|Author: Himezaki Shiu
|Original Source: Syosetu
|English Source: Re:Library
「Come to think of it, I heard that you go to the pub occasionally.」
「Earning money from singing makes me happy after all. As a bonus, I get information too.」
「So the information is just a bonus for you, huh.」
It has probably been about a month since Brass and I formed the party.
Even though we are in the same party, we only work together for half a week. It seems like he also accepts requests during the other half of the week, but he’s not really achieving particularly good results. While it looks like he hasn’t actually failed any requests, he still hurts himself regularly and loses his money to the church, so he’s practically earning nothing. We really don’t go to the church, so I don’t know how much they ask as payment but since they can heal wounds instantly, the cost is probably high.
Rather than a church, it’s more like a hospital. But the money you pay for healing are the offerings.
Today, as we were called by Celia for some reason, Carol and I are waiting for her right now. Before I noticed it, we’re already with them for more than half a year. Normally that would sound like a short amount of time to associate with people but from Ciel’s perspective, excluding the duke, they’re the two people we’ve spent the longest time with.
「In the first place, if I didn’t like singing, my Job wouldn’t have been something related to it.」
「Now that you mention it, good point. Still, aren’t you also great with sorcery?」
「I just spent more time with singing compared to sorcery, that’s all.」
「How old are you again?」
「Well you certainly don’t have the cuteness of your age.」
『What is she even talking about? Just look at how adorable Ciel is.』
『Umm, I’m adorable?』
『That’s what I think.』
『I see, I see…!』
『Is something wrong?』
There shouldn’t be any people that would see Ciel as ugly. Since I was so focused on escaping, I haven’t really praised her much until we escaped from the mansion so maybe she’s not used to praises. It might be best that I frequently praise her from now on, so that she won’t fall for some suspicious men as well. I’m not that used to bluntly praising people as well, but since it’s not like I’m going to lie to her, it shouldn’t be impossible.
「Come to think of it, do you know anything about a medicine that uses magic stones, Carol?」
「Where did you learn about that?」
I asked her about it since I thought that we might be able to increase our magic power if we can make that medicine from B-rank monster’s magic stone, but she replied with a piercing gaze. I already know that I would have to tell them about why our hair turned white someday, but to think that it would be today.
I had no intentions of formally explaining it, but I expected a slightly different situation than this.
「I don’t know if it’s the same medicine you’re thinking about but since you’re asking where, it was while I was locked up.」
「I’ll change my question. Why do you want to learn about that drug?」
「Ahh, that’s right, it can also be used to kill a person after all. Perhaps, are you thinking that I’m going to use it on someone?」
「Enough of that, could you answer already? Depending on your answer, I might have to capture you as a dangerous individual right here right now.」
Carol urged on with an unusually intense, top hunter-ish pressure. Since I can see the window misting over, the temperature might have dropped but being protected by a barrier, I don’t feel any colder. I imagine that if I make the wrong choice here, an ice spear might just come flying. I was messing around with her a bit as a revenge for them pressing Brass to me, but it looks like I overdid it.
「Why do I want to learn about it, huh? I just wanted to know about the medicine that was used on me in the past.」
「… Sorry for intimidating you.」
Just as the pressure from Carol settled down, she wearily leaned back on her chair. She then places her hand over her face, probably thinking about something. Based on her reaction, it looks like that medicine isn’t just some regular commodity. Ignoring whether it’s well-known or not for now, that medicine might have been something categorized as a lethal drug or even poison.
Since anyone unused to controlling magic power practically has a 100% chance of dying from it, it’s probably the type of medicine that’s forbidden to use for its lethality or as poison.
「You said that it was used on you, how frequent was it?」
「Every single day. For the whole 5 years since I was five until I escaped.」
「You did well living through that.」
「I just want to confirm, but that medicine was something that compressed magic power from magic stones and releases it inside a person’s body, right?」
「Right, I haven’t seen it in person but that drug is highly valued among nobles as poison. After all, since it’s simply rampaging magic power, it doesn’t leave any traces behind unlike real poison. The berserk magic power eventually disperses on its own as well, so it’s quite ideal. Though lately, circuit analysis can be done too, so it’s use will be quite clear with one look. Due to how troublesome it is, not only is it forbidden for use, but it’s supposedly forbidden to even own them. Fortunately however, making it would need a considerable sum of money, so it shouldn’t appear anywhere without any reason.」
「I think that you won’t die even if you drink it, Carol. It’s extremely bothersome though.」
「I have absolutely no plans being made to drink that.」
「Having taken it wouldn’t be a crime, right?」
「If someone that was forced to drink a poison that’s forbidden to even possess could be seen as a criminal, then sure, it’s a crime.」
For some reason, Carol seems exhausted but was it really that shocking? Frankly, I didn’t feel much danger from that medicine, so I can’t really relate to her. But if I consider that Ciel on her own couldn’t endure it unless she turned her hair into circuits, then it might have been actually quite dangerous.
