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New Game – Chapter 48

Readying the spadework – Part 2

Lise walked a step behind Mirta, hand in hand with her, and people kept greeting the woman with cheerful voices as soon as they noticed her.

“Oh, hello there, Mirta! Are you taking a stroll?”

“Hey there, Boss! Thanks for sending help last time!”

“Mirta! Thank you so much for lending us all that money! Now our job has finally become lighter!”

She always replied to them politely, exchanging brief and friendly chats with all of them before moving on—or rather, to the next guy.
Some didn’t pay much attention to Lise, but some others sure did.

“Oh, welcome Mirta~! Wait, that’s the kid I’ve seen before. Do you know her?”

“Yes, she’s Archbishop Lise Crest, a guest of Suzuran.”

“This kid is the Archbishop?!”

The woman who owned the shop bowed her head in apology, but she didn’t look very sincere.

“Sorry. The children roaming in the slums usually snatch stuff away, so I thought you were suspicious seeing your pretty dress.”

“N-No worries. It is fine as long as you understand.”

Lise hid behind Mirta, evident tension cracking her voice. The shopkeeper’s scream was still ringing loudly in her memory.
The child was a little hurt by her sudden change of behavior, but that simply confirmed how much the woman trusted Mirta.
Whenever Suzuran’s head introduced Lise as the Archbishop to someone, they never doubted her words. Even the curtest ones apologized and treated her with a bit more reverence as soon as they knew.

“What on Earth are you, Mirta…?”

“What do you mean? I’m only the head of Suzuran…”

Mirta wore a gentle and warm smile as she leaded the way.
Lise thought of her as a gentle woman and a good cook, but she would’ve never expected the slums’ people to be so warm to her.
That was amazing. No… Mirta was.

“Are you the kind of strong person who can take upon the brutes too?”

“I learned some self-defence from dad and Jill, but I doubt I can face a bunch of giants at once.”

“I see… Since you said you can use Holy Magic, what if you only had to face a lone but very strong enemy?”

“Oh, I actually mixed that up with standard magic!”

“I see… and what about your job? You must have a good eye for business as the administrator of your company, right?”

“To be honest, I always leave that to Geiz…”

“I-I see… Mirta, is there anything you are actually able to do?”

“You didn’t have to ask like that!”

The woman scratched her cheek with a troubled expression on her face.

“Maybe there’s nothing I can do. I can’t fight like many members of my company, I lack Geiz’s business abilities and Takumi’s knowledge… but I love laughing along with people rather than commanding them.”

A soft chuckle slipped through her lips.
She wanted to do things in her own way instead of mimicking her father.
She wanted to reach out to people and spread her ideals with the warm and kind smile that could overcome any wall.
Lise easily understood that it was a mammoth task.

“Mirta, you are so gentle, strong and amazing.”

“I think… I’m not different from your average joe, really.”

“That is not true. You have a big chest.”

“How is that related to anything?!”

“A big chest symbolizes motherhood and abundance. Goddess Filia has been described as a woman with big breasts, so I am comparing you to her as a praise…”

“Aaah! Aaah! Nooo! Don’t tell me stuff like that pleeease! Nooo!”

Mirta blushed a deep red as she tried to silence Lise with a hug, but the child kept talking with sparkling eyes.

“I want to be closer to our Goddess as a clergyman. How can my chest grow big like yours or that elf’s?”

“W-Well… o-oh, look! That’s Geld’s gunshop!”

“Geld…?”

“Takumi makes a lot of business with him, he’s his favorite gun artisan!”

“I see… you are trying to avoid the topic… but we will talk again later.”

Mirta let out a soft sigh and relaxed before opening the gunshop’s door.
A gust of dry and hot air hit them the next moment, along with the loud sound of hammers striking metal on the anvils and the eardrum-rending noise of metal being polished.

“W-Welcome! How may I help yoUH!”

A girl holding a huge box filled with what looked like heavy things stepped toward them but fell headfirst, making the contents of the box sprawl all over the floor with a very loud noise.

“Are you alright, Corona?”

“Ouchie…! S-Sorry! Wait, you’re Suzuran’s boss, right?”

Corona looked up to the woman while rubbing her aching nose.

“I am Mirta Familie, head of Suzuran. Is Geld around?”

“Are you looking for my master? He should be in the workshop working on some blueprints…”

Then, they heard a thunderous noise from the other side of the shop, as a door flung open kicked by a bearded dwarf.

“What the hell was that noise?! Oh shit, the tamahagane’s all scattered on the floor!”

“I-I’m sorry…! I fell but I’ll pick everything up right away…!”

“I told you not to bring more than you can goddamn handle!”

“B-But I thought you’d need this once you were done with your current job…!”

“It’s gonna take me some more time, so you don’t need to rush, you heard?! HEY, GUYS! Can you help her pick up this stuff if you don’t have shit to do?!”

Almost every guy in there walked up to them and helped with a wry smile on their faces.
Lise couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She almost goggled her eyes in front of that sight.

“This is a dwarf’s workshop… and he is working with a dragon-man…?”

“Hey, what’s up, kid? Wait, but that’s Mirta. What do you need? Usually it’s Takumi who shows up for business.”

“I, uuhm… we’re here to talk to you about Takumi.”

Geld arched his eyebrows as if he doubted his own ears.

“He shouldn’t have requested or asked us anything lately. Becht, did he talk to you or something?”

“Nope, I heard nothing from him.”

Becht, who was helping picking up the scattered tamahagane, faced his master with a puzzled face.
Then, Lise stepped forward.

“Takumi has been arrested by the Inquisition.”

“He fucking what?! Spare me that bullshit, why would they do that?!”

“I am stating the true. He is currently charged with the murder of Kiad Fortesea and kept prisoner in the northern prison of the middle layer.”

“Bullshit! Takumi would never do something that stupid!”

Seeing the dwarf so obstinate made Lise as much stubborn.

“I believe in his innocence as well, that is why we are here. Will you help me?”

She didn’t beat much around the bush and her words felt kind of weak, but her face showed an incredible sincerity.
Geld was taken aback by that and fell silent for a moment while stroking his beard.

“I’m not convinced yet. Who the heck are you, anyway?”

“I am Archbishop Lise Crest. I want to prove Takumi’s innocence during the trial, so I am asking help to the people of the slums.”

“Mirta, that’s more bullshit or is she speaking the truth?”

“It’s all true. This child is currently the Archbishop and Her Majesty’s personal messenger. She is helping us with this matter, as it is true that Takumi’s kept prisoner.”

“Oh shit… how could this happen…?”

“I-I am at fault. Takumi saved me from Fortesea and Lord Elvis decided to frame him for revenge. He wants to kill Takumi and make an example out of him.”

“And you’re trying to help him back now?”

“Yes. He has saved me before, so now it’s my turn to save him.”

The child balled her hands in frustration and casted her gaze to the ground for a moment.

“I need to save him…”

She rose her head again with a hurt expression and saw the dwarf staring back at her, his face burning red as big tears rolled down his cheeks. All the people in the room were flabbergasted even more than her.

“Uuugh…! That’s bloody sad, dammit!”

“Wow, I’ve never seen our master crying before…”

“O-Oh no, M-Master! A tissue won’t do, I’ll go take a towel!”

Becht kept staring at the dwarf in mute amazement, his head tilted to one side, while Corona hurried to bring Geld a towel, and once he wiped his tears and blew his nose, he snorted and let out a soft laugh.

“Got it! Go tell all the artisans in town, Becht! There must be a shitload of people who want to return the favor to Takumi!”

“Roger! I’ll report everything directly to Suzuran!”

“Corona, your friend works in the middle layer, right?!”

“Y-Yes! She helps a doctor gather medicinal plants!”

“Reach out to her! We must gather all the people we can, even those in the middle layer!”

“O-Okay, I’ll inform Recy… right, Strepto should’ve returned from his journey too.”

“Call every fucking one of ‘em! You gotta call whoever crosses your mind! I don’t give a damn if you call someone’s drink buddy too, just gather whoever knows Takumi!”

The dwarf commanded with a broad smile on his face and all his workers left the shop in a hurry.
Lise was dumbfounded by what had just happened in front of her eyes, but she got back to her senses after a few moments.

“A-Are you sure about it? I mean, is it a good idea to act so rashly…?”

“Huh? What the hell should I think about?”

Geld showed her his pearly whites.

“You want to save him to call it even, right? He didn’t do anything wrong, then. Also… he never threw shit at my guns. He called them ‘interesting weapons’ when everyone else called them ‘stupid playthings made by that shitty dwarf’.”

He stroked his beard with a nostalgic expression on his face as he recalled.

“I thought of Takumi as an obnoxious brat at first, but he’s always seen me as a gunsmith, not as a simple dwarf. He showed me that I’ve been doing my shit the right way, and thanks to him now Becht has stopped being a crybaby and become a straight-up man. I have a dragon-man working for me and I’m prolly the only gunsmith in the entire capital who changed their mind about one. Takumi has never got shit wrong once so far, so I’m damn sure that he hasn’t this time as well.”

He scratched the tip of his nose, probably due to embarrassment.

“Anyway, let’s get him out of there! Let’s have all the damn slums help!”

“B-But refrain from using guns, okay?”

“We’ll consider it when the time comes, Mirta!”

“No, just don’t! Those who aren’t used to fire might hurt innocent people!”

“Damn… you’re right. Let’s just keep it a bit riot-ish and not push shit too far, then!”

Geld gave a hearty laugh.

“I’m gonna tell all my middle layer friends! Stay safe! Especially you, young lady!”

“O-Okay. Thank you for helping.”

The dwarf patted Lise on her shoulder before hanging the “I’m off” sign and getting out of the shop.
The child looked at him walking away and only mustered the strength to say a few words.

“He really helps a lot of people, does he not…? That slave merchant…”

“Yes. He never cares if they’re humans or demi-humans, he just saves all who need to be saved. That’s why he’s the ‘Soft-hearted slave merchant’ Suzuran is so proud of.”

Mirta puffed out her chest with pride as if she was praising herself.

“Geld is going to help us now, so we can go to our next…”

“No, wait a moment, Mirta!”

Suzuran’s head and Lise looked behind them and saw Becht closing in with a bunch of sheets in his hands.

“Takumi told me I shouldn’t show these to anyone, but… what if these are the real reason behind his imprisonment?”

“These are blueprints, right…?”

“Yeah, these are the blueprints for his latest request.”

Lise rushed to see one of the sheets and furrowed her brows.

“It is quite different from any other gun I know.”

“It isn’t only different, it’s something we’ve never seen before. The gun’s shape, way of shooting and ammo are unknown to us.”

“We do have records of prehistoric guns that were totally different from the current ones, but only one country had them and none survived until today… neither did their data.”

They barely had any record about the prehistoric era. All that survived until now was contained in the Holy Text and the nameless Tale of Heroes.
At that point, Becht’s expression stiffened.

“What if the Inquisition caught him because they want to know the way to reconstruct these? Can I ask you to take care of these, in that case?”

“Okay. Leave them to us. No one will ever take a look at them. Lise, the same goes for—wait, what are you doing?”

The child stared hard at a sheet, then scanned all the others.

“Can I ask you something about these blueprints…?”

“Oh, those ones? Takumi said that it’s a ‘wheel gun’. You load the bullets in this wheel and whenever you fire, the wheel rotates and automatically loads the next one…”

“Do not bother explaining that. I only wanted to ask why this gun has so many details on its blueprints.”

“Oh, I don’t know. It’s strange, right? He explained us the mechanics behind the other weapons he has commissioned before, but he has never specified the materials, the thickness of the gun barrel or the grip so far.”

Then, Becht rose his head as if he had remembered something.

“Thinking about it, he said that ‘this should be the twelfth memento’.”

“Memento…?”

“Yeah. It’s strange that a memento is some half-assed number, don’t you think?”

Becht tilted his head in deep thought while an idea popped into Lise’s mind.

“I might come again to ask you a few things.”

“Sure, come whenever you want. I’m counting on you for Takumi.”

As one of the children who were slaves along with Takumi and one who had spent quite some time with him, he bowed his head to the Archbishop in deep respect and hope.

“Leave it to me. I will do everything I can to save him.”

Her words were resolute, her expression determined.
She couldn’t let anyone down.
She wasn’t alone anymore, and she wasn’t doing it only for herself, but for all the people who hoped to meet Takumi again.
A ray of hope was finally shining on the road she wanted to walk down.


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By |2020-11-09T22:42:31+01:00November 10th, 2020|A New Game from the Depths of Captivity!|1 Comment

Guild Master – Chapter 52

TL note: of course I got something wrong again. Yay. Ashen clown addresses “Dick” as “Dee”, as we see in this chapter. I didn’t get it at first, so I fixed it here and in the previous entry (chapter 50).


Goddess of wrath, Silent requiem and Sweet disaster

Green Cancer’s headquarter was located in the 8th Street. They were a guild of puppeteers who used golems.

They could implant spirits and wandering ghosts into unanimated objects and manipulate them, but Yuma could meddle with them thanks to her power, making them pretty much useless.

Green Cancer had huge grounds where they crafted their golems, but none of their creations moved an inch when the two Miracle children walked past them.
Aileen and Yuma reached the Guild Master so easily it looked like they were taking a stroll, and none of the other members in that guild stood a chance against Aileen, since their second best member was an A rank adventurer.

Once they reached the last floor of the building, the Guild Master, knowing that a few intruders were coming after her, tried to ambush them, but failed miserably and got counterattacked by Aileen, who left Yuma behind for a moment and punched their enemy so hard she fainted in one hit.

“We’ll talk when you wake up, okay? Now, the collar…”

Green Cancer’s Guild Master was a shaman woman wearing a national dress that revealed a lot of her skin. Aileen thought that it would’ve been bad if Dick saw her, so she freed her from her collar and then covered her with an overcoat she had found nearby.

“Aileen, are you okay? Oh… you look perfectly fine. Wow, there are so many dolls…”

Yuma entered the room a few moments later and looked amazed in front of the countless dolls lined up on the shelves and on the ground. Aileen guessed that they should’ve moved and could be manipulated, but all of them were motionless and just stood there tidily.

“You’re like the natural enemy of this guild, aren’t you, Yuma? Thinking about it, I don’t remember golems attacking us on our expedition…”
“The Demon Lord’s army is mainly composed by demons, people and beasts’ ghosts, not spirits. I knew they could be used to make golems, so when we were surrounded by enemies or when we were fighting a bunch of them, I made sure to purify whatever was near us.”
“Wow, it’s amazing that you don’t even break a sweat doing that. Whenever we were together, it was like I could see that purifying power of yours getting stronger, and… it was relaxing to stand so close to you. It still is.”
“I let the expedition party see my power, but it is just natural for me…”

Yuma was surely the strongest member of the expedition party in terms of latent magic power, but she used it all only to make souls ascend to heaven, so it didn’t add to her adventurer score.

Aileen believed that being acknowledged as a SSS rank adventurer only thanks to her purification abilities was crazy. Yuma focused all her power only on that, putting aside any other magical or physical ability. Being a versatile support for the party had never even crossed her mind, so little she cared.
However, Dick always cheered for her, saying that she was perfect in her own way.

“I’m very glad you’ve been our healer, Yuma. We went through a lot of deadly battles and you were always there after the worst, warming our heart and helping us feel better.”
“I am very glad you think that. It means that I have been doing my job right. A priest should ease people’s heart. Then, one day we will take each other’s hand and depart for the Land of Gods…”
“Why don’t you start with Dick? That guy’s super curious, you know?”
“I-I should refrain to do that… I would love to, but if I take his soul too far from his body, it would be impossible to bring it back to earth… it would be like… forcing him to ascend… forever…”

Aileen worried a bit seeing Yuma fidgeting so much behind her mask. Like, did she really consider giving it a try in the past?

