Published at 8th of February 2021 11:53:01 AM
After staying for a week in the royal capital, we were on our way back to the Dolknes territory . My favorite means of transportation is Ryuu, I really hate riding the coach .
I wanted to stop the carriage, get my feet on the ground and take a look along the road . Some good views could be seen when one travels by road from the capital to Dolknes territory .
Unfortunately, there was no coach available which Ryuu could ride so I told him that he could return whenever he wanted .
「Aa—, my body feels cramped—」
Right now we’re stopping for a break, as I hopped down from the coach and stretched my body, I could hear the sounds of my bone cracking . Hearing how loud the sound was, the coachman looked at me in surprise . No, no, everyone does this all the time .
Patrick followed me as he hopped down and stretched himself, but no bone-cracking sounds were heard . Eh?
The maid sisters, Rita and Sara, also stepped out of the coach .
If I didn’t bring the elder one back home with us, it was likely that she would commit suicide . Compared to Rita, Sara wasn’t so weird, plus I wanted her within earshot before her sister’s bad influence affected her .
Patrick helped them to step out of the coach .
Huh? Why didn’t I get the same wonderful event? I wondered for a moment but on second thought, wasn’t I the one who rushed out of the coach first?
Besides, I’m not that weak to ask for help like that . But next time, I’ll wait until Patrick gets out first . If he offers me his hand, I’m willing to take it .
As I repeat the bending and stretching motion, Patrick comes closer .
「You still hate riding the coach?」
「I really hate it, running is a faster way of travelling . 」
「That only works for you . 」
「No, no, Patrick, you can also run fast, right?」
The other day when we measured his level, it’s already past Level 80 . Even the Knight Commander, who was considered the strongest in the kingdom was Level 60, so you could understand how strong his current strength is . If you look at the past, people who reached Level 80 are like urban legends .
「Well, I think it’s faster to run, too . But…」
「You did realize that you’re not normal anymore, right?」
「…I can’t accept that Yumiela is admonishing me . 」
This is one of the reasons for our inspection . I don’t necessarily need to ride a coach, but a lot of people use it . It’s important to realize he’s no longer normal and have to see things from a normal people’s perspective .
The population of Dolknes territory consists of normal people, there are few strong people like Patrick and me .
Despite my insightful thoughts, Patrick is reluctant to admit the truth .
「I’m not like you, my magic power is normal, you know? We aren’t in the same league . 」
Patrick’s magic has wind and earth attributes, he uses them skillfully by using the wind to deliver his voice over a distance and using earth attributes to create an instant defense .
He doesn’t use his strength the same way I do but I’m sure he could if he wanted to .
「I’m trying to suppress my magic, okay? And it’s been ingrained in you to conserve your magic, if you want to go all out, go for it, you’ll do great . 」
「…Sure, recently I haven’t been able to use all my magic without restrain . 」
「Let’s do it together this time and give each other our all . 」
「No way . 」
My suggestion was immediately rejected . He’s no fun but…
Feeling dejected, I looked at the couch and I started to get bored . It leads me to think of modern knowledge I could use to improve the coach when the horse catches my attention .
The couch that we were using right now is a two-horse coach, both of the horses are very pretty with chestnut-colored hair . During our break, the two of them were gulping down water .
Aah, look how cute they’re . Moreover the horses are intelligent . They’re not like cats and dogs that bark at the sight of me and end up running away . The era of those pets is over, now it’s time for the horses to shine .
「Thank you for pulling the coach, can I touch them a little?」
I moved to the side and aimed to touch at one side . Their big, round black eyes looked gentle . Is this one a girl?
I reached out, before I could touch the horse’s neck it suddenly lashed out and neighs were heard .
Oh no, did I touch a forbidden place? Just like dogs that hate having their tails touched, maybe horses also have places that don’t want to be touched .
This is entirely my fault . The coachman oji-san rushed up to me and said,
「Excuse me . The horses are scared, could you please step away?」
He then calmed the horse down by petting it . By touching it in the same place I was going to touch . …Eh?
It seems like it’s not just dogs and cats have a tendency to be afraid of me but horses as well . Maybe it applies to animals in general . Oh, but humans tend to be afraid of me, too . It’s okay, I still have Ryuu anyway .
Inside the traveling coach, it seems that the road surface is poor or the swaying has increased . I wish they would at least maintain the streets properly .
