“Ha, ha, ha, ha…”
Rough breathing could be heard.
Although he knew that his action could’ve informed the enemy of his position, his body didn’t listen to the young man’s mind.
Certainly, the young man’s body who had experienced many battlefields was strong. Furthermore, it was also being strengthened by magic arts.
However, even if he possessed muscular strength and endurance that can’t be compared to the regular guys, he still possessed the body of a human being.
His body still needed to inhale oxygen into its lungs, burn sugar and fat inside his body to produce energy. Then, the energy generated would be consumed by the muscles, oxygen then turns into carbon dioxide and is released outside of his body. Such fundamental things that were characteristic of a human being, didn’t change no matter how strong one became.
The young man was one of the best among the guild members and was C ranked.
He wiped sweat dripping from his forehead with his hand. The young man then took the leather water jug hanging on his waist toward his mouth.
Water tasting like animal’s skin entered his mouth.
It was not the taste that could be said as delicious, but for the young man whose life depended on it, he can only think of the water as equal to high-quality wine.
“I should be okay now…”
After he squeezed the water to the last drop, he threw away the leather jug while feeling irritated.
If he could reach a water spring scattered inside the forest, he should be able to replenish the jug.
Actually, the young man had memorized the Wortenia Peninsula map he saw at the guild.
Although it was not something that can be compared to a modern world map, it was enough to at least give him the directions of where he could find water.
However, he never got a single chance to reach those water springs.
(They intentionally pursue me towards the direction opposite of those water springs… They tried to exhaust my stamina…)
He spits out his irritation while glancing backward.
He was someone who could run 10 kilometers straight on the highway and feel nothing about it, but this place was an uninhabited place. The trees and the monsters living in the forest disturbed his escape path, with unknown pursuers following behind him, he was being cornered mentally and physically.
Such situation made him want to take a small break somewhere…
(Fuck this shit…)
The comrade who urged him to take on this job had already gone to hell first…
He was a greedy man, but the young man strangely got along with him.
When they had a good income they often went together to the bar or brothel.
However, inside the current young man’s mind were regrets that he accepted this job, after being persuaded by his comrade who had already died.
The amount of the reward for this job was five times more than normal. Furthermore, they paid the money in advance and depending on the result of the investigation, a bonus will be given.
Although it was suspicious that the job didn’t go through the guild but directly from the nobles, the amount of the reward was very delicious to pass…
That was why the young man took part in this job.
(What do you mean by a simple investigation… That bastard… Involving me in this kind of shitty job…)
It was a name that one should have heard once if the person belonged to the guild.
And indeed, the young man had heard rumors about the land in the past.
According to the rumors, the territory was abandoned and became the home base of pirates, and a hidden sanctuary for demi-humans…
It was a harsh place, but it was also filled with a mountain of treasures that were in the form of high-level monsters with skins and fangs that could be traded at a very high price.
Every time such stories were told, he and his comrades would raise high their arm in a bar while saying that one day they would go there.
After all, if they go there and come back, the guild will recognize you as a skilled person.
Thus, it was natural for the young man to feel both admiration and fear towards the place.
And it was about two years ago that changes happened to that Wortenia Peninsula. Suddenly, a nobleman with a name that had never been heard before was born, and the ruler of the Rozeria Kingdom had given that nobleman the Wortenia Peninsula.
It was like a thunderbolt out of the blue sky.
Many people felt surprised when they heard that an unknown mercenary was given a noble rank, but soon they laughed at said mercenary when he was given the Wortenia Peninsula.
Although it was a reward, for normal people who knew about the territory, they could only see it as harassment and punishment to the mercenary.
Certainly, the Wortenia Peninsula was a vast land for a noble to possess as one’s territory.
Even within the western continent, only a few nobles possessed such vast land.
But no matter how large the territory was, there was no meaning in it if there were no people residing inside said territory.
The land had no industries, and no people to rule, in other words, a fake ruler.
Or rather, in case of people to rule then there were only the pirates.
Either way, in the eyes of the general public, Baron Mikoshiba was a popular person, but mostly known as an idiotic noble or unlucky one.
However, the young man realized that such evaluation was a big mistake.
“The one who created that must be… a monster…”
The sight he saw from the top of the hill emerged inside the young man’s mind, then words of curses and admiration came out from the young man’s mouth.
He might be someone who was born in the countryside of the Rozeria Kingdom, but he never saw a city as big as that…
Surely, the scale was still inferior when it was compared to the Ortomea Empire’s capital city that he heard from his colleagues…
However, if one looked at the city surrounded by the heavy city’s walls and the huge harbor, nobody would be able to calm down.
And at the center of the bay, a castle was being built.
That magnificent castle overwhelmed the heart of the young man and his comrade.
“I will definitely report it… about that place…”
Right now, nobody knew the exact situation within the Wortenia peninsula.
That was because Baron Mikoshiba refused to create a guild branch within the Wortenia Peninsula, and set up an official office north of the Salzberg territory, blocking almost all traffic.
Because of that reason, right now the requests for gathering resources in the Wortenia Peninsula increased, and the requests of the neighboring nobles who wanted to know the truth regarding the situation within the peninsula cannot be ignored.
And thanks to that, the reward for the job this time was good, but the reality was heartless.
“I will tell them that, that place is a monster’s den… That everyone who comes there will be erased…”
After Baron Mikoshiba Ryouma took the Wortenia Peninsula, an incident occurred where all of the mercenaries and adventurers who head towards the peninsula disappear.
