Maou na Ore to Fushihime no Yubiwa:Volume 3 Chapter 4
Chapter 4: The price of survival
We were safely rescued by the hotel’s personnel a while later.
That the communication device Lilith-san had brought hadn’t broken with the impact of the fall was the silver lining on a dark cloud.
Being around two hours later than Zonmi and the rest, in the end I was brought to my room.
There, before my eyes, was an incomparably pointlessly super-deluxe suite room.
The ceiling was so high that you could play volley ball at that place, and the bed somewhat looked like one for a princess to sleep in, with attached curtains.
The point that personally struck my fancy were the flawless security measures.
The lock looks sturdy, so it should be difficult for Manami to make a night visit  (<-this is important).
The perfect anti-sister countermeasures.
Since, while looking for something to change into, I found a folded yukata inside a chest of drawers I tried changing into it for now.
“How surprising. I’d never thought I’d come to wear a yukata at the Netherworld…”
I dare say this too is one of the achievements of the late Maou.
Lying on the bed like that, I waited for someone to come tell me it was time for dinner.
Checking the time with my cellphone, it’s 8 p.m.
I don’t know if there’s a time difference between the Netherworld and the world of humans, but going by my internal clock, that has the accuracy of a Swiss radio clock, there’s no doubt that it’s time for dinner.
Being guided to the hotel’s dining hall, we took a seat in a zashiki and, like that, we waited for our food.
“Uhehe. What kind of food will they bring in, oniichan?”
“I don’t know, but… Judging from the luxury of the room… Won’t they bring rich-class food?”
“And what kind of rich-class food, specifically?”
“Errrm… What is it…”
As I don’t usually grant myself luxuries, it’s a terribly difficult to answer that question.
“What kind of rich-class food… Kyouko.”
“… Eh? W-w-w-why do you pass it to me!?”
“I beg you! You are the only one I can rely on.”
Zonmi and Iris, who have lived at the Netherworld for a long time, have a slightly off sense of values.
“… Understood. If I have to answer, then I’ll answer.”
Glad to be relied on, Kyouko wasn’t as annoyed as she wanted us to believe.
“Eeeeeerm……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Salted salmon roe?”
“Wait a minute! How come you are looking at me with eyes full of pity!?”
“Kyouko… Poor child…”
“Oneechan… If you were going to go with fish roe, at least make it caviar.”
“Uuu… Being made a fool of by these siblings is terribly infuriating…”
While feeling like that for Kyouko, time flew by.
Has it been around 10 minutes since we took our seats? The maids that appeared before us started to line up dishes on the table one after another.
“Oniichan… This seems…”
“… I see. Is this a joke?”
The meal that was brought in deserved to be called wretched.
If I have to sum each part up in a simple explanation—.
Something that looked like a frog with lots of eyes. Something that looked like a tiny human with grass growing on its head. Something that looked like a goat’s head. A soup with something that looked like a live water strider swimming on it. Raw meat (as for meat of what, I don’t have a clue).
… Since they have an instant effect of loss of appetite, they may be good for dieting.
If we talk about the only thing that looked edible among them, it should be the sorry quantity of what looked like bread rolls served on a basket.
Each serving of cooking brought made Kyouko & Manami & my (world of humans team) bodies tremble.
In contrast with us, Zonmi & Iris (Netherworld team) were keeping their cool.
“Wow. Sauté of hundred-eyed frog… Haven’t they brought something sumptuous?”
“Traditional local cuisine that makes you feel the good old Netherworld culture. It arouses your appetite.”
Since everything up till now wasn’t very different from the human world, I lowered my guard.
I was sure that, on the same roll, they’d come with Japanese style food…
“Then, without delay—bon appétit..”
Minding her manners, Zonmi started chewing on the raw meat before her.
What the heck. It’s too late, but… I feel that’s the first time I truly get what Zonmi being a monster means.
I mean… Raw meat? Don’t you know about fire?
No matter how fine it looks on the exterior, a pretty girl happily chewing on raw meat is something I want to avert my eyes from.
“Monster tamer… Is thy body all right?”
“… Ah. Yeah. It’s nothing. Let’s dig in.”
Since my hopes for the dinner have become nothing, there’s no other way.
Let’s leave the weird things to team Underworld, us team world of humans will go with the safe thing and eat just bread.
