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Our impromptu party, 【Innocent Arms】, makes a safe return to the surface.
We decide to postpone the appraisal of the looted items and head to the guild first.
I guess it’s just past noon.
Sunlight for the first time in three days.
“I’m looking forward to the item appraisal! Let’s hurry to the guild!” (Rebecca)
Rebecca happily pushes Eva’s wheelchair out onto the street. We proceed via the First Ring Road and its open-air market.
Those two have gotten quite close.
We pass through the bustling guild that’s flooded with adventurers and line up at the reception.
After waiting a few minutes, all of us hand in our guild cards, the magic stones, and the items required for the requests.
We place the items we gathered onto the reception desk in individual piles, sorted by request.
“This is an amazing amount. I will calculate the total, so please wait a moment.”
Although Rollo answers the receptionist from atop my shoulder, the beastwoman ignores it and prioritizes her work.
She jots down notes on paper while checking the materials and magic stones, then swiftly turns around.
I don’t know if she was moving towards the guild’s inner area with a skill, but she continues her work briskly.
After waiting for a bit,
“Thank you for waiting. Here’s your reward.”
I receive the reward from the receptionist.
It’s a bag filled to the brim with gold coins.
We got this much money without even selling the Black Sweetwater.
I look at my adventurer’s card after getting it back.
Name: Shuuya Kagari
Title: Dragon Slayer
Occupation: C-Rank Adventurer
Combat Occupation: Spear Warrior – Chain User
Completed Requests: 30
I have thirty finished requests now. I feel a slight sense of accomplishment.
With this, I should be able to take the test for rising to B-Rank, but for now, I won’t.
As I’m looking at the adventurer’s card, I hear Rebecca’s delighted voice.
“Look at all that gold, fufufu.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca’s sky-blue eyes, they’re pretty. I feel like they are slightly wasted on her, seeing her showing an expression so filled with greed.
Now then, adventurers are queued behind us, so I think we should move to the waiting room.
There are many long, vertical benches open there.
“… Seeing as we are going to split the money, let’s move to the corner over there?” (Shuuya)
“You’re right.” (Rebecca)
Leaving the reception, we head over to the right corner.
A message board and several round, high tables have been placed there.
All of us gather around one of the tables.
I immediately place the gold coin bag on the table with a thud.
As I do so, the looks of the adventurers in the surroundings gather, but it can’t be helped.
“There’s also the Party Box, but let’s stay in touch through this message board for now.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca points at the message board.
“That makes sense. Let’s use it when we want to get in touch with each other or want to form a party?” (Shuuya)
“Nn, agreed. I will write next time.” (Eva)
Well then, I have to split the reward money, don’t I?
The coins have to be distributed to four people.
“… Well, given that we are going to split this among four people, everyone will get this much gold and this much silver. Do you guys agree?” (Shuuya)
“You’ll take slave Viine’s share, won’t you Shuuya?” (Rebecca)
“Nn, strange.” (Eva)
Rebecca and Eva have questioning looks.
I suppose I, her master, should take her reward.
Once I turn my gaze towards her, Viine lowers her slender chin and says after nodding,
“Master, you are supposed to take most of it.” (Viine)
Well, if that’s how things work around here, there’s no point in arguing.
“Got it. I will take Viine’s share. I will split it now.” (Shuuya)
I divide the money.
Eva stores the money into a bag in her item box with a serious look.
Rebecca puts it into her backpack as well.
I put my shares into my item box as well.
“Now my purse is full of money. All’s done, so let’s get to the fun appraisal.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca leaves the table while twirling her silver wand with a slender hand.
“Aye, guess we will do just that. Or rather, Rebecca, don’t drop that wand, okay?” (Shuuya)
“Humph, it will be alright~.” (Rebecca)
She sticks out her tongue at me and winks.
Just like that, she abruptly turns away and starts to walk towards the guild’s exit.
She comes close to bumping into another adventurer.
I won’t care even if your money gets stolen.
“… We’ll follow Rebecca and go to Suloza’s Old Sorcery Shop, okay?” (Shuuya)
“As you say.” (Viine)
We leave the guild and head towards 【Suloza’s Old Sorcery Shop】 where we appraised an item last time.
At that moment, I feel several presences following behind us.
Going for our money? I will ignore them for now.
Joining up with Rebecca, we hurry to the shop.
When I open the elegant, reddish-brown, wooden door — a bell chimes.
