The match ended, and as promised, I went to meet Lastiara.
I checked the lodgings prepared for state guests with 《Dimension》 but couldn’t find them, instead I found that they have reserved an entire floor of a high class hotel. Maybe it’s because of the bounty on them that this is the best they could do to cover their tracks.
I knock on the door of a room on the highest floor of the hotel.
A reply immediately comes back and the door opens.
「Welcome, Kanami. For now, come inside」
Without dropping my guard, I enter. The inside of the room isn’t much different from mine. It’s also a luxurious room. If I were to point out a difference, it’d be the beautiful girl who entrusts her back to a door deeper inside the room.
Name: Sera Radiant HP259/263 MP108/108 Class: Knight
Strength6.59 Vitality8.22 Dexterity9.52 Agility11.00 Intelligence5.72 Magic7.98 Potential1.57
Innate Skill: Intuition1.77
Acquired Skills: Swordsmanship2.13 Holy Magic0.90
From the name alone I understood that she is the wolf beastman that was with Lastiara.
Her hair color is a unique blue similar to Snow. The clothes and accessories she’s wearing has a traditional feel to it which also resembles Snow. But unlike Snow, she gives a darker impression. Her appearance is a bit flashier and her hair is a darker blue.
Sera Radiant glares at me with sharp eyes.
Unlike Lastiara and Diablo Sith, I feel hostility from her.
Realizing that I’m being vigilant of Sera Radiant, Lastiara lightly laughs.
「You don’t have to be so cautious. It’s safe here」
「It’s fine because Sera-chan is a companion. Though it is true that she didn’t get along with 『Sieg』」
「I, I see……」
Lastiara jumps between us, and Sera Radiant snorts and turns away. Her hostility also disappeared.
It doesn’t look like she has any intention to fight here, but at the same time, it doesn’t look like she has any intention to leave here either.
Although I’m a bit curious about her, I quickly get into the main topic.
「There’s something I wanted to ask…… Lastiara, I want you to destroy the 『Bracelet』 as soon as you can」
「…… Destroy the 『Bracelet』?」
Lastiara had a curious expression.
Of course she would. It was only a few days back that I so stubbornly guarded the 『Bracelet』, and now I’m saying the complete composite. There’s no way she wouldn’t be suspicious.
「Aah. A lot happened, I decided that I needed to retake my memories. You wanted to break my 『Bracelet』, and you also have the strength to do it. Please help me. Please」
「A lot happened, huh……」
Lastiara places her hand on her chin and begins thinking with a serious expression.
I might’ve abridged my explanation a bit too much. If I don’t properly explain my sudden change of heart, she’ll probably have a hard time trusting me.
「Really, a lot happened. Many things piled up, and I realized I was missing something important. I’ll explain it now, please listen――」
If I don’t do my best to earn Lastiara’s trust right here, then the companions I can rely on would truly be limited. I decide to explain myself without hiding anything.
First, about the uneasiness that has tormented me since the very beginning. The fact that I met people outside of Lastiara’s group that called me 『Sieg』. About the inconsistencies in my memories and the information I gathered. And finally, about the warning from Reaper who can see my deepest parts, and about the decision I came to――
「―― I’m sorry I was so heartless at that time. But right now I have no issue with destroying the 『Bracelet』」
「Fuumu. Nnn, I see. It’s a bit underhanded, but there’s no reason for us to not cooperate. To begin with, we’re trying to find a way to restore your memories…….」
「Thank goodness…… Then――」
「Ah, but there is a condition」
Just as I was about to request for the destruction of the 『Bracelet』, Lastiara interrupted with an awkward expression.
「……Umm, can you do something about our Dia’s bad mood? Her health is back to normal, but her mental state is dangerous. We can’t carelessly touch her」
I remember about the girl called Dia.
It’s the girl that cried a lot when we first met, and she’s also a dangerous person who turned Rail-san’s home into an vacant lot.
「Umm, do you mean that girl who cried when she saw me……? Won’t meeting me backfire?」
「No, I don’t think it’d worsen. Because 『Sieg』 is the person Dia trusts most. You were each other’s first partners, and I heard you got along really well. That’s why, as long as you’re kind, her mood should quickly recover. …… Probably」
「Eh, did we have that kind of relationship……? With that girl……?」
I learned of something unthinkable.
I question the sanity of my former self for choosing such an explosive girl as my first partner.
「Un, that kind of relationship. It’s because you got along so well, that I faced many troubles……」
As Lastiara reminisces, she lets out a tired sigh. It doesn’t look like she’s lying. And then, more complaints spill out.
