“What did I even do to deserve this…?”
“Uuh, you see, Blue has already said it was her bad. There was no time to explain after all.” (Ekdoik)
“It was hard to endure laughing~.” (Girista)
Haakudoku looked more sad than angry. Blue was being considerate to the constitution of Haakudoku compared to the other Demon Lords, so it must have been a shock for him that it was used against him.
My mother was worried about Haakudoku, but Blue said it was alright, so she left. But there’s a high chance she will encounter Haakudoku again. We should explain to him for now and have him cooperate.
“I see. No wonder you desperately tried to stop me. Ekdoik and Rakura wouldn’t have been able to stop me at that moment after all.” (Haaku)
“Right. I said I would match the two, but didn’t put in the effort. I am sorry.” (Ekdoik)
“It is troubling to have you apologize. It is just that I had bad timing, right? I will just accept it as this being an unfortunate accident. But judging from the state of Natora-san, it felt like she really wanted to meet you two, you know? Wouldn’t it be fine to meet her at least once?” (Haaku)
“I don’t really mind that myself, but if I were to meet her once, there might be a next time. It would be hard to hide the complicated circumstances if that happens.” (Ekdoik)
Leaving things vague and hiding something is an experience I haven’t had until now. It would be hard to pull that off all of a sudden. I have promised to help out, so I can’t half-ass it.
“How to say this…it feels like a pain. I also don’t like that this feels as if we are making Natora-san endure here.” (Haaku)
“Right. But my relationship with Rakura and Blue is deep. I can’t just not prioritize them.” (Ekdoik)
“Can’t you do like…something more safe?” (Haaku)
Safe, huh… That’s a habitual word of Comrade. I am sure Comrade would lead us to the best path if he were present, but we can’t just rely so much on him. Even if relying on someone is not bad, I doubt being dependent is good.
Also, we are in the middle of our battle against the Scarlet Demon Lord. Increasing the burden on Comrade could lead to increasing the chances of losing. We really should solve this by ourselves without taking time. But what should we do…?
“I would like to give an idea here, but…this is troubling.” (Ekdoik)
“There’s a lot of people in our party that are not good at thinking after all.” (Haaku)
“Isn’t that a bit harsh~?” (Girista)
“Then, do you have a good idea?” (Haaku)
“Right~. Natora will most likely want to make contact with you again. Shouldn’t you just deceive her well?” (Girista)
“Yeah, but…I suck at lying.” (Haaku)
Lying…huh. Comrade said that lies always create cracks. That’s why it is easier to deceive others by not using them as much as possible.
But is there a way to deceive someone without using lies? Speaking of which, I heard that the first time Rakura met Comrade, he deceived her the whole time while keeping things secret. I feel like there were barely any lies with the Purple Demon Lord, too.
Rakura showed up while I was thinking about this.
“We have finished preparing the food everyone.” (Rakura)
“Oh, I was famished. Can you bring my share to this room?” (Haaku)
“The Blue Demon Lord-san is apparently going to be eating in a different room though?” (Rakura)
“That’s why. The Blue Demon Lord has accumulated fatigue from the Mejis Nether, right? She is moving the monsters and replenishing the mana of the rings; she is the biggest contributor in this group. I don’t want someone like that to be eating alone.” (Haaku)
“You are so pointlessly gentle.” (Girista)
“What was the point of adding pointless?!” (Haaku)
I carried the share of Haakudoku to his room and decided to finish our meal in the living room. Blue said she felt complicated about having done something bad to Haakudoku yet he was being considerate to her, but we decided to make it even by making his share a bigger size.
“I haven’t thought of eating alone as painful though…” (Blue)
“But the food tastes better when the dining table is surrounded by people, you know?” (Rakura)
“Depends on the person though~. Well, I can eat decently well with this group~.” (Girista)
“Right. I at least don’t hate it. By the way, what are we going to do from here on? With how things look, she will be making contact with Haakudoku again, right?” (Blue)
“That’s what I have been thinking. Rakura, Comrade has deceived you despite you being able to see through lies, right? What did he do to pull that off?” (Ekdoik)
“Counselor-sama? Uhm, he didn’t use lies at all and deceived me only using the truth.” (Rakura)
Pulling off something difficult again… Is there anyone here who would be able to do that on the fly? Even if there is, I doubt they would be able to pull it off like Comrade.
“Haakudoku will be the one doing the talking, so that would be difficult~.” (Girista)
“It is possible he might mess up if he speaks too much. I think him saying he knows but doesn’t know in detail would be the safest bet.” (Ekdoik)
“Right~. Haakudoku is the right hand man of Riodo’s advisor after all~. Having heard rumors of Ekdoik should work just fine~.” (Girista)
I haven’t worked much as an adventurer of Riodo, but I have worked a decent amount in underground work. It is to a degree where the ones who know know. It is true that we should be able to wrap it up with the least amount of information, and it would be hard to trace our steps.
