“…Actually, I am not someone from this world.” (Souma)
When everyone had returned to the mansion, I suddenly opened up with this.
My sudden confession made even the iron mask of Mitsuki crumble.
Her cat ears stood up frozen, and her eyes that are normally unshakeable were opened wide here.
Sazan was looking over here as if saying ‘what’s with this guy? A chuunibyou?’.
“Eh? ……Eh?” (Ina)
Ina, who was close to recovering, was pushed off to a panic from this drastic shock.
Maki was also looking over here truly shocked by this while still in her princess attire…wait, why is it that even you are getting surprised by this?
The only one who doesn’t seem to be that shocked is the unchanging Ringo, and maybe the Bear who is placing a hand on its mouth as if just doing it for the show.
Ringo seemed to be half-expecting this, she was calm, and you could say she is comparatively calmer than the time when I had suddenly ran away and she was worried about me.
“…So that’s your secret?” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki, who still hasn’t recovered from the shock, asked me this, and I nodded without mudding it out.
But even Mitsuki is like this.
I might have been a bit too impatient here, but it can’t be helped.
This is an emergency. Every second counts.
There’s no time to wait for the night.
“It might end up being a bit too long, but please listen. The chances of this world having been made based on a game that existed there is high. Uhm, as for what a game is in terms of this world…” (Souma)
…After that, I took a lot of time to explain to Ringo and the others.
About our world.
About the game that I got hooked on: New Communicate Online.
After that, also the bare minimum knowledge about the game.
I began by explaining about TVs and computers; about the origin of computer games; about the genre called RPGs, and how it goes all the way back to TRPGs; about the history of fantasy games; about the fierce game competition that dragged all the game industry; about computers and the game’s machine power, interface, and the evolution of it; about the variety of game genres, the birth of them, and their prosperity; about the appearance of VR games, the chaos that came with it, and their regulations; a muddy dispute about games between the natural voice faction (conservative faction + 3 dimensional voice actor principle) and the synthesized voice faction (artificial voice acceptance faction + old vocaloid support faction)…and by the time we entered that part, Maki scolded me for some reason about me doing pointless talk.
….Even though this is an important talk…
It can’t be helped, so I reluctantly omitted that part, and told them the details of the incident where Maki found a mysterious tool at the warehouse, and how Maki and I came to this world…and also about how this world resembles the game I played…no, about the high chance of this world being made with that game as the base.
“…Something like that…I find it hard to believe.” (Mitsuki)
The first one to react was of course Mitsuki.
She muttered this with an even colder expression than her usual one.
The cat ears on top of her head were fluttering as if finding this unpleasant.
“Saying this world was born for such a reason is a bad joke. Also, I don’t understand well what’s this about being a game, but if that’s true, it means that you are aware of everything about this world, right? Even if it isn’t impossible to, I can’t bring myself to accept that.” (Mitsuki)
Now that I think about it, within this group of people, Mitsuki is actually unexpectedly the one with the most common sense.
It is a pretty out of the world topic to begin with, so it can’t be helped that they wouldn’t accept it immediately.
“…I-I think it is okay to believe it.” (Ina)
Within that, the one who said this contrasting opinion in a low but clear manner was Ina.
“Uhm, the scale is so overwhelming that it really doesn’t click with me, but I have seen from up-close how Souma-san would do things that you normally wouldn’t think of.
That’s why, after hearing this, I feel as if the mystery has been completely cleared up.” (Ina)
Saying this, Ina directed a slightly awkward smile at me.
“See, for example, when the Magic Airship I was riding crashed, Souma-san, who said he would never marry, declared to me in such a manner. I found that strange the whole time.
I thought it was out of pity, but it was because you wanted to save me using that game knowledge, right?” (Ina)
Ina smiled as if saying ‘it makes sense now’, and then, she rubbed her eyes countless times in an inconspicuous way.
“Ina, I…” (Souma)
The guilt stabbed at my heart.
Words couldn’t come out immediately.
However, I had to say something and was about to open my mouth, but…
Something suddenly came flying at me, and the solemn atmosphere was destroyed.
I reflexively caught what came flying at me, and it was a familiar doll.
The person itself that was thrown had both of its arms raised in glee here, but this is not good.
