Human Translated By:
- Garcar (Part 1)
Machine Translated By:
- Cirdan Lunae
Japanese to English Checking By:
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A thick air of liquor and an earthy scent hung over the tavern.
Heaped up near the entrance were emptied alcohol bottles and barrels, as well as a wreckage of earth puppets, which likely once were in the form of people.
All of that had been heaped up by these two middle-aged men, grumbling over booze inside the bar――,
???: [Oh? This gentleman, got a slight feeling that I’ve seen him somewhere before… What’d’ya think, redhead!? Recognize this Furball Gentleman over here!?]
Groovy: [Who’re you calling a fucking furball!? Don’t fucking fuck around! I’ve been doing nothing but running without drinking or eating anything, SO I’M FUCKING EXHAUSTED…!]
As the man with a ruddy face grinned in good humor, giving his knees a good slap, Groovy flared up at him.
For some reason, the middle-aged man, blue-hair tied behind his head, began to laugh with increasing amusement and an “That’s inevitable, inevitable!” after hearing Groovy’s complaint.
It seemed like he was in a completely drunken state.
Since the blue one was out of the question, Groovy looked towards the other, towards the red-haired middle-aged man. He was sat quietly in his chair, glaring at the bottle in his hand.
Groovy: [Oi! You over there, fucking redhead! Are you the same type as this fucking blue-haired motherfucker!?]
Groovy: [Don’t ignore me! Stop fucking keeping silent, and look over…]
Redhead: [――Shut the fuck up.]
Here, before Groovy could finish his sentence, a flash of silver surged toward him in retaliation.
While still seated in his chair, he unleashed a horizontal slash aiming for Groovy’s neck. Something similar had happened when he had first barged into the tavern, but this was precise swordsmanship that sought to strike the opponent’s vitals.
If the opponent had not been Groovy, it might have been a fatal attack, but.
Groovy: [Who do you think you’re picking a fucking fight with, ASSHOLE!!]
Evading in a way such that the sword attack only skimmed the tip of his nose, Groovy took a step, and closed the distance in a single instant as his fist howled; equipped with a gauntlet, it slammed into the side of the red-haired middle-aged man’s torso, the resultant shock wave launching him into the wall.
Coughing out a “Kahh” with cries of pain, the red one’s body spun around as it flew. The man crashed into the wall without taking any measures to defend himself, and as Groovy gave that a sidelong glance, he caught the bottle of booze out of the air as it flipped around vertically.
The alcohol that the red one had been drinking, Groovy poured it down his throat with tremendous vigor.
Groovy: [Kuah!! That fucking burns…! I’d prefer water and some fucking food, but…]
Blue-Haired Man: [――Bravo, bravo! My my, yer skills sure are nothing to scoff at, Mister Furball. The redhead shoulda been considerably strong as well, I’m amazed that ya dealt with him so easily!]
Glancing back towards the red-haired man who was upside down against the wall, the blue one went down onto his knees, and offered up his katana as if to say he had already been beaten.
Sitting on his knees and with his face flushed red, the blue-haired man praised Groovy’s strength, and while displaying that he had no intention of fighting back, he deeply bowed his head.
Blue-Haired Man: [We’ve caused ya a terrible inconvenience, Mister Furball! We fellas are just wanderers, and we ended up aimlessly stopping by this settlement. However, by the time we stumbled here to this village, it was already like this; all the villagers were gone, and it was occupied by a group of those lumps of earth there.]
Groovy: […So, you’re tryna say that you fucking dumbasses had no choice but to drink up all the booze that the dead left behind?]
Blue-Haired Man: [Deary me, it’s a bit embarrassing but you’re exactly right! We were bored, so we ended up betting on whether the next lump of earth that came through the door would be a man or a woman.]
Smiling like a fool, the blue-haired man divulged the particulars of a bet that would make one forget that this was a time of emergency.
Those particulars were nonsensical, but Groovy could not tell if they were gambling with the alcohol that did not really belong to them, or if it was with their own lives on the line. Wherever these men lived or died was all up to their own whimsy.
Groovy: [――I really don’t fucking like this.]
Blue-Haired Man: [Heh, what’d’ya mean?]
