Chapter 2 Episode 27
Day 171 after being summoned to another world: (Assassin 4)
When such hoarse voice reverberated inside the tent, an old man standing at the entrance of the tent.
(Did he just come down from above the tent? Well indeed it is possible to climb the tent looking at how strong the pillars supporting the tent are, but looking how easy he infiltrate, this is worrying. )*
Sara and Laura was immediately prepared for a fight while calling Ryouma’s name in a low voice.
“It’s fine. Standby.”
Ryouma ordered with a small voice and nodded toward Lione and the others to ask them to wait and see.
(Now then, a clan of assassins huh?… What are you going to show me this time…)
This is different from a surprise attack, Ryouma didn’t feel much different with one or two more assassins shows up this late.
Ryouma who felt he had plenty of leeway turns an inquisitive gaze towards the intruder.
Sakuya’s gaze shifted towards the old man.
It seems like an unexpected person has appeared based on Sakuya’s suprised expression.
“Ojiji-sama… Why are you here?” Sakuya’s voice was filled with confusion.
White mustache and white hair.
Just like Sakuya, the old man also donned similar black attire and even a complete newbie could understand that he has been through alot based on the scars and wounds on his face.
And in his left hand he held a cane that was slightly bent to draw an arc.
“Hou… Don’t you feel surprised with my visit? I find this to be quite hard to understand, whether you’re some sort of a big shot or a fool who is unable to comprehend the current situation…”
Disregarding Sakuya’s question the old man’s eyes quickly scanned his surroundings.
“No, I feel surprised enough you know? After all, an uninvited guest has appeared.”
Ryouma replied to the old man with the signature zero Yen Japanese smile, the old men looked around, noting that no one in the tent seemed surprised at his sudden visit.
(Hou, that young man, he seems to be dominating this room huh.)
The old man was impressed with Ryouma’s reaction or lack thereof. If the one who leads were to be suprised or tensed in a situation then the ones who are under him would also follow suit. This showed that Ryouma understood that he was in complete control of his subordinates and the surrounding atmosphere.
“Fuuh! Well, whatever… What I want to know is, why didn’t you kill her? Why have you allowed the assassin who was aiming for your life to continue to live?? And furthermore, why aren’t you attempting to capture me while I’m standing here?”
“Oh? I thought you came here because you had already understood why.?”
Ryouma answers the old man with a broad grin.
If it’s only to help Sakuya to escape, then the old man wouldn’t have revealed himself to Ryouma.
The fact that the old man revealed himself means he bore no hostility towards Ryouma.
“I see, you can make such judgment huh? You’re much more calmer than I had thought, young man…, well now let’s hear it once again… Are you people of Hinomoto?” <TLN: Hinomoto(日の本), old Japan’s name, simple kun of “日本”.>
The old man directed a question towards Ryouma.
Ryouma understood that telling a lie at this point would not have been forgiven as he noticed the intimidation flaring from the old man’s eyes.
Hinomoto was how the people of the olden generations referred to Japan.
In other words, what he was referring to was Japanese people.
The name has lost its value in modern Japan and is most common in medieval themed novels.
“That is correct. I’m indeed from the country you call Hinomoto.”
While answering the old man, Ryouma was also able to derive some answer of his own based on the old man’s words.
(Hinomoto huh?… That kind of olden way of speaking…, I guess as I’ve suspected huh?)
“Hou… I’ve heard that the recent people who come from Hinomoto have foolishly forgotten the ways of a warrior yet there still exist warriors such as you.”.”
Saying so, the old man turned toward Sakuya.
“Sakuya, stand up and take off your clothes.”
Sakuya’s complexion changes after hearing the old man’s words.
Aside from being an assassin, she was still a women after all.
Although she stood up, it was easy to notice that she was hesitant to take off her clothes..
Well, unless you’re a human with unusual tastes, no one would feel comfortable stripping around so many watchful eyes.
Together with the old man voice, silver light suddenly radiated from the cane, and immediately disappear as if being sucked by the cane again.
Ryouma’s eyes who saw that turn sharp.
Ryouma’s eyes caught the old man right-hand pluck out the blade hidden in his cane, and in a single moment slashing Sakuya’s kimono from the bottom up.
“Hou… Iai huh? That’s quite a good ability you have… To only cut the clothes without harming the skin.”
While Ryouma said those words, Sakuya’s clothes began to slowly crumbles into pieces.
Hearing Ryouma’s words, the old man smiled at Ryouma who was gazing at Sakuya’s body.The old man then placed his hand on Sakuya’s shoulder and began to examine it.
“Hou, as I’ve expected…, you’ve delivered blows to her vital point. Moreover, looking at the hit points, this is no mere punch…, this is a penetrating blow is it not?”
To answer the old man, Ryouma only pushes out his fist.
“Hou, a fist where you push out your index finger joint out huh? Indeed such fist is effective for aiming vital point.”
The old man said those words based on how Ryouma push out his fist.
“That is correct. It’s called one point fist.”
