Interlude: Perla and Doubts ※Perla POV

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Author: Himezaki Shiu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: PunishedLyly English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Fire

It’s been three years since we left the village. Although we’ve come across a lot of difficulties, D-rank is almost within our grasp. On one certain day, our party headed to the forest near town as usual for a request.
While there were four of us when we left the village and only the three of us are left together now, I’m still glad that it ended up this way.
Since there’s the issue of Brass-kun’s little sister as well, the three of us agreed to go back home after becoming D-rank and talk to her in person.
After all, we’ve known about her before leaving the village but you never know how much people can change within three years.

Then after meeting with her and discussing things, we can decide if we should buy her medicine or not.
After all, since Brass-kun got himself demoted—something we only learned after the match—after being self-centered while he was in a party with Teacher, Cielmer-san, it’s practically impossible for him to buy the medicine now.
By doing that, we can officially cut our ties with him. That’s what our party agreed on.
Since the three of us worked hard and saved our money, all of us have one gold coin each, so if we really wanted to do so, we could buy that medicine right now.

Still, all of this is about after we become D-rank, so I should work hard on our requests for now. As I was in my thoughts, I saw Teacher walking behind us. I reflexively waved to greet her.
This is only the third time I’ve seen Teacher ever since we worked as a party together. Still, Teacher taught me many important things so she’s my teacher.

「Teren-kun. I just spotted Teacher, I’m going back.」
「Sure, see you later.」
「Don’t bother her, okay?」
「It’ll be fine. It’s Teacher after all.」

I’m not even sure what I even mean by that, but I was so glad to see her that I ran up to her.
She has silky white hair, blue upturned eyes, in addition to small lips and nose. While it’s surprising enough that Teacher’s a hunter at age 10, she looks even younger than that as well.
Moreover, she’s cute as a doll. With how Teacher looks, I can imagine her actually being a noble but since she doesn’t talk about her life, I don’t know for sure.

「Teacher, are you going to the forest for a request too?」
「That’s right, but “Teacher”?」

Come to think of it, this might be the first time I’ve actually called her Teacher while talking to her.
Teacher returned a confused look, but since “Teacher” really fits her in my heart, I replied to her without minding it.

「Yup! I can do more things now because of Teacher’s help and we’re now allowed to take the D-rank test. It’s all thanks to everything you taught me, so you’re my Teacher.
Is that bad?」
「No, it’s not really bad or anything. Anyways, congratulations on receiving the permission to take the D-rank test. You’re not heading to the test right now, are you? 」
「We’ve decided to take it after we get just a bit better with our teamwork.
I still get Teren-kun wet sometime after all.」

While I was enjoying our chat together, we caught up with Teren-kun and Ilda-chan.
That was a bit too short. Still, we’ll be going to the forest together now, so I’m satisfied with that.

As we were nearing the forest, Teacher asked if there was a sweet smell.
Hearing that, I tried to get a whiff and, as she said, there really was a sweet scent.
However, Teren-kun was a bit unsure about it, while Ilda-chan can’t seem to smell it at all.

It’s really mysterious but since Teacher walks on without any hesitation, I follow her without worrying about it.
Just as we were almost at the edge of the forest, or rather as we gradually went nearer, I noticed that the sweet scent steadily became stronger.
It smelled like the sugar sweets I occasionally see in shops, causing me to say 「It smells so good!」in high spirits, but no one agreed with me.

「Are you really sure about that?」
「Doesn’t it smell like sweets?」
「I really don’t smell anything at all though.」
「Teacher, about this……」

I thought of asking Teacher since it’s best to ask about things I don’t know, but she already moved from where she was before and picked up a weirdly shaped glass bottle that was barely inside of the forest.
Ilda-chan immediately went to her and asked her what it was.

