A [Telepathic Communication] arrived from Melby.
“――Eremia has snuck out of the room.“
“Do you know where she went?“
“Who knows, maybe the same place as usual?“
“I’ll try going there.
Then, Melby, as we planned……“
“Right. You be careful too.“
Melby will now teleport to the Fairy Village and entrust my letter to Secela and the others.
Secel and Secela will take that letter to Riverette Village and ask the spokesperson to send it by fast horse or carrier pigeon.
The letter is, of course, addressed to Alfred-tousan, who is currently staying in Fauno City.
In other words, it’s a periodic report.
After the Sin Examination, I wrote a letter when no one was looking and entrusted it to Melby and had her send it.
That letter, in which I explained my current situation in detail, safely made it to dad and I also received an answer.
The first thing I requested in the letter was to determine the location of the nest.
When I was being brought to this 「Crow’s Nest」 I was not only blindfolded, but the path we took was also cleverly camouflaged.
Melby wasn’t blindfolded, but because she is unfamiliar with the outside topography, all she could tell was that the nest is somewhere between north and west from Fauno City.
When I asked if she could make the Gate to the Fairy Village anyway, she said as long as the marker is placed in the current location there is no problem.
As I thought, that is very handy.
Rather, I suspect that probably the Gate being so convenient is the reason why Melby is so bad with the topography and directions.
Anyhow, I wrote as much as I could remember from outside and asked dad and mom to determine the location of the nest.
According to the letter, they mobilized the knights and some dependable adventurers immediately and started searching, but for now, they couldn’t find it yet.
What makes the search difficult is not just that there are insufficient tangible hints.
Since the subject of the search is the hideout of the religious assassin organization 〈Yatagarasu〉, there is a possibility that people with half-baked skills would instead get discovered and killed by the members of 〈Yatagarasu〉.
Therefore, whether it be a knight or an adventurer, only those that aren’t any inferior to the assassins of 〈Yatagarasu〉 can be chosen and that greatly decreases the number of people that can be mobilized.
Also, the season was also bad.
As it was a common topic in Fauno City, it’s the season when harpies migrate from one territory to another west from Fauno City.
There are especially many this year and also, they developed a tendency to create nests in close proximity to Fauno City.
The adventurers’ guild is extremely busy with dealing with the harpies, so there aren’t any competent adventurers left that can be allocated to the search for the nest.
Ah, by the way, harpies, as many of you probably know this already, are half humanoid, half bird monsters with feathers.
Their appearance is roughly humanoid, but their facial features are close to a bird, their arms are wings, and their legs are are completely bird legs.
Since the size of their brains is not much different from a goblin’s, they absolutely can’t be reasoned with.
They say since they like to eat human meat and even experienced monster tamers have problems taming them.
In other words, it’s a monster that can only be exterminated.
Individually they are not that strong, but once they flock together, they are hard to deal with, so I heard that it’s hard to fight a flock like that if there aren’t adventurers with above average ability.
Because of that, the Fauno City adventurers’ guild, that was small to begin with, is out of manpower.
Due to that influence, Moria-san, Huffman-san, and surprisingly Julia-kaasan, who temporarily returned to active duty, are also participating in the search for the nest it seems.
They said that Chester-niisan, who I haven’t met yet, is also helping out in between the harpy exterminations.
Of course, mom isn’t participating in the search just because they are low on manpower, but because she couldn’t bear to just sit idle.
The contents of the letter conveyed that they are very worried about me, it really makes me think I did something inexcusable.
However, I asked dad that even if they manage to find the nest they should wait before launching an attack.
I want to at least undo the brainwashing on the children, and if possible, I want to lay down a plan to catch the Archbishop Glutometza, and with those done, I want to launch attacks from the inside and from the outside at the same time.
If we attack without properly preparing for it first, then we might allow Gazaine and the top brass to get away, and if that happens, our family would have to be constantly wary of possible assassinations.
It doesn’t matter how many Skills I have, repelling assassins that employ every possible method to attack is difficult.
In particular, I shiver when I think of the possibility of a powerful person like Gazaine attacking us without holding anything back.
That is why we will crush this religious organization with simultaneous attacks from the inside and the outside.
If we don’t go that far, we won’t be able to have a good night sleep after that.
When I pushed this idea in my letter, dad wrote back like this.
“As Viscount Chrebl, a noble of Santamana Kingdom, I approve of your plans.
However, as Ed’s father, I oppose that plan.
Because this plan leaves you in too much danger.
According to your reports, 〈Yatagarasu〉 is much bigger than we imagined and they are amassing power.
