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The hidden side to the Heart Family
Having returned to the Royal Capital Seyfert, I headed to the Exchange Department in order to receive prize money for the demons I had defeated. As a place that many uncouth warriors visited, I occasionally heard violent language. It seemed that they often disputed with the receptionist about the exchange rates.
It would be bothersome if I were to be involved with those guys. I shrugged and simply lined up in the queue. When the powerfully built man in front of me turned around and saw me, he turned up his nose and sneered. It seemed that he thought I was an underling of my party, based on my appearance, and did all the miscellaneous tasks. Right now, that was convenient for me.
Even if I presented proof for a large kill count at the reception desk, they would simply think, “Ahh, he’s an underling running errands,” and would not find anything suspicious. So when they see my 38 goblin ears, they should not be surprised.
“Next person, please.”
Oops, it was my turn. I lifted my hemp bag from the floor and placed it on the counter. It was a small bag, so the goblin ears were spilling out.
“Let me check it first… Well, you sure collected a lot. Did you hunt with a big party?”
“Y-yeah, that’s right. We all worked hard together. Everyone was enthusiastic… I think.”
I frantically talked about the nonexistent air party that I had imagined. I guess it was futile… to conjure up a story about an air party.
Crap. The receptionist look at me confused, as they were unable to hear Greed’s voice. That’s right, I had suddenly said, “Shut up,” out loud in the middle of our conversation. I had meant it for Greed, however, the receptionist must have thought it was directed at them.
“I’m sorry. It’s nothing.”
I gave a forced smile and somehow managed to escape ― I think.
Exiting the Exchange Department, I sighed in relief. I learnt from my conversation with the receptionist that most hunters only killed 10 of the same type each day. The reason for that was if they continuously hunted them, they will harbour and develop a resentment called Hate, and will make the hunter an easier target for that species. Speaking of which, during my earlier hunt for goblins, they had been attacking me in the second half like I was their parent’s enemy… I understood now.
From now on, it was better to limit myself to 10 monsters when exchanging them for rewards, matching the other warriors. Let’s give up on aiming for more than that. Besides, if I were to bring in large amounts of demon parts every time, people would find it strange. It was a shame, although this appeared to be the only way.
I looked inside the bag at the 3 silver and 80 copper coins. It had taken me the last five years to collect merely 2 silver coins, yet I had earned more than that in only half a day.
“What have I been doing for the past five years…”
As I became closer to a having normal and decent life, I could not help seeing just how distorted my world used to be. Thinking of this, I felt my anger rise against Rafal and his siblings. I was even more incompetent than trash, and had no right to be angry… or so they had told me.
Guuu… Just thinking about Rafal made my stomach growl in hunger despite having been satisfied from all those goblins earlier. It sounded like it wanted to hurry up and eat them already. However, it was still early and besides, there was still the matter with Roxy. It would not be a problem that affected only me anymore.
Now then, what should I do with this money? Oh that’s right! Seeing my patched up clothes, I came up with a good idea on what to buy.
“Clothes make the man I see.”
Our once dirty appearance was now a clean and tidy one. I had used 2 silver coins at the clothing store to buy some better, well-fitted clothes. After that, I also purchased a sword sheath for Greed with 50 copper coins, paying an additional fee of 10 copper coins to clean up his grimy stains.
This way, even if I entered the section of the city where the Holy Knights lived, the gatekeepers would not suspect me. No matter how they looked at me, I appeared just like a normal person now.
As I still had money leftover from my goblin hunt, I decided to splurge a little and treat myself to a decent lunch. I headed towards the restaurant-lined boulevard. I could try one of the bars in the back alleys, however, I felt like it would be nice to try a different type of store once in a while. This was the street that housed the most restaurants in all of the capital. It was a busy place with many people, and if I were to stand still, I would likely be swept away by the crowd.
Well, which shop should I enter? Of course, if I was to eat, then I should eat meat. Just what would the taste of meat feel like after five years? My excitement rose simply from thinking about it and my mouth watered. At this, Greed called out to me through the <Mind-reading> skill.
