He got taller.
It’s important, so it has to be said one more time.
He got taller.
Serge was in a good mood from his recent growth spurt. He practically danced in joy whenever there weren’t people around.
And that’s also why he ended up agreeing with Chris’s following request:
“Serge, I want to take part in an actual battle, could we go together?”
In this case, it didn’t look like she had the alternative of relying on her brother. He was weak.
“I’m fine with it, but get permission from the earl alright?”
The earl loved his daughter, so he didn’t expect that she’d actually get his permission.
“It’s alright. I already got Otou-sama’s permission.”
Her response caused Serge to freeze up for a bit.
She actually had a strategy for that.
Chris began assaulting her father with an extremely rare case of her ‘begging’.
And like that, she was just barely able to have the earl give up and say his conditions.
One of those conditions were that Serge had to go along with her.
She did the order backwards, but Chris was able to get permission to go through this method.
“Woman are scary…”
Serge lamented as such later on.
Wondering what sort of fight Chris was looking to have, Serge asked her.
“It has to be a hydra so I—”
“Yeah, no. Out!”
That hurdle was way too high.
“But Serge defeated that one easily?”
“You know, it’s true that I can, but do you know the level difference between us?”
Serge was showing a much lower level than he was actually at by using camouflaging magic, but even with that, they had a pretty big difference between each other.
“We’ll have to hire people to be scouts and shields.”
“Setting aside the scouts, do we need warriors? We didn’t even have them in the training though.”
Serge was there at that time, so he was able to deal with most things. However, even though Serge would be there this time as well, relying on him would serve little purpose for training.
And so those two turned up at the mercenary guild.
As the name suggested, it was a place that acted as a mediator for mercenaries to find work. However, the one in this town wasn’t that large.
But even so, it felt nostalgic when he went inside. Chris followed closely behind Serge, gripping onto his robe tightly.
Feeling that familiar sensation and heading to the counter, Serge talked to the manager.
“Oji-san, I’m looking for a scout and two warriors to act as shields.”
“Aah? It’s not like there aren’t any, but what for?”
At that point, Serge gestured towards Chris with his thumb.
“This academy Ojou-san wants some practical experience, but I’d like to get her some guards. Level 50 or higher.”
“What are you paying? What’s the Ojou-chan’s level? And who else is going?”
“Five silver coins a day per person, up to a week, could be shorter. The Ojou-san’s level is 76. For who else is going, I am. You guys should know me as [Serge the Snakeslayer].”
When Serge gave his nickname, the people inside the guild reacted.
Having a nickname was proof of being first-class. Even if there were some strange nicknames, most of them were cool.
People like Ria the Ladykiller were special cases.
“Oi, no way.”
“That shortie is?”
“No way, he’s still a kid.”
—Shortie’s a bit much!
After that, the manager picked out a few members that Serge was wanting.
Even when Serge checked them out with Identify, it looked like they were good enough to defend Chris.
“Shall we go then?”
“No no, we still haven’t decided on the details.”
The one who brought up the contract’s details was a male beastkin that looked to be the scout. Judging by the black spots on his fur, he was a rare species in the town.
“At any rate, we’re just looking to get experience, so I’m fine with whatever materials appear. If some rare item pops up I’ll let you guys have priority in buying it.”
“What about luggage? It’d probably be a bit tough for the Ojou-san.”
“We have magic bags, so it’s alright. Just carry as many materials as you can.”
The men laughed in satisfaction. Their payment was attractive enough, but now it looked like they’d be able to earn even more from materials.
Their negotiations after that went smoothly as well, so the scout and Serge shook hands with each other.
“Now then, next are the preparations.”
“We’ll be staying in the forest for a week. There’s lots of stuff to buy. I’ll buy the stuff we need for adventuring, so if there’s anything you need as a woman, go and buy them.”
To be specific, undergarments and the like. Explorers would usually be in the same underwear for a week, but Chris probably wouldn’t be able to hold on that long. She also probably wouldn’t take a bath as often as Ria did though.
Even though that girl was heroic, she had a rather eccentric love of being clean.
“Make sure to buy stuff while referencing the trouble you had back in those three days of training. You won’t be able to bathe, so be prepared for that.”
Serge could more or less use bath magic as well though. It was convenient for traveling, so he made sure to learn it.
However, it’d be a bad thing to spoil Chris so much in the beginning. In no way was this him wanting to smell her after a week of no bathing.
On the morning of the next day, the group gathered near the town’s front gate with everything prepared.
There were three people loaded down with a week’s worth of equipment and two others in light dress. Chris was carrying a splendid staff.
“Alright, leader, what’s our route?”
The scout asked Serge.
“Eh? I’m the leader?”
“You’re the employer, you have some experience yeah? Please decide the route.”
So this was the weight placed on the leader?
So Ria endured this weight too… it felt like she didn’t though.
“Well, pick a route that’s dangerous for amateurs. I’ll think about it tomorrow after we fight something.” 
“Alright, leave it to me.”
Aah, so nice.
Having a party really was the best.
It wasn’t likely that these members would be able to dive into a labyrinth though.
And so, Serge and the rest departed on their adventure.
And they were immediately setback. It was mainly because of Chris though.
Limply clinging to her staff, she was barely able to walk. Her feet were strengthened by her boots, but she wasn’t accustomed to the forest at all. The difficulty level of this route was much higher than the one they used in their previous practice excursion.
