T/N: This chapter is about a character that hasn’t appeared in the novel yet with her PoV at the second part of the chapter. To understand her character and enjoy the chapter, you have to imagine her as Balalaika of Black Lagoon. If you haven’t seen the anime, you really missed out.
The location, sky city 【Neutral Violent Tower City Senapua】, also called 【Violent Tower City Senapua】.
Inside a high-class room allowing one to gaze at the azure sky. A largely built elven woman stood up from a spotless chair.
She, who had broad shoulders, brushed back her platinum blond hair, which was spilling down, as if regarding it as a nuisance, and put the magic cigarette in her hand into her mouth with its conspicuously scarlet lips. Then she leaned forward while leaking a sexy, husky, “Ngh…”
Yes, it was for the sake of lighting the magic cigarette. She brought a magic tool with a pointed end close to the magic cigarette in her mouth.
Once she pressed the brass switch at the bottom of the magic tool, a fire was lit at the tip. The elven woman used it to ignite the cigarette. And then she sucked on the healthy magic cigarette, deeply inhaling the smoke.
The magic cigarettes from Zamalia are superb. While smoking the cigarette and thinking so, the elven woman straightened her back, and made her swelling mana spread throughout her entire body as if having taken a deep breath. That mana was emitted from her body like a silver aura.
The level of the woman’s Magic Combat Style technique, who manipulated her unique, silver mana, was abnormally high. And a womanly ecstasy, which she didn’t show her comrades in the guild often, appeared on her face. She clad her body with silver mana with such a force that her clothes were dyed silver as well.
Then the silver mana, which coiled itself around her, returned into her body, and she manipulated her mana with a might that forced it into her skin and muscles. An unparalleled mana manipulation skill.
Having finished, the elven woman approached a glass window with a wooden frame. While staring at the beautiful, azure sky with the trailing white clouds…she touched a big scar on her cheek with the pulp of her finger…immersing herself in her thoughts.
As if to interrupt her thinking, the door behind her was opened.
“――Guild master, Deputy Chief Clydossus of Hekatrail’s branch has shown up.”
It was a man who called the elven woman guild master.
That guild master, the elven woman, turned around to look at the owner of the voice while making her long, platinum blond hair and her mantle sway.
The largely built elven man swiftly saluted. On the forehead of the saluting man one could see a cut, which could be assumed to be the same sword cut as the one of his guild master who had intensified her sharp look.
The guild master pointedly glared with her blue eyes at the elven man who completely looked like a soldier.
Even after being scrutinized by his guild master’s gaze, the elven man didn’t budge at all.
The elven woman replied to her subordinate’s salute with a military styled salute.
Seeing his guild master lowering her hand, the tough elven man quickly lowered his hand as well.
It made one feel a certain character from the elven man and woman.
The elven woman ordered curtly, “Let her in.”
“Aye, ma’am!” The elven man saluted once more, by putting his hand on his chest.
It was a military styled salute, but a different one from the previous one. After finishing his salute, the man turned on his heels and stepped out into the corridor. There he instructed someone waiting in front of the room, “Wait here.”
After bowing to his guild master, the elven man faithfully stated, “Excuse us.”
The female elf nodded.
The man, who bowed once more, moved behind his guild master with a brisk walk. After looking at the pretty, platinum blond hair of his guild master, the elven man adjusted his look, and put his arms on his back while puffing out his chest.
Straightening himself, he ordered with a manly voice, “Enter!”, towards the one waiting outside the door.
The one called responded, “――Guild master! I’m back～”
It was the voice of an elven woman that echoed into the room. It had a sound similar to that of a beautiful bird singing in a forest.
With girlish, nimble, and vigorous movements she entered the room. It was a voice and attitude completely opposite of the female guild master and the elven man.
That lively, small elven woman approached her guild master while dancing, stepping, and skipping, causing her short hair with silver and emerald streaks to sway.
“Clydossus, good work at your mission in distant lands.” The guildmaster said while lifting the edge of her mouth on one side.
