Chapter 367: Aiming for Number Three
After arriving at the Castle Town, we proceeded directly to the castle.
“Ara~ if it isn’t Naofumi-chan.”
Sadina glomped me.
Due to her experimentation with me, she’s become unbelievably strong. On the front lines, she’s a fighting force that even rivals the Heroes.
She has some deap scars here and there. I could tell how harsh the battles had been at a glance.
It’s like… there’s a certain dignity she holds with her scars.
Like some sort of veteran warrior.
I don’t think she really minds them, but I guess she really has been pushing herself lately.
Now, I can understand. She’s not a reincarnator, simply a resident of this world.
“Is it true that Niichan returned!?”
Kiel shouts out in an excited voice.
But she doesn’t try to draw closer.
“… Where’s Raphtalia-chan?” (Kiel)
“I just explained it earlier.” (Naofumi)
Glass let out a surprised voice upon seeing my face, after which she drew her weapon and made some distance between us.
Ah, so she was fighting as a pair with Sadina.
“Wait, wait. I’m not controlled by a Goddess, nor have I been revived!” (Naofumi)
“I wonder. There’s the saying a lack of doubt will bite you back.” (Glass)
She’s really wary.
Why is it like this no matter where I go?
I explain the situation once more.
As a result of various things, I got a power rivalling the Goddess’s.
I passively activate barrier magic and set it so the goddess won’t notice.
“And so, Sadina.” (Naofumi)
“I know you may be wary of me, but please believe me.” (Naofumi)
She’s just acting friendly. She’s probably suspecting me under that guise.
Because that’s how Sadina is.
Right, the fact that my comrades don’t believe me because of that damn Goddess’s actions pisses me off.
I would really like to go directly pick a fight with her, but there’s a chance I’ll lose a good opportunity because of it.
To take her out without fail, there’s a procedure I have to go through.
And it’s not like the world power the spirits gave me is unlimited or anything.
“Ara~? Oneesan believes you, you know. This Naofumi-chan is the real one.” (Sadina)
“Is what you say, but how is it beneath that smile? Did you think I couldn’t tell?” (Naofumi)
“I think Naofumi-chan is being the doubtful one here.” (Sadina)
“Fumu… then Sadina, let’s go to an empty room for a second.” (Naofumi)
“Ara? Are you finally letting out your feelings for me? (Sadina)”
“Ah, yes, yes. That works, so let’s go.” (Naofumi)
“Naofumi-sama I want in too.” (Atlas)
For some reason, Atlas follows us.
No, I’m really not doing anything like that.
“Go seduce Fohl, or play with him or something.” (Naofumi)
“I don’t want to.” (Atlas)
“Atlas! Your Niichan’s been working hard you know!” (Fohl)
“That’s right! Fohl-niichan’s amazing! You can’t see that, Atlas-chan?” (Kiel)
“I’m well aware. But His dignity dwindles in my eyes every time he tries doting on me.” (Atlas)
“Is that true… then Fohl-niichan! Let’s go show off together, and get Atlas to accept you!” (Kiel)
Kiel innocently intertwines her arm around Fohl’s.
They got along well for a while, but aren’t they closer than before?
“So you had that sort of relationship? Onii-sama, I will support you from the bottom of my heart?” (Atlas)
“What is she talking about Fohl-niichan? Did something good happen to you?” (Kiel)
“N-no! I… I am…” (Fohl)
Ah, Fohl looks a little happy.
For a misunderstanding like that to make him happy, he might just be a pervert.
… Well, he is happy at having met someone who died.
And she’s unbelievably close to how she was in life.
“Ren, Atlas, can I leave the explanations to you?” (Naofumi)
“Got it! I’ll explain it all to everyone.” (Ren)
“Leave it to me.” (Atlas)
I have Atlas and Ren take care of the explanations, as I go with Sadina to another place.
The second we become alone, Sadina raises her guard.
“… And? Naofumi-chan, was what you were saying before true?” (Sadina)
“What reason do I have to lie? Is what I’d like to say, but it seems you guys have been deceived quite a bit by that Bitch Goddess.” (Naofumi)
“Yes, there were traitors among us… no, that’s wrong. It’s because some were killed and then controlled. Among the village children, quite a few were used like that.” (Sadina)
“How troublesome.” (Naofumi)
Reviving the dead… Unless I actually look at them, I won’t be able to tell what she did to them, but if I were to put it honestly, I don’t know how to deal with it.
If I had their soul, perhaps it would be possible, but I’m not going to go ahead and try it.
It’s just that I know that revival isn’t very good for the soul.
It will taint it, or…
This part depends on the laws of the world, it seems.
I don’t think the way the Goddess revives them will guarantee them a long life to come.
I mean, this is a world she’s going to destroy once she gets bored.
Even her reincarnations are more acceptable than this.
What’s more, she uses brainwashing or something to control them.
“… I’ve had to end a few of them with these very hands.” (Sadina)
“I see…” (Naofumi)
Holding herself steady, Sadina has it rough.
“Hah… Sadina, come over here for a second.” (Naofumi)
“Ara? Are you going to comfort this oneesan?” (Sadina)
“If you want me to, I will. But looking at your wounds pains me, so let me heal them.” (Naofumi)
I turn to Sadina’s injuries, and cast Healing Magic on them.
They’re too deep for normal Healing Magic to have an effect, but the current me can do it.
“I said it before, right? Sadina, you’re best when you’re relaxed. That smooth body of yours has an appeal in itself, and it doesn’t feel right when you have strange wounds covering it.” (Naofumi)
“Is my skin really that appealing to you?” (Sadina)
“Yeah, that’s right. Keep telling yourself that, and stay still for a moment.” (NAofumi)
… When I look closer, I find her tail is fake, prosthetic.
