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The first full chapter after some time.
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Volume 3 Chapter 2: I tried to regain my composure
“Good grief… What were you doing?” [Cecilia]
“Umm… what are you talking about? I don’t know what’s really going on now…” [Youki]
Cecilia stood before me intimidatingly as I sat myself in seiza once I sensed the change in her mood. This scenario seemed pretty familiar to me.
How had it come to this?
I tried to remember the sequence of events that led to this moment.
Ten days ago, my chuuni switch flipped as I was shopping, likely due to accumulated stress. As a result, I wound up giving myself an alias that was taken from a story from somewhere, and accepted A-rank missions as the Magic Knight of Black Lightning. I then proceeded to enthusiastically complete one mission after another, laughing the whole time, until I regained my senses after listening to what Duke said. An overwhelming sense of embarrassment washed over me in that instant, causing me intense feelings of regret which prompted me to run, screaming my lungs out, all the way back to Minerva.
Seeing as I had to somehow report to the guild about my missions, I decided to make my way there today, albeit dispiritedly. However, while I was on my way there, I was suddenly captured, forced into the carriage from Aquarain’s family, brought to the mansion, and guided to this room where Cecilia was angrily waiting for me.
“You don’t understand yet? Magic Knight of Black Lightning, Youki-san.” [Cecilia]
“Ugh… How did you know that it was me?” [Youki]
I had not removed my helmet at all for the past ten days since I thought it would be much cooler to remain as an anonymous, mysterious A-rank adventurer. Looking back at it now, I was nothing but a suspicious looking guy.
“There’s a rumour going around in Miverva about a mysterious A-rank adventurer who appeared out of nowhere by the name of Magic Knight of Black Lightning. So, it was natural that the rumour reached me, too. The moment I heard about it, I knew that the said person is Youki-san.” [Cecilia]
“But, I had properly concealed my face. Even the shape of my body was supposed to be different after I morphed it a little…” [Youki]
Even when I was running amok while in my Magic Knight of Black Lightning disguise, I had always kept that in mind. That was the reason why I went through only partial transformation, changing just the shape of my body to prevent any unwanted rumour about my real identity from spreading around.
“Certainly, based on the rumours, that person is said to have delicate features and slender looking body. There were also some who said that he’s a heroic looking man …But, you can’t deceive me.” [Cecilia] (ED Note: A women’s intuition is scary.)
“No… I mean, that’s what I wanted to know. How did you find out?” [Youki]
“I have not actually seen what you looked like myself, but the appearance of the person from the rumours sounds roughly similar to Youki-san …besides, you’ve given many ‘unique-sounding’ lines to the clients, right?” [Cecilia]
It seemed that those chuuni lines of mine had been circulated in various places… It was hell. Even Cecilia knew about them now. It was undeniable that my chuuni level was at its peak then, but it was still unbearable for such embarrassing lines to have reached the ears of the person I like.
At that point, my mind was seriously on the verge of another breakdown despite the fact that I had just experienced one only the day before.
“Was that the reason why Duke noticed that I am Magic Knight of Black Lightning?” [Youki]
“Did you meet Duke?” [Cecilia]
“The group of knights came upon me when I was subjugating the thieves. He urged me to come to my senses.” [Youki]
“…That’s just like Duke, isn’t it?” [Cecilia]
I was really no match for Duke; I really had to hand it to him. If I had continued running amok at that rate, I would have ended up in a bad situation from which there was no escape. The next time I see Duke, I should treat him to something.
…Even so, it amazed me that she could figure out the identity of Magic Knight of Black Lightning from just that.
“Hold on a second, if Duke was able to figure out that it’s me, then-” [Youki]
“Naturally, Sheik-kun and Happiness-chan are aware of it, too. The two of them were laughing when they heard the rumours…” [Cecilia]
“Those guys…” [Youki]
It looks like I’ll need to have a little talk with them later… No, forget it. I’ll just be rubbing salt into my own wound if I do that now. My mind wouldn’t be able to endure another attack.
“Leaving that aside, do you understand what kind of situation you’re in now?” [Cecilia]
“Eh? No, not really.” [Youki]
It was clearly not the time to be joking around. That was what I thought as I maintained my seiza posture in front of her.
“I should have explained it before, right? About what would happen if you attract too much attention and become famous.” [Cecilia]
“Um… what was that about again?” [Youki]
I did recall being told something like that before, but I couldn’t remember it. I had a feeling it was something pretty important.
“Haven’t I told you that each country has started amassing talented people from everywhere?” [Cecilia]
“Ah… That’s right!” [Youki]
I guessed we did have this conversation before when I first came to this mansion. It was about countries using political marriage to try pull talented people to their side for a war.
“You seem to have recalled it. I don’t want to restrict Youki-san’s freedom too much, but you’re attracting way too much attention. Could you please restrain yourself a bit…” [Cecilia]
What Cecilia said was sound. It would’ve been fine if I was an ordinary A-rank adventurer. However, it was a different story altogether in my case. When I took on A-rank missions, I had not only hidden my face and put on a strange outfit, but I also used an alias. To make matters worse, the rumours circulating in various places about my physique and personality were ambiguous for some reason, making me stand out more – in a bad way.
