‘Now then. Let’s retrieve whatever HQ left behind.’
I walk to an alley and directly run in the direction to the city gate. A little before reaching it, I activate the camouflage system. I slip out of the city smoothly.
After reaching the forest, I deactivate the camouflage. Opening the map function on the goggles, I start to run to the coordinate left behind by the HQ. Judging by the direction, it should be near the ruins of HQ.
‘Haha. Can it even be called ruins?’
I inwardly laugh at my stupid remark. The forest is as silent as ever. Only occasional bird’s chirps and rustle of wind are heard.
Did the animals get driven out? Or there are not many animals to begin with.
I walk inside the forest while appreciating the green view of refreshing forest. The calming light breeze brushes past once in awhile. It is so calm that I feel sleepy.
I pass through the bandit’s cave. The cave is filled with people once again. They are using army uniform so I guess they are here to investigate. I slip past them without drawing attention.
Coming out of the forest, I came across the remnant of the perimeter post. The equipment is no longer here. Either taken back to Earth or taken by the enemy. It should be back to Earth.
I jog to the marker on the map. It is the coordinate where the supplies are buried. It is at the center of the ruined HQ. Sandbags are scattered around. Pieces of wood, metal and nails can be seen thrown around.
A huge black mark lies at the middle of the HQ. It looks like the HQ blew up the camp after taking whatever can be taken. From the looks of it, they use the new plastic explosive. The explosion scattered everything beyond recognition. Even the top of the hill are gouged out into a small crater.
The coordinate marks the very center of the explosion mark. I take out a shovel from the storage and start digging. A few minutes later the small ammo box is seen.
‘Here I thought I will see a huge crate. Oh how stupid of me. We have storage system.’
I laugh a bit before I take out the ammo box. I open up the system and enter the password written on the report. “Password accepted” is written on the system.
I access the supply list.
1x DSR 50 Anti Material Sniper Rifle (Weapon)
100x .50 BMG (Bullets)
1x MG3 (Weapon)
600x 7.62x51mm NATO (Bullets)
1x RGR2 Anti Personnel Rifle (Weapon)
200x Specialized Rail Gun Bullets (Bullets)
480x 7.62x39mm (Bullets)
5x Swords (Weapon)
5x Polearms (Weapon)
I read through the list. HQ left us with three types of weapons. A sniper rifle, a general purpose machine gun, and an anti personnel rifle. I thought having the sniper rifle to handle personnel is enough but I guess it will be too gory. It is an anti material rifle after all.
A large amount of bullets are also supplied. I don’t think I can exhaust them but who knows how long we will be stuck here without reinforcement. I better limit the usage.
There are ordinary cold weapons as well. MRE supplies and bottles of water will sustain us for about a month if used sparingly. We don’t need to do that though.
There are also a few clothes ranging from ordinary villagers’ clothes to slightly wealthy types.
After taking everything and putting them into my own storage, I close off the hole. I stretch and hear a few cracking sound from my bones. It feels comfortable.
‘Come to think of it. I wonder who is the owner of that broken carriage.’
Their clothes are still with us. With no way of knowing anything, we can’t find the owner. I absentmindedly think about it. I shake my head soon after and walk to the city.
I reach the inn in the late evening. The main road was starting to get less crowded. Mary has informed me that she has reached Alishia’s house. She will go to the guild again on the next day.
I passed the night, feeling a bit lonely. I wonder why. Is it because Mary isn’t around? I shake my head with a bitter smile.
“I should be thinking about how to accomplish the task rather than feeling.”
I think back to the supplies. Among the supplies there is a beacon device. It is an important device right now since it will mark the position of the new gateway.
The next morning, I pass the time at the corner of the dining area. I casually watch the busy waitresses while eating my light meal. After finishing my meal and sit around for half an hour, I pay up and go out.
“Let’s walk around for a bit. It is so boring without her around.”
I murmur while walking on the busy road. I walk around in the crowd while trying to lose the stalkers who have appeared again in the morning. The crowd helps me to lose them quickly.
However my black hair also caused them to find me again easily. There are a few times where they tried to grab my shoulder. I step aside and slip into the crowd every time.
After going around for a while, I see a small store, selling clothes at the corner of the road. The store looks deserted and only a few clothes are still hung inside. I walk inside to lose the the stalkers.
The store is selling clothes for women. I look around while thinking if Mary would want one or two of them. The quality of the dress is slightly higher than Mary’s villager dress.
