Chapter 17: The old man begins to move.

TL: Long note at the end.

The Inheritance Ceremony has finally begun as we headed to the specially prepared seats at the coliseum. Even though the colosseum was large, the event appears to be extremely popular as the general seats were completely filled with people who were looking towards the arena expectedly.

  [Yuuya, will Lutra win?] (Luna)

  [In direct combat, she wouldn’t lose. Although Prince Aleck is a first-class warrior, he is still directly inferior to Lutra. Princess Aure has received combat training too, although she was only ordinary in that aspect. I haven’t met Prince Atla however I’ve heard that he was objectively better than Princess Aure as well.] (Yuuya)

Note: Atla (Previously Atra) is the third legitimate child of the queen.

Based on just their physical capabilities, this would be their ranking.

Officially, if their rankings were just based on their physical capabilities, Princess Aure would had have to end the battle before the ceremony began as she would be in a bind during the battle.

  [Uhn. Then we’re safe.] (Luna)

  [You can’t be sure of that… We can’t be sure that everything will be proceed as it is when Princess Aure is likely preparing something for her comeback.] (Yuuya)

Rather than suspect, I was sure of it.

Approaching the young Lutra and manipulating the information given to her for her own benefits, preventing any information from reaching Lutra while slowly and surely feeding negative news about Prince Aleck. It was something that required immense patience, quick decision-making and most importantly, the ability to main it for years. 

This was something that was easier said than done. For a human to be capable of doing such a thing, it’s practically impossible for her to give up just because her assassination attempt had failed. 

  [I agree with that sentiment…. I think that the best time to execute her plans would be right before the succession ceremony begins.] (Phil)

Princess Aure possessed a powerful trump card which was her evolving monsters. As a result, her previous combat piece, Lutra became redundant and was deemed an obstacle which was immediately disposed of. However, for the inheritance ceremony, she wouldn’t be able to utilise her monsters since it was a one versus one battle.

Somewhere and somehow, Phil and I were ready for battle, expecting Princess Aure to launch an attacking with her evolving monsters 

  [If anything happens, we’ll jump out immediately.] (Yuuya)

  [Yes, Lutra-chan is our friend after all.] (Phil)

Even if she wasn’t going to be with us once everything is over, I intend to do everything I can for my friend.

  [But, our weapons were seized earlier you know. Even our magic bags.] (Til)

For the spectator seats, magic bags and dangerous objects were not allowed. For our VIP seats, such objects were to be confiscated instead.

  [Well even without a sword, a Magic Knight is still strong barehanded.] (Yuuya)

  [In my case, I do have a bow though?] (Phil)

  [Ahh, Yuuya-niisan and oneechan are cheaters. Wait a minute, how did you even bring one in!?] (Til)

  [It’s a secret.] (Phil)

No matter how you see it, Phil had neither her weapon nor her magic bag. However, there were many ways for you to hide and carry your weapon with you at all times. Til continued to pester her heavily as her curiosity was piqued by Phil. Meanwhile, Luna began to murmur with a satisfied look as she sat on my lap while waving her tail back and forth.

  [Truth is Luna has her dagger too. It’s hidden in her tail. When she finds a bad guy she will assassin!] (Luna)

I let out a smile as it was definitely possible for her to hide a short dagger in her fluffy tail since tails were left out from the body checks.

  [Looks like it’s about to begin.] (Yuuya)

The inheritance ceremony was about to begin. Firstly, the king entered the ring of the coliseum as he initiated the opening ceremony while explaining the rules of the tournament. Using an amplification magic tool in the ring, his words rang throughout the coliseum using several loudspeakers. Despite portraying himself with dignity, the king’s body still looked frail. This was probably going to be his final event as the king.

It was the typical one-on-one tournament battle system with the final victor succeeding the throne without any restrictions on weapons and tools present. The victory conditions were to knock your opponent out of the ring, rendering them unable to battle, death, surrendering as well as the referee’s decision. Surrounding the ring were several healers and doctors who were capable of casting healing magic, making it possible to rescue the contestants so long as they weren’t dead.

After the opening ceremony, it was finally time for the contestants to enter the stage as the first one to appear was Prince Aleck. The moment he appeared onto the stage, the entire crowd let out a passionate cheer, especially the female crowd. The military personnel in the ring were also cheering although they were supposed to be impartial to the tournament. Since the military judged everybody by their physical capabilities and talents, this showed how recognized he was for his ability and personality.

Next was Prince Atla who wasn’t very popular as he merely received a light applause. He himself appeared timid as if he didn’t intend to win. In fact it was a miracle that he refused to back out of the tournament…. It’s probably that. 

Since he wasn’t going to defeat Prince Aleck, he was probably a pawn for Princess Aure who wanted to save her strength in her battle against Prince Aleck. This was the most probable outcome.

  [It’s finally Lutra’s turn to appear.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. Luna will be looking for her.] (Luna)

  [I’ll have to be louder than everyone else!] (Til)

Lutra entered the stage as Luna and Til began cheering at the top of their voices however it was still drowned out by the immense volume of the crowd. As the second coming of the legendary Renoir, her popularity was through the roof. Conversely, the reactions from the nobles were cold as they were either supporting Prince Aleck or Princess Aure. The military personnel’s reactions weren’t as vibrant to her as they were to Prince Aleck as well. They looked like their impression of Lutra was merely a girl who happened to take over the looks of the battle princess Renoir.

  [Now then, it’s time for Princess Aure to appear.] (Yuuya)

After sending Lutra off to the dungeon, Princess Aure had yet to appear in the castle. If she chose not to appear at this moment, then it would be decided that she has withdrawn from the tournament. The king asked.

  [Umu, has Aure withdrawn? In that case, it’ll be decided.] (King)

Just as the king declared, Princess Aure appeared along with glowing particles.

  [No. I’m participating as well, and I will be the ruler.] (Aure)

Said Aure in a confident tone as all of the audience sprang up from their seats. It appears to be a play for her to raise her popularity. She had displayed Teleportation that none of them have seen before. It was a skill that allowed it’s user to move to another location within ten metres.

It was a skill that wasn’t attainable by humans, however it was possible to use the skill through magic items. It was a rare item with limited uses that was so rare that even in the game, I hadn’t managed to obtain an item capable of using it…

I highly doubt that she would use such an item just to garner popularity for herself. It feels like it could be a hint for something, however I couldn’t come up with anything.

Just as this happened, the majority of the nobles began to cheer as her faction seemed to outnumber Prince Aleck’s.

  [Aure. I’m impressed that you managed to make it at the very last minute. Now then, we’ll begin the tournament with this four participants. Each of you will wear this hat one at a time.] (King)

The king handed out something that looked like a Top hat

… Is it still being passed down? That was something that I saw during the event in the game.

Firstly, Prince aleck put on the hat as the hat opened up, releasing a spring as well as a stuffed pigeon.

  [Red lion, red lion!] 

The pigeon from the hat began shouting a red lion. From my point of view, it looked extremely comical however the audience including the nobles seemed to look at it with serious expressions. Above all, the princes and princesses looked like they were in pain. Was it an item that was that divine? The only thing I felt from that was it’s creator’s bad taste.

Afterwards, the pigeon announced Blue Dragon for both Lutra and Prince Atla while Princess Aure was a red lion. Although it looked quite special, it was just a normal lot-drawing device. The first battle was between Prince Aleck and Princess Aure while Lutra would be battling Prince Atla.

According to the schedule, the blue dragon contestants would be battling first. Lutra and Prince Atra would be fighting in the first round while Prince Aleck and Princess Aure would be fighting in the second round. The final winner between the two victors would be the ultimate victor of the tournament.

This was the best outcome for Lutra who would be able to reserve her strength for the final battle with an easier first battle while getting a longer break before the finals.

  [The match-ups have been decided. Looks like Lutra and Prince Atla’s battle will begin in fifteen minutes.] (Yuuya)

The princes and princesses bowed their heads as Prince Aleck seemed to ask the King for permission. Surprisingly the King allowed it as it was something the Prince wanted to tell the public and his siblings. He walked to the center of the ring as he faced the audience.

  [I will make the Laluzulu Kingdom stronger. Not only it’s military power but also it’s economy as well as manpower by placing emphasis on nurturing our children. The first step is for me to prove that I’ll be a strong king in this inheritance ceremony… And to my beloved siblings. For the ideal Laluzulu Kingdom, you are required as well. If I became the ruler, I wish that Aure would lend me your wisdom while Lutra would lend me your shield and aspirations as well.] (Prince Aleck)

As expected of the number one candidate. He possessed the qualities of a ruler as he quickly grabbed the hearts of his people with a much more open mind than I thought as he publicly acknowledged the abilities of his fellow siblings.

Princess Aure then walked beside him.

  [In that case, I shall declare something as well. My dream is the exact same as my older brother. However for that to happen, an even greater king is needed. That king isn’t my elder brother but me. Frankly speaking direct battling isn’t my forte, however I’ll show that I surpass my brother even in my weak points.] (Aure)

She sounded full of confidence that made me wonder, just what kind of trump card did she bring to a battle where she couldn’t bring her monsters along?

Lutra walked up beside them. This was a good move as she wouldn’t be acknowledged if remained silent here.

