Editor: Deus ex-Machina
TL Note: Kay kay so even though most of you said to do whole chapter pieces, I’ve decided to split chapters into parts because closer deadlines stop procrastinating lol. Based off what I plan to do it shall be most likely a part about this long every 2 weeks. I will try to divide it so the parts kind of make sense where they stop. For example, this one ends right before they transition to Reiji’s perspective. That said, school is starting and this semester will be my busiest yet by quite a bit. Therefore, until I get used to it and know exactly how things look, I won’t promise any timeframes on releases. Till then bear with me! Mew
The Imperial capital of Filas Filia. The biggest city in the empire, it had a gigantic crystal bust statue of the goddess in its cathedral and boasted the largest library of all three countries in the imperial private university. And then Astel and the Sadius union jointly built a magician’s training and research institution. It was a city whose size was the second largest, if not largest in the world.
The outskirts were built out of wood and ashen colored bricks while the streets and districts were constructed using warm red-tinged bricks, and the noble’s living quarters with even finer brilliant burgundy bricks.
The reason why there was so much red was because the emperor five generations ago liked red.
A sign of individualistic interests, in the other world red was a color common in Europe, and the lore was that it came from the spilled blood of saints of long ago. In addition, it was reminiscent of the color of knight and military overcoats during battle. In another world, for it to be same in the militaristic empire was an interesting coincidence.
While thinking about that, Suimei looked up. In the sprawling capital, there were many tall buildings. Because the walls were tall, the buildings here were taller than those of other countries.
Even for Suimei, the Astel capital of Metel was quite different compared to here. Metel had a lot of people as well, but the imperial capital gave off a much more modern feeling. While it did have many small shops and parks, because the maintenance of its wards and sewage systems was immaculate, the imperial capital seemed more developed.
However, despite seeing those beautiful streets and children frolicking in the water, Suimei’s gloomy mood didn’t lift at all. His worn out breathing and grumbling self, but there was a reason for that.
“I can’t believe that Reiji and the others cleaned up after us.”
He had repeated this to himself countless times already.
According to the travelers he had talked to, Reiji had returned to Astel territory from the Empire with the military. Then, they had defeated Rajas and his subordinates.
Of course, to Suimei this would be extremely unexpected, and upon knowing, his mind was swept up in annoyance.
Seeing his moody countenance, Lefille asked in consideration.
“Suimei-kun. You still can’t stop thinking about what that traveler said? Whether he actually defeated Rajas, we don’t technically know.”
“True. But, I didn’t see where he actually died. And both Reiji and Rajas’ names appear in the rumors. Most likely, I didn’t actually defeat him with that last hit.”
Sighing, the reason for his anguish was that. While he was depressed for having caused problems for Reiji and his group, it was more of that his pride as a magician had been torn because of his inability to decisively settle the matter. His holy magic. While he had been exhausted, that he had been unable to end him left a bitter taste in his mouth even though residual holy magic indicated that it was merely a problem of time.
“A complete disappointment. Despite my big talk I couldn’t kill him with that one blow.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. Being unable to defeat him decisively, didn’t you do enough? Most likely your friends came across the weakened Rajas. Just think about what would have happened if you hadn’t fought Rajas and they had encountered him…”
As she said, most likely they would no longer be alive. However,
“Yeah I guess. At least we don’t have that problem… Haaa”
“Being unable to defeat him is a fact though, is that what you want to say? I understand how you feel but, constantly sighing is bad for you. If you give off that gloomy atmosphere, everyone around is going to avoid us you know.”
“Ah, I guess you’re right.”
Suimei acknowledged Lefille’s rebuke.
“People will avoid us if you keep sighing,” she just said. In other words, you’re making everyone depressed. Happiness is something that people have. If people don’t approach, then you’ll never cheer up, is what she said to distract him.
It was as she said. Even if he kept grumbling forever, that wouldn’t change.
“Yosh, I’ll stop. Stop. Let’s turn around these feelings.”
“Yes. That’s good.”
Saying that, Lefille gave a quiet smile while raising her fist. Staying cheerful at a time like this, as expected of her.
“So, you said you had somewhere you wanted to go, Lefille. Where to?”
“Yes. The Salvation Church.”
Hearing Lefille’s request, they finally arrived at an area close to the gate of the outer wall. They were at one of many Salvation Churches in the empire.
