The next day, having some time to spare before going to the Bloche village in the evening, Harold invited the duo from the Stellar tribe to his room . Then, he made them sit at a round table that came with the room and put pens and papers in front of them .
He was standing motionless in front of the two people who were sitting expressionlessly .
【”Hereafter, I’ll be asking you some questions, bastards . You can’t answer with your mouth but you can write down letters, right?”】
They didn’t show any reactions to Harold’s sharp gaze, but he started asking his questions regardless .
【”First, write down your names, morons . ”】
As Harold said that, the two people surprisingly easily spelled letters on their blank paper sheets . Although his idea had just happened to come into his mind, it seemed like that didn’t make it any less valid .
They finished writing almost simultaneously . Harold took a look at each of their papers .
Those seemed to be the young woman and the young man’s names, in that order . Harold kept going and made them write their ages, and it turned out that Lilium was 16 years old while Ventus was 22 years old .
This was going very smoothly so far, however, “What’s your favorite thing to do? What are you thinking about right now? Do you want to be freed from being treated as dolls and to go back to how things were before?” when Harold asked them that, the two people’s hands did not move at all . After thinking for a little while, Harold changed the general direction of his questions .
【”How about your height?”】
The answers were “151 cm” for Lilium, and “178 cm” for Ventus .
【”Your dominant arm?”】
The answer was “left” for Lilium, and “right-handed” for Ventus .
【”Do you have any memory from before you were captured by Justus?”】
Both did not answer .
【”What do you think of Justus?”】
Again, there was no answer from both of them .
【”Do you have any combat experience from an actual fight?”】
Lilium answered “no” and Ventus answered “Yes . ”
【”Is it possible for you to use magic?”】
Both Lilium and Ventus answered “It’s possible . ”
【”What’s the structure of your family?”】
Lilium answered “Father, mother, elder sister”, as for Ventus, he ansewered “Parents, grandmother . ”
【”Is it troublesome for you to answer questions?”】
Both Lilium and Ventus did not answer .
After that, Harold repeated all the question while trying to figure out the pattern behind which ones they did or did not reply to .
And what he realized was that their answers were objective facts while the questions that involved their feelings and personal opinions were left unanswered . Though he didn’t know whether that was because Justus had suppressed their feelings, it seemed like he would not be able to get them to give any answers about their memories, which were the best source of information .
That was probably a security measure that Justus had applied on them . In other words, there was a chance that the two people had information, but there was currently no way to get it out of them .
Therefore, Harold left that aside for the time being .
For now, he was able to get to know the two people’s names anyway, which was his original objective . Though he didn’t know if treating them like people with an actual personality would have a positive effect, at the very least, knowing their names would make it easier for him to communicate with them .
Meanwhile, someone knocked on the room’s door . When Harold opened it, an employee of the inn was standing behind it .
Apparently, someone had handed the employee a letter saying he wanted him to hand it over to a black haired man with red eyes who was staying at the inn . Though Harold asked the employee about the appearance of the one who made that request while making sure that the two people from the Stellar tribe could not hear him, it didn’t seem like that person was Elu .
Perhaps he had simply used some sort of disguise or diversion, or perhaps it was really another person, but there was no mistaking that the letter was from Elu .
How did he know Harold was staying here? His information network was as amazing as ever .
For the time being, Harold made Lilium and Ventus leave and he read the letter . The message said that things were progressing perfectly well and that the plans which Harold and Elu had decided on beforehand could be executed without a problem . Therefore, Elu had definitely sneaked into this town already .
And so, when the sky was dyed by the shade of the evening, Harold and the duo started moving under the cover of the dark .
It took about five hours on foot to from the town to Bloche village . Since they started moving now, they were going to arrive late at night .
Of course, it would have been faster if they used horses, and Harold could have prepared some beforehand, but he was afraid of the possibility that Liner would be unable to catch up to them in the fog valley if they escaped on horseback after stealing the sword . Therefore, Harold decided to go by foot, like the black robed people did in the original story .
Incidentally, the fog valley, like its name implied, was a valley that was covered in a dense fog .
In the game, that was where Liner caught up with the criminals who stole his sword, yet even though he got back the sword, it was stolen once again when Liner was struck by another individual who was accompanying the offenders . It wasn’t really clear why the gang of criminals would come to a halt in a place like that, but it wasn’t hard to figure that out seeing how convenient it was for the game’s protagonist, Liner .
However, normally, such a convenient turn of events would probably not occur, but in this world, there was someone behind the scenes with knowledge about the game’s original story, which made him the strongest individual in a way . Needless to say, that was Harold .
