Today, we arrived at the Hunter Guild Headquarters by ourselves.
Fii-kaasama wanted to come as well, but we convinced her to stay.
It’s not because I hate her or anything, it’s just that kaasama has so much influence.
Being with her would limit our movements.

Actually, rather than that, other people might get overly attentive, just like with yesterday, which would drag on conversations.
While we might already be on her side, we should still fare better alone compared to when Fii-kaasama is with us.

Entering the Hunter Guild, as expected, eyes shifted to Ciel.
This is inevitable.
After all, it’s likely rare for there to be hunters of Ciel’s age at the Hunter Guild Headquarters.

Still, there should be some present.
While hunters coming from the outside are only of B-rank and above, there are hunters that were here in the Central to begin with as well.
It wouldn’t be good if they disallow people already in Central to become hunters, after all.

Also, what kind of guild headquarters would it be if it doesn’t allow the surrounding residents to be hunters.

That’s why there should be some present.
In particular, some children who have hunter parents might even be taught how to become a hunter from an early age.
That aside, I wonder what the Central hunters would be hunting?

While monsters exist everywhere in this world, they’re more frequent in places untouched by people and, in the case of Central, kaasama should have a complete grasp on this place, I imagine.
In other words, she should be able to control the monster population and make it so that monster attacks basically never happen in Central.
With that in mind, there should be less of a demand for hunters.

However, there’s still a lot of hunters here at the headquarters, befitting its size.

It’s as if Fii-kaasama isn’t even thinking of controlling them, and while it’s possible that she’s just leaving this to the hunters, as someone who walked here from the national border, I don’t believe that it’s as simple as that.
It was Ciel who did the actual walking, though.

『Ain, is there something wrong?』
『No, nothing at all.』
『Really? Okay then, I guess.』

Called by Ciel, I stopped my line of thought.
Whatever the answer is, I can just ask kaasama or our hunter acquaintances later on.
For now, we need to settle the A-rank qualification thing from yesterday.

Ciel headed to the reception desk and had someone there call the guild master, or I guess it’s grand master since he’s the leader of the headquarters.

At first, the receptionist was confused but after hearing the name Cielmer, something seemed to have clicked, as she had Ciel wait while she headed towards the back.
It looks like this information has been spread without any issue.

Though, there’s no way the staff isn’t informed about either Fii-kaasama child or a person likely to come to the Hunter Guild in the near future.

As I started to think this might take a while, 「Aren’t you Cielmer-san?」 someone from the back, where the guild staff are, called out to me.
Looking there, I see a familiar face surprised to see Ciel.

「Celia, long time.」
「…… Yes, it’s been a while.
I didn’t expect us to be reunited so soon.」

Long time……? Well, yes, that is the right way to answer but this should practically be their first time meeting for Ciel, so it’s somewhat strange.
Hearing Ciel’s reply, Celia-san lost her words for a moment before responding while having a slightly strained smile.
Since Ciel is speaking instead of me and we have a vastly different way of speaking, perhaps it’s giving her some weird conclusions?
Even if that’s the case, I’m really impressed that she’s continuing on as if there’s nothing wrong.

The only reason her smile feels strained is because we’ve been with Celia-san for some time, too.
So I imagine that people who just met her would see absolutely no difference.

「She’s here in Central.
She’ll likely come if I call her, shall I?」
「If possible.」
But before anything else, Cielmer-san.
I’m sincerely sorry about the Hunter Guild.」

To Celia-san lowering her head, Ciel gave a short reply.
In my opinion, Celia-san doesn’t really need to apologize but I suppose it’s her way of drawing the line.
An adult response, I suppose.
I find that admirable.

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Raising her head, Celia-san used some sort of magic item and seems to be contacting someone.
She talked about calling Carol-san, so I suppose it’s related to that.
After operating the magic item, Celia-san turned to Ciel once again.

「There is a lot I want to talk about but for now, I’m really glad to be able to see you again, Cielmer-san.」
「I want to talk with you too, Celia.
But maybe it’s better together with Carol.」
「That’s true.
I’m sure Carol is looking forward to see you as well.」

『Ciel, there’s something I want to ask, may we switch for a moment?』
『I don’t mind? I wonder what it is.』

Since it’s a good opportunity to ask about what I’ve been wondering earlier, I asked to switch and Ciel gladly complied.

