Defeated [Rancer Mite – Lvl. 51]!
Less experience is awarded for defeating an enemy with the help of others!
Defeated [Rancer Mite – Lvl. 49]!
Experience is awarded for defeating an enemy!
Subspecies [Midday Changeling] Level Up!
[Midday Changeling – Lvl. 47] -> [Midday Changeling – Lvl. 48]
Gained 5 Stat Points and 3 Skill Points!
“That was terrible!”
Saffron spoke in a panicked voice to her butler, losing all of the elegance in her speech from earlier.
“Those vile monsters nearly got me! How could you allow this to happen, Matthew?!”
“Apologies, Lady Saffron. We were not made aware of any monster Lairs in the road to Warrington.”
“Made aware?! You should have investigated the matter yourself rather than rely on some foolish townspeople's information—”
I cocked my head and Daniel turned to me, still bent over and cleaning his boots with a towel.
“What do you find so interesting this time, Salvos?”
“Nothing. I’m just surprised Saffron was so scared. I thought she was supposed to be a noble.”
He blinked and glanced over at the angry woman. Her pink hair was now a mess, almost as if it was lit on fire and burning behind her while she reprimanded her servants, pointing at the damage done to the previously gilded coach. He shrugged.
“I guess that’s how nobles are. I think? If anything doesn’t go their way, they get impatient. Angry. Or scared. Saffron being no different isn’t much of a surprise to me.”
I snapped my mouth shut. But she has an advanced Class! I wanted to say it, but I remembered how Matthew reacted when she shared it to me. Is this… a secret? I decided that it was, and chose not to share it.
Instead, I quickly ‘corrected’ myself.
“But she’s Level 35 and a noble! Wouldn’t she have gotten some [Mage] training in an academy like Mavos Academy even if she’s not met their level criteria, or something?”
“That’s… oddly specific.”
I lied flawlessly. And I heard a snort from behind. Zack walked up to us, dusting down his untainted robes as the shouting in the background slowly stopped.
“First of all, she isn’t a student of Mavos Academy. Only those above Level 40 can be admitted to the institution. Secondly, even if she was one, I’m not surprised she reacted that way to a fight. [Mages] trained in these academies usually never experience true battles. Everything is simulated, there is always a safety net, and they always prance about the theories of how things should work without knowing how anything actually does work.”
“I’m assuming you don’t have a high opinion of these [Mage] academies.”
Daniel straightened and flopped the towel over his shoulder. Zack crossed his arms.
“Indeed. But don’t assume it’s because I was rejected from one— no, I was invited by Mavos Academy on a scholarship basis for being such an excellent practitioner of magic at a young age. They recognized my talent for hitting Level 40 before I turned 25, although I turned them down. And yet, here you are, a Level 50 [Warrior] who’s ostensibly younger than me, accompanying Salvos who is also a rather talented fighter herself.”
“I’d say she’s even more talented than me, but what are you getting at, Zack?”
“Nothing. I’ve just heard… rumors. From my client up in the Elutra Kingdom.”
My companion froze the moment he heard the country’s name. He kept his face steeled.
“...what kind of rumors?”
“Rumors of… a certain wanted man. And a runaway princess. Both disappearing at roughly the same time.”
Zack’s eyes slowly turned to me. I blinked. Princess… that’s a kind of noble! I frowned and lifted a hand, interrupting the two’s standoff.
“I am not a princess— I am not even a noble! I wouldn’t want to be a noble!”
Especially not after that display by Saffron earlier— I would rather be not Salvos if that was what a noble Salvos would act like!
Zack shook his head and Zack sighed, although neither man seemed to release their tense postures.
“There goes all subtlety and insinuations, huh? I'd like to believe you, Salvos. But I can’t just take your word for it either.”
“What are you going to do, Zack?”
Daniel narrowed his eyes. The [Mage] shrugged.
“Nothing. Just something I’ll be keeping in mind.”
He turned and returned to his team. Helen had been sorting what arrows she had left on her quiver, but she now realized that Zack had been with us. They exchanged a few words and she punched him in the arm, annoyed. She came over to apologize a moment later and that was that. But I realized after how Daniel was acting more… stiff around the Gold Ranks.
