WG – Chapter 175: Fighting Words

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“Excuse me.”

We are going into enemy territory, but it is not like we are trying to go against the whole Mage Guild.

We entered the Mage Guild as if we were students entering the teacher’s office.

Even if it will become a battle, entering from a dark place to a building with illumination is calming.

The guild reception is not in the Sorcery Tower but a building right in front of the Sorcery Tower.

It is a place I have gone to countless times, and it is also the place where I met Sazan for the first time in this world.

“There doesn’t seem to be anything off.” (Mitsuki)

Just as Mitsuki said, the inside of the guild isn’t tense in any special way or is busier than usual maybe because what’s happening doesn’t reach all the way here.

You could even say it is really peaceful.

If Mitsuki is not finding anything off, there’s no point in being on edge here.

I tell myself to not lower my guard as I head to the counter located right after the entrance of the guild.

I tell my business to the bespectacled man there that seems to be the nervous type.

“Excuse me, I would like to join the Mage Guild…” (Souma)

After that, I was told about the qualifications to join and about this and that rule.

I honestly wanted to skip this, but it would be troubling if I were to interfere carelessly and it doesn’t move exactly like the event.

I should endure this much.

Is what I was thinking and listened obediently, but this is something I have heard countless times in the game already.

Unlike when it was a game where I could kill time by checking the Wiki, I couldn’t really do much here, so it was a more boring time than I imagined.

“Now then, please wait here for a moment until the preparations for the ceremony are done.”

Even so, after chiming in half-heartedly a number of times, the explanation finally ended and we moved to the ceremony.

The 1st phase will be successful if the guild master shows up here…

It is apparently going to take a while, so I looked around the guild and killed some time.

Now that I get another look, there’s weird tapestries, bookshelves filled with books related to magic, and stuff of unknown use placed disorderly around. It really is a space that a mage would like.

However, as expected from the Nekomimi Neko developers that are half-assed in a lot of areas, there’s also a lot of things that make you think ‘don’t you have the wrong image here?’.

I personally find the skull on the tip of a stick to be nonsensical.

That feels like it is more on the field of exorcists than mages. Just what is the picture they are trying to paint here?

The employee still hasn’t returned, so I approached one of them, and try tapping one of the skulls.

A hard sensation was transmitted to my finger.

Just what is it made of?

If it is an actual human skull, that would be really bad.

“Ah, right.” (Souma)

A thought came to my mind and I took out a small rock and put it inside the hollow eye sockets.

It was a bit of a prank, but in a few hours…

“What are you doing?” (Mitsuki)

Mitsuki came while I was grinning at my own imagination.

It seems like my actions were witnessed completely, and her cat ears were intimidating me as if going ‘don’t be a bad boy!’.

I feel like this will make my mouth bitter in a lot of ways.

“N-No, this is nothing big. That was just a fluorescent stone, and—” (Souma)

I didn’t expect to be criticized.

I tried to explain myself here all flustered, and the employee came back with godly timing.

“Preparations are complete. Please come with me.”

He told me this indifferently just like when it was a game.

The attention of Mitsuki was deviated with this.

I stealthily sighed in relief and, while I did that, Mitsuki quickly walked to where the employee was.

“I will also be accompanying him in his ceremony. Got it?” (Mitsuki)

That wasn’t a question anymore, it was a confirmation.

But seeing the business-like attitude of just now, I doubt this would work on him.

I was thinking about having them wait here if they are firmly refused, but…

“…Right. If you don’t get in the way of the ceremony, there should be no issues.”

The employee easily agreed to have Ringo and Mitsuki accompany me.

“Now then, I will guide you.”

He began walking calmly as if nothing happened.

I was surprised by the unexpected development, but I can’t let myself be left behind here.

We hurriedly chased after him.

When I got to the side of the employee, he glanced at me and said with a calm tone.

“You are lucky. The Guildmaster-sama that happened to be present will apparently be personally doing the baptism ceremony.”

“Hoh, I am grateful for that.” (Souma)

I responded half-heartedly there, but this is exactly what I wanted.

The baptism ceremony of the player is always done by the Guildmaster.

However, he said something that he didn’t say in the game before.

“I heard that you sunk the Demon Lord with Tidal Wave and defeated him, Souma-sama.”

