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Ossan Chapter 74

Daily life Without Ossan: Part 9
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Translator & Proofreader: OssanTL


“Hey, Zweit… I heard girls have been flocking to the Saint Germain faction’s research facility lately. Do you know anything about it? Some girls from our faction were apparently lining up in front of the research facility too.”

“Ah… I heard that Kreuz created some incomprehensible thing. It seems they’re selling it exclusively to girls.”

Dio looked at the maps arranged on the desk and brought up the recent topic.

Zweit was aware of the circumstances to some extent. However, considering it to be too trivial, he had ignored it. But now, a situation had arisen where all the Weisler faction girls lined up in that queue.

The Saint Germain faction seemed to have created a [Female Hormone Enhancer]. They had temporarily started selling a diluted version of it and were conducting efficacy verification experiments.

Unfortunately, when they tried using a diluted version of the [Breast Enlargement Potion], it was discovered that its effects were only temporary.

Breasts indeed become larger, but depending on the original size, the effect’s duration changes, and in the end, they return to their normal size. Zweit felt lost when he heard about this from his younger brother Kreuz.

And so, the Saint Germain faction has started selling that magic potion. So far, it seems to be selling well.

By the way, the cause of why one’s gender changes when they drink the [Gender Transformation Potion] is not yet understood. Medical advancements are scarce in this world, and everything is attributed to the miracles of magic and the gods.

Even the so-called great sages are merely skilled in technology and not well-versed in medicine. It would take a hundred years to fully understand its effects. It is known only that it can be created, and the medical investigation is ongoing.

However, the research on this [Gender Transformation Potion] led to establishing the medical department in the Solistea Magic Kingdom, eventually spreading throughout the country.

The Solistea Magic Kingdom becomes a catalyst for significant development not only in magical research but also in the field of medicine. This is where everything begins.

“Women’s obsession with beauty is incredible. Even my mother would hoard cosmetics, test their effectiveness, and give scathing reviews to sellers for products she didn’t like…”

“The Saint Germain faction is a faction dedicated to magical research, right? Are they shifting their focus to the beauty industry?”

“Well, in a way, I feel like it could be quite high-income. Many people among the nobility are willing to spend money without hesitation.”

Wealthy women do not skimp on beauty.

For noblewomen, becoming more beautiful increases the likelihood of marrying into higher-ranked families. They gain some advantage over other noble families if they are already married.

Well, it’s just an endless competition cycle to appear superior.

For merchants, making a good impression in advertising and negotiations is a priority. Therefore, having a beautiful wife or daughter is effective as a promotional effect for their own business. In this world, cosmetics and perfumes are relatively expensive items, and selling them can bring in significant profits.

“Rumor has it that they’ve even created a magic potion that can change one’s gender. I wonder what it’s used for?”

“In our case, it could be useful for infiltration missions and such. Gathering information is one of the crucial tasks, after all.”

“What if you can’t change back after becoming a woman… Isn’t that dangerous?”

“Actually, it seems like they’ve made that potion. It seems like our Shisho collected most of it. Apparently, a few samples were left behind…”

“Scary!?! Anyway, what does your shisho intend to use it for? Could it be…?”

“It seems he can’t just leave dangerous substances unattended. After all, you never know what improvements that guy, Kreuz, might make.”

“That’s a relief. It’s not like they’re going to use it themselves, huh?”

While discussing the hidden circumstances, Zweit rolls two dice in his hand.

“Total of 8… Intercept successful. Area D-15 secured.”

“D-15, Team A has secured it!”

“Zweit, wouldn’t be sending a reconnaissance team here to be better? It’s not ideal to split the unit, but confirming the enemy’s position is also crucial.”

“…Agreed. I also recommend using a reconnaissance team of magicians to determine the enemy’s position.”

“Alright… Then let’s send a small squad for advanced reconnaissance up to D-20. At the same time, we’ll conduct reconnaissance using the familiars of the magician squad.”

What Zweit and the others are doing is, in a way, like a board game.

