Chapter 11

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11. Equivalent Exchange

 

Staggering and trembling with pain, Kei held his shoulder with his left hand as he stood up.

The wound on his shoulder was incredibly painful.

He didn’t feel any numbness or abnormalities otherwise, so he probably wasn’t poisoned.

Thankfully, there wasn’t much blood, so his life didn’t seem to be in jeopardy.

However, his right arm was heavy and wouldn’t move.

“…An ambush, huh,” Kei forced out in between ragged, painful breaths.

—He was done in spectacularly.

With his face warped in pain, Kei looked at the skinny man (Morissette) and the plump man (Rat), and groaned.

Tactically, it was rather simple.

While Morissette and the others attacked Kei, Rat went around the other side of the boulder to get behind Kei and use a surprise attack.

Originally, Morissette never thought Rat would be of much use, but Rat had just saved him.

The ‘Missing’ Ratrand.

Despite his appearance, he was agile, he could move silently, and he could use Stealth Sense to erase his presence. Rat, a so-called ‘Fast Fatty’, specialized in ambushes by using these three abilities.

He had a reputation for his talent in stealth, especially, where even wild animals couldn’t sense his surprise attacks. If he had been able to use ranged weapons like a throwing knife or a bow and arrow effectively, then he’d probably be in line with Morissette as an assassin.

“You’re slow Rat, the hell were you doing!?” berated Morissette.

He yelled at Rat, the man who just saved him from his predicament.

Rat glanced over at Morissette with a look of sympathy and pity. “…You guys are just too fast,” Rat replied without getting agitated or disheartened. He furrowed his brow slightly at the heaps of fallen corpses around the area. “It hasn’t even been a full minute, ya know?”

Morissette scowled at his remark and held his tongue. Thinking back on it, Rat was right.

The fight with Kei was so intense that he could no longer tell just how much time had passed. In reality only an incredibly small amount of time had gone by.

“…You’re right.”

Morissette muttered a quiet ‘Sorry’ and took a deep breath as he closed his eyes and saw the faces of his dead subordinates.

Just one person.

They paid such a huge price for just one opponent.

“…This guy… He’s too strong,” Morissette whispered, annoyed.

This strange young boy that looked like a person of the grassy plains.

His bowmanship, his swordsmanship, and his strength were all on a different level. Morissette could only think of him as a monster.

—However, his shoulder was injured and he couldn’t wield his weapon properly.

For the harsh losses they took, at least this much damage should be expected, Morissette thought.

Up to this point, in their line of work, Morissette and Rat victimized countless merchants’ caravan guards with their surprise attack.

However, Rat preferred to not use poisons due to a strong fear of poisoning himself.

As far as Morissette could remember, it had been a number of years since Rat’s first strike was dodged. He probably hadn’t used any poison this time either. But, even if he hadn’t killed Kei, his dominant arm was useless. That alone was enough of an advantage.

The sad part was that even if they killed Kei and took his belongings, it wouldn’t amount to much for the hefty price they’d paid.

—Simply killing Kei wouldn’t be enough to satisfy him anymore.

For his subordinates’ revenge and to satisfy his own anger, he decided to kill Kei as painfully as possible.

After finishing his silent prayer for his subordinates, he turned to sneer at his unsightly enemy. Now for the first step.

At that moment, he noticed a sound like meat frying on metal.

“Itteeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!![1]”

Japanese. Screaming.

It was a scream with all of one’s strength, strong and loud enough to shake the very air. In front of Morissette, Kei screamed as something like white vapor vigorously rose from his right shoulder.

Naturally, both Morissette’s and Rat’s jaws dropped and eyes widened at the sudden situation.

Kei was oblivious to them as he spasmed and trembled, screaming in extreme pain. But such words couldn’t even begin to describe how it felt.

It was as if salt was rubbed into his wound and each cell was popped by a needle one by one.

It felt like his flesh was being bored out by a file, ground up, and then his nerves were being pulled out by red hot tongs.

His anger, his hatred, and his impatience were all blown far, far away. He roared. It was painful enough to make his vision go white.

In Kei’s left hand was an empty glass bottle.

It was a High Potion.

