The heart of Brother rejuvenated.
I thought this was a joke when I was told this at first, but I understood that it was pretty bad once I heard the details.
Everyone was at the residence of Barastos -that said, Melia is resting in another room and Blue is in the neighboring room.
We decided to gather up and have a talk for now.
“Hey, Brother, I heard you will be studying again, but have you put back the knowledge of this world in your head?” (Haaku)
“The bare minimum. But I am still not used to being called Brother.”
“Don’t worry. It is just that I didn’t get along well with my actual brother.”
Speaking of which, I feel like Sis told me about that… I remember hearing that Brother didn’t trust people before coming to this world…
“Should I call you something else?” (Haaku)
“No, I haven’t been called like that even by my real brother, so I don’t mind. And so, about our future plans, I am thinking about attacking them swiftly.”
“Oh, so we are going on the offensive! Rely on me a whole ton! I am not that strong though!” (Haaku)
“First is Ekdoik and Mix. You two will be infiltrating the Holstear Company together. Next would be Kayle and Haakudoku. I would like you to deal with the job that’s written in this parchment.”
Brother gave me the parchment.
The details are…hm? It is not impossible, but…it takes out my steam.
“This is not your writing, Brother. Is it Ekdoik’s?” (Haaku)
“I don’t have the time to learn how to write after all. That’s all for our meeting.”
“Eh, what will Masetta, Rakura, and the Blue Demon Lord do?” (Haaku)
“Hmm, no need. Stay on standby.”
Ah, he really is different from the usual Brother. He said that super straight.
“U-Uhm, Counselor-sama, is there anything we can do…?” (Rakura)
“No. We need hands, but I will get them in another way.”
“But if we are to march directly, then—” (Rakura)
“Rakura, I am saying there’s no need for your strength in my way of doing things. That goes for Masetta and the Blue Demon Lord as well.”
Uo… Is he really the same person?
He looks the exact same, so it feels off in every way!
“Hey, Brother, isn’t that way of saying it a bit too thorny?” (Haaku)
“Really? I am not really saying that I don’t need incompetent people though.”
“Can you not take it weirdly? Right now we won’t have the opportunity to utilize stationary combatants like Rakura. Or are you telling me Rakura and Masetta can multi-task on the same level as Ekdoik -pull off several tasks at the same time?”
“The reality is that Ekdoik alone is enough to infiltrate. But Mix has been ordered by Marito -was it?- to protect me at all times, right? That’s why it can’t be helped.”
“But Brother—” (Haaku)
“You feeling tension and thorniness is because you are nervous. If you want to propose to concede in consideration of someone like that and shoulder the risks of failing because of it…you can take responsibility for it, right?”
He is reading ahead of everything I am thinking!
Not good. I don’t think I would be able to make Brother compromise with my brain!
But…But…! Isn’t this atmosphere unpleasant?!
“Calm down, Haakudoku. It is just that Comrade is lacking in explanation more than usual. Not bringing Rakura and Masetta is because the method doesn’t match the personalities of the two and are not suitable for the job you have been given. If it goes as Comrade plans, there won’t be any proper battle happening.” (Ekdoik)
It is true that my job isn’t suitable for Rakura and Masetta. Kayle will be using his talent, so it can’t be helped for him after all.
“It is true that I could think of a number of things I could have you do. There’s an endless number of things people can be used for after all. But the truly incompetent ones are the ones that wrongly utilize others despite being in a position where they have to think about how to use them. You guys are not people to be run to the ground. You are important people that my future me doesn’t want to use as sacrificial pawns. You are at least aware that you were being treated in that fashion, right?”
Uooh, I am impressed he can say all that with a bright smile… Well…I don’t remember being told to please die here, but I at least don’t think he has made me fight to the death.
“Or do you guys want me to tell you to die in my current state of me?”
“Not happening. I have the resolve to put my life on the line for your sake, but I can’t accept a job that I know would lead to certain death.” (Ekdoik)
“That’s good. But don’t tell me something stupid like putting your life on the line. I will really use you with that intention after all.”