“It’s merely meat, you sure do exaggerate.”
“What are you saying?! It’s meat isn’t it, meat!”
“Hmph, I am a weapon, and cannot understand the concept of appetite. More importantly, I was dirtied from the battle so take care of me properly. To me, this is as imperative as your meal.”
“I know, I just used 10 copper coins to take care of that.”
“If you ask me, I would be troubled if you could not even do that much by yourself.”
That’s true… If I were to visit a blacksmith every time, my money will be spent quickly. Besides, if I hunted outside of the capital for a few days without returning, I would have to maintain Greed by myself. Well, even if I called it maintenance, this blade did not have a single chip in it so it was really just cleaning away the blood and oil. Though I thought it was fine to leave it as it was, Greed absolutely hated it. He had voiced his opinion quite clearly through the <Mind-reading> skill.
Unlike other weapons, Greed possessed a soul. That is, he had the mindset of a human being and would feel uncomfortable if he stayed unclean. For Greed to have this sort of temperament, I wondered what emotions had swirled within him during his time at the street stall, being treated as a dirty, useless object. Although, with Greed’s obstinance, there was no way he would tell me if I asked.
“I understand. Shall we go and buy tools for maintenance after lunch?”
“Oh, it seems like Fate has finally understood my importance. Care for me as you would a precious gemstone.”
“You really are an arrogant weapon.”
“That I am, for I am Greed-sama.”
I felt like he would complain of still being dirty even after I polished him, just like the boy who cried wolf. If he was too noisy, I would just have to pour cold water from the well on him. It might help to quieten him a little. For now let’s just leave Greed’s maintenance story at this, and have lunch first since I was feeling hungry.
With perfect timing, an aroma of grilled meat wafted out of the store just ahead. It was irresistible, so I headed over immediately. As I was trying to enter the restaurant, I collided with a parent and his child. It was the feeling of being caught off guard and pushed to the side. Falling and landing on the ground, the bearded father yelled at me.
“Watch where you’re going, filthy scum. Get out of my way!”
If you had not crashed into me then obviously this would not have happened. Just as I was about to say this, the parent and child started to leave, ignoring me. The little girl who was being led away remained silent, her face downcast.
Feeling annoyed by their unreasonable attitudes, I reached out to the parent and child as they were walking away. At that moment, I came into contact with the daughter’s hand and the <Mind-reading> skill was activated.
(Help me… Anyone… Save me…)
Although I could not hear her properly in that fleeting moment, that girl was definitely asking for help. Why?! I thought those two were a parent with his child, are they not?
Looking closely, the man’s face was not very similar to the girl’s. Could it be that he was kidnapping her?! For the time being, I should identify the man through <Appraisal>.
Kassim Black Lv15
Huh? There were no skills listed. Strange, this was impossible. Skills are a gift from God and everybody is born with one. Perhaps I had not read it clearly. I used the <Appraisal> skill again, but the results were the same. Just as I was pondering this, Greed’s voice came through the <Mind-reading> skill.
“That man is hiding his skills with Concealment so it is invisible to your Appraisal skill. Regardless, I can tell he is a warrior from his status numbers so the problem is only his hidden skills. Well, what will you do now?”
“Even if you ask me, I’m not sure.”
Pulling the girl’s hand forcefully, the man was trying to disappear into the crowd. With such fragility and fear, she was unable to even speak out. Knowing this, I could not overlook it.
“Haah~ Seems like food will have to come later. Let’s go after them.”
“Oh, you’ll save her?”
“It can’t be helped, I can’t turn a blind eye.”
“If that is Fate’s decision then I have no complaints. But be careful, that man had a murderer’s eyes. Don’t sympathise enemies who never hesitate to kill.”
I had already killed one person. Despite the fact that it was a villainous thief who had infiltrated the castle, it was not a good feeling to take someone’s life. I could never forget the way the thief had clutched at me as he died. However, I did not regret it.
