Atelier Tanaka Chapter 24 part4
Several hours have passed since I first joined the battle.
Our side had successfully been able to push back the enemy forces. Right now, there's no sign of any soldiers from the Republic of Pussy near our base and the scene around our camp is finally beginning to calm down.
I was finally able to take a break now that all of the injured had been healed. Henry approached me as I was sitting on the ground outside of one of the tents. His clothes were covered in blood and dust and they were ripped all over. However, he was still staring at me with a broad smile.
"Good work, Tanaka."
"Thank you for your hard work as well, Henry."
His face reminded me of a middle-aged man that had just finished a long, hard day's work. He's actually kind of good looking.
I wish I could be a good looking older man like him.
No, I'll look even better when I'm able to regain my youth.
"It's all thanks to you, Tanaka, that we were able to win here today. Thank you. I don't even want to imagine how bad the situation would've been if you weren't here."
"We were only able to win due to everyone's efforts."
"Certainly, everyone worked together well and they were a major factor in our victory, but you were constantly supporting everyone from the back."
"The same could be said for you, Henry."
"I wouldn't have been able to support our fighters on my own. If it was just me, I'm sure we would've failed."
While speaking, he glanced at the patch of grass next to me.
"Can I sit down with you?"
"Sure, go ahead."
He moved next to me and lowered himself to the ground.
Due to how we're sitting, the area directly in front of us is the field the battle was just fought on.
Dozens of craters covered the land. For every patch of grass that's been burnt and blackened, there are just as many areas that have been frozen solid. Even worse than this, there are numerous bodies that have been mangled beyond recognition. The bodies that were left on the battlefield have quickly turned into food for the birds.
It was a terrible scene.
For those that were either unidentifiable due to injury or just had no one to grieve for them, we all said prayers for them in a group. There were countless dead enemy soldiers left on the battlefield and no one chose to pray for them. Given how warm this area is, the bodies will soon start to decay and I'm afraid of how bad the smell will be.
"…I'm really thankful for you being here."
"I feel the same way for you."
Henry was speaking seriously, so I responded with my honest feelings as well.
I was enjoying this moment of peace after spending the past several hours witnessing the horrors of battle.
"Which Adventurers Guild are you from?"
"I came here from the capital."
"Kalis, huh. That must be nice. The capital is gorgeous and there are so many different people that live there."
"Where are you from, Henry?"
"I was born and raised in Tricklis. Though, I've spent most of my life in a monastery outside the city."
"You're not an adventurer?"
"When I heard that my hometown was under attack, I had to come here and help. Despite my age, I knew I must come here."
"That's amazing. Not many people would volunteer to fight in a war. I actually respect you even more for that."
"It was actually quite easy for me, being a priest and all. It was really nothing compared to the men that were forced to leave their wives and children behind to come here and fight."
"T-That's true. Sorry."
"You don't need to be sorry. I've been in the monastery for a long time now. The only reason I've been able to save so many lives is due to me joining the monastery. That's why I'm glad that I joined."
Even if he seems content, there was also a sad undertone to his words.
"A messenger from the city arrived today."
"What did the letter say?"
"It seems that there will be a change in personnel on the frontlines. We're to return to the main base."
"I'm happy to hear that. I'm exhausted after today."
Well, my recovery time is significantly shorter than everyone else. As long as I spend a full day resting, I'll be ready to go. However, a large-scale battle that lasted several hours was incredibly draining. I'm sure the several days spent on the carriage travelling here didn't help me at all.
Even if my body is healed by magic, it doesn't heal my heart.
I wonder how many times Team Orgy had sex to regain their energy.
"Once this war ends, if you want, I'd like you to come to the church."
"I understand. I'll be sure to come by someday."
I extended my hand out to him.
He grasped my hand hard and smiled.
Ah, I was always longing for a friendship like this.
I could feel the warmth spreading throughout my chest.
It's so warm.
As we were doing this, another voice could be heard from behind me.
"Is that Tanaka?"
I looked back over my shoulder to see the large, muscular man staring back. I remember this guy. He's the ultra-masculine skinhead that kept regenerating the lower half of his body and showing it off. His eye tattoo just makes his face even scarier.
The man slowly made his way over to us before kneeling down in front of me.
He kneeled down and stared straight into my eyes.
"I came to thank you on behalf of my clan members."
"We're the Twilight Company, have you heard of us? It's a pretty well-known name in Tricklis, but we've also been taking jobs in the capital city recently."
"I'm sorry. I'm kind of a wanderer myself…."
