Alyssa nodded towards Hifumi’s invitation.
“My parents are no longer alive, and having been in the border security for so long, I don’t really have any acquaintances either. So I’ll come along with you guys. I’d like to exact revenge, but above that, I’d like to repay this debt”, Alyssa said, whilst looking Hifumi in the eye.
“Suddenly, everyone at the border were killed, the Corporals were beaten, and I was forcibly made to run away. Until just now, I didn’t even know what was going on, and was hurting so much all over my body that I didn’t even know where it was the most painful. I really thought I was going to die.”
She couldn’t skillfully transmit her thoughts and kept talking, even though her explanations were all over the place, while Hifumi and the rest listened quietly.
“But then you came along and saved me, and even cured all of my pain… However, except my thanks, I don’t have any money or anything else to offer. Therefore, I’ll become your slave. I won’t complain even if you boil me.”
When the word slave was mentioned, Origa unintentionally let out a smile.
“Alyssa, both me and Kasha are Hifumi’s slaves, you know?”
“Eh? With your fine equipment, and how you’re talking familiarly with Hifumi, I thought you were his attendants, or perhaps… his lovers…”
“Well, it’s true that we’ve been given so good treatment we’ve almost forgotten we’re slaves in the first place. But attendants, huh? That doesn’t sound so bad.”
“Lover… that’s kind of…”
It seems like the words in her sentence that Kasha and Origa reacted on were different. Hifumi retrieved some dried meat and bread from his storage to snack on, while calmly observing the spectacle.
“Master, even though Alyssa is currently deciding what to do with her life…”
“Don’t mind me, I was just hungry.”
Vigorously eating his food, Hifumi suddenly came to think of something.
“You’re saying slaves, but once we return to the capital, I’ll let you free, you know?”
“Ma-Master!? Are you dissatisfied with us in any way? We’ll better, so please…”
Kasha looked gave Hifumi a blank look, while Origa started clinging to him.
“After catching Beirevra, and resolving the conflict that lead to you becoming slaves, you don’t need to be slaves anymore, right?”
Without knowing how the laws in Orsongrande works, it should still be a matter of course that in case you’re being punished for something you didn’t do, and show proof of your innocence, your punishment should be removed.
“But Master bought us, and we don’t even know if that money will be repaid.”
“I don’t particularly mind. Money isn’t all that valuable. Buying slaves was because it’s both what the person teaching me this world’s general knowledge wanted me to to do, as well as me thinking it’d be inconvenient to travel alone. As for choosing you two specifically… Well, besides your looks being fairly good, as far as I’m concerned, you also also had some ability.”
Saying that, Hifumi threw the remaining dried meat into his mouth.
“But as I said earlier as well, I’m letting you free when this matter is over and we return to the capital. Until then, it’d be good if you can think about what you want to do after that.”
“Excuse me… I wonder what I should do now?”
Alyssa, completely left behind in the conversation, timidly asked.
“Right. I don’t really need any slaves.”
“I see… A small and weak person like me don’t have any uses…”
Seeing Alyssa getting downcast, Origa looked a little anxious. But being in front of her Master, she couldn’t really do anything on her own accord, and therefore decided to keep silent.
“I’m currently just a wandering fake noble, so there’s no point in having a lot of slaves. Still, you’re free to follow us of your own volition.”
Alyssa quickly raised her head, while Hifumi continued.
“However, I have an objective. Or rather, after seeing how people in this world fight, I’ve made up my mind on something.”
“Made up your mind on what?”
“I won’t tell you the specifics, but like you’ve seen until now, there will be a lot of bloodshed. If you’re coming along, a lot of killing will be necessary, and there’s always the risk of getting killed yourself.”
Alyssa only saw Hifumi fight once, by the border. But looking at Origa and Kasha’s facial expressions, she faintly whispered “more than that?”, and subsequently got an understanding on what considerable carnage may look like.
“But, I’m not strong like that…”
Alyssa said without self-confidence, to which Hifumi grinned broadly and let out a laugh.
“I’ll teach you some fighting techniques. Besides, just fighting isn’t what matters. What really matters is your resolve.”
It’s not something you need to answer to anytime soon, he also added.
More importantly, what actions should be taken now?
Having Alyssa tell them the location of the town representative’s mansion, Hifumi strapped his sword to his waist.
“Alyssa will wait here, while Origa and Kasha keep guard. If enemies appears, kill them.”
Hearing Origa’s answer, Hifumi got off the carriage.
Stretching his back, he looked up at the moon.
It was still cloudy outside, scarce with moonlight.
The night flowing with blood had yet to conclude.
Hifumi didn’t specifically talk about it, but he had come to a conclusion about something he was very dissatisfied with.
It was the fact that no one in this world had any tension regarding the possibility of being killed at any time.
