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The outrageous statement of Ekdoik made me spit out the fruit wine I was drinking and made me fall into a coughing fit.
“Sorry. Ekdoik just threw such an insane statement, I just ended up reacting like that.”
I give a handkerchief to Ilias for now and ask Saira to bring something to wipe.
I feel like Ilias just ordered the same wine as if nothing, but let’s not worry about that.
“Is that not the case?” (Ekdoik)
“Of course not. Why did you think that?”
“That was the only reason I could think for you to cooperate to this extent, Comrade.” (Ekdoik)
“I am helping out a good number of people though.”
I am moving to improve the reputation of Rakura, but I am also trying to fix the standing of Ilias and make Wolfe independent.
“You owe Ilias Ratzel, sympathize with Wolfe and feel a future in her, and Nora and Mix are helpers; I can at least grasp that much from your relationships.” (Ekdoik)
“What a polite analysis. Pope Euparo left Rakura under my care, and I said before that this was also because I didn’t want to make you my enemy, right?”
“It may be one thing now, but if we consider that time, there was little worth in keeping me alive. It is not like you feel that indebted to Pope Euparo. In other words, Comrade, that would mean you are cooperating with Rakura Salf for a personal reason. Why can you do that much for Rakura Salf? I feel like there’s no benefit aside from marrying her.” (Ekdoik)
I see, his analysis is decent, I guess.
It is true that Ekdoik was an enemy at that time. We cornered him to the point of a heavy injury, so it would have been faster to kill him.
As for the request of Pope Euparo, it was in part because he tag teamed with Marito, giving me no room to refuse, but I could have put my decision on hold and kept it that way.
“I am not really seeking benefits from Rakura. I am simply someone that is staying at the place I find comfortable. If I were to seek recompense, that would instead be uncomfortable, right?”
“It is for a reason like that?” (Ekdoik)
“It is for a reason like that. There might be a variety of things that would go better without Rakura around, but you could say the same for pretty much anyone as long as I am not dependent on them. For example, if I hadn’t been friends with Marito, there would have been no need for me to get involved with Taizu, and I could have explored the world freely.”
“I don’t get it. Do you not get disillusioned with her even though it is full of demerits?” (Ekdoik)
“I do have benefits. She finds this place comfortable and she even shows it in her attitude.”
That’s the side of Rakura I can’t hate. She not only popped up in someone else’s place, she even looks super comfortable with it.
She makes a mess of a lot of things, but she is soothing at times.
“Aah, like a cat.”
“So it is like buying a pet for enjoyment? Even though seeing something like that is just tiring…” (Ekdoik)
“She is cute when you get used to it… Speaking of which, I wonder if that guy is doing well on Earth too.”
When I thought about the way of life of Rakura, it reminded me that there’s someone similar to her on Earth. It wasn’t a human, but resembled Rakura.
That said, he was far more intelligent compared to Rakura. A really majestic creature.
“Hm? You had a cat?” (Ekdoik)
“No, a stray cat. I gave him the name Pluton though. He got completely attached to my house.”
“Isn’t it because you gave him food?” (Ekdoik)
“No, the food of humans has too strong of a taste, so I didn’t give it to him. I didn’t want to go out of my way to buy cat food for a stray. He must have been a prideful one, I saw him refusing the food the neighbors were trying to give him countless times.”
“Despite that, he stayed at your home?” (Ekdoik)
“Yeah, he would come to cool off on hot days; on cold days, to warm himself; on rainy days, to avoid the rain; also at times when he wanted to get a peaceful sleep. By the way, he didn’t get attached to me to a shocking degree. He ran away when I petted him for more than 10 seconds.”
He was mostly in the veranda, so he might be there now. Or maybe he has moved his base somewhere else.
He had that majesty in him, so he must be doing great somewhere else.
“—You make quite the kind face when speaking of that cat.” (Ekdoik)
“Really? I think it is the usual though. Well, that’s basically how it is, Ekdoik. I can’t bring myself to hate a person that has acknowledged my place.”
“But aren’t you just going to get used like a convenient tool?” (Ekdoik)
“That might be the case, but I don’t mind that as long as I think it is fine. Spoiled requests would be bad for the education of Wolfe, so I will refuse them though.”
