KENS Chapter 58

Chapter 58 The Journey for the Demon God’s Revival

There was the fact that the tournament ended only a few days ago, but the guild was really active and lively today.

Due to most adventurers taking part or going to see the tournament, lots of requests had been accumulated as well. From subjugating monsters to gathering herbs, but the most popular right now was carriage escort missions.

The various nobles who had come to watch the tournaments had to return back to their lands and would often hire adventurers to escort them safely, and since the mood has been like this, the nobles have been pretty lax with their money as well. Basically, it was a chance for adventurers to earn. It had become normal for reward for escorting to be double than normal, and there was even a chance that you could get a good tip if you did your job well.

So, all the adventurers inside the guild were actively trying to get themselves a lucrative escort job right now.

“So, this will be the reward. Will it be enough?”

The man sitting opposite of me on the table showed an extremely extraordinary amount.

I gave a glance towards the receptionist without letting the man realize, only to see the receptionist giving a bow towards me with a troubled face. Looking at his face, rather than agreeing, I could only give a sigh.

Why did it become like this? Well, the reason is that after the tournament, my face became famous and now my name sold well basically. Before, only my name was known as the hero who killed a God but other than that all else was not known since I was living away secluded in some rural village but now I finally appeared in public, that too in a big even like the tournament. And considering the fact that I’m working as just an adventurer now was also known, there would obviously be one or two nobles who’d try hiring me.

Nobles are, to say simply, full of people who like to put on airs. [I once hired one of the Heroes etc etc.]. They probably want to brag like that.

True, that reward amount is fascinating and there is a part of me that wants to accept it but,

“I’m very sorry, but I have already taken another request.”(renji)

Saying that, I refused him.

This was the third one already. The noble in front of me and the receptionist dropped their shoulders simultaneously at that.

It looks like this noble is quite well known within the guild so I was told to at least consider talking to him.

“Is that so..”(noble)

“If you want, should I introduce some strong adventurers to you?”(renji)

“No. It is more than enough that you were at least willing to listen to what I had to say.”

Saying that he left his seat and went away. At least he was a pretty polite person.

There are few whose attitude completely changes when they realize that I won’t accept…….well, not that bad but it still becomes clear that they are not happy to have been refused like that.

[What a pain.]

“Seriously.”(renji)

Answering to Ermenhilde, I also stood up from my seat. Stretching my body a bit, my neck made a nice cracking sound.

“But still, Feirona and others sure are late.”(renji)

[They must have things to take care of as well. We’re the unusual ones who have nothing to do and are freely moving around.]

“Well, I guess that’s true.”

Up till now, it hasn’t really been a problem that much but really it’s difficult to meet someone when you don’t have mobiles to contact someone.

Let’s meet at the guild today. I had said that but we hadn’t even decided on some specific time. It’s very normal if he’s busy in some other task as well.

Well, so that I can peacefully wait, I moved away to corner seat where I won’t stand out much.

Today, unfortunately, the sky was cloudy and it won’t be weird for the weather to go bad at any time. Judging by how cold its getting, it might snow in the afternoon.

Once, I really snow but I haven’t really liked it much after coming to this world. It gets really cold, almost freezing, and causes lots of problems when you’re travelling.

Even though the traffic of people near the capital is pretty high, it’s not like there are cars running in and out 24/7. If the road freezes, the carriages will definitely meet an accident and it becomes to find dead wood to make campfires to warm yourself as well. Water becomes cold as ice and even inside the tent, it’s always chilling.

While I was looking outside the window into the street, thinking of such things, I felt a gaze at me. I ignored it for a while but it looks like the person didn’t intend to go away anytime soon.

[What happened?]

“Someone looking at me.”

[Mu………..oh, looks like another noble.]

When I told that Ermenhilde, she told me who the owner of that gaze was.

At times like these, Ermenhilde is really useful. Since she doesn’t have a physical body, she can look around freely, and nobody would know it. And above all, only I can hear her voice as well.

Hearing her answer, I gave a sigh again. Really, the title of a Hero is nothing but trouble. Honestly speaking, it’s a pain to stand out like this all the time.

[Francesca and others are with them as well.]

“…….What?”

Hearing that, I also looked towards the direction where the gaze was coming from.

