Shiru: This part took me longer than expected.
“Our armors are durable and cheap! I’m quite confident in their quality! If you’re looking to equip yourself, you should shop here at Carluna armor store!”
“Our dried meat is the best! You won’t find this kind of dried meat anywhere else! Don’t assume that I don’t have any skill just because I’m a student!”
“I’m looking to buy almost anything, please come sell your items here! We can negotiate the prices depending on the items!”
There really were a lot of different shops here.
I imagine that it would be a lot of work for a student to manage a business here. Still, I couldn’t help but admire the students beckoning for customers to come over. They didn’t look much older than me either.
“The students who don’t have any spending money outside of school work here to earn some. They’re just helping out adults who own the shops but most of labor force here is composed of students.”
“Ahh, sort of like a part-time job.”
How interesting. Outside of their studies, the students also worked.. it was just like our world.
I slowed down my walking pace a bit to take a closer look at Luquis while making sure Welsey-san was still within my line of sight.
It was really difficult to imagine that a place so full of energy like this would have something as dark as discrimination against non-humans. Seeing the sight of laughing students walking down the street while checking out the stores… I ended up thinking out loud “Maybe this country didn’t have something like that?”
“Senpai, what do you think? You’re interested in stuff like this…”
I wonder what Kazuki and Senpai’s impression of this place was. I intended to ask them but I noticed someone was missing…
“Kazuki, Welsey-san… Where’s Senpai?”
“Eh? Senpai? …Huh?”
“If it’s Inukami-sama then she’s right beside… She’s not here!?”
“…Is that person incapable of sitting still for just one moment!?”
We hadn’t even walked for 10 minutes and Senpai had already disappeared. My cheeks twitched.. but just then I heard a familiar voice shouting amongst a crowd of people behind me.
““As expected of the Magic City! The things they’re selling look like they come from the fantasy genre!””
I couldn’t see them but I had a good guess of who it was.
I saw that Kazuki and Welsey-san’s cheeks were also stiff due to Senpai. I turned around in silence and headed towards Senpai who stood in the middle of the commotion.
The person who raised their voice with such excitement was, unfortunately, a beautiful girl.
It was truly unfortunate. The image I had in my mind of Senpai had greatly changed.. in a bad way.
“Sorry, she’s our companion! It’s unfortunate, but she’s with us!!”
There were a lot of robed people around Senpai, but they were too preoccupied by what was in front of them to pay much attention to her. Senpai stood out as she was wearing a custom-made armor from Lyngle Kingdom, while the people around her had dark-colored robes. In spite of this, there were so many people around Senpai that I was slowly losing sight of her… I couldn’t help but sigh heavily.
She really was enjoying her time in this world a little too much. If it was before, she was practically at an unreachable level for most people at school. At least that’s what I thought, but it seems Senpai has fallen.
“A-almost, just a little more..”
I had finally advanced enough to clearly see Senpai again. She had a gleam in her eyes as she looked at a shopkeeper who was speaking at great length about some sort of armor on display… Don’t tell me you already forgot our objective for coming to this country!?
She was just like a child who was in high spirits and couldn’t suppress herself… I quickened my pace a bit. However, maybe that wasn’t a good idea as I suddenly collided with one of the onlookers.
Did I bump them in a bad spot? I wasn’t sure but they had fallen on their back. I was about to extend my hand to them to help them up, but… I caught a glimpse of their slitted pupils staring at me and gulped.
These eyes were just like Amako’s beast eyes. I couldn’t see their face clearly since their hood was up. They probably didn’t want others to see their face. With that being the case, I should pretend that I didn’t notice anything to avoid arousing their suspicion.
….I didn’t want to get entangled in anything troublesome at the moment. It would be no laughing matter if problems came up before we delivered the letter.
“….Are you alright?”
Coming to a decision, I reached out with the hand I had frozen in place. Their eyes remained calm as they took my hand. I got a clear look at their eyes, which confirmed my guess. I didn’t say anything and slowly helped them get up.
“You’re quite the unusual person.”
“No… An unusual person you say… Well, I guess I am…”
I’m someone from a different world after all. To the people of this world, I was a very unusual person. They patted the dust off their robes after getting up and then glanced at my face.. They probably saw that I looked a bit worried since they proceeded to say,
“I only fell down, I’m not injured at all.”