I shiver when I think what would’ve happened if they managed to act against the Kingdom in concert with the 〈Black Wolf Fang〉.
If I didn’t know your Status, then you going up against the huge organization by yourself could only be described as reckless.
What I really want is for you to escape from the nest and come back to us as soon as possible without thinking of crushing 〈Yatagarasu〉.
However, your fears are also warranted.
For the safety of our family, I want to destroy 〈Yatagarasu〉 no matter what.
That’s why, Julia and I talked a lot about this, even got into a wrestling fight with each other (of course, I lost), and as a result we decided to accept your suggestion.
However, if for some reason you fail to get in contact with us, I will conclude that you are in grave danger and I will gather all the forces at my disposal and hit 〈Yatagarasu〉.
Also, this you have to promise me.
Don’t get into unnecessary danger.
Inside a religious assassin organization, you will probably encounter some gruesome scenes.
You will probably witness some obvious injustices.
It’s natural to unable to forgive them for it.
However, if pursuing justice would mean that you are exposed to extreme danger, then I want you to turn a blind eye to that injustice.
Perhaps what I’m saying is horrible.
Even so, I don’t want to lose anyone close to me ever again.
That’s why, please prioritize your own well-being instead of pursuing justice.
That is what I ask of you.“
I almost teared up reading it.
――I will return to their side without fail.
I vowed once again.
Well then, it looks like Melby already jumped to the Fairy Village, there is no answer even if I talk to her using [Telepathic Communication].
I wrestled with a bit of loneliness while returning via the duct, then after I reached the floor where the child group is I went up the stairs.
There is a small plot there.
If I look up to the ceiling, there is a big hole up high which serves as a ventilation hole.
There is an inner part to the ventilation hole, so it doesn’t matter how agile you are, you won’t be able to use rock climbing to go out though that.
Since this big hole provides sunlight that is very valuable underground, it’s used to cultivate fresh vegetables.
In the middle of the vegetable garden, who knows who made it, there is a circular flower bed.
Eremia is standing next to that flower bed that is being illuminated by the moonlight.
As expected of a dark elf, the moonlight fits her almost criminally well.
Eremia brings a metal sushi mat looking thing to her mouth.
There is an assassination tool called iron pipe.
Its shape is as the name suggests, a pipe made of iron with one of its ends sharpened diagonally.
If you stab this in the target’s carotid artery or heart, then ‘oh how mysterious, isn’t that fresh blood that flows through and gushes out the pipe vigorously?’, it’s a tool with an intended use like that.
Since it doesn’t cause instant death, you should use it on restrained targets, or deliberately miss larger veins and use it for torture, so explained the emissaries of the instructor group.
Eremia is holding an object made by bundling up multiple of those iron pipes.
The lengths of the pipes get shorter from one side to the other.
Eremia slowly put her lips near those iron pipes――then she slowly breathed out.
It was a melancholic melody that resounded from it.
I see, those iron pipes make up a flute.
Now that I think about it, there was something like that flute among the Japanese instruments.
I think its name was Shou.
A melancholic and transparent melody spreads around us, fitting for a moonlit night.
I entrust myself to that melody――
“――Who is there-?”
Suddenly the performance stopped and Eremia looked back and called out.
“….did I intrude?”
“Oh, it’s just Fellow believer Orochi.
――Good moonlit night.”
“Good moonlit night?”
We said that at times like these in the village I was living in.”
“Hoh…..an elegant greeting.”
“Although there aren’t many opportunities to use it.”
Dark elves are associated much closely with the night than elves, but apparently it’s not like they are nocturnal.
“Will we be having a debate about the doctrines again?”
“If Eremia has no problem with it.”
“I’m fine with it.
I also want Fellow believer Orochi to understand more about Evil God-sama.”
Eremia said this with a soft smile.
If contents of what she was saying were something else, then that smile would probably leave me charmed.
She is a considerably beautiful girl even now, but in the future she will most likely become a shocking beauty.
Eremia is like that too, but the emissaries of 〈Yatagarasu〉 are unexpectedly―― normal.
I wouldn’t peg them as an underling of the Evil God.
Starting from the kidnapping incident in Riverette Village, then on the way to Fauno City, and during the attack on the Viscount Chrebl mansion in Fauno City, I killed members of 〈Yatagarasu〉.
Of course, I don’t regret it.
If I didn’t kill them we could’ve been killed.
If they don’t want to get killed then don’t try to kill others, is what it comes down to.
But, in this nest there should be many emissaries that had some of their comrades killed by me.
