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The Sprinting Salamander and the Investigation in the Haunted Mansion (Part 1)

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

Whether it’s a horse or another mount, when traveling long distances, they typically use a combination of walking and trotting.

For horses, this usually involves walking for about twenty to thirty minutes, then trotting for about ten minutes, and repeating this pace. The walking speed is about as fast as a child running, while the trotting speed is more akin to pedaling a bicycle… That should give you a rough idea, although it’s surprisingly more leisurely than what amateurs might imagine.

Of course, if pushed to their limits, they can achieve speeds comparable to a car (this is called galloping), but even running at full speed for just two to three kilometers can exhaust a horse, so such speeds are rarely reached during regular riding. Well, there’s also the practice of changing horses at post stations along the highway to maintain a fast pace…

So, without replacement mounts, considering factors like cargo and road conditions, the average distance traveled during the day is around a hundred kilometers or so. Attempting more than this becomes difficult not only for the mount itself but also for the rider, so whether it’s a horse, an emu, or a land drake, the basic concept of handling the reins remains the same (although slow-moving ox carts and wildashers are a different story).

However— Just before a small hill, where irregular rocks dotted the slope, a winged salamander dashed up along the incline.

“Wow, salamanders are really fast after all!”

Using a towering cedar tree at the summit as a landmark, it made a turn and then swiftly descended… or rather, glided over hundreds of mertes in one swoop.

“This feels amazing! It’s different from flying with Vier; riding the wind like this is so refreshing!”

With sturdy legs, it traversed rough terrain and effortlessly leaped over obstacles with its wings spread wide. Watching me cheer while holding the reins, Cestlavie and the others looked on in astonishment from a distance.

“I’ve taken a liking to it. Cestlavie, please give me this one.” As I returned to the starting point, I hastily made my request while tidying my disheveled hair.

“Don’t be ridiculous! Seriously… just riding someone else’s salamander without permission.”
“Well, I did ask, ‘Could you please let me ride?’ And your response was, ‘…Fine, go ahead if you must,’ wasn’t it?”
“I thought you meant you wanted to ride together! Isn’t that the norm?!”

Cestlavie grumbled while vigorously tugging at his unruly black hair.

Bruno and Lynn watched him with surprised expressions.

Come to think of it, based on the impression I got from the two of them, there seemed to be a perception of Cestlavie as quite taciturn and confident, so it might seem unusual in this context.

―In reality, he’s just incredibly fussy and lazy.

(Though he’s also straightforward, clumsy, and he gets lonely easily.)

With a chuckle, I fell off the saddle and handed him the reins.

“—Geez, some things never change with you.”

Taking the reins, Cestlavie muttered with a strangely nostalgic tone as he scratched his hair again.

His face was turned in the other direction, so I couldn’t see well, but it didn’t seem like he was angry; rather, there was a sense of familiarity with his words. Or maybe that was just my imagination?

Also, I couldn’t help but feel like Bruno’s mood worsened even more, but perhaps I’m just overthinking things.


Now then. The moment we met after two months, the variety of expressions he showcased was quite a spectacle.

A curt nod in response to Bruno’s greeting, followed by a sideways glance at me. A sudden second look towards me as if he was being pulled. Half-risen body from his stool, sleepy eyes opened wide to the limits. Several blinks before finally focusing on my face. Mouth opening and closing like a fish gasping for water. A finger trembling as it pointed at me, seemingly oblivious to the puzzled glances around. Finally, with a squeezed-out voice, he managed to say, “W-, why are you here…?”

“It’s been a while. I’m relieved that you remembered me. You seem well, Priest Cestlavie.” I said, bowing politely towards the astonished Cestlavie priest.

“Are you acquainted with each other?” Bruno asked, comparing me and him with a puzzled expression.

I nodded in response to Bruno’s questioning gaze.

“To explain it briefly… Well, you might have heard of the current talk of the town here, the ‘Orc King-Slaying Prodigy and the Foreigner Beauty,’ haven’t you?”

At my question, Lynn seemed to realize something and softly exclaimed, “Ah!” Cestlavie, on the other hand, resumed his seat with a sour expression, while Bruno nodded with a perplexed look.

“Yeah. That’s about you, isn’t it?”
“Yes, well… It’s rather presumptuous of me to be called a beauty, but exaggerated tales and embellishments are common in stories. Setting that aside, the issue is about the role of the ‘prodigy’ in the story.”
“…Wait, you don’t mean…”

Realizing what was going on, Bruno furrowed his brows and eyed Cestlavie, who was shifting his body from side to side on a stool in the guild’s waiting room, with suspicion.

“Just so you know, I won’t be signing any autographs. It’s a hassle.”
“Who’d want one anyway?!”

Bruno shot back at Cestlavie’s jest (or was it?), but Cestlavie simply shrugged it off with a cool demeanor.

…Hmm, I see. Indeed, it seems like they both have strong personalities and may not get along well with each other. Well, in Bruno’s case, there are also some areas where he seems to clash with Luke and Ashimi for some reason—

(Hang on? Could it be that Bruno doesn’t have any close male friends…? Ah, realizing this now is like realizing something unnecessary.)

—which was probably just due to differences in upbringing and values, and they seem to get along reasonably well in other aspects, but when it comes to Cestlavie, it feels like they clash on almost everything.

(I somehow feel like both of them have similar personalities, I guess you really do dislike people who are just like you…)1

In situations like this, it’s best to take some time to understand each other or confront the issue head-on. Maybe settle it with a fistfight by the riverbank at sunset or something.2



  1. Mab: 同族嫌悪 means disliking people who are similar to you. It’s the opposite of “Like Attracts Like.”
  2. Lio: Peak bromance right here.
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