Just like Ermenhilde said, there, Ms Francesca was standing along with Mururu, Feirona, and even Solnea. And one more woman I didn’t recognise.

I felt like I had seen that woman somewhere but I couldn’t recall. Her lush honey coloured hair reached the tip of her shoulders and were tied back into a ponytail. Seeing as she was wearing a dress even inside the guild, she must be the noble Errmenhilde talked about. Wearing a fiery red dress in a stylish manner, her strong gaze also matched her dress. She was a woman 10/10 men would call a beauty. Her height was similar to Ms Francesca, in fact Mururu was only as tall as her chest portion. It really looked like Feirona was surrounded by 3 beautiful ladies. Sorry, but Mururu your height makes it impossible for you to be counted.

While I was thinking of that, Feirona and others walked up towards me.

“You were too slow to notice.”

“I had noticed quite a while ago though.”(renji)

“But you didn’t react at all.”

“Because there was a presence I did not recognise. So I had Ermenhilde look instead.”

When I said that, Mururu spoke ‘I see’ in a small voice before moving to sit beside me. Getting silently urged, I stood up. Looking at the woman’s expression once more, her eyes were sharp and lips were tightly shut. A slight red tinge could be seen on her lips and a soft fragrance came to me, probably some kind of perfume. She must be the type who pays a lot of attention to her appearance.

Just looking at her would be pretty rude so I also straightened my posture, she was a noble after all.

Just when, I finally recalled where I had seen her. It was during the tournament. After Ms Francesca had lost, it was her gaze I had sensed while I was talking to Ms Francesca back then.

“During the tournament, did we perhaps meet?”(renji)

“——So you had noticed Renji Yamada-sama.”

“Of course. You see I am a bit sensitive to others’ gazes.”

“Oh how rude of me. I should have greeted you properly.”

“Renji-sama, are you two acquainted already?……..”(fran)

“No, we just passed by each other in the arena, that’s all.”(renji)

This is the first time I am talking to her after all. While feeling almost coldness seep through her sharp eyes, her unexpectedly cute voice made me a bit surprised a bit. This also a kind of a ‘gap’ charm I guess?

“Nice to meet you……”

There I finally realized I haven’t even heard her name yet. It’d be weird to ask of her name so I instead looked towards Ms Francesca instead, as she noticed my gazed and panicked to quickly introduce us.

“This is Melentia Barton. She’s my sister, seven years older than me.”(fran)

“I am Melentia Barton, my younger sister has been in your care.”(mel)

As Ms Francesca introduced her, Melentia-san gave a bow.

Her every movement was polished and refined, it wasn’t something one could master in a day or two. For someone who is supposed to be in her twenties, she looks pretty young. And she seems to have mastered the mannerisms of nobles at this age already as well. She must have been going out as a noble in public from quite the young age.

But, her strong gaze remained the same. She might not think too well of me maybe.

Maybe she’s angry that I made her younger sister live the dangerous life of an adventurer or something? While thinking of such things, I gave a bow as well.

“So you were Francesca-dono’s older sister. Though I did not know you, I still apologise for not having greeted you myself.”(renji)

“No, you don’t have to. In fact, I should apologise. It seems my younger sister has been troubling you for some time now.”(mel)

“Oh, no such thing. In fact I had been saved many times by Francesca-dono during our journeys as well.”

“Oh really? Even though the teachers at her academy used to say that she won’t make much accomplishments as a magician.”

“Accomplishments don’t depend on talent, but on your own will, is what I believe.”

Her gaze remained sharp as always but I sensed some gentleness in her voice as well. I guess, she herself doesn’t think as lowly of Ms Francesca as she is saying.

In fact, she might have even been worried for her for living the life of an adventurer. Well, it’s pretty normal though. After all, an adventurer is a job where there’s no certainity for even the next day.

“fufu, it seems you’ve met quite a great person, Francesca.”(mel)

“Yes!”(fran)

Being flattered like that made me feel a bit itchy instead. Ms Francesca seemed to have liked hearing that as she spoke that with a wide smile.

When I averted my eyes, Mururu was making a confused face and Feirona was giving a slight smile. He must be laughing inside I’m sure. Solnea seemed to be uninterested as usual as she continued to calmly stare at me.

