QualiA – Chapter 12: Oya? Trouble has arrived ⑤

My heart was dancing with this clear sky and fresh weather.

“Okay… Let’s journey to the ends of the world.” (Makoto)

“How far away are you planning on going, Makoto-sama?”  

I heard a disillusioned voice, but I ignore it.

“Cause ya know~.” (Makoto)

“Even if you say it cutely, it won’t work.”

“Niva-san, I love you.” (Makoto)

“Yes, I do too.” (Niva)

Damn it, not even a single bit flustered.

“Is it okay to enter the main topic?” (Niva)

“Yes, please do so.” (Makoto)

Now then, let’s leave the escapism to this much and seriously listen.

I was woken up by Erin, and played with Toto right after waking up, then, when I returned after finishing breakfast, I found Niva-san waiting for me in front of the door, which leads us to the current situation.

Anyways, this person really is good at playing along -despite her looks.

“I have come under the orders of the Princess-sama.” (Niva)

“Hm? Niva-san was the one that came to pick me up?” (Makoto)

“Yes. I also have something to talk to you about regarding yesterday, so I have come to get you.” (Niva)

“I see. Well then, I will be in your care~.” (Makoto)

While thinking ‘so she still had something to say to me about yesterday’, I follow after Niva-san and fill my lungs with refreshing air. I also picked up a slight sweet scent…yeah, sorry for being a pervert.

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The exclusive training field of the princess’s personal knight division -the Blue Wings knight division.

It is a knight division composed solely of women, and all knights and servants affiliated to it are women.

Thus, as this place is filled with only women, naturally, I stick out royally like a sore thump, teacher.

“Can I leave, Niva-sensei?” (Makoto)

“You can’t. Why are you getting cold feet over this much?” (Niva)

No no, walking through a place where close to a hundred women are training is scary, you know? They all stare daggers at me, and it feels as if they are talking about me.

“Erin, Onii-chan feels like he will die at any moment…” (Makoto)

Erin is currently going around doing the clean up of yesterday’s banquet, so she is not here. No good, my mofu mofu meter is running low… Toto is still at bed enjoying its sleep.

“What a pathetic Onii-chan.” (Niva)

“Leave me be. I have slight gynophobia.” (Makoto)

“……”

“That was a lie, sorry. That’s why, please don’t look at me with those cold eyes.” (Makoto)

It is seriously beginning to turn into a kink of mine, so I avert my gaze from the cold stare of Niva-san, and we step into the knight division’s lodging house. I feel like I’m entering a brothel.

………

……

We were at the third floor of the lodging house. The white painted walls were overflowing with the sense of being immaculate, and I thought: ‘as expected of a space where only women live in’.

“It is over here.” (Niva)

“This place is…?” (Makoto)

“The room of the knight captain.” (Niva)

We are now in front of the knight captain’s room.

“…Hah, seriously, Prim-sama…” (Niva)

In front of the door, Niva-san holds her head and shakes it as she lets out a sigh.

“Yumina-sama, it is Niva. I have brought Makoto-sama.” (Niva)

“Come in.”

Responding to the voice that came from inside with an ‘excuse the intrusion’, Niva-san reached her hand to the nob and opens the door.

“…Eh?”

“Oi oi, what joke is this?” (Makoto)

The one who raised a dumbfounded voice was not me or Niva-san, but the very person that was pointing a sword at me.

“That’s quite the welcome.” (Makoto)

“…Uhm, Makoto-sama…”

“Hm? What?” (Makoto)

While I was admiring this passionate welcome, I heard a flustered voice close to me.

“Can you please release me now?”

“Hm…I feel like you will hit me, so I will stay like this for a bit… You smell nice and are nice to the touch…” (Makoto)

“Understood. Looks like there’s the need for a physical lesson.”

“Sorry, it was a joke. I got ahead of myself.” (Makoto)

I released Niva-san who I held on the moment, and take a step back. Niva-san was pouting with a slightly blushed face…how stimulating.

“To think you would use me -a woman- as a shield…” (Niva)

Yeah, putting it that way, I am quite the evil guy.