「This drug? I suppose. Does this look any familiar?」
「Not really, but what’s that?」
「Likely the source of that scent. I have a bad feeling about this but for now, would you mind going back to town and showing this to the guild people? You can tell them that I picked it up.」

Feeling uneasy from Teacher’s words, the three of us looked at each other and nodded.
I’m sure that there’s something we don’t know that’s happening right now.
Taking the glass bottle, we were about to head back to town, but realising that Teacher had no intention of going back, I couldn’t help but ask.

「Teacher, what do you plan to do?」
「I wonder what indeed. If there’s no other choice, I’ll run away.」
「That’s a promise, okay?」

For some reason, I felt like I won’t be able to see Teacher again, causing tears to well up in my eyes.
I just feel that anxious. There’s something strange with the forest. At any rate, we need to hurry back.

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On our way back, we passed by the B-rank hunter Carol-san.
She was also in a hurry, only telling us「Go back to town, quick.」but hearing that made me even more anxious.
After all, it’s a situation that a B-rank hunter has to hurry for.
Because of that, we silently ran. As we got closer to town, people running like us gradually increased. We didn’t have the leeway to talk to them, but we overheard a bit of their conversations.

There’s a stampede, the monsters seem to be heading straight towards town.

I instantly froze on my feet, but Ilda-chan pulled me by my hand and I managed to run again.
Teacher noticed the stampede.
And speaking of stampede, I can now guess what’s inside this weird bottle. The illegal monster-luring drug.
In that case, we can’t go back to where Teacher is anymore. We’ve noticed the importance of this bottle after all.

Why did Teacher stay behind by herself? She could’ve escaped with us together instead.
A lot of monsters are coming. And even when things get bad, there’s no way to escape.

There should be a stampede right now, but there isn’t even one monster in sight. This is probably the answer to my question.
I pray that Teacher doesn’t die, that she comes back safe and sound.

As we reached town, there’s an uproar as far as I could see. With a stampede coming, this isn’t all that strange.
But considering that, I don’t see any preparations against the stampede. Since the monsters are already coming, there should be hunters stationed to protect the town then.
As I was thinking that,「I know the one who caused this stampede!」I noticed that there’s a person yelling out loud.
It’s a big muscular man that seems to be a hunter. If I remember correctly, his name should be Alejo.

Standing around Alejo are the townspeople and opposite from them are the veteran hunters of this town.
Considering that the veterans seem baffled as they stare at Alejo screaming about, I guess that it’s his fault that the preparations fell behind.

「C’mon, hurry.」

Being urged by Ilda-chan, I was about to enter the Hunter’s Guild building but then as I heard him say「It was that white haired brat hanging out at the pub that did it.」I stopped on my tracks.
Some hunters agreed with Alejo, saying「I saw it.」「Me too.」after he said that.
For some reason, the townspeople seem to believe what Alejo said and began searching in the crowd.

I told Ilda-chan and Teren-kun to hand the bottle to the guild staff and decided to stay here.
After all, no matter how much I think about it, the person Alejo is talking about… is Teacher.
There’s no way that Teacher caused the stampede. After all, she was with us when we headed to the forest.

「How about you explain what you mean by that?」

Before I could raise my objection, one of the veterans asked Alejo so.
I have no idea of what this person thinks of Alejo’s statements. Still, I’m still not strong enough to interject in this situation. It’s really frustrating.
And in contrast to how I am, with full confidence, Alejo began to speak.

「There’s a white-haired brat that became a hunter recently singing at the pub. She’s been earning a ton too, I hear. But you already know that, yeah?」
「Yeah, so?」
「Isn’t that just crazy? A 10-year-old brat. Unless there’s some special reason, like hell that she can earn a lot with just that.
I actually went there once, but then I was pulled in by the song I gradually started to hear clearer in the middle of all the pub’s bustle.
And of course I would. That brat’s a “Song Princess” after all. She’s using her power to snare people to give up their coins. I even almost gave some myself.」

As he finished, the hunters sympathising with Alejo earlier followed up with「I heard it too!」「We’ve been scammed!」in reply.
Teacher is a Song Princess? The Song Princess, if I remember, is said to be hated as the prime example of a disappointing princess or so.
I’m feeling awfully uncomfortable for some reason. Several townspeople shrieked as they heard Song Princess, some of them looked repulsive, and the much more terrible ones are yelling「Kick out the Song Princess!」and such, worsening my discomfort.

