After parting with Selphy at the stairs, Zen and I headed towards our room. However, an awkward silence hung around the room as Zen remained silent.
” Erm…..Zen? ”
I timidly tried talking to Zen who, upon entering the room, took a seat in front of his table and stayed there. Could it be that I angered him without even knowing by saying something wrong?
Unease filled my heart.
I was not boasting, but I really was quite scared right now. During these few years, how many times had I scolded Chiffon thickheaded? I was not a sensitive person, so I had no idea why Zen was angry right now….
” ….. ”
Zen said nothing.
Glancing at Zen, I swallowed my sigh back in. His face was sullen as he kept his mouth shut. I couldn’t see what expression Zen was making as he sat at his table, head hanging down, but I was sure it must be an angry one.
” …..Zen, did I do something wrong? ”
Unable to stand the silence any longer, I opened my mouth, attempting to talk again. Zen’s shoulders jumped in surprised, then he lifted his head up.
” …..Sorry, I was daydreaming…. did not hear you. ”
Zen said. I was really astonished at that.
” Ah no, it’s okay. ”
I did not anger him right..? It would be unbearable if I were to fight with a friend and lose him without even knowing the reason. No matter what, Zen was my first friend of the same generation.
….. It was a bit sad that I only made a friend at 8 years old but this had nothing to do with it. Anyway, it’s the best if Zen was not angry with me.
…….Even so, I wondered if I missed something.
I stole a glance at Zen, who had a frown on his face and sighing, and I decided to leave the room for now.
” I have something to do so I will be going out for a bit. ”
” Ah, sure. …….Take care. ”
” Ah, Will. What’s wrong? ”
With something hanging over me, I approached the lobby and Selphy was there. Behind her was the Holy Mother, Maria-san.
” Hm, just something. ”
I replied Selphy as I gave a greeting towards Maria-san. Since my previous life, I always had trouble with 2 girls and above. Groups were scary. Those true feelings that were rarely seen would easily rear its head within the comfort of a group. Mass psychology was indeed scary.
Ah, in my case, I get easily flustered just by taking to girls.
……Hm, since I am a gentleman and not a pervert who get flustered by talking to girls, it should be alright. I am not turning into those kind of guys who stay silent because they are nervous either. This was called Dandy-ism. Not staying silent nor taciturn. Dandy-ism sounded like that but it was totally another thing altogether. Which was why, I was on the cool side of that ‘silent’ part.
I was not boasting, but my experience with girls was amount to nothing. It was to the point that it could be called as having a phobia of women. Once, I questioned my sexuality that I wanted to….. Hm, how futile. This was all in my past (life), and besides, I was only 8 years old. But at the way I behaved towards girls right now, it must mean how deep this had been carved into my soul.
…. How empty.
” I am thinking of going out for a bit. ”
I shook my head to clear all the useless thoughts, informed Selphy and Maria before leaving the place quickly.
” And, how have you been? What can I do for you? ”
I murmured after leaving the gate. No one could be seen around me…. no no no, I was not a pitiful person who left my friend alone to speak to a make-believe one.
” Hm, Will-dono is as sharp as ever. ”
Zirco-san appeared behind me. Even though he was dressed as a commoner, it couldn’t hide the charm he was giving off. Damn it, Ikemen just explode! I had more than enough mana (Maryoku) but I was seriously lacking in a man’s charm (miryoku). It was just 1 word difference but it was enough to sink a man into depression. Words could be violent, I finally understood that now.
Zirco-san shrugged, as expressionless as ever but somehow, he was giving off an aura of uneasiness. The wind magic that hides a presence, as expected of Elzmu’s number one Ninja…no, Intelligence Corp leader, was somehow not working today as his mana leaked out from the ceiling, as if telling me something was wrong… Or rather, leaking it on purpose in order to lure me out.
” Are we going to talk here? ”
Not rejecting my question by instead, showed an affirmation aura as Zirco-san turned his gaze towards me. He nodded lightly and stood in front of me.
” It is just a ratty old place but would you mind coming over to my house? I have tea. ”
I see, so this would be a long talk.
” …….Sigh… ”
A small sigh slipped out of my mouth. This sounded like that. That pattern where I would miss my curfew.
…. It would be nice if they could set up a system. In case I broke any school rules for undergoing missions from the country. Students caught in between a rock (Elzmu) and a hard place (school) would be really troubled.
Well, I was the only student in that situation though.
Oh well, I put my neck into this incident of my own accord so I could only blame myself. If my neck was out, I had to make sure my butt was there as well. This was what they meant by responsibility. Regarding this case, I would just have to accept all the punishment that came with it.
Zirco-san’s house, which meant a Ninja house! My heart jumped at that. My anticipation rose as we walked towards his house in the Capital. But it was an unrealistic dream.
” …..This is kind of….. normal. ”
My shoulders drooped as Zirco-san gave a wryly smile.
” What is Will-dono expecting? I did say that the house was built in the capital. ”
” A house that is concealed in the woods or something…. No, I knew that. It’s just this is… ”
I forced myself to stop. I knew that reality was going to be different from my expectation, I knew that. But I mean, a Ninja house, A NINJA HOUSE. Didn’t that just make you think there was something more to it? The Hall of Shadows was quite impressive.
” Well, there is nothing much here but… ”
Zirco-san opened the door before stepping to the left to allow me in. I nodded and stepped forward.
” I will be intruding. ”
But at least make the doors a sliding one. I thought as I passed through the door. This must be that, the inside must be filled with all kinds of mechanism. Like hidden doors, pitfalls, revolving doors, falling ceilings and stuff like that.
….Eh, I would be dead by then.
I smiled wryly to myself as the streets of Elzmu were bathed in the warm evening lights.
” Well, where should I start…. ”
For Zirco-san, a rare frown was seen on his face as he mumbled. That emotionless face must have an effect of anti-aging. People who laughed often developed crow’s lines that, together with laugh lines, create a smiling face. Those emotionless expression must be Zirco-san thinking ‘I would be troubled if winkles starts to appear~’. Ikemen too, had their share of trouble about maintaining their looks.
Zirco-san took out red tea, which again, caused a strong out-of-place feeling, as I sipped on it.
” ….Firstly, it is about the tools we recovered but we are having trouble with the examination. It might be because the only one working on them is John so it can’t be helped that it would be slow. ”
I had expected that to some extent.
On that night, I did rush back in a panic to collect all the magical tools left in the Hall of Shadows but to tell the truth, I had forgotten all about them. It once again reminded me of how I was not paying attention to my surroundings. Or did I lessen my vigilance because the fight with Spinel was over? No matter, I was regretting and reflecting on this. How could I only remember the existence of those tools when I reached the capital?
Stupid. Really dumb.
But, thanks to being able to read magic circles due to it being Kanji, I handed the tools over directly to the research lab, bypassing any question the King or Zirco had. I did not want to reveal that I could read and understand the magic language to them. No, I am not planning to reveal it in the future too. No matter now chummy I was with them, they would always put their position before them. They would want me to work for the country if they knew.
Which was why I simply passed it to John-sensei instead. There was a sense of security if it was him.
Then, Zirco-san let out a bomb.
” And, unfortunately, I have something bad to report. ”
” …….Spinel is dead. ”