Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: ”Weasalopes”
During the break time, I asked Layla-san about the thing that bothered me.
Of course, it was concerning her being in S class. She originally was an exchange student that belonged to A class.
「While you were doing your best we had changes to classes.」
Ah, I got it. The hero school that I’m attending has many nobles in it, but still uses a merit-based system.
Those with poor grades or abilities would get dropped to the classes with a lower rank. On the flip side, talented people from those classes would be moved higher.
For now, it’s of no concern to me since I had pretty good grades in the first part of the year.
「I’m glad that we can attend the same classes. There is a lot in martial arts that I’d like to learn from you.」
「The same here. I think there is a lot I can learn from you, Noir-kun.」
As we were having a pleasant conversation, Emma lightly pinched my arm. Puffing one of her cheeks she was pouting a bit.
「Do~n’t you have anything to say to your childhood friend?」
「Of course I’m happy to see you. We can finally work together again. You are basically like the air to me.」
「Air? Hm-mm……Eh? Hmm, glad to hear that, I guess.」
She seems a bit bewildered. I meant that she is as important as the air, but it’s also used in a bad meaning.
It might’ve been not explicit enough. I’m not that good with words.
Returning to school life after a while feels very relaxing and fun. There are also a lot of nice people among my classmates.
Well, some do send spiteful remarks my way though.
「Works as hard as you wish but don’t forget your position as a baronet.」
The one that said that looked like a typical rich boy. What was his name? Can’t remember.
「No matter what my title is I’d prefer to live a life I won’t have to be ashamed of. 」
「…Pff, how stupid.」
That’s where the conversation ended. Well, not everyone has a favorable opinion of me. That didn’t change from the time I just enrolled.
This country also had nobility, and some people considered the title to be an absolute measure.
They probably can’t accept such ersatz noble like me. That is merely one set of values…… But in the end, that line of thought gave birth to people like S.
After school, I head to the student guidance room. Upon entering I see only Professor Elna there.
「Sorry for calling you despite you probably being tired. Actually, while Noir wasn’t here, the limit……」
「Yes, yes, I thought as much.」
Professor Elna tends to get extreme muscle stiffness. I think it might be due to her physical activity being reduced after she became a teacher.
I have a massage-type skill, so I use it to work on her shoulders.
「I was waiting for this.」
I kept massaging for around twenty minutes. In turn, I had her help with my LP accumulation. With a hug, my LP increased.
Though I didn’t ask for it, she also rubbed my head.
「Lately you seem like a younger brother to me. Even though I shouldn’t give special treatment to any of the students. 」
「It’s okay. There are plenty of teachers who do that.」
「Don’t badmouth people so nonchalantly.」
She lightly hit me on the head.
Well, it’s a fact though.
Especially in the case of high nobles, at times adults act no different from lackeys to them.
And even the hero academy had such adults.
Thought professor Elna certainly wouldn’t act like she wagged her tail before them.
After leaving school I head to the adventurer’s guild. Being an adventurer is my side job. I have to properly report there. Of course, I also had the goal of meeting with Laura-san there.
The guild Odin was the same as always. People talking with alcohol in hand. People studying about monsters. People discussing their hunt.
Even though it’s a place where adventurers gather the atmosphere wasn’t tense, with an air of freedom filling the place.
After all, it’s a guild where many admired the master. A veteran adventurer calls out to me.
「Hey, Noir, so you safely returned from your long journey. Good, good.」
「Greetings. By the way, where is Laura-san?」
When asked, he pointed to the table in the distance. Laura-san was arm-wrestling with several men.
Adventurers lost one after another.
「She has been like that since the moment she came back. She is in a bad temper since you won’t come back. Or actually, that’s not a strength of receptionist!」
She has Monstrous Strength skill after all.
I also gave her another ability with my skill. At this point wouldn’t it be better for her to just become an adventurer.
「Laura-san, I’m back!」
When I called her she immediately clung to me with a hug.
「Noir-saaaaaaaaaaan! I kept waiting for you!」
Gyuuuahーー Ouch, ouch, ouch?!
I’d be happy if she held back her strength a bit. Laura-san held me so strongly that I started to wonder if I ever get out of this embrace.
When she finally let me go I noticed that her eyes were wet.
「I thought that you were surely fine. I did, and yet I was anxious all this time. That’s why I kept arm wrestling with gentlemen from the guild, to distract myself from those worries. Everyone, Noir-san came back so you aren’t needed anymore, scram.」
It looks like she went very hard on stress relief.
It seems that the men didn’t care about being told to scram, and just thanked me, half crying.
Their arms surely hurt, but the mental damage of losing to a clerk was probably greater.
Sorry for being so late.
Sitting on a chair, I calmly talk with Laura-san. I didn’t take any request for a while, but it didn’t affect my rank.
And it seems nothing particularly special happened at the guild.
「Today I came merely to show my face, I will get to work from tomorrow on.」
「Yes, we will be waiting.」
「Laura-san, you are going to stick to the job of receptionist even after you became so strong?」
「I want to help Noir-san to become the very best. I’m fine with a supporting role.」
She clapped, and then. Lightly touching my nose with her fingertip she donned a smile. I wonder if such cute little things are the reason for her popularity.
When asked about Luna-san, Laura-san’s expression clouded a bit.
「Lately she doesn’t show up at all. It seems that Luna is troubled with something again…… And she refuses all of my invitations, no matter where I call her.」
So it’s something she can’t tell even her close friend, Laura-san. No, she might keep silent precisely because she is her close friend since she doesn’t want to drag her into trouble.
Or, there might be no meaning to discuss it, because it wouldn’t provide a solution anyway.
「Noir-san, can you somehow learn from her what is this about? If needed I will cooperate as well.」
I get up, promising that I’ll do so. Laura-san stopped me when I was about to leave.