A sword was swung at us the moment we stepped into the room, but I didn’t feel any hostility and bloodlust in it -it was simply swung down. It wasn’t even worth avoiding a stroke that was intended to stop before hitting and didn’t have any strength put into it, so I thought of playing around and held Niva-san to act as a shield, but the unexpected reaction of hers bewildered me.

“Cause ya know, a person with a sword attacked us. I can’t do anything about it as an ordinary person. Also, Niva-san knew this would happen when we entered, so we are even.” (Makoto)

“I’m impressed you can say that after sealing my movement… I now have quite a lot of things I want to question Makoto-sama about…” (Niva)

With her cheeks still slightly red…

“Well then…will you please explain what this is all about…Princess Prim.” (Niva)

A terrifying voice reverberated in the room along with a short scream…

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The room is covered in silence.

The reason for it is the silent ogre, Niva-san, and the teary eyed person that is sitting opposite of her with a table in between.

“I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry…”

She repeats like a broken record and has her hands placed together.

You reap what you sow.

I was surprised by how unfettered Niva-san is towards the princess even if she is the personal maid of the queen, but Niva-san was apparently the one who was in charge of educating the princess when she was young. But her words and attitude give out an intimate feeling like that of a neighborhood Onee-san.

Not showing reserve feels like it is because there’s overflowing affection between the two.

“Miyuna-sama, why didn’t you stop her?” (Niva)

“I am sorry. I did try, but she said she wanted to see his true ability, and I was also interested, so I allowed it.” (Miyuna)

Being questioned by Niva-san, the captain Miyuna-san made an uncomfortable expression as she honestly admitted her involvement.

“Then, I am also equally at fault. I am sorry.” (Filmina)

Following Miyuna-san, Filmina-san also lowered her head apologetically.

“It is great that no one got hurt, but one misstep would have created a great tragedy. Please reflect on that.” (Niva)

‘Especially you, Makoto-sama’, is what Niva-san added with a straight glare towards me, and I averted my gaze. After that, we finished hearing the apology of the three.

“At any rate, Makoto-dono moved in quite the…deft manner, as if used to it.” (Miyuna)

“Hmm, really?” (Makoto)

Right after, Miyuna-san says this to me with a tint of sarcasm.

“True. He did seal my movement splendidly after all.” (Niva)

Niva-san agreed to the words of Miyuna-san, and sends me a glare of ‘what was that about?’.

“Well, that’s because it wouldn’t hit……but even if I did know…if it were to hit, it would hurt.” (Makoto)

“That’s why you used me as a shield… So it is fine if it hit me, I see.” (Niva)

“Ah, no, that’s not… Sorry.” (Makoto)

“So…why did you know it wouldn’t hit?” (Niva)

“There were only four people inside, and I thought that the stroke that had no bloodlust at all and had no strength put in it was most likely intended to stop before it hit.” (Makoto)

‘If it did hit, it would mean that the skill of the princess is lacking’, is what I said, and the Princess was on the verge of tears when she heard that and Niva-san made a scary smile.

This is bad, I played around too much.

If it were actually an attack with the intention of killing, I would have obviously not played around at all and wouldn’t have shown mercy. My policy is to thoroughly trample and show hell to those people.

“But…four? There’s only us three here though.” (Miyuna)

Miyuna-san found my words strange and asked.

“There’s one even now…up there.” (Makoto)

When I poke the ceiling with my finger, a sound rings.

“Who is there?” (Miyuna)

“It is okay. Isn’t that right, Niva-san?” (Makoto)

I stop Miyuna-san, who stood up with sharp movements and had held her sword hilt, and ask Niva-san.

“…Since when did you notice?” (Niva)

“Hmm…since the second day of being summoned?” (Makoto)

“Since all the way back then…” (Niva)

“I didn’t know who was the one behind it, but after hearing the story of Niva-san, and seeing that the places you returned to were the same…I was convinced.” (Makoto)

The power of ‘Marker’ and a variety of others.

“I see. Meaning there’s still much to improve. I will have to lecture her after…” (Niva)

To the person on the other side of the ceiling I still haven’t seen… I am sorry.

‘Hiiih!’, is what I felt I heard as I sent my condolences to the person in the ceiling, and the Princess giggled.

