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No way, thought Sare.No way,
The words Alice had spoken――the [Other races subjugation plan].
Alfred and the others were most likely killed because of this plan.
Or, the eradication of the Majin race was needed to begin the plan.
Well, at this point the reasoning doesn’t really matter. For whatever reason the end result was that the Majin race was swept from the stage.
“We are――those who have lost someone due to the [Other races subjugation plan]. We have been brought together as a result of this plan. Day by day our numbers have increased, but a month hasn’t even passed since we began.”
――How surprising.――How surprising.
Hearing the truth of their situation, Sare was surprised because the group appeared so close and everyone seemed so deeply tied to one another.
“Not even one month? Even though you all get along so well?”
“I dare to say that our close connections are due to [substitution]. We have all lost our connections to our brethren. Perhaps these new connections formed quickly to [substitute] the bonds that were lost?”
As someone similar to the members of this group, Sare could see his own feelings match well with Alice’s explanation.
Sare could definitely understand that way of thinking.
“At some point I was placed in the center of this group. While our connections may be because of an act of substitution, I have a different idea as to why I became the focus.”
“What would that be?”
“I cannot see or proceed on my own. I also lack any power. I am an existence that needs protection. I think that everyone felt a need to protect me and focused their attentions on me; protecting me became their duty, their responsibility, and it brought everyone’s unique wills together in solidarity. In the face of their solidarity――I became something like the leader of the group, though I do not hold such a position in actuality――”
“That is not the real truth of the matter.” A voice suddenly called out from somewhere off to the side.
When he looked towards the source of the voice Sare saw a black-haired beauty who had a single horn growing from her head.
With black hair reached all the way to the small of her back, her appearance was quite breathtaking.
“Though half of what you have said is correct, me thinks the other half is false. Milady never looks at things in a selfish manner. Rather, we believe that milady’s predictions are not just correct, but that milady decides our future paths with absolute impartiality and fairness.”
In reply to the horned beauty Alice replied,
“[Touka]-san, your words refer to the story that I possess powers of prediction, correct?”
“Fumu, at the beginning we simply gave milady’s predictions a chance, but after observing your leadership these past few weeks there can be no doubt that milday’s decisions are the right ones. So we have decided to continue to trust your decisions. ――Though it is sooth that our bonds are new and somewhat frail.”
After saying this the black-haired, one-horned beauty, [Touka], turned her gaze towards Sare.
“You are called Sare, are you not? As you are alone, won’t you come with us? There’s no denying that traveling in a group is comforting, even if you are capable of defending yourself. Your stronghold here looks like it might collapse at any moment but perhaps, for you, it is better than nothing. Yet, when you need to be saved a stronghold has no reason or desire to protect you――”
Touka looked at Sare as she tried to seduce him with her strangely old-fashioned style of speaking despite her young age.
There doesn’t seem to be a catch――but what should I do?There doesn’t seem to be a catch――but what should I do?
From what they’ve said they’re a very eye-catching group of people who could be arrested on sight.From what they’ve said they’re a very eye-catching group of people who could be arrested on sight.
A collapsing stronghold.A collapsing stronghold.
Or a group with no purpose.Or a group with no purpose.
Who gathered coincidentally with no real aim.Who gathered coincidentally with no real aim.
What could I stand to gain if I joined up with this group?What could I stand to gain if I joined up with this group?
Sare could just easily calculate the relative benefit or disadvantage joining would get him, but there was a nagging thought that urged him to ask,
“Do you really――have no purpose? ――Truly none?”
“There are goals but our paths to achieve them are still unknown.” Touka spoke confidently while wearing a smile.
Even the way she breathed was bewitching,
“――Well….it is not as if milord’s suspicions are entirely unfounded. Within our group are many races but no single goal. But more important than these goals is our situation. We have been forced to travel while avoiding the regions influenced by the leader of the country that initiated the Other race subjugation plan: Atem Kingdom’s king.”
