(edited by Richard and me)
The next day, a group of carriages arrived with an escort of soldiers. A majority of the escort will be stationed at the outpost. The rest is the escort for the Earl and Mary. A separate carriage has been prepared for them. The rest of us will have to walk but we refuse it. We will go on our own wagon.
The earl insists that at least Mary and Felicia should be with him in his carriage and not in the shabby wagon. After going back and forth in a heated discussion, the two will be in his carriage. I gave a spare pepper spray to Felicia for protection. Mary will teach her how to use it.
The trip to the nearest city is two days long. The fact that the escorts arrived in one and a half days must be because of the earl. In the wagon, Alishia is sitting on Yuni’s lap and practicing her magic. Maria gives a tantrum that she wants to be with Felicia so she is in that carriage. Frank is nervous because of the soldiers.
I thought Alishia should also get in the carriage but she dislikes the earl. We decided to have her in the wagon. I watched her practice as the water in the ball was now slightly moving. She is really quick at learning. At this rate, she may master the control faster than Mary predicted.
The only times we gather together again are at mealtimes and sleep time. The girls don’t want to sleep near the rude earl so they sleep in our wagon. The earl tried to sleep near us but Mary locked him up in his carriage. The surrounding soldiers don’t care a bit about that.
I ask some of the soldiers why they didn’t care when we did things like that to the earl. Their answers are well inside expectation. The earl doesn’t just live in luxury without caring about anything, he also likes to use force to get what he wants.
Some soldiers are thrown into jail because they didn’t want to obey him. Their families were thrown to the street and their belongings were snatched. He has taken many girls that he likes as his concubines. Even with that, he hasn’t stop. He is resented by older soldiers and citizens.
Then, why did he want to do a job like this alone? The rumour said that he wants to get the hand of another noble’s daughter. The noble is a marquis and a higher rank than him so he has to show his worth. Even with that, the marquis wouldn’t have let him have the hand of his precious daughter. The soldiers advise that I keep an eye on him so he doesn’t do anything to the girls.
Oh right. For this trip, Yuni and I were using traveler robes with the hood on. We did get some questioning looks from the soldiers but they just let us be. The ‘poor’ earl was sprayed thrice.
“Whoa~ A big wall.”
Alishia shouts cheerfully at the sight of the big gray wall. We have arrived at the city by midday. This is a trade city in the middle of the road to Royal Capital. We are going to wait for an audience here.
A tall tower in the middle of the city is an impressive sight and it is said that magicians will often gather there to practice. There are several advanced magicians there that may or may not teach you. Mary and Alishia will visit that place later. The rest of us will stay at the inn provided by the earl.
The inn is a high class inn designed for nobles. They are suitable for the girls who look like noble themselves. The problem is the plain men, Frank and I, might just be kicked out the moment we enter. Guards with metal armor are guarding the front desk and patrolling the area. The people inside are looking at us with interest.
"Is there a room for 5 people?”
“Yes. We have a big room available.”
“Then, the big room and twin room, please.”
“Certainly. It’s 5 silver for the big room and 2 silver for the twin room for a night. How long do you want to stay?”
“For now, 3 days. Can we get it back if we check out earlier?”
“Yes. It is 21 silver for all of them.”
I pull out exactly 21 silver from our wallet. We have been given 1 gold for Mary’s and Felicia’s use by the earl. One gold is 100 silver so this inn is despairingly expensive. We can stay in a normal inn and two rooms will cost 1 silver a night. As expected for a noble inn.
“We have certainly received it. Here are the keys. We provided three meals for free that can be taken in the diner or delivered to your room. More than that will require additional price depending on the menu. We have a bath in the back that opens from 8 in the morning to 10 at night. There is a box inside the room to keep your luggage. It is enchanted and everything inside will be safe as only the owner of the room and us that can open it. Please follow our attendant to your rooms. Thank you for using our inn.”
That’s a surprisingly long explanation. There are a lot of benefits at this inn. We can have a bath. Oh yeah! We got free meals so it’s a waste to not use them after paying so much money. It will depend on the food too. One interesting thing is the enchanted box. It looks like a storage facility in games.
