I am no hero of the shadows! Volume 1 Chapter 3 part 4

As a Count family, the Salemabart were nobles after all, even if said to have two scummy sons.
One look at the magnificent manor proved the grounds, decorations, and furniture to be sufficiently first-rate. Naturally, the same extended to the bathhouse.
“Wow! No matter how many times I see it, Lord Phil’s home has such a spacious bath!”
Just how many people could fit in at once? The washing area has small buckets lined up so extensively in length, while the actual tub looks swimmable in size. Fresh hot water perpetually pours from the lion mouths, the thick steam trying to conceal the sheer vastness.
Not having entered much before, Milis gazes at the bathhouse eyes glittering.
Covering her petite body in a bathrobe and exposing the golden hair usually hidden by her wimple—though called a saintess, with that youthful appearance she continues resembling a mystical child rather than her age.
“Do you think so? I believe it’s quite normal…”
Kahlua appears after entering the bathhouse ahead of captivated Milis.
Contrary to Milis, she openly bared her natural birth figure without the cover of any bathrobe. A rather boyish girl.
“As the saintess Milis, surely you’ve seen bathhouses this scale countless times at least? The Salemabart Count manor is practically up for sale you know?”
“At the church everyone gets treated equally. No matter what I’m called, the bath is shared. The church bathhouse is large but…always packed that it feels small.”
That’s why it’s so amazing! Milis beams scanning the bathhouse.
Then she promptly heads to the washing area, seemingly eager to enter quickly.
(With her pilgrimage travels, such treatment should be commonplace probably…)
Yet, Kahlua found it doubtful whether Milis truly rarely saw anything like this.
Finding it strange yet letting the matter slide, Kahlua settled down at the washing station as well.
Drawing water in buckets and rinsing herself. Once the sounds of falling water echoed in the bathhouse several times, Milis beside her stood up and immediately headed to the actual tub.
Kahlua wryly smiles seeing such a Milis like an older sister stuck handling a troublesome little sister.
“Kahluaaa~! Come quick!”
Waving exaggeratedly with the lower half of herself hidden in the tub water, Milis calls out.
“Coming now.”
Feeling reminiscent about having a little sister, Kahlua places the bucket aside and heads to the tub as beckoned, promptly soaking herself in the water.
Plop goes the refreshing sound.
“Haaah… As expected, nothing beats a bath~”
Soaking deep enough that her golden hair floats along the surface, Milis comfortably narrows her eyes.
Just then─
(Now that I think about it…)
Kahlua looks.
(She’s unexpectedly big there, huh.)
At Milis’s chest peeking above the water surface.
It didn’t particularly cross her mind when dressed in the nun’s habit, but openly baring herself here significantly emphasized their existence. Likely the type appearing slimmer in clothing.
(But the most important thing is shape…)
Kahlua inwardly murmurs to no one, as if making excuses.
“By the way, I’m so jealous of you.”
“…What about, may I ask?”
“Kahlua, you give off such an adult aura that I can’t help but envy you…”
Oblivious to what Kahlua envies herself, Milis says that while looking at her.
Water droplets trailing from her crimson hair. Proportion with definite curves. Faintly flushed cheeks from the steam.
Somehow sensual yet as Milis declared, certainly mature womanliness. Likely appearing so due to her valiant beauty, but Kahlua found her more adult than usual right now.
“I want to become more adult-like too…”
“Present Lady Milis holds plenty enough charm.”
“I’m often told that but… I aspire to become a refined adult woman like my darling Big Sis Kira.”
“Ah, no! That’s not it! I just call her Big Sis but she’s not a real older sister or anything! And I don’t call her that to her face either!”
Asked something she hadn’t expected, Milis hastily denied it.
“She’s someone who always takes care of me. Understands me so gently and warmly… Big Sis Kira is an adult woman just like Kahlua.”
Milis fondly speaks of her.
For what reason did she make such an expression? Another point of confusion for Kahlua, but the saintess perpetually traveled on pilgrimage. Unable to often meet acquaintances must be inevitable.
“My goal is to become an adult woman like Big Sis Kira! That’s why I’ll eat lots!”
“Fufu, is that so.”


