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8-4: Is It a Good Time? (Part 2)

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Author: Natsuni Kotatsu Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Robinxen

The great spirits do share some similarities, but a significant difference lay in their approach to taking lives. Unlike evil gods, the great spirits don’t casually deprive people of their lives.

…Perhaps that’s the reason evil gods are given such an ominous name by humans.

And just like with Lula, I advised Nina to seal the evil god instead of eradicating it deliberately.

While they might not possess the same level of magical knowledge as Magic Guild, having Sylph with them should provide reassurance.

“Is there anything else that could be problematic?”
“Hmm… Oh!”

I tensed up slightly, wondering if something was amiss, but Nina quickly continued:

“Earlier, Darling seemed a little jealous of Sylph! Isn’t it adorable?! Isn’t it crazy?”

You’re the crazy one to be saying that in this situation.
She sounded really happy.
Speaking with her made me forget the seriousness of the situation.
In the end, after listening to her love talk, the call came to an end.
It only ended after Erius scolded her. I guess that really described the kind of person she was.

Now, onto the next person.

“Can you hear me?”
“Oh, Illya? It’s been a while.”

As always, a gentle and relaxed voice came back.

“It’s been a while, Gabril. How are Parsha and Gnome doing?”
“They’re doing well. The other day, we finally―― Don’t tell her!”

Parsha’s voice interrupted him.

The other day, they finally did what?
Oh, could it be about completing a trial or something?

If that’s the case, I should wait until they tell me. I’m looking forward to seeing how Parsha has grown!

“It’s good to hear that everyone is doing well. I heard you’re in Filaramis. Is everything okay?”
“Listen, Illya! It was initially a simple escort commission, but halfway through, it turned into a subjugation mission, and they said they couldn’t increase the pay! Isn’t that just terrible?”
“It depends on the circumstances, but if they unilaterally changed it like that, it’s definitely unfair.”
“See? I really dislike merchants because they constantly look at your feet to gain advantage!”

Oh her speech went back to how it used to be.

And in the case of Parsha, she’s so small they’d be looking at her entire body rather than her feet if they look down.

“Is the subjugation mission about some abnormal plant overgrowth?”
“Yes! They were all spiky and slimy, really creepy!”

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I had heard they were like carnivorous plants, so they must have quite a menacing appearance. If it were just a plant, I can still handle it, but if it were a bug-type evil god, I would have taken it down right away!

As I rubbed my arms, which had a slight case of goosebumps, the tone from the crystal changed.

“We had to accept the subjugation request because the main road is blocked.”
“I see. Are things looking good?”

But it only lasted for a moment and the answer quickly came.

“Hey, Illya.”
“When you say stuff like that, you usually have some intention in mind, right? It’s like you’re giving us time to properly handle it ourselves.”

…Is that how it seems?
I asked everyone else the same… but no one interpreted it like that.
Well, setting aside whether they noticed it or not, it was exactly as she said.

“It’s not exactly looking great… but we’ll give it our best shot,” Gabril responded so.

His usual nonchalant tone carried a hint of firmness, but it also sounded resolute.

“…I understand. I will certainly respect your decision.”

Please do your best to show the Apostle how it’s done with your own strength.

“Thank you. We’ll do our best. I’ll give it my all too!”
“Yes. I’ll be rooting for you. If anything happens, please let me know. And please, don’t be stubborn for the sake of it.”

Oh, that’s not something I should say. Unaware of my self-reproach, they both replied with a cheerful “Okay.”

“After we’re done here, we’ll come visit you, big sis Illya!—I’m sure you’ll be surprised. See you later.”

Aren’t you jinxing it now…?

With no time to make that remark, the receptionist’s call interrupted our conversation.

Feeling a hint of unnecessary unease, I quickly listened to the information from the returning messenger and promptly gave them new orders before sending them on their way.

Taking advantage of a brief moment in my duties, I reached out to the next crystal, but before I could take it, a voice came from a different one.

“Hey, Illya~ Can you hear me? Hoooi!”
“I can hear you, Seiren. Long time no see.”

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I’m glad Tristan properly delivered the crystal to her. If he hadn’t, we would have had to communicate while he was on his way, which would have taken more time.

“Long time no talk~. You know, everyone’s disappointed because you sent a letter and never showed up~?”
“I’m sorry.”
“If you promise to keep your word, I’ll forgive you.”
“I promise, I’ll definitely come.”