The Charming goddess of wrath didn’t care about the normal relationship between sexes when she was younger. The only important thing in her life was learning her father’s techniques and honing her skills as much as she could, but since she moved to the capital, she heard of a lot of ‘noteworthy’ stories between boys and girls.

Yuma doesn’t get it since she’s always a natural airhead when it comes to that topic… but Dick sure has got nerves of steel. The girls in the red-light district say that guys hide their horniness when they’d actually bang whatever crosses their way…

“Aileen, you look strange. Is there something troubling you?”
“W-What?! N-Nope, not at all?! I-I was just thinkin’ that Dick sure has nerves of steel, or like… you know, just some random thinking…”
“I can see your soul pulsing with pinkish waves… is your demonic side mixing up with your human one? Oh… no, it looks like some desire is welling up in your soul…”
“N-No, stop it! Don’t peek at my soul, I don’t wanna ascend yet!”

Aileen rushed over and lightly pressed her hand on Yuma’s mouth to make her stop talking, but the young priest kept talking anyway with a smile on her face, not minding her own muffled voice.

“Do not worry, Aileen, your feelings reached my heart. It is not time to ascend for us yet.”
“Aaah… hahaha… yeah… what’s with us, indeed. Whenever we act on our own like now, Dick is always the one at the center of it all! How much do we depend on him?”
“I do not, honestly.”
“I-Is that so? Yuma, did you grow independent from him?”

Aileen mouthed a strange question while Yuma took Green Cancer’s Guild Master’s collar from her hand. She then squeezed and cleansed it with her power, dissipating the remaining magic left into it. The runes carved on it slowly disappeared.

“I could not meet him for months, but I felt that he was doing well in the capital. However, that did not prove a real hardship, so I have the proof that I can stand on my own.”
“I see… what if he left the capital, then?”
“That… would be fine too. We are the masked saviors, so he would probably meet us every now and then…”
“What?! It would be a hassle not to have him around, you know?! He’s very handy and helpful, he’s good at cooking and he’s very trustworthy…”
“It is exactly because he is that kind of person that he would promise us to meet again every now and then. I am glad I can drop by his bar now and my parents do not mind it anymore.”

Aileen felt that Yuma wanted to keep Dick close to herself as well.
Maybe she wasn’t aware of it, but the Forgotten Fifth had a special place in her heart too.
In the end, nothing had changed since the expedition party formed, and Aileen’s heart warmed when she realized it.

“He always preferred Mylarka over us, but we’re young ladies too, so why waste this precious time for nothing…?”
“What do you mean with that…? And who are you referring to, Aileen?”
“Oh, nothing, forget it…”

She shrugged the matter off with that and heard the magic tool that Dick had lent them vibrating. He was calling out to them.

“No way… Dick is calling for help…? We had guessed right, then. He is facing someone as strong as us…”
“Yeah, let’s hurry over there. Do we have anything else to do here?”
“We should leave Dick’s guild handle Green Cancer from now. We need to haste and reach the 1st Street.”
“Yuma, can I give you a piggyback? Or should I take you like a princess?”
“P-Please… take me on your shoulders.”

Aileen adjusted Yuma on her shoulders, then opened the window and jumped out of it. She kicked the window’s frame so hard that she could’ve aimed for the roof of the nearby building, but she chose to jump far and dash instead.

“Dick, let me handle something as well…!”
“Y-You are amazing, Aileen…”

Yuma noticed that she didn’t have to hold Aileen so tight—her back felt even more stable than the average mount.

The Martial Artist dashed through the night, leaving a trail of wind behind her.

◆◇◆

White Capricorn had extended their control over eight guilds but was on a different level compared to them.
Their headquarter was located in the 1st Street, and their grounds could be easily compared to a magic university.

The spell Hiding could affect multiple targets, so we just entered the site without passing through the main gate and kept walking even when someone looked in our direction. Mylarka was right after me and deeply trusted my spells, so she didn’t look bothered at all.

There were a lot of bushes and trees scattered around the place, so we could just walk around them to reach the main building.

“Hiding makes our voice inaudible to people, right…? Modifying skills is always been a great thing of you.”
“I hardly hear you praise anyone, Mylarka.”
“I praise what deserves to be praised. There’s no point in keeping it to myself.”

Their students loved her also because she was very direct. I believe that it’s a good thing to study with a teacher that praises their students when they’re doing good.

“Can I count on your magic if we have to deal with the entire guild? It would be obvious who attacked at that point, but we can’t really help it.”
“I’d feel guilty to destroy this much of the capital even if no one found us. I want to hold my head high more than anyone else as long as I’m alive.”
“We do share the same feeling about it… wait.”

Our enemies found us. It was hard to believe but not impossible.

Hiding prevented any A or below rank adventurer to notice us, making us visible only after we attacked them.
Still, a S rank might have some tricks up their sleeve to perceive us, and so would a SS rank. We wouldn’t have been able to sneak in these grounds from the start if our foe taught all their underlings how to detect us, but luckily that hadn’t been the case.

“Did you really think we wouldn’t know you were walking around the woods?! Idiots!”

Four adventurers, two men and two women – the former as the vanguard – approached us. They were patrolling the area and all of them were at least S rank.
Luckily, their strength wasn’t boosted with Support Magic as much as Claive’s and I was glad about that. We had a lot less headaches than expected now.

However, the range of boost we granted people was very different: I could add around 3000 additional points to an adventurer’s score, bringing them to S rank, but our real opponent could do much more than that.

It must be her… I don’t want to believe that there’s someone else that strong…

However, I couldn’t just discard that possibility.
A part of me hoped we had to face an unknown danger so long we hadn’t to face Ashen clown. Accepting that reality would’ve been easier than fighting her.

“Did you think you could do whatever you wanted in our grounds?! You won’t get away with this!”

One of the men charged at us. He had a very muscular body, and given the huge war hammer he was holding, I guessed he was a ‘breaker’.

He’s using a magic weapon…? Dismantling it will take me some time, so…!

The man swung his weapon without a precise pattern, so I guessed he was starting his assault with ‘bone breaker’, an attack that simply aimed to the bones of the foe to shatter them in one hit. That was the basic of the breakers’ fighting style, but I always found it extremely nasty.

Putting my personal tastes aside, I couldn’t just take that kind of attack head-on, so I decided to avoid it.
The bad side of heavy weapons was that swinging them around meant leaving a lot of openings to the foe, so exposing oneself too much without thinking that they had to recover from the swing could possibly settle their loss in one move.

I put some distance between us and grabbed my spirit sword.

“Nice bait, man… oof!”
“You shouldn’t show me your everything from the start. Don’t rely so much on her power.”

Support Magic can defy the law of nature only in one way: Spirit Reflect—it allows the caster to duplicate or overlap additional layers of effects on the target.
I had smashed the Support Magic that boosted the man by throwing a coin infused with magic power at him, then caught it again when it bounced back to me.

Teacher, are you really behind all of this…? You’ve never been obsessed with me, so why are you doing this…?

“What’s wrong with relying on her power?! I won’t allow you to mess with her!”

My teacher could simply grasp the heart of people and control it. She did the same with me the first time we met.

However, her whimsical nature brought her to reject sticking to good or evil deeds only, so she always did whatever she wanted.

“Dee, I respect your kindness, but I also want to crush it. I love it to death, but I also hate it so much I want to destroy it.”

Her words rang again in my mind.

Maybe I should’ve met her at least once since I got back from the expedition.
Would I have lost myself like the guys I was looking at in that moment if I did so?

“Dick, you’re losing it. Get yourself together while I handle them.”

Wide area annihilation n°10 – Smashing topography.

Our foes were about to attack us – the man who had already attacked me was about to swing his war hammer again, the other one had sneaked away and was trying to attack us from behind with a short sword, one of the women had her spell ready to fire and the last one was a healer who was ready to cast some healing on her comrades – but they suddenly panicked when the magic field below Mylarka’s feet covered the entire area around us all in a moment and the ground started to quake, rise and crumble into pits at a frightening speed.

They all screamed in dread.
The man who was trying to attack me froze in place when the ground in front of him cleaved and crumbled into a dark, seemingly endless cliff.

I chose to use the coin to defeat them, although any long-ranged weapon would’ve worked. I cast ‘Spirit homing’ and flicked the coin to the closest enemy’s forehead who fainted as soon as he got sent flying by the impact.
His three other comrades understood that my attack had some magic involved, so they managed to avoid my first attack, but none of them avoided the second.

“We won’t need to sneak in if we can make such a mess. Dick, I’ll just wipe out anyone standing in our way. Escort me.”

In that moment, as I saw Mylarka puffing out her chest, I understood that what I wanted to follow right now wasn’t my teacher.
I silently thanked Mylarka in my mind, as she embodied the very concept of reliance.

“Sorry for giving you headaches, young lady. I won’t hesitate anymore… let’s go!”

Then, as if we were controlled by the same will, we climbed a near tree and jumped from its top toward the headquarter in unison.

I wasn’t afraid to face my teacher, I was only unsure about what to tell her after so much time.
She had ‘only’ taken control over White Capricorn, but I wanted her to stop doing this… and I didn’t want to kill her to achieve it.

I knew she was furious, and I was probably too weak to stop her, but I had to calm her down and do whatever I could about this matter.
I was ready to bend to her strength, but I would’ve never broke under her will.


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New Game – Chapter 47

Readying the spadework – Part 1

The morning after Kunon and Karin’s departure, Lise strode through the streets of the slums while the sun slowly rose in the sky.

“Sheesh… there should be a limit to heartlessness.”

Anger painted her face.
She didn’t expect that the unanimity of Suzuran would vote not to save Takumi.
She understood that they fully trusted him and that they had to be extremely careful since a single step could be the end of them, but she still couldn’t accept any of that.
Takumi saved her, so she had to help him back in her own way. She couldn’t just sit and do nothing while the Inquisition killed him.

“I have to try my best!”

She thrust one of her fists in the air to pump herself up, then she started thinking… and her body froze in place.
She wanted to save him so badly and so quickly that she hadn’t come up with a plan to do so.

As the Queen’s messenger and the Archbishop herself, she could attend the ceremony, but the Inquisition had the final say on the matter, since their voting system was accessible only to the holy knights.
To make matters worse, the other Archbishops and above cardinals all had Fortesea’s support, and the rest of the holy order frowned at the slave merchant.

He was the reason why Archbishop Lise was now a slave, although it was only for some time.
A clergyman devoted to Goddess Filia was cast to the bottom of the social pyramid—that should’ve never happened.
Thanks to that, Lise’s colleagues were keeping their distance from her while pretending to respect her, and if she tried to defend Takumi during the trial, it would’ve probably been for naught.

The Soft-hearted slave merchant was in the worst situation possible—left to his fate alone.

“I should start from… gathering more allies.”

There were a lot of people who followed and liked Takumi.
He helped countless of them especially in the slums, so she could try asking all of them to sign a petition and push the Inquisition to the point they couldn’t just ignore the people’s sheer number.

“Okay, it is settled! Here I go!”

Putting herself together, she once again started walking down the dirty stone paving.
She turned around a corner, then the other, and checked where she was, then turned around a few more corners, and finally stopped in her tracks.
She was at the starting point again.

“Where am I?!”

The child scanned her surroundings and only saw rows of similar buildings and similar streets. She couldn’t tell which way was which and none of them had anything particular that could help her distinguish where she was going.
It’s been only a few days since Lise started going to the slums alone, and she only knew the way to Suzuran from the gondola’s stop. The other streets were uncharted territory for her.

“I-I guess I will go to Lilia’s first…”

She looked around her worriedly, then started walking in a random direction and soon crossed her way with a wobbling man.

“E-Excuse me! Can I ask for directions?!”

“What? Whazzup, youngun, ya dunno where to go?”

Lise unwillingly grimaced at him—his face was red and he reeked of alcohol.

“Ya know, I know what’chu feelin’. I lost my way in life too since my wife ran away…”

“No, I mean, I need to go to—”

“I dunno where ya needa go, ya got iiiHHHT~!”

He then turned his face quickly enough not to barf on her, and after piercing him with a sub-zero stare, she hurriedly walked away.

“I forgot that the public order is terrible here…”

She had always been surrounded by good people, so that had yet to sink into her.
Lise shook her head.

“No, thinking like this is wrong! I am the Archbishop and the Queen’s messenger! I shall trust this country’s people equally, regardless of the place they live in!”

Steeling her resolve again, she tried to talk to more people.

“Huh?! The fuck, missy, can’t you see I’m tired?! I just got off the clock! Get lost!”

“Kiddo, get lost if you don’t buy anything! I’m trying to run a business here!”

“Oww, you lost your way? And you think that I’ll show you where to go so that you can attack me with your friends and take all I have?! Damn, this is why kids suck! Just get the fuck out of my way already!”

The more she tried to talk to people, the more the wrinkles on her brow deepened.

“People around here are the worst… absolutely the worst…”

After earning the ‘getting flipped off for the tenth time in a row’ achievement, Lise’s mood sunk.

“I get laughed at although I am Crest Archbishop and people see me like a thief because I am a child… these guys have no idea about the meaning of the word ‘consideration’!”

Lise was a full-fledged public figure, but Her Majesty and Fortesea always had her avoid being on the front stage, so it wasn’t strange for people not to know her.
Whenever she tried to talk to someone, they badmouthed her for no reason, like “Where did you steal those clothes?” or “You ain’t gonna fuck with me, kiddo!” or “Go scam someone else!”, and she was already fed up with it.

“I am a full-fledged Archbishop, you fools…!”

She puffed her cheeks in frustration and tried to vent some of it by kicking a little stone, which unluckily hit a guy who was walking a little ahead of her.
He and his comrades turned around puzzled, then flashed an awful grimace.

“Hey, kid, that hurt, you know?”

As she squared her shoulders, she noticed that a few more of them were surrounding her. Their face wasn’t really friendly. They looked like thugs.
She hurriedly bowed her head in apology.

“Sorry.”

“Oooh, man, it hurts so bad… I think my leg broke.”

“It broke with just that little stone?!”

“Kid, Ares’ legs are weak! He’s delicate!”

“What’chu gonna do if he can’t walk anymore?! HUH?! We were taking care of him and look what you’ve done!”

As they yelled at her face, she found herself drove to the road’s corner. She had no escape route.

“You look quite good dressed like that, missy.”

“Really?! Do I look good?!”

“W-Wow, she got it the wrong way… whatever, I’ll have you pay for my medical fee!”

“I… I was told not to use money when I am alone.”

Her Highness was paying Lise for her work, but she ordered her not to use money as long as she was alone and she wasn’t used to the world outside the castle. It was an absolute order by Queen Eluria herself.
Still, the men closed ever more on her. They looked ready to bite.

“You can use your money! We’re here with you! I won’t walk again if you don’t pay for my medical fee!”

“B-But how can you walk and stand right now if your leg is broken?!”

“Ares is fucking enduring the pain! Can’t you see?!”

“My bone is in pieces, but I’m trying not to make anyone worry, YOU GOT IT?!”

“O-Oh my…! You do not want to make me worry…?!”

Lise’s face brightened like a child’s and the men looked at her in puzzlement.

“Kid, just pay for my damn—”

“Alright! I will heal your leg myself, then!”

“What?”

Lise rummaged in her pockets and took out a feather pen and a piece of paper, which she scribbled in the blink of an eye and hurriedly placed it on the man’s leg. A dim light started glowing around him.

“What the heck are you doing?!”

“I compressed a Holy magic’s healing law formula. It should heal a broken bone in a few moments.”

She pridefully puffed out her chest while all the men jumped away. They had never seen something like that before.

“Are you fucking with us, little turd?!”

“You’re gonna pay for looking down on Ares!”

“Just give us your damn money!”