I directed strict eyes at the culprit and…
“Oi, Sazan! No matter the situation, throwing Rachel is—” (Souma)
“Shut up, you pervert!” (Sazan)
He continued throwing dolls at me, no questions asked.
After that, Daniel, Jennifer, Liliana, the Bear, Franziska; familiar dolls were being thrown at me.
“Wait! Ah, not Christina! She has a kitchen knife! It would be no joke if that hit me!” (Souma)
“S-Shut up! You…You bastard…u-ugaaah!!” (Sazan)
Sazan was not stopping.
He continued throwing every doll at arm’s length while trembling.
No matter how long I waited, the dolls were not running out, but when I looked, it was actually that the dolls were voluntarily going back to Sazan and creating a loop.
Looks like even being thrown is like an attraction for them.
No wonder it never ended.
“D-Damn it! You knew it the whole time, didn’t you?! About this abominable mask of darkness, and about the fate of my bloodstained blood heritage…” (Sazan)
“C-Calm down! You are overlapping blood with blood there, and I don’t know anything about your bare face or your family circumstances!” (Souma)
I say this with a pale face while looking at him raising Christina and…
Sazan finally stopped.
I desperately try to persuade him in this opening.
“I was adventuring solo in the game, so I don’t know much about the other characters! I didn’t have much interest in you, so I haven’t gotten involved with you at all after obtaining the convenient spell, and I have not heard at all about what your circumstances are!” (Souma)
In the first place, the game didn’t make it clear how Sazan looked below that mask or his family circumstances.
He was actually pretty popular among a number of shota enjoyers and chuunibyous.
I have heard of players that were desperately searching for the marriage events of Sazan, and I also know about how people have tried a variety of things to see the face of Sazan.
But I have not heard of any of those actually achieving anything.
According to opinions on the net, there is indeed lore of Sazan set in the game, but maybe because there was no time in production, or because they were saving it for the next game, there were many who speculated that it might not have been implemented in the game.
“I-I see… I see.” (Sazan)
It seems like Sazan believed me for now and looked relieved but, at the same time, he seemed somewhat displeased by it as he fell silent.
It is not like I am not interested in a secret that would warrant him to call me a pervert, but I honestly don’t want to get too deeply involved with him.
Anyways, I thought things would be wrapped up with this, but…
“…Is that true?!”
This time around, someone latched on from an unexpected place.
Mitsuki had approached from behind at an unknown point in time, and was looking at me with a serious face.
“W-What do you mean by ‘is that true’?” (Souma)
“About the part where you don’t know the background of each person in detail.” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki asked with her usual cold beauty and her cat ears flapping busily on top of her head while I was completely overwhelmed by her.
“This is just a harmless example, but you don’t know what exact meaning it holds to head to a certain dungeon with a certain someone, right?” (Mitsuki)
I remember now.
I have been invited by Mitsuki to go together with her to the Mirage Dungeon.
And the meaning it held in the game.
I once again observe the face of Mitsuki.
That cold and freezing face of hers, now that I look closely, seems as if she is simply tense from unease and nervousness.
The cat ears that I thought were flapping out of displeasure could be taken as her being flustered here.
“How is it?” (Mitsuki)
I was hurried, so I answered quickly.
“N-No, I didn’t know about uhm…that, and I have not done the event where I go alone with you to the dungeon in the game.” (Souma)
When I talk about that, I of course mean her tail, and while at it, I gave her an answer that’s pretty close to not being a lie regarding the Mirage Cave.
I think she is the one in the wrong for trying to deceive me, but if I were to admit that here, I feel like things would get even worse.
Hearing what I said, strength left Mitsuki’s cat ears and they went ‘funya~’.
“…I see. I was talking about all the people in general, so there was no need to mention me in specific, but I understand.” (Mitsuki)
The cat ears were still lacking all strength as if saying ‘that was close~’, and Mitsuki’s sharp expression had returned.
“…Then, I will also believe in what you said.” (Mitsuki)
I was surprised by the sudden change in stance, but Mitsuki said with a gentle tone.
“Considering the way this world came about and the origins of your special techniques, it does create complicated emotions in me, but just as Ina-san said, it is true that a lot of things do click with that explanation.
