Hifumi doesn’t sympathize with Origa and Kasha’s feelings. Regardless he bought the stuff they needed for the trip one after another without, just putting it into the Dark Hole storage as he went onto the next shop. Origa and Kasha seemed to have been in a bad mood, answering Hifumi’s question about traveling in this world in rapid succession, while busily choosing different merchandise.
“Tent, firewood, cooking utensils and……maybe a torch just in case.”
“Master, I have a question about your Dark Hole storage, does it have enough capacity……”
Generally, one is said to have a good level in the darkness system if one’s storage space is 3m2, though that level has already been exceeded.
「 Aa, there’s still a considerable amount of space, if I sensed it correctly. 」
「 Not just the sword, master is amazing at magic as well. 」
「 I can use only Dark magic. Come to think of it, half of the castle’s treasury is in my storage. Even so, not even 1/10th is filled. The entire carriage will fit, but the horse is no good. 」
「 Entire carriage….. 」
Already unable to take pride in her level, Origa’s common sense no longer mattered.
Kasha, not knowing the details, simply commented 「 Amazing 」.
「 Well then, let’s buy the carriage and horses. You two, can you ride horses? 」
「 I can drive a carriage. 」
「 Me too, I can handle it a little bit…… 」
Answering the two, Hifumi shook his head.
「 Not a carriage, I’m talking about riding a horse. The carriage can only be used to play for a while. 」
「 To play……..? 」
「 Aa, I thought of it after listening to your story. Well, look forward to it. Leaving that aside, horses it is then. I don’t want a leisurely trip by carriage, worrying about the luggage. Everyone will make the trip on horseback. 」
While they were walking towards the stables, Kasha frantically stopped Hifumi.
「 Wait a minute master, neither Origa nor I have ridden a horse before! Moreover, wouldn’t it be more expensive in the long run to have to change horses at intervals? 」
Hifumi was clearly disappointed at Kasha’s words.
「 Eh~…… Well then, after the tomorrow morning’s fighting practice, the afternoon will consist of horse riding practice. 」
「 S-Seriously….. 」
Hifumi looked sternly at the speechless Kasha.
「 It is the basics of cavalry battles. Once arrows are spent, horses are tired, spears snap, swords break, you are left empty-handed. Subduing martial arts is a matter of course. 」
「 Battle? Has master been training in order to see battle? 」
「 Nn….. train so that if caught up in a war, you have the ability to protect yourselves, no matter what happens.」
Saying so, Hifumi took out 10 gold coins from the Dark Hole and passed them to Kasha.
「 Wh-What do I do with so much money! 」
「 Buy groceries. Also get somewhat large quantities of salt and sugar. Enough to last for 30 days with three meals a day. Don’t worry about it rotting, I’ll be putting it in storage. 」
「 Master, even with a carriage, it is 5 days to the Vichy border…. 」
「 Moreover, can master carry such an amount? 」
「 The quantity is large. The food is not just for eating. Getting someone to carry the luggage to the inn will also cost money. 」
Saying he would get the horses and carriage, Hifumi separated from the two.
Facing the castle, Kasha felt somewhat anxious.
「 Kasha, let’s go and buy the required goods. 」
「 Isn’t Origa uneasy? 」
「 I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t uneasy, but somehow I feel that it’s not that bad. Moreover, I have faith in him and can do nothing but follow for now. 」
「 Is that so… 」
The Knights were enjoying their tea and did not notice the station door opening soundlessly.
「 Yo. 」
「 Buho !…..Geho, geho…. 」
Seeing Hifumi suddenly sit down in front of her eyes, Pajou performed a magnificent spit take.
「 ……You came here.」(Pajou)
「 Is it that astonishing? Really, for a lady to do something like this…… 」
Quickly cleaning the table dirtied by her choking, the teary-eyed Pajou regained her composure while sitting back down.
