Chapter 25: Her Request and His Condition
「You brought me to a place that resembles the beauty of the blue sky. 」
Those poetic words didn’t fit Caria’s personality. (EN: unfortunately the poetry of her words gets lost in translation, it’s very hard to translate traditional Japanese poetry to English, and convey the same meaning, sorry if sometimes a phrase seems weird…)
I guess she was in a very good mood. She made a pleasant expression while she drank some ale. Her lips were wet from the ale. The Garganti Chamber of the Commerce Guild had an impressive tavern on the outbuilding. The tavern had a vast space. Unlike the shady taverns I’ve been before, this place didn’t reek of alcohol and vomit. I didn’t even see a piece of trash on the floor. It was a clean place. People from the Guild gathered here to drink some ale pleasantly while they gained some good energy for their next job. It was a very prestigious Guild tavern.
Unlike the tavern I used to go, the flavor of the alcohol was of a higher quality but it didn’t taste that good. They probably served this type of drinks to people of considerable prestige backgrounds. No wonder that the tongue of the Knight class was used to luxurious pleasures unlike ordinary folks, who drank strong and authentic alcohol.
「And yet, this place is lacking on many areas. It looks too neat and clean. It’s not thrilling at all. Maybe the request will be something similar. Something uninteresting. I don’t know why we even came here. There’s nothing to do around here. It’s your fault. It would be great if I could kill some colossal beast at least.」
Caria only spoke about thrill and beasts. What she truly wanted was to defeat some monster in a single combat. But, she kept complaining to me. She sighed constantly and moved her shoulders as if she was mocking me. She made me feel like a fool who didn’t know what to do.
Then, Caria’s gaze was directed towards Largud Ann.
「What do you think, Ann. Did you think the arrangement for this meeting was neutral from both parties involved?」
Largud Ann sat on large barrel instead of a chair. She drank from a cup but stop moving her lips when she heard that question.
「I wonder… We’re talking about people with unwavering values and high sense of commitment. They must be people who keep their words. They should be but… 」
At first, it seemed like we had nothing to worry about. Yet, to be honest, I thought otherwise. Even if Largud Ann’s words were reassuring, Caria’s remarks made it completely different. She looked at me with the corners of her eyes. It was as if I could feel thorns piercing my skin. I felt uncomfortable. That was to be expected though. I had a bad habit of reacting according to my feelings. Caria seemed to understand how I felt. So, she looked the other way with a very triumphant look.
I see. It was definitely a bad. Yes, a very bad move from my part. No wonder she had a suspicious impression. I did act on impulse because of Filaret la Volgograd’s insulting remarks. However, even if my actions were driven by an urge of hate, I did think that it was the best approach to take on that moment.
「…But I wonder about that girl. The one called Filaret la Volgograd. I’m sure that man will keep his word, but she is a different story. I don’t think she is a person that can be persuaded that easily, much less businesses that involve money or other riches. 」
I knew it. Largud Ann was actually a person who could read the situation effectively.
She had just met Filaret la Volgograd and, yet, she was able to assess the depths of her character. She seemed to have a good ability to evaluate other people thoughts.
In fact, Largud Ann was able to see if people had capable abilities or not. Ms. Ninz left me a letter. It introduced the name of our guide and explained that she had great persuasive and negotiating skills. It was probably due to her ability to judge other people’s characters. To be honest, she was quite straightforward with us. She told Caria and I about this Guild and that we had to make a registration inside. So, she possessed interpersonal skills. It seemed that this person introduced by Ms. Ninz was not just a mere name after all.
Nonetheless, I felt terrible whenever I thought about those two and how I met them again. My mind was narrow and my heart felt heavy for hiding a bad feeling for this long.
「They’ll come. That’s my opinion. 」
Caria spoke after she heard Largud Ann’s skeptical words. Despite the bad taste, I poured some ale onto my stomach.
「I really wonder if they’ll come. You also have good eyes when it comes to evaluating other people, but it’s different when it comes to a woman’s heart.」
Largud Ann looked at Caria with pale eyes.
To tell the truth, for me, Largud Ann looked more of a woman than Caria. Largud Ann had a petite frame, while Caria was a bit of a tomboy. Largud Ann probably didn’t see Caria as a sensitive woman. Honestly, I never thought that anyone would be brave enough to imply directly to Caria that she was, in fact, oblivious about a woman’s heart.
「I saw her once. Just as you said, she isn’t a person that can be persuaded that easily. However, I also think that she won’t miss the opportunity to attend this meeting. Besides, what does she has to lose? I’m sure she’s curious…Wanna bet that she’ll come? 」
I was impressed to hear the conversation between the tiny frail woman that sat on the barrel and the tomboy who drank ale. This talk was becoming a battle of the feminine side ever since a woman’s heart was mentioned.
They bet on a bottle of wine. On that moment, Caria’s eyes changed dramatically.
