Translator: Ranzan Editor: JackOFallTrades
「Okay, have a nice trip.」
I felt a bit of irony in that fixed statement as my horse and wagon left into the shadows.
There were only a few workers and some black-market security with me.
My workers wouldn’t just leave my business either, no, they couldn’t leave it, actually.
The employees of the Grond Trading Company, and all those that drank the sweet nectar that comes with having that title, all understood that they had no ability to live in the town without Grond’s protection.
Because of what happened, many people left the firm, but there was no way for them to live in Dartlas unless they concealed where they had worked before.
That was because the Grond Trading Company’s name had infamously spread far and wide.
For example, even the Guilds wouldn’t allow protection to be given to me.
「Well, either way, I had to get underground protection this time…」
People who are on the black market can’t take jobs out in the open, which is why they stay in the shadows.
In other words, there is no other way. They either broke a contract, or can’t be trusted, so no one hires them.
That’s why as long as you pay them the money exactly, they can play a role far better than a proper guard in shady circumstances.
(And the amount the Kingdom collects on taxes for a proper one is a lot.)
Taxes are required when you take profits out of town.
And taking this much with me requires a lot of taxes to be paid.
I can’t cross the dangerous bridge of leaving any proof of my transactions, but all the taxes and so on will be left behind once I reach the imperial city.
And after paying off the gate guards, I’ll leave the town without a trace.
Honestly, it wouldn’t be strange if the other trade companies know that I’m about to raid all the money I have in the company and leave.
「Geez, the fact that I have to bolt out of here in the middle of the night…hey! Driver! Could you be a little easier on the cart rocking!?」
「That’s impossible, mister! This dark of night, and if this were a new road maybe, but this is a unmaintained old road!」
This is quite an extravagant wagon that not even most royal families could ride, but the road is still a little-known old one.
We won’t use it all the way to the city, but it is far worse than a new, well maintained road.
「Or, shall we use the new main road?」
「Tch, just watch out, okay?」
I could hear a sarcastic tone from that driver of mine.
(If I wasn’t in this position, I would have hired a better one.)
I didn’t have much choice with picking my guards either.
You can’t hire guards on the black market easily either. They’re a bit crazy, and all they want is money from you, so you have to be quite cautious about who you pick.
If they know the rumors surrounding me as well, then there’s no way they’d accept the work.
Still, I was able to contact the people that I knew in the slum’s black market and have some guards provided to me.
The slum’s agent took one of my pieces of land and a building as payment for the contracted goods I ordered from him.
One thing in that contract is that he would provide me with the aforementioned guards that’ll escort me out of the town.
(My employees would worry too much on the road after all. Hiring specialists to guard me on the road is necessary, and these three seem perfect.)
One man, and two women, three in total.
Presently, the fellow that seems to be the leader of the group is riding with the driver, while the two women await in the wagon itself.
A banal looking man, a rabbit-woman beast, and a tanned young woman.
It seems like they’re all young, but there really wasn’t any other feeling I got from them.
I don’t know why. Well, even though I don’t find any problem with them, my nerves will still stay on edge.
(Oh well, after a few days we’ll be out of the kingdom.)
I think the story of my business had spread in the imperial kingdom, but only a few people know my face.
I don’t have to be that cautious, if I just stay covered up, that’s all I need to do.
If I do all that, then I can use a fake name with the guild and get guards that way.
I confirmed through looking out the back window and hearing the rattling noise made by interlocking chains that these three wagons were together, and so I seated myself back in my chair.
I was riding my wagon at the front, next was a wagon filled with currency and some jewels and treasure in the middle, and finally were the employees stuffed in the last wagon.
Thinking about all my treasures being stuffed in the wagons behind me seemed to be a pointless thing to do but I didn’t check anyway.
I relaxed a bit and closed my eyes.
It was already late at night, but I was so on edge I couldn’t sleep. And there was the problem of sleeping amidst this wagon’s rocking…
(…? Hm? This sweet smell?)
A very light, sweet smell that seemed to grace the end of my nose entered my nostrils.
Yes, almost like flowers blooming in the wild.
I recognized the smell as it was strongly trying to put me to sleep.
On the opposite side of this calming smell was an unnatural sense that set off my alarm bells.
「Huh, he noticed before he fell asleep.」
I grabbed the bag around my neck, but it had fallen apart completely before I even noticed that small holes were being opened in it.
I struggled to open my eyes and the last thing I saw was the face of a laughing man with black hair looking back at me.
「Well, if he noticed then it’s already too late.」
That black laughing smile was the last thing I saw as I attempted to cling to my consciousness until it finally left me.
「White silver. Minnalis’ poison was dispelled fast too.」
Minnalis and the alloyed white silver.
