We arrived a few minutes later at a small, wooden house.
Rollo meows quietly.
It seems Rebecca is being held here.
An old, two-storied Japanese-styled house? But, I don’t see an entrance, only stairs.
I peek at the stairs. Oh, found it! There’s a door on the right wall, at the bottom of the stairway.
So that’s the way in, huh?
I can sense three magic source responses from within this building.
I won’t enter yet. For starters, I need to check this old Japanese-styled house.
I go around to the house’s rear.
I find several wooden windows there, but no doors.
The window frames are small, not big enough for a person to fit through.
Thus, I shift my attention to the surroundings.
Complicated pathways, as common for back alleys, continue in both directions.
The neighboring houses are mostly run-down huts similar to hovels.
All of the small houses, which possess weather-beaten, wooden stairways, are crowded together. There are many peculiar buildings that are connected by passages on the second or third floor.
Rollo’s sense of smell is quite amazing.
Wow, just how was she able to give chase in this maze-like place without getting lost…?
While praising her in my mind, I caress the neck of Rollodeen.
Rollo returns to the front of the house after circling it and comes to a halt.
In the end, this is the only entrance, huh?
The small stairway located in front.
Well then, before getting off Rollodeen, I will wake up Viine.
Viine is still squeezing my front.
Her eyes have been closed since some time ago.
“Viine, we’ve arrived so let’s get off.” (Shuuya)
She cheerfully answers and her eyes spring open.
Then she removes her bluish-white hands from around my back and descends to the ground after raising a slender and well-proportioned leg, just like a gymnast at a vaulting competition.
She properly stands on her long, model-like legs.
The Gladiator Long Boots suit her.
It doesn’t seem as if her knees are trembling like the other day.
Following her, I get off of Rollodeen as well.
The moment I dismounted completely, Rollo transforms back into a black cat.
Rollo comes and rubs her head against my foot with her tail bent like the grip of an umbrella; it makes butt, with its thick pelt, wiggle. She goes back and forth.
And then, seemingly satisfied with the amount of passes, she lifts her face and appeals to me with her round and cute, red eyes.
It looks like she wants to be praised.
“… Well done, Rollo.” (Shuuya)
Once Rollo answers cutely, she walks towards the ruined house in front of us.
Facing her nose at the damp-looking overhang, she sniffs the air.
I wonder, is she checking the turf of the stray cats around here or is she confirming Rebecca’s scent?
As it’s certain that she had been brought here, all that’s left is the door at the bottom of the stairs.
“… The house looks small. Give priority to projectile weapons and don’t speak. Let’s go.” (Shuuya)
“As you command!” (Viine)
Rollo and Viine agree.
At that moment Helme appears in my field of vision.
『Your Excellency, is it finally my turn?』 (Helme)
I guess she asks because it’s an infiltration mission.
『Normally you’d be correct, but this time you have to sit out. I plan to borrow your Spirit Sight though.』 (Shuuya)
I’m sorry for Helme, but I won’t be satisfied unless I kill them myself.
Helme bows her head and disappears from my view.
I nod and activate <Hide>.
I imagine it as Sneaking Mission.
I descend the stone stairs while preparing my magic, <Chain>, and the daggers strapped to my chest in order to be able to attack in an instant’s notice.
I place my hand on the entrance door located on the right side.
It’s not locked.
Carefully I push the door open and we quietly step inside.
Inside there’s only a narrow hallway with a wooden floor on the right.
There are two shut doors on the left side of the hallway.
A hallway and two rooms, huh?
There is a candle holder installed in-between the two doors, creating orange light that illuminates the corridor.
I advance through the tight hallway while bending down.
A questionable sound resounds from stepping on rotten wood.
I look at the first closed door.
I can’t sense any magic sources besides those from above, but just for caution’s sake.
『Helme, lend me your sight.』 (Shuuya)
I imagine grabbing Helme who has reappeared in my field of vision.
Alongside a small moan, the left side of my field of vision transforms into a thermographic display.
There are no heat signatures through that door.
I suppose we can ignore this room.
The other room is the same.
Thus, without checking beyond the doors, I progress through the hallway while focusing on causing no noises.
Further down the hallway, there is a left-curving stairway continuing diagonally upwards.
After I make it up the wooden stairs, I exit at a place with a mud wall in front of me and hallways off to the left and right.
The cracked mud wall is simple; it’s only decorated with a candle holder.
Rather than the hallways, will the wall of mud lead me to an adjoining hall?
I can hear voices coming through the cracks.