「A Dia whose eyes grow dimmer day by day is nothing to joke about. I’m seriously a hero for managing to stop her rampage. The Allied Nations should be sending me a thousand thank you letters. If I didn’t stop her, the Allied Nations would have disappeared?」
「Is that girl, really that dangerous……?」
「But having her help destroy the 『Bracelet』 would be worth more than a hundred people. Although she’s like that, she does specialize in holy magic」
「…… I see. Okay, I’ll give it a try」
I accepted Lastiara’s demand.
If it’s as she says, then there’s no doubt that she’d be someone helpful in destroying my 『Bracelet』.
「Thank goodness. Then, Dia is holed up in the next room. Good luck」
And so, she points in the direction Sera Radiant is standing. It looks like she’s in the room behind her.
But as I’m moving to the door, Sera Radiant opens her mouth.
「Ojou-sama, is that fine? Dia-sama’s current state is dangerous. In the worst case, this man can die the moment they meet. ……Well, it’s not like I would care if this man dies」
She let out some very dangerous words. The light steps I had came to a halt.
「It’ll be fine if it’s Kanami. No, it can’t be anyone but Kanami. To appear at this timing, I also feel its fate」
「…… Reality is different from Ojou-sama’s favored stories. Even if it is good timing, that does not mean it will succeed」
「I know. But I’m sure it will be fine. …… So Sera-chan, open the way」
Lastiara entreated her and acting as if there was no other choice, Sera Radiant moves from the door. I can now see the door to the next room. However, now that the door is in front of me, my feet refuse to take the next step. A terrifying mana leaking out the door causes me to sense my own death.
「Siegfried Visitor. Even if you are to die, die only once you return Dia-sama’s sanity」
Sera Radiant’s words only added on to my anxiety.
That sharp attitude towards me made me a bit curious about the relationship we had in the past.
「…… Did the past me, do something to you?」
「Aaa, he did. I was humiliated」
「That’s, umm, sorry……」
Even if I stay here I probably won’t learn any more about my relationship with the beastman woman. I ready myself and approach the door. And then, I reach out to the doorknob and perform my final check.
「Umm, is that Dia girl not sane……?」
「For a normal person looking from the outside that might be what it looks like. Well, I understand Dia’s feelings so I can sympathize with her. …… Maybe, you shouldn’t talk with her?」
「Eh, eeh……? But then she won’t recover……」
「But it should be fine if it’s you Kanami. That’s what I believe」
Lastiara holds an unneeded trust in me. She sends me off without any worry whatsoever. On the other hand, I’m full of doubts. And so, I twist the door knob and enter.
―― It was a small dark room.
All entrances are blocked, curtains prevent light from entering through the window.
On top of a bed in a corner of that dark room, is a lone girl hugging her knees while facing the wall.
Along with repeated hiccups, is the sound of a sniffle. It looks like she’s been crying for a while. I knew the reason for that is me ―― Sieg(the past me). Although reluctant, I am responsible for this, so I focus on what I can do to help the girl before me.
「Are you fine……?」
However, scary things are scary. From the information I gathered by 『Observing』 her, there isn’t anything more dangerous than this. Her 『Condition』 is close to delirium, and the value of her Magic can easily turn a single town to nothing. There’s a good chance she can even blow away this whole fleet.
Without turning to face me, Dia-chan mutters in a nasally voice.
「―― Aah, I know. I know Lastiara. I’m fine. I’m fine, I know. I know I know I know I know ――」
Un, she’s dangerous…….
I carefully choose my words.
「Dia-chan, calm down……. Calm down, and please hear me out……」
Dia-chan hears my voice, and her mutters come to a stop.
「Dia, chan……? Who, are you……――」
And then, she turns around and confirms my existence, and freezes.
「―― Si, Sieg……？」
She gazes at my face in befuddlement. I use that chance to try and get closer.
However, that was too hasty. Her red eyes open wide when she sees me approaching.
「a, aA, AAaAAaah……! A, a hallucination? Aah, damn it, I’m hallucinating again! Hahaa, I’m no good……. I always go and make convenient hallucinations to escape to. In that case, it’s useless. It’s useless. With that weakness, I won’t be of any use to Sieg. I have to retake Sieg from that man. I know, Lastiara. I know what I have to do!! It’s pointless if I don’t become stronger right……? I have to be much much stronger if I want to be a fitting companion for Sieg! Then stronger than anyone――！」
As she recites that soliloquy of madness, an ominous mana surges.
