Chapter 13

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[PART 1]    |    [PART 2]    |    [PART 3]
[PART 1]
  1. Power

Cheerful shouting resounded in the distance.

Countless white lights twinkled.

The dazzling lights were akin to the stars on a clear night.

The soft ground lay spread out in a twelve by twelve meter area.

This was the stage for fairies to dance.

Tchaikovsky, too, would become one of the fairies in this Swan Lake ballet[1].

Her movements flowed like water to the graceful melody.

Her body moved naturally.

She danced and twirled light-heartedly.

Tap.

She finished her dance.

Wild applause broke out.

With her great performance she naturally smiled.

She let a small, “I did it,” escape.

Everything she’d worked towards had finally been rewarded, she thought as she took in the golden light.

Just as she did, the scene abruptly changed.

She was took a blow to the side.

All the splendid scenery was blown away.

Broken. Shattered. Pulverized.

It was hot. It hurt. Almost as if she were on fire.

She could smell gasoline and iron.

There was broken glass and black smoke.

Her field of vision began to narrow.

A dark room.

The only light came from a computer monitor.

She sat up and held her shortened, rounded legs.

Escaped.

She kept escaping.

From the voice that beckoned her.

She plugged her ears.

The weather is nice, the voice said.

She closed the curtains.

Escaped.

She kept escaping.

To her imaginary world.

To her temporary world.

She wished for her future.

She wished for her past.

She ran.

She kept running.

Her vision blurred in the white mist.

On the other side… on the other side certainly—

—a pure white, calm, “Ai-le-en,” he stared into black emptiness. “A-i-le-en, Roh-a-chev-ska-ya.”

†                 †                 †

She woke with a shout, heart hammering, body covered in cold sweat.

Aileen sat bolt upright, shoving the sheets aside, her eyes wide as she rushed to feel for her legs. She ran her slender fingers over her thighs and down her calves before reaching her ankles.

“…” There was definitely bone and muscle.

She grabbed just above her ankles, and then relieved, the tension drained from her face and remained like that for a short while.

“…huh?”

She finally regained her senses and began to let her eyes wander.

The room wasn’t that big.

Green rug. A chest engraved with a relief. Old books and scrolls lined a bookshelf. Gentle sunlight shown through the glassless window. The view was dotted with simplistic wooden cabins with a verdant forest in the background.

“…Where am I?” She mumbled to herself.

She suddenly looked down and realized that she wasn’t wearing her black clothes, but rather a thin white dress. She ran her hands down her dress she noticed that her bra was gone, but she still wore underwear.

Why am I wearing this? The question crossed her mind as her right hand that was feeling the dress moved to the right side of her chest.

The core of her body reverberated with pain as she had a flashback.

“Ah.” She remembered.

Crossing through the fog; the illusion of the grassy plains; the dim light from the campfire at the foot of the mountain; the coming night; the scenery.

The arrow piercing her chest. She remembered the pain of it gouging her as it was pulled out. In her head it was muddled and cloudy, almost as if it happened to someone else.

However, there was one thing that stood out clearly in her hazy memories.

A voice.

A voice that called her name.

“…Kei?” Alone in the room, she meekly called him.

However, there was no reply. Other than the occasional bird chirping outside the window, the room was silent.

Uneasy, Aileen gripped the end of the sheets in her fists with an expression of helplessness as she looked around the room. Suddenly, she took notice of the door.

It was made of wood and coated in a paint the same deep green as the rug.

She hesitated for several seconds. Aileen swallowed and made up her mind. She got out of bed and made sure not to make any noise. Her gait was unsteady, so she placed both hands on the wall and staggered to the door. Slowly, she pushed it open.

Creeeak. It was louder than she anticipated.

Even though she was scared, she left the room.

It led her to what resembled a living room that was a little bit larger than the other room. In the middle of the room was a large table and a metal chandelier with a design like a tree, hanging above it. There was no longer a rug on the floor; it was a rough timber instead. Compared to the rug, it was a bit dirty. She didn’t really want to walk across it, but she didn’t have many options.

She looked at the window. It was a simple window, and as she thought, there wasn’t any glass. There was yet another door on the other side of the table, but it looked like that was the entrance.

