Jun 2, 2018

Isekai NEET V1 Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - NEET’s Training

“Today will be the day ── The day I win and take this collar off!”

Next morning.

Tifalycia pointed at her collar with her right hand while she knocked on the door and entered.

“Ah, un. Do your best.”

Not to mention the collar, he did not even glance at Tifalycia and continued playing around with the smartphone on his hand while lying on the bed, causing her cheeks to twitch.
“Kuh......F-Fuun......you can remain as composed as you like. I’m seriously going to be different today.”

“Hmm?”

Reiji finally raised his face...

“Ah, now that you say it......is the color of your underwear different from usual?”

And then he stared at her two bountiful bulges.

“Wh──Wh...Wha!”

Tifalycia turned bright red and hurriedly hid her chest with both her arms.

“You are panicking too much. The thing that you were hiding in your left hand can be seen.”

“──!”

Tifalycia quickly hid that something in her hand ,which looked like some book, behind her back again.

“Th-That just now...isn’t really...today’s showdown──”

“I never asked you what that is  for, though?”

“............Uu.”

“Well, looks like I will have fun again this time. Now then, what should I make you do today?”

“──N-No matter what you say, I will absolutely...absolutely not lose!”

“It’s not to win huh.”

“......Eh?”

“Not losing and winning are two very different things.”

“~I won’t be deceived by your sophism again! I have thought of a sure-win method for today’s 「Showdown」 after all!!”

Tifalycia revealed the book in her left hand without hiding it anymore as she said that.

Reiji looked not at that book, but her tense expression, and smirked.

“Hee, I look forward to it.”

──Several minutes later.

“......Well, it turned out like this as expected.”

Reiji won in the 「Showdown」that Tifalycia had claimed to be a sure-win for her, and looked down at the girl trembling in shame from the feeling of defeat and the『Punishment Game』.

“I don’t even know how many times I have said this ── You are good at completing flags, aren’t you?”

“Uuu......”

Tifalycia had no more energy to respond, and her head remained drooped down.

And an additional blow came at that time.

“Please excuse me. I have come to clean the room──......Eh? Mistress Tifalycia......?”

A servant entered the room along with a knock.

“Hau!?”

“You are probably thinking 『Of all times, it has to be at this timing!?』.”

“D-Don’t tell me──”

“Well, coincidences sure are scary.”

Reiji vacantly spoke, and Tifalycia slowly turned around towards the servant.

The mistress were on all fours and shaking her bountiful breasts.

A collar was on her neck, with a lock at the front and ── in the middle of a 『Play』 no matter who saw it.


“......Umm......What...are you doing......?”


Those words dealt the final blow to Tifalycia.

The thin film of light from the magic formation forced her to carry out the contract.

Abiding the order from the Great Contract Magic, raising up one hand, Tifalycia spoke with a stiff smile.


“──In the midst of serving M......Master──Nya♡”


Time stopped.


Reiji endured his laughter on the bed.

Tifalycia’s face warped in shame to the point of dying while her hand was still raised.

The servant’s expression went blank, and she went out of the room without saying anything.

That might have been a show of kindness to her or some other reason.

No matter which, what she could say was...

“Y──YY...You! Are you a demon or a devil or an orc!?”

“No, I’m a NEET.”


Seeing that expression without a shred of shame, Tifalycia was overwhelmed, but then she gave up, and finally dropped down.

“......Uu......Why...why...letting a servant see that kind of shameful display......”

“Of course, that’s because it is necessary.”

“Why the poised face!?”

Tifalycia retorted at Reiji, who folded his arms and made a smart pose.

“What necessity...am I that detestable...is it sarcasm...is it your hobby!?”

“Well, that’s also a part of it.”

“Y...You......You are inhuman!”

“Oi oi that’s horrible. Even I thought of various things, you know?”

“Uu......it must be some terrible ways of punishment anyway......”

“Well, that’s true.”

“────My mother in heaven. Please listen to my wish. Let divine punishment befall this devilish demon......!”

Reiji sighed at Tifalycia, who had finally begun praying.

“No no, listen till the end. Look, recently, you have already gotten used to giving massages, right? A punishment game cannot be something you don’t hate.”

“What problem──”

“If you no longer think that there is something you hate waiting for you when you fail, you won’t learn.”

“............Eh?”

Learn?

In other words.

He...

──Is giving me punishment in consideration of me?

While Tifalycia was thinking of such a thing.

“More importantly, a beautiful elf girl twisting her face in shame is the best, isn’t it?”

Reiji showed another poised face.

“──......You are the worst Hero, the worst NEET.”

“Thank you.”

