|Author: The Sole Survivor||Original Source: SFACG|
|Translator: CatatoPatch||English Source: Re:Library|
“Your eyes are disturbing me…” Nicole’s brows knitted together. “You should lead a more… ordinary life… instead of pursuing… an impossible relationship.”
Impossible because two women can’t have children together? Now where have I heard that before?
“Who says it’s impossible? You just haven’t seen someone make it work, that’s all.” Hah. I just so happen to know a certain race where two women can have children together. And my godmother so happens to the literal deity of that race. Impossible is not an issue for me…
Hold on. I’m a guy here. Why do I care whether or not two women can have a child together? Crap, my intelligence must be getting muddled by my proximity to Nicole. That must be it!
Maybe she’s secretly a psychic leech who drains intelligence? And her decade-long secret has been uncovered by me. Or maybe it’s just me…
“If… and this is just an if…” I looked into Nicole’s red eyes and almost blurted out the secret which I had desperately tried to keep hidden. “What if I were a man? Would you believe me if I were to say that?”
“That’s not really a matter of belief, is it? You either are or aren’t.” Nicole glared coldly at me. “So what are you trying to say here? You’ve even sent away your companions for this.”
“Not- nothing. I just wanted to talk to you alone, that’s all.” I flashed her a brilliant smile. “You know, because I see you frowning all the time. Is something bothering you?”
“Bothering…” At that, Nicole suddenly turned around to look at Neneth who was still chasing the fireflies, her eyes strangely dark now. “I’m looking for someone… he’s probably dead, or maybe not… I don’t know where he is now, but I intend to spend the rest of my life finding him.”
Hearing that confession, I immediately felt a pang of guilt in my heart. At the same time, I was excited. Excited because she treated locating me as the most important thing in her life, though that also made me guilty because of the trauma on her. If only I could just appear before her…
Even though I knew she was obviously looking for me, I had no choice but to ask, “Who is it you are looking for? Your lover?”
“He is my little brother…”
“Oh. I thought you were going to say he’s your boyfriend, hah.” As I said that, I had to practically force my lips into a smile. After all, I was just a little brother to her all this time. We were still kids when we met so I couldn’t be sure if she ever had any other thoughts about our relationship…
“I have no lover. I never had one, and never will… He doesn’t like any other man near me. Unfortunately, I realised that too late… as long as he will just return to my side…” Nicole raised her head slowly to look at the crescent moon in the sky, then as if she was still talking to me, said, “but I don’t know where he is or if he’s even alive…”
“Well… I’m sure he’s alive!” I confidently declared.
Perhaps my confidence had somehow infected her, but Nicole immediately turned to look at me, eyes a little watery. “Thank you… even though I know you were comforting me, it still makes me happy. As long as Ke is still alive somewhere, I don’t mind flipping the entire world upside down to find him!”
“Ke? Is that your little brother’s name?”
“Mhm. His full name is Mo Ke, he’s a child of my father’s dearest friend… he was adopted by us because of some circumstances. I heard from my father that he kept saying, Mo Ke, Mo Ke, when he shouldn’t even be able to talk. That was why his parents gave him the name Mo Ke…” She then began recounting her experience with Mo Ke, arms hugged around her knees as she sat on the grass patch.
From her words alone, I could tell that she remembered every little adventure we had together. Like how we always fell off the tree while climbing it… how I liked to fake a cry till she kissed me… how I always liked to cause trouble for Sares… and even things which I had forgotten about, she still remembered. As long as it pertained to me, she kept those memories close to heart… just like how I would do for her.
Just looking at that sincere smile on her face as she said that, a sudden urge to come clean came over me.
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However, I resisted that urge in the end with gritted teeth. Until I had a sure way to make her completely believe me, I wasn’t going to let her know my identity… After all, I was a Devil now, and she would never trust the words of a Devil.
A real Devil… was full of lies… and if even they were telling the truth, no one would believe them…
“Ke was a really good singer.”
“Singer? What a coincidence, so am I. If the chance arises, I would love for you to hear me to sing.”
“Mmh.” She nodded noncommittally to my suggestion. For the time being, I had no intentions of singing for her as well, since I couldn’t be sure that I wouldn’t just blurt out the fact that I was Mo Ke and get a sword through my heart…
For the next two days, the village of Lyon was in celebration. Everyone had forgotten about the frustrations of the past, the fears of the future, they were all celebrating earnestly. Whether it was with an endless supply of meat or wine, they would never stop the merry-making. Some even took the opportunity to get married.
These few days were like being born anew for these villagers. While the Vampire might not have been a particularly hungry one, his presence had caused the population to fall by at least half. During its heyday, the village had at least two thousand villagers living within it… now there were less than one thousand.
However, as long as the village was still alive, such losses were recoverable. A number of households had taken this opportunity to matchmake their kids together, if they were not already attached to another. And if a wedding was needed, they would even hold a communal one. In that sense, the people of this world were a lot more open about their love.
On just the second day alone, I witnessed thirty two couples tie the knot. And on the third and last day of the celebration, that number ballooned to nearly a hundred. At these communal weddings, we were not only there to give our blessing, but as witnesses as well. Throughout the ceremony, the children would skip around, singing songs about love and family.
Ah… how I wish this wedding was for me and Nicole as well… No matter, I’m back by her side now, and sooner or later, she will recognise me. But until then, I have to be like her shadow.
