The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat - Chapter 76
- The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat
- Chapter 76 - The assassin has an unexpected reunion
- Chapter 76 : The assassin has an unexpected reunion
In the sanctuary, we were given various information by the highest ranking priestess, Aram Karla.
From the beginning, I thought it was fishy how she dyed her hair the same color as that goddess and cosplayed as her.
However, the fact that she had been hiding crucial information was even more suspicious.
Namely that there were eight demons, and that there was a link between these stone statues and those demons’ lives and deaths.
And moreover, there was the demons’ goal, which was to revive the Demon King.
That same Demon King, who was thought to come alive on his own, would not be resurrected unless the demons accomplished something.
If I had known that earlier, I could’ve taken various measures.
[Lady Aram Karla, for whatever reason did you not provide us with that information beforehand? If you had shown me the demons’ statues here, I could have conjectured both their identities and their abilities, allowing me to be better prepared.] (Lugh)
I needed to know what they looked like.
Monsters and demons possessed abilities befitting of their animal motifs.
Besides, there were even stone statues of them.
Perhaps there was some intel about the demons that I couldn’t collect using the information network of the Balor trading company.
[What you say makes perfect sense. However, the existence of this sanctuary is top secret. I could not afford to show you this place until I had determined that you were trustworthy.] (Aram Karla)
If you don’t trust me, then don’t force me to go kill demons in the first place.
I refrained from saying that.
Even if I did say it, it’d be pointless.
[Is that so? Then am I to assume that the demons trying to resurrect the Demon King, as well as how they intend to do so, are also top secret information?] (Lugh)
[Why, of course. All this information was originally only meant for the Hero and his companions. A single mistake in handling it would bring about the decline of this country. However, the Church has deemed you worthy of our trust, Sir Holy Knight.] (Aram Karla)
…With those words alone, everything was all coming together, and I was able to make a rough guess.
There were several elements.
First, the fruit of life that beetle demon was trying to create.
Second, the fact that the people of the royal capital were overly afraid of demon raids.
Third, the current state of the city that was attacked.
And finally, that part about how the country would collapse if the truth was leaked.
If I put together all those pieces of evidence, I could considerably narrow down the possible answers.
[The demons use human lives to grow the fruit of life, and by offering three of them, the Demon King will be revived. I presume the number of humans needed to produce it is in the tens of thousands, so the larger the city, the more likely it is to be targeted.] (Lugh)
[Good answer. You are very smart. Indeed, the demons’ objective is to kill humans and collect their souls to produce the fruit of life. Each soul has its own degree of strength. For instance, Hero Epona, your soul alone is enough for one fruit, but if we are talking about ordinary humans, it would take fifty thousand of their souls.] (Aram Karla)
When they heard the number ‘fifty thousand’, the others were astonished.
Of course the kingdom couldn’t publish something like this.
I could understand the demons’ point of view.
If the point was to collect the souls of fifty thousand humans, they couldn’t get anywhere by raiding villages of one or two hundred people.
So they targeted large cities populated by tens of thousands of people.
Cities like Milteu, the commercial town where I established my cosmetics brand, or the royal capital.
If their targets were densely populated cities like those, then they could easily create one fruit of life by raiding just one of them.
And what would happen if the kingdom made an official announcement about it?
Massive numbers of people would flee from the popular commercial cities and the capital, and all activities would come to a halt.
The ensuing economical and political turmoil would cause the decline of the country’s strength.
And they couldn’t announce that the more crowded a city was, the more likely it was to be attacked.
…And it’s because the metropolitans realized all this that they had kept the Hero stuck here. Staying here could put them in danger, but they didn’t want to leave the center of the political struggle. That’s why they had Epona protect the capital.
[Lady Aram Karla, I now have a good grasp of the situation.] (Lugh)
[I’m sorry for keeping it all secret from you. If only I could have confirmed that you were a “Chosen One” like me much sooner…] (Aram Karla)
[What do you mean by “Chosen One?”] (Lugh)
[You have received an oracle from the Great Chalk Goddess, Venus-sama, haven’t you? Judging by the characteristics of the goddess you described in your letter, it was unmistakably Venus-sama, the one I see in my dreams. Moreover, you were granted magic to kill the demons. From my perspective, you can only be a “Chosen One”, one who has received the Goddess’ favor.] (Aram Karla)
… Aram Karla was the highest ranking priestess, and everybody called her the spokesperson of the goddess.