The map is divided into small squares, and each team places their pieces on the squares with numbers and rolls the dice. The dice represent the success or failure of the mission, and the teams in Rooms A and B strategize and determine the outcome. The numbers on the dice determine the outcome and success rate of tactics and deepen the strategic knowledge needed to capture enemy territories or escape from harsh battle situations. It was a training exercise.

“It’s painful that Unit C-54 was completely wiped out. Who was the idiot who sent them on an all-out attack yesterday…?”

“I never thought it was a trap. Who would have expected the enemy to have a platoon stationed in the rear in this terrain…”

“There were also magician squads capable of reconnaissance accompanying us! Why didn’t we use them?”

This training exercise is turn-based, and each person holds a piece of their respective team as the squad leader. They discuss strategies and decide what actions to take, placing their pieces on the squares.

Once they’ve moved their teams, they do the same in the adjacent room. The outcome of the dice determines the state of the battle. It’s challenging for the student observers to record the teams’ movements and shuttles between the rooms.

Everyone is busy, and no one wants to do it. So, they had to establish rules to ensure fairness in the rotation of the observers.

“By the way, I haven’t seen Samtroll lately? It’s not like I want to see him, but he knows how to cause trouble, so it’s a bit concerning.”

“Yeah, it seems like he was kicked out of the Weisler Marquis family. Who knows, he might have gotten himself involved with some dangerous stuff and ended up in an amusing situation, right?”

“Drugs? I can’t believe Samtroll would get involved with something like that, even if he’s an idiot…”

“I disagree. Samtroll has been disowned by his own family. It wouldn’t be surprising if he resorted to drugs.”

“He was all talk, couldn’t do anything on his own… I think it’s possible.”

“Yeah, that’s right. He boasted about his lineage, but other than that, he’s got nothing. Even if he became king, he’d still be an idiot.”

Within the Weisler faction, the perception of Samtroll had returned to normal.

Mind control magic, once it crumbles due to mental instability, its effects are easily broken in a chain reaction like a falling domino.

If Bremite, who used that magic, were present, they might have been able to fix it, but they haven’t seen him lately, just like Samtroll. However, as one of the masterminds who controlled and manipulated them through mind control, no one worries about them.

“Nobles are only who they are because of the people, right? Even if they come from royal lineage, they shouldn’t have that kind of attitude, right?”

“Exactly, they’re the epitome of incompetent royalty. They’re definitely not cut out to succeed the throne.”

“If they were made into a portable shrine, they might be useful, right? And if they become a hindrance, we can just get rid of them.”

“““Scary!”““

When he was under mind control, Samtroll boasted about his lineage.

The academy students who remember that were now exchanging insults with a mocking attitude. Perhaps as a reaction to having their selves twisted and being used for someone else’s gain, they didn’t hold back in their words.

“That’s enough of that. We still don’t know how Team B is deploying their units. Their turn should be ending soon.”

“So, what’s your take, Zweit? For now, we have a slight advantage, don’t we?”

“Report! Team B has deployed all forces in the C-29 area. Hansen Squad is completely wiped out! They engaged with Yuan Squad during the invasion! Nabe Squad has suffered heavy casualties!! The rescue from Zweit Battalion won’t make it in time!”

“““What?!!”““

In this strategic training, the information obtained through reconnaissance is not shared between the teams.

The only ones who understand both sides’ situations are the monitoring students, and since success is determined by dice rolls, it’s mostly left to chance. If the enemy side becomes aware of our unit composition, the strategy in the game will change significantly.

And for the first time, they realized the intentions of the opposing team.

“I can’t believe it. They allocated most of their forces to the commanding role and conducted reconnaissance at the squad level! But they completely wiped out our battalion? Could it be… they clashed with the main force?”

“We can guess to some extent how they will position their forces based on the terrain. The front-line commander can allocate troops to other captain roles… This is bad for us.”

“Damn it, half of our forces have been taken out!”