“… Just as you ordered, I shot aiming precisely at the head with <Farsight> and <Severing Shadow Arrow>, completely taking him by surprise. However, he survived. The second arrow’s aim was off due to the wind, but it definitely shot into his neck. He pulled out the poisoned, refined demonic steel arrow that was stuck there with a calm expression… Even though that poison is something that showed its effect after several minutes against the monsters in Senapua, the lancer took it out as if removing some trash…”
The voice of a woman.
“Did you really apply the poison to it? After all, you tried to run away while ignoring things. It sure is suspicious…”
“How would I have done that? You saw me applying the Dosmegala poison with your own eyes while threatening me with a knife, right? And you probably confirmed my shooting from far away with the special item you stole from the collector’s warehouse.”
“Well, you are certainly right there, he fell to the ground after being stabbed by the arrows… That’s why I can agree that Oze-aniki was done in by that lancer. He’s probably a person possessing some kind of unique skill. However, his weak point is right here.”
A male voice. My weak point?
“… I wonder whether that woman will be really useful as a lure?”
“Ah, don’t worry. It’s in line with the information I got from the thief guild. Besides, my subordinates also made sure that the hostage formed a party with that lancer several times.”
So it’s Rebecca after all, huh?
Certainly…that’s a weak point.
It’s bad that a woman whom I like has been kidnapped to be used as a hostage.
“… I see. So, how do you plan to lure the lancer to the warehouse district? As it stands, the offensive of 【Supreme Dance of Crimson】 is intense…”
“Don’t get so irritated. Isn’t it a nice thing that he personally experienced your arrows? How about Come to the 15th Warehouse in the Warehouse District if you value the life of this woman? There you will use the special trap room I snatched from the collector to haul him in together with this woman.”
“Eh? Me? Even though I have nothing more than my bow. Stop this crap already and let me go…”
“… You want me to threaten you again? Since the other day, you ain’t shutting your trap about escaping or letting you go. You are Lane, a leader of the Owl’s Fangs, referred to as Feathered Long-Distance Archer, aren’t you? Have a bit more pride.”
Oops, due to a weird course of events…
“… I won’t take part in such trickery. You are scarier than the leader of Bloody Long Ears. Until now I went along with you under duress, but I’m already tired of it. For me, there’s a place I have to return to.”
“Hey, hey, don’t fuck around with me. Do you plan to run away after coming this far? Are you the epitome of a fucking bitch who runs away once an organization breaks apart? This is the reason why I can’t stand women. You being a leader, a long distance archer, and even a birdlike archer; what stupid shit…”
“So you drew your weapon…do you plan to kill me?”
The raised voices on the other side of the wall seem to be having a quarrel or internal discord.
I also feel the magic source responses from there.
With Spirit Sight the wall became transparent and I could clearly see human-shaped silhouettes with red and orange borders.
Let’s use <Inhalation of Odor Technique> as well; I had sealed it before.
It means that this place will become my turf, but there’s no blood scent of other vampires in the vicinity.
I guess it might have once been a living room.
There’s only a single wall in front of me.
There are three magic sources: one on the right side and two in the middle.
Of the human-shaped silhouettes, both are standing, one in the middle of the room and the one off to the right.
There’s a female scent coming from the middle and the right.
It overlaps with the magic source responses.
I suppose Rebecca was put to sleep and left in the center of the room.
At that point, I cut off the Spirit Sight and give Rollo and Viine instructions with my eyes and fingers.
I take out a dagger from my chest strap. While getting ready to throw it on a moment’s notice, I carefully walk along the wall towards a corner.
After arriving, I leap out from the corner.
Letting my gaze wander — I grasp the general situation in an instant.
The locations I detected through their smell and magic sources are just as I saw with the Spirit Sight.
The man in the middle and the rabbit woman on the right are surprised by our sudden appearance.
Rebecca is lying below the man’s feet.
I immediately shoot a <Chain> towards the chest of the stupefied man while snapping my left wrist.
The chain, which extended in an instant, stabs into the man’s torso. With his body taking the shape of the character く, the man is nailed to the wall like a tapestry.
At the same time, I hurl the dagger with <Throwing> towards the rabbit woman’s feet.
The dagger stabs into her foot.
The man, who was carried by the chain, crashes into the wall after bumping into a chair and a cabinet.
Was the man’s hair band torn? His long hair spills down at the sides, covering his face.
And then a small item, which was likely at the man’s chest, falls out and rolls onto the floor. It’s a monocle-like object which has been completely broken after getting pierced by the chain.
The rabbit woman shouts the name of her comrade who’s hanging from the wall.
A dagger is buried in her right foot, but she moves an arm to try to pick up her weapon, a longbow, that’s lying at her feet.
