Chapter 156 – A Wild Ophiuchus Appeared!

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Author: Firehead Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: TpstT English Source: Two More Free Thoughts
Editor(s): Vecna, Keii

On that day, at that venue, there was some excitement and commotion.

The Street Corner Beauty Contest was an event which anyone could participate in on a whim. It was an event which determined the number one beauty based on the votes of the audience. In a way, it was a slightly questionable and outdated event which prompted people to ask, “They’re still doing something like this in this day and age?”

To be completely upfront, it was a project organised by some popular TV variety show which broadcasted after midnight. Again, in a way, it was a slightly questionable show which was bound to fail even before the project launched.

Although it was called a beauty contest, in truth, the main premise of the show might have been more along the lines of getting viewers to judge and ridicule the excessively self-conscious participants.

Naturally, this event had a hidden agenda.

There was a dirty big surprise prepared by the procedures of the show. There would “coincidently” be an idol by the name of Yuwontsel Lanyway (18 years old), whose popularity was on the decline, who just so happened to be in the area and participated, only for her to win at the expense of the other participants who would be used as stepping stones. Needless to say, of course, she did not just coincidentally happen to be passing by the area. The entire thing was scripted and she was just waiting on standby.

In other words, yes, that’s exactly how it was. From the very beginning, she was guaranteed to win. It was just a last-ditch event prepared by her managers and television network in an attempt to regain her popularity. Although… on the question of popularity, the television show itself had no popularity from the beginning.

Obviously, there were paid audience members amongst the crowd who were fully prepared to boost the stage’s excitement.

Having said that, in this day and age where the internet was very active, an easily seen-through act like this would be revealed in an instant, eventually sending everything into the ground or burning up in flames. Nevertheless, the idol’s managers were proceeding with the plan despite knowing full well of the consequence.

After all, if she was unable to sell at this moment in time, she would not succeed either way. As such, they did not care about what image she would end up getting.

… Or more like, there might be nothing to burn up in flames in the first place. As mentioned previously, it was not a popular television show to begin with.

The possibility of no one seeing the show and the idol disappearing into obscurity was a more likely outcome. If anything, even burning in the depths of a scandal might be the better alternative.

“The next participant is… oh? Could it be an idol getting on the stage?”

And finally, it was the idol Yuwontsel’s turn to get on stage. The people’s expectations were heightened relatively just from her appearance.

Yet at the same time, the fact that the people’s expectation only heightened relatively was a tragic scene for the declined idol.

Furthermore, a few within the audience sensed that this was all staged, thus they were looking up to the stage with cold dead eyes.

But at that moment, everyone’s line of sight drifted away from the stage.

“Oi, Benet! They’re in the middle of an event. Don’t just cut across it!”

“Like I care.”

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– There was an extremely beautiful young girl and a lady, both of whom were so beautiful that people could not believe they were of the same human species, coincidently passing across the front of the stage.

The young girl walking in the front had silver hair and the flustered lady chasing the young girl from behind had bright golden hair. Regardless, the beauty of both of them was out of this world.

In this respect, even the host was lost in thought and standing in a daze, involuntarily forgetting what was happening.

The most pitiful person in this situation was the idol who had just appeared on the stage.

Due to the two irregular individuals who had just passed through the front of the stage, her presence was overshadowed entirely. Furthermore, even though she was the one who was supposed to step on the other participants, she was the one who was stepped on.

Subsequently, one of the participants created a thread on a public forum for the “idol” event by the name of “Flop” and stating that they had become unable to sleep ever since they had seen the two passers-by who were too beautiful. Due to a photograph of the two passers-by that had been taken by a smartphone being posted on the thread, everything had blown up and became a commotion. Nevertheless, the two individuals remained ignorant of all of this.

In addition, after all of this, there was another thread made with the title: “I saw that blonde-haired one punching a truck” with a supporting photograph. Not only that, but there were also even claims of “I saw them jumping from one roof of a building to another”, causing the commotion to rapidly explode. But again, the two of them remained ignorant of all of this.

*

“Two double cheeseburger sets.”

“Lun lun laa~”

“Oh, and I’ll also have a soft-serve cone.”

“This Ronaldo is happy to serve you.”

Whilst we were heading towards Niigata, Benet and I decided to take a detour and get a light lunch at a popular burger chain which had been opened all over the country.

There might be some of you who were wondering why we chose to eat hamburgers of all things, and the answer to that was simple. I just wanted to taste that nostalgic junk food flavour for the first time in a while.

After receiving our order from the shop attendant who was dressed in a clown costume, I headed towards where Benet was sitting.

Although this was a piece of irrelevant information, the shop attendant’s uniform was that of WacRonald’s mascot, Ronald the founder. As for why he’s the founder, I also did not know.

