“Ah, sorry. I was just thinking.
Anyway, next question. So your main job is to gather information about the condition of the town, but according to my sources, you’ve been gathering information about me. What’s up with that?” [Ryouma]
“That’s true, but let me explain.” [Yurdum]
So I told the boss what’s been on my mind ever since I started investigating him. I told him my most sincere feeling in the rawest form.
“Boss, you overdo everything, like seriously!” [Yurdum]
It’s true that my job is to see how the town is doing and to gather information, no lie about that, but!
“Everywhere I go, the topic is always about you, Boss! Everyone’s talking about you! There’s no way I could avoid investigating you then, is there?” [Yurdum]
When I asked people if there was anything troubling them in the city, they talked about the jobless laborers, the deteriorating public order… After that the topic moved to do security company, the garbage processing plant, and the reconstruction of the slums… All of which, the boss initiated. And then they started gossiping about how the boss was close with the duke, about his ridiculous magic, about the absurd number of slimes he’s raising. In the end, they even started talking about stuff I never even asked about in the first place, like where the boss is and what he’s doing.
“At that point, it wasn’t an investigation anymore. It was a confirmation of publicly known facts! No matter where I went, I couldn’t get any rumors other than what I got from that aunt in the greengrocer next door! What’s with that, seriously! I know I’ve been leaking information, so I don’t really have the right to say this, but don’t you guys care about controlling the information at all!?” [Yurdum]
“Ah, yeah, I figured that would be the case… I have no excuses…” [Ryouma]
Apparently, the boss was aware that he’s been catching too much attention too.
“Thank you for answering my questions. That’s all I wanted to ask. Wait, actually, there’s one more. It’s a bit late to be asking this, but are you sure it’s okay for you to talk about your circumstances so openly? You haven’t resisted at all, but…” [Ryouma]
“I just think being honest here is for the best.” [Yurdum]
It’s common knowledge among the nobles that the Jamil family and the royal family have a close relationship. Especially, the current head of the Jamil family.
Besides, the veracity of the things I said can easily be confirmed.
My duty to the king hasn’t been made public, but it’s not so important that steps have been taken to hide it.
“The moment you invited me to come here, I already had no place to run. Coming up with a half-assed lie would just make my situation worse.” [Yurdum]
“I see. Thank you for your cooperation.” [Ryouma]
As the boss said that, he waved both of his hands.
In the next moment, doors from every direction of the garden opened, and armed men appeared.
For a moment, I thought I was going to be apprehended.
“Yurdum-sama, there’s no need to be so tense. As long as you behave, we won’t treat you poorly.” [Woman]
The calm voice of a woman resounded in the garden.
If my memory serves me right, this voice belongs to the maid who led me here, Rurunez-san.
I remembered her name as soon as I saw her standing behind the armed men.
Just as she said, although the armed men surrounded us, they didn’t do anything.
“Just to be safe, we made it so that we would all also be able to listen in on your conversation.” [Rurunez]
“That’s how it is. So, what did you think of our little talk then?” [Ryouma]
The boss politely bowed to me, and then he asked that question to the people surrounding us.
The one who answered him was the man standing close to him.
I’ve seen him many times before. He’s one of those people supposedly sent by the duke.
“At the very least, I don’t think there’s any reason to apprehend him. Also, you got into that spar a little too much. You enjoyed yourself so much, that we actually let our guard down.” [Hyuzu]
“I-I’m sorry.” [Ryouma]
“Well, all is well that ends well. As for what you two talked about… Jill.” [Hyuzu]
“His Majesty’s name can’t be given lightly. Giving his name without permission can by itself become a crime. Of course, it also depends on the situation… But if he were proven to be lying just now, it will definitely be treated as a crime. If word of that were to get out, his family’s name won’t come out unscathed. In many cases, a noble who’s committed such a crime would be abandoned by his family or the family would request for an especially harsh punishment. In that regard, the crime of being blinded by greed is still much better off.” [Jill]
The man called Jill seemed to be saying something.