“I am not praising you!”

“Well, jokes aside. This time’s 「Showdown」, your idea was pretty good, you know?”

What Tifalycia challenged Reiji with in her sure-win 「Showdown」 was actually on the questions related to the knowledge of this world.

And it was only recorded in the book, even the people from this world could not easily answer them.

Of course, Reiji, who came to Aquatera Realm only one month ago, definitely could not answer ── that was supposed to be the case.

“......However, you answered them fluently. Without a single mistake.”

Tifalycia grumbled and looked at the encyclopedia in her hand resentfully.

Reiji lightly swung the smartphone in his hand at her.

“That’s, well, all the answers are inside here.”

“......Ha?”

“As expected, there shouldn’t be anyone who could get it wrong while looking at the same content as that book.”

“Wh-Wha ── Same content you say.”

“Hmm? Aah it’s photo, photo taken. Keying in is too much as expected.”

“N-Not that! You actually went to copy this whole book!?”

“Oi oi, how long do you think it has been since I arrived at this world? It’s one month, one month already. If I have that much time, it’s obvious that I can make a copy of all literatures in the castle at least.”

Those nonchalant words shut her up.

Tifalycia knew the photographing function of that smartphone. Reiji had been using it very often.

However, she had never seen him taking photographs of books even once.

And then, what shocked her more than not witnessing him doing that, was the fact that he had made a copy of the hundreds of books within the castle.

“Even though you don’t know if there will actually be a time to make use of it......”

“Didn’t I make use of it, like just now?”

“Th-That’s true, but──”

“I said it many times before. Information determines the outcome. ──In the first place, do you think that the showdown this time was completely decided by yourself from the start to finish?”

Of course, she intended to do that.

She intended to.

If she thought back on why she thought of using the books to make questions at that timing ── it was because of what Reiji said the day before.


──There is no need to choose your method for the sake of winning. No matter how despicable it is, it will be justified for the sake of victory. As long as it is not forbidden, you can’t be blamed even if you use tools.


Tools. Despicable method.

If she used books and asked questions about this world’s knowledge, he would not be able to answer, would he?

That flash of inspiration──

“Everything......was for the sake of me challenging you to...this showdown today......?”

“Who knows?”

Reiji smiled frivolously and shrugged his shoulders.

“Well, that is that. The method I used to win this time is clearly cheating, but are you fine not blaming me for it?”

If it was the Tifalycia in the past, before acknowledging the fact that she lost,she would complain about how despicable Reiji’s method was.

However.

“............Losing is losing.”

As if trying to endure something.

Tifalycia gripped her hand and looked down at the floor, Reiji narrowed his eyes.

It seemed that she had noticed after continuing like that every day.

Those words complaining about despicableness were in turn mocking herself for lacking in consideration.

......The situation was progressing more favorably than he thought.

After that would be ── the moment Reiji was thinking that.

“However.”

She raised her face and looked straight at Reiji...

“Someday for sure, I will escape from your palm and do my victory declaration proudly.”

That.

That expression displayed the strength of her will more than anything──

Reiji purposefully smiled sadistically, and said those words he had prepared.

“Those are some great words.”

Still nonchalant.

He continued in his usual toying tone.

“Aah, a big goal without knowing your own strength is your forte. In replacement for the power you should possess originally, that’s the only thing you have now.”

“The...power I should possess originally......?”

“If you have what anyone in 「Elf」 should be able to use, wouldn’t there be a greater variety for 「Showdown」?”

“──Don’t tell me...”

“What is it? Do you have something you want to ask? [Absence] Princess.”

In an instant.

The atmosphere around Tifalycia changed.

It was neither anger nor sadness, not expressionless and not emptiness.

It was an expression as if rejecting everything in the surrounding, a strong isolation.

“..................Why...you...that...”

“Let me ask you back, why do you think I don’t know?”

The Hero checked the books in the castle, and selfishly went out of the castle despite the restriction by the surrounding.

The information he collected would obviously be enormous.

More than what Tifalycia could imagine.

“The previous Lord of Tistel, Clairlycia. Your mother was wise, to the point that even the current king (「Elf」 Ruler) was extremely reliant on her, but she broke just one decisively important taboo. ──That is...”

Despite seeing Tifalycia’s long ears twitch in shock, Reiji spoke.


“She had taken a man of 「Infirma」, the only race that cannot use magic in this world and served as slaves to other races, as her husband. Then the daughter born between them did not possess the power that she should have possessed, and was slandered by her mother’s race. That daughter ── in other words, you, is a mix-blood between an 「Elf」 and an「Infirma」.”


