Chapter 149: The greatest skill under the heavens, part 2


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


Many of those who became adventurers simply went to the guild to earn their keep for the day. In fact, more than half of them were like this.

King Randolph raised a questioning eyebrow.

「An adventurer?」

He was probably taken aback that Almeria had agreed instantly to my proposal. Aside from the king and myself, his daughter and her bodyguard Frank were also in his private quarters.

「Yes. As an adventurer, she will receive different quests every day, usually at the suggestion of whoever assigns them to her.」

Hmm, went the king, looking at his daughter.

「Didn’t you neglect your official duties to go and see Roland sometime before, only to be turned away?」

She has indeed barged into the Lahati branch before, I thought. That must be what he’s referring to.

「She neglected her duties?」, I said, shifting my gaze over to Almeria too.

The princess looked away awkwardly.

「Uh, about that…」

「This is an entirely different matter, ain’t it, Roland?」, asked Frank, to which I nodded.

「I will look after Almeria after she becomes an adventurer, and ensure that no two quests I assign her are the same. She will be dispatched to different places to complete different quests every day. Even though visiting the guild will be part of her daily routine, she will be under my watch when she does.」

King Randolph nodded a few times with apparent understanding.

「It may indeed be better for her to be under your watch instead of performing her official duties or managing the orphanage.」

「Mm. Frank and his men will be with her, of course. She will be harder to assassinate in their presence.」

「Your confidence in me may be misplaced, Roland.」

「Well, the thing is that she has no experience with killing people.」

I glanced at Frank, and he cackled loudly. Born into poverty, he was a military officer who had fought his way to the top with nothing but his trusty spear. It’s said that there’s nothing he hadn’t done to keep himself alive.

「Almeria fights like a raging bull」, I continued. 「Too full of herself, and with little care for strategy. But with an experienced commander like you, I can at least be assured that her protection will be an organised effort.」

「If you have that much confidence in me, then I can’t afford to screw up.」

「Who’s a raging bull now?」, snarled Almeria in indignation.

「A raging bull is second to none when it comes to destructive power. Brute force can sometimes be the optimal method of problem-solving.」

「You could’ve said that from the start…」

「The way you phrase it really does matter, huh」, Frank muttered almost inaudibly.

I had no idea when Barbatos started establishing ties with Welger & Co., and neither did I know when they had started keeping an eye on Almeria. At the very least, though, they haven’t made a move yet.

But not seeing your enemy make their move is unsettling in itself.

「This is an emergency. We need you to leave her in our care.」

「You’ve never told me to watch out this seriously before, Roland. Fine… it’s probably the best course of action. Please take good care of my daughter.」

Sensing that the discussion had gone too swimmingly, Almeria spoke up.

「Is it okay, father? What about my official duties and the orphanage?」

「You ask that now, but you’re well aware that your duties aren’t the most important」, replied her father.

「Uguu…」, mumbled Almeria, falling silent.

He was absolutely right — Almeria’s most important duty is to simply exist as a symbol of peace. As the Heroine that guided the world into an era of peace and prosperity, her existence served as a beacon of stability for the masses.

「Also, Roland. That Barbatos refused to spit a single word when we interrogated him, but we found a few letters in his castle. None of us could read them, though.」

The king opened one of his desk drawers and produced said letters for my perusal.

「Can you read them?」

When I looked at the letters, it became clear why no ordinary person had been able to read them.

「It’s written in a modified version of a script used by assassins. The contents appear like reports.」

The handwriting was familiar as well. The person who wrote it had probably never expected the letter to fall into my hands — the hands of the one and only other person who could read it. Although the sender’s name wasn’t included, it had been without a doubt addressed to the baron.

One of the letters talked about the quest that the sender had taken up at the underground guild — the quest to kidnap a certain princess. In addition, the sender was also ‘keeping watch over the target’ while looking for more quests.

「It’s a report from ‘Aimée’.」

「So it’s her, after all」, said King Randolph, his face clouding over.

Seeing the expression on her father’s face, Almeria looked at me.

「W-Who’s that woman…?」

「The person who adopted me, raised me and made me into the assassin I am today.」

Frank trembled a little, then became serious.

「Good heavens, doesn’t that mean that the person after her Highness is none other than your master?」

「I suspected it to be the case. With this letter, I’m now a hundred percent certain that it’s her.」

「I should get around to writing my will…」, sighed the commander, slouching his shoulders.

「Roland’s master…」, echoed Almeria, looking as glum as the other two.

「But because of that, I also know how she operates. Take heart in the fact that Frank will protect you even if it costs him his life.」

「I would much rather not be bumped off first…」

I was fully aware that our opponent had lots of tricks up her sleeve, and that we needed to stay vigilant at all times. Now that things were settled, I told Almeria that I would be taking her to Vadenhaag with me.

