43 dark clouds

 I also made some small talk with Camilo, and then left his store. I'm just going to go home now. It doesn't seem like there's anything I can do about Mr. Marius. I'm just a blacksmith. I've got everything I need to replenish my supplies at Camilo's place, so there's nothing I need to buy elsewhere. I don't need to buy seeds or anything for the fields until the fields are in order.
 Since it had been two weeks since our last visit, I thought that the ironstone and charcoal in the cart would be enough for two weeks, but the ironstone and charcoal in the cart were enough for one week, taking into account that we said we would only work for one week.

 When I left the city, I saw that the guard was the same man I had seen in the morning. Well, it hadn't been that long since I'd been to Camilo's place, so it was only natural. I walked past him, bidding him goodbye. Once on the road, the rest of the route is the same as usual, but I keep my eyes open. The prairie stretches as far as the eye can see, and the breeze feels good on my body as it burns from pulling the cart. I was tempted to relax, but there was no point in doing so.
"It's easy to relax when it feels this good," I said.
 I said.
"If it's safe, it's a nice day for a holiday.
"I can see why Eizo would be relaxed.
 Both Rikke and Saamya agreed with me. I guess so. However, it's hard to say that we can't just relax and have lunch. Let's at least enjoy the nice weather while we go.

 And just as we were about to enter the forest, Samija stopped. She seemed to be hearing something, judging from the way she was busily moving her round ears. I call out to Samija.
"Are you a bandit?
I don't know. I don't know. But it sounds like a struggle. It's a little further. ......
 Samija is glancing at us. I guess she's wondering if she should go or not.
"All right, then, Samija, you go ahead and check on them. If you see bandits or wolves attacking anyone, you can help us. We'll catch up as soon as we can. If it gets dangerous, run this way.
 Samija nodded, took off her boots and started running. She's a tiger beast, and she's in her element. She's fast, but there's barely a sound.
Well, we'd better get a move on.
 Rike and I pull the cart as hard as we can. It vibrates a lot, but not so much that we lose our balance and roll over. Good thing we're on a road. If it were a forest or an unmaintained road, we would not have been able to go this fast. We hurried down the road, trusting that the load would be safe because it was basically tied down.

 It was only a few minutes, but it felt like a very long time to me. I could hear the sounds of multiple people fighting. Yeah, stay.
"Rike, I'm leaving him here for now. Follow me.
Yes, sir.
But when you get there, stay a little farther back.
Yes, sir!
 Because of his travels, Rike was able to protect himself to a certain extent, but beyond that, it was tough. No matter how many of my custom-made knives he has, if he can't hit you, he can't cut you. So, I'm going to ask you not to get involved in the battle directly. Me and Rike put down the cart and ran towards the sound.

 As soon as we started running, we saw the scene. Three or so men are attacking Samija and a woman. Samija was fending them off with her bow and arrow, and the woman with her longsword, but I could see that the woman's movements were sluggish. It looks like the woman is about to take a blow. I pulled out my longsword and said
"What are you doing?
 I shout with all my might. The men's gazes averted to me.
"Hey, put him away.
 One of the men says, and one of them comes at me. I slash at him from above with all my might. The man catches my sword with his own, but the impact must have been greater than he expected, because he can't flip it back and stops moving for a moment. Taking advantage of the momentum from the slash, I unleash a second blow at the man's torso. The blade dug into the middle of the man's torso, which he could not handle, and he coughed up a mouthful of foaming blood.
 I pulled the sword out of the man's torso, and without waiting to see if he would fall, I aimed it at the two remaining men. If the remaining two run away, so be it. The advantage in numbers has been reversed, and that's what I would normally do.
"d*mn it.
 But the remaining two didn't, they just swore and one of them came at me. The woman is exhausted, and the tiger beast, or Samija, is also a woman, so I guess she thinks she can still make it as long as she gets rid of me. I drew my knife with one hand while my opponent was closing the distance. I had a shortsword in one hand and a knife in the other. The opponent did not seem to pay any attention to the drawn knife, and threw a sidewise cleave, which I caught a little away from my body so that the blade of the knife was orthogonal to my body.
 No, "received" is a bit of a misnomer. Because his sword was cut off completely from the point where it touched the knife. Thanks to this, he struck out without impact and slammed his sword into the empty torso, just as the first man had done, and the blade also bit into the middle of the torso. There was only one man left.

 The last one tried to run away, but Samija shot an arrow at him, and the arrow pierced his body, causing the last one to fall to the ground. Normally that wouldn't have happened, but that arrowhead is my speciality.

 I tried to focus my attention, but I couldn't feel any other presence. It would have been troublesome if there had been any remnants, but there didn't seem to be any, so I let out a sigh of relief, called for Rike, and then rushed over to Samija and the woman.