We had been traveling for an hour.
It was not as boring as I imagined
As the son of a nobleman, I had led a decent life. That's why I've never ridden in a carriage like this.
My older brother Marks always despised carpooling like in a cattle carriage, but there was nothing wrong with being in a carriage with strangers.
A merchant was telling stories of a city in the south. There was a race called desert elves, and although they were elves, their skin was dark.
And the old women who traveled with us shared some of their fruits.
The oranges were very special as they can be divided into different portions and are very sweet and tasty. Plus, they look like they are frozen, which was the perfect food in this hot and humid transport.
Leah, for example, had never eaten it.
"I've never tasted anything as good as this!"
She rolled her eyes.
Marie did the same.
"I feel like my taste buds are having a party!"
Marie was equally ecstatic.
The old woman seemed to feel the same way, and asked me a question with a smile.
"What kind of relationship do you have with these two? I don't mean to be rude, but you don't seem like the kind of person who would have a formal relationship with either of these two beautiful girls."
True, I have the appearance of a traveling swordsman, a profession that has nothing to do with maidens.
On the other hand, Marie and Leah both also wore hoods, so their noble appearance was not very visible. Unless she had a conversation with both of them and could tell their true nature just from that.
They seem to be having some trouble, so it will be better if I speak for them.
"I'm taking them up north, there are plenty of jobs for them there."
''Oh, I see. Is this hooded girl going to be a maid too?''
"Yes. She will be a maid for a merchant family. Marie was originally a maid in a southern city, but she changed jobs. Leah is her cousin, and she thought it was a good opportunity to work together.''
"I see, that's quite a feat for someone so young.''
The old woman seems to have been convinced.
Leah and Marie were surprised.
When I finished my conversation with the old woman, Leah turned to me.
''Licht-Sama, that was amazing. You're very clever to be able to create a fake story so quickly.''
''It's no big deal.''
"You really are amazing. You have the talent to become a writer.''
"A writer's job is to make up stories. Maybe you're right.''
I've been pretending to be something I'm not since I was a kid. I have been hiding my talent from the world. A writer is a profession that flaunts talent, but it's also a profession that utilizes lies. It might be perfect for me, now that I'm free of the Estark family stigma.
As I mutter to myself, "I'll buy manuscript paper when I find a place to live in the northern city," I noticed something strange.
I heard some noise ahead of me.
The three carriages were lined up, and although we were in the back, the two in front seemed to have stopped. It seems that the first carriage has a problem with its wheels.
They wanted the men to help lift the carriage for repairs.
But before I did anything, I needed Leah's permission to help them.
Leah nodded her head slightly.
"Please go, Licht-Sama.''
I got out of the carriage and approached the men who were trying to lift the first wagon.
We all worked together to lift it, while another group of men tried to repair the wheel that came off, but it wouldn't fit.
I helped put the wheel on, but then I noticed something strange.
The functionality of the wheel is a bit off.
I am the son of a nobleman, but I am somewhat familiar with mechanics. Because I am a bastard, I was forced to do the kind of work that servants do. I didn't mind those jobs, and I often worked hard with the servants. And that meant that I was also the one who was in charge of repairing the carriages. That's when I learned the structure of a carriage, but normally the wheels of a carriage don't break this way.
(...It's as if someone had removed it on purpose).
The point is that it is not damaged, it just looks like the wheel has been dislodged to make it look broken.
That assumption would be the correct one, but the question is: why did they do it? It is the owner of these carriages who will be in trouble if anything goes wrong.
With this thought in my mind, I fixed the wheel.
There wasn't enough stuff to use as a lift for the carriage's body, so instead of a stand, I used an ice pillar that I emerged from the ground. The people around me were amazed at my speed and magical application.
"It's something no aristocrat would have thought of."
The magician accompanying us said, "I could have thought of this too!", I didn't respond to his words, as I didn't want to hurt the pride of the man who was risking his life to take care of us.
Once the wheel was set, one of the drivers recommended that one of the carriages go ahead on the trip, as it would take time to check for and fix any other imperfections. And he pointed to the carriage where Leah and Marie were.
I then looked at the two girls.
Fate placed the lives of these two women in my hands.
Maybe this accident was done on purpose, and the initial purpose was to divide people on this trip.
They indicated that all the men were to stay here to help repair the carriages, while all the women were to follow the route.
I didn't like this idea at all. I knew there were hidden intentions behind those words.
I watched Leah with these words in mind. Will she be aware of the true intentions of these people with all that is going on?
She is a good girl, and does not usually have malicious thoughts in her head.
Leah nodded her head. Her eyes showed seriousness.
She doesn't seem to have grasped the situation because of this accident, but she did through my gaze.
It is likely that she read the unusual environment and sensed danger.
And if that wasn't enough, Marie's expression was also the same.
These girls have probably gazed at danger right in the eye many times before they met me.
Maybe they're so used to such rough situations that they can sense a crisis from a distance.
I am sure they went through some very difficult times, and they must rely on me to keep them safe.
With this thought in mind, I climbed into the carriage in which Leah and Marie were riding.
The coachman said; "I would like you to stay like the rest of the men and help repair the damage."
With a serious and intimidating tone I replied; "that ice pillar won't melt for another two days, I don't have time to wait."
The coachman fell silent.
He probably thought that someone like me would not interfere with his operation, and let me climb aboard.
I silently sat down next to Leah.