When, pulling myself together, I extended my hand to the inside of the basket—I noticed something unusual.
“…T-there’s no bread.”
Strangely, there was no bread.
Looking around in bewilderment, I saw Kyouko and Manami apologetically munching on bread.
“… Ah! Since there were so few, before I knew… Sorry… This was first come, first served…”
“I mean, Manami is a human! I don’t want to eat such a femininity lowering food!”
It seems that while I was nonchalantly checking on the food they were bringing, the four girls have ended up eating all the bread inside the basket, and speaking about my share, there was none left.
“Oniichan. It’s fine. Don’t worry. ♪”
Manami winked at me, who had my shoulders down in dejection.
“Manami… Could it be that… Your own share…”
Will you give me part of your meager share…?
A goddess has descended!
“If there’s no bread, then eat frog!”
I’m an idiot for expecting something from her!
Since it has come to this… I can’t but accept my fate.
Thinking normally, simply missing dinner may not seem a problem, but you can’t make fun of a male high schooler’s appetite.
I’m really hungry from playing at the beach all day long.
“I-I give up being humaaan!”
Instigated by my sister, I made a decision; I cut a piece from the closest frog with lots of eyes (Iris called them hundred-eyed frogs) and put it in my mouth.
What will happen?
It was surprisingly delicious.
The collagen-like eyes that seemed to slide down my throat had a richer flavor than I thought and tasted like freshly squeezed milk.
Sure, they may look a bit like that, but… In the human world there are also strange foodstuff that are considered delicacies.
Going straight to the point, after that, I challenged the Netherworld dishes one by one.
Since all of them were delicious, before I knew it I was eating them with gusto.
To me, who was straying more and more from being human, Manami sent glares of open scorn.
“… Something’s weird.”
I first noticed it after I came back from the toilet.
Something’s weird… With their spirits.
It’s especially obvious with Zonmi & Kyouko.
Zonmi’s yukata is slightly disheveled, and she’s showing a sexy appearance with her bra straps exposed.
Kyouko, also in a similar condition, was even humming.
“Erm… What the heck’s happening here?”
I tried asking a maid that coincidentally passed by.
The maid smiled wryly,
“I reckon they are under the effects of a specialty of the Netherworld, Tengu’s Clear Water.”
“… Tengu’s Clear Water?”
How come they drank such a suspicious thing… Ah!
“Could it be the water that was inside the glasses?”
“Yes. Tengu’s Clear Water, despite tasting roughly the same as regular water, possesses a strong power of magical power recuperation.
Besides, it’s a high-class item that is good for your health, has a relaxing effect and also strengthens sexual desire.
… However, if drank by unaccustomed people, due to the excess dopamine and serotonin secreted by the brain, their consciousness…”
“So, in easy to understand words… These guys are drunk?”
“That’s what it comes to.”
“… I see. Thanks for the explanation.”
What do I do?
Since we’ve almost eaten up everything already, I’m willing to put an end to the dinner like this, but…
The problem here is, how will these drunkards return to their rooms?
Even though we are well acquainted, being nursed by the male me… I don’t know if I will be told off later.
I’ll better go with the safe way and discuss it with Lilith-san.
Set on that, when I turned back.
“… Chiharu… Where are you going?”
I was stopped by the drunk Zonmi (with glassy eyes).
“Where… I’m going to Lilith-san…”
“Again, you’re going to another woman?… So… Do you prefer big-busted girls?…”
Zonmi’s stare grew cold.
“… You don’t have to say it so full of spite.”
“No. You always give some reason, Chiharu… You wander there. You wander here. Isn’t it like you don’t have fidelity?… *HICCUP*”
Befuddled by the drink, she grabbed my arm close.
“Chiharu… You should be more faithful. Once again, returning to the beginning, you should reward me for being your first contract.”
“Reward… And what should I specifically do?”
When I asked, Zonmi looked at me with upturned eyes,
“… Please never ever leave my side… Don’t make me feel anxious.”
She clung to my arm.
If you tell me those things, even I could misunderstand…
“Or else… Am I not enough? You are not satisfied only with me, Chiharu?”
“It’s not like that. Zonmi is there, always helping me.”
Zonmi, while rubbing her cheek to my arm in a good mood, just said.
