Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru
I head for my room while talking with Yuel. Yuel had been studying various things with Astel since morning, but seems like it got called off partway. Apparently the saint is going to head outside the mansion, so Astel will be accompanying her.
「Oh right, did Astel already teach you about poisons?」
「Yes. Today she taught me how to use paralysis poison, and antidote compounding. She shared a small bottle of paralysis poison with me, too. She’s going to teach me tomorrow as well, I think.」
Eris and Ruruka are trailing behind, maintaining a bit of distance from me. When I turn around to check, both of them back off from me as if they choreographed it in advance.
…As I suspected, trying to enter the bath together with me was excessively hasty for the two of them. They want to pretend it never happened and not bring it up again, I can keenly sense that kind of atmosphere.
Well, in the end, I don’t intend to ask them to get back in the bath now or anything. And Yuel is here too. There’s nothing I can do, so I’ve decided to make some idle chatter with Yuel to cure my sadness.
「Ohh? Nice work. What’s she gonna teach you tomorrow? If today was paralysis poison, then is it gonna be hemorrhaging poison or something next?」
「Tomorrow is aphrodisiacs.」
「…What was that?」
「I-I see… a-aphrodisiacs, huh.」
Why aphrodisiacs? How did we end up on aphrodisiacs? We were supposed to be having idle chatter. It should have been a safe topic.
…I take a look into Yuel’s eyes.
They’re no different from usual. Not especially impatient, no sign of embarrassment either. She’s casually looking at me just like normal. What the heck is Yuel thinking, aphrodisiacs of all things…
No, I must be thinking too hard. Yuel wouldn’t use aphrodisiacs with wicked intent. I mean, she’s not me. I’m sure she has a respectable reason.
「We’ll supposedly be studying how to make antidotes for aphrodisiacs. In the event that the succubus uses them, Master may no longer be in any condition to use Dis-Poison.」
「I-I see, right, of course!」
See, it was a respectable reason. In Yuel’s case, I don’t need to be worried. Thinking too much. I was thinking too much.
Yuel abruptly mutters softly. After that, her face bashfully reddens, and she wiggles her head as if to shake off her earthly desires. Then, clutching the hem of her clothes, Yuel looks down.
「…Nothing, never mind.」
「I-Is that so. I-If it’s nothing, then fine.」
If it’s nothing then there’s no problem. There shouldn’t be any problem, right?
–As I make small talk with Yuel in that fashion, having a problem-free conversation, a figure appears at the other end of the hallway. Those characteristic blonde drills are Fran’s, no mistaking it. Behind her, Sera is there too.
「Ahh, there you are. I’ve been looking for you.」
Then she calls out to me.
「Looking for me?」
「Indeed, just earlier I overheard a knight reporting to Saint-sama. It would seem that in the basement of the church, they have discovered D’arnaud’s secret storehouse. Would you care to accompany me?」
For a moment I wonder what sort of business she has with me, but apparently she’s inviting me to go somewhere. I don’t really get why she’s inviting me, though.
「Accompany you… you’re asking me?」
「I told you previously that I would teach you magic, did I not?」
I ask for confirmation, and Fran makes a somewhat cross expression as she replies.
「I have no intention of leaving that which I have once promised unfulfilled. Knowing that archbishop, he had surely amassed a plethora of valuable magic tools, the sort one would not be able to obtain in the markets. I suspect that there will be plenty of things suitable for use in practicing magic as well.」
Now I get it. So the magic lesson that we left half-unfinished last time, she wants to get it over with once and for all?
D’arnaud wore a boatload of mana capacity increasing rings, that much I clearly remember. For sure, if that guy had a hidden warehouse, something tells me it’ll produce a big pile of high-priced magic tools. Just as Fran said, we might even be able to find something suitable for magic practice.
「…Wait, but… is it alright?」
This girl… isn’t she mad at me? She has no reason not to be.
–Back when she was teaching me magic, I pretended I had barely any mana.
It was in the form of running with Fran’s misunderstanding, but Fran was earnestly trying to teach me magic, and I lied to her about my own ability. I remember her unusually kind and sympathetic voice. Though considering how she normally acts, I’m half-expecting to get hit by a Fireball every time we meet.
As I’m pondering, Sera comes close and whispers into my ear.
「…Fran seems to want the magic capacity increasing magic tools that the archbishop possessed. However, though she may be the lord’s daughter, unsurprisingly it is not as if she can just freely take such expensive magic tools. Accordingly, she thought to request them using the justification that they’re necessary in order to instruct Sage-sama in magic.」
「Ah, I get it.」
She’s just using me as a front, huh. Anyone who uses magic would want a magic tool that increases mana capacity. That being the case, their price is extraordinarily high. Though she’s the lord’s daughter, be that as it may, she must not be rich enough to afford one.
「But I do believe that she truly wants to teach you magic properly.」
However, as if to deny my thoughts, Sera whispers.
「The matter of the Krankheit Turtle’s poison mist. At the time, the one most thankful to the person who cast Area Heal on the entire city… was most likely Fran, you see.」
Now that she mentions it, when we got back to the city from the forest and heard about the poison mist spreading inside, Fran was the most flustered one, huh. When I glance over at Fran, she quickly looks away in a huff.
