"Calm, calm down..."
With the swords already drawn...
Sera could not hold on to the reins and controlled the horses with her heels.
Although there was some initial confusion among the horses due to the sudden stop, their ability to calm down after Sera's words showed how well-trained these horses were.
'It's crude, but the trap's made by someone with intelligence.'
Just a few inches away from the hooves was a taut rope.
It was tied to the nearby trees and, as if intended to be used at night, was painted black.
Thankfully Sera managed to sense the danger beforehand and skillfully stopped the carriage, otherwise it could have lead to a huge accident wherein the carriage overturned.
Ian stood up with his foul words.
"Ian-nim. Take care of the carriage."
After calming down the horses, Sera stood up and requested him to oversee the protection of Riley and Iris.
The carriage was stopped in the middle of the forest.
Although there was a path which allowed carriages and men to travel through, to the sides were bushes and trees whose leaves fluttered in the cold night wind.
'Is there...nothing more to the trap?'
Sera looked about.
She began to sniff with her nose as her eyes could not see far in the darkness.
'It's not done by humans. It's faint, but there is the stench of a beast.'
If humans are excluded, there aren't many species that could perform such a feat.
As Sera began to narrow down the likely candidates she looked down at the taut rope which was blocking the path.
'Should I cut the rope and continue on?'
The rope was simply painted, and didn't seem too difficult to cut.
It would easily split in two even without the use of mana.
'I must hurry, before the trappers come.'
At the moment the culprits could not be seen.
The decision was quick.
It was just when Sera was about to come down from the driver's seat.
From the darkness a snicker could be heard, and daggers coated with green liquid flew at Sera from her blind spot.
Sera quickly pulled her sword back and spun her body.
Sera's face was filled with frustration, realising she was a tad late.
'Kuk, it's annoying to fight with a blow from the...'
A teacup flew towards Sera, and the dagger which was flying at Sera's back ricocheted.
As if he was having a strange dream, Riley woke up with a scream and knocked the teacup from Iris' hand.
"R-Riley? What's wrong?"
Iris could not see the dagger before and looked at her son with surprise.
"Well...I just had a weird dream."
"Phew, you surprised me."
From inside the carriage.
Ian who was looking blankly at Sera's back blinked his eyes repeatedly.
Such an amazing coincidence?
At such a perfect timing?
At such a perfect angle?
For Riley to knock the teacup in his sleep and hit the dagger midair?
'Coincidence? Is it a coincidence?'
Although the dagger came from behind, Sera, who managed to avoid it with a miracle, looked back at the carriage and nodded her head.
She was planning to go to the spot where the dagger was originally thrown from.
"What the...? It's stopped? Why did we stop?"
Sera came down from the seat, and Riley who just woke up looked around in confusion and asked Ian.
"The truth is..."
Before Ian could explain, there was a shriek following Sera's battlecry.
The scratchy voice didn't seem human, and sounded more like that of a monster.
"What's that noise?"
Riley was reassuring his mother who was worried, and looked out the window to see what was happening.
When his eyes adjusted to the dark, Riley could see Sera, who was fighting against midgets with green skin.
Riley remembered seeing them in his book.
With a short stature, amber eyes, and sharp teeth like that of a shark’s, they were monsters who had the intelligence of a 10-year-old child.
Riley narrowed his eyes, not knowing before that they really existed.
'So they are here too... Monsters.'
For them to really exist, and not just in the books.
Half reminiscent of his past.
After seeing their appearance and their movements, Riley found them quite similar to the lesser demons he hunted back in his previous life.
"It seems the goblins made a trap with a rope and waited for a carriage to go by. And we fell right into the trap. Thankfully Sera noticed it and saved the carriage, and so we are in combat now."
As Riley watched Sera fight, Ian provided a brief explanation of the current situation.
"Is she alright...being alone?"
"With her skill, a few tens of goblins are nothing. She could fight against same number of orcs. It would be different if they were ogres."
"Well, it's not very important right now."
Even if Sera was hit by the dagger from before, it would have been no problem for her.
Even if there was poison on the dagger, it was a crude one made by goblins.
At Sera's level of mana control, she would have been able to fight while suppressing the effect of poison using her mana.
It would of been a minor annoyance, but not a problem.
"There is a chance some may come from behind and threaten Young Master or Lady Iris. So I must hold my position here."
"Believe in Sera. Young Master has yet..."
Ian stopped his words.
He didn't know what words he should add.
'...to become strong?'
Those words flew into his head, but Ian shook his head immediately.
He didn't want to say any words that could disappoint Riley.
Ian still remembered the time Riley struck the dummy back then.
"Anyway, our job is to wait for Sera. It may take twenty... no, about thirty minutes. They tend to become more feral when there is a full moon."
During the full moon, monsters become slightly stronger.
Riley also remembered reading about that in a book.
But Riley could not say 'I know that.'
Because he was watching the way Sera was fighting.
With an uncomfortable look in his eyes.
Iris carefully called her son's name.
But Riley did not answer again.
Riley's face was changing from uncomfortable to agonizing.
Perhaps because of the memories of his past? Watching Sera fight felt as if he was shoving potatoes down his throat.
'Is she being careful because of the dark? Why is she so slow?'
Sera was taking some time to kill the goblins.
'Uuh, slow... It's too slow.'
Now is not the time to be stuck here.
In a place not so far there was the drink he craved so much, the so-called black sugar beer.
Just when he was about to have it...
It frustrated him so much that he was rooted to this place.
'It would end much faster if Ian were to join in.'
Riley rolled his eye to the side and looked at Ian.
Ian was also watching Sera fight with a serious face.
For the reason he mentioned before, he stayed behind to protect Riley and Iris.
The Riley that Ian knew had no knowledge about swords at all.
'But if I were to tell him to join, things would get complicated.'
In a situation where he was desperate for some fizzy drinks, to watch Sera fight was...
'Damn it... Maybe I should have brought a few more bodyguards.'
Riley frowned, since he brought only Ian and Sera in order to avoid annoyances as much as possible.
'... Should I just finish it?'
Although Riley was tempted to move on his own, there was something holding him back.
It's the secret he had been holding onto until now.
‘If it’s Mother, it doesn't matter.’
Even if he were to show his skills, as she is oblivious to the way of the sword she would simply smile proudly at her son.
The result wouldn't change even if she did know swordsmanship.
It was Ian and Sera who were the problems.
'If it’s now...'
Riley closed his eyes.
The two people who had watched over him for such a long time.
Some of the only people whom he could trust.
They had also helped him from his birth.
When there weren’t any eyes from the mansion...
Maybe displaying some skill wouldn't hurt?
Riley thought as such and stood up, unable to hold his frustration.
"Let's go take a look."
"It's good to rest, but when else can we see something like this?"
He had decided to give a hand if the situation was really bogged down.
Hiding such intentions, Riley grabbed onto his mother’s hand and stepped down from the carriage, with Ian following hurriedly behind.