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The Downfall from Self-Conceit and The Spectre Princess (Part 1)

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mab English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Silva

The light of the blue flames all around us danced.

From the crumbled-down roofs, the tips of decaying street lights, the cracked cobblestone curbs—all those lights, seemingly innumerable, making no sound, emitting no heat, swaying and shimmering, and before I knew it, they changed places, dancing back and forth, back and forth, as if beckoning.

It could even be described as a lustrous sight.

“How pretty…”

Eren muttered, her expression was enraptured, soul-stolen. Perhaps this sight was something that girls would fancy, but, considering the place, it screamed danger to my ear.

“Death can sometimes appear sweet and gentle, so much so that the weak-minded and the hopeless will be enticed to take his hand.” Regina’s words, which she spat out in a hateful tone, suddenly popped up in my mind.

“Don’t stare too much at the Will ‘O the Wisp, or else your mind will get trapped! Make sure not to step away from the barrier!!”

Being warned, Eren and Bruno both regained their color with expressions as if they had just awakened from a dream. The both of them checked where their feet were in relation to the warding stakes.

The Will ‘O Wisp that had been hovering around us for a while seemed to be annoyed that we were not falling for their illusions, as one of them suddenly swelled up and took on a single form.


A throaty scream escaped Bruno.

It was a four-legged dragon —though because it was formed out of blue flames, perhaps calling it a salamander fit it better— with wings outstretched as though it was about to let out a roar, eyes fiery as it stared at us.


As though trying to seize Eren and Bruno, the salamander flew from its spot and came at us with its jaws wide open.


As if to protect the two who tried to get away quickly only to stumble into each other —which, thanks to that, kept them away from stepping outside the barrier. In a way, it was good they got scared at that— Vier the Sirius confronted the salamander head-on, and the salamander shattered into pieces in the face of my barrier the moment my familiar barked. Its few remaining sparks were also blocked by the barrier and disappeared.

“A dog’s bark wards off evil.”

The knowledge of magic that Regina had taught me blinked in my mind again. Well, Vier is a Sirius to be precise, but in terms of spirituality, a Sirius is a sacred beast that is of a much higher rank compared to lowly evil spirits. While she’s still far from being a full-fledged beast, her howl still could overwhelm her opponent.

“Hm, it’s more like an illusion, I see. It’s all right, so long as you’re within the barrier and Vier and I are with you, they won’t have much power.”

After listening to my words, Eren and Bruno, who were entangled with each other, stood up from their fall still embracing one another. As their heads cooled down—
“Where are you touching me, you groping jerk?!”
“Where would I even touch you, you walking skeleton?!”
They turned away from each other, cheeks beet red. Well, just the usual then.

On the other hand, the Will ‘O the Wisp outside the wards disguised themselves as spirits of the dead, ghosts, or monsters, pretending to attack us in order to scare us off and get us out of the barrier. However, conversely speaking, that meant they didn’t have the power to get past the barrier. Knowing that, the three of us could calmly deal with the illusions they conjured.

Eventually, the Will ‘O the Wisp realized that their threats were ineffective, and thus changed their approach. After a moment of inactivity, I heard the sound of wind splitting before I saw a fist-sized stone flying at us.

“Oh no, watch out!”

The stone flew past the barrier —though with reduced power— and landed near us, which we quickly avoided. If it had hit us, we would have been injured. Following it, broken chairs, picture frames, rusty grass sickles, and many other things that were in the area came flying at random.

This must be the so-called Poltergeist phenomenon. Apparently realizing the futility of bluffing from beyond the barrier made them decide to resort to violence.

“Be careful of the projectiles. If you get hit in a bad spot, it’ll be dangerous.”

Well, true enough, the souls of the dead themselves couldn’t cross the boundary. However, an object thrown with momentum was a different thing, as it still had inertia after going past the barrier, and that could harm us. …Although, they didn’t seem to have enough power to throw bigger objects. However, it was still shocking to see debris and broken household goods flying at you one after another, not to mention, if a rusted blade or a piece of stone grazed a blood vessel, it could still be fatal.

Carefully keeping the soaring objects in my view, I stepped in lightly.

