In the residential area neighbouring the shopping area, they were able to get a room safely. Though not a high-class hotel, neither was it a hotel that the poorest segment of the population uses. Adventurers and peddlers seem to frequent it.
「 Since I cannot sleep with another person nearby, you two will be in another room. 」
There are no hotels that are cheaper for slaves, some allow camping out in the stables, but since there is the matter of meals and equipment, the two slaves accepted.
Since they were wearing tidy equipment, the slave tattoo was not visible, so the landlady did not say anything either.
「 Put your luggage away and gather in the dining room. 」
While Hifumi paid the landlady the lodging expenses of the three, the two went up to the upper rooms quickly.
「 Good grief, he’s not gentle, nor somewhat concerned. 」 (Origa)
「 Perhaps he is not interested. As far as master is concerned, a man is either an enemy or not one, does he find anyone other than an opponent interesting? 」
To Origa’s muttering at Hifumi, Kasha tilted her head.
「 Though he seemed to talk to Thorn from the weapon shop quite easily. 」 (Kasha)
「 That, I think it was because of the topic of weapons. 」 (Origa)
Origa’s words were somewhat dissatisfied.
The hotel in which Hifumi stayed, ‘Matthew Peak’ had the dining room on the first floor, and the guest rooms on the second. It is not very big, and has only two kinds of rooms, single and twin. Once Hifumi confirmed that there was no one inside his room, he stepped inside and looked around. The window was not of glass, it was a simple wooden one. Recalling from memory, none of the shops had any glass, though there was some in the castle lighting. It seems to be a high-quality article.
Worn out bedding spread out over a simple single bed, with a wooden pitcher and cup on a small shelf next to the bed. Other than that, no other furniture.
Storing his katana in the Dark Hole, Hifumi removed his equipment.
He sat on the bed and started planning.
First off, I need to sort things out before leaving this town.
After the meal, Origa and Kasha should be asked, if they don’t know, it will be necessary to investigate tomorrow.
Value of gold and silver coins, about Magic, about Adventurers, about demons, about this country, about this world…..
There are a lot of unknowns, and because of preparations to travel, it is necessary to think about it. How to travel in this world? There cannot possibly be trains and cars, so by foot or a wagon? It seems that travelling between relay stations while fighting demons is likely.
When Hifumi descended to the dining room, Origa and Kasha were already seated. Their food was ready, but still untouched.
Hifumi smiled wryly at the dutiful slaves, sat down and began to eat the prepared food.
Today’s menu: stew mixed with vegetables and meat, along with a potato salad.
「 I’m getting used to the food here. Though the taste is a little thin, it’s delicious enough. 」
「 This is thin…… Master must have been born in a rich family. 」
From the conversation during the meal, it seems that salt and sugar, etc are not very easy to obtain. Especially so for the castle-town they were in, it took ten days or more for the wagons to come in from the sea.
「 Aa, after the meal, I am coming to you room. 」
To this casually delivered sentence, Origa and Kasha react with a twitch.
「 That is…. 」
「 Understood. 」
Though Kasha started to say something, Origa interrupted with an acknowledgement.
The double room which Origa and Kasha were using, it was simply double the size of the single room and had two beds and shelves.
Hifumi sat on one bed, and the two sat opposite him with their arms folded and listening hesitantly.
Suddenly, Kasha lowered herself to the floor and bowed deeply.
「 I have a request. 」
「 So suddenly? Changing your way of speaking, that’s disturbing. 」
「 Di-Disturbing…… Um, please do not lay a hand on Origa… is my request. I will take her place. 」
「 Kasha?! 」
At this unexpected incident, Origa opened her eyes wide in surprise.
「 Origa, that… her body is not so strong, that sort of thing is too early. 」
「 ….Ah. 」
Looking at Kasha’s deeply flushed face and her hurried words, Hifumi understood her explanation and laughed.
「 D-Don’t laugh… Please. When I was bought, I was prepared for such a thing…. 」
「 Kasha, me as well. 」
Origa lowered herself next to Kasha and lowered her head towards Hifumi.
「 Master, I understand my position since I was also bought by master. Therefore… 」
「 Wait a minute. Don’t just advance your delusions by yourselves. 」
Hifumi snorted, ordering the two to sit on the bed as before.