It was an expression and voice that ought to be called cold. It was different to the attitude and voice of the small elf called Clydossus. Her voice had a quality befitting a guild master. The unique, rough voice of a woman.
“Yeah, I did my best. You doing fine, guild master?” Clydossus asked casually.
“I’m okay ― rather than that, please hurry up with your report.” The guild master sat down on her chair, placed both elbows atop the table, and joined both hands together.
It was one of her habits, but also her posture when listening to others.
Clydossus, who had clowned around until then, completely changed her attitude, and revealed a stern expression.
She moved her small lips, “…Yes. 【Bell of Twilight】 has been forced into ruin, but we failed to catch Beheading Murderer Paulsen, Ice Bell Angie, and that reviving dwarf.” Clydossus reported.
Hearing her words, the guild master twisted her face and made a gesture as if biting her lip.
“Tsk! How many of our comrades were killed by that guy?” The guild master asked.
“Ten…countless if you include the small fries.” Clydossus answered.
“What a disgrace. To where did the reviving dwarf vanish?” The guild master probed further.
“I think either here, 【Neutral Violent Tower City Senapua】 , or 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】.” Clydossus replied.
The guild master nodded and while spreading her arms as if to show off her broad shoulders, “――Damn! For the past war to haunt us up to this point. However, it will be convenient if he has come to this city. I will butcher him with my own hands.” Saying so, she laughed, and then while twisting her face, “And Clydossus, that’s not all you have to report, is it?” She asked.
“Indeed. It was confirmed that the escaped 【Bell of Twilight】 leaders, Beheading Murderer Paulsen and Ice Bell Angie, joined Labyrinth City Pelneet’s 【Remains of the Moon】. Moreover, the strongest power in Labyrinth City Pelneet and Demonic Steel City Holkerbaum, 【Owl’s Fangs】 was completely annihilated. In Pelneet it had developed into a dispute between a big number of dark guilds. The one coming out victorious was 【Remains of the Moon】. They are currently the strongest power in Pelneet.” Clydossus expanded on her report.
In response the female guild master turned her eyes to the elven man listening next to her.
“Sergeant, is that report correct?” She inquired.
“No. If I were to add one more thing, it would be about the name of the person who hasn’t been brought up yet, the rumored 【Spearmaster and Black Cat】, 【Demon of the Magic Spear】, 【Violet Death God】, and 【The lancer who walks through a festival of blood】.” The elven man supplemented.
Clydossus turned a cold look at the elven man referred to as sergeant, and said, “――Melichek, you’re sure up to date.”
“Clydossus, Oseberia’s dog, who’s close to you, has connection with others as well.” The guild master replied.
“Fran, eh? Nothing less of you, guild master. It’s not bloody long ears, but sharp ears.” While spitting out sarcastic words, Clydossus returned her eyes from Melichek to her guild master.
“Don’t be so pretentious, Clydossus. Insurance is something needed anywhere.” The guild master rebuked Clydossus.
“If you already know, why have you called me then?” Clydossus bit back.
“It’s because you had contact with the lancer. I wanted to hear about him from you directly.” The guild master moved one of her blue eyes, staring unsightly at Clydossus, and smiled.
Due to that expression which made one feel dread, Clydossus showed a frightened expression for an instant.
“I-Is that so? When I got in contact with him at first, he didn’t show any hostility. He boasted, “If 【Thorny Tail】 meddles with me, I will crush them.” And then he really crushed 【Thorny Tail】…officially they were crushed by the members of 【Shadow Wings Brigade】, but I think that he might be the one behind it. By the way, I invited him to our guild, but since he refused, it seemed as if he didn’t want to get involved with dark guilds.” Clydossus said.
“…And now he’s the top of 【Remains of the Moon】, huh?” The guild master muttered alongside a dry laughter while lifting the corners of her mouth.
“Yes, indeed.” Clydossus looked as if she had swallowed a bitter pill. It’s because her guild master already knew everything she mentioned.
