Chapter 3 – Part 3
After they had walked for a while, a familiar sight appeared in front of Shin and Schnee. Needless to say, it was Tsuki no Hokora.
Because the wooden sign at the door said 『The storekeeper has left home』, it seemed like the store was already closed. Naturally it was locked, but Shin was the owner, and Schnee was registered as an employee. So the lock automatically opened when Shin put his hand on the door, and the door swung open.
The store hadn’t changed much from the last time that Shin visited, and there was a faint scent of dinner in the air.
“It can’t be helped, my stomach is grumbling.”
Shin held his belly, and Yuzuha, who had been silent for a long time, also raised its voice. Whether it could read the mood or not, it appeared to be bored because it had hardly barked while they had traveled with Wilhelm and Rashia. Now it was being carried by Shin.
“It’s just the right time, let’s have dinner first.”
They both nodded at Schnee’s proposal as she canceled her disguise, and then the sound of a person running loudly, probably from the main room to the counter’s interior, was heard.
It was Tiera, who was tending the store. She had probably heard the sound of the bell chime when they entered the store.
She appeared to be out of breath while holding a kitchen knife. She might have been in the middle of cooking as not even a little sense of danger came from her.
“Calm down. You are too flustered.”
“S-Sorry. But, as I wrote in the message card, a person came and told me he was master’s acquaintance, and then he left some amazing things behind!!”
Though the person in question was right in front of her, it seemed like she hadn’t noticed yet, probably because of her panicked state.
“Is this person the one?”
“AHH! T-That’s certainly right, but…Eh? Why are Shin and master together?”
Tiera became aware of Shin’s existence only after Schnee stepped sideways. But now the question of why the two people were together came out from her mouth.
It was because Tiera thought that her master should still be in the Wraith Plains and had no clue as to why the two of them were together. Aside from Schnee, Shin should still be in the plains when one thought about it with this world’s common sense.
“Just some various things have happened. Can we have dinner before we move on to the detailed story?”
“Because we had a bit of a complicated situation yesterday, it might take a long time to explain.”
Sigh “I understand…then Shin too, is gonna eat with us?”
Tiera, who didn’t know the circumstances, responded to Shin who talked like it was only natural.
“Of course he will.”
“Eh? Of course…what?”
“…Come to think of it, no one has told you yet, right Tiera? This person here is the ‘Manager’ of Tsuki no Hokora, Shin.”
Schnee smoothly dropped a bomb there.
“The man..a..ger?…Ah, the manager…THE MANAGEERRR!?”
It took a while for the word, “manager” to register in Tiera’s brain.
Tiera’s reaction when she finally understood what Schnee meant was as followed; she opened her eyes wide, her mouth formed an ‘O’ shape, and she almost dropped the kitchen knife she was holding. She was indeed easy to read.
“Isn’t she is a bit too surprised?”
“Because the common knowledge among the general public is that you don’t exist anymore, it’s no wonder that she is so surprised.”
“Who wouldn’t be surprised!? The manager, the… legendary manager!?”
“Eh? What? Am I known as the legendary manager?”
“That’s not it!! I mean a High Human!!”
“But, didn’t I tell you that when we first met?”
“Normally no one would believe it…”
The scene of Tiera losing her composure alone was amusing, but Shin was beginning to think that this might be the normal response. Like Tiera said, normally if someone said “I am High Human” or something like that, no one would take them seriously. But the best witness, Schnee Raizar, was here. Because she wouldn’t mistake the person she had actually served, it could be said that her testimony about Shin being the real deal, a High Human, was the definite proof. In the meantime, Tiera’s face turned pale.
“I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t realize you were the manager!!”
She was completely transformed from the shock. Tiera bowed vigorously.
This time, it was Shin’s turn to be surprised.
What was she thinking of, because Yuzuha put its paw on the lowered head of Tiera, and Shin also stopped her immediately.
(This is…that, huh? That feeling when the other party casually speaks to their superior. Even though I experienced that shock, I still got flustered.)
The partner with whom Shin got along with, at his old part-time job, was in fact the shop manager, so he could understand a bit of Tiera’s feelings. Though it wasn’t a straight comparison, the partner who unbeknownst talked overly familiarly with their superior, often fretted and felt embarrassed when they found out.
