LS – Chapter 20: Let’s learn for the time being

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“Oi, what do we do about that?!” 

“Like I would know. Why did she come here now?!” 

An emergency meeting was being held between the Ragudo Division in whispers. 

They have also noticed the strange state of Ilias. 

“Ilias suddenly got off-duty and we couldn’t make contact with her until now. That she is here now must mean…” 

“I think my people had difficulty in searching for her and she must have taken quite a long time before reaching this place.” (Ban)

“You have to go through a forest to get here, you know? You didn’t leave a guide?!” 

“Aah, we heard that you were alright, lad, so everyone went to sleep at the cave in relief…” (Cara)

“I was teaching that girl how to release mana…” (Ban)

“Then, that means she was searching the forest for the whole night, right?!” 

Everyone glanced at Ilias.

“What’s the matter all of a sudden? Well, I am jealous to see you guys getting along so well. Hahaha.” (Ilias)

We immediately return to our strategy meeting. 

“Lad, do something!” (Cara)

“Cara-jii and the others should be a better fit for that job! Aren’t you guys her seniors?!” 

“That’s hopeless. She is basically a wife on the verge of exploding, you know?!” (Boru)

“She came here to save you, so it is basic manners for you to be the one to do something about her, right, lad?!” (Cara)

“Ah, you are using that?!” 

And I was pushed back by wonderful teamwork.

Y-You guys, I will remember this! 

Well then, now that it has come to this, I have no choice but to face Ilias. 

Let’s think about the current state of mind of Ilias.

She was working through the morning, and yet, she was suddenly given the day free. 

The reason is unclear and the actions after that are unknown. 

After I got kidnapped, Ban-san made contact with Cara-jii and formed a rescue party.

They couldn’t get ahold of her at this time either, so that means she wasn’t at home. 

If Ban-san and his subordinates couldn’t find her after searching for her, it should be safe to assume Ilias was moving from point to point.

Could it be that the reason why she went around the place on her day off was because she was searching for a certain someone who had gone out of the city on an adventure?

She searched around the city that day, and Ban-san’s subordinate finally found Ilias and gave her the message. 

Considering the personality of Ilias, she must have rushed here. 

But she was simply told the general location and there was no guide. She had no choice but to enter the forest. 

And then night passed and we did a variety of things at the black wolfkin village, but she continued searching in that time. 

By the time she finally found us in her desperate search, it was all solved, and the person she was searching and worried about for a long time was right in front of her eyes.

I feel like emptiness would take over rather than anger at this point. 

“—I am sorry for worrying you.” 

This is not the time to be thinking about a detailed plan. I should apologize first. 

“Yeah, just how worried do you think I wa—” (Ilias)

I hug Ilias.

“W-What are you…” (Ilias)

Unlike the time when I hugged the girl, the body of Ilias was hard due to her wearing her armor, and most of all…

I-It hurts?! 

I felt as if I crashed onto a rock. No, this is not the time to be thinking that.

Oi, gallery, don’t just go whistling there! 

“You were desperately searching for me to the point of looking this ragged. Thank you.” 

“Well…that’s natural as a person…uhm…” (Ilias)

This is where I should make an overreaction to tell her my gratitude, and wash it all off with the momentum! 

“You must have been uneasy the whole time, searching without even knowing the details. I am truly sorry…and I am happy.” 

“…Yeah, I am glad you are alright.” (Ilias)

I could feel the dangerous aura of Ilias receding.

Alright, aaalright! 

I can return safely! 

Now I just need to give proper follow-up, treat her to tasty food and drinks at Dog’s Bone, and I am sure—

“Fuuh, that’s the matter settled then. But it would have been wrapped up faster if Ilias had made it in time.” (Cara)

“No no, he said ‘if Ilias were here, she would try to solve it all with brute force and would instead make things more complicated’.” (Ban)

“True.” (Cara)

Baaaaaaaaan?!

Cara-jiiiiiiii?!

What’s with you guys doing that conversation at this moment?! 

I heard you guys harmonizing an ‘Ah, crap’ there! 

“Oi.” 

I heard a heavy voice right by my ear.

I run away by reflex—or at least try, but I for some reason can’t move. 

“Y-Yes?” 

