We are in the middle of having Mister Friend and Melia-dono be examined at the residence of Barastos-dono.
I decided to report to Ani-sama in the meantime.
<<The memories… My friend has completely forgotten about us?>> (Marito)
“Yes. He was acting as if he came to this world just now. But he has shown understanding that he had us as acquaintances, and is cooperating with us as of present.” (Mix)
<<…I see.>> (Marito)
“I am sorry. I allowed a sudden encounter despite me being nearby…” (Mix)
I shouldn’t have moved away from Mister Friend while we were out to begin with.
<<It is also because the opponent was skilled. Also, you were haggling because my friend told you to, right?>> (Marito)
I was going to act as a merchant too, so I was being taught the techniques for negotiation from Mister Friend.
And so, I ended up having to haggle with a merchant by myself with that flow of events, and the result was that I ended up allowing Soraid to make contact with Mister Friend.
<<There are many cases when the talks of my friend can tempt you. Also, it would be asphyxiating for my friend if we were to guard him too tightly.>> (Marito)
Ani-sama is trying to put it as if there’s no fault in me, but that is instead constricting my heart.
Mister Friend was on the verge of death not that long ago with the matter of the Scarlet Demon Lord and Seraes.
Ani-sama is probably listening to this situation in a daze right now.
“We will contact you again once we learn something from the investigation of Barastos-dono.” (Mix)
<<Yeah, please do. I plan on sending Lady Ratzel immediately to Torin if my friend wants her strength. Please tell my friend that.>> (Marito)
The call ended and I head to where Barastos-dono is.
She was placing a hand on the body of Melia-dono who was made to sleep, and checking whether there’s anything off inside her body.
“Hmhm, I see. So it really works like this. There’s someone who uses an interesting curse.” (Barastos)
“Barastos-dono, did you get anything?” (Mix)
Barastos-dono draws a single line on a parchment and begins explaining.
“The rough explanation would be that the dots of the memories have been shifted. Memories are connected like a straight line from past to present. What Soraid did was to pull the dots of the past forcefully to the present. This would create a situation where that past point until the present were not experienced, and are not recognized as the memories of the person.” (Barastos)
“Hmm, it doesn’t click. Mister Friend, do you get it?” (Mix)
“Basically, if we are to consider memories as things, Soraid’s power is making it impossible to see the memories of the past to a certain point. That’s why there’s no change to the physical strength itself.”
“That’s right. That shift is being embedded in the bodies of the two with a curse wedge. You should be able to return to normal once this is removed.” (Barastos)
Ooh! I was worried about what to do if he couldn’t return, but it is possible to recover in theory then!
Let’s take it as good news for now.
“Barastos, this curse should have been applied in conjunction with the talent of Soraid as an Illegitimate. Is it possible for a 3rd party to remove it?”
“…To put it bluntly, it is not possible. Driving in a wedge in your memories in itself is not something you would think of with normal magic. If you carelessly tinker with it, there’s the possibility of permanent damage being caused to the memories of the two.” (Barastos)
“O-Ooh… That would be troubling.” (Mix)
So there’s almost no means to treat it here… I should take this as sad news… But Mister Friend doesn’t seem to be that worried.
“Judging from what has been said until now, Soraid must have used an attack through the staff. Then, isn’t he using the staff as an intermediary to maintain the wedge? In that case, we either destroy the staff or kill Soraid to remove the curse.”
“It is just within possibility. But you might end up losing the means to undo the curse if you were to accidentally kill Soraid.” (Barastos)
“He is someone who would take away the memories of someone. I doubt he would accept any proper negotiations even if we were to keep him alive in a regular manner. It is clear that it would be problematic.”
Hmm, what Mister Friend makes sense, but…I feel like he is pitching forward a lot more than usual.
“We should catch Soraid alive if we are to prioritize getting back the memories.” (Barastos)
“I personally would like to prioritize reducing the risks. It is not really troubling for me after all.”
I see, so that’s what it is.
For us, Mister Friend has lost his memories, so we want to do something about it. But that time lost feels like it wasn’t there to begin with for Mister Friend…
“Mister Friend, it may look like there’s no harm to your lifestyle as of present, but for Melia-dono who got hit the most by Soraid’s power, it wouldn’t just be limited to that. Can you please be more prudent for the sake of Melia-dono?” (Mix)
“…Wasn’t that Melia the one who drew Soraid to me in the first place?”
“That…may be true, but…” (Mix)
“Shouldering the risk for someone who brought me harm is a bit…”
“But Melia-dono admires you, Mister Friend, and you also—!” (Mix)
The eyes of Mister Friend are once again…
Being analyzed mercilessly to this degree in unbearably unpleasant.
But I am currently someone who is trying to make him shoulder danger…
“Hey, Mix, you are saying those words through your own personal emotions, right? If I remember correctly, you are supposed to be my bodyguard. That goes for Melia as well, right? No, she was more for surveillance? Your emotions or your duty to protect me; which one do you want to prioritize?”
