28 chapters left.
Can ya stop correcting Reincarnator to Reincarnated? It isn’t a mistake.
Chapter 350: Idealism
It made me slightly relieved that Fohl was acting so energetic.
So I left Raphtalia in the house and decided to take a quick night walk around the village. I step outside.
And there, I find Itsuki sitting in front of the Bioplant House looking up at the night sky.
“What are you doing, so late at night?” (Naofumi)
I ask the lone man.
Is Rishia asleep?
She should be the one looking over him… but from his actions up until now, I guess we can trust Itsuki just a little bit more.
“Ah, is that you, Naofumi-san?” (Itsuki)
Itsuki shifts his gaze from the stars to me as he answers.
He’s a bit… well, the recent Itsuki’s been so quiet it seems a bit eerie.
It may sound nice if you call him obedient, but I can’t tell what he’s thinking behind that façade.
“I just thought the moon was pretty, so I wanted to watch it.” (Itsuki)
“I see.” (Naofumi)
Even in another world, there’s a moon.
Well, this is a world with werewolves, and with Fohl and Kiel, there are Demi-Humans that can transform as well.
… Why only the wolf race is translated as ‘Werewolves’ by the Shield is a mystery to me.
(TL: Werewolf/ wolf man is written in Kanji, while the rest are katakana [Blank] Race)
When I was shown one by the slave dealer, at least, that’s how its name showed up.
Is it that once it’s heard like that, the Shield will always translate it as such?
Thinking back to the status displayed back then, I’ll bet it was my fault.
It’s probable that when the Slave Dealer introduced me, he used a tool to display information in a way that could be read by anyone. It used my understanding from my own world.
But it only used it for a certain set of words
Silence surrounds me and Itsuki.
Should I leave?
When I think that, Itsuki breaks the silence of his own accord. He begins speaking.
“Naofumi-san, you know about it, right?” (Itsuki)
“About what?” (Naofumi)
“My… curse has mostly been lifted already.” (Itsuki)
“… Yeah.” (Naofumi)
I’m no fool.
There’s no way I wouldn’t suspect Itsuki, who continued to stand beside Rishia without asserting his presence.
“So you knew…” (Itsuki)
“Of course.” (Naofumi)
What’s more, he’s even stopped being a Yes Man as of late.
Though I don’t think that’s so bad in itself.
Even so, for him to answer my questions honestly despite that, I wonder what sort of change has happened within him.
“A little while ago, when you were talking about the wave, and the reincarnated, do you remember?” (Itsuki)
“I… couldn’t think of an answer. And what I did remember was an NPC from a game who said similar things…” (ITsuki)
Come to think about it, Itsuki said something like that.
I think it’s a cheat system the developer intentionally put into the game, or something like that.
“If you ask why I remain here even though my curse has been broken…” (Itsuki)
He suddenly changes the topic.
I don’t think he’s fully recovered yet.
“… I was wrong. Naofumi-san was right… it’s just that I never had the courage to say it, is what I thought.” (Itsuki)
“And now you think differently?” (Naofumi)
I did consider that possibility.
Itsuki’s party instigated a rebellion against the state, and they were all executed.
They even conspired with Witch. He should have heard from Rishia about how he used an ability to brainwash others.
Because of his curse, he was forced to listen to and accept what others told him.
“Right now, because I’m like this… I can… muster my courage.” (Itsuki)
“Ah, I see.” (Naofumi)
“But, please… you definitely cannot trust me.” (Itsuki)
“I never trusted you from the start. That’s why you’re under Rishia’s protection.” (Naofumi)
And there’s also that promise with Rishia.
“Then you don’t have to believe it, but please listen to what I have to say.” (Itsuki)
“Got it. And? What is it you want to talk about?” (Naofumi)
“First… about the progression of my curse.” (Itsuki)
“It isn’t cured?” (Naofmi)
“I cannot say. While I think it has been lifted, I can find plenty of places where it’s still in effect.” (Itsuki)
Well, his curse is something like the loss of individuality.
If something’s off, those surrounding him can’t tell, but I guess the individual himself can notice.
