CHAPTER 56: OBSERVATION, PURSUER, AND THE GIRL
In the end, we decided on going outside the capital to see Viviana-san’s sorcery.
Viviana-san herself was reluctant about it, but considering that we’re already being followed, I’d feel much better if we resolve the stalking issue straight away.
Incidentally, I haven’t actually told Viviana-san about this matter yet.
After all, just like how it was understandable that Chasse-san didn’t immediately help us yesterday, I still haven’t spent enough time with Viviana-san for me to completely trust her.
To begin with, Viviana-san’s work here is to protect me exactly in case a situation like this happens, so her being unable to respond to the situation unless I tell her about it should be out of the question.
Though since I will be held liable the moment I exit the capital, I do intend to make sure that Viviana-san doesn’t get harmed in case anything happens.
「Now, what to do.
Please use your strongest sorcery… isn’t a viable course of action, right」
「…… I have to preserve at least enough magic to protect you after all; so naturally, yes.」
「In that case, I’ll make a target, so please cast a sorcery that can display your abilities to a certain extent.」
Since it’s a bit bothersome, I decided to leave the choice of sorcery to Viviana-san.
While I can’t be sure to what extent of her abilities she will show here, she probably wouldn’t do anything meaningless.
If not, she wouldn’t have risked going outside the capital with her escort target.
「Ghira Mhomora Palfor (Oh earth, mold and stabilize)」 I made a simple target with a clay doll-molding sorcery.
To be more exact, it’s something that molds earth according to one’s imagination.
While the chant is sloppy, and even beginners can at least utilize this, controlling magic power for it is considered to be difficult.
The ground steadily piled up and what formed was just an ordinary wall of earth.
Its durability is even less than that, so I coated it with a simple barrier.
I can’t make the same barrier we usually use from a far off distance after all, but this should be perfect for measuring her strength.
「Well then, please fire at this target.」
Viviana-san was about 10 meters away from the target and after positioning myself roughly in the middle of the two, I gave her the signal.
With a serious expression, Viviana-san began chanting something and shot five spheres of flame in succession.
As each of the spheres hit the barrier, they erupted into flickering sparks, vanishing as they fluttered through the air.
When Ciel uses sorcery with Dance Princess, it’s usually during a battle; but even when this isn’t the case, having sparks and such dancing around the surroundings might make her dances shine even more.
Back to Viviana-san, four of her shots hit, while one was slightly off and only grazed the target.
These five shots are likely not strong enough to defeat a C-class monster, I think.
The time between chanting and activation was quite short.
And, most importantly, I’ve just noticed a certain something from this but…… we’ll think about what to do with it later on.
「Now, please utilise a magic circle next.」
As I requested so, Viviana-san cringed for a moment before starting her preparations.
In the meantime, I decided to confirm something with Ciel.
『Ciel, can you sense the flow of magic power』
『If it’s mine, I can.
But that’s not what you mean by that, right Ain』
『Right, other people’s flow.』
Though if it’s only sensing where sorcery would appear from, I’m gradually starting to figure it.』
Thank you very much.』
As my hunch was confirmed, Viviana-san activated her sorcery, resulting in a mass of flame destroying the barrier-coated earth wall.
It’s fairly strong, but took a lot of time.
「How was it」
After approaching me, Vivana-san awaits my answer.
Now then, how much should I say
「Viviana-san, you aren’t a commoner, right」
「What’s this all of a sudden」
「It’s just that… this isn’t something I can say free of charge, you see.
I think you already know this much, but all I can legally say is that you’re “not good with circulation”.」
Hearing my words, Vivana-san rests her chin on her knuckles and falls into deep thought.
Considering her results, I think she has considerably high proficiency with magic power control.
Her quickly-activated sorcery was cast forcefully and practically skipped the magic power circulation steps, so without adequate control, it would have likely damaged her circuits, much less actually activated said sorcery.
It’s very dangerous, but there’s a reason Viviana-san had to do this.
There’s an issue with her magic circuits.
Her magic circuits which run throughout the body like normal blood vessels are, for some reason, extremely short.
While hers certainly does run from her head to her legs, it barely covers the top of her foot.
Even the ones on her hands only cover her palms and doesn’t extend out to her fingers.
If these were blood vessels, then it would have caused even bigger issues.
As a result, the amount of magic power her body could have retained is decreased and it became necessary for her to overexert herself.
And when people overexert themselves, there will naturally be a misstep somewhere.
The one shot that was off was likely that in this case.
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Additionally, while this can be somewhat concealed with chanting, that isn’t the case with magic circles.
Because of that, even though she did more damage with the magic circle, it ended up taking a lot of time.
On the other hand, if I had her use a high damage spell with chanting instead, it would probably take her as long as this one did as well.
I am, in a sense, a person of nobility.
However, not a nobility of this kingdom to be exact.
I’m a member of a prominent family in the Central, I suppose.」
「The Central is where the Guild Headquarters and so are located, right
There are nobles there I somewhat expected there to be none.」
「There are nobles, more or less.
After all, the more people that gather somewhere, the more the necessity for people to lead them will arise.
