Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 2 Chapter 18: Dragon-san Asks Her Best Friend for Advice
Together with Aru we ate the hotpot for breakfast, one made out of Red Boar, a huge demonic beast that resembled a boar. I made a quick work out of my portion.
「Ok, guess I’ll be going.」
「Right, please say hello to Lili-san for me as well.」
「Best of luck with your search, Nectar.」
After saying our goodbyes we teleported to the forest near the capital city, walked out of it and after passing through the gate and enter the capital city itself.
In the old days you would need a special permit to enter the capital, but nowadays you could freely move around the kingdom without any problems.
While breathing in the nostalgic air, I go to the corner of the downtown area, with the intention of visiting “Lily’s Women Clothing Shop”.
In the early morning, when there were still no people around, at the back of the shop two people were exchanging blows with their weapons while standing inside a small, closed space.
When I stepped into the space secured with magic and made completely soundproof, I could hear the clinging of metal as well as a woman’s rebuke.
「Senjiro! What is that stance supposed to be!? Do you truly intend to reach me with something like that!?」
Even if she had her golden hair tied up, Ligurila was still wearing a skirt, even for training.
In response to those words, a young man with the same hair color and same hairstyle tried to strike her with a sharp cut.
Ligurila swiftly countered the cut, and after that she kept her distance. Seeing that his teacher had no intention of continuing, the young man looked quite grateful.
Seeing that the lesson was over, I spoke up to the two people.
「How are you doing, Ligurila, Sen-san?」
「Good day to you, too.」
「Good morning, No, I mean, Lava-dono.」
We have met when I was wearing the appearance of the Hunter “Noct”, and that awkwardness on Senjiro’s side was never getting old.
I met him about six months ago, while I was out on a job connected with Ligurila’s work partners.
We met in a certain town, we departed towards our destination, but on our way we encountered some First Class Demons and took them down together.
After that, he was so grateful to me that even though I was not a normal human he was treating me just like one.
Since then, from time to time he was going together with Nectar on a high-ranking quests for the Guild, usually involving slaying dangerous monsters.
「Sen-san, you seem to be fine the way you are. Your sword is as sharp as ever.」
「Thank you, Lava-dono, but I still have a long way to go until I can reach the level of Ligurila-dono.」
I wasn’t kidding when I complimented Senjiro, but he kept on denying that earnestly.
He came here all the way from oversees in search of his “Destined One” (I only got to know that on a later note), and once he arrived he boldly proclaimed that Ligurila was that kind of person.
And even though Ligurila shot him down time after time, he still kept on standing back on his feet after each such shutdown, and he kept on coming after her with even more determination, even though each such attempt was bringing him a little bit closer to death.
However, Ligurila was adamant on rejecting his affection, at least “for as long as you’re unable to defeat me in battle!”.
He was truly amazing, this Senjoro. In more ways than one.
There were at it every single time I went to visit her, and if anyone asked me for opinion, that only made them look more and more like a genuine couple.
「…… Is there anything you’d like to say?」
It seems that she noticed something, for she started to act awfully intimidating for some reason.
I was truly glad to see that after several hundreds of years Ligurila was able to fit in like that, and above all else, that she seemed to be happy.
However, since it was the first time in a while that we have met, I was willing to accept her slight sass as it was, without saying anything back.
Because if I did, then boy, I would never hear the end of it.
…… For once, let’s just pretend that nothing really happened.
「No? Not really. You look like really good friends. Nothing more and nothing less.」
Instead of lashing out at me, Ligurila’s cheeks turn slightly red as she turns her eyes away from me.
There was no way that Ligurila would ever react like that under a normal circumstances, so let’s just use this chance to enjoy this sight for a while.
While I was laughing, Ligurlia glimpsed at me after taking a towel from the pink-haired Iru-chan, who was waiting all this time around the shop’s back door.
「Since you told us you were coming, we have prepared breakfast. How about eating together with us?」
「But of course.」
I knew that Ligurila had her own shop to attend to, and so I proposed to meet with her in the morning. I confirmed our appointment in advance, but I still love that caring side of hers.