It was the first time they had been to a church of a great religion in the other world, but it gave off a completely different impression compared to other places. As they walked along, the path gradually changed from completely brick to stone, and there was a carefully maintained flower bed along with a pond. The narrow path was surrounded by dense trees; it was as if the path was carved out sparingly, barely allowing enough space. And if one listened closely, you could hear the chirps of small birds. It was like a sacred preservation ground. Ahead, there was a building.
In there, was an inviting small path. As they approached, Suimei’s face darkened into a serious expression as he realized something.
“You’ve had a worried look for a while. Is something wrong?”
“No, there isn’t really anything. It’s just I can’t get used to the atmosphere. Of this place that is.”
“Can’t get used to? At this peaceful place?”
“Ahh, well yeah there is a positive vibe, and mana seems to be abundant.”
“Ye-yeah… No matter how I look at it there doesn’t seem to be a negative aura, so then why?”
“It might just be how us magicians are. We just don’t get along with churches and here we are at their stronghold.”
In the other world, there were many natural enemies of magicians. Of them, churches were one of the worst. The popular religion of a church. In the other world, there was one, and if he brought up the monotheism, it would be easy to understand the relationship between churches and magicians. In that religion, the Savior, which was the manifestation of god, would try to raise his teachings to supremacy and grant miracles to the people who believed in him. These miracles were simply magic to the magician. But to the religion, when others used magic, they would be branded as radical sects outside of the power that the god gave.
And so they who relied on magic was thought of as the enemy of humanity.
Because of that, there was a set of correct law in religion -- in other words, since their work was not recognized as miracles, magicians relied on ways that were said to bring about unhappiness. In summary, the church moved to eradicate users of magic outside of their religion.
It was a dreadful sense of duty, or it should have been.
That was their excuse to start an ill-reputed witch hunt, and Helen Duncan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Duncan) was one of the last to be convicted due to the famous Witchcraft Act. The power of their beliefs was not to be made light of. Of course, the same could be said for other religions, and if you thought about it, it couldn’t be said that what they did was excessive for religion. Any religion had many miracles, and there were always those who did not acknowledge them.
Moreover, there were many magic users with ill intent, and fraudulent usage of spiritual information was rampant, so it wasn’t just a matter of baseless blind belief.
However, it was a fact that magic was taken to be equivalent to heresy.
The Inquisitors. They were agents that wouldn’t be present in a normal religion.
That’s why he had to be vigilant, Suimei was trained to never overlook anything, so his tension was understandable.
“A circumstance of your world?”
“It wasn’t about people seeing the two of us together huh...”
“No, it didn’t have that meaning. My bad my bad.”
Suimei shyly scratched his cheek as he apologized to Lefille.
Inflating his cheeks, he idly looked down at the ground. Seeing the conflict in her face, he couldn’t help but to apologize.
“...Well, that aside, is here fine?”
“‘Is here fine’, meaning?”
“Aren’t there much larger churches in the Empire? Like, the places where all the sightseers from other countries gather at?”
Lefille grumbled in a quiet voice. It was as if she was certain there would problems if they went to those places.
“Ah, well at those places there’s bound to be respectable high ranking priests. Pretty much, strong people gifted by the goddess. It’s true that people of strength gather there, which you know even more so than I do, but… if they see through me to my true form, what would we do?”
“Uh huh…? Even in this world if they figure out you’re a spirit, I don’t think it’ll be that much of a problem. Am I wrong?”
About that question, there was the talk of this world from Lefille earlier. In this world, spirits should be a familiar matter, and previously, Lefille had felt the presence of spirits. If that’s the case, it shouldn’t be much of a worry, but how was it really?
Upon Suimei saying so, Lefille knit her eyebrows.
“However it seemed when I called the red storm spirit during fighting, Ishaktoni is an existence divided from my blood. Ishaktoni is, regarding the Alsharia spirit myth, an existence that fought the evil god Zekaraia as goddess Arshuna’s right arm. A direct subordinate of Arshuna. In other words…”
“If people knew that they will be very thankful. For sure.”
“Yes. When I was in Noshias it was all fine. Even if I was half spirit, everyone understood me. However, in another place, if people find out, it would probably become an outrageous situation.”
Imagining the danger that would arise in that situation, Lefille trembled and her face turned blue. It wasn’t hard to imagine that something like a cult would form and she would be worshipped as a living god. Rather, from Lefille’s troubled reaction right now, it was easy to see the outcome.
“Hahaha, isn’t that fine?”
“It’s not a laughing matter! Every day every day, being begged to, being cried to in thanks, and being followed to the ends of the world with all kinds of ridiculous questions. More than just being unable to bear it, I’d get depressed!”