It was the remaining portion of when Aileen cut her own hand to test the effects since arriving here and setting up camp.

While Morissette and Rat had been conversing, Kei reached into his pouch, pulled out the bottle and dumped it all on his shoulder.

Using potions to recover during odd moments was common among some of the top players. However, the already scarce potions in the game were even scarcer in this world. The fact that Morissette and Rat’s attitudes became so confident after his shoulder was wounded proved it.

“Guuooooooaaahhhh!”

The refreshing sound of fizzing played like background music as Kei stood wailing dauntingly without even wiping at the tears welling in his eyes.

Morissette and Rat had no clue just what the vapor that rose from Kei’s shoulder was. Perhaps if they had better night vision they could have seen the wound on Kei’s shoulder cover itself with brand new white skin.

Kei’s breathing was ragged.

“…You fucking assholes.” His shoulders moved greatly with his heavy breathing as he glared at the bandits in front of him. Their forms reflected in the pupils of his bloodshot, tear-soaked eyes. Turning all his pain into anger, he shouted, “—I’ll fucking kill you both!”

He kicked off the ground.

The fight had abruptly begun once again.

Kei’s target was Rat, the short sword wielder. Rat had a better grasp of using stealth than Morissette and leaving him to move freely after his recent attack would make him a difficult enemy. Therefore, Kei decided to crush him straightforwardly.

The silhouette of Kei’s cloak hovered as the clear, shrill sound of the transparent glass bottle flying straight for Rat’s face whistled through the air. He hadn’t even thrown the bottle; he’d merely flicked it with a finger. The speed, the bloodlust, and power were all half-hearted, but it was that half-heartedness that attracted their attention to the bottle.

“!”

In the faint light of the dying campfire, Rat reflexively defended with his short sword, hitting the bottle in the air.

It exploded into fragments, several of which hit Rat in the face. They didn’t get in his eyes, but they were sharp enough to cut his face. Rat flinched and let out a, “Ooh?”

“Rat!”

Kei was closing the distance between himself and Rat, so Morissette raised his sword at Kei to try and cover for Rat.

Kei grabbed a handful of arrows from his quiver with his right hand and whipped them at Morissette with an underhand throw.

“Hah!?” Morissette shouted in shock.

The attack had no aim whatsoever, it merely relied on his strength. It was so direct, dodging them all would be difficult to do. With the wood, iron, and fletching as the raw materials that composed the arrows, they were more than heavy enough. In addition, with the good quality of his arrows, simply pushing the arrowheads against flesh would be enough to pierce it. And, they were thrown with Kei’s strength.

Morissette barely managed to cut one arrow down, but there were way too many, so he twisted out of the way to avoid the rest. However, the pain from the cut in his ankle caused him to lose balance for a moment and he almost fell.

That one moment was lethal.

In that gap, Kei twisted as he rushed through the distance and reached Rat. “Guuoooraaaa!”

He roared so aggressively that it couldn’t be for intimidation, and he made a show of raising his right fist over his head.

Rat trembled because Kei was closer to a wild animal than a battle-enthusiast. Despite that, he raised his short sword out of habit, and moved into a stance ready to counter Kei’s straight punch. While Rat’s attention was focused solely on his right fist, Kei slowly moved his left fist and struck Rat in the chest.

Taken by surprise from the impact, Rat’s right hand lightly jumped up. This caused the sword in his right hand to interfere with the one in his left. With both of Rat’s swords out of the way, his torso was unmistakably defenseless.

Whoosh, the wind coiled along Kei’s leg as he drove an utterly merciless kick into Rat’s crotch.

A sickening sound that would make all of a person’s hair stand on end, rang out. Kei’s foot lifted Rat clear off the ground for a moment. It was a critical hit. Rat let out a pig-like squeal and his eyes almost popped out of his head.

Then Rat groaned, the straight punch was coming.

His cheek muscle enveloped Kei’s fist, the bones warped, the joints jarred; Rat’s jaw and teeth were shattered. Furthermore, to finish Rat off, Kei put all of his weight into a heavy elbow right into Rat’s face. Kei had no intention of holding back his pain, anger, and adrenaline; he went full throttle. It was Kei’s full strength in every sense. Rat’s flesh was ripped to pieces and his face was destroyed in an instant. It genuinely looked like the impact of a monster, and Rat, who took the hit, was blown away like a rubber ball. Even after the ground tore him up on impact, he continued to roll. When he finally came to a stop, he didn’t so much as twitch.