Other than the Guild’s top management, these leaders include the people concerned with Central’s administrative functions.
They are the nobles of Central.
However, it’s an absolute meritocracy.
No matter how much influence one’s family has, the incompetents are immediately cast away, so the nobles there might be a bit different from the ones you are imagining.」
「So in other words, no matter how great the noble families are, there’s a person there, if not an auditing body, at the top that keeps them all at bay, right」
「And that would be the guild’s founder, the main figure behind Central’s independence, Fiyanamia-sama.」
「The guild’s founder…… The founder is still alive」
「She’s an elf after all.
I’ve never met her first-hand, but there’s enough proof to support this.」
They occasionally appear in literature, but to think that they really do exist.
Still, we’ve already gone around several parts of the kingdom, but I’ve never seen elves or even any other races before.
「So there are races other than humans then.」
「Oh, so you were born in this country, correct」
「Yes, that’s right.
But then, why aren’t there any of them in this country」
「Estoque doesn’t acknowledge other races, you see.
I do believe that this is relatively common knowledge though……」
「I wasn’t raised with common knowledge, you see.」
When slipping up, there’s no better choice than just rolling with it.
While I imagine this might bother Viviana-san, she’ll have to bear with me on this.
Nonetheless, this is the so-called anthropocentrism then, huh.
Humans already discriminate based on skin color and social status by themselves after all, so with the difference in appearance and lifespan, I guess there are countries discriminating on a national scale.
And this kingdom is exactly one of those, it seems.
On the other hand, there’s probably a considerable number of people from other races living at Central.
「By the way, weren’t we supposed to be on the topic of payment right now」
That was the case, but I don’t think we can really do that here.」
I know it’s… inappropriate to ask my own escort target about this, but how many people can you handle」
Perhaps seeing us carelessly—seemingly carelessly—chatting about, our pursuers made a move.
Our pursuers increased the moment we exited the capital and there are now eleven of them in total.
As I expected—or rather finally—Viviana-san noticed them as well, as she asked me so while sweat ran down her forehead.
「Eleven in total.
One of them looks to be troublesome.
I’ll handle the troublesome one while keeping the other ten at bay, so I’ll entrust everything else to you.」
「…… I barely have anything to do, don’t I」
「Quite an easy task, don’t you agree」
As Viviana-san seemed to be in a bit of a panic, I made a little joke while drawing a magic circle on the ground using sorcery.
In the past, Ciel would manually draw magic circles on the ground diligently, but after thinking that drawing with sorcery would probably be much easier, this sorcery was made as a result.
While drawing something as elaborate as a magic circle is pretty difficult, it’s surprisingly doable.
With the preparations done, we only have to wait for them to either come out or attack us.
Just to make sure, I want to act only after confirming if the other party intends to harm us.
「You’re the brat that framed Tolt-san, aren’t you」
The ten people that surrounded us were all men that seemed to be hunters.
Judging from his words, they probably are actually hunters.
The last one seems to be watching from a distance and doesn’t seem to have any intention of coming out.
「I was wrapped up in trouble and nothing more, so it’s someone else.」
「There aren’t any other bratty white-haired girls around other than you here.」
「So, what are you going to do about it」
We’re gonna get you and make you confess that Tolt-san wasn’t in the wrong.」
If they really just wanted to get me, then they wouldn’t have gone out of their way to show themselves.
Otherwise, maybe these ten are decoys so the last hidden one can capture me.
Even if this is the case, isn’t the distribution of their numbers strange considering that Well, in reality, the last one is probably an assassin sent by the guildmaster or something.
The ten of them drew out their weapons and steadily began to approach us, so I promptly enveloped them with barriers and captured them.
Even a barrier that could be easily destroyed by a monster of C-class strength, when used on ten people, understandably took a small chunk of my magic power.
A box used to protect oneself, naturally, can also be used as a box to capture one’s foes.
Abruptly bumping into an obstacle, the hunters let out confused mutters.
And as they realised that they’re all surrounded by invisible walls, 「Let me out, brat!」 they began threatening us.
Is this some sort of zoo now
「Our attacks can hit them from our side, so please take care of these people.」
For some reason, it seems like Viviana-san was taken aback, but this is the quickest solution among the others I’ve come up with, so I hope she can understand.
Now on my side, I switched with Ciel and asked her to handle the last one.
『Would you mind capturing the last one, Ciel』
『So that’s what this magic circle is for.』
『Since this is a good chance, try to handle the detection by yourself too, okay
If there’s any chance that the last one might head for Viviana-san, I’ll inform you then.』
The magic circle I drew earlier was, to simply put, one for manipulating plants to capture a target.
If Ciel drew it instead, then there’s a risk of killing the enemy, so I did it just in case.
While they already lost any rights to complain about being killed from the moment they pointed their weapons towards us outside the capital, we might lose the chance to figure out who instigated this if the eleventh one ever dies.
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We have a barrier anyway, so it should be fine even if Ciel fails the capture.
Just as I thought so, the eleventh person began running to our direction.
