―― Bell-like sounds resound through the rainbow colored flower bed.
Our swords clash as we step over the gem flowers, and the sparks we make illuminate this dim limestone cave.
No ordinary person would be able to see our swords at the speed they’re moving.
At a glance, our battle would look like nothing but a battle to the death, but that’s isn’t so for Lowen and me. While an ordinary person would have difficulty visually tracking us, for us this is a speed that can be stopped at a moment’s notice.
And at this terrifying speed, Lowen’s sword hits the wrist of my left hand signaling the end.
「Haa, haa, damn it……. I couldn’t land a single hit…..」
Using my sword as support, I hang my head down and recover my breath.
「No, if you were able to win against my sword with such little training, I’d lose my standing……」
A bitter smile appears on Lowen and he scratches his head. However, his composed state only steals my confidence.
With a bitter smile Lowen scratches his head. However, that composure only steals my confidence.
「But, I’m even using 《Dimension Gladiate》…… !」
In contrast to my use of dimension magic, Lowen didn’t use any. With such a handicap a result like this is pathetic.
Seeing me like that, Lowen curiously tilts his head.
「It looks like you’re quite vexed that you didn’t beat me…… Could it be, you haven’t lost until now……?」
It’s nothing like that. I’ve lost many times.
Many times, in my original world.
It’s been different ever since I came to this different world. Thanks to my blessed status, I was able to boast an undefeated record in combat. However, Lowen had just broken that record.
It might be true that I’m somewhat…… no, fairly vexed.
「Looks like I hit the mark. But, this is training. It’s not as if you are inferior to me. ……If this were a real match, you wouldn’t fight against me using only a sword would you?」
「Nn……, well, probably……」
Lowen’s weak point is obvious. It’s easy to figure out that his magic power is little.
「If you were to keep your distance and use freezing magic, or use bow and arrows and traps to attack, then I’d have no means to oppose. That’s why there’s no need to rush. Rushing isn’t something good」
He can’t construct any proper magic.
That’s why he dedicated his life to the sword, and why he was able to acquire his current technique.
Still. It’s because of that ―― that against Lowen, I want to win using a sword.
It might be childish, selfish, but I can’t help but feel like that.
「Even then, I want to defeat you using a sword……!」
The words naturally came out.
It’s a childish reason. I see Lowen’s position as the 『Strongest Swordsman』 as something dazzling. Those words ―― its ring has captured my heart.
I yearn not to be a mage who fights at long distances, but to be a swordsman who stands above all others.
At any rate, challenging doesn’t cost a thing.
「―― Good. It wouldn’t be interesting if it wasn’t like that!」
Lowen sensed my desire, and the corners of his mouth bent.
It was as if he was excited at the unexpected appearance of a rival in the sword.
And so, as if to say the practice is resuming, he charges at me.
As always, that slash was like art itself.
There’s nothing useless in Lowen’s sword technique. Swinging at the places where enemies are the weakest, at the fastest speed possible. It is pure fundamentals.
And what is troubling, is that he controls all those movements by his own will. Because of that many small faints were mixed in.
His gaze suddenly moved, his weight shifted unexpectedly, power was put into strange places. That alone was enough for me to start doubting the information 《Dimension 》 was gathering.
If I’m tricked by those faints, it could be the next instant that his sword touches me.
In the span of an instant, he inserts innumerable faints, and that was done by a body unable to use 《Dimension》.
Lowen has abnormal control of his body and mind.
My heart won’t stop throbbing as I observe that.
That throbbing causes large quantities of blood to churn through my body. I understood that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with the man before me if I didn’t give it my all.
One by one, Lowen displays each of his artistic techniques.
As our swords met in this savage act, I felt as if I was walking through a famed art gallery.
Each of those techniques were enchanting. If I can imitate that, then I will also be able to have such artistic techniques. And so, I once again try imitating it. And without a moment’s delay, I see another art. Too beautiful, too fun, I can’t stop.
I forget about the time as I continue walking through the art gallery named Lowen.
I felt like a small child who had just discovered a brand new world.
As a child, it was something I yearned for. On the other side of the LCD screen was a Hero swinging their sword. As blood was shed, that figure swung the sword with everything it had. Although that was terrifying, my childish heart found it to be more cool. Savage and immoral, and yet, the most dazzling thing I’ve seen.
That is what a 『Sword』 is to me.
And that dream of the 『Sword』, is now right before me.
I am keeping up with that 『Sword』, and I found it more fun than any sports, any games, or any other pleasure.
I didn’t know how much time had passed, but my fatigue soon caught up to me, and I fell to my knees.
