LS – Chapter 69: Back at present

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The stay in Gahne that felt long and at the same time short has finally reached its end.

It was a stay that included a lot more lost time than initially planned. It is long in terms of time, but it was unexpectedly short now that it has gone by.

“I want to go to Taizu too.” -is what the Gold Demon Lord said, but everyone said ‘don’t come’ in chorus.

There’s no one in Taizu who would welcome the Gold Demon Lord.

“I thought at least ya would tell me to come!” (Gold)

“If I had to say whether I like you or not, I would say I like you, but decisions on a scale where you have to decide whether to abandon your country or the citizens are a bit…”

With that faint hope severed, the Gold Demon Lord returned to her position as the king of Gahne reluctantly.

The Gold Demon Lord without her protective barrier would be a ripe target for all kinds of political forces.

The otherworlder has just recently lost his weapon, with his future looking harsh. I wouldn’t want to shoulder an unnecessary risk on top of that.

“I will eventually catch up to ya, so just ya wait for me!” -are the weird parting words she gave me which bothered me, but I decided to not think too deeply about it.

And so, we safely departed from Gahne. We were once again being shaken by the carriage and going clippity clop.

The inspection of Gahne barely bore any fruits in the end. I feel bad for Ludfein-san who scheduled a whole ton of things for us.

She herself said ‘Her Majesty made a mess of it all’ and accepted it, but I feel like the rift between the cabinet minister and the king has deepened.

Gradona is continuing to look after the training of Wolfe, but he is apparently going to be returning to his former home once and settling things before coming back.

He apparently left the training grounds the very day Ekdoik called him and arrived at Gahne. He said he is most likely being treated as missing right about now.

Ekdoik has been used as a convenient taxi for Gradona.

Gradona should be aware that Ekdoik was the one that betrayed his disciple Pashuro and killed him, but they are awfully close.

“Considering our original objective, this was a trip we got a lot out of.”

“Right, in a lot of meanings.” (Ilias)

The gazes hurt a little bit, but I don’t mind them. I am the one who lost a good number of things here after all.

I obtained a lot of information after coming to Gahne seeking information about Raheight.

The king is a Demon Lord, the other Demon Lords have also resurrected, and Yugura was a constant annoying rascal.

On top of that, the Purple Demon Lord was targeting the Gold Demon Lord, and the world is being threatened.

Why did such information roll my way when I was just searching for info about him? This is beyond stirring up a hornet’s nest.

What actual results have we gotten?

First, we managed to get into a friendly relationship with the king of Gahne. Even if she is the weakest when it comes to battle, it is big that we managed to get one of the Demon Lords indebted.

We also obtained information of the other Demon Lords. That’s way too useful information for the human side.

But we still haven’t grasped the whereabouts of Raheight. The danger to my life is still the same.

“Speaking of things we obtained, there was something I had to give to you, Rakura.”

“Me?” (Rakura)

I carefully stood up from the shaking carriage and headed to Rakura’s side.

I put my arm around the neck of Rakura and finished giving her what I needed to give her.

What I put around the neck of Rakura was a necklace. It doesn’t have flashy ornaments, but small gems were embedded in it, and it is a beautiful silver accessory where the technique of the artisan shines.

“Wow, it is lovely. But why me?” (Rakura)

“I got it from the Gold Demon Lord.”

“I see. But if I got it from Counselor-sama—” (Rakura)

“The Gold Demon Lord gave it to me so that I would pass it onto you.”

Rakura found this hard to understand and tilted her head. But it seems like she has taken a liking to it.

“The topic will be changing here, but it is related to the horde of monsters that appeared in the Gahne Nether. There’s no doubt they headed to the Taizu Nether and were exterminated. But it seems like the rumor that there were monsters in the Gahne Nether has spread in the human realm with Gahne being the center. There will understandably be one or two peculiar adventurers who would see the center of the Nether in the span of several months.”

“Now that you mention it, that’s true. I have entered the Mejis Nether countless times to hunt devils in the past.” (Rakura)

“But there’s no information at all about them suddenly disappearing. That kind of information wouldn’t be known so readily unless you live in the Nether after all. Even so, if an army of monsters were to suddenly disappear, the unease will remain as rumors. That’s where the Gold Demon Lord set a countermeasure for this.”

