“Oh, so you really were here, Raheight.”
At the archive, which is one of the few places to rest, there was noise that I can only call completely out of place when books are involved.
I was on the verge of clicking my tongue at Arcreal having shown up.
“Do you have any business with me?” (Raheight)
“Haha, that’s one displeased face. Do you like reading books alone that much? What a downer, man~.” (Arcreal)
“It is not like I like reading books. Also, you showing up here is only unpleasant.” (Raheight)
“What, even if I don’t read books, I know they are things used for reading, you know?” (Arcreal)
“That’s a surprise. Looks like I will have to fix one of my prejudices about you.” (Raheight)
The reason why I like this place isn’t because there’s books, but because it is unpopular. And most of all, it is because people like Arcreal don’t approach this place.
“I am curious about how prejudiced you are. Well, Ritial contacted us just now on his way to Torin. It seems like Soraid has died.” (Arcreal)
“…I see.” (Raheight)
I was told the basic gist of things at the time when Ritial returned here, but it really ended up like this, huh.
Even though he would have had a chance if he had cooperated with Ritial. This is the problem with people who get led by self-satisfaction…
“So you are not surprised.” (Arcreal)
“I judged Soraid wouldn’t be able to match them the moment the resident of Yugura’s planet showed up.” (Raheight)
“Is he that troublesome? That Ritial was also wary of him, but he should have no battle power, right?” (Arcreal)
“Would you be able to win against Ritial in a debate or a contest of wits?” (Raheight)
“I can’t, but I could just ignore that and slash my way, right?” (Arcreal)
“The assassins that I sent most likely did something similar to Soraid.” (Raheight)
Arcreal might be able to get through the sly schemes and have his sword reach that man.
But it is way too late to test that out.
“You don’t think ‘if it had been me?’ or stuff like that?” (Arcreal)
“I do. But if you were to lose, we would have to accept complete defeat when it comes to battles. That would mean greatly hindering the plans of Nektohal.” (Raheight)
“Don’t glare at me with those eyes. I won’t do something like rushing in arbitrarily.” (Arcreal)
I don’t want to trust him, but I know that he can exercise the bare minimum self-restraint. If he were a beast that couldn’t even do that, Ritial and Nektohal would have been disappointed in him a long time ago and they would have gotten rid of him.
“Have you heard what happened to Komiha and Smythos who could fight too?” (Raheight)
“It seems like they couldn’t do it. They haven’t been confirmed dead, but the basement of Tsudwali has apparently been completely seized.” (Arcreal)
Considering the personality of Soraid, he would use Komiha and Smythos until they can’t give anymore. Soraid died on top of that and the Illegitimate that were hiding in the basement were captured, so they are either dead or have become prisoners.
“So the forces in Torin have been wiped out cleanly. The hideouts in Torin will be laid completely bare if they investigate the files in the basement, so our escape route has been cut off.” (Raheight)
“If you are worried about escape routes before fighting, you won’t even win the fights you can win, you know?” (Arcreal)
“My chances of winning are low to begin with. Being way too careful works just perfectly for me.” (Raheight)
I should consider parting with this body again and prepare my next possession target.
I would have no complaints if I could assassinate people by possessing a child or a woman, but there’s a high chance I will be discovered if I encounter that man.
“It would be troubling if you were to die like Soraid. I hated Soraid, but I at least saw him as an ally. I have to at least get payback.” (Arcreal)
“Then, isn’t it fine for it to be the share of Smythos and Komiha only?” (Raheight)
“Hmm, those two…I barely have any involvement with them, so it doesn’t click.” (Arcreal)
The first humans Nektohal made contact with were Ritial and then me.
Arcreal and Soraid were found at around the same time when we began searching for Illegitimate. He must have an attachment due to that.
“Try not to die. I definitely won’t try to get revenge for you after all.” (Raheight)
“Yeah, I don’t plan on doing it for you either. You are a guy that doesn’t die even if you do anyways.” (Arcreal)
“I can still die though.” (Raheight)
There’s two types of ways to possess someone.
The first one is the method to use a weapon in order to kill myself and send my body flying towards a possession target that I have prepared beforehand.
This is the safest method with no burden on my soul.
