“Sorry, Raidou-dono. My strength was not enough”
[Please don’t worry about it]
After congratulating the students’ good fights, I returned to the company and Rembrandt-san was waiting there with an apology.
It seems the call of the merchant guild was related to me, and the result was not favorable.
“Looks like your activities as a company are gathering attention to you. Most likely in the country level” (Rembrandt)
[Country huh. I don’t remember doing anything to be disturbed for though]
I do think there are countries that have an interest in me. But I don’t remember having anyone who would want to interfere with me.
“Just picking their attention is plenty” (Rembrandt)
But Rembrandt-san begins talking as if he read my mind.
What does he mean by that?
“At what country will Kuzunoha Company go, and also at which will Raidou-dono go; because they have an interest, they want to know. And because of that, they would obviously investigate. You know, those kind of movements the countries do, we merchants pick up that information in a pretty early stage” (Rembrandt)
Yeah, I understand that much. When there’s friendship between the countries and the merchant, there will be times when they will hear information about it as a part of information gathering. Just like Aion Kingdom, there are some merchants that work as intelligence members as well.
“Up to this point it is still fine. But the problem comes after this. The merchants that obtain the information sometimes implant their own idea of things. For example, I participate in the government affairs of the Limia Kingdom and I’m in friendly terms with them, but in truth, it seems the Limia Kingdom is interested in the merchant named Raidou. And then I can say something like: ‘By the way, that company has this strange point, can you please have the guild investigate and deal with it?’” (Rembrandt)
[Based on that example, it would mean that Limia Kingdom is feeling something strange from my store, so they had the merchant investigate about it, right?]
Rembrandt-san smiles at my opinion.
“That’s not it, Raidou-dono. In this case, Limia took an interest in you and just wants to obtain information” (Rembrandt)
“The second half is just a personal intention of the merchant. That person doesn’t think well of you. This kind of things are unexpectedly prevalent. They don’t only get used by the country, but they also use them in order to bring benefits to them. Well, I also do that, so I am not in a position to say things of others” (Rembrandt)
… E-Ehm, that person is not lying, but doesn’t intent to correct that misunderstanding, is what he is trying to say huh. Uwa, how dirty.
“The Merchant Guild also can’t ignore the companies that are being denoted by countries as dangerous. Especially when many people say so” (Rembrandt)
[So that means the Kuzunoha Company has picked the attention of at least that many countries, and the companies that are in this town don’t view that in a favorable way]
“Not all of them, but the amount of people that are like that is most likely not small. I also heard that the Church said something recently as well. And it is dubious if it was actually directly from the Church. The Church is receiving offerings from the companies, so they can’t ignore their voices. In regards to that, I am deliberately pulling my distance though, so I am estranged in that subject. Tsige is a town that has a bit of problems with the God’s religion after all” (Rembrandt)
[I want to coexist with the people of the same trade, but it seems that will be difficult huh]
“It is a relationship where they steal benefits from each other after all. The closer they are, the harder it becomes. Even I, if you were to open a store in the times when I was troubled with the curse, I would have definitely done something” (Rembrandt)
Is that how it works?
“You should prepare yourself to a certain extent, Raidou-dono. Even if it’s a competition between people of the same trade, if the battle is decided fast, the one who lost can recover. Luckily, in this land, there are many satellite towns. If they have the drive, there are decent amount of opportunities” (Rembrandt)
[Thanks for the warning]
“No, no, here I am saying something admirable, but I wasn’t able to actually be of much use. Being thanked for that would trouble me. My daughters didn’t receive any serious wounds in the tournament, and yet, they were able to bring the title of champion, the best result of all. I am always being favored by Raidou-dono” (Rembrandt)
[That was their ability. Please watch them tomorrow. I don’t think I will be able to go after all]
“… The Merchant Guild will probably question you strictly about your company’s circulation of goods. They are even suspecting that you have connections with the demon race. You should have some sort of proof, or prepare a fit amount of gold and calm it down with money; you will have to think about your counter-measure precisely. If there’s anything I can do…” (Rembrandt)
Proof huh. Don’t have anything like that. There’s the method of having Tomoe or Shiki place hypnotic suggestions on them, but it won’t solve the root of the problem.
Also, the circulation of goods in our company?
Not only the Gold Highway, we don’t even use the normal highways. We use the route via Asora, a method that can’t be obstructed.
But this world doesn’t use teleportation as a general method of transportation. Because the success rate is low. If I were to say that we are using a teleportation mean that is 100% successful, they will obviously demand me to share the technique, the aria of it. If that happens, then the country taking scene wouldn’t be strange.
I remember the words I said to Tomoe when we were spectating.
[You are already doing plenty enough Rembrandt-san. It’s alright. We will take care of it]
“I see. It was unnecessary worry. Well then, I will excuse myself. I want to at least congratulate my daughters before they go to sleep” (Rembrandt)
[Have a safe trip. Sleep well]
“Yeah, same for you. Good night, Raidou-dono” (Rembrandt)
Rembrandt-san returns to praise Sif and comfort Yuno.
Tomorrow is the team battles, so they are probably already sleeping. In that case, would he wake them up? I don’t think he would.
“Lime, you are here right?” (Makoto)
“Just in case, watch over Rembrandt-san’s return. If there’s any strange presence, shift with someone else, and follow it” (Makoto)
I have left the students in Shiki and Akua’s hands.
Yareyare, I am asking everyone work that’s not related to the business huh.
It was a shocking tournament.
Several students that were not that much different from the others in the beginning of the year, showed power that overwhelmed not only classmates, but also upperclassmen.
