Once Rollo enters the room, she immediately jumps on a bed.
She hops up and down with joy.
A cat punch while rotating in mid-air.
She transformed into a kung fu cat.
She begins to play around once again.
I let Viine’s hand go.
Unfastening the clasps of the bandoleer, I place it on the floor.
Unlike me, she’s a normal dark elf; no matter how tough she might be, she must be exhausted by now.
While steering my eyes towards one of the beds,
“…You are tired in various ways, right? Go ahead and get some sleep.” (Shuuya)
“Yes. What about you, master?” (Viine)
As I take off my overcloak,
“I will stay next to you, Viine. Guess I will spend my time relaxing a bit.” (Shuuya)
She gives me a somewhat delightful smile.
Then she takes off her thick, vermilion leather clothes.
When she finishes, her bare skin and the silver, underwear-like camisole become visible.
I’m attracted by her pretty, bluish-white skin, but control myself.
As I stare at her, the 24-faceted orb disconnects from the Paredes Mirror and flies over at a leisurely pace.
As it rotates in front of my eyes, just as usual, I grab the orb and lean down to put it away into a pocket of the bandoleer.
I should change my clothes, too.
I take off the violet Evil Dragon King Baldok Armor and put on leather clothes.
Hmm, I will let the fresh air of the surface in.
After tying the waistcloth of the leather vest, I open the bay window.
It’s already evening.
Several crow-like birds fly through the crimson-dyed sky.
I felt as if the crows’ eyes are shining, but it’s just my imagination, isn’t it?
It seems like quite a bit of time has passed during our exploration and battling in the underground city.
Yeah, right. My biological clock is unreliable after all.
Deciding on that, I turn around towards the room’s interior and walk.
I dive on top of a bed.
I mess around by rolling from side to side on the bed without any sense behind it.
Rollo started to join the rolling game as well.
I seize her. A cute, rolling cat, get!
I bury my face in her fluffy belly.
I rest comfortably as I massage her soft paws.
For a while I stare at a curly grain at the ceiling.
I wonder, what should I do tomorrow?
I’m not in the mood for diving into the labyrinth.
The first choice is…
Search for the dwarf siblings and Rubia, seeing as Mia is impossible at the moment?
Rubia, who considered becoming an adventurer, attained her goal, so I’m sure I will meet her sooner or later if I hang out at that bar.
The second choice would be the look for a person capable of analyzing the magic treasure map and go for a labyrinth exploration.
But, there’s also the matter with the White Nine.
I mean, the nine white knights might be searching for me even as I’m spending my time relaxing here like this.
I could ignore all the uproar, mount the divine beast Rollodeen, and fly away without using the gates…
Yeah, that might also be a nice idea.
Leaving on a far journey…somewhere without any aim.
Well, let’s spend my time at ease for now.
As I got fed up with thinking while rolling around on the bed, I accidentally look at Viine.
Viine is wearing a black one-piece dress.
Her silver hair interrupts the black color of her dress like the roots of a tree.
It’s a plain hue, but if worn by her, it looks really stylish.
…I might get her to wear a lot more styles of clothes, too.
As I’m gazing and enjoying the characteristic beauty of dark elves, she started to rummage through her rucksack while sitting on her bed.
She took out a hard cookie and put it into her mouth.
The other day she ate that as well, didn’t she? Does she like that stuff?
She’s a dark elf, so her taste might be slightly different. Oh, come to think of it, I haven’t eaten any breakfast or lunch.
Hearing Viine chewing, Rollo reacted.
She stops playing around on her back and stares at her.
It looks like she’s hungry as well.
Unable to endure watching Viine eat she gets off the bed and walks across the floor.
She brazenly moved in front of the bed where Viine is sitting.
She assumes a posture of putting her forepaws together in front of her.
Rollo exerts a silent pressure.
She stares full of greed at the cookie in Viine’s hand.
She’s requesting it silently, isn’t she?
It’s a demand filled with charm exactly because she’s adorable.
Rollo seems to be hungry after all.
Or rather, the same applies for me as well.
Dusk has already passed, so I guess all of us should go to the dining hall below.
