Kansutoppu!!! - Chapter 77
Chapter 77 Phantom Part 1
◆ Avangard Castle Town Tavern Artucci ◆
The tavern was still crowded with people in the late evening. Even though it’s a tavern, it’s easy to enter because there are not only people who drink alcohol, but also many people like us who come here to eat. The place is several times bigger than Pablo’s, and there are more people working here. It seems like a lot of work, with people constantly being called from one place to another.
It’s been a few days since I finished my A Rank promotion exam. I’ve been waiting for something to happen since they said they were going to have it done soon, but nothing has happened so far. We’ve registered with the guild and are staying at the Hotel Mazon. I’ve been in the castle town a lot lately, and I miss Quimir.
“I wonder if I’ll be busy from now on.”
“Once we go back to Quimir, even with Roel on my back, I think it won’t take half a day if I run as fast as I can.”
This is not the kind of adventurer I was expecting. Rather than being a request from the country, this is more like an order. I thought adventurers were just adventurers, but I wasn’t satisfied.
“Gah-hah-hah! I didn’t think I could get to A Rank in such a short time! We’ll be rivals from now on, okay? Hahahahaha!”
“That’s exactly what I expected from these girls.”
Today, Gantetsu is going to treat us to a meal to celebrate passing A Rank. That’s great, but why is Siegel even here? No, it’s fine.
“Don’t hesitate to ask for anything. I’ll have grilled Emperor Squid, two momol sodas, and the rest…”
“Siegel, just so you know, I’m not going to buy you any drinks.”
Siegel, who for some reason had been eager for me to buy him a drink, looked sincerely surprised. I wondered why he thought I would buy him a drink when he appeared without permission.
I was thinking about the questions I wanted to ask Roel, who was drooling when she heard that the Imperial Squid was grilled with salt. I was thinking about the questions I wanted to ask Roel who should be the one to defeat the Custom Magic, the Comet Wolf Brigade, the Phantom, and the Demon King? There are too many things I don’t know.
“From what I’ve heard, this exam was pretty tough. There are people who won’t even go near Mist Village, even if they’re A Rank. It’s been decades since I passed the exam…”
“I’ve been hallucinating, and it looks like a lot of people have been killed, that test was too much…”
“Those fog chasers over there are bad. They keep gathering as the fight drags on, and they should rethink the Danger Level setting. Even if it’s this dragon hunter, it’s a demon I don’t want to deal with too much because of its appearance.”
“I was wondering what to do about Yuyu-san’s test too…. I’ve never been to Giginga Volcano.”
“Giginga Volcano! There was a beautiful dragon hunter who single-handedly killed the floor monsters there…”
I left Siegel alone, who had started talking without asking, and started eating the food that had been brought to me. If I didn’t hurry, Roel’s stomach would be filled with more and more food, and I wouldn’t be able to keep up with her. The grilled Imperial Squid with salt, the fried Tsuibami Chicken and Artucci’s special ham salad were over half gone.
“Hey, Gantetsu-san, have you ever heard of custom magic?”
“I can’t use magic, so I don’t know much about it. Siegel, do you know anything about it?”
“…I don’t know much about it because I don’t use magic. Rupee star magic, for example. He is the only one in the world who can use it. But…”
Siegel sipped his frothy beer and continued.
“There are hardly any custom magic users even in the A Rank, but I heard that the Comet Wolf Brigade has a bunch of them as if they were the norm.”
“Eh… So the Comet Wolf Brigade is stronger than the people in A Rank?”
“There are many more people in the world who haven’t registered as adventurers. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising if there are more unknowns lurking around, just like you, Ryua.”
I had been holed up in the Cave of the Abyss for ten years. Partly due to my time in the mountainous village of Ikana, I’m still amazed at the information I’ve seen and heard. I was also surprised that there were people like the Comet Wolf Brigade who would take the lives of humans in groups. I couldn’t believe that they were even destroying countries.
That brother never told me any of this. Looking back on it now, I think he didn’t want to destroy my longing for the outside world. By the way, what was his name again?
“Damn, I didn’t expect them to enter this continent as well. I’ve got my hands full dealing with the Demon Lord’s army.”