Seeing Tiera in a flustered state made Shin unconsciously feel some pity.
“Don’t worry about it. I understand your feelings.”
“Eh? Oh, yes.”
While nodding, he put his hand on Tiera’s shoulder.
Of course, Tiera didn’t know that Shin’s thoughts expressed understanding, and his action caused her to become even more confused.
“No, really, don’t mind it. It’s weird and embarrassing for me too, if you obey respectfully at this point.”
“R-Really? You won’t say something like, ‘Get out of here’?”
“I won’t say it!?”
What kind of unreasonable action was this!? He wanted to retort.
After that, they talked for a little while, and it concluded in the same manner as before. Aside from Shin being Schnee’s master, because there was more trouble when Yuzuha was introduced and could talk, Tiera had a similar reaction as before, so the rest of the story was omitted.
“Then, shall we eat?”
After a short period of discussion, all three people and one animal sat down together at the dining table. Needless to say, they had taken a bath prior to eating because they were covered with dirt.
They appeared to be in unity as they clapped their hands while saying “itadakimasu”. Elves didn’t seem to have such a custom, but because Schnee did it, Tiera too, did the same.
And Schnee was certainly imitating Shin.
“But, as expected from Schnee. All of them look delicious.”
It was only natural that Shin praised her. The dishes that were arranged on the table were something that was not very often seen, even by Shin.
Even if the pinnacle of chefs, Cook, was in Rokuten, they didn’t eat homemade dishes every day. Moreover, the skill level Ⅹ of ultra high-class cooking was not meant to be eaten at every meal. It was sometimes made only by experimenting, and there was the possibility of serving a terrible failure of a dish, too.
However, the dishes in front of Shin were not that inferior when compared to Cook’s high class dishes. As she compensated her skill with special flavors that were from this world, the dishes rivaled the best menus in a row.
In front of that type of meal, that even the royal family might not be able to eat, it was no wonder that the sounds of gulping in his throat resounded.
“Kuu~ A feast, a feast!”
“I have never seen Master cooking like this until now…Master is serious.”
“Of course I am.”
Yuzuha, who saw the dishes lined up, was also in high spirits.
Tiera, who lived together with her for a long time, was also astonished at Schnee’s enthusiastic attitude.
“When it comes to a great dish like this, it’s worthwhile to supply the ingredients.”
“Hey, though I heard a little, just what on earth did you supply? There is a weird aura coming out of the dish.”
When Tiera said that an aura came from the dish, Shin stiffened. Yuzuha tilted its head.
Even though nothing was displayed in Shin’s eyes, he recalled the ingredients which he handed to Schnee. And it was not strange that Tiera, an elf, said that the dishes radiated an aura.
“Th-That right. The main meats are Thermal Leo, Orc King, and parts of Elmora. The vegetables are Blood Radish, Karma Onion, and Baocha Potato or something like that. The fruits are the Topaz Pear and Fruit of Idea. The others are somewhat proper. I guess you used the ingredients you had stocked up after that?”
“Indeed. I have used a few high-class ingredients because today is special. Though I didn’t have enough time to do anything special.”
Schnee’s words seemed like she was indirectly saying “I’m not serious yet”.
And speaking of Tiera, who just heard the name of the ingredients.
“W.. WH.. WHAT’S THAT!? Almost all of the ingredients are extremely hard to obtain!! I’ve never even heard of some of them before until now. Moreover, when you say Fruit of Idea, it’s the fruit of dreams that only bears fruit once every 100 years. Though I was told that the real deal didn’t even exist anywhere…”
She was at her wit’s end after hearing the names of the ingredients which left Shin’s mouth.
Thermal Leo and Orc King, were both acknowledged as monsters of calamity. As soon as they were discovered, there was such a degree of danger, that the guild conveyed an urgent summons for all of the adventurers. Even though Tiera hadn’t heard of the name Elmora, because it was treated on the same rank as the previous 2, she could imagine that it might be a similar one.