Also, no matter the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that you saved the people of this city and this world. I think it should be fine for you to be proud of yourself.” (Mitsuki)
“R-Right. Thanks, Mitsuki.” (Souma)
I-I wonder why, even though that sounds really nice, I can’t really take it to heart when considering what she said before.
I think she is saying this from the bottom of her heart, but that feeling of this speech being added later is really strong.
But with Mitsuki, who was the most against what I said, giving in here, the atmosphere around turned softer at a rapid pace.
Even though I broke out such an outrageous topic, it seems like my comrades will be accepting it.
Just when I was internally sighing in relief…
The girl that didn’t say a word until now walked to the front.
That expression of hers that is stiffer than even Mitsuki or Ina made me gulp.
Even if unintentional, everyone’s gazes gathered here, and Ringo asked with a keen and strained expression…
“…Are you…going back to your world?” (Ringo)
No one could say anything immediately.
Going back to my original world or not; it is a topic that can’t be avoided if we talk about this.
My response to that unavoidable question is…
“Yeah, that’s my intention.” (Souma)
I answered clearly.
Those words made Mitsuki’s cat ears cower, made Sazan look away, made Maki cover her face apologetically, and Ina opened her mouth as if she wanted to say something.
As for Ringo…
“…Hn. Then I will assist you.” (Ringo)
Ringo smiled faintly.
This might be the first smile I see from Ringo, but for some reason, that smile of hers hit me harder in the chest than any other smile.
I hurriedly added to that as if I was chased after.
“O-Of course, I do plan on returning, but I am still in the middle of considering if to or not. There’s no preparations and a lot is still missing anyways. I have thought of a method, but that’s…ah!!” (Souma)
That’s when I finally remembered why I was telling this to everyone.
Returning or not is a big problem, but there’s an emergency right now.
“Eh?! Ah, what?” (Maki)
Maki must have been caught completely off-guard, she jumped at her name being called.
“The item gathering in order to return! I told you before to have a knight on Leila and obtain the item, right? What happened to that?!” (Souma)
Right after reuniting with Maki, I had Maki move the Knight Order, and asked her to obtain the event item from Leila.
If that went well, things will be a lot simpler.
I looked at Maki with expectation, but…
“Aah, about that. Yeah, it didn’t work at all.” (Maki)
Maki easily destroyed my hopes.
“Not at all?” (Souma)
“Yup, not at all.” (Maki)
I parroted Maki’s words and she reaffirmed it.
According to Maki, she grew wary just from knights approaching her, and it wasn’t even possible to have a decent talk with her.
I felt as if my vision was growing pitch dark.
My plan to return requires the item you get from Leila’s event…no, the spell.
But the knights that don’t have the player attribute and have no knowledge of the game would find it hard to get close to Leila.
(So I can’t just run away, huh.) (Souma)
I didn’t want to do this if possible, but it can’t be helped.
I steel myself.
“Is something the matter with this Leila girl?” (Mitsuki)
“…The one from before?” (Ringo)
Mitsuki asked in wonder and Ringo was unexpectedly sharp.
“If it is exactly as in the game, the chances of me being killed by Leila are high at this rate.” (Souma)
The moment I said this, a commotion was raised between my comrades.
I stopped that and…
“That’s why I will incapacitate her before that happens. I think it will be rougher than anything before, but I would like to borrow the strength of everyone.” (Souma)
I lowered my head at everyone with every fiber of sincerity I had.
“You don’t even need to ask.” (Mitsuki)
“Of course!” (Maki)
“Hmph! Can’t be helped.” (Sazan)
“I-I will of course help out too!!” (Ina)
Ringo, Mitsuki, Maki, Sazan, and Ina answered favorably.
And then, Mitsuki asked as if representing everyone.
“Cooperating is fine and all, but what exactly are we going to do?” (Mitsuki)
That’s why I tell everyone energetically as if to answer their passion.
“Putting it simply, we are going to bring a handsome guy from deep in the mountains, have Leila fall in love with him, and snatch the event item! The name of the plan will be ‘Fake Prince Charming’!!” (Souma)
—That’s how history’s worst and most terrible plan began.