 

“U-a-aaaaahhaaahh!!” Morissette’s scream slid out as his face stiffened.

Shock. Hatred. Sorrow. What he felt was none of these, only pure terror.

—Not yet, not yet, I can still… such thoughts flashed through his mind. I can do it, I can still do it.

So he thought since his opponent was essentially unarmed. On the other hand, even though Morissette’s group was wiped out, even though the situation wasn’t ideal, even though his ankle was wounded, even though his heart was broken, for what it was worth, he still had his longsword.

Kei turned his head and set his sights on Morissette.

“A-aa-aaaahh!!” screamed Morissette as he stirred himself to lift his sword and charge.

However, Kei moved to meet him without hesitation.  His movements flowing like water, Kei pulled an arrow from his quiver as he turned to face Morissette, and threw it.

The arrow moved slowly enough that Morissette was able to knock it to the ground with a swing of his longsword. However, Kei was already bent over picking up both of Rat’s shortswords.

He threw them one after the other. Once again, the attacks lacked any real force. Morissette turned to dodge one sword, and swatted down the other as he closed in, but when he saw the next thing Kei picked up, the blood drained from his face.

A bow.

A vermillion bow.

Even in the darkness of the nearly extinguished fire, the vermillion bow gleamed beautifully and glamorously.

An arrow was nocked.

The creaking of the bow being drawn all the way back sounded like the gates of hell themselves opening.

It was aimed directly at him.

It was decided.

Cold sweat dripped down Morissette’s face. So much bloodlust poured from Kei’s body that it felt like the air itself was ready to burst.

Anger. Resentment. Excitement. Ecstasy. Authority.

Kei felt none of these, yet his face unconsciously curled into something close to a smile.

The corners of his mouth were slanted upwards as he spoke, “—What do you say?[1]”

Faced with the question Morissette tried an obsequious smile, but failed. Even so, he said with his almost-smile, “I’m sorry.[1]”

Twang.

At nearly the same time he heard the sound, the arrow shot through his right knee.

“—!” Morissette silently screamed. His kneecap and joints were destroyed and he lost the functionality of his right leg. His leg folded over the wrong way and he collapsed to the ground. “—ah! Oh—!!!” He screamed, his body trembling.  He might have writhed or squirmed, but the pain was so intense he couldn’t even do that.

Kei paid him no heed as he pulled the next arrow from his quiver and slowly nocked it.

He waited for a short time.

Morissette was gasping, unable to get enough air. Kei spoke to him once more. “I’ll give you one last chance. Answer my question.”

At those words, Morissette raised his sweat covered face and stared at Kei while nodding over and over.

“It’s a simple question. Earlier, you said, ‘I have the antidote for the Enslavement Poison.’ Is that true?”

“I-It’s tr-true!” Morissette stuttered as he forced his answer out.

“So then, the poison you used is indeed ‘Enslavement Poison’, right?”

“Y-yes…”

“Swear it.”

Kei’s cold voice startled the trembling Morissette, who reached for the fallen longsword nearby, and grabbed the hilt. “I swear… It’s true…”

“Say that the poison is ‘Enslavement Poison’.”

“O-okay… The poison is without a doubt ‘Enslavement Poison’, I s-swear…” Morissette tightly grasped the hilt of his sword with both hands and spoke as if begging God for His mercy.

Kei was certain that he felt no bloodlust from the sword. In order to use Stealth he would need his mind to be calm, so Kei deemed it would be hard for Morissette to use it now.

With a weapon in hand, it would be extraordinarily hard to lie to Kei.

In 『Demondal』, lying was closely related to ‘bloodlust’.

The bloodlust system was largely divided into two parameters. These weren’t visible numerically, but players still referred to them as parameters; ‘Threat Level’ and ‘Ill Intent’.

Firstly, ‘Threat Level’ was an indication of the degree of danger an aggressor was.

