Chapter 13: Vigilance
I went back to the mansion and headed to Shadiverga’s room.
I was initially worried if there might be a chance of him being assassinated but it didn’t seem like I need to worry about it.
The person himself was sitting down on a chair sipping his tea peacefully.
「Regis. What’s with that knife?」 (Shadiverga)
「Aa, you mean this? Somehow this looks like a good item so I bought it.」 (Regis)
I showed him the knife that I purchased.
However, Shadiverga didn’t seem to show much interest in it.
「I had hand over the knife from Din house to you, hadn’t I? Well that one was for display purposes only so I’ll be troubled too if you were to use it.」 (Shadiverga)
「Then just lend me the one father has. That one is likely better than mine.」 (Regis)
I pointed at the knife on Shadiverga’s belt.
As soon as I said that, he concealed it with his hands in panic.
「T-this one’s not allowed! It’s something that I absolutely cannot lose.」 (Shadiverga)
「That isn’t the crest of Din, is it? It doesn’t have a silver sword and a gold shield. That one has…a bronze shield and a red spear? 」 (Regis)
「Aa, this is the crest of Jiruginusu. 」 (Shadiverga)
It was a family name that sounded familiar to me.
Did they have such a stylish crest?
「That belongs to mother’s house isn’t it?」 (Regis)
「That’s right. Though in actual fact it’s no longer around since it has merged with Din house. They used to be a family that became distinguished for their sword and magic.」 (Shadiverga)
I have heard of that in the past.
Walkins used to boast about it before.
Come to think of it, the relationship between Walkins and Sefina seemed to be pretty good.
The distance of their relationship must be so close to the extent of them always clinging to each other.
I wonder if there were any reasons to their dependence on each other.
「I see. Then it’s likely not good to receive something from a noble family of an old root.」 (Regis)
「Yeah. Houses like Horgos that has long history has prejudice against the house of Jirgens.」 (Shadiverga)
Certainly Durf was also disrespecting the house of Jirgens.
That could only mean that the verbal abuse thrown was not due to his bad personality.
Umm, the roots are deep.
「Indeed. Te– then why is that knife with father? 」 (Regis)
「It’s an oath. 」 (Shadiverga)
「An oath? 」 (Regis)
Those were exaggerated words.
However, it seemed to be a solemn oath.
「Aa. Between Din and Jiruginusu house. A mutual exchange of knives was done so both families will prosper together. 」 (Shadiverga)
「In other words, Din’s knife is currently with mother then. 」 (Regis)
「Yes yes. The one Regis has now is a replica of the one Sefina is holding. 」 (Shadiverga)
Hmm. Mine was really well-made too.
It doesn’t look like an imitation at the very least.
I guess this could mean that the craftsman’s ability is amazing.
From the look of even the fake one, you could already tell how refine is Sefina’s actual knife.
「By the way have you taken proper measures against assassination? 」 (Regis)
「I don’t think there are even any reason in targeting the life of a noble like mine. 」 (Shadiverga)
「Considering the duel that we will be having, it’s not surprising for him to send someone to kill you. Since if father dies suddenly, the other party will win by default. 」 (Regis)
「I know. That is why I am trying not to leave the house as much as I can. I will not be going outside when Walkins is moving around. 」 (Shadiverga)
Then it’s good.
In truth, it is not really good for me to go outside too.
There might be a chance that they will kidnap me and hold me hostage.
Well in order of priority, they would be aiming for Shadiverga first.
「Are you done with the procedure of the duel? 」 (Regis)
「Of course it is. It’s done perfectly. 」 (Shadiverga)
「What did you write under the column, “Person Dueling”?」 (Regis)
「I wrote 『Head of Din family』. The other party wrote 『The house of Horgos’ representative』. 」 (Shadiverga)
「As I thought they wrote representative. Well that’s to be expected. 」 (Regis)
The other side must have known that our side will be Shadiverga.
From an objective point of view, the possibility of our side winning is low.
Since the opponent would be employing skilled mercenaries from the private army.
If someone were to ask if Shadiverga has any chance of winning, all I could do is just tilt my head in reply.
Well since the person himself said he will be going out so he might have expected that.
Though if it were me, I would have considered the possibilities of other options.
「Well you should be even more wary of any possible assassination attack now. 」 (Regis)
「You’re right. Since Durf is not someone whom we can compliment for playing fair.」 (Shadiverga)
When someone is blinded by power, even their heart will end up being corrupted.
Durf is also those kinds of people.
However greed will always give rise to enemies in various places.
Specifically it might give rise to someone like a certain magic shop manager who used to be a mercenary.
「Aa. There are three days left to the duel. Brace yourself for it. 」 (Regis)
「I’ll do so even without you telling me. 」 (Shadiverga)
That answer is good enough for me.