“I’m sorry to have not come up myself even though I had noticed you just now.”(renji)

“No no, in fact, it was impolite of me to have stared like that at the man who has been taking care of my sister.”(mel)

“Please don’t mind it. I believe that any would consider it an honour to be stared at by a beautiful lady such as yourself.”

[Oi!]

“Oh you’re good at flattery!”

Ermenhile made a retort in between but Melentia-san simply nodded without being perturbed at all. Her expression showed not even slight surprise and just gave a light smile. Rather than saying she was used to it, it seemed like she understood that it was nothing more than just lip service. It showed that she was that used to such kind of conversations.

“There’s no use standing as we talk, please take a seat.”(renji)

“Yes, if I may then, please excuse me.”(mel)

When I said that, everyone sat down completely surrounding the table. Only Melentia-san and Solnea were still standing. Melentia-san must be hoping to sit down last as a way to be polite but Solnea wouldn’t understand that. Maybe she’s still confused from our conversation.

“Solnea, you can sit as well.”(renji)

“Okay.”(sol)

When I said that, Solnea sat down. And after that, Melentia-san sat down at last.

“First I apologise to have come and met you in such a way by using my sister.”(mel)

“No need to. It did surprise me but since I have been along with Francesca-dono, I have been thinking of greeting you once as well.”(renji)

“Eh?”

“I let your precious sister be in the face of danger so many times. I have been thinking of apologising for that.”

“But that was my—–“(fran)

Saying til that, Ms Francesca stopped her mouth. Feirona beside him seemed to have stopped her as he seemed to be still smiling a bit. I guess he understands that I’m saying things that I don’t really mean.

No, I did in fact think of giving an apology if we ever met though. Yeah.

“So, what business might you have with me?”(renji)

“Yes. Since the tournament is finally over, and as thanks for taking care of my sister as well, if possible I was hoping to invite you to our residence.”(mel)

“Oh my, how polite of you to do so.”(renji)

Her sharp gaze seemed to have slightly softened up a bit. Looks like it was she really does plan on inviting me. I guess I don’t have to worry about her getting angry for putting Ms Francesca in danger. Well, her gaze is still quite sharp so I can’t really let my guard down.

[Renji, I think you understand but………]

But the problem is that I have the request from the Goddess as well. To lead Solnea to the throne of the Demon God. And to thus silence the monsters.

Though I haven’t really been given a time limit, since the case itself is so important, I want to finish it as fast as possible myself. I need to go through Elfreim and towards Abenelm. Since I’ll have to go by a ship, I don’t even know how many days it’d take so that’s also troublesome.

“I am happy for the invitation but.”(renji)

“Do you perhaps have some other plans?”(mel)

“I took a request just a while ago. I will soon have to leave for the Commercial City Merdiore.”

Merdiore. It’s the only port City that has a sea route connecting Elfreim to Imnesia. It’s also considered the most flourishing city in Imnesia as well.

I’ll have to hire a ship there and then head for the Elfreim continent. I did consider asking Yui-chan to lend me Fafnir’s ability to fly there but had to abandon them due to certain circumstances.

In the end, I am one the 13 heroes who saved the world. No matter how much I want to deny it, if everyone else thinks that way, my opinion won’t matter anymore.

And now I, am trying to revive the Demon God who is the enemy of the whole world. Even if it is to support the life of the world itself, even if that Demon God is a completely different one than before, it still won’t look great to the public for a hero to revive the Demon God. In the worst case, not just me, the rest of the 13 might have get harmed in the process as well. When I thought of that, I didn’t feel like getting the help from anyone else and figured it’d be necessary to move alone.

I might be over thinking this but this world, whether for better or worse, is just too pure. The revere the Goddess and treat her as absolute. That Goddess did say to revive the Demon God herself but anyone who says that might be considered as a liar instead, or so Utano-san thinks. That’s how much deeply rooted the fear of the Demon God is in the people of this world. It’s so deep that there’s no way it could be removed in just one year.

The emotions of people, I who hasn’t studied something like psychology, cannot really understand. But—–I can somewhat understand the hatred and fear of the Demon God. It’s been only three years since I came to this world, and have spent only two years dealing with the Demon God yet my feelings are complex on the matter. To the people who have been living in this world from birth, their feelings in this matter would be even more complicated.

