|Author: Firehead||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: TpstT||English Source: Two More Free Thoughts|
It was a dark capital city.
The kingdom of [Mjolnir] for the vampire race was shrouded in darkness as if daytime didn’t exist.
They called themselves the rulers of the night, and even amongst the humanoids, they had the highest affinity with the “ma”, thus if anything, they were closer to demons than humans.
In the middle of the kingdom, a crimson red palace soared high. And on its highest floor resided their eternal master the Vampire Princess.
The only individual the vampires swore their loyalty to, whether it be the past, present or the future, was this beautiful king.
They did not even have the Black Winged Supreme Ruler or the Demon King in mind. They lived solely to serve the Vampire Princess and should she tell them to die, they would die with pleasure.
A hoard of fanatics who were not even scared of death. Those were the citizens who resided in this Mjolnir.
At this moment, on the throne of the palace sat a young girl, and in front of her was a single vampire who kneeled down.
“Reporting in. As Your Highness stated, Svalinn was indeed liberated from the 7 Luminaries’ threat, and the whereabouts of Aries of the 12 Heavenly Stars was concealed.”
“Fum. As I expected… That Megrez, he made a mistake of choosing not to inform me. Largely, he was trying to stand up for someone, but such action only tells me ‘she’ was there. …careless isn’t he.”
A young girl who was sitting on the throne laughed with a “kusuri”.
The hair that was flowing down was platinum coloured. Her pupils that split vertically was scarlet red.
Her fangs were peeking out from between her lips, and her outer appearance was that of a mere 14-year-old girl.
However, for vampires who could live for eternity, age by appearance was meaningless.
“I’ve waited too long… aaa, I’ve waited for 200 years, my arch-rival. If it was you, I knew for sure that you would definitely come back from hell.”
A young girl said with great joy and stood up from her throne.
She walked as she stroke her hair and the black mantle she was wearing waved in a match with her movement.
After reaching in front of a window which overlooked the whole kingdom, she gazed up at the sky as if she was love-struck.
“I’m waiting anxiously for you, Mafahl… If I don’t surpass you, my time won’t pass. Ever since the moment you disappeared in the past, my time remained frozen.”
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The corner of her mouth curled and her fangs became bare.
Her scarlet red eyes showed a fiery glint and strength went into her fists as if she could not wait a moment more for the battle.
Who cares about the flock of weaklings called demons.
The Demon King? Like I care. He can do whatever the hell he wants.
Future of humanoids? Yea I really don’t care because I’m not interested in them.
If you’re going to perish, go ahead and perish on your own. You get killed because you guys are weak.
The weaklings might cry why I’m not helping but… I don’t know nor do I hear them. I also don’t have any intention to listen to them. They’re simply worthless.
The world is always controlled by the strong. Only the handful of prodigies possess the right to dictate the future of the world.
I have absolutely no interest in the weaklings and incompetent fools.
There is only one person captured by these scarlet eyes.
That Black Winged Angel alone, my arch-rival, and my long-time enemy.
“Let’s settle things properly this time…. Without anyone interfering, with just you and me. The one who will rule this world is not you. It’s also not the Demon King. I’ll make you feel the humiliation of defeat and teach you the ruler of this world is going to be this Vampire Princess Benetnash!”
—Without fail, I’ll be the one to kill you… Ruphas Mafahl.
Saying that, the young girl – Benetnash held her palm towards the Sky.
The conclusion that could not have been reached on that day 200 years ago. This time for sure…
Yes, whilst feeling a strong desire….
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As I was leaving the country of Gjallarhorn due to having nothing left to do, I made a deep sigh.
Ahh, I ended up boasting quite a bit.
That’s going to become a part of my dark past.
That probably might have looked quite uncool from the bystander’s point of view.
“Is anything wrong, master?”
“No, I was just thinking that I had spoken out of character. I had shown something uncool.”
“I do not believe it was. It was an awe-inspiring event that should be saved in my eternal memory. It is truly unfortunate that we are not able to leave the moment in a visual format.”
I trembled at the words “save for eternity” that came out of Libra’s mouth.
I did not know if it was as a photo or a video, but either way, the result would be no different from having a public execution.
Though… since she said “unfortunate”, it looked like she did not get to do so. However, I decided to check with her just in case.
“Libra. Do not tell me that you took a photo or something of that incident…. If you have it saved, immediately dispose of it.”
I posed a question to her, but there was no answer or reply from her.
