Another chapter for today thank to the Patrons.
Chapter 2 – Training
Let’s see, where should we start? Well, let’s go in order from the end of the uproar in the Count Abbas household. Count Hussel, who wanted to take over the Abbas house, manipulated Dokum to assassinate Dolce, the Abbas heir, and pin the blame on Canaan.
Count Abbas asked me to find the truth, so I ordered my familiar, Beeze, to investigate. Through him, I found out Count Hussel was pulling the strings behind it all. By revealing the truth in front of Count Abbas, Dokum was captured, and the people involved in Dolce’s assassination were captured one after another, snaring the whole herd with a single rope.
However, it won’t be so simple for Count Hussel; Count Abbas seems to have accused Hussel’s family in addition to the man himself. Along with Dokum, Rotten’s wife was also arrested (Rotten is a loyal retainer of the Abbas house). Rotten’s wife was count Hussel’s niece, and after Dolce’s death, she was planning to make her and Rotten’s child inherit the Abbas family. Rotten is in a branch of the Abbas family, so without Dolce, there was a high probability their child would be adopted and take over the Abbas family.
When I left the Great Borf Forest, I assisted Allie’s carriage on her way to Algria, but that was also an attempt by Count Hussel to call her out, impersonating the letter of a noble lady who was in a good relationship with Allie. He tried to kill her off with a fake bandit attack while she was traveling. After all, she would have been the biggest hindrance to Count Hussel’s plans after Dolce’s death.
I just happened to pass by, and that caused the fates of myself, Allie, and the whole Abbas family to become intertwined, shattering Count Hussel’s ambitions. Canaan, who became my slave in the meantime, was freed from her criminal slavery.
“That’s great, Canaan. You’re no longer a criminal slave.”
Canaan went through combat training in the Great Borf Forest every day, so her level had reached 170. Best of all, she could activate her magic without chanting. Furthermore, she learned a magic called [Flame Prison Magic] which seems absolutely insane. The power of this [Flame Prison Magic] is so incredible it can’t compare to [Fire Magic]. A single attack with this magic was able to leave a crater three kilometers in diameter in the Great Borf Forest.
Canaan was silent after I said that line.
I was sitting in a chair and talking to Canaan over a cup of tea, but her reaction was underwhelming. This Count’s tea is really delicious. Let’s bring some of the tea leaves with us when we leave.
“I have a request.”
“What is it? Tell me.”
Canaan stared at me with a serious expression, seeming depressed for some reason. I’m weak to that kind of look from a beautiful woman.
“Please make me your slave again!” [ED: ah jeez not this shit again]
I was wondering what she was going to say, and she asked me to make her my slave again? What was this girl saying when she’d just been freed?
“Is this some kind of slave play?”
“No, it isn’t! It’s not playing at all!”
Good, I wouldn’t have wanted to go out with you if you said it was.
“I can’t see you anymore, Master!”
“I could see you when I was a slave. But now…”
“You’re blurred out, like a shadow…”
Is my shadow really that obscure…?
(Puhahaha! So that’s what it is, huh? It’s mostly because of you!)
(What are you laughing at? It’s not funny! …Hey, Black Mist, am I that hard to recognize?)
I did have the [Mask Presence] skill, but it was an active skill, so it only took effect if I activated it. Why couldn’t she see me? Was it because of the Hermit Coat?
“I can see you a bit more when you’re wearing the Bear’s Coat, but… without it…”
(It seems that Canaan can’t see you because your presence is so weak. Isn’t that good? You can do a surprise attack on her, you know!)
(Shut up! I don’t need surprise attacks, give me my presence instead!)
…Ah! …That’s it… That [Weird Person] title… When I wear clothes, I’m like a rock on the side of the road… Fuck, that must be the reason!
“There are various reasons for that. Therefore, it doesn’t matter whether you become my slave or not.”
“No, when I was a slave, I could feel a connection with you, and more than that, I could see you! Not being your slave now gives me anxiety!”
In the end, I begrudgingly agreed to enslave her again. What kind of play is that, being freed and then immediately choosing slavery again? But I was scared of the look in Canaan’s eyes. When she looked at me like that, I had no choice but to agree.
We needed to go to Sidele’s store to re-sign the slave contract, but before we did that, I needed to make an item that would increase my presence.
All I had to do was prepare some gold to exchange. There was gold dust in the Ellyn River which flowed through the middle of the Great Borf forest. It was purely a coincidence that I found the gold dust, but since I did, not collecting Mr. Gold Dust would be rude. I put it on the desk and created a perfect presence-boosting ring with [Equivalent Exchange].