Thus, so as to not stand out a lot, I decided to use Fafnir only to go from Elfreim to Abenelm—-to the throne of the Demon God in the God’s castle.

“Are you in a rush?”(mel)

“Yes. I need to hire a ship as well you see so I need to hurry.”(renji)

“Then, why don’t you hire our ship instead?”

[What?]

Ermenhilde spoke instead of me but of course, Melentia-san didn’t hear her.

“Is something the matter?”

So, she looked confusedly at us who went silent for a while.

Her action made her look a bit childish making me once again realize that she was Ms Francesca’s older sister indeed.

“It’s nothing, so can you prepare a ship?”(renji)

“Yes. Ours is a mercantile house which functions majorly in Merdiore after all. One ship could be prepared in a matter of days.”

Hearing till that, I looked towards Ms Francesca. She realized that hadn’t talked about her own house to me at all so she made a troubled face.

That said, I recalled that I hadn’t asked much about it either. No, it’s because she didn’t seem to be much used to the noble’s mannerisms so I didn’t ask her much. To think that her house was a mercantile house……..

I recalled her reaction on seeing the Mithril sword for the first time. I guess she must have gotten a good eye on judging items while working at her house.

“That will, definitely be of help but…….”(renji)

“If, you’re thinking that it might be troubling us, then please don’t. To lend a ship to a Hero will earn us much more trust than any amount of money ever could.”

Well, I guess that’s true.

I don’t really specialise in business but I know that it depends on the trust and relationship between the customers and the merchants. Even in our own world, business constantly sue famous personalities in CMs/Ads which is to gain the trust of the public. Then, if someone who was completely unaware of anything was told that they lent a ship to a Hero once, their whole house will get the mark that their house is [ trusted by a Hero]. And not just that, it actually might have more benefits than I could think of.

I won’t go as far as to say that this was Give and take but if they are gaining something from it, I don’t have a reason to refuse either. It’s quite the trouble to prepare a ship and in fact I’m not even sure how much it costs to hire a ship right now. Then, best to go the specialists themselves. I’ll be relieved if someone who knew what they were doing would prepare the sip as well. Considering its Ms Francesca’s family, I’ll be relaxed as well.

“Give me some time to think about it.”(renji)

But instantly agreeing would be showing your own weakness here so I decided to gain some space and time. In fact, I do intend to leave only after a few days anyway. There’s no reason to give a quick reply.

“I understand. I plan to leave the capital after three days. Please be sure to decide by that time.”(mel)

“I’m sorry for the trouble.”(renji)

“It’s fine. Since you are so famous, I believe it’s not easy for you to move around easily as well.”

It seems she understood that as she didn’t even give some kind of warning either. Or maybe she knew I’d say something like that.

“Well then, I’ll take my leave now. Thank you for lending me some of your precious time.”(mel)

And giving a bow, Melentia-san left the place. At first she was making quite a grim face but by the end, her face had become quite gentle.

Did she actually come to trust me a bit or was that an act as well. Merchant house—–as someone who deals with money, it’s difficult to read what they’re truly thinking. I guess that’s the same in every world.

“Fuuh.”(renji)

“I’m very sorry Renji-sama. To have brought my sister to you so suddenly…..”(fran)

“Nah, it’s fine. I did consider talking to them if I had the chance to meet after all.”

I mean it.

I did expose her sister to danger after all. Even if its what she herself wished for, it should be my job to contact her family first. As the one who taught–showed her how to fight.

But oh well, it’s already been decided what to do about Melentia-san. Don’t have to think much about it now. Thinking that, I looked towards Feirona.

“So do you guys have any plan on what you’re doing next?”(renji)

“If you’re asking that means you have something in mind as well?”(elf)

“……..It’s good that you’re so sharp.”

“What do you mean?”(mururu)

When I said that, Feirona simply gave knowing shrug implying he understood. Mururu didn’t really get it so she asked again but the details are the same as what I said before.

Once more, we’ll leave on a journey. And I am thinking of inviting Feirona and the others on it as well.

After having completed many requests together, I think I know their abilities and personalities. And I consider them as trustworthy.

“Like I said before, my next destination is beyond the ocean.”(renji)

“Meaning?”

