Mushoku Tensei (WN) Volume 9 / Chapters List

 [] 

    Let's talk about a certain young girl.


    The young girl was born as the only daughter of a poor hunter and lived in a remote region of the Asura Kingdom.

    Her father was a half-blood elf.

    Her mother was a human with just a bit of beast race blood mixed in and was once a slave to an Asura noble.

    Both of them were kind and raised the young girl, pouring their love onto her.

    From a glance, you would see nothing but a happy child.


    However, her hair was emerald green.

    Her hair was putting her life out of order.


    Emerald green hair.

    According to one passage, the closer a Demon race's hair is to green the more violent it is said to be.

    Once upon a time, a race that shook all other races with fear — the Superd Race — had green hair as well.

    And then, there's a theory that the one who led the Superd race — the Demon God Laplace — had green hair as well.


    The young girl wasn't a Demon Race.

    However, a head full of emerald green hair made people afraid.

    A detested color.


    Even though that's the case, a young girl is still a young girl.

    The past is the past.


    The abundant Asura is far from the Magic Continent, there are few with radical ideas of rejecting the Demon Race.

    The young girl's hair and both of her parents were completely unrelated to the Demon Race. The green hair was due to a mutation.

    First they were surprised and looked at it with eyes of wonder, and then they gradually accepted it.


    But, the ones that accepted it were limited to just the adults.

    After the young girl began to walk around outside alone, she was attacked.

    She was ostracized and had mud balls thrown at her while being called an evil Demon Race because of her emerald green hair.

    The young girl always passed her time in constant fear and occasionally cried.

    She didn't understand why children of her age would always try to hurt her.


    Her mother looked upon her with pity. She cut her daughter's hair short and stitched pants that made running away easier.

    Her father talked with the parents of the other children, petitioning for them to not target his daughter.

    However, it couldn't resolve the fundamental problem.

    Every time the young girl journeyed outside, she was targeted.


    To the children, it was just a game.

    Beating up the lone child with a different colored hair.

    Gathering their strength together to defeat the demon. It was that sort of game.

    However, that wasn't the case for the young girl.

    The children came after her holding evil intent, throwing mud balls and occasionally stones.

    If she were to run, they would pursue and catch up to her.

    If she tried to resist, she would be hit, kicked, and subjected to painful things.


    The adults warned them.

    For a period of time the attacks stopped, but soon after they began again in places where the adults couldn't see.


    The young girl felt hopeless in the world.

    She thought that other than her parents, she had no other friends.


    She couldn't change the color of her hair.

    She couldn't do anything.

    She had no choice but to live with her head hung low, trying not to stand out.


    Then a single young boy saved this young girl.


    He was the same age as the young girl.

    After seeing the girl being hit with mud balls, he came running at full speed, boldly challenged opponents that were double his own size and dispersed them.

    That wasn't all. He called out to the young girl with a kind voice.

    Warm water came out from his hands and cleansed the young girl.

    He came to her assistance of all things.

    To the young girl, this was an event on the level of a miracle.


    There was an upheaval in the young girl's daily life.


    The young boy protected the young girl from evil intent.

    And then the bullying stopped.


    The young boy granted power to the young girl.

    He taught her the miracle known as magic.


    The young boy was the same age as the young girl yet he knew everything.

    He taught her everything she wanted to know.

    Letters, magic, natural phenomenon, math...

    To the young girl, the young boy was an existence almost like God.


    The young girl would always act together with the young boy.


    She quickly came to love him.

    Even at her young age, she thought of marriage. She knew of such words as bride, and secretly made the determination that "In the future I'm going to be his bride and marry him."


    After that, a variety of things happened, and it become a bit awkward.

    However, she still loved him.

    She thought she would forever be protected by him.


    And then, they separated.


    They were forced to separate.

    The young boy was beaten by his own father and sold to far away nobles. [1][2]


    The young girl thought: if I don't save him; if I don't bring him back...

    However, she was stopped by her father.


    What her father specifically said at that time, the young girl couldn't remember clearly.

    Supposedly the young boy had left on a journey for the sake of becoming stronger.

    It's no good if you don't give it your best in order to not lose to him as well.

    Something along those lines was said.


    The only thing that remained in her ears were just the final words.


    "Does Sylphy want to keep on being only protected by him forever?"


    She remembers just that line.

    She also remembers thinking that it wasn't the case.

    She remembers thinking that just being protected was no good.

    If a time like today comes again, she can't just afford to watch in silence.


    "I understand. I'll get strong enough in order to save Rudi!"


    That day the young girl changed.


    The young girl started actively training herself.

    She did the same things that the young boy did everyday on her own.

    Building up her physical strength by running and training her body by swinging a stick.

    Everyday she used magic and sharpened the sensation.

    Even without the young boy, the young girl knew what she should do.


    Parallel to that she thought about the destination of the young boy.

    Within the young girl's knowledge and range of activity, she didn't know the young boy's destination.

    She couldn't even predict it.


    During times like these, what would the young boy do?

    What would he say?


    If you don't know it's fine if you ask, is what the young boy said.

    The young girl followed that and decided to ask.

    She went to ask a person who would know the location of the young boy.


    The young girl proceeded to the cleric's office of the village.

    It was the place where the mother of the young boy was working.

    There, she asked the mother about his location.

    Naturally, the mother made a mischievous smile and deceived the young girl.


    The young girl started helping out at the doctor's office.

    It wasn't an action that she thought deeply about.

    Just, if she got along better with her then she might be told his location. It is what she thought somewhere in her heart.

    The fact that her father said, "That sort of thing happened, but it's not good if you don't get along with his family." was another one of the reasons as well.


    The mother of the young boy would never spill the location of the young boy.

    The young girl thought about various means to hear it, but each time she was deceived with a small laugh and a grin, "If you want to meet Rudi, you'll need to give it your best some more."


    She was getting nowhere.

    And then the young girl thought.

    Of course, the young girl didn't understand the words getting nowhere.

    In any case, she thought that if she continued like this there was no meaning to it.


    Which is why, she decided to get close to the maid at the young boy's house.


    The young boy also had a father, but she was bad with him.

    Since she saw the scene where the young boy was beaten.

    He was an opponent she didn't know about, and it wasn't that she hated him, but she hesitated to talk to him because she thought she might be beaten as well.


    The maid was devoted.

    She was devoted towards the young boy.


    "I'm sure in the future Rudeus-sama will be invited into a position similar to that of the Royal Family. If you are to become the wife of Rudeus-sama, you have no choice but to learn etiquette so that you are able to act normally in society."


    After being told that, half forcefully, she started getting instructed on manners and etiquette.

    Even though that was the case, after being told that it was for the young boy's sake, the young girl wouldn't say no to it.

    The way to walk in the royal court, the method to fit in a dress, manner of speaking, the methods to greet, and etc..

    She really had doubts about whether this kind of thing was necessary.

    However, the young girl was honest and had good memory.


    However, in regards to the vital location of the young boy, the maid would never let it out of her mouth.


    Just like this, it continued until her 10th birthday.

    The only one that congratulated her on her 10th birthday was her mother.

    Recently the monsters in the forest had been active, so her father had to remain on lookout.

    Since her father is a hunter and was familiar with the forest, he had to hunt when it came down to it.


    "Do you really have to go that far on her 10th birthday?"


    Is how her mother asked the father.

    However, the young girl thought it couldn't be helped and gave up.

    At any rate, it was the same at the time of her 5th birthday as well.


    The birthday present she received from her mother was a white one piece dress.

    For the sake of this day, her father saved up some money and bought some cloth. Then her mother would stitch it for her.

    Immediately after putting it on her mother said, "It suits you. You look beautiful." and praised her.

    The young girl said, "eh~", while laughing bashfully, thinking that she wanted to show it to the young boy as well.


    And then simultaneously, she started to worry about what the young boy was doing.

    She wondered if he wasn't inconvenienced in an unknown place.

    And she wondered if he was congratulated on his 10th birthday.


    She thought [I want to send him something as well.]

    However, she couldn't think of anything that he would want.

    After asking her mother, "If it's something like that then anything works." was said.


    The next day when her father returned, she asked and received the suggestion, "Then, it would be good if you sent him a good luck charm that is handed down in our family."

    She was told that if a pendant was carved from wood and was kept on their body then good things will happen.

    Her father always kept one somewhere on his body as well.

    It seems like it was something given to her father when he became independent from his grandmother, a female elf. [3]


    After hearing that the young girl felt that it was a good choice.


    Everyday the young girl gave it her best to carve the wood.

    It was her first attempt at wood carving. The young girl was by no means skillful.

    However, she gave it her best effort, carving everyday.

    And then she finally completed it.

    It was clumsy, but it had somehow taken shape.


    And then a problem rose to the surface.

    It's fine that she made it, but she had no method of handing it over to him.

    After worrying over it, the young boy's maid made a suggestion.


    "If that's the case, I'll mix it in with the goods being sent."


    She decided for that would be done.

    The young girl told the maid countless times, "It's a precious item so absolutely make sure it's sent, okay."

    The maid acknowledged that, since it was a precious item it would absolutely be delivered.

    And she agreed to it.


    A short while after that.

    The teleport happened.


    The young girl was teleported into the sky.


    "Eh!!?"


    She was at a frightening height.

    For a moment she thought it was a dream.


    The sensation of gradually falling.

    The sensation of suffocating from the wind pressure.

    Piercing through the clouds.

    And then terror.

    Her entire body was telling her that it wasn't a dream.


    "Hiii~"


    The young girl heard a scream coming from deep within her throat.

    The scream confirmed the fact that this situation was real.

    She didn't know why.

    However, she was falling from the sky.


    If I don't do something.

    If I don't do something.


    I'll die.

    Die.

    Without a doubt die.


    No matter how young the young girl was, she clearly understood the fact that she would die if she fell from such a height.


    She used all of her magic power.


    She knew that the ground was gradually getting closer.

    The young girl raised the wind.

    Aimed directly below herself in order to fall onto it.

    She thought that her velocity would fall a bit.

    However, she accelerated back to her previous velocity.


    Wind was no good.

    What should I do in this situation?

    What did the young boy say?


    Remember, remember.

    Didn't the young boy say anything?

    What to do at a time when you're falling from a high place.

    Soften the impact.


    Something soft.

    That's right. Engulf yourself in something soft.

    But exactly how soft?

    What should I create?


    I don't know, I don't know, I don't know!


    While half in frenzy, the young girl did everything she could think of.

    Creating water, creating wind, creating earth, creating fire.

    In any case, to slow down her fall and avoid crashing into the ground.

    She did everything she could.


    However, she fell.

    She crashed.

    Miraculously the young girl survived.


    She didn't know how.

    She wasn't unharmed.

    Her entire body was damaged, covered in bruises, smeared with dirt, and both legs were fractured.

    It was a miserable state, but the young girl survived.

    She didn't know what was good.

    However, her velocity dropped.

    She survived the fall from a high altitude and her injuries were only to the degree of a fracture.


    However, the suffering continued.


    "ugo..aaa!"


    In the place she fell, there was a monster right before her eyes.

    It was a wild boar with four arms, walking on two legs.

    The young girl knew about this monster.


    She was told by her father that if she were to ever encounter it, absolutely never get close to it, do not make a sound, and wait for it to pass by.

    If you get noticed by it, then use magic to escape as fast as you can.

    She was told to do that against this opponent.

    The name was said to be Terminate Boar.


    The young girl had many things she didn't know, but she knew that the Terminate Boar was a monster that rarely ever appears.

    Occasionally it comes out from the forest and attacks people with the E rank monster, Assault Dog, accompanying it.

    They are some of the most dangerous monsters in Asura; domestically.

    Unusual for Asura Kingdom, it is a monster worthy of C rank.

    The danger of it rises up from C rank to B rank if it is accompanied by Assault Dogs.

    Even individually it is at least a strong D rank.

    That is the Terminate Boar.


    "Kyaaaa???!"


    Half in a frenzy, the young girl let out a scream and started firing magic at the Terminate Boar.

    Intermediate Magic, [Icicle Breaker].

    She wasn't holding back at all.

    She was attacking it with her greatest spell from the start and to her utmost limits.


    It was a single hit.

    The Terminate Boar was frozen, shattered, and scattered.


    "Ha..ha..agu!!"


    In an attempt to stand up in one breath, she realized that both of her legs were broken.

    The young girl used healing magic and immediately healed them.

    While assisting in healing people, she discovered that healing magic was one of her strong points.

    However, it wasn't as if she was used to the pain.


    She used the magic with a half tear-stained face.


    "...Ha..ha."


    Standing up.

    An intense headache started up.

    Her consciousness was getting dim and she felt faint.

    If the young girl's mental state had been normal she would have realized that it was because she was out of magic power.

    Suppressing the descent and attacking the monster with magic.

    All of it was done without restraint, using her greatest spells.

    That is why, the young girl's magic power was exhausted.


    "Ar...are we saved??? Yo...you, where did you come from? What is your name?"


    She heard a voice from behind her.

    With her head in pain and her vision growing hazy.

    While suppressing those feelings, the young girl turned around.

    There was a girl.

    She had golden hair and a beautiful face that almost gave off the impression of it being transparent.

    The girl was wearing a pure white one piece with detailed embroidery. It was likely made of materials 1,000 times more expensive than what the young girl had received for her birthday.

    On her side there was a boy whose arm was injured and leaning against a wall. Next to the boy was a man covered in a bloodied robe and on the verge of death.


    "Sylphiette.."


    The young girl said that and fainted.


    ---


    This is how Sylphy encountered Asura Kingdom's Second Princess Ariel Anemoi Asura.



    『The Kingdom of Asura's Imperial City's Royal Palace - Silver Palace.

    In the Garden of Plants where the blossoming white flowers were collected.

    Also known as, the White Lilies Garden.

    It was there that the monster suddenly appeared.

    It was there, before the eyes of the second princess Ariel, who was taking a stroll in the white Lilies Garden.

    The monster, Terminate Boar, instantly killed the guard of the princess, Guardian Magician Derrick Redbat.

    The monster oriented its evil tusk towards the princess.

    The monster was defeated by the hands of the Guardian Knight Luke, and the princess was able to escape her predicament.

    Admirably, Luke protected the princess' life with his own body.』


    A monster appearing in the Royal Palace was an unprecedented incident.

    Such a thing happening was talked about by the Nobles in the Royal Palace.

    The existence of Sylphy was concealed with help from the nobles of the Second Princess Faction.


    Lord Liston alone of the Second Princess Faction declared the following:

    [Someone had to have secretly smuggled in a Terminate Boar into the Royal Palace and released it at the best timing- when the princess would be walking in the garden.

    This must be a plot belonging to the Second Princess's Opposition Faction.

    The only person that could feasibly do this, Lord August, is in charge of the Royal Palace's defense.

    It is known that Lord August is the leader of the First Prince Faction.

    So without a doubt, this plot must be an act on behalf of the First Prince Faction.]


    Due to the rash actions of Lord Liston, this caused the second princess faction to be cornered, and began its tentative collapse.


    Sylphy was cordially nursed to health.

    She, who came flying down from the heavens, was the one who saved the princess.

    It is a matter of course to well receive the hero who saved the princess in a pinch.


    Contrary to some opinions, there were voices that regarded her as dangerous as well.

    Suddenly appearing and killing the Terminate Boar with a single blow.

    Also able to use chantless magic, for which the only known user was the master of the Magic Academy.

    It's suspicious.

    So all the nobles who knew of her concealed her existence and decided to keep the questioning in-house.


    Among those questions asked were:

    [Wouldn't it have been better to have disposed of her while she was unconscious?]


    When this opinion came out, the second princess Ariel Anemoi Asura stated clearly:

    [Does it matter what her true identity is? She is the benefactor who saved my life. I will not forgive any rudeness in this matter.]


    Then, to these words, Guardian Knight Luke also agreed:

    [I also feel this way. Suppose for a moment that this girl was sent to harm the princess, then she certainly wouldn't have had a reason to stop the monster's attack.]


    It's clear that if Sylphy didn't appear at that time, the Princess and Luke would both be dead.

    If Sylphy was a man, Luke might have changed his opinion on the matter.

    Although breast size was nothing more than a hobby of his, the reason was because she was a beautiful girl with a pretty face, and that improved her impression on that of Luke, a ladies' man. [4]


    [If the Princess says so.]

    [Luke even made a good point.]

    [We shouldn't go that route.]


    The result of the discussion, they would do an interrogation, but even in the case that she is concluded to be an enemy she would be overlooked.


    And so the debate came to a conclusion. [5]


    The moment Sylphy woke up, she thought she was in a dream.

    The bed was too luxurious.

    The clothes worn by the people were too luxurious.

    The room was too luxurious.

    'I don't know the reason why I'm in such an amazingly luxurious place.'


    [Yo, good morning.]


    One of them spoke.

    The one with the dressings of a Knight, who seemed just a little bit older.


    Then Sylphy opened her mouth.

    For just a moment, he resembled Rudeus.


    [My name is Luke. Luke Notus Greyrat. And yours is?]


    His soft smiling face made one feel relieved.

    Every noble girl had surrendered themselves to his childish smile.

    While there were some who could resist, they found they could not speak.

    He was possessed by such pride.


    [...!]


    Sylphy, in order to protect her foolish self, curled her body up into the fetal position.

    Even though he looks like Rudeus, she disliked other children of the same age.

    Still to this day, there were children in Buina village who glanced at her with hostility.


    [Oh, what's this? What's the matter?]


    Seeing the excessively frightened Sylphy, the boy became agitated.

    It seems that it was the first time he had experienced being rejected.

    Watching this play out, the surrounding nobles laughed.


    [Ha ha ha! It seems she's not the type to fall for a lady-killer like you!]

    [We left care of this to you because you are said to be the most skillful in handling young ladies....]

    [You are still too young for something like this, give it up already!]


    The surrounding adults said such things towards Luke, trying to make him quit.

    However, Luke obstinately stood his ground.


    [Please wait. From here, it starts from here!]


    He was possessed of only a single word in regards to a woman.

    It was his 'pride'.


    [I am sorry, have I given you a reason to be afraid?
    Still, if you will allow me to, I would like to express my gratitude.
    You of the beautiful white-washed hair, I am truly thankful that you have saved my life.]


    Sylphy wondered what in the world he meant by white-washed hair?

    Who is this boy?

    While confused, she saw the side of the bed.

    There was a dresser placed there.

    It is said in this world that a [mirror] is extremely expensive, however...


    [...]


    At first glance, Sylphy did not realize that she was seeing herself.

    With the girl sitting up alone, on the bed, there was something strange.

    Their eyes meet.

    When she moves her hand, the girl's hand moves too.

    She immediately came to realize that it was the same thing as what was being reflected in the surface of the water.


    Sylphy was surprised.


    [...Eh?]


    The hair of Sylphy had become pure-white.


    [W, white?]


    While Sylphy was confused, Luke continued to talk kindly.

    Luke bowed his head, and praised the white hair of Sylphy in flowery words that she didn't quite understand.


    [Yes. Your hair is like the first snow that falls in the late autumn.]


    Those words which would set one's teeth on edge do not reach the heart of Sylphy.

    Sylphy was earnestly confused.

    Her hair should have been green.

    Though there was no mirror then, she had seen the hair left on her comb before.

    Nevertheless she wondered why it had whitened.

    While it was a happy thing for sure, she didn't understand the meaning behind it.


    [W, why... is it?]


    How did it become this way?

    Where am I, anyway?

    Why am I even here?

    And for that matter, how did I even get here?

    Sylphy truly could not comprehend, so she only sounded pitiable when she finally spoke.


    Afterwards, the questioning started.

    The nobles conducted the questions.

    Luke, who was no longer necessary to keep her company, with a shocked face stepped aside.


    [Where did you come from?]

    [Whose underling are you?]

    [Whom did you learn magic from?]


    Sylphy did not understand the situation.

    Why? Why am I here? Why am I surrounded by all these people with scary faces?

    However, since she was asked, she replied honestly.

    I, who hail from Fedoa Region, am the only daughter of a hunter in Buina Village, and learned magic from my friend, Rudi.

    And before I knew it, I was in the air.

    Somehow, I came down near the place that monster was at, and then I used the magic I knew to defeat it.

    I have no idea how or why any of this happened.

    So I answered honestly.


    The nobles who heard, looked at her doubtfully.

    A village with a child magician.

    Suddenly realizing they are in the air.

    Suddenly realizing there is a monster.


    It was not a believable story.

    Still this matter, a wandering magician who tries to carry favor with the princess, did a performance of defeating the Terminate Boar to show their power.

    It was easy to understand why they had complaints.

    There wasn't one reason to believe in anything Sylphy said.


    The nobles of the Second Princess Faction talked about this and that for a while.


    [Come to think about it, there is a story like that....]


    Amongst themselves, one noble recounted the rumor he had heard.


    [There was a noble of Boreas who employed a tutor. They could use the chantless magic as well. He was a young genius who was able to use saint class magic at an early age. Is not, perhaps, this person that so-called genius?]


    It is Rudeus.

    To the Imperial City, only faint rumors of Rudeus had yet been transmitted.

    It is because of the pressure on information Sauros exerted.


    However, when Sauros was a bit moved by the sake[6], he was boasting about a boy who was like a son to him.

    A story of a genius boy, who defeated the minions of the senior minister. [7]

    A genius boy, whose superiority the Sword King Ghyslaine acknowledged.

    A genius boy, who managed the Boreas' violent daughter.

    A genius boy, with a tasteless hobby. [8]


    It was nothing more than an unlikely rumor.

    Therefore, the nobles treated it as only idle talk.

    However, Sylphy was able to actually use the chantless magic.

    Where it was able to fit in, the truth of the rumor began to take form.


    [Ah, but sadly, that is the story of a boy!]

    [The main point would be that wouldn't it be strange for them to be in the Imperial Capital?]


    The nobles puzzled over this.

    They questioned Sylphy again.

    Asking leading questions.


    [Perhaps your real name is that of the one called 'Rudeus,' isn't that right?]

    [D, different! It's different, Rudeus that is, Rudi... umm, is the person who taught me magic.]


    Sylphy, down to the tiny details, told them about how the boy called Rudeus Greyrat was the one who taught her magic.

    How Rudi is very wise and how Rudi taught her various things.


    That story had very much astonished the nobles.


    If the story is really true then, that genius boy does exist, and before leaving the village, he had arranged to leave an apprentice.

    It is not an ordinary apprentice.

    It is an user of chantless magic.

    Surely this is an ominous circumstance.


    Well, if any of the stories are true.

    With the information manipulation by Sauros, the case and circumstances of whether the person was a boy or girl can be changed.

    However, the fact that this girl is a user of chantless magic is a reality.

    Users of chantless magic are a rarity.

    If Sylphiette said that she was not that genius boy in question, then the probability that she is his disciple remains high.


    The real name of that genius is Rudeus Greyrat.


    When the full name was spoken, a [Hm?] was uttered and many nobles were puzzled.

    What is Greyrat? Why is it the name of the Upper Nobility who protect all the sides of the Asura Kingdom.

    The name of Greyrat is not unusual to any degree in this country.

    It is known as a family with a fondness for women.

    To hear that a lower noble's daughter or maid has conceived a child in order to become a mistress is not an uncommon thing to hear.

    And, thus, it is allowed for those mistresses to call themselves Greyrat.

    They decided that the names of the four protected sides they would be called by would be:

    • Notus
    • Boreas
    • Euros
    • Zephyrus


    There are many people who introduce themselves in Asura Kingdom as Greyrat.


    However, though an ordinary name, the talk becomes different when it's about a genius.

    For nobles who wish to be established, they need to have blood relations with one of the four main branches of Greyrat, no doubt he had been working towards that end.

    That he started out with the Boreas, by being hired through Philip, Sauros' so-called illegitimate child, was also guessed at.

    At least, something like a betrothal to Boreas' shrew-like daughter could make it so he could claim the name.

    Luke says that none of his family, brothers or anyone has a boy with that name.


    [It will be necessary to examine it more in detail.]


    Nobles very much loved thinking of things to do with power struggles.

    If Rudeus chose someone other than Notus, plans would be crafted to sabotage him.

    However if he chose Notus, there were a chance he could be enlisted as an ally.

    And so, their talks deviated from the original purpose of validating the identity of Sylphy.

    To them, the possibility of a power struggle was of far more importance than anything trivial, like the true nature of Sylphy after all.


    One week later.


    News about the disappearance of Fedoa Region had made it to the Imperial City.


    It was a prompt report.


    On the day of the Metastasis Event, there was a knight who was just barely outside the range of effect by chance.

    They reported on the situation at the nearest town.

    A second knight succeeded the first, continuing on a horse without rest for a day, and relayed the information to the next big city.

    From there, alternative means such as a carrier pigeon were employed to spread the word to the Imperial City.

    The king received word of this, and appointed the Asura Magic Division to investigate.


    It had been one week until news had come to the Imperial City.

    Meanwhile reports had come out of people and monsters suddenly appearing all over the place.

    Even with all the reports, the cause was dealt with as an incomprehensible and mysterious event.

    However by way of this report, it was made clear that it was a large-scale metastasis event.

    Information on the calamity had spread to the Imperial Capital in the twinkling of an eye.


    Naturally such information reached the ear of Sylphy.


    Mother and Father, she had no idea where her family was.

    Everyone was missing.


    [What....this....?]


    After hearing of such a story, this common girl was completely stunned.

    She did not comprehend what had happened enough to react sufficiently.

    Or probably even how to react at all.

    What happened?


    The nobles also wavered on how to deal with Sylphy.

    When the answers emerged as to how Sylphy and the monster had abruptly showed up, it was attributed to the large-scale metastasis.

    Any doubt that she was a spy had faded away.

    And going by her claims, the possibility that she was the child of a lowly hunter became high.


    Hunter.

    No matter how much the princess herself was helped, it remains that a hunter is a person at the lowest point of commoner status.

    And those of the inner palace will not let a fact like that pass by them.

    However even if you were to go home, there was no house left to go home to.


    [Well, well, we're in a troubling situation it seems.]

    [The Royal Palace doesn't handle social differences very well at all, and it seems there is no home to send you back to, either.]

    [Is there someone who can receive custody of you, I wonder?]


    If this person was an user of chantless magic, then they would be helpful in one way or another.

    Mentioning it further, an Elf with white hair is a curiosity, and if they were to reach adulthood they would undoubtedly be useful for carrying out various duties...

    And with a lewd smile, the nobles check with each other that they've arrived at the same mutual thought.


    Then suddenly among those thoughts, the second princess dropped a bombshell with her speech.


    [Since the house of Sylphiette has gone and vanished,
    Then it's fine that she lives together with myself in this castle.
    Shall we become good friends?]


    The second princess was exceedingly pleased with Sylphy.

    Of course, the fact that Sylphy had saved her wasn't the only reason.

    When it comes to being the princess, it's only natural that she helps others.


    Sylphy's incomplete knowledge on etiquette was an issue.

    Though it seemed to be normal, her words were considered to be a little impolite, and her behavior also was thought to be a little impolite.

    If the conversational partner was a noble, then she would be walking a thin line on tolerable speech.

    If the conversational partner was a royal, then there wasn't a line there that would have been tolerable to walk.

    The second princess accepted it as ["Informal speech"] and ["Friendly"].


    [Um, Ojou-sama. Isn't there a too big difference between our status?]

    [So? If it will hurry our friendship along... then, how about my guard. Won't you please serve me as a guard then?
    Presently, my guard consists solely of Luke, my Guardian Knight. The seat of the Guardian Magician has recently become vacant.]

    [Eh? But, I, don't have anything like a strong power...]

    [Saying you aren't powerful... kusukusu, how modest you are!]


    Of course, the nobles opposed such a thing.

    Even with the effectiveness with the event.

    Even with the ability to use chantless magic.

    Even with the saving of the princess.

    Sylphy in the end is still a commoner's child.

    And in addition to that, now there is no longer a way to clear up her familial origin.

    Though the claim is that of a hunter's child, there is no evidence of it.

    On the contrary, having lived in a farm village, somehow high etiquette was known.

    To put it bluntly, her true character cannot be known at this time.


    These words were only for the sake of appearance.

    This useful child was too valuable to be the princess' new toy, or so it was thought.

    Ariel however flat out rejected their opinions.


    [Sylphy is the benefactor who saved my life.
    And is now a friend!
    Who gives a damn about the fact she is a commoner!?
    I will not forgive rude behavior!]


    At these words, Luke made a bitter face.

    Part of his duties as a Guardian Knight, included getting rid of bad insects who would get close to the princess.

    As for whether or not Sylphy was an useful insect or a harmful insect he did not yet know, and yet it was still the job of Luke to protect the princess even from insects whose true nature was not yet known.


    He also expressed gratitude to Sylphy.

    His life had been saved.

    The actuality of the thanks was in the appreciation of the fact that only one person had died.


    To be granted revenge against the colleague Guardian Magician Derrick, those feelings were a plus.

    From the start, Luke had long thought the Guardian Magician Derrick to be a disgusting guy.

    Though a little bit of time had changed those thoughts.

    While Derrick was a magician, he had sacrificed his body to stop the assault of the Terminate Boar.

    That was a man of proud character.

    If not for him, and the appearance of Sylphy, the princess would have only had death to look forward to.


    And also if Sylphy had not appeared, Luke would also have died.

    Anyhow because bringing weapons into the garden was forbidden, Luke was swordless.

    If there had been a sword, then at least if Luke was not able to win, he still would have been able to let the princess escape...


    Because of such circumstances, Luke had a favorable regard towards Sylphy.


    Be that as it may, by all rights, the splendid position of the Princess' Guardian Magician has been filled for generations by upper nobility.

    To allow an unsophisticated girl to suddenly be ushered into that role is a difficult thing to accept.

    It is completely possible for the children of the upper nobility like himself to completely despise this one.


    [Whatever the decision is, I will obey it.]


    Therefore, Luke said that even if he didn't approve of it, he would not oppose the decision, and closes his eyes in a noncommittal manner.


    This matter caused a bit of a fluster among the nobles.

    Setting aside their own desires.

    Even if the princess is pleased with Sylphy,

    Sylphy might not hold the same feelings towards the princess.


    The hunter's daughter, a victim swallowed up by the metastasis.

    Even with that fact, from there on there would be friction with the princess.

    For example, the others of the first prince faction were likely to take advantage of her.

    When considered, by no means would Sylphy be permitted to be near the side of the princess.

    The reason being, that all Asura nobles are malicious.


    Supposing, if Sylphy was just a 'Village Daughter' having no power at all.

    And in addition to that somehow it was allowed.


    However, the existence of Sylphy had exceeded the category of 'Village Daughter.'

    Having intermediate class chantless magic, even if there were some crude bits of commoner, she also understood the importance of etiquette.

    Her existence was a mystery indeed.


    [I wonder, where in the world did you learn etiquette at?]

    [Umm, In my village, I had been accepting instruction from a kind person called 'Lilia-san.']


    'Lilia.'

    The moment that name appeared, Ariel's impression improved further.


    [Lilia! I remember her. When I was a child, oneself was presented with a person which defended myself, she was a Maid of the Imperial Guard!]


    And then the impressions of the nobles worsened further.

    The imperial guard maid of the inner palace, the story of her becoming unable to work due to injuries, and the story of her dismissal had been heard before.

    Mostly it was slips of the tongue that talked about 'secretly dealing' with someone who knew secrets from the Inner Palace.


    Lilia had escaped to the Fedoa Region.


    [Umm, Lilia-san, ah, she served Rudi's father, whose name is Paul.]

    [Paul, you said?]


    The new name appeared.

    Paul Notus Greyrat

    If one speaks of Paul, it is known he is a man famous for being a bad boy of the Notus family.

    There were rumors that he held a grudge against the former head of the family as well.


    A maid of the inner palace, taken in by the absconded son of upper nobility, instilling etiquette in the user of chantless magic.


    This was too good to just be left to chance.

    To the nobles, who are absorbed in schemes, it was no longer possible to think of this as fiction.

    Investigating further was pointless, since Fedoa Region had already disappeared.

    It was difficult to ascertain the truth of the matter.


    [Now what should we do...?]

    [Hmph.]


    The nobles worried.

    Ariel rarely says selfish things.

    And it was true that the seat of the Guardian Magician was open.

    Although Sylphy was originally a commoner, she had certifiable skill as a Magician, and knows etiquette even though it is imperfect.


    The ability is not bad.

    And because it is not bad, there must be vigilance.


    One of the Greyrats belongs to the second princess faction.

    The one who is called "Luke" and is symbolically the Guardian Knight.

    For Ariel, the Notus, are an ally.

    However Paul Greyrat is a man who threw away his title after some discord with his parents.

    If they are an enemy of the Notus, then consequently there is the possibility that they are an enemy of Ariel as well.


    Was Sylphy not aware of that when she gave the name of Paul?

    What was the meaning of that?

    If she wanted to receive the trust of Ariel, she should not have given out the name of Paul.

    That's something she should have understood.

    Then, because she gave that name out, does it imply that they are not an enemy?

    However if that's the case in doing so, then who in the world is the mastermind that is pulling the strings of this girl?

    At least, there is no mistaking that they are indeed an enemy of Notus.

    However the people who want to be hostile to the large noble family of Greyrat are few indeed.

    Saying and doing, it seems all the Greyrat are identical in that.

    And so they hit upon something.


