Wednesday, December 26, 2018

024 The past cannot be undone

https://www.yamitranslations.com/2018/12/updates.html


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TL: yAmi
Editor: King of the End

※Author: There are sexual and graphic content in this chapter. Please be aware especially if you are not comfortable with it.

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    Run. Run. Run…
    Verche ran alongside with Chaga, escaping from the village that was overrun by the monsters.
    Just both of them alone fled to the forest, leaving behind her parents and companions -- who will likely be captured by the enemy.

    “Ver…, che... wait…!”

    She could hear the ragged voice of Chaga.
    Normally, Verche’s legs were faster than his.
    And he had been keeping up to pace with her all this while. He must be in exhaustion and in pain.
    However, they could not stop now. The monsters led by that dreadful dark elf have already gained total control over the elves of the white birch forest and the village of the Witte clan. There will surely be pursuers after them. If they paused here, they will be caught. Driven by this fear, Verche’s legs moved.

    “No, Chaga! Keep running!”

    Sweat trickled down from her forehead and tears ran down her cheeks.
    Verche had been running and crying.

    ‘...How did it come to this?’

    It was the result of that one hunt where she had chased her prey too far out. Just that alone, is causing the village to be on the brink of destruction.

    She fully understands that it was her, who broke the rules and who was at fault. But, what she did was so insignificant. Many of her companions were killed, while the survivors will end up as the slaves of people with evil intentions. And who is to say even worse might not befall upon them? Why didn’t the spirits of the forest and nature stop at just punishing her?

    She cursed, with all the vocabulary she knew, at the irrationality of the world, the cruelness of the world.

    “Verche, I can…no...longer…!”

    “D-don’t complain! Please, run! Run!”

    Verche was the one crying instead.
    She was running in the forest with one hand on her bow and the other, pulling him along. She had done this countless number of times before, yet why is it so tiring now?

    ‘...Because it is my fault that he has to escape like this?’
    ‘...Because she had abandoned her parents and compatriots?’

    Just from thinking, her heart, not her legs, could not move on.
    Even then, she could still feel the warmth from his hand, from the him that has kept up the strength to grasp her hand in return and the willpower to press on with his weakened legs.

    “Sorry, Verche…!”

    Her heart ached from his distressed voice.
    However, Verche desperately ran with him.
    ‘Let’s try to run and...’

    “I can no longer hold back…!”

    “...Huh?”

    Suddenly, her hand was pulled back with full force.
    Due to the sudden force on Verche’s body from the opposite direction, her foot flew through the air and she tripped clumsily.
    Her white skin was immediately smeared by mud.

    “W-What are you doing!?”

    She objected as she tried to stand up.
    That pull was definitely from falling forward or something, and not from simply stopping. She felt that he wanted to make her fall.
    Why?
    Why would he do so?
    Chaga pinned the bewildered Verche down with his hands on her shoulders.

    “Cha...Chaga…!?”

    “Ha…! Ha……!”

    Chaga bent over towards her as he breathed heavily.
    Something is wrong, Verche thought.
    She noticed that Chaga’s disorderly breathing was not because of his tiredness from running.
    The eyes that bore down on her did not have colours of reason. The colours of a starving greed from that of a savage carnivore.

    “Ver...che…!”

    “Eeeek!?”

    She has no idea why this was happening and cowered in fright. He wrapped his body around her, and pressed his lips against hers.
    It was far too unrestrained to be a kiss and the excessive violence involved made it depraved. It was the behaviour of a beast.

    “....u!........aa!”

    Even if she could push him aside by hitting his chest, she wasn’t able to push back against the weight of a male, even if he was thin.

    Even the possibility of biting him was sealed off as he skillfully grabbed her chin.
    While doing so, he had inserted his tongue, and started licking the inside of her mouth.
    And who knows how much time passed.
    As Verche’s consciousness receded from the lack of oxygen, her lips were finally freed.

    “Chaga...what...why at this…?”

    An animal-like breathing and the rustling of clothes was the reply to her tear-stained question.
    …...Verche did not know.
    That the cause of what was happening to them was because of magic.
    Just before escaping the village, Drei had casted a spell on Verche in order to stop her.
    The name of the spell was <<Enchant Temptation>>. It was a spell that made the target bewitch and stir up strong emotions in the opposite sex.
    The attraction brought by the spell is in the realm of devils. An average male would lose their rationality in the blink of an eye, press the target down and bring the target to their knees. Considering that, Chaga had persevered for fairly long if they managed to retreat into the forest.

    Still, Verche had no way of knowing that.
    She could only be anguished at having her first kiss stolen and be in fear that she would lose something more important to her.

    “Verche...Verche……!”

    Chaga leaned forward as he let out a roar.
    A creaking sound could be heard behind the weight of the two of them.
    It was the bow.
    The bow was squashed under her back when she fell earlier.
    The creaking of a hunter’s pride under an unbearable weight and a scream.

    “Stop, Chaga! Please, stop! ...Noooooooooooooo!!”