「Haaa, Haaa, Haaa!」
It feels like I just ran several kilometres.
As expected even Lowen is sweating a little.
While wiping off his sweat, Lowen curiously asks a question.
「…… Kanami, is your memory actually amazing?」
But that was a question unrelated to swordsmanship. I tilt my head and answer.
「Eh? Well, I do have confidence in memorizing things……」
I was confident about my memorization in my original world. That memorization ability only became stronger once I raised my level in this different world, and now it even surpassed the limits of a human.
「No, I was only surprised that you were able to perfectly repeat techniques that you hadn’t even seen an hour ago……」
「Well, once I memorize something, I’m confident I won’t ever forget it」
「Normally, this is something you’d have to continue repeating in order to get your body to learn it……. But it looks like that’s unnecessary for you……. Really, 『Potential』 is quite terrifying……」
A cold sweat mixes in with his normal sweat.
「But thanks to that 『Potential』 I was able to finish teaching you the fundamentals. Alright, we’ll continue like this and I’ll teach you secret techniques next」
「Huh, secret techniques already?」
「Well, with the speed you’re learning at, there’s no more basics to teach you……. If I were to believe your words, then there’s no need to show them again. With that said, I’ll have you imitate this next. I believe this is a bit different from what we’ve done until now」
The training session finally made it to secret techniques.
It’s likely that the point I reached in only a few hours, usually takes decades to accomplish. With a bitter smile, Lowen manipulates his magic power.
It looks like the Araith style’s secret techniques use magic power.
And it’s probably a reasonable amount since Lowen can activate it with the little magic power he has.
Lowen’s magic power spread to his sword and covers the surface.
And then, that magic power hardness and takes on a form with substance. That hardened magic power expands and contracts at Lowen’s will. ―― It was a technique I have a memory of.
「…… That. isn’t it the skill 『Magic Power Substance Conversion』?」
「Huh, you know of it?」
「Eh, un. It feels, like I know……. Huh, where did I learn about it. Umm……」
「Well, it’ll go faster if you know what it is. Using this the range of your sword will increase 」
At the same time as I nod, Lowen lightly swings his sword. And then, in a place his sword should not reach, a blooming flower is cut down.
「Then, I’ll slowly expand it to its limit……, make sure to carefully analyze the process of the magic power…..」
Lowen places his sword horizontally, and once again expands his magic power.
This time in order for me to grasp the details of the structure, he slows it down by a lot.
I use 《Dimension Multiple》 to observe every detail of its expansion.
That attribute of that magic power is similar to 『Nothing』. Just because Lowen is 『The One Who Stole the Natural Law of Earth』, that doesn’t mean his secret technique will be earth attribute.
A plain solid magic power wraps around the sword and it continually expands and contacts.
I follow the movements of the magic power in order to observe the motion of the molecules. The way in which the magic power moves, and the way in which it works. Little by little, I begin to understand its laws, and I carve them into my brain.
My concentration quickly increases, and one second becomes a tenth of a second, and then that further divides into a hundredth of a second. At the end of that it becomes a world of less than a hundredth of a second, and I comprehend those laws in my own way. And then, factoring in the 『Magic Power』 that does not exist in physics, I can make an equation that can substitute for that phenomenon――
「―― Un, I get the gist of it」
「Hmm, so you really understood it in a single go……」
I disregard the surprised Lowen and try to reproduce the 『Magic Power Substance Conversion』.
Using the formula engraved in my brain ―― an 『Art』, I spread my magic power. I control that overflowing magic power, wrap it around the sword in my hand, and harden it.
However, I can’t quite harden the magic power, and I know why. It is the difference in the quality of magic power.
Lowen’s magic power is like a calm clear stream. Plain and dyed by nothing.
In comparison, my magic power is like a rapid that can’t settle down. It’s nothing like his plain magic power. But no matter how hard I try, my magic power continues to be dyed in the colors of dimension and freezing attributes.
The requirement of this 『Magic Power Substance Conversion』 is to harden the calming 『Nothing』 magic power.
Although I know that, I can’t do it.
「Kuu, it, it’s difficult……」
I was at a loss at how to harden my magic power.
「……. Aah, as expected, even you can’t reproduce this in a single try. Actually, this technique is one that would usually require a person to devote their life to learn so――」
Lowen realized I failed.
However, without waiting for the end of his words, I give up on hardening my magic power and try something else. If I can’t make my magic power into 『Nothing』, then I’ll just try doing the same 『Art』 with a different magic power.