“Muh… Then, I shall handle it carefully to a degree where I won’t die.” (Ekdoik)
That Ekdoik, he can’t read the atmosphere…or like, he is not trying to… But my head has cooled down a bit thanks to him.
It is not like Brother thinks of Rakura and the others as useless. They really simply don’t have an opportunity here.
That means it is in the end still a method he thought for the suitable people as usual, right?
“Then, I just have to do this job, right? Let’s go, Kayle!” (Haaku)
“Wait, Haakudoku.” (Ekdoik)
“Wa?! Ekdoik…even though I was all pumped up there… Don’t just stop me right from the get-go…” (Haaku)
“Show that to Rakura and the others. Please properly explain to them that it is backstage work that doesn’t suit them.” (Ekdoik)
Aah, I see. That’s true.
I was convinced because I had this, so it would be better for Rakura and the others to see this.
That said, Ekdoik is now able to show consideration to the surroundings.
“—Now then, I will set things up on my side as well. Seriously, having a troublesome enemy is truly nice. It makes it worth cornering them.”
…I have felt the shivers coming from the aura and killing intent of powerful opponents to an endless degree. I also can detect dangers that would make me faint thanks to Instinct-sama.
But right now I feel like a cold sword has been pushed into my spine.
Instinct-sama has not judged the current Brother as a danger, but I personally got scared.
How can this guy be smiling so brightly?
I entered the room of Soraid together with Komiha.
I don’t feel like I will be able to get used to this sweet scent no matter how many times I smell it.
I feel like my brain will get numb just from being too long in this place.
“Heya there, Smythos and Komiha. You are making pretty nervous faces.”
“T-That’s…not true…” (Komiha)
Whose fault do you think it is?
Komiha’s heart is not so strong that she would be able to stand unfazed in front of a guy that would take away the memories of his allies without hesitation.
“There’s no need for you to be that on guard either, Smythos. I am not troubled with women. I am not thinking about putting my hands on you two. On the contrary, I was thinking about telling you about good news.” (Soraid)
“Good news…?” (Smythos)
“About the resident of Yugura’s planet that I explained to you lightly about before, it has been ascertained that he tried to pull something on our base in Torin. I would like you two to be part of the fighting force that will be dealing with them.” (Soraid)
“W-What part about that is good news?!” (Smythos)
There’s already tears filling up the eyes of Komiha after hearing about being part of the fighting force.
It can’t be helped since she is someone that hates conflict.
“If you two manage to get results, I will negotiate with the others so that they move you to the base at Serende.” (Soraid)
“I am not lying. I know that you two hate me, and I personally find you two a hindrance. I like the climate of Torin, so I have already finished negotiating with Ritial about wanting you two gone.” (Soraid)
Soraid is managing the Illegitimate in Torin. But their treatment is violent as opposed to Ritial-sama, and he takes away the courage to go against him and to escape by instilling the fear of using his own power.
Komiha and I have experienced having our memories taken away once by Soraid.
Even when we got back our memories after suddenly not remembering all our memories, we won’t be able to easily forget the fear that this brought upon us.
“What do you plan on doing with the other Illegitimate?” (Smythos)
“Who cares about a bunch that can’t even draw out their talent satisfactorily?” (Soraid)
“For you, that is. But for me they are like siblings who received the same treatment.” (Smythos)
“They won’t be able to escape from my management since they are in Torin… Then, do you want to bring them with you? It is honestly pure stress to look after a bunch of people I couldn’t care less about.” (Soraid)
“Got it. I will cooperate then.” (Smythos)
Soraid is indeed outstanding as a manager.
He can control people with precision using fear, and he can get rid of anyone who goes against him without mercy.
But it is unbearable for the ones being managed.
We simply have more of a place than at the time when we were standing out in the common world, but there’s no proper freedom.
“Just to confirm, your talent is your immunity, right, Smythos?” (Soraid)
“Yes, I have strong resistance towards poisons and mana debuffs.” (Smythos)
I may not die from poison, but it is not like the poison won’t make me suffer.