I only did it to prevent Yuel from crying, but… I guess it’s a good thing I did.
Under Fran’s guidance, we move to the church. Along with Yuel, Sera, Eris, Ruruka, and a few other escort knights, we make quite the large family. When we enter the place of worship, a large number of magic tools are already spread out across its paved stones.
When I enter, a lone priestess calls out to me.
「M-My name is S-Salina! I serve as a direct subordinate of Saint-sama. I-It’s an honor to meet you!」
She has decent tits and a moderately pretty face. Looks like she’s a subordinate of the saint. Is my Sage title intimidating her? She seems somewhat tense.
…I wish the saint had introduced me to her over Astel.
「And what might you be doing here?」
「Oh my, Fran-sama. I have been tasked by Saint-sama with managing the magic tools here. As the retrieval work is finished for the magic tools we’ve discovered, now I’m more or less just waiting for the appraiser to come. B-By the way, for what purpose have Sage-sama and Fran-sama come…?」
「You see, in preparation for an attack by the succubus, we came to see if there might perhaps be any magic tools effective for improving Sage-sama’s combat ability to any extent possible.」
「Is that so. If that’s the case, I shall send a report to Saint-sama and Lord-sama. By all means, please have a look.」
「Y-You need not inform Father…」
When Fran hears the part about reporting to the lord, her cheek twitches.
…Did this bitch not tell the lord she was coming here? Well, this was the property of the archbishop of the church to begin with. Judging from the fact that the management of the magic tools here is being carried out not by the knights but by the saint’s subordinate, they were probably collected by the church originally. Her plan seems to be using me as an excuse to receive a magic tool for herself as well, but the lord, as her biological parent, will likely see through to her true intentions easily. I bet he’s gonna get crazy mad at Fran afterwards.
「W-Well then, that being the case, I shall have a look.」
But Fran really seems to want a mana capacity raising magic tool. Though since she can use the kind of magic that fried a Krankheit Turtle in one shot, I get the feeling she’d be fine without any magic tools. Well, back then it didn’t die instantly even though it was burnt black, so if she had a little more power, all that trouble afterwards with me falling into the river and all wouldn’t have happened. It’s not like I can’t understand. Making her escape, Fran walks over to the area where the ring-shaped magic tools are.
「Alright, guess we’ll have a look too. Maybe there’ll be something good.」
Is the title of Sage that powerful to a priest? The approval came easily. Charmed by our words, she decides to let us have a look. I’m being taken advantage of by Fran, but if there’s any magic tool I want, I may as well take it. And the archbishop abused his authority so much for his own benefit, so he may have had the sort of magic tools you can’t normally find. If possible, I want one that lets me conveniently see through clothes or something.
「Master, there are so many collars.」
At a rough glance, there are all sorts of rings, bracelets, books, and canes, but the most numerous ones are the necklaces. Rather, among the magic tools spread out around this place, about 80% of them are black collars.
…Most likely, these are the magic tools that were used back at the beauty pagent to manipulate those monsters. Was he mass-producing these independently? There are an incredible number of them. Over a hundred, I’d say.
「It seems that the one who was providing these collars to the evil god adherents was D’arnaud after all. Most likely, he used his ill-gotten funds to independently develop and mass-produce them…」
The saint’s subordinate priestess makes a regretful face as she explains. Well, the beings known as evil god adherents could be called enemies of humanity, and yet someone with the eminent position of archbishop turned out to be one of them. As someone connected to the church, she likely has strong feelings about it.
「I see… but man, there sure is a mountain of collars here. Is this everything?」
「Y-Yes. Although… they haven’t yet been appraised. Outside of those collars, there are many whose use hasn’t been confirmed. I believe the appraiser will arrive before much longer, so…」
「Ah, it’s fine, I can use Appraisal.」
「M-My goodness… a-as expected of Sage-sama…!」
With nothing better to do, I try using Appraisal on the nearby collars.
…Like I thought, they’re the same as the ones I saw before. By attaching one to a monster, the monster can be controlled at will. That’s the kind of magic tool they are.
…With this many of them, I wonder if I could create a host of monsters like the succubus does? An ability like hers to create an army has exceptional compatibility with my wide-range healing ability. According to the succubus, enough to “even conquer the world”. If I could form even a small monster army, even if the succubus brought along a great host exceeding it, I bet I’d end up winning with room to spare.
「…I guess the bottleneck is how to assemble the monsters? Besides, the succubus likely doesn’t have the leeway anymore to gather monsters and attack us again… she’ll clearly be turned to stone within another two to three days.」
Seems like they would’ve been useful, maybe if I knew about them before the succubus’ attack, but in the current situation I doubt I’ll have a need for them. Seems like by the time I finish gathering monsters, the succubus will be completely petrified. Well, I’m still gonna take them just in case, though.
