Chapter 126 . 2 : Journey Toward Restoration~Part 3
「Is it about the adventurers who are following us? 」
Rio asked that question with an understanding face .
「That’s right . They were already there when I noticed . Though they might overtake us from behind, for some reason they are keeping a reasonable distance from us . Don’t you think that their action is strange? 」
「Naturally but, we’re lacking the evidence to judge that they’re following after us . They’re way too careless in their attempt at trailing us . There is also the possibility that they keep a reasonable distance with other travelers on a highway for self-defense . 」
「Uhm, that’s for sure…… . But, I have a hunch . 」
Vanessa nodded with a pensive look on her face .
「What’s matter? 」
Christina-tachi joined their conversation .
「No matter what don’t look back and please just hear our conversation . The truth is, we found an adventurer party following after us . 」
Vanessa replied while being alert .
Christina-tachi’s eyes opened wide as they didn’t notice it at all .
「Around 30 minutes I guess . One hour after we left the post town . 」
「Are they tailing us? 」
When Rio explained to her, Christina asked that looking alert .
「Though the possibility of that is low, it’s not zero either . Nevertheless, even if it’s true that they’re tailing us, the reason for that is unknown…」
「So, are you trying to say that they’re not chasing after me? 」
「Though I won’t say impossible, they’re basically exposing themselves in broad daylight . It doesn’t feel like they are trying to hide themselves at all . It’s too unnatural and they are just way too poor at it for a tailing job . 」
Rio replied to Christina’s question with a wry smile .
「If that’s the case, Does it mean they’re most likely a traveler too?」
Celia muttered in a low voice .
「Probably . After walking for a while, we’ll arrive at the junction that splits to the south and east . We’re going to go east but, in the event that they’re still following us, let’s just somehow deal with them then . 」
「Okay . 」
Christina-tachi nodded in agreement when Rio proposed his plan to deal with them .
Later, after Rio-tachi had been walking along the highway for almost 30 minutes they arrived at the junction . There, they took the path going east as planned first and decided to take a brief rest a while later . By doing this, it won’t feel unnatural even if they looked at the adventurers who were tailing them from behind .
As they sat down on the rocky area along the highway, the adventurers they were waiting for went past them .
「… They’re gone . 」
Celia said so with a disappointed tone as soon as those adventurers took the highway heading south .
「It’s still too early to let our guard down . Let observe the situation for a while longer, then continue our journey . It’s not like they’re not going to take a detour . 」
Rio cautioned Celia to keep her vigilant .
But, the adventurers didn’t come back even after they waited for them .
◇ ◇ ◇
That evening .
After Rio-tachi arrived at the next post town . As usual dinner and inn was arranged by Rio .
Then, at that time――,
（I’m back, Haruto . ）
Aisia’s telepathic message resounded in his mind .
（That was fast . Are you alright? ）
Rio was slightly surprised, and then asked her .
（Yeah . There’s something that I want to tell you . ）
（………… . . Understood . We are practically meeting and speaking to each other right? Will you wait me at an inconspicuous place near the south gate? I’ll go there immediately . ）
After pondering for a while, Rio decided to meet Aisia outside of the inn .
（Roger . ）
Rio started speaking at the same time as Aisia’s clear and simple reply .
「 I’ll leave for a while for information gathering . Please take a rest in the inn during that time . 」
Rio said those words as he left the inn .
When he arrived at the south gate, Aisia who wore a hood to cover her face suddenly appeared before him .
「Shall we go to a deserted place?」
「Uhn . 」
Rio followed after Aisia towards a dead-end alley, desolate of human presence . Then they flew through the sky out of the post town under the cover of dark night .
After arriving at a nearby plateau, Rio took out his rock house from his 『Item Box』 and decided to have the talk inside .
「This way, no one will hear our conversation . Will you tell me? About the information that you got . 」
Rio who sat on the sofa after placing chilled tea on the desk asked that question .
