Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
「I-In the city of Crusell!? Has she managed to assemble monsters and plot an attack so quickly!? W-What is the damage to the city!?」
The saint raises a shocked voice. The succubus has no combat ability by herself. It should take a few days for her to assemble a force of thousands of monsters in order to attack a city. And just yesterday, she attacked this labyrinth city. For sure, this is way too soon for another attack.
「O-Oi, isn’t Crusell pretty close to here? Won’t it be bad if we don’t send reinforcements?」
This labyrinth city was unharmed thanks to reinforcements from nearby as well as my existence, but I remember Crusell being a smaller-scale town than this one. If it received an attack from the succubus without even gathering reinforcements, it would likely fall easily. If they’re still able to resist, we need to head over there with reinforcements as fast as we can.
「N-No, that is not the case! I-It’s a misunderstanding! It’s not that the succubus brought monsters to attack the town!」
However, when the knight sees our surprise, he hastily corrects his statement.
「T-Then… what is the meaning of this?」
「The succubus appeared by herself before the bishop of Crusell… wanting him to heal her leg.」
In response to the saint’s enquiry, the knight speaks with some difficulty.
「…Her leg? And in front of the bishop, unaccompanied? My apologies, but could you provide more details?」
「Yes. The succubus initially tried to manipulate Crusell’s Bishop-sama using her ability in order to get her petrification treated, but with his honest and virtuous character, it seems she was unable to influence him in the slightest. The succubus attempted several methods, from seduction to using clever words to invite him to join the evil god’s forces, but Crusell’s Bishop-sama wasn’t moved and rejected her. In the end the succubus clung to Bishop-sama, showing him her leg petrified up to the ankle while repeatedly sobbing and begging for her life like “It’s a once in a lifetime request, so please heal meee! At this rate I’m gonna dieeee!” and so on.」
「An apostle of the evil god was begging for her life…?」
When I hear the knight’s report, all of the tension drains from my body. I thought I needed to go back them up as soon as possible, but it sounds like that’ll be completely unnecessary. Seems like she’s just been running around trying to get her leg treated. And furthermore, she’s at her wit’s end to the point of ignoring her shame and forsaking her reputation.
「…I-Indeed, the bishop of Crusell should not be able to use anything beyond High Heal in the first place, though… What did Bishop-sama do after that?」
「Apparently he called soldiers over and they tried to capture the succubus, but she just barely got away.」
「The ideal approach, and yet… is that so, she was able to escape?」
When she hears that the succubus got away, the saint bites her nails.
…Man, the succubus’ image is steadily crumbling. In the Bible it was written that at times she moved in secret and at times she crushed cities from the frontlines, throwing mankind into disarray and carving out huge chunks of their territory. That she was an apostle who could certainly be called the right hand of the evil god. But like this she’s just just a perverted young girl with a shitty personality.
「The succubus sure sounded more impressive in the Bible.」
「…Certainly, neither the number of monsters she manipulates nor her strategic nature are up to the level described in the Bible…」
The saint picks up on the surprise in my voice. However, she makes a sullen face as she speaks.
「Yet we mustn’t be careless. In biblical times, the succubus once created internal strife within humanity, causing the slaughter of many human beings without lifting a finger herself. Seeing through the weaknesses in people’s hearts and cleverly taking advantage of them to win people over to her side, that more than anything is her true strength. It is most disconcerting. Although presently her body is weakened, and it seems she is powerless against those humans with no openings, such as the bishop of Crusell…」
The saint glances at me as she says that. Is she implying that someone like me, full of openings and brimming with worldly desires, absolutely needs to watch out?
…Now that she mentions it, the succubus saw through my personality just from me gazing at her defenseless chest a little bit, and came to seduce me. Even after Eris intervened, the succubus tempted me with honeyed words like “If you join the evil god’s camp I’ll make you a harem with all the beautiful women in the world”, using my true feelings to try to get me to betray humanity. She likely doesn’t just use her own body as bait, she tried to make me turn traitor by giving me a glimpse of what I desire. I guess that being capable of such “negotiation” is why she’s known as an apostle.
「And yet, if that is the case, there is a possibility that the succubus will appear at the churches in other cities. I shall entreat the surrounding cities to fortify the defenses around their churches and eminent priests.」
After giving a concise message to the knight, the saint seems to think about something a little, and soon speaks to me.
「There are currently no priests in the vicinity capable of using EX Heal other than myself and Shiki-sama. If the succubus knew this, she would invariably return to attack this labyrinth city. Particularly, there is the justification that Shiki-sama is the Sage, and given the fact that she was able to easily manipulate you once before, the possibility that she will target you is extraordinarily high」
It’s extraordinarily high, huh?
「I must speak with Lord-sama immediately concerning the defenses of this mansion and our coordination with the nearby cities. I shall prepare countermeasures, but please exercise adequate caution.
…Well then, Astel, you have your instructions.」
Then, leaving the rest up to the young dog-eared girl known as Astel, the saint hastily returns to the lord’s mansion.