“Chiharu… I like you.”
Let’s think it through calmly. In this case, “like”… Has the meaning of something like “I like you as a friend” or “I like you as a contract partner”.
Even if it had the meaning of “I like you as a man”, since, as you see, Zonmi is completely wasted, it’s not like she’s saying what she really feels.
In any case… this may be the first time a girl has looked me in the eye and told me “I like you”. Surprisingly, I feel that not even Manami had straightly confessed to me with an “I like you”.
“M-me too… I like Haru?”
I looked at the source of the voice, and there were panties.
“W-what’s the matter, Kyouko!?”
For some reason, Kyouko had entirely taken off her yukata—in her undies, it seems she’s breathing a bit roughly.
“… Somehow, my body’s hot… I’ve drunk lots of water, but… I totally can’t cool down. Uhehe.”
Not knowing that the water in the glass is the source of the heat in her body, to chill out, she drank water once more?
As a result… She has ended up dead drunk.
“Haru… How’s it? How’s my underwear?”
“… No. Nothing special.”
Am I imagining things?
This situation looks like something I’ve experienced before…
“In case something happened during this trip… Hang on, I tried to choose something sexy?”
“I-is that so…”
Certainly, to the Japanese Kyouko, these panties based on pink&black make her seem more adult-like than usual.
I can’t recognize her.
Kyouko’s panties, compared with the quality of her usual ones—.
Have experienced… A quick evolution…
“… Ku! How incorrigible, panties, panties… Was there a big bargain on panties, you?!”
“Uuu. Bargain… It’s true that before I used to buy underwear of 3 for 1000 yen at the local department store, but… I now diligently spend money on my undies!?”
I don’t have a clue.
What the heck are these two talking about?
“… Anyway, put some clothes on right now. Or else, I won’t let you get near Chiharu!”
“Shut up! Be quiet, ghoul! Now it’s my turn! Haven’t you totally appealed to him just now?!”
Turn, she says.
Since when do you have to pick your turn to speak with me?
Somehow, Zonmi has put a “you’ve got a point” face before Kyouko’s claim.
Hearing the strangely coquettish voice of my childhood friend, I got unconsciously nervous.
“Do I have no charm?”
“No. I think that you’re totally charming, but…”
“It’s not like…”
“Then, why haven’t you ever put a finger on me?”
Perhaps, I’m also drunk.
Though they are nasty words even for me, I spilled my true thoughts that I had tried too hard until now to not say to them.
“You are a monster and I’m a human… so…”
The moment Kyouko heard my speech, her face clouded, and she finally showed a smile that just said “as expected”.
“Understood. Haru has been holding back since he thinks it’s unethical for humans and monsters to marry, isn’t it?”
“… T-to be frank, that’s how it goes.”
“But, If that’s the problem, hasn’t it been solved? Since, look, Haru right here is a demon-human crossbreed… Monster, I gather."
How come I didn’t notice something so obvious?
Up till now, I’ve been automatically working to keep my reason no matter how charming as women these girls were, using the racial wall between monsters and humans.
However, now’s different.
Just as Kyouko has said, since I’m now aware that in me flows half the blood of a monster, there’s no need to feel at loss before romance.
Thinking like that, I suddenly became conscious of the girls before me and I noticed my face becoming hot.
“Fufu. It works, it works. Once more…”
Co-could it be that I… Am dancing on Kyouko’s palm!?
This is something I haven’t felt before any other girl… I get an incredible feeling of having lost at being played with by Kyouko.
Right after I thought like that.
With an unsteady gait, Zonmi got between Kyouko and I.
“Wha, I told you not to hinder me during my turn!”
“You can’t, you can’t! Anyway, you can’t! I don’t know about turns and such, but going further… Stop approaching Chiharu and me!”
“That’s… Because I am his very first contract partner! And since I’m his very first contract partner… Chiharu must treat me as the most important! People that came later please leave!”
It seems that Kyouko has something to say to that.
“Who has come later?! You… You know nothing about Haru!”
“The time you’ve know him and the depth of your trust are not related. Being Chiharu’s initial partner… I’m the one who’s able to know Chiharu the best.”
“Humph! Surely it may be as you say and the most important thing is not how long one has known him… But! If that’s what you propose, then the order of the contracts doesn’t matter!”