A normal armor with 10 of these melted into it is able to dispel poison rendering anti-poison spells unnecessary.
Since Grond is an ordinary merchant and doesn’t have a very tough body, yet was able to retain consciousness for a while was because of that white silver around his neck.
「…yes, hang on to it tightly. It’s your most precious treasure.」
It was still held tight in his hand.
Don’t break it yet.
The feeling of your hopes dying, it still hasn’t hit him yet. This alone won’t end them.
「Okay, let’s get this operation started.」
Time was the limitation here. We had to get moving.
We pulled the wagon to the side and got out of the wagon.
As we had discussed, Minnalis and Shuria held a sword to the driver’s neck and pulled the wagons over.
「Okay, get back to the town or go live in the wild.」
The horses were set free from their bonds and ran off into the forest.
Meanwhile, all that remained were Grond’s goods and the money he had in his bag.
I stuffed everything in the bag, and then went to the cart stuffed with his employees.
「Minnalis, Shuria. Did you toss the driver off the wagon?」
「Yes, master」「They’re fine!」
「Okay, so we need to get these out of here.」
I jumped into the rider’s seat.
Minnalis and Shuria then went around the back of the wagon, and then trouble occurred.
「Hey! Don’t try to run from us!」
「We don’t have a lot of time, so could you NOT hold us up any more?」
We got the two employees that tried to run back to the cart.
Well, we did have to break a wrist and ankle, so it was a bit rushed.
「Come on, don’t mess this up.」
Geez, they answer as if nothing happened.
Oh look, that horse and wagon, we were thinking of selling it…now it’s got blood on it.
…even for me, I couldn’t get too angry at these people.
「Get back in.」
The wagon was a practical covered wagon and you could only get out the front or back.
Since Minnalis and Shuria covered the back, they were probably thinking about escaping from the front.
Even so, that only took me a little time.
「Ah, damn, they used a bit too much power.」
The guy that I hit in the face with the back of my fist had a dented in face and a bloody nose.
Dammit, another stain.
「…geez, can’t you all act more like adults?!」
It must have taken them a lot to suppress their emotions though.
You had to be careful how you exerted power as they tended to let their minds go wild.
「Okay, let’s go.」
「Yeah, let’s go.」「Okay.」
I whipped the horses connected to the cart, and we took off while leaving the cart with Grond sleeping behind.
I kind of felt like the Piper of Hamlin.
In that story, the man decided to avenge himself on the townspeople for breaking a contract.
Now, I was leading a bunch of low-lives away from the scene.
Away from him, The one who broke the contract, that traitor Grond.
Well, these people didn’t have any value to him anyway, and the wagon matching the kids in the story was more like the one filled with gold.
「Damn, and I have no flute. I guess humming will have to do.」
I wonder what song is good in a time like this.
Well, I guess it doesn’t really matter.
「Hmm hmm hmm hmmmmm.」
The sounds of the wagon rattling and me humming echoed through the night road.
「Okay, welcome to the stage that I built!」
I stopped the wagon on the old road, after letting the horses to the wild, and got those losers out of the cart and stored what was in the wagon away in the bag.
After using a fake road heading towards the beast road, we arrived at the stage I had created.
「Well, um, it’s still not completed yet we’re still a bit early.」
This is the stage I prepared for Grond to take a fall.
It was built on top of that mournful school of his.
It was pretty much open, but it wasn’t really until Grond put his hands on it.
And because of the hole we dug there, it was a bit small for the 30 or so people we brought there to fit inside.
This hole that we finally made was covered by a wooden lip.
After this, it would be a stage far too boring for the blood festival that Grond was about to get.
Well, perhaps it does fit as a stage, I just don’t like really plain looking things.
If I can have decorations with my revenge, that’s two birds with one stone.
「T…this place…what are you trying to do?」
An old woman came out to ask us from the crowd.
She had changed a bit for the journey which made her look slightly different, but I felt she was one that cared for Grond just like Fegner.
She spoke with abrupt and controlled lips, as if she already knew what this place was.
「What are we trying to do? Yes, One, decorating this boring place. See? Pretty bleak, right?」
I sat upon just the right size of rock, and continued my speech.
「And one more. In order to make one feel complete despair, make Grond feel terror right before he dies. And then finally…」
I unconsciously found myself smirking as I said that.
「You all as well, you all will feel despair and die as well.」
「Ugh! ahhh!」「Ahh! Ahhhhh!」
I didn’t want to act like I had hostility against them, like this was some kind of war.
However, I didn’t want them to feel like they were free now.
I just wanted to show my hate without them knowing who it was against.
