Located in the northwest of the Ribel Kingdom there is a by no means large town called Attis . Although not quite a rural village, it has lush greenery and in one sweep of the eye one can see a lake spread out before a mountain range several thousand meters tall in all its beauty in the refreshing sun .
In that Attis, there is a small restaurant in the corner of the town . A little past noon, during a time that where customers are sparse, a lone girl raises her voice bitterly .
“Aah, Why can’t I pass!?”
Sitting at the counter, although not quite drunk she kept repeating the same complaint .
Maybe because he couldn’t overlook her, the owner called out to the girl .
“You seem pretty mad, Jou-chan . ”
“Of course I’m mad! Even though I came all this way, how could it be blocked off right before my eyes…”
“I want to go there . ”
The girl points outside the window at the symbol of the mountain range, Mount Giran and answers .
The shop owner reacts almost too surprised to that answer .
“Eeh!? Jou-chan, you plan on entering Mount Giran?”
“What about it?”
“Give up! I don’t know what your objective is but there are a lot of monsters in the mountains . ”
“I know . That’s why there’s a restriction to entering the mountain . For that reason I hired those guys to come with me…!”
As she remembered, her anger returned .
Mount Giran exceeds 4000 meters with the last 1000 meters is always covered in snow; it’s the largest mountain in the Ribel Kingdom . Adding onto just the difficulty of climbing it, the snowy mountain is dominated by powerful monsters .
That’s why she hired 5 mercenaries to act as her guards . It seemed favorable until they arrived at Attis, but when she told them they were climbing Mount Giran they scattered in all directions .
Just that proves how dangerous it was, but she couldn’t accept it . She paid half up-front but the journey didn’t have many perils so she couldn’t help but feel like she was ripped off .
At any rate, for various reasons the girl — Lifa was angry .
“The capable people in this town also turned me down…”
With no spirit Lifa spits out the words as if they were poison . Seeing that a bitter smile appears on the shop owner’s face . Because they live in Attis they all deeply understand the dangers of Mount Giran .
“It can’t be helped . You need permission from the Knight Order to climb Mount Giran anyway . ”
TL Note: I believe the Knight Order is the Chivalric Order from the previous translation but I’m not sure so I’ll leave it as is .
The ones that give permission to enter the mountains is the Knight Order that are currently blockading the mountain range . They won’t give out permissions to someone with superficial strength .
For that reason Lifa hired mercenaries, but since they ran away the problem is she can’t receive permission .
Coming all this way and not being able to do anything .
“Is there anyway I can enter~…”
Rifa fell down on the counter table .
When she did that, the bell for the shops entrance rang as it opened .
Then a little after it opened surprise spread in the shop .
Sensing the disturbance Rifa turns around .
The first impression is black . A young man who’s atmosphere was filled with indifference stood there . Looking at all the customers with distant eyes he mumbled something to himself . It couldn’t be described as a good atmosphere .
Being caught by the surrounding customers tension Rifa asks the shop owner in a small voice . But the answer came from a different place .
“He’s Harold Stokes . He carries the nickname ‘Knight Killer’ and is the country’s strongest swordsman . Before he was called ‘Bad Boy Harold’ . ”
“Hmmm… And, you are?”
“I’m just a humble traveler . ”
Sporting grey hair and honey color eyes with an androgynous face and voice . The traveler had a large inflated yellow hat that stood out .
Although the traveler seemed to about Rifa’s age she could not tell if the traveler was a boy or a girl .
“Before that, Harold Stokes is quite an infamous name . Do you not know it?”
“Unfortunately his infamy hasn’t reached where I’m from . ”
More accurately, Rifa was a bit of an eccentric and was isolated in her hometown so learning something by hearsay is completely impossible .
She hungrily pursues her own interests, but anything else is shutout . It’s her first time hearing about someone with the dangerous nickname of ‘Knight Killer’ .
But for Rifa that kind of thing didn’t matter . The important matter was the next point .
“You said he was the strongest swordsman in the country . Is that strong?”
“Of course . To the degree that he could take on the several tens of the elites of the Knight Order and come out unharmed . His strength could be said to be near the current head of the Knight Order, Vincent . ”
TL Note: It is the same order looks like but I’m too lazy to change it . So it will now be Knight Order!
“So he’s in the strongest class of humans then . ”
Rifa’s pupils glittered suspiciously .
If he’s that strong then he could probably get permission to go to Mount Giran .
