Chapter 48

Chapter 48 – Foiling another False Accusation

We arrived at an outstanding church within the castle town.

Sister: “He-Hero of the Shield!?”

I was greeted by an extremely bitter face.
Just how much do you reject me to show such a face?
As I expected, due to the rape accusation scandal will I be refused entry to the church?

Priest: “Do not be alarmed.”

The priest from the church came and scolded the sister who scowled at us.
…… Something feels off, but there is nothing I can do about it.

Priest: “What do you need from our church?”
Naofumi: “Ah, my companion received a strong curse, so I would like to purchase strong holy water.”

This guy did not openly antagonise me, so let’s stay neutral.
A price list is hanging from the wall.

Priest: “Then, please give an offering.”

Are you asking for an offering because I am supposed to know the price from the price tag?

Naofumi: “How much is it?”
Priest: “The effect from the cheapest to strongest holy water is 5 silver, 10 silver, 50 silver, and 1 gold coin.”

Hmm…… It seems that they are not overcharging.
I was expecting them to add sanctions but……

Naofumi: “It doesn’t seem like a good idea to negotiate for discounts in front of God, so I’ll take the strongest holy water you have for 1 gold.”
Raphtalia: “Naofumi-sama, you shouldn’t get such an expensive thing just for me.”
Naofumi: “It’s fine. I already said so before. I cherish you. Compared to Raphtalia, one gold coin is nothing.”
Raphtalia: “T-thank you very much!”

I give the gold coin to the priest while Raphtalia is thanking him.

Priest: “Understood”

The priest instructed the sister to bring a bottle of holy water.
……I check the quality of it with the Judge Skill.

Low grade holy water
Quality: Bad

I glare at the priest who makes a confused face.
The priest then checks the holy water and his expression changes.

Priest: “Why did you bring something of so low quality?”
Sister: “But he is……”
Priest: “God is merciful. Repent for your barbaric act of satisfying your own sense of justice right now.”
Sister: “I-I am sorry!”
Priest: “I apologise. Our church has been rude”
Naofumi: “I won’t complain if you give me my money’s worth”
Priest: “I appreciate your benevolence.”

The priest personally went to get the holy water.
I check the holy water again.

Holy water of curse removal.
Quality: High Quality

Naofumi: “Well, this is what we came for.”

I receive the bottle of holy water.

Firo: “Is that water delicious? Give Firo some too!”
Naofumi: “This is not for drinking. This is Raphtalia’s medicine. Is there something wrong with you that require it too?”
Firo: “Yes. Firo is always energetic!”
Naofumi: “Then it is not necessary.”
Firo: “Huh~?”

I turned to the priest while Firo has a question mark floating above her head.

Naofumi: “I am grateful. Later, please say the same to that sister at the Hourglass of the Dragon’s era. That person tried to make a fool of me.”
Priest: “I understand. They are shameful displays unworthy of a person of faith.”
Naofumi: “…..I see. Well, Good-bye”
Priest: “Thank the guidance of God.”

I feel that the priest is a pretty good person.
This country would be a better place if there are more people like him.
I left the church with that kind of impression.

Itsuki: “Ah! There you are!”

For some reason, Itsuki, Ren and their followers run up to us after we left the church.
What do these guys want?
Everyone is gathering in the castle town. What kind of situation is this?
This time, Itsuki isn’t wearing low quality equipments. He is wearing all high quality equipments.
Itsuki is looking at me with displeasure and speaks first.

Itsuki: “You thief! You stole the achievements and rewards of my work!”
Naofumi: “What!?”

Why would I steal Itsuki’s reward?

Ren: “Me too. The request that was meant for me was taken by you.”

Ren is also denouncing me.
I don’t know what they are talking about. Then I remember that plagued village that I helped may have requested help from them.

Naofumi: “I may have taken Ren’s job, but I don’t know about Itsuki.”
Itsuki: “Are you playing dumb?”
Naofumi: “I just said I don’t know.”
Ren: “Wait wait. Even if Naofumi does not confess, I want to talk first.”
Naofumi: “Don’t talk as if I am a criminal.”
Firo: “Did master do something?”
Naofumi: “I did not do anything! At least nothing that I remember!”

