Chapter 07: That Of A Villain
Recently, the daily routine of A-rank adventurer “Zach Callison” has been to spend all day long drinking.
Because only while you are drunk can you forget everything.
Yes── so that he can forget that fear.
Again, Zach pours down his drink with vigor, trying to drown out the sight of it passing through his mind.
The innkeeper sighs at the man who is wasted on alcohol in the morning, but it doesn’t matter.
Everything doesn’t matter anymore.
── He wanted to be a “Hero.”
He loved the action adventures sung by bards.
That was why he became an adventurer, but reality was not so sweet.
He hit the wall many times.
Still, he went on, recklessly.
His hard work finally bore fruit, and by the time he was 30 years old, Zach was finally able to become an A-rank adventurer.
Yes, he worked very hard.
He was giving it his all.
── “What, this is all you got?”
He shivered as if he had been hit with ice on his spine.
I ain’t gonna forget this till the day I die.)
Zach’s main weapon is the “longsword,” the same as Luke’s.
That’s probably why.
After crossing swords just a few times, he understood.
He was made to understand.
— No matter how hard he tried, he could not win.
And the ultimate highlight was those eyes.
Those eyes that look down on everything.
It was like he was being told that everything he had done so far meant nothing.
Zach drinks again.
Like washing away bad memories.
At that moment, the door of the inn opened with a creak.
He turned his eyes somehow.
The man who entered the room was “Alfred Deeg,” a man who had risen to the position of vice-commander of the Royal Order of Knights despite being a commoner.
“… Tch, Kid? I can hardly recognise you.”
The words that came back were harsh.
As a matter of fact, Zach was from the same village as Alfred.
So ‘that request’ was very fortuitous for Zach.
He wanted to show Alfred, whom he respects, what he had become then.
An A-rank adventurer.
The result, however, was not what Zach had expected.
Zach looked away.
He didn’t have anything to say back.
No, it was really his weak self that wanted to look away.
“It seems your determination to be an adventurer that you always wanted to be was a shallow one, Zach.”
You have a guest.”
“… For me?”
Who could it be? Nobody came to his mind.
Wondering, the door opened for Zach.
Entering the room was a woman with her child.
“Um, are you Zach from ‘Claws of the Grey Wolf’?”
“Yeah… uh, yes.
When Zach said this, the woman and child instantly smiled like a flower had bloomed.
“Thank you so much for defeating the Basilisk! Not only us, but everyone in the village appreciates it!”
“Thank you uncle!”
It was gratitude without deception.
“… I-its alright… I was just fulfilling the request.”
“Still, thank you so much.”
After expressing their gratitude, the mother and child left, bowing their heads repeatedly.
“Al-san, what is this about…?”
“Who knows! I was only asked to do a favor.
Time to go now.
I have no time for such a pathetic b*****d like you.”
With that said, Alfred also left.
Left alone, Zach was a little taken aback, and then he gulped down what little liquor remained in his glass.
It had been a long time since he had been told this to his face.
Take a mission, make money, increase your wealth.
Such were his days.
That’s why he forgot about it.
Why did he become an adventurer?
Why did he want to be a hero?
The real reason for that was to…
“Well… I guess it was to help someone.”
But there is a height.
A height that no matter how hard you try to reach, you can’t reach.
Still, all the hard work you put in is never in vain.
Surely someone needs that power.
Because no matter how great a hero may be, he cannot protect all of humanity.
“… Haha, I am still like a kid.”
No liquor was ever poured into Zach’s glass again that day.
A few days later, the A-rank adventurer party “Claws of the Grey Wolf” resumed its activities.
A few days later, ── Zach learned that Alfred had arranged that event after hearing about the state of the Adventurers’ Guild.
Elaborately patterned carriage bearing the flag of the Myrstia Kingdom was on its way somewhere.
It was generously equipped with a variety of magic items, so that no matter how rough the terrain, the passengers inside would not feel any major shaking.
Around the carriage, ten men in pure white armor ride side by side on horses.
They were from the Royal Knights.
Their duty was to escort those who ride in the carriage, but this was only for show, so to speak.
Because── one of the passengers inside was a user of “attribute magic”.
“The Gilbert family.
The family has an extremely high aptitude for magic, but there seems to be no manifestation of the ‘attribute’ in the last few years.”
“Aaahhhh, I want to go home… Why does it have to be me? The outside world is so harsh.
I want to stay home all the time.
I hate this sunlight.”
“… The Gilberts are a noble family with great power.
Please don’t be rude to them.
I will follow you as best I can, though.”
“I know, Aide-kun.
Who do you think I am?”
── “Amelia von Elefseria”
She has various titles, the most important of which was the “Director of Attribute Magic Research Division”.
The Department of Magical Research conducts various studies at the Ministry of Magic.
Among them, the Attribute Magic Research Division mainly deals with attribute magic.
At the unusually young age of 22, she was an undeniable gem in her position as director of the Attribute Magic Research Division.
She was also one of the most knowledgeable people about attribute magic in the country.
