TL: Hey guys, Reigokai here!
Just wanted to let you know that I have placed a widget at the side of the main page to let you guys know which story will be coming for the next scheduled chapters.
Since my updates are really whimsical, I thought this would be for the best.
Anyways, enjoy the chapters 😀
“Shii, shouldn’t you return? You are a bit–no, you are quite weird right now.” (Hokuto)
“…I feel kinda…spaced-out. My body is tingling, and I feel restless. But, it doesn’t feel bad. I don’t mind feeling like this forever.” (Shii)
“What’s with that sigh?” (Shii)
“I was wondering if that Ryoma infected you with something.” (Hokuto)
“Ryoma? Ah, one of the assassins that fluttered around like a butterfly, and danced like a honeybee.” (Shii)
“Yeah. Since the moment that person approached you, you have been acting weird.” (Hokuto)
“Hm~, I wonder. I only have memories of being pricked by something.” (Shii)
“Waka-sama is also in that state, so…well, let Shiki-sama or Tamaki-sama check it out. Understood?” (Hokuto)
Looks like Shii and Hokuto are conversing about something.
Ah…but it really feels disheartening.
I feel heavy.
“Now now, Waka. Whatever the case, the negotiation has been safely turned to our side.” (Tomoe)
“It is just as Tomoe-san said-desu wa, Waka-sama. Later, I would like to ask you for permission about something in regards to Rokuya and Aznoval… That’s right, you just have to nod once, and later, I will take care of everything…” (Mio)
Tomoe and Mio seem to be saying something at my side.
By the way, Beren is stuck onto Aznoval-san on a talk about his sword.
…That’s right. It is the fault of that sword.
It is way too compatible with Aznoval-san.
Even when broken, it has enough regenerative ability to restore itself in the middle of battle and has the ability of allowing illusory beasts to possess it to obtain a variety of powers.
It was a sword just for him.
But…now that I think back, the people at their side gave several hints of him.
In the battle with Aznoval-san not that long ago, I judged him as a danger, called him without honorifics like an enemy, and was trying to finish the battle by rendering him into a state where he wouldn’t be able to speak at all.
It was the worst.
Because I thought I could defeat him.
It is because I judged he was an opponent I could defeat, that I decided on doing it.
Even though I should have acted as if I was having a tough fight against him so that it would reduce the animosity of Picnic Rosegarden, and on top of that, surrender while everyone was watching to finish the fight.
It was an easy answer.
If it was Rembrandt-san, he would have been able to draw the picture since the moment he received the proposal of fighting with Aznoval-san, and would have perfectly carried it out.
By surrendering, I would have been able to enter a positive negotiation environment with Picnic Rosegarden for the sake of our objective, and what I would be losing is nothing at all.
It was truly a ‘no risk, high return’.
I am not a battle junkie or a warrior; I am a merchant.
That should have been the case, and yet…
What I actually did had no positives at all. Not only that, I simply got injured and made everyone worry.
This is nothing but disheartening.
“Mio, don’t do anything to those two. Also, I won’t nod. Got it?” (Makoto)
“N-No way. Just a bit, it will be just a little bit. Towards the man that humiliated me to a point I have never felt before, and the man who cut W-Waka-sama’s face…… If a bit is no good, let it be only a tiny little bit. With my discretion—” (Mio)
I have heard of what Rokuya-san did to Mio.
I do have my thoughts regarding that.
But rather than feeling something towards him…it is more correct to say that I am feeling something towards myself.
Honestly, I am hating myself right now.
I would normally be able to get back up decently, but I currently can’t.
The negotiation has turned with Tomoe as the focus, and from the other side, there’s Vivi-san, Ageha-san, Nomad-san, who are advancing the matter, and it is practically already wrapped up.
I used the medicine of Shiki that Tomoe, Mio, and Beren brought from Asora, and treated the wound on my face and was present in the negotiations only in form.
Because I had lost quite a good amount of blood, Tomoe told me: ‘I will take the front and advance the negotiation’.
Well, in the end, my role was practically coercion. Like the scary Gargoyle statues outside mansions.
Now that I have acted in such a stupid manner, the most I can do is that much.
“Uh…Understood. Uhm, Waka-sama, is your wound really alright now?” (Mio)
The wound on my head.
At the end of the fight, the Iai that was the trump card of Aznoval-san had scraped my face.
Right after…he stopped his sword in an unnatural posture, and then, closed his eyes and surrendered.
If I had been the one saying those words, all of this would have ended harmoniously.
When I heard that, I returned to my senses.
Rather than calling it ‘returned’, it was more like, I remembered.
The objective of why we came here.
It was not to fight.
My vision was completely red, and the inside of my head had gone completely pale.
