Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama
Lyla was telling me that she had served as an employee while I was away at Imir. Thanks to her routine observation, she had performed her duties without any trouble.
She was, however, rather disgruntled.
「I don’t know where to begin about that Morgan…」, she whined.
Morgan…? I wondered if it was an adventurer she was referring to. Regardless, her experience with this ‘Morgan’ had made her pledge never to work at the guild again even if asked.
「Now I know how difficult it is to be an employee.」
Not really, I thought. But different strokes for different folks, I guess. She might have found being the Demon King to be easier.
「And we haven’t heard a thing about that, either」, she said, continuing before I needed to seek clarification. 「The doppelganger incident, I mean. He was definitely the one behind King Reubens’s assassination, correct?」
「Yeah, I can’t think of anyone else that could have done it.」
I would never forget the shock of seeing a carbon copy of myself right before my eyes.
「You’ve brought this up multiple times now」, I said. 「Have you realised anything?」
「I’ve said this multiple times too — there is no magic that can generate an entire human body from an arm alone.」
「And the possibility of it being a new kind of magic?」
「Zero. I’m a hundred and ten percent sure of it. Replicating an object is one thing, and creating a new one is another. I can’t imagine how the latter is possible.」
The doppelganger that I had fought was myself, and not some magical apparition. Therefore, what little I knew supported Lyla’s theory that the whole affair had nothing to do with magic.
「What about a skill of some sort?」
「There are some unbelievably powerful skills out there, like the one belonging to your master. It’s not out of the question…」
But in that case…
「I don’t know much material is necessary, but it could mean that death is no longer eternal」, she continued. 「Death can be reversed.」
「Mhm. You can even revive the first Demon King.」
「That’s a scary thought.」
She nodded with a serious look.
「By the way, Lyla… did you notice that?」
「Of course. I assumed it was nothing, but I did.」
The presence suddenly disappeared. We had detected it for a while now — in fact, for the past few days, there had been the feeling that we were being watched. Once dinner was over, Lyla started washing the dishes, turning her head to speak.
「Three days now, I think? It’s always after you leave for work. The fact that it’s easily detected means that whoever it belongs to isn’t very good at what they do. That’s why I just pretended not to notice.」
「Three days, huh?」
I, too, was now being observed. As a guild employee, my mind jumped to the assumption that an adventurer who knew me was behind this, but it felt… different. I wasn’t just being watched.
I was being surveyed. Monitored.
「Do you lock the door?」
「Nothing has been stolen, I guess.」
「Well… not except for my back scratcher.」
「Whoever stole it put it to better use than you did.」
Lyla laughed at my sarcasm.
「Okay, it’s not a laughing matter!」, she said hurriedly. 「A king was assassinated. And if the doppelganger was indeed birthed by a skill, there will be more to come.」
「Thanks to my magic arm, I’m now stronger than I was with both natural arms intact.」
「You mean there’s nothing to worry about?」
Receiving no response, Lyla bit her lip.
「You say you’ve become stronger… I can sense the confidence behind that statement.」
「I have Warwick to thank for it.」
I wondered who was stronger — Lyla, or the doppelganger. Though I hoped it was the former, the other possibility nevertheless tugged at my mind.
After Lyla was done with the dishes, we sat down on the sofa together.
「I don’t think the mastermind did it for fun. Though I don’t know their motive, something else is bound to happen sooner or later.」
I voiced my agreement, and she cleared her throat.
「Now that I can use magic, I can offer you my help.」
「What, help me rescue you from a kidnapper?」
「Shall we agree on a code word for me to distinguish between a real and a fake you?」
「Sure」, I said. 「What will it be?」
I watched her face turn red.
「Kiss me!」, she finally blurted out.
「Fine by me, though I was expecting a phrase.」
「I’m always the one initiating it…! I want you to do it as well…」
Her voice had grown softer, and she had turned her face away in embarrassment. I placed a hand on her chin, guiding it upwards. I brought my face closer to hers, and a soft sound could be heard as our lips touched.
「S-So sudden! The audacity!」
She shoved me away and hit my chest with her fists.
「I get it. I’ll won’t do it without being asked to.」
「No, no, you don’t have to wait for me to ask! Just do it slowly!」
So… what does she want? Anyway, I thought, she can just look at whether ‘I’ have a right arm or not. Looking at her narrowed eyes, I ruffled her crimson hair, placed the other arm below her thighs and lifted her like a princess.
「Getting used to the new arm has allowed me to do stuff like this.」
She curled up into a ball and clung to my torso, allowing me to carry her to the bedroom. I gently placed her on the bed and kissed her neck, causing her to tremble.
「It’s ticklish…」, she whispered, her hot breath touching my ear.
I undid her buttons one by one. She had grown used to being undressed over time, making tiny movements to match the tempo of my hands.
She was wearing a new set of lingerie.
So she was already feeling like it, I thought.
I shook my head, and brought my face closer to hers again. Giggling, the Demon King stuck out her arm and caressed my cheek.
「I was wondering when you’d remove them, but it looks like you forgot.」
She took the spectacles from my face and placed them on the dresser.
「It’s not like they do anything. Of course you’d forget.」
With that, she spread both arms, ready to receive me.