Chapter 56: The man who knew too much


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


As usual, I was performing my duties — matching adventurers to quests, conducting entrance examinations — you know the drill by now. While we were enjoying a brief period of downtime, an impressive-looking armor-clad man entered.

「Hey, that’s the… S-rank…」

「What’s he doing in a place like this?」

His armor clattered as he walked. He held several bundles of ropes in his hand, the other ends of which were tied around girls’ necks. Demi-humans, elves, humans, dwarves… not only were they clothed in rags, but they also looked disoriented.

「…」

The visitor made his way towards me amidst the murmur of the crowd.

「Roland Argan. That’s you, right?」

「Yes, that’s me. May I know what kind of quest you desire?」

「Don’t you know who I am?」

「My apologies, sir, for I do not.」

He showed me his adventurer’s license.

Lenny Comté. Twenty-one years of age, S-rank. His skill was ‘Clairvoyance’…

「I didn’t come here to receive a quest.」

「I see. What do you need?」

「I see all and know all. Who you are, what you’re doing and even where you live.」

「…」

「Don’t kill me, haha!」

Raising both hands, Lenny roared with laughter.

All eyes were on us. I don’t know what he came for, but moving somewhere else wouldn’t be a bad idea.

「I’m not trying to pick a fight, here or anywhere else. All I want is your partner.」

「…Partner?」

「Don’t make me repeat myself, for I know all and see all.」

「If you really do, then we shouldn’t talk about private matters here.」

「Oh, my bad. Can I wait at your house, then?」

「And if I refuse?」

「I’ll wait at your house.」

Turning around, he left, bringing his seemingly enslaved girls with him. The slightly tense atmosphere from before relaxed a little.

Milia approached me.

「Roland-san, are you acquainted with Lenny-san?」

「Nope, I’ve never seen him before.」

「Hm, is that so… his skill is terrifying, isn’t it? ‘Clairvoyance’… you can’t hide anything from him.」

It seemed like he needed to meet me in order to use his skill. In other words, he can’t probe people’s secrets if they’re outside his area of awareness. I don’t remember ever having met him, but if I had, it was probably at the royal capital, or even before that.

「By your ‘partner’, doesn’t he mean…」

「He looks like he has something to discuss, so she’ll probably be fine.」

「I’m worried. The rumours you hear about Lenny-san are rather unpleasant」, sighed Milia, looking in the direction of my house.

The house a magic-less Lyla was in.

While I was worried too, I doubted that he would resort to violence if he’d come all the way to tell me what he wanted. If he really wanted to, he’d already have ravaged my empty house.

I headed home immediately after work. I knew he was waiting inside, not because of ‘Clairvoyance’ or anything like that, but because his girls were tied to a nearby tree.

He really treats them like slaves, huh?

When I opened the door, Lyla, who always came to greet me, was nowhere to be seen. I found her in the living room, looking sullen. Lenny was there too, of course.

「Okay, what’s up with this guy?」

「Well, he said that he wants my ‘partner’.」

「That’s what the blithering idiot told me as well」, she snorted.

「Oh hey, welcome back. Let’s continue our discussion, shall we?」

「I have no desire to talk to you, let alone discuss anything.」

「Is that a no from you? As I said, don’t make me repeat myself. This red-hair demon is the Demon King and you’re the man who actually killed her. I know it all…」

「…」

「…and for whatever reason, the two of you became close, to the extent that she left her previous life behind to live with you. I popped by the guild headquarters a while ago after hearing of an exceptionally capable adventurer, and there you were. I was surprised」, he explained patiently.

「You want me to hand Lyla over so that you won’t spill her secrets?」

「Exactly. My collection happens to be missing a demon. And you know how highly prized something like the Demon King is to a collector like me!」

「He sickens me.」

「Say that all you want, Lylael, while you still can.」

Lyla waved a dismissive hand at him, indicating that she was sick of his rambling.

「I was wondering what the limits of your ‘Clairvoyance’ are, and according to my observations…」

「Hm. What did you find out?」

His claim of being able to see the future was no more than a bluff. If he really could, he would already have known that I would kill him if he dared to expose all our secrets and gain possession of Lyla.

At the very least, his ‘Clairvoyance’ didn’t come with true sight.

「Your skill is very potent, but has only a small area of effect. You told me that you saw me at the guild headquarters — this indicates that your target needs to be within your field of vision.」

In short, his skill would have no effect if the target was in his blind spot.

「…」

Guess I hit the nail on the head.