Aileen wondered if she should leave.

She wanted to know where she was, but she was barefoot and she didn’t know who was around in the first place.

As she hesitated, the door across the room creaked.

“…Oh my.” A fair-skinned beautiful woman walked in. The basket she was carrying contained clean and neatly folded clothes. Suddenly faced with Aileen, who stood frozen, the beautiful woman—Cynthia, smiled sweetly and kindly addressed Aileen, “You’re awake now, I see.”

“Ah, um, yes.” Cynthia’s warm smile released a little of Aileen’s tension, letting her move and nod her head somewhat.

“That’s great. Your companion has been quite worried about you…”

“…Companion? You mean, Kei!?”

“Yes, Kei-sama.”

“…I see… Kei is here…”

Cynthia placed the basket on the table and affirmed Aileen’s words as she sincerely smiled. Relieved, Aileen dropped her shoulders.

“Yes. Right now he is out, but he should be returning any time now.”

“I see… Thank you.” Her legs suddenly grew weak with her relief.

She felt—heavy.

“…Do you not feel well? Oh, your body is probably just weak. You should lie down and—“

Before the worried looking Cynthia could finish what she was saying, they heard a noisy crowd of people outside. “Oh my, speak of the devil… Aileen-sama, it looks like Kei-sama has returned.” Cynthia smiled widely when she heard the rattling of a cart approaching.

“Really!?” Aileen’s face lit up.

It was silly, but it seemed like seeing Kei would be better for her than resting right now, thought Cynthia.

Oblivious to Cynthia’s kind gaze, Aileen hastily opened the front door. She cheerfully said, “Kei! You’re—” but her voice fell.

Outside was a dark red parade.

She first noticed the men who trudged along on foot, then the cart as its wheels clattered against the ground, and finally a young man riding a horse.

The young man rode a Bowser Horse and held a vermillion bow in his right hand; it was Kei, no doubt about it.

His bracers and chainmail were dark with dirt, and even at a distance his expression looked grim. He was the avatar that Kei used and the one that Aileen knew, but something was different. Even if she were asked, she wouldn’t be able to answer, but she still knew that something about how he looked was wrong.

—It was definitely Kei. But not the Kei that she knew.

Confused, she hesitated to call out to him.
“Aileen!?” While she was still confused, Kei noticed her and froze. “Aileen!! You finally woke up!”

His previously stern look disappeared without a trace as he nimbly jumped off the horse and ran toward her with a bright expression. He moved to embrace her, but stopped a few steps away from Aileen in her white dress after considering his bloodied outfit, “—I probably shouldn’t in these.”

A few steps.

So close, yet still out of reach.

Just a few steps away.

A distance so close, yet so far away.

They both stood there silently looking at each other. A perplexed smile crept onto both of their faces.

“Um, I… seem to have been sleeping, huh?” she smiled awkwardly.

Kei nodded after regaining his composure, “I suppose so. You slept for almost an entire day, you know. How do you feel? Do you remember what happened yesterday?”
“Hm, I feel… fine, I think. As for yesterday, I don’t remember much after we made a fire.”

“What about when you were hit with an arrow?”
“I remember that. After that it got hazy, almost like I was dreaming.”

“Okay…”

“Did you… use a potion on me?” asked Aileen as she rubbed the right side of her chest, the place where the arrow stabbed her.

“Yeah. Do you remember?”

“No, fortunately.”

Which meant that she didn’t remember the pain of the treatment either. Kei felt a little relieved that Aileen was so nonchalant. Not remembering certainly was fortunate.

He used a potion to heal his shoulder, so he knew firsthand that the pain was extraordinary. It was an experience that he would forget if he could.

The pain from simply healing his cut shoulder was like torture. Just how painful was it to heal a punctured lung from the inside? Even imagining it was frightening.

Left behind by Kei, Sasuke clopped his way over to them, “Bururu.” He closed his eyes and licked Aileen’s cheek as if asking, Are you okay? He flicked his tail around.

Aileen playfully laughed at Sasuke, “Ahaha, stop it, that tickles… wait,” she suddenly realized. “Why were you riding Sasuke? Where’s Mikazuki?”