…Wait, was this dog-eared girl the subordinate she wanted to introduce me to? Just from her age alone… of course her chest is completely flat. So much for getting my hopes up a tiny bit.
After the saint goes inside the mansion, Astel makes a pouty expression and sighs.
「…You got in my way at the orphanage, didn’t you.」
Then she glances at Yuel and addresses her in a critical tone of voice.
…Looks like she still holds a grudge over being chased around at the orphanage after all. She’s around the same age as Yuel so her animosity doesn’t have much impact, but her feelings of anger are well evident. She’s puffing out her cheeks and going “Hmph!”.
「That was an extremely important operation to expose the true intentions of that Archbishop D’arnaud. Thanks to your interference, Saint-sama got really mad at me afterwards.」
She got really mad, huh? Sure, the existence of Yuel may very well have obstructed the saint’s operation or whatever, but at the time, Yuel didn’t know that Astel was an observer on the saint’s side. I mean, in the beginning even I didn’t think that the saint was an ally. As far as Yuel is concerned, telling her that she should have been considerate of Astel when she noticed her is unreasonable.
「U-Um, I-I’m sorry…」
「You were sneaking around on the roof of the orphanage; Yuel was only thinking that you might have been aiming for me. She didn’t do anything wrong. The problem was that archbishop and I just happened to run into each other at the orphanage by chance, that’s all.」
Yuel apologized, but just in case, I’ll admonish Astel as well. It’ll bug me if she blames Yuel too much over this matter. And even if she criticizes Yuel here, it’s not like Yuel can make use of that in the future. The next time a suspicious person approaches me, I’d prefer that Yuel try to remove them, seeing as how she’s my guard. If we’re going to make the best of our mistakes, the lesson here is most likely that I need to teach Yuel how to properly differentiate between an enemy and an ally.
Well, it doesn’t seem like there’s much point in me telling Astel that, though. She said that the saint was furious, so she probably wants to blame Yuel who’s around the same age as the cause of her failure. Plus she likely can’t criticize me, now that I’m being called the sage. I bet she’ll reject my argument.
However, Astel doesn’t lash back against my remarks. Rather, her mouth hangs open like she was taken by surprise.
「E-Even though I was on top of the roof, you noticed me…? Y-You didn’t just climb up onto the roof by chance…?」
After that, she hangs her head, grumbling about something in a small voice, seemingly depressed.
「I was discovered… I was discovered by an amateur…」
…I wonder if, by some chance, she was confident in her ability as a spy to hide her presence? As a spy who works for the saint, I suppose it’s not good for her to be discovered by an amateur, much less a child such as Yuel. She’s staring stupefied at Yuel as if it’s a huge shock to her, that kind of atmosphere.
She may have the title of the saint’s spy, but mentally she seems to act her age.
「Oi, aren’t you here in order to teach Yuel your escort techniques?」
But it’s gonna be bothersome if she just stands around in a daze like this forever. For the time being, I try calling out to her.
「T-That’s right…! Y-You, fight me! Before I train you, I’ll measure your abilities first!」
When I do, Astel is taken aback and immediately recovers her composure. Then, in a strong tone, she faces Yuel and challenges her. That was a fast switch.
…But her way of recovering is a little off. Somehow it’s like she’s trying to defeat Yuel to prove her own merit, there’s that kind of feel to it. I wonder if this is okay?
「A fight, is it?」
I wasn’t sure if I should stop it, but when Yuel hears Astel’s words, her eyes begin to sparkle. You wanna fight her, Yuel-san?
…Well, after all, she doesn’t have any experience fighting a child around the same age. I’m kinda interested to see the extent of Yuel’s ability, too. Astel received training as the saint’s spy. Yuel is strong, but I can easily predict that Astel is stronger than she appears as well.
「I have as much training in the fundamentals of interpersonal combat as a knight. I’d never lose to an amateur elf like you, who’s only ever fought monsters!」
Astel takes out a wooden practice sword and throws it to Yuel. She seems considerably self-confident.
「Yuel, do whatever you want, just make sure not to cause injury. It may be a wooden sword, but stop right before you get a hit.」
Just to make sure, I remind her “safety first”, and Yuel replies enthusiastically. She’s hopping up and down, warming up. She doesn’t have enough there to go boing-boing, but her chest seems full of motivation all the same.
Astel glares at Yuel with a harsh expression. What’s she glaring for now?
Wait… I meant it for both Astel and Yuel, but to Astel, it might have looked like I was coordinating with Yuel in advance. Like “Kukuku, my escort Yuel. Astel or whoever over there may be a pushover, but don’t go overboard”. Looking at it from her perspective, did it seem like we were looking down on her? I also get the feeling she’s being too sensitive, though. Plus there’s the fact that they’re around the same age, so I wonder if she sees Yuel as a rival?
But, well, having a rival isn’t a bad thing. There’s nothing wrong with Yuel getting stronger, so let’s have her train as much as she can without getting hurt.