Weve been on the road for seven days.
I think we should be seeing Regalia any second now…
“Aha! Look – theres Regalia!”
Guile said as he rode beside us.
It was considerably smaller than what it would end up being in my time – both the city and the castle – but it indeed was Regalia.
Over these past seven days, I had gotten to converse quite a bit with Guile.
After we had covered for each other a few times while the convoy went through the Danger Zones, he had suddenly sparked a conversation with us.
Although monsters that had appeared along the way were mostly Rank B and A, with only an occasional Rank S, it had still been hard work for those in the vanguard.
Perhaps him talking to me was a sign that he had acknowledged our ability to move along with the crew and provide support.
On the road up until now, we had been speeding through the Danger Zones, and slowed down when we were in relatively safe territory.
“All right, we can slow down now!”
In fact, from what Guile had told us, its all slow from this point on.
I had gotten to chat with Shiro and Guile quite a lot through the trip so far, but not so much with Bright.
Well, I suppose it was only natural, what with us being stuck on guard at the front, and young Bright sitting in one of the carriages in the center of the formation.
The same went for when we had stopped to camp, too.
Now, as for the monsters around here… according to what June had told me, the low-level fighters should be able to handle them just fine.
The ranks of the monsters I saw in the distance ranged from F to D.
Those creatures were wary of us, too, so I dont see them initiating an attack that often.
Hmm… Looks like things will turn out all right.
At noon, when the convoy stopped to take a break, Polco approached me and sparked a conversation,
“Yes, Sir Polco”
“The road should be safe from this point on.
Would you mind joining me in my carriage Shiro is welcome, too, of course.”
He was practically telling me to leave the rest to Guile and the other guards.
Looks like hes got things hed like to discuss… must be important.
It was quite unexpected that he would let Pochi join in, too.
And so, Pochi and I turned to look at each other before nodding to Polco.
“Pardon our intrusion, sir.”
I sat down, then Polco took a seat across from me.
Pochi, on the other hand, sat on the floor on my side.
“Now then… where to begin…”
Polco lightly scratched his trimmed beard while pondering things over.
Well then, sounds like hes got multiple topics to cover, too.
“Lets start with Ferris case – what is your opinion on her”
“Opinion of what on her, sir”
“Whether or not she is fit to be a mage… I suppose.
Ive heard from Lady June that you had been instructing Ferris on the arcane arts this past half-month.
As such, you must have realized that I had taught her some magic before, havent you”
Im willing to bet that Polco had already realized how Ferris put on a nice act while with him, too.
Oh, the dreadful intricacies of being a parent…
“I have taught Lady Ferris the foundation of elementary-level magic spells, yes.”
“Oh, that is wonderful indeed.”
“We havent been able to go much further, unfortunately… Her level needed to be higher.
Moreover, I had taken the liberty to teach her more spells without notifying you first… I think I owe you an apology, Sir Polco.”
Polco raised his right hand and said,
“Dont worry about it.
Thats merely the way she is; you couldnt have done anything to change that.”
“Thank you, sir.
Also, Ive recently started teaching staff combat form-“
“Do you mean to say that she has a higher aptitude for that”
“Haha, I did get that impression, yes.”
I answered with a dry chuckle, which prompted Pochi to look up at me.
“But that doesnt mean she lacks talent as a mage, sir! Despite my Master being the teacher, she has learned quite a lot in just half a month!”
“Hahahaha, thank you very much, young Shiro.”
“Youre welcome, sir!”
Polco turned to look warmly at Pochi before continuing,
“Still, I hadnt expected you to have taught her martial arts as well… Perhaps I have under-evaluated your prowess.”
“I say that is more than high enough of an evaluation, sir!”
“Enough with your interruptions, my doggo.”
I clasped Pochis mouth shut.
At first, she g.r.o.a.n.e.d in annoyance, but immediately stopped once Polco reached to pat her head.
Now shes grinning quite sarcastically.
Getting on her high horse just because Polco is being nice to her, huh
Damn this doggo…
“Now, moving on… Id like you to extend your bodyguard duties to watching over Ferris as well.
Just for the duration in which you stay with us.”
“Ive already discussed this matter with Lady June.
And if Ferris insists on continuing under your tutorship, then I would like to request that of you, too.
You will be compensated appropriately for your work, of course.”