“If we lose, we’ll have to treat them to a meal! I’m not joking!!”

“They have Bartz, the big eater, on their side. Our wallets will freeze up!!”

“We must protect our wallets at all costs!!”

This training is often used as a betting subject among the students.

It’s not about money, but mainly bets were made using side dishes for lunch or dinner.

The problem is that the opposing team has a big eater, so even in small bets, it’s a huge blow to the wallets. After all, they can easily eat the equivalent of ten servings.

It was a painful issue for the students.

“Damn it! In that case, we have no choice but to divide our forces and harass them!”

“Because Bartz is so stubborn when it comes to food…”

“But what do we do? If we continue like this, we’ll be defeated one by one!!”

“They only dare to take bold actions at a time like this!”

“What do we do!? How can we break through this situation?!”

The members of Team A, led by Zweit, start devising strategies in a panic, trying to make a comeback. However, in the end, they only managed to defeat half of the enemy team, and their wallets entered an ice age.

Ironically, perhaps due to that tragedy, they became exempt from betting for a while.

Their experiences taught them that gambling can ruin one’s life. It is through experience that people grow.

◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇

Lectures at the academy only take place until 3 p.m., and the rest of the time is left for the student’s independent activities.

Many students skip, but diligent students voluntarily study and research, complete their reports, and earn grades by submitting them to the instructors.

Celestina, lately, stands out as an exception and has relatively more free time due to being a handful, even for the academy instructors. What she doing is…

“To manipulate magic freely, you must control magic with your own will. Once you can freely change the shape using the magic of [Flame Torch], it’s all about applying it. Good luck.”

“Yes! Onee-sama ♡”

She was observing the magic training of her underclassmen.

She provided guidance to a junior who was training alone, and rumors spread, leading to many juniors gathering without her realizing it.

Previously, Celestina was conducting training to increase magic control and magical power. By providing guidance in that, she somehow gained the admiration of others, and recently they called her “onee-sama” (older sister).

Although she is only one or two years older, being called “onee-sama” by girls of a similar age is quite embarrassing. What’s more, it doesn’t sit well with her.

“Do I… appear older to the point of being called ‘onee-sama’?”

To a 14-year-old girl, it’s a somewhat reluctant way of being addressed. However, there is a reason behind it.

In the first place, Celestina taught the training methods for underclassmen out of goodwill. Furthermore, she unintentionally revealed the cause of her own inability to use magic, following the teachings of her mentor, Zeros. As a result, she performed an astonishing feat of rewriting a magic formula in front of them.

As a result, in the eyes of the underclassmen, she became seen as a “genius who can use magic by her own ability” or a “talented girl who can decipher magic formulas,” and as a result, she garnered respect and admiration from them.

Furthermore, due to her gentle personality, many underclassmen would come to her with questions, and as she dealt with them, she gradually developed into a “student superior to the instructors.” Being considered reliable by everyone, she came to be called “Celestina-sama.” However, when she said, “I’m not worthy of being called ‘sama’,” it solidified into “onee-sama”.

Moreover, she achieved excellent results right from the second term and gained fame throughout the academy when she shattered a magically reinforced armor with her accurate spell targeting during a lecture’s magic training.

Lately, she has been receiving inexplicable letters, such as “Won’t you become my little sister?”

“Ahahaha, Celestina-sama is so popular. I heard she’s been getting confessions from boys lately, is that true?”

“Hey, Urna!? What are you talking about…?”

“Ehhhh————–!?”

Curious eyes focused on her all at once.

Celestina flinched for a moment.

“Who? Who is the letter from, onee-sama?!”

“I’m dying to know! What’s his name? What’s his background?”

“Is there anyone worthy of matching onee-sama? Perhaps from the Bonsha Earl’s family…”

“That’s impossible! It’s absolutely unthinkable for that fat slob to approach onee-sama!”

“Huh? Eeeehhhh…”

And so begins the assessment of suitable suitors for Celestina.