“That’s good.. I really do want to give a proper apology but I’m in a hurry at the moment so…”
I glanced at the crowd. I really wanted to apologize and maybe treat them to something but Senpai was like a child right now running around everywhere. I had to bring her back to Welsey-san and Kazuki.
After saying “I’m sorry” again, I started walking towards where Senpai was.
My right arm was firmly grasped and pulled back.
Looking back, I could see a sharp glint in their eyes. As they pulled me back, they drew closer to my face and sniffed it. I don’t think their intentions were lewd… Rather, I felt anger and bloodlust emitting from her instead.
“———You. Have a smell I’m familiar with.”
“…Well, what kind of smell are you referring to?”
I didn’t take a bath since yesterday… But I couldn’t say that and it probably wasn’t that.
….He was probably referring to something else when they grabbed my arm… No, judging from their voice, it was a ‘she’. She was referring to a different ‘smell’. If it happens to be that—
“Don’t play dumb… Why do you have my acquaintance’s scent on you?”
“….Nn? Could it be that you’re the one who helped Amako back then———“
The moment I said that, the hand that was holding my right arm tightened like a vice. What strength she had. She didn’t have as much as Rose but it was still a considerable amount. At the very least, it wasn’t strength that a human would have.
It seemed like they intended to drag me somewhere else but I couldn’t allow myself to leave… I used my own strength and raised it just enough to resist her pull. She raised her voice in surprise at my resistance as she realized how dangerous the situation was for her.
“…..! I can’t move you… As expected, Amako is already… Now I’m next…”
“Wait, I think you’re misunderstanding the situation too much. Calm down for a moment.”
“Calm down, huh…”
It seemed like there’s been a weird misunderstanding. They mistook me for some villain coming after them.
However… Before I knew it, I was suddenly bound by some kind of thread and my arms were pinned. I had let my guard down. It seemed she had prepared the thread in advance and hid it in her left hand within her robes. The surrounding onlookers noticed the situation and wanted to say something upon seeing the thread but… They just walked away.
Hey. Save me, you students.
“A slave trader? A bandit? Or perhaps you’re part of the famed Kidnappers from Lyngle?”
Sorry, the last option was probably my group. But they kidnapped people in a different meaning.
“R-really, just calm down for a bit! Amako and I are… Yes, we’re friends!!”
“Friends huh. Humans sure say the most convenient words to match the situation…”
Before I finished speaking, she tightened her grip. One of her arms were holding my right arm to prevent me from escaping and, although I didn’t see what was behind me, I was used to the peculiar sound of a hand clenching into a fist and storing power. This was bad. Although I had more strength than her, her grip on my arm prevented me from escaping. What was up with her grip strength?
From behind, she launched her fist and aimed it right at my spine. In the middle of her punch, I caught a glimpse of the ears on her head.
She had light brown hair that was tied up and poking through her hair were beast ears.
She had a young and pretty face but there was also anger on it. While feeling that this was an unreasonable situation for me to be in, I resigned myself to my own fate and caught her fist to stop the blow.
The power from her fist was sent directly into my palm and I received the impact. If it was a month ago, I would probably faint from the pain in just a few seconds but… After enduring that ‘sandbag’ hell training, this amount of power wasn’t enough for me to faint. At least that’s what I thought but the palm that received her fist was minced.
Fresh blood scattered from my palm… But I immediately used healing magic to close up the wounds. I felt something sharp cutting into my skin but it was shallow and the speed of my healing magic was faster than her ability to injure me.
“Wha… You caught it… No, it restored itself?! You’re not… human!?”
“I’m human, you know!?”
Really, how rude!! I’m still human! The real monster was Rose, the great devil king!!
The color on her face changed, was it that strange for me to receive their blow? Now along with the anger on her face, there was also a trace of fear. She let go of my arm and cautiously glanced towards me.
“……….. We’d stand out too much here…”
Seeing the confidence in my eyes, she showed a sour expression. She fixed her hood and said to me “Your face. I remember it.”
After leaving these words, she ran and disappeared into a back alley.
“….Should I chase her?”
I had some confidence that I could overtake her with my speed. However we had an important mission right now and it won’t be a good idea to pursue her when the letter hadn’t been delivered yet.
…Instead of going after her here, maybe I should report to Amako afterwards? She said Amako was an acquaintance so it might be a better idea to let Amako resolve this misunderstanding. In the worst case scenario, I could just forcibly persuade her.
