Suimei takes Felmenia to his base of operations, to his house hidden at the end of an alleyway. He opens the door and urges her inside. To his surprise, Lefille is the only one there. Jilbert appears to have already gone home.
Lefille notices them and steps forward. "Welcome home, Suimei-kun."
Suimei raises his hand as he returns the greeting. "Yep, I'm back." The last time someone greeted him like that was a long time ago. They ended when his father passed away. That realization makes him feel that he's being selfishness.
Suimei shuts his eyes for a few moments before opening them again. There are two people staring at him. Lefille, his friend who looks like a small girl, feigns ignorance despite being confused.
Felmenia is baffled. "Suimei-dono, is this child who you were referring to earlier….?"
"Suimei-kun, do you know this girl? Please, introduce us."
"Ah, that's right. Starting with— the spellcaster who summoned me to this world, Aster Kingdom's former Imperial Court Magisterium, Felmenia Stingray. She specifically came here from Metal to lend me her strength."
Lefille's eyes open with surprise upon hearing Felmenia's name. "Oh! You mean that Aster Kingdom's renowned White Flame, Felmenia Stingray-dono?"
As Felmenia nods, Suimei continues his introduction. "She is Lefille Graphis. We met and became comrades near the Nelfila border."
"You became… comrades?"
Felmenia is a bit confused. Well, that's natural considering Lefille right now is a small child. He'll just keep the details vague until she returns to her original body. "Well, a lot of things happened."
"I am Lefille Graphis."
"Yes, please treat me well." Felmenia shakes hands with Lefille. Once their exchange is complete, she turns towards Suimei. "Suimei-dono, Lefille appears to have a high level of refinement. Is she by chance-"
"Oh, you noticed? Lefille is a respectable Ojou-sama."
"As I suspected. Her conduct completely gives away her noble birth." Felmenia gives Lefille a smile.
Lefille, taking her small body into account, acts shy and responds with a reserved tone. "Aren't you also a noble, Felmenia-dono? You don't have to be so formal with me."
"No, in your case, you appear to hail from a foreign country. Proper etiquette must also be observed when interacting with the children of foreign nobility. Please, do not worry yourself over this matter, Lefille."
Suimei recalls that back in the castle, Felmenia was polite to the maids and guards. She remained courteous to everyone except her enemies. Her current behavior derives straight from that respectful mindset. The only difference is that she has adapted her tone for interacting with children.
Lefille then tugs on Suimei's sleeve. "He- hey, Suimei-kun, is this alright?"
"What do you mean?"
Lefille leans closer to Suimei and lowers her voice. "….Well, Felmenia-dono will also be staying here, right?"
"….No, Felmenia has lodgings at an inn. Or so I believe?"
"N- No, that's no good. It would be great…"
"Ne- Nevermind! Don't think anything about what I just said! Two people on their own is perfect!"
Lefille's expression is a mixture of anxiousness, relief, and impatience.
Felmenia, however, stares at Suimei with a dejected expression. "Suimei-dono, perchance…"
"Now you? What's wrong?"
"You will not allow it?"
Suimei doesn't understand what she means. "What are you talking about?"
Felmenia puts on a pained expression. "…Nothing, I just have yet to earn your trust. Suimei-dono, you remind me of Yuusha-dono."
"What do you mean?"
"This place is too empty."
Suimei thinks over Felmenia's words for a while, but gives up, unable to deduce the hidden meaning.
— ★ Cute ★ Star ★ conga ★ line ★ —
Felmenia and Lefille develop a much warmer relationship with each other than Suimei anticipated. It wasn't because they had good first impressions of one another, but because they're both diligent people with strong senses of justice. Their similar thought processes helped them open up to one another at a rapid pace.
Their friendship doesn't worry Suimei. When they're together, they create a gentle atmosphere. From Lefille's perspective, she gains a companion familiar with the current world's magic. This is a godsend for her because, much to her frustration, she was unable to attend the Magic Academy. However, thanks to Suimei's request, Felmenia now teaches her magic. Although, sometimes, Lefille confronts Felmenia with a warning—No, that's only his imagination.
Two days after Felmenia joined them, Suimei's group takes a trip to the Adventurer's Guild's Twilight Pavilion office within the Empire. Since after Rajas's defeat to until now, he never bothered to report his actions. He narrates a harmless outline of his encounter with Rajas and the mazoku army to lady behind the reception desk. He then goes through a few more formalities afterwards to finish his business.
"…. Understood, congratulations on surviving. Everyone in this branch has heard about that situation in Aster. What happened to the merchant caravan and everyone affiliated is really unfortunate.