Kyouko’s remark left Zonmi at a loss of words.
In the end, Zonmi put on a resigned face.
“…Very well. Nephilim. Since you are willing to go to that extent, let’s decide here and now if you are suitable as Chiharu’s partner!”
How has it come to this!?
“As you wish!”
Still in a state of excitation, Kyouko agreed to Zonmi’s proposal.
… Why did I keep looking at both of them without saying a word?
That is, if those two who had the power of monsters seriously battle, the surroundings could get destroyed to the point it couldn’t be recovered, but… Just this time, it’s different.
Zonmi & Kyouko were exchanging blows as they yelled unintelligible mumblings at each other.
Maybe due to the tipsiness, their power was at a cute level.
… Regarding the change of personality when drunk, humans and monsters are alike.
Is this what they call gap moe?
It was moving seeing those two acting with a simple-mindedness usually unthinkable from them.
“… Now that I think about it, Manami has been awfully quiet.”
Looking around, I saw my sister looking down in a corner of the table.
Could it be that, after Zonmi and Kyouko, even my sister is showing a gap moe different from usual?
It’s that usually excessively bold and active Manami.
I personally find it a bit clichéd, but usually willful women, when drunk, are the type who change to the point so meek that it makes you want to protect them… Just thinking of seeing that makes my heart throb, but… As expected, isn’t that wishful thinking?
“Ufufu. Oniichan… Waity. I’ll prepare you wakamezake asap.”
If I think about looking down, I wonder what will I see.
Wouldn’t it be better if you change your character a little more?
Though I’m worried about the drunk girls, my sister's wakamezake alone is not included.
In the end I left the place in the hands of the maids and I got out from there alone.
Where is the toilet?
Having left alone from the dining hall, I was looking for the toilet.
My head was a little fuzzy and my body felt hot.
It seems that the Tengu’s water has got even to me and I felt that my thinking wasn’t working properly.
“… So, why don’t we cooperate?”
A somewhat familiar husky voice.
Softly opening the door of the room the voice came from, there was the unexpected combination of the RisLith combo: Lilith-san and Iris.
“I refuse. I cannot place my trust in demons.”
“Why don’t you reconsider it? This talk benefits both of us.”
What the heck are those two talking about?
From the mood, it’s some serious talk, if I’m not wrong.
“I’ll say it once again.
Please employ the contract ring we’ve especially prepared to make a contract with Chiharu-sama.
If there is someone as powerful as you, a red dragon, at his side, naturally the safety of Chiharu-sama’s body can be guaranteed.”
What Lilith-san is holding in her hand is undoubtedly a contact ring glittering in silver.
What a surprise.
Could it be that like this comes around my chance to make a contract?
“No matter how, I cannot comprehend. Why dost thou obsess to such lengths with that lad?
If he’s a mere chimera between human and demon… But I don’t think that’s reason enough to receive so much hospitality.”
“… I can’t understand either. Weren’t you the one that wanted to make a contract with Chiharu-sama more than anyone else? Why… What do you not agree?”
“It’s deeply unpleasant. What thou art looking at it’s not me—”
Just when Iris was about to say something.
My gaze, while secretly peeping from behind the door, and Iris’s gaze met.
Iris, coming here with her head down, violently opened the door,
“… Forgetest what thou hast just heard.”
She muttered that as she parted.
… Why has Iris refused making a contract with me?
Moreover, what Iris almost said… It’s just a hunch, but it seems like it has to do with her self… I can’t help but feel that there are some deep circumstances.
“Chiharu-sama… You were there?”
“Sorry. I didn’t intend to eavesdrop, but…”
“No. There’s no problem.”
Lilith-san, “fiuu…”, sighing, sat on the couch.
Following her example, I took a seat in front of her and voiced my question.
“Erm… Following the talk of just now… Why does Lilith-san intend to endorse our contract?”
“That’s easy. Your existence is more valuable than you can imagine. Hereafter, it can be supposed that chances are high that bad people set their aims on your body. That’s why, if you make a contract with a being of superior battle prowess—a red dragon, that perfectly means that the risk can be diminished.”
It’s true that, since coming here, I’ve been informed of the rarity of my existence.
“… And why has Iris refused that?”
“Honestly, that was beyond my expectations.
