Volume 3 illustrations here courtesy of Fui! 🙂
Chapter 107: Prince and the High-Elf Pirate
We borrowed books from the rental bookstore, returned to our shop and I unlocked the door.
“Welcome back, Onii-chan, Lit.”
Ruti came to greet us after I opened the door. I passed a spare key to her so it wasn’t strange that she would be inside. Either way, a commercial lock won’t be able to hinder Ruti or Tise.
Ruti stretched her hand out.
I passed the mantle I was wearing to Ruti.
Ruti hung my mantle on the cloak rack.
She seemed extremely satisfied for some reason.
In a similar fashion, Ruti took Lit’s robe and removed some of the dust with a brush before keeping it in the closet.
When we entered the living room, I saw Tise drinking coffee as she stared at the Zoltan town map.
Ruti quickly returned after keeping Lit’s robe.
“Moen and Garadin weren’t around and apparently, including Mistome-shi, all members of the previous generation B-rank party are taking action together. Without informing their respective subordinates of their whereabouts.”
“As I expected. I went to the church to show Father Cien the draft I wish to use to request for information from the church but he was not around.”
“You too huh?”
“I got a priest to look at it instead but he did not know about the Father’s whereabouts either.”
Should I say that was as I had expected? However, unlike Moen and Garadin, it was strange that Father Cien was not around.
Father Cien’s position of Father could also be called the Parish Church Leader.
The parish here would refer to the entire Zoltan region and he manages all the churches in Zoltan as well as the surrounding settlements and has the right to appoint lower rank priests and deacons. In other words, he possesses complete authority over human resources. In theory, Father Cien is able to freely replace the people in Zoltan’s church at his own discretion.
This time around, Father Cien could be said to be the person leading the faction that opposes Veronia’s request. It was unimaginable that he would disappear when he was supposed to spearhead that cause in Zoltan.
The carefree Zoltan residents were innocently pleased by the revival of the previous generation B-rank party but it was clearly abnormal.
“Well, we now know that the situation is strange. Lit.”
Lit lined a few books that she extracted from the item box on her waist on the table.
The books were about the same size but all of them were quite thin. In addition, they had all turned yellow.
The paper quality wasn’t good and the preservation condition was bad so there were some signs of insect bites as well.
“Each volume is a collection of a year’s worth of news.”
Zoltan’s news was weekly news made using woodblock printing. Matters that happened in the week would be printed onto a single sheet and exchanged for 10 common copper coins.
Then, a year’s worth of news would be bound into a book and loaned out by the rental bookshop. It was rather interesting to read.
“The ones here are the news when Mistome-shi came to Zoltan. We borrowed all the news from 50 years back until last year.”
“I’m surprised you could still find such old records.”
Tise flipped through the books with interest.
“I was consulted in the past for an insect repellent for their warehouse. At that time, I saw that there were a large number of newsbooks stuffed at the back of the warehouse.”
“Red is reliable for all kinds of matters huh.”
A few months after Red & Lit Apothecary opened, I did not receive requests to subjugate monsters but instead, I received requests for insect repelling herbs, scented bags used for saunas, and harvesting and compounding of medicinal grass needed for ordinary life.
This time, that experience served to be useful.
“Lit and I investigated if Mistome-shi and the others have any connections with Veronia.”
“Thank you for your help, Onii-chan.”
“I promised Ruti that I would ask Moen after all.”
Ruti smiled slightly when I said that.
The next day morning.
Mayor Tonedo rode Zoltan army’s insignificant sailboat toward Veronia’s warship where Prince Sarius was.
Zoltan’s navy … that said, the crew normally worked as the crew for trade ships and fishing vessels so they didn’t have any experience in naval battle.
Even when steering the ship, the shouts to coordinate the timings were softer due to their nervousness.
“I guess they can’t be blamed.”
Mayor Tonedo desperately prevented himself from being overwhelmed by the impressiveness of the huge galley ship that they were approaching.
If the mayor who had no knowledge of ships was feeling that way, the crew who knew about ships would probably be even more terrified.
After all, they understood that if the warship in front of their eyes whimsically decided to attack, they would be unable to put up any resistance and be massacred just like twigs being snapped in half.
But then, if Veronia actually attacked on a whim, they would probably be the ones who regret it.