Groovy: [Bastard, you got the nerve to get on your knees and offer up your katana, acting like you got no fucking intention of fighting, but my nose can’t be fucking fooled… Don’t fucking stare at me with that murderous intent, fucking hell.]
Blue-Haired Man: [――――]
Sniff, Groovy snorted his nose and glared at the blue-haired man, to which he responded with a troubled expression, scratching his cheek with an “Ehh”. But, the fact that he did not voice words of denial, rather than him being unable to find the right words immediately, it was likely because he understood that a sloppy excuse would incur Groovy’s wrath.
This blue middle-aged man, ever since the red one was beaten, had been constantly hiding an intent to kill Groovy behind his words and attitude.
Having barged into this place after being chased by the earth puppets, instead of getting to rest, he had gotten entwined with a troublesome opponent―― And, just when he thought that, Groovy realized.
Groovy: […Bastard, I remember your fucking scent.]
The stench he had smelled somewhere before, Groovy recalled it as all the hairs on his body stood on end.
He would not say that he could remember every scent he had ever smelled, but distinctive smells were difficult to forget. Faced with that scent diluted by a murderous intent, when he tried to recall his opponent’s identity――,
Groovy: [――Hey asshole, are you that fucking Cecilus’s fucking shitty dad?]
Voicing the memory that came to mind, Groovy glared at his opponent.
Under that sharp gaze of Groovy’s, the blue-haired man made a loathsome expression, and,
Blue-Haired Man: [Yikes, looks like ya remembered me.]
Groovy: [FUCKING HELL! You have the fucking nerve to try and kill me because you didn’t want that leaked!? STOP FUCKING JOKING AROUND! To begin with, why the fuck are you even alive!? Didn’t Cecilus kill you!?]
Blue-Haired Man: [Even if ya ask me why, I can only answer that I’m alive ‘cause I’m alive. That said, if it came to light that I survived, it’d be awfully inconvenient for me.]
Loosely shaking his head from side to side, the blue middle-aged man answered shamelessly―― He was the father of Cecilus Segmunt, First of the Nine Divine Generals.
In the past, he frequently visited the Crystal Palace together with Cecilus, so he was someone who Groovy had passed by many times. However, a few years ago he had committed an act of blasphemy in the Imperial Palace, and was cut down by none other than his own son, Cecilus; he should have been considered dead.
Blue-Haired Man: [They got wanted posters for me everywhere, musta been a slip o’ yer memory if ya thought I’d died.]
Groovy: [I just thought that that Cecilus fucker wouldn’t fuck it up. That asshole’s sword skills are the only fucking reliable thing about him; if he still fucked it up, then he’s nothing but a fucking piece of shit. There’s no fucking way he took discretion just because it was his fucking parent.]
Blue-Haired Man: [――That ain’t it. That guy’s swordsmanship’d never be dulled by the likes of familial bonds.]
Witnessing that firm declaration, Groovy withdrew the words that he was going to bite back with.
He did not know much about the parent-child relationship between this blue-haired man and Cecilus. But, this was the father who had raised Cecilus to become that Cecilus. It was not difficult to imagine that he was also a good-for-nothing monster.
If Cecilus’s skills had not dulled when cutting down his father, then that also probably stood to reason.
After being chased and chased, constantly running away, even though he had finally just managed to come across living people, they were a pair of drunkards―― Furthermore, one of them was a wanted criminal, and the other was prone to drunken violence.
He cursed his poor luck, and began wanting to wallow in his despair.
Redhead: [Ugh, guhh…]
Blue-Haired Man: [Oh, ya also let the redhead live. You’re a kind one, Mister Furball.]
Groovy: […I didn’t really take it easy on him or anything. That fucking redhead is just fucking sturdy.]
The violent red-haired man, now upside down against the wall, had endured a strike from Groovy that had been intended to make the insides of his body all mushy, and was nearly drowning in the vomit overflowing from his mouth.
Even in his battered state, Groovy would be able beat down this blue and red duo of middle-aged men, but――,
Blue-Haired Man: […Quite the racket outside, ain’t it?]
Just as the blue-haired man said, an aroma of loathsome earth had entered the settlement.
