Chapter 117 – Glasses boy leaves the city of Haidiga
“Hey, Eil, you’re already done?” Lisse asked.
“I am. It’s because I don’t have that much luggage to begin with.
“What about you, Lisse? If you aren’t done yet, then I think I’ll just go on ahead.” I told her.
“Hah? I won’t let you go, alright? I’ll stop you with all my might.” Lisse replied.
“Do you know of the word, nuisance?” I asked her.
“Do you know of the word counterbalance? I think I end up matching well with your usual rants.” Lisse said.
… I suppose it can’t be helped. I don’t want to reply to her on that, because I try to be as respectful as possible when speaking to others.
… Well, whatever, it’s not like this conversation had much going for it anyways.
“What’s taking you so long? Are you looking for your lost panties?” I asked her.
“I have my panties.” She replied.
“Isn’t it stuck between the bed and the wall?” I asked next.
“I have my panties!
“I’m just struggling with fitting everything in my bag…” She stated.
“You can make your panties fit inside, can’t you?” I asked.
“The panties are already on the bottom of it… And it’s not about panties! Stop making me say panties, panties!” Lisse exclaimed.
… She said it on her own though.
In any case, I put my elbows on the table and rested my head on top of my hands.
I already finished cleaning up the rented house and packing my things.
Since I arrived in Haidiga, I’ve hardly bought anything. The only noticeable things were a few new clothes to substitute the ones that were soiled during the hunt of the Chalk Chicken, so my luggage hasn’t increased much.
Lisse’s luggage seems to have been increasing quite a bit during our time here though, so she’s struggling with fitting everything inside her bag.
Though I wonder how she had the time and strength to buy things.
I mean, the training was so exhausting that our life at this home has mostly consisted of eating dinner and sleeping.
Well, in any case, today is a good day for this. The weather has been nice recently, but today is particularly clear.
It’s the perfect day to depart.
… I suppose I am now saying goodbye to Haidiga.
Since I’ve been spending most of my time training, I didn’t have much time to get to know this town enough, so I couldn’t get a strong attachment to it, but…
Well, I guess it’s impossible to not feel a bit down when leaving a city that I stayed at for a month.
“We talked a bit about it a few days ago, but let me formally do it now.” Roda told us.
It was the night three days after the subjugation of the Obsidian Wolf.
The knights and the members of Black Swan of Dawn had left Haidiga, and we have now returned to our usual training.
Before I could get used to it though, me and Lisse had to make a decision.
After completing the day’s training like usual, I took a bath to wash away the sweat and dirt, then I went to the back of a store.
It was that same store that Lisse guided me to when I first met her.
Lisse had taken me here, to the assassin hideout that was at the back of a store mostly filled with junk.
It was my second time coming here.
I’d like to see the staff of this store doing actual work for once, but this most likely won’t happen, it seems.
So, once me and Lisse walked into the hidden backroom, we saw those three people in the same place that they were back in that day.
Roda, the representative of the assassins in Haidiga.
Zant, who collects information in the slums.
And that bright… Ghost-like figure of Sorichika, who lets the spirits play around freely and shines dimly due to that.
They were strangers to me back then, but they’re now my mentors.
There was no doubt about it with this mood. They called us here to have a formal conversation.
Probably regarding that matter of the other day.
After me and Lisse sat down at the table, Roda began to speak with his usual frivolous smile.
I thought he was quite the frivolous person back when I first met him, but I now know that he can be serious when needed.
“This invitation is not for anyone.
“We evaluate the performance of the assassin trainees and only select those with excellent performance and high growth potential.
“The three of us have recognized the talents of you two and judged you as worthy of it.
“Therefore, I’d like to ask if you are willing to go to the Tower of Bryne. A place to for you to train more, and further grow and progress.” Roda told us.
Unsurprisingly, it was about that, after all.
“The Tower of Bryne is home to assassin trainees who have been recognized for their talents, just like you two.
“As I’ve just said, it’s not a place where any trainee can go to.
“To put it simply, it’s a place where people around your age, who can perform as well as you can, will gather.
“People change greatly depending on their environment.
“There are abilities that cannot be learned just from training in familiar places. Abilities that can only be developed through experiencing competition with people who are around your level.
“We decided that you two, Lisse and Eil, should go to the Tower of Bryne.
“That said, the final decision is up to you.” After saying this much, Roda looked me directly in the eyes, “I’ve already heard Lisse’s reply. What about yours? Has your decision changed since the last time we talked?”
I stayed silent for a few seconds, until… “I’m…”
After waiting for a while until Lisse finished preparing, we left the city of Haidiga.
“Oh? Where are you going?” The gatekeeper asked us.
I’ve seen this gatekeeper a fair number of times. Back when we returned in the morning after the Obsidian Wolf, after the hunt of the Chalk Chicken, after I hunted five birds the other day… He had been there.
Lisse and I have passed by this gate a few times already, so this old gatekeeper, who is usually on morning duty, already recognized us.
And he asked us, probably because of the luggage bags that we’re carrying.
“We’re going on a trip for a while. Perhaps we’ll come back soon.” Lisse replied.
It was a good answer.
The only thing I could come up with, was saying that I was going back to my hometown.
I couldn’t think of anything else other than the words of a young man who came to the big city with ambitious ideals, but then ran back home after his hopes and dreams were shattered.
“Oh, alright. Take care then.” The gatekeeper told us.
He didn’t ask anything else, so that was that.
This was a city with many adventurers. There must be many people who come and go for all sorts of reasons.
And so, the two of us moved along the highway and headed towards the mountain.
“Where is the assassins’ village that you came from anyways?” Lisse asked me.
“On the other side of the mountain. I think we can go through it now.” I replied.
Due to the Obsidian Wolf’s interference, there are less Demon Beasts than usual in the mountain.
If it’s the current me… Well, and with Lisse working hard at the front lines, I think we can pass through the mountain.
Even if we encounter Demon Beasts, we should be able to handle them.
If we take the route that crosses the mountain, it will take less than a day to arrive. It will be a much shorter trip than walking around it.
“I’ve been waiting.” I heard a familiar voice.
I thought she might be here.
And I looked in the voice’s direction, and she really was there.
Lisse also seemed to be confident that she would come, so Lisse didn’t show any surprise.
That woman sitting on a rock on the side of the road. This woman that dimly glows… That’s Sorichika.
… She really is shining.
Sorichika talked to us once we get closer to her, “I’ve been waiting.” She repeated.
“Are you going with us, Sorichika?” I asked.
“Yes. I was told to go as an instructor.” She replied.
Oh, because she’s the instructor focused on information-related Gifts?
“Also, I want to meet the creator of that statue.” Sorichika told us.
Oh, of course…
The cute evil god statue that I thought I was finally able to separate from. It now belongs to Sorichika.
In other words, it must be here. That statue…
I really thought I had finally gotten away from it.
… I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get away from that statue now… Wait, no. No no no. Don’t think like that. Bad thoughts invite evil omens. Bad thoughts can make bad things come true. Don’t think about it.
“Then, let’s go.” Sorichika said.
Lisse had a troubled expression as she saw Sorichika get up and start walking.
She must be thinking the same kind of thing I was.
“Hey, Eil… Uhn… You sure that thing isn’t cursed?” She asked.
Don’t say this kind of thing out loud. That might make an evil omen come true.
And thus, like this, we left the city of Haidiga.