Blood Radish was a vegetable similar to a half monster that grew by sucking out demon essence from the air, and Baocha Potato was a tuber vegetable that exploded from a certain amount of pressure, just like a landmine.
As for the Topaz Pear, its surface glistened like a jewel, and about the Fruit of Ideas, there was no need to say anymore.
Once they were put together, one did not expect them to be used for cooking.
“Hey, Schnee. What aura does Tiera refer to?”
“It’s similar to the remains of the life force and magic power from the ingredients. Because we elves and pixies have senses unlike other races, such things can be perceived. It can be sensed more easily from a strong monster or a rare plant and so on.”
“Is that so?”
Since elves and pixies were originally a race that had a high sensitivity, he was able to understand what she said.
“Tiera too, calm down. Let’s eat soon or the special dishes will get cold.”
“That’s right. Then, let’s eat at once.”
Shin agreed as he nodded.
After clapping their hands for prayer, Shin took the knife and fork.
Soup, potato salad, hamburger, and his favorite rice and bread were lined up on the table. For the celebrated occasion Schnee’s treasured drink, 『Moonlight Sake』, was poured into their glasses.
If one looked only at the menu, excluding the drink, they were similar to dishes served in a family restaurant. But he could recognize the skill of the cook directly due to it being a dish he was used to eating.
The meat juices that overflowed when he cut into it with the knife and the aroma of the sauce that was singed on the iron plate caused him to salivate before he even tasted it.
As he put it into his mouth, the meat juices overflowed even more as he chewed, and combined with the texture of the tender meat, only the single word ‘delicious’ could come out.
Then his mouth was filled with white rice, and there was no need to say anymore.
The corner of his mouth raised as he started grinning. A smile escaped him.
When one ate a really delicious dish, that person couldn’t help but smile.
When he tilted his glass, the rich scent and deep flavor of the 『Moonlight Sake』 increased his appetite even more.
Shin and Tiera silently savored the food. As for Yuzuha, the word ‘undivided attention’ was embodied in its whole body.
While observing two people and one animal smiling, Schnee ate the meal fully at ease.
“Ha!! I unintentionally ate in silence!?”
Shin was stunned while sitting in front of his empty plate.
“Can I have another serving?”
Such interactions between Tiera and Yuzuha were repeated several times. As if she foresaw that, Schnee prepared it without missing a beat.
Even if the pace slowed down in the middle, they became a happy circle sitting together while listening to how Schnee and the others had spent their time until now.
“――Even so, those guys live quite freely.”
Those words leaked from Shin’s mouth as he heard about the other support characters. There was a fellow who became a King, one who wandered from place to place, and one who was missing in action. They seemed to be stubbornly searching for a clue on Shin’s whereabouts. Though they might have stayed in this world, because they didn’t imitate him by wasting their lives for that reason, he felt a little relieved.
He understood once he thought about their personalities. Up till here, only the devoted Schnee was special.
“‘Shin is somewhere’ was the only wishful thought I had to the end. Everyone might understand that it was not good to needlessly worry.”
“That will save me trouble. I didn’t want to keep you all looking for an imaginary guy who does not even exist.”
“Even if one of us chooses to do so, it is our own choice. Shin doesn’t have to worry about it.”
“You are right.”
Wouldn’t worrying when a person has gone missing make us human? Thinking about such things would indeed be a useless action. Well, even if said ‘people’ didn’t worry, because Shin was the master, it was just idle thought and meaningless speculation.
“I’m okay, I’m okay.”
Shin returned a smile to Yuzuha who was looking at him with concern.
“Geezz~ Why ish Schhinn woarryingg soo muchhs~”
“…Hey, Tiera. I think you’re drunk.”
Her tone was slow and some enunciation didn’t come out well. Her remarkably white skin stood out, in stark contrast with her black hair, which was now dyed in a slightly pink color. It was considerably reddened when he thought about her original snow-white skin.
Thus, that reminded him of how many sake bottles had been emptied so far. He got carried away as he had also drank a large amount up til now.
“Hey Schnee. How many 『Moonlight Sake』 were emptied?”
“Approximately 5 of them.”
“Incidentally, what is the alcohol percentage?”
“It is around 35 percent.”