  [I simply wish the best for my country and the people in it. Which is why I will win the ceremony to choose the best candidate for succession. Which is why, aniue. If I win, I hope to borrow your power as well. However there are conditions to this.Let’s make a bet. If I win, you will lend me your power in the future. ] (Lutra)

  [I accept. If you win, then I’ll do everything in my power to support you. And if I win, you’ll be the one supporting me. Lutra, let’s meet in the finals.] (Prince Aleck)

  [Yes, I’ll see you in the final.] (Lutra)

Prince Aleck put his hand out for a handshake as Lutra responded to him.

It was an incredibly bold move as well as her message to Princess Aure and Prince Atla that they weren’t her enemies.

On the other hand, Prince Atla and Princess Aure’s reactions were strange. Prince Atla seemed depressed and full of regrets while Princess Aure was laughing from the bottom of her heart and not her usual charade.

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.

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The first round has begun.

Judging from his skillset, Prince Atla’s class appeared to be a warrior and his level surpassed Lutra’s as he was able to enter the exclusive dungeon. However, his movements were second-class compared to Lutra’s. It was obvious that he had received proper tutoring in using the sword, however it was evident that his talent was nothing special nor did he have any experience in swinging a real sword. Lutra easily deflected Prince Atla’s sword, causing him to lose his balance. Taking advantage of his unstable balance, Lutra threw Prince Atla’s body onto the ground and pinned him to the ground before putting a sword to his throat.

  […If you don’t surrender, I’ll have no choice but to stab your throat.] (Lutra)
  [I’ll surrender. It’s my loss.] (Atla)

The battle was decided in less than a minute. The audience sprang up from their seats as many of them likely thought that Lutra had merely inherited the famous Senki Renoir’s appearance but were now convinced she was her reincarnate instead. Lutra gracefully greeted the audience before exiting the stage and lending her shoulder to Prince Atla who was completely overwhelmed.

  [Luta, nice win!] (Luna)

  [Uhn uhn. Especially as a spectator, that was mesmerizing.] (Til)

There was no way I wouldn’t understand why the two girls felt.

The second round began ten minutes later. Prince Aleck had encouraged Princess Aure to surrender the battle, however she had refused his offer.

Princess Aure’s class was likely a Magician as she held a cane in one of her hand, making this small ring a major disadvantage. In the first place, Magicians had weak defenses and their long chants made them ill-suited for duels. Which just made me wonder how could she win the battle? The answer came immediately after.

As soon as the battle began, light particles began to appear forming the shape of monsters, producing a total of three monsters. A silver living armour, a werewolf and a gigantic high-class Orc with a club.

Prince Aleck cried out.

  [I don’t know how you brought them into the battle, however this is a one versus one battle! It’s part of the rules.] (Aleck)

  [I don’t understand what you are trying to say. This is the power of my Summoning magic. Isn’t it natural for a magician to use her spells?] (Aure)

Princess Aure had made proper preparations as the referee didn’t call out her foul play. 

I finally understood the reason behind her flashy entrance from earlier. If she showed everyone that she was capable of casting teleportation magic then it wouldn’t be far off to claim that she could cast summoning magic.

However, that concept of summoning magic is a hoax. There should be a collaborator working with her nearby, using teleportation to send the monsters into the arena from another location.

Since there wasn’t any evidence of foul play, it wasn’t considered a violation of the rules as Prince Aleck continued to retreat from the onslaught from the three monsters, jumping backwards as his breathing became heavier and heavier. Eventually, he began to overwhelm the three monsters as loud cheers could be heard from the female public. 

Based on their appearances, they were likely monsters in the upper thirties. Furthermore they were each special monsters that were stronger than an average monster in their level range. However there was a ray of hope in the battle.

  [Aure, shouldn’t you use your summoning magic to call for reinforcements? If that was impossible then I wish for you to surrender. I don’t have the desire to cut down my own sister.] (Aleck)

  [That naiveness will be aniue’s downfall. If I were aniue, then I would have already surrendered.] (Aure)

  [… It isn’t naivety. It just isn’t necessary.] (Aleck)

  [Although it is necessary? Even in the case with Lutra. Aniue’s actions are too kind. Which is why you are being dragged down…. Aniue is no king.] (Aure)

Prince Aleck was blown away by the werewolf as his magic chestplate was destroyed in the impact. It was an attack befitting a monster in the fifties as the three monsters had all evolved. Prince Aleck fainted on the spot.

  [I always do whatever is necessary. Unlike aniue.] (Aure)

Under Princess Aure’s order, the orc walked over to Prince Aleck’s lifeless body, swinging down it’s large club. Everyone in the venue turned away.

Taking a direct hit like that, even if it’s Prince Aleck…

  [Ara, what are you trying to do? Lutra.] (Aure)

Between the large club and Prince Aleck was Lutra as she deflected the club, causing the flimsy club to shatter along with the colosseum wall. All three monsters began to collapse onto Lutra but they stopped the moment Princess Aure clapped her hands.

  [Isn’t it against the rules to interfere in another person’s battle? Referee, please disqualify Lutra from the tournament.] (Aure)

  [No, aneue. Aniue has already lost consciousness. The match was already over the moment he fainted. I am just aiding the recovery process.] (Lutra)

  [Ara, so that’s the case. I hadn’t noticed. Thank you Lutra, I was close to killing my own brother without realizing it.] (Aure)

Aure spoke in a volume large enough for the audience to hear.

  [I look forward to the finals.. Ara, didn’t aniue say the same thing? Fufu, aniue looks so pathetic.] (Aure)

After erasing the three monsters, Princess Aure walked off the stage as the referee announced the victor. The battle begins in two minutes. However, it wasn’t a situation for us to relax.

  [Everyone, let’s begin moving. That isn’t summoning magic, but rather teleportation magic. Princess Aure is violating the rules. She is hiding the monsters somewhere nearby, in the vicinity of the coliseum. We’ll defeat them right now.] (Yuuya)

If my guess was correct, then what she just did wasn’t summoning magic but teleportation magic. In that case, we could just find where she was hiding the monsters and defeat them. Even for Lutra, it was impossible to win against three level fifty monsters.

  [Understood! Luna’s Presence Detection will find the enemy!] (Luna)

  [I’ll search from a higher vantage point then.] (Til)

  [Luna-chan, Til. If you find any of them be sure to tell me or Yuuya. You won’t survive if you challenge them on your own.] (Phil)

  [Let’s hurry.] (Yuuya)

We began to move.

Originally, we wouldn’t be able to interfere with the battles once the inheritance ceremony began. However, the story was different now that we knew our opponent was violating the rules.

I will tidy up the story, and give Lutra the fair fight she deserves.

<End of Chapter>

Hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. Regarding this novel, I have several thoughts about what I’ve been doing regarding the translation.

Instead of directly translating the words and editing them to form a proper sentence, I’ve been trying to do a translate the japanese words into an english context.Though please understand that my english isn’t great since in Singapore we speak more of a dialect than proper english.

An example of this would be the speech scene. Although prince Aleck’s speech could be directly translated into a proper speech as if he was speaking to the public, princess aure and lutra’s speeches contained words like aniue and aneue which normally referred to their elder brother and sisters based on the context.

However for an english equivalent word, it would be saying elder brother and elder sister and it would sound somewhat weird when used in a formal speech to the public.

Do let me know if you would rather me directly translate this sort of words which doesn’t have an english equivalent or change it to fit the english language or as I’ve been on the fence about doing this, causing a lot of inconsistencies in my wordings for the novel.

This is also the case for names and several other things that I can’t think of right now but I’m sure is there. I tried to change the names in the story to actual english words that exists. Eg: Atra –> Atla(s), and Yuuya’s skill, Napalm strike.

In actual fact, the name of the ability is Exploding heat god palm (?) if I were to direct translate it. Since the original name seems slightly weird for english, I decided to change it to napalm strike (admittedly the name had randomly came up in my head at the beginning). Now that the series has progressed this far I’m feeling slightly guilty at changing things in the novel based on my own views.

Again, I’m stating this as this has even confused me since I’m feeling guilty at changing the novel on my own discretion, wavering between directly translating the words and adding in my own. Do let me know which you guys prefer and I’ll adjust accordingly.

Also, thanks for the concern and I’m sorry(?) for the fast release of chapters. Ever since I started translating again after the long hiatus I’ve kinda gotten hooked on novels again. Unlike the past where I did all the translations during the weekends, I have been able to work on chapters during the weekdays using my phone as I am currently done with my training phase.

Honestly I did think of just posting one chapter a week like I used to do but I kind of dislike the idea of restricting chapters that I have already completed so I decided to just post chapters as I completed them. I would usually either complete somewhere between half to an entire chapter during the day or none at all if I was busy, which meant that I could go home and edit the chapter before releasing it.

As to monetary support, there aren’t any plans to open the patreon again since I don’t intend to restrict chapters so I don’t really have any benefits for patrons. Although I do hope that everyone will turn off adblock since it helps me.

TLDR:

Directly translate or translate into “proper” english

No patreon as of now, please turn off adblock.

Hope you guys enjoyed this chapter and thank you for your concern and participation. ^^

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Chapter 16: The old man is sure.


Two monsters which didn’t belong here, appeared in the Gate of Trials.

The Great Kong which was a higher-rank species of gorilla-type monsters that possessed unusually developed muscles and thicker hair and the Goblin Knight, another higher-ranked species of goblins which possessed higher intelligence and the ability to wield a sword.

They were both monsters that belonged in the upper level thirties and wasn’t supposed to be strong enough to match us in battle.

