TLNote: Sorry for another late post
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Hidden deep underneath the city, a town that used to be above ground.
In this underground city, which has become ruins, there stands one of the bases of the criminal organization, ‘Hydra’.
In the depths of the underground, illuminated by light magic tools, there were several figures in a room inside the ruins of a mansion.
One of them was a woman in a black nightgown.
She had black hair and was wearing a variety of accessories that made her look like the daughter of a wealthy merchant.
She wore a cloak, and to the casual observer, her presence in this place seemed out of place.
However, she carried a sword at her waist, and all of her accessories are magical tools.
“Ne~e, darling…… who are those two?”
“They are your backup just in case. We don’t want anything to happen to you, Sharanra.”
The man in the elegant suit smiles.
According to their appearance, the two figures accompanying the man seemed to be youths.
One is a young man in armor but wearing a collar, indicating that he is a slave.
The other was a girl in a ninja outfit with her hair tied up in two small buns on either side, though her outfit made her stand out.
It was a pale pink color, absolutely not stealthy.
“Hey, Garland-san. When this job is over, you’re really going to free me from slavery, right?”
“Oh, that depends on how hard you work. If I find you useful, I’ll free you.”
“Alright. I have my own agenda, so I can’t spend my time as a slave.”
“Oh, does the boy have plans? That’s impressive for such a young man.”
“Boy, don’t call me that! I’m not a kid!”
“This guy got himself sued for messing with a legal slave. I bought him when he became a criminal slave.”
Legal slaves were protected by law, and although they wore a slave collar, they were not restricted by it.
In other words, they were servants bought with money, and if the person who bought the slave tried to lay their hands on them, they could sue their master.
On the other hand, criminal slaves were subjected to slave collars, and if they escaped from a certain range, they would experience severe pain in their bodies.
The slave collar is linked to another slave control device, and when the slave leaves a certain range, mental magic is channeled into the nerves, causing severe pain to the body.
The effects vary according to the crime, but it was widely accepted that convicted criminals would have offensive magic cast on their bodies.
“You idiot. You should have thought about it a little more before you bought a slave, did you really think that if you bought a slave you could do whatever you wanted?”
“‘Ugghhh……. It’s a fantasy world, and I thought I could create a slave harem……”
“You should have faced reality. There’s no such thing as a good deal. That’s why you are a little boy.”
“His name is Reinhard XIII or something like that. That’s a big name for an idiot, isn’t it? But he’s strong. He kicked 50 guards out of the way and went on a rampage, so I thought I’d buy him.”
“So, how about the girl over there?”
She turned his attention to the pink ninja girl, who was happily chewing a piece of pirozhki-like bread in her mouth with no expression on her face.
(*ピロシキ \ Piroshiki \ Pirozhki, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirozhki)
No matter how you look at her, she looks like an elementary school student or an early junior high school student.
“She never told me her name. I saw her collapsed on the side of the road, so I gave her some food, and she followed me for some reason. She’s very skilled, you know?”
“That’s rare. Darling helping a child……”
“…… Shinobis are destined to live in the darkness and disappear in the darkness. It matters not.”
“You’re a ninja…… You don’t look like a ninja at all. In fact, you stand out. Darling, you really are a lolic—”
“Of course not! I thought I would sell her, but it turns out it was a hell of a find. Despite her appearance, she’s clearly a denizen of the underworld. When I got tangled up with some business rivals, she kicked the shit out of them.”
Staring at Garland with jittery eyes, Sharanra let out a sigh.
“How thoughtful of you to offer me a hand. Does that mean you don’t trust me?”
“No, you’re dealing with the Duke of Solisthea…… You never know what he’s up to. Just as a precaution, to protect you.”
“I hope so……”
As for Sharanra, she didn’t think she needed any guards.
From her point of view, most of them were weak and she was confident that she could kill them with a single blow.
She even thought that she could easily assassinate even a duke.
“I hope they’re not slowing me down. Especially the girl, since she’s not enslaved, right? Wouldn’t she betray us?”
“I’m sure you can handle it. She’s too clumsy to make money. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have collapsed.”
“Yeah, okay. I’ll go do my job.”