    In the moonlit forest, a girl’s screams repeated.
    At the same time, a snap could be heard.

※ ※ ※

    Splosh. At the coldness of the drop of water on his face, the Chief woke up.
    Above him was the branch of a white birch. And the remaining raindrops dripped.

    “Oomph!”

    When he tried to lift his body up, blisters from his mouth burst.
    It seems like some of his internal organs were injured.
    At that moment, despite Fem destroying his barrier with her fist, he had blasted his magic at her. Unfortunately, he did not come out unscathed.

    “Hack...Kahk! T-Through and through a monster…!”

    For the present, the Chief healed the damage with magic and brought his weakened body up. He expended a large amount of magic and stamina to heal his wounds. Suppose he could run to the village, the amount of work he could do was suspect.
    Nevertheless, with this, he was victorious. He should have won. The spell he released was the highest tier lightning spell, Keraunos. It was an attack that had so much power that it could heavily damage the village, where he had used it. For somebody even like Fem who had incredible resistance to magic, it should not be possible to be alive after receiving that attack.
    He gazed at the centre of where he directed his magic.
    ...Amazingly, Fem still appeared human-like even after receiving that big of a magic attack. But, as expected, she could no longer move. Half her face had been blown away and her right arm that she had continuously attacked with was gone. There was also a large hole on her flank. She should be dead.
    And yet…
  
    “......zySteM reCovEry”
  
    A crooked, crackling voice was released and that girl was able to move again.

    “I-Impossible…..!?”

    Fem revealed half her face towards the shocked Chief.
    Inside the missing right half of her face. From inside, a mysterious radiance was leaking out.
    What is that?
    He understood that it was something like a brain. But, it had an eerie lustre unlike that of the brain of a living thing. Occasionally, there were pulses of light flickering.
    It was just like metal. …...Metal?

    “You, by some possibility…… are you a golem!?”

    The Chief groaned in a shiver.
    Golems. It was a type of familiar that was made of an inorganic substance and are modelled after living things. They are powered by the spells that run in them. This girl’s true identity was that. However, it was one that was startling high specced and had an astonishingly precise replica of a human body.
    With no response from Fem, the Chief was simply muttering to himself.

    “Functi0n, oOkay. Right ArM, right abdomen aREa, deStroyed. gaGA…...vocalisation mechaNIsm abnormal. …...Restored. Main mechanism, computing unit ‘Orichalcus Brain’, and main energy source, ‘Vril Generator’ no issues found. Continued combat, is, possible.”

    And then, her left eye that was staring at the chief, shined.

    “I apologise for keeping you waiting. In addition, your threat level has been revised upwards. Giving up on capture, and will completely annihilate.”

    The metal contraption of a monster said and she approached.
    The Chief’s body was unable to move. Exhaustion, hopelessness and despair was draining his body of energy. From the beginning, he had no spare magic nor stamina left. At this juncture, he had no means to resist.

    “You lot…...who are you all?”

    “I do not see a need to reply. From the beginning, our true identity is kept strictly confidential.”

    Fem drew up her remaining left fist. As though a blasphemy, it resembled the stance of an elf warrior drawing a bow.

    “Why…...did you attack our village...”

    “I have confirmed that I have previously answered that. Our mission target are the elves themselves.”

    “What do you plan…to do to us…...?”

    “I propose that you stay relieved.”

    It was the first time Fem, with only half her face, changed her expression.
    The ends of her lips lifted upwards. It was a smile.

    “...If elves are capable existences, my master, would surely bless you all with eternal prosperity.”

    And then, came the final blow.

    “.........”

    His final moment was silent.
    The powerful fist she soundlessly threw extracted his soul compassionately without pain. At the same time, she mercilessly abandoned his corpse to the night.


 ※ ※ ※


    Going a little back in time.

    “Cough! Cough! Hachuu! ...ughh, disgusting. All the effort I put into this getup is wasted. That’s why I told you stop, didn’t I. Seriously…...”

    The vampire man said as he held out his dripping wet cloak.
    What should have been his weakness, running water, should have enveloped him and he should have disappeared under the muddy waters.
    Yet, he still appeared right before the Old Gran.
    A preposterous figure covered with mud was there, with not a single wound.

    “Impossible……Vampires should be weak towards running water...”

    The vampire laughed at the surprise of Old Gran.

    “Perhaps for the average vampire? On the contrary! I am made of something different, aha!! This level of running water could never kill me, ohooho! Ah, since I’m an undead, I’m already dead? Well, in any case, leave your regrets for the afterlife! Ahahahaha! Hya! Hyahahahahaha!!”

    He clapped his hands together and laughed and laughed and laughed.
    “......Hmm”

    All of a sudden, he sobered up and became serious.
    Behind those eyes were disappointment and contempt.
    He looked at Old Gran, who had run out of magic and was unable to maintain her normal appearance, as though he was looking at bugs beneath his foot.

