Sep 6, 2016

Volume 12 Chapter 5

Part 1
─── 「Mines of Raging Seas」 hot spring street hotel.

Rewinding time a little.

When Kuro Usagi and Ayesha that were dragged along by Kasukabe Yō for half a day were finally released, it was exactly the time when the Game Izayoi participated in, rang the ending gong. Ayesha returned to the hotel listlessly, Kuro Usagi hung her usamimi and was brought away by Yō. Kuro Usagi who had experienced her first sabotage in work stared at Yō with a grudge from the bottom of her heart.

“Uuu… So depressed. What would Izayoi-san tell me…”

“Mah, it’s fine. I will cover for you.”

“What cover up? It was 100% Yō-san’s fault!”

Pa! Kuro Usagi straightened her usamimi and swung the paper folding fan at Yō’s head. It seemed that the usamimi that returned added a tsukkomi ability.

Usamimi paper folding fan really had so many usages.

“Any-Anyway! Let’s rendez-vous with Asuka’s group! Since we came to the hot spring street, after all.”

“YES! My usamimi has heard. Asuka-san and Alma-san should have come here for reception…”

Kuro Usagi was looking around, right at that time.

Kudō Asuka and Almathea's voices came from the local product shop.

“Ara, you have come. Just in time.”

“Asuka-san! Alma-san! Were you two buying something?”

“Ei. I am just browsing around with my master. Has Kuro Usagi-dono worked hard refereeing? From the looks of it, Kasukabe-dono has also advanced.”

It seemed that Asuka brought Almathea clad in her maid uniform to shop at the hot spring street, both hands full of local products and hot spring manju.

Yō saw Almathea’s human form for the first time, and stared at her with a dissatisfied look.

“So unexpected. Alma can change into human form?”

“That’s right, may I know if there is any problem?”

“Un. The goat form is obviously more handsome, why did you have to change to human form?”

Hearing Yō’s straightforward comment, Alma could not help but be shocked.

To her who was originally a goddess, both the human and goat forms were her true self. She probably never considered the difference between her two forms.

But when others looked at her, her human form was mostly praised.

The eyes of logic and wisdom hidden behind the glasses.

Prim and proper facial features.

And a body that surpassed its functional purposes, beyond what the word “beauty” could describe.

That female body hidden beneath the strict maid uniform, was breathtaking even to the same gender.

But Yō did not care about her beautiful human form, but praised her goat form instead. Her form that was not used to being praised was praised so straightforwardly, being unconsciously happy was a matter of course.

“Thank you very much, Kasukabe-dono. But as you can see, my master possesses the high purity of a sheltered ojō-sama element. Then shouldn’t it be fitting for a quiet and sensible female servant to stay right next to this sheltered ojō-sama and aid her?”

“Ara, that’s such a high self-evaluation. I feel that before talking about reliability and sensibility, a poisonous-tongue-label should be added first.”

Asuka gave a discontented stare, while Alma covered her mouth and giggled. Seeing this, rather than a master-servant relationship, it seemed more like a sisterly harmonious atmosphere.

Yō grinned and asked the two.

“Are you both going to the hot springs?”

“Yes. The sun has almost set. I feel that the time is just right.”

“Both of you also seemed to have come here to wash your bodies. Want to go together?”

“YES! Let’s go for a 「No Name」 girls’ bath meeting!”

Kuro Usagi raised her usamimi and suggested. Especially, since Alma had not participated in this kind of event before. Due to processing the aftermaths of the battle against Aži Dakāha and hosting the Game this time, there was no time for such an event. Kuro Usagi , as she swayed with her usamimi, felt that this was a good chance, but she didn’t know why Asuka and Alma looked at each other with strange expressions.

“...That’s true. This may be a good chance, Alma.”

“Can I?”

“Yes. This is something that won't happen too often later. I will speak with them first.”

All by your will, Alma lowered her head in respect.

