『…… The vulgar air tainted with greed and avarice…. cannot be hidden behind a mask…. the fortunate born into prestigious families, never to strive for anything, fattened pigs….』
People in expensive clothing, wearing masks thither along the streets.
Everyone, as if dressed for a castle ball, was heading in the same direction.
“But there are quite a lot of them… Moreover, looking at the clothes, it might not just be the Imperial City…. some great families…… Japone’s Kimono…… attire from the Kingdom of Uragile…… Maybe they’re also coming from countries in the vicinity of the Empire…”
The central street of Cantidan, which was filled with street vendors and merchants during the day, is now filled with hundreds more people who are considered to be noblemen, creeping around.
Around them, the Kamikaze Gang were sharp eyed and vigilant… what…… the hell?
For that reason, I also hid my face.
Fortunately, merchants on the street were selling masks, glasses, and other items that can hide one’s face, perhaps ‘for those who have forgotten their masks’.
Such a commercial soul, I was impressed.
So, while there were a lot of designs with bad tastes, I found the one that was decent.
It’s a pair of glasses that workers use to protect their eyes at coal mines and mining sites……they’re called ‘goggles’.
Red frames and bands with yellow glasses. I thought they looked cool, and I bought them though at 10,000, it was a bit expensive.
Now only I have 20,000 in my possession…. Well…… Let’s really think seriously about money.
“Anyway, let’s check out this town right now.”
For now, I’ll check first to see what catches my interest. I put on my goggles and made my way into the flow of the nobility.
“Hey, dear…… are you sure? How many times have you participated in such events…. Moreover, it is an event organized by such lowly thugs…”
“Gufufu, there’s no need to worry. All events in this town are backtracked by Minister Chitsue, it’s safe.”
“But…… before, proper adults were in charge of all the security and event management… Is that all right?”
“It’s fine. Rather, it would be more troublesome if the mafia were to be involved, such as being coerced or extorted later on by holding something over you, so it would be a trifle matter for these brats to be cut off at any time.”
The noble couple who were by the side was having such a conversation as I also joined in following the flow of the surroundings.
Event…… you mean the auction?
“Minister Chitsue…… is he also involved…”
He’s been involved in politics in the Imperial Capital since the old days, and I’ve been greeted several times at parties since I was a kid.
Well, although he seemed to be smiling on the surface, I’ve always thought he was somewhat fishy….
“What I’m worried about is, you know… about this town. You told me, didn’t you? Lord Hiro doesn’t think well of it… said he destroyed that organization….”
“Hmm, but it’s not a problem today. See, Hiro…… is looking for that second-rate son of his who ran away from home and has abandoned his duties!”
…… I wasn’t listening to them, but I just heard such a conversation.
And, when the conversation of the two noble couples touched the topic, the nobles around also reacted.
“Oh, I’ve been meaning to ask you that too. As I recall, there was a problem with the Imperial City Academy student’s mock battle.”
“What I hear, that dunce son of his threw mud on the face of the hero in front of a large crowd and ran away from home…”
“Fufu. Even though he defeated the Great Demon King, unlike our noble bloodline, he has the blood of a vulgar commoner, after all.”
“Mamu was originally the same, wasn’t she? Both parents were originally commoners, so their child was born a commoner as well. It’s no wonder they’re such failures.”
“And then, the fallen son ran away from home, and they abandoned their duty to the country and prioritized their personal affairs…. this might lead to deprivation of their authority.”
“The Imperial Knights were so intrusive in their politics…. I wondered what I would do when he tried to crush this place for our escapism.”
“Yes, we are still secure, aren’t we? Hiro and Mamu will lose their authority and Minister Chitsue will prosper after that.”
And….. what is it…… ah…… can I hit you?
They don’t know anything about me, and yet they can say all they want beside me.
I was ready to do something about these pigs and old farts.
But Tre’ainar won me over.
『You are no hooligan…… Tis not even a fight nor a quarrel, you simply got upset, so you hit him… my lessons to you are not to have you swing such cheap fists.』
『Your value is diminished…… Now, dare to accept this assessment and swallow it….』
The fallen foolish son who ran away from the Imperial City after throwing mud on his parents’ faces…. That’s Earth Lagann now.
That’s the extent of the value I was given after so much training with Tre’ainar.
“Hohohohohoh… quite a young participant, aren’t you? Have you joined in the event before?”
Then I looked back in a panic.
I didn’t expect to be accosted, so I was surprised and looked back, and there was a white-haired old man, although he was wearing a butterfly mask.
He wore a Japone-style kimono, carrying a cane with him, and had a kind smile on his mouth.
“Oh, uh, no, I’m…”
“Oh, I’m sorry. This one will participate for the first time today… ‘Mitsuēmon’ they call it.”