“I wonder if this was good news for Amako?”
Amako said she helped her out and all… Wow, I’m getting a lot of undesirable attention right now. It felt like I was some kind of animal at the zoo in a cage. While calming down after the encounter I just had, I headed towards Senpai and called out to her.
Yikes. This person didn’t notice at all. Kazuki and the others were obstructed from her view, but since I was this close, I really wish you would notice.
“Mu, you’ve come at just the right time, Usato-kun. Look at this. Don’t you think this type of crafting method is very elaborate and exquisite?”
“I mean, I know I received a sword and all but I really do want to try using a bow too………….. Alright, alright. I got it, I’ll go back so… Stop looking at me with that expressionless face.”
Senpai replied while sounding frightened as she looked at me. From there, Senpai followed me in silence and we walked back towards where Welsey-san and Kazuki was.
Thankfully, we didn’t encounter that beast girl again. Welsey-san and Kazuki didn’t see my exchange with her either. We were about to deliver a letter so it would put us in a bad position if we injured any of the students here.
“I brought her back….”
“Inukami-sama… You should be a little more conscious of the important mission you’ve received…”
“Welllll, sorry sorry. I couldn’t hold myself back.”
“Please don’t make too much trouble for us… Even if it was only for a short time, you were the president of the student council… Usato, you alright?”
“I’m fine, just a little tired but… Other than bringing Senpai back, nothing else happened.”
While observing the exchange between Kazuki and Inukami-senpai, who was in shock, we proceeded towards our objective again.
I already got mixed into some trouble in Luquis… Next time I won’t say anything unnecessary.
After 20 or so minutes, we arrived in front of a large white building. We had finally arrived at our goal. Just from my initial impression, it didn’t look like a castle you would see in Lyngle but rather resembled an extravagant school building.
“This is… Is it really this building?”
“Yes, this is the center of Luquis. The very essence of the Magic City— the Magic Academy of Luquis.”
This was the place where the first letter would be delivered. Honestly, it exceeded my expectations so I couldn’t help but feel restless. There were students no matter where I looked, enough for my eyes to hurt. “What’s with this guy?” and “There’s someone who looks really plain in that group.” were some things I overheard from the students…. Yeah… It was really true so I couldn’t voice any objections…..
“Did we receive permission to enter?”
“Err, I got a guard to relay a message when we arrived at the gate so…”
“So we’re waiting for someone to escort us…”
I wonder what kind of response we’ll get. I can’t cross out the possibility that they might treat us poorly but we were messengers from a neighboring country… I won’t say we’ll get a courteous reception but it should at least be a moderately cordial one, right?
“Hey, those are some nice clothes you’re wearing.”
I was astonished as someone whispered close to my ear. Rather than feeling that it was creepy, I was just surprised because I had never experienced something like this in my life.
Was Inukami-senpai committing another crime!? No, it was a different voice. Looking towards the source of the voice, there stood a young boy with grey hair and a gentle smile. He was also a bit shorter than me.
“No no….. I’m truly sorry for surprising you. Your esteemed group should be the envoys from Lyngle Kingdom right?”
“Y-yeah. You’re not wrong. Then, you are…”
“Yes, I will be the one escorting you to the Principal. You can call me Halfa.”
He bowed respectfully and his black robes fluttered… Halfa…san? I thought he was a young boy but he had a neutral face so I couldn’t really tell… Being taller than him doesn’t tell me much either. The robe was also covering most of his body so I couldn’t really find any distinct features.
…..No, leaving that aside… It was really mysterious how he whispered in my ear without me noticing at all. Even if there were a lot of people in my surroundings, I didn’t relax my guard at all since we were in an unfamiliar place. At the very least, I don’t believe he’s just a simple guide….
“…Usato-kun… If they’re acting as a boy, they must be some man’s daughter right?”
“Senpai, my composure right now has a crack in it. Please be silent for a while.”
“Are you always so bitter!?”
There was no point in having a conversation with this person unless they calmed down and thought about the meaning behind my words…
We stepped onto the grounds of the academy and followed Halfa-san. There was a plaza in the center surrounded by school buildings in rows. Students were spending their free time by reading, talking, and practicing magic here. As far as I, and most likely Inukami-senpai, were concerned, this scene fit our expectations of the kind of school a magic academy would be. .