“Yeah. That’s, well, it would be too unfortunate… heh heh heh.”
After hearing Lefille’s inner anger, Suimei could only let out a strange laugh, until they heard the squeak of the church door opening.
They quickly looked over in that direction to see a man coming out.
It was a man who had swept back black and grey hair. He was of slim physique and looked unhealthy. There wasn’t anything particular out of place, yet he gave off an abnormal air. They didn’t know what to make of him, but he didn’t seem like a churchman. His eyes were closed and his face was rigid as he walked with a firm pace. He wore ceremonial looking clothes, and a light breeze was felt as he passed by.
Because the path was so narrow, Suimei and Lefille had to make way for him to pass, and he nodded briefly as he walked by.
After a brief while, Lefille turned and squinted down the path that he went. From her came a sharp gaze unlike that of her young appearance as she stared at the man’s back.
“Suimei-kun. That man.”
“What about him?”
“Well, I think he’s considerably skilled.”
Considerably skilled. He didn’t have excessive magic power, nor emit any mysterious feeling. Based on that…
“Meaning… a swordsman?”
“Yes… what about it? Are you also knowledgeable about swords?”
“Well, I do use a sword but, I still have yet to understand the specific details of swordsmanship. After all, strong people have a lot of cards they don’t show on the outside. Being able to read those... I’m still far from it.
“Hmm… I see.”
However, that means it’s that way for most people right? Leaving aside the matter about spirits, Lefille is the one that normally comments on people about matters other than their physical strength, meaning that he is unfamiliar with those kinds of things.
With that said, then at the station previously…
“The Liliana from before, you had a pretty good idea about her.”
The magic user, Liliana Zandike. The magic power she exuded was unignorable. From what he could tell, she had a considerable amount of magic despite not even using a magic furnace.
“Liliana Zandike huh. There isn’t much information but, it seems she fought in several skirmishes with the country to the south, and has a few notable achievements. Her nickname from those are, the Empire’s Human Weapon.”
“What a dangerous name.”
“She handled her missions easily and emotionlessly, but that might just be because she’s normally expressionless.”
It was as Lefille said, she did seem to be pretty expressionless. Having only exchanged two or three words with her, he didn’t really know how she was in actuality.
“... saying that, this isn’t the place to be talking about such things. If we don’t hurry and pray…”
Lefille suddenly said so. As if she had predicted it, they heard a sound and then the pure white gate opened. Just as they entered, she walked up to the goddess statue.
Devoutness… no, in this world the goddess Arshuna’s existence was a given, so it was a little different. Suimei also entered and looked up to the ceiling.
A salvation church. It was a little different than the other world, having no stained glass or pipe organs. Although, it exuded a tranquil atmosphere and the goddess statue had considerable decorations.
Near the ceiling were windows from which light shone radiantly onto the floor. The parts of the floor not illuminated by natural light had a warm glow from the magically powered lights. In the church there were few people: poorer looking children, calm elderly women, well-groomed middle aged men; all of them were kneeling in prayer in front of the goddess statue.
It was a respectable church.
While Suimei was evaluating the church, a woman came from the side and spoke. Turning to face her, Suimei returned her greeting.
“Ah… good afternoon… huh!?!”
After saying “ah” and greeting her, Suimei couldn’t contain his surprise. With a dubious shout, Suimei’s eyes widened. Seeing his reaction, the sister tilted her head in curiousity.
“What would be the matter?”
Suimei couldn’t do anything but exclaim about her appearance.
“Isn’t that only natural? You would also have ears correct?”
“It’s not that, I mean, that, that”
“...Ahhh, could it be that this is the first time you have seen a beastman?”
Beastman. The Empire had a wide variety of races. She would be what is known as a beastman. Born with ears, beastmen also had the trait of being stronger than humans.
Having finally convinced himself of that, he thought that animal ears wouldn’t be strange then. She was dressed like a nun, having many fluttering blue clothes. Under her veil, she had wavy pink hair. Two cat ears were poking out from her head.
Looking at her face, she had a gentle expression and a face full of wisdom.
Suimei then apologized to the sister for the commotion he had caused.
“I was surprised because your ears were real… I am deeply sorry for my brief outburst.”
“I see. In that case your surprise was inevitable since you had never seen a beastman before.”
The sister let out a soft chuckle. Saying that to the older sister, she seemed somewhat embarrassed.