Because he thought it was just a type of wine from the taste and easiness of drinkability, the alcohol from this fantasy world’s common sense was more than expected.
“Tere arre twuoo Masterrs~”
“This is really dangerous. Is Tiera weak to alcohol?”
“She’s never got drunk like this when she drank before, but quantity is quantity.”
“But I don’t feel very drunk.”
Whether it was about alcohol tolerance or not, Shin felt a little tipsy, but not more than a certain degree of loss of awareness. He wasn’t slurring and didn’t stagger around either. When he thought about the alcohol percentage, he himself would certainly be down for the night if this was in the real world, and it was a good thing that it became difficult to expose shameful behavior with alcohol. There was no need to be troubled by some strong alcohol, even though he normally should be.
“Though I’ve had this body for one year, what’s happened to my real body… Well, now might not be the time to think about it.”
While Schnee took Tiera to her room, Shin tidied up the tableware. Shin suddenly thought of these kind of things while wiping the table. He didn’t know whether it was possible to return either, so it was no use even if he thought about it.
After the tidying-up was finished, Schnee returned.
“That was quick.”
“Because I’m used to doing this.”
Since he lived alone in the real world, he had to do the dishes on his own. Certainly he didn’t do it during the game, but he remembered how to unexpectedly.
“Yuzuha is sleepy…”
Yuzuha was falling into a doze on top of the desk.
“That’s right. We too, should go to sleep soon.”
“Let’s do so. Since Shin’s room was left as it is, it can be used immediately.”
“I appreciate it.”
After leaving the living room, Shin headed toward his own room while carrying Yuzuha. It was the room for Shin and the other support characters in Tsuki no Hokora, though there was also an extra room for more guests and customers to use. Even though a guest or customer room and the like was not needed, it was the result of the obsession from Cain and Shin; which could be said to have made useless additions in that construct, the Tsuki no Hokora. The place was thoroughly discussed about and they fussed over such pointless things; as it was the expected outcome when Japanese people get excited.
“It really hasn’t changed.”
He entered his own room and looked around inside. The inside area of the room was approximately 16 tatami mats big, with a bed and a desk. There were multiple shelves where trophies and items obtained from various events were displayed. Not many things were there. It was a plain room. The room might have been cleaned regularly, as dust hadn’t accumulated.
Moonlight entered naturally from the window, but the light that night was terribly weak. He proceed to change his clothes without turning on the light, because he had the skill 【Night Vision】. Because there were no such things like pajamas in this world, he chose equipment with a jersey-like material.
Yuzuha had jumped onto the bed the moment they entered the room and it was already curled up next to the pillows.
“Somehow here is the best place to let myself relax.”
Was it because he had lived here since the game time? He could relax his mind and didn’t have to set up barriers because it was already fully equipped with a very powerful security system. He didn’t have to consider the possibility of a guy attacking him while he was sleeping, quite unlike the time during the death game; so he was able to genuinely relax for the first time since he came into this world again.
Of course, when there was an assailant, he would deal a serious blow, for it was deserved.
“Yuzuha…did you fall asleep? That won’t do, I should sleep too.”
As the alcohol set in, he lay down on the bed with a good feeling enveloping him.
When he closed his eyes and gradually felt his consciousness getting blurry, something soft suddenly clung around his right arm. Normally, he would jump up to his feet and shake it off in that situation. However, Shin’s body’s awareness told him that he didn’t feel any danger at all.
Was it embracing him rather than twining around? There were only two people in the Tsuki no Hokora who could do such a thing, and one person was already down for the count.
There was no reaction from the continuous activated skill for an anti surprise attack. Shin’s own intuition didn’t signal it as an enemy either.
Because it somehow had no particular movement, he turned his neck and looked at his right arm.
Beside him lay the figure of Schnee, who was already asleep, clinging to Shin’s arm. His right arm was wedged in between Schnee’s breasts. The identity of the softness he first felt was this.
(Seriously…is such a development even possible?)
With a different meaning from the time in front of the dishes, a gulping sound resounded in the room.
Even Shin was a man. He didn’t know about NPCs, but the Schnee in this world was undoubtedly the real deal. As a matter of course, there was no way he didn’t feel anything.