    Of the similar Greyrat, there was one person unfriendly with Philemon who was the current family head.

    It was Sauros Boreas Greyrat.

    Sauros was always backbiting and criticizing that Paul should have become the family head, and not Philemon.

    However he was not the type of person who would involve such a young girl in politics.


    If that's the case then there is another one.

    Philip Boreas Greyrat.

    If it is him then, he would crush the second princess whom Notus supports, someone like him could definitely wind his hand around the strings of this young girl.


    Sauros and Philip, and even Rudeus, they are all missing when the Fedoa territory disappeared.

    Supposing, that they were the ones to cause the Metastasis Event, under this guise, it was possible to have something moving in the shadows even now.

    Their first approach might just be a girl named Sylphiette.


    If it's the case that Sauros isn't taking part, then the ringleader is Philip, for the sake of entrapping James who is to be the next family head, there is the possibility he may be acting to that end.

    For the Boreas to usurp the seat of the next family head, it revolves around the supportive position of the second princess, and instead they try to become the support instead or something like that.


    If that's the case, then the Sylphy who has been sent, can be considered an ally.


    In either case.

    The person pulling the strings is either Sauros, or Philip.

    So the nobles concluded.


    The groundless suspicion was complete.


    Then a certain noble had a shocking idea.


    [I know, how about shaking things up by making it look like she's the genius boy Rudeus himself?]


    If Sauros moves, it is likely that Rudeus would be with them.

    If the rumors are true, then the ability Rudeus is said to have is tremendous.

    It's highly likely that Sauros and company are keeping Rudeus on hand as a trump card.

    Hiding as much of his existence now, for the sake of adorning his future sensational debut.

    When they appear, Rudeus, as a person with a legitimate blood relationship to Notus, comes out in the absence of those who were too afraid to act.

    As a powerful piece who then takes part in backing the first prince whom Boreas supports.


    Sylphy is assumed to be the person whom they sent.

    If we reveal her as Rudeus, it may be possible to hinder their plans.

    If we do some shaking, it may be possible to have them expose themselves.


    To this, other nobles expressed concern.


    [Wouldn't we be exposed immediately?]

    [It may be better to conceal this one's social position by disguising her as a man. Be ready to evade any questions about him as much as possible.]

    [But what if she's actually a spy they sent to probe us?]

    [Like hell they will send someone that stands out as a chantless magician as a spy!]

    [On the contrary, they might assume we would value her.]

    [Either way, it will be easy to leak false information and draw them in.]


    One by one the anxiety was crushed,

    The nobles began to think that even a worthless plan like this was a good idea.


    [Indeed, if she is a spy then the fake information leaked will cause unrest in the enemy camp. And if they are unrelated, then we have gained a strong Guardian Magician without having done any work. And should they instead try and curry favor with us, we'll go along with it.]

    [But that's not all. She also resembles the princess in height. So we can tailor her to be a body double. If I remember correctly, we have such a Magic Item.]

    [Oh, a manly form should be made to leave on a regular basis, since there are suspicious people usually nearby, it will not be thought that it takes the shape of the Guardian Magician.]

    [As expected, the Lord is a clever one!]


    And then.


    The Second Princess' Guardian Magician [Fitts] was formed.


    The Chantless Magic-using, Mysterious Genius Boy.

    Because his face has been hidden with sunglasses, no one could perceive his true identity.

    And the name is strongly associated to the 'Fitt'oa territory.[9]

    There was also a part that alluded to the genius boy who had been serving the Boreas family as well.

    However, there is nobody who would understand the true nature and breeding of this one.

    He should seldom speak, and when he must it should only be for a short while,

    And any distinctions on it's actual gender should be difficult to identify.

    Such a boy was born.


    Sylphy had no say in this matter.

    With the guarantee of one person on the promised arrangement of being able to search for information on the metastasis event, Sylphy was granted no right to veto, and also given no choice.

    Although she had nowhere to go either, she was coerced into becoming [Fitts].

    Pawn of the political power struggle.


    Thus, at any rate.

    Sylphy became the guard [Fitts] to Ariel.


    ---Supplemental---


    Sylphy's hair had become white due to the effect of the metastasis transition itself, as well as exhausting all the magical power she had, and being in a state of absolute terror before and after the fall.[10]



    Sylphy's life suddenly changed.


    She went from living life as an ordinary village girl, to living life as a Royal Guard.


    The first order of business was a complete overhaul of her wardrobe.

    Received from the Guardian Magician who died, were a cloak, boots and gloves.


    [Gale Boots] which allowed the wearer to run several times faster than normal.

    [Cloak of Perpetual Warmth] that regulated the body temperature, preventing sudden illness.

    [Overwhelming Gloves] halving all impact damage received near the palm.

    All of these articles were [Magic Items].


    A special undergarment was newly ordered for Sylphy.

    [Bustier of the Steel-threaded Silkworm].


    It is made with fibers that resist most blades, however it cannot withstand an attack by someone using skills of the Sword God style, rather it's more for preventing wounds from the level of a thrown dagger.


    In addition, a Magic Tool that changes color and orients in the direction of a certain person when an impending crisis to them approaches.

    [Sunglasses of the Rescuer].

    While allowing the face to remain hidden, it allows perception of the crisis state of the princess instantaneously.


    This is a full set of the rarest of equipments.

    If an adventurer saw it, they might become stricken with jealousy and try to take it for themselves.


    There was also the opinion of giving Sylphy a certain wand, but Sylphy refused it.

    The wand she was using presently, was the beginner's wand she had received from Rudeus.

    It was her sole property.

    And so she desperately did not want to part with it.


    It was after all the wand that felled the Terminate Boar in one shot.

    No one was going to force the issue.


    Even her eating habits had changed drastically.


    In Buina village, the staple food was something akin to a crusty brown bread and vegetable soup.

    And the main dish would be the rabbit or bird her father had fetched.

    These were the kinds of meals that Sylphy knew.

    But even though Sylphy was from a poor family in Buina Village, because it was part of the bountiful Asura Kingdom, there were no cases of hunger or starvation to worry about.


    But now the meals had changed to that of the grand feasts of the Imperial Court of Asura Kingdom!

    A thick, rich and hearty soup served with tender white bread.

    Meat and fish covered in abundant spices and slow-cooked for a long time.

    Salad made with fresh raw vegetables, and then followed up with a dessert.

    It was all far too luxurious for Sylphy.

    Although even if it was such a luxurious dish, her job as a guard made it required for her to eat until the very end, she had to retire after seeing exactly how much those of the upper level nobility could eat.

    The similar yet lower ranking guard, was Luke.

    However, the difference in the quality of meals here compared to those of Buina village was like the difference between Heaven and Earth.


    For Sylphy, living everyday in the palace was like living in a dream.

    Her only dissatisfaction was the lack of freedom and personal time.

    Still, she kept strengthening her body, and managed to find the time to keep practicing magic.


    Of course, she was concerned with what happened to Rudeus and Buina Village.

    Although information was being collected, the feudal lord James Boreas Greyrat had fled in an effort to save his own neck, so the search hardly advanced at all.

    The Minister Darius, however, made a move by helping a person named Alphonse, who at one point was a butler of Sauros', to establish a refugee camp. The outlook there, however, was grim.


    Sylphy insisted that she would go to take a look, even travelling by her own feet if necessary, but that was rejected.

    She was told she just had to wait, while properly doing her job as a guard.


    Sylphy continued to perform the guard work, as she was told.

    At first, it was a string of continual failures.

    Especially when making public appearances.

    No matter how much etiquette she absorbed, not everything was perfectly understood.

    She failed her table manners, she failed in greeting others in the hallways, and she failed in the various ceremonies she was required to attend.

    Her failures became the targets of scorn and antagonism towards the second princess.


    [Even if they are said to be the genius boy, apparently that genius doesn't extend into using manners properly.]


    Even if it wasn't the full truth, the malice could be heard.

    Sylphy recalled the time she had been bullied.

    It almost made her legs lock up in fear.

    However, she didn't cower away.

    Because despite everything being said, none of the scorn was directed at Sylphy herself.

    No, it was being directed towards Rudeus.

    For Sylphy, that wasn't something she could possibly endure.

    If it was Rudeus, if Rudeus was in this situation, he would probably endure it though.

    If Rudeus could do it, it was imperative that she was also able to do it if she ever wanted to stand equal to him.

    And while thinking that, a passionate feeling gushed out from inside Sylphy's chest.


    Afterwards, she took care to ensure that similar mistakes never occurred again, and had moved about with meticulous care.

    For the things she had not already learned, immediately after learning it, she practiced it over and over.


    The first thing was changing the way she referred to herself as, to 'Boku'[11], then she did her best imitation of Rudeus, and came to behave in the ways of a man.


    Luke had reacted to such an action favorably though.

    He is a ladies' man, as admitted pridefully by himself and others.

    Sylphy had observed how good he was at making women fall for him, "analyze their preferences" being his motto.

    Because she had observed him properly, she had found that he did have some good parts to him.

    Particularly, it's his special ability.

    And it is entirely limited to conversing with women.


    Luke had seen the desperation that plagued Sylphy.

    Watching the earnestness of effort, something that was rarely, if ever, seen in noble women.

    To keep her sights on nothing but one point, and to eagerly overtake the point that she continually aimed for.

    For Luke, watching Sylphy make such an effort day after day, naturally had come around to supporting her.

    Secretly supplementing the parts he knew that she was lacking, and stealthily teaching her the parts that she did not know at all, he had become a shadow of support for her.

    A shadow only.

    Because around here, there was a reason he was popular.


    And Sylphy had noticed it.

    However, Sylphy did not fall in love with Luke.

    In her heart there was no crevice filled with anything other than thoughts of Rudeus.

    And Luke also seemed to have no interest in the 'chopping board' characteristics particular to the Long Ear Tribe (Elves).


    Instead, a strange friendship began to bud between these two people.


    Luke himself had few friends.

    He was born into the house of Notus, and was quickly entered into the Second Princess Faction. Being close in age, and partly being forced into it, he was appointed as her Guardian Knight, and had spent every day training for the duties that accompanied it.

    There was nobody who he could call his equal, just a person to look up at or down upon.

    This was even the case with former Guardian Magician Derrick. When after considering the age difference and experiences, it was not easy at all to say they were even close to being equal.


    Only Sylphy was an understanding existence that could finally be called equal to Luke.

    Perhaps to him, she could have been the only one worthy enough to be called his friend.


    While getting along well with Luke behind the scenes, Sylphy and Ariel also continued to deepen their bonds of friendship.


    However, the opening act never ends smoothly.


    At that time in her life, Ariel was an extreme sadist.

    She was a girl who felt a particular excitement tormenting others.

    The likely cause of this was something that lingered behind after all the times she had nearly been assassinated.


    At first, Ariel did small things, like ordering the maid of one of her guards to perform cleaning duties while stark naked, while others included Ariel herself severely beating an errand boy with a horse crop.

    Perhaps you could call it a "love of bullying the weak".


    Of course while her proclivities were concealed as much as possible, they were already established as a well known fact in the imperial court.


    At first, Ariel only targeted those who were weak, but gradually over time she lost interest in weak people, and instead came to be attracted to those she considered to be [Strong People].

    By accomplishing the task of making a [Strong Person] prostrate and submit to her authority and position.

    It came to be that doing such things stimulated the princess.

    Luke was no good as a target.

    He never tried to show Ariel any of his strong parts.

    Omitting of course, the origin of Luke's feelings towards Ariel.


    Also, there was Sylphy's predecessor, the Guardian Magician Derrick.

    That one never showed strength towards their Master, Ariel.

    Nothing but obedience was shown.

    Mental Strength and a Rebellious Spirit, men who didn't try and show these things were not at all of Ariel's 'taste.'

    Most likely they were able to accomplish their job as Ariel's guard because none of them had anything that matched her 'taste.'


    And then what about Sylphy?

    She felled the Terminate Boar with one shot using chantless magic, and while in a strange place, surrounded with strange company, she remained determined to do her best to learn strange manners?


    'Tasty.'


    Even if she was skilled in magic,

    Even if she was of a younger age,

    Even if she had white hair,

    Even if she had long ears,

    Even if she was diligent,

    And even if it seemed like there was a man she desired.

    All of it was to Ariel's 'taste'.


    At first, Ariel endured the nagging 'desire.'

    It was because Sylphy saved her.

    Ariel owed Sylphy her life.

    She still remembered the fear the Terminate Boar instilled when it appeared before her.

    If Derrick hadn't pushed her away, Ariel's head most likely would have exploded and her brains splattered everywhere.

    If Luke hadn't protected her, Ariel's stomach and chest would likely have been torn apart.


    Neither Luke nor Herself would be alive if not for Sylphy.

    The Terminate Boar is different from a Goblin.

    It doesn't lay it eyes on a woman and consider violating her.

    It only rips the body apart as it feeds on it.


    Ariel's life had been saved, and as a respectful member of the Imperial Royal Family of Asura, repaying such a favor was surely necessary.

    However, such thoughts, began to gradually fade away.


    The Sylphy who eats delicious meals everyday.

    The Sylphy who lives and works hard every day.

    Towards that Sylphy, Ariel speaks words of gratitude to the first time before preparing to eat such a 'tasty' meal.


    Such a wicked happiness could be seen in the eyes of the princess.

    Of course, Sylphy being Sylphy, naturally she worried over her parents and Rudeus.

    But, at the same time, she knew Sylphy also recognized that she was now under the [Patronage of Ariel].

    So a bit of that attitude had emerged in her daily life.


    Seeing such an attitude, Ariel considered what to do.

    (It's a good thing, right?)

    (I don't need to endure it anymore, right?)


    Such a misunderstanding had led Ariel into planning the brutal assault.


    On a certain evening, Ariel went to Sylphy's bedroom, wielding the Asura Kingdom Purveyor's Royal Dildo, and attacked!

    It was to be a night of dazzling pink!

    After all, there was no one who ever defied the Royal partner!

    So the virtue of Sylphy was about to be in a precarious position[12].


    Counter to the Princess' expectations, Sylphy fought back.

    With blood-red eyes, she rushed straight at Ariel and fought back.

    In a half-dazed state, she retaliated.


    Sylphy threw aside all the manners and etiquette she had learned up until now.

    Sylphy did not have any deep feelings of respect towards the imperial family.

    And once, from Lilia, she had learned a bit of the 'night workings' that went on in the imperial palace...

    Sylphy recognized the rape attempt on herself for what it was.


    Of course, there was gratitude towards Ariel.

    But this and that were two different stories,

    Sylphy with her powerful magic, had inflicted a wound on Ariel that nearly killed her.


    If, at that time, Sylphy couldn't use healing magic, it would have become a serious problem.


    Actually, it had become a problem.

    Luke, who heard the screams of Sylphy had rushed to the room.

    And there he saw the scene, a tattered Ariel, and a Sylphy performing recovery on her.

    Ariel, the second princess who he was sworn to protect, had been wrecked.


    Luke, realizing the situation in a moment, knew that Ariel's bad habit had once again appeared.

    And at the same time he also thought the situation was a bit distasteful.

    Just by himself, it's impossible to cover these incidents up every single time.

    However if Ariel orders it, he will let fall the head of Sylphy.

    This he understood intuitively.

    Luke shook.

    Does he kill his only friend to protect himself, or does he defend this friend who came from unworthy roots instead?

    However, that troublesome and groundless pondering was over in a moment.


    [Being tormented, it is surprisingly pleasant...]


    Ariel, it seems, had just awakened to a new proclivity.


    The Royals and Nobles of Asura, every single one of them has a strange proclivity.

    Masochism is no exception.

    Therefore, this one incident was treated as if it was a 'play.'

    [The Victim, Ariel] had covered for [The Assailant, Sylphy] as expected, since it was the only reasonable course of action to take.


    However the business of Ariel ever trying to continue her earlier failed attack on Sylphy never came to be.


    Ill feelings and reasons to evade company would be normal after that.

    Mysteriously though, Sylphy in a sudden twist that day, instead came to feel a sense of trust from Ariel.


    She who was avoided by those of the same age, it was a special boy named Rudeus who became her only friend.

    Also, Sylphy who was of a young age then, and who's secondary gender characteristics had not yet developed, had a weak sense of danger, and who had problems making strong personal connections.


    It's possible she was misled and directed defenselessly into the arms of someone with goodwill.


    Even though the reason was distorted, the thread of friendship was tied firmly between Ariel and Sylphy.

    Thereafter, little by little, Sylphy and Ariel began to deepen their friendship.


    One year had passed from the Metastasis Event, and circumstances would change.


    No, circumstances had already changed.

    In a place Sylphy couldn't know, and for a long time after the Metastasis.


    This was the beginning of Lord Liston's thoughtless words.

    He, who was taking advantage of the opportune chance, spread it around the nobility that it was likely the doings of the first prince.

    At least, that was the reason given, who could think that a demon would appear in the royal palace if it wasn't guided in by someone?

    And so, he laid the blame sufficiently well on the other party.

    Even devising ways to treat innocent people as criminals.


    However, when the story no longer required there to be a person to have led such a monster inside, the situation drastically changed.

    To this person who was using the abhorrent natural disaster, contempt was shown.

    This was an act most nobles have done.

    However, Lord Liston mistook his opportunity.

    Before the matter was settled as being a natural disaster, the fact of the other party having attacked had been delivered.

    A chance was then shown.

    First on the list of the prince group, High Minster Darius harshly criticized Lord Liston at just the right moment.

    Lord Liston's authority sharply fell.

    Since most of his territory was lost, he had then become a middle class noble.


    With his loss, the Second Princess Faction, who even at their strongest was still weak, had received a further attack.

    High Minister Darius severely weakened the nobles of the second princess Ariel's faction.

    Influential nobles, in succession, had lost power, or betrayed the princess, causing the immediate collapse of the second princess faction.

    By losing a person of influential backing, the reality for Ariel, was that the road to the crown was also becoming lost to her.


    However, Ariel's charisma was extremely high.

    Her popularity among the people was also high. If she lived, it was expected that she would become an obstacle in the future.


    Darius advised the First Prince on this matter, and had sent an assassin to put an end to Ariel.


    The influential nobles had been suppressed, so there were no longer any soldiers left to protect her.


    The elder brother assassinates the younger sister.

    To gain the throne of Asura Kingdom, it must be won in such a race to power.

    Even the present king had done something similar to assume the throne.


    The princess faction has no defensive strength.

    And there is no way to stay an assassination by political means either.

    Ariel's life was now in a precarious situation[13].


    But, the assassination was prevented, by the hand of Sylphy alone.

    She had managed to turn the tables on the assassin.


    It was a desperate struggle.

    If she was not the apprentice of Rudeus.

    If she didn't know how to use high-speed movement by shockwave through the usage of chantless melded magic.

    If she didn't see up close what Rudeus was doing, and ask for what reason it was being done.

    If she didn't hear the theories and reasons behind it, and mimic it herself.

    And if the enemy hadn't underestimated her because she was a child.

    Sylphy would probably have lost her life to the attack she received.


    The result however, was that Sylphy had survived.

    Due to the poison the assassin used, she wandered between the worlds of life and death for 3 days, and fortunately for her, there were no traces of disabling after-affects.


    As a result, the name of [Fitts] who was once known as Sylphy, had become known widely in the Royal Palace.

    The rumors of the genius boy had been heard, 'was he a fake?', it's possible they thought he was a counterfeit.

    To begin with, the positions of Guardian Knight and Guardian Magician have been a tradition of the royal family passed down since olden times, the position is usually filled by spare children of powerful nobility as offerings.


    When an assassin is sent, they die bravely in their protection of the royal family.

    The noble parents grieve exaggeratedly about how brave their child's death was.

    The royal family acknowledges it by sending a medal of honor as recompense to the family, and in this way, Noble and Royal bonds are deepened.

    Their very existence amounted to only such a thing.


    You could call it a sacrificial pawn, a display piece.


    However Sylphy was quite different.

    Although her actual fighting experience was lacking, she was by far a talented magician.

    To hear the report of the repelled assassin, Darius had revealed his concern.

    The assassin whom he released on her possessed that much skill after all.


    The first prince faction became cautious.

    And Ariel's group feared it.

    Thinking they would be killed sooner or later if they remained in the royal palace.

    They had only a few allies remaining.

    Just the several servants who were at hand, and one remaining influential noble.


    An assassin had brazenly shown up in the room of the imperial family, yet no one was blamed for it.

    However, the issue was more that such a matter was not even questioned.


    The leading noble of the Ariel Faction, Philemon Notus Greyrat, summed up the pressing state of affairs.


    [Please escape, Ariel-sama. Only death awaits you here.]


    [You are saying I should run away?]


    [Darius is friendly with me, so I will enter into the first prince faction, and weaken their power from within.

    Ariel-sama then gathers her power in the lands of a foreign country, creates alliances, then returns when she sees the opportunity, and by then I should be reconstituted and ready for action.]


    Philemon was a clever man.

    For him, the ending where Ariel is king, is the most profitable one.

    While he had pretended to gain favor with Darius so that Notus did not fall even if Ariel died, he had taken steps to ready a hand to be played for either situation's outcome.

    Following that advice, refuge was to be taken far away in a foreign land.

    And there she would gather her strength and bide her time.


    Ariel did not know of such things.

    But it was clear that she would be killed the way things were going.


    There were many places where she could go to study abroad.

    Some were large countries such as Dragon King Kingdom or the Holy Land of Milis that were included as candidates.


    However, Ariel chose the north.

    The Magic City Sharia, of the Ranoa Kingdom was the destination.

    To the Magic Academy the [Magic Triumvirate] was so proud of.

    In other countries, the number of allies she would be able to borrow power from for a dispute against Asura would be insufficient.

    Nobody would want to back a quarrel against a monster nation that had an abundance in funding.

    However, if the Academy gathered all races from all countries of the world, it would soon become known as the 2nd Princess' foothold of restoration.


    Ariel had not yet given up.

    Ariel was alive.

    And also the path to becoming king.

    It was not just nobles' idle talk.

    She who was born to the Asura Royal family, had understood her destiny.


    [Sylphy, my apologies.]


    Ariel was aware there was no reason for Sylphy to accompany her on this journey.

    She had already cleared away almost all distrust she may have had of Sylphy.

    Paul's name was now associated with the Fedoa Territory Search Party, and was confirmed to be unrelated to the Metastasis event.

    Sauros nonchalantly turned up at the Imperial Palace unaware of what had happened, and had been executed by the schemes of Philemon and the second prince faction.

    At this point, the whereabouts of Philip and Rudeus were unknown.

    And only looking at Sauros' excuses and her dedication regarding the assassin, Sylphy was found to be innocent.

    Merely, another victim of the Metastasis event.


    [...Now that it's become like this, while I think that it's only right of me to release you, I humbly ask this of you instead, 'Please protect me. There is no one else I can rely upon but you.']


    [I also beg this of you, my sword is not yet sharp[14]. And I have no confidence that I can protect Ariel-sama by myself.]


    Ariel and Luke, bowed their heads to Sylphy whose social position was far lower than their own.

    Sylphy, who wanted to search for her family and Rudeus on her own two feet.


    However, in this one year, Sylphy had come to think of them as friends.

    Friends with some peculiarities that tended to stand out, and whose relations with her were a bit different than that of Rudeus'.

    Sylphy felt strongly that 'A friend is a friend.'

    And for Sylphy, the number of friends she had was easily counted on one hand.


    [I understand. I will continue to protect Ariel-sama.]


    Sylphy, at that moment, may have possibly become the princess' Guardian Magician in the truest literal sense.


    They had left the Asura Kingdom under the guise of studying abroad.

    Their current state, out of fear of assassination, appeared to be nothing more than throwing aside everything and fleeing from the country immediately.

    Though that was but half the truth.

    Inevitably, the first prince had sent a pursuit party after them.

    He was aware of the risk a still-living Ariel possessed.

    Her charisma might allow her to captivate the Magic Guild.

    Furthermore, there were also the children of other Asura Nobles attending the Academy.

    She might give them, the seconds who couldn't carry the next generation, or the thirds whose heart could be swayed, the way to become the head of their houses, since there were many ways it could be done by assisting Ariel.

    In addition, there were many various nobles and royalty to be found in other countries and tribes.

    If Ariel, who has extremely high charisma, were to return after attaining strong ties with foreign countries...

    The first prince faction thought that it would be best to make this attack somewhat excessive.


    The pursuit of the princess' party continued even after they left the borders of the Asura Kindgom.

    There were 15 nobles which comprised this party. And whenever one was alone, they always lost their lives in their surprise attack.


    In particular, the surprise attack at the [Red Dragon's Upper Jaw] was thoroughly severe.

    About ten swordsmen, a Magician for support, and a Healer that laid in wait.

    All of the previous surprise attacks were in preparation for this ambush.


    This sure-kill formation, however, was crushed entirely by the hand of Sylphy.

    The chantless magic combat techniques that Rudeus had thought up were highly effective here.

    Though Sylphy was in the ceremonial position of Guardian Magician, she had never neglected strengthening her body.

    And she had even learned how to swing a sword from Luke, when he could spare the time to teach.

    And though it was just a thin layer, her body had recently begun to wear Fighting Spirit.


    All of the attacks had stopped when Ariel's party had crossed over the [Red Dragon's Upper Jaw].

    Excluding Sylphy and Luke, the number of Ariel's noble servants had been reduced to merely two others.


    The first prince faction didn't have the nerve to send an assassin into a country where they couldn't keep a close eye on things.


    The sure-kill formation had been destroyed, and for an opponent they couldn't kill within their own borders, there was little confidence in finishing the job in another country's.


    This was a mistake on the part of the first prince faction.

    If the attack was repeated two or three more times, the probability of Ariel dying would likely be very high.

    If her servants hadn't been risking their lives to protect the princess, it could not be expected that Sylphy alone would be able to manage that duty.

    However, the first call of the prince's lack of judgement on this matter, was no doubt owing to the combat prowess of Sylphy.


    After the ordeal they made it to Ranoa Kingdom.

    Five people unaccustomed to traveling to a foreign country.

    Only two servants remained.


    Elmore Bluewolf.

    Kleene Elrond.

    Both of them were young ladies.


    The middle-aged servants who knew the fundamentals of the journey had already died.

    There was bad planning, delayed traveling time, and the matter of it becoming winter en-route.

    The dangerous pursuit party, and the villager's complacency began to wear thin the patience of the group, and almost led to disaster.

    They probably were seen as a delicious morsel to a monster or bandit.

    Along the way they were attacked many more times.

    However every attack was repelled.


    Many more difficulties as well waited for them.


    When they got to Magic City Sharia, and were met with many further complications, they felt the bonds between themselves had strengthened.

    They were comrades.


    Sylphy had entered the Magic Academy.


    Both the Magic Academy and the Magic Guild welcomed the Asura Royal Family, and promised to handle them as [Special Students].

    However, Ariel refused.

    She wished to be treated as and mixed in with the general students until the very end, so in this way she arranged to be able to acquire a sufficient amount of interaction with other students.


    Ariel's calculations were elaborate.

    How should she gain power while in these lands?

    If she were to just be satisfied using the name of Asura Royalty, she would not be able to accomplish such a great feat.


    Like a game of chess, she must use her pieces effectively.

    First of all, as Ariel's [Might], Sylphy was best shown off in the position of guard.

    Luke, also a guard, though without any real power, was better placed in the position to show generosity and gentleness, kept closely on hand.

    Ariel herself would take the position as a [Symbol of Admiration.]

    And she decided that her two Servants, Kleene and Elmore would devote themselves to the work that could only be done in the shadows.


    Sylphy was able to continue with her disguise unchanged.

    When guarding Ariel, she would conveniently dress in clothes suitable for a woman.

    However, the best way to show [Might] would be to emphasize it by [Mystery].

    An unseen face, and an unspoken opinion, was it a boy? Was it a girl? Who knows?

    An extremely strong guard who used chantless magic.

    The fact alone that this person was guarding the princess, was all that was important.

    It made the existence of the princess even more grand.

    Also, if you don't understand your opponent's true nature, then there will be hesitation when it came to starting trouble with them.


    The main duty of the two servants was information gathering.

    Mixing with the general students, detailed rumor collection, and manipulating information.

    The job was really that of a covert operative.

    Those girls, who would casually contact Luke at times while pretending to be his groupies, would then relay information.

    Regular information included various things about the Fedoa search party, personal information about enrolled students of the Academy, the Asura Kingdom situation reports, and information about nearby influential adventurers.


    Luke's job was to act the part of the fool, and receive the information naturally.

    As a familiar face, continually posing as a sociable person.

    Although since Luke was originally a "ladies' man", his posturing would be less of an act.


    In an unknown land, unacquainted with people of differing cultures, suddenly rising to power through associations.


    Failure cannot be allowed to happen here.


    Ariel gradually wasted away.

    In the situation in which failure must not be allowed to happen, without any kind of relaxation, continuously playing the part of a symbol.

    With no relaxation time, her great spirit had been whittled away.


    Still, she did somehow manage it for the first several months.

    Sylphy had become Ariel's confidante because it would help alleviate the stress her body had accumulated.


    However, certain information had arrived.


    The updated death roster of Fedoa Territory...

    In other words, it was information on the death of Sylphy's parents.


    From this, even Sylphy was closed off and in low spirits as could be expected.

    Sylphy, having desperately made it this far, hearing about her parent's deaths took a heavy toll.

    Her one hope had been destroyed in an instant.

    Brooding, seclusion, the situation did not allow for it.


    Ariel wasted away.

    Syphy was worn out.

    And the two servants who couldn't become used to their new way of life, it was hardly a situation where there could be worry about another person.


    Only Luke seemed to be fine.

    Because he had the optimistic and undaunted characteristic unique to the Greyrat house, he always seemed to be in the same state no matter where he was.

    The stability of his mind was likely helped by his so-called Upper Asura Nobles "lady-fishing" circumstances.

    Luke wondered if there wasn't some way he couldn't be helping with the current situation.

    However, in his knowledge, if a woman was depressed, the only solution was to comfort her in his arms.

    Apart from the two servants, he had no intention of 'holding' Ariel nor Sylphy.

    For Luke, these two people had leapt over the category of love interest into that of a special existence.


    He was troubled.

    He wondered if there was anything he could do.

    Then he suddenly remembered.

    At one time, there was the example of the genius boy who gave lessons to the brutal monkey of the Boreas house, [being the seventh or tenth day of every month, he created a thing called a holiday, and quieted the anger of the monkey.]

    Even to a certain man with habits of debauchery, it was especially important to have a little bit of something like a breather.

    Once every ten days they would be allowed to cut loose and go wild.

    Because of that, he proposed venting stress in such a way.


    Ariel, though she was worried about it's effectiveness, agreed to it.

    Sylphy, also desiring some alone time, also agreed to it.


    However there was one concern.


    Ariel's existence must become that of a symbol.

    And such an existence, if she were to be found cutting loose in the town once every several days, what would other people think of that?

    Ariel must be a symbol.

    She must not be allowed to appear the same as any girl around here.

    Everything that took great pains to begin building up absolutely must not be destroyed now.


    But such anxiety was easily solved by the existence of a certain magic tool.


    A magic tool that allows the user to take the shape of another.

    This magic tool took the form of two rings: a green ring, and a red ring.

    The person wearing the green ring would become identical in facial features and hair color to the person wearing the red ring.

    This magic tool was a secret treasure passed down in the Asura Kingdom family from generation to generation.

    This magic tool was meant to be worn by the body-double of the Asura Kingdom.


    For Ariel and Sylphy, at times when they would go on holiday, this tool was used to disguise Ariel, so any assailant's eyes would be deceived.

    Using this magic tool, height and build, voice, even the eye color was unchanged.

    If observed well, or if one was heard conversing in it's form, they can easily become exposed.


    However it was satisfactory enough.

    Using this, Ariel changed herself into Sylphy.

    Sylphy always had a reason to wear sunglasses, and furthermore lived a life where she hardly spoke.

    And also, since all of her magic was done chantless, it was convenient.

    There was no real height difference between Ariel and Sylphy.

    It was really quite convenient.


    Using this, Ariel became [Fitts].

    And as [Fitts], it became possible for Ariel to move about the whole town.


    During this time, it was necessary that Sylphy be in a rather deserted place.

    As for the location, she chose the quiet library.

    She planned to examine the event that had killed her parents.


    And so, this was the way in which Sylphy and company led their lives at the Magic Academy.


    The past few years since I've started school have gone by without any problems.

    When I say no problems, I mean problems which put my life at risk.

    Dueling with Rinia and Pursena, Ariel-sama walking down streets disguised as me and being surrounded by thugs...

    Small stuff like that happened, but nothing life threatening.

    Things were going the way Ariel-sama wanted.

    In the last few years, Ariel-sama has increased her followers as well.

    However, after entering the third year...

    We obtained certain information.

    The information is about a person called "Rudeus of the Quagmire".

    Rudeus.

    So, I finally found some information on Rudi.

    At a young age he was already an A-Rank adventurer, and in just a few years his name spread to the [Magic Triumvirate] .

    His specialty is earth magic.

    His strength level is not determined, but he can create a huge quagmire with voiceless incantation.

    When I heard about quagmire magic, I was convinced that it was Rudi.

    When I think about it, the first time we met he was using mud.

    Since Rudi is a water magician, thinking that he is good with water magic would be normal, but, whether it's using quagmire or a fast-moving shock wave, he liked using different kinds of magic like that.