While nodding at Ryouma’s words, the old man touches Sakuya’s abdomen.
Sakuya’s face distorted in pain.
“I see…, This is the effect of the fist huh? You change the grip of your fist depending on your aim, is it not? This is very similar to the technique that is handed down in our clan, and this technique’s aim is to interfere with the victim’s breathing am I right?”
Ryouma nodded toward the old man’s question.
“With that technique, you should have been able to kill Sakuya at anytime, no? You sure have quite considerable skill…”
The old man sighs deeply after saying those words, nobody was sure if the old man was lamenting Sakuya’s lack of ability or if he was impressed with Ryouma’s overwhelming skills.
Attacking the vital point.
It was easier said than done, especially in real battle where one has to consider the many factors in a short amount of time.
Unlike vital point that leads to serious injuries, a strike to the shoulder or diaphragm requires precise power and also pinpoint accuracy to have an effect.
It’s not something that is easy to apply.
And yet, to perform such thing on Sakuya who’s an assassin, not to mention in the dark to boot, that truly shows how skillful the human named Mikoshiba Ryouma is.
“It was a surprise attack after all. The result might not have been the same if we were to have battled head on.”
“Are you stupid… Do you think there’s an assassin that attacks from the front?” *
Hearing the old man’s words, Ryouma showed a thin smile.
After all the old man words were nothing more than an argument.
“Well that is true…, oh right, it would be pitiful to leave Sakuya-san like this, please use this.”
Ryouma picked up a nearby blanket and handed it to Sakuya.
“No no, it is indeed a sight to behold.”
Hearing Ryouma’s words, Sakuya immediately hid her chest behind her arms.
She had finally realized that her chest had been laid bare throughout the conversation.
“Fuh… You, you seem to know how to handle women?”
“It’s not about knowing about it or not. Well, you can say that this is just my courtesy.” *
While answering the old man, Ryouma shrugged his shoulders
Ryouma is quite fond of women, but, it is no hobby of his to watch naked women in torn up clothes.
It would be different if it were only the two of them in private room but right now they were surrounded by people.
Well, he does not know if such thought in this world is normal or not; however, Ryouma have no plan of deviating from his common-sense except in life threatening emergency.
“Well then, if possible, I would like to ask you a few questions”
Ryouma turned the tables on the old man as he couldn’t have allowed the old man to be the only one questioning.
After all, the old man’s identity was still a mystery to him.
“I don’t mind… But I think you’ve already got all the answer no? What else are you going to ask this old man?”
The old man responded as such.
“Well, sometimes our expectations and reality can be entirely different, you know?”
Upon hearing Ryouma’s words, the old man enters a deep thought.
“I see… You sure are a cautious one, well since you’re leading an army it must be natural huh? Very well, I will answer your questions.”
“First let me confirm something, did your clan descend from a previous clan that was summoned a long time ago.*?”
“Well let see, it is said that the first generation of the clan were the people who were summoned from another world around 500 years ago”
The old man readily responds to Ryouma’s question.
“500 years ago huh? Wait, ‘people’? Not just one person?”
There was an unexpected word mixed in the old man’s answer..
“That is correct; our ancestors were summoned along with their entire village.”
“The entire village you say?”
The old man nods toward Ryouma’s words.
“That’s right, well, back then it was only a small village with a population of 20 people.”
According to the old man story, their ancestors were summoned while they were still asleep in their futons.
Well since the flow of time between this world and the other is different. It would be possible that the summoned people were sleeping in the middle of the nigh.t
“But still, is it even possible to summon an entire village?”
As far as Ryouma knew, he never heard of such a strange phenomenon especially in a modern age where information around the world flies freely, news of a village disappearing overnight was never mentioned. <TLN: He’s talking about his original world>
“No, well that is a story of the past. Now the catalysts needed for summoning are scarce and expensive, even among the great powers. They are barely able to summon several people in a year.
(That means, I was quite unlucky huh?)
A nation can only summon several people in a year.
Although he doesn’t know how many nations exist in this world, even if all of them perform summoning, it would only average about 200-300 people in a year.
With billions of people in that world, he was still one of the chosen 200 or so people to be summoned, Ryouma couldn’t help but curse his bad luck.
“I see, then why is your clan still a clan of assassins?”
500 years had passed since then but the clan has still maintained their assassin ways even after such a long time. What exactly was their purpose as a clan of assassins and what of their goals? This was something Ryouma wanted to confirm as soon as possible.
“Our clan is a clan of spies.”
Listening to the old man’s words, everyone except Ryouma and Sakuya drew a blank expression..
A spy is an occupation that was well known for their abilities, some even refer to them as grass due to their ability to carry out missions without so much as a peep from their targets. Throughout the years they garnered many names but there was a specific name that came to Ryouma’s mind, ‘Ninja’. <TLN: Grass is another term of “spy” in Japan, it might be different each nation.>
Sakuya’s clan is a clan of Ninjas.
(I see…, I now can understand as to why their clan remained as such despite the fact that their ancestors were summoned over 500 years ago.)
