Chapter 112: The Princess encounters the Pirate
We traveled deep into the forest.
Nevertheless, this has been a huge detour just to ask my acquaintance Moen something.
“It is still fun, adventuring with Onii-chan like this.”
Ruti held my sleeve and said.
Well, I guess it’s fine this time. Ruti was having fun after all.
Lit’s wolf ears twitched. I could hear a whistling noise.
Lit lightly twisted her upper body and the arrow in front of her eyes hit the ground and bounced off.
Tise ran up the nearby tree with a speed beyond the eye could perceive.
There was a scream and a man fell off the tree.
“Ouch … Why did you do that?”
It was an old man over 70 years of age holding his back which seemed to be in pain. He had a face that I had never seen in Zoltan before.
“That’s what we should be asking. Shooting an arrow at us without warning. You can’t complain if I kill you.”
Lit said indignantly.
“That arrow just now didn’t have an arrowhead. It seemed to be a Sleeping Arrow.”
I picked up the arrow that fell on the ground and showed it to Lit. In exchange for an arrowhead, there was a round wooden weight on its tip.
The two-letter rune inscribed on the arrow was probably the seal for the Sleep spell.
“I just wanted to make you sleep for a bit and send you home. I didn’t intend to injure you.”
The old man tossed his bow aside and raised both his hands up to surrender.
“I am a hunter who lives in this forest. I didn’t want my peaceful life to be disturbed. Only I live in this forest. I messed up a little in Zoltan in the past and I believe everyone has forgotten by now but being wary has become a habit for me. Sorry.”
The old man’s wrinkled face crumpled into a large smile.
“I’ll give you the fur I got as an apology so could you forgive me?”
The old man pointed at the fur clothes on his body.
It was most likely the pelt of a bear.
Lit inhaled with her nose.
“But old man, I smell the scent of other people on you, the scent of the people we are looking for.”
The old man cocked his head.
The next moment, the old man’s arm blurred with afterimages as he pulled out from the quiver on his back an arrow with a steel arrowhead this time and swung it down on Tise who was behind him.
Tise took half a step back and dodged the blow.
An arrow flew out from the old man’s left sleeve accompanied by a puff sound. It was from a cylindrical bow made with a spring called a bamboo shaft.
He was aiming for the spot between Tise’s eyebrows. It was a surprise death blow.
The old man’s eyes were wide open in surprise.
Even though Tise was basically at a point-blank distance from that shot, she grabbed hold of the arrow directly before the point between her eyebrows.
When Tise nonchalantly tossed the arrow aside, the old man closed the distance between them with agility unexpected of an elderly but he was swept off his feet.
The old man fell to the ground. However, he stopped his fall with his left hand and tried to stand back up without missing a beat.
“Gu, nu … when did you sweep my leg? You are strong.”
But when the old man noticed Tise’s short sword thrust between his eyebrows, he gave up and dropped his shoulders.
“Young lady! Pursuers! Please escape at once!”
The old man shouted, prepared for his death.
I poured strength into my ‘Lightning Feet’ to cut them off. But it didn’t seem like I had to chase after them.
“Young lady …”
A masculine man holding a halberd.
A tall rugged-faced man holding a battle axe.
A man holding a mace with a hat over his white hair.
And a gentle old lady with a bent waist holding onto a staff.
Moen, Garadin, Cien and Mistome, the four former adventurers came walking over. We were finally able to meet them.
Following behind Mistome-shi, we were led to a small village inside the forest.
There were eight small huts. However, there were signs that three of them have not been used for some time.
We were greeted by six elderly armed with bows and swords. In addition, inside the small huts, there were two others even older than the ones outside with bows ready pointing out the windows.
“Calm down. They are Zoltan’s heroes. They protect Zoltan in my stead now.”
The old men lowered their weapons after Mistome-shi said that. However, they continued staring with sharp gazes and were ready to enter battle stances at a moment notice.
“They are all quite strong.”
Each of them had strength on par with Capital knights. Their physical body has deteriorated but, except for Ruti, they were opponents where the three of us could not underestimate.
“They are my prided subordinates after all.”
Mistome-shi responded to my words with a smile.
“Hey, Red. These people are?”
“Ah, they are the people you read in the news.”
The seafarers that appeared on a ship with Mistome-shi and saved Zoltan during the goblin attack.
“You already know everything.”
Mistome-shi said with admiration.
“Even though they should have left me alone, they have stayed by my side until this age.”
Mistome-shi’s eyes were kind. Even during this situation, she was happy to introduce the people she was proud of.
“But I feel ashamed to be called young lady at this age.”
“To us, young lady will always be young lady!”
An old man shouted from the other side of the window. He had difficulty just standing but he grabbed the window frame and exclaimed strongly.
Mistome-shi laughed while looking a little troubled when she heard that. Moen and Garadin laughed as well.
“Ah, Moen, I have a message from Ademi.”
“I am here so don’t worry about the house and good luck with your work.”
Moen’s expression clouded.
“Sorry. But Zoltan is not in danger. As a person who protects Zoltan’s safety, I do not intend to go against that single point.”
During the devil’s divine protection incident, due to Big Hawk’s evil designs, Southmarsh was on the verge of a riot but Moen took action for Zoltan at no personal benefit so I could trust him. His love for his family was a weak point but I believe that adds a human touch to the guard captain that protects Zoltan so it was all right.
“I am glad you agree … but Red. Same as with the other incident, just who are you exactly.”
Moen frowned, unsatisfied with my answer.
“It is Zoltan’s rule to not pry into another person’s past if it is not necessary.”
Mistome-shi interrupted him.