However, in reality, the noble sons never approach Celestina. It would be more accurate to say they can’t.

Until the summer break, they used to mock her openly, calling her things like “incompetent,” “failure,” and “knowledgeless trash.”

Moreover, despite being from a ducal family, Celestina is considered illegitimate and not recognized as a proper family member.

Moreover, for the magic nobility, having magical talent in their bloodline was crucial for political marriages. With her lineage alone and a commoner mother, Celestina was treated as someone without magical abilities and of low status.

No one has the right to meddle in other people’s family matters, but unfortunately, nobles, being wielders of power, tend to be inclined towards speculating about others. Celestina was the perfect target for them.

However, that evaluation was overturned in just two months. Celestina’s abilities surpassed them all at once.

At this point, Celestina became a perfect candidate for a political marriage. However, they couldn’t bring themselves to approach her due to their past behaviour of mocking her. The noble sons missed out on the finest match.

Nevertheless, the despicable individuals who couldn’t give up schemed to become her fiancé using their parents’ connections, but they were met with an obstacle—a deranged old man who loved his granddaughter dearly. He was the [Mage of Purgatory].

Moreover, all the words and actions of the noble sons who sought her engagement were recorded, and they were confronted with it and sent away.

As a result, those who had constantly mocked her were now receiving lectures from their parents. Their own words and actions led to their downfall.

Some nobles who didn’t participate in the foolish acts also faced obstacles. Creston, the former duke, who loves Celestina very much, stood in the way. The prospective political marriage had an extremely challenging opponent.

As a result, all the cockroaches swarming around Celestina were crushed under the hands of the deranged old man.

“Celestina-sama, what kind of person do you prefer?”

“Eh? W-Well, let’s see… Someone with understanding and compassion would be nice, I suppose? It’s also appealing if they have a playful side like a child. And… an intellectual gentleman, has a calm judgment, and can manage himself well…”

And somehow, Zero’s face comes to mind.

“W-Why does sensei’s face come to mind here? I do respect him, but seeing him as the opposite sex would be disrespectful, wouldn’t it? Besides, the age difference is as significant as between a parent and child…”

If asked whether it’s romantic feelings, the answer would be no.

While there is respect, it’s a bit difficult to say if she sees him as the opposite sex.

If anything, it’s closer to the admiration the girls in front of her have towards her.

“Ojōsama, age doesn’t matter as long as there is love, you know? In fact, isn’t it something that person would find delightful when a ripe fruit says, ‘Eat me’? If they’re not careful, they might end up being deliciously devoured.”

“Eek!?”

Misaka, the cool maid, who appeared behind her unnoticed.

“M-Misaka… Why do you always do things that startle people? It’s bad for the heart, you know…”

“Hmph… It’s a foolish question, Ojōsama… It’s because that’s the path I choose to live.”

“Is surprising people the entirety of your life!?”

“No, only for you, Ojōsama. You provide such delightful reactions. Hehehe…”

She wears an infuriatingly nice smile.

Misaka had returned unexpectedly about four days ago and somehow crawled into Celestina’s bed. And she was completely naked…

She remembers how Misaka had an incredibly wicked smile on her face as Celestina, startled, tumbled out of bed and hit her head on the floor.

“Um… Onee-sama? Is Misaka-san perhaps the ‘Ice Queen’? I’ve heard about it from my father before.”

“Huh? Um… Is that, like, a nickname? I’m not familiar with it… Misaka?”

“Hmph… I discarded that name a long time ago. Now, I’m just a maid.”

“Just a maid? I don’t see how… I’m sorry, please don’t glare at me… it’s scary. But anyway, ‘Ice Queen’…?”

“She’s a graduate of the Istor Magic Academy, specializing in ice-based magic. She’s one of the seven transcendental magess, including Duke Delcasis. I never imagined she would be by your side, Onee-sama…”

Celestina is surprised by Misaka’s surprising past.

Being a contemporary of her father, Duke Delcasis, means that Misaka had worked as a maid by his side for a long time.

