It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (84/110), enjoy~
To conclude, he quickly found the kind of inn where the intended nobleman would stay. However, the owner of the inn said,
“It’s not that we don’t have rooms, but if you’re asking if we can get you one right away…”
The owner implicitly told the adventurer that he did not think he could pay. It’s just a way to avoid making the other party uncomfortable.
As for Ain, he likes the fact that he was not treated disrespectfully. Because at first glance, he looked like a traveler or an adventurer. He had expected to be turned away at the gate.
“I’m fine with money, please.”
The owner, who had started to worry, crossed his arms and started thinking.
If it comes to it, there is a last resort of taking off the hood and showing his face.
“Let’s discuss the price once.”
The owner said as if he had no choice.
“U-um. You don’t have to go that far…”
The woman that Ain had shown her around sounded troubled.
But if he backed off here, it would not be easy to get a room for her.
Suddenly, a man walked near Ain.
“Owner. I’ve finished bringing in the food, so if you’ll excuse me.”
The man was walking with a wooden box in his arms, probably carrying in food or something.
When Ain thought that it would be difficult for him to see what was in front of him, suddenly──.
“I-I apologize, Customer!”
He bumped shoulders with Ain. And then his hood rolled down, exposing his face to the gaze of the owner and the other customers.
It was impossible for everyone not to know Ain’s face.
Not only the owner of the store but also the man who passed him stared at him with a look of surprise. All of them could not keep their mouths shut and only looked at each other in shock.
Ain quickly put his hood back on before the woman in the robe could see his face.
“I’m sorry, can we get a room over here?”
As there was no way to hide it now, Ain turned around and asked the owner.
“O-o-o-o… of course! H-hey! Let this customer through!”
“Please wait! How much do I have to pay?”
Before being led into the room, the woman in the robe hurriedly asked.
“Here is the price… what should I do?”
The owner showed the woman the price list, but she looked at Ain.
Since Ain would pay the bill when the time came, he took the bill and almost said he would pay it.
“It’s okay. The duration is yet to be determined, but I’ll pay for three days at first.”
The woman in the robe paid quickly.
Maybe she was a noblewoman, too.
If so, it was strange that she hadn’t taken lodgings, but Ain looked at her curiously as she easily paid the large sum.
“You can pay in the room, and I’ll show you around first.”
“I’m glad to hear that. Please go and have a good rest.” Ain said.
“Thank you very much….! By all means, let me thank you in some way!”
“Don’t worry about it.”
After bowing, again and again, she finally proceeded up the stairs. A few moments later, she disappeared, and Ain was glad that he could help her.
Since he was in the middle of a secret walk, he should at least ask for help.
“…I’m in town on a secret mission. Can you please not tell anyone about this?”
Seeing Ain’s troubled smile, not only the owner but everyone in the inn agreed.
“Of course, Your Highness! If Your Highness says so, I’ll risk my life to do so!”
“N-no… you don’t have to go that far.”
After saying that, Ain also tried to leave the inn.
The owner stopped him, however.
“I know it’s rude, but could you please… please shake my hand?”
He wondered what was going on.
“Yes. I’m sorry for asking you too much.”
He then wrapped his hands around the owner’s hand, and the owner said with a look of ecstasy on his face.
“…I will never wash my hands.”
“I’m begging you. Please wash them.”
He smiled bitterly and left the inn.
As expected, Lily was waiting for him outside, and she was smiling happily.
“You look like you’re having fun.”
“I had some unexpected fun. I had a cute ex-boss who felt like she could hide behind cheap magic tools.”
“What’s that? Was there another nobleman sneaking around other than me?”
“Yes, yes! She’s a special kind of noble, though.”
Ain listened to her and walked away with a smile on his face, as did Lily.
In the end, he bought a souvenir for Olivia, and the curtain came down on his first secret walk.
◇ ◇ ◇
The night after the souvenirs were enjoyed by all; Ain suddenly woke up.