I am currently frozen in place still hugging Ilias, or more like, Ilias has wrapped her arms around my back and kept me clean in place. 

What’s this? It is so hard she isn’t even shaking here! 

Is this some sort of steel restraint?! 

“Is what they said just now true?” (Ilias)

“Y-You see, uhm…” 

“Speak the truth.” (Ilias)

“…There were a lot of complicated circumstances, so I consulted with them since I would like to solve things by using strategy rather than force…” 

“So it was great that I wasn’t there?” (Ilias)

“N-No, it wasn’t my true feelings…it was just a slip of the tongue… Ah, ouch ouch ouch! S-Stop please! Oi, you idiot, gorilla—” 

My ribs and spine were screaming here. 

Aah, I have seen this on TV before. 

If I remember correctly, it is a bear h—

A nostalgic memory flashed back, and my consciousness was cut off. 

◇◇

“Good grief. I understand the situation, but there’s a way to say things.” 

—Ilias walked at the front on the way back from the forest. 

The moment an obstructive thicket entered the vision, I would unsheath my sword and mow it down.

Cara-jii was carrying the unconscious man on his shoulder.

“In the first place, losing consciousness with just that much is shameful.” (Ilias)

“No, even that would be hell for us.” 

“That would actually be more effective on us cause it would hit our waists. How scary.” 

“Moreover, it is through the armor, ya know. There’s not a shred of happiness from it.” 

I raise my sword to cut down the obstructive tree. 

Ah, I couldn’t unsheath it again. 

I hit it while still sheathed and broke the tree. 

It seems like rust has been collecting inside the scabbard, there are times when I can’t unsheath my sword on the notice.

There’s normally no issues even with the scabbard on, but I have to bring it to a blacksmith soon. 

“Cara-jii, Boru-jii, did you say something?” (Ilias)

“No…nothing…” 

But what did he mean at the end by gorilla? 

I can imagine it is an insult, but let’s ask about it in the future. 

I heard the situation. He was doing his best for the sake of the girl that is currently peeking at that guy from the back of Ban. 

I managed to understand what he was trying to say after hearing the circumstances of the girl. 

If I had been shown the state of this girl, I probably wouldn’t have even been able to maintain my self-control.

I would have unsheathed my sword, threatened the black wolfkin, and brought her back by force.

I would have moved with the desire to not let that girl be in that hell for even a second longer. 

Even if so, what’s with…that way of saying it?

Anger, frustration, sadness…what emotion would be winning? 

I vented my grudge on him. Being made to search for him for an eternity and how it ended up in a pointless endeavor. 

But what are the remaining feelings right now? 

“—You could have relied on me.” (Ilias)

My tongue ended up slipping there.

Fortunately, it seems like no one heard me. 

Aah, right. 

He came from a different world.

It would be a lie to say I haven’t been treating him specially. 

There’s a lot of things he has done that pull the eye. 

I am interested in him. 

I would like to see what he does…while close to him. 

I want to get included, so that I can be part of that effort. 

But he is not trying to depend on me. 

From what I heard, the core of this time’s matter was because he wanted to raise his funds. 

He is in a state where he has been thrown into a different world with nothing on him. 

He should be allowed to depend more on others. 

When I was hugged by him and I sque—hugged him back, there’s something I noticed. 

He is frailer than I imagined. Far more than the average adult. 

Maybe even lower than a woman, and on the same level as a child. 

The strength of his peers must look like a threat to him. 

Not only from criminals, but even the knights…and me…

But if we turn that around, it also means that we should be reliable as allies. 

“Will this be good training in itself?” (Ilias)

If I get to the point where he relies on me, I feel like I will surely grow into a better knight. 

I have only been progressing my path in obscurity, but it is not bad to form objectives like that.

I imagined him pleading for my help and having no choice but to take sword in hand. 

“…What am I thinking?” (Ilias)

Rather than imagination, this is more like a delusion. 

I shook my head lightly and began walking. 

“But what should we do after this?” (Ilias)

We would stand out if we were to bring the girl back into the gates like this.

We should bring her to the barracks first and clean her body, huh. 

After that…well, he should be able to manage somehow. 

I have to report about the new tribe.