Its oblong, cafe-like interior design hasn’t changed.
As we enter, a rich-looking client leaves the store.
When we descend the stairs at the entrance, the shopkeeper faces us with a calm expression while fiddling with his monocle.
“I see, so it’s the customers from the other day. Welcome.”
“Thanks. We’d like to get some more items appraised.” (Shuuya)
“Very well. The price is still five large copper coins per item.”
Somehow I feel like it was payment after service last time…
Oh well, whatever. I hand over the items and the money.
For the time being, I passed him the map as well.
Everyone hands in their respective items as well.
“Viine, give him yours as well. I will pay.” (Shuuya)
“Yes, I’m sorry.” (Viine)
With a slight delay, she hands in the sword with its conspicuous black scaled scabbard.
The shop’s owner equips the monocle and manipulates his mana.
Once mana passes through the monocle, its tip naturally narrows down, just like it did the other day.
The shopkeeper appraises the items silently, going through all the various items…
When he shifted his attention to the last item, the ring, the shopkeeper leaks a groan.
The ring has a big gem embedded in its center.
A design similar to a vortex of indigo-blue and white has been added to the gem.
The shopkeeper peeks at the blend of colors by firing a laser generated from the monocle.
What’s amazing about it?
Everyone perks up due to the casual comment of the shopkeeper.
Rebecca’s incredulous look is incredible; she creates fine wrinkles by bringing her golden eyebrows together.
She’s excited; her rough breathing comes out her nose giving her an aura that feels as if she could kill someone with her intense stare.
She’s slightly scary.
For a change, Eva stands up from her wheelchair, places her hands on the counter bar and shifts her gaze between the shopkeeper and the ring in alternation.
Even Viine, who’s next to me, opens her silver eyes wide.
Once the shopkeeper finishes the appraisal, he suddenly takes off his monocle.
He looks in our direction with a serious expression.
His face with its conspicuous laughing lines breaks into a broad grin.
“… Did you possibly loot this item from a gold chest?”
“Aww, not quite. It’s different. You know, as matter of fact…it appeared from a silver treasure chest! Amazing, isn’t it?” (Rebecca)
After bragging, Rebecca puffs out her not-existing chest, makes a victorious pose, and reveals a triumphant expression.
“I see. A silver treasure chest, huh? That makes sense. All of the appraised items are high-ranking. Among them, this ring is outstanding— It’s a Unique Class item, but it’s a magic item you could even categorize as Legendary Class. Its name is Mist’s Mirage. Only someone possessing the water attribute can equip it and moisture in the surroundings is necessary, but if those conditions are met, the magic ring will produce a mist clone of its owner upon use. It may be Unique Class, but it can be given a two-star appraisal certificate.”
Hee? The ring has a name like that?
Besides, for it to be limited to water attribute…is that fate?
I was correct in taking it for myself.
“A mist clone sure seems amazing, but it’s limited to water attribute holders, eh?” (Rebecca)
Rebecca mutters while looking at the ring.
Since I’m bothered by the appraisal certificate thing, I try asking about it.
“Is it better if there’s an appraisal certificate attached to an item?” (Shuuya)
“Of course. It’s convenient when you’re going to sell it at an auction or such. An ability listing is written on a special parchment according to my appraisal skill and the monocle’s results. That will serve as the appraisal certificate. It costs a bit; do you want me to prepare one for you?”
I guess I’m fine for now since I don’t plan to sell it at the moment.
“There’s no need for now. I understood about the ring’s mist mirage. Can I ask you to give us the names and light explanations about the other items as well?” (Shuuya)
I prompt the shopkeeper to continue explaining.
“Got it. I will start with this magic item, the silver, demonic steel wand. Its name is Silver Rally Magic Rod. Its appearance is that of silver, but it’s an item made out of silver demonic steel which is a higher grade of silver. It’s a silver-steel alloy with a quite impressive mana channeling ability. This wand itself bestows an increase in spell effectiveness. In addition, given that there are good quality magic gems with the wind and the fire attribute embedded in its tip, it allows the holder to shoot a ball of wind or fire without having to chant when mana is transferred into it. It should also increase the power of wind and fire attribute spells.”
As if serving coffee, the shopkeeper places the ring and the silver wand, which he finished to appraise, on top of the counter.
“Yaay, after seeing the magic gems embedded, I was sure it was something like that.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca picks up the silver, demonic steel wand and peeks at the two magic gems inserted at its tip.