As for me, I believed that this role was just a charade to gain prestige.
However, it appeared that I was wrong.
That goddess showed up in her dreams.
In other words, Aram Karla’s role was that of a pawn for the Goddess to manipulate the humans as she saw fit.
Perhaps there were limitations, but from the Goddess’ point of view, there was probably no more convenient pawn to move people around.
And I was disappointed to see that the prey took my bait more easily than I expected.
The reason I brought up the goddess in my report was to send a message to all of the Goddess’ minions aside from me.
I knew that the Goddess wouldn’t just blindly trust me, leave everything to me, and be optimistic about the rest.
That’s why I thought about contacting that goddess’ pawns.
I wasn’t thinking of cooperating with them. I didn’t want them to do anything unnecessary.
[Lady Aram Karla, I am somewhat different from the “Chosen Ones”. …In my case, I have only met the Goddess twice, when I was an infant, and the other day when I was granted the【Demon Slayer】spell. What about you?] (Lugh)
[I see her approximately once every three months. This country has prospered through the words of the supreme goddess Venus-sama, which we, Aram Karla, have passed on. We cannot speak of this country without the guidance of the Goddess.] (Aram Karla)
For a long time, I thought there were many things wrong with this country, but then it hit me.
A goddess who could read the future could interfere without the use of supernatural phenomena or miracles. It was a very energy efficient and logical method of interference.
[In that case, the next time you connect with the Goddess, please give her this thank you message from me. “I will live up to your expectations. So watch over me.”] (Lugh)
[My, how marvelous. I will be sure to let her know.] (Aram Karla)
By the way, if I were to rephrase my thanks in a simple way, it would be “I’ll do what you want, so stay out of this.”
[Hero, Chosen One, and their companions. Hear my words. Your mission is to defeat the remaining six demons and prevent the resurrection of the Demon King. And finally, I ask that you protect this sanctuary. …If this place ever falls apart, we will be doomed.] (Aram Karla)
Hmm. I thought they were keeping the Hero around just for self-protection, but it seemed that wasn’t the case.
There had to be some reason for this. One that even the Hero and a Chosen One couldn’t know about.
…Well, that was a lot of information to take in at once.
And I also had the information I got from that snake demon.
She hated the fact that the fruit of life, which was supposedly necessary for the Demon King’s revival, was being grown by the beetle demon.
What I could assume from this was that the demons were competing to see who could resurrect the Demon King.
This would be a good opportunity to take advantage of their clash.
After that, I gave my thanks to Aram Karla and was taken out blindfolded.
I was reminded that what I learned there was to be kept to myself.
I walked through the secret passage and returned to the castle.
That was when Epona talked to me.
[I can’t believe such a secret exists, what a shock.] (Epona)
[Yeah. I wish I had known about it sooner, but I guess they have their own circumstances.] (Lugh)
[We’d better do our best. The Demon King is a dangerous fellow, we have to stop him from coming back to life.] (Epona)
I smiled and nodded.
Then I remembered the future that only I knew.
The one the Goddess foresaw, where Epona would go mad after killing the Demon King.
In other words, the future wouldn’t change until the resurrection of the Demon King by the demons.
…Me being sent here may or may not change that.
And looking at it differently, resurrecting the Demon King might be for the best.
After all, if the Demon King was bound to be defeated by the Hero, it would be in the best interests of the kingdom’s future to break his seal and defeat him.
Rather than keeping a bomb that may explode at any moment buried, it’s best to set it off while we still have something to deal with it.
However, this wasn’t a choice I could make.
The resurrection of the Demon King required three fruits of life that could be created using tens of thousands of lives.
In other words, reviving him was equivalent to killing about 150,000 people.
I wouldn’t accept going that far.
The mere tool I used to be was nowhere to be found anymore.
Because now, I am Lugh Tuatha Dé.
Later, a party was held.
