Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
Volume 3 Chapter 6: Dragon-san Prepares For Action
Seeing Kyle, I raise my hand in greeting gesture.[Hey, Kyle! It’s been a while.] [I’m sorry, Lava. For being later than we agreed on.] [I don’t mind in the slightest. Besides, I’m the one at fault here, really. For deriving you from your responsibilities just so you could help me.]
Being given his new responsibilities by the dragon, Kyle was out of the country for a while now, travelling around the world and seeing it with his own eyes.
His physical abilities being significantly boosted right now, it seems that during a single month he was able to travel over a vast distance, not to even mention that he was able to use Teleportation magic as he saw fit in his current form.
So I tried to send him a message through the leyline to see if it reaches him or not, shortly summarizing the story of our duel and our resulting punishment.
And when we talked about it for a little while, Kyle said that he would come over and gather as much information as he could.[What are you talking about? I was actually happy for you to contact me. I was getting a little bit bored of all of this travelling, and so having a breather like that is nice in its own way.]
Kyle said that with a happy expression and a handsome smile on his face.
While smiling back at Kyle, I took him to the other room and introduced him to both Ligurila and Senjiro.[So you are the coworker that Lava was talking about.] [Nice to meet you both. My name is Kyle.]
For a short moment Kyle was eyeing Senjiro with suspicion, but then he immediately extended his hand towards him.[I do believe it’s the first time we have met. My name is Kashiwagi Senjiro. Pleased to make your acquaintance.]
Senjiro also reached out his hand towards Kyle and both of them shook their hands in a greeting.
Next, Kyle turned towards Ligurila, and just like with Senjiro, he was staring at her face for a moment or two.[Fuhn.] [W, what?] [I thought your energy was similar to that of the demon familiars created by the dragons, but what do you know, it was just Bel’s husband. What a small world we live in.] [Well, you’re correct in that.]
Hearing Ligurila say that, Kyle didn’t know how to react, so he just shrugged his shoulders.
Then Kyle looked at Ligurila’s face again, noticing her golden hair and her eyes, and then his face turned into that of a surprise, as if he just realized something.[…… Wait, that super-class beauty, ah, now I see. You are Madame Lily, one of Belga’s friends, aren’t you?] [Ara, you only noticed that now? My brethren. I humbly welcome you to the bottomless abyss that is being a demon.]
Kyle looked stunned by Ligurila’s words, and then he looked back at me while coking his head.[Ah, so that it! Lava, so that’s what you meant by saying that there are demons dwelling within the capital city!] [No, I’m sure I have never told you something like that. But does it really matter now?] [Maybe not, but don’t you understand? For me, a former magician, this is huge news! Just think about all the possible dangers that this involves!] [Ara, what a way to say hello. After all of the cleaning of the low rank demons I’ve been doing over the years? Unlike Bel, you really are thick-headed, aren’t you?]
While Kyle was trying to say something, Ligurila stopped him with an astonished sigh, but soon enough Senjiro raised his voice.[Can I ask you something? Lava-dono, what’s your relationship with Ligurila and Kyle-dono?]
It was an obvious question, but at the same time it was the one that was difficult to explain.
Kyle and I were connected by bonds of deep friendship, but the situation was tad a little bit different when it comes to Ligurila.
After hearing that, Ligurila squint his eyes and looks at Senjiro with a funny expression on his face.[Ara, why do you care?] [But of course. I can see that you’re an old acquaintances, and so you must have something that ties you together.] [Huh, is that all? Really?]
Senjiro seemed embarrassed by his own words, while Ligurila’s expression was quite emotionless.
Then, Kyle asked me discreetly while looking kind of strange.[Say, are those two……] [Umm, it is probably exactly how you think it is.]
For me the nature of their relationship was quite obvious, but for Kyle it must have been rather confusing.
Kyle coughed a few times, and then turned towards Senjiro again.[Right now I am a demon, but I was born recently, and I was human until some time ago. Together with my wife, we were Ligurila’s friends in Ballow. Also, I am surprised that I never realized that she was a demon all this time.] [I see, so that’s it. It is an honor for me to meet of of the eight million pillars.]