Having chased down Groovy, it seemed like quite a large number of them had surrounded the hidden village. Sensing with his nose that the encirclement was gradually closing in on them, Groovy anguished.
He would beat these two middle-aged men to death, and fight as hard as possible to break through the besiegement; then, he would find someone better than these two drunkards, and make the time to fill his belly with food and water.
That ideal, could it realistically be achieved? If not that――,
Groovy: […You fucking bastard, let’s make a deal.]
Blue-Haired Man: [Respectfully listening.]
Still seated on his knees, the blue-haired man humbly placed his katana by his side.
Until just before, this guy had been trying to kill Groovy with the exact same posture and attitude, to the extent that he wanted to call him a barefaced liar, and yet, the scent of murderous intent had now subsided.
While feeling irritation at that, Groovy spoke.
Groovy: [No matter what it takes, I gotta get back to where His Excellency and the others are. Even if that means I gotta use you fucking dumbasses to get there. That’s why…]
Blue-Haired Man: [――――]
Groovy: [I’ll use my power as General First-Class to get you off the wanted list. In return, you’ll cooperate and help me get back to the Imperial Capital.]
For Groovy, this was a desperate last resort.
If he were in perfect condition, he would have never thought to rely on such men. But, if he remained stubborn and collapsed, just who would benefit from that?
Groovy: [That’d be the fucking piece of shit who constructed this whole fucking incomprehensible situation.]
Honestly, he felt like there was lots going on in the shadows behind the civil war shaking the Vollachian Empire.
Keeping vigilance over the west side was indeed a believable reason for why he had been sent far away from the Imperial Capital, but in that case too, he slightly suspected that Vincent had had other motives.
The reason he obediently followed that was because he had thought it was fine to believe in Vincent’s judgment.
Thus, in order to hear the answer of what he had believed in, Groovy had no choice but to go back.
Groovy: [DO YOU ACCEPT THE DEAL OR NOT, HURRY UP AND DECIDE, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!]
Groovy bared his fangs and howled, opposite him, the blue middle-aged man closed a single eye in deliberation.
Before the man, whose mind was difficult to read, could voice his answer, there was a loud crash behind Groovy; the tavern’s door had been destroyed from the outside.
Maintaining the vigor from breaking down the door, the pale earth puppets burst inside. Right before their hands could reach Groovy’s small back―― A sword flashed.
With a slash from the unsheathed katana, the heads of the earth puppets were parted from their torsos, and turned into clods of earth.
The one to perform those actions, the blue-haired man, returned his katana to its sheath in a natural motion, and stood up. Then, the man, his face ruddy, stroking the stubble on his chin with his empty hand,
Blue-Haired Man: [In addition to erasing me from the wanted list, how much am I getting paid?]
Groovy: [You sure are a fucking piece of shit through and through, fucking bastard…]
Taking that shameless question as an answer, Groovy took a long, deep breath. Then, it seemed like his vision spun around, and,
Indeed, his physical strength had reached its unavoidable limit, and overwhelmed, Groovy’s consciousness sank to a dark riverbed.
Blue-Haired Man: [Goodness gracious, to think he’d doze off and delay sorting out the finer details for later, this Furball Gentleman is quite the pleasant character.]
Having languidly tumbled down on the spot, the small beastman began heartily snoring.
One of the apexes of the Vollachian Empire’s military strength, Groovy Gumlet of the Nine Divine Generals; looking down on him, Rowan Segmunt, his face red from drinking, tilted his head in contemplation.
The terms that had just been presented, Groovy did not seem like the kind of person to go against his word.
Upon consideration, these terms were sufficient. Of course, he also considered continuing to run away; he could stab the sleeping Groovy in the heart here, but then he would merely proceed with his life on the run.
Rowan: [If I did such a thing, just who in the world would it benefit? Plus, it’d be more proactive of me if I took this as luck being on my side. ――At long last, the curtain rises on the third act of my life!]
As he took firm steps upon the ground, Rowan worried about the slight cramp in his left leg; however, he then chuckled to himself, realizing that there was no longer any need to act reactively.
