Vouka town lord, Crimus Ulban remained standing in the entranceway of his mansion.
The Herb Saint Entourage must have just got out of the town via the west gate by now.
Vouka's guard led by commander Tesla is escorting them to the nearest village.
The town lord has to stay here to meet and greet the four noble houses as well as those who have come to see the entourage off.
"Norma, Eda, we're going home."
"Un. Home we go."
"Ah, Lecan. A moment please."
It was the town lord who called out to Lecan.
"What do you need?"
"Thanks for your hard work. I owe you one."
"Hold it! I told you to wait!"
"Get on to it already."
"We have been getting requests to meet, no, have an audience with Shira-sama."
"Nothing to do with me."
"I couldn't tell her earlier. Any and all outside contacts were prohibited during Guide Skalabel's stay. So things will get busy from now on."
"Told you I don't give a crap."
"This won't be for a while, but Vantaroy's town lord has expressed interest to visit Vouka as well. That Vantaroy town lord, coming here in flesh!"
"Good for you. Later."
"Don't you go off now! Wait a second."
"Get to it."
"I would like Shira-sama to stay in the guest house for a while."
"Tell that to Shira."
"Where has Shira-sama gone off to?"
"There's no way you don't know."
"Didn't you see? Shira vanished."
"Yes, she did. That was a wonderful magic. Wait, was that even magic?"
"Must be. Can't imagine what kind though."
"Where did she go?"
"I gave you the answer already."
"Are you really not aware?"
"I really have no clue."
"When is she coming back?"
"Do you believe you can convince me with that?"
"I don't give a damn either way."
"We have a huge queue of people wanting to meet her. As well as letters I must give her. There will be a mountain heap more of those from now on. Lots more letter will come."
"I'll give you an advice."
"Please by all means."
"Shira will not show up in this town ever again. So you'd better decline those asking for a meeting. Write the return letters yourself. They're just gonna turn into garbage left at Shira's house."
"You're joking, right? Tell me you're joking."
"Zip it. Shira won't show herself up ever again. It's me who found that most unfortunate."
After saying that over his shoulder, Lecan took Norma and Eda away from the town lord's mansion.
He felt a bit sorry for the town lord, but he surely has gained a lot more than he lost from all what's going on, so Lecan didn't feel bad leaving him to deal with all the aftermath.
They parted with Norma along the way, then went to fetch Jericho with Eda before going back home.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
Lecan saying that Shira won't show up in this town ever again came as a huge shock to Eda, she asked Lecan where Shira is.
Lecan replied back.
Standing out in public is the thing Shira hates most above all else, and now that her name has been spread far and wide, she likely won't ever make an appearance in this town.
As for Shira's whereabouts, even Lecan is clueless on that. However, Shira can't possibly abandon Lecan and Eda.
One day, she would likely appear before them.
Both him and Eda have some growing up to do so they can proudly meet her, to get her say, "My, you two have really grown up", when she saw them.
Besides, it's Shira they're talking here, she must be watching over him and Eda somewhere without them realizing.
Entrusting Jericho to Eda is a promise for their eventual reunion.
After hearing that, Eda wiped her tears and nodded, 'Un'.
The following day, Lecan didn't go anywhere.
He shut himself in the house and carefully probed the whole town with <Life Detection> while quietly sipping some liquor.
But he couldn't find the reaction he sought.
He did the same the day after.
On the night of the third day, there was a hit in the town. The presence of an enormous mana. A nostalgic presence.
That presence vanished right away. However, he has memorized its location.
Lecan erased his presence with <Concealment> and headed toward the northwest direction under the night sky of Vouka town. Running on walls, jumping over roofs, he arrived at the place.
It's a snug house in a quiet neighborhood.
There's an inner garden inside, with a veranda on the second floor facing that garden, there an elderly woman is sipping tea while watching the night sky.
Lecan gently landed on that veranda.
"Hey there. That was quick. I've got your tea ready over here."
