Chapter 66 – Meeting up

I retrieve the orcs’ corpses in the forest, and the sun is up by the time we return to the village.

We had to walk from the forest to the village, but the main reason why it took so long is that we drained the corpses’ blood first.

In the meantime, I had to lecture them.

The fact that they can now handle magic energy is part of the reason why they defeated the orcs, but there’s also the fact that their levels went up in the previous fight.
It’s like the stage was set for them to take the orcs down.

That’s why I have to harden my heart and not compliment them, because I don’t want them to get the wrong idea.

It looks like Leila understands that, so I want her to guide her little sisters as the leader of the group.
And it’s certainly not like this turned into a hassle or anything.

“I think the hunt is over.”

“It was no problem.
A big reason why it went so well was that our sneak attack was a success and they never got the chance to coordinate.”

Leila emphasizes that the forest being their ally contributed to their victory.

“I see.
Still, you took down a general.
That’s a pretty big deal.”

Locke doesn’t show restraint in complimenting them, as a fellow B class adventurer.

Taking down a superior species is a big deal, let alone an orc general.
They’re probably important enough for countries to put out emergency quests to deal with them.

The villagers are excited when Locke announces the orcs have been defeated.
There’s some happiness mixed in there, but they’re mostly relieved that we’ve gotten revenge for them.

We have a late breakfast that’s more luxurious than usual.
It’s like a small banquet.

And while we’re having the banquet, the merchant caravan finally arrives.

At first they’re surprised and wary by the state of the village, but Locke and his party go out to greet them and explain what happened, and bring them in.

“I am Rit, the leader of this merchant caravan.”

He seems like a good-natured old man, but I also get the impression that he’s not letting his guard down.
He’s smiling, but I get the feeling that I don’t know what he’s actually thinking.

The representative of the village asks Rit if they won’t sell them food, and the driver of the omnibus negotiates to let us go with them to the next town.

The merchants that ran away also ask to be let aboard the wagons.

As a result of the discussion, or rather, negotiation, they are going to sell mostly vegetables but also things like seasonings at a somewhat low price.
The villagers thank them, and I put up the money that they need, since they don’t have enough.
I’ve earned quite a bit of money since I came to this country anyway, and I should be able to recoup the cost once I sell the orcs.

They’re letting our omnibus go with them too.
Locke and the others will be going with them, since they need someone to explain what happened.

I’m staying here with Leila and the others until the next caravan passes by, and we’ll help guard the village in the meantime.

The orc threat is gone, but the fences and houses are in shambles.

The representative of the village is also going, to appeal to their feudal lord, but what happens after that is up to them.
Apparently they don’t even know if they can get an audience right away.

The merchants are taking over the empty seats.
Apparently there’s someone related to a big-shot caravan among them, so they couldn’t say no.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they won’t send them the bill.

“There they go.”

Says Leila

“Are you sure about this? Won’t this make you late for the advent festival?”

I actually don’t know when it is.

“Don’t worry about that.
We actually left with plenty of time to spare.
I am fairly certain the advent festival will only begin in twenty days.”

“And how long does it take to reach the holy city?”

“Ten days should be enough by wagon.”

So apparently the holy city is after the next town.
I wasn’t in a hurry, so I didn’t really check.
I didn’t even know about the advent festival in the first place.

We see the wagons leaving, and start talking about how to divide all sorts of duties.

First, Yor and I get to work making a wall surrounding the village.
The fence that was already here was falling apart, and we would have to make a new one anyway, so we figured making a wall with earth magic would be better.
A big part of it too is that it’s a nice way for Yor to practice.

The men start gathering usable lumber, and reinforcing houses that look livable.
There’s a chance that the feudal lord might decide to move the people living here, but even after the painful experience, this place is still important to the people living here, so they want to rebuild it if they can.

The women are gathering and sorting through furniture and other household goods that seem usable.
They’re also bringing things from their own homes that might be useful.

Leila and the others are mostly going to the forest to collect various things such as food and medicinal herbs.
They specialize in dungeons, but they are still adventurers.
I hear they used to go to the forest and do picking quests when they were just getting started.

Five days after the caravan left, some people arrive.

According to the villager that left to make an appeal to their feudal lord, it’s been decided that the village will be preserved, at least for the time being.
They promise that they will start to recruit people from other towns and villages that might want to move here.

As for the problem with security, they sent ten guards to help keep the village safe.
They are all young and single so maybe they are also prospective settlers.

There is also another group sent by the merchant guild.

My first impression of them is terrible.
They talk to us in an overbearing way, and treat us almost like criminals.

The leader is especially awful.
The other members look annoyed by him, but no one says anything.

I hear later inside the wagon that said leader is incorrigibly selfish, and has a really bad reputation.
His parents are somewhat influential, so he spends his days doing what he wants and no one complains.
Those people have my sympathy.

We don’t get a lot of time to say goodbye to the villagers either, because he starts being pushy and ordering us to get inside the wagon.
And then, the wagon starts running down the main road as we shake our way towards the next town.

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