The second one is…the method that I have to avoid and the worst case scenario. It has the possibility of my soul not being usable anymore. If that happened, I would die in the real sense of the word.
Anyways, the resident of Yugura’s planet will be marching into Serende now.
The advantage in the individual strength of Arcreal is still the same…but even if there’s a piece on the board that can’t be taken no matter what, it is not like the enemy is going to clash head-first onto him, or follow the rules.
We might lose even if Arcreal is present on the board.
“Don’t get so worked up, Raheight. You are plenty impressive yourself, and we also have Ritial who can use me perfectly. Nektohal is apparently also pretty awesome too, right? It is okay!” (Arcreal)
“You are way too optimistic. You might even lose with the sword, you know?” (Raheight)
“That won’t happen. I won’t lose to anyone as long as they are human.” (Arcreal)
There wasn’t a single shred of hesitation from that statement.
His confidence as an absolute powerhouse must be making him say this. This man might have even been able to defeat the Scarlet Demon Lord upfront.
Ritial can utilize that much of a talent with his brain… That certainly could be called a trump card in the eyes of the enemy.
But even with that, I couldn’t bring myself to think we are perfectly prepared against that man.
An awful lot of days went by since the time I was attacked by Soraid and woke up.
According to Ekdoik, I was returned to my mental state of a few years ago.
To think he would bring a certain someone back to the days when he was the most dangerous. That Soraid is such a pain in the butt.
But thanks to the help of the me in that state, Soraid died, and they succeeded in capturing the Illegitimate.
I was told by Barastos to rest for a few days because the mental burden must have been heavy, so I am currently being looked after in the residence of Barastos.
Well, I am feeling fine, and Melia seems to have gone back to normal just like me, so you could say it is alright for now…
“Oi, how long are you planning on glaring at me for?”
Rakura, who had brought me my food, was directing a criticizing gaze through the door.
It seems like my actions were especially cold towards Mix and Rakura, and Rakura is still dragging it.
“You really are the usual Counselor-sama?” (Rakura)
“Would it be better for me to say I am not? I wouldn’t have to suffer from pampering you too much.”
“Muh… That sarcastic tone…you have properly returned to normal… Fuh…” (Rakura)
“What’s with that ‘fuuh’… Just give me my food already. The only thing I can look forward to here is the food.”
Ekdoik and the others are currently investigating the ruins of the Holstear Company’s firm.
They apparently managed to detect the basement that they couldn’t until now after bringing the stolen key, and there were a number of children that are assumed to be Illegitimate -even if they don’t have combat capabilities- hiding there.
They don’t seem to be resisting, so they are being looked after in the Torin Castle.
More importantly, they found a map in the basement with information like evacuation facilities in Torin and the neighboring country of Kuama, so Ekdoik and the others are working hard in order to obtain even further information.
“Cause…you were extremely cold with your voice and face, you know?!” (Rakura)
“I would have to write down in my files that I will make you taste the same treatment if my food gets cold.”
“So cruel! …But you were so different just from getting a bit younger.” (Rakura)
I honestly wouldn’t want to call myself with me when I am in my thirties, but it is actually a standing that disappeared for a different reason.
“It is the time that was the most stormy when it came to fighting evil with evil after all. The mental burden with me and me was way too big, so the result after thinking of a way to do something about it was this standing. A personality that enjoys directing evil so that my mind doesn’t wear… That was the plan…”
“That was the plan?” (Rakura)
“It is in the end different from a multiple personality disorder. What the standing did still remains in my memories. The only thing that remained was the awareness that I did those things while enjoying it, and it didn’t change at all the fact that I myself did those things.”
I in the end began wishing to live safely, so the standing of enjoying evil was not needed.
The existence called me disappeared as a fleeting being that only existed as an extempore measure.
“But it is thanks to that standing that you ended up helping us despite being the you of a time when you were wasted, right?” (Rakura)
“…Well, that’s true.”
If I had been returned to the time just before having been called to the isekai, I might have even acted like Third who corned Ilias in the world of Gold.
“Ekdoik-niisan and His Majesty also said you were okay, but didn’t give me any proper advice, you know?!” (Rakura)
“I told Marito about me after all. As for Ekdoik…well, he has been observing me a lot despite appearances.”
