「Elena-sama, is there anything wrong?」
Ara, who got off the carriage after Elena, noticed that Elena had stopped moving and asked to see what she was looking at.
However, Elena said nothing and just quietly stared back at Rei’s eyes.
「Elena-sama? What happened Elena-sama!?」
Normally, Elena would respond immediately after she was called, but this time there was no response after calling her. As for how strange that was, it was obvious to Ara, who had served as Elena’s escort and manager for the past few years.
Almost reflexively, Ara followed the the direction Elena was looking at.
There was a young man who wore a robe on his body……no. He should be called boy as he was several years younger in comparison to herself.
For Ara, who idolized Elena, she did not care whether the other person was a noble or not. But out of her respect and admiration for Elena, when she felt that something had been done to Elena, she instinctively pulled out her sword from her waist and kicked against the ground, closing the distance to Rei.
「You, what did you do to Elena-sama!」
As the shout echoed into the surroundings, time began to move again for the people who had lost themselves while admiring Elena’s looks.
It was the same for Rei and Elena who had been entwined in each others’ gazes.
By the time he had noticed the attack of the girl, he was already within her range. The girl swung her large sword.
Sucking in a quick breath, he reflexively backed away half his body to evade the sword swung down at his shoulder. Cutting through the air, the girl’s sword pierced the ground.
Looking at the sword, which was nearly 20cm into the ground, it was obvious that it had been swung down seriously with the intention to kill.
The moment the girl tried to pull out the sword that had cut into the ground, Rei put his foot onto the blade to hold it down. At the same time, he kicked the girl’s right wrist, that was holding the sword with his left foot.
The girl gave a scream, that you wouldn’t expect from someone who could bury a sword that deep into the ground, and released her grip on the sword due to the impact on her wrist. Without even looking at that, Rei took out the Death Scythe from the Misty Ring and poured magic power into the blade as he spun round to cut her neck……
Kin~, the blade of the Death Scythe made a sound as it was repelled by something that came flying out of nowhere.
There hadn’t been anyone nearby aside from the girl in front of him. Quickly looking at the surroundings while thinking that, though he didn’t know when she had taken it out, the figure of Elena holding what looked to be the handle of a sword was reflected in his eyes.
However, it was a strange sword. Only the guard and hilt of the sword was in Elena’s hand. A metallic whip with blades attached at regular intervals extended from where the blade would be in a normal sword.
(That’s a sword whip.)
While feeling surprise that such a fancy weapon like a sword whip from Earth would appear in Elgin, he also had an expression of astonishment on his face.
After all, what it had just blocked wasn’t an ordinary weapon. Made from the Magic Beast Art, it was a magic item made from the materialisation of his own magic power. Yes, it was a magic item created from an amount of magic power that even Zepairu was shock at. Furthermore, he had poured magic power into the Death Scythe when he attacked. Parrying or blocking normally was useless. Even if it was blocked by a shield, it would cut smoothly through the shield in a single strike. The only way to escape death would be to evade it. Yet an attack like that was repelled.
As for Elena, she also was surprised……no, she was struck with great astonishment. All of a sudden, one of her subordinates was attacked by a deadly strike. It was faster and stronger than any attack she had ever seen, an overwhelming attack. In fact, the hand she had used to block the attack was still numb from the impact. How many times could she block an attack like that. She felt a tingling down her spine as thought like that.
(……What is this?)
Anger, fear, impatience, sadness……it was different from any of them. Yes, it was something she hadn’t felt in a long time……delight.
Though she had natural talent, Elena never neglected her training. There wasn’t an opponent that she would have a hard fight against, even against generals from neighbouring countries. An opponent that could overwhelm her in a single attack. Elena’s heart secretly rejoiced at meeting an opponent that could fight equally against her.
However, she immediately held back the joy rising inside her and immediately spoke up.
「Please wait a moment!」
A dignified voice echoed into the surroundings.
With that voice, the people in the immediate area, who had panicked at the situation, regained their composure.
Rei sensed something in the voice and didn’t take any further action but held onto the Death Scythe, ready to fight.
While subtly smiling in relief at Rei’s appearance, Elena spoke up in a dignified voice once again.
「What happened just now was a misunderstanding. I will apologise to you at a later time. ……Are you fine with that?」
She turned her gaze from Rei to Margrave Rowlocks, who was responsible for the area as the lord of the city of Gilm.
「That’s fine if you’re okay with it. ……Rei, do you have any objections?」
Giving a small nod at Daska’s words, he made a quick glance to the side.
「Set, it’s okay.」
At his voice, Set gave a short cry and walked towards Rei.
Where had Set been? The answer was that he had been holding off Kuust, who had readied his magic spear when he saw Rei trying to attack his colleague. The moment Kuust touched his magic spear, Set had dashed in front of him without a sound and restrained him with a sharp look.
