Guild Master – Chapter 37

TL note: This novel got a manga! Go check it out! The illustrations are super adorable!

The ice fox and the ravirim1 race

Only one member of the intelligence team, who was currently dressed as a customer, was in the bar—Leeza. She could provide me with some information about the merchants.

I do know something spicy, but treating me to something good will loosen my tongue. Deal, buddy?”
Wait, are you already drunk? What happened? C’mon, tell me about it.”
It’s nooothing! I only happened to find a cute guy in the intelligence depaaartment, but he said he’s not interested in giiirls and didn’t give me his addreeess! Damn my three handicaps! I know I’m a bottomless bit with no sex appeal and flat as a board!”

I didn’t find her that bad, honestly, but given that she was into good-looking guys, they all probably searched very ideal characteristics for a girl.

Actually, they probably didn’t want to mix work and love, as the latter could be found in other places. Even I and Cody, although I believed her to be a man in the past, never approached each other thoughtlessly despite our friendship.

I’ll have something too. Don’t mix drinks up, though. It’s not a wise choice.”
Yeah, I know, but why is that?! Tell me, buddyyy!”
It’s a matter of taste. A drinker should know that mixing alcohol will numb their tongue in no time. It makes you get drunk easier too. That’s the only way for me to get drunk.”
Whaaat? Is that so? I’ll watch out then, but it’s too late for me now.”
We also have drinks that help you overcome the numbness. Master, a refreshing lemonade, please.”

It was spring water blended with lemon juice and enhanced with Healing Magic, a great drink to recover. There was barely any sugar, so many guests ordered it before leaving in order to avoid being sluggish at work the next day. Since it worked very well and cost only eight copper coins, they usually came to drink here again.

After seeing it, even Cody, who looked dizzy, kept ordering the same drink without mixing it with any other. I could have purified her liver if she let me, but I doubt she would have granted me a chance like that so easily.

Now that I thought about it, I started to be conscious of her. It’s said that friendship can’t bloom in a relationship between opposite sexes, but I just couldn’t accept this line traced by who knows who.

Mmmh…! Tastes good. I did not know this could be served as the last drink.”
Pretty boy, have you never had it before?”
Hahaha… Saying I did would sound presumptuous of me. Anyhow, you have something interesting to tell me, right?”

Cody was making things easier for me, although I literally spent my day drinking… but I was still good so who cared about me.

If she was a man, seeing him overly helpful wouldn’t have bothered me, but when I thought that he was a girl, somehow it didn’t feel the same… I ended up thinking about it so often I was starting to feel guilty.

Well, the merchants should’ve bought their beasts from someone in the capital, right? But uncontrolled beasts might spread disease and stuff, so only controlled ones should be kept.”

Mylarka’s fairy bird had been registered and controlled when she received it, and even the fire dragon that we rode together had been checked by Shura, who said it was in good shape.

Now, keeping beasts is really expensive, so beast traders profit from their job only by selling specific animals to nobles. I mean, dogs, wild wolves, kitties… there’s a low demand for them, so beast traders must capture rare animals to keep their business alive.”
That way it feels closer to selling a treasure, right?”
Right, exactly. Then it becomes a race and quarrels start to become daily routine between them. I heard that a certain company called ‘Garamdoor’ found a way to grow really fast, but I don’t trust some of those rumors…”

Thanks to the last report I heard about Garamdoor, I was doubtful too.
Joyce Weltem, a merchant I knew who sold beasts among other things, wondered how that company could have that many rare articles, so he tried to search and reach out to their supplier… but it was of no use.

As far as the public knew, there wasn’t any problem in Garamdoor’s conduct…
Was that real?

Zect wouldn’t have fussed over the fleeing beast if it wasn’t precious…
Still, I felt the problem was probably way deeper than that.

Lady Leeza, why do you doubt them?”
Well, I heard about this only today, but it’s said that Garamdoor has obtained a beast called ice fox that they want to sell. Thing is that no one has ever seen it, and some wonder if it’s a phantom beast or not… but the strangest part is that its fur looks like a certain humanoid species.”

That was very specific… thank goodness none of the customers seemed to listen, so we didn’t need to pretend it was just some rumors.

A humanoid species…? Do you mean the ‘blue fox tribe’? Well, ice is indeed blue, but would that be the same for a beast…?”
Ah, Mister, you know them? I was joking, didn’t you get it…?”

Exactly as the name suggests, the Blue fox tribe was formed by fox-like humanoids with blue fur.

Ahhh… Sorry I couldn’t tell you more. That‘s all I know for tonight.”
I found it very interesting, Lady Leeza. Later I will make you receive a good reward.”
Really?! Thank you~♪ I’ll let you know if I hear anything else!”
Please do. I would be thrilled even to hear about your love life.”

Verlaine loved gossip way more than I did. She knew every guild member’s love story.

Surprisingly enough, even the younger ones kept their distance if they didn’t have a real chance to get closer to each other. For example, probably Rigel’s team would’ve never seen Lia as one of its members’ girlfriend.

Leeza was popular in our guild, given her morals and the right distance she put between her and boys. She was also kind with everyone and a hard worker with a bright personality… probably her only problem was that she was too picky when it came to looks.

Well… I will take one last drink and go back home. Dick, what are you going to do about this?”

