Carole and Tuesday – 01

We are now a sub group(not really)! So apparently this is a thing that exists now.

Thanks to anon for the pre-timed file. I just redid the translations.

If you need raws: 720p 1080p

As with basically everything I do, don’t hold your breath for more, but this episode was nice so I felt it deserved a good release.
Also I’m aware that there is an actual group that’s doing this show, but since there was a kind of badly translated sub file out there before them, having a better option might help give people who were gonna watch it anyways a better experience. Plus the anon who made it kept it in a state that was really easily usable for re-tl.

39 – A Contract and an Oath

My foggy vision slowly cleared up. I was standing at the World Tree, a giant so enormous it took up all of my field of view.

Good, I came back without any problems. Honestly, staying any longer on Earth would have been really dangerous for me.

*bounce!*

“I’m back, Blobsy.”

She rubbed herself on my feet. She’d been waiting for me on this side.

I scooped her up and put her on my shoulder. Exhausted from overuse of magic, I dragged myself toward the Tree’s roots and spread my arms.

“Here they are.”

The souls of the fifty-six secret alpha testers, children who had met their demise on Earth, flew off from my chest. One after another, they were absorbed into the Tree, as if following an invisible guiding hand.

Go ahead and rest, okay? You’ve earned it.

Through the Saplings, the souls of the other forty-three secret alpha testers who had lost their life in this world were already resting within the World Tree.

Except for me, all the ninety-nine children were together now.

No. 01, No. 08, No. 17… there was no way you could hear me now. Still, I wanted to say thanks. For saving my life.

 

The [Contract] I made with the World Tree had allowed me to reincarnate into a demon. I had been granted a new life on this world.

It was all thanks to the powers I inherited from my comrades. If I lacked even one, I wouldn’t have been standing here.

The contract had also granted me more power and maturity for my body. I now had the height and appearance of a fourteen-year old.

[Shedy] [Race: Bunny Girl] [Lesser Archdemon Lv. 1]
・The rabbit demon of Laplace. Trickster and guide of man’s fate.

[Magic Points: 730/12000] 6780↑
[Total Combat Power: 1930/13200] 7460↑
[Unique Skill: <Causality Alteration> <Cyber-Manipulation> <Absorption> <Materialization>] 
[Racial Skill: <Fear> <Mist Form>]
[Simple Identification] [Human Form (Wonderful)] [Subspace Inventory]

I gave up.

Sure, I might have already accepted the fact that I would be spending my whole life with rabbit ears and tail, but that [Race] was still going way too far, wasn’t it?!

And I might have had thoughts about just embracing the inevitable and getting an actual bunny suit, but that was no permission for [Materialization] to do such a stupidly good job. Now I had a weird outfit. I never even wanted it.

The design, except for the skirt, was probably influenced by the images I’d seen of those sorts of bunny girls.

…at least my chest and hips were covered up. Thank goodness I still had enough subconscious shame to stop the outfit from looking too outrageous.

My skirt was made out of layered sheets of fabric, which made it quite puffy. However, once I took out my cloak from [Packer] and wore it, the skirt magically flattened. How convenient.

Right, so [Packer] evolved too.

It turned into [Subspace Inventory] now, which allowed me to use it in human form, too. Turned out the items I’d been storing until now wasn’t actually staying inside my body like I used to think. They were staying in distorted space.

 

I was now a [Lesser Archdemon]. Apparently there was a big-shot called an Archdemon, and my class was based on it.

The World Tree must have given me the information. These weren’t knowledge I would have known otherwise.

However, my class didn’t have Low or High-Rank like before, but a level display instead. Did it mean there were multiple more steps before I could become an actual Archdemon?

Most probably, I wouldn’t be changing like in the Rank-Ups I’d done until now. I would only be gaining more power. I had no basis for my belief, but somehow I knew it to be true.

I had over ten thousand magic power now. Still, it wasn’t enough power for me to complete my [Contract] by my lonesome.

 

This was where my ‘Unique Skills’ came into play.

This was just a guess, but… perhaps my race had changed due to the evolution of my own unique skill, [Reroll].

It had become [Causality Alteration].

I was born with the power to unconsciously cause ‘bad luck’ to happen to other people. They would trip on flat ground. Their scratches would become serious wounds.

My newly-evolved [Causality Alteration] interfered with my target’s karma in order to change an event to ‘the most unlucky outcome’.

But even evolved, my skill was still governed by a chance of success. If the wound in their past was easy to avoid, or if my target was powerful, my chance of success and amount of magic consumed would vary greatly.

Those guards were formerly mercenaries. They were, quite literally, all lucky survivors, so the chance of granting misfortune to their past wounds were over 75% for all of them.

Although the magic consumption really surprised me. To worsen a single wound of a mundane human with no magic and only around 150 combat power, an opponent which might as well be an ant to me, actually took a whole 100 of my magic.

My own stockpile of magic was dropping like a rock just by maintaining myself on magicless Earth. Combined with my attempts to hurt the Deputy Director from a distance, which only had a 12% success chance and which I only succeeded after multiple failures, my remaining magic had dropped to under a thousand.

The minimum combat power I could have was ten percent of my maximum magic power, so I was practically invincible when facing mundane humans. Still, seeing my magic going so low got me a bit worried.

…I mean, I couldn’t help myself. I really wanted to get at least a hit in on those guys.

 

Unlike before, the mist was no longer the real me. My base form had switched over to being the ‘bunny girl’, while I gained [Mist Form] as a racial skill.

It didn’t really change my combat style. Still, if my body was destroyed, I wouldn’t be able to reform myself into mist again like I used to. I’d need to be more careful.

Especially when I would have to take on the whole world in order to fulfill my contract with the World Tree.

 

Everyone, from the people of this world to the corporation, all believed in the same thing. That the World Tree and its Saplings sustained the world with infinite mana.

 

But that was wrong.

Mana on this world was created from the souls of living beings.

As creatures died, their souls were then gathered by the Saplings and then sent to the World Tree.

The World Tree was the maintenance system created by the world of Yggdrasia. Among the gathered souls, souls that had gathered a large amount of experience would be allowed to retain some of it and reincarnate as a higher form of life. Souls not as accomplished would have their experience absorbed by the World Tree, and then reborn as a normal living being.

And finally, souls with only a miniscule amount of experience were completely recycled into pure mana, becoming materials to create new souls.

 

The mana filling this world all came from converted experience of living beings.

The mana kept inside the World Tree and the Saplings were for creating new life.

But the human race of this world was squandering it for their own luxury. The Tree wasn’t able to keep up with the conversion. It even had to begin dipping into the mana storage set aside for creating life.

With less and less new life being born, this world was slowly heading toward destruction.

And now, even another world came to steal the mana. Mana used on Earth would not return. Yggdrasia was, quite literally, having its lifeblood drained.

 

The contract I made with the World Tree was one of Destruction and Rebirth.

The human race had built countries around the Saplings, stealing mana like blood-sucking parasites.

My goal was to destroy the ninety-nine Saplings all around the world. And then, with new, strong souls, the World Tree Saplings would be reborn.

Souls possessing power and purity… I would help my comrades, the ninety-nine secret alpha testers, gain their second lives as the World Tree’s new Saplings.

Their souls had known as much. They still decided to go with me.

 

Once humans lost the Saplings, their civilization would crumble. While individual human thoughts might vary, the countries would surely come to prevent me from completing my quest.

War was inevitable. War between me… and all ninety-nine human countries.

And as Earth was planning to lean on this world to solve their energy problems, they would certainly interfere.

 

I would destroy this world’s civilization, and I would shut down the meddlings of Earth. I would make enemies out of two planets.

I looked up at the World Tree, at the new home of my comrades. Here, I swore an oath to myself.

I shall become the demon of death. The shatterer of worlds.


wxbvbj2g

Link.


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38 – Reincarnation

I was an unwanted child.

My earliest memory was of a fight between my so-called “parents”.

They looked at me with scornful eyes. They vented any and all irritation upon me. They were always yelling. The man called me an eyesore every time he saw me, told me to shut up every time I cried.

How many times he’d kicked me, I didn’t recall. Nor could I remember the number of beatings the woman had given me, even as she screamed “You should never have been born!”

Bruises littered my skin. Every morning, I got a single loaf of hard bread to last the whole day.

Once every few days, I would have a chance to wash myself with the leftover bath water. They threw me out to the veranda at night, and I would curl up and sleep in any empty spot I could find among the mountains of trash outside the house.

Before I noticed, the man was no longer around the house. The woman, mind sick and heart twisted, called me a “demon” as her final words to me. The last I saw of her was her misshapen grin as her hands tightened around my throat.

