Chapter 10 – The Fight Song

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After the little disturbance, Hifumi and the other two went towards the board on which requests were posted.
Okku’s corpse was carried out by his companions, and the floor was quickly cleaned. As expected of people accustomed to fights.
The guild did not have any ranking system in particular, so there were no restrictions on receiving requests. Probably because of that, the board seemed to be only roughly divided into subjugation and escort requests, that too, in a disorderly way.

「 Today, since I want to see how you two fight, look for a subjugation request near the town. 」

「 How about this one? 」

Origa took down a request pinned on the board and read it out loud.
「 A goblin subjugation request. A group of about 10 of them have been confirmed in the nearby forest. The reward is one silver coin per goblin. 」

「 Since you should have killed many goblins, don’t worry about the rewards, just take it. 」

Goblins are small, human-like demons about 1m tall with dirty dark green skin. Often found in forests or meadows, usually in groups of 5 to 10, though not individually strong, if ganged up on at once, it isn’t unusual for novices to die.
However, since even the amount obtained after selling their parts is negligible, goblin subjugation is seen as practice for newcomers.
「 Well, it’s safe. 」

「 Then, I will register the request. 」
Looking at Origa, who bowed and took the request to the receptionist, Hifumi thought she was quite like a secretary. Looking at her speaking style and bearing, she seems to come from a good family.
Doing something so helpfully and eagerly, Hifumi thought it might be calculated, but did not particularly mind.

Receiving the goblin subjugation request, it was decided to buy clothes before leaving the town. Patting his clothes, Hifumi asked the guild’s staff Hera. Ordinary people generally wore second-hand clothes, and only occasionally bought nicer ready-made clothes. Getting custom-made clothes would be difficult outside the area of the aristocratic block.
「 Generally, for clothes made from special materials and demon hide, such as protective gear, I believe armour shops take such commissions. 」
To Hera saying so with a slightly strained smile, Hifumi also decided to stop by the armourer’s shop that was next to Thorn’s before leaving town.

「 What is it? the weapon commission is not done yet. 」
Scowling as usual, Thorn, who was working on something inside the shop asked Hifumi who entered.

「 An additional order. 」

「 Additional? Another weird thing again? 」

Gesturing towards his clothes, Hifumi said
「 These are clothes used for practice and combat in my hometown. Wearing these makes me feel at ease. 」

Seeing Hifumi’s dark blue dougi and hakama, Thorn frowned.
「 Is this for combat? It’s fluttery and isn’t it hard to move around in? 」

The dougi’s sleeves were long enough to extend below the elbow, the hakama was long enough to almost conceal his feet. Completely opposite to the trousers, hardened boots, and long-sleeved jackets reinforced with iron plates that the adventurers wore.
「 Ah well. For now, I’ll need to see the structure of these clothes. Come inside. 」

「 Shall I just take it off here? 」

「 It obstructs business. Stop. 」

Behind him, Kasha and Origa, on seeing Hifumi put his hands on his clothes, hurriedly covered their faces with their hands, though they left gaps between their fingers.

Finished with the dougi’s measurements, leaving the raw materials to Thorn, Hifumi put on his dougi, and gave the order to prioritize comfort over defence for his new dougi. Thorn, who was interestedly watching, thought that the way of wearing these clothes was quite strange.

The dougi itself can be cut from cloth, since materials like metal or plastic are not used, it is possible to make it even with the current technological level of this world. It seems possible to make the leather lining of the hakama as well, from the great turtle demonic beast.

「 Moreover, I can get another set in other towns as well, thanks to the blueprints. 」

「 Blueprints? 」
When Hifumi asked, generally clothes were made based on the craftsman’s sense for it, and using blueprints to make a large number of identical parts was unheard of. There was no size display for any equipment in the shop either, it was adjusted as required.
Since constantly adjusting the equipment would be a hassle during journeys, Hifumi explained the blueprint.

「 I see. Other than the regular patrons, there are a lot of other guys that buy equipment, so making it by hand is not possible. Such a great paper has come into my hands, substituting cloth with leather….. 」
As an exchange for the idea, Hifumi’s clothes were made for free.
Incidentally, the dougi and hakama would be done by the next day. Inside the shop, though there are only 5 apprentices, it seems that Thorn is the one that makes the marketed commodities.

They finally left the town. Leaving the shopping area, going on past the castle gate, a plain with a highway of bare earth stretched on as far as the eye could see.
Hifumi was impressed by this scene which could not be found in Japan.

「 Full of nature. The smell of the trees and plants is heavy. 」

Origa and Kasha, who lived in this world did not understand his words.