We follow a man to our rooms. Frank was in the front, the girls in the middle, and myself at the back. The nobles down there have scary eyes and you can never be too careful. It looks like our rooms will be at the second floor. The big room is on the opposite side from the twin room so we will be separated.
“Please come this way, young master.”
Frank is confused by the young master remark but he still follows him. When we arrive at the supposed big room, the man opens the door and gives the key to him. He excuses himself and come towards Yuni in front of me.
“Please come this way to your room.”
His voice is a little cold compared to before. Yuni is startled with the sudden change in tone because she is supposed to stay here with the girls. Frank will stay with me at the twin room. It’s a little separated from the girls so I can’t help to feel anxious. His next reaction, however, is more surprising.
“Eh, I am supposed to stay with the girls.”
“Lowly servants staying in their master’s room is unthinkable. Watch your words and follow me. I still have more task to do.”
I want to do a massive facepalm. He misunderstood us as servants because of our attires. We are still using traveler robes with the hoods on. His tone is belittling us too. We need to pay more attention to our attires from now on.
“I think you misunderstand. We are not masters and servants. The men will stay in the twin room. The big room is for the girls.”
Felicia explains the situation. The man is scared stiff when he discovers that the other girls are still there. He must have thought they are already inside the room. He apologizes profusely at the misunderstanding and about his attitude. Frank and I are escorted with a heavy atmosphere. It looks like he got scared when he thought we might tell the management about him.
“Here is your room.”
“Thanks for the hard work. I will call you when I need something.”
“I will be glad to help.”
“Don’t worry about just now. We should worry about our attire next time to avoid a misunderstanding.”
“Thank you for the kind words.”
His tension is lowered a bit. We enter the room and relax for a bit until lunch time. After lunch, we go shopping for robes and clothes to avoid a misunderstanding again. More expenses. Hah....
We are currently eating dinner at the inn’ s diner. There are several other nobles around us. Glances are sent towards Mary and Felicia. They should be attracted to Felicia’s graceful gestures, but they lack reason to stare at Mary. She is behaving like a normal person that lacks dignity like the rest of us. Looks like they are attracted to her appearance.
The problem is that there are a large amount of killing gazes directed at Frank and I.. No, I should say that they are all directed to me. The chill can kill a fainthearted person easily. It’s not my fault that Mary and Felicia are sitting next to me! Just relax okay!? Ha? The chill increases...
Looks like the others don’t feel anything and are eating just fine. I should also act like there is nothing wrong. Okay. That fish looks familiar. Let’s see. I pick up the head of the fish and stiffen up. I slowly put it back and reach out for another dish.
Mary is holding her laughter. Please pretend not to see it. How should I know that it is an ‘archer fish’ like the one I met on the way to Arn Village. Its name is bow fish here. I won’t mind the lack of naming sense.
Then, right after we finished our dinner, a few noblemen come to greet us.
“Excuse me. I am Viscount ......”
Ugh... I don’t want to hear. I will leave it to the girls that he want to chat with. I will just be here to help them if they need anything. They are talking with Felicia and Mary. Both Alishia and Maria have moved to Yuni’s side. Frank is near them so their safety is a bit guaranteed.
Now then, while listening to their conversations, I pulled out my pistol and settle it on my lap so that it is hidden under the table. I can feel some killing intent from outside the inn. I equip and use my goggle’s heat vision to search for the sources. The surrounding nobles are confused at my action.
There are five people that unnaturally stay in their place. Two on the roof across the street and three more on the ground inside an alley. They are all inside my views so their target must be around me. Possibility for our group to be targeted is low but can’t be ruled out. There are nobles around us so they might be the target too.
The guards still didn’t react to the killing intent. Do they not know what is the killing intent? If so, I am glad I felt it before. Mostly because of jealousy. The killing intent is stable for now.
