“Let me drive the carriage.”
It was Bratt Lloyd who volunteered to drive the carriage when the four of them decided to divide the tasks Kuvar usually did.
He thought he was the most stable one because he usually sat next to Kuvar, who was their normal coachman, and because he often rode on horses as a child.
And he was pretty much right.
“You! Do it right!”
“It is my first time driving a carriage. Wait until I get used to it.”
Although the ride was worse than Kuvar’s, Bratt wasn’t that bad.
Judith, who kept grumbling, didn’t say anything after an hour.
But what mattered was Bratt’s sense of direction.
“What? Wasn’t a village supposed to come during lunch?”
“The map must be wrong.”
“The map is wrong? You took the wrong direction!”
“This isn’t as easy as you think. Since the road isn’t a straight one, it is inevitable for some errors to happen, especially when we take so many turns…”
“Dog shit! You bastard! We have to sit through another two hours of journey because of you!”
Seeing Judith and Bratt fight, Kuvar stopped his laughing.
This much was fine.
For the first time in his life, he was inside the carriage, and he thought Bratt would be fine if he looked at the map occasionally.
However, after entering the village, his thoughts changed little by little.
“It’s 32 silver for a room.”
“Ah! Wait! 32 silvers is too expensive for this place!”
Was it because they were all nobles?
Lulu, Bratt, and Ilya’s sense of money was ridiculous!
Watching them just nod their heads to any price the opposite person said, Kuvar felt something rise within him.
It wasn’t a matter of wealth or lack of it.
It was unacceptable from his point of view to pay three times the price for anything.
“You don’t get it; this isn’t some big city super luxurious stay. Does it make sense to pay 32 silvers for this room? What is this?”
“Hehe, Miss, you can’t talk to an adult like…”
“What? Adult? Did I say something rude? You bastard! You tried to smooth talk us into…”
However, the bigger problem was Judith, who actually had a sense of money.
And when she was angry, she was the kind to raise her voice.
If it wasn’t for Airn, who intervened rather late, a fight would have broken out, and as this happened several times, Kuvar was beginning to get worried.
However, there was something even more terrible that made all the above ones seem fine.
The cooking skills of Ilya Lindsay.
“Yah! Shit! What shit did you do with the expensive meat!”
“Shit? Why are you talking like that?”
Did she feel bad that the others had tasks and she didn’t?
So, when they knew that they wouldn’t reach a village for the day and were ready to make tents in the evening, Ilya proposed that she would help cook dinner.
And all of them gave her permission to do so despite being concerned at first, and it was because they were just going to grill meat and not cook something difficult.
However, after a short period of time, the sight of the finished food was truly terrifying.
They had bought the best quality meat, but no one knew what the disgusting thing on the plate was.
Bratt, holding the fork and knife, sighed and muttered.
“A goblin’s ass from the netherworld.”
“Right, Bratt! No, I can understand if this was burned. But what the hell did you do to this meat? Please explain the cooking process to me.”
“I didn’t do anything weird. Just washed the meat normally, oiled the pan, and lit the fire…”
“Have you lost it? Why would you wash clean butchered meat in water? And how much oil did you use?”
“Ah, that is the same as not putting any! You just put the meat on a hot pan!”
Ilya looked at Judith as the words which kept coming from her mouth and looked around.
The majestic power of the Champion of the Land of Proof was nowhere to be seen.
Even Airn, her most reliable ally, stabbed the meat a couple times.
And when the knife didn’t go in well, he unconsciously used the Aura Sword with the knife.
“Ah, since you are a Sword Master, you must have deliberately cooked this meat to be this tough.”
Half the meat, which was cut, fell to the floor.
Ilya entered the carriage with a gloomy expression, and Kuvar, who had observed everything from the start, said this once they all came in.
“I will do what I usually do. If I need help, I will ask you from time to time.”
“That would be great.”
All four members of the party immediately answered at the same time, and peace returned to their party again.
Ilya, the precious child of a high-status family, was once again able to spend her time comfortably.
Of course, she wasn’t taking advantage of that.
“… just like I have shown you, using the aura in this way gives you much more versatility.”
“Hm, that I see. But I think it will take some time to master it…”
“Ah, In my case, it feels like pushing water away, and if you do it this way, it gets more…”
“Ah, right. It is definitely easier than before.”
“Ilya? Is this the way?”
Judith, who was the same as always, and Bratt, who led the talk about swords.
Unlike Airn, who took time to adapt, Ilya Lindsay boasted her knowledge about swordsmanship and Aura operation from the start.
