He hath realized the true power of his food
As for why all these chapters are being released today…
Chapter 259: The Chivalrous Thief
“And so, I thought I would dump this large job on you.” (Naofumi)
“I-I don’t want to! When I make up for my sins, I decided to return to my village and live a decent lifestyle.”
Right. The one who had an abnormally high encounter rate with me, and the one who was under Ren when he was devoured by his curse. I got special permission from the country to take him out of the state prison, after which he had his slave rights turned over to me, and I had a contract written up.
I’m in the middle of persuading him.
Despite his repeat offenses, he’s repenting nicely. Or perhaps he just doesn’t want to contract with me.
(TL: ／人◕ ‿‿ ◕人＼)
“Did you think you had the right to refuse?” (Naofumi)
“No matter what, I’m in rehabilitation so I can lead an honest lifestyle! I beg of you. Please don’t get in my way.” (Bandit)
“Calm down. First, listen to what I have to say. It’s not like I’m asking for the impossible. And you’ll also benefit quite a bit.” (Naofumi)
Even though I continuously beat him up, he continued carrying on his role as a thief. My evaluation of him is quite high.
He may just be cursed with bad luck.
“First, I’ll specially grant you a class up. I’ll even cover raising your level.” (Naofumi)
By the way, the sentences the country issued to him included forced farm labor after having his level reset.
Meaning his current level is 1.
He has no means of fighting. He’s in the middle of hard labor in order to make up for his crimes.
Of course, he’s treated as a slave, so if he tries to escape, his slave seal will kill him.
It seems that management is much easier here than in my world.
“I don’t know where your hometown is, but I’ll even give financial aid to your family. Under the pretense that you were hired by the country. You’ll make your folks proud.” (Naofumi)
The bandit lets out a small grunt at my proposal.
“You’re doing a good deed. If you do well, I promise you a large reduction on your sentence.” (Naofumi)
“Naofumi, you look like quite a villain right now.” (Ren)
“Can it. It’s a plea bargain.” (Naofumi)
“No, I think it’s a little different.” (Ren)
“Then Agent Provocateur.” (Naofumi)
“He’s an Agent?” (Ren)
Ren is looking at me with skepticism.
“Even so, I will…” (Bandit)
“Calm down. Don’t be so hasty. This sudden situation must have made you hungry, right? Should I bring out some food?” (Naofumi)
And I bring out a dish I made to imitate a Katsudon. (TL: Usually given by the police. See Hataraku Maou)
It was impossible to procure all the ingredients, so it’s really a different dish that only looks like one.
The Bandit’s stomach growls.
He looks at the dish I made, and gulps.
“Don’t worry, it isn’t poisoned. Do you want me to feed some to one of my slaves to demonstrate?” (Naofumi)
I call over the loinclothed dog, put some on a small plate, and give it to her.
“Niichan. This is delicious too! Give me more.” (Kiel)
“Just wait a second. If this guy doesn’t agree, you can have it.” (Naofumi)
“Then decline, evil-looking person.” (Kiel)
“I-I just have to eat it, right!? Right!?” (Bandit)
The bandit starts eating the pseudo-katsudon.
“W-what is this!? It’s ridiculously delicious, isn’t it!? My hands can’t stop! It reminds me of my mother’s cooking… the tears are…” (Bandit)
(TL: Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari is a cooking Web Novel)
I stare contently at the Bandit, who is assaulting the bowl.
Now that he’s relieved some stress, he’ll probably listen to some of my words.
Now I just need to make an under-the-table deal with him.
Negotiations like this sure are fun.
“If you just move by my words, I’ll write up a letter asking for your pardon.” (Naofumi)
“Even so… I can’t do something like selling out my comrades.” (Bandit)
“I got it! When I succeed, you’ll make them let me free, right!?” (Bandit)
I have various methods to ‘negotiate’.
With that previous method, I think quite a few people would have agreed.
“Of course. It’s a promise.” (Naofumi)
That is if you succeed.