At least in the game, all objects that had the possibility of interfering with a player had a predetermined ‘Threat Level’.

In the case of a person, the value was at its lowest when they had no weapons.

However, if they were to hold a wooden club, a stone, or something of that sort, then the value would increase slightly. And if they held a knife, sword, or something else that was deemed ‘sufficient to kill’ then their ‘Threat Level’ would jump up.

This parameter had a common base for various mobs and NPCs, but it would change slightly for mobs of similar Race based on their physical statuses such as strength and weight, if they used a weapon or their claws and if they had tusks or fangs. Nonliving things, such as falling rocks, landslides, or other natural disasters also had a ‘Threat Level’.

Next, ‘Ill Intent’ reflected how strong one’s bloodlust is. The purpose of this parameter was to largely increase or decrease the predetermined ‘Threat Level’.

For example, if a creature with a low ‘Threat Level’ incorporated a strong bloodlust[2] into their attack, then their resulting ‘Threat Level’ would also greatly increase.

Alternatively, if one had a clear mind and was in a state of self-effacement when they struck with a sword, their ‘Threat Level’ would drop to nearly zero, resulting in them giving off an extremely weak bloodlust.

By the way, happenstance occurrences that don’t have a will or intent to explicitly cause harm, such as falling rocks or natural disasters, were given a flat value for their ‘Ill Intent’ to adjust their ‘Threat Level’.

In addition, the ‘Ill Intent’ parameter was largely affected by the act of telling a lie.

‘Ill Intent’ is, in essence, bloodlust.

When someone tells a lie, their mentality becomes that of trying to deceive someone else, which was treated as malice or ill intent. Therefore, when lying while holding a weapon, the ill intent was made detectable after it was translated to bloodlust through the weapon.

In a case where someone lied while not holding a weapon their ‘Threat Level’ and ‘Ill Intent’ were both low, which resulted in a bloodlust so weak that even Kei couldn’t sense it with his Passive Sense.

There was a method called ‘Oath’ that used this system in the game.

Players would hold a sword or a spear and ‘Swear By The Oath’ when coming to an agreement, proving they were sincere, or possibly as proof that one did not lie.

People called Stealth masters, such as Kei or Andrei the Ninja, were able to swear by the oath while lying at negotiation tables easily, as long as they were mentally calm. However, among the general player-base, it was exceedingly rare that someone could completely erase their bloodlust through Stealth, so the method ‘Swear By The Oath’ became popular. It also gave a cool vibe when saying something like ‘I swear by my sword.’

At any rate, it was valid in the game and was equally valid in this world due to the existence of bloodlust.

In Morissette’s case, he was able to utilize Stealth well enough that regular people couldn’t detect his bloodlust, but with his destroyed leg tormenting him, it would be difficult for him to calm his mind.

Since he had sworn by the oath, with both hands gripping his sword, ‘The poison is ‘Enslavement Poison’.’ it was highly likely that this information was accurate.

“I see, thank you.” Kei nodded slightly, accepting Morissette’s oath.

“Th-then…”

Morissette had a tiny ray of hope.

However, Kei remained silent as he nocked another arrow and raised his bow. “I no longer have a use for you.”
“Wha!?” Morissette’s eyes widened in surprise at Kei’s merciless words. “Y-you said you would spare me…”

“I never said I would ‘spare’ you. I only said ‘I will give you one last chance.’” asserted Kei, his bow creaking as he drew it. “I gave you the chance to come clean, didn’t I?”

“You’re kidding…” Morissette looked into Kei’s eyes. His face paled and his lips quivered. He understood in an instant that there wasn’t any hope. “That’s… it’s wrong…” he muttered.

With a grim expression Kei spat out, “It’s your own fault for deceiving me.”

Twang.

The last thing Morissette saw was a glint of silver rushing toward him.

And then the back of Kei with his bow ready.

Then the illusion of an innocent young girl clad in an angel’s raiment.

A terribly innocent young girl with a radiant smile.

Then he heard the sound of water as his vision was dyed red.

He lost consciousness.

Kei turned and hurried to Mikazuki’s side, leaving the fallen Morissette behind.