Kyle seemed to be extremely puzzled by Senjiro who bowed down his head to him, so I hurried to explain it to him.[In the East, from where Sen-san comes from, demons are worshipped on an equal ground as Gods.] [I see, so in other words, he might view me as God, as well.]
Kyle nodded to himself, just in time to see Senjiro raise his head.[Oh, please forgive me for my behavior just now. Even though I have abandoned my country long time ago, some customs from my time there are hard to get rid of. Originally I was only calling Lava-dono like that, but then I sort of started to do that to others, as well. It must have been shocking to you, so I’ll try to watch my tongue and behavior from now on.] [It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. So please, don’t let it bother you as well.] [I understand.]
Senjiro nods his head, and both he and Kyle smile at the same time, huge grins appearing on their faces. While I was still feeling kind of embarrassed about Senjiro’s words somehow, I said to Kyle:[Kyle, can you tell me the results of your research?] [Ah, it’s not that big of a deal, just your typical trivia about the leylines.]
Kyle began to talk about the fruits of his labor, at the same time taking a pen and a piece of paper in his hands, drawing something as he spoke.[When I got your message, I was just around Hezart. I figured I would go and visit every country neighboring Ballow, starting from the most southwestern one and then go in certain order.]
He was tracing the areas on paper which I haven’t visited yet.[Almost every one of them was ordinary and peaceful. There were no magical abnormalities, and the rumors and gossips travelling around the streets were totally unrelated to demons or monsters.] [I see.]
I was honestly surprised just how thorough Kyle was about inspecting the leylines alongside Ballow’s borders.[I even tried to go to their respective Guilds, but aside from normal monster hunting and dungeons exploring requests there was nothing special there, either. Just to be on the safe side I inspected all of them.] [And how did you manage to get inside?] [Back in my day, I spent lot of time with the military. You learn to conceal your presence up to some degree as a part of their training.]
I can totally see that.
Even if other Hunters Guilds had skilled Hunters like Senjiro, Kyle was able to move extraordinarily fast both horizontally and vertically, so they would pose little to no threat to him.
Out of all of us, Ligurila with her outstanding beauty would have a hard time to keep a low profile needed for an infiltration like that, and Senjiro as a beast man from overseas would arouse even more suspicion and attention. As for me, even with my Rank 5 licence from the Guild, information gathering would be pretty much impossible.
While I was thinking that, Kyle suddenly looked as if he has remembered something important and his eyes lit up.[Now that I think about it, is the magic stone worth more or less the same as it was hundred years ago?] [Hmm, let me think. I think that its selling price went a little bit higher. It is mainly used as a core of magical machines.] [That’s strange. I could have sworn that this country’s magic stones were dirt cheap.] [What do you mean by that?]
Asked Ligurila, and in response to that Kyle took a bunch of notes out of his pocket and started to flip through them.
They were all well-written notes, describing the countries and towns that Kyle managed to travel to thus far. They were also rich in details.[Kyle…… You seriously managed to make so much notes?] [Oh, it would call it the force of habit, really. The local economy can tell you pretty much anything about the town’s or country’s current condition.]
I see this was yet another talent of his, so much different from those of Nectar’s.
Seeing how the list was organized by the order in which Kyle visited the other countries, it took him some time to actually find what he was looking for.[It was not until some time after I travelled to Hezart, but the closer I got to the capital city, the lower the prices of the magic stones would get. Oh, here, as well.]
Kyle pointed to the notes describing one of the towns right next to Hezart’s capital city.[But its value in this town was higher than in the capital.] [Is that really that big of a deal? Isn’t that just an error of some kind?]
Kyle shook his head hearing Ligurila’s question. She looked to be quite bored of this topic.[No, this can’t be. Magic stone is too valuable of an energy resource, as well as a gem stone. It is pretty strange that its value is higher in some random city rather than in the capital where lots of nobles reside.]
