Chapter 486 Letter
Gloom Moon Day 28th. Right after the morning prayer.
“…So, they finally came, huh?”
The crusaders came to the 202nd colony yet again.
Three cavalries had appeared. Judging from their lightweight armor, they’re probably here as messengers.
“Good morning, knights. What business might you have here, so early in the morning?”
It was of course the village chief Randolph who immediately attended to them as soon as they came.
“We’d like to inquire about the village a bit, could you lead us to the chief?”
“I’m the chief, Randolph.”
“What? The village chief here is supposed to be–”
“Due to some circumstances… I’ll fill you in on the details, please follow me.”
The captain, a bearded middle-aged man thought to be the oldest of the three, got off his horse and followed Randolph to the church. The place they were guided to was the same room I used at the time of negotiation as well.
Only Randolph and the captain entered the room, leaving the other two cavalry to guard outside. Before getting into the talk, he instructed to steer off the people from the area, making the villagers get back to their usual work.
However, that won’t work for me. I decided to concentrate on gathering information, which is my original objective, rather than doing the morning classes in the chapel. In other words, I lurked outside the room to listen in on their conversation.
“Hmm, first of all, let me ask you about the circumstances which led to the change of chief.”
“Yes, the former mayor, he… very unfortunately, was attacked by a monster and has passed away.”
Loud and clear. The conversation inside the room did not escape my ears. Incidentally, I also got Sariel with me and considering her physical specs, she should be able to hear the conversation as well.
“That armored bear was extremely big and it just went on a frenzy. There had already been several casualties. Among them was also Nikolai priest and two knights who were stationed there.”
“What, the damage was that big?!”
“The knights had immediately rushed to the scene on notice and spectacularly succeeded in fending it off as well but… they were both hurt badly and…”
I felt relieved seeing Randolph’s acting as he started tearing up.
If he had leaked my identity here and asked the knight for help, I would have had to leave the village. Worst case scenario, I’d have had to kill the knights and Randolph.
Even I would prefer to avoid killing off people I have come to know, as much as I can afford to.
“Hmm, if it is such a dangerous monster, our army should send a subjugation party as well…”
“No, that would not be necessary. They had wounded the bear deeply so even our men will be able to do something about it. You need not be bothered by it.”
“I see, that would be helpful for us as well.”
“I see. Is the war, perhaps, not progressing too smoothly?”
“I can’t give you any details as that is confidential info but I’ll just say that we can’t afford to let our guards down at the moment.”
“I went too far, pardon me.”
It would appear the Crusaders do not intend to publicly announce their defeat yet. It will still be a little further ahead for the remnants of the defeated army to come back.
“But in that case, will it take some time to send more knights and priests to this village?”
“I will report the damage dealt by the armored bear but… sorry, it would be best to not expect much.”
“No, it is wartime after all, we can’t help it.”
Good, if no priests or knights will be dispatched for this village for a while, then my position here is safe for now. I did succeed in infiltrating this far, it would all go to waste. I do want to buy some time, at least until the snow starts melting.
“–By the way, did Sir Mashram come to this village the other day?”
I see, so that’s the main topic.
The young noble has gone missing so of course there will be search parties.
“Uh, Sir Mashram? No, I’ve not seen him since being appointed to the 203rd colony.”
“Hmmm… you do know hiding any info won’t do any good for the village, right?”
“Y-yes, of course! There is no reason for us to hide such a matter.”
Sorry, chief, I did not mean to threaten you. It’s just that, I can’t tell you the details, but we had inadequacy in our messenger, and Sir Mashram has left the base.”
“I-I see, I understand…”
“Inform us immediately if you are to see him.”
“Yes, of course.”
Whether Randolph’s once-in-a-lifetime performance was successful, or whether the captain did not expect eye-witnesses at all to begin with, he let go of the topic quite easily.
“I’m sorry for the sudden visit. We shall take our leave with this.”
“Not at all, please, take some rest before leaving–”
“We’re in the middle of a mission, you see. We need to rush to the next village as well.”
And like that, the three knights left the village as quick as they had arrived. It is impossible to decipher whether he was actually searching for Mashram or whether he just did it merely for formality.
Either way, Randolph managed to get through without causing any extra suspicion from the Crusaders to the village.
“Thank you, Mr. Randolph.”
I spoke to him outside the church as the knights left.
“No, it is us who are saved.”
Is he saying that ’cause the knights did not inquire further? Or is it ’cause he succeeded in dealing with it without making me angry?
