The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary - lightnovelgate.com
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"Hmm? Umm? This is…"
Lapis was groaning near the adventurers that were setting up camp.
In front of her was the driver of Shayna's caravan and the adventurers that were riding on it laid down onto a large blanket. All of them were unconscious, but were grimacing.
Lapis announced that as a priestess she had medical experience and was examining them, but judging from her expression and the sounds coming from her mouth, Loren decided that the situation wasn't good.
Judging by the weapon that Loren carried around, everyone believed that Loren was quite strong.
Of course they had Loren move the patients out of the caravan.
As he remembered that, he couldn't help but shiver slightly.
The bodies of the female adventurers that he carried out were ice cold.
Since he used to be a mercenary, he had experience dealing with corpses.
He had felt many corpses, allies' and foes', and knew the coldness of a dead body.
Even so, Loren was so surprised at how cold they were that he didn't even hear Klaus complaining that he had his hands all over the girls' bodies.
As he cautiously called out to Lapis, who was still examining the driver and adventurers, he worried that maybe they weren't even alive anymore.
"How are they?"
"Two of them are already dead."
Her answer was surprisingly concise.
It was so brief that Loren thought that he had misheard her, but seeing the other adventurers turn towards her with shocked expressions, he was reaffirmed that he didn't mishear anything.
"Yes. I'm not sure what the cause of death is, but both of their breathing and hearts have stopped."
Lapis pointed to two of the female adventurers' bodies.
Since they weren't moving and their eyes were closed, Loren couldn't tell the difference between the two and the rest of them, but thought that if Lapis said they were dead, they must be dead.
"Is it true that two of them are dead?"
Broas, who was taking charge of setting up camp, heard what Lapis had said and walked over.
Among the adventurers that were on the quest, he seemed to be the oldest, and seemed to be well acknowledged among them as well. No one complained when he took charge and gave out orders.
The only one not being obedient and complaining was Klaus, and Broas didn't want to make him follow orders, so Klaus and his party were left alone to set up their own camp.
If one showed knowledge that came from experience, Loren didn't mind following his orders, but thought that not everyone thought the same way, so he decided not to mention anything.
"Yes it's true. Do you want to check as well?"
"I'll do that just in case."
After replying Broas kneeled next to the adventurers that Lapis pointed out. He then proceeded to put his finger on their wrists and necks, and stood back up.
"They're dead all right. No mistaking that."
"Yes, they are totally truly completely dead."
Loren wondered if it was necessary to emphasize that part, but what she said next made him forget what he was thinking about.
"I recommend that we cremate the bodies right here."
Loren knew that Broas couldn't help but be surprised.
Even Loren himself was quite surprised at Lapis' suggestion.
Ways of burying the dead differed in different regions.
But most of the time the dead were buried in the dirt, whether or not the body is put in a casket.
It wasn't that cremation wasn't practiced, but in areas where it was done frequently there was usually a good reason for doing so in the past.
Broas wasn't going to carry around the dead adventurers the whole trip.
But it was obvious that he didn't think of cremating them either.
Lapis continued as she saw the confusion.
"If you don't want to cremate them right now, I suggest we hurry back to Kauffa."
"Why is that?"
"I'm not completely sure but…those two are becoming undead."
At Lapis' words, commotion arose from around them.
Becoming undead meant someone or something that died becoming a monster in the form of a zombie or ghoul for various reasons.
There were several ways one could become undead, and some of the most common ways were magic spells, being cursed by a high rank undead monster, or when someone had a strong attachment to his current life.
"How is that happening?"
"If you don't believe me, there's another priestess here so you can ask her to examine them, you know?"
Priests were experts when it came to the undead, which were dead beings who lost their way.
It was hard to believe that Lapis would make a mistake, but she said to check with a different priest if they doubted her.
"Hey, don't get our priest…"
"Klaus, anything that has to do with lost souls is the job of a priest. Please let me…"
Klaus was about to complain about Lapis bringing up his party member, but the blue haired priestess stopped him.
Klaus still looked unsatisfied, but the priestess named Roll walked up and kneeled next to the female adventurers.
"My god the god of Water. Show us the path and bestow it upon us."
She cut her finger with something like a symbol on her chest, and Loren, watching her, muttered without thinking.
"She really looks like a priestess."
"Are you saying that I don't look like one?"
Loren looked away as Lapis glared at him with scornful eyes.
He didn't mean to mutter that out loud, and if someone asked him if Lapis looked and acted like a priestess, he would have trouble giving an answer to that question.