While soothing Raphtalia and Firo, I glare at Itsuki and Ren.

Naofumi: “Anyway, explain the situation.”
Itsuki: “Then I’ll start”

Itsuki started explaining his circumstances to me.
It seems Itsuki received a request to investigate and if necessary, exterminate the feudal lords causing problems in the northern area. The fellow dressed in armour that stood out was his companion and went to receive the reward from the guild that requested his help.
However, it was said that the reward of the request was already paid and Itsuki concluded that the only person to do something like that was me.

Naofumi: “You know, Shogun-sama…… While you are hiding in the shadows and defeating evil, never revealing your true nature, people won’t know who did what. I know revealing you are a hero is your hobby but there are many rumours going around.”
Itsuki: “Sho-Shogun!? Wh-What are you talking about!?”
Naofumi: “Placing a sword on your waist and pretending to be an adventurer. Shogun-sama.”

Itsuki seems to remember and starts shouting at me. Yup, that’s the attitude toward requests that is giving Itsuki a problem in the first place.
No one will identify you as the Hero of the Bow with that kind of appearance.
Because of that, your recognition by the country has become either the Hero of the Sword’s or Hero of the Spear’s.

Why the hell am I actually evaluating something like this, it’s meaningless.
Being a secretive hero judging evil is cool, but it is not recognised by the world.
While I am still a university student, I understand that appearances are necessary for society to acknowledge you.
If somebody wants to take Itsuki’s recognition for his job, all he has to do is announce he is the one who did it.
I mean that kind of hero will exterminate evil because he wants to, not for money or fame.
……It’s a painful topic. In the sense of being a Saint.

Naofumi: “Did you resolve the request as the Hero of the Bow? It is only in the town where the tax is high did I hear it was you. And at that time it was because I was there.”
Itsuki: “Because I was keeping it a secret.”
Naofumi: “Then, to confirm. Is the Adventurer with the bow in the Resistance of the north country you?”
Itsuki: “Yes that was me! I subjugated the tyrant king with the Resistance.”

Naofumi: “….. Do you know what happened to the country after that?”
Itsuki: “The bad king was overthrown, it should be prospering.”
Naofumi: “No it’s not! They have become so starved that they have to smuggle food by bartering!”

Itsuki: “No way! Why!?”
Naofumi: “You know, the king may have been bad, but the whole country was originally going through a famine. As for the country, all that changed was its head.”
Itsuki: “That has nothing to do with me. Please do not shift the problem!”

Sigh…… Irresponsible…… Worry about it a little.

Naofumi: “Then let’s reset the story. Did your subordinate go get the reward? Can your subordinate explain the situation?”
Itsuki: “Yes he did! Explain! Explain it!”

Naofumi: “The guild? Is there anything that proves your subordinate isn’t the one that accepted the reward?”
Itsuki: “That…..There’s a deed. I showed a deed with the king’s direct seal stamped on it.”

Itsuki declares with a face full of conviction.
What are you saying?

Itsuki: “It is a deed made with special techniques! It is impossible to counterfeit easily.”
Naofumi: “Then there is no way for me to get it.”
Itsuki: “!”

It seems something clicked in Itsuki’s head.

Itsuki: “Th-Then the weapon!”

Are you that desperate for an excuse?…… It seems you want to pin it on me no matter what.

Itsuki: “It is a Hero only privilege to be able to change the form of your weapon. You changed your shield to look similar to a bow, and somehow forged another deed.”
Naofumi: “Is that so? Well, all that is possible in this world.”

Itsuki: “Yes that’s it, do you have any evidence to prove otherwise?”
Naofumi: “Firo”
Firo: “What’s up?”
Naofumi: “Return to your true form”
Firo: “Ok”

Firo changed to her true form.
At that time, Firo’s one piece disappears and what’s left of it becomes the collar. I point at the collar.

