Two as One Princesses
CHAPTER 72: ESTOQUE AND PARTING
As the rain let up, we approached the fallen wyverns and saw their green bodies now charred black.
As Ciel called down lightning onto these wyverns, if things go well, it might be possible for her to be eventually capable of using lightning sorcery.
After confirming their death, the bodies were put inside of our magic bag.
Then, scanning the surrounding area closely, I see that despite the fact that the rain was heavy enough to take wyverns down, the ground was only muddied and barely sustained damage.
As the forest spirit that came along with us smiled in reply when I directed my gaze at her, this is probably their doing.
Since, by nature, using the Dance Princess would generally cause increased collateral damage, I’d be really grateful if they do more of these sorts of aftercare.
As she’s likely capable of hearing me anyway, I gave her my thanks without borrowing Ciel’s body.
「This should be the last of them, right?」
『Since this is only a part of the stampede, flying to the capital might be the better option.』
「Are there no other flying monsters?」
『Even if there are, it should still be less bothersome than traveling on land.
The stampede seems to be large-scale after all.』
「In that case, let’s continue on after a short break then.」
Perhaps feeling exhausted from the wyvern battle, Ciel said so before heading to the area that isn’t muddy and wet.
「Still, I wonder why they came our way?」
『Maybe it was because we were in the sky?
Perhaps the wyverns saw the sky as their own territory and with them being stirred up by the stampede, it might have caused them to attack whatever’s in the sky.』
「The sky is my domain and yet how bothersome of them.」
『I agree, there’s probably nobody more fitting of the sky as you are, Ciel.』
After all, she is named after the sky.
As we joked to each other, we then rested for a while.
Within the cloud of dust being raised below us are a swarm of monsters charging onwards.
I’m sure that even if we fall into them, Ciel likely wouldn’t receive as much as a scratch.
However, that’s only for Ciel’s case; I have no idea if the hunters fighting for the capital would end up alright.
None of a low-rank hunter’s usual prey, being goblins, slimes, horned rabbits, and the like, are present.
And from our position, we couldn’t see any wolves as well.
What we see a lot of are orcs and ogres.
Of the stronger monsters, cyclops.
While there were no animal-based monsters, more powerful-looking varieties of each of them were present.
Since the stampede Ciel resolved alone back at Sannois is incomparable to this one, it certainly does seem that resolving this would take a long time.
Still, since it looks like the low-ranked monsters are being overrun and trampled to death by the higher-ranked monsters behind them, it’s unlikely that every monster we see here would actually reach the royal capital.
As the capital came into view, I could see that there’s an open area around the gates.
It seems like they have set their defenses in a way that will stop the monsters from coming near the gates.
On top of the capital walls were people using bows and sorcery to attack monsters approaching it.
As we were informed, there appeared to be a powerful person fighting on the ground as I can feel their powerful magic power.
Since there’s a place with clearly less monsters around, the individual in question is probably there.
As it’ll be bad if we get seen, we took a detour to enter the capital and landed on top of an adequate rooftop.
Likely since the stampede is still ongoing, there’s little traffic present but it’s still hectic.
The people or division in charge of eliminating the monsters are all busy, but everybody else are probably behaving inside their homes.
And as for those that have money, they might have already escaped the capital.
If possible, I’d prefer that we discreetly complete this request, but where we are heading for is the place that’s busy in the capital even now, the Hunter Guild.
While I’d like to keep Ciel’s face hidden, since our safety is assured within the Hunter Guild, it might be better if it’s visible.
『While we’ve finally gotten this far, going to the guild is still troublesome. Ah, please turn right on the next path.』
「We’ve already gotten this far, so why not…….
is not good, isn’t it? Is this the one you were talking about?」
I won’t say that it’s not good, but it’ll be better to remember that finishing things because it’s a waste not to do so is not always the best choice.
This time, it’s issue of my personal feelings and the magic contract requiring us to do it, though.』
「But in exchange, we can immediately finish our task, right?」
While using detection to inform Ciel about the paths without people, we continued our idle talk.
While it’s not as if problems occur every time at the Hunter Guild, since a big problem has already occurred here, I just can’t help but feel that something will happen.
As we approached the Hunter Guild while making detours, the place appeared to be hectic as anticipated.
Likely assigned to as logistics support, the low-ranked hunters—or people that appeared to be so—move around following the instructions of the guild staff.
There are also people wrapped in bandages running around among them, as well as people with stretchers heading towards the direction of the gate which the monsters are swarming.
However, I don’t see any wounded people being brought in.
But as I thought of that, I realised that the treatment of injuries is probably the church’s responsibility.
I don’t know where the church is located, though.
Since the church doesn’t appear to particularly covet the Song Princess’ power, I have no intention of going near one.
After observing for a while, Ciel waited for the traffic in the Hunter Guild to lessen before entering inside.
In the building were many hunters, perhaps either ordered to stay on standby or stopped from joining the battle; some of them were resting while others were working.
However, the shared aura of exhaustion seeping from them is quite telling of how much trouble the stampede is.
Now what will happen when someone like Ciel enters this situation?
No one’s pestering us at least, but we’re attracting attention and, most of all, I can feel animosity.
