041 Six Elements p.1


Translator: Olcivv, yAmi

Tilting his hip flask upside down, Due Schwarzer stared into empty space.

For the second winter since he came to Marlan, he was passing his time by stewing in his unceasing boredom. The source was unfortunately easy to identify. Due had nothing to do.

To the eyes of an outsider, Due was Tullius’ chief military official. As head of the domestic security team, his primary duty was to subjugate groups of criminal elements. As a result of his efforts, nearly all the bandits in the border regions of Marlan had been put to the sword. Perhaps fearful of sharing their predecessors’ fate, there was no sign of further unrest building.

There wasn’t even anything for him to do behind the scenes, either. His only real job was to annihilate anyone that managed to penetrate the core of Marlan, the laboratory built within the dungeon. However, it was nearly impossible to climb the snowy mountains still caught in the grasp of winter. Since Tullius had holed himself up in the laboratory, he wasn’t even able to act as his personal escort.

Frankly, he had far too much free time on his hands. After he had crushed only ten of the more prominent bandit groups, the rest had fractured and dissolved. The only infrequent jobs he was given these days were orders to clear snow from the highways, which served as field engineering and marching practice. Once that was complete, he would return to the common room in the lab complex, where he would drink the day away. The now-dry flask he held still reeked of strong alcohol. Since the stuff in question was used to stave off the icy northern winds, it was best drunk sparingly, but Due had multiple flasks all over his body. Even though the liquor was strong enough to make a regular man’s nose hairs curl with just a whiff, Due had been drinking it like water.

(It’s all that bastard’s fault I’m stuck like this…)

Downing hard spirits just to get drunk wasn’t really his style. A good, dark beer that complemented some fried beef gut was something he still dreamed of. Unfortunately, he would never be able to enjoy the simple pleasures of cheap, intoxicating beer ever again.


From behind him came a voice and a pair of arms. As something soft pressed against his bare back, his flask was stolen from his hands.

“Once you’re finished over there, grab me a drink, would you? Seems like chivalry really is dead.”

The one who had reached around his head and was now pouting was none other than Drei. The scent drifting from her skin and hair mixed with the pungent odor of stale alcohol, forming a distractingly sweet fragrance.
Since some time ago, the two had begun sleeping together. At any rate, there was little else in the way of entertainment in the underground lab. When their hearts grew tired of tedium, their bodies acted on those desires. A small romantic spark had spontaneously bloomed between them. Recently, it had become a daily routine to waste their time away in this manner.

“Give it up.”

Due shook her off roughly. Whenever they finished one of their quiet trysts, he was gripped with shame over his inability to be more productive with his time.

Shaking his head to brush away the lingering sensation of smooth skin, he refocused himself.

“Go back to sleep already. I’m tired too, you know.”

“Hah! Tired? Just earlier, you were going at it like--”

As she spoke, Drei attempted to take a swig from the stolen flask, only to find it empty.

“What, we’re out of booze? Come on, you’re letting me down here!”

Although her words were sharp, her tone was playful, teasing him like a child.

Unlike Due, she had no problems with their current situation. With too much time on her hands, she had taken to teasing him, sleeping with him, and drinking his liquor dry.

He was envious of her ability to be satisfied with so little.

“As if I gave a shit, idiot. I’m going back to sleep.”

With a cold retort, he moved to return to the bed. However, Drei, arms still wrapped around his neck, held him back.

“The hell you want?”

“If there’s nothing to drink, you’ll have to satisfy me another way…”

Her tongue ran its way up his back, tracing the length of his scars. The sensation of her warm saliva mixed with the dregs of liquor melting into his skin sent a wave of heat rippling up his spine. Fueled by his cloudy drunkenness, the anxiety he had been trying to repress reared its head once more.

Once more, huh.

Irrepressible frustration and overpowering lust augured through his mind like nails through his temples.

Although his body was overwhelmed by pleasure, a cold, still void spread throughout his heart. He always felt like this after doing it with her. A moment’s pleasure disappeared like smoke on the wind, followed by a steep dive into melancholy.

It was never the same again after that passionate night at Canales. Ever since then, the attractive woman he embraced had been molded into a tool by that devil.

However, with just a slight bit of teasing, his body would start acting on its desires. Shameful. Being self-aware of it only made him miserable.

“Oh, my~”

Nevertheless, Drei still had a smile on her face. He easily fell for the provocation. Just as she expected.

Due let out a low, guttural growl.

“I’m holding myself back here, Drei.”

“What, are you going to punish me~?”

Wordlessly, he answered with a deep, greedy kiss.

Then, just as he started to trace his hands up her nut-brown skin to her chest--

Tock, tock.

As a knock echoed throughout the room, the two froze.

“Although I humbly apologize for interrupting your pleasure, the master has called. Please assemble at the sixth testing site.”

The voice quietly murmuring from the other side of the door was Uni’s. Despite the building’s excellent soundproofing, she had seemingly inferred the events occurring within. As usual, she was unnaturally talented in every way.

Continuing on, her voice carried no emotion.

“As I believe cleaning yourselves up may take some time, please present yourselves within the next thirty minutes, or else. Please do not take this opportunity to start again.”
After the one-sided conversation had finished, the presence outside the door faded away.

The now-sober pair separated themselves, sitting down on the bed with audible sighs.

“Man, Uni’s got no sense of decency. When she says it’s unacceptable to be late, we don’t really have a say in the matter, do we?”

“Don’t tell that to me…”

After wiping themselves down with wet towels, the sounds of rustling clothes being put on filled the room.

“Took you both a while, didn’t it? Fem had to come from the farthest away, and she still made it here first. Think you could explain that one to me?”

As Due and Drei hurried into the sixth testing site, they were met with Tullius’s incredulous voice. As befitting the facility’s head alchemist, Tullius’s elbows rested on a grandly carved desk, towards which the two latecomers trotted to under his exhausted gaze.

“Come on, Oubeniel. It’s not like this is urgent, right? Don’t fuss yourself over something so small. Seems like we might have to open you up to fix that sense of humor, hmm?

The one to break the mood with his clownish antics was none other than Charl. He never did seem to learn his lesson. Every time he opened his mouth and thoughtlessly spouted out whatever he was thinking, he would always end up getting punished. Of course, this time was no different.

“Opus 04, this experiment was not solely the fruit of your own labors. I would caution you to not make such a foolish claim again.”

“Yes, yes, Uni-senpai is right as always~”

“...I’m assuming we weren’t called here just to watch your little comedy skit, and I’m sure Uni agrees. You need to kill that habit of yours, Charl. Wait, since you’re already undead, would it be purifying it, then?”

“Yes, certainly so.”

“Oh come on, why is it always me that gets the short end of the stick? I was supposed to be in charge of this, wasn’t I?”
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