At that moment Rollo extends her tentacles towards the rabbit woman’s hand.
Her hand is pierced by a tentacle bone sword.
Moreover, watching the situation, Viine draws her sword with a swift movement while approaching the rabbit woman. She presses one of her silver longswords, not the poisonous one, against the rabbit woman’s neck.
Hee, good going there, Viine.
Even though I haven’t given her an order, she didn’t kill her.
I think she decided not to on the spot after seeing Rollo’s actions.
While thinking about such things, I check the vicinity.
There are no signs of suspicious magic sources except for those two who have been taken out.
We gain full control without misstep.
I check Rebecca.
I press my finger against her neck…there’s still a pulse.
She’s sleeping with calm breaths on top of a dark cloth while tightly embracing her important silver wand.
Her clothes aren’t disheveled, so it looks like nothing has been done to her.
Great, she’s safe.
“Gaaah, guhoooo, y-you…why are you here…?”
The man who is sewn to the wall asks.
He has long, unkempt hair and a scar on his lips.
He looks at me with a pained expression as blood is running out of his mouth.
He’s still alive?
Shit, I don’t want to listen to the words of an enemy bastard.
I release a chantless 《Ice Bullet》.
Alongside a popping sound, grey matter scatters into the surroundings.
His head was destroyed after being smashed by the ice bullet.
Once I erase the chain, the blood-stained body crumples down to the plank floor.
The rabbit woman screams after her comrade was done in.
“… ugh.” (Viine)
Even Viine is startled by my sudden action.
She leaks a quiet shriek.
It seems Viine’s blade was touching the rabbit woman’s neck then, causing a small amount of blood to flow.
You don’t have to be surprised, is not something I’m going to say to her.
Though I squint slightly.
“Viine, you can lower your blade.” (Shuuya)
“Yes, Master!” (Viine)
Viine sheathes her sword into its scabbard.
I glare at the rabbit woman to fix my mood.
She seems to be frightened and becomes as meek as a rabbit.
“Now then, Rabbit-san. There are various things I’d like to know, but…” (Shuuya)
This as soon as I address her?
She’s too frightened, making it impossible to talk with her.
I guess I will allow her to recover a bit.
I pull out the dagger stuck in her foot and heal the wound with a potion.
The injury heals as if evaporating with a *ssshhh*.
“I-It huuurts, huuh? It doesn’t!”
“It looks like it was healed.” (Shuuya)
Once I say so while smiling,
“You’re scared again?” (Shuuya)
I guess it’s better to kill her if she isn’t going to talk anyway?
I fill my gaze with bloodthirst.
“… It appears that you want to die.” (Shuuya)
“Hii! W-Wait. What should I tell you?”
Oh, finally, huh?
The rabbit woman makes use of her mouth even while feeling frightened and entrusting her back to the wall.
“First, your name and the name of your dark guild. Explain why you attacked me and kidnapped Rebecca.” (Shuuya)
“… My name is Lane and the name of the dead man is Beck. Both of us are leaders of the dark guild 【Owl’s Fangs】. The reason for attacking you is revenge. I got dragged into that.” (Lane)
Her name is Lane. Besides, revenge, eh?
“Were your parents, siblings or relatives killed by me?” (Shuuya)
“Not in my case, but as for Beck, you’re correct. Beck hated you for having killed “Oze,” his sworn brother. Additionally, 【Owl’s Fangs】 getting destroyed is completely caused by you.” (Lane)
Keyser Oze1, eh? No, Oze Sulligan.
I suppose it’s about the enemy who introduced himself as Oze of the Silver-Blue.
If I remember correctly, that’s the name of the opponent I killed in the battle of Holkerbaum.
He was a dual-wielding master using a magic dagger and a longsword.
Now that I think of it, that guy was the strongest so far from amongst these guys.
“… Silver-Blue? That guy, huh?” (Shuuya)
“Yes, he was originally a master of martial arts.” (Lane)
“I understand the motive. Next, tell me all the details about the time before you attacked me.” (Shuuya)
Making my gaze stern, I urge on Lane to talk.
It’s a demon-like expression.
“O-Ok. It began when us leaders were hurriedly summoned to this city by President Bill. And then we were ordered to protect our turf in several places.” (Lane)
I will check back with the story told by Serva.
“Beck and I were put in charge of the Warehouse District close to the port. After arriving in that area, a turf war immediately broke out. At first, we defended against the attacks from the other dark guilds, but suddenly we couldn’t get in touch with the leaders protecting the other areas. After that, it turned into a continuous defensive fight with our turf being steadily taken by other dark guilds…” (Lane)
An underworld war lacking any moral code, huh?