“Fufu…You may look aloof, but it is hard to see a bottom in you, Makoto-dono.” (Prim)

“Really?” (Makoto)

“Using Niva as a shield in that situation, on top of that, you even had the leeway to provoke and play around, so don’t you think it can’t be helped I think in this way?” (Prim)

True. Sorry for that.

“I will be straight here. Can Makoto-dono win against the Demon Lord?” (Prim)

You really went for the ultra straight ball there, Princess-sama.

I currently have no plans on revealing this to the heroes, but it might be about time to talk about this to the trustworthy people in the Motoyasu side. I could keep it hidden, but it is better to strengthen the links of trust in the time when nothing is happening yet. And this would also increase the ease of movement by a lot.

“If I am to answer this question, it would be better for the Queen to also be present.” (Makoto)

“Mother?” (Prim)

“It would be fine if someone were to explain to her, but even if it is explained, there’s the chance that she wouldn’t believe it anyways. And that Queen might question me thoroughly if she doesn’t understand the explanation of that third party. So, it would be less troublesome if I were to explain it with her present.” (Makoto)

The Princess made a stunned expression at my manner of speaking, but she went ‘true’ as she narrows her eyes and laughs. I do get a bit of a tomboyish impression of her, but she is unexpectedly calm and composed. As expected of a Princess-sama, I suppose.

I do think last night’s reaction was also quite honest and nice though.

“Well then, shall we move?” (Makoto)

Now, how far should I explain? I was thinking ‘they won’t believe me even if I were to explain it all’ as we headed to the room of the queen.

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The room of the queen that I have gotten used to in these few days.

Right now, the ones in this room are: the Queen, Niva-san, Princess Prim, Captain Miyuna, Lieutenant Filmina, my personal maid Erin, and also me; for a total of seven people. Well, if we count the person in the ceiling, it would make eight.

“I see. I understand the circumstances… Just that, I am bothered that the treatment I am getting is pretty crude.” (Caril)

Don’t mind that, pitiful Queen. Don’t pout your cheeks, it makes me want to poke them.

“And so, Makoto-kun…” (Caril)

“‘Who in the world I am?’, right?” (Makoto)

The Queen didn’t show much surprise at my straight response and simply nodded.

“Right… Putting it simply, I was a former hero and Demon Lord.” (Makoto)

That’s why I also was straight to the point and explain only the truth.

“Hero…and D-Demon Lord?” (Caril)

“That’s right. I was summoned in a different world from this one as a hero, and in another world, I was summoned as a Demon Lord. That’s what I mean.” (Makoto)

“‘That’s what I mean’, you say…” (Caril)

Everyone was showing a shocked expression as they looked at me, but I hope they don’t pause at each statement when we go further.

“Also, this is my seventh parallel world summon.” (Makoto)

Someone gulped, and silence reigned the place.

“Seventh, you say. Meaning that you have been summoned to many others aside from the ones mentioned?” (Caril)

“That’s right. I did a variety of things in the worlds I was summoned, and by the time I noticed, I had become an existence that was called a monster by monsters.” (Makoto)

I laughed out loud, but no one accompanied me. That reaction hurts Onii-san, you know.

“I see… You are an existence that you yourself can call as a monster, huh.” (Caril)

“Yeah. I am plenty aware of that reality after all.” (Makoto)

“Is that so… I was called by a lot of names in the past, but monster was not one of them.” (Caril)

Pulled by the laugh of the Queen, I also laugh. We were the only ones laughing though.

This may be the Queen’s way of being considerate. She really is a good person.

“You were called a lot of names, huh. For example?” (Makoto)

“If I were to name the popular one, it would be ‘Crimson Lily Demoness’.” (Niva)

I asked the Queen, but for some reason, Niva-san answered without restraint.

“Wait, Niva! Why are you revealing that?!” (Caril)

“Every citizen knows this after all.” (Niva)

“Makoto-kun doesn’t.” (Caril)

“Even if she looks like this, she actually had a low boiling point when she was young, so her behaviour was bad in a variety of places, and since her specialty was fire magic, and what remained behind was scorched earth…the name placed on her was ‘Crimson Lily Demoness’…” (Niva)

“As I said, why are you saying unnecessary things?” (Caril)

A comedy routine between master and servant was taking place, but is this to soften the mood?

