While having the sword at her throat, the woman said her appreciation towards Ardis.
「Indeed satisfying. Master. 」
Ardis furrowed his brows.
「What are you saying? 」
「Don’t make such a scary face. A proper gentleman must have gentler gaze towards a maiden. 」
The woman even smiled elegantly as she made that joke.
Ardis who judged the woman had already lost the will to fight released her hand and withdrew the broadsword at her throat. After he returned the broadsword back in its scabbard, he massaged between his brows with his fingers, before asking the woman once again.
「What is satisfying? 」
「Master’s strength, I didn’t think it was to this extent. It was worthwhile that I waited. 」
「Who’s your Master? 」
「Master is my master. 」
「No, I meant, who is that master you’re referring to? 」
「Master speaks strange things. Isn’t it decided that it’s you? 」
「Why am I your master. I don’t see where this is coming from. 」
「What I wish is humanity’s potential. The limit. And the future of that potential. 」
The woman looked at Ardis with a straight gaze and spoke some unfathomable words.
「Master had perfectly shown strength more than mine. Meaning that you are a vessel worthy for me to serve. By the way, Master. 」
Ardis started to feel pain in his head.
「I’m not your master but, what is it? 」
「What is Master’s name? 」
「…………It’s Ardis. 」
Ardis didn’t had the intention to interact more than intended in the first place, after a moment of silence, he recalled the request this time was to bring her to Sir Thoria originally.
He was swept in the flow and it became a battle but, if possible, he would like to convince her to accompany him peacefully.
It isn’t as if he gave up his intentions doing so after the battle. However, it can’t be said a brilliant plan ruining the relationship now, and rejecting to name himself would just worsen the chances of building a friendly relationship. Thinking like that, Ardis gave his name belatedly.
「And you? 」
「For I have no name. But there’s no problem if I’m known as Master Ardis’s servant. 」
Was there a reason for that, as Ardis thought about the possibility. But he didn’t bother to dive deeper, so he swallowed his words back. Albeit so, he felt a little unpleasant.
「Uhh, leaving that aside. 」
For the time being, Ardis consider it’s a progress that they can converse normally now, ――though it’s still unclear whether she will listen or not. While convinced of this fact on his own, Ardis called out to the Aliceblue1 haired woman.
「Can we start on the main topic now? 」
「Of course, Master. 」
「I came here on the request of the lord of Thoria. It seems that the lord has some business with you, so he wants to invite you to his mansion. I want you to come with me as soon as possible, so can you accompany me to the lord’s mansion right now? 」
「Gladly, my Master. 」
Ardis couldn’t wrap his head around what the woman is thinking. But since she’s willing to accompany Ardis, he decided to not think too much about it.
「Sorry for the rush but, I want to return within today. You might’ve stayed here for some kind of reason but……」
「Since I’ve already met with Master, there’s no further reason for me to stay here. But……」
「A request, Master. Can I have some time? Although it’s not my intention, this carnage here is my doing. I can’t leave it be. 」
As the woman turned around. Her Aliceblue hair fluttered in the air.
Tracing after the woman’s sightline, the result of the battle between them was there, the cracked earth, and the scattered rocks and sand were everywhere.
「Aah……, certainly, it’ll be bad to leave the highway in such a condition. Since I have responsibility too, let’s split the work and fix it. 」
「No, I don’t see the need to dirty Master’s hands. I alone am enough. 」
The self-titled servant of Ardis refused his offer to help, before starting to mend the ground without chanting anything. As if pushed by an invisible hand, the large amount of rocks and sand were swept back into the cracks unnaturally.
If he had to, Ardis could do the same thing. But, it’s the first time that Ardis seen someone other than him being able to do this, ――on top of the fact of without ever chanting.
Ardis is his own league but, from the standpoint of the society’s average, it’ll be better to consider the woman the same.
Until then, people who can stand on equal foot with Ardis didn’t exist in this world.
But the world is wide as expected. Just that Ardis never had the chance to meet them, there is sure to be other opponents similar to the woman’s level somewhere.
