“Vacation? For adventurers? Adventurers can take time off? That’s neat.”
When Gula came to the dining room attached to the Adventurer’s Guild when Loren and Lapis were chatting. Lapis had already finished the meal she ordered and was beginning to enjoy her after-dinner tea. Meanwhile, Loren was sipping a glass of cheap wine after finishing his meal, but he seemed to be doing it at a pretty fast pace. He immediately asked the waitress for a few more drinks after he finished that one.
“There’s no profession that doesn’t have a vacation, right?”
Loren said. He didn’t understand why Gula thought one vacation was that nice, but Gula, who was sitting next to Lapis, clucked her tongue and waved her index finger at him.
“Naive, so naive, Loren. There are many professions in the world where you can’t even get a day off.”
“Is that so?”
Loren couldn’t imagine what she was talking about. If he had to speak from experience, mercenaries were almost always on vacation when there was no war, and Lapis said that the adventurer business he was currently involved in was the kind of business where taking a vacation was not a problem. He had no experiences about other businesses, but it seemed to him that most of the stores he had been to in his life, whether large or small, had proper days off. From dining halls, grocery stores, weapon and armor stores, tool shops, transportation businesses, to hospitals.
“Is there such a business that doesn’t have days off?”
“As far as I can remember, there’s the mortician, priests, and coffin makers…”
“I don’t want to hear about it. When was it anyway?”
Gula looked dissatisfied with Loren for interrupting the disturbing topic that had suddenly popped up, but she quickly regained her mood and turned to Lapis.
“I’m sure you’re not going on vacation in Kapha, are you?”
“Of course not. If you’re going to take a vacation, it has to be somewhere worthy.”
Lapis was trying to convince him, but Loren had no idea where a place worthy of a vacation could be. If he had to pick one… The word ‘graveyard’ came to his mind, but he hastily dismissed it, thinking that he would be no different from Gula.
“Do you have a pick already?”
Gula asked Lapis, who had no idea about the thoughts going on in Loren’s mind, and she took out some papers from the breast of her priest robe and laid them out on the table. As he looked over at the papers Lapis was arranging, he saw that they had something seemed like city names and some kind of sales pitch written on them.
“I went to the library to look up some information about cities that might be good places to take a vacation at.”
Loren knew that books were very expensive items. Not only because of the time it took to write them, but also because of the time it took to copy them for distribution. In addition, if you could read and write, it meant that you had received a certain level of education. It was not something everyone could do, so it took a lot of effort to secure people who could. The time and effort it took to produce something, the higher its price would be; it made senses to Loren that the price of a book would be high. There was no way such an expensive thing could be taken out of the library, so if someone wanted to take some information outside, they would naturally have to transcribe the parts you needed like Lapis did.
“I don’t think it’s right for me to make the choice on my own, so I think I’d ask for your opinions.”
“What? You want me to join you?”
Gula was surprised, and Lapis nodded at her with a look that seemed to say ‘What are you surprised about?’
“No, I mean, isn’t this like a private something for Loren and you, Lapis-chan?”
“No, it’s not? It’s really just a vacation for our party.”
Lapis replied with a smile, but Loren didn’t miss the fact that she looked taken aback for a moment. She had probably realized that she could do that, and after the realization, she wanted to. But at the same time, she couldn’t leave Gula out of the picture now after she had brought it up. If Lapis did ask Gula to not join them, Loren would be very disappointed and might reject the vacation. She was probably aware of this, and had decided to go ahead with the original plan. This way of thinking of her was better for Loren.
“So, what kind of place do you have in mind?”
“I’ve picked out some places where we can rest our bodies and eat good food.”
As he listened to Lapis’ explanation, Loren picked up a sheet of paper on the table and read the information on it. It did indeed look to be a place like she had mentioned.
Basically, many of the towns were located in remote areas away from the capitals of each country. This was because Lapis believed that rural areas were more suitable for resting than urban areas. It was true that a peaceful and uncrowded remote place is better for resting than a capital city full of people and stone buildings.
Furthermore, Lapis seemed to have selected towns that were near lakes, rivers, oceans, or mountains. Loren thought that it was probably because such places had good food, like local specialties. Towns in the middle of the countryside may also have good food, but if they wanted to eat something a little more unusual, they would choose such places.
“If I’m going to go anywhere, I’d rather go somewhere I wouldn’t normally go.”
“That’s true, but if it’s too far away, you’ll get tired.”
“Well, that’s a problem, isn’t it?”
Considering that the means of transportation is either on foot or in a carriage, it would be unreasonable to choose a city in the northeast of the continent while Kapha was in the southwest. A place too close to the city would be boring, but if they had to travel to the other side of the continent, their bodies would be exhausted just by going back and forth.
“Then we can only go to the western or southern part of the continent at most.”
It would only take them a few days of riding in a carriage to get there, Loren thought. When they were going to the demon realm, it would have taken them seven or eight days if they followed the usual router. A few days would be tolerable.
“Well, you’re right…”
Lapis was about to pick up a piece of paper from the table that contained the information of a place that would meet Loren’s requirements, but her movement was suddenly interrupted by a voice coming from the side.
“Oh, long time no see. What are you discussing?”
It was a young man who spoke.
Looking over, Loren saw a young red-headed man standing there, dressed in leather armor reinforced with sheet metal all around. It was tailored in such a way that everyone could tell at a glance that it must be quite expensive.