「 Since there are factions that are hostile to you, I did not want you to come here. 」
「 I only remove those who get in my way, so it’s fine. 」
Hearing him say it’s fine, Pajou sighed, telling the lady attendant of the station to bring two cups of tea, since the contents of her own cup was gone. The other Knights listened at a distance.
「 So, why the sudden visit? 」
「 Horses and a carriage. Regarding the request you brought, regarding the country making the preparations? Three horses, I’d like to choose them. 」
「 ……Is the carriage unnecessary? 」
「 No, though we will be primarily riding the horses, we’ll use the carriage occasionally. Prepare a carriage with a canopy, drawn by two horses. 」
Seeing Pajou’s dumbfounded face, Hifumi smirked, the corners of his mouth rising slightly.
Wetting his throat with the tea, Hifumi spoke.
「 Though trifling, for example, the Viscount in the Marquis’ faction, what about him? 」
「 Viscount Hagenti. 」
The relationship between the Viscount and Marquis was said to be an “Open secret of High society”, though there were some business dealings, there was no public connection. Therefore, after Marquis Raghlain was arrested, Viscount Hagenti was not charged with any crimes.
Viscount Hagenti governs the territory near Vichy, though his martial prowess is nonexistent, he was said to be shrewd man.
「What is the name of the town where the incident happened?」
「The town of Fukaroru. It’s halfway to Vinchy…… What do you intend to do there?」
「Maa, I just want to play around and have some fun」
「Pajou scowled when Hifumi didn’t answer her directly 」
「…… I doubt that’s the end of it, however, I understand your request. I will make preparations for the carriage. It will be placed in the inn’s depot. Since the horse track is at a different location, do you want me to guide you there?」
Pajou stood up at Hifumi’s answer, a big guy near her side wearing an armor of the Knights Corps called out to her.
「Is that the guy that the announcement said we’re forbidden from antagonizing? The one favored by the princess?」
「What do you want Gothras?」
「I don’t have any business with you. I do have business with that kid」
His height is around 180cm, even with the armor you can see the trained muscles. Having a beard on his face, he was grinning while glaring at Hifumi.
「Wait. Do you have anything to say to him? Imeria-sama instructed us not to do so」
「I’m not going to be hostile. I just want to see a little bit what kind of guy he is. What’s so good about a gangly brat like him? This will make Third Knight Corps lose face, does he look that strong to you? 」
Blatantly insulting, for Pajou it was an insult to the Third Knight Corps, not to Hifumi personally but to the Knight Corps itself. An act that can potentially make you a traitor to this country.
As for the other Knights who were inside the station, they were keeping their distance and watching the situation. They all look tense, contemplating whether or not to pull out their weapons
The Second Knight Corps is an elite military unit who deals with maintaining security and public order. The First Knight Corps stationed in the castle are also an intelligence unit, but are deployed anywhere, unlike the Third Knights Corps. They’re all dedicated to their jobs and many of them are hot-headed, Gothras included.
Besides, the Nobles in the Castle, the civil service employees and the military officers tend to dislike anyone given special treatment regardless of strength and or achievements.
「……Such an incompetent person judging by their appearance, you’d be more useful singing. Is there enough money in the kingdom’s budget to be able to employ such an incompetent man? 」
Hifumi’s question was directed towards Pajou, completely ignoring Gothras.
By the way, regarding the financial situation of Orson Grande, the prime minister has taken control of the national assets and a few works of art were sold.
「Incompetent you say? This brat got arrogant from having a preferential treatment. Princess’ pet…… 」
Gothras wasn’t able to finish his sentence as he fell down in one knee while shaking his head.
「You can’t even avoid an attack of this level. You might not even understand it. You’re weak and stupid.」
A light blow of striking under the chin with a thrust of the palm is enough to make someone dizzy and unable to stand.
The other knights didn’t understand what just happened, they’re completely confused and don’t know what to do.
