Bastard Swordsman Chapter 26

The Strongest Race

There exists in this world a magical beast that is deeply feared.

To compare it to Monster Hunter, it would be something like an Deviljho.

A monster that is extremely dangerous just by being there. Yeah, there are things like that in this world too.

One example is the Harvest Mantis that previously killed two members of the “Harvest Sword” party.

The Harvest Mantis inhabits the forested region on the border between the Kingdom of Harpelea and the Holy Kingdom of Sunglaire. Unable to fly, it has become the ruler of the land.

I was surprised when the “Harvest Sword” somehow managed to subdue it.

They now have the Harvest Mantis’ huge scythe as a trophy displayed in the Crand Hall lobby. Quite an amazing feat.

In fact, how many years has it been since one was subdued with a sword? It might have been ten years ago. It was that amazing of an accomplishment, against that powerful of an enemy.

The proper method would be weapons like morning stars that can destroy the Harvest Mantis’ sturdy exoskeleton. This is likely related to the development of Sunglaire’s unique weapons.

Another creature on the border is the Asteroid Fortress that inhabits Lymcuil Lake on the plains.

Despite its very sci-fi sounding name, it is a large starfish monster.

It has mermen of aquatic magical beasts mounted on its enormous thick body, launching attacks on land prey from the lake, essentially becoming the land base for aquatic life.

The dense mass of tentacles on its underside writhe and squirm to propel its body forward, while the mermen on top attack with spears and magic. Though the mermen’s bodies are smaller than humans individually, their coordination is superb.

What’s especially troublesome is the Asteroid Fortress’ water magic. It manifests the magic it uses inside its own body, inflating its body many times over, literally becoming a gigantic “fortress”.

The mermen attacking from atop the suddenly grown fortress become even more troublesome, while the Asteroid Fortress itself also unleashes long-ranged attacks with water magic—a truly unfair tactic.

However, its weakness is slashing attacks, the deep cuts inflicted by Harpelea’s favored longswords and halberds. That is undoubtedly the shortest route to conquering the Asteroid Fortress’ bloated body.

Though it seems they are innumerable on the lake bottom, making complete eradication impossible.

Just in nearby regions, such magical beasts exist in this world. Plus farther ones like dragons and giant golems.

But around those parts, branches likely won’t specifically go hunting from Legol. You shouldn’t encounter them unless embarking on repeated expeditions.

Yet even so, frightening enemies are close by.

If asked what Legol’s most familiar and fearsome beings were, everyone would name the same race in unison.

That would be…the nobles.

“Is this the Legol branch of the Adventurer’s Guild?”

A woman entered the guild.

It was around the time when the cold had strengthened and fewer adventurers went out on jobs.

Though it wasn’t unusual for unfortunate rural folk kicked out of their homes right before winter hibernation to arrive around this season, the woman here was very well-dressed. No, too well-dressed.

Lustrous, long black hair without any kinks. Blue eyes. Armor without a single scratch, or at least any visible ones, looking highly valuable. And a longsword with a supreme sense of luxury, unlike anything a blacksmith would have in stock.

“My name is…Bridget. A wandering swordswoman stopping by on my travels. I can register with the guild here, yes? Please allow me to register.”

She’s totally a noble. Thank you very much.

“Um…you’re Bridget, right? Do you have a surname?”

“Commoners do not have surnames. That should be common sense.”

“…I see. Then, Bridget…your occupation is swordswoman, correct?”

“Indeed. I cannot divulge my school.”

“School, oh, yes.”

Mireille-san was showing her agitation in her speech, an unusual sight. As I watched her, I stood up from my seat.

On the table was Reversi. Sitting across from me was Raina, periodically glancing this way with a sullen face.

“Should we move the table over?”

“Well, fine…but no interruptions, ‘kay?”

Raina and I were wasting away this idle time playing Reversi in the guild tavern.

On a whim, we had started playing, but unexpectedly, or rather, beyond expectations…Raina was freakishly strong, honestly almost breaking my spirit.

Strange. Isn’t Reversi a game where you just have to capture corners to win?