「Whoa! Are you going to make them despair too?」
「Well, they are a bunch of trash that pushed everyone else in the town around. Look, don’t let them sleep, okay?」
Minnalis would break the joints located in the fingers of any of them who she found sleeping until they woke up.
「Okay, the night is over soon. Whomever I call, come forward.」
「Please listen to what I say. I have the policy of not hurting anyone that doesn’t do anything impractical, okay?」
Heh heh heh, Minnalis laughed.
「Okay, ready? Orouley, Lidia, Adlon, Sivi, Bodhi, Jude, Monika…」
Those were, like a fire burning, the names that were cut into my heart like a knife.
They were the trash that made the kids addicted to drugs.
Those were the names that my mouth spewed forth almost like curses.
Because of Minnalis’ threatening, one of them came when called, and then another. Of course, I didn’t forget to check either.
After reading, there were 21 of them.
There were some of them I remembered here and there.
「Well, the ones remaining can do whatever they want. You can stay if you don’t cause trouble, or you can leave if you want. I only have issue with these people.」
Those who weren’t called looked around in confusion, but they had less concern with me than the other trash.
They could stay and watch or run away, either is fine.
「Okay, now you all, first, kneel down.」
There was no reason to understand my command.
Before they could even more, the girls and I did what we had planned.
Minnalis, Shuria and I.
The three knives we threw hit them right at their feet.
「Ahah hah hah hah, they sure are weak against pain.」
It felt good.
Almost as good as the erasing of the sounds of those children’s screams.
「E, eeeeekkk!」「Ah, help meeee!」「Ahh. Aaahhhhh!!」
The group that I let go, half ran at the sight of seeing only a little blood drawn, while the other half just sat there blankly watching what was happening.
「Well, well, what a mess.」
「Oh well, they must have not paid for all the threatening they did all around the town. If not, they wouldn’t have been so surprised seeing this blood.」
Minnalis and Shuria said in a bored manner.
They were probably very angry for real, but that’s how they acted.
「Let’s stop all the chatter and decorate this place.」
「Yes, let’s do it.」
We tied up all these people’s feet and lined them up next to the hole, hanging them from a branch.
As we did this, we got our stage ready for its production.
「What are you planning to do to all of us?」
「Whoa, looks like you got your strength back. It must be due to age.」
That angry looking old maid had asked.
I should compliment her on her guts as her cold sweat was dripping down from being hanged upside down while her injured feet were tied together.
Also, since the ones around her were either crying or screaming, it wasn’t much of a place to have a conversation.
「I don’t know what grudge you have against us, but are you planning to have fun whipping us or something? The people you let free could call in the troops you know! Then you might be the one getting whipped.」
「Hey, hey, you may know that you have no ability to persuade me, but do you have to keep acting the part?」
Those who ran away were part of Grond.
Using a bribe they were able to get out of town, which made them accomplices to a huge tax evasion scheme.
There’s no troops they’re going to bring here, right?
「Well, whether those people we let go are even going to go and get someone to come back here is separate, right?」
「It’s impossible. They’re all chicken.」
「Yeah, if they had mettle like that, they wouldn’t have ended up here in the first place. They’re worse than even sewage!」
「We could have just killed them…but they really have nothing to do with us. The only people we deal with, are those that broke the rules.」
I shrugged a bit, and then looked back at them.
「And not only that, but whipping? No, no, there’s no way I’m doing something that boring with you all, right? Right?」
I laughed as if they had nothing to worry about, and they all shut their mouths.
「It is true that we have a time limit though. We need time to kill Grond too. We don’t have time to deal with you any longer, but…」
I changed the tone of my voice to a whisper.
「That’s why we don’t have one ounce of letting you go from the revenge either.」
I took out a metal pike with a sharp end and a hollow middle.
This pike had the size of a very large pen, and had an unrefined, raspy surface.
「We’re going to stick this in your legs. It should take you an hour to die from blood loss, right? You’ll feel your body covered with your own blood, so you’ll die screaming in fear.」
Seeing their mouths bend the way they did made me know they were terrified.
「eeek! You’re…you’re crazy!」
Crazy. After starting out in this second world, I was told that over and over.
Well, if they call me crazy, so be it.
It won’t change what I want to do.
「I don’t want to be called a weirdo, I guess. If I get turned on by kids at this age, that’s pretty disgusting, right?」
「Ugh…not that crazy…」
「And also, I’ve been pretty nice, sweet to you all up to now, right?」
Well, too bad, if you were on this list that I had with me, that meant that you were on the list in the diary that Fegner kept in the burning school so there was nothing else I could do.
The first time in this world, I had no idea what these people were doing.
That’s why, if I knew there was a possibility they were hurting children, I might have been a bit kinder now.
