|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1114 words|
This was going to be Matisse’s first job.
For her, who was a woman and Horton company’s successor, experience in trading was a necessity.
Having said that, she had been kidnapped before, and moreover, suffered extreme injuries during the process that almost killed her.
Thus, her doting father would’ve never sent her on a lonesome trip. As a result, he decided to hire as skilled Adventurers as he could as her guard, which was not a normal thing to do.
“We will reach Berith soon.”
“Indeed. But still, I never expected that you would be the one to accept this commission, Lady Letina.”
In the capital Raum, she was the only person who was both as skilled as possible and also available.
Naturally, there were also several other members of both genders guarding her, not just Letina, but her skill and fame stood above the rest.
Their trip advanced smoothly without any major incident, and now the Holy Kingdom of Forneus’ characteristic scenery with the World Tree towering over the surroundings spread ahead of them.
“I was planning to retire from being an Adventurer, but I could not turn down a request from a former classmate.”
“Thanks to that, it has been a safe journey. Thank you very much.”
Aside from Letina, there were three other boys and girls guarding her.
Their ranks spanned from second to the third rank. third-ranks were the same as Letina, but the third rank was, similar to the first rank, a rank that had the most number of Adventurers, and as such, there were considerable differences in power among the same ranks.
Letina’s power was considered to be nearly fourth rank.
“Father seems to have wanted to ask sir Kayle too.”
“That person gets easily carried away, so I wonder about his power in relation to his rank…”
Letina, who had met Kayle before and knew his personality, looked dubious.
That said, the fifth rank was proof of being a first-class Adventurer. Going by that achievement alone, Matisse’s father couldn’t be blamed even if he asked him.
“Well, his sword skill seems to be the real deal.”
“Is that so?’
Letina thought back to the time Kayle trained with Cloud. She had to acknowledge his attack power that managed to break past Cloud’s solid defenses.
“Miss Matisse, get inside the carriage!”
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As the two chatted about Kayle, one of the Adventurers yelled out.
It was a female Adventurer who was in charge of scouting among the six. As such, her words couldn’t be dismissed so easily.
“The ground is shaking. Something giant is…”
At that moment, the clouds covering the summit of the World Tree burst open.
Though the tree was snapped in half, it was easily over 5000 meters tall. As its summit reached beyond the clouds, it couldn’t be seen from the ground when it wasn’t clear weather.
Clouds were dense today too so the summit couldn’t be seen, but those clouds suddenly disappeared as if being repelled by the World Tree.
The resulting shockwave even reached the carriage.
Letina got above the carriage and took on a posture to react at a moment’s notice.
That said, she didn’t think she would be able to handle an opponent that could so easily blow away the World Tree’s dense clouds.
But even so, her mindset to protect her client still made her take on a battle stance.
“The clouds… And, what? What is that…!”
Next, the outer edges of the clouds started to spin as if swirling. That was proof that a violent wind was blowing at the World Tree’s summit.
At the same time, something that looked like a giant snake rose up from the ground, coiling around the World Tree as if to support it.
It managed to coil around the World Tree that was several kilometers in diameter, which made it clear just how gigantic the serpent was even from a distance.
And finally, a black Dragon clung to the top part of the World Tree, desperately flapping its wings as if to suppress it.
Letina couldn’t be blamed for wondering whether the Evil Dragon had resurrected when she saw that.
“The Evil Dragon… It might be a little too small for that.”
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She had never seen it, so she couldn’t accurately compare them.
However, the Evil Dragon wouldn’t have meaninglessly clung to the World Tree and instead focused on burning down the city at its foot.
“It’s not the Evil Dragon? And that serpent…? Is it flying?”
“It’s not Colchis? And that serpent… Its size could give the Mountain Serpent a run for its money.”
Letina, who had once seen the calamity-class monster called Mountain Serpent, fully realized the threat of this serpent based on its size alone.
This serpent far surpassed even the Mountain Serpent, so she couldn’t fathom just how powerful it could be.
Matisse asked for Letina when she heard her mutter.
Naturally, Letina couldn’t answer her.
“Two Dragons, and the cloud disturbance… This is no simple matter. What shall we do?”
“Huh, what do you mean?”
“Just standing and watching will not achieve anything. It is time to decide whether we continue to Berith or retreat.”
Urged by Letina, Matisse pondered with a finger on her jaw.
From a safety standpoint, it would be smart to give up on the trip and withdraw. A good merchant would have chosen that option.
However, with such monsters attacking it, Berith would surely be in need of relief. If so, the food she was carrying with her would surely be useful.
The worst option would be to stay in place here indecisively only to get rolled up in it anyway.
After coming to that conclusion, Matisse made her decision.
“Let us advance. If they are facing a calamity, my cargo should prove to be useful. Returning would be safer, but that would mean this trip has been meaningless.”
“Do you not value your life?”
“I am a merchant. Berith is currently in the middle of chaos. And that means this is also a business opportunity. I decided that it was necessary to push forth here.”
“…Understood. I do advise pulling back as your guard, however.”
“In the worst case, we can call Lord Maxwell for help. I have taken that into consideration too.”
“I am shocked. Your thought process has completely turned into that of a merchant’s.”
“Even I have grown up.”
Matisse answered Letina with a smile, but that smile was unnaturally stiff.
Even she was scared of approaching that serpent. But her merchant’s soul, and her desire to help the people in need, made her come to this decision.