Ilias and Wolfe are diligent people. For the naturally lazy Rakura, such an environment couldn’t really be called comfortable.
Even with that, she gets along with the two. She has taken a liking to the place of someone else.
That should be enough to help out Rakura. It is fine as long as I can live safely in my surroundings.
“I don’t really get it that well, but let’s leave that as homework. But if that’s the case, who are you planning on marrying, Comrade?” (Ekdoik)
“Who, you ask… Don’t fuss over that… There’s no one like that within my acquaintances right now.”
“So there’s no one to your liking, huh. What kind of woman do you like?” (Ekdoik)
“You are pushing awfully hard here. What are you scheming?”
“Rather than a scheme, it is more like I want to repay you too. I was just wondering if there’s anything I can do for my comrade who is helping me out here in my objective without much in return, you see. Isn’t it about time to get a wife or two since you are already old enough?” (Ekdoik)
“You are saying the same thing as Marito… I don’t really have a specific taste. Going as far as crushing your own individual traits to change to my tastes would instead be unsightly.”
“I see, but you do have them, right?” (Ekdoik)
“I don’t really have the custom of women having to be one way after all… Ah, but mysterious women are attractive.”
You know, like the ones in spy movies that feel like they have a deep past and you can’t get a grasp of their identity.
A veil of mystery lets the imagination run, so I feel like my brain would spin well together with someone like that.
It would be tiring to deal with someone like that on a daily basis, so a relationship where you are not too close but not too far would be preferable.
“So you like unknown and mysterious women.” (Ekdoik)
“When you put it like that, it feels as if someone that’s not a human will show up, oi.”
“It is hard to understand what you are thinking.” (Ekdoik)
“Hmm, I feel like craziness would be mixed in it. Let’s put an end to this talk. It will most likely be impossible for you.”
A woman that Ekdoik could introduce to me would either be a diligent one or a dangerous one. He might even introduce me to Girista.
Girista is somewhat mysterious in a sense, or like, bewitching, but it is obscured by her being a psycho.
In the end, my conversation with Ekdoik finished like that. Next time I will be looking at the training schedule of Lord Ragudo with Ilias to rotate bodyguards with prior communication.
As for the way of communication, when you pour a certain type of mana to the chains of Ekdoik, it can serve as a simple call for the person himself. He has taught Wolfe the method, so he has told us to contact him through that.
Anything goes for these chains. I feel like we will eventually be able to do instant transmission with this as the foundation.
I separate from Ekdoik and walk together with Ilias in the night on our way back.
Ilias went to the point of almost drinking until she was knocked out, but it seems like she has returned to a decent state after getting hit by the night wind.
According to the person herself, she can deceive her intoxication if she surges up her mana. Mana is impressive.
“Speaking of which, there was a lot less resistance towards Ekdoik becoming my bodyguard than I expected. You did make a face of disapproval though.”
“I understand my own inexperience. I simply judged that, instead of being stubborn and maintaining this state, it would be better to grow as much as possible and become even stronger. I will show disapproval in my face though.” (Ilias)
“That’s praiseworthy. There’s no assurance you won’t be surpassed by Wolfe if you are careless after all.”
“Right… By the way, I might be digging out the conversation from before, but you liked Rakura more than I thought.” (Ilias)
“If you asked me whether I like or hate her, of course I like her.”
“Even though you disliked the idea of living together that much?” (Ilias)
At the day when Rakura was driven out from the church and tried to enter the Ilias house, I was the only one that was against it.
In the end, the decision of the landlord settled the discussion though.
“Our relationship wasn’t that great at that time after all. The likeability increased with her being so close to my vicinity. You are also pretty close to her yourself lately, Ilias.”
“True. Her personality is the complete opposite of mine, but I can’t bring myself to hate her. Rakura is that kind of person.” (Ilias)
“Relationships change even if gently -regardless of whether you want them to or not.”
“Right. When I think of my initial relationship with you, it certainly has changed completely.” (Ilias)
“Damn straight. Stuff like ‘let me understand you and understand me’ you won’t find them often even in married couples, you know?”
