TLN: I seem to have jumped one chapter accidentally. I will be fixing this on the next chapter release. I am truly sorry! >-<!
The Variant Incident that the Demon General, Rona, caused in Rotsgard.
The incident where hyumans were mutated into unsightly abnormal monsters and attacked the very place they lived in, Rotsgard.
Not only students and staff members of the Academy became variants, but also merchants, craftsmen, and even manual laborers; the range of people was wide. There were even beastkin who had become variants.
The variants, that all uniformly had white skin and demonic beast-like bodies, possessed high battle power, and a lot of casualties were suffered.
That wound still remains deeply and lively in Rotsgard, and for the residents, it will be an incident that they won’t ever forget.
“I didn’t expect the church would be secretly keeping them stored.”
According to the story of the Bishop-san, it is not like they are going to be doing medical treatment to an ill person.
I hope they are not thinking about utilizing unsightly monsters like the variants in the hyuman side as a fighting force.
…Once Tomoki and Hibiki-senpai completely have a grasp of their countries, they might do it though.
This time around, the related county is Limia, but it looks like the ‘will of the Gods’ from Elysion that they were allied with is at work here, so it should be safe to assume that the heroes are unrelated to this, I think.
But, keeping them alive.
Just what is the church trying to learn from a sample of a variant that has been suppressed in a way so that it doesn’t transform completely?
“The church is treating him solely as an ill person. I understand your sentiments, but…I would like you to stop treating him as a thing.” (Shima)
Shima-san guided us deep into the church, and let us in this room.
And then, after leaving a number of people here, she raised the veil of her face and showed us a patient called Dio on the verge of becoming a variant.
There’s a big wound below the veil of Shima-san’s face, and yet, no one touched on that topic, and they weren’t showing signs of surprise either.
Aah, magic, huh.
When I looked at Shiki, he nodded as if saying I am right.
…Even with that wound, she still has beautiful skin, but a wound in the face of a woman is not something pleasant to see.
The person herself seems to not mind it, but on this occasion, we saw through the magic on our own and saw it, so it makes it more discomforting.
I should tell her later and apologize even if she gets angry about it.
“Just how many residents have become like this, and then rampaged and killed in Rotsgard? It is not like everyone doesn’t know. My master as well has special emotions towards these white monsters. I would like you to understand that even if you tell us to treat them as just patients, we won’t be able to follow on those words immediately.” (Shiki)
While I was trying to choose my words, Shiki took my place in speaking.
Special emotions, huh.
That’s an exaggeration, but…well, you could put it like that.
That event was a turning point in a lot of meanings, and it has been used by the Kuzunoha Company to a high extent.
“…Right. But regarding the variants, there’s a lot that we don’t know with just the corpses the Academy has stored. The church is putting their all in researching them in order to make it so that the demons won’t be able to pull such a crafty move on us again.” (Shima)
“And, fortunately, there was one that was conveniently an Aion noble?” (Shiki)
“Putting it bluntly, yeah.” (Shima)
“From what I can see…” (Shiki)
Shiki looks around.
He is faking it.
Shiki doesn’t need to do that. He has already finished gathering information of what the church has been doing and must have a pretty good grasp of things here now.
“This guinea pig that’s called Dio looks like the last remaining one though.” (Shiki)
He conveniently was the only one who they managed to find in this state, and even after thoroughly treating and nursing him, it didn’t turn into the miracle of him being saved.
The research was progressing with a guy like him who is on the verge of turning and is a weakened variant, and also the corpses of the variants gathered by the church just as the Academy did.
And so, just as Shiki said, they are doing their best to do medical treatment on him and see if it is truly treatable.
That’s about the gist of it.
They obviously have interest in their nature, their battle ability, and the individual traits, but the important part is whether it can be cured.
In other words, the church still doesn’t know if it can be treated or not.
“Have everyone leave. Of course, you as well. With how much you have shown us, the Kuzunoha Company should probably take the request or the church would be facing a complete loss here after all. I will take responsibility in the negotiations.” (Shima)
“I will act in a way that it doesn’t affect you. I will take all responsibility.” (Shima)
She wants to negotiate us alone?
Or is what’s going to be discussed something that other people shouldn’t hear about?
Or maybe, even after saying all that, the truth is that it is a talk that is inconvenient for Shinai-san?
I don’t care which it is, so I will just silently listen.
Cause you know, I have the reliable Shiki with me right now.
There’s no chance he would mess up.
After everyone aside from us three left the room…
“Now then, from here on, let’s go on without any formalities. Raidou, Shiki, can you cure this person?” (Shima)
How should we answer this?
Honestly speaking, it would be impossible with an ambrosia.
