“Don’t differentiate me from my color, please do so by shape.”
The otherworlder that had become blonde with dark red eyes and the shocked face of Ekdoik. Even a guy like this, who can do anything with his chains, can’t change the color of his hair and eyes.
Even if he can, there’s no need for it to be with the chains. I can accept the hair, but putting chains inside your eyes as contact lenses is out.
“You are certainly Comrade. But when you take out the distinctive traits of your hair and eye colors, it was really hard to tell who you were to a terrifying degree.” (Ekdoik)
“But if you can blend with your surroundings that much, it will boost the ease to protect you. It might be better for you to talk in that appearance when walking through dangerous sectors.” (Ekdoik)
This is a western world. I thought my eastern face was distinguishing enough though… So that’s not the case in this world, huh. Or maybe my distinctive features are not that strong?
It is most likely the latter.
“And so, about being my bodyguard on your free days… Can you?”
“Obviously, I don’t mind. Your existence is absolutely necessary for the improvement in the reputation of Rakura Salf, and I have been thinking the whole time about doing something about that frailness of yours, Comrade. Me becoming your bodyguard would be the fastest method. It does feel more productive than digging holes.” (Ekdoik)
“So you were bothered by it. I thought you were having quite a lot of fun though.”
“Just telling you, Ekdoik, but that’s the only work where you can lower your guard, you know?” (Ilias)
“Hooh, that’s great. Aah, with him being so full of openings, I won’t be able to sleep at night the days I am not his bodyguard.” (Ekdoik)
Sparks were flying between Ekdoik and Ilias. Speaking of which, these two haven’t fought directly, but they do dislike each other.
The bodyguard and the kidnapper that took advantage of the opening of that bodyguard. They are now going to be protecting the same person.
You really don’t know what lies ahead in life. A bit of competition can help with motivation, so let’s leave them be.
Today is Ilias’s turn to be my bodyguard, but I thought about showing him a rough idea of how my day flows, so I had him accompany us. And so, we are right now in the magic research lab.
The appearance of Ekdoik is a bit intimidating, but will Ruko and Nora be okay?
“Ooh, Nii-chan! Who is this cool-looking mister?” (Nora)
“I am Ekdoik. I have been asked to be this guy’s bodyguard on the days off of Ilias.” (Ekdoik)
He is cool? He does have chains hanging around him and gives that wild style after all.
I thought his appearance would be a hit for 8th graders, but it seems like it is also effective at the age of Nora.
Now that I think about it, maybe Wolfe is attached to him because of his chain fashion? She also uses the chains she got as an accessory after all.
I would like her to admire him as a powerhouse though.
“N-Nice to meet you…Ekdoik-san.” (Ruko)
Seems like Ruko is taking a more distant stance. This is probably the appropriate reaction of an adult girl.
Taizu doesn’t have many adventurers to begin with, so they aren’t too acquainted with people who have such appearances.
Ruko is surrounded by civilians and knights on the regular, so the traits of Ekdoik are way too strong for her.
“Muh, did I scare you? My apologies. From what I heard, you are the person with the highest standing here. If there’s any inconveniences, tell me at any time without holding back. I will accommodate as best as possible as long as it doesn’t affect the protection of my comrade.” (Ekdoik)
“Ah, o-okay.” (Ruko)
That handicap is covered splendidly by his diligent attitude.
He is a dutiful man on the inside. Especially towards people who are diligent too.
But that in itself makes him lack amusement… Wait, he becomes an amusing guy at the times when he is dealing with me though…
It must be my imagination. Yeah, my imagination.
And so, we begin a variety of experiments in front of Ekdoik.
Ekdoik is observing us with arms crossed and his back leaning on the wall. We prepared a chair for you, so sit, dude. But no one is telling him that.
“Your name is Nora, right? You are adept at controlling your mana to a shocking degree at your age. Your amount of mana has also gone over the average already. You will definitely become a good Sage if you don’t mistake your path. Ruko is average when it comes to magic, but her gestures have elegance. You were most likely an errand girl in this castle. You have certainly been chosen correctly to be the one who brings common sense here.” (Ekdoik)
“T-Thank you?” (Ruko)
“I am not praising you. I was simply giving my honest opinion. If the number of people increases, there will obviously be people who will be losing control. I would like a bit more energy from you so you can deal with those eventualities when they happen.” (Ekdoik)
“By the way, Ekdoik, you can freely move your chains, but how’s your magic?”
“These chains are an application of magic to begin with. It is using magic that allows the free control of metal, and that mana has permeated it. I am activating that spell each time I infuse an element to it.” (Ekdoik)
Ekdoik said this and controlled several chains at once, and infused them with different elements respectively.