Initially, the people from the guild thought it was because those mercenaries and adventurers misunderstood their skills and got killed by the monsters, but the young man knows the true reason for that incident.
The huge fortified city he saw from the top of the cliff tells everything.
The skills capable of building such city in this wild territory in just a few years was exactly the work of a monster.
The sense of returning back together with the information moved the young man’s body.
Losing his comrade, he thought that at least if he survived it would compensate for everything…
Eventually, the young man’s path started to open.
The moment he came out from the forest of the foothills, he would be near the border of Earl Salzberg’s territory.
The young man used all of his strength and ignored the fatigue to move his body frantically.
(A bit more… A little bit more…)
The young man kept running desperately. However, before long, suddenly, black shadows fall down from the top of the tree…
Something glowing reflected in his eyes, and something cold struck the young man’s throat.
The young man stopped his feet and his hands touched his throat with fear and astonishment.
Warm sticky fluid. Something other than sweat flowed out of the young man’s neck.
He felt that his hand became dull and the young man fearfully looked at the hand that touched the liquid.
Every time his heart beat, blood dripped from his neck to his chest.
His hand was dyed with the dark red blood.
Hot blood clogged the youth throat, and he immediately fell down to the ground.
“He is a lucky guy, to be able to run up to this place…”
The black shadow overlooking the dead body of the young man said those words with inorganic voice while wiping off the blood from the kodachi using cloth.<TLN: Kodachi – Japanese Short Sword> –
“Those guys seem to have trained well, but I guess they still have a long way to go… Should I tell Genou-dono to train them a little bit more strictly ?”
“Well, I don’t think that was the problem you know, Ryuusai-dono ?. Only in a few months, those children have become quite skilled. If you do things too harshly nothing would come out of it… Our Lord also told us to not train them too harshly no ? Let’s not get impatient here…”
Hearing the woman voice from behind, the shadow turned around slowly.
“Well, that might be true, but Oume-dono, don’t you think we should raise our ability a bit more before our Lord returns back?”
Ryuusai voiced his dissatisfaction.
For Ryuusai who was responsible for the rise and fall of the Iga clan as one of the elders, he wanted to appeal the value of his clan even if it was only a little bit more.
Shinobi only exist as a tool.
And tools only found meaning when being used by humans.
“Well, I can understand your feelings… Those kids already managed to at least deal with up to four intruders. Isn’t it fine to recognize their efforts a bit ?”
“Which means this guy ability is above average, huh ?”
Ryuusai kicked the young man’s corpse abruptly.
“Right… Also, this is why we’re here, to purge this kind of guy…”
In those words, Ryuusai reluctantly nodded his head.
Actually, it was not just for sight-seeing that the two elders of the Iga clan showed up in this kind of remote place.
“Certainly… Oume-dono is right…”
“The training method that our Lord provided is actually quite successful. After all, despite being just children, they are competent enough to perform shinobi work now…”
“To be honest, at first I could not understand when he told me that we should let these guys cross over the border intentionally…”
Saying that Ryuusai showed a bitter smile.
The development of Sirius city cannot be known to others yet.
Sooner or later, the city would become a popular trade in the whole continent. However, right now Mikoshiba Ryouma was currently on a mission to the Zalda Kingdom and out of the office, if such informations leaked out, one cannot predict what kind of movements would happen.
That was why it was right to block the information leaks by doing a total border blockade.
But the problem was Ryouma other command.
“I also felt that way… Other than the esteemed one, who else is going to devise this kind of dangerous training after intentionally letting the spy enter the peninsula. Although it is true that through the experience, the ability of those kids will surely rise.”
Instead of blocking the spy invasion on the border, let them invade until closer to the city.
At first glance, that order seems to be unreasonable and provide them with unnecessary risk, but in reality, it was the reverse.
It was making use of the selfish thought of human being.
And in fact, such plan was working very well.
For the short period of time since the slave children had been brought to the city from places all over the kingdom, they now were able to perform shinobi works.
“I once heard that a lion give their children a weakened prey when teaching them how to hunt, is this the same principle I wonder ?”
“Well, giving them courage by doing that was the right thing…”
“But, if that is the case then, this training method also has become quite dangerous, don’t you think ?”
“I guess so… Although I’ve not yet told Ryuusai-dono about this, lately those who manage to avoid the children’s pursuit and close in to the border to escape has increased.”
“I see, so that was why you called me…”
Listening to Oume’s words, Ryuusai sighed deeply.
Certainly, unless they were fools, they wouldn’t keep sending spies without taking any counter-measures each time.
“That’s right, Although it should be fine right now, but then, I think it would be better to call you early…”
Naturally, if no one returned after being dispatched to the peninsula, the guild would then raise the rank qualification.
At first, those of rank E and F were dispatched, but recently, people who had the skill of rank B began to appear.
If one were to go with this trend, soon those who possess the ability of rank A would appear.
If that was the case, it would not be always possible to dispose of the intruders however they wanted, even though they had the geographic advantage. With that being the case, they thought of performing a double layered defense so that no one would be missed.
“It would be alright if all of the future intruders were of this level but, I guess that is an optimistic thought of mine…”
“Well, about that, we can just consult with our Lord after he comes back…”
Hearing those words, Ryuusai nodded his head then looked up at the southern sky.
“Two more days, huh ?”
“I guess that is about right…”
TLN: This volume(5th) will be the start of Ryouma taking over the Rozeria Kingdom.