I embarked on the journey with little belongings, including the sword made with the life dragon’s scales.
Just before I headed out, Eli handed over a souvenir list to me. Trip?! Is this a trip?!
Well, I guess it’s fine. She is sending the message to properly return.
As travelling alone is tough and I don’t know the road either, I decided to join a 10 men peddler travelling group. As I knew swordsmanship and magic, I was given the role of an escort.
“You look like a noble and you have a really nice sword but you’re a commoner, huh?”
“I get that a lot.”
The peddlers brought that up a lot during the journey.
And alongside that, one other thing they asked a lot was why I was heading for the capital.
“I am going to meet an acquaintance.”
And I replied lightly like that all the time.
Although it’s not quite clear if they are an acquaintance or not.
And in fact, I myself don’t really understand what I am going to do after I reach the capital. Just that I might understand something if I meet the people I should meet.
They said monsters and bandits come attacking a lot in the way and in reality, we did encounter many monsters. And each of those times, I cleanly buried them, so they were all impressed.
“We could introduce you to so many good jobs if you were job hunting there.”
It seems like that was also one of the reasons why they asked the reason behind my journey.
They were just looking out for me as many go to the capital looking for a job.
And like that, our journey was going smooth and our relationship was also improving day by day.
And so, I felt like asking them.
I have started feeling a bit scared about learning new things recently but this journey is all about that so I thought I would ask them about it.
“Are the Dartaniel family and Gap company also famous at the capital?”
I started pecking with the stuff they are supposed to be knowledgeable about.
I assumed that they would at least know something about Gap company as they are an association of peddlers.
“Of course. Dartaniel family has been carrying on the core of the capital’s economy since long ago so they are like beings above the clouds to us peddlers. Gap company is a young company which recently started standing out. We’re also feeding off of them a little recently. They are also rapidly growing so the Dartaniel and their relation is like that of cats and dogs.”
“Like cats and dogs, eh?”
Maybe the reason behind them trying to snatch Helan territory lies somewhere around there.
“We’re doing business with both of them, you see? So if their relation worsens any further, we will probably have to cut ties with one of them. It seems like they are quarreling over the Helan territory and think that the faster this ends, the better.”
It seems like the Helan territory wasn’t that rare of a topic among the peddlers.
During this journey, I heard that name many times. I could guess that political info were vital to the peddlers, as well.
“Hey, sorry to ask this while you are worrying but, realistically speaking, which side do you plan to go to?”
Dartaniel family or the new Gap company?
“You’re not a kid and you have saved us quite a lot this journey so I will let you in on something good. I can’t say this out loud so come closer.”
I went closer with my ears to the guy I was the closest with in the journey.
“Everyone’s opinion hasn’t yet settled but it will be Gap company, without a doubt.”
Without a doubt, eh? So you’re saying you guys will pick the new Gap company over the old and continuing Dartaniel family?
I can’t think that these peddlers would do something against their own interest. And more importantly, during this journey, while the period may be short, I also understood that they are extremely capable.
And these capable peddlers are choosing–or at least, plan to choose the Gap company.
Are the Gap company planning to take the Helan territory as a symbol to show that they are also taking the hegemony from the Dartaniel family? It’s quite plausible.
I was planning to visit Rail at the capital.
However, now that I think about it, I don’t have any means to contact him.
As far as I have heard, this guy called Rail seems to be of quite a high rank himself and there was also the worry of not being able to meet him if I go suddenly like this.
And right there, this interesting story about Gap company came up.
I felt like I wanted to meet the head of this company. I want to ask him some things, like why he wants the Helan territory.
At the very least, that is more realistic than suddenly meeting the prince.
“You think it would be possible to meet the top of the Dartaniel family or Gap company?”
“That would be impossible.”
I guess that is also not very realistic, huh?
“It goes without saying for the Dartaniel family. They wouldn’t meet us commoners at all. Besides, there were a lot of incidents of the Gap company being harrassed by the nobles and they have such a big armed faction that you wouldn’t think they are a firm. Moreover, the top of the company hasn’t come out in public once. Every public appearance is handled by the number 2.”
My, my. Dartaniel family, who lives in a different world and Gap company’s head, who hasn’t even shown himself in public even once.
I feel like searching for Rail would be more safe and easy now.
“But, we will be going to the Gap company to make a deal and stock up. Is your acquaintance in the Gap company? If so, then that would be the perfect time for you to meet them.”
“Nah, it’s fine. What will you be stocking up on?”
“Well, that’s medicine, of course, since we’re talking about the Gap company. They rose up with that, after all.”
Medicine…… they said, looking at me with a dumbfounded expression as I didn’t know about it. So Gap company means medicine and knowing that is only normal among the people of this country. Sorry, for being ignorant of the ways of the world and not needing any medicine.
Our journey progressed and I kept gathering more ‘general knowledge’ and other knowledge about the capital.
By the time the number of large buildings increased around us, I could feel that we were close to the capital.
After that, we went through a huge door and I understood that we got into the capital.
“We will be going to the Gap company right away but, you will come along as well, right?”
The plan was to go our separate ways after entering the capital but since they did ask me, I decided to tag along.
Among all the big buildings in that corner, one building was clearly different from the rest. It stood towering over the other buildings like a big, fat tower. On all four sides, there were walls of 5 meter height which surrounded it, leaving only one entrance at the north side. There were 10 guards lined up in front of the entrance. If you can’t cross this one and only door, it was obvious you couldn’t get inside.