However they had evolved and became equivalent to a monster around level 50.

… It was a level where even top tier parties would had problems defeating them.

At our levels, encountering them was a death sentence. However we were stronger than our level implies. Even if they were both evolved, they can be defeated if we dealt with them properly.

  [Lutra!] (Yuuya)

I raised my voice towards Lutra who seemed absentminded in this battle. Lutra who had a shocked expression prepared her stance as she held her shield. She too, suspected that it was Princess Aure who brought them into the dungeon, making it impossible for her to stay rational in the battle. Even in such a state, I wanted to praise her for keeping up her role as the frontline.

  [Everyone, we’ll be acting as one to four.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. Understood!] (Luna)

  [Ok~ leave it to me!] (Til)

  [Roger that.] (Phil)

  [That is reasonable.] (Lutra)

Since we were a five-man party, we were able to perform several different formations. This was one of them.

The evolved Great Kong and Goblin Knight were running towards us. The Great Kong was slightly quicker as it ran ahead of the Goblin Knight. Lutra then used War Cry to attract it’s attention, causing the Great Kong to charge straight towards her instead. Meanwhile Phil and Til focused on drawing the Goblin Knight’s attention by concentrating their attacks onto it.

The one to four strategy was simple.

Whenever we encountered two powerful enemies, Lutra who was the sturdiest among us would take on one of them while the four of us focused on bringing down the other enemy as quickly as possible. 

No matter how we tried, it was impossible for us to take out two evolved monsters simultaneously.

  […. If possible please wrap up that side as soon as possible. I don’t think I’ll be able to last long.] (Selene)

  [Leave it to me.] (Til)

  [Uhn. Luna will assassin it!] (Luna)

Luna and I began running towards the Goblin Knight, rushing right past the Great Kong who seemed to ignore our existence. As expected, War Cry was an amazing skill.

Despite the close distance, Til and Phil continued to rain arrows onto the Goblin Knight without any misfires, a feat not many archers were capable of as the fear of accidentally attacking your allies was crippling, causing their accuracy to decrease.

  [Uohh. If I worked together with onee chan then I won’t even need to use triple shot.] (Til)

  [Til, just focus on bringing down the monster even a second faster.] (Phil)

The Goblin Knight’s swordsmanship was impressive as it was able to cut down the arrows fired by Phil and Til. However it was impossible for it to cut down every single arrow as it slowly accumulated damage from the constant barrage. Furthermore, it was full of openings as it was completely preoccupied with our archers. In this situation, we’ll finish it off with our strongest combination. 

While I was running, I glanced towards Luna, synchronizing our strides as I began my chant.

It was my spell that focused on increasing the target’s attack power.

  [God’s Strength!] (Yuuya)

  [Assassinate!] (Luna)

Luna perfectly landed her attack with Assassinate boosted by God’s Strength as the sound of ringing could be heard. This would be a pointless combination if Luna couldn’t land a critical hit, however me and Luna were perfectly in sync down to our breaths. Furthermore against an opponent full of openings, there was zero chance of Luna missing her critical attack. However, as expected of a monster equivalent to level fifty, even after that attack it hadn’t fallen yet. 

This was still within our expectations as I had activated a second chant after God’s Strength.

I chased after the sliding Goblin Knight, rapidly closing the distance between us.

Even though it was in such an awkward position, it proceeded to swing its blade upwards towards me. It was an amazing display of swordsmanship as it managed to put strength into its blade in its weakened state.

Unfortunately, that level of swords play wasn’t enough to defeat me as I used the blade in my right hand to deflect the attack while twisting my body before stepping forward and closing the distance between us.

Then I stuck out my left palm.

[Napalm Strike!] (Yuuya)

My left hand cloaked in extreme heat pierced through the Goblin Knight. The smell of charred meat spread through the air as a large gaping hole appeared in its chest. It’s body then finally began turning into blue particles for good.

Compared to the battle against the Killer Ape, the ability’s skill level was significantly higher and its firepower couldn’t even compare to before.

[I knew it, we are definitely stronger.] (Yuuya)

If we worked together, then even level fifty monsters weren’t a problem for us.

This was significant for us although it didn’t mean that we could immediately set out for the most difficult dungeon since monsters at this level appeared in groups or frequently. 

[Everyone, hurry up and finish up! I’m about to reach my limit!] (Lutra)

Lutra shouted at a volume that closely resembled a scream. She had been taking on the Great Kong this entire time which was a heavy task. There wasn’t any time to be idling around as everyone immediately rushed to Lutra.

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Several minutes later, the Great Kong was defeated. 

Unlike the Goblin Knight which possessed both toughness and ability, the Great Kong was a monster which emphasized its toughness, making it harder for us to defeat. Although it wasn’t dangerous for us regardless.

Our party Twilight Home already possessed combat prowess rivaling the top parties. After completing the battles, Phil began recovering Lutra’s wounds using her Heal.

[Surprisingly, the battle wasn’t dangerous at all. This was the first time I had to repeat the same skill this much.] (Lutra)

[Being able to take on a monster at this level alone, is something to take pride in. This was a feat only first tier tanks were capable of performing.] (Yuuya)

[I humbly accept your praises.] (Lutra)

Lutra’s smile felt unnatural.

  [Lutra.] (Yuuya)

  [I know. Once we leave the dungeon, I’ll listen to whatever she has to say.] (Lutra)
  [When that time comes, I’ll be by your side.] (Yuuya)

If these monsters were indeed sent by Princess Aure, then there should be more of them. At the very least, there should be at least two more of them around. If she sent two or more of them against Lutra, then she will have no options against them.

  [Yes, please do so.] (Lutra)

  [Luna will go together too! Even if you say no, Luna will hide somewhere and watch. Luna is a fox after all and she is good at hiding!] (Luna)

  [And since I’m an elf, I’ll be hanging off a tree and prepared with my bow!] (Til)

  [Kyu!] (Erik)

The two girls and Erik’s support were overwhelming. I couldn’t understand the reasoning behind being a fox however it seems that Luna was good at hiding her presence, making it possible for her to hide somewhere although Til’s comment was rather realistic.

  [Well, let’s think about it once we leave the dungeon. Let’s exit the dungeon first.] (Yuuya)

More importantly, we came here to have Lutra obtain the special abilities for a ruler.

That was our main objective.

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After exiting the large corridor, we entered the audience chamber of the dungeon as the throne at the end of the chamber was glowing brightly.

.. It was said that practically everyone who challenged the Gate of Trials would never make it back. However this time we had the answer to practically every single one of the seventy two questions and we had made preparations for everyone excluding Lutra. Furthermore since Lutra had strong escorts, there wasn’t any risk involved. 

The reason I hadn’t informed Lutra about it was due to my suspicion towards Princess Aure.

This time, we were able to overcome the dungeon this quickly was due to us although it was likely that Lutra would have been able to overcome the dungeon on her own given enough time.

In any case, we weren’t escorts prepared by the royal family but her friends who she acquired through her own power.

  [Yuuya-ojisama, what should I be doing right now?] (Lutra)
  [You’ll sit on the throne.] (Yuuya)

Lutra really seemed to know nothing about the Gate of Trials

She seemed to only know about the condition of having royalty in the party to get access to the dungeon however she hadn’t known about the puzzles set in the dungeon as well as the method to receiving the power in the first place.

  [I’m a little nervous. Isn’t it disrespectful to go ahead and sit on the throne?] (Lutra)

I couldn’t help but laugh as it does sound like something Lutra would say.

  [It’s okay. You’re going to win the inheritance ceremony aren’t you. You’re qualified to sit on the throne.] (Yuuya)

After pushing her back slightly, she slowly approached the throne and sat on it.

At that instant, the brightly shining light began to turn red, turning into red particles before entering Lutra’s body.

  [Strange, power seems to be flowing through me… It was the same as when we defeated the Coronoa Dragon.] (Lutra)
  [In reality their the same thing. Attaining a title is equivalent to getting stronger, although this is only valid for the royalty of the Laluzulu.] (Yuuya)

By overcoming the Gate of Trials, the royal family could obtain the title Rightful Ruler.

  [Envious! Luna wants it too.] (Luna)

  [Me too me too!] (Til)

  [You two, that’s impossible since the two of you aren’t royalty.] (Yuuya)

  [Muu, that’s unfair!] (Luna)

  [That’s right thats right!] (Til)

  [If you continue behaving like this, Luna’s fox ears and Til’s ears will both be pulled along. Everyone has their own advantages.] (Yuuya)

The two girls gave in immediately after my warning as Lutra descended from the throne.

  [Hey, Yuuya-ojisama. What if, I confronted my elder sister.. And she said that she wants to kill me, what should I do then? I’ve always thought that I should leave the country to her.] (Lutra)

  [I don’t have the answer for that. It’s something you’ll have to think about yourself. The reason why Lutra thought of making Princess Aure the queen is because you thought that the people would be happier if she was made the ruler. If that is the case, then face reality and find the answer yourself.] (Yuuya)

Purely based on reason, if the country were to prosper under Lutra’s rule then there shouldn’t be any worry for her life.

  [You’re right. I just made a mistake in my judgement. Then I’ll just have to properly talk to them once more. My sister, and my brother too.] (Lutra)

  [Please do so.] (Yuuya)

  [Then afterwards, I hope to talk to the people that Yuuya-ojisama was talking about. I wish to hear the details from them personally…. It’s embarrassing but in the castle, both my eyes and ears were practically nonexistent as I hadn’t received any information. In hindsight, it could be that both aniue and aneue were trying to keep information from reaching me in the castle.] (Lutra)

A young and supportless Lutra was an easy target, making it easy to manipulate the information being fed to her.

