It's all the Alcohol's Fault
As Leguna and the others were busy getting drunk in the tavern, Arikos walked through Moonshadow Thieves' guild headquarters with a stack of documents in hand. Everyone who encountered the small and slender man bowed respectfully. Just as he was about to enter the chairman's office, a girl around 16 with short ice-blue hair walked out.
"The chairman is waiting for you," said the girl in a chilling tone unbecoming of someone her age.
Even though she worked for the guild, she didn't wear the equipment of a rogue. Instead, her petite, yet well-endowed figure was clad in a sky-blue robe, something a magus would wear.
"Oh, my beautiful Annelotte, I truly am fortunate to run into you here. Did you miss me?" flirted Arikos, behaving completely unlike the insidious man he appeared to be when he was with Leguna.
"Please don't waste the chairman's time. Go in."
Annelotte turned and left without even giving Arikos a look.
That snow woman...
Arikos gave Annelotte an empty look before he shook his head, smiling. He calmed himself and knocked on the door with a respectful expression before pushing it open. Within the room was the most powerful man in Moonshadow Thieves, the most respected assassin on Lance, Wayerliss Deepshadow. The man was waiting for Arikos patiently while enjoying his tea.
"How's it going?" asked Wayerliss right away.
His voice was deep and firm. It resonated with the confidence and elegance of a well-mannered gentleman.
Arikos bowed slightly.
"It's going well. Leguna's performance far exceeded our expectations."
"Tell me more."
"Yes. According to our observations, his impetus isn't that strong. It's only around the fifth stratum. However, I did manage to get some information about him from the west. After going over it, I realized nobody in the slums where he lived knew he could use impetus."
Arikos flipped the files in his hand and continued.
"On the 14th day of the 2nd month of this year, roughly eight months ago, he was beaten up quite severely by the owner of a bakery. The owner was a normal man who couldn't use impetus. If Leguna could already use it, he would've been the one doing the beating.
"I can only find two explanations. Either Leguna hid his impetus completely, so much so he didn't even use it when he was being beaten. This is highly unlikely. He used his battleforce to deal with three cellmates with whom he was imprisoned, so I believe he's not the kind of person to hide his strength.
"Or he only gained the ability to use impetus recently. Sometime after the 14th of 2nd at the earliest. Even though I'm doubtful this is the case, as it would mean he trained his impetus to the fifth stratum within just eight months -- which is completely ludicrous -- I can't think of any other explanation."
"Of that, there is no doubt. Leguna's impetus is something he only gained recently," said Wayerliss.
"I have no choice but to agree."
Even though Arikos didn't know how Wayerliss came to this conclusion, he didn't doubt what his chairman said.
After accepting the fact without contest, Arikos couldn't help but say, "If that's the case, the child's potential is far too frightening."
"No, Arikos," Wayerliss said as he shook his head, "While he does have amazing potential, it's not as shocking as you think. His ability to use fifth stratum impetus is only a manifestation of his suppressed potential over the years. His growth from now on won't be as fast. What else? How did he do today?"
"Far better than we thought he would," Arikos replied, "This time, I deployed level four security, which only level eight thieves should be able to sneak in. But..."
"He managed to do it?"
"Not only that, Chairman," Arikos said with a smile, "He made a soundless entry!"
"Oh?" mused Wayerliss with a trace of surprise.
Soundless entries referred to entering a place undetected without subduing a single enemy. As the most accomplished assassin and thief alive, Wayerliss knew how hard it was to do, hence his surprise that Leguna managed it.
"After dealing with him, I got a head count for the guards and also checked the traps we laid. None of the traps were triggered. I later learned Leguna had managed to sneak in by ducking under the shade of a tree."
"Those blind fools. Do they all have night blindness or something? You have to make sure they eat more vegetables," said Wayerliss as he slapped his forehead.
"He exceeded all our expectations. Chairman, are you still sure you want to raise him according to the old plan?" asked Arikos carefully.
"Yes, there's no need to change it," Wayerliss replied after some thought, "He's still young. It isn't appropriate to involve him in the guild's matters just yet. If you let him enter the inner circle so soon, he might turn into another Balor. Keep it the way it is."
"By your will," said Arikos as he bowed.
"What's Balor up to lately?" asked Wayerliss.
"According to our reports, he isn't currently on a mission. I believe he went to the orcs' territory with the pretense of training."
"Does he even bother to come up with an excuse anymore?" said Wayerliss as he furrowed his brow.