Reiji, who was born in another world, might not know, but having a child with an 「Infirma」 seemed to be a universally serious crime that crossed the fence of races.

As a consultant to the king, carrying an important duty, Tifalycia’s mother, Clairlycia, was spared from the death sentence, and was instead exiled to such a remote place like a first-class criminal.

And what was marvelous about Clairlycia was that despite such a situation, she possessed the political prowess to let this territory to continue surviving at the least.

She knew that Tistel had no production ability, so she used her personal route to successfully establish trade with the neighbouring Entara (「Beastia」 Union), feed the scarce number of servants, provide education not inferior to royalty to her only daughter, and left behind sufficient savings for living.

That’s right, she had already left the world.

After her charismatic mother had passed away, Tifalycia inherited her role thereafter, and Tistel declined to the current state as one could see.

Of course, it would be impossible for the territory to survive by itself without the support from the home country.

It was somehow sustained by her mother’s political prowess before, but it's decline was inevitable after her death.

The number of servants decreased compared to the time Clairlycia governed, and the contact with Entara also stopped.

“It’s a crucible of poverty no matter how you look at it. I would have also given up. However ── you never looked down.”

Receiving the love from her mother, Tifalycia, with an honest and serious education, did not crumble before the 「Elf」 that ignored her, the 「Beastia」 that despised her, and only continued to look forward.

For the sake of carrying on her mother’s dying wish.

“In the first place, you have two objectives. One is to clear the dishonor of your mother. And the other is to liberate the 「Infirma」.”

Liberate the 「Infirma」.

That was the dying wish of Clairlycia, and also an absurd delusion that even the word taboo was not enough to describe in this world.

「Infirma」 had always been a slave race long before the Great Contract Magic was established. They were overwhelmingly disadvantaged due to having no magic, hence having no choice but to rely on other races to survive.

The only race that completely lost in this world.

To save them, and free them from other races──

That absurd delusion was inherited by her daughter, Tifalycia, who was an [Absence].

The important wish of her mother. And for the sake of her 「Infirma」 father whose whereabouts were unknown.

“Then you held yourself in desperately in this dying territory, and made preparations. The move that could become a reversal that was doable by Tifalycia Cleargreen with royal blood (Candidate to throne in name). The final method known as Hero Summon.”

Hero Summon was a very complicated ritual and required a person possessing a special stigma ── a shrine maiden was necessary.

Putting aside the process of the ritual, the special stigma ── 『Summoning Stigma』 could only be inherited by one person in the same generation for each race, and not as simple as by having royal blood (suitability).

“However, you have easily overcome that difficult condition. After all, it was none other than Clairlycia who was the shrine maiden of that generation, and she secretly let her sole daughter, that is you, inherit the 『Summoning Stigma』.”

“──! How......”

“Make it a habit to think before asking......The reason 「Elf」 does not have a Hero for a long time, the reason why Clairlycia was only exiled to the border despite committing the absolute taboo, and the situation of the Ruler’s niece, and not someone from the legitimate royal family, summoning the Hero. If you investigate the story behind these, the truth will reveal  itself.”

“........................You are the only person who can do that.”

Tifalycia shrugged her shoulders and complained without thinking, while Reiji purposely talked in a light tone.

“Anyway, you have managed to summon a Hero just as your mother planned without trouble.”

If she summoned a Hero, 「Elf」 could not ignore the summoner (Tifalycia).

Soon, 「Elf」 would probably be calling Tifalycia and Reiji back to Granlem (home country).

No matter how despised Tifalycia was to them, she was a royalty of 「Elf」. If she could contribute achievements afterwards, there would always be a way to climb up──

“──You probably thought of something like that, but reality is not so nice. The Hero you summoned is an elite NEET, who reversed the master-servant relationship and is now living a carefree NEET life. Of course, the home country that heard this rumor would not call us, how pitiful, Tifalycia-chan’s plan has crumbled. Congratulations.”

“Isn’t that mostly your fault!?”

Reiji shamelessly spoke of the process, which provoked Tifalycia to retort.

“I wonder about that.”

Reiji narrowed his eyes sharply.

“Let’s say even if I intend to seriously do this Hero thing, do you think the 「Elf」 will acknowledge your achievements?”

“That’s............because I am [Absence], is it?”

“Not really. This me, NEET Hero Reiji has shockingly zero Destiny, and cannot use the Realtà that any Hero can use!”

“......Why are you so proud?”

“Well, look, ain’t I the Only One?”

“Unable to use Realtà makes you the same as the normal race though......”

Rather, if considering that races apart from 「Infirma」 could use magic, it was below normal.