  [I understand. Then let’s do that… For now, let’s head back.] (Yuuya)

This audience chamber was our objective. As proof of that, there was a magical vortex waiting in the back of the room. 

After dragging Luna and Til who were playing with the Throne, then Erik, we finally decided to return to the castle.

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After returning to the castle, we immediately set out to pay a visit to Princess Aure. However, it seemed that she had been busy ever since we entered the dungeon. It was probably her insurance plan should her ambush failed. Since it would likely take a long time, I decided to arrange a visit for Lutra with my old allies. 

Although all of them were paid a visit by Princess Aure, they decided to reveal everything to Lutra after they heard that it was a personal request by me. After realizing how much information was hidden from her, Lutra continued to ask questions. Afterwards, she once again reinstated her decision to visit her elder brother, Prince Aleck. 

If it was the current Lutra, he would be unable to continue avoiding her. Lutra was already in a desperate state as she needed to confirm all of the new information being pumped into her, hence this meeting was something she definitely needed.

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Currently, it was finally the day of the Inheritance Ceremony.

Even after all this time, Princess Aure did not return to the castle. Meanwhile, Lutra was having an honest discussion with Prince Aleck with open minds.

  [Lutra, did you come up with an answer?] (Aleck)

  [Of course. The answer is already out. The only thing left is it’s execution.] (Lutra)

  [In that case, move forward without any regrets. I’ll be watching over you.] (Aleck)

That was without a doubt the brightest expression I have ever seen.

She had zero uncertainty about her decision. If it’s like this, then I’ll show her my full support.

We began heading towards the venue for the Inheritance Ceremony. It was a dome-shaped Coliseum which was also used to determine the strongest knight in the country. The seats in the stadium was already filled to the brim,. There was no grander stage than this as Lutra headed to her waiting room while we headed towards the VIP seats.

I hadn’t heard Lutra’s answer nor have I given here any advice since the dungeon.

However, I’ll be sure to watch my dazzling disciple’s appearance as her master.

That… Was all I could right now.

Chapter 15: The old man challenges the Gate of Trials

I was a lil exhausted when editing this chapter. There were also several parts of the chapter I couldn’t understand clearly so do let me know if there were any awkward sections in this chapter.

Hope you enjoy this chapter!

<Start of Chapter>

We began heading towards the Gate of Trials.

Due to the lack of time, Princess Aure began her arrangements immediately and thus we set out for the dungeon before sunset.

Originally, Lutra wouldn’t be able to gain access to the dungeon due to her brother, Prince Aleck’s influence. However we managed to gain permission due to Princess Aure pulling some strings behind the scenes. Although we wouldn’t be able to raise our levels before the inheritance ceremony, members of the royal family gained a special bonus whenever they cleared the Gate of Trials for the first time, meaning that this was the only way Lutra could become stronger in time for the ceremony.

…however there were also several troubling points.

When Lutra brought up the point about using the Return Stone to return to the castle for the inheritance ceremony, she failed to notice that Princess Aure was genuinely smiling brightly.

[Yuuya, it’s a castle’s dungeon.This is exciting!] (Luna)

[Uhn uhn, if we don’t seize this opportunity we may never get to enter again.] (Til)

The bright voices that came to me felt like they were blowing my troubles away as Luna and Til were both full of energy as usual.

[It’s an interesting dungeon. It looks exactly like a castle.] (Lutra)

This dungeon was exactly as Lutra described, a castle.

[Considering the dungeon looks like the same castle which the battle princess Renoir stayed in, it’s a given that the castle looks similar to the dungeon.] (Yuuya)

During the game, the dungeon had looked exactly like the castle back then. However the castle had gradually changed over the course of several centuries.

[Everyone listen up for now. Since there wasn’t enough time and too many people around us, there is something that I have to say. It’ll be great if we could explore the dungeon to our heart’s content, however there are most likely traps placed around the dungeon by Princess Aure. There could be assailants waiting to ambush us or assassins that are going to be sent after us while we are exploring.] (Yuuya)

Aside from Phil, everyone’s expressions darkened drastically, especially Lutra who was dealt the largest blow.

[That is impossible! The Gate of Trials is restricted to the party members of the royal family. The only person capable of doing something like this at this timing would be my sister. There is no way she would do such a thing!] (Lutra)

Lutra’s response wasn’t baseless. In fact it was exactly as she said. The only person in the royal family who knew about our entry into the dungeon was her, which meant that if something were to happen to us in the dungeon, the first suspect would be her.

[I have my reasons for doubting her. Why didn’t she warn you about using the Return Stone in the dungeon? The Gate of Trials is a special dungeon, rendering Return Stones useless. Why didn’t she warn you about it? If she was truly worried about you then she would have cautioned you about this matter when you brought it up.] (Yuuya)

[That, what if aneue didn’t know about that too…] (Lutra)

[She cleared the dungeon too didn’t she? She should have received a proper explanation about the dungeon.] (Yuuya)

[Couldn’t she had just forgotten about it?] (Lutra)

[This is something that could cost her sister’s life. Forgetting something as important as this, does that really sound plausible? Especially when the person is you, someone who is widely known for her innate combat talents?] (Yuuya)

I warned Lutra with a rather strict tone however it seems that my words weren’t being registered in her mind. “I can’t believe this” , Lutra’s feelings were being transmitted to me through her words.

  [Even so, I believe in my sister. When my brother began treating me coldly, sabotaging me and ignored me no matter how much I reached out, I had no choice but to keep my distance as I was afraid of making the person I respected the most from disliking me. In such a dark time, it was my sister who reached out to me….. That is why. She had so many opportunities to kill me back then. What reason does she have to put me in a trap now of all times, when I was going to pass the crown if I won regardless.] (Lutra)

Prince Aleck was also a favourite in the battle for the throne. If he were to seriously view Lutra as an enemy and began sabotaging her even further, the friendly version of him that Lutra knew, would likely disappear. 

Lutra was already an illegitimate child of a concubine. Lutra who was just a child back then must have been extremely lonely.

  [Which is why she took advantage of Lutra who had been left all alone knowing fully well that if done right, she would have an important piece in the battle… It’s also easy to imagine why she changed her mind about killing you. Lutra before meeting me was weak. Realizing that you weren’t useful to her cause, she decided to eliminate you. Or perhaps she has obtained a different trump card, one that could defeat Prince Aleck.] (Yuuya)

This was the most reasonable conclusion I could draw. I wasn’t just idling around until daybreak.

  [There were still several suspicious points. I went out and gather information from the knights and soldiers that I had fought together with. Prince Aleck never had a change in personality. He was a prince who continued loving his country and people, doing everything he could to his country’s benefit. It’s always possible to manipulate a person’s impression of you, but his achievements were written in black and white. I heard that he was working harder than anyone for the sake of his country. Then what reason did Princess Aure have, spreading negative information about Prince Aleck behind his back?] (Yuuya)

  [Yuuya-ojisama!] (Lutra)

This was my first time ever seeing her shout.

  […Yuuya-ojisama’s words aren’t mistaken. I am definitely suspicious about the situation with my sister. But it is also possible for those people who were supportive of my brother to be ignorant of his actions. Above all, my sister was always supportive of me unlike my brother.] (Lutra)

Persuading her is only going to get harder from this point on.

Their bond was something that was cultivated over several years.

  [In that case you don’t have to believe whatever I say. This dungeon is the perfect location for setting up a trap. It’ll be better for us to be on guard for any surprise attacks.] (Yuuya)

  [My sentiments as well.] (Lutra)

I ended the conversation there as I continued to explain the countermeasure against any possible ambush. If we were being chased by any assailants then we’ll be utilizing Luna’s Presence Detection to avoid the monsters as much as possible while progressing into the dungeon at top speed. Our party was quick and it’s highly unlikely for the assailants to keep up with us with the monsters in the vicinity. 

The only problem was if the assailants were waiting in ambush. The only thing I could do was to warn everyone to keep an eye out for any possible ambushes.

Let’s overcome this dungeon as quickly as possible.

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The Gate of Trial was a dungeon which tested the royal family’s ability to lead.

The monsters which appeared here were strong and required power to defeat. Wisdom was required to clear the numerous puzzles that were present as well as courage to cross the unstable wooden bridge that hung over a mountain of weapons.

With power, wisdom and courage, overcoming every obstacle in your way and arriving at the depths will grant you a special ability befitting a king.

After defeating several monsters, we arrived at a dead end.

  [Yuuya-niisan, there are three doors in front of us.] (Til)

Just as Til said, there were three doors presented with a picture propped against the wall. There was only one correct door, and entering the wrong door means death.

『33 33 44 ◇ 66

 22 11 22 22 55

 Please enter the correct two digits.』

Luna and Til began talking as they noticed the question.

  [Uhn. No clue.] (Luna)

  [I don’t understand what it means. Is it 33? 33 looks correct.] (Til)

It looks like this problem was too difficult for the two of them as the three doors had the numbers 77, 88, and 33 engraved into each of them.

  [It’s 77.] (Yuuya)

  [Yuuya is amazing!] (Luna)

  [How do you know that?] (No idea who this is)

  [The hint is addition and subtraction. Now, let’s go on ahead.] (Yuuya)

If we had enough time, I would have allowed Lutra to solve it alone however I’m hoping to clear the dungeon as soon as possible.