「I wanted to give you this. Use it whenever you please!」
Beaming with a smile she gave me a piece of paper. 『Coupon for the naughty game』was written on it.
I asked her what kind of game that is, but she said that it’s a surprise for when I use it. Supposedly I can use it on any day I want.
Which reminds me, Laura-san likes such things. Putting it into my pocket I head towards the temple.
Luna-san formed an adventurer party with me and Emma. Originally a saintess, she continued working as such even now.
In the same fashion as being an adventurer was a side job for me, it was also the same for her. Moreover, as a saintess she is greatly loved by the people of this town.
In part due to being a beautiful half-elf.
The temple was overflowing with people.
In addition to being a place of worship, it also was a place where devout would treat injuries free of charge.
Even if you aren’t that pious, just saying that you are a believer seems to be enough to receive treatment. As such, people that cannot go to a healer gather here.
Usually, the longest line leads to Luna-san, but today I can’t see her.
I ask the person and the end of the line.
「Is Saintess Luna taking a day off?」
「No, she is taking a break. She seems to have gone outside, but don’t bother her.」
「Yes. But there is something that I absolutely have to tell her.」
Saying that I go outside as well. It seems that there is a rule not to talk to Luna during her break.
But today I came to report on my return, so please forgive me.
Walking along the way I reach the other side of the temple where I spot Luna-san.
But since she was with someone, I immediately back off and hide behind the building.
Even though I’m not doing anything bad…… But, well, I shouldn’t interrupt them.
「I said it many times before, but it’s for Luna-san’s sake. Please think about it seriously.」
「But I…… Not ready for such conversation yet……」
「Even if you are going to refuse, can you at least meet once. I beg you, at least to save my face.」
A man in his fifties is lowering his head to her.
I saw him before. He is working here together with Luna-san.
「Then, really only a meeting, Nothing more…」
「Thank you! Then, on this Sunday!」
After expressing his delight, her coworker walks this way. Panicking I hide in the shade of a nearby tree.
A bit later after he left Luna-san also came. With her head hanging low she tottered forward.
What was she asked? She seems very reluctant about it.
Coming out of the shadow I wave a hand. A moment later Luna-san’s expression turned to a cheerful one.
「No-No-Noir-dono! You came back?!」
With a dash, Luna-san closed the distance and grabbed by hand. Shaking up and down she seemed extremely excited.
Usually cool and collected she exposed her emotions to this extent. So happy she is about my return.
Such a reaction gives me joy.
I briefly explained to her what happened and stated that I had no injuries.
「What a relief… I was so worried about you, Noir-dono, that I couldn’t sleep at night. 」
Indeed, she had dark circles under her eyes. However, I’m probably not the only reason for that? Since it was a good chance I’ll tell her about Laura-san’s request.
「Sorry for making you worry. But isn’t there something that troubles you apart from me?」
「Mmh…… What, what might that mean?」
「Actually, Laura-san is pretty worried about you. That you seem somewhat down lately.」
Luna seemed a bit happy after being told that.
「So it’s that obvious to Laura-san.」
Then, I suggested my help. To which Luna began humming, troubled.
Some hints of embarrassment can be seen as well. Finally resolving herself she spoke.
「One of the priests that I’m working with offered me to meet with a certain man. He is looking for a marriage partner. I have no intention of getting married. But, I’m much obliged to that priest, so I can’t just flat out refuse his request.」
She told me the details.
The priest that I saw earlier has a wealthy merchant among his friends, and the son of that merchant lately began looking for a bride.
He is pretty fussy about his preferences and doesn’t want to settle for an ordinary human.
And it seems that elf or half-elf would suit his taste.
「But why is it he doesn’t want a human?」
「It seems he wants the bride to keep a youthful appearance. I don’t really understand it. A person’s life is reflected on their face, that is the good part, isn’t it?」
I see, so he wants a race that tends to keep their appearance with age.
But our town hardly has any elves.
Beastmen are pretty rare as well.
Even half-elf like Luna-san is quite unusual.
「Meeting and cleverly refusing him would be the best. Is there anything I can do?」
「…Can you participate in the role of my younger brother?」
「Sure. How should I play it?」
「I’d like you to talk about the disgraceful behavior of your elder sister.」
The so-called disillusionment strategy. Since she is beautiful, the sense of disappointment might be even greater in contrast with rotten character.
For a while, we talked about the details. We also decided to ask Laura-san to take the role of the little sister.
The meeting is supposed to take place on Sunday of this week. Until then we will discuss it a few times.
While Luna-san returned to her work, I looked at the weather with a bit of hesitation in my heart. If I go to the hidden dungeon right now, it will be night by the time I come back.
「……Let’s go, I want to meet with Master! And Dori-chan as well!」
It’s been a while after all. They probably will be happy to see me as well.
Upon reaching the dungeon I chant the password and go inside.
I’m quite used to disposing of golden slimes, that attack on sight, with【Stone Bullet】.
At first, I instantly gained a new level upon defeating one… But since I became stronger I don’t level up at all.
Now, now, getting to the second floor I open the door to the room trying not to make a sound.
Let’s surprise Master.
『Uuuh… It hurts…』
Hering her groan-like voice I freeze, startled.
『Today… Might be…… Especially bad……』
I look at Master, still bound by the chains, like on the day we first met.
Master’s eyes were closed, but she still could perceive me. A bit flustered she immediately said.
『Just kiddin! Did I surprise you? You totally felt for it, right?』
Just the usual cheerful master.
But I can tell. She was panicking. The tempo of her speech was a bit higher than usual.
She isn’t a person to get shaken by mundane things.
That probably wasn’t something I should’ve heard.
But if that’s the case, why had she used telepathy that could be heard by me?