His sword had cut around the part slightly above my eyebrow, and with an unpleasant sensation as if it had touched my bone, it slid and passed by.
The heat, that came right after, had cooled down the insides of my head instead.
In other words, my vision was reddened because of the blood.
It seems I was bleeding real hard.
The head is an important part, so even with small things, it would bleed extravagantly, is something I think I heard somewhere, so I myself didn’t mind it much.
But, right after 2 seconds of Aznoval-san’s words of surrender, everyone from the Kuzunoha Company here had surrounded me.
It seems it was good that at least one layer of skin was still adhered to it.
Even if it wasn’t on the level of instant death, it could still be categorized as a grave injury.
And yet, what I was thinking at those last moments of the fight…was truly nothing good.
“Of course. Thanks, Tomoe. Thanks to you, I will be able to give a good report to Rembrandt-san.” (Makoto)
“Don’t mind it. I am accompanying you in this journey after all. Gotta be of help.” (Tomoe)
“…Hey, if we had continued fighting just like that, what would have happened to the negotiations?” (Makoto)
“The result itself…wouldn’t have changed much. The negotiations would become an order, and the cooperation would have become subordination instead though.” (Tomoe)
“Haha, that would have been the worst then.” (Makoto)
That wouldn’t have been a negotiation or a contract anymore.
“Don’t worry about it that much, Waka. In the first place, the proposal of that Aznoval was basically a gamble in itself. Waka is not a gambler, and you are not the apostle of good luck either. On top of that, the Adventurers of Origin are all ruffians, not only him. I think this result couldn’t be helped.” (Tomoe)
“Is that so.” (Makoto)
“In that case, should I be happy about this result where we have wrapped the negotiation up as a request with a reward, and see it as safely accomplishing the first step in making the defense of Tsige firmer?” (Makoto)
“That’s right.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe nods, and Mio shakes her head up and down several times.
“Dispatch their main force to Tsige without sparing anyone and have them join in the defense, accept teaching as well. A two year contract, renewal possible. Well, the price is on the high side, but personally, in this occassion, this group is worth the price. Waka-sama, congratulations on the successful contract.” (Beren)
At some point in time, Beren had returned and spoke of the result of Picnic Rosegarden’s negotiation result and evaluated their war potential.
At his back, there’s Aznoval-san.
Even though we were fighting not that long ago, he lifted his hand and greeted with a ‘Yo’.
His sword was on his back.
The armor that had transformed into a shield, was now covering his body once again. There doesn’t seem to be any visible damage in the armor.
So this armor also has regenerative ability huh.
It is truly an equipment made for continuous battle.
Is his offensive ability reliant on the illusory beasts?
“In reality, Beren, you and the others were the ones who held them down.That evaluation you have of them is the most trustworthy one we can get. Thanks.” (Makoto)
Beren bows deeply and falls back to where Shii and Hokuto are.
The pay for the mercenary group huh.
The contract was formed between them and Tsige.
However, if Beren has evaluated them to that extent, maybe the Kuzunoha Company should also recompense them in some way in the form of an extra pay.
In the first place, we were the ones who trespassed when they were in a bad state after all.
“Hey there, we sweated real nice back there, didn’t we, Raidou–is it fine if I call you Makoto-kun? I am relieved to see that the mercenary contract went well from beginning to end. It is great that the good word we put in, counting Rokuya as the first one to start it off, helped you guys out.” (Aznoval)
“Yeah, thank you very much. Tomoe, about the pay for Picnic Rosegarden…” (Makoto)
In truth, the good word that the Adventurers of Origin added in had quite the influence in the negotiation.
The words of Rokuya-san, who was present as well, had the ability to convince Picnic Rosegarden into complying.
“Understood. I will reconsider a part of it. Luckily, we haven’t contacted Tsige yet. With Beren saying that much about them, it might be necessary to prepare a clause in the contract for extra pays. Leave it to me.” (Tomoe)
…As expected of Tomoe.
She can see right through what I think.
“I am counting on you. So, Aznoval-san, did you have business with us?” (Makoto)
“Looks like your body is already fine. So you are also sturdy. That’s great.” (Aznoval)
“You as well. But well, it looks like my left arm that has been weird since before our fight hasn’t healed yet.” (Makoto)
At first, I was bothered by it.
Because it seems it was wounded before he fought with me.
Well, even if I say that, I was fighting in such a way right as the battle began.