Her face is all smiles.
She raises the silver wand as if holding up a trophy.
“Fufufu, finally, I too have got my hands on a wand that can cast chantlessly. It’s an indispensable weapon for those of the Sorcerer* and the Wizard class. I’m really happy. It even possesses spell efficiency increase. For me, this is the best wand.” (Rebecca) (T/N: Both seem to be higher ranks of Guidance Sorcery users)
Her blue eyes are sparkling.
She appears to be truly delighted. Her happiness is infectious.
“Indeed, it’s an excellent wand. Next up is this black, single-edged sword and the black scaled scabbard it came in. It’s a Unique Class with the name Black Snake. The blade has been enchanted with a spell through magic characters of poison. I don’t think it will inflict disease when it cuts, but instead will have an acid effect.”
As he talks in a casual manner, the shopkeeper places the single-edged sword, back in its scabbard, next to the Mist Mirage Ring.
“Black Snake, huh? Viine, this sword is yours.” (Shuuya)
“… Okay, but are you positive about bestowing such a gift upon me?” (Viine)
“It’s fine. Don’t make me say it a second time.” (Shuuya)
“I shall receive it gratefully!” (Viine)
“Hee, how kind and yet strict…” (Rebecca)
Rebecca whispers while squinting.
“Rebecca, Viine is Shuuya’s slave.” (Eva)
“Y-Yeah, I know.” (Rebecca)
Eva supports me with a quiet voice.
Rebecca glares at me with a sullen expression after getting rebuked by Eva.
Hey, hey…my behavior is correct here, okay?
Why are you getting in a bad mood over it?
As if interrupting my mental retorts, the shopkeeper’s somber voice resounds.
“… The next item is this one. Although it looks like a gold bar on a first glance, it’s a mineral called hard golden magic ore. If it’s refined, it turns into a useful metal with a high mana channeling capability that surpasses both spirit magic ore and demonic silver ore.”
“I knew.” (Eva)
Eva replies with an expression telling everyone That’s nothing new while looking at the mineral on the table.
“Next is the short-sleeved piece of clothing that was made out of demonic silver thread and spirit copper thread. You can call this a defensive wear unique to labyrinths. Even more than its anti-magic defence, it has high physical damage resistance. It’s an excellent piece of protective gear.”
The shopkeeper places the armored shirt that is shining silver back down.
So this is an item unique to the labyrinth, huh?
“Hee, it can’t be made?” (Shuuya)
“Yes. The technology to manufacture metal into such a thin fabric doesn’t exist anywhere. Even if you take it apart and examine it thoroughly, it will be impossible since the gauge of the wire is too fine. You would need an excellent blade to cut it, and if you don’t go as far as tearing it up, a hole won’t be even open up. Of course, if someone with mastery abilities comes at it, it will be torn like garbage, but…”
“Shuuya, are you going to wear that?” (Rebecca)
Rebecca looks back and forth between me and the short-sleeved shirt with a curious expression.
Certainly, this piece of clothing is not my size.
“Since it’s too small for me, I will sell it, store it away for now, or…” (Shuuya)
I let my gaze wander across the rest of my party, which is made up of females.
“I guess I will have Viine wear it.” (Shuuya)
“M-Master, that’s…” (Viine)
“Nn, I understand since it’s Shuuya.” (Eva)
Rebecca is surprised, Viine reveals a reserved expression, and Eva agrees and nods for some reason.
“So you are really giving it to her. I might get envious.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca says with reproachful eyes.
It’s fine though.
I need Viine to survive and work for me from now on.
“… Nn, envious. But it only makes sense for a master who bought a slave to make them stronger. It’s indispensable for a high-class combat slave.” (Eva)
It looks like Eva is jealous as well.
“Certainly you are right there. I believe I know reeaally well that Shuuya is soft-hearted and strong as well as a lewd, lustful man — to the extent that he invited me, who is hated, into the party.” (Rebecca)
Just what does she know.
“I don’t know what you think you know about me, Rebecca, but I bought Viine for a large amount of money. So don’t complain about my actions.” (Shuuya)
At that moment an angry Helme appears in my vision.
Holding a syringe in her hands, she’s pointing its tip at Rebecca.
『That’s right! If you are going to complain about His Excellency, I will deal with you!』 (Helme)
『Helme, it’s alright, don’t get angry.』 (Shuuya)
Rebecca has a dissatisfied expression and puffs up her cheeks.
