For an hour or so, I slumped, occasionally stirring the pot or adding water, and keeping an eye on my surroundings.
As the sun rises, there are many carriages on the road, heading only away from the city. I don't see any wagons heading toward the city, probably because they got information from different wagons on the way.
Those who can escape will try to get out of the empire as soon as possible. I wonder what's going on with that girl I mistook for a boy. They may not have much reason to flee the city, but I hope they don't get caught up in the fighting.
The meat and beans that I had been stewing were getting soft, so I woke up the three of them and made them breakfast.
Did you get your food?
I did. It was mostly just barley porridge.
When I asked Helen, she replied, "Well, mostly just barley porridge. So I served Helen less meat and more beans. I don't think her stomach can't take it because it's soft, but I don't want to scare her.
The only seasoning is salt and broth from the dried meat, and the ingredients are meat and beans, so it is protein-only (even though there is a difference between animal and vegetable). What's that? It's a "what's the nutritional value?" kind of menu, but the feeling of having something in your stomach is very different from not having something in your stomach.
Everyone, including me, is quietly putting something in their stomachs.
It had been a long time since we left the city, and she seemed to be recovering quite well, but it seemed too early to ask Helen about the situation. At the very least, it would be better to wait until they left the Empire.
My stomach was growling, and the sun was already up, so I put the pot away and turned off the fire. I took over the watch with Franz and went to lie down with Camilo and Helen.
How long had I been asleep when I suddenly woke up. By the time the sun was setting, it was not yet noon, but it had been some time.
Oh, you're awake.
Camilo called out to me, and I responded. That means at least enough time has passed for Franz-san and Camilo to switch guards.
I stretched out with a huff. I threw the blanket I was wearing into the carriage.
We'd better get going. We won't be able to stop at any of the towns along the way, so we'll be camped out until we leave the empire, and we'll only make short stops along the way.
"Worst case scenario, we'll have to get off the road. Is Camilo familiar with the geography of the area?
Close to the road, maybe. I have a map.
That should help.
You have a map? But I don't think it's as detailed as the one published by the Geographical Survey Institute. In this world, such a map is a complete military secret.
Still, it would be nice to know roughly where you are and which way to go. The goal is to get out of the Empire.
Camilo will take Franz, and I'll wake Helen and put her in the carriage. Camilo and I cleaned up the area and got into the carriage.
The sun was rising, and more and more refugees were walking along the streets. Our carriage moved relatively slowly away from the city.