“This time, the heroes currently protecting Zoltan have a need to know my past. That is all. Normally, we would not hear something as boorish as why are you here. Isn’t that right, Garadin, Cien.”
Garadin and Bishop Cien nodded. Mistome-shi looked at me and smiled.
“Now then, that is my home. Don’t be reserved, feel free to enter.”
At the end of the settlement was a small hut that was slightly more impressive compared to the other small huts.
Rum was placed on the table. Well, to be accurate, it has been diluted with water so it should be grog.
Ruti and Tise didn’t really drink alcohol so they were slightly troubled.
“I’m joking. I was just feeling happy since you people are the first to realize my true identity after Moen did.”
Mistome-shi’s elderly complexion showed a mischievous smile before she replaced the cups with cups of black tea and she mixed just a single scoop of the grog rum into the black tea.
Then, she added some butter into the black tea.
“Hot buttered rum huh?”
“Yes, I’m surprised you know.”
It was a hot drink excellent for cold days. I was taught the recipe by a colleague during my time with the knight order.
“In Veronia, the seafarers bring home the remaining rum and their mothers or wives would use it for cooking or use it for drinks. The taste of rum was the symbol of our family gathering.”
“As expected, you are Veronia’s …”
A lump of mist floated in from the back room.
Upon seeing us, the mist … Horror Fog quickly hid behind Mistome-shi.
“Sorry, I caused you to get hurt.”
Mistome-shi gently spoke to the Horror Fog. There has almost not been any research done on the intelligence of the Horror Fog but judging from the current scene, they might be smarter than dogs.
The Horror Fog’s injury seemed to have already been treated. Probably through Bishop Cien’s magic. Although they look like that, Horror Fogs were categorized as a viscous species, a subspecies of the slime.
“Don’t worry, these people will not harm you any longer, right?”
“Yes, we won’t.”
I replied to Mistome-shi’s question honestly. I doubt if the Horror Fog could understand words but I at least indicated that I don’t hold any hostility toward it so it’s mist body fluttered and came out from behind Mistome-shi.
“Right, since this child is here, I’ll show it to you.”
“My past. This child can project my memories in its mist. Convenient right?”
Mistome-shi placed her hand into the fog with a gentle expression. Like a puppy coiling around its owner, the fog clung to Mistome-shi’s elderly hand and danced.
“I’ll leave it to you.”
The Horror Fog shook as though she kissed its cheek and with a poof, it quickly spread to cover the entire room.
Eventually, the tables and chairs disappeared and I could hear the cry of seagulls from afar.
“Sea … I’m inside a ship?”
The room changed completely. I could hear creaking and the entire room was slowly swaying. I wasn’t actually swaying but my entire vision was swaying so I felt as though my body was swaying as well.
At the center of the room, there was a girl looking down with a sad expression while dressed in an expensive white dress.
“That is when Mistome-shi was young?”
“Yes. She was so young back then.”
Lit quickly noticed. I turned my eyes to the girl’s finger and noticed the gold ring embossed with a coat of arms.
“That coat of arms belongs to the Veronian royal family.”
Suddenly, there was a commotion nearby. There were angry cries and the sound of metal clashing.
The young Mistome looked around worriedly and picked up the staff standing inside the room.
The door was violently flung open.
Said the man that appeared. The man looked similar to Prince Sarius but his gaze was sharp and his expression told of his self-confidence.
“As expected, this ship had the greatest treasure.”
“What does a pirate want? You attack this vessel knowing that it belongs to the Veronian royal family!”
“Veronian royal family? Ha, a royal family that sells their princess to the duke to be a concubine does not have any authority.”
Mistome’s face turned red from shame under the pirate’s ridicule.
“Shut up! Even if my pride is smeared on the ground today, I will definitely regain the Veronia Kingdom! Duke of Oslo’s house is mighty, if he likes me, if I could let my children inherit some of his territories…”
“That would be impossible for a concubine. That old man is just a pervert. He does not seek bravery in women. His interest is in …”
The pirate approached Mistome and pressed his finger on her breast.
Mistome was surprised and covered her chest with both her hands.
“Only that. Once he’s bored of you, you will be forced into his harem andHe
will only live without achieving anything in your life.”
The pirate whistled softly after seeing the stern glare in Mistome’s gaze.
“You don’t like such a life huh? You might not be able to leave a legacy but you will live in luxury.”
“I am a princess, I live for Veronia, die for Veronia and I was born for that sake!”
“What a stiff way of living.”
“A pirate like you would never know the royal family’s way of life!”
The pirate grinned.
“That’s right. I am interested in the royal family way of life. How about it, would you like to teach me?”
“You are a treasure worth 1000 gold, it is a waste to give it to the duke.”
“I will be taking you. I am a pirate after all.”
“Don’t worry, you do not need to give up on your dreams … I will become king.”
“King … ? A pirate?”
“My divine protection is 『Emperor』. A rarity even among rare divine protections which only the previous generation Avalonian King had.”
The divine protection of the 『Emperor』?
Without caring about my surprise, the illusion shouted.
“My name is Geyserik! I have no surname, I don’t even know the face of my parents, just Geyserik! But I will become Avalonia’s king! A mighty king!”
“Eh, ah …”
“Princess! I want you to become my right hand! I want you to teach this pirate Geyserik how to live like a King! In exchange, I will reform the Veronia Kingdom into a great kingdom that those shitty nobles can’t look down on!”
Pirate Champion Geyserik. The future king of Veronia forcefully pulled Mistome’s arm.
Although she staggered at the start, Mistome eventually chased after Geyserik with her own feet.
The two of them ran out of the cramped cabin and stepped into the wide outdoors.