It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (35/72), enjoy~
Chapter 93 – Sunlight After A Long Time
“Check the equipment.”
Lime raised her hand with a big smile on her face and declared the equipment in check.
“Armor good, helmet good, miscellaneous bags good, sword, spear, shield good.”
The armor was made of leather, reinforced in important places with steel plates. The helmet looked like a common piece of armor, but the red tasseled ornaments made it a real eye-catcher. Eh? Is it okay to stand out? No, it’s a mercenary helmet. However, I thought it would be unnatural if I didn’t have something that stood out, so I put a red tassel on my helmet.
“And the purse?”
“The main one is under my armor, and the sub is in my bag.”
The main purse is full of gold coins, and the sub purse is full of coins and silver. The small coins and silver coins had fallen into the sewer, and before they rusted, Poizo and Beth had kept them. The only thing in my wallet was the empire bar coin, so I asked them to share it with me because I was afraid people would wonder how I had gotten to this point of living.
Payment is… I’ll leave it to your imagination.
“Let’s recap the setting-nodesu.”
“I’m a mercenary from the east. I came here looking for a place to serve or to fight.”
This is as it was in the beginning. I’ve thought of a setting in case they ask for more details.
“Black hair, is it rare?”
“Yes, they are rare, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, does it?”
In this world, there are not many people with black hair. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. There’s one in a thousand or ten thousand people in this world. I’m not sure if there are more than a few in a larger city. So that’s on that scale.
“You don’t look very strong.”
“I’m more of a runner.”
I’ve been training with Lime and the others, and I’ve gotten to a point where I can fight, but only a point. My fundamental muscular strength seems to be as good or less than human by this world’s standards.
However, thanks to my abilities, I can run fast and long. This is my strength.
It may look a little unnatural to run with command actions, but if I tell them that it’s a special way of running and that it’s a secret, they are likely to accept it as such. Beth said that there are many magic and magic tools in this world, and no one knows all of their effects.
“It looks like it’s about right. Now you just have to make sure you get in from outside the royal capital.”
“Right. If I don’t have my pass, I could get into trouble.”
“Out of the way, out of the city.”
I heard that some of the underground passages from the castle’s basement extend eastward to the outside of Merinesburg. So I’m going to go outside of Merinesburg through that and go inside from the city’s east side.
“In some cases, I’ll spend a few days up there. If I’m caught and not killed immediately, I’ll be thrown back into the underground of the castle. Then I’ll make a scene, and you can come and save me.”
“You’re so selfish, aren’t you?”
“I just don’t think I can do everything right on my own.”
Besides, Beth and the others are a lot stronger than I am. So if I can rely on them, I will. I’ll do whatever it takes to get to Sylphy alive.
“So, are we leaving now-nodesu?”
“Yeah, let’s go.”
“This way, then.”
The four of us start moving. Apparently, all three of them were going to see me off.
“Speaking of which, this is the first time we’re walking together.”
“Basically, we don’t need to move much-nodesu.”
“The little one is enough.”
“I guess so.”
In a mock battle, or rather a training session, I fought the first Lime duplicate I encountered. Of course, I was beaten to a pulp. Even though they are small, the little Lime is very strong… and the training is for multiple battles, so Lime, Beth, and Poizo each came out with two duplicates. Of course, I was rolled over helplessly.
We walked for a while, chatting about trivial things, and when the underground passage was about to end, the three of them stopped.
“This is the end.”
“The underground passage is treated as ‘inside the castle’ even if it’s not directly underneath because the royal family passes through it, but it seems this is the limit.”
“We can’t go any further.”
I can feel a slight flow of air. The surface seems to be close.
“The entrance is cleaned regularly, so I don’t think there’s anything in there, but you have to be careful just in case-nodesu.”
“We make the little ones attack and scare them away.”
“It’s supposed to destroy itself after a while, so there’s no danger. But, if not, goblins and the like will take up residence.”
“It’s troublesome… Okay, I’ll go then.”
I rechecked my equipment and turned to the three of them.
Lime doesn’t hide her lonely expression.
Beth has a worried look on her face.
And Poizo looked calm.
“Goodbye, well, it’s not a goodbye, though. I’ll be back.”
“Please come back safely.”
“Yeah, go ahead. Take it easy, okay?”
“Take care of yourself-nodesu.”
“Yeah, I’ll be off.”
After saying a temporary goodbye to the three of them, I began to walk towards the surface for the first time in a long time.
It’s been a while since I’ve seen the sun… Oh, is that the name of some kind of god in this world? Well, whatever. Anyway, the sunshine burned my eyes after living underground for more than two weeks. I felt a dull ache behind my eyes. I think I’d better rest here for a while until I get used to it.
“The air feels better.”
The air in Lime’s room was aromatic, so it didn’t bother me too much, but there was still something about the smell of sewage. But there was none of that here.
As my eyes became accustomed to the place, I took a look around. Yes, it’s a cave. It’s behind a rock, and if I didn’t know better, I wouldn’t be able to find it. I wonder if I’ll be able to find this place again after I leave here… Well, the worst thing I can do is go into the sewers of Merinesburg.
Of course, it would be smelly, and it would be dangerous. In fact, I’ve seen many of the giant rats that the slime girls have hunted down in the sewers, and all of them were as big as large dogs and had sharp fangs that looked dangerous.
Besides, there were also slimes in the sewage. Admittedly, they were not as powerful as the slime girls, but even so, I heard that most physical attacks were ineffective, so I needed to take countermeasures. In case you’re wondering, I’ve made a countermeasure weapon, but as the assault rifle, it’s a backup plan.
“It’s time to go.”
Now that my eyes have adjusted to the situation, I start to take action. Fortunately, the target was easy to find. Even in this forest, not far from Merinesburg, the spire of the royal castle in the center of the capital was clearly visible through the trees.
