Log Horizon - Volume 8 - Chapter 3.4
Serara and the others had brought the luggage to the Boxurt Mountain Fortress and placed it there, as the merchants had requested, then they continued onwards, with Dariella riding the carriage too.
After losing a cart, the merchants didn't have the energy to spare to have her ride too. Whilst the highway was relatively safe, this was for people used to travelling and adventurers, a single, female person of the land couldn't feel at ease travelling alone that far.
So it was settled that she would accompany the party to her current destination, Safiel.
Safiel was one of the party's destinations too.
Going west from Akiba, it was a relatively prosperous town on the highway, they planned to ease the fatigue of travel before departing.
The carriage progressed along damp and mossy paved paths, along an road of red clay that looked easy to slip on and a road passing over a ridge, hidden under an arch of deep greenery. It was slow. On these mountain roads, no matter how strong the Pale Horses were, they weren't that much help. If they galloped at full speed, they'd easily get into an accident.
The party slowly meandered onwards, at the same pace a person would walk at.
Serara strained her ears to listen to the flute-like bird song that was coming from somewhere, she looked at Minori next to her and she looked like she was searching for the birds too. Wolf was looking around restlessly, and in his gaze, birds with blue wings and a yellow line, about the size of a bread roll let out another cry.
Happy at the discovery, she pulled on Minori's sleeve to tell her and it looked like she saw them too. They exchanged a glance and smiled at each other.
Thanks to that, Serara was considerably relaxed.
The Odyssea Knights were at the Mountain Fortress they passed through too.
According to Dariella, they weren't a particularly rare sight around this area of Yamato. They were a target of respect for protecting the people of the land's villages and towns. They were severe, and a somehow gloomy group but if they were called courteous and their equipment was that of righteous knights, Serara could see that being the case.
Minori and Tohya also seemed to dislike them.
Since passing them on the mountain road, they'd felt the atmosphere tingle. It had been several hours since then, and Serara felt they had to thank the bluebirds for relaxing the atmosphere.
Originally they had planned to ask to spend the night at the fortress, it being equipped with lodgings for travellers.
However, after spending a night on the plateau, they had passed the fortress at high noon, so they'd lost the chance.
’’Minori-chan, are we camping tonight as well?’’
’’We are, there aren't many inn-towns around here.’’
’’We'll definitely leave early and carry on to Fuji. Then we can stay the night.’’
’’Right, we'll do that.’’
Serara smiled widely and agreed.
She'd been able to check that the trip was going as she'd imagined, and Minori was happy she hadn't overlooked anything in the area.
The mountain road finally ended as it gradually grew wider. There was still an incline, but it was gentler and the thick forest turned into a copse. The visibility was less obstructed, so Mount Fuji was clearly visible. Serara didn't know what it was called in this world, but she was deeply familiar with Japan's number one, snow-capped mountain.
’’It's Mount Fuji.’’
’’Ah, you're right, it's Sacred Mountain Fuji.’’
Tohya and Rundelhous raised their voices in excitement.
Serara herself was somewhat excited. Living in Japan you'd see it more than once a month on WebTV weather forecasts, and it was actually visible from where Serara lived if the weather was good. It wasn't that much of a curiosity that she'd make noise about it, and if you thought about it, this wasn't their world, so it wasn't the real Mount Fuji.
Even so, it felt like a somehow special mountain, maybe it was because she was Japanese. She didn't really understand it but Serara had nodded to Isuzu's words of ’’It's the feeling of a journey!’’ and really did think it felt like that.
As it became early afternoon the sounds of the base were carried to them on the wind, they had finally reached the coast. It wasn't a sandy beach, it was covered in pebbles about the size of Serara's little finger, but even so, the blue-grey sea was there.
The sea was calm, and they could see several boats floating there.
Maybe they were fishermen of the people of the land.
’’It's like Choushi.’’
’’But the coast seems harsher here.’’
Serara and Minori shared their impressions and frantically began looking for Sahuagin.
Of course, thankfully there weren't any of those monsters, and the two of them smiled at each other.
’’Now that we've come this far, Safiel is only a little further.’’
’’Have you stayed there before, Dariella-san?’’
’’Yes, it's on my way home, so I've stayed several times.’’
’’We'll reach there tomorrow.’’
’’If we hurried we could reach it in the night...’’
Serara and the others all shook their heads at Minori's words.
Pushing themselves was forbidden. This was another lesson they had learnt on their journey.
However, that being the case, they had to camp tonight. Serara looked up at the heavens. The wind seemed strong, but it was clearing the skies, and it didn't appear like it would turn bad. So there wasn't much difficulty in camping, the shoreline was a little scary, so they should go further in land and found a copse of trees. Just from looking around there were several that would work as windbreaks.
Despite the road they'd been travelling on along the coast was level and easy to walk on, and had many places you could camp, they had bustled around and it was already evening.
’’I should make dinner then...’’
Serara's thoughts swirled in her head.
She'd volunteered for dinner duty.
