|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
For now, we left the cell and headed back to our original path.
We have no intentions of getting caught this time, so I cast a spherical barrier around Ciel to prevent anyone from coming near.
On the way back, I heard some clattering footsteps and then two soldiers appeared. Both of them didn’t seem familiar to me, so they’re probably not the one from earlier.
「What do you think you’re doing?」
「Going to Central.」
「So the noises from the cell is your doing then?」
The corridor is narrow. With two soldiers standing next to each other, passing through would be difficult.
Though, swinging a sword in this narrow path should be difficult for them as well.
Seemingly displeased with Ciel’s blunt attitude, the two soldiers are flushed red in anger.
「Can I ask you to return?」
「Well then, we’ll have to use force.」
The soldiers raised their swords, each held with both hands, making them considerably more intimidating.
With them approaching like that, normally this would have been frightening but, after fighting against the golden wolf and wyverns, I can’t help but feel underwhelmed in comparison.
In fact, they don’t seem to be a major threat as even though they attacked Ciel as she was walking forward, their swords were just repelled by the barrier.
And I guess they swung with considerable force, since they landed on their backside from the recoil.
Still, for soldiers who protect the national borders, is this level of strength adequate for their duties?
Leaving the dumbfounded soldiers aside, Ciel continued walking through the corridor.
「There’s an escape!」
Being unable to even grab Ciel as she leisurely passed by them, one of the soldiers shouted so.
While I don’t have any idea how many people are guarding this gate, they probably don’t have anyone capable of catching Ciel.
Since this is supposed to be a valuable location, there shouldn’t be anyone who’s plain weak here, but I also doubt that anyone would assign their strongest people here.
Rather, I wonder who these people are affiliated with.
Are they soldiers of Central? Hunters from the Hunter Guild? Fiiyanamia-sama’s private army?
Probably not the private army. Rather, since the orders for Ciel’s capture came from the Hunter’s Guild, they’re likely related to the Hunter Guild.
『You’re not running, Ciel?』
『Would it be better if I do so?』
『While running doesn’t seem to be necessary, don’t you feel bad for them?』
While it might be different if we’re escaping stealthily or moving at high speeds, being unable to catch a girl who’s just casually walking would be an embarrassment for life.
Still, unlike me, Ciel didn’t really strike me as being the type to do something childish like this, so this seemed unusual.
As I was wondering about this, Ciel pouted her lips.
『Ain, I might not look like it but I’m angry you know?』
『Umm, why is that?』
Up until now, Ciel generally only gets angry when someone insults me.
Also, I don’t think she ever got angry enough to say that she’s angry.
After all, even what the Hunter Guild just did didn’t seem to particularly affect Ciel that much.
『I mean, I was having so much fun on the way here, you know?
After all, we’ve finally left Estoque and Ain has been singing a lot on the way.
That’s why I’m angry that we were dragged down like that.』
『I see. Well, I was relatively annoyed from the start as well.』
『Then in that case, shall we walk?』
『Right, let’s walk.』
As the soldiers stood up and ran after us, I expanded the barrier so that they couldn’t come near and Ciel steadily walked onward.
As we returned to our original path, two more soldiers appeared, causing us to be surrounded on all sides; but as none of them could break through our barrier, the soldiers realized that it was hopeless and they simply followed us instead.
As we returned to the gate, 10 more were waiting for us, so in the end there were 14 soldiers in total.
Seeing the soldiers merely following us, a soldier—the first one we encountered who seemed to be high-ranking among the ones that joined in late—began reprimanding them.
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「You lot, what are you even doing? Hurry up and seize her!」
「It’s impossible, leader.」
「Haah. She’s just walking, isn’t she?
Still, despite her appearance, she is a B-rank hunter. Let’s secure this. Surround her!」
On the leader’s command, the soldiers surrounded Ciel.
While I applaud him for taking cautious action without being deceived by Ciel’s appearance, this won’t be enough to break through my barrier.
「Leader. She’s using a barrier.」
「Tsk. Come to think of it, she is a sorcerer. Shift to D3.」
I don’t know the meaning of his words, but the soldiers changed their formation following the leader’s command. The soldiers formed groups of 6, lined up with the leader in between them, and brandished their swords.
Destroying a barrier is simple, just attack it until it breaks. As the caster will have to mend their barrier if it tears even just a little due to damage, it will exhaust magic power.
If the weak points are targeted, then this tearing will happen much easier.
