Minerva’s confusion wasn’t resolved.
Entering her own usual bed, and welcoming the next day as usual wasn’t an event far in the past. But then the duke residency was getting attacked, and she was in an unfamiliar grassland by the time she regained her consciousness.
Being attacked by unfamiliar beasts, and even encountering a river that was actually a demonic being that can speak. Though she was surprised at Rona who she thought was only a beast talking fluently, even more than that, she remembered Rona’s proficiency with arts.
With not a single mystery solved, only more and more obstacles stood in her way back to the capital. Even when she was told that they were now in a world different from the one she was raised in, it only added more to her confusion.
「Commander Greystar. It’s embarrassing to say but……, I haven’t understood a single thing about what happened. 」
The fire between the people swayed while it consumed the twigs on the ground. On the edge of the twigs are skewers of Nedulo meat cut into suitable sizes.
After all, without proper tool, all they could have is some simple roasted meat.
「Don’t worry, Ojou-sama. It’s the same for me. 」
Picking one skewer up in his empty hand, Moore held the meat on the fire as he answered.
「Rona said it’s a different world. But what did he mean by that? A different continent? 」
「I wonder. If we’re not on Rovres Continent, then there’s no need to say it’s a different 『World』. It’s a different continent, would be the correct expression. In the first place, even in other continents, there should be twilight. The fact that there wasn’t a twilight here is not what I can understand. If only there was someone who knew everything. 」
There’s no use pondering over something they didn’t know, Moore sighed as he muttered.
Minerva looked ahead. Rona was explaining frantically towards a man who had his arms crossed sitting on a tree stump.
According to what Rona said, that man would be her Shishou, Ardis.
It’s unbelievable. That’s what Minerva felt.
She only knew the young Ardis. No matter what, the age couldn’t match with this man who had an unshaven face. Certainly, his hair and eyes are black like Ardis’s, and even their faces look similar.
If Ardis would’ve aged more, then it’s possible for him to grow into someone like the man there.
Minerva shook her head inwardly.
There’s no way that man is Ardis.
Rona said they weren’t exactly the same person, but their origin is the same. But that man didn’t look like he knew Minerva nor Moore at all. Above all, it was the difference in their eyes.
(Shishou’s eyes is not that chilling)
The man’s gaze towards Minerva was icy, it was a gaze treating her like an enemy.
It seemed like he was fine with Rona but at the same time, he didn’t care a single thing about anyone other than Rona. The time when they were talking, the evaluating eyes towards Minerva and Moore were very uncomfortable.
「Here Ojou-sama. It’s done. 」
Moore who was silently roasting the Nedulo meat had finished cooking one and offered to Minerva. The roasted meat had a nice color on the skewer.
Rona responded to Moore’s voice.
「Nnn―. Let’s eat first and continue the talk later. 」
Though it wasn’t a brilliant time to stop, Rona stopped the explanation with Ardis and then moved onto eating first. Rona cleverly used his front two paws to grab onto the skewer, then just ate it from the front.
While being impressed by Rona’s technique, Minerva moved her gaze to the skewer that was handed over to her.
「Umm……. How should I ……? 」
「Ah, that’s right. We have a young lady here. 」
Moore was troubled as well seeing Minerva concerning over how she should proceed.
「Since we don’t have a knife or a fork, not even a plate. It’s just as simple as biting it off with your mouth, right? 」 Moore showed an example as he bit into the meat.
It is an act that would normally not be allowed for any noble lady. But it was an emergency situation. And there wasn’t any nobles nor servants around, Minerva decided to challenge one of the first times of her life.
Though it was cut into smaller pieces, they were still too big for Minerva. As she bit into the meat that was tougher than expected, the remaining heat can be felt through her teeth.
While frowning at that toughness, since the Nedulo meat had a firmness similar to beef, she wasn’t really caught on anything at first. Minerva thought it would just be tasteless because there wasn’t any seasoning, that was apparently a big mistake.
As she chewed, there was an unbelievable raw smell from the tough meat. Along with the sticky feeling that comes from the meat, the meat that was being chewed was like a piece of tanned leather resisting against their teeth.
Despite it should’ve been cooked already, the raw and gamey smell still filled their mouth.
Of course, Minerva who was born a noble could’ve never experienced eating raw meat. But the unappetizing taste and the resistance that would only grow stronger as they chewed, Minerva who couldn’t bear it threw it out.
