Dark Knight Kuroki.
Holy Republic Lenaria is one of the biggest states amongst the other big states in this world.
It has several satellite cities with the population of Lenaria city alone being around 200 thousands.
In the first place, that count is only when one were speaking about the people who own citizenship. That number will increase further on adding people who don’t possess citizenship.
Holy republic Lenaria is a country without kingship lineage, as its name stated, and is a country that is ruled by a council elected once every four years.
The council seems to be elected, but it’s different from how a general republic does. The temple of Lena chooses the council from amongst the people who have received referrals from the ones who have certain number of citizens’ votes.
Even so, temple of Rena possesses the right of veto against the council and the gathering of human organizations of people with citizenship.
In short, the political power of this country is completely under the control of the temple of Rena. Naturally, this country’s supreme ruler is also the temple of Rena.
The temple of Rena in this Holy Republic Lenaria is the greatest holy land of the believers of goddess Rena and the place where her believers from all around the world come to pay homage to her in the temple.
Since it’s a rich country, there are many people who visit other than for the temple of goddess Rena.
And I come to this country as one of its visitors.
「What are you going to do after this, Diehart-sama？」
Nut gets on my shoulder and queries me with the aforementioned question.
「Uhm, now that you asked that… Let’s look for a base for now」
Saying so, I walk toward the city outside the rampart.
When the city is very large, there are things that you can do outside the city.
Since the outside city also has another rampart.
If it’s the outside city, I can enter it as I please without even the need to show the citizenship for the sake of entering the country.
If by normal standards, it’s dangerous to stay outside at night.
But, people who don’t possess citizenship anywhere can do nothing but stay in the outside city, since they have no other place to go.
The one who stays in the outside city is usually people of the ruined country or a criminal who’s chased by a country.
That’s why the public order is really bad.
Honestly speaking, it’s the job of the knights to protect the public order outside the rampart.
Inside of the rampart is protected by the palace guards and vigilante corps, while the knights are protecting the safety of the people who go to the highway outside the rampart.
Since wild demons frequently appear in the highway, if they don’t periodically exterminate them, the people who use that highway will die.
They must fight the demons in an area that is even bigger than the city. That’s why they’re mounting a horse, and must be someone who is skilled enough to work as a knight.
Since the country will be troubled if someone with that kind of ability rebels against the country, a knight must have loyalty toward their country and their king.
However, in the end, a knight is just someone who protects the city to which they’re tied to by treaty or birth(hometown).
The knights won’t protect someone who doesn’t have citizenship.
That’s why the knights won’t do anything at all even if humans killed each other in the outside city.
On the contrary, if someone without citizenship harmed someone with citizenship, the knights will kill the one without citizenship.
If it’s from the knight perspective, people of the outer city are no different from wild demons.
But then, why are the knights not driving away people from the outer city?
That’s because, according to the knights, even the people who disturbed public order were lucrative existences as cheap labor for the merchants.
The manpower, far cheaper than the normal citizen, is contributing to the development of the city.
For that reason, the knights allow people without citizenship to exist in the outer city. But, it’s the story as long as they don’t harm the citizens.
Someone who looks like a bad person just passed by me.
「Where are we right now？」Nut, who moved to my bosom pocket, is asking me.
「I’m going to search for an inn if possible, but… It seems that even a decent inn is quite rare in the outer city」
If going by location and security, the inn inside the rampart may be the best one right.
But, I can’t lodge in the inn when I am already having a hard time entering the rampart without citizenship.
I can enter the rampart in secret, but I might be suspected by the people in the inn.
It will be for the best if I possessed the ability to use magic to manipulate one’s will, but I don’t have such ability.
That’s why, I’m looking for a place at which I can stay sometime in the outer city.
I’m walking around the outer city.
The puddles of water due to yesterday’s rain made my shoes dirty everytime I took a step.
「… It seems better than the outer city of the one from which we came before」
I mutter to myself while looking at my surrounding.
Of the cities that I came upon, this is the third outer city.
The public order of the two before this one was really bad.
At any rate, the corpses of humans scattering around everywhere, is just everyday occurrence.
It was the first time for me to see the body of a murdered human.