There isn’t much left that I could say anymore. I hate being long-winded too.
I’ll let Shadiverga handle it himself.
This is the time you should be showing your manliness, Shadiverga-dono.
When I went to the servant’s room, I found Walkins drinking tea there.
Not only Shadiverga but Walkins too? You guys must really love tea.
As for me, I preferred those unhealthy carbonated drinks.
That polysaccharides in the drink has become my habit.
Although it delivers cavities directly at the same time.
Is it the principle of the one who prepares this mansion to not spend so much money on a servant’s room?
There is only a chair here.
It couldn’t be helped so I ended up sitting on the bed nearby.
Since the distance was not far from Walkins, there wasn’t any problem.
「Walkins, you.. 」 (Regis)
「What is it, Regis-sama? 」 (Walkins)
「Have you fought against the empire army several times before? 」 (Regis)
「…..Ee. How did you know? 」 (Walkins)
She answered it easily.
I had initially thought she might hesitate before replying.
Since the response given was uninteresting, I tried faking a surprised look.
「Eh, you’re admitting it casually, aren’t you? 」 (Regis)
「I’m just answering since you’re asking. Just the outline of it. 」 (Walkins)
Walkins said unflinchingly.
Apparently it wasn’t really a secret that she wanted to hide.
「Were you hired by the Magic Association? 」 (Regis)
「I was just lending my power. I was already working for Madam in Jiruginusu’s house at that time. 」 (Walkins)
「Fumu. Then I have a question. Walkins, how old are you? 」
(Rinkage: Tsk tsk…Never ask a lady her age)
*pakyatto* At that moment, I heard a strange sound.
The source of sound seemed to be coming from the cup Walkins was holding.
Upon closer look, I noticed that the handle from the cup was broken off.
This is bad. Suddenly a sense of foreboding washed over me.
「Regis-sama…. 」 (Walkins)
Walkins slowly stood up, her body swayed in a slow motion.
She moved along with a slow and uncertain step as she came closer to me.
For some reason, her face was flushed.
A devil-ish smile flashed across her face.
When she came close enough, she suddenly grabbed my shoulder—
「O-Oi…? 」 (Regis)
Then I was pushed onto the bed in my present state.
The light source was blocked off by Walkins’ body so the room suddenly appeared dark to me.
Her silver hair was swaying mysteriously.
She lowered her warm body onto mine, sticking close to me.
I could feel her warm breath on my ear.
「Wa…..lkins? 」 (Regis)
I couldn’t move.
Her mysterious charm captivated me. I tried moving away but my body wasn’t listening to me.
At the same time, I could feel a chill running down my back.
This is a feeling similar to when you’re facing a predator.
—-I’m going to be eaten.
My instinct was giving me a strong warning.
A warm throbbing sensation was transmitted to me from Walkins’ soft body.
Her mouth drew closer to my ear, then—
She bit me—!
She suddenly bit my ear.
Walkins lifted her body from the bed.
As if there was something amusing, she started laughing as she held onto her sides.
「Ahaha, ahahahahahahaha!! 」 (Walkins)
「W-what is it? 」 (Regis)
「Are you possibly, expecting it? 」 (Walkins)
Walkins stole a glance at my face.
The memory of her approach earlier suddenly flashed across my mind again.
I became tensed reflexively and the words got clogged up in my throat.
「Nna–!? No…..that was. 」 (Regis)
「You should give that a thought only once you’ve grown up a little. 」 (Walkins)
Yeah true. I was about to nod agreeing to her but I don’t think that she’s in the position to preach me about it either.
She kept making fun of people.
I felt like a fool for even half expecting it.
Please do not toy around with someone’s pure heart
Well, I don’t have any feeling of lust in my present state anyway.
「Good grief. That’s a seriously nasty prank. 」 (Regis)
「It’s a punishment for asking a lady something strange. Please reflect on it. 」 (Walkins)
「Why should I reflect on it? 」 (Regis)
That seemed like a really unreasonable request.
Walkins smiled mischievously.
「You shouldn’t ask a lady her age. 」 (Walkins)
「But you just said you will be answering it a while ago—」 (Regis)
「Just an outline of it. Age is an exception. 」 (Walkins)
What the heck.
Then wouldn’t all the inconvenient questions be exceptions?
That was what I thought for a split second but all defensive measures taken were originally something like that.
I was completely deceived by her.
「So why do you want to know my age? 」 (Walkins)
「Well it’s about the incident today. Someone who is running a magic shop said that she was saved a decade ago. 」 (Regis)
「By whom? 」 (Walkins)
「By Walkins. 」 (Regis)
As I said so, Walkins placed her finger on her forehead as if she was deep in thoughts.