I think we can somehow deal with the seizures of the transformation, the destruction of the body, and the side-effects.
But when it comes to treating the root problem…
“The ambrosia wouldn’t cut it. But if it is curing him, it is not impossible.” (Shiki)
The tone Shiki used when saying ‘curing’ was different from usual.
“! You are saying treatment is possible? That you are versed in regards to the variants?”
“After that incident, we also investigated the variants as much as possible on our side. The result was that it was a cocktail of being forcefully turned frenetic and having their body altered in such a way that you could tell they had no intentions of having them turn back to their original forms. If I were to put it in a simpler to understand way, I would say they are a mix juice of hyuman and emotions.” (Shiki)
He says ‘simpler’, but it is still complicated.
This time’s emotion that was cut off from the human heart was…impulse.
They forcefully fused that with the body… And well, yeah, there’s no doubt it is an ugly result.
“I don’t know how much you of the church have a grasp on, but I have a general understanding of how much you know from the fact that you have passed the medical treatment to someone else. If you want us to treat him, we will properly take the mantle. However, I will have you answer a number of our questions in exchange.” (Shiki)
“…Go ahead.” (Shima) *
“Is this a guinea pig that coincidentally survived, or…is it a guinea pig that you purposely kept alive?” (Shiki)
“Oh, you are asking pretty bluntly there.”
“You did say there won’t be any formalities between us here, so I will have you answer us without worries about your words. Is there a problem?” (Shiki)
“Then, your answer.” (Shiki)
“…The former. Under the orders of the Great Church, we captured as many variants as possible, kept as many alive as we could, and carried out a variety of experiments. He is the one that managed to survive till the very end without transforming. Him being someone of the Aion Kingdom is mere coincidence.” (Shima)
And Shima-san was apparently personally against it.
Her tone was clear.
“Second question. Was there a plan to bring down the Kuzunoha Company with the results of the experiments until now?” (Shiki)
“…Yeah, there were. It is in part because you didn’t give us favorable responses to our scouting, Shiki. The position of the Kuzunoha Company in Rotsgard has become extremely undesirable after all. However, I have also been given the order that, if this request succeeds, we will judge you as useful pharmacists, and will reward you constantly so that we can utilize you.”
The Great Church of Limia, huh.
In the end, even at the time when we went to the Limia Kingdom, we didn’t have direct contact with that place.
With not only the nobles but even the church acting all big, Hibiki-senpai must be having it tough.
Honestly speaking, just hearing how they are dealing with us is already a pain.
Also, Shiki, you were scouted by the church?
I knew that you were scouted by the Academy to become a full-time teacher, but not this one. You are getting invitations from many places, huh.
No, even Akua and Eris are getting scouted on the regular, so Shiki getting that is even less weird.
“Third question. Even if this Dio returns to normal, what will happen to him?” (Shiki)
“We will continue experimenting on him on the pretext of a health diagnosis for a while. After that, we will return him to the Academy, or return him to the Aion Kingdom. I think it will be him who will be deciding that.” (Shima)
“Last question. Why are you hiding your face with a veil?” (Shiki)
Wait, Shiki. That’s because she has a wound on her face, right?
“…I think it is not related at all with the medical treatment, but if you have taken an interest in me, will you be more into the idea of being scouted by us if I were to be added to the conditions?” (Shima)
Shima-san is making sound arguments.
Also, sadly to say, but I don’t think Shiki has an interest in you in that way.
He has Amelia after all.
“Having a veil on, yet you hide the wound of your face with magic. I was just wondering what was the reason for that.” (Shiki)
“! So you can see it. In that case, you too, Raidou?” (Shima)
“…Well, I am Shiki’s master after all.” (Makoto)
“It is not a kind of curse, and it doesn’t look like a wound that can’t be erased. My master is an incredibly generous person towards illnesses and wounds. I simply thought of asking your circumstances if there were any. Why are you not erasing it?” (Shiki)
“It hasn’t been seen through by anyone aside from the Hero Hibiki until now though… I see, it doesn’t work on the Kuzunoha Company, huh. I could have used this as a sympathizing point to invite the Raidou of the past, but it won’t prove much merit for me now since you have seen the wound and are still speaking in such a calm manner, huh. Even though I prepared a lot of good episodes for when it was seen through though. What a shame.” (Shima)
“…No no, if you want to erase it, I will help you.” (Makoto)
“I am fine.” (Shima)
It is a wound that she can erase without relying on us after all.
Anyways, she is acquainted with Hibiki-senpai, huh.
She is the person that came after the previous one in Rotsgard died, so she was in Limia before?