After all, humanity’s strongest 『Hero』 and 『Assassin』 were on that ship.
“I am relieved that you two could accompany me.”
The mayor thanked the two girls standing beside him.
“Tifa-kun and Ru … erm, White Knight-dono right?”
Tise was dressed in her usual style of lightweight equipment comprising of a shortsword and concealed throwing knives but Ruti’s was dressed differently from usual.
Today, Ruti was wearing a full plate with a helmet that covered her entire face.
On her chest was a lion coat of arms. That coat of arms did not belong to any party and she was just a traveling knight seeking self-discipline and fame.
(I have never been to Veronia but as he is nobility from a large country, he might have seen my face before somewhere.)
Since they started their journey, Red was on alert against attacks by the Demon Lord Army and he was thorough in making sure there were no paintings of Ruti’s face so contrary to her fame, only those who directly met her know how Ruti looked like.
For that reason, it was unlikely that Prince Sarius knew how Ruti looked like but to be safe, Ruti hid her face using a helmet.
The two of them accompanied the mayor as his escort on the surface but their actual aim was to directly observe Prince Sarius’ demeanor and words.
That said, they currently did not have sufficient information to negotiate with the prince. This time was only a preliminary inspection of their opponent. Ruti and Tise did not intend to speak and were only present as guards.
Eventually, the child-like Zoltan sailboat contacted the side of the enormous Veronia warship.
Above their boat were the huge oars unique to galleys which seemed like countless guillotines that weighed down on the Zoltan crew members even more.
A ladder was dropped from above and the mayor, Ruti, Tise and three guards climbed up to the warship.
The Veronia soldiers wore sleeveless waist coast-style chain shirts. That was because if they wore heavy armor, they would not be able to swim if they fell into the sea. Their weapons were cutlass, swords about 70cm long with a slightly curved blade as well as daggers with wide sword guards. They carried bow and arrows on their backs.
In order to prevent their chain shirts from heating up due to the sun when out at sea, they wore shabby shirts over them which made them seem more like pirates rather than the regular army to Tise.
“Greetings, beloved Zoltan friends. We last met yesterday.”
From behind the cabin door came a man who seemed to be in his mid-thirties with a smile on his sun-tanned face. But Ruti heard that his actual age was about fifty.
“Staying on the deck over the winter sea is poisonous to the body. Please come in.”
A beautiful girl with silver hair hanging down her sides stood three steps behind the man. Her ears were long and a sword wound ran vertically down her right eye which was covered by an eye patch.
“Ririnrara of the Fairy Pirates.”
Tise muttered softly.
Over 50 years ago, together with Pirate Champion Geyserik, the unusual group of pirates composed of High-Elves that was feared for their cruelty. They were called the Fairy Pirates.
When Geyserik betrayed the previous generation Veronia King and attacked the capital, it was said that he was able to defeat the Veronia army with the help of the Fairy Pirates led by Ririnrara.
After the war, Ririnrara and the executives from the Fairy Pirates were given key positions in Veronia by King Geyserik and as a long-living race, the High-Elves still occupy pivotal seats in Veronia even today.
(There’s a possibility that is a body double but that wound is the same as the one that Ririnrara has according to what I heard. In other words, Geyserik’s old ally … the greatest executive in Veronia second only to Geyserik came all the way to Zoltan?)
In front of them was a genuine prince who may inherit the throne and a High-Elf who has great power second only to the king.
When Tise quietly whispered information on Ririnrara to the mayor, Mayor Tonedo’s face turned pale.
Although Tonedo was evaluated as a sharp and bold person in Zoltan, this round’s matter completely exceeded his tolerance limit.
“It’s all right.”
Ruti said to the uneasy and terrified mayor from within her helmet.
“What mayor has to do does not change regardless of who the opponent is.”
There was not a shred of discomposure in Ruti’s voice. The mayor gained courage from her voice and regained his attitude as the supreme authority in Zoltan.
The Republic of Zoltan was nothing more than a city-state established by pioneers in the frontier. Nevertheless, it was still a country. The two countries may have a wide disparity but there was no need for him to deprecate himself for a prince.
“Then, I shall allow you to guide me.”
Although his voice trembled slightly, the mayor smiled toward Ririnrara and replied.