 

When I came to, I was in a white hospital room. I was fed decent, warm food for the first time.

I vomited it all.

I didn’t speak, laugh, or even cry much. No one would love such a kid. The adults of the orphanage always hit me first before talking. They would take my food away, lock me inside a storeroom until morning, and they called it “discipline”.

What did I ever do?

 

Upon turning eight years old in the orphanage, I finally gave up on being a child.

 

***

 

“Audrey, what’s going on over there? No. 13 had a response, right? Come on, explain quick!”

 

The audio-visual VR device could not share any data that was yet to be digitized. Brian, in the 7th research center, could not see what was going on in the collection facility. Audrey and the staff members heard his voice.

But none could speak. The unnatural sight they saw and the chilly presence they felt had rooted them to the spot.

 

No. 13 was lying there, outside of the suspended animation capsule and connected to a myriad of machines. Her body turned white, as if the color was being sucked out of her, and finally crumbled into a pile of salt.

As if in response, the other fifty-six secret alpha tester bodies inside their capsules followed suit and collapsed into salt.

The voice of a girl faintly rang deep inside the ears of everyone there.

 

“…I’m back…”

 

A white, shining ball of light gently rose up from No. 13’s pile of salt. The salt flew up and weaved around the ball, forming a vague human shape.

Sounds of fracturing glass rang out throughout the room. From the other fifty-six capsules, the salt slipped through the newly-formed cracks and danced around the human silhouette. They gathered, putting details to the shape.

 

Smooth white skin, like porcelain.

Curly snow-white hair hanging to the shoulders, and poking out from the locks were two long, similarly white ears.

Her eyes slowly opened, revealing two pools of blood-red pupils.

She floated in the air, graceful limbs bare to all. Then smears of bloody liquid began to form, staining the pure whiteness. The liquid transformed into a scarlet dress with a black collar and a puffy, layered miniskirt. Black stockings with a hint of red, scarlet high-heels, and red gloves wrapping around sharp claws completed the ensemble.

 

Such an eerie bunny girl.

As the girl leisurely spread her arms, fifty-six balls of light gathered toward her. She tenderly hugged them to her chest.

 

“Can you hear me? What the hell is going on?!”

 

Brian’s voice unknowingly cut through the fantastic spectacle, bringing the room’s occupants back to their own minds.

Hearing the voice, the white girl finally turned her eyes to the humans. Her red eyes narrowed into a cool glare.

 

An electrode rod clattered on the floor.

“…ah?”

Their thoughts could not catch up to reality for an instant. Between one blink of the eye to the next, the white girl’s kick had already taken off the orphanage supervisor’s left arm. The limb was pulverized into dust.

 

“…aa…aaaaAAAAHHH!?”

The stump froze. Despite the lack of any pain or bleeding, the woman still screamed from the terror of seeing her own arm blowing off. As she held the wound with her right hands, the frost spread to her fingers. They shattered, prompting another howl.

“AAAaaAAAArRGGHH!!!”

There was no pain. As the terrified woman writhed on the floor, screaming all the while, the white girl picked up the electrode rod on the floor. She calmly approached, holding down the woman, and slowly pushed the rod deep into her ear.

“Aakh…gah…”

The supervisor woman twitched, once, twice, then finally lay still. The staff members could only watch in silent horror.

 

“…aaaaaaAAAAAAAHHHH!!!”

A woman was the first among the spectators to react. Her terror, no longer under control, made itself apparent with a throat-splitting scream.

With her voice, the other staff members finally came back to themselves. They rang the alarm.

 

“Gah…”

A few of them attempted to escape through the exit, yet in another blink of an eye, the girl was there. Her gloved claws tore their heads clean off.

The other staff members were running about in their terrified panic. A blast of mist from the girl turned them into frozen statues in an instant. The sculptures fell down and shattered.

The room temperature dropped sharply, turning the survivors’ breaths into white fog. Their clothes were soaked with cold sweat.

 

“Freeze!”

The guards showed up, shouting a token warning. The moment they noticed the massacre, they immediately opened fire on the white girl.

The promptness with which they assessed the situation and made the decision to shoot a girl who looked barely a teenager hinted at their experience. Most likely, they were ex-mercenaries hired through the contacts the corporation had in the defense industry.

Three guards stood in front. Running up directly behind them were another five. The bullets grazed the girl. She narrowed her eyes, then pointed her palm at them and made a motion to crush something in her hand. The eight guards suddenly collapsed, blood spurting out from everywhere on their bodies.

What did she do…?

Their wounds shared nothing common, both in location and in severity. Over half of them still drew breath. A man among them, both legs broken, still attempted to aim his gun even as he whimpered from the pain. But his efforts were futile; the meandering mist turned him and the rest of the surviving guards into ice sculptures.

 

“I give permission to deploy the magic weapons!”

 

Brian finally realized something was wrong and connected to a monitoring camera inside the collection facility. He gave his order.

The monster avatars were still in the experimental phase. However, development of guns with carved runes to allow them the ability to use mana was already near completion. The so-called “magitech weapon of the modern world” was almost ready for use in real combat.

To create mana-sensitive material, they would need to store an amount of silver in close contact with mana for nearly two years. Thus, the resources available to manufacture the weapons were still limited, and the guns themselves could not fire in full-auto due to the large amount of mana required for each activation. On the other hand, the runed guns had the range and power of a typical rifle despite shooting 9mm-sized bullets. Furthermore, the projectiles weren’t affected by the atmosphere or gravity. The very first firearm in the world with a straight bullet path.

 

Several minutes later, another group of guards arrived. They were holding strange-looking assault rifles.

The guns themselves were slender. Attached to the underside were small containers the size of a pen case: mana batteries. If they could deploy the mana-operated avatars here, they would already have done so. Unfortunately, operating time was still too limited, perhaps due to modern Earth’s atmosphere, or perhaps because Earth itself had no mana. The other choice of avatars was the old model that used no mana, and this type could only exhibit 70% the physical capability of a normal adult. In the end, the corporation was forced to use real humans for this fight.

 

Though the power of magic-using weapons might vary, it didn’t change the fact that they were effective against spiritual life forms.

Currently, the facility possessed twenty such ‘magic guns’, including the reserve. Twelve guards and six staff members with shooting experience were aiming eighteen of the guns at the girl.

 

“Fire!!!”

Chairs and tables were torn into shreds by the salvo. The moment everyone thought the girl would share their fate…

…she turned into mist. The bullets passed through her without leaving a single trace.

In their shock, the guards even forgot the existence of the guns in their hands for a moment. A white mist blew at them, and from within, the girl leaped out. Once the mist cleared, all that remained were eighteen frozen statues.

 

“…what the hell is that?!!”

 

Brian’s voice leaked out from the VR device. The white girl looked at the camera that was connected to his vision, her rabbit ears swaying as if to say, “You already forgot?” She pointed her palm to the camera and squeezed.

 

“…aaAAAAaaaAAGAAaaaAA! My leg! My leeeeeg!”

 

Brian, who was still supposed to be staying back at the 7th research center, screamed.

He had forgotten. About the fact that in his childhood, he had nearly lost a leg in a traffic accident. Fortunately, the driver had stopped in time, and his wound hadn’t been as severe as it could be.

But back in the present, unfortunately, the driver turned out to not have stopped in time at all. One of Brian’s legs detached from his body.

A disconnection cut short his echoing scream.

 

In the room cold enough that water could freeze, Audrey sat on the floor. Her face had turned blue, her lips purple, and she couldn’t even muster the courage to stand up.

“…No. 13…” Audrey whispered, her voice shivering.

There were barely anyone left alive. Hearing her whisper, the girl quietly turned around.

Clack… clack… She approached on heels that looked more like they were made to gouge out flesh rather than to carry a girl’s weight. The razor-sharp footsteps stopped in front of Audrey. The girl stared at her face.

 

“You recognize me?”

“Are you… No. 13? Why do you look like that? What did you do to the Deputy Director…?”

Hearing Audrey replied with only more questions, No. 13… the white girl named Shedy looked exasperated. She quietly pulled her head back.

“Nothing special, really. Besides… well, you’ll do.”

“Ah!”

Shedy picked Audrey up with one hand around the woman’s neck.

“I have to go back soon. I’m still not strong enough to stay here for long. But remember this…”

Audrey gulped. Their faces were barely ten centimeters apart. She thought she saw dark flames faintly smoldering deep inside the girl’s eyes.

“I’ll come back, and I’ll be a lot stronger then. The demon will come back to kill you all.”