Viine holds out the cookie towards Rollo.
“…Rollo-sama, you want this?” (Viine)
Rollo purrs happily.
She brings her nose close to the cookie…
She sniffs it, then returns to below my feet while holding the cookie in her mouth.
She began to eat it at my feet as if hiding behind my calves.
The cookie was dry, but Rollodeen wolfs it down without complaint.
“Viine, I’m hungry. Let’s eat something at the dining hall?” (Shuuya)
“I support that. I’m hungry too.” (Viine)
“Alright. Rollo, come with us.” (Shuuya)
Once Rollo finishes eating the cookie in a hurry,
She jumps onto my shoulder while dropping crumbs of the cookie.
All of us leave the room.
We head to the dining hall on the first floor by descending the stairs.
My partner goes down by gliding with her bum on the railing.
Ah…poopy-san has… 1 As the one responsible for her, I swiftly clean the railing by rubbing it with a cloth!
『Poopy-san’s, no, Rollo-sama’s butt is wonderful. It’s covered by tufts of fuuur.』 (Helme)
The tiny Helme, who appeared in my field of vision, is excited from watching the sliding Rollo for some reason.
After ignoring Helme and cleaning…
I attentively listen to the pleasant song of the elf performing on the stage.
We sat down at a free table in the dining hall.
I casually order dinner from Mel.
No matter how often I hear it, it’s a wonderful voice.
If that elven songstress was present in my previous life…
I’m sure she would have appeared in the famous, overseas audition show X Factor.
And all the strict judges would have voted “YES” for her.
It’s at such a high level that even I would buy her concert tickets.
Viine stares at the singing elf with a look full of reverence.
Applause breaks out once the soothing song comes to an end.
Several of the listeners give the songstress tips.
I really get them. I think I will also pay her some.
“Fufu, it’s a nice singing voice, isn’t it~?” (Mel)
Just as I was pondering whether to give the songstress a tip, Mel chats me up.
In her right hand, she holds a tray with our food on it.
“Indeed, no matter how often I hear it, it heals me.” (Shuuya)
“Same for me. It’s a beautiful voice.” (Viine)
We honestly express our great admiration of the elven songstress.
“That’s right, isn’t it? It was quite correct to hire her. It’s just my opinion, but our previous troubadour, he was good too, but Shana’s singing is on a totally different level. I think she’s the best singer in the world—” (Mel)
While bragging in such manner, Mel smoothly takes large plates filled with food from the tray and puts them onto the table.
Just like a veteran waitress, she placed the dishes in such way that it would be easy for us to eat them.
“We are using smoked Large Totoga Bird meat for today’s main dish since we obtained huge quantities of it the other day. We stir-fried that together with Rig and Chiri herbs. Last is — this beer.”
Smoked meat, huh? It’s similar to the Rahen thigh meat.
It looks delicious, but other than that, I’m curious about the songstress’ name.
“…So, that songstress’ name is Shana.”
“Yes. She’s called Shana. She’s an elf and singing is actually a side job for her. I was surprised when she told me that her main job is being an adventurer.” (Mel)
“Hee, that’s certainly surprising.” (Shuuya)
“An adventurer with that voice…?” (Viine)
Viine is also surprised.
We turn our heads towards Shana, who is thanking the audience from the stage.
“Isn’t it~? She’s a lucky find. With her singing voice, it would be no surprise even if she were to be hired at a high-class inn or major bar located at a ring road. Well, she says that she wants to work here, so all’s fine.” (Mel)
“I see. That means we are going to be able to listen to her beautiful voice for a good while. It’s great that we decided to become guests here.” (Shuuya)
“My, so you are saying that it was worthwhile to have hired her. I’m happy to hear that—” (Mel)
“Landlady~, one more serving of smoked Totoga please.”
At that moment, there’s a request for another serving from a different table.
“Ah, sure. I will bring it to you right away~ Well then Shuuya, enjoy your stay.” (Mel)
Mel gives a slight nod while smiling at me.
She returned to serving the tables with swift movements that seem to make use of Magic Combat Style.
But, once I look at Mel’s public face as landlady, I can’t believe that she has another face.