In the end, we didn’t hide our face, so I suppose that could be part of the reason.
Roughly scanning the area, I didn’t see anyone I consider as an acquaintance.
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Ignoring all of their gazes, Ciel headed to the counter.
Usually, young receptionist ladies would be handling the reception counter, but today a veteran-ish woman, who seems to be roughly in her 30s, was put in charge.
I guess since this is a state of emergency they’re prioritizing efficiency here.
While the receptionist gave us a questioning look, Ciel placed the magic bag we brought from Norvell on the countertop.
「What might this be?」
Perhaps irked, her tone was rough but it appears that she’s still open to hearing us out.
I suppose this part is to be expected of a veteran.
「Supplies from Norvell.」
My business here is already done.」
With this, the request is completed.
All that’s left is to have the magic contract that is the request form be processed in Headquarters or elsewhere.
As Ciel was about to leave the Hunter Guild without showing interest in the sudden silence,「Wait.」a middle-aged man came out from behind the counter breathing heavily.
He’s of a thin and small build, wears glasses, and has the crooked noble feel.
Is he the new guildmaster, the submaster, or perhaps somebody else? Whoever it is, it doesn’t matter, so Ciel continued on walking.
「I said wait.
Don’t let her out the building.」
Considering how he can order the hunters near the door to trap us in, he likely has a management position in the guild.
The doors are now closed shut, but this isn’t considered as bringing harm to us, is it? Likely not.
We could just force our way through, but rather than us starting something that they could find faults with, it’ll be better if they made a move so that we can use the violation of the promise as a valid reason to leave this country.
Perhaps understanding this as well, Ciel stopped on her tracks.
「I’m the acting guildmaster.
He somewhat pridefully announced his position, but Ciel replied with nothing but disinterest.
He seems pretty incapable, but perhaps the Hunter Guild is lacking in manpower.
After all, they probably started the investigation on the stampede right after that incident, so it’s possible that the stampede started before they could do a proper reorganization.
In that case, the submaster might have been temporarily put on top.
「Since you came from Norvell, that means you avoided the stampede then?
Shouldn’t you be cooperating as a hunter?」
「I’m not obliged to.」
「In that case, we have not received the logistic supplies from Norvell.
The magic bag was stolen and the hunter that accepted the request will be demoted and thereafter penalized.」
Considering that he’s not underestimating Ciel’s combat potential based on her appearance, he seemed to have been informed to some extent.
He clearly knows that Ciel is not obligated to fight during the royal capital’s stampede.
I suppose he knows up until the part where we’re already B-rank and that we’re going to leave the country.
If we contribute to the resolvement of the stampede, the supplies will be accepted meaning the request will be treated as complete.
Otherwise, it appears that they want to make it so I didn’t complete it and stole the supplies.
The magic bag with the supplies is already in the acting guildmaster’s hand, so going back to Norvell to report the failure can’t be done in this case as well.
「You have quite the defiant look but the reason why we couldn’t fully prepare is because you gave us the wrong information to begin with.
How about you feel the weight of responsibility?」
「Taking the information gathered by a little girl in a single day at face value, how pitiful.」
Mainly his head.
Him now fuming about how Ciel talked back, showing his lack of tolerance, is quite pitiful as well.
「I’ll have you go under the command of Duke Ortis.
They’re sure to take good care of you.」
And with a vulgar smile, the acting guildmaster said so triumphantly.
Speaking of Duke Ortis, he should be the one that sent the assassins.
So putting together what he implied just now, I suppose he’s planning on pinning both the guild and the noble’s failure on Ciel and either killing or exploiting her in his resentment.
「You think the Headquarters would allow it? 」
「That’s not a problem if they don’t know.
To begin with, there’s a magic contract, isn’t there?
If the request remains incomplete, then this lack of integrity will follow you for life.」
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I’m honestly worried if the Hunter Guild will be fine with him talking like this in the lobby.
However, the hunters here are those that know Ciel, or rather that I am a Song Princess; so not only is there no one here who would help, the hunter might actually share the same sentiments with the acting guildmaster.
Where have the Song Princess’ human rights ever disappeared to?
I don’t know if this world has human rights to begin with, though.
And while he seems to know about the magic contract, it doesn’t look like he knows about the last sentence.
『Shall we leave?』
Seeing us ready to leave, the acting guildmaster orders 「Capture her!」 in a panic.
Thanks to the Song Princess hate, everyone around is an enemy.
And each with a weapon in hand, they steadily surrounded us.
『Since they’re annoying, can I use the usual? 』
They broke the agreement after all, they shouldn’t have any complaints if they get injured.』
After using the usual magic circle that will moderately cut those that come inside its range, Ciel walked towards the door.
The hunters that attempted to jump onto us scream in pain and those that got within range due to Ciel walking onward yelped in surprise.
In an instant, a scene of hell unfolded in the guild; still, not one of them is dead.
Leaving the acting guildmaster left in wide-eyed shock, Ciel opened the Hunter Guild’s doors.
