|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
In the end, teacher overtook me in terms of battle contribution on the very first day. I haven’t defeated too many monsters after that spell, so I suppose this was only natural. Though, in terms of standing out, our party stood out considerably.
While the A-rank hunters have done a good number against the monster onslaught, we were overwhelmed by the great wave of monsters and forced to lay out a line of defenses near the walls. The soldiers and knights focus on the siege defense as they’re trained for, while the hunters act as mobile attackers, decreasing the number of monsters. While having a tough time with the occasional B-rank monsters that are mixed in, the number of monsters are steadily decreasing. We have enough battle potential, the problem lies on how long this battle will last.
On the second day, our party was less active compared to the first. The battle has shifted into pure melee, so we can’t use large spells. Despite this though, teacher goes deep into the frontlines, raising pillars of flames before coming back.
I bring down monsters using the rapid casting I’ve cultivated up until now. In the past, I would’ve had a tough time defeating even a single C-rank monster, but now I can confidently handle several of them at the same time. I still have plenty of energy to go around, but we should have already contributed enough as a B-rank party with yesterday’s large spell and I’m also preserving my power for wyverns since there’s no telling when they’ll appear.
Ever since we went on the defensive, we generally worked in shifts. After several hours of combat, our party would switch with other people for a break. We got our breaktime at around past noon. We only had a quick breakfast before joining the battle again, so we were just thinking of enjoying a relaxed mealtime when a low-ranked hunter, who had been transporting supplies at the Hunter Guild building, came before us in a hurry.
「Did something happen?」
「Umm, that Song Princess came and is arguing with the acting master.」
「… Haa… Once again bothering Cielmer, I see…」
I’m starting to get a headache. To begin with, wasn’t she supposed to be in a town north of here? Information about the stampede should reach there, so I was sure that she’d stay away hearing about it.
「Do you know what she came for?」
「She accepted a request for supply delivery at Norvelle. The atmosphere inside the guild building was quite grim.」
「I see. Still, we have no choice but to leave them be. The guild is required to assure her safety within the Royal Capital Guild building after all.」
If this promise is broken, there’s a great chance that this would become a large scandal for the Hunter Guild. I heard that they made sure to thoroughly instruct the acting master about this, so it should be fine. However, the hunter boy that came to report this didn’t look so good.
Well, the acting guildmaster did get intoxicated with the sudden authority and became more tyrannical, so I suppose mere instructions weren’t enough.
「It was like the situation was a mere step away from exploding. The guys at standby seemed like they were just about to start something too…」
「…In that case, this gives me all the less reason to intervene. If I have to say, the people working behind the scenes are likely to about to have a terrible time, but that’s just karma.」
I have no clue when exactly Cielmer entered the capital, but if the acting master lays even a finger on her, they’re sure to be wiped out. They’d be lucky if none of them dies, but even if any of them does, Cielmer will not be condemned for that. We’ll have to make sure that it doesn’t happen.
「If that’s true, then she’d probably leave the Royal Capital as soon as possible. She got the permission to abstain from the stampede battle after all. Since she had an argument with the acting master, then she likely wouldn’t want to stay here. You want to try meeting up with her during our break? There might be some things we can help her with after all.」
Overhearing the conversation, Chasse gave a suggestion. I immediately nodded and our two other members agreed as well.
「In that case, I’ll remain here at the eastern gate. Viviana, Lucie, Arold, I’ll leave the western, northern, and southern gates to you three respectively.」
In accordance with his instructions, we spread out. I had to make a detour since all the gates are shut, but the reason Chasse assigned me to the western gate must be because Cielmer is most likely to go there.
With that said, there’s no assurance that she’ll honestly leave through the gates. Rather, I think there are more places excluding the gates where one can exit in secrecy. This might end up being a waste of energy, but this is for my self-satisfaction. As I decided to wait at the gates until the end of my break, something fell from the sky.
Pure white hair and vibrant blue eyes. It seems like she’s not hiding her face underneath her hooded robe today. This extremely adorable girl.
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「I wasn’t expecting to actually encounter you here.」
「It’s been a while.」
「You seem to be…… not in high spirits at all.」
Since she’s exuding a sense of fatigue unbefitting of her face, there’s no doubt that the acting guildmaster did something. Her tone isn’t that of when she’s trying to keep up appearances, but instead that of when she’s taciturn. So this one was her normal state.
「Will the guild here be okay?」
「Frankly speaking, nope. Since we had the former guildmaster working, assignment of a new guildmaster wasn’t a high priority. So due to that, it seems like the submaster was tentatively promoted but… the instant he gained authority, he’s doing as he pleases. From his standpoint, it appears that he wanted to use this chance to prove his worth and become an official guildmaster but… it’s out of the question.」
As I said that, I’m getting a headache. I haven’t shown up much at the guild recently, but I’m sure that Chasse had a difficult time dealing with the acting master.