Ares screamed at her face while taking a knife from his cloth. He then pointed it at her as he kept a little distance.

“N-No, stay still! You might hurt your leg again like this!”

“You ain’t getting away from this!”

“But you will, now that your leg is alright, yes?! I knew that my Holy magic is great!”

The men’s bloodlust slowly filled the air at her comment.

“N-Now, I am lost, can I ask you for direc—”

“Cut your crap, brat!”

Ares screamed so loud that some of his spit fell down on her, then he tried to stab her, but his knife was blocked by an invisible wall.

“What the fuck was that just now?!”

“Shit, Ares, this brat’s bad news!”

“Let’s skedaddle before she fucks us up for good!”

Seeing her abilities and the strange wall that blocked their attacks, they turned pale and ran away in dread.

“I-I only…! Wanted some directions…”

Lise tried to reach out to them with her hand, but gave up the next moment and watched them getting far. Her arm slowly lowered as a visible shade of loneliness painted her face.
Those men didn’t react the same way as the others. They even looked considerate at first, in some strange way, so she thought she was going to be okay… but in the end, they became violent, stabbed her, or at least tried to, and ran away.
Standing alone in the corner of the road, the child cast her gaze on the ground.

“I have to save Takumi… and yet I am wasting time like this…”

She knew she was wasting time by standing there, and she knew that there was nothing she could do to change her savior’s situation.
In the end, the truth was that she was only a powerless child.
Her vision started to gradually blur when that thought crossed her mind.
No matter how much she wanted to save Takumi, her free will wasn’t enough to achieve what she wanted.

“Lise! Are you okay?!”

A familiar voice reached out to her.
When she turned around, she saw Mirta running in her direction with short breath.

“I was looking for you! I heard that you were in the slums and I was so worried…!”

Mirta tried not to pant as she spoke with a gentle voice, her face beaming.
The child started crying the next moment, a strong feeling of relief lulling her heart. She clung to the woman and hugged her tightly before she knew.

“Don’t worry, I’m here with you now, okay? Were you scared?”

“No… I wasn’t scared…”

“I-Is that so?”

Lise nuzzled Mirta’s dress while slowly shaking her head, and Suzuran’s leader looked at her in puzzlement.

“Why were you looking for me, anyway?”

Suzuran decided to leave Takumi alone, so there was no reason for them to mind what Lise was doing.
However, Mirta smiled at her.

“Well, I don’t really have any particular reason. I just felt like it.”

“You felt like it…?”

“Do you need a reason to help your family?”

The woman gently stroke the child’s head.

“Suzuran will always help those in need, be it someone from the slums or an Archbishop like you, Lise. As Suzuran’s leader, I shall embody my company’s ideals.”

Her soft smile warmed Lise’s heart, as her hand brushed the child’s tears away from her flushed cheeks.

“I can’t do the impossible like Takumi, but there’s still something I can do… and I hope that my efforts will change this place for the better in the future, even if only a little.”

Lise locked her gaze with Mirta’s smiling one and nodded after a few seconds.

“I see. You are hiding something from me.”

“W-W-Wha-What?! N-No, I’m not hiding anything!”

“That is suspicious. I feel like you are trying to fool me.”

Tightening her hug to prevent Mirta’s escape, Lise faced another way with a complicated expression.

“N-No, that’s not it! I was really worried about you being alone in the slums, and I really believe what I just said! You know that you can trust me, don’t you?”

“Yes, but I feel like you have another reason behind—”

“By the way, what were you doing? Is there something that I can do for you as a simple citizen of the slums instead of Suzuran’s leader?”

It was evident that Mirta was desperately trying to hide something from Lise, but the child didn’t push the matter any further.

“I was thinking about showing the Inquisition a petition with a lot of signs. That way we might help Takumi…”

“I see… maybe we should start by our business partners, then.”

She propped her chin with her fingers as she recollected all the people they needed to ask.

“Can I come with you? I know the slums like the back of my hand and we have a lot of business partners here!”

The next moment, she reached out to Lise’s hand with a natural smile on her face, and the child squeezed it without hesitation.
Lise’s tears had stopped and her heart felt light.

“Yes, thank you.”

Mirta’s hand was warm and soft like a mother’s.


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By |2020-11-10T14:53:18+01:00September 27th, 2020|A New Game from the Depths of Captivity!|2 Comments

Guild Master – Chapter 51

Note: I got something wrong again. Fml.
Do you remember that White Goat became White Aries? Okay, do you remember that there are two sheep-like zodiac signs? I know you already guessed what I’m about to say. “White Aries” is actually “White Capricorn” and I’m a damn moron not to have noticed it for the last 50 chapters (which took me around 3 years to translate).
Okay google, how to grow a few brain cells.
Jeez, they’re even written differently in Japanese (牡羊 = male sheep = Aries; 山羊 = mountain sheep = Capricorn). Stupid me.
The other error was in chapter 30: the “ghost blade” was actually a “spirit blade” (like the one that Dick uses), and it didn’t grant Cody only one single power, as we can see from this chapter.
I’ll try to be more careful and avoid this kind of stupid slip-ups again in the future, sorry.


Purple Scorpio and the hero wielding the light sword

Cody headed to Purple Scorpio’s headquarter after parting ways with the other Miracle children. She soon stepped into the 5th Street.

As far as she knew, there weren’t as many public order issues as the 12th Street, so Silver Aquarius had it rougher.
Cody doubted Purple Scorpio’s wickedness.

Still, once she asked for their headquarter, her opinion changed drastically.
The building she was looking for apparently wasn’t in that street, as endless rows of private houses stretched all through the block.
Purple Scorpio had camouflaged their headquarter to make it look exactly like any other building of the street, and located their base underground.

Only someone with a guilty conscience would place their base underground… I guess their Guild Master always had a wicked personality.

Cody’s mission was to free Purple Scorpio’s Guild Master from the collar that controlled him.

The strongest adventurer in that guild was a S rank, so not even an army of them would have posed a threat to her. She could fight them all and probably win unscathed.

However, she thought it was better not to attract unwanted attention until she completed her mission. She suppressed her urge to break into the front door of what was supposed to be Purple Scorpio’s headquarter and slipped behind the building looking for a rear door.

As she walked, a couple of beasts detected her and readied to jump on their prey.
Purple Scorpio wasn’t a guild that could be taken too lightly—they left tamed wolves to guard their places.

I like dogs, and wolves are so cute…! No, wait, they’re a bit scary.

Two huge wolves charged at her from different directions, growling like hungry beasts. Their mouth was wide open and their sharp teeth were ready to sink in the girl’s flesh.
She reacted in a moment, bringing her hand over her head and summoning the sword of light.

Flash veil.

A blinding light exploded in front of the wolves. They fell on the ground writhing in pain and Cody chose not to kill them. Turning them powerless was enough.

Magic sword release—Harmonics.

Her light sword turned into a tuning-fork-shaped sword in her hand and started vibrating, putting the two beasts to sleep in a few moments.
She knew that she still had a long way to go compared to Dick, but she still wanted to catch up to him when it came to magic swords and spirits, that’s why she made a lot of researches about them.

The wolves rolled over and lied down with their bellies in plain sight, peacefully asleep.
Looking at their beautiful fur, Cody smiled while letting her magic sword disappear.

“You’re so cute when you sleep… everything is…!”

The woman stood still in front of the door, keeping an ear out for people, but she could hear nothing coming from behind it. It looked like it was soundproof.
She made sure that the door hadn’t traps of any kind, then summoned her light sword again and slipped it in the crevice of the door, cutting the lock.

She could project the light spirits of her sword within the building to grasp its structure by feeling how they reflected on the surfaces.

It would’ve been dangerous if I never used this trick on our expedition…

Dick had never seen Cody change her clothes exactly thanks to that—she used this trick to detect his position within the places they slept in. She was sorry about it, but she didn’t want to let him know about her.

She remembered clearly how surly he was at first and how she never understood what was crossing his mind. She had never got in contact with a boy almost as strong as her, so she never let her guard down, and she now came to regret it.

During their expedition, Cody saw that Dick was the kindest person in the world with girls. No matter how unreasonable or egoistic the other three were: even when they said they wanted to quit and forget about it, he just accepted their words.
She believed that men weren’t trustworthy, and she soon came to hate herself for that.

Maybe I’m just fickle… does he feel more at ease now that he knows about me and I don’t have to hide anymore? Am I the only one who’s stressing over it and thinking that it might’ve been better if he never knew?

She asked Dick to train together because they were friends, but it wasn’t like he had to keep his ‘promise’ at all costs.
However, if she really believed that, why had she reminded him about it?

The more she thought about all of that, the more she believed that she had made another mistake.
He shouldn’t have found out about her.
Her mind kept clinging to the same thought—when did he come to know about me?
Was it right for her to ask him directly?

Cody stepped into her destination, brushing those thoughts away, and walked into a room.
It was a kitchen, but there weren’t food or ingredients stocked in there. It looked uninhabited.
A stingy smell of mold pricked at her nostrils.
She guessed that it was just a set up place to deal with intruders or visitors. Still, somewhere in that house was the path to Purple Scorpio’s underground headquarter.

Cody was envious of Dick’s full mask in that moment and pulled out an handkerchief to cover her nose and mouth, fastening it around her head. Thinking that she now looked like a robber made her smile.
She readied herself to secure the man that was tailing her and pretended to let her guard down to let him get closer, then she turned around in the blink of an eye and twisted one of his arms behind his back, pushing him to the wall.
The man let out a groan of pain.

“Trust me, you don’t want to move. Were you checking on the wolves? I already put them to sleep.”

The man didn’t answer and soon gave up on freeing himself from her grasp.
She was holding him with only one hand, so she used the other to extract his poisoned short sword from his belt, throw it away and then destroy it with her sword of light.

The man looked extremely surprised, but he kept silent as a lightning-speed attack, impossible to be seen by his eyes, made his short sword melt.
Cody could control the ray lights of her sword and turn them incandescent. She called it ‘light eraser’ and it allowed her to cut through metal like it was butter. It could also set things ablaze if she concentrated enough light on one thing.

The short sword fell on the ground completely melted, and the man, who should’ve been used to violence and insane situations, was now trembling in fear.

“The law allows people to use poisoned weapons only to hunt beasts outside the capital. Can you explain why were you carrying one around here?”

Losing his cool, the man started to scream and struggle to run, but she pinned him to the wall with too much strength, and then decided to silence him by hitting him behind his neck, like Dick did in the past when he saved her.
The man limply fell on the ground the next moment and silence filled the air again.

I guess I’m not suited to these kind of operations… I’m not smart like Dick, I don’t really know how to move…

“Hey, why’re you screami—!”

She wanted to end it all in silence, but the enemy had been alerted.
After she ‘put the enemies to sleep’, she turned her light blade into the tuning-fork-shaped one again and used its sound to make them powerless like she did with the wolves.

Cody slapped one of the fainted men awake and had him tell her what she needed to do to reach the basement, then she hit him again to sleep.
She had to look for the scorpion statue on the first floor and unlock a secret passage with it.

Cody confirmed that the poisoned short swords of her fainted enemies looked slightly worn out, which meant that Purple Scorpio wasn’t different from a guild of killers, then she hurriedly destroyed them.

She didn’t want to exploit her own power to crush them all like powerless ants, but that was exactly the urge that was slowly welling in her heart.

Maybe trying to suppress this impulse is another reason why Dick wanted to join a guild…

Cody was now a leader, so she didn’t have many occasions to fight alone. She always found it boring, but she had slowly understood that she was blessed.

She thoroughly searched the floor and finally found the scorpion statue and the contrivance in the hallway wall—a lock-like crevice where she could insert the statue’s sting. After doing so and turning it, a section of the wall slid away, leaving an opening behind that revealed the stairs to the basement.

Cody thought that she was going to face a lot of enemies from that moment, so she set her spirit sword to ‘auto-counter’, forcing it to shoot down every projectile that flew her way with its ray lights, and unsheathed her duty sword, which was just a normal sword unlike her spirit one.
There were a lot of enemies lurking in the shadows. They held sickle and chains, woodman’s hatchets, crossbows, blow guns; but none of them could harm Cody as she advanced by mowing them down.

They never talk… I guess assassins never spell a word in fight.

All their attacks were aimed to vital and sensible parts, but none of them ever reached her body as they were one-sidedly crushed.
After she had defeated around twenty of them, she finally reached the last door.

The air changed in there—miasma wafted and stagnated in the motionless hallway. She wondered if she was going to face the Guild Master in that room as she relaxed ever so slightly while solving the mechanism to open the door.

Then, as gears started to turn and the iron door slid open, someone jumped down the ceiling and stabbed her with a talon knife.

“Die.”

The tone of that male voice conveyed an evident bloodlust as the poisoned blade pierced through Cody’s back, which distorted and vanished.
The man was confused.
The next moment, he clearly heard footsteps coming from the dark room that had just opened in front of him—three more copies of Cody emerged from the darkness.

Those were highly detailed illusions born not by mere Illusion Magic.
Cody could control light, which meant that she could manipulate the light that entered her foe’s vision to create perfect copies of herself.

The assassin in front of her wore a battered deep purple overcoat and his entire body was covered with bandages—that was Purple Scorpio’s Guild Master. He had yet to recover from the fight he had with Clave Garland.
Cody looked at the contraption that circled around his neck with pity, as she tried to recall the chronological order that brought everything to this point.

“You had it though, but there’s no need to push yourself so hard anymore. You don’t have to fight in that state.”

The man shrieked and charged the Cody he heard speaking: he bent his body forward to be faster and readied his talon knife to slice the intruder, but the head of knights’ Light Mirage ability wasn’t that simple to overcome.

Manipulating the light that someone sees means that she could mess and destroy her foe’s sense of orientation: even if he tried to attack the source of the sound, he would only slice through thin air.

Exactly at the same time that his weapon cut through what he believed was his target, his collar had been severed and he fell unconscious.
Cody had completed her mission with a single slash of her light sword. She decided to use her strongest weapon to pay her respects to the pitiful man collapsed at her feet.

“Sleep tight. I’ll force you to make up for your wrongdoings when you wake up.”

Then, Cody turned her light blade into the tuning-fork-shaped one and rang it.
Purple Scorpio’s Guild Master should’ve had protective equipment against sound attacks, but she guessed that being controlled by the collar made him act only by instinct and not by logic.

She noticed that she had cut through his guild tag’s chain along with his collar, so she picked it up and read it—his job was ‘Master thief’. It meant that he had been a proper adventurer who finished all his duties and achieved all the criteria to become a master.

Thieves were usually called bandits, but adventurer thieves weren’t like that. Still, many ended up becoming assassins and bandits thanks to their lock-picking abilities, the tricks up their sleeves and their sly nature.

Cody, looking with even more pity at the collapsed man, thought that people shouldn’t ‘buy’ one another’s strength only for egoistic means. Adventurer guilds should’ve kept adventuring, just like their name suggested, not limiting themselves to only accept requests.

She wondered if Dick thought the same. She was sure he would listen to her if she talked to him about it.
Then, Cody picked up the broken collar and left the building.

A great idea was floating in her mind.

Since their expedition against Verlaine hadn’t been a real adventure, she wanted to try the real deal with the other Miracle children. They never did anything like that so far, and as the general of the army, she would’ve taken quite the long holiday to go…!

Then, the flow of her thoughts was interrupted.

The magic tool that Dick handed her, the magic stone piece, started vibrating, signaling that Dick and Mylarka were having a hard time in their fight.

It was hard to believe, but Cody guessed that they were facing someone at least as strong as them.
She had to hurry.

She left Purple Scorpio to the members of Silver Aquarius and the knight’s order, then she headed to the 1st Street.


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New Game – Chapter 46

Predicting the number of people – Part 4

The day began to fall and the sunset splashed the city with its reddish tones.

