“Hyahha—! Yeah!” As if such a sound could be heard, a dense, enormous, and fierce pressure mercilessly attacked the Adventurers aiming at Hajime’s party. The bloodlust that was previously coming from the Adventurers seemed nothing but a childish tantrum compared to this. As if also carrying physical force, the immature Adventurers immediately lost their consciousness while all of the standing Adventurers were re-seated without even having the time to tremble.
With Raisen Grand Canyon to their left, and a magnificent meadow to their right, the magic driven two and four-wheelers advanced towards the west with the sun at their backs. Raising a cloud of dust on the highway as it advanced by the four-wheeler’s side, the two-wheeler went back and forth between the barren ground and the meadow by the canyon side as it roared noisily, merrily even.
“… Seems like Shia is in a good mood. She even shouted just like those guys from the end of the century.”
“… Hmm. I also want to try it.”
In the four-wheeler’s driver seat, Hajime muttered with an amazed expression with one hand steering the vehicle, while the elbow of his other hand was on the window frame. Just as Hajime said, Shia was not riding on the four-wheeler. She was driving the two-wheeler alone.
To begin with, Shia truly liked the feeling of cutting through the wind as the two-wheeler advanced, but the number of people had increased recently and their main transportation method changed to that of the four-wheeler, which made her dissatisfied. Though she could feel the wind if she put her head out the window, she could not be satisfied with that and she could not stick to Hajime like when they used the two-wheeler because the seat next to him was reserved for Yue. Thus, she asked Hajime to teach her how to drive the two-wheeler.
The magic-driven two-wheeler could be operated easily as long as one could use direct magic power manipulation. Depending on the circumstances, direct magic power manipulation could also be used to control the steering without the need to grip it. Thus, this was not that difficult for Shia, and she quickly learned how to drive it. Following that, she became enamoured with the two-wheeler.
Even now, she moved left and right while squeaking, she even drifted and popped a wheelie. Furthermore, she also did jackknife and backride techniques which would not lose to a professional extreme motorcycle stunt artist. The acceleration and braking could be done by manipulating her magic power, so it was far easier to operate than the one on Earth… Still, she kept up with Hajime’s pace. Shia’s rabbit ears even said, “Hey, hey, what do you think about my technique?” as they sometimes turned towards Hajime with a somewhat cheeky expression, which was simply irritating.
Occasionally, there were those whose character would change when they drive, and Shia might be one of them. Seeing Shia, Yue by Hajime’s side also wanted to try driving it herself. Yue even said, “Hyahha—!” but Hajime decided to absolutely stop her as he felt the mood would become awful. Also, beside Hajime was the three or four year-old Myuu putting her head out of the window at Yue’s side, as she steadily climbed from Yue’s lap with sparkling eyes. Pointing her hand towards Shia, who began to stand while steering with one hand, Myuu began pleading to Hajime.
“Papa! Papa! Myuu also wants to do that!”
“I already said you can’t.”
Sitting on Yue’s lap, Myuu, whose wish was denied began to whine and said, “No! Myuu wants to!” to Hajime. So as to not let the whining Myuu fall from the seat, Yue hugged her from behind and scolded her with, “…don’t whine!” “Uu~” Myuu raised a cute groan and Hajime showed a face as though to say it couldn’t be helped towards the depressed Myuu.
“Myuu. I’ll drive it with you later, so be patient.”
“Mhm. I won’t permit you to board it with Shia… but it’s okay if it is with me.”
“So, Myuu can’t drive it with Shia-oneechan?”
“Mhm, absolutely. Just look at her. This time she’s making a strange pose while steering. Though something come to my mind… I absolutely won’t let you get on the vehicle with someone who drives dangerously.”
Standing above the steer, Shia raised an American-like laughter while making a strange pose where her right hand’s fingers spreaded and hid her face while her left arm hung down with the shoulder slightly raised. As he stared at Shia who made Joke-like pose, Hajime pointed at Myuu. ‘Don’t copy Shia, okay?’, he said.
“To begin with, I don’t want you to get on the two-wheeler because it’ll be dangerous… should I make a child seat? The materials will be… mumble, mumble.”
“Yue-oneechan. Papa is mumbling. How strange.”
