Alan’s party is currently recruiting members huh……. I wonder did anyone withdrew from the party. Or are they looking for the 5th party member. When I was still in the party, the Sage, Edmond had always asserted that it’s best to have the bare minimum amount of party member. It’s quite unthinkable that they would be increasing the member count. I hope it’s not because of a conflict amongst them that one of them left…….
A bitter smile came to me as I thought about the possibility.
I was surprised as Ravi called for me suddenly.
「…… Sorry. I was spacing out. 」
「You’re fine……? 」
「Yeah, sorry to make you worry. There’s no problem. 」
Ravi still seemed worried. Come to think of it, when I was spacing out last time, she looked worried too. Since she is a smart girl, she might’ve noticed what I was feeling.
I lightly patted Ravi’s head with my rough hands. And the matters regarding Alan and the others had completely vanished from my head.
「Hey, uncle. How much would you pay for the information for the Hero? 」
Suddenly, a voice came from the side. I raised my head surprised, and the girl at the other side was looking at me.
「What did you say? 」
「You want to know about the hero right? I was working as a tailor in Balzac recently, so I know a little more details. Depending on how much you would pay, you might be able to hear some pretty rare information, how about it? 」
She meant that she’s going to sell the information to me huh…….
「But you might as well give up, you don’t seem like you have money. 」
A dimple is visible on her left face as she smiled. She flipped her long glossy black hair to the right and looked at me with a discerning eye. She’s probably 17 or 18. And she’s using a lot of makeup. I could tell she was feeling insecure about herself somehow.
「Hey you. I would ignore her if I were you. If you’re not looking to be scammed. 」
The guys just now said with an indifferent face.
「That girl, introduced herself as a charm expert to a guy who got off earlier, and sold him fake charms. 」
「Hey! Can you stop pointing fingers? 」
「As if I’m doing that. Oi, coachman. You also heard what she had done right. 」
「Uhh―……I won’t deny it……. But please exclude me from such things. I don’t like getting in trouble. 」
The coachman replied while looking front.
「……Hmph. How stupid. 」
The lovely smile on her face disappeared and she glared at us. Suddenly, the atmosphere inside the carriage became heavier.
Ravi gripped at my coat anxiously. I nodded at her to assure her.
The guys and the girl. Which side is telling the truth? I can’t judge because I wasn’t present at that time.
I thanked the guys who warned me first. Then faced towards the girl again.
「You too, sorry. 」
As I apologized, her face became that of a shock.
「……Wha-t? Are you pretending to be nice now? 」
「No, it’s not like that. I just thought that you might’ve been a tailor in Balzac before and now you’re a charm expert in Milton. 」
「Really, I’m being honest. Can a tailor even become a charm expert? Which fool would even believe such thing? I don’t want to talk anymore. 」
The girl annoyedly muttered and sat back on the ground with a plop. She didn’t even spare a glance to this side. Since then, she had not opened her mouth once.
The carriage we rode on drove through various villages and towns and finally arrived in Milton after a few days. It’s afternoon when we arrived.
Milton is a city larger than Addinton. It had a very urban atmosphere, and the main roads are all paved with stones. But strangely, it was really quiet and lacking human presence. It’s as if the whole city had put into deep sleep.
Wouldn’t it be bustling with people in the afternoon……. As I tilted my head in confusion, I decided to hunt for an inn first.
The center of the city is quite hilly. On the hill side is the Red-light district Maisy that is the pride and the symbol of the city. And the right bank of the Lurud River is the high-class residential area that is called the 16th district. The northern side of the left bank is the old town where all the common folks are currently living. And it seems the slums, graveyard, and the jail is located in the southern area.
After we had gotten a room in an inn in the busy streets of the old town, I walked to the 16th district together with Ravi. We’re heading towards Baron Morris’s mansion.
『I have a little acquaintance in Milton, he’s a collector that’s interested in things related to magic. If it’s Baron Morris, he would definitely pay you handsomely. You should ask him. 』
I recalled Theo-jiisan’s words and went to the resident he told me about. But unfortunately, Baron Morris was away. I heard from the butler there, it seems that he’s out for a little trip and will be back 5 days later.
U-mu. 5 days huh……. Just moving would take a few days. Besides that, we had stayed in Addinton and Floria for a few days. What would Ravi think if we were to stay in the same place for 5 days again.
I’ve been used to it but, constantly travelling is quite tolling too. I really hope that we can arrive at a place we can stay permanently sooner.
