TN: Thanks for all the well wishes. I am well on the way to recovery! The cough is still persisting but… hey, no fever and flu!
The street that had stone-paved houses lining up along it, was quiet. At this early hour, it was to be expected that no one was out and about. Although it was the same for Beryl’s street and the capital, the extreme use of stone-paving here gave off a cold and inorganic feeling.
Maybe it was the low temperature, maybe it was the whiteness of the cloudy sky. The only sound that reverberated throughout the street that was connected to the checkpoint was from people who entered through it.
The national border street, Flowason.
It was a small town situated at the side of the Iza River that was the border of both Elzmu and Hattuo Empire. Why it was that, just by a bridge alone, was enough to set up a border checkpoint, despite not having walls to prevent illegal entry, was easy to understand once you think about it. In other words, there was no other way to enter / cross the river.
Along the upper stream of the Iza River lies the [Demon Forest]. And thanks to that, aquatic magical beasts had their den within the river itself. It went without saying that if you tried to swim across, you would be attacked. Apart from having your legs pulled by the huge Ajipo, Sea Birds would be circling above. To cross the river, one would need to freeze the surface of the river while fighting off the huge fishes and birds.
Those who could actually do that would not go for illegal entry in the first place.
As for Florwason, it was hard to say that it was flourishing despite all that. Those who visited were merchants who did trading and a portion of travelers (who used it as a water hole) only.
The morning air felt cool. So this was what it meant to come to the north. It sure was cold.
” Found an inn! ”
An inn was found easily a little distance away from the checkpoint. It seemed to be called ‘Matilda’. The beautiful proprietress of the inn must be called Matilda. It was built in stone, as like the surroundings, but had a huge wooden door around 2 meters in length.
” Hey Willia, don’t run! ”
Zirco gave a wryly laugh as he chased after me. Wow, what an actor. Despite being a Ninja, he was perfectly acting as a gentle and stylish father. No one could find any fault with the Intelligence Corp when he could act till this extent.
Eh? Me? I threw my embarrassment to the floor. To the me who had been through the baby period, this was nothing. Haha, yes, this was nothing. Once I could throw my embarrassment away, my acting became pretty good.
” Kay! ”
I pushed the door but it was too heavy for me to move it… was what I acted out. To the cheat-me, I could easily crushed the door without using much strength but for an 8 years old young girl, the door would pose a problem.
As I busied myself with the door, Zirco-san caught up with me and easily pushed the door open. How cool. Despite being a ninja, he sure was refreshing. [TN: As in cool, a fine man.]
I looked up at him with a slightly sullen face and our eyes met. I don’t really want to see him question me ‘Hm?’ with a gentle smiling face. Damn it, you ninja. Why can’t you say degozaru or seisha and be done with it?! Ikemen all explode!
As if ignoring my inner voice, Zirco-san went ahead and entered the inn, his water-blue hair swishing, thanks to the wind. By the way, Buu-san was waiting behind me as he was the guard after all.
Controlling my mouth to stop tsk-ing, I chased after Zirco-san, only to find him already at the reception.
” Welcome to the Matilda Inn. ”
” 1 night, 1 room please. ”
” Sure. 40 rook per person so that will be 120 rook. Are you okay with the beastmen being in the same room? ”
” There is no problem. ”
Matilda-san was beautiful, I think. Right now, her plump body was seen squeezed behind the reception desk and the wall. Without hiding her disdain, she snorted at Buu-san.
” Or rather, I would be troubled if we are not in the same room as he is our guard. ”
Zirco-san ended the subject with a smile. Matilda-san seemed to come to an understanding. Taking a key out from somewhere inside the counter, she slid herself out of the reception area. It made me feel like making a sound effect for her. Ploop, or something like that.
But, as I heard, this country had a deep-rooted discrimination against Beastmen. I came to truly understand it after seeing it with my eyes.
Buu-san seemed not mind at all. Well, it was true that there was no need to specially pay any heed to anyone not important. But as this might be an obstacle for the road ahead, it might be best to start thinking of a way to solve it.
I then began to follow after Matilda-san, who walked ahead of us with the keys jingling.
” Food will be charged separately. 1 set would be 10 rook …….. ”
Matilda-san turned around suddenly. Our eyes met. Her eyes widened. With a groan, she averted her eyes. Am I really that disgusting to look at?
” ….Mmm, your daugther? ”
” Yes. Willia, come here. ”
” I am Willia. I will be in your care. ”
By Zirco-papa urging, I gave my greetings. I looked up to the stunned Matilda-san who, maybe due to my grossness, took a step back. Our eyes met. And she immediately averted her eyes again.
