Editor: Ghost Ape
“I’m not going back. I guess I’ll have to cross the mountains, go to Peryudōna and become an independent adventurer.”
Sheina started stubbornly refusing to return home. It appears that Rēko spread around the tavern things like “Sheina is doing her best every night. You guys should follow her example.” She must have believed it was all for the best.
“There’s no helping it, Evil Dragon Lord. Since it came to this, you should take responsibility and turn her into kin. She should gain some confidence as long as she gets enormous strength.”
“Eh? You’re saying I’m the one who needs to take responsibility for this?”
“After all kin’s error is the head’s error.”
“The restraint in your behaviour is gradually vanishing lately, huh. At the very least I don’t think the one who erred should be saying things like that.”
“So is it not possible?”
“Not anyone can become my kin. Other than you, I probably won’t find anyone else suitable.”
Incidentally, maybe in order to demonstrate her regret, ever since then Rēko was sitting in seiza. There were no signs of regret to be seen though.
“That’s it… I’ll climb the mountain and start my life anew…”
“Hey, wait! Don’t be in such a hurry!”
Sheina was already starting to shakily climb the mountain, but ahead of her was a sea of flames. Somehow I put a stop to her advance by pulling on her cloak.
“Listen Sheina, okay? There’s a lot of people with a screw loose there, so it’s not really a place worth seeking out actively, you know?”
“But I heard there was a remarkable master’s dojo… Though it seems that person cripples more adventurers than demons…”
“Ah, I know her. There was this time she almost broke me by swinging me around by the tail.”
Rēko, who was listening all along sitting in seiza, suddenly stood up and moved in front of Sheina.
“Human girl, in other words, it’s okay as long as you’ve enough strength to call yourself a genius with no shame, right?”
“Well yeah, but honestly getting stronger than this will be hard with my own efforts. I concealed it barely, but I don’t possess a lot of magic power. I’ve also almost no special moves other than the sound kind.”
“Don’t give up. There are ways even if you’ve no magic power.”
Rēko unsheathed her dagger and took a large swing at the nearby ground. Along with a sharp, sky-rending sound a great fissure arose in the ground.
“This isn’t magic. It’s a vacuum blade born due to a slash. If it’s this, it can be achieved even without magic power.”
“You really like to make suggestions on a whole different level, huh.”
“It won’t do. It’s as Evil Dragon Lord said – this sort of thing is impossible unless one specializes in body tempering.”
“Oh, so it’s not absolutely impossible.”
It seemed there were many amazing people in this world. Come to think of it, I vaguely remember we got showered with such attacks in Peryudōna. At that time Rēko scattered them with a single roar.
Dap, Sheina tapped the fist on her palm.
“Okay, enough already. After all I’ll go all the way with the genius play and leave this place. I’m leaving the explanations to you.”
“Ah, you can’t. If you do that I might be made out to be a villain again.”
“That’s right. You’re quite skilled despite having no talent, but with just that there’s a large number of demons scattered in this world you won’t be a match for. Even the demons that were living in this mountain, if I didn’t scatter their main force I doubt you’d be able to fight them.”
“Umm… You know exactly where to hit, huh.”
Sheina shrugged her shoulders as if saying good grief.
“Still, it’s not like I’ve absolutely no leads. I originally planned to leave this place before long… I wasn’t able to become Evil Dragon Lord’s kin, but there exists a way to gain similar strength. I also asked Rēko at the tavern about her method of controlling power as something like due preparation, I guess.”
“Eh? What? There’s a way to become strong without particularly doing any work? Could you tell me all about it?”
I suddenly jumped in front of her. Because I snapped a bit too fast, Sheina drew a step back.
“Y-You want to know it that much, Evil Dragon Lord…?”
“Sorry, I got too curious.”
I hurriedly fixed my attitude. If such means exist I’d love to try it out secretly.
Ahem, Sheina cleared her throat, then lifted and spun her finger around in the air apparently to establish the setting for proper pontification.
“Let’s see, you two already know about the spirits, right? The beings placed between the gods and demons that have neither goodwill nor amity towards humans.”
“Yeah. I’ve lived for a long time after all.”
I knew the gist of it, besides I remembered Ariante also saying something like that.
“And so! Demons can be found everywhere, and if you offer appropriate prayers in a sanctuary, gods may also show themselves to you. However, only spirits can’t be seen that easily. Do you know why?”
She spoke as if giving a lecture. She must’ve studied these things in secret too. I couldn’t comprehend why she was embarrassed of doing earnest things.
“I suppose so. Now that you mention it, I also have practically never met spirits. I didn’t really try to look for them though…”
“Uh huh, I know right? That’s because spirits basically lack a sense of self. Living always as one with nature without saying a word or making a sound for hundreds of years―― apparently that’s how spirits are. Well, after hearing so much they may appear like worthless existences which don’t matter, but in some cases that’s not true.”
Sheina started drawing a picture on the ground with a pebble. A drawing of a huge circle denoted as 『Spirit』as the background of a human figure.
“As I said before, spirits are beings that blend with nature and almost never have a sense of self. However, sometimes―― it’s really extremely rare, but once in a while spirits are found with enough sentience so that a dialogue is possible. And if then one can negotiate well and form a cooperative relationship assimilating a spirit inside their body, it’s possible to compensate for one’s own lack of magic power…”
“Are these spirits really that rare?”
A doubtful Rēko interposed herself.
“Naturally,” Sheina immediately replied. “The magicians who were able to form cooperative relationships with spirits are the specially called spirit users, but they’re so rare only one may appear every few decades. Moreover, ones who could lodge a powerful spirit inside them were few in the whole world’s history. But it’s worth betting on. After all, housing a spirit once is the same as gaining an unimaginable tank of magic power, for humans anyway.”
“Certainly the presence is faint so I didn’t really notice, but once I focused my mind it was right there. I don’t think it’s really that rare…”
Both me and Sheina voiced our doubts loudly while facing Rēko. She pointed her finger at the gold mountain which was still burning brightly.
“That. It probably lives as part of the gold mountain. I feel like I can make out something if I strain my ears.”
“Really?! W-What’s Mr. Spirit saying, Rēko?!”
Rēko turned her ear in the mountain’s direction while nodding in comprehension.
“『The summit is hot, now.』”
It was a very objective statement.