If I had let that thief go, Roxy-sama would have been reprimanded by the other Holy Knights. I have heard that the Holy Knight’s society was an intense battle from birth, and really wanted to avoid having Roxy-sama banished from her career because of something like this. Hence, I was glad that even trash like me could be useful to Roxy-sama, even if it involved staining my hands.
I had no intentions to be a champion of justice, not that I had any chance of becoming one. Yet at the very least, I should help someone if they were suffering right in front of my eyes. There was nothing more to it than that. As such, I decided to keep track of the two while maintaining a safe distance.
After a while, the man stopped at the warehouses in the Commercial District. This was where the royal capital’s imported merchandise was stored. The man took the girl into a battered warehouse that appeared to be abandoned.
“Is that where the man lives?”
“Who knows. He may intend to sell the girl to someone, or perhaps even assault her.”
“Whichever it is, this is the worst. Let’s hurry!”
Clutching Greed, I approached the warehouse quietly. There was not a single person around. I stuck close to the old wall and peered inside a broken window. The man put an iron collar on the girl and connected it to a pillar with a rusty chain, as if she was a dog. There was no doubt about this, she was being kidnapped. The girl seemed to be muted from fear. The man laughed at her appearance.
“Threaten brats a little and they immediately forget how to speak. This is such an easy job.”
As he said this, he slapped her cheek. The sound was fairly loud and reverberated throughout the warehouse.
“Orphans like you, who cares if you’re alive or not. Either way, you’re useless so your parents abandoned you.”
When she heard this, her complexion changed instantly.
“Ha, bullseye. Tell me what kind of crappy skill you have. Hm?! I can’t hear you!”
The girl began to cry while facing the ground. Even then, she was too afraid to speak. She was a girl who had nothing… Just like I had been too long ago, despairing my lack of power yet still having to live in such a bad situation.
No, the circumstances right now were worse. Forcibly abducted, who knows what she would be made to do. As I waited for an opening, suppressing the urge to rush out and save her, the man continued to speak heartlessly.
“Be glad, there is a place in the society where even rubbish like you can be useful. From now on, you can live as a Holy Knight’s toy. Well, aren’t you happy?”
Hearing this, the girl shook her head as she cried. The man clicked his tongue and struck her face again.
“Hey hey, you’re not very obedient. If you don’t listen carefully, you’ll be killed in no time when you go over there. The other one didn’t even last a week. It’s good for me though, I can make money.”
This time, he kicked the girl’s stomach. Unprepared for this, the girl fell and curled up on the ground. Unable to continue watching, I tried to pull Greed out of his sheath.
“Wait, Fate! Endure it a little longer.”
Greed halted my actions through the <Mind-reading> skill. Tolerating more than this was impossible. If I let this go on, the girl’s psyche could suffer irreparable damage. Nevertheless, Greed still told me stay put.
“Don’t act upon emotions, you’ll die. Your status is only slightly above your opponent’s. However, he has far more battle experience. In this sense, you should understand.”
“I get it… I’ll cool my head.”
Even if he had a lower status, I could not win simply by swinging the sword emotionally. He’s right. I calmed down and looked around the warehouse. Even though it was an unused storage area, there were large piles of wooden boxes. If I made use of those blind spots, could I approach him?
Just as I was thinking this, the man moved. After torturing her with more misery, he left the warehouse. Perhaps he had other tasks to do. This was my only chance.
Quietly, I crept through the broken window into the warehouse and ran straight to the chained girl. She heard my footsteps and thought I was the man coming back already, and her body shook as she kept her face lowered.
First of all, let’s free the girl by breaking the chain. I pulled out Greed from his sheath and aimed the tip at the iron links. Given how sharp the sword was, it easily cut in half. Alright, first step was cleared. I then called out to the girl who was still shaking.
“It’s alright now.”
She raised her face at my voice in surprise. After staring at me for a while, she seemed to understand that I was not an acquaintance of that man. With that realisation, she started to cry again… this time from relief. It seemed like she was still in so much shock that she still could not form words.
“Come, let’s get of here for now.”
