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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The woman who taught me magic—my teacher.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆◇◆

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆◇◆

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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