Bar — Part 2
Editors: Sebas Tian, Speedphoenix, Joker
The results of my analysis were as follows.
Race: Mid Devil (Human)
Class: Skilled Swordsman (Hero)
Holy Magic VI
Sword Mastery V
Enemy Detection IV
Crisis Detection V
Dagger Mastery III
Fire Magic II
Holy Blade’s Wielder
She seemed to be making use of some sort of item in order to conceal her identity, but it wasn’t anywhere near as powerful as the demon king’s. My level ten skill blew right through the item’s effects and laid everything bare. Her false stats were still displayed, but their original values remained right there beside them, albeit in brackets. Wait a second. When the hell did she get this strong?
It had only been about a month since I last saw her, but Nell had grown. A lot. She was already stronger than the adventurer I had fought in Alshir. I was confident that she would have no problem dealing with the demon realm’s residents should they aggress on her given the fact that most of her stats sat at around the one thousand mark. Some had even exceeded it. Even her luck stat had spiked for reasons unknown. What the fuck!? I’m so jealous. Mine basically refuses to budge. And god damn she got stronger fast. Honestly though, I kinda expected it. That’s just how the hero trope goes. You know, I kinda wanna see how strong she ends up getting once she’s done with the whole hero’s journey thing.
“W-why are you here, Yuki?” asked Nell.
“You took the words right out of my mouth. Why are you all the way out here?” I cocked an eyebrow. “Are you trying to find yourself a party so you can go on an adventure or something? You know, seeing as how this is a bar and all that.”
“Huh…?” She gave me a confused, blank stare. “No…? Why would I be doing that?
Right. Of course she wouldn’t get the reference. Yeah, nevermind. Let’s just pretend I didn’t say that and move on. Please.
“Someone you know?”
The hooded figure asked Nell the question in a bit of a suspicious tone. Like the hero, the other person present was also a fairly young woman, one that happened to speak in a tone that made her sound kinda sleepy. Welp. Guess that isn’t Carlotta after all.
Although I had initially expected the hero’s companion to be the paladin I had met in the capital, I soon came to realize that such an event was unlikely. Carlotta had been a part of the brass. She probably wasn’t going to be allowed to just randomly up and casually leave the country unless there were extenuating circumstances. Is it just me, or is basically everyone I know a chick? Most of my friends are girls. In fact, I don’t think I have a single male friend at all. The ratio seems kinda skewed. Does that mean I just so happen to have a lot of female friends? Or is it more like my friend count is just kinda low to begin with? Okay, you know what? I’m not really sure I want to find out, so I’mma just stop.
“Uhm… I… Uhh…”
“Yeah, calling us acquaintances pretty much sums it up.” I noticed that Nell was struggling to explain the nature of our relationship given the fact that I was a demon, so I stepped in and gave her a bit of a hand. “We just happened to get to know each other and hit it off a while back.”
For some odd reason, the hero ended up flashing me a dissatisfied frown. She didn’t seem all that happy with my explanation. I don’t get it. I’m pretty sure I didn’t say anything offensive. Why’s she so mad?
“That’s right,” said Nell with a humph. The hero turned away from me as if to express disinterest before picking up her cup and sulking as she slowly sipped away at its contents. Nell sure is a bit of a weirdo, isn’t she?
“Oh, right.” Only after pouting for a bit did she realize that she had totally forgotten to introduce us despite being the mutual acquaintance. “Yuki, meet Ronia. She’s a good friend of mine. Ronia, meet Yuki, another good friend of mine.”
“Nice to meet you, Ronia.”
“You too,” said Ronia with a bit of a nod.
Ronia reminded me a lot of Enne. They both spoke in shorter sentences and seemed to carry a bit of a taciturn aura. However, unlike Enne, Ronia came off as drowsy. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see her clock out at any given moment.
Her stat page was disguised in much the same way as Nell’s. It could be summarized as follows:
Name: Ronia Lucidor
Race: Mid Devil (Human)
Class: Skilled Sorceress (Court Mage)
Ronia was a court mage, and she had stats to match. Most of her numbers, like strength and the like, were pretty average as far as humans were concerned, but her magic and dexterity were both through the roof. She was sure to prove useful in anything that even remotely resembled a magical slugfest.