“I was really a fool this time. I hadn’t considered the consequences and lost control of myself.” [Youki]
“No, I think there are people who were saved by Youki-san through these A-rank missions as well. But you should probably restrain yourself about the Magic Knight of Black Lightning…” [Cecilia]
“Yeah, I’ll definitely not do it again. I’ll accept the guild missions as only Youki after this.” [Youki]
I decided to seal that chuuni outfit at the bottom of the dresser. I should also seal all that happened in the period of ten days deep inside my mind.
Magic Knight of Black Lightning… We’ve known each other for only ten days, but thank you for all you’ve done.
I bade farewell to Magic Knight of Black Lightning in my mind.
“I see… Sorry. I ended up saying all those even though it isn’t my place to interfere in your affair…” [Cecilia]
“No, you don’t need to apologize for it. I was the one who went out of control.” [Youki]
Rather, I was thankful for her advice. She seemed to be worried about me. As I thought, Cecilia is the best.
“I’m happy if you think so… Also, I’ve informed Sheik-kun and Happiness-chan to keep the real identity of Magic Knight of Black Lightning a secret…” [Cecilia]
“T-Thank you. Those guys might blab about it if you had not cautioned them. You’ve helped me out.” [Youki]
Duke aside, those two people might turn it into a laughing matter.
“Also, Sophia-san and mother seemed to have some suspicions about it, but I was able to deceive them somehow.” [Cecilia]
“…It seems that I’ve caused you so much trouble.” [Youki]
“No, I’ve not done much at all. …By the way, do you have an idea if there is anyone else who knew of your identity? If there is, you should tell them to keep it on a hush.” [Cecilia]
“Urm… the only other person is Clayman, I guess. He knew about since he was there from the beginning. I think he’ll keep it a secret for me.” [Youki]
In any case, I still need to turn in the quests as a form of procedure, so I could remind him again at that time.
“Is that so? If it’s him, it should be fine. He doesn’t seem like a bad guy to me. That’s the impression I get when we did our mission together the other day… Above all, he’s Sophia-san’s husband.” [Cecilia]
“Ah, it does seem convincing if you put it that way.” [Youki]
Sophia-san didn’t appear to be the type who would fall for a bad guy. Even though Clayman was a good-for-nothing, he could still complete his work one way or another. It was simply because of his usual lackadaisical attitude that he gave people a bad impression.
“It makes me feel bad for Clayman just saying this, but I have known Sophia-san for a long time.” [Cecilia]
“No, you don’t need to be considerate of Clayman. He only has himself to blame for being lazy most of the time. When I went to the guild to take on guild missions, Clayman shooed me away and asked me to do it at another reception desk.” [Youki]
He urged me to go over there since all the pretty ladies were on that side. It was a nostalgic memory.
“Eh? Did something like that happened?” [Cecilia]
“The person himself might have wanted to laze around usually, but… he’s pretty popular among the employees. His co-workers called on him frequently to help them with their work.” [Youki]
“It’s my first time hearing that… Ah, would you like some tea?” [Cecilia]
“I’d like one! The tea Cecilia makes is delicious. I’m looking forward to it.” [Youki]
“Fufu, I’m happy to hear that.” [Cecilia]
It gave me a sense of joy when I looked at Cecilia from behind as she prepared the tea. I could probably still relieve all my stress even if I discarded my other identity as the Magic Knight of Black Lightning.
After that, I had a chat with Cecilia over a cup of tea. When Happiness, who was on her break, and Sheik, who was free at that time, joined us halfway through, the sounds of laughter in the room went on, unabated.
Once we were done with our pleasant talk, Happiness returned to work, and I decided to go back, too, since I had something to take care of at the guild.
After Cecilia and Sheik saw me off, I made my way to the guild.
If you are reading this on any other place than rinkagetranslation.com, this chapter has been stolen and is neither the most recent or complete chapter.
If you are reading this on any other place than rinkagetranslation.com, this chapter has been stolen and is neither the most recent or complete chapter.
“You know, I just realized it. My sanctuary is unexpectedly close to me.” [Youki]
“Ah, good for you then.” [Clayman]
Clayman seemed disgruntled, for some reason, when I approached his desk. His change in mood occurred the instant he spotted me entering the guild. …Had I done something?
“Well, I have something to tell you…” [Youki]
“I got it, I got it… Sorry, I’ll be away for a while. I’ll be back soon.” [Clayman]
After informing the female receptionist next to him, he pulled me out through the back door and examined the surroundings. Once he had confirmed that no one else was around, he rustled around in his pocket and pulled out a bag.
“This is?” [Youki]
“It’s your reward for the quests you have completed. The remuneration for four A-rank quests is quite a huge sum, right?” [Clayman]
The bag was indeed jingling with money. I was a little excited since I had never received this much of a reward from guild missions before today.
“But why are you giving me the reward in a place like this?” [Youki]
“You’ve caused a storm of rumors. If I had given it to you, as you are when you were at the desk earlier, it would have raised a huge commotion! Just the question of who the Magic Knight of Black Lightning is — I was already flooded with so many of them.” [Clayman]
Clayman heaved a weary sigh. He must have been subjected to a barrage of questions.
