The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat - Chapter 95
- The Best Assassin, Incarnated into a Different World’s Aristocrat
- Chapter 95 - The assassin shows consideration
- Chapter 95 : The assassin shows consideration
We arrived at our destination, the city of Johnbull, and took lodging in an inn.
We planned to stay there and prepare ourselves until the attack.
Being in this city made it easier for us to retaliate.
We were having a strategy meeting over a meal.
[Hmmm…! I really love the food of this city. I missed it so much.] (Dia)
Dia brought food to her mouth with a satisfied look on her face.
It was a meuniere made with river fish smothered with butter. One characteristic of this dish was that it contained a lot of fried onions.
The taste itself wasn’t particularly noteworthy, but for Dia, it was the taste of her homeland.
As this city was located near the border with the Kingdom of Soigel, their cuisine must’ve been introduced to this area.
[Um, Nevan-san, are you sure you don’t mind dining with us?] (Tarte)
[Why, of course. As I stated the other day, as long as I’m accompanying you to defeat the demons, I will be your teammate, and thus, I will hold the same position as you girls.] (Nevan)
I gave Nevan a condition to accompany us.
It was that during our operational activities, we would treat her as plain old Nevan.
I didn’t say that to help her fit in with us.
When working as a team, it was absolutely crucial to establish a chain of command. Even in a small team, if there were two leaders, performance would suffer.
That’s why I treated her as equal to Dia and Tarte while we worked as a team.
And so did the other two.
[Even if you say so, addressing a duchess such as Nevan-sama casually is…] (Tarte)
[I think that kind of modesty is one of your virtues, but also one of your flaws, Tarte. What we do happens in the military too. Even if you’re the son of a bigshot, your superiors’ orders are absolute, and you’re not given any special treatment. If they didn’t do that, they would all die.] (Dia)
[Dia is right. And it’s because Nevan agreed to it that I brought her with us.] (Lugh)
It was typical of Dia to use the military as an example.
If an army ignored the chain of command just because the soldiers were of noble birth, that army would become the weakest.
Although, those who were of noble birth were given the most appropriate position for them from the start.
However, Nevan declared that she wanted to fight alongside me. And I had no suitable position for her. If she wanted to join, then we had to treat her in a manner unbefitting of her noble status, but if we weren’t allowed to, then I couldn’t take her with us.
That’s why I was treating her as my subordinate and stopped addressing her formally.
Though that was only during our operational activities.
[Exactly. So, please be sure to follow Dia’s example and call me Nevan, Tarte.] (Nevan)
[V… Very well… U… Um… Nevan.] (Tarte)
Tarte timidly addressed Nevan without using honorifics.
Honestly speaking, I think Tarte could’ve kept calling her ‘Nevan-sama’ since she always adds ‘-sama’ to my and Dia’s name when addressing us.
[Yup, sounds good enough. Ah! Nevan, pass me the salt.] (Dia)
[Of course, here you go.] (Nevan)
…As for Dia, I think she might be a bit too comfortable with it.
In her case, rationality was the foundation of her thinking, and Dia was probably used to people of high status to begin with.
[I hope you didn’t forget the other condition.] (Lugh)
[No, of course not. I will not reveal any information I may learn here to anyone, and I will not steal your technology. Was that it?] (Nevan)
[That’s right. …We possess technology and tactics that we don’t want anyone to know about. And demons aren’t the kind of enemies we can fight without bringing out our arsenal. If you don’t agree to those terms, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure you can’t follow us.] (Lugh)
This was another prearranged agreement.
My special attacks, such as【Gun Strike】, 【Gungnir】,【Railgun】, etc. were things that I couldn’t reveal to anyone.
It was impossible to kill the demons without using them. And as long as I would use them, I had to disclose their natures to the members of my team beforehand so that we could execute our tactical actions.
That’s why I told Nevan about the spells and technology that I could use to kill that demon.
[You have my word about that, too. Still, what would happen if I ever broke that promise?] (Nevan)
[Nothing, only that I’ll never trust you again, and I’ll consider you an enemy. And let me add this, if you want to find and exploit loopholes in our contract, you can. For instance, you could have a protege of yours following you, and have them disclose everything in your stead. But I’ll deliberately not remove any loophole. If you try to trick me under the pretext that you “didn’t actually break your promise”, I’ll immediately declare you my enemy.] (Lugh)
[My my, it makes me sad to hear you say that. But are you sure you can afford making an enemy of me, a Romanlung?] (Nevan)
[You bet. I’m proud to say that’s how much credit you’ve given me. …Besides, if we’re only talking about killing, I can do it at any time. Even if the target in question is a Romanlung.] (Lugh)
I consciously exuded my killing intent.
Both as a threat and a statement of my determination.
Nevan’s eyes widened, and she stopped her hands from trembling.