“See you, Mirta. I’m leaving the rest to you, okay?”

“Do you… really mean to leave now? I don’t think it’s safe to start your trip on a wagon almost at night, Karin…”

The elf smiled at the worried girl and shrugged her shoulders.

“It’s fine, don’t worry. There’s someone I have to pick up midway.”

“Pick up…? Is someone else coming other than Elsa and Kunon?”

“Yes, I don’t want to go with the dumb and the idiot alone.”

She pointed at the wagon’s cover. Two boys were fooling and screaming around in it. A red-haired and a golden-haired girl were sitting there as well, glaring coldly at the unsightly duo in front of them.

“NOOO! I DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE LADY LIIIZEEE!”

“ENDURE IT, AIGLE! I’M SURE THERE ARE LOLIS IN THAT VILLAGE TOO!”

“BUT LORD LEVIN, I WANT LADY LISE TO GLARE DAGGERS AND ABUSE ME!”

“Remember… Teacher Kunon and Lady Lise will reward you in the dawn of victory!”

“What?! A REWARD?! Will they… abuse me HARDER?!”

“It’s nightfall, dumb bird and idiot dragon. At least go die in silence.”

“NGH! THAT IS WHAT I WOULD CALL A SHARP TONGUE, LADY KARIN!”

Mirta let out an awkward chuckle seeing who Karin was bringing along.

“I can get why you don’t…”

“We’re going to hunt monsters. Sheer power is never enough against them.”

The weakest monster could put up the hardest fight given their insane strength and occasional humongous size. They weren’t creatures that could be taken lightly.
If Karin and her comrades had to face a huge swarm of them, the village could get destroyed anyway.
Given the scarce information they had about the monsters they had to slay, the more people they had the better was for their mission and personal safety.

“Leave Lise’s support to me! I’ll do what I can for her!”

“Nice. I’m counting on you, dear leader.”

She waved the enthusiastic Mirta goodbye with a wry smile, then sat on the coachman’s seat and made the horses set off.
The wagon moved placidly, slowly leaving the slums behind.

For some time the clatter of the horses’ hoofs and the soft crackling of the wooden wagon were the only sounds the passengers could hear.
The two noisy demi-humans were silent too. They looked very different from usual.
The sky above had turned a dark ultramarine shade while the city slowly disappeared behind them, and once it couldn’t be seen anymore, Elsa opened her mouth wearing a stern face.

“It is about time you explain, Karin.”

Her voice sounded very strict as she sat in the wagon.

“Is it true that Elvis took part in the last Queen’s murder?”

Her sharp gaze bore into Karin’s back like a knife, a burning light swaying in her eyes.

“Yes. He didn’t only take part into it, he is literally the perpetrator—the killer.”

“Where are your proofs?”

“Proofs…? Well, trusting me or not is up to you.”

She turned around to look Elsa in the face and tapped under her own with her finger.

“I can peek into people’s heart if I look them in the eyes, and I can feel their present as well as scan their memories, so I can see what they’ve done. I took a look at him when Kunon and I became knights.”

Karin had followed Takumi’s instructions and peeked at Elvis during the ceremony.
She clearly saw Elvis’ hands smeared red in front of a woman lying on the ground in a pool of blood. She had no doubt about it: that was the former Queen.

“Takumi said that Her Majesty Eluria has figured as much too. Maybe you believe her more than me.”

“Lady Eluria was kidnapped during that accident… You must be speaking the truth if she doubts Elvis as well.”

The elf turned to face the road again, a little smile of satisfaction cracked her face.

“I’m glad you trust me. You couldn’t let go of this matter, could you?”

“Yes, I really couldn’t.”

Elsa was gripping so hard at the handle of her sword that her knuckles had turned white. She was evidently boiling with rage as she made the sword clatter in its scabbard.

“If that’s the truth… he had the Inquisition execute my father.”

The last time the Inquisition held a trial was ten years ago.
Zeruel Fairstadt stood on the scaffold—he was charged with the Queen’s murder and the princess’ abduction.
Nothing was left other than the records of that day, and the nobles were all forced not to speak about it ever again.

“I hardly remember my father… but I vividly remember how strict and upright he was. He was someone who would’ve never let the bad go unpunished. He was the most righteous of men.”

She never believed the Inquisition. Her father would’ve never killed the Queen.
The memory of her hands pulling at her brother’s clothes while crying, screaming that they had to be wrong, flashed through her mind again.

“My father was a wise and clever man. I’m sure he knew that Elvis was on the move… but he was too late to stop him.”

Elvis did whatever he could to stand in Zeruel’s way when he recognized the upright man as a danger.
No matter how hard the righteous man fought him back, he still ended up crushed. That’s why he bet all he could—his everything—in the Inquisition’s trial.

“A great number of eminent clergymen and the Holy Text are needed to cast the Domination Magic1—the ‘work of Goddess’. It is an absolute and divine power that no man will ever be able to obtain… and my father accepted to go through it and confess for his non-existent sins.”

The Goddess’ authority didn’t leave room to doubts: only the truth could be spoken.
However, no matter if it was the Inquisition’s trial, the mind and will of the defendant couldn’t be subjugated.

“The Holy Text forbids people to control one another’s heart and will outside specific conditions. The reason is that once the magic wears off, the person’s memory, spirit and very essence starts to crumble and vanish. Their very humanity gets profaned and destroyed…”

Having the consciousness controlled by someone, being devoid of will and feelings, losing the perception of oneself—that was what the ‘work of Goddess’ was about.
However, Zeruel accepted it all to protect the most important things he had.

“…and yet, my father went through that and confessed for something he’s never done. He protected me, Lux, and all the people who helped him.”

The Fairstadt family should’ve been executed altogether if their name was dirtied by the murder of the Queen and the abduction of her daughter… but Zeruel knew that and acted in advance: he stripped himself of his very family name and made Lux the head of the family before the trial.
Letting go of his family, the Fairstadt’s name kept its pureness.

Then, the trial started and the Domination Magic kicked in.
His lips spoke the truth: I am the only mastermind and executor of my plan. I have no collaborators.
With that, he charged all the guilt on his own shoulders and accepted his fate.

“He sacrificed himself to save many people. The nobles spared thanks to that managed to help Lux through the official inheritance of the Feirstadt despite he had yet to turn fifteen at the time. Then, he tried so hard to protect his Overlord seat that I clearly remember him vomiting blood sometimes. It has been hard for him.”

Zeruel offered his very life to protect his ideals and what he had built until that moment. None of his steps had been wrong: he protected his family as a father and the nobles who helped him, hoping that they would help Lux in return to protect what he had to leave behind… and succeeded.

He was the righteous resolution engraved in the name of Fairstadt, thus Elsa had never been ashamed of her father, for he was the embodiment of their ideals.
She was proud of him, and the sword she was clutching—her father’s last memento—was like the materialization of her feelings for him.

“If that man truly pushed it all on my father and let his dignity being soiled to death… I swear on my name that I will make him atone his sins.”

Elsa’s jade-colored eyes clouded as she stared into the empty space.

“I’ll make him go through hell… and torn his very existence to pieces like my father’s.”

He wasn’t robbed of his life alone: his very existence had been erased.
It was only right to drag Elvis through the same thing.

“Please… don’t stop me when we’ll be back to the capital.”

“Don’t worry, Elsa. I would’ve kept quiet if I didn’t want you to act.”

“Hahaha… you’re right… Was the slave merchant hoping for it?”

Elsa let out a dried laugh and shrugged her shoulders.

“I will break into the Inquisition’s trial and kill Elvis… that way, the Inquisition won’t know what to do and we’ll be able to save Takumi.”

Her forced smile was painted dark by shades of abandonment.

“Owww, stop it~! You won’t do that~!”

Gnaw! Kunon bit Elsa’s ear, who let out a loud scream.

“Hafumi ifn’t fhaf ffufid~!”2

“STOP IT, MY EAR…! What the heck is wrong with you, wolf girl?!”

Elsa pushed Kunon away, a slight blush reddening her face.

“Captain, don’t be like that, it isn’t like you~! Also, Takumi isn’t so stupid and boring to let it all end like that!”

The demi-human showed an optimistic smile, but Elsa’s face was stony.

“Then why did you tell me?”

“Cuz we need your help! This will get bothersome and hella big, so if we’re all forced to keep quiet, we’ll need a witness!”

“A witness…?”

“Well, yeah, it comes without saying that once we get our job done that baldy old man’s gonna say something like ‘those demi-humans will be a threat for our country in the future, we should get rid of them’ and try to kill us, don’tcha think?”

Kunon expressed her guess out loud indifferently, then started to make her index spin.

“Next he’s gonna say that we sold information about how to destroy magic to Demberg and Renunt, since they’re the closest countries, then he’ll urge the nobles to kill us to protect the image of magic, after that he’s gonna come up with a plan to catch all the demi-humans in the country and urge all the other countries to do the same given how potentially dangerous we can be, lastly he’s gonna hung up all the opposing demi-humans and execute the others in secret, and then create a legal document that labels us as a dangerous thing that humans have to get rid of…”

“NO NO NO NO NO, STOP RIGHT THERE! Do you mean that…?!”

“Yep, I totally mean it!”

Kunon’s huge smile broadened further.

“He’s trying to wipe out the demi-humans from this world!”

Elsa was flabbergasted by her words. She couldn’t believe that was Elvis’ real intent.

“I-It’s true that demi-humans have lost the war in the past and are born as slaves, but their life is still treasured and…”

“It’s actually not, you know? Nowadays the law doesn’t really cover us anymore! We can just be indirectly killed by working in the worst and most dangerous places or by being meat shields in battles!”

She chuckled softly at the end of every sentence—Elsa knew she was right. She had seen it countless times.

“Let’s think about it, Captain! Why should we obey humans even though we’re stronger than you? Don’t you think it’s strange?”

“I-Isn’t that because we could master magic…?”

“We smashed it, though~! I mean, if we’ve been able to do it, isn’t it strange that there aren’t records of someone doing it before us in all history?”

Her words sounded extremely on point.
Karin had her technique as an elf, and Kunon had her physical prowess: they could manage to win over magic as long as they knew the way to fight it.
It was unbelievable that no one had figured out a plan to contrast it since the interracial war… especially back then, when the magic tools weren’t as much developed.

Thinking about it, demi-humans should’ve come up with many ways to destroy magic long time ago.

“So… you’re saying that Fortesea is covering it up?”

“Mhmhhh~! You’re half wrong!”

Kunon wagged her tail while making an x cross with her arms.

“I mean, we’re not talking about Richtert alone but about the entire continent! I think Fortesea can’t really extend their control everywhere!”

“You got a point… not even an Overlord can influence the entire Veril continent… no matter how much Fortesea struggles, there’s a limit to their power.”

It probably could reach Denmerg in the North and maybe the island countries far in the sea, but it was hard to believe that he could reach the city-states of heroes in the west, and it was almost impossible to imagine that he could go any further than that.

However, the entire continent scorned the demi-humans, and they were often self-deprecating…
No matter how hard they thought about it—this wasn’t normal. Even if this situation had spread gradually through the entire continent, something felt off.

“This is natural for us, so we can’t see how strange it is! We’ve grown accustomed to it in time, when demi-humans started their decline through overwhelming scorns!”

“So you mean that Fortesea didn’t do this alone but had a lot of collaborators back then…?”

“Nope! I’m talking about a single guy’s doings!”

“Wait… what do you mean?”

Elsa was at a loss for words, so Karin let out a soft sigh before turning over.

“Kunon, you’re losing her. You’ll have more chances to explain her in the future, now drop the subject.”

“Okaaay~! Our job comes first, right~?”

“I wasn’t lost in the topic… I’m at a loss to think that the wolf girl could keep up a smart conversation like that.”

“Captain, why’re you a big meanie with me?!”

“Yes, she isn’t the smartest girl in the world, but she catches up quickly. She can truly understand Takumi au naturel unlike me.”

Karin puffed out her chest as if she was praising herself instead of her friend.

“Now, we’re almost at the rendezvous point. Sorry Elsa, but I need you to swear that you won’t tell anyone about what you’re going to see or hear from now on. You have to keep quiet about any sort of reward we’ll receive or exchange we’ll deal with too.”

The guard fell silent for a few seconds.

“Okay. I swear on my family’s name.”

“Maybe I’ll let you handle the paperwork later, then.”

Karin joked, giggling at the guard’s words.

“Lang, you can come out now.”

The next moment, the floorboard at Elsa’s feet rose and a round head poked out of it.
The woman let out a girlish scream as she jumped back in surprise to the coachman’s seat, almost hugging Karin—the thing that was crawling out of the floor was scanning the wagon with its bulbous big eyes while moving creepily slow.

“WHA-WHA-WHA-WHAT THE HECK IS THAT THING, KARIN?!”

“Wow, Elsa, is this the first time you see an aquatic-man?”

“An aquatic-man?! What is he doing here in the first place?!”

Aquatic-men were very peculiar even among the demi-humans.
As the name of their species suggested, they usually spent their day in the water, but they could walk on land as well without major issues.

It wasn’t that rare to see them in Listina and the nearby Verna lake, as they had plenty of water compared to many other places, but what terrified Elsa was that the two characteristic of the average aquatic-man—their fins and fishy ears—were missing from Lang’s body.

He had a round head, bulbous big eyes, short and stout limbs and torso, and a moistened skin.
Once he stood on his feet and finished looking around, he stood still, his eyes fixed on Elsa.

“Forgive me for catching you off guard, Lady Fairstadt.”

He bowed his funny head to the woman, speaking in a surprising gentlemanly way.

“My name is Lang. I am in charge of cleaning Listina’s waterway and treating its contents. I am late for introductions for I cannot stay much in the open.”

“I-I see… let me apologize too for my overreaction.”

She reflexively bowed and apologized back. She managed to calm down while talking and slowly returned to her seat.

“Do not, please. My appearance is strange even among my specimen. Lord Takumi said I look like a giant pepper fish.”

“A… what?”

“I also know not about it, but I imagine it is a creature I might remind of.”

Elsa couldn’t help but being confused by the gap between his listless look and his flawless speech.
It almost exuded a composed and serious aura that none of the other demi-humans affiliated with Takumi seemed to—

“For your information, my favourite dish is the urine of women.”

“I KNEW YOU WERE SCREWED IN THE HEAD LIKE THE OTHERS, DAMMIT!”

“LORD LANG, YOU ARE ALWAYS THE SAME OLD PERVERT!”

“HE’S RIGHT, MAN, YOU’RE BEYOND HELP!”

“Hahaha. You two are way worse than me, though.”

Lang high-fived the dumb bird and the idiot dragon as they chit-chatted.

“Karin… do you and Kunon have any decent guy among your friends…?”

“The dumb, the idiot and the fool aren’t our friends, you know?”

“It’s so refreshing to hear you saying that in front of them…”

“I just don’t see them as demi-humans like me, it would be too vexing. The other two are fine, anyway, so don’t worry about it.”

“Other two…? There are more?!”

Elsa steeled herself for the worst, then the wagon swayed unnaturally. A few seconds later, a loud clatter rang from behind them.
The next moment, the rear part of the cloth covering the wagon lifted and a woman with a sleepy face stepped in and looked around.

“Wow, what a bunch of perverts.”

“SWEET FILIA, I DON’T EVEN KNOW THIS GIRL!”

The woman rubbed her half-closed honey-colored eyes.
Sheep-y horns and ears sprouted from the sides of her head while white and fluffy hair dangled up to her ample bosom.

“Wait, Lady Fairstadt, is that you?”

“Do you know me…?”

“Yes, I could profit on y… huuuh… I am a merchant, so I gather information about the country’s nobles and leaders and I try to remember their faces. It’s important to know your customers if you want to do this job.”