“But it would probably be better if we did this after confirming the veracity of his story. Now then, Yurdum-dono. We’ll have you come with us. Just as Ryouma requested, we have given you two an opportunity to talk and we’ve observed your conduct during it. As such, we’ve judged you to be much less dangerous than previously thought. That being said, we can’t release you just yet. We need to talk in another room and get the specifics sorted out. Do I have your understanding?” [Jill]
“Of course.” [Yurdum]
It felt like he wasn’t really giving me a choice, but given my situation, that’s quite normal.
When I showed him I was willing to cooperate, he nodded and showed me inside.
“I’ll be seeing you then, Yurdum-san.” [Ryouma]
“Ah, Boss. Thank you. I had a lot of fun today. And thank you for going out of your way to confirm things with me.” [Yurdum]
“Don’t sweat it. I’m the one who wanted to confirm the situation. See you tomorrow.” [Ryouma]
After parting with the boss, I started wondering what would happen to me next. In the mean time, the armed men escorted me.
Along the way, that guy called Hyuzu spoke to me.
“What’s with the weird face? Are you regretting it?” [Hyuzu]
Was I making a weird face?
“I’m not.” [Yurdum]
I’m the one who accepted the job of sending information back to the king. It may have been nothing more than some trivial gossips, but I still felt proud as a noble working for the king.
Besides, it was because I accepted that job that I could live my life the way I do now.
That’s why I’m not regretting it. But…
“I had a lot fun sparring with the boss. Unfortunately, this result is completely my fault.” [Yurdum]
“You said you weren’t lying about the purpose of your journey and the both of you really did seem to be having fun.” [Hyuzu]
“As someone who had to hide while watching the whole thing, I can’t really say I care.” [Jill]
“Don’t say that, Jill.” [Hyuzu]
“I was against this whole thing from the start! Our first priority should have been Ryouma’s safety. I can’t believe we left the two of them alone like that… If we were mistaken about Yurdum-dono, Ryouma might’ve been taken hostage already!” [Jill]
Ha ha ha, it really was careless when you look at it from their perspective. They have my sympathy. But…
“Maybe it was because it was me that the boss wasn’t too worried?” [Yurdum]
“I know Ryouma is amazing for his age, but unexpected things happen.” [Jill]
…This one might sound a bit harsh, but I think he’s actually just overprotective…
“Boss was a lot stronger than I thought he was, actually.” [Yurdum]
I’m someone who’s wholeheartedly pursuing the path of martial arts. I even went on a journey just to temper myself.
I know I’m still a novice, but I’ve gotten plenty of experience and have many losses and victories under my belt.
There’s a confidence and pride from all that experience.
And yet despite going at him at full strength, he was able to stop me magnificently. It was almost like an adult and a child fighting.
I could feel the many years of training from his techniques, but beyond that, was the skill to be able to apply those techniques in a match. He trained so much that he was able to acquire that level of skill.
And whenever I received one of his techniques or one of his blows, I felt that in the form of a ‘weight’.
He never felt like a child to me, but at the end of that match, the boy before me didn’t look like a kid at all.
What was there was a human.
An existence that has repeatedly polished his own techniques for many decades.
It just so happened that that existence had taken the form of a child.
What am I saying. None of these makes sense.
I must still be tired. My head isn’t working right.
But even then, it felt strange.
That’s why I didn’t hesitate to acknowledge my loss.
I didn’t even hesitate to bow my head, and the words that came in the end were said naturally.
Meeting someone like him is the goal of my journey, so nothing could be more fortuitous.
Still, the boss sure is loved by the duke and his subordinates, huh.
I don’t know what kind of treatment I’ll be receiving after this.
But I’m sure I’ll be fired from the laundromat.
I probably won’t be able to approach them anymore since I leaked information.
Besides, getting involved with any problem related to the nobles is problematic regardless of the involvement of the duke.
I don’t think I’ll lose my life, but I should expect to be imprisoned.
…Seriously, just what is going to happen to me?
While I was thinking that, the next day came.
“Good morning. Hmm? Were you not able to sleep last night?” [Ryouma]
I spent the night in a room in the security company, then after having breakfast, I was brought to another room where the boss was waiting.
He was waiting there as though nothing had happened, as though nothing could be more natural.
“Yurdum-san, this is a bit sudden, but we’ll be changing your position. For the time being, you won’t be working as a guard of the laundromat anymore. You’ll be working as my guard instead.” [Ryouma]