The purpose of the Wind Crystal Pillar ended with Bernard’s incident, and I think it’s safe to use it for the barrier as planned. By setting up a wind barrier to prevent aerial approaches, they can maintain an advantage underwater.

Wait, no, that’s not it.

“I heard that the sea froze over, but how bad was the damage?”
“It was quite a surprise~. Oh, the damage? Mut shattered all the ice around the island, so it’s fine! Underwater, it got a bit darker and colder, but things didn’t change much, I guess.”
“I see.”

It’s probably because they are mermaids that they can think of it like that. Regular people could only travel on the sea by boat and couldn’t fish there.

Moreover, for regular fish, even a 1-degree change in water temperature could have a significant impact, so it might affect the fishing yield considerably.

But since they haven’t noticed that, could it be that they are also refraining from swimming there since it’s cold?

“Oh, but if it stays cold like this, the island’s harvest might decrease.”
“That’s right. Temperature is crucial for plants, so it wouldn’t be good if the cold sea air keeps blowing in.”
“I guess you’re right. So, did you send this crystal, anticipating this situation?”
“I didn’t know what would happen exactly, and it would have been best if nothing happened at all, but here we are…”

Well, no use saying that now.

“Is Tristan there?”
“Oh, you mean that guy with the magic sword? He said he took up a commission to defeat a giant crab that was freezing the sea.”

A crab… it must be the “Optimal Evil God”.

He’s known for always choosing what he considers the best course of action, even if it means wiping out a village, which he did in the past. Such actions led to him being labeled as an evil god… but in the grand scheme of things, those actions might have been necessary evils.

I believe this time, too, he must have judged that it was the ‘optimal’ thing to do.

…That’s why there are things I need to confirm.

“Seiren, did the ice cover the entire area around the island?”
“Yes… it was really surprising.”

That means the mermaid island was also within the target range.

“How is the situation now? Is the area where the ice was shattered still unchanged?”
“Yes, it’s still the same.”

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So it didn’t refreeze it.

In that case, Optimal’s goal was likely to create the ice rather than maintain it… I suppose.

From the Apostle’s perspective, he just needs me to make a move while the problems are occurring. Considering that, by “creating the ice,” Optimal must be focusing on causing a problem simultaneously with the problems happening in other places.

Thus, as long as the ice remains overall until the other issues are resolved, he doesn’t feel like reapplying it meticulously.

I guess that’s ‘Optimal’, huh?

It’s about minimizing the damage while creating a situation where I have to take action, I guess? He must understand that deliberately increasing the damage, like causing tidal waves to hit populated areas, would be even worse.

…Is it possible that the other evil gods arbitrarily interpreted the ‘as much as possible’ bit from the Apostle’s order to “minimize the damage as much as possible.”

…Well, there’s no use dwelling on those possibilities.

“Illya, what do you think we should do?”

Her question seemed to encompass not only the current situation but also the future… the future of the mermaids.

“…What do you want to do, Seiren?”
“I believe we should just focus on creating a sustainable living environment for ourselves.”

Her words carried a regal and resolute tone, befitting a queen. From her unwavering response, I could sense that she had contemplated this question many times.

Even if one offers help, extending their hand, it’s not guaranteed that the other party would accept it. In fact, they might even repay your offered hand with hostility.

“I see. Got it.”
“…Is that fine?”
“I’ll support your wishes, Seiren.”
“…I see, thanks. I feel at ease to hear you say that.”

Her voice, previously tinged with a hint of uncertainty, had now regained its usual carefree tone.

“But, it might be better to clear up the bad reputation, don’t you think?”
“Huh?… Ah, yes. You’re right!”

Seiren seemed to understand what I meant, and she chuckled softly.

The bad reputation they wanted to dispel was the unintended harm Bahamut had caused to Acradist.

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If Bahamut remained on the mermaids’ island, having a bad reputation might actually deter others from getting too close to them. However, Bahamut was a free spirit, going wherever he pleased. While mostly harmless, if threatened, he would defend himself and retaliate as necessary.

“I wonder if going with a flashy method would be better?”
“Yeah, that’s a good idea. You need to leave a lasting impression about who did it. But at the same time, you must show that there’s no ill intent.”
“Then how about us transforming into human forms and putting on a show?”

And so, we devised the plan, “Operation Bahamut the Hero.”

Of course, we had to be prepared for any potential changes in the situation or Optimal’s actions. After carefully considering everything, we concluded our preparations in regard to Acradist.

I could hear things like “No fair!” “Me too!” from the crystal, but I had to refrain from it since there was much to do.


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