「Aah, if it won’t work ―― then ! I’ll just do this ――!!」
I won’t create it with 『Nothing』, but with the 『Freezing』 magic power I’m used to. Like this, it’s essentially 『Ice Flamberge』.
Furthermore, by freezing the liquid in the atmosphere, I can use it to substitute as 『Hardened Magic Power』. I continue repeating that and increase the length of my sword.
It was forced…… but with this I completed a skill that can substitute for 『Magic Power Substance Conversion』.
I swing my ice sword in the same way as Lowen, and slice a flower that is in a place I shouldn’t be able to reach.
This skill. If I’m going to attach a name to it then ――
「―― Skill 『Magic Power Freezing Conversion』 sound about right?」
「No……, isn’t that already a completely different skill…… ? If anything I’d say it’s closer to magic……」
「But, it’s the same thing isn’t it……?」
「Well, that’s true……」
In regards to its sharpness and hardness, it most likely won’t be a match against Lowen’s 『Magic Power Substance Conversion』.
That’s just how many holes this 『Magic Power Freezing Conversion』 has, after all it was just made.
「However, you really did master everything in a single day. The only thing I can teach you now is the final secret technique」
Deciding that the 『Magic Power Substance Conversion』 substate I made as suitable, he moves onto the next technique.
「Final secret technique……. It has a nice ring to it……」
「I’m sorry to disappoint you, but it isn’t some amazing sword technique」
「Eh, it isn’t a sword technique? And it’s supposed to be final secret technique for a sword?」
As Lowen affirms that he shuts his eyes.
And then, the calm magic power in his body, further calms.
Together with his undoing magic power, it looks like he’s doing nothing but standing there.
「Eh? That’s the final secret technique……?」
「Aah, in reality it’s a technique without a name…… But, a certain person called this the skill 『Sensitivity』.….. This is, the secret to my strength」
With those words, he beckons me with his fingers.
「I’ll understand if I fight……?」
In response to my question, Lowen silently nods.
However, I’m troubled. Lowen currently has his eyes closed. On top of that, he isn’t even using the tiniest bit of magic power, he really is just standing there.
In a state where he can’t see, if I were to swing, I would probably end up hitting his body.
However, after a bit of hesitation, I decided to believe in Lowen and step forward.
For a master like Lowen, it’s possible that he could use the sound of footsteps or the flow of the atmosphere to defend.
With many expectations, I thrust my sword at a decently fast speed ―― and then, it is splendidly blocked by Lowen’s sword.
After repelling my sword, Loewn then uses that force to swing his sword at me.
There was no hesitation whatsoever. Lowen’s sword extends to a vital spot.
Although I’m somehow able to defend against it, his fierce attack continues.
It’s like he can still see from his eyes―― no, those movements are more precise than having one’s eyes open.
After many swings, Lowen’s swords knocks mine away.
「You had your eyes closed……, how……?」
I’d accept it if Lowen was using magic power. However, Lowen didn’t use any magic power. He only used his body alone, and he still beat me.
「This is the skill 『Sensitivity』. It’s a power that take in the world’s everything, like the atmosphere and magic power」
With the strength of that skill before me, I couldn’t do anything but give a faint laugh.
If it’s as he explained then it’s an ability very similar to 《Dimension》. No, something better than that. Lowen can activate it without using any MP.
「Just now, you might have thought that your magic is similar to it…… But there is a distinct difference. Unlike the rational dimensional magic that grasps everything, this one is instinctive. A technique that instinctively understands the 『Natural Law』 and 『Flow』 of the world」
All of the swordsmanships I’ve encountered until now have been rational ones that are calculated to the smallest details. However, for something so vague to be the base of this one.
「If you have this, then no matter the situation, no matter if you have magic power, you’ll be able to take on that Reaper. Together with your dimension magic, you should be able to combine it into an even more precise ability to grasp the surroundings」
「Alright. I’ll try it out……」
Closing my eyes, I suppress my magic power, and quiet my mind.
And then, according to the information I had just gained, I try replicating Lowen’s technique.
But at this point, I’m only standing ―― I hear Lowen’s footsteps and ready myself. However ――
The next instant, I was flicked on the forehead. The pain causes me to open my eyes.
「Nope, no good」
「Eh, no good, eeh? Wait. one more time」
「It’s good to challenge yourself」
Once again, I go into the same state. This time without any adjustments.
I perfectly imitate the smallest of details.
From the heart beat, sweat, breathing, I get as close to it as possible. Not to mention the stance, I also perfectly replicate that in the way in which power was distributed. And then, sharpening my five sense, to Lowen’s incoming forehead flick I――
――Don’t block it.