“Countermeasure…as the king of Gahne?” (Rakura)

“That’s right. She had a medal of honor issued for driving away the army of monsters and awarded it. If rumors of this having been solved were to spread around, the worries would decrease, right?”

“I see… Is it this?!” (Rakura)

I don’t hate a perceptive Rakura.

That’s right. That’s the medal of honor that the king had specially made.

“Yeah, that’s it. It is a gift from a king, so if you sell it or lose it, it will be big trouble, okay?”

“W-Why me?!” (Rakura)

“The result of consultation. First of all, me and the Gold Demon Lord didn’t want to leave traces of an Earthling helper. It wouldn’t give that much of a good impression if it were known that she joined hands with someone from the same world as Yugura. Ilias and Mix came as bodyguards, and Wolfe lacks way too much fame. And most of all, you got the nomination of Ekdoik.”

“That’s acceptable?!” (Rakura)

“Acceptable or not, Ekdoik cooperated here in the first place in order to increase your reputation, you know? This is in part the deserved reward of Ekdoik.”

Honestly speaking, it is also in part because Ekdoik noticed in the middle of it and went ‘this won’t serve to raise the reputation of Rakura Salf!’.

We finished things up from the shadows, so that’s natural. Moreover, there’s no way we can say there was a conversation between Demon Lords.

But that would sour the mood of Ekdoik. And so, we mined up the rumor that hadn’t grown that big, and displayed it again.

We also spread the official information that Rakura had been awarded a hero level medal of honor by the Gahne King.

In this way, the rumor that the Mejis priestess, Rakura Salf, had driven away the army of monsters that gathered in the Gahne Nether was easily established.

The king is admitting it. It is not a simple matter of it being a trustworthy source anymore.

By the way, Ekdoik is also spreading that rumor while transporting Gradona.

“You actually did contribute, Rakura. You have the right to accept it, so just accept it.”

“That’s true, but…this doesn’t sit right more than I expected. I don’t feel accomplished at all here.” (Rakura)

“That’s pretty much how it is when it comes to public opinion. Even if you didn’t manage to bring out enough of your power or couldn’t apply all of yourself in it, you will get praised as long as you get the results.”

The bandit subjugation of Ilias was the same. It was a high difficulty one when it comes to wits, but Ilias barely had a hard time when it came to raw power.

It was most likely a mission any knight division could have accomplished if it had been solely about battle.

Despite that, she received a medal of honor from Marito and was evaluated highly.

“But what did I do…? I only remember putting up a barrier.” (Rakura)

“Also, you exhausted almost all of the wine in the manor. You did a whole slew of things that you didn’t need to. The result was that you received the highest medal of honor you can from the king. How are you feeling?”

“Hiih, the guilt is crushing me!” (Rakura)

“There’s also the promise with Pope Euparo and Ekdoik. It is helping out greatly to veil our actions. I will be raising your fame steadily like this from here on, okay?”

“I yearned for a reward with no manual labor, and yet…this is not what I imagined.” (Rakura)

Yes, this is the person that became a hero after placing a barrier in front of monsters. This must feel the same as when you are placing a dandelion on top of the sashimi, and all of a sudden you are being praised by the public for wiping out all the terrorists.

I don’t really get it myself.

“Pope Euparo, Marito, and the Gold Demon Lord know about you. Even if your reputation rises, they won’t throw you unreasonable work.”

“Right… Right?” (Rakura)

I don’t like the perceptive Rakura. I really might not be able to deceive her completely here.

It is true that Pope Euparo knows how hopeless Rakura is. He wouldn’t go out of his way to give her a high position.

But what about the people who don’t know Rakura well?

If the fame of Rakura increases here and there, there might be people who would try to push Rakura by some trigger.

That said, it is not like she doesn’t have the ability. She will most likely get an appropriate position first.

It depends on the performance of Ekdoik, but it will probably be fine. Probably.

Aah, there might be no hope. I feel like he might even put his life on the line if it is for the sake of increasing Rakura’s fame.

“You will be working in Taizu from here on. The ones who earned their position are not the ones who have been evaluated highly because of their battle power after all. It will most likely be raised moderately.”