Nevertheless, the top priority right now was to get out of this place alive, so as he sensed the presence of the earth lumps gathering outside the bar, he heaved Groovy up.
Then, he stepped towards his companion who was upside down against the wall―― Heinkel, and gave him a good kick.
Rowan: [Hey, redhead, wakey wakey! The situation’s changed!]
Heinkel: [Uh, hah…?]
Rowan: [I’d have trouble sleeping if I just left ya here! Redhead, if yer life’s come to a dead end, then yer best bet’s to turn the tables by taking up the sword and fighting alongside me here!]
Rowan spoke in an intensely loud voice, and Heinkel reluctantly opened his eyes up wide.
Through his upside down vision, he looked at Rowan, and at Groovy upon the former’s shoulder; he slightly swung his legs and flipped himself back upright, then immediately began to stagger due to the dizziness,
Heinkel: [What the…? I feel like shit…]
Rowan: [Rather, to give such an answer after taking a hit from a General First-Class is nothing short of a big shot. Come on now, we just about drank up all the booze here, so it’s a good time to start drifting over to the next place.]
Heinkel: […What about that beastman? We eating him?]
Rowan: [Maybe if we’re ever really pressed for food, but for now we ain’t intending on doing that. Well then…]
Using his sleeve to wipe the vomited booze off Heinkel’s mouth, Rowan gave him a hearty clap to the back. Then, adjusting Groovy’s body on his shoulder once more, he turned around.
All at once, the lumps of earth surged into the tavern. Facing them, Rowan used a single hand to tear his katana out of its sheath, and as he wore a large grin on his face,
Rowan: [Stay alive and wait, prodigal son of mine. ――You’ve still some way to go, before ya reach the Heavenly Sword.]
――To overturn the peril of the Great Disaster, two lights there were.
That was the prophecy brought forth by the Stargazer Ubilk, shackled in chains―― No, as he would put it, it was the commandment.
This statement from the Stargazer, a being treasured in the Vollachian Empire and reputed to have accurately predicted numerous events, struck Subaru with a profound impact.
Frankly, Subaru did not have much faith in prophecies or premonitions.
He considered such things as a sort of fraud through the employment of various psychological techniques. Of course, he recognized that in this different world, phenomena unconstrained by common sense could very well occur.
After all, depending on how one saw it, the results that Subaru’s Return by Death brought about could be regarded as a way to avoid the worst possible future through foresight.
If possible, he would have been more grateful to know the future without having to die.
Subaru: […A girl, unable to communicate with words.]
To rephrase and say that Subaru was not the Stargazer, going to such lengths just to transmit accurate information.
The implication brought to mind an individual, and Subaru caught his breath.
However, before Subaru could inquire about the true intent, Abel, standing beside him, turned a cold gaze towards Ubilk,
Vincent: [One of the lights you spoke of, if it is Groovy Gumlet, he is dead.]
At that outright declaration, Ubilk’s eyes widened and his mouth gaped open.
That was to be expected. If someone were told the subject of their grand announcement was dead, anyone would have such a reaction. In fact, Subaru was also taken aback by Abel’s claim.
Ignoring Subaru and the others’ surprise, Abel, his arms folded, shrugged his shoulders lightly,
Vincent: [Out of a mouth that pompously declared that the stars are on my side, came that? It is rather a letdown, to say the least.]
Subaru: [Hold on, hold on, hold on! Don’t just speak as if it’s true! It’s still unconfirmed!]
Vincent: [Fool. With no signs of him converging, he is as good as dead.]
Subaru: [Don’t lump “as good as dead” with “he is dead”! You overthink the worst-case scenarios so much that you kill people off in your mind!]
Subaru snapped back vigorously at Abel’s words, which seemed to be needlessly stirring up Ubilk. There was no particular reason to deceive Ubilk right here and now, so this was a well-deserved retort.
In response to Subaru and Abel’s exchange, Ubilk released a conspicuously relieved sigh,
Ubilk: [I-I received no indicaaation~ if he was alive or not. So, wouldn’t it be fine to assume General First-Class Groovy haaasn’t~ died?]
