Guild Master – Chapter 33

The peace’s restoration and the butler’s invitation

Kirsch Auguste informed the royal capital about the plan of Vinceburg, that consisted in using two other noble families as a scapegoat to protect themselves. The first to hear her was the prime minister, who tried to request an audience with the royal family before the country could be shaken by such a crisis.

Despite its prestige, Vinceburg started to rotten since Zevias’ generation, and it became evident even for other families. No matter their noble title, both Orlanz—the first ducal family—and Stollen deemed their trying to force a marriage with a princess outrageous, and none of them could stay silent in front of Jean’s debauchery.

Stollen knew that their former mansion now belonged to my guild and had already sent me a friendly letter that stated their reciprocal trust with Orlanz, who took to heart Kirsch’s case and wanted to employ her.

I believed that she could accept their request.
Even Yuma said she’d have helped her indirectly. I’m sure she’d have felt left behind if she was the only one in the expedition party who didn’t help in all this matter.

◆◇◆

Vinceburg was about to being stripped of its status, but things settled down with a generous demotion to viscounts. This outcome was decided after the confirmation that not every member of the family was helping Jean and Zevias, since some didn’t even know what they were up to.

Now that there was an empty spot to become a ducal family, the marquesses decided it was important to choose a new one. As the preparations took a long time before one was selected, the two remaining ducal families sat at the top for a while.

Luckily, when Kirsch started to work for Orlanz, her ability and loyalty for her master and country had conquered them, so she was allowed to keep her remaining subordinates under her authority.
Regarding the reward, she decided to talk it over another day. We told her that we got what we wanted, but she didn’t accept it and insisted.

And so, a week went by.

I invited the other masked saviors to Beatrice’s mansion for dinner, and before sitting at the table, I told Yuma that she didn’t have to do anything for us this time, but she was adamant on contributing to the matter.

“My way to help people who fight among each other is to lead to Heaven the souls of the dead who faced their demise in chagrin. Although such is one of us priests’ duties, if this is what would make you happy, I will gladly make you worry about me.”
“Yuma… you sure have grown. You always said that you wanted to quell all souls.”
“Well, that is what I really want… but controlling myself brought you to help me, and even provided me a place to vent.”

She smiled like only a holy maiden could do, but I perceived something immoral behind her words.

“…Did you vent a little as the masked priest?”
“Y-Yes… It has been really satisfying so far. Still, my dress suggested that I am part of the Holy Church of Albein despite my mask, so the offerings are increasing. But I cannot shake off my head what I felt when I purified the entire city… Ahh… I so want to touch your soul like that again…!”
“I-I see… feel free to do that whenever you want, as long as it’s only touching my soul.”

She blinked her cute, round eyes repeatedly as I hadn’t grasped what she really meant.

“No. I will do it in your last moments, when your family will take care of an old you. Then, I will accompany you through the path to Heavens.”
“…A family, huh? I should choose a bride before that.”
“W-Well… y-yes. Let me inform you that my parents have high hopes for you, so… I-I might…”
“Mister Butler, Yuma, we’re waiting to take our seats for a while now. Have you done talking yet?”
“Kh! S-Sorry. Sir Butler, let us resume our talk another time…!”

Hurrying over her seat, Yuma sat nearby Mylarka, who looked at me while thinking about something, then smiled and started chatting with her friend.

“Dear guests, would you like a drink before dinner?”
“I’m fine with anything you suggest.”
“Me too! Yuma, you wanna some milk? Can’t break your taboo today, right?”
“Yes, anything but alcoholic drinks will be good for me.”
“I guess I will… have the usual, then.”

The last one talking was Cody, who wore plain clothes and sat nearby Aileen.
He almost asked me directly how he should dress, since he wasn’t the kind of person who cared about clothes, so I introduced him to a tailor I knew.

I wondered if days like that would repeat in the future.

In front of me were the few friends I could talk to sincerely. I didn’t want to lose them, but that was exactly why I wondered: was it better to keep denying what I saw?

Would Cody forgive me if I told him… if I told her what I knew?

Cordelia Blancneige was a name that appeared in the birth records of her hometown.

Thanks to my information network, I didn’t even have to personally move to search for it. I never wanted to pry in my friends’ circumstances, and that was the first time I heard about her birthplace.

Although she kept her brown hair short, sometimes I noticed it was growing longer, and both in our journey and when we sat nearby drinking, I wondered if she really was a girl.

When that happened, I always denied the truth: she couldn’t be a girl, and if I asked her directly, I would’ve lost her trust.

Probably, what I wanted to do would’ve made her angry and tore our relationship apart.

Still, until then I wanted her happiness to last as much as possible, even though she had to keep lying about herself. I wanted to make her relax.

“Let me show you my gratitude for what you did by offering you a special dinner. Sir Cody, would you mind accepting a drink of my suggestion?”
“…? Yes, feel free to.”

I felt my heart skipping a beat.
Even if I kept feigning ignorance while shrugging it off like a hallucination from an inebriated dream, our relationship wouldn’t change.

I knew that it was wrong… it was the first time I was so afraid of something.
I was glad when Cody, a regular, dropped by my bar.

No matter the gender, my feelings would’ve been the same.

“If you will excuse me, I shall present you your drinks.”

Beatrice entered the room while pushing a wagon, over which four glasses were filled with colorful liquid, one for each of our guests: red for Mylarka, blue for Aileen, white for Yuma, and yellow for Cody.

“This is called Rainbow drops, an original blend of Silver Mug.”

Those drinks changed their color into one of the rainbow’s when I added a drop of a special liquid. The original base is made of brandy, liqueur or fruit juice. It already tasted really good, but after I added that drop, the taste was greatly enhanced.

“…Dick, is this…?”

Cody called my name despite my butler’s appearance, as if he didn’t care about it.

Without saying a word, I signaled Beatrice to place the glasses, filled with see-through, colored liquid, in front of them.

I was sure that Cody would have ordered an ale, since I told her that was a common order for male guests, and that’s what she kept ordering.

She probably didn’t want to look effeminate… but her choice was only half right.

She was playing the part only to hide her real gender from me.

That’s why I had to make her stop in a way that words couldn’t express.

“…I mean, probably I worded it poorly, but I would not ask for anything other than rum or ale… with only a few exceptions.”
“This is no exception. I am sure I was not tricked by my imagination.”

Mylarka, Yuma and Aileen’s faces twitched. They couldn’t believe me… but their reaction was normal.

I pretended to be ignorant for five long years until this moment.

Cody tried to say something, and a flash of anger lit her eyes, but…

“…I must question you later. Know that this will cost you.”
“As you wish. Still, there was no error in my preparation. If it is not to your taste, I beg you to punish me at your discretion.”

I bowed deeply while preparing myself for Cody to snap at me.

But the only thing that leaked from her lips the next moment was a sigh.

“…I will ask you what the meaning of this is later, since I am probably the one that needs to prepare.”

As I raised my head, the four girls’ gaze darted on me.
They weren’t looking at me with blaming eyes, but understanding and perceptive ones.

“Why did you choose today, and since when have you known it… I’d love to ask you a lot of things, but I will contain myself out of respect for Cody.”
“I am obliged, Lady Mylarka.”
“Eh? You wanna keep that butler facade? Dick, you’re just ashamed of talking honestly with Cody, ain’t you?”
“…Actually, I do not mind it, as I did not in the past, and I never will…”

Hearing that, Cody flushed up to her ears.
I saw her blushing like that only when I asked her, during our expedition, to take a bath together.

“Thing is that now you lost a male friend, Dick.”
“N-No? Feel free to treat me like a guy, otherwise… i-it will be a problem…”
“Guess you thought pretty much ’bout it huh? Anyways, tonight we driiink~!”
“F-Forgive my rudeness. I appreciate your cordiality, Sir Butler, but alcohol is a bit too much for me…”
“Lady Yuma, although I prepared your drink like the others, yours is alcohol-free, so do not worry.”
“How thoughtful of my Master… despite being alcohol-free, you invented a way to create a flavor that emulates alcoholic drinks. I would love to know more of your recipes periodically…”

Beatrice was now used to be this mansion’s landlord, but if she wanted to, I could drop by from time to time.

Still, the four sat at the table stared daggers at her… her invitation was a subtle way to ask for magic power to preserve her physical form, which I had to provide. But I wouldn’t have done it each time I was here, and neither was she hoping for that.

I felt Yuma and Cody, whose face was still red but preserved her usual smile, looking at me differently.

“We should deal with the flames of jealousy from now on, are we not? This will be hard for everybody.”
“W-Well, we cannot help it. Dick is not self-conscious in the slightest.”
“That’s damn true. He’s the type you must bait, otherwise you can’t pull it. There’s some crazy fishing to do for him, huh?”
“Gh… I am only a masked butler…”
“And I am a masked priestess. If I should express it in a few words, I would be glad if you could look more after me.”

Yuma dropped a bomb on me… but that made everyone smile.
She’s always been like that, like she wasn’t part of this world, but her assertion proved the opposite.

“Dick, do you remember our promise? You’re not getting away easily if you don’t.”
“Ah, so this job was done okay? Why next time don’t we all eat at my house? Feel free to bring Verlaine witcha.”
“Then, since you always postpone it… I want you to spar a little with me.”

They all said what they wanted, and although I only wanted to drink at my bar, they didn’t seem to let me.

“Anyhow, Dick… or rather, Sir Masked Butler, I beg you to start our toast.”
“Why are you all…? I mean, yes, I sure will. My dear guests, raise your glasses… cheers!”
“Cheers!”

The members of the expedition party, which now became the masked saviors, rose their voices in unison.

Nothing had changed from then.

I didn’t set an ending time for our party, so the girls had time to eat until they were stuffed, talk and appreciate each other for some time.

The next day, I’d have been back to my normal life, so I really wanted to enjoy those peaceful moments.

“Sir Butler, what is this drink?”
“Would you teach us how to prepare them? I always found unfair that you know how to do so many things.”
“Ya know, he teaches by making others watch him, so we better pay attention.”
“Uhm… I’m interested in seeing how to prepare this. Show me, Butler.”
“Well, if I may…”

Beatrice grabbed the shaker and then passed it to me. It was a peculiar object that couldn’t be found in the capital’s bars, and also what I had used to prepare those drinks. I was deeply interested in how other countries prepared them, so I decided to buy one.

I put into it the ingredients and started to shake, then poured the solution into a glass, enjoying the curious stares of my beloved friends who seemed to look at a sparkling treasure.


<Prev | Index | Next>

5+

Guild Master – Chapter 32

The once again Forgotten fifth

Once we landed with the help lead of the fairy bird, we still were somewhat far from our destination, so we decide to split. Mylarka went to stop Jean Vinceburg’s escape, and I went to his castle.

In the middle of the broad courtyard in front of the mansion was unfolding a sad scene.

Kirsch and several other servants sat on the ground, their hands tied behind their back, and two men holding executioner’s swords were standing behind them.

In front of them, a bald old man wearing luxurious clothes was glaring down at the girl’s comrades with a gaze colder than ice and a crooked smile on his face.

“Exactly like Velvechia’s army, you betrayed Vinceburg’s family. It’s your fault it ended like this. Kirsch, I thought you were a loyal servant of Jean, but you are actually a disgusting backstabber.”
“Grrr…!
“Oh, don’t you dare to move, otherwise your head will roll on the floor. Let me give you one last chance. My foolish son has already left, so would you consider becoming my servant? If you swear loyalty to me, I shall grant your survival.”
“P-Please, wait, Lord Zevias! Does that mean that we–oof!”

One of the other servants tried to talk, but one of the executioners kicked him hard, leaving him gasping and writhing on the ground.

“Who said you could talk? I hold out my hand only to people who deserve it. The likes of you are replaceable.”
“What…?! If I hadn’t told you that Captain Kirsch didn’t follow your orders, you…”
“You didn’t stop her, so what is your point? Do you think betrayers should be treated kindly? How shameless of you.”
“Ugh… Shiiit…!”

Kirsch was going to defend her comrade. I knew what was bound to happen in that case, so I started to think.

How could I save her?
Zevias’s executioners were a A-rank adventurers, and one of them was surely good with his sword, so if he swung it down on Kirsch, she would lose her life for sure… still, beating them wasn’t hard.

They had no escape… I had to make them focus on me.

No matter how things turn out, I just hope that geezer dies of fright.

I used some Support Magic on the servants to protect their bodies, just in case.

At first, buffs weren’t something that could be earned through food, that was an expedient I thought about. Normal Support Magic was used on the battlefield to help one’s comrades.

I hid my magic power and cast a strengthening spell on Kirsch, but that alone couldn’t do the work. The enemy must be weakened… so I started preparing for the next move.

I trained a lot to use it, and despite it being less effective than Mylarka’s spells, the results are guaranteed.

