I am no hero of the shadows! Volume 1 Chapter 7

Looking for a Cat

“I’m going to look for a cat,”
It was a day when preparations for an upcoming birthday party were underway.
Since the useless ms. Privacy was away on a business trip, Phil visited the back alleys of the unpopular part of town.
Amid the oppressive atmosphere, Phil bluntly said to the two,
“I don’t wanna.”
“I’m going to search.”
“Absolutely not.”
“I’m going to search.”
Kahlua, who should have been focused on the theme of staying close, said to Phil very seriously,
But Phil, too, has a serious expression on his face and brushes off Kahlua’s words.
“But we’re looking for a cat…”
Meanwhile, Milis, who had tagged along with the feeling of “I’ll follow Phil anywhere!”, tilted her head.
Indeed, it would make anyone tilt their head in confusion if someone suddenly said “I’m going to search for a cat” after coming to such an unpopular place out of the blue. Incidentally, Kahlua’s stubborn refusal is also puzzling.
“Actually, I got a report that [a child is crying because their pet cat went missing], and since I happened to have some free time, I thought I’d try to find it and help out.”
“Wow! That’s such a wonderful thing to do!”
Seeing the overly kind Phil even do things like this, Milis was delighted.
He not only helps people in trouble, but takes action whenever he finds a human who is sad about anything. This was a momentary glimpse into why he is so admired.
“But why is Miss Kahlua so against it?”
“She reaaaaally hates cats. So much so that if one shows up on her plate, she’ll push the food to the edge.”
“I’d toss it right out the window!”
“You better apologize to the mom who cooked for you. No matter how much you dislike the food, treating someone’s cooking poorly will make them bawl.”
It would undoubtedly leave a deep wound in their heart for about a week.
“So in other words, Kahlua’s probably useless here, so I definitely want Milis’ help.”
“Of course! I’ll be glad to assist!”
“If you work hard, I’ll make hamburgers for dinner as a reward.”
“…I’m not a child, you know?”
Sensing that Milis doesn’t seem to dislike hamburgers, Phil feels relieved inside.
Wanting to keep stalling the energetic girl for some reason, Phil was still at it.
“But how should we search? Should we just walk around looking?”
“Well, that’s the safest way. Since I heard about it today, I think the cat’s still in this town, buuuut…unfortunately, Kahlua and I can’t use magic this time.”
“Huh!? Why not?”
“First, people will die if Kahlua uses magic.”
“They’ll die!?”
Kahlua’s magic is about increasing her own speed. At first glance, being able to move faster would allow her to quickly scour the town to find it. However, right now there are many people coming and going around town.
If she moves at high speeds, her reaction time decreases proportionately, increasing the risk of collisions with people.
With the destructive force of a bullet when sped up, Kahlua using magic in town could be disastrous if she were to hit someone. Therefore, it is not suitable for use in populated areas.
“And if I use it, it’ll definitely reveal that I’m the [Hero of Shadows]. As long as no one sees me using it, it might be okay, but if someone spots the shadows I extend with magic, they’ll think “The [Hero of Shadows]’s in this town!” So I have to avoid that.”
“They already know though.”
“Shaddup, nothing’s decided till the final whistle blows!”
And so, unable to give up, Phil can’t use magic. Kahlua might accidentally kill someone if she uses magic, so she can’t either. Inevitably, a brute force, numbers game approach is the only option.
It seems like an extremely inefficient plan, but there was no helping it.
“I think I roughly understand the circumstances…so we just need to go look for the cat now! Leave it to me!”
Milis adorably puffs out her chest, emphasizing her suitably developed figure.
It looks as if─
“(…Am I the only one who feels like she’s bound to get lost at any moment?)”
“(…Don’t say it. I thought it for a second too, but don’t say it out loud. Milis is not that much of a kid, we gotta believe in her.)”
Is it because Milis is being so charming and petite? For some reason, both of their brains pictured her like a child holding a parent’s hand.
