Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 3 Chapter 3: Dragon-san and Her Hunter Companions
When I returned to the bar and cafeteria located right next to the Guild’s Headquarters, a large group of people were gathered around a projector.
The projector was showing the recording of the duel that happened between Ligurila and I not so long ago.
Although there was no sound, the image quality was not so bad, so others were probably watching this for reference sake.
「Geh!? Did you see that!? That fiery bastard cut off that spell in half!」
「You can actually do that!?」
「Each and every spell has a core that keeps it on going, so theoretically if you aim for that core, you can neutralize the whole spell.」
「Easy for you to say that.」
「At least that’s what I think. It’s all just a theory, but to be able to aim so precisely at a spell’s core is just……」
「No, maybe that’s not it. It looks as the spell was cut in half, but maybe it was something else?」
「Does it look like that to you?」
One of the guys commenting on the fight was Senjiro, who kept on scratching his cheek while discussing the duel with another Hunter.
He sits in his usual kimono, with his hands crossed on his chest.
Aru sits in the chair right next to him, surrounded by other Hunters.
「Hey, Missy. You are a child of Nectar from this “Miracle Apothecary”, aren’t you?」
「Aren’t you missing your Daddy?」
「Not in the least? Father said this looks interesting, so I should go and watch it. Also, Big Brother Sen is here, and all the other Hunters are also here, so there’s no problem!」
Aru says with a broad smile, getting along with everyone in here even though he would usually have problems with dealing with new people.
Senjiro was also vigilant this whole time, listening in on their conversation.
「I’m glad to hear it. Aru-dono.」
「Hey, Missy, would you like something sweet? Just ask, and we shall get you as much as you want!」
「Hmm, I don’t want any at the moment. But thank you for the offer, Mister.」
Replying like that to one of the Hunters and making him all embarrassed, Aru finally noticed that I was here and waved his hand at me with bright expression.
「Noct-san, welcome back!」
「I’m back, Aru. Sorry about that. Something came up.」
Aru stands up from his chair, bows down politely to the Hunters who’s been keeping him company and runs up to me.
I could see that some of them were watching us with envy in their eyes, but I guess it’s all good one way or another.
「Senjiro, thanks for keeping an eye on Aru for me.」
「Not really. Aru-dono is quite smart, so there was not much for me to do, anyway.」
Said Senjiro while smiling bitterly, and then he continued.
「But still, Noct-dono, for you to be able to win in a duel against Ligurila, that’s an amazing feat in an out of itself!」
「Not really. It was a rally close call, if I do say so myself.」
Because Ligurila went all out against me from the get-go, I had to use the magic of strongest caliber at my disposal, as well.
Thanks to me having to put so much effort into this, this didn’t feel like a win at all!
Hearing that, one of the Hunters approached us with a wry smile on his face.
「Hey, if it isn’t the man here himself! That magic of yours was something else! I would have died for sure if I was standing even remotely close to a spell like that!」
「Besides, we didn’t even know that you could use spells of this caliber. Like, at all!」
「Hey, isn’t he that guy from before?」
「Oh, well shit.」
Some of the Hunters had really long faces while saying that, and I felt apologetic for some reason.
Ah, so that’s it. I knew it. They were making bets on who would win.
Oh well, let’s pretend that I don’t know about that.
Instead I smile at them seeing just how much they were uneasy about this situation, to which Senjiro also said:
「Incidentally, you two were not serious, right? Going all out because of a test like that would surely be nothing short of a waste.」
「You think so?」
「…… Eh? Wait a minute. So you were serious there? Huh, really?」
「Does it really matter? Besides, it was only a duel, not a battle to the death. I am only giving it my all when I’m fighting demons and monsters.」
Saying that to the Hunters was apparently enough to calm the situation down, but then shortly after it was taking a somewhat weird turn.
「That’s right. After all, Rank 5 is a world totally different from ours.」
They were all watching me with so much respect in their eyes that I suddenly got all embarrassed about it.
Ummm, there’s no reason to make such big of a deal out of it, you know?
If we weren’t giving this job our very best, the capital city would sooner or later turn into a desolate wasteland, wouldn’t it?