I tried to pull her up by her hand, however, her relieved face had changed completely. Why on earth was her expression fearful?
The girl was looking past my shoulder. Turning around, I found myself face to face with the kidnapper.
Damn, I had been tricked. I understood that immediately. The man had known I was following him all along, and had intentionally left the warehouse. Laughing cruelly, he closed in on us
“Sometimes a fool with a sense of justice will come after me. But if I kill you in front of the kid, then she’ll learn to do everything I say. You’ve simply rushed to your doom.”
As he said this, he pulled out a one-handed sword hanging from his waist and raised it. The pressure from that action alone was inexplicable. Was this due to the difference in fighting experience that Greed had warned me against?
“What’s this, are your knees wobbling? Hahahaha!”
Facing the man who was inching closer, I grasped Greed and held my ground. Behind me was a girl frozen in fear. At this rate, I would have to fight while trying to protect the girl. I could not afford to let the enemy have any more advantages than this.
Yet, if I rushed in recklessly, I would be sent to another world. Take your time, me. However, the enemy would not wait for me to make a decision. Greed spoke through the <Mind-reading> skill.
“Fate, take the girl and go behind the piles of boxes.”
I had seen them when looking in the window of the warehouse. The wooden crate piles looked as though they was about to collapse. Plus, I could move to the exit from there. I pondered for a moment, then immediately figured out what Greed meant to do. As for the rest, I wondered if I could do it properly… I would not know unless I tried.
From the kidnapper’s sword posture, I felt that his battle experience was shallow, plus he had a low level. His pride though, let me use that well. For someone who had been hurt by Rafal for five years, acting like trash was as easy as breathing. Ahh, thinking about it made me feel empty, yet I had no choice.
“I will tell you the timing. Come, let’s start.”
“Yeah, let’s do this.”
While remembering my time as a gatekeeper, I pulled the girl to the crate pile and concentrated on finding a hiding place. Now then, come at me. The man should be annoyed at my behaviour, thinking that I was a coward. Show me your scornful face.
“What, where did your spirit go? What happened to your energy from when you were saving that brat? Don’t think I’ll let you live for getting in my way. I will slice you apart bit by bit.”
Using terror to restrain rebellion. This was the method that Rafal had often used. After all, the things this guy did were similar to him. It is exactly because of this that I knew I could trick this man. He would definitely chase me.
“There’s nowhere for you to go. Give up already!”
I hid further into the box piles. The gap was narrow with no escape. How would this situation look to him? His approaching footsteps were slow, an iron one-handed sword on the right. There was not an ounce of defeat in his expression.
“There’s no escape for you.”
He stepped closer and closer, as if cornering a prey. It’s about time ─ I instructed the girl to go as far back as possible. Greed then sent a signal through the <Mind-reading> skill.
I raised my black sword over my head. Seeing this, the man smiled in amazement.
“Could it be, you intended to knock down this crate pile and bury me alive? But if you do that, you and that brat will die too.”
“I thought you would say that.”
Paying him no heed, I ran towards him. This was my only chance. If I failed, there would be no next time. Using the momentum, I swung my sword and took aim at the man, slashing downwards.
Alright, I did it! There was no place to escape, being surrounded by boxes. I was prepared to risk my life with such a large scale attack. As expected, the man was unable to avoid my strike. That’s right, even iron chains were easily broken by this black sword.
The man’s sword flew away like a butterfly. As for my sword, it had stabbed straight into his shoulder. With blood bursting out of the wound, he fell backwards onto the dirty floor of the warehouse.
I crouched next to his face, blood streaking from his mouth, and sought confirmation for my concern. It was about the Holy Knight who had tried to buy the girl. I really wanted to know the name of the Holy Knight who was doing such a terrible thing.
“Answer me, which Holy Knight requested this?”
Even on the verge of death, the man remained stubbornly silent.
“Say it, who asked you?!”
I twisted my black sword in his injury and asked once more. The man’s face distorted in pain, yet he still refused to tell. Tsk. Since it came down to this, I had no choice but to use the <Mind-reading> skill. As I reached out, the man could no longer endure the pain and uttered an abhorrent name.
