Chapter 66: The overqualified rookie, part 8


Translator: Denryuu; Editor: Ryunakama


What we did to Darton wasn’t particularly pleasant, so I’ll save the details.

Both Dee and I, for reasons already illustrated previously, felt like justice had been done when he finally breathed his last. If there had been a healer around, we would’ve repeated our cycle of torture multiple times, but since there wasn’t one, we could only make him suffer so much.

Activating a ‘Gate’, we blinked home and headed for Lord Bardell’s personal residence.

Dee and I were brought into the drawing room where we patiently waited for the baron. When he arrived, we told him everything.

「…We’ve found the root cause of the problem」, I said, pointing at what remained of Darton with my chin.

The baron sat there solemnly, stroking his beard with a bitter look.

「I see. Thank you for acquiescing to this sudden request of mine.」

He stood up and did a formal ninety-degree bow.

「It was in the guild’s interests too, as the disappearance of adventurers is also detrimental to us.」

「Not only have you found out the root cause, but you also settled the problem once and for all. I cannot thank you enough for keeping my citizens safe.」

Since Darton had been in the army, I wondered if some traumatic event had made him lose it.

「Based on what you said, a related experience might have awakened something in him.」

There are rumours that demons had been tortured during the war, since the survival of every species involved was at stake. I have no intention to whitewash history, but neither do I wish to find out the truth either.

Some people don’t come back from war the same person — perhaps Darton had been one of them.

「I will tell his family the news of his passing. All the evidence is in that villa, so I’ll have no trouble proving what he has done. If need be, I can relay a message to the king directly, so no worries about that.」

I wouldn’t be surprised if this event caused a dispute between the Dartons and the Bardells. The outcome would be determined by the attitude on each side. After all, when one of your sons kidnaps and kills innocent adventurers and villagers from another family’s territory, you can’t call the other party unreasonable when they raise a big fuss.

It would be much better to settle this in private such that neither family would have their reputation soiled.

「Thank you, Roland-dono…! I am forever indebted to you.」

While I shrugged off the baron’s words of gratitude, Dee accepted them cheekily.

「I mean, if we can accept it, why shouldn’t we?」, she asked on the way home, with her arms folded.

「I really don’t think a person of his caliber could’ve hypnotised you like that…」, I mused.

It just didn’t add up. While I was lost in thought, Dee looked around to confirm that nobody was in the vicinity.

「This isn’t something I should be telling a human, but…」, she said. 「I suppose you can say that vampires are twice exceptional. Very much so. Tell me, Roland-sama, does a human’s ability change when he burns the midnight oil?」

「Of course not. Wait, do you mean that…」

「Ufufu. Exactly. We are weakened as long as the sun is up, and our magic resistance is reduced to a fraction.」

I now remembered that during the war, vampires had only dared to launch offensives at night. While Dee had mentioned that vampires can use their ‘Fireguard’ to weaken the effect of the sun’s rays, it was mostly used so that they could move around with their comrades. Their true strength only shows itself after the sun has set.

In fact, every devastating blow struck by the vampires had been in the dead of night.

「Our power level becomes like that of a tenth-order demon’s… for reference, someone like that is barely fit to be a platoon commander. On top of that, the risk of trying anything during the day is simply far too great for us.」

A platoon of the Demon King’s army only numbered about fifty. If a demon with the power level of a platoon commander or even less acted alone, even a respectably-sized human unit could deal with it.

Small fry by day, juggernauts by night. All is fair and balanced, I guess?

「I see… so vampires are double-edged swords, huh?」

「I have never told a human about this.」

「I understand. I won’t say anything else.」

Thank you, said Dee, smiling.

「That guy might not have known that I was a vampire. There was this one quest that took me a long time, and I only finished by morning…」

She trailed off, unable to find the words to express herself.

Dee simply looked like an otherworldly beauty during the day. That torture maniac may only have wanted to have a good time with her. It was only after hypnotising her that he found out her true identity and decided to use her as a scapegoat…

I whacked Dee on the head.

「Ow!」

「This is why you don’t underestimate humans.」

「I know, I know…」

Hearing that, I patted her head gently.

「Don’t be too hard on yourself. I value you a lot as an adventurer. You’re still immensely capable and specialised, after all.」

「Wow, that makes me happy, Roland-sama… wait, are you serious?」

I am being serious, I said.