 

Shedy dropped the woman on the ground. The girl casually turned away and disappeared, melting into the thick mist.

That day, the corporation learned of the existence of the demon that would be their enemy.


Author’s Note: The description of her outfit might not be easy to understand, so I made this rough sketch.

If you’re not very good at imagining how she looked and if you’re interested, feel free to take a look.

wafhy2x

TN: Bigger sized image.


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37 – Contract

Surrounded by the towering mountain range was a green giant several times larger.

Just how enormous was it…? While the air here was certainly a lot cleaner than Earth’s, I still could not believe I was actually seeing the silhouette of a tree thousands of kilometers away.

The World Tree… together with the ninety-nine saplings, they served as the cornerstones of this world.

…wait, no, this wasn’t the time to be admiring scenery. That ‘thousands of kilometers’ was exactly what I must cross.

 

*Ratatatat!!*

“Not again!”

More explosive wind bullets appeared out of nowhere. I promptly dashed away.

The militarized monster avatars, driven by secret beta testers, showed themselves. Five black cricket-spiders galloped after me on their eight legs, shooting their spells all the while.

It had been twenty-four hours since my first encounter with the cricket-spiders. They never stopped attacking. Every time they ran out of magic and left, they would return a few hours after. Or just ten minutes, if luck was being particularly uncharitable.

They would just revive if I killed them. They weren’t getting the penalty to their magic like normal beta players, but they should still be losing the amount I drained from them. Yet to the contrary, it seemed their magic was even slightly increasing. Perhaps they were taking turns killing monsters or humans somewhere else.

Even when I was recovering thirty percent every hour, it still wasn’t enough. My current magic was already down to half capacity.

 

I really couldn’t afford to keep fighting them. I stayed as human and ran toward the sea.

I was ‘the demon of tempestuous mist that ravages the northern seas’, so I could cross the ocean just fine if I turned to mist here. But with the threat of wind bullets looming behind me, I didn’t dare.

Flight as a human was possible too, but keeping it up for long hours would be rough on me, plus I’d lose a lot of my maneuverability. So I decided to just run on the water.

The mist from my feet froze the waves with each step I took.

Not very stable footing, but it would suffice. I kept up my speed. Their attempts to follow me ended in shattered ice and drowning spiders.

Really… were they even using their eyes? Why did they think my ice could support their weight?

Six days of borrowed time left.

Considering I’d have to cross the ocean, the mountain range, then another strip of ocean to reach the Central Island where the World Tree was, I was cutting it really close.

 

I kept on running on the frozen path for a whole day and night. As I expected, the sea had stopped any further attacks. Still, I had to constantly create mist, so I didn’t recover all that much magic.

Perhaps I should just accept the loss of secrecy and go all-out as flying mist? I couldn’t decide. Especially when there were still drones watching me from beyond my attack range even now.

A giant shark attacked me on the way. I kept up my speed, leaving behind a sinking frozen fish.

Four days of borrowed time left.

I could finally see the shore. The regions around the World Tree and its Saplings generally had mild climate and an abundance of greenery, yet the mountains here had nothing but precipitous cliffs, its rock face permitting no life.

 

“Damn it!”

So this was why the secret beta testers didn’t attack me on the ocean. They were setting up an ambush here! Over forty cricket spiders were occupying the relatively more level areas of the shoreline, waiting for my arrival.

The ten foremost spiders fired their wind bullets in unison. I immediately stopped creating mist and dove into the ocean.

I supposed it wasn’t time to worry about keeping secrets, then…

With the full strength of my magic, I carved out an enormous chunk of frozen ocean to throw at them. They immediately blew it apart. I fully transformed into mist, blasting through the ice fragments and their ambush. I left behind several spider popsicles as I began climbing the mountain.

 

But there was a surprise waiting for me. A surprise that, I was convinced, was also unknown to the secret beta testers.

There was a reason why no one ever reached the World Tree without following the official path. The mountains itself rejected all intruders.

 

***

 

Of the secret alpha testers, the survivors with broken psyches were being kept and monitored in a separate facility. The comatose children were lying still within fifty-seven suspended animation capsules. Audrey was there in front of them, connected to her audio-visual VR set. She was in a call with Brian, who was still staying back at the 7th research center.

 

“Hahahhah, unbelievable! So she truly was connected to No. 13! I just saw our little bunny turn into the mist monster, hahahahaaah! Audrey, what about your side?!”

She coolly began her report.

“No. 13 still hasn’t shown any responses, and neither have the other subjects. Also, the supervisor of the orphanage that No. 13 used to stay in has arrived as per your invitation. How shall we proceed?”

“Oh, she’s there already? She should be quite familiar with No. 13, so I invited her for another point of view. Feel free to talk to her. Let’s see, so No. 13’s still unresponsive…”

“Then I will continue my observation.”

 

Audrey cut off the visual feed and returned her eyes to reality. Turning around, she saw a woman around fifty with heavy makeup slurping some coffee, while making herself very comfortable. She turned her smirk to Audrey.

“Done with the Deputy Director’s call? Yes, that’s right, no one in the world knows that girl more than me! The ‘demon child’ used to be such a brat when she first joined up. Nothing a few beatings couldn’t fix though, heheheh.” The supervisor woman said, sounding so very proud of her deeds.

“I see…”

“Yes! And if she hasn’t shown any responses, then we can take her out of the capsule and give her the full-body electroshock treatment just like I used to! Even the brat was scared of it back then, screaming and crying every time I did it, so it should work great here!”

 

Even among the research orphanages established all around the world, this woman was still one of the best in terms of getting results. The corporation rated her highly. And in similarly high-achieving orphanages, such cruelties were a daily occurrence.

“…We will need to request the Deputy Director’s permission.” Audrey replied.

 

Policy required the children who were forcefully logged-out due to mental collapses to be kept alive in the collection facility for exactly thirty days. Their plugs would be pulled in order.

The final processing would only begin once life support stopped for all the secret alpha testers. As of now, around seventy percent had reached the end of their lease on life. Their deaths were already confirmed. The very final tester, No. 13, had four days left.

Even if this observation truly revealed a link between No. 13 and the rabbit beastman girl, a live dissection was all that awaited her.

With how her life had been, it would have been much more merciful to just let her die in peace, Audrey thought.

Suddenly, Brian’s shout rang out from the VR device.

 

“What the hell are those monsters?!”

 

***

 

As mist, I was practically running up the mountain. Once I reached a fifth of the way, the cricket spiders finally realized the monster of mist was me. They opened fire.

I had a lot more surface area as mist, so dodging was difficult. Still, with the distance I gained, just a bit of token avoidance was enough to get me out of the way of most of the bullets. Only a few hit.

But the moment the projectiles smashed into the rock face, a vast number of magical signals appeared on my radar. Here and there, beasts made out of stone and boulders began to come into existence. They attacked both me and the cricket-spiders.

What in the world were they?!

[Rock Monster x Lots]
[Magic Points: 500~700]
[Total Combat Power: 530~780]

I didn’t see their hit points, so were they spiritual lifeforms? If they weren’t demons… then elementals?

Their magic power were about the same as me when I just became a lesser demon. Their numbers were worrying, however. Hundreds? No, perhaps even thousands.

The cricket-spiders had more combat power, yet it meant nothing in front of overwhelming quantity. They immediately gathered up and focused fire on the newcomers. It still could not stop the rock avalanche from swallowing them whole in a blink of an eye.

I didn’t have the leeway to worry about them here. If they really were elementals, then perhaps their purpose was to eliminate anyone trying to reach the World Tree without using the sanctioned path.

About a thousand of them began to move toward me. I wasn’t sure if it was because I was trying to cross the mountains, or because I was a demon, but they seemed extraordinarily hostile.

I couldn’t afford to oppose them head-on. With all my strength, I blasted freezing air at the elementals above me. The frozen boulders became obstacles for the ascending elementals chasing me, and I continued my way to the top.

 

Time after time, stony barrages assaulted me, and I would avoid them by condensing myself. My path twisted and turned. Sometimes I ignored the newly-formed elementals, and sometimes I would kill them. After what must have been a whole day, I finally crossed the mountaintop, battered and bruised.

[Shedy] [Race: Mistral Neige] [Greater Demon (High-Rank)]
[Magic Points: 1370/5220] 600↑
[Total Combat Power: 1890/5740] 660↑

Having over 5000 magic still wasn’t enough for an evolution or rank-up.

Was there even anything above [Greater Demon] in the first place…? Well, stronger was stronger, especially since the elementals were still on my tail.

