The sealed letter that was handed to Kyrill by Marrieda. After reading the words written on the card repeatedly, Ardis pondered for a while.
Eventually, Ardis seemed like he had made his decision with a determined face and offered to accompany Kyrill to the Coalition.
Kyrill who had already received too much from Ardis and has nothing to pay back tried to stop Ardis from helping him too much but, Ardis said that 「It’s nothing, I just have a reason to visit the Coalition now, having you along won’t hurt. 」
The Coalition that’s west of the Nagras Kingdom, strictly speaking, it isn’t a country. It’s just a gathering of various city states, and their alliance is what holds them together.
There’s a king for every city state in the Coalition, and a city state can never interfere in another’s politics. That’s why, although the term of 『Coalition of City States』 is more or less recognized as a country by outsiders, for the people living in the Coalition, it’s more like an area name rather than a country name or perhaps the name of the faction their city states is a part of.
As for Kyrill’s hometown which is the city state of Reiten, it’s situated in the east of the entire Coalition. It’s sandwiched between the Nagras Kingdom and the rest of the Coalition, so it’s developed as the eastern trading point of the Coalition with Nagras Kingdom.
It will take about three days walking from Nagras to Reiten. The security on the way is better since there’s a highway straight from Nagras to Reiten.
But, that’s only when comparing to other places, there’s still the danger of encountering dangerous beasts or bandits. It’s unthinkable for someone of a child like Kyrill to be travelling by himself.
That’s why Ardis had offered his help to Kyrill. But when Kyrill asked him his reasons, Ardis would only reply 「Don’t mind it」, or 「I got something to settle there as well」, all of them weren’t clear answers.
For Kyrill, it’s reassuring for a mercenary as strong as Ardis to be accompanying him. Even though Ardis said he had matters himself, the reason for him to be acting that way is because of the contents of the sealed letter, so Kyrill still felt bad somehow.
「Let me hold onto the sword for tonight. 」
Kyrill handed over the sword found in the ruins to Ardis helplessly since he couldn’t do anything about the creatures that appears in the night by himself.
Kyrill who had gotten a good sleep in a warm bed since a while left the capital along with Ardis the next morning. According to Ardis, it seems like the humanoid creatures had appeared once again last night.
As for the reason why the guests in the inn weren’t woken up by the anguished scream of the creatures, it’s because Ardis had purposely went to a secluded place before waiting for the creatures to appear.
Kyrill felt guilty since only Ardis was doing everything. Kyrill’s rationality is saying that he’s too helpless as of now, but his pride didn’t want to acknowledge that. He thought that just saying his thanks to Ardis would be too cheap, but it’s not like he had any other methods of paying back.
「It’s my own decision to go to Reiten and it’s also part of my request after all. 」
But Ardis would just shrug at Kyrill’s words every time.
The short robe that wrapped around his body, the violet headband on his forehead. He looked to be about fifteen. It’s normally an age when someone becomes an adult. But Ardis’s behavior is filled with confidence and his words carried a certain weight.
Albeit having an average appearance, his black hair and black eyes gave a sense of ease to Kyrill. Even though Ardis looked like he’s probably only a few years older, he looked like he had several tens of years of experience in life more than Kyrill.
When he becomes the same age as Ardis, can he become a person as great as Ardis. While thinking like that, Kyrill hastened his pace as he chased after Ardis.
The next day after Kyrill and Ardis left the capital.
Once they began nearing the border of Reiten, they went towards the north from the highway. It was to fulfill the request that Ardis got from his acquaintance, Jean in the capital.
The request was to subjugate a demonic being that appeared near a water source. A demonic being had appeared about five days ago in the village near the country border. It was when Ardis and Kyrill were still in the Corsas Forest.
The villagers who headed to the lake to fish as usual realized that there was a purple creature floating on the surface of the water. They thought it was their mistake at first but, they were so shocked that their legs gave out when they saw the figure clearly.
What the villagers saw was a demonic being of the name 『Unholiness』.
A huge round body that resembles a blue mineral, and encompassing that are purple flesh, only a small part of it, presumably its eyes are above the surface of the lake.
From its body that couldn’t be differentiated as the head or torso, twelve tentacles stretched out, and at the ends of it were suckles for the purpose of capturing preys. It’s a demonic being that can be simply described as a lump of purple flesh with twelve tentacles,
The villagers who had trembling legs moved cautiously as they returned to the village. When the village got the news, the entire village was thrown into chaos. It’s because a『Unholiness』 is a fearsome demonic being after all.
On the grass lands, Despairs are the ones on the top of the food chain. On the other hand, 『Unholiness』dominates the aquatic side of things. Its strength is easily on par with Despairs, if they’re submerged in water, their strength would even exceed a Despair’s.
Of course, being the villagers they are, they could do nothing but wait for help while gritting their teeth, even if there are mercenaries who live by hunting monsters among them, it was too much of an opponent for them.
The village head immediately sent a messenger to request from help from the capital but, the capital was enveloped in a festive atmosphere after the news of a new Heavy Metal mine opening.
There were horse carriages that transported various supplies to the north and horse carriages that brought back ores or wood. Of course, the capital had to assign people to station the Heavy Metal deposit. That’s why, a portion of the Kingdom’s army had been occupied. And of course, those people there aren’t the one dealing with the Heavy Metal ores.
As such, the kingdom had gathered the mercenaries with compensation so good that almost all of the mercenaries in the capital had headed north.
On top of that, the Kingdom also needed men to investigate the island that the 『Four Winged』 had previously occupied, and also to the fortress that the 『Crimson Eater』 was in to reclaim it. So, the Kingdom’s army hadn’t had time or the resources to sortie a subjugation squad for the 『Unholiness』.
Although there aren’t any victims yet, the lake is the main source of food for the village. If the situation persists, the village would have difficulties in feeding themselves.
Jean who had planned to hire mercenaries back from the north no matter what was overjoyed at the news of Ardis’s return. Meeting with Ardis, the fact that he had offered a high price of two gold coins was indication of his desperation.
In the end, since it was in the same direction as Reiten, Ardis decided to accept the request.
「It’s about time we should see the village in question……. Kyrill, tired? 」
「No, I’m fine. 」
After all, they had been walking about thirty minutes off road. Eventually, their destination started to come into sight.
It seems to be a normal village from afar. The houses there are built wooden, and the surroundings are guarded with simple fences.
Kyrill and Ardis who entered the village realized the strange atmosphere.
「There’s……, no one here」
「It’s too quiet……」
No matter how secluded of a village it was, there should be sounds of people around.
「Could it be that the villagers had already evacuated? 」
「Then that’s a problem――」
When Kyrill’s question was answered by Ardis, there was suddenly a loud noise. It was the sound of wood getting teared apart forcefully, and accompanying it was someone’s horrified scream.