Adventurers Who Don't Believe in Humanity Will Save The World - Chapter 118
“…So there are people going around asking questions about you and your party. There may be people out there with a grudge against you, so be careful.”
“They ask questions like ‘when was your party created’, ‘what have he been doing’, ‘what labyrinths have he conquered’, and ‘what does he usually do’. Quite persistent, don’t you think?”
“…What is that insipid reaction? I’m doing you a favor by telling you all this, you know?”
Nick was dragged by Alice to a nearby cafe. Alice then ordered tea and sweets and started warning Nick casually as she chatted.
“And I’m even buying you tea. Do people on your planet enjoy making women cry or something?”
Said Alice as she crossed her arms and sighed, looking as though she was taking offense with Nick’s vague expression.
“No, that’s not it…”
“And I’ve heard about the way you’ve been using poor Karan you know? I’ve heard that you made her stand in line to help you buy tickets for some idol’s concert… I really don’t think that’s acceptable.”
“That’s not true! She just went there to give me some tea and…! Nevermind that, I think I know who’s been asking questions about us.”
Alice seemed surprised, and Nick explained what happened with Karan’s sister and Tianna’s master, and how it led to a match. After hearing everything, Alice laid down, face first on the table.
“Oh… So it was a waste of time… Ahh…”
“N-no, thank you for telling me. Sorry for worrying you.”
Alice quickly raised her head.
“Oh well, it’s fine. That warning was pretty much just a gift of sorts anyway. There’s something I want to ask you, do you know any adventurers that use a katana?”
Katana was a sword from the kingdom of Nozomi, an extinct country that existed in the south.
Its blade was slightly curved. The beautiful design of its blade made it popular with people enamored by swords. It was also more effective against beast type monsters than regular longswords.
It was difficult to use, but surprisingly, popular both as a decoration piece and as a actual weapon.
“Well, the most famous one is Fifth, the S rank adventurer.”
“The Order is usually in contact with S and A rank adventurers, so we know about them. What else? I want to know about other strong individuals in Fishermen and Pioneers.”
“I guess I know a few but… Guild employees and C and D rank adventurers probably know a lot more than me.”
“It’s fine even if it’s information I’ve heard before.”
“Alright. I can think of… Five.”
Nick said as he counted his fingers and called the people from back when he was a part of All Martial Arts. Although they were all a bunch of liars and he had not thought of them in a while, Nick still felt a little nostalgic.
He hadn’t seen any of them since he formed Survivors.
“…Well, I guess I’ll see them eventually.”
“Nothing, I’m talking to myself. First there Kisui and Tansui, twin girls from the C rank adventurer party Ghost Hunt.”
“Ghost Hunt… That’s the party that specializes in evil spirits isn’t it?”
“Yes. Those two use the katana. Then, there’s Kyle, from the D rank Shadow Edge.”
“I don’t know about him.”
“He loves using a small katana, but I think the correct name is a ninjato.”
“Twin Sword Dancer Scott from Manhunt also used the katana. His skill with the sword is on par with C or D rank adventurers.”
“Ah, yes, I know him very well.”
The work that the Order of the Sun and the adventurers of Manhunt tended to overlap, so they were not very fond of each other. Therefore, when Alice spoke of him as if he was a friend, it felt strange to Nick.
“He’s my little brother. Ah, now that I think about it, I forgot to thank you for helping him during the Stepping Man incident. Thank you.”
Nick almost said they looked nothing alike, but held back. Still, Nick started to think that if the boorishness was removed from Scott’s face, they may have looked alike.
“Hey! Don’t just stare at a woman’s face.”
“I’ve invited Scott to come work with us, but he says he doesn’t like to work with the court. What a bother… that man…”
Most adventurers would be jealous or upset to hear he was given such an opportunity. But, although Scott was reckless, he did have a chivalrous spirit. The Order of the Sun could not be relied upon when it came to the abandoned area, so the fact that Scott wanted to defend people there made him surprisingly admirable.
“… He’s an interesting guy.”
“Interesting? I guess I’m happy that you put it that way.”
“He’s a little rowdy, but he is strong. I don’t dislike him.”
Said Alice with a kind smile.
Nick was entranced for a second, before changing the subject out of embarrassment.
“Ah, there’s one more but…”
“What? I’m sensing that it’s not something that’s easy for you to talk about.”
“I had some trouble with him… Or rather, with them. My former party, All Martial Arts.”
“Ah… The one led by Argus.”
“Yes. Argus can use all kinds of swords, but there’s also Garrosso, who learned how to use the katana from him… He’s also good at Iai.”
“It’s the name of a technique where one draws a sheathed blade and slashes with the same motion. It’s very effective at taking down monsters in one strike.”