After stealing the sword, the group of three was going to slightly delay their return, and then, this time around, they would pass through the town neighboring the village while hiding their faces with their black robes . If they left an impression on the people as a trio wearing black robes that left towards the fog valley, then Liner & co would be able to chase closely after them with almost no time lag .
Afterward, Harold would just have to wander around at the bottom of the valley with a suitable pretext, and Liner and Colette would surely show up .
While he was simulating his future actions, Harold was annihilating the monsters that occasionally came to attack him over the course of approximately five hours, until the Bloche village finally came in sight . The village seemed to be enclosed by wooden walls and gates, but unlike in the royal capital, there were no guards to be found .
Though the gates were closed, that was no problem . Harold gathered a little momentum then leaped on the side of the wall with his right leg then his left, and then he jumped up . By doing so, he was able to reach the top of the four meters high wall .
With his eyes having grown accustomed to dark, Harold observed the inside of the wall, but there was no sign of a person in sight . After confirming that, he jumped down from the wall and landed without a sound .
However, neither Lilium nor Ventus followed behind him . Thinking that maybe they could not climb, Harold quietly retracted the gate’s lock and opened it . Thereupon, the two people entered .
He had heard from Justus that their combat efficiency was supposed to be high, and judging their fight in the game, they should have been able to pull off a stunt of this level .
Well, he had no time to worry about these things, so he promptly started moving again .
Only the weak moonlight was illuminating the dark of the late night . Sometimes, even that light would be interrupted as thin clouds obstructed that moon .
Within such darkness, it would be difficult to really see the gang that was dressed in black from top to bottom . In the first place, there wasn’t even anyone outside to identify them .
It seemed like most of the villagers were asleep . There wasn’t even a single house with its lights still on to be found .
It was convenient for Harold’s group .
In addition to the map that was handed to him beforehand, Harold could also use his memories from the game to figure out the location of the place where Liner lived . Especially since he had a bird’s eye view of the scenery still in his head, so it didn’t take him much time to find Liner’s residence
While hiding under cover near said residence, Harold examined the situation .
Just like the surrounding houses, their lights had been turned off . Apparently, they had fallen asleep .
While he still did pay close attention to the house’s state of affairs, Harold quickly and stealthily drew near another structure . His objective was not in the house but in a warehouse that was separated from it .
That was where the “Glamb Grand” sword was supposed to be stored .
He cut what seemed to be the door’s padlock in two with a single stroke of his sword, and he went inside . As one would expect, the inside structure of the warehouse was not part of Harold’s knowledge . He did not want to lose too much time here for it would be troublesome for him if he was found out before he found the sword because he would have to run away .
The inside of the warehouse was fortunately not very big, but it was dark . Therefore, Harold lit up a torch that was hidden in his robe so as to look for the sword .
An important object would not be put in a place where objects were in a mess, arranged in a cluster, and the like . Narrowing down the search’s range by excluding the places where they did not have to search made the task easy for the group .
Like that, after about 15 minutes, they found a more than one-meter long, rectangular iron box, which was hidden behind some pots and baskets that were lined up on a shelf . Harold took off the the lid and opened the box, and there was the real, authentic, Glamb Grand sword .
It had a wide leather shoulder strap that served to make it easy to lift it, which Harold made Ventus use to carry it .
Telling them he was going to check the exterior, Harold made Lilium and Ventus stay in the warehouse and went outside . While he pretended to scout the area, he threw a small stone at a glass window and broke it into pieces . He felt sorry but if this mission was a flawless success, everything he had done would all come to naught .
A shrill sound echoed as if tearing through the dark night . With this, the Griffith family, including Liner, would definitely jump up to their feet thinking there was an accident . Harold retraced his steps and returned to the warehouse, and although even he himself thought he was being too shameless, that would not have been clear at all to an outsider’s eye as Harold irritatedly spoke to the two people of the stellar tribe .
【”This is gonna be annoying . I don’t know the reason, but there is a chance that our presence has been exposed . ”】
Even when Harold told them that, the complexions of the two people did not change . Thinking that he expected as much, Harold opened the warehouse’s door just a little bit so as to take a look outside, where Olbel and Leona, Liner’s parents, were already watching their surroundings while holding weapons in their hands .
They slowly approached towards the warehouse where Harold and the others were hiding . Harold temporarily went away from the door, and once again, he quickly returned to the two people accompanying him and instructed them about their next actions .
【”At my signal, you’ll have to immediately dash outside together . Moreover, there are two skilled people there right now, but you two should be able to manage them by yourselves . However, if you kill them, we’ll have some more troublesome work to deal with afterwards . Just hurt them enough so that they won’t able to chase after you later on, and then leave . Even if there are any reinforcements, just ignore them and leave regardless, alright?”】
Although they only answered with nods, it seemed like they understood .