「Why are you here?」
「While I was on my break, a messenger approached me saying that there’s trouble in the guild, and when I heard the details, it sounded like you were involved, so I attempted to make contact. My other party members are on the lookout at the other gates too. As for why, we were hoping that we could lend a hand if there’s any issues.」
Though it doesn’t seem like there’s anything to help with this time as well.
「You won’t stop me?」
「I would love to have you fighting with us though. Still, I won’t stop you. As soon as the stampede ends, we’ll report the details to the Headquarters, so feel free to do as you like.」
I’m sure that if Cielmer joins us, she’ll contribute to the battle just as much as my teacher does. While I do want her to stay since it’ll really help to have as many sorcerers as possible when the wyvern arrives, I put great importance in keeping the promises with Cielmer. We should never invite animosity with her. That alone will result in great losses. Or rather, I suppose this current situation is an exact example of that loss.
「Okay. With this, it’s goodbye to this country.」
With a monotonous tone, Cielmer said she’s leaving this country. For a moment, I couldn’t understand what she meant. After all, she can’t leave the country until she reaches B-rank. While she does have the capability to do so, there hasn’t been any precedent of someone not even reaching 15 years old becoming a B-rank hunter.
However, I was convinced that it wouldn’t be odd for Cielmer to somehow do it either. Moreover, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was powerful enough to defeat wyverns.
…I was told that Cielmer came here from Norvelle. Based on her path, she should’ve come from the eastern gate. In other words, it’s possible that she got engulfed in the stampede. And perhaps… I’ll leave the possibilities in my head.
Both she and I don’t have the time to have a leisurely chat after all.
「So you’ve become B-rank now. I’d love to hold a celebration, but you won’t be staying here for long, aren’t you?」
「Yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing you again.」
I wave goodbye as she leaves. After seeing her small back disappearing into the horizon, I decided to return to the battlefield.
Chasse was the only one there at the western gate, but I’m sure that the other two will be here in a while.
「Seems like you saw her.」
「I did. She looked exhausted.」
「Haa… Probably more work for us then…」
「Definitely more work. The hunters on standby at the guild are most likely wiped out. While it’s their fault for breaching the agreement, the timing is terrible. No, this happened exactly due to the current situation.」
「But the supplies still arrived. I don’t know how long it’ll go on for, but would it last us until the end of the stampede?」
「We lost manpower in exchange though. Come to think of it, were wyverns spotted yet?」
「For some reason, they still haven’t seen any, it seems. Because of that, the A-rank hunters are pretty pissed. Though, since they’re going in harder to let off some steam, we’re in a considerably advantageous situation battle wise.」
「Cielmer came from Norvelle, didn’t she? With that considered, it’s possible that she annihilated the wyverns.」
「If that’s true, I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing…」
Chasse turned his gaze to the rampaging A-rank hunters. My teacher is also among them, but teacher and the Ice Witch, considered to be her equal, are both practically A-ranks hiding under the title of B-rank, so I’m not surprised at all. At any rate, witnessing the intensity of their rampage, I couldn’t help but hope that an A-rank monster would appear soon.
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Everything ended five days after the stampede started. While in the end no wyverns appeared, since wyrms —another A-rank subdragon— did appear, it seems that the A-rank hunters were satisfied. There were considerable casualties. While the hunters B-rank and above only received injuries at most, there were some from lower ranks who fell in battle.
By the nature of our livelihood, there’s no telling when we would die, so getting engulfed in a stampede is nothing more than an issue of bad luck. To tell the truth, I got pretty close to dying myself. The blade of someone’s sword snapped and flew towards me, and I was too late on noticing it. I didn’t have time to cast a defensive spell and I could’ve died depending on where it’d hit me but for some reason, the blade suddenly dropped to the ground.
I have no idea what happened, but I’m glad to be alive. In retrospect, I could’ve just shot it down with combat sorcery. For being so confident about my own quick casting skills, it’s such an embarrassment.
Since there were no wyverns, there were no casualties among the residents of the capital but due to the battle with the wyrms, the area surrounding the eastern gate fell into ruin. Still, at worst, the wyrms could have come out right below the capital’s residential area. Considering that, it can be said that the damage was kept to the bare minimum.
Partly due to the lack of oncoming merchants, the prices of commodities have inflated, so the real challenge for the king and the capital’s residents starts here. The repairs for the gate will also incur expenses, as well as the safety check and maintenance for the roads. If the safety can’t be secured, then the Royal Capital’s liveliness from several days ago cannot return.
Well, our party’s going back to Central though.
