“You are popular lately.”

“Don’t tease me, please,” I grumbled as I looked through some documents. It was amazing how Mayer was so good at getting hold of the news, yet he managed to exclude any rumor that involved us. I had a lot of things to say, but I had to focus on the papers for now. Before going to the performance report meeting, I had to figure out the dungeons that had appeared so far as well as who had cleared them. In particular, it was necessary to examine the progress of Fabian Corps. I found they were leveling up smoothly as well. Their speed of clearing dungeons was faster than in the first playthrough. They weren’t as fast as the Dark Knights, though, of course. Fabian most likely failed to understand how we were finishing raids with such speed. The man didn’t doubt that he was a chosen person, after all. The mere thought of him bursting into anger and making a dumb face made me laugh.

On the other hand, Mayer continued to bother me, regardless of whether I was busy or not. “Do you know that you are currently the most popular person in the Dark Knights? There are lines of people who wish to accompany you in raiding dungeons.”


“You. Incidentally, August and I were previously neck and neck in that regard,” he added cautiously. Somehow, he sounded like he was trying to put me on a pedestal.

Considering his efforts, I could no longer completely ignore Mayer. I closed the reports I was looking over and humored him in conversation. “Raiding with you, Captain, would be relaxing since there’d be nothing to do, and going with Reverend August would be safe since death would be out of the equation, but… Why in the Goddess’ name would I be considered?”

“As the men say, going with you results in quick leveling. That the growth rate is higher even in the same dungeon.”

“It sounds like a bit of a gamble, the way I hear it. Abandoning comfort and safety both to choose uncertain efficiency?” I replied apathetically. Despite my tone though, it didn’t feel bad. It seemed my abilities as a support mage were being acknowledged.

Mayer gazed at me quietly. Feeling like he was going to bore a hole in my face with his eyes, I asked curiously, “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Do you… not disdain them for changing their attitudes so readily?”

“Disdain? Nope.” I gave a small laugh at that and reminisced about the past, tapping the closed report with a finger. “Even that kind of goodwill makes me feel better than hostility.” Their change in attitude meant that I had become someone they had to please. That alone was enough to satisfy me. “I wasn’t afforded even such petty goodwill in the first playthrough, you see. Because no one expected anything of me.”

I expected Mayer to reply with a laugh and a remark of how fortunate I was to abandon Fabian and join the Dark Knights. When I raised my head to meet his eyes, though, his face was frozen, his lips shut so tightly it even looked painful. Taken aback, I asked, “What is it? Is there a problem?”

“…It is nothing,” Mayer responded evasively, seeming to have no intention of answering. He didn’t look like it was nothing, but it was apparent he wasn’t going to talk even if I pressed the issue. The atmosphere had turned a bit gloomy too. I was about to fan the air by turning to some trivial talk about how nice it was to have my worth acknowledged in the Dark Knights, but Mayer suddenly began, “By the way, August said something strange.”

Although I didn’t know what August had said, I could stake my life that it wouldn’t be anything strange from my point of view. Not in the least.

“He was concerned that you may be unable to find a lover.”

I got to keep my life, unsurprisingly. What in the world about that was strange? I nodded uncomfortably and said, “Ah, yes… Well, it’s something to think about after the demon lord is defeated, though.”

“Do not worry too much. You will be able to court anyone you wish to. I shall introduce you to anyone you desire,” Mayer declared. His infinite confidence was almost curious. But when he said I could court anyone I wished to… Was he just flattering me, or did he have complete faith that a confidant of his would have that much attractiveness…?

Feeling burdened by the compliment, I waved it off with an awkward laugh. “Come now, that’s an overstatement.”

“You are beautiful,” Mayer insisted, turning his body to completely face me. The way he looked so straight at me was unbearable. “You are clever and magnanimous. Anyone would feel attracted to you. And those scarlet eyes of yours…”

Suddenly, Mayer paused in the middle of his unblinking song of cheesiness. Wrinkling his forehead, he stared into my eyes, then abruptly thrust his head right toward me.