"It truly is. I apologize for the delay in my report." Suimei bows his head to the receptionist. Even though the assault lead by Rajas forced him to abandon his escort task midway through, he was still a member of the party and had a responsibility to report their deaths. Circumstance didn't allow him the ability to do so, but now that he has, he feels as though a load is being lifted from his shoulders.
"No, your situation can't be helped. Having been able to arrive safely is good enough. Yakagi-san, we offer you our full support in regards to this situation, so please don't hesitate to ask."
Suimei, to the receptionist offering the Twilight Pavilion's future care, says, "Thank you very much." He then turns and rejoins Lefille and Felmenia at the table. Lefille, holding a porcelain cup of grape juice with both hands, gives off a feeling of calmness with her slow, deep, breaths. Felmenia destroys the image by looking around the room.
He informs them their business is finished by raising his hand. Then, upon pulling out a chair and sitting down, Felmenia makes a worried expression and asks, "Is this alright?"
"Hmm? Is it alright?" Suimei scrunches his nose as he repeats the question.
Lefille explains, "Reporting in. We could hear you and you gave a very detailed report. It was a lot more descriptive than expected. Don't you think it'll be a problem once Hadrias finds out you're still alive?"
"You think so…? From what I understood, didn't that guy only used me as a decoy because it was a good plan? He doesn't actually have a reason to want me dead. Besides, I never thought I was in any danger to begin with."
Felmenia says, "Certainly, Duke Hadrias would have never enacted such a plan if Rajas had not appeared. From the Duke's perspective, Suimei-dono is a powerless person who happens to be friends with the Yuusha."
Lefille puts down her grape juice while saying, "True, but wouldn't him not knowing be more advantageous for us? If he isn't aware of us, then he won't be able to get in our way. Doesn't this place us in more danger?"
She has a point. Keeping their status as unknown does come with some advantages. Unlike the Empire, Klant City can be entered with an alias. Hadrias probably never realized he was there. They would never have to worry about being manipulated again by keeping their status as unknown.
As Lefille said, Suimei may have placed a wall in front of himself by announcing his presence. He, however, has already weight the merits against the demerits— "Either way, I want him to reach out to us. That'll give us the opportunity to provoke him. If he wants to meddle with us, then he's free to do so."
To those fearless words, Suimei adds, "That'll give us an idea to his goals."
Felmenia says, "Finding a way to put a check on him would be great. Even His Majesty finds controlling Duke Hadrias difficult…"
"That can't be helped. That's the inherit flaw of feudalism." Suimei takes a breath as he finishes explaining how he wants to handle the situation with Hadrias. Next is to discuss their future plans.
From behind him speaks a clear voice. "—Excuse me, mind if I have a moment?"
"Do you mean us?" Suimei turns around as he answers and comes across a handsome, young man, around his age. He has blond hair and blue eyes. His pale skin is reminiscent of those hailing from Scandinavia. The pigment isn't too thin, but just right. His features lie in a direction opposite of Reiji's; the word, "beautiful" exists only for him. His clothes, however, are different from what is worn in the empire. They could even be considered exotic.
The various people in the room begin murmuring among themselves. Suimei guesses, It's because he spoke to us.
"Sorry for being so abrupt. My name is Elliot Austin. As for my lineage— saying it myself feels a bit off, but you'll understand if I say I'm the one known as "Yuusha," right?"
The chairs sat on by Suimei's party clatter as they stand at Elliot's abrupt introduction.
"And she is my companion, a priestess from Salvation Church."
At Elliot's introduction, the young woman next to him lowers her hood to reveal a head of braided, green hair. Despite her expression being stiff from nervousness, she raises the hems of her skirt for a graceful curtsy. "Please, call me Christa."
That's when Elliot shifts his sight towards Lefille. Recognition flashes across his face upon seeing her. "Judging from your expression, I can assume you understand, right?"
Lefille quivers from shock as she says, "Impossible… you're from the oracle."
Elliot, in consideration to Lefille's unease, presents her with a refreshing smile. "That's right. As directed by the Goddess Alshna's oracle, I've come to greet you."
The beginning of trouble.
T/N: Looks like the discrepancies between the WN and LN will be stopping for now. But, see? Don't you think starting my translations from chapter 35 was worth it? Bow before my persistence! Muahahahahaha!
Anyway, looks like the chapters will be returning to normal length, about 8-9 pages, on the next release. That will probably, hopefully not, will be fought against, don't hold your breath, slow down these updates. But hey, every release is another step forward!
One last note, I've been seeing the word, "Neppu" along with a cat picture lately. Where did that come from? Did I miss another latest trend update? Someone, please enlighten me.