“──Fu, since when did you think that NEET is above normal?”

“Please do not make an appeal on how useless you are......!”

“By the way, aren’t you the one who summoned this useless Hero?”

“Uu.”

“Also, isn’t it impossible if the summoned Hero has no common trait as the summoner (shrine maiden) herself?”

“Uuuu......”

The disappointment and resignation towards Reiji was reflected back on herself, Tifalycia wobbled as she remained seated.

“As expected, my own uselessness......”

“Fuhahahaha, how is it? The taste of the ultimate shifting the responsibility that transfers all the dissatisfaction of others towards self right back at them!”

“The worst......This person is the worst......”

“Well, jokes aside. Basically, after sorting out the information I had gathered in this one month, you are in a despairing situation, that’s what I wanted to say.”

Reiji pointed his finger at her, Tifalycia had an illusion that his finger was a sharp blade.

The matters Reiji investigated, considered, and pointed out, were all right to the core.

Not only the things Tifalycia considered herself, even the things she subconsciously did not want to face, came out from the mouth of that Hero, and made the judgement that it was a despairing situation, and she could not rebuke.

Just as he said, even the words pushed to the edge of the cliff were not enough to describe the position Tifalycia was in.

Irregardless of herself being [Inferior Blood] (Taboo existence), she had the absurd delusion of liberating the 「Infirma」.

In addition, the Hero that was her last hope had zero Destiny and no motivation.

If she did not despair in such a situation, she could only be called abnormal.

Unreasonable. Reckless. Impossible. No words could describe it.


────────However.


“Even so......Even so, I am──”

The moment she raised her face, stood up, and was about to continue.


Suddenly, she saw a huge magic formation drawn in the sky beyond the ceiling of the room.


“Eh......!?”

Before the shocked Tifalycia, through the direction of the ceiling, in the middle of the magic formation in the sky, words displayed itself one after another.

It was also reflected in Reiji’s eyes.


Heroic War ── 「Beastia」 Napoleon Bonaparte VS 「Elf」 Houbami Reiji!?”


The astonishing content came out from Tifalycia’s voice.


  ◇◆◇


Heroic War


「Beastia」 Napoleon Bonaparte

VS

「Elf」 Houbami Reiji


Field: Tistel

Victory Condition: Subjugation of the enemy Hero

Victory Reward: Tistel’s governance


The Heroic War suddenly happened.

Dashing out of the room, running through the corridor, looking at the sky directly, Tifalycia did not see wrong, she confirmed that the summary of the Heroic War was definitely written there.

“Field is......Tistel......Victory...reward is ── Tistel’s governance......”

As she read the words in the magic formation, her voice became smaller.

What was there was pure confusion.

There were many questions.

Why did Heroic War suddenly happen?

Why was the opponent 「Beastia」?

Why was the victory reward not only 「Beastia」, but also 「Elf」, to obtain Tistel──

“Why......did...this......”

As Tifalycia muttered so, she saw Reiji and immediately shut up as if she noticed something.

Creasing her brows, that was her habit when thinking deeply.

──Make it a habit to think before asking.

She seemed to have immediately put what Reiji said a while ago into practice.

Smiling only in his heart after seeing that tendency, Reiji spoke vaguely.

“What questions do you have? Try saying them.”

“............There are...too many questions......”

“Just say out your thoughts. Saying out your thoughts can also help sort it out.”

“Then......first is the question on the opponent. 「Beastia」 had been friendly since mother’s time. When I became the Lord, umm, there was a little distance, but there was no event that would cause them to be hostile. So I don’t understand why they would want Tistel now.”

“They had always wanted it but was obstructed by the previous Lord. Now they can snatch it without worrying, such a chance has come around, is one possible explanation.”

“......That’s......certainly, it may sound reasonable from 「Beastia」 side, but it doesn’t sound reasonable from 「Elf」 side. If the contract between Rulers was not established, Heroic War cannot take place, if here is the main battlefield, they should at least contact us beforehand.”

“However, the fact is that without doing so, the Heroic War happened. Then at least the Rulers have definitely established the contract.”

“I──If that’s the case, the victory reward is strange! Taking a hundred steps back, 「Beastia」 wanting Tistel’s governance can be explained, but 「Elf」 is betting on the governance they already have, you know? In the first place, the current Hero of 「Elf」 is you. Winning against 「Beastia」 in a war is not──”

Saying until that point, Tifalycia stopped as if she thought of something.

She finally opened her eyes wide.

Reiji spoke as if to continue guiding her further.

