That Ordinary Mister Is A War God - novelonlinefull.com
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Bar walked forward at a slow pace, heading towards the village. Alongside him walked Aefa and the other two girls.
The other day they had taken on a quest to stay over outside the Imperial Capital. Bar couldn't leave them alone, thus accompanying them on the journey.
Their mantles fluttered in the wind. They looked like an ominous bunch walking with mantles covering their bodies.
"So it's the errand quest, eh," Aefa said.
"You're right," Bar showed a faint, ironic smile, not denying her.
The missus of Zephyr Restaurant had asked them to head over to her hometown–a village on the outskirts of the Imperial Capital–and hand over a letter to her parents.
If this were a long journey, even she would've chosen someone else. But since it wasn't that far away from the Imperial Capital, and the road was relatively safe, she had asked the trio.
"M, Mr. Bar, we'll gain trust by completing such quests, right?" Helena asked.
"Yeah. You're studying hard, huh."
Praised by Bar, Helena smiled, her cheeks blushing. On the other hand, Aefa looked not so pleased. But, it seemed she didn't quite understand why she was annoyed. In spite of her irritation, she wasn't immature enough to quarrel with her comrades.
At least, that was what she seemed to have thought.
"We'll be sleeping outdoors tonight. I'm so excited," Tinee said, her face beaming with antic.i.p.ation.
"You're acting careless again," Bar said, teasing Tinee.
"I'm sorry, it's just…" Tinne muttered, her cheeks turning red as a tomato.
"It's fine. It's not like I don't understand where you're coming from," Bar said. He couldn't warn her anymore when she had apologized honestly.
In truth, all he wanted for them to be aware of the fact. That carelessness is dangerous.
"What are we going to use these mantles for?" Aefa asked.
"We use it to avoid sunburn during hot weather. It's waterproof, so it'll also protect us from rain. And it'll keep the cold out in winter, and it'll be a blanket when we sleep. That's the greatness of mantles."
"Heh, so we can use it like that." Aefa and Tinne widened their eyes in admiration.
"Well, near the Imperial Capital we'd only need it as a blanket at night, and a waterproof coat during rain."
"That could be true."
The Imperial Capital and its surroundings never suffered either extreme heat or severe cold weathers.
"The capital's a great place," Tinee said. Helena nodded at her words.
"They found the best place to situate the capital in the past, I suppose."
Being the centerpiece of the Empire, the trio understood the reason why someone would choose such a favourable and pleasant place.
"Let's call it a day and search for a place to sleep," Bar proposed.
Failing to find a spot for the night before sunset would be a lot of ha.s.sle that n.o.body wanted to deal with.
"Yeah, let's find it," the trio said in harmony.
"Where should we go? Riverside?" Aefa suggested.
"A little farther from the river would be safe. There's many who come to the river at night to drink. "
"Can't we all just stay awake?" Tinee said.
Bar chuckled, "It's not common to sleep outdoors near the outskirts of the Capital, and you probably won't need to for a while, so take this chance to know how it's done right."
"okay. How long will each be awake?" Aefa asked.
Bar took out an hourgla.s.s from his bag and said: "This'll help. It takes three hours for the sand to fall down."
"Then we'll switch I guess."
The trio stared at the small hourgla.s.s with intense concentration.
"Who'll go first? People good at waking up can be saved for last, and the worst being the first," Bar said, looking at the girls stealing glances at each other.
"Then the worst would be Aefa," Helena said.
"I agree," Tinee added.
"Hey, you two…" Aefa responded almost instinctively, but refrained from speaking anymore. She seemed to be self-aware of her shortcomings.
"Then, Aefa can go first," Bar said.
Aefa dropped her shoulders in disappointment.
"What about you Bar?" Aefa asked, her voice seeping with resentment. It had been a while since she had been hostile towards him, Bar thought.
"I'm completely okay with. I'm used to it."
"Then you'll be the next."