I can retain Ciel’s colors if I suppress my divine energy, so she wouldn’t know from our appearance that we switched.
And since I’m taking over from Ciel, I mimic Ciel’s speech.

「By the way, how do hunters work at Central?」
「Right, it’s your first time here at Central, isn’t it?
While Central does have similar requests seen in other countries, the major difference is-…… 」
「What? You came here without even knowing that?」

Ah, okay.
I completely forgot the usual pattern.
There was a prideful voice of a boy.
While it might be my fault for displaying ignorance, if he’s paying attention to the previous conversation, he should know what Ciel’s rank is.
Him not realizing this is just telling of his capacity…… in my opinion.

『I’m sorry.
Because of me, it seems like we’ve gotten into something troublesome.』
『It’s not Ain’s fault at all.
It’s those coming to pick a fight who’s bad.
Besides, if it’s too annoying, we can just fight them off!』

Ciel cheerfully answered but… is it fine to choose this method now?
Up until now, to avoid being discovered by Rispelgia due to standing out, we’ve tried to settle things as peacefully as possible.
However, we don’t need to worry about that anymore.
What it means to pick a fight with an A-class hunter, the boy cutting in the conversation should know well.
Showing him some pain for his unlucky choice might be good.

「Don’t ignore me.」

From a mocking tone, his voice changed to an angered one.
That reminds me, I didn’t really think about it much but since I know his approximate position from detection, I haven’t even turned my face to him yet.
Didn’t something like this happen before? Just as I thought that 「She isn’t someone the likes of you can simply lay a hand on.
If you prefer not to die, pull back that hand of yours.」 I heard an unfamiliar female voice.

Turning to the voice, a blooming young lady with bright red hair, a hat like that of a witch’s, and upturned eyes was pointing at the boy.
The boy —— who seems to be not even twenty —— looks at her, turns completely pale, bows deeply, and 「I’m sorry!」 then leaves the guild in a dash.

「I was fine.」
「I know full well that it wasn’t a problem for you.
Looking at your barrier, it’s easy to guess that you’re a B-rank hunter.」

It seems like this lady isn’t underestimating Ciel from her appearance.
Well, she has properly gauged the strength of the spherical barrier I’ve consciously put up, so I guess it’s just natural.
Still, I wonder why she’s confident that Ciel is B-rank?

I noticed her presence through detection, but it didn’t seem like she overheard Ciel and Celia-san’s conversation.
In other words, all she could do was guess Ciel’s rank from my barrier.
However, people don’t normally use their full strength in these sorts of situations.

Because of that, I should be seen as at least, at minimum, or more than B-rank.
Or at least, that’s what I think.

「So you’re the record breaker for the youngest to reach B-rank Viviana was talking about?」

I see, she’s related to Viviana-san, huh.
Viviana-san does know that Ciel became B-rank and if we’re talking about B-rank hunters of Ciel’s age, Ciel’s likely to be the only one.
And she wouldn’t have expected Ciel to be A-rank so soon.

「You’re, Viviana’s acquaintance?」
「Ah! I haven’t introduced myself yet, haven’t I?」

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For some reason, this person is really dramatic.
Is she the type that isn’t satisfied unless she stands out?
Her movements are noble-ish, or rather…… like, she gives the impression of a high-handed daughter of a noble all grown up.
And for the 「Scorching Hot Princess」 I hear from the surroundings, that’s probably her nickname.

Speaking of nicknames, I remember Carol-san had 「Ice Witch」 but if I’m not misremembering, Carol-san didn’t really like it.
It looks like it’s the opposite for her, she seems to enjoy being called by her nickname.
Ice and scorching heat are extreme opposites and, from their personalities, they probably wouldn’t get along too well.

Still, I missed the chance to return Ciel’s body.

「I am Friere Iazick.
A B-rank hunter called by others as the Scorching Hot Princess.
My relationship with Viviana, correct? I am her mentor!」

Resting her palm on her chest, the Scorching Hot Princess Friere-san introduced herself.
With her outfit, she really stands out.
She said that she’s Viviana-san’s mentor but I’m honestly amazed that she went to study under this person.
Or maybe Friere-san is simply an excellent teacher?

