onsiderable number of people in the store, with some having a peasant chant, while others discussing things with serious looks on their faces.

「What an unusual store.」
「Even on times outside of lunch and dinner, this store is kept open as a place for chatting, you see.
They only serve drinks and light meals during their downtime, but since there’s only a few other places people can relax and chat in, they get quite a lot of customers.」

If I had to describe it, the store feels like a prototype cafe.
Then, if the demand increases, stores that primarily offer drinks and light meals, like how cafés do, might even appear in the future.
As Viviana-san sat down on an open seat, she asked me what I’d like to have.
I just answered with saying a cup of black tea.
It’s not like I’m particularly fond of black tea, but I just thought that it would fit the atmosphere.
Incidentally, while there is black tea, there’s no green tea here.
No coffee as well.
The drinks available are water, black tea, fruit water, and alcohol, so there wasn’t much of a choice to begin with.

After Viviana-san finished ordering, we then started talking as our drinks were served.

「Once again, thank you for responding to my sudden invitation.
I can’t honestly thank you enough.」
「You wanted to talk about something personal, right? 」
But before that, I’ve wanted to ask about this.
Is it true that you picked a fight with Chasse?」
「I didn’t, really.
I was just telling the truth.

Did you perhaps come to challenge what I said?」
「Nope, not really.」

Viviana-san delightedly smiled.
It would’ve been awfully weird if she actually came here for a fight after being so polite with me though.

「In all honesty, even if the four of us attacked you at the same time, you probably wouldn’t get as much as a scratch.
As someone with a handle on sorcery, I’m really interested in your sorcery, so I came to meet with you.」
「What about the others?」
「They should be busy running around right now.
A certain somebody just gave us a huge assignment after all.」
「That’s… quite the trouble.」
「While you’re not quite at fault here, it would be nice to see a bit more sympathy, you know?
Anyhow, I got myself specially exempted to have a personal chat with you as a lone sorcerer.」

The Fool’s Gathering.
If their party is a gathering of people stubbornly focused on a single thing, then I guess what Viviana-san is stubborn about is likely the study of sorcery.
For that reason, seeing Ciel’s, or rather my, barrier had caught her interest.
I can understand her feelings, but the circumstances surrounding the barrier are too unique, and other things like the increasing of magic power via that practically life threatening pill, or the conversion of hair into magic circuits are too irregular that I don’t think these would really serve as good references for her.

「In my opinion, I barely have anything I can teach you, you know?」
「That’s just natural.
It’s unthinkable for sorcerers to simply expose their own secrets after all.
For example, that barrier of yours.
Even after discovering its existence, I still can’t perceive it.
I don’t mind if you don’t want to answer, but when did you defeat your first monster?」
「I was 10 years old at that time.
So about 2 years ago.」
「In that case, this means that your barrier could already work against a Cyclops at that point, right?」
「I can’t deny that.」

For monsters at the level of a Cyclops, every and any attack is meaningless against my barrier.
We already tested this.
I’ve improved the barrier since then, so there’s likely no chance of an attack of that level breaking through at this point.

「As I thought, Chasse and Lucie are still deceived by your appearance.
Just being able to continuously maintain a barrier that can defend against B-class monsters is beyond enough for a sorcerer.
Moreover, you also have the offensive capability to resolve a stampede alone.
I can’t even imagine how much effort you had put in to reach that level at your age.」

If I had to say, it was the Dance Princess’ power that played a large part in resolving the stampede, but since I don’t plan on needlessly giving information, I simply replied with a smile.
In the end, what did Viviana-san really approach us for? Did she come to say that they’ll be monitoring me since I’m dangerous or something?
Still, for some reason, Viviana-san seems to be red in the cheeks and somewhat embarrassed right now.

「I don’t expect you to tell me about your sorcery.
So, I want to ask you to look at my sorcery.
And if you notice something weird about it, please tell me about it.」

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Hearing her words, my eyes blinked in surprise.

How can I describe this, it’s somewhat like how a young baseball player would ask a professional athlete to look at their play.
Ignoring the fact that Viviana-san should be the pro here, making this comparison a bit weird, it seems that her goal was actually to ask a younger girl to teach her about sorcery even if she had to bear her own shame.

Still, Ciel is better than me in the theoretical parts of sorcery though.
And it’s not like I can just tell her to drink a pill that would make her magic power go berserk and turn her hair into magic circuits and such.

「I don’t really mind, but my way of using sorcery is awfully peculiar, so there’s no assurance that what I’ll say would be worthwhile, alright?」
「I don’t mind.」

Considering that she’ll be showing us her sorcery for free, I’m happy to oblige.
Besides, I’m also curious about how our pursuer would act when there’s no people around.
Moreover, I’m interested to see if Viviana-san and our stalker are related to each other, so there’s no reason to decline.

「In that case, shall we go outside?」
「By outside, you mean outside the capital, right? That would be a bit……」

As Viviana-san hesitated to continue, I shot her a gaze of suspicion.
With my eyes fixed on her, Viviana-san raised her hands in resignation.

「Viviana-san, let me ask you again.
What brought you here today?」
「I’m here to guard you.
It is absolutely necessary that we complete our reports and investigations by tomorrow afternoon, but the guildmaster might attempt to harass you in the meantime.
While it seems like this was unnecessary, it’s more relieving on our side if you stayed somewhere we could keep in check.」
「Yet despite that, why did you ask me to see your sorcery then?」

The instant Viviana-san showed hesitance in leaving the capital, my suspicions of her were already cleared.
Still, that part didn’t really make much sense.
Asking me to look at her sorcery practically means that we would have to go outside the capital, in other words, to a lawless land.
If I were to die outside the capital, it could be reported that I was unluckily killed by monsters or thieves, and it’s not really unusual for things to end just like that.

「While it’s true that I’m here to guard you, I really meant it when I said that I asked for a chance to have a chat with you.
As a sorcerer, I thought that I should never let this chance slip by.
But due to that, I suppose I got a bit too excited.」
「And because of this, you didn’t notice that it’ll be necessary to go outside to show your sorcery, correct?」

Viviana-san didn’t give me an answer, but her averted gaze answered me in her place.



Heya~! Another chapter, another new character interaction~! With: Sorcerer Viviana~!

First of all, the first half with Ciel just sleeping was cute~ Particularly with how Ain actually used Ciel’s body because Ciel insisted that she should.
On one hand, Ain wants Ciel to rest; on the other hand, Ciel wants Ain to be more proactive with what she wants.

And then we have Ca-… Viviana.
Now this was also cute, lol.
Imagine a grown lady blushing in embarrassment as she asks a younger girl to teach her, adorable.
She really serves as a nice contrast to our beloved sorcery nut, Carol.
While Carol had no issues with treating Ciel (Ain) as an equal, or more like she just isn’t good at dealing with children, lol; Viviana has a lot more common sense, but is also not above doing what other people would consider to be shameful for the sake of learning.

Well, in short: Carol doesn’t have any ounce of shame in her being (absolutely no offense intended, this is actually a good thing in this context), while Viviana does but is also stubborn enough to disregard it for the sake of learning.
It’s said that you need to be a fool to become wise, and Viviana truly is not afraid of making a fool of herself for the sake of self-improvement.
As expected of someone from a party named Fools’ Gathering.

Meanwhile, it seems like trouble is a-brewin’ once again as Ain detects *yet* another stalker marking them.

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