The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat - Chapter 75
- The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat
- Chapter 75 - V4 Prologue : The assassin is invited to the sanctuary
We proceeded towards the royal capital.
The vehicle we were riding in was a carriage drawn by a rhino monster. It was even more impressive than I imagined.
Its power and stamina were on a whole different level.
I usually thought that I could outrun a carriage, but this one was a different story.
[I cannot believe that you managed to tame such a powerful monster.] (Lugh)
I asked Marquis Granvallen, who was sitting next to me.
He was older than me and had a higher position, so I spoke to him politely.
[It was a grueling task. My domain has been researching the art of monster training for generations, and it has finally become a reality in my era.] (Marquis Granvallen)
No wonder there was so little information about them.
The number of monsters increased with the emergence of the Demon King and the demon race, but that didn’t mean that they were absent at other times.
Because they possessed mana, they were stronger and tougher than other animals, and they also had special abilities.
For those reasons, there had been many who wanted to make effective use of them, but they all failed because of the monsters’ violent nature.
Marquis Granvallen, who was the only one capable of training them, finally succeeded in a project that took several generations to complete. It had become nothing short of an obsession.
[Do you train monsters other than this rhinoceros?] (Lugh)
[No, just this one. Each monster is completely different from the others, after all. Training another species wouldn’t be easy. But this one alone is enough. It can be used for transportation, and it’s also a most valuable asset on the battlefield.] (Marquis Granvallen)
[I agree, I wouldn’t want to go into battle against such a beast.] (Lugh)
Its hardened skin was impervious to arrows and spears.
It would only take a few of those rhino monsters charging in to make the war front collapse.
Of course, if you were a mage, you could deal with them, but just managing to block mages’ movements was extremely valuable on the battlefield.
[I am proud to say that Granvallen’s art of manipulation magic is as important as Tuatha Dé’s medical art.] (Marquis Granvallen)
[It is indeed.] (Lugh)
So he did know about Tuatha Dé.
Although he doesn’t seem to know about our dark business.
Alright, that’s enough small talk now.
We may need some preparations before we go to the royal castle. First, I need some information.
[Marquis Granvallen, you mentioned earlier that the royal castle was ready to honor my victory over the demons. Does this mean that you have an agenda at the ready for the event ?] (Lugh)
A light jab to change the flow of the conversation.
[Indeed. We have decided to hold the party on short notice. It is scheduled to be held in four days. That’s why I was requested to come and take you there. But before that, Lady Aram Karla wished to invite you to the sanctuary.] (Marquis Granvallen) (TL : Her name is アラム・カルラ, I don’t know if there’s a reference here.)
It was unlikely that a regular horse carriage could’ve taken us there in four days, so as he said, we did need his help to arrive in time.
And there’s going to be a party, huh.
Throwing a party was proof that they were genuinely convinced that I had defeated a demon.
It would’ve been awfully shameful if I told them something like the demon was actually still alive after they gathered all the influential people and threw a party.
And next, there’ll be Aram Karla at the sanctuary.
That lady was one hell of a big shot.
[How come the metropolitans believed my report? Normally, no one would believe that someone other than the hero killed a demon unless they actually saw them in action.] (Lugh)
[I wouldn’t know. I was merely told to come and pick you up, Sir Holy Knight.] (Marquis Granvallen)
So they won’t give up information that easily, huh.
[I see, then do you personally believe my report?] (Lugh)
[Of course I do.] (Marquis Granvallen)
I looked into his eyes.
He wasn’t lying.
Then he closed the distance between us.
[After all, you and I are comrades.] (Marquis Granvallen)
Does he mean to say we’re both fellow nobles protecting the country?
Marquis Granvallen chuckled meaningfully. Then he whispered into my ear.
[I also support Naoise and his ambitions.] (Marquis Granvallen)
My classmate who was born into one of the four dukedoms of the kingdom.
He was trying to change this country.
…I knew that he was gathering allies within the academy, but I didn’t know he even recruited someone like the Marquis Granvallen.
I was still keeping my reply to Naoise on hold, but I couldn’t tell that to the Marquis.
