Losing Interest in the Otherworld Hobby - Chapter 20
When Wal arrived there with reinforcements, he found the surviving lords and their maids waiting for him.
“Are you all right?
“Wal, I’m so glad you came. ……Yes, I’m alive somehow. Thanks to a helper.
“…… so that’s why you idiots came.”
Seeing them calmly without serious injuries, Wal understands the situation.
“So Wal had arranged those helpers for us. Speaking of idiots, could it be…?”
“Oops, no need to pry.”
Kumarak, Lord of Oxard, recalls the events of the night he took the antidote.
His best friend Wal had called him a fool for selling the rare potion to a customer who had been so foolishly honest.
“I see you’ve made a connection with him this time. It might be a good idea to meet him once.”
“I would like to thank you again, and I will leave that opportunity to you. I’ll leave that opportunity to you. I need your help to find them.
The group searches the forest, keeping an eye out for remnants.
“It has already been one night. Are they really alive?
“The guards saw that we couldn’t fight off the bandits, so they stopped us to let us go. Frankly, it’s a tough situation to survive in, but he says they’re evacuating the survivors to a cave.”
“That’s what guards do. You don’t need to worry about it.”
After a short distance, we found the cold bodyguards near where we were first attacked and the sleeping ones in the cave.
“It seems that about half of them are safe.
“I’m sorry for those who died, but those who survived were lucky.”
Wal and Kumararak offer a silent prayer, and then examine the bodies.
“It’s not just luck, is it? See, the survivors also have deep cuts in their armor. Normally they would have been mortally wounded.
“So you administered a restorative to a dying man. But a medicine to heal a critical condition requires at least rank 6. And for this many people. I’m impressed by ……. Is he a merchant of some renown?”
From the antidote he received earlier, it seems that the man in question possesses a lot of high-level items. However, the number of items used in this case is, to put it mildly, extraordinary.
“What kind of merchant would give away his valuables for free? His actions are not in line with our interests.
“Maybe he has some rare item that he can make out of anything?”
“…… If there really is such a thing, it would explain his behavior to some extent. But…”
“The item is definitely a very fine item, rank 10 or higher. Then, the very existence of a person who possesses a unique and rare item must be a problem.
Neither of us has ever heard of such a law-breaking item. Nevertheless, there are probably items that have not yet been obtained by the human race, whose strength is far inferior to that of the demons.
“Only a high ranking nobleman, if not a wealthy merchant, would have a rank 10 item, right?”
“I wish he was that cute. …… No, wait!
“With that item, you can drink as much good wine as you want, right?”
That may be so, but only a dwarf would come up with the first drink here.
The lord of Oxard knew very well that his best friend was not a man to joke around with.
Among the dead were some familiar faces.
“These are the bandits who attacked us, the ones we managed to defeat in the first battle.
“They may be disguised as dirty bandits, but their equipment is more than that of a mid-level adventurer.”
“They were all very well-trained. I and Erele wouldn’t have been able to keep up with them one-on-one, but with that many of them coming at us in unison, we were out of our depth. I had my guards hold them back, and I had to run.”
Kumararak, remembering the scene, mutters in a trembling voice. He had experienced many battles in which he had risked his life during his years as an adventurer, but he now realized how different he was from the bloodless demons, and how terrifying it was to face a human race with a fierce desire to kill.
“They were very fierce,” he said. They must have been promised a substantial reward. Even if it meant sacrificing a few of their own people, they were determined to kill us at all costs.”
“How many items would it take to fight off such a large number of difficult enemies by yourself, Wal?”
The fear of the assailants is more than just a fear, it is a fear of one man. No matter how high the level or how many items he possesses, Kumarak’s common sense tells him that it is unlikely that a single man could have done it.
“I was hoping that he could use his wealth of items to buy a little more time.
Wal’s expression grew grim as he answered the question.
“And this is the result. It was done before we got there. And for the best. The power to bring back those who have fallen to the brink of death and to drive back those who do not fear death. ……
Walu reminds me of something. The man’s face. His vague smile, as if he were in trouble, as if he felt nothing.
“I’m an old geezer now. There must be a reason why he has such a powerful item. ……. I owe a debt to a very troublesome person.
“Don’t say that. This time it’s my fault for being so naive. So I should be the one to pay for it.
What did he want from you?
“Yeah, just keep the city going, that’s all I ask.”
