Sorry for the late release!
Chapter 159: The young man and Yarandorara Part 1
I was 9 years old at that time.
I had just entered the Bahamut Knight Order and I was still a page, lowest in the rankings.
It was during a cold winter evening.
Heavy snow was falling from the grey skies.
There was still some leeway to feel joy from the heavy snowfall but most of the Imperial Capital people were soaked by the snow and walked with dampened spirits.
The streets were crowded with people returning from work so there was even more discomfort.
On that gloomy day, I was requested by Flores-san who was the knight I served under to buy something so I was walking through the crowd while shaking my cloak.
(Would anybody actually sell the cosmos flower in the middle of winter?)
In my heart, I wondered if this hard work would end in wasted effort and was a little dissatisfied.
But as a page, I had no choice but to obey the orders of the knight I served.
At the very least, I probably had to visit at least five florists and bear with the large snowflakes before he would be convinced.
(It would have been better if he could have at least told me in the morning.)
The empty stomach of my growing body growled but dinner that night was likely to be late.
I joined the Knight Order because I wanted to become stronger to protect Ruti but if I do not promote to squire, I would not have the opportunity to grow my divine protection.
Most of the pages who worked with me did not want to do chores such as these.
In particular, the eldest son of an Earl, Neville, often pushed his chores onto others.
Although he was using that spare time well by training with the spear.
This time the search for flowers was originally Neville’s task but he pressed the chore to me as I was a commoner.
(Well, this is a good chance to gather knowledge on being a knight since I grew up in the countryside.)
Strength alone was insufficient to protect Ruti.
The ability to negotiate with people of power, the ability to maintain a party’s journey, the ability to lead and fight as a commander … the first step necessary in obtaining those would be to acquire appropriate manners and ways of thinking as a knight.
As such, although I was dissatisfied, I accepted being in the lowest position and took my tasks seriously.
Besides, our superiors, Flores-san, was an elite knight from the Bahamut Knight Order of the Avalonian Kingdom.
He looked closely at our work although it seemed like he was tossing menial tasks for us to perform.
Yesterday, I overheard Flores telling his knight colleague that he was going to expel Neville from the Knight Order.
(A person can’t be a knight just by relying on strong martial prowess.)
I thought about that as I walked among the snow and crowds.
I heard creaking sounds from above my head.
“The sound of a drawn bow?”
I jumped on the shoulder of the man in front of me and jumped into the air.
“Sorry about that!”
“Uwa!? This brat! What are you doing!!”
With the +30 level from 『Guide』 that made my level way above that of an ordinary child, I could perform such feats with the light body of a child.
While stepping on the heads of the people I passed by, I drew the short sword on my waist and cut down the arrow that was shot.
“That man was the target.”
At the location where the arrow would have hit was a man dressed in fine silk with a shocked and bewildered look.
If I remember correctly, he should be the owner of a large company that deals with salt and is an executive of the Merchant Guild. His name should be Bran・Robinson.
A man with enough wealth and position to be targeted.
“And the person that aimed for his life is there!”
The second floor of the house on the side of the street.
Two eyes shined in the dark room where not a single candle was lit.
“I’ll apologize later!”
I leaped high up by lending the shoulder of an Elf woman near me.
“ … !?”
I could see surprise showing on the face peeking through under the hood of the man dressed entirely in black holding a bow.
I grabbed the window sill, kicked the wall, jumped into the window, and slashed with my sword without missing a beat.
The moan of pain came from me.
A sharp pain ran down my right arm.
It was supposed to be a surprise attack but my sword did not connect and scraped the chain shirt my opponent was wearing under his clothes.
The man quickly leaped backward to gain distance. I couldn’t chase after him.
After all, an arrow was stuck in my right arm and I couldn’t move.
The man stabbed me with the arrow he was holding in his right hand as he dodged my attack.
Born with a divine protection level of 31, that was the first time I fought against somebody stronger.
I held my sword with my left hand and controlled my breathing.
“That attack gave me the chills. That didn’t match your appearance, kid. Sorry but I will kill you here.”
“You too, I did not expect you to dodge my sword with that timing. I’ll give up on capturing you without killing you.”
“That crest should belong to the Bahamut Knight Order. A page huh … you might become a hero who leaves their name in history if you grow up but since you stuck your head into unnecessary matters … pitiful kid.”
His killing intent was first-class as well.
I was hit by intimidation that was incomparable to what I felt when I fought against an Owl Bear.
The man drew his bow and aimed for my heart.
(His divine protection is 『Shooter』, no, 『Bow Master』!)
The divine protection of 『Bow Master』is one that does not use the bow as a tool for fighting but finds meaning in the training of bow techniques.
