The eyes of the Great Water Spirit shone suspiciously, and she took a step forward with her big body as if sliding forward.
But her distance towards me didn’t shorten.
The effect of the barrier showed and the Great Spirit grew further apart as much as the amount of distance she tried to shorten due to some invisible force.
It was the same no matter how many times she tried to move forward.
The Great Water Spirit speaks.
“I see, so this is the barrier. What a mysterious thing. This one didn’t expect there to be something that wouldn’t go as I wished to… But I have heard. It has a time limit, right? Fufufu…I doubt you can stay like that for long with your human body. But this one can wait for as long as needed. Not only months, even if it takes years. In the face of such nectar as thyself, such time would be nothing.”
It didn’t flinch one bit, but there was a certain glee in her clear voice reminiscent of water.
A Great Spirit is just as the name states, something akin to a ghost.
Just like how air doesn’t have an age, just like water doesn’t have an age; it is just there.
It doesn’t grow old or die. A vague phenomenon that might not even have life.
Such a thing has sentience and provides its assistance to humans.
“Hi-Hikaru…what does this mean…? Why is the Great Spirit-sama…” (Rifreya)
“What, you ask? Ferdinand must have brought it here -to have it eat me.” (Hikaru)
“Why do something like that…?” (Rifreya)
“I told you before. It is not a guarantee that the 2nd group Chosen are allies. That’s the reason why Jeanne and I were avoiding them.” (Hikaru)
But we now know that Ferdinand is clearly an enemy with this.
The story yesterday about Nanami having transferred to this world must have been a lie in order to shake us just like Jeanne said.
“Are you saying you and Jeanne-san knew something like this would happen?” (Rifreya)
“No, we simply thought it could be possible, but…I didn’t expect them to go this far.” (Hikaru)
However, this is a really definite way to get rid of me.
Great Spirits are practically Gods.
I have seen the power of the Great Dark Spirit when I was recently transferred, but the Great Water Spirit must be around the same power.
I…doubt I am even close to a match.
It is most likely impossible to get rid of her with brute force.
As for Rifreya, that’s a religious target. Fighting would be out of the question.
Also, even if we managed somehow, the priests probably already know that I am a Loved One. Even if we were planning to leave the city already, I don’t think we can stay here anymore. If anything, I might even be a wanted criminal now.
…No, this and that would be a worry of when I manage to survive in the first place.
The priests are trying to bring back the Great Spirit and connect it with chains.
A priest with fancy clothes -most likely a great priest or the head priest- is desperately trying to convince the Great Spirit.
The Great Spirit in question was not listening at all and was just standing there silently.
“…Rifreya, is there really a problem if the Great Spirit is away from the church? Like maybe, the dungeon disappears?” (Hikaru)
“Uhm…there won’t be any immediate effects if the other 3 are present. I have heard that the Great Spirit-sama moving inside their ruling territory happened often a long time ago.” (Rifreya)
“So that means nothing will happen to this city immediately, huh… But…” (HIkaru)
Even if it is not going to happen immediately, a Great Spirit coming outside must already be an emergency of the highest degree.
This happened because of a single Loved One. It was Ferdinand who brought her here, but there’s probably no one who will consider that.
There’s even the possibility that the whole city will turn hostile.
This is a city with Great Spirits and a dungeon. This city itself could collapse just because of me. There’s no way anyone would take the risk.
‘Everything will be solved if you die’ -the chances of that happening are high.
…No, you could say the situation has already turned into that.
I have to think of an effective idea.
I have some degree of leeway in points, but just like the Great Spirit says, if we play the waiting game, I am the one on the losing end.
However, the situation didn’t allow me time to think.
Ferdinand, who was by the side, said this with a side-glance at the priests.
“Serves you right, Hikaru Kurose.” (Ferdinand)
He didn’t even try to hide his nasty smile filled with joy and said this as if spitting it out.
Those eyes that were belittling me were showing clearly that he brought the Great Spirit here to kill me.
“Hm? Why did I do something like this…is that what you are asking here? Or maybe you find it strange I can see inside the barrier? Chosen can see the inside of the barrier…it is how it works. Well, it is not surprising that you wouldn’t know since you are from the 1st group.” (Ferdinand)
I didn’t know.
It would mean that I can’t hide with the barrier even against hostiles.
…No, this guy has the High Efficiency Map of the Surroundings. He most likely knew my location from the very beginning.
“The Great Water Spirit apparently is willing to wait for you, but the viewers from Earth are waiting eagerly, too. Check the viewer numbers.” (Ferdinand)
I checked it as I was told.
“1.1 billion…” (Hikaru)
The last time my viewership went above the billion was when I fought the Demon Lord.
The viewers were increasing more and more even as we spoke.
“That’s the number of people that wish for your death, Hikaru Kurose. Now, how about coming out from there? …Even you understand, right? It is checkmate.” (Ferdinand)
“You…I have been listening for a while now in silence and you get ahead of yourself—” (Rifreya)
Rifreya gave off a dangerous atmosphere and readied her sword.
“Woah there, don’t move. Do you think I showed up without any preparations?” (Ferdinand)
Ferdinand said this and rummaged his pocket as if hinting something.
“I have countless means for contact. Phantom will move at once the moment I give the signal. That’s how we have arranged things.” (Ferdinand)
If he has brought something like a transceiver from Earth, communicating with others should be easy.
