Characters Translated: 5,530
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After throwing myself forward, I managed to get behind my assailant, who was dressed all in black. As the shadow attempted to move away, I tried to seal their movements from behind with a grappling hold I knew. While I could have attacked with my mace, I decided against it, as I’d never fought another person with a weapon before. I also wasn’t confident I’d be able to land a hit.
Either way, if there was even the slightest chance of solving this diplomatically, then it would be best to capture them. That’s what I’d thought at the moment, but——
W, what’s with this wonderful sensation——!?
Having thrown aside my mace, I’d tried to neutralize them from behind by grabbing their arms, but it hadn’t worked out that well. It wasn’t their arms I had grabbed, but something larger and much softer.
At that, the shadow straightened up abruptly, and let out a weak shriek. A moment later, the shadow forcibly knocked away my arms, moving to guard their chest region, while also putting distance between us.
——Hrmm, this was an accident. I’m sure anyone who witnessed it would agree; just an accident. Glancing down at my twitching fingers, I nodded several times.
The shadow, which was paired off against me, was using their left hand to cover their chest, while the longsword held in their right hand was pointed towards my face.
My gaze focusing on the sword’s tip before my eyes, I addressed the woman that stood before me, clothed all in black.
Aslina had looked after me, and for that, I owed her a debt of gratitude. However, even though I owed her my thanks, she was also the closest existence to Rodney.
Thus, I assumed if anybody would be working together with him and coming after me——sadly, it would be Aslina.
But I can say this with certainty. Those enormous tits were definitely not Aslina’s. Looking closely, I noticed she was much taller than Aslina as well, much more feminine, and much more voluptuous. I could see she was very stylish, but it was still too dark to make out her face. Trying to get a better look, I used the magic “light”, focusing it on the tip of the sword.
She pulled back in a panic, shaking her sword as though to dislodge whatever was attached to it. I wonder if she thought some cruel spell had been cast?
“Calm down already. It’s just a light spell.”
As I spoke, I took a look at her face, illuminated by the light.
What I saw——was an especially beautiful young woman; her black hair pulled back into a ponytail.
The outfit she wore was reminiscent of an all-black pant suit. Even the shirt, gloves and boots were black. The long eyelashes and almond shaped eyes, which were glaring at me, were no exception. However, the fairness of her skin was in stark contrast to the darkness of her hair, and the light reflected against the skin was almost too bright.
Having regained her composure, the young woman again lifted her sword to point at me, and spoke.
“——Are you an enchanter?”
The sound of a lovely voice entered my ears. What a relief. It seems we’re speaking the same language.
“——Nope, just some normal guy.”
My reply didn’t seem to convince her.
“No normal guy could place a spell on the edge of a sword.”
“Well then, I’m a normal guy that can place a spell on the edge of a sword.”
Her expression hardened, and she pushed the illuminated blade towards me again. Shit——I made her angry.
Though, I didn’t really consider it to be that big a deal. Instead, I asked her a question in turn.
“So, who are you then?”
At my words, she snorted derisively before responding.
“Don’t you think I should be the one asking the questions, and you answering them?”
She held me at sword point, while I was unarmed.
——Well, considering the situation, it did look like I was being interrogated. But I was not planning on submitting, and my answer showed this.
“You can’t kill me.”
“What, that defensive spell from before? I’ll admit you use some strange techniques.”
“Even without magic, I wouldn’t lose.”
I chose these words to draw her in, but it looked like they injured her pride.
“That so? ——Then how about another round? I mean, sure your movements were supple, nothing like what I’d expect of a sorcerer, but——”
“Ah c’mon. My movements, supple? Compared to your breasts, it’s noth——”
My words must have been too provoking, as her expression grew dark. ——Shit, I made her angry again.
After a moment’s pause, her face broke into a grin, as she tightened her grip on the sword hilt.
“——It seems I’ll have to kill you after all.”
Even though she wore an unnerving expression, it was still incredibly attractive.
The woman before me may have had just cause for wanting to kill me. However, I had no such reason to end hers. I didn’t know if I could reconcile the situation, but if I managed to learn something useful… With that thought in mind, I tried getting her to talk.
“You don’t have to be so wound up. ——What’s your relationship with Rodney?”
It seems she figured out where I was going with this. Still holding her sword poised to attack, she never so much as twitched. I continued to press her.
“If I don’t miss my guess, then I’d say you were either at odds with Rodney, or observing his movements for some reason.”
Without lowering her weapon, she responded.
“——What makes you think so?”
“You’re not still trying to kill me.”
It seemed just those words weren’t enough to explain the reason. To include the missing parts, I continued my explanation.
“Rodney knows me very well. If you were working with him, then you’d surely have heard about me from him. On top of that, if you were intent on killing me, you wouldn’t stop half-assed to listen to what I had to say. However——you’re listening to me. That’s because you don’t know me. Let me put it another way. Since you don’t know me, then it means you and Rodney aren’t friends.