It seems like it will be proceeding peacefully without any collisions. 

I doubt His Majesty will treat them badly. 

We get through the forest. It seems like today will also be a busy—

“Ah, I forgot about the invitation business!” (Ilias)

◇◇

The pain in my waist is horrible. Geez, what’s with that gorilla? 

I regained consciousness inside the barracks. 

Cara-jii and the others have returned to their respective work. 

Ban-san apparently went to the place of Lord Ragudo to explain the matter about the negotiations with the black wolfkins. 

He left me a message: ‘Leave the rest to me’. There should be no need to worry right now. 

There’s no demi-humans in this country, but it is not like there’s discrimination towards them. 

Them still holding onto old customs like the roles of men and women is an issue, but that’s an issue for another time. 

It is true that there’s countries where demi-humans live like normal, but it is just that there were coincidentally settlements of demi-humans nearby, and that’s when they began to have back and forths.

Taizu still hasn’t found any such settlements, so they have been inhabiting this territory with just humans. 

We might be able to see black wolfkins doing business at the market in Taizu in the near future. 

“Now then, it is about time.” 

Ilias is apparently washing the girl at the showers of the barracks. She almost squeezed her benefactor dead, so she understandably resisted a lot, but it seems like her resistance was futile and she was dragged there. 

You won’t be able to escape once you get caught by that inhuman strength. 

I would hear screams and mana emissions, but let’s not worry about that. 

It got silent after a while, and Ilias appeared.

“Ooh, finally done, huh.” 

“And you finally woke up. She wasn’t listening to us at all because you were unconscious.” (Ilias)

Ilias was holding the arm of the girl. 

It is not in a horror kind of sense.

It is simply that the girl attached to that arm was being powerlessly dragged with it. 

It is plenty scary already. 

When the girl noticed me, she cried while running my way. 

Ilias had already finished her business with her, so she let go of her arm. When she did, the girl charged onto me with excessive momentum, and crashed onto my stomach. 

“Gohoh?!” 

I have forgotten, but this girl is also a black wolfkin. 

She hasn’t trained, but she still has decently high specs. 

This girl has washed herself and doesn’t stink anymore. 

Her whole body is now clean, and the whiteness of her skin is showing itself more than before. 

Even though it is daytime, that hair of hers was still supple and shining.

“It is pretty, but she is going to stand out like this.” 

“Right. She would stand out just by being a demi-human, but this hair would outshine that.” (Ilias)

For now, I get a big towel and wrap it around her head. 

This should work fine I guess. 

Her ears have been hidden too, so it would be hard to tell the difference at a glance. 

Her tail is currently being covered by the male coat she is being made to wear, so it can’t be seen. However, the area around her butt would wiggle when she wags her tail, but we can’t do anything about that. 

“Whichever the case, don’t stand out. Well, let’s compromise here and bring her to Maya’s side. If we use the possession spell on her, we will be able to communicate with her.” 

“Right. I was thinking the same.” (Ilias)

“It is the same as that time after all.” 

We bring the girl with us. 

Ilias made a face as if she just remembered something and opened up the topic. 

“Right, if I don’t say it now, I might end up forgetting again.” (Ilias)

“Hm, what is it?” 

“Actually, Lord Ragudo told me that he would want you to participate in the conferral of honors for the bandit subjugation and the banquet after that.” (Ilias)

“I will refrain from it.” 

“Of course you would. The honor to be called to such events is—wait a moment.” (Ilias)

She grabbed my shoulder tightly. 

My body tried to move forward following the law of inertia, but because my shoulder was fixed in place, my body floated for a second there. 

“Wa, ouch, it hurts. It is going to break!” 

“Why? This invitation was brought forth because your achievements were acknowledged, you know?!” (Ilias)

“I hate standing out. Let go, it really will break!” 

“O-Okay.” (Ilias)

I was released. Seriously, this girl is hopeless at controlling her strength when she moves on reflex! 

I thought my shoulder would be dislocated…no, be crushed!

I wipe away the tears while rubbing my shoulder, and return to the topic. 

“Honor is important for a knight. Not only for the sake of promotion, but it also builds trust and they are clear results that can be shown.” 