「Unn. Looks like your memory became worse all of a sudden……」
「N, no! It just isn’t possible to grasp the surroundings without using any magic power!」
「N, no! It just isn’t possible to grasp the surroundings without using any magic power!」
「Something so ridiculous!? But, but you’re not even doing anything……!!」
This skill. Nothing is done in it.
It’s because nothing is done, that I can’t understand a thing. It’s obvious that it’d end like that.
「Aah, it’s by doing nothing, that I understand. Rather than being a technique of the body, it’s a technique of the mind. Even if you imitate the outside, you aren’t able to imitate the inside. …… In short, your mind is in a bad place」
「No, no no, the mind, something like that is……!」
I don’t understand what Lowen is saying.
「But, I thought this skill would fit you perfectly……」
As I’m frantically shaking my head, disappointment shows on Lowen’s face.
I’ll be troubled if you show me something like that.
It’s possible this is a unique skill that no one but Lowen can reproduce. No, that has to be right. It’d make sense if it’s like that. The skill 『Sensitivity』, a technique of the mind, for me something like that is――
「 Kanami, for some reason, your body and mind are a mess」
Lowen gets closer and places his hand on my forehead.
And then, as if searching through my heart, he closes his eyes.
He only placed his hand there. There’s no magic power coming from it. Even if I spread 《Dimension》, I still wouldn’t be able to tell what’s happening.
「Not only a mess, but it’s like many chains are layered on top of each other…….solid chains restricting freedom……」
And yet, Lowen accurately captured the state of my mind and put it into words.
「The skill 『Sensitivity』, it can even do something like that?」
「Well, this skill is more or less the culmination of a person’s experience. It’s quite useful. A kind of enlightenment. but it is difficult to learn……..」
「E, enlightenment? Y, you were trying to teach me something like that……」
「I thought that if it was you then you’d be able to」
「No, that’s not something that can be taught so easily……」
Enlightenment, in my world that’s like something from a fairy tale. A position that only a few great ancestors manage to reach. Theres no way someone as stupid as me can stand together with those people. However, Lowen refutes that in a powerful tone.
「No, it’s the opposite. It’s strange that you haven’t reached it yet. Since you have that absurd power……」
Lowen’s statement causes me to lose my words.
Instead of it being about dimension magic and 『Potential』, I thought it’d be something more fundamental.
I was given everything in this world. As if I’m being『Favored』, everything is being handed to me.
「……. The things that girl Lastiara Whoseyards said, they might be correct. I can’t be sure, but Kanami, there’s no mistaking that your mind isn’t in a normal state」
「…… Even you’re saying that Lowen」
「Aah, I think so. My skill 『Sensitivity』 has deemed that Aikawa Kanami’s state of mind isn’t normal. …… But, it won’t tell me any more than that. Since I am a dead person, an existence who’ll soon disappear. I’ve give some words, but I don’t plan on lending a hand」
「Aah, I think so. My skill 『Sensitivity』 has deemed that Aikawa Kanami’s state of mind isn’t normal. …… But, it won’t tell me any more than that. Since I am a dead person, an existence who’ll soon disappear. Although I’ll leave some words, I don’t plan on lending a hand」
Lowen continues giving his advice.
It was neither too cold nor too kind, those words were the words coming from a master.
「Kanami, let’s go back for now. Aren’t you tired?」
「I am, a bit tired……」
「Well, to only be somewhat tired after almost mastering a whole style, sounds like a bad story」
「You’re strangely fixated on that. Lowen 」
「Only a little. That’s just how bad it is」
As we joke around, Lowen and I leave the thirtieth floor.
It’s then that I notice it. His magic power has thinned――
「Lo, Lowen. Didn’t, your magic power weaken?」
This isn’t like consuming magic power. It isn’t that the amount decreased, but that the quality of the magic power thinned. Thus the term weakened was the most fitting for it.
「That may be so……. It looks, like I had more fun teaching you then I thought I would……」
Lowen doesn’t deny it.
And then, he gives a short answer of「It was a fulfilling time」.
After a faint laugh, he doesn’t say anymore and walks ahead. However, his back appears to flicker weakly.
「Is, is that so……」
In these few hours, a part of Lowen’s regrets had been resolved.
And so, I also understood just how easy the 『Trade to resolve lingering regrets』 is to accomplish.
The hurdle of Lowen’s wish is far too low.
It’s likely, that it would only take a little for him to disappear from this world.
However, that isn’t something sad.
That is what he wishes for, the end goal of his happiness.
Therefore, I only answered with a single line.
After that, I could only follow after his back.