Bar widened his eyes at her suggestion, but neither Tinee nor Helena confronted her.
"Since everybody agrees with it, I'll go next. Who's after me?"
"Then I'll do it," Tinee said.
"M, me then," Helena said.
They both looked at each other, their eyes gleaming with intent and their faces confounded.
"Helena, you're also bad at waking up. Might as well sleep till the end," Tinee said.
Helena ducked her head, succ.u.mbing to defeat.
"With that decided, let's choose our spot for tonight," Bar said.
"Where?" Aefa asked.
"A place with dry ground and shelter to hide ourselves, and nearby a waterside with enough open s.p.a.ce to notice an enemy's approach," Bar said without wasting time.
However, the trio were bewildered. "Where is such a place?"
A place with dry ground near the waterside wasn't that hard to discover. But the only shelter to hide someone, especially near the Imperial Capital, were the few Heiren trees growing spa.r.s.ely across the roads.
"I was just talking about an ideal spot. In truth, you need to learn to compromise to adapt to any situation."
"I see. You're right," the trio nodded, their faces loosened and shoulders dropped in relief.
Bar guided the trio near the river. The place was flooded with trees, situated just a bit farther than the riverside.
"This place is near the river, and will hide us with all this foliage. Let's sleep here."
"Hmm, so we can choose a place like this," Aefa said in admiration as she surveyed the surroundings. Helena and Tinee were the people to gawk around, but nodded instead.
"I've gotta remember this," Tinee said.
"We can't always rely on Mr. Bar," Helena said.
The trio had grown up. Albeit slow, they were surely growing. Bar couldn't have been happier at the moment.
Let's see how they fare in the future.
In spite of being the strongest of the Laevateinn, and one of the most respected personages within the Empire, he had never guided someone in life.
His position restricted him from this fulfillment. He never had the opportunity to enjoy watching someone grow over the course of time.
It was one of the reasons Bar decided to be an adventurer.
The four started to gather firewood for a bonfire. As luck would have it, it hadn't rained for the past few days and they were able to gather many.
A cheap sorcery item could light the fire, but the fuel–the firewood–wouldn't be able to burn if no one gathered it.
As for sorcery items that did not require any firewood were too expensive to be afforded by a Seventh Ranked adventurer.
They lit the firewood, surrounding it from all four sides. Bathing in the heat of the bonfire, the four took out their rations.
Their dinner for tonight was rather stale–dried fruits and bread, which they swallowed with the help of corn soup. Soup it may be, it was simply boiled water with corn filled in a long cylinder shaped container.
"This place has both water and firewood. So we'd only need the rations and mantle to sustain here, right." Aefa said.
"That's why there's many quests that allow the Seventh Ranked adventurers to experience camping out," Bar said.
It was such that they could gain experience in a relatively safer place than not.
The adventurers guild was not overprotective about its adventurers, but it never inflicted cruel treatment unto them.
Almost n.o.body ever returned back to the army because they felt neglected by the guild. It was extremely rare.
Most of such people ran to different nations, adventuring nonetheless.
In short, they had to protect their adventurers or else people would not stay with them.
"The Empire's the strongest on the continent, I don't understand why anyone would want to leave. Seems like the guild also doesn't care about that," Aefa said in admiration.
The Empire was the most powerful, wealthy nation. In spite of that, they were not prideful. They were seen as a frightening existence.
"It's rare, I suppose. I've heard that the Kingdom to the west is in a bad state," Helena said.
Tinne scowled, "I've also heard that they don't treat commoners as people."
"There's many who've come running here," Bar added, joining the conversation.
It was a part of being an adventurer to exchange information while conversing.
Bar thought it'd be good to tell the trio something, so long as it wasn't too confidential.
"Our Empire's safe from such discrimination all due to His Imperial Majesty," Aefa said.
"He's, k-kind after all," Helena said.