I sense the undulations of a strong magic being constructed and immediately twist my body.
Magic is spun from Dia-chan’s mouth, and the dark room is filled with white. A flash of light traveled in the location my body once was.
There’s nothing figurative about it, what passed by was certainly a beam of light that held a tyrannical heat.
I see that a part of my clothes was singed, and feel a cold sweat on my forehead.
With 《Dimension》 I sensed that a hole was opened in the back wall. It has a freighting piercing ability.
With 《Dimension》 I sensed that a hole was opened in the back wall. It has a terrifying piercing strength.
Since this is a private room on the top floor, that light should’ve flown out into the sky. It’s only now that I realized the real reason Lastiara reserved a whole floor, in order to prevent Dia-chan’s magic from harming a bystander.
「E, eh……? Huh, dodged……?」
Dia-chan had a blank look on her face when she saw me.
「Dia-chan, please calm down……. I really only came to talk……」
Patiently and gently, I slowly speak.
However, the closer I get the more Dia-chan’s face warps.
「Wh, why……? U, aA, AAaAAh! Don’t talk to me with that face, that voice, you hallucination! Don’t talk don’t talk don’t taaaAAaalk――!!」
And then, just like last time, an ominous mana fills the room.
The undulations are stronger than before. At this rate, this ship will sink.
What can I do to stop the girl in front of me, my mind thinks at the fastest speeds possible.
「Sieg didn’t call me Dia-chan! You’re an imposter!」
I think back on all of Dia-chan’s statements.
And so, I judge that the reason for her anger is because she believes I’m an imposter.
「Aah, I am an imposter! To Dia-chan, I’m an imposter! But even then that’s no reason to attack! I’m your ally!!」
I acknowledge that I’m an imposter. In exchange, I strongly assert that I’m an ally.
「That’s right, I’m an ally. An ally that will help retake your 『Sieg』. I made a promise with Lastiara just now. Please believe me」
「I won’t be tricked……! Don’t say, something Sieg would say with that face……!」
「It’s true that I have a face like 『Sieg』 and yet I’m not 『Sieg』. But, I’m not your enemy. If I had any hostility, I wouldn’t be standing here」
I try to put myself in Dia-chan’s shoes as much as I can. And then, I guess what it was that was missing. The current me can understand something like that. Surely, she’s the same as me, someone precious to her is currently far away. I approach her as we’re speaking and extend my hand.
「…… It’s fine. Your important person, will quickly return. After all I’ll be helping」
「U, Uuu……. Uu, wo, won’t come back……Sieg won’t return to us anymore……. I tried so hard, but no matter how long I waited he didn’t come back……」
As she faces down I grab hold of Dia-chan’s arm.
「I promise I will take back 『Sieg』……. So, calm down……」
「Le, let go! Hey! Don’t touch me!!」
Dia-chan tries to separate from my hand. However, she had no strength. It’s true that her physical strength in her status is low, but it’s more likely that her strength simply won’t enter her body.
While grabbing her arm, I use my other hand to pat her head.
「….. It’s fine. Calm down」
What she needs most right now, is a sense of security.
Because as a fellow person who’s missing an important person, this is what I want most.
And so, as she loosens up due to my similarity to 『Sieg』, she starts crying.
While still crying, she entrusts her head to my chest and spills out her complaints all while hiccuping.
「Uuu, Sieg……. 『I』(watashi) , I tried so hard, but even then Lastiara bullied me……. I tried beating up all the bad guys, but she said that’s no good and this is no good……. I, I don’t know what I should do anymore……. I don’t know……」
She continues crying.
Unable to reply to those tears, 『Aikawa Kanami』 could only continue listening to Dia-chan’s complaints.
「―― I, I’m fine now. Sieg…… I mean Kanami……」
For just shy of an hour I continued listening to Dia-chan and I was finally released.
Having shown its results, Dia-chan appeared to regain some of her composure.
As I fulfilled Lastiara’s demand, I also came to understand that I, Kanami, really am Sieg who lost his memories. After returning to the previous room with Dia-chan, Lastiara and I begin the main topic.
「Nice! Then, lets move on to the destruction of the 『Bracelet』ー」
「Ah, aah, that’s fine but……. Should we leave Dia-chan like that……?」
On top of a bed in a corner of the room, Dia-chan looks on while wrapped in a blanket. Apparently she’s embarrassed for showing that shameful sight just now.
It’s great that she calmed down, but being so far away is a little troubling.
When I turn to face her, she quickly covers her face with the blanket.