Rollo, who had obediently stayed on my shoulder, drops down to the table and slowly purrs as if saying 『I want to eat nya』 while looking at my face.
That 『I want to eat nya』 cat face sure is cute.
Although it’s fine if she eats right away, Rollo peeks at my face.
Matching my eyes with Viine’s, I nod.
“Go for it. Rollo, eat plenty. We are going to do so as well.” (Shuuya)
Rollo bites into the smoked meat.
She eats it, groaning and chewing the meat with her back teeth while bending her head slightly to the side.
It’s mine and Viine’s food & chat time.
Beginning with what we plan to do next, we talk about personal things before ending up on the topic of the business transactions she learned from Chianelas.
Just as I was fully enjoying the chat, I suddenly remembered the cigars I bought at the free market the other day.
It was just the right atmosphere to smoke one.
I operate my item box while giving cursory responses to Viine’s words. 2
“Most of the leather materials for high-class combat shoes come from the monster Taydeln, but…master?” (Viine)
“Yeah, just a moment—” (Shuuya)
I took out the cigar set and the flint and place them on the table.
If I remember correctly, it was Magoma Grass, wasn’t it?
“Oh, magic cigars?” (Viine)
It seems she understands.
I place a cigar in my mouth, operate the flint, and set the end of the cigar on fire.
As I deeply inhale, the end of the cigar burns cherry red and a small amount of smoke floats out.
At the same time, the smoke fills my lungs.
My first cigar from a different world.
—Oooh, I can smell the refreshing smoke deep inside my nose. As it passes through my throat, it feels great.
My head feels clear, as if it was stimulated.
When I had my fill, I exhaled the smoke with a “Fuuu~.”
I avert my face to the side so that I don’t engulf Viine with the smoke.
For sure this ain’t the normal cigar I know of.
There’s no feeling of thirst or ugly smell.
Not only is it bringing a feeling of being refreshed , but it also stimulates the mana in my body.
This sensation makes me recall the delicious food I was allowed to eat at Eva’s restaurant a bit ago.
It’s a quite nice feeling.
It would be unimaginable in my previous world, but here it might be considered as a health product.
I inhale once again.
“…This is good stuff.” (Shuuya)
After briefly stating my impression, I turn my head to the side and exhale the smoke through my nose.
“Yes. I hear it’s endowed with mana.” (Viine)
Viine nods as she observes me.
I confirm it with Magic Observation.
“You want to smoke as well?” (Shuuya)
“Can I?” (Viine)
“What, I have several of them. Just take one.” (Shuuya)
I passed her a magic cigar with a smile.
She receives it while looking happy.
“Then, thank you for the offer.” (Viine)
Viine lights a fire with the flint in her beautiful hands, which look as if she’s playing the piano, and smokes a magic cigar.
She also reveals a pleased expression when inhaling the smoke.
Given that Viine is an attractive beauty with her silver face guard, the image of her holding a cigar is picturesque.
Somehow she has the air of a cool onee-san.
As both of us were smoking while donning entranced expressions, several loud and rough voices could be heard from the entrance door.
What? Is it a quarrel?
Once I looked in the direction, I see a tall, blonde-haired man argue with Mel.
The blonde man, who is the center of the dispute, wears a white, close to silver, armor and helmet.
A special-looking, white cloth mask adorned with patterns reaches from the bottom of his neck up to his nose in order to hide his mouth.
The several soldiers around him don’t possess such a mask, but all of them wear white chainmail.
Right then, the huge leopard beastman cook, who came out of the kitchen, plants himself in front of the white group to protect the belligerent Mel.
Now that I think of it, he was a Sebaka, wasn’t he?
His name is Kazun. He has a dangerous aura.
Those white-clothed fellows at the entrance door; all of them have an emblem on their right breast.
It’s an emblem representing people. Depicting Armored People possessing swords, spears and shield…you don’t say, are these guys possibly from White Nine?
Is that the emblem of the 【Great White Nine Knights】?
So they came after all, eh?