“I’ll start searching over there!”
And with that lingering bit of uncertainty, Milis does an about-face and tries to exit the back alley.
Without deciding on a meeting place or discussing anything.
“Um, Milis…by the way, are you familiar with this town’s geography?”
“I’ll just ask people for directions, so it’s fine!”
Oh dear. Phil heaves a heavy sigh.
Alright, let’s not split up. How about we all get along and take our sweet time searching for the kitty together?
First and foremost, Milis is a super important person who has been attacked in the past.
Without any knights to guard us, leaving Milis alone in a situation without Kahlua or Phil is not a good idea.
Phil, finally realizing this, grabbed Milis’s arm and reined in the enthusiastic girl.
“Having realized that leaving Milis-sama alone is dangerous… should I let Kahlua go solo this time?”
“When I see a cat… I’ll run away with all my might.”
“Even though the goal is to catch it!?”
Sighing deeply, Phil thought, “I made a mistake in my personnel choice.”
The strategy of overwhelming numbers wouldn’t work like this.
“Well… for now, let’s quickly search. If we don’t hurry, the kitty might escape from this town and become an adventurer exploring a new world.”
Suddenly, Phil grabbed the waists of the nearby Kahlua and Milis and pulled them closer.
“Kyah!?” “Ah!”
Surprised by the sudden gesture, the two girls’ faces turn bright red at being seized and held close.
Their hearts race from Phil’s sturdy yet warm touch.
Completely oblivious to the maiden hearts of the two girls, Phil grows a long, black arm from his back. He stretches it all the way up to the rooftop then uses it to hoist himself up.
Only then does he release his grip on the girls’ waists.
“So in other words, we’ll be searching for the cat from above while enjoying the superior view─”
“What the heck are you doing, idiot!”
“Um…doing sudden things like this can be distressing without proper mental preparation!”
“Oh, uh…sorry about that.”
Flushed and glaring at him, Phil apologizes to the two girls.
Perhaps pulling them up to the roof so abruptly was insensitive? He mistakenly pondered irrelevant things.
“So why did you bring us up to the roof?”
“Well, for some reason the townspeople make a fuss whenever I just walk around town nowadays.”
“Gee I wonder why, it’s because your identity as the [Hero of Shadows] has been exposed.”
“If this keeps up, just searching for a cat might draw huge crowds of people!”
It would be quite a rare occurrence for lines of people to form behind someone merely looking for their cat.
“So we’ll conduct our search from the roof. No objections allowed.”
“And I’d rather not be seen if possible, so stay low. Peeking just our faces out is the key.”
“What suspicious new criminal behavior. Should we report you to the guards for stalking?”
“That would be quite the misunderstanding. We’re only looking for a cat after all. I’m confident we’d win in court if I pile on enough money.”
“So you can only win trials by piling on money? What have you been doing up till now?”
“Now now missy, that’s a misunderstanding.”
Phil shrugs his shoulders and starts scanning the town from the rooftop.
Unconcerned about dirtying her clothes, Milis assumes the same position as Phil and crouches down. Kahlua sighs and reluctantly does the same.
Gazing at the scenery of the townspeople from the rooftop, the view is mostly unobstructed despite some intervening obstacles here and there. People’s movements and objects are clearly visible.
“Searching for a cat from the roof is quite an ingenious method, isn’t it?”
“Don’t say that, Kahlua. Sometimes ingenious ideas are what contribute to the advancement of civilization. This method might even make it into a textbook page someday, who knows?”
“As if a textbook would feature cat searching. How relevant could that possibly be?”
“But, with this method, we won’t get lost, right? Phil-sama’s house is visible in the distance! This way, there’s no need to worry, and no one will call out to us!”
“…The way you just said that makes it sound like you’ve gotten lost several times before.”
“Well, I’m truly relieved that we didn’t split up. If we had let the Saint get lost, who knows what kind of chaos would ensue due to the lack of supervision.”


