Chiyu Mahou: Chapter 148
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A day has passed since I met up with Inugami-senpai and we shared the journey home.
As I expected, the trip with senpai was more lively than usual. Nea and Amako, who were being tangled up with the strangely excited senpai, looked tired, but on the other hand, Bluerin was able to ward off the evil hand of the senpai. But on the other hand, Bulin is showing the same steel plate strength as ever, repelling senpai’s evil hand.
Finally, after a long journey, we finally made it back to the place where it all began for us, Lingle Kingdom.
“We’re finally back.”
I muttered, feeling deeply moved as I stood in front of the gates of Lingle Kingdom.
When Arc-san calls out to the gatekeeper to open the castle, the nostalgic scenery comes into view.
…… There’s a place I really want to head to first, but we’ll get to that later.
“Shall we head to the castle first? I’ve got a lot to report.”
“…… Usato-kun, there’s nothing you haven’t told me yet, right?”
“Ahh uhhh that is, if I were to tell you about it, I’m sure you’ll faint ……”
As a matter of fact, the only thing I told her about what happened in the beastman country was that I was able to wake up Kanoko-san safely.
I’ve learned the hard way what kind of reaction I’ll get if I tell the truth.
“No, no, no, I’m already used to it when you talk about the wicked dragon! …… D-Don’t tell me you have a story that can one up that. ……”
“There’s no comparison. …… Well, I’ll tell you about it when I report to Lloyd-sama.”
While replying softly to senpai who held up her hand as if preparing herself, I shifted my gaze to the scenery of Lingle Kingdom that I hadn’t seen in a while.
“Wow, so this is Lingle Kingdom? It’s a beautiful place.”
Nea muttered to herself as she was looking around the city in human form.
Come to think of it, this girl doesn’t know this place because she became one of us during our journey.
“This is going to be your home for a while.”
“Well, it doesn’t sound like a bad place to live……..But I can feel some eyes staring at us.”
One of the country’s hero had returned, so it was only natural that she would attract attention.
I’m not sure if I can say it myself, but I’m a member of the rescue squad myself.
As I walked down the street leading to the castle, waving back at the people who were happy to see us back, Amako, who was walking next to me, suddenly stopped in her tracks.
When I followed her gaze, I saw Sarla-san, the woman who had lived with Amako in the Kingdom of Lingle, with a surprised expression on her face.
“Go ahead. We’ll be fine on our own the rest of the way.”
Amako nodded happily and ran to Sarla-san’s side.
After seeing her off, I turned to face forward, once again relieved to have completed my journey safely.
Before entering the castle, we left Bluerin in the hands of the guards and went to the hall where Lloyd-sama was waiting for us.
In the hall, Lloyd-sama was sitting on his throne, and Sergio-san was standing beside him.
I also found Welshy-san and Sigurdsson-san.
In terms of time, our time apart was brief, but it felt like it had been a very long time since we had seen each other.
“Suzune, Usato. I’m glad you made it back safely. The knights who served as your escorts also did their best.”
I bowed my head while kneeling down.
Looking at Nea from the side, she is bowing her head quietly.
This girl could have been rude and caused a scene, so I was really relieved that she could read the air at times like this.
“Keep your head up. I’ve heard about your successes in …… Hoot Bird and by the reports and letters of intent from other countries. You’ve really …… done a great job.”
I raised my face in accordance with Lloyd-sama who said so in a gentle tone of voice.
“…… You must be tired from your long journey, right? You can report back later, Kazuki and Celia are looking forward to seeing you again.”
“——! Kazuki has already returned?”
“Yes, about five days ago. He was very worried about you guys.”
Thank goodness …… Kazuki had returned safely too.
I really wanted to follow Lloyd-sama’s words and go get some rest, but I had something I needed to report right away.
“Lloyd-sama, I have something important to report.”
“What is it, Usato?”
As Lloyd-sama and the others looked at me quizzically, once I had organized what I was going to say, I expressed words slowly.
“What I’m about to tell you is also a major secret of the floating city of Mia Rak.”
“Mia Rak’s secrets, huh. I’m sorry, but the knights will have to leave this place for a while.”
The knights, including Nea and Arc-san, left the room.
Only a few vassals, Welshie-san, Signis-san, and Inugami-senpai remained.
In the quiet hall, senpai speaks to me in a hushed voice.
“Usato-kun, by talking, do you mean the hero’s weapon?”
“I’ll apologize while I’m at it.”
