Translator: Lore_Temple (foxaholic.com)
“Oh yes, did you say that the reason you are going to ‘Oulheim’ was because of that battleground championship?”
The old man sitting in the leading carriage asked Cloud.
Oulheim is the capital of the Kingdom of Alitia and is famous for the fierce battleground championship that is held once in every four years.
As Cloud nodded, the old man shook his head with a sigh.
“Possessing the exploratory spirit of a youth is a good thing, but think again lad.
Even if you’re an A-class adventurer, that’s not an easy place to survive.
It is a hellhole where even S-class adventurers often die.”
“I appreciate the concern of the elderly, but I have already made up my mind.”
“Hey, let’s think about it again.
Haven’t you achieved an A-class achievement at such an early age? How many greater achievements can you achieve if you hone your skills in the future? You have a tip-top bright future waiting right in front of you, do you really need to take such a risk?”
The old man’s tone was sincere, he was genuinely worried about Cloud.
From his point of view, he wanted to stop this young lad from taking a wrong route, he wanted to steer this young man to the right path who was of similar age to that of his grandson.
After all, he couldn’t just let him go to die.
But Cloud confuted with a grin.
“Old man, do you remember the story you told me earlier? That story about you running away from a well-to-do family and setting up an independent shopping mall business.”
“Ummm… I remember…”
“At that time, you threw yourself into danger despite having all the luxuries one will deeply envy.
As a result, you have now built a business that is much larger than the original family worth.”
“Oh, you mean to say that I and you are the same? Boy, listen carefully, I sells things, and you use a sword, okay?”
“It’s the same when it comes to an end.
It’s either dying of starvation because of business failure, or getting stabbed to death because of skill failure.”
“Haah, don’t say a word anymore.
So…how about, in a way of showing respect to your elder, you will call quits on this absurd decision?”
“I don’t even have an elder in my family, old man.
If you’re interested, you’re welcome to try to become my step-grandfather.”
No matter who laughed first, the old man and Cloud together burst into fits of laughter.
The other escorts and hired adventurers, who were looking at them, looked envious.
Although the old man’s shopping center business was not a shopping center chain that was famed all across the entire continent, it was still well-known in this area.
Moreover, this old man was not even a commoner.
Although he ran away from home, he was the second son of a Lord.
But a measly newly promoted A-class adventurer was freely joking around with such a person…
Some adventurers were blatantly jealous.
‘Damn, I should have been at that position.’
‘Even that old man is a big fool, what makes a guy like that so amazing? That face, teh, looks like a parasitic leech.’
However, the guards of the old man were around them, so they couldn’t even mumble, just complained inside their mind.
Like that, their journey towards Oulheim continued.
That was so, until dozens of people appeared and blocked the way up to the mountain pass.
They were all armed.
“Are they bandits?”
The old man stopped Cloud from drawing his sword.
“Why are you stopping me?”
“I think you said it hasn’t been a year since you became an adventurer? Then you mustn’t know.
It is customary to pay money in moderation when bandits block the route.”
“Is that so?”
At the old man’s words, Cloud nodded without questioning further.
A merchant must have his merchant’s law.
As a hired adventurer, it was not his job to meddle in their affairs.
Instead, Cloud turned his gaze to the front.
A person who appeared to be the head of the bandit gang and a personnel of the shopping mall were having a conversation.
Maybe it’s a negotiation on the toll amount, but…
Judging from the scene as the poor employee’s head that was sent flying off, it seems that the negotiation didn’t go well.
The faces of the old man as well as the guards and adventurers hardened.
The captain of the escorts, who commanded the guards, rode forward on his horse.
“Who is your representative?”
The man who just blew off a man’s head stepped forward.
It was a man with a hood on his head and a top off.
The man’s body was buffed with toned muscles.
“How should I address you?”
“Why bother calling me by a different name? Just call me Boss.”
Why did you harm a member of our convoy who came to negotiate?”
“I told you to call me Boss, you punk.
As for why did I kill him? Of course that bastard was trying to cheat on us.”
“You mean he tried to cheat you? What kind of fraud did he commit for you to blow off his head all the way from his shoulders?”
“Of course, it’s about our reasonable toll.
Even if you try to negotiate, you have to negotiate moderately, and that with proper respect.
5000 gold toll for going up this far.
Have you seen farts?”
“…how much do you want?”
“Everything in the wagons.
If you give it to us, you all will save your lives.”
“Everyone, in position!”
At the words of the escort captain, the guards and the adventurers drew out their weapons.
The bandits around them stretched their arrows on the bow.
A tense pressure sparked between the two sides.
As if it wouldn’t be strange if a fight broke out in the next second.
The escort captain warned the bandit leader.
“Are you sure you want to handle it like this?”
“Why wouldn’t I be like this? I gave you guys a choice.
It was you all who rejected it.”
“Who gave you that order?”
The old man’s voice sounded in.
He could easily point out that these dorks were no ordinary bandits, and that they had no intention of keeping the members of the convoy alive from the very beginning.
The bandit boss, the one who should now be called the leader of the assassins put on a surprised expression.
“Sure enough, not everyone can become the owner of a large shopping district.”
“Take my life and everything in the wagon.
Instead, I want others to live.
Isn’t anything other than that pointless killing?”
“Old Master, what are you saying?!”
“You be quiet!”
The old man ordered the captain of the guards.
On the other hand, the head of the assassins smiled bitterly.
“I wish I had someone like you as my employer.
And I’m sorry, but I’ll decline the offer.
They’ve already seen our faces, how can they live?”
The assassins’ leader raised his hand.
When that hand comes down, the fight will begin with the arrows raining downwards.
Those who survive the arrows will be brutally murdered by those over fifty skilled assassins.
It was the time for the faces of those who had participated in this mission to became dark.
“Hey, old man, do you have any potions with you?”
Breaking the heavy silence, Cloud asked the worried old man.
He had a flat tone that did not match the atmosphere, so the old man thought that he had heard it wrong.
“No, there is.”
“Give me one.”
“Um… I see.”
The old man took out a glass bottle from his waist pocket and handed it to Cloud.
Cloud looked at the color of the potion stored in the glass bottle.
Bright and bloody red with no impurities.
It was an advanced potion.
He nodded once, opened the potion’s lid, and poured half of it into his mouth.
He drew his sword and slowly walked towards the head of assassins.
It looked so natural, and it was so ridiculous that everyone was unable to speak words.
“Heh wimp, what are you d…”
It was when the assassins’ leader opened his mouth with a cruel smirk.
Cloud spurred from his location and rushed at the head of the leader.
It happened in an instant, and the speed at which he spurred was damn too fast.
When the assassins came to their senses, Cloud was already close to the assassins’ leader.
They couldn’t shoot their bow in this distance.
“What kind of crazy person is this?!”
The head of the assassins took out his sword and slashed at the front as it was.
Cloud slit his back in the air as he leaned down.
However, Cloud’s posture was not for dodging the attack.
A human arm floated up in the air.
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