“Moreover, even communication with headquarters stopped coming in… At that point, it was Beck who proposed it first. He said “If it continues like this, we will be done in by the other dark guilds. I want to get my revenge by sending an arrow at the lancer who continued making us swallow all those bitter experiences. If I’m going to die anyway, I want to do so after accomplishing my revenge.” And then he arbitrarily began to track and investigate you while leading the few remaining troops. I participated from behind…” (Lane)
I ponder her words just now while touching my neck that was stabbed by an arrow before.
If I remember correctly, let alone one arrow, I received two.
Those really hurt.
The sensation of having my eye crushed… I tasted the loss of my field of vision.
Would it turn into something good if I consider it as some kind of unknown, hard to obtain experience?
No, it’s pointless. If it’s about me receiving an attack, my knee would have been plenty.
If I took an arrow to the knee, I would be able to feel something realistically along the lines of I ended up getting hit here by an arrow.
Dang, what useless archer.
However, I don’t give a damn about having received an attack anymore.
The problem lies with them having investigated and tracked me.
They might have not only limited their investigation to Rebecca but also have looked into Eva.
“… You said that you investigated me, but did you do the same for Rebecca and a woman in a wheelchair?” (Shuuya)
“Yes. We investigated the adventurers who are related to you. Unexpectedly the black-haired one in the wheelchair was “off-limits from the start.” Once we probed, we found out that the adventurers and hoodlums who got involved with her had two results: either dying or suffering major injuries. Moreover, even though she has no connection to the underworld, it was a flawless job… We decided to ignore her as the risks were too high for an abduction. It was immediately set that it would be the blonde-haired half-elf if we were going to abduct someone.” (Lane)
/Read this story at infinitenoveltranslations.net to support the translator!/
Eva is strong after all.
At this rate, it looks like nothing is going to happen to her.
Accordingly, I look at Lane once again.
She is no simple rabbit woman, is she?
I do know that she’s of the rabbit race since her face is similar to that of a human and rabbit ears are growing on her head.
But, fluffy, white bird feathers are vertically waving up and down, as if breathing, from her wrists up to her elbows.
I’m curious about her race, but I guess I will ask about that cloth which kidnapped Rebecca.
“… I see. So what’s that black cloth you used when kidnapping Rebecca?” (Shuuya)
I turn my eyes at Rebecca who is sleeping on top of the dark cloth.
“… That’s an item we received from the leader called Morabi. It’s a consumable magic item with a limited number of charges called Thinking Steel Cloth of Darkness. It’s limited to users with the darkness attribute though. It allows someone to automatically counter attacks. In addition, it also has the ability to wrap up specified things to transport them. This time we used that function.” (Lane)
Hee, even though it has a limited number of charges, it’s a handy item.
“Is it still usable?” (Shuuya)
“No, it shouldn’t be.” (Lane)
Certainly, I can’t feel any mana from that fabric anymore. It doesn’t appear to be anything but a simple wrapping cloth.
I wondered whether I should take it, but there’s no point if it can’t be used. What else do I want to hear…?
I guess I will ask her about the arrow and bow that pierced me.
“Let’s change the topic. The one who shot me is you, right?” (Shuuya)
Lane immediately avoids meeting my gaze and talks while being tense.
“Is it a long-distance skill?” (Shuuya)
“Yes. I used the skills <Severing Shadow Arrow>, an archery skill, and <Farsight> which allows me to look long distance. By using an arrowhead made out of refined demon steel charged with mana, it’s possible to add a Hiding effect to the arrow which is mainly used for assassinations. They are skills specialized in long-distance shooting, they also raise the accuracy and penetration power of the arrow.” (Lane)
Archery skills like that exist?
While nodding, I take my eyes off Lane and look at Viine.
“Viine, do you have any archery skills?” (Shuuya)
“Yes. I possess skills such as <Precise Marksmanship>, <Quick Chain Firing> and <Severing Lightning Arrow>.” (Viine)
For her to have even three of them, as expected of Viine. She’s outstanding.
I return my look to Lane once again.
Now then, I asked everything I wanted to ask.
“I asked everything I wanted to know. Rollo, leave her.” (Shuuya)
Rollo withdraws the tentacle bone sword stabbing Lane’s hand and walks in the direction of the sleeping Rebecca.
I won’t suck her blood or absorb her soul.
After all, I still haven’t explained the bloodsucking to Viine yet…
Well, though I do believe that she’s been vaguely able to grasp that I’m not normal.
Lane is a woman with a beautiful face, but I guess I will finish her off normally.
I look at her with a gaze full of bloodthirst.
