Chapter 15: Randell the Merchant
I’m surprised about the fact that the number of unique weekly viewers has suddenly increased.
It’s the third day since I met Fran.
We’re still walking towards the town. To others, I would be invisible due to the wrappings put in place while being carried on Fran’s back. If someone spots a loosened portion and sees me, then I have no excuse.
『Hey, will I be able to enter the town easily?』
『There’re no toll fees or identification cards needed?』
「I don’t know.」
*furufuru* Fran shakes her head back and forth. Cute.
No, no, rather than that!
Fran was a Slave, so of course she wouldn’t have done any entrance procedures. But, because of that, I have no information to go off of.
『So long as anyone else is present, information should be obtainable.』
But even if I say that, throughout these three days not a single trace of people has been seen.
There’re no Peddlers nor Travelers — there’s not even any bandits. Why? If there were any thieves, I’d be able to beat information out of them at least.
「It’s not a highway.」
The Slave Trader seemed to move through a dangerous area for the sake of time. As a result, it was attacked by a Demonic Beast and wiped out. My condolences. Not towards the Trader, of course. He should have died alone without involving the Slaves.
『Hm? There’re highways, huh.』
It seems that the purpose of highways are to avoid areas where Demonic Beasts appear frequently — to skirt areas where Humans shouldn’t be, essentially.
『Where is the highway?』
「It’ll appear if we keep walking.」
「It’ll be alright. Probably.」
Four hours have passed after she said that. We advanced leisurely while hunting Demonic Beasts as we walked.
Then, we discovered the long-awaited highway.
『Alright! The road!』
The road is far better than the animal trails we had used thus far; even the grass is removed. Instead, the ground is worn through its long history of people coming and going; traces of wheels can be seen clearly, too. Without a doubt, it’s a highway.
Fran continues towards the town with her Sense of Direction.
「Mu, reaction of living creatures.」
『They don’t seem to be people. Perhaps Goblins?』
『Just in case. We might be able to sell their materials, and their Magic Stones can be absorbed.』
When I nodded using my body in consent, Fran deviated from the highway and began to run. She’s already gained the ability to run between the trees like the wind using Skills like Leg Strength ↑ and such.
It seems that their plan was to ambush anyone passing through, because Goblins had hidden themselves in bushes on the side of the highway. There’re 3 total. Fran erases her presence and goes around to the Goblin at the back of their formation. Without a sound, it’s struck from behind.
Its body is cut down from behind, and it crumbles to the ground with a *gurari* 
Because my Skill level has rose, the Sword Technique Double・Slash could be activated with reduced movements, thus cutting through the remaining two bodies. The Goblins didn’t even know what happened.
The entire battle had finished before the first body had even fallen to the ground.
『Mhm. Leave it to me.』
After absorbing the Magic Stone, I cut off the horns of the Goblins, which can supposedly be used as materials. The remaining bodies were thrown into Dimensional Storage. It would be bad if I had left them unattended near the highway and a large Demonic Beast followed their scent, after all.
「Teacher, another Goblin.」
『There was still one left, huh.』
「What should we do?」
『It’s running in a straight line, shall we take it?』
Once again, Fran starts to run. However, an unexpected development unfolded because of that decision.
「Shit! Get away from me, damn Goblins!」
A lone carriage was being attacked by Goblins. The Goblins numbered 6, while there was only one person on the side of the carriage.
『Perhaps the Goblins from before were on lookout?』
While their fiends attacked the carriage, they would watch for Adventurers; such was real plan, perhaps.
『Yeah. In the meantime, do your best old man!』
After erasing her presence once again, a surprise attack from behind is launched. Three bodies were cut down using the shortened movement of Triple・Thrust. The power of three consecutive thrusts is weak, but against Goblins there’re no problems.
Fran, who suddenly appears her opponents, chops down the Goblins which raise cries of intimidation with a *zashuzashu*
The final Goblin turns heel in order to escape, but Fran throws me and deals a decisive blow. Thanks to the Throwing Skill, its stomach is accurately penetrated. I intended to make adjustments mid-flight in secret if I went astray, but it wasn’t necessary.