‘What was that about?’- this time it was Kuro Usagi and Yō’s turn to look at each other, but it was not something to be discussed in front of the hotel. Soak in the hot spring first then talk, both sides agreed as such, and entered the hot spring hotel.

But as they reached the entrance of the female bath, they saw a 「reserved」 sign hung.

“Ayaya? There seems to be someone reserving the place?”

“Must be Porol boy. Because I heard it will be used for Mikado-san’s reception.”

Hearing the cheers coming from the male bath, the group nodded in agreement. Since it was used by 「Six Scars」, entering it would be fine.

Asuka and co. started to undress after entering into the dressing room, putting their clothes in the baskets.

At this time, Asuka suddenly found someone’s clothing.

(A Female yukata…? Had someone entered first?)

Probably a Community related to 「No Name」 or 「Six Scars」. Asuka did not pay much attention, and wrapped her body with her towel after undressing. Yō, Kuro Usagi and Alma also quickly undressed and made preparations.

They entered the bathhouse after everyone was ready, and all of them exclaimed in unison.

“This is so wonderful…!”

Alma who was the loudest marched forward quickly. To her who came from Western Europe, the open air bathhouse culture would be very rare. Her usually quiet self let out an unusual voice filled with passion.

“Alma, don’t tell me this is your first time coming to an open air bath?”

“Ei. Although I have heard about it before, this is the first time actually entering it. This is different from an indoor bath, it is interesting in other ways. The steam is thick, please watch your feet —— Master look out!”

Suddenly, Alma shouted and protected the three.

Lightning erupted from her right hand, repelling the flash strike from the serpens scorpius sword. Due to the low visibility, they could not determine whose slash it was, but the agility of the sword caused Alma to sharpen her gaze.

The flash just now was not intended to hurt people.

Most likely, it was to cut apart the towel covering them.

“Whip sword…! Possessing such swordsmanship but using it to reveal a lady’s skin, how shameless! Who exactly is it!? Even if it’s the public bath, there still are unforgivable acts!...There should be, right master?”

“Eh, that's right. But calm down first, Alma. The whip sword just now…”

The serpens scorpius sword was accurately aimed at a piece of thin cloth.

The trio from 「No Name」 had a clear memory of that strike. Or rather, there was only one knight that would use that kind of master swordsmanship to do such foolish things.

While focusing their gazes on the other side of the steam, Asuka calmly asked.

“Could it be...Faceless-san? What are you doing here?”

“——. That’s my line. Did I not reserve this place this period of time?”

Karan, the sound of a wooden bucket being hit came from the other side of the bathhouse. They couldn’t see the other side of the steam, but that voice undoubtedly belonged to the Queen’s knight; Faceless.

She normally had a calm and poised attitude, but for some reason she was anxious now. Asuka and co. who had spent quite some time with her, heard that kind of voice from her for the first time.

But no matter how one would look at it, Asuka’s side was the intruder.

They should have asked if they could enter the bath first.

Asuka fanned away the steam blocking the sight and advanced.

“—— !!?? Please halt, I already said I reserved here, why are you still coming over?”

“Entering without consent is our fault. But this is a good chance, I have some things to talk about with you. Thinking carefully, I had always been one-sidedly saved by you.”

Thinking back, ever since they met in 「Underwood」, it had always been like that.

During the battle of giants, she had saved Asuka three times.

She also came to her rescue in the battle against Aži Dakāha. And different from Asuka who couldn’t rush to the front lines, Faceless had been fighting there all this time.

Despite owning so many favors, she had never had the chance to say thanks.

“YES! Kuro Usagi also remembers how Faceless-sama had helped her! Although I don’t know if it can be considered as payback, at least let me wash your back!”

“Save it. I don’t remember helping you all, so no need to return the favor —— No, compared to that, listen to me first…!!!”

