Translator: Shuvi Editor: Deus ex-Machina
So I changed my mind about ⅔ the way through this chapter on the converting first person sections to third person while translating because I think I was losing some of the original meaning even though it sounds more natural in english that way in my opinion. This means there will start to be parts I will label as POVs.
Felmenia and Lefille had better relations than one would have thought.
From the exchange on their first meeting and on, it was like that; both were fairly well-mannered and in the first place they both had strong senses of justice. In both train of thought and outlook they were similar so it didn’t take long for them to get along well.
The atmosphere between the two of them didn’t have a hint of danger so Suimei had absolutely no worries. To Lefille, she had made an acquaintance that knew this world’s magic in detail. For her it was quite the stroke of luck. She had seemed quite annoyed that she was unable to go to the magic institution, but now it appeared that Felmenia was teaching her.
However sometimes it seemed she would behave as if warning Felmenia, but that might have been Suimei’s imagination. Anyways, that’s how it was.
About two days after meeting up with Felmenia, the three of them paid a visit to the adventure guild branch in the imperial capital, the Twilight Pavilion.
After defeating Rajas, they hadn’t gone to a branch even once, so their visit was in order to report that and their activities in the capital.
And so, currently they had just finished telling the female receptionist a harmless summary of the matter regarding Rajas.
“...Yes. Good work. Regarding the matter about Astel, we have heard of it too. As for the merchant group and the related people, it’s unfortunate.”
“Yes. We would also like to apologize for reporting late.”
Suimei bowed his head to the female receptionist. The matter about Rajas had been occupying his thoughts, and considering that he had both left the group midway and that people had died, he thought that it was necessary to report.
Considering their position they ended up in, it wasn’t possible to immediately publicly announce for many days, but with this a load was lifted off Suimei’s shoulders.
“No, that was unavoidable right? That you were able to safely arrive is good. Furthermore, we are happy to provide you with any aid you might need, so if there is anything please do contact us.”
After the Twilight Pavilion female receptionist said so, Suimei replied with a curt “Thank you very much,” and then returned to the table Felmenia and Lefille were at. There, Lefille was holding a ceramic cup with both hands glugging down grape water while Felmenia was coolly looking around at the surroundings. Signalling with a wave of his hand that everything was done, he sat down, upon which Felmenia immediately inquired about it.
“So did it go well?”
“Hmm? Well as in?”
As Felmenia scrunched her face in a difficult expression, Suimei questioned in a nasal voice, to which Lefille answered.
“The report just now. We were listening from here, but you talked more in depth than we had thought. If you tell her that much, then won’t Hadorius eventually figure out that you lived? Would that not be disadvantageous to us?”
“Hmm, would it? From the extent that I heard, that man used me as a decoy because it was a good plan. It’s not like he was desperate to kill me. I mean don’t you agree that I was a nuisance in the beginning as well?”
“You have a point. If Rajas didn’t exist, then I think Hadorius wouldn’t have resorted to such a plan. In his eyes, Suimei-dono was no more than the friend of the hero that had no powers.”
“I see. But if he didn’t know about us, wouldn’t that be advantageous sometimes? If he doesn’t know we exist, then he wouldn’t interfere with us and we can poke our noses into things if something happens. It might have unforeseen consequences?”
Putting down the cup of grape water, Lefille explained such. Their current situation could be very useful. Unlike in the Empire, he had used a false name when he registered in Kurant city, so Hadorius probably didn’t know he was alive. In that case, if they could preserve their current status, they wouldn’t be used by him.
As Lefille had said, one could think that by his own words he may have tied his own hands behind his back in the future. However, Suimei had already considered that and weighed both alternatives against one another.
“Regardless, I want him to take action. Because if he does, then we can provoke him. If he wants to meddle, then I say by all means.”
After saying those fearless words, Suimei added on “and then we can also understand his movements.” To that, Lefille replied.
“That’s unexpected. That you want to be at odds with him so much.”
“Hadorius is a man who can purposely involve unrelated people. He’s so thick skinned that he will even involve the hero’s best friend and then act as if nothing happened; it wouldn’t be unthinkable that he would use and throw away Reiji and the others if he deems it worthy. Without knowing his true intentions, he’s not someone we can leave alone for a long time.”
“While I also agree it would be good to limit him if possible, even his majesty the king has a hard time interfering with him.”
“It’s because of feudalism, I guess it can’t be helped. Well, being indefinitely indebted to that guy, from my point of view I feel sorry for him.”
As Suimei thought about the problem of how to handle it, he sighed. Then, deciding to change topic, he decided to ask the two of them what to do from now on. In that moment,
From behind, a beautiful but translucent voice sounded out.
“-Hey, do you guys have a second?”
“You mean us?”
As Suimei turned around before the person could answer, he saw a young boy who was the spitting image of beautiful. Gold hair and blue eyes. His white skin was reminiscent of Northern Europeans, yet also not pale. He also had an androgynous appearance. It was a different impression than Reiji, one would call this boy gorgeous.
He was probably similar in age. His clothes looked foreign, as they didn’t look like something one would get from the Empire.
That was Suimei’s impression of the boy. Due to his sudden appearance, there was a little commotion in the room. If one had to guess why, it would be because he spoke.
“Sorry for being so sudden. My name is Elliot Austein. If I had to say my lineage, well it might sound a little weird for me to be saying it myself, but from the word ‘hero’ you understand right?”
With the self introduction out of the blue, Suimei and the others’ chairs made a rattle.
“And then here is my companion, a priest from the Salvation Church.”
“Please call me Christa.”
At his mention, the young girl next to him took off her hood and made a curtsy. With her green hair in braids, she had a stiff sullen face as if due to nervousness.
Immediately after, Elliot fixed his gaze onto Lefille. Noticing that, her face changed into one of surprise.
“That face, you must have an idea about the situation, huh.”
“It can’t be… you guys, did the oracle also…?”
Her face trembling in astonishment, Lefille spoke a few words as if questioning. Seeing her, Elliot smiled and replied in a bright voice.
“That’s right. We got a revelation from the goddess Alshuna. We came to welcome you.”
They came to welcome her. Did that mean that this boy was the one summoned in El Meide, the hero from the talk about journeying with Lefille?
“As I thought, you are the spitting image of the one in the oracle. Won’t you tell me your name?”
“I, I’m called Lefille Grakis…”
“Lefille Grakis. Alright Lefille-chan, nice to meetcha.”
With a smiling face, Elliot held a white hand out to Lefille. Was his expression one of affection? Or at this rate…
“Then, let’s do as in the oracle. Come with us.”
Elliot’s words and actions were as if this was only a natural course of action, while Lefille was bewildered. Of course, the one who butted into the conversation was Suimei, who was off to the side.
“Do you have a second?”
“I’m her companion, Suimei Yakagi. You guys just randomly came in and introduced yourselves but… are you really heroes?”
In response to that question, Christa seemed to become irritated. Just as she was about to complain about his suspicion, Elliot cut her off with his hand and spoke instead.
“That suspicion is only natural. It’s quite likely that other people have claimed to be heroes before. But we’re the real deal. Christa and the others at the Twilight Pavilion will confirm it.”
“The people here too?”
“Just a little ago we went out on a demon beast subjugation. I think that they know of my true power.”
His words stunk of self confidence, but when he looked around the surroundings, several people nodded their heads. Then the little commotion earlier was because some of the people around here knew him. If a hero went around talking without any hesitation, it would of course become a topic of gossip.
But, the thing was, what was the meaning of the weird off feeling he was getting from hearing various languages? He was familiar with most languages in the other world, so even if they were magically translated for him, if he paid attention he should be able to pick out the particularities of the language. But the fact that he couldn’t meant that this guy wasn’t a person from the other world. Considering that, as for being a hero...