Cody spoke almost in whispers. Of course, I was already wrecking my brain to solve this mess.

It was really interesting. Knowing something like this makes a huge difference. It made me want to keep drinking.
Are you not drunk yet? You keep your eyes peeled more than anyone else in here.”
Eheheh… Actually, his eyes are always half-closed. It has been a while since last time I saw them wide open.”

When I tried to open them wide as they said, both Cody and Verlaine started laughing.


After that Cody had left and the bar was closed, I sneaked out the backdoor while cleaning.

Someone’s there? I need some help.”
Yes. How can I help you, Master?”

Waiting there stood another member of the intelligence team, a werebeast and collegue of Leeza called Sakuya.

Both her hair and skin were white and her rabbit ears were proof of her ravirim lineage. Her kin’s hair was colored, but she was albino. Below her scarlet red eyes was a little mole which boosted her stiff-looking beauty.

Ravirims could cover the traces they left behind, their extremely sharp hearing made them hear what humans couldn’t, and they were perfect for missions that required nimble adventurers. Also, their magic affinity was great, so their spells were usually better than the average ones.

They were eye-catching and given the lack of clothes on their slender bodies, their sense of shame was quite different from a human’s. Letting their beauty in plain sight was a double-edged sword, but in our case, Sakuya was an S rank adventurer, so if some fool dared to lay his hands on her, he would probably regret it in a few instants.

Listen, I need a favor. Can you examine a place for me?”
You mean this night? Yes, I can. Do we have permission to do that or are we going to look for some kind of proof?”
Actually, the latter. Sorry for not giving you more specific instructions.”
Don’t mention it. Your instructions are never flawed, Master. My duty is to inspect what you want.”

My guess was unfounded, but I was sure that Garamdoor was doing something that concerned both the blue fox tribe and that mysterious ice fox.

Demi-humans are involved in some unclear matter… Sorry, does this make you feel uneasy?”
…Why are you apologizing, Master? You don’t discriminate us. If you say that something’s off, I will assist you to find the truth.”
Can you go right away, then? I need to prepare some stuff for a mission that Rigel has accepted. Today another guild threatened to make a move against him.”
Understood. This document should fill me with the details, right? I’ll take my leave.”

She cast Hiding and disappeared before heading to Garamdoor’s company.

This job was a lot of work, but gathering information was necessary. If my guess was right, those guys were using some kind of magic tool to meddle in some way with demi-humans.

Master… do you really think that is the case?”

When I returned to the bar, Verlaine was waiting for me. Only a few chores were left.

Yes. Some demi-humans can shape-shift into their ancestors’ form at will, so if there was a magic tool that could force the process…”
I did not think that far ahead… but it makes sense. I only assumed that some kind of magic could block their shape-shifting.”
If someone could cast a spell like that, we’d need to take precautions. Anyway, we need to gather more information about this matter.”
Who knows what are we going to pull out of this hat2 No matter how we look at it, this job will take an unexpected turn. How will we handle Zect?”
If we do things the right way, we might make him join us. Even if our hierarchy is loosen, he should be fine as long as he keeps growing and improving, don’t you think?”

I didn’t know how she selected people for their jobs when she was a Demon Lord yet, and while she crossed her arms under her chest, she raised one of her fingers.

Strong people are not necessarily good, but we‘re currently missing SS rank adventurers in our guild. If we could have one, we could make them collaborate with fellow guildsmen. It would trigger a nice chain reaction.”
Do you think so too? I agree with you.”
GrrrI know we are often on the same wavelength, butyou are always so straight-laced… still, the more you are, the more I get excited. I noticed it recently, though.”
I’d love to ask you what are you talking about… just stop sneaking into my bed at night. Sakuya delivers me her reports during nighttime.”
What’s with that respectful tone about her…? I am the older one between us. You should respect me more than Sakuya.”
Oh, c’mon, don’t make a big deal out of it. I’ve always treated her like this, haven’t I?”

She pouted again but there wasn’t anything else behind her groan. When I first met that ravirim, who looked like an adult compared to me, I was only fourteen.

Anyway, I had to wait for the report and prepare what was necessary for Rigel.

If the beast they were going to find was a transformed demi-human that for some reason couldn’t revert to its other form, I had to find a way to dispel that block.

1 It’s written “月兎人” (literally “moon rabbit people” ) but furiganas say “ラヴィリム”, so we went for “Ravirim”

2 The original uses a cute expression: “鬼が出るか蛇が出るか” (literally “what will come out, a demon or a snake?”), which probably comes from those jack-in-the-box things. The meaning should go along the lines of “who knows what is awaiting us”, but we wanted to keep this as an idiom. Is there something that fits better?

<Prev | Index | Next>


Guild Master – Chapter 36

The wanderer Shadow chaser and the fleeing beasts

When I returned to my bar and things started to quieten down, the night shift had already started and Cody made her way in, dressed in her usual male attire.

Even though the General of the Albein’s army was a girl, she didn’t drink like one, and although I knew her secret, her behavior didn’t change.

“What happened? Today you look in high spirits.”

Cody was probably more relaxed now that the King prevented dukes from bothering the army and weakened their power. Even Vinceburg, the noble family that most troubled knights, wasn’t much of a nuisance anymore.

Still, that probably wasn’t the only reason, given how she looked at me with a radiant smile blooming on her lips.

