As his departure was before lunch, Souta can’t stand his hunger anymore and takes out the lunchbox Miri gave him.
In the lunchbox, there are meat hotdogs where the baked meat is squeezed between bread.
Each one is quite large and there are three packed inside.
For the seasoning of the meat, spices and salty-and-sweet sauce were used. The sauce fits well with the vegetables that are also sandwiched with the meat.
As he bites into it, a compliment leaks out naturally.
Souta considers it the tastiest hot dog he’s ever had.
In Japan, cooking technology is already developed, and materials and seasonings are diverse, but Gordon’s outstanding skill makes up for that.
Souta finishes it all in no time despite the size.
Gordon knows Souta’s reaction to each meal when he stayed in the inn from Miri, so he chose this menu because he knew Souta would like it.
After finishing his meal, Souta takes out Ed’s meal from the bag.
「Ed, endure it with this for now.」
Souta throws the fruit he just took out to Ed, who catches it skillfully with his mouth.
After they repeat that several times, Ed’s meal is also finished.
As they stumble on a big tree along the highway, Souta stops the carriage to take a break in the shade.
「Ed, thanks for the hard work, let’s take a short break.」
Since several hours have passed since they left the city, they take a rest to fill their stomachs.
Souta takes out of his dimensional storage the buckets from the mansion, and he fills them with Ed’s food and water.
While glancing at Ed who’s in the middle of his meals, Souta eats the cookie he got from Elina.
「Yumm, it’s delicious. If only I had some black tea or hot milk … I wonder if cold milk is good.」
Souta takes out the bottled milk and pours it into the glass.
After resting for a while, they depart again.
Their pace isn’t too fast. They go at a speed that doesn’t burden Ed.
The number of people that come and go to the country of elves seems very low, as they don’t pass anyone while traveling.
But just to be sure, in the evening, they move slightly off the road and sleep in the tent.
Continuing the journey like that for a few days, they arrive at the forest.
「According to the book I read at a library, the Country of Elves is beyond the valley after this forest…」
The trees of the forest in front of them are thick and dense, while it got dark and heavy atmosphere surrounding it.
「Is it because the forest is unmaintained that no sunlight can pass through the foliage? Or…」
Compared to other places, the forest is covered by a thick essence of magic, and even with presence perception, Souta is unable to feel the presence inside of the forest clearly.
Souta shows a dubious expression from the disturbing atmosphere that’s in the forest.
「… Well, nothing to consider, I won’t be able to get there without passing this forest after all.」
To make sure, Souta arms himself with an iron sword and gives Ed body strengthening.
As they enter the forest, they are surrounded by darkness as if it were nighttime.
Souta takes out the lanterns he bought and hangs them near the coachman seat and near Ed’s head.
Even with the lantern, they can only hear a crying voice from afar occasionally, but there is no sign of anything coming close.
Although it’s an eerie forest, the journey progresses smoothly without any monster shows up, but suddenly the sound which breaks the silence of the forest comes heading directly at Souta.
Whether they are being chased by something, or just being in a hurry, but they keep hurrying the horse by whipping it.
When the distance is close enough for Souta and Ed to see the shape of the thing that approaching, the right wheel of the approaching carriage comes off after making loud clattering voice. [t/n: i actually want to make both objects to become ‘thing’ instead of carriage, it’s not mentioned after all]
It seems to be because heavy loads are applied to the axle when they try to go faster despite the age of the carriage.
As the balance collapses, the horses together with the carriage fall down sideways.
Souta and Ed approach the carriage in hurry.
Then two men come out of the fallen carriage, while another man who falls from coachman seat stands up and rubbing his own body.
「Are you okay?」
Souta gets off his carriage and asks.
The three men all have beards and look like thieves.
After they nod to each other, they prepare their weapons.
「Oi, hand over that carriage to us!」
The man who seems to be their leader points his sword at Souta and says that in a threatening voice.
「Haa, this again…… I feel some sympathy that your carriage broke, but that doesn’t mean I’ll pass my carriage to you. I’ll overlook you guys, so just move away quickly.」
Souta shrugs and says that in amazement.
「You, seems like you don’t understand the situation. Oy, you guys, do it!」
「「 Ooo !! 」」
Although they attack Souta together, it has far less precision and teamwork than the three brothers from the guild, and their attack doesn’t even pose a threat to Souta.
Souta doesn’t pull his sword. As he avoids their attack, Souta hits the back of their necks one by one.
The leader is surprised that the other two were disabled in an instant. By the time he grasps the situation, Souta is already behind him. That man faints just like his subordinates.
「Hmmm, this can be a problem. Now then, I will do this, and, there.」
Unable to leave them as it is, Souta binds them with a rope from dimensional storage and leans them against nearby trees.
After finishing that, Souta approaches the broken carriage.
The carriage collapses in the middle of the road, so it needs to be moved if Souta wants to pass through.
When he tries to put his hands on the carriage, he notices a groaning sound from inside.
「Anyone in here?」
When Souta peeks inside the carriage, he sees an unconscious child that’s gagged and tied.
The child has pointed ears, the characteristic of elves.
「Sigh, kidnappers. These fellows got me involved in trouble even before entering the country …」
Souta closes his eyes and looks up.
t/n: i’m very sorry it’s late (though you guys might don’t mind it), anyway, i was getting an emergency summon, just half hours before release,
anyway, in return, let me make a pun joke
what do you think will happen if Satou and Souta are in the same title? It’s working.
sorry if it’s not funny, also, try to guess the gender of the child
Editor’s Note: “Souta […] looks up” despite having his eyes closed. Just imagine one of those sad anime scenes where a character tilts their head back and lets the rain fall on their face. Except in this case it’s just a replacement for a facepalm.