Let’s think about it calmly first.
The man in front of me called himself Raheight.
His body in the real world is already dead, and I heard that he is currently in the appearance of a child.
But I have heard about his original appearance from Archbishop Ukka through a preliminary memo.
Rakura has also heard about it too. There was a high chance Rakura had also made contact with him since Archbishop Ukka had fallen into his palms after all.
That appearance of his matches completely and he also has a scarlet bracelet.
There’s most likely no doubt it is Raheight who I have heard of. But why is this man in Taizu right now?
“Is something the matter, Ilias?” (Raheight)
“Ah, nothing. I just thought for sure a woman would be coming.” (Ilias)
“What’s that? Aah, I see. Archbishop Maya is a woman after all.” (Raheight)
He apologized and came to his own conclusion.
The threat of Raheight is currently not confirmed. I must not exacerbate things here.
Let’s calm down. Everything up until now would have been pointless if I were to get flustered here and that man were to get cautious of me.
(Uuh, my memories with Counselor-sama have been dyed away in a horrible way…) (Rakura)
Rakura sobbed inside of me. It should be okay to assume she is not present in this simulated world.
Let’s imitate his way of thinking and arrange my thoughts on this situation.
First, the objective of Raheight is the book related to the Demon Lord that Dokora brought to this country.
Normally, he would use hypnotism magic to control Archbishop Ukka, have Rakura be dispatched, and would move the Anbus of Mejis in the shadows.
But Rakura is not present. In that case, they should be using someone else but… Aah, so that’s how it is.
They thought they could steal it away if it is Rakura, but now that she is not present, the only people that Archbishop Ukka can choose are exemplary, meaning that they would be people who would be difficult to steal the book from.
That must be why he went for the fast route of coming here himself.
I don’t exist in this world. But as long as I am filling up the position of the Gahne King Ilias Ratzel whose identity is unknown, the deception is still working.
It goes beyond deceiving here. He is the true culprit himself though.
History has clearly changed with Rakura not being present.
It should be safe to assume it is impossible to replicate this perfectly.
He has already made contact with His Majesty and they should be close to obtaining the knowledge of the book.
He should have obtained most of the information about Taizu by now.
With Raheight having made contact with him, I just have to be careful that no harm comes to him.
I don’t know if I will be assigned to be his bodyguard in the future after all.
My evaluation from the surroundings has increased, but for the people who evaluated me highly to begin with, it is the opposite.
Lord Ragudo, the members of the Ragudo Division, His Majesty, and Saira.
In regards to Saira, she has a good impression of me as an exemplary newbie knight, but with the others, the time together with them really is showing its discrepancies here.
It is because I am close to that man that I can stand here.
The speed we went through the villages was drastically faster than before and things proceeded without issues.
(Uuh, Raheight setting the barriers is the same, but…he is good.) (Rakura)
Considering the possibility that the book might be in the villages, he set detection barriers. The work that took several days because of the setting speed of Rakura will most likely take less than 2 days here.
(Right, I made contact with Counselor-sama at night and tried to get information out from him! I am sure Raheight will try using charm magic!) (Rakura)
I doubt he is going to use charm magic. They are both men, you know…? Well, it might work though.
But the hypnotism magic Raheight used would most likely have a higher effect and would be more convenient.
Our first day of work ended and we rented a lodging in the village.
I stayed in the neighboring room of that man and listened in for the whole night without sleeping. If something happens, I am rushing at once.
And then, a visitor came to his room. It is Raheight.
To think Raheight would do the same action as Rakura… I don’t know whose evaluation I should be raising or lowering here…
“Oh, Raheight-san, what’s the matter?”
“My apologies for coming in this late at night. I couldn’t sleep and went out for a walk, and I saw the light in your room, so… Was it a bother?” (Raheight)
(He said the same thing as me?!) (Rakura)
“I don’t mind. I was documenting what happened today.”
“Counselor-san is a really diligent one. Is it okay for me to see?” (Raheight)
“Yeah, go ahead. Sit on the bed or something.”
(Ilias-san, please go in already! Any more and my memories…!) (Rakura)
Even if you say that, I can’t go rushing in when it is just harmless greetings.
It is not like they are replicating the same exact conversation.
I listened to the conversation for a while, but there weren’t any sudden developments and Raheight left the room.