“W-Wait. Don’t kill me. I’m not your enemy anymore. I-I will do anything, so please spare my life…” (Lane)
I ended up getting begged by the scared rabbit woman.
She’s the exact opposite of Serva who was the vice-president.
I suppose it’s different because I sucked his blood.
“You aren’t my enemy, you say? Why are you pleading for your life? You are a leader of a dark guild, aren’t you? Didn’t you shoot your arrows with the resolve to kill me?” (Shuuya)
“I-It’s as you say. But, I had no other choice as the leader who bluffed being good at archery. Besides…I-I have a younger sister in 【Senapua】… If I’m gone, that girl…that girl will end up all alone…” (Lane)
The rabbit woman talks, her face full of tears and concern.
She tightly grasps a copper pendant hanging on her chest.
“… You are begging for your life because you have a younger sister? That’s quite the convenient excuse, don’t you think?” (Shuuya)
“It’s the truth! My younger sister’s hair is inside this pendant.” (Lane)
Apparently being eager to make me understand, she shows the pendant to me.
Inside the round, copper pendant that opened with a click, there’s certainly something like a folded letter and a white hair.
“All of what’s inside here is the truth. I will apologize that I shot at you. It’s not something that can be forgiven, but… I’m very sorry.” (Lane)
Uh, now that she apologized, it’s difficult to kill her, isn’t it?
Her eyebrows move and form the shape of 八, she opens her eyes wide, and her lower lip trembles. She drops her head as well.
As I read Lane’s feelings from her expression…
I wonder whether the letter and the existence of her younger sister are really true.
I’m no mentalist, but it’s probably not a lie.
If this was an act, she would be set for the Academy Awards as best leading actress.
Or rather, if that’s a lie, I will really start distrusting women. After all, I have already experienced it once with Kuna.
However, she’s a woman from a dark guild, just like Kuna.
I don’t know what she’s thinking about behind my back.
“… What kind of merit is there for me to let you go?” (Shuuya)
“If it’s money, I can give you some of the shares I earned until now. The rest I will pay with my body…” (Lane)
Certainly, she’s a beauty and her style is nice, too, but well…can I really have sex with a woman while harboring such feelings?
“Don’t mess with me! You are certainly pretty, but my head’s not that fucked up that I would sleep with you so soon… Assuming I would let you go for argument’s sake, it’s very possible that you will recruit help and start meddling with me. Besides, you might abduct Rebecca once more.” (Shuuya)
Lane immediately shakes her head and answers,
“— There’s no way for me to do something like that, I can’t. Even though things might seem different, I’m a former leader, so there should be a large bounty on my head… I will be chased by plenty other dark guilds, you know? And not only in this city. Even in 【Senapua】, where my younger sister lives, it will be dangerous. Even if I were to be set free by you, for example, I will be in a situation where I don’t know whether I will survive.” (Lane)
I guess she’s at her wits’ end, but…
“If you really have a younger sister, why didn’t you immediately escape when 【Owl’s Fangs】 started going downhill?” (Shuuya)
“I couldn’t! I can only use archery and am terrible at close combat. The leader Beck, who worked together with me, was strong at short and long-range combat with his Flying Sword. If I had acted even remotely dubiously, he would have probably killed me with ease in close combat. As a matter of fact, he threatened me by holding his blades in front of me…” (Lane)
Going by their conversation before we rushed in, it doesn’t look like she’s telling a lie.
… It can’t be helped. In the end, it means that I was searching for a reason to let her go even when I heard her long story. It’s naïve, but I guess I will let her escape.
The good and evil of one’s heart shows in one’s actions.
Normally those aren’t words the side taking lives would consider, but originally a life is something irreplaceable.
Though in my case it’s limited to allowing me to keep talking with a woman in the future.
“… Got it. I will let you go, so return to your sister’s place.” (Shuuya)
“Eh? You won’t do anything? Is that fine with you?” (Lane)
Don’t make an odd sign with your hand. What a vulgar woman.
“A beauty shouldn’t do something like that. It hurts my pure heart. Come on, hurry and get lost before I reconsider.” (Shuuya)
I urge her with my eyes to go while smiling faintly.
“Understood, bye then.” (Lane)
Once Lane says that in a concise manner, she hurries to leave without picking up the longbow which had fallen to the ground.
When I turn my eyes to the longbow,
“Wait. The bow over there is yours, right? Take it with you.” (Shuuya)
For an instant Lane looks at me dubiously, but then she nods.
“O-Okay. Thanks. U-Umm, it’s not something I should say, but you are the coolest…man, I think. If I manage to survive, I will spend my whole life to express my gratitude to you.” (Lane)
Lane picks up the bow with the uninjured hand. Then she bows her head and expresses her thanks while showing a serious expression.