“In that case, it should be with the knowledge of before having met in Kuama. What about you, Rakura?” (Ekdoik)
“Right… I registered as a Yugura Church priestess when I became an adventurer of Morgana, so isn’t it fine for him to just say that?” (Rakura)
“I see. It is true that it wouldn’t be strange for Haakudoku to obtain that information.” (Ekdoik)
It would be difficult to expect Haakudoku to make lies on the spot. But by predicting the questions she might ask with everyone here, we can think of ways to answer them. We are not getting involved with a scheme of Comrade; we are thinking thoroughly about as many scenarios as possible and thinking of solutions for them. We don’t have the imagination to think of everything by ourselves, but we should be able to fill that gap with numbers.
I hate lying. The reason being because Bro Gestaf hated lies. I began to think that if the Bro I admire and respect hates lies, I should also hate them, and that ended up being my mindset.
That’s why, even if Ekdoik and the others ask me to deceive Natora-san, I honestly don’t feel like it.
I was told I don’t have to lie, just not talk in detail. I still feel like hiding what I know is close to a lie. I dislike it.
“Ekdoik is an adventurer of Riodo. But his job is behind the scenes instead of the front stage, so it might be difficult to meet him…” (Haaku)
“I see…” (Natora)
But now that things have ended up this way because of me, it wouldn’t make sense that I act like it is none of my business. If things won’t progress as long as I don’t do the dirty work, then it can’t be helped.
Natora-san is making a slightly sad face, but it doesn’t seem like she is feeling that down.
“It would be better to not make contact with the underground of the guilds for someone like you who lives in the light. Well, it is not like I don’t understand your desire to meet your long lost son though.” (Haaku)
“You are the right hand of a guild’s advisor, right, Haakudoku-san? Is it hard to send word of me?” (Natora)
“It is not like it is impossible. But the advisor, Bro Gestaf, is strict with selfish requests that use the standing of someone. I don’t want to do something that would make Bro hate me.” (Haaku)
“Right… Sorry.” (Natora)
“If I see Ekdoik, I will tell him you wanted to meet him. The rest depends on Ekdoik himself.” (Haaku)
But is deceiving someone without using lies this exhausting?!
I thought it would be easier since I am not lying, but it is seriously hard to choose words to hide the things I don’t want her to know!
Brother apparently deceives people as naturally as breathing. Just what kind of training did he go through to become like that?
“Thanks for telling me. I am happy enough knowing that my son is doing well.” (Natora)
“Sorry for not giving you satisfactory information. But you have guided us, Natora-san. I will help out in any way I can.” (Haaku)
“Fufu, you are feeling too indebted for such a small act.” (Natora)
“It is the teaching of Bro: ‘A debt is a debt even if it is small. Rather, if you can’t pay back a small debt, you won’t be able to pay back a big one when it comes’.” (Haaku)
I can blabber on about Bro though. It is seriously easy to live by his side.
“Then, I have a request. Is that okay?” (Natora)
“Oh, what is it?” (Haaku)
“You have joined this war under your own personal position, right?” (Natora)
“Yeah, I am working hard under the command of Brother.” (Haaku)
“You can coordinate with the people of Gahne and Mejis?” (Natora)
“Yeah. Not really me, but Brother can speak to super big shots, you know.” (Haaku)
“I would like to contact a girl called Rakura who is a priestess of the Yugura Church. Can you do something about it?” (Natora)
O-Ooh. She changed her aim to Rakura here!
Crap, I learned only about how to deceive her regarding Ekdoik, but what was it for Rakura?!
Uh, if I remember correctly…ah, right!
“I remember having heard of the name Rakura. There was a Yugura Church priestess with that name in the Morgana adventurers.” (Haaku)
“Oh, is that so? But you are from Riodo, right? Then, can you introduce me to the adventurers of Morgana?” (Natora)
So she is going to search again from there… What should I do?
Ekdoik takes on underground jobs at Riodo, so I can tell her to not get close, but…the people of Morgana have class. That said, it would be difficult to make contact with Morgana unless you have a decent degree of connections, so it should be fine.
“Alright. I will bring you if there’s someone affiliated to Morgana nearby.” (Haaku)
And so, I ended up having to search for a Morgana adventurer. In terms of nearby adventurers, it would be Rakura herself and Mix, but…even an idiot like me can tell that Rakura herself is a no.
How about Mix? She is smart, so she could deceive her well, right? But she is currently in Gahne with Brother.
This would go faster if there were a Morgana adventurer in this village though. Rakura is a member of Morgana, but she is mostly by the side of Brother, so it should be pretty hard to get info about her.
“But are there other adventurers in this village?” (Haaku)
Most adventurer parties have been left with raiding and scouting. I doubt we will be able to find one in this village where soldiers who are in defense are gathered in…
There’s only holy knights of Mejis and clerics… Oh?
I was watching that gathering of clerics and found a woman I have seen in Kuama before. If I remember correctly, she was a member of Morgana. The Rank 2… That works just fine. Let’s talk to her at once.
