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Chapter 42: Married Couple, Peculiar Feeling, and the Royal Capital

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Author: Himezaki Shiu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Fire

On the second morning of our journey towards the royal capital, Ciel and I were engaged in conversation and fighting off random monsters when I sensed multiple presences in the distance. From what I could tell, there were two distinct groups, with one group slightly closer to us. Given their use of the road leading towards the capital, it’s likely that they were either travelers or merchants. Additionally, based on the presence of two horse-like and two human-like beings, I assumed they were merchants.

Beyond the group of merchants, I sensed the presence of five smaller beings, which I recognized as wolf-type monsters. The issue at hand is that the merchants and wolves are on a collision course, and with only two individuals in the merchant group, it’s likely they didn’t hire any escorts. Though, there’s also the possibility that one of them is an escort or that they’re strong enough to not need any too, I guess.

『There’s a carriage ahead of us that might get attacked by monsters, but what should we do?』
「Does that mean that we’ll encounter them if we continue walking?」
『That’s right. It might be better to say that we’ll eventually encounter them if the monster attack makes them stop on their tracks.』
「What choices do we have then?」
『Roughly sorting it, we can ignore them, help them, or observe their situation. If we decide to help them, we can either choose to do it openly or in secret; while if we decide to observe them, we can then choose to help them or ignore them after that.』
「So, Ain, what’s the thing you’re curious about?」

Ciel puffs out proudly after saying so. It was as if she just declared that she knows me inside out but since she was actually right about that, I resigned myself to her adorable smug look.

『For some reason, they don’t seem to have any hired escorts. I’m not sure if they’re strong themselves or only chose not to hire any but, particularly in case of the latter, I feel like they aren’t very decent people.』
「I see. In that case, why don’t we observe first? If they aren’t strong, we’ll help them out after.」
『So we’ll save them then.』
「I’m curious about what sort of people they are after all. I wonder why they didn’t hire escorts?」
『Understood. I’ll take charge after rescuing them, okay?』

With the merchants likely being men, it’ll be tough for Ciel. Regardless, since Ciel is interested about that, then I’ll keep her company. It’s practically my calling after all.

「For now, we’ll have to hurry and catch up to them, right? Can you do me a favor, Ain?」
『If that’s the case, please keep running until I finish singing.』

This is our fastest mode of movement, which involves me singing to reinforce Ciel, while she uses her excessive magic power to perform physical reinforcement on herself. However, the effectiveness of physical reinforcement varies depending on the individual’s original body power. It is possible to improve the reinforcement by using up a lot of magic power, but doing so may cause the body to endure a backlash.

And while Ciel isn’t by any means feeble, she is quite petite and doesn’t have as much strength as the people with front-line jobs, so it doesn’t sum up to much. Because of that, we can’t do any teleport-esque instant movement. Though with that said, we should be about as fast as a horse, so we caught up to the carriage in no time.

As we arrived, we stealthily examined the situation and saw a seemingly good-natured, middle-aged, married couple despairing as they were faced with wolves. These types of people could be troublesome to deal with. Nonetheless, I suggested to Ciel that it might be best to help them, to which she nodded in agreement and immediately used sorcery.

A sudden gust of wind swept past the wolves, causing their heads to fall to the ground.

「Are you alright?」

I quickly switched places with Ciel and approached the couple, who were staring at us with open mouths, clearly stunned by what had just happened. As I examined them more closely, I noticed that they seemed unusually thin. Perhaps they didn’t have enough money to hire escorts. Regardless, I didn’t think it was worth risking their lives for the sake of saving a bit of coin.

「Y-yes. You saved us.」
「While we have things to discuss, I’ll be dismantling these monsters first. Please prepare to leave in the meantime.」

With that, I made my way towards the defeated wolves. However, even though the couple thanked us, their expressions made it seem like they didn’t feel saved at all…. I guess it’s useless to think about it for now.

I switched with Ciel and had her deal with the bodies. We once discussed about having me learn how to dismantle monsters before, but with the possibility of our clothes getting dirty and the issue of how much time it takes, we’ve decided to just have Ciel make quick work of it with sorcery.

As usual, Ciel retrieved the magic stone with wind sorcery, washed it with water sorcery, turned the body to ash with fire sorcery, and buried it with earth sorcery. While Ciel is doing all of this nonchalantly, with all of these attributes she used, people that can do this feat might be surprisingly scarce.

As I borrowed Ciel’s body again, I informed her 『I’ll do as you requested, okay?』 before heading back to the couple. The couple had calmed down their frightened horses, and the lady sat in the back carriage while the man looked in our direction.

「Thank you for waiting. Now, about the reward.」
「Of course, I understand. But instead of paying a reward, we’d like to hire you to escort us to the capital.」

(This chapter is provided to you by Re:Library)

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『Well then, our discussion about the reward for saving them somehow turned into a discussion about escorting them, but what would you like to do Ciel?』
『As for me, I want to observe these people for as long as possible but…』

I absolutely have a bad feeling about this, or rather I feel like things are going to get troublesome, but I assume that Ciel still said that while being aware of this. They just seem like a good-natured couple at first glance, so this could be good for Ciel to experience. At any rate, asking people to escort them without telling how much they’ll pay, what are they even thinking.