Libra would usually reply instantly, but this time alone, surprisingly, she seemed to be hesitating.
What is it? She doesn’t want to dispose of it that much?
That was what I was thinking, but a reply that I was not expecting at all came from her.
“Umm….. what is a photo?”
To Libra’s reply, I froze a little.
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Ahh, that makes sense.
There’s no such thing as a photograph in this world to begin with.
Of course, even if I asked Libra, she would not understand what it was.
Just in case, I had a look at Aries. It seemed that he also did not know what it was from the way he looked as he shook his head.
Looking at his reaction, I was satisfied that there really was no such thing as a photograph in this world.
It’s a strange feeling – was what I thought at the time.
It really gave off a feeling of ‘fantasy’ when a metallic golem like Libra who was plainly superior in technological advancement even compared to the modern world existed, yet photographs did not exist.
Well in actuality, Libra was an existence made by the skill of an alchemist and thus she was technically not mechanical. In that way, maybe it was not so strange?
However…. Something… something did not sit well.
I felt as though I missed something.
What was it? What did I forget?
What did I miss?
Remember…. Yeah, it was on the first day back when I arrived at this world.
— … but those were events of 200 years ago. In this world where there’s no photography, I doubt anyone would be able to recognise me.
— naïve, that’s too naïve Ruphas-sama. This trading city is where people of every corner of the world gather, you know? And races with long lifespans like elves aren’t exceptions. They may still remember you clearly.
I flexibly looked at Dina.
There’s no mistake. “She knows”!
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Dina has knowledge about photograph “which did not exist in this world”!
Perhaps this Dina also realised her own slip-up, she quickly looked at my direction with a face where she was struck with a sudden realisation.
There was no room for doubt. It was certain. She was black.
I did not know why or how, but I knew that Dina was an “irregular” just like me.
At the very least, she had the knowledge of the “other” world.
“Dina…. There are some things I want to talk to you about with just the two of us. Can I get you to come with me?”
I will not let you say no.
What I was thinking was not wrong.
That’s right, I had always overlooked Dina.
I would have known if I had thought about it a little. Or perhaps it was that I, myself, looked away.
She was an adviser NPC that not even I could remember.
Aah, yea, of course, it was there. I do remember setting down a background object with no combat ability.
However, for something like that, Dina was too competent.
She had an ability that would not dishonour the position of an adviser.
Furthermore, it was impossible that people like Aries or Megrez could not recall her existence at all.
I took Dina along and went further into the forest.
Aries and Libra tried to come along, but I stopped them.
It was a discussion that I should speak privately with Dina.
Therefore, I also left Aigokeros where Aries and Libra was and double-checked to make sure that no one was in the surrounding.
With it, I was able to take my time to speak freely.
“Now then, what should I start with….
No, let’s not take a roundabout route. I’ll cut straight to the chase.
You, what are you? The story about you being the adviser which existed from 200 years ago… that was a lie, right?”
“…………………… Yes, it was a lie.”
To my question, Dina answered in a clear reply without any form of deception.
As I expected.
Dina was not a mere background NPC.
She was just someone who was using that position as a cover.
Of course, she was.
“Because that tower was dirty.”
It clearly contradicted Dina’s words on how she was living and waiting in that tower for the past 200 years.
It was possible that she was waiting with her position without cleaning the tower, but that would be a bit strange in the situation.
If she was waiting for her master to come back, she should and would have at least kept the top floor clean.
And yet, for her to not do such a thing means…. She was not living there for the past 200 years.
If you thought about it like that, one would easily be able to fit the pieces together.
Yeah, it was something simple that I should have figured it out.
But I did not figure things out. I pretended to not fit the pieces together.
I had unconsciously looked the other way.
Because I did not want to know, I did not want to figure things out.
“Who are you? A citizen under my rule…. That’s not it. If that was the case, it would be left in Libra’s memory. At the very least, you are not something who had entered that tower until the moment I was sealed.”
“It is as you say. I am neither your adviser nor your subordinate. I was merely someone who found out about that tower’s setting on the NPC and exploited that information.”
– NPC, huh.
Looks like she finally decided to stop hiding things, this woman.
Nevertheless, that raised a question on its own.
Assuming that she was a player, if she had enough influence to enter the tower… then it would not be strange for Libra to remember her.
Additionally, when Aries first saw Dina, he initially had no recollection of her, but was able to recognise that she was the “adviser”.
No, that’s right.