She’s like a small animal. Like a cat or squirrel, that what it feels like.
「It’s fine, as long as she can calmly listen. Actually, you’ve become quite girly, exactly to my taste. How nice」
Lastiara looks at Dia with a lecherous expression. It looks like she’ll drool at any moment.
Feeling my gaze on her, Lastiara clears her throat and returns back to her serious expression.
「Gohon. …… leave the 『Bracelet』 to Dia and me. After we beat you up, we’ll take our time dismantling it」
「Dismantle? Please don’t say such a lukewarm thing and destroy it. There’s no need to hold back」
「Nn, nnnn……. It’s not holding back, it’s just that destroying it would be scary. Since we don’t know if there’s something in it……. It is a 『Bracelet』 that that Palinchlon prepared……」
「You mentioned it before, do you mean about causing something like suicide? But if you worry about something like that then nothing would be accomplished?」
「Don’t worry about that. With me the one most knowledgeable on magic in the Allied Nations and Dia the best holy magic user in the world ―― as long as we combine our powers, disassembling any art is possible. It will take some time, but that’s what I’d prefer to do. …… Because on the off chance that something were to fail, Dia will seriously be dangerous!」
Lastiara came up with a plan while taking the worst possible outcome into consideration. For example, what if there are explosives in this 『Bracelet』. That’s why instead of destroying it, dismantle it.
「…… Okay. Then let’s dismantle it. If you can do it now, then please」
Agreeing to Lastiara’s idea, I immediately ask for them to dismantle it.
However, she makes a difficult expression and stumbles on her reply.
「Ah, Aaah……. Uuumm, right now is impossible」
「Because, if we do it right here they’ll definitely be a nuisance」
「Nuisance? Who? There’s no one here?」
「Snow is. Probably, right now, Snow is listening」
「Eh……? Sn, Snow……?」
Hearing a name I didn’t expect shocked me.
「With Snow’s ability, it’s possible to listen in on all of 『Valfula』. It’s only a possibility, but I think that’s even now she’s following your sounds Kanami」
「Following my sounds……? Is that even possible with Snow’s magic……?」
「For Snow who’s a master of the attributeless vibration magic, anything goes as long as its sound. It’s unfortunate that this fleet is almost entirely composed of high-class ships. The magic stones she needs as an intermediary are all over, and Snow can permeate it with her unique mana. Most likely, no matter where we go, she can hear」
「Tr, true, when you put it like that it’s definitely possible……」
All I heard from Snow was that she can transfer vibrations from magic stone to magic stone. However, there’s a good chance that she’d be too lazy to use her magic.
「If we were to take off the 『Bracelet』 here, Snow will probably come as fast as she can and interrupt us. Since the current Snow depends on Kanami quite a lot, there’s a chance we’ll get killed while blocking her. I mean it」
At some point Lastiara managed to grab hold of Snow’s current situation. And that situation is more grave than mine. I think it’d be possible for the current Snow to even commit a murder.
「But if it’s only Snow alone, as long as we hold her back……」
「It’s a problem because she won’t be alone. If I attack 『Epic Seeker’s』 Guild Master, naturally I’ll become the enemy of all of 『Epic Seeker’s』 members. And Snow has the authority to order them. She probably won’t have any mercy if given the opportunity. And that’s not the end of it. It’d also be bad if you’re forced under Lauravia’s protection. Honestly, it wouldn’t be strange for anything to happen. After all, Snow can sense if you and I are fighting, and she has the ability to instantly inform all the others」
I learned just how troublesome Snow’s ability is.
It almost feels like my 《Dimension》 is the opponent.
In order to destroy the 『Bracelet』, it’s necessary to render me unable to fight. However, if a third party were to see that, it’d probably look like I was attacked. Not to mention the guild members, the guards and maybe even an outsider who sees that might try to protect me.
Worst case scenario, it might even turn into a battle with Lowen. Lowen is also against the destruction of the 『Bracelet』. If Snow calls him, he’d be the first to appear.
With that quality and quantity of opponents, there’d be no way for Lastiara and Dia-chan to focus on the 『Bracelet』. There’s also a possibility that I’d oppose due to the 『Bracelet’s』 『Curse』.