At that moment, Lefille spoke with a hard to interpret face.
“...Suimei-kun, his characteristics match with those in the oracle. I’m certain that he’s the El Meide hero.”
“Yes. There is no doubt that he is the hero summoned in El Meide.”
Christa clearly declared that. Then, Elliot closed one eye and put his hand to his chest as he asked a question.
“So? I think this confirms it right?”
“That you’re a hero at least.”
“I also heard such from her but, whether or not you can take her along with you is a different matter.”
“Rather, do you have to take her along? Are the goddess’s oracles absolute?”
Suimei presented a question. In this world it was likely more or less a strange question, but it was something he had to ask.
Christa was the one who replied.
“Of course. It is the goddess’s intention. Us humans who have the pleasure to partake in it have a duty to grant her wish.”
Among the living people, quite a few people have received the goddess’s will through methods like direct oracles or from the elements. Lefille was an existence who had received something like the right arm and blood of the goddess so,
However, despite that,
“The goddess herself is unlikable.”
“Regardless of that.”
Is what Elliot fired back. For him to be from another world without being influenced by an outside factor yet go this far to respect Alshuna’s wishes --- there must be a reason for him to not question the oracle, right? But despite that, even if you look at Lefille how she is right now, to be able to say that felt strange.
Based on that, Suimei asked a question.
“You’re going to defeat the Demon King and the like, right? Are you going to take along someone like her that can’t fight?”
“Well it’s true that I too feel kind of uncomfortable about that.”
That’s right. If he was right in the mind he would respond like that.
“However, the fact that there was such an oracle that I must bring her along means that she will be needed for something right?”
“I think you’re reading into it a little too much.”
“But the one who bestowed such an oracle is a being unimaginable by humans. To me, if there is something unfathomable, then just seeing it is fine.”
“The god… isn’t it a bit fishy? It could just be simply on a whim.”
“There is no way. Actually, I was saved by the goddess’s oracle.”
“Even if you say that with those gestures, it’s not connected to your beliefs in the goddess.”
When Suimei reproached him for his words and gestures, this time Christa spoke up.
“From what I’m hearing…”
“From what I’m hearing, you’re saying nothing but denials of the oracle but, are you saying that that you are defying not only Hero Elliot-sama’s intentions, but also the goddess Alshuna’s?”
Christa glared at him with a sharp gaze. To this Lefille panicked a little. Normally she wouldn’t be the slightest bit worried if a girl glared at her, but when combining it with the fact that Alshuna was involved, her being worried was a given.
At that point, Felmenia conveniently intervened, challenging with Christa with an attitude uncharacteristic of her.
“It’s true that the goddess Alshuna’s words are important, but aren’t you disregarding our circumstances too much? Suddenly taking off with Lefille, isn’t that a bit impatient?”
“Anyone would know that this isn’t the time be so easygoing. Noshias has already fallen to the mazoku, and they have already begun their invasion of the Astel Kingdom.”
“That was repelled.”
“That’s just 20/20 hindsight. The mazoku issue is a current issue.”
“But even if Lefille joins the hero-dono, the situation may change. There is a good chance that this may leak out to unrelated people, and then wouldn’t that give you a bad reputation?”
As Felmenia and Christa met each other’s gazes, sparks flew out. For a second, it looked like Felmenia was the underdog, but in a splendid counterattack, she shut up Christa.
During that time, Elliot was staring at Felmenia, and eventually she noticed.
“...Is there something wrong?”
“I want to hear your name.”
“...I am Fem Lea.”
In the instant she was asked for her name, she spat out a fake name. As she said so, he looked at her with eyes of hidden intentions.
“Fem, it seems that you have quite considerable magic power.”
“Right now we are looking for combat strength on our way to subjugate the demon lord. In other words, we’re looking for useful people like you. Won’t both you and Lefille come with us?”
“Or rather, instead of asking you to come, it might be better to say that I order you to come. The power to draft people to come as companions should be within my authority as hero.”
As he said that, Elliot glanced over at Christa.
“...Yes, it is as you say.”
Was the bit of hesitation he had before getting her affirmation because of her? If she opposed it and then he immediately invited them to join him, then certainly he would be hesitant, but currently Elliot continued without any concern.
“So then, is that fine?”
“Even, even if you say that…”
Before Felmenia faltered too much, Suimei cut in.
“No matter what you say, aren’t you forcing us?”
Was he dodging the question? He gazed at Suimei ill-manneredly, as if sizing him up.
“She seems strong, but you don’t look like you’d be able to handle our journey.”
“In other words, I can’t take you along. It is unfortunate, but give up. It may seem like to you that we’re stealing the two girls from you, but to this world’s people this is a serious matter. For the people of this world, swallow your tears.”
Suimei’s mouth stiffened. If he was insulted in that manner, even he couldn’t keep up his act. Even though it was their first meeting, the man had no restraint; it was quite the spectacle.
“So how about it?”
“For the people of this world. Isn’t that just self-indulgence?”
“Self-indulgence… from the context, I imagine you mean that I’m trying to escape responsibility and criticism?”
As Elliot said that, Suimei responded with “Isn’t that the precisely the reason why you said it?” At that moment, Felmenia suddenly begged Suimei.
“Suimei-donoo…! What do we doo…?!”
Felmenia looked extremely bewildered. Where did the cool Felmenia when she was arguing with Christa go to?
With that Suimei scowled at Elliot and spoke.
“...Can’t you just listen to Menia for a bit?”
“Even if you say that, I can’t! As I said earlier, to save the world she must come with me.”
Pulling Felmenia close, Suimei whispered to her.
“Then, the king’s orders…”
“No. If I give him my real name, then the Holy Office will probably issue a directive to the Royal Diet. If that happens then even the king can’t do anything.”
It wouldn’t have any effect. Speaking of that, he’d heard that previously the diet had forced their way concerning the hero summoning. If he thought about that, then there’s no way they would give preference to the King’s will or life.
But regardless, Suimei turned to face Elliot.
“It has nothing to do with you. You have no right to say such things.”
“They’re with me. So if I refuse…”
“As I said earlier, it’s for this world.”
As Elliot reiterated what he said earlier, Suimei annoyedly responded.
“I don’t give a shit about that.”
It wasn’t something that was good to say in public but he couldn’t not say it. To Suimei’s words, Lefille and Felmenia raised their voice, and Elliot also was fairly surprised.
“...Don’t you also live in this world?”
“Maybe. But to me, it doesn’t matter.”
To Elliot’s bewildered gaze, Suimei returned a steely determined look. For a little it continued like that, but then someone broke the silence.
It was Christa.
“I heard your words! This man here is opposing the awe-inspiring words of the goddess. He’s defying her!”
As she said that, Felmenia and Lefille’s chairs made a rattle.
Having turned her back on Suimei and the others, Christa gave a movie-like speech from the corner of the Twilight Pavilion to everyone else in the room. With her exaggerated speech, was she trying to isolate them from everyone else?
Suddenly, everyone began to react to Christa’s act. The had been quietly discussing up until now. The related Twilight Pavilion people who came over now showed interest in their discussion while coming to submit their requests. In addition, the Salvation Church believers threw blaming gazes at them.
After a little while, the changed atmosphere set off something, and accusing voices sounded out as people murmured, “what a shameless person,” and “what a rude person.”
Being a selfish person himself, Suimei was in no place to say anything. However, the changed surroundings due to the large amount of believers saying insults against him turned his stomach.
“...Goddess goddess. Considering I know nothing about her, her intentions seem like trash to me.”
“That’s not it. However, it’s a problem for the perspective of those who can’t tell it’s not that from this talk.”
But even so.
“You’re like an idiot.”