“You didn’t reveal that it was me, right?!” [Youki]
“Yeah… that’s because it was said that the mysterious man was someone cool. You’ve also helped me out with the rock eater quest… It might be troublesome, but I gotta keep my promise.” [Clayman]
“I appreciate it. Please help me keep this a secret from now on.” [Youki]
“Well, I’ll keep quiet about it if you prefer it that way…” [Clayman]
I felt relieved upon hearing Clayman’s words. No one else would know the true identity of the Magic Knight of Black Lightning anymore after this. The rumor would gradually die off, too, if I were to keep a low profile… probably. At any rate, the commotion would be resolved after this.
“I really appreciate your help. I’m sorry man, for giving you such a trouble. Well then, see ya…” [Youki]
“Hold it.” [Clayman]
Since I was already done with what I wanted to do and I didn’t feel like accepting any guild mission today, I decided to go home. However, before I could do so, Clayman suddenly grabbed me by my arm.
Did he need anything else from me? Judging from his expression, it didn’t seem like it would be good.
“Um, is there anything else?” [Youki]
“…I have no proof of this, but you’re the only person I could think of who could’ve done it.” [Clayman]
Clayman should’ve known that I hadn’t been around Minerva for ten days, so there was no way I could’ve done whatever he had in mind.
“Hey, do you remember the time when we browsed through the marketplace together?” [Clayman]
“I remember it… But it’s a past that I want to erase, so I thought of sealing that memory away.” [Youki]
If I had not gone to that marketplace, I wouldn’t have found that outfit that started all these. Even though it was due to my accumulated stress, I was still being too high-spirited.
Come to think of it, Clayman was buying a gift for Sophia-san at that time. If I wasn’t mistaken, it should be a cat ear headband… No, that wasn’t it. He had purchased an apron and seasonings from other countries. So, why did that cat ear headband come to my mind? …Ah, I remembered it!
“Did you finally recall something? You slipped something into my bag at that time, right?!” [Clayman]
“…I did.” [Youki]
“As I thought, you’re the one who did it! I kinda figured it out already, but… It’s because of you that…” [Clayman]
Apparently, Clayman had handed the gifts to Sophia-san on the night I left Minerva. It seemed that she was initially pleased when she received the seasonings, but unfortunately, the cat-ear headband got caught with the apron as she took it out and it fell to the ground for both to see. They were stunned at the sight of that headband. However Sophia-san, who had recovered quickly, simply uttered, “Thank you, dear.” But she did so with a concerned look on her face.
“You would’ve preferred it if she had beaten you up like usual?” [Youki]
“Of course! It’s been a long time since she last gave me that kind of look! Even my son was giving me a cold stare!” [Clayman]
I wondered what was going through my mind at that time. I had completely forgotten about it. Anyway, seeing as she had such a reaction, I guessed she didn’t put it on.
“So, did you throw away the headband?” [Youki]
“I couldn’t throw it away even if I wanted to. That thing caught my daughter’s eye so she put it on. It made me recall the stunned looks on my family’s faces every time I looked at the darned thing!” [Clayman]
“She likes it…” [Youki]
Clayman’s daughter is quite a girl. She actually put on the cat ear headband herself… I’d like to meet her.
“…Sigh, I’ll go back to work then.” [Clayman]
“Ah, see you.” [Youki]
And so, the commotion this time finally came to a closure…
“…Ah, there’s something that I had forgotten to say.” [Clayman]
“What now? I’m trying to wrap things up and go home here.” [Youki]
All’s well that ends well. Since I had decided to bury this memory deep inside my mind, this incident should be over. However, just as I was about to go back, Clayman suddenly stopped me.
“Just so you know, you are currently still a B-rank adventurer in the guild. If you’d like to accept A-rank missions, you’ll have to come as Magic Knight of Black Lightning.” [Clayman]
“…Eh? What was that?” [Youki]
I had a feeling that he had just said something unthinkable. If I would like to accept A-rank missions, I would have to come as Magic Knight of Black Lightning? I became stupefied in that instant as my brain couldn’t really process what he just said.
“To tell you the truth, I already got an earful for permitting a newcomer to register as an A-rank adventurer. So, I’m sorry, but it’s not possible to promote the current you to A-rank.” [Clayman]
“No, wait! Hold on a little! It’s a lie, right? So I’m currently still a B-rank adventurer?” [Youki]
“Since you’ve already experienced these A-rank quests yourself, you should understand it. Just because one has the ability, it doesn’t mean that they could handle A-rank quests. Well, you should be promoted once you gain more experience. Just do your best in it.” [Clayman]
Clayman left completely unhelpful advice before returning to the guild.
This time, I’d lost sight of myself and behaved thoughtlessly, but as a result I’ve learned that all my actions lead to consequences in one form or other. …Wait, doesn’t this sound something like a reflective writing?
Such thoughts went through my mind as I stood rooted to the spot. Magic Knight of Black Lightning… It was nothing but a past that I would like to forget, but it didn’t seem to be possible to forget about it.