It was finally here. The opening hostilities of my first battle.
The distance to the goblin is about 20 meters.
They come straight in.
My bullets will reach them now but I’ll wait a little more without being impatient.
A little more………
The bullets hit the goblin without missing.
One collapsed to the floor.
There was another goblin coming straight at me but now
“Oi! Be careful!”
Where is the enemy?
…….There! It’s squatting down by the wall.
It’s gloomy and I can’t see well.
Whats it doing?
Is that a bow?
When I felt the danger it was already flying straight towards me.
If the arrow had hit its original destination it would have pierced my head, however, Lot-san moved at high speed and grabbed it out of the air.
The inside of my head has gone blank.
If not for Lot-san I’d have died.
“You haven’t finished yet.”
I come back to my senses at Lot-sans words but my body refuses to move.
The goblin is about to shoot its next arrow. It hasn’t moved.
I understand with my head but my body refuses to listen.
Suddenly my body is pushed from behind and I fall to the floor.
“Lie down and shoot. Lying down you are harder to hit.”
As Lot-san was speaking the arrow flew over my head.
“As I said.”
It’s very difficult to aim at someone on the floor.
You probably won’t hit them unless you fire several shots.
Calm down and aim
I’ve hit it but it’s still standing.
Appraisal…….yes! HP 0
I take a deep breath.
Confirming the battles end Clyde raises his voice.
“Alright, it’s over. As you all know, using a bow or magic can be very troublesome for your enemy but that same rule applies to your enemy as well. A balanced party is feared by the enemy. That’s were formations come in……..”
Clyde’s lecture continues but I don’t really hear it.
I don’t want the others to see my hands shaking so I’ve got my arms folded.
“Ossan that was dangerous.” Jean says to me while grinning.
I pretended I was listening to Clyde and ignored him.
Now my fear has passed, frustration has risen to take its place.
“Erm, Ippei-san…… No, it’s nothing.”
It was nice of Meg to talk to me but I said nothing.
I wonder if I look miserable?
…..Alright. Deep breath.
Let’s change my feeling over and reflect on this.
I smile at Meg and nod.
My failure this time was that both me and Gobu were at range.
It would have been much better if I had Gobu attack first.
It might be better in the future to give Gobu a shield since his attack is low anyway.
Next time lets look at Gobu moving in with a shield while I attack from the rear.
The curtain closed on my first battle with me reflecting.
In the labyrinth its easy to lose track of time.
Above ground the sound of bells from churches and public buildings let you know what time it is. Clocks allow you to manage the pace of your day and this is a comfortable way for humans to live.
Not so for the labyrinth.
An adventurer without a wristwatch or pocket watch has to decide their own pace with just their senses and this is very difficult for beginners.
I wonder how difficult life would be if we didn’t have clocks?
Still more so in the labyrinth.
“It’ll be evening soon.” Lot-san says out of nowhere like usual.
Is it that time already?
Though I was tired I still didn’t really get it.
Clyde raised his voice
“We’ll prepare our camp and stop here in this room tonight.”
All the new faces sighed in relief.
Because its autumn the labyrinth can get quite cold so we set up a campfire.
I was wondering about the oxygen levels but it seemed okay.
Smoke rises to the ceiling and just disappears as if it had been sucked in by something.
The labyrinth apparently absorbs smoke.
I had the monopoly on cooking. I made a minestrone-style soup with dried meat and vegetables along with an oat gruel.
Due to the limited ingredients, I couldn’t cook anything special so I paid extra attention to the level of heat and seasoning.
I had brought along an extra sharp knife because the sharper the knife the less bruising you do to vegetables when cutting them so the taste comes out better.
Even the usually taciturn Bonnie clapped me on the shoulder and said [It was delicious] which made me happy.
Before going to bed I cleaned myself with life magic.
“Please do me as well.” Jean started making a fuss so I did everyone in the end.
I was surprised to see Lot-san line up as well but it was interesting. He seems to like things being in order.
Perhaps because Lot-san lined up both Bonnie and Clyde also lined up.
Clyde was impressed that it got out all the goblin blood from his shirt.
There were 2 people on lookout and the rest went to bed.
The two people on watch have a 1-hour hourglass and the watch team change every 2 hours.
A cloak is a really great thing when camping out as I discovered when sleeping out in the open on my journey to Nepia.
This particular labyrinths floor is stone so it deprives you of your body heat.
Without my cloak, I doubt I’d have slept much.
As soon as I wrapped myself up I fell asleep.
4 hours later I was shaken awake by Jean who was rubbing his eyes.
“Ossan, it’s your turn.”
It seems my watch partner is Meg.
“Good morning Ippei-san.” Meg calls out to me in a whisper.
I returned the greeting and added more wood to the fire.
“Aren’t you sleepy?”
“I’m fine. I’m more nervous than I thought. I woke up immediately.”
“That so? I’m still tired so I might fall asleep. I could do with some talkative company to keep me awake.”
This is nice.
The fire crackles in the open air while the flames make shapes on the walls.
When travelling with Patty there was only the 2 of us so I never had company on watch duty.
“It was a varied day today.”
“Aah. I almost died. If Lot-san wasn’t there I’d have died.”
“That surprised me.”
“I thought I had prepared so well and even gone beyond but I was too optimistic.”
I could only smile bitterly.
“I’m the same. We fought 3 against 2 but none of us had an enemy that fought at range. If that had happened I’m not sure what would………”
“Well. I’ll change my strategy and try again.”
“……..Ippei-san. Why do you want to be an adventurer?”
“Ippei-san isn’t suited to be an adventurer. You are good at cooking and can use life magic. You have so many employment opportunities.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. With your talent, you could get employment in any noble’s house and be treated very well.”
“Maybe so…..I used to work for a company that handled food. It was quite a big company and I managed to get them to hire me. Though it proved worthwhile in all honesty, I was just working to live.”
“So does everyone generally……”
“I suppose. On a certain day, I had an accident. I guess I was close to death? Maybe I did die but anyway it was serious and I ended up drifting to Nepia.”
“You were seriously injured?”
“Un. Fortunately, I’m in perfect health now so I thought let’s use this life to do what I want and be the adventurer I always longed for.”
*Bachi* the firewood popped making a loud sound.
“….All my life I wanted to be an adventurer. Besides, there’s nothing else I can do……I still don’t really get it though. Why Ippei-san wants to be an adventurer.”
“Even I can’t really explain it. I guess because I want to do it, I will do it.”
“What would you do if you died? It was really dangerous today.”
“Yeah. Just remembering it makes me tremble. What I do know though is that I am more happy as an adventurer than I ever would be as a chef or a servant.”
“Are you happy?”
“Un. People should pursue their own happiness. I had to be close to death to understand that. Of course, you must trouble others though. Are you happy?”
“Meg works as an adventurer for her family. Meg’s happiness is that her family are smiling, so I also work as an adventurer for my own happiness as well.”
“I see. I understand but at the same time I don’t”
“I don’t really get it either.”
We laughed together and turned the hourglass over.