Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「The Person In Charge and The Nonhumans」
“Nina!? What’s wrong!? Nina!”
The fallen woman was probably a knight. Once the tension had dissolved, the woman with nice equipment lost consciousness.
Seeing her pass out, the small girl started to cling to her body and calling her name through tear-filled eyes as the women failed to respond.
The collapsed woman’s chest was rising and falling so there shouldn’t be a problem.
“Don’t worry she merely lost consciousness. Her injuries have already been healed with my magic, but she’s lost a lot of blood. It’s for the best that she be allowed to rest.”
When I said that the girl clinging to the female Kni-, Nina raised her head and looked at me.
After I nodded in response, the girl claimed down a little.
Upon a closer look, I could see she had a few cuts and bruises and her beautiful clothes were covered in mud and blood.
Despite that, a faint smile appeared on her face as she looked at the fallen knight.
In a group of people wearing decent body armor, she was the only exception. Considering her age and the fact that I heard Nina say “Princess Lille”……it was obvious that she was of a high social standing and they were her servants.
“Please hold still……”
I held my hand in front of the Lille’s small and injured body and invoked another spell.
The soft lights emitted from my hand were absorbed into the cuts and bruises across Lille’s body, and within moments all her injuries had vanished.
“Oh…… that’s amazing!”
Lille’s eyes bulged as she looked over her arms and legs to see that her wounds were gone, her overall surprise caused her to let out an amazed shout.
Next to the girl with the innocent reaction, a large man that had been angry until now was at a loss for words as he looked back and forth between Lille and the sleeping Nina.
When Lille noticed his attitude she pouted and pointed out his behavior out.
“By the way, Zahar. What’s the matter with you? We need to show our gratitude to our benefactors!”
She roughly wiped the tears from her eyes and laughed in a mischievous manner unbefitting of a noble as she spoke.
The knight called Zahar snapped back to reality and immediately took a knee upon seeing her behavior. The other people followed his example and kneeled as well.
“We are truly thankful for your assistance. We──”
Zahan suddenly held his tongue as if he was struggling with what to say next.
Lille spiritedly rose to her feet and puffed up her underdeveloped chest before picking up where he left off.
“My name is Lille Nozan Souria. For certain reasons I am in the midst of a journey, we faced great hardships due to those pursuers, but our lives were spared thanks to your actions. Thank you once again for your efforts.”
Lille had a dignified appearance as she spoke and despite only being around ten, the prideful air of upper-class was permeating her speech.
There was something familiar about the name “Nozan” she used in her introduction.
When I had been in Rhoden Kingdom’s Lanbaltic territory, there had been talks of trade with Nozan Kingdom.
Her name included "Nozan",and considering the fellows who accompanied her, it was possible that this girl was part of that kingdom’s royal family…… or someone of equivalent status at the very least.
Upon hearing her grand introduction, Zahar’s expression alternated between astonishment and frustration.
The people behind him remained utterly silent, meaning that identifying themselves was detrimental to their
cause…… or it was meant to be kept secret.
If I’m not mistaken the closest human territory to the Rouen forest should have been the Salma Kingdom, yet they she still identified herself as “Nozan”.
She seemed to be a royal traveling to a neighboring country with a small escort.
Had they come to the Salma Kingdom as messengers, or as exiles?
Moreover, Lille had spoken of something worrisome.
She had referred to the Spider Chimera as a “pursuer”.
It was possible…… that the monster had been sent to obstruct their way.
While I was buried under a wave of thoughts, Chiome and Ariane had come over and were also thinking about this.
Only Ponta remained unaffected, scratching the back of her ear with her hind leg.
On the other hand, I would hear a groan from Zahar and the other guards as they fruitlessly tried to think of a way to rectify this situation.
However, Lille remained oblivious to all of our reactions and looked up at me with her large bright eyes.
“You all are really strong! Who in the world are you?”
There was only curiosity behind her question, so Ariane, Chiome and I shared a look and a silent nod.
“My name is Arc Raratoia, for our own reason we’re traveling together.”
Ariane and Chiome followed after me with brief introductions of their own.
“Ariane Glenys Raratoia”
While we didn’t show the courtesy one was expected to display in the presence of royalty, Lille didn’t seem displeased by it, she just became all the more interested in us.
Behind her, Zahar directed his eyes in our direction.
