Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
“Miriya, start with the healing magic, now,” I said while she held onto Hiraoka’s limp body.
“It’s pointless. This wouldn’t be an effective treatment,” she shook her head.
“Then—” What should we do? I was about to say it before she interrupted me with words I didn’t want to hear.
“Master, please give up on saving her life.”
My heart stopped. I couldn’t immediately string together the meaning of her words, but when I did, I glared back at her with gritted teeth and bloody eyes. “…What do you mean?”
Perhaps due to my serious demeanor, Miriya calmly relayed the facts without a single quip more. “What she has isn’t an illness or anything. It’s a curse, and a very powerful one at that. And as you know, only the Holy Maiden can perform exorcism… Therefore, it’s impossible to save her in this world.”
A curse—a troublesome skill possessed by practitioners of sorcery. Judging from Miriya’s tone and Hiraoka’s condition, it was, without a shadow of a doubt, one who aimed to take its target’s life.
“…Is there nothing we can do?” I stammered desperate words out my quivering lips.
“No. She has about three days more to live.”
“You… You must be joking, right?”
“I’m not,” Miriya said while taking a step closer to me, Hiraoka’s frail body in hands. “Master, let me ask you again. Why are you so fixated on her? I understand wanting to help a friend, but one wouldn’t expect you to crumble to the point of despair.”
Miriya said so, lowering her gaze to the unconscious girl she held, then at me, as if extracting the feelings within my own heart.
“…Of course, I’d despair,” I said after a harrowing pause. “It’s true that in that other world, human life was treated lightly. Hell, I myself have taken many lives. But… I still can’t get used to the people around me dying or getting hurt. Especially those who are important to me…”
“Hiraoka… Serina was my first love.”
“—!” Miriya widened her eyes.
Well, of course. It wasn’t an abnormality for a guy to fall in love with a beautiful girl he’s been friends with for the bigger part of his life. And I’m certainly just another guy.
Yes, I’ve been in love ever since the first day we met. Still, there wasn’t anything special or remarkable in that story, yet I still could recall everything we did as if it were yesterday.
We’ve been close ever since we were little. She was the only one who’d ever talk to me, even when I was a friendless, lonely weird kid.
Come to think of it, when the adolescent flower of our ages began to blossom, our relationship became strangely uncomfortable, so I reverted back to calling her by her last name, Hiraoka.
Yet, despite it all, she still called me by my first name, making the effort to maintain the distance we’ve always had ever since we were little.
I paused for a moment, and my eyes landed on her waning breaths and pale-cold body.
Hey, Serina… I’ve already gone through my adolescence, I began in my mind. I’ve grown two years older than you. So, the next time I talk to you, I want to call you by your name, as we did in the past.
“…Master,” Miriya called out to me with a comforting tone.
Ah, I see… I’m crying now, aren’t I? I reached for the corners of my eyes and felt tears streaming down lonely.
Miriya on the other hand, unable to bear witness to my pitiful, painful state, hid her expression behind her light purple bangs before speaking up. “There is a method… I don’t want to say it, but there are two possibilities I can think of. One is to kill the sorcerer. If you do have any idea who they might be…”
The face of a certain woman floated like garbage in water in my mind. She had mentioned something about “sowing the seeds a long time ago.”
“Could it be…?!”
“—! You know someone?”
That girl has full stealth. It’ll be hard to find her if she’s on the run, and it’s highly unlikely that Serina will be able to keep it up for much longer.
“This won’t work,” I said after I realized so. “Tell me the other idea.”
“…Two, bring someone who can break the spell from that other world.”
“I-if we bring a saint we won’t have any trouble at all! But it’s still too impossible—”
“No,” Miriya interrupted with a shake of her head. “If it’s you, Master, there might be a possibility. You’re a human capable of crossing into a different world, after all. If we can recreate the same conditions as when you crossed into mine, then perhaps…”
“The same conditions…?”
Twice, I have traversed from one world to another. The most recent was when that damned goddess used a spell on me, and the first time happened when I was killed by Airi Nakabayashi.
“Are you seriously suggesting that if I die, there might be a chance?” I looked deeply into her eyes.
“…Are you serious about this?”
What she proposed was reckless and baseless, and had no evidence to support it. It was even just speculation on her part. Still, compared to trying to find that needle called Nakabayashi in a haystack, it was much more palpable.
“Miriya, if we can recreate the same conditions as before, there might be a chance, right?”
“W-well, it’s just a possibility! I mean, it’s disrespectful, but it’s unlikely that the goddess would invite you back to another world!”
“You think it’s disrespectful too?”
Miriya got genuinely angry at my sarcastic remark, but my mind was already made up. All I had left to do was to convince Miriya.
“Recreating the same conditions means going to the school rooftop, and… Well, s*icide wasn’t what it was, so I need someone to actually kill me.”
“…Do you really think there’s someone willing to conveniently assist in murder?”
“We have someone right here, don’t we?” I pointed my index finger at her, and she glared back intensely.
“You want me to kill you?”
“I see. You know things were going in that direction, so you kept quiet and didn’t show up immediately.”
“…If you get it, please withdraw this absurd proposal.”
