Another location, Ilya’s room.
As soon as Ilya sat down, Helly, a woman sitting on top of a cushion, changed her legs into fins, proving that she was a Mermaid.
Who was the Siren? A winged mermaid that controlled the waters around Akradist and its sole island that peaked through the ocean’s surface. She was also the queen of Mermaid Island.
Helly had slipped into the evacuees heading to Lunéville in order to deliver a message to Ilya.
Originally, mana could only be recovered by absorbing magic source. However, because Mermaid body fluids have the effect of instantly recovering mana, they sold for quite the hefty sum as miracle drugs.
Although the organizations that had managed those drugs were currently silent due to Ilya and the Siren having destroyed them, there were many people whose eyes lit up in greed upon seeing a Mermaid, so it was a matter of course that she had slipped into the crowd and hid.
Seeing as her gaze was downcast, it appeared as though she was thinking about something.
“I wanted to visit you as soon as I could, but there were so many eyes on you, Ilya-sama…”
By that, she was referring to the Branch Vice Manager and his subordinates.
The cause of that was Ilya herself.
“For you having to come despite the dangers, I am very sorry.”
“D-don’t be absurd! Ilya-sama is forever beautiful…!!”
Having the trait of loving anything beautiful—be it a man or a woman—Mermaids would capture things they were fond of. Although they were similar to Dragon God Jean in this respect, the strength of their virtue behind it was entirely different. It was out of love, adoration, and affection.
As a beautiful elf, Ilya, made by a god so as to be loved by everyone, was naturally no exception to this.
“The public duty among the Miko has become a great competition this time. Everyone, every single person, wants to have at least one glimpse of Ilya-sama—“
She was rather fond of Ilya, so her being so talkative in front of her was understandable.
However, considering the fact that the girl had taken a risk to come to a human settlement, it wasn’t as though Ilya could listen to her talk forever.
“I’m also glad that we could see each other. You said that your cherished compatriots had sent you, so I feel as though there is some pressing matter? May I ask to hear your message?”
Saying that, Helly took out a harp that was made out of a hard, transparent material that looked crystalline.
By putting mana into its sound through the use of the [Performance] skill’s derived skill, [Playback: Sound], to create another person’s voice, the harp played the Siren’s voice.
[Heya Ilya-chan, long time no see! You doing good? I am~. Being queen is hard!]
If one were to speak of another Mermaid trait, it would be that they were avid gossipers. They were almost only ever silent when they were listening to someone’s song.
When Ilya began to regret remembering that so late, now that they’d gotten down to business, Helly’s expression changed slightly.
[Right, you might already know, but the monster in Akradist’s waters right now… isn’t actually a monster. She’s a divine beast. You know her too, it’s Hamut-chan.]
Hamut-chan. This was the nickname Ilya had given Bahamut, a hatchling Leviathan—a scaled lord of the seas.
Although another piece of Ilya’s black history popped up, this wasn’t the time to say anything about it.
No way… another Evil God?
Thinking that, the girl’s conjecture was cast aside by the Siren’s immediately following statement.
[That child accidentally bit the World Tree at the bottom of the sea, so now it looks like there’s some ritual item piercing the inside of her mouth. Right. It’s like that irritating feeling you get when there’s a fish bone stuck in your throat!]
It was a bit disrespectful to Helly who was performing with a serious expression, but Ilya’s tension had already vanished. Adding in what she was told, she felt it was the Siren’s fault for using such a strange example.
Above all, her complete lack of malice was the reason she couldn’t handle it.
[We managed to calm her down somehow, but she’ll fly right back into a rage if anyone gets close to her so it’s really bad. And now there’s been other people coming around irritating her!]
Those other people were probably the subjugation parties.
Because Akradist had judged her to be a normal monster, it was natural that they would have eventually sent out a considerable amount of forces to subjugate it.
Right as she thought that—
[So Ilya-chan, please. Help that child. No… please, lend us your power.]
Different to how it had been thus far, the harp played an earnest voice before its performance ended.
Honestly, she couldn’t handle it because she did things spontaneously.
Helly looked fatigued after her performance, so Ilya handed her some water. When the girl looked up to Ilya as she accepted the glass, her eyes were virtually pleading her. She probably wouldn’t be able to get anything down her throat until she heard Ilya’s answer.
Therefore, Ilya spoke to the girl.
“I have received her request. I will provide my utmost help.”
Not long after that, the arena was completed.
There weren’t any furnishings or equipment installed inside it yet, but just seeing the facilities alone was enough to bring not a small number of tourists.
Not minding those people, a youth went straight to the branch and opened its doors, walking in.
“I’m here to pick him up!”
Among the many people surprised at the momentous appearance of the youth, a single person was particularly astonished.
The person the youth was here for was someone who was still given the cold shoulder by Ilya each time he tried talking to her and who was doing his best at venting his troubles by playing board games, the Elder.
What Ilya had prepared to finally get the Elder to leave was York’s arrival.
Setting aside the trembling Elder, York walked straight over to Ilya and bowed briefly.
“Ilya-sama, despite being nominated directly, I was delayed… this York has no honor.”
It felt like York’s attitude had grown even more formal than it already was.
(I wonder if something happened with the Water Dragon? It’d be great if it didn’t inspire him to do something strange.)
Not noticing that Ilya was thinking about something like that, York single-mindedly apologized and repented.
“—I will accept any punishment.”
“I don’t intend to punish you, but I do have a favor I’d like to ask.”
The Elder and York both looked surprised.
They were different flavors of surprise—one was of suspicion, the other of delight.
Not minding the two, Ilya took a commission chart down from the bulletin board.
The commission had been issued by the Eredist Branch located in the eastern part of Akradist. Its contents were to subjugate a giant monster raging about in the Foad Sea.