Mondaiji-tachi ga isekai kara kuru soudesu yo:Volume 6 Chapter 3
ー[Kouen, City of Brilliant Flames], North Side’s Workroom District.
The scene where the “Kamikakushi” occurred was swarming with people.
Located at a certain guest room of a certain Inn along the Workroom District it was in a building that loaned workrooms to outsiders.
The military police squads have locked down the brick-paved streets while Mandra, advisor of [Salamandra], stood at the front shouting commands.
And he gave both a frown and a sigh, upon catching sight of Izayoi’s figure making his way through the crowd.
“……What are you here for? There’s nothing here to give you the entertainment you seek.”
“That’s not true. I definitely see entertainment here. Didn’t a “Kamikakushi” just occur?”
Izayoi laughed heartily while crossing over the railing that was used to block off the area.
The expressions of the military police squad had already been set in a grimace in annoyance but none of them went to stop him.
They had already had a taste of Izayoi’s strength for the past few days and it had long passed the point of annoyance and a sickening repetition to them. Even if they seized him now, the retaliation would be far worse.
“Well then, have you guys found clues on the criminal?”
“No. It has been carried out in the same method but there is still no headway on the criminal’s identity.”
“……same method? You mean to say that this “Kamikakushi” has been a serial crime?”
“Oh right. I can bring you along if you want to see the scene of the crime, but just make sure not to mess up anything.”
Mandra, who had slowly learnt the approach to deal with Izayoi, opened the door to the Inn for the both of them.
Although it was the scene of the crime, the interior of the Inn looked perfectly fine and not a trace of struggle could be seen, retaining the look of a normal Inn on a normal day.
Upon reaching the third story of the Inn, Mandra stopped in his tracks before a room,
“And this room is the scene of the ‘Kamikakushi’”, opening the door to enter with Izayoi trailing after him.
Sure enough, the interior of the room was just as orderly as the rest of the items in the building, having left no traces of struggle, but a trace of life could still be felt lingering in the room marking the recent presence of its original owner.
The overly calm atmosphere of the place made it difficult to believe that this was the scene of a kidnap.
With exception for the characters of “混” and a message on an arrow.
“ ‘游手好闲’…… and the character of “混”. Those are Chinese characters right?”
“Ah yes, or it might also be the name of the technique or some sort of message. But whatever it might be for, similar characters had also been found at the scenes of the other two previous cases. Hence we think that it might be the doings of the same spell master.”
“Oh? And what were the others?”
Izayoi’s eyes started to light up with curiosity.
According to Mandra, the series of ‘Kamikakushi’ had three lines of written characters that looked like Chinese characters.
- 一事无成 
And those were the three lines left at the scenes.
Izayoi slowly chewed on those lines in his mind while frowning.
“……are those the only clues?”
“This is the third person to be kidnapped."
“Oh…… Then is there a similarity in the victims?”
“Well, nothing much is special about them……No, wait, there’s one. The victims to disappear are all young children.”
Hearing Mandra’s casual way of saying it, Izayoi clicked his tongue in irritation.
“……that really is an annoying criminal.”
“Oh? That touched your heartstrings?”
“Yes, it did. Actually, it’s not just a touch but the feeling is more of bringing a saw to the strings itself.”
Though it was said in a joking manner, but the tone of his words had carried an obvious pulse of anger.
Initially just taking interest in the business of ‘Kamikakushi’, Izayoi was now filled with hostility towards the criminal.
Taken aback by the sudden change in demeanor, Mandra asked casually:
“Though it might be a little presumptuous of me, but I never expected you to be the kind to be interested with this sort of things.”
“You are right about that. It’s not my style to impose my feelings of sympathy or judge them to be good or badーBut, even if it’s me, I also have a line that cannot be crossed as well. And this fellow has just broken my first rule. Do you expect me to just stand-by and watch now?”
Izayoi’s words had made clear his stand on the matterーno matter what price it took, Izayoi would want to use his own two hands to bring judgment upon the criminal.
And that made Mandra’s surprise grow even more.
“……the rule that you talk about… Does it refer to the targeting of children?”
“Nope. I’ve always lived with this one rule; A strong power should only be used against a strong opponent.”
A sharp gaze made his eyes glint dangerously as he said his own unwritten rule that was strongly rooted in his heart.
Be it their physical bodies or their mentality, children were unquestionably the weaker group in society.
And it was precisely so that Izayoi could not forgive those people who are stronger for lifting a hand against children.
For Izayoi who was born with an absolute power from the very first day, this was one iron-clad rule to him. And his gaze was one that dared anyone around him to oppose.
“About the case of the ‘Kamikakushi’, I’ve more or less gotten a grasp on the situation. If I meet someone that looks like a suspect, I will use appropriate measures to catch the person. So you guys can continue with the securing of the region for the Convention preparation phrase for now.”
“……Hmph. Then, remember to use my name when you do the reporting and handing over of the suspect. The military police squads should understand then.”
Izayoi raised a hand as he left to signal his understanding. Somehow feeling that taking the stairs would be too troublesome, Izayoi stretched his leg to step on the window frame.
Just then, something on the roof of the next workroom building caught his attention.
No matter how you look at it, the colorful fumes that were puffing out of that workroom’s chimney seemed to be a suspicious ritual being held. The yellowish green fumes were spreading across the clear skies that had nary a cloud for miles around.
But that wasn’t the point.
The one that Izayoi stared at intently wasーa stranger dressed up in a hooded robe that had the character of “混”sewn on it,
“Why? Could it be that now you want our help after saying all that?”
“Well, yeah, sorry about earlier but that seems to be the caseーPlease surround the area below. The ‘Kamikakushi’ has appeared.”
Saying that, Izayoi leapt out of the window like a bullet shot from its barrel.
Traveling at a speed that left his afterimages behind, Izayoi instantaneously closed the distance between himself and that robed guy with the “混”character. However, just like he were waiting for Izayoi to come close, the “混” character flew into the air at the last moment.
The mysterious figure twisted its body and dodged the sudden attack from Izayoi.
Seeing how his opponent had executed such a fine dodge that seemed like a swallow’s flight in the skies, it caused Izayoi to immediately heighten his awareness.
(This guy…… he’s not an ordinary ‘Kamikakushi’?)
Izayoi took on a battle stance on the brick roof.
