Chapter 177: The one-armed lecturer, part 7


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


I headed back to the castle, where Seraphin was waiting in the spare room. Noticing my arrival, she lifted a bottle of spirits on the table and poured two glasses on the rocks.

「Where did you go?」

「I was in the toilet.」

Fufufu, she laughed elegantly, placing a glass on my side of the table.

「Does that mean you went off by yourself so that you could…」

「What?」

I knew that she had been suspicious of me for a while now, but she chose not to mention anything explicitly.

「You spent quite a while in there.」

「I did.」

Seraphin was the only member of the Heroes’ Party who could drink. Elvi, though legally allowed to drink, never touched a drop for fear of having to nurse a hangover the next day.

「This reminds me of days long gone」, said the High Priest as she stirred her drink with her index finger.

「You made the army bend over backwards to accommodate your Party’s daily baths, didn’t you?」

「Fufufu. I remember that. Both Almeria-san and Elvi-san are young, innocent maidens. Don’t you remember all of us having that talk about the art of negotiation?」

「Did something like that happen?」

She nodded. I felt that time had slowly trickled by. A sudden gaze coming from the corridor made me snap out of it, and I looked in its direction to find the ‘Shadow’ peeking in through a gap in the door.

「…Can it come in?」

「Sure」, agreed Seraphin.

She had most likely noticed it before I had spoken. I gestured for the ‘Shadow’ to enter.

「What will you do with her, Roland-san?」

The ‘Shadow’ scampered over to me nervously. I lifted it and placed it on my lap.

「Nothing. Once we get the collar fixed, I’ll put it on again.」

「Can you?」

「It’s what she wants.」

「Huh?」

Holding my glass with both hands, the ‘Shadow’ started sipping the alcohol inside. It looks like a child, I thought to myself.

「That’s unexpected」, said Seraphin.

「Both of us have relinquished our previous statuses. We live different lives now.」

「You can say that, but you’re still Roland-san, and with the connections made during that time to boot. Ta’uro’s request is the reason why you’re here at the castle, having a drink with me. Can’t the same be said for her?」

Hmm. I may no longer be an assassin, but there are still people asking things of me…

「That fear will be gone once get the collar fixed.」

「That’s fair. But if anything happens, can you win with only one arm?」

「Of course. I don’t count my odds based on the number of arms I have. While I may be at a disadvantage during hand-to-hand combat, my modus operandi is to catch my opponent off guard and deliver a single, fatal blow. One arm will suffice.」

「The things you say never change.」

「Rest assured that I’ll find a way even if she changes her mind.」

The ‘Shadow’ glanced up at me, then continued indulging in the alcohol. Still wary of Seraphin, she had yet to say a word since her arrival.

「Ayo, Roland! I’m here!」, greeted Ta’uro as he barged even without so much as a knock.

「And why are you here?」, I asked.

「The guild gave me directions to your lodging, and said that you’d probably be in the castle if you weren’t there. So here I am. Thought I’d pop by to say a word of thanks.」

「Seraphin is the one you should be thanking.」

「It was you who brought her to me.」

「Roland-san can never be honest」, observed Seraphin nonchalantly. 「Typical.」

She showed Ta’uro to his seat and the three of us drank together. The Guild Master and I talked about the guild and its future while Seraphin listened intently.

「A man like you — who isn’t a noble — will fare better on the ground.」

「Eh? Is that praise I’m hearing, Roland…?」

「Not in the least.」

Seraphin chuckled. I had been here for quite a while by now, so I excused myself from the table.

「If you need anything, Ta’uro, consult Seraphin. And you, Seraphin, work with him for me.」

I left once I received their acknowledgment.

『Shouldn’t you have stayed for longer?』

「I said everything I needed to say and assigned the work I needed to assign.」

『Not in that sense. It must have been a long time since the two of you have spoken face to face.』

「We can meet up anytime we want. We won’t know when we die, obviously, but I think we’ll live for some time yet.」

Then that’s fine, said Lyla.

『The sooner you come back, the better. There’s really no ‘feeling’ to it when my ‘Shadow’ drinks.』

「I’ll be back soon via my ‘Gate’. Open a bottle and wait for me.」

The ‘Shadow’ disappeared. I’ll have to entertain her until she gets blackout drunk, I thought to myself. If Ta’uro had heard the rumours of the Demon King’s revival, then he can’t be the only one who knows. In that case, the news must be even more muddled over in the demon realm — although Lyla’s father, the former Demon King, knew the rumours to be true by word-of-mouth from Rodje. If unforeseen circumstances arise and Lyla has no choice but to return, then what should I do? There are things over there that only she can do… but she will be hindered by her collar.

「…」

I felt an unusual tinge of melancholy. Maybe drinking with Seraphin had drawn out the sentimental side of myself. Why else would events of the war suddenly come to mind?


Lyla had indeed made preparations, and elaborate preparations they were.

「Welcome back! It must have been tough at the capital」, said Lyla. 「This calls for a drink!」

She had placed two glasses of wine and a plate of cheese on the table in the living room and patiently waited for my return. I sat on the sofa and she came over to join me. We clinked glasses and sat there in silence, taking small sips of wine.

「Fuu… that’s the stuff」, said Lyla, reading the label on the bottle.

「You drank some without me, didn’t you?」

「Nope! I can’t say that I haven’t drank alone before, but it’s better to drink with you!」

And so it begins, I thought.

「Your collar… it should be done soon」, I ventured. 「Are you sure?」

「I’ve grown attached to life here. Status, power, whatever I have in the demon realm… I’m bored of it all. You don’t need to be so cautious.」

「If you say so.」

She stared at me like she had found a rare gem.

「A fine man you are…」

The Demon King hugged me tightly and ruffled my hair.

「You were worried that I wanted to go back, weren’t you?」

「No, not rea –」

「You’ve always had trouble expressing your honest feelings. Kufufufu. I won’t believe you no matter how much you deny it.」

She giggled. A smile like that can hold no lies, I thought.

「The alcohol must be kicking in.」

「Not at all!」

Crossing her fair, slender legs, she knocked it back in one go.

「To be able to imprison a former enemy, an assassin like you… my looks are a sin in itself」, she said pompously. 「To be no longer able to live without me… a fine man you are.」

「Speak for yourself.」

「I’m not!」

The Demon King turned her back to me.



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