I stopped any reservation I had…and I even brought out my Silver Arms… hah…
“Oh, don’t worry about it. On the contrary, thanks to the wounds I got, I was able to utilize the illusory beasts I can only utilize when receiving a certain extent of damage, and thanks to it, I was able to recover faster. At any rate, you look pretty down. You don’t seem to be okay.” (Aznoval)
“…Cause my decision was worth zero as a merchant.” (Makoto)
“…I see. Ah, Makoto-kun, in this kind of moments, thinking about it in reverse is also a valid way.” (Aznoval)
“What do you mean by reverse?” (Makoto)
“As a berserker, you got full points. In terms of underground dealings, I think it would also have a positive grade. When you change the evaluation terms, the grades you get are pretty exemplary, you know.” (Aznoval)
I don’t want either of those grades.
I am being told this by a person that actually has a skill to turn himself into a berserker, so it makes me feel even weirder.
But well, instead of calling him a berserker, it was more like he simply activated the skill and was utilizing it in a composed manner.
“But, in that case, this is good timing. This will serve as a good mood-changer.” (Aznoval)
Now that I think about it, I still haven’t heard what business he had.
It looks like the other ones don’t know the reason why he is here either. Just what is Aznoval-san planning?
“I am sorry for Beren-kun and Mio-san, but…” (Aznoval)
At that moment, Mio let out a voice as if it had come out from the depths of earth.
Mio looks like she is in an incredibly bad mood. And also, scary.
On the other hand, Beren was dumbstruck.
They had a look as if they didn’t understand why their names were mentioned.
“There’s a place I want to guide Makoto-kun and Tomoe-san.” (Aznoval)
“Tomoe…and I?” (Makoto)
“Yeah. In this dungeon, or more accurately speaking, in this Prison Palace’s inner area.” (Aznoval)
“It is also the place where this sword was pierced into.” (Aznoval)
Beren’s reaction was incredible.
His eyes opened wide as if they were going to pop out of their sockets.
“Even this floor is a pain in a lot of ways-ja, and yet, what is the merit in us going there, Aznoval?” (Tomoe)
It is true that there’s the possibility of a trap.
From what I sensed in our fight and thinking about this person’s personality, the possibility of that is close to zero though.
It is also true that he is strong and scary, and is a person that you just can’t predict what he would do next.
But his core personality is simple.
It is only his body, techniques, and mind that are weird.
…Eh? Isn’t that just saying he is weird all over?
“About a merit for Makoto-kun, just as I said before, it is a small change of mood. In terms of Tomoe-san, it is not about merits or that sort of things, it is simply because you are a Superior Dragon.” (Aznoval)
Tomoe was confused and tilted her head.
Inviting her because she is a Superior Dragon is one strange reason.
Now that I think about it, this is a place where the name of two Superior Dragons -Doma and Futsu- are mentioned.
Doma is the useless one, and Futsu is the mysterious one.
“It is true that Makoto-kun battled with his life at stake. But that wasn’t because of hatred or because of vengeance. Then, now that the battle is over and both parties are safe…shouldn’t it be possible to hold hands?” (Aznoval)
“Well, that’s true.” (Makoto)
And in reality, the battle ended and neither of us died.
If I was asked if I had some sort of personal grudge on Aznoval-san, my answer would be no.
Hearing those upright words of his, I was a bit relieved.
Tomoe simply narrowed her eyes and was staring at him though.
“…Yeah, you are like that. Then, will you come with me?” (Aznoval)
“Understood. I don’t mind. But, about Tomoe…” (Makoto)
“I don’t mind either, Waka. Please do let me accompany you as well.” (Tomoe)
Looks like she didn’t keep silent because she was against it or was cautious?
But Mio cuts in between Aznoval-san and I.
Without making a face as if being troubled, Aznoval-san approaches Mio and whispered into her ears.
“…..There’s no lie in those words?” (Mio)
“Of course there’s none. A knight doesn’t go back on his words.” (Aznoval)
Isn’t that supposed to be a samurai?
Is it the same for knights?
I am not well-versed in that, so I’m not sure.
“Then, be sure to bring back Waka-sama safely.” (Mio)
“I promise. I would be grateful if you were to change a bit of your opinion towards us if he were to return with a healthier shade though.” (Aznoval)
“I will consider it.” (Mio)
Mio slowly gets out of my front with an evil smile.
I am grateful that you are worried about me, but at least ask for the safety of Tomoe as well, Mio.
“Then, Makoto-kun, Tomoe-san, I will be your guide.” (Aznoval)
“Have a safe trip, Waka-sama.”
“Have a safe trip!”
I am a merchant, and a teacher at the Academy.
I am not a berserker or something close to that.
My objective is by no means battle, it is simply a mean to an end.
Excluding a single being in specific, I don’t really care about winning or losing.
It is not something to be bothered with.
Hah…looks like I have now gotten a big task to fix.
Tsige is in the middle of war, and yet, I am like this.
It is true that I am interested in the inner area of the biggest labyrinth in this world.
But I really don’t think it will be something big enough to change this gloomy feeling I have.