We continued our journey to Warrington, with me in the carriage once again and a quiet Matthew by my side this time. Saffron and I continued our chat from before— the noble pretending that she hadn’t just lost her cool earlier.
The day after we arrived at the city, just after we left the inn, she sent Matthew to report to the local guards about the monster Lair obstructing the road. And while he was gone, Daniel and I began bidding our farewells to everyone.
“We told Saffron that we’ll only be going this far. You three are going to Elutra for a job, right?”
“Yes. Since we’ll be heading the same direction anyway, we’ll continue escorting Saffron at least part way through her journey. She’s offering to pay us more to protect her, after what just happened.”
Helen hesitated, glancing back at her teammates as they waited next to the carriage with the other bodyguards.
“Sorry about Zack earlier. I know he said some weird things, but he’s just… like that sometimes, you know?”
I shook my head.
“No, I don’t know.”
She laughed, nodding.
“Neither do I. But I’ve still got to apologize on his behalf.”
“You should apologize to Daniel instead. He’s been acting weird since then.”
Daniel frowned. He was standing right next to me.
“She’s right. I have to apologize to you.”
Helen turned to my companion.
“Sorry for what Zack said, if any of it offended you.”
“It’s fine. It’s understandable that he’d be curious about us since… Salvos is Salvos, and I’m not the most conspicuous individual either— even if I try to be…”
He muttered the last part softly to himself.
“I did not take offense. So don’t worry about it.”
He smiled at Helen and she smiled back.
“It was short, but it was good meeting both of you. But that’s how it is with us adventurers, right? Many passing encounters are part of the adventure.”
Daniel hesitated, but slowly he nodded.
We shook hands and she turned away. Helen paused, as if she wanted to say something. But a figure brushed past her and spoke out.
Saffron stopped just in front of me. She cast a quick glance at Daniel and nodded his way before turning back to me.
“I’ve spoken to every single one of my bodyguards, and they all told me the same thing.”
“And that is?”
I cocked my head.
“It was your quick thinking that saved our life. You discerned that it was not just a defensive attack from monsters protecting their Lair, but that their Lair was just up ahead on the road. I’d be dead now if not for you.”
I shrugged. The first was rather obvious— I was sure someone would have made that realization if they weren’t caught up in the sudden battle. But the second… [Passive - Deadly Instincts], so you can also tell whether I’m wandering straight to a monster Lair, huh? That Skill was proving more and more useful with each passing day.
Saffron suddenly bowed and Daniel blinked. I stared down at the pinked haired noble.
“For saving my life, I would like to offer you my gratitude.”
She offered me something held in her hand. I stared at the crystal object— a symbol of a vulture was ingrained onto it.
“This is the crest my family gives to our allies. Call on if you ever have any favor to ask of me.”
“Call on it?”
I took the crest with a hand and stared at it. I squinted as I noticed the strands of mana running through the air curve as it came into contact with it.
“It is indeed.”
“How do I use it?”
Saffron raised her head, offering me a sly smile.
“It is something you will have to figure out on your own. Maybe you might even level up your mana manipulation that way.”
She straightened, adjusting her posture and carrying herself with the same poise as before. She no longer seemed like the scared girl I had seen just before, but was now the regal noble I had originally met.
“It was a pleasure to have met you.”
Saffron twirled around gracefully, returning to the coach where she came from. Helen paused for just a moment, but realized the pinked haired noble was already about to leave. She waved goodbye at me and quickly left.
Daniel and I waved back at the group as they began to leave the city— Matthew returning just in time. Was she trying to leave him behind? Probably.
Once they were gone, my companion looked down at me, a longing gaze still fixed on my face. He scratched the back of his head, speaking slowly.
“I know it must feel weird, huh? Meeting people for the first time and suddenly they’re gone. First your Demon friend, then Edithe, and now these guys. But it’s… normal, I guess? You might get used to it, you might now. I know I’m still not fully used to it— the reality of life.”
I continued staring, unmoving. Daniel hesitated.
“Salvos, I know you’re— Salvos?”
I blinked and glanced back at him.
“Huh, oh what? You were talking to me?”
“Yeah, I… is something on your mind?”
I paused, tapping a finger on my lip as I considered this for a moment. Then I grinned.
“I changed my mind. I want to be a noble again! You must now refer to me as Princess Salvos!”