Beaming brightly, Milis scooted right up to Kahlua after her reply.
“Then since this chance presented itself, how about we chat extensively? I especially want to ask about Lord Phil!”
“Go right ahead. My master is an amusing enough hero to never lack topics─”
Then, joyful girlish voices echoed in the steam-filled bathhouse.
A peculiar pairing of a saintess and maid, yet close in age.
Perhaps that explained the prolonged cheerful voices resounding from the bath…

Meanwhile, around the time Milis and Kahlua chat in the bathhouse. When the youth called Phil trying to flaunt kindness and justice peeks his face out into the outside world again—the surrounding scenery had dimly dyed.
The night breeze delivered chill. The expansive highway and trees evoked openness.
The scene spreading out differed completely from Phil’s room earlier.
“Thank you very much for making the trip, Sir Hero of the Shadows.”
And next to him kneels a young man dressed heavily for the cold.
Seeing that, Phil remarks “Like always, lift your face. Getting revered makes me uncomfortable.”
─ [Free exchange with bound targets].
Instantly moving to different locations like this also utilized Phil’s Binding magic.
Projecting himself where bound subjects are─ Something derivable only after seeking liberation through exchange.
“No, to show no reverence to the Sir Hero of the Shadows who once saved me… Please allow me to remain like this if possible.”
As briefly outlined earlier, Phil managing to rescue people everywhere largely owed to [Underworld].
Scattered throughout various places, they notify of any troubles or quarrels occurring.
Members comprise those Phil saved in the past deemed trustworthy.
Then, by binding all those [Underworld] members, communication and teleportation become possible like this, spurring Phil to go rescue others.
The binding method is extremely simple. Completing upon Phil himself marking anywhere on the target’s body.
Convenient magic as easy as can be through and through.
─ This embodied the kindness of Phil Salemabart.
An organization called [Underworld] purely established to aid rescue efforts.
Naturally, [Underworld] knows Phil’s identity and has orders to not divulge it. But…
“So Sir Hero of the Shadows… The ones currently under attack are─”
“You needn’t say. They’re the guys getting attacked over there right?”
Where Phil stared ahead.
Many bandits surround a carriage and people.
In poor visibility, the clanging of weapons rang meaning bloodshed hadn’t unfolded yet fortunately.
“Welp, shall we get to it─”
Phil turns his back to the man and steps toward the besieged site.
“Back to rescuing people today too.”
For kindhearted people to live happy lives. After all─
Happiness signifies the polar end of freedom.

That’s why I told you we should quit,
one of the knights under attack inwardly laments.
Amidst the shrill reverberating metal clangs, the regretful knight desperately swung his sword.
In the darkened visibility, discerning the enemy silhouette alone to exchange blows.
Flesh piercing sensations sometimes accompanied liquid spurting onto his face, swelling the discomfort, irritation, and fear.
No matter how squeezed the schedule is, night travel after dusk spelled tremendous danger.
And this was the result. The lamenting knight glared with only his eyes at the vaguely located commanding knight thinking “I’ll gripe extensively later!”.
“I-I’ll fight too!”
Just then, such a voice shouted from the carriage behind.
“Young miss, please return inside!”
“No way, everyone else is fighting… Me too!”
A lord risking themself to encourage their knight, how delightful yet now a blatant hindrance.
That kindness marked the reason he swore his service yet…
What happens when the person needing protection appears on the battlefield?
It simply invites inattentiveness, unable “to constantly monitor protected targets’ locations”.
This assault made for chess of the few guardian bishops protecting their king piece against the numerous enemy pawns.
No matter the piece’s strength, the number difference guarantees disadvantage.
Avid chess players should grasp this well.
The amount you get tired of cutting down resembles ants.
And ants may sneak from anywhere at your feet to the king piece unnoticed for their insignificance.
“Your life is mine, young lady!”
That voice suddenly shouted from behind.
The regretful knights and the rest absolutely hadn’t let down their guard and yet, they now realized their lord’s life had been endangered right this moment.
While one the other hand─
Despite only just emerging, somehow a silhouetted figure ready to slash down with a sword from behind approached without her noticing.
Did he lie in ambush for when she exited the carriage? While pondering that─ A simultaneously surfacing sensation─
Immobilized by the imminent horror before her eyes.
The young girl’s hands gripped a sword. Brace herself if she had the will saying she won’t go down without resisting and surely she could survive this instant.
But untrained for these situations, fear dominates rationality.
Right now, self-defense lost out to terror─
Please save me—

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