Putting her finger on her cheek, she tilted her head and asked.
“Are you not here to pray?”
“Well, I’m here with her.”
Seeing Lefille kneeled in prayer, the sister made a happy face.
“Ah, what a little girlfriend you have there.”
“Hah?” So suddenly what did…”
“But that’s no good. For a man of your age to be with such a small girl, I don’t recommend it in the Empire.”
“It-it isn’t like that. That’s not what I meant by that!”
<TL Note: kanojo in japanese can both mean her and girlfriend.>
“Fufufu, I’m joking. I understand that.”
The sister implied that she had tricked Suimei as she laughed at him with a pleasant smile. It was a perfect scene.
Thereupon, she turned around to talk to Lefille.
“Isn’t she an enthusiastic kid.”
“...Yeah. As soon as we got to the capital, I asked her where she wanted to go and she immediately replied the church, which is why we’re here now. When she was able to pray, if I didn’t take her to a church then she’d pull on my clothes until we went.”
“The goddess’ teachings are important huh. She’s quite level headed for her age.”
“Heh hehhh...please don’t talk about age in front her.”
Hearing that, the sister’s ears perked up as she looked with a wondering gaze.
It would be a pity for Lefille if she couldn’t return back to normal soon.
Behind Suimei’s head there was a crackling noise, and a row had formed next to Lefille. The priest’s sermon had ended, and everyone had to stood up straight in anticipation for something.
Suimei tried to ask the sister.
“What’s the line for after the sermon ends?”
“The goddess Arshuna’s oracle. After the prayer is over, the priest gives the goddess’ divine revelation. Though usually there is none.”
Was the oracle why Lefille had been doing those things during their journey? The priest stood next to the bust statue and murmured. And then looking close, it seemed to be that way. He couldn’t sense the movement of magic yet, just at that location, divine power moved, and the mana density increased.
Most likely the priest was using his body as a medium to receive the goddess’ oracle. It was the real deal.
As Suimei raised his voice in wonder, the sister spoke in a dubious tone.
“For you to not know that is strange. Any religion should have it…”
“Where I’m from there is no Salvation Church.”
“That’s unusual. Then again, the village I’m from also doesn’t have the belief of the goddess so it’s a little nostalgic.”
At the unexpected coincidence, the sister put on a smile. Her animal ears reflecting her mood, it was quite a heartwarming scene.
“That reminds me…”
“What is it?”
“Could it be that you arrived at Filas Filia today?”
“Well, among other reasons, this is the first time you’ve seen a beastman so…”
“Ahh… I guess I leaked that in my carelessness.”
By using information from his surroundings as well as asking about a few ordinary but related things, she had seen through him as if he were a country bumpkin. As Suimei briefly lamented about his own ignorance, the sister panicked about her own impoliteness.
“Ahh, that’s not really it...”
As she said so, Suimei put on a refreshing smile.
“...Anyway, wouldn’t you tell this careless me if there’s anything I should know?”
“Ha… okay, I agree. Though there isn’t that much...”
“Is there something?”
“There’s two, no three things. Do you want to hear the bad or good parts first?”
“Then the bad parts first. Hearing the good parts after will somewhat soften the first part.”
The sister replied in affirmation after hearing that. Changing to a serious face, she leaned in to tell him advice.
“You said that you had just come to the imperial capital but, be careful about leaving during the night. There have been some bad incidents around this area in the capital.”
“Incidents, you said?”
“Yes. Recently there have been many cases of people being found in a coma-like conditions, so a lot of people are feeling unsafe.”
“That sounds quite dangerous. Is it something like attacks by ruffians?”
“Well, it has the marks of being instigated by magic, so it doesn’t seem to be your typical crime.”
“It sounds like it’s been going on for a while, has it still not been resolved?”
“The military police have been trying, but still not yet. The criminals leave few clues, and the magic is extremely effective so it’s hard to determine the attribute. It doesn’t seem likely that the criminal will be caught.”
The sister cast her eyes down in sadness. Like her appearance, she seemed like a kind sympathetic person who thought of the impacts it had on the victims and the people around them.
“Sister, it seems you know quite a bit.”
“Yes, many different types of people come and go at the church, so I hear a lot.”
Upon saying that, her ears twitched as if showing her confidence in gleaning information from hearsay. Suimei had an urge to touch them, but he persevered.
Then, the sister clapped her hands as she changed to the good news.
“However, the hero summoned by the El Meide Theocracy has joined in on the investigation, so it should be resolved soon.”