「Right, I am going to go and take a bath now, so could you please wait in the living room in the meantime?」
「In that case, I shall go and cleanse myself as well ––––」
And, suddenly Ligurila said something really strange to Seijiro.
「Oh my, why not use some hot water from time to time?」
「N, no, it’s only natural to wash one’s body in cold water after a long and hard training.」
For some reason, Seijoro started to act awfully bashful.
「Should I wash your hair for you again?」
Seijiro, who turned all red, and started to play with his hair while fidgeting around and acting all hot and bothered.
W H A T H A P P E N E D .
I was excited to learn what Senjiro’s curiosity got him into this time around, but something was telling me that Ligurila was not willing to stick with it any longer, not with that look of satisfaction on her face.
「Oh my, what a shame.」
Ligurila said that with a beautifully evil voice so characteristic of women like her, and then disappeared at the other side of the front door.
Feeling relieved, I called out to unfortunate Senjiro, whose shoulder dropped miserably.
「What is it?」
「Are you okay?」
「…… Honestly, living as a man is hard for me.」
Senjiro gave me a troubled smile, still acting all shy.
「But, it only goes to show that the other person is thinking about you as well, albeit in their own unique way. For me, there is no greater joy than knowing that.」
Then it’s all good, I guess.
I laughed together with Senjiro for a little bit.
After a short while, the three of us ate a sold breakfast consisting of warm soup, some meat and handful of slices of bread.
After that Senjiro bid me farewell, for he needed to go to the Hunters Guild to take care of some work-related business.
After we were alone, I briefly told Ligurila about the staff theft case.
「I see, so there are demons in that country as well……」
「Yeah, I was thinking that this might be a possibility.」
They might not be as strong as Ligurila, but there might be a possibility of some lesser demons slipping through the protective barriers and infiltrating Signos Academy.
I came to that conclusion after talking about it with Nectar, and so I decided to pay Ligurila a visit and ask her if she knew about any demons in the area while waiting for the official quest to search for the lost staff.
And if by any chance she knew something, I wanted to go and hunt those demons myself.
「If it’s a lesser or even mid-tier demon, it wouldn’t be impossible for them to slip through the Academy’s protective barriers without being detected. But why would demons need to steal something that belonged to a magician?」
「Yes, that is exactly what I thought.」
Because demons could create magic tools themselves, they had no need for stealing them.
So why would they want to steal the staff if they could easily create something as powerful, or even more powerful than that?
「I wonder what would they need Kyle’s staff for?」
「You, did you really allowed for something like that to happen right under your nose?」
Hearing Ligurila’s question, the only thing I could do was to turn my head away ans scratch my cheek in an awkward fashion.
Thinking that the magical scale that I once gave him might break one day, Kyle incorporated it in his staff, so he could also use magic more freely. And sometimes we even thought that Kyle’s consciousness might still be dwelling within the staff itself.
At the very least that’s what Belga has told me.
And although the probability was astronomically low, it was not all that impossible.
My hopes were pretty high on this one, so I was truly feeling down about it.
「Anyways, are there any chances that demons like that can be found nearby?」
「I’m sorry to disappoint you, but ever since I made this place my base of operations, less and less demons dares to approach this kingdom. There has been no demons around Ballow for the last ten years or so.」
「I, I see, there isn’t one?」
Saying that, my shoulders drop.
Well, it should come as no surprise that demons like that would be all but gone.
Besides, if there really were some demons left, Seram and his people would take care of all of them.
「It’s only a rumor, but I happen to overhear it when another shopkeeper came to the store and happened to talk with a nobleman’s wife. It seems that it is now common that old magic tools are being stolen from noble houses, temples and such places in other cities around the kingdom.」
I raise my face towards Ligurila, who still had her face stuffed with food after the meal.
「In another cities?」
「That’s right, at times only the simple jewelry is being stolen, but this time around the only places from which things have been stolen were the dungeons or labyrinths. But the only items that can be found there are either artifacts, or things related to ancient times. While we’re being at it, it looks like some of the noble houses have also been robbed of their ancient valuables and heirlooms.」
「Ancient magic tool is……」
「Because of the rumors circulation, there is not much ploys that nobility can use without the public finding out about it. It didn’t reach the capital quite yet, but I heard that many cities and towns are increasing their security measures. Oh, and how do I know? Senjiro told me that there were lots requests like that at the Guild, all coming from the nobility or wealthy merchants.」
To Ligurila’s words, I twist my head.