“Hado… Hado Breric…”
Hado?! The second son of the Breric Family! Doing terrible things on the surface, yet committing even worse crimes behind the scenes! I tried to ask how many children had been poisoned by Hado, however, the man had lost too much blood.
<Gluttony skill has been activated>
<Status update: HP +920, Strength +900, MP +670, Spirit +500, Agility +950>
<Concealment, One-handed Sword Technique skills have been added>
Oh, he had the Concealment skill like Greed had said. I wonder if he used it to hide his One-handed Sword Technique skill.
I used the <Appraisal> skill to examine them.
Concealment: Conceal your possessed skills from appraisals.
One-handed Sword Technique: Increasing the attack power of the one-handed sword. Arts <Sharp Edge> can be used.
Concealment was as expected. One-handed Sword Technique seemed to have a mystery purpose called Arts. According to Greed, Technique skills always had a powerful function. To verify, I decided to appraise this.
…So it allows for the user to perform a double counterattack. If I had used this Arts <Sharp-edge> earlier, it would have been bad. I might not be standing here right now. In battles there were moments of luck, and this time the winds had blown in my favour.
Well then, it was dangerous to stay here any longer, since the dead man had been trying to sell the girl to Hado. Right now, I could not let the Breric Family find me. If they did, they would kill me instantly for abandoning my day job as a gatekeeper. As I still had a low status, there was no way I could fight them.
Bringing the girl, I rushed out of the warehouse. From there, I decided to head downtown where there were lots of people. It was safer to be in a crowded place for now. Looking up at the sky, I saw the sun beginning to set. At that moment, just as I remembered, my belly grumbled.
Except this was not due to the Gluttony skill, given that I had just eaten the abductor’s soul. My body was purely asking for food simply because I had not eaten lunch yet. Thinking of where to eat, I heard the sound of another smaller stomach grumbling. If I looked towards the person who had made that sound, it would be the little girl with a red face. Now that she felt safe, she was probably hungry.
“Alright, let me get something for you.” (TLN: Fate refers to himself as “nii-chan”, aka “big brother”, and the literal translation is “let big brother buy something to treat you to”, but this way makes more sense in English. He also refers to himself this way when speaking to her in future dialogue.)
Her previous expression changed completely, brightening up happily. Finally, she was smiling. I had been worried that the kidnapping would have left a deep impact on her. However, that may have just been my overthinking. If she could make a face like this, I’m sure she would be fine. Now then, let’s go eat meat as originally planned.
Since this was downtown, there were unlimited choices. As I smelled all the delicious aromas, one in particular tickled my nose. It was beef stew. Even small children could eat this. It was decided, let’s go here.
Holding the little girl’s hand, I opened the door to the restaurant. It seemed to be popular, and there were many customers inside. Table seats… Unfortunately, they were all occupied. Then, counter seats… Oh, there were only two left. We sat down quickly before they were taken too. Right then, a waiter brought over the menu.
“What would you like? This is today’s recommendation.”
They said that the fish was good today, and so promoted dishes based on that. The person next to me was eating one of them and it looked really delicious. It was not a bad choice… however,
“Two servings of beef stew and bread, please.”
After all, my original plan could not be swayed. Even the little girl was looking forward to having beef stew, her eyes shining brightly. I could not break that expectation.
Was it still not ready? As the girl and I grinned at each other while we waited, the beef stew loaded with meat and fresh bread came over. It looks so good!! I felt like drooling. The little girl sitting next to me seemed unable to bear it any longer and was already drooling.
“Could this be your first time eating meat?”
She nodded as she wiped away her drool. Speaking of which, this orphan girl had been abandoned by her parents because she had no skills. Even as a gatekeeper, I could not afford meat. There was no way this orphan could have eaten meat at all.
The girl looked at me, wondering if it was alright for her to eat it. Having come all this way, it was not possible to leave without eating. It was a good decision.
