“This is the biggest Evil God clue I have found!”
Maki stood in front of me with arms crossed and chest puffed out proudly.
Now that I look closely, she has actually grown since way before…no, let’s leave that for later.
More importantly, the ‘clue’ Maki brought is more important.
“This is? Is something like this really a clue about the Evil God?” (Souma)
“Muuh, why is it that you never believe me immediately, Souma?
I have been telling you that for a while now.” (Maki)
Maki seems to be displeased by this, but it is not something I can believe so fast.
Because the ‘clue’ that Maki brought was…
“Cause no matter how you see it, that’s just…Sazan!” (Souma)
“Don’t treat a person as an object!” (Sazan)
It is the masked mage that had his back collar grabbed by Maki and was dragged here.
I thought at first that Maki brought Sazan here because I told them ‘please search for Sazan’, but it seems like that wasn’t the case.
Maki thought Sazan had a clue about the Evil God, sequestered Sazan who was buried in a sea of books, and brought him all the way here.
But how did Maki know that Sazan had information regarding the Evil God?
That answer was apparently in the last chapter of the recording only Maki saw.
“The name Sazan means South Guardian. In other words, the title that the Hero Alex gave to the people that protect the seal of the Evil God in the south; the proof of the Seal Lineage’s leader!” (Maki)
Maki said this and explained to me with a smug face.
I am happy that Maki had returned to her energetic self after she was all sad, but it is honestly a bit annoying.
To think the Seal Lineage that I used to wriggle out of Ina’s questioning with actually existed.
Truth that came from a lie.
But there’s a number of things that would make sense if Sazan is part of the Seal Lineage, in other words, the people that are connected to the sealing of the Evil God.
For example, Sazan said that the Grand Church where the Evil God Fragment was sealed at ‘reminded him of his home’, and he knew an awful lot about the magic circle that gathers mana.
It seems like Sazan didn’t notice, but maybe the magic circle in the Grand Church and the one at Sazan’s home are ‘magic circles for the sake of sealing the Evil God Fragment’, so it was familiar for him.
There’s also the ancestor of Sazan being a hero of the Evil God Great War, his strong admiration, and the objective of Sazan’s journey being to ‘defeat the Evil God Fragment’; if Sazan is of the Seal Lineage, that would make sense.
The reason for his trademark mask and…the bare face below it that I saw…might be there.
I can’t go assuming things just because the dots align.
No, judging from how obsessed Sazan is about the Evil God, I think it is for sure that he is involved with the Evil God in some way, but I should ask Sazan directly first.
“Sazan, are you really from the Seal Lineage?” (Souma)
When I asked him this, Sazan’s eyes began swimming.
“Hm? Aah, right.” (Maki)
When that gaze of his headed to Maki, my cousin, who is considerate in strange fronts, nodded as if understanding and…
“Aah, shoot. I forgot that I had a book I wanted to read.” (Maki)
She said in a monotone voice and walked out of the room.
“Ah, oi, wait…” (Souma)
I tried to stop her by reflex, but Maki glanced at me and said with a self-satisfied look.
“Cause if you are going to have a talk, it would be better for it to be with Souma alone…right, Sazan-chan?” (Maki)
For some reason, she strongly emphasized the -chan, and directed a meaningful smile at Sazan.
Could it be that Maki noticed the secret of Sazan? -is what I thought, but before I could ask Maki, she already left.
My gaze drifted to the one other person left, the owner of the room, Seirie-san.
“It is okay. I am a librarian that can read the room.” (Seirie)
Seirie-san says this with a glint in her glasses, and after saying something that a person that can actually read the atmosphere wouldn’t say, she begins moving to the exit Maki left from…to the opposite direction of it.
“Well then, I will be inspecting the books here, so please have your secret talk to your heart’s content.” (Seirie)
She sat at the corner of the room and began reading from the pile of books.
It is not like I thought about having Seirie-san leave, but what’s this?