    “So, what is with that? That’s the trick of preserving one’s youth for over 2000 years? …... What a waste of my expectations. I was wondering what secret was there but it’s just about appearing young.”

    “Ugh…...”

    Old Gran leaked out a shameful voice towards his criticism.
    Her hoarse voice no longer had the same lustre as before.
    Her limbs became emaciated, and her hollow face was carved with countless deep wrinkles.
    She was an old woman. Even if she was a 1000 year old long-living elf, it was divine providence that she couldn’t escape aging. The proof of that was right here.
    Her youthful appearance had been fake, something that was preserved unnaturally with magic.

    “Could this be the so-called women’s nature? Something like ‘I want to look young no matter how old I am ~☆’? Or did you want that Chief to look at you as a woman? Hahahaa, how laughable! …...Damn it, you made me waste all my expectations. Ahh, if so, I should just kill you quickly. I already lost my desire to suck your blood.’”

    “......Shut up!!”

    She shouted to get back at his unrelenting mockery. Old Gran knew she could not fight back against her opponent. Elves are good at spells that borrow the strength of spirits. They were unfamiliar with holy magic that human priests can use. For her who was unable to reach the level of a sage, even if she could use holy magic, would it have any effect on this vampire?
    And most importantly, this vampire no longer had eyes with the colour of fun. He completely lost that mood and had an expression that says, “All that is left is work and I just have to massacre the objective in front of me”.
    She had been patient because her opponent was fooling around.

    “The one that should shut up is…...”

    The vampire casually closed the distance and,  

    “......you.”

    As though he was kicking trash, the old woman’s head was sent flying.
    The body of the owner collapsed with a thud.
    Looking down on it, the vampire gave a deep sigh.

    “It has been a while since I could go on a trip and this is the result? Seriously, this is as uncool as it gets. Ahh, how troublesome. I wouldn’t mind going home quickly and drinking that awful cultivated blood. …... I wonder if senpai would give me just a tiny bit of the virgin elves’ blood...Surely I won’t be getting any huh… Boohoo, why am I so unfortunate…...”

    The vampire, also known as Opus-04, Charl Franz Schmidt muttered as he disappeared into the moonlit night. All there was left was the headless corpse of the old woman and traces of a devastating magic battle that had unfolded.

※ ※ ※

    Amidst the tearing pain of her body, Verche was crying.
    Averting herself from the dreadful reality, Verche closed shut her eyelids, and she was enveloped in total darkness.
    From her ears that were wilting and losing in strength, she could hear the endless painful gasps from Chaga.

(It hurts…...It hurts, Chaga…...Why are you doing this?)

“Verche! Ahh, Verche! You... I can’t do without you...!”

(Is it my fault? Am I in the wrong?)

“Because you are like this, I……!”

(Because I’m like this…… Chaga is angry and is suffering? Did I hurt him?)

“......Even though I wouldn’t need anything else as long as you are by my side……!”

(Are you okay with me just being by your side? If I do that, will you forgive me?)

“Verche…...Ahh, you are so cute, Verche! Very girl-like!”

(Yes, I am trying to be cute. I am trying to be a girl. …...I will no longer do something like hunting anymore.)

“C’mon! Relax yourself more! Let me in!”

(Like this? …...Ah, it became somewhat painful though? Chaga is smart huh. If he had entered like that from the start, it would have been better. It was because I am idiot I didn’t know that.)

“Verche! Ahh, I have liked you from very… very long ago! I love you!”

(Yes, yes, yes. Verche likes Chaga too though……?)

Her thoroughly broken heart.
A mind that has lost several important things.
Filling the void with his words as the new parts.
And so, Verche was slowly building up a new self.

※ ※ ※

    “Oh dear. It seems you have escaped pretty far away.”

    At the voice from behind, Chaga stopped with a jump.
    The voice came from the dark elf, Drei. The mastermind of the group that had attacked their village this night. A terrifying sorceress that possesses a demon eye. Chaga became aware that such an existence was approaching.
    And then, the reality of the events that happened before his eyes burst in.

    “...............Huh?”

    A listless, feeble Verche laid flat on the mud.
    Surprised, he tried to wake her up, and a pair of slender white legs fell to the ground and hit the mud. They were her legs. He had been lifting them up till now.

    ...For what purpose had he done that?

    As he lost energy and became tense, a warm something left his waist.
    Verche eyes were blank.

    ...What have I been doing?

    “For such a weak looking fellow, you sure a greedy one. Hm? Or could it be because she had allowed you to do as you please?”

    The woman from behind, revealed an unsightly chuckle as she laughed at him.
    Chaga had no energy to retort it.
    ‘What excuses could he make now?’
    The stretched out body in front of him seemed to be condemning him so.

    “In any case, it is the last for you two. Come. Or would you rather have your lower half sliced away and be unable to stand?”

    “W-Why”

    Even then, a shaking voice was squeezed out of his throat involuntarily.
  
    “Hm?”

    “Why, is this happening…...”

