“It looks like you want to spend some private time with me.”
“Haha, you sound coy, Leader.”
“I have no talent for noble speech.”
The look in his eyes as he looked at Cadel, who answered in a grumpy manner, was mysterious. Lumen closed his mouth for a moment and stared ahead, and said with a relaxed smile as usual.
“Lytos is a famous family of the Empire. Didn’t they teach you how to talk?”
“……I don’t remember telling you my full name.”
“I’ve been following in Leader’s footsteps for two days while thinking about the answer. I came across it by accidence.”
Was it unpleasant? Lumen asked, but Cadel shook his head without much response.
It wasn’t particularly unpleasant. Cadel could even look at the past circumstances according to the knight’s ability level and favorability. He couldn’t be angry because Lumen found out who he really was.
However, he was a little worried.
Lumen was a person full of aristocratic pride. If he knew that Cadel was the illegitimate son of a fallen magic family, there was a possibility that he would ignore him implicitly. That would make it even more difficult to recruit or control Lumen.
He was walking silently, thinking about that, but Lumen cautiously continued.
“Now that I know who you are, I understand.”
“The magic that Leader showed that day. The judgment that saved my life. And ambition……. If it’s the Lytos bloodline, it’s understandable.”
“That’s a high evaluation. I’m only half-blooded.”
Cadel deliberately checked the Lumen. It would only be a matter of time before it became known that he was an illegitimate child. Now, the priority was to see his reaction.
However, Lumen accepted Cadel’s words more easily than expected.
“Pureblood or not, it doesn’t matter. It wasn’t half as good as the ability I saw.”
There was no hint of ridicule in his reply. What would the reaction be if Lumen found out that the magic that defeated the witch was actually a puffed-up trick? Cadel thought it was silly, but he was glad anyway. It was definitely a positive part that Lumen was acknowledging him even a little bit.
Cadel was secretly relieved and put on a calm expression. If he continued the story of his family any further, the bottom line would be revealed. Let’s cut it off in moderation.
“I’m sorry, but that’s an overestimate. I’m not strong enough to bear the family name yet. In that sense, tell me some places in Drakium that magicians would like.”
“I can’t get the context of the question.”
“You’re loud, and if you want to stick around, just answer me.”
Perhaps finding something interesting in the harsh answer, Lumen, who laughed out loud, moved gently to block Cadel’s front. Then, he grabbed Cadel’s shoulder, who looked up at him, and turned his body around.
“What are you doing?”
“I don’t know places that magicians like, but I do know places that attract a lot of people. It’s this way.”
Cadel, unable to withstand the power of pushing from behind, began to follow Lumen’s will in a daze. A ticklish laugh came along as he walked helplessly.
The place where Lumen took him was in front of the ‘Jewel Fountain’ in the center of Drakium Square. As the name suggests, the Jewel Fountain, which was over the size of a ship in comparison with a regular fountain, was studded with colorful jewels, and the stream of water soaring along the calm light also shimmered beautifully.
There were a lot of people near the fountain. It was to the point where he felt as if everyone in the square had rushed in. It was suffocating. Cadel tried his best not to be swept away by the crowd, and Lumen blocked them from behind.
Cadel looked up at Lumen, who was close behind him with a sulky face.
“Even though it’s the Jewel Fountain, do we have to come this far to see it at this time? There are too many people.”
“The concert is starting soon.”
“It’s a street concert that’s held every night, and every day, the instruments, songs, and performers change. If you’re lucky, you might even hear a fantastic song.”
A random street concert. Cadel was intrigued, but he had no intention of listening to music leisurely. Shouldn’t he find an exchanger as soon as possible in order to become stronger as soon as possible?
He tried to get out of the square with that thought, but it was hard to take a step because it was full of people wherever he went. Lumen lightly grabbed the shoulder of Cadel, who was fidgeting in his arms, and said.
“I’m sorry, but it’s impossible to go through that crowd unless you’re going to brandish a sword. Why don’t you give up and listen quietly, Leader.”
“I asked you to tell me the place where the magician might like. Who told you to take me to a tourist attraction? Thanks for wasting my time!”
“It’s because you don’t have much appreciation for the arts. I’m very disappointed.”
Cadel, who was staring at Lumen’s happy face with no signs of disappointment, eventually turned his eyes with a sigh.
‘It’s a blast today. I’ll have to pretend I lost.’
He didn’t expect a proper search to take place at the time Lumen followed anyway. As soon as he let go of his greed, he noticed the band busy moving in front of the fountain. The band consisted of about ten people, each holding an instrument such as cello, flute, horn, and trumpet.
People buzzed at the appearance of the band and moved forward to get closer to them. In order not to be swept away by the suffocating waves, he put strength on his legs, but no matter how much time passed, no one bumped into him. It was thanks to Lumen.
When he looked back, Lumen was holding on, almost wrapping his body around Cadel. Cadel, realizing it belatedly, rubbed the tip of his nose shyly.
Being born a man, it was the first time Cadel was protected in this way by a person of the same gender. It was quite embarrassing, but it wasn’t unpleasant enough to shudder and shake his arms off.
……Could it be that he was getting used to this kind of skinship?