「T-thank you, young lady. You saved me.」
「You’re… Quite strong. Are you traveling alone?」
「Well, you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.」
Fran is reticent, but it seems that the man misunderstood based off of her attitude. Well, I don’t want to transfer our poor information, so I’m grateful for that. Mentally, I directed Fran to keep the misunderstanding as-is.
「If you’d like, would you like to hitch a ride on my carriage? I’m headed towards Aressa.」
The name of the town we were headed to seems to be Aressa. The man of gentle manners in front of us seems quite determined, however. 
His aim seems to be obtaining an escort while simultaneously offsetting the favor we earned by fending off the Goblins.
However, because we wanted information, we decided to take up his offer. But shouldn’t the debt of having one’s life saved not be so light?
I use Fran as a middleman to relay my thoughts.
「Hire as an escort?」
「Ah, yes. Of course.」
Fufun. Don’t force a smile.
「Information in exchange. That’s good enough as a fee.」
「Hahahaha, interesting! I like it! Get on!」
「The name’s Randell. You?」
「Then, best regards on the journey, Lady Fran.」
I don’t forget to strip off the horns of the Goblins before getting into the carriage. I then proceeded to immediately ask him a question. Through Fran, that is.
「Do Goblin horns sell?」
「Goblin horns huh〜, they do, but they’re terribly cheap. As a catalyst for Magic, its quality is the worst.」
Is that so? I suppose stripping all of those off was just a waste of time, then. Randell continues, however.
「But even if that’s the case, if you take it to the Adventurers Guild, you should be able to get a reward seeing as they’re pegged to be exterminated upon discovery.」
The description from Appraisal said the same thing, Thinking about it, that description is quite arbitrary…
The description clearly explained that Goblins were hostile to essentially everything, but in the first place, who wrote that description? God? If we assume that, then it would probably be God’s side who destroyed the Evil God, so the description depicting “Evil” would be biased.
Looking at it from a Goblin’s perspective, they might feel that justice is on their side, and Humans are evil.
Well, even if that’s the case I’m not complaining or anything. I just killed a bunch of Goblins, after all. Only good-natured people would feel conflicted in the face of that explanation. As soon as it was discovered, they would have a feeling of guilt. As for me, because it was written that they were “Evil”, I could simply use that as my excuse. Or rather, I should say that my desire to hunt only grew because of that fact.
That might have been the purpose that whoever wrote the description was aiming for. It could have been to kindle people like me to hunt those of the “Evil” faction.
As expected, could the one who wrote the explanation really be God? Come to think of it, when I was reincarnated into this world I had heard a powerful voice, so perhaps that was God. Then it’s fine if they’re a good natured person, right? Yeah, that’s how it is. Even if they tried to manipulate me, I wouldn’t know of it at least. Or perhaps that’s their strategy? No, no but………
Stop, stop. If I start doubting everything randomly without information, I’ll just be stuck in an endless cycle. There’s no harm at the moment, so I’ll just stop thinking so deeply.
「But really, I’d have never expected a group of Goblins to attack on this route.」
「Is that so?」
「Yeah. This is a road which is visited by Adventurers regularly, after all.」
Adventurers. They even have a Guild, this really is a fantasy, huh.  I’m looking forward to going to the Guild later.
「Personally, I can only fend off one or two Goblins at a time.」
By the way, Randell’s Status looks like this:
Name ：Randell Age ：39
HP ：62 MP ：85 STR ：30 END ：31 AGI ：34 INT ：45 MGC ：40 DEX ：41
Transportation ：Lv3, Coachmenship ：Lv2, Negotiation ：Lv2, Arithmetic ：Lv5, Commerce ：Lv6, Spear Arts ：Lv3, Speech ：Lv2
Inferior Iron Spear, Leather Breastplate, Spider Silk Overcoat
Well, one-on-one against a Goblin he wouldn’t lose, but being surrounded would be pretty harsh. There’s only a difference of four levels, but the status of Randell compared to the cheat-like Fran is terrible.