『「The request shall be considered completed when the supplies have been placed on the Royal Capital Guild counter.」I’m glad I wrote that down.』
『It was obvious that they wouldn’t accept the supplies after all.』
While heading to the gate opposite of where the stampede is occuring, I conversed with Ciel.
I partly anticipated this to happen but never expected them to try and capture us.
Thanks to that, another disaster occured while there’s already an ongoing stampede disaster, but at this point, I don’t really care anymore.
While they might have suffered a decrease in combatants, the main force should be all on the front-lines anyways and we’ve already defeated the wyverns, so the royal capital is unlikely to fall.
『There’s someone at the gates.』
「Should we take the initiative and beat them?」
『This magic power seems familiar, so it’s probably fine.
They might turn hostile later on, but there’s nothing we can do about it now anyhow.』
And I just noticed it on the way, but the gates are closed.
Since there was no other choice, we went over the gate and landed on the other side.
「I wasn’t expecting to actually encounter you here.」
「It’s been a while.」
「You seem to be…… not in high spirits at all.」
Just as we landed on the ground, Viviana-san who was waiting nearby called Ciel.
Since there were signs of an upcoming stampede, I guess their party couldn’t leave the capital.
Since Viviana-san and party are hunters sent from Central, their range of activity is probably limited to some extent.
「Will the guild here be okay? 」
「Frankly speaking, nope.
Since we had the former guildmaster working, assignment of a new guildmaster wasn’t a high priority.
So due to that, it seems like the submaster was tentatively promoted but… the instant he gained authority, he’s doing as he pleases.
From his standpoint, it appears that he wanted to use this chance to prove his worth and become an official guildmaster but…… it’s out of the question.」
Come to think of it, the previous guildmaster is being worked as a slave, wasn’t he?
That’s why they should have enough guild staff.
「Why are you here? 」
「While I was on my break, a messenger approached me saying that there’s trouble in the guild, and when I heard the details, it sounded like you were involved, so I attempted to make contact.
My other party members are on the lookout at the other gates too.
As for why, we were hoping that we could lend a hand if there’s any issues.」
Then in other words, maybe they won’t be against us leaving?
Still, just knowing someone is on our side gives a sense of relief.
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「You won’t stop me? 」
「I would love to have you fighting with us though.
Still, I won’t stop you.
As soon as the stampede ends, we’ll report the details to the Headquarters, so feel free to do as you like.」
With this, it’s goodbye to this country.」
Hearing Ciel’s words, Viviana-san‘s eyes went wide in surprise.
She then showed a gentle expression.
「So you’ve become B-rank now.
I’d love to hold a celebration, but you won’t be staying here for long, aren’t you?」
「Yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing you again.」
Waving Viviana-san goodbye, we parted ways.
Viviana-san returns to the battlefield once again and we are heading off for a brand new stage.
『What is it, Ciel? 』
「I don’t care about the people of this country, but is there a way to at least protect them? 」
『Why don’t you try asking her?』
Could you help even just Viviana’s party so that they don’t die?」
Ciel asked the forest spirit, but she didn’t look quite willing to.
It didn’t seem like she came to dislike us, so I wonder why?
『Viviana-san and her party aren’t people of this country.』
As something came to mind, I said these words and after showing a surprised look, the forest spirit nodded in reply.
Thereafter she said something to the spirits around us.
It feels like cheating, but let this off as payment for the magic power I’ve given up until now.
And with this, we have finally escaped our country of birth.
Hiya~! After 32 chapters, the main story of the third arc: The Royal Capital and the Town of Norvell is now complete~! There’s still some (5) interludes left, which I have planned to publish between regular updates, but as you can see, they haven’t been…… So I want to ask which one you would rather choose for reference: I pause the translation of the Main Story to finish these interludes up or I post the interludes concurrently with the next arc?
Now back to the story.
Finally, finally they’re out of this country… Still, the capital’s Hunter Guild really, really doesn’t know when to give up, lol.
As with Ain and Ciel, I worry about the future of the capital’s guild.
First, the guildmaster has a scandal, at least two of them in fact.
Then, the guild submaster was put as a temporary leader but ended up being a spiteful power hungry fool, give the royal capital’s guild a break… Still, he’s absolutely boned.
First, the princesses made the contract fool proof, so this fool can’t affect it.
Second, the fool broke the agreement between the guild and Ciel and this doesn’t have legal loopholes like the previous scheming.
It’s a disservice to even compare this to actual scheming even.
And lastly, as a result of the broken promise, he also got a few hunters broken and useless for the stampede.
*Good going there.*
And as for our princesses, their scheme has been revealed: The conditions for the completion has been changed from handing the supplies over to just dropping them on site.
And with the request from being also a magic contract, regardless of what lies anyone might tell, the contract will be enough proof that they “Completed” the request.
That aside, I like how Ciel has cared enough for people other than Ain to actually voice it out.
While she likely also cares for Cecila and Carol, that’s a result of the long time they’ve been together, Viviana’s is the shortest amount of time it took for Ciel to take interest in a person, or just care enough about their existence.
Viviana might not have been present to see it, but it’s nice that she succeeded in making Ciel open up.
Though back then it was Ain she was talking to, lol.
Also, Ciel was incredibly sassy today, nice.
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