Follow us on:
Facebook   Discord   RSS

Interlude 3 – A Warrior’s quest for expertise (Part 2)

Leave a comment

Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 2553 characters
Translator: Tanaka English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1048 words
Editor(s): Hydra

Hrk… Fiore reflexively tried to retract her hand upon hearing Shizu’s words, but Shizu grasped it even more tightly.

“I should make myself clear here—I am merely the Princess’ guard. While I might assist you if things get dire, my priority is the Princess’ safety above all. Should you become an impediment, I will not hesitate to leave you behind, or worse, you might end up as fodder. So, please, stay alert.”

Tears brimming in her eyes, Fiore turned to look at Hiyuki, as if Shizu had just pronounced a death sentence, all while maintaining a cheery demeanor. Hiyuki, however, was turned away from them, busily retrieving a large basket from inside the carriage, seemingly unaware of the tension.

“I’ve been careful not to let the Princess catch wind of our conversation, so if you accidentally spill anything… you know what would happen, right?”

Feeling as if the final nail was hammered into her coffin, Fiore nodded rapidly, resembling a malfunctioning puppet. At that moment, Hiyuki returned, basket in hand.

“Sorry~. Took me a bit of time. —Oh? Still shaking hands?”
“We found so much in common we just got carried away chatting, Princess.”

While Shizu flashed a sweet grin, Fiore nodded frantically, like a doll on the verge of breaking.

“? Phew… I’m so glad to hear that. Shall we head out now?”

Fiore finally freed her hand with Hiyuki’s prompt and hurriedly positioned herself behind her—as if fleeing from a predator.


Despite having a basic understanding of the area from Guildmaster Gald, the mountain proved challenging to navigate.

The mountain itself wasn’t perilous, but the cliff-like steep slopes and overgrown bushes presented significant obstacles. It was a daunting place for novices, potentially dangerous for those unaccustomed to it. Yet, for the seasoned adventurer Fiore and two powerhouses with boundless stamina, navigating the terrain was manageable.

Hiyuki led the way, carving a path through the mountain. Fiore clung closely to Hiyuki’s back, maintaining a slight gap, feeling a chill run down her spine as Shizu, still smiling, followed behind the trio.

“I believe it should be…huh?”

Just as Hiyuki was about to speak, a snapping sound underfoot preceded a log, pointed like a spear and as thick as an adult torso, swinging through the bushes towards them.

“……It reminds me of mountains both similar and different.”

Lost in memories, Hiyuki commented idly. In an instant, Shizu leaped in front of Hiyuki, halting the swinging log with her palm, annoyance crossing her features.

Simultaneously, another ‘snap’ echoed, and three arrows flew from the opposite thicket directly at Fiore. Shizu, deliberately looking away as if she hadn’t noticed, left Fiore to fend for herself.


Fiore managed to dodge, though she tripped in the process, and the arrows thudded into the ground where she had just stood.

As she attempted to rise, her right hand caught in a thread-like trap. Another ‘snap’ sounded, and something else was launched. Her face drained of color as a huge rock fell from the cliff above them.

Shizu, giving Fiore a ‘look what you’ve done now’ glare, used brute force to break the log from its rope and swung it at the looming rock. The log shattered into splinters with a single strike, sending the rock flying back to its origin in a parabolic trajectory.

A shockwave resounded overhead, and in sync, a mysterious figure leaped from the cliff top.

The creature—bare-chested, in tattered pants, with eyes peering through long, unkempt hair—dove towards them, brandishing a gleaming magic sword.

“Wh…? Hmm? Could it be…”
“Ehh…? Err.”

The figure let out a battle cry and swung the sword. Despite his radically changed appearance, there was no mistaking this person was Joey, the very individual they had been searching for.

“M-Master!? What in the world happened to you?”
“Err, Joey?”

Despite their calls, Joey responded with unintelligible sounds, continuing to swing his sword wildly.

“Hey, Joey! Snap out of it!”

Hiyuki yelled again, her agility allowing her to dodge his erratic strikes—lacking any semblance of technique, purely wild. Yet, her attempts to reach him verbally were in vain.

She was on the verge of resorting to a more physical approach to snap him out of it when Shizu acted first.


With a soft mutter, Shizu’s hand swiftly targeted Joey’s neck.

” “Ah.” ”


“Oh god, this is delicious! It’s been ages since I’ve had anything but fruit or raw meat.”

Seated on the ground, Joey devoured the sandwiches from Hiyuki’s basket like a starved animal. Prepared by Hiyuki just in case, the basket seemed a godsend. Joey appeared leaner but significantly more muscular than before.

“Still, what was that all about earlier, Master?”
“Earlier?…Ah, that. Sorry, I got a bit too engrossed in my training.”
“And since when does training turn someone into babbling nonsense?”

At Hiyuki’s inquiry, Joey gestured awkwardly towards the remains of various traps.

“Umm, you’ve seen the traps around, right? Besides those, there’s also the risk of monster attacks if you’re not vigilant. I guess I started reacting immediately to any movement.”
“……That sounds more like a survival instinct than actual training.”

‘Yeah,’ Fiore murmured, earning a nod of agreement from Hiyuki.

“Teacher Gald mentioned it was training to… remove the human body’s limiters…?”

Joey’s explanation began confidently but soon trailed off into doubt, as if questioning the very nature of his training.

“Well, regardless, I’m just relieved you’re safe,” Hiyuki said, her voice tinged with relief, carefully omitting the fact that Joey had pretty much met his end at Shizu’s hands and her subsequent scramble to revive him.

“But why the intense training again?”

“……There’s someone I have to defeat. About a month ago, we were almost evenly matched, but during a recent encounter, the gap between us seemed insurmountable,” Joey explained, pausing mid-bite.

“So, they’re like your rival. How do you feel about your training now? Any closer to winning?”

He silently shook his head.

“No, not a chance. I’m just not there yet.”


Fiore looked at him with concern, prompting Joey to avert his gaze.

“Wanting to get stronger, huh? Hey, Joey. There’s something interesting I came across recently.”

Joey gave Hiyuki a skeptical look but as she explained the purpose of their visit, his eyes widened in shock, reflecting his astonishment.


Notify of

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Your Gateway to Gender Bender Novels