"That's some fancy outfit you're wearing."
"This is how I look when I'm here."
"Let's see now. I think since about ten years ago."
"I don't see a big chimney anywhere here. Neither an underground cellar."
"Yep there's none. Think I'm done with medicine now. I have so many good successors all grown up after all."
"The medicine stores that sell your medicine will be devastated."
"Oh not at all. This town has quite a few skilled apothecaries now. And I've presented cold medicine and remedy recipes to five apothecaries I know. I'm sure they're elated."
Lecan sat down and drank his tea.
"This is a good tea. Can I come here again to drink another cup?"
"Once in a while, sure."
They gazed at the night sky for a while.
"Say. You're planning to leave this town at the end of this year, aren'tcha?"
"What about Eda-chan?"
"Still undecided. But I think leaving her to fend for herself for once will be a good experience."
"What do you think?"
"Well. I'm sure Eda-chan herself has been thinking of having a go at being independent from you."
"And she also wants to become someone you could accept. Or so how I see it at least."
This wise woman does not speak without any basis.
Meaning she must have had conversations with Eda that led her to believe that.
"Yeah I think that's for the best."
"It's also for your sake, you know. Don't worry about that girl. I've left Jericho with her."
"Guess there's nothing to worry about with Jericho around."
"Jericho will notify me if there's something amiss."
Something suddenly hit on Lecan while he was looking at the bottom of his emptied cup.
"Oh yeah, during that night when Roland tried to set up a magic barrier, you said that <Sleep> boosted by that magic barrier installed with a dungeon-depth magic stone and grace items won't work on Eda or me."
"I sure did."
"That doesn't sound right."
"Eda might have resistance to mind magic. Her life force's been quite bolstered as well. But I don't believe that will be enough to defend against <Sleep> cast by Roland with the help of magic barrier and grace items. All the more since I didn't have <Necklace of Intuador> with me back then."
The silver ring he always has on his finger passively raises abnormal status resistance, but the effect has its limit. In fact, Marakis's magic did manage to reap Lecan's consciousness if only for a moment.
"That was a feint for that Derston boy."
"You musn't let your guard down against that boy."
Lecan himself also noticed that the most troublesome individual to make an enemy of among the Herb Saint Entourage was the temple knight Derston Barmoa. He might look like he was faithfully working as Skalabel's escort this time around, but that man must have been the one with the highest drive toward Elex Temple's interest. Which isn't guaranteed to always coincide with Shira's and Lecan's interest. That man was always coldly observing Shira, Lecan, Eda and Norma behind his all-smiles exterior.
In other word, that conversation was Shira's way to warn Derston not to mess with Lecan and Eda.
Come to think of it, Shira did allude to her deep connection with Yacklubend then. Derston must think that antagonizing her would require quite a bit of resolve after that.
"I see. Got it. So where's your other nesting holes at?"
"Oh, what are you on about?"
"Back then you spoke how a shrewd rabbit would dig up four nesting holes. You also mentioned how you have bases in several cities around this country."
"Oh, did I really say that?"
"You did. Back when we got called to the temple."
"I'm honestly surprised by your good memory."
"So where's your other nesting holes at."
"I wonder. You tend to forget things as you age, see. How many nests I dug, and where, can't remember every one of them. But it'll probably come back to me when the needs arise."
(This granny is the one you can't let your guard down on the most.)
Lecan drank up his tea.
"Thanks for having me."
"Feel free to grab all the medicine making tools you want in my house. Take care of yourself now."
"Yea. Thank you."
Lecan put <Concealment> on himself once again and leaped in the night town.
That night hosted beautiful stars in the sky.
Lecan leaped around from walls to walls.
He spun in the air, raised his leg ups, flapped his arms around, somersaulted sometimes, dancing with the stars.
That night was simply too good a moment to pass up dancing.
A feeling Lecan couldn't quite describe was overflowing out of his chest, he just couldn't keep still for a second.
The wind was cold.
A pleasant kind of coldness.