” The food’s free as a service. ”
Matilda-san, whose eyes were wandering about unnaturally, said as she trembled. Was she so grossed out that she took pity and provided food?
Somehow, I felt dizzy at that and instinctively kept close to Zirco-san.
” Th, thank you. ”
But I did not forget my manners.
” Well then, I wonder what will happen? ”
Once we entered the room and shut the door, Zirco-san immediately cast a soundproofing magic. As expected of a ninja. Changing my expression back from the grinning one, I opened my mouth. [TN: Grinning because of how ninja Zirco is.]
” Cross-dressing couldn’t hide from the [Shadows] right? ”
I looked at Buu-san, who nodded.
” That’s right. ”
” As the Intelligence Corp, I would love to know that method. ”
Zirco-san mumbled to Buu-san’s response. True, it’s amazing if I can be found out despite cross-dressing. It would make anyone be interested in knowing the method.
” I am really sorry but…. the only one I know is 《影》. ” [TN: Kage, shadow]
Buu-san said, looking sorry.
” And what is Kage? ”
Zirco-san jumped at the chance. As an Intelligence Corp, he must have wanted the chance to learn about the [Shadows] techniques. It would make it easier for any spying.
” A kind of magic that allows one’s figure and even presence to melt into darkness. ”
” Hm! Do you mind teaching me that? ”
” …….Ah that is….. ”
At the emotionless Zirco-san with sparkling eyes, Buu-san let his sentence trailed off, his hidden meaning loud and clear. Yep. As a gentleman, one should help here. Zirco-san was still a noble and no matter how thick-headed the merchant was, it was difficult for him to say.
” It’s impossible. 《影》attribute’s darkness. ”
” What?! ”
In a rare moment, Zirco-san had the expression to match his yelling. Ah, anyone would be shocked. To think someone with the so-rare-it’s-legendary dark attribute was so close to him. Even I who could use the dark attribute was surprised. Zirco-san directed his doubting eyes at me, who was grinning at the success of the surprise.
” …….Is that the truth? ”
” Yes it is. ”
” Yes. ”
To our matching response, Zirco-san slumped his shoulders. Buu-san and I looked at each other and nodded. Then, mana started flowing around Buu-san. When it had completely engulfed Buu-san, he opened his mouth.
At that moment, Buu-san’s body disappeared.
” I am surprised……! ”
Here’s a good news for Zirco-san.
I am able to use all attribute~☆
I wondered what would happen if I were to say that to him. Although I was interested, to prevent Zirco-san having a headache his heart going into overdrive, I stopped myself. For now.
After that, Zirco-san and Buu-san wanted to infiltrate the military so Buu-san wrapped themselves in 《影》 and went out through the window. I wondered if it’s thanks to experience that they somehow worked well together. Although Zirco-san who used Wind to assist was amazing, what was it with the bear who went leaping from rooftop to rooftop?
Once again, [Shadow] was amazing.
Activating surveillance magic, I observed them from the window. I was surprised that 《影》 can be used even in broad daylight as I had always thought since its attribute was darkness and from the name ‘shadow’, it couldn’t…
I was stuck with house-sitting. It was because I was the only one being aimed by the [Shadows]. In a word, I was the bait. A vase was placed at the windowsill and after staring at it quietly, something snapped inside me.
……Don’t place a vase in a place like this. It’s dangerous. Absolutely not. I had no idea who in their right mind would place a vase here. It was unthinkable. It was not my rule to say things about people unreasonably but please let me say it this time.
Don’t freaking kid me! Don’t put a vase at the windowsill!
I came to hate Matilda-san. Let’s complain. Yep. It’s for future’s sake.
And thus, the illusion of the both of us, Zirco-san and me, went out of the room and towards the reception on the 1st floor. By the way, the room was on the 2nd floor.
It was a large room with 2 bed and a sofa. The guard (beastmen) was to sleep on the sofa it seemed. Really, even though we were paying the same amount, the discrimination really ran deep.
Thump thump thump, the sound was heard as we slowly went down the stairs. On the right of the stairs was the reception. Matilda-san must still be stuck between it, I thought as I peeked over.
” Matilda-sa…..!? ”
Matilda-san was not stuck in between the reception counter but was instead in front of it, with 2 roguish tall men. They were grinning. No, not roguish but rogues.
Damn it, I get it.
” Because the guard was a beast, I was able to save time. ”
Well then, this is how it will be.
TN: HAHAHAHA. Will and his hatred of vase.