Even though I planned to spend my time in peace at long last…
“Master, what’s happening there?” (Viine)
“Going by their armor, they might be from White Nine.” (Shuuya)
“Eh? We talked about that name recently…” (Viine)
“That’s right… Now then.” (Shuuya)
I flatten the burning cigar in the ashtray.
…Should I run away or greet them?
Let’s go with the second option.
Not only is there Kazun next to Mel, but even Zeeta-san, who is wearing a robe over his scaled skin, has appeared.
Zeeta-san has taken a fighting stance by taking out his hands from his robe to protect Mel.
There’s scaled skin on both of his arms, but rather than his skin, the great amount of maji nestling on its surface stands out more.
The maji squirm and coil around his arms.
Centipedes, lizards, locusts, caterpillars…and so forth. There are also insects I have never seen before.
I sure don’t wanna be attacked by those…they are disgusting.
On the other hand, the white group doesn’t even twitch after seeing their movements.
The people confronting White Nine have expressions marking them as the dark guild 【Remains of the Moon】 rather than as inn employees.
It’s a safe bet that those 【Great White Nine Knights】 guys have business with me.
According to the information, I’m suspected to be the killer of Eribol and his daughter.
That or their aim is the secret account book that’s connected to them.
Oh well, either way…
Those white guys must have used some kind of method to get details about me.
However they did it, they’re after me for my actions.
It’s a fact that I killed the top of 【Owl’s Fangs】.
That’s synonymous with killing the top of the Macbayn Company.
This is a convenient excuse though.
I want to continue being an active adventurer who finds treasures and dives into labyrinths.
Well, in the worst case, if it would become impossible for me to be an adventurer here, I guess I will leave this country and go elsewhere.
Even while I’m going through those considerations, the atmosphere between the inn’s side and the white group turns explosive.
The number of onlookers has grown large as well.
Since it’s noisy, I can’t hear the quarrel.
Somehow I don’t feel very happy with the dispute intensifying because of me…
I don’t want to incur any debts towards this inn, or rather 【Remains of the Moon】.
I guess I will head over to greet the 【Great White Nine Knights】 guys with the resolve to be arrested.
However, to the bitter end, it’s only a resolve.
Even if I won’t be able to work as an adventurer anymore, I will make them regret messing with me if they start something.
“…Viine, I will go greet that white group for a bit. You can stay here or follow me stealthily. Do as you like.” (Shuuya)
She replies after slightly lowering her head.
“Ah, don’t kill them without my permission, okay? So far as it goes, they are a high-ranking agency of this country.” (Shuuya)
“Yes. But I will follow you after picking up my weapons.” (Viine)
Viine spoke calmly as she turned her eyes towards our room on the second floor.
“Got it. Listen up, don’t do anything unreasonable, understood?” (Shuuya)
She stands up from her seat and runs towards the entrance door.
With a sidelong glance at the nearby white group, she dashes up the stairs.
“Rollo, follow me as you like. You can also go on ahead.” (Shuuya)
Once Rollo hears my instructions, she leaps off my shoulder.
Following Viine, she ran towards the second floor and disappeared from sight.
I also get up from my seat and head over to the entrance door.
『Helme, don’t come out until I order you to do so.』 (Shuuya)
As I get close to the site of the dispute, I hear Mel’s angry voice.
“As I told you several times already, I won’t let you pass.” (Mel)
“Right. This inn belongs to Mel, the landlady. If you come in any further, I will take you on instead.”
Kazun rolls up his sleeves.
The muscles on his back and arms bulge a little and his tough-looking fur, which pierces through his cook attire, stands on end.
It looks as if his intimidating aura grew.
Seeing Kazun, the tall, blonde man confronting Mel,
“…Hoh, how unusual. The unique body of a Sebaka, huh? Are you guys saying that you will oppose us, the Great White Nine Knights?”
He taunts while glaring at Kazun.
So this guy is the leader of the White Nine after all?
Blonde hair and big eyes and nose.
He’s tall with a hunchback, but his height is probably equal to mine.
The white cloth mask is so tightly affixed to his face that the shape of his lips is visible through it.
Clad in extravagant white armor that has various furnishings attached to it, there’s a longsword hanging at his waist, and he carries a shield above his mantle on the back.