“Is it okay for your standing to not be raised, Counselor-sama?” (Rakura)

“I have gone to two countries and have become friends with their kings, you know? There’s almost no point to my workpost and prestige.”

“When you put it like that, Counselor-sama has really gone up in the ranks too.” (Rakura)

“My exchanges with the Gold Demon Lord were in part the results of my actions, but my personal relationship with Marito came from something trivial after all. I might be in a somewhat similar position as you, Rakura, in that I was evaluated highly before a proper evaluation was made through my ability and personality.”

“Muh, Mister Friend, are you looking down on the first impression that Ani-sama had of you?” (Mix)

Mix bit, most likely because we were bringing up Marito here and there. She accepts when Marito is being praised, but when it comes to complaints about him, she comes at you.

“I am not belittling his discerning eye. It has created good results for Marito as well after all. However, I do think he jumped way too many steps. You know the way he speaks with me, right? It has been like that since the very first day.”

Mix reveres Marito to a level where it is practically a religion. What would she think of the person that Marito thought of as a friend from his very first impression?

That said, I am that person.

“That’s…I am sure it was love at first sight.” (Mix)

“Making a man fall in love at first sight isn’t really making me happy…”

Marito’s attitude stemmed from his judgment that my existence would be of great value to him, and he assumed from the very beginning that we could become good friends in the future.

I myself don’t think I have that much worth, but I won’t complain about the evaluation of the Wise King.

It was a good opportunity to learn about the culture of a parallel world and also the information hidden in the shadows of this world itself.

But reaching that conclusion and forming a relationship by speaking like we have been brothers for years right from the get-go…I don’t know about that.

It is a method you wouldn’t be able to do unless you have a lot of confidence in yourself. He must have that confidence.

“As for the Gold Demon Lord…well, she found someone that she could have skinship with without worries when she was missing it so dearly. It is like finding a pet to care for her in a life full of enemies. Well, I was the one who pet her though.”

“The pet being the one doing the petting is not something you hear often.” (Mix)

Now that I think about it, her tail was quality brushing material. I still remember it clearly.

Most of the time it was her smacking it on my face, but well, that in itself was fluffy.

“Hmm, I am feeling a bit nostalgic about it. Wolfe, can I brush yours for a bit?”

“Yes, go ahead!” (Wolfe)

I brush Wolfe in the same position as the Gold Demon Lord.

Petting her ears felt almost the same and it wasn’t bad, but a tail of that volume only comes from the Gold Demon Lord, huh.

Speaking of which, I haven’t brushed the tail of Wolfe carefully.

“Fumu… The feel of it is good. It is a smooth feeling like that of silk. This doesn’t lose to the Gold Demon Lord in its own way.”

“Ehen!” (Wolfe)

Wolfe is proud of her own tail, huh. Right, the Gold Demon Lord was also proud of hers.

They must be happy about having a part of their body be praised.

Wait, this isn’t sexual harassment, right?

A headpat is considered sexual harassment now in modern Japan. Even the manga where demi-humans show up, touching their tails is taken as an action akin to touching their boobs.

I don’t see such reactions from the Gold Demon Lord and Wolfe. It is most likely okay.

Should I investigate the culture of the black wolfkins in the future? I should also be careful and see if the demi-humans dislike physical contact.

“Right, there’s something I would like to ask you.”

“What, Ilias?”

“I was just thinking of asking you given the chance, you see. Are you hiding anything from us?” (Ilias)

“You went straight in, huh. Well, I was the one who told you to do as you please, so I won’t complain though.”

“I learned that there would be no end to this if we are not the ones asking after all. How is it?” (Ilias)

Something I am hiding from Ilias and the others, huh… Fumu.

“It is different from things that I still haven’t said because I haven’t been asked, right?”

“Yeah, but…you also have those too?” (Ilias)

“Like, I sometimes play with the grandchild of Lord Ragudo, and how I am in the drinking parties of the Ragudo Division with Cara-jii. There’s a good deal of things I haven’t told you but it is not really because I am hiding them.”

It is not like I am reporting my daily life every single time.

There’s obviously things happening outside the knowledge of Ilias in my life at Taizu.

I don’t go out of my way to tell her, but it is not because I am keeping it a secret.

