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

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11 – Search for lost kids services available. (1)

Translator: KynKatan | Proofreader: Dilandau

After visiting the orphanage, Alex and Clemens walked down the cobblestone path that cut through the cathedral square. The voices from the owners of the souvenir shops and restaurants were cheerful and lively. The expressions on the faces of pilgrims and travelers on the road were calm and bright. Children ran along the path, laughing innocently.

As Alex took in this gentle scenery, he couldn’t help but recall the thin divide between peace and oppression. (Even though it’s only one mountain range apart, it's still peaceful here, unlike the Empire.)

Compared to neighboring countries, The Kingdom of Strydia was a calm country with no noticeable conflicts or skirmishes within its borders. Around 20 years ago, there had been a battle for succession between two princes, but because the bastard son, who was also the elder of the two princes, had renounced his right to succeed at an early stage, the conflict ended promptly without a drop of blood being shed. The current king, who had ascended to the throne while still fairly young, was a good politician who used his excellent diplomatic skills and political prowess to rule with the people's interests at heart. The people's temperament, too, was relatively mild and flexible. Although the coldness of winter was severe and the climate was cool even in summer, the warm currents flowed across the coastline and buffered against the worst of the chill from the country’s relatively high latitude, culminating in a rich nation where agriculture and dairy were flourishing exports.

It was a comfortable country to live in, completely different from the Empire where the cold season was also harsh but where the royalty and aristocracy tyrannically confiscated what little resources the people had to offer during those bleak months. Recalling the bitter neighboring country he had briefly visited before under work orders, Alex breathed deeply of the calm air in Toris.

"Hmm. That's…."

Alex heard Clemens muttering something as the twin swordsman walked next to him and Alex roused himself from his immersive thoughts. Following Clemens's line of sight, he saw a familiar black-haired woman with a lapis lazuli mass of slime beside her. Rurie was playing with the children beside Shiori, who was currently talking to a street stall owner.

"Looks like she’s returning from a request, too,” Clemens noted.

"… Yeah." Alex continued watching Shiori as he answered.

Shiori, who was not suited to combat, often undertook domestic requests in and around the city. When it came to adventurers, they tended to focus on subjugation requests, risky archaeological expeditions that required combative abilities, and explorations of dungeons, but Shiori seemed to have a connection with the people of the city by actively undertaking the humbler requests. Perhaps because of that, she had a good relationship with many of the residents in Toris. However, Alex thought that closeness with the citizens was mostly due to her own affable personality.

"Shiori!" he called out to her.

Shiori turned around. When she noticed them, she lightly bid farewell to the shopkeeper and then ran up to the two of them. "Thank you for your hard work. Are you two on your way home from the consolation request?"

Unlike the populace of this northwestern part of the continent, who preferred to display their emotions with exuberant expressions worn on their sleeves, her gentle, reserved smile that placated like a calm sea was Shiori's unique way of laughing.

"Yeah, are you also heading home?" Alex inquired in turn.

"Yes, I’ve already delivered the collected herbs."

Shiori laughed, lightly commenting further that "fetch quest" sorts of requests were fun because they were educational. Alex and Clemens both gave her subtle, affectionate smiles. She had an insatiable appetite for knowledge. The piles of books Alex had seen in her room the other day spoke for themselves. At first he had simply been impressed with how studious she was, but ever since Zack had told him that she was desperate to absorb as much knowledge as possible in order to acclimate, Alex couldn’t help but feel pained.

"Be careful when you go out of town. You have a tendency to push yourself too hard. I'm worried about you." As Clemens gently admonished her, the area suddenly became noisy. A flurry of neighing and clopping hooves preceded a rush of knights scattering civilians as they galloped on horseback through the main street and toward the west gate. Mixed in with the charging knights were several well-dressed gentleman, one of whom turned to stare at the group of Alex, Clemens, and Shiori (and Rurie) as he passed by. The same man pulled his horse to a gradual stop, veering away from the torrent of horses and knights before turning back to them with a light trot.

