We entered the village at the warrior’s suggestion.

A firm believer in clichés, I pressed the hood of my robe deeper.
I hoped that covering up the little that was exposed would give me some peace of mind.

We walked for a while.

There were few passersby on the road.
The warrior shrewdly scanned the streets and made his way to a nearby fruit stand.

The shopkeeper, sitting behind the counter, looked at him with a free spirit.
His eyes widened slightly at the sight of his face and his gaze swept over his body.

He was dressed in light iron armor, tattered and dirty from his experiences in the Horn Mountains.
When we first met, I’d thought he was bootylicious in his light attire, but now he looked like a wandering adventurer.
The funny thing was, he didn’t look like a mercenary.

The shopkeeper asked nervously, having to come to a similar conclusion.

“Are you a knight?”

Sure enough, the warrior, who had worn a serious face until they reached the shop, was now smirking.

After making an embarrassed face, he replied.

“Oh, no.
He’s just a wannabe.”

The shopkeeper’s eyes swept over the warrior’s casual attire, then seemed to glance behind him.
I quickly gathered up Reg and Herrin and slipped into the alleyway opposite, pretending I wasn’t in the company of the warrior.

Poking my head out of the wall to survey the situation, I saw the shopkeeper’s face relax a little.

“Aha! I see, so you’ve come to Arandal to take your knightly exams for the Lordship?”

“Is the knightly examination about to take place? I’m just here on a whim, thank goodness.”

The warrior lied casually.
It was unexpected from the man who had been making up lame excuses until just now.

The shopkeeper relaxed even more and began to wax lyrical about how wonderful and good Arandal Manor was.

“…What a beautiful place.
I’m sure the knight will love it, and how wonderful the lord is.”

“Wow, I’m really looking forward to it.

The wary shopkeeper quickly relaxed and smiled broadly.

Apparently, a handsome face inspires trust.

After a while of exchanging compliments about the Arandal estate, the warrior asked the shopekeepr a question in passing.
He already had a basket of fruit in his hand.
In the basket were a number of luscious apples, sleek and tasty.

“By the way, the road is quite deserted.
Ah, please pay for this.”

The shopekeeper’s hands busily counted the number of apples in the basket.

“Alas,” he said, “it is a day of worship, and if I were not in business, I would go to church, too.
Here, give me two silver coins.”

“No, I’m not.
It was fun …here you go.”

The church?

The place where the gods are worshipped is called a temple, not a church.

Despite the awkwardness of his conversation with the shopkeeper, the warrior nevertheless ended the conversation and exchanged pleasantries with him.
He must have realized that the shopkeeper had a story to tell.

Without a word, he walked back into town.
As he walked further and further away, he quickly cast a magic thread at him.

‘Don’t feel bad about it, Hero.
It’s better than getting lost.’

I muttered an inward apology.

Once we were further down the alleyway, I turned to my companions.

“Mohan went a little further into town.”

“What? He’s not going to get lost, is he?”

There were still some in the party with strong memories of their struggles in the Horn Mountains.
I couldn’t tell them about the magic thread, only that it would be fine.
Oddly enough, that seemed to convince them both.

“More than that, Herrin, did the spirits tell you anything in particular?”

Herrin rolled her eyes and smiled awkwardly.

“Well, actually….
The spirits from the Horn Mountains just keep saying they’re in a bad mood.”

He meant no help, the little bastards, only helpful when they had to be.

It was as if the spirits’ sensitivity had become a poison.
Apparently, the closer we got to the Demon City, the more he felt that he couldn’t trust the senses of the spirits.

“Let’s join Mohan first.”

“That’s right.
Let’s get a good place to stay and have a meeting there.”

From what I’d overheard earlier, there was a large inn in the next village.
It had been recommended by an outsider who bragged about the manor, so it should be good.

Arandal had no spatial distortion caused by Magi, so I could sense the warrior’s location quite well.

The accommodation recommended by the fruit vendor was not as good as I expected.
The facilities were clean, but the beds were hard.
The unnecessary glass and gemstones decorating each window spread light everywhere, blinding me.

I made a roof over the snow by hand.

Outside my window, I could see the bustling streets of Arandal.
It was definitely a more bustling town than the one we had visited yesterday.

Ding dong-

A distant bell announced the time.
A few passersby clasped their hands together in the direction of the bell.

Birds flew over the rooftops and children’s laughter mingled with the chimes.
The light reflected off the decorations hanging from the houses, brightening up the town.

It was peaceful.
Unnecessarily so.

I could almost see what the warrior meant when he said it was strange.


Behind my back, I heard a door lock engage.

Ignoring it, I explored the town a bit more, and a sweet smell wafted from the side.