Despite her self-declaration, she was not reading the room much here.
“What’s the matter? You are making a face as if saying ‘even though this woman can read books, she can’t read the room’.” (Seirie)
Looks like even when she can’t read the atmosphere, she can read books and minds.
“This library is a library where anyone can freely read regardless of their age, race, and social standing after all. It is my important duty to select which books to line up there and which to not.” (Seirie)
I thought she was a peerless booklover, so I thought she would say ‘no matter the book, reading it is the freedom of the reader’, but it seems like there’s caveats to it.
Well, it is a world where magic books exist, so dangerous books might actually cause physical harm.
“Even a book that at a glance isn’t problematic might end up harming normal people if read all the way to the end; conversely, there’s books that look dangerous at a glance, but have deep significance in them. Judging that is our duty as librarians.” (Seirie)
“I see.” (Souma)
I doubt the Nekomimi Neko developers decided the system in those fronts in detail.
The responsibility of librarians might be unexpectedly big.
And the reality is that the book Seirie-san is holding has a whole lot of tags.
That might be a display of this work stance of hers that doesn’t compromise on a single book.
“And so, you are thinking about whether you should leave that book you are currently reading in the library?” (Souma)
Just what kind of book is she evaluating?
My curiosity was drawn, and I peeked at the book Seirie-san was reading seriously.
I am the one who wants to raise my voice.
What’s filling up my whole vision is skin color.
What Seirie-san was reading was uhm…to put it bluntly, an ero book.
“Aah, uuh…” (Seirie)
Seirie-san moved her glasses up and down within the awkwardness, fixing its position, and said with a trembling voice.
“F-Fumu, I was reading this just in case so t-there were no oversights. Looks like this book really is too stimulating to leave in public access.” (Seirie)
She placed the book inside a box that said ‘Black Corner’ as she said this.
No, you can tell at a glance that you definitely shouldn’t.
Seirie-san says as if sweeping away the atmosphere that was going in a weird direction.
“Once I am concentrating on a book, I don’t notice my surroundings no matter what, so please enjoy your secret talk in peace.” (Seirie)
“No matter what, you say…” (Souma)
Seirie-san said straight when I was still hesitating.
“My father has testified that even when an earthquake comes, a lightning, a fire, or an old man comes, I won’t notice.” (Seirie)
“That sounds really convincing! Wait, that’s not it…” (Souma)
“You can test me if you are uneasy about it. Even if you call me, shake me, or even kiss me, I am confident I won’t notice.” (Seirie)
That’s some weird confidence there, but I feel like it wouldn’t be strange for her to do that much as a person called a bookworm.
“My love and concentration for books increases by the day since getting this job. I would be able to read books even if I was blindfolded.” (Seirie)
“No, you should notice that one!” (Souma)
If you are blindfolded, forget about noticing or not noticing, you wouldn’t be able to read the book.
“No, I would be using my mind’s eye there.” (Seirie)
“Was the mind’s eye a technique like that?” (Souma)
I threw a retort for now and shook my head.
She looks like a reasonable person, but she is also crazy in her own way.
“And so, go ahead and enjoy yourselves. Just to clarify again, I don’t mind you testing me if you still don’t believe me.” (Seirie)
She must have judged that the talk ended there, Seirie-san closed the conversation after saying that.
“Ah, wait, Seirie-san?” (Souma)
Even when I called her, she didn’t answer me and just took out a chapstick and put it on her lips as she said ‘today is awfully dry’ and closed her lips together to even it out. For some reason, she began reading a book with her lips slightly protruding.
What should I even do here?
I looked at Sazan for help, but the masked mage simply shrugged his shoulders.
“Seirie-san? Can you hear me?” (Souma)
Without much choice, I decided to test Seirie-san to see if she really was concentrating on the book.
For now, no response even when called.
“Seirie-san, you actually do hear me, right?” (Souma)
I tried shaking her body a bit, but it seems like there’s no reaction from just this much.
