Chapter: 14
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‘‘Oh, how would that make you believe that we wouldn’t harm you?’’ Mulling over his words briefly, Chelsea questions in confusion. 

‘‘It wouldn’t. But if you guys destination is a town or a city I will at least know where I’m headed next,’’ moving his eyes to her, Tatsumi continued saying as he forced out a smile once more. ‘‘I’ll be grateful if you tell me.’’

Seeing his smile, Chelsea's expression turned fluster for a brief second; tilting her head down she mumbled words that he couldn’t hear despite being only a few feets away from where she was seated. 

‘‘...?’’ Tatsumi's two green eyes gaze down at Chelsea tilted down her head in perplexing, as he didn’t know what she was doing. But her not answering his question allows him to understand that she probably doesn't want to tell him about what he was asked. 

Realizing that fact, his forced smile quickly disappeared just as it quickly formed.  

‘‘Guess not.’’ 

Hah, forget it. Uncle did say if you asked directions from a stranger, most of the time they would likely tell you but sometime if you ran into people who just don't want to. Grumbling inwardly, he sighed. It just means I’m unlucky, that's all.  

Then again it's not like I’m that desperate either, if I just proceeded on like usual, I believe I would eventually stumble upon a town or something. Deciding to stop thinking about the matter, Tatsumi took more bites off from his meat until it completely disappeared without a trace.

Still not satisfied, he sliced off more meat from the roasted leg of the beast behind him. As he devours the new lump meat as well, from the corner of his eyes, he moves his gaze around to look at the three groups of unknown people. 

I hope they leave after eating. Having these dangerous people around with unknown intentions is really making me stand on my toe. 

‘‘If you are going to observe us it would work better if you try to make it less obvious,’’ Chelsea swallowed the rest of her meat and beamed at him with a bright smile, and a small tint of amusement as well. 

Having been caught observing them, feeling a small bead of nervous sweat drip down from his forehead, Tatsumi maintains a normal expression as he said. ‘‘Apologize… I appreciate it if you don’t take offense to what I did.’’ 

If she notices my gaze then the other should likely as well. Eyes unconsciously nerrow while expression serious, he questions in his mind. I know these people are far from normal, but who are they anyway?  

As the question floated through his mind, the light-red-hair girl, who was watching his expression change many times in the brief seconds that had passed, looked at him with a sly grin. ‘‘Ohh~ judging by your expression right now, are you trying to come up with ideas as to who we are?’’

Isn't she a little too perceptive! Or is my expression so obvious that she could literally read it like a book… The wariness Tatsumi felt towards Chelsea increased even more as he felt that this girl was way too perceptive. Which makes him further more cautious and uncomfortable around her.

‘‘Am I that scary of a person for you to become more wary of me when I’m just trying to have nice conversation with you.’’ Letting out a sigh, as if she was feeling hurt. Chelsea sucked on her lollipop with a bitter look on her facial features. 

Seeing the way she is acting and how her expression looks like she was genuinely sad because of him. Tatsumi stood off from the stone rock he was seated on, and took 1 or 2 steps away from her, before sitting back down on another stone rock by the bonfire.

Watching him stand up and move 2 steps back away from her, Chelsea's bitter expression completely disappears without a trace, like it had never existed in the first place.

She then throws him a strange look. ‘‘Normally in this situation, shouldn’t you try to comfort me since I’m feeling hurt because of you?’’ 

‘‘I’m sorry miss, but I don’t think we are familiar enough with each other that I could do something like that.’’ Gazing back at her, he replied with a soft and gentle voice. 

‘‘Besides that act of yours reminds me too much of a friend back at my village.’’ Frowned, Tatsumi grumbling. ‘‘When she acts sad and all hurt like that, it is really frustrating to remember how much I fell for it in the past.’’   

A friend from a village, huh… Chelsea softly murmured in her head. 

Maybe he really is just Normal person and not an assassin. But if that is the case, how did he emitted such strong murderous intent when we first saw him!? Remembering what she had felt in that very moment, Chelsea couldn't help but shiver in fear.  

Truth be told, because of what she had felt from the young man when they first met, although she was acting casual around him. Inwardly, she was actually nervous and afraid to be near him. 

After all, due to her job. Chelsea saw numerous assassins and many other dangerous people throughout her life, and because of that she had come to know many people with intense and overwhelming strong killing intent. 

So strong that they could make one instinctively shiver and feel faint from fear alone.

But none of them were able to emit as strong killing intent as this young man before her, which was something she couldn’t comprehend.   

For one to have the level of killing intent as the people that Chelsea knows of, they have to at least kill a large and large number of people. Which was the reason why she felt confused and unable to comprehend this unknown young man. 

The young man in front of her, looking to be a few years younger than her and Taeko. For her, the thought of someone this young, killing that many people was something she just didn’t think was possible. 