Vincent: [We have long lost contact and there is no movement from the army he was supposed to be leading in the west. If his whereabouts are unknown, it would be more constructive to speak as if he is dead.]
Subaru: [Constructive in building what? A graveyard?]
Possibly taking Subaru’s words as teasing, a hint of severity entered Abel’s gaze. However, since there was no reason to back down from his stance, Subaru stuck out his tongue in response and turned to Ubilk.
His trust in the Stargazer, it remained shaky at best.
Subaru: [At the point when the stars spoke to you, Ubilk-san, was this Groovy person definitely alive? It would make convincing this guy easier if he was.]
Ubilk: [I’m sooorry~ to say, all I received from the stars were the essentials of those who could resist the Great Disaster. I’m not privy to whether these individuals are aliiive~ or not.]
Vincent: [So Groovy Gumlet, having died, holds a countermeasure against the Great Disaster?]
The issue of life or death was getting tiresome, and Subaru gave up on correcting it further. However, Abel’s offhand remark held significant implications for the future.
If one assumed Ubilk’s prophecy was believable, then whatever unique thing Groovy alone possessed would be a necessary component to stop this disaster.
In addition to that――,
If one of the two lights Ubilk spoke of referred to Groovy Gumlet, a General First-Class of the Empire, then the other pointed to her.
The girl who had been transported to the Vollachian Empire alongside Subaru and Rem. She who had overcome countless hardships with them, joined them in these coupled dragon carriages, and was one of the most troublesome characters, even in this world; Ubilk stated that she was necessary to repel the disaster.
Louis and Groovy, there should have been something common between these two that was effective in defeating the enemy.
Vincent: [Groovy Gumlet is known as the Master of Curse Tools, he is familiar with magic and Curse Arts, possessing the skill to create equipment incorporating these techniques.]
Perhaps he had followed the same line of thought as Subaru.
What Abel revealed was a unique skill that Groovy possessed. One that could not be replicated by others, which likely contributed to his selection as one of the lights.
Subaru: [So, as one of the Generals of the First Class, he must be pretty strong himself, right?]
Vincent: [There is no doubt that he is sufficiently competent. Even amongst beastpeople, his senses were exceedingly sharp, especially in his sense of smell; none across all the Empire could rival him. But, based on the conditions stated by this damn Stargazer, his skills as a warrior are not what requires attention.]
Subaru: [I know… Magic and Curse Arts, huh?]
In regards to magic, Beatrice and Roswaal had already shown promising results.
They had discovered that the Corebugs, lurking within the undead, were undoubtedly at the center of the mechanism that birthed the undead.
However, neither Beatrice nor Roswaal were included in the two lights Ubilk had mentioned.
In essence, the emphasis should not have been on exceptional magic users, but rather――,
Subaru & Vincent: [――Curse Arts.]
Subaru and Abel spoke simultaneously, their black eyes exchanging glances.
The fact that not only he, but also Abel, had come to the same conclusion strengthened Subaru’s conviction. Almost certainly, Groovy had been chosen as a countermeasure against the undead due to his knowledge of Curse Arts.
On top of the magical approach, the addition of a Curse Arts-based approach could lead to some sort of effective measures to use against those undead.
Vincent: [Excluding Groovy Gumlet, the only one with knowledge of Curse Arts is Olbart Dunkelkenn. It is urgent that we gather all those with such insight. What about your side?]
Subaru: [As for us, Beako has a bit of knowledge, and I myself am still cursed. I wonder whether Roswaal or Nee-sama is more knowledgeable…]
Vincent: [――. Disregarding that one part, it is necessary that we have them speak from their knowledge.]
In the past, when he had been bitten and cursed by a pack of Ulgarm Witchbeasts, Subaru had been told that the aftereffects were still nested within his body.
Fortunately, since it did not interfere with his daily life, he had left it alone; though, since the curse was like having an unidentifiable wart on his body, it would be a lie if he said it did not worry him.
In any case, as Abel suggested, it was necessary for them to gather all those who had knowledge about curses, to arrive at the insights that the leading expert, Groovy, would have provided them with.
As Subaru considered this, Abel quietly added, “On top of that,”
Vincent: [――Do you possess an answer as to what kind of advantage that girl’s existence will bring to the Empire?]