“For example. The 「Elf」 failed in a non-battle diplomacy and had to swallow a Heroic War from 「Beastia」 in a way that they couldn’t refuse. With only a defective Hero, what can the 「Elf」 do to minimize their losses when they absolutely cannot win?”

Saying it in a way as if it was someone else’s business.

“War is at best a method of negotiation. A country’s Ruler calmly calculated the profits and the losses, and had his eyes on one territory. In there were the useless Hero and a royalty hinderance. Not only was it coincidentally connected to the territory of 「Beastia」, there was also no significant loss to the 「Elf」. Rather, it would be a plus to be able to get rid of a hinderance.”

“That──kind of──”

Emotionally.

As Tifalycia was shaking her head, about to deny it, Reiji interrupted her and nonchalantly spoke.


“You have been sold, basically.”


As if those words carried weight, Tifalycia’s shoulders slumped.

Despite seeing her like that, Reiji did not stop.

“And also, did you notice? You can’t see any of the servants since a while ago.”

The servants who were always busy moving around with cleaning, cooking and washing.

Leaving aside whether they could be seen even within the room, they would have been visible once she went outside even if she didn’t want to.

However, currently.

Despite her looking over the courtyard, peeking into the kitchen, glancing out of the castle from the observatory ── she could not see a single one of them.

Everything went back to silence.

It was as if there were only Tifalycia and Reiji in the entire castle.

Before Tifalycia could voice out her suspicion, Reiji answered her with his deduction.

“The servants here are 「Infirma」, right? And the home country has thousands of times more 「Infirma」 than here. What if those servants from the home country relayed this information to them beforehand? Normally, they cannot betray the master according to the contract, but the servants here established master-servant contract with your mother, that also seems to be a point.”

Tifalycia as the daughter did not have enforcement power of the Great Contract Magic in the contract.

Abandoning a master with no future.

Migrating to another land was also the freedom of the servant.

“............”

What the trembling Tifalycia could hear with her ears was plenty of war cries and marching sound.

The flames of Heroic War had already been lit.

The 「Beastia」 did not face any resistance when entering the territory of Tistel, which was set to be the battlefield, and they surrounded the castle that would be the headquarter.

They had pursued all the way right before Reiji and Tifalycia.

“──”

Tifalycia’s knees gave away on the spot as if she lost all her strength.

There was already nothing supporting her.

Sold away by her home country.

Abandoned by her servants.

Trampled by her enemy in reality.

To the girl that sunk her hands onto the ground, hung her head down, lowered her face before absolute despair.

Next to her ear.

Reiji whispered as such.

“Have you already given up?”

Merciless words of a devil.

It was not even an attempt to give a further blow, just coldly informing her that she had no room for any choice.

It was over.

Be it her mother’s dream, or father’s hope.

It all collapsed there.



────────However.



“I won’t...give up.”



Weakly.

It might break at any moment.

The voice that was squeezed out.

Straightforwardly ── displayed her thoughts.

“Even if...mother’s......Tistel is robbed away here, losing my place to live, losing my position, with no one following me, losing away everything ── I...still have...my life.”

As long as she had her life, she would not abandon her target.

Because, that was...

That wish was...the life of Tifalycia itself.

Therefore, even if she lost any and everything apart from that.

“I am ── going to continue looking forward.”

Those sincere words.

Determination not to cower back.

A recklessness with nothing other than belief.


“──Kukukuku.”


Reiji laughed.

Laughed and laughed.

Laughed hideously ── and spoke.


“Those words are what I want to hear.”


──Always.

Reiji had always been watching Tifalycia Cleargreen.

He had continued to test the extent of her seriousness.

Anybody could have delusions.

Anybody could make declarations.

However, the determination and will to carry those out was ── not possible for everyone to have.

“Normal people may not know, but ── a free man (NEET) requires quite the determination and will, you know?”

“......Ha?”

What was he saying all of a sudden?

As Tifalycia said so, he lightly shrugged his shoulders.

“Basically, I’m saying that I will lend you, who is ignorant, reckless, and without a clear direction, my strength. Master.”

Under the clear blue sky.

Reiji looked down at the crowd of enemies below the castle.

“As such, for the time being──”

With a notorious smile, he spoke.


“We surrender.”


  ◇◆◇


In regards to Heroic War.

The victory condition of subjugating the Hero, would be achieved by snatching the opponent’s seal (Touching the seal). That was derived from snatching the opponent race’s flag in the old Pledged War, a proof of making the opponent yield.

As such, the involved party, the Hero, had sufficient effectiveness when making a declaration equivalent to presenting his seal.

──In other words, basically.


Victor: 「Beastia」 Napoleon Bonaparte

Loser: 「Elf」 Houbami Reiji


Those words appeared in the magic formation in the sky.