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“…Mongrel senpai, you conspicuously moved away. What’s with that person?”

“Oh…she’s a noble. No doubt about it.”

I whispered back softly.

“A noble…”

“We get them sometimes. The screwball types who get bored of high society life and want to make it on their own skill alone.”

“Why expressly become an adventurer…hey Senior, could you stop flipping those pieces over please?”

“Oops, sorry. Their equipment and behavior isn’t that of commoners. That sort is truly troublesome so avoid getting involved with them.”

“Shouldn’t you try making connections with nobles?”

“Only if they were fellow nobles or merchants. It’s best for commoners to avoid it. More hassle than it’s worth.”

Coming around this season, they must be the types with nothing to do in high society life during winter and grew bored of it. Or perhaps they have great confidence in their skill…that’s undoubtedly true. They wouldn’t come alone without it. Judging by the lack of escorts in sight, either they have considerable skill, or they shook off all escort-like guys…I feel like in her case, it’s both.

The guys in the tavern also vaguely realized that woman Bridget’s identity it seems, as no one tried speaking to her. No one was laughing. Even though normally during this season, there would be idiots starting fights just from letting the cold air in when opening the door. But even those kinds of guys didn’t say anything this time, determined to feign ignorance. That showed she was being treated as seriously bad news.

“I wish to take on a subjugation job.”

Hey, don’t be stupid, there’s no subjugations during this season. Come a month ago.

Can’t you see us here looking bored? Take a look at the damn season, this is what it’s like getting close to winter.

“My apologies. There are currently no urgent subjugation jobs available…”

“Hmm, is that so. No good huh. But goblins have not gone extinct, have they?”

“…While there may be goblins holed up sleeping deep in Barowa Forest…searching them out would be difficult, and not worth the effort. We also could not pay out rewards for that.”

She seemed quite fixated on subjugation. Without asking about other jobs, Bridget just grumbled perplexedly.

…With Iron rank, you should be doing more menial starter jobs. I know that’s not why you came here, but still.

“…I see. Then I have no choice. For today, I shall just register. I will visit again another day.”

“A-all right. See you…”

…Saying that, the self-proclaimed commoner traveling swordswoman Bridget left the guild.

After the sound of the door closing, deep sighs were let out around the guild.

Even the normally unflappable Mireille-san looked worn out, showing how major this was.

“That was rough, Mireille-san.”

“…It’s part of the job.”

Nothing to do but smile wryly. I understand how you feel.

“There’s more and more of these types lately…coming to play around.”

“When we were drinking here three days ago, a similar one came too.”

“More than just mischief…it’s intimidating.”

When gossiping about these kinds of issues, they wouldn’t daringly use the word “noble”.

Because if someone heard, that alone could become an issue. Realistically, punishment wouldn’t be that harsh, but being heard by ill-tempered nobles could still cause major trouble. Better to not set one’s mouth running.

“Somehow, the atmosphere was different.”

“Yeah. Can’t say careless stuff with them around. They probably get a kick out of whipping out their family crests later, but for us on the receiving end, it’s just threatening.”

“Crests? …Hey Mongrel senpai, could you stop flipping those pieces?”

“Oops, my bad.”

“You’re doing it on purpose. Anyway, just admit you lost already.”

“Wanna stop playing this game?”

“…Acting all smug about having a foolproof method, then it turns out…I give up…”

I thought I could win too. But I never imagined someone raised on Reversi since childhood would be this strong. The fantasy that capturing corners means victory was far too naive. We were definitely making total beginner moves.

“Oh right. Raina, since Artemis has…Sheena and Nastasha, you might not get it, but watch out for royal capital and noble types. You really never know what whims they might take out on you.”

If the woman earlier had drawn her sword while saying “wretched Sunglaireian” or something when she saw me, I could have been in serious trouble.

Us without backing can easily be destroyed by petty noble grudges.

“Nobles really are scary.”

“As long as you have that fear, you should at least barely manage. Don’t forget it.”

“Y-yes. Oh, since I won, you’re treating me, ‘kay?”

“Tch, you remembered huh.”


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