Gantetsu reached for his fifth beer and downed it in one gulp as if he couldn’t take it anymore.
“They said they were going to destroy the country and make it a better place, but… What would be the point of doing that?”
“Hmm? Well, there are all kinds of people in this world, you know. I’ve heard that they’re picking up people who failed for some reason, people who were slaves, people from disadvantaged backgrounds and expanding their power. To them, it sounds like the word of God when the head of the company makes those kinds of appeals.”
I wonder if that was the case with Grubb. There are people in this world who, like me, have been living in a terrible environment since their parents left. I used to think I was special, but I’m not at all. It’s too late for that now.
“… I can’t remember anything from my childhood. I don’t even know if I was blessed or not.”
“Come to think of it, Roel has no memory of her childhood, does she?”
“No, but you know what? I remember it vaguely, though. I remember playing with a girl about my age in a peaceful and natural environment. Sometimes I dream about it, but when I wake up, I don’t remember much.”
I can keep the memories in my mind forever, but it’s too painful not to have any memories to recall, seeing Roel’s lonely expression makes me sad too.
“Whoa! One more!”
In the midst of all this gloomy atmosphere, Gantetsu has already ordered his eighth beer with a red face. I wonder if that stuff is that good. The smell alone makes my head spin, and I can’t bring myself to drink it. If it’s the same kind of stuff, this momol soda is definitely better.
“Kaaaa! I can’t get enough of this throat burn! Right?”
“I’ve been living only for this drink, haven’t I!”
The two of them were already getting excited. If it’s just the thirst, this momol soda is definitely better. I wonder if this is what I want to be when I drink alcohol. If I really wanted to, I could make myself feel great like that. Well, I feel like I’m getting warmed up if I think that way.
“By the way, Gantetsu-san, have you heard of Phantom?”
“An adventurer I know told me to be scared of Phantom. It didn’t make any sense to me at all.”
“Phantom, huh… It was popular when I was a kid, Siegel.”
“You and I are not the same age… I wasn’t even born yet at that time.”
“Oh, yeah? Right! Gahahaha!”
No, a drunk is not worth talking to. Was I an idiot for asking? I feel like I’m really starting to get all hot. Roel, who’s standing next to me, is also turning red, probably from eating too much. I don’t think eating too much can make you red. Well, whatever.
“When I was a kid, there was a fad. There was a mysterious organization whose members were hiding all over the world, plotting to kidnap and assassinate people. When you were walking alone at night, a group of people in black would appear out of nowhere and take you away to be sold as a slave. Looking back on it now, it’s just a stupid rumor that plays tricks on kids, but at the time I was really scared. Whenever I did something bad, my mother would threaten me that Phantom would come! Hahahaha.”
“What the heck, there was a time when even old men were scared of such things?”
“I’m a human being too, you rude bastard.”
I wonder if that’s what that guy meant when he said Phantom. But when Gantetsu was a kid, that was a long time ago, before Siegel was even born, and I wonder if I’m starting to get drunk. It smells like alcohol, and I can’t even think straight.
“But maybe there are people like that out there.”
“Roel, are you a child that get easily fooled? Who even saw them as a group of people in all black in the first place? Were they kidnapped? Did they call themselves Phantom? Or did the person who saw them name them Phantom? Some slaves were indeed kidnapped by the kidnappers, so there’s some realism there.”
“If the Phantom that old man Gantetsu is talking about is real, it would stand out even if they didn’t like it. Just like the Comet Wolf Brigade.”
Gantetsu who is saying this is also denying it, and I don’t think that’s the Phantom he was talking about. In the first place, there’s no way Kank would not know about the name that was popular during Gantetsu’s childhood. In the end, no one knew?
As I was thinking about it, my whole face started to feel hot. And my heart was racing, making it hard to breathe. It’s not my imagination, what’s wrong with me?
“Hey, Ryua, your face is all red.”
“I’m starting to feel light-headed…”
“Roel, are you okay? You seem a little dizzy…”
As Siegel had said, Roel’s face was also red. Her eyes were almost shut, and her head was swaying from side to side as if she was sleepy. By the way, this momol soda tasted different from usual. I didn’t notice it until just now, even though I had drunk several glasses because it was my treat. There was a faint bitter smell that hit my nose.