    I spoke to Ariel-sama about this.

    "Rudeus of the Quagmire" is the person who taught me how to use magic, and, he is the person who has been missing for a long time.


    "If he is the real deal, I would certainly like to borrow his power ..."


    I think that Ariel-sama was skeptical about Rudi.

    Since the information on "Rudeus of the Quagmire" was indeed dubious.

    Rudeus Greyrat.

    He was from Asura kingdom, Fedoa Region, Buina village.

    At the age of 3 he became an apprentice to the (Water-Saint ranked at the time) Water-King class magician Roxy Migurudia.

    At the age of 5 he became a Water-Saint Magician.

    At the age of 7 he became the tutor for the daughter of the lord of Fedoa, Eris Boreas Greyrat.

    As the story goes, the trouble maker and violent daughter of the lord was properly disciplined and educated by him.

    At that time when the Fedoa Region Metastasis Event happened he went missing...

    In the past, even if I heard this much I wouldn't think it's particularly a great thing.


    But now that I have lived in the Asura Kingdom and studied at the Magic University, I can say this with confidence.

    If I didn't know him I would have thought that this kind of personal history is a fake.

    It's fictional.


    But, I know.

    Rudi respected Roxy-sensei as his shisho.

    Though I never saw Roxy myself.


    But, I know that Roxy-san was in Buina village.

    And, Roxy-san gave Rudi a wand.

    And when we were separated at the age of 7, he became a home tutor, this matches as well.


    "There is no mistake, it's Rudi."

    "Sylphy, if you say so, I would like to believe it ......"

    "However, since it is just a rumor, actually... I am dubious anyhow."


    Luke and Ariel-sama were skeptical.

    However for now they believed it, not that I can do anything about it.

    Even for me who knew Rudi, I still doubt the credibility of this information.


    "However, will such a great person lend us a hand, isn't he a member of the Boreas family?"


    Honestly, I'm not familiar with how political power struggles are in the Asura kingdom.

    I just have 1 year of experience in this matter.

    However, with respect to Greyrat, even I have heard about them.


    Boreas was allied with the first prince.

    Eurus and Zephyrus were allies of the second prince.

    Notus was our ally, but was now in the first Prince faction.

    In other words, Boreas is an enemy.

    And, even Rudi who was a tutor of Boreas, might be an enemy as well.


    However, Boreas and Rudi ought to have cut their ties with each other a long time ago already.

    If it was not like that, he could not be an adventurer in the north.


    "If I ask him, I am sure..."


    Even though I am saying it, I myself have no confidence.

    Luke started laughing at such words lacking confidence.


    "With your breast size, there is no way a man from Notus would bow to you."


    I cover up my breast Puku~tsu.. when Luke says that.


    Luke is always like this.

    Always talking about breasts.


    Women's breasts.

    Women with no breasts are not women.

    I do not feel the charm of a woman from you.


    There is no helping it; small breasts are a trait of us Elves.


    But Luke is not just bad-mouthing.

    In the end, he always says this.

    Since you are not a woman I can be your friend.


    Saying we are friends makes me happy, but knowing I have no charm as a woman is troubling.

    Well, of course compared to Ariel-sama my breasts aren't good ...


    "I don't mean it like that."

    "Then what do you mean, don't tell me you are going to reveal your identity to him?"

    "Oh I see..."


    I am Fitts, [Silent Fitts.]

    And I cannot let him know my identity.

    What should I do?


    "Isn't it good enough Sylphy? The one you were looking for has been found."


    Suddenly, Ariel-sama says that with a smile.

    Ariel-sama is always kind.

    Sometimes she is strict, and there are also times when she does bad things, but she is a kind person.

    Something very surprising came out of this Ariel-sama's mouth.


    "As a special case, you can reveal your identity to that Rudeus-san."

    "What?"


    Reveal my identity.


    "But... what if doing that causes the plan to fail?"


    I do know my role very well.

    I'm a mystery.

    I am an unidentified [symbol of power].

    In these past few years, I figured that I won't lose to those run-of-the-mill magicians.

    It is thanks to the training with Rudi.

    I am not as good as the God or King-Rank magicians, but I should be around the Saint-Rank at least.


    Though I can't replace the other Princes or King-rank magicians whose support the princess needs.

    But, I am aware that I am the most powerful ally that the princess has at the moment.


    "I had Sylphy do her best up until now, I have to at least let you have your reunion right..."

    "But."

    "And if the plan fails because of that, then we will think about it then."


    Ariel-sama after saying that and clapping her hand said,

    "And, if it comes down to ensnaring him, a childhood friend has a better chance in talking him into it, right?"

    "...... Thank you, Ariel-sama."


    I thanked her honestly.

    Though I saw her scheming something, but it's the usual.


    After seeing my growth, what would Rudi say?

    I am looking forward to it.


    The plot to get Rudi to school went smoothly.

    Leaking the information to the Vice Principal Jinas, he would without a doubt make a move to invite him into the university.


    A few months later, the day that I looked forward to came.

    During battle practice at the training field, Vice Principal Jinas brought a person with himself.

    I almost raised my voice from joy.


    Rudi.

    It's Rudi!

    No doubt about it.

    He looks different from back in the days, he looks a bit gloomy, but there is no doubt.

    There is no way I would mistake Rudi with someone else.


    'What to do, he has become so cool.'


    Though he still has traces of the young boy in my memory, he has become a man.

    His demeanor is sharp, he has trained his body well, this much I can understand from how he moves.

    His robe is worn-out, but that's proof of how hard he has been working.

    Even though I am seeing it from a distance, I can say that his wand is a good one and has been used a lot.

    Walking while vigilantly being aware of his surroundings is just like how he was before.


    (Oh my God, ... I was thinking of marrying to someone like that.)


    When I think about it, somehow my body gets hot.


    "Rud ...?"


    As I became emotional by seeing Rudi, I was about to call his name out.

    Immediately after, I was frozen.

    From behind Rudi, some insanely beautiful woman came as well.


    (Ara... is she Rudi's wife?)


    The woman was an Elf.

    Somehow she had an air about her like my dad.

    Dignified features and giving off a noble impression.

    And, such a person was clinging to Rudi.

    It was like she is pushing Rudi, but he wasn't bothered by it at all.


    (... ara? ... ara?)


    While confused, I lost the opportunity to rush over to Rudi.


    After that, I was called to be Rudi's examiner.

    It was a test to see whether Rudi can use voiceless incantation or not.

    By that time, I was also able to pull myself together somehow.

    If it's that cool Rudi, having a woman that amazing wouldn't be strange at all, is what I was thinking.


    Yeah.

    Whether he is married or not, does not matter.

    Because we are friends.

    No problem at all.

    I'll give them my blessing.

    Well, before that, let's rejoice that both of us are safe and sound.

    While I was saying so to myself, I heard Rudi speaking ...


    "Nice to meet you, my name is Rudeus Greyrat."

    "........................"


    First, Time meeting?

    What?

    ...... Eh.

    ara... ara?

    It's a lie.

    Hey, wait ....

    .................. You have forgotten?


    "If everything goes well, this term I'll be your Kohai, so please grant me your guidance"

    "Eee .....................?"


    When I was totally puzzled, I remembered that I have sunglasses on, my hair color changed to white, and I'm dressed like a boy.


    Not even considering that, it's also been 8 years since we have been separated.

    I have grown up and changed so much, not recognizing me on the first meeting isn't all that strange.

    I was thinking too selfishly on my own.

    I was thinking since I recognized him, he should recognize me as well.

    I was getting ahead of myself.


    So, I just need to remove my sunglasses and introduce myself.

    I have obtained permission from princess Ariel.

    It would be hard in a place like this, I'll call him to an isolated place and introduce myself.


    However, I was thinking.

    Forced to think like this.


    (That Rudi won't remember someone like me anymore)


    Just thinking like that once was enough for me to be unable to remove my sunglasses.


    Removing my sunglasses, and introducing myself, then hearing 'Sorry, who are you again?'.


    When I thought that, I couldn't do it anymore.


    "That is... Oh, yes"


    When I see Rudi I would say this, was what I thought, but I forgot all of it.

    I didn't know what to say anymore.

    While I was thinking about those things the exam began.


    I lost.

    I was completely defeated. His magic was too unpredictable. While a technique I had no idea about sealed my magic, an incredible Rock Bullet grazed my cheek.


    Though if I think about it, I have seen it before.

    He was going easy on me.

    It wasn't on the level of how much I have grown.

    Rudi, was way more ahead of me.


    "I... just now...... How did you do that?"


    I was barely able to say just that.


    "It's called Ran Ma[Disturb Magic]. Don't you know it?"


    I don't know.

    I've never heard of it either.

    Perhaps, it would be a magic unique to a certain race.

    Even if you ask in the magic university no one knows about that magic.


    (Rudi is great)


    Again, I thought so.


    That deepened my respect for him again.

    As I thought, he has grown yet again.

    So much that someone like me can't be compared to him.

    When I was thinking this he bowed.


    "Thank you senpai, you let a new student win against you."

    "What?"


    I was puzzled.

    I don't get what he means.

    I could not do anything. Rudi has to know that as well.

    Yet to have let him win?

    I grabbed the hand that Rudi stretched out to me in confusion.

    It was not the hand of a magician.

    It was the hand of a swordsman.

    It was the hand of a person that worked hard. [15]

    It was the hand of those who have held a sword way longer than even Luke.

    But he is not even a swordsman.


    Even though I was confused, when I held his hand, my heart started beating doki-doki.

    Rudi's warmth was being transferred to me, I kinda felt happy about it.

    However, Rudi has baffled me even further.


    "As thanks for today, I'll repay the favor later on."


    Thank you, I wonder why he thanked me.

    I don't get it.

    Don't get it at all.


    I don't get it, but I thought it means that we will meet later.

    Feeling my face getting red, I nod in agreement.


    And when Rudi left, I remembered stuff that I did not want to remember, I cried.


    --- Ariel Perspective ---


    When I got back to the student council room, Sylphy was crying.


    "...... did you say your greetings?"


    At first I thought that she was worrying over the woman Rudeus brought with him.

    By the way, the woman who came with him was an S-rank adventurer in his party.

    I figured that she has a deep relation to Rudeus.

    However, Sylphy's heart does not seem sunny. [16]

    But it seems to be a different problem.


    "Rudi... won't remember someone like me anymore"

    "Sylphy......"


    I was puzzled.

    This is the first time something like this happened.

    The girl named Sylphyiette should have been a stronger child than this.

    Stout-hearted, single-minded and straight forward kinda girl.

    Such a girl is crying on my lap.

    The girl who didn't even cry when she found out that her parents died after the Metastasis Event, is crying right now.

    Just from thinking that shabby robed boy does not remember her, she has become like this.

    When I look at her like this, my sadistic heart is aching. [17]

    It's forbidden.

    I do not want to be hated by Sylphiette.

    I want us to be friends.


    However, that boy.

    Rudeus Greyrat.

    He should be the same age as Sylphy, has he matured so much?


    To be honest he was different from the image I had of him based on Sylphy's description of him.

    My first impression is a "shabby man".


    He could buy another cheap robe instead of wearing that shabby one.

    A humble attitude to the point of it being unnatural, looks suspicious and a face with no apparent self-confidence. [18]


    Anyway I didn't feel the charm of a boy from him.

    Also whether I hit on him or he flirts with me I don't think I would feel any excitement.

    In that regard Luke is far better.

    Luke is a man who cheats and is clumsy but has far more sex-appeal than him.

    Though since we are in a master-servant relationship, we won't touch each other.


    However, that boy.

    Rudeus Greyrat.

    He is unattractive.

    Such a man made my Sylphy cry.

    Be as it may, that's something I cannot forgive...


    "Did he really forget? Did you show him your face and tell him your name?"


    Was what Luke said.

    As for Rudeus he seems to have some idea as well.


    "What if I did that and he doesn't remember, then what should I do?"

    "At that time, it cannot be helped."

    "Don't go 'It cannot be helped' on me."


    Sylphy says that with a pathetic voice.

    Luke sighs while going Yare-Yare. [19]


    Luke is a full-fledged swordsman, but his skills are mediocre.

    He is serious about his job as a bodyguard.

    In regard to anything else he is air-headed.

    Especially when it comes to women, he says you have to do as much as you can, and it's his catch phrase.

    It is the manliness of the Greyrat house.


    But even he has something that he is good at.

    To observe and read the hearts of women.

    From a variety of information, he sees the person's inner thoughts.

    It seems to be "an observing eye that should differentiate between good and bad (in regard to women)" inherited by the Greyrat household.

    It's a household like that.


    Such a womanizing man has deep respect for Sylphy.


    And that is not as a woman, but as a colleague and as a comrade-in-arms.

    That's the prodigal son of the Notus-Greyrat house.

    That man who believes when looking at a woman it's okay to do whatever you like.

    He has respect for a girl like Sylphy.

    Sylphy is that much of a woman.

    I also know that.

    In the fight against pursuers and assassins, I also look up to Sylphy, who has saved us from those crises.

    She is a hardworking girl.


    Just a bit ago I heard how Luke thinks about Rudeus.


    Luke says that Rudeus cannot be trusted.

    It seems to be due to the rumors about Rudeus.


    For a man such as Rudeus, besides Sylphy's description, we just heard rumors.

    According to the rumor, even though he is so strong, he never gets angry and never picks a fight.

    There is no bad rumor about him at all.

    When I hear this, I take him to be a character from a story.


    According to Luke's theory, a person with only good rumors about him is worse than a person with bad rumors about him.

    Luke suspects that he manipulated the rumors.


    For example, the information that came in the other day said that "Rudeus of the Quagmire exterminated a stray dragon alone."

    Exterminate a stray dragon alone.

    There is no way that you can do it.


    Luke said, "It's at most a rumor, there is no way to confirm that".

    Perhaps, it was an extermination by a small group.

    To take credit of that for himself...


    Of course, if you want to say he is strong, then he is.

    Probably in some way he used magic items to defeat Sylphy.

    He is definitely stronger than a run-of-the-mill magician.

    Or, maybe, it is possible for him to get rid of a stray dragon alone.


    However, even if he defeated a stray dragon, this rumor is weird.

    To begin with, in a short span of time of 2 years, spreading the rumors to [Magic Triumvirate] won't be possible unless you do it intentionally.

    Intentionally manipulating the information and only spreading good rumors.

    Such a cunning man.


    That's how Luke saw Rudeus.

    We won't know when such a man would betray us, so he can't be trusted.


    "I'm against having him in our group. Ariel-sama."

    "Well, I think so as well. Though there is no doubt he is strong..."


    Sylphy was puzzled by this decision.


    "Eee?"


    She defended him.


    Not being able to remember me has nothing to do with his power and ability.

    Rudeus has become amazingly strong.

    And, also that weird Ran Ma magic.

    That surely is some race's unique magic ability.

    By using it, all magicians become powerless.

    As an ally there is no one more reliable.


    However, this is not the case.

    I already thought he was shady.

    Apparently, Sylphy seems to be blinded by her reunion with her childhood friend...


    After that, we allowed our emotions to get in the way of our judgment, the one who was Sylphy's heart's support, is without a doubt that Rudeus.

    Will it be possible to forget about that?

    In the last few months, how much did Sylphy wait with excitement for this day?

    I was expecting a more touching reunion for those two.

    After the Metastasis Event and being separated for so long, I was expecting a happy ending.


    What's this, really...

    Of course Sylphy is cross-dressing, but an elf with white hair isn't all that common for him not to remember.[20]


    And not to mention that humble attitude after winning against Sylphy.

    Is he lumping my Sylphy with those run-of-the-mill magicians?

    That is how I thought.


    As for Sylphy.

    Even though she had lost that pathetically, why is she looking so happy?

    I feel a strong jealousy.


    "Now, I remember the indignation to the man called Rudeus."

    "I too. Whether he forgot Sylphy or not, just because he is strong, I am not teaming up with a man who might betray me at any moment."


    Luke as well confirmed my words.

    And, Sylphy said.


    "... what is this, the two of you teaming up and bad-mouthing Rudi."


    Sylphy did not seem convinced, but the strategy to bring Rudeus on board has been temporarily put on hold.

    So we decided to wait and see for a while.


    Excessive contact with him is forbidden.

    However, Sylphy can interact with him on a personal level.


    Even if he is such a shady guy, he is still Sylphy's friend.

    Sylphy, regardless of what happened, seems happy.


    And it is possible that our first impression of him was bad and he is as good a guy as the rumor says.

    Let's keep a connection for now.


    "Of course, if Sylphy wants to reveal her identity, I do not mind."


    There is a risk to him knowing Sylphy's identity.

    But so long as that would let us know if he is as the rumor says, it will be a cheap price.


    --- Sylphy Perspective ---


    Then a month later.

    I saw Rudi at the entrance ceremony.

    Compared to the entrance examination, now it was like he's shining in his uniform.

    Our eyes met, I was very nervous.

    That said, he is a special student.

    Now that he is here I thought the opportunity to meet with him and spend time together would not be that much.


    At the meeting a month ago, we decided on not having excessive contact with Rudi.


    After that a lot of things were said, but in the end it seems those two do not like Rudi.

    I have no idea why they are like that.

    Maybe I am weird.


    But they told me I can get along with him on a personal level.


    Excessive contact is not good, but it is okay to be friends.

    How much is good, how much is not. [21]

    I think that even being able to have this much is due to Ariel-sama's kindness.

    Well even that is good enough.

    Just being able to talk to Rudi is enough for me.

    But ...... I wonder how I can speak with him.


    And, while I am thinking about such things, Ariel-sama is attending classes.

    Since Ariel-sama is charismatic, she needs to maintain her grades.


    The Melded magic class she was taking was very different from what I was taught.

    Rudi seems to have learned it from Roxy-san, but even though they are teaching the same thing here in magic university it seems very difficult.


    Since I was taught by Rudi I can understand them very quickly.

    But, Luke and princess Ariel are having a hard time learning it.

    Also, in order to support Ariel-sama as much as possible, I am teaching them a lot of stuff

    But, even though I am teaching using Rudi's method, they don't seem to understand very well.


    "Fitts, will you bring the documents for the next class?"


    Obeying Ariel-sama, I go to the library.

    The library is outside of the school building.

    There isn't much time before the next class begins.

    I have to hurry.


    And because I've been here for three years I know where to look for material in the library.

    After thinking for a little while I remembered where the materials for today's class are.

    I picked them out one after the other.

    Like this I'll be able to go back to class fast.


    'Ah!'


    When I saw the person in front of the bookshelf I leaked that sound.


    Rudi was there.


    I was surprised.

    I thought we would see each other but I didn't expect to see him here.


    "............"


    (Na, ... what to say?)


    While I was panicking Rudi noticed me.

    The next moment, Rudi made a deep bow.


    "I am sorry about the other day; it was through my thoughtless actions then that I may have caused Senpai to lose face. I am truly sorry for what I have done. I was thinking about getting a cake to give to you when I properly introduced myself and apologized, but since I just became a new student I've been busy doing this or that..." [22]


    "Uea!? ...I, It's fine, raise your head."


    Apparently, Rudi thinks he has offended me.

    I was surprised.

    So those words at the admission day meant this.


    But now that he said it.

    When I think about it, my reputation could have been destroyed.

    I see.

    For sure.

    It would be like that.


    So, that's why Ariel-sama and Luke were in a bad mood as well.

    I knew from the beginning that I could not win against Rudi.

    Well, though I didn't think that it would be this overwhelming of a defeat.

    But for those two, me losing wasn't enjoyable I guess.


    No, such a thing is okay. Let us put it aside for now.


    "Rude...eh, Rudeus-kun? For what reason are you here?"

    "Doing a little bit of research."

    "About what?"

    "Metastasis Events."


    When I heard those words, I thought.

    I thought maybe Rudi was thinking along the same line as I am.


    "The Metastasis Event? Why?"

    "I was also a resident of Fedoa Territory in the Asura Kingdom. Because of that incident I was sent to the Magic Continent."

    "The Magic Continent!?"


    I was even more surprised.

    I have heard stories about the Magic Continent.

    It's a harsh land in which Monsters are all C-rank or stronger.


    Some people go there to do warrior training, but most of them don't come back.

    So, if someone was teleported there, their chance of survival was mostly zero.

    Rudi, managed to come back from there.


    "Yeah, it took as long as three years, but I managed to come back. During that time I managed to find my family, but there is still one person I haven't found yet. But there is a good chance, if I examine this in detail, I may find a lead, right?"

    "Do you mean..., for the sake of that one person you came to this school?"

    "That's right."


    When I heard those words, I reaffirmed Rudeus' greatness.


    "I see, you really are amazing after all."


    Even though coming back from Magic Continent took 3 years, instead of relaxing, he started to search for another person.

    Even though just that is pretty amazing, since he received an invitation from Magic University he decided to research the incident as well.

    You could not find such a person anywhere else.

    If it were me, coming back after 3 years which is amazing, I would be resting at the refugee camp.

    "So, what is senpai doing here?"


    Hearing those words I came back to myself.

    I was in the middle of transferring the materials for the class.

    Ariel-sama is waiting.

    I want to talk to Rudi more, but I cannot afford to leave Ariel-sama alone either.


    "Aaaaaah! That's right! I was supposed to be bringing these materials somewhere. I've got to run. Rudeus-kun, see you later!"

    "Ah, sure, later!"


    While I was leaving, I remembered this library is big and has a lot of books, but there are only a few materials regarding metastasis.

    Even for Rudi, finding material regarding the Metastasis Event would take a lot of time.


    "Oh, that's right.... If it's about Metastasis, then a book by Animas called [Investigation Records of the Metastasis Labyrinth] is a good story you should read, It is in narrative form, but because it is written in an easy-to-understand way it would be good to start from there."


    I decided to recommend that book, because it helped me to understand the Metastasis better.

    If it is that, you'll understand the Metastasis because it's written so even a child can understand it.

    Though there were pages missing.

    That made me feel that I did a bit of a good thing and left the library.


    That evening.

    I was washing underwear.

    It is Ariel-sama's underwear.


    Washing Ariel-sama's clothes is part of my duties.

    Though I say that, there is a reason for it.


    Ariel-sama's underwear is made from very expensive fabric.

    Moreover, since it's an Asura Kingdom Royalty's underwear, it has extra value.

    In short, selling it would fetch a very high price.


    In fact, when she first enrolled and had her underwear taken for laundry it was stolen and sold.

    Four out of five pieces were stolen, and out of those four, three of them were sold.

    The remaining one was probably kept by the culprit for personal use.


    And the female students, with no way to counteract such incidents, were nervously saying "I can't believe it".

    Since Ariel-sama was born and raised in Asura Kingdom and I have lived there it wasn't that surprising for us.

    Since in Asura Kingdom there were a lot more weird people.

    But, uncomfortable things are still uncomfortable.


    So, since then, washing Ariel-sama's clothing became my duty.

    Ariel-sama making me do that was a bit confusing, but since I could wash them along with my own clothes it was okay in the end.

    By the way, to hide my gender, my underwear is just like Ariel-sama's. Though it is in a different color.


    So to hide it, I usually do the underwear laundry at night and as I was trying to put them on a string to air them one by one ....


    "ara ...?"


    Suddenly, looking under the veranda, I was surprised.

    Wow, even though it's after curfew there was a boy walking there.

    Based on the dormitory's rules, at this time boys can't walk on this road.

    There was the underwear thief case as well, though it's not yet the time, the mating season will come as well...

    And yet, why is a boy.......

    Even though it is a shortcut, at this hour the girls on guard duty will surround him soon.

    Is it good to report this to the girls on guard?

    Whoever discovers the intruder first has the responsibility to warn the others.

    No, but I ...... can't really let them hear my voice all that much.


    (Oh, ara, by any chance...)


    I recognized that person is Rudi.


    (W, why?)


    Unintentionally, my hand slipped.

    The panties in my hand fell, and dropped toward Rudi's head.

    The moment Rudi notices, he catches the pants with incredible speed.


    (Wa, that fast ...!)


    And I wonder if it is because he was always on guard for the past few years.

    The movement just now, I feel it's the result of the time he spent on the Magic Continent.


    Rudi seems to have noticed that what he is holding in his hand is panties.

    And he looked up and found me, and figured he caught the pants I dropped.

    Different from the movement of his hand from before, he has a carefree behavior.


    (I see, he just enrolled here today so he does not know the rules!)


    Rudi is a special student, special students do not have roommates.

    Since the special students are exempt from attending things like explanation of dormitory rules and all it's not so strange that he does not know the rules.


    I have to tell him.

    If you stand there while holding panties in your hand you will with no doubt be mistaken for an underwear thief.


    "Kya~a~a~a~a!"


    My worries soon became reality.

    Suddenly a female student started screaming.

    The girls on guard duty who lived on the first floor came out.

    Rudi was surrounded in no time.


    (... But, if it's Rudi, he can resolve it somehow?)


    Since I thought that way I was waiting optimistically and watching.

    I wanted to know what Rudi would do in a situation like this.

    After all, like when he was in Buina village, will he beat them up?

    Or will he get out by saying something convenient.

    Threaten them with magic, or use magic to run away.

    ............ Rudi did nothing.


    He seems to have his hand caught by Goriade-san and is troubled.

    That looked like when I was being bullied in Buina village.

    My head cooled down suddenly.


    (What am I doing?)


    I jumped out from the veranda in a hurry.

    Went down the stairs and ran until I reached the crowd.


    "Hee~h, what have we here, aren't you a bold one, to steal underwear at this time? What ... cat got your tongue? Do you think you can win against this many people?"


    Since it was dark and visibility was low, it seems that no one has noticed that Rudi was holding his foot using earth magic.

    As to why he did that, I have no idea, why would Rudi's feet be trembling...


    I realized, incidentally.

    I realized.

    I was reminded of the past.

    Come to think of it, when Rudi drove away Sumar and his gang in the village his feet were trembling.


    When confronting girls, Rudi was a little jerky.

    Also when he said "Sylphy has been cold lately" he was trembling.

    I see, Rudi thought he was hated by me so he was scared.

    Like any other normal boy.

    (Ah ...)

    I noticed.

    I've been viewing Rudi as special.

    It was the feeling of looking at an older person.[23]

    But, Rudi's the same age as me.


    (Sylphy, Is it always okay just to be protected by him?)


    At the end I remembered my father's words.

    And since I remembered, I vowed to myself that I would rescue Rudi.

    I'll help, Rudi.

    I swore so.

    Even if something happens, I'll help Rudi.

    I swore so.

    Isn't that the reason I was giving it my all?

    Above all, isn't the cause of this time's incident me?


    "Wait, it's a misunderstanding, wait."


    I put myself between them.

    And I defended Rudi desperately.

    Since I came to this school, it's probably the first time I talked to anyone else beside Ariel-sama.

    I've been silent to that extent.

    However, the female student who was holding Rudi's hand was stubborn.

    Stubbornly trying to condemn Rudi.

    Even though Rudi hadn't done anything wrong.


    "Fu~n, Since Silent Fitts says this much, it's probably the truth, but him breaking the dormitory's rules is the truth as well. To set an example I'll have him punished..."


    Set an example.

    The moment I heard those words, something snapped in me.

    Someone who knows nothing is going to be punished as an example just to warn others.

    It was not something to be forgiven.

    Before realizing it I was holding my wand.

    I was about to use magic at any moment.


    "I am saying he didn't do anything wrong. That's enough, let his hand go..."

    "Fi.., Fitts-sama ......?"

    "Or does everyone here want to go to nurse's office?"


    These threatening words are what I learned from Luke when we were still in Asura Kingdom.

    He said sometimes bluffing is necessary so I have been training to the best of my ability.

    On the journey to Ranoa from Asura, I used it several times against thieves and thugs.

    I have always been teased by Luke, being told I was childish but it seems to have worked this time.


    "Tch~ I get it ......"


    Goriade released Rudi's arm.

    And without saying anything more left that place.

    With her disappearance the rest of the girls went back to their rooms as well.

    Finally I take a breath.


    "Phew... it's because Goriade-san never listens to other people."


    I remember her everyday words and actions.

    She is not a bad person though.

    However since she is from the Beast Race, she takes protecting her territory seriously.

    She has no flexibility.

    Before saying those things, I better apologize.

    When you get down to it, this all happened because of me.


    "Sorry, since I dropped the underwear something like this happened."


    If my hand didn't slip it would not have turned into something this serious.

    Even Goriade would not have taken excessive action.

    Probably.


    "No, Fitts-senpai does not need to apologize, you helped me out."


    From Rudi's answer I got a bad feeling.

    Somehow, it feels like it was hard for Rudi to talk to me.

    When I look at him, I see his look has changed.

    I noticed now.


    (... I, Rudi has been wary of me until now.)


    I thought it was weird from the beginning.

    Coming to bow profusely .....

    Huh so it's like that.

    If you think about it, I am "Silent Fitts".

    So he naturally would be wary of me.

    It's normal for Rudi to be on guard.


    (I'm glad somehow ......)

    Just now Rudi's wariness toward me vanished.

    Though I made a mistake, I am finally one step closer to Rudi now.


    Then, I was explaining the dormitory's rule that when it gets dark you cannot walk on this road.

    After all Rudi didn't know and was relieved to figure out why this happened.


    "Senpai, thank you very much."


    Said Rudi while bowing at the end.

    It was kind of a strange feeling.

    Long ago when I had been bullied, our positions were reversed.

    At that time, I...... I wonder how I said thank you.

    When I imagined it I somehow end up smiling.


    "Oh, Rudeus for you to be apologizing feels weird."

    "Eh? Why would you feel that way?"


    Of course that's because at first...

    I would need to reveal my identity but I am hesitant.

    Again my anxiety increased.

    In this atmosphere right now if he says "Sorry I don't remember"...


    I tell myself.

    Honestly, even if he does not remember, isn't it still good.

    By meeting him as I am and helping him on his way like this.

    Forgetting the past, and getting along with him as we are.

    So, I said.


    "Secret."


    Rudi had a confused expression.


    I went back to the dorm.

    Of course, I took back the underwear.

    Though as Rudi caught it before it could hit the ground it's not dirty, but after all Rudi is a boy.

    It's not like I think of Rudi as being dirty or anything, but I have a feeling that having Ariel-sama wearing underwear which has been touched by a boy isn't a good thing.


    "Should I re-wash it after all ...... I think that would be better ......"


    After turning on the light I froze, it was my panties.

    Rudi had touched my panties. I was in agony due to embarrassment.


    One month later.

    I was supposed to begin helping Rudi with the Metastasis Event research on days when Princess Ariel was on holiday.

    It was a month later.

    What if he rejects me, or what if I'm dead weight? After all, it would hurt me a lot.

    But Rudi gave me a warm welcome.

    It's probably because of that incident, he's letting his guard down around me.

    I think that it isn't fair to Rudi, but I am happy that I dropped the underwear, though it was embarrassing.


    When I think about it, I did take a step forward. It was a big step for me.


    ---


    And while not grasping any of the many chances to reveal my identity, I failed to take any more steps forward.

    And just like that, a year had passed.



    It's winter.

    The entirety of this Magic City Sharia in the Kingdom of Ranoa is covered in snow.

    Although the Magic University is currently being cleared, it is still dyed in pure white.

    The roads between buildings are clear, but to get to places such as the back of the school building you have to clear it yourself.

    It's that kind of season.


    At that time, I received a letter.

    The sender was [Soldat Heckler].


    He's an S-ranked adventurer and the leader of the [Stepped Leader] party.

    During my time as an adventurer, I would join them from time to time.

    He's a capable adventurer.

    I'll take a look at the contents.


    "Hmm."


    According to the letter, Soldat and his party are coming to this town.

    It seems that there is a clan meeting.

    It seems that the clan [Thunderbolt], which [Stepped Leader] is attached to, gathers in this town every few years.


    The purpose of the meeting seems to be to plan the clan's future course of action.

    For 2-3 months during winter, they decide their future plans after careful discussion.

    It's a necessary event for a clan of this size.


    Since Soldat's party is S-rank, he is one of the executives.

    Thus, his absence wouldn't be permissible, and he had to come all the way to Ranoa.

    Soldat and the clan leader have a bad relationship, so honestly he didn't want to come.

    The next few months will be quite tedious.

    While thinking that, he suddenly remembered me.

    "Come to think of it, [Quagmire] is in this city as well," he thought.

    No time like the present.

    Soldat decided to take this opportunity to meet me for the first time in a while and get a bite to eat, so he sent me the letter.


    Certainly, I had a decent relationship with Soldat.

    However, it was not to the extent which after separating he would go out of his way and send a letter just for meeting and eating out.

    I've always tried to be generous and good-natured, but I'm probably not the type of person that one would go to such lengths to meet.

    If that's the case, his goal is probably Elinalise-san.


    No choice, I'll have to bring her with me.

    And then I'll show her being all lovey-dovey with Cliff, and make him have mixed feelings.

    Thinking that, I told Nanahoshi that I'll be taking a break from assisting her experiments on next month's day off.


    I tried inviting Fitts-senpai as well, but he said with a sad face that he can't come on that day.


    "Well, that day I must go out in the afternoon... as Ariel-sama's bodyguard."


    It's part of being a bodyguard.

    Even when the rest of the world has a day off, he can't always take one himself.

    Rather, when everyone has a day off he is extra busy.

    It's like he is a corporate slave.

    Oh wait, saying he is a corporate slave is rude to Fitts-senpai.

