Tuesday, 21 June 2011
Book 3: Step 4 – The Fourth Step in Rescuing a Princess: “A must have for rescue missions – a cool-looking bad guy”
Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
*Disclaimer note: This is merely a translation of the original Chinese version. I do not claim any part in the creation of the original story.
"Sun, wake up. We're going to set up camp now."
I was dreaming; I was lying uncomfortably on a patch of grass wet from a rainfall and was just about to use a fire spell to make the grass field warm and toasty, when I hazily heard Leaf's calls to wake up. In a sleepy haze, I blurrily got off his back, and after a while my head got clearer as my brain started waking up. It was then that I noticed that Leaf's entire body was soaked through…… oh, so that patch of wet grass was Leaf.
Thank goodness he had waked me up at such perfect timing. Even a nice person would explode in anger if he were to be roasted alive, right?
Just then, I heard Alston dividing up our work. "Michael, you go with Ann and hunt something. Everyone's quite tired, so some fresh meat should help us to regain our strengths."
Michael simply nodded.
I had to wonder at who this Alston guy was, for him to directly call Michael by his name. In the Church of War, even the highest ranking warrior priest should still be lower in rank to the Son of War; to call the Son of War by his name would have been rather improper.
After receiving their tasks, Michael and Ann immediately left in a whirlwind. Alston continued on to us. He turned to Leaf and asked politely, "Elmairy, can you help to start the fire as well as cook the food later?"
Leaf smiled and nodded. "No problem."
"Then I'll set up the tents," he said smilingly. When he turned to me, he said warmly, "Sun Knight, you will be in charge of gathering the firewood, alright?"
"Of course," I too smiled back at him and was about to bid Leaf goodbye when several howls rose from within the depths of the forest…… Both Leaf and I peered into the inky black forest, where an occasional rustling could be heard, hiding unknown creatures in their shadows; from time to time the howls and growls of various animals could be heard coming from within.
Leaf blanched and turned to me in worry. "I think it'd be better for me to go gather the firewood, Sun. You just stay here and start the fire, and as for the food…… I'll cook it after I come back."
I immediately nodded. Not because I was afraid of the few wolf howls earlier, for as long as I am away from other people I could simply use magic to protect myself. Heheheh… Wolfs cannot protest that the Sun Knight shouldn't be using magic.
What I was really afraid of were…… the mosquitoes in the forest! I'm now down to my last pair of gloves, if this pair was to be ruined too, I would then have to resort to stealing Leaf's gloves.
I nodded at Leaf. Leaf then said, "I'll be leaving Alston to your care then."
I caught the strange look that flashed across Alston's face when he heard this; he probably doesn't think that I would be able to protect him from anything!
Leaf didn't leave as quickly as the other two. He first picked up a tree branch from around the clearing, took out one of his extra bowstrings and tied it around both ends of the branch, then piled a small pile of dried leaves around it before bending to pick another branch…… The entire process was then repeated several times. It's probably kinda confusing for ya, but what he's actually doing is to help me gather the things necessary for starting a fire so that I would only need to rub the sticks together around the kindling to get the fire going.
After he was done, he handed me the things he had been preparing and asked me worriedly, "Do you know how to use these things? Just loop the string around a branch and start pulling on the ends to keep it twirling…… there shouldn't be any problems, right?"
Sometimes I really feel that Leaf is the Good Warm Faction's mother, while the Cold Blood Faction's mother is Frost. One likes to nag and help others with everything, while the other likes to stay in the kitchen cooking. Together, the two would make the perfect mother.
Seeing as Leaf had carried me on his back for 24 hours, I nodded and said gently, ""Please do not worry, my brother Leaf, for even when the God of Light shines not in the night, this Sun will not fail in my brother's expectations."
Leaf nodded at that and turned to leave. He kept turning back to look at me-at least three times!-before finally making it past the clearing and into the woods.
