Chapter 22.3 : Goddess’s Holiday
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I then came back to my senses and looked at Rena. She is looking at me with a scornful look.
「Just kidding…. But you… Aren’t you surprisingly gulliable huh」
Rena said so with a shocked voice.
I want to cry right now. I was completely led by my nose and ended up exposing my real thoughts. Though I wanted to act cool and nice in front of a girl, it can’t be helped since I’m severely lacking in experience.
After saying so, she keep walking while pretending to not see me.
I miserably chase after her.
We entered a less crowded street, then. And then, we keep advancing toward the small aley which is almost desolate.
When I’m about to turn to Rena since it seems we won’t be able to advance beyond this point, she suddenly stopped.
When I look to the front, I saw people wearing knight uniforms.
The knights were wearing their knight uniforms with white flower and vines crest sewn on their uniform.
It’s a crest I saw so many times in Holy Republic Lenaria, the holy crest of goddess Rena.
I was told that the flower holy crest, resembling Reeve’s spiraea, has the meaning of “pure heart” in flower language and is also called as Rena herb.
I realize from that crest that those knights were the very same ones who escorted Reiji and the rest here.
And now, five of them are blocking our way. What the hell are they trying to do?
「They’re your knights, aren’t they?」
I stop myself and ask that question to Rena while looking at those knights.
「They’re not my knights, they’re the ‘temple’s’ knight. They’re not fit to become my knight」
Rena spat out those cruel words. Though it’s a known fact that the temple knights swear their love to Rena, that love, unfortunately, seems to be one-sided.
Poor people, so I thought.
「So Reiji is your only knight, isn’t it?」
I’m trying to ask a slightly meanie question.
Though asking about another man during my escort duty is a breach of conduct, this is a little revenge for a while ago.
But, it seems that Rena isn’t perturbed by my question.
「Fufu. Reiji can’t become a knight. Because a knight is someone who should respect oaths and manners. There’s not an inch of resemblance of such conduct in the free, unrestrained, and arrogant Reiji」
Rena responds so with smile on her face.
Hee, so you understood that much, huh. Unexpectedly, she seems to be a keen person.
「But in your case, I think you’re the appropriate person to become my knight, what do you think about it?」
Rena questions as such while looking at me.
I’m also looking at Rena.
My heart is jumping in excitement the moment I heard those words.
To be honest, I’m so~ delighted in hearing those words.
It’s as if I removed the biggest thorn in my heart.
Maybe I’m just glad that I received a superior evaluation than Reiji. To think that there’s such a foolish rivalry entrenched deep inside my heart. Just how long has it been in my heart?
To think I’m such a sore loser. That’s why I keep polishing my swordsmanship since that day. I started to pay attention to my appearance to catch up to him even just a little.
But, no matter what I do, I don’t have such confidence in myself.
That’s why Rena words shook my heart.
I shook my head to calm my mind.
I can’t do that.
I couldn’t bring myself to trust Rena.
No matter how beautiful she is, I can’t let my guard down just because of a few sweet words.
That’s why I shake my head in denial.
「I’m truly delighted to receive such a wonderful invitation, but unfortunately, I can’t become your knight. Moreover, someone who easily betrays others isn’t qualified as a knight, isn’t it?」
I refused Rena’s request easily.
「Certainly, a betrayer isn’t qualified as a knight」
It seems Rena approves my words.
I feel relieved upon seeing that. I thought she’ll be pouting on hearing my reply, but it didn’t happen.
In the first place, I don’t think I’m qualified to become a knight.
Even if, for example, I can trust Rena, I might have refused her invitation even without using Modes as my reason.
「Hey, what are you looking at!!」
Someone is calling us.
When I search for the source of the voice, a temple knight is approaching us.
Maybe they were the temple knights who I saw while I was on the rampart earlier.
They should be fighting for harlots.
But I couldn’t see any woman nearby, did she just escape?
The approaching temple knight is looking at me and then took a glance at the person beside.
Oops?! It seems he noticed Rena on my side.
Though Rena is supposed to be using invisible magic, it seems that this man has a considerable amount of magical power.
「You’ve brought a woman with you, huh. Is she your lover?」
That knight asked that question to me.
It’s annoying since he asked that question with such an interrogative tone. This isn’t your home country. So, why are you asking about such a thing?
「No, she’s not my lover….」
「Ho~, if she’s not your lover, why did you bring a woman to this kind of place?」
When I take notice of my surroundings, it seems to be a normal alley, but the atmosphere is somehow different.
It seems that we somehow stepped into a slightly indecent place.
「Well, in fact….」
「Huhm, you are trying to tell a lie. Unfortunately, you were exposed」
The temple knight is trying to pick a fight.