Loren didn’t recognize his kit, but his face was somewhat familiar. Before he could even recall who the man was, Lapis called out his name in a slightly displeased voice.
“I’m honored that you remember me, Lapis.”
Klaus said with a smile. He was an iron rank adventurer swordsman with whom they had worked several times before.
Klaus was an excellent adventurer with a rare blessing. When they first met him, he seemed like an intolerable person, but as they worked together, his speech and conduct changed, and he came to respect Loren’s party to a certain extent.
He seemed to be supported by the government because of his excellence, and was the leader of a party with three women.
At that thought, Loren suddenly looked back at himself and realized that his party was also made up of only women, and he wondered if he should force a man to join their party to make it clear that he was different.
“That girl over there, it’s the first time we meet, isn’t it? I see, Loren’s party has become quite glamorous.”
In Loren’s opinion, this adventurer named Klaus had a fatal flaw: he was an unparalleled womanizer.
Loren was sure that he would someday lose his life because of it, but it seemed that it wasn’t something that could be cured with just a little advice. Also, Loren believed that he should live his life as he liked.
It seemed that Klaus immediately had his eyes on Gula. He gave her a pretentious bow with a refreshing smile on his well-featured face.
“Are you alone today, Klaus? Have they finally had enough of you?”
Lapis smiled and said without bothering to conceal the poison in her words. But Klaus acted as if he didn’t notice and answered with a cheerful smile while scratching his head.
“No, it can’t be, can it?”
“The patience of those three is worthy of special mention.”
The knight, the priest, and the sorceress that were supposed to follow Klaas as his companions seemed to still be following him and not discouraged by his excessive womanizing at all.
‘If it were me and Loren was like that, I would have gone home immediately’, Lapis grumbled. Loren shot her a warning glance; he thought it wasn’t right to be too harsh with the guy.
Klaus pulled a chair over to sit at Loren’s party’s table even though he wasn’t invited to and asked in as calm a voice as possible:
“So, what brings you out here?”
“Well, we’re wondering where we’re going to spend our vacation.”
Loren considered adding that they were unsure but not troubled about it, but then he thought it would not be worth the trouble to correct it, so he closed his mouth, then reopened it to speak of something else:
You must have some good information about such places?”
“Of course. There’s no way I’d just sit down here without a second thought.”
If the story involved a woman, Klaus was the kind of person who would most likely come out of nowhere without a second thought, but he was also the kind of person who can be reliable in other cases.
In addition, unlike Loren, Klaus routinely asked women out, so it was not surprising that he had a better idea of where to enjoy his vacation than Loren did.
“I’m not paying for information.”
It was a preamble that could be called stingy. However, Loren thought that he had to be clear about that, and Klaus replied with a smile that was as fresh as ever.
“Of course. I’m not in the business of getting paid for this kind of information.”
“If it’s free, we’ll listen, but what kind of information do you have?”
Loren asked. Klaas looked at the papers that Lapis had laid out on the table, and after a while, he took up one and spread it out in front of Loren.
“I recommend this place. Karlovy, a city of food and hot water in the southern part of the continent. If you want to rest your body, eat delicious food, and refresh your body and soul, there is no better place than here.”
The way Klaus said it as if singing was somewhat scandalous, but the paper spread out in front of him certainly said so, and it seemed to be solid information to some extent.
“It’s not a bad choice, is it? It’s definitely a nice place.”
“I’m fascinated by the idea of a food town, you know.”
Lapis seemed to find Klaus’ recommendation a bit suspicious like Loren did, but the book did say the same thing, so she didn’t intend to outright deny it. Meanwhile, Gula’s face became somewhat enraptured at the mere mention of a food town.
“In fact, we’re going there to rest ourselves. If we go together, we can save on carriage fees, and I can show you around if you like.”
“So, what are you really up to?”
Loren’s words hinted of suspicion, and Klaus’ smile froze on his face. He was well aware of the danger of hiding things from Loren. His face suddenly darkened, and he began to confess in a whisper.
“Well, I made Ange and the others angry… They want a vacation as compensation… But if it’s only me…”
“Ah, I see. You don’t have to tell anyone.”
Klaus didn’t want to sleep on a bed of nails, so he wanted to increase the number of companions so that he could have some room to escape.
“If that’s the case, then of course it’ll also be beneficial to us, isn’t it?”
“That, yes… My wallet will give a certain amount of thanks…”
‘He wasn’t a bad guy’, Loren thought as he looked at a deflated Klaus. That was why the girls in his party didn’t give up on him and still continued to be his partners. Still, sometimes they may feel that he needed to be punished, and it seemed that now was the time.
“Of course, we won’t do anything to interfere with your vacation. I was wondering if you could come along as a favor.”
Lapis was taken aback by Klaus’ honesty, but told Loren that she didn’t oppose it. Gula, who didn’t know Klaus very well, said she didn’t care about anything else as long as they could go to the food city.
If he answered immediately, Klaus would not be grateful. Loren thought that he would have to teach the guy a little lesson by keeping him on his toes for a while, so he avoided giving him an answer at this moment and told Klaus, who was looking at him as if he was relying on him, in a tone that seemed like a refusal:
“Well, let me think about it. I’ve got my own situation to consider too.”