Eighth chapter. For this chapter, the name was originally Mark but was changed into Marco in the next chapter. So I decided to change this chapter to show Marco. Please enjoy.
The Washed Away Preceding Hero
Donburako, donburako (splash, splash). The reason why those words are coming up in the corner of my mind is probably because I was swaying on a boat.
The Free City of Galarie is a town that was built as if it were floating on the sea’s surface, and with waterways created throughout the city, it seems that traveling by small boats called gondolas was typical.
There were bridges that you could walk and cross over build above the waterways, but the number of bridges were few, and since there could be places with no bridge at all depending on the place, they were hard to use. This made travelling by small boats popular.
The boatman skillfully manipulated the long oar and the boat traveled down the waterway.
We were moving with quite some speed, but since the boat didn’t shake all that much, it was pleasant.
「So, are we seriously going, Iibsal?」
「What the heck, you’re not all that eager, are you, Yuu. Weren’t you a fan?」
On the long and narrow boat, Iibsal and I were seated opposite of each other.
With the town’s scenery as the background, Iibsal was smiling with a grin.
「Rather than, a fan……Actually, why is Sylvia…the imperial princess one of your acquaintances? No matter how stupidly strong you are, I just don’t see a point of interaction between you two.」
「It wasn’t anything significant. We did stand on the same battlefield after all……Well, don’t worry about that part.」
Damn, I guess it’s useless to try and change the subject……At this rate, he’ll know that I’m acquainted with Sylvia, and suspicion would be placed on me for being acquainted with the imperial princess of a whole country……No, since it’s Iibsal, I guess that won’t happen.
Rather, I feel like it wouldn’t become that big of a deal even if I were to tell Iibsal that I was the Hero.
「Well, whatever will be will be.」
No matter how it turns out, if it’s Iibsal, then there’s no problem. I made up my mind.
When I thought that, the townscape completely changed to the scenery of a surrounded waterway.
「Oh? ……I see, so this is the main street.」
That large waterway that had a width of several dozens of meters had various large and small gondolas going back and forth.
Among them, there were even gondolas with street vendors riding and doing business.
「It is called 『The Large Waterway Gale』, and is a so-called main street. When you go straight down this waterway, you’ll finally arrive at Feudal Lord-sama’s estate which is at the center of this town.」
The boatman-onii-san explained as if he were waiting for this moment.
Looking on, it was considerably far, but I could see a large mansion. So that is the Feudal Lord’s house.
「That is the 『Mercenary King』’s……」
Iibsal muttered feeling deeply emotive. When I asked about that, he smiled with a grin.
「Ahh, this town’s Feudal Lord, Zeke Oisast’s──」
And then, just as Iibsal was about to start talking, the gondola greatly shook.
「Uoh!? Wh, what’s going on!?」
A small shadow of a person appeared in front of us who had promptly clung onto the gondola.
「Heheh, sorry about that, Nii-chan.」
Looking at him, it was a child with the appearance of a bad brat.
「Marco! You, again──っ」
「Yeah, yeah, I’m getting out here already!」
The gondola’s boatman shouted at him, but the brat frivolously laughed, jumped on a nearby gondola and left.
From the gondola that he jumped on, he went to the next gondola, and after doing that several times, the brat called Marco arrived at the land that was close to the waterway.
「Sorry about that, dear customers. He’s a brat called Marco and……」
「Ahー, well, it’s alright. Besides, with him being around that age, it’s just him being mischievous is all.」
Even for me, when I was around that age, I did some pretty rash things.
Things like flipping skirts or rubbing the trainee female teacher’s chest.
「Still, he is quite the nimble brat, isn’t he.」
Iibsal laughed, sounding amused. He wasn’t an opponent to fight, but it seems that Iibsal liked things like that.
「If he were trained, he seems like he’d turn in to a good fist fighter.」
So that’s how it is.
「Well, to regroup oursel……Nn?」
Having clung on so as to not fall off from the gondola, when I fixed my sitting position, my level of comfort was bad, or rather, I felt a weird sense that something was lacking.