Since Suimei spoke in a roundabout way, Elliot became confused for a moment. Giving him a sidelong glance, Suimei then turned to Felmenia and Lefille. They probably would be having complicated thoughts right now. Since the goddess’s thoughts and their intentions were conflicting, the two of them had wavering expressions.
“Look at them. Up until now they were living freely, and now look at their faces. Wouldn’t you agree it’s a useless goddess?”
“Are you still saying that…?”
“I said it, so what? If you still want to take them by force, then why don’t you just try?”
In response to Suimei's dangerous sounding words, “What did he say to the hero?” “Does he think he can win against the hero?” and “How foolish” were heard in the room. It seemed that Elliot and his group also thought the same.
“...You, you’re saying that to me, a hero?”
In response to that question, Suimei made apparent his determination. That he wouldn’t budge. But even seeing his attitude, it didn’t seem that Elliot changed his mind. Instead, he turned towards Lefille to try to persuade her.
“You understand the gravity of the goddess Alshuna’s intentions right?”
“I, I, that…”
Lefille kept silent before finally nodding. Having received the goddess’s blessing, she could do nothing but nod.
“It seems she understands.”
“So it seems. But even still.”
Yes. He had promised. He didn’t know why, but he couldn’t expose them to those detestable eyes of Elliot. The same went for Felmenia.
To the repeated refusals of the three of them, Elliot let out a sigh as if he gave up and looked towards them with burning eyes.
“...I understand. Then I will forcibly take them.”
It seemed he decided. Following him, Christa once again made an outcry, declaring their own righteousness.
“Did you hear that! The people here, they just declared they would oppose the goddess!”
Meeting Christa’s voice, attacking voices gathered from the surroundings. This time the voices were not only loud, but there were also many. There were a few looking at Felmenia with bitter faces, but the gazes at Lefille were weak. Their faces were blue as if they were standing on a bed of nails.
“...Every last one of them.”
To the voices raining down on him, Suimei met them with an equally accusatory voice, ignoring their individual circumstances. Being unable to see the truth and only being thankful to what they can’t see. They only followed the goddess and what they saw around them, not thinking for themselves and attacking the weak.
“...Suimei-kun. Maybe we should give up after all…”
Suimei gently patted Lefille on the head, who had spoken in a timid voice.
What to do. Felmenia looked over with a questioning gaze.
Then, she looked over at the hero.
After the hero tried to explain that they had an oracle so many times, it seemed now they could only resort to violence. Did he understand the pain in Lefille’s face, or the desire to cooperate that Felmenia had. Was it right to ignore that? Right now Christa was still fanning the flames. The hero Elliot made distance for the showdown, and the surrounding people stood in a circle as if making an arena.
The meaning of acquiring strength. As Suimei remembered that, all the restraint that he had was blown away.
“Alright then. Come. I don’t know anything about heroes, but you’re standing in my way. I will force you aside.”
“I believe I told you. You don’t have to power to stand up to us. There is no reason for you to face us.”
“Even if I look like this, in my world I was still a reasonable swordsman and magician. After coming to this world, I received the divine protection from the hero summoning ritual. You do understand what that means correct?”
“Who knows. I don’t know anything about that.”
“Doesn’t seem like you’re the type that can be reasoned with.”
In response to Elliot’s declaration, Suimei began to release his own power, filling the air with bloodthirst. The intense icy pressure affected the temperature of the room, dropping to freezing instantly. As a result of the temperature, the air could no longer hold as much water and condensation began to form on the walls and objects.
Naturally, aside from Suimei and the others, the faces of the rest of the people in the room completely changed color. The breaths of every person were white. As a result of Suimei’s psychic cold, even time froze. The fingertips, feet, and ankles of everyone froze, and nobody could move even if they wanted to. It was as if everything had frozen over and hardened.
“So what do you think over my power now?”
Sweat formed on Elliot’s brow, but he continued to show a strong will. It seemed his name being known in the other world wasn’t just for show. Normally, Suimei would give a word of praise, but right now there was none. He only cooly advanced towards his enemy. That was it.
Elliot took out his sword from his back. It was unlike the broad one that Reiji had. It was a moderately long blade about the length of a kohaba (Some measuring cloth used in textiles, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E5%B0%8F%E5%B9%85). Through magic, the black blade began to glow as if burning red. The material properties most definitely matched Orichalcus, which possessed the ability to glow. The properties fit that material but in a different world it might be recognized as something else. However, currently that idle talk was irrelevant. The hero intended to step forward as the front lines. Due to Psychic Cold, he shouldn’t be able to move normally, but divine protection of the hero summoning was interfering with that.
“Elliot-sama...thunder, the embodiment of radiance and power, become sharp as our will and destroy what’s ahead! Blitzshoot!”
Thinking to provide cover first, Christa urgently cast thunder magic. With a bzzt, the lightning began to spring forth, tinted purple at the edges.
With a single word from Suimei, the magic vanished by a mysterious force. Noticing that her own magic had been utterly destroyed, Christa sank to her knees as she realized the difference in strength.
In the middle of that, Elliot came with a slash. No, a thrust. Perhaps it was because of the hero summoning blessing along with his own previous skill, but his one handed stab was as powerful as a sudden gale. It reached it’s maximum speed in an instant, but in speed or dexterity Kuchiba Hatsumi was more than a whole level above him. In the instant before the tip of the sword reached him, Suimei twisted around Elliot’s dominant hand, causing it to narrowly miss. In the middle of that he began an aria. The hero then turned around to glare at Suimei. Going halfway was no good. Suimei began a sword art chant. Mantra of light, a modification of the five color light mudra (google image this 五色光印). Pressing on the waist with his left indestructible fist, while his right hand's five fingers spread slightly apart, under the bottom left half of his body. Mandala formation. The magic created a Kalavinka bird (This birdy bird https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalavi%E1%B9%85ka) whose sweet voice forced the opponent to release their magic.
The aria used all of his strength. In other words, a true aria.
“Buddhi brahma Buddhi Vidya Asat Nada Mahamaya Om. Karuma Kalpa Devana Garai Kalpa.”
(The power to open eyes with profound knowledge. The great intentions of the soaring skies. Sweetly resound and release the original sin. Listen. To the voice of reason. Listen.)
Suddenly they were interrupted by a urgent voice asking for them to stop, upon which Suimei paused his chant and turned towards the source. The voice had caught everyone’s attention, and based off the tone, it seemed to be a woman. As Suimei turned towards her, he saw the beast girl that he had run into earlier at the Salvation Church.
Christa lowered her back and then asked the girl for her name.
“You, you are?”
“I’m Sister Clarissa of the Salvation Church. I come here bearing a new oracle from the goddess.”
“Both parties, please end this conflict.”
Clarissa, who had butt into the matter between Elliot and Suimei, looked at both parties and then told them such.
Christa, who got up from the floor, suspiciously threw out another question.
“A new oracle, what do you mean by that? Or more importantly, does it have anything to do with us?”
“Yes, to the hero, and also to the other party there. Just a little ago, the goddess bestowed a new oracle to me.”
“To me, and him?”
“Yes. It was that you guys cannot directly fight over the red haired girl there. Due to the shadow in the imperial capital causing a disturbance, settle this dispute, is pretty much what it was about.”
Due to the unexpected intercession, the room became noisy. Nobody expected that on top of the first oracle, there would be another one.
Next, Suimei asked the sister a question.
“Sister, what do you mean by the shadow causing a commotion?”
“Probably the criminal causing the coma incidents. In other words that to catch the criminal we should…”
“In other words, that we should fight there.”
“Yes, so please end it. Fighting in this kind of place, isn’t it useless?”
As the sister explained how there was no use, Elliot quietly acquiesced and put away his sword.
“... I understand. If it is the oracle then I will withdraw my sword.”
Seeing that, Suimei also extinguished his magic. If he fought in this kind of place for no reason, then it would be bad for the others.
