That night, Sazan came to my room.
“Now, I will have you show me as promised, Souma!” (Sazan)
Sazan raged when he entered the room.
Aside from that…
“By the way, look at this. What do you think?” (Sazan)
“Really…Horned Paon…” (Souma)
—Is not the kind of development that happened. The objective of Sazan was the item I had.
“This, right?” (Souma)
What I held up while saying this was the stone slate that I brought from the library.
[I am leaving this record to the eventual one with the attributes of a hero.
If you wish to succeed the will of Hero Alex and defeat the Evil God, follow the trails of the heroes of old times, and observe their fate.
>>First Chapter >>Second Chapter]
Just as this old sounding explanation says, this is the Evil God Great War Record showing the journey of the past heroes sealing the Evil God.
Sazan seems to be really interested in this recording about the Evil God and the heroes.
However, the only ones who can play this recording are the humans with the Player trait, in other words, me and Maki.
Sazan, who is the most interested in this, won’t be able to see it directly.
That’s why I made a promise with him that I will watch the video for him and tell him about the story.
But that’s not the only problem of this stone slate.
“Listen here, I will properly tell you about that stone slate to the very end at another time, so tomorrow, let’s go get the Stardust Flare toge—” (Souma)
“No. Tell me about the 15 stories until the very end. The Stardust Flare will be postponed until then.” (Sazan)
This stone slate has 15 recordings in total.
And when you activate the stone slate once, you can’t use it again until after 12 hours.
“It will take at least 2 weeks before we can finish watching everything, you know?” (Souma)
I wanted to say ‘you can’t wait that long, right?’, but he instead answered in a good mood as if that’s exactly what he wanted.
“…Got it.” (Souma)
It seems like he won’t be yielding here.
When I nodded, I moved away from Sazan and sat on the bed.
Seeing this, Sazan seemed to be annoyed for some reason and approached me.
“W-What? Even if you don’t like it, there’s no need to run away.” (Sazan)
“What about you? Why are you in a sour mood all of a sudden? It is not like I ran away from you. I simply wanted to take a comfortable position.” (Souma)
If this works the same as the game, only my vision and sense of hearing will be going to the video record world, but the other body functions are still maintained.
Especially the first chapter that will take 1 hour to finish completely.
It would be pretty rough to stand upright the whole duration.
“Fine then.” (Sazan)
Sazan said that as he jumped onto the bed, and moved behind me.
“Oi, why are you getting on someone else’s bed without permission?!” (Souma)
I obviously complained, but Sazan is not listening.
He instead leaned on me and pointed at the stone late in excitement.
“Who cares about that! Come on, quick quick!” (Sazan)
“It is not okay at all, and it is not like you will be seeing it…” (Souma)
I mumbled complaints, but Sazan isn’t listening at all.
“You are the one who doesn’t get it at all! Complete records of the Evil God Great War don’t exist anywhere in the country!
Even the documents that were at my house didn’t have a clear representation of the heroes.
Listen here, you should understand a bit more about how important this—” (Sazan)
“Got it, got it! I will tell you properly!” (Souma)
He is going to shout my ears off.
I resolved myself and stretched my hand towards the stone slate, but my hand stopped right before it.
“…Hey, can I begin from the 2nd chapter?” (Souma)
“Of course you can’t! From the beginning! The beginning!” (Sazan)
“Yeah yeah, I get it! I get it, so don’t shout right by my ear.” (Souma)
Also, your mask is hitting my face. It hurts, it is scary, and also sweltering.
I want to end this quickly and take it easy.
(That said…) (Souma)
The 1st Chapter of this recording is a gloomy end where all characters that appear die aside from Hero Alex. It is hard to understand it because there’s no sound aside from that one BGM.
It is not something I would like to watch over and over.
Seeing I was still hesitating, Sazan finally stretched his hand towards the side of my shoulder and…
“Geez, come on already! Just go!” (Sazan)
He grabbed my finger and forcefully tried to make me touch the [>>1st Chapter] part.
“Ugh! You, suddenly—” (Souma)
The cold sensation of Sazan’s fingers sent chills down my back, and the next instant…
What was showing in front of me was the scenery of a rustic village.
“It is true that I have seen this before, but…” (Souma)
I was overwhelmed by the reality of this, but the scenery unfolding in front of me is certainly that of the Evil God Great War Record that I saw in the game.
It is not like it is exactly the same.
It has evolved in a lot of ways as a whole compared to the time when it was advertised.