It was the same when he heard about the fight between Orsongrande and the Beastmen tribe. It seemed like the wars of this world was more on the level of skirmishes. Of course some people died, but real wars rarely happened.
Struggles between individuals were much fiercer.
In areas with strong demons that might not be the case, but the fights between humans that looked more like some kind of sports event, was all that Hifumi currently knew about. The degree of people doing a bit of scheming is more an art of deception, rather than the art of war.
Coming to this world, being able to kill people, Hifumi felt satisfied for a while. However, he soon started building up resentment towards the people in this world, with their carefree disposition.
There are no strong people here. No people frantically scheming for their lives. No opportunity to use the dark magic painstakingly developed through the nights. Wars where people are desperately racking their brains, where the warriors were hoarding weapons, and where each country respectively were fighting frenetically to ensure their survival… none of these existed either.
Maybe that’s good if you’re striving for peace.
But there are threats.
Why are no one earnestly trying to kill their enemies?
Like this, it’s no different from Japan.
While expressing his displeasure, he arrived at the town representative’s mansion.
The town representative was a middle aged man named Ortis, a descendant of the merchant who was the key figure in the construction of this town.
A building three stories tall made out of stone, adorned with several windows made out of glass, in this world, was something showing that you have money.
According to what Alyssa saw during the day, a man seeming like a Colonel was also present in the building. Wonder if she come here to report before? Whichever the case, it was no longer of any interest. In the town’s current circumstances, gathering information became a difficult task. Therefore, the best way to do it was in a much simpler fashion.
By the entrance, two haggard soldiers were conspicuously standing guard, with swords handing from their waists.
Seeing that, Hifumi heaved a sigh. As expected. Once you’ve seen them, your eyes will unconditionally be drawn there.
He first thought he could talk to them, but quickly gave up on the idea. The guards would realize something was amiss right from the start as they’re most likely dealing with everything with the mindset of a being gate guardians. The other time with the Marquis’ residence was fine, but regarding these guards’ current mentality, Hifumi only felt irritation come gushing forth.
He wordlessly walked closer to the guards, which they quickly discovered. But seeing that he didn’t draw his weapon, they relaxed. That too, made Hifumi displeased.
“Okay, that’s minus points.”
The moment Hifumi put his hand on the hilt of his katana, the guards tensed up again. But he slashed their throats in succession, and they died without being able to raise their voices.
Slipping in through the unlocked gate, there was a huge door straight ahead. There were no guards in the garden, but inside the house were the presence of ten or so people.
Hifumi carefully observed for a while, but it didn’t look like it was a trap.
Gripping the katana in his right hand, he boldly opened the front door.
Opening the door, he met eyes with a young, slender male servant.
“Eh, who are…”
“I’m an intruder.”
Saying that, rather than waiting for an answer, Hifumi swiftly emerged behind the servant. After putting him in a choke hold and tripping him, Hifumi dragged him into the shadows of the staircase close by.
“Answer my questions in a low voice. If you do any strange movements, I’ll kill you and find someone else to ask.”
With an arm around his neck, the servant trembled while nodding.
“Where are Ortis and the Corporal?”
“R-right now, they are in the office on the s-second floor…”
After pressing him for information of where the office was located, Hifumi had the servant tell him if he knew about a man named Beirevra.
Hifumi felt that the response was weird, so he threatened him by sliding the blade over his chest, lightly cutting it.
“Uu… p-please stop…”
“If you want me to stop, speak.”
“The man called Beirevra previously stayed here in this mansion.”
Finding a clue like this from an unexpected source, Hifumi’s irritation calmed down somewhat, urging the man to continue.
It seems that the servant was working with matters regarding the town’s budget management.
As for Beirevra, he had apparently been coming here several times. The most recent visit seems to have been this morning.
Perhaps the voice Alyssa heard back then was him.
Hifumi had previously thought that Beirevra would make a quick escape, but it seems like he’s taking his sweet time.
Not having stayed over during the night, Beirevra had apparently come early in the morning, and left right after talking to Ortis about something.
As it didn’t seem like he’d get any more information out of this, Hifumi strangled the guy, making him fall unconscious.
He first had thoughts of killing him, but it didn’t seem appropriate.
While feeling irritated, and regretting having accepted this task, Hifumi climbed up the stairs.
Without hesitating, Hifumi opened the door to the office and stepped inside.
There were two persons inside the room. The Corporal he met during the day, and a middle aged man. Presumably Ortis.
The Corporal uttered while brandishing his sword, stepping towards Hifumi with heavy steps.
“I have no need for you…”
When he came into striking distance, Hifumi trampled down on the top of his foot, and thrust him down on the ground before crushing his ankle.
While the Corporal was clumsily trying to stand up, Hifumi stepped down on his chest and pierced his neck with the katana, delivering the finishing blow.
“Well then. Ortis, I presume? I’ve got a couple of questions for you.”
