Level up with swords (53)
The next morning.
Leon and Karen set out early in the morning, when the sun had not yet risen. The two people’s outfits were not much different from usual. This was because thanks to the sub-space bracelet, there was no need to carry separate luggage, and the upper management said that groceries, etc., would be covered.
Cesare, who came to see the two people off to the front door, put his hands together.
“May the Goddess protect you both on your journey. “The sun will watch over you during the day and the moon will watch over you at night.”
“Thank you so much, Bishop.”
Leon politely bowed as if responding to those words. Meeting Cesare was a great fortune for him.
Without this relationship, it would have been impossible to prevent “Devouring the City” in advance. You could truly say it was the guidance of a goddess. Even Leon, who had shallow religious beliefs, thought so.
It was a simple decorated necklace.
Sun and moon.
A sign symbolizing the Holy Order is hanging on a string of twine. It looked like an ordinary object, but when it touched my skin, I felt a subtle power radiating from it.
Objects imbued with magic are referred to as ‘magic tools’ or ‘artifacts.’ So what about objects that contain sacred law?
“It’s a ‘holy object.’”
Cesare nodded at what Leon said.
“It is an item that can use the sacred method of recovery. “Use it in situations where it is difficult to reveal the holy sword.”
It was an item of little significance to a warrior holding a holy sword, but it was absolutely necessary for Leon today.
If Leon, who is not a priest, uses the holy law casually, there will be people who doubt its identity. It was as if he had handed over a sacred object that could be used as an excuse for that time.
“And this relic has a hidden function.”
As Cesare said this, he turned over the sun and moon signs and showed the letters engraved behind them.
It is not a text that can be read visually.
You have to trace it with your finger to know its meaning, and if you haven’t learned it, you can’t decipher it. Engraved on this necklace was a code braille used only within the Seongcheolsae Knights.
“If you deliver it to the upper echelons of the church, they will be able to summon all the nearby Holy Iron Knights. If someone other than the owner uses it, it can only be used once, so use it carefully.”
“Yes, I will gratefully accept it.”
Do you mean you have the authority to mobilize the Holy Iron Knights?
Leon even felt as if the necklace in his palm was getting heavier. They will not cooperate if it is not legitimate, but they can wield the strongest armed group on the continent.
Even if it is disposable, its value is difficult to calculate.
‘If something like this were to happen, it would be of great help.’
Leaving behind Cesare, who had helped them until the end, they left the church where they had stayed for nearly a month.
The city at dawn was strangely quiet.
When the two arrived after passing through the deserted street, the preparations for the Storm Merchant Marine had already been completed. Leon found the carriage he had seen yesterday and boarded it with Karen. Almost at the same time, the carriages that had finished checking the luggage began to move forward.
This is the moment when the long journey to the Titan Mountains begins.
“Good morning Karen. And Leon.”
Arnold, a merchant who came next to their carriage, spoke warmly.
“How did you have breakfast?”
“Both are still there.”
It’s not like your body will do anything if you skip breakfast. Not only Leon but also Karen preferred to empty their stomachs.
But Arnold laughed happily at those words.
“Haha, just in case, I brought it myself like this.”
It was a basket filled with white bread, fruit, and dried meat.
It wasn’t something the owner of the business would personally come to, but he seemed to be concerned about being ranked A in many ways.
I guess it’s a consideration in its own way.
Unable to refuse such blatant favor, Leon accepted the food. I thought I had become quite familiar with the physiology of an adventurer, but I seemed to have underestimated the value of the A-rank name.
“You don’t have to worry about me this much…”
Arnold didn’t know how he reacted to his refusal, but he even waved his hand and said it was no big deal.
For Leon, that attitude was burdensome.
Eventually, Arnold was able to catch his breath after he had moved away in another carriage, and Karen, who was watching him respond from the side, giggled.
“Ahahaha, I guess this is your first time being treated like this? “You look like you’re uncomfortable and don’t know what to do, hero.”
“It’s because of you.”
Leon sighed and answered those words bluntly.
This is my first time carrying out this type of request, but I know that the current treatment is not normal.
You could tell just by looking at the food in the basket.
Fresh fruit, soft bread, smoked meat, and even salty seasoning weren’t enough. There was literally no VIP treatment.
‘Well, it’s not a bad feeling.’
