This extra chapter is thanks to Thinh, Alex, Brian and Raymond. Thank you for the support and sorry for the delay! 🙂
(252) Shumei’s identity
Along the way, we were surrounded by cactus-like monsters called Sabotera and I was uneasy thinking about how I could protect Shumei from the flying needles but contrary to my expectations, instead of shooting thousands or tens of thousands of needles, they were monsters that could only attack normally by ramming with their bodies so I defeated them with Slash from afar.
【Ichinojo leveled up】
I could not gain much experience points from the cactus monsters so leveling up my advance jobs was difficult.
“Ichinojo-sama is truly a Swordsman-sama after all.”
“Hn? Yeah. Were you doubting me?”
“Yes ― judging from the sword handle, it didn’t seem that it has been used much so … ah, please forgive me.”
Shumei apologized once more but I replied with a smile and told her it was fine. I was worried if my smile was a little forced.
That was bad. In addition to the fact that I don’t actually use the sword much, it still looked new because of the Sword Deterioration Prevention skill. Compounded by the fact that after parting with Haru, I’ve been slacking off with my sword swinging practice.
Hn ― it might be better if I bought a used sword from some big city.
I thought to myself as the journey continued and we finally reached the town of Gagaria in the north.
The entrance to the town of Gagaria had a stricter checkpoint compared to Hanmuno.
I was with Shumei so I couldn’t use the oil-seller strategy.
Since I couldn’t explain if I suddenly pulled a carriage out from nowhere. My promise to guard her was to this point so perhaps I should part ways with Shumei here.
“Ichinojo-sama, please head to the left gate.”
“Left? It certainly doesn’t have anyone though.”
The entrance had a large gate in the center with smaller gates on both sides. Everyone was queuing for the middle large gate. I saw guards entering and exiting from the right gate so I guessed that it was an entrance meant for their personnel.
And there were guards at the left gate but nobody was entering or exiting from there.
“… All right.”
I figured that Shumei would have some strategy so I steered toward the left gate.
“Who are you people? This place ―”
The guard was about to warn us when Shumei showed the guard some kind of a medal.
“M-my apologies! Please enter!”
He saluted and I thought he would open the gate but the guard stopped the merchants entering through the central gate and urged us to the large central gate instead.
Thus, we entered the town of Gagaria while riding on the desert runner.
“Let’s go, Ichinojo-sama.”
“Ah … okay.”
The gazes from the people lining up were painful.
It was the same feeling as jumping into the queue for a roller coaster at a theme park.
I felt that it would be bad to ride the desert runner in the middle of town so I entrusted it to a stable. I took out food from my item bag in advance and left it with the stable hand.
The stable hand asked me how many days I would leave it with them after seeing the large quantity I took out but that was actually just for three days.
For the time being, I paid for three days and I told him that I would come again if I wish to extend the duration.
Then, I went to the town of Gagaria with Shumei.
“Ichinojo-sama plans to go to the labyrinth, right?”
“Yeah, I plan to do that first.”
I was curious about what skill would be useful to cross the desert.
The South Continent had many deserts so it would be useful during my travels.
“After that, I was thinking of joining as a mercenary … oh right, who is the Goddess-sama for the Goddess statue in the Gagaria labyrinth?”
“Setolance-sama. Strength is needed to survive the harsh environment of the desert so there are many who worship the Goddess of War Setolance-sama.”
“Setolance-sama huh ―”
I met Setolance-sama at Dakyat.
She was a Fighting Goddess who suited her bikini armor. She was also the Goddess that Haru believed in.
“Ichinojo-sama, ordinary people are forbidden from entering the Gagaria labyrinth. Please have this.”
“A medal with my family crest. It holds the meaning that if you encounter any problems, you have my family’s backing.”
Ah, that was why she showed the guard that medal.
It was no wonder that he was surprised.
“You don’t seem that surprised. Even though I never mentioned that I was a noble.”
“Well, it’s because the air you carry yourself with did not seem like that of a commoner. However, I was unfamiliar with the circumstances of the nobles in this country so I was not sure.”
I lied with a smile.
In actual fact, it was just because I saw her job using my Job Appraisal skill.
” … Ichinojo-sama, thank you very much. I will never forget this favor.”
“Don’t mention it, I had fun. I wasn’t bored because I could travel with you.”
I shook hands with Shumei and parted ways.
Shumei … huh.
Well, I probably won’t meet her again. We live in different worlds after all.
“I wish to enter the labyrinth.”
As Shumei mentioned, the entrance to the labyrinth was watched by guards and the door was firmly shut.
“No, this place is restricted to ordinary people.”
“I can’t even with this?”
I showed him the medal I received from Shumei.
“This is ― Pl-please forgive my insolence. Please enter.”
The guard saluted and opened the door. There were stairs leading underground behind the door and the unique labyrinth air filled with moisture flowed out.
“Erm, may I ask one question?”
“What is it?”
“What is your relationship with Princess Shumei?”
“I only helped her when she was attacked by bandits ― eh? Princess?”
Princess? But Shumei’s job was clearly Noble.
But if I recall correctly, people from the royal family should have 「Royalty」 as their job.
I remember Haru mentioned that royalty would be born as royalty.
Despite my confusion, the guard started talking with relief.
“I see, so you aren’t a noble. Princess Shumei‧Yu‧Harrir. The only daughter of His Highness (the prince).”
“But she said that she was born in a town near the great forest …”
“Keep this conversation between us.” The guard started with that foreword and began talking.
“Her birth mother ― Ruria-sama was originally a concubine. Due to a careless mistake, she was sent to His Highness’s villa near the great forest. Well, she was probably framed by the wife and other concubines. And in that villa, Ruria-sama discovered that she was pregnant and gave birth to Shumei-sama in secret. If her birth was found out, Shumei-sama would be taken to the country as a Princess. She was afraid that if that happened, the wife and other concubines might assassinate Shumei-sama. His Highness only found out 10 years later when Ruria-sama passed away. From then on, I heard that Shumei-sama lived in the royal castle.”
“You’re surprisingly knowledgeable.”
Without Wikipedia, social media and internet, gathering information in this world was quite expensive. Furthermore, I felt that it would be almost impossible to acquire information on conspiracies that happened in the royal castle.
“Of course. Ruria-sama was originally the daughter of Marquis Haidol from this land. Currently, Marquis Haidol’s son has continued his name so Shumei is the current Marquis Haidol’s younger sister and the niece of the previous generation Marquis Haidol. My father is Ruria-sama’s fan and often spoke about her. I see … so you saved Princess Shumei, thank you very much.”
“But why did a Princess travel to this town without a single guard?”
“There’s no way I would know the answer to that. Perhaps she is here to encourage the troops that are going to war soon.”
She didn’t seem like she was here to do that though.