By the time Cadel’s face turned pale at the startling change just by imagining it.
With Lumen’s soft voice whispering, the band’s performance began.
Sure enough, Cadel was lucky.
The performance, which combined various instruments, had a lyrical atmosphere that matched the cloudy night sky, and there was a comfortable flow enough to relieve the tension of the body. The band’s performance was the best among the concerts that had been held in recent years. Cadel listened to the music without even realizing that he had subconsciously leaned against Lumen’s chest.
‘In the original world, there was no opportunity or leisure to go to a concert like this.’
He never thought he would feel this kind of relaxation in a game world full of monsters and gore. Cadel let out a blank laugh. It is said that humans are animals of adaptation, and even in such an unfamiliar world, they somehow permeate.
As he shook his head lightly to shake off his increasingly strange feeling, Lumen, who had been quiet all along, called him.
“Leader, look over there.”
“In my experience, old people who look like that are more likely to be magicians. How is it?”
Did he think he was a physiognomist? Even though Cadel thought it was ridiculous, he still turned his head in the direction that Lumen pointed to. He saw an old man trapped in the crowd.
Messy platinum hair, rough skin with clear wrinkles, hard eyes filled with stubbornness, and thin lips that twitch to the sound of the performance. Cadel’s lips parted slowly as he captured the old man’s figure in his eyes as if possessed for a moment.
‘That person…… The face that makes you feel the fatigue of 50 years just by looking at it……!’
That bored look, the dry expression that seemed like even if a little kid with candy in his mouth was acting cute at him, he would only ignore, those hazy eyes that captured all the indifference of the world!
He must have been Mamil Kifa. He was the ‘item exchanger’ that Cadel was looking for.
Excited by the unexpected fortune, Cadel twisted. He was anxious to establish a relationship with Mamil in any way before the day was over. Wouldn’t it be possible to guess the place of his future appearances if at least a statement was made with him?
Meanwhile, Lumen, completely unaware of his plans, was taken aback by Cadel’s reaction. The temporary leader was twisting in his own arms.
“What is it?”
“I’m going to that magician.”
“Was he really a magician? No, the concert isn’t over yet. It’s better to stay calm until you’re out―”
Cadel, who cut off his words like a knife, glowed calmly in his eyes. Then, he stretched out his index finger and gently pressed Lumen’s hard chest.
“I don’t tell you to protect me. But if you have the status of a temporary member, shouldn’t you show your sincerity to help me?”
“……Anyone who hears it will know it’s going to be a great fight.”
“The situation is more urgent than in battle.”
Lumen couldn’t hold him back when he said this. Eventually, Lumen helped Cadel advance toward the target.
The significance of his existence felt by the players was only as an item exchanger to help users grow, but in fact, Mamil’s position in the game was closer to ‘the protagonist’s teacher’. By meeting him, you can improve your magic achievement and learn various theories. Except for the early troubles caused by Mamil’s eccentric personality, the protagonist looked up to him quite a bit.
“Leader, can you feel these gazes?”
Lumen said with his arm on Cadel’s shoulder.
In order to reach Mamil’s side, the two ignorantly advanced through the wall of crowds. Those who were pushed back by Lumen’s strong grip were busy staring at them, leaving behind the peaceful performance. There were even nobles who came with knights, so a real sword fight almost happened. If it weren’t for Lumen’s flexible response ー and the definite result of beauty trap ー there would have been a big commotion.
Regardless, Cadel was busy thinking, shaking off Lumen’s arm on his shoulder.
‘Mamil is a thoroughly introverted person. He can’t stand having people around him, and he’s greedy for his own growth. I have to aim for that.’
Playing a game is different from living in the world of a game. It was a fact that he had been terribly aware of. He had to mobilize all the knowledge he had, and only then could he barely gain the upper hand as a transmigrator.
‘If I miss him now, I don’t know when and where we can meet again. One opportunity. As always, you only get one chance.’
Cadel, who was determined, stood next to Mamil, who was expressionless enough to shudder. But the moment he rubbed his damp palms on his pants, choosing the right words, Mamil, who had been looking only at the band as if he couldn’t see anything around him, suddenly opened his mouth.
“You know what? I almost tripped on my untied shoelace this morning.”
……Was he talking to himself?
However, it was something that no one knew about, and if not, there were no people around him who could listen to him. When Cadel hesitated, feeling puzzled, Mamil spoke again.
“The stew I had for lunch was hotter than usual and burned my tongue. I cut my finger while turning over the papers, and while trying to treat the wound, I overturned a glass on the table and soaked my pants. On my way back to the inn to change my clothes, I was teased as a bedwetter by a rude kid, and when I tried to scold him, I got into a fight with a guy who claimed to be his brother. But he turned out to be an ordinary pickpocket. All the money I was going to spend on food was taken away.”
“Yeah, it was a terrible day. Young man, can you guess what the highlight of this damn day is?”
Mamil’s head, which had been looking at the front like a wooden stone, slowly turned. He was staring straight at Cadel, who was standing next to him. And the moment he faced the silent whirlpool in Mamil’s eyes, Cadel could predict what Mamil would say.
“That’s you, young magician friend.”