“Yeah…… I’ll give you lots of love when I get back, okay?”
“Fufufu, I’m going to go finish my job right now. Don’t you dare cheat on me?”
“Don’t have time for that. Later, I have another business meeting. I don’t have time to play around.”
Garland pulls Sharanra into his arms and kisses her passionately.
The lustful sound of their tongues tangling together flows silently.
“Damn～…… I’m so jealous～……”
“Fufufu, it’s a little early for you, little boy. I’m off, Darling.”
“Oh, I’ll wait for the good news.”
“I’ll take care of it. I’ll be right back ♪.”
Sharanra and the rest of the people left the room with the few lights on and disappeared into the darkness.
“Kukuku, I’m going to pay you back, Duke of DelSasis. Pay back double the grudges I’ve held against you……”
Garland, who was left alone in the room, was smiling with a dark hint of satisfaction.
He had never expected to have the opportunity to pay back a grudge to his enemy through a child’s playful request, but he had taken this opportunity and gambled.
If he failed, there would be no future for him and he would not be able to continue his family business in this country.
However, he believed that this retaliation would not fail.
The stage shifts to the Ramuff forest as people with their own agendas come into play.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
After parting with Kreuz and company, the ossan met up with Iris and the others at Steeler’s high-class inn, “Dawn’s Bright Star Pavilion”.
He received his Guild Card from Iris in his room, but when he heard what happened afterward, his expression became increasingly unsteady.
This was something that he didn’t want to believe.
“N, No, you’re lying! That’s ridiculous…… No way, that o-ney is………”
Zeros looked shocked and shuddered at the truth that Iris and the others had told him.
“Ojisan…… you may not believe it, but it’s true, okay?”
“I know how you feel, but you have to accept the truth……”
“Zeros-san, the world is full of unbelievable truths. I think you should accept it for what it is.”
But, the ossan cannot understand what the three of them are saying.
He trembles at the absurdity of the world and tries to accept the reality of what he has been told, but his common sense refuses to accept it.
No, he truly rejects it.
“It’s impossible…… That o-ney!? It’s the same Seyphon who declared, ‘I’ll target your ass from now on!?♡'”
“I’m not sure exactly what he said, but…… He did say something similar, didn’t he?”
“Well, I suppose I can’t blame you for thinking like that……”
“It is what it looks like. …… I know how you feel, ojisan.”
“N, No way…… You’re saying he’s not a Mo-ho, he’s normal? And he is married? He has a harem of 53 wives! How can that be?”
The ossan, crying his heart out.
After Iris and the others received the old man’s guild card at the mercenary guild, they were told the truth by a guild employee who was standing by. They just let the ossan know it.
However, the ossan, who is still single, could not accept the fact.
“Then that look and behavior are……”
“He said he enjoys making fun of new mercenaries. Ojisan, you’ve been played, haven’t you?”
“He looks like a woman, but that’s because of his aesthetic taste. I don’t understand……”
“I don’t think anyone would understand, would they? I don’t think it’s strange that Zeros-san doesn’t understand, because we thought he was into that kind of thing too.”
S-rank mercenary and guildmaster of the Steeler Mercenary Guild. [Seiphon the Flash] was actually a normal, married man.
Rumor had it that he was suspected of being a philanderer, but he prefers boyish women, and all of his wives are powerful women who are as brash as men. In addition, he has 53 wives, which is an impressive number.
In other words, there is a difference between a mistress and a wife, but his connection to DelSasis was that of a fellow womanizer.
It seems that because he had relationships with women who looked like men, he was rumored to be a homosexual, but in reality, he was very much a man and a devoted husband. It is said that he had 38 children.
He seemed to be quite popular.
“It’s ridiculous……. Why does that guy have a wife…… and a polygamist with children? And with his vicious hobbies, how did he get married……? Even I, am not there yet……”
“You’re so desperate, Ojisan……”
“I hate that I get that feeling of not being able to accept it. For all I knew, he swung that way……”
“But it’s true. Well, it’s none of my business.”
Jane didn’t seem to care, but Rena did.
She gave a wicked smile and looked at Jane with a weird grin.