All in all, everyone had a merry time during those three days. Even Nicole had noticeably less wrinkles coming out.
However, all good things had to come to an end one day. After today, we would leave Lyon. While Nicole might not realise that I was Mo Ke, I had resolved myself to follow her. It wasn’t like that would be a difficult task for me anyway. My disguise did not use up much mana, and my identity was basically unbreachable while the spell held up. Not only that, I had a bunch of Dark Elves guarding me from the shadows – what could possibly go wrong?
Upon learning of my decision to leave, Leeder brought the remaining seven members of the bandit troupe to see me.
When they found me, I just so happened to be feeding Mo Ning alone.
Ever since we had entered the Western Human Realms, Mo Ning never had a chance to have a meal with us. Every day, she could only watch as Zurnalin, Jezsere and Regine eat with me, all the while feeling left out. That was why I decided to feed her myself today. Only by doing so could I placate her and her growing jealousy.
Thankfully, Mo Ning was rather agreeable. As long as I placated her, she wouldn’t act up, though there was nothing stopping her from being jealous. Ever since Mo Ning had turned into a monster beauty, I had to admit that my aversion to her had lessened significantly. Circumstances aside, at least half of her was now humanoid… Now, I’m not saying I’m into monster girls… all that is just 2D talk. I don’t want them coming into my 3D world…
Sensing their arrival, I did not stop right away, instead reaching out for a bag of beans and placing it before Mo Ning. As for Mo Ning, she did not even waste the effort to look at the bandits, instead lowering her head to munch on the beans like a horse would. From time to time , however, she would sneak in a lick or two of my hand.
Hmph, I see how it is… those beans aren’t enough for you… you are trying to take advantage of me as well… I swear… At the very beginning, my intention was to feed her from a bowl. But she insisted strongly that I used my hand instead.
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Glancing around for a second, Leeder finally greeted me cautiously when he realised no one was around. “Sir, feeding your horse?”
“Mhm.” I harrumphed without even looking back at him.
With regards to this bandit leader turned interim village chief, I really could not bring myself to like him. Even though he claimed he had the village’s interests at heart when he turned to bandity, I just couldn’t trust him completely. Especially now when we still had a grudge with each other.
“Sir… since you are leaving today and all… about that thing in our bodies… could you remove it?”
“You mean the spider? I guess it should be removed.”
“Many thanks, sir, many thanks…” Hearing me agree so easily, not only was Leeder moved, the other seven almost broke down in tears as well.
Honestly, even if they did not bring it up now, I would have still removed the spider from their bodies before leaving. At the end of the day, they were still villagers of Lyon. Even though they had committed some wrongs in the past, enough lives had been lost in this village already. Plus, it was highly unlikely they would go back to banditry after what they experienced this time.
“Open your mouths.” I instructed them before using my mana to guide the spiders within them to crawl out.
“Blegh…” Perhaps it was because the sensation of having a spider crawl up your throat was disgusting, or more likely because they were disgusted by the spider either way, the former bandits couldn’t help but retch in unison, though the spiders came out smoothly in the end.
Without a host, the spiders started to struggle about on the ground, dying soon after belly up. I could have retrieved those spiders, but the thought of retrieving an insect that had just crawled out of someone was… disgusting. It was also safer to just kill them as well. The last thing I wanted was for one to accidentally get loose and infect the entire village.
“Many thanks for your magnanimity and forgiveness…” Having vomited out the spider, Leeder went down on his knees and began kowtowing as a sign of his gratitude.
“It’s fine. We’ll be gone soon anyway. I just hope you will keep your mouth where it belongs.” I deliberately glared at the eight of them and said, “don’t be too happy so soon. Even though I’ve removed the spiders, they’ve already laid their eggs within you. That means I can still use my mana to activate them, spider or no spider. At that point… I’m sure nothing needs to be said.”
“Please… I beg of you, sir… remove those eggs from us…” The eight of them immediately went down on their knees again, each crying and kowtowing harder than the other in an absolutely sorry state.
“Don’t worry. As long as you lot do not try anything funny, I promise the eggs will never hatch.”
“But, sir, if you do not remove the spiders, we can never be at ease…”
“At ease?” I coldly laughed. “I should be the one worried instead… don’t tell me you’ve forgotten what you’ve done.”
At that, they fell silent. They obviously wanted to say some more but they realised it was no point, and they couldn’t really force this matter either. At the very least, they had my guarantee that the eggs wouldn’t hatch.
“We promise to never say a word of this, sir…”
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“Good, then be off with you. I don’t want my day to be spoilt further.”
“Got it… we’ll be gone right this instant…” Having said that, all eight of them crawled away as fast as they could. The area was now nice and quiet again, except for those dead spiders on the ground…
I channelled my mana into flames and burned those corpses before returning to feeding Mo Ning.
Even so, my mind was a little distracted, and Mo Ning could tell from the feeding. “Dearest, are you really going to leave those eggs in their bodies?”
Hearing her talk, I frowned and muttered, “don’t talk while we are in human lands.”
“What are you afraid of? It’s just us.” Mo Ning lowered her voice. “So are you going to leave those eggs in them? I promise I will keep quiet once you tell me.”
“No. That was just a lie.” I picked up a bean and brought it to Mo Ning’s mouth. “I’ve let them go for now, but I still can’t trust someone who was once a bandit…”
A cold gust of wind blew past us at that point, else the evening remained relatively quiet.
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