There were a total of three puzzles to solve in the Gate of Trials.

Although the questions may seem random, the three questions were selected from a pool of seventy two questions. Regarding the pool of questions, I had memorized all of them which meant that I wouldn’t be able to get any of them wrong. Although the question we got this time was simple, there were several very difficult problems.

  [I understand now. Although I heard the answer, the next number is 11.] (Lutra)

  [Correct. It seems that you would had got it even without me.] (Yuuya)

Lutra’s expression seemed stiffer than usual ever since I mentioned about the assailants possibly being sent by Princess Aure.

  [Muu, Luna will solve it too.] (Luna)

  [I’ll work hard too. However if I don’t understand then please tell me the answer.] (Til)

Sometimes what’s important isn’t your body but your head. I’ll continue to let the two think about the problem.

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It has been about two hours since we entered the dungeon.

We’ve been running about the dungeon at a speed where we wouldn’t be exhausted. Thanks to that, our exploration has been going smoothly.

  [Ah! Understand.. Luna understands now!] (Luna)

  [Truth is I already got the answer awhile ago.] (Til)

  [Eh, lies!? Was Luna the only one who didn’t know? Luna definitely solved !] (Luna)

Although it was bad to be distracted during an exploration, it looked like they are properly paying attention to their surroundings so it was fine to let them be. Although we were prioritizing our clear speed over unnecessary battles, there were several battles that couldn’t be avoided.

… Just like now.

There was a new enemy awaiting for us, a Shadow Cat. Just as it’s name implies, it’s a black cat monster which was capable of diving into the shadows which allowed it to hide even from Luna’s Presence Detection. The monster was currently hiding in the shadow of a pillar, waiting to launch a surprise attack. Since it was a cat, it had large and sharp fangs and claws and often targeted a person’s vital spots, however it didn’t mean that it’s prey were just sitting ducks.

Although Presence Detection was a convenient ability, if you relied on it too much and lowered your guard, you would be eventually fall prey to this type of monsters. As if to prove my point, it attacked Luna.

However Luna responded immediately as she launched a counter towards the beast.

  [Uhn. Luna was prepared.] (Luna)

A short dagger was penetrated into the mouth which was wide open, attempting to rip into Luna’s neck.

Luna’s growth was progressing smoothly as she was properly watching her surroundings even while utilizing her abilities. Even if that wasn’t the case, at this short of a distance the rest of us would be able to react accordingly. An arrow pierced the Shadow Cat which was on the verge of death, sticking it’s body onto the pillar as it’s body slowly turned into blue particles.

  [This is my first time seeing such a monster. As expected of the royal dungeon.] (Phil)

  [I know right. There are many monsters here that you can’t find anywhere else. If it’s possible I hope to collect some materials here, however our priority is to clear the dungeon as soon as possible.] (Yuuya)

The Gate of Trials contained monsters and materials which I hoped to obtain however in this situation we didn’t have the time for it.

  [Ahh, Yuuya-niisan. It dropped something over there.] (Til)

  [It’s a rare drop, Chrysobell. It’s a jewel that’s used for staff. It’ll sell for a large price.] (Yuuya)

Chrysobell was also known as the Cat’s Eye Jewel. This jewel would fetch a large price from anyone who required a magical staff.

  [Hurray, this is a huge haul!] (Luna)

  [We have to go and search for a good restaurant in Laluzulu.] (Til)

Since we were in a rush, we continued to run as soon as the battle ended. However Luna and Til began to dance even while we were running.

They were just wasting their energy.

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We had finally solved the third puzzle as well as the test of courage. We entered finally arrived at our goal as we exited a corridor.

  [Once we reach the end of this road and enter the audience chamber, we’ll be done with the dungeon.] (Yuuya)

Our exploration went extremely smoothly as we took full advantage of my prior knowledge. The final riddle was extremely brutal as we would have been hard pressed if we couldn’t answer it. We had to distribute eleven horses according to a will.

The eldest son is to receive one third.

The second son is to receive one quarter

The eldest daughter and second daughter receives one sixth.

Is it possible to follow the will?

That was the question.

  [The previous question, I understand it. It’s impossible because it was eleven. If you assumed there was an additional horse from the beginning then there wouldn’t be a problem.] (Lutra)

  [That’s amazing. Even I couldn’t solve it the first time I saw it.] (Yuuya)

After reading how the will was designed, you would assume that it was impossible with eleven horses but as Lutra mentioned, you had to assume the number of horses to be twelve instead of eleven.

Solving the question with twelve horses, the eldest son receives four horses, the second son receives three and the two daughters receives two horses each, totalling eleven horses. If you knew the answer then it’ll be easy to notice, however the difficult part was thinking of dividing according to twelve horses instead of eleven.

  [However I’m relieved. We made it to the goal unscathed.] (Lutra)

  [That’s true.] (Yuuya)

She was relieved due to the fact that our suspicion towards her sister was cleared as we had reached the goal without any troubles. Contrary to my expectation, we did end up arriving at the goal without any assailants.

Luna’s fox ears began to jerk.

  [Ahead of us, two monsters. Eh.. It’s a gorilla and a goblin.] (Luna)

A gorilla and goblin? That’s weird, there shouldn’t be any in the Gate of Trials.

  [Fufun,  I can see it. I don’t even have to get closer!] (Til)

Til fired an arrow towards the heart of the two monsters more than a hundred metres away, inflicting a lethal wound as the two monsters turned into blue particles.

At that moment, I was sure of it.

The moment the gorilla and goblin received their lethal wounds, they continued to run towards us as their muscles began to swell, pushing the arrows out of their body and closing the wounds. Not only that, their magical power jumps drastically as they seem to enter a frenzy. Their body became bigger, their colour changed and their expressions became excessively aggressive.

Til fired a second arrow as Phil supported her attack with her own arrows, however the monsters merely grabbed the arrows with their hands.

  [I can’t believe it!? How did that monster!?] (Til)

  [If it’s able to stop an attack at this level,… It must be a high-rank monster.] (Phil)

When Til struck their hearts with her arrows, they were definitely upper level thirties monster corresponding to the dungeon. However, it grew into a level 50ish monster… No, it evolved.

This was something we had experience before, similar to the Killer Ape which I fought back in Rumberg. 

After looking at this phenomenon, everything began to make sense. Princess Aure had tried to control Lutra back then because she needed an important tool to defeat Prince Aleck. The reason she tried to eliminate Lutra back in Greenwood, was because she didn’t need a useless piece that couldn’t achieve her goal. If she was confident of defeating Prince Aleck on her own, then the popular Lutra would merely be a nuisance.

Her new trump card must have been the evolving monsters.

The moment Lutra entered the dungeon, two evolving monsters coincidentally appeared at the end of the dungeon. Although Prince Aleck was strong, he wasn’t strong enough to defeat even a single one of these monsters. 

Furthermore, the presence of these monsters answered another major question.

… Nobody could enter this dungeon unless you possessed the royal blood.

Which meant that someone from the royal family came along with these monsters.

Since Prince Aleck wasn’t around nor did he condone allowing Lutra into the dungeon, he was innocent. On the contrary, my suspicion towards Princess Aure who was encouraging Lutra to enter the dungeon grew even stronger. Lutra is a smart person, after witnessing this situation there is too much evidence supporting this no matter how much her heart rejected this.

  [Firstly, let’s put these monsters down.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. We’ll defeat them.] (Luna)

  [It’s a chance to show off my triple shoot that oneechan taught me!] (Til)

  [Til, they are dangerous opponents. This isn’t the time for jokes.] (Phil)

  [….Anueue, this isn’t the case right.] (Lutra)

If the five of us are here, then we won’t lose.

No matter how strong these monsters are, we’ll show you how naive you are, thinking that these two were enough to kill us.

Chapter 14: The old man meets the princess.


We were invited to dinner in the Laluzulu Castle and I was currently in my guest room. The guest room was large enough to allow any visitor or employee to invite their family in and spend their time comfortably.

  [Se… Lutra, is it alright for you to be here? Shouldn’t you be in your own room?] (Yuuya)

In the spur of the moment, I nearly forgot to address her correctly.

Although the castle was supposed to be her home, for some reason, she was currently in my room.

  [This is just a precaution. It’s true that the castle is my home, but at the same time, it is also my brother’s playing ground. Even the servants here can’t be trusted.] (Lutra)

  [That is true. Sorry for asking such a redundant question.] (Yuuya)

Lutra has been on edge ever since we returned to the castle. To her, this place was the lion’s den.

  [Shouldn’t you be visiting your sister? You must be hoping to see her.] (Yuuya)

She did mention that her intention was to win the ceremony and pass the crown to her sister. She held her sister in such a high regard that she trusted her enough with the crown.

  [I’ve already contacted her. She intends to meet up tomorrow morning. Yuuya-ojisama why don’t you come along with me? I’ll introduce you to my sister. I wanted to invite the Luna and the rest along however it’ll likely become too loud.] (Lutra)

  [I look forward to that. It’s your favourite person and a capable one too.] (Yuuya)

  [Yes. She’s physically weak unlike me and my brother, but in return she has a heart more caring than others and a mind sharper than a blade. I truly believe that she should become the ruler.] (Lutra)

Lutra began boasting about her sister. However, I still couldn’t get rid of the discomfort I felt around Lutra’s brother, Prince Aleck.