「I’m Cielmer.」
「Cielmer, is it? I no longer care about the small fry from earlier, can I ask you of a request?」
「Could you have a mock battle with me?」

『So she says, what should we do?』
『I don’t mind either way.
If I would act like a mirror, then does that mean I can accept it?』
『In this case, she doesn’t quite have good will nor ill intent…… I would say it’s more curiosity?
Ciel, are you curious about her?』
『If I have to be honest, not really.
But so I get interested in people, maybe it’s better to accept.
What do you think, Ain?』
『Then I guess we should accept it.
If you still aren’t interested afterwards, let’s take that result as a learning experience regardless.』
『Okay, understood,』

With the discussion settled 「The conditions?」 I urged her to continue.

「Thank you for accepting.
First of all, the reward.
How about 50 gold coins, regardless of the outcome?」
「For a B-rank request, too much.」
But I consider the experience to be worth this price.
The battle rules will be that of the usual hunter rules.
No killing allowed and try to keep large injuries to the minimum.
The opponent’s surrender or incapacity to continue, and/or the landing of a solid blow will determine the victor.
How about that?」
The witness?」
「Celia, I’d like to ask this of you.」

Friera-san requested for Celia-san, but she only replied with a troubled look.
I’m sure Celia-san has her own work to do and doesn’t she need someone to formally process this request too?
As expected, she has the uninhibited boldness of a noble daughter.
「I’ll do it.」 Suddenly, I heard a sigh-mixed reply coming from behind.

Seeing who it was, Friere-san glared sharply at her.

「What are you here for, Ice?」
「I have business with that girl.
Been a while, hasn’t it? Cielmer.」
「Carol, long time.」

Since she talked to me, I curtly replied.
As expected, Carol-san was surprised as well, but she immediately showed a smile.

「I’ll have a long, thorough conversation with you later.
For now, I’d be refreshing if you beat up the red one there for me.」
「Are you selling me a fight? I’m not buying it.」
「Yeah, yeah.
You’re fighting with that girl, right? It’s a great opportunity, so go ahead and suffer a complete utter loss.」
「Since you’re saying that much, then I’ll show you a decisive victory.
Don’t come crying later!」

Right after Friere-san declared so, she turned to me 「That being the case, if you want to blame anyone, blame it on Ice over there.」 and said so.


Hiya~! We’re back at the guild again and, as it is usually, there’s someone picking a fight… but unlike the usual, we’ve got someone who is giving due credit and respect to our princesses!

Also, first of all: the pronunciation of Friere’s name.
Ff-rii-rEH (e)Ya-zii-Kh.
The (e) isn’t that emphasized.
Also, as you can tell, I don’t know the phonetic thingamajigs that much, ehe.

After several tens of chapters, we finally got to meet Celia and Carol again~! Hooray! But in Celia’s case, it seems like Ciel’s silent demeanor in contrast with Ain’s usual tone is confusing, and worrying , her a bit.
Understandable, hearing everything that happened on the way to Central.
Our girls had a really hard time, and all the mess some of the guild people have started with them did the opposite of helping.
She really cared for them, or just Ain acting on behalf of Ciel, back then and is obviously emotionally invested on their troubles.
Which isn’t really good for a receptionist of people in a deadly line of work, but I digress.
Carol, on the other hand, is pretty giddy to hear whatever explanation Ain has for her, since she was hinted about the possibility of two souls, and this extreme change in tone basically proves it’s validity, although it actually is just Ain copying Ciel.

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Now, to our new character.
She’s a nice breath of fresh air compared to the other challengers in the past.
This time, it’s not a fight to simply beat down an opponent or to settle an argument, it’s (hopefully) a learning experience for both sides (just like with Carol’s, now that I think about it).
And Friere’s actually making this an official request for them.
And, most important of all, it’s not from someone hostile.
We had a hostile upstart in the first half, but our scorching hot lady over here shooed him before he could make a fatal mistake.
Now, this isn’t actually our first time meeting her, she first appeared unnamed, only called “teacher” by Viviana.
Nicknamed Scorching Hot Princess for her flamboyant and dramatic demeanor, she’s also hot in a figurative sense, lol.
It’ll be fun to see how their fight goes.

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