I’m just not used to it.
Leon followed Karen, who started eating first, and took a bite of the apple. It is overflowing with juice with a ‘crunching’ sound. This is evidence that the freshness has hardly deteriorated.
It was a situation that was clearly compared to people who were eating hard bread, let alone fruit.
However, I didn’t feel like eating the same meal. It’s not that I’m trying to avoid a difficult situation, but it’s ridiculous to insist on unnecessary hardship.
“I think there are people who find it annoying.”
Karen, who was nibbling at the bread, tilted her head at those words. Because unlike Leon, she didn’t feel anything.
But soon I realized what it meant and smiled.
“I think we need to sort out the rankings.”
As an adventurer, she was much more senior.
To the extent that Leon can see through everything without any explanation and even teach you simple solutions.
He took Karen’s advice to heart and nodded.
Adventurers and mercenaries were all the same.
Once the board is set, all you have to do is teach them the reality thoroughly.
In the meantime, the El Cid hanging on Leon’s waist rattled in its sheath, as if the wheel had stepped on a stone beak. The reflected light from the sword that came out momentarily flashed sharply.
* * *
Storm Sangdan’s journey was smoother than expected.
Perhaps thanks to the rush from early in the morning, the carriages that left Blaine ran without hesitation through the empty streets. As about twenty carriages ran at once, a cloud of dust rose behind them, but the wind quickly dissipated it.
At first, Leon was looking outside through the windows on both sides of the carriage, but soon he became as calm as usual.
“How about nothing special?”
Karen said as if she knew that would happen.
Admiring the scenery outside the city can only be done for a short time, but if you keep looking at it, it’s natural to get tired of it. There was no need to say anything more if Leon had a wider perspective than other people.
However, he expressed one discomfort.
“It’s faster than I thought.”
Karen responded to those words indifferently.
“That’s because I only saw him walking around the city on a regular basis. When traveling long distances, carriage speed is the key? “It’s bound to be fast because the car body, which has lightweight magic engraved on it, is pulled by two course horses.”
“There’s a spell? In every carriage?”
“okay. Lightening is one of the most common and useful magic. “It consumes less horsepower, so it can be used for a long time at a low price.”
Although unaffiliated people were not aware of it, magic itself had already permeated every corner of civilization.
Temperature maintenance magic in a warehouse where food is stored.
Lightweight magic engraved on carriages, carts, etc.
Even floating magic used to transport construction materials.
Once you get a taste for it, you can’t escape it. It would have been nice to say it was a magician’s trick. People who learned about the convenience of magic bought it at a reasonable price, and wizards found a way to easily earn research funds, which were always tight.
The result of this cycle continuing for decades and hundreds of years was the commercialization of magic tools as we see today.
“It may not be all-purpose, but it is convenient in many ways.”
It was indeed as he said.
Thanks to the lightweight magic, the horses were able to continue running without exhaustion. The carriage literally never stopped for a moment, except for a drink of water or the occasional breather.
Running all day, the speed of movement is very fast.
Compared to walking, it is dozens of times different. Leon suddenly felt like a fool for walking all the way to Blaine.
“But lightweighting isn’t always applied in a good way.”
Karen spoke calmly while looking out the window.
“The car body is lighter, so if the terrain gets a little rough, it doesn’t get shaken significantly by the impact. If the horses fall even once, it is a disaster. So, if you enter a rough area, you need to disable the lightweight magic.”
“Oh, then from then on….”
“It will be much slower than now.”
Only then did Leon understand all the pros and cons of lightweighting.
I heard it would take at least two months to reach the Titan Mountains, and I was wondering why it was taking so long at this speed.
Any doubts arising from lack of experience were completely resolved.
‘…Now that I think about it, I received a map.’
Open the map given by the merchant and find Blaine.
Leon traced the location with his finger and measured the distance to where the Titan Mountains were drawn.
One border, five territories, and three mountains had to be crossed.
It was a distance that would take years to cover on foot.
“Let me see.”
Before he knew it, Karen came next to him and placed her chin on his shoulder.
“For the next three days, we will continue to be in the plains, and then we will enter the forest. There must be a lot of flying insects this time of year…”
“Is there any insect repellent magic?”
“It was popular once, but I heard it could irritate monsters like Giant Mantis, so I don’t use it.”