Elsa thought that merchants shouldn’t be that blunt, but at least she didn’t look like a pervert… for now, at least.

“I’m Merin. Chloris, come say hello.”

Elsa hadn’t noticed that someone was hiding behind the woman—she was quite shorter than the other and had chestnut-colored hair with long furry ears hanging from her head. She looked extremely shy.

“D-Do I have to?!”

“Introductions are important. Ready? Let’s go~!”

Merin grabbed the girl behind her with a hand and pushed her forward until it was in plain sight in front of Elsa and the others.3

“Iich! Y-Yelp…! I-I…! I’m Chloris…!”

“N-Nice to meet you… uuuhm… is she okay? She just started crying all of a sudden.”

“Yes, it’s alright. She’s just a shy scaredy-cat.”

Merin’s sleepy face barely moved at all, while Chloris’ was as pale as a ghost’s and distorted in tension. She was trembling so hard that her long ears were moving in waves.
After their introduction, Karin clapped her hands.

“Okay, that’s enough introduction for you. Let’s get to work.”

Her words had a strange weight despite the light mood, which soon faded from the air.

“Chloris, the report about the outskirts.”

“Y-Y-Yes! W-We s-scouts confirm that the monsters are a-a kind of s-small dragon-like creatures! T-There should be a lot of them g-given the traces they’ve left behind, b-but we c-confirm that there’s s-something e-else too by the smell i-in the air!”

“Merin, are the preparations proceeding?”

“Mhhh… the engineers completed the camp in the area. The rearguard with firearm is ready and vigilant, their top priority is keeping the escape route safe. The weapons you wanted are in the back of the wagon.”

Kunon nodded at their flawless exposition, then turned to the bird and the dragon.

“Aigle, report the situation.”

“According to the veteran hunting team, the monsters are behaving strangely compared to the average ones! I think that there will be something completely different along with the usual monsters that attack the village every year!”

“Lewin, estimate the destructive power of the whole pack including the unknown monster.”

“Assuming that they’re all a lotta small fries, the main team’ll act as a decoy and let the rearguard mow them down. If the unknown monster’s a middle class guy, they’ll switch their formation to the defensive and join the hunting team to win. If it’s a major monster… we’re gonna join the fray!”

The two’s usually idiotic behavior was nowhere to be seen right now.
Elsa was shocked.

Demi-humans usually didn’t get along with themselves.
The differences, religion, customs and nature of the various species normally clashed with one another, and only occasionally, especially when the humans persecuted them, they managed to bear with each other.
The feud between them, along with their disjoint organization and relationships, were the reason why humans could keep their predominance on them.

“Good. Avoid any contacts with the local residents until the operation starts and tell all the units to keep their actions covert. Now, Lang… what did Takumi say?”

“Code 7-0-6. It has been a long time since we had it this big.”

“Yeaaah~! It’s been a while since we joined an operation all together! Takumi probably guessed that we’re facing some veeery hard hunt this time!”

Still, none of the presents looked any worried. Their deep knowledge and trust of each other brought them to omit any unnecessary feeling or thought—they were currently like a single entity moving to complete their mission.
It didn’t matter how hard they had to try: they completely grasped the gravity of what they were about to face.

“Captain! You don’t need to be that scared, you know?!”

Kunon called out to Elsa, looking at her with a big smile on her face. The Hound had felt that she was restless behind her composed mask.

“Unlike you humans, we’re demi-humans living in the depths of captivity!”

Although she implied that they were the lowest, her grin was fearless.

“This super funny hunt is gonna start soon~!”


1 The original actually uses the wofdsafrd “隷属” which is closer to “slaverying/subordinating”, but I thought that “domination” would work waaay better. Hope this won’t bite me in the back soon

2 The original: “hafumi ha hokohade ohahahya hai defu ho~” (はふみはほこはでおははひゃはいでふほー) = “takumi wa sokomade obaka ja nai desu yo” (タクミはそこまでおバカじゃないですよ)

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Guild Master – Chapter 50

The hero’s teacher and the plan to normalize the guilds

I stood around until Claive was brought in one of Red Gemini’s confinement rooms, then I left.

I contacted Leeza with a magic tool, which I had crafted myself, capable of keeping us in touch from long distances and asked her to stand-by until I got there. She was currently at Black Leo’s and I planned ahead to hurry over if it was under attack, but she reassured me saying that nothing of the sort had happened. Leonid was sound asleep, snoring loudly in his own house.

All the members of my intelligence team had that magic tool. It allowed us to communicate instantaneously as long as we were within the capital.

A magic tool can be crafted as long as someone who can use magic has the knowledge to do so. There is a way to make the magic affecting them last forever, otherwise it would weaken by the day and eventually disappear.

The guy who controlled Claive is a third party unaffiliated with anyone… Controlling a SS rank adventurer like that means that they are very strong…

I would’ve never defeated Verlaine, who was a SSS rank foe, without all the others Miracle children, which were said to be born once every thousand years. So far, I had met only another person I knew who was as much strong—if not abysmally stronger—than us…

The woman who taught me magic—my teacher.

I was thirteen last time I had seen her. It was right before I joined the expedition party.

She was a free spirit who wandered around the world.
I bet she had already forgotten about me and picked another pupil on a whim…
She was the kind of person who always did whatever she wanted.

If I had to figure out who had buffed Claive so much and crafted those collars… she was the only one I could think of.

She was the moodiest mystery wandering the lands: her actions swayed from the kindest to the most aberrant.
She was called ‘Ashen clown’.

I didn’t want to think that she was now in the capital to pick a fight with me and I didn’t wish it either. However, it was totally possible given her personality.

“Dee, I so want you to kill me, that’s why I’ll raise you.”

Her words rang clearly in my mind.
She always smiled and laughed like a child, and yet was always out of reach like the best of adults.

I didn’t come back to her when the expedition against Verlaine was over.
I never understood her and I could never tell what passed through her mind.

Did she pick another pupil and got involved with White Capricorn on a whim? Was all this part of her plan…?

The more I racked my brain, the more I was convinced that it was her.
I never knew someone else who could use Support Magic other than the two of us.

However, controlling one of the Miracle children or Verlaine would be way harder than subduing a SS rank adventurer.

I hoped my guess was wrong… but I couldn’t just discard the possibility that we were going to face my teacher.
I felt like this matter’s showdown was drawing near… and I had to do whatever I could to end it quickly.

◆◇◆

I stopped thinking too hard about it when I reached Leeza, who had her eyes wide open as she looked at the ruins of a gate.

“W-What the heck happened? It looks like a tornado destroyed only this part…!”
“White Capricorn’s leader did this… it’s kinda amazing. I’m glad that Black Leo is fine, anyway.”
“Y-Yes, I have nothing relevant to report… only that Black Leo’s security guard saw a suspicious guy wandering around.”

Claive must’ve thought that he could use Sherry’s ability to control men and decided to ‘subdue’ Red Gemini first.

He only took a look at Black Leo, then thought it was better to gain full control over their affiliated guilds before destroying an unaffiliated one.

“By the way, Master, can I ask you something? We have a rule that forbids us to get involved and meddle with other guilds, right? Why are we breaking it?”
“Because we need to, this is an exception. In this specific case we need to investigate and understand what’s going on in the other guilds.”
“Okay, if you say so… Here, Sakuya and the others wrote down what they’ve found.”

Only three of the seven guilds affiliated to White Capricorn had changed lately: Purple Scorpio, Blue Sagittarius and Green Cancer.
I had already stopped Blue Sagittarius with the demi-humans’ matter, so this time I had to face the others two.

White Capricorn kept their requests accessible only to their affiliated guilds and stopped accepting general ones. I heard that many of their adventurers had left their guilds lately, which was weird, but I couldn’t tell what had happened and I didn’t receive any more information about that.

“The rule not to accept general requests shouldn’t apply to people who make a living out of it… but White Capricorn doesn’t care about it. Maybe their Guild Master and leaders forced them all into this… in that case, it wouldn’t be strange for the people most far from them to leak information, but they are keeping their guard up. Maybe they’re forbidden to say anything about it… I think they’re keeping their information under control.”
“I see… so those guilds are White Capricorn’s puppets in every way.”
“Yes. Sakuya said that getting carelessly close to that guild would lead to deadly fights. That’s probably the reason behind Purple Scorpio’s silence. They kept leaking some information until a little while ago, but then they stopped altogether.”

When Aileen faced those guys from Purple Scorpio, I thought they might’ve just accepted a request.

But what if that wasn’t it?
What if Purple Scorpio and Green Cancer gave up their decency and kept dirtying their hands due to White Capricorn’s control?
What if all this started way before this mess?

“This situation is very abnormal. I think that prying in this matter any further might lead our guild and all of its members to face some serious danger. Master, what should we do next?”
“You’ve done enough, leave the rest to me.”
“A-Are you serious…? Do you want to face White Capricorn and those crazy guilds at once? I mean, I firmly believe that you can do it, okay? Sorry for putting it like this, but—this isn’t like you, Master.”
“Yeah, I feel the same way. I minded my own business so far to create a proper environment for our guild. We needed it.”

Leeza stared at me absent-mindedly for a few seconds, then giggled.

“Got it. I guess that’s more like you. I’m glad to see that you’re the same old Master.”
“Leeza, join Sakuya for a while if you can. I’m afraid that our enemy might try to attack you singularly.”
“Okay, I’ll leave everything to the fighting teams. Wish you the best.”

She nodded to me before disappearing in the night. I felt better now: if I ordered her to stay safe, I had no need to worry about her or the other members of the intelligence team. They were all very careful and dutiful.

Now, taking over three guilds at the same time meant to split my men and choose the right ones for the specific mission I was going to assign them.

My duty was to find the third party affiliated to White Capricorn, which might be stronger than Verlaine and tough enough to give the Miracle children a headache, and handle them myself.

I didn’t care who I was going to face: we all wanted and needed to end this quickly. I didn’t want to see someone suffer like Red Gemini again.

◆◇◆

The next morning, I gathered the expedition party in the Magic Academy’s training fields.
Aileen looked in high spirits as she started to talk.

“Dick, where should I go? Can I face Purple Scorpio? They look like the most dangerous of the three.”
“Sure, but a lot of them use poison. I think it would be better to send a long-ranged fighter against them.”
“Then let me go. They made a target of the knights too, so I should drop them a visit.”

Purple Scorpio was like the guild of darkness: they abducted people and had a lot of assassins among their members. They accepted any kind of awful requests, so it was probably fate that Cody—the Holy sword of light—was going to face them.

“Yuma, can I leave Green Cancer to you? They use a lot of golems, but you should be able to dispel and nullify them. If Aileen is with you, nothing should pose a threat.”
“Yes. I am honored to help you. Golems are mere vessels for human souls and spirits, after all…!”
“Great! No worries, Yuma, I’ll protect you! I can use my other form as well since you can cleanse me! Sorry for bothering you so much last time~!”

Her strength multiplied several folds along with the impulse she felt to destroy everything every time she ‘transformed’, and later she had to face a lot of side-effects. She never said much about it, so I had yet to know them in detail.

Mylarka, who stood in silence until that moment, locked eyes with me.

“I guess we’re against White Capricorn, then… they should be the hardest to bring down, but I doubt they’ll be a problem for us.”
“I really hope so. As far as I can tell, they might have a SSS rank guy helping them.”

Cody, Aileen and Mylarka looked at me, tension wafting in the air—deep within their gazes burned the will to fight.

“Dick, I’ll be right there as soon as I finish my job.”
“We brought down Verlaine together. It might be coward to fight as a team, but the expedition party cannot lose against anything.”
“I’m curious ’bout what they can do, honestly… I hope it won’t end in a second.”

Shoot, there was no one I could trust more than these three. Claive would learn so much from these guys that all my teachings would pale in comparison.

“By the way, I’d love to spar with you again once it’s all over, Dick. I honestly thought we were going to train together today, since you called me.”
“S-Sorry. I’ll try to save up some time for you as soon as possible, Cody.”
“Alright, I won’t push the matter any further. I just wanted to make sure you remembered. It would hurt if you didn’t.”

Cody had a change of mind and brought her long sword instead of a sparring one. She barely had any occasion to use her light sword, but this time was one of them.

Then, we all took out our masks and everyone stared at mine.

“Dick, that mask has a great design. I want it too.”
“Aww~! Look at you, Dick! No one knew you crafted a new mask only for yourself~!”
“I agree. You can cover all your face with that… can I ask one too?”
“My, it looks wonderful on you~♪ You truly look like a hero now.”
“G-Girls… it’s the same old mask you have, I only changed it a little…”

I always felt very close to these three, but for some reason, I felt our relationships deepening by the day.

Nothing had changed between us since the expedition: creating the masked saviors only confirmed it. Now we had lots of chances to feel it on our skin. I didn’t know if they enjoyed it as much as I did, but I was really glad that we could push forward together.

White Capricorn was losing to insanity?
We were ready to beat some common sense in their skulls.
The next moment, we started carrying on our duties.


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1+

New Game – Chapter 45

Predicting the number of people – Part 3

Listina’s middle layer was extremely calm.
The citizens’ life and business prospered easily, and travelers who visited the capital were left agape by the beauty and complexity of the waterway.
None of the residents minded the abundant water that flowed through the city, which was built at the right distance from the sea not to get eroded by the salty breeze.
However, every place has their shadows.

The middle layer housed the prisons for sinners.
They were built in a corner far from people, in the shadows of the upper layer, as everyone thought they were an eyesore. Only a few had to walk by it and bear such an ugly sight.
Takumi was now prisoned in there…

“Frooom the forest of the siiilent lake shooore~!”

…while singing a discordant song. The smell of mould pricked at his nostrils.
The provisional bed he laid on was clattering loudly as he rolled over it, worsening even more that noisy cacophony.

“SHUT UP! STOP SINGING SHIT AND MAKING THIS NOISE!”

“YOU’RE DRIVING ME CRAZY!”

The two guards on the other side of the door roared and Takumi did as they asked. Then, he started kicking the bed’s floorboard.
He was bored.

“Do you even understand where you are?! Has getting caught gone to your head?!”

“I’m going to face Richtert’s worst trial and the Inquisition caught me. I don’t care when it’s happening, so I’d rather get outta here as soon as I can.”

The guards burst in a scornful laughter, and Takumi stopped being noisy.

“The only thing that’s waiting you outside is death.”

“Your body will be torn to pieces along with any human dignity. Going through that trial will etch the real meaning of regret on your memory.”

“Really? Don’t hold yourself, then.”

He got back to kicking the bed incessantly the next moment.

“For Filia’s sake, GIVE IT A REST! All the prisoners who get here are nuts, dammit!”

“All? So you know the guy who was here before me?”

“Huh? I don’t know much. I’ve been the head of the guards in this prison for some time, then I left but couldn’t find any job, so I came back as a regular guard.”

The man tilted his head, his grizzled hair in full sight along with his bored face.
Takumi slowly got on his feet.

“Can you tell me more about him? About the guy who was here before me.”

“I said I don’t know much.”

“I don’t care how much you know, help me kill some time. I’m not loud when I listen.”

Takumi’s deal was soon broken by the other guard, who had an unkept beard.

“Hey, stop talking to him. Lord Elvis said the only contact he can have is with the guy who brings him food.”

“Man, my ears are gonna ring forever if he keeps kicking the damn bed!”

Takumi was readying another flurry of kicks and the grizzle-haired man clicked his tongue.

“Hey, nudnik, will you really stop if I talk?”

“I’m a slave merchant, you know? I pay for worthy stuff.”

“I can’t really believe the words of scum who sells slaves… but whatever.”

He stopped briefly to organize his thoughts, then took a deep breath.

“As I said, I don’t know much. I had a few privileges when I was the head around here, but I’ve never been assigned to this division.”