If he was exactly as how Lutra mentioned, then why would he appear personally to confirm Lutra’s identity? In fact, he was the first person who went out of his way to do so. Since Lutra’s elder sister was a princess, I’m sure that she must be busy, but is there anything more important than your own family? The moment you are able to, you should be rushing to your presumed dead sister to confirm her safety, especially since she was in the castle.

Actually, isn’t she speaking out too much against Prince Aleck in the first place since Lutra was extremely long trusting of her?

Sigh this is turning into a bad habit. If I begin to suspect too much then there will never be an end to this. I should just relax and take a break for today.

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It was currently in the middle of the night.

Sensing a person’s gaze and bloodlust, I immediately pulled myself out of the bed, grabbed the knife that I brought with me to sleep every night and began scanning my surroundings.

Being an adventurer for several decades, I developed the ability to keep myself semi-conscious while sleeping, allowing me to react instantly to any changes in the surroundings.

Only a handful number of people were capable of procuring a safe bed. Without this ability my life would had already been long gone.

I threw my knife towards the ceiling without hesitation as I heard the sound of a muffled shriek.

[He ran away huh…] (Yuuya)

Looks like Lutra’s conjecture was spot on, this place was indeed the enemy’s playground. Since this was a castle, you couldn’t reliably send an assassin unless it was a top tier assassin. Thus, in order to confirm it, I threw my knife towards the ceiling, knowing that an expert assassin would dodge it. If the assassin couldn’t dodge something at this level, then it certainly wouldn’t be able to sneak into the castle unnoticed. In other words, the assassin received guidance from the inside.

Even though Prince Aleck seems suspicious, he was without a doubt a first-class swordsman who could understand the extent of Phil and my abilities. He would had judged that an assassin of such level would not be effective. In other words, there was another existence in the castle that was trying to eliminate Lutra.

[I’m starting to get worried for her safety.] (Yuuya)

Thanks to the sudden encounter, blood was rushing to my head causing me to be wide awake. Deciding to cool my head down, I grabbed my coat on the side of the bed and headed towards the veranda.

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After entering the veranda, I immersed myself in the view from the castle. Although I was only on the third floor, the castle itself was situated on a hill, providing beautiful scenery as the sun rose from the horizon.

[Yuuya, seems like we encountered some trouble right from the beginning.] (Phil)

[Yeah.] (Yuuya)

I wasn’t the only one who was woken up by the bloodlust earlier as I looked back into the room. Luna and Til were still sleeping soundly with satisfied grins as Selene continued to sleep with a stiff expression. They were still far too inexperienced.

[Who do you think is the mastermind behind this?] (Yuuya)

[I can’t draw any conclusions this early yet. I do think that it can’t be the prince. I agree that the wind that he carried wasn’t malicious in any way and I highly doubt he was lying when he said that he cared about Lutra.] (Phil)

[I agree completely…. good grief. It would be so much simpler if he was the mastermind behind this.] (Yuuya)

Nothing is more troubling than not knowing the identity of your enemy.

[I feel so too. Yuuya, let’s head back in. It’s getting chilly out here.] (Phil)

[You’re right.] (Yuuya)

As usual, Phil leaned over for a kiss as there were rarely moments when we were alone. Although my reaction was slightly cold, I couldn’t deny that this was nice too.

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The next morning, after enjoying my breakfast in the room,  I headed towards the courtyard where I would be meeting Lutra’s elder sister, Aure.

 Princess Aure, just like Prince Aleck were the legitimate children of the king and queen which granted them significant influence in the kingdom.

The number of princes and princesses were 6 in total. There were three legitimate children, Prince Aleck, Princess Aure and Prince Atra. However, the other three were children born and raised by the king’s concubines, Princess Lutra, Prince Nakura and Prince Soruha with each child being born from a different mother. According to Lutra, both Prince Nakura and Prince Soruha have already withdrawn from the ceremony. Since they were illegitimate children, they had little to no support for the throne and without innate talent like Lutra, they had zero chance of vying for the throne in the first place, reducing the number of participants to 4, Princess Aure, Princess Lutra, Prince Aleck and Prince Atra.

Just as we agreed on, only me and Lutra, would be meeting with Princess Aure.

[This is a beautiful garden.] (Yuuya)

[That’s what I think too. Our gardener tends to the garden every season, decorating it with the most beautiful flowers. This is my favourite place in the castle.] (Lutra)

Even without asking I could tell that Selene was proud of this garden. Even someone like me who had zero interest in flowers could recognize how beautiful this place was. It was a shame that we couldn’t bring Luna and the other girls along with us.

In the middle of the garden was a small shelter with a desk and several chairs for tea parties. Sitting on one of those chairs was a beautiful person with luscious golden hair and a smile as warm as the sun. Although she was in her late teens, she gave off the feeling of a loving mother.

She was Princess Aure.

This was my first time seeing her face, however judging from Luta’s reaction I could tell that this was her.

[You did well returning safely. I was relieved when I heard that you were still alive.] (Aure)

[I managed to survive somehow. All thanks to Yuuya-ojisama. Let me introduce you. This person is Yuuya Grandwood. He’s my personal knight.] (Lutra)

[Nice to meet you. I am Yuuya Grandwood.] (Yuuya)

I barely remembered to perform the Laluzulu salute as I saluted Princess Aure.

[I am Aure Laluzulu. It’s an honour to be acquainted with a celebrity such as you.] (Aure)

As a man, I was sure that anyone would be knocked out by Princess Aure’s smile as she smiled brightly towards me.

However, her smile never entered my mind as it felt like nothing more than a mask.

[Lutra, since we are enjoying a tea party, could you tell me about what happened ever since you set out? I’m curious about how amazing my little sister has become.] (Aure)

With this, the tea party officially started.

Princess Aure listened attentively to every word as Lutra excitedly talked about her adventures. Occasionally pitching in and nodding in agreement while inquiring for more details, time flew by just like that.

Lutra’s story was less of a natural recap of her adventures and more of a disciplined narration. Despite mentioning the gist of her situation, she made sure to omit specific details that need not be said.

Was Princess Aure trying to fish out for information?

[I never knew there was such a thing. I was worried about your well-being after being involved in the accident but looking at the results, it seems that it was a blessing instead.] (Aure)

[If it’s the current me now then I might even defeat Aniue.] (Lutra)

[Fufuu, if you became the ruler then this city will surely prosper.] (Aure)

When Lutra becomes the ruler?

Did Lutra not mention about passing over the throne to her? Thinking that, I turned towards Lutra who nodded to me.

[Aneue, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.] (Lutra)

[Please go ahead.] (Aure)

[I intend to become the victor of the inheritance ceremony, and pass the crown over to you.] (Lutra)

For an instant, Aure’s expression changed completely.

[…huh, why would you do such a thing?] (Aure)

[I am talented at swinging my sword. However I am vastly inferior to aneue whose specialty is in politics and finance. I believe that this is most beneficial for the Laluzulu. I could not leave the kingdom in the hands of aniue, not after what he has done. I firmly believe that aneue should be the ruler.] (Lutra)

[Why now?] (Aure)

[I intended to do this from the beginning. However I did not have the confidence to beat aniue so I couldn’t say it. I did not want to raise your expectations and worry you. But I can say it confidently now. After receiving Yuuya-ojisama’s guidance, I will defeat aniue and make aneue the queen.] (Lutra)

That was a powerful declaration.

Comparing their abilities right now, I would say that Lutra defeats her brother 7 in every 10 rounds. Although I wasn’t as familiar with Prince Aleck as I was with Lutra, I could roughly gauge his capabilities. If it was Lutra from before, then she might not get that many wins.

[I see, I hadn’t realised how much thought you put into this. Now that I know about it, the fact that you felt so strongly about it makes me happy.] (Aure)

Aure grabbed tightly onto Lutra’s hands as she thanked her for her consideration.

[Aneue has always been kind to me even after aniue changed. You have even taught me a lot of things which helped me numerous times. I wish to become that sister’s strength.] (Lutra)

It was a beautiful display of sisterly love.

I was sure that if the two of them joined their strengths and worked together, that the Laluzulu Kingdom’s future would be extremely bright.

[… Lutra, hypothetically. If your elder brother hadn’t changed and continued to care for his people and his country, passionately wished the best for everybody and the rumors were being fabricated, continued to build up his repertoire and was about as skilled as I was in politics and economics, what would you do?] (Aure)

[Although that sounds impossible, I would leave the crown to him.] (Lutra)

[Fufu, so long as he had the ability you would have chosen oniisama over me who comforted you when he abandoned you.] (Aure)

[…. that is the case.] (Lutra)

[Well you were always that kind of person. And your decisions were always right.] (Lutra)

I could feel her genuine smile sneak through the masking smile she had.

[But aneue, isn’t that just a meaningless question. After all I’ve heard all about what aniue has done and how he changed from you. Last night he even tried to deceive me but I had more faith in you than him.] (Lutra)

I could hear Lutra’s voice trembling as she told her sister about her trust.

[You’re right, it was a meaningless question. I said something a little excessive. Although I do think that your answer was correct. When thinking about the people and the country, it is more important to prioritize the person’s abilities over your own feelings.] (Aure)

Aure cut her sentence off before letting out the most perfect smile than she has ever did before opening her mouth.

