Chapter 1 – A Strange Coincidental Meeting

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mado English Source: MadoSpicy TL
Editor(s): Crash

Amitia Republic Capital City, Alra.

Originally, Alra was widely known as a free city. However, matching the transformation of Amitia’s name from a kingdom to a republic, the capital relocated from the old one of Chaedia which had some roads that were difficult to access.

Usually when relocating a capital, it takes several years of work, but through the will of King Collard who has a restrained personality, they didn’t build the royal palace; they re-used the town hall building for political functions so the normally impossible short time for relocation became possible.

However, now as the king triumphantly returned to the new capital (He originally was from the city so the citizens were highly conscious of it), he was dumbfounded as the unplanned royal palace ―a castle with a red pointed roof like those in fairy tales where kings live― stood before his very eyes.

That was secretly built by the sponsorship from Amitia’s suzerain state, Imperial Crimson’s sovereign (Among the countries there were some who called her things like ‘Demon Empress’ or ‘Demon Emperor’, but from her appearance, ‘Princess’ is the most popular one). Officially it is a grant, as the raw materials, human resources, and expenses were all covered by Imperial Crimson. Collard who received it prostrated himself on the ground with a broken heart, and murmured, “The revenge backfired…”

As a result, in more than half a year the town changed into the largest, both in size and population, in Amitia.

Although for the citizens, instead thinking something like “Should we change the king”, “Should we change the country’s name”, or “Should we settle under the jurisdiction of a demon country”, the price of tomorrow’s grain is a much more important matter. From their perspective there is no dissatisfaction with the present regime. Each person followed their ordinary regular business and passed their time normally.

More or less, if you’re talking about something that’s different from before, noble social status is now gone, but from the start they didn’t have a direct influence on the people. The only case where people were affected was with tax collection. Right now the duty is covered by tax collectors from the government’s bureaucrats so there isn’t anything particularly different. On the contrary, the dispersed tax rate along the region was now unified, and therefore for the regions which suffered from noble oppression, that was nothing but good news.

Still, the visible changes can be seen here and there throughout the town. There were things which were unthinkable before but now can be seen in town, like goblins or orcs negotiating for prices. The suzerain state, Imperial Crimson, demanded recognition of personal rights for adapting demons into human society. However, there were no special privileges for demons as people feared at first. It was widely spread that they were treated as equal to normal citizens: they had tax duties, and were punished for crimes they committed. With that, compared to the society with nobles, it was much more fair, equal, and peaceful.

◆◇◆◇

While sitting on a park bench that faced the main street, Joey was watching the stream of people who were moving into the town. ‘This town is changing a lot…’ he obscurely thought.

From what he could see, the races referred to as demi-humans in the western area like elves, dwarfs, and the like, were increasing within the population (In some regions they were treated as demons). Not only that, goblins from the Great Forest, orcs from the dungeon, and cyclops from the Northern Dragon Mountain Range, which previously couldn’t be thought of as anything besides monsters to be subjugated, were swaggering around downtown.

Not to mention the one beside him, Collard, who formerly was a guild master, has now become his majesty, the king.

“You must be wondering how things turned out like this right? I also want to know that. Aha ha ha ha…”

Collard who came over to transfer the title of guild master met with Joey after some time, he somehow talked with vacant eyes.

Gald ―Who had trained the hell out of Joey at the guild training school― became the new guild master and also smiled bitterly.

“By the way Joey, there are two reasons why I called you here. One of them is this―”

At the new guild master’s signal, Mia, who was on stand-by (She had been promoted from a receptionist to the guild master’s secretary), brought a familiar metal plate ―the guild emblem and handed it over to the new guild master, Gald.

“I thought this would be a bit early, but our boss here became his majesty the king… so congratulations. ―You are now promoted to D-rank. With this you’ve finally come out from your eggshell.”

