Saturday, June 18, 2022 @

Chapter 122 Maafern Kingdom

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 Maafern Kingdom, a neighboring country to the west, can be described in one word: 'Arabian Nights-like country'.
 The country, which is covered with desert for two-thirds of its land, is hot and arid. The environment of this country is very different from that of the warmer Slayers Kingdom, and visitors to this country are at first puzzled by the difference in climate.
 Most of the population is concentrated in oases scattered in the desert, and the royal capital, the center of the state, is located next to a large river called the 'Bern River (ベルン河)'.
 Maafern Kingdom was founded about 500 years ago, but there are still some ruins of ancient civilizations around the great river. Many of them are now dungeons, inhabited by monsters.
 "It's hot..."
 Now, we travel by carriage (車) through such a sand-covered land. Even inside the carriage, which was blocked by the roof and interior walls, the heat of the sun's rays transmitted through the walls.
 The carriage can seat up to six people, but, because there are only three of us, we're using it spaciously.
 For the note, the carriage's wheels are different from normal carriage, and it is specially designed to climb over sand piles. So, as we move forward, the wheels draw a line in the sand.
 In the Maafern Kingdom, where there are many desert areas, the means of transportation is mainly by 'Dragon Carriage'.
 These carriages are pulled by dragons called 'Sand Dragon' instead of the 'Earth Dragon' that are common in the Slayers Kingdom.
 Sand dragon is smaller in size than Earth Dragon, but they are very strong against heat and could store water on their backs like camels.
 Now, these two sand dragons pulled the dragon carriage that we boarded with great force, heading toward the capital of the Maafern Kingdom.
 "Goshujin-sama... It's hot, desu~no. It's like a cauldron of hell has opened..."
 In the dragon carriage, Urza leans languidly on my lap.
 It's been half a day since we started our desert journey. It seems that this little ogre has collapsed from the heat.
 So yesterday we crossed the border and entered Maafern Kingdom.
 Then, we paid some money at a nearby village to rent a dragon carriage, and began our journey to the capital.
 The first challenge we encountered after entering the desert was, as we expected, the extremely hot weather.
 As I explained before, the dragon carriage had thick curtains covering the windows so that no direct sunlight could come in. However, the hot air in the sealed room made us feel as if we were in a sauna.
 Some people might think that it would be better to open the windows, but... when the windows are opened, a huge amount of sand comes in with the wind.
 Besides, the wind in this desert sometimes blows a kind of dust called "poisonous sand" generated from the carcasses of dead monsters, which makes it impossible for non-native visitors to open the windows.
 I remember that in the desert area, there is terrain that when you just walk on it, the terrain will damage you. It's natural because the heat is unbearable. It is much worse than being attacked by monsters. I think we'll be roasted before we reach our destination.
 Even Urza, who was initially excited about her first visit to the desert, is now completely giddy.
 It seems that there is no time to be coy. I took out an item from my item bag to reduce the heat.
 "Icebird Feather (氷鳥の羽)."
 It's a translucent feather made of ice, which I took out just like a secret tool of a cat-shaped robot.
 Then, as soon as I lightly fan the feather, which is about 30 centimeters long, a chill of air flows inside the dragon carriage.
 "Hwaah! It's cool, desu~no!?"
 Suddenly, Urza jumps up at the cold wind that brushes her face.
 She looks at the ice feather in my hand and tilts her head.
 "Goshujin-sama, what is that? Is that a feather?"
 "Yes, it is a feather from a bird called Ice Bird. Its original purpose is quite different... but let's use it to keep cool."
 Icebird feather is used as a material item to make weapons and armor, but this item can also be used as a consumable item to inflict ice damage on enemies.
 Just as a light fan had cleared away the heat in the carriage, throwing it at an enemy with all one's might could freeze them in place.
 "Ugh... Now it is getting cold, desu~no. I'm afraid I'm going to catch a cold, desu~no"
 "Don't be selfish. Put on some heavy clothes and adjust."