[That is the part I love the most about Lutra.] (Aure)

She then continued to make tea as the conversation continued on.

As it was about to approach lunchtime, Princess Aure clapped her hands.

[Speaking of which, since oniisama had forced himself to make some time for you last night, he left as early as dawn today for work leaving me to take care of the house. If it’s now, I could try to get permission for you to use the exclusive dungeon if you like.] (Aure)

[I would like to accept but it is impossible for me to raise my level anymore before the ceremony.] (Lutra)

[You’re right, however if you manage to clear one of the dungeons, the Gate of Trials, then as a member of the royal family, you’ll gain a special ability. Both oniisama and I have already completed it, and you should be able to too.] (Aure)

If it was the Gate of Trials, then I knew about it too as it was a dungeon I cleared in the past. It was a dungeon that came up in an event where you would team up with other players and work with the battle princess Renoir, and obtain her powers.

[That is true. There is still time before the inheritance ceremony for me to obtain the power. If it gets too dangerous or take too long then I could use the Return Stone to return. Aneue, could you please lend me your power.] (Lutra)

[It would be my pleasure.] (Aure)

With that, our next course of action was decided. We were heading towards the Gate of Trials. And now, I was wholeheartedly convinced that Princess Aure was an enemy.

Regardless, there is one thing I’ve come to understand. Princess Aure has been putting on airs from the beginning, as if she did not want anyone to read her true thoughts.

What sealed the deal was the matter about the Gate of Trials. There were special dungeons in the world where Return Stones couldn’t be used.

The Gate of Trials was one of them. Despite Lutra’s comment about the Return Stones, she decided not to advise her about it. Since it was the royal family’s exclusive dungeon, the number of people who didn’t know about this were few to none. There was zero possibility that Princess Aure didn’t know about this. It only looks like she was supporting Lutra

We have the option of not entering the dungeon until the ceremony, however Lutra firmly believes in her older sister. Even though I had to tell her, ‘Princess Aure is an enemy’, I couldn’t do it. Furthermore, it was true that Lutra could become even stronger by clearing the Gate of Trials. Given the opportunity I would definitely choose to close it.

Let’s play on the palm of Princess Aure’s hand for the time being in order to determine our real enemy. I’m sure that even if some problem shows up somewhere, we’ll be able to deal with it. While thinking about this, I continued to enjoy the tea party until the end.

Chapter 13: The old man goes out with the prince 

At daybreak, we finally arrived at Selene’s hometown, the Laluzulu Kingdom.

Right before entering the city, Selene had revealed her identity, causing a huge commotion to occur. We proceeded to leave the raptor carriage with the guardsmen and waited in the guest room. 

Since the guards were convinced by Selene’s true identity, Princess Lutra, this became an even larger deal. As a result, their higher ups decided to bring someone capable of confirming her identity. However it seemed that it was a lot more trouble than we thought as it had already been two hours.

  [Uhn. I’m glad. Selene finally returned to her home.] (Luna)

Luna was talking to Selene as she accepted the sweets served to her by the guards. The guards were exceptionally considerate, going through the trouble of serving us light snacks as the preparation took a lot longer than expected.

  [That’s right. Although, I can’t let my guard down.] (Lutra)

  [Selene.. Sorry, I guess you are Lutra now? As Lutra mentioned, we can’t afford to be careless. We may even be in the most danger we’ve ever been. If our opponents was malicious enough, the battle may as well have already begun. They could insist that the Lutra that appeared was an imposter, or even outright attempt to erase any trace of this incident.] (Yuuya)

Luna and Til, the glutton duo stiffened up at my words. In contrast, Phil was prepared for battle even before I said anything. Similarly, Selene was prepared for the situation as well. Both of them most likely knew from their own experiences, as a seasoned adventurer and a political figure how dirty the real world was.

  [Uhn. Understood. Selene can be relaxed. Luna will assassinate anyone who comes close to Selene.] (Luna)

  [I’m here too you know.. Although, in a small room like this, my bow won’t be as effective.] (Til)

  [Kyu!]

The duo and Erik seemed to be filled with energy from our short exchange.

  [Luna, Til, Erik. Thank you. I’m glad that you feel that way. ] (Selene)

  [Although it’s good to be motivated, the moment a battle is about to break out, I want everyone to use their Return Stones immediately. Starting a battle here is a fool’s errand.] (Yuuya)

Even if a battle were to break out, I’m confident that we would emerge from the battle in good condition, however in the event of the worst condition I decided that using our Return Stones was the best course of action.

Although the item was used to escape dungeons, it’s actual ability was to return to it’s last recorded dungeon entrance. It could also be used outside of dungeons, meaning that we would be able to escape immediately to Grannel.

We were already on the verge of reaching level 40. In both me and Phil’s case, with our special benefits from our reset we were closer to level 50 instead. The girls were similar in our levels however just the stats they gained from their natural levels was enough to show that they were blessed by the gods. Furthermore, they were also naturally talented. They were already well on their way to catching up to me and Phil.

  [Understood. Luna will do as Yuuya says.] (Luna)
  [Return Stones are really convenient huh.] (Til)

  [That’s why their so highly valued. If they weren’t so highly priced then people would be using them much more often… Also, the two of you, we’re finally in the Laluzulu Kingdom. Her name is Lutra, not Selene.] (Yuuya)

  [Uhn. But it feels weird.] (Luna)

  [Right? We’ve always been calling her Selene.] (Til)

Lutra smiled at their responses.

  [I feel the same way. I’ve gotten much more attached to Selene than Lutra recently. Especially since it’s a name given by Yuuya-ojisama. I prefer it much more to Lutra.] (Lutra)

Lutra began to mention her liking for her alias, however it was time for her to be addressed properly as there were eyes all around us.

  [In that case, in the Laluzulu Kingdom you are Lutra! On the outside, you are Selene!] (Luna)

  [Sure, that sounds great.] (Lutra)

At this time, the guards had brought over several cups of tea and served them to us.

We ensured that there wasn’t any poison in the tea using a magic item that was capable of doing so. It was an essential item as our opponents could fairly well be capable of drugging our tea with poison or sleeping pills.

After we finished our tea, we heard a knock as the door slowly opened.

There were several soldiers escorting a youth dressed in white. The youth seemed to radiate a feeling of warmth as there was nothing to dislike about him. Furthermore his body seemed well conditioned and tanned with muscles that weren’t unnecessarily large. Such a body filled with lean muscle was an efficient body for someone who specialised in swordsmanship providing the necessary strength without overcompensating. Furthermore there was a strong sense of charisma radiating from his well-featured and attractive face as he looked towards Lutra.

  [Without a doubt, she’s my younger sister. Lutra, I’m glad that you returned home safely. I felt my blood rush to my face when I heard the news about your disappearance… Even after organizing the search team, there was no news about your rescue. After all this time, I’m happy that you’re back safe and sound. Truly.] 

Although I had trouble recalling his name, I finally remembered the name of Lutra’s elder brother, Prince Aleck. It seems that he had still retained some of his features from when he was young.

  [It’s a pleasant surprise to have my elder brother going out of his way to visit me.] (Selene)

  [Isn’t it a normal reaction for a brother to personally ensure his younger sister’s safety? Now, let’s return to the castle. Our father is worried about you.] (Aleck)

Looking at the warm expression Lutra had in response to her brother, it seemed like this was his honest expression. This was her brother expressing his anxiety over her younger sister whom he thought was gone.

  [You’re being obtuse. Saying this although you’ve made countless attempts to harass and obstruct me… I’m saying this as I’m not as good at playing games as you. It was you who threatened the knight into killing me, then proceeded to kill her and brush the incident off as an accident in the dungeon. I wonder if the knights sent on the search team met an unfortunate accident or were silenced instead. Putting myself aside, you’re involving and underestimating everyone else around us. One wrong move, and you’ll be drown in contempt.] (Lutra)

Lutra threw a straight punch towards her brother. 

Although I wouldn’t necessarily call her actions correct here, the path ahead of her was going to be thorny regardless. There shouldn’t be any particular problems with this.

  [What do you mean? How would I ever consider harming my own sister? I will admit to hindering your growth. I do have the power for that, after all my dear sister’s mother is merely a concubine. However it is ridiculous to be furious just for that. Knowing how to use everything at your disposal effectively to create an advantageous situation before the ceremony and increasing the chance of success is a necessary ability for a king. That is how our inheritance ceremony is designed isn’t it?] (Aleck)

Suppressing her murderous intent towards her brother who readily admitted to his sabotage while denying his murderous actions, Lutra continued to clench her fists.

  [I have never once considered putting your life in jeopardy. Don’t misunderstand me. I’ve only done what I have to, to sabotage you in order to become the king. I still love my younger sister. Once the inheritance ceremony is over, I wholeheartedly wish to return to our former relationship of loving brothers and sisters as well as to compensate for my coldheartedness for our past.] (Aleck)

  [What are you saying. Ever since we were children until now, all you’ve done is get in my way while mocking me, not paying me any heed at all.] (Lutra)

While Lutra firmly denied her brother’s words, it was merely lip service as I felt that somewhere in her heart, she truly wished for her brother’s words to be true.

  [There are two reasons. First, the moment I heard about your disappearance. I truly regretted having our relationship ending like this without having a chance to reconcile and decided that I would speak only the truth once you returned. The second was to solidify my conviction to becoming the king. Would the gentle Lutra from our childhood wholeheartedly dedicate herself to her craft if she knew about my intentions?] (Aleck)

After saying his piece, his brother let out a hearty laugh as Luna and the other girls recoiled in shock. It felt like Lutra’s brother character was much more horrifying than we had heard.

