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“U-Uuh, what does that mean?” (Leila)
Not understanding the meaning of our exchange, Leila stood there in place with Death Bringer in hand, and I once again sighed heavily.
The logic behind why I could survive the ‘Death to the Infidel!!’ is extremely simple.
Even with both the Fingerless Gloves and a staff on at the same time, it will be considered as the Fingerless Gloves being the only equipped one. It has been set in this world that you can only equip one thing in the same hand.
And so, I thought that I could equip Leila with a different weapon before she used the Death Bringer.
There’s actually a reason for putting on the Black Knuckle on her beforehand.
There’s a high chance that a sword or dagger will be dropped from the motions of opening her hand and grabbing the Death Bringer, so judging from the Fingerless Gloves case, the knuckle category weapons that are equipped directly to your fists seem to have a higher priority in this world.
There’s also the judgment that it would be better for it to be knuckles which would hinder daily life the least in comparison when it comes to having them on the whole time.
Anyways, putting on the knuckles beforehand obstructed the action of equipping the Death Bringer, invalidating the ‘Death to the Infidel!!’. That’s basically the gist of this time’s plan.
However, this all depended on how the skill itself works.
This and the Eternal Stone Statue were the only effective means I could think of, but I even thought that the chances of it failing were higher.
It was plenty possible that it would automatically unequip the Black Knuckles when it activated, or the priority of the Death Bringer being higher than the Black Knuckles.
On top of that, if the Instant Death effect is not an ‘attack from Leila’ but an effect imbued in the ‘blade of the Death Bringer’, I would have died when hit by the Death Bringer.
I obviously wouldn’t entrust my life to a method that has so many uncertain factors.
That said, when the blade of Leila that should phase through anything had cut the clothes of Ina…I noticed that ‘Death to the Infidel!!’ was not working as intended, and resolved myself to test it with my own body.
It may have been a risk I had to take eventually, but there was nothing ensuring my safety here.
I seriously thought my heart was going to stop when the blade of the Death Bringer touched me.
No, considering that my heart could have stopped for eternity there, this is by no means exaggerated.
I actually wanted to take several steps to test it out before the real deal, but I ended up having to do it outright because of the hasty assumption of Ina which I don’t know if it is good or bad.
“I-I am sorry! There’s no way Souma-san would do something as horrible as that, and yet, I…” (Ina)
…Well, the person herself has reflected on it, so let’s just leave it at that.
“What’s going on?”
While I was thinking that, even Ringo and Mitsuki came in.
“Good timing. The problem with Leila has been solved. Actually…” (Souma)
I explained the situation to everyone including Leila who still hasn’t understood the situation yet.
“So, is it okay to assume that she is no longer dangerous?” (Mitsuki)
I nodded vaguely at the words of Mitsuki.
I managed to block the ‘Death to the Infidel!!’ unscathed this time around, but it is not like it is completely harmless.
It would obviously be dangerous if the Black Knuckles were unequipped, and even if it is not treated as equipped, she is still stabbing with the Death Bringer. She might injure me a bit depending on the location she hits.
Also, everyone might get worried, so I won’t say it, but even when the Death Bringer doesn’t have the Instant Death effect, the chances of the Black Knuckle having the Instant Death instead are pretty high.
Judging from the incident before, there’s barely any situation where the Black Knuckle will hit my body, but it is not like the threat of Instant Death is completely gone.
“Probably, meaning that there’s still danger?” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki’s cat ears stand up sharply as if to intimidate.
I averted my gaze from her.
“I think it will be fine as long as she doesn’t take off the Black Knuckles. The problem is whether she can have it on the whole time…” (Souma)
When I directed my gaze at Leila, she directed an unexpectedly resolved look.
“I-It is okay. I definitely won’t take it off… Even at the cost of my life!” (Leila)
“A-Alright. Please don’t risk your life for it, okay?” (Souma)
I have had a faint feeling about it, but her statements are a bit heavy.
However, if it is just like the game, Leila has taken off the Death Bringer that shouldn’t be possible to unequip, and has equipped the Black Knuckles in that spot.
This is clearly an action that goes against the systems of the game just like when equipping more than 3 rings.
It is certain that she is pushing herself here, and it might actually threaten her life in some way.
“If it is really painful, try taking it off every once in a while to get a break…” (Souma)
“No, I really am…okay.” (Leila)
When I told her this in worry, Leila answered stout-heartedly.
“It felt really off at first to the point I wanted to scratch my head off, but once I got used to it, there was no issue. I am sure I will be able to have this on me the whole time by tomorrow.” (Leila)
Ringo bit onto the words of Leila for some reason.
Leila nodded in wonder.
Leaving aside the part about her wanting to scratch her head off, at the very least, it doesn’t seem like she is pushing herself here at present.
“Ah, but if any knuckle weapons are okay, wouldn’t it be better to change them to a cuter one?” (Ina)
Ina proposed this, but…
“No…this one’s fine. This is something that Souma gave to me after all…” (Leila)
Leila shook her head and hugged the jet black knuckles.
I am happy that she is happy about my present, but hugging visually aggressive jet black knuckles is a bit of a surreal sight from a girl.
“Ah, speaking of which, I am also treasuring the bouquet of flowers that you gave me before. I am giving it potions every day instead of water, so they are livelier than when you gave them to me.” (Leila)
“I-Is that so…” (Souma)
Is she referring to the bouquet of flowers I gave her with the Prince Charming plan?
Her treasuring something like that the whole time is scary, but the potions in this world being this all-purpose is pretty scary in itself too.
