It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (12/47), enjoy~
Chapter 4 – Royal Kingsland Academy Field Trip
In the dark, damp forest. As he stomped on the muddy ground, Ain thought back to the events of this morning.
(…After gathering at the school. We took the water train back to the White Rose, and then we went straight to the harbor and got on a ship… and now we’re here.)
Can this be called a field trip? He gave a wry smile.
“Fuwah… sleepy… Hey, Roland. How long was it from the cape to our destination?”
“It’s a long way, you know. It would take us three days, so to be honest, I don’t even want to think about the distance.”
“Then let’s stop here. It’s a hell of a field trip, though, isn’t it?”
While listening to the conversation between Batz and Roland, Ain also nodded deeply in agreement.
When considering the fact that they were brought to an island in the ocean near the continent Ishtar, they were dropped off at a cape and were told to explore the opposite cape in three days. On this island, where monsters naturally appear, they have to secure their own food and drink.
Batz then says something distracting.
“Hmm, Yes, yes?”
“It’s so dark in here. Isn’t something about to come out?”
“Not that something’s about to come out, but that something is definitely coming out.”
The sound of animal cries echoed in the air, and the light eerily shone in the dim forest.
“Batz, as Your Highness said… it’s not going to come out, but it will come out.”
“Well, that’s true, isn’t it? We have already defeated slimes and such before.”
“Right, right. Well, Leonardo and I are only protecting the rear…”
There are only certain monsters that the students can defeat in the area.
The students couldn’t be sent to an area where dangerous monsters appeared, and it’s the same with the crown prince Ain.
“However, the two of you must not forget to be careful. Understood?”
And it was Dill who brought the last reminder. He was here because that was the rule for this field trip.
The only senior student in the group was there as a guard in case of emergencies. The only reason he was here was because of Ain.
“I’ll try not to be a hindrance… I can’t fight, after all.”
“You fool, you don’t have to worry about it, Roland. It’s not going to be that dangerous on this island.”
Roland felt relieved by Batz’s attitude. As he said, if it were against the monsters in this vicinity, there would be no need to fall behind.
As the sky is getting a little darker, Leonardo makes a suggestion.
“We should prepare something that can be burned soon. I want to start preparing for the camp, too.”
“Yes. We can use the rabbits we hunted along the way for food, and then we need to find some drinking water…”
“As long as the water is not too dirty, it should be fine. I can just use the magic tools I made to clean it up.”
Saying that, Roland’s ears swung from side to side. But then Dill interrupted him.
“Roland, you’re not supposed to bring in magic tools.”
It is forbidden because it would be easier to bring it in, especially since the nobles would have an advantage.
“Don’t worry, Dill-senpai. I just make it with the magic stones of the monsters we have hunted up to this point, and it’s as simple as a small water purification function.”
“I-I see… that’s fine then.”
The man called Roland has a high level of technical skills, as his words do not sound like those of a student.
“Your Highness, I’ll use my skills to prepare a little barrier. It should be able to protect us from the monsters here.”
While Leonardo was more of a social sciences person, he possessed the rare skill of creating barriers. It’s not sophisticated, but it must be a reassuring skill just now.
──Ain and Batz will be the two vanguards.
The remaining two excel at one skill as the rear guard and as supporting roles. The four of them have been going through the forest in that formation so far. A few hours after the field trip began, the four of them arrived at a flat area and began to prepare for the camp.
“Hey, look at this. Look what I found.”
Batz said in a good mood, and everyone looked at his hand.
“What’s that? The color is weird.”
Ain’s cheek twitched at first sight of what looked like fruit.
“It may not look like much, but it’s a fruit, Your Highness. The taste is not to be underestimated. But Batz… That fruit is poisonous, and there are similar imitations. Do you know what that is? As for me, I don’t know.”
“I don’t know. I brought it to Leonardo to see if he could figure it out…”
The guess was off. Batz gave a sideways glance, and Ain asked Dill.
“Hmm… do you know Dill?”
“Yes, I know of it. But I can’t advise you on that because of the rules.”
Ain laughed for a moment when he saw that Dill’s attitude had really changed from before, as he answered apologetically. He wondered what he should do. If it is poisonous, that’s a problem… Then Ain gets an idea.