    Let me rephrase it as hard working.


    Anyway, since our plans do not match, there's nothing to be done.

    I decided to take Cliff and Elinalise, and go to the Adventurer's guild.


    We walked to the Adventurer's Guild.

    Although the snow is being shovelled, the packed-down snow dyed the streets in white.

    Since the snow storms strengthen at night, no matter how much you remove the snow you can't keep up.

    Creating an underground drainage system to remove the snow using modern technology would be a very profitable business in this situation.


    "Hey, Rudeus, are you listening?"

    "Yes yes, I am listening."


    Cliff has been proudly talking about the current situation for a while now.

    He seems to have recently started researching curses.

    It's for the sake of breaking Elinalise's curse.

    Curses have been around since ancient times and research has been continuing until now, but it's not something that can be removed so easily.

    It seems that there have been practically no results in this past half year.


    "Didn't you say there have been no results?"

    "I'm a genius, so I'm sure I'll be able to do it sooner or later!"


    Cliff said that while brimming with confidence.

    What an incredible person.

    I know I have places where I won't succeed no matter how much effort I put in, so I can't try that hard.

    Diving head first in a field long deemed impossible, that's the mark of a genius.

    For me, I lack that talent.


    "Hey Rudeus, if you know anything regarding curses can you tell me?"

    "Hmmm..."


    After being asked that I start thinking.

    Curses, huh?

    I heard that keyword a few times when travelling here from the Magic Continent.


    "Let me see."


    Okay, let's see, where did I hear that?

    Curse, curse.

    Trying to remember about curses causes me to freeze up, probably because Orsted has a curse.

    That's what I heard from Hitogami.

    ...Come to think of it, he also said that Laplace had a curse as well.

    He transferred that curse to spears and caused the history of persecution of the Superd Tribe.


    "Laplace once placed his own curse on a tool and transferred it to another race."

    "A tool?"

    "Yeah, the spears that the Superd Tribe used in the Laplace campaign. Thanks to that the Superd warriors went mad and their tribe ended up being persecuted..."


    When I said that, Cliff looked at me with wide eyes.


    "The Superd Tribe!? Is that true!?"

    "Beats me, I just heard it from someone else, so I don't know whether or not it's true..."


    Who told me about this?

    Hitogami again?

    Well, I can probably trust him on that.

    There's no reason for him to have lied about that, after all.


    "But, I see... curses can be placed onto tools?"


    After hearing what I said, Cliff placed his hand on his chin and thought.


    "I don't know how it was done, though."

    "No, knowing it has been done before is a huge step forward."


    Has anyone else tried to transfer curses since Laplace?

    Well, he's the Demon God, so what he's done might be considered evil.

    Maybe it's deemed taboo?

    Now that I think about it, miko's power is like a curse as well.

    Transferring their powers with tools and using it would be convenient, I wonder why no one has tried it.


    "I wonder if no one considered trying to transfer miko abilities..."

    "Hm? Why did you mention mikos?"


    Cliff was puzzled.

    Eh?

    Is there something strange about it?


    "No, I mean, aren't they the same? Both have unnatural flow of magic from birth, and have a unique ability. It's just a matter of that ability being positive or negative."

    "... It's my first time hearing this."


    Elinalise was looking at me with a surprised face as well.

    It seems to be their first time hearing this.

    That's unexpected, they didn't know this?

    But I'm pretty sure someone told it to me matter-of-factly...

    Oh, this is also from Hitogami.

    All of this was from him.

    That bastard, telling me things that nobody knows as if it were common sense.


    "But, I see... That's right, a tool... Certainly... Maybe if I..."


    After hearing me out, Cliff starts mumbling as if he came across a clue.

    I think it's better not to take it too seriously.


    However, does the word "curse" have any relation to the word [God]?

    Human God, Dragon God, Demon God.

    Also Miko.[24]

    They might be connected, but maybe not.


    "Thank you Rudeus-kun, thanks to you, I think I figured something out."


    Cliff said that with a radiant face.

    While you're at it, I'd like this curse-like illness of mine removed as well.


    Soldat and the party smiled the moment they saw my face.

    They were more welcoming than I expected.

    I wonder if they weren't really after Elinalise.


    We went to a nearby store and ate together.


    When they heard about Cliff and Elinalise's relationship they were surprised.

    They joked around saying things like "A bitch like you getting married, what kind of joke is this?" and infuriated Cliff.

    When they laughed off Cliff's attitude, his anger surpassed fury and nearly reached ecstasy.

    He probably won't calm down for a while.


    Or so I thought, but Elinalise calmed him down easily and changed the topic of the conversation.

    I guess I should say as expected of Elinalise.

    No matter the situation, controlling hate is her speciality.[25]


    Come to think of it, I have never seen her getting angry nor crying.

    I've seen her get irritated several times, but I've never seen her clearly being angry.

    As for things she clearly said she hates, there was only Paul.

    What in the hell did that guy do?


    Then shifted to the matter of my clothes.

    Today, I came wearing my uniform.


    "Hey Quagmire, if you are dressed like that, people will think you're like all those other rookies, you know?"


    It seems there are students of the Magic University that wear robes over their uniforms and come to the guild as adventurers.

    They're generally all F or E rank and don't seem like they would get involved with Soldat and his group, but there are occasionally those that ask to be let into Thunderbolt.


    "Then how about I act like a rookie and carry the baggage again?"

    "Then we get our asses saved by you again? Give me a break."


    When I first met Soldat and the gang, they really looked down on me and invited me as the baggage carrier.

    That's a nostalgic subject.


    Then the topic switched from reminiscences to tales of adventure.


    Although Cliff was angry for a while, listening to the adventure stories gradually made his eyes sparkle.

    That reminds me, Cliff once told me he looked up to adventurers.

    He's usually impertinent, but that aspect is fitting of his age.


    We finished eating and began to discuss what to do next, when a messenger from the clan came to Soldat.


    "Soldat-san, we are having another meeting."

    "Not again, we just had one this morning!"

    "There is no helping it, this time the leader is very enthusiastic."


    Apparently, there's an emergency meeting of the party leaders.


    "I thought I'd be able to hang out with Quagmire for today, but there is no helping it. Quagmire...... sorry, but we'll meet another day."

    "Yeah, please invite me again."


    Soldat left with an exaggerated nod.

    Well, what to do now.


    Since the main party left, it looks like we'll be disbanding.

    Since it was just 2 in the afternoon, even if we go back there is much time left.


    "What should we do?"

    "Let's see...... I was thinking about teaching Cliff the fundamentals of being an adventurer."

    "I see."


    After our earlier conversation, Elinalise wants to show off her Adventurer skills to Cliff.


    "Oh, that's a good idea, teaching a rookie."

    "Is it okay if we go as well?"


    Stepped Leader's other members expressed interest.

    Things seem to be heading towards teaching Cliff what it means to be an adventurer.

    They plan on accepting an A-rank subjugation mission to let Cliff gain some experience.

    Cliff seemed to be a little sullen since they are looking down on him, but he seems to be much more excited than angry.


    "What will you do, Rudeus?"

    "I will...... pass this time, sorry."


    It would be nice to teach Cliff what to do in a party with multiple magicians, but I'm sure he doesn't want someone younger than him ordering him around.

    He'll be more obedient with only older people around him.


    For that matter, I'm not going to take a request which will take a few days to complete.

    If I don't leave behind any message, I am sure Nanahoshi would get pissed as well.

    She might be experiencing life as a shut-in[26] but she seems to miss being around others, and her mood will sour if I skip out.

    If you're a shut-in, I think you should take pride in your solitude.


    Well, she seems to miss Japan a lot, so I can understand how she wants someone to talk to in Japanese.

    Though as someone who decided to live on in this world, I want to tell her to get out more.


    "Yes, well, please let the others know that we are going then."

    "You as well, Elinalise-san... there's a rookie with you, so be careful not to go to anywhere too dangerous."

    "We aren't like you, we won't pick fights with dragons or Demon Kings."


    It's not like I want to pick fights with them, though.

    Well, whatever.


    I parted with the others, and headed home on my own.


    I left the Adventurer's District and headed to the square in the middle of town.

    When I got there, the smell of grilled meat drifted over to me.

    When I looked over, I saw a few merchants had put up stalls even though the snow was piled up.

    It must be difficult, working in this freezing weather.


    However, I've got some free time.

    Even if I go home, there's nothing to do but study, train, or make figurines.

    It might have been better if I didn't restrain myself and went with Cliff and the rest.


    "Since I've come out all this way, I should walk around town a bit."


    I muttered that to myself and headed toward the Business District.

    My objective is not shopping, but I might find something interesting.


    Also, after that discussion with Cliff, I got interested in magic items and magic tools as well.

    The cursed spears that Laplace made are one kind of magic tool, as well.


    Until now all of them being sold were too expensive, and I didn't really feel that I wanted any.

    But Fitts-senpai is also using magic items.

    Nanahoshi seems to have some useful ones as well.

    Since the Magic Guild headquarters is in this city, I might find something interesting after all.

    I don't feel like buying anything...

    But I'll at least do some window shopping.


    By the way, I was also confused the first time I heard about Magic Items and magic tools.

    They're two entirely different things.

    The differences between the two are as follows:


    Magic Tools:

    It has a magic circle carved somewhere on it and when the user chants his mana flows through it and activates the magic. As long as the user still has mana left, it can be used repeatedly. Artificially made.


    Magic Items:

    Items that have been infused with mana and gained special abilitites. Performing the correct action activates its effect. It can only be used a certain number of times per day, but the mana recovers over time.


    Summing it up roughly,

    Magic tools can be used repeatedly, but they consume the user's mana.

    Magic items have a limit to their number of uses per day, but don't use up the user's mana.

    That's about it.


    Magic Items, which have a limited number of daily uses but don't consume the user's mana or require a chant to activate, are considered more useful.

    However, they're mostly gathered from labyrinths, so the effects tend to be rather random.

    As a result, magic items with useful effects are extremely expensive.

    The boots and such that Fitts-senpai wears probably cost more than my entire net worth.

    By the way, some demon swords, although they are man-made, have traits of magic items.


    In my case, I have more mana than I could possibly use, so there's no problem with using magic tools.

    I'll probably even be fine using magic tools that consume too much mana to be considered useful.

    Even such items that seem defective could possibly be found here in the Magic Capital Sharia, the territory of the Magic Guild.


    "Hn?"


    Suddenly I found some familiar faces.

    It's Luke and Fitts-senpai.

    They were happily talking in front of a clothing store.


    Fitts-senpai is looking at the store's display with a happy face.

    Luke has a wry smile.

    In his hands is a large bag.

    It's as if they are on a date.


    I heard about him going out.

    But is it a good idea for those two to be out here by themselves?

    What about guarding the princess...

    Well, I suppose I should at least say hello.


    "Good morning! What a coincidence to meet you two in a place like this."

    "You...!"


    When he heard my voice, Luke's face went stiff.

    As usual, it seems like he doesn't like me.

    I've tried to help them save face, but...

    Well, recently I've become a little too famous.

    He might not have found that amusing.


    Well, so long as I can get along with Fitts-senpai, all is good.


    "Oh...?"


    Fitts-senpai seems to have a different air around him today.

    I wonder why that is.

    Maybe it is because he is dressed slightly different?

    No, it's more like he's an entirely different person...


    "Hey, Fitts-senpai, you seem a bit different today."


    When I say that, Fitts-senpai looks at me in shock.

    Hmm.

    What could be different?

    How do I put it, his demeanour?


    When I looked at Fitts-senpai, he turned his face away from me.

    At the same time, Luke steps up in front of him.


    "Rudeus, what's up, what are you doing here?"


    He is standing like he wants to hide Fitts-senpai behind him.

    His tone is calm.

    His gaze is strong, but it's not to the point it could be called glaring.

    However, his voice is stiff.


    Maybe I saw them in a bad place?

    Don't tell me they're actually on a date?

    Maybe Luke's sweet tongue is effective even on men, and he is taking advantage of the naïve Fitts-senpai.

    Since they are the princess' guards, it would be bad if their homosexual tendencies were revealed so they're meeting in secret.


    Though it's a joke, even thinking about it is shocking me.

    Why is that?


    "No, nothing really, I just saw you and thought I should at least say hello... Fitts-senpai?"


    From earlier, Fitts-senpai has been trying not to look at me.


    ... Eh?

    Is he avoiding me?

    Why?

    Did I do something?


    "Thank you for your consideration. Fitts doesn't talk when working as the princess' guard. I hope you understand."


    It seems like Luke is trying to chase me away.

    ... It looks like I came at a bad time after all.

    But not saying even a word? What is going on?


    "..."


    Fitts-senpai is not looking toward me.

    No, he is looking, but he's furrowing his eyebrows with a negative feeling.

    'Won't he leave already' is the feeling I get.

    It's too obvious.

    If he is going this far, even I notice.

    I am being rejected.


    "What's the matter?"

    "No, it's nothing. Sorry for bothering you."


    I left the place.

    I think I looked calm, at least on the surface.

    However, on the inside, I was shocked to the point that my mind went blank.


    I am not in the mood for shopping anymore.

    I'll just head home.

    The slightly dirty white road continues before me.

    It's starting to snow.


    It's cold.


    I returned to the magic university.

    Why was Fitts-senpai avoiding me?

    I do not know.

    I do not know even when I think about it.

    I don't remember doing anything to be hated for.


    Maybe I should go consult someone regarding how I am feeling right now... No, I just want to complain to somebody.


    If I'm not mistaken, Zanoba left for the Magic Guild for research on mikos. Julie probably went with him.

    Rinia and Pursena... they don't seem like they'd listen to me seriously. They'd probably just make fun of me.

    Elinalise and I just separated earlier.

    Badigadi also does not seem to be at school today.

    Nanahoshi... is very busy, so I doubt she will listen to my complaints.


    I can't think of anyone else.

    I don't have many friends.[27]


    So just like that I decided to go to the library.

    At times like this, it is best to spend time quietly reading whatever book you find.

    I wonder if there are any refreshing books?

    Maybe an epic, or a hero story.

    I wonder if there are any books about Badigadi or Kishirika.

    If it's about them, I'm sure it would be refreshing.


    While thinking about such things, I enter the library.

    I greet the guard with my eyes.

    We never talked to each other, but he remembers my face now.


    At the entrance snow fell on me, so I dried my clothes using voiceless incantation.

    I enter and headed toward my usual seat.

    Today as well, the library is empty.

    There are not many students in this world who would spend their holiday in a library.

    The literacy rate is low, too.


    "... Huh?"


    Fitts-senpai is here.


    He was reading a book and looked totally bored.

    He's at the seats we usually use.


    "Oh, Rudeus-kun."


    When he noticed me standing there, he gave me his usual shy smile.


    "Welcome back, that was fast, did you meet your friends already?"

    "Y-, Yeah"


    I sat in front of him, and looked at his face seriously.

    It's as usual.

    It's the usual clothes and air that he has.


    Something's not right.

    From where we met, I came back here directly, on the shortest route.

    Yet he was already here when I arrived.

    It's strange.


    "What is it? Do I have something on my face?"


    Fitts-senpai says this and touches his face.

    However, this atmosphere.

    I wonder if it's because of the rejection I felt earlier.

    I feel that this Fitts-senpai has accepted me totally.

    There is no wariness at all.

    It's different from earlier.

    Completely different.


    "Why did you ignore me before?"


    When I say that Fitts-sempai's smile froze.

    Then, he makes the most serious face he can.


    "Actually, when I escort Ariel-sama, I won't talk. I'm [Silent Fitts], after all. Since my voice is like a kid, I would be underestimated, so when I'm around others... especially when I am guarding Ariel-sama, I don't say a word."

    "I see, but I didn't see Ariel-hime anywhere."

    "She was in a nearby shop, one that we can trust. We aren't the only ones guarding her. The other guards were with her while we were watching over them from afar, it was that sort of formation. Oh, don't tell this to anyone else, though."


    Fitts-senpai explains it like that without stammering.

    As if he had prepared this answer beforehand.

    No, he did prepare it before hand.


    "So it's like that, I am sorry for talking to you at such a time."

    "No, it's fine. I'm also sorry for not being able to talk with you."


    I think I've got it figured out.

    Probably.

    I'm not sure, but Ariel-sama is probably using some method to disguise herself as Fitts-senpai.

    She's probably using either a magic tool or a magic item.

    Him being silent is because they can't change the voice.

    Possibly, they can't change the eye color either.

    That's why Fitts-senpai is always hiding his eyes. He wants to decrease the chance of people seeing through the princess' disguise...

    When I think like that, it all makes sense.


    The reason I was being avoided earlier is because coming into contact with me without preparations would blow their cover.

    It's not because Fitts-senpai hates me.


    Yes, I'm sure that's how it is.

    I've never done anything to be hated for.

    Let's go with that.


    "Oh, so it was like that. I thought I was hated by Fitts-senpai so I got worried."

    "Ahaha... There is no way I would hate you..."


    Fitts-senpai scratched the back of his ear.

    That action is characteristic of him, but recently when I see it my heart starts pounding.

    Why is someone so cute a boy?


    ... Is he even a boy?

    It bothers me.

    I'm bothered about Fitts-senpai.[28]


    I am interested in Fitts-senpai. [29]

    As always, I see him once every 10 days.

    Not that there is anything specific to talk about.

    But, no matter what, it has caught my attention.

    I am interested in his casual gestures.

    Like how he scratches behind his ears or how he stretches when he finishes his job.

    Like how he smells when he suddenly passes by in front of me.

    Right, there is his smile as well.

    That smile just bothers me, like I've seen it before.


    The days when we don't see each other are the same, I suddenly catch myself searching for him in the crowd.

    In fact, I see him in the crowd a lot.

    It's him and Ariel-hime, they are famous in the school.

    Beside being part of the student council he is one of the best students in the school as well.


    Fitts-senpai is one of the most respected people in the school.[30]

    He is called [Silent Fitts] because he rarely talks.

    As an escort of the princess, he has top class ability even in the magic university.

    It would be a matter of fact to respect him.

    I've been chasing him with my eyes.


    Even I know what this condition is called. [31]

    It's called love.

    I have fallen in love with a man.

    No, I wonder if he's really a man.

    That's it.


    That is the question.

    Is Fitts-senpai a man or a woman?

    Depending on the answer to that, I would know whether I am homosexual or straight.


    Since it seems to be the cure for my illness, I don't really care which one he is.

    Either man or woman is okay, but I'd prefer woman.


    So, I began to collect information.

    The quickest way is to ask the person himself.

    But, that's a last resort, since it's possible that he's sensitive to having a womanly face.


    First of all, I went to the staff room.


    There should be some information in the faculty room.

    The truth is probably written on the list.

    Even if they can't give away the students' personal information, they might tell me his gender.

    With those thoughts in mind, I head to the faculty building.


    Of the teachers present, I find the one in charge of Fitts-senpai's class.


    "I'd like to ask you about Fitts-senpai's gender."

    "I can't talk about him."

    "Isn't there any way..."


    The teacher looks nervous.

    Apparently, I seem to be feared.

    I figured that the students were afraid of me, but not so much that even the teachers were scared of me as well.

    No, actually, it's convenient.

    "If you don't talk, my thick, hard Stone Cannon may make a mess of your ass."[32]

    "Ah...! Why... you."

    "Or you might get caught in another prank pulled by mischievous students. Or would a water prank be more to your liking?"

    ".... Please, I'm sorry!"


    The teacher was very stubborn.

    He didn't give in to the threats.


    "I'm just kidding!"


    I gave up on him and went to see Vice Principal Jinas.

    If people on the bottom won't talk, I should just move up from there.


    At the end of the faculty building.

    Jinas was drowning in documents.

    Well it's a very big school after all.

    There is so much work even for the Vice Principal.

    Disturbing him is bad, so I'll try to finish it fast.


    "Jinas-sensei."

    "Rudeus-san..."

    "You seem really busy."

    "No, no, thanks to Rudeus-san taking care of the trouble making children, my job has decreased a lot."

    Trouble makers.

    Who does he mean?

    Maybe Badigadi?

    Or Zanoba?

    No matter how you look at them they are not children.


    "What may I help you with?"

    "Yes, actually I wanted to hear about Fitts-senpai."


    When I say that, Jinas's eyebrow jumps up suddenly.


    "I am sorry, regarding them I am under pressure from higher ups so..."

    "Is that so."


    Forget them and answer my question damn it.

    I wanted to say that, but after seeing his tired face I decided not to.

    Schools have a lot of these things as well. [33]

    Like getting funds for allowing the 2nd Princess in the school....


    "At the very least, can you tell me his gender?"

    "Uh-huh...... gender you mean......"


    Jinas made a bitter smile.

    As always, he is man of bitter smiles.

    He waited for a minute.

    Not doing anything and waiting for a minute made it feel long.


    "He is a boy............"


    Jinas answered so eventually.


    In the end, I couldn't figure out whether Fitts-senpai was a man or a woman.

    Jinas said he is a "man", but he is under pressure and he hesitated when saying that, so there is the possibility that he lied.

    However, Jinas called them the equivalent of "Karera", but if we considered Ariel-hime and Fitts-sempai to be woman and Luke the only man, he should have called them "Kanojora".[34]


    No, this is just playing with words, it's not to the level of being a valid reason.


    "Sigh."


    By the time I came back to myself, I was in the library.

    And was sitting at the seat where we usually do our research and sighing.


    "Huh......"


    Am I afraid of finding out his gender?

    If he was a woman, would I be confessing to her?


    Confession?

    Say "I love you"?

    Me?


    I think that's important... but.

    I feel something is not right.

    I feel it's not like that.


    Even if I do confess, then what?

    With my body the way it is now, what do I want to do?

    My son's lack of reaction isn't because I am out of juice.

    My head is filled with worldly desires, but I can't do anything about it, I'll reach my limit eventually, it's just too hard.


    Yeah.

    I will not deceive myself with vague words like love and like.

    I want to do it with Fitts-senpai.

    Doing stuff like this and that. [35] Nah, not even going that far is good enough.


    "......so long as my son's power generator works again."


    And, at that time.

    I was hit on the shoulder with a pop.


    I turned around and Fitts-senpai was there.


    "What do you want to do?"


    Fitts-senpai saw me and sneaked up on me.


    "Uo?"


    I stand up in surprise and the seat gets caught between my legs.


    "Whoa, that was dangerous!"


    Fitts-senpai stretches his hand in order to help me.

    I grab his hand, but with Fitts-senpai's strength, he can't support my weight.


    "Wow!"


    We get tangled together with the chair and table while falling.

    By the time I noticed, we had fallen, and I was on top of Fitts-senpai. I fell while hugging him.


    "......"

    "......"


    My face was very close to Fitts-senpai though he had his sunglasses on so I couldn't tell his expression, but I could see his small lips.

    He was light, but the lightness of a competent person.[36]


    And I started to feel his warmth.


    A gentle and stimulating fragrance enters my nose.

    This is Fitts-senpai's fragrance, the fragrance I've been longing for the whole day.


    My hands move to Fitts-senpai's waist and hip.

    It's a thin waist.

    I can't believe this is a man's waist.

    The ass is a bit thin for a woman, but it's soft.

    I can't think of him as a man.

    Just by touching this, my bad boy is throbbing.


    Oh.


    "Oh, s-sorry-"


    Fitts-senpai stood up with a red face while apologizing.


    "I...... Fitts-senpai is a girl after all......"


    Fitts-senpai had a flabbergasted expression.

    And his mouth was flapping without a sound.

    In the end, he shook his head.


    "You are wrong...... I'm a boy!"


    Fitts-senpai rose up, turned around and started running, he was like the wind.


    "............"


    Beside the table, several books had fallen, he might have come to take these materials for his class.

    Fitts-senpai was a woman, he was a woman, it was an important point, but more important than that was.


    "It's standing up......"


    After 3 years of inactivity, it's finally standing up.

    With just a touch, my son who was sleeping for the past 3 years woke up. Just to test it, I touch it with my right hand and yes... it got its feeling's back.


    "I see............"


    At this time, I finally understood what Hitogami meant.

    Well, certainly, doing research in the library.

    "But Fitts-senpai was hiding it"[37]

    I knew from the start he was hiding something.


    She cross-dressed and protected the princess.

    She was definitely hiding something.

    She probably has a reason for this.


    But I can't dig any deeper into her reasons. If I do, it would annoy her.


    Although she went to the trouble to cross-dress... if it's found out because of me, it would be troublesome.



    I like Fitts-senpai.

    The one I love has some reason to hide their gender.

    Should I reveal Fitts-senpai's identity just because my worldly desires that have been repressed for the past few years are about to erupt? Nah, what I should be doing is protecting Fitts-senpai's secret, not revealing it.


    I have to keep her secret.

    I need to read the mood.


    The hell, if I don't do that I'll likely say something like, "I'll keep silent so come to my room tonight".


    Saying something like that to Fitts-senpai who has been taking care of me so far.

    But seeing that Fitts-senpai taking his clothes off in front of me while saying "I didn't think you were this kind of person..." just imagining him in underwear.

    I wonder if it's white?

    No, no, no.

    This is not good, not good.


    That's no good.

    Haven't I been saved by him .... no, her a number of times. [38]

    To repay her like this is unforgivable.

    Either way, I am not that kind of person.

    I'm a gentleman.


    Alright, I'll treat her as a boy to the best of my ability.

    And when she is likely to be found out, I'll help her no matter what.


    Yes, just like how she saved me on enrollment day.

    Surely, even at that time, it would have been dangerous.

    Talking about the dorm rules and defending me, she put her position in danger.


    But, she helped me.

    I do not know why, but she helped me anyway.

    Once a similar situation occurs, then it's time for my turn.

    I'll help, Fitts-sempai.


    "Wait a minute, if she is a woman......"


    After thinking that far.

    Suddenly, I remembered.


    Until now, thinking Fitts-senpai was a boy I did so many sexual harassment things in front of her.

    For example, such as the sexual harassment remarks in the slave market.

    Such as the sexual harassment remark when I kidnapped Pursena and Rinia.

    Such as the sexual harassment remarks made when she was holding my wand.


    I was in despair.....


    When I finished thinking it over, my son had gone back to being a hikikomori.

    Even rubbing it had no effect.

    It's better than the past 2-3 years in which he would not even react to anything, at least he stood up this time.

    Apparently, he seems to be far from a complete recovery.


    Well it's better than nothing.

    Let's head back to my room and take it slowly.

    Yeah, let's start by remembering the feeling from just now. [39]



    --- Ariel's Perspective ---


    Again, Sylphy came back crying.


    "I said I am a boy, ughu... though it was my chance, even though Rudi took the initiative to ask me..."

    "............That's rough."


    Well, how many times have I calmed her down while saying that.

    Every time something happens, Sylphy comes to me crying.

    But to me, it's like she was bragging about her lover.

    One time it was, she went to the slave market with Rudi and he showed her his manliness, it was the first time she saw a man totally naked, she even got along with Zanoba-ouji of Shirone Kingdom.

    Another time, she reported that Rudi was angry at Pursena and Rinia saying even if you win a duel you can't go breaking other peoples' stuff...

    Another time, she was saying that Rudi asked her to help with research while sighing.

    The other time, when Rudi asked her about love counseling, she was afraid that he might have fallen in love with someone else and had said some high handed things to him.


    Another time she said, I was allowed to look at Rudi's staff, the magic stone in it was so big, I bet it's very expensive.

    And she said that she was allowed to transport it to him with an excited expression.

    The other time, she was talking about how cool Rudi was in his fight against Badi-sama.

    Sometimes, she said with a sad face, Rudi was doing research with the "Silent"-san [Nanahoshi].

    And today, she came crying about lying to Rudi about her gender and then running away.


    (Sigh ...I wish she would just reveal her identity to him already)


    By this time, I had my own impression of him as well. At first I thought he was just a scaredy-cat, but I now know that's just his front, and he is very strong.


    He had Shirone Kingdom's miko Zanoba as his underling...

    He managed to tame the 2 princesses from the Beast Race, Rinia and Pursena...

    As well as getting along with Cliff, the grandson of the pope of Milis Kingdom...

    He had Badigadi-sama as his acquaintance and all that is without mentioning the cooperation from the grumpy "Silent" who even refused to cooperate with me.



    And all the Special Students who I was planning to have on my team, those were isolated people, are now his allies.

    If he was a scaredy-cat, he wouldn't have been able to do this.

    Regarding the talk we had about "The rumors being strangely clean", now I have no doubt they were all correct...

    His magic blew up the Demon King Badigadi.... Blew him up!

    The existence that I could only stand in fear and watch, unable to do anything about, he blew him up with one move.


    He is too strong.

    Well after seeing that, I believe he could beat one or two stray dragons by himself.


    Even though he has such strength, he is extremely good-natured.

    Even when he was threatened by female students and was falsely accused of being an underwear thief, he did not get angry.

    Since he came to this school, the only time he got angry was regarding the matter of Rinia and Pursena.


    As to what he did, I heard he kept them captive for a day and doodled on their faces.

    However, even those Rinia and Pursena were totally frightened and became obedient.

    Surely, they received his anger up close and personal.

    The anger of someone who beat that Demon King with a single blow.



    Of course, even they didn't spread bad rumors about Rudeus.

    I mean, they were so afraid that they wouldn't spread such rumors.


    Rudeus had been careful not to make a mistake, and had been living while he was hiding his power.

    Even though he has that much power, and he can do anything he likes.

    I don't know why he lives like this, but no matter how much I think, I get the feeling that he is planning something bad no matter what.


    But, according to Sylphy, he is not a bad person.

    I met him for the first time when he was dueling Fitts, I felt he was a warm person.

    Though his appearance was suspicious, he was a friendly person.

    Having been beaten with one attack, Sylphy was a bit on guard at first, but after that I don't see any change in his[40] attitude.


    So I think it's good to have a connection with him and through him, all the Special Students.

    Maybe it's time to bow my head fair and square and ask for his cooperation.


    But....... I should admit it.

    I'm afraid of him.

    I am scared.

    I wonder, is it because Sylphy is strong that she is not afraid of him?

    Or maybe it's because she saw his true nature? After seeing Sylphy's happy face, I would feel bad about getting Rudeus tangled in my struggle for power.


    I want Sylphy to be happy.

    It does not seem likely for me to be able to grasp happiness, but she is just a child who got tangled up in my struggle for power.

    She has no responsibility as a noble, nor like Luke who has sworn loyalty to me.

    She is just helping me out of friendship.

    She has no need to go as far as to lie in her blood for my sake.

    She better leave at some point and have a happy life as a girl.


    Sylphy may not accept it.

    She, being aware of her position as my ally, did her best, but her love for Rudeus might be a good opportunity.


    Me behaving like this is probably because Rudeus would be a very good ally to have.

    It would be good to leave Sylphy's life, my friend's life, in his hands.

    Forgetting Sylphy is a minus, but let's leave it at that. [41]


    Well, the problem is Sylphy's love, I don't know how much she loves him, but seeing no progress is very irritating.

    Even after a year of spending time together, it has not progressed at all, that kind of love is the problem.

    Dense Rudeus and awkward Sylphy.

    It's very frustrating to watch these two.


    I thought Sylphy was more impatient.

    Sylphy does not seem to be aware, but it's not unthinkable for Rudeus to go out with anyone else at anytime.


    For example, Pursena and Rinia.

    Though they don't seem to be conscious of Rudeus for now, who knows what might happen in 1-2 more years.


    And there is "Silent" as well.

    That grumpy masked woman is helping Rudeus with research.

    Based on Sylphy's story, they don't have that kind of relationship at the moment, but being together for a long time, who knows what might happen.


    While Sylphy is dilly-dallying, Rudeus might be taken by someone else...


    No, he will be taken.

    At the least, there is no reason for him to refrain because of Fitts, since he only asked [Are you a woman?] to the cross-dressing Fitts. It does not mean anything.


    Hmm.

    But that means, he at least noticed that Fitts is a woman.

    I thought he was a dense person, but there is the possibility that he was aware and kept it to himself.

    No, it is possible that he knew our situation and kept it to himself to not cause us any problems.


    Assuming that's the situation, then is it my fault?


    Am I the one getting in the way of Sylphy's love?


    (Right, I need to... stop holding her back.)


    Then, I need to support her love.



    The day after I found out Fitts-senpai was a girl, I was on my bed in the dormitory with a tired body.

    I was keeping my pal company after he woke up from his slumber the whole night.


    But my pal is treating me like nothing had happened at all.

    My head is already filled with Fitts-senpai, but my pal is playing dumb.

    I figured with what has already happened, my pal would be cured, but he still seems to be in a bad mood.

    Or maybe just the memory is not enough.


    Or, maybe it needs the smell, or the feeling [of the touch], or the voice.

    I am sure that Fitts-senpai is the key to curing my ED.

    Hitogami told the truth.

    It's just that I didn't notice the therapy was right in front of my eyes all along.


    That said, I wonder how I should proceed with the treatment from now on.

    I don't want to reveal Fitts-senpai's identity.

    Neither do I want to make a plan that would make Fitts-senpai hate me.


    ED treatment or Fitts-senpai's trust?

    If I didn't notice he was a she for the next 6 months, I probably would have asked her to help me with the ED treatment without knowing anything.

    However, now, my feeling of love towards her has grown so much.



    Now that it became like this, I'll avoid being driven by my libido like in the case with Eris, and avoid being dumped again.