“What? Your expression bothers me. If you have something you want to say, let it out.” (Shuuya)
“It’s not something I should say, but Shuuya, you and Rollo-chan are plentifully powerful, so is it really necessary to have something like a slave?” (Rebecca)
Ugh, she’s sternly staring at me with her blue eyes.
I suppose I have to tell her my true intentions after she made her stance clear here…
“… Yes, it is. If it’s just about proceeding through the labyrinth, Rollo and I will certainly be able to do so by ourselves. However, I don’t know what awaits us down there. Besides, I think you understand from forming a party with us today, but it’s exactly because Viine was present that we could open that treasure chest, no?” (Shuuya)
Although I didn’t know that Viine would be able to open treasure chests.
“Ah… that’s true as well. I’m sorry for asking something weird.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca meekly apologizes while glancing up at me with her hands clasping her silver wand to her chest.
She continues to stare up at me while seeming uneasy.
“No, don’t mind it. I know what you want to say, Rebecca. That is, how to say it…it’s the truth that I wanted Viine because she’s a beautiful woman.” (Shuuya)
I spill my real thoughts while laughing awkwardly.
“Pfft, you are lewd after all!” (Rebecca)
“Nn, Shuuya is ecchi.” (Eva)
『Your Excellency, you are certainly ecchi, but it doesn’t change the fact that you are a great, supreme being.』 (Helme)
As if joining in with Rebecca, Eva says something like that while breaking into a smile.
I ignore Helme.
“Given that it is as you say, I won’t deny it. But you know…” (Shuuya)
Hearing my words, Rebecca smiles faintly while saying,
“… I told you I understand. I’m just teasing you a bit.” (Rebecca)
“It’s true that Shuuya is ecchi, albeit strong.” (Eva)
In contrast to Rebecca, Eva replies with a serious face.
“Aye. That’s only natural.” (Shuuya)
I avert my face in order to dodge the issue, becoming defiant now.
“… Pfft, or rather, just where are you looking? Your face and words are not in sync. Ahahaha.” (Rebecca)
She has cheekiness to laugh; don’t look down on me… But, it’s cheerful laughter without any malice. She’s a beautiful person.
“Nn, Shuuya is gentle, but he has a side like that as well.” Eva chuckles.
Eeh? Even Eva…
“Right, Eva?” (Rebecca)
Rebecca and Eva nod at each other and burst into laughter.
The shopkeeper clears his throat. “I will explain the next item then.”
The shopkeeper deliberately coughs as if telling us “Stop flirting here!” Once I turn my look his way, he opens the oblong box.
“This is something I know without even having to appraise it. It’s the violet-blue aromatic flame, or for short, Bruin. It’s a high-class item appreciated as unusual, mainly by royalty and high-ranking nobility. It’s an item that releases a special scent from the violet flame generated by the crystal. The scent is nice and capable of calming people.”
Once he finishes the explanation, he shuts the lid and places it on the counter.
High-ranking nobles, huh? Ah, now that he mentions it, I smelled one in the fireplace in the room where Marquis Chardonnay called me for a private meeting at the dinner party.
“… Next is this map, but since I don’t possess the skills to decipher it, I don’t know anything more than this being a simple Magic Treasure Map.”
The shopkeeper puts down the map while saying so.
“My question is: what’s a Magic Treasure Map in the first place?” (Shuuya)
“—Eh? You don’t know?” (Rebecca)
Rebecca is astonished about me not knowing about the map.
Viine stays silent.
“Shuuya, disappointing.” (Eva)
Even if you say something like that, I don’t know the things I don’t know.
Looking for help, I turn towards the shopkeeper. He slowly nods as if saying “Leave it to me.”
As expected of a die-hard shopkeeper. It looks like he will give me an explanation.
“… Magic Treasure Maps are maps that indicate where you can find treasure chests in the labyrinth. The maps have levels ranging from one to five. The higher the map level, the more likely it becomes that a decent item can be found in the treasure chest. Though the monsters that appear when you start digging it out will become stronger as well.”
Moreover, monsters appear when you dig it up?
“It’s not a commonplace treasure map that points to somewhere outside the labyrinth, on the surface, is it?” (Shuuya)
“Yes, of course not. The magic treasure maps are only limited to 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】.”
Which reminds me, they are selling magic treasure maps at the plaza in front of the labyrinth. There were adventurers who shouted something along those lines.