“…That’s a line-up of things that I am really curious about. But now that you mention it, you were also pretty close to Lord Leano and the others, so this isn’t that strange, huh. Let’s leave that for later. Let’s hear about the things that you are deliberately hiding from us.” (Ilias)

“There’s a number of things. First, there’s a lot of things about Earth that I don’t want to talk about. There’s information that I shouldn’t give you too, after all. This is also the result of having consulted with Marito.”

Knowledge from a different era should only be spoken to people who can process it. Especially historical moments that changed the times greatly. It could become the main cause that derails this world.

I don’t want to be the trigger for the creation of biological weapons and nuclear weapons in this world.

I also don’t want them to know about my human relationships on Earth.

“That’s…well, it can’t be helped. Then, how about things related to this world?” (Ilias)

“This world, huh… Aah, I have one. Wait a moment. I will think of a way to explain it… Mix, if it sounds like it is gonna be bad news, stop me.”

“Me?” (Mix)

“Yeah, it is something that only Marito and Lord Ragudo know after all. It is a story about the Anbu in Taizu.

“Uh, I myself…don’t know much about it either, so I can’t really comment about it…” (Mix)

“The Anbu of Taizu, huh… That’s certainly information I am not qualified to hear about… So you know about it.” (Ilias)

“I don’t know the full picture though. After the matter with the Anbus of Mejis, I was introduced to one of them in order to learn about the entities called Anbus in this world.”

“They were in the castle at that time…?” (Ilias)

Rather than say they were, it is more like they are. He is by the side of Marito at this very moment.

Is Anbu-kun doing well? I normally don’t see him, so I wouldn’t notice even if he were to disappear.

“I will keep that covered. If you are interested, please get the permission of Marito.”

“Right. It will probably be impossible though… There have been talks that there are Anbus of Taizu within the knights. There’s clearly information flowing in the castle that knights wouldn’t be able to obtain after all. His Majesty has also not denied it even once.” (Ilias)

Marito introducing me to Anbu-kun must have been the bare minimum information. It is about the strongest bodyguard in Taizu that not even the knights in the capital know about after all.

“Any other secrets… Hmm… Things I don’t want to tell Ilias and the others… Things I would like to hide… Aah, there is.”

“What a bothering reaction in front of the very person that’s curious about it.” (Ilias)

“There’s a treasure chest in my room, right?”

“There is?” (Ilias)

“…You didn’t see it when you entered my room?”

“Speaking of which, there might have been something like that… Do you know about it, Rakura?” (Ilias)

“Yes, a box that has a really strict lock, right?” (Rakura)

“Wolfe has also seen it.” (Wolfe)

“The only place I can put it is in my room after all. That’s actually a personal secret treasure chest of mine.”

There’s a variety of things inside of it. The ashes of what’s most likely my first generation partner, the magic seal stone I brought from the bandit lair, the pretty stone I picked up from the black wolfkins forest, a fragment of the destroyed rampart at the battle with the Mejis Anbus, and stuff like that.

They are honestly all trash that doesn’t have value, but they have many feelings stockpiled in them of my memories in the isekai.

I played it up and bought a big treasure box, but it has taken a decent amount of space.

“Does it have anything of value?” (Rakura)

“No, I have entrusted the money and goods to Ban-san. It is mostly trash I have picked up. I keep them as memories of my journey. I even have a part of the detection barrier that you failed to remove and broke, Rakura.”

“Why do you have something like that…? Ah, as an important memory of mine?!” (Rakura)

“I don’t think it is important though. It is more like events that left an impression on me. I have a habit of picking up things around the area to keep them as a commemoration of such moments. I wouldn’t be able to show you the full picture of this one.”

“I kind of don’t care about that one.” (Ilias)

Outright! How dare you say that about a person’s values…!

“Shishou, do you have memories of Wolfe inside of it too?” (Wolfe)

“Memories of Wolfe, huh. I have a number of things I gathered up at the forest of the black wolfkins, but there’s also some that are about you personally… For example; I have the piece used for the life game.”

“Let’s forget about that one.” (Wolfe)

Instant response.

It seems like Wolfe has also sealed the memories of that time.

It is also the commemorative day when she made Cara-jii go on his knees though… I myself suffered too.

“Next would be…there’s also the meat bone that you for some reason hid at Dog’s Bone.”