Having put away his sword, Elliot faced Suimei.
“And that is how it seems. What are you going to do?”
“Hmm. I have no duty to listen to Alshuna. But if we can settle this dispute through that battle then I’ll come along.”
“I can’t stand how you talk but… it’s decided.”
Declaring that they had made an agreement, Elliot then looked down to Christa.
Walking behind Christa who was looking at him with an uneasy face, Elliot then turned back around to face Suimei.
“It was Suimei Yakagi right? Your name.”
“I will remember that. Now then, let’s go Christa.”
Saying that, Elliot walked into the crowd and left the guild.
“It’s been a while.”
“I didn’t think at all that a sister would interfere.”
“Me neither. Since I didn’t expect that after coming to the Twilight Pavilion the gentleman I talked to earlier would be at odds with the hero.”
It was certainly unexpected. Knowing it was the hero who would save the world and still getting ready to fight…
At that point, Suimei noticed something strange about the sister’s speech and behavior. She said that she had a task which is why she visited the Twilight Pavilion. From the way the conversation was going right now, she didn’t even mention that there was an oracle. In that case,
“Sister… about that oracle earlier.”
“The oracle right now? Currently…”
The sister brought her face closer bit by bit. She laughed slightly and said “It seems that was a lie,” before distancing herself again.
“I mean, if I didn’t do something like that, then you’d trash the hero’s reputation… ahem! Because it would be very unfortunate.”
Saying that, the sister giggled. Based on her figure, it didn’t seem like her goal was to protect the hero at all.
“Who knows, maybe I would have lost?”
“Ara, am I just blind?”
“No, your eyes seem perfectly fine.”
Who knew the result of the battle but, it seemed only the sister was able to predict it. Maybe it was because she was a beastman. Concerning that,
“Well even if so, is it okay for you to lie about the oracle? Aren’t you part of the Salvation Church?”
As Suimei said that, Clarissa shook her head side to side.
“From my place serving Alshuna-sama, it is unworthy, but what the goddess says is not always correct. And considering that, when I saw you standing against the hero to protect what you held dear, I thought it was quite splendid.”
While Suimei was bewildered due to her unexpected words, Clarissa gently wrapped her hand around his.
“You have a good heart. Make sure that you don’t ever forget that.”
Saying that, the sister turned heel and left.
Due to Clarissa’s intervention that led to an agreement with Elliot, Suimei’s party left as if running from the Twilight Pavilion, moving to a place to calm themselves down about as far as the house was.
Felmenia made a difficult face.
“Haa… it ended up becoming an unbelievable matter.”
Certainly competing to see who can catch the criminal first was an unforeseen situation. Regardless of Clarissa’s cleverness in the moment, it was still unexpected to be rolled up into this.
“... Sorry. Because of my oracle, it even got Felmenia involved.”
“N, no, Lefille doesn’t need to worry! Regardless of how it started, if we just win it will be fine! Right, Suimei-dono?!”
Felmenia, who had realized she had said something rude, brought up the matter to Suimei, but Suimei crossed his arms and didn’t respond. He only stared a hole into the ground. Thinking that his behavior was strange, the uneasy Felmenia once again tried to bring up the question.
“...Ahh. That’s right. As for what we should do about the coma incident perpetrator, for now let’s just wait and see what happens.”
As reflected in how he spoke, for some reason Suimei had a feeling that even if he won the match, it would only postpone the problem. Because the competition was a result of Clarissa’s lie, it was very much possible the goddess would just send another oracle about Lefille. Winning wouldn’t solve the fundamental issue. In addition to it being related to religion, it also could not be solved by ordinary methods.
That was what Suimei was thinking. As he was absorbed in his thoughts, Lefille uneasily pulled on his sleeve.
“Suimei-kun. What’s wrong?”
“Oh, just thinking about the future. What we should do from now and such.”
“Shouldn’t we gather some information after all?”
Suimei agreed with Felmenia’s proposal.
“I guess so. Menia can you do me a favor?”
“Leave it to me! I came here to be useful to Suimei so no matter what you ask… Though there aren’t very many people who will cooperate in getting information.”
“That can’t be helped. He’s a hero after all.”
The people of the imperial capital likely wouldn’t be very cooperative. Between the hero and the idiot opposing him, who they would choose to cooperate with is obvious.
While it might not be to the extent of actively trying to interfere with them, they definitely wouldn’t just happily cooperate. In that respect, Suimei was at a big disadvantage, but there was nothing that could be done about that.
As Suimei continued to think in that train of thought, Lefille raised her hand.
“Then, I will also help in gathering information.”
“No, there’s something else I want to ask of Lefille.”
“Something else… is it to search for the criminal?”
“No no, I couldn’t ask Lefille to do something like that right now.”
Suimei shook his head. He couldn’t let the current little Lefille do something unreasonable like that.
“I want you go to go around the Imperial capital and gather stray cats, bringing them back here.”
“C, cats? Why do we need cats?”
“Well, if we can’t get the cooperation of people, then let’s get the help of cats is what I thought.”
As Suimei said that, he began to explain the details.
Having their assignments, Suimei and the others split up. Unlike Elliot and the others, they had no clues and had quite a late start.
Suimei headed off to the place where he had seen the suspicious man previously.
He returned to the library Liliana had shown him to before, where the black hooded man had created a mock barrier using magic and chased the noble around inside it. Suimei guessed that that man was the criminal responsible for the incidents.
“That reminds me, he was quite small.”
The man he confronted in the darkness was quite short and slender. Even if he recalled his movements, he seemed to be a quite young person---he wouldn’t be surprised if it was a child. Based on that, complicated feelings welled up.
(What could it be…)
Inflicting comas on the citizens and causing fear as well as being a pain for the military police. A child. It was as if he couldn’t see a motive.
As he paced in circles thinking about it, in front of him he saw a black crowd of people forming.
It was extremely noisy and gradually getting even louder. Suimei also began to gain interest in what was going on in the busy road, and nimbly got closer. As he did, suddenly a magic power began to swell out of the circle of people gathered around it.
Suimei remembered this feeling. It was of the same wavelength of that of the other day. The growing presence of the magic of Liliana Zandike.
Suddenly, from behind he heard fragments of conversations, “What’s wrong,” “The human weapons is,” “that’s the guild magician.” One of them was the nickname of Liliana Zandike.
While apologizing, Suimei pushed aside the crowd as he got closer. When he got to the front of the crowd, as he thought he saw Liliana’s figure.
He could see her cold left eye. The one it looked down at was the guild magician who had quarreled with Liliana.
Unlike the time earlier, Liliana must have used her magic, since his robe was in flames and cut up. He was in a pitiful state.
Most likely it was the result of fire and wind magic that passed his defenses. It seemed he was also just about out of magic.
“I hope, from this, you learn to stop messing with me.”
The one who sweared was the rude mouthed man, who was trying to get up. He was still glaring at Liliana with animosity, but Liliana would not tolerate it. Once again, the density of magic began to thicken along with killing intent and combat strength in a 10 meter radius to the extent that anyone would know the ill intent she had towards the man.
To the curious onlookers as well, this was a hair raising situation. The poisonous magic power that crept into everyone’s skin was a given considering the negative emotions filling the air due to Liliana.
In the end, both the rough and smooth talking men lost their wills as they frothed at the mouth. They had no magic left and couldn’t even get up right now. Giving them a glance, Liliana returned her magic power to normal, having solved the issue at hand.
From that direction, Suimei felt a sharp gaze from somewhere in the surroundings.
Having completely dominated them, she caused great fear, in response to which fear and disgust swirled around in the surroundings.
Most likely, this time as well they were the perpetrators, and she hadn’t done anything wrong. Receiving such harsh treatment despite it being self defense, it was somewhat pitiable.