In other words, at that stage, the duke was already taking his chances. His expectation was likely that Ciel would die and in the rare case that she survived, he would exploit her in some way. Given this, it’s possible that the duke was equally surprised as Ciel continued to live on, and discovering that she was a Dance Princess must have caused him immense disappointment. Though, as for me, all I can say is serves him right.
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「Still, now I get it. You have something that allowed you to survive even after taking that drug. Of course you’ll be strong.」
「The reason I survived was this.」
I combed Ciel’s long hair to my front, as though embracing it. As Carol’s gaze was nailed to the pure white hair, I began explaining.
「The result of forcing down the berserk magic power was this hair.」
「It was originally blonde, wasn’t it? In short, you’re saying that each strand of your hair turned into a circuit, right?」
「That should be it. I only know that they became circuits as a result, so I don’t understand exactly how it happened. Still, the reason why white-haired people are great sorcerers might be because they can use their hair as circuits. Rather, I think your hair turns white when it becomes a circuit.」
「This is a new discovery. A major breakthrough, even. But we can’t exactly make this public still.」
「Even a five year old can manage it though.」
「That’s only in your case. Haa… Knowing that I shouldn’t go through it even though there’s this perfect research material right in front of me is just, bad for my mind.」
Seeing Carol sigh made me remember how much of a beauty she is, but her words were absolutely terrible, so it didn’t really help. Besides this, our situation with the ritual for hauling a god and the potential use of the medicine to enhance magic power were both topics that might have piqued her interest, but I had a feeling they were taboo in this world.
『It looks like we can’t make that medicine.』
『Having more magic power might be useful, but even now I haven’t actually run out of magic power yet. Wouldn’t it better to consider selling the magic stone or thinking of other ways to use it then?』
『That’s true. Rather, I’m grateful that they used that expensive drug on us for 5 years straight.』
『Ain might feel that way but was quite tough for me, you know?』
As we had this sort of exchange, Celia arrived.
「Thank you for waiting. Did something happen?」
「Took you long. And about that, well, I can’t say. I know I’m being unreasonable, but could you just read the mood?」
「That’s making me curious, but for now, to the main topic. The reason we asked you to come here as well is to ask about Brass.」
「That’s, is it really fine to ask me about that? I know this is related to my test as well, but…」
If I talk down on Brass right now, I could probably raise my own evaluation. That’s why I thought that calling me here isn’t a good idea but seeing the look on their faces, I might be wrong.
「We’ve already seen more than enough of how you work in a party. Now that I think about it, since you can do everything on your own, it makes sense that you can do anything that’s needed while in a party, doesn’t it? The main worry of your mid-combat teamwork is, in the sense of doing what you’re told to do, already passable. While there’s a lot to say about the part where you tend to leave him to fend for himself until he is in danger, your eventual support is still practical enough even for a high-ranking hunter.」
「You’ve already worked in this party continuously for a whole month, in this matter, you’re almost certain to have a passing grade. If possible, we would like to have you take command as a high-ranking hunter as well, but…」
「That’s impossible. He only hears me when I’m guiding him to a destination.」
「Yes, I understand. This is a problem from his side, so we have no intention of blaming you for that matter. However, there’s an evaluation on the cooperation in nurturing low-ranking hunters, so unless any problem occurs, we’d like you to work in the party for a bit longer but…」
「In that case, it’s alright.」
Improving the Hunter Guild’s impression of us in itself isn’t really a bad thing for us, so there’s no need to decline. Celia had a seemingly relieved look on her face but, as it is, even if I continue working with him, I don’t think it would lead to his rehabilitation.
「Now, speaking of Brass, how was he like? I don’t mind hearing your honest opinion, so please tell us.」
「He’s not fit to be a hunter.」
Hearing my immediate answer, Celia showed a troubled smile.