“… In that case, I suppose it’s useless unless we find an owner of the <Deciphering Skill> to find the treasure on this magic treasure map… Shopkeeper, is there a good place to look for someone who has that skill?” (Shuuya)
Rebecca whispers “Isn’t there one close-by?”, but I look at the shopkeeper while pretending to not have heard her.
The shopkeeper nods and quickly provides an answer.
“Yes, there is. There’s an organization called 【Magic Treasure Map Discovery Association】. Either you directly ask there, accept the dispatch of a magic treasure map excavation team at the guild or you possess connections with someone possessing that skill. Or you go to famous bars where a great number of adventurers gather, such as the Bar of Newcomers or the Round Table Bar, and search there for someone possessing a map deciphering skill.”
Magic Treasure Map Discovery Association.
There was something like that?
It looks like there are many people possessing map deciphering skills.
“Do you know the location of that discovery association?” (Shuuya)
“It’s right around the corner, next to the adventurer’s guild.”
Next to it, he says? So that’s why Rebecca told me that they are close-by. Although she has mentioned it, I may have ignored her a bit.
Which reminds me, there was a signboard with a map and treasure trails, wasn’t there…?
“Aah, over there, eh?” (Shuuya)
“Shuuya! You’re going to get that map deciphered and challenge the labyrinth, right?” (Rebecca)
Seemingly angry for being ignored, Rebecca raises her voice at me.
Rebecca-san loves her treasures. That’s probably why.
I guess she’s interested. She jumps on the topic with fervor.
“Yeah. It’s a rare map after all, so although it’s not like I will go right away, I plan to do so sooner or later.” (Shuuya)
“If possible, I’d like to be invited to the party when you start, okay?” (Rebecca)
“Nn, Shuuya, I want to go as well.” (Eva)
I had planned to invite the two to begin with.
“That’s only natural. I look forward to our future hunt, you two. Well then, the appraisal is done, so let’s pick up our items and leave.” (Shuuya)
I store the appraised items on the table back inside my item box.
“Well then, shopkeeper, until next time.” (Shuuya)
“See ya.” (Rebecca)
“Yes, thank you very much.”
We leave after looking at the shopkeeper’s refined smile.
We go back to the First Ring Road.
“Everyone, what are you going to do next?” (Rebecca)
Rebecca asks as she puts her hands on her hips while puffing out her chest proudly.
“I’m going to look around the market.” (Shuuya)
“Nn, return to the restaurant.” (Eva)
“I see. I’m heading back home as well.” (Rebecca)
Both of them are returning home, huh?
“Got it. Then are we breaking up the group for now?” (Shuuya)
“Shuuya, before that, there’s something I’d like to speak privately about with you.” (Eva)
Oh? Eva has a serious expression.
“If you are going to speak with Shuuya, feel free to? Afterward, my home is close to the market so I can guide you there on my way home; would you like me to?” (Rebecca)
“Oh, Rebecca, sorry, if you’re willing to wait I’d love if you showed me the way.” (Shuuya)
“Then, Viine and Rollo, you stay here. Eva, is the alley over there fine with you?” (Shuuya)
I turn to look in the direction of the alley on the right.
“As you say!” (Viine)
Viine acknowledges and bows her head.
Rollo gets off my shoulder and moves to Viine’s feet.
“Rebecca, see you.” (Eva)
“Yeah, let’s join up again. Until then, we can stay in touch through the Party Box or the guild’s board.” (Rebecca)
Eva bids farewell to Rebecca with a smile, turns her wheelchair around, and leaves.
I chase after her, leaving Rollo and Rebecca behind.
Entering the alley, Eva waits for me just inside.
I don’t sense any presences behind me, and there’s no one I can see in the vicinity. I can’t find anyone with Grasping Perception either.
As I’m paying attention to the surroundings, Eva makes her wheelchair transform.
She swiftly turns around in the Segway mode and moves further inside the alley.
I follow her in a trot.
Around the middle of the alley, Eva stops, turns her wheelchair around, and looks in my direction.
Since some time ago, she’s had an awfully serious expression on.
I wonder what’s going on.
“Shuuya, you are my lifesaver and an important friend. Therefore I will warn you.” (Eva)
Warn? Her violet pupils are focusing on me intensely.
“Warn? About what?” (Shuuya)
Once I ask, her eyes tremble.
It looks like she’s hesitating a bit.