Splash, the sound of spring water being pushed away and someone leaving could be heard. It was so rare to see her flustered like that. At that moment, the youngest mondaiji·Kasukabe Yō’s heart for pranks was ignited.

Yō flashed a thought, and asked towards the other side of the steam.

“Faceless. Don’t tell me,right now… You aren’t wearing a mask?”


At this moment. Everyone in the bathhouse received a sudden flash of realization.

Yes, that’s why she had to reserve it.

She, who would not take off her mask regardless of the situation, had her real face bared. The Mondaijis would never let go of such an interesting situation.

Faceless who immediately detected danger clicked her tongue, and wanted to escape, but was one step too slow. Asuka and Yō exchanged a glance in an instant and nodded in agreement.

“Kasukabe-san! Blow away the steam!”

“No problem!”

“Uu, there is a limit to how free ——!!!”

The anxiety of the Queen’s Knight had reached it’s peak at that moment.

It was not impossible to run out while covering her face with her physical ability, but she only had a towel around her body now.

No matter what, she could not run in the streets naked. Her knight rank would undoubtedly be stripped.

Despite so, there was no place to hide. The steam was instantly blown away by Yō’s hurricane.

—— With this, she was forced into a corner.

“Come! The true face beneath the mask, display it to your heart’s content in the public bathhouse ——!!!”

Their line of sight cleared up.

Everyone held their breaths.

On the other side of the steam, the face of the helpless Faceless was finally ——

—— Covered by the wooden bucket.

“...Tsk, there is still this trick…!”

「Masked Knight」 kai, 「Wooden bucket Knight」 was born. Even though there was no intention to hide the skin below the neck, she didn’t want her face to be seen.

Even normal people could also see how depressed Asuka and company were. They did not know when such a one in a thousand chance would come by again. Coming this far, they might as well be forceful, the thought flashed past their mind.

But that wicked thought...was suppressed by a rising dragon like aura.

“I might as well ask. This prank, can I take it that you already have the resolve to throw your lives away?”

「Wooden bucket Knight」 let her whip sword extend. The cypress wooden bucket completely covered the parts above the neck, they couldn’t see her expression, but right now she must be extremely mad. And what’s worse, their Gift Cards were left in the baskets inside the dressing room.

Asuka and company had nothing right now, they could be hacked by 「Wooden bucket Knight」 anytime.

“Wait...wait just a minute! We were just joking!”

“Y-YES! This is just the usual Mondaiji-sama pranks! I will lecture them well later, so please let Kuro Usagi off here.”

“Offer your usamimi.”

“Let’s leave, eh Yō-san!?”

“Alright. I will forgive you in exchange for your two usamimis.”


“What situation is this!? Why is the innocent Kuro Usagi’s usamimi being treated as hostage!?”

“In dire state[1]?”

“YES! This wasn’t the most skillful thing to do, you idiot!”

Zupan! Kuro Usagi’s usamimi started to hit Yō’s head.

Faceless sighed while listening to their conversation.

This was supposed to be a chance for her to take off her mask and relax peacefully, why did it get so noisy?



“OK, stop fooling around! Kuro Usagi does not have the spare time to continue fooling around with you girls! I must still go wash her back, alright, alright, please come over here!”

Kuro Usagi used a never-seen-before tactic and pulled Faceless’s hand, walking towards the bath stand. Probably because they could feel that she was really angry. Asuka and Alma had bitter smiles at the unexpected development.

“...Mah, that’s fine. I also wanted to talk with her.”

“Is it really ok?”

“Ei. Because I have booked an appointment.”

Asuka gazed at Alma, then walked towards Kuro Usagi’s side.

The female group washed one another’s back, then soaked in the hot spring.

Part 2

Karan, the sound of the bell echoed within the bathhouse. The noisy female group also quietened down, enjoying the peaceful and quiet moment. Kuro Usagi stretching her back and usamimi, spoke in delight.

“Such a relaxing moment. As if the recent busy work was all a dream.”

