Chapter 18: The Unscrupulous Teacher and his Student
「Old man. Prepare my money…The job is not done yet. 」
When I returned from the Fort, the old man told me that Caria Burdnick was supposed to go to the Fort in the first place. Everything happened without my knowledge. She quit the Knights Order and returned to the Burdnick territory.
Ah, what a nasty woman. Yes, a very disgusting woman. But I couldn’t stand this situation. Yeah, I won’t accept it. I will take her out of the Burdnick territory.
I knew that Caria Burdnick was forced to go. I truly hated that woman. I really hated. She was always a strong and stubborn person to being with. But she was forced to go to the Burdnick territory without complaining? What was that all about? She showed no signs of having a normal conscience. Ah, yes. She drove me nuts. That was just that.
「Yeah, I don’t mind giving it to you. If you accomplished the quests that I have given you, then I would have enough money to pay you, Lugis. 」
He sarcastically said that as if he wasn’t going to give me the money.
Old man Richard raised his cheek and showed his teeth. He started to laugh as he sat down on a nearby table. It was as if he wanted to have some sort of serious conversation with me. What was wrong with this old man.
Unfortunately, I had to rely on old man Richard during this timeline. I wasn’t independent yet, I was under this cunning man’s wing.
It will be difficult to drag Caria Burdnick out of her territory. If I’ll go alone, it will be a tough quest to succeed. If I was a hero or an accomplished adventurer, I’m sure it would go smoother. A hero was a remarkable person with power, physically and politically. If I were a hero, going alone wouldn’t be a problem.
But unluckily, I wasn’t a hero or an accomplished adventurer. I was not the kind of person who would be able to handle everything by himself. That would be suicide. So, I had to use people. Pawns for the greater purpose.
「…The northwestern region has been subjected to robbery and chaos among its people. I want to track them down. Of course, it won’t be a suicide mission or anything like that. But I want to be useful until the soldiers arrive on that region. 」
For a moment, old man Richard’s eyes gleamed brightly. His eyes were mixed with excitement and uncertainty.
「It sounds like an interesting request. But I’m not sure. Well, I don’t dislike the idea of it. 」
The old man was stroking his beard as he decided if it was a foolish idea or a clever idea. He was immersed deeply on his thoughts.
「However, it sounds easy but to put it on practice it’s another story. Listen, Lugis. You won’t be able to accomplish that. There might be many robbers. They love freedom. They are outlaws and dangerous people. You want to do it. Okay, I get it. But that doesn’t mean that it will be easy to achieve. 」
Ah, that was it. I thought he would hesitate for a moment. Well, it was that kind of job that adventurers wouldn’t do in the first place. This was no longer a regular request, but a quest that puts lives at stake for a futile cause. I knew it perfectly well, old man.
I noticed that old man Richard was touching his waist behind his back. His gaze told me that he was serious about what he mentioned earlier. He was determined. If I spoke the incorrect words, I mean, the words that he didn’t want to hear, I was sure my neck would “fly” elsewhere.
I felt the muscles of my arms cramping. I suppressed my breathing because of this tension. I would be done for if I spoke or moved recklessly. He was looking closely at me. He spotted my single moves. So, the expression changed.
「Of course. That’s why I came here to discuss with you, old man…I just wanted your opinion, that’s all. But I thought that, occasionally, one should try doing one or two good deeds, don’t you agree? 」
He opened his mouth. He spoke as if he thought I was joking around.
「Yeah right. Too bad but I don’t do good deeds. You know that perfectly well, don’t you? 」
I was intimidated by old man Richard’s offensive stance towards me. Why would he care so much if I succeeded or not? I knew that it had a very high risk factor. But he was a drunkard who never cared for other people, much less me. Maybe it was worth for him to keep me alive? This man was a very villainous person with ulterior motives. Then, I opened my hardened throat.
「Hey, old man. I know that you sent that woman on purpose to the fort under the disguise of a fake letter. So, if you help me with this, then god won’t have a reason to punish you, right?」
His old eyes trembled with rage. On that instant, I could feel his piercing eyes. That was an ominous sign. And that sign was replaced with a black blade.
I managed to counterattack old man Richard’s black blade strike with my rusty knife. I stopped the blow that almost cut through my shoulder. I was lucky. Yes, I was extremely lucky. Old man Richard was still strong as ever. How could he had that brute force and agility after getting that old? I managed to prevent his attack. But maybe I won’t have luck next time. I couldn’t read his movements, as I only could hear his heavy breaths.
Old man Richard’s sword attacks were unreadable unlike Caria Burdnick’s attacks. And I didn’t remember how many times I lost against him. I just recalled that he seriously parried my sword away countless of times until I improved my stance.
His black blade blended into the darkness. It had an unmistakable murderous intent. I only had one knife left. I will need to focus on my swordsmanship with just this item. I remember really well the basics of swordsmanship that this old man taught me in the past.
…I wondered how a vigorous man like him died in the first place.
After he took a deep sigh, the old man lowered his black blade and drank a glass of alcohol.
「…How much do you know? 」
I wonder how much I knew about it. I never questioned his motives before.
I just used that to my advantage. Actually, I thought this strategy would be meaningless.
「…Well, it all made sense when I spoke with you when I arrived here. I just know it roughly though. 」
I couldn’t hide how startled I was when I avoided that ferocious blow. I was sweating from my forehead when I answered him.
At the time of the last Great War, a senior nobleman of the Burdnick family didn’t attend the most important meeting held in the country. It generated a lot of confusion because of the absence of a family head in the crucial time of the realm. It was a known historical fact.
…So, why was the nobleman absent from the meeting when he was the head of the House?
It was because the head of the Burdnick family died shortly before attending the meeting. He died because of an assault. There was a very large robbery. Of course, the private soldiers tried to protect him. However, the robbers were elite people who hired mercenaries. They acted as if they knew everything about the family members. Curiously, they didn’t search for gold, silver or food. In fact, they were aiming to attack the head of the family directly.
「I wonder if I am reacting like this because of my youthful enthusiasm. Well, I don’t think it’s a bad thing, you know. To tell you the truth, I can’t ignore the fact that that woman is struggling somewhere far away from here. I just wanted to help her. That’s all. 」
After I spoke those words, I watched carefully to see the reaction from the old man Richard.
He scratched his cheek while he snorted his nose.
「Hmm. I see, I see. So, you wanted to give me half the knowledge of this sudden trip. Okay, good luck then. 」
He put the murderous black blade back on his scabbard. A sigh of relief came out from his lungs. Yet, he was not entirely convinced.
「If you’re planning on going anyways, then you shouldn’t have come here in the first place. If you’re not lucky, you will die there. You have to think of all possible scenarios. 」
Ah, I knew that very well. After all, I almost lost my life several times during perilous situations.
I put my rusty knife away as well and I wiped my sweat.
「It’s not a question. I just have a request. The thing is…I know that you have some influence on the military forces. I want you to bring some soldiers. It’s just as a precaution in case Lord Burdnick’s private soldiers attack me. 」
Old man Richard caressed his beard while he pondered if this quest would have a high chance of success. It looked as if he was examining the situation very meticulously to determine its value. What if he rejects my request? I will probably die. Or, I’ll just have to give up in the end.
I thought about my fate and hers for a brief second but, strangely, it felt like I thought for a very long time.
「At least, when you invite others, you should dress a little better. If you want to gather people, then you have to show them that you have money. 」
He muttered while showing his teeth.
「I always aim for biggest quests, Lugis. Prepare yourself. 」
He hit my shoulder so strongly that I almost fell on the table.
The story is starting to move now!
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