“Go ahead. You did well today.”
As I patted her back gently, she grabbed the spoon and started munching it down. In no time at all, she emptied her bowl of beef stew and bread. A full stomach should relax her body and mind. With that, she began to cry. She was finally able to let her voice out. That was good. Delicious food really had power in making people happy. Every mouthful of this beef stew made me want to do even better tomorrow.
Time passed and the sky darkened. The girl was an orphan, so I asked her if she had a place to go back to. It turned out she was from the tattered orphanage in the slum where I lived. It was amazingly close!
“Since you know that, then let’s go back together until halfway.”
After leaving the store, we walked from the Commercial District to the Residential District. From here, we headed to the slums were the poor lived. I sent the girl to the orphanage first. Walking on an unmaintained path, I noticed that the surroundings were brightening. Ah, the clouds in the night sky had cleared away. On the path with no lights, the moonlight was beautiful and shone warmly.
“Come, the orphanage is close. Hm? What’s wrong?”
The girl stopped abruptly and fell silent. I had thought she was recovering pretty well, but then wondered if she had suddenly remembered the kidnapping incident. As I was being worried, the girl smiled.
“Thank you, big brother!”
This time it was my turn to stop and become quiet. This might have been the first time someone else has thanked me for something. Somehow, it was embarrassing, but it did not feel bad. I guess even someone like me could be a little useful, and I felt relieved. This was good once in a while.
I could see the orphanage. Oh, it seemed like the Sisters were searching around for someone. Perhaps it was this little girl. Then I should take her to them.
“It’s alright now. I can go home by myself from here.”
“You don’t need me to accompany you back?”
“Ahh, I know how to go back from here. I’ll be fine.”
My role had finished long ago. In a world where the weak had nothing, they could only survive by their own power. Surely… If I ever forgot that, I would cease to exist.
The girl must have felt better, enough to walk by herself. She reminded me of when I left my hometown village. As my father had passed away of illness, and I had lost my place in the village, there was only one path for me to take. It was a road that I could not see the end of, however, I had no choice but to walk it.
The Sisters found the girl and embraced her tearfully. Then, the girl made a face that I had not seen before and she burst out crying. I guess she had not cried her fill yet. It was better to cry it all out now. If you left it till tomorrow, it would be worse. I wished her all the best for the future.
Then I left the place before the Sisters spotted me. When I reached home, Greed spoke through the <Mind-reading> skill.
“What’s wrong? You expression looks uncharacteristic of your usual self.”
“Shut up. There’s no such thing.”
It was just that the memories of my childhood came flooding back when I saw the girl. I could no longer return to my hometown where my parents’ tombs were laid. The village that had kicked me out for being a failure. I wanted to visit their graves if it had been possible, yet the village would never let me in. I could not forget how my sick father held my hand as he died, worrying about my future. I wondered if deep down in his heart, he ever believed that I could survive.
“The road ahead still stretches far.”
“Indeed. You have just begun. I will tell you now, your journey ahead will be a long one.”
“Well, first I have to get the job at Roxy-sama’s place. I have to meet her father so I’m quite nervous.”
“Hahahaha, what use is it to worry now? The meeting is at noon tomorrow is it not?”
“He is the head of one of the five noble families in the royal city. From my level, he’s on the clouds… even higher than that. You’re lucky to have it easy.”
“Of course. For I am a weapon.”
Yes yes, I knew that an inanimate object like Greed would not understand. It was not easy to rid myself of the fear I harboured for the Holy Knights since it had been ingrained in me for years. Even though I learned that I could strengthen myself with my Gluttony skill, that feeling did not change. Given that it was Roxy-sama’s father, I’m sure he would be a good person. Still, I felt nervous to meet him face to face.
Whew, I’m tired. I should go to bed early today. Too many things had happened. In just one day, I went goblin hunting and defeated a kidnapping criminal. I had probably been having unnecessary thoughts because of fatigue. I should trust Roxy-sama more, and it was horrible of me not to do that.