When I am looking around, a beautiful woman comes in from the back. I glances at her and see that she is carrying a few folded clothes. She smiles when she sees me.
“Welcome to our humble store. Who do you want to buy the clothes for?”
“I am pondering if I should buy one for my friend. I can see the quality of the dress is good.” (Erwin)
“Ah. I see. Our humble store usually take care of order from lower rank nobles so we guarantee the quality. Please look around.”
“Alright. This shop looks empty. Something’s happening?” (Erwin)
I grab one of the dresses. It is a one piece light blue dress. It reminds me of Mary’s eyes color. I am thinking if it will complement her or not. Should I look for dark blue instead? Or should I just look for the easiest white color?
I regret I have no sense of aesthetic for fashion. The woman laughs a bit, seeing my bitter expression.
“We are closing our store. That’s why the store is like this.”
I grab a dark blue dress and a white dress. I imagine Mary wearing any of these. I can’t say if it will match as I don’t really care about it. I hang them back to their place.
“My husband is returning to his hometown to help his father. My daughter and I will follow him.”
“I see. When will you go?” (Erwin)
I grab the dark blue dress again. This one should be good for Mary. Should I buy it?
“We are moving in two days. There is finally a guard who responded to our request.”
“Oh? Is it been a long time since you posted the request? How much is this dress?” (Erwin)
“It’s five silver. It’s been almost a month. If after a month there is still no guard, we will move out ourselves. The risk is higher though.”
One silver coin is 100 copper coin. It can sustain a family of three for four days. Five silver is enough for more than half a month. It is quite cheap for a noble cloth but expensive for commoners.
Should I buy it?
“Hmm... Should I buy this? I don’t know if she will like it or not.” (Erwin)
“How about you bring her here? I can suggest clothes for her.”
“....I will buy it. Here is five silver. Where are your family going?” (Erwin)
“We are going to the village east of here. It’s called Arn Village. The payment is accepted. Do you want me to fold the dress?”
“Yes please.” (Erwin)
After settling the payment, I walk out of the store. The signatures of those stalkers are quite far away. Looks like they lost me. I wrap the dress with another clean cloth and hang them on my waist. I will store it to the storage when I get into an alley.
I watch the sun slowly creeping up. It is nearly noon. After making a visit to an alley, I walk to the Merchant Guild with relaxed mood.
When I enter the guild, Mary is already waiting in the lobby. She is looking a bit tired. I walk to where she sits.
“Mary. Good work. Any problem?” (Erwin)
“Ah. Erwin. I am fine. The work is simple but there are a lot of them. Thankfully there are others. We finished them just a few minutes ago. Also, I taught the few magicians here how to suppress their leaking mana.” (Mary)
“I see. You have work hard. How much is the pay?” (Erwin)
“One silver each day so I got two silver. Add up the lesson, I got five silver.” (Mary)
Ugh... I just used up five silver. Haha....
“How much is the lowest wage?” (Erwin)
“If you ask me the lowest wage in the guild, fifty copper a day. Outside the guild, I don’t know.” (Mary)
I see. It’s a pretty high reward for half a day job.
“Erwin, here is the detail of the job we accept yesterday. The client is Alishia’s uncle. It is quite a coincidence right?” (Mary)
“Oh? That is really a great coincidence. Let’s meet up with them and talk.” (Erwin)
“Sure. I will bring you there.” (Mary)
“Before that, we should eat lunch first. I see a decent looking restaurant. I want to try eating there.” (Erwin)
“Lead the way then.” (Mary)
We eat our lunch at nearby big restaurant. There is no worth mentioning incident except a few fools trying to get near Mary. A few stomps at their feet are enough to hold them off. Hopefully.
They are glaring my way since then. I feel like it will dig a hole in my body. We finish our lunch soon after as it is unpleasant to be stared at.
“The food is quite nice, isn’t it?” (Mary)
“Yeah. It’s delicious. It’s just those stare which are unpleasant.” (Erwin)
“You’re right. Let’s go.” (Mary)
Mary leads the way to Alishia’s house. I walk while looking around. The now familiar road passes by quickly. Soon after, we reach a small store.
I stand stiff in front of it. I take out the detail of the job quickly. Mary looks over confused.
Reward: 1 silver coin each day
Requirement: Guard Rank E or above.
Mission: Escort and defend Harold’s family to Arn Village a week away.