It ain’t like I cared about my appearance towards you in particular. I’m just soft towards women.
Lane turns on her heels, leaves in a jog, and climbs the stairway.
“… Master, was it alright to let her go?” (Viine)
“It’s fine.” (Shuuya)
“… Understood.” (Viine)
I feel disappointment from Viine’s look.
Did I end up showing her a weak part of me?
I haven’t followed through, but she will probably continue to be targeted by other dark guilds just as much. In the end, it’s likely that she will be killed by someone else.
Even if she survives for argument’s sake, is she going to be able to point her bow at me again?
As far as listening to her story is concerned, I should face such a risk.
Now then, rather than such pointless predictions, I have to wake up Rebecca.
I approach the sleeping Rebecca and shake her shoulders.
“Hey, Rebecca. Wake up.” (Shuuya)
“Mmh, Buu-tan, be quiet~” (Rebecca)
What? Buu-tan? Don’t mumble weird stuff while half asleep.
“Rebecca? Buu-tan? Something like that isn’t here.” (Shuuya)
I wake her up by shaking her fiercely.
“Nuu~ Huuuh? Where’s this? Aaaaah!” (Rebecca)
Waking up all of a sudden, she looks at me and yells while making a strange, confused face.
“Shuuya, your face and neck should have been…shot?” (Rebecca)
“If it’s that, it’s alright. Look, there’s nothing like that, right?” (Shuuya)
Pointing my face upwards, I show her my neck and throat, appealing that I’m safe and sound.
“Lie! It’s a lie! Show it to me properly! Even though you were pierced by two arrows. Hey, take off your armor and let me check it.” (Rebecca)
Did Rebecca remember the scene of me getting stabbed? She reveals a flustered expression and shakes my body in reverse.
It was my face, I don’t think the armor’s related to it though…
Since it doesn’t look like she’s going to calm down at this rate, I unfasten the chest strap around my shoulder and take off my overcoat and armor just as she asked. Once I undressed my upper body, I show her my neck.
“— What about this?” (Shuuya)
Rebecca looks at my naked torso…
Staying silent, she simply keeps staring at my chest.
Now she’s silent? The ups and downs of her emotions are intense, aren’t they?
Well, if you call it womanly, that’s true, but…
But why is Rebecca’s gaze fixated only on my chest?
The part that got injured is my neck, ah, you don’t say she…
… likes the breasts of a man?
Eeeh? She likes guy tits?
Though, it’s certainly true that my pectoral muscles are bulging a bit.
I wonder, would it have been better if I had taken a pose in the style of the Riza○ CM?
Alright, a muscle pose as a sign of my healthiness, it is.
As if music’s playing, I twitch my chest as the trendy workout exercise for one’s breasts…
“… Why are you doing something as strange as moving your chest?” (Rebecca)
Uh, it looks like it was something else.
“Haha, well, just a little, light exercise…” (Shuuya)
“Haa? I don’t get what you’re saying. Rather than that, can’t you properly show me the necklace around your neck?” (Rebecca)
Mm? What, she was interested in this?
Good grief, how embarrassing…
I show her the two necklaces hanging from my neck.
One is the ladybug necklace I discovered in the bone sea cave of the underground in the past.
The other is a necklace with a key attached to it, which I was given by master.
Rebecca only grasps the ladybug necklace with her hand and brings it close to her beautiful blue eyes, though I don’t think that she’s shortsighted.
She nods once more.
And then, after showing a shocked expression… huh? Tears spill out.
She is crying. What’s that about?
Reflexively I ask the nearby Viine with my look.
Viine wracks her brain and then replies with a Who knows? I don’t look.
Once I shift my gaze towards Rollo, she’s stretching a foot up like a ballerina while grooming it by licking the tip of her paws.
As it can’t be helped, I return my look to Rebecca.
She’s touching the ladybug necklace while sobbing.
“… Say, this necklace — where did you get it?” (Rebecca)
Since she’s overflowing with tears, I’m slightly scared.
“Ah, that, huh? — It’s something I picked up.” (Shuuya)
I mean, I did pick it up at the location of the deep underground bone sea.
I encountered the mysterious light of ladybugs.
“This is dad’s, after all?” (Rebecca)
“Mmh? Dad?” (Shuuya)
Once Rebecca says so all of a sudden, she takes out a necklace that hung around her own neck.
Huh? The necklace owned by Rebecca is…
The ladybug is small, but it resembles the ladybugs attached to my necklace.
Rebecca adds the decorative ladybug of her own necklace to the necklace owned by me.