    Naturally, that's what I thought.


    "......What happens will happen."


    A man trying to get the cross-dressing bodyguard of the princess to help him with his ED treatment.

    Well, this setting is strangely amusing.

    Thanks for the twist, Hitogami.


    I started laughing nihilistically and left the bed.

    After stretching, I yawned. I guess that's what happens when you don't sleep enough.

    "Yawn......"


    I went to the tub with hot water to wash my face, and there I see a reflection of an above average boy with a good feeling to his face. [42]

    Going by the standards of my original world, it's definitely not a bad face.

    Paul's delinquent-like teasing/joking face, with traces of Zenith's gentle face.

    Though it's not bad, it's a little different from this world's idea of 『beauty』.



    No matter how many times I look at it, I can't accept it as my own face, but I'm used to it by now.

    Just not being worse than my previous life's face is satisfactory.

    But, I wonder if this face is to Fitts-senpai's taste.


    Nah, stop it. Even if I know the answer, I can't do anything about that.


    He is a man. I won't do anything.

    That's what I decided.


    I washed my face and noticed something around my chin that was not there before.

    I tried to touch it with my fingers.

    I tried touching it and then pulled at it. My skin moved with it. It's a beard.


    One single hair, like lanugo on a newborn, is growing there.


    "......I reached that age, ha?"


    Secondary growth characteristics here are not very different from my world.

    I probably hadn't grown a beard earlier because Paul isn't the hairy type.


    I don't know much about how the other races grow, I wonder how Fitts-senpai is growing.

    I heard that the growth rate of the Elves is slow compared to humans.

    I wonder if she has hair growing down there yet. Well regarding the Elves, I can ask Elinalise-san.


    N...... a-ra?

    Something is weird.

    I think I remembered something.


    "What was it............ a-ra?"


    Something. I have forgotten something.

    However, I do not remember.


    While not being able to remember, I shaved my beard.


    Two whole days have passed.


    I had no contact with Fitts-senpai.

    I also don't want to do anything suspicious like searching for him.

    Just act normally. Everything is normal.


    On the morning of the third day.

    In the hallway of the boy's dormitory, Luke was waiting.

    I didn't panic.

    I had thought that there would be some kind of reaction.


    "Good morning Luke-senpai, it's rare to see you at this time."


    I said trying to look as carefree as possible, but he was looking sullen.


    "I want to talk to you regarding Fitts."


    As I thought.

    However, with respect to this matter, I also had an answer ready.


    "I do not know anything."

    "Ha~~h, what do you not know?"


    Based on Luke's tone of voice, it's obvious he wants to talk about what happened with Fitts-senpai few days ago.

    He was probably trying to figure out whether I knew Fitts-senpai's gender for sure or not.


    Having touched Fitts-senpai, I know he is a she, but she never said it herself.

    It's not like I fondled her breasts or anything either. [43]

    Maybe they still want to hide it, is what I thought.

    If it goes in that direction, I have no objection either.


    However, I wonder if knowing Fitts-senpai's secret is that bad of a thing.

    Well, maybe it has something to do with me being a Greyrat.

    But, I already cut my ties with the Boreas family when I was dumped by Eris.

    No, maybe it has something to do with Paul?

    Either way, here, I have to say it clearly.


    "Luke-senpai, I have no intention of becoming your group's enemy. As for Fitts-senpai's identity, I'll keep it a secret."

    "...You're going to pretend that you don't know anything?"

    "Yeah, I have already cut my ties with both the Boreas and Notus families as well."


    Luke's handsome face was colored by surprise.

    Did I say something bad?

    Saying I have no ties to Boreas and Notus wasn't a bad thing right?


    "So, it's like that."

    "Sorry to bother you..."


    I left after saying that to Luke.


    That day.

    After class finished, I went to help with Nanahoshi's research.


    "Oh, Rudeus-kun......"


    In front of Nanahoshi's room, Fitts-senpai was waiting.

    If memory serves me right, the day that Fitts-senpai was able to help was to be 4 days after today.

    And today wasn't an off day either.


    Yet, Fitts-senpai was here.

    Not as the princess' bodyguard.

    So, he came to help with the experiment?


    The reason is probably the event from a few days ago.

    Physical contact with Fitts-senpai as well as the event with Luke-senpai.

    Of course, I said I had no intention of becoming Fitts-senpai or Ariel-hime's enemy.

    However, they have no reason to believe it.

    Rather, they would have expected me to become their enemy. That's what it means, knowing someone's secret.



    Then, is Fitts-senpai here to keep an eye on me?.

    Or, he may have come to confirm the truth about my conversation with Luke.

    Fu—, I'm very sharp today.[44]


    "......"

    "......"

    "What? Did you guys get in a fight or something?"


    Nanahoshi asked, as she saw me and Fitts-senpai being silent and fidgeting.


    "Nah, we didn't get into a fight!"

    Fitts-senpai said, acting overly suspiciously.

    Panicking Fitts-senpai is cute as well.

    But as I thought, they doubt me.


    What should I do in this situation to gain their trust?

    Should I pay tribute to Princess Ariel? I wonder what would be good.

    Maybe I should bring her some cake? But it might backfire, since they seem to be totally wary of me.


    "Whatever, just don't get me involved."



    Nanahoshi sounded like she was stuttering. It's obvious since she hated this world and prefers not to get involved in it at all.

    She doesn't want to be tangled in Fitts-senpai's and my problem, especially since Fitts-senpai had ties to Asura Kingdom.


    However, the way she said it might cause problems with other people....

    But come to think of it, she's not talking with anyone besides me. So there is no problem.


    Well, if you do not want to be involved with this world, it should be okay.

    It's not a problem that I can poke my nose in.

    I don't want to interfere with someone who already has a clear goal and is striving towards it.

    However, I can say that since she is just drawing magic circles all the day, her communication skills were dropping.


    "......"

    "......"

    "Tch......"


    The experiments that were usually carried out while I talked with Fitts-senpai or Nanahoshi were being done in silence today.

    From time to time, I heard Nanahoshi clicking her tongue.

    Nanahoshi's experiment was finished in that awkward atmosphere.


    "Good work............"


    Nanahoshi's tired voice announced that the experiment had finished.

    Today as well, there were no results.


    As I thought, on the way back from the experiment, there was no conversation between me and Fitts-senpai.

    I wanted to start a conversation and act normally, but what should I talk about?

    I have a feeling that if I open my mouth, something like "let me see your boobs" will come out of it.

    While I failed think of a single topic, we reached the women's dormitory.


    "......"


    As we got closer, it looked like there was a disturbance.

    I saw a crowd in front of the entrance.


    "Did something happen?"

    "...............N, ...Cho..., I have to take a look..."


    Fitts-senpai said, and ran away quickly. She looked impatient.

    She might have been feeling uncomfortable.

    I'm waiting at the same spot when, after a while, Fitts-senpai came back, half running.

    "What was it?"

    "It seems that there has been a fight, un..., and they fought using magic, u..., and there are holes in the walkway and the ceiling, so the rooms on the top floor are unusable."



    It was awfully monotone.

    So I took it to mean that the one of the people who fought was Ariel.

    She did not look like someone who would pick a fight, but maybe something happened.


    "I see... that's very troublesome."

    "Yeah, so you see, it seems Ariel-sama's room is unusable. Since I was living in her room as a bodyguard and slept there, ne..."

    "Ho...?" [45]


    This explanation smells fishy.


    "Ariel-sama is staying in the house of one of the nobles in the city for tonight, but since that noble hates Elves I am not allowed in the house, ne... "

    "Ho...?"

    Fitts-senpai is very bad at acting.

    From her completely monotone voice, and the setting of this story, I wonder what she is hiding. No, wait. She doesn't have a room to stay in?



    "So, it seems the guys in charge of repairs will come in tomorrow, but I have no place to stay for tonight."

    "Oh, that's not good. Shall I go and fix it? Since it's just fixing holes, I have enough experience and should be able to do it."


    I try to propose a plan like that.

    In my adventurer days, I had fixed several roofs and walls so I definitely have the experience.

    Make bricks with earth magic and assemble them using earth magic and mortar.

    Since I know how to do it, I can at least fix Fitts-senpai's room in an hour or so. Not that I have any ulterior motives like wanting to look inside Fitts-senpai's room.


    "Ue~e...?"


    Fitts-senpai's face twitched.


    "You see, un..., I mean..., the third floor needs to be repaired with anti-magic bricks, and they arrive tomorrow, so it can't be done tonight."


    "Is that so?"


    Did she... just make that up on the spot?

    Yeah.

    It's weird for anti-magic brick to be broken with magic.

    It sounds like a joke.



    Rather, after I asked how that happened, he came up with the excuse "The anti-magic bricks were probably weakened by rain".

    I am too sharp today.


    "And there is no way they would let a boy stay in the girls' dormitory, right?"

    "That's... right."


    I don't know what to think about this, but let's shelve it for now, as there are circumstances.

    For now, let's say it would be troublesome for me to enter the girls' dormitory.


    "Well, you see..., Ru..., Rudeus-kun is living in his room alone, right?"

    "Yeah."

    A probing gaze.

    What answer would be correct for this question?


    "Now that it's like this, would you like to stay in my room? The bed above me is always empty anyways."


    Since we are pretending Fitts-senpai is a boy, I'll treat her as a boy.

    So, I propose this suggestion in consideration of that fact.

    A Kouhai having his Senpai stay over in his room. It was something like that.

    There are no ulterior motives of any kind, like attacking her in her sleep, nothing erotic like that.



    It will only be to the degree of smelling the blanket Fitts-senpai uses tonight.


    But, I am sure Fitts-senpai will refuse. Staying in a boy's room is probably bad, no matter how you think about it.

    Well, lending my room to Fitts-senpai and me staying in Zanoba's room would be the best option.

    Her scent will still remain.


    "It's ok!? Really...? Then I'll be in your care for tonight!"


    Contrary to my expectations, Fitts-senpai agreed with a happy face.


    Huh?

    I am puzzled.

    Immediately after that, I realized.


    It's monitoring.

    Tonight, Fitts-senpai is going to keep an eye on me.


    It's possible that something else besides that event yesterday happened to Ariel-hime and that I'm now being treated as a suspect.


    So, in order to stop me from doing anything, they will have Fitts-senpai keep an eye on me.

    That kind of arrangement is possible as well.

    Thinking about it, that might be the reason why she came to help with Nanahoshi's experiment on a day she usually would not.



    If I think like that, though I don't know what happened to Ariel-hime, letting them watch me for tonight shouldn't a problem.


    "Well, I'd better fetch a change of clothes and a pillow."


    While saying that, Fitts-senpai went back into her dorm.

    ............My room, isn't messy, right?


    I led Fitts-senpai back to the boys' dorm.

    Fitts-senpai entered the room filled with tension.


    "Please, have some tea."

    "Oh, tha-thank you...... yeah."


    Fitts-senpai said with a red face.


    "I'll be leaving to teach Zanoba and Julie magic.... Would you like to come as well?"

    "I..., no..., I'll stay in the room. I don't want to get in your way."

    "I see. Though... if it's Fitts-senpai, I doubt Zanoba will have any objections."

    Isn't he here to watch me?

    No, it might be because he wants to search the room.

    Well, I don't mind him searching my room. Since I don't have anything that would cause trouble for me if he finds it.

    Some laundry has piled up, but it's not anything troublesome.


    "Then, I'll be going."


    I head to Zanoba's room.

    While teaching earth magic to Julie and building the Red Dragon figure with Zanoba, my mind started wondering.



    I'm thinking about Fitts-senpai.

    With that said, I'd get excited having the girl I love in my room.


    But no matter how I think about it, the scenario is that I don't know about Fitts-senpai's gender.

    In other words, Fitts-senpai is staying in my room as a boy.

    In order to monitor me.


    He is alert.

    I told Luke that I have no enmity towards them, but he probably considered it lip-service.


    And, apparently I had greatly changed the balance of power in the school this past year.

    I've been in contact with people like Rinia, Pursena, Badigadi, and Nanahoshi, they are all strong and influential.


    Looking at it from outside, it probably looks like I have them in tow.


    Well, it's possible that Ariel-hime is seeing the situation as me having all the powerful and influential people in the school under my control.

    While it's a truly just suspicion... especially considering meeting Ariel-hime in the city and the event regarding Fitts-senpai's gender.

    No wonder she would think I was suspicious.



    Of course, I am not going to rule over this school, neither am I going to do anything to Ariel-hime.


    When I think about the best way to prove it, the best way seems to be to not do anything suspicious in front of Fitts-senpai.


    Let's act natural. I won't make a mistake tonight.


    For example, peeping at Fitts-senpai changing while making it look like an accident.

    While it's not on purpose, he would probably think it was on purpose.

    Such a love-comedy turn of event is possible, but I bet it's best to avoid such behavior.


    Other things that might happen, oh... the toilet and bathing.

    The toilet here has a lock, so just locking it should be enough, but what to do about the bath? I'll use Zanoba's for tonight.

    As for hot water for the bath, you can either get it from the first floor or just create it yourself.

    Since it's Fitts-senpai, he shouldn't have any problem with doing it himself.


    Since he is taking a bath in someone else's room he will probably be wary, so I prepared some towels beforehand.


    There is a chance that when I get back, I'll run into him changing clothes.

    Not knocking and opening the door suddenly and seeing Fitts-senpai's white skin.


    I am sure she will scream with a short "Kyaa~a" and try hiding her breasts.

    I, of course, will pretend not to notice and get close to her while saying "Shall I wash your back?"

    Then saying "Ah, my hand slipped" and go rock climbing on her boobs.

    And then again pretending not to notice saying, "Senpai, your chest is muscular" and keep rubbing it.

    I'm sure my son will raise his head with this much ero-stimulation.


    No.

    That's no good.

    I shouldn't do something like that.

    But when I go back, there is a pretty high possibility of running into him changing.


    At least, that is what was written on the love-comedy novel that I was reading before I died.


    Therefore, for sure, I will knock before opening the door.

    It's not important that it is my own room. Since there are people in it, knocking is a must.

    It's as essential as a baseball player undergoing grueling training for the National Tournament.

    I'll knock it 100 times, hit on the door, and hit it.[46]


    Tonight, I won't make any mistakes.

    I won't give into my desire and strip Fitts-senpai or attack her while she is sleeping. I absolutely won't.

    I won't even make those mental mistakes.


    Fitts-senpai would be spending a comfortable night.


    --- Sylphy's Perspective ---


    Since Rudi left the room, a long time has passed.

    Indeed, his lesson with Zanoba and Julie-chan should be until it's just before lights are out.


    I envy those two.

    In the past, I would spend the whole day learning magic from Rudi.

    How nostalgic.

    If I could, I'd like to go back to those times.


    What am I imagining while in my underwear?

    Woman's panties and skin-tight corsets, sexy ones. [47]

    Rather than the uninteresting usual one, Ariel-sama gave me one of her more erotic ones.

    Though it's a bit baggy around the chest, but Ariel-sama said that's "perfect.'


    I don't get it.


    I am not wearing my sunglasses either. Without it, I won't know if Ariel-sama is under attack, but it can't be helped.

    Let's believe in Luke for now. Today, her other two attendants are there too, and attacks in school rarely happens...



    By the way, when I asked why I should dress like this, they said because that's part of the strategy.


    Ariel-sama said.

    "Listen well, Sylphy. Rudeus-kun figured out you are a girl and he seems to be interested in you. So, basically, it's like when a man's certain part stands to attention, that kind of situation, get it?"


    Even if you said that, I find it hard to believe. Even now I don't have any impression of Rudi thinking of me in that way.

    I thought it was just my unrequited love.


    "If it's a girl he is interested in, he will surely invite her to his room, right Luke?"

    "No doubt, if it was me I would definitely do that."


    Luke nodded significantly from experience.

    I, believing those words, took action. It went well so far, just as they had planned.



    "Well, if it goes as it should, taking being invited into his room as his acknowledgment, we should be able to pledge our love together."


    A pledge of love with Rudi tonight.

    Thinking of that, even I can tell that my face is red from ear to ear.

    I'm sure it is different from what Ariel-sama said.

    I believe it's just as Lilia-san taught me, hot, painful, and expressionless.


    "But, Rudeus is pretending to not have noticed he is a she, right? Luke?"

    "There is no mistaking it, he said it clearly."


    After all, when he touched my ass, he figured that I am a woman.

    But, it seems that Rudi is trying to hide it.


    "He is a useless guy. As useless as he is, I believe even when it becomes nighttime he won't lay a hand on her."

    "And if he does lay a hand on me?"

    "In that case, the plan has succeeded and you can enjoy yourself. Tell him that you're a woman and that it's just a secret between the two of you, right Luke?"


    Luke agreed with Ariel-sama.



    "Ok, so go ahead with that."


    I was convinced like that.

    If Luke with all his experiences is saying it, then there is no doubt.


    "Listen well, Sylphy. Rudeus is a dense and useless guy. So, don't let this chance get away. If he feels you are resisting or doesn't want to do it, he will probably wash his hands of you. Then, it might take 6 months to a year to get to this point again. This is a once in a lifetime chance for you."


    Hearing Ariel-sama say he was useless made me irritated.

    But, after all, Rudi is a gentleman. He won't come attacking from the get go. When I think about it that way, my irritation subsides.


    "Well, Sylphy, you have to grab that 1 in a million chance with your own hands."

    "Is that so?"

    "Yes. The reason Rudeus isn't attacking you is "I am protecting Fitts-senpai's secret" so if you tell him your secret he should take it as 'attacking me is okay'."


    However, Ariel-sama continues.


    "I don't know why, but he does not like to get involved with us, so even hearing it from your mouth he might go, 'Let's pretend I didn't hear anything'."


    And Luke agreed with a big nod.

    If the experienced Luke agrees then there is no mistaking it.


    "Well, what should I do then?"


    When I ask, Ariel-sama nods.


    "First, you will present him with evidence."

    "Evidence?"

    "Yes, evidence. When he goes for the toilet or something, you will take off your clothes, act like you just remembered to change your clothes... "


    This was Ariel-sama and Luke's plan.

    First, by revealing my underwear to him, no matter how dense Rudeus is, he can't feign ignorance.

    I'll describe the situation while still in my underwear and tell him that I am the Sylphiette from Buina Village.

    The girl he likes is in her underwear, add to that, she is his childhood friend as well, using that momentum I confess my love and then he can't reject me and just like that we'll go to bed.



    Regarding the relation between men and women, I heard from Lilia-san, but to be honest, since it's my first time I have no confidence.

    Though I am sure it's way different from what Ariel-sama did.

    When Luke sees me like this he said.


    "Just go with the flow. The boy takes care of the rest of it. In this situation, girls just shouldn't reject the boys and say 'it's fine; I love you; it feels good'. Any of those would do."


    "Luke...... that is a little......"


    Hearing the experienced Luke's words, Ariel-sama has a strange expression. As far as I know, Ariel-sama has no experience with boys either.


    Let's believe in Luke, though thinking that Rudi would behave like Luke is kind of unpleasant.

    I mean, Luke's image of a perfect girl is like a doll. Rudi seems to like dolls as well but... um.


    That said, I have no one else to rely on, so I'll go along with that plan.



    After Rudi left the room, I use the bath and towel he prepared to wash my body then change my underwear.

    I check in the mirror to see whether everything looks fine or not.


    Incidentally, using the rest of the hot water I did Rudi's laundry.

    Leaving so much dirty laundry, Rudi is a boy as well after all.


    I sit on the edge of the bed in my underwear, now everything is ready.


    Ariel-sama asked [Won't going naked to begin with be better?], but Luke rejected it saying that's counter-productive.

    I don't get it at all.


    "Achoo...!"


    I wait while sneezing, I am waiting patiently, staring at a place on the floor.

    If I don't do this, then Rudi's pants or Rudi's treasure altar which he never let me see comes into my view and I would get curious.

    So, trying to avoid them, I stare at the floor and imagine what comes next.


    When Rudi gets back, he will be surprised, seeing me like this.

    Then I'll introduce myself as Sylphiette... if I introduce myself as Sylphiette... would he be disappointed?

    It should be fine.

    Apparently, Rudi seems to love Fitts.

    Love is a two-way feeling, so, if we feel like this about each other, it should be okay.

    It's all right, yeah. All right. Yeah.


    (Dad, mom. Tonight, I will become an adult)


    Knock, Knock.....


    "Tsu...!"


    And, at that time, there was a knock on the door.

    A Knock.

    It's a knock.

    No one knocks on their own room's door.


    I forgot, but Rudi has made a wide circle of friends in the past year.

    Who decided that no one would drop by to visit?



    In a hurry, I pick up my clothes and put them back on.

    I am going to reveal my identity only to Rudi. So after wearing my sunglasses, I open the door from the inside.


    "I'm sorry, Rudeus-kun............ Rudeus-kun isn't here... Eh?"

    "I am back."


    It was Rudi.

    He was on the other side of the door.

    "Eh? Why did you knock?"

    "Before entering a place where a person is, it is courteous to knock."

    That's right, it's right.

    But, it is, but... Rudi....
    Auuu....... [48]

    I messed up the plan from the start.

    Our strategy, was a failure.


    That night, I was worrying endlessly.

    The location is the bunk bed's upper bed.

    I felt my body heating up just from knowing that Rudi was lying right below me.


    After that, I tried to show my underwear to Rudi, but it was all in vain.

    I think he is on guard, since there is strangely no opening to show him, and I couldn't reveal my identity.

    I can't really tell whether Rudi was sharp or dull.


    From his actions, I got the feeling that he is trying to make me comfortable.


    Ugh....


    Well.

    The first strategy failed.

    But, I have a second strategy!

    This was proposed by Luke, as a last resort.


    "If the first strategy fails, move to the next one."

    "Next strategy?"


    Luke nodded gravely and said.


    "Night crawling."



    Luke says that, night crawling, is an etiquette from the southern part of the continent.

    A woman sneaks into the bed of the man she wants to take the heart of and ends up in a man-woman relationship with him.

    When I ask why they would do such a thing, he answered with 'I have no idea'.

    But, it has been added, and is just good manners to represent the strength of feelings.


    "To show the weight of one's love, this is a very good etiquette."


    "If by doing that he thinks I am a shameless girl, then what should I do?"

    The things I learned from Lilia-san were way more modest.

    Such things like showing them the thighs, or entwining the little finger.


    In the hot days, loosening the area around the chest, but only to the level that it makes the opponent attack you.


    To the point that the master won't think of you as a pervert, is what Lilia-san said.


    "What's bad if he sees you that way?"

    "I don't want to. At least not for the first time."

    "Compared to how he sees you for the first time, it's better to consider how he sees you for the last time."


    I don't want it.

    And, I said so.

    I said it so certainly.

    I don't want Rudi to think of me as a pervert even for a moment.



    But, I'm wavering now.

    I just lost my chance.


    "It's simple, just take off all of your clothes and slip into his bed, rub your chest against him and whisper 'take me' in his ears."


    The hell it's simple.

    What would I do if he won't embrace me?

    I would be too miserable.

    In the first place, I don't have much of a chest to rub.


    "You might feel miserable, but either way at least you took a step forward."


    Luke is too positive.

    I know.

    Though Luke is always playing around with women, there are some even he can't seduce.

    Or rather, those women treat him like a snake.

    What if... what if I become hated by Rudi?


    "It's because of that attitude that you haven't made any progress in a year. You can't turn 'like' to love' without risking 'hate'."



    It was very compelling.

    I wonder if it is the Greyrat's family motto.


    Then again, I am hesitant. Yet, while hesitating, I remove my man-style pajamas.

    Because it was hot.

    Yeah, it's so hot.

    Even though it's winter, this room is warm.

    Probably Rudi is being considerate and heating the room, but I am wondering how and what could you do to keep the room warm until morning.


    What should I do? Should I go into his bed? Or, should I stop? Oh I know, how about I wait in my underwear until morning?

    That said, let's do it.

    It's good.

    This means that I won't have to do the night-crawling thing as well.

    It's morning, lets wait for the morning.

    If Rudi happens to wake up in the middle of the night that would be good too....


    While thinking like that, the night goes on.


    --- Rudeus's Perspective ---


    Morning, I woke up.

    Fitts-senpai was moving a lot in the middle of the night, coming down from the bed and going up again.

    There are signs that he stood beside the bed and stared at me as well.

    Though I faced the wall and pretended to be asleep all night long.


    I had to be alert, Fitts-senpai's mission might have changed to get rid of me in the middle of the night.

    But, I do trust him after all.


    "......"


    Since I didn't move my body and was awake all night long, my body is fatigued.

    I wonder how long I got to sleep. I don't think it was even two hours.


    Aching all over, I turn to look at the center of the room. Fitts-senpai is standing there.


    "Good morning"

    "Oh, Rudeus-kun, good morning, you woke up early."

    "We are both awake early."


    Fitts-senpai was there, wearing his uniform, and as usual, his sunglasses.

    I can't tell from his expression, but I bet he is tired.

    He probably didn't get a wink of sleep. Good job. Maybe I should have woke up at least once and made some tea for him?


    As always, I wash my face and wear my trainers.


    "So, I'm going to do my daily routine training."

    "So, then, I'll go back to Ariel-sama."


    Then, I separated from Fitts-senpai.


    ---


    When Ariel heard the plan failed, she thought [That brave Sylphy, why is it that when it comes to that boy she gets so useless?] and started to think about the next plan.


    Evening.

    In the student council room, Ariel was quietly thinking about the strategy.

    Thinking that some amount of drastic measures were necessary and even though she actually went to the point of destroying the dorm as a camouflage, for it to still end in failure.

    Sylphy was waiting for Ariel's words with a meek face.


    "You didn't do the yobai [Night Crawling]?" [49]

    "There's no way I could do that!!"


    Sylphy yelled in response to Luke's words.

    It's a secret that she hesitated over it considerably and then was too afraid in the end.

    Luke shrugged his shoulders with a sigh after being yelled at.

    It seems he knew that it would end up like this.


    "....Luke, what do you think?"

    "About what?"

    "About Rudeus' actions."


    Ariel was thinking.

    All of the preparations should have been in place.

    However, they failed.


    "I don't think it was by chance."

    "I'm sure."


    Even if it came to light that we were feigning the accident you can feel the intention that it was a necessity to prevent it before it happens.

    We did say it is in part because Sylphy is dense, but that's not all.

    I can feel an intent behind his actions.

    In the first place, for that much of a master to not wake up or make any reaction in response to her getting up and laying down on the bed all night long, is something that can't happen.

    I wonder why he didn't say anything.


    (After all, is it my fault?)


    Rudeus declared that he didn't want any hostility between Ariel and himself.

    I don't understand the reason though...

    It could be that in his eyes, Ariel looks powerful.

    Similar to how Ariel is more cautious and afraid of Rudeus than necessary.


    (I have no intention of any hostility with Rudeus Greyrat as well. Mutual love isn't it.)


    After making a joke that can't be laughed at in her heart, Ariel let out a sigh.


    "After all, it seems like the best method we can do is somehow or other get him to remember the person known as Sylphiette."

    "....Now, at this point? I'm sure the other side has already forgotten."


    After hearing Luke's words, Ariel gave it some thought.

    Certainly, the probability that he's forgotten is high.

    The time when Rudeus and Sylphy separated was eight years ago.

    If there's eight years, then people can start to forget about people.

    At the very least, it seems this past year, Sylphy hadn't heard the words "Sylphy" from Rudeus' mouth.

    If that's the case, then the probability that he'd forgotten the very existence of the one known as Sylphiette is high.


    I wonder what can be done to make him remember.

    Ariel used herself as a precedent and tried thinking about it.

    Even I don't think I can remember the names of maids that attended to me eight years ago.

    However, there are several that I can remember.

    For example, Lilia.

    She was already gone by the time I reached the age of matter and mind, but I remember well how she fought before my eyes for my sake.


    "Sylphy, do you have some kind of memories between you and him?"

    "Memories?"

    "Right, people remember other people through ability and memories. That's why, nobles open parties at every matter and introduce other people there. Piling up words of flattery, dancing for the first time with difficult dance moves. Trying to leave at least a bit of an impression... Since there are a lot of nobles, just having only met them, it's easy to forget them soon after."


    Sylphy's ability is easy to remember.

    Using chantless magic, even across the world there's only a handful of individuals.

    People who can use it at Sylphy's and Rudeus' age are almost none.


    However, even then Rudeus couldn't remember it.

    Why, I wonder.


    This was something that Ariel and the others could never come to a conclusion about; first is that in regards to his previous life, he lived the life of a loser.

    He had the awareness that because it was something he could do, any number of other people could easily do it as well.

    Another one was because of the existences known as Ruijerd, Kishirika, Orsted, and Badigadi.

    After meeting overwhelmingly strong people like this, he ended up coming to possess a recognition that there are countless people in the world more amazing than himself.

    And concluded that there are a reasonable number of chantless magic users out there.


    And finally there's Ariel's existence.

    Rather than some average person out there using chantless magic.

    The guard of a princess used chantless magic.

    That fact, caused his recognition to come to an incorrect conclusion.

    If it's the guard of a princess, then I'm sure they can do that much.


    "Memories...? Umm, I did tell the story about how I was bullied right."

    "Yeah, I did hear about how you were bullied over the color of your hair."


    Incidentally.

    Sylphy never informed them that her previous hair color was green.

    She thought if they were to know that it was green, the princess and Luke might look at her with strange eyes.

    It's not as if she doesn't trust them.

    Just, she was afraid.

    Therefore, she said her hair was white from the time she was born.

    She'd continued to say it like that.

    It's difficult to correct a lie once it's been told; blessed as it is, her hair that had turned white, never returned to it's previous color.


    "I met with Rudi at the time when he saved me, it's the number one memory to me."

    "....I guess so."


    Ariel thought about it.

    Having hoodlums attack Sylphy, and Rudeus will save her from that.

    Such a strategy.


    For a period of time, it was a hand Luke played out often.

    He has the know-how.


    Nevertheless, there's a problem.

    Sylphy is strong.

    Right now she's turned into this miserable state, but when it comes to battle her judgement is fast and precise.

    Most likely, if it was any hoodlum around here or there, she might kill them.

    Rudeus as well, in regards to [Fitts]'s strength, he should recognize it to some extent.


    Such a paid hand that could drive that Sylphy into a corner.

    I wonder if there is one.

    ...There is.

    Currently, there's an adventurer group that's strong in fights, the clan [Thunderbolt], in this town.

    If you pile up enough money to pay them, then hiring them is possible I'm sure.


    However, I've heard rumors of their friendship with Rudeus.

    Such a rumor that [Rudeus of the Quagmire] and [Electric Precursor Soldat of Stepped Leader] were having tea in a cafe. [50]

    There was a story that [Elinalise of the Dragonroad] and [Cliff Grimoire] were there as well.

    Therefore, hiring clan [Thunderbolt] is rejected.


    Also for example, even if they were to hire some adventurer completely unrelated as well.

    Most likely, the reputation of the adventurer [Rudeus of the Quagmire] is vaster than Ariel thinks.

    Even if she intends to pick an unrelated adventurer, there's the possibility that they might have a connection through some unknown channel.


    If it comes down to that, without even thinking about it, the story would become complicated.

    It could be that a casualty comes out of it.

    Ariel has no intention of causing any casualties.


    Hiring some of the rough guys hanging around there that aren't adventurers to attack is one possible hand as well.

    However, if they're too weak of an opponent, that itself might cause Rudeus to feel disappointed in Sylphy.

    That is fine if it creates a connection with the feeling of "I will protect you", but in regards to the reliable senpai image that Sylphy built up of herself.

    The probability that it would have a reverse effect is high.


    She should avoid things that might lower Sylphy's stock as much as possible.

    Let's go with that kind of policy.

    Then, having her attacked by some hoodlums is rejected.


    "Aren't there any other memories?"

    "Umm... there's one more."


    While remembering Sylphy's face turned red.


    "In the beginning Rudi thought I was a boy, but when we were practicing magic it started raining. It came down to where we were going to enter the bath at Rudi's house, but Rudi...umm, forcefully tried to strip me.."


    After saying it up to there, Sylphy looked towards Luke.

    After receiving that glance, Luke stayed quiet and covered his ears.

    He's a man who can read the mood.


    "Th..that is.. he pulled down my panties as well... th..then, umm, it was seen, at least, that I was a girl, he found out."


    After that Rudeus was down for a short while until Sylphy talked to him.

    Incidentally, the talk after that Ariel had already heard previously.

    Therefore, Ariel nodded with an I see now.


    I'm sure the reason why Rudeus doesn't try to expose [Fitts]'s true identity is because he has such a past.

    Even if he doesn't remember things about Sylphy, I'm sure he unconsciously remembers that nothing good will come from forcefully exposing someone's true identity.


    Simultaneously, I thought that there's nothing else than this.

    We'll create the same situation and have him strip Sylphy by his own hands.


    "I understand. Then, let's go with that."


    A king's word is more than another man's oath. [51]


    "Luke, remove your hands from your ears. I'll talk about the strategy from here on out."


    However, there Ariel suddenly remembered.

    The degree to which Sylphy is cowardly.

    If we don't do something about this, I'm sure it'll end with the same result.


    "Before that I want to confirm one thing."

    "Wa, yes?"

    "Sylphy, what do you want to become with Rudeus?"


    After being asked, Sylphy thought about it.

    How does she want to become with Rudeus.

