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A few minutes after leaving the Silva family residence, Vihera suddenly asked Rei to fight her.

Hearing that, Elena looked surprised while Byune just looked at Rei and Vihera, who had a slight smile on her face for some reason.

「May I ask why?」

Rei took on Vihera’s gaze directly as he asked.

Hearing Rei’s question, Vihera slight smile remained on her lips and, at first glance, she didn’t seem much different than usual.

However......even though her expression seemed the same as usual, the emotion in her eyes was completely different.

The light in her eyes wasn’t that of someone crazily pursuing fights for the sake of battle, but rather one of frenzied pursuit.

If Vihera had wanted to fight just for the sake of fighting, Rei would have replied immediately, whether he accepted her request or not.

But, seeing the emotions in Vihera’s eyes, Rei knew he couldn’t give a careless reply.

「Why? Isn’t it funny that you should ask that? You know I love to fight, right? So what’s so strange about asking to fight you?」

「......I’m asking because I think it’s strange.」

「Vihera?」

It seemed that Elena had finally realised that Vihera was acting strangely. She called out to Vihera with a questioning expression, but Vihera didn’t seem to care at all as she simply waited for Rei’s reply.

At this point it was clear that Vihera was acting differently.

If it had been before, with another strong fighter like Elena present, Vihera wouldn’t have sought out just Rei for a fight.

Vihera ignored Elena, as if she wasn’t there, as she just looked at Rei.

「No matter what?」

「Yes. For me to be me. And to convince myself. No matter what, I want to fight you, Rei.」

Pouring magic power into her gauntlets, Vihera pointed the tip of her claws towards Rei.

Vihera was a tall woman and Rei was short for a young man. Because of that, Vihera was naturally in a position to physically look down at Rei. But even so, from Vihera’s point of view, as an opponent, Rei was a towering wall standing in her way.

『......』

There was a few minutes of silent as they just looked at each other.

Elena and Byune didn’t speak while the adventurers from the Silva family, who were keeping guard around the area, could only watch.

In the end, Vihera refused to back down. Realising that she wouldn’t give up, Rei gave a slight nod as he spoke.

「Fine, let’s fight.」

The moment they heard Rei’s words, Elena let out a sigh while Byune nodded silently.

Everything was fine up to that point. However, when Rei noticed the nearby Silva family adventurers, including those who had been present yesterday, listening in attentively, Rei gave an irritated look at his surroundings.

Sensing the annoyance in Rei’s eyes, the adventurers decided that staying any longer might result in a fairly unpleasant series of injuries and quickly left the area.

As adventurers of the Silva family, or ones hired by the Silva family, none of them were unable to sense the feelings in Rei’s eyes.

After making sure that everyone had left, Rei turned back to Vihera again.

「So, when are we going to fight?」

「I’d like to do it tonight if possible.」

「......Well, that’s quite sudden.」

Rei gave a bitter smile after being told she wanted to fight the same night.

However, Vihera continued on while keeping her serious expression.

She glanced up at the sky.

In the sky, the sun was shining as strongly as ever as the bright blue sky and white clouds declared the summer season.

「With this weather, it looks like it will be a nice moonlit night tonight.」

「I understand. I have no problem with that. But is night really okay?」

Naturally, the conditions for fighting at night and during the day were completely different. In addition, Rei had a large weapon, the Death Scythe, while Vihera specialised in close quarters combat, which was very important in terms of each other’s reach.

When it came to fighting at night, it was naturally a lot harder to grasp the timing of attacks.

And, for people like Rei and Vihera, it wasn’t uncommon for the slightest difference to change the outcome between victory and defeat.

However, Vihera just smiled at Rei’s words and nodded as she spoke.

「Yes, of course. The night will never work against me.」

「......」

Vihera’s smile as she said that was similar to her smile from previous days but still decidedly different.

「Okay then, tonight. Where?」

「How about the place where you and I danced under the moonlight for the first time? Fortunately, it’s quite spacious over there.」

Vihera’s words reminded Rei of the park where he had fought Vihera with just his bare hands.

It was true that it was quite open and people rarely wandered over at night, so there was plenty of space to fight.

「Got it. ......Then, tonight.」

「Yes, tonight. Let’s make it a wonderful......and unforgettably memorable night.」

Saying that, Vihera left them immediately as she walked in a different direction from where the carriage to the Silva family residence would stop.

Byune glanced at Rei and Elena without saying anything before following after Vihera.

「Is this okay? There was no need to fight Vihera, was there?」

「I thought so too at first. ......However, the intent in Vihera’s eyes was very different from her previous requests for a fight. Perhaps she had her own reasons for that. And, for what it’s worth, Vihera also helped us out, didn’t she? It’s not that bad of an idea to return the favour by going along with what she wants.」

She had helped them inside the dungeon, outside the dungeon, and around Exil.

In the end, Vihera had even gotten involved with the fight against the Church of Holy Light and the Marschel family, so if he could return the favour with just a fight, it didn’t seem that bad to Rei.

There might have been many issues that popped up while dealing with the Marshcel family, but it was still true that she had helped them out, so Rei felt somewhat indebted.

「As for me, I don’t have a good feeling about this.」

「Why?」

「......I don’t know, it’s just a feeling.」

It seemed like Elena wanted to say something but ended up just skirting around the issue.

