Thanks to XSSpeed for supporting on Ko-Fi! Nice 🙂
After a meal that was harsh for certain reasons, Ardis discussed with Kyrill about their next steps.
「Kyrill. For the time being, stay here today. If you’re fine with it, let me hold onto the sword for tonight, also I will pay for you if you don’t have money. 」
「Ah, no, I will pay for the night myself. I have reserved some money for the returning trip……. Also, this……」
While saying so, Kyrill offered several silver coins.
「What’s this? 」
「Sorry. I only have this much now……」
Kyrill said so with a sorry expression
「I’m asking you what’s this for though. 」
Ardis asked Kyrill once again while seemingly frowning.
「It’s my payment for you for saving me and finding the sword……」
「Don’t need it. 」
「I didn’t help you because I wanted money. Also, you, you said that it was 『Money for returning trip』 just now right. Isn’t this that too? 」
Kyrill’s silence affirmed Ardis’s question.
「I won’t be accepting something like that. 」
Kyrill had probably thought to thanks Ardis by offering him money even if it meant the bare minimum amount. Then, he probably planned to camp outside on the roads when he’s returning to the Coalition. For a kid who don’t have any fighting experience, it was too reckless of a plan.
It’s unlikely that Kyrill isn’t smart enough to realize that. But, probably guilted by the feeling that he must repay Ardis’s grace somehow, and the pain of not having anything to pay Ardis, he thought of this plan even if it meant he would suffer.
So, he had arrived at the conclusion of offering Ardis his funds for the return trip. It is exactly this side of Kyrill who has unbalanced reckless thoughts that was like a child’s that’s giving Ardis headaches.
Even if the Coalition is just a neighbor country of the Nagras Kingdom, there’s still danger of crossing the border, and it’ll cost money to do so as well. If Ardis accepted Kyrill’s payment, Kyrill would only have barely enough even if everything is going his way during the return trip.
For people who are used to travelling, they wouldn’t dare to go on a trip with this much. After all, there’s no guarantee that they will arrive to their destination on time, since there could be some unexpected troubles that happens along the way.
At the bare minimum, no matter peddlers or mercenaries, they would all prepare twice the expected required amount. As for Kyrill who probably never set foot outside his hometown even once in his life, it couldn’t be helped if he never knew.
It isn’t that Kyrill isn’t capable. Considering his age of twelve, he had arrived at the capital of Nagras Kingdom by himself, hiring escorts, and went into the Corsas Forest. For any other normal children, even arriving here would be a feat of itself.
Even if Kyrill had become an apprentice in a merchant association at the age of ten, and saw more of the world than children of his age, it’s still not something that can be done easily. Of course, there’re children who are working in the fields since young but, most of them are still in the age of getting parental protection.
What pissed off Ardis the most was the person who was crazy enough to send out this young child to a neighbor country to find a sword in the demonic being infested Corsas Forest.
He couldn’t stand it because they could’ve at least sent an escort together with Kyrill, or maybe have another adult with him. But from what he’d heard from Kyrill himself, the funds for this trip that were given are too little in the first place. The fact that he could only offer a gold coin for the escorts can’t be helped.
「I don’t need a kid to be worrying over me. 」
Rejecting the payment that was offered from Kyrill, Ardis asked back towards him who seemed to be down.
「Your requestor, did she send you here because she wanted the sword? 」
「Eh? What do you mean? 」
「Telling you to get the sword as the façade, but the true intentions is to――」
Ardis swallowed his words that was in his throat. 『But the true intention is to get rid of you because you were a hindrance』, it weren’t words that he could speak to a mere kid.
「――No, it just seemed too unthorough of a plan, it didn’t feel like she was serious in you getting the sword. 」
Saying so, Kyrill tilted his head.
「I don’t think that’s the case……. Just like what Marrieda-san1 said, we found the sword in the ruins, and also met with Ardis-san as intended. 」
Yawn, Ardis who had his mouth open wide suddenly stopped.
「Just now, what did you just say? 」
Ardis confirmed with Kyrill with a serious face.
「I don’t think that’s the case? 」
「After that 」
「Just like what Marrieda-san said, we found the sword in the ruins, and also met with Ardis-san――」
Ardis pointed out at Kyrill’s words.
「Eh? What’s the matter? 」
「What you mean by just as she said? You’re saying that as if you’ve planned to meet with me in the first place. 」
As the result, Ardis lent his help to Kyrill and obtained the sword he was aiming for. The reason why Kyrill was able to return from a forest that he could only make it out alive if he hired veteran mercenaries originally, it was because of the chance meeting with Ardis.
At the very least, Ardis didn’t know about Kyrill until their encounter. It was probably true for Kyrill too. If he knew about Ardis, then Kyrill would’ve reached out to him at least one time before he entered the Corsas Forest.
「No, I didn’t hear about Ardis-san’s name as expected. What I was told was only 『You can trust the person with a violet headband』. 」
Kyrill denied Ardis’s words. What Kyrill heard in advance was not a name that pinpointed someone.
But, Ardis put his hand over the violet headband that was wrapped around his forehead.
Even considering the vast population in the capital, if they’re talking so specifically about the color of a headband, then people who matches it should be few. It was as if the opponent knew Ardis when they instructed Kyrill, Ardis felt an uncomfortable feeling in his throat.
「What is it about in detail? 」
「I also don’t know any more than this. She only said it without telling me the reason, and told me to never forget it. 」
It was a merchant whose name is Marrieda who instructed Kyrill. She was the person who instructed Kyrill to retrieve the sword from the ruins in Corsas Forest in order for them to fund the merchant association that Kyrill is in.
「Ah, come to think of it……」
As if remembering something, Kyrill started searching in his small bag.
「She said to open this when the sword is obtained. 」
Saying that, what was taken out was a letter about five centimeters in length.
「What’s that? 」
「Who knows……. Marrieda-san said that it’s 『Something necessary after obtaining the sword』……」
Kyrill answered with a confused tone. The letter looked thin and light. So, it couldn’t possibly be containing the money that’s needed for Kyrill to return.
「Well, open it and we’ll find out. 」
It was something that he was instructed to open after obtaining the sword. Since they’ve got the sword now and returned to the capital, it shouldn’t be any problem if they opened it now.
Kyrill immediately opened the sealed letter. And inside it was a small card.
Kyrill who stared at the face of the card for a while had a confused expression on his face.
「What’s the matter? What’s on it? 」
「Well, that……, I don’t know. 」
It was a reply that seemed to be mixed with some embarrassment.
「Don’t know? Is it not words that’s written? 」
「Not that, I can read it just fine but……, I don’t understand the meaning at all. 」
「What’s it written? 」
「Umm……, 『Our swords are for the sake of victory, our hearts are for the sake of our comrades. Here we march, with glory in our flags』, ……what could it mean? 」
Hearing the lines that Kyrill had just read out loud, Ardis’s complexion suddenly changed. The wooden chair that he’d been sitting until now fell on the ground sideways with a loud noise.
「W-What’s the matter? 」
Kyrill was surprised at Ardis who showed an unusual reaction.
As if not even hearing Kyrill’s question, Ardis leaned out and snatched the small card from Kyrill’s hands. Then, he read the words that were written on the card again and again, his gaze was fixed on it.
「Umm……, Ardis-san? 」
Kyrill called out to Ardis worriedly, but there weren’t any replies. From Ardis who seemed to have isolated himself from any noises in the surrounding, words that didn’t seemed like it directed to anyone came.
「Why……, who would……」