While they were doing that, Roll had finished examining the dead adventurers, stood up, and brushed off the dust off her knees.
"I see impurity from their bodies. They will indeed soon become undead."
"Seriously…This is another bothersome situation we got here."
Although it couldn't be helped, they needed to explain to the dead adventurers' party members why they had to be cremated, and they also had to preserve their belongings and find a place to cremate them.
They also needed to gather things to fuel the fire.
Broas sighed at the unexpected increase in workload, but knew that sighing wouldn't get them anywhere. He scratched his head and started working on what needed to be done.
They couldn't do the cremation near the campsite.
After explaining the situation to the dead adventurers' party members, the bodies were taken far away from the campsite and cremated.
Luckily, since the sun had gone down, they couldn't see the smoke rise up, but watching the fire light up its surrounding in a red light wasn't the best feeling, even for Loren.
"Things are getting quite strange."
Loren nodded at Lapis' words as she finished pitching her tent and putting her sleeping bag inside.
Her gaze was pointed at Shayna, who was sitting down alone by a log.
Although they didn't know what caused it, all the people who were in the same caravan collapsed, and two even died.
It was no surprise that everyone else were afraid of her.
But the quest was getting her safely to Hanza, so they couldn't treat her roughly.
So they decided to put Shayna's tent in the middle of the camp and have everyone else's tent around it, but it was obvious that they were just trying to distance themselves from her.
Loren decided that this kind of treatment wasn't good for a ten-year-old girl, so he made up his mind, but before he could tell Lapis, she walked over and said to him.
"I think it's okay to do what you think is right."
"You fine with that?"
Loren confirmed with Lapis, even though she had just given him the go ahead.
"I don't mind. Is there a reason for me to stop you?"
Lapis put her hand on Loren's forehead.
As he felt a ticklish sensation when she moved it around like she was patting him on the head, Loren looked at her.
"All I'm asking you is to come with me when I want to go do something, and let me accompany you when you want to go do something. I have no intention of forcing you to do anything you know?"
"So go ahead, do what you want to do."
As Lapis saw him off with a smile on her face, Loren walked towards Shayna, who was sitting alone in the middle of the campsite, and called out to her.
"Hey, if you'd like, you want to come eat with us?"
The food that Shayna was given were tasteless rations.
It was hard bread and dried meat that could be eaten without being cooked, but she hadn't touched it at all.
Loren felt others stare at him as Shayna raised her head to the voice directed towards her, but continued.
"It doesn't taste good when you eat alone, right?"
"Umm, well…I just don't feel like eating."
She must have thought that Loren was angry that she hadn't touched her food, and looked back at him with wary eyes.
As Loren wondered if his face was that scary, he waved his hand, letting her know that he wasn't angry with her at all.
"You should eat at least a little bit because we've got a whole day of travelling tomorrow you know?"
"Yes…I understand, but wouldn't it be a bother…?"
If given this sort of treatment so bluntly, even a ten-year-old girl would be able to guess what kind of situation she was put in.
"Don't worry about it. My party member said she doesn't mind either."
"alright. Then…I'll join you for a while."
Loren reached out to Shayna and beckoned her to follow him as she stood up.
While some looked at them disgusted and others warmly, Klaus said in a loud voice so everyone in the area could hear.
"As expected of copper ranks, you're so good at flattering your client. You're trying to get a good impression so that you would receive more rewards right? Or else you wouldn't try to get close to something like…"
I need to shut him up.
He didn't mind, but he decided that it wasn't something that Shayna should listen to, so he grabbed the log that she was sitting against with one hand and lifted it up.
He was about to throw it in Klaus' direction, but something flew past him before he could let it go.
Loren froze and watched Klaus be hit square in the face by the object and fall onto his back.
As he slowly lowered the log, he saw that the object that flew past him was a piece of firewood.
Then he also found out that it was Lapis who threw it with all her strength.
Ange and Roll rushed to Klaus' side.
The knight named Layla glared at Lapis but immediately looked away.
"Lapis, is it okay if I look over?"
The knight's face was full of fear.
Loren took one look and was able to identify it.
Loren stood between Lapis and Shayna to block her view and asked Lapis, and she gave a cheerful reply.
"There's no problem at all. You can come over with Shayna."
Shayna couldn't see Lapis because Loren was in the way.
As she looked up to Loren, confused, he patted her head to let her know that everything was all right, and decided that he would never ever try to guess what the knight saw behind his back.
Hey guys Kaoto here.
Made some questionable decisions this past weekend that may or may not have long lasting consequences…