But, I felt it is slightly unpleasant due to that sight and nothing more.
I think it would have caused an uproar if it were in my world.
Maybe it was a side effect applied to my mindset when I got summoned to this world.
I didn’t get scared even when I was surrounded by the demons during my summoning.
Rather, Reiji and Shirone’s side is even scarier than them.
Maybe it’s the same case for Shirone’s.
Since it seems that Reiji and Shirone have defeated many demons.
Don’t they feel scared?
I discover a place that looks like an inn as I saunter around while pondering about such things.
But, I just passed by it.
The reason is because I’m penniless.
So, the first thing I should do is to look for a place to endure wind and rain.
My feet ended up bringing me to a slightly separated place from outer city.
Wannabe Male Soldier, Dozumi.
「God damn it… What… should I do now…」
I couldn’t get any better ideas no matter how much I look for it.
It won’t pop up even when I drink some liquor.
I feel a bit unwell.
So, I enter a place with lesser people to vomit for a while.
「Oi Dozumi！！ 」
A voice calls me from behind, while I’m vomiting.
Dozumi, that is my name.
Not my real name. Since my face look like a rat[Dobunezumi], they just abbreviated it into “Dozumi” to call me.
When I turn around, there are five people standing behind me with a towering high bald man at their center.
I was familiar with their faces.
They are my fellow comrades of a band of freedom fighters to which I used to belong.
Seeing the people that I didn’t want to see awakened me from intoxication.
I belong to the soldier battalion which exists in the outer city of Holy Republic Lenaria.
Even if I say that it’s a troop, it’s nothing but just a gathering of hoodlums.
Different from the knights, it was an organization solely existing to exterminate wild demons which aren’t under the control of the city.
But, we never did something like exterminating the wild demons.
Our opponents are the same humans as us.
We’re a gathering of ignoble guys who get our daily meal by snatching it from the weak ones. That is the organization to which I belong.
I joined it because one can’t live without being a part of any organization to stay alive in this outer city.
That’s why I never complain even if the organization to which I belong is like shit.
But, I am crying because the soldier troop to which I am supposed to belong to is trying to kill me.
「Isn’t this my leader… What can I do for you today？ 」
I’m looking at the leader while sneering at him.
He was the big man with a scar on his face and bald head.
Though his stomach is slightly bulging out, his arms are thick and really strong.
「Where are you going to run now, Dozumi？ Aren’t you in deep trouble? Everything is because you pricked hero-sama, you know?」
Leader is laughing.
「WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, I’VE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE HERO………….」
I’m shouting while crying.
「HA~h！ ！ That’s because you murdered the hero’s lover’s father！ ！ 」
「IT’S NOT ME！ ！ I’M NOT THE CULPRIT！ ！ THE ONE WHO KILLED THAT MAN SHOULD BE YOU！ ！ YOU’RE THE ONE THAT GIRL IS AIMING FOR AFTER BECOMING THE HERO’S WOMAN！ ！ 」
「Oi, don’t shout with such a loud voice！！ 」
Leader is approaching me.
I’m retreating back.
「THE HERO WAS ALMOST KILLED BY ME, SO YOU’RE TRYNG TO MAKE ME INTO YOUR SCAPEGOAT SO THAT YOU CAN ESCAPE FROM HIS RETALIATION AFTER HE RECOVERS FROM HIS INJURY！！ ！ 」
「SHUT UP！！ ！ 」
The leader’s drawing his sword.
I might be killed at this rate.
But, even if I run away, my legs can’t move very well because of the liquor that I drank.
Am I going to die just like this？
I DON’T WANT TO DIE.
「Uhm, excuse me？」
Suddenly, I hear a voice.
From the tone, it seems to be the voice of a young man.
The leader is turning around.
I’m unable to see his silhouette because of the gigantic body of the leader.
But, the owner of that voice is coming toward me during the momentary blank out of leader.
The body of the person in front of me is wrapped entirely in a black robe and hood.
「Excuse me… Can I hear the story you said just now？ 」
The person who was wearing a black hood is asking me.
I can’t see his face since it’s covered by hood.