“Elfreim continent. I am heading there. If you guys don’t have any other plans, Feirona and Mururu, I am hoping to hire you guys to go with me.”

When I said that, Mururu’s eyes slightly opened wider.

“Renji wants to hire me?”(mururu)

“Both you and Feirona to be exact.”

“………What about Fran?”

She spoke that with a somewhat worried voice while looking towards Ms Francesca. She also felt a bit sad but maybe it was just my imagination.

“Ms Francesca has her school. And, the next journey will be…….quite dangerous.”(renji)

“That is, I am still too weak?”(fran)

“Or rather, the journey will be long. It could be that we might become unable to come back to this continent for a whole year.”

If that happens, it’d be problematic for her as a student. Especially Ms Francesca is a third year. She will graduate this year. It would end up affecting her graduation if she came.

Thinking of that, I really could not consider taking her with us. It seems Ms Francesca also understood that as when I told her that it’ll be long, she gave a complex yet relieved sigh.

I don’t consider her to be a burden. In the past few months, we travelled together a lot. Her ability, personality, I know pretty well. As she is now, Ms Francesca can be considered a competent adventurer.

“That’s quite the long journey you’re talking about.”(elf)

“Yeah. The client for the job is quite a troublesome one you see.”(renji)

“Who?”

“That, I’ll tell you if decide to accept the job.”

As expected I can’t just lightly say that it’s a request from Astraera herself. Not to mention there’s quite a lot of eyes and ears here. Who knows where the objective of this journey or that its from Astraera might leak.

Well, if I had to tell them it’ll be after we depart out of even Merdiore.

[Though it might be long, depending on the situation, it can be completed pretty soon as well though.]

“fumu.”

[But, it will be a dangerous journey. Consider it a proof of trust in your abilities that you’re invited to take this request as well.]

“Don’t say useless things, idiot.”(renji)

[Who are you calling an idiot?]

“As usual you two sure get along well.”(elf)

While giving a wry smile at our conversation, Feirona rested his chin on his fingers and went into thought. Mururu was…….not thinking much from the looks of it. Maybe she’s planning to decide based on Feirona’s decision.

“So, Renji-sama, till Merdiore……”(fran)

“Yeah. Even without the matter about the ship, I still plan on heading towards Merdiore. Let’s go till there together, okay?”(renji)

“Yes!”

When I said that, Ms Francesca nodded with a wide smile.

Thinking that soon I’ll have to say goodbye to this smile as well, an unexplainable feeling rose in me.

“Renji.”

When, a calm voice called towards me.

Looking that way, as usual without any emotion, Solnea was looking at me.

“What should I do?”

“What do you want to do?”(renji)

I answered her question with another question.

Until now I have been telling her to do this and that but from here onwards I want to hear her own will as well. Even if there’s nothing there right now.

Astraera said so. To lead Solnea, a different Demon God than Nayfell, a Demon God that dislikes fighting to the throne of Gods.

I still am not sure how that’ll work. But, I know I can’t continue like this. Right now, Solnea is no different than a puppet who does whatever she’s asked of. That’s because she was born just now and doesn’t hold any will of her own.

That also explains why Solnea doesn’t have any memories as well. I believe that a personality is formed from your countless experiences. Since she has none of those, her will is so weak.

Then what I can do is show her the world. The world of humans, the world of demihumans and beastmen. And show her just how pretty and fun place this world is.

Nayfell wished for strife and conflict, he was  god who could only exist and feel emotions while fighting. Just like how Astraera enjoys looking at the lives of people, Zwenelia likes to sleep in peace, Nayfell enjoyed being feared, and hated……….and along with those feelings, he wished to fight the ones who come at him.

I’m sure he never knew what Orc meat tasted like or what a stew’s warmth feels like or what a juice made out of fresh fruits tastes like.

Then I want to teach all of that to Solnea. The lives of the people, the beauty of this world, the fun of talking with your friends and comrades. Just like how Eru, who was born as a weapon, changed, Solnea, who was born as a Demon god, would change as well………I believe so. I might be too naïve but that’s all I have. I may be laughed at——but, that’s all I have.

“I don’t know.”(sol)

To my question, Solnea, as expected………without showing any wave of emotions, said that.

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