Ch. 183: The Night Watch
Henry: “Soーー I went hunting with Sir Ezeal on the First Lines, and he asked me to relay a message to you, Jend. He asked for you to come around to the Knight’s Barracks. He said, ‘I will see how much he’s grown!’ Like that.”
Jend: “That’s great. It’s a great honor to have a sword lesson from someone like Sir Gran’Ezeal.”
Jend seemed really happy to hear Sir Ezeal’s message.
I guess any swordsman would be happy to have that famous swordsman ask about them.
Jend: “But Henry, are you okay?” Henry: “? Okay? What do you mean?” Jend caught me off guard, and I didn’t understand his question. …….what was he worrying about?” Jend: “Well, you were just fighting on the 1st Lines, and now, you’re doing the Night Watch? I only took this position because I had the entire day off.”
Henry: “Ohー! You mean that.”
Right now, Jend and I are positioned right outside the South Gate.
The sun had gone down, and several torches were lit on top of the wall. With Magecraft items also lighting the area, it was quite bright.
Jend: “........I knew the rumors…..but I didn’t think that much would come during the nights.”
And from where the light shined, we could see the Adventurers, Knights, and Soldiers fighting off the Demonic Creatures swarming the area.
This was the Night Watch in Ligaleo.
In short, you were responsible for repelling the Creatures during their night raids.
Since the Magecraft Barrier is working, it’s become a lot easier, but it doesn’t mean that the night raids ceased. With lights all over the City Walls, we will be fighting through the night.
Even so, the Night Watch really grinds through your nerves. We were separated into the front and back lines and were expected to switch periodically. The reason why I could talk with Jend was because we were currently set on the backlines.
Jend: “......well, not that I doubt your stamina. But the Night Watch seems pretty tough alone, so I was worried.”
Henry: “Yeah? Well, don’t worry. I’m not pushing myself that hard.” I was glad for Jend’s concern.
But even the Night Watch shift did not last all night.
Our shift will end around 2 AM, so that will give us plenty of time to go back and sleep.
Henry: “Well, don’t worry about me. I’m starting to get a hang of the pace around here. My body’s feeling a little tired, but I’ve trained to be able to fight even with fatigue.”
Jend: “If you say so…..but don’t get accidentally hurt and make Cyril cry.”
And I had no intention of doing so.
So while we’re still getting used to things around here and taking it easy, I wanted to push myself to get the rust off my senses.
Henry: “I know, I know. …….oh, Jend, were you able to rest today? Were you able to recover from yesterday’s expedition?”
Jend: “I’m a little sore all over but…..I should be fine. …….well, compared to Ferris and the rest, they all looked still worn out this evening.”
My Party was finally getting used to 2 days of Expeditions and 1 day of rest. Jend and I adjusted quickly, but the women in the Party definitely needed the rest, or it would affect their performance on the following day. That’s why it was only Jend and I who were participating in the Night Watch today.
……well, traditionally, in Ligaleo, the Night Watch’s responsibility fell to the men. There’s no rule saying women can’t participate, but men just had more advantages in regards to stamina overall.
But there was also one other reason……oh.
Henry: “Jend, we’re about to switch.” Jend: “......got it.”
Jend lifted up his broadsword ーー the sword that Mr. Gordon refined ーー the [Dual Flame] Blaze Blade.
I stretched and loosened up my shoulders too and changed the Nyoiten Spear to a short spear. I paused and quietly took a deep breath.
……I glanced to check behind us.
A solder on top of the City Wall stepped next to a large, bronze gong. He then hit the gong loudly 3 times.
“Front lines! Back lines! SWITCHーー!!”
The Commander of the area gave a loud order that rang across the field.
Henry: “Let’s go, Jend!”
We both nodded at one another, and switching with the front lines, we ran out to meet the Demonic Creatures.
Afterwards, we switched 5 times.
Finally, our shift as a Night Watch was over.
We dragged our heavy bodies back through the South Gate. The others who worked the same shift also sat around us in groups.
Henry: “........haaaaaaah *exhale* that was pretty tiring. Hey, Jend, you okay?” Jend: “.....haaaaaah *exhale* haaaaaah *exhale* haaaaaah *exhale*....”
Jend wasn’t able to reply. Though we were upright and alert during the shift, as soon as it was over, the relief washed over us and brought out the fatigue building inside of us.
Though they lit up the night with different light sources, fighting during the night is just different. The Night Watch was simply more tiring than fighting during the day.
Henry: “Hey, should we delay our departure tomorrow to around noon?”
Jend: “........I’m gooー …….actually, sorry. Yeah, let me see how I feel tomorrow.”
Henry: “Sure.” The fact that he didn’t try to blindly move forward means he’s able to assess his status objectively. Those who fail to do this are the first to die, so I’m glad to see Jend grow in this area.
………well, not that I’m one to speak. I had my Party members stop me from killing myself for pushing too hard numerous times. I was able to start drawing that line………wait, when did that start happening…?
Jend: “.......*sigh* Looks like things are settling down. Okay, let’s head back.” Henry: “Wait, wait.” Jend finally caught his breath and was getting ready to leave.
Jend: “? What?”
Henry: “You’re going to miss the best part.” Jend: “What? ……oh, why isn’t anyone else going home?” On the inside of the South Gate, there is Yuu’s Clinic and the barracks of the Black Dragon Knights, but all in all, it was just one big, open plaza.
There, all the people involved in the Night Watch returned, and the next Night Watch shift left in exchange.
……..and there was another group coming towards this mass group of sweaty men.
Jend: “Hm…..? Is that…….the people from the Ningel’s Church?” Henry: “Yup.”