Currently, he can’t see Rena’s face, deeply covered by her hood.
Maybe she thought something along the line, ‘Now teach this fool a lesson for picking a fight with you’.
However, Rena is hiding her identity using invisibility magic. That’s why she’s not saying anything.
And that Rena is looking at the development without any response.
「We are currently in the middle of a patrol, looking for any suspicious person trying to harm hero-sama!! So, I assume that you’re not one of those foolish people, aren’t you?」
「No… I’m not」
I flatly deny his accussation.
「It seems that there’s a pervert like you who tried to do suspicious things toward hero-sama. But, I’ll overlook it on this occasion. Now, leave at once!!」
The man is waving his hand as if he is driving away a dog.
「This is a dangerous place for women」
This temple knight is trying to touch Rena.
That moment, I felt a bad premonition.
I caught the hand of the temple knight who’s trying to touch Rena and tossed him.
The tossed temple knight fell on his back.
「YOU B*STARD, WHAT ARE YOU DOING! ! 」
That temple knight is drawing his sword while shouting such words.
I did that to protect your life, you know. I want to tell him that.
Just a while ago, I felt killing intent emanating from Rena when he was about to touch her.
I know that she won’t hesitate to kill that temple knight on the spot.
If I let the temple knight to touch her, he might become cinders the very next moment.
The other knights are also rushing in toward us after hearing such commotion.
They’re drawing their swords, too.
I never thought that it’ll turn into a dispute.
Normally, I’ll just run away when I meet such a troublesome situation, but I couldn’t do that as Rena’s by my side.
Or should I say that, at this rate, Rena is going to kill them. Thus, I should avoid that sort of situation at all costs.
「There’s no need to dirty your hand against such opponents, so please wait behind my back, Rena」
I take a step ahead in front of Rena while saying those words in a low tone.
Though she only replied with a short word, it must be my imagination that she’s rather delighted when she said so.
「Fuhm, if you want to apologize, this is your last chance」
Could it be that they think I’m afraid when they point their swords toward me?
Though Rena’s denying their existence, they’re indeed her knights.
And despite me being the dark knight, aren’t I more like Rena’s knight in this situation?
Though they wear splendid dress, their actions aren’t that much different from the orcs that I met yesterday.
I won’t kill them since it’ll only soil this wonderful festival with blood. Maybe I’ll let them to taste a slightly painful experience.
Thinking so, I approach the temple knights.
I felt that killing emotion slowly disappearing from my heart.
「Y-YOU BASTARD! TRYING TO FIGHT US HUH!!」
It seems he’s surprised when I fought back.
Though I haven’t understood the international relationships of this world, there’s no way that I can cause a problem in this country so easily.
It seems they drew their swords just to threaten me.
「Uhm… Can you just let go of this matter」
Thus, I propose such a plan considering both sides’ situation.
On the contrary, it seems like I just added fuel to the fire. The faces of those knights are dyed in red.
「ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!」
Maybe because he thought that I’m making fun of him, the knight in front of me brandishes his sword toward me.
I pinch the sword blade that swung downward with my thumb and index finger.
The knight let out an astonished voice in seeing that.
The other knights mutter such words with pale faces. Their face turned from red to pale blue.
Geez, whatever. Let’s end this quickly.
「Here I go….」
After saying so, I slip through the gap between those knights.
Those knights are tumbling around while raising such pained voices. They lay on the ground, writhing in pain.
They won’t die since I went easy on them.
Rena approaches from the opened path.
「So, you’re not killing them」
Rena said such terrifying words with calm expression.
「They’re your temple knights, after all…. So, I’m going easy on them」
It’s a lie.
「Is that so, I should say my gratitude then? 」
I never thought that Rena will say her gratitude in this way.
I can feel that she takes the life of hu- No, the life of her knights lightly.
But now, I can understand what she feels a little.
Because her knights are way too weak.
I had to be very careful in controlling my power a while ago in order to not accidentally kill them.
Killing them is as easy as stepping on a small insect.
In case of Rena, she might have mercilessly crushed them. Maybe that’s the same case for the other gods.
Since humans might be nothing more than insects in the eyes of gods.
Well, what should I do then?
Aren’t I the very same existence known as human in this world?
If I’m not, then what am I?
It’s at such times I feel this sense of isolation. I’m the very same existence as Reiji in this world. But, I’ll never be able to become their comrade. In the first place, why do I have to become their comrade?
I wouldn’t have come this far to cut the horn of the holy dragon king if I could become their comrade, right?
But, no one can answer that question.
「No. Let’s get going, Rena」
I left the alley along with Rena.