Gold Ring of Existence : If you wear this pure gold ring, you have no choice but to stand out. So be careful of thieves, okay~ ♡
Nice! This will make me stand out, too!
“How about now?”
I put the ring on my finger and asked Canaan about my presence.
“Ah, I can see you, Master! Amazing!”
So, since you can see me, you don’t have to be my slave, right? I asked her that, but she said she “couldn’t feel the connection!” and still needed to return to being a slave. What’s this “connection” anyway?
I asked Count Abbas, Allie and Goliath about my presence when I met them in the hall, they said it was like they couldn’t compel themselves to look directly at me. They all followed up with a synchronized, “You’re firmly visible now,” when I put the ring on.
I was about to sweat from my eyes , so I took Canaan to Sidele’s store. I asked him when I arrived at his store, but he said the same thing as the Abbas folks.
“Are you really okay with that?”
After I delivered the onigiri, and Canaan said she wanted to go back to being my slave, Sidele’s eyes turned round somehow and persuaded Canaan to reconsider it. I also persuaded her, but Canaan’s will was firm and she continued to longing for serving me as a slave.
Sidele gave up with a sigh and made a contract to make Canaan back to become my slave.
“This will make Canaan into Sumeragi-sama’s general slave. Please take good care of her.”
Sidele bowing deeply at me. It seems I was giving him trouble. When I went back to the mansion, Count Abbas called me.
“Mhm, as I thought, he can see me just fine.”
This guy, I knew it! He just pretended he couldn’t see me well before!
Goliath and a magician-like man standing behind him also nodded with agreement.
“…W-what are you talking about?”
His tone was kind of vague. Hey, Black Mist, don’t laugh!
“Oh yes, I have three requests for you, Sumeragi-dono.”
The first was about Count Hussel. Although he said to prepare for war, Dolce said that war wasn’t good, and Count Abbas seemed to have lost his will for war thanks to Dolce’s persistent urging. Therefore, he said that he would seek the King’s judgment to charge Count Hussel for his crime.
Neither the letter addressed to Dokum nor the letter addressed to his niece, Rotten’s wife, were any problem, but he wanted other evidence of Count Hussel’s injustice so he could crush him with all certainty. The King would also make poor decisions and try to avoid a dispute between powerful nobles in the country, so Count Abbas wanted to gather indisputable evidence to prevent Count Hussel from escaping his fate.
“Ah, that guy has never lacked bad rumors going around about him, so I think if we look for it, we’ll definitely find more evidence of his wrongdoings!”
“Does that mean that you want me to collect it?”
“Can you not?”
Dolce’s idea of avoiding war for the people was admirable, and he knew that instead of going to war, he thought about crushing Count Hussel politically as the final stage. While that may have been true, I had no obligation to help him, nor did I owe him anything.
“No, I’m sorry. Forget about this. There are also things you can’t do, right?”
What? This bastard! Don’t just decide it’s impossible one sidedly before I do it!
“Alright, I’ll take that request!”
“But isn’t it difficult?”
I know I was riding on the count’s cajolery. I’ll just get right on that.
“I don’t care. Let’s talk about the rewards.”
“I see, I appreciate that. Rewards, right? Hmm, how about 20 million, no, 30 million gold, how about it?”
It’s a much higher reward than when I helped Allie or find the truth about Dolce’s murder. If there’s a war with count Hussel, I wonder if the cost would be even higher and also include people’s lives?
“Alright, then I’ll entrust you with this!”
Since the reward had been decided between, I took out something from [Material Storage] and put it on the table.
“Evidence of secret trades, illegal slavery, drug production, and smuggling, that Count Hussel is guilty of.”
The count was at a loss for words from this.
Beeze had brought home the letter that served as evidence of Dolce’s murder, but he’d also collected Count Hussel’s other letters and documents to determine if the letter was genuine, and compared the signatures and crest. That’s when I got this document. Beeze was just excellent!
“The first request has been completed, isn’t it?”
“…Ah, mhm, that’s right… but…”
It took a while for Count Abbas, who was muttering and getting into his own world, to be broken from his reverie. He probably didn’t think he’d get the evidence on the spot, so it took him a little while to prepare 30 million gold, but I was definitely well-rewarded.
The second request was about Dolce’s murder.
A lot of knights and magicians were punished for their involvement with Dokum, and Count Abbas was under pressure to rebuild the military. He supplemented the ranks with new recruits, but he wanted to improve the overall quality of the army even more. To that end, he wanted me to become an instructor to train his soldiers.
“Don’t be unreasonable, I have never been involved with the military.”
“Maybe so, but your capabilities are obvious just from looking at Canaan.”
