The Darkness Was Comfortable for Me - Chapter 202
I don’t know if it was because we had a good teacher, but our horse riding practice went well.
The teacher was Rifreya.
As expected of a girl from a distinguished family. It seems like she was taught horse riding pretty strictly.
The reality is that she not only can run normally, but make jumps too. She is pretty skilled.
Jeanne unexpectedly likes animals and was optimistic about horse riding in itself, but her affinity with horses is…or more like, there was a horse that really disliked having Jeanne ride it. We had a really hard time.
It is most likely…no, it is most definitely because of Hated One.
A Hated One has a special constitution that makes them be hated by Spirits, not be able to use Spirit Abilities, moreover, Spirit Abilities don’t work on them.
Jeanne purposely chose this when she transferred here.
According to Rifreya, Hated Ones are more hated the lower the chaotic rate of the creature.
Within the horses that we rented, the one that was fine with Jeanne riding it was a horse with black mane, and white and tea body color. It is apparently a horse that has a strong mix of Darkness, Light, and Earth Spirit Elements, so it certainly does seem that the more ‘chaotic rate’ you have, the more resistant they are to Hated Ones.
On the other hand, the pure white horse didn’t even want to get close to Jeanne.
I was loved by all the horses.
…Well, Demon Lords like me in the bad sense of the word, so that’s probably how it is. It doesn’t have an embarrassing name like Loved One just for show.
By the way, humans are chaotic beings to begin with, so the debuff of Jeanne has practically no effect on them.
The cat humans that are the Lynxes are the best example of this. Grapefull is fine with Jeanne, and she recently even shows signs of being happy when petted.
“Horses are cute.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne brushes the white tea patterned neck of the horse while having it run the open space outskirts at a slightly fast pace.
We may call it a journey, but it is not one that we are hurried with, so it might be dangerous to do so when our technique is still questionable. There’s the need to learn how to make them run at full power at necessary times.
“Let’s practice cantering tomorrow. You can’t do cantering yet, right, Hikaru?” (Rifreya)
“Yeah, what I learned on the other side was called trot, but that’s it. I have not practiced actually making it run.” (Hikaru)
“Understood. If possible, I would like you guys to learn all the way to sprinting, so let’s do our best.” (Rifreya)
I learned a bit of horse riding by hanging out with Celica, but I just got to trotting…to a degree where I can make it walk quickly to the direction I want. Sprinting…is probably galloping in horse riding terms, but I am far from that level.
There might be cases when we will be chased by troublesome monsters or bandits.
Whether we can escape at full power in those cases will be important.
If the opponent is a monster, it would be one thing, but in the case it is bandits, I don’t think I would be able to kill them. If so, it would be better to run away.
“But, Rifreya, how long will it take until we manage that sprinting?” (Hikaru)
“If it is you and Jeanne-san, I would say it won’t take even 10 days. Of course, that’s if you practice a whole lot every day though.” (Rifreya)
“Every day, huh. I feel like the horses would be dropping first…” (Hikaru)
“I figured that could happen, so I have rented a number of them for the morning and afternoon. Totally prepared. We have the coin after all! Coin!” (Rifreya)
Rifreya has become someone who does the talking with money, but well, we do have gold.
The job of digging out Spirit Stones from dungeons is dangerous but the return is big because of it.
Even in Japan, it is said that coal mining was really profitable in the past. It is probably similar to that. There’s the demerit of food expenses increasing as your Tier increases though.
“Speaking of which, are we going to buy horses for our journey?” (Hikaru)
“Of course, we will. If you are fine with a carriage, that’s also an option.” (Rifreya)
“No, we are practicing horse riding here already. Also, carriages are slow, right?” (Hikaru)
“Not to the point of calling it slow, but it might be boring. Also, we will need to cross the sea, so it would be better to go with horses. However, if we are going to get the horses on board, we will need coin for it. It might be better to go on foot to the harbor and get horses on the other side… We do have the coin, so maybe there’s no need for all of that?” (Rifreya)
“You are thinking about it a lot.” (Hikaru)
“You and Jeanne-san don’t know about this side of things, so I have to be the one to do it.” (Rifreya)
“It really helps out.” (Hikaru)
Actually, Jeanne and I are complete foreigners.
We don’t know much about the rules of this world.
According to Rifreya, outside the Dungeon City, a Gold Rank tag holds quite the power, so our journey should go pretty smoothly just from having that.
“Reya, we are wrapping things up in around 7 days even if that isn’t enough time for practice. The messaging system will be coming back, and there’s a dangerous fellow approaching this city after all. Calculating all that, I would like to depart around 8 days later.” (Hikaru)
I told this to Jeanne who returned after riding around the open space.
Her ears are astoundingly good. Does she have the Hearing Up Gift?
“No problem. There isn’t that much preparation to be done anyways. Hikaru will be the one carrying the luggage after all.” (Rifreya)
“Let’s ready some weapon spares just in case. Even some random stuff would be better than not having anything.” (Jeanne)
“Yeah, I would like a Spirit Tool that lets out water as well.” (Rifreya)
Rifreya and Jeanne were talking about the travel preparations.
Shadow Storage is useful on a whole other level in long journeys.
Food, sleeping bags, tableware, pots, and even a tent can be stored.
