Today is the second day of the escort mission in the Capital. The plan today was for Laptiricia-sama to visit the home of an adventurer clan called “Camellia” during the day. And in the afternoon, to watch the opera play at the indoor theater with Duke Barga and his wife… The opera was called the same as it was in my previous world.
An Opera is a play with musical accompaniment, composed of plays and orchestral music. I’ve never seen a full-fledged opera in my old world, but I’ve been to the theater a few times. The vibration of the sound echoing through the hall, the movement of the actors on stage, and the story that wasn’t just a “Happy End”. It was very sophisticated, no matter how it went.
Tonight’s opera, if possible, would’ve also been a pleasure to watch, apart from escort duty. The work was titled “The black nobleman dancing in the Royal Capital, Dark Shaft!”…
In addition to the opera, today we have to go to the clan house of Camellia. Camellia was acquainted with Schwartz, who defeated the Emerald Demon Labyrinth. But it was the first time meeting Shaft. Both of them were waiting for Laptiricia-sama and Ashley to be ready, although, they don’t want to face each other.
One day had passed since I left Barga for the Royal Capital, and another passed within the capital itself. But my map hadn’t shown any suspicious movement, nor has any disturbing conversations come up. After all, if something were to happen, it’d probably be at Venerre – the next stop. Thinking about that, we prepared ourselves. Right then, two people approached the door.
“Thank you for waiting, Laptiricia-sama is ready. We will now head to Camellia’s clan house.”
Following Ashley out the door, Laptiricia-sama emerged with a white cloak-like robe and a short cane with a silvery sheen. The attire was similar to an adventurer’s.
It wouldn’t be the only a greeting to Camellia’s clan house. It was also to see their training area and magic. The current clan master of Camellia was a female noble named Viscount Cyphria Aznavour. A story I’ve heard while conquering the Emerald Demon Labyrinth said that she was a single noblewoman. She’d chosen to protect and nurture the members of her clan until they grew up to protect other members – while taking in a son-in-law after retiring as an adventurer.
Riding on the carriage provided by Duke Barga, we headed towards the third district where the clan house was located. Currently, I was sitting at the carriage’s helm. The clan house was a three-story building built with brick stone. A rectangular building similar to an apartment.
“Now then, let’s go.”
Camellia was a female-only clan, and their clan house also banned men. The training area was in a different location, and it seemed like it was possible for me to accompany them there. I’d be staying in the coach seat until Laptiricia-sama returned.
After waiting for an hour, I could finally hear her and Ashley’s footsteps coming from the clan house. I also noticed the steps of someone walking in front of them. It was to notice- -no, it was so silent I could barely recognize it, but I knew that it was a firm walking pace. Whose footsteps were those —?
“Thank you for waiting, Shaft. We will now head to the training area.”
Ashley and Laptiricia-sama emerged from the clan house. Next to Laptiricia-sama was a really tall woman. She wore a knight’s uniform with red and yellow lines. Her red hair was nearly crimson and tied at the top of her head. It flowed off the side in a ponytail. However, it curled halfway down…
“Are you Dark Shaft?”
“Are you dissatisfied that the topic about you is only told in theaters, rather than actually being announced in the Royal Capital?”
After saying so, the red-haired woman smacked my shoulder and laughed.
“I’m Camellia’s Clan Master, Cyphria Aznavour.”
Viscount Asnavour, who was as tall as me, smacked my shoulders before dragging me along to the training field without question. Well, she was only holding my shoulders. And yet, why did I feel like my freedom of movement had been sealed? And because of that, I gave her resistance as we went to the back of the clan house.
The training area was a one-story building that had a dojo-like area combined with an archery field. It was here that Laptiricia-sama would cast magic while aiming at targets. What kind of training is this? To me, it only looked like someone tried to hit a target with magic. Or more like, why is Vicount Aznavour giving advice right beside me, and she still locked onto me even now.
I don’t know if this was some form of skinship, but because of it, my body wouldn’t move properly. Wasn’t this abnormal? Well, I am a “Manuke”, so I wouldn’t be able to detect any magical anomalies within my surroundings. In other words, it could be said that what is sealing my movements was a technique that wasn’t just purely physical.