The World Tree was so close the trunk was clearly visible, but only the trunk. Its higher branches lay hidden behind fog.

Surrounded by an inland sea was the Central Island, which I thought was already quite large by itself. But with how much space the World Tree’s trunk was taking up, I could barely see any visible earth.

Three days of borrowed time left. More rock elementals were forming around me.

Any more damage and I would seriously risk death here. I flew off from the downward-sloping cliff, taking a few hits from the elementals below me while dodging the projectiles from behind. Finally, I managed to escape to the inland sea.

The rock elementals stopped chasing me at the shoreline. They weren’t even shooting, despite the straight flight path I was taking above the sea.

Were they not considering the waters to be their jurisdiction since they were earth-type? Then whose…

 

“GGRAAARGHH!!”

 

The waters erupted. From under the sea appeared aquatic serpents, with fins and everything. They looked like wingless dragons.

[Water Dragon?]
[Magic Points: 465/480] [Hit Points: 1280/1280]
[Total Combat Power: 4950]

Hold up, what the hell was with that power?! And there wasn’t just one of them; hundreds of water dragons were patrolling around the Central Island, as if guarding the World Tree.

Damn it, considering how much combat power I had currently, I could die in just one hit if I wasn’t careful. Hesitation almost made me freeze up for a moment, but I pushed myself forward.

A few of them noticed me. They opened their mouths, shooting out torrents of water.

[Shedy] [Race: Mistral Neige] [Greater Demon (High-Rank)]
[Magic Points: 940/5220] 
[Total Combat Power: 1460/5740] 

No no no, too much damage! And that was just a single hit!

I attempted to freeze the water to interrupt any further attacks, but with how low my power had become, I could only create a thin layer of surface ice.

I dodged, avoiding any direct hits, twisting and turning through the water beams. At least I had an advantage in my flight speed. The swimming water dragons were slightly slower than me.

I weaved back and forth to shake off the dragons, at times approaching, at times going away from the island. After a long while, I finally managed to land on the shore.

[Shedy] [Race: Mistral Neige] [Greater Demon (High-Rank)]
[Magic Points: 330/5220] 
[Total Combat Power: 850/5740] 

I could literally die from just a scratch. Thankfully, the water dragons no longer pursue me. Again, was land not their jurisdiction? I thought they would still continue attacking since they weren’t elementals. How bewildering. But once I attempted to go inland, I understood why.

An invisible wall was blocking my path.

Was this… a barrier? That can’t be right! Were monsters not allowed to approach? I came all the way here, what the hell do I do?!

In my stupor, I barely noticed something rolling out from my [Packer] inventory.

 

*boing*

…Huh? Blobsy? She bounced ahead, going through the barrier as if nothing was there, then stopped. Then she stopped and began hopping in place, as if to say ‘hurry up!’

Why could she pass…? She’s a monster too, right?

[Blobsy] [Race: Jelly Slime] [Kin of Shedy, the Demon]
[Magic Points: 10/10] [Hit Points: 10/10]
[Total Combat Power: 10]
[Special Skill: Laundry - Cleaning]

Oh, ‘Cleaning’, that was new… wait, no, not that. She hadn’t had any important change, that was the point.

Why could Blobsy go in? Such a harmless… ah!

An idea came to mind. I transformed into my [Human Form] and gingerly stepped forward.

Nothing stopped me.

So only harmless beasts and real humans could cross the barrier, then. If my skill was still at [Humanoid Form], I might have been stuck here forever. What a relief…

‘Thank you, Blobsy! I’ll treat you to tons of food later!’

*boing!*

 

Two days of borrowed time left.

I was still some distance away, yet the Tree was already dominating my view. I ran toward it, Blobsy on my shoulder.

Aside from the moss covering the area and the Tree itself, I detected no other signs of life. After a while, I reached one of the Tree’s roots, so enormous its thickness alone took up the space of a baseball field.

 

I was here. After so long, I was finally here. My salvation must be waiting for me. I had already gambled all my hope on this, after all.

I quietly, gently touched the Tree’s roots.

…nothing’s happening? Perhaps I needed to do something? Or perhaps the roots wouldn’t work, and I’d need to go further up? But back then-

 

“――――world――――waiting―――you――save――――――――――human――――――salvation―――――――life――――――――souls―――――――――――children―――――――――――”

 

A massive influx of information poured into my mind. I nearly blanked out.

This was… the will of the World Tree? It wasn’t a matter of language or intelligence; its thought processes were simply too alien for human understanding.

If I hadn’t had the experience of processing similarly insane amount of information ever since I began the ‘game’, the Tree really would have fried my brain there and then.

I processed the vast voice of the World Tree. Slowly but surely, we communicated.

I wasn’t sure how long it took, but it must have been quite a while. As I comprehended its words, the truth of this world was revealed to me.

 

“…yeah. It’s a [Contract], then. Between you and me. Between the World Tree and a demon…”

 

***

 

“…slight fluctuation in No. 13’s brain activity!” A staff member reported.

Audrey raised her head and let slip a whisper. “Could it be…?”

“See! This was all thanks to me! I knew unfreezing and shocking her would do the trick!” The orphanage supervisor proudly said.

 

Only No. 13 was the only one left. All the other secret alpha testers had already had their plugs pulled.

The white girl was lying there unconscious, outside of her suspended-animation capsule. Dozens of electrode rods were stabbing into her flesh. A horrific sight like no other.

 

“No. 13’s vitals are… huh?”

“Something’s not right…”

“What’s going on…?”

The slight tick in No. 13’s brain activity suddenly went off the charts in a blink of an eye.

Audrey and the supervisor woman looked to the white girl. As everyone in the room turned their attentions upon her, No. 13’s body rapidly began losing color.

And collapsed into a pile of salt.

The unthinkable sight shocked the staff members into stillness. Meanwhile, the other children’s corpses that were waiting for disposal followed suit, turning into piles of salt one after another. The fully-lit room darkened ever so slightly, as though simply a trick of the light. Within the skin-crawling chilly room, a faint voice reached their ears. The voice of a girl.

 

“…I’m back…”


Previous Chapter | Index | Next Chapter

36 – Path to the World Tree

Nine days of borrowed time left.

I was finally on my way to the World Tree, in order to find a way to save my soul back on Earth.

I had to wonder if there really was a way… No. 01 had believed in the faint possibility, and he said as much in his testament. Yet that was no guarantee of salvation.

…at least a bit of hope was better than nothing.

 

According to the travel guide I read on the airship, there were two possible paths from the Free City of Seis to the World Tree.

I could continue south and pass through Cinqres Academy City, get on a ship to go to the Holy City Ayune, then cross a bit more land and sea to reach the Central Island, where the World Tree was.

The other path was similar. I could go by airship from Seis to Ayune, and the rest would be the same.

The Central Island was surrounded by a donut-shaped mountain range. The only way in was through the Holy City Ayune, which was why both paths required me to go there.

And it was also the most problematic part of the journey.

According to the guidebook, Ayune was the country closest to the World Tree, and at the same time housing the headquarters of the religion revering the Tree. So it must also be the main base of the corporation that was playing God to this world. It would be the most dangerous place in the world for me… and I even heard rumors of ‘Heroes’ there, too.

 

Besides, that mess with the beta players made it a lot more difficult for me to use public transportation in the first place. If I entered a large town and got discovered, the resulting complications would waste more of my time than simply taking a detour.

So I decided to take the third path: moving by myself.

I would head south toward the peninsula to the western end of Cinqres, cross the ocean by my own power, climb the steep mountain wall surrounding the Central Island, and head directly to the World Tree.

I should be able to make the distance… probably. According to the rough map I saw, at least.

 

I dealt with the watcher drones tailing me and went south, detouring around towns when necessary.

Within territories that looked like they belonged to humans, I stayed in my human form. Once I escaped the area surrounding the Free City, I could finally turn back to mist.

It wasn’t like there were no downsides to having a body with substance. The biggest disadvantage was that I had lost the ability to partially transform. I could only either be completely mist or completely human.

When dispersed, I became almost completely immune to physical attacks, and absorption would work a lot faster. On the other hand, my own attacks would lack weight, and area-of-effect spells could hurt me badly.

When in human form, I could deal out heavy strikes and change position rapidly, which made dodging spells relatively easier. But physical attacks would hurt me more, my detection range would shrink by a bit, and the most annoying thing was that I could no longer use [Packer] when human. I would have to take what I needed out of my inventory beforehand.