However, I never had any emissaries reproach me about it at all.
Because it’s their sacred duty.
Everyone simply accepts that and look like they don’t harbor any grudges against me.
By being in the nest and associating with them I almost start to doubt my own feelings.
I almost having feelings of guilt from killing people similar to them.
At times like those, I shake my head and tell myself that I didn’t do anything wrong, but….. the fact that I have to do that means that somewhere deep in my heart I think that I may have made a mistake.
Those times I remember Goddess-sama.
She is a profoundly benevolent Goddess-sama who felt pity for me, who met a tragic end, and allowed me to reincarnate into Marquekt, although with conditions attached.
The Evil God Monguenes is an entity that is considered an enemy by her.
The religious assassin organization that worships the Evil God, is a tool used by the Evil God for wicked ends, emissaries that, at a glance appear as good people, are assassins that go around killing innocent people for their demented creed.
As I think it through to that I let out a bitter laugh.
When I’m worried I remember my God and shake off my hesitation.
I can’t really laugh at the emissaries of 〈Yatagarasu〉 like this.
It’s like I’m a believer in a religion worshipping the Goddess-sama.
――What is it to believe.
――What is brainwashing and what is the truth.
Good grief, I feel like I’m going crazy…..
“….what is it?”
After shaking my head I look for a topic.
Eremia is smart and also knowledgeable about the doctrines, so I try to argue with her head on under the pretext of me trying to learn.
Of course, my hidden objective is to raise doubts in Eremia about the teachings of the religious organization and have her escape the brainwashing by her own power.
In my previous world, there was a cult that caused a big incident.
At that time, there was a documentary that was broadcasted many times that introduced the task of a withdrawal counselor.
They said to undo the cult’s brainwashing they have to provide information from outside to the person and let the person think about it by himself/herself.
They mustn’t outright deny everything, instead maintain a place of discussion and continue to patiently have a dialogue with them.
It’s not something I would’ve been able to do in my previous life, but now that I have [No Fatigue], it should be possible to do that kind of thing.
“――Why does Eremia believe in the teachings of the religious organization?”
“……soon the end of this world will come. Only the chosen ones will be able to go to God’s country.”
“Aubesso Scriptures 1:10, I think it was.
When Armageddon happens, only those that believe in the Evil God will be saved, was it?
But, apart from that, the end of the world can be prevented by continuously killing the apostles of the Devil.”
As I said this, Eremia nodded looking satisfied.
It’s frightening that I think that it was worth studying if I got to see that expression of hers.
If Eremia were to become a door-to-door solicitor for the religious organization, then many no-good adults would get tricked by her.
“That is why I keep killing those apostles.
Because I want to save everyone.
Society doesn’t believe what Evil God-sama says, so I’m regarded as a murderer, but……even if I’m called that, I will fight for everyone.”
“Eremia is a 『chosen one』.
You can get saved by yourself, but you kill anyway?”
“It doesn’t mean anything if I’m the only one that gets saved.
Everyone has to be saved.”
There is a pure sense of duty reflecting in Eremia’s eyes.
“I can’t really accept that.”
Eremia’s expression becomes a bit sad.
My heart aches that I’m making a 7 years old girl have that expression, but I can’t raise the white flag here.
“If that’s is true, then why does it need to be done in secret?
If you tell that fact to the people, then isn’t dealing with it together faster and more certain?”
“Ordinary people’s thoughts are clouded by the Devil, so they wouldn’t hear us out.”
Isn’t that more like this religious organization, is what I wanted to say, but I held back.
“Then why is it that the people in this religious organization don’t have their thoughts clouded by the Devil?”
“That…..I don’t know, but it’s must be thanks to Evil God-sama.”
“If Evil God-sama is capable of that, then why doesn’t he do it for everyone?”
“……that, I don’t know.
But since it’s like that there has to be a special circumstance.
There are things that those who are not Gods can’t know.
If we leave it to Evil God-sama’s discretion, then there will be no problem.”
If she says it like that then I can’t say anything else anymore.
I decided to change my argument.
“……then, let’s not delve further into Evil God-sama’s circumstances, instead let’s talk about ourselves.
Even if we kill people on sacred duties we will be forgiven.
But, normally, killing people is a bad thing.
Even if that someone is an evil person, if we kill them even if they didn’t do anything to us, then we are in the wrong.
Among the people that we kill on sacred duties, there are ones that very much don’t look like they are doing anything bad.
Is it alright to kill those people just because there was a divine message, without even hearing out what they have to say?”