At the same time, Mandra leaned out from the window frame to shout at him: “Oi, where’s he? Where’s the main suspect for the ‘Kamikakushi’?”
“Hah? What are you saying? The fellow with that“混”character on his robes is standing right in front of meー“
Saying up till that point, he closed his mouth. For he must have noticed the weird look on Mandra’s face as Mandra kept scanning the grounds in search for the person and had not noticed the guy with the “混”character standing before Izayoi.
Seeing that sort of unnatural behavior, Izayoi clicked in tongue in annoyance.
“Could it be that ……he can’t see this guy?”
“Oh, you have quite a good intuition huh? You must be the new guy that everyone’s talking about on the streets?”
The figure of the ‘Kamikakushi’ suddenly spoke up and gave a laugh from under that burlap hood. It would seem that this fellow was a type of Obake(化生) that possessed intellect.
Izayoi was a little anxious as he turned back to look at his opponent and he caught on soon enough.
Although he did not know what kind of Gift it was, but this criminal with the “混”character seemed to be capable of hiding his presence from others. And if there wasn’t a way to counter that, it would be very difficult for others to find the criminal.
Izayoi gave a fearless laugh as he used his forefinger to provoke his opponent with a taunt.
“Well, I know not of what street or alley you are talking about, but if you really care about those kind of rumors, you are more than welcomed to test it for yourself.ー Bring it on, you ‘Kamikakushi’. And watch how I tear apart your lousy and despicable tricks.”
“Heheh, your words are quite big! I must say that I do admire that cockiness, but newbie, I'd be taking you up on the offer then!”
Retrieving a type of scroll from the burlap robe with the“混”character, the person released its string seal to display the characters of “虚度光阴”.
Is that the truth behind the ‘Kamikakushi’? With just the unrolling of the scroll, the colorful [Kouen City] was gradually turned into a shade of black, white and grey and the colors of the surroundings were just stolen with that move.
The sudden change caused Izayoi to be placed in his highest alert.
(This is……Wiping out the colors from the City?!)
If one were to forcefully give a description of that scene, it would be similar to the spray of ink into the air.
However, the strange sight did not seem to end there. What was taken away from [Kouen City] was more than the loss of the brilliance and colors for even the movements of the residents had also been frozen.
“Heaheheheh! What’s the matter now, newbie?! Don’t just stand there in a daze! I had been a little cautious about you after hearing that you managed to impress that Saurian Demon King but it seems like you are just another small fry! No, actually it’s really lucky for me to find such a nice duck!!”
The “混”character guy held his sides as he laughed loudly. Judging from his words and actions, it would seem that his technique was supposed to freeze Izayoi’s movements. And Izayoi had only played along by holding still to try figure out the technique activation.
(I see. This black and white world is the result of “虚度光阴”……?)
“虚度光阴”is a Chinese idiom that has the meaning of ‘spending time by idling and achieving nothing in the end’. In terms of the meaning, it was much lazier than the Japanese proverb of ‘Time flies like an arrow’. And in Chinese, the “混”character also has a similar meaning.
The “混”character in Japanese is usually used to in conjunction with another character 混合 and it means to mix and combine. But in Chinese, such a phrase can also be used to mean ‘not doing anything and passing days just as it is’.”
Collating all these information, Izayoi deciphered the phenomenon of the black and white landscape before him.
(Considering that he stripped away the colorsーthe phenomenon of taking away part of the light spectrum, we can safely assume that he used some sort of technique to cause time to stop. But from how this scene is playing out, the metaphorical appearance should also be taken into consideration as well.)
Standing quietly while using the time to consider the situation from all perspectives. What’s fortunate was that the enemy was still laughing heartily.
(The proverb of ‘Time flies like an arrow’ is used to express the feeling of time flowing pass them. If ‘stripping away the colors’ were to be the appearance of ‘passing days without doing anything’ー then “虚度光阴” will be the Gift that stops the feeling of time in his enemies? Ha, sounds like a suitable Gift for a ‘Kamikakushi’.)
And since this Gift was that strong, it should come with some additional conditions for it to be usable. If only the condition were to be fulfilled by the kidnapping of children, it would explain the serial ‘Kamikakushi’ incidents.
But, such a strong Gift being used only on small children? That was a conclusion that made Izayoi seethed in anger.
He coldly swept back his hair.
“ーHa. As a ‘Kamikakushi’, I guess you can be said to have quite a good technique……But if I were to describe it, it would surely be the worst type of skill.”
The despicable laugh suddenly stopped in mid-laugh.
The fellow with the “混”character had finally realized that his technique had not worked on Izayoi and his laughter immediately became an exclamation in surprise as he backed away three steps while roaring:
“Wait, give me a moment! Why are you still able to move?! You are able to see me right?! If that’s the case, why didn’t my technique work?!”
“Oh?” Izayoi responded to that unexpected revelation.
Following that, a ferocious smile floated to Izayoi’s face as his eyes started to glint dangerously.
“You have just said some interesting words too.”
“Seems to me that the Gift is related to ‘seeing you’ and it then leads to ‘whether your technique becomes effective’…… Hmph. I’ve already guessed your real identity, you third rate Demon Lord!”
“What…… You, you?!”
“Well then, what’s left would be to assess your spiritual power. From the powers of a ‘Kamikakushi’, to be an ape god would be quite good. But oh well, what a waste, calling you that would really be rude to the Gods for no matter how you look at it, you are at most an ape spirit only. If there’s something wrong with my conjectures, I’m all ears, you know? [Demon King of Confusion]-sama.”
In contrast with his arrogant words, Izayoi’s tone had been one filled with his sense of boredom. However, for the figure in long robesーthe one who was called [Demon King of Confusion], that sort of information was equivalent to a fatal blow to him.
“You… You smelly brat……!! Your brains sure work very fast eh?!”
Demon King of Confusion started to retreat stealthily as he was starting to get spooked.
He mustn’t have expected anyone to be able to guess his identity with just those words that he had uttered.
(Psh……seems like the rumors of him being on par with Saurian Demon King are true after all. And it’s better for me to hide now that my trump card technique has been seen through.)
Putting his strength into his leg to step up onto the ledge of the brick room, Demon King of Confusion was prepared to leap off when Izayoi declared with a ferocious glint in his eyes:
“Prepare yourself. For I will get rid of you before the real ‘Kamikakushi’ startsー!!”