“… Hajime papa is just worried about Myuu… unexpectedly overprotective.”
“Fufu, does it mean Master is an unexpectedly indulgent person? Hmm, this gap somehow… haa, haa.”
“Yue-oneechan. Tio-oneechan is panting.”
“… It is an incurable disease so just ignore her.”
Serving as Myuu’s conversation partner, Yue patted Myuu’s head, who was gazing up at her.
Only a little time had passed since they started traveling with Myuu, but Hajime had already given up about Myuu calling him, “Papa.” At first, he used every possible means to change the way she called him, but Myuu began to tear up every time, and her trembling eyes silently appealed, “Is it bad? Does Papa hate Myuu?” Even Hajime, who was capable of beating the demonic beasts in the abyss to a pulp could not win against Myuu, just like how he could not go against Yue. Resultantly, he could not change it and it was established that he would be called “Papa.”
As he allowed (he gave up) her to call him “Papa,” Hajime began to worry about Myuu. Even now, it could be said he was being overprotective. Shia is a shameless rabbit while Tio is a pervert, so I must protect Myuu until she returns to her mother! or so he thought. During the time when he begins to be too meddlesome, Yue was the one who became the stopper, as well as the one in charge of teaching Myuu about common sense, and that’s the current composition of Hajime’s party.
Because Myuu was glued to Hajime, Yue couldn’t flirt with him, and she became somewhat dissatisfied, but she felt it could not be helped since she had also come to adore the cute Myuu.
While silently firing her magic towards Tio, who was panting and concentrating on her delusion in the back seat to silence her, Yue was covering Myuu’s ears since it would be bad for her education. Thus, with Hajime who was still mumbling about making the seat for Myuu, and Shia on the two-wheeler with only the rear wheel touching the ground, I must keep calm! Yue made an empty resolve.
* * *
Hajime’s party were currently at the Post Town, Holad.
Normally they would just pass through here, but because of a request from the head of Fhuren branch Adventurer Guild, Ilwa, they must stop on their way here. Even so, it didn’t take too much time as they passed here along their way to «Guryuu-en Great Desert».
Hajime walked towards Holad branch guild along the main street with nostalgic gaze. Riding on Hajime’s shoulders, Myuu noticed his state and used her small hand to tap on Hajime in curiosity.
“Papa? Did something happened?”
“Nn? Ah~, well, I’ve come here before… though it’s only been four months, it feels like years to me…”
“… Hajime, are you okay?”
Yue, whose hands were affixed on Hajime’s arm, had a complex expression while looking at him anxiously. Hajime shrugged and his atmosphere returned to the usual in the next moment.
“Ah, there’s no problem. It’s just that, I was absorbed in my emotions because it’s been such a long time. I remember that everything started here… After a night spent in tension, fear, and even desperation, I went to the dungeon on the next day… and then I fell.”
Hajime felt that in a way, that day could be called a fateful day. His monologue made Yue and the girls listen to him in a serious mood. Yue was silently looking at Hajime. And Tio asked Hajime questions out of curiosity.
“Hmm. Dost Master want to return to that day? After all, there’s the case of Master’s companions, too, right? Though Master hast his own circumstances… After all, thither’s not only those whom hast hurteth master, right? Was thither not someone master got along with?”
Because Tio’s relationship with Hajime’s party was still shallow, she would sometimes frankly ask about things she should be careful about even though she knew what was going through Hajime’s mind. It was because she didn’t want to only become a travel companion, so Tio put forth great effort to truly become a comrade in Hajime’s party. Although she was a pervert, in a way she favored Hajime.
That’s why Hajime listened to Tio’s question without being bothered by it. Thus, he exhaled and recalled the midnight tea party under the moonlight. With the unpalatable tea, there was the white negligee and black hair which reflected the moonlight, whose owner swore to protect him, and at the last moment, she stretched her hand out towards him with a bitter expression as her companions pinioned her…
Unexpectedly, he felt a trembling hand on his arm which made him regain his senses. When he looked at the source, Yue was looking straight at him with strong, resolute gaze, and her trembling hand tightly grasped Hajime’s sleeve.
Hajime matched Yue’s gaze and returned to silently gazing at her with a soft and gentle gaze.
“Certainly, there was someone… However, even if I could return to those days, I will still tread on this path of mine.”