    What does she want to do.


    She feels she wants to be together.

    She possess love for him.

    She always liked him.


    She always had specific delusions.


    Right for example.

    The lifestyle after marrying Rudi.


    The house that comes out in her imagination is the house Rudi lived at in Buina village.

    They're living in a house similar to that.


    They sleep in the same bed.

    When she wakes up in the morning, Rudi is sleeping next to her.

    Rudi says good morning and gives her a kiss.

    Rudi changes soon after and goes to do his morning training.


    She makes food downstairs.

    It's the wife's job to make breakfast.

    It's fine if breakfast isn't all that extravagant.

    However, since Rudi is a person who eats steadily, it's better to make a good quantity.


    Around the time breakfast is done, Rudi returns home.

    And then, they eat breakfast and he says it's delicious again today... or he might not.

    Just, Rudi will become totally absorbed in eating it and Sylphy will watch over that smiling.

    If she hears the voice for seconds, Sylphy will serve it.


    After breakfast ends Rudi will go to work.

    She sees him off after giving him an obento.

    Sylphy as well heads off to the place where princess Ariel is.

    Both working, similar to Rudi's parents.

    She doesn't seem to have made any assumptions as to what Rudeus' job would be, but for a delusion that kind of thing is just within the margin of error.


    After Sylphy's job ends and she returns home she plans to ambush Rudi in the entry hall.

    Rudi discovers Sylphy, makes a strained laugh and wipes away the snow piling up on his shoulders then embraces her.

    The two then enter the house and light up the fireplace.

    The bath preparations end soon after.

    After cleansing her body she prepares dinner.

    During preparations, Rudi is in front of the fireplace, maybe creating a doll.


    They eat dinner together.

    Different than breakfast, Rudi is talkative.

    Something happened at work today, such things happen.

    All of it is something amazing beyond what Sylphy can imagine, Sylphy honestly says it's amazing while giggling.


    After dinner ends, they get comfortable together on the sofa in front of the fireplace.

    Sylphy closely snuggles up to Rudi, Rudi's arms are wrapped around Sylphy's shoulders.

    There are some days where they chat and some where they say nothing as well.

    Just, for a short time their gazes meet.

    Their faces gradually get closer.

    And then an easily imagined silhouette.

    Rudi puts out the fire in the fireplace, picks up Sylphy and carries her towards the bedroom.


    (Rudi occasionally says indecent things so he might ask, "how many children would be good?" Then I would become indecent as well and answer, "Oh Rudi~, how many do you want me to have?" Rudi chuckles and answers, "a lot I wonder", while taking my clothes off... then I giggle as well and say, "then, let's do it a lot"..as if that would happen!)


    "...As if that would happen!"

    "[Cough]."

    "Ha!!"


    After Ariel's cough the delusions were aborted.

    Sylphy was bright red as she played with her ears and hid her face.

    After Ariel saw that look, she quietly said it.


    "That delusion... please try replacing yourself with another woman and think about it."


    In the delusion the one who took her place as the wife becomes Nanahoshi.

    Sylphy has entered into the position of peeking in on their love affair from the window of the house next door.

    Rudi and Nanahoshi realize Sylphy is looking, suddenly laugh then close the curtains.


    "You don't like that right?"

    "I... I don't like it!"

    "Very good."


    Ariel seriously nodded and said it.


    "Sylphy, this strategy depends on the effort you put into it."

    "Wa, yes!"


    Ariel thought, this might still not be enough.

    And then she let out an explosive statement.


    "Cowardly failures like last night won't be forgiven. If you repeat the same thing, we will never help you again. No, that still isn't enough is it. In my name as Asura Kingdom Second Princess, Ariel Anemoi Asura, hereafter I will forbid any contact with Rudeus Greyrat."


    Naturally, it's just a means.

    However those words made Sylphy swallow deeply.

    After Ariel confirmed that, she added one more line.


    "Do it seriously."

    "Wah, yes."

    "Very good."


    Ariel nodded seriously again.

    And then she conveyed the outline of the strategy.


    ---Sylphy's Point of View---


    We're carrying out the strategy.


    The time is lunch break.

    It's time for lunch.

    The first floor of the dining hall.

    There all of the rising adventurer students and the Magic Race students crowded together.


    The noble people look at them like fools.

    Most are prejudiced.

    Ariel-sama said prejudice is worthless.

    And 400 years prior exactly what race was being cornered by that foolish opponent?

    Though for Ariel-sama who looked at Rudi with eyes of prejudice it doesn't really have very much power of persuasion.


    Rudi is at the farthest table on this first floor.

    There a number of others are having a friendly chat.


    Rudi, Zanoba-kun, and Badi-sama.

    Julie-chan is at the end as well, she's holding a cup with her small hands and sipping it as she looks at the other three.


    "In other words what kind of requirements does Badi-sama think are necessary for a doll?"

    "More lovely than the real thing and then above all an eros that fascinates all who see it is essential!"

    "Eros! As expected of Badi-sama's keen insight. Now, now, another cup."


    Badi-sama's skin was dying a dark brown color, he's drinking alcohol quite comfortably.

    Rudi and Zanoba-kun were grinning as they laughed, there's alcohol in their cups as well.

    Strange, even though there's not supposed to be any alcohol in this dining hall.

    Unless they went outside to purchase it, they shouldn't sell it.


    "By the way Badi-sama, if I were to say that I wanted to make a doll of Kishirika-sama, what would you do? And I mean a completely erotic kind."

    "Of my fiancee huh? However, I doubt you know what Kishirika looks like in her perfect body."

    "That's exactly why. After she reaches her perfect form, she won't return to her previous form right? For this reason, we need to leave behind her current charming appearance."

    "You make a good point. However she is thoughtless, so she occasionally dies quickly after all. Even if you didn't leave behind her current appearance it would probably be fine."

    "If you lined up Kishirika-sama at a variety of different ages, the Demon King's castle would become gorgeous I'm sure."

    "You are of the human race, it's impossible for you to see Kishirika at a variety of ages."

    "That's right, that's the point. In order to see Kishirika-sama simultaneously at a variety of ages, there's the necessity to bring life to my doll creation techniques, for that sake I need Badi-sama's cooperation, gehehehe."

    "Fuhahahahaha! Even though you have that much power the way you solicit almost like a merchant is amusing! That approach, I'll buy into it! Excellent, excellent, say what you desire, money, or people?"

    "No-no, just, when the time comes to it I'd like you to give me your backing??"


    Rudi was making a mischievous smile as he laughed.

    It was an amazingly bad face.

    Since the past Rudi hasn't laughed all that much, but when he laughs it ends up becoming that sort of face.

    He really hasn't changed since the past.


    In the royal palace as well, there were people who laughed with that kind of face.

    If I remember correctly, it was High Minister Darius.

    The perpetrator who cornered us.

    He's an opponent we can't forgive.

    However, maybe it's because Rudi laughs in that sort manner, but I'm alright with the smile itself.

    I think of it as a characteristic of a clever person.


    I heard that Rudi and Zanoba-kun were asking for permission to create a doll with earth magic.

    I don't really understand very well how good they are, but I know that it's something at an exceedingly advanced level.

    The time when they showed me the Red Dragon statue that was still midway in production, I honestly thought it was amazing.


    They're giving a dwarf gifted education and it seems they're even dragging a Demon King-sama in on top of that.

    It seems they're taking it seriously.

    As a fellow user of the same chantless magic, I'd like to be included as an ally as well, but since I have to be Ariel-sama's escort it's an impossible talk.


    "Rudeus-kun."

    "Ah, Fitts-senpai."


    After I called out to him, Rudi made a happy face.

    Recently, even though I've taken nothing but weird actions, it seems he isn't cautious at all.

    After all Rudi is dense.

    However, the fact that he isn't cautious is proof that he trusts me right.

    It makes me happy.


    "What's going on?"

    "Umm."


    Zanoba-kun and Demon King-sama's gazes were stabbing into me.

    Hmmn...


    "Here is a bit, let's change locations."

    "I understand. Then Zanoba. Please proceed with our talk."

    "Ha... please leave the trivial parts after this to me."


    Rudi and Zanoba-kun sure get along well.

    I'm jealous.

    In the past I was in that position though.

    I'm jealous...


    While thinking that, I took Rudi outside of the dining hall.

    We moved to an unpopular place and I started with the main point.


    "Then, what is it?"


    Rudi's face became serious.

    It was a sharp face.

    ...As I thought he's cool.


    "Umm, to tell you the truth, I have a favor I'd like to ask your help with."

    "I understand. Please leave it to me as if you're riding on a large boat."


    Before I even said anything, Rudi struck his chest and accepted it.


    "Please wait a second, I haven't said the contents yet."

    "Unless it's something huge I won't refuse it."


    How reliable...

    It makes me feel kind of bad deceiving Rudi like this.

    Even though it's already painful being unable to speak of my identity as it is...


    "To tell you the truth, I told you that Ariel-sama, stayed over a noble's place the other day right. It seems that the person has hired an amazingly strong bodyguard."

    "You want me to beat that guy down?"

    "Tha..that's wrong!"

    "I see. That's great. I'm not very good with matters of disputes."


    Not very good with matters of disputes, you say that well...

    Could it be that just now, that was a Rudi-like joke?

    I wonder if it would have been better if I laughed?

    No-no, right now rather than that I need to continue talking.


    "It seems that Ariel-sama was mortified over his bragging about that person. So she returned with [Our Fitts is amazing.]"

    "Ho, and then."

    "The other noble said [My bodyguard can go deep into the Forest of Hail with a four man party and get the flower that only grows there.] but.."


    After that, Rudi put his hand on chin like he suddenly started thinking.


    "Speaking of a flower that only grows deep within the Forest of Hail, it would be [Freeze Fringed] right. The petals work as a strong medicine, but it's famous for only blooming in the middle of winter." [52]


    Oh, as expected of Rudi.

    He knows it well.

    I'm glad I properly investigated something that actually exists.


    "The Forest of Hail is dangerous in the winter, but if there's four adventurers over A rank, it's not really anything to brag about. If you proceed carefully, you can do it without any trouble, pick up the flower and then return I'm sure."


    After saying that much, Rudi started to name the monsters that appear in the Forest of Hail one after another.

    Snow Hornet, White Cougar, Mustard Treant...

    He smoothly says it well.

    I wonder if he has them all memorized.


    "Umm, and then you know, Ariel-sama as well couldn't fall back from there, [If it's Fitts then he could pick it with an even smaller party!] and said that."

    "I see now, it's that sort of thing."


    Rudi nodded as he seemed to understand it.


    "If I ask an adventurer aquaintance of mine, I'm sure I can get him to hand it over for cheap. If you were to say you went and picked it yourself, the other side should believe it as well."


    And said that.


    "Wai!! Rudeus-kun, that's no good! It's a scene where I have no choice but to show my power!?"

    "Even if you say power, it comes in various forms. Connections between people are a power as well. It's Connection Power. My face is well known among the adventurer guys and Fitts-senpai knows my face. Thanks to Fitts-senpai's connection, the connection from person to person becomes a power. Using people to get your hands on something. That as well is a way of showing your power."


    Tha..that's sophistry.

    What is he talking about suddenly.


    "That's no good. If it's exposed then it'll become an embarrassment for Ariel-sama."

    "I see. Well then, shall we go pick it?"


    Rudi said it readily.

    Even though he's talking about entering the forest, it seems he's not enthusiastic at all.

    As expected.

    And just as I was thinking that, I froze at the next words.


    "I'll gather up some of my aquaintances who have openings in their schedule, so please wait about three days. I'm sure about 10 people should be plenty. Right now, the members of [Stepped Leader] are in this town, so I can gather them together quickly."


    No, wait.

    That is strange.


    "No, wait just a second Rudeus-kun! Ariel-sama said [With even fewer] though!? What are you going to do by gathering up 10 people!"

    "Please rest assured. Those guys will have 'just coincidentally entered the forest in the same period as us.' Among them there will be members who have accepted monster subjugation jobs and guys who run around gathering materials as well, they might end up hunting every monster on the way though. There will be no guys there to harvest the flower, only Fitts-senpai alone."


    Uwuuu~~nn.

    I wonder if this is the wisdom of adventurers.

    No, Rudi has been an adventurer for a number of years, he should know how frightening the forest can be.

    He must be thinking if it's an amateur like me that will be entering, he's a bit worried.

    Yeah, it's that without a doubt.


    "E..even without such people, if it was just Rudeus-kun and I, wouldn't it be easy?"

    "....Could it be, Fitts-senpai it's that. You want to ask me to be your escort?"


    Isn't that what I've been saying since the start...or I didn't say it did I.


    "Yeah! Right, that's it. I can only rely on Rudeus-kun."


    After saying that, Rudi whispered a single word of "Hmm" and put his hand on his chin.

    After a short while of thinking he nodded.


    "I've depended on Fitts-senpai for a variety of things. I won't tell you not to depend on me. That job, I will humbly accept and take it on."

    "Th..thank you Rudeus-kun! I was uneasy about entering the forest alone!"


    There were a variety of dangerous places, but for the time being I've broken through the first barrier.

    However, even after just hearing a bit of the story from me, it's amazing how he keeps coming up with ideas one after another.

    As I thought Rudi is amazing.

    The strategy proceeded to the second stage.

    Rudi and I entered the Forest of Hail.

    The Forest of Hail is a place three days or so North of the Magic City Sharia.

    The end of the forest just like that touches the national border of Basheranto.


    In comparison to I who was just wearing normal travelling clothes, Rudi was in full equipment.

    A large knapsack, it seems that staple food and some other stuff is packed in for the worst case.

    Since it's Rudi, I thought he would go in empty-handed and return like that.

    After saying that [You shouldn't underestimate the forest. There are monsters that can avoid my Rock Bullet after seeing it.] is how he responded.


    After saying there's no way that's the case and hearing the details, it seems in the forests on Magic Continent monsters like that are all over the place.

    I thought it was a joke, but Rudi's eyes were serious.

    In the Forest of Hail among the monsters that appear, at most they're B rank monsters.

    If it's that much, then even I could deal with them.

    Is what I was thinking but...


    "Sorry. It seems like I left all the preparations to you."

    "No-no, if I think about it like an escort job, it's only natural."


    If he's treating as if it sounds like that, then I wonder if he's going to take a job fee.


    "Umm, a job fee or that sort of thing, would it be better if I paid something like that?"

    "No way. This is something I'm doing out of good intention, so please don't mind it."


    Rudi awfully emphasised the part where he said "good intention."


    "It's not like I can't pay Rudeus-kun something like a job fee you know."


    Even though it's low, I do get a salary from Ariel-sama.

    Since I have nothing to use it on, it's saved up.

    I should have enough to employ Rudi myself.

    Ah, but Rudi has true strength over King class, I.. I wonder if I'll have enough?


    "Fu..I'm expensive you know."

    "Ex..expensive you say, that..might be the case, but??"


    After hearing Rudi's words I wasn't thinking about money, but I remembered the slave market.

    In my head a nude Rudi was climbing up onto the show stage.

    Buy...Rudi with money...

    The area around my abdomen tightened up and seemed to call for something.

    I knew that my face was getting hot from embarrassment.


    "In..in any case, let's hurry ahead!"

    "Yes."


    We entered the Forest of Hail.

    The Forest of Hail might look the same as a normal forest at a glance.

    A variety of large trees are covered in snow, the same as a forest you can find anywhere.


    In this forest hail falls at fixed periods.

    It's a land where there's a magic power-like abnormality.

    In just this entire region, when you step on the snow, it makes a crunching sound.


    "The flower blooms on a cliff. Since we'll be heading in a straight line to there while melting the snow, please follow along while being vigilant of our surroundings."


    While melting the snow.

    Rudi said it like it was nothing and started to move forward.

    I wanted to try it as well, but it was no good.

    If it's just in my surroundings then it's probably an application of fire magic, but to reach the level of creating a path continuously is difficult.

    It's not like I can't do it, but it uses too much magic power.

    The way Rudi uses magic power is extravagant.


    I continued down the path as even the snow on my shoulders melted.

    I thought that monsters might find us from the steam rising when it melts, but Rudi was dispersing the steam as well.

    After I asked how he was doing it, he said if you adjust the temperature right then you can just melt the snow without releasing any steam.

    I wonder how much you would need to practice in order to figure that out.


    (Rather than that, it's time to start the plan.)


    So I took a single deep breath and pointed at the staff Rudi had in his hand.


    "That staff, the other day I held onto it, but it's amazing. I've only ever seen magic stones with a color attached in the royal palace."

    "During my 10th birthday, I received it from the Ojou-sama I was working as a home teacher for."


    After saying that Rudi made a bit of a lonely face.

    Come to think of it, I haven't heard him talk very much about the Ojou-sama that he taught.

    It doesn't feel like Rudi has talked about it very much.

    According to the information, I think she was an extremely violent person...

    I wonder if he has some kind of bad memories.


    "That staff, is it fine for me to hold it for a bit? Since I only have a staff aimed at beginners, I've always longed for something like that."

    "Is that so. Since you're an Ojou-sama's escort then I'd think you would be given a better staff to hold onto though."

    "Since I used chantless magic I'm sure they were thinking I didn't need a staff, they're stingy right."


    Of course, I don't think Ariel-sama is stingy.

    This wand is something I received from Rudi so I treat it preciously.

    Since it's the same as a wand you can find anywhere, Rudi doesn't seem to have realized it.


    "By all means, grasp it and try it out. How is it, the thickness?"


    Rudi came out asking that while smiling.

    I wonder what it is.

    Is there something amusing?


    While holding doubts I tightly grasped the staff.

    Since my hands are small, I felt like it was a bit hard to hold.


    "It's thick, I wonder if it was assumed you would hold it with both of your hands."

    "...I'm sure they were making assumptions based on after I grow up."

    "Hnn."


    While smiling Rudi continued to proceed with melting the snow.

    I followed after while holding the staff.

    Alright, for the time being the plan has succeeded.

    And next is...


    I took the ring on my little finger and brought it close to my mouth.

    And then in a small voice I declared the keyword.


    "Red Tower."


    After that, the gem in the ring changed colors from blue to red.

    This ring is one of the Magic Tools Ariel-sama always wears.

    If you say the keyword then the color changes.

    Simultaneously, another ring a long distance away will have its color change as well.

    It's a magic tool that only does that.

    Though the effect won't work if it's too far away.


    This time, the other ring is being held by some people we've left on standby outside of the forest in advance.


    (I wonder if it's alright..)


    I waited a bit while glancing towards at the sky.

    Contrary to my uneasiness, suddenly the sky started to become cloudy.

    Alright.

    It went well.


    "Hnn?"


    Rudi quickly realized it.

    After looking up at the sky he whispered it.


    "...Rain clouds huh. How unusual."


    In the winter of the northern lands it almost never rains.

    Because of that reason, the equipment used against the cold in this area are weak to rain.


    The furs of the Snow Hedgehog that we're wearing as protection against the cold don't actually melt the snow, but work to remove it.

    Therefore, equipment for protection against the cold are extraordinarily useful, but the fact that they soak water easily is a fault.

    After water soaks into it, just from the blowing of the cold winter wind, it will become frozen solid.


    "Fitts-senpai, it seems like it will rain."


    In the case where rain falls in the middle of winter, you create a roof in that place and endure it, or else taking shelter in a cave is desirable.

    Rather than making a refuge with magic, I've heard that finding a cave is comparatively safe.

    Even though earth magic is a specialty of Rudi, I'm sure he would think of it as a pain to continue casting magic until the rain stops.

    That's why I'll make the suggestion.


    "That's right, according to the map ahead of here is..."


    Since there's a cave we should take shelter from the rain.

    And just as I was about to say that, Rudi shook his head.


    "No, since I can quickly disperse them."


    After saying that he raised his hand.


    (This is bad!)


    In this instant I realized the blunder.

    Rudi is a Water Saint class magician.

    Manipulating the weather is his forte.

    I heard that Ariel-sama hired two Advanced water technique users, but if Rudi is the one doing it, the clouds will scatter in no time at all.


    What to do, what to do.

    If it doesn't rain here then the plan is all for nothing. [53]


    I started to pack magic power into the staff in my two hands.

    I could feel amazing power.

    Wi...with this I might be able to do it.


    "Hnnn?"


    Rudi tilted his head while raising his hand.

    Most likely, since the clouds weren't scattering like he planned, he might think it's strange.

    Naturally, right now I'm interfering with that after all.


    The reason why Rudi didn't get serious is probably thanks to the staff.

    My ability to control weather should rival Rudi.

    Since that's the case, I have the advantage thanks to the part of the advanced class magicians outside of the forest.


    I continued to pack magic power into the staff with feeling as if I were praying.

    The rain clouds gathering in the sky continued to grow.

    Just as I was taught by Rudi.

    Gathering the moisture, making the cloud, then cooling that down, and drop it!


    "Hnmu??"


    Rudi's eyebrows dropped.

    In the next instant, cold rain started to fall.


    "...I'm very sorry Fitts-senpai, it seems today my condition is a bit bad."


    Rudi said it with a face as if he received a bit of a shock.


    "It..it's fine. It's because I didn't give back your staff, probably."

    "Even without my staff, normally I would have been able to disperse rain clouds like that. Recently, maybe because I haven't used it very often, I've dulled... or else...?"


    Rudi looked at the palms of my hands while grumbling something.

    It seems he realized that rain cloud was something intentionally made.

    However, I'm sure he didn't think to expect he would be obstructed from dispersing it.


    "Well, we can't help something that's already started to fall. If I remember correctly, there's a cave up ahead, let's take refuge there."

    "Tha..that's right!"


    After largely nodding to Rudi's words, we resumed moving.

    The Snow Hedgehog furs were soaking in the moisture and in no time at all stealing our body heat.

    Just as planned. [54]


    "It's there isn't it."


    Just like this, we arrived at the cave while dripping wet.

    In terms of depth it was only about 10 meters, a small cave.

    The land of purpose.


    I thought that something was going on.

    Fitts-senpai who had hired me was acting strange.

    There was that abnormal weather event as well.


    I got the feeling that the movements of the clouds were way too fast even for rain to fall.

    Showers almost never fall in the winter.

    There's the possibility that someone used magic.

    No, but what did they intend to do by making it rain?


    Maybe being a hindrance.

    Who would?

    That noble who princess Ariel was said to have stayed with?

    For what reason?

    Do they intend to try and assassinate Ariel?

    Maybe they think Fitts-senpai is a hindrance for that sake.

    No, if that were the case then they wouldn't make rain fall, some other kind of thing would have been better, spears for example.


    I wonder if Fitts-senpai has realized it.

    It seems like she hasn't realized it, but she's still strangely calm.

    I guess it means that this amount of hindrance was within her expectations.

    No, then, she would have said we might be obstructed from the start.


    Or else maybe she wants to assassinate me.

    If that's the case then the other day, she would have done it at the time when she came to my room.


    I wonder what's going on.


    While worrying I prepared the fire to try and dry out our wet clothes faster.

    I thought something like this might happen so I already had prepared some firewood for the sake of a fire.


    It's possible to maintain a fire with just fire magic, but if you have firewood it's more comfortable.

    During the time when a monster might appear, it wouldn't be good if you had to light the fire again.

    At night you would lose the light as well.


    I placed the firewood and started the fire.


    After confirming that the fire was stable, I took off my winter clothes.

    The winter clothes were soaking wet, the exterior was frozen.

    Underneath the winter clothes I was wearing my usual grey robe, but this was soaked as well.

    Just going off by the sensation, but I'm sure it's soaked all the way to my underwear.


    For the time being, my underwear are fine since I have a change of clothes, but I need to dry my robe and the winter clothes first.

    I used wind magic and water techniques to evaporate it in an instant.

    Just, if you try to remove all the moisture from it, the cloth will be damaged, so it's done in moderation.

    I made a clothes drying rack with earth magic and hung it there to dry.

    The same with the clothes I was wearing underneath my robe.


    I had gotten down to my underwear, so I went to the fire to warm up my body.

    It's still cold.

    I used earth magic to create a wall and sealed off the entrance of the cave.

    If I completely sealed it off we might suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning, so I created a crevice in the ceiling.


    Now then, what to do about my underwear.

    As expected it's not like I can strip them off in front of Fitts-senpai.


    And then I suddenly looked at her.


    "Wuu.."


    Fitts-senpai was trembling while holding her own shoulders.

    She had removed her winter clothes, but she was still wearing the mantle and things below that.

    If it continues like that she'll catch a cold.


    "Dry it?"


    Wouldn't it be better to dry it off?

    Is how I asked but I shut my mouth.


    Fitts-senpai is a female that looks like a boy.

    Not to mention, she's hiding her identity.

    It's not like she can just strip in front of me.

    However, continuing like this is no good.

    I wonder what can be done.

    Hmm.


    "Fitts-senpai."

    "Wh..what is it!?"


    She responded with a somewhat loud voice.

    It seems Fitts-senpai has realized the current situation as well.

    She has no choice other than to strip, but she can't just strip, that kind of situation.

    Therefore, she's cautious about being exposed.


    This is no good.

    I should read the mood.


    "In the past I heard from a girl acquaintance of mine, that it's a taboo for other races to see elves naked. I'll turn my back and keep my eyes shut, so during that time please use magic to dry your clothes."

    "Eh!!?"


    Fitts-senpai made a surprised voice.

    I'm sure. I've never heard a story of such a taboo.

    If there were such a taboo out there, then Elinalise's existence itself would be a taboo. A walking taboo.


    However, if I show it like this, that I have mistaken knowledge, then I think it should work in Fitts-senpai's favor.

    I slowly turned and faced the other way then closed my eyes.

    And then listened closely.

    At least, I want to imagine Fitts-senpai stripping behind me, I'll enjoy just the sound.


    "...."

    "..."


    However, there was no sound at all.

    Even though she's wet, if she were to take off her clothes, and then use chantless magic to dry them off, there should be at least a little bit of sound.

    Strange.

    Could it be, Fitts-senpai can change clothes without making any sound?

    Come to think of it, during my elementary school days, there were females who could change into swimsuits with clothes on. They sure are skillful.

    During my elementary school days, I had no interest in them changing their clothes.

    Both men and women changed in the same classroom.

    If I think about it, it was a splendid period.


    After the spread of the internet, I found the method they changed with at that time on the net, and thought "I see now".

    I have interest in such unique changing methods.

    A scholastic interest.

    That's right, this is learning.

    It's intellectual curiosity.

    It's absolutely not an erotic...purpose.

    If Fitts-senpai doesn't change her clothes, then she might freeze after all.


    After thinking that, I slowly~ turn around.

    My eyes completely met with Fitts-senpai.

    Even though she's wearing sunglasses, somehow I knew our eyes met.


    I didn't turn my eyes away.

    It's because Fitts-senpai was turning deep blue.


    "Fitts-senpai!"


    With a deep blue face she was holding both of her shoulders and trembling.

    Even just from looking, I could tell that Fitts-senpai's body heat was completely stolen.

    The atmospheric temperature in the winter forest of the northern lands is most likely below freezing.

    If you walk around in that then your body heat will quickly be lost.

    Even I am actually cold.

    The temperature in the cave is going up a bit, but since she's continuing to wear those wet clothes, it's like being covered in cold water.

    It won't stop at just a cold.


    "Please at least change. Since that's the case would you like me to create a changing room? No, I will, I'll go outside of the cave, let's go with that. That's fine."

    "Wait."


    Just as I was about to go outside of the cave, Fitts-senpai held me back.

    She continued to look at me while trembling.

    And then while continuing to tremble she slowly walked in front of me.

    Carefully looking over me.


    "...."

    "..."


    Carefully, while trembling.

    It seems like she wants to say something.


    What is it.

    What does Fitts-senpai want to say?

    No, what does she want me to do.


    "You..you'll catch a cold??"

    "Yeah. Tha..that's right."


    She responded to my question with a trembling voice.

    I was confused.

    I couldn't read Fitts-senpai's thoughts.


    "If you don't take your clothes off, it will be dangerous. If your body temperature lowers, people die you know?"

    "Yeah...I might die, if it continues like this.."


    While saying that Fitts-senpai didn't make any movements towards taking off her clothes.

    Ah no, she would be troubled if she stripped in front of me.

    I don't know, Fitts-senpai is a man.

    He's absolutely not a woman, that's the case.

    If I don't close my eyes.


    "I can't take them off myself. Take them off for me."


    .......

    ......

    ...

    What is this person saying.


    "...If you can't take them off yourself, then I have no choice other than to remove them."


    ...What am I saying.

    Ah, no good.

    My hands are stretching towards Fitts-senpai on their own.


    First I touch her shoulders.

    They're cold.

    And slender.


    Without a doubt it's the shoulder of a female.

    Slender, a shoulder almost like it might break.


    And then I'm a man.

    Man and woman.

    There's the same common sense in this world that you shouldn't carelessly expose your flesh.


    "To...to be honest, I know that Fitts-senpai is a woman."

    "Yeah. But, if you don't take them off I might die."

    "Ye..yeah."


    What does this mean.

    I can't read her thinking.

    What is Fitts-senpai planning.

    Could it be, this is a blackmail scheme.

    For example after I strip her, some scary people will come out from somewhere, and suddenly tell me indifferently, [You've come to find out matters of absolute secrecy of the Asura Kingdom!] and then take me off to some experiment room and dissect me.

    It's not something that I can say when right now I'm truly about to dissect Fitts-senpai though.


    My hands were moving on their own, I took off Fitts-senpai's coat.

    After removing the coat made of a thick material on top, a dripping wet white shirt appeared.

    It's a white shirt.

    While the white cloth was a bit thick, it was transparent.

    Fitts-senpai's underwear entered my vision.

    What was wrapping her chest wasn't a bra.

    It was some kind of underwear that went from just above her belly button to just before her shoulders covering her chest.

    What was it again, I can't remember the name.

    She's unexpectedly adult.


    When what it's wrapping is a bit lacking and chaste like this, it's not really all that adult.

    However, just like this, when it's clinging to skin from being wet and you look at it, it's certainly there.

    The two mountains that men seek out, the outline of her breasts.


    "Fitts-senpai?"

    "What's wrong, Rudi?"


    Rudi, calling me by such a nostalgic name.

    It feels like it's calling out to something within me.

    This situation, somewhere, I feel like I've experienced it somewhere.


    "Pl..please excuse me."

    "Yeah."


    Fitts-senpai's face was bright red.

    Red all the way to her ears.

    I feel like I've seen these ears that have turned red somewhere before as well.


    After removing the white shirt, pure white skin was exposed.

    Thin shoulders that seem like they might break.

    Lacking in both muscle and fat and the nape of the neck that was slender all around.


    Seeing something like that in close proximity, touching it with my hands.

    My sword that has been miserable recently, almost like a knight's sword being offered up in ritual, is facing upwards.

    Fitts-senpai has something.

    She has something that can cheer me up.

    Something I don't know what.

    Just, I feel so excited that I'm about to push her down right now.


    "Ha...ha.."


    While trying to hold back that excitement, I put my hands on Fitts-senpai's belt.

    I loosened the belt while making a clicking noise, then put my hands on the cuff of her pants.

    Suddenly, I remembered something.


    Come to think of it, something like this happened in the past.

    Around the time I was five or six years old.

    This sort of thing happened.


    After pulling the wet pants down, pure white panties appeared.

    The difference from that time, is that I didn't remove the panties together.

    However, after all underwear that has been soaked becomes transparent so you can see what's below.

    Could it be, I've stumbled upon a barren zone?


    "..[Gulp]."


    Fitts-senpai silently removed her leg from the pants and sat down in front of me.

    It was the so called girls sitting style.

    I sat in seiza directly in front of that.

    The floor of the cave was rugged and my lower legs were in pain.


    "Rudi."


    I could understand that Fitts-senpai's gaze was looking a bit below.

    It's the tent that just started construction some time ago.

    After all Fitts-senpai's body contributes greatly to the construction of my tent.


    "There's still one remaining."


    The words of one.

    I understood that it was not referring to her panties.

    After coming this far I understood it.


    I put my hands on her sunglasses.


    "?"


    Take them off.

    And then there was after all.

    A face I have a recollection of was there.

    It was the face that I once thought would become the face of a bishonen when it grows up.

    It was a beautiful face, that I thought as long as I could remain together with it, I wouldn't mind being treated as leftovers. [55]

    And then that face was far more sweet than I imagined at the time.


    With her youthfulness still remaining, it was a face that you couldn't call anything but sweet.

    With sharp eyes, a high nose, small lips. [56]

    The power of the genes of an Elf.


    She looks similar to Elinalise as well, but she has the easily friendly characteristic of a half or a quarter.


    "Umm, Fitts-senpai."

    "What is it, Rudi?"


    And the way she was leaning her head as she asked with her face bright red was the same as always.

    I wonder why I didn't realize until now of all times.

    Hair, that's right.

    It's because her hair color is different.

    Her hair color was supposed to be green.

    Now it's pure white.

    No, something like hair color you can change all you want.

    Bleaching isn't really all that difficult.


    "Could it be that, Fitts-senpai's real name might be something like Sylphiette?"

    ".....Yeah."


    Fitts-senpai, No, Sylphy...

    Nodded shyly and smiled.


    "Yeah..Yeah.."


    That smile quickly changed into a tear-stained face.

    Before that completely changed into a crying face she moved to embrace me.


    "At last, you've said it..."