(This is weird. This is where I messed up my charm magic and the treatment of Counselor-sama towards me turned terrible though…) (Rakura)
“Even if you hold doubts on that front… Charm magic doesn’t work on him. In that case, hypnotism magic has the same possibility of being the case too. Raheight most likely noticed his failure without making a big deal out of it and left the room.” (Ilias)
(Uuh, the memories from here on have been protected, but it kind of doesn’t feel right…) (Rakura)
We went around the villages without issues the next day too.
But after Raheight entered one of the many churches in our route, that man spoke to me.
“Ilias, could it be that men like Raheight are to your taste?”
“Wa?! As if!” (Ilias)
I was on the verge of grabbing his collar, but I endured.
Speaking of which, I haven’t grappled with him in this world.
It is in part because I was desperate to maintain my relationship with him, but this is my second time, so there’s little to be surprised about.
“It is fine if that’s not it. It seems like you were paying a lot of attention to him after all.”
He noticed. I remember that he said he is sensitive to the distance between human relations.
But if he thought that, maybe I should have gone along with it instead?
…No, that won’t do.
Raheight has a good appearance, but I can’t bring myself to like him.
It goes beyond just my preconception of him being an enemy. I can’t help but feel we are not compatible.
Even if I were to lie, it would only be a matter of time before he noticed.
“I was simply being careful since he is a strict person like Archbishop Maya, but it seems I was wrong.” (Ilias)
“Aah, now that you mention it, it felt more like you were wary of him rather than those being positive emotions. You got all stiff, so I ended up assuming.”
I thought he usually said really crazy things, but when I am trying to hide things as I interact with him, it makes me realize just how fearsome this man is.
“But Raheight smells strangely fishy. It would do good to be careful of him.”
“I-Is that so?” (Ilias)
He already smells something from Raheight.
Should I be asking him a bit here? If it were the usual me, I would have tried to pry a bit more here at least.
“But what do you mean by fishy? He didn’t look like he made any suspicious moves though…” (Ilias)
“It is a vague sensation, so it is hard to explain, but he is most likely a bad guy.”
This might be the first time he has clearly said someone he has met as being a bad guy.
The evils of Raheight have already been discovered in the real world, so it goes without saying.
There would be times when he would give his opinion of the people he met, but he never called them bad guys this clearly.
“What should I do?” (Ilias)
“If we get wary of him carelessly, he would most likely just do his evil deeds in secret instead, so it would be better to let him swim around to a certain degree. I will consult with Marito once we return. It should be okay to not worry too deeply for now.”
He said this and walked to Wolfe who was observing the village.
He is acting so leisurely as if saying the threat of Raheight is nothing.
Him telling me this must have been to warn me about it.
(He seems more reliable than the usual Counselor-sama.) (Rakura)
Really. He normally wouldn’t show such actions and would just do things on his own—hm?
Speaking of which, aren’t his reactions towards me kind of different?
His way of speaking and how he interacts with me are close to before, but he is strangely kind or like he would throw conversations at me…
I see. The him of this world barely teases me.
“Speaking of which, I don’t remember him calling me muscle-head or superhuman.” (Ilias)
(You want to be called that?) (Rakura)
“As if.” (Ilias)
(But now that you mention it… It doesn’t feel like you are distant… Aah, speaking of which, you haven’t harmed Counselor-sama.) (Rakura)
“No, it is not like I have done so in the real world…” (Ilias)
(I have heard that you would grab his collar and shake him with a whole lot of strength, would stuff him in a bag and carry him, would poke him countless times with your scabbard that’s a lump of iron, and even squeeze him until he got bruised though.) (Rakura)
…Yeah… Well, that much is just light interactions.
But there was none of that in this world. I have shown him how I fight right in front of his eyes though.
Is there that much of a change with just that difference in actions? Just how violent does he think I am in the eyes of that man in the real world…? I should try to be more kind to him if I remember it.
In the end, nothing much happened and we finished going around the villages.
Raheight ended up having to work under Archbishop Maya for a while.
He has been placed somewhere quite hard to make moves on. Since I haven’t had interactions with Maya, the man and I can’t get close to him without making it look weird.
If we want to make some sort of move, we will need the assistance of His Majesty.
It feels weird for the church I have gone to so often to be this hard to approach.
I would like to consult with that man more, but I can’t.
The objective of Raheight is the book. I still shouldn’t know about the existence of the book.
I need to act in a way that I simply think of him as a suspicious individual, to the point where I am bothered by the man telling me that he is a bad guy.