Her swimming form is pretty to a human like me.
I can’t leave that as it is.
I use high level healing magic… no in this case, I guess it’s been elevated to regeneration magic, and start treating her.
Her wounds visibly start closing, and she returns to the Sadina I know.
The simple fact that I’ve become able to do this gives the time I spent trekking down that endless path meaning.
When here wounds had disappeared without a trace, I cut off the magic.
“So in my last moments, I’m to become Naofumi-chan’s play toy?” (Sadina)
“Well, it’s not like this onee-san didn’t know.” (Sadina)
“The revived children’s flow or magic, or whatever it was, anyways, I could feel something strange mixed into them. Right now, I can tell them apart to some extent.” (Sadina)
Sadina strokes her regenerated tail, and starts flexing it.
“What I’m curious about is the change in Naofumi-chan’s magic.” (Sadina)
“What sort of change are you talking about?” (Naofumi)
“To put it bluntly, there’s an unbelievable amount of power mixed into Naofumi-chan I can’t even sense it all. But I sensed it when you chanted magic, it’s not something the enemy god did to you. It’s close, but I feel something more benevolent. Something like the flow of the land.” (Sadina)
“You have some strange sensitivity there.” (Naofumi)
“Perhaps it’s because Naofumi-chan tested a lot of things with me. It’s a bit hard to explain this in words. But I’m just saying I can tell you apart.” (Sadina)
At the very least, the fact that she’s correct is amazing.
In truth, it’s not just my power. I have the spirits of ruined worlds lending power to me as well. She’s pretty much right.
“What Naofumi-chan is saying is probably true. But the enemy god may have simply found a way to get around my judgements. So I can’t erase my doubts.” (Sadina)
“So this becomes a Witch Trial?” (Naofumi)
Is there any way I can actually prove that I’m not being controlled?
Even if she says she can tell, if that Goddess could make a fake plausible enough to pass, then there’s no way of telling for sure.
“I’ll tell everyone you’re a shade of gray quite close to white.” (Sadina)
(TL: As in white = innocent, black = guilty)
“Just tell them I’m white already.” (Naofumi)
“Oh, right. How embarrassing of me.” (Sadina)
She makes the ‘Tehe’ face and I lightly stroke her head.
“Once Raphtalia gets here, we’ll bring an end to this battle. Until then, it may be hard, but please help us.” (Naofumi)
“It’s fine… isn’t Naofumi-chan protecting everyone?” (Sadina)
“Yeah, because that’s the only thing I can do. Even having obtained this much strength, I can’t inflict a single scratch onto my enemies, you know.” (Naofumi)
To prove it, I pounded my fist into Sadina’s stomach with all my might.
“Ara… that didn’t even tickle. As expected of Naofumi-chan.” (Sadina)
“Just to let you know, I didn’t hold back there.” (Naofumi)
It’s something I decided for myself, but was making it so I couldn’t do a single point of damage going too far?
In the past, when I attacked a Balloon, I was able to do 1 Damage per hit.
But the current me doesn’t have a single stat point in attack, so even that 1 has turned to 0.
I do get the feeling it’s a bit much, but there really isn’t much of a difference between 1 and 0 anyways.
“Then does that mean I can just push Naofumi-chan down like this?” (Sadina)
“Why did that lead to this!?” (Naofumi)
“Violating a Naofumi-chan who’s unable to resist. Doesn’t that sound a little fun?” (Sadina)
“It’s not fun for me! And even if I can’t attack, it’s not like I can’t resist or anything.” (Naofumi)
“Naofumi-chan’s first has to be Raphtalia-chan, right? Then perhaps next will be Atlas-chan? After that… I think I can win against Firo-chan.” (Sadina)
“In what!?” (Naofumi)
She really doesn’t change.
Anyways, like that, we had Sadina explain that we were alive.
It happened after that talk, but Melty stared at Sadina and said the reason she chose to believe me.
“Sadina-san. She seemed to be pushing herself, but after you returned, she seems to be having quite a bit of fun. That’s why I’ve decided to believe you too.” (Melty)
Sadina’s mysterious charisma demonstrates itself wherever I look.
I never thought she had even earned Melty’s trust.
Melty behaves differently around anyone but me. It’s like she has two faces.
“I’m thankful for your trust. I never thought I would have to go through something like that the moment I got back.” (Naofumi)
“I’ll give an honest apology for that one. But I’d like you to understand our circumstances.” (Melty)
I’d already heard it from Sadina, but Melty begins explaining.
Just like me, their missing comrades would suddenly appear gallantly, and after a few days of battle, they would just as suddenly turn coat.
Some representative cases are the Hengen Musou Granny, and the Fake Atlas.
At the start, they thought that the granny had survived, and come to save everyone… but the second the reincarnators gained the advantage, she launched an attack at Firo and Trash.
Since Sadina had been suspicious from the start, they were able to avoid catastrophe, but Sadina suffered a severe wound.
Her tail was severed, it seems.
Atlas appeared to Fohl in a similar manner.
She proclaimed that at the moment I died, the Spirit of the Shield decided to carry out my will, and revive her.
That does sound likely…
And that Atlas acted as their comrade for a while, before betraying.
“It really is master~.” (Firo)
So Firo finally believes me now. She hugs me, and nuzzles her head against me.
Her Ahoge pushes against my body. I feel itchy.
Not wanting to lose Raph-chan starts playing around with me.
It’s this. This.
Once you appear to save someone from crisis, this is what you’re supposed to get…
I appraise the situation satisfyingly, as I felt relieved having returned to this world.