Volume 8 Chapter 2 Part 3

「Understood, master.」

「Please be careful on your way there.」

「Okay, desu.」

If my assumptions are correct, then Luke must have already told the Duke that he has passed his message on to me, which means can no longer afford not to go to Bode to explain what happened. And even if I’d be able to delay it, I’d never be able to get away with not explaining myself completely….. but wait, if I do try to delay it as long as possible, then maybe the Duke’s memory is going to get a little hazy and he actually forgets some of the details? So then, should I go tomorrow? Or maybe even the day after tomorrow?

「Are you not going, master?」

Noticing my indecisiveness and hesitation, Sherry asked that of me.

「I’m going, I’m going. I just have to prepare myself, that’s all.」

「Oh, is that so?」

Somehow, Sherry’s voice felt even colder than usual. Also, her eyes. Her eyes felt so cold and piercing as if she was trying to puncture a hole right through me, which means… which means that Sherry must be aware of the predicament that I am currently in!

Damn it! Me and my big mouth again! If only I didn’t say that I am going, then I could’ve gotten away with not going there yet, but now that I’ve already said that I’m going, I have no choice but to go if I don’t want the other two to get suspicious of me as well.

Note to self for the future: instead of saying anything that comes to your mind like an idiot, start actually thinking your words through before speaking them!

Anyway, once I was ready, I warped to Bode’s castle from the living room in our house.

「Are the Duke and Lord Gozer available right now?」

「Yes, I think that both of them are in the back of the castle now.」

I emerged in the lobby of the Bode castle and asked the Knight who was stationed there about the Duke and Gozer’s whereabouts and ended up receiving a hopeless answer that I was hoping not to hear just for once. Why is it that the Duke is usually not here when I want to see him, but when I don’t want to see him he’s actually present, huh?

Oh well, I have already resigned myself to talking to them today, so I guess this works out better for me since I am already here. After telling the Knight that the Duke wished to see me, he moved to the side and allowed me to enter the castle proper. Even though I am essentially a stranger to them, they don’t seem to be at all worried about me coming to the castle without anyone to supervise me, but I guess that it must be so precisely because of the Duke, since he has already told me that there’s no need for me to be going through the lobby each and every time and that I have his permission to basically come and go in and out of the castle however I see fit. Well, it’s better than the tradition of not allowing any Adventurers to enter the throne room that the Earl of Selmar seems to be upholding with great enthusiasm.

In any case, once I reached the Duke’s study room, I stopped right in front of the door and took a moment to do a number of deep breaths. Then, I made up my mind and knocked on the door.

「You may enter.」

「Michio here. I have come as requested.」

I heard Gozer’s voice calling out to me from beyond the door, so I entered the room as instructed. The Duke is sitting on the chair while Gozer is standing in front of the desk, fiddling with some of the papers in front of him.

「Oh, Lord Michio? I heard from Gozer about the affair with the duel from the other day. It must have been a big surprise for you, but it was a wonderful victory nonetheless.」

「Not at all. It was a really difficult situation, but I’m glad that I somehow managed to get through it.」

Getting into the heart of the matter right off the bat, eh? As expected of the Duke.

「To win without even using a sword…. That is simply an incredible achievement.」

「Wha…?」

「As expected of the person whom I am holding in such a high esteem. Even Gozer couldn’t see your movements at all with his skilled sight trained through years of battles.」

「Yes. Although I know you did something to achieve such a splendid victory, I have no idea at all what that something was.」

Yes Gozer, you’re right. But because your level is not Lv.99, I unfortunately cannot demonstrate it to you. And if I did, that would outright kill you. And since I also cannot say exactly what kind of trick I have used, my only option is to keep quiet.

「Oh well, why don’t you show it to Gozer then so he can understand what actually happened?」

「Wha…?!」

Such intense pressure. He really wants to know what I did to guarantee myself a victory in that duel, doesn’t he?

「I have heard about your opponent, too. Sabo Baradam was said to be quite an expert fighter. Although people’s opinion of him as a person wasn’t exactly what I would call good, he was nonetheless a true force to be reckoned with in terms of his combat prowess and abilities.」

「Huh…」

「And yet despite all that, you took him out just like that. You should be proud of yourself, because an achievement like that is not something that can happen often. A chance like that might not come your way again for quite a while, so do be sure to celebrate it properly.」

「Huh.」

I have no choice here but to withstand everything that he’s saying, even if I’m dying on the inside more and more with each and every word that comes out of his mouth.

「That being said, we would really like to hear exactly how did you manage to defeat someone like him so easily. So what do you say, Lord Michio? Think you can stop keeping it a secret from us and share the information?」

「I’m sorry, but I don’t think I’m going to do that.」

The Duke was trying to put the pressure on me in order to take advantage of me and learn one of my secrets, but since I am not a shinobi who swore to serve him with his life and whole existence or some other bullshit like that, then I think it’s high time to go and put my foot down and let him know that I’m not sharing that secret with anyone.

What I used against Sabo was the secret assassination technique, a hereditary art that has been passed down in my family for generations, and therefore no one but those who have been chosen and who carry burdens and sorrows similar to my own can know about it, for if the knowledge of it had fallen into the wrong hands… then the consequences would be catastrophical.

「Something was telling that this is going to be your answer. Ah well, in that case there’s nothing that we can do about it I guess. After all, only a complete and autter fool would go around revealing the cards in his hands to whoever who would ask him to do so.」

「Yes, and holding their cards close to their chests is a quality possessed by the top ranks of both Explorers and Adventurers.」

Gozer joins in for some reason, even though no one has asked him for his input on the matter. But anyway, I am glad that it actually turned out this way and that in this world casually revealing the techniques in your arsenal is considered as a foolish thing to do.

After all, if other people started copying the techniques of the strong Adventurers, Explorers and holders of other Jobs, those techniques would naturally become weaker and less awe-inspiring if pretty much anyone started throwing them around the first chance they’d get.

That’s exactly why I think that only the original wielders of the techniques should know about them, and if they choose to impart those techniques to someone anyway, then let it be to their children or a selected few from among their most trusted disciples. Such practices were the common sense in the bygone days in my old world, so I don’t really see why the same logic would not apply to this world as well.

「I also heard that the woman who fought before Lord Michio was tremendously strong. Did you teach her some of your techniques?」

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