    He realised he had been lusting for her as much as his voice could call out while unconscious.
    And, the one who had induced him to do so was Drei.
    He could not believe it. He could not understand how Drei could have calmly let the same sex as her, Verche, meet such a fate.
    That’s why, he questioned her.
    Drei replied in a voice that wasn’t moved one tiny bit.

    “You ask why?......It is because it is the most efficient way of stopping you two? In any case, there are weak points of using other techniques to restrain the other. On the other hand, using offensive magic to hit you while escaping would make it such a waste since I am supposed to capture you. That’s why I chose to use a spell that mesmerises males on her. The effectiveness of it is as you see. You two are both within my grasp and are unharmed.”

    “That, isn’t the problem…”

    “What has gotten into you? …...Ahh, the girl is bleeding quite a bit? I guess I can’t really say that you two are both unharmed then…… Well, I suppose it is still within the margin of error. Besides, aren’t you the gentleman that she is so fond of?”

    The inside of his head became hot.
    Absolutely cannot forgive this woman. She attacked the village, killed numerous of their brethren and kidnapped the survivors. Moreover, she caused him to be the one to defile Verche. Above all, to a girl that he cherished.
    The burning rage in Chaga made him move.

    “Summon Familiar!!”
    He turned his face and utilised all his magic in this chantless spell. The wolf he had abandoned when escaping the village, crossed the boundaries of space-time and flew to his side.
    Hatred gave him a temporary boost in power, and it became possible for him to cast a high grade magic instantly.
    The edges of Drei’s mouth elevated in amusement.

    “Wow, you can summon your familiar instantly. A happy miscalculation. It seems that you are a higher grade material than I had expected.”
  
    “Silence! My servant, kill that wo...”

    Right before finishing the command to kill,

    “Then I shall use <<Summon Familiar>> too”

    The ground shook as the giant that appeared trampled on Chaga’s familiar.

    “Ugh...”

    He could no longer produce a sound.
    It was too overwhelming.
    His fighting spirit that earlier erupted in a blaze was extinguished by ice cold water.

    “Grrr…...”

    She had summoned a one-eyed cyclops.
    It was the cyclops that had attacked the village and plunged his compatriots into the depths of despair.
    Chaga froze at her laughter.

    “Hey, hey. That isn’t your food. Seriously, even if their low intelligence makes them easy to summon, this is why am I sick of them.”

    “Eek…...”

    “Hm? Have you given up? Your lack of tenacity was unexpected. Well, it is a good thing  that you understand since we can skip the pointlessness.”

    He could not fight back against her mockery.
    He saw no way of winning alone. His compatriots were either dead or captured alive. Neither the Chief nor Old Gran came. Verche was…...made into such a mess by none other than himself.
    Knees struck the ground of the forest. The sound of splattering mud stirred Verche.

    “Chaga……?”

    “Sob...sob...”

    Tears filled his eyes upon hearing that the first thing she said was his name.
    Verche was always the one pulling the cowardly him along. He had done something very cruel to her. Although he has to hate his opponent who made him commit such an act. Although he has to fight without sparing a thought for his life. The cowardly him couldn’t even do that and was simply shivering.
    That made him very guilty and sad.

    “Chaga? Are you crying? Are you sad?”

    “Sorry, Verche……! I...I…!”

    Verche slowly crawled beside Chaga, who had fallen to the ground, and gently embraced him.
    Then, she faced Drei and said.

    “Please…… Do not harm Chaga…...”

    “Hmm?”

    Drei rose her eyebrows as though she was seeing something new.

    “That would depend on my master… Well, I could try negotiating. After all, you are the biggest contributor this time. I don’t mind doing that much.”

    “Really…?”

    “Certainly. It is my principle to never tell a lie. Though I wouldn’t correct somebody who was deceived. …...Well then.”

    Drei who was done talking, removed her eyepatch again.
    The violet eye stole Verche and Chaga’s consciousness.

    “Feel free to take a nap. When you awake once more, you will be our comrades. I welcome you guys you know? Oh, white compatriots.”
  
    His heart melted away.
    A feeling similar to alcohol induced drunkenness.
    Surrendering to that feeling, Chaga released his consciousness.

※ ※ ※

    “Ahh, this really dents my confidence. I never expected for Fem to come back like this.”
    I grumbled loudly while repairing the broken Fem at the atelier.
    With a quick look, it could be seen that her right arm, face and flank were damaged. Apparently, the lightning magic had also caused serious damage to her internal mechanisms. You could say it was a miracle that her core parts, the computing unit and the generator, were still working.
    To think my latest creation that I had enough confidence to send out could return in this tattered state. Was I over-confident or were the elves or the Chief in this incident that strong of a foe?

    “Consider it from the other side, master. You were able to realise that you are too confident of yourself while losing none of your forces. Rather, this should be called a stroke of luck.”

    Uni’s attempt at consoling was painful.
    The result of making light of the bow-wielding and magic capable elves was this. What kind of a large spell could do this much damage to a body made of orichalcum, a material well known to be resistant to magic? A mere village by the border had such hidden potential. I had to once again accept that the world was vast.