Kirsch lifted her head and looked at Zevias’s face. She had probably opposed resistance before she got seized. Blood was dripping from her lips like she’d been punched, and her hair was disheveled.

“I can’t think I did anything wrong, Zevias Vinceburg! Even if I die now, someone will surely come to know what you did!”

She didn’t spare him a word.
There was no need to.

Verlaine said that if Kirsch believed in her choice, we’d have accepted her as a reward.
We had a deal, so we had to fulfill her request.

Zevias was silent, but fury welled within him. With his next words, he would’ve ordered the executioner to end her life. His wrinkled face twitched sadly, reflecting for a moment the same feeling as Lang for that beautiful woman.

“…As heartbroken as I am, you are accused of betrayal. Hence, I sentence you to death. I know you understand my choice.”
“Khh…!”

As tears streamed down her cheeks, the light in her eyes never flickered, and not for a moment she bent her head.

The shining blade that was reflected in her eyes slowly rose in the sky, and when it was about to swing down on her, I cast two spells simultaneously.

Spirit Rising! Spirit Reduce!

“Ugh…?!”

The executioner stopped moving, and unable to keep the sword in his hands, he lost his balance and fell on the ground.

“T-The sword is… heavy…!”
“What are you doing?! I told you to kill her! If you refuse to do that, Glance, you do it!”
“Only villains would sentence somebody to death, don’t you think?”

That was the best moment to move. Before approaching the tied servants, I unsheathed my sword.

It had been a long time since I last crossed my sword with someone, but that couldn’t even be considered a fight for me.

“Who do you think you are with that mask, a hero…? That’s bullshit!”
“I’m just working like you, Glance Bardot of the Purple Scorpion.”
“Oh, is that so? Then, die!”

He was an A rank adventurer with a score of ten thousand points, and I was sure that he earned a lot of money thanks to his strong arms and sword techniques.

Still, anyone using a common sword against me–buffed and wielding a spirit blade–was simply asking to die.

Clang, our swords clashed, and his was beautifully cut in half.

“Impossible…! A steel sword can’t cut through kurogane…!”
“Oh, you were using one of Velvechia’s weapons? I guess it was defective…”
“Grrr…!”

Having lost his weapon, I kicked him to swiftly end our battle.

Shoot rising.

Normally there wasn’t need to use Support Magic, but I wasn’t obliged to go easy on him either, so I got carried away a little.

Glance crashed on a big tree, and cracks formed on its trunk on the impact.

“Who’s next? No one else? Geezer, your face’s turning purple.”
“S-Surrounded by a bunch of useless people…! If I could get out… If only I could get out of this…!”

The man who manipulated his underlings from the shadows didn’t have any hint of cleverness on his face.
Even his very son abandoned him, and with this development, his hope crumbled down… but gripping at it with his everything, he grabbed his sword and pointed it at me.
His visage was warped with haughtiness and hatred.

“WAAAH!”

Losing his mind, he screamed like a beast and swung his sword. Although I almost pitied him, considering he was even weaker than a C-rank adventurer, I didn’t let my guard down.

Between the countless ways to approach a problem, I always chose the ‘non-traditional’ one on purpose. I’ve always fought like that.

Hence, I hid my magic square.

Whenever I saw Mylarka casting magic, I always wondered if she could do that.

There wasn’t someone who could use Space Expanding Magic other than her, but I kept analyzing her since forever, and that was why none other than a jack of all trades like me could have somewhat reproduced it.

Restricted area annihilation n°66 – Disintegration field.

His sword apparently stabbed me.

“S-See?! This is not the end for me! I will…”
“No, this is the end. And you won’t ever have another chance.”
“Whaaah!? W-What on earth…!”

The sword started to turn black like a lump of charcoal, then crumbled in pieces. He fell on his butt and looked at me like I was a monster.

“M-My sword…! Y-You are a spirit! Are filthy spirits going to invade our capital?!”
“Don’t look down on them, Zevias. I know spirits way prouder than you. Not like that word applies on someone who tried to sell hiw own country… It would just be wasted on the likes of you!”
“Guhhh… Gh…!”

As he accepted defeat, he started foaming, preventing him from articulating words properly, and in the end he fainted.
None of his underlings wanted to fight anymore. Spirit reduce weakened the targets so much that if they hadn’t a certain amount of strength left, they couldn’t even hold a sword.

“I guess that taking him away with you would be too much to ask, so just seize him.”

No one said anything, but I didn’t feel anyone was against my proposal.

I freed Kirsch and her comrades and after seeing that the rope had dug in her arms and she was bleeding, I cast Healing light on the presents.

“This light… you can even use Healing Magic…?”
“I-I didn’t do anything wrong! Captain Kirsch did–”

I hit the girl’s comrade and made him faint.

“Has someone else betrayed you?”
“…No, although some wanted to. But that’s my fault, I am not worth of respect…”
“I don’t think s–”
“Forgive me, Captain Kirsch, for doubting about you even for a second…”

Three of her subordinates started to talk apologetically, but she smiled at them.

“Everyone would have doubted me there. Also, it might have actually saved you… but I’d rather die than be his servant.”
“Captain…!”

She surely thought dearly of them. They trusted each other, but that trust was slowly soiled by the dirty job that Jean and Zevias ordered them to do.

Charlotte crossed the sky followed by the fire dragon, so I guessed that Mylarka had completed her mission.

“S-Sorry, masked man… Why did you save us?”

Both my appearance and voice were camouflaged, so Kirsch didn’t recognize me, and as she waited for an answer… I was too focused on her skin, exposed from her ripped jacket.

“Ah, f-forgive me… I did not expect someone to help us…”
“Nah, don’t worry. It was the least I could do.”

I turned my back and started to walk away. My next move was contacting my guild members and make them deal with Kirsch and her comrades, since they probably had valuable information… and in the worst-case scenario, I had to ask Cody for some other help.

“P-Please, tell me at least your name!”
“My name? You will forget me anyway, so it’s fine if you never know it.”

That wasn’t a complete lie. I didn’t want to tell my name in front of others and did it only on very special occasions.

Should I have answered her myself? Or was it better for her to ask my guild members? Both ways, knowing my name was useless, since there wasn’t any need to introduce oneself to a drunkard like me.

It was exactly for that reason that I was wearing a mask.

“I’m the fifth masked savior. Feel free to remember this.”
“Y-Yes! I sure will! Thank you very much, Forgotten hero!”
“Gh…?!”
“Hero…? That man?”
“He saved us, so shouldn’t I call him a hero?”

They all agreed, but that shocked me.

Did she know? No, she probably searched for Silver mug’s guild master’s name, which was officially recorded… everyone would connect the dots.

Silver mug, or rather, I, accepted her request, and a masked savior came to help her… well, kicking up a fuss over a trivial thing like this was simply dumb.

She will keep this secret. And if she doesn’t, I will make Verlaine add that as another part of our reward.

The masked saviors were the product of a collaboration between people, not between guilds, and served to protect the country.
If they saved someone, it wasn’t merit of any guild or company… I really wanted to make that thing clear.


<Prev | Index | Next>

4+

Guild Master – Chapter 31

The tiger-race’s hot springs and the duke’s struggle

After the banquet came to a close, I ended up in the same tent as Riko and Mylarka, but since there was a lot of room, I used a curtain to divide the space, so that I could sleep peacefully.

“Yeah… I must sleep. How much did Mylarka make me drink, though…?”

We had to wake up early the next morning and get away from this village before dawn.
If everything went according to my predictions, Cody will fend off Velvechia’s attack in the night, but I wondered what would happen if the capital heard of it… Vinceburg should have thought about various methods to prevent being targeted.

The first one would be escaping before a rebellion unleashed in the city.

Another one would’ve been covering themselves up and hide all traces of their involvement with Velvechia, but since Lag and his comrades got arrested, it was already too late.

Otherwise, they could try to use other nobles as scapegoats… Just thinking about that made me feel sick, but since they were aiming to usurp the throne, it wasn’t unthinkable.

As I grew dizzy for the alcohol, I started to remove the toxins from myself.

The tiger-race’s drinks were good, but they messed the recipes up, so it was very easy to get totally drunk. The wild flavor of their unrefined alcohol was amazing, though.
I wanted to have some in my bar.

“…Mh?”

Then, I noticed that I couldn’t sense Riko and Mylarka’s presences, although they should’ve been behind the curtain.

I was worried to let Sweet disaster walk around this late at night… but maybe she only asked Riko to bring her somewhere.

Still, I exited the tent and searched for some kind of trace left behind by Mylarka.

Since her magic was so unique, it was easy for me to detect where she had passed by.
After some time, I reached the border of the forest.

“What the…?”

I entered the woods and noticed that fog was surrounding me. The place felt warm and damp, and there was a strange smell wafting in the air.

The more I walked forward, the more the fog thickened, and as I dallied through that pale wall, the dim light from the night sky grew weaker, so seeing what was in front of me became quite hard. Now even following the magical traces was barely doable, but I couldn’t just go back to the tent.

Then, I saw a tall fence made of bamboo pieces tied together, from which the white fog was gushing out.

“…Maybe she’s behind it? Heeey, Mylarka…”

As I spoke, I peeked through a crack of the fence, and the sound of something entering into the water reached my ears. I was starting to grasp what was going on.

“Ahhh… I really cannot relax without taking a bath. Thank you for bringing me here, Riko.”
“I wanted to bath too, so I’m glad you came! I love you, Masked savior girl~! ♪ ”
“You… did not want the other one to come too?”
“Both of you saved me, so you are equally super important. Now everyone hates humans less.”
“You shouldn’t trust strangers, although we are an exception.”

Why… why was she wearing a mask in the bath?

I started to look around. They were in an open-air bath made of stone, and Mylarka was currently washing Riko’s back.

The steam was concealing almost everything, and as I felt like I saw something I shouldn’t have seen, blood rushed to my head.

Thinking about it, there was that time when we all bathed together in cold water during the expedition… I’m not peeking, I only noticed too late what is this place!

Still, although Riko should have had a pretty good hearing, it didn’t look like she noticed me… I was blessed by the Heavens! Man, how lucky I was!

“Riko… do you really want to marry him?”
“Nh… Y-Yeah. Masked savior boy is good. He’s very strong and kind.”

Time to hear Mylarka trashing her opinion…
But I’d have never expected what I heard next.

“Eheh… He doesn’t want to be the center of attention. He is smart and has a nice face, and you rarely find guys like him. I cannot say that I don’t understand your feelings.”

My heart was beating loudly.
Hearing something like that in such a way was too vile of me.
I had to pretend I never left my tent that night.

“I wanna know more about it. Will you come again at least once?”
“Sure, call us whenever you want. Can we bring some other friends, though?”
“If they’re your friends, we’ll welcome them! I’m looking forward to it~! ♪ ”
“I’m glad we could spend a day off here. There are a lot of rare animals… and your tail is…”
“Eheheh, it tickles! Now that you touched it, we’re officially friends!”
“Oh, is that so? It’s good to be friends with you.”

Mylarka fluffed the girl’s tail’s tip, and Riko started to carefully wash her new friend’s body.

I stepped back from my hiding place and started to go back.
There was nothing to be scared about, but if they were to know what I did, I’d have surely faced my end.

“…The Masked boy came here. Did he see me…?”
“Eh?! W-Why didn’t you tell me?! Do you think he heard us?! In that case, I should obliterate–”
“N-No, I don’t think so. Humans can’t hear from this distance.”
“I-I see… no problem, then. If he had seen me, I would’ve to think about what to do next…”
“Why don’t we marry him together? You’re first, I’m second! ♪ ”
“…You really are honest with yourself. Seeing you, I almost feel like forgetting about my anger.”

Mylarka became very kind. It was almost unimaginable, given how she was in the past.

Even she, who never wanted people to get close to her, considered marrying someone, and in that cozy atmosphere, she was almost tempted by seriously considering it.

Still, given our past expedition, I had to be conscious about the relationships between us.

Even if watching her for too long would’ve forced me to use Healing Light on myself.

◆◇◆

We fed the fire dragon with some concealing pomegranate, then mounted on it before dawn and departed toward northwest: the capital.

Mylarka was already used to use me as her backrest and was enjoying the view.

“…Mh? Something is coming this way… Is that your…?”
“She’s my fairy bird. I asked her to come to warn me if something was going on. What happened, Charlotte?”

I took some time to admire it as it landed on her shoulder. Its cute name matched perfectly its adorable look: the blue gradient of the plumage colored its feather sapphire toward their tips.

It also had the ability to erase his presence and blend with the surroundings.
Mylarka was prideful, so she didn’t scout personally like the others in my guild.