Furthermore, gazing at him from the corner of her eyes and seeing the unpleasant face he was making because of mentioning something about a friend from his home village. She couldn’t help but think. 

He is kind of cute and pleasant to the eyes. 

Uh! Tatsumi, who had an unpleasant look on his face while remembering a certain friend's tricks that she had used on him a lot of time, eyes suddenly flicker and widen. He looked at the light-red-hair girl and thought…    

Did I just end up talking casually with this girl? As he thought that, Tatsumi gave her another brief glance and looked away from her and turned to the fire. 

Watching it burn brightly, he sank into his own world as he was reminiscing about the past that had become a memory in his mind.  

‘‘Has it already been more than 2 months since I last saw them? I wonder if they're doing fine. I miss uncle cooking.’’ Mumble quietly underneath his breath, a small smile formed on the young man's face. 

‘‘Your expression tells me you're reminiscing about something. Who are you thinking about right now?,’’ a light and soft voice entered Tatsumi's ears as he was immense in his own world. 

As if forgotten everything around him, he unconsciously answers the voice. ‘‘Friends and family, obviously.’’   

The moment he replied back to the voice, seemingly snapping out from a daze, he directed himself at the voice. What appeared before his sight was the same beautiful girl who was sucking on a lollipop, he smiled at her and said, ‘‘when are you guys leaving.’’ 

‘‘Driving us away already, aren’t you being too cruel~’’ Appearing to be hurt by what he says, Chelsea voices out.    

Pupils constricted Tatsumi stare at her when he heard her reply; he gazed straight into her eyes without saying anything for a long while. Chelsea's expression seemed to distort slightly under his stare but maintain her hurtful look as she too didn’t say anything. 

Taking his gaze away from her’s, he let out a deep and helpless sigh. ‘‘If you guys are not leaving, don't tell me you'd also camp in this spot as well.’’  

‘‘That’s the plan.’’ Taking her lollipop out from her mouth Chelsea spoke as she waves it around in the air. 

Tatsumi didn’t listen to what she said, as he swept his gaze around the other two while the wariness within his eyes seemed to increasingly grow with every second that his gaze landed on them. 

One was stoic and expressionless without making a sound, while the other one, the old lady, met eyes with him and grinned his way. Her grin brought chills down his entire being, as he felt that he could understand something from it.  

Why does it feel like she decided want to do with me…!? He voices out in his head; while feeling like a cold sweat was built up on his back. Tatsumi's right hand went towards the hilt of his sword, feeling more guarding than ever.

Ha… calm down. I shouldn’t be rash right now… Before his hand could reach the hilt of his weapon, he took it back and let out a deep breath. Reminded himself to not act rash and create an unavoidable conflict that maybe could, somehow be avoided. 

Although her grin doesn't sit right with me, at least, it doesn't feel like there is any killing intent coming out from her… Comforting himself with those words, he pulls his gaze away from the old lady, and turns toward the only person he could have any conversation with, in this unknown group of three. 

‘‘Then… how about I leave so there will be more space for you three.’’ Thinking over the matter for a moment he suggested to Chelsea. But before she said anything back, another voice did,

‘‘Now that won’t be necessary, there is more than enough space for all four of us to camp here. So there is no need to feel like you need to make room for us.’’ 

Knowing very well who the one talking was, since there is only one elderly person here. Tatsumi wore a slightly stiff expression as he replied to the old lady in purple clothes, but he was polite as ever with his words. ‘‘Ma’am, wouldn’t it be uncomfortable and dangerous to sleep next to a stranger.’’  

The old lady chuckled gently for a short while at what he said, though, as time passed forward in that short moment. Her eyes suddenly turn deadly sharp as it felt like it could go see right through him, causing him to break out in cold sweat as a nervous feeling sinks into him. 

But as those nervousness crept into his very being, Tatsumi's eyes suddenly become cold as his two pupils change into a blood red color; while his right hand moves at lightning speed towards the hilt of his sword.   

Just as his hand touched upon the hilt of his sword and was about to pull it up without a second thought, the old lady next word stopped from doing it.  

‘‘Now, now~ there is no need to get all work up,’’ The old lady smiled kindly like an elder grandma and said in a soft, soothing voice. ‘‘See. I don’t have any weapons on my hands, so neither should you.’’ 

Because of the old lady's words, although Tatsumi's body became less tense because of it, he didn’t bother to let go of his sword hilt as he respectively gaze at his left and right with a narrowing gaze. 

On his right side, the girl with long dark gray hair and lime eyes was looking at him with a serious expression, as she held out a slightly short sword in his way.

And on his left side, although the light-red-hair girl didn’t have anything in her hands, her expression was also very serious. But within those serious looks of her, a small amount of worry could be seen. 

‘‘Taeko! Put your weapon away. And Chelsea, relax it had not reached a point where a fight can’t be avoided.’’ Following his gaze the old lady dropped her smile briefly and spoke to both the girls. 