Kei’s face darkened.

“He… died.”

Surprised, Aileen let out a small, “Eh?”

Kei pulled something out of Sasuke’s saddle and showed it to her. A piece of dark brown hide was folded and tied up.
“The bandits shot him with arrows… I just went back to get a memento.”

He’d made a talisman for his head piece out of Mikazuki’s mane, and he’d taken some undamaged hide from his rear. Kei left the rest of Mikazuki’s remains to nature.

“…I was thinking of getting a purse or something made from this.” He laughed and the corners of his lips curled up into a smile, but he looked like he was in pain.

“O-oh, I see. That’s why you have blood on you… it happened like that, huh?”

“Yeah, that’s why. Some of it anyway.”

Mandel had shown Kei how to skin, but Kei was the one who actually did the actual work. So saying that he got bloodied because of that wasn’t a lie.

“But… What about his ‘respawn’?” Aileen knit her brow.

“Aileen,” Kei’s expression tightened, “It’s complicated, but we’ll save it for later. For now, wait inside for me. I’ll be right there.”

Kei came closer, and in just a few words he whispered in Aileen’s ear, “…It’s been only a day, but this…”

—Is not a game.

[PART 2]

 

†                 †                 †

 

Now clean, Kei sat down on a chair and suddenly began to speak, 『Now then, where to start』

 

They were in the furthest room in the village leader’s house.

 

Kei and Aileen were the only ones in there at the moment. He told the others that he wanted to speak with her and they left the two alone.

 

Aileen sat cross-legged on the bed and cocked an eyebrow when Kei began to speak.

 

『…Why are we speaking in Esperanto?』

 

『I don’t want us to be overheard. It’s just in case[2],』Kei shrugged.

 

『So we’re using it as a code.』

 

『Exactly. Besides English, this is the only language we both know. Just use English for words that you don’t know.』

 

『Alright. By the way, can you use magic?』

 

『Yeah,』Kei affirmed her question. 『It seems that spirits are here too. But, the energy drain from using magic is heavy. It definitely uses your life force. I was close to fainting. Now I realize what it meant when they said that you’d die if your mana ran out.』

 

『That means you’ve used it already?』

 

『…Yeah. Just a little.』He averted his eyes.

 

Aileen wanted to ask him what he used it for, but he didn’t look like he would answer, so she gave up.

 

『——Well, let’s leave the magic talk for later. The problem right now is this world.』Kei stared directly at Aileen and forced the conversation in a different direction. 『I’ve come to the conclusion that this isn’t the game world, but rather a world similar to Demondal.』

 

『…Mhm.』

 

 

『The reason is… Well, there’s a few. It feels too real. Sweat, blood, and everything else has every little detail replicated. Also I don’t think that the NPCs—rather, this world’s inhabitants’ behavior is AI. So on and so forth.』

 

『Hey, Kei. What actually happened last night?』Aileen asked, looking a little worried.

 

Kei gave a light sigh. 『Let’s see…』

 

He summarized his flight while carrying Aileen, the fight against the Hound Wolves, the use of the potion to treat her wounds, and finally their arrival at Tahfu.

 

『In other words, you went right into a village that just suddenly showed up and one you’ve never seen nor heard of?… That’s quite risky, don’t you think?』

 

『Yeah… Sorry.』He had no rebuttal.

 

『Sorry, I’m not trying to criticize you. It just didn’t seem very Kei-like… What happened after that?』Aileen pressed him for the rest.

 

Kei explained how she stayed at the village leader’s home and how they discovered that the problem was poison. He then told her that in order to determine what type of poison it was, he launched a counter-attack on the bandits.

 

Aileen’s face clouded over. 『The bandits… You killed them, didn’t you?』

 

『Yeah… Some of them, anyway.』

 

『Okay…』she said while lost in thought with her head down and a meek expression.

 

Kei didn’t know how to respond.

 

It wasn’t like he wanted her to feel grateful. It was the decision that he arrived at, and to him, it was the best choice. Nothing can change what’s already been done. He didn’t want Aileen to feel guilty about his decisions.

 

He wanted to convey that to her, but he didn’t know how to say it. Even if he did, it probably wouldn’t change how she felt.