“Yes. The summoned hero is currently staying in Filas Filia.”
“Yeah. The masses still don’t know, but soon the government and Salvation Church will introduce him. Isn’t it great?”
Was it a good thing? Here, it would get everyone’s attention. The El Meide Theocracy was a neutral country to the south of the empire. There was no way Suimei wouldn’t be curious about heroes other than Reiji. He wanted to know what kind of person they were and their inclinations.
“Also, the other day I heard the hero summoned by the Sadius Union is also moving.”
“Now that you mention it, there are four summoned heroes right?”
“The hero summoned by the Sadius Union seems to be a beautiful girl. It seems that she is quite resourceful and was able to deal with the country’s first prince, who is known as the sword king, fairly easily.”
The third hero was a girl. If that’s the case then on what basis are heroes selected? That meant that it isn’t limited to men. Still…
“...That girl seems quite strong… I wonder how…”
“Did you say something?”
The sister seemed to have slightly overheard Suimei’s muttering, to which Suimei responded with a “no, nothing.” Most likely he would never be able to find an answer. Thinking about that, the sister clasped her hands in front of her chest and spoke.
“With this we’ll have more to fight with the mazoku and the demon king.”
“That’s good news.”
At that time, Lefille was receiving the oracle in front of the priest when the priest let out a shout.
“What did you say?!? I-is t-that true?!?”
At some point Lefille had gotten close to the priest. The priest looked somewhat troubled as he dealt with the panicked Lefille, but he seemed to get used to her behavior after a while, and he tightened his expression and nodded.
“It can’t be!”
It seemed as if that was bad news, as Lefille let out a shriek. Being informed of the bad news, she then immediately turned to Suimei.
“Su-Suimei-kun! W-w-w-w-w-what do we do?!? There’s a problem!!”
“You’re panicking too much Lefille. What’s wrong?”
“Everything’s wrong! What do I do?!?”
“What do I do… first tell me what happened. Then we’ll talk.”
Despite that, Lefille continued shouting in a frenzy.
“The oracle!!! I got another one!”
It definitely wasn’t a normal oracle considering her current reaction. What in the world could the goddess have shown her?
“Seems like it.”
A few days after they had arrived at the Empire, Suimei and Lefille were in the backside of the residential district.
The back of the residential district. Buildings here were still packed densely and there were many tall ones. Despite it being the middle of the day, the surroundings were still gloomy. If you paid close attention, you could see hints of dim green, but the pervasive gloom still dominated the atmosphere.
In the other world this would be the slums. The state of the streets exactly matched that description. In addition, the houses were made of cheap material.
Suimei and Lefille’s first job upon arriving at the capital was at these residences. It was because currently, Suimei wanted to acquire goods and information and Lefille’s objective was to learn magic at a magic academy. That’s why after visiting the church, they began looking for a merchant to trade with, but because the majority of land was controlled by the government, they ended up going to the government office. Then, acquiring a correspondence address to get the details, they made plans to meet with the headsman on this day.
It wasn’t that they were overcome with surprise by the dim surroundings, but at this place Suimei and Lefille stopped in their tracks.
Upon being there, suddenly Lefille raised her eyes in uncertainty.
“Suimei-kun. Is it really here?”
“Hmm? Yeah it’s fine. There’s no doubt about it. This is the place.”
“That’s not it, I’m talking about the area. The location isn’t wrong, but, how do I put it… this atmosphere.”
The more Lefille looked around, the more uneasy she got. As her gaze implied, this place didn’t leave a good impression. Little light penetrated into this area, and a stink wafted about. It was close to the main street but true enough, from a normal viewpoint it would be hard to call this a nice place.
“Well in the end, this is the only place where we can get what we want. All we can do is bear with it.”
“I see. Well it leaves a bad taste.”
“What, there’s nothing we can do about the light but, the smell can be improved. Although that worry is…”
Suimei stopped midsentence as he came to a realization. Even though he didn’t particularly mind, Lefille depressedly looked down at the dirty bricks everything was made of. Did she care that much about the state of some random residential area? Normally, Lefille was the type of person who would give off a loud laugh as she continued on.
Knowing why she was sad, Suimei suddenly spoke.
“What is it. Are you still worrying about the oracle?”
“O-of course! We got that information after all.”
The oracle from at the Salvation Church from Arshuna was outside of what they had imagined.
“Stay in the capital and move with the hero to fight the mazoku,” is what she said.