Charlotte chirped in her master’s ear, and the genius teacher who taught offensive magic to the first class understood her thanks to the effort she put into researching the languages of animals. Actually, those researches were her most famous ones.

“Dick, Zevias… blamed Kirsch and her comrades. They might even get executed.”

I couldn’t feel anything within me. Not even anger.
Those words entered my ears, but my feelings were calm. That was just another possibility I had already thought about, and I could’ve made my guild members act accordingly if only I wasn’t in the middle of the sky.

“…What is Jean doing?”
“Fleeing from the capital. He parted from his father… I will go arrest him. Later, I’ll ask your guild members to help me, and if we seize him, we will bring him to the authorities.”

She wasn’t wearing her mask until that moment, since being seen while flying at that altitude was impossible, but decided to wear it the next moment. Within her fiery gaze, one could see her iron will.

Leaving it to her was a good idea. My guild members would help her, but… what about me?

Zevias Vinceburg was a man who handed over his status only to steal the throne.

I must make him fail. Otherwise, the peace that was currently in the capital would be destroyed.

“…The forgotten fifth… Zevias will regret not knowing about you.”
“I’m fine with being forgotten. Not like I’ll have much to do now.”

I wore my mask as well. Moving as a guild master went against my principles… but as a member of the masked saviors, I couldn’t help but remember our expedition against the former Demon Lord.
This was just another story, but with the same comrades I had back then.

I never was in the limelight while looking at the victories that piled up on their road.

Cody, Mylarka, Aileen, Yuma: I admired their astonishing fights, and I was proud and glad to be their comrade.

“What will you give us once this will end, Mr. masked butler?”
“You will see, Milady. Expect at least a full-course dinner at Silver Mug.”

We swooped down and stopped at a distance from the Vinceburg’s mansion that laid in front of us.


<Prev | Index | Next>

3+

Guild Master – Chapter 30

The Holy sword of light and the secret name

After Cody Blancneige finished to talk with Aileen, he departed to the southwest boundary in secret.

Silver mug had many bases scattered through the Kingdom of Albein and its capital Alvinas, and all of them were connected by Transfer Magic circles, which could be installed only by infusing a specific kind of magic within magic crystals. They were found in ancient ruins, and although they could be used without the need for complex procedures, the principles behind their functions weren’t clear.

That’s why the crystals were so valuable that they couldn’t be bought with money. Silver Mug actively explored many ancient ruins and labyrinths, and managed to obtain eight of them, one of which was installed in an inn nearby the southwest border.
That was Cody’s destination.

Only the vice-general and armored knight Marlo knew that he was leaving the capital, and Cody made sure that his maid delivered a letter to the chivalry heads to warn them of his absence due to poor health conditions, but no one knew where he was specifically going or the reason of his depart. He was afraid that people would get suspicious, so he acted as quickly as possible due to Lang’s words: ‘the first contact – meaning Velvechia’s raid – will be tomorrow’.

Cody reached Silver Mug’s main base and followed Verlaine to the wine cellar. She removed a bottle from a shelf and activated the mechanism hidden behind it.

The next moment, the picture framed on the wall of a girl drinking slid away, revealing a hidden door.

“I see… This is like a secret back door.”
“When my Master is in the bar, he acts like a sort of gatekeeper, although we do not have reason to worry. Still, I doubt this kind of trick would have had any effect on me, back when I was still a Demon Lord.”
“Your Black Magic was hard to handle even for me. You made me bleed for the first time in my life.”
“And despite being covered with blood, you never tried to kill me, although you could have sliced me into tiny pieces if only you unleashed your full potential.”

That was the first time they talked about their past battle. As a barman and a guest, they normally couldn’t converse like that.

“Dick had already thought about what to do after the expedition ended. He understood that if we had killed you, your minions would have wreaked havoc on Albein, moved by hatred and revenge.”
“…You stayed in my kingdom for three months. I thought you were going to put in disarray the few forces I had left, but Master was actually watching the state of my citizens, huh…? He grasped their conditions and train of thought.”
“At first glance, he was preparing to assault the castle, but when we noticed that he wasn’t actually serious about it, sometimes we even ended up fighting. Still, he kept explaining that we needed time to achieve the best result.”

Verlaine thought it was impossible for a thirteen years old boy to think and act that way. Dark elves lived for a long time, but she still managed to take the place of the precedent demon lord in her twenties. Still, wasn’t her master even more amazing than her?

“That result was only natural for my Master. No matter what, he has always been able to achieve what he set his mind on. That is exactly why I have this doubt… why has he not noticed about you yet?”
“You said that noble girls look forward to being with me… but you are none to talk.”
“It is not the gender that attracts people. Female braves are said to also be craved by noble girls, and seeing them living in debauchery is quite common. Even among my subordinates were individuals attracted only by those who shared their same gender.”
“I am sure he already thought that. Maybe it would’ve been better if we never met in the past.”
“The members of this guild love Master dearly, but he can hardly talk casually with anyone. You have that privilege, and I would be grateful if it will stay the same in the future. Your face is almost reaching the features befitting a young adult… Now, let us end our conversation here.”

Verlaine entered the hidden door and invited Cody in.
A crystal the size of a fist was floating in the middle of the room, and on the ground beneath it was painted a complex magic circle.

“So, this is the magic circle for teleportation… Can anybody use it?
“Not exactly. Only people with magic scores above twenty thousand can make this work.”
“He researched even that…?”
“My Master can draw magic circles that can be activated only by people with a certain amount of magical power, as they have to overcome the limiter that he created by inverting the installed Support Magic, which basically compresses the activator’s power. You fulfill those requirements.”
“No, I always leave magic related things to others. I can only use one kind of magic, and never bother to remember any other type. If possible, I would like you to activate it for me.”

Verlaine understood that he wasn’t being modest, but was actually speaking the truth. Only one type of spirit could be perceived by him, and he never used magic to summon elemental ones.

Cody swore his fealty to a single spirit: the one that had brought Verlaine on her knees.

“You will be teleported nearby the border’s walls. I find improbable that Velvechia’s army will pass through them, though.”
“This battle will end before that happens, as this is my field of expertise. I only need to see them clearly… and only a Demon Lord like you would wait for fighting hand-to-hand.”
“Can I say it is more glorifying…? Should I rejoice of having lived through a close combat against you? No, I should probably be ashamed of being shown mercy.”
“I do not think so. The five of us together managed to defeat you.”

Cody showed a clear smile as he held his hand out, and Verlaine, taking her glove off, shook it.

“I will pray for your victory. When Master comes back, report to him what happened, please.”

Then, the former Demon Lord activated the magic circle, and a dazzling light painted the hero’s vision white.

When it subdued, he found himself in front of a man dressed as a mage, and guessed that he was a member of Silver Mug.

“We received directives from our Guild Master. Will you lend us a helping hand, Sir General?”
“Yes, but I have a favor to ask you. May you call me… ‘Masked Savior’?”
“Forgive my rudeness… I cannot believe he thought that far into it…”

Cody was wearing a red overcoat to hide his silver armor, and a yellow mask to hide his face and camouflage his voice. The man in front of him observed the attractive knight with his eyes carved by wrinkles and a smile on his face.

◆◇◆

A few hours later, a flashy masked figure appeared at the boundary stronghold. It didn’t answer to the queries of guards as it jumped with unearthly dexterity on the edge of the walls to reach the summit of the watchtower.

“Who the hell are you?! Get down from there!”
“This isn’t a place for everyone… Woah! W-We’re under attack!”
“A huge army is coming from west… T-That’s Velvechia’s…!”

As the soldiers started to panic, Cody confirmed the advance of the enemy army on the plains lit by the dusk.

There were roughly fifty thousand units, between chivalry, infantry and siege weapons. Even refusing Vinceburg’s help, their numbers were still noteworthy.

In the northern part of Exrea, Albein had many granary and mines of ore, but Velvechia knew that there was a piece of land that was run from north to south by a large river, which made the entire zone rich of water even in its underground.

That was what they were aiming for, as water was so precious for them that they had started to steal it from each other.
So far, the Republic of Velvechia counted nine ethnic groups, and Garaba, the one that unified them thanks to its mighty chivalry, imposed a military dictatorship.

Still, they were exploited many times by the nearby western country ruled by an S rank Demon Lord, who once raided them and incinerated one of their villages.
That day, Velvechia’s citizens understood that their country was bound to fall.

But the Demon Lord ceased the hostilities right away and asked for tributes, as he didn’t attack to destroy but to plunder.

Then, while drying their own resources, Velvechia finally assembled the black-armored chivalry, and instead of attacking the demonic region that was oppressing them, and would’ve probably annihilated them in return, they started the plan to conquer human regions.

Both generals and soldiers believed it was the right choice, so they thought that conquering Albein wasn’t impossible.

But they didn’t know.

They didn’t know that Albein earned peace after defeating the SSS rank Demon Lord that loomed over them.

Vinceburg kept it a secret and told them only about how convenient for them the attack would’ve been. Still, Velvechia didn’t trust other countries.

So, how could they think about having any chance of victory? That question didn’t lit anger within Cody, but pity.
At the same time, the invaders didn’t want to waste their lives in vain.

“Guards of Albein! Do not move from here!”

Cody’s voice sounded like another one’s, and echoed in the stronghold with overwhelming power.

“Excuse me?! I won’t fight an army that big!”
“L-Let’s get outta here! We’ll be fine if we run away!”

Some soldiers started to flee from the stronghold, but Cody asked the Silver Mug members that brought him there to seize anyone who tried to get away.

There mustn’t be desertion among Albein’s knights. The general of the army was sorry to hear such things from his subordinates, but he would’ve fixed their behavior later.

“Velvechia… go back now. Even you will find the strength to save your people one day.”

Dick Silver would never leave a nearby country in that condition to its own destiny.
He would win the war and save everyone even without stepping outside his bar.

Cody firmly believed in him and his strength, which had led him in front of Velvechia in that very moment. As dawn broke the night behind the masked warrior, a single drop fell down his white cheek.

Why was that?

“Am I finally one of your pieces now, Dick…?”

Those words never reached anyone.
Now that his back was blanched in sunlight, he held out his hands while chanting in silence.

If he hadn’t lied, how would things be right now?

If I was honest from the start… would have you seen me as a strange woman?

Maybe he would’ve been hated if he was nastier than Mylarka and show openly his distrust for men.

Or would have Dick opened to him no matter what happened?

Now that I think of it, this is stupid… People like you are really…

Without minding the tears streaming down his face, he broke out those long instants of consideration, and decided to pronounce the name that his parents bestowed on him.

“I plea thee, O ghost blade Laguna! Grant me, Cordelia Blancneige, your Light Blade!”

Cordelia used Cody as a false name since she earned her status of SSS rank adventurer.

She always summoned her sword in silence during the expedition, and never said her real name once. All of that only for her lie’s sake.

Ghost blades were special spirits that were unique in the world, as opposed to others.
The first time that Cody… no, that Cordelia had signed a contract with one, she chose the ghost blade.

Its only power was to summon the Light Blade, the sword with light attribute that looked exactly like light itself, that she used to fight Verlaine.

A normal sword brings forth all its potential no matter its shape when used in close combat, but a sword purely made of light could even…

–––Light Blade – Horizon Bullet.

The sword’s shape changed into two light bullets and vanished.

Almost at the same time, Velvechia’s flag was pierced and almost destroyed by one of them, and the other one zipped right past the helmet of the army’s supreme commander.

Thanks to the ghost blade’s help, Cordelia could aim and shoot at any distance the light could reach and she could confirm by sight. That meant that her range was theorically endless. Also, the ghost blade’s light didn’t refract like normal light.

“Look! Velvechia’s army is… panicking?!”

The marching army started to slow down. Only another minute and they would’ve reached the walls, but now they were still like stones.

“They… stopped?! Did that masked guy do something…?!”
“Impossible! What could he possibly do from this distance?!”
“B-But I saw something… Ugh! The sun’s too bright! I can’t see!”

If they recognized the Light Blade, they would have guessed the real identity of the masked man. As Cordelia was growing nervous listening to the Albein’s soldiers’ comments, she thought that the army in front of her wasn’t going to lose their fighting spirit that easily,

–––But she didn’t expect them to be that aghast.

“They’re… retreating…”
“H-How is it… even possible…?”

They bet everything on their attack just to leave like that? It was inconceivable for her.

She didn’t expect her power to be that terrifying.
When she made a vow to the ghost blade and earned its power, even her brother looked at her with dread in his eyes. An SS rank adventurer scared by a five-year-old little girl.

She then caught her breath while thinking about what Dick would’ve said in that case, and raised her voice to the confused soldiers.

“I shot and grazed their supreme commander’s helmet, hence, they have retreated! But listen, soldiers! The Masked Saviors won’t come to help you anytime! Grow nerves of steel, prepare to be attacked again, and keep practicing every day!”