The dark brown bowser horse didn’t move in the slightest. Kei fell to his knees beside him, placed his hand on the horse’s neck, and called his name. For a short while he remained silent before cursing and biting his lower lip.

Mikazuki showed no signs of life.

Mikazuki had become an empty shell. He was dead; his eyes remained closed and a small amount of bloody foam leaked from his mouth. Kei’s first thought when he saw the arrow in Mikazuki’s side was that, even if the arrow hadn’t been poisoned it may have been too late.

The way his kidney and liver had been struck, it was almost like that was their target all along. Without several bottles of potions, it would have been impossible to keep him alive for medical treatment.

“…It hurt, didn’t it? I’m sorry,” said Kei as he stroked Mikazuki’s mane.

With the corpse in front of him, feelings of guilt finally began to ooze out, but he didn’t have the time to mourn over the death of his horse.

Kei stood up quickly and looked toward the woods. “…It’s a little far to run.”

Kei furrowed his brow. In terms of stats, he was confident in his stamina, but he could only run so fast. Travelling at full speed from here to Tahfu on Mikazuki would take a little under ten minutes. Just how much time would it take to go by foot? Would Aileen be able to hold on?

He sighed and placed his right hand on the nape of his neck. He felt around his neck for a moment before grabbing a thin chain with his bracer and pulling it across his chest.

At the end of the silver chain was a pale-green, transparent emerald the size of one’s thumbnail.

This was a top quality item that would cost a fortune on its own. Kei let it hang from his right hand and stared at it before switching his gaze to Mikazuki’s corpse.

“…Mikazuki is here, so you should be too,” he said almost as a prayer.

『Mi dedicas al vi tiun katalizilo.』

He whispered the chant as if reciting a script and then kissed the emerald.

Immediately afterwards—

Hehehehe.

He heard a small, muffled sounding laugh.

He couldn’t be sure of where it came from.

Hehehe. Hehehe.

The laugh mixed with the leaves rustling in the wind.

It seemed to be coming from every direction at once.

—Kei—

It was in his ear.

—Vi estas vere agrabla—

It was a sweet whisper that made his earlobe feel like it was melting.

Crack. Countless cracks suddenly appeared in the hanging emerald.

The cracks quickly increased in number and the green emerald started turning white.

Before long, it shattered into particles finer than grains of sand and blew away in the wind, melting into the black night.

After seeing that, Kei faced the empty sky and called out.

『Maiden vento, Siv.』

He took a deep breath.

『Vi aperos.』(Manifest.)

At that moment, Kei felt like something very important was being taken from within his body.

†                 †                 †

 

“Viesta, Granda, Visaniji, Tyuperosouno…”

The room was dimly lit by candles’ flickering flames.

“Viesta, Granda, Visaniji, Tuperosouno…” continued the old woman’s hoarse, monotonous voice.

They were in Cronen’s house in Tahfu.

Aileen lay on the small bed still unconscious and suffering from a fever.

Four villagers were around the bed. Those four stayed wide awake while awaiting Kei’s return.

Anka, the village’s oldest shaman, was one of those four and sat in a chair close to the bed, doing what she could for Aileen’s fever-induced nightmares.

Ever since Kei left, she’d been chanting a healing mantra and carefully wiping Aileen’s forehead clean of sweat with a wet cloth. It was also her job to give Aileen a small dose of the potions left by Kei when her complexion suddenly worsened.

“…Anka-san, are you alright? It’s already very late, and I could take over,” Cronen shyly suggested from near the wall.

“It’s fine. This is nothing, so don’t worry,” she said slowly.

Somehow, Cronen looked a little disappointed as he backed off with an, “I see…”

Originally, Cronen’s job wasn’t to nurse Aileen, but rather to watch over her in case she was one of the bandits. However, after realizing that she was in no way part of the bandits and was actually on her deathbed he’d tried desperately to help care for her.

It was because, out of all the people there, Kei had asked Cronen alone to take care of Aileen. But Anka was caught up in her sense of duty and kept politely refusing his help.

The hunter Mandel, with his characteristically good looking features, leaned silently against the wall, ignoring the two who worried over Aileen as he stared blankly into the empty air.