    “zZZ…..Sorry, master. I have shamed you with my failure.”

    “No, no, you are not in the wrong. It should be my responsibility since I suddenly sent you into a real battle as an ability test. It was really careless on my part.”

    I scratched my head as I said.
    I should have at least not been over-confident with Fem’s raw defensive power and should have at least given her some simple equipment to wear. In addition, I should have sent a few mass produced golems as escorts to reduce the risk of damage too.
    The more I thought, the more many other areas of improvement became obvious.
    I would definitely make good use of this lesson for the future. It is unlike me to carry risks and continue gambling.

    “In any case…...this is a golem, huh? If not for the inside of her body being exposed, for real, I wouldn’t be able to tell her apart from a living being.”

    Due interjected.
    I called all of the Opus series to gather in the atelier. In order to not waste time, the arrangement was for us to have a reflection session while I fix up Fem. Recently, I have been extremely busy with a couple of projects. I suppose I have to quickly clear them all together.
    As I attached a newly assembled right arm onto Fem’s main body, I replied.

    “This is also part of this child’s concept. ‘A golem that exceeds a human in human capabilities’. For that purpose, I had designed the complex ‘Orichalcus Brain’.’

    “A brain made of orichalcum, huh…...I was thinking about making something like that too, Oubeniel.”

    Charl said. Judging from what he said, he probably didn’t think of using of orichalcum to make weapons or golem bodies or a replica of a human brain.

    “In my opinion, nothing beats orichalcum as a material for an artificial brain. For a material that is able to have various functions in relation to light, orichalcum is extremely suitable to a small sized comp…...”

    “Master. We are straying from the discussion.”

    “Ah yes, sorry Uni. We were having an after-briefing on the elves capturing operation.”

    As I apologised, I placed a completed head mask on Fem.

    “And so. As we can see from the results, this time round, it is mostly a plus. The brain-altered elves would be of great service to the dungeon-ing of the mountains. After all, they are experts of the forests. It won’t be long before the regions outside the mountains would be filled with a lush forest.”

    “The forest-type dungeon is to prevent intrusion on the lighting facility, that is currently being built. If we set free monsters there, certainly it would be impregnable.”

    The biggest contributor to this mission, Drei, puffed up her chest with pride. Thanks to her, we saved lots of trouble. Capturing many of the elves will bring up the progress of the plan to transform the mountains into a forest-type dungeon. I estimated it to double or triple the speed of completion.
    It is good that I do not have to worry about the maintenance of the forest after it is completed too. We do not have to send out any of us every single time since the elves live on-site and will manage the trees by themselves. Also, half-hearted adventurers would not be able to perceive nor break through the barrier set up in elves’ village, and would reduce the risk from adventurers. There is the potential of using guerilla tactics in the forests when the time calls for it too. When a strong foe appears, the elves would put everything on the line to protect their home as well.

    “This is truly a wonderful outcome, Drei. Even emptying the gold coffers of Marlan wouldn’t be enough to gather this amount of elves. You were able to obtain them at no cost.”

    “Yes, I am deeply honoured by your praise, master.”

    Drei energetically expressed her gratitude to my words. In contrast, Due had a mixed expression.

    “.....Are you alright with that?”

    “About?”

    Surely, he was worried because her elf village had been attacked. From what I have heard, Drei’s village had met its demise from invading humans. In a complete reversal, she was the perpetrator now.
    However, that is all in the past. I had tampered with her past.

    “Obviously? Everything I have done was to further the goal of our master as well as to receive praise. What are you worrying about?”

    “Right, right! Due-senpai is acting weeeeird!”

    Charl cut into the conversation with enthusiasm.

    “Ah, yes! Why don’t we try looking for the dark elves’ village next? Dark elves live underground too. And for me who lives underground here, I would be very pleased to have them captured----”

    “A-Are you stupid!?”

    Due frantically grabbed Charl who spoke thoughtlessly.
    Drei seemed to be considering Charl’s suggestion.

    “Oh? An excellent proposal for somebody with an empty brain.”
    Drei said indifferently.
    Of course it was like this. Her feelings towards her old clan and feelings towards the same race as her, a dark elf, had been completely changed. Now those feelings are directed towards my subordinates and I.
    Currently, she would be unconcerned about her race. Maybe she feels a tiny bit of affinity, though.

    “I know right!? And, if there is somebody cute, I would really like to have one --!”

    “In the end, it’s about that? You are a pervert too, huh. …...Long-living samples are precious. We don’t have enough to allow any of them to be your plaything.”

    “Let me remind you all that we have not discovered a dark elf village. And we do not have the order from master, so do not go searching on your own accord.”
  
    Fem, whose repair was completed, added.

    “For me, I think we should get our hands on the dwarves next. Their manufacturing capabilities are greatly desirable.”

    “Wow, Uni-senpai has weird tastes!? Dwarf males are hairy and their females are stumpy, so I can’t get aroused at all!”

