107 the course of an expedition

 The carriages carrying the vanquishing party go out of the capital through the main street of the capital. It was not without a sense of appeal, but it was simply the only road that could accommodate a large carriage. When I glanced out of the carriage, I saw the usual variety of tribes watching the procession from the roadside with eyes that were neither admiration nor contempt. Hopefully, I'll be greeted with applause and praise when I return.

 The carriage is going in a different direction from the way to the city. The ride is very uncomfortable. The younger Mathis, Martin and Boris seem to be doing better, but the older guys, Sandro and I, are complaining about our backs and asses, and Frederica is complaining that her ass hurts. I didn't touch her too much, because that would be s*xual harassment, if there is such a concept in this world. I'll get him a cushion or something later.

 There was a break before the sun passed the mid-heaven. We hurriedly got out of the carriage and stretched ourselves. I heard a thumping sound in my lower back. It was quite painful. There was a river nearby, so we fetched water by ourselves. There are many soldiers in the river. Some of them were washing their faces downstream.
 Upstream, Marius and his men can be seen. It seems that they, too, are having a hard time traveling in a horse-drawn carriage with chains suspending their cabins. He is rubbing his waist. I wonder if it would be better if the carriage had plate springs. Comparing the previous world and this world, it is not my intention to spread the technology because it is the first technology.

 I go back to the carriage, cut some dried meat out of the luggage, and take a bite. I'm not going to do any physical activity today, so I'll just chew on this slowly to quench my hunger, and that should be enough to last me until dinner. Outside the carriage, the others were doing the same. But Miss Frederica, who was currently in the carriage, hadn't said a word. She is looking over the inventory of the supplies.
You're not going to eat anything, are you? You might get carriage sickness, but it's better to eat something. If you're too hungry, you won't be able to think straight.
I forgot to bring it, sir.
 "I forgot to bring it," I asked, and Frederica said without hesitation.
Is this your first time in this kind of work?
Yes, sir. Normally I calculate the amount of taxes collected.
 Normally you work at a desk. You're still young, so I guess you didn't think that much of it.
 I cut off another piece of dried meat and offered it to Miss Frederica.
"Young people need to eat properly.
No, no, no, no, no. It'll mess up Eizo's consumption schedule.
I've already cut it out, and I've brought extra. Please, feel free.
 Miss Frederica was still reluctant, but when I strongly recommended it again, she said, "Well. She was chewing slowly, like a squirrel. She chewed slowly like a squirrel for a while, but then her eyes widened.
"It's dried meat, but it's delicious!
It's a special product of my workshop.
 "It's a special product of Eizo Kobo." She smiled back at Fredrika, who shouted in admiration. In fact, the dried meat I brought this time is not only salted but also peppered, and the meat is specially made of venison from the Kuro Forest. It would probably fetch a good price if sold, but we are a blacksmith shop and have no plans to sell it for our own consumption only. As I watched Miss Frederica happily taking a bite of the dried meat, I also ate my share.

 After a break of less than an hour, we boarded the carriage again. It was a sobering experience, but we had to be patient until evening. After half a day, the initial tension between us seemed to have dissipated, and we started talking more. Now we are talking about each other's work. It seems that Sandro's men are running a large restaurant in the capital. They laughed and said they would give me better food if I went there. I asked him if he was okay with taking a week off from work, but he said he would have help from other restaurants for a while. I asked him if he was okay with me taking a week off, but he said he would have help from another shop for a while.
 Mathis seems to be one of the several stable keepers in the Amour family. He usually takes care of the horse that Marius is riding today. It seems that Matisse's boss, an old man, is the one who is in charge of this expedition. He said in his usual prolonged tone that he had been there before Mathis came, so it was only natural that he should be in charge.
 Miss Frederica, as she said herself, is in the tax business. Not a tax collector, she said, but a tax collector. It's a desk job. He was told to come here when we were discussing the formation of the strike force. The chain of command is under Marius, but the government is in charge. The materials for the strike force are provided by the state. It would be inconvenient for the commander to be in direct control, since he is in charge of the receipt and disbursement of national materials.
 I just said I'm a blacksmith living in the middle of nowhere. I also told him that I came here through Camilo's store. If he were to say that he was invited directly by Marius, he would not be just a blacksmith.

 We found a suitable place to camp long before the sun went down, so we decided to camp there today. The soldiers unloaded the wagons loaded with tents and stoves. Sandro's men were involved in setting up the kamado, Miss Frederica was in charge of food consumption, and Matisse was feeding and watering the horses, who were tired from pulling the wagon all day.
 I was the only one who had nothing to do. I thought about helping him, but I didn't want to get in the way, so I went with the horses who had finished eating the leaves and drinking the water.
You're bored: ......
"Brule: ......
 We watched the scene together.