“Continuity, huh? It’s a simple but difficult request.
“We will have to keep this in mind and work harder than ever.”
“…… is wise. If you make a wrong promise, he may turn on you?”
“No way. He’s a reasonable man. He likes Oxard, too, doesn’t he?
Kumararak exchanged a few words with the man. He could not see his face behind his mask. Still, he felt that the man accepted the feelings of a parent for his child. Otherwise, no matter how powerful he is, he would never accept a difficult request from a stranger.
“I will take care of it as long as I like it. If you don’t, break it. It’s like a child’s toy.”
“You idiot ……, you destroy what you have protected yourself.”
“That’s the kind of danger he’s in. That’s why he’s an idiot.
Kumarak shakes his head in disbelief.
“If he gets mad, I don’t know how much damage he can do.”
“……, my a*s.”
“If things are beyond our control, we should speak to him openly instead of making rash plans.”
“Yes, I will. I hope that day never comes.
While the air was filled with relief when it was confirmed that the guards were still alive, the lord and his best friend were looking at each other with a perpetually difficult expression on their faces.
The Lords and their friends are still looking at each other with a difficult look on their faces.
After the lords and their party returned safely to their residence.
Somali, who had been quiet until then, started laughing as soon as she entered her room.
“Hmph, hmph, hmph, hmph…”
“…… sorry, miss.”
“Oh, why is Erele apologizing?”
“I was chased by bandits and frightened because of my inadequacies, didn’t I?
“I’m not crazy! I mean, I was scared, but I was scared!
“You were humiliated by Master Kurosuke and awakened to a special hobby, didn’t you?”
“I’m not awake! I mean, it was embarrassing, but it was embarrassing!”
Somali blushed, remembering the abomination she had tried so hard to forget.
“If you’re that healthy, you’ll be fine.”
“…… are you worried about me, by any chance?”
“Even if you don’t, yes, I do.
“I find it hard to understand Elele’s jokes, don’t you?”
“We’ll take care of it. So, why were you laughing so creepily?”
Elele asks tiredly, though she knows the reason.
“Of course I was thinking about your helper! It’s really amazing that you got rid of those scary guys all by yourself and even saved the guards!”
“…… As a lady of a good family, I think you should first be happy about your family’s safety, don’t you?”
“I’m sorry for being such an ungrateful, filial daughter.”
No, I am sorry for my lack of education.
The quizzical girl and the expressionless squire face each other quietly.
“Hey, Elere. Are you trying to divert me, by any chance?”
“…… no way, sir.”
“Eleele is also interested in helping out, isn’t she?”
“Master Kroske is a benefactor of the lord’s family, so it is only natural that he should feel indebted to you as one of his guards.”
Seeing the maid speaking plainly with a colder expression than usual, the master smiled at her.
“Hmmm, Elele is a surprisingly bad liar, isn’t she? You can tell the difference in the way she speaks and her mood.
“…… No, nothing like that.”
“How could Erele pass up a man with a pair of forced lips and some of the finest pastries in the world?”
Somali’s insight at the right moment is unmistakable. Unfortunately, she is only able to do so with those whom she is interested in.
“Besides, you can’t pretend to be someone else when you’ve been given an item to contact me, can you?”
“What? …… You don’t mean to tell me that you were conscious at the time?”
No, I was completely sound asleep, thanks to the sleeping pills he had given me.
“Then why ……?”
“It seems that my <<Curiosity Skill>> had risen to rank 4 while I was eating that rare dish. Even while I was sleeping, I was able to memorize the sounds around me.”
“How can you reach a skill rank of 4 when your …… level is less than 10? Your daughter’s curiosity is out of control. You’ll get stabbed in the back one of these days if you keep looking at other people’s secrets, won’t you?”
The maid’s voice is one of disgusted reproach at the ridiculousness of this woman’s abilities.
“You don’t have to be so careful. It’s just a cute ability to remember the sound of sleeping.”
“……I admit my fault for hiding my communication with Mr. Kroske. However…”
Somali has the skill to uncover secrets, so it is not a good idea to get too deep into him. So we need to stop him even if we have to lie about it, Elele thinks. Even without personal feelings.
“You’re saying that it’s best to stay away from those with unknown power. But you can’t. It’s not easy to break a bond that runs so deep.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of fate, but rather your daughter’s taste, don’t you think?”
