Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
Intervening with the World
Hikaru and Lavia left the guild and made their way to Grand Hotel Pond. They left the materials for now and let the receptionists pick what they needed.
「Hikaru. About that silver mask… Are they referring to you?」
Hikaru visited Quinbland’s capital once before to see Emperor Kaglai. G. Quinbland. The emperor, who belonged to the same race of Man Gnomes as Unken, read the letter that the former guildmaster entrusted to Hikaru. As reward for his efforts, Hikaru was given the Dimension Dragon Box.
Now a silver mask was displayed on the castle gates. There was no doubt that the emperor was summoning him for something.
「Whatever it is, I think it’s related to Vireocean.」
「Do you really think so?」
「There are suspicious movements there and the higher-ups are concealing any information. Vireocean’s the number one suspect right now.」
They strode through the hotel’s entrance. As expected from the best hotel in Pond, the lobby was huge.
「Excuse me. We’re booked under the name Paula Nohra.」Hikaru said, then froze.
「Yes, we have you here.」the woman replied in a sluggish voice.
She had a pair of cat ears extending out on top of her head. Wait, what? Wasn’t she working in that business hotel?
「Is there something wrong, Sir?」
He wanted to ask if they had met before, but it sounded exactly like a cliched pick-up line that men used so he couldn’t say a word.
「Hikaru?」A voice called to him.
「Oh, it’s really you! Where’d you even go?!」
Hikaru turned around to see Selica Tanoue.
Selica was still not fluent in this world’s language, so she wanted to speak in Japanese instead. Lavia, who was exhausted, went to their room.
They sat facing each other in the lounge. As always, she wore a fine-quality cloak.
『So, I heard you were summoned to the capital. What are you doing here?』Hikaru asked.
『We were summoned because they needed people to protect the Princess… or rather, Her Majesty the Queen, from harm. Sarah and Selyse should be more than enough for the job, so I’m free to roam around.』
『Is she in danger? I thought the war was over.』
『Prince Austrin gave up once he learned that Einbeast was withdrawing. The grand chamberlain who instigated the whole matter is the mastermind. He basically had no future ahead of him once the prince gave up. He did a lot of awful things, after all. So he escaped and disappeared. Apparently, he’s after Queen Kudyastoria’s life, hoping to turn things around.』
『Hmm, I see. Looks like you rank Bs have it rough.』
『You should try to get promoted too.』
『No way. There’s no benefit to it whatsoever.』
『You’ll earn lots of money—Oh wait, you’re already loaded. Rich people like you should experience the sufferings of the lower masses.』
『Big words coming from someone who snatched ten percent of my winnings.』
Hikaru invested the ten percent of the hundred million he won from Senkun into Selica’s business.
『Looks like the hotdog chain is doing pretty well. I was surprised when I found out you were hiring retired adventurers.』
『Well, you know how life isn’t really valued highly in this world, right? There’s plenty of risks for only few opportunities. One mistake and you’re done for in life. I wanted to save those kind of people.』
Hikaru was silent.
『You think I’m a hypocrite? You’re probably thinking “Who does she think she is?”』
『No, that’s not it…』
Hikaru was thinking about how much should he meddle in this world’s affairs. He meddled into Lavia’s life, so he took responsibility for her, which was what she wanted as well. Same goes for Paula who would most likely stay with him until the foreseeable future.
But what about the others? In Claude’s case, he helped him out to some extent, and left the rest to the guy. He did the same for Conia and Gilbert too.
With his Soul Board, he could save a lot more people. But doing so would eventually result in his secrets being leaked, and various kinds of people would come after him—those who wanted his power, those who ostracized him, and those who believed him to be a nuisance. Lavia and Paula might even be in danger and he didn’t want that.
But he could try other things. For example, Paula could use her healing magic to heal severely-wounded people waiting only for death to come. Or perhaps those adventurers who, due to certain circumstances, couldn’t continue in their line of work anymore. He could try to help them out behind the scenes. Though he wouldn’t receive any reward doing that, only self-gratification.
In the end, it was a question of how much should he intervene into this world’s affairs. The more he did, the more trouble would come after him.
『What’s wrong?』Selica asked.
『You sure are strong.』
Selica was using all her power to intervene. She made a name as an adventurer, used her abilities as a Mage to save people, and was now helping retired adventurers.
Selica scoffed and slumped down on the sofa.『I’m not strong at all. I was on the verge of dying when I came to this world. I guess that was expected, since I ended up in a forest filled with monsters. I kept crying and crying for the first week. I wanted to return to Japan, to see my family. I cursed my fate. I thought “I might’ve survived today, but what about tomorrow? I don’t think I’ll survive for a month. I’m dead for sure.”』
Hikaru’s first time here wasn’t all that great either. Suddenly he was asked to kill someone or else he was dead. But unlike Selica’s case, he had an idea of how difficult it was.
『Luckily, I was able to use Spirit magic. I cried while eating the meat of the monsters I killed. And then I was over it. Whatever happens, happens. Living beings will eventually die. So I just wanted to do what I can.』
So that’s why she’s doing all this, Hikaru thought.
『It’s weird. I didn’t really plan on saying all that. Maybe I’m too relaxed when I’m speaking in Japanese…』Pouting her lips, she turned her face away from embarrassment.
『Thanks for telling me all that. It helped me a lot. I wasn’t really sure what to do.』
『So even you feel anxious, huh?』
『What does that mean?』
『Acting like your age is a good thing, young whippersnapper. You should experience what it’s like to be a teen.』
After that, Selica talked about the hotdog chain business. Surprisingly, not a lot of funds was needed, and there were plenty of job applicants. She reluctantly screened all of the candidates and was actually helping those who didn’t make it get other jobs as well. In fact, she was busy with the latter.
『So what were you up to? You went to Bios and then Einbeast. Then what?』Selica asked.
Hikaru told her about Forestia, about how they watched the wedding ceremony.
『Oh… Going somewhere cold during winter is something I’ll never understand.』she said.
A very pragmatist opinion.
『By the way, the countries’ higher-ups are apparently hiding something. Do you know anything about that?』Hikaru asked.
『Ah, yes. Selyse mentioned it in the letter I received from her today. She said she might be staying there longer.』
Does she mean the bodyguard mission will last longer? Hikaru wondered. Maybe the fight with the grand chamberlain will drag on… Nah. Quinbland’s acting strange as well, so it’s probably not related to the civil war.
After that, they shared some information with each other before parting ways.
I guess I have to go to Quinbland.
The Four Stars of the East’s long-term employment. A summons from the Empire. Hikaru’s Instincts told him these two matters originated from the same thing.