Two days had passed since we’d run into the Leviathan and nearly met our demises.
“Drop the anchors!” Jerome shouted.
“Aye aye captain!”
“One of you is going to need to run over to the magistrate’s office. We’ve a serious political situation on our hands, one involving royalty,” Buphett noted as the crew began getting to work.
“Yes sir!” One of the sailors immediately responded and began running an errand as per his instructions.
The Algieba managed to safely reach Chrom. More specifically, it found itself currently docked in the port of a seaside city named Greyseal. Both the city and the port were about a whole size smaller than Barbra’s, but still of a respectable scale nonetheless.
All the adventurers had already gotten off the ship after receiving a hefty bonus. The total number of battles we engaged in was on the relatively low side, but they rewarded us handsomely nonetheless given the whole midgard wyrm incident. Fran in particular had been paid a whole hundred thousand golde.
With her duties completed and renumerations rewarded, she, like all the other adventurers, had gotten off the ship. She was currently standing in front of it, saying her goodbyes to her three apprentices.
“Thank you very much, Ms. Fran.”
“You taught us a whole lot.”
“We’ll do our best to make sure we keep training ourselves hard! We’ll get strong enough to impress you next time we see each other!”
Naria, Miguel and Liddick responded in their usual ways as they got ready to leave, to which Fran responded with a simple “Nn.”
Their training had only lasted a few days, but it seemed to have been impactful nonetheless, as the three all seemed to have taken her teachings quite seriously. Fran had tried her best to play the role of an instructor as well, albeit seemingly because she wanted to kill time. I couldn’t tell whether or not she really thought of them as her apprentices. She didn’t seem reluctant to part with them, and I wasn’t even really sure whether she ever ended up remembering their names.
“We should probably head out too.”
“Miguel, Naria, Liddick,” I had many doubts about her stance on the matter, but Fran struck them all down before I even so much as had a chance to voice them by calling out to her three apprentices in turn.
“Huh?” Miguel’s jaw dropped.
“Teach just called us by our names!? That has to be the first time she’s ever done that!”
“D-Does that mean she’s acknowledged us?” Likewise, Naria and Liddick also responded with their voices filled by surprise.
“See ya, teach!”
All three immediately responded in loud, clear voices.
Satisfied, Fran turned around and began to move without so much as even showing any sign of turning back.
“So you actually did end up memorizing their names?”
“Nn. Because apprentices.”
Fran’s response made it clear that she’d taken from the experience and matured, even if only a bit. As her guardian, I was overjoyed, both because she’d grown up and because a part of me empathized with her disciples. She’d reciprocated their emotions; their efforts hadn’t been in vain.
The first place Fran decided to head towards was the guild so she could pick up the request’s standard reward. She didn’t know where it was though, so she had Mordred and his buddies show her over.
“It should be right over there,” Mordred gestured towards the guild as it came into sight.
“That’d be because Greyseal is a pretty big city.”
Greyseal’s guild wasn’t too far away from its port. The building was quite large, as per Fran’s description. Apparently, it was relatively influential because it was frequented by adventurers that liked picking up ship-related escort tasks.
Upon entering, we found ourselves staring down a bar with a large number of adventurers hanging around it. Some seemed to gaze upon Fran in one of many unrespectful ways, but quickly averted their eyes once they saw Mordred enter right behind her.
Being a B ranker, Mordred was quite well known, even in Greyseal. There weren’t any adventurers dumb enough to mess with anyone accompanying him.
Fran was both a cute child and a Black Catkin, so I expected a few people to try messing with her, but fortunately, it didn’t look like we would need to bother this time around. Though no one tried to explicitly attack her, that didn’t actually mean we didn’t have to deal with any sort of annoyances. A bearded, lazy looking middle aged man that seemed a bit too thin to be an adventurer waded through the crowd and approached us.
My immediate thought was that we were going to have to deal with him and whatever idiocy he would pull, but I was well off the mark.
“That’s a cute girl you found there Mordred. Is she travelling with you?” The lanky looking man grinned as he spoke in a teasing tone.
“Oh, hey Leroy. You’re a bit off the mark this time. She and I just happened to be escorting the same ship. It was her first time in Greyseal, so I lended her a hand and showed her over to the guild.”
“Huh. Well, I guess I’d better introduce myself then. The name’s Leroy, I work as an adventurer around these parts.”
“He’s only a D ranker, but he’s got great memory, so he can come in handy. I’ve often asked him for help so I could work around these parts without needing a map,” Mordred nodded as he affirmed the other man’s usefulness.
The fact that even Mordred asked him for help made me understand that Leroy was a respectable adventurer in his own right even though he didn’t look the part.
“Nn. C ranker, Fran.” The catgirl named herself curtly.
“You’re a C ranker at that age!? I could tell that you were pretty strong, but god damn!” Leroy’s eyes opened wide in response to Fran’s introduction, a reaction that caused Mordred to put on a bit of a wry smile and look at Leroy with an almost pitying gaze. He’d only just called Fran out the other day for being way stronger than was justified for a C ranker.