Even though it was close to the city, there was no telling what might be there in the forest. Monsters inhabit this world. The only ones I’ve encountered so far are lizards, Gizma, and goblins, but I’ve heard that there are many other types of monsters in this world. So there was no better way than to be cautious.
“But taking too long to get through the forest by being too careful would be a bad idea.”
After thinking about it, I decided to run and get out of this forest as quickly as possible.
My running speed is much faster than that of a normal person. If I just use running and command actions together, I can almost double my speed. If I add strafe jumping to it, I’ll be as fast as a horse. There were not many monsters that could keep up with this speed.
That’s why I ran through the forest. This forest was not that deep. In other words, it’s nothing compared to the Black Forest. So it was not going to be hard to run through it.
After about ten minutes of running, I finally made it through the forest.
On the way, I found goblins and other unfamiliar animals and monsters, but I passed them with style. Some of them were chasing me, but I was able to beat them to the punch.
Hmm… I wonder if it would be better to just run home instead of worrying about making a golem communicator? While thinking about this, I started to circle around the towering walls of Merinesburg. Soon, I found a road, so I decided to take it and head for the city gates.
Perhaps because it was so close to the capital, there was a good amount of traffic on the street. Some people were wary of me suddenly appearing out of nowhere, but when they saw me carrying my spear and walking towards the castle gate without paying attention to the people around me, they lowered their guard and started walking the same way.
I wondered if they saw me as a bandit or a thief! But when I saw that they didn’t seem to be bothered by me at all, I guess they were convinced that I was an adventurer or something. So it was just as I had planned.
When I turned my attention to the people passing by on the street, I noticed a conspicuous number of horse-drawn carriages with escorts carrying large loads. Of course, there are not many of them, but the sight of them hurrying away from the capital to the east strangely attracted my attention.
They were probably nobles, clergymen, or wealthy merchants and their families. Those who could afford it seemed to have sensed the danger and had already begun to flee.
However, the number of people entering the capital seemed to be twice as many. Perhaps the Holy Kingdom has begun to accumulate troops and supplies in Merinesburg. But, first, they are gathering adventurers and mercenaries.
I think that the soldiers that the Holy Kingdom sent out to Erichburg were basically the regular Holy Kingdom army. Of course, that’s not always the case in a siege on the city’s defensive walls, where it seems that all those who could fight were sent out, but at least there were no troops recruited from adventurers, mercenaries, or farmers.
Maybe they are just starting to recruit those people.
“Hey, are you a mercenary too?”
As I walked along, observing the flow of people, I was approached. He was about the same age as me, solidly built and armed. He was holding a spear in his hand that looked much higher than mine.
“That’s about it. You too?”
“Yes, I am. Are you alone? That’s unusual.”
“My unit was destroyed on a battlefield in the east. There were only a few of us left, and we were disbanded, so I came here. I was looking for a place to serve or a job. What about you?”
“I’m a member of a mercenary group called the Black Feather Brigade. I’m an executive, you know?”
He then grinned and showed me what looked like a dog tag with a black feather emblem on it. But, unfortunately, I don’t know anything about it.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t know. I was too busy with my own affairs to keep up with the world.”
“What? I thought we were pretty famous.”
He seemed a little disappointed to see that I wasn’t at all surprised by his confident display of the group’s credentials. But he didn’t seem to be offended.
“I’m sorry. So, why are you, the executive, talking to me? I mean, what are you doing out here all alone?”
“I’m not alone; you see those guys with weapons over there and over there? They’re all members of my group. I’m guarding the gate. Besides, I’m in charge of recruiting people like you.”
There are indeed several people who look like that standing near the street at a certain distance, keeping an eye on things. At the same time, I raise my guard against the man.
The man’s story sounds reasonable, but he also clarifies that he is targeting lone travelers like me. A lone traveler is in a weak position in this world anyway. In any case, they have nowhere to turn.
Even if they suddenly disappear, no one will pay attention to them as long as no bodies appear. That’s what I mean.
“Hey, hey, don’t be so cautious. I don’t mean to take your stuff and kill you.”
“It’s impossible to be careless, isn’t it?”
“That’s true, too.”
The man chuckled. It’s possible that someone will get drunk and find themselves undressed after having a good time with their new friends. It would be nice if that were the end of it, but it could be even scarier.
“Well, it’s good to be cautious. We’re staying at a place called Mera’s Ledge Pavilion. Come and visit us if you feel like it. Just tell them you’re with Raman, and they’ll understand.”
“I’ll remember that. My name is Ko.”
Hearing my alias, the mercenary who had introduced himself as Raman left with a satisfied look on his face. He must have gone back to his job as a scout and security guard. I walked for a while and muttered to myself.
“There are all kinds of people out there.”
Perhaps Raman will participate in the upcoming battle between the Liberation Army and the Holy Kingdom’s army. In the end, he will be a member of the Holy Kingdom’s forces. If so, that good-natured man will become an enemy of Sylphy and me. If he becomes my enemy, I won’t show him any mercy. Unless he’s fortunate, he’ll die.
Without a chance to cross swords or spears, he will be blown up by Harpy’s bombs or fall down by crossbow fire… Then, if he is lucky, he may have a chance to cross swords with the elite of the Liberation Army. But he is no match for Sir Leonard or Ms. Zamir.
“That’s unpleasant, isn’t it? Geez.”
Operating under the enemy’s power, blending in with the enemy. Of course, there will be good guys. Someone to be respected and loved may be found. But sooner or later, they will all turn into enemies. The forces I belong to will overrun them and the women within them.
“It’s so unpleasant, Geez.”
I said again, from the bottom of my heart, and let out a sigh. The gates are almost there.