 

While he was thinking, Aileen suddenly lifted her head, 『Um… Kei.』

 

『Hm? What is it?』

 

She stared at him with her wavering blue eyes and gave a shy, clumsy smile.『…Thank you. For saving me.』

 

Her words pierced right through him. 『…What’s with that. Well, you know—』

 

Kei smiled and scratched his cheek; a reaction out of character for him. No matter how he floundered, she would still worry about him, huh. Nonetheless, he was able to calm down a little, but he still had no reply.

 

I’m certainly a selfish bastard, Kei thought.

 

Kei folded his arms and reclined in his chair imperiously, 『—Praise me more!』

 

『Woah, your ego suddenly grew! 』

 

Aileen reeled back exaggeratedly, and when their eyes met they both chuckled.

 

『At any rate, for those reasons, I believe that this isn’t a game.』

 

『I didn’t truly think that this was a game, either.』Aileen shrugged slightly. 『With development, replicating reality like this in VR could be possible. But, it’s a little hard to believe that it would happen so suddenly,』she had a distant look as she grumbled and roughed up the sheets.

 

『I suppose so… And unlike the game, it looks like there isn’t any reviving in this ‘world’. Of course. Of fucking course not, but…』

 

For argument’s sake, if anyone could be respawn in this world then killing would be a much lighter matter. However, judging from the villagers’ and bandits’ reactions, that didn’t seem to be the case. Everyone—absolutely everyone, felt the same about death.

 

『Oh… Then we’ll have to do our best to not die…』Aileen muttered seriously as she stared at the scenery out the window.

 

Kei couldn’t help but think that such an obvious thing was a little strange.

 

“…Hm?”

 

The sound of footsteps shuffling closer came from the other side of the door.

 

“—Kei-dono. It’s Anka.”

 

“Oh, it’s just Anka.” Kei stood up from his chair and opened the door, inviting the old woman with her walking cane inside.

 

“My apologies, did I interrupt something important?”

 

“No, no, we just finished talking—Aileen, this is Anka, the village shaman. The one who took care of you the entire time you were sleeping.”

 

“Nice to meet you, it looks like I was quite a bother. Thank you.”

 

“Not at all, please don’t worry about it.”

 

“Not at all, please don’t worry about it.” She smiled at Aileen’s manners and murmured, “…How beautiful.” She stared at Aileen with the tiny eyes buried in her wrinkled face. Her eyes shone with curiosity like that of a child.

 

As Kei helped her into a chair, Anka offered a bag to him.

 

“Kei-dono. Here are the potions you left with me.”

 

“Oh, thanks.” He smiled slightly as he took the bag, remembering the potions they lost. Out of habit, he checked the contents. Inside were a handful of full bottles and one half-empty bottle. It wasn’t a terrible loss.

 

“Looks like the Tanuki kept his paws out of the cookie jar.”

 

“…Tanuki?”

 

“I meant Bennett.” Kei couldn’t resist telling her. If they were left with Bennett, some would definitely be gone. “Speaking of him, he told me that you treated my cheek. Thank you, again.”

 

“It’s no problem at all. It was a salve that I made, so it’s not nearly as effective as a potion…. Should I have used a potion?”

 

“No, that would’ve been a waste. I’m grateful for the treatment.”

 

A potion would have healed a wound this small in an instant, but it could also be used to treat fatal wounds. A salve, on the other hand, wouldn’t be able to heal something fatal. He wanted to express his honest gratitude for her understanding the importance of preserving the potions.

 

“Your praise is undeserved… Now then, Kei-dono.” She cleared her throat and sat up straight. “It is shameful, but I have two favors to ask of you.”

 

“…What are they?” Kei’s expression sobered.

 

He had only appreciation for this sincere and courteous old woman and he still owed her for taking care of Aileen, so if she wanted help with something then he wanted to do all he could.

 

But, that depended on the request, of course.

 

“…The first one is about the potions.” It was difficult to say, but she still said it clearly.

 

So that was one of them, Kei thought to himself.

 

Even Aileen, who was left out of the conversation, wore an expression that said, makes sense.