The starting sprint that seemed like an explosion caused the footing below his feet to crack with the force as Izayoi charged forth.
Faced with such an overwhelming chase from behind that shortened the distance between them rapidly, Demon King of Confusion could only dodge in desperation. Although he was one of the fallen, but he was still a Demon Lord and his movements were quite skillful and dexterous.
It was not known whether it was Izayoi’s continuous pressing of the attacks that caused the technique of “虚度光阴”to be released, for the colors had suddenly been restored to [Kouen City].
“You….You must be joking! What are you?! Aren’t you just a human little brat?!”
“That’s rude! I’m a pure bred, 100% original human you know?!”
“Don’t take me as a fool! How can there be such a human like you?!”
*Yeah. That’s true.* Somehow, Izayoi felt that many people were agreeing with that question and their agreements were making their way into his ears.
Demon King of Confusion who was now solely concentrating on escaping his pursuer was swiftly bounding along the rooftops while making his way towards the city centre.
Deliberately fleeing to a place with lots of people, he might be searching for the next prey. If that were to be so, he would have to be caught as soon as possible.
A slight smile lifted the sides of Izayoi’s lips.
(This is interesting. A game of tag with the ‘Kamikakushi’? Looks like I have to stay sharp…!)
Izayoi continued to chase after Demon King of Confusion with amusement.
And upon the release of the “虚度光阴”technique, Mandra who had returned to his senses, could only see them off with a stumped look on his face.
ー[Ruby Cave], Underground bathhouse
While Izayoi and the Demon King of Confusion were playing their game of tag in the accommodation sector of the cityー
The five young boys and girls in the Konyokuburo were now in the midst of soaking in the sentō with their bodies covered, after accepting the strong request from Jin and Percher to ‘cover all the portions that should be covered’.
Perhaps it was something along their younger days or maybe it was due to the environment that they grew up in, Jin whose sense of shame had grown with the years and Percher who wasn’t that loose with her rules to allow her naked skin to be shown, they had both reached a consensus for once on this matter.
“……It might sound strange coming from me, but that sure is a complicated relation between master and servant.”
“Stop making a fuzz. If you have an opinion about it, then get out.”
Percher sat at the ledge of the sentō’s pool while crossing her legs. Although this angle seemed a little dangerous, but the parts to be covered were properly covered. The snowy skin with those slender limbs were enough to allow others to imagine her beauty in a few years’ time. Unfortunately, this group of five weren't old enough to understand such a wondrous thought.
Deliberately clearing his throat, Jin asked Sandra:
“Right. Sandra, what was the matter that you wanted to investigate? Does it have anything to do with those two?”
“Hm. I guess we should let them introduce themselves first.”
Sandra gave them a look while giving them the cue.
Rin and His Highness nodded together.
“We are from a Trader’s Community. I’m Rin and this is His Highness.”
“Usually in such a situation, we should say the name of our Community…… But, regrettably, due to the rule of our Community, we cannot tell it to others.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Um. To be honest, we actually specialize in the trading of very dangerous goods. So we only practice the tradition of accepting customers who know of our Community’s name. If Jin wants to know more about us, we hope that you will be able to find out the name of our Community on your own.”
“Oh, I see.” Jin expressed his agreement while feeling a little impressed.
At the same time, Percher was also impressed.
(I see. When put in that way, there wouldn’t be a pressure to say out their Community’s name. The intimate nickname of [His Highness] would also be mistaken as a cover-up for the real name.)
What a formidable move.
Although the aim of the duo had not been figured out yet, Percher felt that this might just be part of their pretense.
“It’s been two years since we met Sandra-chan. It should be the time when there was an internal struggle in the Community to become the successor. It was also the time that [Salamandra] fell to the Five digits right?”
“Yes, you’re right on that. Due to a departure of the successor of choice, Sala, it caused quite an uproar and confusion then. Our community also provided mercenary services and the ones who were dispatched were us.”
“Eh?” Jin couldn’t help but give a small cry in surprise. But that was only to be expected.
The two before him looked only just a little into the early double digit ages, that started with ten. Assuming that they were of the same age as Jin, which is eleven years old, and that they had participated in the internal struggle two years ago, a simple calculation would have told as much that they would have been nine years old or so at that time.
“You guys had already started to participate in Gift Games then?”
“Yep…… This shouldn’t be too strange, right? In the world of Little Garden, not participating in Gift Games would be the end of our survival right?”
“Although it wasn’t pleasant, but it would have been more difficult to survive without engaging in a battle. The Gift Games hosted in the City were all filled with a thick hue of proxy wars. There were economical wars, war on logistics and even those based on religion. As long as one was recognized as a possessor of strength, that sufficed to make a contribution to the Community, age did not matter when it came to the choosing of combat strength for Gift Games.”
The duo had said their thoughts on the matter quite fluently and Jin nodded his head, seeming to sympathize with their situation and thoughts.
“Could it be that you two had already started to participate in Games even earlier than that?”
“Nope. Our first Game was two years ago.”
“……is that so? That’s great.”
“ “?” ”
Rin and His Highness exchanged a look while cocking their heads to one side.
But Jin ignored their small actions and returned back to the topic.
“Then for you two to be here, I take it that Sandra has hired you guys?”
“That’s right. As for the summary of the events……hearing it from Sandra-chan might be faster right?”
Seeing Rin’s look towards her direction, Sandra nodded her head in assent.
“There has been a series of child disappearance occurring in [Kouen City] recently.”
“Disappearance of children?”
Jin repeated her words in surprise. For these sort of cases did not warrant the need for the [Floor Master], Sandra herself, to make a move. Moreover, such cases of disappearance were quite common in the North Side territories.
Sandra might have picked up on Jin’s thoughts as she quickly shook her head to continue her explanation:
“Yes, I know what’s going through your mind now and what you want to say but this serial crime has a high possibility to be the doing of a Demon or Ghost type being and I would say that I’m almost 80-90% certain that……this is a type of ‘Kamikakushi’.”
“Then it should be left to the professional organizations. [Salamandra] also has those right?”
“Of course. They are truly professionals who would have resolved normal disappearances with ease……But the situation this time is different. They are unable to figure out the rules of this ‘Kamikakushi’.”
The roundabout way of explaining caused Jin to be more doubtfulーBut at the instant that he heard the word of ‘rules’, he took a sharp breath.