Well, even if the employees were mixed in with this, I would have caused problems for them in other ways, and my heart wouldn’t have hurt so much.
「Until you all die, I’ll be laughing here watching you. You can apologize all you want. You can beg for your life. You can pray to God. You can repent. I’ll just be standing here, laughing, and listening.」
「So how are you being sweet to us then?」
One of them screamed, and I answered back.
「What are you saying? In the most final of the final second you have, you’ll be able to decide your words on your own. Seems like a pretty good compromise, right?」
「Damn, this idiot is really loud huh?」
Shuria cut the boring conversation by stabbing the leg she held.
「Ah, guess this type of scream sounds much more beautiful.」
「Ah, hey, he was still trying to talk.」
「I couldn’t take it anymore, master! All this talking is making my head hurt! I like pain more than talking, but I guess this type of hurting is a bit different than the type I like.」
She sullenly said as she stabbed another leg.
「Egyaaah! Stop, aaahhhhhggg!」
「Well, Shuria, I guess you just can’t hold back.」
「Fugyaaah! Egg, no, stoppp! Aggh!」
「This one and that one, we have to get them all ready.」
「Oh, suddenly…it’s strange, right? …hee hee hee」
「Stoppp! Agahh! Don’t dooo thattt!」
Minnalis skipped around a little too happily while laughing, and stuck the sixth pike while grinding it into another leg.
「Doing all of this like this means I can’t be angry.」
「Hey, hey, have some fun with us, master! If you don’t, we’ll get all of these people done!」
「Yeah, you’re right. I should help too. But stop grinding those pikes into them, they’ll pass out from all the pain!」
「Gyaaaggguuu! Gah, gyaaahhhh!」
Minnalis was a bit more careful, and since there was no time, I joined in sticking the pikes in their legs.
「Oh, you have to be careful! The goblins that don’t feel a lot of pain still felt this when we tried it on them.」
「Eggh! Ow! Aaagh! Stop!!」
「hee hee hee, Minnalis, you’re clumsy with that thing again!」
「See? That’s four left. I put six in the rest so now I only have two?」
「Owaahahhh! Letmme goooo!!」
The air started to fill with the smell of blood.
And the echoing screams, screams, screams.
Joining together, deeper, heavier, in the mist of the forest’s darkness.
「You’re the last one?」
「Eeek? N, no closer! Don’t come any closer!」
I wasn’t crazy or anything, but the last guy was the one that I killed in the first world.
The guy who watched the kids die from far away.
「You, you, demon! What the hell did I do? I just did that girl a little bit!」
「Yeah, a girl that couldn’t resist because of the drug! You make me want to vomit!」
First, one pike.
Wince, wince, the face of the man struggling in pain as the pike dug into the meat of his leg.
The first time I let my anger get a hold of me and burned him up. I didn’t have time to put him though pain, and just took his life.
「Okay, time for number two! Hah hah hah!」
Ten, number two.
「Well, looks like there is some vomit, but I could care less now!」
「Too bad, there’s no way to make you feel what you made others feel.」
「I know, I remember. I won’t hold one thing back. Everything, everything, everything you all did, I’ll never forgive!」
「No, no more! Gaaahhhh!」
Only one left in my hand.
That’s why I had a smile filled withlike compassion on my face.
「For what you did to those kids, I hope you burn in the very pits of hell!」
I laughed as I dropped into the abyss of sadism.
And then I stuck the last pike in his leg.
「Hah hah hah! Hah hah hah hah! Hah hah hah hah hah!」
His face was writhing in absolute pain.
The dirty blood and his tears were mixing and drenching the ground below him.
「Owww! Dammit! Why the hell are you doing this?! Who the hell do you think I am?! Lemme goooo!」
「I’m sorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorrysorry, forgive me! I’ll do anything! Egyaahhhh!」
「Nononononono, I don’t want to die! Help me someone! Egh! Ugh! I won’t do anything bad! No no no! I don’t want to die!」
Now all of them had been put in place, and it was quite a beautiful sight.
「Well, well, good job, Minnalis. You really hit them with that poison.」
The pikes were rubbed all over with Minnalis’ special poison. A poison that made the pain dull, and then brought the dull pain back to severity again over and over in waves.
Pain and fear.
With those two being tasted together, then they would die.
And all the blood that poured over them would empty out as would their lives just like the proverbial sand in an hourglass.
The shrieks of pain, and the howls of horror mixed in one echo.
「Yeah, this is good. Just a little time for them to feel exactly what those children must have felt.」
Screaming, crying, uttering fear, and shouts of not wanting to die.
「…just let them die without doing anything they ask.」
I would have forgiven them, but then that would mean I had a little bit of kindness for them.