As she worried to have revealed her usual tone of general, she jumped down the watchtower and descended on the walls.

“Masked saviors…? I-Insane… Who the hell are they…?!”
“How could he aim at the supreme commander’s helmet from there…?! Look, their flag is torn!”
“He did that…? That’s inhuman…!”

Velvechia’s flag was just a tattered piece of cloth now. Cordelia thought that they would’ve tried to use reinforcements to restart their march, but her plan somewhat worked anyway.

“Later I will tell you what to do. No matter how long will take an enemy to come, slacking is not good. Prepare for some strict training.”

She was alone while leaving the stronghold, and a clear smile stretched on her face.

After walking for a while, she met with Silver Mug’s members, and the man who welcomed her after being teleported showed her the fleeing soldiers that were bribed by Lang.

“Wonderful job. Unluckily, none of us saw what happened from here, but we heard that the enemy army retreated.”
“Yes, thank you. Dick’s guild is really filled with competent people… Are they all the traitors?”
“There might be some deserter who fled in advance, but we will probably find them soon.”
“No, later I want the men in that stronghold to undergo some severe training. Then, they will probably not betray their kingdom ever again. I and my direct subordinates are used to prepare harsh training sessions for our soldiers.”

Hearing Cordelia’s words, the presents pictured one of those sessions in their minds, but didn’t feel any sympathy for the soldiers in the slightest. Her flaming spirit, although everyone kept thinking she was a man right now, could eradicate even a legion of B rank adventurers and above of their will of fighting.

As she thought about how to bring the arrested soldiers to the capital, she used the magic circle again and preceded them, and then returned to her house.
Only a few hours had passed since the sun started to illuminate the sky.


<Prev | Index | Next>

4+

Guild Master – Chapter 29

 

The hero’s lie and the tiger-race’s feast

I identified the two bodyguards from the guild cards they brought with them.

They were part of the ‘Purple Scorpion’, a guild located on the 5th street that was famous for the high number of assassins and bodyguards among its members. There were many dangerous guys in there.

Lang and the others were Vinceburg’s subordinates, and their personal story wasn’t exactly ‘clean’. Plenty of nobles were affiliated with the obscure part of the capital, to a worrisome point.

“We should punish everyone, right? Like, even if they’re from some guild, right?”
“Well, yeah. Lang and the other guys asked for help, but accepting a request isn’t compulsory.”
“You always listen carefully to the details of requests and value their worth first, don’t you…? Well, you often end up accepting them, though.”

My guild couldn’t deal with every type of request, so I always made sure to make the right choices. Failing might prove fatal.

Still, its greatest point was information gathering, which allowed me to prepare properly in advance. Thanks to that, we hardly had problems with dirty and bothersome jobs.

◆◇◆

I contacted my guild and asked to send here enough people to ‘escort’ Lang and the others to our closest base. In the meanwhile, Aileen went to pay the inn’s keeper for the room’s repaying fee.
She also helped me moving the fainted guys, although her help wasn’t necessary.

I couldn’t say that the reward for our actions was the country’s peace, but we were trying to prevent a civil war, so I was sure we could profit from the situation.

“Okay, I’m going to Cody’s place. Will ya come back home for now, Dick?”

Her question made me think. My body was in a safe place, but Mylarka and Riko were probably tired of waiting.

I and Mylarka were invited to the elder’s house, where the tiger-race arranged a banquet. They all started to drink, and as the mood grew livelier, they entertained us with artistic performances, but Mylarka quickly grew tired of them and tried to talk to me, since our hosts were busy partying.

At that moment, my body was pouring some drink into her glass, but since I essentially kept giving monosyllabic answers, she blatantly said it was no fun talking with me.

Yeah, it was probably better to go back, but the runes of Small Spirit were still active on Aileen’s chest…

“Dick, you heard?”
“Y-Yeah, sure. I’ll go back.”
“Nice. Take care of Mylarka. By the way, will you come back tomorrow…? Maybe in the morning after a sleepless night?”
“Do you really think she’d let me? I’m not a beast, you know.”
“How adorable, you didn’t even try to deny it~! So cute, I’m getting excited!”
“D-Deny what, exactly? I…”
“Yeah, okay, just go back now. I’m sure Mylarka is missing you.”

She was probably right, but I couldn’t imagine Mylarka missing me. Still, she was probably in a bad humor right now, so…

“Thank you, Aileen. You are a great help.”
“Uh… Y-Yeah. You don’t have to thank me like that. I’m a freelancer, but also a member of your guild.”

She said while touching her hair, which, as her blood was a mix of human’s and spirit’s, had a pale, washed out red color, almost resembling a peach’s.

“I’m going. Why don’t we drink all together after this job’s over? Let’s invite Yuma, otherwise she’ll feel lonely.”
“Yes, nice idea. Sometimes sitting back and taking it easy is good.”

She smiled and put her hood over her head, then exited from the window.
She climbed on the roof and jumped from a building to another. My philosophy was to never stand out, and she always tried her best to respect that. None of her cat-like steps could be heard in the night.

◆◇◆

Cody lived in the part of the capital where the families of the most important knights lived, northeast of the capital.

Aileen was faster and freer to move than a horse-drawn carriage, and after some time, she finally reached Cody’s house.

“That’s his room, right…? Hop!”

She jumped on the garden’s tree, and from there on Cody’s room veranda.

“Uff… Cody, you there~?”

She lightly opened the window, and he approached her.

“Good evening, Aileen. I keep repeating you that the rear door is open, but you never change…”
“Hahaha, sorry! Thing is, I’m in a hurry and want to ask you something.”
“I had the feeling that Dick was going to call for me someday soon.”

He let her in. His clothes, armor and sword were laying on the bed, and there wasn’t a single speck of dust in the entire room.

When the King granted him his title, he was provided with a silver armor and the ancient longsword with the royal family’s crest carved on it. He never used the sword in battle, but always wore the armor.

“Do you wash yourself before going to bed? Your hair is wet.”
“Yes. Or rather, today was the first day of practice this month, so I sweated quite a little.”

He was wearing short pants, and bandages wrapped the upper part of his body. It wasn’t a look fitting a knight.

After he finished the maintenance of his equipment, he took a bath. That was his habit, both as an SSS rank adventurer and as a former member of the expedition party.

Still, something in him changed from back then.

“Cody, do you wear that thing every time you exit the bathroom even at home? You should take it easy every once in a while. I mean, everyone grows sooner or later.”
“It’s not a big deal, although lately it is becoming hard to do it by myself… but I am still grateful to you for teaching me how to put this on.”
“You completely took me off guard back then~! But in a way or another, I knew about you. Let’s call it woman’s sixth sense.”
“Hahaha! I don’t think that really fits you, Aileen. But I shouldn’t be the one to say that.”
“Oh, c’mon! You can’t take words back, you know? Anyway, I know you have a lot in your mind for keeping this secret since you joined the expedition party, but… I think you should let Dick know. At least, as a friend.”

Said Aileen while pointing at the bandages wrapping Cody’s body, which was hardened by exhausting training.

“Seriously, you just have to get used to it. You are supposed to wrap your chest when using a bow, anyway.”
“The bowstring would hit it, huh…? You don’t look happy, anyway.”
“This is nothing to worry about. I decided to do this. Also, it is troublesome if I don’t wrap it before training.”

Cody wiped his hair dry with a cloth, exposing his white nape, and Aileen let out a sigh.

“Why has Dick still not noticed about you? I and Mylarka didn’t at first, but it became evident with time.”
“Because he trusts me.”

After he invited his friend to take a seat, he put on the undershirt he used when wearing the armor, which he left on the table, and discerning something strange about his body became impossible for anyone.

“…Sorry, Cody. I might have said something I shouldn’t have to Dick… Like that you care a lot about him…”
“What is the problem with that, Aileen? I really think that, and I feel the same for you guys, His Majesty, and Albein’s citizens.”
“You always sound so honorable… So, if we say that you love Dick, how would you feel?”

He didn’t answer at first, but little by little, his mouth curved into a faint.

“Even then, he will never notice. He didn’t in the past, and he doesn’t now.”
“That’s also true… Cody, do you really want to hide it from him forever?”
“At first, I thought I needed to lie. I should be coherent with it.”
“But you know there’s no reason to keep this charade up! Didn’t you say you trust him?!”
“…Yes, I did. That is exactly why I will never betray his trust.”

Aileen struggled to find the right words, but soon gave up and took off her overcoat, leaving it on the chair’s back. Then, she took the water jug on the table and filled two glasses, chugging hers down right away.
Cody accepted the other one and gulped half of it down, exactly like he used to do with the Silver Mug’s ale.

“Cody, why did you do that? I always wanted to hear your reason, but it’s been five years already… Please, tell me.”
“…It was something I decided when I was very young. Meaningless.”
“No, I don’t think it was. You’ve always been a serious person, so you reached this conclusion after thinking a lot about it. What was it?”

He gulped down the rest of his water and met Aileen’s gaze.

“…I had a brother. His name was Leon, and he was an SS rank adventurer quite famous in my city.”
“Leon…? Yes, that sounds a bell. There aren’t more than twenty SS rank adventurers in the country, after all.”
“He was part of a branch of the White Goat, so rumors about him might have reached even the capital… given his bad reputation and infamous conduct.”

Cody’s expression darkened in a moment, and slowly but perceptibly, the grasp on the empty glass in his hand started to tighten.

“He was the kind of person who played with women’s heart. He used them. Party members or nobles, their status was insignificant. Maybe he did that for the best of our family, but it was easy for him, thanks to him being good looking.”
“Well… if your brother was like that, I feel like I can understand you.”
“Then… he laid his hands even on a girl who took care of me since I was a child… Of course, he did not want to marry her, so when they separated, I got punished on his behalf and was forced to move to another city.”

Aileen lost her words as she peered into her friend’s face, who showed her a gentle smile.

“This is a story of the past, but what I learned from watching him… If I ever became an adventurer, I wanted the members of my party to be all the same gender, or at least to be balanced between boys and girls. If there was only a boy or only a girl, I was sure that would have brought a lot of troubles. I knew it was stupid, but I was just too obstinate, and I could not even imagine that there were a lot of boys in the world that did not act like him.”
“…Then you joined the expedition party… right?”
“I am still ashamed of myself for this, but I could not trust Dick at first, probably because I was well aware of his strength.”

He brought a hand to his chest and felt his heart racing as he dug into his memories.

“I was with four people who were almost as strong as me… but I couldn’t understand why Dick was the strongest among you, and what made him so.”
“Yeah, that’s a mystery still unsolved… He isn’t physically strong like me, but no matter what, he will find a way to win.”

Cody smiled at her comment and filled their glasses again with water.

“When we fought together, I felt sorry for doubting of him… but I am also glad for it. If I never lied, we might not be friends right now.”
“…And with that lie, you even became the general of the Albein’s army. So, there is no turning back now, huh?”
“You strike where it hurts… My only desire was to protect this country’s people, and for that, I needed to become what I am now.”
“I admire how diligently you’re working. Even Mylarka and Yuma think the same, but we’re also worrying about you.”
“…Thank you, but I am fine. It is not hard on me, and I almost forgot about my lie.”

‘That’s just another lie’, whispered Aileen, but Cody didn’t hear her, or probably pretended not to, as he grabbed his sword and held it close to his chest like the first time they met.

“I want to be his sword, and I will slash down anything he wants.”
“…You really love him. But Dick wondered why you never let him touch your belly.”
“…If he ever found out, I would try to erase his memory… He must never know that I am…”

At that moment, his voice became a distant whisper, then disappeared along with the room.

“…ck. I have had enough… can’t you just come back here?!”

I could hear someone calling my name. My consciousness was drifting back to my body as my magic connection was cut.

◆◇◆

“…Nhhh… Soft…”
“Excuse me?! You fell on my legs as soon as you got on your feet! You are heavy, so get out!”
“Oh… I-I’m sorry, Mylarka…!”

The tiger-race was still partying, and there were over a hundred of them in the tent.
Sat on the place of honor were me and Mylarka, whose lap I was using as my cushion. It was a worthy opponent of Verlaine’s, and its unique softness made my head sink ever so slightly in it.

But despite the good feeling, I couldn’t just stay like that forever, so I had to get up.

Until the runes of Small Spirit where on Aileen, I could hear her conversation with Cody. I needed Verlaine’s help to force my consciousness back to my body before the time ran out.

Still, even though I knew I would end up eavesdropping them, I heard the part about Cody’s brother, and also things I was supposed to never know.

Leon, his brother, was a philander, and that brought Cody to not trust me at first.

That’s why he lied. But… was it necessary?

Also, seeing the bandages wrapping his body and how he dried his hair made me sank into a deep sense of guilt.