Both arms are covered by gloves that had an aura of mana wafting around them and they have many tawny pimple-like protuberances covering the surface.
Huh? On a closer look, the emblem on his right chest is different.
The emblems of the other soldiers are simple.
Only the short woman standing next to the blonde man has a different emblem drawn on her armor. It’s a picture of a knight riding a dragon.
Going by his aura and quality of his emblem, the blonde man is indeed the leader.
The short, red-haired woman also wears a white neck gaiter covering her mouth from below her throat.
“…I haven’t heard anything about pressing on with such a forcible investigation!”
“…Now, now, this is still peaceful. We are—”
The female knight interrupts to stop Kazun.
But, once she notices my presence, her eyes become big and round.
She has a few freckles on her cheeks.
She shows a surprised reaction.
“—So he was here after all. I think there’s no mistake about it being that man.”
Huh? The female knight with her semi-long red hair points a finger at me.
As expected, it seems as if they have obtained the specifics of me.
“Great Knight Remrona, good work.”
“No, it’s just my duty.”
What, so she’s also a Great Knight despite her small build?
“So — Landlady, I will promise you we will not start a fight in this inn. We have business with that man. Can you step aside?”
The leader offers to Mel.
Mel turned a pondering expression towards me and gave me an angry eye contact as if asking me “Why did you come out?”
I look at her with eyes telling her “Sorry,” “Thank you,” and “It’s fine already.” I bow my head and then nod.
“…Although you might call him that man, he’s a guest of this inn.” (Mel)
Mel didn’t understand my eye contact.
She seems to want to protect me, her guest, to the bitter end.
No, just like when she was speaking cynically the other day, she might really consider me to be her comrade and not a mere guest.
Oh well, whatever.
I don’t want to cause a fight in this inn, so I guess I will accompany White Nine.
With a mindset of “No matter how strong a wind might blow, it won’t be able to move a mountain.”
“…Mel, I will be alright.” (Shuuya)
“What? That’s no good.” (Mel)
“Don’t worry, okay? Thank you.” (Shuuya)
I will appeal that I’m weaponless.
I hold up both my arms.
In short, I forcibly push them out as if cheering with a banzai.
“Haa, geez…If that’s your intention, go for it—” (Mel)
After Mel spreads both arms, sticking out her tongue with a “Boo!”, she makes a gesture similar to that of a crab with its pincers.
A special way of expressing herself?
I don’t know whether she’s messing around or showing her anger.
Once she repeats that gesture, she shifts to the side, stepping back after looking down a bit with a disappointed expression as if saying that it can’t be helped.
Once Kazun and Zeeta see Mel draw back, they immediately become docile and also retreat.
I look at the leader of White Nine and point at the entrance door by jerking my chin, saying “Take me with you.”
I demonstrated my intention.
The leader reads my movements with an enigmatic expression and nods.
Then he let his eyes wander across his comrades.
Upon the leader’s short order, all of the White Nine members, including the female knight, respond at once.
As they answer, he turns around while making his armor resound clearly and places his hand on the entrance door.
I leave through the door while surrounded by soldiers wearing the White Nine’s white chainmail without showing any particular intention to resist.
I guess the only good thing is that there are no handcuffs involved?
Nooow then, what should I do next…?
I form a fist and crack my fingers while we walk.
I wonder whether it will end with just a peaceful “talk.”
Once we exit the inn, the soldiers, who waited outside, all at once turn my way.
There are about 20.
The ones who intruded into the inn were just a small number that accompanied their leader. It seems the majority of their soldiers stood on standby outside.
The soldiers outside saluted the tall, blonde leader who came out with me.
From their behavior, it’s obvious that he’s truly the boss.
“—The target was secured.”
The leader raises his left hand in a calm manner as if responding to the salute of the soldiers.
At the same time, he nods a little.
Then, he moves his left hand to the emblem mark on his right chest, looks at the soldier in front of him with a proud expression, and starts giving orders,
“Our job has been perfectly accomplished. White Nine, for the sake of the Kingdom—”
“”Yes! White Nine, for the sake of the Kingdom!””