“—Of course, your own safety, but…” (Mix)
“What you should prioritize is life rather than memories, right? Or are you saying I have no worth since I don’t remember you.”
“T-That’s not…!” (Mix)
“Then, what’s more important would be that I am alive even if I can’t ever remember you, right?”
Why…Why are you putting it in such a horrible manner?! Words that would stir my heart to this degree—ah.
“…Can you please stop playing around now?” (Mix)
“—Yeah, sorry. I wanted to gauge just how much weight you would put me on the scale.”
Mister Friend smiled teasingly.
He shook my heart on purpose in order to learn just how far I would go for his sake.
Mister Friend excels in shaking the heart of the other party with how high his observation skills are.
But using such methods without hesitation towards someone he is close to is…not something that the usual Mister Friend would do.
If he were to do it, it would be to a degree where it would be noticed, or considerate towards them so that they won’t be uneasy…
“I understand well that you want to prioritize protecting yourself. But the Mister Friend that walked together with us would have never taken the path of leaving Melia-dono in this state.” (Mix)
“So it seems. You are currently seeing both me and the future…uhm…which one would it be? There are these many friends in this world, so…it is most likely me -you are feeling something close to disgust and confusion witnessing the difference between both. It seems like that’s how important the future me has become to you people.”
“…Yes, that’s right-desu zo.” (Mix)
“I see, I see. Then, I don’t mind cooperating for the sake of the future me. Barastos, can you please investigate in more detail about how to undo the wedge while looking after Melia?”
“I am fine with that, but even I would demand payment, you know?” (Barastos)
“I will prepare something of suitable worth. I don’t know the market price of things in this world, so I will be studying for a while. I will get a look at my documents that Ekdoik brought.”
Mister Friend tried to leave the room while stretching, and when he passed by me, he went by without even making eye-contact.
Has Mister Friend really accepted here…?
“You are in the end looking at the future me, right? I understand clearly now that you have no intention of looking at me.”
I tried to call Mister Friend to a stop after turning around, but he had already closed the door and left.
“Hey, Mix-chan, this is a warning. It would be better to not let that Puppy-chan out of your eyes. You rarely see people who you can’t be relaxed at all despite not feeling any animosity at all.” (Barastos)
Can’t relax… I agreed with that.
But I have an idea as to what is stirring me uneasy even more than that.
There has been a happening in the past that made me think I should be careful of Mister Friend to an unbelievable degree…
“That’s right… At the time with Gold-dono… Third, was it…? It reminds me of that time…” (Mix)
“The first time we met Gold-dono in Gahne…” (Mix)
I tell Barastos-dono what happened at that time.
We were challenged to manage Gahne in a simulated world created from the power of Ruling and the winning condition was to make Taizu fall.
The result was that Mister Friend and Wolfe-chan won…but Lady Ratzel lost there.
“That Ilias girl was getting borrowed knowledge from the Puppy-chan from that simulated world…and was called Third?” (Barastos)
“Yes. It may be a simulated world, but Mister Friend was still Mister Friend after all. That Mister Friend perceived Lady Ratzel as an enemy and had her heart completely broken, rendering her unable to continue the challenge.” (Mix)
The memories of that time were erased by Gold-dono, but if they had remained…I don’t know if Lady Ratzel would have been able to stay as someone who protects Mister Friend…
“The Puppy-chan of the simulated world learned about the existence of the simulated world, and tried to harass the Ilias and Puppy-chan of the real world, right? It certainly does resemble that. The current Puppy-chan is someone who is observing the present from a perspective of the past. If his memories were to return…he may be erased.” (Barastos)
This wouldn’t end in a bubble like the simulated world.
If Mister Friend is thinking of himself as a being that would disappear if he were to regain his memories…would he really cooperate?
I delivered the personal belongings of Comrade that were in the base of Torin, and Comrade immediately began to confirm the details of it.
“Is this all? There’s a lot less than I thought.”
“This is all that was in the base. The remaining stuff is either in Taizu or…right, isn’t there more inside the stomach of Kutou?” (Ekdoik)
“Really? Kutou, do you have documents or something?”
“Yes, a bit.” (Kutou)
After saying this, Kutou showed up in its devil form and vomited out a pile of parchment that’s arranged to a certain degree.
“So you do. Bring them out with the flow of the conversation before. So tactless.”
“Sorry. Kutou a devil that waits orders. I can’t do something by myself.” (Kutou)
“Aah, right. Then, let me correct what I said just now. It would be wrong to complain if that’s your duty. It has been numbered, huh. Fumu fumu… Hey, Ekdoik, have you confirmed the inside of this?”
Comrade showed me the parchment, but what’s written there is not in the letters of this world. It is in the language called Japanese that’s from the homeland of Comrade.
“So it is in Japanese. I can’t read that language.” (Ekdoik)
“It is not written in a literary manner, and I don’t really think it is that hard of a language though.”