“… I possess an understanding, a skill to read the outer layer of a person’s mind.” (Eva)
“Whoa? Read? You mean you know what I’m thinking?” (Shuuya)
For real? That’s an incredible ability.
A skill to read the thoughts of others. How amazing.
“Nn, I will only know when I’m touching someone.” (Eva)
“Only when touching…” (Shuuya)
That is… Eva’s actions until now cross my mind.
The time when I saved her during our first meeting, when I was treated to a meal, or when she distributed pieces of her French bread…
“Shuuya, did that frighten you?” (Eva)
Eva looks sad and averts her gaze, staring off to the side.
“No, it doesn’t. Rather, I admire it as amazing… Here, touch me and try to read* my thoughts.” (Shuuya) (T/N: Written as English “Reading”)
Eva moves closer and extends her hand as if requesting a handshake.
“Correct, try reading my mind. Here, take my hand.” (Shuuya)
Eva grasps my palm with a strong determination.
It’s the first time in this different world, a handshake.
Although she has a slender hand, it seems as if there’s a hard bean in her palm.
How cute, a bean-chan.
Eva laughs with her cheeks reddening.
I didn’t think that she’s amazing or anything, only that she’s cute.
“Ah, sorry. Did you read hard or beans are cute or such?” (Shuuya)
Eva nods with an unconcerned smile.
“But, with this you understand, right? That I’m not scared.” (Shuuya)
“Certainly, it’s easy to grasp.” (Eva)
Eva stops holding my hand at that point.
“But, well, is it really alright to tell me about such important, hidden ability?” (Shuuya)
“Fine. Rather than that, about the warning, you want to hear?” (Eva)
“Uh, I want to hear it.” (Shuuya)
“Got it. It’s about your slave. That dark elf’s heart is still not fully obeying you, Shuuya. However, I could sense a large amount respect and confusion. Rebecca and I have respect, but there is vigilance and complaints in her mind.” (Eva)
Whoa, certainly, there are occasions I can think of.
“That’s a definite fact?” (Shuuya)
“Nn, it seems so on the outer layer, the deep level is impossible.” (Eva)
She can’t read the deep psyche?
“I understand with regards to Viine. But I just bought her a little while ago. It might be inevitable for her to harbor hostility towards me.” (Shuuya)
“Nn, but, I wonder what she’s going to do to…” (Eva)
“As for that, it will be fine. You don’t have to worry. Even without the slavery magic, I just have to surpass Viine in everything. After all, she’s nothing more than a single, excellent woman.” (Shuuya)
Apart from staying silent, Eva stares at me.
How about confirming it by touching me, if you want? Thinking that, I extend my hand.
Eva shakes her head. It looks like she agrees, even without checking.
“As expected of you, Shuuya. I won’t mention it anymore.” (Eva)
“But, thank you, okay? Your ability is a secret, right?” (Shuuya)
“Nn, secret. The ones knowing about are only you, Lily and Dill.” (Eva)
So few people! Is she trusting me that much?
“I feel honored then. I won’t tell anyone else.” (Shuuya)
“Nn, I know.” (Eva)
Eva shows an angelic smile.
Its healing power is wonderful.
Besides, she disclosed her precious ability for my sake.
“… I will return to the restaurant.” (Eva)
“Okay, that’s right. See you.” (Shuuya)
“Nn, if I have free time, I will send you a message via the Party Box or the guild’s board.” (Eva)
Eva nods while speaking and leaves the alley.
Her back is leaning against the wheelchair, but it looks big.
“Well then, I guess I will go back as well.” (Shuuya)
I return to the place on the ring road where everyone is waiting.
“Sorry for keeping you waiting. Let’s go?” (Shuuya)
Viine immediately runs up next to me.
Rollo returns on my shoulder without changing into her Horse Lion size.
“— So, what did you talk about with Eva?” (Rebecca)
Rebecca asks with a flustered expression as we begin walking.
Although it was just a glance, I look at Viine for a second.
Since I don’t have any intention of telling her the truth, I fabricate a suitable lie albeit feeling sorry for Rebecca.
“… Ah, it was something private. I told Eva about the location of the inn I’m staying at. Also, we’re planning on exchanging messages through the Party Box.” (Shuuya)
“Something like that…” (Rebecca)
Rebecca proceeds through the ring road while showing a doubtful expression.