I held the glass of momol soda in one hand and stared at it, and Siegel took it away. Then, after tipping it and smelling it, he took a sip of the soda.
“Oh, hey. There’s alcohol in this! Hey, shopkeeper! Why is there alcohol in the juice?”
The staff of the store came running up to me as I attracted the attention of all the customers in the store. He then smelled the same and took a sip, then frowned in an exaggerated manner.
“Ta, I’m very sorry! I’ll get you a replacement right away!”
“That’s not necessary! Just give me some water!”
“Yes, right away!”
As the staff hurriedly disappeared into the kitchen, Siegel put his nose to the glass again, and Gantetsu did the same, giving him a sullen look. The customers were glued to us. The mild noise in the restaurant just now had turned into a buzz.
I drank the water that the waitress brought me, but nothing changed. My face is still burning hot, my heart is racing, and I’m still having trouble breathing.
“I’m sorry, sir. Your bill for today is fine, so…”
“Fine, I’ll pay. Look, I don’t want change.”
Gantetsu roughly made the clerk grab the money, then made us stand up and left the store.
◆ Avangard Castle Town Alley ◆
“We’re almost at Mazon, have you calmed down a bit?”
“Just a little…”
“Ryua-chan, your face is…!”
“Roel, you really need to get a grip…”
With Siegel and Gantetsu accompanying me, I managed to walk to the hotel. I felt a little better, but this unpleasant feeling just wouldn’t go away. I even wondered what I would do if a demon attacked me in this state. Why do I have to go through all this? What did I do to deserve this?
“Well, only that store would make such an easy mistake, right? They do have a cocktail version of Momol Soda, though. It’s my favorite place, and I feel bad for you two.”
“It’s not Gantetsu-san’s fault… It’s the alcohol…”
I was fine with the dragon slayer poison to a certain extent, but I didn’t think that alcohol could do this much to me. What’s wrong with alcohol? I can’t let alcohol get the better of me.
“I’ll walk you to your room. I’m just as tired as you are. Whoa!”
The reason for Siegel’s surprise was that I had suddenly turned around. I was about to puke, but had to do so in order to stop these two knives that were closing in on my back. Although I didn’t need to do so, I was in such a state that I might take some damage.
After swiping the knives off the sides with my bare hands, I look at what’s happening blanketed by the darkness of the night. The fact that he was able to pinpoint my location in this darkness suggests that he is a very skilled fighter. It took me a long time to be able to see through the darkness of the Abyssal Cave. Thanks to this, even at a night like this, I can get some idea of what’s going on.
The two black-and-white people in the shadow of that vertical brick house. All black, no way. —-
“Tsk, I know you’re in there! Come out, this Siegel will deal with you!”
“Yeah, yeah! Gantetsu, the great fighter, is here too! Whoever you are, you’re in a bit of a bad spot, aren’t you?”
Siegel sat Roel down next to me and drew his greatsword, and Gantetsu seemed to be trying to fight back with his axe, but I didn’t want them to get involved since they were trying to kill me. More importantly, I’m not going to give in to something like this.
“Just stay back, both of you. I can win a fight like that in my sleep.”
“Don’t push it. Let the adults handle this.”
“Just stay out of the way.”
“You can’t convince me when you’re lying down like that!”
“It’s okay, it’s okay…”
“… Siegel, let’s move aside.”
As if Siegel and Gantetsu had lost their will to fight, the two, dressed in black from head to toe, leapt at me like cats who have found their prey. As for me, I’m just lying on my back, holding a sword in one hand.
They think they can beat me. The evidence of this is that the arm holding the knife is too high, and the side of the arm is open. If I were to get hit from the side, I’d bleed out, and it would be over.
I had a feeling that if I took off that black mask-like thing, I’d get an answer as to why I was the target.
“Don’t underestimate me.”
The two black guys assumed that the sleeping me was weak, not understanding why the two guys from A Rank had backed off, these two guys thought they had captured their prey and tried to stab me with their knives and sword.
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