「Our criminal seems to treat the stolen item equally to the ancient magical tool.」
「What do you think? I don’t know that much about magical tools to begin with. Maybe they have stolen it for personal reasons, for ransom, or maybe simply because they thought it was expensive?」
Hearing the word ransom I involuntarily frown my brow.
Their reason was becoming more and more unclear.
However, it seemed to be completely different from what we initially thought, and maybe even unrelated to Signos Academy.
「Now, who might have ordered the staff to be stolen?」
「You must ask the criminal himself if you want to know……」
「Maybe the reason is simpler, like, for example, because of shame. After all, it was the upper classes that decided to store it away, just because of it’s rarity.」
「Well, it’s mainly because the lines between demonic classes are rather thin.」
Laughing at Ligurila’s words, I take a sip of tea, and then I shift to another topic.
「Hey, Ligurila, have you ever heard about the Spirit Eater?」
「Spirit Eater? What’s that?」
「As the name suggests, it mainly targets the spirits and weakens them by gradually sucking away their mana reserves.」
It seems that there was no need for me to mention the demon’s name at all, for Ligurilla seemed to know what was going on by the description alone.
「Oh, this guy. Yes, rather annoying bastard. Might not be the most powerful out there, but can certainly get under your skin.」
「Umm, so, after being attacked by a demon like that, would it be technically possible for one to become unable to use their magic?」
「Again with that weird question. Is there a reason why you’re asking me something like that?」
I had no other choice but to come clean in front of Ligurila, who was looking at me with scorn and suspicion.
「Umm, you see, about that, it seems that one of Aru’s senpais is unable to use his magic because of this exact reason. He feels as though there is something in him, but at the same time there isn’t. And his magical aptitude is on a weak side, as well. And ever since I heard the reason, I just couldn’t stop worrying about it. And since you are so knowledgeable, I thought that you might know something about it?」
Saying that, Ligurila let out a heavy sigh.
「You see, if you get caught up in absorbing so much of raw magic, not only you would become infertile, but if you were a human, and even worse if it was a child, your magical core would end up being overstressed and damaged as a result, which would make you incapable of using magic temporarily. However, if your magical reserves were to be small to begin with, you would simply pass out, as your body’s defensive mechanism would kick in.」
「Oh, I see.」
Ligurila added, while I listened with my arms folded.
「If you want to cure the boy, I can offer you little help in that matter. When it comes down to magical cores, this is the area of expertise that only you, dragons, are adept at maneuvering through.」
「That’s true for the most part, but I think that his condition stems from the fact that his magical core might be severely damaged. And because of that, I’m afraid that Elv-kun might not have much time left.」
Ligurila blinks her eyes, trying to process what I just said.
「It’s strange, isn’t it?」
「I know, right? Because of his damaged magical core, his ability to store magic should also be diminished. However, Elv-kun’s magical reserves are staying at a stable levels. It’s like it was growing ever since he was a child.」
When we shook hand before, the amount of magic I felt made me feel that he should have no problem with becoming a magician.
Additionally, while I was examining the magical gun he has shown me before, I could feel that the amount of magic that was put into it was more than satisfactory, and even though the bullets power were a little suppressed, he should have no problem with firing more than three shots with it. It was better than it initially looked.
Elvie himself didn’t seem to be bothered that much by it, but it was enough to say that his growth was more than optimal.
But still, Elvie couldn’t use any magic, and that was a fact.
Although he didn’t show it to me, from what I’ve heard I could deduce that he wouldn’t be able to cast even the simplest of spells even if he wanted to.
「That is why I think it is strange.」
「There is not a single reason out there that would make him unable to use his magic.」
Ligurila cut into my words, making me somewhat troubled and the situation to be somewhat awkward.
