Chapter 53 – Running
I have a bad feeling about it.
I ran for the smoke I saw from the town.
With a bag containing a bunch of boxes of cakes being carried in my hands, and I ran through the mountains.
I might run a little roughly and the cake might lose its shape, but let’s have Aka put up with it.
“…… Hey, what do you think, Tre’ainar? The story just before…”
『A team of hunters from Japone… what about it?』
“That woman… do you think she has anything to do with the Hunter team?”
『Well… the possibility is high.』
“If she was a hunter, too… what happens if Mr. Aka is found?”
『Who could say… well. Even after the war, I know not what the reaction will be…. for certain. As for how they may react… undoubtedly, not much has changed from before and now.』
The first thing that came to me when I heard ‘Japone’ was that woman.
And, the old man called Kouga who was by her side.
From the way we talked, they seemed to be with some others, but they were from Japone.
Is that woman of the same age as me a hunter? She said something about her brother.
『That Aka, the ogre… he was kind to you, but if you fight, your power will probably… I do not think you should worry.』
“Ah, I don’t know. But, well, I have a bad feeling…. if Mr. Aka is safe, that’s fine.”
Surely, it’s also difficult to move quickly while carrying delicate cargo in both hands that can’t be handled roughly.
Read the obstacles one step ahead and proceed with the shortest, safest course.
Last night, Tre’ainar taught me Magical Parkour, but I can’t take advantage of it.
『Oi, even in a rush, be more aware of the peripheral vision for Magical Parkour, and read further ahead as you would in a game of Go.』
“I’m sorry. But…… groan, hit the head!?”
『Do not let your mind wonder by simply reading two or three obstacles and avoiding them. If you avoid one, you will always need to read it until the next one, else you will crash into other obstacles such as trees!』
“Well, that’s why I can’t do it very well because I’m holding cake!”
『Do not dynamically push forward with reckless abandon. Especially as you take the trouble to carry something delicate while moving, handle with both grace and prudence.』
“It’s pretty difficult!”
If you hurry too fast, you’ll run into a tree. If you are too conscious of trees, you will be late. If you are considerate of the cake, you’ll be halfway there.
I can’t use my body well.
Maybe, if confirming Mr. Aka’s safety comes first, should I throw away the cake? I can always buy it again.
『I thought so last night, you can only use your body and fight on level grounds and arenas after all. The basics of ‘landing’ and ‘rolling’ necessary for parkour have not been established in the first place. Tis why even rabbits could not be caught.』
“And you’re bringing up new terms… what is that? Tell me while I run!”
To be honest, as I was not in a position to sit down and listen to the usual polite explanation, I asked him to be urgent.
『Well… the landing is called a four-point landing. Simply put, by landing with both hands and feet, tis the basic technique to disperse the impact of falling into four. Then, rolling is a technique in which impact is dispersed by rolling forward when landing. Tis known that safe landing is more essential than the way you run before learning parkour.』
“That’s what I did!”
『I believed this was something that would naturally be learned while playing outside and running around in the mountains as a child… then again, you are a city life twit…』
“Ah, you said twit again!? Fine, I care about it! Roughly, if you have cake, you can’t do the four-point thing that way! So I’ll throw it away, this cake!”
Apparently, I don’t have the basics or the essentials necessary for learning parkour.
So what do I do now?
After all, I have to remember this with my body……
It was then.
“Ah, you’re quite loud… young one. In the depths of the mountains like this, what’s with the luggage you’re holding?”
All of a sudden, I heard a very calm, nonchalant voice in my ear.
I involuntarily stop and turn my body toward the voice.
There was someone sitting cross-legged on the branch of the next tree.
The whole body is wrapped in black clothing, and the head is covered with a black hood and the mouth is covered with a black mask.
And on his back, he carries what appears to be a small, short sword.
No matter how you look at it, they’re suspicious.
“…… Hey, who are you?”
“Hmm… I’m a hunter.”
The tone is calm, with no feeling of hostility.
Even so, I don’t know how they look because the face is hidden.
“Hmm. Well, I’m sorry, but I’m in a bit of a hurry.”
“Oh, can’t you wait a minute? No, I’m really sorry if you’re in a hurry.”
I want to get a little response, and the moment I said that, as expected, he stopped me.
“Presently, me and my comrades are soon to participate in some stern special training just beyond this point. I’m sorry to bother you, but can you take a detour? If you’re in such a hurry, I could guide you right away.”
Saying it politely, but in short, it seems that you want for me not to interfere because you’re in a special training session.
That’s all right.
If it is just ‘Special training’.
“You? Are you a hunter from Japone?”
“Oh? Have you heard of it in town? Indeed, my people are from Japone, and I’m a freelance hunter.”
Just as I thought. And at the same time….
『Child… Be careful….』
『This one… talking about freelance hunters and such…. is that not too generous?』
It seems Tre’ainar felt something in the hunter in front of him.
Certainly, however you look at it, it doesn’t look normal, and it’s suspicious.
“Well, I don’t care which hunter you are, but I’d like to get this cake to my friend soon. I’ll be going ahead.”
“I don’t want to bother you, but… supposing we’re in the territory of the Empire, to be ordered by a group from other countries, let alone free hunters, I’m not likely to comply, am I?”
“Well… if you say it like that, ungh, sounds like you’re not….”
