When I said that I sent the information to His Majesty, the boss asked me to repeat myself.
“His Majesty? So does that mean that your this country’s…?” [Ryouma]
“No, although there are organizations like that, I’m just the king’s personal errand-runner.” [Yurdum]
After that I told the boss that it would take a long time to explain everything, but he just said that he didn’t mind.
I’m not trying to stretch things out, but it really would take a lot of time, so I’m glad that he doesn’t mind.
After all, my story starts from all the way back to my school days before graduation.
“At the time, I was always fighting with my dad. He was against my fixation on martial arts and my desire to go on a journey to temper myself… I’ve told you a little about my circumstances before, right?” [Yurdum]
“If I recall correctly, your family has been serving as imperial court gardeners for generations.” [Ryouma]
“If you remember that, then that’s good enough. So anyway, as the days went on and my dad and I were always quarreling, one day, my dad called me to his workplace.” [Yurdum]
I was a lot younger back then and had a really short fuse, so I got mad. I thought he called me all the way to the garden of the royal palace just so he could show me how much better being an imperial court gardener was than chasing after my martial arts.
“I didn’t want to go, but I felt like if I stood him up, I’d be running away, so I went along obediently, and to my surprise, His Majesty was there. That was when I found out for the first time that my dad and His Majesty went a long way back, and became close friends when my dad was just an apprentice. When he heard from my dad that I wanted to go on a journey to temper my martial arts, he thought it was quite convenient.” [Yurdum]
“Convenient, how?” [Ryouma]
“The king gets a lot of information about the kingdom everyday, and these information usually comes in the form of a report. But these reports go through a lot of hands and eyes before reaching the king, and anything that is deemed unworthy of the king’s attention is removed. Unfortunately, this can’t be helped since otherwise there would be just too much information for the king to handle, but at the same time, the king also wanted some unadulterated information. He wanted to hear ‘the unadulterated voice of the people’, he said.” [Yurdum]
His Majesty is actually known among the nobles for being
“So that’s the kind of person the king is. And the relationship between you and your dad too… No wonder you called yourself the king’s ‘personal errand-runner’.” [Ryouma]
“Yeah. Ever since His Majesty became king, it’s become a lot harder for him to leave the palace, but of course, that’s only a given. Anyway, that’s where I come in. The roads I use, the towns I stay at… I gather information about these places and send them to His Majesty regularly. In exchange, he convinced my dad to let me go on my journey.”
“The information I send needs to be the kind of information that a normal traveler can get. So the atmosphere of the town when you take a walk, your everyday gossips… These are usually the ones I go for. Nothing like the kind of intelligence gathering you were probably thinking about. That kind of stuff that goes deep, that’s a job for actual organizations, mine is just skin-deep, so to speak.” [Yurdum]
After I said that, the boss seemed to have understood something.
I wanted to ask him what he understood, but he asked another question before I could.
“Why did you choose to stay at ‘our laundromat’? If my memory serves me right, the reason was because you helped Shelma-san and then she introduced you to our laundromat, and also because it’s convenient for you to earn your traveling expenses, right?” [Ryouma]
“Oh, that one is really just a coincidence. Although coming to Gimuru was an order from the king, happening into a troubled woman was purely a coincidence. The public order in the city didn’t seem good, so I decided to escort her back. The part about traveling expenses is also true. As I’ve said earlier, the only thing I get in exchange for my deal with the king is him convincing my dad to let me go. So, yeah, I’m not getting paid for this.” [Yurdum]
“I see.” [Ryouma]
“Well, actually, His Majesty did say he would give me some cash, but my dad rejected it. When we were talking about my renumeration, my dad and I argued a bit, but in the end, the entire point of my journey is to temper myself. And being able to support myself is a part of that, so if I had to mooch off of the king just to support my journey, well, there’s no meaning to it anymore, is there? Or at least that’s what my dad said, anyway.” [Yurdum]
“But in exchange, the king did give me free reign in choosing my destination and the routes I’ll be using. It’s actually the first time that the king asked me to go to a specific city. Also, normally I’d write the information I’ve gathered into a letter and send it by post to my dad, but this time, someone was actually dispatched to the city to pick up my report. I got a reply once, so either that guy or one of his colleagues is a dimension mage, and they’re bringing the information back to the king.” [Yurdum]
“So they’re putting more effort into your investigations this time… Can you tell me the reason for that?” [Ryouma]
“Apparently, the rumor that the public order in the Jamil Duchy has been worsening has spread among the nobles, and even His Majesty has gotten wind of it…” [Yurdum]
While I was explaining, the boss’s expression turned grave, and a quiet but disquieting aura emanated from him.
“That rumor has really grown some wings, hasn’t it? I also got wind of it over in Fatma Territory, that’s why I hurried back.” [Ryouma]
Ah, come to think of it, he was a lot more terrifying when we first met. I’m not trying to curry favor or anything, but…
“It’s normal for rumors of failures or injustice to spread quickly among the nobles. All the more so if the rumors are true.” [Yurdum]
“So it’s okay to just come up with rumors, huh.” [Ryouma]
The boss sure is quick on the uptake… But why are his eyes dead all of the sudden? Is he okay?