Chase went to Rose’s side and took care of her as much as he could.
His spell can cure physical damage immediately, but she didn’t wake up.
She needed a good night’s rest.
Actually, we were all exhausted, so all that we could do that night was to get a good rest.
We hoped there would be no more fighting and wouldn’t have to move.
The kidnapped people were gathering around the entrance of the cave.
They talked with each other and looked very relaxed.
Eventually, they were relieved from the fear of the monsters and endless hard work.
We had a short conversation about how to spend the night and plan for the trip back.
Dublin was about 2 days away on foot.
We thought that it was not a good idea to fall asleep in the wild field.
We decided to a rest in the cave.
There was a small room with a campfire and some sleeping bags.
The pot on the fire didn’t smell very good.
I wasn’t familiar with this smell, but I could say that it was bad.
The kidnapped people were starting to share the soup and ate it without hesitation.
The soup was served to Chase, Rose, and me.
I scooped my soup and brought it to my mouth.
Oh, Damn it! It tasted so bad! I almost threw up everything in my stomach.
“Oh, what the hell is this furry tail?! A squirrel? Are those… ears?!
Is this a fucking rabbit?!”, I blurted out.
I was wondering how the people could eat it so easily.
Chase and Rose looked at each other and stopped moving their spoons.
We all felt the same way.
I guess, the kidnapped people must have had gotten used to this soup taste.
This must have been the only way they could have survived in this cave as slaves.
The Kobolds must have served this kind of food to the people to keep them working as slaves.
That’s the only explanation that makes sense or, maybe,
The kobolds thought this was the best food to serve people.
I was, apparently, lucky to not have woken up and be fed this disgusting food.
We spent some time relaxing and chitchatting before everyone went to the sleeping bag.
The small room got quiet.
I couldn’t hear anything but the burning camp fire.
Now it was time to fall asleep.
But the misery of this cave knew no bounds.
The sleeping bags smelled like moldy wet cats.
Damn it! I couldn’t fall asleep with this God-awful smell.
I gave up on using the stinky sleeping bag.
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get any sleep in such a wretched place.
But I couldn’t recall anything even a minute after laying down in that God-forsaken sleeping bag.
After a while, I felt someone looking at my face.
I could feel his breath near my face.
It smelled like bug soup.
I had trouble seeing what it was, but this smell like Kobold.
Damn it! I thought I had killed them all.
I opened my eyes and went to take my weapon, but I couldn’t move the way I wanted.
I still couldn’t recognize what it was.
The shadow grabbed a dagger, tackled me, and thrusted it into my chest.
The fear gripped me, paralyzing me.
I couldn’t feel the pain anymore, just his breath.
Suddenly, I was released from my bindings.
I snapped up, and the fire was burning, and the walls were reflecting its light.
It was just a nightmare, nothing more.
There was no monster, and I was completely fine.
Everyone kept sleeping.
I didn’t feel good enough to close my eyes, but it didn’t take a long time for me to fall back asleep.
When I woke up again everyone had begun already started talking about what next to do.
It seemed like they had decided to go to Dublin.
Rose woke up, but she still needed Chase’s support to sit up.
It seemed like she too had recovered from her nightmare.
He cast healing spell on her.
We all slowly made our way out of the cave.
The air was fresh and the sunlight made us feel good.
The way to Dublin took us through the woods.
We headed north for quite some time.
These woods were not very thick and there was a path leading north,
so it wasn’t difficult to get to the major road.
Something or someone must use this path often.
This must have been the path that the kobolds used to attack the merchants traveling the road.
We went through the woods and came to the major road heading to Dublin.
It went through a long clearing, and we floowed it east.
A half of a day later, the landscape changed from the woods turned into a grassy littered with rock field.
As night began to fall, we rested in the field. We made camp in the field
The view was beautiful.
I felt like what happened to me was already a long time past.
After a few more hours the sun went down and it was getting dark outside.