When entering, the peddler group, including me, underwent a strict full body check.
Although I heard that they were harassed by the nobles before, this just felt a bit too much.
However, when I looked at the serious expressions of the people doing the body checks, I also felt that maybe it wasn’t too much. Things like swords and other stuff, which are not related to the business they do here, were all taken.
That’s scary. I could tell that the top of this company probably went through a lot.
After being let in, while the peddlers were stocking up, I looked up at the top of the tower in front of me.
I wonder if the top is at the very top of this building.
It happened when I was thinking that — suddenly my body was lifted off the ground. My necks were tightened. When I turned around, I found a tall man, over 2 meters tall, grabbing me by the collar.
I gripped him back with my wrist, passed a shock with magic and undid his binding.
I just sent a moment’s pain for him to let go so it shouldn’t have done that much damage to him.
You came up grabbing me all of a sudden so let’s call it even with this.
However, before I realized, I was surrounded by 10 armed men.
“You aren’t a peddler, are you?”
The peddlers I came with were also restrained as they thought of them as accomplices.
“It is true, I am not a peddler. But that group of peddlers over there are not related, so let them go. They just brought me here with good intention.”
My words didn’t reach him. They didn’t let the peddlers go and the 10 men who surrounded me didn’t loosen up a bit.
I didn’t come here with the intention to fight. How did it come to this?
But just when I thought I had to fight, I heard a clap from the other side of the 10 men surrounding me.
A long, slender man, with a kind-looking face, was standing there.
“Let go of the peddlers. They are good people. And don’t forget to properly apologize for your discourtesy. And I will take care of that red-haired guest.”
Just as he gave the orders, the members of the company immediately started taking actions. The peddlers were let go and were apologized to.
“Nuno, you will come with us.”
The man called Nuno was the 2 meter tall, big guy who grabbed me by the collar a while ago.
“You will come quietly, right?”
The man glanced at me.
The big man firmly grabbed my shoulder and we went inside the tower.
Before entering, I apologized to the peddlers.
When I did that, the guy I was closest to among the group raised two fingers to send a message to me.
I just nodded and continued walking.
It seems like this guy is the number two.
Judging from the situation, not Nuno, it’s the slender guy walking at front.
I was led into a room underground. After entering, the door behind me was closed and even locked. Successfully confined, eh?
I took the seat opposite that man. The door was even locked so I don’t think there was a need but Nuno was also blocking off the exit.
“Now then, with this we can talk properly.”
“Let’s start with introductions. I think your friend in the peddler group informed you but I am the number two of this company, Tristana. Nice to meet you.”
He smiled and even extended his hand for a handshake. I shook his hand.
How should I introduce myself? Should I go with Kururi? Or do I even include the family name, Helan? Nah, I will just go with Kururi.
“I am Kururi.”
“Mm?! ……Hou? Alright, I have just decided. I don’t know what you are planning but…… I don’t plan on letting you leave normally anymore.”
Why?! Even though I just introduced myself?!
I wonder if the way I said it was bad. Tristana still had the smile on but he was definitely angry. Seems like I ended up pressing a button I shouldn’t have.
“The peddlers from a while before are well-known here. They aren’t enemies to us. But, you are different. You look like a noble. Where did you get in from?”
“I get that a lot. I came here out of my own will.”
“Of your own will. Why?”
“I came to meet the top of this company. Although I was told it would be hard.”
“What will you do after meeting him?”
The way he talked didn’t change but the atmosphere got more stinging. Is he being wary that I will assassinate him after I meet him? Aren’t you being a bit too tensed up when I didn’t even meet him yet?
“I just want to ask him why he wants to be the landlord of Helan territory.”
“….Helan territory, you say? You bastard, you called yourself Kururi, didn’t you? How much do you know?”
Tristana’s eyes looked dangerous. It was so sharp that I was worried a beam might come flying at me. Did I say something weird again?
“No, I don’t really know anything. Really.”
“Now I can’t let you leave even more. Nuno, what do you think?”
Tristana asked the man standing in front of the door for his opinion.
“This guy can use quite a bit of magic. We need to be cautious but I also feel like he is different from all the assassins up till now.”
“To be honest, I have the same opinion. But why do you think that?”
“My intuition tells me.”
“Your intuition, eh? That’s troubling as your intuition is usually correct.”
Seems like they are trying to decide on how to deal with me.
They were saying something about assassins so I guess these guys faced troubles that way too, huh? I guess it’s only natural for them to be wary of me.
“Now then, what shall we do?”
“How about letting me meet the boss?”
Tristana and Nuno’s voice cleanly overlapped.
Their loyalty is pretty amazing. Does the boss have a really strong, unifying force or something?
“Seems like you guys like your boss quite a lot. I feel like wanting to meet him even more now.”
“You’re not meeting him, I told you.”
Nuno said with a coercive voice.
“Where does that loyalty come from? Money?”
“You won’t understand.”
After that, the two of them started talking to themselves. About what to do with me and what not.
“If you can’t decide, then let me go. It doesn’t feel like I will be able to meet the boss either so.”
So they won’t let me go or let me meet the boss, eh?
Immediately after coming to the capital, I ended up getting into something bothersome.
And so, in the end, they just put me in the underground prison of the tower.
What? This is what you do after thinking all that? ‘Let’s put him in prison for now’–is just abandoning thinking altogether, you know.