If he thought of me as his comrade, I might be able to earn some favors from him.
After that, I did all sorts of probing while in the carriage.
I couldn’t be sure of the reliability, but I gathered a great deal of information.
It took us only a day and a half to reach the royal capital, which would’ve taken four or five days with an ordinary carriage.
On the way, we passed by the academy in the suburbs of the royal capital, but the restoration was progressing at a rapid pace, and from the look of it, the buildings would be fully repaired after a month or so.
The carriage entered the royal capital and headed straight for the royal castle.
After that, I was given a ceremonial uniform and told to change into it.
That uniform was a more prestigious version of the academy uniform, one that gave the image that I was a knight.
Although not the same as mine, Dia and Tarte were also given ceremonial uniforms.
I was granted the status of Holy Knight, and Dia and Tarte were recognized as my followers.
[Lugh-sama, you look handsome.] (Tarte)
[Yeah, it fits you perfectly. But I don’t think I look very good in mine… This kind of classy and stylish outfit only suits you if you’re tall.] (Dia)
[I’m not confident in the way I look either… Also, it feels a little tight in the chest area. I would prefer if the material were more flexible.] (Tarte)
Tarte looked like she had a hard time breathing.
I deemed it appropriate not to ask her why. Dia was giving me a reproachful look, but I pretended not to notice that either. Otherwise, I would definitely make things worse for me.
[I think you both look great.] (Lugh)
It was refreshing to see the two of them wearing such boyish outfits.
Although, I think they would suit Maha better.
That girl had a tall and slender figure.
[If you say so, then I guess it’s not so bad.] (Dia)
[Agreed! I can bear with it too.] (Tarte)
[Then everything is fine. We’d better get going.] (Lugh)
the servant who had been assigned to guide us was getting restless.
He had to take us to the location as quickly as possible, but we were VIPs now.
He was probably wondering if it was okay to interrupt our conversation.
Marquis Granvallen said that Aram Karla would wait for us in the sanctuary.
Aram Karla. This was not her actual name, but the name of the bishop and highest ranking priestess of the country.
As soon as she achieved that position, she abandoned her real name and adopted the name of Aram Karla.
The room we were led to had a mystical atmosphere to it.
It was lit by antique candlesticks and decorated with stained glass, which was a rarity in this world.
But what caught my attention was the power of the black light flowing around the walls and blocking my vision.
If I focused all my energy into my Tuatha Dé eyes, I could probably see through that black light, but I had a feeling that if I did so carelessly, they may want to interogate me about it.
This was the sanctuary.
We arrived there by using a secret passage in the castle. They made us wear blindfolds just before entering it. …However, I didn’t lose my sense of balance despite the blindfold, and I could get a rough idea of the structure of the path we took from the echoes of my footsteps.
Therefore, I figured out how to get here from inside the castle.
If they seriously wanted to hide it, they should’ve blocked all my other senses as well.
[Say, this place is pretty impressive.] (Dia)
[Yes, I feel so tense…!] (Tarte)
Dia and Tarte look around, bewildered by our surroundings.
They were still unaware of the abnormality of this sanctuary, so they were sincerely admiring the national treasures that were the furniture and everything else.
That was when we got company.
[Naoise, Epona, and Rachel-dono too.] (Lugh)
[Just call me Rachel. As a Holy Knight, you rank higher than me, after all.] (Rachel)
Rachel was a knight who had graduated from the Royal Knights Academy at the top of her year, a symbol of hope for every young knight. She was wearing the same uniform as Tarte and Dia.
She was tall and slender with a ponytail, and her outfit suited her nicely.
[Forgive my curiosity, but why are the three of you together?] (Lugh)
[No need to speak formally either. Like I said, you rank higher than me. As for your question, well, you could call us the hero’s party, so to speak. Out of consideration for Epona, we were selected for being close to her age, as well as for our talents. In Naoise’s case, his social standing may have been taken into account as well.] (Rachel)
[…Should I take offense from that?] (Naoise)
[I’m just saying the truth. But in my opinion, you would’ve been a better choice, Lugh. You were promoted not as the hero’s squire, but as a Holy Knight, someone equal to the hero. That alone is amazing, but you’re making a difference right away. You might be a fine specimen.] (Rachel)
She took me in her arms and pressed her chest against me while saying that.