Essentially, it means she knows what kind of woman her mother was. She would like to ask, but Celestina still lacks the courage to do so.

By the way, “transcendent mages” are those who have reached level 500.

Excluding the heroes of the [Methis Holy Kingdom], there are few who have reached level 500. Therefore, they often hold important positions in the country.

“She’s known as an ice-wielding sorceress who is extreme and merciless. They say she freezes all the boys who approach her with lustful intentions. There’s a rumor that she was even in a romantic relationship with Duke Delcasis…”

“Huh? Wha――――――――――――t!?”

“That’s a rumor. Rather, we used to exchange blows.”

Misaka promptly responds to Celestina, who turned around energetically.

“E-Exchange blows… with father?”

“I’ve heard that she would secretly ambush boys who bothered her after being rejected, and she would appear behind them when they tried to spread nasty rumors. And it’s said that she would recommend shady novels to her friends.”

“…That was in the past… I’m sorry. Please put away your clenched fist…”

“Hehehe… Ojōsama, be aware that unnecessary remarks can be fatal, you know? Please be cautious with your words, okay?”

Celestina could only nod in silence.

That’s how much Misaka frightened her.

“ Ojōsama, I feel like you’ve become careless lately… It saddens me, Misaka.”

“…Please stop pretending to lament. It’s incredibly insincere… It doesn’t suit you.”

“That’s true. Then, I’ll stop. I’ll find another way to tease… to entertain you.”

“Just now, you were about to say ‘tease,’ weren’t you? You unintentionally revealed your true feelings, didn’t you?”

“No, it was intentional. Don’t worry about it.”

“Um… I believe it’s customary to say, ‘Tonight, the mace thirsts for blood’ at a time like this, isn’t it?”

“ Ojōsama!? When did you start using such words… and what do you intend to do with that mace?”

“Um… A thorough beating?”

Misaka was shocked.

Misaka never expected to go along with teasing Celestina, who gets flustered when teased.

“You’ve become quite good, Ojōsama… Shall we aim for the world together? In the field of comedy, that is…”

“In that case, I’ll handle the tsukkomi, so Misaka, you be the boke. For the tsukkomi, I’ll use this mace…”

(https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Tsukkomi)

“ I’ll just die normally. Hmph… I’ve underestimated you, challenging my jokes with more jokes. I’ve lost sight of you, Ojōsama.”

“In that case, I’ve made a mistake, haven’t I? Though it’s also because of Misaka that I lose sight of myself…”

“And to give me criticism here?! When did you acquire such advanced techniques… brilliant.”

Misaka feels a shiver for some reason. But more than that, she seems frustrated.

However, upon careful consideration, she has been played around with quite a lot until now. She must have developed resistance whether she liked it or not.

“You know, Misaka-san is really interesting. She may seem cool, but she’s actually mischievous.”

“Urna… Rather than being interesting, Misaka tends to go overboard with her pranks, don’t you think? Despite being excellent at work…”

“Please don’t refer to me as a disappointing person, Ojōsama. I’m more decent than Kreuz-sama, at least.”

“I don’t have a standard to judge, but I understand both are malicious, right? It’s just a difference of intention or awareness. Misaka is a deliberate and mischievous offender, after all.”

“Heh… That’s a compliment for me, then.”

“So, I’m a disappointing person, is that it?”

“……..”

Unseen sparks are intensively flying between them.

“By the way, I heard that your brother made a potion to increase breast size, Celestina-sama. I don’t need it, but I wonder if anyone bought it?”

“Well… It only makes them temporarily bigger, and the effect wears off after a certain period of time. It’s not very meaningful, is it?”

“ Ojōsama, if it forcefully makes the breasts bigger, wouldn’t they sag when the effect wears off?”

“That wasn’t a problem. They went back to normal as they were…”

“Celestina-sama… No way…”

“O- Ojōsama… Did you use it?”

“It was fleeting… Just a dream.”

Celestina is also a girl. It’s natural for her to aspire to have a good figure.