Although she knew the answer from Hajime’s expression, Tio still asked with a slightly amused expression. Without averting his gaze from Yue, Hajime used his other hand to gently grasp Yue’s hand which was grasping his sleeve. Yue had a faintly smiling expression, and her cheeks were slightly dyed in red.
“Of course… it’s because I want to meet Yue.”
In the town of Holad, «Orcus Great Dungeon» made it possible to raise level quickly while selling the magic stones within the safety margin. Thus, Adventurers, Mercenaries, and Kingdom Soldiers gathered, together with a lot of merchants as their partner in business. The town displayed serious hustle and bustle. Naturally, the main street of such a town would have increased bustle.
Within the main street where a lot of people were doing their activities, Hajime and Yue suddenly halted and were looking at each other. They created their own world without minding their surroundings. They reached out to each other’s cheeks, and their atmosphere looked like they were about to kiss at any moment. Though they had somewhat gathered a crowd around them, and they were showered by gazes filled with curiosity and jealousy, Hajime and Yue didn’t notice them at all. They could only see each other.
“Tio-san, did you hear that? It isn’t “you” that Hajime-san wants to meet, is it? It’s only Yue-san. Once again, they created their own world. They don’t even care about their location and situation. And we can only watch them from the side, can’t we?
I feel it is about the time that such an atmosphere should be created between me and Hajime-san. Even though I’m always prepared to receive such treatment, it always passed me by, and to be treated as a regrettable character… No, I understand, you know? I know Yue-san is special. I yearn for a relationship just like those two, that’s why I want to stay together with them.
What I mean is, it’s natural Yue-san is special and I feel it’s a good thing. Rather, Hajime-san who neglects Yue-san is not Hajime-san. If that happens and Yue-san becomes sad because of it, I’ll be the one who beat Hajime-san to a pulp.
However, it is a however, kay? Recently, Hajime-san has become slightly dere~ I wonder if it’s about time I climb the stairs to adulthood~ I expected that, but it didn’t come true. No matter how special Yue-san is, wouldn’t it okay for Hajime-san to look at me a little more? It is shameful for a man to refuse a woman’s offer.
Even though it was easily understood that I welcomed him, he sloppily answered with a composed face to ignore it, this dimwit!, I thought so, but I never thought of complaining. I just want to flirt! Then, doing this and that on the bed! Even the hardcore play he did with Yue-san! I thought of those! So, what does Tio-san, the representative of all perverts, think!?”
“Sh-Shia. This one knows thou hast saved up thy resentment, but calm down. Rather, the one who shouted while not paying attention to the location is art thou. Also, to casually speak ill of this one in the end… To be treated as a pervert in such a public place, haa, haa, made everyone look at this one with cold gazes… Haa, haa, ngh, ngh.”
In the middle of the main street, the rabbit-eared girl shouted she wanted to do erotic things while speaking ill of the perverted beautiful woman whom began panting due to the atmosphere. The people who had gathered due to their curiosity were taken aback and they backed away.
“Papa~, Shia-oneechan and Tio-oneechan are…”
“Myuu. Don’t look at them. Just act as if we don’t know them.”
“…Shia… next time, I will tie Hajime and together with Shia…”
Shia’s shout was noticed by Hajime and Yue, and they returned to their senses. However, for now, they acted as though they didn’t know either Shia or Tio, and not looked at them because Myuu had become dumbfounded.
Although Yue whispered something frightening, Hajime decided he didn’t hear anything. But if he was worried about it, he would think of the possibility of the trap the next time he is with Yue. But he wanted to be pardoned from doing that. If it is Yue, such a thing… would not… happen, right? Surely, probably… it’ll be safe even though there’s a previous offense! Hajime tried to persuade himself.
Because from the distance, What’s with this commotion!, the town guards could be seen everywhere, Hajime reluctantly dragged Shia and Tio by the scruff of their necks to get out of this place. Every time they went to the town, gazes filled with envy and jealousy pierced Hajime who was surrounded by beautiful girls and beautiful woman… However, he didn’t know why only this time he felt there were a lot of sympathetic gazes. Surely it’s only his imagination.