I gained the ability to create mist while human, too, so there wasn’t much of a difference between freezing things in mist form or in human form. And while my human form was better at short-ranged, instantaneous movements, my mist form was much faster at traveling long distance or going through wastelands.

So once I left the lands of humans, I immediately changed back into mist. My speed was probably around the same as an ordinary train’s.

Might as well take the occasion to confirm my power.

[Shedy] [Race: Mistral Neige] [Greater Demon (High-Rank)]
・The demon of tempestuous mist that ravages the northern seas. A canny spiritual lifeform.

[Magic Points: 4300/4300] 300↑
[Total Combat Power: 4730/4730] 330↑
[Unique Skill: <Reroll> <Cyber-Manipulation> <Absorption> <Materialization>] 
[Racial Skill: Fear]
[Simple Identification] [Human Form (Wonderful)] [Specialist Packer]

With the acquisition of [Materialization], [Humanoid Form] turned into [Human Form]. I wasn’t just looking like a human; I had gained a real body, one that was practically the same as when I was still a normal human, only more grown-up.

My voice was no longer simply me messing with pockets of air. I was truly breathing now, even if I was actually breathing mana, not oxygen.

In the beginning, I could recover only ten percent of my magic each hour. With the combination of [Absorption] and [Materialization], that number had jumped to thirty percent.

Yet all that did not excuse the use of (Wonderful) to describe me… just what the hell was it assessing? I agreed, [Human Form] was really quite wonderful, but still!

So my body was almost indistinguishable from a real human’s now, but the rabbit ears were still staying… unsurprisingly. Honestly, I was halfway to complete resignation by now. Weird, isn’t it? My brain was supposed to be taking over the job of the System these days, yet I was only evolving in the oddest ways.

Maybe I should just embrace the inevitable already… might as well find myself a bunny suit, in that case.

Anyway, that was about it. From now on, I’d need to learn how to fight with both forms, and how to use them in the right situation.

 

Three days after I went south from Seis, I finally began to see traces of what looked like human civilization in a forest, so I turned human again.

Whenever I turn human, first, I needed to throw out my clothes and satchel from [Packer] inventory. The moment they appear, I would slip my body of mist into the outfit and change form. Clothed human transformation, in effect.

It took me half a day to learn how to do this… god, so much precious time lost. But this was important. I would never allow myself to forget wearing clothes!

Personal dignity aside, once I started putting one foot after another on solid ground, Blobsy immediately jumped out from my satchel. She hauled herself onto my shoulder, then jiggled in joy.

Cute. I took some jerky from my satchel, fed Blobsy her snack, and began running. My sprint was as fast as a cheetah’s now.

 

The Academy City of Cinqres was supposed to be nearby. Apparently the country was gathering elite students and researchers from all over the world to do… something.

I only turned human as insurance. I had no plans to get anywhere close to the country. The people there must be doing mana research by orders of the corporation, so I expected heavy surveillance. Which meant I shouldn’t be showing my mist form here. I didn’t want to allow for the possibility of them realizing my link to No. 13.

Well, I had a feeling they already had an inkling of my identity, though… whoa!

 

The moment I exited the forest, I noticed a watcher drone. I immediately blasted mist from my fingers to freeze it.

I could now expel mist in human form, in exchange for the ability to partially transform. This mist was both me, yet not me. It moved according to my will, but it also had some similarities to spells in that it consumed my magic power.

In the end, it might not sound like much of a distinction. But the important thing here was that if an attack hit the mist, it would only cost me the magical expense of the lost mist. I wouldn’t need to worry about the attack seriously hurting me.

Well, my real body of mist would be able to do absorption a lot faster, though.

 

Just as I thought, once I left the forest and got closer to the country, I began to see a lot more of those watcher drones.

They hadn’t found me yet. All the same, the corporation would be suspecting something was wrong once they noticed dozens of drones breaking down in the same region within just a few days.

I should be able to reach the peninsula if I turned west here. I focused my eyes on what I hoped to be the right direction. There, so far away, I saw the shadow of a mountain. A silhouette robed in fog, foot resting upon the ocean.

…it was the right direction, then. As I got ready to leave-

“Whoa?!”

-I suddenly detected multiple magical signals. I promptly leaped away.

 

*Ratatatataat!!!*

The ground where I used to stand on exploded, blowing away my cloak of mist.

What was that?! I recreated my mist, checking out my surroundings. Strange monsters were surrounding me. I never even noticed.

They were colored black, with torsos and wings of a cricket and spindly spider legs.

[Cricket Spider x15]
[Magic Points: 475/500] [Hit Points: 750/750]
[Total Combat Power: 1750]

More secret beta testers?! Different avatars, but much stronger this time.

As I attempted escape from the encirclement, they gave chase, lanky spider legs running like a horse. God, that looked disgusting! And fast too, at that!

I created even more mist to hide myself. Several cricket spiders opened their mouths, wings vibrating at high-speed. Invisible projectiles shot at me.

*Ratatat!*

So this was what they ambushed me with!

Exploding bullets of wind. No direct hits, yet my mist was still blown away. Were they spells? They actually hurt me.

These monster avatars were purely long-range combatants, and their focus was on raw speed rather than agility. Their aim must be to keep me away from melee range, then… how troublesome. The moment I moved, the whole encirclement followed. But that didn’t mean I was helpless…

I dashed toward one of them, my step gouging out the earth.

They all promptly retreated. Still, I didn’t have over 4000 combat power for nothing. My superior acceleration blasted me past my target, and my claws ripped it apart from head to wings. Frost spread from its wounds to turn it into a popsicle.

They were a lot softer than the carapace spiders! I could do this!

Then, just as I got ready to leap toward my next target, it jumped. It began to hover in mid-air, wings flapping.

It wasn’t true flight. It was slowly descending, but I still couldn’t reach it.

 

*Ratttatatata!!!*

A rain of explosive wind bullets came from the other cricket spiders.

[Shedy] [Race: Mistral Neige] [Greater Demon (High-Rank)]
[Magic Points: 3860/4380] 80↑
[Total Combat Power: 4290/4810] 80↑

That really hurt. I rolled away, dodging the projectiles. I attempted a dash toward the nearest target, but again, it immediately jumped up. More bullets came.

My suspicions were confirmed. They couldn’t fire in rapid succession, and there weren’t that many bullets in each salvo. The damage wasn’t that bad.

Still, this couldn’t continue. I weaved around the hail of bullets with rapid dashes. An idea came to mind, and I immediately froze the ground.

Yes! One of them got stuck on the ice-covered earth. I instantly changed direction. Before the other cricket spiders could do anything, I tore it apart with claws and dagger, then drained it dry of magic.

*Ratatatat!!!*

A sudden hail of bullets rained down, blowing away both me and my target.

[Shedy] [Race: Mistral Neige] [Greater Demon (High-Rank)]
[Magic Points: 3440/4460] 80↑
[Total Combat Power: 3880/4900] 90↑

At least they were killable. Still, they had the advantage, and it was only going to get worse for me. I should try to repeat this a few more times. Hopefully I could get rid of another one-

 

My thoughts stalled as I witnessed the cricket spiders releasing their encirclement. They stepped back, then faded into nonexistence.

“…huh?”

…did they log out? What’s going on?

At least this was better than the alternative. Continuing that fight would have just left me worse off. I departed the area and continued toward the direction of the World Tree.

 

After that first encounter, their assaults became a regular occurrence. Yet the battles always ended in their retreat, even when they still hadn’t lost.

I see… so they were returning to refuel the magic consumed when they shot those explosive wind bullets. That was just unfair.

After another three days of constant battles, I finally crossed the peninsula. I could see the sea now.

[Shedy] [Race: Mistral Neige] [Greater Demon (High-Rank)]
[Magic Points: 2750/4620] 160↑
[Total Combat Power: 3210/5080] 180↑

Across the ocean was a craggy mountain range, towering over a thousand meters. Yet behind it was an even bigger tree. A green colossus, sharing home with the clouds.

 

“The World Tree…”


Author’s Notes: The secret beta testers’ avatars were controlled semi-automatically.

If defeated, a few hours of calibration and refueling magic would return them back to combat-readiness.

9in7ufp

TN: Bigger sized map here.


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Turf War – Chapter 33

Hello everyone! Tilea is back with more misunderstandings and a new translator! Ayumi here, not-native extraordinaire, from Kyoto, and i hereby announce an increase in the release rate – Stay tuned!

Tell me in the comments if anything feels or sounds weird.


Join the Evil God Army on discord!

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Let’s run a background check on Edim!

Place: The Underground Empire. Date: unknown. I shall now carry out a personal background check on Edim.