I stopped for a second, then looked straight into her eyes. “Miriya—”
With a hand on her neck, I materialized the enslavement collar back onto her.
“I command you to kill me.“
“I-I refuse! Rejected—!” As she attempts to turn her face away from me, the enslavement collar glowed faintly around her neck. “Ugh!” And it tightened, emitting a steady creaking sound.
Even though she could endure a long time without breathing, it must’ve still been quite painful. I could even see thin veins appear on her neck.
“If you don’t accept the command soon, you’ll die.”
“I-if I die… she won’t be saved…!”
“Then I’ll just commit s*icide. Whether it’s you or not, my death won’t change. In that case, it’s better to increase the odds of my survival, isn’t it?”
“H-how… dare you… to die before me…! Right in front of me…! I absolutely won’t allow it…!”
“Sigh… You endure quite well, Miriya. Truly a superhuman.”
The collar around her neck had already shrunk significantly, continuing to strangle her without signs of stopping. Still, it was clear she resisted, and it didn’t look like her neck would break that fast.
“Ugh—! Is there any chance you’ll… reconsider?!”
“No,” I didn’t hesitate.
“In that case,” Miriya took a step back, distancing herself from me, and infused magic onto her hands. “Here and now, I’ll—” As she attempted to say she’d kill Hiraoka herself, her face contorted in pain.
Miriya has always acted for my sake. She may have always had a foul mouth and arrogant attitude, but she always ended up doing things for my good in the end. She’s loyal, and my best partner.
Hey Miriya, just as you know how I’d act, I know how you would too.
I directed my right arm towards her and closed my open palm in an instant. This skill wasn’t the useless kind the goddess had given me, but instead, something I’d inherited from my only friend in that hellish world. It was a skill that took away anything I desired from the target.
That skill was immensely powerful, and I could take not only equipment and magic but life itself. It didn’t matter how strong the opponent was either. Well, since I’m not its original owner. I could only use it twice a day at most. And the recoil was too great, making it practically unusable in combat.
However still, it could not dispel curses. Such was a privilege reserved only for a saint. Such was the law of that other world.
What I chose to take from her this time was Hiraoka. I couldn’t beat Miriya if I hadn’t resorted to this. Before she could even blink, Hiraoka’s body was transported to mine as if it had always been there.
Miriya fell to her knees, overcome with pain, and let out a scream, expelling all the oxygen from her body. Tears flowed from the corners of her eyes as I looked down at her.
“I can’t… possibly kill you… Master! I am your slave… Do you know… how I felt to have come… this far?!”
She looked up at me while on her knees, supporting herself with her palms planted on the ground.
“I-if you die… I’ll die too…! Rather than killing you… I choose to die like this…!”
“And Master… To ensure you cannot… end your life… I will put a curse on you!”
I couldn’t understand the true meaning of her words this time. Perhaps she read it from my expression because she smiled triumphantly as if she’d outsmarted me.
“I… Master… I love you, I truly do…!”
“Please, keep me by your side… I want to serve you forever… You know I’d follow you even if we cross worlds…!”
Blushing, shedding tears, and in pain, she poured out feelings she had from the bottom of her heart, the essence of her very soul…
How unfair, Miriya! To say this now…!
“Master… Can you really… betray me after saying all this…?”
“It’s never enough… If it’s to protect you…!”
Then, I murmured quietly, “I retract.“
As soon as those words left my lips, the constriction around her neck grew to its original size.
“—! Haah… Haah…” Miriya rubbed her neck and glared at me, then immediately stood up. Without waiting a second longer, she sprinted at me and thrust a fist into my cheek with all her might.
“I-It hurts!” I yelled.
T-this girl! She used every finger in her fist! And against her master, no less! The impact ended up making Serina fall onto the ground, and all I could do was apologize internally.
However, without losing momentum, Miriya straddled me as I fell. Grabbing my collar, she brought her face close to mine.
“Promise me you won’t make me feel that way ever again!!!” Her screaming was desperate, and never had I seen her like that.
“Promise me you won’t choose death in front of me ever again!!!”
“You were the one who suggested it. There’s no other way…”
“If you have any idea who the spellcaster might be, there’s a possibility! It was you who arbitrarily decided it was impossible, Master!”
“N-no, it is! The enemy has Full Stealth, and…”
As I locked eyes with Miriya, who stood as close as she stood next to me, I was hit by a shocking realization as if lighting had coursed through my every vein.
“W-wait! M-Miriya, even if they have Full Stealth, you can reverse detect them if there’s any contact with magic, right?!”
“I-it’s possible, but I hardly have any contact with people in this world.”
“No, this is fine!”
In my joy, I unconsciously embraced Miriya’s frame.
“Thank you, Miriya! You truly are the best servant in the whole wide world! Or worlds! Stay by my side forever!”
Her face flushed crimson and she mumbled something, but that didn’t matter right now.
“We can do it, we can do this! Hahaha! I love you, Miriya!”
“Awawawa, please spare meee!!!”
Things might work out now, somehow. So Serina, be grateful to my amazing partner! Although, for some reason, that partner seems wholly exhausted.
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