I watched as Leaf left before looking back down at the fire-making tools in my hands. It felt rather stupid. With just a fire spell I could have started a fire big enough to burn down the entire forest, much less a small campfire. Yet with the warrior priest here with me I'm forced to maintain my Sun Knight image—no magic!
Seeing as I could not use magic, I resigned myself to using Leaf's fire starting tools. After taking a deep breath, I rubbed and rubbed and rubbed, rubbed, rubbed…… not a single wisp of smoke, and my hands are already raw from the friction! I really, really wish I could use magic!
'No, I can't! Alston's staring at me. But how is he setting up the tents while staring at me all the while?! That should be outlawed!'
I continued on my rubbing…… ah, finally a wisp of smoke. I stepped up my efforts and rubbed—the-the smoke…… it snuffed out.
Never before in my life have I so yearned to cast a fire spell.
'But, no! Alston's still staring at me, damn it! Can't he just concentrate on setting up the tents?! Or have an urgent need to use the bushes? Or even just to look up and admire the stars in the sky? Just give me one second; one second is all I need to cast a fire spell on these dry sticks.'
But he Just. Won't. Relent on the staring!!
By now Alston had finished with the first tent, but he didn't immediately move on to the next tent, instead putting down the tent pegs and other tools.
'Oh good! Does he finally need to pee?'
But he didn't head out towards the woods and instead walked towards me, reached out a hand and said exasperatedly, "Sun Knight, why don't you let me start the fire!"
I silently handed over the tools to Alston, and then it was my turn to stare at him…… 'Don't you think you can get away with using magic to start a fire either! Priests aren't supposed to know how to use fire spells too!'
But he merely calmly rubbed for a little while, and presto! Wisps of smoke appeared. Another few more rubs and sparks appeared. After rubbing on a little more, a fire was started.
"……" Those tools must have been conspiring against me!
After that, Alston found some sturdy branches and began setting up a campfire tripod where we would be able to cook the meat over.
Even though Leaf had left later than the other two, he was the first to arrive back at the camp. When he entered the clearing, he stopped at the sight of Alston working over the fire and the tripod. He then walked over and placed the firewood beside the fire. As he feed some of the wood into the fire, he said to Alston, "Thanks for the hard work, Alston. Sorry about that."
Alston just smiled back at him. "It's alright, it's only a fire. Seems like the Sun Knight doesn't go out on expeditions often."
"If I'm not mistaken this should be Sun's first time leaving Sprouting Leaf city," As he continued feeding the fire, Leaf turned his head to look at me. "Isn't that right?"
I nodded, maintaining my serene smile.
"Ah, I see." Alston had a clarified look on his face.
Leaf then quickly explained, "As the leader of the Holy Temple, Sun is busy with a lot of work so he doesn't have much time where he can leave."
Alston smiled and said, "That is rather different to how our Church works. Michael may be the highest ranking person, but normally he doesn't really have many things that need his personal attention. Most of the time Michael is more of a spiritual leader."
Actually, same here. I normally don't have much to do…… and even if I do have things I would typically throw them at Storm…… It is only on occasions when I need to show myself that I would show up, just like this time when I had to attend a royal wedding.
"I see, no wonder you guys would call him 'Michael' so casually. We, Twelve Holy Knights, are rarely called by our first names. Especially Sun," said Leaf, glancing at me before continuing. "Other than the Judge Knight and the Pope, no one else can call him by his first name."
Alston gave a light chuckle as he explained, "It's not like that at all. In the Church of War there are not many who can call the Son of War by his first name either. But Ann and Michael grew up together-they are childhood friends-so in private she would call him Michael, but on formal occasions she would still address him as the Son of War. As for me, I call him by his name because Michael is my son."
Both Leaf and my eyes bulged at that startling announcement, but a look of understanding then passed over us. Even though Alston only looked to be in his thirties, he was probably using magic to maintain his youthful appearance. Who knows how old he really is? Both my teacher and the Pope do the same thing, so it's not really that surprising to me.
"May I ask how old you are?" asked Leaf curiously.