“…【Thorny Tail】, the participation in the Evil Dragon King subjugation, and 【Owl’s Fangs】; wherever the lancer goes…it turns into a festival of blood,” added Melichek to his guild master’s words.
“Interesting. He’s someone I’d like to try to take on personally to gauge his ability.” The guild master spilled with a ferocious look.
“Guild master, there’s still the matter with the reviving dwarf. You’re taking the joke too far.” Melichek retorted.
“Humph, sergeant…it’s a festival of blood. Doesn’t that remind you of the past?” The guild master turned her eyes towards the sky visible on the other side of the window while recalling the past.
Approximately one thousand years ago disputes broke out in various places because of the revolt of ethnic groups in the Great Empire Befaritz. It developed into a civil war that didn’t range only between the elves on the one side, and the humans and dwarves on the other, but even escalated into military factions of fellow elven clans fighting against each other, following a path of intensification.
Furthermore, it was approximately eight hundred years ago that the imperial capital Kishiria had been completely destroyed by forbidden magic. I was born under the eyes of the members of 【White Whale】, the special forces of Great Empire Befaritz, the country headed towards its downfall due to the civil war.
The name of the commander of 【White Whale】 was Galfa Phol Losstein. My father.
Right now he has retired himself a bit from that line of work, and is the manager of Hotel Kishiria, located in the lower city of 【Neutral Violent Tower City Senapua】.
But back then the special forces 【White Whale】 led by father was a veteran unit that had taken part in many battles at various places. It was a famous story that any battlefield with 【White Whale】 being present would always lead to victory. I was raised on such battlefields with father and all the others. I repeatedly fought desperate battles on my father’s side.
One day I received an order from my father’s commanding officer in a certain area.
“Captain Lezalaysa, personally command the first and second squad leader, and disturb as well as crush a transport company organized by enemy dwarves and humans.”
“Affirmative. ――Melichek, Clydossus, assemble the soldiers. We will amass the troops in the forest along the Gluma highway located at the front line in five minutes.” I ordered.
Leading a detached force of fifty soldiers, we hid ourselves inside the forest on both sides of the highway. A transport corps that pulled wagons while led by dwarves wearing golden helmets took that highway.
I lifted my demonic sword Luginunf.
“We have the locational advantage! Annihilate them in one go! Steal the goods! 【White Whale】, sortie!” I ordered loudly to encourage my soldiers.
I released silver mana from my whole body, and sprinted towards the human-dwarf-transport corps.
“――Follow the captain!”
“――Captain! You’re fast!”
I cut through the vanguard myself, and slew several dwarves with a diagonal slash of Luginunf. Then I confronted a dwarf captain. An opponent holding a two-handed spear.
Without creating any distance, I powerfully kicked the ground with <Silver Kick> ― charging at him. Because of my silver-mana-boosted physical ability, which you could call a type of Magic Combat Style, the combat distance to the dwarf became zero in an instant. I charged Luginunf with silver mana while swinging it sideways.
At the same time I invoked <Quick Sword – Devouring Blade> ― a devouring blade monster appeared from Luginunf’s broad blade with a wet sound. It opened its mouth to the limit like a ferocious shark, and devoured half of the dwarf in golden armor. The monster contracted itself while settling down inside the demonic sword.
――The devouring blade monster was Demonic Sword Luginunf. A mythical beast-like sword composed of nothing but unknown fangs.
I raised that blood-smeared sword into the air.
“――I have taken the head of the commander!” My announcement about having killed the commanding dwarf reverberated across the small battlefield.
The remaining dwarven and human soldiers, who had continued to resist, surrendered at once.
“Captain’s speed exceeds even that of Clydossus.”
“…I don’t want to admit defeat.” Clydossus replied.
Such small-scaled guerrilla battles continued for a while. No matter where we went, we encountered harsh combat, but…we always snatched victory while surviving.
However, no matter how strong the soldiers might be, without a country to go back to, it becoming easy to die was a simple fact… Gradually my fellow countrymen lost their lives on the battlefields.
Under the leadership of my father, the commandant of 【White Whale】, we repeatedly fought many battles at various places for close to three hundred years.