「Then this will be our payment. This is all we can pay for now but it should be enough.」

Receiving it, I tucked it away without confirming the contents. Observing the man with a sidelong glance, I see him with his hand over his chest as he let out a sigh of relief.

「I never imagined that we’d encounter forest wolves in this place, you see? We really would have died if you weren’t there.」
「Still, I don’t see any forests nearby but do forest wolves commonly appear around here?」
「While I can’t say that they don’t, it is rare to see them.」

The man’s name seems to be Anicet. The person with him is his wife Milea. It seems like the reason they didn’t hire escorts was because the road to the royal capital is said to be relatively safe. It’s not that I doubt them, but while that might be true… I’ll stop retorting for now.

The current issue appears to be the forest wolves. While I used to think of wolves as being the same regardless of their location, it seems they may differ depending on their habitat.

「Nonetheless, defeating forest wolves in that age, I suppose it’s thanks to your Job, right?」
「Talking about Jobs is a bit…」
Ahh, right. It’s a breach of etiquette, isn’t it?」

Anicet wore a sheepish expression as he brought his palm to his head and offered an apology with an “I didn’t mean to do that” look. Although asking that type of question is a breach of etiquette for a merchant who values trust above all, I don’t necessarily doubt his intentions. However, in situations like these, it’s challenging to determine if the other party is treating Ciel like a child or if they’re probing her because of her appearance. It’s not Ciel’s fault, but unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it.

「Come to think of it, what brings you to the capital?」

I guess he wanted to change the topic, so I replied 「Just dropping by.」 to his question. After all, we are actually just dropping by on our way to see the ocean. So, it wouldn’t matter even if there isn’t any work for us at the capital, we would simply leave.

「Just dropping by?」
「Yes. Though as a hunter, I wanted to visit there at least once too.」
「Well sure, you won’t lose anything by visiting once, but you might get surprised if it’s your first time.」

There’s even the talk of having a high probability of getting pocketed after all.

Given my experience with Modern Japan’s crowded trains, I doubt I would be surprised by a large number of people. However, I may find the buildings and streets surprising, as I have not had the opportunity to see many European-style castles up close, and they might capture my attention.

Still, unlike the Japanese castles that act as tourist attractions, this one literally has the royal family residing there, so we probably wouldn’t be able to get close to it easily and, most of all, we don’t have any business with the country’s top-ranking people anyways.

「Since it’ll be your first time, I take that you haven’t decided on an inn, correct?」
「That’s true.」
「Then in that case, I know a good place. I’ll lead you there once we reach the capital.」
「My, that’s a wonderful idea. As a girl, it’ll be quite difficult to choose an inn after all.」

Without waiting for my reply, Milea’s voice suddenly echoed from the back. It’s our first time going to the capital, so we naturally don’t know any inns but… Well, rather than thinking on my own, I’ll try leaving the decision to Ciel.

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『What should we do?』
『Ain doesn’t know about any inns, right? In that case, I think having them lead us to one would be easier but…』
『Then I’ll ask them to do so.』

If it’s an obviously suspicious place, then we should be able to avoid it anyway. Also, I want to think that there aren’t any that bad among the capital’s inns. Though certainly, finding an inn in an unfamiliar place is pretty bothersome.

「If possible, an inn with a bath would be great, but is there one like that?」

Since I had the chance, I tried to ask them about it and the couple affirmed, giving the inn their stamp of approval. They’re even guiding us to an inn with a bath, they’re really such nice people~. While I really doubt that, it would be nice if we can treat this as one of our rewards.

Regardless, having access to a bath is a relief. It’s been a while since we had the luxury of a proper bath, so I’m seriously looking forward to it.

As we approached the entrance of the capital at dusk, we were met with the sight of towering gates and seemingly never-ending walls surrounding the castle town. The scale of it all left me impressed, and Ciel, who was not accustomed to such grandeur, was left speechless and in awe. It was quite endearing to see her reaction, and I couldn’t help but giggle. Finally, I broke the silence by letting her know, 『We’re here.』

There was a long line in front of the gates, so I imagined that it would take us a long time to get in. However, we reached the gate’s checkpoint surprisingly quickly. I guess since there are a lot more people passing through, the know-hows for efficiently handling these people accumulates just as quickly as well. The merchant couple naturally have their own identifications, so if I just kept quiet, I might have been allowed through with them. But for the sake of avoiding future troubles as well, I took out my Hunter Card.

While the gatekeeper was surprised at first, I didn’t really do anything particularly wrong and the card is the real deal anyway, so we managed to enter the capital safely.

Hiya~! Ciel’s first chat with strangers! Or so we expected, but still, progress!

Anyway, new characters, they even have names! lol. A good sample for our princess Ciel’s human observation. It was a honestly cute that Ciel found something of interest *and* can pursue it as well. More importantly, smug Ciel~ And later on, mesmerised Ciel~

So yeah, our new characters seem to be a merchant couple with some money problems. Ain seems to be on high alert, as Ain usually is, but it’ll be nice to see more of Ciel coming out in the open, no matter how gradual it may be. After all, if it was just Ain making the decision, she would have probably ran away immediately after offing the wolves. Also, Ain, lol “Not that I doubt them or anything.” Yup, zero doubt at all. Very trust.

Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!


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