“How do you know about that guy, then?”

“I could hear him. The sound echoes a lot in here, and very loud people like you can be faintly heard even from the upper floors thanks to the air venting holes.”

The man pointed at the parts of the cave that were slightly dug or open as he talked.

“I bet the nobles who had you arrested are mad at you for the noise you make. You should expect to be get a hot love call once you get outta here.”

“I got called a lot on the first day here already. Go on.”

“Well, he was a chill guy unlike you, but he always repeated the same words at night. I don’t know much about it, but he whispered stuff about the Goddess and the Hero… maybe excerpts from the Holy Text.”

“Wow… do you remember what he said?”

“Don’t be stupid, we’re talking about more than ten years ago. Also, I only heard parts of it, never heard the complete thing so I can’t tell precisely.”

He shook his head as if to say to give him a break.
Takumi cast his gaze on the ground and fell in deep thought.

“Oh, right. I heard a rumor when I left this job.”

“A rumor…?”

“Yeah, about what happened fifteen years ago. You know, the accident that shook the entire country. I heard that the one who killed the former Queen and abducted the princess was imprisoned here. Maybe he was the guy who was in this cell before you, and the inquisition had all the reasons to punish him—”

“Do not talk to that man. My order was clear, was it not?”

A low and glacial voice echoed through the place, interrupting the man.
Tac, tac; the noise of a cane striking the ground drew closer, and the grizzle-haired man slowly turned to face the sound’s way.
An old man was approaching them with a gaze so sharp it could’ve cut people to pieces.
The guards panicked a little and waited, their bodies stiff like stone.

“L-Lord Elvis…! Why are you here?”

“I am here to see what face the man who killed my son is making as he waits for his death. But no matter that… do you have any justification for failing to execute my order?”

Elvis’ blaming tone and glare frightened the man.

“I-I beg your pardon… the prisoner started singing a terrible song out loud and kicking the bed, so I rebuked him and started a conversation to make him stop.”

The old man nodded slightly.

“I see… it must have been hard.”

The next moment, he swung his cane and hit the man on the head, who fell on the ground due to the strength of the blow.
Blood sprayed from the impact and started to stain his grizzle hair.
The other guard panicked and rushed to check the wound of his bleeding comrade.
Elvis’ stony face didn’t budge.

“I cannot stand people who pile errors up, neither I can tolerate those who fail to notice they are mistaking.”

Tac, tac; the sound of his cane striking the floor resounded all over the place.

“He sung and made that noise to warn his comrades.”

“B-But this prison is isolated from the outside! It is surrounded by walls even in its deepest layers, it’s impossible to communicate from here—”

“I see. You are like this man. Another dolt who fails to notice mistakes.”

The man closed his mouth as soon as Elvis’ cold glare pierced him.

“The sound echoes terribly in this basement, and the waterway flows through the capital’s underground. If people know it and take the right measures, it is possible to communicate from here with sound codes.”

Elvis’ gaze locked on a new target, Takumi.

“Now, even putting it aside and supposing that this man never did any of this, the two of you still piled errors you failed to notice up… you are no different from useless and inferior pigs.”

The man with the unkept beard gasped loudly when Elvis unsheathed his short sword and started closing the distance between them.

“Don’t be so in high spirits, old fart.”

The overlord turned to face the man who spat those words.

“I see. You thought I would stop if you spoke to me?”

“Of course I’ll make you stop. I don’t know how long I have to stay here, and yet you want to splash these walls and my bed with blood? Do you realize how gross would it be?”

He shrugged his shoulders while speaking in a light mood and Elvis’ face twitched almost imperceptibly.

“By the way, nice idea back there, but I was noisy only to kill some time. If it bothers you so much, why don’t you go check within the walls or the waterway?”

“I already made the arrangements for it.”

Elvis glanced at the grizzle-haired man after sheathing his short sword.

“Take that pig away and change it with another guard.”

“Y-Yes! Right away!”

The man with the unkept beard replied reverently and carried his comrade up the stairs.
Once the sound of his steps was far enough, Takumi spoke.

“So, what business does an overlord have with me?”

“I already stated it. I am here to look at your face as you wait to die… you do not look afraid at all.”

“Of course not. I have no intention to die yet.”

Takumi sat on the bed of his room and showed a fearless smile.

“I mean… our Goddess loves me, you know?”

“Interesting. If Goddess Filia truly loves you, I guess your body will be unscathed when you will be thrown in the flames of redemption.”

As far as Takumi knew, the Inquisition was like the witch-hunting guys he had read about in the history books of his former world.
They executed people in the name of piety.

The ceremony was simple: they purified the sinners by throwing them in the undying fire that burned in Filia’s cathedral.
It was like burning people at the stake, watching them scream in pain, checking them while they were still agonizing and keep torturing them in the most gruesome way… until their death.

The only difference between this process and the witch-hunting’s was that the inquisition had to admit and recognize that Filia had blessed and granted her favor upon the ‘hapless victim’ if they could come out of the fire unscathed.
They would be seen as a ‘divine proxy’ and their every action would be seen like God’s will.
Yet, none would ever overcome the queen’s influence in Richtert.

“The Hero of the past threw himself in the sacred flames to save his dear master who was caught, and not a burn scarred his body. I wonder if you can repeat that same feat.”

“Only a monster would get outta a fire without a burn. Do I look like one?”

“A monster…? I cannot deny it.”

Elvis’ arrogance faltered for an instant, but his expression returned stony as he snorted.

“The Hero was the founder of magic. He could defend himself from the sacred flames because the world was still ignorant to magic. A powerless man like you will never be able to do the same. Not now, not ever.”

“Aren’t you assuming that I absolutely can’t use magic?”

“I am not assuming it, I am sure of it. You cannot use magic, thus you had to destroy Kiad’s magic formula. Otherwise, you could not deal with the Valiant Fortesea.”

The old man turned his darkest gaze to Takumi as if to study him.

“You robed him of his magic by force, changed its property to make it conflict with itself and with him, then made it flow through his body again… this operation requires some time to be performed, so the target must be motionless.”

Takumi narrowed his eyes, his smile disappearing from his face. What made him warp his expression wasn’t why Elvis knew about it, but that he knew everything down to the juiciest details.
His words weren’t the product of a simple guess—he had fully grasped what happened.

“That guy was obnoxious, but he was still your son.”

“So? Do you think my rage comes from that? Nonsense.”

His cane stroke the ground as his eyes grew ever more heartless.

“Pigs only serve to be cut to pieces, do they not?”

Elvis’ tone of voice was indifferent, as if he was talking of something trivial.
He didn’t take Kiad out only to frame Takumi: he also wanted to see what law formula had destroyed his son’s magic formula… and he cut his own son’s body open to figure it out.
He checked every single piece of meat until the very end to make full use of what once had been his son.

“Even something that would ban you from the slums wouldn’t be that aberrant.”

“You have no right to speak. Magic is an absolute power that must be wielded only by magic knights. Magic formulas are its core. You will now go through hell because you did not finish that useless pig when you had the chance.”

His words were cold and distant. Takumi grasped well what the man was implying here—the death of my son was for the best.

“Magic, magic, magic… man, you’re so crazy you make me laugh.”

“Magic is the only hope left to humans. Our mission is to think of it as our salvation and make it our number one priority. It is essential to correct this warped world.”

“Man, I’m not laughing at that.”

Takumi’s lips curled into a smile as he raised his chin to sneer at the man in front of him.

“I’m laughing at the pitiful coward I’m talking to right now. The one who desperately hides behind a mask.”

Elvis chuckled, his body trembling a little. Those words deeply pleased him.

“Nothing but cowardice can protect a fragile heart… a coward like you has no choice but to shake in fear, no?”

A pair of pitch-black eyes dug deep within the old man’s facade to gouge something true out.

“Magic is absolute and only the strong should wield it. If we do, we can cast all the inferior beings in the pits of captivity they belong to.”

Then, the old man swung his cane and thwacked the iron grill, which let out a loud ringing sound.
His expression didn’t budge for a moment. He was the strongest, most heartless and most stern human in the city.

“You deserve my praise for keeping your head high in front of me. Yet, you should know how to choose your battles more wisely, lad.”

Thin shades of rage and murderous intents painted the eyes of the man.

“The inquisition wants you to become an example for the masses… but I changed my mind. I will carve our Valiant name deep down your soul in the name of Fortesea.”

The air trembled as overwhelming power seethed from his body. He unsheathed his short sword again.

“Fortesea? What are you talking about, old fart?”

Takumi was indifferent at his rage, his smile still plastered on his face.

“That isn’t your real surname, is it?”

Elvis froze, his eyes wide open. His glacial—almost inorganic—gaze swayed for the first time, as a sparkle of humanity shone within it.

“I did not expect you to step this deeply into the wrong territory.”

“Well, you won’t get any answer if you kill me here and now.”

“You know I am not such a fool, do you not?”

The grip on his short sword slowly loosened, and the sparkle of humanity disappeared from his eyes the next moment.

“Very well. I will gouge everything out of you at the trial.”

“Oww, how scary. You can easily let me spit everything now if you torture me.”

Elvis snorted at his silly comment. He turned on his heels, sheathed his sword and started walking to the exit, but stopped a few steps later.

“Do you know Goddess Filia?”

Takumi mulled over the true meaning of that question, doubt moulding his expression.

“Of course I do. She’s a goddess who truly loves this world.”

“Is that so?”

The old man resumed his walk, leaving behind a feeble whisper.

“It looks like… you are not like me…”

Those words wafted in the air marked by the sound of the cane striking the stairs.
Takumi’s gaze was locked on his back until he was gone—for a brief moment, Elvis looked like a little lone child.


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0

Guild Master – Chapter 49

The third party and the strongest piece

Thanks to Sherry’s magic, Clave spilled everything about the raid, the damage they caused and the people they hurt on the way there.
Then, I spoke while looking for a way to properly punish him.

“Answer all our questions, and know that you will pay for your every answer.”
“Yes… ask me anything… Milady’s acquaintances deserve the same respect I have for her…”

He answered with the usual creepy polite way he had been using since Aroma started to affect him.
Lotte, who had finished inspecting the man, was now holding another of those collars.

“Big sis, it looks like they cannot mass-produce these things. We only found two, and I guess they were meant to be around our neck… right? Oww, I’m getting goose bumps.”
“Who gave you the order to attack our guild?”

Sherry cut to the chase—that was the core question that floated in her heart for a good while now.

“My Guild Master wanted me to accept this order, there was a seal of blood on the request… It was interesting. If I bent the two of you to my will, I would’ve gained quite some benefits. Still, I failed to, and—ugh!”

A loud thud resounded when the chain-flail’s tip heavily stroke the top of his head.
Lotte’s eyes were cloudy and dark, almost like the light of reason had left them. Shivers ran down my spine.

“Your words are scum and totally unfitting your current position, you powerless failure. You are a worm that doesn’t deserve to breathe. It would be better to just chop you to pieces and why not doing so with the scythe you brought with you…? Don’t you agree, Big sis, Lord Dick?”
“Well, he surely is disgusting, so I wouldn’t stop you. Honestly, I wouldn’t even try to, since you look pretty scary right now. Can you please stop freaking me out?”
“Wow, you managed to scare Dick… I’m sure he was smirking like a kid until a minute ago, and yet…! You’re amazing, Lotte…”
“Wha—B-Big sis, did I do something worth your praise…? Sorry, I’ve lost myself for a moment back there…! Oh no, the flail moved on its own again!”

If Lotte let ‘the flail move on its own’ again, Clave would probably end up undergoing a sex change… in the physical sense of the term.
We had to gather all the information we could before it was too late.

“Your Guild Master uses blood seals whenever they order you to do something very important?”
“I-It all started… when I came to the capital… and formed a contract with White Capricorn… My Guild Master… is the same rank as me… I don’t have a reason… to follow his orders…”
“Clave, get it together and answer properly. Why do you look so dizzy?”

I grabbed him from his lapel and lifted him a little, then I remembered—I had cast a buff on the twins and a debuff on him.

Currently Lotte was strengthened to a SS rank, and Clave was weakened to a B rank. If he didn’t die by her hand just now, it was because she only wanted to hurt him…
That was a close call.

“Tell me why you listen to your Guild Master’s orders.”
“‘That guy’ could… improve my power…”
“Who is ‘that guy’? Your Guild Master or someone else?”

Clave didn’t reply to Sherry’s question. He didn’t know the answer.

If ‘that guy’ could buff his powers, I guessed Clave was actually weaker than expected and had been buffed before the raid.

This also meant that there was someone in White Capricorn who could use Support Magic. They were the reason behind Clave’s loyalty, although he never got to see the caster.
‘That guy’ had the same low-profile attitude I had. Thinking about it made me smile wryly.

White Capricorn’s Guild Master acted to expand their control over their affiliated guilds, but that could be a mere facade. Maybe there was someone else pulling the strings of this matter.

“If ‘that guy’ is in the capital right now, it should be possible to find him, right…?”
“Sherry, things might get muddy from now on. Can I install a transfer circle in your guild? That way I can come here instantly if anything happens again.”
“I mean… transfer circles are very pricey. Our guilds aren’t even that far apart…”
“W-Why…? Big sis and I have our duty as the heads of our guild. We cannot rely on other Guild Masters so much… but I’ll respect what Big sis wants.”

Lotte glanced at Sherry, who looked hesitant. It was understandable.
A special crystal imbued with Transfer Magic had to be used to install a transfer circle. They were extremely rare and could be found only in the ancient dungeons every several months.

However, I could’ve stopped the invaders before anyone was injured if Red Gemini sensed the incoming attack on time. Thinking about it, wasn’t it better to install a transfer circle into the guilds I was in friendly relations with?

After a few more seconds, Sheery turned to look at me.

“Could you teach me how to use it when it’s ready…? I don’t want it to be wasted given its value…”
“Sure. It isn’t hard to use, but it’s basically impossible for humans to make one from scratch.”
“Clave, this is confidential. Pretend you didn’t hear anything… oh, he isn’t listening.”
“Oh no…! Big sis! Bring some water, hurry!”
“Oh c’mon… don’t die on us.”

Lotte’s attack had probably hit harder than we thought and Clave was now unconscious. I cast Healing Magic on him to bring him back to his senses.
Thinking about it, we could’ve tortured him by looping her attacks and my healing… we didn’t really have time for that, but it didn’t sound like a bad idea…!

“Are there other Guild Masters who had to be controlled by these collars?”
“Purple Scorpio’s Guild Master… stole one from me and tried to force it around my neck… but I won and put it on him instead…”
“Why does this scum look so prideful now…?”
“Lotte, put away your flail or we won’t gather enough information. You’re too strong right now, floor and walls might collapse if you hit them with all your strength.”

So Purple Scorpio was under White Capricorn’s control, huh…?

I wasn’t really glad to help them given their sick ideals, but they could become very bothersome in this case.

And yet… I had to be honest.

Purple Scorpio’s members were assassins who accepted any request for the right price. That ideal was far from the ‘right’ adventurer’s, but it was exactly because there were people who needed someone to take care of dirty jobs that Purple Scorpio was still an active guild.

It was better to bring them on the right way instead of leaving them as White Capricorn’s puppets. They already were criminals, we couldn’t let them become something worse.

Still, attacking them first would attract White Capricorn’s attention, and then everything would’ve become harder to deal with.

What to do, then…?

I only had one solution: disclose White Capricorn’s true nature and free all of their puppet guilds at the same time.

Then, I turned to face Clave.

“I understood that Red Gemini didn’t want to take part in this sick experiment, but did you really need to attack them?”
“What do you mean? Only traitors don’t listen to orders. They don’t need any will. There are guilds like Yellow Pisces and Orange Taurus who obey meekly, and useless guilds like Blue Sagittarius who should just disappear… hahaha!”

