The Villainess Meets the Mayor
After finishing getting ready and leaving, we heard a lot of people call out to us as we walked through town.
“Thank you for rescuing the town yesterday.”
“You saved our lives.”
“Please tell us the story later!”
I say as little as possible, whilst Yua responds to every person as politely as possible, as always.
We reached the mayor’s house.
The town of Takrath is small. It doesn’t take long to walk from one end of it to the other.
Compared to the capital where I used to live, it really is tiny.
The reason we were able to secure a house in the town is because we restored it ourselves. Magic really is versatile. Of course it’s impossible to just make a house appear out of thin air, but with the requisite materials and knowledge you can use magic to put it together.
It’s not simple magic, but it was easy for me.
Using that method, we built up a residence on the outskirts of town. And we became residents of Takrath.
And now we stand in front of the biggest building in town, the house of its most important person.
“Big sis, please take this!”
“Why, thank you.”
A child handed Yua a board of wood with some poorly painted letters on it, and Yua knelt down to ruffle his hair. A woman who seemed to be his mother came over and said “Ah, we’re both incredibly grateful!”
“Please don’t mention it,” Yua replied politely. As for me, I can’t say a thing.
My plan was to abandon this town to its fate, there’s no reason to thank me.
“Yua, let’s go. It would be bad if we kept the mayor waiting.”
Not wanting to feel this guilt any longer, I take Yua’s hand and pull her a long perhaps a little too forcefully. From behind us came a “Bye bye, big sis!” from that child, but I ignored it. Yua waved her free hand at him, returning her own “Bye bye!”.
“What’s wrong, Veena-sama?”
“There’s nothing particularly wrong.”
Yua tilted her head at me as I pulled her hand towards the door of the mayor’s house. The fact that he has no security at all is a good indicator of just how small this town is.
I climbed the stairs out front and knocked on the door.
After hearing a voice inside invite us in, I open the door with a “Pardon us”.
On the other side of the door is a single older gentleman sitting down quite comfortably.
Taking the old man’s invitation, I entered the room with Yua and closed the door behind us. This is old man is called Eizen, the head of the town.
“I see. You two get along just as well as the rumours say.”
The old man’s gaze drifts towards Yua and I’s hands which are still intertwined. Panicked, I let go of her. I may have been imagining it, but I thought I heard Yua say “Oh…” a little dejectedly.
“I’m sorry, that was rude of me.”
I picked up the hems of my skirt and curtseyed. It felt like habit to do this in front of a social superior. Even though I’m supposed to be carrying myself as a commoner, my aristocratic tendencies don’t go away that easily.
“Ah, if you act that respectfully this old man will be troubled.”
“That’s right, Veena-sama.”
Yua sat herself down on one of the chairs that had already been prepared for us without any formalities.
Yua wasn’t a noblewoman like myself, but a member of the royal house. She has probably had more opportunities to engage with commoners than I have, so she’s more used to this kind of thing.
“I… understand. If that will make you feel more comfortable, then…”
Even though I said that, my voice is still a little stiff. Eizen shrugged his shoulders.
“Well, it’s no matter. Please, do sit down.”
I also sat down on one of the prepared seats.
“So, Mayor. What can we do for you?”
I immediately launch into the main subject.
“Well, about that. First, let me extend my thanks to both of you.”
The old gentleman stood up slowly and bowed his head.
“Thank you for protecting this town. It is because of both of you that we lived to see this morning.”
I shake my head and say
“Please, sir, raise your head. We only did what anyone would have.”
“Is that right?” Eizen said as he settled back into his seat.
“That aside, was that the only matter of business?”
Eizen’s turn to shake his head.
“Whilst it’s true that I wanted to thank you personally , there’s another matter that I wanted to discuss.”
Eizen smiled. The old man’s mouth had a few missing teeth.
“I wanted to give this to you, here.”
I use magic to bring the card Eizen held in his outstretched hand into my own.
This is what was written on it.
“We hereby certify you as an S-Rank monster hunter. Even after this, please do not be arrogant and forget your duty to slay these beasts.”
…What is this.
That was my honest impression.
Monster hunting is my current occupation. Because there’s no restrictions to entry, the profession attracts all sorts of desperate renegades and rebels.
The classifications for individuals in the role ranges from A to F.
I am currently rank A. However, A rank should be the highest, even if I’m currently holding an S rank certificate in my hand, I’ve never heard of such a thing.
As if she sensed my doubt, Yua spoke up to answer my question.
“Huh, so that’s a certification for an S rank monster hunter? Compare to A rank… This is like written proof that you’ve gone beyond human limits. Congratulations, Veena-sama!”
What should I do. I really don’t need this.
I already make enough money to live comfortably with Yua.
“Why just me? I didn’t kill the dragon alone?”
“Yes, I’m well aware. Young girl, is there anything you desire as a reward?”
Yua instantly replies with “Nothing at all.”
“What’s this, a little sister who wants for nothing? She doesn’t want anything at all?”
“That’s right. As for me, I am going to follow that child’s example and also decline this reward.”
I try to return the certification, but Eizen shakes his head in refusal.
“It will be a problem if you don’t accept this. We’ve already officially promoted you from A to S rank already.”
“What an impertinent thing to do.”
“Please excuse me. I thought you would be pleased with it.”