It wasn’t that the bed was uncomfortable or that there was any noise. It was just that he was genuinely awake and for no particular reason.
“──I couldn’t get back to sleep.”
Even though he kept turning over in bed, he couldn’t seem to fall asleep.
He sat up, drank some water, and looked out the window.
The surface of the ocean was illuminated by starlight. Also, he could see that some fish were emitting light in the sea, sometimes blinking like fireflies. He was afraid to go near the sea now, though.
“Is it safe to go there?”
He was referring to the locked basement in the villa. After a quick change of clothes, Ain left the room and walked down the dimly lit corridor.
On the lower floor, there are royal knights standing guard.
He exchanged a few words with them, and when he told them he was going to the basement, they laughed at him.
It was not mockery but rather Ain’s way of facing the unknown.
He opened the door near the two staircases and found a stone staircase leading to the basement. As Ain walked down the stairs without hesitation, he saw a huge door at the end of the stairs.
“──It looks like a treasure house.”
It reminded him of the treasure room in the basement of the castle. He could not help but feel a sense of déjà vu at the number of magic tools attached to the door.
He never had a problem with it until now, but what happened next was a problem…
“So the door will not open.”
That’s what the previous kings, and Sylvird, had said.
Ain even predicted that only the first king would be able to open the door. The truth be told, he didn’t come here expecting to be able to open the door.
It was purely for sightseeing.
“I wondered what was in there… could it be some kind of treasure?”
He was not interested in treasure hunting, but he was curious to see what the first king had left behind. There is also the fact that he learned last year at the Demon Lord’s castle.
He could not help but be curious about what the person he admired was doing in this basement.
However, it was a locked door. There was no keyhole on the door, and he couldn’t figure out how to open it.
It was time to go back to his room. That’s what he thought, and the moment he touched the door for the last time──.
The magic tools attached to the door moved unexpectedly and lined up in a vertical line.
Then a soft click echoed through the area.
No way, how?
He pushed the door with his hand, and it opened from side to side.
The interior of the basement, which is gradually revealed, does not contain any treasures.
The structure of the basement is like an elegant library.
The bookshelves on the left and right walls were lined with books without any gaps, and there was only one large desk in the back.
When Ain squinted at it, he saw that there was a book on the desk that had been left open.
“…..Shall I go?”
He wasn’t sure, but the door was open.
As soon as he stepped in, the door closed spontaneously. But rather than worrying about how to return, Ain was more interested in the basement left behind by the first king.
The bookshelves on either side of the room caught his attention, but first the desk.
“I wonder what was he writing.”
He picked up the open book, and his eyes widened at the words written in it.
“More and more races are beginning to follow them. They don’t listen to us but instead exert themselves to meet sister’s needs.”
Then he continued.
“I wonder how father and mother are doing. Are they trying to stop sister?”
It was written.
No doubt, this is the diary left by the first king.
“Countless friends have died. What has changed her? Do I have no choice but to fight her?”
Ain turned more pages.
The page was blank for a while.
The next thing he wrote was a heartbreaking sentence.
“I took her life.”
And then there were pages and pages of words of repentance. But after those words, he wrote about the Red Fox again.
“That woman said this when she ran away. She said ── that she would never forgive me. She didn’t say why, but she said she would never allow me to be happy. I tried to kill her, but she used a number of monsters to escape my pursuit. The warriors told me that they had crossed the sea from this area, but further pursuit would be extremely difficult. I have a duty to rebuild Ishtalika.”
He could tell just by looking at the words.
The anger and frustration were evident in every word.
“It’s been a year since the founding of the new Ishtalika. I have decided to terminate my investigation of the Red Fox as of today. After I abdicate, I may use this room again. So I will seal this room with my diary.”
The diary ended here.
After reading it, Ain closed his eyes for a few moments. Eventually, he nodded to himself and reached for a document on the bookshelf.