Dia glared at her in displeasure, and Tarte had tears in her eyes.
Then Rachel moved away from me, saying that she was just joking, while Naoise chuckled and commented that I was as popular as ever.
[Epona, did you hear anything about all this? The thing is the three of us were brought here without any warning.] (Lugh)
I asked a question to Epona who, despite being the central figure of the hero’s party, looked like she was hiding behind Rachel.
[Well… All we’ve heard was that there was something important to discuss.] (Epona)
As usual, Epona was behaving timidly.
She was a boyish girl like Rachel, but she didn’t give off a dignified image, so it felt like her uniform was wearing her instead.
[I see, so your circumstances were similar to ours. What have you guys been up to since then?] (Lugh)
[There were no particular incidents.] (Epona)
We started trading information as we reported on each other’s recent activities.
Regarding the hero’s group, it appeared that they had been constantly training to defend the metropolitans of the royal capital and its suburbs.
Meanwhile, a white-haired woman dressed in white appeared.
She was approximately in her early twenties.
Aram Karla. The highest ranking priestess.
This was my first time seeing her in person, but I realized it at first glance. This woman was an imitation of the goddess who sent me to this world.
Her white hair was dyed, not natural.
…This couldn’t be a coincidence.
For some reason, the Goddess had interfered with this country and probably created a religion that suited her fancy.
[Welcome, and thank you all for gathering here today, O destined Shields of Mankind.] (Aram Karla)
Aram Karla spoke up in a loud, clear voice.
…Anyone could tell by listening to her that her voice had been trained and deliberately forged to resonate with the souls of people.
Religion was an extremely spiritual oriented system, but the means employed to spread it and make people adopt it were genuinely rational, and the techniques used were appropriate.
The way Aram Karla behaved, the way she spoke, the way she paused, everything she did was calculated.
This was truly one state-of-the-art religion.
And she called us the Shields of Mankind, a perfectly fitting name.
For the ones who would protect humanity from the Demon King and his demons.
Although, I wasn’t a mere tool. I wasn’t going to fight for the unclear purpose of protecting humanity, but for the sake of the people and places I wished to protect, and I had every intention of demanding appropriate retribution for that.
[I have come here in order to reveal a secret to you all. I will reveal to you the truth about this world, known only to the chosen ones.] (Aram Karla)
After she spoke, all the flames on the candlesticks went out.
Then came the darkness.
Something was faintly glowing by the walls, and the black light that was hiding it had disappeared.
Light flooded in from the stone statues evenly spaced along the walls.
There were a total of eight statues, among which were those of odd-shaped creatures that looked like mixtures between animals – a snake, a pig, and a rhino beetle – and humans.
…And only the stone pig and beetle statues emitted light of a different color.
Their light was red, while it was a faint green for the others.
[No way this is a coincidence.] (Lugh)
On the contrary, it would actually be baffling if it was only a coincidence that the animal motifs of the three demons I had encountered so far – the snake, the pig and the rhino beetle – were among those eight statues, and that only the pig Epona killed and the beetle I sniped were lit up in red.
[There are eight demons in total, and two of them have already been defeated. Your mission is to defeat the remaining six demons, and thwart their attempt to resurrect the Demon King.] (Aram Karla)
The priestess carried on.
What she said solved one mystery for me.
They believed my report because of the link between these statues and the life forces of the demons.
Or rather, even if I hadn’t sent them my report, they would’ve known about the demon’s death anyway.
That aside, she wants us to stop the demons from resurrecting the Demon King? Does this mean that his revival doesn’t occur naturally, but rather has to be triggered by the demons?
And why is she giving us this information only now?
Something else was bothering me too.
If I had known of the existence of these eight statues, I could’ve guessed the special characteristics of those demons from their animal motifs.
Then the light came back.
Aram Karla simply smiled.
Was she implying that she had said all she needed to say?
Obviously, I wasn’t satisfied with that.
I looked up at her, then I slowly opened my mouth.
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