Can’t be helped.
I resolved myself and said in as much of a hateful-sounding way as possible.
“Yaaa, glasses~! You black rim glasses~!” (Souma)
There really is no response.
If Seirie-san were in her normal state, the moment she heard that just now…
“My glasses are not black rim, they are gray!” -is what she would say straight at me.
She really might be concentrating and can’t hear me.
I am close to believing her here, but just in case as a last confirmation, I approach the ear of Seirie-san as much as possible with my mouth, and…
“Seirie-san, I love you.” (Souma)
Whispered that to her.
I feel like Seirie-san’s shoulders shook for a moment there, but there was no other reaction aside from that.
Looks like she really is concentrating on the book and can’t hear me.
What fearsome concentration.
(It should be fine then.) (Souma)
I turned back to Sazan relieved.
But right after, I think I heard an elated ‘haah fuuh’ from the back, so I looked back, but there was just Seirie-san reading a book with good posture.
Must have been the wind.
“…So, are you satisfied?” (Sazan)
That’s where Sazan spoke to me in a bad mood for some reason.
Is he angry because I left him alone for too long?
“Ah, sorry about that. As you can see, it seems like it is okay for us to talk.” (Souma)
“…You…good grief.” (Sazan)
Sazan let out a baffled tone for a moment, but he soon erased that expression and began talking in a low voice.
“It doesn’t matter whether that woman is hearing or not… I have this bracelet after all.” (Sazan)
Sazan showed me his right hand as he said this.
There’s a familiar bracelet there.
If I remember correctly, the name is…
“…Soul Bracelet. This can seal the owner’s heart, will, and memories. A treasure tool of my lineage.” (Sazan)
“Seal the memories of the owner?” (Souma)
“That’s right.” (Sazan)
Sazan nodded heavily and I fell in thought.
When I heard about it before, he didn’t explain it to me in such detail.
But if that really is a tool that can seal memories, maybe…
“I am currently the owner of this bracelet. This has my memories and experiences. That’s why, if I so wish, I can show you my memories since I succeeded this bracelet…no, even the memories of before I succeeded it.” (Sazan)
I knew it…
After Sazan spoke about what I imagined it would be, he took off the bracelet from his wrist with visible hesitation.
“If you wish to, I can show them to you.
There’s also information regarding the Evil God which you want to know about.” (Sazan)
Sazan speaks in an indifferent tone that doesn’t suit him.
But his voice was shaking faintly.
“…Please. I have to defeat the Evil God Fragment…no, the Evil God.” (Souma)
That’s why I also answer with a serious tone that I normally would never show to Sazan.
“Got it. Give me your hand.” (Sazan)
Those feelings must have reached Sazan.
He said this as if prepared, and offered me the hand that has the bracelet.
My hand and Sazan’s got closer, the bracelet of delicate design slowly approaching, and finally it touched my hand—
“On second thought, no!” (Sazan)
—But just before it did, Sazan quickly moved that hand away.
“Wait, even if you tell me that…” (Souma)
What was all that resolve business of before?
“I-I said no, so no! Cause it is e-embarrassing…I mean, I can’t trust you!” (Sazan)
I couldn’t keep up with the sudden change, and Sazan talked on and on as if in a stupor.
“Y-You would probably use my secret to blackmail me and do horrible things to me!” (Sazan)
“No, what’s this horrible stuff you are talking about?” (Souma)
Even if Sazan had a weakness, he is honestly so useless it is troubling.
I already got the Stardust Flare, so I can’t think of anything else he could do.
“T-That’s, you know…the stuff G-George does?” (Sazan)
“Who is George? Anyways, I swear I won’t do something like that, so…” (Souma)
“L-Lies! That’s what George said to Michelle to deceive her and…” (Sazan)
No, as I said, who the hell is this George?!
“He said things like ‘you are the only one for me’ and in the end, his only objective was her body!” (Sazan)
“No, seriously, what the hell are you talking about?” (Souma)
Sazan has completely lost his marbles.