I turned around and saw the warrior standing there with apple juice on a tray.

“Cylon, here’s some apple juice.”

“…It’s mine?”


I thanked him and took the juice in his hand.
He watched me with the tray at his side.

“Did you make it yourself?”

“The inn graciously let me use their kitchen.”

The ornament that had been bothering my eyes cast a glow over the warrior’s face.

“It’s delicious.
I think Mohan has a lot of talent.”

“Ah, is it any wonder I’m a noble?”

Despite his careful words, the warrior understood at once.
He winced a little, but thankfully didn’t seem to mind.

“We learned it together when we were young while being trained as knights.
I’ll be the lord of the knights of the estate later, and I thought I shouldn’t be able to do what they could do.”

It was a very diligent and great reason.
When I was young, I always said to explode the tower like a habit.
Even now, I was just thinking about being lazy.

It wasn’t introspection.
I’ve been living too hard.
I had no intention of working harder, even if it meant running away for the rest of my life, or becoming one of the warrior’s companions the God had chosen for me.
I still had only one goal in mind.

“Did you buy this apple at that fruit shop yesterday?”

I like apples.”

He smiled shyly, but there was no lie in his face.

He likes oranges, he likes apples….
Maybe it was because Morocco was a southern territory that he liked fruit.

The juice tasted good.

“Oh, Herrin went to the market and Reg said he was going to a nearby pub where mercenaries hang out.”

I didn’t see Reg, but I did see Herrin’s back through the window.

That was the mayor.

“Are you going out too?”

“No, I’m going to get some rest.
What about you, Cylon?”

The warrior’s eyes sparkled.
Violet eyes glanced at the bed.
They seemed alive with the thought of rest.

He stretched his arms toward the ceiling.
My body felt stiff from all the sitting.

“I’m thinking of going to the market.”

“What? Why?”

“Huh? Well, to see if there’s a quilt shop…?”


Long eyelashes cast shadows over his face.
The warrior, suddenly in a sombre mood, said in a weak voice.

“Oh, right.
Warrior, this.”

“This is….”

“It’s a communication orb I got from the dungeon.
I’ve tinkered with it a bit so you can use it without magic.
It’s rechargeable.”

Mages can use magical contracts to exchange short words, but unfortunately, I was the only mage in my party of warrior.
I was worried because we’d been separated from each other in the Horn Mountains, but I was glad to find a communication orb in the dungeon.

I tinkered with the circuitry a bit, relying on my past life memories and pre-charging my magic.
Fortunately, the circuit drawn on the communication orb wasn’t too complicated, so I was able to fix it by myself.
It kept me up at night, but I’m glad I liked the result.

He’s a mechanic who doesn’t like fancy things, but he was a genius.
I can’t believe he was already making mobile phones for the 20th century.
What the hell was he doing?

The warrior held the communication orb carefully in both hands.

“…With this, I can talk to Cylon even if we’re far apart?”

I’ve got two days’ worth of charge, so come tomorrow night.”

He seemed to really like the communication orb.
The clouds on the warrior’s face vanished.
I showed him how to use it, which was simple.

I stood by the door and waved gently.

“Call me if anything happens.”


“What, the Horn Mountains were covered in magi, and no one knew?”

Reg frowned harshly.

The woman sitting across from him had placed a huge knife on the table, chin up.

“Are you saying I’m lying?”

Reg looked at the woman, Arma, a little wearily.

He’d met her during the great turf wars in the west and even then, she’d been quick to slit his wrists at the slightest hint of doubt.
Reg wondered for a moment why it was Arma, an old colleague, whom he’d just run into.
It was an unanswered question.

“You know that when we fight, we don’t win or lose.”

Reg pretended not to understand Arma’s meaning and said something else.
She wasn’t wrong, in fact, as they had dueled once when they’d grown bored after a territory battle had gone on longer than they’d expected, and they’d drawn.

“No, come on, you’re acting like a novice.
If you get pinned, I’ll bet you a wrist.”

“Ha, I’m not here to make a bet with you, I’m here to get information.”

“I know and you know it’s my credit.”

“I do.
Okay, let’s not talk about it.”

With a snap, Arma slammed his knife under the table.

The owner of the restaurant, who had been watching from a distance, threw a dishcloth at her in annoyance.

“Don’t forget the scratched table! Arma!”

“You know what?”

“That’s the fifth table you’ve ruined so far, and you don’t know you’re killing yourself here because you can’t pay for it!”

“Come on! I’ll pay you for real later! Would you believe me if I slit your wrists? Just wait a minute!”

“Your wrist! What do I want with your wrist?”

Reg furrowed his brow at Arma’s ‘wrist credit’, which was worse than he’d expected.

‘I’ll have to find another source.’

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