It also wouldn’t be strange if there were a magic tool like that. It is a world where there’s even tools that can heal missing parts of your body after all.
“…What do you mean by that?” (Hikaru)
“Your cat-human comrade…if I remember correctly, it was Grapefull? We will kill her.” (Ferdinand)
What is this guy saying…?
“Come out from that barrier at once if you don’t want that. I am itching to see you die already. I actually wanted to kill you inside the dungeon though! The plan’s all messed up now, so it can’t be helped. I could have stomped on your stone body and broken it. I am sure it would have felt amazing. Ha…hahahahahahahaha!!” (Ferdinand)
That sight of his was reminiscent of a madman.
He learned that we would be leaving the city and used the lie about Nanami for the sake of killing me.
I doubt there’s any room for talk here.
However, I want to know the reason.
“…Did I do something to you? Even though…we just met the other day in the dungeon for the first time.” (Hikaru)
“Are you an idiot? The 1st group Chosen are being watched by the whole world, you know? Your profile and everything is being spread around on the net. The fact that you are the grandson of the japanese mafia, and that you are only half blood-related to your little sisters.” (Ferdinand)
My heart jumped there.
My grandfather being a yakuza is something that I haven’t told a single friend of mine, and even if they have been disowned, my parents aren’t the type who would just disclose that to someone deliberately. That’s the case for my little sisters too.
That’s why the people who know about this should be truly limited.
(…Something like that can be exposed easily if a relative were to disclose it, huh.) (Hikaru)
Even at the time with the 1st group transfer, the media would pay for personal information about the Chosen.
I am sure my information was no exception.
Moreso when I was suddenly chosen and there was zero information about me.
I was also suspected to be the killer of Nanami.
I am sure my information was opened up cleanly as if I didn’t have any human rights.
Even an overseas foreigner from Belgium knows about me.
I felt disgusted about it to an indescribable degree.
“Of course, a lot of things were also exposed about me though. Well, who cares about that. Nothing matters after coming here anyways.” (Ferdinand)
“That’s not an answer. Knowing me and wanting to kill me…how does that correlate?” (Hikaru)
“Nothing, really. I just told you that because I thought you would dislike it.” (Ferdinand)
He made a nasty smile and laughed with a ‘kusukusu’.
And yet, his eyes were shining a dangerous glare and it was creepy.
“Now then, about why I want to kill you, right? This might be shocking for you, but…” (Ferdinand)
Ferdinand spread both hands and said as if he were a child announcing one big secret.
“Because your little sister Celica Kurose asked me to!” (Ferdinand)
Is what he said.
My head couldn’t compute what he said at first.
“Huh…? Celica? You know my little sister…?” (Hikaru)
“You could say that. She opened up what she had deep in her pained heart. She said: ‘Everything has turned into a mess because of my brother. I hate him. Please kill him in my stead…’. Using the Great Spirit on you was her idea too, you know? Hahaha! You are so hated! Damn!” (Ferdinand)
“As…as if that’s possible…! She should have been…helping me out even in the viewer race.” (Hikaru)
“That was for the sake of reviving Nanami Souma, right? There was no other option, so she did. That’s what she said, you know.” (Ferdinand)
“Do you really think so? …Well, it doesn’t matter to me whether you believe it or not. You are going to be killed by the Great Spirit anyways.” (Ferdinand)
Ferdinand said this and lifted his head up and laughed.
The reality is that…he is not an acquaintance of mine or anything. It is unknown for what reason this Chosen that I don’t know at all is so proactively trying to kill me.
What is true and what is fake?
The shock is hindering my brain from working properly.
My chest was all stirred up from the name of a family member suddenly being mentioned.
“You are going to kill me…because Celica asked you to? What is there in it for you…?” (Hikaru)
Has he been promised money or something?
Celica was earning to a degree where it was unthinkable for a middle schooler, so the possibility is there.
For example; if he managed to kill me, the money would be sent to his remaining family… If it is that, there’s benefit in killing me.
But the answer of Ferdinand caught me off-guard.
“As if there’s the need for anything to grant the wish of the person I love.” (Ferdinand)
“Eh…? Wa…? Love…?” (Hikaru)
“What’s with that face? You two really don’t resemble each other.” (Ferdinand)
“Love, you say… Just what kind of relationship… She is still in middle school, you know…?” (Hikaru)
“Love has no age.” (Ferdinand)
You are kidding, right…? As in, they were a couple…?
I barely had any grasp of Celica’s circle of friends. She was mature for her age, so maybe that…can happen…?
The boyfriend of my little sister…?
I don’t know, but is there really a reason to go out of his way to lie when it has gotten to this point?
As a Loved One, this situation is practically a checkmate on all fronts.
“But Celica asking for something like that is—” (Hikaru)
“You…what do you even understand about Celica Kurose? Hey, Hikaru Kurose, just what are you saying you understand about her?!” (Ferdinand)
Because that’s something I have felt countless times.
— “Onii-chan wouldn’t get it.”
Just how estranged I felt from those innocent words of my little sister.
I thought I had worked hard in my own way for the sake of my genius sisters as their brother.
I knew that my parents had already taken the route of leeching off money from Celica and Karen, so I wanted to have the two escape so they weren’t taken advantage of, and planned on taking their place instead.
Maybe they are holding a grudge because I couldn’t grant them that.
It could have looked like I was the only one who ran away from that house.
That might be the case.
It might not be the case.
…I don’t know.