To have the word ‘rules’, it would mean that it was part of a ‘Game’.
When it came to a Game that required a [Floor Master] to take action, it would then leave only one possibility in mind.
“Could it be that……this is a ‘Kamikakushi’ that is related to a Demon Lord?”
“Mhm. Though it is not confirmed, but if it could be resolved earlier, we might still be able to prevent any major losses.”
Jin nodded in assent. If there’s a possibility that the series of disappearance were related to a Demon Lord, it would then be an urgent matter that should not be left alone. Especially when it comes to the ‘Kamikakushi’ of Demon Lords, for its often accompanied with a strong curse or power that is able to dominate others.
The Game that Percher had hosted previously, [The PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN] had also been a Game that imitated the legend of ‘Kamikakushi’s.
Jin looked towards Percher as he asked.
“Percher, the game of [Piper of Hamelin] had also been one that used the subject of ‘Kamikakushi’s. Do you have any clue on this one?”
Percher frowned as she started to ponder.
“……Have you found the [Geass Roll] yet?”
“Nope. But there were a few characters left at the scene.”
“Characters? What are they?”
Just as the question ended, Sandra had already written the three lines of characters in the air with her flames.
Percher had read the words aloud all in a breath but she tilted her head while making an expression of being unable to grasp the meaning.
“……Jin, what does that mean?”
“That……In a nutshellーit means ‘lazing around throughout the days and not being able to accomplish anything at all’. And all the three phrases refer to the same thing. Well, are those all the clues we have?”
“No, there’s still one more. There’s also a “混”character written on the wall of the crime scenes.”
Rin scratched her head while recalling, and she added:
“This “混”character is the bottleneck to narrow our search. It’s said that there’s a similar challenge letter being sent to the Conference of [Floor Master]s.”
“A letter of Challenge?”
“Mhm. Due to the rude contents in the letter, I will just summarize it. It mainly talks about wanting to attack [Floor Master]s.”
That sort of arrogance to target a [Floor Master] is definitely the style of Demon Lords.
“I see…… that means to say, the letter might be a warning before the Demon Lord’s attack.”
“Well, only Demon Lords would specifically choose [Floor Master]s to launch their attacks.”
Jin crossed his arms and nodded his head as he digested the information given to him from the two of them.
“Hm, let’s tidy up all the information that we have at the moment:
One, The disappearance of children had been a serial incident.
Two, There has been message-like characters of ‘游手好闲’, ‘虚度光阴’ and ‘一事无成’ left behind at the scene of the crime.
Three, Similarly at the scene of the crime, there’s a mysterious message of a “混”character written on the wall.
Four, The warning letter to the imminent attack on the [Floor Master]s had also been marked with a “混”character.
Is that all?”
“Mhm.” Sandra nodded her head.
Listening up to that point, Percher who sat by the said felt a growing sense of foreboding. The reason need not be said. After all, the ones who were the masterminds behind the previous Demon Lord attacks were just sitting before her taking a leisurely soak in the pool.
The culprit of this case was highly probable to be those two as well.
(……Seriously, what could they be up to now?)
Percher slid her eyes over to look at Rin and His Highness from the corner of her eyes. Those two were leisurely soaking in the pool while watching the progress of the situation. That was definitely a calmness that came from the huge power gap.
The problem was that though they were calm, they had yet to reveal a gap of vulnerability to be exploited.
Be it escape or a battle, it would be a different matter altogether if one were to make the first move to decide the victory or defeat. But the fact was that these two people did not allow a chink in their armor to appear for even a moment.
(…….Forget it, if luck’s on our side, we might be able to meet that freak rabbit or freak guy on the streets.)
Percher sank her body into the pool as she tried the optimistic approach.
In other words, she had given up on herself.
Forming her hands into a water gun, she squirted hot water on Jin’s face while giving a sidelong glance at Sandra:
“Come to think about it, was that letter warning of an attack really sent by a demon lord? If it were like the previous attacks where they tried to attack only one [Floor Master] of each area, it would be understandable. But this is going to be the Convention where all the [Floor Master]'s are to gather, don’t you think there might be another reason for the threat?”
“Yes. For example, the person might be targeting the precious Gifts displayed in this [Kouen City] and the [Tablet of the Sea of Stars]. Perhaps it’s a feint to say that they will attack the [Floor Master] when they actually want to achieve something else?”
Realizing that Percher’s conjecture had a point as well, Sandra sank into a pensive silence.
“The warning of the attack is just a feint while it’s actually for another purpose? But we do not have such an important item……”
“Well… there’s one.”
Three pairs of eyes turned to Rin instantly.
Rin who had initially been silent smiled sweetly as she placed her hands on her chest.
“There’s a Demon Lord that is sealed and hibernating within [Kouen City]. And it’s not just any normal Demon Lord. It’s the Demon Lord who only required just a quarter of an hour to destroy the [Highborn of Little Garden]’s City, and can even fight on par with the Juniten.”
Hearing the words that didn’t match up to her sweet smiling face, Jin and Percher couldn’t help but hold their breaths.
“Destroying the [Highborn's of Little Garden]…… Could it be referring to the hometown of Kuro Usagi?”
“And isn’t Juniten the strongest warrior Gods? It’s difficult to believe that such a large Demon lord, that can actually fight on par with them, is sleeping within this City……”
The both of them looked to Sandra as they voiced their surprise.
Sandra nodded her head slightly as she was placed in an awkward position.
“Well… Act… Actually I’ve only first heard of it after becoming the [Floor Master]. It’s just that my father told me that it’s the highest order of secrets that cannot be mentioned to anyone….. Rin, how did you know about it?”
“Of course it’s the rumors of the commercial world. It’s said that word spreads in a scary manner right? This was one of those rumors with a low level of credibility. A Demon Lord that is of the Juniten level would definitely be of the strongest species. And no one would have believed in the rumors that such a monster would be sealed within the city, am I right?”
Rin smiled as she dodged the question.
Sandra’s expression was still unconvinced and worried but it soon became pensive as she gave it some serious thought.
“……shouldn’t be a problem right? The key to the seal had disappeared since three years ago.”