Alice took notes.
“But why are you asking? It’s difficult to use, so by the time someone becomes good enough to use it, they’re generally already strong. If you are thinking of recruiting them, I don’t think they’d be good knights.”
“I’m not scouting them.”
Before Nick could ask again, Alice answered bluntly.
“My subordinate was killed with a clean slash, diagonally from the shoulder.”
Those words felt so natural, Nick could not process its meaning at first. But as he thought about it, and looked at Alice’s quiet expression, he realized that there was a lot of anger behind it.
“My subordinate was after a group of bandits. They had a very skilled bodyguard, and judging by the wound, it was caused by a curved single edged sword.”
“They probably have the Dragon King Orb. They seemed very skilled.”
“…What about the armor?”
“My subordinate was wearing armor on top of chainmail, but it was cleanly cut open. The cut was too clean, I would’ve been fascinated by it if I liked gruesome murders.”
Basically, she was looking for suspects.
Despite her charming face, it seemed there was more to her than meets the eye, and a chill ran down Nick’s spine.
“…Everyone I mentioned except Scott seems capable of doing that.”
“They all sound very strong.”
“I can’t imagine Kisui and Tansui doing it. Their main job is still being priests…”
“Being a priest doesn’t exactly guarantee innocence… Ah, are they by any chance your friends?”
“No, that’s not it. They’re strangely blunt and… Wait.”
“…Most people I mentioned didn’t pay nobles or anything to rise to rank D, they got letters of recommendation through recognition of their work. Bad behavior is one thing, but I don’t think they would disgrace the people that endorsed them by commuting murder… At least, I don’t think so.”
None of the people he thought of seemed stupid enough to dirty their hands with assassination, but from a technical sense, they were capable of cutting through someone’s armor all the way to the victim’s body.
“Kyle loathes bandits. He says he became an adventurer when his house was burned down by bandits, and he spent some time catching bandits over at Manhunt. Bandits wouldn’t ever want to work with him. They most likely resent him.”
Alice peeked at Nick’s expression.
That left the people that Nick knew all too well… The leader of All Martial Arts, Argus, and Garrosso.
“…Killing was taboo for All Martial Arts. We wouldn’t agree to help someone that told us to stop a knight that was chasing them. I was told again and again not to use the skills I was learning for evil.”
“So, you don’t think they did it?”
“At the very least, we weren’t involved with those kinds of people while I was there. If we were, we wouldn’t be worrying about money all the time.”
“Hold on, as a knight, I can’t let that one pass. Are you saying you’ll help bandits as long as there are rewards involved?”
Said Alice sarcastically while Nick shrugged, realizing she was not being serious.
“In reality, there’s no point in being involved with those kinds of people if there’s no money involved or anything.”
“So adventurers with plenty of money are suspicious?”
“I wouldn’t say that the culprit is an adventurer for sure, but I guess only an adventurer would be that good with the katana.”
“…Alice. Which one do you suspect, Argus or Garrosso?”
“Eh? W-what are you talking about?”
Alice was surprised, and Nick sighed as she tried to evade the question by drinking her tea.
“You don’t have to try to hide it, I know that’s why you’re asking me. And if the Dragon King Orb is involved, it’s not like it has nothing to do with me.”
“…Exactly. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not concluding it is an adventurer, it’s all just a theory at the moment. It could also be a skilled fighter that wandered in from another country. In fact, I’m making sure that an adventurer didn’t do it so I can start looking into it.”
“I guess, theoretically, both of them could do it. Anyone that has seen them work would say the same. But assuming they did it, why, for whom, and what is their goal? I have no idea. I really don’t think they’re stupid enough to be hired by bandits.”
“…You’re a nice guy. They expelled you, and you still won’t say anything bad about them. Many would see this as a chance to get revenge.”
Nick was silent, and had a sour look on his face.
Nick left All Martial Arts on bad terms, but he would never accuse them of being suspicious without any evidence. Garrosso falsely accused him, so in a way, he deserved it, but Nick still thought it would be a betrayal of sorts. Both to his former partners, and his current party.
“…That was a rude way to put it. Sorry.”
“It’s fine. Your colleague was killed, and you just want clues.”
“So much so that you can’t even imagine.”
Although Alice sounded very casual, Nick sensed something burning behind her words.
“Adventurers and knights are in an unfortunate business. You never know who you might meet, and when you might have to say goodbye.”
“…Yeah, I sorta get that. But, who knows how I’ll feel if that happens to me.”
“It’s not the first time, but I’m not used to it. You’re the leader of your party, so make sure you always do your best to prevent something like this from happening.”
Alice said as if she was talking to Nick, but he sensed that she was talking to her own reflection in the cup of tea.