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I may be too early, but…
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P/s: Suggestions to improve this translation will be highly appreciated and I do not guarantee the accuracy of my translation
Translated by: Empress || Edited by: Sam
ARNRBKM – Vol.2 Ch. 18
Novel Raw: Vol. 2 Ch. 18 || Manga: I’m a Villainous Daughter, so I’m going to keep the Last Boss || Manga Raw: 悪役令嬢なのでラスボスを飼ってみました [JPN] || 作为恶役大小姐就该养魔王 [CN]
James raised his voice in suspicion. Irene stopped in her tracks to face him.
「A group will fall apart without a leader. Especially a group like ours where everyone operates alone. Even though I’ve only been part of the Student Council for about a month, it’s clear to me that President James is, in fact, incredible. You precisely delegate tasks to each member that fit our skills and personalities. 」
「……Being praised by you is somehow unpleasant.」
James made an unpleasant face despite the sincere compliment. Irene could only shrug at such a reaction.
「Of course, it’s undeniable that, individually, the seniors are excellent. Auguste is also indispensable as a lubricant and mood-maker to this team, so I can’t say that it’s only President James who is superior. But, don’t you think that if everyone tries to meet each other halfway and bonded a little, that we’ll become a better student council?」
「――That’s true, Airi! You sure say some good things!」
Auguste pounded on Irene’s back until it felt numb. With a cheerful and innocent face, Auguste turned to face everyone.
「We’re going to be together for a while, so let’s get along from now on everyone! Just like Airi said!」
「……Somehow, when Auguste says that, I feel opposed to the idea. 」
「Because I don’t want to be viewed as a simple person like you are.」
James’ words quickly cut down Auguste’s mood. Ignoring that, Kyle spoke calmly.
「There’s an advance notice from the monsters to attack the academy. Even if we have the Principal as our main force, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being united.」
「Haha, I’m bad at this teamwork thing. After all, I hate being dragged down.」
Walt’s smile made Kyle’s eyebrows twitch. Their rivalry was clearly flaring up.
(Men are so childish when it comes to these things.)
With a sigh, Irene cut into their conversation.
「Isn’t it fine? In the end, isn’t it better to pull someone up rather than anticipating the moment someone will drag you down?」
「……You sure have a way with words.」
「So, why don’t you guys try to get along?」
It was a reckless proposal, but Irene had a good feeling about it.
Walt and Kyle were assassins whose target was James, and Auguste, in the end, was supposed to fulfill the role of defeating James. These four had a kill or be killed relationship.
(The budding friendship between them will increase their sense of awareness of each other. If James has someone he could ask for help from, I don’t think he’ll feel so driven into a corner that he destroys the Principality of Milchetta……)
He just needed a place to belong. A place where he could live as a half-monster. If James had that, he would have no reason to destroy Milchetta. Besides, Irene felt that he deserved better than that.
In any case, for the era that Claude was building, James was important precisely because he was a half-monster.
「Getting along, huh?……Well, true, the time for the monsters to attack is coming.」
「Stop joking. I decline.」
James rushed ahead, taking the lead after saying that. Walt jokingly spread both his arms.
「You heard him, Airi-chan. What a shame.」
「……Hey, do you smell something weird?」
An amused expression still on his face, Walt turned to face Auguste who was looking around anxiously.
「It’s somewhat sweet…… James!」
James, who was walking ahead, keeled over while shaking violently. Auguste and Irene rushed over to him.
「Oi, are you okay, James?!」
「……I’m fine, so don’t worry about me……!」
Irene recognized the scent of magic incense. It was because of the incense that James’ condition was strange.
（But, where is it coming from…… No, leaving that aside!）
James, who was on the verge of becoming a monster, was the priority right now. There was only a faint trace of the smell in the air. He would be fine if they got him away from it.