    “Yes, they are indeed a bunch that seem to be useful to our master…...I don’t really like that mud-stinking environment too.”

    Surprisingly, my creations were lively. Among them, only Due was silent. Unlike Uni or Fem, he wasn’t abandoned by all others except for me, nor was he like Drei and Charl, who had their allegiances switched to me. For somebody like him, he had his own peculiar anxieties.
    Well, if I still have uses for Due, I won’t say a thing.

    “? What is it, Due. Why are looking so dazed?”

    “......It is nothing.”

    “Don’t say that, we are comrades aren’t we. If you make that kind of face, even I…...”

    “Which is why I said it’s nothing!”

    Rejecting Drei’s words of concern, he headed towards the door..

  
    “The discussion is mostly over right? I’m out. …...I’ll be practicing my swings outside.”

    Well, our discussion was indeed over, and I had no reason to stop him.
    Drei who seems to have reasons of her own, had a troubled look on her and hesitated to call him back.
    Meanwhile, Due kicked open the door violently and left.

    “If we don’t open and the close the door with care...”

    “Yes. Due is all muscular strength, so it would be troublesome if the door breaks.”

    Though, I could probably fix it right away with magic, just like I can for other things, except for Fem.
    Throughout, I could tell from a side glance that Drei had been staring at Due leaving.

    “......What happened. What made him so offended? I had done a meritorious deed, haven’t I? He didn’t even give me any praise…...”

    “Opus-03, I have a question. Are the words of our master, not enough?”

    “That isn’t the problem. …...That isn’t it.”

    “Oh, Fem-chan, Fem-chan. Don’t bring unnecessary trouble to yourself. Don’t venture in that direction. Oookay?”

    Charl, who had been the junior, started to act like a senior. It would be incredibly helpful if he could maintain that calm composure all the time.
    Which reminds me, I had forgotten something.

    “It’s about something else but, Drei, about the thing you asked me about.”

    When Drei brought the elves over, she had asked me. If I remember, it should be about a child she found in the village.

    “Yes, is it about Verche? What is the matter?”

    “Yes, about that…...”

  ※ ※ ※


    Chronologically, this happens much later.

    Chaga was hurrying back home.

    The survivors and him have mostly gotten used to this new land known as Marlan.

    Their daily life did not differ that much from the past. They took care of the trees, hunted the beasts that were multiplying too quickly and protected the barrier.

    However, there were definitely things that have changed.

    Firstly, the number of elves in the Witte clan had been reduced considerably. The lives that were lost that night did not return. The Chief, Old Gran, Chaga’s family and many other adults,  disappeared in the ‘pruning incident’ or more accurately, massacre. For a simple reason that they didn’t have enough capacity to bring back all the elves, they were killed.

    Regarding that, Chaga’s soul was unperturbed. There are two reasons for this transformation.

    The elves of the Witte clan no longer subscribed to the great Providence of nature. Their target of worship now was the devilish alchemist living underneath the mountains. Binding the spirits, nurturing the forest, taking good care of the family and bearing children were also all for the sake of that monster. Chaga and the survivors were altered to be unable to rebel even if they had such antagonism against him.

    And the third change was,

    “Oh, it is a big catch again today huh, Chaga.”

    “Yes. While chasing a large deer, we also came across 3 stupid adventurers too.”

    Walking towards him was not Verche, but her father. Just like the few remaining adults, he was altered, gained more power and now acts as the trainer for young elves like Chaga.

    Training for what? Of course, hunting. Wild beasts that act as food, monsters that are multiplying too quickly, and finally, adventurers who intrude into the forest. Chaga had learned from him, how to efficiently hunt to perform those tasks.

    “But really, now that you have become such a competent hunter, I can hold my head up high. That a weakling like you could have grown so splendidly.”

    “......Thank you.”

    To protect the forest and his clan, he readies his bow at the unknowing and pitiable humans. As expected, he does not feel any emotions towards these people. These adventurers would attack elves just like they would monsters or enslave elves to sell. And yet, they were shockingly weak foes. Whisper some honeyed words and they would easily believe you and expose themselves. Tell them about a safe place, lure them into a monster nest and all that is left is to shoot an arrow at their backs.

    After taking down the adventurers, he would call Drei and the rest with his amulet-type equipment and hand them the adventurers. I hear that they are useful materials for research. They welcome dead bodies but very much prefer a living body. Also, if we capture a skilled person, there would be rewards. Especially the precious imported spices -- everybody in the village would be happy to have them. Because it goes well with meat. That’s why adventurers who come trespassing into the forest are considered as delicious prey.

    Verche’s father continued in his speech.

    “Could it be because of that? Maybe young men do change when they need to run a household.”

    “......perhaps.”

    “Hey, hey, what is with that half-hearted response? Even though the hunt wasn’t that tiring. Or is because you are worried about your wife who is waiting at home?”

    “......that is so.”