Rei looked puzzled before starting to think about what to do with the rest of their day before night time.

「Normally, we would have headed for the dungeon, but......we’ve found the magic item we wanted.」

「Yeah. It was unexpected, but considering that it isn’t always possible to find one even inside the dungeon, we were rather lucky.」

Since their original goal was to find a set of paired orbs that would allow them to talk from a distance, there was no reason for them to enter the dungeon any more.

The only other reason would be to collect magic stones......but thinking up to that point, Rei remembered that he still had magic stones he had yet to absorb.

(I have one Forest Panther magic stone and three Kamatachi magic stones......well, there’s no point in having more than 2. Set isn’t with us either......I guess we’ll talk about that later.)

As he thought about that, Elena, who was walking alongside him, turned to look over.

「Anything wrong?」

「No, I just remembered that there I magic stones I still have to absorb. However, considering the time and place, I thought it would be better to leave that aside for today.」

「I see. ......Now that we have the paired orbs, I guess my holiday will also end soon.」

Midway through her words, Elena showed faint sadness in her eyes.

Yes, the reason Elena had come to the Labyrinth City Exil, was to obtain the paired orbs.

Since she had forced Ara to help make time for her vacation, it was only natural for Elena to return to the Kerebel duchy after obtaining the item she wanted.

That also meant that her time in Exil with Rei was coming to an end as well.

「What can I say, it’s been a fulfilling time.」

It had been less than a month since Rei and Elena had come to Exil. In spite of that, the time they had spent had been fulfilling......or rather, they were days best described as eventful.

「Umu. I entrusted Ara to take care of my work, but I can see her drowning in paperwork.」

「Like Vosk?」

Those words seemed to fit perfectly. A smile appeared on Elena’s lips involuntarily.

Seeing the sadness fade from her eyes, Rei nodded in satisfaction.

As they continued walking, they boarded the same carriage which had brought them to the Silva family residence.

「So, have you decided on what to do next?」

Rei nodded as he replied to Elena, who asked as she looked at the scenery outside.

「Yeah. I think I’ll replenish my throwing spears.」

「Speaking of which, you used them in your fight against Oricule last night. How many do you have left?」

「As far as disposable ones are concerned, there aren’t many left.」

Of course, he still had other spears, but they weren’t disposable, such as the Thorns Spear, which was a magic weapons, or some good quality spears he had bought from a weapon shop he liked.

As expected, when it came to throwing spears, disposable ones were still the easiest to use.

「I see, then I’ll go with you. I also want to buy something for Ara and my father.」

「......Just to be clear, I’m going to a weapon shop, you know? It’s not a souvenir shop.」

When Rei asked for confirmation, Elena nodded back as if it were perfectly normal.

「But, maybe we’ll find something along the way?」

「I won’t deny that, but would that really be suitable as a souvenir for the Duke? Ara would be happy with anything you give her.」

That was what Rei said as the souvenirs he had in mind, such as manju buns and chocolates, didn’t exist in Exil.

Cookies were fairly common, but if asked whether they would be suitable as a souvenir, Rei would say no.

「When it comes to souvenirs from a labyrinth city, things from dungeons are pretty common. Rei, if you think of anything good, please let me know.」

「Dungeon products? What would be the best things to consider then?」

Conversing like that, after getting off the carriage, Rei and Elena bought some items that could be given as souvenirs before stopping by various weapons shops and blacksmiths to buy half broken spears. Finally, they headed back to the inn while buying and eating various foodstuff, just like they did on the way back from the dungeon.

From the outside, the two of them were basically on a date, but the fact that neither of them seemed to be conscious of that was what made them Rei and Elena.

In fact, Elena herself had been looking forward to going on a date with Rei back when they had gone shopping for items for the desert floors.

After returning to the inn, Rei went to take an early rest in preparation for the battle with Vihera later that night......and eventually, night arrived.

「As expected, it’s cooler at night compared with during the day......but not by much.」

Rei put on the hood of his Dragon Robe as he frowned at the heat, which didn’t drop that much, even at night.

As Vihera had said earlier in the day, there wasn’t a single cloud in the night sky, only the bright moonlight shining down.

Moonlight like rain. Those words suddenly popped into Rei’s mind, but he just smiled slightly before shaking his head, thinking that it wasn’t very much like him to have such thoughts.

「What’s wrong?」

Next to him, Elena was wearing the same equipment she usually wore when she went to the dungeon.

「No, it’s nothing. ......More importantly, are you really coming along?」

「Yeah. ......Am I being a nuisance?」

Rei shook his head silently when Elena asked with a worried expression.

「That’s not a problem. ......However, as far as Vihera is concerned, today’s battle will be different from previous ones, where she was half playing around. She also seems to have something on her mind......I don’t know why, but I don’t want you to do anything that would disrespect the fight.」

「I know. I won’t interfere.」

Rei seemed relieved to hear those words, they went to the stables to pick up Set and Yellow before heading out into the night.

There weren’t many people on the streets, probably because of yesterdays events, but the summer nights still lured many people out to the city. Some were heading for the bars while others were returning from them. There also those around the brothels, downtown areras, and various other places.

They kept walking as people glanced at them from the surroundings and......before long, they arrived at the park where Rei and Vihera had previously fought.

「Did we keep you waiting?」

Rei called out to Vihera, who was standing there under the moonlight.