“Ooh, I remember that!” (Wolfe)

“I thought you had a strand of hair from Wolfe-chan or something in there.” (Rakura)

“The body hair of someone would be a bit… I might be labeled a dangerous person if someone were to see it.”

“Really?” (Rakura)

“On Earth, there’s the possibility the guards would apprehend you for that. People get disgusted by it after all. It is a world where you have to think about the person themselves when picking things up.”

“Wolfe would be fine with that.” (Wolfe)

“I-I see.”

Is this her way of telling me to gather them? How vexing.

The fur in Wolfe’s tail is certainly of good quality after all… My blood as a collectionist might get stirred up by it.

As for the Gold Demon Lord…I feel like she would give them to me while saying ‘think of them as if it were me’.

“But seeing something to remember the past sounds interesting!” (Mix)

“Oh, you get it too, Mix?”

“I am an adventurer after all. There’s a lot of instances where I  get nostalgic about the past. Right, do you have a commemorative item for your first meeting with Ani-sama?” (Mix)

“—Kinda. What it is is a secret.”

“That makes me curious, but…it must be something with a lot of meaning!” (Mix)

It is half of the skin from the giant pistachio that I used in our exchange.

Marito kept it with him for some reason, so I got it.

Marito must have a collecting habit like me.

“Then, have you obtained something that symbolizes our first meeting?” (Mix)

“No. We immediately got into the carriage when I met you, and then we had to do round trips from the manor and the Gahne castle, right? There wasn’t anything that clicked, you see.”

“How can that be… But now that you mention it, that’s true… Hmm… Then, this knife!” (Mix)

“Don’t give me your main weapon.”

“But…But Mister Friend, this has been a deeply memorable trip with you, and it will remain in my memories for life, you know?! Even if your memories of me remain, there not being a commemorative item would be… Ah, my hair—” (Mix)

“Put away the knife first, okay? Also, it would stand out if there’s only one item in there that comes from the body of the person themselves, so let’s not.”

“Hmm… What is the item for your memories of your meeting with Lord Ratzel?” (Mix)

“My secrets are being exposed more and more… Well, I don’t mind though. It is a string.”

“String?” (Mix)

“I was stuffed in a jute bag the first time we met, you see. She took the time to close my mouth with a string. It is the string of that time.”

“Why do you have something like that…? Speaking of which, I remember having lost it on the way. So you pocketed it.” (Ilias)

“That’s a pretty trivial thing… Then, let’s go with this.” (Mix)

Mix said this and cut off one of the buttons from her clothes.

Well, if it is just this much… It seems to be made out of gold and looks somewhat expensive, but…can’t be helped.

“Hmm, this is within a permissible line. I will gratefully accept.”

“With this, I will also be popping inside the memories of Mister Friend, right?!” (Mix)

“I feel like I wouldn’t need something for a person that is this quirky though.”

“Ehehe~!” (Mix)

Mix looks truly happy here.

She must be happy that she is being treated the same way as Marito. The one of the person himself is the skin of a legume though.

“Next would be a memory of Gahne, huh. If we had the head of the Gold Demon Lord, it would have served as a commemorative item though.” (Ilias)

“Collecting the heads of people is without doubt the mindset of a dangerous person… I did get something.”

I take out a small clear crystal from my pocket. It is small, but it is the same golden color as the hair of the Gold Demon Lord.

“It is a crystal I have not seen before. Where did you get this?” (Mix)

“I picked it up at the Gahne Castle. According to the Gold Demon Lord, it drops every now and then when she is cleaning. It is apparently a crystal that originates from the Nether.”

“Fumu. Now that you mention it, I feel a similar mana from that of the Gold Demon Lord. Did the mana in the air crystalize?” (Mix)

“It apparently disperses when the Gold Demon Lord touches it, so the chances of this being the case are high.”

She said it was trash that didn’t take much effort cleaning up, so she would often do it herself. Since the opportunity was there, I nabbed one for myself.

This serves just right since the color reminds me of the Gold Demon Lord.

There shouldn’t be any issues with adding it to my memory treasure box that you can still see the bottom of.

“Oh, the national border is coming to sight.”

A decent amount of time has passed since coming to this world, but I most likely haven’t finished living it all yet.

Wondering how filled up it will be at the end is a secret enjoyment of mine.

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