I do think we said anything that was all that shocking, but could he have discovered our identities by hearing the name of an elven village?
Regardless of my worries, Lille continued speaking.
“Travelers! If you aren’t in a hurry to reach your destination, I would like for you to join my guard detail, or is that no good? If it’s about a reward, then simply name your price.”
“!? Please wait, Princess!”
It was the escorts behind her, not us, who were the most shocked by Lille abrupt proposal.
Zahar hurriedly voiced his objection.
For the people tasked with the protection of someone’s life, seeing the job being offered to someone else would certainly be disheartening, especially if it was a person you just met.
However, Lille stopped his complaints with a wave of her small hands.
“We are passing through Salma Kingdom on our way to the Dimo Earldom. It’s not that my life is all that valuable, I must state our appeal to the earl, least the people of my kingdom’s capital are killed by those disgusting monsters!”
She grasped her small hand into a fist as she spoke.
Lille was but a little girl, yet there was sincerity in her words. It may have been because of noblesse oblige, but a spark of admiration rose up in me.
Zahar’s expression became clouded as he watched Lille’s behavior.
They seemed to have entered Salma Kingdom without permission.
Well, we had no moral obligation to call them out on it. After all, the borders of this world weren’t all that well defended and taking armed guards while crossing a foreign country was a precautionary measure.
Reaching the Dimo Earldom seemed to be their objective, and Lille's attitude suggested that passing through Salma Kingdom was a necessity. From what she said, it was a place she could acquire the reinforcements needed in her country's capital.
That raised to question of who exactly Earl Dimo was.
When I glanced at Chiome, she understood what I wanted to know, sadly her reply was a slight head shake. Chiome didn’t know who this Dimo person was either.
However, people being killed by monsters couldn’t be ignored.
The monsters must have been the same as the undead Spider Chimera we dealt with.
A great power had started to move the undead in earnest.
The only suspect was the Hiruku Theocracy……
Considering what we knew, I cast a hesitant glance in Ariane’s direction, who let out a sigh and shrugged her shoulder in turn.
Her golden eyes were as placid as usual beneath her gray cloak’s hood.
I then whispered my idea into Chiome’s ear.
After getting her opinion on the matter, I faced Lille’s group and slowly removed my helmet.
“It’s an elf!”
“Elves!? From the Rouen forest!?”
When he saw my black hair, brown skin, crimson eyes and pointed ears Zahar paled as he immediately judged I was a Rouen Forest elf.
Before confronting the Spider Chimera I drank some of the spring water just in case something like this happened…… is not what happened.
Recently, I’ve been training with Ariane and Glenys in this body and I wanted to see the result of my efforts in a practical battle.
While in my skeletal body, my feelings of fear were heavily suppressed and I could act uninhibited, but the cost of using the spring water was the return of said emotions, the fear causing the non-battle hardened me to stiffen up while fighting.
However, I demonstrated the result of Glenys’ training in the last fight.
I still couldn’t endure the tension for very long, but the fact that I could take part in short battles while maintaining my composure was an important step in my training.
Remembering what I endured at Glenys’ and Ariane’s hand caused a shudder to run down my back, so I shook my head to clear those thoughts away.
As for my appearance, it was neither that of a regular elf nor of a dark elf like Ariane. Elves were a rarity in human society so anyone with elongated ears seemed to be classified as an elf.
I wasn’t gonna point that out here since now wasn’t the time to explain my circumstances, but I did correct one thing.
“No…… we are not from Rouen Forest. We belong to a village in Great Canada Forest.”
Ariane slowly pulled back her gray hood and revealed her lilac skin and golden eyes to Zahar and the others.
I think a few of Zahar’s men held their breath as they gazed upon Ariane, the weird atmosphere made Ponta assert herself by my feet.
“Canada…… the major power of the elves, in such a place……”
Zahan knew something about Canada, but Lille was confused by the name, so she looked to him and asked straight up asked: “What’s Canada?”.
“As you can see, we are not human. Do you still wish to employ us? If so, what we seek is information as a reward. What is your answer?”
Zahar’s and the other guards’ eyes simultaneously fell upon Lille.
For a moment, Zahar seemed as if he was about to open his mouth to speak, but Lille stepped forward and answered before he could say anthing.