Ligaleo was made up of all the major political forces in the northern continent.
The main ones are the 3 Major Countries military and Knights Order. Next is the Adventurers from the Grandes Church. …….and finally, the third is the second largest Church in the continent, the priests of Ningel.
There are some like Yuu and Ferris who use the Ningel’s Hand Magecraft, but most of them are non-combatants. There are medical personnel and food supply chain workers as well as janitorial workers and administrative workers for the various other organizations.
Putting that asideーー
Our group was getting rowdier with more excitement with the night’s work done, and we began lining up towards the Ningel’s priests.
Jend: “.......whーwhat’s going on here?” Henry: “? Did I not tell you? For those who work the Night Watch gets something for their hard work by a Ningel priest. Usually, it’s like tea or snacks.”
It’s because it’s difficult enough trying to collect Drops during the night, and the Night Watch is compensated slightly more for that reason, but it’s not that much.
Of course, without the Night Watch, there would be no one to stop the Creatures from breaching the South Gate, so they had to do something special for those risking their lives.
I was sure that the people above us had many talks about this.
As I was explaining all this to Jend, he looked at me questionably.
Jend: “I…..appreciate that……but is that all it takes for people to want to do the Night Watch? Honestly, even with that, it doesn’t seem to add much motivation.”
Henry: “That…..you’ll have to see.”
This is not something advertised publicly.
But it wasn’t something I should say out loud, so I poked my head closer to Jend’s to whisper.
Henry: “Jend, I know this is changing the subject, but you know that there are many female priests in the Ningel Church, right?” Jend: “? Yeah, I know.” On the other hand, there are more males in the Grandes Church. Since it’s a difference between a God of Battle and a God of Mother Earth, that is a natural trend.
Henry: “.......for those greeting the men of the Night Watch, there’s an unspoken rule to choose someone that’s….prettier.”
Jend: “.......hey, you’re not sayingーー”
Henry: “The reason why so many men work hard to do the Night Watch is because at the end, a beautiful girl will tell them, ‘Thank you for all your hard work,’ and hand you a small gift.”
Jend’s smile strained with disbelief.
Jend: “Just for that?!”
Henry: “Just for that.”
I know it sounds stupid. Anyone would think so.
………but the men of this city aren’t that stupid either.
Henry: “Otherwise, someone has to do it anyway, so…….isn’t it the men’s job to stand out in front to take the brunt of the weight?” And yes, this is also the petty pride of men.
Jend: “IーI see….”
Henry: “That’s how it is. And the Priests of Ningel also know this. Hey, let’s get in line.”
Jend: “SーSure. BーBut….after hearing that, I don’t know what Ferris will say later.” For crying out loud, this guy.
Henry: “Look, we’re just getting a snack. It’s nothing more or less than that.”
Jend: “IーI mean, sure, you’re right but…”
Henry: “Besides…..Jend, you’re not going to tell me that it doesn’t feel good to have a beautiful woman smile and hand you a snack, right?” Jend was unable to answer me.
…….he’s a man in the end.
And, of course, I’m happy too. Yeah, there’s Cyril, but that is that. This is this.
Henry: “Alright then, let’s goーー”
I pushed Jend forward, and we headed towards the line that was getting slightly shorter. Since we were late, we headed straight for the back of the line.
Henry: “Now then, I wonder which Priest is responsible for this line.”
Each Priest had a line formed in front of them, but there were too many people to know which line went to who. Only those who were first in line knew who the priest would be.
I haven’t seen Miss Financier in a while, so I’d like to see her butーー
“Thank you for your hard work. Please take this.”
……..I heard an all too familiar voice.
Though it was in the middle of the night, the Priest greeted each person warmly. That tone of her voice was also incredibly familiar.
Jend: “Hey, Henry. Isn’t that….”
I couldn’t help but feel my hopes busted and scratched my head. The Adventurer in front of me took the cup and left the line……..and I felt the stabbing glare of the Saint of Salvation from underneath her business smile.
Yuu: “What were you saying, Henry? …….You need some sense knocked into that thick skull?”
Crap. She heard me.
Henry: “Ah, it’s nothing. C’mon, Yuu. There’s people behind us.”
Yuu: “........fine. Good work, Henry.”
She violently scooped liquid from a large pot into a sturdy looking cup and quickly handed it to me.
Yuu: “Mr. Jend, thank you for all your hard work. I’m glad to see you get through your first Night Watch. Please accept this as a token of our gratitude and sleep well tonight.”
Jend: “YーYes, thank you very much!”
Her greeting to Jend was nothing like mine. She used her Saint of Salvation smile and voice as she handed the cup to Jend.
…….and though Jend has traveled with Yuu before, he blushed as he took the cup. …..well, it’s true that as far as meeting the bar for beauty, Yuu was perfect for the role.
I chuckled seeing the gap between her public image and the girl inside as I sniffed the contents of the cup.
Henry: “......oh, tonight is hot wine.”
By heating the wine, they took out some of the alcohol and added some spices to help heat you up on a cold night.
With a small sip, I felt my body relax as the liquid went down.
Jend: “Oh, this is really good.” Jend took a sip from his cup and smiled with surprise.
Looking around, the others who finished the Night Watch shift were also equally delighted.
…….after a Night Watch, the moment you relaxed with the group like this was something special.
And looking up, being able to have a warm drink while looking up at the night sky was also something else.
Henry: “.........yup, alright.”
It was a tiring jobーー
……..but this was for the people in the city and for my friends. I was refreshed enough to do this again when the time came.
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 14 - Ligaleo
Ch. 172 - 184