When they heard what the old lady said, both girls peered at Tatsumi for a second or two, before following the old lady's order. Taeko tucked her slightly short sword away while Chelsea allowed her tense muscle to relax a little bit.  

The old lady then withdrew her eyes from them and towards the young man once more. Maintaining her kind elderly smile, her pierced gaze went down to his hand that was still grasping tightly at the hilt of his sword.

‘‘Shouldn’t you also relax yourself and withdraw your hand from that thing,’’ the old lady said to him in a soft and gentle tone of voice. 

‘‘From my observation of you so far, I could tell you want to avoid the fight as well. So why don’t you withdraw your hand from it and let’s all sit back down, why say you?’’ 

As her soft and gentle voice sounded in his ears Tatsumi spun his head around and looked at all three of them with suspicious glare. But in the end, choosing to listen to the old lady's words he sat back down on the rock. 

Forcing out a smile from his face, he said, ‘‘I apologize. I was too impulsive and things got a little… a little unsettling just now.’’ 

‘‘Huhu, there is not much problem with that. Being cautious is naturally a good trait to have, you’ld survive much much longer with it.’’ The old lady laughed at his words.  

‘‘Now then… before all of that happens, what was I going to say again?’’ A thoughtful look surfaced on the old lady's expression as she said.

Chelsea, who was breathing a sigh of relief because of the worst that could have transpired in her mind didn’t happen like she imagined it. Looked over at the old lady and downfoundly thought… Is she really making light of the situation? Because of her a fight almost broke out. 

Hah… at least it was prevented. Moving her gaze to Tatsumi, her expression shows a little distress on it. 

Just a moment ago the killing intent emitted from him was suffocated to the point that I felt all the oxygen from my body was squeezed out! But now he looks normal again. 

As the atmosphere of the group seems to be settling down, Tatsumi calmly watches the old lady's thoughtful expression, while inwardly feeling relief that the situation didn’t go downhill.  

Phew… thank god she didn’t actually attack me! He thought. Although he was showing a confident stance against them a moment ago, in truth, he was actually thinking of escaping the moment they attacked him.   

But this old lady is really confused. If you are not thinking of starting a fight, then why the hell would you show such a threatening glare like that! As Tatsumi thought over more of what had occurred, he couldn’t help but curse the old lady for being so confused with her intention.  

Even as a thoughtful look continues to plaster on the old lady, as if she could understand what he was thinking right now despite his calm and expressionless look. She smirked and grinned at him.

‘‘You seem to be quite unhappy right now, even if you don’t do it directly, cursing at people in your mind is still quite rude.’’ 

Tatsumi's calm expression immediately fell when he heard what the old had said, he gave her a shocking look and squeezed out a few words from his mouth, a bit with some difficulty. 

‘‘You're really amazing, Ma’am. To be able to see through my thoughts so easily your observational skill has really reached far and high.’’ Even as he complimented her, inwardly, he was feeling quite unpleasant inside.   

After all, who wouldn’t feel unpleasant having your thoughts being read like an open book by another person. 

These people are far more dangerous in more ways than one! First there was this strange lollipop girl on his left, able to read his expression and know what he was thinking. Now this old lady can also do the same thing, and maybe even be a bit better at it then the lollipop girl.  

Mulling over these, Tatsumi tilted his head slightly down and couldn’t help but emotionally sighed to himself over the matter. He felt that for the past few weeks, his luck with meeting people wasn't really the best out there. 

First it was the dangerous savage tribe individual from the fog forest that had almost caused him his life; now it was these group of dangerous three that could potentially become his enemy at any given time.   

Sighing emotionally once more, Tatsumi tilted his head back up and looked at the old lady, pausing briefly he said. ‘‘Ma’am, have you finally remembered what you were previously going to say before forgetting about it because of the unsettling event that had transpired.’’

The old lady grinned largely in his way, and said after a brief moment, ‘‘as a matter of fact, I do happen to recall it now.’’ Dropping her grin, a serious look surfaces on her facial expression as she continues. ‘‘But… What I am about to say is more of a suggestion.’’

‘‘?’’ Confusion, lifted his brow, he gave her a questioning look. 

‘‘How about you tag along with us, just until we reach our destination.’’ Said the old lady. 

‘‘Hum?’’ Feeling completely confused by the words that were coming out from her mouth, he tilted his head slightly sideways, trying to understand what she had said.  

Chelsea and Taeko looked over at the old lady with surprising expressions as they clearly heard what she had said as well.  

Silent befall the group as the young man tried to grasp the meaning of the old lady words, and what she was trying to hint at when saying it?   

The old lady ignored his confused look as she continued talking, 

‘‘It isn't bad for you either since, by how you keep asking Chelsea to tell you where we’re going. It looks like you are trying to find a town, right? So instead of blindly moving about until you find one, if you follow us instead it would be much quicker.’’