They still hadn’t seen the hero from El Meide, and she was told to party up with someone she didn’t know. For Lefille who had just arrived at the capital, it was too sudden.
Regardless, it seemed Lefille also was quite resistant to this. After she had calmed down at the church, she still had a melancholic look in her eyes.
But, Suimei also thought this way.
“If you don’t want to listen to the goddess, then isn’t that fine? It’ll be fine if you just pretend you forgot.”
“Even if you say that I can’t. I’ve received the goddess’ favor, so it would be dishonest to ignore her words.”
“Disloyal… so it’s about your power huh. It’s not something that you yourself wanted, more like something one-sidedly given. Then wouldn’t it stand to reason that using that as the premise for why you have to follow her orders the strange part?”
“Th-that may be true but…”
Lefille slowly deflated as she tried to respond. Of course, as a religious person, she was struggling to try and justify her faith. Sometimes, religious people would blame themselves for having wants and desires, pushing themselves into a corner. No, rather, it’s more like they feel as if it’s an obligation.
People who live clean and upright lives have a strong sense of values. It was a matter of being torn between those and their own desires.
But after all, at this rate…
“Well then, seems like you’re going to act along with the hero from El Meide right?”
“You, for you to say such an insensitive thing! Of course it’s something I don’t want to do!”
“Of course huh… in that case it’s all the more the reason to not go along with it.”
Lefille, who couldn’t decide what to do, drooped her head and shoulders.
“If I make light of the goddess’ words, then if something happened I would…”
She didn’t want to do it. She was in a state where she couldn’t swallow her self-resentment and act.
In that case, it wasn’t actually a case of her being forced to follow the goddess but one of her own sentiments.
“I understand. I’ll do something about it.”
“Eh? What do you mean by that?”
“It’s as I said. If you don’t want to go with the hero then you don’t have to. If you go then I have to come along. If someone asks about me I’ll figure something out. Even if that isn’t what you were planning is fine is it not?”
If you can’t refuse then it’s fine to not do so. It’ll be fine if your allies just follow. Even if that wasn’t what Lefille had intended, if she had to go then trying to stop her would just damage her own beliefs.
Upon understanding his intention, Lefille cried out.
“Y-you can’t! That would be going against the goddess Suimei-kun! If you do that then you’ll…”
“You care huh. For me, I don’t believe in the goddess. Would heaven, hell, eden, or hades even know? Moreover, us magicians who pursue omnipotence against the laws of the world are despicable existences to the church.”
“Even so, if you incite the wrath of the goddess…”
“Isn’t that fine? There are plenty of people in the world who oppose the goddess. Yet the world still spins. Thinking that it’s impossible to continue living after going against the goddess is just thick.”
“Still. If something ever happened…”
Lefille showed an expression mixed with sadness and uneasiness.
Suimei closed his eyes and made a snort as if to say ‘what’s with the face?’
“Even if something got in my way, I’d just deal with it and continue. Even if it’s god or the devil, it has nothing to do with me. Hmph. If the existences outside of the world try to interfere, let them try. They’re existences that can’t do that anyway. You think I’ll lose to someone who can do nothing but give orders from above?”
“Ah, but he’s omnipotent you know. No matter how powerful you are, there’s going to be situations where you can’t do anything.”
“That doesn’t matter. After all, that’s the level I aspire to be at. If I backed down then I couldn’t call myself a magician.”
He would protect to the very end the people he held dear. That was his reason from his heart. He became a magician to do just that, and so he would put his life on the line to uphold it.
Seeing Suimei’s resolve, Lefille conceded.
“Y… yeah. Thanks…”
Averting her eyes, Lefille fidgeted as she expressed her gratitude. Suimei looked at Lefille awkwardly as his heart thumped. At that moment.
“...Oh, you’ve arrived!”
The romantic atmosphere was cut short by a voice. Looking in the direction of the voice, they saw a lively blue haired girl wearing easy to move in clothes. She had large eyes and a cute looking face with tattooed lines running from her cheeks to the back of her neck.
However, she was little. Both in height and chest. All in all she was too little. At first glance she was about the same size as Lefille currently.
(Another little girl. Although I guess Lefille isn’t technically a little girl.)
After arriving at the guard station, they had only met little girl after little girl.
While Suimei stared at her with an unpleasant visage while thinking about such complicated matters, the girl turned her head and suspiciously asked.
“What’s with you? You’ve got an unpleasant look for some reason.”
“Heh, sorry. Recently all I’ve been seeing is little children so…”
“Children?!? Are you talking about me?!?”