As if to provide a lifeline, Suimei stepped out.
Having noticed his voice, Liliana turned around and faced him.
“...You again? You seem to always appear near me.”
“Same here. Could be said that one of us is following the other. So…”
With that, he looked over in pity at the two ragged men.
“Did they charge at you again?”
“Yes. Not learning, they challenged me again. Despite being adults, they can’t be helped. Huge idiots.”
“...You’re also a disaster.”
Her gaze that was directed at Suimei also had an amazed look in it. If the people around knew this, then maybe the atmosphere might calm down somewhat. Is what he thought, but it didn’t go as he expected, and the surrounding people’s gazes didn’t change.
The people around should have been here earlier than him, yet why were they saying severe things like “the human weapon gave the guild magician a good beating,” “what an ominous child,” and “why are we leaving this dangerous kid alone.” It was strange. Normally, if it was clear who was in the right, nobody would be saying such things. Which means that they should be blaming the men who had attacked a little child first. So why was she being treated as the aggressor? Or was this just how the people of the imperial capital saw Liliana.
While Suimei was dumbfounded at the surrounding ill will, Liliana began to move.
“Move. I’m not, for show.”
Liliana glared at the crowd. Not wanting to meet her eyes, the surrounding put on stiff indecipherable expressions and began to slowly disperse. As they began to leave,
Someone murmured those words.
“It would be nice if you just shut up since we’ll be gone in a bit…”
“Be gone… that’s not what this is about. I hope you’re not misunderstanding the circumstances.”
While looking down, her tone was strong but without heart. Her words as well were carelessly said with a mix of resignation.
“...Is this fine?”
“Yes, just as always. We all despise you and your ghastly magic. In the empire, I---no, anywhere I go they always say that.”
In her murmurs there was a hint of loneliness. It was like the voice of someone who had given up, not caring either way what happens.
“The post I occupy is special. In the first place, it’s an easy to hate position, so if I’m there then all the better.”
Certainly, the army would have special positions, and there would also be some within those that are loathed by others. They would invite dissatisfaction, but if there was a target particularly easy to attack, whether it be by fate, then everyone would focus on that target while ignoring the others. Then, was Liliana the one who received all of that ill will?
As Suimei looked around, he saw everyone cautiously looking at her while backing away as if there was some untouchable beast there.
One person was hiding in a store. Another one was hiding behind a store while glaring at them. All of their gazes were filled with dark contempt. Not the eyes one would have towards a child.
Eventually, they all left. Liliana, who had endured it all, also tried to leave but,
“Wait a bit.”
He didn’t know whether Liliana had taken a hit from the men’s magic, but the back of her neck was slightly red. It was probably something like a burn. Suimei quickly drew close while holding out his hand to the affected area.
“What are you…”
“Just hold still.”
From his hand a pale phosphorescent light began to emanate. Healing magic. The inflamed skin soon returned back to it’s original state.
As if touching something strange, Liliana gently felt the back of her neck.
“Why are you, so nice, to me?”
“It was merely my own curiosity meddling but, is it bothering you?”
“Yes. Very much.”
Liliana’s affirmation revealed an emotion like anger. Seeing that face, an emotion like pity began to well up.
“If only you, just did the same as them.”
“Despise you like they did?”
“Is that what you really want?”
“It’s not. Right?”
Liliana hung her head and remained silent. The strength in her shoulder had been drawn out.
“...Can you return alone?”
“D, don’t treat me like a child!”
“I see. Well I have my own things to do, so I’ll be going.”
Saying that, Suimei turned to the place where he met the suspicious man.
...Do as you like.
From behind, he thought he heard a mutter.
Having searched the area with no results, Suimei returned home. Because he was in deep thought he took off his shoes haphazardly and nearly stepped on them before fixing them. Looking into the entrance of the house, he saw Lefille waiting under a soft orange lamp.
“Lefi, you got back first huh. So why are you standing there?”
“Waiting for you to come back.”
To his question, Lefille nodded and then pointed towards the bath.
Understanding, Suimei nodded with an “ahh.” She wanted him to prepare the bath right.
The water service in the capital was still under maintenance and although it would be available for use soon, magic could also be used to make hot water. To do that, families either did it themselves or called an expert to do it. Of course, for Suimei’s group they had two people who excelled in magic, and it was primarily Suimei’s job to heat water for the bath.
“Though, was it really worth waiting for me?”
“Ah, well I got covered in cat hair.”
Suimei watched as the disaster of a Lefille approached. On her clothes and skin, as well as her hair as illuminated through the orange light, cat hair was everywhere. Was she fighting with the cats or something? With her arms crossed, her figure looked shabby.
“Is that it?”
“Hmm? Is there something else?”
Should he have also said his thanks? Suimei could only think of that. Meanwhile, Lefille began to pout.
“Mumumu. How useless of a person…should I cover you in hair too?”
“I’m fine your highness. I’m going to go shut myself in the research room and cook up ideas for all kinds of magic items as well as look at that book Menia gave…”
“Don’t hold anything back. Aren’t we comrades? Come, why don’t we share everything with each other?”
“Wait, calm down.”
Is what Suimei said, but Lefille excitedly continued.
“That’s fresh, you being so hesitant. Quite interesting.”
“Oi! Don’t try to mess around with me!”
“Isn’t it fine?”
With a wide smile and a “fufufu,” Lefille celebrated. She looked like she was about to grab him and rub against him. At that moment, the entrance door opened.
“Wel-welcome back my savior.”
As he said that to Felmenia who had just come back from gathering information, he grabbed Lefille from behind him and pushed her in front before turning around nonchalantly towards the house.
“...What’s going on?”
Not understanding the situation, Felmenia had a blank look. Having done her all at gathering information, her skin was somewhat pale and one could easily see her exhaustion.
“Suimei-kun. It’s cowardly to use Miss Felmenia as a shield you know.”
“You say that while approaching me like that.”
From that exchange Felmenia guessed at the meaning of the current chain of events and then turned an accusatory gaze at Suimei.
“Eh… it was a joke.”
Saying that, Suimei gave Felmenia a pat on both shoulders.
“Menia. Do you want to teach Lefille how to use the bath from now on? Earlier, since she didn’t know how to, she was waiting all this time.”
“Eh!?! Taking a bath? I don’t particularly… well…”
Felmenia said in an uncollected nervous voice.
“That’s right. It’s a good opportunity. Today I’ll teach you all about how nice baths are.”
Hearing Lefille’s excited voice, Felmenia faltered with a tearful voice.
In the Astel Kingdom there was no bathing culture so she seemed quite resistant to it, having obstinately refused up until now. She was one of those people who didn’t even consider that their opinion might change despite not having even tried it.
Felmenia then began to distance herself from Suimei and Lefille who were blocking her way, slowly stepping backwards.
“Can’t we do this some other time? There will be plenty of chances.”
“You. You said the same thing before.”
“Miss Felmenia. You can’t use that excuse twice.”
After the two of them said that, Felmenia panicked. As if she was unable to think of any other excuses, her face became solemn.
“To tell the truth, one of the Stingray family pillars is that we don’t take baths so um…”
“Mu, is that really the case?”
Lefille chewed on that excuse as if actually considering it, but Suimei wouldn’t let it pass.
“That’s weak Menia. In my world we have magic to see through lies.”
“That’s unfair!! The magic in your world is a fraud!”
“So it seems it was a lie.”
Although she would have been fine if she just stuck with her lie a little longer, she let out the truth.
“Miss Felmenia, it’s not good to know when to give up you know. Just give up and take a bath with me.”
“Then since you’ll be there, you do the honors of heating up the water too.”
Caught between the two of them, Felmenia had nowhere to run. Confirming both the front and back gates, she dropped her shoulder resignedly and was pulled in by Lefille.