“Oh, the result will appear in an instant. Wow incredible.”

“Y...Y──YYYou! What have you done!?”

Reiji just nonchalantly looked up at the sky and spoke towards Tifalycia, who stood up, approached him, just left with grabbing his collar.

“Eh? What?”

“Not what!! Just now the Heroic War is over, you know? It has confirmed our defeat, you know!?”

“Ah...un, you can tell that by looking up.”

“I do not mean that......!”

“Hmm, then let me ask you back. What do you think we can do to win in this situation?”

Reiji pointed his finger at the 「Beastia」 crowd below the castle, Tifalycia lost her vigor halfway.

“Th-That’s......”

“Don’t tell me, you aren’t thinking of leaving them all to me, are you?”

Her face dyed red as if her plan was seen through, Reiji raised only the corner of his lips.

“Oi oi that’s not like you. Relying on people isn’t your hobby. ──Rather, did I say that I lost?”

“Eh......? Surrendering──”

“That’s only about the Heroic War. {losing away everything is fine} right? Then.”

Saying up to that point, Reiji changed the direction he faced.

“Losing the race (dependence) known as 「Elf」 is also fine, right?”

Inhaling with all his might.

He announced towards The Cube above his head and to the 「Beastia」 below the castle with a loud voice.


“Tifalycia Cleargreen is making a country that liberates the 「Infirma」 here right now ── this is the founding of 「Liberator」 (Those without dependence)!!”


Silence resounded.


The declaration was so shocking that everyone in that place could not help but space out.


“So, well ── can you all please quickly get out?”


Reiji showed a gesture of shooing away some animals with a smiling face.

“────D──Don’t fool around!!”

“Are you treating us like idiots!?” “Who do you think you are speaking to!!” “Which side do you think has won!?” “Do your sleep talking in your sleep!!” “I’m going to drag you down!?”

Angry roars, jeers, etc, exploded all at once.

Those booing from the 「Beastia」 sounded like a melody to Reiji as he showed a delightful expression.

That attitude further stimulated their heightened anger, finally causing them to resort to violence.

They resumed their interrupted duty of sieging the castle that was what they came to do originally.

“Ah, I believe that you all should not do that, you know?”

They did not listen to Reiji’s advice, and striked at the closed gate──

In an instant.

A magic formation spread out, and those attackers were blown several meters away.

““Wha!?””

Under the Great Contract Magic, an enforced defense magic activated.

Confirming the effectiveness, Reiji carefreely glanced at those astonished people.

“That’s why I said so. Even though it’s not during Heroic War, if you act so violently without an order, Great Contract Magic-chan will get angry, you know?”

“Wh──What absurdity! Didn’t you just surrender in the Heroic War just now!!”

“Ah un. I did surrender. So the result is 「Elf」 lost and 「Beastia」 won. The bet is the governance of Tistel, hence this land already belongs to 「Beastia」. ──So?”

“Ha......? ......N-No, that’s why, you guys from 「Elf」 should quickly──”

“Eh? Who is this 「Elf」?”

Reiji smirked as he looked at the 「Beastia」, who finally noticed the importance of the matter, and spoke.

“Hey hey, think carefully. This place may have become the land of 「Beastia」 in name. However, how is the 「Beastia」 going to chase away us, who are sitting here right now?”

As they had won in the fight that bet on Tistel, the governance of the land should be held by the 「Beastia」.

However, the castle built there was another matter.

It’s one thing if they had agreed on the automatic hand over of the castle beforehand, the present matter was decided one-sidedly by the 「Elf」 Ruler, while Tifalycia had no knowledge of it.

Basically, Tistel Castle was still Tifalycia’s possession.

As such, since the Heroic War was over, any intervention with harmful intent would not be allowed. Forcefully carrying it out would trigger the activation of the enforced defense magic from the Great Contract Magic.

In other words, there was no way of blaming Reiji and Tifalycia for illegal occupation in the current situation.

“Y──You idiot, if we complain to the 「Elf」 about this──”

“The idiot is you. Did you not hear the declaration I made just now?”

The country that would liberate the 「Infirma」 ── The declaration on the founding of 「Liberator」.

That’s right, Reiji and Tifalycia were no longer related to the 「Elf」.

Of course, that was only in name. So 「Beastia」 could still complain about the matter being different from what they agreed on. However, the「Elf」 could also cleanly deny on the knowledge of that. They could put all the blame on the [Absence] (Tifalycia) to escape the blame.

Originally, such arguments after fights between the members of races with proper countries behind them would not occur.