I asked for Ravi’s opinion on the way back from Baron Morris’ mansion.
「Uhmm……I’m okay with 5 days. 」
「I see. If Ravi’s fine with it then we will wait. We also don’t know who else except Baron Morris would buy such an ornament that’s been through complicated situations. 」
「……Selling the necklace isn’t important but……Travelling with daddy, really fun……. It’s alright even if it takes a long time…… 」
She was thinking like that. Of course, I would be happy that she said it’s fun. I felt happy albeit a little embarrassed as I carved Ravi’s words on my chest.
To return to the inn from the 16th district, there’s a need to cross the bridge over Lurud River. The central streets came into view after we cross the bridge. But even here, the surroundings is still very quiet. The majority of the shops is closed. Looking closely at the signboards, I was convinced as there’s a lot of bars here.
Its not just the Red-light district Maisy having bad security, this side of the town is the same. It’ll be better if I avoided taking Ravi out for a night walk in the next 5 days.
As I thought so and continued walking――……
「――Shut up! Don’t talk back to me! 」
I was surprised by the sudden angry voice and turned around. The pedestrians were also surprised like me, they stopped walking and turned towards the source of the voice. There’s a dim alley that we’ve just passed by.
It seems the people are having their attention there.
「Don’t get above yourself, you dumb head……! 」
The angry voice rang out again, then followed by a sound of a blunt impact. It’s the sound of someone getting hit. I suddenly stopped in place as I was about to rush out.
(Ravi is now with me)
But even when I was hesitating, the painful sound had never stopped. The pedestrian seemed to worry, but no one had stepped out voluntarily.
「……Ravi, I’m worried about that, so I will go take a look. 」
「Unn. Help them……」
「Yeah. Go hide in the shadows of that shop. 」
Ravi nodded. After I confirmed she was hiding there properly, I stepped into the alley by myself.
There were multiple young men standing in the dark alley wafting with rotten smell. They’re wearing gaudy, premium-looking and very materialistic clothing. They seem to be some prodigal sons from some rich family. They were smirking as they surrounded another young man with a large build. He’s curled into a ball on the ground, so his huge size was very obvious to the eye.
He was protecting his head with both his arms. Because of that, the abdomen and his back were unguarded. He was kicked there mercilessly countless times.
「Come on, tell me that you will bring her here. 」
「Cough……No……. I won’t do that……. It’s my duty to protect the Rose Princess……」
「Stop blabbering!! 」
I don’t know the reason, but it’s too one sided. I hurriedly cut in in front of the young man who was getting kicked.
「Oi, keep it there. 」
Towards me who suddenly intruded, they gave an annoyed look.
「Ah old man? What you want」
The long-haired man who was in the center of them suddenly grabbed at me.
「Outsiders don’t butt in our matters. Or do you want to be like him too」
「I know fully well I’m an outsider. He wouldn’t just be injured if you kept continuing 」
「Yeah that’s right. A trash as big as him, no one will be bothered even if he dies! 」
He swung his fist.
I received it with my palm. The long-haired man’s sharp eyes widened and looked at me angrily.
Before he had a chance to withdraw his fist, I’ve caught his wrist first.
「Sorry but please leave. 」
「Wha……. W-what nonsense……! I’m gonna kill you both! 」
He put in more strength to pull back his hand as he yelled while scattering spit. Unfortunately, his hand was stuck like a stone. Our strength difference is just too large. I didn’t even have to use muscle power.
「……S-shit……. What is this absurd strength……! 」
His expression started to change to that of panicking. Meanwhile, his friends had a face of confusion.
「……O-oi. Carlos……? 」
「What are you doing……? Quickly hit that bastard」
「……S-shut up! 」
The long-haired man, Carlos yelled angrily. His friends’ shoulders shook and became quiet all of a sudden.
「I ask of you one more time. Please leave. 」
A single bead of sweat dripped from Carlos’s forehead. He was just still trying to pull back his fist. But he himself should understand already. The difference in strength is evident.
「……Fine by me. But remember this. I will definitely find you again and……」
I released his hand, and he stumbled backwards because of his desperate pulling. He ordered his friends angrily and hurriedly stepped back. Just before leaving. Carlos pointed two fingers at his bloodshot eyes, before pointing them to me.
Don’t ever forget this, it’s that kind of message. I scratched my head again because of the trouble I could foresee.