* * *
Ignoring the gazes of the people, Hajime’s party finally arrived at Holad branch Adventurer Guild. With Myuu on his shoulders just like before, Hajime opened the guild’s door. Unlike the one in the other towns, the Holad branch’s door was made of metal. The heavy sound became a signal that someone was entering the building.
It was the first time he came here, since the last time he was in town, he neither had business here nor did he had the time to go to the adventurer guild. The atmosphere inside Holad branch was just like an adventurer guild Hajime had expected from the beginning.
There were broken parts of the walls and floor which were roughly patched up. Mud and stains from something were here and there, giving an insanitary impression. The interior was just like the other branches where the counter was near the entrance with a restaurant on the left. However, unlike the other branches, alcohol was served here, and there were old men hanging around to drink during the daytime. There was also the second floor where Adventurer-like people were looking down by the handrails. The people in the second floor gave off the atmosphere of a strong group. He didn’t know if it was an unspoken rule, but high-ranked Adventurers seemed to be on the second floor.
The atmosphere around the Adventurers was also different from the other towns. Everyone was glaring at them, and there was none of the heartwarming atmosphere compared to the one in Brook town. It could be said to be natural, because the Adventurers and Mercenaries were filled with spirit since these experts in battle and fighting demonic beasts would voluntarily enter the dungeon.
However, there was a tense atmosphere inside the guild and something seemed unusual. Something had obviously occurred since the Adventurers had serious expressions.
At the moment Hajime’s party entered the guild, the Adventurers turned their gazes towards them simultaneously. Their gazes were so sharp, that it felt like it would be able to penetrate through them which made Myuu, who was still riding on Hajime’s shoulders, to shout, “Eeek!,” and she quickly clung to Hajime’s head. Because Hajime appeared with a little girl on his shoulders while being surrounded by pretty girls and a beautiful woman, the Adventurers began to let out their bloodlust which contained various meaning. Myuu trembled even more. She was put down from Hajime’s shoulders, and was now held with his right hand. Myuu buried her head on Hajime’s chest to completely shut herself out of the surroundings.
With a youthful vigor, rather the Adventurers were just intoxicated by their own vigor, some of them began to stand from their seats. “Let’s beat up this brat,” was what their gazes implied, with an outburst of anger to release their resentment came from guild wrapped in bizarre atmosphere, and it was obvious they disliked Hajime’s party.
There was a possibility Hajime’s party were clients… but these Adventurers seemed to have never thought of that. The talk would be after they beat him up or something like that, and those who thought so, stepped forward towards Hajime.
However, Hajime, who recently became Papa, was an overprotective one. Even though it was temporary, he could not remain silent if someone frightened his daughter. Veins had already popped up on Hajime’s forehead and, contrary to his hand which was gently calming Myuu, his gaze was fierce.
As if that sound could be heard, a dense, enormous, and fierce pressure mercilessly attacked the Adventurers aiming at Hajime’s party. The bloodlust that previously came from the Adventurers was a childish tantrum compared to this. As if carrying physical force, too, the immature Adventurers immediately lost their consciousness while all of the standing Adventurers were re-seated without being given the time to tremble.
Even those who didn’t lose their consciousness from Hajime’s pressure, “Pressure” and “Magic Power Emission,” were desperately supporting their body and consciousness while most were trembling with pale faces, and with cold sweat.
After a moment that felt like an eternity, the pressure weakened. The Adventurers used that chance to frantically take a breath. Though there were those who accidentally pissed and vomited on themselves… Hajime was smirking to them while he spoke.
“Oi, to those aiming at us.”
The Adventurers were surprised and shaken by Hajime’s voice. The gazes that timidly looked at Hajime had fear stuck in them as if they were looking at a monster. However, without caring about such a thing, Hajime demanded… ordered them.
The Adventurers were puzzled due to the situation, ignoring order. So, Hajime continued his words.
“Did you not hear me? I said, laugh. Smile. Appeal to her that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Waves your hands, too. This child is frightened because of you. What will you do if she gets traumatized by it? Ah? Ah? So, amend for it.”
Then, don’t bring such a young child here!, was what the Adventurers wanted to retort, but they could not since the other party was a monster. Because Hajime’s sharp gaze pierced the puzzled them, they frantically tried to force a smile even though their cheeks were extremely stiff. Along with that, they began to wave their hands, too.