The gaze of her silver eyes burnt like vivid flames. Besides that, her body was too straight and stiff as if her spine was frozen. I didn’t know how this was going to be like, but I was certain of something. Both of them didn’t have the intention of losing this bet.
My stomach hurt like it had been twisted. I had an ominous feeling about this. I mean, I stood in between the both of them. There was no way I could feel comfortable on this position. Surely nothing good will come out of this.
The doors’ bells rang whenever someone entered the tavern. The people in the tavern didn’t care about the new guests as they kept drinking and talking. But, not us. One of us was perplexed, while the other was pleased.
Caria grabbed the prized bottle of wine and drank it vigorously. She won.
「We’re here to talk about our request and your condition. 」
Filaret la Volgograd’s clear voice echoed through the tavern. Her voice was very different from Caria’s. A voice that strangely remained in our ears.
My party consisted of three people. Caria, Largud Ann and me. The other party consisted of Filaret and the future hero Helot Stanley. Five people surrounded a wood table.
I tried to keep my mind calm. I made an extra effort to control my heartbeats. Then, she opened her lips and began to talk.
「First. The request involves the old religion. This religions specialized in heraldry.* You’ll have to escort me to the infamous temple ruins, and you must provide cooperation and aid for the expedition.」
Heraldry. The old religion was often depicted in the designs of the religious temples. At least, that was what I heard before. But, it was from a long time ago. The current faith doesn’t allow images or designs in churches. They call it heresy. So, I didn’t know that there were some people interested in studying the old sculptures and carvings.
The temples from the heraldic order were mostly destroyed or lost. People often said that some believers survived the change of times and continued to offer their faith to the old religion. But, large-scale temples did no longer exist. Most perished when the new faith became mainstream.
When the location of the temple was appealing, the new faith would use the structures to rebuild a church. If the location were undesirable, then they would be destroyed. But, if the location was ominous, it would be left intact and abandoned, becoming the habitat of wild animals and evil spirits. It seemed that this request corresponded to the latter, an abandoned temple in ruins.
「Second. If you find something peculiar, you should bring it with you and submit to us. You mustn’t forget this. Of course, we shall reward you with these… 」
A big sack with coins was placed on the table.
It was strange to see a full sack of coins as our payment. Well, there was nothing wrong with the payment itself. But, it was quite unusual for Filaret to give us this considerable amount of money. She was always the person who was meticulous with her finances. She would hoard everything valuable she could find. That’s why her action seemed dubious to me.
Of course, I didn’t know her on this timeline, so I won’t abandon the possibility that she wasn’t always crazy about hoarding riches.
「Okay, this is the request. Now, let’s hear your condition. 」
Filaret’s mouth closed and her eyes looked attentively at us. She seemed to be a person that was aware of her intentions, even in the past. Her facial expression showed some curiosity.
I pointed one finger to them while I opened my mouth to speak.
「First of all, I would like to receive a payment in advance separately from the reward. In order to achieve this request, don’t you think that preparation is essential? 」
When I spoke my first condition, I could see that Filaret clench her teeth.
Next to her, Helot Stanley narrowed his eyes when he heard the condition.
In fact, I really needed the pre-payment money. One of my rusty knives remained broken and I didn’t have much money to afford to stay a night at an inn. In order to start this new life, it was necessary to have some solid money first.
「And, the second one… 」
I showed them my finger for the second time. Filaret’s expression showed a crimson mixed color on her face. She clearly heard my words before, but it seemed that she didn’t have fully digested the contents of my previous condition.
She was becoming gradually impatient. Then, I slowly turned my gaze directly towards her.
「Filaret la Volgograd, you’re a Sorceress, right? If I’m correct, then, you shall take an oath…You must swear to me that you’ll never do anything to harm me. 」
Their throats swallowed dry and their eyebrows wrinkled profusely. Besides clenching her teeth, the Sorceress began to bite her own lips. Her jaw was pressed heavily. On that moment…
「…Please wait a minute. I understood the purpose of your first condition for our request. But, I don’t think that your second condition is reasonable. What you’re asking is too far-fetched. Who thinks to ask for an oath as a condition? This is absurd. 」
The perplexed words of Helot Stanley echoed everywhere.
Yeah, I knew it too well. I was aware that he would bite my bait. My plan was successful for now.
I could see that his gaze showed a bit of hostility towards us. Ah, this feeling was comforting. It was the first time that I understood how it felt to have someone show this type of hostility towards me. It was always the reverse in my past life, I was always the one to suffer and have hostile feelings towards him. Ah, this reversal was a very pleasant thing.
*Heraldry is a broad term, encompassing the design, display, and study of armorial bearings.
A small note:
The Editor (me) is going to go to the baguette country for a couple of months, which may or may not impact the releases. To Expect them to be delayed a bit, is a cautious attitude to have.
If you are wondering what country it is… Here’s a hint, its similar to the dlc Toussaint. 😉
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!