"Thirty-five." Alston gave an answer that matched his outward appearance perfectly.
"……" We were both speechless. Leaf then asked again, "And how old is Michael?"
I was a little surprised to hear that the Son of War was actually two years younger than me, but what was even more astonishing was: doesn't subtracting 21 from 35 give you 14? And when you add the ten months of pregnancy, does that mean that this guy standing in front of us had impregnated a woman at thirteen years old?!
Doing xxx with women at thirteen years…… I always thought that was a privilege reserved to the nobility! Since when are the normally 'pure' priest so 'voracious'?
"By the way, this is a secret," said Alston, winking at us, "so don't go spreading it around."
Leaf and I had strange looks on our faces. 'Aren't you spilling out secrets to people from other churches a little too casually?!'
Alston laughed at our expressions, and now that I looked closer, I could see the resemblance with the Son of War. After his hearty laughing, he then explained to us, "This is an open secret in the Church of War. It's easy enough to find out about it if you simply ask around. But even though everyone already knows about it, no one would say it right out loud. So don't worry about it."
So that's how it is. Just like 'the Sun Knight is perfect'; everyone knew subconsciously that there's no such thing as a perfect person in this world, yet a lot of people still believe in it.
Just then, we heard some faint rustlings from the forest and turned to look in that direction. We weren't very wary though, for this spot was not very near the forest's deepest parts. To a group of our calibre, this kind of place is about as safe as our respective Churches.
Michael and Ann appeared from the forest, a dead wolf slung across Michael's shoulders.
When they reached the camp, Michael handed the wolf over to Ann, and Ann took it over to the lake to clean it for our dinner. Strangely, Ann looked rather pleased when she took the wolf from him.
Michael stared around at our camp and frowned, "Why aren't the tents up yet?"
Alston smiled and explained, "I'm sorry, I was too slow."
Hearing that, Michael had a strange look on his face. I could understand the reason for it though. Earlier on, Alston had needed only five minutes to set up a tent, one minute to get a fire going and another minute to set up the campfire tripod. There was no way he could be called slow.
Michael must be familiar with his own father's working style, which was why he had such a strange expression.
Michael took out an iron pot from his bag and set it up with the tripod, all the while listening to Alston and Leaf's conversation and occasionally contributing a sentence or two.
I had absolutely no interest in their conversation and instead turned to look at the lake. Hohoho! I'm more interested in beautiful young girls…… even though she's wearing full body armour and carrying a pair of axes…… I wonder how she's going to deal with that huge wolf? It's even larger than an average man!
I had turned just in time to see the wolf thrown high into the air. As her dominant fire element had shown, she was incredibly strong. She had easily tossed that huge wolf up as if she was merely tossing a small rock.
After throwing the wolf into the air, Ann quickly took out her axes, and when the wolf started falling back down, Ann jumped into the air and 'slash, slash, slash', ten chunks of meat fell to the ground. A heavy 'plop' sound could be heard; it sounded like a pile of something had fallen onto the ground. It was too dark to see anything clearly, but I could guess that it was probably the internal organs spilling out.
Under the soft glow of the moon, Ann washed her bloodied axes in the lake before putting them back on her back. Then, humming a cheerful and upbeat song, she inelegantly squatted by the lakeside and started washing the chunks of meat. After that was done, she then started pulling something long and white and bloody from the pile of internal organs and started washing that too.
By then, I had decided that…… perhaps it would be better to turn back and watch the three men conversing.
"I wonder who it was who had kidnapped the Princess Alice?" Leaf was saying in puzzlement. He then said worriedly, "I hope the kidnapper is treating the Princess well!"
After giving a quiet prayer, 'May the War God protect Her Highness', Alston then explained, "To tell the truth, we don't really know much about it. No one knows how the Princess had been kidnapped. When the royal family had realised she was missing they could only find a letter."
As he said that, he took out said letter and was about to hand it to Leaf, but upon seeing my renewed interest in their conversations, he handed it over to me instead. What a polite person.