Touka nodded at her own words with an [Umu].
“We have just about――reached our limit.”
“That is true. Although we have just been introduced to one another, perhaps it’s already time to talk about this. Sare-san, you of course reserve the right to refuse,” Alice began.
“As I mentioned before this area is quite dangerous for those of the Other races at the moment. Whether or not you accept our invitation, it would be prudent for us to change locations.”
Sare was still somewhat hesitant.
Before joining their group, he’d want to know all the details first. Everything depends on the degree of differences between his goals and theirs.
They seemed like a group that could easily fall apart.
He wanted a bit more time to consider things.
Sare’s mouth moved to ask for time to think about all this, but――
“Fufufu……..!! Are there a bunch of useless cretins over here discussing things above them?! Oooh, there are! That’s totally what you’re doing! ――with Sare something something!!”
Before Sare could ask his question a woman suddenly appeared directly in front of him and spoke while striking an arrogant pose.
A woman who spoke in a loud, shrill voice with hair shining like gold thread and [six large white wings] that fluttered in a showy manner.
She took a prideful breath [fufun] and smiled cheerfully as she continued.[fufun]
“You! Before you, stands a SUPER, absolutely gorgeous, utterly noble member of the Heaven race――Reg Nahdo, yet you haven’t introduced yourself?! ――Ehhh, what’s wrong with you?! Even if you’re just a cretin that’s awfully impertinent of you!!”SUPER,gorgeousnoble
――E, eehhh…..so hyper…..E, eehhh…..so hyper…..
Even though he was still in shock from her sudden appearance and the even more surprising accusation that he was a cretin, Sare managed to respond.
“W, well, that is, saying that so suddenly――”
“What are you saying?! ‘Suddenly’ means that it’s no good?! ――How ridiculous!! Where on earth is there someone so impertinent as to say that I’m in the wrong?! It’s you, isn’t it?! Sa―― something something!”111
This girl, she forgot the [re] already. Didn’t you just call me [Sare] before…..?!Sare thought to himself as the white winged girl went off again.This girl, she forgot the [re] already. Didn’t you just call me [Sare] before…..?!
“Well, aren’t you going to throw yourself on the ground and beg for my forgiveness?! Well?! Hurry up and get to it!!”
“Well, you know, I never really said you were in the wrong, you know?!”
――You just took it upon yourself to come to that conclusion!! I haven’t done anything wrong either!!You just took it upon yourself to come to that conclusion!! I haven’t done anything wrong either!!
The white-winged girl suddenly got up in Sare’s face and pressed herself against him in anger as if she was yelling [Hey, hey, hey!]2.[Hey, hey, hey!]22.
“[Premiere]-san, you are no longer making any sense, please shut your mouth.”
Alice suddenly intervened with her always expressionless face and monotone, if somewhat poisonous, voice.
“Oho, is that Alice? It sounds as if I’m talking nonsense again, does it? ――Fufufu……!! It’s impossible for me to speak nonsense! Never in my life have I heard such a thing! I speak with absolute clarity! And nobility!” (Premiere)
“No, the conversation has definitely become ridiculous.” (Alice)
“What is this, why if’t isn’t the meddlesome Premi. Thee should really refrain from speaking so oft…..” (Touka)
“You shut your mouth Touka. ――Should I break off that horn of yours? Well? Should I?! ――It’s decided, I’m gonna break it off!!” (Premiere)
“I’m not really concerned as to whether you break off Touka-san’s horn or not, but you’re being quite a bother. I would be pleased if you could go somewhere else for the time being.” (Alice)
“Wha-! Alice! Milady, what do you think my horn is?!” (Touka)
“I see….I dare say, if I were grilling and in need of a skewer it might do well as a replacement. I think I could easily fit three delicious things: meat, onion, and meat. It would be somewhat useful. Only somewhat though.” (Alice)
“Oho! There’s a good idea! Well said Alice! Let’s immediately give it a try!” (Premiere)
“You two…..!!” (Touka)
“That’s how it is, so please go give it a try somewhere over there at once, let’s not wait for the next time, please go be a bother somewhere I cannot see. No matter what you decide, I would be pleased if you went somewhere else for the time being.” (Alice)
“Understood! At once! Yes! Let’s go use Touka’s horn as a skewer at once!!” (Premiere)
All of a sudden Sare was no longer trapped within the previously puzzling scene.