...After a while, Suimei was walking around nearby looking for a place to put the cats when he heard the rustling of clothes. It seemed that they had managed with the hot water and were now in the midst of their preparations.
“...What’s wrong? Lefille.”
From the dressing room he heard a strange shout from Lefille and a strange sounding Felmenia. It seemed there was some kind of problem.
“Possibly bigger than those of my original form, these ones.”
What in the world could they be so shocked about? As if Felmenia understood,
“...? I don’t really get it, but are you talking about my chest?”
“That’s right. What did you eat and do to make them so big Miss Felmenia?”
“No, I don’t really think about them but.”
“Are you hiding it? For your own sake you can’t do that!”
“It’s fine. Lefille’s will grow big too in time.”
As Felmenia gently admonished Lefille, Lefille then shouted with a will to not lose.
“If, if I returned to my original form… they wouldn’t be to the extent of yours but…”
“Original form…? You kept saying that before, but what in the world do you mean?”
“To tell the truth, this small kid form isn’t my real form. In actuality, I’m both taller and older than you.”
Upon seeing the confused Felmenia, Lefille became somewhat angry.
“You don’t believe me! Do you!”
“Huh? No, I definitely do. I believe in what you said. With time you’ll surely become bigger you mean, right?”
“Isn’t that the same as not believing me at all?!?”
In the end, their conversation was limited to this topic of returning to her original form, with nobody believing the other. Saying “Umumu…” with a displeased voice, Lefille often puffed her cheeks up but....
“...Eavesdropping is unpleasant huh.”
Suimei had quickly become absorbed into their conversation and only now after quite a while did he realize how indecent it was. With that, he decided to leave the area. At that time,
“Miss Felmenia. Sorry but wait a bit.”
“What is it---hyau!?”
“Ugu, this elasticity is so devastating.”
“Wha, what in the world are you doing?! Don’t fondle me!”
“No, I’m just investigating a...huh?”
“What is it this time...hi!?”
“Miss Felmenia. There’s a little bit of flab on your lower back. Isn’t this bad?”
“E-even if you don’t say that, I know! S-so stop grabbing me!”
“Sorry. It was rude.”
Suimei heard the conversation of the two naked women.
“...two, three, five, seven, eleven.”
While reciting the prime numbers, Suimei quickly ran away with a red face.
In the middle of the darkness, there were two.
Their form melted into the surroundings, and with a glance one could never distinguish the robed tall and short shadows. They leapt through the sleeping town as if stitching together the darkness. Their skill left behind little trace, like a hunter.
Suddenly, the small shadow stopped. Stopping as if due to an invisible force, it silently came down to the laid out bricks from its curved trajectory.
“No, it’s, nothing.”
The tall shadow had also come down shortly after. The answer to the question may or may have not been a lie. The reason why they had stopped was because they were doubting the living being atop the fence. Or perhaps, it was the other way around, and the other had an issue with this side.
It was sitting on a high place relative to the surroundings, pupils expanded to span its entire eyes, gazing at them intently with fiery eyes. A cat. It was a stray cat living in the Imperial capital but, due to its two yellow eyes it had caught their attention.
It made a sound. What meaning might it have? Standing up on it’s four soft looking legs, the cat left without a sound.
The tall shadow put its hands on the other’s shoulder.
The short shadow quickly expressed its agreement, and once again moved, following the tall shadow. Of course, to accomplish whatever their objective was. The target this time was said to be passing nearby the upper class district. The information had come from the latter shadow. The tall shadow always came with dreadfully accurate information. Even now, they were carrying out their objective based on that. Probably, it had a better information network than the empire itself.
Earlier, because an unrelated party had interfered with their target, it had gotten away.
“Here. Set the trap.”
With words, the shadow nodded. As requested, the shadow deftly began to compile a spell, and just as it was about to begin the aria,
To the voice that had unexpectedly sounded, the shadow’s back shivered in surprise. Turning around, it saw the cat sitting down. Without a sound it had crept up. It had gotten close on top of the wall, and like the previous cat was staring at them. Staring. It was as if it was closely monitoring them. Around its arm was a black cloth. A pet cat it seemed.
Stopping her magic momentarily, the shadow turned and took a step towards the cat. But the cat didn’t seem to care. Its pupils filled its entire eyes as it continued to stare. Only after taking one or two more steps did the cat decide to get up and yawn before leaving.
What in the world was it. The shadow didn’t know what the cat was expecting, but gathering itself, began it’s shadow magic that weakened vision. With this, barring some a small chance or accident, the target would not be able to escape from the district.
With that the target soon appeared. It seemed he had drunk to his heart’s content. His gait unsteady, he didn’t even notice the dark shadowy region. This time it would be easy. Just a trivial job to use magic on the drunk. The other person also thinking this, cast magic onto the drunk man.
And then, the matter was soon concluded, and the despised noble fell over onto the brick path.
… With this another worrying end had been tied up. Only a few more times and there would be no more obstructions on the path that man walked.
Unconsciously letting out a breath and turning heel to return,
“As expected, always turning around late.”
That voice sounded out.
(Small shadow pov)
Noticing the voice, I turned and saw a man. Age was in the teens. He was of medium build and height. With a glance he had a nice atmosphere, but by no means was his appearance a good thing. With a delayed voice, the tall shadow faced that direction.
For him to come here, I was confused. Why was this man here right now?
We had met at the station and he had gotten lost in the city, Suimei Yakagi.
It was as if his objective was to come here. In that line of thinking, upon arriving, Suimei knitted his eyebrows as if his objective in coming here was to stop us. Like us he had appeared in the darkness. Behind him, a familiar small figure and a silver haired figure also appeared. It was an event outside of our plans and expectations. I didn’t know the reason, but Suimei had definitely come to catch us. But having already finished our tasks, we had no business with Suimei and the others. It wouldn’t be beneficial to remain in Suimei’s sight for long.
“...Leave the consequences to me. Can you take one?”
In a word, I implied my agreement to what the tall shadow said about handling the consequences.
Noticing the shadow try to escape, the silver haired woman raised her voice and right after signaled to Suimei with her eyes. However, he gave a sidelong look at the tall shadow and saw him melting into the darkness and then gave an unnecessary glance at the passed out noble.
“It’s fine. Don’t chase for too long. I’ll leave the old guy to you two.”
Acknowledging what he said, she then ran over to the downed man with the red haired companion.
“...So, the incident culprit is none other than you?”
“Staying silent is equivalent to admitting it you know.”
I didn’t have any intention of answering. The relationship between me and Suimei. Regardless of how I change my voice using magic, that fact remained the same. If it was a situation where hidden power was infused into language like in the middle of an aria, then it would be different, but right now I wouldn’t do something foolish like that.
While I was thinking that, Suimei Yakagi began to raise his arm, making a movement to snap his fingers. It was the technique that had shattered the guild magician’s cane. As for how, at the same time his fingers snap, wind-based explosion magic was produced that filled the atmosphere. It was simple but also a high class magic. The aria and activation words were also high class but, the time to construct and fire the magic was breathtakingly short, and taking into account the reality of fights it was quite a fearsome magic. His slow raising of his arm was just an act to scare the opponent but, since in reality it could be cast in it’s entirety under a second, if one didn’t predict it they would have to rely solely on senses to resist or evade it.
Almost at the same time as I dodged horizontally, the area I was just in exploded. However, it was only in the area just above where Suimei’s gaze and finger intersected. If I hadn’t been watching and didn’t notice, I would have been defeated. But right now was not the time to entertain other thoughts. Having already predicted that my posture would be destroyed, Suimei was already running. Fast. Even though he hadn’t used any special enhancement magic, his speed was more than enough.