Listening to their praises of the Emperor, Bar had a thought. Their expressions were filled with nothing but respect for the Emperor. Many people who were outcast by the society, resorting to work as an adventurer, rarely felt any admiration for the Emperor. But these girls seemed different.
"You're right. It's such a wonderful luck we have," Bar said, the smirk on his face revealing his happiness. To him the current Emperor was the best lord he could ask for.
If it were not for him calling him out, he might have never even become a Laevateinn.
"Well then, let's head to sleep," Bar suggested, surveying the surroundings as he estimated the time.
"I feel like it's still early…" Aefa said. Contrary to her words, her actions were acquiescent.
Aside from her, the rest moved a bit away from the bonfire, wrapping themselves in the mantle.
"Are you two fine with me sleeping with you?" Bar asked.
Adventurers, on a daily basis, sleep in a huddle despite not being couples. However, the trio, seeming inexperienced, might hate sleeping beside a man.
"It's fine," Helena said.
"Well, it's just you. It's fine, right," Tinee added, nonchalantly.
"Go to sleep already. I'll beat you up when my time ends," Aefa shouted, her voice seeped in irritation.
"Oops, you're right," Tinee said. "So scary. Wooosh."
Aefa raised her eyebrows, widening her eyes in pure frustration.
"Stop it," Bar intervened, sensing the situation could get out of hand.
"Yes," Tinee said, ducking her head as she stuck out her tongue.
Within moments Helena, followed by Tinee, drifted off to the sweet world of dreams.
They're both fast-sleepers.
They were true adventurers. For adventurers possessed the G.o.dly skill to sleep in any situation.
And finally, Bar, too, drifted off to the world of dreams.
His eyes opened a minute before the switch-over time, and just as Aefa approached to wake him up, he unwrapped the mantle, raising his body off the ground.
"Oh, you're awake?" Aefa whispered, trying her best to not wake the two.
"Yeah, you can do it as well if you get used to it," Bar said.
He did not lie. Many adventurers were the same, and did not require one to become the Laevateinn.
"Hmmm…" Aefa hummed as though uninterested, then quickly lied down where Bar lay just a moment ago and covered herself in the mantle.
"Goodnight," Bar said.
Aefa struggled to fall asleep for the next five minutes. And when she did, Bar took a deep breath, "Well then," he said, focusing his eyes to the right of the bonfire. "Come out now, Mina."
Just as his voice left his mouth, Mina materialized from thin air. At the same time, soundproofing sorcery was cast on their surroundings.
"You realized I was there. I was quite serious this time, but I guess nothing remains hidden from you," she said.
"Yeah, so long as it's a living being, I'll notice it," Bar said.
It was one of his superpowers. Mina showed no expression, taking his words as they were said. They surprised her no more.
"Well, you might think it's unfair, though," Bar said, deprecating himself.
"Oh you jest. Those are the results of your training," Mina exclaimed, her voice sorrowful at his words. "Doesn't matter what talent you possess. If you fail to polish it, it's worthless."
"…You're right," Bar said. "So, any irregularities?"
"None. There has been no strange occurring at your destination, Lord Bar. You'll probably come back with no problems," Mina reported.
Mina had proposed this plan by herself. As for Bar, it'd be harder to move as a Laevateinn while with Aefa and the others.
"If only I could know about any irregularities around the Imperial Capital it wouldn't be such a bother," Bar muttered, clicking his tongue. "What about other places?"
"There's no information that needs special attention at the moment. But, that, in itself, is a strange thing."
Bar nodded towards Mina. "You're right. If it were a natural phenomena, there'd be at least a single clue to it. And for nothing to happen near the Imperial Capital, it's impossible."
"I agree," she said.
Bar looked at Mina in her eyes, "What do you think?"
"Do you mean their methods? Or do you mean the enemy's ident.i.ty?"
"The former," Bar said without a pause.