“No, nothingーCompared to that, the words just now cannot be leaked out. Regarding those rumors, I will use my Authority as a Master to issue a gag order on it. Such information must not be leaked no matter what. I think you should know it well that leaking out such information would be punishable. Especially Jin and Your Highness, being the representatives of your Communities, you must be especially mindful.”
The two of them nodded at the same time. Percher who knew that His Highness was one of the Demon Lord Alliance members was now experiencing a turmoil in her heart, but she could not say it out. So she could only quietly continue to squirt her water gun at Jin.
Jin who had ignored her all this while finally pressed down on Percher’s hand to stop her.
“Percher, is it really fun to do that?”
“Seeing how troubled you become, it’s indeed interesting.”
“Yeah, I knew it. Haiz……” Jin gave a sigh and Percher used the opportunity to squirt another shot into his mouth.
……Seems like she’s really happy. Though the person in question might not have noticed it, but every time that she squirted a shot of water, the edges of her lips would slightly curve upwards.
Jin coughed a little before standing up to summarize the conversation earlier:
“Anyways, I’ve understood the situation. We will start by searching for the ‘Kamikakushi’ and if we find something, we will then call upon the military police of [Salamandra] for support. Is that alright with you?”
“You said search…… could it be that you’ve some idea on the culprit?”
“Mhm. Ah, but there’s a possibility that I’m wrong. Can’t say that I’m absolutely certain……”
Jin seemed to have come upon something to start on, but he shut his mouth due to his lack of confidence. Seeing his hesitation, His Highness reproached him:
“Jin, I cannot agree with that kind of attitude of yours. It will only cause more trouble for the people around you. Being the leader of the Community, you should clearly express your thoughts.”
His golden eyes shone with a light that seemed to denounce Jin’s behavior. Those were words that only His Highness had the right to say for he too was a leader of a Community.
Jin clapped his cheeks in self-reflection before urging everyone to leave the pool.
“We will first get outside and confirm the scene of the crime. Then we will arrange to make an appointment with Kouryuu-san to meet up with him tomorrow.”
“Kouryuu……Saurian Demon King?”
Percher asked in surprise.
Jin seemed to shut his mouth in his lack of confidence, but recalling the words of His Highness, he straightened his back to announce:
“I believe that the enemy’s target isn’t the [Floor Master]sーbut Kouryuu-san who has become the acting Master.”
“ ‘游手好闲’, ‘虚度光阴’, ‘一事无成’. These Chinese idioms mean the same thing: ‘lazing around throughout the days and not being able to accomplish anything at all’. If all those weren’t related to the techniques of the culprit but a message left behind for a [Floor Master], the only one that would fit the conditions to be insulted would be Kouryuu-san who has been termed as a ‘Floating withered log’. Wouldn’t this message then be a protest to his ascension to the acting [Floor Master]?”
“In… Indeed. It really fits in well in a logical sense……”
“Wow , that’s amazing, really amazing! Jin has the qualifications to become a Game creator!”
Sandra and Rin clapped their hands happily.
But Percher who was sitting aside was looking at Rin in surprise. If this were a trap laid down by them, Jin’s conjecture would have been an obstacle to them.
(Could it be that this is just to mislead……)
Rin is one of the Game creators of the Demon Lord Alliance. She would not create a Game that would run contrary to her wishes and there must be some kind of catch to this.
But Percher’s anxiety was uncalled for as Jin had already crawled out of the pool to start in the direction of his plan.
“The earliest time for Kouryuu-san to arrive at [Kouen City] would be tomorrow morning. And before that, let’s go have a look at the crime scenes and poke around. Sandra, do you know where are the crime scenes?”
“Of course”, Sandra said as she too got up from the pool to point towards the direction of the crime scene.
“The first ‘Kamikakushi’ occurred at the [Tablet of Sea of Stars]ー the place where the <Duel of Creators> is hosted.”
ー[Kouen, City of Brilliant Flames], Processing Workroom District-Number 88th workroom.
The guy who entered by kicking down the door ーLaiusー stared at Asuka and Kuro Usagi threateningly,
“Damnable [No Name]'s! ……You still dare to show your face before me…”
“Who gave you the permission to smash that back door HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH?!”
Before being sent flying by a punch from an irate Jack. Receiving a critical hit from a fist, twice the size of his skull, connecting into his back, Laius was sent flying and spinning three and a half rounds before sinking into the wall.
The Pumpkin head of Jack was dyed a fiery red as he narrowed his hollowed out eyes while shouting in anger:
“Sheesh. Seriously……How many times must I tell you for it to get into that brain of yours? THIS PLACE HAS BEEN BORROWED! I will be collecting the repair fees for the door and the hole in the wall from you guys!”
“Wa…Wait a moment, Jack-dono! That hole in the wall was caused by you, wasn’t it?!”
The members of [Perseus] desperately tried to counsel Jack on his decision. Though Kuro Usagi and Asuka were quite satisfied by that arrangement.
The leader of [Perseus] ーLaiusー extricated himself from the wall of the workroom and he shouted back even though blood still flowed down from his mouth and nose.
“That hurts….Don’t joke around now, you country Bumpkin…!!! Try that one more time and I will smash your hollow head!!!”
“Hey, next time when you say those words, at least do your best to recall how many times you have been sent flying, will ya? Even if I use all the fingers on both hands, it wouldn’t be enough to count all those times you know……And mind you, I’m not some country Bumpkin. I’m warning you. If you say that one more time, I will make sure that your head split open like a melon.”
“Oh how scary~Bring it on then, you rotten country Bumpkin!”
“Who are you calling a rotten country Bumpkin, eh? You brat!”
“Please knock it off, Laius-sama! Jack-dono!”
The members of [Perseus] had frantically intervened to try cool them off. They no longer wear the armor for knights but were dressed like a normal blacksmith with a thick and heavy looking set of hand gloves.
Kuro Usagi and Asuka exchanged a quizzical glance before raising their hands suddenly to interrupt them:
“Mah, Mah. Please, you two should cool down.”
“That’s right. Jack, you needn’t degrade yourself to talk to such lowly individuals, it will only smear filth on your mouth.”
“Oi. Don’t you try act like some mediator and snub dirt on my nose on the sly! Come to think about it; why would a mere no name come to possess the Sacred Rare Iron and Diamond Iron Ore, which are metals of high spiritual powers? No matter how you look at it, it’s just a waste of such treasures! After all the one who landed Deen in that state must have been her right?!”