Cody is a man with beautiful hair, smooth skin and cannot be delusional.
I grabbed the drink I poured for Mylarka before and chugged it down.
Yeah, I must be drunk.

“…You do not look well. Riko, can you bring more drinks?”
“Yes. This is fire beer, a drink from dwarves. Watch out when you drink it, you’ll feel like your body’s burning.”
“Thank you… Ugh, this isn’t good… there’s something wrong in the recipe, but if you wait three days, I’ll bring you the real deal.”
“Ah, Masked man, you know how to make good drinks?! Amazing! I’ll go tell the Elder!”

She dashed away excitedly.
Damn, I should’ve stayed silent…
Mylarka looked at me with a strange expression.

“There’s something wrong with you. Let’s talk about it later. Now it’s late to go back home, so I asked if we could spend the night here.
“Y-Yeah, it’s okay… thank you, Mylarka.”

I thought about it. They’d probably provide only one tent for the two of us.
As I vainly searched for a way to point that problem out, Mylarka started to sip a glass of something blended with fruit juice, and while my mind went astray, I left myself entranced by the unfolding dances of the tiger-race’s women.


<Prev | Index | Next>

4+

Guild Master – Chapter 28

The dancing fighter and the road toward peace

Aileen took a little distance from the wall and readied herself to smash the window down.

“Wait, you don’t have to destroy it! It’ll be fine even without fighting!”

“Say what? This way is cooler!”

“If you shatter the window and some little fragment remains on the floor, it will cause troubles to the next guests that will book this room, don’t you think?”

“Oh, right. The inn personnel didn’t do anything wrong, so it would be bad for them.”

She bumped her fist on her palm after sincerely agreeing with me.

“But I might break stuff when we fight. I wanna punish them.”
“Well, I guess that can’t be helped… just try not to as much as you can.”
“Sure thing~ ♪ Let’s start!”

Aileen was honest, but she was somehow naive. She probably didn’t even consider that the employees of the inn might spread bad rumors about the masked saviors if we broke something… or maybe it was just me exaggerating when it came to these things.

“Well, the door isn’t locked, so I guess I’ll simply enter. Excuse me~!”

The window opened with a clatter, and she climbed over the windowsill while the presents stared at her flabbergasted for a few instants.

After she jumped down and landed without a sound, one of the men moved his hands angrily.

“W-Who the hell are you?! An underling of the empire?! Or an enemy?!”
“Sir Lang, we’ve been found out!”
“What are you waiting for?! Call the guards before…”
“Before what?”
“Iik!”

She closed the distance with the man who was trying to leave the room in the blink of an eye and grabbed his shoulder.

She was wearing a heavy-looking coat, but her movements were silent and quick.
Even the members of the tiger-race, renowned for their speed, wouldn’t have had a chance against her.

“I haven’t done anything, yet… even though it sounds boring, I can’t hurt you much… Thing is, I heard quite a number of nasty things from you guys, so you reap what you sow. At least your guards seem to know how to fight.”
“R-Run…!”
“Right. I don’t wanna be seen fighting, but Di… I mean, I don’t mind him.”

She was lightning fast. Before the two guards outside the door could enter, I saw her figure splitting into four, moving around the room and making the four men pass out with a blow. It looked like some kind of magic, but actually those were mere afterimages.
That was just how skilled she was in martial arts.

The men fainted in silence, but I saw that she went easy on the one called Lang. She probably wanted to gather information from him later.

Right now, I looked like a little light insect or an orb of light, but my score was around fifty thousand. Even if our enemies were on par with SS ranked adventurers, Aileen’s inhuman speed was barely perceptible, and her score exceeded a hundred thousand points merely with her close combat abilities.

“That was a superior hand-to-hand technique called ‘Carnage phantom fist’. Sorry for using something this plain.”

No matter who would look at it, that wasn’t anything plain. Also, she didn’t even break a sweat… it looked like a piece of cake for her.

“Next are the guards… but I bet they’re hiding something in their clothes.”

“Aileen, watch out! He’s gonna throw you something!”

When the two guards stepped into the room, one of them threw a couple of knives he took from under his mantle to her.

Aileen grinned and deflected their trajectory with her fists, which led them to stick in the wall.

“Nice moves, but aiming at a girl’s face is mean.”
“Ugh…!”

The man didn’t expect her to deflect the knives, and prepared for another attack.

“Leave her to me! Aaah!”

The other one unsheathed his sword and charged Aileen, trying to slash and stab her numerous times, but she kept dodging his attacks with a smile on her face.

“You think you have more chance to win using a sword against me?”

“Shut up!”

The man wearing a helm was successfully provoked by her words and recklessly kept attacking.

“Ya-ah!”

She yelled in the spur of the moment, and faking a parry, she avoided his lunge and hit him on the head, sending him flying. The average fighter would never be able to avoid such a hit.
Her overcoat fluttered, showing her long, slender legs from beneath the slit of her skirt.

“Take this!”
“Wah…!”

As she was taking her overcoat off, the other man threw another knife that pierced through it and left a hole behind.
Did he foresee her action…? No, that was probably a coincidence.

“Damn! Di… I mean, he gave me this, and it’s also one of my favorites! Now you’ve really done it!”

I wondered what she was talking about. Well, at least she didn’t get stabbed.

“Don’t take us easily!”

The man who was sent flying by Aileen had moved around her and started another assault. He was probably an A rank swordsman, given how precise his slashes were, but that wasn’t enough to best the strongest martial artist in the kingdom.

“Hah!”

She let out a yelp and stood in a firm pose called ‘Rending lightning’, which was used to focus all the power to kill the target in a single blow.

The man tried to attack Aileen again, but she ducked in response. Taking advantage of her lower position to counterattack with the base of her palm, she aimed at the weak point of the sword, which broke with a sharp sound, then she sprang and forcefully hit the man behind her.

Secret superior hand-to-hand technique: Star collider rakshasa. She stretched her wonderful legs and crashed on him, who let out a gruesome sound before ramming into the wall. Several seconds later, the gravity brought him back to the floor.

The other man didn’t run, and tried to take advantage of the situation to throw another knife to her back.
An A rank adventurer might have avoided that… but the difference between that level and an SSS rank’s was just abysmal.

“Hah!”

She twisted her body and drew an arc with her white leg. After the blast made the knife stop in mid-air, she kicked it directly and sent it back, piercing the man’s shoulder and the door, sealing his movements.
I couldn’t believe my eyes… Was that really possible?
As I watched her in awe, I hoped to see more of her techniques.

“Ugh… M-Monster…!”

She then briskly walked to him.

“I’ll pay for the door later. My boss cares about these kinds of things.”
“…Huh?”

She took the Rending lightning pose again and got ready to vent her frustration onto him. At that moment, even the ground seemed to tremble.

“Atatatatatatata!”

Aileen trashed the poor man at an inhuman speed. Her blows were so strong that they left countless dents on the door behind him.

“Guah…”

He fainted as his eyes rolled back. His clothes were destroyed.
She was really angry for what happened to her overcoat, and I couldn’t really understand if I was more uneasy about that or sorry for the poor guy who enraged her.

Now that the men were knocked out, she breathed in and kicked the air a few times before standing in a victorious pose.

“We shall not overlook the wickedness crawling in the world as we assist people in need! The unbeatable masked saviors are here!”

Why did she say it now that no one could hear her? I mean, even Mylarka did the same after defeating those guys, but… was introducing yourselves necessary? Still, although I didn’t want to stand out, I knew that doing it must have felt great.

“Your catchphrase is different from Mylarka’s.”
“Eh? What does she say? We should talk it over with Yuma next time we see, but mine is cooler, right?”
“Slightly… I didn’t do anything to help you, though.”
“If I went all out, they wouldn’t have survived. I bet you’re way stronger than them, though! Wanna try fighting?”
“No, thank you. Anyway, what Lang said is a problem. Aileen, sorry for troubling you again, but can you be Manarina and her sisters’ bodyguard for a while?”
“Yeah, no problem. What do you wanna do with these guys? Should I ask the guild to seize them?”

Except for Lang, who was tied up as we talked, the other three men and two guards weren’t going to wake up any soon, and Vinceburg would have noticed for sure that someone was trying to sabotage their plans.

“Let’s ask a few things to Lang, first. When will Velvechia attack us?”
“The first contact… will be tomorrow… Lord Jean will take advantage… of the opening…”

I had imagined it. Jean, who couldn’t even defeat the princess, was seen as useless from his allies, so he arranged the preparations for this invasion, but then they ignored him.

“Did you want to live the rich’s life after selling the kingdom?”
“…When Velvechia reaches the border’s fortress… we planned to surrend-oof!”

Aileen headbutted him. Her strength when she got angry was terrifying…
The spirit race was filled with inflexible people, and their power was no joke.

“That’s stupid! If we lose our kingdom, whaddya think it’ll happen?! I must punish those idiots who listen to you. Dick, can I?”
“I know that feeling, but wait a minute. We just need to show them what we’re made off. Can you tell everything to Cody before meeting Manarina?”
“Yeah. I’m sure he’ll be glad to help his l–I mean, friend.”
“What was that…? Anyway, we have to rely on the hero wielding the sword of light.”

The Kingdom of Albein had the expedition party, an unbeatable team that became the masked saviors, among its ranks.

Cody – Holy sword of light, was the best way to show Velvechia how futile was their move.

“…By the way, I did a roundhouse kick before. Did you see anything?”
“…Do you really want to know?”
“Waaah! M-My panties are pretty today, but I absolutely didn’t want you to see ’em! Forget it! Now!”
“I might have glimpsed something white, but I guess it was only my imagination.”
“N-No, stop it! Red is fine, but white isn’t!”

Aileen – Charming goddess of wrath. I still had to see the ultimate form of her title, but seeing her dance-like fighting style, made me confirm how vibrant the ‘charming’ part was.


<Prev | Index | Next>

2+

Guild Master – Chapter 27

The tiger-race’s gratitude and the spirit girl’s mission

The night breeze scattered the ashes that once were the enemy base.

On our way to the tiger-race village, I spotted the last two soldiers remained in the area. One of them was asleep due to magic and the other one had fainted. Thinking that it was better to make them leave, I shook the sleeping one awake.

“…Mh? Is it still night…?”
“Yeah, and all of your comrades fled without you.”
“…Eh…? W-Wait, what…?!”

He didn’t understand what was going on, and it was a pain to explain things thoroughly, so…

“Don’t worry, even your captain fled, so you won’t receive any punishment if you run too. Oh, and take that guy with you until he wakes up.”
“O-Okay… Woah! What’s with that mask?!”
“You don’t need to know. Now, go before the tiger-race seizes you.”
“W-Waaah! Help me!”

He let out a memorable scream and dashed away, bringing the fainted guy I had hit before with him. While he was running away, I cast Healing Light on both them, and hoped they didn’t fall and hurt themselves too badly.

Five prisoners were more than enough. Any more than that would be a burden for the tiger-race’s village.

Those soldiers couldn’t come back without proper equipment.
Mylarka blocked their supply route and establishing a new one would’ve taken quite the amount of time. They also had to find a way out of here now, since the mountain wasn’t a safe place at night, considering the roaming monsters and beasts, but that was their problem. If they didn’t feel that their life was at stake, they might’ve tried to attack again.

If we didn’t act right away, they would’ve probably used this mountain as a base to take advantage of the gap in the kingdom defense.

I already asked Aileen to spy on Velvechia to know exactly what they were planning, and Kirsch was helping too. Sneaking into the Vinceburg’s mansion was overall simple… but to be safe, I had ‘stuck my eyes’ on Aileen.
I had to handle something else at that moment, though.

“Let’s go to the village… Guys, are you still there?”

The tiger-race members, who were worshiping Mylarka after having witnessed the overwhelming destruction of the enemy’s base, were still prostrated at her feet… or rather, at the dragon’s, since she was still riding it.

“Can you also tell them to raise their head? I do not like how they are quivering.”
“When we fell into a trap, an angel riding a dragon descended from the sky and razed the enemy base in the blink of an eye… I, Jedah, will tell this story as long as I live and report it to our chief.”

Jedah, a male tiger-race who would usually appear fearless and intimidating, looked at us with a child-like expression. He was probably fantasizing about us.

“Ah… Masked magician, you are oh so beautiful…”
“Masked swordsman, even your abilities are incredible, and so was your magic… What might you be called?”

Ludo and his wife also looked slightly enthusiast. Being praised was unsettling, but this time I had no choice but to accept it.

“We only happened to see Riko of the tiger tribe being chased by some soldiers of Velvechia, and we heard of your situation from her. In front of such a conduct, we, the masked saviors, wanted to help. Nothing more.”
“The masked saviors… I would have never imagined that there were humans so willing to help a race they kept exploiting. We should discard our prejudices.”