“That’s right. It only means that this hot spring is just that good, isn’t it the best when everyone enjoys it together?”


「Wooden bucket Knight」 ignored Asuka’s question. She seemed to still be angry.

While everyone smiled bitterly, Alma coughed once, gathering everyone’s attention.

“Although there is an outsider, it is fate to be able to get together naked like this. So, why don’t we talk about the current condition of 「No Name」?”

“Current condition?”

“What do you mean?”

Yō and Kuro Usagi tilted their heads. Faceless seemed to be listening.

Alma raised three fingers, and asked.

“First, 「No Name」 is currently in a leaderless state. The businesses that were halted due to it was plenty. The most important matter, regarding the new Communities entering the alliance was shelved aside right?”

“YES. For Demon King, with 「Ouroboros」 as the objective, the talk about the major alliance.”

Kuro Usagi stretched her usamimi.

“We have 「No Name」 as the alliance leader, with 「Six Scars」, 「Perseus」, 「Will o’ Wisp」 as the center of the alliance. The undecided includes 「Salamandra」, 「Great Sage who Devastates Seas」, 「Laplace Demons」 and 「Draco Greif」.”

“...That’s impressive. All the 「Floor Master」s  have gathered.”

“No, not really. North guardian 「Onihime」 Alliance already replied indicating that they would not be joining this major alliance. It was an organization formed by the lower four digit Communities, there was some special… complicated circumstances.”

‘Is that so?’- the others responded. Since they were forming a major alliance against Demon Lords, they truly hoped that all the 「Floor Master」s could join, but it couldn’t be helped if there were reasons for not joining.

“Then we planned to invite 「Great Sage who Leaves Heaven in Disarray」, Shuten Dōji」, 「Kerykeion」 —— and that Great Demon King, 「Queen Halloween」.”


At that moment, 「Wooden bucket Knight」(Faceless) let out an out of tune voice.

Kuro Usagi straightened her usamimi and nodded slightly.

“Shiroyasha-sama is no longer around now. The power of a three digit 「Floor Master」 is still needed to maintain Lower Floor order, hence this matter was brought into consideration… Then wouldn’t it be a good idea to contact the Queen who exerted herself immediately in this battle, hence reaching this conclusion.”

Towards Kuro Usagi’s words, Alma nodded in agreement.

“That’s right. 「Avalon」 which was once the South’s 「Floor Master」 was originally the direct knight group under Queen. Even if we can’t directly borrow Queen’s power, is sending the organization directly under her still possible?”

“...So that’s it. Is that’s what you want to talk with me?”

Faceless was very shocked, and sighed with understanding at the same time. She belonged to the third seat of 「Queen’s Knights」 directly under 「Queen Halloween」.

If Queen was willing to send out personnel able to take up the 「Floor Master」 role, the first candidate was unquestionably her.

Yō nodded lightly while eating hot spring eggs she sneaked in.

“That’s how it is huh. We are familiar with Faceless, it will be easy to cooperate.”

“YES! And her strength is guaranteed! Since she is the third seat of 「Queen’s Knights」, then she would be the third strongest in the Celtic Pantheon. It’s already more than enough to be the 「Floor Master」!”

Kuro Usagi beamed her eyes, filled with expectation.

But Faceless sighed a little, shook her head.

“So that’s it. I understand the situation. Having your expectations made me happy… but unfortunately, I have two things to announce.”


“First. The reason I am the third seat is not because of my own power. There are four who are better than me in sword proficiency and two better than me in spear proficiency. My original seat should be at best number nine. Despite so, I still obtained the third seat… This was because of the Gift I possess.”

“Gift? Do you mean, the whip sword and the battle bow?”

Asuka tilted her head and asked.

But Faceless shook her head in denial.

“No, not that Gift. The materials came from the Elf village, but they’re essentially simple weapons. I am talking about a different Gift from those… That’s right. What I have, is a similar ranked Gift with Kasukabe-san’s 「Genome Tree」, or even above it.”


