…
“Hey, what is that …?” (Brett)
“Well, it’s just an average tent, cushion and blanket …” (Mile)
“Where were you loading such a thing!” (Brett)
It was not unreasonable for young people of 『Flame Wolf』 to wonder.
The carriage was tightly loaded with goods so only the merchant can sleep inside and everyone else was sleeping outside.
They could not afford to have a lot of personal items.
After finishing their preparation for bed, it was finally time for dinner.
Although the client prepared the meal while traveling, there was not much choice when they could only bring preserved food.
Yes, it was the familiar hard bread and dried meats, the soup was simply boiled, dried kuzu vegetables with hot water.
The quality was far from good.
Mile had been living a poor life, so getting whatever she could get was fine.
But this time, Mile stored everyone’s hard bread and dried meat in the item box.
Mile took out two horn rabbits, one after another and carried them with both of her hands.
Then Mile prepared them with a kitchen knife that came out of nowhere.
After that, Meavis roasted the meat with a bonfire raised by Rena.
The inviting smell gradually spread to the surrounding.
“Do you want to eat with us, too?” (Mile)
To the invitation of Mile, the escort hunters who were watching the situation from a distance away came over.
By the way, when Maevis-san cooked, she started to use knives instead of daggers because she could hear sobbing from somewhere when she used a dagger for cooking.
The horn rabbit meat was swiftly exhausted as everyone kept eating, and then Mile took out a part of burnt rock lizard and Orc meat from the item box.
“What, Storage?” (FW and DB’s members)
This time, not only 『Flame Wolf』 but also 『Dragon Breath』 were surprised.
This skill didn’t show in the graduation test so they didn’t know about it.
Also, the number of people that could use storage was small.
All the merchants came forward, whether they were on the side to serve meals or not, even if the merchants didn’t come to receive meat, they could not stand being patient as they saw it.
“You have storage magic! How nice …” (Merchants)
All Merchants were looking at Mile, seemingly envious.
Certainly, for merchants, it would be an ability to long for.
“Would you also like some meat …?” (Mile)
The other merchants finally got the meat, and everyone began to eat one after another.
“This time, I used magic to gather particles of smell so that monsters won’t come” (Mile)
After Mile told them that to convince them, everyone could feel secure.
Mile also provided a hot shower service.
The women of 『Dragon Breath』, Vera and Jeanny were ecstatic, and Bart muttered the word which many people had already told us before.
“You girls have such handy and convenient skills…” (Bart)
ED: Lowe (only edited some typos so I don’t deserve to be on the top)