What he’s asking about？
It doesn’t matter, everything is okay right now. I’m happy as long as there’s someone who is willing to hear my story.
「Yeah, it’s as you heard… Or rather, please hear my story…」
I’m trying to tell him everything that happened to me so far.
「Oi lad, wait a minute. We’ll be in trouble if you hear that guy’s story！ ！ 」
The leader was thrusting his sword to the throat of the hooded person from behind.
「Uhm… Since you dare to point your sword at someone, you shouldn’t complain if he fights back!」
After saying so, the person wearing black hood seizes the leader sword. Thereupon, the sword of the leader vanished after being engulfed by a black flame.
「WHA！ ！ WHAT THE！ ！ MAGICIAN？ ！ ！ 」
Leader is letting out an astonished voice.
「Sorry, but I won’t let you talk for a while」
When the person wearing the hood turns around, the leader fell on his knees.
I don’t even know what just happened.
The leader is holding his hands on his mouth.
At a closer look, it seems his jaw is disconnected.
「FU ga… Fu Ga…」
Leader is looking at the hooded person to say something.
His eyes are dyed with fear.
「It’ll be the best for you if you don’t tell anyone about what happened in this place」
After the person wearing hood said so, leader and the others escape from this place.
「Well then… Will you tell me the detailed story about that event? The hero…Reiji is still alive, right？ 」
I nod upon hearing his question.
Dark Knight Kuroki.
Nut and I move toward the usual nesting place of the man who calls himself Dozumi.
Dozumi’s nesting place is a wooden shack whose location is slightly away from the outer city.
There are holes in various places as if it’s going to break anytime soon.
So that was what happened huh…」
「Hehe, that’s right, master…」
According to Dozumi’s story, the girl, on whom the leader of the soldier troop which he belong to had taken a liking upon, was snatched by the hero.
Even if I say “taken a liking”, it doesn’t mean that she got along with the leader, the leader just forcibly approached her against her will.
The leader then threatened the girl that he’ll kill her father if she does not do as he said.
The girl didn’t receive the protection of law since she didn’t have the citizenship of Holy Republic Lenaria, so she couldn’t do anything but perform as the leader said.
And then, the hero Reiji appeared.
The girl asked Reiji to save her. Reiji saved her since the girl was a beauty.
The leader couldn’t do anything but to withdraw since there’s no way he could win against the hero certified by Rena temple.
But, the rumor about Reiji dying in the hands of a dark knight then spread around.
The girl lost the protection she had with Reiji’s death and her father was killed by the leader.
But, Reiji was still alive.
As expected, even if it’s in the outer city, he won’t forgive the killer.
It seems that the girl also doesn’t know the culprit who killed her father. But then, there’s no way that he won’t get his retribution after doing that.
That is why the leader tried to present a person as a scapegoat, fearing Reiji’s retribution.
And that scapegoat was this Dozumi in front of me.
Though I don’t think that Reiji’s eyes can be deceived by such third rate tactics, I just hear in silence, since I don’t know what this leader is thinking about.
「Thank you, I got to hear important information」
I take out several gems from the back of my waist and give it to Dozumi.
Dozumi is looking at the gems with a dumbfounded look.
「This is… The real deal？ 」
Dozumi is looking at the gems from different angles and then tries to bite into it.
「Is that… Too little？」
Dozumi is shaking his head on hearing me ask that question.
「If this is the real thing, I can escape from this kind of place toward a different outer city… Even so, master！ ！ Are you really not going to regret the fact that you gave such valuable things to me？ ！ ！ 」
Dozumi’s teeth clatters as he mutters those words.
「It’s okay, I got the information that I need after all… Moreover, you let me to rest in this nesting place」
When he heard me saying that, this time, Dozumi is nodding to my words.
「Naturally！ ！ I’ll even give this nesting place to you, master！ ！ I’m going to leave this city！ ！ So please use this place as you like！ ！ 」
「Then… Will you teach me about some things after this?」
「As long as I can answer it, feel free to ask anything！！ I’m prepared to answer it even if master is a devil！！ 」
Dozumi is nodding his head while laughing. Thus, I acquired a base of operations.
The next task is to investigate about the current condition of Reiji.
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