“Eh? …Well, yeah.” (Souma)

I was startled by how he asked me this flatly.

Could it be that mages really don’t find it acceptable to use magic like that?

My body stiffened there, but…

“There’s barely anyone who can use Tidal Wave in this guild. It is incredibly auspicious that someone like you will be joining our guild.”

He softened his cold mask for a bit there, and smiled with what could be called a youthful expression.

“Welcome to the Mage Guild. I am happy to have you with us.”

I froze there for a few seconds.

“T-Thank you.” (Souma)

I barely managed to respond and wipe my sweat.

T-That was close.

If I was a single girl that loves bespectacled men, and someone who is weak to gap moe**, I would have fallen completely with that smile just now. <Gap Moe is a term often used in reference to fictional characters to describe when said character does something completely contradictory to what their usual habits/personality/appearance dictates. Usually this contradiction is seen by others as charming or likable.>

…In other words, it wasn’t that dangerous.

It was somewhat embarrassing to make eye-contact with him, so I escaped by looking back.

When I did, I made eye-contact with Mitsuki who was looking at me as if she had seen through everything.

That in itself was embarrassing, so I moved my gaze to the opposite direction and…

“Buh!” (Souma)

I was on the verge of letting something weird out from my mouth.

Ringo, who was walking at the opposite side of Mitsuki, was…fondling her own boobs. Well, she is doing something.

N-No, she is probably fixing the chest area of her clothes because it bothered her, or checking the Chronos Watch at her chest, or something like that. This is poison for the eyes.

Ringo is a beauty that competed for 1st and 2nd place in the game, and my senses dull when comparing it to the bullet train of Mitsuki, but it is not like she has no boobs.

There’s strangers here.

Her making such defenseless gestures is terribly bad.

“R-Ringo, that’s a bit…” (Souma)

I lectured Ringo, who looked over here surprised, in a low voice.

“You know, Ringo, you are cute, so please don’t do things that make people misunderstand.” (Souma)

“…?” (Ringo)

“Like, you know…fiddling with your chest like just now…might make men feel weird.” (Souma)

I am not good at these kinds of topics.

I said this really quickly, and Ringo flapped her mouth 2-3 times and then…

“…Hn!” (Ringo)

She nodded strangely energetically.

Ringo didn’t touch her chest after that, but she walked with her chest puffed out as if emphasizing her boobs.

I am a bit uneasy about whether she actually got what I said.

“…It is this room.”

Not long after that, we arrived in front of the room.

It seems like the guiding is up to this point just like in the game.

“I have brought him here.”

After saying just that, the employee returned to the reception room.

It was like that in the game too, but it seems like he won’t be guiding us back.

“I have confirmed with the Explorer Ring. There’s Iaski and Salmon, and even the Vice-Guildmaster, Diekill.” (Mitsuki)

“So they called Salmon back from the tower, huh.” (Souma)

The moment the employee turned the corner, Mitsuki whispered this to me.

The 3 who are especially strong even within the radical faction.

It was going exactly as the event, so I lowered my guard there, but we might even get attacked by surprise the moment we open the door.

“I think there’s the presence of other people. Make sure to remain cautious.” (Mitsuki)

However, there’s no choice of not going forward.

It is different from the usual crisis.

We should be far above in terms of strength.

I nodded at Mitsuki and ready myself to deal with anything that might happen, and step into the room.

“Welcome, Hero-dono.”

I was spoken to the moment I took a step into the room.

The one there was one of the 4 mages.

The one in the center of it is the old man that spoke to me just now.

The Mage Guild’s Guildmaster, Kemona Iaski.

His confidant and executive of the radical faction, Salmon.

The gentle-looking bespectacled man that is by his side, the Vice-Guildmaster, Diekill.

And…

“You…!” (Souma)

I raised my voice reflexively when I saw the last person.

Ringo took a fighting stance and Mitsuki had already readied herself to take out her katana.

“Hiih!”

The person in question raised a scream, most likely hit by the pressure.

That person is the mage-looking man that was at the library.

The subordinate of the Mage Guild that tried to steal the Nekuranomikon.

“…Can you please wait for a bit?”

The one who put a word in this violent atmosphere was Iaski himself.