「Uek! What the heck!? Peh, peh! This is so bad! 」
Similarly, Moore who was beside Minerva who had similarly tasted his first Nedulo meat coughed it up. It seems like it wasn’t just a special characteristic of a noble lady’s palate.
Even if Moore is a military man now, he was once a mercenary that had crossed multiple battlefields. If someone like him had threw up what he had in his mouth, it must be the meat at fault.
「What the heck is this!? Is this something you can eat!? 」
Following his gaze, Minerva as well looked towards Rona and Ardis. And there was the man who easily ate the pieces of meat off the skewer, and then there was Rona who had a frowning face even while devouring the second piece.
「Don’t eat it if you don’t want to. No one forced you to eat anyways. 」
The man said so while having one hand on his temple for some reason. Following him, there was Rona who said, 「Still, eat some」
「I know how you feel. However, there’s nothing but Nedulo meat around here. Maybe in the later seasons, there would be tree sprouts that is better, either way, they can only fill little of your stomach. 」
「Nothing but this……」
Minerva was looking at the piece of Nedulo meat with a grim face.
Although her hunger wasn’t too extreme that she can’t endure it yet, it’s still half a day or longer since she had a meal. Even if she retired now, her limit would come soon.
「If you choose to starve, then so be it, if you have something else, then just eat that. There’s no one stopping you. 」
Though Minerva was muttering to herself, the black-haired man responded for some reason. His voice seemed to have some elements of irritation.
「There should be something better if we can find a human settlement but, there’s nothing else here, Minerva. It might be difficult but at least eat a little. Pinch your nose and it’ll be a little better. A little. 」
In a world where their bearings aren’t even clear, of course they can’t find anything that is befitting for a noble lady to eat. Following Rona’s encouragement, Minerva pinched her nose tight and made her move again.
Certainly, the raw smell is less intense. But even if the smell dulled, the uncomfortable and disgusting texture didn’t change.
Minerva who was about to vomit out forcefully swallowed the piece. Just as she felt it going down, the gastric fluid inside her stomach as if resisting it almost threw up everything, but she managed to hold it in.
Looking beside her while having tears on her eyes, Moore was in a similar fashion, wrestling with the meat. As expected from a former mercenary. His tolerance is much greater than Minerva’s noble palate.
「It’ll be better not chewing it, not chewing it that is! 」
Not able to contain his rage, his frustration and anger was directed to the disgusting meat. It seems like he tore off bit by bit from the skewer, and then without chewing, swallowed it down.
It was something Minerva didn’t think she could imitate at all. In the end, Minerva who couldn’t bring herself to have a second bite filled herself with water from Rona.
After finishing the dinner that was shrouded in a strange tense mood, the sky had totally become dark.
「Since we had our meal already, let’s sleep already. 」
Rona said so while curling up beside Minerva. As for Ardis, he took off his sword belt, and then laid on the ground to sleep.
「Oi, are we not going to have night watches? 」
Though Moore was asking in a panic seeing Rona and the others heading to sleep already, Ardis didn’t seem bothered enough to even spare him a glance as he said.
「Night watch? Why bother about something like that, just handle them if they come your way. 」
「It’s just in case. In the first place, isn’t that too cruel to ask from Ojou-sama? 」
「Can’t even sense an attack beforehand huh……」
Ardis had a tired face as he said.
Minerva bit her lips unintentionally. From what he said, Ardis and Rona probably can detect any danger even when they’re asleep and can counter it. It might be the same for Moore who had been a mercenary for a long time.
But Minerva is a noble lady without any experience of even camping outside. Leaving aside detecting any danger in her sleep, she probably doesn’t even have the ability to protect herself even if she could.
「It’s fine. Minerva will be safe beside me. No problem even if you slept soundly till morning. 」
Rona’s assurance only helped to add more clouds to Minerva’s mind.
While already feeling powerlessness, she couldn’t do anything other than to acknowledge that fact. Minerva as well, laid on the ground beside Rona, while feeling the body warmth from the golden fur, she closed her eyes.
Fatigue immediately caught up. Although she had trained quite a bunch recently by Ardis, it was the first time she had to walk for an extended period. There wasn’t a long time before Minerva let go of her consciousness and fell asleep.