“Since we are not people, but emissaries, it’s not a sin for us to kill people.”
Eremia answers immediately.
She probably answered that way because she was taught to answer that way.
“But during the Sin Examination they pursued every little sin thoroughly, didn’t they?
So why is it that only the especially heavy sin of killing someone is forgiven?”
“That is because it’s a sacred duty according to a revelation from Evil God-sama, and the target is an underling of the Devil…..”
“It’s not like there is proof that those words are truly spoken by Evil God-sama.”
“Are you saying that Leader-sama and Priestess-sama are lying?”
That’s right, is what I want to say, but I endure.
“……that I don’t know.
But it’s true that we aren’t receiving those words directly from Evil God-sama.”
Using polite speech with the Evil God makes my butt itch.
“That….is true, but….”
Eremia looks like she can’t accept it.
“Why is then, if Evil God-sama is truly trying to defeat the Devil, that he is called Evil God anyway?”
“….i-, if you call our God evil, then――”
“――we are fine being called evil, right?
You can find that line in Aubesso Scriptures 23:5.
But I’m not talking about that.
If the Evil God is trying to defeat the Devil, then there is no reason for him to be called Evil, right?”
Aside from the Aubesso Scriptures, there are 3 gospels and 2 correspondences.
Quite meticulously, there is even a fragmented collection called Rosso’s Apocrypha.
The composition of scriptures in〈Yatagarasu〉look too much like the Bible from my previous world.
Is this a coincidence?
Even while I was thinking about something else, Eremia was desperately trying to think.
――She desperately trying to defend the God she believes in.
“Th-, that is…..”
In the end, Eremia couldn’t think of any good rebuttals.
My objective is not to defeat her in an argument, so before I go too far, I decide to change the topic.
“What are the other gods doing anyway?
In the Aubesso Scriptures the existence of other gods was recognized.
Then why is that there are no signs of the other gods fighting against the Devil?
Instead, they are even picking a fight with the Evil God who should be fighting against the Devil.”
“Th-, the other gods must have been deceived by the Devil.”
“You say that every single god is deceived by the Devil?
If the Devil was that amazing of a being then isn’t it strange that we can easily kill the apostles of that Devil?”
“Also, why is it that only Evil God-sama didn’t get deceived by the Devil?
Even though among the other gods, starting with the God of Samsara, Atrazenec-sama, there are many wise gods.”
“Pr-, Priestess-sama will be able to tell.
Let’s go together with Fellow believer Orochi and hear her out?”
“Priestess-sama says that I’m an underling of the Devil, doesn’t she?”
「Priestess-sama」 is a woman who looks about 30 years old.
If I had to describe her with terms from my previous world, then she is exactly like a female teacher type strict beauty, if you could get her to wear a red framed, upside down triangle shaped glasses, then it would be perfect.
Her favorite phrase is 「Beg for forgiveness」.
To tell you the truth, I’m bad with her.
She also antagonizes me.
First, I suspected that she is doing it on the orders of Gazaine, but it seems the Priestess-sama has a thing for Gazaine.
So she is jealous of me, who is for some reason considered to be Gazaine’s favorite.
Apparently she imagines that darling to be the weird type of「favorite」……
Leave me out of that, please.
I tried using [Appraise] on her when I saw a chance, but she didn’t have any Skills or nicknames that could be considered a special characteristic.
“Y-yeah….that is why she told me to watch you attentively.”
“…..that not something you should be telling me.”
“Fufuh. I guess so.”
Eremia laughs like she finds it funny.
She usually gives off a feeling of a Takarazuka-like crossdressing beautiful girl, but at times like these she acts her age.
“You should go and sleep already.”
I disregard myself and say this.
I tire slower than other people.”
Eremia said that accompanied by a frail smile.
It’s a keyword that cannot be overlooked, right?
“Yeah….everyone says that they get tired when they speak to me.”
“That shouldn’t be the case.”
“Come to think of it, Fellow believer Orochi seems fine.
I’m rarely able to talk this much, so I was having fun……sorry about that.”
Even though we were arguing about the doctrines, Eremia said she was 「having fun」.
It’s not like it’s only lip service, apparently she really feels like it’s fun.
Indeed, I don’t really see Eremia talking to other children or adults.
Sometimes I see Gazaine serve as her opponent in a mock battle, but when he is fighting with Eremia, in contrast to how he is being tenacious when he is fighting me, he just wraps it up quickly.
“Why are you apologizing?”
“Because…..you got tired, right?”
Eremia is insistently making sure.
The truth is I already know the reason for that.
