I’m a D-Rank Adventurer Volume 3 Prologue part 2

I woke up with a snap. Or rather, I was brought back to reality.
Still lying down, I looked out the window – it was still early morning. As my unfocused eyes gradually came into focus, my consciousness quickly awoke.
“…..This sucks.”
The moment I came to, an unwanted realization rushed into my mind and made me curse.
This sucked so much.
I see, that’s how it was. This is reality.
In other words, perfectly evading my pursuers and lazing around was the dream.
This situation where I’m still on the run is reality. Still running is reality. This is reality. Reality. Don’t mess with me…
Fighting the urge to die, I forced my too-lazy body to stand up.
“First I have to wash my face, then…”
I stopped my movement with a thud. Or rather, I was physically stopped.
A dry laugh escaped me.
…I see, that’s right. This is reality. Which means, of course, she’d be here. Of course.
That’s why I had such a dream.
It was because…
“You mustn’t…Lord Jirei…if you move…I’ll wake up…”
I froze expressionless at the white-haired girl clinging tightly to my waist, somehow in my bed, mumbling happily in her sleep.
A few minutes later. Back in reality, I carefully removed the magical restraints from the negligee-clad girl, Rafine, without waking her. I also wrapped her in about ten blankets to keep her from getting cold. Cold, you know.
Then I went to the sink.
Rafine mumbled deliriously, buried in the blankets, “Lord Jirei…loves me…but…fue…” She looked so happy. The happiest.

As I washed my sleepy face at the sink, I thought. What to do. Escape to another country was impossible. I’d tried many times, always in vain. For the past ten days, I’d fled with all my might. I’d scurried around the neighboring lands near Magikosmaia, and finally, after all that fleeing, I’d come back to Magikosmaia. Fleeing around. But still, no matter how many countries I crossed or how I hid incognito in inns or even in garbage cans, it was futile. Fruitless. Meaningless.
I’d managed to shake the Magikosmaia princess, Elena, and the boy, Cain, who for some reason admired me as his master. But…
“…What the hell is going on, seriously.”
When I saw Rafine happily buried under the lump of blankets on the bed, I muttered with a straight face. Right, I’d shaken them off. Cain had even announced something like, “I’m going to practice my swordsmanship. To become a man who can fight at Master’s side…” before leaving for another country. Elena had somehow disappeared when I wasn’t looking.
But with Rafine and the blue-haired girl, Eve, and the [Attack] hero, Leti, it was impossible. Somehow, wherever I went, they’d find out, show up, and harass me to join their party or marry them. For the past seven days, even as I moved from inn to inn, I’d wake up to either Rafine sleeping in the same bed or Eve preparing a delicious breakfast and greeting me in the morning. The ratio was Rafine Rafine Eve, Rafine Rafine Rafine Rafine. Ridiculous. No matter how many times I changed places now, it was useless. It seemed like they must be using some kind of magic. My magic power exceeded theirs, so they couldn’t be using clairvoyance… I should be completely untraceable no matter how hard I tried. But when I woke up, they were there. Every day they were there. It was like some kind of cursed device at that point. I was so lost that it drove me crazy.
And worse, that wasn’t the only source of my troubles. Really, it was worse.
With a sigh, I looked at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. There was my usual somewhat handsome face. Yes, handsome as usual today. However, my expression was dead. Satisfied with my handsomeness, I swept up my fringe to expose my forehead. There…
“What the hell is this, really?”
On my face – the black mark, like a tattoo, on my right forehead.
“It’s not an injury or a curse. It’s black, so I don’t think it’s a sacred crest either… Seriously, what is it?”


This mark had appeared a few dozen days ago. Around the time I’d destroyed Enri and was fleeing all over Magikosmaia. Touching it didn’t hurt, examining it revealed no curse, and for a moment I wondered if it might be the sacred crest of the Chosen Hero. But the crests of past heroes were red, blue, gold, white… never black. So I didn’t think it could be a sacred crest. More to the point, I didn’t want it to be. I didn’t want to become a hero all of a sudden. Absolutely not, seriously.
Well, honestly, if this was the only issue, I wouldn’t care. I could just ignore it. But…
I took out a nutritional supplement bar from [Pocket Space] and threw it in the air, just willing it.
At that moment, the empty space distorted, and a sinister entity appeared from the void, swallowing the bar with a single gulp. The creature wriggled eerily as if it were alive, showing sharp teeth and fangs from its gaping mouth. Just like the [Predation] Enri had used, identical.
“… “
Next, I silently thrust my right hand into the void and imagined a certain object. Black, sinister magical energy particles began to form in front of my palm. They converged and transformed into a single mass – the black sword I had used to cut through Enri’s [Predation].
Yes, my other source of worry was this incomprehensible power that I had somehow been able to wield since then. Willingly, it summoned the malevolent entity that swallowed the target and dragged it into the void. I didn’t know where the devoured things went. But I could taste what was eaten, and my stomach would swell, so maybe they ended up inside me. On top of that, the annoying black sword that kept getting in my way with [Pocket Space] could now be summoned and dismissed instantly with a simple will.
To be honest, it was extremely convenient and amazing. With this [Predation], I could grab nearby objects with my fangs and bring them to me without moving. The food was instantaneous, so I didn’t have to move my mouth. No more annoyance from that damn black sword. Just those advantages made it an incredible ability. Incredible, but–
“It’s just too inexplicable…”
It bothered me to no end. I had only seen Enri’s [Predation]. I hadn’t analyzed or deciphered the spell formula at all, so it made no sense for me to be able to use it. No matter how much I learned with my body by watching, it was still strange.
“It also looks disgusting. Anyone who saw me using it would think I was a monster…”
So I couldn’t use it, even though it was convenient. It really ate me up.
“Ahh, this is such a pain. I just want to sleep without thinking…”
But I couldn’t. I had to find out why Rafine and the others could find me, or I wouldn’t be able to rest. The stress was killing me.
“Damn, no choice. I’ll ask this guy to take me there and…”

After racking my brain, I came to a conclusion. This place would probably contain some kind of information. The general public could only access parts of it, but if that damn cat pulled some strings, I could get in. He was an important figure in the Magic Institution, rotten as he was.
“Lord Jirei…no…I won’t let you go…”
After piling ten more blankets over the still happily dreaming Rafine, I opened the door of the inn. She was mumbling, but probably having sweet dreams. With a deadpan expression on my face, I forced my heavy feet to move and made my way to a certain someone to get permission to enter this place – the damn cat, Aldi. With slow, reluctant steps.
low, reluctant steps.

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