While it was somehow indistinguishable from disgrace, we were able to live through harsh, escape battles, despite paying dearly for it. And before I became aware of it…we were called 【Bloody Long Ears】, because our long ears were always red with blood once we returned from the battlefield.
Our current name, 【Bloody Long Ears of the White Whale】, adopted this as well.
Moreover, the name of the leader changed from commandant to guild master, reaching the point of it being referred to as leader.
In the present time I have inherited the seat of guild master and 【Bloody Long Ears of the White Whale】 from my father. My name is Lezalaysa Phol Losstein. The one supporting me the most is my vice guild master, the sergeant. He’s an elven man exceeding an age of thousand years. His name is Melichek. He’s a master swordsman with the nickname Swordmaster of Avidya.1 He survived the battlefields while leading the first squad under my father, Galfa.
However, with the passage of time, many different human countries competed against each other, and once we plunged into an era of wars, even more of our comrades died. Following father’s policy, we cherished the old members and didn’t add overly many leader candidates, causing the number of 【White Whale】 members to steadily decrease.
At some point we arrived at 【Neutral Violent Tower City Senapua】, which is enclosed through a delta with a relatively stable situation.
While succeeding my father’s teachings, I built our new base here. We freely used the tactic of colluding with the powerful human families on the surface, and supporting wars from behind the scenes. Once we devoted ourselves to the underground business, we expanded as a dark guild, steadily widening our influence.
We are elves who had been in wars for many years. Every single one of our private soldiers excels in military arts such as swordsmanship, archery, and spearmanship. All of them possess first-class skills.
I had the company and platoon commanders hold onto old, valuable magic tools for exchanging signals, which we had been using as Befaritz’s special forces, allowing us to keep in touch over long distances. The method of switching to swift, tactical mobilization hasn’t changed from the past. Though it was regretful that the magic tools can only be used within a set range.
Normally it wouldn’t lead to battle unless I personally order it. However, if our comrades were killed…we would persistently chase the ones who killed them, and kill all those concerned, including their families. That was our job as 【Bloody Long Ears of the White Whale】.
Even nowadays we survived the underworld of 【Neutral Violent Tower City Senapua】 with the same, old method.
We are a dark guild with connections to influential councilors, major merchants, demons, adventurers, and traders. In addition we are a hotpot of darkness, repeatedly playing out a drama of love and hate tainted by countless desires.
Therefore, even if we leave that rotten, reviving dwarf, who killed our comrades of White Whale, alone, he would get caught in our net sooner or later…but, it was different with Beheading Murderer Paulsen and Ice Bell Angie, now that they entered 【Remains of the Moon】.
Starting a total war against them would be fine, but…as the place is what it is…well, it’s still possible to consider a war even if it’s in a different city.
It’s a city with an auction, and also one where our hands don’t reach. And, now that a powerful lancer has become the top, according to what I’ve heard, it might not be that straightforward to deal with them.
“Guild master…I’m sorry to interrupt you while you’re thinking, but have you signed the letter of recommendation from Adolianne?” Melichek interrupted my thoughts.
She’s the leader of 【Assembly of Stars】, a dark guild haunting the empire. She looks like a human, but she’s already living for several hundred years. That means she’s either an elf like me, used plenty of rejuvenation medicine, or…an evil spirit, huh?
“…Yeah, I already did. It’s here. Take it.” I turned my eyes towards a parchment on the table.
It contained the recommendation for Shuuya Kagari, the leader of 【Remains of the Moon】, as a member of Eight Lights.
“Yes, please excuse me then.” Melichek grabbed the document, checked it and then left the room.
“Guild master, 【Owl’s Fangs】, which was deeply connected with the kingdom’s nobles, has disappeared. Are we possibly going to intrude the labyrinth city as well?” Clydossus asked.
Clydossus desires war, huh?
“…Thoroughly cornering the foes of our comrades is the raison d’etre of 【Bloody Long Ears of the White Whale】. But, the opponent is that lancer. Besides, if that underground auction isn’t held, it will be troublesome for us as well.” I answered.