“My apologies for aiming for the magic book that you people had. However, I believe that we can solve this problem peacefully if we talk about it.” (Iaski)

I am impressed he can say that with a straight face, but it would be unnatural to rush all in here.

I was thinking about how to move to the normal path and urged him to go on.

“…Please do tell me.” (Souma)

“I am this guild’s guildmaster, Kemona Iaski. The one here is the vice-guildmaster, Diekill, and my subordinates, Salmon and Robin.” (Iaski)

Looks like the man that tried to get a jump on us and take the book is called Robin.

He nodded profusely at the words of Iaski as if matching him.

I thought about introducing ourselves here too, but…

“We are—” (Souma)

“There’s no need to introduce yourself. I know all of you well. The hero that’s over level 180, Souma-dono. Also, your companion Ringo-dono and Mitsuki Hisame-dono, right?” (Iaski)

It seems like he already has intel on us.

Sticky gazes were showered onto us 3, especially Mitsuki who was mentioned last.

Mitsuki didn’t say anything, but her cat ears bent as if finding this unpleasant.

“It seems like you know quite a lot about us.” (Souma)

I said this as if drawing a line here, and Iaski suddenly began speaking.

“Hey, Hero-dono, why is it that you managed to achieve the great endeavor of defeating the Demon Lord?” (Iaski)

“Why, you ask…” (Souma)

This is a sudden question, but Iaski once again speaks before I could answer.

“That’s power. The power that you hold, in other words, having a high level, has allowed you to achieve the grand exploit of defeating the Demon Lord.

What’s most important in this world to obtain something is how high your level is!” (Iaski)

“…Strength isn’t something like that. Level is just one indicator of strength.” (Souma)

Iaski said a level supremacy statement without hesitation.

Even when I know that he is just pulling his game setting here, I couldn’t endure those words of his that denied our journey until now and ended up refuting them.

Seeing me like that, Iaski laughed.

“Fufufu, how young. However, that’s fine for now. More importantly, you get it now, right? You are high leveled and are the hero that saved the nation; a being that we can’t ignore. Also, Hisame-dono at your back.

You are practically the only person in this world that’s not chained by your level and holds overwhelming power.

It would be weird for me to not have my attention on you.” (Iaski)

It seems like Iaski has a strong attachment to Mitsuki regardless of level.

I stepped forward as if to cover for Mitsuki, but his gaze rooted in deep delusion didn’t stop.

Mitsuki seems to be uncomfortable at receiving that gaze as if it were licking her all over.

“…And so, what is it that you are trying to achieve by using the magic circle set in this city? We are already aware of it, you know?” (Souma)

I hesitated for a bit, but I don’t want to lengthen this talk any further.

I immediately tried to end this, but the guildmaster chuckled.

“As expected of the nation’s Hero-dono, your intel is fast. However, please don’t misunderstand.

The reason why I activated the ritual magic circle was because I wanted to form a connection with you. It wasn’t serious.

As proof of this, not a single person in this city has died.” (Iaski)

I couldn’t close my mouth at what he said so brazenly.

It is true that they only had their MP taken away and no one died, but in the case where they are at a tall location or are in a fight, it could be fatal depending on the timing you lose consciousness.

No, Iaski is just saying this, but there’s no assurance that there hasn’t been anyone who has died.

“You are being pretty shameless here.” (Mitsuki)

Mitsuki’s tone may sound flat, but she is not hiding her anger.

“You may doubt me here, but it is the truth. I thought the Hero-dono would definitely show up if I were to cause a strange occurrence like this one.

I didn’t expect to be pinpointed in one day, but that’s what makes you a Hero.

Our objective has been achieved.” (Iaski)

Hearing the words Iaski was spitting out with a super serious face, I suddenly felt this is stupid.

I don’t know if he is seriously trying to recruit us here or if he has some sort of scheme, but there’s no need to play along with him.

“Sorry to say this, but I am not interested in poking around here. ‘I have come to take the baptism ceremony’ -you are the one who will be performing it, right?” (Souma)

I speak out the key words, and advance the event.

Iaski shouldn’t be able to refuse this.