And since maintaining a barrier also exhausts magic power, a drawn-out battle might be needed at worst but the barrier will still disappear eventually.
If possible, destroying a barrier with a single powerful attack would be best.
Just as what happened with the spear of ice, the barrier would quickly disappear.
However, my barrier is something even a wyvern couldn’t whittle down. Moreover, I gain more magic power through natural recovery than I exhaust to maintain the barrier.
On the leader’s command, 12 soldiers began to move. As though it was a performance, all of them moved in perfect unison.
With one foot forward, they pulled back their arms, and each 6 from the group thrusted their swords in the exact same place.
While I was amazed that they dared to strike with a normal sword, I was more surprised by the force of the attack.
It was about as strong as a wyvern’s attack. It was powerful enough to stop Ciel on her tracks and if I only judge its offensive potential, it would probably be viable against A-rank monsters.
In other words, the barrier is still very much fine.
As such, after this attack, Ciel continued walking as though nothing happened.
Seeing this, they repeated the attack for a 2nd and 3rd time but it doesn’t even exhaust a bit of my magic power.
Honestly speaking, I’m on a magic power surplus.
On the other hand, the soldiers…… or rather the leader is already breathing heavily with his shoulders.
I wondered why, but perhaps the soldiers’ perfect coordination is due to the leader’s Job.
Commander as a Job certainly does seem plausible.
『What is it?』
『Is walking good enough like this?』
『What do you mean by that?』
While this was a pretty interesting thing they showed, it seems like Ciel is already sick of it, as she called to me.
However, in regards to her question, I have no idea how to answer it.
Walking… Isn’t the way she is currently walking already good enough?
『I was wondering if the nobles or royalty would have a different way of walking.
Even how the soldiers walked just now was a bit dance-like with the way they matched their breaths, right?』
『I see. So you want to incorporate even just the way you walk into Dance Princess, right?』
『Wouldn’t this be good? I thought that if I can do this, then it’ll be convenient in a lot of ways.』
『I see, that is true. At the very least, it could make things safer.』
If Dance Princess can activate with only walking, then it would be powerful against ambushes and surprise attacks.
It would be as if I’m constantly singing.
Besides, among the upper-class people, even the way one walks would probably make a difference. I don’t really know too much about it, but it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the way people walk in fashion shows and events—though clothing is also a factor—is one that fascinates people.
Still, there are a few problems.
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『However, I unfortunately don’t know how to walk properly.』
『Really? You seemed to know about etiquette and manners, Ain, so I thought you would know.』
『My etiquette is only based on surface level knowledge. Besides, etiquette is something that changes depending on the country or region.
In regards to walking, I honestly only have a vague idea about it. It would be best to simply pay attention to your posture for the time being and then ask an expert about it later on.』
『Posture, right? It’s also important when dancing. It’s hard to spin when my core isn’t stable after all.』
『In that case, wouldn’t that mean that you’re already walking properly, Ciel?』
『Do you think so?』
As Ciel walked on, the people surrounding us started decreasing one by one—perhaps due to exhaustion—and before I realized it, there was no one around us anymore.
Far behind us, I can hear a voice yelling out loud. Does Fiiyanamia-sama not find these sorts of voices annoying?
Since I could probably ask about it, I should try asking her sometime.
After passing the national border, the first thing you’d see in Central isn’t a large town or the like.
There’s a well-maintained road, with villages and fields along the way, making it feel like a somewhat tranquil place.
I expected to see more developed areas, so it was a bit surprising.
On the other hand, it’s abundant in nature and spirits can be seen frequently.
Every spirit would come near upon seeing Ciel and they would play a bit before taking their leave.
I’m glad to see Ciel enjoying herself.
After one night of camping since we began our walk, we can now see a city that appears to be the heart of Central.
While we could have reached this city without taking a day if we had traveled by air, I don’t plan on doing this immediately on our first time entering Central.
After all, if we do travel by air, Fiiyanamia-sama would see it as well.
Now then, the city within our sights is large, even comparable to Estoque’s Royal Capital.
Rather, it seems to be an even bigger city than Estoque’s Royal Capital.
Beyond the city is a forest and a river flows throughout the city. It seems to be a place rich in nature.
I noticed it as we were walking but there’s a lot of people waiting at the gates leading to the city. As Ciel joined the line, someone immediately followed behind her.
Perhaps due to Ciel lining up alone at her age, she attracted the attention of the people nearby but the attention quickly dispersed.