After a "May the God of Light's radiance shine on the Princess Alice," I took the letter and started reading it. Leaf knew that I didn't like speaking so he leaned closer to read it with me so that I wouldn't have to explain it to him later.
The letter was pretty simple and straightforward. There was none of the usual threatening or bribing or demands for ransom. Instead, it merely informed that the author had taken the Princess, and that if they wanted her back safe and sound they were not allowed to form an army or to put out search notices. Only the Son of War is allowed to form a rescue party and look for the Princess. If he (the Son of War) can defeat him (the kidnapper) only may he take the Princess back.
'This person's objective doesn't seem to be the Princess but more like some plot aimed at the Son of War,' I thought in suspicion. 'Or else why would he set the condition that the Son of War is to form a party and chase after them?'
But if that was the aim, then why not just tell the Son of War to come alone? Why a group, specifically? Or is he worried that if he were to set the condition that the Son of War come after them alone the Son of War might refuse? After all, he is no less important than a Princess. Hmm… if this letter is real then it is no wonder why the Queen would force Leaf and I to come along.
The Church of War had probably insisted that the two of us come along if the Queen wanted the Son of War to rescue her daughter. With both the Sun Knight and the Leaf Knight coming along, two objectives could be achieved. Firstly, as two of the Twelve Holy Knights, we should be stronger than the ordinary knight; secondly, if the enemy really had some plot cooked up they would have to think twice about if they really wanted both the Church of War and the Church of Light to come down on them……
All that thinking had made me hungry, but luckily it hadn't been very loud. I handed back the letter to Alston and asked dubiously, "Please pardon this Sun for his uneducated mind, for this Sun cannot see where in the letter it mentions the whereabouts of the Princess? But the War God's children seem to show no doubt as to the future of their mission; could it be that they have received the whispered hints from the War God?"
Upon seeing everyone's blank face Leaf hurriedly translated, "What Sun means is that the letter never said where to go to chase after the kidnapper and the Princess, yet you guys seem to know exactly where you're going……"
Just then, Ann had returned with the cleaned meat and she interjected, "That's 'cause every Moon Orchid Princess has an enchanted item on them which can be traced."
I nodded my head, while Leaf said in understanding, "I see."
Although I still had a lot of suspicions, it wouldn't be appropriate to ask them directly, so I decided to keep them to myself for now and wait for an opportunity later when I can dig for more clues.
What followed after was Leaf cooking the meat while Alston used the iron pot to cook the pile of innards in. Looking at that pot of red and white thing, both Leaf and I turned a little green.
Alston chuckled upon seeing our faces. "The internal organs are very nutritious and can strengthen your body!"
In comparison with the Son of War's simple cooking-tossing the innards into the pot and adding water, then letting it boil over the fire-Leaf put in a lot more effort into his cooking. He took out a box of seasonings and spices, containing more than ten bottles of different kinds of herbs and spices. I could recognise the very basic-salt and pepper-but that was about it.
Ann, Alston and Michael stared at all the different herbs and spices in bewilderment, and at last Michael couldn't resist asking. "What are all these things?"
"Seasonings, of course! How can you eat anything without adding any seasonings?" Leaf replied with bewilderment. He then took out a bottle and started sprinkling some on the cooking meat as he lectured, "This is powdered rosemary, to lessen the bloody smell of the meat. After the meat is cooked and some wormwood, pepper and salt is added, we can then start eating it…… or if you don't like the taste of pepper, we can use garlic instead. Although, wormwood is good for keeping meat and we can keep the uneaten meat with us for a few days, lemongrass can increase our appetite and aid in our digestion…"
Leaf looked vexed and turned to ask his audience. "Which one would you guys prefer?" The audience widened their eyes at the unexpected question, not knowing how to answer him.
I, on the other hand, was pretty used to it. While Leaf was not as good at cooking as Frost, he was a great lover of condiments and seasonings. Even when eating bread, he would add two or more kinds of flavourings. If there weren't any seasonings added to his food he would probably rather die than to eat them as they are.