Even if he looked down on Rei, Rei had still tamed a Griffon. Kuust grimaced at his humiliation of having his movements sealed by it. However, it was a fact that though Set was casually walking back to Rei, Kuust still couldn’t move due to Set’s earlier glare.
Though he had his pride, Kuust wasn’t stupid enough to ignore reality.
「……Griffon, is it?」
As for Elena, she involuntarily leaked a voice as she saw it calmly pass by her.
An A rank monster, Griffon. The monster known as the shinigami of the sky was at such a place. Moreover, unbelievably, it was following someone.
「Margrave Rowlocks, that Griffon is……」
Elena asked the lord of Gilm, who had come near enough. In response to the question, Daska gave a small nod.
「That’s the monster that follows the adventurer Elena-dono crossed weapons with earlier.」
「I’m sorry, I haven’t studied much about Griffons but I’ve never heard of one following someone. Wouldn’t rumors spread if there was a person like that? 」
「That’s right. However, it hasn’t been several months since he appeared on the streets of Gilm. The rumors might not have reached the Imperial Capital yet.」
「……Hmm, that makes sense. In that case, was he waiting here because he will going with us to the dungeon?」
「That’s right. I’ll say this first, in accordance with your letter, this fellow meets the requirement being rank D. Any how, he reached rank D about a week ago.」
「Such a talented person? Ahh, I see. There’s no helping it as he’s only arrived in the city for a few months. No, should I say he’s done well to rise to rank D in a few months.」
「It’s due to his achievements in the Orc subjugation.」
「Though I had heard rumors that Orcs had settled down in a village……indeed, if it’s him he can certainly handle Orcs.」
She nodded in agreement as her right hand, which had gone numb after repelling the Death Scythe, began to regain a sense of touch.
If he had the ability to produce that much power in a single attack without difficulty, she was able to understand that he was able to fight against Orcs.
「Ah. In addition, because it was said that he defeated the Orc King who led the Orcs in single combat, I can guarantee his ability. As you can see, he is also accompanied by a Griffon.」
「An Orc King? ……I see, that strong. To be honest, I was a bit hesitant about this dungeon exploration, this is good. I’m looking forward to it.」
A feeling of joy welled up in her chest as Elena smiled. Daska saw that and, aware that his own cheeks had turned red due to the smile, cleared his throat while looking away.
「Mm, ahem. So, Elena-dono. If you don’t mind, we would like to enter the city soon.」
「Ahh, of course I don’t mind. After this, will we be meeting with that person in Margrave Rowlocks’ residence?」
「Of course, arrangements have been made.」
「Thank you for that. I have to make Ara apologise. ……Ara is smart and reasonably strong but has reacts sensitively to anything to do with me. I didn’t think she would suddenly slash out like this this time. ……Is it possible to ask about that person’s name?」 TLN: I’m basically imagining a female version of Rhodes.
Elena asked under the intention of accepting responsibility for the mismanagement of her subordinates, hiding her true feelings of wanting to know his name.
「That’s right. Though it’s scheduled for the person himself to give a detailed introduction of himself after we arrive at the residence……well, a name would be fine. He’s called Rei.」
「Rei, is it?」
Elena spoke out Rei’s name in a murmur. In that situation, Ara came over and lowered her head.
「I’m sorry Elena-sama. Because of my selfish act……」
A bit further away from Ara, who was bowing her head, Vel and Kuust could be seen.
「Hey, is that guy really D rank?」
「It seems so. Honestly, aside from his strength, with his personality, I don’t want to stay too close to Elena-sama.」
「Certainly, his strength aside, his problematic character is a negative factor. Looking at his exchange with Ara, I don’t think he will get along well with us. Is choosing another suitable person impossible?」
「……Don’t be too concerned about it Vel.」
「No, hasn’t the dungeon area we are going not been explored yet? I would like to refrain from worry about the back while advancing through such a dangerous place.」
「Though I understand your meaning, any how, it was Margrave Rowlocks’ personal recommendation. I will not decline it.」
「What’s wrong? It doesn’t seem to be the usual you.」
「No, that’s true. If you say I’m not the same as usual then I must not acting as usual. We all love Elena-sama as our superior. As you are the commander of the escort force, if you are okay with it, I won’t say anything more.」
Next to the conversation that was going on in small whispers, Ara was reproved by Elena.
「Ara, honestly, I am not impressed with your behaviour this time」
「I’m very sorry. I’ve inconvenienced Elena-sama……」
「It wasn’t really an inconvenience for me. But after this, we will be formally introduced at the residence of Margrave Rowlocks. I want you to apologise properly for the earlier matter at that time.」
Elena said that while directing her sight to the man who was playing with the Griffon at a place further away.
「If you say so, Elena-sama.」
Following Elena’s gaze and seeing the person who had almost killed her earlier, Ara gritted her teeth and nodded.