He had yet to escape Sherry’s control, but he still managed to show us a scornful smile. I turned to look at Lotte and saw a visible killing intent gushing out her clouded eyes, so I rose my hands to try keeping her at bay.

She was a Gladiator, a savage fighter who always tried to polish her fighting skills to stomp her foes. She wanted to protect her sister so badly that, behind her meek and gentle mask, she hid a real beast.

“I know that this scumbag isn’t the cause behind all this, but I cannot bear myself to hear any more of his words, Sir Dick.”
“I feel the same way, but we have to listen to all he has to say. Lotte, go downstairs and check on your guild members’ condition, please.”
“Okay… sorry. I’ll leave my sister in your hands.”

Lotte looked a bit hesitant, then she handed me over the collar and left the room.
Sherry looked a bit pale from seeing that thing again.

“She might’ve killed him if she kept listening. Her sense of justice is just too strong.”
“Don’t worry, I know that feeling. I’ll make sure he regrets all his words. Now, Clave, one last question. If your guild is not to blame directly for all of this, is there another guild or company that’s pulling the strings?”
“No… there’s only… ‘that guy’…! Ugh! Aaahhh!”

Clave started to scream as he held his head.

Probably ratting the perpetrator out triggered a seal that had been forced on him.
‘That guy’ really knew how to control people.

But it didn’t matter right now—they were the cause of the rotten core of White Capricorn.

The reason why Clave kept calling them ‘that guy’ was clear as well.

Then, Sherry shook her head and tried to take stock of the situation.

“So… this third party is lying about their real strength and controlling White Capricorn which in turn controls all of their affiliated guilds?”
“Yes, I think so. They must be behind the collars too.”
“I let my guard down too much… How could I imagine that the top guild hid such a secret…?”

Sherry bit her lips in regret, but none of this was her fault. White Capricorn was a proper guild until ‘that guy’ took over it.

Sherry didn’t stop her affiliation to White Capricorn and kept accepting their requests, meanwhile her enemy took advantage of that trust to strike all at once.

The guilds had a lot of influence in the city. Dividing them into twelve minor ones was meant to avoid keeping all the adventurers’ strength into a single one. Aileen didn’t officially join my guild for that very reason.
It also served to make them perform things in their own way, like mine specialized into keeping the lowest profile and accepting the most peculiar quests.

But after all those years, someone who wanted all the power for themselves had appeared.

That went against all of my ideals and hopes.
Now that an unknown guy was controlling the top guild, the above reasons had lost their meaning—the guilds’ power division was crumbling like a house of cards.

“Sherry, do you think that it would be too arrogant of me to try restoring the order with my guild when all the others have failed to?”
“Well… taking into account the strength you showed me today, I’m thinking that you could try to do that, but I didn’t expect you to go for it right away. I wouldn’t call your thought arrogant. Honestly, I always found very strange that you never used your power.”

Actually, I used them. I just never used them too seriously to keep a low profile and not attract unwanted attention… but that might’ve been a bit too much for her to know.
Although she might’ve only admired me more.
I could tell that something had changed in the way she looked at me.

“From now on, our guilds will collaborate. Is it okay with you?”
“I… should be the one to request it. I will leave White Capricorn’s affiliation and depend only on ourselves.”
“Lady Sherry, that might be hard for you. People and nobles still trust White Capricorn. What would change if two weak guilds hold each other’s hand? I will be honest: once you free me, you will bow to us again. This is for the best—oof!”
“Just shut your mouth.”

This time Sherry thwacked him with a dropkick on his head, and the blow was so strong that the floor cracked under the impact.

“I think I took it a bit too far… sorry.”
“Oh, don’t worry. By the way, I see that you can force people to tell you what you want but you can’t control the way they say it…”
“Dick…?”

I took one of the collars that Clave had brought with him and put it on him.

“Even a crazy dog like you should stay put now. I’ll leave the rest to Lotte.”
“Dick… are you perhaps mad? You don’t look very different from usual, so I can’t tell for sure…”
“It hardly shows on my face. I rarely get mad at all.”

Sherry smiled at me and I felt my tension loosening its grip on me. It had been quite some time since I last saw her like that.

“I’ll go check on Leonid too now.”
“It’s quite rare to see you on the move. Have you always been? I thought you were just a drunkard since I find you drinking almost every time we met…”
“I am just a drunkard. You’d help me a lot if you keep a secret that I’ve been here tonight. By the way, call me ‘Iron mask’ when I’m like tonight, not Dick.”
“Isn’t that mask too little for your head…? Why don’t you take it off for a minute?”

She took it off slowly, making it slide away with a soft rattling sound.
She was right, I felt a bit more free without it.

“I’m glad that you really are the same Dick I always see drinking.”
“It’s a problem for me if you think that…”
“I don’t care, I’ll go for it.”
“F-Fine… wait, are you sure you want to wear that?”

Sherry put on my mask without the slightest hesitation and I didn’t care too much about the sweat I could’ve left in there. There was barely any, after all.

“How do I look?”
“Good, honestly. I wouldn’t suggest you to wear one, though.”
“That’s… a pity. It’s a bit big for me, but it puts me at ease.”

The tension in the air had vanished, and now only a pleasant calm wafted about. Clave’s presence didn’t bother us much anymore: we felt better, and a spontaneous smile loosened our lips.

Red Gemini and Silver Aquarius were now allies.

What should I do next?
Thanks to Clave, I understood that there was a third party involved in all of this. I had to free all the guilds they were controlling.

I knew I had to ask for help… and maybe the knights’ leader’s support was the best for this case. If I managed to ‘unleash’ the strongest person in the capital from the start, our enemy would think twice before repeating an attack like tonight’s.


<Prev | Index | Next>

2+

New Game – Chapter 44

Predicting the number of people – Part 2

While Elvis and Lux faced each other, Suzuran’s members were meeting in their own headquarter.

“Takumi has been taken into custody like Elsa reported.”

Mirta looked her comrades in the eyes one after the other with a serious expression.
The most important members of Suzuran – Karin, Kunon, Jil and Geiz – along with a couple of girls who ‘contributed’ in someway to this situation – Elsa and Lize – sat around the table.
Everyone was visibly worried. Wrinkles dug their brows.

“This is a delicate matter. If we were to rescue Takumi, the entire Suzuran would be charged with treason and get arrested.”

Killing the son of an overlord was a serious matter, but everyone knew that this time it was a groundless charge against the kind-hearted slave merchant.
Rescuing him now that the army was involved and the inquisition would hold his trial was going to be hard.
Their fate would’ve been sealed if they failed in the attempt.

“This decision cannot rest on my shoulders alone. I gathered you here today to hear what you all want to do about this. Shall we save Takumi or—”

“Of course we will!”

Lize stood up from her chair and interrupted Mirta.

“He saved me! He jumped head first into danger and taught me how to start walking on my own… I am the reason he is now in jail too.”

“Well… yes. Takumi has done the impossible to save you, and it brought Fortesea to take action against him… but you are currently here on behalf of Her Highness. Don’t forget about it.”

“Y-Yes… I beg your pardon.”

Mirta spoke calmly, trying to explain the situation, and Lize, feeling too much pressure from her friend’s serious tone, hung her head in shame like a child who gets scolded.
Now Lize was speaking as the Archbishop and as Queen Eluria’s messenger, and she was now responsible to gather information and grasp the current status of the capital, for Her Highness couldn’t move around freely. She wasn’t the only one to benefit from attending this meeting.

“Please, make sure that we understand what you meant just now. Did you mean that you, Lize Crest, want to save Takumi?”

The child rose her head again and took a deep breath to get into playing her role.

“I do, and so does Her Highness. Losing him is not in Her plans. I would help him even if I had to disobey our Queen. I will do all I can to hinder the inquisition.”

Mirta’s lips curved into a warm smile as she heard that.

“I see. Thank you, now I understand your intentions.”

The leader of Suzuran took a brief pause to look at everyone’s face. The silence filled the room for a moment, which lasted long enough for her smile to disappear.

“I have a favor to ask you all…”

The seriousness of her request loomed over them. It was like the air had turned denser, and everyone caught their breath.

“Can’t we just leave things as they are?”

“What?!”

All the people in the room said the very same thing at the same time, except Lize who slammed her hands on the table wearing a troubled expression.

“Yaaay~! We can’t help or save him! Meeting’s over, see ya~!”

“No, wait up, Kunon! Why is that?!”

“Because we’re six against one. The majority wins.”

“Karin, what are you…?! Mirta! Not even you want to do anything?!”

“I think he doesn’t really need our help. He can handle this on his own…”

Mirta’s dumb face didn’t show any worry and neither did Kunon’s, who looked bored, or Karin’s, who looked calm.
Lize was now pouting in dissatisfaction.

“What about everyone else?! Like… you, sully man!”

“I’m Jil. At least remember my name, Archbishop. We already met many times.”

“I have always seen you as a dangerous and scary man I occasionally meet up.”

“Am… Am I that scary?”

Jil’s sharp gaze pierced the child who hurriedly ran to hide behind Mirta’s back.

“Well, you do have this dark and scary aura.”

“Milady, you think so too…? Anyhow, I would just leave Takumi alone.”

The man lowered his tone of voice with a sour look on his face.

“If we fail and slip-up even once, the consequences of our actions will not fall on our shoulders alone. If Suzuran gets wiped out, our country might try to do the same with the rest of Listina’s slums. We’re deeply rooted within them, after all.”

“Her Majesty would never allow something like—”

“Let me make it clear now: Lord Elvis holds the military power of this city, not our Queen.”

Elvis Fortesea was Listina’s strongest and most influential Overlord. He was one of three and the city’s power had been divided between them.

As a former guest of Fortesea, Lize had the chance to meet him every now and then, and now she pondered on Jil’s words: what he meant was that there wouldn’t be any mercy for them.

“We’re talking about that guy. He will surely have a trick up his sleeve to make things go his way.”

Once Jil had mouthed his statement, all the people in the room nodded at the same time.
Lize, who was cracking under her pessimism, couldn’t hide the uneasiness darkening her face.

“None of you know the inquisition… do you?”

The Archbishop read as much as she could about them, taking advantage of the documents she could access thanks to her status.
Whenever someone was charged with treason against the country, the inquisition held a ‘trial ceremony’ where the Holy Knights gathered to ‘purge the sins’ of the ‘criminal’.
They interrogated the suspect, who had to answer their every question pledging on the name of their Goddess, and then started the purification ritual.
At least, that’s how it looked like to people.

“They apparently hold a trial, but the truth is they borrow their pledge in the name of our Goddess to do whatever they want to get rid—which means execute, so killing—every traitor of the country.”

No one could tell if the charge was groundless or not.
It didn’t matter if the defendant was right and innocent: they would be condemned anyway.
Those guys hid all of this behind the name of their Goddess they sullied.

Lize never took part in their trials.
Calling them ‘trials’ was absolutely misleading—they were so gruesome that ‘lynching’ would’ve described them better.

“If none of us does anything to help him, he will never come back home! Is that okay with you?!”

“Nah, he won’t die even if he gets killed.”

The five members of Suzuran spoke again at once while shaking their head.
Lize couldn’t hide her anger and disappointment in front of the uncooperativeness of the other members of the meeting, and the sour taste in her mouth only spread faster as she looked at Mirta, who looked like she hadn’t a worry in the world, Kunon, who looked even more happy-go-lucky than ever, and Karin, who was drinking some tea with a surreal calm.

“I have had enough! If none of you want to save him, I will do it by myself!”

She then strode across the room, trying not to spill the tears that were welling in her eyes, and slammed the door behind her back.
For a short time, no one moved an inch or dared to make a sound.
Then, everyone sighed and let go of their facade.

“You know… Lize is so pure I feel guilty right now…”

“Seeing her so determined to save Takumi hurt more than expected…”

Karin and Mirta looked exhausted as they limply sank in their chairs.
Everyone in that room wanted to pursue Lize’s will, but… Takumi didn’t.

“Fairstadt, I want to hear it again. He wanted you to take him away, right?”

Elsa frowned in front of Jil’s question.

“Yes… I behaved accordingly to the guards’ orders, but if he really wanted to escape, I would’ve figured out a way to help him… and yet, he chose to be taken away.”

She started to push on her hurting stomach, maybe trying to quell her nausea and pain.

Takumi had probably readied everything in advance to escape from this situation, but he didn’t warn anyone or change anything either.
That probably meant that this time the best choice was not to act.
Everyone was sure that Takumi had a plan, but that wasn’t enough to wipe away the growing worry in their heart.

“Karin… did he tell you anything about rescuing him?”

“Do you really think he could be so honest with someone, Elsa?”

The captain of the guards closed her mouth for a brief moment, then tried to speak again after shifting her gaze to Kunon.

“Wolf-girl, what about you?”

“Lately he spoke a lot about the sauce for meaty food!”

“What the heck is he thinking…?”

Elsa’s tone was somewhat pitiful as she let her head limply fall on the desk. It gave off a loud ‘bonk’ on impact.
This time, it was evident that Takumi wanted to be framed, but everything else was unclear. This situation was just too delicate to dare a blind move and hope they got it right—the smallest slip-up could lead them all to ruin.
Their morale was slowly falling apart.

“Karin, Kunon… today you have to depart for Renunt, right?”

“Yes. We also have to appear somewhat like feudal lords, so we cannot help it.”

“I can’t wait to see what’s going on in there~!”

Now that Karin and Kunon were official knights of the Holy Kingdom of Richtert and got assigned to Renunt Village, they had to govern it and fix any problem that would ravage the place.
This was also a direct order from Elvis Fortesea. The demi-humans didn’t know why he did so in person, but their gut feeling spoke loudly: they were better not to go against him.

“Well, I guess that making us move away from here was just another step in their plan.”

Takumi was put in solitary confinement, and his ‘right arms’ – a significant part of Suzuran’s war potential – had to travel away from the capital. It took two days to reach Renunt by horses-pulled wagon, which meant a ‘round trip’ of four days, and they didn’t know how much it would take them to defeat all the monsters.
The best case scenario was to be away from Listina for about seven days.

The inquisition would presumably execute Takumi during their absence. Breaking through the countless magic knights who attended the trial was going to be quite the hard fit without Karin and Kunon.
They couldn’t stay in the capital and turn their back to their duties as knights either, since it would lead them to getting charged of treason due to leaving innocent people dying at the hands of monsters.
In the end, they only had one choice.

Takumi’s last words echoed in Karin’s mind—I leave everything specifically to you.
She took a few moments to reflect and rose her head.

“Geiz, how are you doing with the major company’s management?”

“Iiih! I-I’m doing exactly as Lord Takumi requested! Why is that?!”

“I’m asking for the details. You received the record books, right?”

“Y-Yes… The agreements with the maritime states are sealed and so is our commercial route. What’s pressing us the most right now is to keep the other major companies under control…”

Karin’s lips curled into a smile. She finally got to hear something positive.

“Mirta, can I leave Lize to you?”

“Eh? Well, I was worrying about her anyway…”

“No, I mean, I’d like you to help her doing what she wants.”

“Helping her…?”

Mirta tilted her head in thinking and Jil wore a sullen face.

“Wait. Suzuran just decided not to act, didn’t we?”

“Exactly, Suzuran won’t act. But if the messenger of Her Highness is moving, don’t you think that we, as a major company, should support her as we can?”

“Do you really want the Archbishop to shoulder all of this on her own?”

“I’m not. We’re just deeply impressed by an innocent girl who is trying her best to save the benefactor who saved her. As a virtuous major company, we’re only doing our best to support her.”

Jil held his breath when the elf tapped on her temple.

“Are you trying to mimic him?”

“This is not about me. It’s all about meeting his expectations. Do you really think that our current situation is just a coincidence? Geiz can take a breather from the exhausting negotiations between the companies, and we hardly have work with the slums’ relationships right now.”