Well, that would be the normal reaction. But for me, all I can think about is that the higher my rank the higher my workload. All I wanted was enough money to continue my current life with Yua. In fact, I was originally unwilling to even accept being A ranked, but anyone who exhibited magic skills beyond mere basics was automatically put into A rank upon registration so I had to reluctantly accept. However, there’s no need to go any higher than that.
As I thought about how best to forcefully decline the promotion, Yua tugged on the sleeve of my clothes and whispered in my ear.
“Veena-sama, there are only three S rank hunters in the entire world right now. To be among their number… You really are amazing.”
I haven’t said a word about accepting this. And yet Yua… is she not a lady like myself?
Does she think that little of status now…?
Well, this may just be a matter of course. Those who can use magic in the first place typically don’t become hunters.
“…I understand. For the time being, I will accept it. That said, I will not accept work higher than A-rank.”
I don’t want to risk my life against such a monster again. The next time I fight something on par with a dragon, I’ll almost certainly lose. Last time was pure luck. Like I had been blessed with it. That said, before that fight all the work she had been doing as an A rank hunter was well below her abilities.
“I see, that’s regrettable.”
Eizen’s shoulders droop.
“I had been hoping to ask you to subdue the ‘Rebel Army’ amassing in the city to the east.”
The eastern city he’s referring to must be Beirut. It is a major city, different from the castle town that is home to the royal family of Lafalis.
Incidentally, the rebel army is an outlaw organization that seeks to overthrow the state, so legally they’re regarded as little more than monsters and there are no qualms with contracts being assigned to hunters to slaughter them.
Yua muttered under her breath.
“Eh…? Ah, no, it’s nothing.”
It’s no wonder Yua reacted the way she did.
Ten years ago. The rebel army besieged and invaded Lafalis Castle. They wanted to sweep aside the royal family and usher in a grand revolution, and in the chaos the Queen, Yua’s mother… Lost her life.
And when the rebel army was closing in on the King, Arnight and Yua, Leena and I who had been there visiting managed to distract the rebel army enough that a gap opened in their lines and they were routed. Somehow we managed to save Yua.
The majority of the rebel army scattered, but it seems those remnants and fresh rebels are beginning to gather again.
In other words, to Yua, the rebels are the enemies that killed one of her parents.
“Yua… What do you want to do? If you desire revenge, I’ll help you however I can.”
I whisper in Yua’s ear. I return the offer she made to me when we were in the bath earlier. And just like I had, Yua refused.
“No, I don’t have any interest in revenge either.”
“Really? You shouldn’t just endure it if it bothers you so much.”
“I’m okay,” Yua says with a smile.
Seeing us whispering together so closely, Eizen sighs. “Such a shame.”
The royal castle of the Kingdom of Lafalis. In a marble corridor draped with a red carpet. There’s a huge number of rooms that line the hall, and every so often you will see a statue of a soldier holding a sword, as if standing guard.
Walking along that carpet was a young man who would not lose to any women in a contest of beauty.
His name is Abel Lilyfall.
The eldest child of the Lilyfall family has a nature like a cloud, impossible to grasp and a personality that shifts with the changing winds.
And above all else, aloof. Only two people can read the intent behind his gentle smile. His beloved father and mother.
No one else can discern his true feelings.
It is such a man that currently walks through the Royal Castle as he usually does, with an air of elegance. And, coming from the opposite direction, he encountered a man he recognized.
“Why, if it isn’t the Second Prince, Arnight-sama? It really has been a long time.”
A beautiful youth with blond hair and blue eyes, the Second Prince Arnight. When Arnight noticed Abel, he snorted and stopped.
“Ohh, it really has been a while. As per usual, it seems that you’re plotting something with that elder brother of mine. You really should save yourself the trouble and just grovel at my feet now, it would be the wisest choice.”
Abel was a little surprised. He didn’t expect this kind of thing to come out of the mouth of the reckless idiot who had forced his younger sister into exile.
Of course, he’s probably not aware of the full picture, but he was surprised that Arnight even had the intelligence to be aware of what a plot was.
Abel pauses in front of Arnight and smiles like he usually does.
“Now then, whatever could you be talking about? Euberto and I are merely drinking pals.”
“Bah. I will tell you just one thing. The Euberto faction in this castle is finished. Don’t forget, there are many people who still hold a grudge about what happened ten years ago. Do go ahead and tell him that I wish him luck in not getting assassinated, will you?”
“Of course, I will do that without fail. I’ll convey your message word for word.”
Abel responds amicably, leaving no room to cause offense. Then, Arnight switched the topic as if suddenly remembering something.
“Ah, that’s right, has Veena not been located yet?”
Abel answered immediately, so that he wasn’t suspected of hiding anything.
“Yes, we’ve been looking ever since she escaped but there has been no trace, truly an excellent little sister…”
“Excellent, you say? You would call that disgusting criminal excellent? That’s not funny, even in jest. You only do further damage to the name of that clan of the ‘strongest’ magicians, the so called Lilyfall family.”
Abel shrugged his shoulders. Did that comment finally get to him? Arnight said “Is there something you wanted to say?”, and then.
“No, nothing in particular.”
Abel eases the tension with another of his smiles.
“Really? Well, if you ever get sick of Euberto, just say the word. I’d welcome you from the depths of my heart.”
Having said that, Arnight pushed Abel aside and continued on his way.
(I’ll have to refuse, Second Prince. You speak of depths, but that ambition of yours is far too shallow to accommodate me.)
Whilst keeping his retort to himself, Abel also walked away.
Yes, it really is called Beirut.