「 Don’t misunderstand. I haven’t particularly thought of sleeping with you. 」
「 B-But purchasing us, two women as slaves…. 」
「 Ah, that kind of implication can’t be helped. For now, because Kasha and Origa are beautiful women, that kind of thinking was to be expected. That is not my purpose. 」
On being called beautiful women, both women looked down with reddened faces. Origa’s gesture was lovely, Kasha’s ears were red. Their aura of Adventurers completely dissolved, becoming that of young women instantly.
「 I do not wish to sleep with an unknown companion, I would rather do so with a consenting partner. Using a situation to do this is something I absolutely dislike. 」
The mental strain suddenly released, Kasha gaped at him with her mouth open.
Therefore, Hifumi did not intend to treat them like slaves, he continued,
「 Today, my feeling of slaughtering was completely satisfied. In the first place, I don’t feel the need to sleep with a woman. 」
To these words, Origa and Kasha were shocked.
After waiting for the two to calm down, Hifumi began his knowledge gathering.
– The various coins are gold, silver and copper. One Gold coin is 100 Silver coins, and one Silver is 100 Copper coins.
– The demons are of two types, the Beast type and the Undead type. The Beast type has particular disposition to the ferocity of animals. The Undead type has Zombies or Ghosts. Due to the territorial nature of the predatory Demon-kin, the chances of encounters rise on leaving towns and highways.
– Magic has the Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, Light, Dark attributes. Though there are many who can practice magic, especially due to systematisation, the usage seems to differ based on the image of the individual, and the teaching of the master. Generally, the magic and image are brought together by the staff, but a skilled person can, with practice use magic without the staff.
– This country, Orsongrande is the largest human-ruled highly-populated country, but young men are conscripted from the rural areas, the humans unreasonable parts emerge.
– The Adventurer refers to a person registered to a ‘Guild’ where a branch exists in each city, and their jobs involve demon subjugation, arrests etc and receive rewards for it. Kasha had registered along with Origa with a guild in this castle-town for two years as active Adventurers till the day of their mistake.
「 Guilds, huh? Then do other kinds exist, like merchant guilds? 」
「 Though there are service offices, as far as I know, other than Adventurer guilds, there are none others. 」 (Kasha)
Apparently all guilds of this world seem to be concentrated on combat related requests, there are no workforce like agencies. Though requests from the country may be received, they are not sent to war. It seems to stick to the stance that whatever the work, payment matters the most.
「 Because of that, there are no conflicts with the nobles in the country. 」
「 Requesting an Adventurer is more inexpensive than making the same request of a soldier. 」
To Origa’s explanation, Hifumi thought about the idea of outsourcing in this world.
While listening to various things, it had become quite late. The clamour from the dining room had also died down.
「 Well then, it is late. Teach me these things tomorrow. My best regards. 」
To Hifumi who stood up, Origa half rose to her feet.
「 Um…. 」 (Origa)
「 Yes? 」 (Hifumi)
「 I, sleeping with master, is not particularly unpleasant…. 」
Towards Origa, Hifumi said,
「 Though I don’t know why you are in such a hurry, at least say it without trembling next time. 」
Gently smiling, Hifumi left the room.
「 Origa, why go that far….. 」
Kasha held Origa’s shoulder anxiously as Origa quietly cried.
On leaving the room, Hifumi sighed.
Being approached by a lovely young woman does not feel bad. Before, he liked a woman, and she liked him. They dated for a while, but for some reason separated.
From now on, he has to live in this world. Other than Origa and Kasha, there is a possibility of forming such relationships with others as well. However, what to do in the future is undecided, for there is a feeling of satisfaction of finally killing someone. Hifumi decided to put it on the back burner for now.
「 Well…. 」
Concentrating his conciousness, Hifumi scanned the building and its immediate surroundings.
On the side facing the road, there is a sign of an unnaturally still person near one corner of the building. Moreover, the back of the building.
Hifumi did not return to his room, and quietly jumped out from the window of the second floor passage to the outside.
He silently approached the back of the unnaturally still person.
It was a woman. Lovely blonde hair in loose waves, glossy in spite of the night. Splendid proportions, wearing a remarkably thin almost see-through dress.
On looking at her, she seemed to be a prostitute.
Hifumi approached from the back, and at the last moment called out.
「 Do not move. 」
「 Uu…..? Wh-What, master, you surprised me. 」 (TN: Here, master is like saying boss, or sir, ‘danna’ in JP.)
Unaffected by the way of speaking, the feeling of incongruity remained.
「 Stop your unskilled drama. You are from the Knight Corps. 」
In the silent night, a gasp is heard.