[Fufufu…! You truly are an assassin. Such cold eyes you have. But that’s the beauty of it. You can have full confidence in me. I would never do anything to make you dislike me. After all, you are my precious future husband.] (Nevan)
[I don’t remember ever agreeing to that last part.] (Lugh)
[What does it matter whether you agree to it or not?] (Nevan)
…Insane as usual, I see.
[Anyway, as long as you understand, we’re good. First, let’s finish our meals. Once we’re done, we’ll begin our strategy meeting.] (Lugh)
[Alright. Now, let’s enjoy the taste of the masses!] (Nevan)
[Um… This is a considerably luxurious dinner, isn’t it?] (Tarte)
Tarte was giving Nevan a curious look.
That was the gap between a duchess and a girl born into a poverty-stricken farm village.
If I had to say, Dia’s sense of luxury was closer to Nevan’s, but in her case, she didn’t give off that impression.
In any case, we’d better eat well.
And recover from our long journey.
The following day, we were all currently walking around the city to get a better understanding of its topography.
We had already obtained a map of the city, but we needed to see it with our own eyes.
For this main operation, I expected the battle to occur even in town. Or rather, there was a higher probability that it would.
The enemy had the natural dispositions of a cat, and a whole pack of them was going to appear in the close vicinity of the city.
They possessed super speed and tremendous leaping power. They were capable of closing in on the city and jumping over the defensive walls in the blink of an eye.
Since we didn’t know which direction they would come from, defeating them before they entered the city would be a difficult task.
The elites of House Romanlung were keeping watch for us and monitoring every direction, but predators were good at erasing their own presence, and it was likely that they would break in before any information could be relayed to us.
If that happened, the city would turn into a battlefield.
The day before, when we were in the carriage, I said the reason I couldn’t use【Gungnir】was because of the fragility of the defensive walls, but that was based on the assumption that we’d be fortunate enough to successfully intercept the enemy outside. If I were to fire something like that in the city, all the residents would die.
[Urgh… No matter where we fight, we won’t be able to limit the damage done to the city.] (Tarte)
Tarte said as she looked around.
[Yeah, I guess. In a city as prosperous as this, there’s no such thing as convenient as a wide open space with no people and no buildings. There’s no way to prevent the sacrifices. We’re not gods.] (Lugh)
[I’m aware, but… It’s saddening.] (Tarte)
I stroked Tarte’s head.
[You’re really kind, Tarte.] (Lugh)
[Not at all. I simply… don’t like it.] (Tarte)
While she was acting bashful, she was also happily fawning on me.
[My, I wish I were in your shoes right now. I have a suggestion. Since we’re doing a preliminary inspection of the area, why don’t we make use of the two advantages we have, specifically our locational advantage and an ambush?] (Nevan)
[Leveraging those advantages to lay traps, huh. You’re right, it could be effective.] (Lugh)
Since we knew in advance that they were coming, preparing to meet and receive them was standard practice.
However, if we were talking about taking measures against a demon, then we needed super firepower.
A trap so powerful that triggering it would blow away more than a dozen houses. And we would have to set up countless of them.
…This is another strategy that will cause sacrifices.
On the other hand, there’s no doubt that even without those traps, the same thing will happen if this place turns into a battlefield.
In that case, should I determine in advance which part of the city would have the least casualties even if we fought there, set up traps nearby, lead the demon and his pack to that area, and use the power of the traps to secure the place as a battlefield?
[In that case, let’s get started!] (Nevan)
[As much as I’d like to, it’s not that easy. We can manage to find enough materials to build the traps. But setting them is the real problem. People will notice them before the demon does.] (Lugh)
[That won’t be a problem either. We can set them up in private houses. I’ll simply purchase them by slapping some money on the owners’ faces, then you can set up all the traps you want.] (Nevan)
…Good call. If we’re planning to set traps in this crowd, then this is the best way to do it.
If we set them up in houses we purchased, we won’t be disturbed, and it makes it easier to hide.
[Wealthy people sure are frightening.] (Lugh)
[Spending money when you have to is what gives value to it.] (Nevan)
[I’ll take you up on your offer, then.] (Lugh)
If it could improve our chances of winning even a little bit, then I had to ask for Nevan’s help.
After that, as we checked the terrain, we bought 16 houses and set the traps in them.
Sure, there were some people who wouldn’t sell their houses no matter how much money we offered them, but there were plenty of other potential sellers.
Since the price we offered was three times higher than the market price, the people who were willing to immediately evacuate showed up one after another.
We didn’t know which direction the enemy would come from, so I set up a trap of my choice in all four directions.
Those traps could be activated remotely.
I planned to use them to lead the enemy where I wanted them and attack them from their blind spots.
[Impressive wealth.] (Lugh)
[I earned it myself.] (Nevan)
To begin with, there was a chance that the demon wouldn’t even show up.
Even if he did, the priority was to fight him outside the protective walls of the city, if possible.
There was a good chance that the city wouldn’t turn into a battlefield.