「So, to make sure that white-haired blue eyed brat doesn’t do anything, we got some volunteers to watch her.
And then today happened. Somebody saw the brat suddenly go to the forest alone. So we followed her, since it’s pretty weird that she did that, and there she was, singing a song to call the damn monsters! That’s why we hurried back here, see.」
「Wait a moment.」

That’s impossible. After all, we met with Teacher along the way.
I reflexively raised my voice, immediately gathering everyone’s attention and causing me to flinch.
Adding to that Alejo’s displeased「What?」that frankly scared me. However, as I found a very familiar face among the hunters sympathising with him, my fear gradually turned into anger.

「We’ve went to the forest together with her, so there’s no way that Teacher caused the stampede.」
「Together…… huh. You just called her “Teacher”, yeah? You’re in cahoots with her, aren’t you? Sounding awfully buddy with her and all. 」
「That’s, different.」

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I felt embarrassed about letting that slip, but I couldn’t tolerate seeing Brass-kun’s grin, so I talked back.
And even though I’m telling the truth, none of the townspeople support me. It’s even more frustrating.
But as I was thinking so, one of the veterans confronting Alejo, the one that was questioning him earlier, said「You did good there, girl.」as he hid me behind his back.

「A few questions, but first about why you concluded that the white-haired girl is a Song Princess. You said it’s because of the stuff in the pub, right?」
「Yeah, exactly.」
「Then in that case, the part where you heard the song gradually is strange.」
「No, it’s definitely normal. Since everybody hearing the brat’s song starts going silent, her voice would slowly reach farther and farther out.」
「That’s how it would be normally. But it’s a different story for Song Princesses. There’s absolutely no way that just that much noise would drown out a Song Princess’ voice. A Song Princess’ song can only be either heard or not, no in-between.
That’s why if they’re in a battle, the enemies get strengthened as well. It’s a pretty famous story, yeah?」

That’s right, it is a pretty famous story.
The townspeople, now confused, are staring right at Alejo and the veteran.

「For starters, it’s pretty risky for someone to call monsters themselves, you know?」
「This town has a B-rank hunter in it.」
「In that case, there’s no point in calling monsters then. Hell, why would she be the one to do it? And in the first place, how did you know that it’s the song that calls monsters?」

The veteran said that as he approached Alejo, who is now at a loss for words.
With the situation seemingly now against them, Brass-kun’s face turned pale, which honestly serves him right.
As Alejo’s side fell silent, unable to continue their argument, one staff personnel emerged from the guild building. In her hand is the bottle that the three of us delivered to them.

「The cause of the stampede has been verified. It was a result of a『Monster Lure』that was produced illegally.
Furthermore, Alejo and 6 others are under suspicion of illegally manufacturing and utilizing the『Monster Lure』and as such, shall be under arrest. Moreover, you shall be punished for attempted slander on a hunter concerning their Job.
Besides that, the stampede has been mostly annihilated, so just to be sure, please stay vigilant.」

As the guild staff said so, several knights appeared all of a sudden and arrested Alejo and the hunters that sympathised with him. Brass-kun was arrested along with them and is making a racket but considering what he just did, it’s only natural.

No, who cares about that. Teacher is in the middle of the stampede.
I entered the guild building and began looking for the guild staff that was talking earlier. As for why, it’s because she seemed to know a lot about the situation for some reason.
I was able to find her quickly, so I asked「Is Teacher alright!?」but she only tilted her head in confusion.

