Mabbo, Fairy, Yakult, Schwarz
31. Megane-kun, Surrounded by Sense of Danger
Not even a frame of a second after she knocked, the gated opened immediately.
「I appreciate your effort, Lorobel-dono.」
An old man, aged well over 50 years old, appeared inside his black tailcoat. First, he looks at the messenger, Lorobel.
「This fellow here is the person who helped out in the accident last night on his way home. I have delivered him without doubt.」
「Indeed. The payment will be the usual amount.」
Ah, so it’s like that. Bringing me to this place is her job, so she won’t be here when I meet with the lord.
「Ah, right. The boy is quite suspicious on his own, so should I be present as well?」
Ah, she said it. So she didn’t forget that.
「That will be difficult to grant. Master is thinking to hold a private discussion, after all.」
Her proposal didn’t go through, though. The gramps rejected it in a heartbeat. What is this private discussion he mentioned? I only hoped they’ll leave me alone.
「You heard him. Sorry bout that, Eil.」
Can’t you hang on that proposal for a little bit more? Didn’t you retreat too easily? …Well. at least she tried to be present for me, so that’s fine.
After Lorobel turned her heel and started her steps, the gramps turned over me.
「Eil-dono, is it correct to name you so? Master is waiting for you. Please, come in.」
The gramps pressed me to go inside with an innocent look.
A really, truly innocent look.
I can tell when we met our eyes.
This gramps is dangerous. He’s considerably strong.
And he isn’t at the level of just another strong man… right, he’s threatening.
What I feel more acutely than his strength, is the impending sense of danger.
It feels like encountering a Magical Beast when I don’t have my bow and arrows, there is no escape route, and I have no alternative weapon. It’s that kind of crisis.
Although, it feels like the strength of someone who is the same as us…
—Is he a hunter? Or is he something else that shares the same wavelength?
「…Pardon my intrusion.」
There are three things that I can derive from the time we met our gaze.
First, I absolutely cannot win against this gramps.
Second, I already am inside the gramps’ attack range and I cannot escape.
And the last, this gramps, for sure, can kill someone without any hesitation.
What do I do… I’m still at the entrance, but I already regretted I’ve come here…
What first caught my attention when I stepped into the Leavant Earl’s grounds, was a broken horse carriage.
It must be the one that met the accident. Seems like they retrieved it.
One of the wheels is disconnected, scratches covering the frame, and there are many other parts that got broken. It’s no longer keeping its original look.
「Eil-dono, are you a hunter?」
I am listening to the gramps who guides me …Why do I feel like he’s looking at me even though his back is facing me?
It’s not something as simple as elevating his guard because I’m behind him or he’s just paying attention to places he can’t see.
How do I put it, despite him moving forward, he’s already prepared to attack me anytime, and I’m already set up inside his aim? If I have to put it into words, then that maybe it.
「I’m still nothing but a half-baked one, though.」
If I’m to be compared to you, then I’m just a baby. Not even half a man. I’m at the level of a novice who has just been introduced to bows and arrows.
…The big city is scary. It’s easy to tell if they’re armed like adventurers, but there are many more strong people who aren’t featured with weapons. They’re far more terrifying.
Especially, people whose strength can’t be seen through, they’re frightening. That receptionist from Hunter’s guild, for one. For that person, I can’t even tell without wearing the 「Megane」.
Maybe it’s just me who isn’t aware, and in truth, there are much more strong people out there. I know it, an unknown danger is the most terrifying danger.
「Please, don’t humble yourself. I heard you hunted three wolves in an instant.」
And you can massacre all the six in the same frame of time, don’t you? And if you like, you can do it even faster, don’t you?
「It was a task handed over by Lorobel-san after all, the wolves’ movement was sluggish by their exhaustion.」
「Three. Each shot for each, right on their head without a miss. This fact alone tells me how skilled you are.」
And for you, you can do it with bare hands.
Once I stepped inside the mansion, I can feel I am being surrounded by impending dangers, more dangerous than ever.
And yet, it’s oddly lacking human presence. My mind tells me there are five people, but my instinct amends that there definitely are more.
There is no killing intent.
I can’t sense the gazes either.
I don’t feel any presence from a human nearby as well.
And yet, this sense of danger that encircled me from every possible direction. Just what is this?
Gramps turned his head to me who stopped my feet, refusing to enter.
「Be at ease. If we really want to do it, then it should have been done by now.」
It, which means, that, huh.
「Should I interpret this as this mansion’s way to welcome me?」
「It shouldn’t be a problem if you do so.」
…I can’t see through his words.
This gramps is totally testing me since the first time we met. This eerie sense of danger that’s pricking me too, I’m sure it’s also one of the tests. By someone’s intention.
If I thought about again, though thin, he did say that he is 「testing」 me.
If they really wanted to kill me, then it should’ve been over by now.
Just what does that mean, I wonder? It’s nothing but a bad premonition.
「—Ah, you’ve come! 」
「Thank you very much for what you have done last night!」
The one with disarranged golden hair who’s running over is a girl with 「Megane」 on her.
Precisely, it’s that girl who wears 「my Megane」.
…If I recall correctly, Lorobel said that this girl is a daughter of an aristocrat, didn’t she? If I don’t watch what I said, she’ll impeach me blasphemy, huh. Scary.
「Aah, yes. …Are your injuries fine now?」
Although Lorobel did say she just suffered minor injuries, it was a fact that she fainted while being pinned under a carriage yesterday. I don’t think trotting like that is a clever move.
「Yes. Not only it was just minor injuries, but it’s also cured without a trace by recovery magic. 」
Ah, recovery magic huh.
That’s aristocrats for you, they can request a Magic Doctor as long as they have the money.
This art of healing with instant effect namely recovery magic is also a reason why magicians are precious. What we’re talking about is injuries being healed right in front of your eyes. Magic is awesome, isn’t it? I haven’t seen any magic in my life except that weak flying slash …Ah, 「Megane」 is also magic, for once.
「 You have come in a good time. I was about to call you.
—Well then, you two. Please meet Master right away.」
Eh? Why the two of us?
…The bad premonition is worse than I expected.
This is, how do I put it… a premonition that tells me I can’t return to the village for a while.
My deepest apologies for being inactive for the past month. I know this doesn’t justify my absence, but I have my reasons. Simply put, I was extra busy. Literally only stopped at my house to shower before I departed again. Assignments, contests, practices, exams, my dead phone, it was hard for me to even spare a little time to care about my shipfus in Azur Lane in-between my tight schedule (I missed an entire event!) I hope you understand.
Now, for MOSS readers (if there is any), I’m sorry I haven’t posted new stories in, like, ages. Along with the reason above, I also decided to continue my long-dead series. It doesn’t mean I’m dropping MOSS altogether, however, I just shifted my attention. I’ll post MOSS out of the blue every once in a while.