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8-5: A Talk? (Part 1)

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

Now, let’s move on.

Next was a place that could be considered the most challenging… the Holy Raihand Empire, where the Guild’s influence was extremely limited.

Of course, the person I was thinking of was Torsti. They said they properly delivered it, so there should be no problems. If it turned out that it wasn’t delivered, it would end up being a false report.

Anyway, let’s begin the synchronization.

“Mr. Torsti, could you hear me?”
“! Is that you, Miss Illya?”
“Yes. Would it be possible to have a moment of your time?”
“Certainly. Give me a minute.”

For some time there was a very faint sound that could barely be picked up by the crystal, but then Torsti’s voice returned clearly.

“I apologize for the wait. Is our conversation going to cover what was written in the letter?”
“It would have been ideal if nothing had happened.”
“It was only recently that I heard that politics involves preparing for situations when something does happen.”

The voice held a lighthearted tone, and any lingering awkwardness was absent.

“Perhaps it would be best to start by explaining the current situation.”
“Yes, please go ahead.”
“Indeed… The sequence of events was—”

Torsti proceeded to share the firsthand information he had gathered on-site, seamlessly integrating it with the insights provided by the familiars.

While the fundamental nature of the ongoing catastrophe remained relatively consistent, it became evident that, from Torsti’s… the ruler’s perspective, the disruption of the water source itself was a more pressing concern than merely identifying the cause of the lake’s depletion. The loss of the lake, which was crucial for providing drinking water and supporting agriculture, naturally has far-reaching consequences for daily life.

I guess that’s pretty obvious.

“Firstly, regarding the cause of its depletion, it’s attributed to an evil god.”
“‘Evil god’…!? No… I can see now.”

Torsti appeared to have come to a realization and seemed to agree. Perhaps he realized that I was confused due to my silence, so he continued speaking.

“As I mentioned earlier, the region around the lake has been suffering from exceptionally intense heat. Despite its sustained duration, I deduced that it wasn’t a result of magic. However, we couldn’t determine the reason behind this abnormal situation.”

Expressing his understanding in this manner, Torsti then continued with a ‘but’. Or so I thought, but it seemed to be someone else with a similar yet different voice.

“Why would this be happening now, particularly at this moment of vulnerability?”
“I understand your concerns, but it’s merely coincidental.”
“Why are you so confident in saying that?”

The preceding conflict, which had led to this state of exhaustion, might have been instigated by the three-way deadlock of the world’s forces. However, the underlying trigger for the conflict itself was the will of the Apostle… the World Tree. For the Apostle, conflicts could arise not only within the Empire but in other places as well… If a significant dispute among humans were to erupt, it could be manipulated to create a similar sequence of events (Circumstances where I had to make a move), as inferred from the Apostle’s statements.

As such, it wasn’t an absolute necessity that it had to be specifically within the Empire… I knew I couldn’t say all that out loud. Though, there are additional reasons as well.

“Because similar extraordinary situations are unfolding all over the world.”

In both the Empire and places like Orbwight, where exhaustion prevailed, as well as in peaceful places like Rondoville, all these events were happening simultaneously. For people all around the world, it must feel like an indiscriminate and truly abrupt wave of disasters.

The fact that I am the cause of it all weighs heavily on my conscience. However, if I were to take the initiative in attempting to alleviate that guilt, it would play right into the Apostle’s hands.

Furthermore, I believe it would ultimately be an acknowledgment of the Apostle’s disruptive methods that have inconvenienced so many people. So, I absolutely won’t intervene!

“I understand… —Apologies for digressing. To get back on track, if the evil god is the cause, does that mean the only solution is to defeat it?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”

His voice’s tone shifted slightly once again. Or rather, it returned to its previous state.

…Did he switch with his brother or something?

Torsti didn’t seem to be showing any signs of abnormality, so well, I suppose it doesn’t matter.

“However, dealing with an evil god… If it can control fire, then countering it with water magic to withstand the temperature might be the only option… It won’t be an easy task.”
“Well, that may not be the case.”

Torsti let out a silly sound as I quickly denied his supposition.

“Are you…certain?”

I proceeded to provide him with an explanation.

From an external standpoint, it might appear that the evil gods manipulate fire, water, and other elements as they please. However, that’s something even ordinary spirits with the same origin can do—it’s a natural ability. After all, they all originate from the same crystal pillars.

They manipulate self-generated elemental factors to induce phenomena.

People, through chants and similar methods, intervene with elemental factors, infusing them with intentionality to bring about specific phenomena. Even if the speed, range, and intensity vary greatly, the core principle remains the same.