“My judgement and my will, I’ve lost various things to this curse. But… it seems that my memory was included as well.” (Itsuki)
“I still… cannot remember the faces of my family in the other world, and there are parts of the game, and novels I’ve read online, that I cannot recall at all.” (Itsuki)
“You never said anything about that.” (Naofumi)
“It’s not like I didn’t want to… I didn’t notice. I was able to recall a brief outline of things when I didn’t have my sense of judgement, though.” (Itsuki)
“When Naofumi-san spoke of the novels of your world, I merely thought, ‘so there are stories like that too,’ but when I used Cal Mira’s Onsen today… I remembered my world had them too.” (Itsuki)
“I… see.” (Naofumi)
He has partial amnesia, and he lacks the ability to feel anything was off?
“But why?” (Naofumi)
It’s strange for him not to have noticed until now.
“Isn’t forgetting your parents something serious?” (Naofumi)
“It’s not that I can’t remember. I can look back and see what sort of people they were, and what sort of things they did, but it’s like I have slight lapses in memory in some places. I just can’t remember them no matter what.” (Itsuki)
“But isn’t that just natural? What’s the problem?” (Naofumi)
“It appears in my gaming knowledge as well. I talked about the game Dimension Wave from my world, correct?” (Itsuki)
“Isn’t it strange? If there was a sequel or continuation on the market, then shouldn’t I have at least researched the information on it or something?” (Itsuki)
Well… he’s right.
No matter how hooked he was on it, if he knew there was a sequel to his favorite game, he would at least look up an overview of the story.
But Itsuki didn’t do any searching. He didn’t read anything.
No, he didn’t speak about anything?
“Of course, the information about what the wave was… probably wasn’t in the game. But, what sort of waves there were, or what sort of new battle systems were in place would definitely be out there.” (Itsuki)
“T-that’s right.” (Naofumi)
“Well, I remember visiting the country that Silt Welt currently occupies and the areas I didn’t get to visit. But that isn’t all.” (Itsuki)
He’s going around the main topic. I don’t get what he’s trying to accomplish.
It’s just that I understand this will transition into something important.
“The Sequel’s wave… After defeating Ouryuu, Dimension Wave had the expansion… Let’s Go to the New World linked by the Wave! A system like that. I remember… I was waiting for it to come.” (Itsuki)
“That means…” (Naofumi)
“Yes… it was already too late to save that world.” (Itsuki)
Every wave, Glass slowly leads her people here.
So what happens to the people here?
I’ll have to ask later.
“No matter how you look at it, that’s way too late.” (Naofumi)
“… I know. But… as if intentionally, the information about the wave was… deleted. Is this also the enemy’s meddling?” (Itsuki)
“No clue.” (Naofumi)
The Cursed Weapon Itsuki got his hands on was one a Hero of the Past took in hand to try to conquer the world, it seems.
If that hero got the weapon from whatever god’s up there, and Itsuki received its influence, then there’s a possibility that whoever’s running this took away any memories that would prove disadvantageous.
“And so, I am… perhaps I’m being used by the enemy. I can’t even tell whether or not the curse has been completely lifted or not.” (Itsuki)
Ah… so he was always thinking about something like that.
“So if I ever do something that would hurt you and the others… please strike me down without hesitation.” (Itsuki)
“I can’t do it, so can I leave that to others?” (Naofumi)
“Yes. I know this is something I should be confiding with Rishia-san… but I don’t think that girl will be able to do something so heartless.” (Itsuki)
“Understood. I’ll make a promise with you.” (Naofumi)
With Ren and Itsuki, if this was a story, then they’d be raising so many death flags right now.
While I was thinking that, Itsuki turns back to the village.
“This is a good village. It’s a place I envy, a place Naofumi-san built from scratch.” (Itsuki)
“Well, it isn’t a bad place to live.” (Naofumi)
It’s next to the sea, and Bioplant fruits are plentiful. You won’t have problems with food supply.
The Crepe Tree is… questionable, but it’s a nice place to live.
“I can understand now. Naofumi-san isn’t evil… if you just arbitrarily gather the worst information, even the greatest of saints can become but another villain.” (Itsuki)
“No, I am a villain.” (Naofumi)
… I look towards the village to condemn myself
It’s a place I built. A place the villagers will happily lay down their lives for. A place where I trained everyone to happily march off to war.
I learned that in business, you can make the most profit when you make the other side happy to buy your merchandise.
But I can’t think the one who made a place where people happily sacrifice themselves to war can be a good person.
“I never taught the people here the futility and tragedy brought by battle.” (Naofumi)
“But… you’re always protecting them so they don’t have to experience it.” (Itsuki)
“… I couldn’t protect them.” (Naofumi)
I couldn’t protect my own villlagers.