Unluckily, putting us aside, in the kingdom was normal to think of werebeasts as ‘inferior beings’.

But I just couldn’t think of them like that, considering how wise were their elders and how well they grasped the basic movements of fighting. Some of them were even wonderful mercenaries.

So, how could they have been captured like that…? Velvechia must’ve taken advantage of their pyrophobia and exploited these innocent werebeasts. After everything was finished, I wanted to make them pay for their sins… I needed to think about what to do.

“Do not feel obliged toward us. Now that you are safe, go back to your village and live in peace. We will try to not make Albein bother you ever again.”

Mylarka’s words were so intrinsic of her sense of justice that I didn’t have to add anything. She didn’t join the expedition against the Demon Lord for nothing.

Jedah, who was still prostrated, raised his head.

“The tiger-race always repays its debts. We cannot help it if you have to go off somewhere quickly, but since it is already this late, we would like to at least offer you a bed to sleep in.”

He then held a begging pose, and his comrades copied him. It was super effective.
Also, we didn’t really need to get back to the capital right away…

I had already written the rune for Magic Spirit on Aileen, so that I could help her in battle and know how things were going in real time.

She planned to storm into Vinceburg’s mansion, but the plan changed when she got in touch with Kirsch, who was trying to make her ex-comrades rebel along with her.

Vinceburg’s servants held meetings outside the mansion, and currently Aileen was eavesdropping their conversation from the veranda of their inn’s room. She occasionally asked if she could break in, and I always had to tell her to wait a bit more.

If Velvechia couldn’t break in our kingdom from the mountains, they were probably going to force their way through the plains in the south.
That was the perfect battlefield for the Dark cavalry, their main force composed by high-mobility horsemen..

“Well, putting your offer aside, we made a promise with Riko, so we shall accept.”
“Yeah, but you don’t like the smell of humans, right?”
“Right, but benefactors are an exception. The elders will be surprised though, so it would be better if you could smell like us… How about…?”
“Ah, don’t worry. Riko told us she will think about it. I’m sure it would bother you if we were to ask for Ludo’s wife’s tail.”
“N-No, it wouldn’t… Both me and my wife would be proud to help our saviors.”

Her cheeks were flushed red as she was looking at us, but it didn’t look like she was against it.

Their reactions matched a human’s, and the only real difference between us were their beast traits. Their clothes were made of cloth or leather and looked quite shabby, and they also revealed a lot more skin compared to ours, but that was the best the tiger-race could produce for now. Humans would be too ashamed of dressing like that, but I guessed there were also some cultural differences that influenced their outfit choice.

My mind drifted back to the tiger-race’s proposal, and Mylarka turned to face me.

“…Do you perhaps want to rub someone else wife’s tail? Or do you want to feel how soft one is? Especially the end, it looks very soft, does it not?”
“Yeah, totally. But I wasn’t thinking that much into it… I mean, I was only wondering if it was fine to do it with Riko’s.”
“I was thinking that an adult’s tail and a child’s were different, but… Sorry, how old is Riko?”
“She’s thirteen. A full-fledged adult, given that we reach adulthood at twelve.”
“Lady Riko is the chief’s great-great-grandchild, and everyone in her generation longs to have her.”

She was what? That meant that she was part of the chief’s bloodline, right?
Her entire family was the core of their tribe, and given Riko’s relation with the chief, it couldn’t be excluded that many of their tribe fellows shared that same blood.

“…Wait a minute. Does it have a special meaning if an adult woman of your kin lets a human’s guy smell like her?”
“Well, I am sure it means that there is an interest from her side, but fear not, that does not necessarily mean that she wants to grow a family together. There is no law like that either. I doubt that Lady Riko asked you to touch her tail too, given that she is already old enough to discern certain things.”

The four women nearby Jedah, who just provided a reasonable explanation, wore a wry smile.

I cocked my head, unable of grasping the meaning of his words, and sensed the piercing glare of Mylarka, who had probably guessed it.

◆◇◆

We found the scratched tree outside the village exactly as Riko had said.
A wild boar or some huge beast must’ve rammed into it, leaving it scarred.
Given the size of the tree and the scar, the former should’ve been several centuries old.

Jedah and the others returned to the village first and sent here Riko, who had changed her clothes and got rid of the chains that bound her wrists and ankles. Her beautiful hair was arranged differently, and its colors mixed amber and black together… Even her lips looked different, now painted of a beautiful crimson color.

Mylarka slapped her forehead and looked up at the sky.

If she was a full-fledged adult, was there a meaning behind her dressing up?

“L-Lord savior… before we start, can I ask for something…?”
“Mhmh?!”

Mylarka was glaring daggers at me. I heard her inner voice squeal ‘What the hell was that?!’, and even I was aware that my voice sounded miserably in high spirits… but that’s only because I was wondering what she was going to ask.

“…I want you to touch my tail. I think it’s fluffy and pleasant to the touch… Only for a little bit will be fine.”
“I-I really appreciate the thought, but how can I say it…”
“Riko, does letting someone touch your tail mean something for you?”

Riko pressed her hands on her flushing cheeks and took a few steps away before crouching.

“…Only special people can touch it. But a couple of times will be fine!”
“A-A couple of times…? Give a minute. I’m not trying to become a polygamist or something. Also, we just met, so we don’t know each other. Don’t you think that we should spend more time together and discuss it before taking this step?”
“Why on earth are you talking like you are going to marry her, you damn drunkard?!”
“I might be a drunkard, but I never go too far. I can touch Riko’s tail, but it won’t have a special meaning for me. Would this really be fine?”

I didn’t want to hurt the pure heart of a maiden that was now watching me so innocently, and that’s exactly why I wanted to be clear with her. Stating that I would have never touched it would have been worse, but maybe I was just being too self-conscious.

When Riko recomposed herself, she stood up and approached me again with a kind smile.

“You kept your promise once, so next time we see I’ll let you touch it.”
“Great. I’ll prepare for it, but I can’t promise to be your future husband.”
“…You are so refreshingly disgusting right now, but you made the correct choice. It’s better if she doesn’t expect anything.”

I paid little attention to Mylarka’s nasty remark and confirmed that touching a female’s tail really was a marriage proposal, judging by Riko’s face turning red.

She then lightly run her tail over me to hide my human smell, and I waited to see the same treatment for Mylarka.

“Raise your arms. I need to pass it there too. Don’t worry, you will smell like me.”
“I-I’m sorry… I’m ticklish…”

Mylarka took her overcoat off and raised her arms, and Riko passed her fluffy tail on the masked girl’s weak points while I watched them without the slightest hint of malice. I mean, it was simply an interaction between fellow women… still, Mylarka was glaring at me like I was a filthy worm, and I couldn’t help but avert my gaze.

That very moment, Aileen got tired of waiting and spoke to me.

“Maaan, can I break in?! C’mon! Dick, lemme do it!”

“Wait, I’ll move half of my consciousness there. Things are calm here now.”

“Nice. I could tell that from the tone of your voice. I bet Mylarka did great, but I won’t fail!”

“Girls, don’t mind me if I look absent for a while, please. Just hit me on the head and tell me what happened if something’s going on.”
“O-Oh, are you going there? Do not worry, I will take care of things here.”
“Eh? Where’s he going at this hour?”
“Nowhere. He only has to deal with something and will be less responsive for some time, nothing more.”

After I made sure that they understood, I moved my consciousness into the small spirit.

◆◇◆

My tiny body formed from the rune on Aileen’s chest, and I flew off her dress.

“Woah! T-That was unexpected… You just appear like that?”
“Yeah, sorry for keeping you waiting. Are the others still in there?”

She nodded and stopped her breath to listen to the voices inside the room. Four men were talking in a firm tone.

“Velvechia’s army is on the move to cross the border in the western plains, and if they succeed, we must kidnap any of the princesses. I would go for Manarina, the first princess, but to inherit the prestige of a lord, even the third one would be fine.”
“Sir Lang, I find a bit risky to lay our hands on Princess Manarina on Lord Zevias’s behalf…”
“No one informed me about this. Lord Jean is a fool, but his underlings are quite outstanding. Especially Kirsch, whose beauty and loyalty are rare traits nowadays.”
“Stop, that habit of yours is showing again. Sir Lang is very fond of women, and although I can see why that girl might be alluring… she is still our comrade, you know?”

That was indeed a vulgar and disgusting speech.
Those who spread rumors regarding cute girls should just realize that it’s not cool.

The men in the room were thinking only about themselves and saw women as mere tools.

I wondered what Aileen was thinking about, but it was written all over her covered face. The blue mask she was wearing now had a different color compared to ours.

“I’ll try to go easy on them, but forgive me if my hand slips~♪”

She said in a cheerful tone while wearing her fingerless gloves.

Aileen was about to demonstrate how she earned her title. When I realized it, I felt my blood rushing into my veins, and my tiny body started to shake in excitement.


<Prev | Index | Next>

5+

Guild Master – Chapter 26

The prisoners and the masks under the moonlight

Mylarka walked to the girl, whose eyes shined brightly like gems.
Demi-humans had their own language, but I could somewhat understand it, and the genius teacher could fluently speak it.

“The tiger-race should speak the new werebeast language, so… Do you understand me?”
“Y-Yes, I do! But Miss, aren’t you a human? Why do you know our language?!”

The girl was enthusiastic. Their language developed during the years as it detached from the old one, still spoken only by a few werebeasts living in secluded areas due to its different and difficult grammar, and became a new language, which was spoken by the majority of them.

“We are from the Kingdom of Albein. Those guys were part of the Velvechia’s army, but… why were they chasing you?”
“Ugh… Albein destroyed our mountains. Everyone hates you.”

When Vinceburg constructed the road to pass through this mountain, they had to raid the tiger-race’s area, so it was only natural that the victims saw us – all of us – as enemies.

While I was thinking about a way to solve this matter, the girl spoke again.

“But Mister and Miss are different. You defended me from Velvechia, and you’re even friends with a dragon. The tiger-race and dragonkin are friends too. Dragons are the dragonkin’s guardian gods.”

It seemed like her race wasn’t in good relationships with any other aside from dragonkins. Also, it was quite rare to meet a friendly tiger-race, so this was a golden chance to know them better.

Dragonkin worshiped fire dragons, so if I was accompanied by one, I could’ve established a good relationship with them… but I wanted to talk about it with Shura first.

“The Elder said that Velvechia’s soldiers have a camp not far from here. They told us to split our rations and to bring them many men and women, or they’d burn down the entire mountain…!”
“…Dick, we are going to raze Velvechia’s encampment right now.”
“I want to do the same, but we need more information. What happened to those who brought them food?”

Hearing my question, the girl’s expression clouded, and I guessed something bad had happened.

“Velvechia said they were strong and seized even the women who were assigned to cooking. They are prisoners to avoid our rebellion.”
“I see… it must be hard for you. But rest assured, now we are here. There is nothing you have to worry about anymore.”

Mylarka comforted the girl and held her tightly in the arms, but as the werebeast’s firm gaze started to blur, not a tear descended from her eyes.

“The others are more hurt than me. They told me that I had to escape, but I couldn’t even do that.”
“You did more than enough. You can go back to your village without a worry.”
“Later, we should go with her. We must ask the Elder’s forgiveness for some things, like that we blocked the mountain’s path.”
“The Elder wants the road like before. Even if it takes time, that way everything will go back the way it was before.”

Mylarka had to block the road with her magic to stop anyone from passing through it, but we needed to make it look as natural as possible. I was planning to borrow the earth and trees’ spirits power for that.

“Great, then let us depart. We are going to Velvechia’s encampment first, since we must rescue the prisoners as soon as possible. What’s your name?”
“I’m Riko of the tiger tribe. And you are?”
“We are… the masked saviors. Sorry but we cannot reveal our real names.”
“It’s fine. I’ll tell the Elder about you. That you saved me and the others.”

She couldn’t imagine that we planned to restore the mountain to its former glory, given how little she saw about our power.

“You must hide your smell if you come to our village, though. The tiger tribe doesn’t like the smell of humans.”
“I can imagine it… What should we smell of, then?”
“Riko’s tail. I’ll rub it on you. There’s a big, scratched tree outside the village. I’ll wait for you there.”

I wondered if she guessed our intentions when she saw us… but I wasn’t really sure about her having such a keen eye.

We had to neutralize Velvechia’s forces, rescue the werebeasts prisoners, block the road, and then report everything to the Elder.

“Riko… bring here some adults and take those guys away.”
“Okay. We’ll keep them under arrest until Velvechia promises to stop.”

She angrily snapped her teeth while showing her canines. That went without saying, since she was chased and targeted by arrows.

If we managed to save her comrades, the soldiers would’ve been able to return home safely. To reach that outcome, I put my trust in the somewhat gentle nature of Mylarka.