“There’s something I haven’t told senpai yet.”
With that, I turned to Lloyd-sama.
After confirming that everyone has left, Lloyd-sama urged me to talk to him.
“Then, please, Usato.”
“Yes, Lloyd-san, are you aware of the events that took place in Mia Rak?”
“Of course. You said that a knight of Mia Rak turned into a dragon and went on a rampage, right?”
“Yes. During that event, I had an encounter with a being.”
I cut off his words and took a small deep breath.
Even though I can’t help but explain about the hero’s weapon, I’m nervous to talk about him.
“Shinryu Falga-sama. He is the dragon that controls ‘peace’ and ‘harmony’ that is said to have created the armor of the previous generation of heroes.”
What was that voice that almost spewed out just before he started to salivate?
No, for the sake of senpai’s honor, let’s not look next to him right now.
As I was distracted from my neighbor, Welsey-san spoke to me, her voice trembling.
“Sh-Shinryu! So Shenlong is real!”
“Yes. He is quite old, but he does indeed exist. We have …… proof.”
With that, I rolled up my right sleeve and unfolded the gauntlet created from the swords of the previous generation of heroes.
“This is a gauntlet that was remade by Falga-sama, based on the previous hero’s sword that I obtained on my journey.”
“…… Usato-san. May I see it for a moment?”
I show the gauntlet to Welshie-san.
After a few dozen seconds of carefully observing the gauntlet, she rolled her eyes in astonishment.
“…… Can we say that this is a magical tool? At the very least, it’s not something a human could create. It’s as if the metal itself became one with the arm and …… would be impossible to even imitate with existing technology.”
The people in the hall buzzed at Welshie-san’s reaction.
In the midst of this, Lloyd-sama, who had been silently observing the situation, opened his mouth.
“Usato. I’ll take your word for it.”
“Thank you. …… Falga-sama is going to make a special hero warrior’s armor for this generation’s heroes, Senpai and Kazuki, for the coming battle against the Demon King.”
“…… Oh my. That is, however, …….”
“It seems that Falga-sama thinks that the Demon King is that powerful.”
Lloyd-sama put his hand on his chin, lost in thought.
“I had no idea that a being like the one in the story …… was still alive. …… At my age, I’m still amazed. Thank you, Usato. I know it’s been hard for you.”
“I’ve just been doing what I wanted to do, in a way. ………”
It’s been tough, for sure, but almost everything I’ve done has been either by sticking my neck out or by getting involved and sticking my neck out.
That’s why I’ve never regretted anything in my journey so far.
At my words, Lloyd-sama pressed a hand to his forehead.
“…… I heard in the report received by Hoot Bird the other day that you also had a battle with the two legion leaders of the Demon King’s army in the Land of Beasts. The text sent by Lucas of Samaria stated that you had broken the terrible curse that had consumed the royal family and saved his daughter ……”
“What do you mean, Usato-kun?”
Lloyd-sama’s expression frowns in regret, while senpai looks at me like a machine that has run out of oil.
I listened to Lloyd-sama’s words while avoiding eye contact with senpai.
“Both Suzune and Kazuki have had a dangerous journey, fighting powerful monsters. I can’t thank you guys enough for fulfilling your mission and returning to the kingdom. ……”
“It has indeed been a dangerous journey. But it was not a meaningless journey, in my opinion.”
I say this to Lloyd-sama who regrets sending us on such a dangerous journey.
“It was a great experience for me to meet so many people and broaden my knowledge of this world. How was it for you, ……?”
Senpai was a little surprised to be asked to speak out of the blue, but she quickly smiled and looked at Lloyd-sama.
“I feel the same way as you do, Usato-kun. I’m convinced that this trip had a great meaning for me as well.”
“Suzune, Usato ……”
Lloyd-sama meditates on our words for a few seconds.
I can’t read what Lloyd-sama is thinking from his expression, but he doesn’t seem to be regretting his actions as he did earlier.
“I am an old geezer. Your lordships have grown much more than I thought possible. Once again, as the king of the Lingle Kingdom, I send you my thanks.”
Lloyd-sama smiled gently at me and senpai, who bowed our heads while kneeling.
However, he began to growl a bit, as if he remembered something when he saw us.
“How may I help you?”
“Ummm. I saw you guys and I have a few questions I’d like to ask you, if you don’t mind ……?”
“Yes, what is it?”
What is it that he’s beating around the bush?
“There are rumours flying around the country that you two are in love.