“It is the same even if you are not a knight. If you want to live in this world, achievements can become a veritable weapon. You are already weak as you are, so you will only suffer if you have no standing either!” (Ilias)

“You should understand too -the meaning of an outlier standing out.” 

I think it is unfair to bring out a topic like this, but it can’t be helped if it is for the sake of illustrating a point. 

Ilias has left splendid achievements as a knight despite being a girl. 

She should understand what issues that has created along with it. 

“That’s…but even with that, I have been—” (Ilias)

“The reason why you can still manage is because you have reliable allies.” 

Ilias shut her mouth.

It is not solely the strength of Ilias that has allowed her to maintain her current position.

It heavily hinged on the assistance of Lord Ragudo who acknowledged her abilities, and the Ragudo Division. 

Without them, considering the mental fortitude of Ilias, she would most likely…

“…Are you saying that I…that we are not reliable?” (Ilias)

“You are. Cara-jii, Maya-san, Ban-san, you as well are people I consider reliable.” 

“Then—” (Ilias)

“Listen here. Relax a bit.” 

I pulled both cheeks of the girl that looked worried at me. 

“It has only been 1 week since I came to this world. I am in a state where I don’t know left or right.” 

I use her weird face as a shield to continue talking.

“There’s no knowing who will become my enemy or ally. I don’t know who I should rely on, how much I should rely on them; it is a period of time where I would like to carefully gauge those things.” 

“…” 

“I am not saying your perspective is wrong, Ilias. What I am saying here is that I am a coward.” 

“Coward…you…?” (Ilias)

“Obviously. I was on the verge of dying from the get-go the moment I came to this world.” 

I have been having nightmares of that time when I was attacked by the bear and the slime. 

The killing intent that was directed at me by the bandits as well. 

“Even if I know I can rely on you, I don’t have the courage to. I want to avoid any actions that make me stand out unnecessarily and would increase my enemies for the sake of my own safety. That’s all there is to it.” 

“You can’t rely on us completely yet…” (Ilias)

“It is not like you could entrust your own life to people who you have met just a few days ago either, right, Ilias?” 

“That’s…true.” (Ilias)

“I will be saying something convenient here, but the one who I am relying on the most is you, Ilias.” 

“Muuh…that’s an unfair way of putting it…” (Ilias)

“Therefore, I refrain from the invitation.” 

“I see… I was told by Lord Ragudo to convince you to participate, but…it looks like I have to give up on that.” (Ilias)

“Aah, then, I will participate.” 

“Hah?!” (Ilias)

I love that kind of face. 

I obviously would want to tread carefully, but it wouldn’t be safe to worsen the standing of my benefactor. 

“If it were just a normal invitation, I would refuse. But your reputation is at stake here too, right?” 

“That’s true, but…it is, but…” (Ilias)

“You are looking after me. It is common sense to at least pay you back with that much.” 

“Y-Yeah, that’s true. That’s…true?” (Ilias)

Ilias is looking confused.

It is an amusing face, but I must not laugh. I would be squeezed again. 

“In the first place, you should have said that first if it was an order. I am a member of society too, you know.” 

“S-Sorry… Hmm?” (Ilias)

Ilias was making an unconvinced face, but her objective has been achieved, so let’s wrap this up here. 

“By the way, what should we do about the name of this girl?” 

I pat the head of the girl lightly as I consulted Ilias. 

“Name? Now that you mention it, I haven’t heard it yet.” (Ilias)

“She was simply called the blight child in the village after all. Her parents died a few days after she was born, but even if she was given a name, I don’t think there’s anyone who would know it.” 

“I see… Then, we have to give her a name. A black wolfkin girl, huh… What kind of pronunciation does black have in your world?” (Ilias)

“Aah, something like kuro, koku, burakku.” 

You need a certain degree of awareness in order to speak in Japanese while the possession spell is active. 

If it is an unknown term, it will be told just like that, but when it is an already known term, it gets translated on its own.

“It doesn’t fit her image that much… What about white?” (Ilias)

“Shiro, haku, white; if we are mixing them, there’s also byaku.” 

“Hmm…what about for wolf?” (Ilias)

“Rou, okami, urufu, a famous wolf would be the Fenrir. Also referred to as Hróðvitnir Vánagandr.” 