Certainly, if the summoner had summoned Ninjas to this world where wars are rampant, they would definitely want to utilize the ninja’s abilities.
As a result, the Ninjas survived for over 500 years and in that time began to hone and refine their combat skills.
And being in a clan of spies, that means Sakuya not only specializes in assassination but also information disturbance, sabotaging and bodyguard duty.
“I see… By the way, which Ninja school’s arts did your clan inherit?” <TLN: Referring to Martial art school>
“Who knows, a spy is a spy. We infiltrate, we steal and we kill, that is all.”
They didn’t need something like a school name, it might have been necessary if they wanted to spread their influence and be distinguishable from others in the same field but since their arts were only passed down within their clan’s descendants the thought of having a name would be unnecessary.
“By the way, do you know the name of the place in which your ancestors came from?
“I don’t know the name of the place but, I do know that they had lived on a mountain near a big lake.”
The old man answered Ryouma’s question honestly since it wasn’t information that had much value.
(A lake… Is it Lake Biwa? That means they came from Iga or Kouga clan huh?)
Those are the names of famous Ninja clans though there are still a number of other possibilities.
“I see, then lastly, you said earlier that “It is the fate of our clan” what does that mean?”
It was Ryouma’s final question.
And the answer was beyond Ryouma’s expectations.
Japanese ninja usually live in a specific area and either search for employment elsewhere or swear loyalty and server a specific lord.
And in a world where many people strive for power more than anything else, many would want to employ their services, it was hard to imagine that throughout all this time that they’ve been wondering about.
It is a situation that was difficult to fathom unless there’s a special reason.
“Fumu, about that, that is something that cannot be said to an outsider… It is the rule of our clan.”
The old man shows a distorted expression.
“Is that so, then please forgive me for being rude.”
Ryouma lowered his head when he heard the old man answer.
“Hou, are you not curious about it?” The old man was caught off guard with Ryouma’s lack of interest.
“I do not have any hobby of exploring other’s secret. Besides there’s a famous saying ‘Curiosity killed the cat’ ”
As a human being, it was natural to be curious about other people’s secrets and the more people try to hide it the more it picks one’s curiosity.
There are many reasons why one would try to hide their secrets because of that for some revealing their secrets could be life changing.
(Knowing things without the capability to bear it will only introduce more dangers to myself.)
There’s no need to take an extra risk in this world where the value of life is very cheap.
That is what Ryouma had thought.
“You sure have a great self-control… Alright, I’ve decided! My name is Igasaki Genou. Please take care of us from now on.” The man suddenly announced.
“From now on?” Ryouma was puzzled at Genou’s statement since it was sudden even for Ryouma who was considering the outcomes of the situation.
“What are you surprised about? Since you had spared Sakuya’s life, that means you were planning to make her your comrade right? Then you gotta make this grandfather of hers your comrade as well!”
Genou shows a face as if saying ‘isn’t that obvious?’. The atmosphere around the old man changed from being serious to a more cheerful tone.
Sakuya asked the old man timidly.
“What is it Sakuya? Dissatisfied? By right, since you failed to fulfill your duty you should have died by now but your life has been spared by Mikoshiba-dono, you know? As a punishment and a sign of gratitude why not serve this person?”
Genou had referred to Ryouma as Mikoshiba-dono, this meant that the old man’s image of Ryouma rose from a young man to a man worthy of his respect.
“Eh?!… No… Y-Yes…”
Sensing Genou’s firm decision, Sakuya nodded her head.
“You don’t mind, right? Mikoshiba-dono.”
Ryouma was in deep thought after hearing Genou’s question.
Certainly, as a fellow Japanese, it is nice to get help and with Sakuya’s abilities as a ninja, Ryouma felt he could utilize it well but for some reason Ryouma felt the story had taken a weird turn ever since the person named Genou arrived.
(What the heck just happened?)
For Ryouma, he knew that this is an opportunity to increase his number of close subordinates, besides Laura and Sara, all his relationships so far have been that of acquaintances.
The mercenaries under Lione and Bolts might be trustworthy now, but no one knows when they are going to betray him and the Knights under Ryouma’s command follow him because they were ordered to by the Princess who acknowledges him.
If the Princess choose to give up on Ryouma, then the knights would either abandon or turn on him.
That’s why, for Ryouma, it was a godsend if they wanted to become Ryouma’s comrade.
(The situation progressing too quick…, you are the people that had aimed my life, you know? But still, their abilities are indeed useful. It is not a bad thing for them becomes my comrade. The problem lay in their objectives… If they are serious then…)
Ryouma gazes turns to Genou and invisible sparks scattered between them.
Ryouma finally came to a conclusion.
He wants to add another useful card to his hand.
(I want people who are capable of conducting intelligence gathering…, the problem is whether or not they would be able to find any useful information… Well, that will ultimately depend on my own judgment.)
“Well then, together with my granddaughter, we will serve you. Milord” Genou lowers his head towards Ryouma and at the same time encourages Sakuya to do the same.