"Well, he is just a kid. He isn't even 20 yet," shrugged Arikos.
"I can understand his rashness, but I won't tolerate idiocy!" Wayerliss said coldly, "Continue to monitor him and bring him back if needed. Leave the documents on the desk. I will look at them when I have the time. Thanks for your hard work, you should go take a rest."
"It's my pleasure to serve you, Chairman," replied Arikos before he bowed and left.
The next day, Leguna opened his eyes groggily and slapped away Kurdak's leg on his head.
"It stinks! Boss, didn't you wash your feet yesterday?"
"Huh?" Kurdak mumbled, "I was the one who carried you here yesterday, you know... I was too tired to move. After you got drunk, you did nothing but monkey about. You even jumped around when I brought you back. It was difficult to deal with you even with Vera's help. Also, this is my bed, so you should be thankful I'm letting you sleep in it. Stop being so demanding."
These days, Leguna shared a bed with Kurdak. The three each had their own room in the inn, but ever since he'd joined them, they had to accommodate him somehow.
Even though neither of the three wanted to share their bed with another person, the inn didn't have any vacant rooms. He either had to sleep in the walkway or with one of them.
As expected, Leguna wouldn't be allowed to share Vera's room whether she agreed or not. Kurdak and Cyranos definitely wouldn't permit it. The quiet Cyranos didn't seem to be an ideal candidate for a roommate either, so Kurdak was the first man with whom he shared a bed.
"At the very least, you should pay attention to cleanliness," Leguna said as he rolled around comfortably, before he saw a fair, small leg, "Eh? Boss, why do you have feet of different sizes? This large one... smells... far worse than the small one..."
He slowed his words the moment he felt something was amiss.
Firstly, even though the two had to share a bed, given his small physique and the fact that Kurdak was sleeping facing the other end, the bed should feel rather spacious. However, he felt rather pressed for space, as if there was another person sleeping with them.
It didn't take long for him to recall that the leg he slapped away was a right one. Yet, the fair white foot before him also seemed to be a right foot.
When he looked around the room, he realized it looked different from before. For some reason, the blue sheet he was used to seeing was actually pink.
All of a sudden, Leguna felt fear well up in the depths of his mind that helped wash away his hangover. He carefully peeked at the owner of the slender foot and prayed that the situation was not what he imagined it to be. When he saw the person with the slender foot, he breathed a relieved sigh.
There's no point in struggling this time around... I'm dead meat! Dead! Aaarrrrrgggghhhh!
Goodbye, sweet world. It was nice while it lasted! were Leguna's final thoughts.
However, after seeing Vera was still unconscious, a spark of hope lit up in his mind.
He got out of the bed as quietly as he could, wanting to leave right away. But, seeing Kurdak still snoring away not knowing any better, he steeled his resolve to give him a hand.
"Boss, Boss! We have to leave now!" whispered Leguna as softly as an insect's buzz as he slapped Kurdak's face.
"Ouch, what are you doing?! I'm trying to sleep!" groaned Kurdak at a volume that almost made Leguna take out his dagger and silence him.
He hurriedly clasped Kurdak's mouth and looked at the huge man with a glare so serious even the most serious maiden would be lovestruck.
"Turn around and take a look. If you value your life, don't make a sound, or we'll both die!"
Kurdak looked curiously and his face paled immediately before it blackened and turned green.
"Let's go, go, go!" said Kurdak softly as the hangover failed him.
He tried to leave as quietly as he could.
Cyranos awoke later than usual. Even though he was the party's most organized member, he didn't feel like waking up right away. He'd had quite a bit to drink. After he finally got up, he began to wash up.
A few minutes later, he had already gotten dressed and came over to Kurdak's room. As those two were lazy bums, Cyranos had no choice but to serve as their human alarm clock.
Cyranos knocked the door, but there was no response.
Did they already get up? Don't tell me they already left? thought Cyranos.
Kurdak still had something to settle with Leguna, so they might have left early in the morning
But, considering how laid back those two were, he shook his head and dismissed the thought, before he knocked on Vera's door.
Vera should still be here, right? thought Cyranos, before he heard Vera's sleepy voice say, "Oh? Cyranos? I'm coming... Eh? Aaaaah! Why... Why are the two of you in my bed?!"
"Cyranos! We will haunt you forever as ghosts!" cried two other voices in the room.
That was... Kurdak and Leguna? What's going on? wondered Cyranos.
Previous Chapter Next Chapter