Hm? If Limia is the last objective for promotion, does that mean that this person got demoted?
“If you are acquainted with the Hero, that must mean you came from Limia to Rotsgard, huh. That career route as a bishop is a slight demotion, right? A political strife?” (Shiki)
“Shiki, you are so blunt. But yeah, something like that. I was close to being a top in the Great Church, but I made a mediocre mistake. I dealt quite the amount of damage to the other party as well though. We were told to clear our minds a bit. I was sent to Rotsgard, and they were sent to the Gritonia Empire. Just that…I at first wanted to harden my position here as well and made strong efforts for it, but after observing from a slightly faraway position, I ended up losing a bit of interest in the church.” (Shima)
“I don’t think your desire for revenge and your ambition would wane just because you were sent to a slight countryside though.” (Shiki)
“I received a letter from the person I wanted to get my revenge on.” (Shima)
Even though you were in a hostile relationship that would create such a wound on your face?
A believer of the Goddess having a wound on their face is quite the big deal, right?
She definitely would look down on you just for having a scar on your face, you know.
I am impressed by her mental fortitude in keeping such a wound, but I can’t understand at all how her desire for revenge would wither just from a letter.
“…That sounds like something that would make a person burn even more though.” (Shiki)
Looks like Shiki was thinking the same thing as me.
“The Empire’s Hero actually spreads Charms to his surroundings. He is quite the problematic man, you see.” (Shima)
Hoh, they know.
“That letter had been sprayed to the brim with a perfume that has a whole lot of that charm power in it. Seeing that, I just felt stupid.” (Shima)
The charm perfume, huh.
In other words, her revenge target has been hit by Tomoki’s charm.
And so, the target wanted to clear their past up, and wrote a letter to Shima-san to teach her about how wonderful Tomoki is, and invite her.
So his perfume has been going around since the variant incident?
It might have already spread quite a lot.
The inside of the Empire sounds pretty done for.
“Princess Lily is working her hands on our front as well, and we are keeping her in check. The Great Church has also ordered us to move aggressively. And yet, the hateful woman that wounded my face has fallen from the race on her own. Not only that, a part of the idiots in the church began to experiment on the variants that were captured…and that order was apparently from someone outside of the Great Church… Seriously, this is just stupid.” (Shima)
“And so, since you know about all this, you had no choice but to take command. The only place you could request the assistance of was the Kuzunoha Company. And yet, the last remaining guinea pig was a person that has a deep connection to Aion.” (Shiki)
“That’s right. That’s exactly right! Just trying to get in contact with Raidou, who jumps around from country to country or suddenly goes missing, was a nightmare, but on top of that, Chiback, who said he could get in contact with the Merchant Guild, ended up trying to threaten you poorly and failed. What’s with that? It may be hard to tell, but I actually worked pretty diligently in the church to get promoted, you know?” (Shima)
“My condolences.” (Makoto)
“You don’t have to give me those kinds of common words of comfort.” (Shima)
The Bishop-san stares straight at me with slightly dangerous eyes that shouldn’t belong to a bishop.
Shiki was about to cut in with even more dangerous eyes than that, but I had him wait.
She seems to still be keeping something up.
If the church wanted someone to quit, they could have sent them to Kaleneon or Tsige.
From what I have heard until now, she seems to have a negative view of the church and the heroes.
“If it is you, Raidou, who saved Rotsgard and is being worshipped by both the residents and the students as if you were a God, how would you save this pitiful woman? Or will you run away because my body is insulting and unfitting of a holy profession?” (Shima)
Even though Shima-san isn’t drunk, she is talking as if she is.
But she is managing to reach that sweet spot of not giving out an atmosphere that irritates the other party.
In that case, this might also be a negotiation technique of hers.
The kind where you act loose in order to bring out information?
One part of me thinks that’s weird, but another is thinking that’s interesting.
“Right. For now, Shiki.” (Makoto)
“Let’s cure Dio-san. His state is pretty good, right?” (Makoto)
“Yeah. Compared to someone completely transformed, that is. Instead of being a full blown operation, it would be more of a plastic surgery. The difficulty is pretty low. It is possible to do it right here.” (Shiki)
“Then, please do.” (Makoto)
“Raidou? You plan on treating him right here?” (Shima)
“First will be his medical treatment. And after that, it will be your way of acting from now on. The reason why you opened up so much in a lot of things is because you are already in a truly desperate state, right? Cause what you have told us is not only reason enough for a demotion, but exile.” (Makoto)
“I will introduce you to a good place to change jobs to. There will be an interview though. A place where the church and the heroes have no relation to. A new land that’s worth working on, or you could make a comeback as a merchant with your own ability if you want to. We can surely help you out a lot. If it is a direction that moves away from the church, that is.” (Makoto)
“Fu…fufu. ‘If it is a direction that moves away from the church’, huh. I see. My hunch wasn’t wrong.” (Shima)
“Yeah. Raidou, I thought for sure you were a fiend or a deathgod. I wasn’t expecting you to help me to fall out, but also to recover. I want to choose a path where I can live relaxed. I will gladly take your of—eh?” (Shima)
Shiki tore open the neck of Dio that’s inside a cage.