But—these seasonings do not come cheap, so most of his salary is spent on buying them. This is also why Leaf is often called the poorest knight amongst the Twelve Holy Knights. He is so poor that should the kitchen close for one day he would have to go hungry.
But it's alright, even if he can't eat any meals he can still survive for a while on Frost's snacks and desserts.
Although, every single time Frost sees Leaf adding seasonings to his snacks he would have a freezing cold expression…… wait, Frost's expression is always freezing. How should I put it…… Hm, I guess you can say that he would have an 'I can eat Leaf whole without even without adding any flavourings' expression.
"No wormwood," I answered shortly.
Leaf smiled at that, saying, "Ah, I'd almost forgotten that you hate that bitter taste that wormwood carries. So I'll use the lemongrass then?"
I gave a noncommittal nod. I don't really know what lemongrass is – actually, I don't even have any idea what wormwood taste like either – but the 'worm' in wormwood is enough to reserve a spot on my blacklist straight away.
After finishing with the meat's seasoning, Leaf was not yet satisfied - he turned to look into the pot of innards. After considering the pot for awhile, he took out a delicate looking bottle. As he carefully sprinkled some of the seasoning into the pot, he explained to his captivated audience. "This is saffron; it's a rather expensive spice, but soups taste best with some added in."
The three nodded blankly, but there was a slight hint of disapproval on their faces. From their expressions they probably feel that adding saffron would hardly make any difference…… 'Hah!' I chuckled silently.
Finally, the meat was cooked and the pot of soup was ready. When the three of them bit down on their first bite of meat and took the first spoon of soup or swallowed their first piece of intestine, all three faces immediately changed!
Luckily we hadn't used the wormwood-good for preserving food-that night…… because there wasn't even anything left that needed preserving.
There is a good reason why Leaf remains so poor, ya know!
When camping in a dense forest such as this, someone has to stay awake and keep watch. So after dinner, Alston divided our shifts among us-Leaf and I were to take the first shift, followed by Michael on his own, and the last shift would be done by Ann and Alston.
After the other three had settled in their tents, I turned to Leaf and said, "Leaf, this place isn't very dangerous. Why don't you rest against that rock and take a nap. I should be able to keep watch by myself."
For some reason, Leaf looked shocked. He looked at me up and down carefully before finally smiling and saying, "Alright then. Make sure you wake me up so you can take your turn to sleep!"
"No need, I think I'll be pretty busy for some time," I muttered thoughtfully.
Leaf looked at me with puzzlement in his eyes.
"Just go to sleep," I smiled.
Following my suggestion, Leaf leaned against a large rock and closed his eyes. Twenty or so minutes passed and feeling that the other three should be fast asleep, I quietly whispered, "Leaf, Leaf? Are you asleep?"
Leaf jolted and immediately opened his eyes. After seeing that nothing seemed amiss, he asked questioningly, "What is it, Sun?"
"Oh, you're not asleep yet." I then told him seriously, "If you've fallen asleep remember to tell me."
Leaf then closed his eyes again and mumbled softly, "I'm asleep."
"Oh, that's good," I nodded in acknowledgement and said matter-of-factly, "Since you're asleep now, you shouldn't know what I'm up to then."
I walked back to our tent and took out a whole bunch of bottles…… Not Leaf's seasonings; these are the ingredients for my whitening mask.
Before being carried on Leaf's back, I had still walked for a whole day. Even though I had tried my best to walk in the shade where possible, I still hadn't been able to avoid the sun's rays for a large part of the journey. If I don't quickly apply my whitening mask soon, it'll take me a long time to get my skin back to its flawlessly fair complexion.
And not to mention I had sweated buckets. If I don't take a shower tonight I'll be too smelly for words tomorrow! As the perfect and elegant Sun Knight, if I were to emit an awful smell…… can I still be called the Sun knight?! I might as well change my name and call myself the Stinky Knight!
