120. Taking the Initiative
The second day was over, and so, Fran and I naturally had to begin preparing for the third. I really would’ve wanted everything go smoothly for once, but our processes were interrupted as we detected yet another group approaching the restaurant we were borrowing. This time, however, neither Fran nor I bothered to tense up or prepare ourselves for combat.
『Yup, Urushi’s back. Though. it looks like he’s got a few people following him…』
Focusing a bit more effort into reading our surroundings allowed me to figure out roughly what was going on. The people accompanying Urushi were all people we were pretty well acquainted with. That is, I was able to recognize them as Colbert and the three salesgirls. However, I wasn’t able to intuit why they were here or even grouped up with Urushi to begin with.
「Woof woof woof!」
「Nn. Opening door now.」
We welcomed our four employees inside, only to notice that the strongest of them had sustained an injury. Colbert was walking with a limp, and it didn’t even look like he could stand on his own. Judith had to support him in order for him to make it indoors. The cloth wrapped around his left leg was already completely stained in crimson.
Damn. What happened?
「Please don’t mind me, I’m sorry for appearing before you in such a disgraceful manner. It was a minor blunder.」
「He ended up getting hurt because he protected us.」
「Colbert probably would’ve won if we weren’t there to drag him down.」
「It was all our fault.」
There was no doubting that Colbert was strong. He had high stats, and it was strikingly obvious that he’d honed his technical skills as well. We knew for a fact that he was worthy of his rank. I understand that he had to protect The Scarlet Maidens and all, but still, that was a pretty big injury right there, one that could only have been inflicted by a formidable opponent.
「I happened to have a potion on hand, but its effect was not strong enough to heal all my injuries.」
「His whole foot had been torn off!」
Apparently the injury had been even worse just a bit earlier.
「Urushi saved us.」
「We were in a pretty bad spot, but Urushi managed to drive off the person that attacked us.」
「He appeared from the man’s shadow and executed a well timed sneak attack. It was quite a splendid maneuver.」
「He was really awesome!」
Ahhh, I see now. So that’s why they came back together.
「First, fix injury. Greater Heal.」
「Amazing! My injuries are closing so rapidly that I can see them vanishing before my very eyes.」
「Woah, you’re this good at healing magic too? Just how far ahead of me are you, Magic Sword Girl…? And just how depressed do you want me to be!?」
We had them sit down and explain what’d happened after making sure Colbert had gotten all healed up.
「Well, it all started when we parted ways at the Chef’s Guild. We were planning to head back to the inn we were staying at.」
「The three of us have been staying there ever since we first started adventuring.」
「I had planned to return to my residence after escorting the girls to theirs. Hence, I had accompanied them.」
Apparently, they were attacked by a gigantic man over two meters tall before reaching their destination. It wasn’t just some random indiscriminate attack either, the man had clearly recognized the girls, as he called out to them before initiating his assault.
「It was clear to that the man’s objective was to eliminate all three members of The Scarlet Maidens.」
「Yup. He asked us whether or not we were The Black Tail’s salesgirls.」
「But he actually started attacking before waiting for us to answer.」
「Don’t tell anyone, but seeing him come at us like that almost made me wet myself.」
In other words, the assailant knew what they looked like. He probably knew where they lived too, seeing as how he ambushed them along the way.
「Have any information about enemy?」
「Indeed we do. The man voiced his name as he attacked.」
「He called himself Zerrosreed, The Berserker. I’d thought that the rumours had been but mere exaggerations, but I was clearly proven wrong.」
「I think he might actually be stronger than the rumours say he is.」
「Wait, you don’t know who he is? Really, Magic Sword Girl?」
The guy was apparently famous, and all four of our companions felt it odd for Fran not to know his name.
「Heheh, then I’ll tell you all about him!」
Lydia quickly went over all the rumours and told us a bunch about the guy.
Apparently, he’d lose the ability to differentiate between enemies and allies the moment he engaged in combat. He even had a bounty on his head because he killed the prince of one of the countries that he was supposed to be working for. Dude sounded dangerous as hell.
The guild ranked him in at C, but rumours had said that his rank didn’t do him justice. Everyone present had merely dismissed the rumours as, well, mere rumours, but they’d evidently been shown to be true.
