Chapter 64 – Glasses boy’s training starts
After the brief introduction, Roda said, “I’ll leave the rest to Zant.” and got up from his chair, “Lisse, Eil. You should learn from Zant for a while.
“From now on, unless you receive orders for it, we should not contact one another. If you see me somewhere, just ignore me and pass by.”
Seems like the people here hide the fact that they’re acquaintances.
And from today onwards, I’m also included in this group.
Roda left the room, and before I knew it… The ghostly woman had suddenly disappeared. It was so sudden, that it made me wonder if she really existed.
Well, let’s try not worrying about it as much as possible… I wonder if I can do it though. Her eerie appearance is so imprinted in my mind, that I think I might have nightmares with her.
“Then, I will take care of you for a while.” Zant told me.
After Roda and the ghostly woman left, the only people left in the room were Zant, the so-called instructor, as well as me and Lisse, the students.
“Lisse, go ahead and proceed as usual.
“Boy, where is your luggage? We’ll give you a place to live at, so go fetch your luggage.” Zant said.
Oh? So I’ll be getting a place to live?
I paid for one extra day of lodging at the inn though… I guess that will be wasted, but it can’t be helped.
Unless the inn can give me a refund that is? I mean, it seems unlikely, but… It doesn’t hurt to ask?
For now though, this was the end of the meeting, so we left the room, and I went back to the inn.
I didn’t have any real hopes for my refund request to be accepted, but the inn clerk gave me back my money just fine, since it was still early in the morning.
So, with my luggage on my back, I returned to the shopping district and met up with Zant in the junk shop.
“This way.” Zant told me, then led me to a small house nearby, “This is one of our hideouts. Only Lisse is living here right now, but from today onwards, you’ll use it too.”
Oh? “So I’m gonna be living here with Lisse?” I asked.
“Don’t try assaulting her. You’ll be the only ones living here, but there are lookouts and patrols. We’re watching you.” Zant told me.
“What if she tries assaulting me?” I asked.
“Huh? What if a man is assaulted by a woman?” Zant asked back.
This kind of prejudice and stereotype has been completely destroyed by my sister. Women being fragile; women needing to be protected by men; women absolutely requiring some frilly tea time… I don’t buy any of that.
“I don’t trust any women who are my age or older.” I replied.
Because of my sister, I had to learn how to be vigilant in all sorts of ways. It’s not something backed by logic anymore, but something natural. Something that was carved inside my skull.
Don’t trust women. They’re the same kind of creature as my sister.
My sister hasn’t been trustworthy since she was a child. Ordinary women should be no different.
Though when I think about it, Florentine, who was the only woman I met recently and that was younger than me, must have been treated differently in my mind.
Differently from my older sister, Florentine also seems to be sane, so I’m fine with her.
“Oh, yeah, sure sucks to be popular.” Zant said with a somewhat astonished tone.
To me this is a serious issue though. I have been with that older sister of mine for thirteen years, after all.
There were so many things that happened and that I was forcefully involved on. So many bad and unpleasant things that I often had to run away from…
Well, there is no need to force myself to remember all that though.
“Anyways, I’ll be leaving the house to you two.
“You should prepare your own food, as we won’t be contacting you aside from training. Talk to Lisse and figure out how you’ll live together.
“Alright then, now drop off your luggage somewhere, and then I’ll guide you to the training ground. Lisse should already be there.” Zant told me.
The next place Zant brought me to was… Huh?
“The old location of the hunter’s guild?” I asked.
We were now at Goertz’s public bath. The place I used yesterday.
I looked at its signboard, and it seems like they’re still preparing things, as they only open after noon.
“Goertz is the face, but the training facility is still here. Underground.” Zant told me, then moved to a side entrance of the public bath that had a sign reading ‘for employees only’.
He used a key, and went inside it.
There were employees who were busy preparing the bath nearby, but they paid no attention to Zant, so I guess they’re connected to the assassins in some way too.
I glanced at them, then followed Zant inside, then to a courtyard, and then we entered a barn-like building.
Inside it, there were mostly cleaning tools, but there was also a hidden trapdoor that Zant opened, leading underground.
After following him down the stairs, we reached a facility.
In a large room made of stone, I could see various tools. Some whose use I understood, and some that I didn’t quite understood the purpose of.
There were some wooden dolls with red markings at their vital spots, and there were also leather rags spread around, which seemed to be there for cutting practice.
And then there were also some things related to education and that didn’t seem to fit this place at all, like tea sets and bookshelves. There seemed to be no uniformity in this facility.
Or well… Maybe there is some uniformity?
It’s a facility that teaches you how to kill someone.
In addition to the stairs that we just came from, there were several other exits in this room. Doors that should all lead to different places.
Even though the room is large enough as is, the entire place seems to be even larger.
“Lisse is on ‘the road’.” Zant told me.
As far as I could see, Lisse, who was supposed to already be here, was nowhere to be seen.
“The road?” I asked.
“It’s a place where you can hone your skills for moving through areas with poor footing. We call it ‘the road’.” Zant replied as he opened one of the doors.
I instantly felt some wind blowing towards me.
“It’s here.” Zant shifted to the side and let me see it.
Well… This is certainly a ‘road’ alright.
It was a stone underground passage. The walls were filled with lights, so even though we were in a basement, this place was still well-illuminated.
The passage continued on for so long, that it seemed to be endless.
And what worried me the most, were the various things placed in the passage. Stakes, stone slabs, ropes connecting stakes. Even the walls were embedded with a variety of things.
“Would you like to try it? Go all the way to the other side without touching the ground.” Zant told me.
Oh, I see. So that’s what he meant with honing your skills for moving through areas with poor footing. So Lisse must be on the other side of this place right now.
“Can I become stronger with this?” I asked.
“I dunno.” Zant replied.
Hey. I said it clearly. I’m here because I want to become stronger, as my time here is limited. I don’t want to waste it.
“But-” As Zant said that, he jumped on top of a nearby stake. It was a very thin foothold that could only hold the tip of his foot, but Zant was standing stably on one leg, “This is a very basic technique for an assassin. If you can’t even clear this, you might as well go home.”
Zant grinned, then nimbly… No, while moving as lightly as a feather, he quickly crossed the scaffolding ahead.
I was really surprised.
Surprised not only at how fast he was, but at how smoothly he shifted his weight. How does he move in this way that makes it feel like he weights nothing? Is it even possible for a human to master their body like that?
More agile than an animal, quieter than a bird, with less presence than an insect… But he is a human. And an assassin.
I used to be quite surprised by the lightness of my master, but even with this kind of appearance, Zant is leagues above anything my master could do.
I’m glad I came.
I feel like I was forced to do a lot of things I didn’t want to in this assassin training school.
But finally, I seriously thought that I wanted to study here.