Facing Hifumi who just killed a man without a changing of expression, Ortis face turned pale, and he shakily stood up from the table.
“I-if you think you can behave like this to me, don’t think you can get awa…”
“I don’t need you to tell me that.”
Swinging the blade, a red line appeared on both of Ortis’ arms.
“Too bad we don’t have time. I’m getting a bit tired, so I’d like to finish this. Just killing a few people, I can’t feel the tension anymore.”
Hifumi complained about the annoying job he got.
“W-what do you want to know?”
“There are a few things. Who is Beirevra, where did he go, and what is he doing? I also want to know why the town’s soldiers are acting weird. The ones I killed earlier where lacking emotional ups and downs, and had a dull sense of pain. What was done to them?
“Be-Beirevra is a spy sent from the capital of Vichy. Where he is and what he’s doing, I don’t know…”
“You met him this morning, didn’t you? What did you talk about? What has he been tasked with?”
Listening to what Ortis was saying while flicking with his katana, Hifumi was arranging the information in his head.
Apparently, Beirevra was an agent dispatched from the Capital of the so called city-state, and it seems like he mainly asked Ortis about the intelligence collected from Orsongrande. Though he was never told the contents concerning Orsongrande’s internal activities.
As for the soldiers, it seems it was an experiment of a newly developed magic tool sent from the Capital.
It was also something Beirevra brought with him, with effects that could strengthen the body, which he distributed amongst the soldiers.
“So, is the suppression of emotions a side effect from that?”
“I don’t know either. I asked the Capital for an explanation, but ‘watch over the process’ is all they told me. It didn’t hinder my work so…”
“Alyssa wasn’t equipped with one of those magic tools?”
According to the information Ortis got, apparently they can’t bear the body strengthening if they’re too young.
“For now, that’s all I wanted to ask.”
“For now? Are you planning to come back!?”
“No, you’re the one coming.”
Hitting him hard on the back of his neck with the back of the katana, Ortis consciousness was let go.
Exiting the originally sparsely guarded mansion, Hifumi returned with a horse carriage. He entrusted Origa and the rest with tying up Ortis, while he himself entered the inn.
Ahead of him was the inn owner’s room.
Opening the door, the old man was snoring in bed, not noticing Hifumi intruding.
Drawing his katana, he stabbed the sleeping old man in the heart, before flicking the blood off the blade and returning it to its sheath.
He then left the room without saying anything.
“Something you had forgotten?”
“Just tying up some loose ends.”
Answering Origa’s question, Hifumi jumped up on his horse, announcing they were leaving the town, going towards Fukaroru.
“Master, are we returning?”
“According to what Ortis said, Beirevra is a spy from the Capital of Vichy. The current situation could affect negotiations between countries, but it’s a bother, so I’ll leave the investigation to Pajou and them. That aside, Alyssa.”
“Like I said earlier, we’re returning to Orsongrande for now. As for what we’re doing after that, we’ll decide when the time arrives. Are you really planning on coming with us?”
Not just the town, but you’d be discarding even your country, he told her. But Alyssa just responded with a resolute nod.
“I don’t mind. My resolution stretches beyond that.”
“I see. Just do as you like.”
“We’ll be counting on you, Alyssa.”
“Following this Master is difficult, you know? You have to work hard.”
While Alyssa was getting along with the slaves, Hifumi said he’d drive, and turned his back to Alyssa, before jumping up the coachman seat. The wagon started to advance on the road, and Hifumi let out a smile, unbeknownst to the others.
This is good. If Alyssa also can learn my way of fighting, it should be possible to spread the spirit of war throughout the country. Throughout the world.
Maybe because Origa and Kasha originally had some previous experience, Hifumi thought that teaching them was going fairly well. This was just a simple experiment, but if they just got a bit more familiar with his teachings, they’d be able to enter the ranks of the quite strong people in this world.
Alyssa on the other hand couldn’t use magic, and was by no means physically strong. But if he could prove that she could fight on an above average level due to martial arts and tactics, the way the world waged war was bound to experience change.
Whether it be individually, in group, town or country, without being able to choose the means themselves, their true struggle for life would begin.
For that purpose, having some kind of social status may be for the best, Hifumi thought. A status able to mobilize a lot of people. In other words, a status being able to start huge battles.
Since I somehow managed to get the rank of Patrician, let’s finally put it to use. Imeraria, you planned to summon a hero, didn’t you? Then I’ll become your hero. A hero whose name resounds throughout the world. I’m really looking forward to what degree of bloodshed that will result in.
The excitement of strife, of battle. The tension of the night raids. Desperately fending for oneself, killing the ones failing to… Just imagining it, Hifumi got a warm feeling in his chest.
Cutting a motionless scarecrow would be boring. I want to kill because they’re alive.
I want to mold the world, in order to kill, the summoned hero secretly decided for himself.