“Recently knights barely moved for nobles’ business, so this Sunday I was allowed to take half the day off!”
“Oh, that’s great. You should rest and take it easy when you can.”
“If I do not train my body every day, it will affect my performance. I should always take some time to train, regardless of holidays.”

Cody was too serious about that, but it wasn’t a bad thing.
My shop was opened every single day, but those who could use Healing Magic hardly felt wary due to everyday fatigue, and sleeping from four and a half to six hours never made me feel tired or worn out.
Even elves, who brimmed with magic, had a very high tolerance to fatigue. They could be fine by sleeping only once every seventy-two hours, but their perception of time was different from human’s. Still, Verlaine, who was sticking to a human’s sleeping schedule, said she felt like being in Heaven.

“By the way, the Magic Academy’s training will be nearby, so I told them we are going.”
“Training with you will make my muscles sore…”
“Yes, but it will probably be the same for me. Still, you can use Healing Magic, so there is no problem, right?”
“What? Shouldn’t I say that…?”

I knew that she wanted to train with me because there weren’t many people who could face her, but my score in swordsmanship was… Let’s say that I remember vividly how the score-measuring instruments exploded.

If it couldn’t be measured, I had to ask someone to create an instrument capable to do so, but then I realized that it was a hassle and that probably none of my former party members ever measured their score again in those years.

“…You seem distracted. Is something wrong?”
“Nah, nothing serious. But don’t worry, I’ll come with you. Just… let’s be careful not to destroy anything.”

Any common weapon was junk in front of the Light Blade’s power, which always allowed its owner to attack their foe, be it from close, middle or long-range.
Let’s not even talk about the extra-long-ranged attacks, which were simply terrifying. They weren’t good for large areas like Mylarka’s Annihilation Magic, but when it came to a simple, linear attack, there was probably nothing better in the whole world.

They easily exceeded all of my spells’ scope and I could never match the speed of one of those ‘bullets’. No matter how hard I tried to reproduce them, I was always slower and almost felt envious.

“Thank you for coming along, then, and sorry for bothering.”
“Don’t mention it, but are you really sure you want to spend your day-off like that?”
“I do not know how to better spend my time. As the head of the knights, training my subordinates alone is boring.”
“Hahaha… You always looked dead tired before. I’m glad your workplace has become livable now.”
“Still, having more time brings a lot of uncalled things to my mind. A middle ground would be a lot better.”

I felt the same way as her. As I chugged down my ale and was about to order the third glass…

Dling dlong~

…the doorbell rang, and a young man clad in a hard leather armor walked into the bar, his dark overcoat fluttering about.

I remembered him. He was the strongest SS rank adventurer among the five who were currently in the capital.

He approached Verlaine with a deadpan expression and a visible scar on his face while I was thinking how impressive his steel-hard, sculpted muscles were. I mean, I could see them clearly from a distance.

Still, the difference between a SS rank and a SSS rank was abysmal. A normal person would have felt a daunting aura coming from him, but neither I or Cody felt any of that, and once he was in front of the counter, he spoke.

“…Is your Guild Master here?”
“I am really sorry, Mister, but we only run this bar during our night shift…”

Even Verlaine was unaffected by his aura and replied calmly. Then the man, without showing any displeasure on his face, closed his eyes.

Both his deadpan expression, perfect like one of the many actors that played in the capital, and his scar were elements that strengthened his powerful aura.

“…Please, deliver this message to him. Don’t come to the Water Cave, as I cannot assure your members to live.”

We usually fetched the Eternal ice in there, which we used to dilute our alcohol when it was too strong. Also, Rigel was going to enter it, as it was the hideout of the fleeing beasts of the quest he had accepted.

“Mister, it is hard for me to grasp what you meant, so might I ask you to take a seat at the counter?”
“…I don’t plan to stay long. But as fellow workers, I understand that this place has rules, so I should follow them. Still, my message should be clear.”

Yes, it actually was: abandon this mission. Now, what could I’ve done as the drunkard I was?

After I and Verlaine exchanged glances, she brought me and the man an ale, and when he looked at the glass in front of him, his expression didn’t move an inch.

“…You won’t buy me with this.”
“Try to take a sip. Your talk can wait for later, don’t you think?”

He looked at me briefly. Strangely enough, his gaze wasn’t inquisitive—he merely looked at me.

“What is your business there?”

Cody asked in a low voice, but the man didn’t turn to face her as he drank his ale. Instead, he stared at Verlaine—the most valuable person of our guild—while probably thinking that I was a mere nobody.

“I’m a member of the guild Blue sagittarius. The quest giver said that no matter how many guilds would compete for this mission, he wanted those fleeing beasts at all costs, but… it’s all a waste of time. I’m more than enough for that.”
“I beg your pardon, Mister, but might I see something that proves your words?”
“…Is this good enough?”

The man showed Verlaine the guild tag dangling from his neck—it was made of steel and carved on its surface were his information.
Zect Crucifer, SS rank adventurer belonging to the Blue sagittarius guild, joined half a year before. Age 22, job Shadow chaser.

So he worked in the kingdom but came to the capital around half a year before, huh? I shouldn’t be one to talk, but why did he join such an unpopular guild like the 11th Street’s?

But more importantly, why was he so obsessed with that hunting request? Not even the reward was noteworthy, since it was just right for the quest difficulty.