“I don’t have a choice but to remain silent and quiet in front of such a pleasant and interesting person. At least, not for me.”
Yes, I was going to stop, but I couldn’t, Elere gave up.
“…… huh. That’s why I didn’t want you to know. If you’re prepared to go deeper, I won’t stop you, but I probably won’t be able to help you, you know?
“I don’t want to cause any trouble for Erele or for this city. First of all, how can we be sure that it is safe to avoid them? He’s peculiar, but I think he’s someone we can talk to.”
The impression Somali got from the man was, oddly enough, the same as her father’s.
“He teased me a lot, you know.
“…… forget about that.”
“Perhaps the young lady will like you as a way to pass the time.”
“…… I’d prefer not to be the only one affected by the exchange, but I’m willing to accept the worst of it.”
“I am impressed that your daughter is so determined. ……After all, you have a constitution that finds pleasure in being tormented, don’t you?”
“No, I’m not! How much you want to pervert me!”
The maid, who has regained her composure by teasing her master, is ready to proceed with her story.
“───But I think there is a great risk in case you come in contact with Gyakkeshirin.”
“…… Don’t be so serious all of a sudden. But yes, the point of anger is different for everyone. Especially with an unknown person like him, it’s hard to predict. That’s why it’s better to be bold enough to approach him and talk to him directly to get an idea of his tastes and preferences.”
“When it comes to …… farting and sniveling, you’re in a league of your own.”
“That’s not a compliment, is it?”
“I think you have a point, Miss, but I don’t think we can get much closer to Master Kuroske with only item-based communication as our only means of contact with him, do you?”
Yes, that’s the main problem. But Erele knows who he is, doesn’t she?
Somali’s most understanding, yet still underestimated, Erele reacted to the calculated surprise.
“I can tell, because Erele’s mood is the same as when she first reported to me. She seemed to be saying something stagnant then, too, but I didn’t pursue it because she didn’t seem to be sure.”
“But you’re sure about this, aren’t you? I want to know who sold the antidote to Mr. Wol. And that he is the same person as the one who sold the antidote to Mr. Wohl, right?”
“Please tell us why ……”
With the most biting look at her master’s awkwardness ever, the maid puts off admitting it.
“There are many similarities: gender, age, height, strange behavior, sweetness. And we can’t have too many people with special powers. So it is natural to assume that they are the same person, right?”
“The best proof of this is your attitude, Erele, who has a connection between the two.”
“My attitude, sir?”
“If you didn’t know who they were, you would have backed down more right then and there. But now Erele is not only discouraged, she’s even cheered up.”
“…… how do you even know that?”
“Elele doesn’t change her facial expression, but she has a lot of emotions. You can feel the changes in her emotions through her tone of voice and her gestures. Besides, I heard the whole story about our secret meeting that night. It’s obvious that Eleret is very attached to him.
“…………It seems that in the presence of the young lady, even concealment is not permitted. Now that you know my secret, I’ll have to ask you to spare me some time.
I never thought that my restrained attitude would be a clue. Elere was deeply frightened by Somali’s ability to look into the depths of his mind, even more than he had been careless.
“Not yet, why don’t you just let him fall and then we’ll see?”
“…… No, I don’t want it that bad. …………”
“Sweet! How could I pass up a chance to meet a man with whom I’ve had such a close relationship? He may have a lot of personality problems, but he is a man of such ability. Soon other girls won’t be able to resist him!
“That’s ……, yes, maybe, but…”
“So, let’s be more proactive in our contacts. Elele would like to talk to you directly, wouldn’t she?”
Is this the result of suggestion? Or was it the result of being told to express a desire that he had not been able to express openly? Either way, she has admitted it to herself.
“Okay, if you decide to do so, let’s go see her tomorrow!
“Isn’t that a bit premature?”
It’s better to hurry with this kind of thing. Besides, tomorrow we need to thank the guild and Mr. Wol and the others who helped us this time. Why don’t we just pretend that we ran into each other on our way there?
“…… With that much intelligence and intrigue, your daughter will be married in no time.”
“I don’t care, I’m still young! Right now, the most important thing is to find Erele a mate! If we miss this opportunity, it may be too late!”
“Oh yes, when I was sleeping, Elere’s out of line appeal for me to be nice to her was hilarious even now that I think back on it. ……
Excuse me, sir, my foot slipped.
