I normally say that I like Past Life Returner but I have not read it at all, not even the manhwa(comic). But this story is different, I love it. I...


Chapter 69

Surprisingly, People from the Same World Don’t Talk to Each Other

 

 

Walking around in the middle of the night reminds me of my part-time night shift.

It would be dark in the office, and only my desk would be lit. I would be there working on inventory control while facing the computer screen. Now I only have to go to my neighbor Iris’s house, Iris’, so it’s still easy. It’s nice to be in this world. There’s also an older sister next to me.

“But you can still turn down the late-night job, Aine.”

I said to Aine, who was walking alongside me.

With her apron and headdress removed, Aine’s maid outfit transformed into the darkness like a ninja costume. Her chestnut brown hair is tied behind her shoulders in a tight knot, and her eyes are shining so brightly that you can see them even at night.

“I think that you asked me to accompany you because being alone would be uncomfortable.”

Aine looked back at me with a stern face, holding the “Mop of Steel” in her hand.

“Saying no to that is not an option in my life, okay?”

“…I guess you’re right about being uncomfortable.”

Right now, we are heading to the prison of the Irgafa Lord.

I’m sleepy, but I need to talk with Eterina Hasburg, who’s imprisoned there.

To do so, I need Aine’s help.

Like the fake demon that attacked Iris, she also has to cheat skills and I don’t know what they are. You never know what they might do or say in the first place. In fact, I would like to go with the whole party, but that would be too conspicuous.

So…

“I asked Aine to do this partly because of her non-lethal skills against people. Aine’s [Memory Wipe] can silently incapacitate an opponent.”

“I don’t care about logic, you know.”

Aine whispered and nodded.

“Being able to go out alone with Na-kun is a reward for me.”

… As expected of an older sister. So reliable.

Yeah … I guess I should implement that plan when I get back.

With these thoughts in mind, we made our way through the forest and arrived at the back of the Lord’s house.

It was a huge building that looked intimidating even at night. I remembered the floor plan that Iris had shown me in my head and looked for the servant entrance – I found it. The key is at … just as planned.

There was no sign of anyone around.

Iris has left a time gap where there are no soldiers in patrol, so no one should be coming for a while.

We entered the grounds of the Lord’s house through the servant’s entrance. The ground was paved with stones. I checked the floor plan again in my mind. I’m pretty sure the entrance to the prison is to the right of here.

I heard that the reason why Eterina Hasburg is in the prison of the Lord’s house instead of the town prison is that Iris’ father doesn’t want the ugly news about Neuel Hoffimier to come out. These Nobles are so annoying.

But I’m grateful now. If she’d been transported to the town prison, I wouldn’t have been able to reach her.

I’ve received permission from the Lord to contact Eterina Hasburg. It’s an unspoken agreement, to be exact.

However, the regular soldiers don’t know anything about this, so we can’t let them find us.

Still, the fact that there are no soldiers here and the service entrance was open probably means that the Lord has tacitly approved of what we’re doing. In the meantime, I’ll share at least some information with him later.

“My Lord. We have a guide.

Suddenly, the demon sword Reggie muttered behind my back.”

Behind a plant in the backyard, there was a blue glowing thing moving. It was translucent and shiny, about the size of a basketball.

It’s Rafilia’s slime. She’s been waiting for us.

“Reggie. Do you know what she’s trying to say?”

“Of course. Who do you think I am?”

A lewd cursed sword…

“Activate [Slime Bringer LV1]!”

With a pop, a figure-sized Reggie appeared around my shoulders, fluttered the hem of her white robe, and spun around. He pointed to the air and struck a gorgeous pose. He’s really cool like this, isn’t he?

Reggie activated his cheat skill. It’s a great skill that allows the user to communicate with and control any slime within a 10-meter radius.

“I’ve established a link to the… slime. Hmm. That slime is taking orders from that big-breasted elf girl.”

“What is it saying?”

“This slime will guide us to the entrance of the prison.”

“All right. Put the slime ahead of us. We’ll use it as a scout.”