“We will head south like this.” (Rebecca)
“Roger, if it’s south, that’s the location of the arena, is it close to that?” (Shuuya)
“Exactly, the arena is relatively close to the market.” (Rebecca)
“I see, over there, huh?” (Shuuya)
“Yeah, my home is in the same direction as well.” (Rebecca)
Rebecca’s home appears to be in the southern part of the city.
Leaving the ring road that’s very crowded with people, we enter an alley and continue to head south.
For a while, we advance in a straight line through the alley.
As we do, I once again sense presences, several magic sources, tailing us while maintaining a fixed distance.
Rebecca hasn’t noticed it.
For most of our trip she’s been happily walking while messing with Rollo who’s on my right shoulder.
Viine stays silent and watches us.
It looks like she hasn’t noticed our tails either.
It appears that her search skills aren’t as excellent.
And so, we continue to advance while I’m paying attention to our rear.
“The free market, a part of the flavor street, is right around the corner.” (Rebecca)
As Rebecca says, a plaza can be seen at the end of the alley.
It seems to be quite spacious.
At that moment, people enter the alley we are using from the plaza.
Thereupon, I feel the magic source responses closing in all of a sudden from the rear.
At the same time, the guys at the front, who I believed to be passersby, draw their respective weapons and run towards us.
Four from the front, three from behind. A pincer attack, huh?
Spreading my overcoat, I extend my hands to each side while exposing the violet dragon scale armor.
I summon the Magic Halberd into my right hand.
『Your Excellency, am I up as well?』 (Helme)
『No, I think it will be alright.』 (Shuuya)
I still won’t reveal Helme.
“Rebecca, stay on standby and stay safe. Viine and Rollo, you attack the enemies coming from behind.” (Shuuya)
Viine and Rollo answer immediately.
Rollo transforms into a black panther with a puff of smoke.
Viine draws her new weapon, the Black Snake, from its scabbard and adopts a combat stance that shows the eerie green light of its blade.
“These guys, what are they up to?” (Rebecca)
Rebecca prepares her silver wand while looking frightened.
“Who knows? They are probably thugs.” (Shuuya)
When I say that, the four thugs that ran up from the front silently stop moving and keep out of my striking range while holding their swords in a seigan stance.
Since the four of them are covered by dark brown robes with hoods, I can’t tell their faces.
“What business do you have with me?” (Shuuya)
“You are the Lancer, correct?”
“That’s right, so what about it?” (Shuuya)
“We will have you die—”
The four attackers assault me with their swords all at once.
They are small fry that don’t even use a shred of Magic Combat Style.
I will crush them head on.
I advance in order to get into my spear’s combat distance faster.
I strike forward with the Magic Halberd and lightly repel a longsword; I keep up the flow of motion and stab the red spear into one of the robe wearer’s chest now that his sword was out of position.
First one down.
As the first man goes down easily, the second and third man release diagonal sword slashes towards my neck as if trying to cut an x into it.
While pulling back the Magic Halberd stuck in the enemy’s chest, I dodge the sword blows with a paper-thin difference by making a small rotation using the sole of my foot.
Immediately after dodging, I focus on my muscles, pull back my right arm, position the red ax blade horizontally, and release the tension all at once—
I unleash the side-swing skill <Powerful Flash>.
The weapon traces the shape of a red folding fan like a raging fire— tearing through their flesh.
Their torsos are split apart in an instant.
The four body parts dance in the sky and create bloody street art on the walls.
The other enemy, who was outside the spear’s range, prepares his longsword, but seeing that terrible scene just now, he freezes for an instant.
That gap is fatal.
I use <Throwing> towards the stopped enemy as if I was in a javelin throwing contest—
The Magic Halberd thrown by both the power of my physical strength and the skill plunges through the air like an arrow while creating a spiral wind.
It easily pierces the dark brown robe and penetrates his body as well.
The bloodstained Magic Halberd stabs into the wall behind him.
With this, all the guys who were in front are down, huh?
I extend a <Chain> towards the Magic Halberd stuck in the wall, entangle its violet metallic staff part with the chain, and have it contract.
I recover the Magic Halberd at an abnormal speed and grasp it with my left hand.
If this was done by a normal person, they would get stabbed to death without even a chance to catch hold of it instead.
I imagine a warrior fleeing the battlefield.
While feeling a slight chill down my spine, I turn over and head back to where everyone else is.
It looks like the rear’s fine as well.
The three people wearing dark brown robes have been defeated.