If I had to decide a ranking for the people that respect me, Ekdoik and Wolfe would be fighting for first place.
Marito would be at the top when it comes to understanding me though…
“Muh… Ah, but I did think it was cute that you were taking a cold attitude because it would be painful when parting.” (Rakura)
It is painful that I can’t really deny that.
Rakura and Mix are beauties when they have their mouths shut after all. I can easily imagine myself having a hard time parting if I were to get along with them.
He should have been able to understand that they are people worth trusting if he were to read what I wrote after all.
“But that means you also don’t hate me being spoiled by you!” (Rakura)
“I won’t deny it completely, but don’t get too ahead of yourself, okay?”
“Ah, okay. So you can make such eyes even at times like this, huh…” (Rakura)
Now then, isn’t it about time I got my food? A warm meal is obviously tastier than a cold one.
It should be fine to talk with Rakura after that.
And so, let’s dig i—
“Mister Friend! How are you feeling?!” (Mix)
So it is Mix this time, huh…
I would like to say ‘I am in the middle of my meal, so leave it for later’, but my past self was pretty harsh with her…
“Yup yup, that aloof face really does suit you best-desu zo!” (Mix)
“That isn’t praise, is it? I am mostly making serious faces, you know.”
“There you go again~! Compared to the past Mister Friend, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that you are loose the whole day-desu zo!” (Mix)
She really goes in with the smacking even on someone that’s recovering.
The past me had chosen Mix to take the role of destroying the staff of Soraid which was the condition to return me and Melia to normal.
Since she was always by my side as a bodyguard, I must have judged that it was in turn the easiest to create distance from her.
Ekdoik properly evaluated me even as my past me, so I doubt it would have gone well even if I tried to distance him from me.
As for Rakura, she is sharp, so I feel like physical distance would be created before the mental one.
“You have gotten pretty energetic, Mix-chan.” (Rakura)
“That’s cause, even if I suffered quite a bit, I earned more than that!” (Mix)
I can tell because I can measure personal distance, but my distance with Mix has gotten strangely close. To the point that it feels as if I seduced her.
“Well, I did cause you trouble. That standing won’t be coming out anymore, so don’t worry.”
“No, no, on the contrary, I would like to talk with Me-dono again-desu zo!” (Mix)
Aah, yeah. There’s no doubt I put something in her head.
I most likely told her my type or something. The past me must have spoiled her at the very end.
“I am unfortunately in a state where I can’t even switch to me.”
“That’s an issue of the mind, right?” (Rakura)
“I made it so that I wouldn’t feel the reality of what was literally a life threatening situation after all. I think I will stabilize once I remember the memories of that time though… But it makes me feel heavy…”
The one other standing, me, has been secluded from my mind while taking the ghostly memories of the time when I was caught by Archbishop Seraes.
I do still have the feeling of what I did, so I should be able to return to my normal state if I remember it bit by bit.
But regaining the memories of the time when I was tortured to the point of not being able to identify me as a person would without a doubt cripple me.
I currently don’t have the courage.
“You don’t need to push yourself-desu zo! You are plenty outstanding even as you are presently! On the contrary, your current state is the best as a gentleman!” (Mix)
It may have been my past self, but it is still true that I took a horrible attitude towards Mix.
I would like to make amends for that, but if I don’t act carefully here, I might end up closing the distance even more than now.
“—You really don’t need to push yourself-desu zo. I am plenty satisfied even as you are presently.” (Mix)
I sometimes feel like the eyes Mix looks at me with are seductive.
Marito would definitely tell me to marry her if I were to consult with him about it.
“…I am going to be a lot of work for you as a good-for-nothing.”
“That’s one charm of yours!” (Mix)
“Muh… I feel like Mix-chan has become a bit more of an adult… But even I am here, gallantly preparing the food!” (Rakura)
“Don’t say it yourself.”
Well, there’s no need to follow-up much with how things are.
That said, there have been way too many things happening lately, I am beginning to lose the mental leeway.
The actual challenge of Serende is finally awaiting.
There might be the need for an event that brings some respite to the mind.
Anyways, my meal has gone cold.