“If it’s within my capacity, I will answer any questions until you’re satisfied! It is a cheap fee for guaranteeing my safety on this journey!”
While Lille puffed out her chest as she made her prideful declaration, I cast Chiome a glance.
When she caught my look, Chiome nodded once before stepping in front of Lille and removed the over hat from her head.
“There is only one thing I want to know……”
The normally quiet Chiome spoke in an intense voice, that I’ve yet to see her use, which caught Lille and her guards off guard.
The abrupt removal of her hat had also exposed her cat ears.
One of Chiome’s ears fidgeted when she heard that mutter comment.
However, because elves like Ariane and I were present none of them openly showed any disdain towards her, as the relation between the two races was unknown to them.
It seems that Canada held a considerable amount of influence on the Northern Continent.
“I am looking into my brother’s recent activity in Nozan Kingdom. If there were any recent incidents or conspicuous activity, I want you to tell me.”
She cast her gaze over everyone to gauge their reactions after stated her desires.
Lille immediately looked back to Zahar and gave him a questioning looked, but it seemed like he was struggling to remember if anything like that had occurred.
No luck…… as that thought was crossing my mind I let out a sigh, but some of the guards starting talking amongst themselves, one of them getting up to whisper something in Zahar’s ear.
Zahar’s face lite up when he was reminded of something, so he coughed loudly and slowly started to talk.
“…… Apparently, an intruder snuck into the palace's treasury,…… rumor has it that the intruder had been a beastman. It caused a big commotion at the time since they managed to elude the palace guards, but nothing was found to have been taken. The intruder has yet to be captured.”
Judging by his expression, that was something hard for him to say, but Chiome wasn’t all that worried about it.
However, something he said caught my interest.
I didn’t know how much importance the country placed in its treasury, but some level of security should be stationed at such an important facility.
Infiltration and elusiveness weren’t common abilities. Moreover, to not steal anything after breaking in and avoid capture was very unusual.
Unlike on the Southern Continent, beastmen like Chiome, who called themselves the People of the Plains and Mountains, had to spend their life hiding away from humans, so their lives in general weren't easy.
Escaping without stealing even a small amount of money didn’t seem like the actions of a beastman or human.
I tried to examined Chiome’s expression while thinking so.
Had she guessed that the thief Zahar was speaking of was Sasuke?
Ariane picked up Ponta, who’d begun rubbing up against her leg and calmly watched the exchange unfold.
Meanwhile, Zahar continued to speak on a difficult subject.
“I believe that throughout the three countries that border the theocracy, almost all beastmen have been hunted down by the holy knights. Whenever the theocracy is in need of labor, ours and the other countries would turn over any captured beastmen.”
Chiome’s blue eyes took on a sharp glint as she looked down at Zahar.
Zahar seemed to be experienced with dealing with coercion, and while he had an unpleasant expression on his face, he didn’t waver.
“Hmm, does that country acting as the center of your religion allow their armed forces to freely enter your country?”
The guards behind Zahar began to emit a dangerous aura when they heard my impromptu question.
However, Zahar clenched his fist to maintain his composure while looking straight ahead.
“Of course, an act like this wouldn’t be acceptable under normal circumstances. The church’s doctrine allows for an ideal human society to exist. However, since the theocracy's military forces are small, they lack the scope necessary to oppose other nations……”
Zahar’s statement shocked Lille, who had been silent up until now, making her gasp and clench her fists.
Apparently, no one had ever told her about this.
For someone as prideful as Lille and in her position, the fact that her country could not oppose the interference of another nation must have been an unbearable insult.
The Hiruku religion’s shadow was ever expanding.
However, now was not the time or place to think it over too much.
When I brought my fingers to my lips and whistled, Shiden stopped grazing and ran towards me.
“We’ll accept the payment for now. I don’t know if more monsters will appear. We will accompany Lille-dono to the Dimo Earldom. We can continue this conversation on horseback.”
Lille turned her head in my direction and nodded in response to my statement.
“Of course! There is still much that needs to be done.”
As Lille muttered to herself, Zahar regained his composure behind her.
After standing up, he picked up the unconscious Nina and carried her over to his own horse.
Our first stop would be the Dimo Earldom…… I stroked the scruff of Shinden’s neck as I thought it over and scanned the surrounding area.
So, which direction did we come from again?