However, the effect of the breast enhancement potion, which is a magical medicine, is temporary and not permanent.

She was happy when she used it, but as time passed, she came to know the reality. The emptiness she felt at that time will probably never be forgotten.

“After all… the dream obtained through medicine was just an illusion. The only thing left is an everlasting emptiness…”

““““…………”“““

“Hehe… Please laugh. At my foolish self who indulged in a temporary dream…”

““““Ugh, I can’t laugh… I can’t laugh at all…”“““

Among the underclassmen present here, there was a strong interest in the breast enhancement potion created by the Saint Germain faction.

However, the testimonials of those who actually used it have a profound sense of sorrow. A “female hormone enhancer” that can provide growth effects would be more effective in the long run.

The underclassmen present there couldn’t even offer words of comfort to Celestina, who wore a smile devoid of emotions to the point of sadness.

Meanwhile, Misaka was wiping away her tears with a handkerchief by Celestina’s side.

◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇

In a corner of a town, slightly away from the city of Steela.

It happened in a small tavern deep in a dirty alleyway.

“G-Gyaaaahhhh!?”

“You guys… you made a fool out of me, didn’t you? I came to return the favor.”

“Hah, we still outnumber you! Surround him and attack!”

“It’s useless! I’m the strongest right now! Hihihihihihihihihihihihihihi!!”

The Lineageist Faction is not an official faction but a group of scoundrels who parasitize and exploit others from the beginning.

They occasionally engage in acts such as kidnapping and robbery, repeating criminal-like activities while boasting to be the “Mage’s official successors,” making them a group of malicious individuals.

They neglect formal mage training and take pride in their mediocre magic inherited from their bloodline, but what they do is no different from that of terrorists.

The reason why mages who inherit bloodline magic become such scoundrels is simply because the magic they genetically inherit is the cause.

The inherited magic occupies most of the subconscious mind’s capacity, making it extremely difficult to learn other magic. Moreover, the magic they inherit is often incomplete.

Due to their incomplete magic, it is difficult to use and not suitable for practical combat. Some of them also inherit auxiliary magic, but even that is incomplete in its effects, making them mediocre as mages.

As a result, they end up engaging in self-destructive battles with their own kind.

And as a result, they have evolved into large criminal organizations by being connected to the underworld.

Their goal is to seize political power. They claim themselves to be the rightful bloodline of mages and engage in various manipulations and schemes.

They have transformed more into swindlers than mages and have even established an unofficial faction, bringing under their control a group of thugs.

They may appear to run small taverns in rundown areas, but in secret, they are involved in human trafficking to a significant extent. As a response, nations have tightened regulations, suppressing the lineageist faction’s activities.

However, such individuals are conveniently disposable pawns and have been useful as tools to eliminate nuisances. Primarily, the nobility started to rely on them and make requests.

Conversely, if one attempts to exploit them, the bloodline faction also strengthens its connections with the nobility and gradually increases its organizational power to the point of being able to exploit them.

And it was the younger son of Marquis Weisler, Samtroll, who attempted to use them to infiltrate politics.

He had a strong desire for power and thought they could be easily manipulated, but his plan ended up crumbling with Samtroll’s downfall.

They are quick to discard those who are no longer useful. However, what actions will they take when the ones being used realize this?

The answer to that question was unfolding right before their eyes.

“ You’ve been praising me for a long time, and now you’re giving me a hard time? Huh…”

“I-I’m sorry! But they’re from a duke’s family, you know? If we fail, we’ll be in deep trouble…”

“So what? You’re just gonna dump everything on me and run away? You’re underestimating me.”

Samtroll’s body has become extraordinarily muscular, and his strength is beyond ordinary.

He had a good build to begin with, but his appearance now was akin to that of an ogre.

The men surrounding Samtroll are members of the lineageist faction who had attempted to use him.

They tried to manipulate him by placing their children by Samtroll’s side and buttering him up. The plan itself had been going quite well. However, they had only managed to control him until they could manipulate the true target.