“Ooh, that’s impressive!” (Nora)
“That said, the spells I can use are inclined towards what I can infuse to my chains. Also, I have trained to do combat and stealth for when my chains are disabled. For the latter, there’s the repelling barrier that drives away people and the spell that allows me to slip into the darkness.” (Ekdoik)
Speaking of which, he did have a barrier like that. I have seen depictions of slipping in the darkness from anime, but I am curious how it would look in the flesh. Let’s have him show me next time.
“You are a skilled guy.”
“I can’t use many spells with complicated formulas though. Nora would most likely be above me on that front. If it is in a battle with only magic, I would be at an advantage because of the gap in physical strength.” (Ekdoik)
Being able to analyze someone young so calmly to this degree is pretty impressive. Ekdoik is the kind of man that doesn’t break character no matter who he is facing.
Why did this guy lose completely against Rakura again?
“Ekdo-niichan, Nora would like to try using those chains too.” (Nora)
“I don’t mind. I will give you one.” (Ekdoik)
“Ruko, you can go ahead and try using it at the times when you have nothing to do.” (Ekdoik)
“Ah, thank you very much… Wow, this is impressive.” (Ruko)
“How about you, Mix? Want one?” (Ekdoik)
“Yeah, I will!” (Mix)
Chains were being distributed to the girls as if they were candy…and they were happy about it.
No, no, if I just think about those as high-tech toys that can change shape freely… Yeah, it doesn’t make sense.
By the way, I have also gotten one. It is not for training, but communication.
Ekdoik began joining in on the conversation in the middle of it. His mastery is more inclined to battle and stealth as opposed to Mix, but he has high comprehension.
And most of all, it was taken very positively that his practical skills are even more outstanding than those of Nora.
“By the way, the one who will have her name raised the most from the results of this magic research is Ruko, but I plan on pushing my achievements to Rakura.”
“That’s nice. It won’t be long before results show with a prodigy like Nora. But if that’s the case, we would need to bring Rakura Salf there every now and then.” (Ekdoik)
“Right, that was a blindspot.”
We headed to the church of Maya-san next. It has been a while since I have come here.
I haven’t come here yet since the time I returned to Gahne.
Wolfe has learned a good amount of common knowledge now, so it feels as if she has already graduated.
“Oh my, boy, you have gotten pretty—boy?” (Maya)
“It was an accident from magic.”
More like I was made a guinea pig though. Nora showed it on herself first and it was fine, you know?
And so, they tested it on me too, who hardly gets affected by magic.
“Your internal mana is way too little, so it is hard to hold back properly… That said, I get Ilias, but who is the one over there?” (Maya)
“My name is Ekdoik. I am the bodyguard of Comrade.” (Ekdoik)
“You have gotten acquainted with quite the dangerous individual in the time I wasn’t watching, boy. Is he a former Anbu?” (Maya)
“An adventurer. The reason why you find me ominous must be because I was raised by the Great Devil Beglagud.” (Ekdoik)
“…I see, that Beglagud.” (Maya)
“You know about him?!” (Ekdoik)
Beglagud is a Great Devil that ruled a third of the biggest Nether in the world that is the Mejis Nether.
Rakura entered a den of devils by coincidence, he was a devil that got defeated as a passing thought, which turned out to be the father that raised Ekdoik.
He is pitiful just from the fact that he was defeated by Rakura, but his name has barely been spread in the human realm.
“I know. I was originally a cleric from Mejis after all. Intelligent devils would speak of that name every now and then. A Unique Class monster that was famous even within the devils and had a name.” (Maya)
“By the way, I will give you the background of it…”
For now, I explained the life of Ekdoik and the connection he has with Rakura.
“I am baffled. Even though Rakura defeated a Unique Class, she didn’t report it?” (Maya)
“She apparently couldn’t differentiate him by his appearance and didn’t have a hard time with him.”
“That shouldn’t be the case though… Even a group of devils wouldn’t be able to defeat a Unique Class.” (Maya)
“That’s right! Mine father was great and mighty! And yet…!” (Ekdoik)
“I can’t pity the fact that Beglagud died, but I do respect your desire to protect the honor of the father that raised you. The method you have chosen is peaceful and certain after all.” (Maya)
As expected of an archbishop. She is reasonable.
I was a bit worried since he was raised by a Great Devil, but it seems like I don’t have to worry about a confrontation.
“…Ekdoik, how old are you?” (Maya)
“I don’t remember specifically, but I am over 25.” (Ekdoik)
“I think I have heard about that before… Ah, could it be that you are from the Zeatto village?” (Maya)
“—To think I would hear that name here. It is true that the village that offered me as a sacrifice was Zeatto.” (Ekdoik)
“I see…” (Maya)
The wariness of Maya-san lowered in one go. She must have her own thoughts regarding that.