◆◇◆

Our first destination was twenty minutes away from the tiger-race’s village by horse, and only five minutes if we used a fire dragon.

At evening, we were ready to move. It was time to act.

“First, we’ll free the prisoners, Mylarka. I’m sure you can destroy the buildings bit by bit and disarm the soldiers.”
“Analyzing and disintegrating this many objects will take me some time. The guys form earlier had their gear made almost entirely of black steel, so it was easy to disassemble.”
“How much will it take to destroy everyone’s gear and tents?”
“I’d say around fifteen minutes. It should be enough for my magic field to expand, analyze and disintegrate their equipment, tents and everything else.”
“Great. While I infiltrate their base, you start the preparations to raze the place. After I’m finished saving the prisoners, I’ll signal you to go ahead.”
“Alright.”

Once we parted ways, I erased my presence with Concealing Magic and entered the enemy territory.
The camp was well lit only on the side that faced the road, so I could sneak in without problems. Well, who would cross an entire forest to enter an enemy base? Not to mention that it was located on the kingdom’s border, so they didn’t expect anyone from that side to assault them.

In the back of the camp were fences and watchtowers filled with negligent soldiers. I fixated a grappling hook at one of the towers, climbed over the fence and jumped behind a soldier.

“Why is this grapnel here…?”

I muffled my landing and footsteps with magic as I approached him. Aileen could move without a sound thanks to her martial arts abilities, but I always relied on magic… I didn’t train enough and was too self-critical to reach the same outcome without help.

“Don’t move. Tell me where the prisoners are.”
“W-Who’s there…? One of them…? O-Or someone from Albein…?”
“You don’t need to know it. Now, answer.”
“T-The werebeasts are… beyond that tent…”
“Good. For your information, we’ll raze this base tonight.”
“Wha…”

I cast sleep magic on him, since forcing him to sleep with violence might have been too much for him to handle. If Mylarka activated her magic field, the entire watchtower would disappear, so I immediately descended and approached my new destination.

A drunk soldier shuffled in my direction, but he didn’t notice me.
The average soldier couldn’t spot me at all.

I circumvented the tent and opened a peephole in it with a knife.

Women and children around the age of Riko were in there, and several males had beating injuries on them. Chains tied to solid poles bound their legs, and although they could break free with sheer strength, they couldn’t retaliate carelessly probably for the sake of their children.

A soldier was looking down on them with a smirk on his face, and one of the males rose his head to glare at him.

“How dare you look at me? Haven’t you understood your condition yet?! You’re gonna be slaves! The men will work to death in a mine, and the women will become toys for some rich nobles!”
“…!!”

The young werebeast, unable of keeping his cool, stood up the next moment. His lover or wife was probably caught along with him.

He said something, but the soldier couldn’t understand his words.

“Good for you. If I could understand what you’ve just said, you’d be whipped pretty hard.”
“…”
“Still, I’m sure it was something bad, so guess what will happen… to her.”
“…!!”

The soldier, gripping a barbed whip, approached a nearby girl.

“You monsters have insane speed and regeneration, right? Whipping her once or twice won’t change much, isn’t it…? Look at her pretty face before I…”
“That’s enough.”
“Woah! W-Who…!”

While he was talking, I opened the gap in the tent and sneaked to his back.

He didn’t have the time to turn and face me: I just hit him on the back of his neck and he collapsed to the ground. Sleeping magic was somewhat pleasant, so my hand kind of moved on its own. I didn’t need to hold myself back there.

The presents looked at me without following what just happened, and then I remembered about the mask on my face.

“Right… I’m wearing a mask, but I’m not one of the bad guys. Can you flee from here when I break your chains?”

I squeezed my memory to formulate that sentence in their language, and it seemed that they understood me. Then, a man among them looked at me diffidently.

“…You look like a human. Why are you helping us?”
“Because not all of us enjoy persecuting you. I’m from Albein, but I’m not like those who attacked your holy mountain. Maybe you won’t believe me, but can you accept that I want to save you right now?”
“Mhm…”
“…Masked Man, I’m grateful to you for saving my wife. I believe in you.”
“Ludo… You have a point. Forgive me. How can we escape from this place, Masked Man?”

It was obvious that they addressed me like that, but I wondered if it was really necessary to hide myself from them… Oh well, it wasn’t the time for such thoughts.

“I’ll guide you. First, I’ll break the chains, then let’s get out of here and hide in the forest.”

Around ten of the presents followed my every instruction like I was their knight in shining armor, even though I hadn’t used a sword for so long, so I was quite rusty.
Blasting our way through could’ve actually been the quickest way out of here.

Once we finished setting everything up for our escape, we crossed the ‘backdoor’ I made in the tent and went towards the fences in a straight line.

The logs tied together to form the fence were almost twice my height, and it would’ve been easy to jump over them if it wasn’t for their sharp ends. I had to make sure that the children wouldn’t hurt themselves.

I unsheathed my sword and cast a spell on it. It couldn’t even be compared to Cody’s sword of light, but I could at least make it strong enough to cut iron… still, it was so long since last time I wielded one that I was getting nervous, but I liked that pressure.

“…Hm!”

I applied Spirit Blade on my sword, which tripled the range of its attacks, and then swung it several times on the logs to cut them into pieces that fell on the ground the next moment, opening an escape route for us.

“Run! I’ll join you later!”
“Amazing… Who are you, Masked Man?”
“I can’t believe we’re all safe… Thank you very much…!”
“Thank you, Masked Mister!”
“Our savior!”

The werebeasts didn’t waste time and fled to the forest at an amazing speed, which was characteristic of their race.

Meanwhile, the soldiers noticed that something happened and were coming here, but it was too late for them to do anything.

“Velvechia’s army! If you don’t want to die here, drop your weapons and don’t move! Even you have a home you should come back to!”

I raised a hand over my head and invoked the magic spell Lighting, that now looked like a bright sphere that rose into the sky before exploding. That was my signal for Mylarka.

The entire camp grew louder as the soldiers understood that something was going on, and despite the tiredness that afflicted them, they realized what had just happened.

But they now had no time to organize a counter-attack, as fifteen minutes were already elapsed.

“Restricted area annihilation n°66 – Disintegration field!”

Exactly like those who were chasing Riko, the soldiers’ gear turned into sand.
Before the encampment became a hell of agonizing screams, I tried to show them my sympathy with words, but Mylarka wasn’t that kind.

Sweet disaster started to descend from the sky while riding the fire dragon, who vividly stood out with the moon behind him, and once she was over the powerless soldiers, she started talking while looking down on them with an icy gaze.

“Not only you tried to invade Albein, but you also tormented the tiger-race! Your sins cannot be forgiven! I would sentence you to death in the name of this mountain’s gods, but since I do not want to smear this holy soil with your filthy blood, I will turn a blind eye! Do not dare to enter this mountain ever again if you do not want to draw the masked saviors’ wrath!”

Moonlight shone on her, whose chest was puffed with self-confidence, as her firm voice resounded everywhere… Bringing her here was the best idea I could ever have.

The tumult of the horrified soldiers that darted away was but a distant noise for me.

As Mylarka and her mount looked down on our enemy, she chanted her catchphrase, and then we erased what remained of the enemy base, leaving under the endless sky a vacant piece of land.

After that, Mylarka blocked the road with her magic and we proceeded to reach the former prisoners. When they saw the girl of miracles, instead of a walking calamity, they prostrated to her feet and started worshipping her.
Unable of bearing such a treatment, the genius teacher’s face went beet red.


<Prev | Index | Next>

5+

Guild Master – Chapter 25

TL note: heartfelt thanks to Vorobyov Andrey, who donated us ten euros for this WN!

We changed “secret pomegranate” (chapter 8) into “concealing pomegranate”.


Encounter with the enemy and the catchphrase

A hole in the ceiling of the ranch was used by the fire dragons to enter and exit their nest. I heard that they didn’t like having the entrance on the ground because earth dragons, their natural enemies, might have snaked in during their absence, so that was probably something dictated by their instinct.

As soon as we started to fly and exited the ranch, I noticed that our compass wasn’t working probably due to the magnetic minerals contained into the dragon’s skin… But we only needed to go east from the capital.

Riding a dragon was exactly as Shura said: way more stable than riding a wyvern, and overall really comfortable.
The dragon flute that I was wearing around my neck started to play whenever I poured magic into it, and our mount obeyed my every order.

“…Hey, you’re using some kind of magic, right? Now, I’m almost not frightened anymore.”
“Well, anyone would be afraid of experiencing this height for the first time, but being scared is risky, so I used Spirit guard.”
“You don’t enjoy seeing me afraid, huh? And here I thought you’d make fun of me…”
“I prefer to enjoy the view from up here, honestly. Don’t you think that being scared a little is worth being able to witness such an amazing scenery?”

At first, she was rigid due to tension, but as time passed, she finally started to calm down and leaned her back on me. The paperwork must have worn her out.

“I shouldn’t be heavy, but let me know if I am.”
“Nah, I’m surprised you’re this light. Even more than when I lifted you before.”
“G-Good… I guess it’s fine, then. You are thick-skinned, that’s probably why you don’t find me heavy.”
“You’re not as tall as a Deku stick, though. I can take books you can’t reach.”
“If I wore high shoes, I’d have reached them too, but they hurt my feet, so I don’t like them much.”

We peacefully kept chatting on our way. No matter how big and filled with elites Velvechia’s army was, it was no match for us.

The Republic of Velvechia was located beside the country of another Demon Lord, who, according to Verlaine, was only S rank, but since no one could defeat him, every year the cities sent him a lot of tributes to avoid facing an invasion. The strongest warriors in Velvechia were AA rank, with scores around twenty thousand, meaning that the average soldier was rank C or worse. It was pretty much on the same level of Albein.

Still, Velvechia had yet to know about our expedition and victory against Verlaine, an SSS rank Demon Lord.

The Duke of Vinceburg was thinking of crushing us with sheer numbers, but that was a miscalculation on his part.

“I bet you’re thinking that we’re the adults going to stop a children’s fight… I’m feeling the same, you know?”
“Well, if we hadn’t taken part in the expedition against Verlaine, we wouldn’t have known our real power. Still, we’re clueless about how to handle fights between humans.”
“If we were to fight against a horde of monsters, I could just blow them away…”

When we were traveling together, she did exactly that to a lot of monster dens, and if a demi-human race was using them for some reason, the nearby habitations would have been badly damaged too. Oh, and let’s not mention what became of the monsters…

That’s how she earned her title as a raging calamity… Sweet disaster.

“Dick, is that it? My sight is better than yours, isn’t it?”
“The zone is slightly clearer, and there are stone statues placed at a regular distance… That must be the path that Vinceburg arranged for Velvechia.”
“I can’t believe the ones who should protect us constructed that. Don’t you think they deserve some punishment?”
“Honestly, yes. If I’d anticipated this at the time of Manarina’s engagement, I could’ve settled everything without attracting attention…”
“If that was the case, you’d have become this country’s king… though, if someone asked for it when we got the chance, maybe the king himself would’ve allowed it.”

I wanted to remind her that each one of us was indifferent to prestige.

Especially Aileen, who could be called ‘Master Warrior’ by any fighter or martial artist’s teacher if only she wanted it.

“Maybe I’ll try to make Aileen our ruler… Would that make her more responsible?”
“Nice idea, but she has horns. How is she supposed to wear a crown?”

I laughed at her joke, which she rarely cracked. Sheesh, if I wasn’t tense, that’d have been heartwarming.

A road trailed across the mountain, and following it with my gaze, I could see a village in the distance.

“That’s the only village around here, right…? The enemy will surely pass by it.”
“Yeah… if it wasn’t there… Wait, what are those? Velvechia’s scouts?”
“Seems like that. Our country doesn’t use black armors…”

She could see them well. Five knights clad in black armors, rufous mantles fluttering behind them, were galloping on the road.

They were screaming wildly, bows in hand like hunters chasing their prey.
At that moment, I was sure.
When they nocked their arrows, I firmly embraced Mylarka.

“Wah! W-What are you doing?! W-We’re not here for…! Waaah!”
“They’re chasing someone. We’re swooping on them before it’s too late.”
“O-Oh… I-I see, okay. I’ll hold on tight.”

She lowered her body as I flowed my will into the dragon flute, and our mount adjusted his wings to glide down the sky.

“Ugh…! Wait, won’t they notice us like this…?”
“Don’t worry, I made the fire dragon eat some concealing pomegranate. No one will notice us before we get close, and their comrades, if there’s any, won’t see us from afar.”
“Oh, you got it covered already…? Okay, let’s sneak up on them and wrap things up quickly.”

As we approached them, the knights didn’t notice anything, but the simple feeling of being targeted triggered their sixth sense.