“So frustrating. It would be faster to just smash his head open.” (Ilias)
(Counselor-sama has become more peaceful, but Ilias-san has conversely become more dangerous.) (Rakura)
In the case of Rakura, Mejis Anbus would be sent to this country.
Them being present in the country would be made clear with the murder of Gazen.
But with those factors not existing, we have no choice but to let Raheight swing until he takes an action that will make it clear he is guilty.
But Raheight was not making a move and tense days continued.
“I am assigning you with the protection of an important person.”
Finally, His Majesty called me as the days without anything happening continued, and I was ordered to protect him.
I was worried that I wouldn’t be assigned as his bodyguard, but it seems like I safely managed to achieve it.
I thought this one would be difficult to pull off since the Anbus threatening his life are not present…
Should I be asking questions instead of just accepting obediently?
It is really exhausting to think about what my past self would have thought in this situation.
“Your Majesty, it is not like I am questioning the importance of that man, but only few know about his origins. Won’t his importance be made more prominent if a bodyguard is assigned to him?” (Ilias)
“Good question. It is true that, in terms of position, he is simply a Counselor Candidate. However, it seems like there’s unsavory movements from the Yugura Church.” (Marito)
“…Are you speaking of the person called Raheight?” (Ilias)
“It is great to see you are perceptive. I spoke with that man and sent the Anbus of our country to keep an eye on Raheight. Through that, we have judged that he seems to have another objective. There’s the possibility that that man might end up in harm’s way.” (Marito)
This is most likely as much as I can ask.
Should I step in or not…?
“Can I hear the details of that?” (Ilias)
“If you were to learn about it, I can’t assure you you can return to your everyday life.” (Marito)
“It shouldn’t be an issue if it is just that much. I am a knight. I don’t want to choose the path where I live without a care in the world and abandon my friends.” (Ilias)
“…Friend, do you mind?” (Marito)
“It is okay.”
“Then, I shall tell you the situation. You remember Dokora, the man you subjugated, right? We have obtained the book that the bandit had and deciphered it. What was written there was information about necromancy and the Demon Lord.” (Marito)
His Majesty gave a rough explanation of the book.
He didn’t reveal the author of the book, but he even told me about how the Demon Lords would resurrect.
I act as if I am surprised. I did try practicing in front of a mirror.
“It is 90% certain that Raheight’s objective is to get the book and that it was a book stored in Mejis. But there’s practically no coordination with the Archbishop of the Taizu branch, Maya, so it is most likely an investigation he is performing by himself. Maya should also know about the possibility Dokora might have taken this book, but there’s no movement from her.” (Marito)
“…Archbishop Maya is being suspected?” (Ilias)
“It should be safe to assume that’s the reason why they are not cooperating upfront. But that’s not all. We kept surveillance on a high official entering the castle beforehand under the advice of this man, and there was contact with Raheight. We continued our surveillance of that man, and there was an intrusion in our treasury.” (Marito)
It is most definitely hypnotism magic. It would be difficult to infiltrate the castle to search and setting a detection barrier would be out of the question.
That’s where he used hypnotism magic to make someone commuting to the castle into his puppet and began his investigation.
“Where’s the high official right now?” (Ilias)
“We investigated him, but his memories all around are unclear. He most likely used hypnotism magic. We are letting him swim around for now, but using magic on a high official of Taizu is a dangerous action that could develop into a bigger problem of responsibility. I find it hard to believe this is the action of a rogue priest.” (Marito)
“So there’s someone acting with his own agenda in Mejis, or there’s someone in the shadows of Raheight, huh.” (Ilias)
The developments really go fast when these two are together.
It may not be certain, but they might have already caught the shadow of the Demon Lord.
“There’s no knowing who will become an enemy with hypnotism magic turning people into puppets. But it is possible to make countermeasures for people with high mana and prior preparations. Since you are close to this man, he should be able to notice those changes.” (Marito)
True. I certainly would be the proper selection in that sense. This applies to Wolfe as well, but they probably can’t ignore her lack of ability.
This is how I successfully managed to recreate me becoming his bodyguard.
“We somehow managed to get all the way here.” (Ilias)
(Yes, there were a number of changes, but we have safely gotten the trust of Counselor-sama too.) (Rakura)
It has been a while since I have taken a break in my bed.
There were a lot of hardships, but I am somewhat relieved that it has gone well.