“Batz. Give me that.”
“A-ah. It’s okay, but… Be careful.”
“I know… Hmm, this is surprisingly soft.”
The size of the fruit is about the size of a baby’s head. When he smelled it, it smelled surprisingly sweet and sour, which attracted his interest. However, the purple, poisonous color took away his appetite.
(…Should I have just done this from the beginning?)
He tried to activate the absorption and toxin decomposition without being noticed by the three of his friends. But since there didn’t seem to be any change, Ain decided that it would be safe to eat.
“It’s okay; these aren’t poisonous.”
“Huh? Did you know how to tell the difference, Ain?”
“It’s just a coincidence. I read a lot of books.”
“Anyway, it’s a good thing, isn’t it, Leonardo? One more thing for dinner, eh?”
“…Since Your Highness recognized it, I suppose.”
They sat down on a log as a chair and finally began to catch their breath.
In the forest, it’s not long before the darkness sets in, and it becomes difficult to see what’s going on in the surrounding area. It would have been better if they had packed up the camp a little earlier.
Ain set this as a task for tomorrow.
“As long as we stay like this, it’s a bit like traveling.”
“Yeah. I agree with Batz.”
A cool breeze blew through the forest, and the sound of the swaying trees echoed through the air. The flames of the bonfire swayed in the breeze, creating a unique atmosphere. The aroma of rabbit meat roasting beside them whetted their appetites.
Sitting on the logs around the bonfire, they felt a sense of calmness. They all rubbed their tired legs.
“So, Leonardo. Is it true that your fiancée has been decided?”
“What is it that so suddenly… don’t say something strange!”
“What’s that! I’ve never heard that before!”
“Hey, even Roland!”
Engagement is not as early as one might think at this age, especially if you are the heir to a large noble family. Although it’s unknown where he got it from, Batz’s statement drew attention.
“Wait a minute, Leonardo. I didn’t hear it either…”
“Y-Your Highness? Please don’t look so sad!”
“Oh, no. Leonardo made Ain cry.”
“I thought we were friends. It’s terrible…”
“…Ugh! Ah, geez! I get it! I get it already! …Your Highness, I will tell you! Please listen carefully!”
“──Yes. What is it? What kind of person is she?”
Ain turned his head towards Leonardo with a nonchalant look on his face.
“S… Should I?”
The three of them laughed at each other, and their laughter echoed in the forest. While it was getting lively, Roland took some of the cooked meat.
“Then let’s listen to Leonardo’s story while we eat.”
“Oh, that’s very thoughtful of you!”
“Yeah… I’ll have some.”
In contrast to the two of them, Leonardo’s expression is one of exhaustion.
“Dill-senpai. Let’s eat together.”
Roland also offered the meat to Dill.
“Hmm? I’ve got portable food, so don’t worry about it.”
Everyone but Ain knew that Dill was a stiff man. But his tone of voice was surprisingly soft, so he didn’t seem as nervous as he might have been.
“We can’t afford to have any leftover, and we can’t afford to turn it into dried meat. So it would be great if Dill could eat some too.”
“…I understand. If Your Highness insists, I’ll be happy to take your offer.”
When he agreed, he also approached and sat down. Then he took something out of his pocket.
“If you’d like, I can give you one of my own.”
He held out a bag of tea leaves. Leonardo frowned for a moment when he saw it.
“W-wouldn’t this go against the rules…?”
“Yeah, it’s just like you said, Leonardo-kun, but this is an annual event. I’ve heard from my classmates that other teams have brought in their own. Besides, the academy tolerates this much.”
It was a warm-hearted gesture from the Royal Kingsland Academy, which had few events.
When Leonardo was convinced, Dill made a pot of water for the dishes that Ain and the others had brought.
“H-hey, hey. Does that mean we are the only ones who have been foolishly honest about keeping the rules…?”
“Ahaha… maybe. But it’s nothing to be ashamed of… Yeah.”
“Roland is right. But… well, it wouldn’t hurt to have some fun at least once in a while. I’ll take your word for it.”
The meal was made even better by the unexpected gift of tea. A little mischief is a privilege for students. The first day of the field trip ended on a happy note as they enjoyed their meal and talked about Leonardo.