And frankly speaking, Schnee was created by combining Shin’s preferences. If he had picked her up, taken her into the room, and laid her on the bed, then he could lie down next to her with a gentleman’s behaviour. However, Schnee’s body-temperature was transmitted to his right arm, which was currently embraced closely, and the softness of her breasts put a hold on his reasoning power. His left hand stretched toward Schnee unconsciously, even though he was aware of it.
He didn’t mean to do it, but due to the influence of the alcohol, by any means, he couldn’t take his eyes off of the defenseless sleeping face.
He understood it. Yes, he understood this was not good.
He desperately tried to cool down his head that was overheating, but his reasoning didn’t act like he expected.
He was entranced by her.
Her extremely defenseless face, innocent, and seemingly sad somewhere.
It was just by a little, but he wanted to leave his arm there a bit longer before excusing himself from Schnee.
It was at that moment. When the moon that was obscured by the clouds finally appeared.
The moonlight that was obstructed until now shone inside the room gracefully. It reached the edge of the bed, the place where Schnee just lay down.
When illuminated by the moonlight, Schnee’s body faintly shone. The silvery hair, which was spread on top of the bed, reflected the moonlight and emitted a mysterious shine. And then, a stream of bright sparkles from her closed eyes slammed into Shin’s eyes.
The flowing sparkles were tears that she shed.
It was flowing from the closed eyes in a straight line and dampened Shin’s clothes.
The moment he saw it, the haze that enveloped Shin’s consciousness cleared up.
The excited heat of desperation was cooled and disappeared instantly.
It was because he had seen a sad sleeping face.
What did she think about that made her cry? Shin had no idea.
Were they happy tears caused by their reunion? Were they tears for the upcoming parting?
He wiped her tears, and gently patted her head.
“Ah…u…i…” (T/N: She probably says “Aruji”, which means ‘master’.)
Even though he wasn’t able to understand it, was it “Master” the word that leaked faintly from her mouth? Moreover, she might not have gotten used to calling him “Shin” yet.
Looking up at the night sky, while aware of Schnee who was sleeping on his right arm, Shin thought of the question.
Until his consciousness sank into the darkness, no answer emerged.
(Extra content from LN; Warning: might or might not contain a spoiler, read at your own risk.)
Let’s rewind time to go back to just over half a day into the past.
It was around the time when Shin and Schnee were dashing at near full speed for the sake of meeting up with Wilhelm and Rashia.
Right now, the Wraith Plains have become an ordinary large plain. Every one of the knights and adventurers that had gathered to investigate realized that the battle had ended. The light from the magic power that had spread through the sky had already faded away, so the mages were illuminating the place. Even though they had the choice of waiting until dawn before starting their duty, it was decided that an urgent investigation was necessary for the current situation.
From the fact that Schnee Raizar, who should have participated in the battle, had left, it was thought that at least there was no danger left.
“What the heck is that?”
While the knights and adventurers were busy moving around, one woman muttered as she looked at the deep crater newly created in the plains. The name of the woman with hair like golden threads swaying in the wind was Rionne Strail Bayreuth. She was the second princess of Bayreuth Kingdom.
Several hours before that, there was an incident in the forest when the knights were fighting the Skull Faces. Suddenly a wailing like voice, like a shriek, was heard reverberating from far away in the night sky.
Simultaneously, a group of Skull Faces with strength that never seen before appeared. A fresh enemy sprang up from the ground, in front of Rionne’s eyes, an enemy whose strength could not be compared to that of the Skull Faces she had fought until then.
At first, she felt fear. It was not a fear of being killed. She understood the opponent’s strength, so instead she felt a strong fear as she could imagine the tragedy it could cause. ‘I must not let that get away from the plains’, was the only thought she had in her head.
After her subordinate released her restraint, she faced off against the Skull Face with her sword. From the weight of a single blow that transmitted through her hands, its agility could be mistaken for an advanced level knight. She herself was said to be superior even among other chosen ones, and it was abnormal to exchange blows with her on equal terms.
