Since I got the ticket for the trip early, I had a lot of free time.
The carriage takes approximately one hour to arrive.
I would like to kill some time, but this place is a small town at the entrance of the road. There are no places for sightseeing. My only choice was to sit on a bench in the town square.
When I look at the sky, I see that the clouds are plentiful.
Clouds that look like cotton candy pass by. When I was a kid, I remember my little sister begging to eat cotton candy when she saw clouds like that.
As I was reminiscing about my cute but troublesome little sister, a couple of women approached me. There are only two women I know in this town, so I immediately guessed who they were.
They came before me and then bowed their heads even deeper than before.
"Thank you very much for earlier, Um..."
The soft voice of the hooded girl reaches my ears. I'm sure the reason she stumbled with her words in the end is because she doesn't know my name.
"My name is Licht."
When I said my name, the girls did not immediately respond with theirs. Apparently, they want to continue their journey while hiding, especially the hooded girl.
Well, the maid, Marie, is the exception, since I heard her name before, but with regards to the other girl, she seems to be a bit cautious.
"If you don't want to say your names, why don't you use fake ones?
They looked at each other like; "Oh, that's a good idea!". Apparently, they are both rather decent people, as it didn't occur to them to pretend to be someone they aren't.
The two were still talking to each other, and suddenly the hooded girl took a step forward.
"My name is Leah."
"A beautiful name."
I replied in a gentlemanly manner, and then her maid stepped forward with great pride.
"My name is Marie. I am a maid in the service of Leah-Sama."
"A pleasure to meet you ladies. Sorry about earlier."
"Yes, it was quite troublesome. All our travel money was almost stolen."
"That's the amount you use to travel? That much money would be enough for a commoner to eat for a year."
Leah is surprised and looks at Marie waiting for confirmation of my words. The maid seems to be the one who takes care of all the miscellaneous matters, so she may have a more generalized view of how money is used.
"If you're good at managing money, you can feed yourself for a whole year on just five gold coins."
Unworldly, Leah was amazed that she hadn't heard of this, but she didn't want to be thought of as unworldly. She cleared her throat and said; "Ah, indeed."
"Of course I knew that. I was testing your common sense. Besides, travel money is a figure of speech. I misspoke."
At the time I thought she was a lovely woman, but I guess they think they owe me something.
"Ladies, I am flattered by your thanks, but there is no need for you to do it again, you have already done so at the carriage establishment. Any man would have acted the same in such circumstances."
"That is not true. As proof of that, all the men who were in the facility did nothing. The only one who wanted to help us was Licht-Sama."
"It was just a coincidence."
Despite my answers, the girls didn't seem to be convinced, they think I'm someone nice and different.
"Marie and I were moved when we saw Licht-sama. At the same time, we had a revelation. Would you be so kind as to accompany us to the northern city?"
"You're going to the northern city too? Well, I guess that's what everyone's here for."
"Yes, that's why we're here."
''Alright, this world gets to be a bit cruel, so I'll take it upon myself to escort you to the northern city.''
Leah's face breaks into a smile at my words. She smiles as if a flower has bloomed.
She was very beautiful, but unlike Leah, Marie's expression was different. At first I thought she didn't like the idea of me accompanying them, but apparently that wasn't the case. There might be the possibility of bandits attacking the carriages we were going to, and she was worried about this trip.
"...I would prefer to use the city road instead of the trail."
"The bridge over that road has been washed away by the heavy rains, so we have no choice."
Luckily, there are mercenaries guarding the carriages, so we can cross the mountains without incident.
Of course, there was no certainty or guarantee, but there was no need to scare Leah and Marie.
While I was reassuring the girls with my optimism, the carriage owner's voice resounds.
"The shared carriages~! The shared carriages have come~!"
The tone of his voice was so high that it echoed in the area. I thought he was like an opera singer.
We headed straight for the carriage.
There were three shared carriages. Each is designed to transport about 10 people. Probably because it is necessary to transport people all at once for the convenience of hiring mercenaries to protect them. In fact, there were more than 30 passengers lined up in front of the carriage.
I got in the same car with Leah and Marie. I then took them to the back so they wouldn't be in contact with any other men, and I stood next to them. It was a casual gesture, but Marie seemed to notice.
''As expected from a person of Licht-sama's caliber. I thank you for your gentlemanly consideration.''
She said in a whisper.
I let myself be carried away by the movement of the carriage, with nothing else on my mind.