“Hey, you, do you have some time?” (Haaku)
“Yeah, you are someone from Morgana, right? Your name is…uuh…” (Haaku)
“Masetta Noitch. Aah, you are someone from Riodo, right?” (Masetta)
“Yeah, Haakudoku. I have something to talk to you about. Is that okay?” (Haaku)
Masetta is a reasonable person.
She accepted pretty quickly when I told her there’s someone in this village searching for her daughter who is a member of Morgana.
After telling her the appearance and name of Natora-san, I managed to throw everything else to her. Man, that’s a relief.
Ah, but Masetta has the attire of the Yugura Church, moreover, she seemed like a priestess… Well, I heard Rakura was an outlier in the Yugura Church, so there should be no issues.
To think the Natora that the man called Haakudoku introduced me to was the mother of Rakura, and I would be asked about Rakura. I have already settled things with Rakura inside me, so I had already pledged to not get excessively involved with her.
That said, this must be fate. We are both priestesses of the Yugura Church and I know Rakura’s background. As a member of Morgana too… Well, let’s not thinking too much about that one.
Rakura must be moving under that person right now, so she would have to search from there… I barely know anything about that man. Not even his name.
I have learned that he is the man who has Demon Lords under him, but…he really was an amazing person, huh. He even managed to uncover that Ritial-sa—Ritial was trying to overthrow Kuama and Mejis. It is certain that he is not your average person.
“It would be nice if we could find some sort of clue though… I can’t really move away from my position, you see.” (Masetta)
Speaking of which, those people are involved in the war, and I have heard that they have secured places to rest in each base by the order of the Pope-sama. Maybe we could get some sort of information if we check them?
I thought about this and found a single adventurer. Or more like…
“Why are you in Mejis, Girista?” (Masetta)
“Oh~? Who are you?” (Girista)
Burning red hair and a big claw scar on her right eye; there’s no way I wouldn’t be able to recognize those features. She participated in the devil subjugation mission and even attacked her comrades in the battle. There were injured within the adventurers that went in to stop her, and a bounty was placed on her by Mejis because of how dangerous she is. She is such a battle junkie that I have heard about how dangerous she is despite being from Morgana.
“I am Masetta. You’ve got guts brazenly walking in a Mejis village for a wanted woman.” (Masetta)
“Ah, that was indeed the case~. But I have been given permission, you know~?” (Girista)
Girista said this and showed a sealed note. It is without doubt a real sealed note, moreover, this is…
“You are under that person?” (Masetta)
“That person~? Aah, that’s right~. I am working together with Boss and the Demon Lords~.” (Girista)
He has this lunatic as an ally…? But that’s certainly something he could do. I can only leave it be if they are managing to control her.
“Right. Are you together with Rakura?” (Masetta)
“Yeah~, I am together with her in this village~.” (Girista)
Eh, Rakura is in this village too? What’s with this convenient development? No, this must be fate, too. There’s no doubt this is a blessing that Natora-san has grasped upon because of her wish to meet her daughter.
“I see. That works just fine. I want to talk to her for a bit, so I will go visit her later. Can you tell Rakura?” (Masetta)
It is true that I don’t feel any poison or madness from the current Girista. I heard she would attack any strong people nearby without hesitation though… Is she looking down on me as a weakling? It doesn’t feel that way.
“Also a warning. There’s a lot of people in Mejis who know you. There’s people on edge because it is a war, so it would be better to not show your face too much.” (Masetta)
“Right~. There were times when people would direct hostility and bloodlust, but~ it is a shame that they are not attacking me~.” (Girista)
She really is a dangerous person regardless. But there must be a reason she won’t take the initiative to attack. There’s no need to even think about the reason for this. There’s no doubt it is thanks to that person.
“By the way, I would like to know the name of that person. Can you tell me?” (Masetta)
“I don’t know either~.” (Girista)
“Even though you are working together?” (Masetta)
“There’s the Purple Demon Lord, right~? That Demon Lord can turn people into puppets just by calling their names, you know~? That’s why he hasn’t told anyone his name~.” (Girista)
“…Not even Rakura?” (Masetta)
“That’s right~.” (Girista)
That goes beyond impressive and steals the words from me. I have certainly heard that the Purple Demon Lord can control people. She would Entice brave warriors and generals in past history one after the other, making them change sides. That turned the battle almost one-sided, and created a Nether that ate most of the land of Mejis.
It makes sense if she can control you by just calling your name. Also, he has created a countermeasure for such a monster as if natural and has her serving under him. A life where no one can call you by your name; just thinking about it gives me chills.
“…What should I call him?” (Masetta)
“Who knows~. Everyone calls him in their own way~.” (Girista)
Girista must be calling him Boss since he is her employer. I was almost about to misunderstand though… I have to think about a way to call him by the next time I meet him.
Let’s solve the problem in front of me first.
I know where Rakura is, so all that’s left is to bring Natora-san. We are in the middle of a war, so we have to finish stuff like this swiftly.
Q: Wonder whose fault it is?