“Yes, it is. Thank you for understanding. I cannot grasp the full picture yet, but should I assume that you want to monopolize this request for your guild?”
“…This isn’t related to Blue sagittarius. It’s a matter concerning me alone.”
“That is not good. You are an adventurer, so as a member of your guild, you also act as its representative.”
“…Mind your own business. Also, I only asked to see this guild’s Guild Master.”

Cody shrugged her shoulders at his retort. Since the conversation seemed over, I urged Verlaine to ask something more precise.

“Is that beast special for you?”

Her whisper melted in the bar’s noise, but Zect heard her clearly.

He slurped his ale, and once the glass was empty, he stood up and left without saying a word.

“…Silence means consent, I guess.”
“Well, yeah…”

I could think about several possibilities. Maybe Zect was friends with the merchants, something happened and he wanted to seize the fleeing beasts by himself.

But he could also be acting due to hatred for one of those beasts.

I couldn’t grasp what was driving him to behave like that, but I knew something for sure: if Rigel’s party was to cross his road, it would face deadly danger. Although ‘Shadow chaser’ was a name that gave off a precise image, it was actually an auxiliary job, but it was still impossible for a party of average B rank adventurers to win against an SS rank one.

“The beasts fled from the merchants… huh?”
“What are you going to do? Should I help you?”
“Nah, don’t worry. Keep drinking and make yourself at home.”

This was a matter concerning my guild, and Cody, probably understanding it, didn’t insist any further.
If I really needed her power, I would’ve asked without beating around the bush, but the situation didn’t look that bad.

Why did Zect come to warn us, a rival guild, like this? And as much as I wanted to see what he was capable of, there was something that bothered me.

“…It hurts, seeing you enjoying this so much. You did not make this face when I invited you to train together.”
“Really? I’m looking forward to it, though.”
“This means that… we cannot satisfy and win him over with some ale, am I right?”

Yes, Verlaine hit the spot. But if I could make him join my guild and convince him that I was the Guild Master, Zect would bring a huge impact and influence to Silver mug.

I didn’t know why he was part of Blue sagittarius yet, but that was exactly the key information to solve this matter.

The solution I wanted would’ve made us win the quest’s reward without clashing swords with Zect while respecting his goal.

If I could’ve made him join my guild, I could’ve enjoyed a peaceful life even more… also, my guild wasn’t any worse than Blue sagittarius, so even Zect would’ve agreed to join.

“We shall prepare to tame the beasts.”

No matter what Zect was thinking, there was only one thing that would push us the right way: knowing what beasts we were talking about.
And well, thanks to my information network, it wasn’t hard for me to find out what we were going to face.

<Prev | Index | Next>


Guild Master – Chapter 35

TL note: heartfelt thanks to Christian Bote and Dona(rg)tions, each of whom donated ten euros for this series!

The Princess’ magic trainer and the special researcher

I let Verlaine take care of the bar in my absence, prepared what I had to and took the wagon to the Magic Academy.

Pollon was sitting again on the other side of the reception desk, and although it was only the third time I saw her, she greeted me with a smile.

“Good afternoon, Mister Duke. Currently, Professor Mylarka is in her room.”
“Hi, thank you.”

She kept calling me that, but I couldn’t just tell her that name was fake, so I let it be. I used it for helping Timis and now many people were aware that this guy called Duke existed for real.

Maybe it was better if I used that name for my research on the fire dragons’ routine. I didn’t know if the Magic academy was interested in it, but I wanted to hear Mylarka’s opinion about it… although she’d probably care only about magic-related researches.

Before I could walk away from the reception desk, I heard Pollon commenting out loud.

“Ohoooh…! How adorable! I can’t believe a man is bringing lunch and sweets to a girl~! I’m fed up with the tasteless food I eat at the academy’s mess hall.”
“Don’t you cook for yourself? If you want, I can make someone deliver you something to eat every day.”
“Really? If you’re serious, I might really accept, you know?”
“Can’t you just take the chance to grab some food from the delivery guy?”
“I’d love to, but I understand that you’re saying it only because you’re kind, Mister Duke.”

It would be normal to request the daily delivery of food, especially if what you eat is tasteless.

“I appreciate the thought, but as tempted as I am right now, if your cooking was really that good, I’d have trouble getting back to normal food, so I’ll pass for now.”
“Let me know when you’d like to try it. I don’t think it tastes great, but I’m sure it’d be great for a light meal, like the snack at three o’clock.”
“That’d be perfect. If you push yourself this much for Professor Mylarka, you must find her very attractive, don’t you?”
“N-No? I can’t deny she is, but we don’t feel that kind of mutual attraction. We only understand each other.”
“Is that so? Oh, I should let you go now. I shouldn’t stop you for long. Enjoy your time here.”

Pollon waved at me and I headed to the laboratory.
The next moment, Mylarka popped out from the hallway’s corner.

She was glaring at me coldly, and I had the feeling that she had been doing it for a while.

“…I knew it. Acting cool and friendly is your style, huh?”
“Well, yeah, but I was talking about business.”
“Liar. Didn’t she tell you that she wants to eat something good because the mess hall’s food is horrible? She’s been interested in your cooking ever since I gave her some of your sweets.”
“I see. So, now the stuff I cook is palatable? That was the first time I gave you something, though. The more I’ll keep doing it, the more the quality will rise. I don’t like delivering the same thing twice.”