“...Yeah what about it?”
As soon as Suimei admitted so, the girl’s eyes changed to a dangerous glint, and she talked in an aggressive voice completely unimaginable for a little girl.
“Oi, you. To me you look like my junior, you dare say that to me?”
“No matter how I look at it that’s all you are, am I wrong? Aren’t you just a boy that just got out of salvation church school?”
What was this girl saying. As far as he could tell he was older, yet she was angrily saying such things. Could it be that she was a magician who had used magic to reduce her age? Lefille, coming to some kind of realization, tapped her shoulder and spoke.
“Could it be you’re a dwarf?”
“Ah, yes. Both my parents were dwarfs I’m the real deal.”
“You said earlier ‘you arrived,’ so that means…”
“It’s as you think. I’m the one that manages this district, Jilbert Gliga.”
“Uh, aren’t you kind of leaving me behind?”
Jilbert made face as if to say ‘huh? You wanna go?’ while glaring at Suimei, who felt troubled as he was left out. Her cuteness was all but gone.
“Hah, what’s with you? This kid right here seems quite intelligent, but you, it’s like you’re a lost cause.”
“A lost cause, you…”
What a way of speaking. Suimei had an amazed expression. What in the world could be the reason for why she was speaking that way? When Lefille had come to the realization that she was a dwarf, she was quite considerate towards her but…
“That’s not it. It’s the first time he’s seen a dwarf.”
“Hmm? Is that so. Well, if that’s the case then I guess it can’t be helped if he got the wrong idea.”
“This is a really rude question but, how old are you?”
“Me? 21 this year.”
“Older than me… well damn.”
“That’s right. As soon as you fix your mouth you straighten up huh. You should properly know your manners. There there.”
Jilbert patted his lower back as she replied. Towards Lefille, she patted her shoulders as if to say ‘you’re fine just as you are.’
Dwarfs. According to Norse mythology they were existences of the same classification as sprites and elves living in the underworld. Having the same origin as the beautiful elves of Alfal, in contrast the dwarves had ugly dark appearances of Duelg. They were like a subspecies of the dark elves. They typically were good at smithing and craftsmanship, being able to put out goods rivaling those of the gods. Occasionally they were said to compete and cooperate with the gods as well.
Aside from that, they were known to be typically small, fairly nice, as well as people who loved to play
(Supposedly they have beards and a small body. But I wonder why their appearance and age aren’t really related.)
Even if he thought it about it he wouldn’t be able to come up with anything. This was another world, anything could exist.
It seemed like Jilbert liked Lefille, as they had gotten into an intense conversation about clothes. While it seemed like a fun talk, Suimei needed them to get back on track.
“Sorry for interrupting but, wouldn’t you mind showing us the house now?”
“Hmm? Oh right, I guess there’s that matter. You came to see the house. I forgot.”
“Heh, please don’t forget the reason why we came.”
“Don’t worry. A guy that always worries about minor details isn’t very attractive you know. Being so impatient, are you a virgin?”
Jilbert put on a teasing smile as she said that. Just as one would expect from a Duelg from the folklore, always spinning their mouths.
After a following Jilbert for a little while, they were shown to a single house between the apartment complexes.
“As you requested, quite a large place.”
Suimei let out such a sigh as he looked around the entranceway and at the ceiling. The room interior was wood and looked to be old, but the beams and pillars were big and sturdy so it seemed quite firm and stable. As expected of the empire that had invested into the sewage and plumbing systems, he had no complaints about that either.
After going through all of the rooms and returning to the entrance, Jilbert asked in anticipation.
“So how is it?”
“Not bad. You’ve met our requests, and it’s as I could have hoped.”
“Of course. It’s one of my properties. There’s not even a single defect.”
As she said that, Jilbert puffed out her chest.
Lefille quietly looked at the floor and spoke.
“Suimei-kun. You’re always so reliable.”
They were words of compliment. Yet she said them unnaturally, as if it were a completely different person. In reality Lefille’s heart was turning in turmoil, and as she said her next words they were tinged with a hint of nervousness.
“Tsu, next is my room but,”
“...? Your room?”
“Yeah. You’ve decided where you’re going to be, but I haven’t yet.”
“Uh, why? It’s big enough for the both of us.”
“Eh? Th-that, wouldn’t it be a hassle?”
She had a surprised look with round eyes as she spoke in a bewildered voice. It couldn’t be she was being distant because she was worrying about that thing. It was somewhat cute and it fit her.