As this was a regular occurrence, no one rushed to the scene upon hearing the girl’s scream.
For her, it was a strange night.
One, it started with an enemy attack.
Many were outnumbered and many were outgunned. And she had to fight while babysitting.
If she had dropped everything and stood alone, she would have escaped.
However, being proud of her position as a maid and bodyguard, respecting her employer, the lord, and loving his daughter as if she were her sister, she never considered that option.
That night she prepared herself for death.
Secondly, she met a man named Huuranrong.
Suddenly. Forced. Rumors of a sweet taste.
And then there was the added bonus of a lustrous and luscious tongue.
That night she experienced her first kiss.
Third, the value of life.
The life she had almost given up. The life of the master who did not give up until the end. The life of her bodyguard, whom she had already given up.
Far more lives of her allies were saved and far more lives of her enemies were lost than she had expected.
That night, she was shown the weight and lightness of life.
For her, putting something sweet in her mouth was a supreme pleasure.
And on that night, the sweetest delicacies of all, as if the wisdom of mankind had been gathered together.
That night she discovered the taste of real sweets.
Fifth, the way she treated herself.
A treatment that no one, not even her employer, not even her master, the Dwarf, could give her.
The man treated the city’s most famous matriarch like a young girl who needed a hand.
That night she remembered that she was a weak girl.
With all this happening in one night, one can only imagine the emotional turmoil.
Everyone who has experienced something like this will have special feelings for the other person.
Gratitude, envy, adoration, obsession, anxiety, fear …….
It just happened to be perceived by her as a feeling of longing.
This is the story of such a strange night.
Erele, who is now 25 years old, is one of the most accomplished women in the city of Oxnard.
Her profession, of course, is not that of an adventurer, but that of a maid.
Her grandmother was the reason for her exceptional strength and for being a maid.
Her grandmother, who was already old when Eleret was old enough to remember, was an unusual person. Of unknown origin, she had unusual ways of thinking and knowledge. Her grandfather had told her that she was a powerful magician, but she never showed her magic until the end of her life.
She was an old woman who rarely spoke of herself, but she cherished her family and shared many stories, especially with her grandson, Elele. Elele was also very fond of her grandmother.
A woman should be strong.
That was what my grandmother used to say.
Erele, who was honest and had good qualities, continued to train herself according to her grandmother’s words. She became an adventurer at the age of fifteen, and her talent blossomed when she was discovered by Wol, the most powerful man in Oxard. He continued to grow stronger at an unprecedented rate, and at the age of only 20, he became one of the most powerful men in the world.
With her solid strength and status, she seemed to be leading a glamorous life, but she had a big problem.
That is, she has never been able to find a lover. ────
Most men could not even approach Elere, who at a young age had outstripped veteran adventurers, partly due to the fact that the strong and handsome Wol was her protector. The beauty of her cold and cold expression also made her unapproachable.
There were daredevils who judged a woman by her appearance alone, but she did not accept the likes of fools and politely refused them with force. Even those who have little connection with the opposite s*x have the right to choose.
For these reasons, for a long time no man came alongside Elere.
As the seasons passed and the curtain came down on her life, the grandmother told her beloved grandson a shocking truth.
She had indeed told him to be strong, but she had meant spiritual nobility, not that he should be physically stronger than men.
She believed her words earnestly and took pity on her grandson who became stronger than he needed to be and lost his connection with the opposite s*x, but she could not tell him because of her teachings and repented of her sins at the time of her death.
At this moment, even Herrere, who is used to a blank expression, looked at him wide-eyed and exclaimed, “I am so sorry.
Thus, having realized from a strange angle the emptiness of seeking only strength, she quit her job as an adventurer and became a maid and bodyguard for a lord’s family, which is a half-way peaceful and half-way dangerous occupation.
She quit her job as an adventurer and became a maid and bodyguard of a lord’s house. …… This process made Eleret’s personality moderately relaxed and frank, but she was still strongly influenced by her grandmother.
The most important of them was her sweet tooth. It was her grandmother’s words that made her more interested in sweets than others.
She said, “A kiss is sweet.
It’s a very maidenly expression that doesn’t suit an old woman. Her grandmother’s words, who unexpectedly loved to talk about love and romance, were deeply imprinted in the mind of Eleele, a maiden in body and soul, and she began to crave sweetness.