Ilias coughed at this. Is her mental state more susceptible because of the alcohol?
“I am grateful that I am being given that much importance though.”
“—How would you describe our relationship?” (Ilias)
“That’s so sudden… To put it bluntly, it is more raiku than ravu.”
“Don’t use incomprehensible words.” (Ilias)
“It is more like than love. Rather than romantic feelings as the opposite gender, it is more like I find you likable as a person. We like each other’s strong points, and we are wondering whether we can do something about our defects. If it were love, we would be accepting of our defects after all.”
“Right… What are my defects?” (Ilias)
“You are crude and uncivilized.”
“Straight for the throat, huh. Then, what are my strong points?” (Ilias)
“The fact that you like other people’s strong points despite knowing their defects.”
No matter how favorably you see someone, there are many occasions where you would get disappointed in them with just one instance.
Ilias has seen my defects and rejected them, but she is still trying to be by my side despite that.
Even though she knows that she can’t understand it and can’t pardon it, she still accepts it which is a testament of her strength of heart.
She is doing what a certain someone can only do by projecting his body and mind as themselves while maintaining her own self.
“…It is embarrassing when told straight out.” (Ilias)
“Pretty hard to say without alcohol in the system.”
“—I am attracted to the things you have that I can’t have. I most definitely like you. I want to have the strength to continue protecting you by my side as I strive to become a better knight. Is this weird?” (Ilias)
“Wanting a trustworthy partner isn’t that strange of a desire.”
“Partner, huh. Now that you put it that way, it certainly does sound desirable. I can’t forgive the inhumane, but you can. You can’t walk the path of righteousness, but I can. I have the sword, but you have the wisdom. We might complement each other pretty well.” (Ilias)
“If we were simply from opposite spectrums, I feel like we would be mismatched instead though.”
“That’s true… Then, why do you think that is?” (Ilias)
“Simple. We are similar in foundation. Our feelings towards the important things are close, that’s why, even if there’s differences, we can accept them and make up for them.”
“That’s complicated.” (Ilias)
“It is complicated.”
Ilias spoke very little when Ekdoik was with us, but she is pretty talkative today.
Something about him must have provoked her and made her want answers for her own standing and emotions.
Things like that are just temporary understandings, but seeking them is something that I experienced often a long time ago.
“Will we end up in a romantic relationship?” (Ilias)
“Looks like you are really drunk. It is better for you to stop there or you are going to regret it by morning.”
“Don’t tease me. I don’t get those kinds of feelings, but it is not like I am completely uninterested. What do you say?” (Ilias)
Her eyes are serious. I feel like Ilias-san is the type who would carry over her memories of when she is drunk, so if I make her say too many problematic statements, it might become an obstacle in our relationship in the future.
Let’s finish this talk in a decent manner.
“Something like that might happen if we are together. It is not rare to get married with a distance like this. It would be a bit difficult in this world without a bit more romantic feelings though. There’s just no way to read this one.”
“Is that how it works?” (Ilias)
“Getting conscious of it is pointless. Love is sudden after all. It won’t progress just because you are conscious of it. The best stance is to just let it develop on its own.”
Getting all conscious and ending without the other party being interested, and once your feelings have cooled down, the other party begins getting conscious of you; it is a development that happens often.
Even if Ilias acts with that in consideration, there’s no assurance I will get in the mood for that. That goes the same if the roles were reversed.
It is plenty possible for you to get pointlessly conscious of it and break the nice relationship you had.
“With that way of putting it, it sounds like you have fallen in love before.” (Ilias)
“I have. As for the results, I would like you to guess it from the fact that I am alone.”
“So you were rejected?” (Ilias)
“You really had to say it out loud. Learn some restraint, you drunkard.”
Falling in love with someone else and getting conscious of it is not that rare of a thing.
I don’t know if to call that love or not. There’s things I can tell once I look back, but there’s also hazy things.
“It seems like that’s too soon for me. I am not thinking about dropping my path as a knight by being washed in emotions like love… Let’s just think of you as a good partner for now.” (Ilias)
“My number one partner is this guy here though.”
I say this and point at the wooden sword at my waist.