Opening the door to my house, I plopped down on the straw bed. The exhaustion had worn me out and my consciousness quickly slipped away.
The next day, I slept until noon before waking up in a hurry. After readying myself, I immediately rushed to the entrance of the Holy Knight District where Roxy-sama was waiting. Unlike the other divisions, the Holy Knight District was surrounded by high walls, giving the illusion of a castle. When I told the gatekeeper my name, I was instantly allowed in. It seemed like Roxy-sama had notified them in advance.
Since it was necessary to confirm the identity of visitors, two soldiers flanked me as we walked. It looked like I had committed a crime and was being taken away.
The house they were guiding me to was none other than one of the five great houses in our royal capital. I could not believe my eyes as we approached the mansion. It was massive, so large that it seemed almost silly. One of the soldiers entered the garden. After a while, a woman in a white dress appeared. She was beautiful.
“You came. I’ve been waiting.”
From her voice, I realised it was Roxy-sama. I had never seen her outside of our shift changes at the gatekeeping job, so I only knew of her appearance in her light, white armour. In a dress, she looked like a totally different person. She really was beautiful.
After receiving confirmation of my identity, the soldiers left us alone. I was probably staring at her with a stupid-looking expression and an open mouth.
Roxy-sama asked in a curious tone.
“It’s just that Roxy-sama looks too beautiful, so I… couldn’t help but stare. Please excuse me.”
At this, she blushed and coughed lightly.
“S-sometimes I wear dresses too. You look different too. Now come, it’s this way.”
For such a large household, it was very serene. Since there were no servants nearby, it was quite calming. I continued to follow Roxy-sama while looking around at the immaculate lawn. It was too quiet. All I could hear was the sound of the breeze passing through followed by a lonely silence.
Reaching the front of the house, we took a turn to the right. Huh? We’re not going inside? Although I wanted to ask, the atmosphere did not feel right. As we went a little further on, I finally came to know the true nature of this feeling.
That was all I could say. Seeing this, Roxy-sama smiled gently then placed a hand on the cold tombstone.
“Father, I decided to hire this person from today onwards. I hope by doing so, this will make the Heart Family lively again.”
While I was still incapable of processing this situation, Roxy-sama turned to me.
“Five days ago, my father died in Gallia, south from here.”
For sure, it was a continent known to be occupied by many monsters. It was said to have incomparably strong demons around the capital there. The most important role of a Holy Knight was to prevent the demons that attempted to enter our city. For this reason, they had a high status and were paid abundant salaries from the kingdom.
However, I honestly could not imagine that a master from one of the five great families was defeated by a demon. As if reading my mind, Roxy-sama spoke.
“The cause of death was not from a simple demon. In Gallia, there are other issues.”
That being said, I could only come up with one other cause. Natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, and the like, were produced by these beings; living natural disasters ─ Heavenly Dragons. No matter the amount of power a person possessed, there was no way to fight them. Due to their forces, some people called them God’s messengers, and they have long been a subject of faith. If you were their target, you had no choice except to prepare for death.
“It seemed that my father’s army had been wiped out. In the last few thousand years, this was the first record of a Heavenly Dragon coming out so far from its nest.”
The nest of the Heavenly Dragons was located in the heart of Gallia, and it was said that they only travelled as far as the Gallian borders. Yet that belief had been betrayed. It was pure fortune that the incident ended there. For those who were left behind, it was a different story.
“I finally had a break this morning. With my father’s funeral proceedings, it had been tremendously busy. As I inherited the household, I am officially the head of the Heart Family.”
She was still able to remain confident during this time, and I could only bow my head in respect. I had not noticed at all. At our gatekeeper shift change, her face had held her usual expression, and I could not tell that such things had happened behind the scenes.
In these circumstances, Roxy-sama still thought of me and called me here. Despite this, I had been thinking about my interview with her father, and wondering… how I could lie about my skills. Roxy-sama, I’m sorry. For me to…
“Don’t make that kind of face, let’s strengthen the Heart Family together. Could I ask that of you?”
That day, I became employed by the Heart Family.