Faceless’ confession caused everyone to suck in a cold breath.

Possessing a Gift similarly ranked with the highest known rank 「Genome Tree」 was definitely shocking, but the truly shocking part was not this.

Asuka and the others had witnessed her in battle many times before.

Her battle power could let her face a thousand enemies alone. Her refined swordsmanship could even compete against Izayoi who was physically stronger than her.

But if what she said was true, then they must change their evaluation.

In the battle against giants, Giant Dragon, and Aži Dakāha, this rare 「Queen’s Knight」...up till now, had never once used that Gift, that’s how things turned out.

“Wait a minute. Possessing a Gift of that degree, why do you need to hide it until now? If you showed your truth strength, you might had been able to shift the tide of battle against the Giant Dragon, or Aži Dakāha towards an advantageous direction.”

Asuka’s eyes shone with sharpness, and bashed her verbally.

Huge casualties resulted from the two battles, it was literally a death struggle. Since she possessed that kind of Gift, it might had been possible to reduce unnecessary sacrifices.

“...I don’t plan to justify my lack of action regarding the battle against the Giant Dragon. It was my decision not to use the Gift. But the battle against Aži Dakāha is different. If Sakamaki Izayoi had not defeated Aži Dakāha ,then ——”

She paused a moment. Faceless carefully chose her words, but eventually asserted.

“—— In the worst situation. I would have defeated Aži Dakāha.”


“But things not developing to that conclusion was really great. Once I draw that sword, it would reveal my birth, and even if I did, the chances of winning still wouldn’t be high. I am very respectful towards the sheer courage he had shown.”

“S-so this is the reason. But since you had this much strength, you are giving others even more expectations to be a 「Floor Master」!”

Kuro Usagi leaned her body forward. She not only had not given up, but instead showed even more interest. Faceless still shook her head, now feeling apologetic for building new expectations.

“That is impossible. I have already received the directive of Queen. Regardless if the alliance is successful, I probably won’t be assigned as the 「Floor Master」.”

A directive from Queen. Considering she was the knight under the direct command, it must be prioritized before any order.

Kuro Usagi hung her usamimi down and sighed.

“Like that… Then I can’t force you. My usamimi heard that 「Queen’s Knights」 were all twisted people, so I was hoping more normal people like Faceless-sama to take up the role…”

“I agree on this. I also received some guidance from them, but those people really lacked the sensibility of normal people…. It’s just my suggestion, if the one sent is a spear wielding maid, I advise you all to escape immediately. Because she will forcefully train you all until you master it.”

「Wooden bucket Knight」(Faceless) suddenly looked afar.

She probably remembered some bad memories.

After confirming her speech has stopped, Alma raised her hand and spoke.

“I understand the matter regarding the Queen. But even if we receive her reply, there is no one who can handle it in 「No Name」 now. We must also consider with the leader missing, it would affect Queen’s mood… Kuro Usagi-dono. Do you understand my meaning?”

Alma used a roundabout way to explain.

Sensing the other party wanting to get into the main topic, Kuro Usagi straightened her usamimi.

“...We can’t just wait for Jin-bochan to return. Is this what you mean?”

“Ei. Since we are building such a huge alliance, we cannot let the others be the temporary leader. We must choose a new leader.”

Alma’s harsh words caused everyone to fall into silence. They originally held some hope for a hostage trade. But if they do not receive any messages from 「Ouroboros」, they could not make any move. Being a temporary leader of the major alliance was simple, but returning the position to Jin once he return would be impossible.

“I heard that Jin-dono stayed in 「Ouroboros」 by his own will. There must be something that only he can accomplish. If that is so, then 「No Name」 should respect his will.”

“...YES. At least, Jin-bochan would not wish for the Community to be stagnant like now. And also...”

