Ilya’s Cheat Acquaintances
And so the five of them, still mounted on the wyverns, got on their way back towards Lunéville.
While there were people surprised at how soon they returned, Ilya, who came out to meet them, processed their commission’s completion in a calm manner.
“I have validated the commission’s completion. For the raw materials…”
“”” … … … “””
They didn’t have any.
“Then, your reward will be four million gils per person. Would you like it in cash? Or transferred to your account?”
“”” Account. “””
They were just asked by formality of course. No one assumed they’d be rewarded in cash for it.
To begin with, there’s no possible way the branch would have the absurd sum of twenty million on hand.
“Thank you very much. We look forward to your next visit.”
With that, the tyrant’s uproar had concluded… not.
(… Now for this.)
These five people didn’t come here just for the subjugation.
“Ilya, please come with us!”
“Let’s travel together again! It’ll surely be more enjoyable than before!”
There was an invisible wall somewhere in their previous travels for everyone. Though compared to that journey that was cancelled midway through, it certainly would be a much more enjoyable time than before.
However, towards Ilya who hadn’t agreed, Chris’ expression tightened.
“… Besides, it’s said that a demon appeared in the south.”
“We’re all going to go defeat it. We hope you’ll help us.”
There was a demon that appeared in the south, but Ilya knew that wasn’t the thing they were aiming for.
She knew that it wouldn’t help even if she stopped them, and even if they went, winning wouldn’t be a problem with their own strength.
(Hmm? Wait a moment?)
Thinking about their mention of the south, Ilya recalled a certain person.
Taking that into mind, Ilya changed what she was about to say and smiled towards the three people.
“It’s alright. If it’s you all, you can win.”
“We’re not just talking about power!”
“Even so, it’s alright. Because you’ll gain a new comrade.”
Not understanding what she meant, the three inclined their heads at the same time.
Realizing it couldn’t be helped, Ilya gave them another hint.
“Go to Lant Volcano. I think you’ll have a wonderful encounter there.”
Finished saying that, Ilya felt considerably embarrassed.
(Eh, what’s this mastermind? Some person that pulls strings from the shadows?) 
While she was feeling abashed by herself, York, who had sensed something, opened his mouth.
However, before he was able to understand anything, the others silenced him with a “Shh!” gesture.
“… Got it. Ilya said it, so it’ll somehow work out.”
“But still, we are friends.”
“We’ll absolutely meet again.”
Leaving behind statements that were beyond sincere, the boys and girls left.
If they met the great spirit salamander that lived in Lant Volcano, Selena, who held good affinity with the fire attribute, would be able to form a contract with the great spirit.
When Ilya was traveling with her, the girl was always afraid of being a burden to everyone else.
It was nothing but an imaginary fear judging from the other two and Ilya, though.
(With that, that girl’s self-confidence should be a little better.)
After gazing at the three’s backs, Ilya looked through the window outside.
She wasn’t looking at it, but her consciousness turned towards the great spirit in Lant Volcano.
(… If it leaves even a single burn on Selena, I’ll beat that lizard to death.)
Far away, the salamander laying dormant in Lant Volcano suddenly jumped up to its feet from feeling a certain blood lust. Having no way to know it was from her this time, it sank into the magma.
When Ilya looked back to the branch’s dining hall, Lula stood in front of her with a smile that stretched across her entire face.
“So then Ilya, marry me!”
(‘So then’? What do you mean by ‘so then’?)
Lula collapsed and sobbed lightly from Ilya’s immediate response. Compared to when Ilya had first met her, she was much more expressive now.
“Please, don’t mind other people and simply expand your own horizons. Even though studying magic is good, it is also important to move your body… Right. I think something like spearmanship would be fun.”
“Please think about it yourself. What do you like?”
Ilya had tried to have her solve the problem herself, but—
“Un! I love Ilya!”
Getting embraced, her lips were sealed for her.
“See you next time!”
“Uu… that kiss demon…”
Not minding anyone, that woman would kiss Ilya the moment she had a chance.