Cooking on the road was always difficult.
Before they'd left, she'd learnt from Nyanta but now that it was the real thing, she couldn't make even half the things she wanted to.
Outside without even a chopping board, the circumstances were just too different.
She felt sorry for only being able to make disappointing food.
In actual fact, her worries were unfounded. For people of the land, 'travel provisions' were hard and heavy bread and watered wine or mead.
The party's food, soups and okonomiyaki were part of the adventurer's culture, and not popular in this world. Even what Serara had learnt from Nyanta as outdoor cooking was what skilled chefs had done to pass the time in their new life after the catastrophe, so it was a little off from common sense.
’’Maybe pasta soup.’’
Serara mumbled, having gone red.
’’If I use the pot I bought on Gluttony Street and make a soup base and add some dried meat, then put in the leaf shaped pasta, it should be filling. It might be a little sour afterwards, but some apple mayo-salad should make that better.’’
’’One plate, it really looks like I'm cutting corners...’’
’’That's not true, warm soup is delicious.’’
Minori encouraged her from by her side.
Serara smiled slightly in shame. She wanted to work hard like Nyanta and be able to gauge how much she'd need and be able to feed a stadium, but without a magic bag, she was limited to the ingredients and seasonings she could carry, and outside with no place to prepare food, and having to manage the heat source, it took a lot of work.
When she tried to do something a little complicated, she simply burst in failure. With the Newlywed's Apron (with Nyanta-san appliqué) she couldn't use her housekeeper sub-class as an excuse either.
’’You all seem to get on well.’’
Dariella spoke with a gentle expression to Serara and Minori who had comforted her when troubled.
’’We're friends after all.’’
’’It's because we're friends!’’
Isuzu called back along with Minori's answer from where she was walking ahead.
’’Are you, in the same guild?’’
’’No, I'm in a different one.’’
Serara answered, but her chest was filled with the feelings of friendship.
’’Serara-chan is part of the Crescent Moon Alliance, we're part of Log Horizon.
’’Ah, and I'm a travelling vampire with no guild.’’
Roe2 joined in the conversation too from the driver's seat.
’’If you'll pardon my curiosity, why are you all going to Minami?’’
’’We're not. We're stopping on the way over in the Redstone Mountains to hunt wyverns.’’
Tohya answered her question.
’’Well, wyverns...? They can sometimes come down to the village.’’
’’Can they, Minori-chan?’’
’’Shiroe-san said that happens sometimes.’’
Serara cocked her head in puzzlement.
According to Minori's sketch, she'd thought of them as monsters like planes with limbs. Flying in the sky, maybe they did come down to human habitation.
’’And afterwards, we're doing a tour.’’
Isuzu had fallen back from the front at some point and spoke up.
’’That's right, you haven't seen either, Roe2-san.’’
Serara began wondering how to explain it and looked to Isuzu for help.
Isuzu hugged the spear she was using instead of a walking stick to her chest and mimed playing the lute. Saying ’’It's a travelling performance.’’ with one eye closed.
’’Isuzu-san is a bard.’’
’’Ehehehe. Though I'm still only a beginner.’’
’’So with Isuzu in the centre, we're playing music in villages and towns.’’
Possibly pleased from the admiration in Dariella's voice, she span lightly as she kept stepping forwards.
’’Though I look like this, I'm known as the Rock 'n' Roller in Akiba's Bloom Hall.’’
’’Rock 'n' Roller?’’
’’Umm, umm... it's...’’
In response to Roe2's dubious question, Serara answered with.
’’It feels cool.’’
Minori had been restraining her laughter, but couldn't hold up to that, Serara started protesting at her. She'd thought the explanation might be a little strange herself, and couldn't stop blushing.
It was Isuzu's fault for using a phrase like Rok 'n;Roller that wasn't really heard recently and she couldn't explain. Puffing out her cheeks, Serara decided that was right and looked at Isuzu, full of conviction, but she didn't notice because she was rolling her shoulders and stroking down from above, taking a 'Rock 'n' Roller♪’’ pose.
The only one sympathetic to her was Wolf, gambolling around her feet.
’’I've an interest in music.’’
’’Yes, it's amazing.’’
Roe2 and Dariella appraised her and Isuzu was in a good mood.
’’Then, then, tomorrow evening, we'll play in Safiel, so come and watch please.’’
’’Hey, Minori, it's fine, right?’’
Isuzu braced herself and asked Minori.
They'd planned to stay two nights at Safiel, and after recovering their energy, finally push through to the Redstone Mountains. In Boxurt, even though it was a mountainous district, it was still a route used for trading, so they could pass through. In the Redstone Mountains though, there was only hunting, so at the worst, there might be no road and they'd have to travel on foot through the hills and fields.
’’I'll sing with Isuzu-san too.’’
Serara joined in too, and Minori nodded without worry.
’’Okay, that's fine. We'll take it a little slow in Safiel.’’
With those words at their back, they kept going a little further until dusk.