“Wh, what’s with you……. If you have something to say, say it quickly, it’s creepy……”
“N ~ fufufu…… Seiphon-san, he prefers masculine women, right? Then, I guess Jane falls into his category of women, right?”
“Ah! You’re right……. Not that it matters, but you are more-or-less the type of person he likes, right?”
Yes, Jane is a masculine woman, in looks alone, and she could well be his target.
It didn’t matter; in fact, he might even hit on her.
“What if he makes a move on you? Will you become part of the harem? What would you do Jane?”
“What? O- of course not! There’s no way anyone would be interested in me, and no man would want a crass woman like me! And before that, I don’t even like him!”
“I wonder about that? I think you are feminine in every way, Jane-san. You seem the type to keep stuffed animals in your room. You’re more of a lady than you think.”
“How the hell do you know that? No way, Iris…….”
“I didn’t say anything! Ojisan just made a guess…… What? Jane-san, you collect stuffed animals? Those stuffed animals were not for the children……”
Jane has dug her own grave.
Iris and Jane were living in the orphanage-slash-church under the care of Luceris, but in the room that was assigned to Jane, there were many stuffed animals.
Iris thought that the stuffed animals were for the children of the orphanage to play with, but it seems that they were actually personal items that Jane had smuggled in, and Iris couldn’t help but be surprised.
“Where did you hide all those stuffed animals when you were living as a mercenary? I’ve never seen you carry a stuffed animal before……”
“Ugh …… I had a friend from the same orphanage keep it for me. It was bad enough to leave it there all the time, so I retrieved it. …… Sorry!”
“Don’t be so upset. It’s hard to live as a mercenary, right?”
“Well, we all have our own hobbies. What’s wrong with that? I think it’s cute, though.”
Jane is so embarrassed by the word “cute” that she falls down on the floor.
Apparently, she has a complex about the difference between her looks and her taste.
“What do you think of Jane, Zeros-san? She’s a good cook, and she’s still dreaming of a prince on a white horse coming to get her.”
“How do you know that? I don’t remember telling you that!”
“We went out for a drink together the other night, didn’t we? That’s when you got drunk and slipped up. Don’t you remember?”
“I don’t remember any of this…… I’m going to stop drinking.”
“Drinking is the first step to self-destruction. [Drink and be not consumed], let’s be careful.”
Iris was keenly aware of the horror of alcohol.
In modern society, minors are not allowed to drink alcohol, but in this world, they are old enough to drink wine.
The fear that she might make a mistake and say something strange in a drunken stupor made Iris vow to keep her drinking to a moderate level. She had never touched alcohol before, but the mere smell of it made her feel sick, so she might be weak against alcohol.
“Well? Zeros-san, what do you think about Jane?”
“She’ s pretty and I mean as a woman. She’s the kind of girl you’d want as a wife…… Would I marry her now? I’m not sure if I can make her happy, but I would try?”
“Hy ~nya~aaaaaaaaaa!? Nya nya nya…… What the hell are you saying?”
“Ojisan, do you happen to have a woman you’re interested in……?”
“Well, …… I would say I’m curious, but when I look at Jane-san and Luceris-san, there’s something about them that makes my heart flutter. Why is that?”
This is the first sensation he felt after coming to this world.
Especially when he was looking at Luceris and Jane, this feeling unexpectedly became stronger and stronger, and he could not help but feel that he would soon lose control of it.
The ossan was unintentionally being honest with himself……
Rena and Jane looked serious.
No, Jane’s face was dyed red, and for some reason, she was glancing at the ossan.
‘What is this lovely being……? It’s a…… Maiden………’
The Ossan’s inner voice aside, Rena crossed her hands on the table like some sort of commander and let out a deep sigh.
“Zeros-san……. That’s the love syndrome, remember?”
“You know, love syndrome …… mating season, right? There are many other ways to call it, but that means Zeros-san and Jane are a good match. And Luceris-san too……”
“Seriously. Apparently, Jane feels the same way, and maybe, just maybe, Luceris-san feels the same way, too. Do you want both of them as your wives? They grew up with each other, and there’s no reason for wives to fight over each other, right?”
The ossan’s thoughts came to a halt.