"If I had to say, the only ways to change the ecology of monsters without leaving a trace would be…summoning sorcery, or teleportation sorcery."
"How are they different?" Bar asked. "Wait. Stop." He stopped Mina before she could have time to answer. "I'll ask at the next meeting. That fine with you?"
"Yes, not a problem by me. Thank you for your concern," Mina said her grat.i.tude.
She had realized that Bar had not asked her the explanation, for he would ask the same at the meeting and it would be a ha.s.sle for her to explain herself two times.
"You don't have to thank me for it." Bar laughed.
Mina was very sincere and upright to whatever matter if it was related to Bar. He believed she should correct her way of treating others as well, but her customs and nature as an Elf also posed a problem.
Just need a trigger. If Bar were to state his opinion, Mina would likely hear him and cooperate with him. But will that be enough. After all, it would not have solved the main problem at hand. As such, he never brought up this matter.
"Thanks for the report."
"Yes," Mina smiled at his words, bowed and disappeared.
Along with her, the soundproofing sorcery also disappeared.
Bar resumed his lookout duty.
He knew this place was relatively safe, but that was why he couldn't ease up.
While surveying the surroundings, he checked whether Aefa had failed to notice something.
Oh. She's quite the diligent girl, eh. As an adventurer of his level, he was able to sense the surroundings. His evaluation of Aefa went up.
His first impression of her was a conceited brat who underestimated adventurers. However, that impression was, after all, not the reality.
She may just have been ignorant, I suppose. Adventuring had always been friends with dangers.
Luckily, the trio realized the fact as soon as they started out.
It would be too early to say they were experienced, but they had crossed the first wall splendidly.
He stood up, noticing the hourgla.s.s was nearly empty of its sand, and moved to call out to Tinee.
She was, unfortunately, sleeping. People who could wake up earlier than their designated times were either experienced or weren't able to sleep properly.
It's better to sleep soundly than not sleep at all. Sleep deprivation could be said as the worst enemy during work.
"Tinee," Bar whispered, jolting her shoulders just barely so as to no wake up others.
Tinee woke up. Usually the young female adventurers would end up screaming, but she was not quite the same.
In truth, the fact she was different was relaxing to him.
"Thanks," Tinee said.
"It's fine. Good luck then."
"Yeah. Goodnight, Bar."
After some small talk, he again wrapped himself in the mantle.
Bar could not sleep. He was the person who would remain fine despite being awake the whole night, however in front of the girls, he could not afford to do that. He pretended to sleep for a while before he forced himself into the dreams.
During Helena's turn, the sun had peeked its head out from the eastern horizon.
She checked the sand empty itself in the hourgla.s.s, she went ahead to wake the three.
However, Bar opened his eyes before everyone else.
"Mr. Bar, you're amazing…," she said. To her, he was nothing less than impressive.
"You can do it once you get used to it. Morning."
"G, good morning. I-is that so?" Helena asked, tilting her head to the side with disbelief.
"Yeah. Aefa, Tinee, wake up it's morning," Bar shouted, forcing the two out of their sleep.
"Morning," Bar said to the two. In spite of being told they were not good at waking up, the two woke up almost immediately.
This might get better if they experienced more unordinary situations, Bar thought to himself.
"Let's have breakfast."
They washed their faces with river water, and ate the rations.
They also filled their canteen after boiling the water.
"Can we reach the village by today?" Aefa asked.
"If nothing happens," Bar replied.
The three smiled with happiness.
"I can't wait to spend a night at the village," Aefa said.
As the reward for this quest, the group was offered a stay in missus' home for a night and a free dinner.
Due to that, the reward had been cut down, but the trio cared not about that.
"Let's go there now!" Aefa exclaimed. Helena and Tinee nodded after her.
If he wasn't wrong, the girls were more pumped up than yesterday.
To think they were this childish still, Bar thought as a wry smile spread across his face.
However, it was during such times that something bad will occur.