“You… You…… What did you say?!”
Asuka’s fighting spirit was kindled by his words for she didn’t expect for him to speak out the words that she had been conscious about.
Asuka, with her veins popping at her temples, stood at akimboー
“Okay, I accept! I will take you up on the challenge!”
“Wa… Wait a moment, Asuka-san?!”
“Goody, Asuka-san accepted the battle! Make sure you beat him up until his head splits like watermelon!”
“Even…Jack-san as well?”
“WHaaaaaaaht? Mere no names want to take me up on a challenge?!! I think you are too confident with yourself here. You're just a shitty girl who’s stupid and old-fashioned. The time has come for you to fall from that height to die a horrible death! You want a piece of me?! Then, let’s get moving! I will show you how I make quick work out of the three of you at the same time!”
“Oi! Everyone knock it offffffff!!!!!!!!!!” The sounds of thunder roared together with Kuro Usagi’s shout.
And the windows of the borrowed No.88 workroom were shattered by the violent lightning and the shockwaves that followed, causing the candle lights to crack into fragments from the secondary and tertiary waves similar to the aftershocks of a natural disaster.
“Uu Uu……The [Vajra Replica] which had already been half destroyed is now completely destroyed.”
The rabbit ears of Kuro Usagi drooped and she hung her head low while sobbing.
The [Vajra Replica], which she had retrieved after the battle in [Underwood], had already been half destroyed due to its inability to handle the heat and charge released from its true form.
Kuro Usagi had released the Divinity given to it to use it as [Indra’s spear Vajra]. But the weapon had also been destroyed due to the inability to handle the sudden injection of power into it.
Feeling ashamed for having acted so immaturely, Jack lightly patted Kuro Usagi’s shoulder.
“I’m… I’m really sorry about that, Kuro Usagi-dono. Please cheer up. If time permits, please let me do the repairs for you.”
“Is…. Is that for real?”
“Yeah. I will even do it at a price negotiable by our relation as allies in the Alliance too♪”
Kuro Usagi’s face immediately brightened up at that as she started to sway her rabbit ears in joy.
But the duo behind her were still locked in a staring showdown and were in the midst of a hostile atmosphere. Though they were much more obedient after Kuro Usagi’s forceful intervention, it seemed that there wasn’t any letting up in their attitudes. Such an atmosphere wasn’t conducive for the discussion to form an Alliance.
Asuka sighed as she scratched her hair while spitting her words in disgust: “…. This sure is unbelievable. Never did it cross my mind that [Perseus] would be the last Community to join the Alliance.”
“Those are the words that you have taken from my mouth. Of all people to choose, we have to ally with those [No Name]'s? Hah, don’t joke with me. Joining up with some robbers or hooligans would also be more constructive than this.”
“Ararara. Then for [Perseus], that lost to the [No Name]'s, to the point of being badly beaten up ーand hence getting themselves ousted by [Thousand Eyes]ー to fall to the Six digits, what kind of HIGH CLASS COMMUNITY is it then?”
“Shut up! You smelly bitch……”
Sparks were flying between the two who held a strong sense of animosity against each other. Perhaps it was the thought of the pitiful state that the other had already fallen to, the first one to back off was actually Asuka.
Asuka gave a light sigh as she shifted her gaze to Kuro Usagi.
“Kuro Usagi, you have no objections?”
“The target of our Alliance this time. The various rude acts and his previous attempt to auction off Leticia, aren’t you the least bit bothered by that or even feeling angry?”
For an instant, Kuro Usagi was stumped by Asuka’s words. She must be referring to the various humiliations heaped upon them in the past. If one were to look at all those past incidences, it was definitely not possible for them to be allied under the same Alliance now.
But after giving it some thought, Kuro Usagi shifted her eyes towards Laius.
“Kuro Usagi also have an opinion about the Alliance candidate this time…… But you’ve said something that Kuro Usagi cannot ignore, so Kuro Usagi feels that we should not simply refuse it.”
Asuka also frowned, upon hearing that. Regarding that same line of thought, she was also quite concerned as well.
Laius had shouted loudly earlier about having repaired Deen himself……If that were to be true ーeven if the Alliance arrangement were to break downー they would also want to listen a little more about that matter out of civility.
“Mah. Since Kuro Usagi says so, I will also drop it. But what was that about earlier? Was it really you who repaired Deen?”
“……Hmph. It’s only a simple task for me. We of [Perseus] have been bestowed the Gift of Divinity from one of the [Twelve Olympian Gods], [The God of Blacksmiths, Hephaestus] himself. Using the Gift allows us to work with ores that contain dormant spiritual powers. And that is our Community’s speciality.”
Laius gave a thin smile that was overflowing with pride. Though his attitude was really annoying, the weight of his words were of importance and couldn’t be dismissed as another nonsensical rubbish coming from his mouth.
Kuro Usagi folded her arms to mull over it for a while before giving a sigh after having come to an acceptance of reality.
“……the winged armor parts from the God of Commerce, the Helmet of Invisibility from Hades, bestowed with the Goddess shield that has the Gorgon’s head attached to it and a Harpe that can kill the GodsーNo, it should already be a Harpe that can kill Celestial beings right?……And since the shield had not made an appearance in the last Game we played, it must have been offered to the God of Blacksmiths, am I right?”
[The God of Blacksmiths, Hephaestus] is a Greek god amongst the Olympian Gods who have crafted many weapons and armors. He is a God who represents Fire and manufacturing.
He is also the God who crafted the [Thunderbolt of Zeus] and the [Tripod Automatons] amongst the many other accomplishments in the armory of the Gods. Being the one who supported the Greek mythologies as its backbone.
But Asuka, who stood beside Kuro Usagi, did not seem to catch on to the topic as she tilted her head to ask:
“Hm, what does that mean?”
“It’s said that after [Perseus] defeated the Gorgon, he was bestowed the equipment that consisted of the [Helmet], [Plated boots], [Shield] and [Harpe]. But the [Shield] had been returned to the Goddess……It’s said in the legends that the [Shield] had been fused together with the head of the Gorgon when it was returned. And that’s where the shield of the constellation, [Perseus], resides and the truth behind the [Demon Lord Algol]. As for the one who could have bestowed the technique of fusing the shield and the head……it can only be the God of Blacksmiths right?”