 I hand her the warm clothes I took out of my bag, and Urza wraps the fur blanket around her small body. She looks like a bagworm as she warms herself with only her face showing.
 "Bocchama, you must be cold too. Please take this blanket."
 The other passenger in the carriage spread out the blanket and invited me to come in.
 My companion, who is traveling with me and Urza to a neighboring country, is Levienna, the maid.
 Aeris and Nagisa, who are members of our party, did not accompany us on this trip.
 They had been left in charge of the Baskerville family while we were away from the Slayers Kingdom.
 Since Aeris was a daughter of a noble family, she had received a high level of education from her childhood. As such, she has been entrusted with all the internal affairs of the house, including paperwork, as the acting head of the house.
 Nagisa also has been put in charge of behind-the-scenes work. She is in charge of organizing assassins under the Baskerville family, controlling gangs, and purging out the scum who have strayed from the path.
 It was a hard decision to leave my two companions behind... but I had no idea how long this trip would take. After all, the head of the marquis family would be away from home for a long time. So, I would need someone to fill in for me.
 Of course, both Aeris and Nagisa were not happy about being left behind, but I told them that it is a wife's duty to take care of her husband's absence, and they agreed with me.
 I am afraid to go home, though, because I made a promise to do whatever they say when I come back.
 As for Levienna, I brought her in to replace the two-missing people.
 At first, I was going to take one of my assassins or a gangster... but Levienna volunteered to take the place.
 I tried to stop her, asking what a free maid could do, but then Levienna said the most outrageous thing.
 'Bocchama, I won't slow you down! Because my job is 'Royal Guard' now!'
 'Royal Guard' is a rare job besides 'Rune Knight'. There is only one character in DunBrave who has this job.
 When I asked her why Levienna had such a job, she told me that she had trained and changed her job in the past two months.
 Two months ago—that fateful night just before summer vacation.
 I had a duel with my father, Garondolf Baskerville, and after a mortal struggle, I won.
 This 'duel to the death' is not a metaphor. I was actually killed once and revived thanks to a revival item.
 Levienna was also there... and she felt a sense of constricting fear when she saw me being stabbed by Garondolf's sword.
 She was so overwhelmed by her inability to participate in the battle that she started training to somehow be useful to me in battle as well.
 Well, lately, she has been absent from the mansion on many days for personal reasons.
 It seems as a result of her intense training in those days, Levienna has opened the way for her to become a 'Royal Guard.
 Considering that her initial job was a 'Servant', a non-combatant position, this is a terrific evolution. I am afraid to ask how much effort she put into it.
 "Please come here, Bocchama."
 Levienna opens the blanket and invites me in.
 I sit down next to her, and we snuggle into the blanket together.
 As we are wrapped in the same blanket, Levienna has a look of happiness on her face. She looked satisfied, as if she had monopolized all the happiness in the world.
 You may think it's a little late for that after all the erotic things we've done, but this situation is rather embarrassing.
 However, considering the efforts Levienna has made in order to protect me, I could not be indifferent to her. So, I do as Levienna asks and we exchange body temperatures.
 "Bocchama... I'm so happy."
 "Is that so...? If you're that happy because of this, you're a cheapskate."
 "Well, it's not just that I get to be with you, but I've always wanted to have adventures with you, Bocchama. I am truly happy to be a shield for my beloved."
 She said with a hint of color in her cheeks, and I turned my eyes away to hide my shame.
 Inside the blanket, Levienna's hand moves and grabs my arm, guiding me toward her.
 Immediately, I feel a soft touch on my hand. It doesn't take me long to realize that it is the feeling of Levienna's breast.
 "Ghh... I'm late. I'm cold inside and out, desu~no."
 "Hehehe... isn't it okay? I'm so proud of myself."
 Urza, who is sitting opposite me, stares at us with her head wrapped up in a blanket.
 Levienna smiles triumphantly at the girl with half-lidded eyes and pursed lips.

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