"Sir Adventurer, I presume! If it's not too much trouble, we would appreciate your help!" he called out.

The well-dressed young man, with the appearance of a noble family’s servant, said this with a hard expression on his pale face, not trying to hide his impatience. Before Alex could ask him what had happened, a man who seemed to be the servant’s companion had also broken free of the charge and turned back, interrupting the other in a rough tone.

"What are you doing, Elias! This is not the time for idle talk!"

"We can't afford to have just the Knights!” the man now identified as Elias protested. “Maybe Sir Adventurer, who is skilled in combat and survival, can help find him faster!"

They started arguing between themselves while the adventurers had no understanding of the situation at all. The three adventurers looked at each other before Alex interrupted on behalf of the three of them.

"Hey, what the hell’s going on here? I don't understand the situation."

"My young master and his apprentice servant have gone missing in the woods to the west,” Elias readily explained. “It seems he entered the forest while playing outdoors in the plains. We’ve been doing everything we can, but we haven't been able to find him. I decided that it was an impossible task for an amateur, so I asked the knights to help search for him."

Perhaps the child's curiosity had led him into the forest. It seemed that in just a moment of looking away, the son of a nobleman who had been playing in the field and his young servant had disappeared without a trace.

When Elias stopped speaking, the other man took over and said, "Both of them are still wearing their light daytime clothes. We have to find them before nightfall at all costs…."

Anxious voices leaked from the crowd of onlookers that had gradually formed and by now had surrounded the group before any of the conversing parties had noticed.

Autumn in this country was a season with wild temperature fluctuations throughout one day-night cycle. It was warm enough to wear a light coat during the daytime but the temperature dropped immensely at night. After sundown, the cold was enough to freeze a person to death, not to mention the possibility of coming across a magical beast or something similar. Although the monsters in the West Woods were relatively small and mild-mannered, if someone as frail as a child were to be attacked, there would still be no hope for them.

"Please! Please help us!" Elias begged.

The sun was already setting and the sky was starting to bleed out its colours on the horizon. Already, the first hints of the night’s chill drifted on the wind. Alex and Clemens looked at each other and nodded at the desperate plea.

"Shiori, you go back and tell Zack that we have an urgent request. We'll go," Alex said as he prepared to leave.

There was a hint of hesitation in Shiori’s response, or lack thereof.

"Shiori,” Alex called out to her again when he noticed she wasn’t acquiescing.

"… I might be able to help. I can search for them with magic," she finally answered.

At Shiori's words, Elias and his companion felt a bit of relief in the face of adversity.

"That would help!” Elias replied, eager for any extra aid. “We don't have a moment to spare. Please come with me."

"Oh, hey, wait, wow—” Shiori had barely voiced her weak protests when the servants were already jumping into action. They seemed to be in too much of a hurry, and without waiting for further confirmation Elias’s companion jumped off his horse and picked up Shiori, then pushed her onto Elias's horse to sit in front of him. Elias grabbed the bridle, holding Shiori from behind, and galloped away with his companion without looking back. Rurie, who was left behind, was jumping violently and furiously in response.

"Hey, wait! … Dammit!" Alex called out belatedly.

He hadn’t expected them to only take Shiori. Already he clicked his tongue unconsciously, irritation bubbling in his chest. No matter how capable she was, it was simply unacceptable to throw a low-grade mage—and of all people, Shiori—who didn’t know the full situation, into the midst of these knights and nobles. Clemens seemed to be of the same opinion.

"Alex! The West Woods is just outside the gate! Let's run."

"Yeah!"

The two of them made a mad dash out of the west gate and toward the forest, a feat easy for adventurers of their rank, though having the time to find their horses would have helped. Quickly, Rurie jumped on Alex's waist and dexterously climbed up and clung to his shoulder. Although the weight on his body had increased, Alex was unconcerned and kept running.

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