Kuro Usagi shook her usamimi and looked at Yō.

“—— Jin-bochan, had decided to resign from the leader position since long ago.”


“‘If something happens to me, then please pass the leader’s role to the rightful Community successor’. Before the giants appeared in 「Kouen City」, Jin-bochan once had said so.”

Community’s rightful inheritor.

Upon hearing these words, everyone directed their attention towards Kasukabe Yō.

Yō accidentally swallowed the whole hot spring egg from the sudden attention.

“Eh… eh, eh!? Liar, wait a moment! By ‘rightful successor’, do you mean me!?”

Yō panicked from suddenly becoming the center of the topic. She originally thought that it had nothing to do with her, so she just listened idly at the side. She hadn't even expected that it would involve her this way.

Towards Kuro Usagi’s suggestion, Alma pondered carefully and nodded.

“So that’s it, this is indeed a good idea. Letting the previous leader’s daughter to inherit 「No Name」, then we could use the just cause of inviting the old 「       」[2] alliance to create this major alliance. Granting an audience with Queen might also become much easier.”

She was the daughter of the former leader who was once called the strongest man of 「No Name」- Kasukabe Kōmei. Kuro Usagi and the others did not know Kōmei’s surname, so they did not notice when she was summoned. But if they knew, her treatment would had been different. At this point it was the same for Izayoi and Asuka.

Jin probably thought, compared to the descendent of the treasurer, she would be more suitable to inherit 「No Name」.

But the person involved could not take it.

Yō waved her hands and nervously rejected.

“Wait...wait a minute, this won’t work! I can’t be something like a leader!”

“Is it really true? Yō-san’s ability grew rapidly, and you are also quick witted. Most importantly, you thought about your comrades. Kuro Usagi personally feels that you are suitable.”


“Also! Jin-bochan must have also considered the possibility of getting into a situation like now, hence he left those words behind?”

Kuro Usagi stretched her usamimi and recommended.

They actually didn’t know, Jin and Pest secretly made a promise. Passing the leader position of 「No Name」 to the rightful inheritor. Then after retrieving the name and flag, they would go out on a journey, realizing Pest’s wish, he was probably planning like that.

But Yō, who knew nothing about such things, looked at Asuka for help.

“And, and also, if you want to choose a new leader, there are also other candidates! Izayoi and Asuka will definitely do better than me.”

“Ara, I don’t think so at all. Actually Izayoi-san had also mentioned in the morning. ‘Whether I can win or not is unknown’.”

Hoeh!? Kasukabe Yō let out a strange sound.

Although she told Ayesha like that, she thought that the difference between their abilities was still big. She never thought that Izayoi would rate her so highly.

“Iz-Izayoi did? Really?”

“Ei. Regardless if it’s true or false, I don’t feel that Kasukabe-san would be far behind Izayoi-san. Personally speaking, I also hope that one of you becomes the new leader.”

“But...but, then I recommend Asuka! She is more mature than me, also a hard worker, also thinking for her comrades, although a little too mischievous, she is graceful and has proper etiquette!”

“No, Kasukabe-dono. Very sorry, master cannot take on the leader position. —— Master. It’s about time to talk about the main topic.”

That deliberate tone gathered everyone’s attention.

Asuka closed her eyes, and stood up from the bathtub with force.

“Everyone. Please listen to me calmly.”

“...? Un.”

“Yes. What is it about?”

Yō and Kuro Usagi tilted their heads and asked. It was rare to see her speak to everyone in that manner. She was pretty active, but not the type to raise suggestions.

The steam thinned a little, Asuka raised her head and looked at the clouds at dusk, then declared with a strong-willed tone.

“I, Kudō Asuka —— After this 「Adamantine Forge」, Plan to separate from 「No Name」.”

1 In dire state - Japanese pronunciation of hostage and dire state are close.
2 「       」 - The name of the old alliance is blanked out because it cannot be revealed at this time.