Aside from the high quality of the video, there was a lot of incomplete stuff in it. It must have turned out this way after the developers splurged on their budget and development time, completing truly beautiful visuals.
There’s proper voices for the characters that were like a silent movie, and the BGM that was being looped over and over has changed into a natural sound that makes you feel like you truly lived in that time.
I was flustered by how this is the first time the effect of an item is different from that of the game, but there have been places where the unimplemented parts of the game were stored in this world, so let’s just say this is the effect of that.
That said, it doesn’t change the details in itself.
I am sorry for Sazan, but I try not to take it too seriously and decide to watch the scenery in front of me absentmindedly.
The villagers will be slaughtered by the Evil God army anyways, so the childhood friend Millia-chan saying ‘Hey, I want to tell you something in the coming fire festival, Alex… Will you hear me out?’, and the silent father Ridonia-san saying ‘…But you are my number one treasure’, his mother Nina-san smiling kindly while saying ‘That’s right. You will become a big brother by next year… Fufu, what would you prefer, a little sister or a little brother?’, and the buzz cut hair boy that says ‘Alex-niichan, teach me the sword! I will become a great swordsman that doesn’t lose to you!’ will certainly be killed a few minutes later.
“Good grief, that Pops, even though he is so awkward, he is being strangely considerate.”
“Geez, don’t talk about your father like that.”
“I am happy about being able to walk together with you like this, Alex.”
“Good grief, you really are…”
That’s why, even when the conversation of the main characters was entering my ears, I didn’t feel anything…
“Today was fun, wasn’t it, Alex?”
“Really? It was so much of the old same that I feel like there wasn’t anything fun though.”
“Yeah, but there being nothing is good.”
“Is that how it works? I don’t get it.”
“Fufu… Hey, Alex, it would be nice if this day were to continue forever, right?”
“It is continuous days of nothing, but there’s bits and pieces of pain and fun. Having talks like this, sharing time together…”
“You have been weird for a while now, Millia. We will be together the whole time from here on too, right?”
I don’t feel anything…
“I am happy… Thanks, Alex.”
“Aaaaah! Not listening, not listening!!” (Souma)
Even when I shout loudly to drown out their voices, I can’t hear my own voice while I am watching the recording.
I tried to move my attention away from the forced conversation that’s filled with death flags, while trying to think of something different in the corner of my mind.
Right, my biggest concern right now isn’t the details of the story.
It is true that this will be a tragic development, and it is rough to be shown something like this in this quality, but I do have resistance to it.
The problem here is myself.
—I already felt it since a while now…no, since the moment this video began, but my back feels heavy.
Moreover, it is not only plain heavy, but it feels somewhat hot and would move every now and then.
Moreover moreover, it gets strangely shaky in the exciting moments, and in the cruel scenes, it would hold me tightly, and as it goes even further, in the scene where he was making the graves of slaughtered villagers…
Some sort of hot droplet fell on the back of my neck.
No matter how much I shout while I am watching the video, my voice doesn’t even reach me, so I am a bit embarrassed that I ended up letting out my voice in surprise.
But I am certain now.
A feature that wasn’t present in the game, or more like, it was a single-player game, so there was no way to try it out, but could it be…
“Ah… It is over, huh.” (Souma)
The 1st Chapter ended with the young man who had his village wiped out, Alex, pledging to defeat the Evil God.
The virtual reality that was almost no different from reality ended, and I returned to the real world with as much abruptness as when it began.
Even with that, the weight and warmth I felt on my back was the same.
That’s why I looked back with certainty and…
“Hey, Sazan, could it be that—uwa?!!” (Souma)
I was shocked by the sight in front of me.
Sazan…that Sazan was gushing out water from the holes of the mask.
It was coming out like a waterfall from the eye part of the mask and hitting my neck.
—Sazan saw that video together with me and was bawling his eyes out.
Just as I guessed, Sazan had seen the video together with me.
He managed to respond accurately to a question that you wouldn’t be able to answer if you hadn’t seen that video, so there’s no doubt about it.
I don’t know why even Sazan could see that video despite not having the Player attribute.
Sazan tried to activate the stone slate himself last time and it didn’t work, so it is certain that he can’t activate it on his own.
In that case, it should be safe to assume that the other party can watch the same video as long as they are touching that person.
“…Calmed down?” (Souma)
When I spoke to Sazan whose tears have stopped already, he answered with a ‘yeah’ uncharacteristically shily.
“Fine then.” (Souma)
My words are cut off by the agitation that is different from the usual Sazan.
Silence continued again for a while.