What comes to his mind are the images of people who have gone out of control with this love syndrome, and these images turn into himself and play as images in his brain.
They would make outrageous love confessions in front of the woman they were in love with and then get beaten up, perform annoying theatrical love confessions in front of people, jump from high places, and force themselves down while suddenly diving naked.
The ossan gradually paled.
Meanwhile, as for Iris, who is being ignored……
“Luceris-san was at least a D cup…… Jane-san is an E cup……”
……Compared their breasts, and then looked at her own breasts.
“Ah, is it breasts? Is chest size the standard for you too, Ojisan? Do you really want a woman with big breasts?”
“…… I guess it’s better to have them than not. It depends on who you’re talking to……”
“I knew it was the breasts!! Are big breasts that good!!”
Iris is driven by rage, and the old man unintentionally answers.
The petite Iris has a complexity about her lack of breasts.
He grabbed the ossan by the collar and shook him, but the old man was shocked by something else and was not in his right mind.
Jane looked at the two of them, fidgeting and observing.
However. She’s forgotten. Zeros is not a prince on a white horse or something like that, but an annihilator on a jet black motorcycle……
He’s a dangerous man, who instead of smiling a shiny, fresh smile from his horse, unleashes annihilating magic that shines like a scourge from his motorcycle. She is still dreamy and doesn’t realize it.
However, when she finds out that the love syndrome she has recently begun to feel is also affecting Zeros, she becomes unnecessarily aware of him.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
“……We’ve gotten off track, but it’s time to talk about the serious business……”
“You’re talking about the escort. But how do we know we’ll be escorting that noble?”
“That’s right~……. Even the people in the party are split up when escorting the students.”
“I’m not sure we’ll even be able to get close to the target we’re supposed to be protecting.”
The students of the academy are on their way to Ramuff forest, and due to the number of students in the academy, one mercenary is assigned to guard each party of seven students. However, the mercenaries can’t arbitrarily decide who they want to escort.
In other words, not all of them will be able to stay close to the target of the escort, Zweit.
“In case of emergency, let’s follow our three feathered friends……. They’re stronger than most mercenaries.”
“How high are the levels of those chickens? Somehow, they’re more powerful than before, aren’t they?”
“A~a…… Honestly, you don’t want to meet them in a forest. They are far stronger than the average monster……”
“Zeros-san, what did you do to those cuckoos? They are more like three crows, but they are chickens.”
(*Three crows are a symbol or metaphor in several traditions. Crows, and especially ravens, often feature in European legends or mythology as portents or harbingers of doom or death, because of their dark plumage, unnerving calls, and tendency to eat carrion.
An extraordinary chickens that can turn the tables on an average mercenary with just one of them.
They are stronger than a fully evolved cockatrice and show an unusual obsession with strength.
No one could be more suitable for guarding, but the chickens seemed to tend to forget their role when it came to fighting. Well, they are monsters, after all……
“Ojisan…… what’s going on in your head that makes you smile so much?”
“I guess. Three chickens…… arriving behind the academy students, there is no sense of tension.”
“They’re quite adorable to look at, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more evil escort. I pity their opponents……”
“Well, the level is now over 400…… I’m looking forward to seeing what happens when it evolves.”
A monster is an entity whose physical abilities change depending on its environment.
There is an extreme difference in strength between goblins living in human territory and goblins living in harsh environments, even at the same level. Naturally, the difference in strength is largely due to experience in battle, and the Cuckoos were already pushing the limits of their abilities as they grappled with an ossan who was over level 1,000.
The amount of experience they accumulate is extremely high.
If the Cuckoos evolve into Cockatrice, their strength will probably be equal to that of intermediate dragon species.
Moreover, their level is still rising. The ossan has been training the natural enemy of mankind for some time now.
“Ojisan……. Are you sure you’re not raising some kind of evil monster?
“It’s a good thing they have the intelligence to understand our language…… If this thing goes wild, imagine how many victims there will be……”
“I don’t know what you’re trying to do…… Do you hate humans that much, Zeros-san?”
It was not his intention to do so, but he was still raising some nasty creatures.