《Eremia Lotteroot (Member of〈Yatagarasu〉Special Squad,《Shrine Maiden of the Dark Forest》)
Age: 7 years old
[Fatigue Transfer] － (Transfers one’s fatigue to the people in the vicinity. Perpetually active.)
[Espionage Techniques] 4
[Sense Presence] 4
[Assassination Techniques] 2
[Assassination Skills] 9 （ＭＡＸ）
[Shuriken Skills] 5
[Dagger Skills] 4
[Night Vision] 4
[Darkness Magic] 4
[Unarmed Combat Skills] 3
[Knife Throwing] 3
[Light Magic] 3
[Mana Perception] 3
[Wind Instruments] 2
《Blessing of the Dark Forest》(Medium compensation to the acquisition of Skills (including magic) related to sensing presence and concealment)
This skill should be the reason why Eremia was brought here.
The ability to make people tired around her――if you say it like that it sounds sad, but in case of fighting it’s a very troublesome ability to deal with.
Because when Eremia is fighting she doesn’t get tired, and in contrast to that the opponent suffers the fatigue from himself and also the fatigue that was transferred to him from Eremia, so he gets tired twice as much as normally.
Furthermore, the more Eremia attacks vigorously, the heavier the fatigue becomes that gets transferred to Eremia’s opponent.
From the opponent’s perspective, she attacks him by using his stamina as she pleases, there aren’t many other things as unfair as this.
This is also the reason why Gazaine was grumbling about how he gets wiped when fighting against her.
However, the reason why Gazaine evaluated Eremia as a 「genius」 is not only because of [Fatigue Transfer].
Eremia has an outstanding amount of Skills for her age and their Levels are also high.
The reason may lie with the fact that she doesn’t get tired, like with my [No Fatigue], and that improves the Skill acquisition, or maybe it’s thanks to the 《Blessing of the Dark Forest》, or it may be an inborn talent, but there aren’t even many adult emissaries that are a match for her, not to mention the other children.
Therefore, Eremia ends up getting isolated no matter what.
She wasn’t able to fit in properly with the child group and it’s probably the same for the Special Squad she belongs to.
No――perhaps even before she was abducted by 〈Yatagarasu〉 Eremia may have been alienated.
Because the way she distances herself from other people feels a bit tragic to me.
However, that is why Eremia believes so deeply in the teachings of the religious organization.
She clings to them.
As long as she performs her sacred duties she will be appreciated here.
For Eremia, who didn’t have many people appreciate her in the past, that is the most important reward.
Because of that, in a certain way, 〈Yatagarasu〉 is a 「comfortable place」 for her to live in.
Of course, this is only my arbitrary conjecture, but it shouldn’t be too far from the truth.
“If you are fine with me, then I can at least serve as a conversation partner.”
“I-is it alright?”
Eremia’s eyes looked like they were clinging to hope.
“Yeah, but don’t tell anyone about what we talk about, okay?”
They would get angry at us if we told them what we spoke about, huh.”
I don’t think it would end just with them getting angry at us.
“I wonder why is it that Priestess-sama dislikes you.
Even though you are very kind.
Priestess-sama is also kind so I think you would get along if you properly talked to each other.”
“I don’t think that’s possible.”
“That’s not true!
I have a certain line that I like very much among the ones that Priestess-sama said to me.”
“Hoh….what is it?”
I asked, doing my best to sound normal.
Because if I didn’t do that I was afraid that my disinterest would ooze out.
However, my head suddenly cooled down from the words that left Eremia’s mouth.
“――Do your best, so you can go to heaven like your father and mother.”
Hearing this line――I myself don’t know what kind of expression I must’ve had.
Did my expression stiffen, or maybe distort.
Did my face become red, or did it become pale.
The only thing that I was certain of is that my head went completely blank.
At first, I didn’t know what was that emotion that seethed inside of me.
I think that emotion was so intense that my head went numb.
After a few seconds, I finally realized I was mad with rage.
This is what they call being infuriated, a hot flame-like something is flowing from the back of my neck to the top of my head.
Because of that rage, even my own back muscles feel cold.
“……wh-, what happened? Fellow believer Orochi.”
Eremia asks looking perplexed.
Ah, Eremia doesn’t understand the meaning behind what she just said.
I once again think while slowly breathing out.
――How can they calmly say something like this after taking those children away from their parents.
There is a concept of stirring up trouble to take credit for its solution, but…… you can rarely come across such a cruel example as this one.
――I can’t let those people live.
It was this moment a dark flame flared up inside my heart.