    After whispering that, Sylphy's skin was cold.

    A short while passed.

    I couldn't hide my confusion, but I felt like I was finally convinced of everything.


    "Uu...gusu..."


    Sylphy was sniffling away and crying while embracing me.

    It's similar to that time.

    She's a crybaby the same as always.

    And then, soft as always.

    Thin, without seeming like she has any fat, but when you hold her tightly she's soft.

    Could it be that she's using some kind of softening agent?


    "I...I was...always, always waiting. In Buina vilage, I was always, trying my best."


    I had heard about how Sylphy was giving it her best while I was working as a home teacher from Paul.

    I silently caressed her head.

    And then Sylphy tightened her embrace on me even more.

    And then she raised her face.

    Her face was all sticky from the tears and her running nose.

    I didn't know what would be good to say after seeing that.


    "?"


    Just, Sylphy was different.

    After she looked at me she opened her mouth.


    "I've always liked you since the past..."


    My face went blank and I became aware of it.


    "I liked Rudi. Now I like you more. Please don't leave me anymore. I want to be with you forever."


    The inside of my head went pure white.

    I was surprised after being told Sylphy liked me.


    Sylphy was always stuck close to me since the past.

    It could be said that I acted in such a way to induce that.


    However, now it's different.

    At the very least this past year.

    I've watched Fitts-senpai.

    I've watched her as a person I respect.

    At least, Fitts-senpai was standing as an independent person.


    Could there possibly be some dependency still remaining towards me?

    However, at least, I've depended on Fitts-senpai.

    She has knowledge, a person who I've depended on and has thought about a variety of things for my sake.

    Speaking of "Silent Fitts", he's a serious person that princess Ariel can trust.


    Right now I.

    Being confessed to by such a person.


    My chest became hot.

    In the furthest regions of confusion, I still hadn't settled down with Sylphy=Fitts-senpai.

    I had become so full of happy feelings as if I wanted to dance.


    In that instant, I suddenly remembered Eris.

    Come to think of it, did I ever tell her that I liked her.

    I said I would become her family.

    However, that was something she suggested.

    I wonder if I ever said anything to her from my side.


    What do I think about Fitts-senpai... No, what do I think about Sylphy.

    It's no good if I don't think about that even more.

    However if I don't say it here.

    She might disappear again.


    "I like you as well."


    And.

    I grabbed onto Sylphy's shoulder and separated us.

    I thought she would resist, but she was frail.

    Sylphy's face had become pretty bad covered in tears and snot.

    I gently caressed her head and raised her face.


    "Nn.."

    Sylphy's lips were soft.

    There was a bit of, just a bit of snot, but that was unrelated. [57]


    After the kiss ended, Sylphy had stopped crying.

    With a red face she was looking at me with a blank expression. [58]


    "?"


    I lost my words.

    Words were already unnecessary.


    I'll ascertain it with words of love.

    Next is that.

    Love, that which follows love is H, ecchi comes next. [59]

    I think I'm acting pretty self-interested right, but something that's been repressed for two years is on the verge of explosion.


    Sylphy isn't resisting either.

    Underneath the blanket I prepared for camping use, an eggplant had become horizontal. [60]

    It could be that she had this sort of intention from the start.

    This job as well, was for the sake of revealing her identity in a place with no one around.


    No, let's stop with the unrefined thoughts.

    Now at any rate, it won't be good if I don't proceed without making the same mistakes as before.


    "...Sylphy, it's your first time right?"

    "Eh? Ah, yeah. Yes. It's my first... is that no good?"

    "It's not no good."


    Rather, it's good.

    But, however.

    However you know, if I were to fail here, it might end up like last time.

    I pass on things happening like with Eris again.

    I can't afford to fail here.

    I can't fail.


    I carefully, carefully stretched out my hand to Sylphy.


    "...."

    "...Umm, Rudi?"


    After I realized it, my tent had collapsed.

    About an hour passed.

    The rain had stopped.

    Because we had kept embracing each other for a long period, our bodies were warmed up.

    Our clothes seemed like they were almost dry, but I was on the verge of crying.


    I received a shock from being useless at the most essential time.

    This shock is severe no matter how many times or when I experience it.

    This time it's not a woman I've paid in a brothel or some passing adventurer.

    It's an especially harsh feeling.


    It seems Sylphy received a shock as well.

    Even so it seems the shock Sylphy had was a bit less.

    While jesting a bit, continuing with a bitter smile, she was depreciating her own body.


    "It's not Rudi's fault. I, look, my chest is small, and I have no charm.."

    "No, Sylphy's body is very charming. I'm very sorry. It's been like this since three years ago."

    "Ru..Rudi?"


    I started to talk about myself.

    I talked about everything.

    I faced my first experience three years ago, since then, the fact that I had become useless.

    And then, for the sake of searching for a method to cure that, I came to the Magic University.

    In the end I was unable to find it and it came down to today.


    "I've caused Sylphy to feel ashamed. I'm very sorry."


    I prostrated myself.

    There's no way there's a problem with Sylphy's body.

    Rather it's a huge stimulation.

    Certainly her chest is small, but with her slender limbs, and thin hips.

    It's not like the balance is bad.

    It was like you pulled the image of a shojo straight out just like that, from directly in the center of my strike zone.

    In the first place, during these past three years, the only one who has allowed me to stand up is just Sylphy.

    There's no way I could have any dissatisfaction with her.

    It's just that I'm cowardly.


    "Ru..Rudi, don't say something like that. It's not a shame, go back to how you were."


    Sylphy let out a pitiful voice.

    I myself feel a pretty pitiful mood coming on.


    "I really want to return to how I was very much as well, but nothing can be done about this."

    "Not like that, your tone, stop with the honorifics."


    Sylphy's tears started to flow again.

    I panicked and wiped those tears.


    "Sorry. I was just a bit upset."


    I'm full of apologies.

    Here recently I've used nothing but honorifics so I can't help it.

    That's why, I end up using them going with the flow.


    "...But, I always used honorifics up until now, isn't it fine?"

    "It's fine but... Rudi's honorifics, you can feel a sense of distance from hearing them."


    Is that how it is?

    It's the first time I've heard that.

    Could it be that, Eris and Ruijerd felt something like that as well?

    Possibly Zanoba as well... come to think of it, that guy hasn't used very many honorifics at all.


    "From here on out, honorifics are prohibited."

    "Yes."

    "Honorifics again."

    "That much should be fine right?"

    "Fufu..I guess so."


    With that conversation somehow or other the atmosphere got better.

    However, it's been quite a while since I stopped with the honorifics.

    Thinking about it, I feel like I've always used honorifics since I came to this world.


    After that, neither of us talked, we just sat snuggled up to each other.

    While listening to the crackling sound of the burning fire.

    Together in our underwear.

    If I turn my neck around a bit, I can look over Sylphy's collarbone.

    If I look at her slightly wet underwear from above, I can see a cherry blossom colored, beautiful something flickering in the light.

    From that position.


    In the middle of that I suddenly opened my mouth.

    There was something I needed to ask.


    "Come to think of it, why is Sylphy dressing as a man... No, what happened after the teleport?"


    The reason why she was acting as a guard for princess Ariel.

    The reason why her hair turned white.

    The reason why she's hiding her identity.

    I didn't know if it was fine for me to ask.

    I need to at least try asking I'm sure.


    "Yeah, umm, I wonder where I should start talking from..."


    Sylphy started to tell me about it bit by bit.

    Starting from the training she did in Buina village.

    How she tried to learn my location from Zenith and Lilia and in reverse ended up being taught in healing magic and etiquette.

    How she made a pendant for my sake.


    "That means, this pendant was something handmade by Sylphy?"

    "That pendant, how do you have it?"


    The pendant was hidden within my clothes.

    I didn't like how Elinalise teased me that we matched after all.

    Though since we took off our clothes it's been exposed now.


    "Lilia was holding onto it. But, she never said anything about Sylphy."

    "I'm sure she thought I might be dead, so she kept quiet."

    "I see now."


    That is like how Lilia might try to be careful.

    After hearing it's an article of the deceased, whether it's good or bad, you can understand the decision.


    "Umm, is it fine for me to continue the story?"

    "Sorry-sorry, please do."


    Things that happened after the teleport, there's truly no way to call it other than full of ups and downs.

    Thrown into the sky, falling, and then a monster was there.

    Coincidentally saving the Ojou-sama, then becoming a guard.

    Before she realized it her hair had become pure white.

    Starting a painful life in a place where the sense of values were completely different.

    Being targeted by assassins in a political dispute, being pursued by the king. [61]

    Going on a journey with only those who weren't used to travel, occasionally being deceived, falling into a predicament.

    And then, while in the middle of a comeback attempt at Magic University.

    I appeared.


    "Even though we can say it can't be helped since I was in disguise [It's nice to meet you.] being told that was a shock you know."

    "Sorry. But, even Sylphy, if you had told me sooner, even I would have realized it."

    "Ah..Th..that's right isn't it.. So..sorry, that I didn't say it.. I'm sorry about that.. I'm very sorry.."


    Sylphy continued to spill large drops of tears.

    In regards to this matter, I'm sure she worried about a variety of things as well.

    I understood from the talk just now that it was absolutely not that she didn't say it because she had some kind of evil intent.

    I have no intention to blame her.


    "From my side as well, that I didn't come around even after a year, I'm very sorry."


    Well, according to the story, it seems like she was trying to hide her identity as well and it seems Sylphy thought I completely forgot about her.

    If the case were to have been where I had forgotten about her, it would have simply resulted in her spreading her identity around.

    I was originally a person from the Boreas after all, there was the possibility that I was an enemy.

    I'm sure not saying it was the correct answer.


    And then, I think that during this past year I haven't shown a behavior of searching for Sylphy.

    If she didn't think that I was worried about her then it can't be helped if she couldn't break the ice.


    That's right, it couldn't be helped.

    A variety of circumstances were being a hindrance.


    In the end just like this, she revealed her identity after all, so I think that's fine.


    I embraced her shoulder.

    Sylphy leaned her head on my shoulder.

    Her shoulders are cold, if I don't get closer to them and warm them up.


    "And then, I wasn't able to gather my courage, but, somewhere in my heart I thought that keeping our current relationship would be fine to hope for."

    "Well, it wasn't a bad relationship after all."


    Recently it seems her impatience had come out.

    There's a gathering of bishojo in my surroundings.

    It seems that she thought if she doesn't do anything I might get taken away.


    Since I'm in the ED state, there was no need for that worry.

    No, for example if Nanahoshi had found me a medical treatment drug or something, I would have been grateful towards her, and finally might have been swayed towards her.


    And then, Sylphy carried out a variety of strategies.

    It seems that when she stayed over for the night the other day as well was one of those.

    Though it seems it ended in failure because I was too dense.


    "Rudi is really dense you know."

    "I have absolutely no words to retort that with."


    In the past I did swear in my heart to become the dense type though.

    I can't laugh if I'm already a dense type protagonist.

    Unexpectedly, if it gets mixed up with a variety of other circumstances, being faced with love, it's hard to realize.

    If I had been a bit more connected with my sexual desire, I might have realized it though...

    Unexpectedly, all of the dense type protagonists out there might have ED as well.


    "Then, this time I beautifully got caught in that plan is what you're saying."

    "So, sorry, it ended up in a shape kind of like I was deceiving you."

    "No, I'm sure it wouldn't have been any good if you hadn't gone this far in my case."


    If it had continued like that I'm sure I would have continued to tell myself that Fitts-senpai is a man forever.

    In the first place, it's suspicious whether I even remembered things about Sylphy.


    "Come to think of it, does princess Ariel know about this matter?"

    "She knows. Rather, Ariel-sama was the one thinking up the strategies."

    "I see."


    So my worries were unnecessary as well huh.

    If it was Sylphy acting on her own judgement, then after all I think it would have been better if she didn't know about it.

    Even though I say that, after all I guess it would be better for the existence known as [Fitts] to remain as [Fitts].


    "But, Ariel-sama worried over it considerably. [I can't understand Rudeus Greyrat's objective. I wonder what that guy is thinking.] like that. By no means, that, it seems that she couldn't have imagined that you came here for the sake of curing that."


    There was those sorts of rumors, but it seems that she didn't believe them.

    Reality is stranger than fiction.


    "However, since it's come down to it, would it be better for me to enter as one affiliated with princess Ariel I wonder?"


    I don't want to get involved with political disputes to the best of my ability though.

    However, if I were to be asked to lend my power to Sylphy, no matter how poor of an ability it would be I would lend my power.


    "When it comes to me, I'd like for you to lend us your power, but, Rudi, you don't want to get involved with Asura Kingdom right? In that case, it's fine for you not to overdo it."


    Sylphy said that and bashfully smiled.

    When she doesn't have the sunglasses on, her adorableness increases 100 times over.

    Since that's the case, it's hitting up my nether regions.

    Since I couldn't resist it, I licked her ear.


    "Hi...ah!?

    "Ah, excuse me."


    She raised her voice in surprise and my nether regions quickly cooled down.

    Somehow, I can't seem to control it.

    However, after all I'm relieved that there was a reaction.

    I can say that it's proceeding favorably towards recovery.

    It's thanks to Sylphy.


    "Thank you, Sylphy."

    "Eh? for what..?"


    Sylphy leaned her head.


    We couldn't do it until the end, but this is fine for now.

    I felt that way.



    ---Sylphy's Perspective---

    It was noon, three days after we returned to the Magic City Sharia.


    During those three days, I talked to Rudi about a variety of things.

    The majority of the things that Rudi has done until now.


    Because Rudi was thrown away by the Ojou-sama named Eris, it seems he bears a wound in his heart.

    Since then, supposedly he's ended up with that sort of feeling.


    I've heard a little bit of talk about the person named Eris Boreas Greyrat in the royal palace.

    It seems she's an uncontrollably violent child and she's a girl so reckless you wouldn't be able to think she's a human.

    After hearing about her from Rudi, she sounds a bit better than the image I have of her though...

    But, after she made it from Magic Continent to Asura Kingdom being protected, and then saying "I don't balance out with you", there's no way that's the case.


    If I ever meet her I'll absolutely give a word of complaint.

    After I said that to Rudi, with a pale face, I was told it would be better not to do it.

    It seems that Eris is really a strong girl.


    In my regard I found it a bit un-amusing.

    But...

    Still, thanks to it becoming like that, I was able to reunite with Rudi.

    It's not all bad things.


    ...Huh?

    Didn't Rudi say he came here to investigate the teleport incident?


    ....Well, it's fine for him to have two objectives.


    We came up to the school gate of the Magic University.

    I had already returned to my usual appearance.

    The appearance of [Fitts].


    "Umm, for the time being, I'm going to where Ariel-sama is to report."

    "Yes. Ummm... from here on out as well, I'm in your care."


    While making a bitter smile Rudi lowered his head.

    After hearing the words "I'm in your care."

    And thinking about the meaning of those words.

    I could feel myself getting red all the way to my ears.

    My face is hot.


    "Ah, yeah. Me..me as well, please take good care of me."


    With this we're officially going out.

    ...Is what I think is fine to say right.


    I'm happy.

    My heart feels light.

    I guess this is what it feels like to soar.


    Since I have to report to Ariel-sama, I head towards the student council room.

    Since it's lunch break right now, Ariel-sama should be in the student council room.


    I think about various things while walking.

    The things I want to do with Rudi are various.

    For example, going to town together to shop.

    Ah, but since I have to remain in the appearance of a boy, people might look at Rudi with weird eyes.

    Bu..but, that's unrelated isn't it.

    Yeah, as long as you have love.


    However, speaking of men, when it comes to ascertaining their love they desire your body right.

    That's right, Luke said it.

    If there's no connection between your bodies, one day your hearts will separate as well.


    But, it seems like my body was no good for Rudi after all...


    Wh..what should I do.

    After seeing Sylphy who returned with a stiff face, Ariel sighed.


    (I guess it was still no good after all.)


    After all, I guess we were overdoing it this time, Ariel was reflecting on it.

    During the time when I was thinking about it, I thought it was a perfect strategy, but if I think really really well it seems like an impossible story.

    Who would, even under the danger of freezing to death, forcefully strip someone else's clothes off I wonder.


    Well then, what to do now.

    According to the promise she would be prohibited from meeting Rudeus though.

    That was just a means to make sure she wouldn't self destruct.

    I think there should be some method or another to do it, but I can't think of the method.


    "Sylphy, for the time being please calm down and make the report."


    Luke entered as the timely help when Ariel was hesitating.

    First we need to listen to the story.


    "Ah, yeah. As a matter of fact, the plan that Ariel-sama thought of making worked well."


    Ariel was surprised over those words.

    However, she didn't let that out in her voice.

    As royalty she had received training in order to keep her inner thoughts from showing. [62]


    "I see. In any case, your expression doesn't seem to match that though?"

    "Yeah, it's about that though."

    "Excuse me, hearing the reason after is fine, so first start with the report."

    "Ah, yes."


    Ariel calmly listened to the report from Sylphy.

    How she carried out everything according to the plan.

    The two entered the cave and how everything went according to schedule.

    They conveyed their feelings to each other in front of the fire.

    While talking about that Sylphy seemed absolutely happy and that threw Ariel's heart into confusion.

    Then what was no good about it?

    Ariel's confusion was finally released when she heard about the occurrence of the problem that came up at the very end.


    "And then Rudi was, that is, feeling down. It seems the reason he came to the Magic University as well was to look for a treatment method for that."

    "What did you say!?"

    "Eh? No, that's why, umm, he came here for a cure to his impotency."

    "No, excuse me, I lost myself a bit there."


    Ariel was surprised.

    She unintentionally let her voice out.


    She had heard that there were such rumors out there.

    However, she never could have imagined that was really the case.

    What did he think could be done about that, by entering the Magic University?

    Even though this is a place where people learn magic, it's not a place to cure an illness.


    "I see. In any case, to be useless when the time comes down to it. It seems like I underestimated the man known as Rudeus a bit. I did think he was dense, but I never thought he was a man who would shame a woman who gathers her courage."


    Ariel said that for the sake of keeping her heart peaceful.

    It wasn't her true intention.

    I'm sure Sylphy feels offended.

    In order to apologize for that and calm her, she tried to protect her heart.

    It was just that much.

    However, that would end in failure.


    "Ariel-sama, that is saying too much."


    The one who said it in a aggravated tone was Luke who had remained silent until now.


    "Men occasionally have times when there's nothing they can do about it. It's not like Rudeus didn't embrace Sylphy because he doesn't like her. Rather, in my opinion, I can finally comprehend the reason why he was so quiet up until now."


    Luke is a laid back man, but he never carelessly makes comments towards Ariel.

    Occasionally there are times when he gives good advice, but he's not the type to deny something head on.

    As a lady-killer, that he's a man who is sweet to women is a part of it as well.

    That is, even more so in regards to Ariel for him to use this much of a strong tone and manner of speaking, it's something that never happened until now.

    Ariel received that almost like receiving the impact from being hit.


    "Lu..Luke???"

    "Sylphy, please wait a bit, I have something to give you. Ariel-sama, please excuse me."


    After Luke said that he left the student council room with a quick pace.

    While continuing to see his back off Ariel raised her eyebrows.


    "I'm very sorry about that, it was an improper use of words."

    "No, it's fine. But, for Luke to say something like that, it's unusual."


    Sylphy is surprised over Luke's behavior as well.

    After all, it seems there's various things between men and women.


    "However, if it comes down to that then it's very troubling."

    "Yeah. What should I do Ariel-sama?"


    Ariel was coming to a bit of a misunderstanding at this time.

    Rather than trying to succeed with the sex, Sylphy was worried about their bonds becoming loose because of that. [63]

    However, Ariel thought about it like this.


    (Sylphy, so you want to do it with Rudeus that much?)


    If, Ariel had really understood Sylphy's feelings then.

    It could be said that she might not have said something like that.

    However, Ariel's thoughts were slipping into a bit of a different direction.


    What she was trying to remember were the ways she was taught to cure impotency in Asura Kingdom.

    Among royalty, in the case where you marry into some place, you have no choice other than to have children.

    Then it was a method to deal with the case if your partner was impotent, she was remembering it.

    Anyway since it was from a time when she was still young and Ariel wasn't listening to it seriously, but there were a number of memories still remaining.


    "How about having him drink alcohol."


    The impetus of alcohol.


    And then Sylphy did as Sylphy does and remembered the things from the other day. [64]

    Rudi's appearance when he was having a drinking bout with Zanoba and the others in the dining hall.

    That time, Rudi hadn't been drinking, but Badigadi was in good humor.


    "I see now, I'll try it and see."


    Two women with no experience.

    They started to make a plan to use the momentum of alcohol in order to push down a single man.


    Third phase, No, fourth phase of the plan.

    It's a plan to get Rudeus drunk and all at once draw him into that mood.

    It's a sloppy plan as usual. After all it's something a superficially knowledgeable SM princess thought up. [65]


    "...Then, say it's hot and expose a bit of the area around your shoulders."

    "Will it work with that?"

    "I'm sure it'll be alright. Since Sylphy is cute. As long as there's the trigger, after that it would be good to have some kind of decisive line to say."


    By the time Luke returned, he heard some extent of the aim of that plan.

    For several seconds he silently listened to the idiotic meeting behind his two allies.

    Where's the idiot who would say it's hot in winter and show their skin, is what he was thinking, but he didn't retort it.

    He did retort on a more fundamental point.


    "With Sylphy's body, seduction is impossible."

    "Uuu..."


    Sylphy lost her words.

    Ariel sent a threatening gaze.


    "What is it Luke, that way of talking, she's troubled over it."

    "...Ariel-sama, among the Notos Greyrat blood relatives there's been a tendency for attraction towards females with large chests for generations. In reality, I can't even feel even a small bit of attraction towards Sylphy."


    Notos Greyrat love huge breasts.

    You could say this is common knowledge among the nobles of Asura Kingdom.

    There are others like, "Boreas loves beasts" that are known though.

    In any case, it's common knowledge.


    "Th..then, are you saying that it's pointless for me to try and seduce him?"

    "Yeah, it's pointless."


    After being told it was pointless, as expected even Sylphy would feel a bit hurt.

    If she's told it normally it doesn't bother her at all, but right now is a time when she doesn't have any faith in her own charm at all.


    "However."


    Then Luke passed the small bottle in his hands to Sylphy.

    It was a small bottle, the size that fits in the palm of your hand.


    "If you have him drink this then it'll be alright."


    Sylphy made a confused face and looked at the small bottle.

    Ariel took a peek at it as well.


    "Luke, what is this?"

    "An aphrodisiac."

    "Aphrodisiac!?"


    Luke deeply nodded.


    "In the past, it's something that was made in Fedoa region. It's something made from the petals of the Batirusu flower and the town mayor of Roa had a monopoly on the purification method. Currently since it's not in production and because the formula is a mystery, it's rare. Its cost is said to exceed 100 gold coins on the high end."


    Incidentally, during the time when Luke purchased a single bottle it was 15 Asura Gold Coins.

    He bought five of those and among them used two for times when he was in bad condition.

    The effect is guaranteed.


    "I thought to use it as a treasure fund if the time ever came to it, but Sylphy, I'll give it to you."

    "Luke, this kind of expensive thing...is it fine?"

    "Of course."


    Luke nodded, and told Sylphy about a number of points to be cautious on.

    If you use it, then the man will lose their distinction. [66]

    If you think you can't keep up with your partner's pace then you drink it as well.

    Most likely, just like that you'll be able to experience a sweet first experience just like you imagine it. [67]


    "Luke..Thank you."

    "It's no problem. I've had my life saved by you a number of times after all."


    Sylphy and Luke.

    There was a strange friendship between them.

    And then, there was a single person who wanted to enter as allies with them.


    "The two of you sure do get along together well. Then I as well."


    While making a beautiful smile as if she were the goddess of love Ariel handed Sylphy some money.

    It was Asura gold coins.

    The amount was only two coins, but if you have just this much, you can buy most things in this city.


    "Th..this is Ariel-sama's money right?"

    "That's right. It's my portion for this month."


    Ariel and the others have performed fund raising since coming to the Magic University, so they have a considerable amount of money.

    But, that is capital for actions hereafter.

    The money that each individual can use for themselves is also separate.

    Ariel realized that her own and Luke's sense for money was twisted so she put a restriction on it.


    "If we've come this far, this is the only thing I have left to grant to you."

    "No, I'm very sorry for troubling you, Ariel-sama."

    "Fu...as expected of Ariel-sama."


    The three were drunk on themselves.

    Intoxicated by their unity.

    Youth is that sort of thing.

    And then, their enemy is just a single person.

    It's Rudeus Greyrat.


    "Then, I'll carry it out."


    Sylphy left the student council room with the face of a warrior.

    Her aim was the commerce district of the city.

    The liquor store.


    "Well then, shall we go as well?"

    "Yes."


    After seeing off Sylphy, the two left the student council room.

    Lunch break had already long since ended.


    ---Sylphy's Point of View---


    The time proceeded to night.


    I bought two of what I believe to be this country's highest grade strong alcohol.

    I don't understand the types of alcohol very well.

    I've never drank any.

    I don't know Rudi's tastes either.

    However, I had the confidence that the most expensive kind would be alright.


    I took the opportunity to buy some underwear as well.

    It's brand new.

    I don't know Rudi's tastes.

    This wasn't just expensive, I chose a cute one.

    It's a bit different from Ariel-sama's preference, it's the kind I like.

    I knew the shop assistant-san made a surprised face.

    It's not because a person who has the appearance of a man came to buy underwear for a woman, it's because it's a different preference than usual.

    Since Ariel-sama comes to buy it in the appearance of "Fitts" after all.

    Therefore, the upper part isn't the usual "Basque of Steel Silkworm Thread."


    And then inside the pocket of my uniform, that aphrodisiac is included.


    "Alright."


    It's perfect.


    "Su~...Wa~..."


    A deep breath.


    (Mother and Father in heaven, finally today Sylphiette is going to become an adult.)


    After gathering my resolve I knock on the door.

    Around this time, Rudi might have already gone to Zanoba-kun's place.

    No, if I remember correctly he said he was going to rest for today since we just returned from the journey.

    Okay, okay.


    "Yes..oh, Sylphy..Fitts-senpai. Please, come inside."


    Rudi opened the door and after seeing my face he was surprised.

    Just as I was told I entered Rudi's room.

    I closed the door behind me and locked it.


    "What is it?"


    After entering the room, Rudi asked me with a gentle tone in his voice.

    Since he's tired from the journey for today, he plans to take it slow and easy, I think that was how it was supposed to be.


    "Umm, I've come over to stay the night."

    "....Ah, ye, yeah. Well, sit down."


    It seemed like Rudi wanted to say something, but he swallowed his words and offered me a seat.

    A bit dispirited, he was making a bit of a disappointed face.

    I wonder if I intruded on something?

    It's alright isn't it?


    I sat down on the chair and took off my sunglasses.

    After that I took the two bottles of alcohol from my bag and put them on top of the table.

    In regards to snacks, I made a bit of trifling cooking and brought it along.

    I seasoned, salted, and fried a variety of different nuts.

    Just in case it occurs that they don't match with Rudi's tastes I brought some smoked meat as well.


    "That is?"

    "Umm, look, for the time being, that is, I thought we should celebrate our reunion."

    "..Ah, I see. If we don't do something like that..."


    Rudi was scratching his cheek and sat on a chair himself.

    And then at this point I realized that there were no cups.

    Oh no!

    It's not like we can just drink it straight from the bottle.

    What should I do, should I return to get some...


    "It's fine, I have something like cups."


    It seems it was showing on my face.

    Rudi made a bitter smile and picked up some cups from a shelf on the side of the room.

    They were grey cups. The surface is smooth.

    I guess the material would be stone. They're just a bit heavy.

    Excluding the weight, it looks like something that wouldn't be strange for the nobles of Asura to be using.


    "It's an expensive cup isn't it."

    "It's a cup I made. With earth magic. The cost is priceless." [68]

    "Ah, is that how it is. He~, that's amazing."


    So it's Rudi's own work, then I can understand it.

    While thinking that, I broke the seal on the alcohol and poured the contents.

    It was pretty amber colored liquid that filled the cup.

    Rudi narrowed his eyes as he watched that.


    "It seems like considerably strong alcohol."

    "Yeah. I don't know very much about alcohol, but I bought the expensive kind."

    "Is that alright?"

    "Hn? Yeah, it's aright. Since today is a celebration."


    I'm sure he's worried about the price.

    I'll stay quiet about how I received money from Ariel-sama.

    Rudi is always mindful over those sorts of things after all.


    After pouring the alcohol I prepared the snacks to go with them.

    Alright, it's perfect.

    Umm, the medicine is for a bit later in the plan was it?


    "Well then, now, let's toast. To the reunion of us two from Buina Village of the Fedoa Region."

    "..And then, to Sylphy and my future."

    "Ch..cheers!"


    Awuu.

    Future he says.

    Rudi occasionally says those sorts of amazingly embarrassing things...

    Uuu...


    I felt my face getting hot as I filled my mouth full of the alcohol from the cup.


    "..!![Cough]!![Cough]!!"


    I choked.

    Wh..what is it this!

    Painful, the inside of my mouth hurts!


    "Are you alright? After all, wouldn't it be better to dilute it?"

    "Dilute it?"

    "When it comes to these kinds of strong alcohol, it's fine to dilute them with cold or hot water."


    Is that how it is, I didn't know.

    Rudi made a bitter smile while giving of an "it can't be helped" kind of feel.


    "I can't help it can I, I've never drank anything like alcohol up until now you know."

    "No, I'm not blaming you, just wait a bit."


    While saying that Rudi poured some of the contents of my cup into his own, then poured warm water in my cup.

    With chantless magic that is.

    From my cup there was vapor from steam rising from it.


    "Please try it."


    I timidly tried to drink what was offered.

    Then the way too strong scent from just now that was remaining in my mouth was washed away.

    And then, a scent with a tender feeling wafted deep into my nose.

    Ah, it might be delicious.


    "Come to think of it, the trigger that lead to me learning magic from Rudi was hot water wasn't it."

    "Was that how it was?"

    "Geez, did you forget? Look, you used chantless melded magic and Rudi said something unreasonable."


    How nostalgic.

    Rudi used chantless and melded magic like there was nothing to it, but even now I can't do that.

    Though given a time difference I can reach the same result.

    Rudi is skillful.


    "Yeah, that sure is nostalgic."

    "Yeah."


    After that, we talked about stories of the past cheerfully. [69]

    While my memories from Buina Village are all hazy.

    But, when you let them out in words, any number of them end up coming out.


    Those days already won't return.

    Buina Village has disappeared.

    That hill where we played is still there, but that tree disappeared.

    Those times were good.

    Without thinking about anything, playing together while practicing magic.

    I was so happy that everyday went well.

    Even now I still feel that way though, but the thoughts about using it in actual combat have become stronger.


    While we were talking the area around my head started to feel a bit fluffy.

    I wonder if this is intoxication.


    "Oh, this is no good, before I forget about it."


    After I said that I took out the small bottle from my pocket.

    I slowly placed that on top of the table.

    Rudi tilted his head.


    "That is?"

    "Umm, that is, it's medicine that will be effective on Rudi's that."


    I worried over how to get Rudi to drink the aphrodisiac.

    I thought it might be fine to secretly mix it with the alcohol, but I decided not to do it because it felt like I was deceiving Rudi.

    Even though I say that, saying that I prepared an aphrodisiac, I won't really like it if he has some kind of weird misunderstanding.

    That's why, I used the word medicine to refer to it.

    An aphrodisiac is medicine after all, there's no mistake.


    "Is that so... it looks like something I've seen somewhere."

    "Ye..yeah. I'd like you to try drinking it."


    After I said that Rudi laughed lonesomely.

    Until now, it seems he's tried various things like this, but all of them were no good, it was a smile that said something like that.

    However, he drank it without saying anything.

    This sort of poisonous pink colored fluid, I wonder what he plans to do if it's poison.

    That just means he trusts in me that much right?


    Rudi drank about a third of the contents of the bottle all at once.

    I forgot to say how much you're supposed to drink.


    "This, is it alright to drink it together with alcohol?"

    "Umm, he did say it was fine to mix them. Ah, also it seems to have quite the immediate effect."


    While I said that I took off my coat.

    With this, all that's left is just my shirt and underwear.

    It's a bit chilly.

    According to Luke, even without showing my shoulders, it seems this much is plenty.


    "I..if it takes effect, yo..you, don't need to endure it you know."


    Rudi's eyebrows moved in response.

    I knew that his gaze was carefully gathering on the nape of my neck and chest.

    He's looking at me.

    I'm embarrassed.

    Right now, I'm seducing him right. Rudi.

    Uwuu..he won't think that I'm indecent right?

    It'll be alright won't it.


    Somehow, I'm the one that's starting to feel nervous.

    Even though I'm drinking alcohol.

    Even though I was supposed to be using the momentum of getting drunk.


    I wonder if it's not enough.

    ..Al..alright.


    I decided my feelings and stretched my hand to the small bottle.


    "Sylphy you're drinking it as well?"


    Rudi's bewildered voice.

    I took a gulp of the pink fluid inside the small bottle.

    It was thick and a bit bitter.

    That bitterness, almost as if washing away the alcohol, I continued to drink it.

    I felt like it was getting hot inside my stomach.


    In order to falsify that I stretched my hand out to the nuts and nibbled at one of them.