“Ah, did you obtain the exhibition items from the Azel boundary?” Clydossus inquired.
As you say. The expedition with father and our elites can serve as a good waste of time. After all there are many unknown things in the Azel boundary, the dimensional boundary connected to this city. If we don’t pay attention to this side as well, we could die right away…
“…That’s right. It’s slightly big, but we obtained something that doesn’t exist in this world. It will likely go for a high price.” I explained.
“…As expected of you, guild master. You’re quick with your preparations. So, is the research about the space of the big door allowing travel to the Azel boundary making progress?” Clydossus asked while laughing.
“We’re paying a large amount of money to the specialized researcher. The decryption of the characters is proceeding well. However, since he’s not strong, he can’t personally take many with him, I guess? Though, even he himself felt very disappointed about that…” I said.
“I see. I’d like to also be taken along into the Azel boundary again.” Clydossus requested.
Hmm, taking her along is fine, but…most recently I haven’t heard anything about the guys who have been showing up in our turf.
“…Taking you along is okay, but what are you going to do about 【Shadow Wings Brigade】 which started to make clear moves in Hekatrail which I entrusted to you?”
“Right now they are obedient. They are rampaging in 【Mine City Tandarl】, though. They killed the Shadow of Guygal, and are in the middle of a war against 【Nose of the Large Bird】 and 【Devil’s Fist】.” Clydossus explained.
Did they wash their hands clean of us since the matter from the other day?
“…No movements from the branch of 【Shadow Wings Brigade】 in Senapua since the incident a few days back, huh?” I inquired.
“Yes, indeed. The ones who were in this city had been dealt with by you, right?” Clydossus checked back.
“Yeah. The information from 【Commandments of Rozen】 and the female fox of Oseberia was helpful as well. The one who actually fought them was me, though.” I replied.
A cat beastwoman possessing a magic sword and a Special Demonic Steel User.
“Of the two that wounded me, the Demonic Steel User was called Paluda. She was a formidable enemy who coped with my quick sword with a brazen attitude, wearing a unique black armor on her whole body.” I recounted.
“…Wounded guild master, huh…? She’s a strong person, but it can’t be forgiven! I will spank her!” Clydossus yelled.
Certainly, if it’s Clydossus…
However, her being able to definitely win is based on it being a one-on-one. The swordswoman and the Demonic Steel User possessed unique skills and cleverly used their offensive and defensive powers. I could disturb their balance with <Quick Sword – Devouring Blade>, though.
Different from Clydossus, I can expect sergeant to be capable of dealing with a two vs. one in the same way as me.
“…Humph, don’t make me laugh. I think you can win as long as it’s one of them as an opponent, but it’s possible that you will lose or draw a tie if it’s both at once….” I rebuked Clydossus.
“Even I have grown, hence I can’t tell unless I fight against them.” Clydossus smiled daringly at me.
Well, she’s the woman who was the second squad leader of 【White Whale】.
Although she might be just saying that she has grown, too.
“…I see. Then I’m looking forward to your achievements if it develops into a battle against 【Shadow Wings Brigade】.” I said.
“And, I have decided to still wait and see in regards to Pelneet’s 【Remains of the Moon】. At least until before the underground auction is held, we will have the lancer do his best as Eight Lights…” Once I smiled, Clydossus had cold sweat running down her cheeks.
…What a rude girl.
“…Guild master, I heard while coming here, but a former female leader of 【Owl’s Fangs】 is still alive. I was informed that she returned to this city…,” said Clydossus.
“Yeah, the archer assassin, right…?” I confirmed.
My scar throbs.
“I heard about it, but we’re busy with our own matters, okay? After all gossip about the battle involving a councillor and 【Shadow Wings Brigade】 we had just talked about, the war of Oseberia, the overnight disappearance of that able and sharp marquis in Zamalia, and the annihilation of his organization have been coming and going…thanks to that, we managed to succeed in the uncovering and erasure of a Zamalia spy…” I explained.