Changing the menu every day was one of my obsessions, but I had to abandon the idea after a hundred days. I rotated the seasonal ingredients to come up with something new every time, but I understood that clients were already more than satisfied.

Still, this was only the third time I brought Mylarka food. Compared to the cookies I brought her the first time, the three-layered sandwiches I currently had with me should’ve been better. They contained meat, seafood, cream and some fresh fruit. I thought they might’ve been too heavy, so I kept them small and only prepared two. I’d gladly finish the leftovers once I got back home.

“Still, when we talk about cooking, your eyes shine brightly… did you really want to become a cook this much?”
“It’s only my hobby, and I don’t back down from cooking for my customers at the bar.”
“Isn’t it contradictory? It’s only a hobby but you act like a pro… Right, since today Manarina is coming over, might I share some with her?”
“Of course. I planned to bring home the leftovers and eat them myself, but feel free to finish them yourselves.”
“…Sometimes you’re so kind you’re almost scary. I’d almost feel better if you had a hidden reason, honestly.”
“Let me be frank, I like watching girls stuffing their face happily.”
“Wh…?! L-Looking and not touching isn’t bad in itself, but you do know that feeling happy from seeing someone eating makes you a pervert, right?! Do I have to teach you everything, you donkey?!”

Why did I feel more relaxed now that she used her sharp tongue again? Was I getting used to her insults?


When we reached the laboratory, Mylarka shared some food with Manarina who was waiting outside. Since she often dropped by my shop, I saw her eating what I prepared plenty of times, but now she was so happy that it made me feel better too.

“How can bread taste this good…? What on earth have I been eating so far…?”

I guessed she was studying until a few minutes ago, given that her brunette hair was tied behind her back. She usually left it down, so it was refreshing to see her in this look.

Even Mylarka had her hair tied in two different braids and it had been a while since I last saw her doing it, although it wasn’t like she never did it. I guessed it was annoying when her long hair hung in front of her or ended up stuck in her books while she was studying.

“Mmmh…! Yum! Mhh… Wait, don’t I look like I’m being fed after working hard like some pet?”
“Well, if you don’t eat, your brain won’t work. There’s also some fruit left for later.”
“Mylarka, I did not know you asked someone to bring you food… Despite it being shameful, I still am envious of it being so good…”
“If I don’t bring her better things, she will soon grow tired of it.”
“Oh my, how scary… I lost myself for a moment back there.”
“I am almost hoping for the next time you will come here, Sir Dick. Might I tag along with you when the time comes?”
“Sure, Manarina. You’re one of this seminar’s students, right?”
“H-Hey, stop accepting clients so easily. I was letting you bring me food as a sign of gratitude…”

Now that Mylarka mentioned it, it had been a while since last time I wrote a new name in my food delivery customer list.

“…Do whatever you want as long as I’m not affected by it, but try to not get too busy, okay?”
“Yeah, sure. I can’t stay away from my guild for too long either since I feel sorry for leaving others doing stuff I should handle.”
“Does this mean that you allow me to benefit from your service? Thank you very much, Sir Dick.”

Well, it was only obvious that I’d have accepted her as a customer, since she was a princess and first heir of this kingdom.

Thinking about it, Vinceburg aimed at the throne again, but I didn’t know if she had an understanding of what happened.

“My sisters, as well as me and my mother, are heir to the throne, but Jean advanced a marriage proposal to my eight-years-old sister… even my father, who wanted to strengthen the bond between our families, was shocked by that. After that, we discovered that Vinceburg’s family was causing a massive problem, and that left a sour taste in our mouth.”

Despite one’s status, someone should choose their soulmate by itself. Manarina knew that she had a duty bestowed on her by her princess status, but I believed that she shouldn’t ignore her feelings, although I understood that was but an immature thought.

“The best is living as you want. When it becomes hard for you, come to me for a new request.”
“T-That is… You already did something for me that I could never repay in my whole life. I cannot keep relying on…”
“Don’t worry, Manarina. Even if you think you’re bothering him, this guy actually loves helping people.”
“I’d spare myself from doing bothersome stuff, but your problems weren’t anything like that, so don’t worry.”

If I could change her life with a request, I wanted to take responsibility to save her again in the future. It was better if things remained calm and nothing happened, but Silver mug was ready to take another request anytime.

“…If that is what you think, Sir Dick, I will not speak any further. I feel so—”
“Dick, Manarina can’t study when you’re around. This might worsen her GPA and it also means that you’re ruining her life. Start to help her now.”
“I’m bad at studying, but magic is my field of expertise, so I guess I can try.”
“Really? I sealed a contract with fire spirits, but I still can’t cast Firefly…”
“This might be due to the lack of exercise. Let me see how you do it.”
“O-Okay. Give me a minute, without my notes I do not remember the spell…”

Did she always do that? And did Mylarka always allow her to? As I glanced at her teacher, I couldn’t help but think that red glasses suited her very well thanks to her blonde hair; instead, on the student’s nose were placed rimless ones.

“O blazing spirits, I invoke you in the name of Manarina Lyra Albein! Light a small flame in front of me…”
“Your magic power isn’t working along with the spirits’. Let’s start from there. I’ll help for once so that you can feel how it should be.”
“Oh… Okay. Thank you in advance, Sir Dick.”