“Leader, should we stop for a break?”
“I-I can still walk.”
Even though she said that, she wasn’t convincing in the least as she looked like a newborn deer with her legs shaking.
Other than just being kind, Serge knew the importance of taking breathers.
“For now, heal.”
When he healed her with magic, Chris’s face looked refreshed. However, her body’s endurance hadn’t recovered. It was only able to recover part of her fatigue.
“Ah, something’s coming our way. A great fanged monkey?”
Great fanged monkeys were demons, but they were close to normal wildlife. They would attack a human on sight.
“Just one of them huh… Chris, want to give it a try?”
“Yes! I’ll do my best!”
It was an enemy that wasn’t even level 20, so it should be an easy victory for Chris. Magic like Wind Blade or Ice Clump would take it out in one hit.
For the one in a thousand chance of something going wrong, Serge prepared Longinus. Nothing beat it in accuracy.
However, what Chris used against the large monkey that eventually attacked from up in the trees was—
The monkey lit up in a ball of fire from that attack.
Continuing on, the ball of fire lit up the forest trees as well.
The monkey rolled around covered in flames, spreading the fire.
“I got it!”
After stopping the monkey, he put out the fires with water magic.
And then came reflection time.
“Now then, Chris, do you know what you just did wrong?”
“That I failed to take it out in one hit?”
“Hmm~, that’s true, too. However, fire magic is fundamentally prohibited in forests.”
Burning down a forest was a crime itself. Of course, it might be permitted in some cases as a way to deal with monsters.
But for something like just now, it definitely wouldn’t be excused.
While it was strong, that didn’t mean that fire magic was always the best.
After that, Chris managed to use wind-type magic to defeat monsters.
However, there was that.
There was a problem where he didn’t expect there to be one.
“Serge… umm… toilet…”
“Aah, you can use that spot over there. Don’t worry, I’ll turn around.”
That gaze of hers looking up at him with teary eyes… was it her wanting him to go with her?
Come to think of it, unlike that practice excursion, the party this time only had men in it. Was his consideration in that area lacking?
However, he wasn’t going to pamper her. The beauty’s tears were his reward.
“… I’ll go with you if you’re alright with me?”
Towards the requests of “don’t look!” and “don’t listen!”, Serge complied as a gentleman.
Her reaction itself was more than tasty enough for him.
And the same thing happened that night.
The Ojou-sama said that she wanted to wipe herself down.
It was understandable. It couldn’t be helped. She had been walking all day, after all.
Making sure to cover her in a cloth tent, Serge could see her silhouette as she wiped herself down.
Serge definitely wasn’t a lolicon, but he couldn’t deny that he got a little excited.
And then it was the fourth day, the day they would turn back the way they came.
The party noticed a monster they were on the lookout for.
“Coming from the north. In the sky. It’s a big one.”
The thing Serge caught in his detection was…
“No way, a dragon!?”
“No, it’s a wyvern.”
“Can Serge defeat a dragon too?”
“Nope, impossible! I might be able to do something against a newborn, but an adult would be absolutely impossible.”
He recalled Vargas being wrecked by the immature Irina.
“Well, I’ll drop it out of the sky, so Chris, please finish it from there.”
“It’s been a long time… Extended Longinus!”
Getting its wing punched through by the Longinus from so far away, the wyvern lost its momentum and had to land.
Right in front of them. It looked like it got tangled in the trees.
Chris’s magic hit it dead on, but she didn’t defeat it in one hit. The warriors defended against its counterattacks with their shields.
Serge was prepared for any unexpected situations, but nothing in particular happened, the wyvern died before long.
“Alright~! Now to skin it~!”
In the back looking at everyone with glee in her eyes, Chris’s waist gave out on the spot.
Compared to the enemies Chris had faced so far and only had trouble against due to her insufficient experience, the wyvern truly was a tough fight for her.
“I want to take a bath…”
Nothing particularly noteworthy happened on their way back.
So long as one weren’t negligent with scouting for enemies, it was possible to return quietly.
The only problem might be that Chris was concerned about her own body odor. She was changing her clothes, but she didn’t think that she’d smell so much.
Even so, compared to when they first set out, she was a lot more used to traveling along rough terrain.
When their group arrived back at the town, they used the noble privilege of being able to skip the long line.
“Well then, I’ll bring the materials to the guild tomorrow.”
“Yeah, I’ll leave it to you.”
They separated from the other three once they’d gone into the gate.
“Bath… bath… even cold water is fine…”
“Well, if you’re fine with cold water, here, Clean Water.”
Chris was quickly wetted. The things she was wearing were thick, so it wasn’t erotic.
“And now, Dry.”
Most of the water evaporated away. Lulu had said that it was bad for the hair if you went too far with it so he stopped there.
“I’m clean… but… why didn’t you say anything until now?”
“You said you wanted to take a bath. You didn’t say anything about using cold water.” 
Chris lightly beat against Serge. He laughed.
Like this, Chris’s first session of actual combat came to an end.
- Serge, picking the route of having the scout pick the route. Return
- Note that the word I’m translating as ‘cold water’ literally means “swimming/bathing in cold water”. It’s being used as a noun here, though, so I shortened it to simply ‘cold water’. Return