And just as I imagined how long this line could take, several soldiers came rushing from the gates.
And as they approached near, they surrounded Ciel.
『I suppose it’s to be expected that they’ve been contacted about what happened. We did damage the prison after all.』
『But we’ve received permission to do that, right?』
『Hmm…… Well, although Fiiyanamia-sama has full knowledge of it, that doesn’t necessarily mean that those under her are aware, you see?』
「We need you to follow us to the Hunter Guild.」
「They want to hear the complete details. At this present, we don’t have any intention to harm.」
While they certainly don’t seem to be hostile, even so, I don’t believe it’s necessary to surround a young girl like this.
If this is because they’re aware of our strength, then I don’t think this would be enough anyway.
Or, are these people perhaps S-rank hunters? It’s honestly difficult to measure strength when it comes to people.
Still, if we had to wait in line on this long queue, then I have a feeling that being led to the Hunter Guild right away would probably make me happier.
『Can I follow them?』
『Yes. After all, we’d likely waste a lot of time waiting for the line to move forward as is.』
As Ciel and I came to the same conclusion, 「Lead the way.」 Ciel answered so in reply.
And despite having a puzzled look on their faces, 「Alright, follow along.」 the soldiers guided us in.
The soldiers surrounded Ciel in all directions as we walked, so I wonder how this would appear from the general public.
Does it look like an escort or an arrest? Depending on which, it might affect how the people of Central will treat us.
If we get hounded on because of this, I’ll file a complaint.
「…… So you’re not going to struggle?」
「No, please continue as is.」
As we were being guided, one soldier timidly asked Ciel.
Ciel simply answered with a short reply, but the soldier ended the conversation in a panic.
I wonder what he meant by that. Ciel didn’t particularly struggle against anybody on any occasion.
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In both the Estoque Royal Capital’s Guild and the national border, Ciel was simply walking, nothing more.
She might have destroyed the iron bars, but there wasn’t any other choice in that regard.
While there was no more conversation from then on, we gradually overtook the queue and finally passed through the city’s gates.
This place has a different environment compared to the other human habitations we’ve visited up until now but because of the soldiers surrounding us, we can’t have a clear view.
I should be able to see it if I try but I’d rather see it together with Ciel if possible, so I held myself back.
From the gaps between the soldiers, I see a city full of greenery.
It appears that trees are planted on either side of the roads and, looking up, I can see large leaves that are starting to turn red.
The season seems to be autumn now. In this world, autumn is the season to prepare for the coming of winter.
My only experience of the winter cold is the flicker of snow.
Maybe snow even piles up during the winter in Norvell and other places.
Regardless if the snow piles or not, the harsh coldness would still prevent crops from growing and with the temperature, hunting for animals would hardly go as planned.
Well, I didn’t really have the leeway to enjoy the change of seasons during our time in Estoque.
And thanks to my barrier, the cold didn’t stop us from completing requests, so I do remember us being thanked during winter.
It might be nice to play in the snow with Ciel sometime in the future.
In the meantime, I pray that we’ll be able to quickly solve this trouble right in front of us.
Hiya~! It’s a Jailbreak! A really quick one at that, lol. Now, welcome to Central!
Anyhow, this chapter was more of an exposition/worldbuilding chapter in summary. Though there are also the soldiers blocking the view, lol. First interesting thing was the leader’s Job. It’s honestly similar to Ain’s Song Princess, being a buffer and all. Also, it’s interesting to see the variety of Jobs in general. This did inspire Ciel to reflect on her way of walking, although she seems to already have a good posture, lol. As usual, AinCiel interactions were cute, but it was really funny how they were like “Don’t you feel bad for them?” “Nope, I’m angry.” “Okay, fair enough, I was also angry too.” Also, the soldiers confused because Ciel isn’t struggling, lol. They’re really eating up misinformation up there but honestly, who would admit that they let a child *simply* walk away. The pluck of the the guy that asked tho, that was funny.
Central is pretty interesting tho. It’s pretty small considering that it only took them more or less a whole day of walking to reach the heart of the nation. I guess it’s like a city-state? There’s villages on the way, but the abundance of nature and spirits seems to be the focus, which isn’t surprising if we consider who the ruler? is. Ain expected a more developed place, likely in the architectural, if not technological, sense but the place seems rich in resources. Which is a bit surprising, considering how Central is supposed to be where the headquarters of the guilds are.
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!