“Of course! The Mage Guild would prosper with you joining the guild! I could make you an executive the moment you join the guild as a special exception, and of course, as long as you are a guild member, I promise that we won’t forcefully try to steal the magic book!” (Iaski)

“I get it, so just wrap this up already.” (Souma)

“Can’t be helped. Now then, can you please change into this?” (Iaski)

I couldn’t seal his chit-chat completely, but Iaski soon moved just like in the event.

What Iaski gave me was the elementary mage robe and elementary mage staff.

It is gear of the lowest tier for ceremony use.

“Now then…” (Souma)

I quickly changed into the mage robe at the screen deep in that was prepared beforehand.

It is not like my raw stats lowered with this, but it does feel really unreliable.

“Also, apologies, but rules are rules. Can you please take off your bag, poach, and accessories?” (Iaski)

I nodded and took them off, gave the rings and necklace to Ringo, and the adventurer bag and pouch to Mitsuki.

Now that I think about it, in the case I came in alone, there would have been the danger that my belongings would have been robbed in the middle of the ceremony.

This alone is already enough to make me think it was good that the two came with me.

But…

“I will give up on my equipment if it is the rules, but it is not prohibited to have an item in my hand, right?” (Souma)

What bothered me is the Nekuranomikon.

I want to avoid the possibility of Mitsuki and Ringo being attacked in the time I can’t move because of the ceremony.

I think Mitsuki would be fine, but this is just in case.

“Umu, that’s true. If it is something that you can hold in your hand, I don’t mind.” (Iaski)

I thought for sure he would think up an excuse to refuse it, but he easily accepted my proposal.

I thought Iaski’s objective was to nail me down with the ceremony and steal the Nekuranomikon in that opening, but was that not the case?

Or maybe he can’t put restrictions on me that are not in the game?

It bothers me, but I can’t take away my words.

Also, this is a good chance to observe how the other side reacts.

I take out the Nekuranomikon from the bag, and after hesitating for a bit, take the Chronos Watch too, holding it on the opposite side of the elementary mage staff.

I took out a number of magic gems stealthily at that time, and slipped them into the sleeve of the robe.

“Hooh, that’s…” (Iaski)

I didn’t miss how Iaski’s eyes narrowed the moment I took out the Nekuranomikon.

This guy really hasn’t given up on the Nekuranomikon.

It would be better to crush him completely here in order to cut off any worries for the future.

I strengthened my resolve again and stepped into the small magic circle that is the stage of the baptism ceremony before anyone said something.

 

3 Mage Guild related parties.

It is an irregular situation where I have 2 companions accompanying me as the baptism ceremony begins.

It is called the baptism ceremony, but the contents of it are simple.

There’s barely any magic meaning to this ceremony, and it is simply listening to the guildmaster for a long while on the magic circle. This makes you automatically into a member of the Mage Guild.

Leaving aside the game system stuff, you could say there’s barely any actual magical meaning in this ceremony.

“As the protector of all the mages, mine organization where all the secrets of magic congregate…” (Iaski)

What Iaski was saying sonorously really is what I have heard countless times.

Even when I think I shouldn’t lower my guard, I can’t concentrate.

I closed my eyes in order to shut out the unnecessary information.

(Alright. I should confirm what comes after Iaski has finished the ceremony while I have the chance.) (Souma)

I thought I should do at least this since there’s nothing for me to do, but there’s nothing to really confirm here. What I have to do is set.

The moment the ceremony is over, I will challenge Iaski faster than he can move, and cause the Revolt Event.

There’s no way he can do something to us in the few seconds it takes to say the keywords, and as long as I have Mitsuki here, I feel like I would be able to get through most of any battle.

That’s why, I ended up thinking about what comes after that.

Once this is over, I will be returning to my world, huh…

The moment I thought this, images began flooding my mind as if a dam had broken.

—My parents and my friends in high school which I am close to that I left in Japan.

—The room that is cramped but I have grown attached to.

—My first VR machine that I used all of my fortune to buy.

—My precious comrades that I don’t even know the faces of whom I got acquainted with through Nekomimi Neko.

—The commendable guys that spoke to me despite me living a loner life in my college days.

—The nostalgic taste of the hamburger from the junk food establishment I frequented.

There were also a whole lot of moments I didn’t pay much attention to which I experienced in Japan showing up in my mind.

