The Demonic White Sword’s Request
“I’m going to be taking some time off.”
“Eh? What’s happened all of a sudden?”
As soon as the training was over, Shirley had suddenly come up to the desk to tell Yumina this, at which the receptionist was a bit lost for words.
For most adventurers, they are free to accept requests at their leisure so they can decide on whatever vacation time they like. This doesn’t apply to those A-Rank and above adventurers who have to respond to emergency requests, but since Shirley is only B-Rank her saying she’s taking a break is just a formality.
But, having known her for five years, Yumina knows that Shirley wouldn’t take time off just on a whim.
“Is there a daughter-related event again?”
“No, not particularly.”
“Then, more stalking?”
“What exactly do you see me as?”
As much as she wanted to say ‘a doting parent’, Yumina held her words when she saw that Shirley seemed more on edge than usual.
“Actually, there is one issue… I need to take some time to conclude whether it was coincidence or something more. For now, I can’t tell anyone but you. My hands are tied until I have conclusive evidence.”
That black haze from earlier… Shirley recalled that ominous magic with a bitter expression.
It had almost seemed to ignore the other adventurers and made straight for Sophie and Tio, although she had scattered it completely using her unique skill and swordsmanship it still remained a threat.
As a swordswoman Shirley has only really dabbled in magic, she doesn’t know any real techniques to protect people from spells and curses. If that magic returned again when she was away, there would be nothing she could do to protect her daughters.
As she thought that, she whispered into Yumina’s ear.
“To tell you the truth, there was some kind of magic that almost harmed my daughters just now. I don’t know whether it was a spell that was aimed at them or was meant for someone else in the guild, in the best case scenario the caster simply got the wrong target.”
“…Miss Shirley, do you think your daughters were specifically targeted?”
“I’m going to investigate it but… Honestly, I hope I’m wrong.”
She can’t know for sure if her daughters really were the true target, but Shirley isn’t going to leave such a dangerous thing up in the air.
If, in fact, that spell had been aimed at Sophie and Tio specifically, then she would have to return the favour ten-fold to whoever had dared to cast it.
…Actually, that caster had already retrieved his comeuppance, but that’s not something Shirley is aware of.
“If it’s just my own paranoia, then I’d be glad. But just in case my fears are real, I’d like to ask the guild for help in anti-magical interference measures.”
“I understand. So, how long are you going to need?”
“I’m not sure yet, but I don’t think I’ll be gone longer than a week. If something like this happens again, I’ll be putting in a request.”
After that, when she was leaving with Tio and Sophie to return to the Deficit House, a sigh escaped from her lips.
She’s beginning to get really tired of all these troublesome things trying to interfere with her family life, but as a mother it’s her duty to eliminate any threats to her daughters as soon as possible.
(So long as they just went after the wrong target by mistake… Then everything will be fine.)
Shirley fully believes that her beloved daughters would never do anything to cause someone to want to do them harm.
However, what if the motivation isn’t something so petty like that. A sudden thought makes her blood run cold and her muscles tense up, what if the caster is some pervert after her girls?
(Let’s just hope that I’m worried about nothing.)
Unfortunately, the goddess of this world is not the type to grant the wishes of man.
The mother’s earnest wish did not come true, as two days later the black mist once again attacked the twins.
After Shirley had intercepted and cut down the mist once more, similarly slaying its caster unbeknownst to her, she gave Sophie and Tio two magical resistance accessories from her toolbox.
“Mum, what’s wrong?”
“I’m sorry, you two. For today, please don’t leave the house or take those off. I will explain everything later.”
After Shirley told them so, she quickly went to the adventurer’s guild.
“I didn’t think a day would come where I’d have to make a request for an adventurer myself.”
Until now she had always tried to solve every problem that came her way with her own two hands, but she was kidding herself if she thought life was that simple.
It was in this way that Shirley, with a look of self-derision on her face, swallowed her pride and handed a written guild request to Yumina.
“Request to Identify the Magic Targeting my Daughters… This request is suitable for magicians familiar with multiple sorceries and curses, and if possible also those capable of investigating the caster themselves.”
“Is this enough for a reward?”
The bulging cloth bag was dropped onto the counter with a thump and Yumina confirmed it was filled to the brimming with gold and silver coins.
“Let’s see… In total, this is 15 gold coins. Yes, this would be enough to hire an A-Rank adventurer… Actually, it should be enough for some S-Ranks… So, the magic really was aimed at your daughters after all?”
“…I don’t quite understand what kind of magic it is myself, I just know that it was after them. I was hoping it was just a mistake the first time, but now that it’s happened twice it’s obvious what’s going on.”
Shirley does her best to calm her heart. Just thinking about the idea of a pervert trying to cast some sort of unknown magic on her ten-year-old girls, it’s hard to keep that bloodlust of hers from running riot.