Airn helped them and shared the know-how of using the ‘Aura seeing eye,’ and Bratt learned it all like a sponge sucking up water.
Watching that, Judith felt her heart tug.
This was a good thing. Two Sword Masters giving them their knowledge.
Even Bratt was starting to grow now.
Despite not being used to it, Ilya would occasionally throw in some surprising ideas that made even Judith feel proud.
But that was the problem.
The fire inside her was rising in her again.
Hiding that feeling, she did her best.
Not just in swordsmanship, but also in actual matches and tried to keep up with the two… no, three geniuses.
Thanks to that, she felt that her skills which were stagnant for a while, were gradually improving.
“Ahh, now I know for sure. This is how it feels.”
“That method is quite useful, right? It was helpful.”
“Thank you, Bratt.”
The gap wasn’t closed.
‘Don’t worry. Don’t worry about it. I just have to do what I have to.’
‘No, you have to be more wary of it. Be more obsessive and act more.’
‘You think you can catch up with them with your power? Right.’
Constant conflicting concerns.
The pressure she felt kept piling up.
Breaking through it all, Judith tried to go through each day as if nothing had happened.
But sometimes, it wasn’t easy to put up with the rising heat and anger.
“Oh, such a precious drink in this small town!”
“I know. Surely… hmm. I haven’t had a proper drink after Ilya joined us.”
“Ah right! Should we hold a welcome party? With this delicious alcohol?”
‘Those crazy drunkards!’
Seeing Kuvar and Bratt talk, Judith felt a surge of anger.
It was strange.
She knew what those two were like, and despite the fact that she too would have a drink or so once in a while…
Seeing them so relaxed made her feel horrible.
But she didn’t say it.
She would have yelled in the past, but now Judith was more mature.
Above all, she knew that there were people who would happily take her anger for her well-being.
Kuvar, who was a real adult, wouldn’t show any discomfort, and Airn was an incredible guy with talent, and looking at him…
There was no way she could take her anger out on that stupidly good guy. And she would definitely never say anything to Lulu.
‘No, don’t even think about it.’
Judith shook her head and looked away.
The curious expression on Ilya’s face as she looked at the alcohol caught her eyes.
‘Right, she is the annoying one.’
It wasn’t as if she hated her or disliked her.
However, compared to the rest, she had little affection for Ilya.
She was the perfect target to relieve herself from the anger.
But she wasn’t aiming for anything serious.
‘… still, a light joke would be fine.’
Judith smiled and said.
“Have you ever had a drink?”
“Really? Then have a sip now.”
“Uh… is that fine? This seems to be a strong one; I don’t know if I can…”
Ilya waved her hand while talking.
Smiling, Judith said.
A word no noble would want to listen to.
And the meaning was very clearly conveyed.
Ilya Lindsay closed her eyes.
And calmed her mind.
She knew that Judith always acted like this.
No, compared to the past when Judith was always annoying and mean, she was cute now.
“… fine. You will drink too, right?”
However, at Judith’s provocation, which happened again, Ilya brought up a task for her too.
Ilya opened her eyes and said.
“Should we make a bet?”
“What? A bet?”
“Right. We drink at the same time. Until one side loses consciousness. wouldn’t that be fun?”
“Haa, you reall…”
“Judith, Ilya. Are you really doing that?”
“Oh-oh! I have seen things like this before! Alcohol fight! Go on!!”
While Lulu and Kuvar watched, Airn and Bratt tried to stop the two.
Judith had always been a weak drinker, then what about Ilya, who was having her first drink today?
Of course, any sane person would try to stop them.
And the guys didn’t try to stop them for that reason alone; they were worried for the two girls, so they felt the bet had to be stopped.
But the moment Ilya said that.
“Fine! This bet, I accept it. Should we get a separate table?”
“Okay! Bring the glasses here please!”
Judith and Ilya decided things by themselves, not giving Bratt and Airn a chance to stop them.
A 40-year-old whiskey bottle and on the rock glasses filled with ice.
And then Judith said.
“I don’t need ice. Ah, do you need it?”
“haha, look at you acting so brave! Alright, get me shot glasses!”
The shopkeepers removed the ice from the glasses and brought out shot glasses.
And poured the strongest whiskey.
And the two stared at the other.
A breathtaking moment.
Feeling the air turn heavier, Judith raised her glass.
Ilya, too did the same and looked at her opponent’s glass.
She moved her hand, wanting to shake off some alcohol in her glass on purpose.
But that didn’t happen.
Before long, the two proud women drank alcohol without a toast.
And that was the last scene which Judith remembered that day.
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