Kuro Usagi recounted the [Perseus] heritage in a fluent manner while Laius started to smile smugly.
But Asuka continued to tilt her head quizzically.
“……?? Hm, which means to say that this young master is actually the descendant of a Great Hero?”
“YES! It’s HIS ANCESTOR who is the Great person!”
“Yahoho! His ANCESTOR really is great!”
“Very well then~, follow me outside now! And make known all those filthy thoughts of yours once and for all! This time Algol and I……”
“ “ “ What a despicable young master.” ” ”
“ALGOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!” “Please stop it, Laius-sama! Summoning a Celestial class being in the middle of the city isn’t funny at all!” A few knights in their working attire had quickly pounced on Laius to pin him down.
Asuka used the opportunity to digest the information on the heritage of [Perseus].
“I get it now. So the Gift of Divinity from the God of Blacksmiths is also one of the rewards for defeating the Gorgon, right?”
“YES! But it’s most probably not the Divinity itself and just of a Divine equipment that can strengthen the ability to bestow Gifts. And with that, it might just be possible to refine high level ores of the Rare Sacred Iron or Diamond Iron Ore class.”
“Hmph, that sort of fact needn’t be said at all! As long as ore-sama here makes a move, such a small thing wouldn’t even need much strength……”
“Laius–sama, you can just drop the act already. If it weren’t for Jack-dono, we wouldn’t even know where to start working on those stuff.”
The male aide tried to persuade Laius.
And Laius rewarded him with an angry stare and a click of his tongue, without raising a hand at him.
Giving a sigh, upon envisioning the bumpy road ahead of them for their Alliance pact, Kuro Usagi suddenly remembered something and she turned to Jack:
“There’s something that Kuro Usagi’s been wondering about…… What’s the relationship between [Will-O'-Wisp] and [Perseus]? If I were to describe what I’ve seen, you guys don’t look to be on good terms.”
“Yahoho…… Mhm, it can be said as a relation of being indebted of sorts. I may have mentioned it before that we of [Will-O'-Wisp] had been attacked many times by [Demon Lord Maxwell].”
“YES. We’ve heard of that before. The feud between your Community and the Demon Lord of the upper Five Digitsー”
“No, that’s already in the past.”
“Eh?” Kuro Usagi cocked her rabbit ears to the side as a gasp of surprise escaped her lips.
Jack continued in a nervous tone.
“That guy isn’t at the Five Digits anymore. It’s said that during the time that we have gone to [Underwood]ー[Demon Lord Maxwell] has ascended to the Four Digits.”
“Four… FOUR DIGITS?!”
Kuro Usagi shouted in dismay.
Beside her, Asuka had also narrowed her eyes as she took on a serious expression.
In Little Garden, the Seven and Six Digits would be called the lower levels while the five digits would make up the middle and from four digits and below, all those would make up the Upper echelon. Although the Five Digits were already counted as the middle levels, the power difference between them and the next level was a difference comparable to that of Heaven and Earth. And that was an accepted truth in this world. In other words, a Demon Lord of the top tiers in the Five Digits shouldn’t be able to easily ascend into the Four Digits.
If it were to be the backing of a [Floor Master], which tend to be of the strongest race, it might still be understandable. But it is rare to see an individual ascend a level on his own.
Kuro Usagi cocked her rabbit ears to one side:
“Four…Digits? For an individual to rise to the Four Digits, it’s already undeniably one of the strongest kind……but it would require a lot of merit for someone who isn’t a [Floor Master] to ascend to the Four digits, wouldn’t it? Or is it to say……”
ーthat he had become the important spiritual power that resulted in a [Paradigm Shift]? But Kuro Usagi had already stopped herself in mid-sentence for it would sound too absurd to be said aloud.
Although this was only a speculation at the moment, but the title of [Demon Lord Maxwell] had most likely been born out of the demon that was speculated to be present within the ideologies of Thermodynamics, which is a sub-topic of Physicsー[Maxwell Demon].
This imaginary Demon had been born after the year of 1860, which is also something that happened in the nineteenth century.
But according to the generally accepted knowledge of Little Garden’s history, the prosperous age of [Paradigm Shift]s that allowed others to break into the upper levels have had happened before the seventeenth century.
And especially after the nineteenth century, the histories branching out from them, had started to split into many various possibilities and the possibilities had grown to the extent where it could no longer be controlled or recorded like before. Then came the twentieth century where the convergence and birth of Gods and Demons have had their boundaries blurred to the point of disappearing altogether. Even if there were records on it, it would only be at the scale of an urban legend. The [Paradigm Shift] that has bestowed Gifts and spiritual powers upon many had already been replaced by Beliefs in the Stronger Religions and that is the situation of the world today.
ーLet’s use this as an example.
[Perseus] is a Knight recorded within the Greek mythologies, having had existed during the BC era. If the spiritual level of [Perseus] were to deteriorate, it might cause the influence of Greek mythology to be weakened in its impact on future generations. And the worst case scenario would not exclude the possibility of being totally annihilated and forgotten.
However, due to the various influences of Greek mythology on Philosophy, Religion and Politics, it opened up many opportunities for them to have a large scale [Paradigm Shift] from their influence. Be it a true story or a story from the myths, they would still continue to appear in all the time-lines IN SOME FORM OR ANOTHER.
Hence those who are elevated to the status of Gods from the collective devotion of Humans will not be able to be killed by normal half-baked means. Since Gods are the milestones of the planet, the spiritual level and power of the individual would then retain the power to resurrect themselves according to the description of the generation that they came from.
And there’s only two ways to kill Gods: to prepare the method to overthrow them in the history that they choose to propagate their followersーor to use a strike that has the destructive power to completely wipe out a large scale of Mankind’s History.
If Celestial Beings were the strongest species that controlled over space and matter with their spiritual power,
Gods would be the strongest species that ruled over the ideologies and eras of their existence with their spiritual power.
(However, there are also those such as <Journey to the west> that have written contributions propagating into the world outside of Little Garden. If one wanted to use the [Paradigm Shift] to obtain a huge amount of Spiritual power, the only way would be to grab a seat amongst the Gods. Black Death(Percher) was a very irregular example that wouldn’t repeat itself as easily as before……)
“Kuro Usagi-san. I know what you are thinking about but that fellow isn’t a normal Demon that can be predicted by means of common sense.”