「Why don’t we leave 『Valfula』 to a place Snow’s ability won’t reach?」
「If we do that, Snow wouldn’t be picky with her methods either. Without any hesitation she’d use the power of the Walker house, and she’d probably get help from the other four great nobles. Depending on the situation, even the country of Lauravia and Whoseyards will take action. Because it’s us, there are many reasons for the countries themselves to take action」
「Would Snow……, really go that far……?」
「If it’s that Snow, definitely. That’s why I said I’d use the 『Fighting Tournament』. I said it before but interruptions aren’t permitted in a match in the 『Fighting Tournament』. If we continue like this my team should encounter Snow’s in the fourth round, and then encounter you in the semifinal. If all goes well, everything can be settled in the semifinal」
Lastiara spreads out documents on the 『Fighting Tournament』 and points at the tournament bracket.
If we continue winning, it’ll go exactly as Lastiara said.
「―― Maybe, the other side is thinking the same. Right, Snow?」
And then, in a direction with no one there, Lastiara spoke with confidence.
「Sn, Snow……. Are you listening……?」
I also asked in an empty space.
And then, after a moment of silence, one of the magic stones decorating the interior shakes.
『――Un, Kanami. I’ve always been listening』
Shaking as if they were vocal cords, they emit a human voice. There’s no doubt, that’s Snow’s voice.
Honestly I didn’t want to believe it.
With a bitter expression, I call the name of the girl I always considered my partner.
Snow ignores me and speaks to Lastiara.
『…… Living god of the Revan Faith. I will overcome you』
And then, a proclamation of war. That tone was as cold as snow.
「I accept your challenge, Snow」
『I want to marry Kanami……. Even if it’s a world of lies or a world that was set up, it doesn’t matter. This time for sure I want to become 『Happy』……. That’s just how much I desire it……』
「I know……. Snow really wants Kanami……」
『Please bet on it. If I win in our match, you will bless our marriage』
「So it really did come to this……. That’s fine, I’ll listen if I lose. If I lose, that is. But, if we win, you’ll be the one blessing our departure」
With a somewhat troubled expression, Lastiara spoke lightly. Of course, Dia-chan who was in her blanket stood up as if to complain. However, I shouted before she could.
「Stop this, Snow! I have a will of my own! Even if you beat Lastiara, do you really think I’d marry you!? Isn’t this weird!?」
『…… I also thought I had a will of my own in the past. But, reality was different. A single will, can easily be crushed. It will be crushed, Kanami』
Snow vexedly continues.
『No matter what you do, you will marry me Kanami. Something like a choice, the country can easily take it away. With your position, you can’t refuse. There’s no problem because it’s the plan that Palinchlon drew up. Surely, once the 『Fighting Tournament』 ends, there’ll be no place to run to. In the end regardless of your answer, Kanami, you will become 『Happy』 with me. ―― Without fail』
I couldn’t find the words to reply to that overbearing reasoning. I can’t think of it as anything but broken logic. However, Snow honestly believes that if she defeats Lastiara, she will become 『Happy』 with me.
『―― Let’s meet at the semifinals, Kanami. Don’t escape. Because I will always be listening』
The conversation ended there.
My words would no longer reach. But even if they did, they wouldn’t reach her heart.
The fact that my efforts yesterday had no effect whatsoever, terrified me.
「What’s her problem……!」
I thought of going to try and convince Snow once again. That’s just how large the madness that I sensed from that conversation was. However, I quickly reconsider.
If I meet her now, it probably wouldn’t end peacefully. Lastiara had already seen that resolve in Snow.
In that case, as Lastiara planned, winning in the 『Fighting Tournament』 and having Snow observe a written vow would be for the best. At least for now, there’s a place where they can safely clash.
「I’m sorry……, Lastiara, Dia-chan. Please, defeat Snow……. Please win, and stop that idiot……」
I felt pathetic, as if I was exposing something shameful.
However, as I was enduring that shame, no words were returned.
Looking closely, Lastiara is quiet but she looked like she’d burst into laughter at any moment. Dia-chan’s cheeks swelled out in a pout. Sera Radiant has an amazed expression.
「……Huh? Everyone, what is it?」
I’m the only one taking this seriously. Dia-chan is the first to timidly speak up.
「…… Hey, Kanami. If we lose, would you marry Snow?」
「Eh, umm, I don’t know yet, but there is a high possibility, so maybe?」
「He, hee. I see, I see……」
Although she should’ve already calmed down, Dia-chan’s mana begins leaking out.
While covered in her blanket, she continues repeating 「I seeー」 .
「Really Kanami, you’re as interesting as ever. I’m happy. Pupuu」
And then, Lastiara laughs.
And Sera Radiant sought my death.
Those unexpected reactions bewildered me.
I thought the atmosphere would turn more serious, but it instead became strangely delicate.
And so, the time in this delicate atmosphere that only I didn’t understand, continued.
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