This is the only one I call my partner regularly -it is the second one though.
“So this is my rival, huh… It would be easy to break or burn.” (Ilias)
“You… If you don’t understand this guy’s worth, you won’t be able to win against it.”
“Worth, huh… I heard that it was something about remembering your roots or something like that.” (Ilias)
“Not only that. This guy has its own good points. Troid-san said it too, right?”
“He did say that. I didn’t really get it though… Lend it to me.” (Ilias)
I wouldn’t want to even with Ilias in her normal state. I wouldn’t be able to take it if she were to break it in her drunken stupor.
I remember the dying cries of Ekdoik’s chains!
The chains should be inanimate objects, and yet, it raised cries like those of a dying creature and bursted. It shows up in my dreams even now.
“Come on, let’s go back alrea—hm?”
I saw a single woman leaning at a corner of the road and sitting down, most likely not feeling well.
Ilias must have noticed too. Looks like she has sobered a few degrees now.
We look at each other’s faces and nod. We walked towards the woman and spoke to her.
“Excuse me, are you okay?”
Observation 1: the attire of the lady is one that nobles would like to wear, so she must be decently affluent.
But at this time of the day, moreover, this is the commoner district.
There’s nobles who go to Dog’s Bone, but their way back is in the opposite direction.
Observation 2: The hair color of the lady is a glossy purple. I see similar colors often, but this is my first time seeing one that shines like an illumination stone.
Observation 3: Her proportions are good. She doesn’t lose to Rakura.
“—Aah, I am sorry. I got a bit lost, you see… I dozed off after sitting for a break?”
The lady raised her face. A slightly unhealthy-looking complexion and nicely symmetrical face. And then there’s her purple eyes that are more gorgeous than her hair.
Putting it bluntly, she is a really bewitching beauty. It has been a while since I have skipped a beat at first glance.
“Are you a noble? Not a face I see around often.”
“Yes, I came to Taizu the other day? I came together with a merchant friend to tour around, but…he is not around because he is doing a business meeting, you see? I was bored alone?”
Her intonation is weird, or like, it feels as if she is always speaking in question marks…
I think I have heard about a person with such a trait…
“If you are lost, I can guide you… Apologies, but what’s your name?”
The girl calls herself that.
Ilias didn’t react. There’s no way she would.
This world doesn’t have the knowledge of reading the kanji of purple as Yukari after all.
The only ones with that knowledge are Japanese people.
The other Japanese person would be Yugura Nariya.
If we are speaking of a person related to him, moreover, someone who can be associated with purple, it would be…no, can I even call her a person?
“Yukari-san, huh. Do you remember the buildings in the vicinity?”
“Let’s see? It was close to the plaza in the district where nobles live with a fountain in sight… I think I passed by a church on the way?” (Yukari)
“When speaking of church, it would be Maya-san’s place, huh. If I remember correctly, there was a plaza ahead of there, right?”
I omit the name of Ilias just in case. Ilias didn’t seem bothered by that and nodded.
“Yeah, there’s no doubt it is there.”
“Well then, we will guide you. I would have liked to get a carriage, but…it is this late after all.”
“I am happy about that, but…actually, my shoes broke, you see?” (Yukari)
Saying this, the woman calling herself Yukari showed me her legs.
At the end of her white slender legs, she had a shoe that certainly had the heel part broken.
“If it is okay with you, I can lend you my back…”
“Can I?” (Yukari)
I can’t have Ilias carry her while this is still our first meeting. I ended up carrying her so that it is not unnatural.
…Yeah, hers might be bigger than Rakura’s.
I drive away my worldly desires and move towards our destination.
“Yukari-san, is nature your aim in touring Taizu?”
“It is part of it… I like silent forests, you know? Also, I am searching for someone, I guess?” (Yukari)
“Searching for someone, huh. Is it a friend?”
“I wonder? The person that took care of me might be in this country, you see?” (Yukari)
“What kind of person are they?”
“Black hair, black eyes, and a gentleman that knows the language of a foreign country. Do you know him?” (Yukari)
“Haven’t met him in this country.”
That man is currently carrying you.