That said, all her stats were lower than Nell’s. She failed to surpass the hero even in the areas in which she was most gifted. Comparing the two really served to emphasize just how special Nell was. She was so divorced from human standards that her raw stats could completely eclipse those of a court mage, an individual I assumed to be high ranking and highly specialized. You know, now that I think about it, she was probably like straight fresh out of training when I first met her, huh? If she had started getting stronger even just a few months earlier, I might’ve ended up getting butchered on the spot. Errrrr, actually probably not, huh? Seeing as how she was so terrified she couldn’t even stand up straight and whatnot. Yeah, you know what? I probably would’ve been fine.
Like Nell, Ronia’s character sheet had been subject to disguise. And of course, both of them had altered their physical appearances to match those of the race that they were supposedly a part of. They had small horns on their heads and tattoos on their cheeks. I suspected that they probably had demon-like tails as well, but I couldn’t actually see them due to the fact that both girls were wearing trench coats.
“I’m sorry if Ronia ever comes off as rude,” said Nell. “She doesn’t mean it. She’s just not a great talker.”
“Not true,” complained the mage. “People are just bad at listening.”
“But you’re the only one most people have trouble understanding…” said Nell with a wry smile. “You’re so blunt that it confuses everyone.”
The hero paused for a moment to emphasize her point before turning towards the people I was with.
“It’s nice to see you again, Leila.” She smiled at the maid before turning towards the literal walking sword. “And who’s that? I don’t think we’ve met before.”
“That? Oh. That would be my daughter.”
“Huh!?” The hero’s eyes practically bulged out of their sockets. “Y-You had a daughter!? W-would that make Lefi her mother!?”
Nell practically flew off her chair and shoved her face in mine as she pressured me for answers. She got so close I had to lean back to avoid contact.
“K-Kinda? I mean technically, you aren’t really wrong,” I said. “And you have met her before. Remember this?”
I pointed at the weapon I had mounted on my back.
“Is that the weapon you were using last time we met?” she asked, dubiously. “I can’t really tell since it’s all wrapped up in cloth, but it looks to be about the same size.”
“Yup. That’s her.” I plopped the hand I wasn’t using to point at the blade on top of the sword girl’s head and more or less shrugged the reveal off as something that wasn’t too big of a deal.
“To be more precise, Enne is the blade’s personified form. I made her, and she’s literally got some of Lefi in her, so she’s pretty much our daughter.”
“Uhm… Yuki… I don’t understand,” said Nell. “How exactly did you manage to give a weapon the ability to turn into a person?”
“Iunno. We just kinda thought it might work, so we tried it and it did.”
“I…see…” Only after a long pause did the hero manage to squeeze out any more words. She slowly brought her head to her hands and started to rub her temples as she spoke in a pained tone. “You tried it… And it worked…”
You want some aspirin or something? I’m pretty sure I have a bottle or two sitting around.
“I understand how you feel, Nell,” said Leila. “Please allow me to give you a piece of advice that will assist you greatly in times like these. My Lord and common sense do not, by any means, ever go hand in hand. Attempting to justify his actions and behaviour without a shift in perspective will surely wear you out.”
“Good point,” said Nell. “I would probably go crazy if I started questioning all the weird stuff Yuki does or says.”
“Oh, come on,” I said as I rolled my eyes. “You guys are making me out to be some kinda hopeless weirdo.”
“I’m sorry Yuki, but that’s exactly what I think you are,” said Nell.
Woman, you’ve got guts. I’m definitely getting you back for this.
“I do apologize, My Lord, but there is nothing I can say in your defence.”
Leila, please! Aren’t maids supposed to take their master’s side!?
“That’s… not true…” Enne paused for a long while before opening her mouth again. “Master is a really good person.”
Enne… I’m glad you stood up for me and all that, but is it just me, or did you very obviously have to stop because you couldn’t come up with anything good to say? And can you like, stop totally averting your eyes and actually look at me? Please? Come on!