"You don't need to apologize. I just wanted to see you before we left. I'm the leader of the Twilight Company, Gonzalez."
"Gonzalez? Well, thank you for your hard work today."
"You've also got my thanks for everything you did."
Even his name is intimidating. Gonzalez.
It's a perfect fit for this massive guy.
His parents must have been able to see into the future.
His voice is deep and his dandyism is overflowing.
He's the perfect Gonzalez.
"The recovery magic you used was incredible."
"Well, I'm happy that I could be of help."
"More than half of the fighting force sent here by the Guild were members of my clan. Fortunately, due to your efforts, the number of dead or injured was kept to a minimum."
I'm guessing only the adventurers that met certain criteria were sent to this battlefield. They were all either good fighters or able to use support magic. So, in a way, it's kind of a compliment. I don't really think he'd take it that way if I said anything so I'm just going to keep my mouth shut.
Let's just celebrate the fact that we both survived.
"Well, we all fought our hardest to protect the women and children in town. Doesn't that make it more worthwhile…?"
This was really the reason why the ratio of men to women was so one-sided.
In reality, I wish there were a few more women on the battlefield.
"The only reason it was like this is due to our rank. For those clans that are rank A or higher, they were all exempt from being sent to this battle. Unfortunately, our rank is only B. I'm sure even after everything we've done here, our rank won't be increased any further."
Apparently, there are also subgroups in the Guild called clans.
And these clans all have their own ranks as well. If the rank of the clan you're in is above A, you're exempt from being forced to fight if your country goes to war.
Considering I'm only a lowly rank D adventurer, I now have a reason to increase my rank further.
"Due to this, I feared the worst when we were sent here. I thought God had abandoned us, but thanks to you and Henry Sensei, I'm still alive. I couldn't be happier."
The macho man showed a broad smile.
"It was well worth all the effort."
"Some of our fighters died today, but it's thanks to you both that the overwhelming majority are still alive. You two are lifesavers."
"No, you're really just exaggerating too much. You were out in front risking your life, while I stayed back to provide support. The vanguard and the rear guard. It is a system that works no matter what world you're in. It's only due to this that we were able to win."
"That may be true, but you were also near the front of the battle using your flying magic."
"I think we're arguing over something pointless. We should all just celebrate our victory equally. Neither of you was any less useful than the other."
"Right. Sorry for being so troublesome."
"It's no problem."
Gonzalez shyly responded to Henry while he was scratching his cheek.
It's quite the opposite reaction I'd expect from such a macho man like him. It was actually kind of cute. I'm not sure how to feel about me thinking this man was cute even if it was only for a brief moment.
I think he may have just ruined that cute expression for me.
"By the way, did either of you see that Dark Elf that was fighting in the battle? I swear she looked unstoppable. I'm surprised she was able to keep going without requiring healing."
If he's talking about a Dark Elf, there's only one that comes to mind.
It feels like it's been such a long time since we first met.
So much has happened in such a small amount of time.
I long for the days of eating lunch made for the nobility in my dorm.
"Would you be willing to join my clan?"
"…join your clan?"
Is this what they call headhunting?
"Yeah. I'd really like you to add your power to ours."
He was quietly staring at me as he remained kneeling.
If I were a woman, I'm sure I'd be wet in less than three seconds.
He's the type of handsome man you'd expect to see frantically running around with a machine gun in a Hollywood movie. While I'm just staring at him in awe of his masculine charm wondering if I should consider training my body for the first time in my life.
Even if this is the case, his eyes are bright and shining like a child's.
I'm being invited to the first clan I've ever heard of. Though this guy doesn't seem like a bad person, I have places I need to go to and things I need to take care of.
I need to return to the capital city of Kalis and buy myself two beautiful blonde meat toilet slave sisters.
"I'm very grateful for the invitation, but I'm sorry. I have important things I still need to take care of. I have to decline your invite, Gonzalez."
"I see. Sorry for kind of putting you on the spot there."
"It's no problem."
"Just forget I ever even asked you. I didn't mean to cause you any trouble."
"Well, thank you for your concern."
He responded to me without even showing a hint of anger at my refusal.
"If you're ever in trouble in Tricklis, just look to the Twilight Company for help. Give them the name Gonzalez and they'll be sure to do whatever they can to aid you."
"Thank you. If that ever happens, I'd like to sit down and talk over a warm meal rather than such a terrible battlefield like this."
"You got it."
Gonzalez showed me one more bright smile.
Like this, my last day on the battlefield was spent talking with Gonzalez and Henry as the sun faded beneath the horizon.