 

“Injury and illness; they kill people. Death is the inevitable fate of nature—but it’s different when a newborn child has its last breath taken by a fever…” Anka slid off of her chair and prostrated. “This year, there are three women that are expecting. I don’t know how many of their children will survive and grow up. Kei-dono, I know how valuable such a cure-all medicine is, and I would give anything for it. However, please, could you spare even a small portion? Even only enough to save the life of a weak newborn…?”

 

“Please stop, Anka.” Anka had her forehead pressed to the ground, and Kei helped her back up into her seat.

 

Kei let out a stressed sigh while she folded her arms and hung her head shamefully, looking very weak.

 

—The potions are their lifeline.

 

Even in the game, the materials and equipment needed to make High Potions were high class, causing them to be very rare. From the looks of the people in this world, the rarity of potions was even higher, and he didn’t even know the means to acquire them now.

 

—He had to choose between being carried away by his emotions or favoring his and Aileen’s lives. There was no need to think. The conclusion came naturally.

 

“…I’m sorry, Anka,” he said quietly as he let his head fall. “This… We want to hold on to these.”

 

After hearing this, Anka slowly shook her head with a pained expression. “No… From the beginning, I knew. It isn’t something that we would be able to pay for… Please don’t mind it, Kei-dono. It was just a request from a senile old woman.”

 

“Sorry…” His feelings of remorse only grew with her sportsman-like conduct. But, he held out.

 

 

The room fell into silence. With miraculous timing, before the silence could steep, Aileen asked, “…Then, what about the second favor?”

 

“Oh, yes… The other request may also be impudent, but,” she brightened up a little bit and looked at Aileen and Kei. “I would be honored if you could teach me the Spirit’s language[3].”

 

Kei and Aileen exchanged looks.

 

“…What do you mean?”

 

“It’s embarrassing to say, but even as the village shaman, I have little competence with the language of the Spirits. Our village hands down a text on the matter, but I don’t know if it’s even correct.” Then, cautious of anyone else being around, she whispered, “…To tell the truth, no matter how many prayers I recite for my patients, I don’t think there is any effect. I doubt whether or not the wording itself is right…”

 

“That’ll be easy to do if that’s all,” Kei carelessly answered. This request was small compared to the potions.

 

“Truly?! Thank you so much…”

 

Anka looked like she was about to prostrate herself again so Kei and Aileen quickly stopped her.

 

†                 †                 †

[PART 3]

After Kei ended his lesson on Esperanto with Anka, Aileen said she was hungry. He asked Cynthia to take care of her again before leaving the house. Bennett had yet to come back. He was most likely out playing with his granddaughter, Jessica, like he promised.

 

Kei corrected her prayers’ wording, and while he was at it, taught her some helpful verbs, commands, and what kinds of catalysts spirits preferred. She looked ghastly, but she wrote it all down on paper before going home while sobbing with gratitude.

 

As her teacher, he was glad that she was overjoyed, but honestly he felt conflicted. He had no idea how effective the ‘ritual magic’ would be without a contracted spirit, even if her Esperanto was perfect.

 

In ritual magic and other magic, the user conveys their desired goal to the Spirit through their language. Success depends on the magic power and the catalyst offered, that fact doesn’t change.

 

With regular magic, the user’s contracted spirit would answer their call; the difference with ritual magic was that the user wouldn’t know if there was a spirit around, but they would ask anyway.

 

Simply put, ritual magic was unreliable.

 

Spirits existed everywhere, yet they existed nowhere. For example, Kei’s contracted spirit, 『Maiden of the Wind』, could manifest anywhere the wind blew.

 

She was a single gust of wind, yet she was the whole atmosphere. The  『Maiden of the Wind』’s actual name,  『Siv』, was only known to those contracted with her. Originally, she would be aware of all of them as long as the wind could reach them, but to Kei, she seemed to only be aware of him.

 

There was no reason for her to pay heed to just one human’s request in such a vast expanse of awareness.

 

Furthermore, other than using ritual magic to attract a spirit, it was even more important to create a space that the spirit preferred. The problem was that Kei unfamiliar with the process behind this.

