Search for the Summoned Hero
In the Avia Empire, about 200 kilometers north of the Capital city, there is a town called Miinya.
It seems like an ordinary town from another world, but the people living there are weary. There are no taxes in the Empire, but if you don’t pay substantial offerings, you might be considered a traitor when the need arises. In other words, taxes have simply been renamed to mandatory offerings.
These offerings are quite high as well. If you give a small amount of money, people around you will think you lack faith. Living in a country of faith is challenging.
There are guilds in the Empire as well, and he was currently eating at a nearby restaurant.
Born in Japan on Earth, he had lived a life there that was unimaginable in this world, free from worries about food, clothing, and shelter.
Being a minor, he, Shidou Takuto, didn’t seem to enjoy the food of this world. He ate in silence, expressionless, and his income was not stable enough to afford a high-end dining establishment.
The taste was a mild saltiness with little use of other seasonings, and the meat was similarly bland, as was the thin soup. He was tearing apart a black, hard bread as he ate. His mannerisms could easily be mistaken for nobility. Indeed, as he continued to eat quietly and politely, the people around him were glancing at him. They were curious gazes, as if wondering why someone like him was eating in a place like this.
“Hah~ I really miss my Mom’s cooking. This just won’t do.”
Takuto let out a sigh, his stomach bloated, he paid the bill and immediately left the restaurant. Sharp as he was, he noticed that he was attracting attention.
It had been about a month since he was summoned.
Takuto’s goal was to leave the country while gathering information. In this month, he had killed his pursuers seven times already. He hadn’t been officially declared wanted yet, probably because it would be inconvenient for someone higher up. The sacrifices for Takuto’s summoning had been excessive, indicating the involvement of influential individuals. That’s why even when he slept in an inn, shadowy figures would sneak in to abduct him, and forming a party was equally bothersome.
Takuto had already reached B-rank as an adventurer in just one month, an unprecedented achievement that made it impossible for him to hide from pursuers anywhere. He had no choice but to stay out in the open.
He was searching for his childhood friend, someone whose name and appearance he didn’t know. All he knew was that she was a scientist. Knowing his childhood friend’s personality well, Takuto was convinced she would be doing the same thing on her end. They say old habits die hard, and he had no doubt that it held true for her, no matter how many times she had died.
However, that was all he knew. He had no connections or acquaintances in the numerous countries, and he judged that he had reached the limits of covert searching. That’s why he chose not to hide. He would gather information boldly.
“Got any requests?”
“Again? Haven’t you pretty much hunted down all the monsters around here? Why do you need so much money?”
In the past few days, he had defeated numerous monsters and converted them into gold, making him famous at the Guild. However, he didn’t have much money left.
“I’m gathering some information. Information brokers can be quite pricey.”
In this world, the quickest way to gather information was to use information brokers. Without the internet and similar technologies, information transmission was slow in this world. Information brokers often had connections with powerful individuals, making it easier for them to obtain information, which they then traded for a profit.
Naturally, the quality and price of information varied, and their social status was generally low, similar to adventurers, so the information was expensive. Takuto poured most of the money he earned from adventuring into information brokers after deducting his necessities, leaving him cash-strapped.
“Even if you don’t rely on those guys, information will eventually spread as time goes by. I can’t admire your wasteful spending.”
Surprisingly, the receptionist had a good relationship with Takuto, or rather, she was somewhat infatuated with him. Takuto had good looks, and he was one of the top adventurers in this town. He attracted attention in various ways. She seemed to want to change his habit of spending money like water, possibly assuming that she might marry him in the future. Takuto, however, wasn’t oblivious, and he had no intention of staying in this town for long. He didn’t know when the next attack might come, so he wanted to leave the Empire as soon as possible.
“Indeed, it’s frustrating to be swindled when they don’t have any decent information. I’d like to find a more capable information broker. Oh? Should I take on this Goblin General extermination request?”
“By wiping out the local monsters like that, you’ll earn the enmity of other adventurers, you know? They have their livelihoods too. Alright, registration is complete. If you encounter any hazardous-designated monsters on your way, you’re welcome to exterminate them. In that case, please make a report afterward.”
The receptionist continued with the registration process, despite his complaints. She didn’t have the authority to stop Takuto from taking on requests, so she accommodated him as usual. At the back, a rough-looking adventurer who had been drinking eyed Takuto. It was clear that he had been hunting too aggressively, drawing unwanted attention since his arrival in the town. Was he really just a deserter?
“And there’s something else. There seems to be an order from above for surveillance on you, Sir Takuto. They want records of your extermination and the bodies of the monsters you’ve defeated to be handed over… Oh, just my musings, okay?”
“Oh, again? … Well, I understand. Sorry, is it not supposed to be a secret?”
Takuto continued his routine of leaving town as soon as possible, often within a few days. He couldn’t trust the Guild in the Empire. They were likely analyzing Takuto’s strength.
It was only a matter of time before the people from the other world who could match Takuto’s power were sent. Currently, Takuto’s strength was an unknown factor, making it difficult to determine how many to send. The Empire, which had 1,000 otherworlders at their disposal, viewed these individuals as their trump card. If Takuto were to try to release these individuals or anything similar, it could immediately turn them into Empire’s enemies. Therefore, the plan was to analyze Takuto’s strength and send a small, elite group of otherworldlers. This involved gradually introducing their forces, using otherworlders as disposable pawns. However, given the number of fanatics and zealots in the Empire, this was not a concern them.
Takuto was surprised by how easily the receptionist, who should have been in a position to protect Guild’s confidential information, shared this information. It made him realize how difficult it must be to keep secrets in this world.
The fact that confidential information leaked just because someone had a crush was something that should never happen. While he felt gratitude towards her, his trust in her was diminishing. He couldn’t admire someone who would casually leak information. However, this judgment likely stemmed from Takuto’s determination not to lose, no matter who was sent against him. Under normal circumstances, he should have nothing but gratitude for the receptionist, who was willing to risk her safety to provide information.
“I didn’t say anything, you know? I was just muttering to myself. Besides, handing over information about Sir Takuto isn’t in the Guild’s best interest either. Capable adventurers are often recruited by the Church Knights. We don’t want to give away information to them.”
In the Empire, it was not uncommon for capable adventurers to become Church Knights. Although it was nearly impossible to advance within the Church Knights, it offered a more stable life than being an adventurer, so many adventurers accepted the recruitment, except for a few. The ones who suffered were the citizens and the Guild.
The Guild would struggle with handling requests, and the citizens wouldn’t receive any assistance from the Church Knights against monsters. Church Knights weren’t easily mobilized, after all.
“Understood. Well then, I’ll be on my way.”