"I see. So you were keeping watch over me during these past three days."
"Why were they aiming for you, not Shira."
"If you think about it carefully, they couldn't have gone for Shira-sama. Think. It would result in wasting a plan laid out by the prime minister office as decreed by the king, and having guide Skalabel's master killed under his very nose. It would utterly ruin his majesty the king's and the prime minister's faces."
"Not even Zack Zaikaz could escape that huh."
"Indeed. On the other hand if it was me who got assassinated they shall never make it public. News of a town lord tasked by his majesty getting killed would harm the king's dignity, and hinder this project. My death would be announced to be due to an illness, and the project would carry on after my successor named."
"Even so, there's no point in assassinating you to Zack."
"Oh there is. It serves as a grim warning to the neighboring lords. Warning them not to act as they please in the northeastern region. The town lords would surely tremble in fear. Realizing how dangerous it is to dice with Kogurus."
"Moreover, once I'm not of this world, the yet greenhorn Agito cannot possibly deal with Zack. He'd get all his limbs bound in no time, eventually turning Vouka into another yes town for Kogurus."
"But the royal capital won't stay quiet either."
"That's where things get blurry. Prime Minister Office will make an estimation if the trouble is worth the expenditure and labor. And then there's long term and short term angles."
"I don't get it."
"Prime Minister Office itself desires to have the king's authority reach into every single part of the kingdom. They wish to make the entire kingdom flourish. But they must plan how will they interfere with the northeastern region and if there is even a need to within the scope of their limited budget and manpower."
"If they believe meddling in with half measures now would result in a chaos that may very well turn into a revolt at the kingdom's northeastern region, they will likely postpone the development of the region. No matter how displeased they get."
"Is that how it is. So Zack was trying to impede the prime minister."
"Indeed. He must want to express his anger by killing me. Betting on Prime Minister Office not bothering with all the trouble to resolve it."
"I think that's quite a risky gamble though."
"It is. However, this is exactly a turning point where he must take that risk, I'm sure Zack believed that. If he succeeded in pressuring the surrounding town lords and the prime minister office, he could enjoy the privilege of better highways himself, so it is worth the risk."
"However, Zack lost that gamble."
"Indeed. Moreover, since you caught the watchman, it will take some time until Zack found out about his assassins' failure. That said, he will likely send another batch of assassins sooner or later. Lecan, as a gold rank adventurer of this town, I have a request for you."
"I'll give it a listen."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Work as my bodyguard."
"Why! Not even you will like it if things go his way, do you."
"I don't really care whether you die or the highways don't get maintained."
"Had Zack gone for Shira, he would make an enemy out of me. But thinking again, that guy isn't going to try that."
"What do you mean?"
"That guy's got ways to gather info. He must know my relationship with Shira to a point. If he killed Shira, I'd go seek out his life. He must understand that much."
"Does Zack truly fear you so?"
"Fear isn't exactly right. He simply won't go out of his way to make me turn on him because he cannot calculate my strength."
"Have you met Zack Zaikaz before?"
"Didn't I tell you? I've gone to Kogurus before. Even talked with Zack there."
"What kind of man do you think Zack is like?
"To him, everything is a fight. In order to subdue, cut down and grow everything around Kogurus. The success of a trade is nothing more than a mean to him. I got in the way of his plans by chance yet the man offered to hire me."
"Zack Zaikaz isn't a man I can get along with on a personal level, but I do not mind with money talks. For better or worse, that's the impression I got from that man Zack."
"It can't be, it can't be that you will allow Zack hire you, won't you?"
"I might get hired. But I don't think I'd take a request to assassinate you or something along that line. It's gonna cause trouble to Chaney."
"Aren't you worried about my well being?"
"Didn't you save me from getting killed earlier."
"That was nothing more than an outcome. You're someone who rode on those capital fools' coattails to bring Shira and me trouble. Why should I be worried about you?"
"What do you mean trouble! You have absolutely no idea just how great of an honor this is!"
"You're no different from Zepus Goncourt eh."
"That guy tricked Eda, knocked her out with a magic tool and kidnapped her to his mansion. That guy said this to Eda in front of me. 'You would have all the pretty clothes you want, all good food you can eat, you will live happily as long as you stay in this mansion'. I'm sure he had no doubt in his mind. All of that being the highest honor to Eda."
"Are you putting me on the same level as a cowardly kidnapper?"
"I ask you in turn. Both you and Zepus unilaterally push your own sense of value and standpoint without considering the other's party circumstances and feelings on the matter. And you never even doubted that they would follow suit without questions. Where's the difference?"
Lecan never intended to say this much.
Lecan has recognized Vouka Town Lord Crimus Ulban to a degree. The town this lord rules over is a pretty nice town. And he's at least sympathetic to the town lord's joy and plight on this matter.
However, Lecan was wrought with an unreasonable anger once he listened to Shira's feelings on the matter.
Shira only wanted to lead a quiet peaceful life in this town. Serving and helping people while living quietly without standing out.
That peace is breaking down, and Shira is starting to give up the idea of living in this town.
His anger on that had inadvertently turned into harsh words toward the town lord.
Crimus looked indignant.
But he pinned down his emotion with willpower, readjust his breathing and asked Lecan with the calmest voice he could muster up.
"Lecan. What are Shira-sama's feelings. Just what does Shira-sama desire?"
"Why do you think Shira live at such an inconvenient location despite her vast knowledge and skill? Why didn't she try to profit off it greedily? Why didn't she take even one apprentice, only interacting with other at a minimum?"
Crimus furrowed his eyebrow to show his confusion without saying a word.
"To live quietly without troubling anyone. That's Shira's wish."
Crimus sighed out.
"That is impossible. After hearing Skalabel-sama , it's clear just how grand Shira-sama's meritorious deed is. Her knowledge and skill are just too great. It is not possible to ignore that."
I mustn't say what I would say next, thought Lecan.
Saying any more would break the amiable relation he's built with Crimus. He understood that.
And yet, the words just spilled out of his mouth.
"I see. So you're saying it's inevitable to those who hone their craft and those who have made great accomplishments in the world to be bound by those who hold power in the world. That it's only inevitable for nobles to abduct people with the power of <Purification> and enslave them. You believe that Shira must be sacrificed for the sake of bettering Vouka."
It's pretty much nothing but a false accusation. Lecan himself understood that, but that was the only way he could express his anger with no outlet.
Crimus didn't answer back.
"Just remember this. If you or Skalabel bring any more nuisance to Shira, if you try to make a mess out of Shira's life, you and Skalabel both are my enemy."
He said it.
He said something he shouldn't have said.
But there is no taking back words spat.
Lecan left behind the town lord's mansion with a bitter taste in his mouth.
[Episode 24 Shira Assassination] End/Next [Episode 25 Sushana's Naivete]