Even some of my guild members didn’t know how to use magic at first, but they only needed to understand what to do.
Although they had sealed contracts with spirits, their magic power didn’t connect with theirs, so they didn’t know the necessary steps or the feeling that led them to cast spells, and many ended up thinking they just weren’t cut out for it.

Manarina was in the same situation. I placed my hand on her head and cast Elemental Rise, a support magic that temporarily rose the target’s affinity with spirits.

“This feeling… I did not know that spirits lived all around us…”
“Yeah, Spirit Magic is founded on a thing called ‘elemental core’, which can be stimulated to raise specific spirits’ power. Try to call it before your spell.”
“Okay… O blazing spirits, I invoke you in the name of Manarina Lyra Albein! Gather in front of me—Elemental core!”

The air was dense with fire spirits and Mylarka, who knew Spirit Magic’s theory but still didn’t learn it, voiced her doubt.

“If she tries to use Firefly now, wouldn’t it explode?”
“Firefly isn’t a strong spell. It will only burn brighter.”

I looked at Manarina, whose expression was tense and nervous, then nodded. She should’ve been able to cast her spell now.

“…O blazing spirits, I invoke you in the name of Manarina Lyra Albein! Light a small flame in front of me—Firefly!”

When she finished chanting the formula, the spirits gathered in front of her hand ignited, giving birth to a small ball of fire that floated and swayed into the air before vanishing.

“I-I did it…! Sir Dick, Mylarka, I used magic!”
“Wah! W-Why are you squeezing me?! I didn’t even help you!”
“C’mon, what’s the problem? It’s not like I’m gonna charge you for this or anything.”
“N-No… I just cannot count on you all the time, yet you helped me again. How could I ever repay you…?”
“If I keep helping you in applying Spirit Magic, will I become one of Mylarka’s pupils?”
“W-Where does that come from…? I can let you help me in my researches if you really want to…”

I already worked with her during our expedition, so I shouldn’t have had any problems.
Then, the girls spoke again.

“As disgraceful as it is to say this in front of you, I am looking forward to it.”
“What are you looking forward to, precisely? Listen, Dick, if you send me any kind of report, you’d become famous. Can you come up with something to avoid that?”
“Yeah, sure. Now I can use this academy’s library and look at your experiments and researches. This sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?”

That’s how a new student—Duke Solver—was added to Mylarka’s seminary registry.

The report I wrote under that name, “magic aptitude’s existence criteria and how to approach magic”, became a sort of sacred book for the students who couldn’t use magic.

Since explaining how I did things my way worked very well, I was asked to teach a course, “Approaching magic”, but I obviously declined. I couldn’t just wear a mask to disguise myself, neither I wanted to use magic to change my look, so I just left my report there and hoped that students could go through it by themselves.
In the end, I wasn’t a teacher like Mylarka, and I wanted to be left alone.

“If you make your study on fire dragons public, I think the royal family would send some scouts to find you and ask you to become their personal researcher.”
“If you say that, I feel like I’ll keep that for myself. Relaxing is the best.”
“…Next time you write something, let me see it. In exchange, I’ll let you see my researches.”

Being present in her lessons wasn’t bad at all.
As I bit my tongue while looking at a thesis that only Mylarka could put into practice, I wrote a report about “calculating large building’s center of gravity and how to destroy them efficiently”. I couldn’t just tell her to research something that anyone could actually apply.

<Prev | Index | Next>


Guild Master – Chapter 34

TL note: sorry for disappearing for this long, but this year has been quite hard for me and my editor.
We do have some great news, though! To avoid sudden and long hiatus like this one, I created a discord server where you can see if we’re still alive ( –> )! You can find the button at the bottom of our home page! 
Talking about the Disappearence of AcanTL, luckily the first volume of this light novel ends in the very same way of chapter 33, so at least we don’t feel too bad for being away for this long. I don’t remember massive differences between web novel and light novel so far, but there are a few here and there. Maybe one day I’ll create a page about that…
This chapter and the next one are titled “special” in the web novel, but they are necessary for the story (and appear later in the light novel), so we have just considered them “standard ones”.
Anyway, I hope we can get back on track soon!

Invite for a drink and the maid-dressed shopkeeper

The names of the Star Gods filled the Kingdom of Albein’s calendar, and even my guild, ‘Silver Aquarius’, was named after one of them, the Water Jug God.

The current month of the year, the fifth one, was called ‘month of the Lion God’, but it wasn’t clear under which criteria the Star Gods were related to their specific months.

The climate was mild roughly from the third to the seventh month of the year, and only the eighth one was abnormally hot. It was due to the Lord of Fire Spirit’s non-stop activity, causing the migration of fire dragons to the kingdom.

At this time of the year, sunrise was around 5:30AM.
It was exactly the moment I lifted my heavy eyelids and pulled the curtains open only to be blinded by light—the next moment I pulled them back. I had to wake Verlaine up, who wasn’t the definition of a morning person, prepare breakfast for the both of us, and set things up for the morning shift.