It was pretty much just like I imagined the everyday life to be like in a magic school. The atmosphere, filled as it was with magic energy, overflowed with the energy of youth. What am I, an old man?
“It seems like you have a strong interest in them.”
Halfa-san who was walking in front of us turned and addressed us. His voice didn’t feel cohesive like when he whispered in my ear.
“It’s something we’ve never seen before. I apologize if it was impolite.”
“No no, it’s not impolite. In fact, I greatly welcome it. They should be proud that esteemed individuals such as yourselves have taken an interest in them.”
Halfa-san’s casual words.
Those words made Senpai twitch for a moment and caused Kazuki and Welsey to stare in wonder.
I wasn’t that surprised.
After all, this was Senpai and Kazuki.
“Did the Principal talk about us?”
“No, but seeing the carriage your group arrived in and its quality, I knew your group couldn’t be ordinary… Also—“
Halfa-san turned around and faced me while pointing a finger towards my chest.
…Was there something behind me? I looked behind but there was no one.
….Me? No, I really didn’t stand out that much apart from my magic power that was slightly more than the average person. Other than my rare healing magic, there was nothing else that I had.
If I had to list one more thing, it would be this uniform that I received as my proof of being in the Rescue Squad.
“Lyngle Kingdom’s Rescue Squad, the second unorthodox healing magic user who dons the white uniform.”
“Eh, you know about me? ….Or rather, unorthodox you say…”
Even though I healed wounds like normal healing magicians, I was really alienated… No, even if it was Rose’s healing magic I was still really insane to do something like destroying my own body and healing it repeatedly. But I really went through all of that.
Well, I admit it was really odd from other people’s perspectives if you thought about it. However, I really didn’t think this would spread to other countries. In reality, just hearing about anything related to healing magic would make most people suspicious….
“In reality, I haven’t seen it with my own eyes so I can’t say if it’s fake or not yet. Fufufu… That’s probably what the majority of people are thinking. However… Even though the amount of magic power you have can’t be compared to the other two beside you, you have a surprising degree of natural magic power diffusing throughout your entire body. An ordinary person is incapable of this.”
“Are you capable of ‘Magic Vision’?”
While Halfa-san was still pointing at me, he nodded to Welsey-san’s question.
Magic Vision, I wonder what it was.
“Magic Vision is a type of magic eyes. It can see the magical power flowing in living beings and in the atmosphere. Just like Usato-sama, it’s a rare system of magic.”
“So that’s why he knew about us…”
Being proficient at seeing the flow of magic… But being the same type as me, did that mean that he couldn’t do anything else? ….That was a rash assumption. I had a feeling that this person wasn’t normal at all.
“….Well then, let’s hurry on. I’ve received a command to guide to you to the Principal so it won’t do to be late.”
Senpai, Kazuki, and I looked at Halfa-san’s smile in turn and started walking. Our steps were light but as expected… I just felt insecure somehow.
Senpai tapped on my shoulder with her finger.
While gazing steadily at Halfa-san walking in front, I directed my awareness towards Senpai.
“He’s disguising himself. I don’t like it.”
“Hating your own kind… I’m convinced.”
“I’m not concealing myself anymore!”
I was only casually responding but… Eh? Was Senpai in fact wearing a mask before?
No… Thinking about it carefully, I never talked to Senpai back in our former world despite how much we were talking right now.
In those days, I truly thought that she was a flower on a high peak. That was how much I respected her but… Now she was friendly yet deplorable.
“Well, I guess she just likes it better here.”
“Mu, did you just say something, Usato-kun?”
“It’s nothing at all. Hey, please face the front.”
Before I noticed it, I couldn’t see any students around us anymore and only our footsteps resounded in the hallway.
It was as spacious as the castle in Lyngle Kingdom.
Suddenly, Halfa-san who was walking in front stopped.
“This is the Principal’s room.”
After saying so, he turned towards the door and knocked on it.
“Principal, I’ve brought them.”
Halfa-san’s words were brief. After a few seconds, a slow “Go ahead.” came from the other side. Halfa-san smiled at us and opened the door.
As I entered the room, I saw that the room was filled with a dazzling golden color.
The person sitting on the chair wasn’t old, like I had expected, but rather a woman whose age was around her 20s. She greeted us with a friendly smile,
“Welcome to Luquis. I’m here to receive you.”
—And declared so.