“So this world’s food has so much salt, huh? And it tastes crude and sloppy.”

“Well, it’s junk food, so…”

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Benet criticised as she bit down on the double cheeseburger, but she did not stop eating, so it must have been acceptable for her.

For me personally, I was expecting the typical “So this is an isekai’s food, huh! It’s amazing!” line and reaction that one often found in light novels from her, but now that I thought about it, she’s technically the queen of a kingdom. So I supposed, she must have been used to eating good food.

It was called something like food ****, right? In those works, it’s mainstream for kings and gods to eat cheap food from Earth and have an overreaction. But unfortunately, Benet did not follow the predictable mainstream pattern at all.

Fortunately, whilst Benet showed no reaction towards the cheeseburger, her expression changed just for a moment when she tasted the ice cream before eating it all up very quickly.

Oh, I see. So she’s surprised by the soft serve cone, huh.

Indeed, there was no such thing as a soft-serve cone on that side of the world. Frozen treats did exist, however, there were only simple ones such as sherbets.

They were nothing more than a simple type of food where fruits, berries and nectar were poured on top of snow or crushed ice. On Earth, it existed by the time the Old Testament was drawn up. Unexpectedly, the history of frozen treats dated back quite a bit.

Subsequently, Benet ordered me to go and purchase five more soft serve cones. Now that we had satisfied ourselves, we decided to recommence heading towards our destination.

Honestly, it would have been faster for us to move on foot. However, enjoying the hassle of going from one place to another was part of the charm of undertaking journeys.

This time, we decided to head towards a train station. Once we got onto the bullet train, we sat down on one of the available seats within the free unreserved cart.

Once the bullet train started moving, the scenery outside the window flowed backwards. In response, Benet was looking on with interest.

“This is some decent speed. Is this thing also not a golem?”

“Yeah, it’s not.”

“It’s a strange thing. It doesn’t use any mana, nor was this physical object bestowed with some limited decision-making capability like golems. In other words, it would mean that this lump of steel is moving on its own purely as a lump of steel… so for me, that’s more ‘magical’ than anything else.”

Inside the bullet train, I was reading a random book that I whimsically acquired from a bookstore just a moment ago.

Benet was unable to read this world’s words. However, it seemed that her interest was piqued by manga as she was flipping through pages after pages and skimming through them.

It didn’t really matter, but what I was reading was a light novel. The content of the novel was about an ordinary young Japanese man who was suddenly summoned to another world and, hyacha, became peerless in an instant. Well, yeah, it’s one of those commonly done plots.

Back in the day, this series was popular enough for it to be animated… but when I spotted it in the bookstore, it had the “Newest Edition” label on, so I bought it on impulse. While I was in another world as Ruphas, I thought a sequel had come out, but…

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But it’s weird. There’s absolutely no difference in content compared to what I had previously read.

If I recalled correctly, this series concluded in the year 2022, so at the very least, the two volumes that I had acquired were not the latest edition or anything.

Not only that, but even the errors which had been amended in the reprint version were also still as they were.

What an outrageous bookshop. I could not understand what kind of nerve it must have to misrepresent the last two volumes of a series which had already concluded as the latest edition and sell them.

On the other hand, as Benet was unable to read this world’s words, she was skimming through manga.

Hers was even an older work of art. A popular series from the Showa era.

At the end of that series, the heroine was massacred by her neighbour who had become an insurgent, causing the protagonist of the series to abandon humanity to their doom. It was a grim and intense series where even the protagonist ended up dying after humanity was brought to ruin.

After getting off the bullet train, I followed the road that I had in my memory and reached the house at the end of it.

For some reason, there were a few incongruences between what was in my memory and reality, but the path itself should have been correct.

It should have been correct, but… I wondered why. Somehow, there were differences which did not match my memory.

A shop which had just recently gone through remodelling and relaunched itself did not exist. Yet the shop prior to that remodelling was still standing and in business.

Not only that, but it was also in a condition far better than what was in my memory.

The playground equipment which was at the park should have been removed and taken away due to it being classified as dangerous from all the stain on the metal.

It was not as if I made a mistake in my pathing. It should definitely be correct.

Yes, it should have been correct.

But…

In the place where my home should have been, there was an old and worn-out detached building.

Needless to say, I did not know or recognise this building.

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“Is this worn-out house your destination?”

“No… I mean, the location should be correct, but…”

How troubling. After reaching this far, I no longer knew what I was supposed to do anymore.

Given the fact that it was someone else’s house, naturally, the computer that I was using would not be inside. In fact, the very “location where I first met Dina” that I was thinking of was not here.

As I was pondering as such, I heard footsteps ring out from behind me, followed by the sound of the voice that I was familiar with.

“Yes, it is correct. At least, the location is.”