A doctor used me like a lab rat when this talent of mine was discovered.
He would make me drink powerful poisons saying it is for the sake of developing a new medicine, and I tasted torturous days.
I don’t know how my heart would have ended up if Ritial-sama hadn’t saved me… I don’t even want to think about it.
“The Blade of Annihilation, Mix Taizu, is within the enemies. She uses a lot of poisoned knives and stuff, so wouldn’t you be a good match against her?” (Soraid)
“It is not like I have resistance to knives. Well, I think the pure battle strength of people who use such tricks is low though…” (Smythos)
My left hand is poisonous.
It can get even through the skin and take away the freedom of the opponent.
I have trained over and over to the point of vomiting blood in order to have this poison land on the enemy.
It should be possible to get rid of a knife user with it.
“Also, there’s a chain user called Ekdoik. Komiha, controlling stuff is your specialty, right?” (Soraid)
Komiha’s ability to affect matter is outstanding.
Her battle style of controlling strings leaves nothing to desire, and if there’s something being controlled by magic, she can even steal the control of it.
But the downside that stems from her personality is that she has almost no skills in physical combat.
I have to cover for her thoroughly on that front.
“You can run away if you encounter the Taizu knight called Ilias Ratzel and the white demi-human called Wolfe. I can deal with those two after all.” (Soraid)
It is not like Soraid’s battle capabilities are outstanding.
The strength of this man doesn’t come from pure battle power but from the cruelty of being able to grasp even the mentality of his enemies.
I might be able to win if I were to attack him here.
But if I were to fail that, I won’t be able to escape the memories of those torturous days for the rest of my life.
I…wouldn’t have the courage to wield this poison hand while shouldering that fear.
The door of the room was violently opened and a single man entered.
It is not someone from the Holstear Company. He is most likely one of the hoodlums that Soraid uses as his private army.
“S-Soraid-san! The Torin army is heading towards this place!”
“The Torin army…? Aah, is it that? I did shoot magic in the middle of the city when I attacked the resident of Yugura’s planet the other day. There must have been a decent amount of damage caused.” (Soraid)
This man…has he not been told by Ritial-sama to live with self-control?!
Even the Torin army would move if you were to do that.
Them heading to this place means they might be involved with the resident of Yugura’s planet that was spoken of before.
“W-What should we do?!”
“We have the underground room prepared by Tsudwali. I will evacuate there. Go back.” (Soraid)
There’s an Illegitimate with the talent of stealth, Tsudwali, who is currently in Serende.
There’s an underground room that can get through all manners of detection due to the contraptions she set up.
You obviously can’t detect it with magic, and you even lose the desire to search when you are near the entrance.
We managed to avoid being found the last time the Torin army investigated this place because we evacuated to that underground room.
Its performance is worthy of trust.
“Komiha, please evacuate the other Illegitimate. I will blend in with the other people of the company and check what’s happening.” (Smythos)
I am not like Soraid who is just purely leeching off the Holstear Company. I have been helping out the company as an employee.
I will check the state outside and see what reason made them show up here. This is necessary in order to get a grasp of what action to take from here on.
I head to the side of the Holstear Company, Landos, as an employee.
Landos gave the order for every employee in the company to convene after talking with the Torin army that came from the front.
Everyone gathered not long after, and the general of the Torin army, Odyus, began to explain the situation.
“We have received a report that the person that used magic in the middle of the city a few days and injured several people is being sheltered here. Therefore, we will be investigating the inside of this firm.” (Odyus)
So it really was the matter with Soraid.
That man really causes problems.
But there’s practically no chance the underground room will be found.
I thought the soldiers would enter the firm immediately, but they began to lower the barrels from the wagon and tried to carry them inside.
Landos obviously spoke after seeing that strange action of theirs.
“What’s inside that barrel?” (Landos)
“There are magic seal stone fragments inside them. That person excels in magic, and we have been told that it is possible they will be using some sort of magic to escape our eyes. And so, we will be scattering them while investigating. We will be dispatching other personnel to clean it up once the investigation is over.” (Odyus)
A soldier opened a barrel after saying this and there were magic seal stones the size of pebbles filling it up.