「Hey, where are we going right now? Aren’t the road is too bad?」
「We just entered the Dolknes territory a while ago . 」
My question was answered plainly by Patrick . Is that the reason why Rita cast down her eyes the moment I asked that?
Then she lifted her downcast eyes .
「It’s better than before . It was worse before Yumielsama entered the academy . 」
Now that she mentions it, I remembered the coach heading to the academy was shakier . It felt less shaky during the journey but it wasn’t because I got used to it .
If I don’t, I’ll be in trouble . Since I became the Lord, I’ve been allocating money for road maintenance . What the hell happened to it?
「Hmm, maybe it was . 」
「And this is an awful place to meet bandits . As long as you pass safely, you’d arrive at peaceful Dolknes territory . 」
Ritsan, isn’t the bar too low? Nowadays, there is no such thing as bandits . If the bandits frequently appear in a territory, then the Lord must be ridiculously incompetent .
「I’ve never heard about bandits, but it’s actually… eh? Why did we stop?」
I was about to ask if the rumors about the bandits were real in this world when the coach suddenly stopped . The coachman’s panicked voice could be heard from outside .
「Bandits! We’ve been surrounded!」
I learned a few things . One, bandits are real . Two, nobles like the Dolknes are incompetent as a Lord .
Then, as a lord with zero aptitude I’ll make a difference as guard .
Patrick jumped out of the coach first . Bandits surrounded us as I leaned out of the coach and looked around . There were about thirty men of varying ages, a few of them were armed with proper weapons and the rest were armed with farming tools .
Patrick then guided the coachman oji-san in front of the door .
「Yumiela, come out quickly . Let him hide inside . 」
Eh? What kind of event will lend me a hand to step down?
If I say something like that, it’s obvious that I’m going to get angry . I jumped off from the coach lightly to warn Rita and the others .
「You guys stay inside the coach . 」
「Good luck . 」
Saying good luck when surrounded by thirty or so people is an exaggeration . Judging from the bandits’ appearance they aren’t used to fighting, so there is no danger here .
Patrick draws the sword on his waist . When I was about to do the same… I remembered that I left my sword at home . I stand in line next to him in a natural stance .
While keeping an eye on the bandits, he said .
「Yumiela, protect the coach, I’ll take care of the bandits!」
Maybe it’s better to reverse the plan . But nothing can stop Patrick when he’s motivated . I stand in front of the coach and watch him fight against the bandits .
As you can imagine, the odds for the bandits to win weren’t good .
Patrick struck with his sword, knocked them down with his feet then blew them away with wind magic and overwhelmed the bandits .
While watching the one-sided fight, I sense something approaching me from behind . He had a sword in his hand and seemed to have his sights on me, unlike the bandits who had surrounded Patrick and tried to defeat him . He’s pretty reckless .
I pretend not to notice his movement in the background . But I still wanted to avoid being slashed from behind with minimal movement . If I do, I will look cool like a master . I can feel his stare at the back of my head .
He reached behind me without making any noises and swung his sword down… but it never came . Instead, his hand circled from behind and held his sword on my throat .
「Don’t move! Drop your sword! Or she will get it!」
He said that loudly .
…What does that mean? I exchanged looks with Patrick but he hasn’t grasped the situation yet .
We both freeze and looking puzzled when he flaunted some even more and said,
「Drop your weapon if you are worried about this girl! Give me your valuables or I will kill her! 」
I still don’t understand what he’s talking about . But Patrick seems to have figured it out and asks quizzically .
「…Is this a situation where you became a hostage?」
「No shit! Look, I’ll ruin your girlfriend’s beautiful face!」
He brought the blunt-looking blade close to my face . I’ve been involved in a lot of dangerous situations before but this is the first time being held as a hostage .
Since we’re already caught in this situation, let’s do something even more hostage-like . It’s a once-in-lifetime experience .
Time to ask for help using all my acting skills .
「P-please save m—」
That sounds really dry .
Patrick looked weak and unmotivated . Hey, your fiancee is in danger . Can you take it more seriously?
I continued my acting as a hostage .
「Don’t mind me! Attack me! I’m going to drag this guy to hell!」
My intention was to make it like an unlucky girl battling someone like rival characters in the manga . The bandits trembled at my resolve .