Nevertheless, Nevan bought 16 houses at three times the market price.
[If this turns out to have been for naught, I’ll apologize.] (Lugh)
[It’s alright. But did you think I did not notice? The houses you bought, all of them had a location that makes them easy to reuse and easy to use for business. Even if you bought them for three times the actual price, those were the kinds of lands that you or I could have leveraged to easily earn it all back.] (Nevan)
[You even realized that? Just saying, but I picked those lands based on their effectiveness as traps. In order not to let your money go to waste.] (Lugh)
Even if from her point of view, those expenses didn’t amount to much, it was still a lot of money.
Thus, I wanted to think long-term.
[That’s not all you had in mind, am I right? You truly are a shrewd man, aren’t you? …Because, if the surrounding lands became vacant, the value of your lands would increase many times over. And you could play the land shark, right?] (Nevan)
[Wow. Lugh, you’re quite the nasty planner alright. I can’t believe you bought those lands while anticipating that the battlefield would turn them into empty lots.] (Dia)
[I won’t use them like Nevan believes I would. If those lands do turn into battlefields, I can use them to support the people who lived there.] (Lugh)
Nevan and Dia tilted their heads in confusion.
The lands I bought were valuable to begin with, but they could make for the best commercial sites if the clusters of private houses were blown away in a disaster or something.
…That’s right, if the traps were triggered and one of these areas turned into a battlefield, it would be blown up and become a large and wide vacant lot ideal for commercial activities.
I was going to deliberately turn those locations into battlefields.
But it wasn’t just about making profits.
[Ohh, I see now! If they can earn a large sum of money for their homes, the people who will lose them because of the battle will not have to worry about money or a place to live! Is that right?] (Tarte)
I didn’t think Tarte would be the first to answer correctly.
Perhaps it was because of her admiration for me, but she had a tendency to see me in an overly glorified way. However, this was probably how she could perceive some parts of me.
No matter where the battle would take place, there were bound to be many casualties.
In that case, if I purchased the lands that would turn into battlefields at a high price, I could provide the people who would lose their homes with enough funds to start over.
And if they wanted, I could even give them jobs by hiring them in the business I would start on the lands I bought.
[Ahh, so that’s what you had in mind. Seriously Lugh, you’re way too considerate of others. You might go bald, you know?] (Dia)
[I’d rather not.] (Lugh)
Hypocrisy at its finest. Such was the behavioral guideline that had sprouted in me since the day I became Lugh Tuatha Dé.
I had no intention of sacrificing myself, nor of compromising the success rate of my assassinations. But I wanted to do what I could do within those limits.
The man I was before reincarnating would’ve surely never thought that way.
I finished setting my trap in the last house.
[…And that was the last of my traps. All we have to do now is prepare ourselves. Also, Nevan. There’s something I need to tell you. Naoise will probably show up in the middle of our battle against the demon. Not only that, but in exchange for power, he let go of his humanity. It’s an unforgivable sin for an Alvanian nobleman.] (Lugh)
Naoise, who craved power, and Meena, the snake demon who called him her toy and confessed that she had given him a little something.
And above all, Meena predicted that he would triumphantly appear during my battle against a demon so powerful that even I wouldn’t be able to win.
There was only one answer I could deduce from that.
It meant that after receiving power from Meena and gaining so much of it he stopped being human, Naoise would show up.
[Well, that’s another piece of information I didn’t know. I may not show it, but I was quite seriously worried about my idiot childhood friend, you know?] (Nevan)
When she said she was worried, she didn’t mean it in the true sense of the word.
It meant that she was keeping track of Naoise’s movement using the overwhelming information gathering assets of House Romanlung.
[What do we do if this idiot childhood friend of yours becomes our enemy? If necessary, I’ll dispose of him.] (Lugh)
[Which means that if it’s not necessary, you won’t. Correct?] (Nevan)
[Reading my unspoken thoughts so quickly like you do doesn’t make it any easier for me.] (Lugh)
[It’s the same with me. …Good grief, he used to be so cute when we were children. He would always bark ‘Onee-chan, onee-chan!’ to call me, like a little pup. Just where did I go wrong with him, I wonder.] (Nevan)
It was a smile that betrayed the loneliness she was feeling.
She had affection for Naoise.
But far from being romantic, it was more like affection toward a younger brother.
Well that’s surprising. I didn’t think she, who only cared about embodying Romanlung, would feel such emotions for a man who didn’t benefit her in any way at all.
[Anyway, we’re all done. Everyone, prepare yourselves to intercept the demon at any moment.] (Lugh)
[Yes, my lord! I will eat plenty and sleep tight!] (Tarte)
[I’ll run a final check on the new spell I’ve created for this occasion.] (Dia)
[Then, maybe I should think about how to deal with the aftermath of the battle.] (Nevan)
Starting now, the demon could show up at any time.
I’ve done all I can do.
Now it’s time to plan our moves for the battle.
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