The words were supposed to symbolize a longing for a sweet and sour man-woman relationship, but the fact that only the instinct to ingest sugar remained as time went by could be called a tragedy.
The longing for something that should have been forgotten is literally awakened by a sweet kiss.
(Is this what a kiss …… is?)
The other party was a suspicious middle-aged man dressed in black who suddenly appeared and called himself a helper.
Bound by the man’s ability, Erelle has no way to avoid him. Before she could even prepare herself, she was hit with a ……. The first is the shock of having her lips taken away. Next, the touch of a luscious tongue. Finally, the intense sweetness of the taste stimulates the brain.
In the middle of it all, Elele apologized to her grandmother in her heart.
（I’m sorry for doubting you, grandmother. You are really sweet…)
The sweetness of the syrup the man had mixed with the medicine triggered her memory.
After that, once she had regained her senses, Erelle tried not to think about it.
She told herself that the crisis was still ongoing, and as she watched the man’s behavior while acting calmly, the strangeness of her supposed benefactor began to reveal itself.
He has the power to wipe out many handcuffs in a short time, to save a guard who was supposed to be dying, and to dispose of the mastermind, a nobleman, just to name a few. What kind of magic, what kind of items, would make this possible?
It would have been inconceivable to imagine who could achieve such a feat. But Erele had experienced something similar before. The awe he felt then was of the same quality and scale as the one he felt now. The decisive factor was the possession of various sweets.
(Not only with special magic or higher items, but also with perfected sweets. …… is sure. The same man who sold the potion to Master Wohl!)
Eleret is convinced of the man’s true identity. To be precise, she had been right, although she had also implored that there could not be two such peculiar beings.
Her suspicions are confirmed when she learns of the man’s true identity, his power, and to a lesser extent, his personality.
It was a question she had been asking herself ever since she had been searching for the man about the antidote.
（What is the purpose?)
It has been difficult to determine the purpose of the man’s actions because of the varied effects they have on those around him. However, after talking to the man directly this time, what I felt was….
(For him, we are strangers and we are like children. ……)
That was the conclusion that Herrere reached.
If a child is fighting in front of you, you admonish him or her, and if a child is hungry, you give him or her food. It is a natural act of an adult and a person with power.
Looking back on my grandmother who was kind to me, on my mentor Wol, and on my self who was proclaimed to be a womanizer, it seems to me that those with strong power prefer a less interesting life out of the vastness of freedom. The truly powerful are not interested in conquests and interests, just as a child who does not know how to fight is a child who does not know how to fight.
It was an extreme view, but one that suited Herrere perfectly.
Even …… though, the man is a bit, or rather a lot, unprecedented as an adult.
The impudence to take the lips of a woman whom he has just met, the brutality to immediately eliminate the wrongdoers without correcting them, the childishness to make fun of children…. Such an imbalance of power and spirit can be felt in a man.
Elere is a man who has the ability to make such a dangerous element…
(This is the feeling of love ……?)
For some reason, I accepted it favorably.
If we force ourselves to interpret the man’s behavior in a positive way, his aggressiveness in leading women, his innocence in not allowing mistakes, and his humor in making people feel at ease, these are the things that struck a chord in our hearts.
To put it simply, she was a very unfortunate maid who fit the so-called theory that “beautiful and nice women like bad men”.
In psychology, it is said that beautiful women are shunned by men who are expensive or have boyfriends, and they have few chances to be wooed and matured without being accustomed to love. It is a beginner’s theory that such inexperienced women find men attractive and fall deeply in love with them.
It is a concept that raises eyebrows, but it was exactly the case for her who had never been in a relationship before.
Thus, the man who can’t read the air, or in a sense, reads the air too much, gives a ring of all things to Eleele, who was excited until the very last minute.
In this world, there is no custom to use rings for special commitments between men and women because of the existence of items in the form of rings. But here, too, her grandmother had given her extra knowledge.
That knowledge was, of course, that <<a man gives a ring to a woman as a token of his promise to marry her>>.
Naturally, she had been told that the ring was to be worn on the ring finger of the left hand.
Elele, unusually for her, but acceptable for a beginner in love, told a cute lie and succeeded in putting the ring on the ring finger of her left hand.
With this, her feelings for the man were sublimated, and they were now at a level of admiration.
And so began the relationship between the unfortunate maid and the unfortunate middle-aged man.