「What is this, something is……Ahhh!!」
And then, suddenly, I put my hand into my pocket, and then I finally realized the disaster.
「? What’s wrong, Yuu?」
「Gone, it’s gone! It isn’t here!!」
Neither in my pocket, my breast pocket, nor my back pocket, it’s not here!
「My wallet is gone!!」
My wallet that I should have put in my pants pocket is, not nowhere to be found!
「What? ……Did I drop it, well, I guess that can’t be the case, right?」
「If you dropped it, we would have noticed by the sound even with the congestion. Did you leave it in the store from earlier?」
「I was the one that took care of the bill.」
「In that case……was it taken?」
If I didn’t leave it behind somewhere, it had to have been stolen by someone.
「Still, who would──Hey, boatman, that brat from before……」
「Y, yeah. ……I think that it was probably that Marco. He’s a habitual criminal known for pickpocketing and dine-and-dashing.」
So it was that terrible brat called Marco or whatever!
「We’re goin’ after him, Yuu!」
Tossing a single gold coin to the boatman, Iibsal jumped off from the gondola.
*Pita* (Splash). Standing on the water, Iibsal ran on the water while making ripples in the water.
「That shitty little!」
Following suit, I jumped from the gondola and got down onto the land near the waterway.
「I’ll search from above. Yuu, you search below!」
When we bumped fists with each other, we split into two groups as if we had repelled each other.
「Dammit, to think that I didn’t notice……!」
It was probably at the moment that the gondola greatly shook that that terrible brat took out my wallet from my pocket.
Thinking about it now, those words 「Sorry about that, Nii-chan」 could be heard as 「(About taking your wallet) Sorry about that, Nii-chan」with that kind of meaning.
「That shitty brat, I’ll tie him up with a rope and drag him along!!」
I ran through the streets of the town that branched out like a spider’s web at full speed.
「Hehe, too easy, too easy.」
The criminal that pilfered the wallet from Yuu, Marco was tossing the stolen wallet up and down like a beanbag while chuckling.
「It’s the rider’s fault for spacing out while all exposed.」
The wallet was heavy, so there was quite an amount of coins inside.
Even if they were copper coins, with this amount, it would cover the costs of meals for a while.
「Now then, to see the spoils～……Ohh! It’s full of gold and silver coins! I’ve hit the jackpot!」
When he opened the wallet, there were several pieces of Makaruin gold coins (the gold coins that are universally circulated in Reynbrook), a lot of silver coins, and only ten-odd small change copper coins, making it an unbelievable amount of earnings.
「Hehe, I feel sorry for that Nii-chan, but I’ll be making good use of this.」
First of all, in celebration of his victory, maybe some expensive food……That was the target that he thought of.
「Heehー, that’s great. Could you tell me how exactly you’re going to use it～」
A low, and yet cheerful sounding voice was heard from behind Marco.
「I, take the stage.」
In front of Marco who had turned around as if his head had snapped to it, the owner of the wallet appeared.
「If you obediently return my wallet, I’ll let this all finish up with hitting you only a single time. But if you choose to resist, I’ll push you out to the vigilante corps. The choices that are left for you are these two.」
Slowly approaching, Yuu closed the distance between him and Marco. In response to that, Marco peeked to his back, and confirmed his “escape route”.
「……So you have no intention of returning it.」
When he muttered that, Yuu broke out into a single step as if he were walking, and
「And, I’ve got you.」
he stood at Marco’s back, gripped the collar of his clothes, and easily lifted him up.
「L, let me go, let me go, you dope!」
「Who are you calling a dope. Jeez, I’ll push you out to the vigilante corps like this and──」
Having breathed a sigh at the noisy Marco, just as Yuu had started talking,
a flash skimmed right beside Yuu’s face.
Having promptly surveyed the vicinity so as to gain an understanding of the present situation, a figure of a person was reflected in Yuu’s field of vision.
There was a single young lady wearing a cap that was worn low and covered her eyes and a deep blue coat meant for women.
「Release that child, you scum.」
Sublime and beautiful, the one once called the Princess Knight, the figure of Sylvia was there.