The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary
Author :Mine
© Freeuz Novel Updates

Chapter 3

Chapter 3
The next morning, Loren showed up at the east gate . He had his supply of food in a small cloth bag, his great sword strapped around his back, and wore his battered leather armor .
It was not much, but it couldn x2019;t be helped because he had to leave everything in the battle site and did not have any money to buy proper equipment .
He seemed to be early, since he couldn x2019;t see Sarfe or anyone else from the party .
So he decided to have a little chat with the guards until the rest of the party came .
While talking with the guards, Loren finally found out the name of the city he was in, which was Kapha .
Loren knew nothing about this city at all .
He assumed that it was a city within some country, but since mercenaries weren x2019;t confined to one specific country, and since he barely escaped from the battlefield, there was no way Loren would x2019;ve known anything about Kapha .
x201C;It x2019;s a good city . It x2019;s not as good as the capital but the food is good here and people are nice . Plus it x2019;s my hometown as well, x201D; said the young guard .
Loren couldn x2019;t really understand the meaning or significance of a hometown .
For as long as Loren could remember, he was a mercenary, and kept on moving from battle to battle .
For someone like Loren who was never able to settle in one place, he couldn x2019;t help but feel slightly envious of the guard, who looked like he believed from the bottom his heart that Kapha was a good city .
But settling down meant quitting being a mercenary, which meant thinking of a different way to make a living .
If one x2019;s group disbands, it could mean two things . Either join a different group, or quit being a mercenary and look for a different job .
As Loren was thinking that being an adventurer in this city and settling here wouldn x2019;t be too bad, Sarfe and his party finally showed up .
Everyone had full bags on their backs and looked better equipped compared to Loren, who had nothing but a small cloth bag .
x201C;Are they your friends? x201D;
The guard x2019;s bright and easygoing manner suddenly turned slightly sour .
Loren thought that maybe he had something against adventurers, but quickly dismissed the thought because that meant he wouldn x2019;t have been so nice to him .
x201C;Maybe it x2019;s because I don x2019;t look like an adventurer, x201D; thought Loren as he replied, x201C;More like business partners . I x2019;m just joining them for this quest . x201D;
x201C;Not trying to sound like a hater but you should leave that party as soon as you can . A guy that invites a bunch of women to his party is never a decent one . x201D;
Loren thought maybe he was just jealous, but he wasn x2019;t one to point that out .
He let out an awkward laugh and started walking over to Sarfe and the girls, waving at the guard behind him .
x201C;Did you wait long? x201D;
Loren shook his head .
Although they had agreed to meet up in the morning, it wasn x2019;t as if they chose a specific time to meet up . He was also able to gain information from the guard while waiting .
No time was wasted, so he didn x2019;t think that he needed to complain at all .
x201C;Well we x2019;re all here so let x2019;s get going . Walking all the way there is going to be a pain so let x2019;s borrow a carriage . x201D;
The members of the party agreed with Sarfe, but Loren stopped in his tracks .

At this rate he would have to go on foot while everyone else rode the carriage .
As he was debating to either borrow money or run at the same pace as the carriage, he felt some coins slide into his hand .
Surprised, Loren look next to him, a black-haired girl wearing the clothes of a priest was looking up at him, with a finger on her lips .
The others were too busy looking for a carriage and did not notice the actions of Lapis, the priest .
x201C;You x2019;re in a tough spot, right? x201D;
Before Loren could say anything, Lapis continued with a smile on her face .
x201C;These are 10 copper coins . It should be enough to take you to the village and back, so please use them . x201D;
Loren looked at the coins in his hand, then turned his gaze back to Lapis, giving her a puzzled look . Lapis stuck her tongue out and said to Loren,
x201C;I x2019;m lending them to you so please use it . x201D;
It was good for Loren that he didn x2019;t have to say out loud that he didn x2019;t have any money, but lending money was not normal among mercenaries .
Among mercenaries it was unwise to do so because it was a profession where no one knew if he was going to be alive the next day to return the money, which led to many arguments . Loren decided that maybe it was different for adventurers .
x201C;If you owe me one here, you might help me later to return the favor, so it x2019;s sort of an investment as well . x201D;
Loren couldn x2019;t understand lending money for free, but basing an action on calculations and careful thought was something that he did .
He decided to stop giving it much thought and gladly accept her offer . He put the coins in his pocket and slightly bowed his head toward Lapis, expressing his thanks .
Lapis smiled, telling him not to worry about it .
As Lapis walked away from him, he heard the voices of Sarfe and the rest of the party getting close .
x201C;We found a carriage . The ride to the village is going to cost 5 copper coins . x201D;
It was exactly half of what Lapis had lent him .
As Loren reached into his pocket and gave Sarfe the money, he was relieved that he didn x2019;t have to make a fool of himself .
x201C;Can x2019;t thank you guys enough . Walking just wastes time and stamina . x201D;
The man taking them was a farmer from the village who came to the city to buy supplies .
He came to the town with furs and crops to sell, and bought food and tools and was about to go back . Since he sold most of the things he brought, there was a lot of space left in the carriage . He decided to take the 5 of them to make a bit of extra money .
x201C;You x2019;re adventurers that are going to come to the village to exterminate the goblins, right? Then I should take you back to the village as fast I can . x201D;
Loren felt if that was the case, he could have given them a cheaper fee, but since Sarfe and his party was already thanking the man, he held back the urge to try to change the price .
Although using a carriage is faster than walking, horses that pull carriages have more strength than speed, so they are not as fast as war horses .