The appearance of the the fierce looking men with good body builds floating smile with cramped cheeks while lightly waving their hands, was truly surreal. However, without worrying about such things, Hajime nodded and whispered to Myuu whose face was buried in Hajime’s chest.
Because of what he said, Myuu timidly raised her face, and her moistened eyes looked up to Hajime. Next, she slowly turned around while being urged by Hajime’s gaze. Naturally, there were the fierce and trained people desperately trying to look friendly.
As expected, Myuu was still frightened and returned to Hajime’s chest. Hajime frowned. With more piercing glare at the Adventurers that said, “Bastard, what’s with this!” “Don’t be unreasonable!,” was what the Adventurers rebutted in their minds, and they finally turned their gazes towards Yue and the others by Hajime’s side to plead for help.
Receiving their gazes, “Haa~,” Yue sighed deeply, approached Myuu, and whispered something to her ear similar to what Hajime had done earlier. Thus, Myuu once again timidly raised her face and looked at the Adventurers. The Adventurers panickedly tried to look friendly.
For a while, Myuu silently watched the Adventurers and, as if she understood something, she smiled and waved her small hand back. Because her smile and gesture were so lovely, the trained men inadvertently calmed down while forgetting the situation. Hajime was also satisfied, and once again carried Myuu on his shoulders. Then, he walked towards the counter as though he didn’t have any more interest in the Adventurers.
The moment Hajime’s party arrived before the counter, ignoring the crumbling sounds that rang out here and there, they told their purpose to the receptionist.
By the way, the receptionist, a girl, was a lovely one. A cheerful girl who was at least as old as Hajime. It seemed the usual template was here. But most noticeable was the tension and big confusion that appeared on the attractive receptionist’s expression.
“Is the branch head here? I have a letter from Fhuren branch head… but he said to personally hand it over.”
As he said so, Hajime presented his status plate to the receptionist. Although she seemed to be filled with tension, the receptionist sat up and received the status plate just like a pro.
“Th-Thank you. You can entrust it to me. E-excuse me, just what kind of request did the Fhuren’s… branch head had?”
Normally, no mere adventurer would receive any request from a branch head, so the receptionist displayed a slightly dubious expression. However, her eyes opened wide when she saw the information displayed by Hajime’s status plate.
Among Adventurers, not even 10% of them were “Gold” ranked. Thus, all of the guild personnel were told about the “Gold” rank ones so they would be able to recognize them. Naturally, this receptionist also knew of all the “Gold” ranked Adventurers. However, she unintentionally leaked a surprised voice because she didn’t know about Hajime.
Her voice made the Adventurers, guild staff members, and everyone inside the guild building opened their eyes wide in surprise. And just like the receptionist, they stared at Hajime. The building interior became noisy.
The receptionist turned pale as she realized she just exposed an individual’s information loudly. Thus, she began to bow at tremendous pace.
“I-I am sorry! I truly am sorry about it!”
“Ah~, no need for that. It’s not like I mind it. So, can you convey this to the branch head now?”
“Y-Yes! Please wait for a moment!”
The receptionist who seemed as though she would continue to apologize if he didn’t say anything made Hajime smile wryly. After the small battle in UI and the great rampage that annihilated an underground organization in Fhuren, he thought it’d already be too late to try to hide his identity.
The “Gold” ranked adventurer boy who brought along a child and a harem of pretty girls as well as a beautiful woman made him gather attention inside the guild building. Nevertheless, Hajime’s party gave off a clear attitude that it was the usual as they waited for the receptionist. Unaccustomed to being in the center of attention, Myuu felt uncomfortable, only to be comforted by everyone in Hajime’s party. Because the way Tio comforted her was bad for Myuu’s education, a slap visited her cheek. Thus, it raised further commotion, but was ignored as expected.
Before long, rather not even five minutes had passed, someone ran from inside the interior with loud footsteps. Hajime’s party paid attention to the sound and wondered what happened. A boy clad in black jumped out from the passage behind the counter and skidded on the floor due to the momentum. As though he was looking for someone, the boy began to look around.
Hajime remembered the person. He was dumbfounded since he never thought he would meet him again in such a place, and thus he muttered inadvertently.