Chapter 52: The assassin warns of the True Hero
“You’re the girl from yesterday!”
The gatekeeper cried out after seeing the young girl’s face.
“You know her?”
“Red! You’ll be surprised to hear that her companion dragged, with only one hand, a fat frog that was hibernating in the mud near the castle walls and defeated it using martial arts I had never seen before with a worn-out goblin blade!”
The girl’s cheeks twitched subtly.
That seemed to be a topic that she didn’t want to touch on.
However, the movement of her expressions was inconspicuous so the gatekeeper did not notice.
“That older girl, what was her name, Ru … Ruti?”
I thought she would ignore him but she corrected him, maybe because she disliked that he was mistaking her companion’s name.
“Oh, right, Ruru! Traveler-san, Tifa right if I remember correctly. If you plan to stay in Zoltan for the long term, you can head over to the Adventurers Guild, we’re always short on skilled adventurers and that fat frog too, I put in a request asking for the removal of it as it would be dangerous after its hibernation but nobody accepted it at all.”
The Greater Giant Frog was a surprisingly troublesome monster despite how it looked.
It would use its tongue to capture its opponents and although it seems slimy, the razor-sharp frog teeth can easily chew through chainmail and even if it failed to chew through your armor, it had the troubling habit of swallowing you first.
It was not an opponent that D-rank adventurers could face. A party of C-rank adventurers attacking it together would not be able to let their guard down either. That was the kind of opponent it was.
By defeating that Greater Giant Frog alone, that Traveler Ruru should possess an ability in the upper C-rank or around B-rank.
The girl called Tifa glanced at the gatekeeper who was speaking incessantly.
“Hey, leave it at that. You’re troubling the traveler.”
“Yeah, that child came here to eat oden alone.”
Tifa nodded slightly.
The gatekeeper scratched his head awkwardly.
“Sorry, I got a little excited.”
“It’s okay, excuse me, I would like to take the remainder home, is that all right?”
Tifa said as she stood up, took the remainders from Oparara after ordering an additional chikuwa and konjac jelly and left.
“See, you made her angry.”
I said as I finished the remaining beer in my cup.
“Well then, I’ll be leaving too.”
“Eh — keep me company for another cup and comfort me for having angered the traveler.”
“Don’t want to.”
“Geh — Oparara! I’ll have a chikuwa too!”
“Ah, please wrap chikuwa, radish and chicken meat for me, I’m bringing it back for Lit.”
I placed one Quarter Peryl silver coin and a couple common copper coins on the counter as payment.
Tise was wary of being tailed so she detoured a couple of times before returning to her inn at the harbor.
Ruti asked after noticing Tise’s condition.
“Hero-sama, please be careful. To be honest, I was looking down on the remote region but there seems to be a troublesome opponent in Zoltan too.”
“A young man. We only talked for a short time but he noticed my gear and knives.”
Tise said as she pointed at the Mithril Silver weaved into her clothes and the knives she concealed.
Her equipment was calculated to not make even the sound of a pin drop no matter how violently she moved about.
Not to mention mediocre opponents, Tise was confident that even those who possess the Divine Protection of Investigator and Detective would probably not notice.
“However, he saw through me. He also had ability, probably close to my equivalent. I don’t think I will be able to win if we fought in a situation where he had the advantage. Of course, it would be different for Hero-sama.”
Although she paled in comparison to the Hero, Tise was chosen by Ares as the strongest in the Assassin Guild.
Tise would not humble herself in such comparisons. That was purely her judgment.
Above all that, Tise judged that the man could be the strongest opponent she has ever faced.
“A person like that shouldn’t be living unaffiliated and in obscurity. He might be the strongest adventurer in Zoltan.”
“But at the tavern, they mentioned that the strongest person in Zoltan right now was the B-rank Byuui.”
“That is probably the public image. I sensed some kind of dignity from that man’s bearing. Maybe … he used to conduct himself with official Knight Order etiquettes.”
The face of a person Ruti knew very well appeared in her head.
However, there were plenty of Knights in the world. The person she met yesterday on the bridge who she couldn’t really remember was a Knight too. Ruti denied her own thoughts.
Tise continued talking without noticing that.
“A former Knight and a veteran warrior who fought at the frontlines against the Demon Lord Army. I feel that a person like that could only end up in the remote border if he did something dishonorable. It would generally be ignored if adventurers had some dishonor to their name but a Knight would implicate his entire Knight Order.”
“Although I do not know what it was …”
Tise pondered a little.
“This is nothing more than speculation but perhaps he was alienated by his superior because he was young and excellent and he had no choice but to kill him. I can’t imagine a person with such skills to flee here because of a simple loss.”
Tise took off the short sword that she had suspended on her belt.
She sat on the bed and sighed deeply.
“Zoltan does not have any decent adventurer. The strongest adventurer was only B-rank. I found it weird how they were able to subjugate a Senior-rank Demon.”
Tise heard a little about the incidents that occurred in Zoltan from Ares who had questioned Albert.
A senior-rank demon and B-rank adventurer colluded and it was stopped by a skilled adventurer.
However, according to the information she gathered in Zoltan yesterday and today, it was a traveling adventurer and the Guards who settled the incident. That adventurer was apparently also currently recorded as B-rank.
“Those are information for the masses. The true hero is probably that man. Now that I think about it, getting along with the gatekeeper was probably so that he could gather information on the people who visit the town. He stood up immediately after I stood up as well so he was wary of me. Only drinking a cup instead of a jug meant that he was vigilant on a regular basis and could naturally act at any time. With an attitude that everywhere is a battlefield, no interest in fame and only holds pride in his silent accomplishments, a true hero.”
Tise reflected on her actions.
She was naive to think that the only trouble in this journey would be covering up for the Hero.
A Hero’s journey would not be so simple, even in the remote border Zoltan, huge obstacles would stand in the Hero’s path.
“Hero-sama, we must decide on our policy.”
“To cooperate with that man or to oppose him. If he was a Knight and a brave warrior, I feel that his beliefs should be similar to ours.”
“That would be difficult. The Alchemist I seek seems to be in the prison ward.”
Ruti seemed to have gathered information too.
Tise was worried if Ruti had caused any disturbances but judging by how she didn’t say anything, probably nothing happened. The Hero had done information gathering herself since before.
Although it was through tapping the shoulders and more of intimidation rather than negotiation …
Ruti heard from the Contract Demon that an Alchemist who was the close aide of Big Hawk produced the medicine. However, after drinking the medicine, the Contract Demon refused to say a word so she could only get the Alchemist’s name and physique in the end …
All of Big Hawk’s close aides were confined in the prison and she found information that corresponded to the Alchemist and that he was under medical treatment in the prison ward for the slash on his shoulder during the riot.
“As long as I conceal the fact that I am the Hero, it would be impossible to take the Alchemist away through negotiations.”
“I see … then it will be a prison break huh?”
“We will be antagonizing the entire town. And that man.”
“Shall I meet that man directly?”
Meet and defeat.
Tise determined that was what she was implying.
” … Of course, Hero-sama would not lose. That would be impossible but that man has probably also considered the situation where he is defeated. It would be dangerous to meet him without investigating his background.”
The Hero nodded while tilting her head slightly.
It would be unfair to blame Tise for being over-vigilant.
Tise, who as an Assassin, had seen many ambitious individuals and conspirators and could never imagine with her common sense that a person with ability close to hers would actually aim for a leisurely slow life.
The two of them discussed their future plans late into the night.
At that time, Ugeuge-san was sleeping with its legs folded down in Tise’s pouch.