If I talk badly, it will be troublesome, so let’s exchange only a few words and go somewhere quickly…. I thought……
“Ah… um… yeah, that, I…”
“Hoho, no, I’m sorry. It was my first time at such a social event, but it was hard to talk to other aristocrats, so I couldn’t resist talking to you.”
Saying that, he smiled gently again, and even though he was a participant in this procession, the air seemed to be quite different from that of the others.
The eyes that appear behind the mask are different from those that are painted with greed.
Then, Tre’ainar looked at the old man and reacted.
『This White Elder…… Somewhere……?』
Do you know who he is, Tre’ainar? This isn’t just any old man, right?
But certainly, the aura around him, it’s hard to describe… despite being a small elderly man, it’s somewhat warm and inviting, yet grand and imposing… to say it aptly… it weighed with experience…
“Elder…… who are you?”
“It is unwise to confirm each other’s identity in a place like this, isn’t it? That’s what I’d like to say…. I’m no one suspicious… just a crepe wholesaler from Japone.”
Crepe……? What is that?
“But you… is this your first time? You don’t seem to be used to it… the shining eyes behind those goggles…… feels good.”
Saying that, the Old man looked at my face.
“Oh, I’m sorry, you don’t want to hear that from a strange old man, do you? I’m afraid at this age…… I don’t have much chance to talk with the brilliant young children of the new age…. the ones who shine brighter than ever before and I can’t help but be bothered by it.”
“Young ones in this town… I don’t think they’re rotten, but… the look in their eyes was a little sad because they were resigned… not you. There is still purity and you’re lost. The fact that you’re lost means that you’re trying to find your way… you can be anything from now on.”
After Bro, I didn’t expect someone I had just met to compliment me to my face, it was embarrassing.
That phrase ‘I can be anything’ got me fired up.
“But such a young man…… why are you here? You don’t seem to be interested, but…”
Why is it, I wonder?
Due to the matter with the woman that day, I’m aware that my ‘eye for people’ is not great.
“Elder…… I’m not from this town…. I simply…… wanted to know what’s going on here… I….. I have no idea what I’m doing here…. I heard about the auction, but…”
“So, I don’t know…. all I have to do is jump in and see…. I was wondering if I could find a way in somehow.”
I wonder why. It’s not about trusting this Old man or anything like that…. I didn’t tell a lie for some reason…. I was talking honestly……
“This is strange… if you’re not a child of this town… if you don’t know what you’re doing, why are you interested?”
Why? That’s it. In the first place, I have nothing to do with what’s going on in this town.
The purpose in this town was to stop by during the journey and think about shopping and doing something about money.
So I’d rather not get into any trouble by going even deeper.
Because Tre’ainar said to?
No, not only that, but I myself am interested in this gathering now.
No matter how you think about it, this event doesn’t seem to be respectable.
Well, I can imagine that it’s an illegal auction, but I have no reason to interfere with it.
But I’m here now.
“My friends are involved… so I want to know.”
That remark came out naturally somehow.
Friends? With who? Bro? We had a little fight, we drank, we danced, we frolicked, we laughed…. That’s what friends are for….
“Hoho…… I see… However, even if you get in line, eventually you’ll be checked at the entrance and have to pay an advance, right?”
“Hufufun, so… very well. Would you become this one’s attendant, and together join in as well?”
Even though I was confused by my own words, the Old man, who I had never met before, laughed and said that with conviction and a good mood.
No, I’d appreciate it if you could let me in, but…
“O-Inkyo! Come he’s this way?”
Just then, cutting through the crowd in the opposite direction, two men with masks on their face made their way towards us.
Are they referring to this Old man?
“O-Inkyo…… I’d appreciate it if you’d stop moving about as you please.”
“You had us all worried, didn’t you?”
These two…… the two men who appeared. They were wearing kimonos peculiar to Japone, but…. their appearance and the air around them…… I don’t know…. These two.
“Hoho, I’m sorry.”
“Not at all……. Well, in any case I’d like to make a report.”
“A moment ago, I just caught a glimpse, but… it’s that…… mumble mumble, the Stoke family…… daughter, Shinobu, mumble mumble.”
“What!? Why is she in this town? …… No way, any other…… the brothers, too?”
“I don’t know. But just in case, O-Inkyo don’t leave our side.”
And the man was talking to the Old man ear-to-ear, and he looked a little surprised.
What’s going on?
“By the way, Go-Inkyo. Who is this young man?”
Another man looked at me and asked the Old man.
Then, the Old man……
“Hohoho. That’s right ‘Ashisotu-san’, ‘Kesu-san’. When we enter, this child will also join us as my companion.”
Saying so, he smiled.