38.1 Second Time as an Errand Boy
“Something like that has got to be a lie.”
I unintentionally scream out.
Priscilla-chan gets startled by my scream and glances up at me.
That’s absolutely a lie. There’s no way Ristia would commit such evil deeds. Something is definitely wrong.
“Fufun, that’s certainly a lie. Well then, should we start with your pinkie?”
Ludriad-san raises his dagger with those words.
“W-wait. I’m telling the truth!”
Ludriad-san glares at the flustered man.
“We were just thieves residing near the valley in southeast.”
Even though no one asked, the man starts telling us about their history.
“We didn’t have a base, so upon coming across a large cave, we took it for ourselves. Then, one day, the hero Ristia-sama appeared.”
The valley is about half a day’s travel East. From there, a road branches off southward from the highway. They’re stationed near the river which provides water to this place. Originally, the fake dragon tribesmen were bandits doing bad things around there.
Ludriad-san, as leader of the patrol soldiers, confirms the information. They’ve recently been wary of bandits in the valley.
Some days after, the hero Ristia appeared in the cave serving as the bandit’s base. Ristia is a famous person. He’s a handsome young man with the features and bearing to match. More famous than that, however, is the holy sword hanging from his waist. It’s something everyone knows of. Apparently, the bandits immediately put up a fight upon realizing who the intruder was.
Still, he is the hero-sama, after all. They were easily suppressed while the women and children living with them were taken hostage. They were then told proclaim themselves as dragon tribesmen and to rampage in conspicuous places.
Even bandits are human. Upon having their women and children taken as hostages, they were forced to do as Ristia instructed. The two bronze-skinned men from earlier were their vanguards.
The man desperately explains their reasons. While Ludriad-san silently listens to him,
I tremble in rage.
“Nnmtto. Onii-chan, are you angry?”
Pricilla-chan hugs, getting anxious, hugs me tight.
“Uhn, I’m not.”
I try to deceive her with a smile, but I don’t know if it works. Pricilla-chan just tilts her head as she looks up at me.
That’s a lie. Everything that man said is undeniably a lie. Ristia would never threaten others by doing something as evil as taking women and children hostage. Ruiseine, thinking the same thing as me, anxiously shakes her head the moment our eyes meet.
“It doesn’t seem like he is lying.”
But then, Mistral affirms the man’s words. Even though she was keeping watch on our surroundings, she properly listening to everything.
“Umu, this is troubling. He doesn’t sound like he’s lying to me either. There isn’t any hesitation in his words. When making up a long story, people make different gestures during the honest and false parts.”
“B-but… Ristia wouldn’t do such things…”
“You acquainted with the yuusha or something? Well, I don’t think the yuusha would do something like that either. That said, nothing is definite in this world.”
His ‘nothing can be done’ about it attitude really irritates me off. Mistral notices and pats my head.
“Believing in people isn’t wrong. However, if like now, you can’t believe what was said, you just need to show them the truth.”
Mistral looks at me as she gently pats me.
That man told us a story. Mistral and Ludriad-san say that story isn’t a lie. Yet, since both Ruiseine and I know Ristia well, we can’t believe his story. Therefore, everything can be settled by finding evidence that proves the story isn’t true.
The person who appeared in the thieves’ basse is said to have taken the women and children as hostage. If that’s the case, then that person should still be there.
When I call Ruiseine out, she gives a forthright nod.
“Even though we are in the middle of an errand, I can’t just stay silent and overlook this, after all.”
It’s a detour, but we have to go to the cave serving as their base no matter what.
“Oi, oi, this is our work as patrol soldiers, you know.”
Ludriad-san gives a wry smile at our exchange.
“Uhn, but didn’t Ludriad-san also say this at the beginning. That since this is my problem, I should solve it myself?”
“No, no, this world has laws and rules for this sort of thing.”
Ludriad-san looks troubled as he scratches his head.
“Then how about this. We’ll go to investigate their base by your request. This should be okay, right?”
What a brilliant idea. As expected of Mistral.
Mistral said those words lightly, but she has a dreadful smile that won’t accept any refusal. If you go against her, something scary will happen, Ludriad-san.
“Hahaha, what a scary little girl.”
Ludriad-san raises his hands while making a strained laugh.
Mistral must also be keenly interested in this incident. She want to see it through for herself. These bandits were trying to do bad things while calling themselves dragon tribesmen. As a real dragon tribesmen, there’s no way Mistral will stay silent.