“…well, they’re not a threat as long as they don’t hit.”

Their aim was pretty obvious, and since the projectiles only flew in a straight line, losing them was a cinch.

“Ha-ha, even this crappy meatshield is enough to stop peashooters like you all!!”
“You little-, you!! Don’t use me as your damn shield!”

Bruno was hitting back the projectiles that flew in his direction with his practice sword, while Eren already found her place hiding behind his back. They’d be just fine.

Soon after, the number of projectiles gradually decreased. Bruno, his sword ready, also raised his eyebrows in suspicion.

“What, are they running out of things to throw?”
“No, they are simply running out of power. Moving things up and around like that requires a lot of mana, you see?”

Basically put, unlike the living who could always absorb the mana from outside their body and convert it into their own mana inside their body, the mana of the dead was finite. Should they use too much, they would disappear (which is also why they suck up the life energy of the living, so that they wouldn’t disappear).

“…which means, those dead souls are running out of juice, Jill?”
“It’s possible that they still have some energy left and are looking for an opening, but I’m sure they’re pretty worn out.”

While they knew it wasn’t guaranteed, Eren and Bruno were relieved they had a glimmer of hope and thus regained their vigor.

“Also, since it’s getting dark already, can you two start preparing the fire pit? You see, souls of the dead and evil spirits and the like, they don’t fancy lights so much.
—[’O Light, shine upon my arms].” To be fair, I myself was so mortified I almost missed it, but the sun had almost set in the western sky and the surroundings were on the verge of complete darkness, “[Light].”

On the tip of my staff, I lit up a light made out of magic to help them with their work. The moment I did so—

The Will ‘O the Wisps that was bathed by the [Light] instantly snuffed out like a blown candle as they raised a sorrowful shriek.


All three of us were so dumbfounded we made the same idiotic noise together.

“Look how easily they vanished!”
“Wow, you’re amazing, Jill!”
“…had I known, I would’ve done this from the beginning.”

In contrast to their jubilant faces, I sighed, feeling overwhelmed.

Right when our minds were occupied with what just had happened, Vier barked furiously at the rubble-filled street leading to the outskirts of town.

“Heey, are you all alright?”
“Did something out of place happen?”

As if on cue, Andy and Chad returned with the emus.

“Uh, what are you doing?”

Seeing the three of us all tensed up, holding dearly onto our staff and sword and meatshield, Chad asked, dumbfounded.

“What happened? You even left the camping site undone.”

Andy looked puzzled as he noticed the firewood, the food, and the warding stakes stuck in the ground littering all over the place.

“We were attacked by the souls of the dead. Were the two of you all right out there?”
“Souls of the dead…?”
“No, nothing really happened on our end… But, souls of the dead? I’m not buying it. You’re all just loitering around, aren’t you?”

Andy and Chad looked around the now empty surroundings, all signs of suspicious activity had disappeared before they looked at each other with their faces full of doubt.

“We were fighting for our life here!”
“He’s right! It would’ve been dangerous if Jill wasn’t here!”

Annoyed by the attitude of the skeptical adults, the two youngsters crowded them and protested furiously, as if to contend with them. When I looked at Andy and Chad getting annoyed as they tried to hush down Bruno and Eren, I chuckled and was about to turn on my heel to put away the scattered belongings—when I saw Vier was still snarling in their direction, I practically leaped and turned around.

(It’s already so dark out, how come they don’t bring a lantern?!)

That was when I noticed it. Even though they were illuminated by the Light I lit, neither Andy nor Chad cast a shadow on the ground, and the emus they brought, their eyes were plastic and inorganic.

“—EREN, BRUNO!! Get away from them! Get back inside the barrier!!”

Hearing my impassioned yell, the two of them turned around, exclaiming, “Eh?”

Right at that moment, Andy and Chad’s faces froze like cast metal—they turned to me and grinned, their expression identical, their timing indistinguishable.

“EEK?! NOOO!!!”

Right then, white hands emerged from the ground and grabbed Eren and Bruno by the ankles. Upon closer look, I could see white, boney hands growing out of the ground, surrounding the wards, twitching and wriggling eerily like dead grass in the wind.


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