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Vol 5: Chapter 33

We left the waiting room and walked along the corridor of Queen of the Night with quick strides. Headed to the room where Lark was staying.

「Actually… she was supposed to be awarded the 4th class reward.」Abba-san said, while walking.

「4th?」

I felt strange that it was the 4th class. I heard that maintaining the front line was mostly dependent on Lark’s presence.

「Oh, no, her achievement is equivalent to the 1st class, but she stole the Queen of the Night before… so the offset equaled the 4th class.」Abba-san said.

「Does that mean the charges against her have been cleared?」

「That’s right.」

I felt relieved. I knew that the whole country was in an uproar when the Queen of the Night was stolen.

「But many of the higher officials were uncomfortable with her receiving public acknowledgement due to her crime, and there was a debate even during the battles on the front lines. Perhaps she found out about that?」Abba-san said.

「I see… when were the rewards decided?」

「It was decided yesterday. I don’t think she knew that she was being awarded. I think she chose to disappear for fear of being prosecuted.」

「…………」

…No, that’s not it.

That’s not enough reason to disappear without telling me.

Lark wasn’t concerned about the Empire.

「Keith Gran Federation.」

「!?」Abba-san came to a stop, startled.

「Did the Keith Gran Federation demand Lark?」

「…H-How do you know that, Reiji-kun?」Abba-san asked.

As I expected. That nation must have noticed that the【Shadow King】used by Lark was the skill orb excavated from the Sixth Mine, in addition to the fact that Lark was the slave who escaped from the mine.

「Did Keith Gran Federation explain their demand?」

「No… they just stated that the Black Sky Pirate is a citizen of the Keith Gran Federation. And they wanted us to give her up promptly so they could bring her under their protection.」

「……I see.」

Does that mean Keith Gran Federation wants to hide what happened at the mine? Or do they quickly want to get ahold of Lark without aggravating the situation?

If she goes on a rampage, there will be numerous casualties. So they plan to get her to drop her guard, and then pull out her skill orb.

「Let’s hurry, Abba-san. You said there was something in Lark’s room, right?」

Abba-san actually wanted to obtain more information from me, but he immediately took me to her room instead, perhaps wanting to prioritize searching for Lark.

「This is the room.」Abba-san said.

The room was probably the same as the other rooms. However, it seemed a bit too spacious for an airship with a limited space.

The bed sheets were slightly disturbed in that hotel-like room with no lived-in feel.

「Here it is.」

Paper, pen, and a bottle of ink was placed on a side table.

The letter was badly written – but it was written with a handwriting that could be read properly.

『To my little brother,

It seems that I won’t live for long.

But I’ll try to squeeze out a little bit more.』

It made me realize how long it has been, comparing her current handwriting to the farewell she left me in the capital city of Achenbach Dukedom 4 years ago.

「……Why does it have to be this way!」

I knew that Lark was overusing her skill and shaving off her lifespan. That was why I thought of convincing her not to use the skill anymore, and if possible, to extract the skill orb out of her body.

However, Lark disappeared just before that.

「Reiji-kun.」

Mimino-san’s hand wrapped around my wrist. My hand holding the paper was trembling, threatening to tear it apart.

「Read again…『I’ll try to squeeze out a little more』.」

「Yes, but…」

「She is trying to live.」

「!」

Mimino-san’s words shone light into my heart.

That’s right. Lark is trying to live. She is struggling to live.

「Let’s look for her. She is an important person to you right, Reiji-kun?」

It is exactly as Mimino-san says.

If Lark is gone, then I should just go look for her.

「Dante-san, Non-san.」

I turned around to look at them.

「We know. You don’t even have to say it.」

「Indeed. …I will keep going until the church tells me to come back.」

I didn’t even need to say it out loud.

…Is it really okay for me to ask so much of them?

We reunited in the Kruvan Holy Kingdom for the first time in 4 years, and came to the Lev Magic Empire to meet Lulusha-san for my own reasons. Since then, we have been caught up in an unexpected series of events. And now I am asking them to accompany me to look for Lark.

…Wouldn’t it be better if I went alone?

「Reiji. Don’t even think about going alone?」Dante-san suddenly said.

「!?」

「It is written all over your face. It is so easy to read. …There is only so much you can do alone. When Zerry joins up with us, it will be easier. She is an expert in things like these.」

「…Thank you, Dante-san.」

「Of course.」

Dante-san smiled widely and gave a thumbs up.

「Reiji-kun, I suppose you should move out as soon as possible if you are going to search for her. Regarding your identity, we will publish an official document today, at the latest tomorrow. And regarding your other “wish”, it will take some time to consider andー」Abba-san said.

「Yes, I shall contact the Adventurer’s Guild here for confirmation when things have settled down.」I said.

「Alright.」

「Ah… and also…」

I remembered that there was another person I had to meet.

I couldn’t possibly leave without greeting her.

「——Is it true that Lark-sama has left!?」

A girl wearing a deep purple dress rushed into the room at that moment.

Her long blonde shone well without glitter. The red in her eyes gleamed like beautiful jewels.

「My lady… It has been a while.」

Lady Eva stood at the entrance of the room, completely still.

「Rei…ji…」

She looked at me as if trying to make sure I wasn’t a specter, or simply her imagination.

「Reiji!」

Then, she raised her voice again.