「Can I have these collars until things are settled with the succubus? If I don’t end up needing them, I’ll return them.」
「Y-Yes! By all means, Sage-sama!」
Since I got permission from the saint’s subordinate, I start stuffing every last one in my item box.
–As I do, I notice Yuel staring at me with a dazed look.
…? I wonder what’s wrong?
Yuel is holding a somewhat luxurious collar in her hand as she watches me putting away the other collars. Is the one she’s holding the same kind? It’s decorated with gems; maybe she mistook it as an accessory or something. What should I do if she asks me to put it on her or something?
「Master, you can use the Appraisal skill?」
「Y-Yeah… I can, why?」
I realize as I’m saying it. That blank look of hers was most likely surprise.
…Up until now, I’ve used my Appraisal skill to identify Yuel’s skill, and to determine the abilities of magic tools in front of her. But I didn’t tell Yuel that I used the Appraisal skill to do so. I sorta forgot about that.
…What should I do if she cries because her master’s a liar or something? No, technically speaking I didn’t lie about it though. It’s just that her astonished reaction was amusing, so I didn’t want to mention the truth about my having the Appraisal skill.
「Is that so? To even be able to use the Appraisal skill, Master is amazing!」
For an instant she seems flustered, but Yuel merely nods in agreement. Then she makes a complete change and starts looking at me with sparkling eyes.
「Ah, Master, this one seems a little different from the other collars!」
After that, simply remembering her original objective, she presents the collar she’s holding to me. Looks like she doesn’t particularly want to put it on. It merely caught her interest because it seemed different from the others.
「Oh wow… that archbishop, he even developed something like this?」
When I try using Appraisal, it’s certainly different. But in the end, it’s too late. Now that the succubus’ petrification is nearly certain, I shouldn’t need it. Well, I’m gonna take this one too, just in case.
「Can I have this one too?」
「Yes, if Sage-sama says it’s necessary, by all means, please take it with you! …I’m indebted to Sage-sama for treating my petrification. If there’s anything I can do for you, anything at all…」
…Apparently the subordinate of the saint whose petrification I treated was none other than this priestess. Hold on, I thought the reason she permitted me to take whatever I wanted was because I’m the Sage, but apparently it was entirely her personal feelings. I wonder if it’s actually alright for me to take these? Also, I don’t think that the words “anything at all” should be uttered so casually.
I’m well aware that Eris and Ruruka, who viewed accessory-type magic tools as rare until just now, are carefully observing my behavior. Naturally, if I were to say something like “Did you just say anything?” here, that would leave a bad impression with not just Yuel, but Eris and Ruruka as well.
「Even without using Appraisal, as expected, a magic tool that increases magic capacity can be identified simply by putting it on. I’ve already finished. I heard you mention being able to use Appraisal; have you found any magic tools that seem suitable for practicing magic?
As I’m contemplating, a satisfied Fran forces her way into the conversation. Did she already finish securing her share of the magic tools?
「Uwaah… that’s some serious bling.」
Ruruka mutters when she sees Fran.
…She’s certainly decked out. Much like that archbishop, her fingers are studded with mana capacity increasing rings.
「They suit me well, no?」
Replying thusly to Ruruka’s words, Fran holds her fingers up to her own face. After that, as if unfolding a fan, she spreads her bedazzled hands. Then she gives a prideful snort. But what is it about her? When Fran, with her blonde twin drills, does that… how do I describe it…
「How should I put this… it’s gaudy… like new money.」
Was she shocked by Ruruka’s impression? Fran shakes violently. I think it’s gaudy too. Luxurious hair + extravagant accessories = I feel like I’m gonna hurl.
…Hold on, more importantly, there’s something bothering me.
「Oi, all totaled, how much are those worth? They’re probably gonna sell off the magic tools here to use for taxes or to add to the church funds, right? Won’t it be bad if you walk off with a slew of them?」
I’m just borrowing them, though, so there’s no problem for me. And I’ll return them once the matter of the succubus is sorted out.
「I-I’m only testing them for a while, I shall return them afterwards! M-More importantly, have you properly found a suitable magic tool for practicing magic!?」
…I wonder if that’s true? Well, I don’t particularly intend to get deeply involved either. Rather, I forgot until Fran mentioned it, but we were supposed to be looking for magic tools that I can use for magic practice.
Hurriedly, I cast Appraisal on everything from A to Z.
…I have no need for magic tools that increase mana capacity.
…And I received a cane from the saint, which is a legendary item used by the former Sage…
…Those bracelets seem to be mere decorations made of gold.
…There’s not really anything usable.
Well, that archbishop didn’t seem like the type to practice magic diligently, either. Rather, even without expressly fishing through the archbishop’s magic tools, I get the feeling that the cane I received from the saint will be more than enough for magic practice by itself.
「No, now that I think about it, I received the Sage’s cane from Philine. There don’t seem to be any magic tools better than this. I’ll try practicing with it.」
「Is that so.
…Well, sorry for making you accompany me. It will be difficult here, so shall we return to the mansion?」
There was no harvest for me, but Fran seems satisfied. Well, I also want to try using attack magic for once in my lifetime. I’ll accompany her for just a little while longer.