Quite a lot of blood and a crazed laugh fly around.
Both were coming from Dio-san.
“Wa, what are you killing him for?!” (Shima)
“He is not dead. He left the parts that are still hyuman and cut off the rest.” (Makoto)
“Cut off, you say, but that was the neck!” (Shima)
Shiki holds the chin of Dio and pulls it out… His spine was smoothly pulled out from his body.
It was quite the hellish sight.
The calm in Shima-san’s expression disappears, and her face turns pale.
She couldn’t understand what was happening in front of her eyes, and it seems like she can see that something abnormal is occurring.
“Woah there.” (Shiki)
Everything below the neck of Dio-san turned white, swelled up, and was trying to change into a variant.
But Shiki is used to this.
He restrained him with a spell that he formed with one hand, and then broke the core that was around his shoulder and finished it.
Dio-san was letting sounds without any meaning, but his eyes had tears coming out.
Not the tears that were viscous like drool, but the kind of tears that properly have emotions in it.
“Dying just like this would be a sort of happiness in itself, but sadly to say, it seems like your fate is to live. Regardless of whether that is fortunate or not.” (Shiki)
Shiki concentrates and completes his aria, and then one ring appears in his finger.
“5th Step, Keto: Silver Arm, Airgetlam…Supplement healing.” (Shiki)
Dio-san’s body begins to regenerate at blinding speed from the neck below beginning with his spine.
He is still alive.
The regeneration began from the parts that haven’t been tainted by the transformation.
How did Shiki describe it?
It is like mixing several types of fruits together, crushing them, and from there, grab the ones that still retain a semblance of their form, and then regenerate the fruit from those pieces.
He said that if this method of treatment is viable, it makes things easy.
Even in my eyes, I could tell that Dio-san’s body wasn’t completely mixed with the variant.
That’s why, he just needs to take the part that’s okay, and regenerate him from there, and the operation is over.
It looks incredibly violent, but when trying to bring back a variant to a person, they would mostly have to go through a worse process than this.
Even with Shiki, if he wants to bring back a patient that has completely changed into a variant, he would have to bring out his full power, and that would still be a 50-50 of whether the patient can retain their sanity.
Tomoe now has a new healing ability of that fashion, so the success rate would most likely increase.
In the cases when the variant regains their sanity, I think it would make it a lot easier to bring them back.
I haven’t seen a single case like that though.
“Shima-san, are you okay? Need to puke?” (Makoto)
“I-I’m fine. I am not a bishop for show.” (Shima)
“There’s no need to act tough.” (Makoto)
“I am done, Waka-sama.” (Shiki)
“Good job. Around when will Dio-san wake up? Tomorrow?” (Makoto)
“Yeah, I think it will be around tomorrow.” (Shiki)
“So he says. Then, Shima-san, we succeeded in the treatment of Dio-san. We provided the ambrosia and also operated on him. Ah, Shiki, have him drink the ambrosia as service.” (Makoto)
“Right. There’s the need to show proof that we have used it.” (Shiki)
Shiki pours the ambrosia into the mouth of Dio-san who is lying there naked.
It does have the label of being an all-purpose elixir.
It won’t be bad for the body in this kind of case.
“I will leave the rest to you. Well then, let’s have a talk later in the near future. We will be taking our leave now, Bishop-sama.” (Makoto)
There was no response.
But her story probably wasn’t only something to try to bring out sympathy from us.
She is actually walking a dangerous tightrope. Even today, for the church, this is most likely not a pleasing result.
They don’t know what we did to treat him after all.
It all depends on how much Shima-san will be telling them, but it will be impossible for them to reproduce it.
She knows the inner workings of the church well, is somewhat tired of the Goddess and the Heroes, and is searching for a path.
If we have a good relationship, we might be able to have her work in Tsige or Kaleneon for healing magic or matters regarding the production of make-up related products.
It might be a good idea to introduce her to Rembrandt-san.
Aah, now that I think about it, I was told that he wanted me to bring him to the hot springs.
Maybe I can have someone guide Shima-san, and have her make some sort of hot spring make-up product?
That sounds like a good idea.