He waited in wide-eyed amazement.
The white-winged girl named Premiere grabbed Touka by the horn and dragged her over to where the Other race group members were still guarding and there was silence for a few moments after their departure before Alice spoke again,
“I apologize for the fuss, Sare-san.”
“Eh, ah, yeah….”
“As you just experienced, our group’s current condition contains surprising people and also…”
――Eh? Also what? …..Is there something else I need to worry about?Eh? Also what? …..Is there something else I need to worry about?
“I, I see…..”
“There are quite a few members whose personalities are somewhat dark. While the surprising ones are somewhat unnecessary――――those dark ones who speak poisonously are similarly unacceptable.”
――Is she actually saying this? Why don’t you correct what you just finished saying a few moments ago? I mean, aren’t you calling yourself unacceptable?!Is she actually saying this? Why don’t you correct what you just finished saying a few moments ago? I mean, aren’t you calling yourself unacceptable?!
“In any case, well, how should I put it……..what do you say? That is, about the invitation I mentioned before?” Alice deftly returned to the previous topic. “You do not have to stay until we’ve found a place of refuge, but are you at least interested in traveling with us for awhile?”
“Well――” Sare paused for just a moment.
“―――Sure.” He finished with a nod.
After hearing the series of conversations just now, he changed his previous decision on the matter.
“I guess I’ll be in your care.”
――It’s [interesting].It’s [interesting].
Interesting things kept gushing forth from these people.
It wasn’t as if he was fond of the strong personalities of the two who had wandered away from the conversation, but he was interested. ――He had become intrigued.
What kind of race were they? What sort of beliefs did they hold? What was their eventual destination?
“We are glad to have you. Although it may appear to be a frail bond, from this point forward you are our [companion].”
Sare embraced the words Alice spoke.
――I think I’m actually quite fortunate.I think I’m actually quite fortunate.
At least in terms of acquiring new bonds.
Sare had only just begun to organize his feelings after the tragedy.
He would never forget about Alfred and the others.
But there was no point in just focusing on the past――
――If he did that, Lilian would scold him.
For a moment, Sare thought he could hear Lilian telling him to [Take care].
“So, we have acquired a new companion.” Alice informed the others after she had stood up and walked over to them.
The group immediately was filled with noisy conversation, but rather than hearing voices of uncertainty or negative feelings, Sare instead got the impression that he was well-received.
He stood next to Alice and gave his introduction,
“――Please take care of me from now on.”
The older Majins had always told him that manners were essential in life, and Sare kept his words polite as to deliver a courteous greeting. First impressions are important.
――Aah, but sometimes first impressions can be the worst.Aah, but sometimes first impressions can be the worst.
Within the bustle of the group the silhouettes of two certain individuals stood out.
“I see, thou shalt travel with us. I desire thee to take care of me as well.” (Touka)
“Hey now, Touka? You realize that running away will do you no good?! Hurry up and hand over that horn!” (Premiere)
“Cease these acts immediately, Premi! ‘Tis breaking! ‘Tis breaking!!” (Touka)
Once again the two beautiful women, who were still teamed up together despite their complaints and obvious incompatability, stood within the group and reaffirmed Sare’s assessment that first impressions can be the worst.
“Ah, Sa――something? You’re――coming along then?”
“It’s Sare. You said it right the first time, so at least manage to remember it from now on.”
Despite Sare’s request the white-winged beauty――Premiere――beautifully ignored his words and went on her own tangent.