If I wanted to drink in peace, a minimum number of people had to keep entering the bar, so I also had to think about what I’d have to cook for the day, and what rare ingredients and dishes I could use to pique the customers’ interest.
The next step was to decide a new menu and come up with an original name for it. The same went for drinks: high-class ones were stored in the shop’s underground, where the ideal temperature and humidity preserved them perfectly along with the various fruit juices I used.
Oh, I had to confirm the fruits’ freshness before squeezing them too.

I handled my business partners by myself to restock the daily ingredients and even checked the capital’s morning market, where I could directly judge the quality of the products. Making people happy doesn’t come without efforts, after all, so I had to pay extra attention to the ingredients.

The same went for my look. When I was in my bar drinking, I couldn’t just look like a beggar or a rich guy.

The best option was to have only two pair of clothes and switch between them for a week, then rotate with newer ones when they started to look shabby. If rumors about a customer always wearing the same clothes were to spread, a normal person would’ve likely wondered if the place lacked hygienic care.
For the same reason, I took care of my hair periodically. When I was a child, my older sister cut it whenever she felt like it, so sometimes it grew very long, but now I dropped by a trusted shop once a month to let them handle it.

My beard and mustaches hardly grew, but let’s say that I let the barber shave me due to the pleasant feeling of the barbershop lady’s breasts pressing on my head while she did so.

I got used to seeing big breasts, but I never had the chance to touch them. No curse tormented me, though. I simply kept myself collected like a horse whose carrot dangles in front of its eyes.

After I washed my face, I knocked at my office’s door so that Verlaine could forgive me for entering even if she was still asleep.

“I’m coming in.”

I opened the door.
We kept the paperwork in the office, but given how much room was left, Verlaine brought her bed to sleep there. She rearranged the place as she pleased and brought new furniture, but there was still enough room to freely move around.

When I entered, she breathed out deeply while turning over “in her sleep”. If her timing hadn’t been that perfect, I’d have thought she was really sleeping.

“Do you know how many times I’ve called you already? At least greet me properly.”
“…Uff. You’re so cold, Master. Isn’t it normal to take the bait in this situation?”

Honestly, it was impossible for anyone to not look at them.
Verlaine slept in a shirt, which was unbuttoned up to under her chest, and was lying on her back. It was a poisonous sight for a man.
A single mistake now and I’d have had to deal with a lot of troubles.

“I was planning to make you take responsibility if the last button was to burst…”
“I don’t care about seeing you stretching, but you’ll catch a cold if you sleep like that.”
“When I was a Demon Lord and lived in the castle, I used to sleep naked. I already explained to you that I hated the feeling of wearing something while sleeping.”
“Thank you for caring about me, but at least wear some underwear.”
“I do use it… A-Although I joke about it, I’m not an exhibitionist, okay? That’d be bad…”

Then, Verlaine finally got out of bed.
The day she joined my guild, she was interested in the shirts I used as sleepwear, so she occasionally took one from my room. Along with that, she was wearing short trousers that left a lot of her tanned, long, beautiful legs uncovered.

“Wearing them would be better for you… by the way, why don’t you try to wear a proper pajama or something?”
“Thank you, but I don’t want to wear tight stuff even outside my working hours. Now I’m used to it, but wearing and taking off my maid uniform is not that simple, you know? I asked some specialists to teach me, and I ended up doubling their wages after I understood what they had to keep through all day.”
“Well, you could wear clothes that any shopkeeper would wear. I wouldn’t mind it. There should be some ready to use around…”
“Master, you prepared clothes for the barman…? That’s curious. I guess I should try them at least once. Also, if I keep wearing the same outfit, people will just grow accustomed to seeing it.”

Her attitude and look attracted a lot of customers. Some male customers in particular came only to admire her maid uniform, but I could probably increase the regulars if she changed her outfit… no, the flow of customers was already too much to handle, so I had to be careful about it.

She stood up and headed to the bathroom. Verlaine washed twice a day, at night and in the morning, because she liked being clean. There weren’t many people in the 12th Street who did something that luxurious, probably.
But well, she was still a former Demon Lord, so indulging in a little luxury wasn’t that strange for her.


Thirty minutes later, when Verlaine was ready, we had breakfast together and went to the basement to prepare the various things for the bar. After we decided the menu for the day, it was finally time to open the shop.

The first customer entered… or maybe I shouldn’t have counted it as one, since he was a member of our guild. His name was Rigel, a neat guy with short hair and a medium build. He passed the adventurers’ exam last year and decided to join my guild. A singular choice, given that normally no one would want to work in a bad neighborhood like the 12th Street’s.

He was a B rank adventurer as well as a party member of Lia and McKinley.
Even if his rank was lower than hers, since she was an A rank, I decided that she should’ve listened to him.
What I valued greatly was the experience earned since a member joined the guild. She didn’t look very disappointed from my order, and soon grew used to helping Rigel with his requests. On the other hand, McKinley adored me, so he’d have done whatever I asked him to, but I was sure he knew that it was for their sake, as it helped them grow and develop more self-independence.

“Bro, you look ready to start the day.”
“Hello. You look quite in high spirits. Here, have something to drink, it’s my treat.”
“Thankw! Maaan, I so wanted to drink some ale!”

Rigel had a cheerful personality but was actually pretty serious and diligent. His swordsmanship was also noteworthy, and I estimated that in only five years he could have risen up to be an AA rank adventurer.

Reaching the S rank wasn’t something achievable with time and experience alone, given the huge amount of skills it needed. Even a talented fighter like Lia would stop in front of that barrier, and it would be extremely hard to overcome it.

