Kay: Sorry about the laties, massive drama erupted on the holidays that just made me forget I hadn’t queued any new chapters. 113 was supposed to release last weekend, but it was doubled on the previous weekend due to mis-scheduling mishap.
The next day, I left the administration building during the early morning hours. The knights and the General Guild’s staff had also started the days activities, heading inside the Labyrinth to clean up the monsters. Count Blitz, the leader of the Barga’s branch of the General Guild, as well as Count Themis the leader of the Magician Guild, had been studying the Terra Chaos armor the entire night. They had been resting when I left.
Count Themis asked me a lot about the magic I used to kill the black knight. But since there was no such thing, I escaped by saying that it’d been a secret technique that happened to be a forbidden curse. As for the magic armor itself, with its stone broken, it had lost all its characteristics as a magic armor and thus, was impossible to repair.
I had been asked about whether or not I would keep my loot, but when I heard Count Themis mentioning ‘I want to study it’ and ‘It will greatly contribute to the future of magic toolcraft’, I didn’t have the heart to say yes. So, I decided to sell the armor to the Guild on the spot.
I greeted Viscount Caymon who was overseeing the procession outside, then headed off toward Fort Barga. But that had just been a fluke. I originally planned to leave immediately after killing the black knight but I ended up spending the night in the admin building instead. There was a possibility that Cactus was watching me, so I needed to be this careful.
Once I reached the point where people could no longer see me clearly, I immediately turned the FLIR mode on and hastened my pace. After confirming there was no one watching, I activated my TSS and took out the Kawaski KLR from my garage. Then, I sped off northward. The area I was heading towards was populated with hills. Even if they could somehow trace where I was heading, it’d be pointless if they couldn’t physically catch up with me.
From there, I switched my avatar setting to Schwartz, then headed to the Fort Barga through the hills. When I finally arrived at the city gate, it was just before they closed.
Leisurely, I walked beneath the magic powered streetlights that’d be on for a few more hours. My destination was Schwartz’s permanent residence, the Labyrinth’s White Flower. I was welcomed by the smiling face of Mirana-san, the landlady, as usual. I returned to my room and checked if I made it in time for dinner. As it turned out, there was still some time left until last order. I promptly headed to the dining room.
“You’ve finally returned.”
I heard a familiar voice as I entered the dining room. It was filled with people enjoying their supper but there was a single table occupied by one person. With some nearby vacant tables nearby, Remi tapped on her table to signal me to sit with her. It couldn’t be helped, I’d already thought about meeting her anyway; the timing was a bit unexpected, but there shouldn’t be anything wrong with it, right?
“It’s been a while, Remi-san.”
“It’s been a while, Schwartz-kun. I haven’t seen you for a month or two. Were you out on an expedition?”
Sitting across from Remi-san, I ordered something to eat from the waiter before I replied to her. I told her I’d been exploring the Labyrinth as usual, then was in the northern hills area for a while.
“I see. Come visit the General Guild to take requests from time to time. It’ll be good on your resume after all.”
“I’ll think about it.”
I took the chance to observe Remi-san while I dug into the food the waiter brought. Tonight, Remi-san wore a white shirt similar to the clerks instead of her usual armor. What’s more, she left some buttons undone, showing a fair amount of skin.
“You seem dressed differently tonight.”
“Nn? Ah, its because Ashley’s tenure as an instructor has ended. I haven’t been taking to the field lately, just coordinating investigations and other office work everyday.”
“Then what’s Ashley doing now?”
“She already quit the guild. Originally, she didn’t plan to stay in Barga too long. She only aimed to get the investigator qualification and get some experience. Afterward, she’d return to the territory where her parents lived. Its a bit earlier than expected, but I think she should be leaving the capital by now.”
“Fuhn, do you want to see her?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Oya, you make it very clear there. But do you know what it means to be a Zephanel?”
“The meaning? What about it? Although, I do know that it’s a family name.”
“Hoo… Schwartz-kun. Do you still remember what I said to you before?”
In response to my reply, Remi-san chugged the entirety of her glass before looking me straight in the eye and asked once more.
“Schwartz Powder. You appeared all of a sudden here in the Fort City of Barga, in the kingdom of Kurtmerga. A mysterious man with your peculiar set of skills and surname, From the time I gave you a task until now, I’ve been digging around for any trace of your background to no avail. What is your goal? Why are you here?”
This question… It was similar to the one Remi-san asked me when I was still new to this world, back at the Myral Village inn.
“You’re still troubled by my peculiar name and skills up until now?”
“Are you disappointed?”
“I’m not. It’s just that it’s not something I kept secret to begin with. As for my purpose — Well, in a nutshell… Living day by day I guess?”
“Yes, nothing special. Eat meals, drink delicious tea, interacting with someone of the opposite sex, hanging out with friends, and sleep peacefully. Get myself a job, make money, and get myself a place to live; that’s all.”
“Is that really all? Then why did you appear in Barga of all places?”
“It’s a coincidence, or let us just say, because of something beyond human control. By the way, I heard the Wolf Labyrinth has finally been conquered?”
“…Yes. I will be busy again starting tomorrow.”
I don’t know how convincing my answer was, but it’s not like I was lying either. I just didn’t say the entire truth, although even if I did, I doubt anyone would believe it. In any case, I’m already a resident of this world.
“Do you want to buy a map? Unfortunately, its only up until the 20th floor.”
“You already gone that far?! Thanks, I will be sure to buy it tomorrow. If possible, I’d like you to draw the map for the floors beyond that as well.”
“I’m afraid I’ll have to decline. I’ll be heading on a trip soon. And I don’t know when I’ll visit Barga again.”
“I see. That’s a shame. I have a feeling like you have ‘more’ to offer, but its too bad if that time isn’t right.”
“I’m grateful that I got to meet you though.”
Thanks to the map assignment, I finally found my goal in this world.
“You’re such a charmer. But I must warn you that women are creatures of jealousy, so you should only say that kind of thing to one person.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. Alright then, I’ll return to my room now. I’ll deliver the map at noon tomorrow.”
“Alright, thank you.”
“Thank you for buying.”