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Kneeling in the Villa Area and the Abandoned Mansion (Part 2)

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mab English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Silva

“…So, we can return the spare keys tomorrow when we leave, right?”

Watching as the guild staff disappeared into the trees (or rather, the untended grove), I absentmindedly checked the bundle of keys in my hand. “That should be fine,” Cestlavie, who had stepped into the mansion ahead of us, affirmed with a wave of his hand.

“Is something the matter?” I asked as we passed through the entrance of the mansion.

“No, it’s surprisingly clean. I don’t sense any spiritual presence.”
“…You’re right. I don’t feel any strange distortions or the aura of bound spirits either.”

Cestlavie turned back to me, his expression a mix of admiration and curiosity. “You can tell? Even for a wizard, detecting spirits requires either considerable expertise or innate talent.”

“Hah! You don’t know anything, do you? Any ordinary priest is nothing compared to Jill and her extraordinary heal—cough?!”
“Ahahaha! I have a naturally strong spiritual sense! Yes, that’s all! That’s why I somehow understand!!”

In a hurry to bluff, I swiftly jabbed Bruno’s sacrum from an angle invisible to Cestlavie ―using a grip called “Devil’s Fist” where the middle finger is sharpened, depending on the location and angle, it can deal fatal damage to the internal organs, leading to death― and forcefully silenced him, launching into a rapid and overly theatrical explanation, even though I knew it was quite contrived.

“Hmm…” Whether the bluff was a success or not was unclear, but Cestlavie, glancing briefly at Bruno, who was about to collapse in a pale-faced panic, and Lynn, who hurriedly supported him, murmured “Well, whatever.” Then, he quickly averted his gaze as if losing interest and looked directly at me with a wry smile. “—If that’s the case, you might secure a good position if you join the Church and undergo shrine maiden training.”

However, in the next moment, for some reason, his mouth twisted at the corner, and he spat out, “Actually… No, you shouldn’t. A shrine maiden who can also use magic… you’ll just be exploited by those idiots, just like——”

“?”

“Ah, sorry. It’s nothing. But still… Don’t you find it strange?”

I nodded, agreeing with his words as he gestured with his chin towards the interior of the mansion visible from the entrance hall.

“Indeed, it’s too clean.”
“Ouch… Clean? It’s dusty, there are spider webs on the ceiling, cracks in the walls, and nothing in the rooms. It’s completely in ruins if you ask me.”

Somehow, Bruno managed to revive himself and interject…

“No, it’s unnatural that the spider webs are only on the ceiling and not spread throughout the hallway. Besides, there’s less dust in the middle of the hallway, as if someone walks there regularly. And… it’s hard to explain, but the moment I stepped into this mansion, I felt a strange presence, like the air isn’t completely cold, just slightly, like someone’s breath.”
“…are you saying someone is living here?”
“Or something.”

As Cestlavie added with a rather unenthusiastic expression, Bruno and Lynn exchanged looks.

“Anyway, let’s split up and explore the mansion before the sun sets. But remember, never go alone. If you encounter anything suspicious or sense anything abnormal, immediately retreat to this entrance… And in case of emergency, return to the town’s guild and seek help, understood?”
“Yes.”
“Got it.”
“Understood.”

With everyone nodding, we decided to form pairs for exploration. After some discussion—

The pairing would be Lynn and I, the Wizard (plus Shrine Maiden + Spirit Art user) & Light Swordsman (plus Ranger) duo, and Bruno and Cestlavie, the Swordsman & Priest (plus Divine Art user) duo.

It’s a fairly balanced setup with spellcasters capable of both magic and purification (well, I can’t exactly reveal my abilities to Cestlavie). If there’s any issue, it would probably be the pair of boys’ compatibility.

“…please don’t fight with each other,” I warned as we parted ways in the entrance hall, but Cestlavie turned his attention elsewhere, implying he had no intention of listening. While Bruno reluctantly agreed, saying, “I won’t be the one to start it,” so it’s safe to assume that if he thought Cestlavie was ‘looking for a fight,’ he might retaliate, given his temperament.

“It’ll be fine,” Bruno’s reassurance didn’t quite ease Lynn’s and my concerns, but time was ticking away nonetheless.

We agreed that if anything happened, we’d shout immediately. If not, we’d return to the entrance in an hour, then split up and headed in opposite directions.

As I moved, I noticed Vier, who had shrunk to the size of a small dog, trotting along by my feet.

“…Well then, for starters,”
“…Yes, let us investigate that first.”

Once we confirmed that the pair of boys had turned the corner of the hallway and disappeared from sight, Lynn and I exchanged a quick nod and hastened our steps towards the facility we had been eyeing.

Ideally, we would want to avoid taking our eyes off those two quarrelsome boys, but…For me personally, I mean, both Lynn and I needed to act in a place where those two couldn’t see us.

“I hope it’s usable.”
“Agreed. I had hoped that we wouldn’t have to resort to thickets in the courtyard if possible.”

Nodding in agreement, we pushed open the door labeled ‘Lavatory,’ located at the end of the hallway.


Author’s Note:

Well, potties were actually used in European courts until the beginning of the 20th century. . . (Reference: “The Toilet of Noble Princesses (やんごとなき姫君たちのトイレ)”)



 

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