    Just as he has said, Chaga’s mind was all about his partner.
    He wanted to quickly see her, and yet, that wasn’t exactly the case either. Nevertheless, whether it is the Chaga of today or the Chaga of the past, his mind was thinking about her.
    As the conversation continued, they reached their village.
    Compared to their warm and gentle white birch village, their new village was smaller, darker and intolerably gloomy.
    Even then, it was their home. The important things are here.
    …...Chaga and Verche’s father went the same path and went into the same house.

    “Ohh,  welcome back!”

    “Welcome back, dear. Good work too, Chaga.”

    Verche’s mom welcomed them as she carried around her stomach that had grown much larger. Normal elves do not give birth to many children. Especially so for parents who have raised a child as big as Verche. This was the instruction of the alchemist. All female elves that were able to to be pregnant were to make children. It was to increase the population of elves, he said. What comes after that? Was it simply to strengthen their fighting prowess or to use them for experiments? Chaga constantly prayed that his child does not end on the operating table.
    While Chaga was lost in thought, Verche’s mom went inside the house and raised her voice.

    “Come on, Verche! Come here too. Your beloved husband is here, you know?”

    Immediately, the sound of footsteps could be heard as she came over.

    “Chaga,a!? He is back!?”

    Verche spoke with a slight lisp as she flew into his arms.

    “Chaga, Chaga, Chaga……! I felt lonely…...”

    Crying like a child, she rubbed her head on his chest.
    Verche’s parents gave wry smiles, thinking, ‘That’s our child alright.’’.

    “Good grief, I have told her so many times to be careful because her stomach is getting bigger…...”

    “Really, she is still a child after so much time. She has never changed at all.”

    “......”

    Chaga was lost for words.
    Once again, the thin fabric of hope he held onto, was crushed.
    …...After that, the girl he was reunited with as his partner, completely became a different person.

    “Regretfully, there are things I can do and there are things I cannot do.”

    That alchemist had told him as he returned the transformed her.

    “Her mind was long broken when she got here. She is trying to forget everything that happened that night, so it doesn’t seem like she would be cured even if I restored her memories. It would be meaningless to make her forget the things she has already forgotten, right? Well, it might be alright to forcefully fix her by altering her brain. Still, I do not know how her brain was structured in the first place. If I altered her like that, she may or may not be the same person even if she has a functioning mind.”

    In short, the Verche that Chaga once knew, was broken since that tragedy.
    The culprit was none other than himself.

    “Considering that risk, we can only wait and see if she recovers on her own. After all, elves do live for very long. A peaceful lifestyle may someday bring her back to normal.”

    At the end, would such a day really come?
    As he asked, the alchemist revealed a wide smile.

    “To raise that possibility, first of all, you need to ensure that the you, who she treasures so much, continue staying safe. So please, do not accidentally lose against those boring opponents. Well, you can rest assured. I will give it my all to improve your abilities. Among the samples we have collected in the village, you will be the last I would work on and that means, I can take my time to do so. This is also in a way, …...hmm, was it Verche? That child has been incredibly helpful this time, so this falls under compensation. Feel free to accept it, E-31 (Altered Elf-31).”

    …...And so, Chaga gained power.
    His hunting abilities was nothing like the past and his magic power was enhanced.
    That is why he is one of the excellent warriors protecting the village now.
    The village.
    The village he wanted to protect no longer exists.
    All that is left is the nest of familiars, that exists for that devil.
    This is not the village that he wanted to protect together with Verche, the white birch village.

    “Chaga? What is it? Are you sad?”

    Verche made an equally sad expression as she asked.
    …… She had really changed.
    Her speech and behaviour was that of a child, and just a little bit would set her crying. She would worry when Chaga is not with her and on days he went out hunting, she would definitely be restless.
    Even though she was the one who brought him out to hunt in the past.

    “That is not true, Verche…...I am happy to be back home with you.”

    “Really!? Waa!”

    “Ahahaha! It’s getting heated, huh, newlyweds.”

    “Yes, this reminds me of the past.”

    Her parents laughed, unaware of her transformation.
    This is also part of the arrangements by that devil.
    He said it was to minimise the changes brought to the surroundings due to Verche being in her current state. It looks like he had tampered with their memories and made them believe that Verche was always like this. And so, this family continued on their daily business with little obstacles. Female elves originally did not hunt. They just needed to virtuously support their husbands. Though her mental capacity is that of a child now, she was still able to slowly learn how to do some house chores. Thus, there were no problems.
  
    In this village, there was no place for the proud female hunter. If there was, it only exists in his mind.
    She begged for cruel things to not happen to him, and so, their memories together were taken away, and it can be said the cruel things did not happen.
    For Chaga, though, that was a cruel choice she made.
    Only he, who cannot accept the new her, is left behind.
    Because of that, his anguish continues.

    “Oh yeah! We caught a couple of deers! Here, look! Quality meat!”

    “Meat? …...ughh.”