After ending the labyrinth search with Lowen, I go to where Palinchlon should be by myself. For now, I’ll report the progress of the 『Trade』.
I also have to report the fact that I selfishly brought Lowen to 『Epic Seeker』. I am the guild master, but even then it still feels like the old submasters are the ones at the top. On that note, I also plan to get an explanation for my registration in the 『Fighting Tournament』 without telling me.
And also, I’ll try asking about my mind and body once more.
I considered the idea of having Palinchlon treat me since the mental magic he specializes in can be used to treat things, but I quickly rejected that. There’s no doubt that Palinchlon is hiding many things. I …… can no longer trust in him enough to make such a choice.
There are many things to talk about.
I walk through the path that Snow taught me.
The location is at the base of a mountain at the edge of Lauravia. There is the villa of Rail Senks ―― one of the three submasters and one of the two people who rescued me from the 『Great Fire』 along with Palinchlon. It’s there that Rail-san’s close friend Palinchlon is renting a room while working for Lauravia.
As I walk through the town, the amount of people around gradually decreases.
It seems like it’s a villa constructed in a remote region. From what I’ve heard it’s a luxurious villa, so I’m kind of looking forward to it.
I continue walking down the desolate path, and finally, I arrive at the villa.
No, to be precise, the remains of that villa ――
「Eh, what’s this……. This is where we could meet isn’t it……?」
The villa was ruined.
There’s not even a proper wall left standing, and all the pillars that support the villa were now destroyed. Belongings are scattered here and there and none of them have their original shape. There isn’t any roof, and the insides of the villa are ruined. In the surroundings, many people are restlessly running around.
A chamberlain and butler. A man in good shape who appears to be in the construction business. From their conversations I understood that they’re working on dealing with the remains of the villa and repairing it.
I find the person who’s giving the others orders and approach him.
A man with many scars on his face ―― the owner of this villa, Rail-san.
A man with many scars on his face ―― and the owner of this villa, Rail-san.
Since he’s a powerful person, he senses my presence and approaches me.
After some animosity, he sees my face and immediately releases his tension.
「Aah, so it’s Kanaami…… Good of you to come……」
With a calm expression Rail-san warmly welcomes me.
It didn’t look like he had much time to spare but he still met me with a smile. He’s a responsible person, unlike some other sub-masters.
「No, there was just a bit of an attack……」
「Attack……, what attack could do this……?」
I feel like only a dragon attack can leave such a wreckage.
However, in a different sense the answer was even more terrifying.
「A girl did it by herself」
「Eh, girl……? You’re lying right……?」
「Only a single person. By the hands of the girl Diablo Sith, this place became an empty lot」
Rail-san accepts the situation with a laugh.
However, to me this isn’t a laughing matter.
「Di, Diablo Sith……!?」
One of the girls front that pair.
A kid with an unstable mind, that pretty tearful face left a lasting impression.
「……. Just who is she?」
Since it looked like Rail-san knew something, I asked about her identity.
「Let’s see……. It’s something like an assassin who holds a grudge against Palinchlon. Since Palinchlon makes lots of grudges in various places, these things are pretty common. ―― Common, but, this is the first time the building was destroyed」
「Assassin……? Aren’t assassins, people who quietly kill at night……? Why did something like this happen……」
「Aah, that’s how it was at the beginning. However, Palinchlon successfully got away, so as revenge Diable Sith destroyed the whole building」
「Eh? Complete destruction as revenge…… Eeeeh!?」
I couldn’t believe what Rail-san said.
However, I remember how I was when we first met, and reconsider the fact that that kid can definitely do something like this.
「If I remember correctly, I heard that Palinchlon had once sliced Diablo Sith’s body. It must be that, definitely」
「He cut that girl……? That guy, he really did something terrible……」
Realizing that Palinchlon also did something that wouldn’t lose out to what Diablo Sith did, I decided to not show sympathy to anyone.
「Umm. With that said, is Palinchlon not here anymore……?」
「Aah, not to mention the building, he isn’t even in the country. He hurried his plans a bit and moved back to Lauravia’s home country. He left while laughing」
「While laughing……. But, that’s troubling, I was in the middle of a trade with him……」
「You don’t have to worry about that. I’ve taken responsibility for most of it. By trade you’re talking about the 『Guardian’s Subjugation』 right?」
「Ah, yes, that’s right」
「Have you already defeated one? If you show the magic stone as proof, then I’ll believe he’ll talk……」
「No, not yet. I reached, and talked…… But, I didn’t defeat him……」
「The summon was successful but you didn’t defeat him…… I see, so the thirtieth floor’s guardian cooperates with those who reach it……」
With only a bit of information, Rail-san was able to guess my situation.
