Megane-kun, Arriving to the Assassination Training School
The last stretch of the trip went smoothly, and by the time the sun is set, the carriage is stopped as scheduled.
Following the old coachman’s words, we get off the carriage and then—We’re struck dumbfounded.
—What we see before us, is a village.
And that, too, is a very desolate one.
It’s probably populated with less than 30 people.
While there are some houses every here and there, they don’t seem well-off at all.
There are fields, cattle sheds, and a few more.
Feels almost exactly like my own village.
「This is the Assassination Training School…?」
Against her better judgement, Florentine murmured.
It’s probably a tad too different from the school she has in mind.
Well, yeah, I didn’t expect this myself.
「I didn’t really expect some magnificent rows of buildings, but… to my eyes, this is nothin’ but a village.
It ain’t a school at all.」
Chace seems to be in the same opinion.
And so do I.
「What about you, Eil-kun? What do you feel about this village?」
Asked Cherry to me after she relieves herself from her motion sickness.
There isn’t really anything I want to say, though.
「It’s just a bit scarier than the Leavant manor, I think.」
And even more so, since it looks like a run-of-the-mill poor village like any other.
And that’s why, the weapons hidden in various spots attracted my attention even more badly.
For example, there’s a knife hidden in a crack in the wall of that house over there, or the small, needle-shaped weapon hidden in the rickety of the too-thin wooden fences that look too fragile to protect the village.
That’s all I can spot from outside the village, but I believe there are a ton more similarly hidden armaments inside the village.
In my case, thanks to my 「Megane」 I can see quite clearly even at night, but I don’t think the eyes of any normal person can tell.
I doubt they can even during day time.
After all, those weapons are so cleverly hidden.
If you ask me what’s so scary about it; almost all of those weapons are designed to be used against people.
They are too frail to kill a beast.
Small armaments that can be slipped inside some cracks like those basically have minimal durability.
They are disposable, one-time use only.
And while those frail weapons are useless against animals, they can be used to kill people easily.
Against someone wearing an armor, for example.
Those weapons can easily slip through the shin of the armor.
「Isn’t everyone in this village an assassin?」
My assumption is answered by the coachman.
It seems like he’s more open now that we’re here.
「That being said, they are all retired assassins.
Either due to an injury, old age, or other colorful reasons behind their retirement.
None of them are on active duty.
That includes me.」
We are not exactly here to become assassins, but we are here to inherit the skills of the assassins.
If so, there is no reason to be concerned whether the assassins are on active duty or not.
Also, it’s not always true that skilled people are necessarily good at teaching others.
Teaching needs talent too, or so I think.
「All of you will live here for a year.
You will sustain yourselves.
How you spend your time is none of our concern.
Extremely speaking, you can even sleep for the whole year and we won’t mind.
If you can escape from here, go and flee for it, we won’t even care.
You are free to spend your time however you wish.
That’s the only rule here.」
…I see now.
I think I know how to spend my time here.
I was expecting to hear at least one complaint or grumble, but both Chace and Florentine are silent as if they have something in mind.
Well, they must have.
None of us came here to play around.
Each of us has our own circumstance that leads us here.
If not, I don’t think we could have endured the worst carriage trip ever to get here.
Ah, now that I mentioned it, my backside hurts.
Must be because I didn’t ask Cherry to heal me.
Let’s ask later.
「Before we enter the village, one thing I want to ask to each of you.」
In other words, he said 「This is my last words for you, so listen closely even if you’re tired or sleepy.
You can rest after that.」 With that as the opening sentence, the uncle passes his eyes around us.
「What do you think you need to be an assassin? Let me hear each of your answers.」
What I need…?
What do you need to be the assassin you aim to be?」
The hot ball is thrown to him, but Chace worked out an answer without a pause.
「The ability to fight.
I come here to get stronger.
The power to defeat everything…well, I maybe can’t get that here, but I want strength that lets me defeat a really strong Magic Beast and get to live playing around from its reward.」
What about you?」
Without approving or denying Chace’s answer, the uncle shifts his gaze to Florentine.
「Me… I got no idea.
I just thought I couldn’t stay weak, so I jumped at the invitation.
I just think I can find what I want to do while I live here.
Well, it grinds my teeth that I got the same motive with this bird-for-brain punk, but I seek strength too.
I want the power to strike the people that get on my nerves.」
She doesn’t seem to have a clear idea of what she wants just yet.
Well, different strokes, as they say.
I’m sure she has a lot in her mind.
What do you seek?」
「Everything that will be of help to Wise-sama—my father.」
Having seen her in the carriage accident and getting motion sick, Cherry who’s already left an impression as someone who is weak against vehicles in my eyes, now she looks very gallant as she makes her announcement.
I knew it, people with strong purposes are different.
What do you need to be the assassin you want to be?」
「I never wanted to be one in the first place, so I can’t answer that.」
After all, I’m here to learn their skills, not to join their assassin ranks.
…Uwah, everyone’s eyeballing me.
Their eyes blank, and they’re staring at me hard! Okay, let’s just not pay them any heed.
「…Then, what do you want to learn here?」
Ah, he changed the question.
Well, I guess that answer was just unacceptable, after all.
「Let me see…If anything, basically everything that they said before me.
Ah, not for the same reason as Cherry, though.」
Aside from our motives, the reason why I decided to come here is the same reason why Chace is here, to get stronger The first thing I learned when I came to the Royal Capital was that there are so many people stronger than I am.
Like Lorobel for one, or the 「Black Swan of Dawn」 for another.
The last straw was on the Leavant Manor, though.
If any of these individuals attacked Albat village, none would survive.
They are all stronger than me, and they seem to be stronger than Shishou too.
But that isn’t always the case for people, as it is also applied to Magic Beasts.
Poor villages deep in the sticks are always under the threat of Magic Beast assaults.
The man who invited me here, Wise, told me that I could get stronger in a year’s time.
So I believed him.
That’s why I’m here.
However, while I know my idea of getting stronger is vague, I don’t know what kind of strength that I want to acquire.
Do I want to be a hunter, or do I want to find another path to go down altogether? Just like Florentine, I’ll probably find it out during my time here.
And just like Cherry, I want to learn everything I can learn here.
While it doesn’t really drive home to me, I know for a fact that this place is a specialized school, a place to learn a specialized set of skills.
Perhaps even nobles can’t come here even if they wanted to.
This might turn out to be such a valuable page in my book.
After all, you may only pass that gate after an assassin sees a prospect in you and personally invites you to it.
What we will learn here will be valuable knowledge and experience that isn’t generally known to the public.
So long there’s the opportunity to learn it, I want to absorb it without wasting anything.
—Well, I’m not going to say all of that for my answer, since it’s long and troublesome to say.
「Anything I can learn, I will learn it.」
So, I summed it up concisely.
I don’t know if he approves of what I said or not, but the coachman nodded his head.
「Then, I permit you to live here.
Make the most of your time.」
—Thus starts our lives at the Assassination Training School.
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