Translator: Jiro Editor: Ryunakama
「Urgh… Is it morning already?」
As I slowly rose up from the sofa, I smelled a pleasant aroma coming from the kitchen.
Looking towards the kitchen I saw Claude, who was wearing an apron, cooking.
Oh yea. Mom is at the shelter.
Having noticed me Claude turned to look at me with a bright smile.
「Good morning Zeph-kun.」
「Are you okay, being up this early and all?」
「Ahahaha… It’s all thanks to you…」 Claude mumbled, her face flushing as she shifted her look away.
Thanks to me? Oh! She must be talking about the Remira Grass. Even though it was an emergency it probably was somewhat unpleasant for her.
I changed the conversation to the food in an attempt to deflect the subject.
「So, what are you making? It smells fantastic.」
「T-Thank you! I’m trying to make soup… Would you like to try it?」
Claude scooped a bit of soup into a bowl and handed it over to me.
The aroma that tickled my nose felt awfully familiar.
「This is mom’s…」
「That’s right… I actually had your mother give me the recipe.」
「Did you stop by the house while I wasn’t around?」
「I originally came with the intent to apologize… Yet I felt even more indebted when I left…」 Claude said nervously fiddling with her hair.
I see. So the beauty that mom told me about was Claude. Truth be told, with her hair grown out like this, she really is quite the beauty.
「Your mother is a really nice person.」 she said.
「She’s my pride and joy. This soup, it’s quite good.」
「Fufu. There’s more so eat as much as you like.」 As I presented my empty bowl to Claude, she filled it up again.
The sunrays pierced through the cracks in the curtains, and Claude and I just stood there silently.
However, it strangely didn’t feel unpleasant at all.
「What is it, Claude?」
「Can I travel with you again?」
「… Thank you.」 Claude sighed deeply, relieved from the bottom of her heart.
Afterwards Shirushu woke up and we ended up having breakfast together.
「Phew. Thank you for the meal.」
「Claude-san it was really delicious.」 Shirushu said.
「Hehe… I’m glad you liked it.」
「Still, Milly is oversleeping even more than usual, don’t you think?」
「She must have been quite fatigued from yesterday…」 Shirushu said, worried.
Milly had yet to wake up. I got closer to the sofa and called out to her.
「Milly. Hey Milly.」
「Ug…. Zeph…?」 she replied with a faint voice.
Her eyes still closed.
It’s just as Shirushu said. She can’t even move.
「Let me check something.」 I said.
It can’t be.
I turned over her clothes and put my finger on her lower abdomen. As a result, I saw some damage to her magical power lines.
It must be because she used magic even though she was already way past her limit.
If one pushed their magic power to the limit, their magic power lines began to snap. Due to weariness, in some of the more acute situations, that person would be unable to move for several days.
「There’s nothing we can do about it. For now, just rest, okay?」
「We’ll take care of the protection barrier by ourselves.」
After carrying Milly to the bed I left the house with Claude and Shirushu.
We discovered the stone monument carved with the Magician Association’s crest after walking around town for a while.
It was a small Hokora just in the centre of Nanami. The protection barrier’s most important point was right beneath it.
「This is terrible…」 Claude remarked.
Normally, the residents of Nanami revered the Hokora, and they wouldn’t let even a single piece of trash near it. However, it was now covered in mud and rubble as a result of Dark Zell’s massive attack.
The outer circumference of the beautifully constructed protection barrier was completely covered up.
「Hmm, it reeks as well.」
A foul smell was lingering in the area. Shirushu’s face turned pale as she covered her mouth.
「Urgh… I feel sick…」 Shirushu said.
「It must be hard for you, considering your keen sense of smell. You’d better go back. Don’t push yourself.」
「Shirushu-san, you can leave this to both me and Zeph.」
「I’m sorry… Just in case I’ll keep watch from a bit farther away. Zeph-san could you wait here for just a bit? Claude-san you come with me…」 Shirushu said and dragged Claude by the hand.
She then whispered something in Claude’s ear.
After a few moments of watching them converse, Shirushu encouragingly sent Claude out.
