Life in Another World as a Maid Mage
Volume 1 - Daily Life of A Maid Mage

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10 – Orphanage consolation services available. (Afterword)

Translator: KynKatan | Proofreader: Dilandau

Author Note: Clemens's hair color was changed from gray to silver.

In eerie silence, two men faced each other. They stared at each other with sharp gazes, evaluating their opponent. The edges of their weapons were aimed at each other, steady and still.

The chestnut-haired man held a magic sword imbued with strong magical power. The sword had a splendid blade, but the cause wasn’t the magic flowing through it; it was unmarked, but it was undoubtedly the work of a master craftsman and a masterpiece in its own right.

In contrast, the silver-haired man held a pair of bright, black iron twin swords. The jet-black sword blades, polished and sharpened so well that it could cut just by nicking it, reflected the two men facing each other.

Chirp chirp….

A small bird flew away from the trees, breaking the silence. A moment later, the two men sprinted into action. With a smooth motion, they instantly closed the gap between them in no time. Clang! A heavy metallic sound rang out from the striking swords and intense sparks flew out. The swords that had recoiled from the immense impact struck at each other again. At this moment, the two men broke the stalemate and jumped back. They resumed their previous posiitons, as if they had gone back in time to the staring contest, but this time it was short-lived as they stepped in and struck each other again with lightning speed. When the chestnut-haired man sharply struck down with his magic sword, the silver-haired man swung his twin swords in a flowing motion to parry and slashed back in an elegant manner.

The silent, but fierce brawl lasted for a few minutes. With another resounding clash of metal on metal, the two men separated again. Those deep mauve eyes and the other’s clear blue eyes met for a moment. In the next instant, the two dashed at once to close the distance between each other, and—in the blink of an eye—the match was decided.

The tip of the magic sword was stopped right next to the silver-haired man's neck and the cutting edge of the twin swords was held against the chestnut-haired man's throat.

After a moment of silence, the high-pitched cheers and rapid applause of the children broke the silence like rippling in water.

"Old man, that’s so cool!"

"Master Swordsman is amazing!"

While the children were fawning over them, Alex and Clemens dropped their stances and looked at each other, both grinning from ear to ear. The children seemed to like the serious performance.

"I didn't know what to make of it when you asked me, but it's not so bad," Alex remarked.

"I know, right?" Clemens was said to have performed alone several times before, but Alex, who had never "consoled" at the orphanage before, was initially confused. However, he couldn't help but nod his head at the request from Shiori.

"I promised a boy from the orphanage that I'd bring a swordsman next, but the only people I could ask were Alex or Clemens,” she had pleaded.

There was no way Alex could have refused if he was asked by Shiori, who had begged him with her head bowed and hands pressed together. It would have been fine for one of them to perform alone, but Clemens had suggested that this was a good opportunity to show the children a hand-to-hand match, and that's how the two of them had ended up with the demonstration earlier.

As they each sheathed their weapons, the children came running up to them.

"Don't touch their gear without asking first. It's rude,” the priest preemptively warned the excited children.

"Master Swordsman, what kind of demonic beasts have you defeated so far?"

"Tell me about your adventures this time!"

While the small children innocently begged for adventure stories, the older boys wanted to hear more practical information. How to join the guild, the content of the admissions exam, how to apply to become a knight, how to train. Alex was sure they were thinking seriously about what to do when they came of age, so he decided to teach them as much as possible in the short time he was here.

"… Hey." The boy who had been listening to them the most intently opened his mouth in a reserved manner. If Alex recalled correctly, this boy's name was Toby.

"Won't that… Shiori girl come back?"

He feigned innocence, but still his blushing face did not hide his feelings. Alex couldn’t help but raise his eyebrows, meanwhile Clemens laughed, amused. "What, you are also aiming for Shiori?"

"… 'Also'?" Alex and Toby's voices overlapped.

"There are a lot of guys aiming for her. You'd have to work really hard to get in the same ring as them, wouldn't you?"

"What, seriously?" Toby gasped.

"If you pass the aptitude exam and the fitness test, you're a guild member. As you move up through the ranks, you may be able to travel with her on a request. Do your best."

For Toby, who wasn’t even an adult yet, these requirements weren’t just a matter of being one step behind, but a whole lap around the track. It was doubtful that Toby even knew about the age gap between himself and Shiori. Toby grunted as Clemens clapped him on the back and laughed.

Eventually, it was time for the two of them to leave the orphanage, despite the wheedling and cajoling by the children to stay a bit longer. They walked in silence for a while, but after hesitating for a bit, Alex said something that had been on his mind during the exchange with Toby.

"… Are there so many men who, uh, are aiming for Shiori?"

"... Ah, that's right. The contrast of the gentle, homely feeling against the strength that doesn't break with adversity is attractive, and there are also many men who are motivated by a desire to protect her, kindled by the occasional display of fragility on her part."

Alex thought he could understand a bit of what Clemens was saying.

"Are you aiming for her, too?" Alex pointed out with a bitter smile.

"Well, I've always wanted to protect her, but…" a bitter sigh interrupted Clemens’s musing, ''ever since the 'Dawn' incident, there hasn't been a man who would outwardly court her. It’d be like taking advantage of her emotional vulnerability, and that wouldn’t be fair to her.”

"… I see."

Come to think of it, Alex recalled that Shiori had a past relationship in "Dawn". There had been that man who had left Shiori in the dungeon, knowing full well that her life would be in danger. It could only have been everyone’s reluctance to appear as if they were seizing upon her broken heart as an opportunity.

"But, it's been over a year since then. We've got some new faces in the guild, and maybe it's about time for some guys to get close to her again. Well, with Zack on the lookout, I don't think any ordinary man would even approach her,” Clemens continued.

Alex laughed. It was indeed true. Just the other day, as a result of his declaration that he was going to make her his wife, he had been hit with so much killing power that it had even surpassed what you would find on the battlefield.

(However, I'm sure the incident must have been devastating enough for her to unleash that much rage from Zack, right?) Alex thought.

She had been used up and then abandoned by people she had considered friends. Were it not for Rurie, that genial woman would have died in a dark place without anyone knowing what had happened to her. Just thinking about it made Alex feel as if a bucket full of cold water had been poured on him. Now that he had found her, he didn’t even want to consider the possibility of never having met her to begin with.

(I don't know what kind of people are in "Dawn", but if I had the chance to see them, I wouldn't… let them get away with what they’ve done.)

Unconsciously, Alex's dominant hand grasped the handle of his sword and tightened his grip.

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