When these chickens were released into the wild, all that was left were three people who could only see despair.
“Of course not. The only person I hate…… is her.”
“Ah…… your troublesome sister. But she’s not here now, is she?”
“Thank God for that. If she were here…… I would probably go back to being the [Annihilator] again. Even if I were to kill her, I wouldn’t have to worry about disposing of the body, you know, because this world is…… Kukuku……”
The image of his sister, which he didn’t want to remember, flashed through his mind, and a dreadful killing intent began to well up from Zeros.
He was still suppressing his desire to kill, but it was enough to give Iris and the others a chill down their spines. In other words, he is holding a grudge to that extent.
The ossan’s resentment is deep-rooted. There was no affection whatsoever for his family member.
“Well, forget about my sister. I’ll give you three some tools to protect yourselves. I’ve given you this job for my own benefit.”
The ossan gave the three of them the same kind of amulet and ring that he had given to Zweit and the others.
He had been forced to accept the request for an escort, so he had made extra equipment in advance to protect themselves.
“This…… looks so plain, doesn’t it?
“But, the effects are amazing, you know? It’s a self-protecting barrier…… And even ordinary magic can’t break through it. I can’t tell you the details, but I can tell you what it does……”
“Wait, you don’t mind if we take it? It’s a magic tool that can fetch a lot of money if you sell it!”
“The ring is supposed to tell you where you are, but when the magic is released, it sends out an emergency signal. As expected of Ojisan, he made these items by himself!”
In the game, the five annihilators all had production jobs.
Although overshadowed by the extraordinary legendary stories that spread about them, they were skilled at creating such equipment.
The old man’s main job was to develop magic, and he also created weapons, armor, and magic tools in his spare time.
He can also create healing items such as magic potions, but this is something he learned later when necessary, and he was more of an assistant to his friends.
He can also create a variety of potions, but he has yet to create any of them by himself. Even if he had, it would only be a recovery potion.
“The production cost of the equipment is free, you can have it. Feel free to use it.”
“……Is that alright? It’s something you can sell and live off of for a while……”
“That alone is worth the request……. Maybe it’s worth more than the reward for the academy student escort request?”
“Yay! ♪ Thanks, Ojisan!”
Iris was the only one who was honestly happy.
Since Zeros is not aware of it, this magic tool is called the [Amulet of Protection], and if you sell it, you can get a price that will allow you to play and live for 20 years.
In fact, the value of this equipment is comparable to the value of magic tools found in ruins, although the ossan is unaware of it. At the moment it looks like just a pendant, but if it were to be decorated with jewels, it would be a national treasure.
The ossan was ignorant of the value of such things.
Of course, it goes without saying that Kreuz, who had the same item in his possession, was in a frenzy back at the dormitory.
“The day after tomorrow, the field training will begin. Tomorrow we’ll be free to relax and rest from our trip. After that, we’ll have to be resourceful, but you never know, it’s just luck.”
“That’s right. Tomorrow we’re going to explore the city- ♪.”
“Iris…… we’re not here just for fun, okay? Our livelihoods depend on it, okay?”
“It’s hard to be poor, isn’t it~……. Thanks again Zeros-san for helping us get a job. I wonder what we should do tomorrow ♪.”
“”…… Are you okay, you two?””
Zeros and Jane’s worries were right on target, the next day Iris went out into the city in a playful mood, while Rena wandered the streets in search of a little romance.
Needless to say, on the day of the field training, some of the underclassmen withdrew from the training due to poor health.
They ended up failing their courses, but somehow they seemed to be happy. Their friends in the same year wondered why they were so weak that they could not stand on their feet.
Of course, Rena’s skin was unusually shiny.
It seems that predators do not choose the time and place.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
After parting ways with Kreuz, Misuka calmly made her way to the Great Library.
This library was originally built as a cathedral, but due to budget constraints, the work was put on hold and the building was neglected for a while.
After the proposal to build an academy came out, it was remodeled as an open place for academy students to gain knowledge, and now it was famous as a large library with the largest collection of books in the country.
Climbing up the marble stairs and going under the huge doorway, visitors find themselves in a treasure chamber of knowledge lined with many bookshelves.