“Please rest assured, Mr. Kuroe. This village already shares the same fate as you.”
After all, even If the villagers are innocent, it is undeniable that Mashram and his party have been annihilated due to this village. He has to keep it hidden, no matter what.
For the time being, it seems he was able to skillfully hide it.. but let’s stay on alert.
And just after lunch, an unexpected second group of visitors had appeared.
“The peddler is here!”
“Oho? That was faster than I expected.”
“Yeah, I thought it would take till the new year, but it seems we’re in luck!”
The second group of visitors to the village was a group of more than a dozen people, accompanied by three large wagons. Their main products were food and daily necessities. The villagers gathered around and began evaluating the goods.
I did not find anything too rare there, considering I did come from a large city like Spada. However, I carried Sariel as usual and jumped into the New Year bargain sale crowd.
“Well, nothing too valuable here.”
“Brother, it seems they are dealing with weapons and such in the last carriage.”
“Okay, let’s go.”
Looks like the first carriage is loaded with groceries and the second one in the middle is loaded with miscellaneous goods. The villagers, mainly women who take care of the kitchen of the house, are gathered here in large numbers. As Sariel showed, the third carriage at the end seems to be loaded with battle-related equipment. As this is not directly connected to daily life, the crowd here was relatively low compared to the previous two wagons.
“Hey, priest. Are you shopping as well? Please, come have a look.”
A small, fat merchant started talking to me. I can tell he’s still young judging from his facial features. His age might be close to mine.
“Well, we probably don’t have anything useful for a priest, but please take a look.”
What stood out in the products that were lined up was weapons such as swords and spears, armor such as helmets and gloves, and the majority of the rest were lower class potions.
True, they don’t seem to have anything a priest would want.
That said, I’m not looking for a new Bible or a new rosary, so it’s not a big deal.
“Do you have any scrolls?”
“Yeah, we don’t have many different kinds, but we do have some ….Let’s see, I wonder where it was ……”
The merchant went fishing for scrolls at the back of the wagon for a few minutes. He came back holding a wooden box with both hands.”
“This is all we got.”
I thanked the merchant and began evaluating the product immediately. While I do say that, the one actually evaluating was Sariel. I’m not too familiar with magic items yet.
I took the various large and small colorful scrolls out of the box in order and showed it to Sariel who was on my back.
“How is it?”
“There it is. The one with the bird’s crest.”
Bingo. We’re lucky to get something good from such a small collection. Rather, it is a universal product that is distributed everywhere.
“Messenger and Summon, eh? I see. Are you looking to send a letter back home or something?”
That’s right, this is a scroll to use the savant bird who carries letters.
“Yes, something like that.”
“Oh, but this is of a lower grade, so even if you do use it to send letters, you won’t reach Sinclair. From here, hmm, let’s see, it’ll probably barely get to the port of Virginia.”
“No, that’s enough.”
No need to cross the ocean. What I want it to fly to is the Galahad mountains on the other side. It’s fine if it just reaches the fortress along that way.
“How much will it be?”
“Even though it is a lower grade, it is still a scroll, so it is somewhat valuable. Let’s see, this will be–”
I bought it at the merchant’s asking price.
Thanks to the peddlers coming in early, the preparations for the return to Spada properly began.
First of all, the equipment that I was in possession of at the time I was teleported are “NanaBlast Amulet” and “Aria Guard Feather”.
After returning to Lily’s cabin, I got the white robe for winter. Well, there is no need to stick to this equipment, but at the same time, there is no need to go out of my way to prepare more either. This should be enough to cross the mountains once the snow melts.
As for the weapons, I could upgrade at once after annihilating that squad from the Crusader army.
Four armored knights’ halberd and more than twenty long swords which are standard equipment for the infantry. Mashram’s favorite mythril rapier is particularly excellent. It is light as a feather and has outstanding sharpness. Additionally, it also has a large emerald decoration, and so is a great product to use as well as to sell.
In addition, I also got full plate armor and chain mail.
They also had two types of bows and bow guns for long distances battles, but I wouldn’t need them since I got Bullet Arts. The green wand that the vice commander-like wind sorcerer had was also of high quality but I can’t use that either.
I thought of selling off the unnecessary items to the peddlers for some money but I can’t afford to do that since that might raise suspicion. I guess I have no choice but to leave it to the vigilante corps to use accordingly such that it does alert the Crusaders.