“Could it be that you knew Ekdoik?”
“I wasn’t acquainted with him directly, but at the time when I went devil hunting with Filia -the mother of Ilias…” (Maya)
Maya-san and Filia-san apparently hunted devils together as clerics.
And then, they arrived at the Zeatto village one day. That village was located close to the Mejis Nether, and was a place that suffered greatly from monsters.
One day they heard that the Great Devil Beglagud appeared, and headed to that place.
There were many casualties in that village. The ones who could fight were slaughtered at an early stage, and were under the ruling of the devils for a long period of time.
Beglagud had an interest in humans, and schemed a variety of original ideas.
The Zeatto Village must have been a great place for experiments since it was close to the Nether.
Clerics went there countless times, but were threatened by devils, and gave false reports of there being nothing, so they couldn’t even call for help.
Maya-san and the others fortunately noticed the existence of the devils, defeated the devils in that village, and saved them.
But that village was already a village that had been targeted by Beglagud. It was obvious that they would be targeted by the devils again.
And so, all the villagers were evacuated to a village away from the Mejis Nether.
“There was a single girl there, you see. She came crying at us and told us that she had given away her own baby to the devils not long before we arrived. She was repeating your name the whole time.” (Maya)
“That’s not possible… This name was given to me by mine father…”
Ekdoik must have noticed after hearing this much.
Beglagud raised Ekdoik for sports, and tried to make him someone who seeks vengeance against humans.
He lied about how he gave Ekdoik his name. What would happen if he attacked the Zeatto village? What would his mother think when he sees a killer resembling her son and with the same name?
I am sure he would go that far.
“…Hmph, even if so, it doesn’t change the fact that she gave me away because of her only caring about herself.” (Ekdoik)
“Right. The strength and heart of your mother was weaker than that of the devils. And the ones with strength couldn’t save you -including me. I am sorry we were too late.” (Maya)
“If you want to shoulder that, shoulder it as you please. It has nothing to do with me.” (Ekdoik)
“…Your mother might be alive, you know?” (Maya)
“Who cares. Don’t feel like knowing or meeting her.” (Ekdoik)
“Is it okay for me to search for her and tell you?” (Maya)
“Do as you please. But I won’t hear anything about meeting her.” (Ekdoik)
…Hmm, it has gotten strangely serious.
I had a pretty decent idea about the heavy past of Ekdoik, but it is heavier when I hear this from a related party.
Wait, Zeatto village?
“Speaking of which, the mother of Rakura is also from Zeatto village.”
Maya-san and Ekdoik look at me with surprised faces.
“Ah, I was told that Rakura was picked up at an orphanage though.”
I have asked Rakura about her parents and about the clergy once.
Rakura muttered that out while drinking, but the village had fallen by the hands of monsters at the time her mother was pregnant with Rakura, ended up having to migrate, and gave birth.
But the person herself was not in a sound state in body and mind, so she couldn’t raise her properly.
Because of those circumstances, she left Rakura in front of the orphanage and tried to leave, but was found by a cleric in the orphanage.
They ended up taking Rakura in after hearing her out.
By the way, Rakura herself tried to search for her mother afterwards, and she saw her, but didn’t show herself.
Rakura told me: ‘Even if I met her, she would just apologize anyways’.
“Rakura defeated the nemesis of the village without even noticing. Talk about fate.”
“…What if that’s the case? It has nothing to do with me.” (Ekdoik)
“So you say, but this is not a bad thing, you know?”
“Rakura didn’t defeat Beglagud as a passing thought. She defeated Beglagud as retribution for what happened in the Zeatto village. Wouldn’t the story sound better that way?”
Ekdoik placed a hand on my shoulder.
“It would make for a moving tale.” (Ekdoik)
“Well, it certainly would be a moving tale if told. It is just that the person herself is not aware of it at all.”
“You people… Well, I will do as I please on my side. Ekdoik, show up here when you have free time.” (Maya)
“I have no business here.” (Ekdoik)
“I do. You know a lot about the devils, so I would like to ask you a number of things. I was a specialist in devil hunting. Did I not get famous within the devils?” (Maya)
“Maya… Maya… Did you have a nickname?” (Ekdoik)
“…I was called the Mauler of Everything, I guess.” (Maya)
Uwaah, I can already tell how dangerous she is with just that nickname.
I can only imagine her beating up the devils and evil spirits with her bare hands. It is not a nickname a cleric should have.