「So you knew. The Guardians aren’t simply monsters」
「Aah, I knew……. And, that is also a secret among the Allied Nations……」
From the way Rail-san is speaking, it feels like a lot of information on the labyrinth is being kept secret.
And even, about myself ――
「So you did know Rail-san. About the Guardians……. About my bracelet……. And, about Lastiara Whoseyards and Diablo Sith……」
「Aah, I am well informed about that bracelet. Palinchlon is malicious. Without saying a thing, he enjoyed your panic Kanami-kun. That’s right. Right now, I’ll tell you everything I can say……」
Understanding what I wanted, Rail-san begins talking about the details. If it were Palinchlon, then once he understood my intent, he’d only fan my worries. The fact that Palinclhon was summoned by Lauravia may have actually been a blessing in disguise.
「I’ll start from the beginning……. First, it is true that that bracelet is 『Preserving Kanami-kun’s daily life in a different world』. If you lose that, then all the happiness you currently have would crumble away. There’s no doubt. That’s why, protecting that bracelet, is also for your sake」
Slowly and in an easy to understand way, Rail-san continues speaking.
「Next, about those two girls ―― Lastiara Whoseyards and Diablo Sith. About them, I won’t tell you for the sake of your own happiness. If you know, then there’s no doubt that those two would become a great burden on you. If you know, you would lose your happiness, and advance down a path of suffering. Palinchlon is fine with that, but I certainly don’t recommend it. That path, isn’t a path that a kid as kind as you should go down……」
「So you won’t deny that those two have some sort of relationship with me…..」
「…… Aah, I will neither confirm nor deny 」
「And the fact that this bracelet altered the memories of Maria and me――」
「That too, I will neither confirm nor deny it. However, please don’t misunderstand. The sealed memories are 『Sorrowful』 memories. If you two want to attain happiness, let the unnecessary memories remain vague. You can say that this was done as a treatment. In this way, you two will be able to attain happiness. Without being pursued by anyone, without needing to fear anything……, a happiness, one that couldn’t be attained before……. People must strive to attain happiness. Especially children such as Maria and you……」
I don’t think he’s lying. It’s rude but I still confirm it with 《Dimension Multiple》. From his temperature and heart beat, there are no signs of lying.
「Haven’t you faintly felt it? About that 『Day of the Fire』. Something unbearable happened to your sister Maria. You should understand just by seeing her two eyes. If she remembers that 『Great Fire』, your sister will be forced to face the painful reality…… However, if you entrust yourselves to that bracelet, you and your sister will be able to remain happy. That alone I can guarantee. I’ve prepared the perfect plan for that. As Lauravia’s hero you will not face any difficulties, and through that that your sister will be happy 」
From Rail-san’s tone, I could understand that he carefully thought over us. He’s doing his best in order for Maria and me to be happy.
And also, there’s nothing I could do when my sister is brought up.
If it’s about me then I’ll compromise as much as I need to, but I won’t compromise when it comes to my beloved sister. If it’s to enter the best path for my sister, then I will probably accept it.
「―― However, even then, if your will is strong enough and you decide to learn the truth, then everything will be different. I will tell you everything, and I will make you two 『Unhappy』. We will give up on all our plans. No, we will move onto the next plan…… 」
And then, Rail-san presents a second option.
But, it’s obvious which choice is the difficult one.
「To us, the thirtieth floor’s Guardian is only a milestone. If your mind and body are strong enough to defeat that existence―― if you defeat that existence, and you still want to change the situation ―― There’d be no objection to telling you the truth. Everything would be said. This 『Trade』, is that kind of 『Trade』」
He doesn’t only explain the situation, but also the real aim of the 『Trade』. Moreover, I didn’t feel any falsehood or malice in those words. Unlike Palinchlon, he’s credible.
「This, is all that I can say to you……」
「That helped a lot. It’s a hundred times more than what I’d get from him……」
「That just now was a hundredth of it, so Palinchlon didn’t even explain that much. Haa, the same as always」
Thanks to that, it’s only an approximation, but I’m able to understand my current situation. I can’t thank Rail-san enough.
After that, I also got an explanation on the 『Fighting Tournament』. Apparently getting my name out there is a part of the plan. Whether I appear or not is left to me. And also, he quickly approves when I explain Lowen and Reaper’s stay at 『Epic Seeker』.
I talked about everything I wanted to. Since Rail-san seems to be busy with the house, we didn’t talk long. After thanking him, I quickly departed.
And so, on the way back, I sort the information I have.