Suddenly, the killing intent feeling get stronger. I see the two on the roof are readying their crossbow. The three below are moving out from the alley. Looking at where they are pointing their crossbows, our group and the noble group around us are in danger. I stand up suddenly, startling those around us.
“Mary, barrier! Quick!”
A barrier expands around us and the nobles. She is also startled so she didn’t see where I am looking at. I holster my pistol since it’s not of use now and take out my sword and shield from the storage. The nobles in front of me get shocked at the sudden appearance.
“Protect Viscount Georg!”
“Drop your sword and surrender!”
Looks like they are misunderstanding me. They stand between me and the viscount, rapiers at their hands. I can see the crossbows’ aim shifts. Oh! So, they are targeting the viscount. I dash towards the viscount.
Rapiers come attacking me. I block them with my shield and blow them away with a bash. These guards aren’t doing well. Are they really guards for a noble? I reach the viscount behind them. The viscount is scared stiff and he doesn’t move from his spot.
The assassins on top of the roof are distracted. They lower their crossbow to see what happened for a moment. This small time is fatal for assassination. I stand between the viscount and the assassins and a second later they let loose their bolts. They have recovered fast but it’s useless now.
The bolts pierce through Mary’s barrier. They are still flying but the power is a lot weaker. They hit the shield that can even redirect bullets and are deflected. The bolts fall down to the floor harmlessly.
I turn my view to the assassins below. They are charging into the inn’s diner. The guards of the viscount have recovered and picked up their weapons. The inn’s guards are also coming in. I wonder why the assassins still go on with their failed attempt.
“Mary! Another barrier! The rest of you, get back!”
A stronger barrier expand in front of the assassins that are charging in and collides with them. A few large thud sounds followed by more thuds echo from the barrier. The guards charge at them but that will be a problem. Another few thuds can be heard from the barrier. The guards have also collided with the barrier.
They should have known about it. The side effect from the barrier is that no one can pass through it. It’s like a solid shield in front of us. It will require more control for allies to pass through and enemies to stay out. It isn’t possible for Mary to invoke such a barrier in this abrupt situation.
The assassins are now recovering from the pain of colliding their heads with a wall but they aren’t allowed to escape. Another three barriers surround them and create an improvised prison. The assassins on the roof are trying to escape but Yuni has already locked onto them with her aim. I have put her bow and a few arrows under the table using the storage. There is also sword for Frank.
Two arrows are shot in succession and embed themselves in the knees of the two. They collapse and fall off the roof. Down there, the inn’s guards are waiting for them. They catch them and immediately tie them up.
“Stuff some cloth in their mouth!”
“Do it now!”
I shout at the guards that are still confused with my order. I quickly stuff one of the assassins inside the barrier. Mary has created a hole in the barrier for me. When I want to stuff the others, they convulsed and lie down motionlessly. The same thing happens to the two whom the inn’s guards have captured.
‘Dead by poison. Tch. One left.’
I look at the last assassin alive. I quickly hold his hands down behind his back so he can’t move and kill himself. He is still struggling so I hit the back of his head with the sword’s handle. He falls unconscious and I tie him up.
“What happened?” All of the guards are still dumbfounded.
“They killed themselves.--- With poison.”
I answer while checking the condition of the other assassins. They are all dead. There is some crushed tablet inside their mouth. I take out the tablet from the still alive assassin and stuff his mouth again. There isn’t anything inside anymore but he can still bite his tongue off to suicide.
“How did you know?”
“I learnt about it. These guys will kill themselves when they are caught. Usually, they are using poison in their mouths or they will bite off their tongues. That’s why I asked you to stuff some cloth in their mouth.”
“I see. We never knew. Usually, they just die.”
“Hmm? Black hair! A Cursed Child!”
Oh crap. My hood was blown back when I push through the guards to the viscount. My black hair is exposed. The guards once again take out their sword. The difference is that they are directing it to me now. I am surrounded.
“Wait! He is not cursed!”
“A Cursed Child has to be executed!”
Oh-oh... Looks like it is just a coincidence that Yamato is the name of this country. It doesn’t have anything to do with reincarnators. Mary shouts something from behind to stop them. I contact Mary through the bracelet.