It seems like she hasn’t noticed yet since I have changed the color of my hair and eyes with magic.
But Ilias stopped in place at that moment. You are a failure at acting.
“Don’t get distracted.”
“Y-Yeah. Hey—” (Ilias)
“You are all tipsy from drinking too much. If you open your mouth unnecessarily, you are going to vomit like before. Follow me properly while sobering up.”
“…Got it.” (Ilias)
She understandably felt an ominous atmosphere from this and has understood that she must play along with me.
Let’s stop the unnecessary prying. I should change the topic.
“By the way, by friend, are you referring to one from Kuama?”
“Oh my, I am impressed you could tell?” (Yukari)
“A business partner of that merchant is an acquaintance of mine, you see. I heard he is going to set up a branch store here.”
“Yeah. Have you heard about how a village with unusual demi-humans has been found in this region?” (Yukari)
“Must be the black wolfkins. You see them every so often in this city.”
“I would like to go to that village once… Can a normal person like me enter?” (Yukari)
“Don’t know about that. I think it would be difficult to do so if it is for personal tourism, but if it is together with your friend, I think it is possible.”
After that, we had harmless chit-chat.
What I learned was that she and her friend arrived at Taizu just the other day.
They are currently staying at a vacant house and using it as a temporary residence until they make their branch store.
Yukari-san is a rich person, and apparently uses her parent’s fortune to live comfortably.
After having talks of that degree, we finally arrived at our destination.
We apparently got to a familiar location, so she said she could walk the rest of the way.
“You really helped me out there… Can I ask your name?” (Yukari)
“No, I didn’t do something worth naming myself for. If we meet again, I will introduce myself.”
“I see… Then, I am looking forward to meeting you again, okay?” (Yukari)
After saying that, we bid farewell to Yukari-san, and I was on my way back with Ilias again.
Ilias spoke after walking for a while.
“Who was that? It seems like she knew you.” (Ilias)
“Most likely the Purple Demon Lord.”
“Don’t get weirdly flustered. Please confirm whether we are being tailed first.”
“…I don’t feel a presence.” (Ilias)
Just in case, I tell her what I noticed in a low voice.
About how Yukari means purple, how she had a chance to touch upon Japanese knowledge in Kuama, and that she is currently searching for a man with black hair and black eyes in Taizu.
And then, there’s the characteristics of the way each Demon Lord speaks that I heard from the Gold Demon Lord. What I can narrow down from this is that she might be the Purple Demon Lord.
“There’s also the possibility she is an assassin sent by Raheight though. The color of my hair and eyes changing served nicely here.”
“Right… —Did you carry her while noticing that she is the Purple Demon Lord?” (Ilias)
“It can’t be helped. It was a coincidence that we met her. But imagine us questioning her identity at that place and it turned into a fight. Who knows what would have happened.”
I have heard from the Gold Demon Lord that the Purple Demon Lord has many devils serving her.
The chances of there being devils hiding nearby that Ilias hasn’t noticed is low, but the possibility is still there.
In the first place, we only know the strength of the Gold Demon Lord who is the weakest. We don’t know the individual strength of the other Demon Lords.
If she has a transcendental power suited only for internal affairs like the Gold Demon Lord, that’s fine, but if it is one that she can use in battle, it would be no joke.
We can’t bring it into a battle immediately when we are in a location that’s near civilians.
“What do you plan on doing from here on?” (Ilias)
“I did probe her a bit there. If we went straight to Marito at this moment, it would be seen as suspicious. We should go there first thing in the morning to consult with him.”
I thought we wouldn’t get involved with this anymore, and yet, to think a Demon Lord would come by themselves.
The Purple Demon Lord is one of the Demon Lords that’s actively trying to invade the human realm. She has already begun to take her roots in Taizu.
We should see this chance meeting as fortunate. Just thinking about the possibility of her noticing our presence first and making her move is giving me a headache.
Even though I just wanted to live safely, troubles are haunting me even when moving to an isekai.
This is beyond the issue of Raheight. Speaking of which, what is he doing right now?
Author: This is the end of the 3rd arc.
The next chapter will be the 4th arc. Thank you very much for reading until now!