“S-Something is coming against us…”
“A… d-dragon! Captain, a dragon is…!”
“Where did that come from?! Damn, shoot it!”

We swooped on them tracing an arc on the air, and as we closed the distance between us, I could see Sweet disaster’s body shrinking in my arms before glaring at them fiercely.

“‘Restricted area annihilation n°66 – Disintegration field!’”

She started to weave her magic field at an unfathomable speed, which enveloped the target in a mere instant, and activated it with a snap of her fingers.

“What’s going on…?!”
“My bow and armor… Waaah!”

They felt completely lost.
After a fire dragon grazed their heads, a terrific gust of wind made their horses stop, and their entire equipment turned into fine sand that fell on the ground and dispersed.

When we regained altitude, I ordered the dragon to hover there.

Their captain, who was younger than expected and now almost completely naked, turned his confused horse and looked up to us.

“Who are you, Albein’s dragon masters?! Take off your stupid masks and show your face!”

Seems like he still had the power to snarl at us, but riding a horse while in his underwear made his coercion attempt all the more ridiculous.

Mylarka had spread her magic field with so much precision that their underwear was the only thing left to cover them. That was a sweet concern and an aberrant action at the same time.
As far as I knew, only the two of us knew how to disassemble material into dust like that… and I believed that it was highly improbable to find someone with the same ability.

After clearing her throat, Mylarka started to speak firmly.

“You are from Velvechia, right? We have our reasons to prevent you from going back to your main army. Surrender now, and no blood will dye the earth.”
“I knew it, you’re from Albein… Damn those useless idiots…”

I guessed that he was cursing Vinceburg. They had to keep everything a secret, so he was probably thinking that there was a spy among them.

“Captain, we should try to run away! It will be enough if only one of us gets back home…!”

Suggested a young man with a trembling voice, and no one replied as they moved to escape.

“Mylarka, plug your ears.”
“Mh? Why?”

I brought my hands to her ears and cast a protection spell on both of us. I took a moment to reflect before giving a new order to the dragon.

It has been a while since I could be any moved in combat, but thanks to Shura, who taught me the charm of dragon flutes, I was having a lot of fun fighting from the sky with Mylarka. If I had to say it like him, it was really exciting.

“Groooarh!”

The thunderous roar of our mount shook both air and earth: that was the daunting power of his voice.

The horses cringed in terror and stopped moving, while the knights limply hung their heads in a trance.

After that, we landed with a loud stomp, and Mylarka rose her voice.

“Heavens might forgive you, but the shining eyes behind our masks shall not overlook wickedness!”

I didn’t know how to react to that declaration… Our targets were in a trance and they probably didn’t hear her, but seeing her having fun while pridefully puffing out her chest was enough to make me want to sit back and see what was going to happen next.

“…Did you come up with that yourself or is it the masked saviors’ catchphrase?”
“The former. Maybe I should add also a part that mentions the earth…”
“W-Well, you have a lifetime to think about it. By the way, where did the one they were chasing go?”

As I surveyed my surroundings, the clapping of someone’s hands reached our ears, and when we turned to face its source, a demi-human lady, a bit younger than us, was hiding in the shade of a tree.

“Mylarka, she likes us. Isn’t it great?”
“That’s only natural when someone saves you… but now I really need to complete the catchphrase. I knew it was a nice idea.”

She was so happy that my cynicism didn’t go through her, and even though she should have acted more mature, she was really excited of being a warrior of justice, and that made me confirm again the age gap between us. I would’ve never said that she was childish, though. I didn’t really dislike this whole thing.

If Aileen was around, she might have laughed at Mylarka without fear of the consequences, so it was better she wasn’t with us. The genius teacher made sure of our targets’ powerlessness while thinking about her catchphrase.

Meanwhile, the girl, who, given her ears and tail, was part of the tiger-race, kept clapping her hands with sparkling eyes.


<Prev | Index | Next>

3+

Guild Master – Chapter 24

TL note: illustrations added in the following chapters: p1, c1, c4, c9, c11, c16, c18. Again, I didn’t add the colored ones because we haven’t redrawn them.


The laboratory and the masks soaring into the sky

Once in Mylarka’s laboratory, we started rearranging the books on the bookshelves. After working for a while, she handed me a notebook.

“Manarina wrote the details of her researches here. She said she might have discovered something and wanted you to look at it.”
“Oh, she’s researching offensive magic? I never used Spirit Magic, but isn’t it easy to learn?”
“Well, students can learn it from books, so a lot of them majors in that. Hereabouts Divine Magic can be studied only by those who follow Albein’s doctrine, so only priests can use it, and people can’t really borrow power from other deities in this city.”

Was that a lecture or an explanation?
Anyone could enroll in the magic academy, regardless of their age, so I could’ve tried to join too… thinking about a student’s life, I felt some interest welling up within me.

I didn’t need to study right now, though, so I kept my interest at bay. Mylarka’s tone reminded me that she was a teacher, after all.

“How many students do you have at your seminar?”
“Manarina and several more.”
“Woah… I thought you could teach only to something like ten people. Guess I was mistaken.”
“I just spend the majority of my time researching, but many of them are too advanced for the people of this academy.”

Mylarka was a heretic among those who taught her same subject.
Her ‘Space Expanding Magic’ wasn’t something that could be replicated by others. Normally, people chanted the spell, and the gods or spirits granted them power, but she didn’t need to do that.

Knitting magic squares together, she could interfere with the laws of the world by expanding space. Mylarka could decide the range of her attacks, meaning that she was theoretically able to attack the whole capital.

Also, her expanding magic squares had endless combinations, which produced many different effects, and all of them were incredibly dangerous. That’s why Mylarka was inept with any non-offensive kind of magic.

When she applied for the expedition against the Demon Lord, her personal score was 102952, and almost all of it was due to her ability with offensive magic.
To demonstrate her skills, she was brought to some plains far from the capital, where she used her magic square ‘Wide area annihilation n°152 – Earth rending field’ to completely annihilate the den of a dangerous beast.

SSS rank adventurers were more than simple humans.
I promised myself to never make Mylarka angry, but thank Heaven she was as rational as powerful. She could control the range of her magic squares with elegance, to an extent that she could hit a single target with precision… but that was the only elegant part of the process, given that her magic was the most devastating power I knew.

“So, what do you need?”
“Oh, right. I want to ask you also about the academy, but first…”

I started to explain her Kirsch’s circumstances, as I wanted that servant to get out of troubles as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, I prepared some juice of ‘mysterious grape’ from the southern country’s woodland and maple cookies made with ‘wisdom bean’ powder. The first enhanced concentration, and the latter reinforced memory. Mylarka was already flawless in both, so she didn’t really need them, but they still were a good snack.

“Don’t tell me the Demon Lord baked these. I wouldn’t mind it, though.”
“Haha… I did, even though I’m not good with sweets.”
“I think these are better than the average cookies. Why don’t you grow some self-esteem? Being too humble will make you insolent.”
“I’ll bear it in mind. I don’t value myself much.”
“Well, that’s good… or rather, it’s curious. Manarina is also like that, after that you tried to look so good in front of Cody.”

She commented while crunching more cookies. Maybe it was because of the crumbles near her lips, or because she munched with a hand in front of her mouth, but she was looking really cute.

“Anyway, these are totally better than the cookies in the school store. Those are tasteless compared to yours. Why are you giving them to me?”
“I don’t think so, but I’ll give you more, if you want. It will be five silver coins each.”
“…Quite pricey, but it’s appropriate given the ingredients and taste. Why don’t you open a confectionery shop? I can help you with money, if you need.”
“No, thank you. Even though they’re a present from my bar, I don’t think they could be the specialty of a confectionery shop.”
“…I disagree. Even this grape juice is so good it’s irritating me.”

I didn’t know anyone who could feel irritated while in such a good mood… but let’s move on.

“Anyway, regarding what you asked me. You just want me to block the road that Velvechia will use to reach Vinceburg, right?”
“I’m glad you catch up quickly. I didn’t really want to ask you, but… you are the only one that can do it.”
“Let me be clear, I don’t want to cause a massacre. It’s not like I enjoy destroying random things or killing people.”
“Of course. That’s exactly why I have a strategy ready… can I count on you?”

We had to go west first… but it wasn’t certain that she would’ve accepted to follow me there right away.

She looked at me in silence as she consumed the remnants of her food, then placed the empty glass on the table.

“I will help you at one condition.”
“Ask for anything. I’ll try my best as long as it’s possible.”
“Since I have to pay for whatever I destroy with my own money, sometimes I want you to bring me food here. Whatever is on your menu is fine, as there shouldn’t be anything I haven’t tasted yet.”
“I don’t really want my face to be remembered in here… Oh, wait, right. How often should I come?”
“I’d like to say ‘until I want’… but feel free to come whenever you feel like it. Now, let’s go.”

With that, she started preparing for departing.
Honestly, I didn’t expect that.

“…What, are you not ready?”
“No, I’m just grateful you accepted so fast.”
“I just don’t like slaughtering people indiscriminately. We must block the road before they cross it. Do people live around there? I heard that some families live in the western part of the mountain range.”
“I think Vinceburg will make Velvechia pass through another way to avoid any hindrance… but we can still check from above.”
“From above…? Is there a place like that on the mountain? Or do you know some spells that will do the trick?”

Support Magic could improve the eyesight, and I could scout the zone with a Small Spirit, but I didn’t intend to use any of those.

There was another way which didn’t include walking… flying.

◆◇◆

In the west of the capital was a ranch for fire dragons, and Shura, an old dragon master, was taking care of them.

Reaching it by horse took us about two hours.

“Hi, Sir Dick. Do you want to see how are the dragons doing? Or is there another reason for your visit?”

There was still some time before the breeding season ended, so the entire dragon family was gathered together.
The little dragons, who weren’t so little anymore, approached us while tottering excitedly, and despite their size which prevented us to hug them completely, their voices were still high-pitched and adorable. Mylarka patted them on their heads and fed them.

“There there, who are good boys? You’re starting to take from mom and dad.”
“They listen carefully to what I say, young Lady. I’ve been separated from my sons and grandchildren long ago, so I can’t help but taking care of them.”
“Well, it’s important to enjoy your job. Now, regarding mounting them…”
“I already used the dragon flute on the father, and everything is ready. It won’t be hard for you to ride him with a saddle. Sir Dick… is the lady over there coming with you?”
“Wait, what?! Dick, you wanted me to ride with you? Have you ever done it before?”
“Yeah. Remember that I lived in a rural area? I helped an injured wyvern once, and it let me ride it.”
“It won’t be hard to ride other types of dragons, then. Wyverns don’t have the forelegs, so they’re quite unstable. They are one of the most difficult specie to ride.”

After I healed it, it flew back to its flock… I hope it’s still healthy right now.
I didn’t think it when I founded this place, but after hiring a dragon master and becoming his manager, I could have ridden the fire dragons in times of crisis.

The old man gave me his personal saddle, and after we adjusted it on father dragon shoulders’ protuberance, I mounted on it.

After that Shura fixed the saddle’s belts on the dragon’s stomach, I told Mylarka, who was watching us along with the little dragons, to get up. Since she never did it before, she was clumsy and couldn’t do it properly, so I had to help her.

“Give me your hands, I’ll help you.”
“O-Okay… Wah!”

I enhanced my arm strength with magic, lifted her and placed her in front of me.
For Mylarka, it must’ve felt like she was dancing in the air.

“…We are more or less three times higher than a horse… will we be fine…?”
“Are you afraid of heights? You should close your eyes, then.”
“N-No, I mean… It’s the first time I ride a dragon, so I feel so awkward… Teach me how to do this.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll support you from behind, you won’t fall. There are also the reins to prevent that.”

She let out a cry while I adjusted her position from behind, then I passed my hands around her to prevent her from falling. That way, she wouldn’t panic when we started to fly.

“…Will you hold them? Seems like you only want to seize this chance…”
“Sir Dick, the fire dragon will move according to the flutist’s magic power… but given your skills, I doubt there will be any complication.”

Shura had crafted the flute by himself, like a real dragon master should do. I was quite interested in what kind of life he had, so maybe I’d have brought him some drink after we finished this work.

“Mylarka, the reins are up to you, then. I’ll play the flute.”
“O-Okay… but can you help me understand what I should do?”
“Help you…?”

She pulled my hands, made me grab the reins, and then placed her hands on mine.

“Do it like this. Let’s show Velvechia’s army what the Masked saviors are made of.”

And so, two mysterious figures set off for their mission on a dragon’s back.

It was then that we wore our masks, and Mylarka looked thrilled.

“Being young is such a great time… they can excite even a decrepit man like me…”

Shura bowed deeply as we departed and wished us the best as a senior in life.


<Prev | Index | Next>

8+