Well, thinking about the meaning of it, it is a name I would like to avoid.

“Urufu sounds nice.” 

“But most people that call themselves Urufu in this world are men.” (Ilias)

“Hmm…in that case, switch it up a bit…how about Wolfe?” 

It is just changing it up a bit, but it does make it sound softer. 

But isn’t this like placing a ko at the end of Taro to forcefully make it sound feminine? <Like ending names with a or o. Maria and Mario>

Well, I don’t dislike the sound of it. 

“Wolfe… It doesn’t sound bad. It is settled then.” 

I look at the eyes of the girl and speak to her. 

“From today on, you are Wolfe. That’s your name.” 

“Au…Woru?” 

“Wolfe. Wol-fe.” 

“Wolfe… Wolfe!” (Wolfe)

She seems to have liked it. 

Ilias and I look at each other and smile. 

Today is the beginning of this girl’s life, the life of Wolfe. 

We brought Wolfe, who was saying her own name in happiness, to the place of Maya-san. 

◇◇

Lord Ragudo was in the office room of the king of Taizu, Marito, and was telling him about this time’s matter. 

“To think there would be an unknown demi-human tribe inside the territory of Taizu despite its long history in existence. The untrodden land is something I would like to tackle in the near future.” (Marito)

“Yeah, and the ones who discovered this were the merchant of this country, Ban, and the helper of Lord Ratzel.” (Ragudo)

“The bandit subjugation, the book regarding the Demon Lord, and now the discovery of demi-humans. That person really does stir things up. Did you manage to have him agree to the banquet?” (Marito)

“About that, I confirmed the other day with Lord Ratzel, and it seems like she hasn’t been able to. I have given her a free day until she manages to tell him.” (Ragudo)

“Haha! It is going to be a tough job for the hard-headed Lord Ratzel. If it proves difficult, please move as well.” (Marito)

“As you will.” (Ragudo)

“If that doesn’t work either, I will slip out from this room and meet him. No need to feel pressured.” (Marito)

“Looks like I will have to do my best.” (Ragudo)

Lord Ragudo smiled bitterly and Marito laughed amused. 

“Also, the merchant Ban has requested to form as much of an equivalent relationship in our economical relation with the black wolfkins, but…their military force is sorely inferior to ours.” (Ragudo)

“What of it? They are people who have lived for long years in our territory. Even if it is the logical course of action to eliminate the people who have been living in our territory without paying their taxes, it is not humane. Just let them do as they please until they want to come under us.” (Marito)

“From what I have heard, that forest is a valuable one. If used properly, it would benefit our nation.” (Ragudo)

“Let the contributors of the discovery sip on the nectar. Results merit payment.” (Marito)

“As you will.” (Ragudo)

Marito stretched and walked to the window. 

There’s someone who is providing change to this country. 

He wants to meet him soon. 

His heart was dancing even more than when he was told he would be meeting the daughter of a noble who was a famous beauty.

If the helper were a woman, he might have even awakened to love. A king filled with curiosity. 

Marito was thinking about the man that’s somewhere in his country and smiled. 

◇◇

“Here, I am done. No failures.” (Maya)

The possession spell of Maya has safely finished. I wasn’t internally thinking it would be okay for side-effects to show up, you know? 

I am not such a narrow-thinker…probably. 

By the way, she has also resupplied mana to my possession spell.

Just thinking about the possibility of the mana running out in the black wolfkin incident…it sends shivers down my spine. 

“Wolfe, can you understand my words?” (Ilias)

Ilias speaks to her.

Wolfe looked a bit surprised, but she nodded in response.

“Good. Try talking.” 

“O-Okay. Uhm…good weather.” (Wolfe)

“It doesn’t feel like it has failed.” 

“How rude. It is not like she is you, boy.” (Maya)

Can you please feel a bit of guilt towards your mistake? 

Wolfe is panicking at how she is able to transmit words through her own will. 

I explained to her beforehand, but I can understand how she ends up like this once it has actually happened.

Her only way of communicating until now has been to move her head after all. 

“U-ah…eeeh, uuh, Wolfe is Wolfe.” (Wolfe)

Wolfe was looking over here as she spoke flustered. 

“This one here is Ilias.” 