「Viviana, there you are.」
「Is there something a matter, teacher?」
With the long stampede finished, I was dazedly pondering on various things near the ruins of the eastern gate when my teacher suddenly came.
「I was thinking about what would be a fitting epithet for you, but I realized that I should ask for your opinion for this as well.」
「An epithet, for me?」
「After all, your evaluation was raised with your services this time. It wouldn’t be strange for you to have a moniker. Or rather, it’s that. You now have the qualifications to challenge the B-rank exam solo. If you pass, you’ll be given an epithet based on your actions there.」
It’s true that I’ve become stronger these past few months. Still, even after being told about being B-rank solo and epithets and such, while I was aiming for these, it doesn’t feel real right now.
「Oh? Do you perhaps hate being the same as me?」
「It isn’t that. It’s just, this is so sudden. It doesn’t feel real to me yet…」
「That might be so. I have several picks for a moniker, so take your time thinking about this sometime. Everyone is exchanging their opinions as they please, so if you’re not careful, you might be given something like “First Wind” or so. Well, being your teacher, my choice should get precedence.」
「Understood. I’ll keep it in mind.」
「Still, don’t be moping around for too long. If you take too much time, I’ll leave you behind and rise to A-rank on my own.」
「Teacher, were you always that enthusiastic about ranking up?」
As she reached B-rank at a young age, I vaguely remember her saying that she doesn’t want to get to A-rank since they’re all older than her. She had a faraway gaze and suddenly grimaced.
「Ice, you see. She’s A-rank now. Besides, honestly speaking, I don’t see myself winning against Ice as she is now. That’s why I at least want to catch up to her in rank. Just as I heard that she finally returned from here 2 or 3 years ago; before I noticed it, I’m left in the dust. Both you and Ice, did something happen to you two?」
While I have no idea about what happened to the Ice Witch, I became stronger thanks to one girl. Still, I can’t tell teacher about this, so in exchange I decided to answer by alluding to her.
「Do you know the age recorded for the youngest to promote to B-rank?」
「I’ve heard that it was C-rank at 15 years old before being promoted to B-rank at 18.」
「That record has been broken.」
「Hm~m, seems to be someone interesting. A sorcerer perhaps?」
Hearing me dodge her question, teacher smiles amused. I don’t think anything in particular will happen if teacher and Cielmer meet each other, but this should be a fine stimulus for teacher. Though, before the two of them meet, I want to meet Cielmer one more time.
「Which reminds me, the acting guildmaster looked lifeless. It was bad enough that he caused trouble behind the scenes while we were out fighting, but I hear he caused even more problems.」
「It’s making me want to groan.」
「Regarding this, it’s your party’s problem, isn’t it? I was only dispatched here to resolve the stampede. With the stampede finished, I’ll be returning to Central as soon as possible.」
「We might have to return to Central with this guildmaster in tow, it seems. How troublesome…」
「You have my condolences. About that, I’ve heard that he has greatly angered Mistress Fiiyanamia.」
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After suddenly chatting up with me and casually dropping this final bombshell, 「Later then.」 she left only these words before heading somewhere else. The right to challenge the solo B-rank promotion and an epithet. Finally, the post-processing of the acting guildmaster. Somehow, there’s so much information, just hearing it exhausted me. In the meantime, I’ll report what I heard today to Chasse and do my best from tomorrow on.
Hiya~! And with this chapter, the Viviana interlude series is complete! Yay~! Also, we have the long awaited Ciel screen time, but probably not the way people wanted, lol~
First of all, I honestly found it funny that the A-rank hunters were pissed when there were no wyverns around. I just imagine one of them going “What do you mean there’s no wyverns?! I came here specifically to kill wyverns and you say there’s none?!”. I mean, they were so pissed that Chasse couldn’t honestly even feel relieved upon hearing that AinCiel might have gotten rid of the wyverns. On the other hand, it was interesting how Viviana didn’t immediately run to the guild to intervene, but I guess if she intervenes, that would immediately discredit the guild’s ability to keep their promises, since it was the guild itself that had to ensure Ciel’s safety within the guild building. Also, we got a small reference to Fiiyanamia being angry during the meeting with the representatives of Central, the acting guild master is getting delivered straight to Central, lol.
On the topic of Viviana, she’s really rising up in the world. B-rank after the stampede, good for her. Also, is seems that she might just meet up with AinCiel at Central now, since the Fool’s gathering has to bring the troublemaker to Central. In other news, we have a reference to Carol. It seems that she got back to Central immediately after they separated, probably with Celia. They did leave the town at the same time, so I suppose they went straight to Central without any sidetracks. And lastly, it seems that Viviana just hinted her teacher about AinCiel. I wonder what that will result to~?
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!