「According to what Margrave Rowlocks said, we will be entering the dungeon with that guy. You wouldn’t like to enter the dungeon with an awkward atmosphere would you Ara?」
「-!? That guy……is it?」
「Umu~. As for how strong he actually is, I think you experienced it yourself.」
At those words, Ara recalled Rei’s skill from before. Remembering the attack that tore through the air, cold sweat poured down her back and forehead. In fact, if she hadn’t been saved by Elena, Ara knew that her life would have really ended there. Although she felt he fell short of her revered superiour, the fact was that he was stronger than herself.
「Certainly, I recognise his ability. However, his abilities stand out too much. Though I am not concerned about nobility like Kuust, can you consider choosing someone a little bit more suitable?」
To Ara’s words, Elena shook her head with a wry smile.
「In the first place, wasn’t it was father who requested Margrave Rowlocks to give a recommendation? At any rate, it will be bad if we reject someone with such significant abilities. Rejecting someone like that would be too impolite to the other side.」
As she raised her voice, 3 people emerged from the crowd.
「Oh? What is the General Princess doing here?」
A person with an innocent smile, like a mischievous boy that had become an adult, called out to Elena.
Over there was a person carrying a huge magic item battle axe. Next to him was a woman wearing a robe holding a cane, looking like an intellectual. Lastly was the figure of a youth who carried a long sword at his waist.
In other words, it was the A rank party, Axe of the Thunder God.
「Elk-dono? It’s been a while. Since the case of the earth spirits. That reminds me, Elk-dono was based in the city of Gilm as well.」
Elena had the smiling face of someone meeting their comrade after a long time. At the same time, Elk had an embarrassed smile while his wife Min smiled faintly. However, after seeing Elena’s smile, Rhode’s turned his red face away.
While smiling like a boy, Elk spoke up.
「Ah. The city of Gilm is my home. ……So, what brings the General Princess to a frontier like this?」
「Please stop with the General Princess, Elena is fine. As for why, father instructed me to enter the dungeon. The reason I’m here is because of that.」
「……The dungeon? Though I know that Elena is strong, isn’t it another thing to enter a dungeon? ……Ahh, I see. So that’s the reason you stopped by at the city of Gilm. To hire a thief here.」
To Elks words, Elena shook his head and turned her sight to Rei, who was looking back at them with a surprised expression while stroking his Griffon.
「Margrave Rowlocks recommended him.」
「He……wait, isn’t that Rei?」
「Oh, you know him?」
「Ah. We worked together in the Orc village subjugation. ……I see, if it’s him, then you might have the ability to manage yourselves in the dungeon. There’s Set as well.」
「Oh, may I think that as a guarantee from Axe of the Thunder God?」
Surprised, Elena looked at Elk’s expression for a moment, but understood immediately after recalling Rei’s strength.
「That’s right. Though there are various awkward areas, choosing him as part of your personnel is no problem.」
「Is that so? I have confidence in your views. 」
Elk then called out to Daska, who was a bit further away from Elena and Ara, watching the conversation.
「Oh, isn’t it Daska, what’s Margrave Rowlocks doing in a place like this?」
「I’m here to welcome Elena-dono. Are you going somewhere?」
「Ah. It seems that a few trolls have appeared and several merchants have been attacked.」
「……Ahh, speaking of that, it was raised as an urgent report. It surely is an urgent request. I’m sorry to detain you, please deal with the trolls as soon as possible. We will take heavy damage if merchants stop coming to the frontier.」
「Ahh, you can leave it to us. Then, see you later as well Elena.」
「Umu~. Because of the matter about the dungeon, I’ll be staying in Gilm for a while. Let’s meet up again if there’s a chance.」
「That’s fine, I don’t mind. From his open mouth, it looks like my son has a crush on you.」
Though he shouted to his dad who suddenly said such a strange thing, his father avoided it by laughing it off as usual.
「Did you say that your son was called Rhodes? I’ll say this first, the minimum requirement for me to be with him is for him to be stronger than me.」
「Kukuku~. A man that is stronger than the General Princess, who won fame in the surrounding countries……」
Saying up to there, Elk suddenly turned to look at Rei.
「That’s right, speaking of that, there’s Rei. Is she serious about it?」
While muttering quietly in his mouth, he was about to say something……when Min’s cane swung down on his hed.
「Elk, you’re talking happily but I’m sorry, we don’t have the time for that.」
「Oh, my bad. Well then, because of that, we’ll get going now. Do your best to conquer the dungeon. ……Well, with Rei there should be no problems unless a serious issue comes up.」
Saying that, Elk and Min went towards the highway, Rhodes was entranced by Elena before panicking and chasing after them.
Elena saw them off and turned to speak to Ara again.
「Apparently that person has been guaranteed by Elk, who is an A rank adventurer. Do you still think there is a problem?」
「……No. If Elena-sama says so, I will follow.」
After Ara reluctantly consented, Elena turned to Daska.
「In that case, Margrave Rowlocks. Can you guide us?」
「That’s right, I should do that. We will be a nuisance to the people passing through the main gate if we stay here forever.」
Daska nodded and gave out the order to return to the lord’s residence.