With a clicking sound, it joined together with the two ladybugs.
Thereupon, it changes into a single ladybug decoration of “parents and child.”
Oooh, wow. They fit together.
『I sense mana from the ladybug necklace that has become one.』 (Helme)
Certainly, it’s just as Helme says.
I feel it too. Did it turn into a magic item after joining into one?
“That’s an ancient white star stone?” (Viine)
Viine seems to know something.
“Is that the name of the gem?” (Shuuya)
“… Yeah!” (Rebecca)
Rebecca nods as big teardrops flow down from her eyes.
Suddenly there’s a white glittering by the “parents and child ladybug set that became one.”
Shining insects and ladybugs rapidly fly into the air from the glittering ladybug decoration and they start to engulf Rebecca and me.
『There’s no evil feeling. The light spirits are overflowing.』 (Helme)
Viine and Rollo are surprised and try to get over here.
But, I have them stop.
They seem to be light spirits.
“It’s alright, just watch.” (Shuuya)
The white ladybugs draw an arc, becoming faint, white rays of light.
Just like that, they create a complete circle around us, as if surrounding us.
It looks like a faint, white curtain that will bring about death if touched.
Then they expand as if breaking through the ceiling.
Rebecca gets close to me and embraces me, seemingly having become scared.
At the same time, small ladybugs start to appear and split apart once again from the white beams surrounding Rebecca and me.
The small ladybugs respectively shine with dazzling phosphorescence.
The bright glittering and the thin curtain produce a hologram-like illusion in midair.
It shows a vision of a family that seems happy and harmonious.
It’s a picture of an elf with long ears, a beautiful human woman, and a child.
Are they by chance Rebecca’s elven father and human mother?
Both have blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes, exactly like Rebecca.
“Dad, mom…” (Rebecca)
Large tears run down on Rebecca’s cheeks and she stretches out her hands towards the illusion.
『Are the light spirits showing the illusion?』 (Helme)
『It looks like fragments of the souls blessed by the light spirits have been released.』 (Helme)
『Fragments of the souls?』 (Shuuya)
『Yes. Souls, which stayed behind in the present world with Miracle of Spirits, have a bit spirit strength remaining.』 (Helme)
When I’m watching while deeply impressed, I also hear Viine murmuring,
“… This is, Miracle of Spirits?” (Viine)
It looks as if she’s deeply moved.
She is a dark elf and seems to know about this kind of phenomenon.
Rollo is excited and chases the small ladybugs.
Thereupon a voice reverberates within my head.
“Thank you, holder of light and darkness. For you have delivered my feelings to my daughter—”
The male elf vision starts talking.
They can talk? How surprising.
“N-No, it’s just by chance.” (Shuuya)
I say truthfully.
“As expected of a soul owning the light attribute. Your humility is wonderful. But, you didn’t know, did you? That you have been using and carrying light spirits with you, and that possessing both the light and darkness attribute makes you a rare, special being. I’d like you to tell me your name, if you are fine with it.”
“It’s Shuuya Kagari.”
“I see, Kagari-kun. Thank you for properly delivering my feelings to my daughter through the necklace. And — Rebecca, please take a look at the backside of the necklace.”
Rebecca’s father gently addresses her.
Just as told, she turns over the metallic necklace’s ladybug and looks at the other side.
First “My eternal love to Popla” is written there, but you can see a new message of “I dedicate my eternal love to Popla and Rebecca” being carved in there in real-time.
“… D-Dad, I…this…the message has been extended…” (Rebecca)
“That’s right. I’m sorry for those words being late.”
“No, I, thank you.” (Rebecca)
Her father looks at her with an expression full of love.
“… You have grown, haven’t you? You are already a splendid magician, just like your mother and me.”
“Yeah. I plan to become an adventurer who surpasses you, dad.” (Rebecca)
“I see. I’m happy… Oh, even if it’s the soul of a high elf like me, I guess up to here is the limit, even after cooperating with the light spirits.”
The light becomes dim.
“Dad! Don’t go! I want to talk with you a lot more!” (Rebecca)
“Haha, I thought that you are a pretty adult woman who resembles her mother, but — I guess you are still a child. Kagari-kun, although she’s such a girl…please take care of her.”
“Ah, yes.” (Shuuya)
I straighten up my back obviously feeling grateful and give my answer to Rebecca’s father.
In exact opposite to me, Rebecca shakes her head, making her blonde hair sway intensely.