 

The NPCs only hinted at the preparation and wording in the game. The player was never actually able to set up an area. Therefore, Kei couldn’t even begin to guess how to do it.

 

That was why Kei taught Anka the catalysts that lower ranked and easier to manifest spirits preferred, which he learned from consulting an NPC.

 

I suppose it’s better than nothing, he thought as he walked the village’s main path.

 

Anka thought that as long as she offered a catalyst and prayed properly in the Spirit language then a spirit might come.

 

Kei just wanted her to think of it as slightly increasing the odds, but after he saw how reliant she was, he started to feel a little guilty that it might not meet her expectations. As he thought of that he reached the center plaza in the village.

 

It was the only cobble-stoned place in Tahfu.

 

At the center of it was a well that served as a mainstay for their daily needs such as doing laundry and providing drinking water. But, now all the equipment taken from the bandits was laid out across the stone in an organized fashion.

 

Those that had nothing to do stood around and watched.

 

The boys’ and men’s eyes shone at the sight of all the rare weapons and armor. The faces of the women said, boys will be boys, as they looked at the men and carried baskets of laundry.

 

Cronen, Mandel, and the rest of the retrieval team still seemed unable to join in the excitement as they were still weighed down by the memories of the bodies.

 

“Oh, Kei-dono. Have you already finished your talk?” Danny stopped checking the equipment, giving an insincere smile.

 

“Yeah. How’s your side?”

 

“Fantastic. The Ignaz bandits’ equipment is as good as expected.” He rubbed his hands together, trying to get on Kei’s good side.

 

“Alright.”

 

Kei nodded calmly and then glanced at the long swords lined up on the ground.

 

…They arranged them so the best ones wouldn’t get taken, huh.

 

He looked to make sure the sword he had his eye on earlier; the one with the highest quality, was still there. It was just a feeling, but there seemed to be too few swords on the ground. Most likely, while he was speaking with Aileen someone took them somewhere. Kei smiled bitterly as such thoughts ran through his head.

 

When he saw the leather armor next to the swords, his expression suddenly changed.

 

—Eight. Eight chest pieces.

 

“What is it, Kei-dono?”

 

“…Danny-dono. I want to ask one thing. Is this all the armor that was recovered?”
“Wha—Yes, this should be it. Precisely eight sets, the same as the number of bodies.”

 

“I…see…”

 

—There’s not enough.

 

Kei realized, albeit late, but he definitely fought ten bandits yesterday.

 

—Did two of them escape? He thought as he fought to keep anything from showing on his face.

 

He considered taking Sasuke and riding back out to the plains to do one more check, but stopped when he saw Danny looking at him curiously.

 

This stubborn man would have never overlooked extra bodies, so he shouldn’t accuse him yet.

 

…At least give me something of the ones who got away. If I even had just one of their knives, I could Track them.

 

Kei stood in front of the orderly equipment, quietly contemplating. “Hmm…”

 

He only had one more emerald, which was a necessary catalyst for his magic. If he had their armor or weapons, then based on the 『scent』, he could find them with 『The Maiden of the Wind』 as long as they were in a location where the wind blew.

 

However, he didn’t know which items were theirs. He didn’t have enough mana or catalysts to just randomly try.

 

Kei rubbed his chin and thought it over, ignoring Danny’s questioning look. He suddenly broke the silence, “…Okay. Regarding the spoils…” He walked over to the longsword he was eyeing earlier and slowly picked it up.

 

Shiiing, he pulled it out of the scabbard. Its weight felt good in his hand. The blade was the right thickness, it was around eighty centimeters long, and it looked like it could cut rather well. He swung it around one-handed to try it out.

 

It made a swoosh sound as it cut through the air.

 

The noisy crowd fell silent as soon as he started.

 

…It’s fast, Cronen thought, wide-eyed after just one swing.

 

…It’s perfect. Mandel contemplated Kei’s limitless strength; the sword stopped perfectly with proper form.

 

“Danny-dono.”

 

“Y-yes?”

