Crossing the sea...?
I am confused by the sudden request.
Honestly it's something that interests me a lot because it's linked to Kaede's past, but I can't help but wonder what the purpose of such a request was.
"Did you know there are other lands beyond these?"
"I understand there is another continent beyond the sea."
"For a long time we had believed that there was only one land. It's hard to reach this conclusion when you live in Lastoria and observe the sea everyday."
"What do you mean?"
The old man pulled a piece of parchment from his pocket.
The scroll, which he unfolded and showed me, contained topographical features and names I had never seen before.
It must be a map of another continent.
But how did he get it?
"In very strange cases, on the coasts of our land, the sea drags strange objects. Objects that come from several other places. The reason Lastoria is highly developed in terms of society and science is because we research such objects and then mass-produce them."
"Are you trying to tell me that the other continent is more advanced in knowledge and technology...?"
"Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. There's no question that better civilizations than this one have been formed, and that's where I'd like to make my plea."
The knight placed three bulging leather bags on the table.
You can tell by the sound of the bags that there is gold inside them, but just by looking at them from the outside you can't tell how much they contain.
The old man took a sip of his tea and put the cup down.
"This is a retainer's fee. There are two main things I want you to do; escort a research team that will be accompanying you, I just need you to be their bodyguard. And the second thing is for you to find out if there are any countries we can make contact with."
"How do you know I'll be able to fullfil that last request?"
"It's very simple. Any species that can be friends with you has the potential to be friends with us. Oh, I also hope for you to become friends with Individuals that possess useful information."
So you are asking me to go to another continent?
And make friends and interact with them as much as I can?
How strange this old man is.
Who the hell is he?
"Why are you asking me to do this?"
"Because of your skills. I have always had a keen interest in the other continent. I've sent teams to investigate. But they never came back."
The old man seemed to think that if we had defeated the demon king, we could cross the sea.
It is said that the monsters that live in the sea are much stronger than those on land.
I have often heard rumors that the sea is teeming with monsters that can easily overtake a red dragon.
We are going to pass over them by boat. It's nothing less than a suicide mission.
It is natural that no one has returned. And if we manage to get there, It could also be a journey of no return.
Although, in our case, things could be very different.
I am now level 3000.
Also, I have a shark-type beast that can kill a blue dragon with ease.
I think the odds are high that I will be able to go there and still come back.
However, the problem is the location of the continent.
You can't get there with just a map like this one.
"I'm going to ask you one thing; how are we going to get there? Do you know the location?"
I point out the terrain on the parchment map.
"I have a rough idea what it is here. The only obstacle is the monster."
The old man looks at me with an expression as if waiting for my answer; "Will you accept it?"
To tell the truth, it was a real blessing in disguise.
We were planning to go to Kaede's hometown, so we're lucky enough to be able to get there by boat.
Besides, my mother's hometown could be there.
I think I should take him up on this offer to get to know more about her as a person.
"I'll take you up on that offer."
"Oh, I've been waiting to hear that!"
"I'm only doing it because you're making such a generous offer."
The old man had a big smile on his face when he heard the answer he wanted.
It's also good business for us.
In addition, the ship will be prepared for us.
Thank goodness I don't have to go through the trouble of hiring one.
Although there is still the problem of whether we can actually get to where we're going.
Once the conversation was settled, the old man changed the subject.
"I heard that you are the nephew of the Marquis of Eiban, but I didn't know you were originally from my country. Why don't you make him the next head of the family, Keios?"
"I think you've already forgotten that my son Bill will be taking that place."
"Oh yes, I'm sorry you and Bill had to hear those tactless words coming out of my mouth."
"No... Never mind..."
Bill's expression clouded a bit before he bowed to the older man.
I'm surprised Bill is so calm.
This old man appears to be a very powerful man.
Who the hell is he?
"Hey, Kaede. Maybe our Lord doesn't realize the situation yet."
"It's not unlike what happened in Armand. It's something that can't be helped."
Hey... What are you talking about? What haven't I noticed?!
"Thank you for coming to see me off. I'll see you later."
"Have a safe trip home."
Once the conversation ended, the old man walked towards the carriage parked out in front.
The old man said goodbye to Keios, Bill and us.
"Ah, I forgot to tell you, Keios."
Before getting into the carriage, the old man called Keios and said something to him.
Then his face turned toward me.
His eyes were full of hope, and he quickly sketched a smile of amazement.
"This mission is aimed at the Manyu Brigade, not the fake Little Hounds, call them accordingly, I don't want any confusion."
"But you still won't tell me that story."
"I just told you. See you soon."
He got into the carriage and left the mansion.
Hey hey, that party is dissolved, you can't do something like that.
I think this old man just fooled us... I will have no choice but to revive the Manyu Brigade after accepting this mission.
I will send a message later to King Armand apologizing.
"I don't like it."
As soon as the old man disappeared, Bill burst out in frustration.
Of course, most of his frustration was directed at me.
"Even if it was a secret visit, such behavior towards the King is unacceptable. What kind of person is this guy? Just because he's an Eiban he thinks he can act in such an entitled manner? The King deserves respect, I can't allow that idiot to have such rude manners."
"Bill, calm down."
"Father, I'm sure you're also asking yourself the same question - how can that commoner be treated like a nobleman?"
"He has the title of hero."
Bill froze at Keios' words.
I think he was having trouble digesting his father's words.
He stood with his mouth open for a few moments.
"Toru is Armand's hero, he was the one who defeated the demon king. And he is not a commoner, he is a member of the Eiban family, he has the highest rank of the most powerful family in Lastoria."
"I know it's sudden, but that's the way it is, he's in the position to take over as head of the family. If you don't get ready to take up the mantle, Toru will be the one to do it."
"Toru is the hero? So I came second?"
Bill falls onto his legs on the floor.
I have no idea how nobility works, but I was shocked to learn that I am in a position to be the next head of the Eiban family.
Of course, that's if something were to happen to Bill and he couldn't claim the title himself.
"...Hey, wait a minute...did he just call that man 'King'?"
"I told you, he hadn't noticed."
"I'm sorry master, I couldn't tell you, that part of you is so wonderful, the way you don't realize things. It's so sweet."
"Kaede, what other things are you hiding from me?"
So that old man is the King of Lastoria.
I guess that settles the question of how he knew about us.
I have heard that the King of Armand and the King of Lastoria get along well.
At some point King Armand must have told him about us.
Now that I know who I am, I feel more at ease.
So we decided to go back to our room and entered the mansion.
As we were about to climb the stairs to the entrance, Bill came after us.
"I'll never accept it! You're not a hero!"
"You're right. I have relinquished that title."
"What, you gave up the title?!"
"Yes, it's a title that brings a lot of responsibilities. It's not something I'm happy about."
Bill between mutterings said; "you're a big idiot."