TL note: The sentence about Yuma’s power in the first part of the prologue is now fixed.
“Yuma called their soul and delivered it to Heaven” <– became “Yuma purified the wraiths it called and delivered them to Heaven.”
The talisman and the masked saviors
Two days later, Yuma’s parents, wearing the usual overcoat, came to my bar again.
I didn’t expect to see their daughter with them.
“Thank you for fulfilling our request.”
“There are no words to express how grateful we are…”
“Our Guild Master wants to tell you that we think our reward will make you happy.”
At first, I didn’t want to take money from them. Grenadine handed over five hundred gold coins, but I told Verlaine to take only two hundred. Obtaining that mansion was more than enough, and even after covering the cost of our stay, we’d have got a surplus of almost one hundred and fifty gold coins.
Yuma approached me while her parents kept talking to the bartender. Under her overcoat, she was wearing a blouse and a skirt, different from the plain clothes I saw on her a few days ago.
“It has been a while, Dick. Can I sit here?”
“Sure. You look way better than before.”
“Yes, all thanks to you…”
“I-I don’t think so…? I didn’t do anything. We only talked, nothing more…”
Since she was here, she might have noticed something… she probably wasn’t going to buy my excuse.
“Oh, is that so? So… you didn’t see me naked?”
Her words were like sharp knives. If I’d have said that it wasn’t me, even a kind philanthropist like Yuma would have thought I was a liar.
“…I’m sorry, you won. I didn’t want you to find out…”
“I would never mistake your soul for someone else’s. In these five years, I have thought about comforting it every day…”
Was that her usual greeting? I mean, it was possible that the crazy psycho priestess wanted the same for everyone, right?
Still, my soul seemed to hold special meaning for her. I could tell that after knowing her for so much time.
Even if she hadn’t drank a drop of alcohol, her stagnant eyes looked at me enticingly. Verlaine said that my magic power was relaxing… but was my soul intoxicating for those who could see it?
“Lady Yuphila is really extraordinary. She did not use her power for a long time, so she ended up purifying the entire capital in a single strike…”
“Indeed… to become a full-fledged priest, one also has to regularly cleanse ghosts, but it has now become impossible. Nevertheless, more people are donating to the church.”
“We told her to avoid using her powers exactly to avoid this situation… but she became too stressed, so we will try to find a solution for this.”
Well, it was understandable. She was so strong that, if she used her power, every other priest would lose his job for some time… like now.
But ghosts are born depending on the life they had, so it was only a matter of time before some appeared. However, if Yuma used her power again, the entire capital would’ve been purified again.
I was thinking about a solution, but she would’ve to drink a special cocktail before.
“Yuma, do you have a plan to not end up like that again?”
“Yes, I have already thought of it.”
She took out a mask from her bag… I never wore it, but I had already seen it.
She got closer to me and started to whisper in a voice so soft that it could’ve lulled me to sleep. It was so sweet and inebriating that it made me want to devote myself to her religion.
“If people know that I am a priestess of Albein, they will give me a reward for purifying ghosts… but if I wear this mask and become a wandering priestess, I can avoid that.”
“…Are you serious?”
“Yes, I am. That way, I can travel outside the capital and help the villages periodically, but it also means that I will be away from the orphanage, so I would have to prepare in advance.”
She didn’t want to leave the chapel or the orphanage, but that was the only choice she had to vent her stress. If she was serious about it, I would’ve done my best to help her.
Verlaine immediately understood my intentions.
“There is a solution to prevent Lady Yuphila from getting sick again. Let her travel outside the capital periodically, so that she can use her power freely.”
“I see… but will it be for the best? She cares greatly about the orphanage…”
“We can provide you with proficient people to make sure the children will be safe even in Lady Yuphila’s absence.”
“Would you go that far for us…? Thank you so very much.”
Yuma’s parents bowed to Verlaine, and then Grenadine took something out of his breast pocket.
“What is this…?”
