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Chapter 261 – Side Story: Saburou’s Haggardness

Several days after exterminating the Kanezawa Liberation Army――

The leveling ― or rather the mudslinging contests with Demon King Kaoru ― has been proceeding smoothly. One fine day, after having finished my day’s quota of leveling, I’ve been surfing the net in a relaxed manner…

――~♪

An unpleasant ringtone ― one informing me of an incoming call ― starts playing on the smartphone in my hand.

Who could it be…?

While feeling irritated over the browser being automatically closed, I checked the caller.

…Saburou?

The call logs of my smartphone are flooded with calls from Mrs. Tamura and Yataro. The runner-up would be Kanon. Rina, Takaharu, and Sarah often tell me what they want through mails. It’s a digression, but Blue is the one who causes the sound of an incoming mail to play the most on my smartphone. Not being content with just emojis, he’s recently started to heavily rely on net slang as well.

And, the caller this time, Saburou, often uses mail to contact me as well, but…

“Shion speaking. What’s up?”

『S-Sh-Shion-shama! I-It’s t-terrible!』

I hear Saburou’s panicked voice on the other side of the line. It’s normal for Saburou’s way of speaking to be weird, but it’s unusual for him to lose his calm.

“What’s wrong? What happened!?”

“S-S-Seta has… M-My younger b-b-brother has…” Saburou frantically tried to form words with a trembling voice.

“What’s the matter with Seta…Setanta?”

“S-Seta has disappeared…”

“――! Give me the details!”

“A-Alright, could you p-please come to my location t-then…”

Setanta has disappeared…? He means he died…? If I remember correctly, Kotetsu said that he’d train with his disciples…so he entrusted Setanta to Izayoi and Saburou for their defense duty. Kotetsu has informed me about this in advance. Those have been my latest news.

Did hero-level humans invade my Domain? Or maybe some Demon King has personally come attacking?

But, in such cases, Yataro should have informed me right away…

Just what happened here…?

Right now every second counts ―― 《Transfer》. Confused by the sudden news of Setanta’s death, I used 《Transfer》 to get to Saburou’s location.

“Saburou! What happened!? What about the enemy!?”

I run up to Saburou who’s kneeling on the ground with his head hanging.

“S-Shion-sama… If you’re looking for the enemy, you can find them over there…”

When I follow Saburou’s finger with my eyes…I find 12 human corpses strewn on the ground, and Kazuki ―the favorite subordinate of Izayoi and Saburou ― looking down on them. On top of that, I spot an unfamiliar, handsome man with a spear I’m used to.

Who’s that guy…? A newcomer in Team J?

“So you defeated the enemy?”

“Yes.”

“Setanta…is the only casualty?”

“Casualty…? Certainly, you might call it like that if you stretch it…”

For a moment Saburou looks puzzled when hearing my question, but then he shakes his head while looking back down.

Hmm? Is something strange about what I said?

Saburou’s characteristic way of beating around the bush currently pisses me off more than usual.

“Izayoi! What happened? Explain it to me!”

I give up on hoping for an explanation from Saburou, and order Izayoi to take his place.

“Of course, Milord. A while ago, foolish humans invaded Milord’s land. Upon receiving instructions from Yataro-dono, I headed over to intercept with Saburou and Seta, and we easily killed the foolish invaders.”

I carefully listen to Izayoi’s concise and precise run-down of the events.

…?

“『Easily killed the foolish invaders』, you say…?”

“Yes. Seta killed five people, I killed four, and Saburou finished off three.”

“What do you mean…?”

“The reason why Seta, the most inexperienced one among us, killed the most invaders lies――”

“No, not that! What I want to hear is why Setanta has vanished!”

“――?”

――?

Izayoi seems completely puzzled by my question.

How weird…

Setanta is an irreplaceable, precious subordinate who’s been created through Random Creation while equipped with proper abilities from the get-go. That’s why I had to urgently come here to grasp the situation, but…

“Izayoi, did Setanta vanish?”

“No, he has not.”

“…”

I silently direct my bloodlust at Saburou.

“That’s wrong! Seta, Seta…my little brother Seta, who loved me dearly as an onii-chan, has vanished…!”

Tears have welled up in Saburou’s eyes, and he’s repeatedly drumming his hands against the ground.

“What does that mean?” I ask Izayoi about the truth.

“Seta has evolved over the course of this defense mission.”

“…Haah?”

I become dumbfounded by the truth coming out of Izayoi’s mouth.

“Seta, it’s a bother, so explain things to Shion-sama yourself.”

“Of course, Teacher, as you wish.”

Thereupon, the handsome man standing next to Izayoi bows with Gáebolg in his hand.

“Master ― Shion-sama, allow me, Setanta, to reintroduce myself. My name is Cú Chulainn. I shall continue devoting my spear to you, using my utmost abilities from now on as well. Please treat me well.” The handsome man ― Cú Chulainn respectfully lowers his head, introducing himself.

“Hmm? Umm…in other words…this guy is Setanta?”

“Yes, Setanta is my childhood name. Please call me Cú Chulainn henceforth, Shion-sama.”

So SSR subordinates transform to such an extent through evolution…?

“Absolutely not! I…won’t accept you bastard to be Setanta!”

“Elder brother, I have been telling you that I am Setanta. I clearly remember the days I have spent with you and Teacher…and above all, the days I wielded my spear for Master.”

“Shut up! Seta has…Seta has…never called me elder brother! He’s been calling me 『onii-chan』! On top of that, Seta is a lot more adorable and innocent. A little devil who would knock on my new door to――”

――《Fire Lance》!