In short, Maria and I have a sorrowful past, and Palinchlon hid that. But, it’s unclear why Palinchlon hid that. Snow also knew of that. However, because of her personality, she only gave some vague advice. And finally Rail-san, he believes that the things hidden are connected to our happiness.
But, even though he’s wishing for our happiness, Rail-san still selfishly stands for the plan to make a hero in 『Epic Seeker』. If I were to think of it in the opposite way, if my memories were to return, I’d probably lose my status as 『Epic Seekers』 hero.
…… Not enough. This information still isn’t enough.
I still can’t see the complete picture of the 『Sorrowful Past』 of Maria and me.
Most likely, those two girls are connected to that 『Sorrowful Past』.
Lastiara said Maria is a companion, so in the past, Maria and I may have been their companions. From Diablo Sith’s state, I can at least guess that much. But Rail-san opposes me returning to them. Those two are a 『Burden』, and that reconciling will lead to a 『Path of Suffering』. From that, a part of the unhappiness may be attributed to them.
Taking in all that happened, I made a prediction.
First, Maria and I lost our way in a different world, and using the fake name 『Sieg』, I began my labrynth search. At that time my companions were probably Lastiara and Dia. However, unhappiness accumulated, and the 『Day of the Fire』 occurred. It’s there that the party scattered, and Maria and I were picked up by 『Epic Seeker』. It’s probably then that Maria injured her eyes.
No, something’s wrong.
Why, why was I the only one to use a fake name in 『Sieg』? Lastiara calls Maria 『Maria』. If she had a fake name, then why would my sister be called by her given name?
…… No, it isn’t unnatural?
The name Maria itself is a fake name, and I didn’t notice it because of this 『Bracelet』?
In other words, Maria’s real name is different? No, that isn’t it ――
―― My sister’s name is different.
This answer feels the most fitting.
Another strange point that sticks out is that I 『Searched the Labyrinth』.
Right now, the reason I’m searching the labyrinth is for Maria’s medical cost and to gain strength befitting 『Epic Seeker’s』 guild master.
Since we siblings came to this different world together, was there any reason for me to risk entering the labyrinth?
What was the reason for searching the labyrinth……?
It’s hard to think that I did it in order to gain strength to protect myself. After all, the labyrinth itself is the most dangerous place in the continent. So in order to avoid danger, I jumped straight into danger, that’s strange.
In that case, money? However, if it was for the sake of our everyday lives, then there’d be no need to go through the labyrinth. There are any number of jobs open. What’s left, would be medical cost……?
For the sake of my sisters medical cost, a large amount of money would quickly be needed. Therefore, I went into the labyrinth. I’d understand if it’s like that. However, that wouldn’t explain the 『Day of the Fire』 and the 『Sorrowful Past』. On the 『Day of the Fire』, Maria lost her eyes, and our memories were sealed in order to hide that.
……No, to begin with, isn’t it strange from there?
If it was like that, then it’d be fine to only seal Maria’s memories.
There’s no reason to seal my memories.
―― Could it be, I had a reason of my own?
―― Since I had an unhappiness to the degree of Maria’s lost eyesight, my memories were sealed?
I wouldn’t think that Rail-san would manipulate my memories without any reason.
There should be a reason but……, I can’t see it…….
There still isn’t enough information. No matter how much I think about it, I still won’t be able to convince myself.
Whether or not regaining my memories is correct…… but for some reason, I gradually begin losing confidence.
Palinchlon, Rail-san, Snow, Lastiara, Diablo Sith, I haven’t felt malice from any of them. It seems like everyone is moving with their own good intentions.
Everyone, is moving for my sake.
Therefore it becomes hard to understand, and half-hearted.
It’s ―― half-hearted.
No one holds animosity towards me. There still isn’t any big danger.
This arrangement, this situation, it’s too safe. Too happy.
And yet, I’m trying to dig up the『Sorrowful』 memories of Maria and me? Am I really?
Then, leaving it like that would be fine. It feels like someone is speaking to me.
If you continue as you are then you will be 『Happy』, is whispered into my ear.
Here I will become a 『Hero』, I will feel the excitement of the dream I had when I was a child.
As I walk, that invisible 『Something』 pushes on my back.
And so, I return to 『Epic Seeker』 and meet with my companions.
As I walk down the hall, the members who believe in me talk to me with a smile.
In the office my partner Snow waits for me.
If I listen carefully, I can hear Reaper and Lowen playing.
If I go up the stairs, I can pass the time with my beloved sister in a safe happiness.
There’s nothing more I can wish for.
―― But, blood flows.
