「 Are you sure about this? 」
I asked, showing Helvetia the purple magic stone in my hand.
『 Mmm, specters are a particularly high-purity mass of magic power that can be absorbed if weakened. A normal magic stone probably wouldn’t be able to endure it, but I was confident that it would be fine, because that magic stone belonged to Sangues. 』
「 I see 」
In the quiet hallway, after the Ruin Specter disappeared, I put the magic stone pendant around my neck and asked Helvetia the question I had been putting off.
「 More importantly, I want to know, are you going to take over this body? 」
『 Hmmm 』
You may be thinking why now, but this time she only came out because I was wandering around in the haunted house, and if I escape safely, she might not show up again, so this might be the only time to ask her.
Helvetia shifted her gaze and seemed to be thinking about it, but then quickly looked back at me.
「 Betty, please answer me honestly 」
When I made a serious statement she turned over, brought her fist to her chin and stopped moving, as if thinking firmly.
Seeing that I had a feeling of déjà vu, like I had seen this before. It reminded me of a scene.
Suddenly Helvetia started laughing, and I was swallowed by her and trapped in the darkness forever, a horrible illusion.
『 Is that why you haven’t called out to me before? 』
With a fist on her chin, she muttered to herself, and then looked up.
Her brows were still furrowed, as if she was still thinking about what to say, but I was relieved to see her expression, which was different from my imagination.
『 I’m not trying to rob your body, I’m just preparing it so I can borrow it temporarily if necessary. There is no proof that I can do it, and I can’t test it, so since I let it slip, I just didn’t show up to avoid you mentioning it. 』
「 Really? 」
『 In the first place, perhaps you have misunderstood the demon race. The demon race has a social custom of respecting those with power, the so-called common sense. In that respect, you are powerful enough to suppress and manifest this mistress’s soul. In other words, this mistress was robbed of her body, but I don’t resent you enough to take it back. 』
「 I see, but before 『 I can’t win the right of freedom by myself, no matter how much I try 』 is what you said, right? 」
When I asked as if with a question mark on my face, Helvetia nodded and muttered, 『 Ah 』 as if remembering.
『 I’ve made some progress from that time. Well, it’s only a possibility at the moment. I’ll let you know when I can do it, so don’t worry. 』
「 Got it 」
With the conversation was over, I remembered Virgilio-san, who had been completely neglected, so I looked down through the open hole.
「 Virgilio-san, are you okay? 」
I asked him, but he didn’t answer. He seemed to have plenty of time, so I’m sure he wasn’t beaten up, but I was worried when he didn’t answer.
The hole seemed to be quite deep, and I could see a vague light far below, illuminating the earthy ground, maybe a basement.
As I was wondering if I should jump in too, I suddenly felt dizzy and crouched down on the spot.
As I was unable to get up due to the dizziness that occurred at regular intervals every few seconds, I felt a pulling sensation and immediately afterwards the scenery changed.
The corridor was not too shabby, but the hole in front of me was gone, and there was a window in the wall, letting in a little light from outside, probably because the house was in a thicket.
As I scurried around some more, I noticed that there were no candles attached to the candelabra, and I could hear the sound of grass and trees swaying in the wind and birds chirping from outside.
When I stood up and looked out the window, I saw grass and trees outside, which had been blacked out until now. It seems that after the Ruin Specter was defeated, we were returned to the real world.
「 Great, you beat it easily before I could get back. 」
「 Ah, un 」
I wondered where Virgilio-san had disappeared to since the hole disappeared, but he casually appeared behind me. It seems he had also been returned safely from the different dimension after all.
「 All right, let’s find the first adventurer who wandered in. If he’s still alive, he should have returned along with us. 」
「 Nn, okay 」
The house was very breezy because of the broken windows, and I felt a bit chilly for daytime, so I took out my pocket watch and looked at the time, it was five in the morning.
It was about mid-afternoon when I entered, and although time seemed to move slower in that space than here, I wondered if I could have come back in a shorter amount of time.
I went around the mansion to search, but there was no one who looked like that, so I went out to the main gate and rejoined Virgilio-san, who asked me about it.
「 I will stay at the inn for the night to collect my horse and then return to Aries, but what about you? 」
「 Hmm, I will be running 」
「 Are you sure? 」
「 Nn, I am faster than a horse, after all 」
「 ……All right, then, if you get back to the guild before I do, you’ll be the one to receive the reward this time 」
Although he was slightly taken aback by the fact that I was faster than a horse, Virgilio seemed to be willing to give me the reward.
「 Really? 」
「 Either way, in a sense, I would have failed it, and you’re the one who defeated the Ruin Specter, so I have no right to the reward. 」
「 I see. I’ll take it then. 」
「 Ooh 」
And so we parted ways, and after some habitual light stretching, I ran back to Aries.
The first thing I did in Aries after arriving was to go to the adventurer’s guild and explain to the receptionist what had happened.
I met Virgilio-san, the Ruin Specter barrier caused the time flow between here and there to be distorted, I finally defeated the Ruin Specter and escaped, and I didn’t find any D rank adventurers.
She nodded and told me about it while looking at the calendar in her hand.
「 Well, Toto-san, it’s been two days since you left here. 」
「 Eh 」
I thought I could get in at noon and get out the next morning, but it’s been two days, and I didn’t spend such a long time in that mansion.
Wow, the worst that could have happened is that I would have been reported missing too. Dangerous dangerous.
「 Are you sure he wants Toto-san to receive everything? 」
「 Nn, that’s what he said 」
「 I’m sure Toto-san wouldn’t lie, but it looks like he’s returning soon, and I’d like to check with him to make sure. 」
「 Nn, it’s fine 」
So I guess I’ll just have to come back tomorrow. I told the lady, 「 See you tomorrow 」 and left the counter.
As I walked out of the guild, I could hear people buzzing in and out of the traffic, even though it was only eight o’clock. This is normal, though, since most people start moving when the sun comes up.
（Hmmm… I think I’ll stay up until nightfall today. If I go to bed at a strange time, I won’t be able to sleep at night.）
While I was walking around buying meat and vegetables at a stall, thinking about this because I had skipped the night at the haunted house, I was approached by Luttie.
「 Toto-dono, did you just come back? 」
「 Mu? 」
When I turned to look, I saw that Luttie was standing there in her usual knightly armor, her mouth relaxed into a grin, as if something just made her happy.
「 It’s just as well for me, since I had finally passed the knighthood examination that I had been taking for some time. I am now an apprentice and a member of the Order. 」
「 Oooh, congratulations, Luttie 」
Yay, high five. I’ve heard about her trying to enter the order for a while now, but she finally became a member of the Order.
「 So, what’s going to change? 」
「 ……Well, in my case, I haven’t changed much, partly because I’ve been in the Order since I was a child. 」
「 I see 」
Hmmm, I was thinking, crossing my arms, I guess Luttie’s going home from her night shift later, so I’d like to have a little party for her, an examination success party.
「 Yosh, Luttie 」
I held out my hand and waited, and Luttie took my hand with a question mark on her head, so I walked on, pulling on Luttie’s hand.
「 We’re going to have a party, so we’re going to get you some food. 」
「 Eh, ah, okay, I’m happy to hear that! 」
The thought crossed my mind that I should have eaten outside, but when I see Luttie smiling, I can’t help but want to cook for her, and she’s always happy to eat.
Tilting my head to think about what to make, I headed for the street.