Chapter 37: Before Crossing the Suspension Bridge (Part two)
It was going well.
After breakfast soon after dawn, everyone faced the morning sun outside the fort.
“Ren-dono, at last.”
The knight spoke to Ren.
Ren answered, “Yes”.
Since the representative of the adventurers, Maidas, was not present, the knight seemed to be in charge of the adventurers as well.
“Then, let us depart!”
At the knight’s voice, Ren, the adventurers, and the students who had been left behind in the fortress all set out on the snow-covered path, one by one.
These students are the best of the best, having made it to the final examinations for the prestigious Imperial Military Academy.
But they were shown the difference in physical strength between the adults and themselves.
They were amazed that the knights and adventurers led the way through the deep snow and showed no signs of fatigue, even though they had returned to the fort immediately after descending the mountain.
Watching them, Ren exhales.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, their stay has been longer than planned, but it feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
I can hear the joyful voices of the students taking exams.
Ren is bracing himself to not let his guard down until he gets them off the mountain.
He stops and reaches for his cheek.
He felt a cold, yet hot, breeze caressing his cheek, and he slid his fingers down his cheek to look for the remnants of that breeze.
Was it my imagination? Ren twisted his head.
It felt as if the wind was blowing snow and sparks mixed with the wind…….
The knight spoke his name without hesitation, since Fiona wasn’t nearby.
“I’m sorry. I was a little distracted, it seems.”
“Haha… It’s a long way down the mountain, It’s only natural to feel a little bit relaxed.”
Then Ren slapped his cheek and reprimanded himself for being distracted.
(Don’t let your guard down.)
Until we get the students down the mountain.
He turned his attention backward as the students walked.
……I guess we’ll be going home soon.
…… damn it. If only the opponent were monsters, such an abomination would….
……. I wonder if we failed.
Relief, frustration, anxiety.
The same number of emotions as the number of people were expressed.
(After all, there wasn’t even an examiner in sight.)
An examiner who is supposed to be prepared for any eventuality in the ever-expanding final exam.
I heard that the number of days required for the final exam has already been exceeded, which makes me suspicious.
In any case, we should get down the mountain as soon as possible.
As for the physical strength of the students, and those who were suffering from symptoms similar to vessel breakage, even if they didn’t directly lose their lives because of it, the physical exhaustion couldn’t be ignored.
—-After some time had passed since we left the fort, the suspension bridge came into view.
The first time the students saw the suspension bridge, tension flashed across their faces.
The suspension bridge, which is at a high altitude like the Baldor Mountains and is furthermore being covered by a blizzard, makes you fearful just by looking at it from the sidelines.
“Knights, let’s lead the students.”
Following a few adventurers and knights walking the bridge, the students are assisted by the adults.
A young boy was told bluntly by an adventurer, “Let’s go. Grab the railing or our coats,” and he chuckled.
“No need for that. Who do you think we are?”
“Ah……that’s rude of me. If a prestigious family member becomes a student of a special class, wouldn’t it be scary to go through a suspension bridge like this?”
“Oh, of course not! Don’t underestimate me.”
But soon after the adventurers had proceeded to the suspension bridge.
The boy, who had followed the adventurer onto the suspension bridge, was frightened by the irregular swaying of his feet.
A snowstorm made it impossible to see down into the canyon through the creaking wooden slabs. But if he fell, the difference in elevation would be too great for him to bear.
The adventurer took the boy’s hand, as if he had no choice.
“I don’t need….!”
“I know. It’s just that I don’t want to drop off. Like the other students, if your hands are free, please lead the way.”
As Ren watches the exchange, he laughs at the adventurer’s unexpected kindness.
Most of the adults, including the knights, lent a hand to the students, influenced by the fact that they couldn’t yet walk on their own two feet.
Eventually, Ren followed suit.
The only other students who didn’t ask for help were Fiona and the girl who had previously consulted her about the results of the final exam. The others already had their counterparts.
As for Ren, he wasn’t sure which of them he should lend a hand to, but considering Fiona’s status, he thought he should leave it to the knight…. but then the other girl approached the knight.
“Can you please guide me?”
She extended her hand and asked him to support her body on the suspension bridge like the other students.
As for the other knights and adventurers, they were all ready to head to the suspension bridge behind Ren, as they were already assisting the students and adventurers who couldn’t walk alone.
Therefore, Ren had no choice but to lend a hand to Fiona.
The girl who had been helped by the knight looked slightly alarmed as she passed Ren.
“Adventurer-san, may I ask for your help?”
Fiona came to Ren’s side in exchange.
Ren, seeing the firmness in the girl’s attitude toward the other adventurers, realized that the girl had an aversion to adventurers, and asked Fiona.
“Are you sure? I thought you wanted the knight’s help?”
“No. I was going to ask adventurer-san from the beginning.”
I don’t know why, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear her say so.
The adventurer she refers to is probably Ren. He could tell from the way she said it.
The hem of the coat, which was picked up with a shy smile, stretched out as he took a step forward, letting him know that she was behind him.