“Permutatio Coagulatio Viscane.” (Solidification Alteration Skill)
As Suimei ran, the moment he muttered his Alma Mercurius spell, a fluid came out of a vial in his hand, changing into a two pronged wand. As the silver colored metal spun into form, the surrounding wind made whiplash-like sounds and the tip pointed towards me. There was no shadow of a doubt in his speed. Despite being a magician he was practised in fighting.
I then began to cast dark magic towards Suimei.
“Oh darkness. That that covers the sky like a curtain, come and grind, hit, strike, and smash my enemy to the ground. And when he is at my feet, swallow him up and crush him with the shadows.”
It was a completely different darkness than that of night, and it covered the sky. The black curtain that rose up appeared as if it would completely crush everything under it to death. Just as it seemed it would stop the running Suimei, he lept to the side, barely escaping. Just as he was about to writhe out of it, as if he was caught in the hand of a giant, he snapped back into it as if pulled in. In this middle of the hammer of darkness, he then somehow evaded it as if breaking the laws of nature, landing in a broken but safe stance. On his face was an expression of doubt and wonder.
“Oi, what’s this magic?”
Of course I didn’t reply to his demand, but instead the silver haired girl behind him gave away the nature of my magic.
“Suimei-dono! It’s dark magic! And it’s especially strong!”
It seemed that for some reason this was Suimei’s first time seeing dark magic. That was somewhat suspicious but I could only hear the confusion in Suimei’s voice. It seemed he wasn’t familiar with dark magic. In that case, it was my chance.
As I was thinking that, I saw his mouth begin to move.
“Et factus est invisibilis. Instarventi.” (Make my blade invisible and as sharp as steel and sink it into my enemy’s blood.)
At the same time as the magic formation took form at his feet, an earpiercing sound. It was different from the sound earlier caused by the metal wand. The sound that slipped into the dark sharpened the cold night like a sword. Soon it filled the senses and strengthened, causing a string to revolve around the surroundings. Then, I evaded. Not movements to evade a sword attack, but through agility to evade an arrow. Dodging it, the ground behind me was bisected. That repeated several times.
However, just as I was evading, Suimei’s mouth moved.
“Flamma. Est lego vis wizard.” (Fire, gather. Like the pent up resentment of a sorcerer.)
The spell was like nothing I had heard before. In that case, it was my turn as well.
“Darkness. Drive them all to madness. Tempt them into curiosity. Through the black snake guide them all to ruin. The thin darkness that leads to the hand of ruin.”
I cast a spell. This magic was a special type. An original using the darkness attribute. By utilizing the darkness attribute, it destabilized the opponent’s magic, resulting in it not having a definite form. Unstable magic could have many potential results including not firing, causing a different effect, or firing on the user himself. However, by adjusting the magic to result in a misfire against oneself, it could inflict serious injury.
Is how it should have been but,
“Resonatur! Illi qui flagitant Discordia et lost in ventum!” (Tuning! That which throws order into chaos, change and dissipate into the wind!)
Suimei interrupted my spell, interjecting with another chant.
“Harmonies! Aeolia!” (Tuning wind!)
Hahmohniasu Aioria. Certainly as those words were carried by the wind something changed.
The instant the darkness in the form of a snake began to rise out of the magic formation, both the snake and the formation were smashed into particles of light. The confetti like grains of light illuminated the unarmed man behind them.
He was fine, which meant that he had perfectly resisted it. But, that’s impossible. All magic had the elements shoulder some of the burden of the casting. Therefore, all magic cast by magicians would have some portion that wasn’t actively processed by the caster, meaning that they could not completely control their magic. Because the magic I used took advantage of this gap, for it to not exist, did that mean that he wasn’t using the elements? If I take that to be the case right now, then that meant he completely and precisely controlled his magic---in other words his magic did not use the elements as a medium at all.
While I was bewildered in my own thoughts, as if shaking off the remaining magic power, Suimei brushed off his empty right hand.
“The magic law of what you just used. Although you didn’t do it perfectly… jeez, despite not knowing the magic basics, you did it quite well.”
As if spitting it out, that kind of abusive language was characteristic of his praise.
Next, a cold atmosphere filled the surroundings. He completely considered me as an enemy it seemed. His pressure was even more coercive due to his sharp gaze. I had also though such when defeating the guild magicians, but Suimei Yakagi is a worthy magician. Using high level magic, he had shortly gained control and stolen their magic. His true skill was more than comparable to the Yuuketsu. It wasn’t even impossible that he was more than that.
“Primum, ex Secandum, excipio.” (First and second bulwark expand.)
Golden magic formations rose up. It was as if they were shields to protect him.
Suimei Yakagi began to move. At first he walked comfortably towards me, but possibly reading my intentions, he accelerated at an impossible speed, closing the distance.
Close quarters combat was not really my forte. Rapidly casting a spell. Just as he was about to snap his fingers, he rapidly dodged as if sensing something.
His reflexes were fast. For him to so rapidly decide to dodge despite being in the middle of casting a spell, did he sense something? His reactions were already on the level of foresight.
In the time I was thinking that, I could see in his eyes that he had already come up with a counterplan.
Another spell formation rose up into the air. Except one, no, not that type.
Doublecast. No, this was…
“Ad vigniti. Transcription, invocatio! Augoeides!” (Brightness magic technique. Transcription until number 20. Invoke!)
A light yet not light-type spear came attacking. Putting a lot of magic power into the technique; he changed his means of attack? And to prepare and fire several of those at the same time, was he a monster? I barely managed to dodge the rain of light from the side. Dodging it, I had to counter attack. I had to defeat anything that stood in my way. For that person. That's why I don’t care what happens to me. Even if it was excessively dangerous to myself, I took my chance between the splinters of brick that whirled like dust and ran at him. However, as for what was in front of me, at some point Suimei’s metal wand had changed to a sword, and he now stood there with it.
Like that, I hit the middle of his sword with the tip of my wand. Because I was always watching that man, I had my own confidence. In the empire there was no one who had bested that man in swordplay. However, Suimei Yakagi’s swordsmanship was a separate matter. He repelled my attack with unexpected control, his sword making a fluid arc. With two vigorous strikes, the sharpened tip of his sword began to shine while making a revolution in the air, tracing an arc.
Magic formation. The light of the magic power that came forth was red. Blaze magic.
When I noticed, the magic formation was already completed, and the sharpness of the sword pointed at me reflected off my eyes. Barely realizing that he was aiming at my shoulder, I managed to dodge the stab but his magic was another matter. In these circumstances, there was no way to defend. What should I do? I could feel the heat from the magic formation. Fire-type magic. The light magic hindered the dark, a strong attribute.
Fearing the pain and heat, I clenched my teeth and threw myself to the ground. In that vigorous moment, I rolled on the ground. My current status---the blaze had only licked my robe, and was largely uninjured. I was saved by the fact that it was an instant cast magic so the intensity was far lower than earlier, combined with the fact that my small body could make quick movements.
The silver haired girl then called out to Suimei Yakagi.
“It’s fine. More importantly, I leave Lefille and that old guy to you. Be careful of any changes in the surrounding magic power and environment. Making sure you don’t stand out, expand your own perception.”
The silver haired girl looked around the surroundings. Shortly, after a blink her eyes widened. What she had surely noticed was a black different than that of the darkness which had befallen the night.
Did Suimei Yakagi notice that? A black haze hidden by the night. As expected of him. I was trying to sink him into the darkness before he knew, but for him to notice that as well. But even for him who could steal the magic of others, there was no way to interfere with magic he didn’t know of right? The unblemished moon was dyed by the haze produced through darkness magic; it could be mistaken as a black pearl at this point. Just as the girl noticed the change in the surroundings and nodded to Suimei, I began to cast my dark magic.