“That’s right.” (Ilias)

“And you?” (Wolfe)

I see, she is wondering how to call me, huh. 

It is fine to have her call me by my name, but she is younger than me. It would be rough to have her call me without honorifics like I do with Ilias. 

What should I have her call me? Brother? Doesn’t sound right. 

Papa? Nah. 

Master…no no, she is not a summon. 

“Isn’t Darling good?” (Maya)

“There’s a limit to danger.” 

I block the statement of Maya-san and think. 

I ponder about my relationship with Wolfe from here on. 

I obviously plan on supporting Wolfe so that she can live on her own. 

I had the resolve to shoulder this when I decided my actions leading to this point. 

I plan on teaching Wolfe a variety of things. 

In that case…

“Sensei or Shishou, I guess?” <Sensei refers to a teacher and Shishou a master in an art, but it is pretty much like a teacher too.>

“How conceited.” (Ilias)

“Leave me be.” 

“Sensei~, Shishou~?” (Wolfe)

“Whichever is fine.” 

“Sense, Shishou, Sense…Shishou~!” (Wolfe)

“Good, call me that from now on.” 

“Shishou~! Shishou~! Shishou~!” (Wolfe)

Wolfe was repeating it happily. 

Now that I think about it, Shishou can be translated to Master. Maybe that one would have worked too? 

No, I prefer a more Japanese one. 

In Japan, master reminds me too much of the ones that tend a bar. 

Now then, let’s think about the tasks I should do for the future. 

First, I should think about the meals and lodging of Wolfe. 

“Of course, I don’t mind. Considering the burden, she can take your place too.” (Ilias)

“I will properly pay the rent, so please spare me.” 

The empty room in Ilias’s house became the room of Wolfe. 

We should be able to do something about her meals too. If we indulge on Gozu, we won’t need money for a while. 

Next would be the clothes. These baggy clothes like those of a man would not do good. 

In the first place, is she even wearing underwear? 

“Maya-san, can you teach Wolfe how to restrain the emission of mana?” 

“No problem. There’s no issue with her excessive mana as long as she releases it frequently, so I don’t think it will prove detrimental in her daily life even if she were to hold it back on the regular.” (Maya)

The shining of her hair should be dealt with like that. 

Even if so, her almost transparent white hair would still stand out…

She doesn’t have the towel wrapped around her head at some point in time, but we haven’t been told anything until now, so there shouldn’t be any issues. 

Next would be the clothing… Let’s have her wear that first.

“Waaah, cute!” 

I brought Saira. 

She was free today, so I went to her house and called her. 

“Why did you know where her house was?” (Ilias)

“Exchanging addresses is the number one way to friendship after all.” 

I ignored the gaze of Ilias that looked as if she doubted my personality. 

“Can you make clothes that would fit Wolfe? This city probably doesn’t sell specialized clothes when there’s only humans here. Since I am going to be requesting clothes to be made, I thought it would be good practice for you, Saira.” 

“Leave it to me~. My creative juices are flowing!” (Saira)

Wolfe was somewhat flustered by the excited Saira, but she safely finished the measuring. 

“Now then, Wolfe, you can talk to others now with the possession spell of Maya-san. But you won’t be able to be independent if you rely the whole time on the possession spell. I know, Ilias. This is also directed at me, so stop those eyes.” 

“That’s fine then.” (Ilias)

“What should be done first is learning the words, then learning common knowledge. And so, Maya-sensei, I will be counting on you!” 

I had Wolfe sit, and have her hold parchment and pen.

This is the sight of a student. 

“Boy, do you remember what you are making that girl call you?” (Maya)

“I will teach her how to live. But I am also a beginner when it comes to language and common knowledge. And so, Maya-sensei, I will be counting on you!” 

And so, I sit beside Wolfe. 

“I don’t mind, but it just feels somewhat wrong.” (Maya)

It is not like I can’t learn a language by studying on my own, but it would be faster to be taught common knowledge. 

We finished preparations to welcome Wolfe in this manner. 

It is because she hasn’t been able to earn anything until now that she has to put in the effort to earn from here on. 

It is not like only happiness is waiting ahead of her. 

Even so, I will support Wolfe so she can have a good life. 

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