“Yes, sir. The maid girl, if you want to follow me, lower your posture a little more.”

Aine nodded her head as Reggie held onto my ear.

We lowered ourselves and followed the slime.

Maybe Rafilia and Iris are also following us in the mansion.

I used an insider to look at the floor plan of the mansion, memorized every nook and cranny, and then had the door unlocked from the inside so I could enter. Well, it’s not like I’m going to harm the Lord’s family, and I helped catch Eterina Hasburg, so there should be no problems.

The time is just before midnight. Most of the lights in the house are out.

The mansion is huge, like a castle, but it also has a lot of shadows and blind spots. I learned this from Iris. Iris has been trapped in the mansion for more than ten years and has simulated the escape course a hundred times every year in her brain. That’s why she said she knew the blind spots of the mansion and the blind spots of the soldiers. Probably no one knows the safest route better than her.

After a short walk, we came to a small hollow.

It was built to hide, surrounded by tall trees.

There is nothing painted on the surface. The color is black. The shape is rectangular. The height is about the height of a person. In the front, there is a door with a sturdy-looking lock.

“Reggie.”

“I know. Spit it out.”

Phu

Following Reggie’s instructions, the blue slime spat out a small key from its body. Aine caught it.

A black key without any decoration. It’s the key to the door in front of me. As expected of Iris and Rafilia, they are meticulous.

“Reggie, maintain the link with the slime. The slime will keep an eye on things outside. Let me know if anything happens.”

“Yes, my Lord.”

“Aine, you can use [Memory Wipe] on anyone you want. If anyone is there, put them to sleep while I’m distracted.”

“All right. Na-kun, you can do your job with peace of mind, okay?”

Aine was smiling serenely.

She is indeed an older sister whose whole body is made of receptive power. I feel at ease when I’m with her, despite the situation.

I’m glad Aine is here. I’m going to meet someone I don’t want to … meet.

I unlocked the door that led to the prison.

The Marquess, Eterina Hasburg, should be underneath.

 

“… Th..ese…sava…ges”

I heard voices.

I heard it well, even though I had just passed through the door.

The passage to the prison, both walls, and stairs were made of damp stone. The surface was slimy and moldy. There were small puddles of water in the corridor, probably from the underground water seeping out. Droplets of water occasionally fell from above on my head.

Thanks to the lamps on the wall, I could see all the way to the end of the stairs. The passage at the end of the stairs was less than ten meters long. The wall was covered with iron bars.

In one of them was a woman whose hands were bound with handcuffs.

According to the ones from Order of Divine, who come to their senses, her ability is to imbue anything she touches with magic. This is why her hands were immobilized and she had tough gloves on her wrists and beyond.

“I’m… If I really tried, I can kill you all in a heartbeat.”

The inside of the prison was surprisingly spacious.

This is because it was originally used to imprison people of the Lord’s family who committed crimes or Shrine Maidens who defied the Lord.

In the prison was the Marquess Eterina Hasburg.

I don’t know if that’s her real name. I don’t even know she really is a ‘Visitor’.

“Come near me, savage! Fear the wrath of..!”

But Eterina Hasburg was just screaming in a high-pitched voice. She was not even looking at me.

… For the time being, let’s confirm that.

I was almost killed by her men, the Order of Divine Command. I can’t be choosy about how I gather information. I don’t like the idea of it, but…

“I’m from Earth.”

The dry laughter stopped.

“You were also summoned here, weren’t you? I am a ‘Visitor’. I want to talk to you. In the meantime, why don’t you tell me your name and what you’re here for?”

The reason I came all the way here to see her is that I wanted information on the ‘‘Visitors’.

The fake demon tribe was a loner, but she had an organization. If there’s someone else behind this, I need to know about it. I just hope it’s someone I can talk to…

“… Do you think you can confuse me with a line you’ve heard from somewhere, savage?”

Apparently not.

It’s no use. Change of plan.

Let’s see if I can somehow extract some information.

“… You doubt me? You, who claims to be Marquess.”

“Of course. You savages don’t even know the value of my work!”

Beyond the bars, I felt a sigh.