Though this is no more than a personal guess… As the last survivor of the red dragons, she’s subjected to racial discrimination that cannot be compared to that of us succubus… She may have some darkness inside her heart.”
Until I came here, it seems I couldn’t understand Iris’s feelings— having all of her comrades, except her, slaughtered.
Only now I feel I can understand a little.
Since I, too… Have found I’m a monster completely alone, with no one else in the world.
“Chiharu-sama… May I ask you a single favor?”
“… What is it?”
“Please take… These contract rings.”
What Lilith-san handed to me as she said that were, no different from the ones I’m already wearing… A pair of contract rings.
“During this trip, I want you to open Iris-sama’s heart… And make a contract using these rings. I’d say you are the only one that can erase the darkness from that child’s heart.”
“What a coincidence. Had Lilth-san not said that, I’d have asked it myself instead. That request… I’ll gladly fulfill it.”
To shorten the distance between Iris and me.
That—was what I intended with this trip to the Underworld.
If I think about it, when I received the letter from my mother… When choosing the trip members, that happened.
I unconsciously excluded Iris from the list… Thinking back, that was disgusting.
Honestly speaking, I feel like there’s an open gap between Iris and I.
Zonmi, Kyouko and Iris, all of them… As they are comrades met in the same circumstances, this is weird.
With renewed decision, I — put the contract rings I received from Lilith-san inside my pocket.
At the same time, in another place.
This is the threshold between the human world and the Netherworld.
Inside an old tower erected in the middle of a desolate wasteland, there was the hideout of the Black Tamers.
“… Then, even that fellow Noelle ran away back in defeat after being beaten black and blue by Kusumi Chiharu… Moreover, she even released the limiter without the proper authorization…”
The man who holds a speck of doubt on the procedures of the organization—Clarie Shernfelt confronted his own superior.
“…So says the report.”
“Boss… I can’t believe it.”
The man shook his head and muttered,
“Don’t Firsts like Noelle have a power comparable to that of a high class rank monster tamer? This exceeds the level of just talent.
Kusumi Chiharu… Who the heck is he?
Why, being a Rookie, does he hold a combat ability on the level of a high class monster tamer!?”
“Before I answer your question, there’s something I want to make sure of. Clarie… Can you repeat to me what’s the reason why us Black Tamers exist?”
“… Yes. To put the monsters under the total control of humanity… The creation of that Arcadia is our noble objective.”
“… By what means?”
“By bringing forth humans with a combat capability that surpasses monsters… To create superhumans. To insert monster’s cells in the human body, we need to calculate the rate of compatibility with the human body. For that, we used enforce to gather numerous samples of monsters.”
“… That’s right. As a result, we discovered a pattern on the compatibility rate of the monster cells with the human body and achieved a power that transcends humanity.”
“Yeah. Though our numbers are less than those of the IMAthose guys, our individual battle prowess is already superior. It’s just a matter of time until the human world falls in our hands…”
“… I wonder if it’s time to tell you too… But, I called you now in order to tell you.”
After that introduction, the masked woman,
“Everything we’ve done until now, Kusumi Chiharu’s existence has rendered it to nothing.”
Blurted that succession of shocking words.
“I shall answer your initial question. Kusumi Chiharu’s true identity is that of a chimera born from a demon and a human.”
Clarie couldn’t hide his commotion before the masked woman’s words.
A chimera between a monster and a human.
Since the dawn of history, that has been regarded as genetically impossible.
It’s not unusual for a child to be born between a human and a monster.
However, Clarie couldn’t acknowledge the facts before him.
“… I can’t believe it so right off the bat. Monster genes are usually far stronger than those of humans, so the children born from a human and a monster are one hundred percent monsters… Isn’t that what’s widely acknowledged!?”
“It’s mostly as you’ve said.”
The masked woman, after confirming that,
“However, I’m afraid to say that his birth mother is not a regular human.
The Immortal Tamer.
That—is the moniker the Association gave his mother.”
“!? It can’t be… The high level monster tamer that’s regarded as a living legend…!?”
“Yep. I don’t know the details, that’s the only thing I can say with certainty.
Her uncommon magic power let her give birth to a chimera between monster and human… It made such an unprecedented irregularity occur…”
Clarie completely stifled his half-hearted thoughts.