“I want to put pressure on Canary to help me find the culprit… But is she not in the Kingdom right now?”
“Yes. She was called by a cousin of mine who works as a clerk to assist with some business, she’s currently in the Merchant Republic in the eastern seas.”
“So she isn’t around when I actually need her to be?”
Normally that demon woman is a pest, but Shirley can’t deny that the abilities and knowledge that granted her the title of the world’s greatest magician are real.
No matter what she thinks of her, if it came down to it she wouldn’t just identify the curse, but also quite easily find and bring the caster before Shirley.
“I sent out a letter telling her about what’s happened, but it will take some time to reach her. Magical communication tools can’t reach overseas, after all.”
“Is that right… Anyways, in the meantime, until an adventurer accepts the request I’ll just have to stay by my daughters’ side――――”
“Oho? This is unusual, seeing Shirley submit a request.”
As she was about to turn to leave, Asterios spoke from behind her, with the rookie training party in tow.
“Woah, it’s true. Lemme see, lemme see.”
“Oi, stop trying to grab it suddenly.”
Even though Cudd tried to stop Leia who was attempting to grab the request from the table, Shirley didn’t mind and held it up in a way that made it easy for Leia to read.
“…Eh? Huh? Your daughters are being targeted? Why?”
“I really don’t have any idea…”
“Going off how you’ve described it, I can’t help but think that someone is trying to make them slaves.”
“Wait, Mister Asterios!”
“It’s fine. It’s possible that’s true.”
If they know the motives of their enemy, the list of potential culprits can be narrowed down considerably. For example, if it’s true that slavers are responsible like Asterios is suggesting, then Shirley can simply raid every slaver outpost in the country and kill everyone in her way until the curses stop.
Since the Kingdom pursues racial equality in its laws, slavers are outlaws who no one would have any qualms with her wiping out.
“Well, if it was slavers involved it would be a simple thing to submit a request to the guild to subdue them, but I fear that is not the case.”
“What do you mean…?”
“Recently, the Royal Army conducted major anti-criminal operations in the country and right now most criminal organizations are laying low.”
The special law enforcement and public order sections of the army have a reputation for excellence. In addition to their information gathering tactics, their swift and powerful enforcement is well known across the continent, every major well-known criminal in the country except for the 《Phantom Thief》are currently behind bars.
“Considering just how many marks they’ve put away lately, I don’t think they’ll take the Royal Army that lightly as to poke their heads out now.”
“But what if… The person casting this magic was acting from where the power of the Kingdom doesn’t reach?”
“Oho? Then, Shirley, do you have some idea?”
Shirley shook her head.
“Honestly, I don’t really know. I can’t say for sure… I just had an unpleasant thought.”
“Returning to the topic, can you take this request? All four of you can use magic, so if you work together there might be something you can do.”
She asked them whilst holding out the request, but the party looked at each other grimly.
“I know of several ways to prevent magical interference, but investigating it is another matter entirely. For the task that you ask of us, it is better to employ a magician who is an all-around natural rather than just a barrier user like I.”
“I-I’m no good either.”
“I know resistance spells to use in battles, but they’re nothing that complicated.”
“It’s the same for me…”
Everyone said their piece with a sullen expression. Just like Asterios said, this is a request for magicians with high technical experience and proficiency in advanced magic.
Just as she was thinking that it would be unreasonable to request a party with no real magical expert for this task, Asterios brought the bottom of his fist down onto his palm.
“Now that you mention it, there is someone I know who may be able to help.”
“This person, are they an adventurer?”
“Yes, and an S-Rank at that.”
The mere mention of the guild’s highest rank sends a shiver down the three E-Ranked adventurers spines.
“They’re called The Illusionary Butterfly’, like you, they’re an adventurer who seems to have earned a nickname, she was still a rookie around the time I started teaching.”
“Ah, the S-Rank based in the North-Western City, famous for being the youngest ever to make that rank.”
Shirley had heard of her before and she was definitely suitable for the request, but S-Ranks are notoriously busy so it’s probably out of the question.
As she frets about which A-Ranked magicians in the frontier town would be free or capable to fulfil the request, Yumina timidly raised her hand.
“Um… That person you’re talking about is a relative of mine. Grandm- I mean, the Guild Master has her as one of her students.”
“That means… The Illusionary Butterfly and Canary are blood-related as well?”
Quite unexpectedly, more information about the strongest witch’s lineage has come out. Although she’s worried about just how far the apple falls from the tree, Shirley wants to put an end to this as soon as possible by whatever means.
“Well, should I give her a call for you? Since you were one of her instructors, you should put in a word as well Mister Asterios.”
“I don’t mind doing that.”
“…Then, could you please contact her for me? I don’t mind raising the request fee somewhat.”
Yumina flashed an exceptional businesswoman’s smile and rushed to use the magic communication tool.