    After crunching away at three of them, I drank even more alcohol.

    After one cup my vision was in the sky.


    "If you drink at too quick of a pace, you might end up feeling bad."

    "Yeah, but somehow, I'm a bit tense."

    "I see. Well, it is your first time drinking alcohol after all."


    While saying that Rudi was taking small sips of the contents of his cup.

    Since his isn't diluted, it doesn't seem like he can drink it all at once.

    Rudi took the alcohol bottle in his hand and poured some into my cup.

    Then he diluted it with hot water.


    "..."

    "..."


    A short while after that, together the two of us silently drank and ate.

    The smoked meat was salted strongly so it wasn't very tasty, but for some reason my hand wouldn't stop.

    After a short while my body started to get hot.

    The area between my thighs was itching for something.

    It's working.


    I wonder about Rudi's side.

    He looks the same as always.

    He's as attractive as always.

    He looks more attractive than usual.

    My eyes are proceeding to the places where I don't normally look.

    Like his neck and his lips.

    It's somehow ecchi.


    Rudi's face seems to be a bit red.

    Our eyes met.

    Rudi has been staring in my direction since a while ago.


    "...."


    He's staring at me.

    I'm being watched.

    Since just now our eyes keep meeting.

    Am I thinking too much, it seems like Rudi's breathing has been getting a bit rough.


    "Fu....Ha..."


    No, this rough breathing is coming from me.

    How disgraceful.

    But, I guess it can't be helped since I drank the aphrodisiac.

    Since a while ago my head has been all dizzy.

    It can't be helped. That's right. It can't be helped.


    My body is hot.

    I unbuttoned the top button of my shirt and exposed my chest.

    Even though it's supposed to be chilly. It's hot.

    I knew that Rudi's gaze was on my hands.

    I'm already not embarrassed.


    I leaned my cup.

    The warm alcohol fell inside, the warmth was coming to me.

    After the second cup my vision went to the sky.

    I stretched my hand out to the alcohol bottle.

    That hand was caught.


    "..Ah."


    Rudi was holding onto my hand.

    I felt a strong will being conveyed like he was saying he would never let go of my hand.

    Of course, I have no intention of running away.


    "..Sylphy."


    Rudi was looking at me with strong eyes.

    Rudi stood up.

    With my hand still held he circled around the table, he came right next to me.

    And then, with a bit of restraint he pulled on my hand.

    I followed along with that without resisting and stood up.

    And then said it.


    "You..you can't endure it?"

    "..."


    Rudi nodded silently.

    He put his hands around my hips and started rubbing above my butt.

    He embraced me tightly.

    I felt something hard press against me.


    Th..the plan has succeeded.

    Alright. Now should be good.

    I said the decisive words that Ariel-sama thought up for the plan.


    "The..then, please. Please eat me all up."


    The instant I said that.

    I was thrown on top of the bed and pushed down.


    And then...


    ---Rudeus's Point of View---


    I opened my eyes.

    I could see the roof of the upper bunk bed.


    I remember very well what happened last night.

    I thought we were drinking alcohol, then I suddenly reached a level of restlessness that I couldn't endure and just like that attacked Sylphy.

    I'm sure it was that the medicine Sylphy was using worked.

    To think there was such a medicine out there...

    However, I really do feel like I've seen it somewhere...

    ..Ah, I remember.

    That was, the aphrodisiac being sold by the peddler in the Town of Roa.


    Almost as if it was a wonder drug, my son went flying out of the room, it was almost to the point I felt like I lost myself.


    I thought the last of it had already melted and evaporated.

    As expected of 10 gold coins.


    However.

    I'm afraid to look next to me.


    My reason has already been blown away, but I still firmly remembered the contents of the deed.

    Sylphy was trying desperately to respond to me, but it seems it hurt.

    It was her first time.


    However, Sylphy bravely received me.

    Even though she was clearly overdoing it, she kept repeating to me, "I'm alright", "I love you", "It feels good."


    In contrast with me I was absolutely running wild.

    I didn't have enough composure to be considerate of Sylphy.

    Sylphy's voice whispering in my ear was arousing me, I went at her with all of my desire without a thought of restraint.


    In my long life, it's the deed I've finally done twice.

    I had absolutely no confidence that I could do it well.

    More than the first time, it was definitely terrible.


    That's right, even more than that time.

    That time, Eris wasn't beside me.


    ".."


    I slowly shifted my gaze to the side.

    And then.


    Our eyes met.


    "Good morning, Rudi."


    Sylphy was there facing me with a shy smile.


    I slowly stretched out my hand.

    I was checking to make sure she was really there.

    I tried caressing her head.

    Sylphy closed her eyes, it looked like she was comfortable being caressed.

    Her hair was short but it was silky.


    Just like that I moved my hand and moved from her nape to her shoulder.

    It's a slender shoulder.

    It seems like it might break at any time.


    And then, my hand moved even further from there.

    I groped her chest.


    "Hi..ah! Wai, Rudi??"


    Sylphy was surprised and sent a look of protest.

    However, she didn't resist, with her face red she accepted it.

    Sylphy's modest chest is truly with the feeling of the symbol of neediness, and there was frankly nothing to grope.

    However, the characteristic of breasts their softness existed there.

    For the first time in a while the bald old man appeared with his thumb standing up inside my head and said, "It's not just about the highs and lows right?"

    Thank you, oppai-sennin. It's been a while.


    Sylphy was certainly there.

    And then, I was deeply moved by the softness of her chest and then my memorial stone was standing tall.

    It was made to stand tall.

    Heroically, standing tall.


    I was convinced.


    "I'm cured."


    Unable to stand it I embraced Sylphy.

    Strongly, strongly embraced her.

    The tears came flowing out. [70]


    "Umm, Rudi... that is, how was it..my body wasn't strange right?"


    Sylphy asked that while being bewildered.

    After remembering last night, you should quickly realize that such worries are unnecessary.


    "Thank you."


    I just said a word of thanks.

    Just, just, I had nothing to say but my thanks.

    The embarrassment filled my chest and took control of it, so it seemed like I might say something weird.


    For example, it was a wonderful tea party. [71]

    For example, thank you for the delicious meal.

    For example, you're completely the cutest.


    Right now, I didn't want to say such words while joking around.

    I just silently embraced her and said my thanks.


    ---


    Just like this, my long and harsh lifestyle of fighting against an illness reached its end.


    And then, I gained an adorable lover.


    I'll protect Sylphy's honor. [72]


    I think that while looking at the red stain remaining on the sheet.

    Sylphy gave something extremely important to me and saved me.

    I want to grant her everything she wishes.

    I thought that while using a knife to cut out the portion of the sheet where the red stain remained.


    However, after remembering it, Sylphy has not told me what she expects from the future.

    If I'm not being overly self-conscious, then the feeling that she wants to be together with me has been conveyed.

    However, she never put that into words.


    It could be that she's concerned with her job as a guard for princess Ariel.

    After all, it seems like there's a necessity to talk with princess Ariel for once.


    The cut off piece of the sheet was placed in a small box that I made with earth magic and left in the shrine.

    I put my hands together in prayer.


    Finally, I feel like I've returned to being a person.


    I showed my face in the once in a month homeroom.

    Same as always, Nanahoshi was nowhere to be seen.


    "Good morning, Shisho."

    "Good morning, Grand Master."


    Zanoba and Julie were lined up as they greeted me.

    I just thought it, but Julie is fairly cute.

    I think she was seven years old this year.

    She's still far from my strike zone, but her long flowing, orange colored hair is cute.

    I brush her head.

    Julie looked up at me surprised, then quickly after she casted her eyes downwards, her body started trembling.

    It seems she's still afraid.

    Even though I don't plan to take her and eat her alive. [73]


    "Good morning, Zanoba, Julie."


    After I greeted them, Zanoba tilted his head and said, "Oh?"


    "Shisho, did something good happen?"

    "Yes?"


    So he realized it.

    Zanoba was worried about it normally after all.

    I'd like to report it to him soon, but saying that my ED is completely cured, how I go about saying it is difficult.

    I can't speak of Sylphy's identity.

    If I were to say that Fitts-senpai helped me out with it, they might come to some kind of strange misunderstanding.


    While I was thinking that, I went towards my seat.


    "Oh, boss, good morning nya."

    "Good morning-nano, mogumogu."


    Rinia and Pursena were sitting the same as always.

    Rinia was sitting with those young and lustrous legs on top of the desk, Pursena had that voluptuous flesh packed tightly into her uniform as she stiffly chewed the dried meat.


    Thinking back to it, I've already confirmed the growth of these two's gigantic peaks, pulled down their wet panties, and had a look at the Utopia hidden underneath haven't I.

    After thinking that, somehow these two look a bit more charming...


    "Nya!?"

    "Fakku-nano??"


    When I got near them, the two suddenly held down their noses stood up and moved away from me.

    It's a bit of a shock.

    Is it that, that one scent.

    I've finally revived for the first time in several years.

    It's a refreshing feeling like wearing new underwear for the first in three years.

    Certainly, the scent of sexual excitement must be pretty intense as well.


    "What should we do-nano. The boss has finally reached the end of his patience."

    "Didn't you have an illness nya?"

    "It's because of my charm-nano, I'm a sinful woman-nano."

    "Th..then Pursena become the sacrifice nya. Leave things about our home town to me nya."

    "No..actually he might be craving for Rinia."

    "If..if you become the woman of the boss the world might be in your hands you know nya.. you can eat all the meat you want everyday nya."

    "...It..it can't be helped, it's for the sake of protecting Rinia-nano."


    It seems after they finished their conversation, Pursena came before me after gathering her resolve.

    And then, she blinked her eyes all lovely-like and pushed out her chest putting emphasis on it.


    "Uffun-nano, I'd like you to treat me preciously...ah ouch!!"


    I chopped her.

    I felt like I was being made fun of.

    What do you mean Uffun.


    "Well, please take a seat. I won't take you and eat you whole." [74]


    After saying that, Pursena curled up her tail while holding her head and sat next to me.

    Not proceeding to a place where my hands can't reach, how unusual.

    In reverse Rinia slowly walked up and sat in somewhat of a place my hands couldn't reach.

    This side is being unusually cautious.

    The usual distance has been reversed.


    "Rudeus, what's going on? You look different than usual."


    Cliff tilted his head as well.

    I thought I was acting as I normally do, but I wonder if it's that different.

    After all, when a man has something shaved off, he appears different on the outside.

    No-no, it's not like it was my first time after all.


    "How am I different?"

    "Somehow... you're overflowing with self-confidence... is how you look."


    After sending a glance towards Zanoba, he nodded as well.

    Self-confidence.

    After hearing such words, I remembered the words of the Human God [Hitogami].

    You'll recover your self-confidence as a man.

    So it's like this huh.

    I can't really feel the difference, but I guess I look different when looking from outside huh.


    "Everyone, thank you very much until now. I can't say the details, but the other day, that has been cured."


    After declaring that everyone raised their voices with an "Ohhhh."

    Zanoba nodded as if he was convinced of it and Cliff patted my shoulder.

    Rinia and Pursena were exchanging looks, Julie tilted her head with a face like she didn't really get it.


    "In any case, congratulations, isn't it."

    "Right. Congratulations, Shisho."

    "Congratulations-nano." "Congratulations nya."


    For some reason I received an applause.

    It's certainly something happy for me, but it's somehow a bit embarrassing.

    It's almost like the end of the story.

    As a matter of fact these congratulations I'm being told, they better not be just before I'm about to die.


    "But, if boss has been cured then it's a crisis nya. The chastity of all the female students is in danger nya."


    Rinia brought up such an impolite thing.


    "That's rude. I'm a gentleman you know."


    I won't lay my hands on anyone other than Sylphy.

    And then here I once again made my determination as such.

    After homeroom, I went to the staff member's room.

    I need to apply for supplementary lessons for the days missed on the journey the other day.


    After I went into the staff member's room, the atmosphere suddenly trembled.

    After all, looking from outside, it seems like people feel something has changed.

    It's a bit embarrassing almost as if everyone already knows I've done it with Sylphy.


    Just as I was thinking that, Vice Principal Jinas called out to me.


    "Rudeus-san, has something happened?"

    "Just a problem I have been troubled over for these past three years has been resolved and I'm feeling refreshed."

    "I see, that is excellent."


    Vice Principal Jinas nodded.

    And then made a bitter smile.


    "Since it comes down to that, could it be, you're thinking of leaving this University?"

    "Eh?"


    I tilted my head after hearing Vice Principal Jinas's words.

    However, after thinking about it.

    Certainly, I've achieved my original objective for entering this University.

    I did come for that sake.

    Now that I've achieved that, in order to reunite with my family, wouldn't it be better to go to Begaritto...


    However, in this past year, a variety of other things have happened.

    I met Zanoba, purchased Julie,

    Got along together with Rinia and Pursena,

    And made a connection with Cliff as well.


    And then Nanahoshi.

    I have the feeling there was some kind of meaning to my meeting with her.

    To the point where I think that the Human God [Hitogami] had me come here for the sake of encountering her.

    In his regards, my reunion with Sylphy might have just been an occasion.


    However, the most important one for me is Sylphy.

    Now that I know she's here, I can't very well leave.

    I want to be here to protect her if the time ever comes to it as well.

    If it comes to being the guard of a princess, then I'm sure there will be dangerous things as well.

    Even with my poor ability I want to be her strength.


    However, if I remember correctly, princess Ariel is currently a fifth year student.

    I wonder what she's going to do after graduation.

    Well, I'm sure she'll remain here until graduation.


    For the time being, I do send letters to Paul and the others at a fixed period.

    I have no way of checking if they've reached them though...

    However, it's been a year since then.

    If I were to start moving now, the probability of differences in the situation coming up are high.


    It would be amateurish to quickly change my plan when it might not provide any significant result.

    ...Is what the resourceful salary-man who can get over 30 new contracts in single day once said.

    I should still wait for now.


    "No, I don't know if I'll remain here until I graduate, but I think I'll remain enrolled for several more years."

    "I see, that is excellent."


    The Vice Principal made a bitter smile.

    I wonder if he's happy or unhappy.

    It's a bitter smile I can't really figure out.

    Nanahoshi was the same as always.

    She probably never had any consideration for me in the first place.

    Our conversations were always minimal.


    When I talk with her there are times when I can feel the generation gap in our conversation.

    The other day as well, when I brought up the topic of a certain female middle school student who changed with the moon and goes out to punish evil-doers, she tilted her head and said, "What is that?"

    It seems the recent young ones don't know the legend of the moonlight. [75]

    In our generation even if you've never seen it you should at least know the name.


    However, if they aren't an otaku, I guess that also can't really be helped.

    I thought that, but it seems while it's not at the level of a heavy otaku like me, she still has read some amount of manga and light novels.

    Even though she's such a child, she still doesn't know.

    Since that was the case, I thought maybe it could be that she didn't know the story about collecting the seven balls of the dragon and asked, but it seems she knows that one.


    During the time we were in our old world Nanahoshi was 17 years old in comparison to my 34 years old.

    There's a difference of two times. Presently it's even further apart.

    It can't really be helped.


    It's certainly a generation gap.

    If I think about the broadcasting period then I guess it's only natural, but when I tried to talk to her about it in reality, she was confused.


    It's because she's such a Nanahoshi.

    That might be why I let my mouth slide.


    "Nanahoshi-san if you were to go out with someone, what would you wish for from that partner."


    Nanahoshi's hand slipped as she was writing.

    And then she crumpled up the paper she was writing on into a circle and threw it away.


    "What are you suddenly bringing up? Love talk?"

    "Something similar."

    "You know, I want to hurry up and return. Won't you please take this seriously? You're always, always talking about nothing but idle chatter, if you were to shut up and move your hands, the efficiency would go up that much you know?"


    She was saying something like this, but I know Nanahoshi doesn't particularly hate idle chat.

    Actually, up until now she's always worked while talking about things bit by bit unless it was something very terrible.

    The fact that she's suddenly using this way of talking means.


    "Nanahoshi-san is that... a person with no experience in love?"

    "..Cheh!!"


    She grandly clicked her tongue at me.


    "Even I have a person I like. We fought, though it was just that.."


    Come to think of it, I believe Nanahoshi was summoned right in the middle of a lover's quarrel wasn't she.

    I guess she liked one of those two, or else, she couldn't pick either of them and it had become a reverse harem situation, though I don't really know.

    Whether it be apologizing or continuing the fight, it is certain that she has to return first.


    Come to think of it, I wonder if the probability is high that those two were summoned as well.

    Since I haven't heard any rumors outside of Nanahoshi, I think the probability that they didn't come is high as well.

    Although, if you were to be thrown into this world without magic power, for a high school student to survive without help from anyone is...

    No, this isn't something I should say to her.


    Possibly, Nanahoshi might have already considered something like that.

    That the only reason she managed to survive this far was because her luck was good.

    And then, what would have happened if her luck had been bad.


    Nanahoshi bent her mouth into the character へ and responded. [76]


    "A person you like... normally you would be happy just by being together with them."


    It seemed heart-breaking.

    It would have been better if I hadn't asked.

    It became lunch break.

    I didn't go to the dining hall.

    I had things to do in a different place today.


    In the student council room.


    If I'm going to seriously go out with Sylphy, then I can't just continue to remain silent in front of them.

    They moved in order to bring Sylphy and I together.

    Therefore, in some sense, the permission is already in our hands.

    But, this needs to be done formally as well.


    The top floor of the school building.

    Furthest room inside.

    That just a bit extravagant door had the letters, "Student Council Room", carved into it.


    After knocking there.


    "Who is it!"


    It was Luke's voice.


    "It's Rudeus Greyrat. I've come to talk about recent matters."


    After responding like so, for an instant it went silent inside; after that I heard the sound of things somehow being hurried about.

    I guess it's because I came without an appointment.

    I might have done something bad.


    "Wa, enter!"


    It was Luke's voice.

    I opened the door and entered the room.


    Princess Ariel was sitting in an expensive looking chair.

    She had her pretty blonde hair in a weave.

    Her good looks were almost transparent.

    However, her figure was average for her age I'd say.

    Her muscle was the same as an average female, her chest wasn't big and wasn't small either.


    Standing fixed and upright on her sides were Luke and Sylphy with her sunglasses on.


    Sylphy is dignified while she's working.

    Crisply dressed, how do I put it she gives off the feeling of a trusted retainer.


    Her usual crybaby-like appearance is nowhere to be seen.

    It's also a bit different from the other slightly childish and frank image I hold.

    It's a cold-hearted impression.

    I see now, certainly in order for Sylphy to maintain this image it's better for her not to say anything. [77]


    "I'm very grateful for this meeting with you. I am the one called Rudeus Greyrat." [78]


    While speaking with an expression of gratitude in the noble style I kneel before Ariel and lower my head.

    I haven't properly learned etiquette towards royalty, but probably something along these lines would be good.


    "This isn't the royal palace. You and I are mutually both students. Please raise your head."


    I raised my head at princess Ariel's words.

    However, I remained kneeling.

    I can't afford to shame Sylphy after all.

    In front of my lover's boss, it's better to do it properly.


    "And then, what business does Rudeus-dono whose fame has roared throughout this school, come here for today?"


    When you listen to Ariel's voice it feels like it numbs the area around the top of your brain.

    It's a good sensation.

    I guess this would be a charismatic person.

    Or else, this person might be a miko as well.

    There is magic that works with the voice.

    It wouldn't be strange for there to be a miko who fascinates the other side with their voice.


    "I'm sure you've already heard various things from Sylphy...Sylphiette but...I've come here to talk a bit about things in regards to that matter."


    Ariel was wearing a bit of a serious face.

    From Sylphy I've heard a bit of the princess's expectations.

    Even after she was forced to make her escape to here, it seems she still hasn't given up on the crown.

    For that sake, she continues to attend this school, and she's trying to win over influential allies.


    "I've had Sylphy cure my illness. I've heard of your highness's collaboration with Sylphy in relation to that. Therefore, if there's some kind of opportunity where I can be of assistance to you, please call upon me."


    Ariel slowly listened to those words.

    And then she exchanged looks with Luke.

    Luke deeply nodded and opened his mouth.


    "We thought you wanted to avoid getting involved in the political strife of the Asura nobles though?"


    After being asked I had an immediate reply.


    "Certainly, I don't want to stick my neck in any political strife in Asura Kingdom. Someone like me would just be crushed like an insect after all. Although, if my loved one is going to be inside of that vortex, the story is different."


    While saying that I look at Sylphy.

    Her face is bright red.


    "During a time when Sylphy is on the verge of death, if I were living nonchalantly, that is something I would not stand for after all."

    "He~??"


    Ariel made a surprised face.

    Luke as well.

    I wonder if I said something weird.

    Luke opened his mouth.


    "Don't you have any kind of antagonism towards the Greyrat family? Uncle... Paul, the Notos family that he eloped from or the Boreas family that worked you hard.."

    "I did feel it was a bit disappointing that Sauros-sama was executed, but nothing in particular beyond that."


    Hn?

    Somehow right now, our conversation isn't really matching up.

    Well, in regards to that, I've already put it all in order inside of me.


    "After that there's just the degree of being hated by Luke-senpai."


    After saying that, Luke raised his eyebrows and said it.


    "That was because you're a dense bastard who doesn't understand the feelings of a woman."

    "In regards to that, I have no defense."


    After all, I didn't even realize Sylphy's gender for a year.

    It can't be helped if I'm called dense.

    The fact that I wasn't specifically trying to seek it out doesn't pass as an excuse.

    Even though she's that cute, I wonder why I never realized it.


    "Luke is a shitty bastard who plays around with the feelings of women after all."


    The one who absent-mindedly whispered that was Sylphy.

    Unexpectedly, she says some extreme things.

    I wonder if she's pretending to be innocent in front of me... that sort of thing is possible I guess.

    However, after thinking about it, Sylphy and Luke have always been allies these past six years.

    He's spent far longer of a period with Sylphy than me.

    Therefore, she has little restraint.

    I'm sure familiar words will come out.

    That makes me a bit jealous.


    "What's this, even though you don't have even a fragment of sex appeal, putting on airs of a complete woman?"

    "I properly have sex appeal, Rudi told me thank you... I have it right?"


    After saying that Sylphy looked at me seeking help.

    It would be fine for me to honestly reply that it's all good and well for me to enter their comic dialogue but...

    However, I feel a bit too withdrawn to say that in front of Ariel.

    While thinking that I send a glance towards the princess, she quietly opened her mouth.

    Suddenly I noticed it but she had bread crumbs on the side of her mouth.

    I guess they were in the middle of their meal.


    "Both of you please be silent for a bit."


    Sylphy and Luke shut their mouths.

    This as well seems to be the feel of their usual exchange.

    I can feel their term of service.


    "Rudeus Greyrat. If I were to borrow your power, it would be extraordinarily reassuring."

    "Thank you very much."

    "However..."


    There Ariel glanced at Sylphy.

    And then declared as if she had decided something.


    "I have no necessity for your power."

    "Wha!! What's th..that! Ariel-sama!"


    The one who raised their voice was Sylphy.

    Ariel continued as if to forestall her.


    "I would be troubled if you were to misunderstand, but Sylphy by no means got close to you aiming for your power."

    "Yes, there's no misunderstanding regarding that."


    I do feel like I had some kind of thoughts that Sylphy might have such ulterior motives though...

    It's fine, this is where I should honestly listen to Ariel's words.


    "I have only one thing to ask of you. Sylphy, my friend, please make her happy."


    I deeply nodded.

    It's something that doesn't even need to be said.


    "Yes, definitely."

    "You can say whatever you want in words but...first what do you intend to do?"

    "...."


    What do I intend to do about it, Ariel came out asking with an extremely strong tone.

    I kept my mouth shut.

    What do I intend to do huh, I came here because I don't know.


    No, let's stop with the excuse that I won't know.


    The way a man should take responsibility should be the same in all worlds.

    That's right, didn't Paul say something like that as well.

    In order to take responsibility, in Asura you need to prepare a house and find employment.


    "As I thought, it should be marriage."


    After I said that, Sylphy covered her mouth.

    Luke's fixed upright posture was destroyed and he started to stagger with a face like he received a shock.


    "I see. Splendid. As expected of the man I heard about from Sylphy, right, Rudeus-sama."


    Ariel nodded in satisfaction and looked at Sylphy.


    "Sylphiette Greyrat."

    "Ha!!? Eh!? Greyrat, eh!?"


    Sylphiette Greyrat.

    After being called that, Sylphy was all flustered,


    "If you are to be Rudeus's wife, then from now on there's no necessity for you to continue disguising yourself as a man. Become feminine."

    "Eh, but..if I don't disguise myself, Ariel-sama will??"

    "In exchange, Rudeus. I'd like to make use of your name. Right now, in this area, there are no people who don't know about you. If such a person as you were to accept my trusted friend Sylphy, there might be people who come out with misunderstandings at their own convenience."


    I see now.

    If I remain together with Sylphy, a connection between Ariel and I will be made, there will be guys who think like that is what it means.

    She won't borrow my power, but she'll borrow my reputation.

    Though what she's doing is mostly the same, but she sure uses interesting expressions.


    "That's an easy request... in my regards, it would be fine for me to honestly assist as your follower though."

    "I don't need you. Since your power is too great, it's beyond what I can handle."


    I wonder if it's that strong.

    Is what I was thinking, but in my regard it's a convenient development.

    It seems like a pain to be stuck close to princess Ariel and forced to move around doing various things after all.

    I'll just take that honestly.


    "Of course, if there's a time when you need it, I permit you to use my name as well. It's not the strongest faction, but the name of the Second Princess of Asura Kingdom might prove useful to you somehow or other."

    "That is appreciated."


    Having the backing of important people, no matter how many you have it's a good thing.


    However, this really is quite convenient for me.

    I received Sylphy, but it's fine if I don't do anything.

    On the contrary, if a time comes up where there's a problem, we have Ariel working as our backing.

    For I who often causes problems, having Ariel's backing is extremely appreciated.


    However, I wonder if it's really fine.

    I wonder if she won't demand something else later.

    They say good stories have a reverse side to them though...

    No, if she's going to look after us, I don't really feel reluctant about at least returning that part.


    "And then, Sylphiette. What do you plan to do?"

    "Wa, Yes! I...I, umm, just as I have until now while serving Ariel-sama, Ru...Rudi.. No, as Rudeus's wife is how I feel I want to give it my best!" [79]

    "....I see, please become happy."


    After a slightly silent embrace Ariel pushed on Sylphy's back with a [Pon].

    Sylphy came over in front of me.

    She was scratching the back of her ear very shyly.

    Cute. I want to lick them.

    No, here I need to endure it. Ariel is in our presence after all.


    "Th..that..umm..Ru..Rudi.. that is, please take care of me from here on out."

    "Ah, yes. Please take care of me as well."


    We lowered our heads awkwardly.

    Sylphy was fidgeting for a short while after that, but suddenly she looked behind her.

    Just like that Ariel and Sylphy gazed at each other.


    "That is... Ariel-sama, Luke, thank you for everything until now."


    After taking her sunglasses off, Sylphy said that and lowered her head.

    I followed after that and lowered my head.


    Just like this, I gained a connection to the Ariel faction.


    And then it became that I would get married to Sylphy.




    1. What a perfect description of your actions Paul.
    2. *the audience accusingly stares at Paul*
    3. A male elf grandmother would indeed be pretty scary.
    4. TLC
    5. ED: Original translation reads "And so it was concluded." this is ambiguous. What was concluded? I'm going to put my best guess in here but by all means change this back TLC: I read it as "It arrived at such a conclusion." though it's irrelevant.
    6. Rice wine
    7. Referring to the defeat of kidnappers of Eris.
    8. tasteless hobby?(making figurines to earn money is action of a craftman. Proper parasite... ahem, proper nobles dont sully themselves with trade or monetary actions at all.)
      Ed: I think it's more likely he's referring to all the pervy stuff Rudi did when we were not (and were) looking.
    9. Fittoa = Fedoa. Will still be edited to be written as Fedoa for consistency
    10. Sudden whitening of hair might refer to 'Marie Antoinette syndrome' https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Antoinette_syndrome
    11. 'Boku', is the boyish/male way of saying 'I' as opposed to the female way 'Atashi', this is a gender-contextual identifier not individually translatable into certain english points of view.
    12. Precarious position is literally written as 'candle in the wind.'
    13. Another 'candle in the wind' reference.
    14. Sharp meant more like skilled/mature, but it didn't fit properly.
    15. basically it had callouses
    16. This is a phrase , literally it means what I wrote , the meaning is something like this : Sylphy's heart was gloomy
    17. this seems to be having another meaning
    18. Well, he has ED, no way he will be confident LOL
    19. Its an expresion, like vaya vaya(in spanish), or hay hay. Ed:I would transliterate this as yada-yada and the german equivalent'd be "Menschenskinder"
    20. It would seem that Sylphy kept quiet about her hair being originally green
    21. Basically, what is personal and what is not, she has no idea
    22. By face he means reputation and not literally her(his to rudeus) face.
    23. She means that he is older than her, maybe mature would be better
    24. Written as "Child of God" 神子
    25. Referring to her skills as a warrior. 'Hate' in this case is a gaming term similar to aggro.
    26. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hikikomori
    27. Boku wa tomodachi ga sukunai except he says the tougher-sounding "Ore" instead of "Boku".
    28. The "bother" in these last two sentences can also mean "like". ((How about "Fitts-senpai is making me anxious."?))
    29. Same as the last chapter reference can't express it any better
    30. it's saying : he is to be reckon with since he is that kinda person [upper paragraph]
    31. Rudeus is referring to himself
    32. That's really what he says. No joke.
    33. political pressure from higher ups he means
    34. Karera = number of men is more - Kanojora = number of women is more
    35. The famous Jap phrase for sexy stuff-ecchi stuff
    36. I might be wrong about this part が,しかししっかりとした人の重さ.
    37. this refers to his gender
    38. this is the moment Rudeus starts referring to Fitts as her
    39. He means the feeling he had while touching Fitts' ass and waist
    40. Basically saying that Fitts is not wary of Rudeus anymore
    41. Ariel if referring to Rudi not being able to recognize Sylphy so far
    42. His face show confidence now
    43. There's a reference here for "a boy with long tail that yarps a lot" (どこぞの尻尾生えた少年のようにパンパンしたわけでもない.).
    44. I think he is saying (Today I am so sharp) figuring out what fitts and luke are thinking.
    45. It's like Mmmm... or I see..., it's an expression
    46. 甲子園球児 is Koushien Kyuuji. Is what you'd call a baseball player playing at the Koushien Tournament. Koushien is where the Japan National HS baseball tournament is held.
      So what he's saying here is something like: "It's required like the grueling training of a High School Baseball Player aiming for Koushien." Probably better to say something like: "It's about as required as a baseball player undergoing grueling training for the National Tournament." The short sentences after that play off that statement. Saying he'll hit it(The door, but imagine it as a baseball). The counter after 100 could also be used for homeruns. Kazeboy : I figured as much but putting all that in the main script would be hard so I just translate it like that :P thanks for explanation.
    47. so she is a girl wearing modest panties , but these are designed for women[older girl] and look sexier
    48. Auuu its an cute expresion, generaly used when something that you did not expect happens
    49. senku hoden??
    50. tsuru no issei de aru. Old japanese proverb, finding a solution with the final word of a higher-up
    51. Furizufurinjido not sure on this one.
    52. You must succeed Sylphy, JUST ACCORDING TO KEIKAKU!
    53. YES!
    54. o kobore ni azukrareru ?
    55. 凛と shi ta me ni, rinto? cold/flowery/fearful eyes?
    56. Rudeus you are a pro at ruining the moment.
    57. potto ぽい expression?
    58. ... ai ai no tsugi ni wa eichi ecchi ga kuru, wording that was hard... Reminds me of the alphabet of love from Overdrive http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpLZ0i_sWR4
    59. nasu ga mama koron to yoko ni natta? Fakku-nano? Yeah, no clue.
    60. ou? shouldn't it be prince? No idea, but it says king.
    61. Indeed you would need training of that level in order to not show surprise at Sylphy succeeding with keikaku.
    62. ... seiko no seiko... I had half the mind to leave that translated directly as sexual intercourse, but no one would get it.
    63. Was there any point in that double Sylphy?
    64. mimi nen ma na SM ojo, not sure on how to word the mimi nen ma part.
    65. This could be you after taking it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNMq8XS4LhE
    66. At least until the hallucinations start kicking in and you feel like insects are crawling under your skin.
    67. Engrish level: priceless.
    68. hana of sakase ta, to make flowers bloom, an expression that I'm not sure how to fit into English.
    69. Manly tears.
    70. kekko nao temae deshi ta? no clue some kind of expression I guess.
    71. Read: chastity.
    72. This line is worded kind of odd, I think it has a double meaning in the way you can guess from "eat".
    73. Same line as with Julie definitely double meaning.
    74. Moonlight Densetsu if you REALLY don't get it go look it up. Also, hit yourself on behalf of this TL.
    75. I thought Eris had a TM on that? ((No, there was also the old woman with bugs in her house in chapter 30, after all.))
    76. Enter Fitts of Silence.
    77. He uses super formal talk here.
    78. Ariel asks Sylphy using a "woman" like wording in her question formality, and then Sylphy switches from using her usu boku how she refers to herself, to the vaguely more feminine watashi midway here.