 

“I’ll take this sword and the silvers we recovered,” with the sword still drawn, Kei stated in a tone that said he wasn’t going to wait for approval. “In exchange, I’ll give you everything else. You have all helped me quite a lot anyway. Sound good?”
“Wha-?!” Danny went wide-eyed with surprise, because such a proposal was unprecedented. The silver itself was a large sum, but if they sold off the armor, accessories, and everything else, then the income would be an even greater sum. Even the villagers around them stirred and let out surprised sounds.

 

“O-of course! Absolutely!!”

 

“Good… By the way, it might just be me, but it feels like there aren’t enough swords here. Is the blacksmith still working on their repairs? It doesn’t really matter, but I hope that you don’t miscount the coins, Danny-dono.”

 

With Kei’s devious smile, Danny smiled and his face paled slightly as his cheeks reddened.

 

Kei looked up at the sky, dyed by the sunset, and gave a small sigh. “…I’m still a bit tired today. Sorry, but can I leave the rest to you?”

 

“S-sure.”

 

“Thanks. I’ll be heading back to your place Danny-dono, excuse me.”

 

He turned around and began walking the path back, his sword clinking as he put it back in its scabbard.

 

…Not taking the other gear is a bit of a waste, but I don’t have the time to sell it all.

 

According to Danny and the others, in about a week, peddlers would be coming by.

 

It would be ideal if they could sell all the equipment and replace the money they took from the bandits. It could be bad if some of the bandits did get away.

 

The enemy was a bandit group whose name was known throughout the region. Based on their skills in the fight last night, Kei thought they mustn’t have been part of the main force. If that was the case—there was a strong chance they’d want revenge.

 

That equipment… the rings… they could be trouble.

 

He could take some easy-to-carry items, but the rings had a strange design to them which worried him.

 

If those rings are the group’s mark then I might end up being the one that’s Tracked

 

It wouldn’t be strange for a large group to have one or two magicians.

 

Even so, saying, ‘I’ll just take those strange looking rings,’ would be too suspicious. So, the only other choice was to give all the accessories to Danny and them.

 

…Oh well, the silver and the sword isn’t a bad profit. When Aileen is back to normal, we’ll leave the village.

 

In his right hand, Kei gripped the scabbard with force.

 

The bright forest was now dyed with thick darkness by the twilight.

 

Uneasy, Kei ran back to the house Aileen waited in without a word.

 

 

 

 

Chapter 13. Powerful (Afterword)

 

A full day has finally passed. I’m looking forward to everyone’s thoughts!




TRANSLATOR’S NOTES

Swan Lake Ballet[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swan_Lake     It’s pretty famous, but I didn’t know about it, so I put it here just in case :p

It’s just in case[2]: Spoken in English (most conversation is in English, but this chapter there’s a lot of Esperanto!)

Spirit’s language[3]: This is Esperanto, but to people other than Kei and Aileen it’s the language of the spirits.

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11 thoughts on “Chapter 13

  1. Pingback: Chapter 13-1 is out :) | (NanoDesu) A Translation of the Vermillion Light Novel

  2. Now here’s a question: would she be the black swan put on life support with a paralyzed body instead of bleeding out? I can’t remember the previous chapters’ backstory. Huh.

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    • Kei was the one who had been progressive bone Malformation (more technically Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva).

      Aileen seems to have lost her legs to some sort of incident involving a fire, which may have been the causative factor, but may just as well simply have been consequential to it. I don’t recall anything that foreshadowed this.

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    • At that point, I feel that Kei wasn’t 100% sure whether it was game or reality. Assume the worst but hope for the best. Also, to him anyways, the setting is similar to a game, so he made a gamelike decision. Better for your horse to take damage first, than for the both of you to. That way you can gauge the enemies tools. If he had time, then maybe he could have taken longer to pick them off slowly from a distance. But, in the case that it wasn’t a game, and the poison would be fatal and permanent, time was not a luxury he could afford. Better to test death mechanics on your horse then your partner. He may have been the best in the game, but it’s not a game anymore.

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      • And frankly, it was the right call in that situation. The horse is not more valuable then him tanking a hit after all, it is real now. Now, the strategy was screwed and way too aggressive (chalk it up to blind rage of his wife being poisoned to death), but the tactics in were good.

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  3. Pingback: Most Recent Releases (Updated 01/27/17) | NanoDesu Light Novel Translations

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