“Oi oi, Jou-chan, it can’t be…”
Seeing through her intentions the owner tried to stop her but his voice fell on deaf ears .
Standing up with vigor she quickly walked until she was standing in front of Harold .
The 140 cm tall Rifa looks up at the 180 cm tall Harold . However there wasn’t a speck of hesitation in Rifa .
“Got a minute?”
“…Who the hell are you?”
“I’m Rifa . You’re Harold right?”
Harold doesn’t confirm or deny . Just silence .
But his face warps in distaste . From the previous talks it seems he’s famous, but it looks like he doesn’t like that .
Feeling that Rifa continues the conversation .
“I have a request that suits your capabilities . Of course there will be a reward . ”
“Request, is it?”
“That’s right . I want you to climb Mount Giran with me as my guard!”
Walnut colored hair done up in braids . A blouse with red as its base, a miniskirt with a check pattern, and knee-high socks; a set of clothing full of cleverness . Above all, her characteristic white robe that went down to her knees .
Rifa Goodridge .
Harold encountered the self-styled genius inventor that could be said to be the head of the loli department in the hero’s party . Moreover she asked him to be her guard .
(I just wanted to get some food, how’d it become this…)
Rifa isn’t from Attis but rather Weiss village . Harold isn’t sure why she’s here but since he’s in the middle of a job he has no obligation to listen to her request .
He doesn’t but strangely their destination is the same Mount Giran .
Although they’re only separated by 3 years he looked down at Rifa who had a height difference with him that was closer to a child and an adult .
With a confidence that didn’t match her stature she gazed back at Harold . From the top of her head 2 antennae-like strands of hair stood up proudly .
“A little brat like you wants to climb a mountain? Don’t make me laugh . ”
TL Note: Although ‘kisama’ is normally translated as bastard I think it sounds a bit awkward calling girls that . The literal translation of kisama is just a very rude way to say you, so I’m going to take some liberties .
“Even though I look like this I’m 15 years old!”
I knew that . Compared to her age, including her height, various parts haven’t grown well but it’s clear that she’s around 15 years old .
That was the setting of her profile, too .
“In the first place what’s your objective? That mountain doesn’t have anything like toys or amusement parks . ”
“I want to get data on the body of a Hydra . If possible a sample too . ”
On Rifa’s words, not only Harold but everyone in the store lost their words .
The Hydra is Mount Giran’s chief . In short it’s a boss monster . Mercenaries and knights would only be lambs to the slaughter at most .
In the game if the party fought it around level 20 they’d probably win . But that’s only assuming they challenge it in a group . For Rifa to challenge it alone there’s the danger of her dying .
In the first place just getting to the Hydra alone is dubious . The encounter rate of monsters in Mount Giran was high .
Considering that it was the right choice to ask Harold to be her guard .
“But I don’t have any obligation to listen to your stupid request?”
“I’m not forcing you . I’ll ask others . ”
“I don’t think such a suicidal guy can be found easily though . ”
“…a month or half a year, I’ll keep at it . I have a reason to go that far . ”
He could feel her obstinacy . If Harold refused she’d probably keep looking for months like she said .
But that’s where the problem is . It’s just before the start of the original work .
Originally if Rifa who met Liner’s group at Weiss village wasn’t there, the original work’s party was in danger of being very different . In the game, when she joined the party the ‘compound’ command became available .
If handled poorly they might not be able to make items and weapons . At the worst they won’t be able to obstruct the miasma breaking out in the Sumeragi territory or stop Justus’ plans .
Her magic and scientific knowledge were important to the continuation of the story as well .
In short if Rifa is stuck at Attis the situation wouldn’t be very good .
Then it’s better if he did his job along with taking the request and quickly send her back .
“…Fine . If you’ll take my conditions I’ll lend my power . ”
“Eh, really!? Yatta-!”
Without even hearing his conditions Rifa wholeheartedly celebrates . Looking at the girl in front of him he was definitely going to be dropped into a dangerous situation, thought Harold as he sighed .
Then before the conversation could be settled an interruption came .
“What an interesting conversation . ”
A voice, like Rifa’s, that Harold was used to hearing from the game .
A casket cap and yellow overalls . Inside those clothes wearing nothing but a cotton wrap around the chest . And a packed shawl bag resting on the shoulder .
A 15-16 year old boy or girl that could be said to be beautiful for either gender stood there while smiling .
“If it’s alright, I hope I can come along too . ”
Before he knew it standing next to him was the information broker Giffelt who asked without breaking a smile .