「 Why…. 」
「 In the first place, no prostitute has muscles those thick at her waist and wrist. That is a characteristic of someone used to wielding something. Secondly, a prostitute is not likely to show herself off at such a scarcely populated street. More likely to earn more money in the red-light area. Thirdly, the hair. 」
「 Hair? 」
「 With lustrous hair like that, only a noble-like person can afford shampoo of such high quality. It is different from those of the people on the street. 」
On being seen through so easily, the woman regretted thinking that Midas’ reports were exaggerated.
「 Do not turn around. First your name. With it, what is the identity of the people left to Midas in the day? 」
Giving up, the woman introduced herself as Pajou from the same Third Knight Corps as Midas.
「 The corpses that Midas examined, there was a particular tattoo on all of the bodies. 」
「 Tattoo…. A slave? 」
「 There was no reaction of magic, the shape was also different. I fear that those guys belonged to an underground organisation which uses these tattoos as identifiers. There are records of them several times in the past, so it is possible that they belong to the same organisation. 」
「 Those sorts of groups, don’t you have any intelligence on them? 」
「 Honestly, they number too many. When we are able to muster enough force to crush them, they disappear. 」
Hifumi considered that. With the intelligence gathering level of this world, grasping the underworld would be quite troublesome.
「 Oy Pajou. 」
「 Yes? 」
「 From the opposite building, are those the Knight group watching you? 」
Why do you see it so easily, lamenting as such , Pajou turned her gaze towards the room where the window was opened just a little.
「 …. That is so. Two colleagues are observing from there. 」
「 Then, the two in the back of the building? 」
What are you saying now, Pajou did not understand.
「 As expected, it does not seem to be the Knight Corps. It is not possible to relay this to your companions. Come along. 」
「 Aa, wait! 」
Sending a signal to her colleagues for confirmation of contact with target, Pajou chased after Hifumi hurriedly.
When Pajou arrived next to Hifumi who had slipped into the darkness of the building’s side, he quietly started explaining.
「 There are two men. They are very likely companions of those guys earlier today. Most likely they are planning for the next attack. 」
「 Catching them? 」
「 Assuming they are caught, can you make them talk? 」
「 That is….. 」
Assuming that torture is done, the certainty is not expected. In this age where technology was not that advanced, Hifumi figured that the possibility of being killed before obtaining any information was high. From the reaction of Pajou, there seems to be neither magic nor a medicine used for such purposes.
「 One person will be killed. The other will be wounded, trace that one. 」
While saying so, Hifumi took out two 2cm masses of iron from his clothes, corners shaved to a point.
「 These are weapons from my country. It has various names, my school calls them ‘Tsubute’. Apparently, throwing weapons are not seen as important. I’ll display an interesting one. 」
Smoothly slipping half out of cover, two ‘Tsubutes’ flew up quickly.
The man who was looking at the second-floor rooms fell to a sudden impact.
The other somehow stood up and left hurriedly on seeing the first one’s demise. Holding his side where the ‘Tsubute’ grazed him, his speed was slow.
「 Lets go. 」
While chasing the man marked by Hifumi, Pajou passed the first one, and saw him dead, bleeding from a hole in his neck.
A small grain of iron becomes a deadly weapon…… Perhaps the victim himself will not know what hit him. Pajou looked at Hifumi’s back and shivered, knowing that if one was hostile to Hifumi, far from clashing with swords in a dignified manner, there will be a result in which one will be dead before realising it.
The man who escaped the sudden attack and death of a friend would be confused. Not paying attention to the surroundings, he entered the aristocratic block, not far off from the castle and disappeared into the back door of a large mansion.
Hifumi verified from a distance that the man had entered the grounds, following him, Pajou also saw it.
「 There… that is Marquis Raghlain’s estate. 」
「 Marquis huh. That guy is a big-shot eh? 」
「 Ee, moreover…. One of the Knights killed by you in the audience room was the second son of the family head, Marquis Raghlain. 」
After saying that, Pajou realised her mistake.
The second son of Raghlain died attacking Hifumi. That time, Hifumi had made the King, the father pay for the princess’ crime. Then, what will Hifumi do in the residence of a hostile person?
Retrieving his katana from his waist, the answer is clear from Hifumi’s smile.
「 Is that so. That’s extremely good to hear. 」
Pajou regretted not having had the other Knights follow her.
「 Well then, I must warn you not to trouble me. 」
Not thinking the warning was necessary, the dress-wearing Knight shook her head.