She understood that this ‘coincidence’ wasn’t a stroke of luck at all.
It had been created by her boss, the same man who assumed that Lize would decide to rescue him on her own.
She was sure that he didn’t wish for a simple rescue, but since she had yet to grasp the full picture, she had to figure out the right thing to do too.

“Takumi might think that Lize’s actions are essential. This means that we should let her do whatever she wants and support her as much as we can.”

“And… will we rescue Takumi like this…?”

“Honestly, it doesn’t matter.”

“Wow, you said it for real…”

“It would be great if we did, but it doesn’t matter if we succeed or fail in the attempt. He will surely figure out something on his own. I bet he’s in jail right now, grinning as he whispers that everything’s going according to his plan or something.”

“That’s… indeed very easy to picture…”

Mirta smiled wryly at Karin, who shrugged her shoulders.

“He doesn’t need to be saved. Just do your best to support Lize, okay? Send us a report or contact us with this if anything happens.”

“Lize made that, didn’t she? Is it the improved version of the bug tool she used before?”

Mirta rose her face lightly as she recalled that matter: they found out that Kiad had installed a bug in every defensive tool they made.
Lize proceeded to dispose of both their data and materials. Then, Takumi asked her to drastically change them to create a tool that could make people keep in touch with each other no matter the distance, and so she created a new law formula.

“I-It won’t break if I touch it, right? Right?”

“It might break if it was built by an amateur, but we’re talking about one of the Archbishop’s creations here. Do you really think one of her tools would break so easily? If you’re so afraid, ask Lize or Killfer for help.”

“Wait, what? Killfer knows how to use this?”

“That bookworm reads mountains of books, he is pretty knowledgeable. Also, he copies law formulas and transcribes stuff related to the Holy Text, so he will surely be of help.”

“O-Okay, I got it! I’ll go ask him!”

Mirta brought a hand to her chest and let out a sigh of relief. Karin succeeded at convincing her and looked more relaxed.

“Now… Elsa, can you come with us?”

“Mh…? Shouldn’t I stay in the capital as well?”

The Captain of the guards was somewhat thrown off by that moment.

“I mean, we’re demi-humans, right? No matter our status, no villager would accept us, let alone listen to our management orders or suggestions… especially when the most influential member of our company has been thrown in jail.”

“I see… So you’d like one of the Fairstadt to substitute him to prove everyone that we’re supporting you…?”

“I knew I could count on you.”

“You look just like him right now and it creeps me out!”

“Yaaay~! I’m so glad you’re coming with us, Captain~! Now we’ll have a lotta fun~!”

“Can you please calm down for once…?”

Kunon didn’t hide her enthusiasm, moving her ears in a funny circular way, unlike Elsa, who let out a breath so heavy that it sounded like it escaped from lungs of lead.

“Look forward to the reward. Let me write a few info.”

Karin’s pen raced so fast on the paper that everyone could barely follow it. The next moment, she tore the page and handed it over to Elsa, who blinked a few times to realize what just happened. Her big jade-colored eyes scanned through it the next moment, and they started to sparkle.

“Karin, is it…?!”

The elf brought a finger in front of her lips to interrupt her.

“It’s your reward. I’ll fill you in once we’re on the wagon.”

Then, she got up and looked everyone in the face.

“That’s all. Let’s work hard to support Lize as much as we can.”

The people in the room nodded firmly.
That marked their decision—Takumi was to be left alone.


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Guild Master – Chapter 48

The SSS rank territory

‘Spirit limit holder’ is the debuffing spell that always limits my power.
It affects my body, my mind and my abilities.

I heard that the human brain has a lot of natural limitations, so it can’t be used at its full potential, but what would happen if someone could daily train its unused part…?

To put it simply, they’d acquire the ability to always make the best decision by analizing any situation in an instant.
The ‘absolute right choice’ doesn’t exist, and the average guy hardly keeps up with their surroundings. They might even get themselves into some insane or surreal situation, which are very hard to analyze… but not me. Especially when I remove my limiter.

The blond guy dressed like a god of death had probably yet to notice how much I had changed.
He only looked confused, but his face soon warped due to the rage steaming into him. He realized an unknown enemy had just put him to shame.

“YOU PIECE OF SHIIIT!”

He swung his scythe by his side and sprung forth—his wind spirits helped him close the distance between us in a blink.
He probably thought that a close combat could’ve helped him getting the upper hand, since I could drive him into a corner from the distance.
It’s essential to study the enemy reactions if one wants to breach through them and win. They also have to estimate if they can handle their foe by taking their response directly or avoiding it and hope they didn’t make a slip-up.

The matter is that no one can figure out what’s standing in front of them before the very first exchange of blows.

The man let out a loud scream during his charge and slashed his scythe horizontally to mow me down. I readied myself to intercept his attack with my longsword, then I saw his lips curl into a grin—I was about to fall in his trap.

“Randomizing scissors!”

His scythe was a magic weapon. After being infused with Spirit Magic, a blade suddenly sprung from its top, transforming his scythe into a sort of kama-yari1.
That weapon was enchanted with ‘Elemental frame’, which granted it a powerful affinity to elements, allowing him to frequently activate skills based on wind spirits.
The torrent of magic he poured into his weapon turned into a jinn2 that spiked his wind slashes output—a cutting storm was approaching me.
If I had to physically block that weapon now, its wind slashes would’ve cut through me.

In a split-second, I smiled back at my arrogant enemy.
I only had to react properly. My counterattack had to be a single blow.

“Spirit blade – Attack rise.”

The man’s smile faded away as he goggled his eyes. The next moment, I feigned to slash him from the side, and successfully distracted him from my kick that, hitting his leg, made him trip on the ground.

I wanted to destroy his ego—he wasn’t strong. His ability and the strength of his wind attacks was absolutely noteworthy, but he had yet to breach through my defense.

“Your wind slashes aren’t half bad… but slashing more won’t make you win.”
“Tch! Fuck…!”

He got on his feet right away and started to attack again.
No matter how bold or savage his assault was, all he was doing was rooting me on the spot with an endless stream of attacks.
I could tell he had practiced a lot with spirit magic, since the average adventurer below the S rank could smoothly chant another spell only after overcoming the infamous lingering sense of blankness.

“I’ll raze this guild…! Wind spirits! Break out into a storm! Destroy everything and return this place to nil! Storm tempest!”

“Dick!”
“What?! Big Sis, that masked guy is Dick?!”

Sherry’s voice sounded worried as she called my name. It was understandable given that she had only seen a small part of my power so far.

The former heroes were surely very strong, but seeing them in action was a totally different feeling.
This reminded me of the time I told her I would’ve shown her my real strength if I ever had the chance to, and I still remember how uninterested she looked back then.

Well, the time had finally come. I also had to brand my foe’s memory with dread.
I didn’t really have to go all out while facing someone below the SSS rank, but this guy deserved it.

The man’s blonde hair turned upside as he gathered his magic power within him, creating a little storm all around—the wind spirits were resonating and they started to rampage to mow us down along with the entire building.

“As if I’d be scared by the likes of you!”
“By the likes of me? You mean those who can do this?”

I slashed my sword down, imitating the action that Cody did whenever she used ‘Spirit edge’, one of her sword of light techniques. With that, I sent off something only I could see.

Have you ever wondered how magic works? Many people seal a contract with the spirits and draw some magic power from them when needed in order to change the environment around them.

If they were to ask the fire spirits for help, they would spawn flames.
Water spirits would generate water or crystals depending on the average temperature of the place they’re summoned to.
Earth spirits would rise walls from the soil or create golems that can move.
Wind spirits could trigger even storms if they were drove on a rampage.

However, the caster had to provide the spirits a solid pattern for the attack, otherwise it would fail.
To put it simply: they had to decide how the spirits would act, otherwise nothing would really happen.

In this specific case, I used Sabotage Magic to meddle with the spirits’ course of action. It was very effective to fight ‘modern magicians’ like this, as they hardly knew how to simplify the spirits’ pattern according to their pledge. Sometimes it led them to be unable to do what they had in mind or use magic at all.

“What… what the fuck…! How is it possible…?! I can’t fail…!”

Nothing happened when he activated his spell. If only he had taken a moment to carefully look around him, he could’ve seen that I had literally cut through his magic pattern with my magic blade, but he was clueless.

“Shit…! Wind spirits, come forth and smash these guys! Torn them to pieces! Spirit tempest! SPIRIT TEMPEEEST!”

That spell could’ve razed the entire building to the ground.

It’s said that a SS rank adventurer could raid and conquer a fortress defended by an army of one thousand men in one hour.
The same feat would take only about one minute for an adventurer whose score was above 100.000 points.
Mylarka, Cody, Aileen and I have tested it on some fortress prototypes.
We also were part of that territory.

My score couldn’t be measured, but theoretically, if I had a score of 90.000 and engaged Aileen in an hand-to-hand fight under normal circumstances, I might win. Let me clarify: that score would’ve to take only my physical prowess into account, not my magic power too.

A SS rank adventurer is nothing compared to a SSS rank, and no matter how easy they went on an A rank, the latter would never win.

Finally, the scythe-wielding man figured out that he couldn’t use his magic because something was wrong within him.
He slowly pointed his weapon to Sherry and Lotte, looking at them with mad eyes.

“If this guy minded his own damn business, I would’ve manipulated both of you filthy bitches until your end!”
“Big Sis, leave him to me!”
“No, Lotte! He’s too much for us…!”

A party of six S rank adventurers could defeat a lone SS rank. If Sherry and Lotte attacked simultaneously, maybe they would’ve won with a single attack.

This guy was only a S rank adventurer now that he couldn’t use magic, but it wasn’t enough for me. I wanted him to be even more miserable.

“Spirit rising. Spirit reduce.”

I lent some of my power, around 50.000 points, to Sherry and Lotte for a short time, and terribly weakened our enemy.
His condition wouldn’t have improved any significantly even by asking his spirits to power him up as much as they could.

He tried to attack Lotte without noticing that his fate was already sealed, and let out a groan as he felt his scythe many times heavier than usual.
When I cast Spirit release and used a debuffing spell, I sank the average adult’s strength so much they almost returned to having the strength of a child.
A SS rank adventurer could fall back to be a B rank. It would be anyone’s nightmare.

Lotte steeled her resolve and shouted while attacking her opponent with her chain-flail3. The man blocked the blow but he couldn’t handle the impact and the weapon fell from his hands.

“Big Sis, now!”
“Y-Yes…! Whip bind!”

Sherry’s whip hissed through the air and passed over a wooden ceiling beam, then it descended and coiled around the man, making him hang loose in the air.

“YOU PIECES OF SHIT! I’M GONNA SLAUGHTER YOU! YOU’RE DEAD!”

Maybe being humiliated like that was too much for him to bear and he snapped way beyond the limit that would’ve made me feel any sympathy for him.

As he wriggled and struggled to get free, something fell from his leather belt. I picked it up and confirmed its nature—it was a magic tool. To be precise, it looked like the broken collar that Aileen had tore from Mizuha’s neck.
The only difference was that this one was still untouched: it could still work.

“You said you would’ve manipulated them, right…? Then this works on humans too now, huh? What do you even need this for?”
“MIND YOUR OWN FUCKING BUSINESS! GRRR! LET ME DOWN! LET ME DOOOOOWN!”

The man kept struggling, but as weak as he was, Sherry’s whip showed no sign to lose against him.

“Is that the magic tool you asked us to try…?”
“It makes you control people, right? You wanted us to try it out so that you could control us…? That isn’t fun to imagine. Thinking what would’ve happened if you succeeded at controlling Red Gemini like that is quite scary.”

Sherry and Lotte looked very much alike. The only differences stood in their proportions and hair: Sherry had long hair hanging on her back and a curvier body, while Lotte kept them shorter, about shoulder-length, and had an admirable figure.
They both wore a circular hairpin4 which made them look somewhat coquettish and fresh, especially thanks to their young age.

Lotte coiled her arms around her body as if she was trying to hide it. She was looking at the man hanging from the ceiling beam like he was some sort of filthy beast.
She was a mysophobe5 and she never let her guard down around people, especially men.

The hanging one was now struggling so much he looked about to spit his own saliva, and after a little while he realized that his resistance was futile, and hung his head dejectedly.

“You filthy bitches… I’m gonna rape you…! I will kill you and rape your corpses…!”
“How brave of you not to break down in this situation, but stop spitting those disgusting words. I’m not a saint, you know.”

Yuma would’ve tried to persuade and teach her God’s teachings to any enemy, even a scumbag like this one… but I wasn’t so magnanimous.

“YOU’LL BE THE FIRST ONE I’LL SLAUGHTER! TAKE THAT STUPID MASK OFF AND SHOW ME WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU!”
“Silence! You have no right to speak. You will pay for any other offence to any of us.”

Sherry wore a deadpan expression while looking up to the man who was glaring at her. Still, his gaze gradually lost his strength.

Sherry, the head of Red Gemini, had a unique magic—Aroma. She could control people with that.
She sealed a contract with the spirits of flowers, which allowed her to summon specific plants and make their aroma waft around her. If I was to smell it carelessly, it would’ve been a huge problem even for me.

“It didn’t sound right to me that you want to mimic what I do. Now tell me more about your plan.”
“Yes… Your wish is my command, Milady… Use me as you want…”

Hearing that horrible guy talking so meekly was unsettling. Her power was truly scary…
If she attacked me with it, I could’ve isolated her from her spirits, making her assault ineffective, but she was simply unbeatable for this man. Especially right now.

Wait, thinking about it, a wind spirit user could scatter her aroma, so he might have had the upper hand if they fought alone… but surely not now, so the problem doesn’t arise.

Sherry breathed her aroma on the blonde man’s face, who inhaled it, and something changed drastically in his behavior. When she let him go, he groveled in front of her of his own free will and tried to lick the very same whip that had constrained him until that moment.

“Stop doing this. It’s disgusting and unsightly.”
“Yes… forgive me, Milady…”
“Show me your guild tag and tell me why you came here.”

Sherry took his guild tag from his hand, read it quickly and handed it over me.

Clave Garland.
He was a SS rank adventurer and member of White Capricorn.
Everyone in the room had already heard about him.
Why was White Capricorn doing this? And what did they use their collar for?

Before inquiring him, Sherry and Lotte looked at me without hiding their admiration.

“I couldn’t figure out who you were due to your mask, but… you really helped me back there.”
“I feel the same. You had to be Sir Dick… or rather, you had to be someone special. Your fight was so mind-blowing that I thought I was looking at a play.”

I could feel that there was some lingering tension in the air, but they were fine, so I didn’t have to worry too much.

Then, looking at them, I remembered that I had yet to cast the limiter on myself again.

Spirit limit holder.

I constrained my abilities as usual. If I didn’t, my senses would be way too sharp.
My sight would improved so much I might’ve seen way too far in the distance and analyzed way too many things. I could see the real body of anything through their clothes or masks as well, thing that I absolutely didn’t do with the two girls before limiting my powers again.
I swear.

Then, I noticed that Sherry was staring at me.

“What’s wrong?”
“Oh, nothing at all. Let’s inquire this guy.”
“My… oh my, you are so graceful when you’re this clueless… That’s why people like you would suit my Big Sis so much…!”
“Keep that to yourself, Lotte. None of us want to face a misunderstanding now.”

I could see through her words if I released my limiter again… but sadly, whenever I did it, I kinda stepped out the ‘territory’, or maybe I should call it ‘nature’, of a simple human. I had to pay extra attention to it.

Then, I turned to look at Clave. I was a bit surprised that he was still motionless on his knees.
Despite being ‘only’ a S rank adventurer, Sherry’s powers were quite otherworldly.


1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kama-yari

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