With Sylphy as my new companion, we began our search for Lythtis. We were currently investigating several warehouses in a corner of the port city that I had previously travelled to.
“…you think Lythtis is here?”
I asked Sylphy this as we watched one of the warehouses from a small alley a short distance away.
“It’s possible. There are several other candidates that I’ve sent guild members to investigate, so there is a chance she’s not here.”
I would like to be the one to save Lythtis if possible but it would be terrible if we can’t find her. I’d rather she be at any one of the places Sylphy is investigating than not be able to find her at all.
“…however, the warehouses here are used by Rennis’ Clothing Shop. There have also been reports that the Earl of Chaos’ men have been visiting this warehouse. So there’s a good possibility she’s here.”
I guess she could sense my anxiety so she quickly reassured me.
For the time being, I’ll need to rely on the Guild to acquire more information and I’ll just need to focus on what we’re doing now. We need to investigate this warehouse first.
We then spent an entire day observing the warehouse from a building across from it.
During that time, we saw no evidence to suggest that Lythtis was being kept there. It was as we were coming up with a plan to sneak in that a single carriage stopped in front of the warehouse.
While keeping an eye on the carriage, I shook Sylphy who was taking a nap.
“Hmm…what is it? Did you want to have some fun in bed with me?”
“Stop saying such strange things. A carriage has stopped in front of the warehouse.”
“– A carriage?”
She quickly wiped the sleep from her eyes, jumped out of bed, and ran to my side at the window.
“That carriage…there’s something strange about it.”
“There is? It looks like a normal carriage to me.”
“It isn’t. If you look closely, you can see the wheels and the window have been reinforced. They must use that carriage to discreetly transport someone that they wish to hide.”
It doesn’t look any different to me. Actually, I’m not even sure I could see such fine details from this distance.
…but that doesn’t seem to be a problem for Sylphy.
I know her overall ability score is high, so it’s entirely possible she has skills that enhance her vision or something similar.
I’m any case, we left our room and stealthily approached the warehouse, using a few crates to hide our position.
“I don’t see any sign of Lythtis.”
“…me neither. Actually, I don’t see anyone at all in the carriage. I think it was empty. I can only see the coachman, so they may be here to pick someone up — look, someone’s coming.”
We spoke in hushed whispers as a few ragged looking men exited the warehouse. One of these men dragged a girl behind him who was gagged and had her hands bound.
I looked closely at her face all the while doing my best not to get my hopes up. She was clearly malnourished, but…without a doubt it was her.
“We’ve found Claudia’s sister. We have to help her now.”
“ — Wait.”
Sylphy stopped me before I could jump out into the open.
“We don’t even know how many of them there are. We should at least ask the local guild for support.”
“I agree that we need help, but we don’t have time for that. We’ll lose our chance to save her if they manage to leave with her in that carriage.”
If she were being brought from the carriage to the warehouse, we’d probably have time to go get help. But the opposite is happening. If we lose sight of her now, we’ll be back to square one.
If we had horses we could follow after the carriage but we didn’t plan for an event like this. This is our only chance to save Lythtis.
“That’s…you’re probably right…. No, you are right.”
Sylphy had a somewhat distant look in her eyes and quickly changed her opinion on what we should do. I don’t know why she was so easily persuaded but I don’t have time to worry about that.
“Then, I’ll need your support.”
“Of course, you can count on me. After all, I’m Yuzuki-kun’s personal receptionist.”
I’m thankful to her but I don’t think this is something required of any receptionist.
— Thunder Burst.
I started channeling the spell while I was still hidden. Just before it was ready, I jumped out from behind the crates and rushed toward the man restraining Lythtis.
“Who is that!?”
“Mmm! Mmm mm!”
Two men noticed my approach and attempted to block Lythtis off from me. I continued my dead sprint towards the two men that had become my targets.
“I will take that girl back!”
I activated my prepared Thunder Burst.
Waves of thunder magic emanated from me. The thunder waves travelled up the legs of the closest men and robbed them of their conscious. The man restraining Lythtis looked horrified but was unable to get out of range of my attack and quickly collapsed to the ground.
“Lythtis, are you all right!?”
As soon as they were down I ran to Lythtis’ side, removed the gag, and used the dagger from my item box to cut the ropes restraining her.
She must’ve been terrified. As soon as her arms were free, she wrapped them around me. I’d like to comfort her, but we’re still in the enemy’s territory and their could be more enemies left.
I tried to pull Lythtis to her feet, but more than a dozen men came rushing out of the warehouse after hearing the commotion.
“What happened? What’s going on out here!?”
“We’re under attack! Use ranged magic and if you can’t use magic use your bows! Don’t worry about the girl, just take them out!”
— wait, seriously!?
I wasn’t expecting them to attack us if we had Lythtis. Several enemies prepared spells or nocked arrows on their bows. I threw myself over Lythtis in order to protect her.
“ — Now, fire!”
The enemy attacked all at one. Arrows and magic raced toward us, but — not a single attack managed to hit us. When I looked up, I saw Sylphy standing between us and the men, blocking their attacks.
“Yuzuki-kun, are you okay?”
She looked back over her shoulder and asked me this.
“I’m more worried about you!”
“I’m fine. I was able to block their attacks with magic.”
“…magic? Oh, I see.”
I only noticed after she said something. There was a thin film of magic encircling us.
“More importantly…if you charge head first into the enemy, you must be ready to protect yourself.”
“Right. I’m sorry.”
After I apologized, Sylphy gently laughed and held her hand out to me.
“…what is it?”
“I’ll protect Lythtis. Yuzuki-kun, you handle the remaining enemies.”