“Are you alright?” (Shuuya)
“I’m okay. Viine and Rollo-chan finished them off in a flash.” (Rebecca)
“But, wh—” (Shuuya)
At the instant, I heard the sound of “Pheew”, and the visibility on my right vanishes.
Gah!! It huuuurts, a sharp pain travels through my face, my eye socket.
After a long while my blood dances in the air.
This is an arrow? — Guwaah!
My head is hit by yet another strong arrow impact.
I fall to the ground from the blow.
Everyone comes running up to me in shock.
While they’re distracted, a black, wave-like cloth engulfs Rebecca.
Rebecca is wrapped up by the dark cloth and ends up enveloped by it.
The black cloth wriggles like a creeping shadow and swiftly moves towards a back alley with Rebecca in tow.
It disappears in the opposite direction of the market.
I quickly pull out the one and then two arrows that stabbed into my right eye socket and neck.
I don’t care about the blood surging out.
My vision recovers immediately, but it’s bright red as it’s covered in blood.
Next, I take out a potion from my chest strap and splash it over my face and neck as if taking a shower.
In reality, I don’t need something like a potion though.
“Rollo, I’m fine. There’s not a moment to lose! Chase after that darkness cloth, and, as soon as you find it, come back here at full throttle!” (Shuuya)
Rollo immediately transforms into her Horse Lion size and vigorously dashes through the back alley.
“Master, your wounds on your face and neck are…” (Viine)
“Ah, it’s fine, it’s fine. This is a high-level potion after all.” (Shuuya)
Saying that, I throw the empty jar on the ground.
At any rate, the previous arrows; they were outside the range of my Grasping Perception. It took me completely by surprise.
Though I wouldn’t have been hit if they didn’t take my eye first…
Well, I guess that is just an excuse…
By no means did I expect them to use a two-staged strategy.
The initial small fries were nothing more than disposable pawns.
Putting me off my guard, they damaged their target by performing a precise archery attack outside my Grasping Perception range.
Or they might have aimed at obliterating me.
In that gap, they abducted Rebecca who has the lowest combat ability, huh?
They thoroughly made use of a two-staged and then three-staged pattern.
That darkness cloth, which kidnapped Rebecca, is a special item.
I feel like I have seen that somewhere before.
Oh well, it means that the enemy is cunning.
At that moment, I look at the corpse of a small fry who charged at us first.
This dark brown robe, a brooch has fallen out of the pocket.
Looks like they are members of the dark guild 【Owl’s Fang】.
A move by the remnants or even some other organization.
Were some of the leaders still alive?
I thought they had died in their own ways in the disputes with other dark guilds, but…
My thinking was too shallow. Even though I had so many intentions to move in order to not inconvenience my friends. I might have felt slightly relieved after crushing Eribol and the headquarters.
I suppose I should have gone at it with the mentality of if you cut off the branches, the tree should wither and fall apart.
As I’m indulging in such foolish thoughts, Rollo returns.
It seems that she already discerned their location.
She extends a tentacle to my face.
『Found』『Going to hunt』『Smell』『Save』『Simple』『Found』『Hunt』『Chase』『Simple』
She transmits various emotions to me.
Haha, simple, eh?
“Now then, I guess we are going to rescue Rebecca.” (Shuuya)
I’ll have to apologize later.
She uses a different tentacle to twine around my waist and carries me to her back with its bushy, black fur.
“Give Viine a ride as well.” (Shuuya)
She twines a tentacle around Viine’s waist and forcefully places her in front of me.
“Ah, kya!” (Viine)
“Viine, don’t faint again, okay? If you are scared, then close your eyes and hold tightly onto me.” (Shuuya)
Just as told, Viine embraces my chest.
Ooh, ekiben style.1 Although it’s through our armor, I can clearly feel the sensation of her boobs wobbling.
This is nice, really nice.
With that, it looks like my nether region is going to turn into a Mount Everest, but since we have to rescue Rebecca, I’m capable of lowering my ero power to almost zero.
“Rollo, go ahead.” (Shuuya)
Rollodeen silently grows two tentacles from her nape and stretches out upwards to where the walls are.
She moves her body by contracting them all of a sudden. We start moving as if running through the air.
Her limbs, which have an obsidian hue, move lively while she’s growling.
Kicking the side wall— kicking the ground— we run through the air.
— How amazingly fast.
Even as her body trembles, Viine strongly hugs my torso as if forcing it down.
Rollodeen dashes through 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】 at a speed surpassing a roller coaster.
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