When I was appointed as a Holy Knight, they made a huge deal out of it, but this was even more impressive.
The participants had different facial expressions.
The faces of the rural nobles and the nobles who had relatives in the countryside were shining.
In other words, they had no faith in my abilities before.
I didn’t blame them for that. Even I wasn’t sure I could kill demons back then.
Earlier, I was honored on stage for killing a demon, and at the same time, I was recognized as a “Chosen One” by the Church.
This would make it even easier for me to act freely.
In order to defeat the demons, such a prerequisite was necessary, but in this case, there was almost no one in the whole country who could blame me for my actions.
…Perhaps this was also one of the Goddess’ plans. The existence of Aram Karla itself might’ve been a pawn to grant me the status of a “Chosen One” and make it easier for me to act. No actually, the worst case would be if this entire country was her pawn.
Even if that was that goddess’ intention, going along with it was my best choice.
But then, something unexpected happened.
The【Demon Slayer】formula I sent to the kingdom was revealed to the public.
Even though there were foreign aristocrats invited to this event.
Even though this spell could’ve been their greatest diplomatic card depending on how it was handled.
The other countries, which had no hero, desperately wanted a method to kill demons without being a hero.
Because any country other than the Alvanian Kingdom would be finished the moment a demon showed up there.
The fact that they handed it over like it was nothing was odd. In other words, the Alvanian Kingdom chose to forget about the interests of the country, and prioritize those of mankind.
[My, Sir Holy Knight. Your glass is empty.] (???)
Dark brown skin and black hair. A lady whose voluptuous body was dressed in an erotic outfit showed up with a glass in both of her hands, one of which she handed to me.
…What is she doing here? What the hell is going on?
I accepted the glass without showing how much my whole body was trembling.
[Not even in my wildest dreams would I have thought that you and I would meet again in such a place.] (Lugh)
[Sir Holy Knight, you and I have never met before. Fufu! Are you sure you are not mistaking me for someone else?] (???)
As if I could mistake her for anyone else.
She was that snake demon I encountered right after I defeated the beetle demon.
She was concealing her snake features and disguising herself as a human.
She was also suppressing the miasma and mana peculiar to demons.
…Still, I knew it was her.
Assassins were masters of disguise, and they were knowledgeable about fake identities.
And in some cases, the assassination targets were not just under a disguise, but had undergone plastic surgery, and changed their skeletal structure, their voice, or even their skin color.
But even so, I had the knowledge and skills needed to see through them.
I could identify them not only by their appearance, but also by their smell, speech, habits, pauses, gestures, and many other factors.
[It appears I mistook you for someone else. My apologies. But this must still be some sort of fate, so why don’t we move to a different place later so we can take our time to chat?] (Lugh)
[Oh my, is this an invitation for a date? It will be an honor to be on a date with you, Sir Holy Knight. In that case, I will see you later.] (Snake)
The snake demon held her skirt, bowed, and left.
I expected her to meet my demands.
Otherwise, she wouldn’t have shown herself before me.
Dia and Tarte came over with their plates full of food.
[Ah, Lugh! You’re ogling her. I guess she was a real beauty, after all.] (Dia)
[Um, Lugh-sama… Do you prefer women like her?] (Tarte)
Apparently, the two of them had no clue about her true identity.
Still, it’s better if I don’t say anything yet.
In the unlikely event that things went wrong here, the central figures of the kingdom would drop like flies one after another.
[It’s not that I’m into her, I’m simply curious about her.] (Lugh)
[Uh-huh… You know, I did say that I was okay with you having an affair with Tarte, but if you ever have one with some random sexy lady, I’ll get mad.] (Dia)
[Dia-sama, um, Lugh-sama is the last person who would ever…] (Tarte)
It made me sad that Dia suspected me, but I found her cute when she was jealous.
[No worries there. You’re the one I love, Dia. Whatever there is between me and her is purely related to work.] (Lugh)
[Hmm… Okay then, I’ll believe you.] (Dia)
The meaning of my presence in this world, as well as my job as a Holy Knight.
I promised the snake demon that I’d meet her later, but that wasn’t enough.
I had to find out how exactly that thing managed to sneak into this country.
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