I can barely hear any footsteps, but the guy is quite fast.
Just as Ciel was about to activate the magic circle, something was thrown at us.
It’s most likely a knife.
Considering its path, if Ciel avoids it, there’s a risk of Viviana-san getting hit.
Without turning to the knife’s direction, Ciel activates the magic circle.
Grass extends from the ground, seizing the knife in the air.
She then promptly activates it again, this time halting the movements of the individual attempting to zero in on us.
As Ciel turned around, what I saw was a girl with a knife frozen mid-attack and the captured knife hanging midair.
The girl seems to be around 15 years old, I think.
She looks slightly older than Ciel.
「Song Princess, disappear!!!」
Since only her movements are sealed, the girl is free to scream and glare as she’s doing right now.
If I reached out even a finger towards her, she’d probably bite it off.
Still, in my opinion, a younger girl showing animosity in this sort of situation is really nothing short of comical to see.
「Don’t just silently stand there.
You’re the lowest of all, not us.
Act more miserable like how you are.」
Perhaps because Ciel seemed absolutely uninterested in talking, the girl is running her mouth off as she pleases.
Her actions seemed as if she was partially brainwashed into believing that Song Princesses are evil.
These types of people don’t really seem to listen to what you say to them, so Ciel’s handling of the situation shouldn’t be wrong.
Rather, she’s already annoying as is, so it would probably be better to just shut her up.
『Let’s knock her out.』
It’s a bit harsh, but Ciel hits her with enough non-lethal force to knock her out.
One mistake might have killed her and even doing this might cause some permanent after-effects later on, but that’s really none of our concern.
As Ciel completed her role, she gave me control of the body and 「It seems like you’re done there.」 Viviana-san called for my attention.
「As you can see.」
「I saw that you knocked her out, but are you going to carry her back」
「I should be able to manage.
She seems light after all.」
「You seem lighter than her, you know」
Viviana-san is probably right, but estimating your own weight is hard.
「Anyways, I’d like to do something about these guys, so I suppose we’ll have to haul them to the Hunter Guild then.」
「Then in that case, I only need to carry this girl on my back.」
Concerning the hunters I’ve entrusted to Viviana-san, on top of tying their hands, they were also gagged with ropes to keep them silent.
It seems like all of them are tied with the same rope as when Viviana-san pulled on the end that she’s holding, all of them got pulled along.
「That girl doesn’t seem to be a hunter.」
「Right, she likely isn’t.
I already have a rough speculation of this situation, and I have some connections too, so I’ll try to get in touch with them.」
「Which means I’m in charge of handling these other ten then.」
「How much time do you think that could take」
「I only need to explain the course of events, so it should end quick.」
「In that case, let’s regroup after having lunch.
Our conversation got interrupted after all.
I might take more time on my side though, so please feel free to take your time eating.」
「I honestly shouldn’t agree to this…… but I also can’t just leave these guys here.」
Viviana-san was reluctant about this but still agreed, and I’m really grateful about that.
After all, if I had to explain about the underground stuff, it’ll just needlessly waste our time.
「I’d prefer to continue our conversation in my room, so please come to the inn again later.」
Viviana-san nodded and left with the men in tow.
Heya~! As expected, trouble came but as it did, it was immediately smacked to the floor~!
First of all, more teacher Ain shenanigans, yay~! Well not really teacher Ain this time, but I digress.
One thing I loved in the first part is how Viviana is characterized in general.
Just the part where Ain explains her current situation combined with the characterization of the Fools’ Gathering really implies a lot of what she’s went through.
She’s a stubborn fool who never gave up on sorcery, considering how Ain specifically says what she’s doing is dangerous but necessary for her to even use sorcery.
There’s also her momentarily cringing upon the thought of using a magic circle instead, as she probably didn’t want to show herself being weak but did it anyway without question.
This is just my opinion anyway.
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Next, more world building~! Particularly about the Central and also another reason to get out of the kingdom ASAP.
Not only is there a strong discrimination in Jobs and the Song Princess in particular, there’s also just plain racism as well.
Imagine being reincarnated in a fantasy world, wondering why there aren’t any of the staple fantasy races around, not knowing that it’s just that it’s actually just an issue with the country you’re in.
Anyway, we’ve previously confirmed the existence of an elven and dwarven kingdoms, and now we have one new character, Fiyanamia, to look forward to~!
Lastly, more trouble from a guy that’s not even anywhere near… And a random hysterical assassin girl.
Still, the exchange between Viviana and Ain was pretty hilarious.
Viviana: “Say, how many can you fight” *sweats internally as she realises how many people there are*
Ain: “I’ll take one of them, but I’ll also capture all of them, so have fun~”
Her cold sweat is understandable when you consider that she’s probably a C-rank on her own and specializes on party play.
Poor Viviana, she was only there to monitor them and guard them from random attackers in the streets, not from a whole mob.
Though it’s partially her fault for giving in to the temptation of learning from a high level sorcerer and agreeing to exit the capital, lol.
Also, Ain’s making her move it seems, as she’s going to try to contact her… *Connections*… *dun dun dunnn*