“My work is to solve a critical matter in this world, and with innovation comes risk. The results were supposed to be my trophy…”

I’ve been using some kind of sideways letters on …

Aine was tilting her head in confusion. I understand, but Aine doesn’t seem to understand the letters.

“In the first place, the Order of Divine was for activating the flow of talent and their skills. Barbarians who don’t understand such things are…”

So this is how she thinks and speaks…

Let’s try to talk to each other.

“I see. You’ve tried to open up the weak points of this world. Marquess. I highly value your battle results.”

I said.

Eterina Hasburg, who had been talking in a spiteful tone, looked up.

“…”

Her reaction changed. Let’s poke around some more.

“Your strategy to bring down the heart of this city in one fell swoop was brilliant. Just the fact that you realized the method of manipulating Neuel Hoffimier is enough for you to meet your quota.”

“Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh.”

“The technique of motivating party members by giving them incentives to move up in rank, encouraging them to improve their skills, and restructuring them through quests was also brilliant. It’s true self-innovation. However, you should have respected the promotion a little more…”

I don’t know what I’m saying anymore.

“Therefore, you are not the kind of person who should perish in a place like this. ‘Visitor’… no, Hero!”

Crash!

Ethernia Hasburg stood up.

Clang, clang!

She started shaking the bars from the inside.

She looked up at me. Her eyes were shining in response to my words. I knew she would like this kind of thing.

The system of the Order of Divine was either a pyramid scheme or a completely black company approach.

I figured that if Eterina Hasburg liked it that way, she might be vulnerable to being judged. I mean, you don’t come to another world and make up a system you don’t like.

“Are you a messenger from … ‘Guildmaster’?”

She finally spoke coherently.

“But first, answer me. What is your true name?”

I was standing next to the lamp by the wall as a precaution.

Eterina’s side of the room was backlit, so she wouldn’t be able to see my face very well.

“My true name is Katagiri Elina. So, the … ‘Guildmaster’ has not abandoned me yet? Do you remember your promise?”

“… You know what he’s up to, don’t you?”

I need to probe further.

Talking about these things puts me in a gloomy mood. Let’s get it over with soon.

“Yes, it’s no secret that the Guildmaster is the best person for the job.”

Eterina Harsburg answered.

“…So, why are you in this town?”

“He told me he couldn’t tolerate a town that cheated. He said it was an easy job, just to scold them, and that I was good at it.”

“Huh!”

“He said that I could use the people and resources of this town as pawns. That’s why I was going to destroy the festival. We will then use our power to help the town that has lost its power. We will make them completely dependent on us.”

Terrible…

“And all this for the sake of peace for the people?

“To win the battle against the Demon King, we need to gather all our strength. We don’t need any power that can deny us that. We – we – will lead the savages… You too, right?”

“Yes. I’ve been summoned, too.”

I’m not lying.

But I think I have had enough. This is making me sick.

“But I don’t think I have the strength to get you out of here. Are your people nearby?”

“No. But I’ve submerged my tools in the lake.”

Eterina Hasburg narrowed her eyes and smiled – it looked like she was smiling.

“It’s an oddly shaped Golem that I created with my [Magic Craftwork] skill. I’ve made it so that it can move if you incorporate magic crystals. Use it to save me.”

“…Golem.”

“You can make the Golem move if you incorporate it with magic crystals. Save me with it. I’m not the kind of person who ends up here. The ‘Guildmaster’ said that if I completed my mission, he would return me to the world with my skills!”

Do you want to bring … this guy back to the world with your skills?

“’ Guildmaster’ has that kind of power …?”

Eternia Hasburg stiffened.

“… Who are you?”

…What?

The emotion was gone from her voice. Her voice was cold. She banged on the bars trying to break it.

“You don’t know him! You don’t know him! You savages deceive me!  My name is Katagiri Elina. I’m Katagiri Elina, a candidate for Assistant Chief of Staff after only six months on the job! Someone who doesn’t even know the value of that is locking me up ────.”

She was screaming her eyes out.