「 Master, let us move quickly. The forest is that way. 」
Kasha, glad to be able to fight after a long time, pointed in a direction away from the highway and hurried on.

When Hifumi looked, the forest seemed to start at a certain point on the plain. Walking, it would take around 20 minutes to reach it.
「 Inside the forest, the goblins were witnessed in a place about one hour towards the center. 」
Origa informed everyone, after looking at the request.
In this world, only a small portion of nobles have clocks. The common people have to rely on the position of the sun, a bell at noon and their own biological clocks. In some farm villages, even bells were absent. Even if one hour is written, since it is the account of the reporter, it’s reliability is unknown.
In the meantime, they arrived at the forest.
Kasha slowly pulled out her swords, Origa took out her staff rolled up in cloth and shouldered it. Watching the two people pull out their weapons, Hifumi felt weird.

「 Oy, why are you pulling the swords out now? 」

「 Eh? We are entering the forest now, so I am preparing my weapon……. 」
To their faces expressing what is he saying, Hifumi could not hide his surprise.

「 Nono, isn’t preparing for a battle essential? By any chance, should any situation arise?…. Origa cannot use her magic without the staff…. 」(Kasha)
「 I am sorry. To be skilled like master, I cannot use magic without a medium or a chant…. 」
「 Anyone can prepare their sword in advance for battle. Master is amazing, knocking down an incoming arrow like that using the katana without anyone realising. 」

Seemingly displeased by their off the point answers, Hifumi held their gaze.

「 M-Master? 」

「 Sit down, we’re going to have a little chat. 」

Not understanding clearly, Origa and Kasha sat down timidly on the grass.

「 Among the martial artists of my country, we are familiar with “Battlefield awareness”. Do you understand it’s meaning? 」

Looking at their confused expressions, Hifumi continued while tapping his sword.

「 It means that at any time, battle may erupt. My country is peaceful now, In older times, it was safe in it’s own way inside towns. As such, the royal capital is also quite safe, but it will be different outside the town. 」
Origa and Kasha exchanged a look. What Hifumi wanted to say had not been cleared up yet.
「 Leaving the highway and entering the forest, one hears that demons tend to show up. However, only “heard”. What is your reason for something near the town? Do demons wait for you to prepare your swords and staffs? Not just demons, humans are more troublesome. Outside the town, without knowing whether it is an enemy or not, what will you do if suddenly attacked? A little while ago, Kasha referenced the story of me and the arrow. That was in town. 」
The two could not refute Hifumi’s words, and silently listened.

「 Kasha. What would you have done if you were attacked with your swords sheathed? 」

「 Um….. Buy time to draw my swords by gaining some distance. 」

「 For example, a scenario like yesterday’s blind alley? 」

「 That is…. 」

Turning his gaze away from Kasha who was lost for words, Hifumi looked at Origa.

「 Origa, how long would it take for you to cast magic without your staff at the ready? 」

「 Hm, about 20 seconds at the very least. 」

「 When attacked without the staff, even momentarily fighting with weapons or tools? Leave aside whether you’ve bought them or not. Can you use them? 」

「 ….. Have not used them……. 」
Origa already had a face that seemed ready to cry.
The two seem to be middle-level adventurers. In other words, they possess basic skills, and common sense of this world and it’s knowledge of fighting. The standard level of this world was quite average, judged Hifumi.

Now that I think of it, the guy from the guild who attacked drew his sword comparatively angrily…..

It seems that preparing for a fight is a way of thinking for this country. Short spears seem to be the basic equipment for the people in the castle, possibly because the time taken to pull a weapon from it’s sheath is more.

Then, not just adventurers, but regular soldiers as well..

In ancient Rome, it was heard that spears were disassembled while marching. Before attacking, they were reassembled. Though the type of fighting is different, it was not as leisurely as using handguns and rifles in the modern world.
While watching the slaves looking at him with upturned eyes, a bad idea came to Hifumi’s mind.

Though it would be tiresome to think about domestic affairs, spreading strife in this world would be interesting. Problem is, this country, or a newer one?

Origa, unable to endure the long silence Hifumi had fallen into, called out.
「 U-Um…. Though it may take the inexperienced me some time, I will learn how to fight without magic, so please do not abandon us… 」

「 Hn…. Ah, I was lost in thought. No abandoning will be done….. Alright, it’s decided. 」

Hifumi looked at Origa and Kasha, the evil expression from a while ago disappeared, replaced with an enchanting smile.