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The new guild master Gald struck Joey on the chest while he stared in wonder and was handed the guild emblem. As the pain gradually made him realize the truth, Mia smiled with her whole face and applauded him.

“Congratulations Joey. With this you are publicly a full-fledged guild member.”

He meekly nodded in response to those words.

“―Okay, putting the matter about your ranking aside, there is one more reason. Did you remember your promise?”

‘Promise’ ―That moment, the face of an unforgettable beautiful girl freshly resurrected in his mind.

“O-of course! I have said that I will guide her…!”

Hearing Joey’s enthusiastic speech, for some reason Collard pinned down the bridge of his glasses and breathed a sigh.

“Well, regarding that, rather than stopping you, her majesty had some words about it while we were having another chat.”

Again, he breathed a grand sigh.

“She said ‘I am going! I am going! It’s a bit boring here anyway,’ in a time where our country had a mountain of internal discussions and foreign negotiations, I wonder where her majesty got the leisure…”

“Uh-huh…”

Joey vaguely nodded. ‘Come to think of it, I heard Hiyuki is more important than Collard who became the king, I guess its surely very grave~’, Joey pondered carefreely and continued his thoughts, ‘In that case, perhaps guiding her around the town would not be so easy―’.

Shortly after, an envelope was presented before him.

“The meeting place and the time are written in this envelope. ―Can you read the characters?”

“Ah, yes. I’ve taken a lesson about it in training school, so I should be able to get the gist of it…”
This means I could meet her! Joey’s face instantly shined.

“Very well. Then, to prevent any uproar from happening as much as possible, please grasp tightly to that person’s reins. ―Since on the paper it’s purely ‘An ordinary young lady sightseeing with a guild adventurer escorting and guiding her,’ even the country is not planning a lot of inference.”

Being given the warning with a serious expression, Joey nodded with an unsure one.

“…but, is this really okay?”

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Be that as it may, instinctively he thought, ‘Wouldn’t that be dangerous?’ So he confirmed it, again Collard gave a huge sigh.

“There is no good explanation though―. I would rather say when you make unnecessary fuss or trouble, our side will just say ‘We didn’t know anything.’ So please, Joey.”

“Uh-huh.” Hearing Joey’s unreliable answer, all members realized ‘Ah, this guy doesn’t know what the meaning is.’

“Well, ya don’t need to think so much, just escort her properly!” Gald struck Joey’s shoulder hard in order to erase his anxiety.

So then, Joey was waiting at the time and place written in that letter, but that conspicuous girl’s figure couldn’t be seen.

Is there some sort of mistake?

So he thought then from his back pocket ―since he has escort duty, today he wore his favorite leather armor and hung his sword so the only usable pocket was his back one― he took out the letter and frowned looking at the contents.

“…it’s not wrong right? What is she doing?”

Shortly after he talked to himself, a dearly clear voice was heard.

“―Yo, sorry-sorry. Pardon me for being late.”

He was about to say ‘You’re late!’, but at that moment he thought that he had mistaken someone else as her. He saw her face once again making sure of it, then he lightly caught his breath.

Hiyuki wore a cotton white summer dress and a hat coiled with a light blue ribbon adorned with a single red rose. She smiled.

Joey was caught unexpectedly, thinking that she would surely come with her usual showy dress. Also, not to mention her fresh and yet defenseless figure made him feel the quickness of his throbbing heart.

“Y, you, um… didn’t wear the usual dress.”

“As expected, I think that dress is too conspicuous. Also, about the ‘usual’ you said, actually the first day I wore a line dress and the second day was a princess line dress so everything was different. By any chance did you not notice it?”

“……”

Joey was at a loss for words, thinking both of them were the same.

“Well it’s no problem. For that reason I tried to wear a disguise, did it not suit me?”

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So she said, she pinned down her hat with one hand and spun around in a circle in place.

Her skirt softly fluttered, the slender white feet etched in Joey’s eyes. His flustered face became red.

