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Chapter 30 – Belzenstock City

 

(Yuu’s Point of View)

 

— Ah, we have arrived. In front of our eyes is a city resembling the towns in Mediterranean coasts that are lined with white square buildings.

Before entering the city, I need to do what I have been thinking along our way here ….

“We’ve finally arrived!”

“… Yes, we have.”

This is where I bid Rena farewell… I feel lonely somehow. If I could, I want to play with her more.

“You don’t look happy, what’s wrong?”

Say it, tell her…!

“Um, it’s ….”

It’s no time for the asocial personality move!! Hurry up and say it, gross otaku!!

“Um! Um, I, I ….”

“What is it?”

Calm down, take a deep breath… Come on, breathe in, and out… No good, my hands are shaking. Even though it’s just a game, I feel like my palms are sweating…

Our first encounter was the worst. With my tongue was grasped, I was threatened with a shortsword in my mouth. I was forcibly taken to the front line as well, but —.

“Um… with me…”

“…?”

— Even so, the adventure with her has been fun; it was nice to show off my knowledge, and her concern for me makes me very happy. There are many scary things about her, but her surprisingly childish innocent side makes me unable to take my eyes off of her, as well as her subtle carelessness against the opposite sex… Above all, —

“— A-after knowing you personally, I think I want to be your friend!”

“….”

I said it! I finally said it! I can’t take back what I said now.

“I’m scared, and you can be overbearing sometimes, but at the same time childish and nosy, too, I think! We have only known each other for a short while, but… That’s why, be my friend… Please register me as your friend!”

I said it… Though I have no regrets, I feel a little scared seeing her saying nothing at all, but… could she be taken aback? Is she wondering why an asocial gross otaku like me being so ecstatic in becoming her friend? If she refuses, I shall graciously accept it —

“… I don’t mind.”

“— Huh?! R-really?!”

“Yes, in the first place, I was thinking that you could perhaps teach me a lot of things while we’re in this city.”

“T-thank you very much! I will do my best to teach you!!”

— Hooray!! She has registered me as her friend!! And even though it’s short, I can still play together with her while we’re in this city!!

“… Besides, you seem to notice me.”

It feels like as if she poured cold water on me with that remark.

W-what should I do…? Doesn’t what I said to her earlier seem like a confession from a third-party point of view —?! I’m such an idiot —!!!!

While agonizing over the shame I have caused myself from the mess I made —.

“I’m new to having friends, so please teach me properly.”

— Her first time? With just a few words from her, I have already recovered from my earlier predicament. I guess I’m relatively simple.

“Hee hee, this is the first time other people aside from my mother who has properly noticed me…”

Apparently, she does not take it as a confession. I feel somewhat complicated, as I’m not sure whether to feel happy or sad. But I tell myself calmly that it’s to be expected due to her subtle carelessness toward the opposite sex, as well as her natural innocence.

“Please take care of me, Yuu.”

“Likewise, Rena.”

Well, at least she’s laughing happily. Even though I’m still not completely sure what I’m feeling, this should be good enough for now, I guess.

More importantly, I can’t help but look forward to ‘playing’ with her—.

******

(Rena’s Point of View)

When Yuu acts suspiciously before entering the city, I rudely think, ‘Again…?’ and feel sorry about it. While apologizing in my heart, I proceed to register him as my friend.

I manage to make a friend for the first time in real life and games. We are not of the same sex, but that doesn’t matter. I can now tell my mother to rest assured, since she has been worrying that I would die without making any friends.

“… Okay!”

“Shall we enter the city?”

“Yes!”

With a triumphant pose, Yuu and I set foot in “Belzenstock City”.

******

“… There are a lot of slaves here, aren’t there?”

As we enter the city and strolled down the main street, many people with a slave seal tattooed on their left cheeks are roaming the street.

“… Actually, those tattoos were originally put in places that aren’t readily visible, like the sole, to prevent collusion between slaves.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, but the feudal lord has been replaced. When the pressure against slaves is getting stronger, the seals are tattooed on their faces for easier identification, or so I heard.”

“I see —.”

He is very well-informed. You can’t get that kind of detailed information from playing games normally. Where on earth does he learn all that stuff?

“… Even so, the slave seals look cool, don’t they?”

“That seal symbolizes Krebskulm, a monster that looks like a sea dragon that governs other monsters lurking around this bay area.”

The name Krebskulm is also pretty cool. Could it be a unique monster?

“Such a dreadful thing is made to be the seal for slaves?”

“It was originally the fastest existence in this bay area. So it seemed to be the sailors’ helper at some point in time. But before you know it, it has become a representation of something fast and spread throughout this city.”

“Fast?”

Something fast for slaves? Is it something like finishing their work fast, or rising from their slavery status fast or something like that?

“Well, erm… In this city, slaves are not much different from consumable goods, and the same seal is used for perishables… In other words, the seal signifies things that are easily damaged…”

… I see, I see?

“… Think of being a slave for life as being someone else’s tool for life. The seal has that kind of strong meaning.”

“….”

… I see, such a terrible reason. A tool? I see.

“… I’ve decided what I want to do in this town.”

“What is it?”

I give him my best smile when I see his surprised and puzzled expression.

“Do you know the French Revolution?”

“….”

He seems to have been petrified with his frozen face. I wonder if my smile is that scary.

Anyway, I have decided on this matter. Let’s get ready immediately.

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