Ren opens his mouth as if he wants to say something.
“No… there’s no choice… right? I feel like I just started to understand what Eclaire-san was getting at.” (Ren)
“Still, there’s a limit to going out and hunting bandits, right? In that case we better just cut them off at the source.” (Naofumi)
Using this bandit, we can investigate the cause of the sudden influx of bandits, and keep up public order at the same time.
If the coming of the heroes strengthens the world’s light, we have to manage the shadows that come as a result as well.
And just how many people in this world would deduce that a heroes would go around employing bandits?
Even if someone did, now that all four heroes are stationed at my camp, there’s nothing to fear.
If I think about it, my position’s changed quite a bit…
“First, you have to gather your thieving brethren. Then you have to build up your forces. Of course, you can’t go around attacking any merchants from my place.” (Naofumi)
By the way, I’ve already negotiated with the accessory merchant.
He was ecstatic, and said something about making me his successor.
I can’t understand just what moves him so.
“If I can’t attack merchants, how do you expect me to live!? Don’t underestimate bandits!” (Bandit)
“I never told you not to attack them, right? There are actually some merchants I do want you to attack.” (Naofumi)
According to the accessory merchant, there are several bad merchants who don’t sign in with the Merchant’s Guild. They break the rules and regulation, and sell in other’s territories.
And backing them are the moderate faction of the anti-shield coalition.
They didn’t act up during the brainwashing incident, but even now they’re building up wealth and power to get rid of me.
I remember seeing a few nobles like that glaring at me.
And people with so much influence are the ones more likely to be keeping bandits under their belts.
Though I don’t know the truth of the matter.
“I can’t see the difference!” (Bandit)
“It’s fine. I’ll report the routes and schedules for my merchants and peddlers. You will be choosing evil merchants, and taking their cargo.” (Naofumi)
People call this looking for trouble.
I guess he would be a thief of justice who would only steal from evil.
“And? What should I do about the load from that theft?” (Bandit)
“Let’s see. You can bring it to my place, but it would be troublesome if they followed. Let’s use half of it to pay your subordinates, and distribute the other half to the unfortunate towns and villages. If you do so, you won’t be evil to the world. And the country will… Looking at me, you can tell, right?” (Naofumi)
“Is that something a Hero should be doing…?” (Bandit)
I don’t want to hear that from a bandit.
Covert operations are standard fare in a large organization.
Together with the Queen, I’ll just carry out a large scale trash sweep.
“Will it be alright?” (Bandit)
“The Heroes will also go around under the pretense of getting rid of bandits. As a boss with good intuition, you’ll manage the operation. If you find a troublesome subordinate or someone getting in your way, the people from my place will take care of them. But if you attack us for revenge, we won’t show any mercy.” (Naofumi)
And so I succeeded in taking a bandit as a disciple.
What about leveling him up?
I’ll leave it to Firo’s Spartan training program.
“Naofumi… aren’t you getting darker and darker? It would be troublesome if Eclaire and Wyndia were to imitate it, you know.” (Ren)
“If you just cut off the top of a weed, it’ll grow in again, right? We need to pull it out from the root to clean up the lawn.” (Naofumi)
“No, it’s not like I don’t see where you’re coming from…” (Ren)
And from my little protégé, I learned one thing.
As I thought, the main cause was the increase of wealth brought about from my land.
Since this country’s bandits were regularly caught by my slaves, their forces decreased. And thus, many foreign bandits began to expand their area of activity here.
Because of that, the amount of bandits here increased.
It’s like the cause and effect where if you hunt one animal too much, another increases too fast.
To summarize the result, a large organization known as the Chivalrous Thief Guild suddenly popped up in Melromark.
The country thought it was a good way to manage their more malicious bandits.
Well, the number of underworld organizations in this world merely increased by one.
(TL: Discworld, anyone?)
By the way, the Bandit that I personally trained eventually became quite famous, but that’s another story.