There’s no need to carry valuables with us, so the chances of us being targeted by bandits is low. There’s no need to worry about thieves when staying at an inn on the road either.
Money is heavy if you are carrying it, but inside the shadow, it is weightless. Dark Spirit Abilities might be the most practical and handy ones.
6th day of not going into the dungeon and practicing horse riding.
We will be departing the day after tomorrow.
Jeanne and I have improved quite a bit.
With my improved physical strength and my previous experience, and most of all, the cooperation of the horse, made this result possible. If it is a straight line, I can manage sprinting…galloping.
Even if I were to fall, as long as I don’t fall in quite the bad spot I won’t be dying (thanks to my Tier), so it lessened the fear.
“…Hm? Someone is coming.” (Rifreya)
The first one to notice was Rifreya.
The place we are practicing horse riding is an open field with nothing around and there have been barely any people passing here.
Even if they did pass by, they were dressed in a way that you can tell that they are natives, so we weren’t bothered too much about it.
“That’s…the man that was with the masked man, Ferdinand, I think?” (Hikaru)
There was still distance, but there’s no doubt he is the 2nd group Chosen I saw that day.
“Is he that guy?” (Jeanne)
“Yeah, it seems like he is alone though.” (Hikaru)
It seems like he is not together with the masked man today.
But what business does he have with us all by himself?
“Jeanne, do you think he will attack us?” (Hikaru)
“Who knows… It is an open space and not many passersby. Even if he were to use a gun that makes loud sounds, there wouldn’t be any issues, so it wouldn’t be a bad place to perform a perfect crime, but…we have 3 people here. Also, we are wary of them. He probably should know that, by the time he kills one of us, his own head will be flying.” (Jeanne)
“Then, it is not an attack.” (Hikaru)
“If you think normally…but we don’t know if he is normal just from his appearance. We don’t know if he has…a grudge on me or you after all… When you have over 1 billion viewers, that’s how it goes. John and Darrell were killed by fans after all.” (Jeanne) [Most likely referring to John Lennon and Dimebag Darrell.]
I have heard that, if you stand out in social media, you get a lot of comments from weird guys.
We are the worldwide version of that. Even if 99.9% of them are normal, it would mean that 0.1% of 1 billion is…1 million weirdos.
We can’t say for sure that there’s no such people mixed in the 2nd Chosen group.
There’s the choice of running away, but we have the rented horses.
Also, I am a bit interested in why he would come all alone.
Ferdinand was slowly walking our way on foot.
I don’t know if it is to lower our caution or he is always like that, but he looks like he is unarmed.
There’s the chance he is hiding a gun, so it would be bad to relax here.
I summoned the Dark Knight. It is to serve as a shield in case of anything.
“Hey, Hikaru and Jeanne-san, why are you so on guard here? I uhm…think about this every time I hear about this 2nd group, but aren’t they all normal humans?” (Rifreya)
“Reya, that’s a big mistake. We don’t know what kind of power they are hiding, and no idea what they have brought with them. Most of all, we don’t know what they will pull off. Those guys know about us one-sidedly, and we don’t know what kind of emotions they hold towards us… That’s the kind of situation it is. Of course we will be on guard.” (Jeanne)
Jeanne speaks all that out really fast. I agree with most of that too.
On top of that, there was the matter with Nanami, so the chances that they want to kill me are high.
Nanami has come back to life, but there’s no assurance that she has memories of the murder or if she managed to properly give a testimony.
“Hmmm…then, how about I drive him away?” (Rifreya)
“No, don’t. It is dangerous. Not even you are safe, Rifreya. Just as we have told you many times already, just as I have been watched, you have been watched too.” (Hikaru)
“Then, what do we do?” (Rifreya)
“…I will deal with this.” (Hikaru)
I am the only one who has met Ferdinand.
By the way, the more he approached, the more withdrawn Jeanne got.
I can really tell that she isn’t good at dealing with strangers.
More so when it is a man like this that gets aggressively involved with others even in this parallel world.
Ferdinand approached us without hesitation and spoke.
“And here I was wondering who it was. So it was you, Hikaru-san. Do you remember me? I am Ferdinand, the one Worigami-san introduced you to. Fufu, there’s no need to be so on guard, you know?” (Ferdinand)
Ferdinand said this at a slightly distanced location.
He really looks like a noble as always.
Is he trimming himself even in this adventurer city? His blonde hair is glossy and his attire is still clean.
“…What do you want, coming all the way here?” (Hikaru)
“I was looking at the map, and it seemed like Chosen were at a distant location from the city lately, so I was wondering what they were doing. It is called curiosity. And so, what were you all doing? From what I can see, horse riding?” (Ferdinand)
“…That’s right.” (Hikaru)
I feel no hostility.
No…in the first place, I don’t think I have sensed ‘hostility’ from a person with my body before.
But I have fought many monsters on a daily basis, and I could tell by instinct that this man is not a threat.
Of course, if he has a gun, that’s a different story though. Bring out a gun, aim, and shoot… It shouldn’t be impossible to restrain the other party while they are doing the motions for that.
Thinking that way, I managed to relax a bit.
He is alone.
It would be a lie if I said I wasn’t worried and looked at the map to check.
All of the dots in Meltia are overlapped, so I can only see 1 dot in the world map, however, we are in an open space here which is an exception.
This guy might have the High Efficiency Map of the Surroundings.