“Looks like I need to hide for a bit. Talk to the king about our situation and if you can, about me too.”
“Wait! I will stop them!”
“No need. I will help you from the shadow. Good luck and see you.”
I cut the communication and put up my uniform’s hood. I take off my noble’s traveling robe. The guards are standing cautiously. I am clad with my soldier’s uniform now. I look at the guards with a smile. They stiffen for a bit. Then, I engage the camouflage function and slowly disappear from everyone’s sight including Mary. She will unconsciously look at me if I let her see me and get discovered. I run to an alley while the guards are looking around cautiously.
“Erwin! Wait! Where are you going!?”
Mary shouts at the last place she saw Erwin. His camouflage even conceals him from her. The back that she saw slightly before he completely disappeared is the last sight she saw. A look of fear is surfacing on her face.
“Don’t leave me!”
“Uh oh! I feel like there is something wrong.”
Yuni is startled with the shout that sounds like she is so worried of being left behind. Erwin will only separate them a little. He isn’t leaving them behind. Then, her face looks shocked for a second and she hurriedly go to Mary.
“Mary! He isn’t gone! He will be back so calm yourself down.”
“Eh!? What happened to Mary?”
“I will tell you later. We need to calm her down.-- Mary, we are here. Erwin will also be back. Don’t worry. Don’t be scared.”
Mary is crying in Yuni’s arm. They crouched down since Yuni can’t support both their bodies. Frank and Felicia are dispersing the onlookers. Alishia and Maria are also hugging Mary while looking sad even though they don’t understand what is happening.
“Don’t worry about it. He will definitely be back.”
After a while, Mary falls asleep from crying. Yuni carefully carries her in her arms. She is unexpectedly light. She has enough strength to carry her due to her archery training. Mary’s tears are staining her face but her look is still stunning.
Few nobles and guards are trying to help but they are sent off with a glare from Yuni. This situation is caused by them after all. Even with her hood on covering her supposedly beautiful face , the chilling gaze is sent through it. They can’t see her face but they are scared stiff unconsciously.
After laying Mary down in their room, the five girls and one man are sitting around the bed. Felicia decides to break the ice and the two converse.
“Yuni, why did she suddenly cry out like that?”
“I honestly don’t know. This kind of thing happened once before in my village. At that time, the village was attacked by bandits. She has enough strength to defeat one of the bandits in front of her but the villagers said she didn’t do it. Like this time, she acted like a kid.”
“Does Erwin know something?”
“If he knew, would he do that just now?”
“Oh right. He definitely wouldn’t do it.”
“This is just Erwin and my hypothesis. We think her trauma was awakened. It seems to happen when she was still a child. We still don’t know what it is though. She doesn’t seem like she remembers anything and we don’t want to risk it by asking her directly.”
“I see. What is trauma?”
“Trauma is inflicted when we are experiencing something very frightening and most of the time it is so unexpected that it shakes our mind. It can be anything from bullying, accident, and rape to near death experiences. She will have to fight it to recover but we don’t know how. I am not a psychiatrist.”
“How do we help her?”
“No idea. How did you overcome your trauma?”
“What do you mean?”
“I think you were traumatized by magic before. You were looking really scared at Mary’s water ball at that time.”
“Oh right. So.... That is trauma... Honestly, I just watched Alishia play with it and without me knowing, I was no longer afraid.”
“I see. We don’t know how. Looks like we will have to ask for a psychiatrist from Earth.”
“Their world. This world is Talmatir.”
“It looks like it is our only option. What should we do now?”
”We can only accompany her for now. Hopefully, she isn’t shaken too much tomorrow.”
“I see. Let’s sleep for now.”
Frank goes back to his room to sleep. The girls prepare to sleep as well. In the room are five big beds. Three are occupied. Alishia is sleeping with Mary while Maria is with Felicia. Erwin didn’t come back that night, nor even the next day.
(A/N: I will write in the group’s perspective for a few chapters ahead. After a while, I will back to Erwin’s)