「How will we get there?」

「Watch and see.」

I activated the ‘Gate’, and we reached the other side in an instant.


Not having access to the same means of transport, Frank and his men were scheduled to arrive on horseback in a few days. Until then, I took over as Almeria’s bodyguard.

「Wow… we were over there just a second ago!」, exclaimed Almeria, noticing the immediate change in her surroundings.

The place I had brought her to was the main atrium of Vadenhaag’s royal capital. We were standing beside the guild.

「Hold on, wasn’t that a demon spell…?」

「Ah, I had the chance to learn it before. They call it a ‘Gate’.」

「That’s really convenient!」

I described my duties as a guild employee to the princess.

「Wait, you started a guild here too?」

「I believe it was a request from Queen Leyte to King Randolph.」

「Man, their restoration seems to be going really well then…」

Despite our strength, the Heroes’ Party hadn’t been able to save Vadenhaag from total destruction back then. The guilt must still weigh heavily on her even after all this time.

「I doubt anyone holds past events against you or anyone else from the Party.」

She’ll realise it soon enough, I thought. Nobody holds any past grudges — they instead use the time to create a better tomorrow for themselves. Vadenhaag is a progressive and forward-looking country.

「So the paperwork to become an adventurer will be done here?」

「Yeah. But there’s no rush. I’ll stick with you until Frank shows up.」

「You’ll stick with me…」, echoed Almeria, clutching her chest as her face turned red.

「Since the circumstances allow for it, we’ll train.」

「Huh?」

「Since the circumstances allow for it, we’ll train.」

「I heard it clearly the first time…」

「When Frank arrives, I want you to defeat him without using either skills or magic.」

「Ehh!? Do you know how strong Oji-sama is? Even though he may not compare to you at all…」

「That’s simply untrue. If I had to duel him face-to-face with a spear, he’ll wipe the floor with me.」

The princess squinted at me.

「And you want me to beat someone even you can’t beat?」, she retorted.

「I can’t beat him in a duel, face-to-face, with a spear.

Such a situation is unlikely to arise in an actual fight, though. When push comes to shove, it certainly won’t be a friendly joust between knights. And for Almeria, it’s best that she get used to my assassination techniques as quickly as possible — the techniques passed down from the same enemy we were up against.

「Then if I face him on-one-one in a fair fight, using only physical attacks… I think I can beat Oji-sama?」, wondered Almeria without much confidence.

「I can’t stick with you for long. But I’ll train closely with you for tonight.」

「That… that doesn’t make me happy.」

「From your gait and the way you shift your body weight, you’ve put on, haven’t you?」

「Not at all! That’s rude!」

「It appears that your reflexes have dulled since the war.」

「No, no! You’re just blind!」, she yelled, refusing to look me in the eye.

As always, she showed attitude at the slightest trigger. It can’t be helped that a warrior like her languishes during peacetime, but she’s up against a tough enemy right now.

The only way for her to prepare to face said enemy is by sweating off that rust.

I looked at her to confirm the suspicion that her gait had slowed, and found the embarrassed princess pinching her own belly. She had grown taller, but her chest was still the same size as on the day we first met. Strange.

I brought her to a dreary-looking square where adventurers normally trained. Quite a distance away from the residential and touristy areas, it was lit only by moonlight and the only sound we could hear was the chirping of crickets.

「Such a wonderful night for two people to be alone together… and we’re here to train…」, lamented Almeria.

「To start off, try to follow my movements with your eyes.」

「That’s downright impossible! There’s no way I can follow your movements — especially at night!」

「Not with that mindset. By hook or by crook, you must get used to the darkness.」

Almeria gave me a look of resignation.

「Fine! But can you at least praise me?」

「Sure. I’ll chide you for your shortcomings, but I’ll praise you if I see fit as well.」

「If I manage to touch you, Roland… then go out with me. Let’s go on a date… like a, a normal guy and girl…」

The moonlight illuminated her face, showing just how red it had become.

「Like a ‘normal guy’… okay.」

At the end of the day, I’m still a ‘normal’ guy.

「What’s with that smug look? Anyway, I’ll do my best. Do your best, Almeria! This is your only chance!」

She balled her fists and shook them.

「If you manage to touch me. If, and only if.」

「I know.」

And with that, her training lasted until it was time for the guild to open.

「I knew touching him was too much to ask of myself. He’s just built different as usual…」

By morning, the washed-up Almeria could barely stand on her own. It was the right choice to secure protection for her, I thought to myself.

「Using yourself as a yardstick, the person you’re up against is also ‘built different’. I’ll have to be stricter with you from now on.」

「Sigh…」

Lending the teary-eyed princess my shoulder, we headed for the guild.



2 Comments

  1. Am I Un-Dead Yet?

    Friend and foe alike… NO MERCY!

  2. I see, now I get what the title is referring to. The greatest skill under the heavens is the skill to call a girl fat and get away with it.

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