All the soldiers repeat the leader’s words.
That pose, I suppose it’s a military-style salute?
“We are going back. Bigzam, you heard me as well, right?”
While making his blonde hair sway, he widens his eyes and turns his face upwards, and speaks towards the sky?
The magic patterns written on the white neck gaiter covering his mouth shine.
Uwah, a monster?
From the sky.
A dragon was there.
Moreover, two of them. A dragon suitable of the name Bigzam. Though it’s not green. 3 The two dragons calmly spread their wings as they flew above the buildings at a low altitude.
Their figures are distinguishable despite it already being close to night.
The soldiers start to march in lockstep without being surprised at the dragons flying above them.
Since the group that quarreled inside the inn and the group that was on standby outside merged, the white army corps has become big.
It’s a bizarre view.
A white army corps and two flying gray dragons.
It also looks like a group of cultists.
“You move your feet as well!”
I start walking since I was pestered by a soldier from behind.
“So, where are we going?”
I questioned the leader walking next to me.
“Watch your words. Don’t you know to whom you are talking?”
Seemingly having heard my question, a young soldier warns me angrily.
“It’s fine. It’s better with him not causing a fuss.”
The leader corrects the young soldier pridefully while stooping.
The young soldier salutes with a look full of respect.
Watch your words, huh?
It looks like it means that this blond-haired man is no mere leader.
Since his armor is luxurious as well, I’m pretty sure that he’s a Great Knight.
I check that supposed Great Knight with Magic Observation.
With his hunchback, despite being tall, his posture is bad.
He’s tall, but it doesn’t feel as if you could actually call him built large.
The amount of magic source in his body is on the bigger side.
He’s also manipulating his mana constantly.
Due to that, a lot of mana is let loose in the gear he’s wearing.
But, as for the amount of mana, I think the frail-looking female knight walking next to the leader has more.
And the way she walks is very focused, showing no gaps.
The emblem decorating the right breast is a picture of a knight riding a dragon, same as the leader.
I could tell that the gear she’s wearing doesn’t lose out to the equipment of the leader in any way either.
The gorgeous longsword suspended from a belt below her waist is a magic weapon.
Going by its long scabbard, it’s been adorned with ornaments, including dazzling jewels. I could sense its mana.
Mana is even dwelling in the dagger next to that longsword.
The dark brown belt coiled around her waist was tinged with mana as well.
She’s a walking magic item display.
You could say that these two were worlds apart — including their mana and equipment — compared to the other soldiers wearing white chainmail.
As one would expect of Great Knights.
『Your Excellency, these two require special attention.』 (Helme)
Helme appears in my visual field.
She warned me while pointing her little hands at the Great Knights.
『I guess you’re right. If it comes to a battle, I might call you, Helme.』 (Shuuya)
After turning an expectant look towards me, she rotates her body around on the spot and vanishes.
Even as I talked, I’m walking alongside the white army corps, but in the end, the leader doesn’t answer my question.
Once I repeatedly glanced at the glum Great Knights, the leader laughs a bit as if looking down on me and responds,
“…If you come along with us obediently, we won’t treat you badly.”
Is that so?
I nod my head towards the leader.
I decide to still go along with the White Nine.
Though I believe that Rollo and Viine are chasing after me.
Well, I can go on a rampage whenever I feel like it.
I guess I will follow them obediently for the moment.
Help out filling the Glossary of this series with life! Anyone is free to join by clicking >here< !
- Reference to an anime…if you want to call it like that…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jwhHqMdx3k
- The term used here is 相槌 (aidzuchi). “相槌 refers to a custom in Japanese culture wherein it is considered polite and necessary to indicate while listening that you are in fact listening. This is usually done through terse comments (such as “I see”), affirmative grunts and other noises, and gesticulations, such as a slight nodding of the head. While it is common to do this in the U.S., it is not as clearly defined a custom. Thus, it is not generally considered impolite when a person doesn’t make 相槌, and there’s no single word to describe it.” [source: wiki]
- Reference to ビグ・ザム (BYG-ZAM), an aerial weapon appearing in the Gundam series. It’s green. Also, the name is written here: ビクザム.