… I see, it seemed I had reached the correct answer.

Once I turned to look behind me, I spotted Dina who looked exactly the same as she previously did.

She really hid in a troublesome location. Because of that, we ended up spending quite a lot of time trying to find her.

She was smiling faintly and came to stand beside me.

During this time, Benet did not show any reaction whatsoever. Perhaps she was trying to assess the situation.

“This is an empty house. Approximately half a year from now, it will be bulldozed down, and half a year after that… in the year 2017, a family home that my lady is well familiar with will be built.”

“2017? Then right now, it’s…”

“Yep, it’s the year 2016. And a year from now, a married couple and their child will move into the newly bought home. That ‘young boy’… no, that ‘young man’ will grow up to the age of 21 years old without even realising who he really is. And in the year 2033, after being guided by the Goddess-sama… no, by me, his memory and ego will be brought over to Midgard. And right now… he’s standing right next to me.”

After hearing Dina’s words, Benet’s gaze greatly sharpened and glared at the two of us.

Notwithstanding that, Dina continued to smile unfazed.

Meanwhile, after hearing that explanation, I felt a sense of intrigue and understanding.

There was no other way to think than “I see, so that’s how it was.” No wonder this world did not make me feel nostalgic.

In other words, it was that, you know? In conclusion… it turned out that “I (ore)” was the real Ruphas Mafahl who had a memory implanted into me.

From the very start, there had never been two different egos within me. It was merely that I had lost my sense of self on my own and was playing the role of “someone else”.

From the very beginning, I was “the real Ruphas who was playing the role of someone else”.

“Who exactly is that ‘young man’?”

“He is also you, Ruphas-sama. To be more precise, he is similar in existence to me or Pollux-sama.”

“I see.”

For every word that Dina spoke, I felt the sensation of a piece of the puzzle clicking in my head.

Yes, that’s right. The identity behind “I (ore)” was me myself.

– He was an avatar.

Broadly speaking, avatars were divided into three different categories. A type created out of magical power, a type created out of divine power and a type which made use of a human parent’s womb.

Ruphas was… no, let us stop describing her as someone different.

In the past, out of those, I chose the 3rd category. After imitating the technique of creating an avatar which the Goddess had a monopoly on, I created an avatar of myself in a different world at a different reference point of time.

The ego and the memories possessed by the avatar was then brought back to my real body by Dina, allowing me to obtain an independent and objective point of view that I originally did not have, which then gave me the opportunity to look back and assess myself.

Now that it had come to this, I understood clearly. I could evaluate and state things precisely because I had the opportunity to review my past self from the position of “someone else”.

Of course, it was only natural that I would be abased.

Just by being able to see from that point of view, there was worth to the implanted ego and memory.

“By the way, what happened to that young man?”

“He’s perfectly fine. Although I copied his memories and ego, even after ‘that event’, he’ll continue to live as normal, and eventually die normally from old age. Though, he will not realise who he really is until the very end.”

“I see. Then that’s fine.”

“Also, just so you know, he’ll continue to hug his parents’ legs until he reaches 23 years old, at which point, he’ll enter the workforce as a company worker and finally start to live by himself.”

“Err, no, you don’t need to tell me that.”

With this, one of the weights on my shoulders had been lifted.

It seemed that I had not ended up ruining anyone’s livelihood.

In the beginning, I thought that I had forcibly possessed Ruphas and had stolen her life. After that, I felt uneasy thinking that I had taken everything away from a young boy.

However, because Ruphas was actually me, there was nothing for me to steal away from her. And now, I had found out that the young boy was able to become independent of me.

With this, I was able to move onto the next topic while feeling assured.

“And I assume you’re going to tell me everything? The reason behind why we had to come all the way here.”

“Of course. After all, there’s no longer any reason for me to hide it. But before that… allow me to… start by introducing myself.”

After saying that, Dina took out a business card from her chest pocket, and handed it to me.

After seeing the name which was written on top of it, I understood everything once again.

Ahh, I see – that was what I felt.

I see, as expected, you were the one.

“I’m in possession of three names. One of them is my name as the Goddess’s avatar, Dina. One of them is my name as the Seven Luminaries of the demon race, Venus. And then there’s one more.”

She chuckled mischievously whilst Benet, in response, crossed her arms in displeasure.

Exactly, she was the very individual who had deceived everyone.

She had deceived me. She had deceived the Twelve Heavenly Stars. She had deceived the demons. And she had even proven that she could deceive the Goddess herself, like a snake.

She was THAT [13th person].

“– One of the Tyrannical Thirteen Heavenly Stars, Ophiuchus the [Serpent Bearer]. That… is the name my lady has bestowed upon me.”

ruphas and dina 2 1

Image from Light Novel Volume 7



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