HWTR – Chapter 16 – I Like Humans


Traveling with multiple parties usually involves either walking or transportation by carriage. Of course, there were exceptions, especially when facing urgent matters.

In such cases, it’s not the Adventurers Association, but the [Kingdom of Reinella], that sends out adventurers as clients. This gives them access to transportation via magic cast by the [Kingdom’s Magic Corps].

However, the kingdom is not involved in the recent incident concerning Dungeon X. Certainly, reports like “An anomaly has occurred in Dungeon X. It may be related to the resurrection of the demon lord from 120 years ago,” would have been submitted from the Adventurers Association to the kingdom. Nevertheless, it’s merely an anomaly that doesn’t exceed the realm of possibility. Furthermore, there is currently no crisis or damage. Therefore, the kingdom does not step forward, and thus, the [Kingdom’s Magic Corps] doesn’t have to help.

Thus, I found myself inside the carriage box.

There’s a technique to sit in a jostling box without hurting your butt or lower back. And I happen to be good at grasping such techniques that make me comfortable. So, I was planning to teach the people riding along with me, but everyone seemed to have already mastered it. Well, of course, they would.

About an hour had passed since departure.

There were a total of four carriages. Two for [Last Puzzle] and two for [Double Stardust]. The formation consisted of carriages from [Double Stardust] at the front and rear with [Last Puzzle] sandwiched in between. The arrangement was all under the direction of Hoodie-kun while Pupumuru-chan seemed to have no particular objections as she nodded along.

And as for which carriage I was intruding upon, well, naturally, it was at the rear. In other words, it was with [Double Stardust]. …Unfortunately, Hoodie-kun wasn’t here. He’s in the carriage at the front.

So, I was with two adventurers from [Double Stardust]. Both of them were friendly guys. They were about the same age as Hoodie-kun, which means they were both younger than me.

One of them had just stepped outside the carriage and settled onto the driver’s seat.

That left just me and the other adventurer. …He was the complete opposite of Hoodie-kun, with fiery red hair cascading down his shoulders like the last rays of the sun before sunset. His somewhat androgynous appearance was the polar opposite of Hoodie-kun’s youthful masculinity, which I found amusing.

According to the introductions, he seemed to be the vice leader. His name was Rodin-kun. Yeah. That’s a good name!

So, feeling somewhat awkward, I decided to strike up a conversation with him.

“You know, on days when I don’t have any plans, I like to leisurely go outside, lie down on a bench in a park or somewhere, and yawn while basking in the sunlight filtering through the leaves of the trees.” (Saburo)

“…Eh. Ah. Is that so? …Yawning?” (Rodin)

“Yeah, yawning. I make big ones, like ‘fuwaaa,’ so big that tears come out.” (Saburo)

“By the way, is there a reason why it has to be a yawn?” (Rodin)

“Not really. I just like to relax, you know.” (Saburo)

“I see. Is that so.” (Rodin)

“Yeah, that’s right. But just as much as that, I like humans.” (Saburo)

“Aren’t you a human?” (Rodin)

“Yeah. I like humans.” (Saburo)

I spoke from the bottom of my heart. However, Rodin-kun tilted his head as if he couldn’t understand.

Well, it was a reaction I’m used to. Saying “I like humans” usually leads to this kind of response. Maybe it’s not that they can’t understand, but rather it’s a phrase that perplexes them. So what? I might think something like that in my mind.

The carriage jolted sharply.

Inside my backpack, the tools made a loud noise.

I glanced out of the carriage window for a moment.

Green.

Forests.

It seemed like the carriage had entered the [Yoimai Forest] from the eastern plains of the kingdom. However, there was still a long way to go. It would probably be nighttime by the time we reached [Toto Dungeon]. That means we’ll have to camp somewhere along the way. Well, I suppose we can leave that decision to Hoodie-kun. He’s a capable leader and most likely a skilled hero too.

And then I returned my gaze to Rodin-kun.

“Well, you see, I’m the kind of person who doesn’t intend to get involved in trouble willingly. As you know, today I plan to stay in the back and just blend into the background… So, with that in mind, can I ask you something?” (Saburo)

“Y-Yes.” (Rodin)

“Why is Hoodie-kun so obsessed with being a leader?” (Saburo)

If he doesn’t know, it’s fine to leave it at that. I won’t ask any further.

But…

I looked at Rodin-kun. I saw him blink quickly and shift his gaze as if he was unsettled. I saw his fingers tighten. I can see through his agitation. And Rodin-kun noticed it too. He noticed that I was analyzing him.

So, I won’t deceive him.

“…Well, you know, it’s not like I hate Hoodie-kun or anything.” (Saburo)

Just to make it clear. Of course, that’s the truth. As I mentioned earlier, I like humans. In the twenty-three years of my life, I’ve met and interacted with many people, but there are hardly any people I dislike. I don’t dislike Hoodie-kun either. If anything, I quite like him.

“But I’m just curious, you know? I don’t want problems to surface later on. So, if you can, I’d like you to tell me more about it… What do you think?” (Saburo)

After my somewhat pleading request, Rodin-kun paused for a moment and then nodded.

And he said.

“…Actually, the two of us are childhood friends… But, there used to be three of us. One of them… left adventuring because of an injury… And he feels responsible for that.” (Rodin)


TL Notes:

Thanks for reading!

Idk man, I feel like the possible resurrection of the demon lord is something to be on alert about. I mean, yeh sure, if you say that Hitler will be resurrected, people will think your crazy. But they live in a world of magic.

I wouldn’t be surprised if he wasn’t a human or something since he’s the MC.


Footnote:

  1. None
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