|Author: Hayaken||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2260 characters|
|Translator: Mab||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1012 words|
|Editor(s): Alruna Zelenia|
「So it really is you, Mr. Rahal. Thank you for training with me back then. It has indeed been a while.」
Inglis curtsied politely.
Even so, she still couldn’t fathom how Rahal was the envoy sent by the Highlands.
「Don’t you find it baffling that I’m a Highlander?」
The now 20-year-old Rahal was wearing a feather headpiece and something similar to a rune was suspended between his brows. 1 Also, the color of his eyes had turned a shade of emerald green.
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「Yes, it really gave me a shock.」
「I bet. But this stigmata on my forehead is the undeniable sign of a Highlander. I am a genuine Highlander, you see, through and through.」
「I see, so you can become a Highlander even if you aren’t born on the Highland.」
「Of course you can. All you need to do is provide the Highland with a great contribution to gain its citizenship.」
Said Rahal, proudly displaying the stigmata on his forehead.
「What kind of contribution are we talking about?」
「Cash, simple. We offer most of our profits from the trade to the Highland. Though, you’d also need a connection with a high-class Highlander that holds authority.」
「I see… …」 2
Simply put, it’s bribery huh. That doesn’t sound very nice to me. Inglis thought.
「Well, it did strip me of everything I had but if that means I could buy this position, this price ain’t mean nothing. I mean, Highlanders are essentially above these lowly aristocrats crawling on the ground.」
「I don’t particularly concern myself with such matters.」
Largely, what occupied her mind was how to perfect her martial arts and only that.
It wasn’t like she didn’t understand politics and social norms but she would rather disregard that and live on freely as Inglis Eux.
「Then, what do you concern yourself with? You seem to have grown to be quite the looker, I wouldn’t mind showing you around the Highlands, you know.」
The gaze he used to look at Inglis was the lustful kind, it was so revolting she wished he’d stop.
「My only interest is to further hone my skill.」
「Oioi, from what I can see, you’re just a Runeless. Where’s the benefit of training for you? Have you never heard, a prodigy at childhood is just an ordinary person when they reach 20? Isn’t it better for you to go under a bridal training from now on?」
「That is still outside my prospective.」
「Is it? I’ve gone out of my way to give you advice, you know? You should use your time efficiently. Even the likes of this guy here are stronger than you currently.」3
Said Rahal as his eyes indicated to a bulky man that stood by the wall next to him.
He was huge, at least two heads taller than the average adult.
That physique of his was indeed eccentric but his appearance was even more so.
He wore a full iron mask that covered his entire face which he didn’t even take off even on this occasion.
「…Who might that be?」
「Just a slave I brought along as a guard. Having one is commonplace for Highlanders. He looks even worse without his mask on, so let him wear it, okay?」
Rahal said it over his shoulder uninterestedly.
The man he called a slave didn’t even respond, not even a flinch.
This was another unpleasant story to hear.
The more she talked with Rahal, the worse her image of the Highlanders got.
「Oh, that reminds me! I have someone I want to introduce to you girls! I’m sure you’ll love to meet her!」
The one who tried to break the silence with an exaggerated enthusiasm was Leon who’d been listening from the side.
「Mr. Leon, who is it?」
Asked Rafinha, taking the bait.
Leon, being a Holy Knight and all, wasn’t someone they could meet easily, so Inglis believed meeting him here was already a thing to commemorate about.
On top of that, they also met Rahal who was now considered a Highlander. They sure met a lot of unusual people tonight.
「Of course it’s that, the one who’s always paired with a Holy Knight wherever we go. You know what I mean?」
「An Artifact? Wait, if you’re talking about a Special Grade Rune’s Artifact, then…!」
Rani’s eyes began to sparkle in anticipation.
Inglis was much less the same.
「That’s right, a Hyrule Menace! They are popular among women, aren’t they?」
Hyrule Menace referred to individuals who could transform into an Ultimate Artifact exclusive for Special Grade Rune bearers. 4 It was still unclear if those individuals were actually people or artifacts but apparently they usually had the shape of a girl and could turn themselves into a weapon at will. 5
And the Artifacts those Hyrule Menaces transformed into could exhibit a dreadful amount of firepower, only Holy Knights had the capacity to wield them.
Goddesses sent by the Highland to protect the ground below in exchange of abundant tributes — The last ace in the hole, the hope of the people. Those were what they were.
A combination of a Hyrule Menace and a Holy Knight was the only countermeasure against the strongest magic stone beast that could destroy a whole country, or so it said.
「Wah! Wah! I want to meet, I want to meet! Where is she!?」
「Dunno, but that’s why we gotta look for her! Come!」
Said Leon before he strode away, beckoning Inglis and Rafinha.
「Kaay! Let’s go, Glis!」
「Yeah. I got you.」
Perhaps, Leon was trying to get the two away from Rahal.
Continuing the conversation would bear no fruit anyway, so Leon’s conduct was a helping hand for her. Inglis expressed her gratitude for his consideration.
「Oh man~ Listening to him only irks you out, right~ I’m glad I could use the two of you to bail. My apologies for taking advantage of you.」
Leon said, smiling broadly. Apparently, he did it for himself as well.
- Sil- Wait what? Seriously? The rune is floating between the brows?
- Al- I see… … mmhmm…
- Sil- He’s still as haughty as ever. Once a bad guy, always a bad guy.
Al- Eh, yanno, bro~ They always need to add a bad guy with bad attitude for plot.
- Al- I’m sorry, what?! Special Grade rune artifacts are humans?! God, my image of this novel is getting worse…
- Al- *cringe*