“Dad, no! I want to keep talking!” (Rebecca)
“Rebecca, you will become a lot stronger. The blood flowing through you dates back to the dawn of the ancient times, surpassing even the old nobles of Befaritz, no, it’s even much older, it’s the blood of an immortal high elf. And the great power handed down through the lineage of the Blue Flame God is sleeping within you…you will become happy. Rebecca, my eternal love to you. Popla — we are going now—”
At that point, the light of the ladybugs vanishes all at once.
I could see the final fragment of light enter into the parent and child ladybug necklace grasped by Rebecca.
“They are gone, aren’t they…?” (Shuuya)
… So Rebecca isn’t a half elf but half of a high elf, huh?
I suppose that’s the reason why she’s so good at manipulating mana and easily gathers the spirits.
It’s probably also why her lower grade fire spells have such a high power output.
That means she isn’t a simple, poor and unlucky half-elf, doesn’t it?
“… Master, just what was that miracle a moment ago?” (Viine)
Viine looks curiously at the necklace in Rebecca’s hands.
“There’s no need to explain a miracle, is there? The magic power owned by Rebecca’s father was amazing, and because he called himself a high elf, he likely possesses an unknown might.” (Shuuya)
Rollo comes to me with a disappointed expression after the ladybugs, she was chasing, have vanished, but ignoring her, I turn my look towards Rebecca who’s looking downwards.
“Rebecca, are you alright?” (Shuuya)
“Yeah. I was surprised, but… I was happy meeting with dad one last time.” (Rebecca)
After looking at her, I judge that she’s fine.
I nod with a smile and then put on the armor and overcoat I had taken off earlier.
Lastly, I put the chest strap around my shoulder and look at Rebecca after being ready.
She still continues to stare at the ladybug necklace.
“…By no means did I expect for the ladybug necklace I wear to be related to Rebecca’s necklace. I feel like it won’t be settled with the word coincidence, but can rather be called fate.” (Shuuya)
When I was transferred into this world…
At that time I wouldn’t have picked up the necklace in Rebecca’s hand if I hadn’t passed through the bone mountain by chance after defeating zombies and skeletons.
And the letters written on the ground were a message asking for the one who finds it to deliver the necklace to his daughter, weren’t they?
… Fate. The one called God of Fate, Asura.
A little while ago I talked about various things with the Diviner Kazane who is also a reincarnator.
She said that she can’t see my fate, but it’s also possible that she did actually see it and lied about it.
Maybe an invisible path has already been laid out in front of me by the gods?
“… Yeah, mine and Shuuya’s fate?” (Rebecca)
Rebecca stares at me with a serious expression.
Her blue eyes are full of determination.
I guess I will answer her slightly seriously.
“… You could say that. But I think that’s something only the spirits and gods know about.” (Shuuya)
Upon my serious answer, she averts her face while looking slightly disappointed.
Huh? Did I make things awkward?
“… Certainly, I know what you mean, Shuuya. I think the spirits, who can create miracles like what just happened, and the gods are incredible. I believe in Fire Spirit-sama and Fire God-sama, but I wonder whether I should try to believe in the Light Spirit Fortuna-sama and the Light God Lulodis-sama as well. It’s still not at the level allowing to call it faith, but I might go to the church.” (Rebecca)
Church, eh? I can’t really get all that worked up about going there…
But a place where you can feel the gods is important.
Even I have received the blessing of the Water Goddess in such a place.
“… Haha, well, faith is different for every person. I’d like to be pardoned from something like Buddha’s palm actually existing, but it’s fine for you to think and act freely.” (Shuuya)
I say as if persuading myself.
“… Buddha? I don’t know who that is, but I think you are right. Yeah. But, since I love the fire spirits, I won’t cheat on them.” (Rebecca)
“I also like the water spirits and the water goddess.” (Shuuya)
『Your Excellency, thank you very much.』 (Helme)
Helme appears in my field of vision with a spellbound expression.
“That’s right. One’s own attribute is important after all.” (Rebecca)
She’s certainly correct there.
When I look at Rebecca’s smiling face for some reason…
Right then, I start to become curious about her previous sleep talking.
Let’s try asking her.
“By the way, it’s a sudden topic change, but… what’s Buu-tan?” (Shuuya)
“Eh? Eeeeeh…!? Why do you know about Buu-tan?” (Rebecca)
Rebecca’s body trembles, after she becomes obviously flustered.
She immediately covers her now bright red face with her hands.
“You mentioned it while sleeping.” (Shuuya)
“… A puppet. I’m always sleeping together with it…” (Rebecca)
“Ah, something like that…” (Shuuya)
She still has some girlish parts to her.
Or rather, I haven’t asked Rebecca how old she is.
Well, it seems that she will get embarrassed, so I will hold back on asking about her age and let it go…
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