Well, the grim look Ojou had on her face the other day, when Edim’s secret got out, finally got me real worried you see.

But after getting a good night of sleep, hmm, something felt really wrong you know. Acting like a human only to defeat one’s enemies? Give me a break ~ What kind of joke is that, gosh!

Well, I trust her you know.

But as the oneechan, I have to keep my little sister safe from any kind of harm. So, I think I’ll just run a little check on her. Just to be sure, as insurance.

Of course, I’ll do it alone. At first, I thought about asking Doyras before realizing that no one would want to dig up some dirt on his friend, right.

And all in all, it looks like Ojou won’t tell anyone about me and Edim.

It seems that we actually breached more than ten decree-laws the other day and that if that were to be known to the big guys in the capital we would have become first grade criminals.

And all our relatives as well, so that’s no joke. We really can’t let that get out can we.

It appears that Ojou is keeping silent less for Edim than for me, but she is an independent young lady, so she could very well act on her own if left alone.

“Miss Tilea, please do not try to do anything funny, and behave as you always do if you may” she admonished me modishly the other day.

Still, we can’t have that! I’ll by prove her innocence myself before Ojou can even plan anything.

0700: Edim arrives at the Underground Empire.

Pushing open the shop’s door, Edim gets inside. Exchanging looks, she greets me with a fresh smile full of life. How could someone even think that there’s a catch to that?

It hurts me so much to monitor her – but I succeed in safely returning her greeting.

0730: Edim holds a vampire rally

Gathering all her household, she started some kind of assembly. Well it is useful to exchange information periodically to avoid being found out by the government, nothing suspicious going on here.

Hmm, if I really had to say, the fact that they keep beating Jayjay up concerns me a little bit. But his personality is good to the extent that it is a (bad) joke in itself. I can understand why Edim can’t help but want to hit him.

0830: Edim’s workout begins

Edim gets in the gravity room D – The twenty times gravity room was it (lol)? She ran through a training routine, performing a few push up and abdominal exercises without a word.

The whole thing is a complete joke – I’d like to retort, but I don’t even know where to begin. In the end, I still feel dubious.

However, to Edim that wishes to live like a human, it must look totally normal. These days, training is the new trend among the Evil God Army. She probably just doesn’t want to be the odd one out.

Now that I think of it, Edim has got her very own iron dumbbell. It was Timu that made them for her if I recall correctly?

A vampire’s dedicated dumbbells. Shouldn’t it be around 200 kilos? Well that looks dangerous so let’s never touch it.

0900: Edim’s workout ends

Putting aside the dumbbells, she gets her breath back. You worked well Edim. I got tired just by watching you. Let’s release some tension with deep breaths. Ahhh~

Oh-oh that won’t do.

I almost let myself get too relaxed. That was a close one. Well I actually already got caught just a while ago when I was monitoring her training.

I succeeded in cooking something up on the spur of the moment but that was a close call really. I’ve got to put myself together. Let’s resume Edim’s monitoring.

What!? Hey, she’s not out yet! It looks like even after finishing her training routine, instead of leaving the room she is now getting fired up for another round?

What motivation… It looks like she is going all out.

A vampire’s special moves – I always wanted to see that. I’m getting all excited; let’s see how it goes.

A moment later, blood splurged out Edim’s blade, scattering in all directions.

Wh-What the hell is that mooooove! Self-Destruct?!  Screw that what am I doing. Now’s not the time to be enraptured- Edim is going to die from exsanguination!

Putting on hold Operation Monitoring, I ran up to her.

“Edim, a-are you okay? Ahh, ahh, wh-what should I do? There’s bl-blood everywhere, let’s call an – no let’s cast heali――”

“Tilea Sama, please calm down. There is nothing to worry about.”, she replied coolly.

Asserting this, Edim quickly gets back on her feet. It looks like my fears proved groundless, and that the Unidentified Flying Blood just now was not an accident but Edim’s ultimate attack.

She tried using it during the Fiend Liquidation episode but had difficulties controlling its power and failed, she says. That’s why she was practicing it to not repeat the same blunder once again.

Ha-ha, what a fierce ultimate attack. Edim said “It is still imperfect” but can’t she easily annihilate an entire troop of the kingdom’s regular army with that, I wonder.

That being said, I cautioned Edim not to throw that at people without thinking twice about it and sternly reminded her to never use that in front of Timu.

Well she assured me that she ‘Will never do such rude a thing’ so I guess it should be fine.

1000: Edim attends to the Evil God Army’s war council.

Today’s topic for discussion is war. They are talking about something like sending troops to the Manafint Federation- They really like that kind of things don’t they.

Everyone is busting about but the one who holds the meeting’s initiative is Dryas. Harmonizing everyone’s ideas, he keeps talking about things like military logistic and troop disposition. That’s some authentic, high level content.

As I’m really focused on my mission of monitoring Edim right now, what they are saying don’t reach my ears. Well,t even if I wasn’t, I wouldn’t have understood a bit of it anyways. Too high level. I mean I feel like we could write a new military classic just by copying down what Dryas is saying.

In contrast to Dryas’ great speech, Or does nothing but complain about everything. Like usual. He will probably get reprimanded by Timu in a bit, and the meeting will end.

And like I thought, he just got scolded by Timu, and the meeting ended, leaving Or once again with teary eyes. Let’s talk to him later, the poor thing.

I mean if I don’t take care of his little heart he’ll be pushed into depression in no time.

Anyways, let’s consider how Edim behaved during today’s meeting.

As quiet as a lamb, she did not express herself even once, just answering to questions when asked.

Hmm, how should I interpret this…

Is she putting on an air of lamby innocence? Or is she just excluded because she doesn’t fit in yet?

If it’s the latter I can help her. But what if it is the former?…

“… Sama!”

Oh? Is someone calling for me?

“Onee sama!”

“Wh-What?”

Crap. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t realize Timu was talking to me.

“The war council is over, but is there anything you wish to say?”

“I told you before the meeting started right? That you should proceed as if I wasn’t there.”

“Y-Yes.”

Ah, wait a second. That’s a good opportunity. I suppose I should ask everyone now after a fashion. I want to know how Edim acts during meetings when I’m not there. I mean Mühen is here too, Edim won’t do anything weird, probably.

Well, it’s just, just in case you know, she won’t do anything weird right?

“Can I ask you something?”

“Yes, whatever it may be”, Timu answered respectfully.

“Well, It’s just out of curiosity so no need to think too much about it but…”

“What is it?”

“Is Edim always like that during meetings?”

“Eeeeek! D-Did I do so-something wrong!? …”

What? Hey, she is really shaken right now isn’t she. Don’t tell me, is she hiding something? Ah, calming her down comes first guess.

“No, really, don’t think too much about it okay? Just, you looked really meek you know? I just wondered why.”

“I-I am terribly sorry! I only thought that it would be unbecoming of me to….”

“What are you saying, I’m not blaming you. It’s not that important, since you’re participating in the meeting, might as well, you know, it’s not interesting if you don’t say anything no?”

Edim shrank in fear all the more.

Aah, what does that mean? Is it because her secret got out? No no way, its doesn’t feel like that. I mean I just asked her a question.

“Edim, your lack of motivation is being blamed by your Lord!”

“I-I am deeply sorry”

And now everyone starts censuring her, calling her names and abusing her…

What are you doing you guys… Taking a bullish attitude towards a vampire… I mean even if you gang up on her she could win easily you know. And here you are treating her like, oh a little girl~. Well that being said I didn’t take her seriously either up until now.

“How do you dare embarrass your lord like that, you useless kin!” bellowed Timu, making her do a dogeza while stepping violently on her face.

Waaah-! Timu, what are you doing! What do we do if she snaps!

Timu has always been looking down on her, but if you really think about it, isn’t that like playing with a time bomb! What if Edim was seething inwardly the whole time?

What if she was doing her best and enduring everything in order to live peacefully with humans?

Or what if she bearing the unbearable not to compromise her mission as a spy?

I suddenly got really worried about that attitude of Timu that I had been tolerating the whole time.

“Timu, stop right now!” I shouted, running up to her before she committed an act from which there is no going back.



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Turf War – Side Story

Hello everyone! Tilea is back with more misunderstandings and a new translator! Ayumi here, not-native extraordinaire, from Kyoto, and i hereby announce an increase in the release rate – Stay tuned!

Tell me in the comments if anything feels or sounds weird.


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Side Story: The Diary of Ortissio’s Struggles

Ortissio wakes up early, when the morning sun ascends, around the time when the roosters start crowing. At five, he is out of bed.

The first thing he does after washing his morning face is training.