If they’re just suspicious, that’s fine.
If you’re training normally, that’s fine.
However, there are things that I am concerned about.
It is not to worry about anything if these guys are not related to Mr. Aka at all, and it is only training in the place where Mr. Aka happens, and it is not noticed the presence of Mr. Aka.
It’s because they’re just training where Aka is. No matter what they’re doing, if they’re unaware of Aka’s existence, then I wouldn’t care.
But, ‘Do you know that an ogre is up ahead?’, I can’t say that.
So it’s a bit of a roundabout inquiry, but how does he react…
『Child… get your wits up and be wary… pay attention without showing it on your face. Right now…… are you not surrounded?』
『One person diagonally left to the rear… one to the right from behind…』
Ah, I didn’t notice. You’re pretty good at hide and seek.
In other words, there are three of them, including the one before us.
Well, if there’s nothing wrong with that, it wouldn’t be a big deal, but…
“Hah~ … I wanted to be careful, but…… okay, I have to be honest with you.”
Then the man in front of me raised his hands to show that there was no hostility, as he thought.
“In fact, a dangerous existence happened to be found by my poor people during special training.”
“An atrocious monster… Ogre”
Oh…why do I have a bad feeling….
“A dangerous species that brought death and tragedy to tens of thousands of human beings in the great war of the past… before leaving it to harm the people of the world, my leader and colleagues are now trying to subdue it with all their might. Therefore, this mountain and the forest are very dangerous now. And so, I have to keep an eye out for my people so that no one approaches. Please, can’t you listen to us here?”
And, it is unavoidable then. I nodded, too.
“I see. There’s an atrocious monster, no… I didn’t know that. Well, it really~ should be subdued.”
“Um, I’m sorry you’re in a hurry, but thank you for your understanding.”
I got it. It has to be subdued. If it’s an atrocious monster… well?
“By the way…”
“Actually, apart from the one you’re talking about, there’s a kind-hearted ogre living there. Do you know that?”
“He’s my friend… well, I mean… you’re not misunderstanding and attacking my friend, right?”
Yes, Aka is different.
He’s kinder than anyone else, and he’s so fragile. He’s not someone to be called cruel and outrageous…
“…… you’re involved with that red ogre? Kind-hearted? What do you mean? You’re not planning anything with that red ogre, are you?”
Oh…… I wonder why this is happening.
If I use the technique of the Great Demon King, it’s shameless.
If I make friends with an ogre, I’m no good.
Not only the people of the Imperial City, but also those of other countries … Ah!
No, I’ll explain the situation quickly and we’ll talk about it somehow…. discussion…… let’s talk.
“Oh no, that’s not true. Sure, an ogre is an ogre! But he helped me when I was in trouble!”
“What…. help…… no way, to get information on humans?”
“It’s just good intentions! You can tell if you talked to Mr. Aka! He’s kind, clumsy, and really wants to make friends with people!”
“What do you mean… I never, to be won over by an ogre…”
“It’s true. Stop your people right now! I’ll tell you a little bit. There are few good people in the world as decent as Mr. Aka.”
“Showing such negligence, it was keeping its head down for an opportunity and didn’t want to be discovered. The other party is an ogre. You must know nothing about ogres!”
Talk…… ah… just…
“My people have experienced the war before and know all about the demons and the ogre race. They’re all the species that have to be driven out! That’s why young people these days…”
Oh, no. ‘young people these days’, when it came out, it was all over.
“…… Hey…… asshole, that’s enough.”
“For some reason you olden days people, who stopped thinking for yourselves, have the nerve… every last one of them … in any country!”
I put the cake I had on the tree, and I roared at it.
“You. What do you bastards intend for Mr. Aka?”
Jump in and one shot!
I drove my right straight into his face.
The man took my fist and fell to the ground…?!
I hit a man in the face without a doubt now.
However, man’s appearance became a log at that moment. No, did they change?
『Tis a Transformation art. Child!』
『Behind you. Here they come!』
Right after I reacted to Tre’ainar’s words, I heard a familiar voice from behind me.
“I was surprised that you showed up, but… I’ll give an explanation afterwards.”
“For now, good night.”
A blow with a sword handle to the head. The vibration causes paralysis all over my body, and my body falls to the ground.
This is used to stun people….
“I was totally surprised… eh? Iga, wasn’t it a bit dangerous?”
“Hum. One step slower and I would have been beaten. He is no mere man… is he ojou’s acquaintance?”
“That young man was in town a little while ago…. he was playing Go with ojou…. what happened…”
Ah…… it was really dangerous. At Tre’ainar’s warning, I would have lost consciousness if I hadn’t responded and displaced the area where I was hit a little bit.
“Good grief… wasn’t expecting you…. “
Three of them looked surprised at me when I got up.
One of them was called ‘Iga’, the masked man I was talking about a while ago.
The other is an old man I met in the city called ‘Kouga’.
“I was a little surprised… what are you doing? Shinobu… was it?”
“You… how can you get up now? What the hell are you…?”
After all, is this woman, Shinobu, also involved?
But if you’re going to get in the way, there’s only one hand.
I take a quick step to take the ‘Great Demon Flicker’.
“For now, you bastards and comrades should stop right now. If you can’t do that, I’ll go ahead, even if I have to put the three of you down together!”
And today, for the first time in every sense, I’m going to fight an actual opponent.