But then, he knew nothing would happen this time. After all, Mina had reported to him last night, and to warn needlessly without practical dangers to experience would reduce the value of such warnings.
Maybe I shouldn't warn them right now?
Seeing how obedient the girls turned out to be, they would surely listen to his advice.
Still, to warn with no dangers in sight wouldn't be the most efficient thing.
Let's tell them once when the time's good…
Bar concluded he did not need to warn at this moment. In the end, they reached the village with nothing happening along the way.
Near the entrance to the village, a boy of pre-teen years swung a wooden sword, evidently handmade by someone.
His face was serious and wet with sweat. In spite of that, his hands did not stop neither did his swings lose its momentum showed some will behind his training.
"Does that kid want to become a soldier?" Aefa muttered.
"Maybe," Bar replied. "Conscription is sort of a chance for villagers, after all."
"You're right," Aefa said, agreeing,
Within the military inst.i.tutions of the Empire, as a speciality amongst all of its kind, people were trained to be Knights and soldiers.
The Knights were trained in daily practical combat, being the professionals of combat they were, and were the elites put as reserves during war.
On the other hand, there were two kinds of soldiers. Both were trained after conscription, but someone would get admitted in the National Army, while others would return to their hometowns as trained civilians.
Sometimes, some would also be hired as personal soldiers of some n.o.ble, or as a member of the city garrison.
The people who reverted back to daily lives would be called-up during wartime, but their lives consisted of no fighting otherwise.
Kids of age fifteen would be conscripted, as according to the policy of Empire, and be trained for the future.
During conscription, the kids are tested for their compatibility with sorcery and spirit arts. If found compatible, the kids are then nurtured by the army.
While some kids with exception compatibility would be appointed as Knights. There had been such cases in the past.
Knights received a better salary than what would be possible in the village, and every month to boot. Furthermore, they also receive plenty of pension after retirement.
Rather, even after death, the family would receive the pension for one whole year.
They were even taught reading, writing, arithmetic and first-aid.
To add on top of that, the village would receive plenty of food, clothes and halite for sending its people.
As such, within the Empire the conscriptions were not thought of as cruel obligation, but rather a great opportunity to make it big.
Among the second and third sons of various farmers, many dream of being a Knight one day and practice swinging handmade wooden swords every day.
"They can live an easy life as Knights, you see," Helena said, her stuttering gone. Maybe she had started to feel comfortable around Bar.
"It's hard to become one. After all you either need to know sorcery, healing sorcery or spirit arts to be able receive a Knight's training," Tinee dropped her shoulders.
Just as she said, the conditions to be accepted as a Knight were rather harsh.
Because of that, the Empire came to be known as the continent's strongest.
"Now that you say it, aren't you all three of age now? To be conscripted, I mean," Bar asked.
The girls were not exempted from conscription, and should they ask for it, they were trained just as harshly as boys.
Many people would jest at the drinking station that one of the reasons for the Empire's peaceful order is because there are many women who know how to protect themselves.
The trio made an awkward expression at his words.
"We did…get conscripted, but…" Aefa said, her words vague.
"We got into a fight with someone," Helena said, looking at the ground.
"If you had endured it, we'd be a part of the garrison by now," Tinee dropped her shoulders once, but her face showed no signs of regret.
"…Was it hara.s.sment or something?" Bar furrowed his brows.
Morally wrong it may be, but many young women were always courted rather forcibly by l.u.s.tful men. And not just once.
The Knights are always being monitored and their punishments are not to be made fun of, so there hasn't been such a case there before. However, the same wasn't the case for private soldiers or city garrison guards.
"We three were told to become lovers," Aefa spat out. Her face was red, her brows frowning and the veins popped on her head. Apparently, just remembering the incident stoked her anger.
"Who was the n.o.ble? Was it the City Chief?"
"…Why'd you ask?" Aefa asked, her face coloured with suspicion.