At the unexpected topic, senpai’s shoulders shook and she became frozen.
In her place, I explained to Lloyd-sama what had happened.
“I-I-I see, so that’s what this is about. We almost had the whole kingdom come together to celebrate. ……”
“That was a close call, wasn’t it …… senpai?”
“I-Ish that sho……”
For some reason, senpai turned her face away from me.
Seeing us, Lloyd-sama expressed his relief.
“But in a way, I’m relieved for you.”
“Why is that?”
“Well, in the letter sent by Lucas, the king of Samaria, there was also a letter from his daughter enclosed. By some mistake, it was put in the same envelope, so I read a little bit of it, but it’s ……, you can’t keep your head in the sand.”
Sergio-san hands me the letter, which is carefully folded in half.
After receiving it, I look through it and see a thank you note from Lucas-sama’s daughter, Eva.
If it were handed to me in a normal way, it wouldn’t be the kind of text that would make me realize that I was in love with her.
However, if you change the situation, the perspective changes drastically.
“Y-You’ve done it now, Lucas-sama ……!”
“U-Usato-kun? The king’s daughter is a princess, isn’t she? A-As your senpai, I’m a little curious as to what the content is~”
I’m sure you enclosed this on purpose, right? It’s a roundabout way of asking your parents for help right?
The content itself is quite ordinary, but the purpose is to get Lloyd-sama’s attention, isn’t it?
But I can see your ulterior motive!
In the back of my mind, as I was being left to my own devices by senpai, who shook my shoulders with an awkward smile, I was reminded of Lucas-sama’s slightly evil smile.
At any rate, the full-fledged report to Lloyd-sama was to come later, so we left the hall.
After parting ways with Arc-san, we were walking through the passageways of the castle with senpai and Nea.
“The curse of Samaria, huh? I didn’t think you were involved in an incident related to witchcraft.”
“It was an outrageous incident. A soul bound to this world by a magician attacked me with an entity, and to be honest, I didn’t feel like living. ……”
“How does a soul attack you?”
“It’s like a translucent skeleton biting you with its clinking bones.”
Senpai says with a pale face, “Wow.
I’m not very good with ghosts, and that time was a bit traumatic for me.
And when they forced the memory of the ghost into my head, it was a terrible pain.
“It’s okay to swallow and make small talk, but where are we going now?”
Nea blurted out as she transformed into an owl and jumped onto my shoulder.
I’ve already reported Nea to the people in the castle beforehand, but I hope she doesn’t transform in a place where people can see her like that.
“We’re going to see me and senpai friends.”
“Could that be the other hero?”
According to Lloyd-sama, Kazuki is waiting for us in another room with Celia-sama, so we’re on our way there now.
As we were walking down the passage, smiling at Nea who was in a good mood after hearing that we’re going to visit another hero, we stopped as a figure popped out from around the corner.
“Yo, I finally found you!”
Kazuki looked relieved as he approached us at a fast pace while catching his breath.
“Weren’t you supposed to be waiting for me in my room first?”
“When I heard that you two were back, I couldn’t stay and ran out of the …… room. Hahaha ……”
Kazuki’s smile is as fresh as ever, and I feel nostalgic.
…… What can I say, it’s really a different kind of reunion from when I was with senpai. I’m happy for both of them, though.
“But I’m really glad you’re both okay. ……! I-I was worried about you the whole time …….”
“Oh, uh, don’t cry, Kazuki-kun ……”
Me and senpai panicked as Kazuki’s voice became more and more tearful.
Seeing Kazuki like that, Nea whispers to me in a slightly withdrawn tone.
“Unlike Suzune, he’s frighteningly devoid of evil spirits, this one. It’s scary in a different way. ……”
“Kazuki is a pure young man. ……”
He has a pure heart, not like mine and Inugami-senpai’s.
Kazuki, who was so worried and emotional, wiped his eyes and continued to speak.
“I’m sorry ……! B-but when I found out that senpai and Usato fought a dangerous existence, I …… really didn’t feel like living …….”
“Did Lloyd-sama tell you about this?”
“No, I heard it from a fortune teller I met in an elven settlement.”
“So, yeah……, elves, huh…… hmm.”
Senpai was really upset.
Elves are a staple of fantasy, so it must be really bothering her.
He’s managing to keep his self-control for now, but I don’t know when he’ll fall apart, so I’ll ask the question for him.
“What did the fortune teller say about us?”