Canaan and I looked at each other like we had no idea what they were talking about.
“It was the legendary [Light Magic] that saved Rotten, right? I know Canaan’s capabilities since she was my former vassal, she couldn’t use [Light Magic] before.”
We both fell silent hearing that. Come to think of it, when did Canaan learn [Light Magic]? Was it after she passed level 100? Since it’s a level that can’t be reached in general, is [Light Magic] just a legend?
“I hear that only heroes and great sages in the past used [Light Magic]. Now, Canaan is on par with those legends. Moreover, she can cure such wounds instantly which might have been fatal with just [Recovery Magic]. Anyone would have noticed that, not just me.”
As expected, the title of count wasn’t just for show.
“I’ll give you a lot of rewards! I beg you!”
I couldn’t refuse Count Abbas when he was bowing his head with his hands on the table even though he was a noble.
“There are conditions.”
“Ten people. I can’t take care of too many. That’s why I will only train ten people you’ve chosen. Those ten people can train other troops afterwards.”
“Understood. However, I’ll make some selections personally, and I’d like you to choose from among them. It won’t be good if an imprudent person gains power.”
I see, he can choose from servants with high loyalty.
“That’s good. But please understand, I won’t be responsible if they die.”
“…They could die?”
Count Abbas looked at me and Canaan, and she nodded curtly. That’s weird, did I force her to train that hard? I think I’ve erased my memories from that time.
“Master’s common sense is insane compared to other people.”
Canaan muttered with a sigh. I’m not convinced… I didn’t hear you complaining!
“So, what’s the third request?”
“Mhm, take this person with you.”
He wants me to take someone with me? Who might that be?
Then, the butler opened the door. Because I stayed in this mansion, I was indebted to him for many things, so his face was familiar. But behind him…
Why is she here?
“You already know without me introducing this person, don’t you? But I’ll introduce her once again. This is Hannah, the maid who tried to poison you. She’s a criminal slave now.”
“Yeah, I remember her face…”
Therefore, what the heck is this? Why is he introducing Hannah to me?
“I want to leave her in your care, Sumeragi-dono.”
What’s he talking about with such a serious face? Does he want to pick a fight with me? I’ll smack him. No, don’t make a fuss, stop it. Why do I have to take care of the maid who tried to kill me?
“I have a lot to say, but please explain yourself. Take care that you don’t jeopardize the good relationship we’ve had so far.”
The count’s forehead beaded up with sweat when I threatened him. I didn’t show my killing intent yet, so it might have just been cold sweat from his own speculation.
“She’s a poor girl. It’s not an exaggeration to say she’s basically one of the victims. However, it’s still true that she tried to poison you. That’s why I’ve made her a criminal slave, but considering that background, I’d like to leave her to the victim — you — and give her a chance to atone for her sin.”
I don’t think there’s a lie in this explanation, and I can understand what he’s saying… Well, I’m not saying there’s no self-interest in it, but atonement? Sure, one can say that she’s pitiable since her younger sister was taken hostage, and she was forced to do it. But what about me as the victim? It was good that the poison didn’t work, but if it had, I might be dead now.
“How about this, you may not be able to accept her entirely, but why don’t you simply give her the opportunity to atone?”
Good grief, this person is such a skilled sweet-talker. I saw Hannah looking down in the corner of this room. Those are dog ears, huh? …No, wolf ears? Wait, I don’t care about that now. In the current situation, it’s bad to care about something like that.
“Sigh, fine. I’ll go along with this farce.”
“Is that so? My apologies!”
I looked at Hannah again with a sigh, then turned my gaze back to the count.
“I’ll be strict, you know.”
“That’s what Hannah should be prepared for.”
That’s the count’s answer? Well, Hannah is a slave here, she has no right to say anything.
“If I decide she has atoned, I can free her, right?”
“I think that kind of condition should be acceptable.”
“Hmm. Very well then, I don’t care. Do as you like.”
It seems that criminal slaves can’t be released so easily. But when I’m satisfied and convinced by her behaviour, I will free her from slavery. I should have that much freedom.
“It’s a promise. It’s just a verbal promise, so don’t go back on it.”
“I won’t do anything so horrible that could violate my promise with you, Sumeragi-dono.”
The two of us laughed and shook hands. Count Abbas got tears in his eyes since I held his hand so tightly. By the way, Hannah’s price as a criminal slave was 50,000 gold. It’s pretty cheap, but it’s hard to find a buyer for someone who attempted assassination with poison. I recalled the time when no one buys me even for 10,000 gold, so I felt a sense of intimacy with her!
 – A retarded way of saying that you’re crying lol.