“——But you ran into me while tailing Rodney. Since you don’t know me, you can’t have been waiting to ambush me, so you’re target isn’t me, but Rodney. Like I said before, you aren’t working with him. But for some reason, you’re wandering around close to him. This can only mean that either you are trying to do something about him, or are just observing his actions. Right?”
The young woman listened to everything I had to say. But even so, she still wasn’t backing down. She and I were frozen, glaring at each other. ——Her voice broke the icy silence.
“——You seem to have some brains…to a degree.”
“Well, you made it pretty easy to figure out.”
“Who are you?”
Opening both hands and squaring my shoulders, I grinned, replying,
“Just some normal guy who’s life Rodney saved, when I was dying in the forest. I’m helping around at the church he runs, but—— If I’m not mistaken, then there’s a high likelihood I’ll be fighting him soon.”
“Again, if I’m not mistaken…then sadly, it’s because he never really helped me. If so, then not only did he not help me, but it would mean he captured me——what’s more, he’s been observing me, to make sure I don’t get away.”
She looked at me with a serious gaze. Her almond eyes and long eyelashes that moved when she blinked were lovely. Shit, if a beauty like this keeps looking at me like that, I’m gonna go insane——
After a short pause, the young woman relaxed her stance and lowered the blade that had been pointed at me.
“I’m really curious now, about who you are. ——My name is Grace. As you’ve said, I have been following, and observing Rodney.”
The woman called Grace smiled brightly. Taking another look, I could see the tomboyish all-black outfit she had on, looked really good on her.
“My name is Kei Arakawa. ——If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to share what we know?”
She accepted my request without any issue.
“I understand. Rodney shouldn’t leave the mansion for a while yet. Let’s share what we know.”
This is how Grace and I, who had been enemies until a short while ago, put away our weapons. We proceeded to talk about what we both knew concerning “Rodney”.
When we finished exchanging information, I let out a deep sigh. Though we had shared what we knew, in the end, Grace didn’t know anything that was particularly useful.
Seriously, the reason she had been pursuing Rodney was that she thought, “while pretending to be a priest of Clancy, he was actually someone who would bring disaster upon the world”, which was a rather cliché sounding ally of justice kind of mindset. But she was dead serious, and devoted herself to finding such people. If the need arose, she seemed perfectly willing to pass judgement on such individuals.
On the other hand, the information I gave her was a little bland. After all, I had Clancy’s Limitation to worry about, so couldn’t just tell her I had come from another world. So, I was stuck telling her that I had amnesia, and my memories of before were lacking; it really sounded like I was purposefully avoiding sharing with her.
But, I did have the ability to check the status of a thing. As I examined Grace, talking dutifully to me, I made sure to really examine her stats.
This was surprising. She was pretty strong. Wait, she’s only eighteen——?
It seemed she was a fighter who utilized swords, and could use three magic attributes. Since I’d heard it was rare for a sorcerer to be able to use three attributes, I knew right away she was a rarity, what with her class being a fighter and all. ——Oh, her cooking and housework skills are pretty high. I’m liking this gap between her skills and appearance.
Pushing those thoughts aside for the moment…I remembered telling her she couldn’t kill me. But if we’d continued to hammer it out, things could have gotten bad. I mean, her swordsmanship skill was level six. I was actually impressed I’d managed to dodge that first strike——
Among the other parameters, the thing that really drew my attention was her title: Treasure Chest of Urbain. Another proper noun had appeared, but I hesitated to ask Grace what it meant. I decided to watch how things went for now.
“All this aside——you mind if I call you Grace?”
“No, I don’t mind. I’ll be calling you Kei though.”
“After you finished observing Rodney, what were you planning on doing?”
Her expression unreadable, she looked at me for a long moment. Being looked at by such deeply hued eyes, I honestly felt my heart start to beat faster.
“If he is who I think he is——then I plan on destroying him.”
Her radical response seemed to lack confidence.
“Grace, do you know how strong Rodney is?”
“No——though I know he’s strong, I can’t say how strong.”
“I see. At the very least, he is beyond either you or I.”
At that, Grace became silent.
“Also, there’s one more thing I know about Rodney. He’s——a disciple of Arabella.”
When she heard that, Grace started. But, it wasn’t the overreaction Aslina had shown.
“I have no idea how you could have found that out, Kei——but if Rodney is a disciple of the shadow-attribute Arabella, then there’s a high chance he’s who I’ve been looking for.”
“I see… As for myself, I want to know why Rodney brought me somewhere he could keep an eye on me, and what he’s planning. Only, if I learn that——I have a feeling it’ll lead to a fight.”
“It seems you and I have the same goals, at least on the surface.”
With those words, Grace looked at me intently, as though urging me to say something. Not wanting to disappoint, I decided to go along with her.
“It would appear so. While it’s a little surprising considering how intently we were going at it just now. ——Well, yesterday’s enemy is a friend today, or so goes the saying. For now, how about we join up until Rodney’s defeated?”
At those words, Grace stifled a giggle.
“Hehe! You’re right! But, it wasn’t yesterday, it wasn’t even more than a few moments ago. ——Alright Kei, let’s do this.”
With that, Grace removed her right glove and stretched out her hand.
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