Those memories that should be small and unimportant assailed me with overwhelming mass.

(I see…) (Souma)

I thought I didn’t have much lingering attachment to Japan, but that was a mistake.

I was simply averting my gaze from them by sinking into the game world, and tried to not remember it.

The admiration of my former world, the sadness of being unable to return; I didn’t expect so many of those to remain inside of me.

That nostalgia that felt like it had mass was going to crush my heart.

But, at that moment…

“—!”

The familiar voice that rang in my ears made me snap back to reality.

The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes by reflex was the man that looks like a mage straight out of a fantasy world, Iaski.

“!!”

We are deep in the Mage Guild and I am currently taking the baptism ceremony; the calm side of my brain is whispering this to me.

However, my instincts were having an adverse reaction before any calm decisions could be made.

I unconsciously faltered and moved my body back.

“Souma!”

The one who saved me was the voice of a girl again.

I looked back at the voice and what came into my eyes was a vivid sky-blue.

The appearance of my irreplaceable companion that I have been together with the longest in this isekai.

“Ringo…?” (Souma)

The moment I saw her, a flood of emotions I couldn’t put in words pushed onto me in one go.

…I wonder why.

The moment I saw her face, I imagined the moment we had to part ways, and loneliness that was comparable to that of when I remembered Japan or even more assailed me.

I felt that my home is where they are regardless of the logic.

“…I am okay.” (Souma)

I shook my head to shake that away and smiled back at Ringo.

It seems like the baptism ceremony ended while I spaced out reminiscing.

I sunk into my thoughts in the most important of moments, but Ringo saved me here by calling to me.

Fortunately, Iaski and the others haven’t made a move yet.

I don’t know what they are planning here, but their tardiness in action will be fatal.

I will take the battle.

“Kemona Iaski! As an earnest member of the Sorcery Tower…” (Souma)

I spoke before anyone else, and was about to say the words to begin the Revolt Event.

But I couldn’t say the last words.

…Because…

The keywords that require close to a dozen words were longer than the short 3 syllables that Iaski said.

“[Teleport].” (Iaski)

The moment that word reached my ears, my body was sent off somewhere together with a flash of light.

 

“This is…the magic circle at the Sorcery Tower?!” (Souma)

My brain couldn’t process the unexpected situation.

It is from the fact that I have been teleported to the magic circle’s room where I should only be able to show up in the last event, but most of all, I couldn’t believe what was in front of my eyes.

I don’t want to believe it.

At the center of the magic circle that’s used for the last ritual…there’s the statue of a brawny man that doesn’t suit this place.

“Full Build Bob!!” (Souma)

The symbol of the Warrior Guild that should be enshrined at the center of the Warrior Guild is here for some reason.

…No, rather than the reason for it, what’s most serious is the effect it has.

The Full Build Bob has a Muscle-Head Field around it, and all skills and spells are negated.

I have given all my gear and items to Ringo and Mitsuki, and what I have equipped is the ceremonial gear of the lowest tier.

Anyone can tell with this…

(This is a trap! Also, a trap that targeted me from the very beginning!) (Souma)

I couldn’t see through all the moves of Iaski, and I had my skills, spells, and gear sealed.

And there’s one more thing that’s terrible here.

“Welcome to mine tower. Highly esteemed Hero-dono, let’s celebrate your joining of the guild and your promotion to executive here!”

The black iron giant that stands in my way.

The Muscle-Head Field has a bad effect on mages normally.

But there’s exceptions.

“This is the one we have raised dutifully. Its level is 192. If I remember correctly, ye were spitting out that level is not the only thing that defines strength.

…How about you prove this to me here?”

—Sorcery Golem.

It doesn’t have any attacks other than plain physical attacks, and in exchange for being extremely weak to magic, it is outstandingly strong against attacks other than magic, and it has outrageous blunt damage. The secret weapon of the Mage Guild.

The Mage Guild weapon that shines the most when the enemy can’t use magic and skills.

“No no, that’s just unfair…” (Souma)

I didn’t even have the time to complain about defeating a sorcery weapon in a space where magic is sealed.

The black iron giant raised its big arm overhead mercilessly…

——–

Author: The suspicion of the comments is incredible, but this time around I plan on taking it seriously until the end… I swear.

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