Still, because the Skull Face’s equipment was the same as an ordinary Skull Faces’, she was able to win due to the difference in their equipment. A few days ago, all of a sudden, a white greatsword pierced on her room’s wall. The greatsword was bestowed with a light attribute, the weak point of all undeads, and it caused the Skull Faces to be weakened steadily. But unfortunately, they were too many in numbers. It couldn’t be helped since the other knights had to fight on their own.
Thereupon, Rionne, while at the same time letting the messenger return to their country, launched herself at the Skull Faces. Even if it only attracted a small amount of the attention of the enemy, she could gain more time. It was for the sake of stopping the crowd of monsters from leaving this place. With only one subordinate accompanying her, she charged into the middle of the battlefield.
Then, a Skull Face ranked higher than before appeared in front of her. Possibly, it was a Queen or King class in front of her; as the one earlier was a Jack class Skull Face. It was supposed to be impossible to defeat, as encountering one would be hopeless. The calamity caused by a single King class that appeared once still remained strongly in people’s memory. As such multiple enemies appeared and filled up the plains. It might become an unprecedented disaster.
They actually felt death surrounding them, as they sensed the *Shinigami’s breath on their skin. (T/N: god of death) They reprimanded their bodies that trembled, and when they grasped their swords again, a red cannonball came flying from the sky. As the sphere hit the Skull Faces, it caused their whole bodies to be riddled with holes. No matter if it was the shield, sword, armor, arms, legs, or even their cores. Its appearance was similar to the flame system magic skill 【Fire Ball】. But 【Fire Ball】 had no such destructive power and homing nature like that flame ball in front of them. To begin with, a flame arts that didn’t explode was unusual and the light it emitted upon impact eliminated its target as if it scraped off only that part.
Even though they were wondering why it didn’t hit them, they understood that they were being protected. As they felt gratitude to whoever released the fireballs, they prepared their swords again to fight the Skull Faces that surrounded them.
This time, blue lightning passed through in front of them. This was the specialty of the person who helped out numerous countries, the lightning system magic skill. It was the skill that crossed the line from the art, as it had superior power and boasted of being the strongest skill ever.
The person they expected, appeared at the same time that the lighting had disappeared. With silver fluttering hair, it was the acting manager of Tsuki no Hokora, Schnee Raizar. Her appearance seemed unchanged since the last time Rionne had seen her, with her calm voice, Rionne felt death becoming distant. As if the Shinigami was blown away by the blue lightning.
“I will take over from here on out. Please escape through the forest.”
Her words were returned with unhesitating nods. The Skull Faces that were scattered like wood chips were visible to their eyes.
And then, as they defeated the Skull Faces that were found here and there in the forest, the surroundings suddenly became as bright as if it was daytime, and the Skull Faces became ashes instantly without them doing anything.
Thereafter, the Skull Faces they encountered had sluggish movements and were smashed into pieces by a single blow of their swords. Though the opponent was supposed to have equal skills to Rionne, they were weakened to the point that even the ordinary knights could defeat them. It seemed like it was caused by the light that shone onto the plains. A gentle and graceful light. It became clear that the damage they had received was recovering.
They couldn’t help but think: ‘If it’s Schnee-dono, such a thing is possible’. After a while, the wriggling Skull Faces dissolved and became demon essence all at once. From watching that, they could comprehend that the situation was resolved.
Now, Rionne was looking at the traces of the battle that might be left from Schnee. There were deep fissures remaining in the earth and he ground was ripped apart. Something that continued for hundreds of mels; there was even a place where the earth was totally molten.
At the location where they apparently clashed, there were bizarre traces of high voltage burns and deep slashing attacks. How much power was released when they clashed? They couldn’t even imagine anymore. The first princess, who was the elder sister, might be able to do something similar with magic, but it was impossible for her to do close combat if she plunged into a crowd of Skull Faces.
“This… is this the power of a person who was recognized by the High Humans?”
Once again, that power was recognized. Even though Rionne’s battle capability alone was said to be equal to 100 people or more, she felt like a dull, ordinary knight when compared to Schnee.
“Although it’s still dusk, can you see here a little?”