I left Lythtis in Sylphy’s care and withdrew the long sword from my item box.
And — I activated Goddess Medea’s Blessing. Additionally, I began channeling Fire Bolt, using my increased No Chant skill to hide the magic circle. I used the sword to slash toward the chest of one of the enemies that was still in disbelief over Sylphy blocking all of the attacks.
“– Too slow!”
He tried to deflect my attack with his own sword but was too slow. I knocked his sword from his hand and cut open his abdomen. I spun around the dying man and used my momentum to strike down the enemy nearest him.
“What are you idiots doing!? Fire, fire!”
The remaining enemies followed the apparent commander’s orders and started channeling their magic and readying their bows, but this time I was ready.
I ran towards the mages channeling their spells and positioned the commander between the archers and myself. The mages were defenseless as their spells channeled so I used Fire Bolt to disable them. Still using the commander to block off the archers’ attacks, I rushed toward him before twisting my body around him and slicing through the bowstrings of the archers.
Only ten seconds had passed. In that time, I had incapacitated or disabled nearly all of the enemies.
The commander was left stunned.
I previously wouldn’t have been able to handle this many people at once. I earned a large amount of SP when I was fighting with Claudia in the dungeon.
I became used to battle after fighting countless enemies down there. As a result, my fighting skill has increased.
“Now then, tell us who’s behind all of this.”
“Ku — Do you really expect me to tell you anything — hii!”
I had little patience for this so I quickly thrust my sword within inches of his neck.
“If you don’t wish to tell me, I’ll be taking your life as punishment for kidnapping a frail girl like Lythtis.”
“Ku…Y-You…don’t know who you’re messing with!”
“Aren’t you listening? It’s because I don’t know that I’m asking you.”
I urged him to tell me once more. However, before he could answer, there was more sound coming from within the warehouse. An additional dozen men came streaming out of the entry door.
“What’s happening out here!?”
A young man with blonde hair and blue eyes wearing resplendent clothing lead the men out of the warehouse. After seeing that I was holding my sword to the commander’s neck, his expression hardened.
“What are you doing to my men?”
The commander ran and hid behind the man called Ares.
“Ares-sama, these people suddenly attacked us!”
“Oh? You dare attack one of my subordinates?”
“If he’s your subordinate, then you must be the man responsible for kidnapping Lythtis.”
“I came here to save a girl that had been kidnapped. Your men there had her bound and gagged. If you’re in charge of them, then you must be the one behind her kidnapping.”
I’m not sure who this man is, but the evidence is clear for all to see. Yet, the blonde man continued talking down to me as if I were the criminal.
“I’m not sure if this is just a misunderstanding or what, but me and my men were only protecting that girl after we rescued her from some filthy criminal. How dare you accuse me of being a criminal.”
I was unsure if I should believe him, so I turned to Lythtis.
“He’s lying! This man captured me and brought me here!”
“…she doesn’t seem to agree with your version of the story.”
I turned back to the young man.
“Ha, she’s just a young child. She’s clearly misunderstanding the situation.”
“Do you really expect me to believe that?”
“As I said before, she’s just misunderstanding. I, the eldest son of House Chaos, merely protected her. If you report me to the town guards, you will be the one imprisoned.”
…right, that man is the mastermind behind the many plots plaguing Gran Island.
Rose was worried about him becoming involved but if we can get him arrested here, this will all be over. However, Sylphy pulled on my sleeve before I could respond.
“Yuzuki-kun, this is bad.”
“Why? You don’t think we can handle this many people?”
“That’s not what I’m saying. That man belongs to a great noble family. If we attack him we’ll be the criminals here.”
“What are you saying? This man kidnapped Lythtis!”
“It doesn’t matter. We’re just commoners, it wouldn’t matter what we say when the kidnapper is a nobleman.”
That does make sense.
Depending on the country and the time period back on Earth, there would almost certainly be a massive gap between the commoners and the nobility. It wouldn’t surprise me that an accusation from a commoner would be completely ignored if the nobleman held enough power.
“All right. That elf there seems to understand your situation. Now that you know just exactly where you stand, how about returning the girl to me.”
“–What!? We came here to save her!”
“That’s what you’ve said. But I’m growing tired of repeating myself. We are the ones that saved that girl and I plan on keeping her safe back at my home. If you try to stop me, you’ll prove to me that you’re no better than the criminal I saved that girl from.”
Listening to Ares’ words, I could barely hold back my anger. Sensing this, Sylphy pulled harder on my sleeve.
“You can’t. No good will come from laying your hands on him. Even Rose-sama won’t be able to help you.”
“That’s…. But we can’t just do what he wants. I can’t hand over Lythtis after we just managed to rescue her!”
We have no guarantee that she’ll be safe.
He’s keeping up his act as a proper nobleman now, but I have no reason to believe he won’t harm her. He kidnapped Lythtis before, and I’m sure that after this, he’ll keep her in a more secure location.
“Well…I see two options for us. First…we can kill everyone here and leave no evidence of our involvement.”
“…eh, no, I’d like to avoid that if possible.”
“But, as your exclusive receptionist, I can’t allow you to become a criminal, Yuzuki-kun. And to prevent that, I think a few small sacrifices can be made.”
“No, no, no. Nothing about that seems small.”
Once again, I was reminded that Sylphy is still a yandere.
Synopsis: Somewhere in the universe, there was an altar. On it, laid a bloody eye as big as the sun itself. It burst with light and bathed the entire star system in red.
"The aura of an ancestral artifact!" Someone's voice rose in surprise.
The Great Galactic Era had begun.