Therefore, I am now digging out all the things necessary for my shower and whitening mask from my luggage. Because I had to fit all these things into my luggage, my luggage was twice as big as Michael's and the rest. If not for Leaf allowing me to stuff some of my things into his luggage, I probably wouldn't even be able to lift my luggage and would have given up on the quest altogether, regardless of how cute Ann looked.
But now-having to rush on our journey, suffering under the harsh rays of the sun all day, unable to start a simple fire, and having to apply my whitening mask everyday- all these things are enough to make me deeply regret falling for Ann's cuteness and agreeing to join in the quest.
I sighed at my plight.
But then again, I have to come out on this quest. Not only because Ann looked cute, but also because of my promise to my teacher……
Back then, my teacher had been teaching me on how to maintain a Sun Knight's elegance even whilst surviving in the wilderness. I had had a massive headache just from listening about how I had to apply whitening masks every day, how to gather usable ingredients in the wild should I ever run out of them, how to elegantly start a fire, how to rush elegantly on my journey, how to shower elegantly in the great outdoors…… I had wanted to cry at hearing all of those things.
Upon seeing my crest-fallen face, my teacher had smiled faintly as he said, "My child, this lesson is a must. As holy knights, it is extremely likely that we would have to go on a quest at some point in time. And even amongst a group of ragged-looking, stinky cavemen teammates, the Sun Knight must still maintain his elegance!"
"But teacher," I protested, "does 'the whole continent know' that the Sun Knight likes to go on quests?"
That had been the first time I had questioned my teacher. He looked surprised at my question, and after giving it some thought, he said exasperatedly, "I guess not. I never thought you would hate this 'surviving in the outdoors' lesson so much. Alright then, you can skip this lesson."
'Praise be the God of Light's compassion!'
I was so grateful that for the first time in my life I sincerely thanked the God of Light.
My teacher sighed at me and said, "If you continue on like this you'll grow up to become a temple guy."
"Teacher, what is a temple guy?"
"Temple guys are those knights who choose to stay cooped up in the Holy Temple all day, sneaking peeks at the next door Temple of Light's female priests, yet dare not speak to them. Whenever come a holiday, take a walk along the hallway closes to the Hall of Light and you'll see a whole row temple guys leaning along the windows! You don't want to become that, do you?"
I slowly answered a little hesitatingly, "But, I-I think it doesn't sound bad to me?"
"What?!" My teacher roared in fury. "You spineless nitwit! I, your teacher, have had-if not hundreds-then at least fifty lovers over my years, yet you-my student, want to become a temple guy?! I forbid it! Swear to the God of Light-right now-that in the future you will leave the Holy Temple to go on a quest, or else I will board up all the windows on the hallway neighbouring the Hall of Light and announce to the whole of the Holy Temple that I did it because of you."
Back then, to avoid incurring the wrath of all of the Holy Temple's temple guys coming after me in revenge, I had no other option but to swear to the God of Light that I would one day leave the Holy Temple to go on a quest. But I never thought that I would miss my home so badly on just the first day……
Right now, I just want to quickly find the Princess Alice so I can get back to my Holy Temple and continue my life as a temple guy. As I prepared my whitening mask paste, I prayed to the God of Light: 'Please, beauteous and benevolent God of Light, have mercy on me and allow me to return to the Holy Temple, where I may better serve you and your people……'
After the paste was ready, I walked towards the lake with the intention of applying the mask whilst I bathed. But when I reached the lake, I suddenly sensed that something was wrong. There was something with a high concentration of fire element hiding amongst the bushes. Normally, bushes should be filled with wood and water element, not fire……
I turned my head and my eyes met up with a pair of blood red eyes glowing out from the dark shadows. I was thinking of calling for Leaf's help when the owner of the pair of crimson eyes nimbly leapt out from the bushes…… it was a magical wolf!