“Uuh, thanks.” (Sazan)
What Sazan said next was even more unexpected.
“I didn’t think I would be able to see something like this. It was…incredible.” (Sazan)
Those words that were oozing excitement, so pure and no flare, made me flustered for some reason.
“Eh, ah, no…it is not like I did it on purpose.” (Souma)
“But if you weren’t there, I wouldn’t have been able to see this ever… That’s why, thank you.” (Sazan)
He is being so honest here it is creepy.
Seeing Sazan being so different from usual, I ended up asking a tactless question.
“Speaking of which, why are you fussing over stuff like the Evil God and the Hero?” (Souma)
Thinking back about it, I feel like his interest in the Evil God and the Demon Lord were not normal.
Even this guy who is acting as he pleases might have some sort of objective.
I asked with those kinds of light emotions, but…
“…My family…is an esteemed household from the bloodline of a savior of this nation.” (Sazan)
What he muttered were words far heavier than I imagined.
“I myself am also proud of the fact that the people of my family have protected this world.
And I have no intention of denying that.” (Sazan)
I was speechless at the revelation.
A highly esteemed family, moreover, it has protected this country. This is not just on the level of a hero lineage.
They are most likely nobles of this country, and there’s even the possibility that they are high nobles that are involved in the central operations of the nation.
“I am normally not in a position where it is okay for me to be on a journey like this one.
However, I am the one with the best affinity to dark magic in centuries, so I am being allowed such selfishness.
Even so, if I don’t manage to bring any results in a few years, I have to return to my family.
And then…I will have to marry some random person, raise children, and I won’t be able to travel freely anymore.” (Sazan)
I thought that’s like a lady of a noble family in those villainess stories.
Escaping from an asphyxiating family, hiding your identity with a disguise, and living the commoner life you admired.
But there’s a time limit for this, and that end is the political marriage your parents have decided for you.
If we don’t consider the gender here, it would be just like the settings of a tomboy noble lady.
“…I definitely don’t want that.
That’s why I need power. Power that will make all of my family acknowledge me.” (Sazan)
But the story of Sazan is completely different from the stories of the noble ladies in stories.
The strong light hidden within the eyes deep in the mask shook.
“Hm? But wait. Defeating the Demon Lord is not enough?” (Souma)
Sazan is a member of the party that defeated the Demon Lord.
I feel like that’s enough to prove his power though.
When I said this, Sazan suddenly pouted his lips.
“That’s your own fault.
With that method of defeating the Demon Lord spreading around, there’s no way my power was going to be acknowledged.” (Sazan)
“That’s…well, yeah.” (Souma)
“I can’t win with tricks. I have to break through with proper strength.” (Sazan)
It is true that the water attack only worked because of the special conditions of that place, so there wouldn’t be much point.
It wouldn’t make them acknowledge his power.
“Also, my aim is not the Demon Lord. It is something even more evil.” (Sazan)
“More evil…than the Demon Lord. The Evil God Fragment, huh.” (Souma)
Seeing Sazan nodding, it reminded me of something.
At the altar of sacrifice…
“Then, does that mean that the reason why you called me your rival when I defeated the Evil God Fragment at the underground dungeon was because…” (Souma)
“Yeah, that’s it. I have been chasing after the whereabouts of the remaining 3 Evil God Fragments.
I will find them…and destroy them.” (Sazan)
Sazan tightened his fist to the point that it turned white as if trying to break something invisible.
That made me think…
There’s 3 more Evil God Fragments aside from the one in the altar of sacrifice.
We might be able to tell where they have been sealed if we watch all the recordings here to the very end.
No, in the worst case, I could tell him about the fragment that has been placed underground Lamurick as a hidden boss, and that will solve the problem.
“Hey, Sazan, this is hard for me to say, but…” (Souma)
—You won’t be able to defeat the Evil God Fragment.
I was thinking about telling this straight to Sazan.
However, Sazan stopped me with his hand.
“Don’t worry. I know.
With my current strength, I know that I can’t defeat an Evil God Fragment.
…But I definitely won’t give up.” (Sazan)
What’s here is not the usual chuunibyou mage.
What’s here is a proud hero that cursed his own fate and faced it with an indomitable mind.
“I have already decided.
No matter what happens, I can’t give up.
That’s why, one day, I will definitely…” (Sazan)
The black robed hero said with a low and thin voice burning with determination…
“…Form a strong party and have them defeat the fragment in my stead!!” (Sazan)
And made the worst leech declaration in a trouble refreshing manner.