“By the way, I was asked to give you this, but…”

He placed a piece of paper on the counter and passed it to me.

The words “To our beloved Master, from your loyal guild members” were clearly visible on it.

“…Again? What’s the fun part of drinking together with me?”
“Well, everyone would like to show you some gratitude. I shouldn’t tell it to your face like this, though.”

My guild counted around a hundred members. If I had to estimate how many they were compared to the others’, I’d say that our guild had fewer members than every other guild in the capital. White Aries, the most numerous guild, counted a thousand members, which was more than three hundred members over the second in ranking.

I wanted my members to cover the capital’s borders, and now that we had installed the Transfer Magic system and established the main base, there were fifty of them scattered in the places I indicated. The other fifty were in the capital and showed in the shop only to accept requests from Verlaine or to join a party.

The seats in the bar were seventy in total: eight at the counter and sixty-two at the tables. Meaning that I could convoke the fifty members in the capital, but… if I had to do that, what would be the point of coming here precisely to join parties and accepting requests?

“Mister, is it not good? It has been a month since the last time you joined them. If you want, I can reserve the shop for you in a few days.”
“I knew our shopkeeper would understand~! Bro, how blessed we are to have a beauty like her with us!”
“I’m just a customer, and she’s the shopkeeper. But yeah, she’s quite the beauty.”
“Eheh… thank you, misters. I appreciate your flattery.”

Verlaine, who now looked like a normal elf, simpered at our words. Her humbleness was evident since she started to work here, but ours weren’t words of flattery, we were simply stating the truth.

“Fine, I’ll treat everyone. Bring as many as you want.”
“Really?! Ah, sorry for yelling…”
“By the way, Mister Rigel. Might you be interested in what I heard recently from some customer?”
“Ah, sure! I’d love to hear it!”

Verlaine’s requests sounded like rumors. She wasn’t very busy at the moment, but the kitchen clerk was already at work and people had started to enter the shop.
Since she couldn’t let everyone hear about requests, she made them sound like some sort of daily talk.

“It is about some merchants who had an accident. I heard that the animals they were transporting ran away and shut themselves in a cave nearby…”

Someone brought us this request the previous day.

It was about a group of merchants who were trading rare animals, which were actually uncontrollable beasts that needed to be captured.

Requests like that could make more guilds compete over the same job, but there was a contract stating that only the one who fulfilled it would earn the full reward, while the others would profit only from the advance payment.

“What…? I didn’t know about it. Could you give me more details?
“Yes. Do you have some spare time?
“Yeah, and I can change my plans if needed.

Those were the keywords my guild members used to accept requests. Now that the request’s documentation was arranged for him, he was going to tag along with some of his comrades and depart.

It was better if requests were accepted and completed quickly, and since he had finished my training, we decided that one day was enough for him to accomplish this job. Understanding that, he consumed his drink and stood up.

“Thank you very much! Bro, this night I’ll bring some of our acquaintances!”
“Okay. Come whenever you want.”

He meant that he’d have brought the guild members to drink together before the bar was reserved.

Well, getting ready for fifty people would take some time, but this wasn’t a problem.
I didn’t mind when my comrades came to drink, I just wanted them to have a good time here.

“What are your plans for this night, Mister?”
“Probably some of my friends will come too.”
“Eheh… I see. Recently, they are showing their face more often, are they not?”

She commented with a suggestive tone of voice. Despite being a freelancer, Aileen was like a member of my guild, and Mylarka, Yuma and Cody had started to drop by every now and then.

Yuma, who couldn’t drink anything alcoholic, was impressed by the drinks I prepared for her, and ended up accepting anything I brought her.

Now that I thought about it, I had to go to Mylarka’s laboratory. Last time I brought her something was four days ago, but I had finally managed to have some free time.

“…Sorry, I’ll get out at noon.”
“As you wish. I will not move from here, so take all the time you need.”
“Sorry, it’s always like this.”
“A dedicated wife should be perfectly fine with this kind of things. Please, do not mind it too much.”

She fired such a bold statement because there weren’t many guests.
As I brought the third glass of ale she handed over to my lips, she looked at me with a sunny smile while rubbing another glass clean.

<Prev | Index | Next>


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 be 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 while I struggled to grasp the real meaning behind her words—but my effort was fruitless.

“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 Aquarius.”

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!”

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>


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.”
“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-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.”

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!


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 Scorpio.”
“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…”

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.


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 monster! Are filthy monsters going to invade our capital?!”
“Don’t look down on them, Zevias. I know monsters 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.”

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!”
“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>


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 Lang 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.


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 glimpsed something I shouldn’t have, 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 this place is!

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 its 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 Aquarius.”

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

<Prev | Index | Next>


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 Aquarius 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 Aquarius’ 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 in 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 Aquarius.

“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 Aquarius 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 you have 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 Dick have 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 Aquarius’ 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, those 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>


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 Scorpio’, 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 demon’s, had a pale, washed out red color, almost resembling that of a peach.

“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 smile.

“Even then, he will never notice. He didn’t in the past, and he won’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 Aquarius’ 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 Aries, 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>


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?”

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.”
“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 was anything but 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.”

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.


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!”

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.


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.


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.”

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.


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


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 demon 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>