That said, I don’t really need to worry much about money. This is also one of the benefits from annihilating that squad including Mashram–I could take away all the money they had on them. As expected from a young noble, he was carrying quite a lot with him for travel expenses.
I could live here easily for about 3 years with this money and won’t be lacking money to buy any necessary goods. Of course I can buy scrolls at their given price without a second thought.
For what it matters, I did make a contract with Randolph to receive renumeration for being the priest and bodyguard of the village but that was just as a formality and I don’t really expect much from there anyway. In addition, he also transferred all the property priest Nicolay had as a reward, which was quite insignificant… But well, what more can you expect from a priest who comes all the way to a countryside village like this one.
What’s more useful in his property is the house of the church and the daily necessities there rather than the money.
Unfortunately, the peddlers did not have any kind of bags with dimension cast on them so when returning, I plan to use the sturdy looking bag and rucksack priest Nicolay probably used when traveling all the way here.
With all that out of the way, the very crucial date and time of return is yet to be decided.
“……Hmm, I wonder if it’s okay like this.”
For the time being, I started writing a letter the day I secured the messenger savant. I wanted to finish writing during daytime but it would be troublesome if I were to be seen by chance.
The letter would of course be sent to Lily and Fiona of the Galahad Fortress.
[This is adventurer “Element Master” of the Spada Army 4th Squad “Gladiator”. If you have picked up this letter, please send it to the Spada Army or to the aforementioned party.
Lily, Fiona, I’m sorry to have worried you. I’m safe. At the moment, I’m being sheltered at Daedalus’ old friend’s place, so don’t worry about me.
Due to the difficulty of crossing the Galahad Mountains in winter, I plan to wait until spring when the snow melts to return. I will keep lying low and return to the Spada army as soon as I can.
I want you to wait in Spada instead of acting rashly. I can completely hide myself as I have ‘Original’ so I definitely won’t blunder and be caught by the Crusaders. You don’t have to meet me at Galahad.
I’m really sorry for troubling you. I want you to inform Simon and Will that I’m alright as well. 一日でも早い、再会を願っている』
That’s all for the contents of the letter. There are a lot of things I want to write and tell Lily and Fiona, but this is about all the letter can fit.
For now, I kept my name and location hidden and tried to inform them of the situation as much as I could. In the unlikely event that this letter passes into the hands of the Crusaders, they shouldn’t be able to retrieve much info from it.
Lily and Fiona would know that the whole ‘hiding-myself-ability’ thing is a lie. I’m sure the two of them will read into the situation and understand that I want them to wait at the Galahad Fortress to prepare and cover for me.
And finally, I wrote down the address for the letter to reach in case it didn’t reach them but reached Spada. The dormitory of leader cadets of the Royal Spada Theological School. To the second prince Wilhardt’s room. In the case that it reaches there, Will or Celia will pass it to them.
“I think that will do.”
Sariel, who was looking at my ugly handwriting from the side, gave her approval, albeit sounding a bit doubtful as to whether this properly explains the situation or not.
“I have not written anything about you but…”
I can’t really say something ironic like it would be more favorable for Sariel this way. After all, it would be most favorable for me to just not write anything about that at all.
With what face am I supposed to tell Lily and Fiona that I couldn’t kill Sariel? And how I extinguished Sariel’s protection on top of that.
Even those two gentle souls might be in contempt and abandon me this time.
It’s gloomy but still ……it’s something I chose myself. It is certainly painful, but I do not regret it.
“Well then, send it.”
I will entrust the usage of this messenger savant to Sariel altogether. And that is ’cause I have no idea how to use it.
I can go up to summoning it. However, from there, I don’t know how to set the destination.
Of course, the birds summoned here do not have a nest in the Galahad Fortress. Since it does not use something like the homing instinct of a carrier pigeon, it doesn’t need a nest and it’s convenient for both the receiver and sender.
Basically, it is a mechanism that realizes reliable two-way communication by installing a magic circle at the sending and receiving point.
That said, it is still possible to send the bird to a location where there isn’t a magic circle and with no guidance like in our situation.
To go into details, it is done by directly carving the telepathic technique into the summoned magic circle to imprint the image of the destination in the bird–very impossible for me to do currently. I got no choice but to rely on Sariel, who has experience on this matter.
I could only sit on the bed and silently stare at Sariel as she quietly wrote the dedicated magic circle on the paper with her non-dominant left arm.
“Hopefully it reaches…”
Within that night, I released a white bird that resembled the pigeon with my letter tied to its feet.
All we have to do now is pray that it will be delivered safely.