From the inside of my clenched fist, drops of red blood begin to fall.
「What’s wrong, Nii-san…… ?」
「What’s wrong, Nii-san…… ?」
My beloved sister who sits on top of the bed asks me.
「No, it’s, nothing……」
It’s nothing. No, it has to be nothing.
If I were to stumble on something, and get off the rails set before me, my beloved sister would become unhappy.
However ―― my instincts tell me to remove the 『Bracelet』.
This headache, this discomfort, the origin of this unidentifiable anger ―― if I want to get rid of this 『Curse』, then I have to remove the 『Bracelet』.
Little by little, truly, little by little……. My hand moves to the bracelet.
However, right before my hand touches the bracelet ―― my blood stops.
A chill runs through me. It was like the fear of losing something more important than one’s life.
My whole body stiffens, and my hand is unable to move any further.
「A, are you fine, Nii-san……. You’re acting strange……」
「…… A, aah, I’m fine. …… I’m just a bit sleepy」
As if collapsing, I lie down on the bed.
My head is hot. It’s not as if I was thinking over it too hard, but even then my head can’t help but feel heavy.
It’s like, chains are wrapped around my thoughts.
I don’t even have the freedom to think, if I were to move forward, then those chains would obstruct me.
「…… Ti, red」
And so, my vision is dyed black.
Unable to reach the bracelet, my stretched out hand loses its strength, and falls to the bed.
At the same time, my conscience falls into darkness.
My fingertips feel as heavy as lead. I can’t lift my arms.
It feels like something is holding my legs down, and my body has lost its freedom.
As if, I’m in a muddy quagmire. I can’t even open my eyes.
Not even slight movements are allowed. It’s in such a deep darkness that I float.
And then, I hear a voice from the darkness.
「―― Aah, I don’t mind where you go. …… I don’t mind, but, it’d be annoying if it goes too well」
A vague figure is reflected on my eyelids. That figure spoke in a hard to hear voice.
However, I won’t mistake the owner of that voice.
At the same time, I’m convinced that this is a dream.
This is a dream of the past. The memory of a certain defeat.
Something before I slept acted as a trigger, and I remember.
The words Palinchlon imposed on me. A 『Curse』.
Inside the darkness, the unsteady figure continues speaking.
「That 『Bracelet』 is more important than your life ―― let’s make it like that. I’d be troubled if you don’t prioritize it above all else. I’ll have to engrave that deep in your mind」
The answer to the 『Bracelet』.
Right now, all the answers are shown to me like a movie.
「Unnn, let’s see. I’ll put it’s priority around the level of your 『Sister Aikawa Hitaki』. I’ll be able to relax if it’s at that position」
As a wicked magic power crawled over from that figure, he calmly said something that would derail a person’s life off.
The magic power creeps into me, and meddles with my mind.
And then, the figure hands me something.
「Now, put it on. Brother Kanami」
Within the darkness, I take that.
A light and robust bracelet. However, the weight on my palm felt heavier than what it truly was.
As if, it had a weight of an 『Important Object』, something more important than my life
「That bracelet is the next most important thing that Brother Kanami has to protect. With that on, let me see you climb over the 『Twentieth Trial』 and the 『Thirtieth Trial』. I believe in you Brother Kanami?」
The figure encourages me as it laughs.
What was that 「change my course a bit」 and 「Not touching the source」.
Unforgivable. Although that is the victor’s privilege, and it’s only expected coming from Palinchlon, even then ―― it’s absolutely unforgivable.
And that pain, reminds my body.
Don’t forgive this inhumane act. Don’t forgive it no matter what.
This man, Palinchlon Legacy, I won’t forgive him.
…… However, this is a memory of the past.
Those feelings won’t remain. The only thing I can do is see them off. Simply, a distant dream that I could only see off.
I know. These 『Memories of Someday』, I know because I see them everyday.
When I wake up, I will forget everything that I see here. That’s how it works.
When my eyes open, when I tilt my head at the blood flowing from the palm of my hand, I’ll probably try to remember the dream of that day. However, I won’t remember.
I will never remember a thing…….
That’s why, I can’t do anything but hope.
Not in myself, but to have hope in a different person.
If it’s now, these feelings won’t be wasted.
If only I could convey this violent anger to those girls I am 『Tied』 to. They’re a bit unreliable, but even then it’d be better than conveying it to just anyone.
Through a certain pattern on my neck, these thoughts are poured to a certain girl.
『Don’t play with anothers fate』! 『Lies are unforgivable』! 『I won’t mistake my own wish』!
Please, hear my cries!
And then, tell me these feelings! Please!!