Chapter 15: Tumko Darata
“Now you have to come with us even if you don’t know the way to Simar lake. You can’t just scoot your way out when a hunter asks you to do something. You’ll learn this lesson the hard way today.”
Isaac smiled at Eren wickedly and concluded in an irrefutable stance.
A fight occurring here would be detrimental to Eren. Even if he could kill the entire party with the help of Reen, he couldn’t get rid of the proof of the battle unfolding here. There were loads of ways to get some clues about the killer’s identity with the right kind of spells, alchemy products, and artefacts.
Eren controlled his murderous vibes and tried to reason with the group for the last time, using a go-to tool in his arsenal: bullshittery!
“Sir, my name is Tumko Darata. I hide my face because I have warts on it. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder they say, but I just can’t find it in me to trust others’ eyes enough, only to force them to look for some shred of beauty in them.
I hope you’d also appreciate me masking those hideous warts and spare you from getting your day spoiled. I come here to grab a few herbs and sell them to a local shop I know.
As for why did I not tell you my name the first time. As I said, I’m in a hurry because I have to take care of my little sister. I’ve been in the forest the entire night as you can see from my appearance. I simply didn’t think you would have a chance to address me by my name when I was going to leave right after our short talk.
If you found me hurrying to my little sister to be rude, I humbly ask for your forgiveness. I’m sure great hunters like you will be able to find it in them to forgive a rankless nobody like me.”
Eren bowed a little to show his humility. He had answered all their questions and queries in the right manner, with the right tone.
Tumko Darata was a real person from his past life that he would get to meet after some years. He had warts because of some inherent problem in his mana pathways. He was used to using and carrying various designer face masks to hide those warts.
Erni had added a dash of truth in his fiction to create a fantabulous mix of bullshittery.
The party members practically had no reason to hold him there anymore. But Isaac was in a league of his own when it came to narcissism built on stupidity:
“Listen here, you punk. I don’t care if your name is Humko Darata or Tumko Darata. I said you’ll come with us, so you will come with us. That’s an order from a hunter. I don’t care about you or your little sister to let you go scot-free.
If you willingly follow us now, the most it will do is make you late in meeting with your sister. But if you don’t.. well just say that you’ll still follow us. But you won’t end up meeting your sister anytime soon.”
“Isaac… maybe we should just drop…”
The mage girl tried reasoning with Isaac. She wouldn’t have cared either way if the boy was left alone or was forced to come with them. But something told her it was better not to mess with this harmless looking kid.
But she was also cut off. Not by Isaac or Eren though. By a lean built man who was staring at Eren keenly:
“Selena. I don’t think it’s as easy as it seems to be. I too would have agreed to let this boy go but there’s just something off about him.
Then there’s this explanation that he has given us. Just look at him with your eyes open. Although his shirt’s sleeves look torn, it is not overused or seems to be made of cheap fabric. It looks like he had torn the sleeves just recently to cover his face.
If a person is trying to cover their warts either for medical or aesthetic reasons, they would have spare face masks with them all the time. They won’t have to use their sleeves for that.
Then his explanation about spending the night here. If he is that worried about his sister, he wouldn’t even think about being in the forest post 4-5 PM. How can he spend the night in the forest with his rankless status? That’s rather hard to believe.
He is carrying a shoulder bag so one would assume his story about herb collection is valid. But just look at that bag. It doesn’t have any excessive bulge. That means he hasn’t collected enough herbs.
The kid is ready to risk his life coming into the forest with his rankless body. He can collect herbs till evening at the risk of having to spend the night. But he chooses to collect only that much herbs. I say that’s fishy!”
The guy concluded his statements while still staring at Eren. The rest of the group slowly realized these points, their faces now painted with some sort of understanding.
Eren narrowed his eyes and looked at the guy who said it. He had now tried everything to avoid a conflict. But he couldn’t just back away now. The foes in front of him won’t allow him to do that.
That means Eren needed to take care of them quickly without causing much ruckus. Otherwise, other hunters and adventurers would get drawn here eventually. And that would spell doom for him.
Bullshittery didn’t work because of one smartass. Now it was time to be a quick and efficient killing machine. Eren could only blame that guy for killing them all.
Sometimes applying smartness at the wrong places would cause you more harm than being numb and dumb to things around you ever could.
The party members surrounded him from all sides and Eren let them. Isaac came forward and approached Eren while drawing his rapier in front of him. It looked like Eren had surrendered to their siege.
The lean built guy came forward and tied Eren’s hands and the latter didn’t object at all. Only then the party members turned their vigilance down a notch.
They all came closer to Eren while discussing among themselves, like what Eren had to say didn’t matter anymore. The smartass went ahead, dragged Eren’s mask down his face, and smirked at him. There were no warts on Eren’s face, just as he had figured.
The smartass was feeling a different kind of exhilaration from being this right about the brat. What he didn’t know was that his act of revealing Eren’s face to all his party members had basically sealed their fates.
Before Eren’s face was unmasked, some part of him still thought about escaping from this party when they weren’t paying attention to him, to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.
But now Eren wouldn’t let anyone live to tell the tale of his presence in the woods.