That caused Pochis sarcastic look to wear off.
We turned to look at each other again.
“Leaving aside the fact that Ive already been working as a bodyguard, isnt it too soon to trust me with the former task, sir I mean, you arent familiar with my abilities as a fighter yet, are you”
“Considering what Id seen from you so far… I figured I could trust you with both tasks; am I wrong”
I had learned to move and fight like a warrior from people like Tūs and Bruce, true… this man sure is on top of his observation game.
Looking at Pochi again, this time she replied with a nod.
Id assume that she was telling me to do whatever.
“…I understand, sir.
Ill do everything I can.”
Polco smiled in response to my answer; we proceeded to make more small talk as the convoy continued on its way to our destination, Kugg Village.
After continuing down the road for four more hours, I heard an enthusiastic, unified shout from the convoy outside.
“It seems that weve arrived.”
“The conversation was very much enjoyable, sir!”
“Hahahaha, I had fun as well, Shiro, Poer.”
The carriage started slowing down, eventually coming to a stop.
This seems to be the mansion well be staying in.
Once I hopped out the door, what I saw was indeed a mansion; this one was so huge that it probably could fit two of Junes mansion inside it.
It might even be more appropriate to call it a castle.
The lawn was quite wide, and the outer wall had small towers on all of its four corners, each stationed with several guards.
Those were the only things significantly different from Junes mansion design-wise, I suppose.
The village as seen from the entrance gate, on the other hand, was a whole different world.
Im feeling an air of tranquility emanating from it.
It wouldnt be surprising for the inhabitants of a village of this scale to be living in poverty, especially considering the social standards of this era, but that was by no means the case here.
Goes to show how well Polco has been managing the place, I suppose.
Since I had gotten to talk with him for a decent bit, Id gotten the impression that he was a good leading figure.
Dignified, kind, and popular.
Lylia had stated her approval of his abilities, and Pochi seemed to have a favorable opinion on him, too.
“Master! Things here are looking quite promising!”
The FOOD here is looking quite promising, you mean
Polco proceeded to give further instructions to the convoy guards, sending each of them to their respective mansion security posts.
How much do these guys get paid, anyway
Lower than what adventurers would earn, I would assume, but the stability and relative safety of their job should make up for that difference.
Considering that the convoy guards consisted of twenty-something members… I would assume that they would put some priority on the safety of fellow members as well.
People like Guile might have thought things were better for them this way.
“Perhaps you ought to take a look around the village.
Youll need the information for your training sessions, I assume Take your time while we get everything set up.
Just talk to Guile when youre back – hell be waiting in the guardhouse.”
He did have a point there.
Its better to preemptively gather information on the local geography and monster population.
And so we thanked Polco, then made our way to the village property.
“Wow, its so peaceful here.”
“Lush greenery, too… Its completely different from our time, sir.”
“Huh Have we been here before”
“Yes, we have! Dont you remember You know, that time we went to hunt some Scyllas with Betty, after we were done with your Rank-up Evaluations!”
The village ruins.”
“You can be too forgetful sometimes, sir.”
Pochi looked quite proud of herself to say that.
I hadnt thought of those ruins as something that particularly stood out, but good on her for remembering it, I guess.
Which reminds me, she DID act somewhat strange that time… didnt she What exactly did she do, again
“There doesnt seem to be anything wrong with the village itself, sir.
Im a little worried about how its only surrounded by simple fences and not walls, especially in this era, but I guess the region could be safe enough for them not to build one.”
Lets go explore the area for a bit, then.”
We went and looked around outside the village, but as June had told us, there wasnt any dangerous monster to speak of.
This certainly would be a good place for Brights training.
But well have to train here, too – Both Pochi and I.
Polco had told us that our bodyguard duties would only be during the daytime.
Since he already had so many guards in employment, I suppose things could be fine that way.
And that, in turn, would give us the time to gain some EXP ourselves during the night.
“Can we really gain levels here, sir”
“Oh, we sure can.
Just wait and see, Pochi.”
Seeing me grin as I said that, Pochi barked loudly at me.
She usually would immediately shoot me down when I talked big, but that wasnt the case today.
I had rarely gotten this reaction out of her, but most times, it was a sign that whatever I had planned would turn out well.
Now then, lets see how things go from here…