“Darkness. Creep out of the body of the hidden chaos. To show your power. I don’t seek retribution. I have no anger. Therefore…”
What I then added onto the chant was the forbidden words that strengthened dark magic.
“Algo, Lucula, Radia, Secunto, Labielaru, Beibaron… hatred left only to the dark anger retaliacio.”
“Primium Quartum, Excipio!” (All area defense from the first to fourth)
Suimei Yakagi expanded the layers of the golden hemicircular barrier from earlier. The light and dark collided. The revolving barrier formation made a shrill noise and rays of light scattered out, defending against many of the bands of dark.
Suimei leaked out a small but painful grunt. The darkness that slowly penetrated through the golden barrier accumulated at his left arm. Threatening his safety, a bead of sweat appeared on his nose. A success. It was the first time my attack had gotten through.
However, Suimei didn’t fall even after a little while. Even though he had received my dark magic that should send out shots of severe pain that spread out like insects, leaving any enemy in despair as they tire, screaming with a contorted face in anguish. Suimei Yakagi merely stood on both feet, staring at me.
Did I make him speak out his hatred for me? However, what followed was,
“Are you really pulling the strings like that…?”
His question was mixed with doubt and anger, without any strain.
Is he really asking that at this point? I am a dark magician. To obstruct him I became this person who command this magic that eats into my body like maggots. Obviously. To me, doing such a thing is only a matter of course. Yes, everything is to protect that person…
… To protect, will I take on his injuries?
There, I noticed. My boundary that cannot be crossed.
Who is this? This man is not the one threatening that person, right? Why did he say that and continue to deal with the current matter? Suimei Yakagi. The man that won’t get scared no matter how much I coerce him or show him my ghastly side. With a kind voice, the man who thinks of the isolated me. Was I really using my dark magic that could easily steal the lives of humans against him?
What he had noticed was that I broke off running in another direction away from here.
Was it unexpected that Suimei had taken a hit? As the short shadow was fleeing into the shadows, Lefille and Felmenia were running towards Suimei.
Even though they were looking at him, Suimei continued to stare at his left arm, which had the haze coiling and moving about it. Then, Felmenia spoke up.
“A-are you okay? I saw that you took her dark magic earlier.”
“Ah, I did. It penetrated the fortress magic.”
Saying that, since the magic was persisting, he thrust his left arm out to show Felmenia. His hand and the wrist had nothing unusual, but the parts that were affected by the haze that penetrated the fortress were turning black and wrinkling as if drying up.
“She got me. Even within the Astral Attacks, it was probably quite the strong attack. It has effects not only on the soul but also the body as well.
As he said that, he made a grim face, while Lefille stood on her tiptoes and took a peek at it.
“Are you okay?”
“If I leave it as it is, it’ll corrode and rot.”
“Wh-what did you say?!”
“Is-is-is-is this not a huge problem?!?!?! Q-quick! Recovery magic! In the first place isn’t this something that warrants recovery magic?! What do we do what do we do what do we do?!?”
In response to Suimei’s words that were as if he were talking about another person, Lefille raised a surprised shout while Felmenia panicked, running confusedly back and forth. Running around panicking, one might ask who was the one who had been injured.
“Oi oi calm down Menia.”
“You think I can calm down?! How are you managing to be so calm?!?”
“That’s right Suimei-kun! Necrosis is no simple thing!”
“It’s fine. I mean the Astral Body was damaged so even if you use recovery magic it won’t go back to normal immediately anyway.”
As Lefille asked for confirmation, Felmenia let out a an exaggerated sigh of relief. The wrinkles look bad at first glance. Although, you couldn’t say that they weren’t. If it were a deep wound to the Astral body then it would be a serious matter. Because it wasn’t a typical wound, you would feel normal for a while. For now, Suimei couldn’t use his left hand.
As Suimei took one last look at it, a flute rang out, surprising them.
“...Military police huh.”
A little bit after being questioned by the military police, who had arrived quite late to the scene.
They were questioned as to why they happened to be here at this particular time. Suimei thought there would be many annoying questions, but it seemed that they knew something, as after their questions they let them pass with no objections. Right now.
After summarizing the necessary bits, they left as if everything was fine. They should have come here for a reason, so there was no way they would just pretend they didn’t see anything and leave right?
Suddenly Suimei looked at the military police. They didn’t seem to be rushing or fidgeting, but obviously the investigation was going nowhere. As he thought, it seemed they didn’t know much about dark magic, so they called over a guild dark magician, who just shook his head a lot.
In that moment, the blockading military police behind them suddenly began to make a racket. The military police formation broke up, revealing a man who was coming.
“--That’s unexpected. I’d heard it was the one who was there in the incident with the hero, but to think it was you.”
It was a familiar voice. A familiar sight as well. It was the man who had dragged Liliana away while she was showing him the library a few days ago.
“True… we did meet a few days ago. I saw you were in the imperial military but, why are you here?”
To Suimei’s question, the man’s face didn’t change a single bit as he closed his eyes.
“I have no obligation to answer that to you. What you have to do is one thing. Just tell me what happened here, Suimei Yakagi.”
Did he hear Suimei’s name from Liliana? Being questioned and ordered, Suimei smoothed out his clothes and then asked a question.
“I’m sorry but, could I at least hear your name?”
“I am the Imperial Military Communications Colonel, Rogue Zandike.”
It seemed Lefille remembered the name, as she raised her eyebrows in surprise, mumbling.
“One of the seven swords…”
Shadows danced about in the background as if burning the orange magic powered lamp.
At the location of a coma incident. Having chased off Suimei and the others, a small shadow appeared wearing military clothes in front of a robed one who was gazing at the military police.
“Where were you going Liliana?”
The robed man asked without turning around, and Liliana, as if she understood,
“Just, to where the night wind is…”
“I thought I said to not go out uselessly?”
Liliana shrank in response to his reprimands. The man then once again spoke to the wincing Liliana.
“Well it’s fine. About the situation?”
“I was able to hear most of it from the military police.”
“I see. And what did their status look like?”
“Same as always. The target of the criminal was again a noble with a bad reputation, and now, without doing a good investigation, they are relying on what the hero thinks.”
“A bad reputation huh.”
Liliana nodded as he repeated her words.
As usual, the military police had no sign that they would do anything. It couldn’t be helped. For both the upper class and the Salvation church, their motivation to intervene was only dropping.
Even the hero who had recently began to investigate couldn’t get anything out of them. They just arrive late every time. To us, the hero as well as the nobles couldn’t be of any threat.
Is what they thought as they returned to the scene with innocent looking faces.
“It might be convenient for me but, recently as shadows the surroundings have become noisy.”
Was he complaining because of the recent incidents?
The noble defeated today as well as all of the ones previous were an unpleasant bunch to Rogue, who had recently risen up from commoner status. No, rather than unpleasant, the nobles had been actively working to oust them. The nobles being caught up in the recent incident had brought too much unnecessary suspicion.
There were evil acts. There were, but if Rogue let down his guard to the nobles who were currently scared, eventually he would be buried by their jealousy and crushed.
That is why the Colonel did what he did. The foster father that had picked her up and raised her. Liliana, steeling her resolve with that, was apologizing to the robe when,
Having been called while she was in the middle of her thoughts, her blunder of missing what he said was exposed. But he said no reprimands as if he was gazing at someone who was dying.
“That Suimei Yakagi earlier.”
“What about, that man?”
“I want information about him. Get in contact and investigate.”
To the unexpected order from her foster father, Liliana asked back dubiously.
“To, Suimei Yakagi?”
“Yes, it seems he is somehow related to the incident’s criminal. He was saying that he happened to find them while searching.”
“Colonel. Is he, the criminal?”
“I don’t think so, but he intrigues me.”
Conveying her understanding, it continued from there as Rogue went to join the investigating military police.