402 Observer and Melancholy
The prime minister has appointed me a mission to investigate this man as an observer.
Me, who is said to be the next generation general. Why would I be entrusted such a trivial job? I couldn't help but wonder. As someone who doesn't have a formal position, valued only for my skill despite general himself telling me 'I'll leave the next generation to you' as his pupil, having the prime minister appoints me this mission is not a bad deal at all.
I did wonder what is the significance on the prime minister himself coming in person. But I finally realized it now.
It is to familiarize me on the existence of absurdities in this world.
Prime minister and general may have different ideas. But I'm convinced that's it after witnessing what just transpired with my own eyes.
My swordsmanship rivals the general himself. I am not boasting. General admitted it. During our sparring.
My tactical quality has brought excellent results as well. I study twice as hard as the average person. I am proud of that.
Despite all those results, I was never given a position befitting of my excellence.
Because I'm an orphan the Royal Knights picked up by chance.
Getting back on topic, who would believe what I just witnessed?
This scene of a Round Ape having its head cut by a boy who has barely come of age.
The head caused a tremor as it landed on the ground.
Followed by a huge amount of blood gushing out of its giant body like it's raining.
My eyes locked with the eyes of the beast as it lay on the ground.
One thought must have flashed between me and Round Ape, 'Unbelievable'.
Even if the particulars differed, that one point alone intersected during that brief moment.
This fleeting yet seemingly long moment ended along with the magic beast's life.
Then another tremor from the headless body slumping down the ground reached me.
"Best way to leave it intact is to kill it in one slash decisively, yup."
I couldn't understand what this black haired, black eyed boy young enough to be called a kid was saying in that instant.
I was at a loss as to how answer the question he threw my way afterward. There is no precedent.
As far as my knowledge goes, something like this is not possible.
"How much does this thing fetch for? As a reference at least."
He must have seen the face I was making as he said this after.
"Ah, did I overdo it? ...No, this must be 'it cannot be' reaction eh. Guess his mind is in chaos."
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I calmed down after looking at the boy being convinced of something on his own and squeezed out the answer to his question.
"...Frankly, I don't think you can put a price tag on it. In a good way of course. No, I suppose it's bad in a way as well..."
The boy looked surprised by this. From the bad way part.
After all his face lit up at the good way part.
I resumed my explanation.
"There has never been a precedence of such a perfectly preserved Round Ape showing up on the market. It's simply unprecedented. There is no telling how big and widespread of a commotion it would cause. Long in the past, the royal knights waged everything they had to eliminate a Round Ape, which resulted in its form barely holding up... and yet some dilettante paid a hefty sum to the kingdom for it. As for how much it was..."
Just when I was about to say it. The cry of an unknown creature echoed from afar.
I looked inside the stagecoach to ask if the ladies and the slave man, as per the report, know what it is, but they started trembling uncontrollably.
The identity of these ladies are under investigation per the report.
The answer to my question came leaping out of the forest next to the highway.
I got on guard in that exact moment but I realized it was futile as I found myself helplessly in terror at this enormous lump of mana.
Mana of an incredibly massive proportion was emitting from its body to the point that Round Ape seemed trivial in comparison.
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After transporting the boy to the commercial city and going back to the kingdom, this is what I reported to my superior.
"Please don't make me come in contact with him ever again. If I were given another such mission in the future, I shall resign from the knights."
I'm sure I will never forget the the grim look prime minister and general had on their faces when I said that to them.