The one who started talking was the subordinate that went to survey the surroundings. The man wore red armor that wrapped around his big body and his name was Gadras Jarre. He was the leader of the knights in Bayreuth Kingdom, and was the commander of the strongest knight squadron,【Red Wolf】, in the kingdom. The reason why he became a mere battle assistant and accompanied Rionne was to prevent her from going on a rampage, but he hardly ever accomplished his role, not even this time.
Gadras too, had to directly face against the Skull Faces. He was the only chosen one in the knights squadron who could handle a close range battle with Rionne, and although he usually had the role of a watchdog, this was the only time that he had to fight as hard as he could. There were numerous cuts on his armor as proof.
In Gadras’s hand, a katana was held. Its handle was worn-out and darkened, the blade was cracked, and its edge was chipped here and there, too.
“This thing was found above the hollowed out ground over there. Because it was stuck in the place where the fissures ended, I collected it.”
He also said that the katana that had been stuck there matched with the directional line of the hollowed out ground.
“Also, though it’s just a hunch, I think the hollowed out ground was caused by this katana. However, I don’t know what skill was used.”
“Hmm, is there a possibility of that?”
Was Schnee together with another person on the battlefield? Rionne thought if it was at least Schnee, the case might be possible.
“That katana here, what do you see?”
Gadras pointed at the katana.
“…Something like a bird?”
“Right, from the story of a well-informed guy I know, that bird is a falcon, like in the story.”
“Is there something wrong with that?”
“Not really, I just have an idea of the blacksmith who carved it into the katana. Of course, it’s only one of the possibilities, but…”
“You have an idea? It doesn’t mean that there is only one blacksmith who drew the falcon, don’t you agree? Why are you making such a fuss?”
Rionne looked puzzled at Gadras who abruptly said those words. He appeared to be strangely restless.
“You will understand if you look at this.”
Gadras spoke as he held the tattered hilt and raised the katana to an overhead position. Then he swung downward, straight to the ground.
“…I see, so that’s the reason, huh?”
Rionne’s expression showed understanding.
The ground that was in front of her was deeply gouged out. No matter how much Gadras was said to be a chosen one, he couldn’t unleash this degree of slashing attack with a katana that had a chipped blade. In other words, despite Gadras swinging the katana in question down with all of his might, the katana remained fractured as it was, but maintained its shape.
“If it was a normal katana it would have broken apart when I smashed it, but it didn’t have any effect, even when I used all of my power. It is obvious that no ordinary blacksmith forged this.”
“Certainly…if it was in a perfect state, how much power would be released?”
“Also, speaking of the blacksmith who would make such a katana carved with this crest, there is only one person, as far as I know.”
“Fumu, who is it?”
Rionne replied as calmly as possible. Furthermore, Gadras’s voice was filled with excitement.
“A High Human. It was said that the blacksmith, who had mastered all the smithing techniques, was called the 【Dark Blacksmith】.”
“That may be true. I could understand if a person who was well versed in smithing forged this katana, especially if it was a High Human. But, he should not be in this world anymore. If it’s Schnee-dono, who was under the direct control of a High Human, it is not strange that she possesses such a weapon. Moreover, if you saw the skill that was protecting us and that light from before, there is the possibility of the 【Crimson Alchemist】, too.”
Of course, the alchemist whom Rionne spoke of was both the mage and alchemist of Rokuten, Hecate. Because Rokuten’s production aspect was famous, they were often called by a name that was related to their job. The color that was attached before the job’s name was the color of the clothes that each of them liked to wear.
“Well, there is no conclusive evidence, but…anyway, that a High Human made weapon is lying around is amazing. Besides, I don’t think that the weapon of Schnee-dono’s master would be in a state like this. If that’s the case, I think there might be an astounding person who can use it and throw away this kind of weapon somewhere.”
“But this time, the scale is different from the battle so far. Do you understand the light that illuminated the night? If it was such an intense battle, even Schnee-dono might not think about wasting a weapon…Still, it is true that there was someone else here besides Schnee-dono. Who on earth is that person?”
“What could have caused Schnee-dono to be placed in such a predicament, it’s unimaginable.”