As her joking words turned into serious words, Leon realized that she truly hated flying insects.
Otherwise, there would be no way I would have found out about the circumstances behind it.
“I probably put some insect repellent on the outside of the carriage… but if that’s not the case, I’ll just dilute the poison I mixed up and spray it on.”
“It’s probably the kind that doesn’t work on people, right?”
Then Karen averted her eyes with a shocked expression.
“…As long as you don’t drink too much, you’ll be fine.”
‘maybe?’ Karen laughed, but Leon’s raised eyebrows didn’t seem to go down.
Since it was a poison made by a top assassin, an innocent person could have died instead of an insect. In the end, it was Leon who received a promise to only use poison that was harmless to humans.
It was then.
-stop! I’m going to camp around here today!
The sun had already set, and the twilight was burning red on the distant horizon.
The carriage the two people were riding in also gradually slowed down and soon stopped.
“Shall we get off too?”
When Leon asked, Karen lay down as if she was annoyed.
“I’m not hungry so I’m done. If you feel frustrated, go out alone and come back. “If you need anything, please call me right away.”
Unlike him, who was unfamiliar with everything, Karen seemed familiar.
Above all, it was considerate that she did not step out for no reason, as her every action was bound to attract other people’s attention.
There wasn’t much for the adventurer to do during the ascent. Lower-ranked adventurers could try to make a good impression by helping out with some chores, but they couldn’t do that because B-rank adventurers would feel burdened at the top.
So Leon decided to get off the carriage and quietly watch the people moving about.
‘You have to prepare from around this time to avoid any setbacks in camping.’
There was a lot to learn just by watching.
The person who lights the bonfire, the person who puts the pot on it, the person who feeds the horses that pull the carriage all day.
The entire upper part moves in unison as if it were one body.
It was clear that they had been working on this together for a long time.
Perhaps that’s why the presence of foreign substances was felt more clearly.
‘…I thought he would approach me if I was alone.’
Leon said as he placed his hand on the hilt of his sword without turning around at the sight of a figure coming from behind.
“Do you have any business?”
Those who approached seemed surprised by the question and hesitated for a moment before someone spoke on behalf of them.
“It’s business, so you’re talking as if you were the employer.”
“If you think so, isn’t that what it sounded like?”
The man who snorted spoke in a slightly harsh tone.
“Are you planning on using that prestige just because you’re accompanying an A-rank? “Your thoughts are as young as your face.”
“well. “When they come together to fight against one person, who will have the upper hand?”
“…Are you going to keep talking like that?”
“I’m sorry, but that’s what I have to say.”
Leon looked back at the mercenaries with a cold, hard face.
“Tell me honestly. “I feel bad because I am not treated well because my skills and experience are inferior to a younger person.”
The mercenaries ran out of patience and walked out.
Still, no one reached for a weapon, perhaps because there was a perception that it would be unsightly to fight against just one person.
The four mercenaries and Leon confront each other with wide eyes.
It was a moment when the merchants, reading the harsh atmosphere, were making noise.
“Let’s go there.”
Karen appeared like a ghost and burrowed in among them.
“Why are grown men complaining? “If you don’t believe in my skills, you can check it yourself.”
“Are you serious?”
“why? “Do you think I’ll take his side?”
When Karen opened her eyes wide, the mercenaries were pressured by the murderous force and took a step back, then clenched their teeth.
As expected from B-rank skilled players, they are not completely overwhelmed.
Among the four mercenaries, a man who appeared to be the leader spoke.
“…Good. If you arbitrate fairly, we will change our attitude toward him depending on the outcome of the game.”
Karen, who grinned at those words, immediately turned to Leon.
“You don’t mind if I stick with you right now, right?”
“are you okay.”
It was the same flow as the conversation in the carriage earlier.
If the mercenaries had any kind of prejudice against him, all they had to do was use force to break their narrow-minded heads.
‘In the end, skill is everything on this floor.’
As he watched the people retreating in a circle at Karen’s gesture, Leon pulled out the sword from his waist.
Holy sword El Cid.
The sword, which was always talkative, was strangely silent.
“They are B-rank veteran mercenaries…”
The golden eyes looked at the four people and soon turned cold.
“I don’t think I’ll lose.”
It was his honest impression.