“I think you might want to change the way you introduce yourself, Fran,” he suggested.
“Why? Not lying.”
“That’s true, but I think you should at least make sure you mention that you’re the Black Lightning Princess.”
“What? She’s the Black Lightning Princess everyone’s been talking about lately?”
“That she is, friend.”
“That would mean she’s way stronger than me… Man, and her rank made me think we weren’t all that different in terms of our combat ability too…” Leroy was completely taken aback by Fran’s identity.
It seemed that information about Fran had already made its way to Greyseal through the merchants given Leroy’s reaction and willingness to accept Fran’s identity. Mordred, once again, had voiced a really good point that proved his judgement solid. Fran would be able to stop people from looking down on her so long as she revealed a bit more about herself.
There was, however, a certain risk related to Mordred’s suggestion. Anyone that had yet to hear about Fran’s exploits would likely think her an idiot with a self proclaimed identity. I wouldn’t be able to stand for someone making fun of her as a result.
For that reason, we decided to stick with the C ranker thing for the time being.
“That’s the Black Lightning Princess?”
“Wait, the Black Lightning Princess is here!? Where!?”
“Y-Yo, you serious?”
It seemed that all the adventurers present had heard of her, as they immediately began kicking up a huge fuss. Some stood up in order to get a better look at Fran, while others let their curiosity get so out of control that they approached despite the heavy aura Mordred was giving off.
The reaction we got out of making Fran’s identity public was even bigger than the one we’d gotten back in Barbra. Upon further observation, I realized that over 90% of the adventurers were beastkin, and that the beastkin were much more curious about Fran than I’d initially thought. Though their interests were far outside my expectations, I did at least understand them. Black Catkin weren’t supposed to be able to evolve, but Fran had done it nonetheless. But more importantly, she had defeated Goldalfa, a veritable hero that all of the country’s citizens knew.
“Did that little girl really manage to beat Goldalfa?”
“That’s what they say. It’s probably true too, seein’ as how the info came from a merchant sanctioned by the crown.”
“Must’ve been because he let her win though, right?”
“Huh, you’ve got a point. It might be one of those public appearence things.”
“Are you guys stupid? We’re talking about Goldalfa here, there’s no way he’d ever do that.”
“Yeah man, there’s no way Goldalfa would just fork over a win, especially not to a kid. That’d tarnish his reputation.”
“Exactly. You all know he’s not the type to pull his punches.”
“And you’ve gotta consider this. It wasn’t a spar either. I could see him holding back if it was a spar, but Ulmutt’s tournament lets its participants fight for real, so he must’ve been going all out.”
A fair number of the adventurers seemed to think that Goldalfa had allowed Fran to beat him. I couldn’t really refute their sentiments. It was quite hard to believe unless you were actually there.
People continued to stare at Fran even as she turned in her quest.
“And she’s really evolved too.”
“I know, right?”
“How the hell did she manage that?”
“I remember the merchants saying something about killing evil beings. I don’t remember the details though, ’cause I thought it was bullshit at the time.”
We’d long turned Evolution Concealment off so we could spread the idea that Black Catkin were indeed capable of evolution.
The merchants and nobles had already started to spread the method we told the Beast Lord. People would probably start believing it once we went around and showed off that Fran really had evolved.
Gazes continued to follow Fran all the way up to the moment she finally left.
“Alright, let’s find ourselves a place to spend the night and figure out how we’re supposed to get to the capital.”
Stats below. Note: skills in master’s memory excluded by author
Wielder: Fran (Bound)
Species: Intelligent Weapon
Magical Conductivity: A+
High Speed Self Repair
Self Evolution (Rank 13 / Cores Absorbed: 8378/9100 / Memory: 124 // Points: 0 )
Lesser Telekinetic Boost
Lesser Attack Boost
Space/Time Magic: MAX
Intermediate Wielder Status Boost
Lesser Wielder Recovery Boost
Eye of Empyrea
Lesser MP Boost
Knowledge of Monsters
Intermediate Memory Boost
Principle of Falsehood: Lv 5
Dimensional Magic: Lv 4
Sword Arts SP
Doppelganger Synthesis SP
Species: Beastkin (Black Cat/Black Heavenly Tiger)
Class: Magic Warrior
Status: Bound by Contract
Espionage: Lv 5
Wind Magic: Lv 2
Court Etiquette: Lv 4
Presence Detection: Lv 6
Sword Techniques: Lv 7
Sword Arts: Lv 8
Evil Resistance: Lv 1
Blink: Lv 6
Fire Magic: Lv 5
Lightning Magic: Lv 1
Cooking: Lv 2
Trap Disarmament: Lv 2
Trap Detection: Lv 2
Sound of Mind
Sense of Direction
Brilliant Lightning Rush
Black Cat’s Protection
Match For a Thousand
Lord of Dismantling
Recovery Magic User
One Who Massacres
Super Big Eater
Fire Magic User
Wind Magic User
Lightning Magic User
King of Cooking