He was able to overpower his opponent this time but, there’s no guarantee there’re no one else stronger than her.
(I should be careful not to be too conceited huh)
No matter how strong, one will die when their time comes.
Ardis recalled the battle just now. Roughly gauging, Ardis has the advantage. He would probably win 99 out of 100 matches.
But that’s if he’s going all out. If he were to continue restrain himself from using sword magic or chantless magic under the spectating mercenaries to not stand out. If he were to keep putting weights on himself like this, then the day he will trip over himself will definitely come.
「It’s finished, Master. 」
While Ardis is pondering, the self-titled servant woman had finished her work before he had realized, and now she’s standing in front of Ardis while lowering her head.
「It’s possible to move now, how about it? 」
After the woman stretched her posture a little, she looked straight into Ardis’s eyes. He still had a lot to say but, judging that the completion of the request has higher priority, Ardis returned to Thoria with the woman’s accompaniment.
On the way, the woman had followed behind Ardis while matching his pace. But seeing her expression which spelled 「Why bother walking like this painfully」, Ardis thought that she probably can move while making her body float similarly to him.
As a trial, Ardis started to move faster with his 『Floating Strides』, but the woman had followed behind him without saying anything as if it’s a natural thing to do.
The result, they were able to return to Thoria just about the time when the sun was setting. Ardis immediately brought the woman to the lord’s mansion, and explained to the guards stationed at the entrance.
「Then, the woman there is the one? 」
The middle-aged soldier who looked like the person in charge came out of the guardhouse with a piece of paper.
「Fumu. Sharp blue eyes and long bluish hair……. Certainly, it matches. 」
It seems that the woman’s characteristics is written on the paper. The middle-aged soldier said satisfied while stroking his beard.
「Alright. We shall guide you inside, please wait for a while. And for you, you’re dismissed, as soon as the request is deemed complete, we will hand over your compensation to the intermediary. Hold onto this note, it’ll be your proof of exchange for that, so don’t lose it. 」
It seems that they will guide the woman inside the mansion like this.
On the other hand, Ardis is free from the job. One of the young soldiers gave him the note proving that he was the one who completed the request.
「What? Master can’t come? 」
The woman asked Ardis.
「My role is just to bring you here. I have no matters with the lord, and in the first place, they won’t allow a random mercenary to meet with him. 」
「It’s the same for me. Why should I be going somewhere where Master has nothing to do? 」
While conversing, it seems that a maid from the mansion had come to serve as a guide.
「I won’t go. Since I don’t have any interest in the lord or whatnot and there’s no reason for me to be somewhere where Master is not around. 」
「Oi oi, wait. 」
Ardis panickily held back the woman who refused.
「If it’s Master’s command, then I shall stay here despite unpleasantly. But if not so, I do not feel the need to stay. Or Master, do you mean this is fate? 」
Although Ardis couldn’t even fathom what the woman is spouting, he knew that if he left the woman and went back like this, his compensation probably wouldn’t even be considered, and the request would most likely be marked as failed.
Having said so, it isn’t like Ardis can accompany her like what the woman said. It’ll be another matter if the lord is wishing so, but seeing the attitude of the soldiers, it doesn’t seem like that’s the case.
Naturally, the soldiers would stop Ardis who wasn’t even welcomed from simply entering on his own.
Ardis sighed as he thought there’s no choice.
Although he didn’t grasp the reason, it seems that the woman is acting as Ardis’s servant. If he would make it an order, then she would probably follow it quietly. After that, it’s will be up to what the woman and the lord decide between themselves.
Above all, Ardis is already so sleepy that he couldn’t care less as he gave up thinking.
「Haa……, that’s right. It’s an order. Go meet with the lord. 」
After Ardis said so, the woman expressionlessly bowed down respectfully.
「Acknowledged, my master. 」
And just like that, the woman disappeared into the mansion guided by the maid. After Ardis looked over that, he as well disappeared into the noisy streets.