“I heard that Zamalia was the deed of a huge dragon?” Clydossus placed a finger on her chin, and threw that question at me while tilting her head diagonally to the side.
“I wonder. I heard that the ancient dragon, who lived in the Baldok Mountain, had been subjugated, but…you think a huge dragon would precisely target a marquis and kill him?” I asked back.
“Oseberia’s Great Knights, or, the crown prince manipulating an ancient dragon by himself…probably not.” In the middle of talking while laughing, she felt my sharp look, making her stop the joke in the middle.
“There’s no way…moreover, they are in the middle of a war.”
“Yes, I know that…bah, please don’t look at me so angrily each and every single time.” Clydossus complained.
“I have been born with this face…”
This woman…she’s an old acquaintance, but her nasty character hasn’t changed at all.
“Sorry, I said it with ill will. Tehe. Guild master, about that war, most recently Oseberia seems to be losing in the battles because of the western regions. Are you going to deal with it before Pelneet, where the auction is held, turns into a battlefield?” Clydossus inquired.
Even if Oseberia, with whom we formed an alliance, were to be crushed, I don’t give a damn, but things are different if it comes to Pelneet. It has been the venue of the underground auction for a long time, and it’s also a temporary neutral place for us dark guilds.
“…For the time being we will move in accordance to our alliance. One squad led by Curél the Rebellious Sword, Back Nails Belly, and Iraboe of the Magic Flute should have severed the supply line of the slow front. About this time the empire should be in confusion. After all, Oseberia decided to send reinforcements led by the Great Knights as well. They will likely be able to hold the area around Deep Lake City Lulusack.”
“Indeed! Even three of our commanding officers…then it should be a breeze. But, as it’s just a diversion, were three of them necessary?” Clydossus probed.
“Yeah, I heard worrying information from Adolianne.” I answered.
“What kind of?” Clydossus seemed to be interested.
“That not only the Special Land War Brigade, but also an exceedingly excellent group with very few members exists. Hence, it’s just for caution’s sake.” I replied.
Originally Curél alone would have been enough to bring it to a close…
It’s certain that there’s some kind of ulterior reason why Oseberia keeps losing the battles like this.
“If there are such fellows on the empire’s side, how about getting in contact with that aforementioned lancer in advance, albeit it’s before that auction, induce him to seize a part of the war, and tempt him into fighting that excellent group?”
“…It’s not like that lancer has formed a special pact with Oseberia. He might be someone believing it to be inconsequential to him even if there’s a war. Besides, there are some who killed our comrades working for him, you know?”
“Isn’t it fine to assassinate those who killed our comrades after the auction as time permits? Ah, but that will anger the lancer. Honestly, I haven’t seen his way of fighting, but I feel there’s no doubt that he at least has ability comparable to the upper ranks of the Eight Divine Spear Kings ranking, and a dynamism and ability that allowed him to annihilate 【Owl’s Fangs】. And, it’s doubtless that he easily climbed to being the leader of 【Remains of the Moon】…moreover, if he’s a monster at a higher class than you, guild master, it might be better to let sleeping dogs lie.” Just as Clydossus switched from making a meaningful expression to an expression as if unconcerned, she changed her opinion frequently as well.
In fact she’s an aloof, odious woman, but her face is first-class. The monster class lancer is a “man” as well.
“…You are acquainted with the lancer, aren’t you? You look like a nice woman as long as you don’t open your mouth. Do you have the confidence to make him fall for you?” I asked.
“No.” Clydossus answered.
An immediate refusal with a face smiling pleasantly all over, huh?
“…Then this topic is over with.”
“Guild master, you’re saying that, but you look like you’re expecting something, you know?”
Humph, that damn Clydossus…what a nice smile. Her reading my thoughts from my face was as skilled and fast as usual. Even on the battlefield it was always the same. However, for me to reveal my plans to her is still a good way ahead. I will talk about them depending on the war’s progress…
Battle is a matter of chance. It won’t be too late even after listening to Curél’s report.
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