“Yugura…I heard the person that came from the same Earth as you, Comrade, has done something in order to create resistance in this world towards understanding Japanese.” (Ekdoik)
“So it seems. But you can at least pronounce it. Is it a curse towards the characters or something like that? This world really is a fantasy one…”
Fantaji… Comrade sometimes calls our world that. It apparently means wondrous, but it is most likely an emotion Comrade can’t help but feel since he has come from a world where magic doesn’t exist.
“You saying ‘so it seems’ means that the files also have that stuff written down?” (Ekdoik)
“Yeah, I was either making this as an insurance for when I lost my memories like this or to serve as a guidepost for when other earthlings were to come to this world. The information of this world has been compiled pretty thoroughly.”
“That’s just like you. Ilias often says you are way too thorough, but I really evaluate highly not neglecting being thorough even with the small details.” (Ekdoik)
“Ilias…huh. She is like a partner of the future me, right?”
“Hmm…I don’t really want to admit that, but…there’s no doubt she is the one who has been acquainted with you the longest.” (Ekdoik)
I might have been burning with a sense of competition if it had been me not that long ago, but…with Blue and Melia, I now can’t just fight for the sake of Comrade alone.
“There’s also stuff about you written here, Ekdoik. So you were an enemy that tried to kill me at first?”
“Yeah. But I ended up betraying my allies due to your words. After that, you used me as you pleased, leading to the present.” (Ekdoik)
“That way of putting it sounds as if you have a grudge about it.”
“If it sounded like that, it would be the fault of my lack of vocabulary. I may have been at a standing of being used at that time, but you lend me your wits for the sake of my objective. You are now giving me good advice for the sake of my own growth. I may have gratitude towards you for this, but no grudge at all.” (Ekdoik)
“So it seems.”
Has the change in my feelings also been written down there? That piques my interest in its own way.
But what bothers me is the reaction of Comrade.
The current Comrade was observing me the whole time. In that case, he should comprehend just how I think of him.
And yet, why is he throwing questions like this?
“…Comrade…what do you think of me as you are currently?” (Ekdoik)
“Hmm, I don’t hate that equipment and fashion sense. But that doesn’t look like it would be a hit on women.”
A hit on women… It probably means to have a good impression on women, but…do Blue and Melia think badly about this equipment of mine?
“On the contrary, why are you asking such a weird question like that?”
“You don’t have the memories of spending time together with me, right? And I barely know anything about your past. That basically means you are currently like a different person. I was a bit curious about how I look in your eyes in your state when you don’t have your past experiences.” (Ekdoik)
“…I see. Then, I will go in a bit more detail, but it feels like you view yourself as strong. The parts that look like they can be bent can, but it doesn’t seem like you would ever bend where you can’t.”
“Can I take that as a good evaluation?” (Ekdoik)
“Depends on the situation, I guess. It can become bad if you don’t listen in the important moments. But you are a peculiar one. This evaluation just now would hold no meaning if my memories were to return. Was there any worth in hearing this?”
Does that mean the current Comrade would disappear if his memories return?
It is true that a Comrade we don’t know would be gone, but…I feel like that’s different.
“I don’t know about that. If the points of the past have been shifted, wouldn’t your current memories remain once your memories come back?” (Ekdoik)
“There’s the possibility. But in that case, a time paradox—wouldn’t happen, huh. I feel like there will be a light memory shock though.”
“Taimu paradoksu…?” (Ekdoik)
“It means changing the future by changing the past through bringing the memories of the future to the past. Well, this is talk about whether you can look back at your memories, so I understand it is not like we are changing the past and the future though.”
It is true that I would do actions I wouldn’t have taken if I had my current memories in the past.
There’s a high chance my memories would be confused.
In the case my current memories were moved to the past, I would be in a situation where I would know Rakura is my little sister and not know at the same time. That would be a contradiction and would create a crack.
It sounds like that would put a burden on the mind.
If you could actually affect that, it could erase the present.
“I see. I can understand why magic that interferes with space-time is forbidden.” (Ekdoik)
“Ah, right. It should be written somewhere… Aah, it is this. The Forbidden List… I see… This Yugura guy doesn’t want their civilization to grow way too much. Well, it is a fantasy world, so I do understand that feeling of his though.”
“Make sure not to accidentally read that out loud. The Colorless Demon Lord might target my life.” (Ekdoik)
“It is written in the warnings. I won’t do something careless.”
Comrade resumes reading the files.
I would get in his way if I go any further, so I should just leave for now. But I have to tell him what I thought of before that.
“…Returning to what I said before, I think there’s worth in me talking to you right now, Comrade. There’s no certainty your memories will remain or not, but…it will at least remain in mine. People leave marks in some way or another. There should be results only the current Comrade should be able to leave.” (Ekdoik)
“Right… Oh well, you get a passing mark.”
“Hm? What do you mean by that?” (Ekdoik)
“Don’t worry about it. It is just that I simply got a bit more motivated.”
“I see. That’s great to hear.” (Ekdoik)
The conversation ended with this.
The current Comrade feels different from the Comrade until now, but there’s no doubt he is still someone I can learn from.
Comrade has forgotten what has happened until now and is inconvenienced.
In that case, we should support the current Comrade.