As she listened to Gadras’s words, Rionne thought about it. Truthfully, since she had seen Schnee’s figure easily kicking aside the Skull Faces, Rionne wasn’t convinced by her own words either. It was due to the magic skill user who took the trouble to protect them in the beginning. Judging from the power and scale, it was probably not a High Human, but for certain it was not in the class of a chosen one either. After they went into the forest, did Schnee Raizar join to fight with that person? If it is true that there was a powerful person at this place, then who was it?
“No way, really?”
Was there a High Human in that place?
The katana which Gadras held, it might even be a higher grade than the weapon Rionne had, if it was in a perfect state. For a being to be able to use and dispose of such a weapon, she couldn’t fathom they existed.
“No, it’s impossible.”
Rionne shook her head in denial. High Humans should have disappeared like many other people did after the Dusk of the Majesty. Since the unusual event that was said to still be a mystery, until now, no one had ever returned. However, maybe. Just maybe.
There was, as far as the legend goes, a story that it was High Humans that crushed the people who were called heroes and brave men altogether. If the High Human has returned, it would be not strange.
“…I better stop, I will never understand it even if I think about it.”
She didn’t know who was in that battlefield, but if that person was related to Schnee, then that person could not be a dangerous character. Even though it would be necessary to spare a number of men to monitor Tsuki no Hokora to some extent, Rionne thought it would not be a serious problem.
“As soon as the investigation is over, I will go back to our country. I would like to talk to Schnee-dono if possible, but…”
“It will be difficult, right?”
From Gadras’ words, Rionne nodded as she understood too. Once her request was finished, Schnee Raizar wouldn’t stay too long. This was because the invitations came from many places and had grown out of control, so it might be complicated this time.
“Gadras. If I’m not mistaken, Dark Blacksmith was the owner of the Tsuki no Hokora, right?”
“Yes, that should be right, though…?”
“Fumu, then try to visit Tsuki no Hokora right away when you return.”
“Though that is what I want to say, is it because you think that a High Human has really returned?”
“I am certain that there was at least one other person on that battlefield. Well, in fact, someone should be confirming it. If one really has returned, I certainly would like to have a match. I assume that he would be perfect as a marriage partner.”
“A-Again without warning, what are you talking about, huh?”
Gadras became flustered by Rionne who had suggested an unexpected thing. When he thought about it calmly, if the High Human was won over to their side by the dedication of Rionne alone, it would be good for the country. Even Gadras understood that much.
The problem with this princess, Rionne, was that it was said that a portion of her brain might be made up of muscles. Though it was not the truth, “If you want to be my husband, you have to show your own power and defeat me.” was considered to be what she said up until now. All of the vassals including Kings, if he thought about it, how many times did she reject them…if they were uninteresting.
The princess’ situation was understandable, and there was the feeling of having to think about the nation, as well. In the future, he understood that she expected for her marriage to not be forced, either.
This time too, even if it became a situation where the Skull Faces began to overflow from the Wraith Plains, there was no question about her actions either. The princess was outside of their territory, and in addition to that, showed up on the battlefield.
Rionne and Gadras were chosen ones, therefore it was not a big problem for them. They cooperate in moments of peril at the same time without sparing any effort in attitude, which was displayed even in a strange land.
Under the pretext of that power and her beautiful face which raised the knights morale, she had participated in this investigation and exterminatory battle. Although the latter role has been taken away by Schnee, she has accomplished her given role well.
One point. If the one point of an oddball character was nonexistent, she would be perfect. Though it was not the whole head, there was the reason she was said to have a part of her brain muscle.
“Just to be clear when I say a test of strength; what if it turns out to be an impostor who stabs at my back without warning? If not, the day when a High Human turns into an enemy, our country will disappear.”
“You have a point there.”
“Heh, I don’t want to hear that from you. Well though, I wonder if a High Human could become a really good partner.”
Even though he was supposed to be wise, for some reason, the slightly abrupt answer from Rionne caused Gadras to be weary. Consequently, the excitement from when he discovered the katana had also left him.
(T/N: The 2nd princess wasn’t supposed to appear in this volume of WN yet. This is one of the extra content from the LN, which I deemed is important to the storyline. On the side note: Pls buy the light novel to support the original author. And no, the light novel is not available in English, only in Japanese.)