Wolves were howling.
Our party decided to get rest on the green field that night.
Chase asked everyone to help him make a camp fire.
We needed the campfire to keep animals away and warm us up during the night.
Some of the people brought rocks to make a fire pit and the others brought some berries small game to eat.
Those guys really got used to survival life.
Chase, Rose and I decided to take turns taking watch 3 hours at a rime.
I wanted uninterrupted sleep, so I took watch for the first 3 hours.
Nothing happened during my watch.
That was a good start.
I woke up Chase. I hoped no one would disturb my slumber.
I closed my eyes and could still feel the light of the camp fire.
The field crickets chirping.
After what seemed like just a minute, someone started waking me up.
“Damn it!” I said “I don’t wanna get up until the sun rises!”
But I quickly realized everyone was ready to go.
Ooops, I had apparently fallen asleep so deeply that it took them quite some time to wake me up.
Everyone started traveling to Dublin so did I.
After walking for half a day, someone came from the opposite direction of the road.
They looked like merchants with a donkey carrying their wares.
Perhaps they had come from Dublin.
We encountered in the middle of the road.
They all wore robes, but the two that weren’t speaking kept their hoods up,
Casting shadows on their faces, preventing me from seeing what they looked like.
One of them started to speak to us. He was very kindly, but he spoke in a weird way.
His voice was higher pitched than I had expected.
The man who was talking started pitching his products to Chase.
He was eagerly trying to sell whatever he could, but it
Looked Chase didn’t have an interest in his merchandise.
I, however, was interested in one of his items. “Hey, do you have any cure potions?”
“Sure, sure!, You are interested in potions, aren’t you?” he said.
His hand started digging out something from his pouch.
The pouch must have been messy. He couldn’t find what he wanted very quickly.
“Got it! He finally exclaimed. Here you are! A red potion.
This one is good. I can sell to you for 7 gold”
“I only have 4 gold. Oh well, thank you sincerely anyway.”
“Oh! 4 gold?! But 7 gold is already a great discount! After all,… blah, blah…, the man kept talking and talking, but I just tuned him out.
But, he gave me a look, and caught my attention “By the way, you said thanks sincerely, right?”
I said"Yes. I did."
“All right. Deal! "
I told him thanks, and gave him 4 gold.
He smiled and turned back to the road.
“Do you realize he was a Necromancer, right?” Chase asked me.
“What? I didn’t notice at all.”
“Look, You could only see the shadow of the leader and the donkey, the other two of his servants didn’t cast their shadows.”,he said.
“I see. If that’s true, it’s interesting a Necromancer who can control the dead body was next to me.”
“You are a lucky guy.
If he had gotten mad with your haggling,we might have had big trouble with them.”,he said.
“But, I’m a little curious about what you said.”
“What do you mean?”
“You said ‘sincerely’, right? Perhaps that 3 gold discount he gave you wasn’t actually a discount.”, Chase mused.
“Maybe he took something from you without you realizing.”
“Like what?”,I asked.
“For example, a small piece of your soul or something like that.”, Chase answered.
“Damn it! Why didn’t tell me when I was talking to him?”
“Hey, hey easy tiger. It’s just a joke.”,he said.
“It’s not funny, dumbass.”
Finally, we arrived in Dublin.
This city looked well organized by the mayor.
The main street was wide enough for a large horse wagon.
Dublin must have mainly developed through trade.
There was a statue of Amaterasu in the center of a small Court on the north side of town.
Chase explained that he was a cleric of this church.
The statue served as a sundial, with the Sun Goddess serving as the gnomon.
I heard that around 10 in the morning, the court is full of women gossiping
, and around 3pm, there are many workers talking with each other over tea.
The kidnapped people said thank you to us and went to the mayor’s office to report what had happened to them.
Chase and Rose said that they were going to the Church.
I decided to go with them because I had no money.
I thought the Church might give me a place to stay for a while.
===> to be continued.