「For some reason, the Demonic Beasts have become are a bit more active than a month ago.」
A month ago, huh. About the time I captured Area 5, then.
「Not sure. Well, it might have to have something to do with Maokami Plains , though.」
「You don’t know? It’s classified as a Rank A Haunt that’s located to the East of here.」
「Of course. Although it’s inferior to the sizes of another 10 Haunts, it’s still Rank A.」
“Haunts” seem to refer to areas under the control of Demonic Beasts, Dungeons included. The Ranks have a range of G ~ S, with A being second from the top.
It’s not at the level of the 10 Haunts classified as Rank S, but Rank A is dangerous enough despite that.
In such a place, I hunted frequently. So, if you were to talk about the Bosses, they were universally recognized as Strong.
But that’s not what concerned me. I try to ask a question through Fran.
「Why is it called Maokami Plains?」
((See  to understand the stuff Sword-shisho thinks about below.))
In that Plain there were a few Demonic Beasts of the wolf type, but rather than one of them being an Area Boss, there was a feline instead. And so, I don’t understand why it would be called Maokami Plains.
「Legend has it that long ago, a Demonic Beast of Rank S called a Fenrir passed away in those Plains. In the center of the Plain, the Magic Power of the Fenrir still seems to persist, so the Plains seem to have the interesting characteristic of having weaker Demonic Beasts the closer you get to the center.」
So rather than some sort of barrier, it was actually the Magic Power of Fenrir? Moreover, it was a dead one? Without those boundaries I would have lived quite a harsh life, so I’d like to genuinely show my gratitude to that Fenrir.
Still, for what reason was I stuck in such a place? It’s quite worrying.
「I had heard that there’s some sort of altar in the center of the Plains, but I don’t know of its origins. It seems that various people checked it, but it remained unclear.」
『Eh? What about me? Is there no information regarding the sword stuck in the middle?』
「In the altar, was there a sword?」
「A sword? Not that I know of.」
『Hmーm. I thought that I would have been able to understand my origin, but I guess it won’t be that easy.』
Randell didn’t have any more information regarding the Plains. How regrettable.
「Maokami Plains is also surrounded by a special forest which has the special property of depleting Magic, too.」
I had quite the trouble with that already. I don’t want to enter that place ever again.
「Thanks to that, the Demonic Beasts of Maokami Plains don’t wander outside, but it’s not like it doesn’t have an impact on the outside either. You see, every few years there’s a sort of territorial dispute in the Plains, and a battle between Large Demonic Beasts occurs.」
I suppose that would be something like an alteration of generations for the Area Bosses?
「At that time, Demonic Beasts from the forest are sometimes scared off, and become quite aggressive. Being frightened by the signs of stronger Demonic Beasts, some appear around the highway. That’s why, it’s possible that the cause for the Goblins this time could have been another territorial dispute, see?」
That… Is definitely my fault. I hunted all of the Area Bosses, so the aftermath of the battle likely resulted in a turf war. Tehepero.
Randell was at a loss as to whether he would be able to retrace his path back to the highway, but in the end he seems to advance by force because he has to meet a deadline.
Hahaha… Sorry Randell. I won’t charge any additional fees for acting as your escort as an apology. So, seriously. Sorry.
 Sound effect for shaking violently. “Thump” would have been similar, but wouldn’t have the same effect.
 To get them on the Carriage, I think. しかしこの男、優男に見えて結構強かだな。
 I won’t ask why Sword-shisho didn’t mention how Adventurers were fantasy-like until now, seeing as the word was thrown around quite a bit. It’s probably just that the Author couldn’t find a good place to mention it, though.
 Speech actually uses “術” — which is “Arts” in all of the combat stuff, so I felt a little like making this “Speaking Arts”, but “Speech” is good enough, right?
 “Maokami” is a combination of “魔” (Demon/Devil/Evil Spirit/etc.) and “狼” (Wolf). They’re pronounced “Ma” and “Ookami” respectively. Because it’s a name, I stuck with an onomatopoeia.