Anyways, the name placed on the queen is quite the dangerous one. I can’t imagine that coming from the current ‘Ara ara fufufu’ she is now.

“Well, if you don’t believe what I said, I don’t mind a bout. I have confidence I can defeat all the knight divisions barehanded.” (Makoto)

“I will restrain from that. We currently don’t have the leeway in our military.” (Caril)

“True.” (Makoto)

The Queen laughs with a troubled expression, and Niva-san nods. Looks like the country is having it tough in terms of military. But can they overcome the battle against the Demon Lord like this? This country really makes me worry in many points.

“By the way, are there legends passed down about the Hero and the Demon Lord?” (Makoto)

In the information that the Akashic Library gathered, there were a good amount of Heroes and Demon Lords. But most of them were transmitted unofficially or are rumors. There wasn’t a single one that was close to being conclusive.

“Legends? …Like what kind?” (Caril)

Caril tilts her head.

“A reason why only heroes can defeat the Demon Lord… are those kind of legends circulating around?” (Makoto)

I was straight.

“…So you did know.” (Caril)

“So there really is one. Then, have you heard about the heretical factor, the Irregulars?” (Makoto)

The Queen was at a loss of words from the surprise.

So it was true. The Demon Lord can only be defeated by the Heroes…but the Heroes are not limited to that and are always in the risk of dying. That’s why there are times when monsters and even allied humans and comrades try to take away their lives.

At that time, I fought them back at the verge of insanity…

But the connection between Hero and Demon Lord, it is similar to the world I had been first summoned to. In the world where I was summoned as a Demon Lord, the Hero was an existence that spread harm, but it was simply that the standing of the Demon Lord and the Hero were reversed, but in the end, it was the same.

Irregular.

Because of this factor, the Heroes and Demon Lords gravitate towards each other, and a death game begins with the people made to shoulder that fate, and this battle drags the whole world into it, and in time, it will destroy the world, and recreate it.

Heroes and Demon Lords are nothing but a deadly medicine to the worlds. They are Irregulars that will move a stagnated world and create change after all.

“Ah, sorry. I said something unnecessary.” (Makoto)

I looked at the state of the surroundings, and it seems there’s no mistaking I have said too much. Because everyone else was making an expression as if this is the first time they heard about this, except for the Queen.

Right, she did say that the only one who knows about the details of the hero summoning is the king. The matter of Irregulars is probably supposed to be absolute secrecy. I am completely at fault for thoughtlessly speaking of it.

“Makoto-kun, please don’t say anything about Irregulars from now on. Everyone as well, I prohibit the disclosure of what you have heard just now.” (Caril)

“I am really sorry.” (Makoto)

“No, it isn’t something Makoto-kun has to apologize for. But it is something that involves the basis of the hero summoning, so the actual state of affairs is that we can’t lightly speak of it.” (Caril)

True. If people heard that Heroes and Demon Lords gravitate towards each other, Heroes would also be targets of ill will. If something like this were to reach the ears of people like Erac, it would serve as a perfect bullet. Maybe because they understand this, or because they were overawed by the pressure of the Queen, the Princess and the others lowered their head and raised voices of agreement.

“And so, let’s have a detailed talk about that later. Please keep my circumstances a secret from the heroes.” (Makoto)

“The Hero-samas don’t know?” (Prim)

“I haven’t told them after all. I will tell them in due time, so until then, I want you to stay silent.” (Makoto)

This is in part because of my own selfishness, but I do have a reason for it.

“But if you are a former hero, you would be able to help in the training of the Hero-samas—” (Prim)

“That’s not a good idea.” (Makoto)

“Not a good idea, you say?” (Prim)

The Princess made an expression as if she wasn’t convinced, but if I were to do that…a lot of effects would be created.

“It is not as if I won’t do anything. It just means this is not the time.” (Makoto)

“Why is it not?” (Prim)

“It has only been a little more than a week since the heroes have been summoned to this world. They are finally at the point where they are getting used to the lifestyle here and the training. If they learned at a time like that that the normal person who was summoned together with them was stronger than the heroes themselves, what would they think?” (Makoto)

The Princess didn’t answer this question immediately, and ponders for a bit.