That was because a proper Ruler (Backer) existed behind them, and exchanges between the races would still continue afterwards, it could be said that they had to keep their promises for their country’s honor.

Hence no matter what feelings they had, they would shake hands after the battle, limiting the victory and defeat to that place only.

However, 「Infirma」 was different. Even if they broke their promise at the outcome, there was no representative for other races to demand for responsibility.

The reason it became a problem was because nobody had expected 「Infirma」 to have a Heroic War with any of the races.

In other words, because they were despised while living under the rule of other races, Reiji was able to use the loophole that was forgotten.

“You fools......There’s no way we would acknowledge something like the country of 「Infirma」──”

“Aah, do you know what is founding a country? Did you think that it needs some sort of ritual or treaty? ──Unfortunately, it is something that can happen if you dare to speak out. In fact, it has been acknowledged by that.”

Reiji pointed at The Cube above his head with his thumb and smiled thinly.

“And it’s not 「Infirma」 but 「Liberator」 country okay? So nice to meet you.”

“──”

They could not rebut, but could only grit their teeth in frustration and give the order to retreat.

At the time the last of them could no longer be seen.

“──Alright, thanks for the wait. You can come out already.”

In accordance to Reiji’s words, the servants appeared from various places.

“Mistress Tifalycia......” “Mistress......you are safe......!”

“Ah......Wh-Why......didn’t you all escape......”

“No no......! It’s outrageous for us to escape!”

Along with one of the servants hugging Tifalycia as if she was extremely emotional, other servants also gathered around her.

“I have reminded them beforehand. Considering the one in a million chance that there is the possibility of battle, retreat back into the forest ── saying like that sounds nice huh. Well, it’s an insurance for what if.”

As if not hearing Reiji’s casual remark, Tifalycia was immersed in the joy of reuniting with the servants.

Sighing at that mushy face that could cry at any time even now, Reiji paused a while and spoke.

“It’s still too early to be emotional. Look, did you not notice anything else?”

“E-Else......?”

Tifalycia raised her head and looked around, and immediately noticed.

“Mistress Tifalycia......It’s been a long time.”

It was a polite man just reaching his elderly age. And behind him, a neat row of elderly people.

“Eh......y-you people are......”

They were servants that lost their jobs or resigned themselves when the Lord was transferred from Clairlycia to Tifalycia.

“We heard that Young Mistress is going to inherit the will of Clairlycia-sama, so we wish to offer our insignificant strength.”

Her decision to inherit Clairlycia’s (Mother’s) will, brought about servants offering their strength.

That led Tifalycia to remember the shocking declaration Reiji gave earlier, and noticed that he wanted to cause this situation on purpose.

“Since when......was this...”

Tifalycia unconsciously voiced out her thought, and Reiji smiled like usual.

“Since the start.”

He said it so easily.

“Didn’t I say it before? The result of a showdown is decided before it started. What is necessary for that is information. In that one month of NEET life with master-servant reversal, majority of the time was spent on collecting information, so I will be troubled if you are surprised at just this level.”

“──!? Even though we were always together, I totally didn’t notice──”

“That’s...well......because I didn’t take action directly myself most of the time.”

For an instance.

Reiji’s expression turned bitter, and he unconsciously gazed at his own shadow, at that moment.


Within that shadow, a girl appeared.


““Wha──!?””

In front of everyone, not only the servants and Tifalycia, even Reiji was surprised.

The girl with silver hair and wrapped in a black robe ── Leu was floating in midair and she puffed out her tiny chest.

“......Most of that...is my job.”

Her exquisite doll-like face did not show any expression, but her robe was fluttering as if being proud.

“──No no, why did you show up!?”

Reiji retorted as usual, and when Leu was about to reply.

“「Strega」!?”

Tifalycia interrupted.

Silver hair and red eyes, a girl with a phantom-like trait outer appearance.

The trigger to the ancient [Sevens], hardly appearing on stage in the present, the 「Strega」 that was shrouded in mystery to most of the other races.

“Wh-Why is 「Strega」 and......”

Tifalycia retreated back, and the servants showed obvious expressions of fear.

“Ah, well, that’s what would happen......”

Reiji had gathered from books and from stories from servants that 「Strega」 was feared by the most as the mysterious unknown. It was also used to threaten the children when it was time to sleep.

Everyone was thinking about the question on how the 「Elf」 Hero was acquainted with such an existence.

Reiji scratched his head and sighed.

“It would be a long story, but simply speaking, well ── I picked her up.”

“......Ha?”

“I picked her up. Over there.”

He pointed to the back of the castle as he spoke.