Having confirmed this, Harold sharpened his senses to detect the presences outside . His detection abilities had risen enough that he could consciously find the presences in his surroundings to some extent .
Making good use of that, Harold waved his left arm to signal that Olbel and Leona were about one meter away . In response to that, Lilium and Ventus dashed out .
However, contrary to Harold’s expectations, the surprise attack was not a success for Olbel and Leona had properly prepared themselves to intercept it thanks to their past as adventurers . They stopped the first attack and immediately turned to the offensive . As a result, the duo was attacked before they could recover from their initial movements .
【”… . Who are you? What were you doing in the warehouse?”】
【”Not gonna talk, are you? You’ve got some guts . Then we’ll just have to catch you and make you confess!”】
Lilium, who was in charge of confronting Leona, handled her opponent’s attacks one after another by skillfully using her two curved swords . The two fightersT were compatible with each other as they both made the best use of their short bodies to support their agile natures and many of their moves .
On the other hand, after losing his advantage, Ventus, who was using his long spear, was slightly pushed back by Olbel . In pure strength, Ventus had the advantage, but when it came to battle techniques, Olbel was more than twice better .
So then, Olbel used that opportunity to destroy Ventus’ guard . But at the instant when the fight’s balance was about to collapse…
A dark grey shiny curved sword approached Olbel at a high speed . He narrowly avoided it and saw it pass before his eyes and pierce into the ground .
The one who threw the sword ran toward Olbel’s direction to chase after it . Leona tried to launch an attack at her back, but Lilium jumped right on time . As if on cue, Ventus rearranged his stance and threw his long spear with all his body’s strength .
That power was truly a windstorm . Having deemed that he would not be able to dodge on time, Olbel tried to block it with his sword, but Ventus’ spear, which was filled with centrifugal force, easily broke it . The long spear continued its advance and bit into Olbel’s flank, blowing away for several meters Olbel’s muscular body which was over 180 centimeters .
Upon witnessing that scene, his wife, Leona, shouted . For an instant, her focus had completely turned to Olbel .
Lilium did not have the kindness to miss such an opportunity .
After recovering the curved sword she had thrown, she immediately turned around, and while lowering her body close to the ground, she slipped through the path of Ventus’ spear and kept rushing forward, aiming for Leona . Even though she was in a situation where she would likely fall prey to the spear if she raised her body ever so slightly, she did not hesitate for a second, and her speed did not falter at all either .
When Leona escaped from the windstorm in turn, Lilium was already right in front of her . At this point, the outcome of the battle had been decided .
Having noticed her opponent Lilium, Leona somehow responded but she was made to drop her weapon before she could ready her stance, furthermore, her left foot was slashed at .
Leona fell to her knees while frowning from the pain . Olbel was breathing roughly as he fell down, unable to raise his body .
None of their injuries were fatal, but with those wounds, the couple would not be able to chase after Lilium and Ventus . The duo had perfectly executed Harold’s instructions . He could only give his seal of approval to Justus’ outstanding work .
At that exact time, Liner finally intruded into the situation .
The timing was suitable for a surprise attack, but if he was going to raise his voice like that, then his advantage wasn’t going to be of much use .
Though that was the thought of Harold, who was looking from the sidelines, the blow seemed to be sharper than he expected as it managed to cut off part of Ventus’ robe . His face was exposed by the moonlight that shined through the clouds .
It seemed like Liner had also properly saved that image through his eyes .
【”Step back, Liner!”】
With his current power, Liner would be defeated if he fought here . At worst, he would die .
Having actually fought the assailants, Leona apparently understood that as she tried to make Liner fall back .
However, Liner Griffith was not the kind of weak being that would step back in a situation like this .
【”You step back, father, mother, it’s dangerous!”】
【”This is just a scratch, step back already!”】
Liner had a strong willpower, the conviction to always keep going, and a solid resolution . There was only one thing he was lacking―― strength .
To become strong, he needed experience, and from here on, he was going to start piling it up . By the end of that journey, he would reach the top as a hero who saved the world .
Harold was going to witness the beginning of that heroic tale . Any fan of『Brave Hearts』would be excited by that scene . He was trembling with eagerness as he hid under cover .
However, he could not do so forever
While Liner and his parents were concentrated on the intruders, Harold soundlessly escaped from the warehouse and blended with the dark . As for Lilium and Ventus, having recognized Liner as reinforcement, they withdrew without fighting either .
At that time, when Harold looked at Liner’s dejected facial expression as he left, it looked nothing but promising to him .
Translator’s note: Don’t know about you guys, but this volume looks much better to me than the previous one, maybe it’s just an impression, tell me what you think in the comments (yes, there are comments, and likes on wordpress >