「Could you give an example of why?」
「Just looking at his strength, he can consistently fight two goblins alone, so it shouldn’t be difficult for him to make a living as an E-rank hunter. He can still win against the stronger E-rank monsters one-on-one as well, so if he can become a bit stronger then he might be able to defeat a lone D-rank monster by himself. However, he’s absolutely disastrous in everything else. After all, he just walks around randomly without thinking, only looking for a target, and when he finds one, he just immediately rushes for a duel. Since he leaves all the other enemies to his allies, the more enemies there are, the more his existence wouldn’t matter. Even if we find the monsters and are in an advantageous position, he still goes rushing in right in front of them, and he doesn’t even listen to what I’m saying. I suspect that he probably hasn’t seen me fight even once. He has the power to see through the strongest individual in a crowd, so he might dramatically improve if he uses it well, but since he only uses it to find himself an opponent to fight, it’s a waste of talent.」
I still have more to say, but this should be enough for now. Celia looks at Carol and she nodded in reply.
「Just as you said. He likely does terrible at camping as well, doesn’t he? At any rate, his attitude is problematic. Since he got Advanced Swordsman as his Job, his ego blew up in size and it’s not shrinking at all. When he’s taking a request with her and they complete the request, he honestly thinks that it’s all thanks to him. How he even reached that conclusion, I have no idea at all. In the first place, has he even thought of why he was allowed to take high difficult E-rank requests as long as he went with this girl?」
「I understand. I’m very sorry Cielmer, but we’d like to ask for you to work with him for a few more times.」
Celia let out a deep sigh for some reason, but as for me, I’m absolutely glad that we just need to go with him for only a few more times.
I’m not certain when we will be promoted to C-rank, but given that it has been almost a year since we arrived in Sannois, it’s reasonable to anticipate it happening in the coming months. Even if it doesn’t, Celia can likely provide an explanation. Still, our biggest harvest for today might be the fact that the medicine was actually some pretty dangerous stuff.
Hiya~! A little time-skip again, luckily for us considering that they worked together for a few times off screen, and a well earned oof for our boy Brass it seems. Personality evaluation, baby~
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Also, sorry for the wall of text coming next.
For the first part, we see more Ain-Carol banter, which is usually plain fun, currently only second to AinCiel fluff in my opinion, which was also present. Still, I quite relate to Carol a bit. She’s not the most mature person, but is quite reliable when it counts. I see Carol & Ain’s relationship as the two cousins, one older and one younger. Carol clearly wants to do other things rather than take care of Ain and Ain is like the smart little cousin with a troubled life. You can see Carol being quite stressed with all the bombshells Ain just drops without warning. There’s even the “I’m going to tell mom/auntie” aspect of the relationship. Other than that, it’s interesting how they’re pretty similar in a lot of aspects. Both of them being sorcerers, their curiosity with magic, their maturity and even their role as the more knowledgeable in their team. Looking back, Ain and Carol might be the same age. Carol clearly treats Ain like so, and Ain’s banter with her is similar to how you’d mess around with your classmates. While Ain might seem polite, she’s pretty mean sometimes, lol, and is quite aware of her slightly immature tendencies. Carol is on the opposite end, she’s quite frank and honest with herself, but is also quite responsible, to say the least. I think that’s where they clash, disregarding the part where Carol overdid it, but they really are very similar. Hilariously, you can see it in the way they dismantled Brass as well. Or maybe I’m overthinking it.
Also, Carol clearly isn’t equipped to manage these kinds of stressors, lol. She’s just a simple magic nerd thrown right in front of a slightly mean, troubled orphan and she has no idea on how to handle it. And AinCiel fluff was cute as usual~
Speaking of Brass, man, Ain and Carol were savage in the second part. Rather, blast him more. One nice thing about the second part is the test contents itself. Judging on the criteria they alluded, mooks like Alejo and the 4 sandbags probably would spend their whole life at D-rank at most. You really need to earn the trust and have the proper character to be able to get to C-rank, which is the rank needed to be able to travel freely between towns. It’s good for making sure that the higher ranked members would be equipped to interact with merchants and nobles without ruining the reputation of the guild. However, this does leave the problem of the lower ranked that don’t grow and mature, they won’t be able to leave, which might narrow their worldview like some swordsman, and if the town itself isn’t that good, the quality of the hunters and the staff won’t be. It’s really an issue for the organization, but I’m curious how long this organization has been operating. The headquarters people like Carol and Celia are clearly well trained and has the guilds goal in mind, so the problem would come from the branches. There’s even the “cooperation in nurturing low-ranking hunters” and Carol’s training with Ciel, so they thought of that part for the hunters as well. Anyway, it’s just my opinion. Probably overdoing the think-thonking.
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!