One could never tell what he was thinking due to his pronounced, chiseled features. However, right now he was more worried about Kei, who went to battle the bandits, than Aileen, whose life depended on the potions.

Since Kei was able to shoot down a bat in the dark it didn’t seem too reckless, but some part of him still wouldn’t settle down. After thinking that, he was reminded of the magnificent vermillion bow that Kei had. From the sound when it shot the arrow, he knew it was a very strong bow. His thoughts veered away from concern as he wondered if Kei would let him hold it once he got back. Once he thought about that, he became concerned for Kei’s well-being, then he thought about the bow again… He was stuck in an endless loop.

“…Haa.” A small sigh came from the corner of the room. A short distance away from the other three, the village leader, Bennett, sat silently staring at Aileen with his arms folded. Such a shame…

Bennett looked sour as Anka gave Aileen the little bit of potion that was left.

Summing up Bennett’s feelings in one word would be, ‘wasteful’. He had to witness such valuable High Potions go to waste delaying the inevitable on a girl dying of poison. If they had this much, then just how many lives could be saved from sickness or injury in Tahfu and even the neighboring villages, he thought, vexed.

Kei said that he would go and ask what type of poison the bandits used, but that was impossible, Bennett thought.

There was the problem of a numbers disadvantage, but moreover it was that his opponents were the infamous 『Ignaz Bandits』. They’d been docile these past few years, but there was a time when simply hearing their name was enough to make even seasoned soldiers flinch. Kei did have a good horse, so he should at least be able to run away, however, if his questioning turned into fighting then he probably wouldn’t be coming back alive, predicted Bennett.

And here potions were being wasted on a single girl.

Such a damn waste… he thought with regret, as he stroked his beard.

Actually, he’d suggested to the other three that they stop giving Aileen the potions not long ago. He proposed they purposely let her die and pocket the rest of the bottles, and in the case that Kei did come back, telling him that all the potions had been used, so there was nothing they could do.

But it was rejected unanimously.

‘That boy will definitely come back!’  Anka baselessly declared.

‘That would be terrible,’ Cronen said without any other reasons.

And then Mandel refused by saying, ‘I would not be able to get away with lying to him.’

They all had their own reasons, but they all had a strong opinion, so he reluctantly gave up on stealing the potions.

Even so…

It was frustrating. Extremely frustrating.

His expression turned even more sour while watching Anka’s back as she gave Aileen the potion.

…Well, I suppose there’s no helping it.

Bennett lightly sighed again, but just as he did, the wind outside blew fiercely. ”Hmm?” But he quickly dismissed it as nothing more than the wind. But, he felt uneasy. Outside the parchment blocked window, something flashed by.

The parchment shook unnaturally.

Something—Cold air came in.

Abruptly, a sudden gust of wind blew through the room with a boom.

“Uuohh!?”

“What the!?”

There were various exclamations of surprise. The gust that entered the room proceeded to unnaturally extinguish all the candles.

The room went pitch black—they couldn’t see a thing.

Or, at least, they shouldn’t have been able to.

On the other side of the darkness, Bennett and the others were on alert.

A young innocent-looking girl dressed like an angel appeared.

“Whaaaa-!?”

“Who the hell are you!?”

The men shouted in shock with trembling voices. But at the appearance of the girl smiling innocently, Anka shrieked, “G-ghoooooost!!”

“A spirit!? This is…?” It was as if she were a phantom or a monster. They vaguely felt that something was there; the thing’s weak appearance and the uncanny sensation Bennett felt made him question it involuntarily.

Then, before the four of them, the smiling girl began.

—En la nomo de miaj abonant oj, mi transdonu lian mesagxon—

Her speech was so polished, it did not match her feeling of innocence.
“Ooh, thank you, thank you…”

“Old woman, can you understand what it’s saying?” Bennet, who didn’t understand a word of what the girl said, asked Anka, who was on both knees while rubbing her hands together in gratitude.

“As if I could know, it’s the spirit language, you know!”

Bennett almost slipped off his chair after hearing her answer. “You’re thanking it without even knowing what it’s saying?!”

“I’m just thankful for such a beautiful spirit coming here!”