I see, that’s not a bad method.
Normal stealth magic would have been broken with this.
But the method utilized by Tsudwali is a far more improved version of the anbu’s techniques.
The underground room may have magic constructions, but what’s creating the special effect is the mana it generates, so it won’t be affected by magic seal stones of this scale.
“We will have you all stay on standby here while we are investigating. This firm has been surrounded by soldiers, so please don’t do anything strange.” (Odyus)
There not being any noteworthy ruckus must mean that the hoodlum that told us the information must have escaped safely.
It took a decent amount of time to make their encirclement, and there’s dens of the hoodlums near the firm.
It is 50-50 whether they will be suspected for being nearby, but they wouldn’t be able to ascertain it.
The investigation went without issues, and the soldiers that had gone into the firm came back in less than an hour.
There were no reports of Illegitimates, and there’s no doubt they didn’t manage to find the underground room.
“Reporting! We have searched every room inside the premises, but we couldn’t find any person at all!”
“Hmm…I see… And so, what should we do?” (Odyus)
“I think we can disperse after hearing what the employees have to say.”
It looked like Odyus had asked this to a different soldier, but…is Odyus not the one in command here?
Odyus gave the order to the soldiers, and began to give them simple questions while showing the sketch of the person’s face.
“Have you seen this person?”
“He looks so unhygienic to a degree where I would like to kill him.” (Smythos)
The questions were simple and there was no pressing for more information.
I would have needed to think about how to deal with it if there were Yugura Church clerics, but this is an awfully lax investigation for something that mobilized the army.
“O-Oi, what’s that smoke?!”
One of the soldiers raised their voice while pointing at the firm.
The people there looked at the firm and there was black smoke rising up from there. Flames rose up soon after.
“F-Fire! Did someone forget to turn off the stove?! It is spreading at an outrageous speed!”
“Calm down! All employees have been gathered outside! There’s people who can use water magic within the personnel we requested to dispatch!”
The employees take distance from the firm under the lead of the soldiers.
The fire continued spreading in that time, covering the whole building.
Was this a premeditated arson?
I find it hard to believe the Torin army would do something like that.
In that case, the resident of Yugura’s planet might be involved in this.
The underground room Tsudwali prepared is fortunately made of stone, so it won’t affect the people who evacuated even if the firm were to burn.
A bit of smoke might enter, but they should be able to deal with that if Soraid and Komiha are there.
“Man, it is so hot even from this distance, General Odyus.”
“Yeah, but…could it be…” (Odyus)
“We were outside when the flames rose, so it might have been someone who forgot to turn off the fire, you know?”
One of the soldiers took off their helmet from the heat.
Black eyes and black hair. He completely matches the traits in the report.
There’s no doubt…he is the resident of Yugura’s planet.
The resident of Yugura’s planet observed the employees, and the instant our eyes met, he pointed at me.
“—Ekdoik, Mix, it is that woman. She has recognized me as an enemy.”
I wanted to understand those words, but my whole body was restrained faster than I could react, and was held down to the ground.
There’s chains wrapped around my whole body and a knife stabbed at the calf of my leg.
It is not only the resident of Yugura’s planet…even his allies were disguised as soldiers of the Torin army…?!
“Muh… The poison doesn’t seem to be working well. Ekdoik-dono, please strengthen the restraints a bit more-desu zo.”
“Doesn’t seem like there’s anyone else. I thought there would be more Illegitimate mixed in with the employees.”
“W-What’s the meaning of this?!” (Landos)
Landos protested at the sudden attack to his employee, but the soldiers stopped him.
The resident of Yugura’s planet slowly walked my way and showed me a bright smile.
But that smile is somehow weird.
I don’t feel any depth to it.
I don’t feel the leeway peculiar to the strong, or the hostility and killing intent that leaks from an enemy.
Yeah, it is like a normal smile directed to an acquaintance…
“Hey there, you must be an enemy, right? Let’s have a talk. You and me.”