Starting with Atlas, we had plenty of victims in the Houou battle.
In the war with Faubley, the amount of casualties on our side was unbelievably low, but that doesn’t mean there were none.
“The past me would have chastised you for your lack of responsibility… but now, I can understand. Rather than a village without the means to fight, one that exists only to be protected by the Hero of the Shield, one filled with people who want to fight together with Naofumi-san and lend their power to him, shines much brighter.” (Itsuki)
“That’s just lip service.” (Naofumi)
“Yes, it sure is. That’s why Rishia-san, and Ren-san, and Naofumi-san are working so desperately. That’s what I understand.” (Itsuki)
“So I can continue working the villagers like slaves!?” (Naofumi)
I keep saying I’m not working hard, but two people have given me this speech already.
Now and then, I’ve never felt this conflicted before in my life.
“Us Heroes are… we can’t just work for our own self-satisfaction. Because Naofumi-san had many things we were lacking in, he was able to solve the problems we caused. In truth… like Naofumi-san, we wanted to make the people truly happy, without leaving them to rot.” (Itsuki)
“Let’s liken this to a person who knows danger is approaching. If they are merely protected, they will eventually think it natural to get protected, and eventually, they’ll even… forget their thanks.” (Itsuki)
… It’s not something I don’t understand.
That’s what the world of normality lives on.
It’s only when the unsung heroes disappear that we notice.
In this case, it’s again, much too late.
“That’s why, even if Naofumi-san returns to his own world, the village he made will definitely live on. He was just making a place like that.” (Itsuki)
“It was just my way of thanking a slave, Raphtalia.” (Naofumi)
“Even so. Everyone is being protected, but by protecting them, you show them the difficulty of protecting, and the meaning of strength. And that’s exactly why this village is a good place.” (Itsuki)
“… Power’s all about how you use it.” (Naofumi)
Even if I make them strong, there’s no meaning if they use it for robbery or revenge.
This village can’t be devoid of people with feelings like that.
Grief is followed by Hatred, and Hatred is followed by Strife… and what if someone gained strength to fulfill these means?
The answer is simple.
They become like me.
This might be plain self-satisfaction, but that’s a fate I’ll never wish upon those guys.
“That is… looking at Ren-san and Wyndia-san, everyone’s learning how to deal with it as well.” (Itsuki)
Ren and Taniko?
I think all the villagers know about it.
About how she gets along with the one who killed her father.
And it seems Taniko’s resolved herself not to act in revenge.
“Also… everyone’s learned that the world isn’t filled with bad people. Peddling was your way of getting them to deepen their understanding of people, right?” (Itsuki)
No, I just wanted money.
Is what I think, but I see.
The people grew to understand Demi-Humans, despite being hated by the country, through their peddling under the popular Hero of the Shield’s banner.
For the villagers who had their parents killed by humans, and who were oppressed as slaves, they were able to learn, through peddling, that the human race had good people as well.
But, I don’t get what’s to celebrate.
Misunderstanding paving the way to war is a common story.
Well, Demi-human countries often go to war, so they should have some oppressed slaves themselves.
I guess it’s a good thing for that system to gradually become obsolete.
Right now, Melromark and Silt Welt have an alliance.
Looking at the wars they waged in the past, I guess it’s a wondrous outcome.
“If it were me… I’d definitely label the ones who mistreated Demi-humans to be an evil to defeat. I even delivered punishment onto humans back then.” (Itsuki)
“There are true villains out there too. Don’t look to me as an ironclad law.” (Naofumi)
“Things can’t be decided by the ideals of a single person… I knew. Perhaps I would have turned out like that reincarnator. I think I need to talk more with those I see as evil. Or else history will merely repeat itself.” (Itsuki)
“Then… what would you do if the one calling himself god has his own reasons?” (Naofumi)
“… If he has something grand enough to require the deaths of so many people, then I’d definitely like to hear it. In order to read it out at his funeral.” (Itsuki)
The reason for destroying the world…
I don’t think it can be anything good.
“You mean of how, to save the world from the wave, we have to sacrifice two thirds of the population? For him, there may be a certain reason he has to do such a thing.” (Naofumi)
“Each and every world has its limit, and worlds that are no longer necessary must be destroyed. If it was something like that I could understand, but I do not think it offers any respite to those that died as a result. I want him to find a better way, no, it’s his duty to find one. Or else we will go against him.” (Itsuki)
Fumu… it’s idealism, but it doesn’t sound bad.