Yes, it turns out the true target the lineage mages had been aiming for was Zweit.

“I’m gonna kill you all. Then you’ll become part of my power, heh? What, you’ll die soon anyway, heehee, Hyahaha!”

“A-Ahhhh!”

―――CRUNCH! SQUISH!!

Samtroll twisted the man’s neck and crushed his skull with his fist.

The distinct scent of iron and rust from blood filled the tavern.

“Well, well, there are still some of you left, huh? I’ll need your help to boost my status!”

“R-Run awaaaayyyyy!!!”

“H-Help meeeeeeeee!!!”

“You think you can escape? ‘Arrow of Flames, pierce through the enemy’ [Fire Arrow]!”

“Gyaaaahhhhh!!!”

He pierced the man’s chest with a fireball, causing blood to splatter around.

“Ahh… It feels so good… Heheh, it’s the best… Fhehehe.”

Samtroll’s eyes were no longer sane.

They were filled with the color of intoxicated madness from power and blood.

With a smile mixed with joy, he killed the mages who had mocked him and reveled in the pleasure of violence.

“Next, it’s Zweit… No, I’ll massacre those idiots who betrayed me. Hyaaaahhh, Hahahahahahaha!!!”

Laughing, drenched in blood, he enjoys his revenge.

Even if it stems from grudges, it is a valid reason for him.

Samtroll, having chosen his next target, licks his bloodied fist and leaves the tavern.

While punching and killing the guards who rushed in after the report…

◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇

“…It was worse than I imagined. Were there too many Mafarina herbs?”

One of the mages muttered.

He was a young man with black hair, dressed in a black robe from head to toe.

“Ado-san… Isn’t this dangerous? Was it a good idea to teach the secret recipe to those people from the underworld?”

“I agree with Shakti-san. This is terrible…”

“I don’t care. They’re going to leave this country anyway. I heard their organization is being crushed, so they won’t be able to do business.”

“So, they’ll operate in other countries then?”

“It’s easier for underground people to move in larger countries. In small countries, their scope of activity is limited, and they’re more likely to get caught.”

They are willing to sacrifice others for their goals.

Even though they have decided, their conscience hurts when they see the actual harm caused.

However, they had their reasons for doing what they must.

“Because of them, our lives were ruined. I’ll make them pay the price and let them know how high it is…”

“I understand that. But… isn’t the effect of the potion a bit too strong?”

“Yeah, you’re right. Honestly… it’s gruesome.”

“It’s a perfect fit. Well, those who rely on potions aren’t exactly good people. It’s their own fault…”

““That’s terrible…”“

Idealistic notions alone won’t achieve the objective.

Knowing that there are enemies behind the scenes of a great nation, they are prepared for some sacrifices.

However, firming their resolve and facing reality were two different issues.

“We have confirmed its effectiveness. Other groups have received similar reports, and we have no more use for this country.”

“It seems like the [Isaras Kingdom] was planning to invade this country, right?”

“We should at least form an alliance. There’s no point in invading if we can’t maintain control over the territory, and a small country burdened with internal conflicts can’t possibly defeat a great nation.”

“Well, that king isn’t a fool. Considering the livelihood of his people, he’ll likely choose to accept some economic support.”

“We can’t use the surprise attack strategy we used in the past anymore.”

“But even if the [Isaras Kingdom] and the [Solistea Magic Kingdom] form an alliance, we still have to pass through that place for any interaction, right?”

A rugged mountainous region exists between the Isaras Kingdom and the Solistea Magic Kingdom.

And in that mountainous region lies the country of [Altom Empire], currently engaged in a war with another nation.

They even deployed heroes to the battlefield but ended up struggling instead. Yes, their opponent in the war is the [Methis Holy Kingdom].

Even for trade, merchants must travel across the Oras River, where the battlefield extends.