Did she suddenly start recalling various things? Or she was currently troubled since she wasn’t able to recall anything?
「Based on her explanation, it happened when the Imperial observer force clashed with the Empire on the frontier. 」 (Regis)
「Aa, so it was at that time. Come to think of it, I think I might have or might have not helped a mercenary who was paralysed with fear at one point. I remembered she was still really young. 」 (Walkins)
「Oi, it’s really ambiguous. 」 (Regis)
「I do not have the pleasure of looking around every places when I’m on the battlefield. At any rate, what’s on my mind was just to finish off the enemies before my eyes. 」 (Walkins)
That is certainly true.
So that was the reason she said 「Is that what you should be asking at a time like this?」 when Edgar asked for her name.
The empire army seemed strong.
「I see. So that young mercenary at that time has now opened a magic shop here in the Imperial City. 」 (Walkins)
「She really admires Walkins and started pursuing her career in magic after that. 」 (Regis)
「Hearing it makes me feel happy. If fate allows it there might be possibility that we will meet. 」 (Walkins)
「The other party would really want to meet you too. 」 (Regis)
I see. As I thought, the person that Edgar was looking for was Walkins.
You seemed to be making appearance at various places.
I was initially wondering why she sometimes frequented the Magic Association. So I guess that was the story.
This conversation is over.
There was something else that I need from Walkins.
「By the way, will you teach me one of the magic from the Expert Edition today? 」 (Regis)
「……..Hmm. Well, it’ll be alright if the magic consumption is small. 」 (Walkins)
「It’ll be fine. This is a slightly special one. The maintenance is still hard regardless. 」(Regis)
I showed Walkins the magic book as I said so.
This was not the book I purchased a while ago.
This is an Expert Edition before the revision was done and consisted of completely different context.
It was something I brought from home.
There are still old Expert Edition magic spells remaining in this book even after the revision was done to this date.
When I was reading it previously, I found something that seemed to be usable.
What was it that was useful you say? They were unusual but pretty effective trick spells. Overall it’s an exciting magic.
「What is this? 」 (Regis)
「……This, it will be really difficult to learn this one. It’s a special magic that can be used to evade even a skilled wizard. Unfortunately I do not approve of this magic. There is a possibility that it might cause damage to the mind. 」 (Walkins)
She explained the danger in various ways.
However I do not have the intention to change my decision.
「That’s just fine. Then I’ll just need to twist its nature isn’t it? There shouldn’t be any other magic that is more distorted than this one existing in this world.」 (Regis)
As I thought, danger and magic go hand in hand.
Walkins did not approve of it readily too.
But I shouldn’t pull back here.
She will be able to understand it if I show her my determination.
「Please. It’s absolutely necessary. 」 (Regis)
「Even when it’ll still take a few days if it is done intensely? 」 (Walkins)
「Is that so? Then I’ll just keep at it till bed time from now on. And I’ll invest my time in it tomorrow and the day after tomorrow too.」 (Regis)
On saying so, I noticed that it will actually be a considerably tight schedule.
That said, I will not be able to get much learning done if I don’t do that much at the very least.
「So you’re serious, isn’t it? Will you throw in the towel in the midst of the training? 」 (Walkins)
「No I will not. Don’t look down on my perseverance. 」 (Regis)
「Yes, I understand. Then let’s get started now. 」 (Walkins)
I nodded in agreement.
Alright! As I thought Walkins is someone understanding.
As one would expect from a hyper maid.
She’s an existence worthy to be called master.
If this magic is usable, I will be able to further extend my strategies.
To prepare myself in case of emergency, should I preserve my power?
I need to prepare myself in various ways for the magic practice.
After that is over, I will be working hard in Walkins’ lesson immediately.
However I finally understood it after giving it a try. This magic is seriously troublesome.
The pose is of course one of them but if I do not make sure the image and chant are perfect, I will not be able to charge the magic.
Certainly, it doesn’t seem likely that I will be able to see the results in a short period of time.
Furthermore, there is a bad point on how the magic is triggered.
It will eat up the caster’s magical power without limitations. It is an outrageous one.
But I can’t complain about it.
It’s just a little longer until the duel.
If Shadiverga is able to perform well then my part will be done.
However, I still feel uneasy regardless.
Durf who likes using underhanded methods still hasn’t done anything yet.
Although there is a possibility that he was looking down on us since Shadiverga will be the one representing us.
I should be on standby in case anything unwanted occurs.
After a few hours of practice, I ended up collapsing and fell asleep as it is.
The moon in the sky appeared to be shining ominously when seen from within the Imperial City’s castle walls.
The duel between the house of Din house and the house of Horgos drew closer.