Taken aback, Bennett was finally about to retort, but at that moment—

“[Can you hear me? It’s Kei. Anka-san, can you hear me?]” Kei’s voice resounded in the room.

“—Kei! Is that Kei!?” Mandel shouted with his eyes wide.

“[—There isn’t much time so I’ll be brief. I’m having the spirit I’ve contracted carry my message. The poison is ‘Enslavement Poison’. The antidote is the red pill. Anka-san, the antidote is the red pill. Please, one will be enough.]”

“Kei, are you alright!? Where are you?!” Mandel asked in the direction of the girl, but no one, neither the girl nor Kei, replied.

— Jen cio —

The girl only gave those short words.

The wind suddenly howled through the room again.

Silence enveloped the room and everyone was dumbfounded.

“…The red pill!” Anka said, the first one to come back to her senses.

“Cronen! Fire! We need light!”

“A-ah, I got it!”

Following Anka’s orders, Cronen ran out of the room hurriedly and quickly brought hot coals in from outside.

He lit a candle; a light source was secured.

Anka grabbed the small metal box of medicines that Kei had entrusted her with.

The box had three sections with various medicines. And there it was. It was definitely the right one. A red pill.

“Now, I’ll save your friend…!”

Anka raised the pill in trembling hands, parted Aileen’s lips, and gave her the pill along with some water.

In the end, Aileen—…

†                      †                      †

A short while later.

A man covered in sweat came running into Tahfu.

It was Kei.

Being a pure fighter, the recoil from using such magic put him nearly at death’s door, but he immediately sprinted full speed over several kilometers anyway, causing him to come in gasping and feeling twice as nauseous and fatigued.

His cheeks were cut up, his right shoulder was soaked with blood, and his face was as pale as a ghost. The guards on watch didn’t even call for the village leader, they just opened the way without a word.

Kei was staggering as he ran into the village. He ran off the gravel path and flew into Cronen’s familiar, small house.

“Aileen!”

Bang! When the small door to the room slammed open, four villagers crowding around a bed in the dim candle light snapped their heads around.

“H-how… is… Aileen!?” Kei gasped.

“Kei-dono, settle down.”

Anka stood up from the chair next to the bed and grabbed Kei’s hand, who breathed heavily, drawing him to the bedside. “Thanks to you…we saved her.”

Lying there, on the bed.

Aileen lay there with a relaxed expression and the slow breathing of sleep.

“…Aah.” Kei fell to his knees and stroked her hair with a sweet smile on his face.

He could feel her warmth through his fingers. She was alive.

—Thank God.

There were a lot of things to think about and a lot of things to regret, but somehow, Aileen was saved.
“Thank God… Thank—” At the same time that he sighed in relief, he slumped to the floor and was pulled along into the pleasant darkness of unconsciousness.

Afterword

The bandit(?)  section is finally over.

It’s the opening of their trip to a parallel world but it’s already over 100,000 characters (in Japanese)…

It seems that there were a lot of people concerned with Kei not seeing through Morissette’s lie, so I explained how the bloodlust system works.

In Chapter 8 I lightly touched on the subject of needing a weapon, but the explanation was a little insufficient.

The reason that Kei couldn’t see through Morissette’s lie is because Morissette threw down his sword before prostrating himself. Therefore, hardly any bloodlust was released.

chp11 img1

Siv



TRANSLATOR’S NOTES

[1] “—What do you say?”: In English in the raw, conversation between characters is mainly in English.

[2] bloodlust: Most likely this is supposed to be ‘Ill Intent’ but translates as ‘bloodlust’.

 

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Illustrations courtesy of Mr. NAKA. Find him at https://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=4377278 (opens in new tab).

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6 thoughts on “Chapter 11

  1. Pingback: Chapter 11-2 is out! | (NanoDesu) A Translation of the Vermillion Light Novel

  2. Pingback: Chapter 11-3 is out! | (NanoDesu) A Translation of the Vermillion Light Novel

  3. Pingback: Chapter 11-1 is up! | (NanoDesu) A Translation of the Vermillion Light Novel

  4. Pingback: Illustrations now included~ | (NanoDesu) A Translation of the Vermillion Light Novel

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