Occasionally, the soldiers engage in acts of confiscation, which is essentially robbery, creating a negative reputation for the [Methis Holy Kingdom]. On the other hand, the [Altom Empire], being a mountainous nation, is seen in a more positive light.

“Heroes, huh… just like an RPG.”

“Are there actually heroes? Aren’t they just deceived by sweet words and then used and killed?”

“From what I’ve investigated, that possibility is high. There are even those called descendants of heroes, but according to the reports, they’re all at level 400. It’s troublesome.”

“It depends on how they fight, but don’t you think we could easily win against them?”

“We can’t let our guard down. It would be helpful if they join our side, but if they’re enemies…”

According to the intelligence agents, there were 32 heroes summoned three years ago.

Half of them died during those three years, and the remaining heroes are somehow maintaining the frontlines.

However, the warriors of the [Altom Empire] are almost all on par with the heroes, and many among them possess exceptional strength.

With that military power, despite being a small nation, they dealt a severe blow to the [Methis Holy Kingdom].

The cause of the heroes’ deaths was this war, and moreover, the [Altom Empire] had not suffered significant damage because they were effectively utilizing the advantage of the terrain.

“The [Altom Empire] is close to us. Besides, it’s a nation of demi-humans. It’ll be tough without forming an alliance with the Isaras Kingdom.”

“And then there are the other beastfolk nations…”

“True… sigh There’s no point in staying here any longer. Let’s go to the inn and continue our conversation there.”

“Yeah, that’s right. We’ll leave this country tomorrow, so let’s get some rest early.”

After finishing their conversation, the three of them head to the inn.

The reincarnated person Ado and his companions board a ship crossing the Oras River the next day and head towards their base, the Isaras Kingdom.

They need to report to the Isaras Kingdom, with whom they are cooperating, to proceed to the next stage.

◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇  ◇

“Enough already, don’t do anything foolish, alright? Even with the duke’s pardon, there won’t be a second chance, you know?”

“Thank you for taking care of me for a long time. I will be more careful from now on.”

After being detained in the guardhouse for a week, Eromura-kun finally managed to step outside.

He took a deep breath of the air, feeling the joy of finally being liberated from slavery.

“Hahaha, the air of the mortal realm tastes so good! Uhahahaha♪”

And he blurted out the expected catchphrase.

“Hey, just so you know, this is in front of a public facility, okay? I understand you’re happy about being free, but if you’re going to make a commotion, do it somewhere else.”

“Sorry…”

Eromura-kun, who had finally regained his freedom after a long time, got scolded by the guards for being too exuberant.

“Now then… what should I do from here? Hmm, being a mercenary costs money…”

Eromura-kun’s occupation is a [Brave Knight].

He can use magic, but he is a pure frontline warrior. No matter how strong he is, enjoying another world alone is difficult.

Due to his fall into slavery, his mercenary registration was canceled, and even if he registers again and tries to climb up the ranks, it will take time. Moreover, the rewards vary depending on the requests.

Sometimes there are no requests to take, and it’s a job with a lot of free time. The only way to earn a living is to go hunting.

“Hmm… To create a slave harem, I still needed a stable income… This world is too dangerous to make a fortune in.”

He hadn’t given up on creating a slave harem.

However, he needed money to purchase slaves, and Eromura-kun didn’t have that money.

Since he didn’t possess any production skills, it was impossible for him to create and sell something. It was also too bothersome to earn money through ordinary means.

“I’ve got it! Can’t I become comrade’s bodyguard? As a son of a duke, there should be more than enough demand for bodyguards. Once that’s settled, let’s get to it right away. Uhahahahaha!”

“Shut up! If you want to make a fuss, go somewhere else! Can’t you see you’re being a nuisance!! You want to become a slave again?!”

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

Eromura-kun, who boldly declared his intention to create a slave harem, was again scolded by the guards.

He didn’t know the meaning of the word “learn his lesson.”

Eromura-kun decided to become Zweit’s bodyguard and confidently set off into the town. Without considering the possibility of not being able to find employment…

In a way, he’s always positive.

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