Going to the gravity room C, he performs his daily muscle-strengthening exercises.

The gravity there is thirty times stronger, making this room the third most arduous of the Underground Empire.

If it was his call, he would have gone to the one with the strongest to do some hard training. That, if he had not been chased away from it by his liege Camilla along with a “A hundred times gravity is impossible for the likes of you.”

It cannot be help, let’s challenge it once again when stronger’, he thought before entering the gravity room C. As he felt an enormous strain being put on his body, he started his exercise routine, performing push-ups, abs and squats, sweat pouring of his body as twere a flood.

Wrapping up his muscle exercises, he proceeded to magic training, devoting himself to expanding his mana capacity by single-mindedly repeating cycles of depletion and contraction.

Manipulating mana while being subject to such a strong gravity is no easy task. Still, as a commandant of the prestigious Evil God Army, he never lets out a moan.

It was only an hour later that he put an end to his training, leaving behind him a puddle of sweat.

Although short, this routine was ever so intense; with each passing day, he felt acutely his skills improving. This kind of results would have been unimaginable back in the Demon King Army’s days. That too was thanks to the revolutionary training program developed by his lords Camilla and Tilea Sama.

“Division commander Ortissio, here is a towel.”

“Aye”, he answered, accepting the piece of cloth from his subordinate and wiping the sweat off his body. If only he had more time, he would have gone straight to take a bath, but his hectic schedule would not allow it.

His clothes back on, he tasked his subordinate with cleaning the gravity room before leaving the place. Work hard, eat hard.

And so at six thirty comes breakfast.

The food prepared by his subordinates was waiting for his arrival at the dining hall – today’s menu is… Milk, fish, cheese and shrimps.

To wit, a Kalshium Menu made of all sorts of colourful ingredients.

For the petty body improvement of the likes of me, how generous Tilea sama is to prepare such a meal!’ he thought, full of gratitude. ‘Ah, how blessed I am – Not to the other members, but a special meal made only for me! Let’s dig in right away.’

First is some milk, a blessing to his sore throat after training, that he drank in one gulp from the barrel. That done, he dug in the hundred or so small fishes and five kilos of cheese, his chewing reverberating through the dining hall.

The sight of him sending a pint of the carbonated drink “Kohla” down his throat completed this baroque picture.

An essential drink, they say, for any self-respecting martial artist: after some milk, a “Kohla”. As one would expect, his stomach was about to burst. But with that, he shall become stronger! And thus, drank it all in one go.

At eight o’clock begins the prisoners’ interrogation.

All individuals captured by the Evil God Army end up shackled in the depths of the underground empire. Insolent fools that dared go against the Evil God Army! For that sin, they are thrown out in the room the farthest from Tilea Sama’s quarters.

As he approached the cells, he could hear the sound of a whip being lashed. It seemed that the fools that had yet to surrender to the Evil God Army were in the middle of being interrogated by his subordinates.

“Division commander Ortissio!,” saluted his most trusted subordinate, Gil, realizing his arrival.

“Did he finally spit It out?”

“No, he seems to be quite the obstinate one you see…”

The name of the one the troop commander Gil was interrogating was Chaka, a former officer under the Demon King Army’s general Kira.

Their general defeated by Camilla, Kira’s subordinates were massacred by the troops under the command of Nielsen, only leaving a few big names such as Chaka who ended up captured and subjected to torture.

Seeing him not breaking even after a year of incessant ill-treat, Ortissio had started to want him by all means in his second division.

“Hey Chaka. It’s been a year already, stop being so stubborn will you!”

“ Haah, haah… – Pu!” he spat, his eyes full of hate. ‘Hoo, is that how it is. Well that is exactly the kind of spirit I judged befitting of my second division after all,’ thought Ortissio before calling out to the man in front of him.

“Listen Chaka. Now is the age of the Evil God Army. The Demon King Army is history you know, how foolish is it to stay loyal to these relics.”

“Guh, nghn… Only death awaits traitors! Sooner or later, the Demon King will bestow revenge for Kira Sama!”

“Hm-pf, there is nothing to fear of from the likes of the Demon King, as long as Tilea Sama is gracing us with her presence.”

“Ha! What can a mere wench――”

“What impudeeeence…!”

“Kuh-!”

Upon hearing his liege being badmouthed, Ortissio went and took a swing at him without even thinking of it. ‘Damn. If i had killed him accidentally all the troubles up until now would have come to naught,’ bemoaned Ortissio.

‘For these few months, I tried every possible means to take him over. Yet, far from swinging to their side, that guy became stiff all the more. What should I do now?’

‘If he doesn’t surrender and holds onto his grudge, that guy is nothing more than an enemy and thus should be disposed of right?’ Ortissio wavered as he received a report from one of his spies that just came in. Lending him an ear, he could not help but let out a contented smile.

“Ah what a shame, Chika!”

“Uggh, uggh…. What did…?”

“He, it seems that we’ve found Kira’s only child”

“Wha-?!”

As Kira’s troops failed in subjugating Camilla Sama, Ortissio knew that the few survivors could never return to the Demon King Army. He thus dispatched some of his subordinates as spies to investigate their whereabouts, though he did not expect much from his second division (which was not the intelligence unit after all).

‘What unexpected luck! I finally found it, your Achilles’ heel!’ he thought before railing:

“Chika, at this rate, if you still refuse to bend, we will have no choice but to eradicate every single survivor you know?”

“Kuh- “

“Chika, at this rate, we just need to eliminate Kira’s successor, and his will shall fade out from history, like a shadow, you know? Only leaving to posterity the name of a reckless fool.”

“You, you bastard!”

“That’s my final warning. Surrender! And swear loyalty to our lord Tilea. You just have to work for the Evil God Army, and his descendant lives.”

“…”

“Is that so. Well that’s extermination for the survivors then. May Kira’s revenge be never exacted, and vani —”

“W-Wait! Al, alright, I’ll submit.”

“For real?”

“Aye. However, you must promise me. That you shan’t take the life of the young lord.”

“Sure.”

‘Ha! Did you see that? My efforts of the past few months were worth it, definitely! With that the forces of the second division will be greatly strengthened. And for getting an enemy to come over to our side, I will win the favour of our lord Tilea, great!’

And so, at ten o’clock comes the inspection of the food reserves.

Ortissio betook himself to food storage of the Underground Empire. There are hoardedthe various ingredients that the second division gathered during their expeditions. To keep them fresh and from rotting their group was mobilizing every possible means.

In particular, the apparatus designed by Tilea, the Flidje, was nothing short of amazing. By releasing water magic, it would freeze and thus preserve the ingredients.

“Is everything going well?” he asked his subordinate in charge of the place.

“Yes! Nothing to report.”

“Great. Do not let them rot! Our lord Tilea demands fresh ingredients.”

“You may leave it to us. As we are using the slaves at full capacity to maintain the Flidje temperature between two and ten degrees.”

‘Our Lord Tilea is infatuated with fresh ingredients, just after riches. Above all, her expression of happiness when we acquire rare ingredients is a blessing in itself. It is meaningless if they end up rotting,’ thought Ortissio, relieved by his subordinates’ report.

“Slaves are disposables, treat them as such and keep the system in perfect working order all day long.”

“By your will.”

‘The slaves’ water magic is weak. But if one makes up the number, keeping indefinitely frozen foods constantly stored at 0°F or below becomes possible. That these worthless scums could prove themselves useful was quite the surprise.’

At eleven thirty starts the war council of the Evil God Army.

As he was heading to the regular meeting, his steps resounded through the corridor.

“Division commander, we compiled the reports for today’s meeting,” his aide walking by his side said.

“Good work. Today’s council was about the results of the expeditions towards Chilge and the seasonal budget report, right.”

“As you say. I think we achieved everything that could be as of now”

“Still, we did not attain the predetermined objectives did we?”

“To our deepest regret that is indeed the case but –“

“Damn Chief of Staff! Always giving us damn unreasonable workloads!” roared Ortissio, as the smug face of an ikemen elf went through his mind.

“Would the commandants bestow mercy upon us, I hope…”

“Don’t. We’re speaking about him. He’ll probably relentlessly throw snide accusations at me as usual…”

“I shall sympathize with you from the bottom of my heart my lord.” his subordinate commiserated with him, full of pity, knowing too well the storm of cries and oaths that awaited his superior in that room. Ortissio always felt so melancholic at this hour of the day, and his steps towards the council room naturally became heavier.

Still, time does not wait for anyone- biting the bullet, he entered the council room, only to be welcomed by needle-like cold looks from Camilla Sama and General Commander Nielsen.