“I will go back to my world! I will go back and use my [Magic Craftwork] to remind my boss who made me quit and my junior colleagues who I only ‘instructed’ and then disappeared without permission! I will settle my score with them! That’s what I’ve been fighting for!”

“…What?”

Seriously?

She tricked Neuel Hoffimier and created Order of Divine for such a purpose?

“I don’t care if you’re a … savage. You know what you’ve done, right?”

She made the Order of Divine expendable and let them die.

Even Rafilia was almost forced to join us.

She manipulated Neuel Hoffimier, broke the ritual, and tried to kidnap Iris. We were almost killed by them. If Cecil and the others hadn’t been cheat characters, we would have died.

If that were true, I shouldn’t complain about the whole island pavilion being blown up.

“… Are you the Lord? You’re just a savage.”

“Oh, shut up! Just wait! I’m not the last! There will be a second and a third… in this town.”

“No, I don’t have much of an obligation to Irgafa.”

The pounding on the bars stopped.

Behind the bars, Eterina Hesburg’s eyes are wide open.

“I just wanted to save the Shrine Maiden Iris from black labor.”

“Black Labor… huh?”

“Kaka,” Eterina Hasburg laughed out.

“I don’t take it for granted that I can do a given job in the best way. You’ve decided to use the Shrine Maiden as a tool, right? The Shrine Maiden and the useless people from the Order of Divine… they don’t even know what they’re doing, that’s why the people of this world are savages.”

“… You won’t work anymore.”

“What?”

“You’re not supposed to work. Every time you work, there will be casualties. At the very least, you’re not fit to be a leader or a Hero. Change your job! Change to a job where you don’t have to deal with people!”

That’s strange.

She’s also a ‘Visitor’, we are from the same world, but I don’t understand her story.

It’s as if I am dealing with someone from another world.

“Traitor! You’ve already been caged by the savages…? What?”

What the hell?

Eternia’s mouth began to glow orange.

She’s still got something, huh?

“Kill! Your presence confuses my raison d’etre. It’s unpleasant. You have the same eyes as… that junior!”

(TN Note: the most important reason or purpose for someone or something’s existence.)

Her skill is to imbue tools with magic. But regular soldiers have to go through a physical examination before they can be locked up. I’m pretty sure I took off my rings and all of my accessories too. The rest…

“…My skills are the strongest. I can even cure cavities…”

Eterina’s back teeth were shining.

You’ve got a magic item hidden in there? What are you, a spy with poison in your teeth?

“Reggie! Come out!”

“Yes, my Lord ────!”

At the top of the stairs, a blue slime jumped in through the door that I left slightly ajar.

She shrank – then stretched – then jumped straight towards us.

She reached around Aine’s waist. Perfect position.

Aine held up the ‘Mop of Steel’ and swung it out!

“[Memory Wipe LV1]… I’m sorry.”

“Eat this, traitor! [Flame Arrow]”

Aine was faster than me.

It was almost the same time that five [Flame Arrow]s were shot out of Eterina’s mouth and the slime flew right in front of her face.

The slime slipped through the bars and spread its jelly-like body to catch the arrows. The slime’s mucousy body was torn apart by the fifth shot.

That’s why…

“Aaaaahhhh! Aah!”

The slime fragments flew off after being hit by the arrows (while burning) and hit Eterina.

Her hair, her clothes, and even her limbs were hit by pieces of smoking slime. Eterina screamed and rolls around, trying to put out the flames in a puddle on the floor.

That was her last trump card. Maybe she was planning to use it to escape when she was being transported. You don’t normally notice something like this. If they were caught by surprise, they could be seriously injured.

But she couldn’t help but use it. here.

“… I think you should take a rest now.”

I waved my hand to signal Aine.

“Yes. Na-kun.”

Becha

With a damp mop, Aine stroked Eterina’s face from outside the cell.

Her hair and clothes were slightly burning.

There was a sizzle, and the fire went out.

Eterina’s eyes widened. This is the effect of [Memory Wipe LV1].

“… you, ha. Who… are you?”

“I’m just a slow learner, but what about it?”