Apparently that was enough to shut Ligurila up, and Kyle proceeded to take a color pencil from his pocket and write with it on the map.[See, those are the cities I stopped in while on my way to the capital. Based on the prices of magic stone in Ballow, those are the places in which the prices were higher, and those were the places in which the prices were lower.]
Finally, Kyle surrounds a certain area with a big circle.
At the first glance, it looked just like a piece of land in the middle of Hezart, but upon closer inspection I immediately realized what it was.
It looks like Senjiro also managed to notice that.[Isn’t is concentrated alongside the Flume River?]
The area that was encircled contained a large portion of the Flume River, which flowed through both Ballow and Hezart.
With the exception of the capital city, most of the places where the stone’s prices were cheap were concentrated near the river, on in cities through which the river flowed.[Now that you mention it, aren’t the areas in which we fought strong monsters also located in the river’s vicinity? I don’t know about you, but I think it is something worth investigating.] [What does that even mean?]
Senjiro said that to Ligurila, who looked like she was wondering about something.[Because magic stones are collected from demon and monsters corpses, its prices tend to drop in places with theoretical high demonic/monster infestation.] [This is really useful information. It might come in handy soon.]
The rivers are vital parts of magic circulation, after all.
They carry not only water, but magic particles as well.
Because of the water’s flow, the nature of magic inside of it tended to be extremely unstable. Up until now it was not a matter of concern, but now it may be a whole different matter.
In the end, I thought it was necessary to go there and investigate the area properly.[First order of business, we must go to a town near the Flume River.] [If so, why don’t we go to this city?]
Said Ligurila while pointing her slender finger at a certain point on the map, a town located in the upper stream of the Flume River.[Melias?] [I was getting bored with nothing for me to do. It is a famous scenic resort, it might be a good place to start looking.] […… Not that I want to be a ‘wet blanket’, but we’re not going there to fool around, you know?] [Ara, we are going there to investigate, the location is but a bonus. I can’t be blamed for wanting to enjoy the attractions, and besides, breaks are necessary when you work hard.]
Said Ligurila right into Kyle’s face, who looked as if he was considering her words for a moment or two.[Well, it is a city with a high flow of people, so a bunch of foreigners shouldn’t arouse any suspicion. We might even be able to gather some useful information.] [Good. Alright, I shall depart tomorrow, once Nectar joins me…… Or no, if it is something serious, it would be better for Nectar to go directly to Melias.] [Is Nectar coming along? Then our potential for information gathering will rise tremendously.] [Even if it’s an undercover action, it should be ok. But Kyle, you should take a little rest after all of your travelling.] [I’m not feeling all that tired since I got this body, but I appreciate the gesture.]
Right, it’s all good that we managed to settle our course of action.
I contact Nectar and relay all the information to him.
Kyle is going to share a room together with Senjiro, and the rest of us is going to find the lodgings for ourselves once we get there.
And because I was thinking to myself all this time, I failed to notice some rather disturbing signs in Ligurila’s behavior.[So, we do have some spare time until tomorrow morning, right?] [Eh? Yeah, that’s right. Looks like it to me?]
When I turned my face towards her, for the first time in a while I saw a terrifying smile blooming on Ligurila’s lips. A smile full of joy, but still terrifying.[That’s actually perfect. You there, come with me. It’s time for some demon bonding time.]
Suddenly, Kyle said something with a funny expression.[What do you need me for?] [Since two demons are present at one location, this can mean nothing else but a duel, of course. And while we’re at it, we can use the occasion to try to score some terrain for you in the demon world.] [H, hey, what are you……!? Wait a minute, missy……!?]
Why Kyle was getting visibly confused, Ligurila started to move her hands around while looking at me with a satisfied expression.[Well then, Lava, I am going to borrow our little Kyle and play with him for a while. I’ll give him back to you around night.] [Wait, Lig……!]
By the time Senjiro noticed what was going on, magic circles already began to form under their feet.
The moment Ligurila waved her hand, the magic light swallowed them whole and they disappeared.