Claude was approaching me in an embarrassing manner, whilst Shirushu appeared to be quite happy.
「I-I’m sorry to have kept you waiting…」
「Claude, you’re bright red. What did Shirushu tell you?」
「I-It’s nothing! Don’t worry about it Zeph-kun. L-Let’s just go!」 she said, waving her hands.
「… If you say so.」 As I said, Claude took me and we went inside the Hokora.
The inside was quite dark. The inside was usually covered with luminous moss which illuminated the area, however that moss was now completely covered by the black mucus.
We then proceeded after I cast Red Ball, which I used in place of a torch.
「It’s unpleasant… I feel like something will jump out at any moment…」 Claude said.
「What’s wrong Claude? Are you still scared of ghosts?」 I said teasingly.
「T-That’s not it!」 she said, pouting.
She should be more honest with herself. If she’s scared she can just hold onto my sleeve or something.
The mud became more awful as we progressed deeper. It was to the point where it was hard to walk.
Claude was just behind me when she abruptly grabbed on my clothes, attempting to compel me to come to a halt.
「…Zeph-kun. There’s something moving over there.」
「You’re right. It seems like there are still monsters left.」
As I used the Red Ball to illuminate the ground, a dark silhouette appeared, wriggling on the ground. It was a Dark Zell.
The Dark Zell approached us with its partially destroyed body, further destroying it.
This thing must be a fragment of the enormous Dark Zell.
「Leave it to me!」 Claude said, pulling out her sword and facing the Dark Zell.
She moved, and in an instant numerous slashes burst forth.
The Dark Zell before her was left with numerous white trails as Claude calmed her breathing.
「Was that White Flash?」 I asked.
As soon as he heard me Claude began to cough violently.
Hm? Did I mess up the name? I’ve only heard it once, and she did mumble it, so I might have gotten it wrong.
The fact that Claude hesitated to look me in the eyes and her face turning blazing red led me to believe that.
「What’s wrong Claude? Did I get it wrong? Isn’t it called White Flash?」
「No… White Flash is fine… You’ve got the name perfectly right… so please don’t say it over… and over again…」 As she squatted and covered her ears with her hands, Claude said.
Hmm… She seems to be embarrassed by it for some reason.
After a while she wobblingly stood up, however her cheeks were still a bit blushed.
「This skill… It’s something that I created during these three years…」
「I see. So it’s a self-made sword skill. White Flash is a good name.」
「…Can I ask you not to say that name? …It’s embarrassing.」
「But why? It’s really cool. I think that White Flash fits perfectly.」
「Just don’t, please!!」 Blocking her ears, Claude said.
I don’t get her.
「…I tried to give it a name just the way you give your spells names, Zeph-kun… However, it’s way more embarrassing than I thought.」
「Ahaha. I guess I really can’t win against you, Zeph-kun.」 Claude said as she looked at me with a complicated expression.
I really don’t get her.
「So, what kind of skill is it exactly? At first I thought that you had just used some spell on it, but it doesn’t seem to be that simple.」
「Well… it works by applying my Screen Point to the sword.」 Claude said.
She took out her sword from its scabbard and gathered magic power at the tip of the blade to show me.
Screen Point was a magician killing spell which was passed down the Leonhardt family. It worked by enveloping one’s whole body with a dim light which could nullify the magic power that touched it.
So she wrapped it around her sword huh.
If we excluded Support Spells like Red Weapon, it was extremely difficult to imbue a standard spell in a weapon.
Originally, a blacksmith and a magician would have to collaborate to create such a weapon by stacking layers upon layers of high-grade magic metal imbued with magical power.
「The more powerful a monster is, the more of the continent’s magical power it contains. As a result, this White Flash is highly effective… This is especially true when it comes to the black monsters. However, the drawback is that when I’m using it I cannot use Screen Point on myself, so I need to sacrifice my defense.」 Claude said.
「I see. It’s a completely offensive skill.」
After proceeding forward for a bit more, we finally reached the central part of the Hokora.
Next we went down a long spiral staircase till we arrived in a dimly lit room.