There’s no real way for me to explain it better, so I just try to brush it off with a smile. Then, they all notice how Aru was attached to me.
「By the way, the two of you seem to be awfully close together.」
After the duel was over, the venue was still in the state of utter chaos, and so it was highly unlikely that either Nectar or Senjiro would be able to leave early. So instead, I proposed that we all would meet here, at the cafeteria near the Guild house.
Since both Senjiro and Aru were here, this means that Nectar should also be here as well, but strangely enough, he was nowhere to be seen.
Then Aru said something strange.
「Father is talking to the researchers in the conference room.」
「Eh? Ah…… Please don’t tell me……」
I smiled wryly to myself and decided to leave this matter alone for now.
「Yup. He was together with us up until recently, but then a bunch of people dressed in white pass us by while discussing magic and barriers, and Father wanted them to tell him as much as they could. The discussion began to heat up gradually, and so they decided to take the conversation somewhere else.」
「Ah, if that’s the case, then it might not end so soon. Worst case scenario, this can turn into all-nighter.」
Originally, Nectar was a researcher himself, and so it’s no wonder that we wanted to be up to date on the latest trends and information when it comes to magic research.
But still, hearing someone else discussing it, it must have flipped his researcher switch or something close to that effect.
True, we manage to break the barrier because we went overboard with our attacks, but if you go and improve some of the barrier elements, it has the potential to become something truly amazing in the future.
…… I think I would like to be a part of that monumental event in the future if possible.
While I was thinking about that, I saw that Ligurila exited the Guild house as well.
Ligurila already changed her clothes and washed her hair, and even though she was wearing Band-Aids all over her face to accelerate the healing of her wounds, she was still looking drop-dead gorgeous.
Even the Hunters who were passing her by would stop in their tracks and turn their heads around, wanting to catch a glimpse of her ethereal beauty.
「It was a complete and utter disaster.」
Ligurila came to the table where we were sitting and took a seat, making one of the younger Hunters scram to make some space for her.
「Make some space, why don’t you?」
「Y, yes, ma’am!」
The young Hunter jolted up, offered Ligurila his seat and went to sit somewhere else after giving her a short salute.
Uwah, just look at her go. Scoring herself a seat as if it was nothing.
Senjiro, on the other hand, was delighted to see that his beloved Ligurila decided to join us.
「So, you two, how did your conversation with the Guild Master go?」
「How should I put it? He was quite bothersome to us.」
「It’s been a while since I last saw the two of you having a duel. It surely feels refreshing. What about our next joint training?」
「Now that you bring up that topic, did the Guild Master still allow us to train together?」
One of the Hunters raised his voice, and others were quick to follow that statement as well.
The event they were talking about was something which were introduced shortly after Ligurila and Senjiro’s duel. Still, it was surprising that the number of participants was becoming larger and larger with each duel.
Still, I’m glad that so many people were looking forward to it.
「For now, I was told that it is okay for us to continue doing those battle trainings.」
Hearing Ligurila’s words, lots of Hunters felt relieved, and I understood just how much they were looking forward to it.
「But I was told that I need to calm down a little bit. So we will probably put them on hold for now. If I don’t calm down, then I’ll be forced to resign from the Guild.」
「Impossible, they can’t force you to resign….」
「Wait, If Sis Lily stopped being part of the Guild and……」
Stunned for a second by Ligurila’s remarks, the Hunters all raised their voices at the same time.
「That’s our Sis for you, our Lily! Please join our ‘Silver Fang’!」
「No, our ‘Salamandra’ is way better! We could really use a magician’s help right about now! If Sis Lily is with us, we would have the strength of a hundred men!」
「Hey, our party consists of members who are all rank three or higher! And since Sis is the one who defeated the Marionette Tree with ease, she would be a great addition to our group! It’s about hundred years too early for you to try to invite her!」
「Say what again!? Your party is third-rate at best!」
The Hunters were about ready to jump at each other’s throats, but they were all silenced by Ligurila’s heavy sigh.