Of course, in the end, we may have to bring about some victims ourselves.
And it’s us who have to make that choice.
But in the very end, we’re going to oppose him.
“Rishia-san said it. It takes a good amount of courage to say someone else is wrong, but pushing justice onto another is something else entirely. Probably.” (Itsuki)
“Sure sounds like her.” (Naofumi)
For Rishia to be able to say such things to Itsuki makes it sound like her pitiful start was but a lie.
The “probably” at the end really fits, though.
But, I can’t think of her as the one who screamed “FUEEEE” whilst trying to drown herself.
Hmm? Did she shout something like that when she jumped? I can’t remember.
But even now, Rishia continues to “FUEEEEEEE” loudly as her ideals develop further.
“In order to fulfill one’s own desire, to take from people you hate is evil. But how about taking from those you hate to protect the weak? If not to satisfy his own lust, but to save someone, a man took the wealth a nobleman had earned himself, would that be right?” (Itsuki)
“It’s a hard problem.” (Naofumi)
What sort of person is the noble he loathes? Why must he steal in order to gain the ability to protect the weak?
Additional factors pop up.
In the end, it’s best to uphold the established rules.
But rules themselves are created by humans, and they need to adapt to the times.
“And so, I am… without going forward on a single ideal, I think I need to talk with the person I am to oppose and come to a conclusion afterwards. Up until now, I was merely ignoring them while they shouted at me. It was merely because they were of lower standing that I believed the weak to be the ones I had to protect.” (Itsuki)
“Itsuki, I don’t think you’ll reach an answer like that.” (Naofumi)
The person will definitely hide any inconvenient information.
And there are plenty of cases where conversations don’t lead anywhere.
Or perhaps… there are cases where both sides are rotten beyond repair.
“… I’ll bet. But if I were to go back to the start of it all, then I’d like to hear what both you and Witch-san had to say. I’d like to confirm the truth. Gender doesn’t matter. Why did that happen, and if Witch-san was the one to fool Naofumi-san, then why did she do such a thing? I want to think carefully after asking all of that.” (Itsuki)
“I see. If someone like that had been there at the time, then perhaps things would have gone in a slightly better direction.” (Naofumi)
But it’s already passed.
Noticing he was wrong, it seems Itsuki’s trying to say he wants to save the me of the past.
I guess I’ll just take those feelings.
Well… if it’s just words, he could just be bullshitting the hell out of me, but is it my bad for thinking it?
“In truth, justice was… something as difficult as this. But I got drunk off the feeling of convicting others…” (Itsuki)
“Then what do you plan on doing once the wave is over?” (Naofumi)
“I think I want to stay in this world, and go on a journey.” (Itsuki)
“A journey… where do you plan on going? And wait, what do you plan on doing?” (Naofumi)
“I want to lend my power to those in need of help.” (Itsuki)
“Using your arrogant justice again?” (Naofumi)
“Perhaps… but this time, I want to try hard so that I’m not the only one satisfied by the conclusion. A path where I won’t have any more lingering regrets. And if in the end of all of it, I have rocks thrown at me once more, I won’t offer any excuses.” (Itsuki)
This is an illness. It’s the return of the Justice Virus.
But, I feel he’ll offer a bit less self-justification than the Itsuki of the past.
I’d like to hope that he’s made some progress.
With Itsuki’s actions, there were definitely a lot of problems, but I guess there were people who were saved as a result as well.
Rishia’s a representative case. Though his aftercare of her was the worst.
“I haven’t told her yet, but when the time comes, if I make a mistake once more, please tell Rishia to stop me again.” (Itsuki)
“Dude… that’s quite a Death Flag, isn’t it?” (Naofumi)
“Death Flag, is it? Now that you mention it, you’re right.” (Itsuki)
“Well, I’d like to believe such things hold no meaning in reality. Even so, it’s ominous, so watch the way you phrase things. Ren even said something along the lines of, ‘once this battle’s over…’ though I have the feeling I instigated that one.” (Naofumi)
“Then I’ll go tell Ren to avoid his imminent demise.” (Itsuki)
“No, can you intentionally avoid Death Flags…?” (Naofumi)
Just as before, Itsuki is still a bit strange.
But either way, he has changed.
Eventually, he’ll wander into a battle where there’s no right answer, but he’s resolved himself to search for one.
Will he find happiness on the end of his path? I can only pray.