“Just ten years… Had he been born ten years earlier… Maybe that would have not happened…”
“… It’s no use crying over spilled milk. Anyway, wouldn’t his existence be a substantial shortcut to our Arcadia project? What we shall do from here on, do you know without me explaining it in detail?”
“… Yessir! I’ll definitely bring Kusumi Chiharu before you without delay!”
The masked woman chuckled,
“I’m afraid to say that’s not possible.
It’s quite inopportune, but… That lot is currently at the main touristic island of the Netherworld, Grandeel, lodging in a hotel managed by devils.”
“Do you mean… There’s someone among them that has anticipated our actions?”
“Yep. Be very careful they don’t trip you.
Clarie. This time, I’ll let you take five of the First that account for 30% of the Black Tamer’s battle power, except the Soul Tamer.
It’s OK? The battle this time is not only for capturing Kusumi Chiharu… It’s also a rehearsal for the soon-to-be all-out war against the IMA.
You’ve got permission to release the limiter, and even the Level Overlimiter.”
“Yessir! Everything is for the coming of our Arcadia.”
The conflict that is about to happen is unlike anything till now.
The masked woman, believing in the success of her strategy, on the other hand doesn’t plan for everything to unfold without problem… She held half-contradictory feelings.
(… The person who holds the seed for the coming of our Arcadia, it would be boring if he was so easily captured.)
The masked woman, from the throne, let out a daring smile,
(Terribly… Interesting. This time maybe I’ll personally go to the frontlines…)
She quietly made that decision.
References and Translation Notes
- ↑ Yobai. I think I explained it already, but it’s an ancient Japanese custom where a man sneaks inside an unmarried woman’s room at night to have sex. The man doesn’t need to know the woman, the woman cannot refuse, and it was considered at the same level as the current picking up. The only ones who could stop the tryst were the males of the house.
- ↑ Summertime style kimono (traditional Japanese clothing); ornamented ones are usually worn during summer festivals, but more simple ones are often provided by inns, lodgings and hot springs to wear as a housecoat.
- ↑ A tatami floored room or partition they usually have in traditional or Japanese food restaurants (except rotating sushi and the like) where, for extra cash, you can keep your intimacy (opposed to the tables, at the sight of everyone, and the bar, that is, well, the bar, if they have it).
- ↑ An insect that uses its long legs to stand over water.
- ↑ The same “itadakimasu” usually translated as “let’s dig in” or left untouched; I chose this since it goes better with Zonmi.
- ↑ But this is Chiharu.
- ↑ A reference to a quote falsely attributed to Marie Antoinette, queen of France during French Revolution (until she was beheaded) that goes “if there’s not bread, let them eat cake”. Note that the reason the true noblewoman who said that said it was because she didn’t know that cake was much more expensive than bread.
- ↑ Name received by a kind of god or demon, protectors of the mountain, that are either humanoid birds or half-human half-birds with a long nose.
- ↑ Last time I heard of it, there was an idiom that went “Children and drunkards tell the truth”, or something in those lines.
- ↑ It seems that drunk Kyouko tends to add question marks at the end of her sentences.
- ↑ Just under $10.
- ↑ In English.
- ↑ Feelings of loveliness that surge when seeing someone (oftentimes a cute girl) acting in a totally unexpected way (it doesn’t go with their usual behavior or clashes with their appearance, for example).
- ↑ It means “seaweed sake”; it refers to the practice of pouring a beverage, usually Japanese sake, on the naked thighs of a woman to drink from. The “seaweeds” are the pubic hair. There’s a male version of that called “bamboo sake” (don’t know the specific word, but it mustn’t be mistaken with existing “sake made from bamboo”), where the “bamboo” is the male member.
- ↑ Pun lost in translation. Lilith it’s RIRISU. Iris is AIRISU. RisLith combo is RISURISUKONBI, where KONBI it’s short from “combination”, or combo.
- ↑ Read as “limiter”, written as “monster transformation”.
- ↑ From the kanji, it’s the title of the “first batch of test subjects” (but they say “bodies” instead of “subjects”).
- ↑ They always forget Nephilim.
- ↑ Following the previous note, you must take into account that, yes, they are monsters, but both Chiharu and Nephilim are not the same monster as the non-human parent, so in a sense, it’s true.
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