「It’s like he’s using up his magical reserves.」
「Speaking of which, Nectar was also mentioning something like that.」
「The capacity for improvement of one’s sorcery is connected with one’s innate abilities. And with larger or more powerful spells, there are more limitations in which one can use them, like the number of recasts or the area of effectiveness. Creatures like us can easily cast a few dozens of spells, but for humans four or five is the upper limit, and sometimes it’s not all that uncommon for one or two to be the limit.」
Aah, now that she mentions it is true that various magical beasts are able to cast a whole lot of spells before running out of steam to use them anymore.
「There was once a story that the members of the royal family could use spirits that would protect its members from various misfortunes and calamities, but I cannot be so sure about that, since I have never seen it. Not to mention that you would need heavy preparations in order to do something like that. Not even a stray spirit or magical beast would be able to achieve that, even if its power was harnessed.」
「But, with the existence of magic barriers and all……」
Suddenly, something jogged at the corner of my memory, but before I could grasp what it was, I realized that I was staring at Ligurila.
「By the way, it’s not too late to go and sign up for “that”. I haven’t been able to participate for the last couple of months, especially now that I have Senjiro to train and all that, but since the big “final fight” is approaching, if it’s with you, I might have time to go.」
I noticed that Ligurila was growing a little bit disinterested in this topic, hence the sudden change.
Seeing how Senjiro was clashing with Ligurila on a daily basis, it was no longer a mere speculation for him to join in a “Joint Training Exercises” which was the specialty of the Hunters Guild here in the capital city.
Since I moved to Hibernia and had my own things to settle, I was not able to keep my eye on things here and wasn’t able to join in as much as I would like.
「It’s not like you need to be at the front line all the time. You can stay somewhere in the middle, but then you can’t really do anything freely once things go bad.」
「Sure, I might do that from time to time, but don’t expect much from me.」
The Red Boar we had to eat, Aru was the one who hunt it down all on his own.
I stare into Ligurila’s eyes, so sparkling and full of expectation for some reason.
「Aru also wanted to go and see you, he was also hoping that we could train together sometime.」
「It’s a promise, then!」
「Nh, ah, but, I need to go and search for Kyle’s staff.」
I added while Ligurila was doing her best at looking brightly and laughing fiercely. I was hoping to cool her down with that a little bit with that, but it had little to no effect on her.
「This time around, I am definitely going to beat you!」
「No, I don’t think so. Since it’s going to be a joint training, you can’t go out of control and show off with your inhuman abilities now, can you?」
「I know, but do you really think I am going to act like that? Or maybe you’re just worried that I’m going to use some ancient magic by accident?」
Surprised by my provocative words, Ligurila’s expression turned into that of a frown.
「What are you talking about? The permit you have on you allows you to use magic freely. So why shouldn’t you do it? That is, unless you really want to test the durability of the city’s defensive barriers.」
「Ah, aaahhh, that’s right.」
Being in her own little world, Ligurila was imagining the future where the defensive barriers were being broken, and smiles dryly.
…… First of all, before we could even think about training together, we need to set some sort of ground rules.
「Alright, Ligurila, thank for your hospitality, but I’ll need to get going soon.」
I said that while being on my way out. At first, Ligurila seemed to be taken aback, but soon enough she has regained her usual composure.
「Oh my, really? And here I was going to send the little one to get me some madeleines.」
「Uugh…… But, I need to go search for Kyle’s staff.」
This perspective pales in comparison to the madeleines, and Ligurila knows that all-too-well, as she smiles and continues to speak to make me stay.
「Oh my, are you really going to go search for that half-spirit’s stuff? If so, then wouldn’t it be fine if you were going to be a little bit late?」
「And besides, if you use Teleport, you can get from here to Hibernia in less than blink of an eye. I have the whole morning free, so why not use the occasion and talk for the old times sake?」
Right now, Ligurila’s voice was similar to the sweet whispers of the devil caressing my ear.
…… It, it won’t hurt anyone if I eat a madeleine or two, right?
「Let’s see, let’s see ––––」
Just a little bit.
As I was about to say something, I felt an unnatural flow of magical power in the air.
If you like this series, you might also like 「Demon-sama Hates Love」. You can read it here: https://ncode.syosetu.com/n0131cq/