「Is Cielmer-chan alright? To let us escape, she, the stampede…」
「I see…… If I’m not mistaken, you were taught sorcery by Cielmer-san, correct?
You called her teacher, but is that the same even until now?」
「Y-Yes!」

In my place, Ilda-chan stated what I wanted to say, which the guild staff seems to have understood.
Her sudden question made me stutter, but Teacher will be always Teacher to me, so there was no problem at all.

「In that case, I’ll make an exception and tell you just a bit. Would the two of you mind waiting for a while?
There’s no need to worry, I believe that you’ll understand the situation soon after all.」

Saying only that, she took me along to some place.
She seems awfully calm for some reason, I wonder why.
Maybe, just maybe, her not being in a hurry means that it’s already too late.

「To cut it short, Cielmer-san is safe.」
「Really!?」
「Yes. In actuality, the one that annihilated the stampede was Cielmer-san after all.」

I didn’t get what she said for a moment, leaving me only blinking in surprise while she giggled at me in amusement.

「Even if the stampede reached this town and destroyed it, Cielmer-san herself would survive. That’s simply how powerful that she is.」
「Teacher is just 10 years old, right?」
「That’s undeniable. However, your teacher is a person whose appearance belies her own power.」

Teacher was that strong? Since she defeated a D-class monster with one strike, I know that she’s pretty strong but to think that she’s strong enough to annihilate a whole stampede.
Somehow, I got an amazing person as a teacher.

「About what happened earlier, what would’ve happened if Teacher was really a Song Princess?」
「There would be a chance that the Alejo side’s assumptions might have been approved.」
「But Teacher resolved the stampede, right? Even after that?」
「It’s probable. At the very least in this country, that’s how they see the Song Princess.」

With Teacher’s safety now confirmed, I tried asking about what made me feel uncomfortable earlier but, to my dismay, it was just as I imagined.
Even though Alejo and his group were the ones that used the monster lure and Teacher resolved it all, if Teacher was a Song Princess, she would have been treated as the bad one instead.
The doubts in my mind seem to have absolutely no answer in sight.

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The Bois are back, and they’re carrying trouble back with them! Or rather “carried”, as all is now in the past (tense) as it, along with their ambitions, was thrown into the same garbage fire that they caused. Lesson here: you can’t just make a bomb, make a bomb threat, and frame another party for bringing the bomb for shyts and giggles. *Or can you?*

While their plans were just as fool proofed as their brains were, it’s quite cunning of them to use the public opinion to try and bring down our princesses. In truth, they succeeded in what they wanted to do, have the people side with them, but only failed because of their underestimation of the *brat*. I mean, you have a rag tag bunch of low-ranked hunters that are practically known felons on one hand while on the other hand, you have the diva of the pub, the drunk veteran’s figurative oasis, a *little brat* that has regular communication with who I’d assume to be ‘proper adventurers’. As as we see here, they’re definitely somewhere near proper. First, no jumping into conclusions, you might as well die on the job. Second, proper communication, unlike the ‘hunters’ that ‘utilised’ the rules for ‘profit’. And finally, proper encouragement and role models for the next generation. Well, I’m making up the last one, but the point stands. It seems like we haven’t seen much proper hunters because of one reason alone: They know how to mind their own business like proper individuals. (My opinion, just saying.)

So, back to our main protagonist for today, Perla. Honestly, there’s a lot of character in her for just the few chapters she was in and that’s good. We see her here absolutely following Ciel’s (Ain’s) advice: be observant. I really liked how she immediately went searching for who I assume to be Ceila because she noticed that she seems to be a person on the know instead of asking any other guild staff for what happened.

Also, we got more info for the Song Princess! In short, it only works in binary. You either hear their song or not hear it. That’s awfully overpowered since even if someone’s barely in range, they’re as affected as the ones right next to the singer. Imagine a poison mist, it gets thinner as it goes farther from the origin. Normal song jobs probably have their effects work that way, making it more manageable and more useful, I guess. It’s both an advantage and a disadvantage as the past records tell, it’s really nice to know. And then there was discrimination. They really need to get out soon.

Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!


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