Oops, she might catch on.
It was too late to regret, so he decided to fool her.
"I'd rather not venture into the territory of such people. It's just a gut feeling you get as an adventurer," Bar said, trying his best to sound natural.
"I see. So it's the wisdom of an adventurer, eh."
"Ah, that makes sense."
Luckily, the trio accepted his nonsense at face value.
"He stated that he was the son of Hesse from Blunden Prefecture. Do you know anything?" Aefa asked.
Bar shook his head. "I just know it's adjacent to Holstein Prefecture. It's on the west of the Imperial Capital." His words were the truth.
Hesse's son. Ah that stupid.
He was convinced in his heart. Never had he heard good things about the family.
"He said it's rare to see females of dog-tribe, and that he wanted to keep them," Tinee said, her eyes flickering with rage.
Bar could easily think of the scenario. Viscount Hesse despised on people below the ranks of n.o.bility.
That was the case with even Bar and Mina. It was a wonder if he even considered Aefa and others as a person.
"So you ran away?"
"Yeah. The Imperial Capital is under watch by His Imperial Majesty, so we thought nothing too reckless would happen here."
Bar could not have been more happier than to see their unwavering trust in the Emperor.
But then, we can't leave things as they are.
He resolved within his heart. If he were to act right after, people might get suspicious.
He'd either have to wait for the right time, or find a justifiable reason so n.o.body would be suspicious.
"Did you act the way you did when we first met because of your past experience?"
It could not have been helped. Bar understood the reason for their hostility.
"…We're sorry," the trio apologized.
They seemed to have realized how horrible they had acted towards Bar.
"It's fine. You can't change the past, so why worry about it," he laughed, forgiving the three as their faces lit up.
"It's great you're a good person."
"I can feel the difference between you and him as a man."
"Really, you're so much better."
Their praises were good and all, but to be compared to the family of Viscount Hesse was rather unpleasant.
"Haha, thanks," Bar said.
Seeing as their conversation had reached an end, the young boy who had been practicing swinging the sword stopped mid-way, and moved towards the group.
"Are you all adventurers? I have not seen you around here," the young boy said, smiling as he wiped the sweat off his brow.
"That's right. We were asked to give something in this village," Bar answered as the representative of the group.
"Heh, running errands, huh. You're still asked to do all that at your age, I guess you can't do any decent work."
"Haha, indeed," Bar said, not bothered by the provokation. However the trio standing behind him perked up their ears.
Since Bar had not been angered, they refrained from speaking any further.
"How did you realize it, little boy?"
"Well, only lame and useless people are asked to run errands. The same happens in our village as well," the boy answered, happiness on his face. "It's the same outside the village, as well."
"Well, we are the citizens of the same nation, no wonder our thoughts are relatively similar," Bar said, noticing the boy nod at his words.
The boy had not been making fun of Bar. He found it quite amazing to find a young boy who would not just keep making fun of a dowdy mister like him.
"I'm Kyle. What's your name?"
"I'm Bar. The girls behind me are Aefa, Helena and Tinee."
Kyle looked behind Bar, smiling at the trio as she opened his mouth: "Nice to meet you!"
The trio looked at each other, perturbed by the pureness of the boy. "Us too," they said.
Their response was rather curt since they hadn't known Kyle enough. Bar understood that. He stood in front of the girls to protect them the interaction.
"What will you do today? Stay here?" the boy asked Bar, sensing it was easier to talk to him.
"That's what we plan to do. We need to finish our quest first. Where does Mr. Invar, the leather craftsman, live?" Bar said.
Kyle widened his eyes: "If it Mister Invar, he lives just opposite to my house. I can guide you."
Bar smiled faintly at the coincidence. "Then, please do," he said.
"Yeah. Follow me, it's over there!" Kyle exclaimed, running. He stopped midway to look behind and gestured the group to follow.
The four of them slowly followed after the young boy with a smile on their faces.