“You’re late, Ortissio”, ostentatiously disparaged that damn Chief of Staff.

“I beg for your forgiveness,” he offered an excuse. You bastard, whose fault do you think it is. I would not be If your unreasonable instructions did not force us to take some time to compile today’s reports, he wanted to say among with lots of other vindications, which he kept to himself.

Getting over the humiliation, he reported how the looting expedition ended in not meeting its preposterously high objectives.

“Ahem. The expedition towards Chilge attained most of its predetermined goals. Powerful noble houses were destroyed, only leaving some post-war clean-up to do. However, as anyone could understand at a glance, the plunder quota was, as one may expect… Still my second division―!”

“Enough!” interrupted Camilla.

“Y-Yes, my lord.”

“Ortissio, I shall now mete out punishment to you, who failed to act according to our directions,” Camilla hissed without an ounce of compassion.

“E, err, but! I beg your pardon but, on this matter, would not the point at issue be the unreasonable directives given by the Chief of Staff?!”

“Ortissio, stop looking for excuses. The directives were decided ahead of time- how is it reasonable to complain about it at this point?”

“I cannot agree with you more. Not only he barely procured enough funds, but he also keeps gathering furnishing of poor quality unbefitting of our Lord’s above. To the extent that I being to question his loyalty,” Dryas rubbed it in.

Following Camilla’s comment, the other commanders then started to thunderingly rain invectives to Ortissio. That damn Chief of Staff in particular, as if holding a grudge since the Fiend Liquidation Mission, was relentlessly taking the council in a bad direction.

‘God dammit, where does all this flak come from! Cannot they understand! Everyone has in mind the days of the Demon Metropolis Benz and won’t stop comparing today to back then! But the items that you come across nowadays are way behind in both quality and quantity – What are you saying I should have done!’ Ortissio, on the verge of screaming, kept his grievance to himself with great difficulty

“Ortissio, under normal circumstances such an incompetent person would have already been executed by now… However as unfortunate as that may be is we lack personnel at the moment. I shall remit your sins, but you shall as punishment gather an additional ten percent of funds.”

“Y, Yes my lord.”

‘And now the fund objective is raised by another ten percent… Even though it was already such a heavy workload… Even loan sharks and profiteers would be more humane you know!’

“And also, Ortissio, your second division’s quarters shall be moved further north, to block C”

“W-What? May, may I ask why…?” he gulped, realizing that it would mean getting even farther from the headquarters, namely Tilea Sama’s bedroom – and that alone would betray a low standing in his lord’s trust.

“You and your troops were originally too close from Tilea Sama, and there is no way I could allow untrustworthy fools to stay by our lord’s side you see.”

“B-, But, w-, why… There is none that think more highly of Tilea Sama that me!”

“He, none you say. That is to say more than me too?! How impudent of youuu!” she bellowed.

‘Hey I did it again. With each comment I dare make, it seems that I dig myself into a deeper hole. And that’s only because Camilla Sama, general commander Nelsen and the other commanders lend an ear to that damn Chief of Staff’s opinions. Isn’t someone, anyone, on my side?’

His eyes briefly met with Edim’s.

‘Ohh, now that I think of it, we are comrades who worked up together during the Fiend Liquidation Mission. She is only a half breed, but beggars cannot be choosers right?’ he realized, before sending her eye signals, asking for protective fire. Howbeit, she averted her head with a click.

‘Da-damn you, you mere half breed…’

A while later, as the council was coming to an end its final phase and Ortissio his final breath, an even more shocking statement took him aback.

“Finally, I shall announce personnel changes. Chaka get in.”

“Yes, my lord. My name is Chaka, former commander serving under Kira of the Demon King Army. As of today, I shall join the Evil God Army’s fourth division.”

“Wha-!??”, Ortissio raised his voice before realizing it.

‘Wh-why? This guy is an outstanding talent that I was trying to get over since ages! And it is none other than my second division that found his weakness, Kira’s descendant’s whereabouts, after gathering intel for weeks! I cannot accept this. That’s the only thing that I shall not along with!’

“Sir Chief of Staff. My second division had its eyes on that person since a long time ago. With all due respect, waltzing away with him seems a bit…”

“Ortissio, since when are you our human resources manager? Putting the right person in the right falls within the Staff Officer’s competence.”

“S, Still…”

“Back out. The only thing you have to do is to devote yourself to me.”

“K-kuh, un-understood”

‘You bastaaards! Damn it, damn it all! Too many tears in my eye, fuck, what’s even happening anymore, I can’t see clear no more.’

Leaving the council, Ortissio suddenly started running around aimlessly. He did expect that he would have to go through some logic-defying council, but today’s meeting was horrible. His heart felt like it was falling apart.

“Oh, Or! What are you doing here running? It’s time did you forget?”

“Ti-Tilea Sama!”

‘That’s right. So many things happened that I blacked out for a moment. Yes, today, my lord made time for a conversation with my unworthy self, today was Cown-Selling Day! ‘

And like today’s suffering never existed to begin with, Ortissio obediently followed his lord Tilea Sama in high spirits. On their way that damn Chief of Staff called out to them, but stopped in his tracks, fallbergasted, upon hearing that hey had a Cown-Selling Session.

‘Ha! Serves you right! ‘

He who always had a smug look on his face could only see them off with a jealous expression.

1h00 p.m. : “Cown-Selling

Simply speaking, “Cown-Selling” is a system where one’s Lord lends an ear to his subordinates’ worries and offers them solutions and advice.

‘How generous can she be, creating this system only for my unworthy self,’ was thinking Ortissio when Tilea called out to him.

“Or, you don’t have to be so nervous. Please sit, relax and let’s talk,” said Tilea while getting some tea ready.

“At your will! It is my humble pleasure.”

“Well, today we’ll begin with a short questionnaire. Answer without holding anything back alright?”

“Yes, my lord”

“First are a few questions. Answer with “Applies fully”, “Applies to a point”, “I can’t really say” or “Does not apply” okay?”

“Understood.”

Seeing how Tilea Sama then took out a pen sheet of paper and sheet, ‘hmm is this some kind of exam? I shall then take myself to the task with all my might,’ thought Ortissio.

“Question 1: Do you wake up suddenly at night?”

“Applies fully!”

“… O, okay… “

‘That is the first question of Tilea Sama’s questionnaire, the answer obviously is affirmative. One does not even have to think about it. It would be arrant nonsense for a self-respecting warrior to sleep like a top. What if bandits attack in the middle of the night? One should be prepared for war at all times. ‘

“Question 2: Do you meditate on your death? Or do you think often about dying? “

“Applies fully!”

“… O, okay… “

‘That is a question from my lord! There shall be none to answer by the negative! My life is Tilea Sama’s, and my heart desire is to die for her ambitions of world domination!’

Then followed a few other questions about death, sleep, concentration and depression, to which Ortissio believed he answered perfectly.

‘As befitting of Tilea Sama’s right hand and loyal aide, hmm!’

“I got it Or, let’s meet three times a week for counseling from now on, okay?…”

“As your wish, my lord! It is my humble pleasure! I feel like I am about to ascend to the heavens!” he exclaimed with joy.

‘Good gracious, i will get to spend more time with my lord? As I thought, Tilea Sama must have felt my unswerving loyalty overflowing and was moved by it.’

‘However, what in the heavens did my lord mean by Emdiai when she mumbled “He is in good spirits today uh, what if it is MDI…”? ‘

‘Well, the frequency of the Cown-Selling Sessions will increase too, it is probably a compliment. ‘

“And well, Or you… probably have a lot of stress and things to say right?”

“H-how could I possibly be dissatisfied with anything! … ”

“Or, you don’t have to act all tough you know~. I won’t tell anyone about it, you can trust me so… tell me what’s wrong!”

‘My lord really has an all seeing eye! Ah, how could I possibly go against this benevolent gaze,’ Ortissio marveled for a moment. He knew all too well that It was a conduct unbecoming of a proper subordinate. Still, he could not repress it any longer. Without even thinking about it, he let out what happened during the council and the pent-up resentment he contained during the day.

“Y-yes you see, it’s all be-because Dryas …”

“Y-yes, Dryas always… Boo hoo, sniff, you, you know!”

“Al-always here stealing the, the credit for my feats, and there that, that youngster too, and that is not all!… Ev-everyone, everyone is…”

“There there. I’ll tell them to stop, so don’t brood over it, okay?”

ティレアとオルティッシオ


TL Note: One comment one prayer for poor Ortissio 

MDI: Manic-depressive illness


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