“…Anyways, this matter is wrapped up now. She will be in charge of the cleaning. Is that okay?” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki, who was silently listening to the flow of our conversation, looked at me and asked for confirmation.
I felt something off from how impatiently she brought up that topic, but she isn’t wrong.
“Yeah, I’ve got no problems.” (Souma)
I nodded without hesitation and the face of Leila got brighter in one go.
Mitsuki spoke once again before Leila could say anything.
“Now then, let’s eat!” (Mitsuki)
She proposed this with more passion than usual.
With that call, Leila and the member that was originally good at cooking within our party, the Bear, stood in the kitchen.
Mitsuki was waiting with her cat ears flapping, and the two brought the food soon after.
The dishes can only be described as splendid.
Looks like the meals in our home and the mood of the cat ears-chan will be stable as long as Leila is here.
And then, as if lured by the scent of food…
“I am back~! Geez, the scolding of Father was so long, I ended up coming back late~.” (Maki)
“Fuh, excuse the wait! I shall permit you all to celebrate the return of the genius dark mage, Sazan-sama—ah, t-that’s not fair! I am eating too! I am gonna wash my hands, so wait for me!” (Sazan)
Maki and Sazan arrive at our house.
The two were spitting out words as if this is already their home, and took a seat on the dining table as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
No, leaving aside Sazan, Maki came from the same world as me, so I do feel like she is instead way too familiar with her family in this world.
Anyways, everyone’s gathered now.
Once everyone took their seats, the Bear climbed my head and perched itself there.
It would sometimes munch on my hair while clinging onto my head as if to not lose to everyone who is eating.
It is a bit ticklish, but it would be troubling for me if the Bear-san were to eat again and have its stomach puffy, so I just let it do as it pleases.
“And so, what do you plan on doing? Will you be going back to searching for a way to go back to your world?” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki asked me this after wolfing down her meal at an incredible pace with her cat ears flailing about.
When she said this, Ringo, who is sitting by my side, stiffened her body, and the gazes of the others were directed this way.
The immediate danger is gone now that the problem with Leila is solved.
I could move in order to return to my world just as Mitsuki says, but there’s still a spark that might cause a commotion in society.
I should crush that possibility first before doing anything so that I don’t have any regrets.
“Dealing with the Mage Guild and Warrior Guild comes first. The country might fall if we leave any of those two be.” (Souma)
“…Hn! That sounds fine. C-Can’t leave dangerous things…after all.” (Ringo)
When I said this, Ringo immediately agreed with an unusually proactive tone.
On top of that, Maki, who was concentrating on eating, raised her head at my words.
“Ah, Father also said that the Mage Guild is doing weird stuff, so to be careful.” (Maki)
She has been saying Father here and there, but she is currently a princess in this world, so that means the father of Maki is the king.
The king is urging caution here, so it feels like a big incident is afoot here.
“What about the Warrior Guild?” (Souma)
“Hmm…he didn’t say anything about that one. Only the Mage Guild.” (Maki)
I tried checking, but it seems like there’s no issue with the Warrior Guild.
Or maybe the king still hasn’t grasped that info yet.
“Then, we really gotta suppress the Mage Guild…” (Souma)
I said that, but honestly, I am not too into it.
The executives in the Mage Guild are a bit dangerous -which applies to the Warrior Guild too.
Especially the Guildmaster of the Mage Guild. That person pushes the mage supremacy, and they are plotting a grand spell that will sacrifice all the people of the capital.
This is a main part of the Mage Guild event, and a normal game would try to stop the ambitions of the Guildmaster, but Nekomimi Neko really is a different breed.
If you try to stop the Guildmaster, it will be considered as failed.
You crush the peaceful faction inside the guild that’s trying to stop them, and you will go around gathering mithril and items necessary in magic, and make the large scale spell succeed. That’s the basic route of the guild event. Quite the nutcase making.
I of course remember the route to stop the Guildmaster, but now that the event has moved on its own, I don’t know if it will actually work.
Sazan suddenly stood up while I was thinking.
“I-I don’t wanna get involved with that bunch!” (Sazan)
It may sound like he is saying something valerous here, but his legs are trembling a bit.
He might have a trauma or something.
“Speaking of which, you were recruiting people at the Mage Guild before, right? Could it be that something happened at that time?” (Souma)
When I asked this, Sazan began speaking haughtily as if saying ‘nice of you to have asked’.
“It goes without saying! Those worldly people, out of all things, they tfied—” (Sazan)
He bit his tongue at the most important part.
Sazan silently sat down under the lukewarm gazes of all of my comrades.
He coughed once and spoke again, acting as if nothing happened.
“…A-Anyways, I am against it. If you have to go no matter what, do so without me.” (Sazan)
He said this and faced the other way.
Well, it is not like there’s any issues without Sazan though.
“Right. Well, there’s no need to deal with them directly… Everyone, I am thinking of heading to the library once I am done with my meal here.” (Souma)
“The library?” (Mitsuki)
“Yeah, I am heading to the royal library. There’s a trump card to seal the ritual of the Mage Guild.” (Souma)
I dug out a memory I didn’t want to remember as I answered Mitsuki, and my face turned grim.
At the basement of the capital’s library, there’s the magic book and essential item for the Mage Guild, the Nekuranomikon, but that’s not all.
What protects the doors to the basement is a top difficulty quest in Nekomimi Neko that has driven many players into the verge of neurosis and has made veteran Nekomimi Players give up on the 100% completion.
—The worst riddle quest that’s even said to be impossible to clear depending on the questions, the quest: The One who knows Wisdom!