「 I will train you. The immediate goal will be for you to handle a single one of the guys that attacked yesterday on your own. 」
The reactions of the two were polar opposites of each other.

「 Uu…. such movements, though I don’t think we can do it….. 」 (Kasha)

「 Master, thank you very much! 」 (Origa)

「 Origa, do your best. Kasha, it is impossible to move like that immediately. Well then, first of all, I will have you two start moving. 」

Origa and Kasha hurriedly ran after Hifumi, who was rapidly walking towards the depths of the forest.

「 There seem to be five of them there, for the time being, use your magic and sword skills. I will not raise a hand. Can you do it? 」

「 Please leave it to us. 」(Origa)
「 5 of them, it is not a problem. 」(Kasha)
Both of them enthusiastically responded and tightly grasped their weapons.

As the sunlight waned, when Hifumi and the two showed up at the guild, it became noisy again. Only the hem of Hifumi’s hakama was dirty, and he did not look tired either, but the slaves were worn-out. Though not injured, they were clearly exhausted.

「 Did only Origa and Kasha fight? 」
Inadvertently criticizing, Hera asked Hifumi who came to the counter.

「 No? Though we hunted a lot, I killed half of them. 」

「 S-So many? 」
A jute bag, previously bought in town, filled with goblin ears was put on the counter. There were easily 50 or more.
On receiving the bag, Hera confirmed that the bag was filled with 63 ears. It amounted to 63 silver coins. Though small change to Hifumi, it was abnormal for a first day earning.

「 Fighting so much, it must be tiring… 」 (Hera)

Hera, who had seen Hifumi’s power could not help but believe that he had killed around 30 of them. More attention was paid to Origa and Kasha, who were wearily sitting down.

「 They became tired not just from fighting goblins. Hunting ended at midday. 」
「 Eh, then… 」
「 I drove the fundamental training into them quite severely. 」

To Hifumi snorting, what kind of training did they go through, to exhaust them this much? Hera was frightened.
Abruptly, two men wearing light armour violently entered the guild.
Advancing straight to the interior, they approached the counter next to Hera.

「 We are from the Public Security Corps. This morning, there was a matter of a man named Okku killed here, is there anyone who knows the situation? 」
The staff member spoken to instinctively glanced towards Hifumi and Hera. The two soldiers also looked towards them.

「 Ah, I’m the one that cut that guy. What is it? 」
「 Ee? Eh? 」
Hera also nodded when asked.

「 Then, we want to hear the accounts of the incident. You will come with us to the station. 」

「 Ah? He drew his sword and attacked, I responded. Ask the other witnesses if you have any doubts. 」

The two soldiers, whose foreheads had creased on seeing Hifumi’s attitude were about to say something, when two people ran into the guild.

「 ……Were we in time? 」
「 Its good we reached before blood started flowing. 」

It was Midas and Pajou, belonging to the Third Knight Corps. Unlike the last time, they were wearing white military uniforms, probably the uniform of the Knight Corps.
「 Midas from the Third Knight Corps. The matter this morning will be taken over by the Third Knight Corps. 」

「 Th-Third Knight Corps? Then, this guy…. this person.. 」

「 Is not a noble…… There are circumstances that cannot be spoken of. 」

The soldiers looked at each other, but returned quietly knowing they could not interfere since the Third Knight Corps had come into play.
「 Oh, Pajou. Worn out from last night huh. 」(Hifumi)

「 Ee…. Well, eventually I stayed up all night. 」

Dark circles were slightly visible under Pajou’s eyes. Though make-up somewhat disguised it, she was clearly tired.

「 Last night……? Master, what happened with this person after dinner? 」
Unawares, Origa was next to Hifumi, looking at Pajou suspiciously.

「 Don’t glare at me so much. Your master manipulated me, there is nothing you need to worry about. 」

Seeing the older woman’s calm reply and composure, Kasha thought,

Sleeping with neither me nor Origa, slipping out in the middle of the night, what did master do?
「 ….. Shall I continue the discussion? 」
Midas, who was cleanly ignored, cleared his throat, straightening his posture, lined up with Pajou and said with an exaggerated voice to Hifumi,
「 Concerning the recent significant events, due to the large contributions in the investigation leading to the suspect’s arrest, saving Knight Pajou, and especially Princess Imeraria’s endorsement as well, Hifumi-dono is to be awarded with the Associate Knight title, and also here is the cash reward. 」

「 Imeraria, what the hell is she planning? 」

With a Knight suddenly appearing and conferring a peerage, and Hifumi calling the the Princess without any honorific, Origa and Kasha included, the entire guild erupted into an uproar.


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