「Would you kindly stop getting ahead of yourselves? I have no desire to act as a Hunter in the future. I have to refuse this time as well.」
「I, I see.」
「Even if we would work together, I know that I wouldn’t be able to give it my very best, and I also detest the idea of being bossed around by someone who is weaker than me. That is why please stop trying to include me to your party.」
「Then who would be a suitable partner for you, prey tell?」
Even though in the face of the disappointed Hunters, Ligurila was unmoved and cold as ever.
Ligurila smiled elegantly, looking at the Hunters, and then she extended her hand towards Senjiro.
「Someone like this man, for example.」
Next, the facial expressions of Hunters became that of disappointment, giving up and being fed up.
「That’s right, so that’s how it is……」
「Those guys surely are amazing. Anyways, they are the strongest from among the entire Guild.」
「It was always nothing but an ephemeral dream.」
「Oh well, guess I will go train myself until I drop, but before that ––」
While the other Hunters were becoming disheartened and were giving up, Ligurila leaned over towards Senjiro and told him straight in the eyes.
「Even though it was a good fight, losing still hurts my pride. I need to do something about it. Senjiro, let’s have a fight.」
「Sure, I don’t mind that in the slightest. Honestly speaking, it would be a pleasure, for I really got fired up while watching the two of you fight.」
「Then please come this way.」
They both smiled at each other, their eyes filled with determination and will to fight. Then they turned towards me.
「Well then, Aru, Lava, if you’ll excuse us. We shall talk later.」
She called me by my actual name, totally disregarding that my form was that of a male, not a female.
Well, not that it really matters, since around these parts it isn’t a common knowledge that Lava = Dragon-san.
I could also see that they were saying something to each other, and then Senjiro’s face got red for some reason. That reason, however, was a mystery to me.
「Aah, see you around, Ligurila.」
「See you around, Big Sis!」
As Aru waved his hands, some Hunters were able to notice the soft smile that Ligurila shone at Senjiro.
After that, Ligurila interlocked her arm with Senjiro’s, which was really a common courtesy around these parts, but it was enough to make the gathered men flip their tables figuratively with rage and anger.
Senjiro didn’t look back, not even once, so I couldn’t really know what his expression was, but I could probably figure it out.
「Hey, stop being rude to Big Sis Lily!」
「Well , someone’s here has a death wish……」
It was pretty laughable just how quickly one of the Hunters turned hostile with his words, and was now looking to pick up a fight.
Perhaps he wanted to ask Ligurila about the details of the Guild Master’s request, but now he missed his chance.
I used this opportunity to talk with Aru.
「Alright, Aru. I’m going to try and see Nectar. Although I think that it might be impossible right about now.」
Aru responded like that, and when he jumped off his chair, I could see Nectar rushing towards us from the back corridor.
「Noct, Aru, sorry for making you guys wait!」
「No, don’t sweat it. But is that really okay for you to be here right now and be seeing Aru?」
I didn’t think it would actually happen, but here he was: Nectar, running up to us while breathing hard. Also, he really looked relieved for some reason.
「It’s alright. Since I am but an outsider, I only suggested them some nifty methods of improving their work. So for now, I would only know what they were doing with the spell by having a look into the blueprints they are making.」
I thought that the researchers would be happy to accept some help with their job, but judging from Nectar’s reactions it seems that they were protective of sharing their blueprint details. I guess it was still a good thing that he would be able to assist them in some way.
「Well, they wanted to talk with me some more, but I told them that I already had plans, and so I refused them.」
Nectar’s words make my heart all warm, and he looks at Aru and laughs happily.
「I see, that’s really great. Well then, I do believe it is time for us to be on our way.」
After saying that, I continue to communicate with Nectar.
“There’s something I would like to talk to you about. It’s related to the request given to us by the Guild master.”
Although Nectar seemed to be surprised, his expression changed slightly to show agreement, and then I turned toward Aru.
「Sorry to keep you waiting, Aru. Let us go.」
Aru comes I between us and takes our hands in his own.
And since we were reluctant to let go of him, all three of us left the Guild side by side.
「What is it?」
「That little girl, isn’t she the daughter from the apothecary?」
「She should be, why?」
「I have seen many people during my lifetime, but not someone quite like her.」
「If you say so……I think she looks natural walking alongside those two men.」
「Whatever… But doesn’t looking at her soothes your heart?」
「It sure does.」