“He said that two of the three plagues on this continent were prevented by a hero with lightning in his body and a white healer …….”
“The White Healer ……, are you talking about me?”
“Yes. I knew right away that it was referring to Usato.”
The White Healer…… is normal, no, it’s very cool.
Though I wonder how it came out of the elven fortune teller’s mouth about me in the first place.
“The wicked dragon, man-eating thunder beast, and forest-eating rampaging monster. I managed to defeat the rampaging monster, but it was a very strong enemy. Without the help of the …… elven people, I can’t even imagine what would have happened by now. That’s why I’ve always been worried about the two of you who fought an entity that was as powerful as the monster I was relative to. ……”
Did the elves’ divination put the wicked dragon in the same league?
Well, that thing was a nuisance, spreading destruction and poison all the time if left alone. It’s not surprising that it was treated as such.
“But it’s good to see the three of us together again like this.”
Kazuki says happily, and senpai and I laugh along with him.
Suddenly, Kazuki tilted his head as he looked at Nea who was on my shoulder.
“Usato. I was wondering, what’s that owl on your shoulder?”
Oops, that’s right.
I’ll have to introduce Kazuki to Nea.
“This is Nea, a companion and familiar who joined us on our journey.”
“Nice to meet you. The other hero.”
“The owl talked! Could it be a talking demon? That’s amazing!”
“Fufun. Right. Of course I’m amazing.”
Nea sticks her chest out at Kazuki, who is normally surprised and amazed.
I guess she’s happy to be honestly praised.
“Oh, I should introduce you to my new friends too, …….”
“Kazuki, d-don’t tell me you too have a familiar?”
“No, that’s not it.”
Senpai was relieved.
I’d like her to hide her behaviour at least a little bit, but that doesn’t seem to be the point for her.
“She’s an elven hunter. In her village, she was the only daughter of the chieftain, but after some twists and turns, she joined us.”
“Is she here? There’s an elf girl in this country? If there are, introduce them to me.”
“Yes. Please calm down, senpai.”
I stopped senpai who was about to question Kazuki with bloodshot eyes by choking him.
Kazuki smiled nostalgically at senpai, who quieted down like a borrowed cat after a few seconds or so, and me, who was exhausted and weak.
“I knew it, it’s this exchange. Senpai and Usato are …… yeah.”
“K-Kazuki-sama, where did you go?”
A familiar voice came from afar: …….
I’m not sure if it’s Celia-sama or not that is looking for Kazuki.
“Oh, no. Celia is looking for me. Aside from …… you, what about Usato? Do you want to go with her like this?”
“Hmm, what should I do?”
After thinking for a bit, I tell him my plans for the future.
“I guess me and Nea will be going back to the rescue squad.”
“I see. Well, now that we’re back in this country, we can always meet up. I’ll introduce you to my new friends later.”
“Yeah. Well then, senpai, I guess we’ll break up here.”
“Eh, ah, …… well, see you later.”
I left the place with Nea.
It’s been a while since the three of us were able to talk together.
But for me, it still doesn’t mean I’m truly home.
“After all, home for me is the rescue squad..”
I don’t need anyone to tell me that.
That person is waiting for my return at that place.
“Hey, hey, Usato.”
“What is it, Nea?”
“I’m going to live in the castle, so why don’t we part ways here?”
I chuckle at Nea’s suggestion.
“Nea ……, it’s okay. No one is going to discriminate against you because you’re a demon.”
“No, it’s not that.”
“Because even though they’re human, most of them are just like demons.”
“Does that include you?”
“Don’t worry. I don’t care what anyone says, you’re coming back with me to the rescue squad.”
“Hey, will you listen to me? I’m saying that you don’t have to take me to the rescue squad because I live in the castle.”
“I’ll be with you through every hard time!”
“Obviously I do not want to go!”
“I see! So you do want to come with me! I’m so happy!”
“Huh? You’re listening and ignoring me, aren’t you? Wait…! Don’t grab me by the wings! Let me go!”
You’re my familiar.
It’s part of your job to share your fate with your master.
With Nea desperately trying to escape from my grasp, I made my way to the rescue squad’s quarters. (TL Note: Oof Nea)
In the next chapter, they’ll finally be able to return to the rescue squad.
Sorry, I’ve been writing other fics and I’m late.
Maybe I’ll update only one chapter as a new one soon.
Thank you so much to all my patron supporters who have been helping me since the beginning, and to those who are helping me right now as well.