“I remember now. I have heard about a duo of clerics, Mauler of Everything and Meteor Fist, defeating the Great Devil Zegodeltesta.” (Ekdoik)
“That’s the one. The other one is the nickname of Filia.” (Maya)
“Mother’s… How to say it…I understand that you two were a dangerous duo.” (Ilias)
“Both of them were most likely barehanded.”
“Just for your information, I was the frail one, okay?” (Maya)
“I can tell that.”
If she is a martial artist, maybe I could have asked her to coach Wolfe.
No, Wolfe isn’t good with complicated magic. I don’t think she would be too compatible with techniques like magic fists.
“So, what business do you have with me?” (Ekdoik)
“I am pretty knowledgeable myself, but I would like to hear from someone who knows about the internal situation. Devils die immediately even if we were to torture them, so there’s barely any information we can get out of them, you see.” (Maya)
Aaah aaah aaah, I hear nothing, I hear nothing.
I don’t hear anything about the dangerous stories of Maya-san who is a rare person with common sense.
Ekdoik agreed for now. He is a guy that faces reasonable people with integrity.
She will apparently teach us knowledge about magic as payment. If he learns purification magic from Maya-san, he will finally become a hybrid.
As for Ilias, she seems to be discontent about her bodyguard rival getting along with Maya-san who has been taking care of her since childhood. That’s a nice face.
Our work today ends here. The last thing to do is to bring Ekdoik to Dog’s Bone.
“Ah, welcome, Ilias and Onii-san! …Who is the avant-garde person there?” (Saira)
Seems he looks avant-garde in the eyes of Saira who has a sense of fashion. Is it barely within acceptable range?
We order one of everything. The wives of the Ragudo Division are working energetically today too.
“Hooh, the people at this workplace have ambition… I can tell that the man working deep inside has been trained well too.” (Ekdoik)
“They are the wives of the strongest knight division in this country after all.”
Gozu…has he gotten a bit thinner?
But he is making a nice face, so let’s leave him be.
“Wouldn’t it make Rakura Salf better if she were to work here?” (Ekdoik)
“I was on the verge of making her do that, but she is bad at doing several things at the same time. She would mess up to a degree where it would cause trouble for this place.”
“We can’t go troubling others.” (Ekdoik)
“I don’t understand your standards.”
The meal and alcohol was brought to us. Ekdoik doesn’t eat meat, so his is mainly vegetables.
The menu here has increased quite a lot. It can now deal with customers of varying tastes.
“Hooh… Each ingredient has been heated up to their own temperature to keep the appropriate texture… The balance of the 5 spices used are also the ones in season that will bring out the best of the vegetables… But most of all, this accentuated taste… I see, this is salt.” (Ekdoik)
“You are the one who has given the most decent analysis from the people I have brought here. You can drink alcohol too, right?”
“I can, but I have come here today to experience being your bodyguard, Comrade. I can’t have that.” (Ekdoik)
“Even Ilias, who is my bodyguard today, is drinking, you know?”
“You are a failure as a bodyguard.” (Ekdoik)
“Hmph, your hand dulls from a bit of alcohol? I can see your limits. You are the one who is a failure as a bodyguard.” (Ilias)
It goes without saying that Ekdoik ended up drinking a whole ton of alcohol as if competing with Ilias.
You both are failures as bodyguards.
That said, they didn’t drink themselves until they were dead drunk.
Since the time Ilias collapsed from drinking, she has learned her own pace after all. I think it is closing in on the dangerous line though.
“Okay, okay, we now know that you don’t lose to alcohol, so it is about time to stop. Here, sip on some vegetable soup.”
“Thanks… Aah, the muddied bog is being purified into a pure lake… The taste seeps into my body.” (Ekdoik)
“You could work as a food reviewer. Here, you too, Ilias. If you collapse, I am going to make Ekdoik carry you.”
“…Kuh, can’t be helped.” (Ilias)
“You are the one that can’t be helped. Saira, please bring water.”
Why do I have to be the one taking care of my bodyguards? These two don’t give the vibe of being able to drink merrily together, so it is fine though.
Ekdoik was checking my state while drinking soup. Those are eyes I am very acquainted with: the eyes of someone inspecting the other party.
“Why are you looking at me as if appraising me?”
“Ah, sorry. I was wondering about something, you see.” (Ekdoik)
I get water from Saira and order fruit wine for the end.
There are often times when I would order a somewhat sweet drink as a substitute for dessert on occasions like this.
The alcohol percentage is low, so it also serves to wash off the taste of the meal.
No one in this store can imitate the alcohol sense of Gozu. That’s him alright.
“What. I can answer pretty much anything you want, you know?”
“Comrade, you are going to marry Rakura Salf, right?” (Ekdoik)
I spit out the fruit wine I was drinking towards Ilias.