  [It is far too difficult for me to believe any of your words right now. You aren’t the only person vying for the position of the king. I’m sure that our sister has heard of your wrongdoings.] (Lutra)

  [Wrongdoings, me? You’re not wrong in saying that I would have to dirty my hands for our kingdom to strive.] (Aleck)

  [That’s not what I’m referring to. Aniue has changed. You weren’t a person who would succumb to greed and inflict despair onto your people.] (Lutra)

Prince Aleck covered his eyes with his hands before seemingly coming to a conclusion. 

  […. I see. I understand now. It must be Aure. It definitely seems like something she would do. Despicable doesn’t even describe her. Taking advantage of the fact that I intended to avoid a confrontation with you until the ceremony was over. It seems that I still have a long way to go. I was done in quite badly.] (Aleck)

Despite saying such self-deprecating words, Prince Aleck seemed to have an extremely vicious smile.

  [Our story ends here. There’s a carriage waiting outside. Although it’s quite a simple carriage, at the very least it’s ready for a simple parade. Go and reassure the public by showing your face. You are the one who is loved by the public, more so than any of your siblings…. This is another reason why I would never put your life in danger. You, known as the reincarnate of the legendary battle princess Renoir, would be the perfect tool to unify the public under our banner, the ultimate weapon of the Laluzulu Kingdom. It’ll be a waste if anything were to happen to you.] (Aleck)

In such a short amount of time, they worked surprisingly effectively, preparing a parade in this short timeframe. Although he was a prince, he knew perfectly well the limits of his power, grasping the power given by his position and was talented in using other people’s talents as well. He was definitely talented and popular.

In the first place, he would had never prepared the parade if it wasn’t known that the attention between the public and Lutra was mutual…. Is this really the same person who was blinded by his ambition and greed?

Something feels off here. 

Prince Aleck walked in front of me and lowered his head.

  [It’s been a long time, Weakest Strongest Knight, Yuuya Grandwood. Not only have you saved our country in the past, but you have saved my younger sister. As the first prince of the Laluzulu Kingdom, thank you from the bottom of my heart.] (Aleck)

His movements were refined, displaying his position as a prince even in the form of a bow.

  [… I only saved Lutra because I wanted to.] (Yuuya)

  [Even so, I’m grateful. I’m certain that if you weren’t around, then Lutra would most certainly be dead. As expected of her knight. If it’s possible, I hope that you can continue to be by her side.] (Aleck)

  [I’ll think about it.] (Yuuya)

  [I look forward to a favourable response. We’ll prepare the appropriate honor as well as reward.] (Aleck)

  [Prince Aleck. You don’t have to behave respectfully towards me. You are the prince of a country. If you don’t behave so, I’ll be in a bind on how I should behave towards you.] (Yuuya)

  [Isn’t it natural for me to be respectful towards my sister’s benefactor? However, if you say so, I’ll refrain from it…. Now then, shall we head towards the carriage? I’ll be riding the carriage with you so I’ll behave as your guide during the parade since it’ll be travelling around the town. Our castle has enough rooms and plenty of food so please enjoy your stay here until the inheritance ceremony.] (Aleck)

And thus, without being able to come to a conclusion, we headed towards the carriage to begin the parade. The highways were secured by soldiers on both sides, whom illuminated the area with torches in their hands while controlling the crowds of people on the sidewalks.

Whenever Lutra raised her hands, numerous cheers could be heard from the public, displaying how popular she was as the icon of the legendary Renoir. Even I, who was standing next to her was receiving a warm welcome.

It seems that in this short amount of time, rumors were going about that I was one of the heroes who had saved the kingdom in the past and became a knight of the young Princess Lutra. 

The rumors were definitely not wrong, however as rumors often did, it also spread the wrong information around, causing people to think that we were also in love or other things along that setting.

The parade continued until we arrived at a small hill covered with marble walls, the Laluzulu Castle. Although I had expected otherwise, the parade ended at the castle without any incidents. Afterwards, we were invited to dinner and Prince Aleck decided to join us as well.

Although the prince tried to invite the King to dine with us, he refused the invitation due to his ill health and was unable to attend. However, he expressed that he wanted to see to Lutra’s well-being.

As the sudden encounter with the vast public was unexpected, me and Lutra were completely drained as we just hung our heads down. 

As if everyone had noticed that, the meal started immediately as some idle talk began.

After checking for any poison in the food, we received the highest form of hospitality at the dining table with Luna and Til’s manners, or lack-of were being tolerated.

In the midst of the casual chatting, Prince Aleck continued to inquire about the sword and listened attentively whenever I answered , which usually led to even more questions. He even went further as to ask for a sparring session after the ceremony was over. Throughout the conversation, I couldn’t help but feel that the feeling he gave off felt similar to Lutra, raising this uncomfortable feeling in me even higher.

Due to my profession, I’ve seen several dozens to hundreds of people from different backgrounds especially aristocrats as I’ve accepted numerous nominated quests in my previous parties. This in turn made me fairly confident in reading other people’s intentions, however I just couldn’t believe that this prince was actually a malicious person.

Although I didn’t doubt Lutra’s judgement, it still felt something was off.

Since Prince Aleck had taken steps to avoid encountering Lutra, Lutra had only heard of his antics through third parties… Would everything be fine if she just defeated the evil prince? It certainly didn’t feel that way to me, it was as if there was a conspiracy being concocted behind the scenes.

.

.

.

< ??? POV>

It was in the middle of the night as a certain figure sat in one of the luxurious rooms available in the castle, holding a pile of documents. In front of it were people from an information agency. That person was reading the documents provided to it, spending several minutes before opening its mouth.

  [How could this be? Lutra is still alive? Didn’t the report mention that she was eaten by the Starfish Larvae? Could it be that she had actually escaped instead?] (???)

Infuriated by the report, the person began reprimanding the informant.

  [That isn’t the case. The fact that she was eaten by the monster is the truth. As Princess Lutra’s personal knights from her mother’s influence held her in high regard, it was difficult to trust them. We had someone from our department watch over Princess Lutra and witnessed the princess being eaten whole by the monster.] 

  [Based on what you’re saying, are you saying that Yuuya Greenwood cut open the monster’s belly and rescued her?] 

  [Exactly. If it’s that hero then its possible. According to our research, he was someone who had an extremely low status which was his only weakness. However he had discovered a way to overcome even that. On the other hand, his swordsmanship is first hand as he is speculated to be stronger than even the hero Leonard if he possessed an equally high status.] 

The Laluzulu information department was exceptional. Once they knew about the alias of Selene, then it was easy for them to investigate everything that had happened from the beginning.

  [… I have read their track record after Lutra changed her name to Selene. It looks like she has somehow obtained different abilities contrary to her disappearance.] 

The pile of documents in its hands were in fact a list of achievements and quests that were completed by Yuuya’s party, Twilight Home that they received from the guild. Not just that, it also contained the estimates from the materials that their party had gathered from the dungeon.

There were even testimonies from other adventurers. Just by looking at them, their abilities were left completely unnoticed.

Of course this was due to the guild’s policy, preventing any personal information from leaking. However it even had the power to bypass this as the man from the information agency opened his mouth.

  [What’s astounding isn’t the level of skill that party possessed based on their achievements alone.  From various witnesses, it seems that she was being trained by that Yuuya Greenwood.] 

  [The Weakest Strongest Knight that trained the Hero Leonard. If she received his tutoring… Is it safe to assume that she is currently a completely different person?] 

It instinctively turned to the pile of documents

  [Yes. Not only is he the teacher of the hero Leonard, but even other adventurers who received his tutelage went on to become top tier adventurers. However, half way through his career he decided to retire, becoming an exclusive adventurer at Rekusa and raising several exceptional adventurers. He is most likely, undisputed in his ability to raising students. Princess Lutra was already exceptionally talented. It’s scary to think how powerful she has become, becoming a student of that person.] 

  [Good grief. It feels just like a bad joke, having the dropout from the ceremony turned into its number one candidate. The genius meeting a master, could now stand toe to toe to someone who had exclusive access to the castle’s dungeon. We will most likely lose if we fought them head on.]

It crushed the documents within its hands as it began to concoct a plan. It could not let the situation go on as Princess Lutra would be the king at this rate. It wasn’t enough to just work behind the shadows, making their next course of actions simple. 

Elimination.

This time it’ll be done so perfectly that even a miracle won’t help.

There wasn’t time to wait as the ceremony was quickly approaching, they had to move fast however it was difficult to even hinder Princess Lutra right now. That Yuuya Greenwood was defending her.

On the other hand, the castle was it’s garden. It alone was more than enough to control Princess Lutra.

Now then, it’s time to begin.

In order to become the country’s ruler, and to fulfill its goal.

< End Of Chapter>

Hope you enjoy the start of Volume 4’s main arc. I’ll be releasing more chapters next week, most likely one chapter every two days or more if I can get them done in time. As always, do let me know if the chapters needs to be edited or if its sloppy.

I do apologise for the sudden change in theme as I was fooling around with wordpress’s settings and accidentally changed it. The site is long due for a revamp but I’ve been kinda avoiding it since I have zero knowledge of web design. It’ll probably happen sometime soon or I may just create a whole new site instead.