But Amelia’s current title is different.
She was now riding in this carriage as a “magic appraiser,” a person in charge of determining the presence or absence of magical aptitude and attributes.
“Haaaah, I should never have gotten this certification…”
She obtained this certification for the simple reason that it would be useful in her research on attribute magic, but it turned out to be a disaster this time.
The Gilberts had asked for the “most qualified” magic appraiser, and Amelia was too convenient.
The Marquis de Gilbert is one of the great nobles with a territory second only to that of the king, and his military power and wealth that he possesses is not to be taken lightly.
Therefore, this request was not to be ignored.
There was considerable discussion as to why the “most qualified” was chosen when it was only an evaluation of magical aptitude.
What is the intention and what is the underlying story?
There was a lot of speculation, but you would never know that it was actually simply the result of them doting on Luke.
“Don’t be so downhearted.
Maybe they have manifested a ‘rare attribute’? For example──”
“──’Light’ you mean?”
Amelia interrupted the man who had been sent as an aide..
“Hmm, I wish that was the case.
But I’m not expecting much.
Because when was the last time a rare attribute was confirmed? Let’s see, I’m sure… Aslan Magic Academy’s former headmaster, I believe his mentor was of ‘Light’ attribute?”
“Yes, that’s what the records say.”
“Haaaah, I’d like to see that.
The former headmaster of the school was supposed to be a very badass magician who mastered the three attributes, but rumor has it that he was no match for his master…”
“It’s hard to believe.”
“I want to see… I really-really want to see.
I’m going to bed then.
Wake me up when we get there.”
With that, Amelia quietly closed her eyes, which were always drowsy.
Amelia and her men were greeted by Claude Gray Gilbert, the head of the Gilbert family, Alfred, the butler, and several attendants.
Claude’s face is very chiseled, and his neatly trimmed mustache further accentuates his dignity.
But his eyes are as sharp as those of a bird of prey, and they inspire awe in those who see him.
Upon first inspection, it would be extremely difficult to see that Claude was a very caring person.
“It is a pleasure to meet you for the first time, Sir Gilbert.
My name is Amelia von Elefseria, and I will be in charge of the magical appraisal today.”
“Ah, welcome, Lord Amelia.
I have heard about you.
I feel confident that I can trust you to appraise my son.”
“It’s an honor.”
Amelia was no longer in a languid mood.
“Let’s get right on it.
Alfred, guide her to the room.
I’ll go get my son.”
Please come this way.”
Amelia waited a few minutes in the room Alfred showed her.
With a click, the door was opened.
There were three people there.
Luke and his parents.
“… Why are you coming too?”
“It’s my son’s magic appraisal! How could I miss it?”
“Hah… Amelia, I’m sorry, but do you mind if we stay here?”
Without paying any attention to the exchange, Luke sat across from Amelia.
“So it’s you, huh.
I hear you’re good.”
Luke’s over the top attitude was as it should be.
Amelia was slightly miffed by this, but did not show it on her face.
“Well enough with it.
Get started now.”
“Before I go any further, I would like to clarify one thing.
If you have any of the attributes as a result of the evaluation, you will be obliged to acquire the ‘Qualification to Exercise Attribute Magic’.”
“… So that means I have to enroll and graduate from a magic school somewhere?”
Luke pondered a bit.
(Well, this is a leash.
They don’t want to lose the magician who can use the attribute magic out of the country.)
He thought about it for a while, but in any case, there was no choice but not to take a magic appraisal here.
“I don’t care.”
I will now use the information magic ‘appraisal’.”
As she said this, Amelia pointed one hand at Luke.
Then a magic circle with a geometric pattern appeared and disappeared.
“What is it, something wrong?”
A sensation of magic being sucked out.
Amelia’s bright mind immediately came up with the answer, but she herself could not believe it.
Hence, she freezes for a few seconds.
“… Once more.”
Cold sweat drips.
No way, she thought.
She used appraisal again.
Still she felt her magic being sucked out of her.
So she had to pour more magic into it.
Then, her suspicion turned to certainty.
Amelia, who confirmed the appraisal results, muttered a few words.
“What, what did you say? Does my son have an aptitude for attribute magic?”
Claude asked dozens of times, more nervous than Luke, waiting for the results.
But the response was so unexpected.
“It’s the ‘dark attribute’!!! Oh, s**t!!! This is really bad!!”
Screaming in a strange voice.
Amelia’s sudden change.
While everyone was speechless, Luke was quietly despondent.
(‘Dark’… means that of a villain, right?)
[TLN – This is what happened before this chapter]
──The Butterfly Effect.
Luke began his sword practice as usual.
Claude was struck by Luke’s commitment to training in swordsmanship without missing a single day of training, and his fondness for his child worsened greatly.
Consequently, the phrase “most excellent” was added when he requested a magic appraiser.
The kingdom, unable to ignore the Gilberts’ request, dispatched Amelia, who was talented yet had the temperament to be called a magic maniac.
After confirming Luke had the “dark attribute” that was supposed to be known later.
She went crazy.
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