BBYW Vol. 4 Chapter 36 (WN)

Chapter 36 – Aged Warrior

After I finished drinking my tea, and Sakuya had finished administering due punishment to her older brother, a visitor arrived at my residence.

It was a messenger from House Sphinx: apparently the head of the clan, Vert Sphinx, had something to discuss with me.

“Oh? Are you going out commander?”

“Yeah, just to House Sphinx.”

As I left the residence with Sakuya, one of the adventurers — who was training in the garden — called out to me.

Since I wasn’t very pleased with being called “general”,when we returned from the battlefield, I had a talk about it with the adventurers. After a rather long back-and-forth, we settled on using the title of “commander”.

“Oh, the place where Naam lives. Do you need an escort?”

“No, I have Sakuya with me.”

I pointed at the young woman in a maid outfit following me and crossed the gate. I waved at the adventurer saluting me and walked down the streets of Thebes.

The streets of the western province’s capital were packed with people, a stark contrast to just two weeks ago. The advance of the “Terror Armies” had been thwarted, so the citizens who had taken shelter elsewhere had returned to their homes.

The lives of many had been lost in the battle, but the relief of having overcome a great crisis showed on the faces of the people, who seemed hopeful.

“The reconstruction of the city shouldn’t take too much time.”

“It does seem so. And it is all thanks to your reinforcements, Lord Dyngir.”

“Don’t praise me too much now, or it’ll get to my head.”

I lightly poked the overly praising Sakuya on the head and started climbing a slope. Soon enough, the Sphinx residence became visible. In front of the gate, there was a soldier standing guard and a young girl next to him.

“Lord Dyngir!”

As soon as she saw me, the girl flashed a bright smile and tottered up to me.

“Hey, Naam. I’ve been summoned here today.”

“Yes! You are most welcome!”

The young girl almost dove in my chest, so I embraced her and gently caressed her head.

She was, obviously, Naam Sphinx, her long golden bangs hiding her eyes and dark complexion.

We had met a few times after I returned to Thebes, and the formerly shy maiden had become surprisingly friendly with me.

Obviously, she was not wearing only her underwear this time: she had a thin azure dress on, and also wore a large red ribbon on her chest.

“Hmm…the shadow of a new woman.”

Behind me, Sakuya was strongly emanating an aura of dissatisfaction, but Naam was completely unaware, as she happily rubbed her face on my chest.

(I feel like I got a cautious puppy to finally warm up to me… but maybe this is her actual personality.)

Naam Sphinx had been the target of kidnapping in the past, and became very reclusive from the trauma. Or so I was told by the Head of House Sphinx. 

This innocent Naam was probably how she originally was, before the kidnapping incident.

“Well, this is how kids should behave. A fine sight, for sure.”

“Lord Dyngir? Is there something wrong?”

“No, nothing. We should not keep your father waiting, let’s go inside.”

“Yes! Please follow me!”

Naam separated from my chest and eagerly pulled me inside. I had already visited the residence enough times to know my way around, so I did not really need anyone to guide me.

I wasn’t going to say something so disrespectful out loud, though, and let the young girl take me to the guest room.

When I stepped in, the bearded man who called me was already sitting inside. He turned towards me and lifted an eyebrow.

“Oh, there you are. Thank you for coming all the way here.”

“My pleasure, Sir.”

I looked more closely at Vert Sphinx, making sure my inspection wasn’t too noticeable.

(He has grown older…though I suppose it’s inevitable.)

Vert Sphinx’s golden hair was now mostly white, as was his fiery beard. The wrinkles marking his face had increased too: the signs of old age were even more evident than before.

(“Past Sage Urd” sure takes its toll on the user…pretty tough.)

“Past Sage Urd” was a Magic Tool that allowed the user to turn younger. The longer the time it was used, however, the more the user would grow older once it was deactivated.

(To achieve temporary youth, at the price of accelerated aging…what a bittersweet effect.)

The life expectancy of the already ill Vert was thus reduced even more. He perhaps had just one year left, or even less.

The man before me was surely resigned to meet his fate soon. I looked at him, and couldn’t help but quietly sighed to myself.

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