While chatting, the three of them scanned the town in search of the cat.
“By the way, what kind of appearance does the cat we’re looking for have?”
“If you ask, it seems to be a white cat with black markings around its eyes. It’s distinctive, so we should recognize it easily.”
“A girl who can spit out such harsh words about cute creatures, there’s probably no one else like Kahlua in the world. Don’t you have a more typical girl-like side where you care for and cherish them?”
“It’s not like that at all. I take care of mischievous and perverted cats every day.”
“You, what are you saying to Milis-sama…!?!”
“Oh, was that just about me now!?”
Even though that was clearly about Phil, the three of them continued their search for the cat.
“I can’t find the cat. But searching from below would be troublesome too. Being popular is tough. I can understand the feelings of royalty holed up in the castle.”
“Holed up is just Phil.”
“Thinking about it, Milis-sama is amazing. Even though she knows she’ll attract attention, she still goes outside.”
“Hahaha… I’m in a position where I have to go on pilgrimages. Besides, I’m used to it.”
Aaaand, search for the cat.
“Where the heck did this cat wander off to?”
“Who knooows.”
“Can’t seem to spot it.”
Searching for the─
“Kyaaaaah!? A c-cat!? There’s a cat!?”
“Stop, don’t jump the gun! I haven’t raised my protagonist level high enough to save tragic heroines yet!”
Phil firmly seizes the waist of Kahlua, who attempts to leap off the roof in a suicidal fashion, barely preventing her from jumping.
While the magician Kahlua would likely neither die nor be injured from a jump at this height, if a person suddenly landed in front of the people below it would undoubtedly draw their attention upward.
Therefore, Phil stops Kahlua at all costs.
“Oh, s-scared me…I didn’t expect a cat to be in a place like this…”
Milis turns around to glimpse the source of the meowing sound she hears from the side.
Somehow already next to them sits a cat with black markings encircling its eyes, like bruises. How odd that it had been nonchalantly beside them until now.
“It’s lamp democracy for sure! No wonder no one would find it on the damn roof!”
“It’s actually darkness under the lamplight, Sir Phil. If you remember idioms incorrectly, you might get laughed at someday!”
“That was a joke of course! Don’t suddenly look at me like “what a dummy who can’t even remember common sayings properly!”
Perhaps from Phil’s loud shout, the cat they had been searching for is startled and takes off running across the roof.
It’s perplexing that it had been casually sitting next to them until just now.
“Kahlua! With your speed you can easily catch a mere cat right!? If we lose it now after all the trouble so far, our blood, sweat and tears will turn into sparkling stars!”
“No way! Catching it means I’ll have to touch it! In that case I’ll turn into a sparkling star from jumping off this roof!”
“You’re so useless, dammit!”
Clearly a hindrance rather than unable to use her at this point.
“It can’t be helped…Milis!”
“Yes si─ Whoa!”
Milis trips spectacularly, having stepped on the hem of her robes.
She had likely rushed to run without care. As Milis grabs her nose with a pained “Oww…” the distance between her and the cat steadily grows.
“Crap! Does no one here have the capability to properly chase it down!? Too many screwups and not even enough tsukkomi!”
With no choice, Phil grows several black arms from his back.
“[Binding Hands]!”
Their thickness is about the same as Phil’s. However, their length easily exceeds that of a human body.
The ominous yet somehow night sky-like shimmering arms extend even further as several of them remorselessly reach for the escaping cat.
But as if guided by survival instincts, the agile cat nimbly evades each attempt at capture.
Irritated by the lack of success, Phil plunges the arms at his feet into the ground. Instantly, a black wave spreads out from around Phil’s feet.
It reaches all the way to beneath the fleeing cat, then slowly begins to sink the cat’s body.
“Ha, I should’ve just done this from the start…thinking you can escape from a magician is at least 100 years too early, you whiskered rascal.”
As he wipes sweat from his brow, Phil revels in his sense of accomplishment.
With this, he had successfully captured the cat. Now he just had to hand it over to the child and the issue would be resolved.
Yes, resolved─
[Hey, didn’t it look like there were some kinda black arms or something on that roof over there!?]
[Shh! Isn’t that the [Hero of Shadows]’s magic!?]
[Then, since this is his territory…in other words, that’s gotta be Sir Phil!]
[I knew it, Sir Phil is the [Hero of Shadows] after all!]
Or so he had thought, but that no longer seemed likely.
“You two, hurry up and let’s get out of here NOW!”
“Huh? Did something happen?”
“It’s reached a situation where I can’t deny it anymore alright!?”
At some point a mass of people had gathered under the roof, all watching them.
If they were to reveal their faces even a little, it would provide definitive proof that the [Hero of Shadows] Phil Salamander is one and the same. This would make excuses impossible.
“The cat’s not even here anymore! Quit standing there striking tragic heroine poses! Let’s go home already, away from these curiosity-stained stares to the warm tea waiting in our cozy house!”
Phil grabs Kahlua and Milis by the arm and sinks into the shadow spread at his feet.
It seemed as if he was escaping. The last thing heard was the crowd’s frenzied voices.

Afterwards, Phil handed the cat over to the shadows and successfully returned it to the child.
The overjoyed child cried and thanked him profusely for bringing it back safe.
Delighted upon hearing the story, Phil’s taut cheeks nevertheless failed to return to normal.
That’s because─
“Look Phil, even more townspeople than before are gathered outside the mansion.”
“Hhhey there missy… This is nothing to be happy about!”
It appears Phil’s fame has yet to peak.
Watching Phil clutch his head, the maid girl laughs amusedly.

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