Dina had that thing.
“You tricked Aries and Aigokeros with memory manipulation, right?”
“Yes. Aries was back when we first met and cornered him. Aigokeros was… since we were cooperating with the demons, it was during the time we were in their castle. I altered and inserted a fake memory to them respectively.”
“The reason the golems were not able to recognise you as an ally… was because memory manipulation did not work on them?”
“It is as you say. Golem do not have memories, only data. Therefore, a vague skill like memory manipulation does not work on them.”
Memory manipulation skill that worked even on high levels huh.
She really possessed an ill-natured skill.
Which meant, there was also a possibility that I was also being manipulated myself.
Not only that, she said demon race’s castle?
I finally understood, I was gradually starting to see what was going on. Her real identity.
“Out of curiosity, how much of my memory did you fiddle with?”
“….. I could not do it.”
“Your ego and will are far stronger than you would like to believe yourself. Even assuming that it was possible to plant a fake memory in you, to achieve such a feat, I would need to continually cast the spell on you for at least a year without rest. That was why I had to fake being your adviser NPC to fool you. The only thing that barely managed to influence was to make you ‘unconsciously avoid doubting me’. It was only possible to guide your thoughts a little.”
So my memory had not been fiddled with huh.
I did not know to what extent she was telling the truth, however, it was a reasonable argument to say she would have no reason to fake being in that risky position if she could tamper with my memory.
All she had to do was to impersonate one of my citizens.
Or was it her aim to make me think that way?
“Since you know about that, you’re a ‘player’, right?”
“Honestly, I was surprised. To think that other than me… and even more, Ruphas-sama was a ‘player’. It really was my miscalculation.”
With a cute motion, Dina made a sharp evil smile.
It was significantly different from the high-class smile that she had been making until now. Notwithstanding, it was a smile that was strangely fitting of her.
It seemed like this was her real face.
“Also, I’ll like to make one correction. I am not a ‘player’.”
“To put things accurately, I am a ‘test player’. I was a test player hired for the purpose of testing out the ‘half-elf race’ that was ‘supposed to’ be added in the future patch.”
“Is that the reason you know about the inside of the tower?”
“Yes. From the administrators’ computers, even if you are not a citizen of a country, you could peek a look at the player’s power and their inner setting. I found out about that adviser NPC from there.”
Hey, are those the things that test player should be able to look at?
I’m guessing she looked at those things without permission. How did she not get fired after all that?
“And…. what do you mean by manipulating the memory of Aigokeros at the demons’ castle? That only tells me you are able to freely enter their castle.”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying, Ruphas-sama. I stand in the position to be able to freely enter the demon race’s castle at will.”
After saying that, Dina “changed”.
Her ocean blue hair turned into a vibrant gold colour and her calm and gentle face turned belligerent.
Her lips curled into an arc and her eyes became thin. It truly changed into a face that I had never seen before.
“Originally, I planned to continue acting out as your adviser, guiding you until you and the Demon King crushed each other. Having said that, now that it’s come to this… that plan is… seems like I underestimated you too much. Therefore, allow me to use an alternative method.”
“ – I’ll make you submit to me here and turn you into my pawn. I still need you to be useful… my loving master.”
The pressure given off by Dina significantly rose up.
Due to the pressure of her magical powers, trees in the surrounding trembled and the earth vibrated.
This is quite impressive.
There was no question of it, the pressure given off by her was the greatest I had felt ever since I arrived in this world.
“Can you do it? With your level 300?”
“Aha! Ahahahahahaha! You still believe in that? Something like that… of course it was a lie. That was also another feature to be introduced in the future patch. A simple skill to conceal your status by setting a false status. It was a known fact from before that [Observing Eyes] was far too convenient. For the purpose of balancing things out, it’s only reasonable that there would be a skill to counter that.”
“In other words, your real level is….”
“Of course, is there even need for me to say it? I’m level 1000 just like you.”
The transformation finished.
The person that was standing in front of me had the same facial features as Dina, yet was definitely a different person.
Dashing gold hair and a magic power that was gashing out.
And even after she stopped her deception, her beautiful countenance was not affected by her belligerence in the slightest.
“Allow me to re-introduce myself. I am Venus – one of the Demon’s 7 Luminaries, Venus of the Metal. Nice to meet you.”
She spread her arms like in a crucifixions and smiled as if she was mocking everything.
“—Now then, let’s kill each other. My lovely master – Ruphas Mafahl.”