Guard Rank E is the lowest rank for a guard. The highest rank is rank A. Rank A guard can even be tasked to guard middle rank noblemen.
I look over at the destination. Arn Village. The shopkeeper just said they are going to Arn Village. I laugh a bit. I don’t even know if this can be called coincidence. It feels like someone is pulling the string.
“What are you laughing at? Come in.” (Mary)
“Welcome. Oh. Is that Mary? Welcome back.”
“I am back Nina. How is Alishia and Jenny?” (Mary)
“They are playing inside. Who is it?” (Nina)
“This is Erwin. My friend who will join as a guard.” (Mary)
I step out to the side of Mary. I see the same shopkeeper as this morning.
“Hahaha... We meet again. I am Erwin.” (Erwin)
“I see that it is you. So the one you bought---” (Nina)
“I want to talk about the job. Can we?” (Erwin)
I hurriedly cut her talk. The shopkeeper, Nina, stifles her laughter. She winks once.
“Erwin, how do you know her?” (Mary)
“I came here this morning.” (Erwin)
“Why would you come here? It’s all women clothes.” (Mary)
“I am running away from stalkers!” (Erwin)
“Come inside first. We will talk after my dear comes back.” (Nina)
“As you wish.” (Erwin)
We walk to the back of the store. The back of the store is a simple kitchen. The rooms of the resident are on the second floor.
“Jenny, Alishia, come down. Mary is back.” (Nina)
There are noisy running noises sound out from above. A few seconds later, Alishia along with a little girl come down. The girl jumps when she sees me. She then hides behind Alishia.
I.... Can only smile bitterly.
“Welcome back Mary. Welcome Erwin.” (Alishia)
“Jenny, this is Erwin. Mary’s friend. Come, greet him.” (Nina)
“I... am... Jenny. Nice to... meet you..” (Jenny)
Jenny shyly leans out from behind Alishia. She bows a bit and hides again.
“She is a shy girl. Sorry for it.” (Nina)
“Don’t worry about it.” (Erwin)
I pat her head gently. Jenny smiles bashfully and Alishia pouts. I pat her head as well.
“You’re good at handling kids?” (Nina)
“I have no idea. I just know that as a child, I like being patted on the head. So I try it.” (Erwin)
“I like it as well.” (Mary)
“Do you want to be patted too?” (Erwin)
Mary’s face turns red almost instantly. She shakes her head and hands.
“No need! No need!” (Mary)
I grin while moving closer to Mary. Her red face is like an apple, ready to be eaten. When I am about to reach her, there is a sound, coming from outside.
“I am home.”
A loud voice from a man can be heard from the door of the store. Jenny leaps out from behind Alishia.
She shouts while running out of the door. She jumps to his father’s arms.
“Welcome home dear.” (Jenny)
I turn to the man. I am reminded of that man from that village nearby. So, he is really the one from that time. I walk to the front door.
“Why didn’t he pat me?”
I hear a grumble from behind me. The voice is so small that I can’t hear the content. I turn around to see Mary.
“Let’s go greet him.” (Mary)
Is that my imagination?
references of weapons (as requested for better picturing in reading):
1. DSR50: Previously I just use the DSR name and put in random number behind it. Who would have thought when I was researching there really is one in real life. Here is the pic (click here) and (click here). It is similar to what is in my mind.
The number 50 comes from the fact that it uses .50 BMG bullets. Here is the info on the weapon (click here)
2. MG3: the slim design of MG42 (click here) and its successor MG3 (click here) inspired me. The gun looks simple but deadly. I read that MG42 is famous for its high firing speed due to its unique firing mechanism. The MG3 in my story is the same as the known MG3. info (click here)
4. M-AK45: this is a fictional weapon. I think this (click here) or this (click here) will suffice as there aren't many different shape of AK. just imagine a large barrel as the silencer is built-in at the tip of it. It makes quite a long barrel and hard to maneuver in close combat.
5. USP (sidearm): this will suffice (click here).
6. Shield: Heater shield (click here), round shield (click here) (the smaller version of round shield is buckler shield. I need to edit my chaptes for it as I need the big version. Sorry for misunderstanding) and kite shield (not used currently so just for info. It is usually used for cavalry shield. click here)
Swords (I use western double-edged sword, not eastern single-edged sword), spears, and the rest is pretty common with not much difference. so just search for it yourself.