4. No Matter What Happens…
I was kicked out of the royal castle.
Although I had a little bit of money with me, I was all alone.
I also had nowhere to go.
The mansion I used to live in with family had been demolished long ago. There was nothing but a vacant lot there.
I had no relatives or friends I could rely on.
To survive, I did my damnedest as a blacksmith.
I never left the castle. I devoted my entire being to work while being covered with soot.
…However, what I got in return…
“W, what is this bullshit…!?”
I thought I had no tears left to cry.
Despite that, I still cried.
No matter how many times I wiped them, my tears just wouldn’t stop.
The castle could be seen from the royal capital.
Therefore, I decided to leave the royal capital. Even the mere sight of the castle was unbearable for me.
Because I didn’t have much money, I couldn’t rent a vehicle.
The only city that was within walking distance was Raceton.
If I wasn’t mistaken, it was a city build by adventurers. It should be one of the few cities within the territory that the kingdom didn’t directly govern.
The security wasn’t as tight as the royal capital. There were rumors that it was a scary city, but I didn’t give a damn.
Anywhere is fine.
I’m fine with anything.
While still feeling raw, I walked towards Raceton.
After a day, or perhaps two or three, I finally arrived at Raceton.
The cityscape was completely different than that of the royal capital’s.
There were many wooden buildings with only a few being tall.
It also appeared to be more crowded than the royal capital.
By the way, I hadn’t eaten anything for three days.
After taking a short nap, I single-mindedly walked towards Raceton.
As soon as I arrived, my exhaustion assaulted me.
The sun was setting.
…if only I could rest at the inn.
Nevertheless, that’d require money.
I went through a busy shopping street and entered a dark alley while holding my rumbling stomach.
I powerlessly slumped down next to a garbage dump.
The clouds were heavy. Not too long after, it started to rain.
I kept walking.
The rain was getting stronger, and before long, there was a scream.
I heard some footsteps approaching.
When I raised my head, three well-built men surrounded me.
“Hey, lady, what are you doing in a place like this?”
“It’s dangerous for a woman to be alone~ there are many bad men around~”
“Please leave me alone.”
“Don’t say such a mean thing~ We don’t have bad intentions or anything, we just want to keep a lone woman safe~”
One of the guys tried to touch me.
The thought of him touching me was unpleasant. Reflexively, I slapped his hand.
“I said leave me be—!”
“Don’t bother with me! It’s not like you guys are actually worried about me, anyway!”
“That’s right. How smart of you.”
The other two men grabbed my arms.
Even if I tried to resist, they were stronger than me and I couldn’t free myself.
Moreover, I was already exhausted from the journey, and also famished.
As my arms got pulled behind me, the biggest man roughly grabbed my cheeks.
“L, let me go!”
“For you to be in a place like this… what happened? Got abandoned by your man? Have no place to return to?”
“Stop glaring at me like that. All you have to do is behave.”
The man slapped me.
As pain coursed through my face, my cheek became numb.
“What a troublesome woman.”
“Hey, let’s get it over with.”
“That’s right~ that’s right~”
The men tore off my clothes.
The clothes which were given to me by the royal castle.
The regal embroidery was torn to shreds before being discarded.
What would happen was obvious.
I hated it, but was powerless to resist.
I felt like absolutely everything was against me. As if I had given up everything, I looked up at the rainy sky.
“Ha? Leave us alone, it’s getting good—goho!”
In the next moment, the man who was reaching for my chest was crouching while holding his belly.
I was looking up at the rainy sky—as such, I didn’t know what had happened.
As I lowered my gaze—
“—Release my girlfriend!”
A young man with silver hair stood before me.
In the blink of an eye, the silver haired man hadn’t only freed me from their clutches, but also pulled me towards him.
While hugging me with one arm, the man distanced himself from the three.
It was as if he was truly embracing his lover.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m sorry, I should’ve arrived sooner.”
He draped his cloak over me, and gently sat me by the wall.
“Give me a moment.”
He smiled gently and turned around.
The beaten men were standing up.
“Forcing yourself on a girl is the worst thing a man can do, uncles.”
“The hell? You dare go against us? Don’t think you can get away scot-free!”
“That’s my line, here. Do you think you can do as you please in this city?”
“What? Who do you think you are—…”
The silver haired man had a sword on his waist.
The decorative tip of its handle was made of silver.
I noticed it when the silver haired man unsheathed his sword.
One of the men noticed as well and his eyes widened in surprise.
“O, oi… no way, could it be, you are—”
“G, Grave!? The ‘Sword of Blue Sky’ Grave—!?”
“W, wait, really!? This guy is—!?”
The three men grew frightened.
Even though I didn’t miss their conversation, I couldn’t comprehend anything.
Regardless, I could still conclude that the silver haired man was supposed to be amazing.
The three immediately rushed down the other side of the alley.
The silver haired man let out a sigh and sheathed his sword.
“They don’t even have the courage to stand their ground, and yet they dared lay their fingers on a woman… what a hopeless bunch.”
While muttering such, he turned around as if he had recalled something.
After our gazes collided, he hurried towards me and spoke while kneeling down.
“Are you alright? You aren’t injured, right?”
I silently nodded.
Various things happened in a short time, and my head was muddled.
I still couldn’t swallow what had just happened—
“Can you stand?”
The man gently extended his hand. Somehow, without even touching it, I could tell that his hand was warm. I could feel the pain in my heart easing a little.
***T/N: Holy shit, an exiled heroine that doesn’t immediately go all sass and be like, ‘Harrumph! Shame on you, I’m actually the best blacksmith this world has ever known! Now that you’ve exiled me, this kingdom will come crashing down!!!!!!’ and actually has a relatable, believable, response for once! My heart broke for her…
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