「Don’t look down on us humans from now on. Treat everyone as you would treat me.」

「I don’t know about not looking down on Roland-sama, but if everyone was you, I’d fall in love with everyone!」

What to do, sighed Dee jokingly.

「I can’t help but shudder at the thought of being that scumbag’s scapegoat and having to drink blood against my own will every day. Thank you, really. I’m glad you came.」

「How unfortunate that he picked a gourmand like you to annoy.」

「I mean, yeah. But to make me drink blood for something as trivial as keeping me hypnotised! Vampires treat drinking blood even more seriously than having sex! To have lost all autonomy and be made to do all that… especially by the low-born scum that he is… oh, the shame!」, hissed Dee, pouting.

As we walked home, the night sky was a shade of blue seen only during a day about to dawn.

「I now understand why Lylael-sama loves you with all her heart. I think I feel the same way as she does… you’re adorable, you know that?」

Kissing me on the cheek again, she bit me playfully.

「…? You’re not doing it for real? Go ahead, I don’t mind.」

「This is how vampires court their partners. Of course I want to bite you for real, but stopping just before is how we show that we care about who we’re biting」, she explained, hugging me tightly. 「I, Candice Meinrad, love you dearly, Roland-sama.」

Not entirely sure how to respond, I simply patted her head.

「How about you drink some of my blood, Roland-sama?」

「What does it mean for me to do something like that?」

「Vampires are always on the receiving end of the blood transaction, so when I offer you my blood, it means that I am forever yours.」

I see, I told her, following which she split one of her fingernails with her fangs. Blood flowed from the wound, staining her fingertip a shade of crimson which I found mesmerising for some reason.

Lifting her hand, I pressed my lips to her finger and took a sip.

It simply tasted like blood; nothing more. It wasn’t delicious, and neither did I feel any sexual excitement toward Dee. As her blood trickled into my mouth, however, I understood the ritual importance of such an act.

「Thank you, Roland-sama…」, she said, hugging me again with tears in her eyes. 「I am yours from now on.」

She closed her eyes as if to egg me on.

I heard a sound coming from behind us, but chose to ignore it.

「…?」

Seeing that she wouldn’t let me go, I kissed her a few times.

「I feel as if I’ve been blessed, Roland-sama… even if I were to turn to dust right now, I no longer have any regrets.」

Keeping my head in place, she did the same.

「I love you, Roland-sama…」

I can’t remember how many times we kissed, or for how long.

「What on earth are the two of you doing outside my house…!?」

Hearing a strange noise, we snapped back to reality and were greeted by the sight of Lyla shaking her fist at us.

「Ara-ara, if it isn’t Lylael-sama. How shameless of you to spy on us.」

「Me? Spying? You were kissing in front of my house!!」

Pointing at us with her index finger, she stamped her feet with frustration.

「It’s a ritual according to her, Lyla.」

「You dare to call this a ritual!? I was waiting for you to come back all this time! Do you know how long I waited for!? I heard some noise outside, and it turns out that this is what you were doing…!?」

She no longer felt sleepy, I guess.

「I’ll go to bed now, Lylael-sama. Will you join me?」

「Hmph. Don’t screw with me. I have housework to do — I have responsibilities unlike you.」

「If you do a shoddy job, isn’t it the same as not doing it?」

「What did you just say!?」

「N-No, nothing…」

Seeing that Lyla was on the warpath, Dee produced a sheepish smile and disappeared into the house.

Lyla snorted.

「Lyla, listen…」

Welcome back. Took you a while to get home, eh? Looking at the two of you, even a fool can guess what happened. There’s even the smell of blood」, she cut in, stopping me mid-sentence.

「I won’t go into the details, but you’re sharp. It’s as you say.」

「How meek」, she said, smiling smugly.

「You don’t have to stay up just to wait for me, you know.」

Shaking her head, Lyla stared at the ground.

「I do it… because I want to…」

Perhaps what she had just seen had come to mind. Looking straight at me, she puffed her cheeks and smiled in disbelief.

「…Welcome back. You must be tired. Come in and have a good rest.」

「Thank you. Indeed, I have returned.」

Lyla stood on tiptoe, placing both hands on my shoulders. In order to support her, I quickly wrapped both arms around her.

From behind the mountain ridges, the alpenglow bathed us in warm, golden sunlight.

A new day had begun at last.



6 Comments

  1. now this is interesting, 2 more to go

  2. Thanks for another chapter! I’m really loving this one.

Leave a Reply