If Ilya had her true strength, avoiding even her surprise attacks would be easy. But Lula may feel like she’s being rejected if she refused her kisses. Her body unconsciously stiffened the moment she thought about that. There’s no way she could do it.
(I-it’s not like I’m happy! I’d be crying if I weren’t originally a man though!)
However, the person in question hadn’t noticed this herself.
(Quickly go and swipe that magic spear from the demon to raise your [Spearmanship] skill.)
Ilya thought as she watched her leave. However, there was a person whose gaze sent even more wicked thoughts than Lula.
“That dark elf…!”
(Ah, it’s that guy again.)
York took a deep breath, turning towards Ilya. He went to his knees and placed both hands on the floor, looking up towards Ilya.
“Ilya-sama. I will not ask you to please accept me as your pupil. However, somehow… somehow, please meet with the eldest…”
Saying that, he lowered his head and performed a dogeza.
Seeing his appearance—
(Uwaah… he a dogeza’d…)
He did it seriously.
Elves held pride above all else. They would probably go bald if they performed a dogeza in public.
(Wasteful for an ikemen.) 
Shaking away her inconsequential thoughts, Ilya answered York.
Her rejection was undeniable.
“That jiji said to call for me right? Tell him to come himself if he wants to meet. That much is the minimum courtesy.” 
And so, York wearily took his leave.
The elder Ilya knew was an obstinate and stubborn person; he wouldn’t even leave the village, much less leave for a human village. In other words, her response was an indirect way of breaking off relations.
Since she knew that he would be involved in her turmoil with the elder, she considered sending some hair tonic as recompense for his anxiety. While Ilya was seriously troubled about it, a great vortex of power arose.
[Could you not advise that child?]
Queen Undine of Water. Towards the pure womanly form that aligned with Ilya’s—who dislike men—preferences, Ilya shook her head.
By using her [Translation] skill, she could translate and talk even in the spirit’s language.
[He is walking directly down his best path. It’s perfect if you support him.]
[I am glad with your saying that… Even so, the others were able to receive something, he may sulk and stray from his path.]
Ilya responded to the great spirit’s laugh with a wry smile.
[It can’t be helped, then.]
She passed an earring that was in her apron’s pocket by chance to Undine.
[An earring said to be made from a water dragon’s horn. If you talk to him, he may be able to understand something.]
[That child, he hasn’t heard that person’s story, has he?]
Their mutual thoughts transmitted, the two exchanged a chuckle.
Possibly due to the arrogance of being a genius, York had a strong tendency to look down upon others.
However, having accepted this time’s subjugation that went without any problems, he was able to personally witness the famous [Stars of the Eternal Nights]’ member’s strength firsthand. It was for this reason that he also admitted Lula’s true strength.
He had that kind of a personality, but Undine couldn’t help but be endearing towards him.
[Excuse me, but I must leave. Goodbye, child of god.]
In the next instant, Undine stood beside York. When she handed him the earring, York attempted to turn back and run towards the branch.
As for his feet being frozen in place, that was simply an unfortunate accident. Although some people fainted from seeing the bizarre phenomenon of a person moving as though being dragged away, Ilya decided to not mind it.
It was finally over now.
Although everyone in the dining hall was overwhelmed by the famous people, the atmosphere returned to normal as they settled down one by one. The dining hall was filled with its usual chatter after a few minutes had elapsed.
“Ilya, was that alright?”
When she looked at the dining hall, Ria had stood next to her before she realized it.
“I mean, aren’t those people amazing? Everyone seemed to think Ilya was indispensable…”
“Un. I’m very glad, I love them as well… however.”
Everyone had a path they had to choose themselves. There were no fake turns, that’s what Ilya believed.
Therefore, she had also gone down the path she chose for herself.
It wasn’t for anyone else’s sake, it was for her own way of life.
“This town, and everyone in it… I love them.”
That’s why, for right now, she believed she was fine.
Until the time where their roads intersect once again—
—Gently and happily, she would live.