    Verche cowered in fear at the meat her father was holding.
    Was it because the faint memories of all that blood from that night remain? She had come to dislike meat. She could eat some small amounts of roasted meat but she avoided raw meat.
    Surely she would no longer eat wolf meat.

    “Come on, isn’t this the meat that your husband caught? It will be roasted nicely so make sure to finish all of it.”

    “Chaga did? O-okay. Then, I will give it my best shot. If I do my best, will I be praised?”

    “Yeah, if Verche tries hard, I will be happy too.”

    After encouraging her, Verche smiled happily.
    Chaga involuntarily thought that her smile was like a full moon.
    A fleeting smile, like that of the moon from that night, which could be covered by rain clouds at any moment.
    A smile like sunlight filtering through the trees, a strong and indomitable smile. That expression he fell in love with, no longer exists.

    (This girl, isn’t Verche…...)

    This was not the first or second time he thought this way
    She now reminds him of the familiar he had summoned that day.
    The outer appearance was the same, but the interior was completely different. That pitiful beast.
    Her words which he thought to be cruel at that time, now seem to be correct.
    He finally understood why it was kinder to respect and kill them.

    (This was a punishment. A punishment on him for distorting Providence…..)

    It was a punishment for using a spell that Old Gran, his magic instructor, did not teach, for betraying Providence.
    That punishment manifested itself as him destroying his beloved and having to live with the wreckage.
    So when can he redeem himself?
    Is it the day she returns back to normal?
    Would such a day ever come? Would it?
    …… An elf’s life was long. Compared to a human, it may seem like an eternity.
    Rather than a blessing, it is more of a curse.
    One that he cannot break free from. That devil wouldn’t like to have his subordinates to silently disappear, and so, had already made arrangements by altering his brain.
    Chaga would have to face the proof of his sin for his entire life.
    A long, long life.

    “Chaga? What is it? Let’s have our meal soon?”

    “Mm. That’s right, Verche.”

    Verche pulled Chaga, who was deep in reflection, to invite him to the dinner table.
    He stopped the painful thoughts and entrusted himself to her, who was pulling his hand.
    It felt like his nostalgic first love.

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30 comments

  1. Finally someone translated it, yeayy keep it up tl

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  2. I miss this novel so much ... thanks god !

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  3. Brutal. So glad it's being picked up again.

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  4. Thanks for picking this up!

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  5. Never thought I was going to see this translated again.
    What a pleasant surprise!

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  6. Hey, since I've bought the Light Novels, do you want me to send you the pictures so you can put them to illustrate your translation?

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    1. Nope, don't think I should put those illustrations unless I am translating the LN

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    2. Any chance you're willing to share those illustrations?

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  7. Thank you very much for the chapter!

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  8. Thank you for the chapter.

    Well, that was just sad. But Verche's situation makes me hopeful - though it wasn't clear, she was the only one to escape serious alterations. Hopefully, one day she regains herself and gets her revenge on the MC.

    ...who I'm trying to fool. She stuck with the mind of a child and destined to breed till the rest of her life.

    Sad? I meant to say depressing.

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  9. Thanks for the chapter and picking up the novel!

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  10. Praised be the translators!

    And i was expecting something like that with the analogy between the tamed beasts and the elves, but i wasnt expecting Chaga to be the one to remember everything, i was expecting the Verche/avenger sort of thing

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  11. Thank you so much for picking this up! It's one of my favorites

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  12. Thank you for your work; I love dark novels

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  13. Thanks a lot for the chapter!
    Also, are you going to continue translating the web novel from here on out?
    Or was this just a one-time thing after a long break(since you were the one who translated the first few chapters of the series)?

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    1. I do plan to do this long term, but probably won't be regular releases. would gladly translate together with somebody though :/

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  14. For those who are interested, here are the illustrations for volumes 1, 2 and 3.
    (This chapter was the last one for volume 3, and the LN publication has been discontinued, so there isn't a volume 4.
    On the other hand, the web novel goes up to chapter 88, though it's been on a hiatus since 2016, so ch88 is pretty much the last chapter we can expect.)

    And so, here are the LN illustrations:
    Volume 1: https://imgur.com/a/hZst9
    Volume 2: https://imgur.com/a/Majd2
    Volume 3: https://imgur.com/a/4RnuV

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    1. Nanii? Discontinued in japan?

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  15. my god thank you for picking it up man like damn i have wanted this for a long time

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  16. oh god thanks for picking this up
    I noticed some typos :
    I hear that are useful materials for research
    I hear that *they* are useful materials for research

    I do not how her brain was structured in the first place.
    I do not *know* how her brain was structured in the first place.

    thanks again man

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  17. Thank for the chapter,please don't drop this.

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  18. It a sad, dark yet writen so good that it made me cry at the end.

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  19. Thanks for the chapter, its been a while but this novel still has that mutch quality. Well I like that we are shown how truly evil MC no justifyied evil here, he screwed up all those Elves and will never feel bad about it.

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  20. Wtf is Chaga talking about, she is much better like this. I will never understand why some men are attracted to masculine women.

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