I don’t really know why I was being detained. And if I wanted to harm Laptiricia-sama or Ashley, then I’d only need to use my mobile arm to do so. If I wanted out of this state, I’d have no choice but to use the Ver.VMB.
Laptiricia-sama’s training continued for about 1 hour, for which I was restained for.
“This is a good place. I’ll come here again if I have the time.”
“Thank you very much, Master?”
Did it finally end?
“Lari, Ashley, can I have some time with this person?”
Eh? Ashley, who was watching Laptiricia-sama’s magic practice, made a strange response along with me. During the training, Ashley’s gaze went back and forth between me and her ward. Displeasure was shown in her eyebrows.
“What now, it’s just a bit of time.”
“Can you give us an explanation of why later?”
Laptiricia-sama and Ashley went away from the training area, leaving only me and the Viscount alone. I was finally released from my restraint and we faced each other.
“I would like to hear directly from the famed Dark Shaft. From which dark guild do you come from?”
Haa? What’s this person talking about, or more like, how did she ever think of such a thing?
“I’m only registered with the Mercenary Guild. I don’t know about dark guilds.”
“Are you sure? If that is so, then why are you hiding your magic?”
“You see, I am someone with the skill ‘Magic Detection’. I can normally see the magical flow in everyone. And those that I can’t see, like you, would usually be people from the dark guilds. Just like the majority of them, they use magic tools to hide their magic, right?”
“My black doesn’t have such a function, and I’m only trying to hide my unattractive face. Also… Isn’t it normal for escorts to hide as much of their magical power as much as possible? This is also to protect those that need protection from people like you.”
“Are you lying, or telling the truth?
Viscount Aznavour was only 3m away. However, despite the distance, I felt the air around me grow cold. It was as if I was being watched through the scope of a sniper, and that I’ll be shot if I make a wrong move.
“Fine, I’ll believe you for now. But remember that the dark guilds have sent assassins out for her. If anything happens to Lari, and you survive, I’ll be sure to be the one to kill you with my own hands.”
“Assassins, is it? Thank you for the information. It’ll be fine – then I’ll take my leave.”
Magic detention you say? There were two types of special talent people were born with in this world. Skills and abilities… I have encountered many skill users. However, the only ability user I’ve encountered was Rezmond-san with “appraisal” from Barga’s General Guild. I wondered if the people who lived in this world could easily use not only magical powers. but also various skills and abilities.
When talking about special abilities, my VMB was not my only special ability. The people of this world had magic, the skills to use it, and other special abilities. Monsters also had a variety of skills they could use. I had to be sure not to become arrogant nor think I was special, and steadily and intelligently, slowly pull the trigger.
“Dark guild is it.”
“Haaah, it seems like the Master of Camellia found out that an assassination request had been issued on the girl.”
As soon as I returned from Camellia’s clan house to the Barga residence, I headed to Duke Barga’s office. I reported the story the viscount told about the dark guild. But I didn’t say that I was suspected of being an assassin.
“Folka, do you think the dark guild that issued the request is in the Royal Capital?”
“Probably not, I haven’t heard of any recent movements made by any of the dark guilds in the Royal Capital.”
“As expected, it would be from Vener.”
“Although, we also need to be vigilant in the capital. It’d most likely place for it to happen would be in Vener.”
“Shaft, I won’t be able to cancel the trip to Vener, but I’ll be sending more escorts along the way. However, it will be you who will be escorting them to the parties and other noble mansions.”
It was almost dark we were about to head to the theater. Ashley, who’d changed into a new outfit, was waiting in the other room.
“Shaft, how did it go with the Duke?”
“It was concluded that the attack would most likely come in Vener, though, we still need to be vigilant in the Royal Capital. We’ll need to be more alert when we get into Vener.”
“Is that so… I understand. Let’s definitely protect Lari.”
The theater was located in the first district, unlike the outdoor theater in the third district. Only nobles or influential people could enter, and also had to follow a dress code.
Ashley was like a secretary, but she was also an escort. That was why she dressed like a knight tonight. I also changed into a tailcoat in my bedroom and I was ready to go. Ashley went to see if Laptiricia-sama was ready and I went out into the hall to wait. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things, but what I was thinking about the most was the opera.