“The phenomena caused by the evil god can be countered with divine swords, much like magic.”
“…I understand. So there’s no need to be hesitant, then?”

Indeed, divine swords were the ultimate resort.

While their effects were immensely powerful, the potential repercussions of losing them were incalculable. And carelessly putting the royal family, their wielders, at the front wasn’t wise.

Perhaps realizing the necessity, there seemed to be a newfound optimism in the voice that I could hear. If there’s an issue, it’s that it would smear mud Torsti’s resolve.

“I apologize. You might prefer not to rely too heavily on divine swords, but—”
“No need to apologize.”

Suddenly, a voice with a pleasant, mature timbre emerged. Who could it be this time?!

“If we refrain from using them for our people, when else do we use them… If we let this opportunity slip, they would lose their purpose. It is imperative, for the sake of what lies ahead, to display them. Would you agree, o guardian of the mythical wisdom?”

The guardian of the mythical wisdom… Is he referring to the elves?

Ah, the lofty choice of words makes it sound like it’s some big shot. Perhaps it’s the Emperor? …How should I respond?

Before I could contemplate it for long, the voice carried on.

“Shifting our focus, my son was in your care. Including the recent incident, I would like to express my gratitude in some form.”

This is heading in a bothersome direction!

“I acted on my own accord. Embracing such words would only intensify my sense of guilt, rather than alleviate it.”

I’m serious.

Despite my intention to firmly decline without being impolite, the response that came back was an amused “Oh?” Come on, that’s when you should retort with something like “How rude!” and maybe even throw the crystal away!

Chances are, I won’t even need to use it anymore!

“So, why would you undertake such actions?”

That’s obvious.

“I am not a hero or anything so grand. I simply yearn for tranquility. That’s the extent of it.”

For some reason, with a contented tone, they merely responded, “I see,” and the voice reverted to Torsti.

After that, we concluded our conversation after refining our plans a bit. Our conversation soon ended without being needlessly dragged on. Honestly, I wish Jean and the Geezer could learn a bit from this straightforwardness…

Now, let’s move on to the next one.

The individuals I’ll be tuning in with were the remaining three leaders of the Windia Tribal Federation, who are connected to the evil gods.

While I prioritized locations where the evil gods appeared, I saved this one for last simply because it had the most well-prepared forces.

Since this country served as a gathering place for leaders from various tribes, it’s only natural that their escorts consisted of capable individuals. Despite potentially having a smaller population and army compared to others, their strength was far superior.

“Can you hear me?”
“Yes, I can hear you.”

Could this be Eric’s voice?

“It’s been a while, Eric. Is it a good time?”
“Yeah, I just finished it.”

Right as I was thinking that, the voice underwent a change.

“Hey, Illya! … It’s Illya, right? Man, those guys are so thickheaded! I swear their heads are harder than Orichalcum!!”
“It sounds like you had a tough time.”

Most likely, they had a dispute over the strategy.

It’s not just a matter of pride; there were probably political motives involved due to the current situation, making things quite challenging. If it were me, I’d definitely be heading back!

Putting that aside…

“How did the conversation go?”
“Ah, well…”

Is everything alright?
Implicitly, I asked, and after a brief pause, Chris’ tone shifted.

“Illya, there’s something I need to talk to you about.”
“A talk?”
“Yeah… Well, you know… about that—Ouch! What was that for, Selena!”

As the voices drifted apart, I caught snippets of another voice that I couldn’t quite discern. Chris was probably getting an earful from Selena, but even I could understand the reason.

You’re stuttering too much!
Being straightforward should be your strong point!

…I’m guessing he was being told something like that

“…Ah, sorry for making you wait.”
“It’s fine.”
“Continuing from earlier, Illya, you sent this crystal so you could offer advice again, right?”
“Well, to put it bluntly…”
“We don’t need it. Agh! You hit me for real this time, didn’t you?!”

Their camaraderie, or rather, their playfulness, seems unchanged. His words might have lacked a bit of tact, but I knew he was not that kind of person.

“Selena, don’t worry about it.”
“I’m sorry, Illya! Come on, explain it properly! —I-I get it already!”

Following Selena’s voice, Chris continued. He’s clearly being dominated by her.

Well, Selena had her stubborn moments too, so I’m sure Eric was still the one dealing with the most difficulty, just like before.

…Speaking of which, did they manage to establish a proper contract? The fact that they’re not mentioning it probably means that everything went smoothly.

There’s a lot I want to discuss, but let’s focus on Chris’ story for now.

“I might have said I don’t need it, but it’s not like it’s a bother or anything! I’m really grateful to Illya, and actually… No, not that!”


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