[Translator – Niel]
[Proofreader – DVN-L]
“…If that’s what you really intend to do, then we’re going to have to be prepared for anything, and you better report back to me as soon as possible.”
It’s impossible to persuade you even with a sound argument, so I’m just going to leave you be.
Lilea finally agreeing to Sofia’s opinion, turned her eyes away from me to the monsters horribly spread across the ground.
“We’re still going to need to bring magic stones located around those monsters’ hearts with us as proof that we really finished the subjugation request, though…”
Lilea then shifted her gaze to Sofia.
“No, no, no, no, no way!! I can’t do it!! I… just can’t…”
With a sudden horrified tone, Sofia started to shake her head from side to side at a speed that would surprise even a broken tin doll.
What laid in front of her was an appalling sight to see.
And faced with a devastation that would make any normal human being cower in fear, she thoroughly rejected the idea of her rummaging through a lump of dismantled monsters.
Sofia was the kind of person who’d immediately vomit at the mere sight of blood.
Granted, it was the blood of a monster, not of a human, so I could agree that it was still a physiologically repulsive smell.
“You knew she couldn’t handle blood and stuff, so why didn’t you kill them in a little less gruesome manner?”
“I’m a slayer, so I just did what I had to do.”
Hence the reason why I told her that there was no way I could’ve chosen such a delicate way of killing them.
…No matter how much I grumbled about how I didn’t want to touch the monsters’ blood myself too, given its visceral smell, there wasn't any room for further conversation.
The conversation ended there, and I merely had to clean up my own mess.
* * * * *
Located in the capital was a street named “Central Street” where crowds of people come and go.
I was following Lilea's lead as she guided me to the guild, mindful that I did not have a map of the capital in my head.
Until I felt my shoulder bump into something.
The person I bumped into was quite in a hurry.
Not only did he have a good amount of strength, but he was also bigger than me, causing me to involuntarily fall on my buttocks.
Lilea turned around to look over her shoulder, perhaps in response to my sudden exclamation, while Sofia on the other hand, was trying to give me a hand to help me get up.
I was about to express my own apologies when a voice suddenly interrupted me.
“Oops, I’m sorry. Are you alright?”
He noticed that I fell to the ground.
The man I bumped into stopped, turned around, and expressed his concern for me.
A gray-haired young man with a lively and invigorating impression.
His looks were the complete opposite of Siva, who I met on my way to Minaura.
“I just fell on my butt, so I’m fine.”
“That’s good to hear.”
I said just so as I grabbed Sofia’s outstretched hands.
He wore a very pleased smile on his face, so I guess he really didn’t take any offense to our encounter.
I meant to tell him to not worry about it in an attempt to continue going our separate businesses again, until suddenly…
That statement was immediately dropped as she quickly followed up with a question asking why he was in this kind of place.
It was a name I had heard only recently.
Therefore, I immediately had an idea as to who it was.
“Is that Lilea over there? What a coincidence meeting you here, are these children perhaps with you?”
“Well, yes, they are.”
“Hmm~ Then this boy is…”
Not long after, the young man called Amseth then inspected me from head to toe as if he was trying to price me out of the market.
“This is just perfect, then. It just so happens that a change of plans has freed up some of my time. If you don't have any plans for the rest of the day, maybe you'd be interested in talking with me at some place where you can sit down. What do you think?”
“Yes, with me.”
What happened next was a short staredown, with Amseth trying to curve the corners of his eyes in a fashion to get a response from me.
It could be his tone of voice or the current atmosphere we were currently in, but perhaps it was because he was a little bit similar to another noble person I knew— Fiole Islebark.
I stood there in speechless awe.
[Translator – Niel ]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
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“I heard from Lilea that you want to be strong?”
Lilea had told Amseth something about me, apparently.
“In that case, it would be a good experience to work with us, then. As of now, more than twenty magicians are already planning to take part. I'm sure there are many things you can learn from them.”
Indeed, Amseth's words were a perfect argument without even a sliver of a doubt, but sadly, in my eyes, his offer was still unappealing to me.
And the reason why was straightforward.
It was because of my undeniable nature.
My nature is such that I consider the fighting skills of the ‘Star-Slaying Swordsman’ to be supreme, and I had dismissed everything else as merely unnecessary.
I wa well aware that learning was important.
I was also well aware that I would become stronger by partaking in his offer.
However, learning from such a man who devoted all his life into slaying the stars to the extent of being called a “monster” just wasn’t worthy of comparison to the things that I might learn from other people.
And as long as I had the time to learn from the man of my memories, I’d be significantly stronger by the time that I practiced his techniques, and I’d be once again a step closer to slaying the stars myself.
I just had to push myself to my own limits, I convinced myself of this.
“And you’re still particularly young, too, so how about just lending an ear to what I have to say?”
From what I’d heard from Lilea, Amseth was probably a magician as well.
And as far as words went, he must be a good person.
Seeing how much I could tell from his words how courteous he was trying to be, I couldn’t help but wonder just what Lilea told him about me.
“Let’s see… how about we talk in that store over there?”
Amseth then pointed his fingers at a sweets store.
“I’m acquainted with the owner of that store. We’re already going to talk, so why don't we do it while eating some sweets?”
Regardless of how friendly and affably he smiled at me, unfortunately, I’d already decided on my answer.
But just before I voiced out my apology—
“—Surely, we’ll be glad to go with you!”
A voice came from somewhere.
And of course, it wasn’t mine.
It emanated from the mouth of a girl whose eyes were suddenly brighter than ever— Sofia.
…I wondered why.
Not long after, I felt a finger poke my shoulder and a whisper to my ear.
“…That store is very popular and always packed with people.”
It was information I didn’t need to know.
I was so uninterested I could only think of the words, “Oh… so?”
It slipped out of my mouth…
I then heard a grumble, and apparently, my answer wasn’t what Sofia was looking for.
“…You left me and went instead to Minaura, you now come here late and only do whatever you want… I’m going to tell your father all of this.”
I shuddered involuntarily.
She went on and on spouting off some horrible things that I was guilty of.
…I could only imagine what would happen to me had she really snitched on me.
A future where my own dad and the village chief beat me up together, a future where I become a sandbag.
If I accepted Amseth’s proposal, I could go back to Sofia’s good graces, was what I thought of this situation.
Regardless of all that, I couldn’t nod my head in agreement easily, as I wasn’t sure to just shake my decision to decline his offer despite the benefit I’d get.
“—If you’re really set on refusing my offer, then I, for one, would very much like to know the reason why. I want to know your honest opinion, an out-of-standard boy who can defeat a mutant ogre by himself despite being against all the odds.”
Being told that, I reflexively turned my attention to Lilea.
“…I didn’t tell him anything.”
“Yes, Lilea didn’t tell me anything. I only asked her if he would like to ask her acquaintance, a boy who is a magician, for his participation in a subjugation event.”
He added with a mischievous laugh that Lilea and her companions being acquainted with a boy who defeated a mutant ogre on his own was already a well-known fact.
“Talking to people is my favorite pastime despite how I look. So do you think you can lend me an ear now?”
…So these were his true colors, huh?
It seemed that Amseth could see that I was hesitant to give him a positive response.
Seeing the real state of things, I finally gave him my answer.
“…Yes, let’s talk.”
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