「Let’s go Pajou」
Facing Hifumi who turned around, Gothras stood up unsteadily while drawing his sword out with his shaky hands
「Did that guy pull out a sword? What would you do?」
Pajou was momentarily confused, but she realised that it was Hifumi’s timely assist. She shouted out to all the surrounding knights.
「Everyone, draw you sword!」
It seems they are trained properly. Everyone who heard Pajou’s voice pulled out their sword and took a stance.
「That’s right Pajou. Us knights must not be underestimated.We have to teach this guy the difference in our positions」
Gothras grinned but, Pajou gave an order that is opposite of what he expected.
「Everyone, surround Gothras! Arrest him in violation of the order given by Imeraria-sama」
Barely recovered from his dizziness, Gothras opened his eye wide and glared at the nearby knights but it’s already too late as he was already surrounded, He stared at Pajou with killing intent.
「It’s you who is the traitor, Gothras. Those who defy the order from the royal family for selfish reasons are not suitable to be Knights. Obediently drop your weapon and let your hands be tied down.」
Clenching his teeth as he trembles in anger towards Hifumi rather than Pajou, Gothras recklessly attacked.
「What did you say bastard!」
He was able to shake free from Pajou’s restraint in one blow, went passed by Hifumi’s front but was knocked down to the floor.
「Ah? What are you doing!」
Hifumi visibly trampled on the body as he went down. This messed up Gothras sense of distance, he slashed towards him hitting nothing but empty air.
Hifumi stepped on the sword, grasped a small blade and thrust it to into Gothras’ elbow pit, through the thin muscle.
With his arm incapacitated he dropped the sword, then the pommel of the small blade was driven through Gothras’ forehead.
Gothra’s eyes turned white as he fell down, the Knights tied him up immediately
「……I entrust the cleanup to you」
「You have our gratitude」
Pajou bowed down elegantly at Hifumi’s remark while he returned the small blade to his breast pocket
「Aa, and so…… 」
While still bowing down, Pajou was nervous at what he was going to say. If he is going to vent his anger, she can’t stop him from meeting Imeraria to personally scold her.
「Please teach my slaves, Origa and Kasha, how to ride a horse tomorrow 」
「Waa~…… a, um, it’s my pleasure to instruct them 」
「It’s good that you willingly assent. Because those girls are quite strong, you might as well be strict to them for a week」
Thinking that it was all about work, Pajou dropped her shoulders in relief.
Then during these seven days, it is very harsh for Origa and Kasha. During morning, Hifumi lectures them on the on how muscles are connected to the human skeletal system, while tormenting them during practice.
Particularly, Pajou’s fighting spirit was unusual. While constantly changing horses, she was able to force the knights horse riding training course (which usually takes 30 days) onto them in only 7 days.
Thus, the afternoons became completely free time for Hifumi, so he went shopping, and requested new weapons from Thorn.
「Tools and food are ok. Now to select a horse…… Ah, I know」
Hifumi walks around town while confirming the contents of their luggage, he suddenly stopped and turned around, he called out a young man.
「Hey, I want you to relay a message to Pajou or Midas」
「Eh!? How, how did you…… 」
「I immediately knew based on how the Knights walk. It’s good for me if you’re trained in marching, but you have to think about it a little more if you want to blend in」
While wearing the expression of smiling while crying, the young knight remembered what Midas said to him 「If you are exposed, be at ease」
「I understand. What is it that I need to relay?」
「Since I was already paid, there is something I want you to prepare 」
The knight took out a piece of parchment from his breast pocket, prepared his writing materials, which were pieces of charcoal wrapped in cloth, and got ready to write.
「One Aqua Sapphire. Many have appeared on the market so the size must be excellent. Certificate of Purchase under my name with Authorization Letter from the Kingdom 」
「Why these things……」
「The person who profited by swindling the partner, he’s quite the one trick pony」
That’s why those who stop thinking are useless. Hifumi looked towards the castle.