Resetting my relationships isn’t something I would like to experience over and over.
I have not made preparations for war in this iteration. I either wait for our one-sided downfall after the declaration of war, or will have to resign.
But if I can get the information from that man who I have gotten equally close to as in the real world, I can bring that to the next iteration safely—
Safely…eh, what’s this…?
I feel like I am making a fatal mistake here.
The man from this simulated world has gained the same knowledge and experiences as the one from the real world, and has knowledge enough to make Taizu fall.
I will then explain the situation to him once the war against Gahne begins, and ask him the way to defeat Taizu.
According to the 3rd him, the chances of the 4th him cooperating are apparently low just like with him.
The 4th him lived in Taizu, therefore, he wouldn’t want to do something like betray Taizu that looked after him.
That’s why I just have to ask him for the method to direct the sword onto Taizu for the 5th iteration. He said he will begrudge me for betraying him, but it wouldn’t be that difficult to convince him.
There’s no doubt the him from this world has as much information as the one from the real world.
He has lived the same experiences. There’s no doubt about that.
Same experiences… Same relationships…
I suddenly felt nauseated. I grabbed the bucket for cleaning and vomited there.
(I-Ilias-san, are you okay?!) (Rakura)
“How can this be…? I…I…have to betray him in this world that’s practically a mirror image of ours?” (Ilias)
The 2nd and 3rd iterations of him were somewhat distant.
Even if their appearances were the same, they felt like strangers.
But the 4th him is the same as the one in the real world.
We defeated the bandits together, looked after Wolfe, and lived together until now…
I will have to betray him, throw away this world, and move onto the next one.
I am going to do something like that? Me?
What’s the difference from betraying the him in the real world?
“I vowed to protect him… For his sake… I said it was for his sake…” (Ilias)
The words he directed to me in this world, his expressions, his feelings; they are all the…same as the ones of him in the real world… They are the same.
No, this is a simulated world. He is a being created from the power of the Gold Demon Lord—
I couldn’t endure it and vomit.
I have worked hard in these simulated worlds for the sake of the him in the real world.
The result of this is that I will have to do something akin to betraying that very person.
Real world, simulated world; these worlds don’t have a single difference from each other aside from their names.
The one I vowed to protect… Will I…
I have come back after observing the results of the 6th iteration.
There were moves from Wolfe too, but the one I am actually worried about really is Ilias.
“She resigned immediately for 2 iterations consecutively. Looks like Third really got her.” (Gold)
“It is the chivalry of Ilias. I did expect this to happen.”
The aim of Third was to break the heart of Ilias.
He had Ilias, who was fighting for the sake of the real world, to replicate the same environment as that of the real world, and had her betray everything about it.
Ilias has never done games where she spins around a story.
She doesn’t have the distinction of the lives in a game world being simply things inside the game.
To top it off, this is a world that far surpasses the games in the modern era and are no different from the real people.
At the beginning of the war in the 4th iteration, she ended up revealing the circumstances to the 4th me.
Told him everything, and after apologizing, she tried to end it all in the 5th iteration.
The result was that she was killed by Fourth.
Even though Ilias could have fought back against the weak otherworlder. She must have been thrown quite the harsh words.
If the current me were to be done the same as Fourth, it would go far from just me seeing her as an enemy.
It is not something that can be settled with just a forgive or not forgive her.
Third used Fourth and the original to break the heart of Ilias perfectly.
She ended up having to betray the person that she vowed to protect as a knight. The pride of Ilias who takes the chivalric code to heart had collapsed completely.
When she entered her next iteration, her memories were condensed as just results.
That’s why she only inherited the result of having been killed by Fourth, and the pain she felt at that time shouldn’t have been inherited.
But Third proposed something that overcame that.
That’s right. The method to record information through national holidays and festivals.
Ilias poured all her emotions into writing this before Gahne fell as a warning, in order to pass the baton to the next iteration.
The effects were brutal. The heart of Ilias was broken right as the 5th iteration began.
She even inherited the details that Fourth threw at her.
You shouldn’t be including a national holiday that has close to 1,000 characters.
And then, she immediately resigned on the 6th iteration too. She is currently in her 7th iteration.
“So, it turned out just like ya said… Is that okay?” (Gold)
“It is fine for the Ilias team to be deemed as a defeat. Bring them back.”
—Yeah, this really is disgusting.
Making me taste this disgusting sensation was the way too wonderful harassment Third threw at me.