“What do you mean by that?” Kuro Usagi halted her train of thoughts as she cocked her rabbit ears to the side.
The flames in Jack’s hollow eyes took on a melancholic glow then.
“Although it might sound unbelievable…. It’s the truth that [Demon Lord Maxwell] seemed to have triggered a [Paradigm Shift] after the year of 2120AD.”
“2…2120AD?” Kuro Usagi’s rabbit ears had perked up in surprise at that information.
“Wa…Wait a moment! Kuro Usagi haven’t heard of a convergent point at that time before! To have such a long history of being in the chronology of Mankind, it’s already on par with the civilization that worship the Gods! To have that sort of Convergence point occurring in a Parallel world in that era is impossible! Even if it were to occur, it can only be in the next generation of Manki……”
“No, it’s possible. I had thought the same at first and I had doubts before seeing his power with my own eyes……but after witnessing it for myself, I’ve already accepted it as a fact… That fellow is already on par with the Demon Lords of the strongest species.”
A sense of restlessness could be picked up from the glow in Jack’s pumpkin eye cavities and it did not seem to feel like a pretense at all.
Asuka who knew of Jack’s strength first-hand had also contracted the nervousness as she gave a sigh.
“……Is that so? No wonder you guys have chosen to work alongside [Perseus]. Aside from the fact that he’s an immature young master, it’s undeniable that he possess the power to control a Celestial Being.”
“Oi, who are you calling immature?”
“Yes, that’s the case.”
“At least deny that on my behalf!!! Aren’t we part of the same Alliance?!”
Asuka and Jack exchanged a meaningful look and nodded their heads. While Laius seemed to have cried out a protest, they had just ignored him.
ー[Perseus] was able to call upon the Celestial spirit of Algol.
Though she might have been defeated by Izayoi previously, her power is still one of the undeniably large existences. If one could borrow that sort of power, they would definitely be willing to set aside most of their discontent.
“……Well, I guess there’s that to consider and I might give that some consideration during the formation of the Alliance.”
“Is that true, Asuka san?”
In an instant, her eyes had lighted with anger once again.
“The prerequisite would be for the Leader of [Perseus] to apologize for all the rudeness shown to the [No Name]s previously.”
“Ha…Haaah? Why do I have to do that sort of thing?!”
“Then let’s end it as that. We will find another Community to ally with. Good. Bye!”
Asuka lifted her hand to wave her farewell and Laius’s expression suddenly fell solemn.
Noticing his look, Asuka started to snigger confidently in her heart.
(As I thought, there’s a catch behind all this.)
Considering the character of this man ーLaiusー he would definitely not agree to an Alliance without any conditions that benefited him.
In addition to the fact that [Demon Lord Maxwell] rose to the Four Digits, it should be more so then ever. Without a similarly high return for the high risk, he wouldn’t have been willing to accept such an alliance.
And from how Asuka had seen it, the relationship between the two Communities seemed to be in a manner that Jack could lead Laius by the nose. And she guessed that [Perseus] must have been promised some great returns.
Grabbing hold of that point in mind, Asuka announced in a haughty attitude:
“Well then, what do you say? Regarding the rudeness towards [No Name]s……Okay, let’s just start with you bowing your head to apologize to Kuro Usagi and Leticia.”
Asuka gracefully flung back her hair as she taunted Laius. If he were the Laius she knew, he would definitely jump at that taunt in rage.
However, Laius displayed an unexpected amount of self-control as he replied in a voice quivering with restrained anger:
“……That’s… That’s okay. I will accept that condition.”
“Ara, what a surprise. Looks like the Community might have fallen but you have matured a little as well. Then, what are you waiting for……”
“But I will also have a condition on my end!”
Facing Laius’s challenge, Asuka straightened herself.
“Your tone seems a little forceful. Do you think you have the right to say those words?”
“Anyways, I would have to say this condition no matter what consequences there might be! If the benefits do not go both ways, there wouldn’t be a point in having an Alliance! If I don’t test out whether the [No Name]s have the strength required to join the alliance, how do you expect me to continue on with the talks?”
Laius stood up huffy as he pointed to Deen:
“Using the three types of weapons including Deen, obtain a victory in the <Duel of Creators>. If you cannot do thatーThese three weapons will be mine!”
- [magref notes: outsiders as in those who are not a resident in the North Side Territory]
- [magref notes: It’s both an Inn and a rented warehouse/studio]
- [magref notes: this character has meanings of mix/confusion]
- [magref notes: this one means to be idle but it is a Chinese idiom]
- [magref notes: later there will be explanations… and I’m just gonna leave these as it is lols. They are idioms that will never make sense if you want me to direct translate…Imagine me writing IDLE x3 for 3 of them…]
- [magref notes: ok this is a Chinese idiom, direct translated, it’s to mean that the person is as free and light like a swallow, being able to jump like the use of zzz dunno how to say it in English so I use a Bleach reference? Like shunpo ;P]
- [magref notes: Obake are monster-like existences such as kappas, vampires, zombies,etc that possess magical capabilities. 化生 is a type of Buddhist term, the four types of reincarnations. Wiki defines it as human, animal(oops typed anime at first), ghost and other being… Thanks jorgelotr for the comment that made me check back to try reverse translation to get that term pinned down. ]
- [magref notes: translating Chinese notes : Japanese カモ has the meaning of duck, and also the meaning of having found an easily defeated opponent.]
- [magref notes: can’t see the jap one… so I direct translated this proverb.]
- [magref notes: mixed baths]
- [magref notes: this is indoor bath that uses heated water instead of natural spring waters(onsen)…]
- [magref notes: proxy war means that the smaller Communities take a side for the Larger Community and fight it out… a very nice example would be the [No Names] in volume5 helping the [One Horn] battle against the [Two Wings].]
- [magref notes: yea this sounds really really wrong… but the two copies of text I translate from agree that she did hold her chest.]
- [magref notes: yeah it sounds like a repeat…. Hmmm no idea why as well…]
- [magref notes: I’ve a feeling that I’m not supposed to use the real names again… hmmm, but I dunno what the fake name should be…]
- [magref notes: tripod automatons are actually robot like tripods that transport things up and down from Mount Olympus.]
- [magref notes: ok I think it is ore-sama? Is that what they call as the great me in Japanese? Zzz or do you guys prefer the Limbei Singapore slang? Lols]