“Don’t joke around......! We are having a serious talk──”

“I was picked up.”

Leu interrupted Tifalycia this time...

“So...I am Reiji’s ── Master’s slave.”

And hugged Reiji.

At that moment, the black robe fell off, her underwear-like appearance was shown at the same time.

“Seal of Contract......”

On her thigh, the Six Flower in Full Bloom seal was clearly shown.

“Don’t tell me the contract really......? Wh-What does this mean?”

“......Leu, seriously, you...”

“Because I am Master’s slave ── I can also do this.”

“Idi──Mugu.”

Watching Leu kissing him right before her eyes.

“────”

Tifalycia was frozen.

“──......Argh! I told you to stop doing this kind of thing!”

However, that act caused the servants to raise a commotion in a different meaning.

“R-Really made that 「Strega」 serve him......” “I-Incredible!” “The 「Strega」 should be able to use powerful magic that other races couldn’t use.” “With this, winning in a frontal confrontation is──!”


“Ah, sorry to pour cold water on your excitement, that is not going to happen.”


“......Eh?”

The servants that had gotten excited all focused on Reiji.

Before them, Reiji spoke in a disappointed way.

“Look here, I said that we are making a new country that will not be discriminant against races, so what are we going to do by using the power of 「Strega」 to win? Even if suppose we did it, that would only become making a second 「Strega」 country. So if it comes to a fight, it will only be the 「Infirma」 as main force, with a way that doesn’t use magic.”

“H-However, if we can use, then using it──”

“And, I expected someone to say that, so I have established a contract with this fella ── with Leu so that she cannot use magic beforehand......At least that’s what the master-servant contract is for.”

That last sentence was meant for Tifalycia.

“That’s how it is in name.”

Leu added that, and Reiji face palmed.

“......However, wouldn’t that make the 「Strega」 a hinderance instead?” “......Certainly.” “Not to mention she doesn’t have the same blood as Tifalycia-sama and us......”

“Alright, I knew that you will say that.”

Reiji clapped his hands and spoke while keeping them together.

“What did I say I would make? A 「Liberator」 country. Try to remember the words of your admired Clairlycia. Even though she wanted to liberate the 「Infirma」, she should have never said anything about making a 「Infirma」 country.”

“............That’s true.”

“That’s because Clairlycia understands. That there is no meaning in making something like that.”

“No...meaning......?”

“Making a country means that fights between countries will bound to happen. A fight will definitely have winner and loser. The loser will eventually walk on the same path as the current 「Infirma」. What Clairlycia wanted to change is the structure that will generate such kind of loser. Hence she never said anything about making an 「Infirma」 country.”

And then, with that reasoning, Leu, as a 「Strega」, had no problem joining their camp.

“Of course, I never said that we don’t have a chance of winning. After all, the 「Infirma」 is in this world. There’s no way of gathering every member in this country, but numerical advantage is the strongest in my world, you know? Also ── not having anything is also a type of strength.”

The servants remained quiet, probably still not able to completely digest everything.

However, it was necessary for them to accept it.

Reiji shut his mouth, and pushed the tide towards their representative ── Tifalycia.

“Do you accept?”

“............I cannot accept.”

──Didn’t work huh.

As Reiji was going to sigh again, he noticed the determined eyes she looked at him with.

“I cannot accept, but......I know that what is necessary for the current me ── us is not about accepting.”

Those words.

Her expression.

Reiji could feel tremendous conviction.

“──So you do understand.”

He could not suppress the smile forming on his mouth.

That was the unspeakable feeling of excitement he felt when his hacking was successful, or when his opponent’s actions were completely in his grasp.

He immersed in that utmost joy which surged from the core of his body only for an instant.

He immediately changed his smile into a sluggish laughter.

“By the way, the Ruler of this country is you. And so, I will be the NEET at the back.”

“......Ha? Niito?”

“Eh? For what reason did you think that I lend you my strength?”

“D......Don’t tell me......Don’t tell me......!”

“If I am behind the Ruler that is going to unite this world, then I can do anything I want to do, and absolutely not have to do anything that I don’t want to do ── in other words, I will obtain the ultimate NEET environment!”

The Hero gripped his fist strongly and voiced out the worst kind of wish brazenly...

“Well, that’s how it is, so work hard for my sake.”

And tapped on her shoulder.

The former 「Elf」 royal princess squeezed out the strength from her entire body while shaking and spoke.

“You are ── really...absolutely...the worst!!”
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2 comments:

  1. I'm going to morph the world to my liking, so i may be able to do as i please.

    Thanks for the chapter
    ~Rafu

    ReplyDelete