The farmer was not any of them, and Loren thought they would be staying in an inn .
If they were not going to stay at an inn, it meant they were going to camp outside . When Loren thought about the situation carefully, he remembered that he didn x2019;t even have enough money to rent a room .
The only money he had were the coins Lapis had lent to him in the morning, and 5 copper coins was barely enough to rent a stable stall, so he wouldn x2019;t have any left to get a ride back to the city .
If that were to happen he would have to borrow more money, so he was kind of relieved they were camping outside .
x201C;Ahhhh, I x2019;m so tired and my butt hurts! x201D;
x201C;Stop complaining . We have to finish setting up camp before it gets dark . x201D;
Naron and Oxy got out of the carriage talking in loud voices, while Sarfe and the farmer watched them with wry smiles on their faces .
They were in the middle of a plain, with no trees or abandoned structures where monsters or thieves could lurk, but Loren looked around the camp and scowled .
In a situation where they had no idea what could be lurking near them, loud noises would bring attention to them, and with no cover at all, making a fire would mean someone could see them from miles away .
He wished they would move to sunken terrain with more cover, but he had no knowledge of the surrounding terrain and didn x2019;t know if there was any place like that nearby .
All he could do was trust Sarfe and the farmer to know more about the surrounding area and do his best to be cautious of any sort of intrusion .
He was already feeling frustrated, but Sarfe x2019;s next words gave the killing blow .
x201C;We x2019;re gonna have to keep watch tonight . x201D;
x201C;You mean x2026; just the two of us? x201D;
Including the farmer, there were six of them . If they took 3 watches in pairs of 2, it would be much easier on everyone . Loren thought that he had a special reasoning for wanting just the 2 of them to keep watch, but Sarfe x2019;s reply was surprising x2026; in a completely different way .

x201C;Well, it x2019;s tough without any sleep so it x2019;s gonna have to be the two of us . x201D;
x201C;We x2019;re only going to have one person watch at a time? x201D;
To a former mercenary like Loren those words were unbelievable .
Of course, the number of people available was different, so Loren wasn x2019;t expecting anything fancy, but in his mercenary group it was normal to act in pairs, whether they were keeping watch or scouting .
The only time they would act solo was when they were alone, or there was an absolute need to split up and act independently .
x201C;You got a problem? The leader is telling you to do it so just shut up and do it! x201D;
He was about to explain to Sarfe the dangers of keeping watch alone, but Naron saw that he wanted to say something and interrupted him with a loud, rebuking tone .
Oxy didn x2019;t say anything, but she must have been thinking the same thing, because she was giving Loren a cold look .
Lapis didn x2019;t seem interested at all and looked sleepy even though she slept the whole time on the carriage . She was rubbing her eyes and stifling a yawn . Loren decided that it was no use trying to convince them .
x201C;Alright . You and me . Who x2019;s going to take watch first? x201D;
x201C;You can take first watch . I wanna sleep . x201D;
He wondered if it was ok for the leader of the party to act like this, but didn x2019;t say anything, as it was clear that even if he tried to argue no one was going to be on his side .
x201C;Alright . I x2019;ll wake you up halfway during the night . x201D;
x201C;Sounds good . x201D;
Sarfe waved his hand, signaling that the conversation was over . Loren couldn x2019;t help but feel a clear anxiety and let out a deep sigh .
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