“It is the talisman bestowed to the organizations who are deeply connected to the Holy Church of Albein. We never gave one to any guild, but we want the Silver Aquarius to accept it.”
The Talisman of the Holy Church of Albein?! If I had that, the church would’ve brought my guild their requests first!
So far, the White Aries was the favorite because of its reputation, but now we would have priority over them. Of course, we weren’t obliged to accept their requests.
We’d have accepted only the most important ones, so that we wouldn’t be noticed.
Any more than that was a no-no.
“We gladly accept it.”
“Thank you. Anyhow, Mister Dick Silver really did a great job. This guild can be found only by searching precisely for it, but it is amazing. Is this what a former hero can do?”
“Please, let’s keep that a secret. Our success is a given, but that is not what our Guild Master seeks.”
Both Grenadine and Fenna didn’t know who I was. Looking at them, Yuma let out a soft chuckle, then wore a slight apologetic expression and decided to say nothing.
“Humility is the first virtue for the doctrine of Albein. It will be delightful if my daughter chooses a man like him for her future.”
“Ghh! Cough! Cough!”
While the alcohol went the wrong way down my throat, Yuma patted my back worried.
“Dear, Yuphila is still fourteen. It’s still early for her marriage.”
“Uhm, right. But it will be only two years from now. We also united at that time, did we not?”
“D-Dear, please… not in front of people… it’s embarrassing…”
Yuma blushed at their lovely exchange.
“S-Sorry… father is quite happy about my recovery… This might be the first time I see him this merry…”
I wanted to ask her how she would have felt to marry me, but she would have never answered. Yuma brushed up the hair from her face and touched her reddened ears.
I could tell she was really flustered.
Then, the archbishop gulped down his drink and stood up.
“We should leave now. Thank Mister Dick for us, please.”
“I will. Be careful on the way home.”
“Thank you. We will talk to you again if anything happens in the future.”
Yuma got back with them, and before exiting the bar, she turned to me and waved her hand slightly.
“Congratulations for getting their approval to marry Yuma, Mister Drunkard! Let’s celebrate!”
“Woah! Oh… hi, Aileen.”
She threw her arms around my shoulders and squeezed me before sitting beside me and pouring the booze from the bottle she was holding into a glass.
“Right, man, I forgot to ask. How did you give energy to Bea?”
“A-Are you really curious about it…? We only shared my bed, nothing more.”
“Since that method has low efficiency, quite a lot of your bodies’ surface should have touched each other, so can you go into details, Mister? It will also be helpful for future references.”
Said Verlaine while wiping a glass. At that moment, I became their toy against my will, but if I evaded the question, things might’ve turned bad.
I prepared myself. I mean, it’s not like I was guilty or anything, so there shouldn’t have been a problem.
“…Okay, Verlaine is right. We had to touch each other a lot, so…”
They looked really serious during my explanation, even though it was pretty much sleeping together while naked.
When we touched that part, Aileen’s face reddened, and Verlaine’s eyes started to shine brightly.
“…Master, you can’t imagine how envious I am right now.”
“A-And you didn’t feel anything funny? I mean, aren’t ya interested in girls?”
“I was only giving her my energy, so I didn’t think too deep about it. I mean, if we were to do the same, Aileen, it wouldn’t be that more daring.”
“…Really? I see… Guess we’ll have to try~♪”
“Lady Aileen, you look to be in a good mood. Would you switch roles with me and become the bartender for some time?”
Given Verlaine’s sour tone, I understood she wanted to do something to me after her shift was over. I would have negotiated for using her lap as a cushion, but I also had to think about a solution if the negotiation failed.
Two weeks passed by.
In the southwest of Alvinas – the capital – a monk, a mage and a martial artist started to visit the villages.
Those three masked girls saved people from spirits and monsters, and gallantly dashed away the next moment. No one knew their names.
Roughly a month after, they started to show up even in the outskirts of the capital.
A fourth masked guy, who knew ‘the masked saviors’ – as people called them – very well, watched over them.