「On top of that, you can only ‘see’ others’ speech and behaviour, not what they’re thinking. Like watching a silent film, perhaps? That clunky armor you’re wearing tells me how you got to S-rank. You mainly exposed people’s pasts and took advantage of their weaknesses, didn’t you? If you could really see the future, you wouldn’t need armor at all — you could just find a thousand and one ways to avoid any incoming threats.」

His expression turned bitter in an instant.

「Listen, Lenny.」

「W-What?」

「I don’t recommend pissing this guy off.」

「P-piss him off? When did I…how…」

「I know it all too well. That’s all I’m saying.」

「Huh..!?」

「Looks like you can’t see your own future.」

As I sat down, Lenny furrowed his brows like an animal keeping its wits about it. Lyla came over to join me, yawning.

She had already lost interest in our guest.

「You’re the first outsider to find out that the Demon King is still alive. And aside from King Randolph, you’re the only human who knows that I killed her.」

「Fufu, indeed. If you don’t want to be exposed, be a good boy and hand her over to me. I’ll treat her better than you do.」

「I wouldn’t call probing into others’ pasts a particularly tasteful pastime.」

Even though I was seated opposite Lenny, I activated my skill and snuck up behind him. To the benighted adventurer, I might as well have disappeared into thin air. Before he could react, I garrotted him.

「Guh… hack –」

The future was never his to see.

「You’re strong. It’s a shame your eyes do all the work for you.」

He hadn’t sensed my killing intent at all. Actual combat experience, which he unfortunately lacked, helps to sharpen one’s sixth sense.

「There are some things in this world better left unknown. Let that be the last thing you learn.」

The instinct to stay alive was all but lacking in him. Having been promoted due to his skill alone, he had left his weaknesses unattended.

「What a boring man. Looks like he never stopped to consider why you managed to kill me.」

If he really knew all and saw all, he would’ve known just how dangerous it was for him to approach the subject of our secrets. I briefly considered casting ‘Real Nightmare’ and letting him go, but I decided that it was too risky — someone could just come along and dispel its effects.

「Even if I handed Lyla to you on a silver platter, there’s no guarantee that you’ll shut up. Every future ends badly for you, whether you see it coming or not.」

At last, he succumbed.

「To want me as part of his collection… he sure said some interesting things, the foolish child.」

I agree, Lyla.

「He tried peering into your past to blackmail you — that’s his modus operandi, eh?」

「Yeah, well… he tried repeating the same trick and failed this time… I guess?」

I slung Lenny’s corpse over my shoulder.

「What now, though? Isn’t he a famous adventurer after all?」

「He’ll be unidentifiable by tomorrow morning… an unknown substance, perhaps?」

Lyla exhaled forcefully.

「Why did you get angry? It’s… rare of you. Was it because you didn’t want to lose me?」

「Eh.」

Lyla nodded.

「Mhm, you can be cute at times.」

Using a ‘Gate’, I blinked to a nearby forest and left him there, where petty brigands would sooner or later loot his armor and license. Wild animals and monsters would feed off his carcass, rendering him a bare skeleton within just one night.

Afterwards, I untied the enslaved girls. Finding the mark of a slave on each of them, I dispelled them all and let them go.

「Your master is no longer. You are free to leave.」

I wanted nothing more than to have an early rest that day.

I got into bed slightly before my usual bedtime, and Lyla followed, topless as always.

「Thank you for protecting me. I’ll return the favour.」

「I simply did what’s right.」

She gave me a big hug.

「It doesn’t matter why. What matters is that… I don’t want to leave you…」, she said as she kissed me twice on my forehead. 「Hsu-ia hyum shinon.

「What’s that?」

「An ancient demon incantation. It means… never mind, it’s too embarrassing.」

She rolled over, exposing her smooth, white back.

「Well, now I’m interested.」

「In today’s words, it means… ‘May your well of happiness never run dry’.」

Even in the darkness, I could tell that she was blushing. Coercing her to turn around, I kissed her warm forehead twice as well.

Hsu-ia hyum shinon… like that?」

「Y-Yeah…」

I heard the gentle rustle of her dress. In the stillness of our bedroom, we could hear every breath the other took.

「Lying to the world… we’re partners in crime.」

「We are.」

Her crimson eyes were wet with tears. Our lips brushed together again and again, as if for us to confirm that we would still be here for each other when morning came.



5 Comments

  1. Thanks for translating this! It’s definitely one of the better novels I’m reading right now.

  2. Thanks for the chapter. Roland’s just such a natural chad without breaking character.

  3. I feel bad for the next novel I read after this because it maintains such a high level of quality. If it stays this good, it will firmly be in my Top 10.

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