“No, I think it suits you. Besides, I also didn’t know who you were at first.” He expresses rapidly what he was thinking.

“Is that so? Then the disguise is a success.” Hiyuki delightfully smiled.

Although with that appearance of hers, she was causing those surrounding them to notice just by standing silently. As expected, Joey, who had taken notice of their reactions, judged that remaining here any longer would cause an uproar. He stood up from the bench in a hurry and forcibly took Hiyuki’s small delicate hand.

“Now then, let’s go soon. Is there any place you would like to visit?”

“Well, I’ll leave that up to you. …Why did you grasp my hand? ―Moreover, we’re holding hands like lovers.”

The latter part was spoken in a low voice so Joey seemed to not have heard it. He asked her again, puzzled.

“Hmm? Mia taught me to do it like this when guiding someone around town, is this wrong?”

With the opposite hand, Hiyuki pinned down the side of her forehead.

“She is still… rather, eight months have passed and yet you are still not on good terms with her?”

“Well, that’s not true. We eat together and she makes me boxed lunches when I receive requests and go outside. Mia is really kind!”

Towards Joey who declared that while having a clear face without a single cloud, Hiyuki made a beyond delicate smile that was mixed with various feelings, then she stared at him again.

“Was Miya too much of a late bloomer? Or is this one too dense? …I feel either one could be the cause.”
“I kinda don’t understand but anyway, where would you like to go?”
“I’ll leave it to you. Any place that you think would be good.”

With her careless request, Joey pondered a little and then replied.

“Then, let’s go to my favorite weapon shop.”
“…Your thoughtless reactions are as lively as ever, Joey.”

‘Well I have some interest in this world’s weapons though. But normally, was this somewhere you would take a girl first…?’ Hiyuki thought of this question greatly in the innermost part of her heart.

◆◇◆◇

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―1 hour later.

Wearing a brand new sword on his waist, Joey walked along the street together with Hiyuki with a pleasant face. (Of course, their hands were still connected)

“Is it really all right? Buying this sword for me?”

While touching the sword with his other hand, Joey made sure for an unknown number of times.

“It’s no problem. I thought of it as a substitute for your promotion present. Besides, it’s just a normal sword, not a magic one… In the first place it was exchanged with your previous sword so, by any means, it doesn’t mean I’m paying for it.”

Hiyuki lightly shrugged her shoulders. Responding to her, Joey said, “Is that so, my bad.” although he seems to be happy.

“But, even the uncle at the weapon store said, ‘Young lady, you really have good eyes. The blacksmith who forged this one is still young, but his arms are the best,’ as I thought you are great!”

“Well that thing has +1 while having the same price as the other swords, so the endurance is higher. Remember the inscription next time when you buy a replacement sword again, I recommend you to buy from that smith.”

“Hmmm…” Joey nodded, but suddenly he felt someone’s gaze and wondered.

“…Say, is that beastman one of your acquaintances?”
“…..?”

Her eyes were drawn to look ahead, “!?”

She opened her eyes so wide that they wouldn’t go any further.

“…That’s…impossible…”

Because of Hiyuki’s trembling hand and her shivering voice that he hadn’t heard of before, Joey was surprised and stared at that person.

It was a young beastman who appeared to be from the wolf tribe, having an age around 20 years old with black hair and blonde highlights flowing in. He continuously grinned.

His attire did not particularly stand out, being a linen top and bottom. Speaking of conspicuous things perhaps it’s the leg armor that covered both of his hands and legs.

That man, who while seeing Hiyuki had a face like a wolf in front of a prey, approached.

“Yo! Long time no see! Hiyuki.”

A husky voice leaked from Hiyuki’s mouth hearing that greeting.

“……! A-Animaru! You’re here too…?”

That man was the guild master of ‘Aniki and Happy Friends’, the holder of court rank equal to Hiyuki, ‘Bladeless Beast King’. He didn’t reply to that question and deepened his cheerful smile.



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