|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1558 words|
The next day, I dropped by Maxwell’s office and as usual, clung to the old man who was busy doing paperwork for help. He couldn’t exactly kick me out either, so he just sighed and listened to what I had to say.
“So, what is it this time?”
“Well, last night…”
I explained about Cortina’s rash behavior from yesterday in a rather exaggerated manner.
About the fact that she was convinced that the “Mysterious Girl” Haumea was Reid. I mean, it wasn’t exactly wrong…
I told him everything without leaving out a single detail about how Cortina arrived at that conclusion. After he heard it all, Maxwell plopped down on his desk seemingly exhausted. There was enough force behind it that it was fortunate that his teacup didn’t spill over.
“What crazy fellows they are… Well, as expected of Cortina. It was correct to have you change your appearance.”
“Really? Cuz I only feel like it’s gonna get a lot more complicated from now on.”
“Well, we managed to pull you and Reid apart, so there should be no harm.”
“Well, that may be true… But is this really okay?”
“Haumea is believed to be already gone from this city. No matter how much Cortina or Elliot try to chase after her, there is no chance of them finding her.”
True, the person in question was here, so no matter how much they chased after my phantom, there was no chance of finding her. However, it wasn’t like the connection to her was cut off entirely.
As long as there existed Maxwell as the connection point, they wouldn’t give up.
“In exchange, they are going to start pressing you for answers now, aren’t they? Are you sure you can dodge your way out of it?”
“Hm? You are right… Elliot aside, Cortina’s questioning would be hard to deal with.”
“Moreover, Haumea’s appearance was seen in the city, so she might be a hot topic now.”
When walking downtown, there have been cases where shopkeepers have called out to me thinking I was Haumea. I hadn’t shown that appearance in the city that much, but I did do some shopping. And I used that form during the kidnapping, too.
Whoever called out to me quickly realized that they got the wrong person by my height, but I never imagined that Haumea would become so famous in a mere few days.
“Hmm… Now that I remember it, Elliot has Priscilla with him.”
“Ah, that he does.”
“With her included, Elliot might actually be harder to deal with than Cortina.”
“Priscilla is quite an excellent spy, after all.”
She was still quite inexperienced from my point of view, but looked like Maxwell held her in high regard. Now that I think about it, even Elliot was being attentive to her.
“Are you that familiar with her?”
“Hm? Oh, yes, she is like a little sister to Elliot. So I had many opportunities to meet her due to their connection.”
“I still think she has ways to go…”
“Don’t judge her based on yourself. She’s quite excellent given her age.”
She had certainly shown quick-wittedness during Elliot’s rescue. However, if she was so good, I would’ve wanted her to prevent the kidnapping situation from happening in the first place.
That part made me think she still had ways to go… But well, she acted on Elliot’s selfishness at that time, putting all the blame on her would be too harsh.
“Putting that aside, about the uproar you caused. I would not be able to do much about it with my influence.”
“You mean Elliot might use Priscilla to investigate it, huh?”
When it came to dealing with a spy, even I couldn’t be careless. Much less if the other party was someone Maxwell held in high regard. I wanted this situation handled as fast as possible.
“Alright then, I have come up with four plans to deal with that.”
“Ohh, that many? What are they?”
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I didn’t expect that he would offer several solutions, so I ended up leaning towards him in excitement and urged him to speak. He looked at me with an evil grin and raised his finger.
“First. You can just disappear in reality.”
“Are you telling me to leave this city?”
Indeed, since I was the one being pursued, I could avoid Cortina’s investigation at least if I just disappeared from this place. And Priscilla had her job to guard Elliot, so she wouldn’t be able to leave the city either. You could say that by leaving the city, all kinds of investigations would come to a halt.
However, doing that would mean my magic study would stop as well. However, my end goal was to become a man again.
“Rejected, rejected! I can’t overlook the fact that my magic learning would be interrupted.”
“Then, the second. Redirect their attention to someone even more conspicuous. In other words, prepare someone even more beautiful and redirect Elliot’s attention there.”
“And where could I find that beauty?”
“You can only make one up with your illusion.”
“Rejected again, you moron!”
Creating someone even more beautiful to redirect people’s attention would just be shifting the point of the spearhead instead of dealing with the core problem. If it was redirected to someone else, it would be fine, but that other person would still be me in this case. If I repeated that several times, they might even figure it out.
“Then, the third. This is more of an extension to the second, however. That is, do some event and redirect their attention to that.”
“Hosting a festival, for example. Fortunately, this magic academy is quite conspicuous in this city. If we do some event here and create a festive mood, Cortina and Elliot who are teachers would be too busy to do anything else.”
“That’s not a bad idea… But what kind of festival would be good?”
“How about a battle tournament that all citizens would find interest in?”
“Wouldn’t I just end up stealing the champion’s seat!”
The students attending the magic academy were elites, but they were still kids. There were no opponents to me given my skill. If I ended up easily blasting through the tournament, that could even lead some people to my real identity.
I could, of course, pretend that I wasn’t that strong, but there was a clear and vast difference in the way an expert and amateur moved their bodies. Even if you limited it to their manner of walking, everyone knowledgeable would easily realize it.
If I pretended to be weak, it would make me more suspicious instead.
“Then it comes down to the fourth one. Wait for the situation to calm down.”
“…I guess it comes down to that, in the end.”
Their momentary frenzy would probably die down after some time passes. That plan was certainly effective but it had its share of problems.
“The problem is for how long, and where should I hide until then.”
“Hmm… Reid, you broke your gauntlets, right?”
“Yeah, I really have to get them fixed…”
But those gauntlets were first-rate articles that a certain skilled blacksmith made, who lived in hiding in the Sword Kingdom of Alecmarle. If I had some average blacksmith tinker with it, they could damage it beyond repair.
In fact, my left gauntlet was currently all crumpled. Well, my hand was unharmed exactly because that broken gauntlet cushioned the attack.
“If I were to fix it, I need to head to where the blacksmith that made it lives.”
“And where is that?”
There were certain topics I couldn’t disclose even to my comrades.
When it came to this extremely skilled blacksmith who made my weapons, In particular, there was a high chance of his life being targeted. For that reason, both I and that blacksmith had formed a non-disclosure agreement before he made these gauntlets.
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“If possible, I’d rather not say.”
“I do not mind… But is that blacksmith somewhere the current you can visit?”
“…No, it’s quite impossible to do that.”
The Sword Kingdom of Alecmarle was one of the city-states located on the southeastern part of the continent. It was a region that gained independence ever since the group of the city-states that controlled all the south had split into three parts.
Due to that breakup, all three states were at odds with each other and it wasn’t very safe there.
But above all, it was just too far away. It would take about a month on foot to reach Alecmarle from Raum. And that would double in my case.
I couldn’t leave my home for that long. Cortina would worry too much, after all.
“Well, I’ll tell you since I trust you, but the one that made these resides in the Sword Kingdom of Alecmarle. But the three kingdoms there are giving off dangerous vibes. I might find myself in some trouble if I decide to head there.”
Since I was something like a foster child of Cortina, I probably looked like a “kid with high commercial value” from the point of scoundrels. I wished to avoid any such problems if I could.
“The Sword Kingdom, huh… Hmm, then how about this. We can just make it the destination for off-campus learning.”
Maxwell’s suggestion made me respond with disbelief.
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