Itsuki: “What!?”
Naofumi: “Do you understand? This is a world where something like that can be made. There may be a tool which changes shape into a bow. And it is possible for other heroes besides me.”
Itsuki: “B-But-”
Ren: “Give it up Itsuki, with the present conditions and lack of evidence, we cannot conclude that Naofumi is the criminal.”

Ren stepped in-front of Itsuki before he tried to accuse me again.

Ren: “In the first place, did you ask the appearance of the fellow who took your achievement?”
Itsuki: “Umm…..that……”

Itsuki ambiguously tried to answer Ren’s question.

Ren: “Then give it up. Make yourself known as a hero more. Next is me.”
Naofumi: “Is this the matter of the epidemic in the east?”
Ren: “If you understand then this will be quick. Why did you steal my request?”
Naofumi: “Because I was in the area. Did you know? The corpse of the dragon you defeated was causing the plague.”
Ren: “What!?”

Ren was at a loss for words and just stood there.
He didn’t know? I thought he was a more cold-hearted person.

Naofumi: “A lot of people were dying. There was a brand-new graveyard behind the storage facility. There would have been even more if I wasn’t there.”
Ren: “No way……”

With tottering steps, Ren tried to head east.

Naofumi: “Wait, you don’t have time to go now. The wave is soon”
Ren: “But, this is my responsibility-”
Naofumi: “I already removed the corpse of the dragon. The locals and the Treatment Master took care of the plague. I did steal your request though.”
Ren: “Is that so……Well, it can’t be helped.”

Ren’s complexion is pale.

Itsuki: “You believe that!?”

Itsuki calls out to Ren with a perplexed expression.

Ren: “He has no reason to lie. Besides, the request was cancelled because it was solved. That means it is not wrong.”
Naofumi: “I was surprised when the corpse became a Zombie Dragon. Raphtalia received the curse at that time when fighting it.”

I did not lie. But, it was my fault.

Ren: “Oh, is that why you came out of the church?”

Ren looked at Raphtalia and saw the bandages as his answer.

Ren: “I hope it heals quickly.”

……This is unexpected. I thought Ren was a cold-blooded guy, but he seems to be weak to problems he caused himself.
They say that weakness is evil though.

Naofumi: “Why did you leave the dragon’s corpse there?”
Ren: “Because…… My companion wanted to give the materials to the other adventurers.”

Come to think of it, the village did say they were raking it in.

Ren: “I left it to the adventurers and the village. But……”
Naofumi: “Next time, make sure to dispose of the corpse neatly. Corpses will rot. There is danger of causing sickness when rotting. Disposing of entrails and meat are the highest priority.”
Ren: “Yeah……”

This is somewhat anti-climactic.
Still, I said nothing about the village.
To think that it was their own fault….. Well, this was the consequence of their own deeds.

Itsuki: “I do not believe it.”

Itsuki is more persistent than Ren.

Itsuki: “I will absolutely bring evidence.”
Naofumi: “Sure, bring it. However, do not fabricate it. Were you saying that you found the criminal as the Hero of the Shield? Don’t interrogate too closely. You know my rumours”
Itsuki: “……What do you mean?”
Naofumi: “Because after a thief attacked me and I retaliated, he went to a town and declared that I robbed him.”
Itsuki: “Th-That……”
Naofumi: “It’s the same for you. Shogun-sama I hope you think about it carefully.”

Itsuki seems to feel pity for me from that rumour, his glance makes me feel sick.
Why are you looking at me with such eyes?

Itsuki: “For now, let’s put this matter on hold.”
Naofumi: “I am fine with that, I am not a criminal.”

Seriously, I hate false accusations!
Don’t just attribute anything bad to me!
Itsuki left in an irritating manner and Ren seemed to be unsettled as he left.

Naofumi: “Oh well, should we go?”

Today was an unlucky day. There were various experiences.
After all, this castle town is under the jurisdiction of that trash king, so there is no way they won’t be biased.
Let’s quickly return to the hotel.