Naturally, the conversation spread to Louis, and Abel’s inquiry was thrust unto Subaru.
Closing his mouth, Subaru kept Abel waiting for a beat before giving an answer to that question.
However, a beat soon turned into two, then three, and still he could not arrive at a clear answer.
What he was being asked was clear, and it was equally clear without any doubt that Subaru himself did not have an answer.
Vincent: [Back when we shared that appa, I had told you. ――That what I had intended to say was not that we ought to execute someone whose apparent identity was that of a Sin Archbishop on the spot.]
As if in lieu of the silent Subaru, Abel pushed further on the topic of Louis.
At the end of their disgraceful brawl, Subaru and Abel had divided the appa and ate it together, and during that exchange, they had also mentioned Louis.
Back then, Abel had indeed then said that he would not punish Louis due to her identity, but――,
Vincent: [Even now, those thoughts remain unchanged. ――For it is not I who ought to decide what that girl shall be defined as, but you.]
Subaru: […I, ought to define Louis?]
Vincent: [The one deeply involved with that girl’s conduct is not me, but you. Even should that girl entrust her fate to another, it would not be me, but you who is desired.]
Beside Subaru as he felt a thirst in his throat, Abel stated thus matter-of-factly, and returning his gaze from Subaru back to Ubilk,
Vincent: [There is no mistake in what you have heard from the stars? That in order to oppose the Great Disaster, the existence of the girl whom this one brought along is considered a key?]
Ubilk: [――. Yes, my story hasn’t chaaanged~. Just like for General First-Class Groovy, I don’t knooow~ what the stars have acknowledged in that child.]
The chains jingling as he shrugged, Ubilk replanted the seed of the unchanged dilemma.
He was yet unaware of how it would sprout, what buds it would form, and what flowers it would bloom. Even if he was unaware, Subaru had fully understood that he could not merely continue to carry the seeds with him, neither allowing the flowers to bloom nor wither.
Then, as Subaru worried himself over that reality, the Emperor, who would never conduct himself to try and understand the pain of others, proceeded to tell Subaru without a shred of mercy.
Vincent: [Arrive at a conclusion swiftly. Though, that is only if the taste of that appa, and all of your big talk, were not falsehoods.]
???: [――Subaru, did you get to hear what you wanted?]
Upon exiting the cabin where Ubilk was being held captive, he was greeted by an anxiously awaiting Emilia.
The existence of the Stargazers was pretty much considered confidential information in the Vollachian Empire, so people from the Kingdom, with the exception of Subaru, were not allowed to be present in the room.
Subaru was already acquainted with Ubilk, and it seemed that Abel had made the judgment that he ought to be allowed to hear what the Stargazer had to say.
Subaru: [If you’re asking if I heard it, then I did, and if you’re asking if I didn’t hear it, then I didn’t…]
Beatrice: […That answer completely avoids the point, in fact. Are you saying it was just a waste of time, I suppose?]
Subaru: [No, I don’t think so.]
Beatrice had trotted across to Subaru, whose enunciation had unconsciously gotten worse, and had taken hold of his hand, furrowing her brows.
However, neither Beatrice nor Emilia, nor Otto nor Garfiel, who also happened to be present, wanted to rush Subaru’s answer.
With a vague feeling that their consideration was different from that of the Imperial people, he ended up wanting to indulge in the warmth of their kindness that he had so dearly missed.
Subaru: [――That’s a no go.]
It was not something that he could keep turning his face away from forever.
Outweighing his dishonesty, the situation had reached a point of urgency. Above all, at the time when he was separated from those who would forgive his avoidance, it would not be Subaru who would suffer the most.
Subaru: [Everyone, though it’s also for the sake of the Empire, there’s something I want to have a serious discussion about.]
Emilia: [Something you want to discuss with, everyone?]
As Emilia asked in return, Subaru nodded and took a deep breath.
For everyone here, and even for those who were valuable to Subaru but not present here, it was a subject that they absolutely could not avoid, that they must not avoid.
And that was――,
Subaru: [――Let’s have a proper discussion about the Sin Archbishop of Gluttony, Louis Arneb.]