“…I…I have been… found out.”

“No.”

I said.

“You’re nothing but a demon to the people of this world, I’m sure.”

“…”

Kun

Eterina closed her eyes.

Aine continued to mop Eterina’s face. In the dark basement, I was listening to any outside movements. The regular soldiers hadn’t noticed us yet. We’ll stick it out until the last minute – hopefully until then, we can erase her memories with [Memory Wipe].

Come to think of it, … her attitude changed right after I asked her about this ‘Guildmasters’.

Is ‘Guildmaster’ a human or a demi-human?

Is he one of the King’s men? Is he an outlaw? Is he recruiting ‘Visitors’ and offering them jobs? Is it true that he can take us back to our previous world? Or is he just bluffing?

Right now, I have too little information. Should I contine my questioning with her? Her way of thinking is too different from mine. I can adjust to her way of thinking, but it’s very tiring…

Well, I did find out a few things.

– Eterina Hasburg is here on orders from a guy called the Guildmaster.

– This ‘Guildmaster’ guy is scouting for ‘Visitors’, and making them work for him with the bait of sending them back to their world. I don’t know if it’s actually possible. His relation with the King is also unknown. If anything, it seems like he is recruiting ‘Visitors’ who are more suited to do dirty works and making them do that work.

And lastly,

– A Golem created by Eterina Hasburg lies at the bottom of the lake along

That’s about it. I think it would be better to tell the Lord about the last information.

Eterina Hasburg is about to be sent to the Magic Research city. She will then be installed with a “Skill Locker” that will block her skills. She will be interrogated and possibly be sent back to the Marquise’s house.

I am slightly curious… what she will look like after she loses her powers.

… I still don’t want to see her again.

“Are you done, Na-kun?”

The next thing I knew, Aine, who had finished using [Memory Wipe], was standing there with the crystal form of memory.

Softly.

Aine’s warm hand grasped mine.

Aine then squeezed my hand and pressed it against her cheek.

“Um, Aine, …?”

“It seemed like you were tired.

“No, I was not tired.”

“When you get tired, your hands get cold.”

“…Is that so?”

“Just a little. No one except for your older sister knows about this. Besides, you looked a little scared.”

Oh, I might have.

Talking to Eterina, reminded me of my previous world.

And ……, you’ve certainly been through a lot, so you might be tired.

But it’s not just me. It’s everyone.

“So maybe it’s time to put that plan into action.

“Plan?”

“Yeah, I had a secret plan that I was going to carry out once I got settled. It’s something I would never have done in my world, but it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

As we talked, we reached the ground.

The slime is gone, but so far nothing unusual happened.

We passed through the service entrance without incident, and when we got outside, we looked back.

There was a room by the window with a lamp glowing faintly. It was Iris’s room. Maybe that’s where Iris and Rafilia were watching us from.

Me, Aine, and Reggie waved to them, and then walked away.

I entered the forest unseen. I could hear the rustling of leaves and the sound of waves. At the same time, I was thinking that it would be good if we came to this area, Aine opened her mouth, “So, what’s the plan?” She read my mind. As expected of the older sister.

“Yeah. We’ve all been working too hard, so we’re going to take tomorrow day off.”

“I don’t remember working at all.”

On my shoulder, Reggie shook her twin-tails and nodded her head.

No, you’ve done a lot of work this time, haven’t you?

“But I’ll take what you give me. Just me and this maid?”

“All of you. Tomorrowーーif I go to bed now, I’ll wake up late, so it’ll be a waste. Then, the day after tomorrow.”

I declare to Aine and Reggie.

“As the leader of our party, I declare that our party will take a full vacation the day after tomorrow. And…”

Aine and Reggie were waiting for me to say something under their breath.

“This vacation is a ‘paid vacation’ for the entire party. The entire party will receive 12 Arsha. This is my decision, and I will not allow it to be changed.”

I repeat. The day after tomorrow is a ‘paid vacation’. Okay?”

It has a  nice ring to it, doesn’t it?… ‘Paid Vacation’,

I just wanted to use that word at least once.

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