“A hassle? Isn’t it fine, I intended for it to be like this from the beginning.”
Lefille responded in a delighted tone. Then, she leaned in to confirm what Suimei had said.
(Well about that. It would be troubling considering her current from and that she has the curse still.)
(But concerning that, it has nothing to do with you. Besides, you have your own objective right?)
(It’s fine. Let’s just go. And for my goal, I intend to do it together.)
Suimei just now asked for cooperation. At that moment, Lefille embraced Suimei with a surprised look.
“Thank you! Suimei-kun!”
Lefille came up and rubbed her soft cheek against Suimei. Was she overcome by emotion? After all, she was someone who had no-one else. If he thought about it that way, it was understandable. Although it was a bit embarassing.
It was at that time. They felt a strange gaze from the side.
“Jilbert-san. What’s wrong?”
“You, could it be. The rumored pedophile around these areas.”
“No you’re wrong I…”
As Suimei tried to explain, Jilbert pushed aside Lefille as she backed away while sending a disgusted gaze at him.
“Come here. Separate from Lefille. At least 5 steps. And don’t get closer.”
“Listen to what people are saying. I said it was a misunderstanding…”
“That’s what they all say, but underneath you’re a no good person.”
“I said it’s fine… well I have one more request.”
“Mu...aa. Over there. It’s there. Come here.”
As Suimei changed the topic, Jilbert sent a suspicious gaze and then rapidly continued into the room.
“...Suimei-kun. What’s she talking about?”
“Ah. That. The bathroom.”
“A bathroom! Does this place have a bathing place!?”
Hearing Suimei’s answer, Lefille responded with excitement. Jilbert turned and responded to her question.
“Of course. This is the imperial capital. When you’re talking about the capital, you’d be hard pressed to find one without a bath.”
Jilbert boasted in a prideful voice. As soon as she finished talking, Lefille ran up to her. Suimei chased after them and walked into the bathroom. The bathroom was clean and was made of stone and plaster. In it was a newly made wooden bathtub.
Tapping the tub with a knock, Jilbert asked what they thought.
“This would fit your desire right?”
Catching up, Suimei saw Lefille literally glowing with energy.
In the Astel Kingdom, bathing was uncommon, and recently they had been getting by only wiping themselves down, resulting in a foul stench. For Lefille, who was from Noshias that had common bathing habits, it was quite stressful in Astel. While that was why Lefille wanted to hurry to the empire, Suimei, who came from the other world, also thought that it would be good to get a house with a bathtub.
As someone who knew the importance of bathing, Lefille lost herself in delight.
“Suimei-kun. A bath! A bath! Let’s hurry up!”
There wasn’t a shadow of her normal self. Between the floor and the inside of the bathtub was a gap, but that was just a little detail.
“We still have to clean and do a bunch of chores so let’s leave that for tomorrow.”
Lefille slumped her shoulders when she heard that she couldn’t bathe today.
During that, Suimei felt another strange gaze from the side and turned to see it was Jilbert.
“...What. What’s with your disgusted look.”
“After all, it’s you. You’re the pedo aren’t you.”
“I don’t think anything that I’ve said would make you think that.”
“Y-y-y-you’re wrong! I would never say something like that! It just sounded wrong!”
“That’s how it is. I’m not entering the bath with Lefille.”
Suimei plainly outlined the situation, yet for some reason upon hearing that, Lefille put on an uneasy expression.
“...Suimei-kun. Could it be that, y-you don’t want to take a bath with me?”
“Ha? Lefille what in the world are you…”
“Dont want to…”
“No, that’s, that’s…”
“Oi why are you so perplexed you filthy pedo... enemy of female dwarfs…”
“I-I-I-I-I said! It’s not like that!”
Suimei hastily bumbled his words, unable to make a sentence. Realizing Jilbert had decided he was a lolicon, he hung his head. Regardless, she seemed set on seeing him in that light.
Seeing the cold Jilbert, he sighed.
...But because they were able to successfully find a residence, they could begin their magician encampment. This would become the place where they would start the necessary magic research. If one didn’t have a place to do research, then you wouldn’t be able to do anything. It was necessary to create magic items from scratch and set up rooms for magic rites. If they could do that then research would progress swiftly.
“The pedo over there. You’re getting close. Are you listening?”
“Stop messing with me with that loli bullshit! I said already, I’m not a lolicon!”
Ultimately their relationship ended up being one full of arguments.