Magical wolves look like normal wolves and other canines, but with the addition of three red horns on their heads. Because of that, they are called 'magical wolves' or 'magical hounds'; they are a type of magical beast.
Magical beasts refer to animals that have magical abilities. I'm sure everyone is familiar with dragons? Well, dragons are also magical beasts; and one of the extremely rare extremely powerful magical beasts at that.
But unlike dragons, magical wolves' level isn't very high. Their speed and agility is not that much higher than an ordinary wolf's; however, with the three horns on their head they are able to attack people with fire balls.
'What is a magical beast doing in this forest? Even though a magical wolf is only a low level magical beast……' I frowned as I watch the magical wolf lunged at me.
With the bowl of whitening mask paste in my left hand, I extended my right at the wolf, and a gust of cold blue swept towards the wolf. This is an elementary water spell – Freezing Magic. Just as the name suggests, it is a spell that freezes one's opponents into a big block of ice…… I had learnt this from Frost. After all, Frost is pretty busy and isn't always around to make blueberry snow cones for me, so when the weather turns too hot, I had to depend on myself and had diligently mastered the Ice Magic so I could make snow cones for myself.
Even though the magical wolf had also breathed out a shot of fire at me, and even though fire conquers ice, it is only when both parties are roughly equal in power that fire can overpower ice. But now…… heheh! I chuckled coldly as I watch the pouncing wolf slowly turn into a block of ice in midair, before dropping to the ground with a 'clunk'.
A snapping twig sounded from behind.
I instantly whipped around in the direction of the noise, but was surprised to see… "Leaf?"
Leaf was staring straight at me as he said with an apologetic smile, "I noticed some disturbance here."
After saying that, he then looked down at the now frozen magical wolf.
I explained with the utmost solemnity, "The wolf was rushing at me, but it rushed too quickly and tripped over a rock, falling and killing itself."
"……" After a moment where Leaf was speechless, he then reminded me. "But it's frozen."
"Ah!" with a look of realisation, I shook my head in amazement and said, "Before it died, it must have wanted to avoid being eaten, and so used magic to freeze itself."
Once again, Leaf was speechless, but he didn't continue asking along the lines of 'do fire elemental wolves know how to use Freezing Magic?' or 'but even when frozen it can still be thawed out and eaten!', and other such questions. He merely glanced at the bowl of paste in my hand while saying exasperatedly, "I see. I'm going back to sleep."
"Go back to sleep then. Lack of sleep is the bane of the beautiful."
I smiled brightly at him. "I said, lack of sleep will not help to rescue the beautiful princess."
Leaf nodded and obediently headed back to the camp site, leaning back against the rock to continue sleeping.
I, too, continued on with my bath and whitening mask before waking Michael up for his shift. I then entered the tent and took my turn to sleep.
And that was how the next few days went……
When it was time to head out, I crawled up onto Leaf's back and slept for 24 to 48 hours.
When it was time to set up camp, I would just sit there daydreaming.
When it was time for my night shift, I would break out my bathing and whitening mask necessities and do what I must to keep my perfect Sun Knight image.
Other than the pesky mosquitoes and having to apply the whitening mask every day, the lack of Frost's after-meal titbits and being unable to sleep at night after having slept the whole day away on Leaf's back, I would say that on the whole this whole questing life is pretty good.
When come dinner time, Leaf would then tell me of how during the day the party had met with robberies, other parties trying to take liberties with Ann and various attacks from magical beasts. However thanks to Michael and Ann, they had easily dealt with any and all interference so quickly and quietly that I had not even woken up.
According to Leaf, the robbers hadn't even had the opportunity to open their mouths before they were beaten up; the other party had scrammed of after being sent flying by just one kick from Ann; and the attacking magical beasts had all ended up as our dinner.
As I ate some unknown magical beast meat and listened to Leaf as he recounted the day's happenings, I ignored the looks of disdain the three from the Church of War kept throwing in my direction.
Yup! Surviving in the wilderness wasn't as bad as I had imagined after all!