A student that, even when she had ability, was absent from the Academy for a long time because of health issues and recently returned. A student that entered because of scholarship but was in no way top-class.
And those two fought for the place of champion this year.
When the school festival is open for exhibition, the library is closed. And of course, my work as a librarian is also in break, so I went to watch the tournament that is the main event of the festival.
I once again thought this.
Raidou, Kuzunoha Company.
It’s that. That is the reason of this storm. And also, my hope. Currently, he is still not even marked by the upper stratum of the academy.
If he were to help, I am sure that the frontline Limia and Gritonia maintain would push north in an instant, and the recovery of Kaleneon would become a realistic objective.
He was able to make those students grow that much in such a short amount of time after all.
Soon after the individual battles of the tournament finished, I stand up from my seat and was about to return, but Raidou called me out.
He said that he wanted to talk with me.
I don’t know what he intended, but if it is an invitation from him, I can’t refuse. I readily consented and asked for the meeting time.
The time he set could be considered late at night.
At that time, I enter his store through the back door and head to his room at the second floor. He told me that he will be in his room, so I could enter whenever I wanted.
… No matter what he asks of me, I intend to accept it.
“Raidou-sensei, its Eva. Is it okay to enter?” (Eva)
After knocking, I wait for his response. Well, even if I say so, he can’t speak in common language. The characters of ‘enter’ appear on the door, and the lock is opened with magic.
My relationship with him is, honestly speaking, a relationship where I am in a pretty disadvantageous position. I am wishing a lot from him, and yet, he said that he didn’t wish anything from me.
It was okay to stay seated when receiving me, but Raidou went through the trouble of standing and greeting me. Even though it would be acceptable for me if he acted haughtier.
[I am sorry for calling you this late. Today all my employees are out and I am the only one here you see]
Those words increase my tension a bit. Could it be, he really called me with those intentions?
If it really turns out the way I am thinking, it would be a desirable development. I will finally be able to fulfill something he wishes for. I would be able to repay him.
“If it’s Raidou-sensei that’s calling, I don’t care what time it is” (Eva)
“Congratulations for the victory of your student in today’s individual battles. After that it was pretty hectic you know? They were asking who the one who trained them was” (Eva)
[I just helped their talent bloom. It wasn’t the achievement of anyone else]
“You are modest. And yet, the teachers that give them classes as well are all raising their hands and saying: ‘It’s me, It’s me!’ and causing much trouble. Of course, when they understand that they all have your class in common, the point of the spear will face sensei though” (Eva)
Even when I congratulated him for Sif Rembrandt’s victory, he didn’t show any pride.
He just said that it is the student’s talent. It has been half a year since spring. In just that amount of time, they were able to show a growth that can’t be considered just doubled, and there’s no doubt that it was thanks to him.
If any of the four major powers knew of this, they would definitely come to recruit him. With a far better offer than being a temporary teacher. If Raidou were to accept that offer, my interactions with him will decrease. But, for some strange reason, I don’t think that will happen.
He will most likely not affiliate with any country no matter what favorable conditions they put out. There’s no definite reason for this thought of mine, but that’s how I feel. It may be something borned from our short association.
[For the sake of avoiding that from happening, please try not to say anything unnecessary, okay?]
“Of course. I won’t do anything that would detriment sensei” (Eva)
[And well, about why I called you today…]
Here it comes.
With a composed smile, I wait for his next words.
[Before that, please keep this a secret from Ruria as well. Promise me that you will keep this just between you and me]
Well, I don’t think this is something that I would be able to tell my little sister Ruria.
He beckons me, and as if being careful that other people don’t see it, he writes in small characters.
I involuntarily gulp.
The proposal that Raidou denoted…
Was a content that I was unable to predict, something that blew away everything I previously thought of.
It was a proposal that was so shocking that it almost made me forget about the madness inside of me.
“Sensei, no, Raidou-san. Are you serious about this?” (Eva)
[There’s no joke here. I will give you a deferral of two days. I will hear your answer the day after tomorrow, at this time]
“The day after tomorrow?!” (Eva)
[Yeah. It would be the same even if you think about it for long right? It is also because of my circumstances as well. That’s all the business I had. It is already late, so if you don’t have any tasks to do after, please rest in one of our free rooms]
No way. Is he telling me to decide something so important in only two days?
Moreover, leaving it a secret from my little sister?
I was looking forward to tomorrow’s team battles.
But I already don’t care about it anymore. This is not the time to be spectating matches.
I even forgot about my plan of seducing Raidou if push comes to shove. I borrow one room and end up passing a sleepless night.
At Gotetsu’s back store.
After lending a room to Eva-san, I went out to meet with her little sister Ruria.
Even in this late of a time, Gotetsu is still in business. As usual, they are also in operation today.
[Sorry for coming at this time]
“If it’s Raidou-san, I don’t mind. But sorry, because I have been working every day till late, the fatigue has been accumulating a bit. Is it okay if you make it short?” (Ruria)
[Yeah, I will finish it fast. Ruria, keep this a secret from Eva-san. You definitely have to. There’s something I want you to decide on]
[The day after tomorrow, I will come to hear your answer. I am sorry for coming at this late of a time]
“The day after tomorrow?! Wai-, Raidou-san?! Raidou-saaan?! He is serious right? That person is not the type that jokes around much. I can’t go to sleep now. If it was going to turn out like this, Raidou-san could have at least left an energy drink~~” (Ruria)
Tomorrow, no matter how I explain to the Merchant Guild, more lies and troubles will appear. Even so, as long as I have made one lie, I can’t make it as if the lie never happened.
It was no good to just leave things superficially. If that’s the case, I should just…
Inside of me, a thought that would affect this world heavily has been settled.