“Fine! Then, from now on you are my cretin No.50! To start with, can you please prostrate yourself on the ground?! Allow me to sit on your back!”
――Why? I’m not even really going against her, am I?Why? I’m not even really going against her, am I?
She previously called herself a [Heaven race], but rather than a benevolent angel, she’s more like tyrant?She previously called herself a [Heaven race], but rather than a benevolent angel, she’s more like tyrant?
――Ah! Rather than this sort heavenly being, I’d really love to see a fairy tale-like righteous and graceful angel!Ah! Rather than this sort heavenly being, I’d really love to see a fairy tale-like righteous and graceful angel!
“Sare-san, rather than getting trapped in her ridiculous dialogue I recommend always ignoring whatever she says.” Alice said in a very poisonous, sharp, and Alice-like manner.
“Now then――” (Alice)
“Hm? What is it?” (Sare)
“I’d like to speak regarding an unspoken agreement we all follow in this group, but how should I go about it. It’s unspoken, so if I just blatantly tell you does it lose its meaning I wonder――Let’s put it this way: there are many and varied races in our group, so please don’t just casually inquire as to past issues. Speaking carefree, similar to that idiot――ah, sorry, I misspoke――Premiere-san, may not be the best, but always holding back isn’t the right way either…” (Alice)
“Ah, I think I understand. Don’t ask for more information from others than what I’d be comfortable providing myself.” (Sare)
Sare took the chance to interrupt during the pause in Alice’s explanation.
He mostly agreed with the general idea.
Those who innocently ask questions may end up stomping all over someone else’s heart.
Watching Touka and Premiere had made him forget, but these people had all lost their important [bonds].
No one, not even a member of the group, should apply unneeded pressure on these people whose emotional wounds had still not healed.
Alice is quite observant.Alice is quite observant.
By observant he wasn’t talking about her actual powers of [observation]; he hadn’t forgotten her blindness. Rather, he meant that she was very capable of understanding the inner feelings of the men and women around her.
Suddenly Sare noticed something――
“Alice, you seem to walk around quite naturally. Are you somehow able to understand your surroundings?”
Alice gave a small nod after hearing Sare’s words.
“Yes. While it is true that my sight is gone, my other senses are more capable as a result. I can somewhat sense what is around me. Although, of course, I cannot comment on colors or other details.”
Now that he thought about it, what race did she belong to?
He tilted his head as he studied her.
She didn’t possess features that stood out, like the others.
She was exceedingly normal――like someone from the Pure race would look.
――Well, not that I’ve actually had the chance to really look at someone of the Pure race before.Well, not that I’ve actually had the chance to really look at someone of the Pure race before.
But he had the feeling she looked like one just based on his opinion formed from all the information he had gleaned on the subject.
――Sorta like, if I saw one I’d know it.Sorta like, if I saw one I’d know it.
Because it wasn’t likely she would answer such a question, he decided to refrain as to not appear rude.
After all, she had just spoke to him about why such questions were taboo. It wouldn’t be a good idea to break the rule so quickly.
“Now then everyone.”
As Sare was thinking these things Alice spoke to call everyone’s attention.
“So far we have been traveling while avoiding the outskirts of Atem Kingdom’s territory――but what shall we do from here on out?” (Alice)
“Fumu, what shalt we do?” (Touka)
“Why don’t we start constructing my kingdom?! Yes! What a wonderful idea!!” (Premiere)
At Premiere’s words the entire group, in unison, cried, “Absolutely not!!”
――I’m worried about my future being in this group…I’m worried about my future being in this group…
Sare thought as he hung his head.
1TN: She says “sing” in Japanese rather than “say.” I guess because she’s a bird-brain?11TN: She says “sing” in Japanese rather than “say.” I guess because she’s a bird-brain?
2TN: Like a yakuza intimidating someone (according to anime at least).22TN: Like a yakuza intimidating someone (according to anime at least).
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