However it’s unlikely for Patrick who had a troubled look on his face to move . It seems like I’m not the only one who feels heartless . The bandits that surrounded us unanimously said,
「Just drop your sword and I won’t take her life, okay? 」
「Your girlfriend is saying all these things but you have no heart!」
「Don’t listen to him, Patrick! I’m alright!」
He finally made up his mind and has a clue about what I’m doing . After letting out a deep sigh, he dropped the sword in his right hand to the ground .
As he raised both of his hands, Patrick gave the bandits a sharp look .
「Taking hostage is for cowards! Release her!」
Oh, Patrick is on board with my idea .
He was so intense it frightened the bandits and made them back away . I was blown away by his impressive acting .
「Fufu, Patrick is so cool . How could you be so good at acting?」
「You are the one who started it . Look, the charade is over . 」
He looked away in embarrassment as he picked up the sword he dropped .
Being a hostage is no fun . Now would be the time to grab the sword that is being held at my throat .
The sword blade easily broke when I grabbed it, there’s no way such a poor quality sword could withstand my grip . Looking at the broken sword, the guy behind me froze .
「I never thought a day where I would be a hostage would come . Thank you for the opportunity!」
「Well, can you all gather in one place?」
「Whoaa, what is this strength?!」
I grabbed his arm and tossed him towards Patrick . He flew into the air and collided with another bandit .
Meanwhile, on Patrick’s side of things, it looks like he also seemed to have settled the matter . The thirty or so bandits were either down or no longer had the will to fight .
I slowly walked towards Patrick and said,
「Good job, it’s not that hard… isn’t it?」
「Yeah, they didn’t look like they were used to fighting . Their weapons are too shabby, they look like farmers…」
What if they’re coming from my territory? There must be a reason why they become bandits, maybe I’m the root of the problem .
「I’m the Lord of Dolknes territory, where are you guys come from?」
They began whispering to each other when I asked them in a less domineering manner .
「…Lord of Dolknes? The one who said to defeated the Demon King?」
「This is bad, we hit the most dangerous target . 」
「Hey, stop talking as if you are being tortured . Remember your family’s faces!」
Seeing them panicked makes me feel bad . It feels like the standard that I’ve to expect .
Patrick stepped forward and motioned me to step back .
「Tell me, do you have a place to stay or are you working away from home? And why are you targeting this place?」
They remain silent under Patrick’s interrogation . See? The way you asked is too pushy . Interrogation requires a carrot and stick approach, a certain amount of mercy is needed .
When he tried to give them an alternate choice, he gave the choices in a well-timed manner .
「If you keep silent, I’ll change place and let her do the rest . 」
「No, I’ll tell you everything!」
Can you stop using me as the stick?
Later he found out the bandits were coming from a village in our neighboring territory .
When I asked him to elaborate, he said that their village suffered from poverty and if they didn’t do this, they would starve to death . That’s why the men were planning to rob a coach that was likely loaded with money as bandits .
It seems that the big mountains in the south were the cause of poverty . There are times when the sun would disappear, causing low crop yields, he added .
As I listen to his story from a distance, I asked,
「But what’s changed? What made you start robbing people? You’ve been doing this for a while, right?」
「Um . 」
「…I don’t know!」
Yep, just like the usual . They get scared .
Patrick gestures to me to take a further step back and I listen .
「What’s going on in your territory lately?」
「It’s the monsters . There aren’t any around our village but they raided our crops . 」
Monsters rarely appear near human settlements . Or rather, people settled in a place where there are no monsters around .
It’s concerning for them to show up in their village . I couldn’t help but ask .
「 Was everyone okay?」
「Uwaaa . 」
「…Patrick . 」
It’s about time for them to start getting used to it . Just What kind of personal information about me is circulating in the villages around here?
The villagers in my territory did not react that way when they saw me . I mean… I kinda expected this already .
With a sigh, Patrick asked on my behalf .
「Was there any damage done?」
「No one is injured . But the fields are ruined, we might as well be dead . Our Lord won’t even help us . 」
The village was already in poor condition from the start, but it became even more devastating after the monsters appeared . And no help from the Lord as well . Hearing about their grievances, an idea suddenly came to my mind .
The territorial reform that I proposed the other day was rejected due to the lack of residents .
「Hey . 」
「Uwaah . 」
「…Am I that scary? Oh! If the neighboring territory sucks, then why don’t you migrate to mine?」