「After that I followed those adventurers . I mean those adventurers who greeted you in the previous post town . The one who employed them is a man aged around thirty . They called him Arein . 」
「Arein……… I have never heard about that name」
「Maybe that Arein and Lucius are different people . Moreover, Arein is employed by someone else . His name is Reis」
「Reis………… . Yeah, never heard about that name too」
Rio had a pensive look on his face . Two names he had never heard before showed up .
「Arein and Reis aside, there’s another two called Ven and Lucci . 」
「Sorry . Sorry, I have never heard those two as well . 」
「The real issue is from this point . My conclusion is that, the possibility of Arein-tachi having some sort of connection to Lucius is extremely high」
When Aisia told that fact with her monotonous voice, Rio’s expression stiffened .
「……… . Let me hear the reason . 」
「Arein-tachi is looking for someone . But, they don’t know who they’re looking for . But, I have this feeling that the person they’re looking for might be Haruto . 」
「Why do you think so?」
Rio asked with a puzzled face .
「They have received an order from Reis to chase after the man who escaped after attacking the knights in Creia . He has told them that, the escaped man spoke the leader’s name . So I thought that the so called leader might be Lucius . 」
Aisia explained her reasoning as a matter of fact .
「Certainly, assuming that the leader is Lucius, then they are most likely referring to me . Or rather, no one but me who extremely fits their description . 」
Rio agreed to her reasoning while showing a wry smile . He was not that surprised by that revelation . He was rather surprised in how calm his emotions were when learning about this information .
「I see . 」
After a short nod, Aisia drank the cold tea in the metal glass placed on the table . The sound of the ice moving inside the metal glass resounded in the room .
「For them to look for people who react to the name of Lucius, huh . That method is too wasteful and inefficient . 」
「But it probably felt like a good bargain as long as they found the person they’re looking for, since they were even willing to bet on the slightest possibility . Haruto, you’re included amongst their list . They’re not sure about it yet though . 」
「I see……………… Did you feel something during the exchange in the previous post town? 」|
Since he never expected that by looking for Lucius he would summon the people who know about Lucius——–
Rio let out a bone chilling smile hearing such a wonderful information .
「But, those guys are also ordered to gather the information from the search party . Moreover, from commander class people . 」
The face of Charles Arbeau, former fiancé of Celia, floated in Rio’s mind .
「I think Arein-tachi have no direct relationship with the search party . It seems the connection is through Reis who seems to be making moves at a different place at the moment . 」
Thus, Aisia reminded Rio of the existence Reis .
「Reis huh . Let’s remember that name . …… . . By the way, since Arein-tachi’s attention is on me, can I assume that they’re going to chase after me? 」
「Yeah . He hired adventurers who will pretend as travelers to chase after you . They were instructed by him to head toward a different direction to your group」
「……… . So it’s the guys who were following after us today huh . Certainly it’s easier for them to know which road we took from that point . Which means――」
「Yeah . I’m going ahead of Arein-tachi just to be safe since I don’t know when they will overtake us . Those guys have greater mobility since they’re using a griffon」
「I see . Thank you, that’s an extremely valuable information . Thank you very much, Aisia . 」
Rio stood up after saying his gratitude with a sincere smile on his face .
「What will you do to Arein-tachi? 」
「………… Let them go for now . Currently I can’t leave Celia-sensei’s side and I have also got the information about that person . 」
Rio paused for a while hearing Aisia’s question .
「In that case, should I tail Arein-tachi from now on? 」
「Please, that’ll save me from a lot of trouble . 」
「Then leave it to me . 」
「……Thank you . By the way, are you going to resupply your odo in your spirit form inside my body tonight? You can start tailing them from tomorrow after all . 」
「Uhn . 」
After nodding, Aisia left her seat and went towards Rio . And then, she suddenly grasped Rio’s hands tightly .
「Good night, Haruto . 」
「Good night, Aisia . 」
Rio showed a troubled smile seeing Aisia drowsy face .
In the next moment, Aisia suddenly vanished as she entered Rio’s body in her spirit form .
（…………… Maybe I should go to a bar . I need to gather accurate information in this post town . ）
After stretching lightly, Rio then left the rock house .