「He was really strong.」
「Urushi’s surprise attack was the only reason he resorted to retreating. As expected, not even a man as powerful as The Berserker could withstand a Darkness Wolf’s ambush.」
「Urushi. Good boy.」
Urushi didn’t seem completely content despite being praised. I felt that he was disappointed at the fact that he was unable finish the man off, even though he’d managed to land a sneak attack.
Judith had a bit of an unsettled look on her face, which only made sense given how she was attacked by someone far stronger than her. Crap, we can’t afford to have her quit on us.
I was worried that her party would give up on the task of selling curry bread, but my concerns turned out to be needless. Rather than succumbing to fear, she instead declared in defiance that she wanted to see the job through to the end. Her pride as an adventurer had completely overwhelmed her sense of terror. Colbert acted in a fairly similar manner, and got all fired up; he declared that he would defeat The Berserker next time the two of them crossed paths.
「Then looking forward. Working together tomorrow.」
「Leave it to me!」
「I’ll do my best.」
「Next time we run into each other, I’m giving that gorilla one hell of a bashing!」
We guided Colbert and the salesgirls over to the place we were staying after confirming their intentions. The district had a plentiful number guards within it, so we figured it would be safe. Initially, we’d planned to let them borrow our room if there weren’t any more available, but the hotel’s staff immediately made us a few arrangements the moment they caught sight of Colbert.
「You’re heading out again, Magic Sword Girl?」
「Nn. Will be back by morning.」
「Wait, wait! Don’t tell me you’re going after him!?」
「No. Going elsewhere.」
「It’s too dangerous to go alone!」
「Not alone. Together with Urushi.」
「I understand… However, do make sure you return by the morning. We’ll be disqualified if you fail to make it back.」
「Nn. No problem.」
We went back to the kitchen so we could get Urushi to tell us what he’d found.
「Bark bark bark!」
Urushi tried to relay his message by raising his front legs whilst making dog noises. We were able to get the fact that he was trying to tell us something, and that his message contents were rather urgent. However, we were unable to discern any further detail.
I was ready for this exact situation though. I’d devised a method that could potentially allow him to communicate with us, and so, I explained it to him.
『You think you can pull it off? Alright, try it on me first.』
『Hmm… Yeah, it didn’t work.』
The concept was to use the Level 8 Dark spell Brain Trick. The spell’s effect allowed one to directly implant anything they imagined into their target’s mind and thereby cause hallucinations. It sounded like a spell that would normally fall under the illusion element, but it wasn’t. It counted as dark due to the fact that it would operate directly on the target’s brain. As a result, it was much more difficult to detect than any sort of illusion based magic.
Specifically, the concept was to have Urushi project his memories as opposed to something he imagined. That, in turn, could potentially allow Urushi to communicate with us despite being incapable of speech.
However, it didn’t go as smoothly as I’d assumed it would, probably because I didn’t have a brain for the spell to mess with in the first place.
『Try it on Fran instead.』
「Nn! Can see clearly. Mastermind. Lord’s second son.」
It seemed like it worked. Sweet, communicating with Urushi would be even easier going forward.
Fran explained to me everything Urushi had bore witness to.
『Alright. So, the lord’s second son is the one behind everything.』
『Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that we ended up accidentally saving the city.』
『But now he’s after us because of it.』
I had to admit that we were a bit outmatched. We had to deal with Waint, Bluke, Zerais, Rynford, and even Zerrosreed The Berserker to top it all off.
We were up against an entire organisation, one that’d already weaved their web. It was going to be tough, especially given how little time we had to deal with them.
I guess it’d help if we were to borrow an organisation’s power as well… though I’m not all that sure that the people I had in mind would actually be willing to help us.
『Let’s go pay the Lord’s manor a quick visit.』
I didn’t bother differentiating between the girls this time around. Honestly, I don’t even remember which one’s which at this point.
Important Note: Translations may undergo a temporary slowdown for approximately two weeks because of recent video game releases. (I’m looking at you, Fire Emblem Warriors, Nights of Azure 2, and Super Mario Odyssey.) They also may not actually slow down. No idea, depends on my mood/whims/school assignments. Same thing’ll apply around the release of Pokemon USUM.