“If it were me, I would have my motivation dampened. Because there’s someone stronger than them who are heroes, they would think under the lines of ‘shouldn’t I just leave the Demon Lord subjugation to him?’” (Makoto)

“True…” (Prim)

“But that won’t do. Because the only ones who can defeat the Demon Lord are the Heroes.” (Makoto)

“Ah, yeah… I see.” (Prim)

Maybe she remembered the talk just now, the Princess finally understood, hitting her palm and nodding.

“There’s the need for the heroes to grow in body and mind to become worthy of being called heroes. If they don’t, they won’t be able to defeat the Demon Lord. Also, from what I know…isn’t it about time for them to get their weapons?” (Makoto)

“…I am at the point where I don’t know if I should be surprised.” (Caril)

The Queen once again opened her eyes wide and sighs with a tired face.

“So that really is how it is, huh. This may be a cruel way of putting it, but the current heroes can’t even be called heroes. They are in the middle of growth -no, they are still in the stage where eyes are developing. They are in the stage where they will get their weapons and finally make their first step as heroes. If in that half-baked state, someone like me were to enter, there’s no doubt they would try to rely on me, right?” (Makoto)

“Right…It might be just as Makoto-kun says.” (Caril)

The Queen nodded in agreement, but the Princess seemed to not be convinced yet and speaks out.

“So you are putting your distance and watching over them from the shadows because there’s the chance that it might dampen their growth?” (Prim)

“Hmm, not really. In the first place, what I can teach them is only how to stand. I can’t teach them actual combat.” (Makoto)

If a level error guy like me were to get involved, who knows what would happen to the heroes.

When I was journeying in the world I was summoned as a Demon Lord, I was asked to train talented soldiers of a certain country, and I had accepted without giving it much thought.

The result was a big failure.

I was entrusted with soldiers that had just joined the knights and were a bunch of people that didn’t have proper fighting experience. And yet, after half a month, a strange occurrence of them being able to fight on par with knight captain class powerhouses took place. Moreover, they were all soldiers that received my training that were able to fight on par with a captain.

After that, I got requests for training from many places and I refused them all and escaped the country. Later, I heard from rumors that those newbie knights had formed an independent knight division called the Black Knight corps, and achieved many military exploits, which made a bitter smile come out from me and also made me reflect. 

I overdid it.

“Ara, is that so? I think that’s pretty amazing though.” (Prim)

“I did have a master in magic, but I trained in the sword myself. I didn’t have a master, so my technique is under the gutter. If I were to teach them that, everything they have learned until now would go down the drain.” (Makoto)

It is hard to explain in words.

“Well, if anything happens, I intend to use teleportation to go ahead of them, and provide the minimum support.” (Makoto)

“…Wait. Teleportation?” (Prim)

“You know, teleportation magic—oh, right.” (Makoto)

Teleportation magic is stuff of legends in this world. Right.

“Makoto-kun, you can use teleportation magic?” (Caril)

“Well, yeah…” (Makoto)

“Can you please tell us in detail about that?” (Caril)

The Queen made a ‘fufu’ and I respond with a bitter smile.

While reflecting that I slipped, I begin to explain in a simple manner.

I can’t just show them right now, so I explained the outline of it, but the Queen and the others were bitting really strongly and it ended up in showing them at a later time how I use it in practice.

“…Isn’t it fine already?” (Makoto)

“Right. Only if you don’t have anymore to hide, that is.” (Caril)

“Everyone has one or two secrets… Then, if you tell me your embarrassing stories, I will also tell you. For example, the talk about the Crimson Lily Demoness…” (Makoto)

“T-That would trouble me. Fufu… I was a bit too excited despite my age. Sorry about that.” (Caril)

I half-glared at the Queen who averted her gaze and laughed, and I entrust my body to the sofa as if saying ‘I am done talking’. I did think about explaining them a variety of things, but there’s no need to reveal anymore cards I have.

After that, I got a lot of questions, but I answered them half-heartedly until it came time for lunch, so we decided on returning to our rooms.

But in front of my room’s door, there was a knight waiting there with his anger showing plainly.

That knight said he is an envoy of Erac, and after telling me the day and time of the duel in one breath, he left with an annoyed grunt.

After seeing him off, I enjoyed the droopy ears of Erin that I haven’t enjoyed in a long time. The fluffiness…it heals me~.

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