However, it was not crowded with people, as if there were not many visitors, and only the librarian managing the books was seen.
There were some students in the academy, but only a few, and the place was so quiet that it was hard to tell what the facility was for.
Misuka saw two figures sitting in front of a table that had been set up and made her way over to it with lean and graceful steps.
“Thank you for your patience, Zweit-sama. Thank you for your time, Ojousama.
“You’re late. Did Kreuz go off the rails?”
“How did you know?”
“I just don’t get it! He’s that kind of guy, he probably brought in his own modified magic circle anyway, right?”
“That is correct. After that, he asked many questions.”
“What a free guy. ……. In a way, I envy him.”
Kreuz is a free spirit, unconstrained by ties.
Although there are some problems with his behavior, he seems to be enjoying his freedom.
In some cases, Zweit has been burdened with too many unnecessary things, but in his case, he ended up like that, and in a sense, he can be said to be a victim of the faction.
In any case, after being brainwashed, he suffered a painful heartbreak, and it would be strange not to hold a grudge.
“So, Misuka. Is Sensei well?”
“Is there anything that could make him sick? I have a feeling that even if he were to fall ill, he could take care of himself.”
“Surely …… Shishou could handle it.”
“That’s right. I feel like there’s no point in worrying.”
It’s kind of bad.
But there is definitely something about it that makes sense to both of them.
“”Well, good. Did Shishou say anything to you?”
“It seems that Zeros-dono has prepared a magic tool for the two of you, just in case. This is the magic tool.”
“Amulets and rings? What are the effects?”
“The amulet will automatically prevent any surprise attacks. The ring is supposed to tell you where you are at all times, and when you release its magic, it emits a wavelength that alerts the receiver that an emergency has occurred. I’m not sure I understand the principle.”
“As expected of Shishou. I had no idea he could prepare something like this in such a short time……”
“Yes …… How awesome can it be? I can’t see the depths of Sensei’s knowledge and skills.”
The two of them let out a gasp of admiration as they looked at the items handed to them.
However, Misuka drops another bomb on them.
“There was also some kind of vehicle-like magical tool. It’s a two-wheeled magical tool with weapons mounted on it……”
“Huh! Shishou even made such a thing!”
“His outfit was also terrifying. He was all in black and looked like a priest, though it would not be surprising if he looked like a priest serving an evil god.”
“Sensei…… I think that he might be attracting a lot of attention. He is here to protect us, right?”
“Technically, yes, but maybe he’s here for an experiment. Wouldn’t an assassin be a perfect test subject?”
They were silent because it was possible.
When he hears about it, he will have a spectacular CONVERSATION until he is satisfied.
(*Enkiros: talk, conversation [ohanasi] in full-width romaji. idk, seems like it could be a jp meme or smt)
It will be fascinating to see what the two of them perceive.
“I feel safer with Shishou here, but I can’t be too careless.”
“If he prepared the same magic tools for me, it’s probably because he judged that there was a possibility that I would be targeted, and he is probably acting with a lot of caution.”
“All I can think of is that it was Father’s order. I’m sure the conspicuous outfit was meant as a warning.”
Zweit knew that Zeros did not like to stand out, so he was able to use this information to read the situation.
On the other hand, that meant that there was a lot of danger looming. The information was enough to keep him on his guard.
“I suppose I’ll be able to meet Sensei there.”
“We’ll be traveling in a carriage together, but we’ll be in a different carriage from the mercenaries. So it will be.”
“Sorry I have so many things to ask you.”
“By the way, Zeros-dono brought chickens with him. A wild cuckoo”
They don’t know how strong Wu-Kei and the others are.
That’s why they are confused about the fact that the ossan brought chickens with him.
It would be a little later when they would know the strength of the chickens, but for now, they can’t guess what the ossan’s intentions are and can only scratch their heads.
This is the common, normal way of thinking. The ossan was surrounded by all sorts of abnormal people.
At any rate, Zweit and the others were ready to go to the Ramuff forest for field training.
However, the question on their minds now was, “Why Cuckoos?” was occupying all their thoughts.
It seems that common sense is always overridden by insanity.
Even if it is in another world.