Or more like, what’s making him this flustered?
I sighed heavily.
Anyways, there’s no end to it like this.
If I tag along in this Sazan and George madness, there will be no end.
“Hey, must it have to be you that pulls out the memories of that bracelet?” (Souma)
“Eh? I-It doesn’t have to be me, but…” (Sazan)
Sazan was showing wariness at the sudden change in topic as he answered.
I deliberately acted as if I didn’t notice that and indifferently piled up the questions.
“Any special ways of usage?” (Souma)
“No, if the owner of the bracelet simply wishes they want to see the memories…” (Sazan)
“I see.” (Souma)
Just by wishing it sounds really fantasy-like. Or like, it is so fantasy-like that I don’t think it would be possible to add it in the game system, but that’s probably proof that this bracelet was unimplemented in Nekomimi Neko.
In that case, there’s a high chance you can gain information that you wouldn’t have gotten in the game.
“I-I don’t know what you are thinking, but it is pointless. Even if you were to tell me ‘you are the most pretty one in the world’, I would not fall for it like Michelle—” (Sazan)
“Hey, Sazan.” (Souma)
I cut off the rambling of Sazan, and moved my hand to the Adventurer Bag.
And then, I bring out a certain piece of gear from inside.
“—What could this be?” (Souma)
What I brought out was the thing I retrieved from the rewinded world…the Soul Bracelet.
Sazan opened his eyes wide, but it seems like he soon realized what this meant.
He jumped at me to get the bracelet back, but it was already too late.
—Light bursted in my brain in an instant.
Memories and feelings became a torrent that inundated me.
What was filled up there were the decades of life of Sazan…no, a girl called Mitia.
The days as a seal priestess…the strong pressure.
Her complicated emotions towards her father and mother.
The trust and disappointment in her caretaker Gaius.
The life she lived, her many experiences, were pushing into my brain along with her raw emotions.
I groaned unconsciously.
I felt like I had a long journey in the mere blink of an eye.
“Did you…see it?” (Sazan)
Sazan, who was already grappling me, must have felt my change, he looked into my eyes in close range and muttered this.
My voice shook when answering.
I couldn’t avoid the body of Sazan because of the effect of the bracelet, and he is currently on top of me.
Thanks to Sazan taking off the mask in the rewind world…I knew Sazan was a girl.
But now that I am faced with the clear reality, it is unbelievable that I have been mistaking her for a man until now.
Her body on top of me is light, and the skin peeking from the black clothes is pristine.
Even if hidden by a mask, I could see the delicate feminine traits from her face.
But that girl was currently all flustered right now.
“E-Even though I told you not to look!!” (Sazan)
“Aah, yeah…sorry.” (Souma)
She reprimanded me with even tears coming out from her eyes behind the mask.
She hammered my chest and, while still clinging onto my body on top of me, she asked me with her gaze turned away.
“…And so, h-how was it?” (Sazan)
“How, you ask?” (Souma)
“I am asking you what you thought after you…peeked at my memories.” (Sazan)
I did think they were strong.
But is it okay for me to tell him…no, her?
“Just tell me already.” (Sazan)
That commanding tone sounded feeble.
“Can I be blunt?” (Souma)
“Just say it already. I am prepared.” (Sazan)
But even with that, I felt like I…no, we wouldn’t be able to move on without speaking out about these feelings.
That’s why I steel myself and face the masked Sazan.
“I have uhm…seen that you are a girl and…that you admire Nameless to the point of writing a novel. But even so…” (Souma)
A meek voice.
Being given power by this, I muster up courage and speak.
“I think the ultimate spell Punishment Banishment would do better without so much nishment.” (Souma)
The scream of the girl that had her dark history of her original novel dug out echoed in the silent library.
Author: This is weird.
Even though I should have been writing a Sazan chapter here, it turned into mostly a Seirie-san chapter.