「Auguste, immediately take President James back to the dorm.」
「Ah, of course. Come on, James.」
「It’s fine……I can go by myself.」
「President James, your current priority is to get away from this place. Hurry.」
James, who was being supported by Auguste, stared intensely at Irene.
「……Don’t tell me that this is your doing……-tch-」
「Let’s go, James. You don’t look good. The sooner you get some rest, the better.」
「I’ll leave him to you, Auguste.」
Irene lightly touched James’ chest after saying so, and applied a tiny bit of power from the Holy Sword.
She did the same thing back when Claude had become a dragon to help him become human again, but this time to help James. Irene warded off the monster miasma threatening to envelop him with a power as gentle as a breeze.
It seemed like it was getting easier for James to breathe. James looked at her in surprise and muttered again.
「Did you……just do something……?」
James seemed to be at a loss of what he should say. However, Auguste forcefully pulled James away towards the dorm.
「Can you also go and report this to the teacher, Airi Kahlua?」
「Ah, Kyle, there’s no need to worry about this kid.」
「He knows about us. So he’s sorta like an ally?」
Kyle was scrutinizing Irene from head to toe. Irene stood and held her head high so he wouldn’t complain, but Kyle knit his brows in disapproval and whispered to Walt.
「Oh, that’s because Airi-chan is a――Oops that’s a secret」
「What is it?……What are you hiding from me?」
「Nevermind that, let’s look for the source of the smell so we can get rid of it. It’d be troublesome if monsters came.」
Ignoring Kyle, Irene lead the way through the bushes while following the scent. Unable to object, Walt and Kyle trailed after her.
「It smell is so faint. Maybe, this is the lingering after-use smell……」
「――Found it! This must be it, right?」
Irene picked up a pipe that had fallen in the clump of bushes and showed it to Walt and Kyle.
「Yeah, this is it――But it’s empty.」
「That’s only to be expected. It’s already been used. Anyway, the smell is weak……Perhaps it’s a weaker concentration?」
Kyle agreed with Walt’s conjecture.
「That seems likely. It’s weaker than usual, this won’t attract monsters.」
「True. Then, for who and what reason was this made……」
「A pipe is something that humans use to smoke, right? Look here, there’s a dent in the lawn.」
Irene pointed out a nearby tree with signs that someone had been sitting against it recently.
「Perhaps they accidentally dropped their pipe. If I’m not mistaken, humans experience a high if they smoke magic incense.」
「Yeah. It’s the same as any narcotic drug. If someone were to use it, sooner or later, they’d develop a disability. But, this isn’t something that students procure for fun or curiosity……It’s not easy to find, steal, or hide like a cigarette.」
「Even though the concentration is low; it’s unlikely that the magic incense would have made its way to the market – even as a luxury item.」
Kyle’s statement was precisely because he knew that the church was strictly controlling it.
「――Can I have it examined a little?」
Something might come up it Irene handed it over to Luc and Quartz.
At least, that was the idea, but Kyle narrowed his eyes while Walt smiled coldly.
「We can’t let you do that, Airi-chan.」
「I don’t know who you are, so I’ll have you hand that over.」
「It’s just an examination, I’ll send you the final report, so just yield a little here.」
「――Of course, that report will be sent to the student council as well, right?」
Shocked, the three turned to face the lantern light suddenly shining on them. Two shadows were formed behind it.
「S-sorry, Airi. He said he’s okay now and was worried about you guys. That’s why I brought him here, but……Umm――What happened?」
「By the way, in the case that all of you fail to report the current situation, all of you will be expelled for violating the student council president’s order. ――I’ll have you tell me everything you’ve been doing. It seems none of you are ordinary students.」
James, whose complexion had completely recovered, looked at them coldly. Walt, standing besides the grimacing Kyle, let out a deliberate sigh.
「……This is awkward. But, let’s do this now. Can you help us, Airi-ch-, Airi-kun?」
「I understand. Everyone, please follow me.」
After stomping on Walt’s foot, Irene prepared herself for the worst while urging everyone to follow her.
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