“You shut up.”

I sent a fire lance towards Saburou who was about to say something disturbing.

“Setanta, no, Cú Chulainn, I’m your master, but do you know whom to call your direct superior?”

“Of course, Master! It is Kotetsu-sama ― my fatherly master!”

“Alright, we’re going to head over to Kotetsu now. He’d likely get surprised if you suddenly went to him yourself, after all.”

“You have my deepest gratitude for your kind consideration.”

While at it, I guess I’ll check out the strength of Cú Chulainn, the evolved Setanta.

“Seta…Seta…Onii-chan won’t…Onii-chan won’t…approve of him as a little brother…!”

――《Fire Lance》!

I shoot another fire lance at Saburou who keeps blathering nonsense for good measure, before leaving the place with Cú Chulainn.

Chapter 262 – Side Story: Yataro’s Delight

Several days after exterminating the Kanezawa Liberation Army――

“Shion-sama, I have come at the promised time.”

Yataro visits my room while wearing a decorated hakama.

“…What’s with that outfit?”

“It’s only courtesy to challenge…the holy ceremony about to happen in a formal dress.”

“You call it a holy ceremony…but it’s just a 《Random Creation》, no?”

“Indeed! It is the day when you offer your everything to the Goddess of Fortune, Shion-sama!”

Me offering my everything…well, it’s not wrong since I’m going to spend all my CP, but…that way of phrasing is…

“If I remember correctly, the last time was…”

“A goblin. …One not worthy of our prayers.”

“And before that…”

“A slime. …It sure is troublesome how whimsical the Goddess of Fortune can be at times.”

“Say, with the number of residents having grown nowadays…it’s become a time of big expenses. Don’t you think we could refrain from doing this for a bit?”

“Absolutely not!”

This geezer…

“Spending more than 20,000 CP for just a single goblin? You know that I could create countless goblins with that amount of CP if I spent it normally?”

“Shion-sama, you’re still young… Might you know the saying, 『Luck Accumulates』?”

“I don’t, but…going by the sound of it, it probably means that good luck is going to visit you sooner or later if you continue having bad luck, right?”

“Quite so! The last time and the time before that…are what you’d call a charging of your luck! Therefore, today for sure we’ll get a SSR…no, an UR, I predict!”

“Don’t you remember what you told me last time when I created Setanta? You were saying that luck comes in waves and that we must ride this big wave. Then you’ve been pestering me about 《Random Creation》 everyday for a long time, haven’t you…?”

“Who knows? Come on, come on, now’s not the time for questions and answers! We must perform gacha…err, the holy ceremony!”

This geezer…clearly called it gacha just now, damn it!

“By the way, do we have enough personnel on defense duty?”

“We have more than enough! Their equipment is in perfect order as well!”

“How about the life circumstances of the residents?”

“Not a single problem!”

Yataro fervently answers my questions.

“It’s a promise…so I guess I’ve got no choice.”

Losing out to Yataro’s passion, I begin the preparations for 《Random Creation》.

“There’s still a little more than two hours left until my CP fully recovers.”

“A little more? How many minutes exactly?”

“It’s two hours and 18 minutes. …Will it be fine with this?” I inform Yataro about the accurate timing after calculating the time needed for my CP to get back to max.

“Mmh…I understand. Wasting CP is definitely wrong, yep.”

“Yataro…you’re the only person from who I don’t want to hear that.”

I sigh deeply because of the strong feeling of lethargy assailing me.

“Come to think of it, how’s Cú Chulainn doing?”

“His evaluation has been halved, I’d say.”

“Hoh…isn’t he more useful than before?”

“If we’re speaking of his combat abilities…he’s at the same level as the former Demon King leaders.”

“Why would his evaluation get halved then? Don’t tell me…he’s got a problem with his character?”

I feel like Cú Chulainn’s character is close to that of Izayoi. He’s polite and honors his loyalty towards me. However, whenever he gets too heated with his loyalty, it creates friction with the other subordinates.

“No, Cú is obedient. Maybe because he has become an adult…his cooperativeness has drastically increased.”

“If he’s strong and cooperative…isn’t that the best?”

“He possesses a reliable combat prowess as commander. And in reality Kotetsu-dono values Cú highly.”

“That’s even better then.”

I doubt there’ll be any problem if his direct superior, Kotetsu, is pleased with him.

“Indeed…Cú has become an adult…it’d be no exaggeration to say that he has evolved from an SSR to an UR in regards to his strength and discernment.”

Is UR (Ultra Rare) above SSR (Special Super Rare)…? As someone unaccustomed with gacha terminology, I don’t really get Yataro’s criteria.

“However, Setanta lost something precious through his evolution into Cú Chulainn.”

“What would that be?”

“His loveliness… Seta-boy might have certainly been a willful kid. But…he was also a gentle boy who cared about his grandpa.”

I wonder what the geezer in front of me is prattling about.

“Cú is a superb subordinate. However, I have nostalgic memories of Seta-boy who had been calling me “Gramps Yata, Gramps Yata.” Still I’ll give Cú the same love as I’ve given Seta-boy. The pitiful one here seems to be Saburou… After all, Saburou had doted on Seta-boy the most…”

“In short, you’re saying Saburou is sad about Setanta having evolved into an adult?”

“Right.”

In other words, no problem whatsoever.

Afterwards I continued a light chat with Yataro while waiting for my CP to recover fully.

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