It is one of the unique martial artist-type divine protection that utilizes weapons.
Their impulse to use the bow is strong but it should still be very much stronger than the ordinary 『Shooter』.
It will be difficult to survive without suffering any wounds.
The thought that if only I had my armor ran through my mind but I dispelled that thought since it was pointless at the moment.
I resolved myself as I used my wounded right arm to cover my face and pulled one leg back to turn my body sideward to protect my heart with my left shoulder.
“That’s not a bad strategy. You will have a chance of winning if you live even though you will have to sacrifice your arm.”
The man said without a change in his expression … he had a look of composure.
He probably had confidence in piercing through my arm to reach my vital points.
My heartbeat quickened with the prospect of death looming.
At that moment, a strong and warm wind, a spring-like wind, blew through the window.
White petals mixed with the snow passed between us.
Two petals danced and blocked the man’s eyes as though they were attracted to them.
The next instant, he released the arrow.
It tore through the petals flying in the air and pierced the wall behind me.
At the same time, I felt the sensation of the sword I held with my left hand slice through flesh.
The petals that blocked the man’s eyes fell to the ground.
“ …. !”
The bleeding man glared at me with a terrifying gaze.
His throat was pierced and he leaked strange noises.
He was muttering something but I couldn’t understand what he was saying.
I put more strength behind my left arm and pushed the sword deeper in.
The man’s body trembled and collapsed to the floor as though a puppet with broken strings.
“Haaa haaa …”
I verified that the man was dead and sat on the floor.
The arrow on my right shoulder was stabbed by hand so the wound was not deep.
I held my breath and clenched my teeth before pulling the arrow out.
The bloody arrow clattered on the floor.
My right shoulder hurt but I felt the tingling sensation coming from my divine protection for the first time in a long time.
(I leveled up.)
Born with level 31, I had exterminated monsters every day from when I was 6 years old to level up.
However, defeating lower-level opponents had very poor efficiency for nurturing divine protection.
Until yesterday I was only able to raise my level by two, to reach divine protection level 33.
But today, just one battle made my level rise to 34.
“So this is the Imperial Capital.”
I was worried about leaving Ruti’s side but it was the right choice to be scouted by the Knight Order to become stronger.
After sitting for a while, I heard rustling noises rushing through the building.
I quickly put my hand on the sword handle of the sword which I had sheathed.
“Are you all right!?”
It was a High-Elf female that rushed in.
Following behind her were guards with their long swords drawn.
They seemed to be allies.
“I’m glad you are all right.”
The High-Elf whom I met for the first time held my wounded right arm.
Flowers drifted around the wound and the wound disappeared without a trace.
“Thank you very much, High-Elf Onee-san … erm, sorry but have we met before?”
“No, this is the first time we’ve met. I am Yarandorara.”
“Ah, were you perhaps the person I stepped on to reach the second floor?”
“Yes, I was shocked.”
Yarandorara-san said and smiled gently.
“Sorry, I was in a rush and thought that I didn’t have any other choice.”
“It’s okay, like you said, that was the only option.”
That was the first time I spoke with a High-Elf.
There were High-Elves living in the Imperial Capital but they usually build communities around High-Elves and lived by building invisible walls to the human race.
It was in the nature of the High-Elf race to dislike other races.
“Hey, this guy is Visha!”
“Visha, the Archipelago mercenary?”
The guard examined the man’s corpse and muttered something.
“I have seen Visha before, I’m sure of it.”
“It’s probably somebody who looks like Visha. After all, it was a kid who killed this guy so it can’t be that Visha, famed for killing three kings.”
“ … That’s true. He does look very much like him though.”
It seemed that the man was a famous mercenary.
No wonder his level was high if he had been active in the Archipelago Kingdom with its never-ending wars.
The guard looked at me and said.
“I would like to have an explanation as to what transpired here so could you come with me to the military station?”
But before I could go to the guard, Yarandorara stepped in front of me and stopped me.
“Wait, this child has just gone through a life and death fight. He doesn’t seem to know anything apart from the battle here so it should be okay to hear a description of the events tomorrow.”
“Mu, but Yarandorara-san.”
“Look at the boy’s sword.”
“ … I see. Sorry about that young master, I’ll listen to your description tomorrow. Please let me know your name and affiliation.”
The guard quickly gave up and said to me in a gentle voice.
I tilted my neck in confusion in my mind but I was relieved that I would still have time for Flores-san’s errand.
“I am a page serving Flores-dono, Gideon・Lugnason.”
“Lugnason-kun huh? I take it you live in Lord Flores’s residence. I will visit tomorrow morning.”
Yarandorara and I nodded to the guard and left outside.