13-9. Fujisan Mountains Shrine
Satou's here. I heard that when you have a childhood friend of the opposite sex, there's a high probability that the two of you will become lovers. Each time, I insisted that childhood's friends lovers only exist in the world of fictions.
"--Huh? Aren't you the violet-haired hero from the other day?"
"Hi, it's been a while."
Looks like she remembers about Nanashi.
She's calmer than I thought--.
"Is this the guy who tortured Ten-chan?"
"That's right Mito. To me who couldn't move, he scoped my body, peeled off my scales, and cut my tail and horns! And then to the inverse scale..."
Ten-chan who follows behind Mito to hide herself complains while shaking.
Looks like the inside is Tenryu.
When her eyes meet mine, she hides behind as if she's a bullied child.
--How pathetic of a heavenly dragon.
For now I should tell the truth to Mito since being silent would make things worse.
"Please don't say it like that. That was a treatment. I swear that it was not an act out of sadism."
"Yeah of course. I did heal the cut tail and scales with high magic potion and healing magic right."
Mito looks back and confirms Ten-chan, "Ten-chan, is it true?"
To hear both opinions like this, it's very like Mito.
"That's true but.... This guy even tore off my inverse scale y'see? That one hurt even if he healed me."
"There was no helping it right. Your inverse scale was encroached too. Isn't it better than getting your body taken by the Demon God?"
Although her tone is still resentful, Ten-chan gradually loses her force.
"In other words, you helped Ten-chan didn't you?"
"Yeah, it would have been better if there was a less rough way to do it, but I did not stock anesthetic powerful enough for a heavenly dragon."
Anesthestic that works for heavenly dragon-class would make ordinary men die of heart attack after all.
"Ten-chan, say thank you and sorry to this person would you?"
Scolded by Mito, the transcendental beauty looks like she's a kid.
After muttering just that much, she ran away toward the back of the shrine.
I thought that, for a little bit, only for a little bit, she looked cute.
That must have been just my imagination.
Now then, let's get back to the main topic.
"Mito, I have a business with you, not Tenryu."
"Me? Don't tell me you fell for me~?"
Mito smiles happily.
And then she rattles on while gesturing dramatically.
"But, you can't! You can't I said, you can't! Because I have Senpai who has promised to take me in the future!"
....She's not talking about me right?
I don't remember making such promise.
"Don't worry, I don't feel that way. Rather, is there any place we can talk calmly?"
Talking while standing on the corridor is that.
"Then let's go to my room. Even though it's called a room, it's a building big enough for the whole parliament to enter."
Mito leads me to a luxurious building that even puts the royal capital's state guest residence to shame. It's made of light green-colored stones that look like marbles.
I'm taken to the living room of that mansion that's close to the entrance.
When we sit down, the living statue maids-san serve us some warm tea.
Their dexterity rival Lulu's even though they're just stone statues.
"Now then, since we've caught our breath, let's get back to the topic at hand."
I take off the violet-colored wig and place it on the sofa.
"Arara, so it was a wig? Black hair, that means you're the current era's hero--"
I take off the white mask while Mito is speaking.
"--Eh, that beautiful girl's face!"
Mito shouts out when she sees the face of Nanashi that looks exactly like hers.
....Who the heck is a beauty.
"So you were a woman? By any chance, are you me from a parallel world?"
"I'm a genuine man. This is just a disguise."
I stop talking and tear off the Face Mask from the chin.
I sure feel like a phantom thief.
I gently receive the hug, with the force of a level 89, of Mito--A junior at my workplace who's also my childhood friend, Kouhai Mitsuko.
I erase the inertia by making use of Unit Arrangement.
"Ichirou-nii, Ichirou-nii, Ichirou-nii, Ichirou-nii--"
I hug her delicate body along with the torrent of emotion that seem to be loaded in my names.
I gently pat Mitsuko's hair like when she was crying as a child, and let her weep to her heart's content until she calms down.
It's only been a year ago for me, but it should have been quite a long time for her.
After crying for about a hour, she's finally stopped, so I try talking to her.
"It's been a while. So you really were summoned as a hero during the development of FFW?"
"Un--Ah, so the bug-ridden FFW have been finished by Ichirou-nii, I mean, Suzuki-senpai?"
"Yeah, I had at least delivered the production-ready package to Mr. Overweight before I came here, so it should be fine."
"That's good. It was always weighting on my mind."
On top of being quite responsible herself, it's her first project after all.
"Oh right, you can keep calling me Ichirou. We're not in the workplace."
"Un, then please call me Hikaru with love."
Hikaru is an important childhood friend for me, but I don't feel love toward her.
"I'll do it if it's just affection."
"You're being cold like that hasn't changed eh."
Hikaru said so and smiled nostalgically.
By the way, Hikaru is Mitsuko's nickname.
She proclaimed that the name Mitsuko wasn't stylish, so she put up the name herself.
"Putting aside the love thing, is it alright to call you with Hikaru instead of Mitsuko now that you're at age?"
"Don't call it at age! I kept being called Shiga Yamato or Mito ever since I came here, so I want you to call me my name when I was in Japan. Calling me Junior-shi is alright too but.... Hikaru is nicer."
She was called [Junior-shi] by Mr. Overweight when she was admitted, and the name spread. "Kouhai is a kouhai (junior) so your name from now on is 『Junior-shi』", so he said and the surrounding people accepted it, the next day, even sales people started to call Hikaru that.
As a retribution, he got the nickname [Mr. Overweight], so both were just as bad.
"Then I'll call you Hikaru."
Some kind of itchy feeling flow between us, but Hikaru tends to self-destruct like Arisa so this kind of mood won't stay long.
"--Wait, why are you so young!"
You're minding that now.
I talked about everything that has happened ever since I got to this world without hiding anything.
This is a good opportunity, I'm also going to tell Arisa and Liza about my real name and the matter of god-slaying once I return to the mansion.
I'll decide what to do with the other girls after consulting with the two.
"So you weren't summoned as a hero?"
"Yeah, according to the current hero there's a high possibility that I was summoned as a normal person by the reincarnated person from Rumooku Kingdom."
"Hm~m, Rumooku Kingdom huh. The pink-haired young king of that kingdom looks similar to Shiga-kun from Teni x Brave~"
Teni x Brave is a puzzling shoujo manga about tennis battles between a blue-haired demon king and a pink-haired hero that Hikaru really got into when she was in Japan.
If I'm not mistaken, the main character was--
"Hikaru. By any chance, did you get the name Shiga Yamato from the main characters of Teni x Brave?"
"Hehe~~, it was the name I always use in games, so it came out on the spur of the moment."
I can't fault her since I also used the name I always use in games too, [Satou] that is.
After talking about my end of things, I listen to various stories of Hikaru after she was summoned as a hero.
"I was bestowed divine power fragment by God Parion in a white room. I didn't want to kill so I chose the 『Friendship』 skill for befriending demon lords, and just that one filled the vessel of my soul fully."
Certainly, there's a skill called [Friendship] on Hikaru's skill column.
I didn't think that it was a Unique Skill.
"And then after the summoning, I was treated as a failed hero and got my holy sword and holy tools confiscated, and made to be in charge of transporting things with my infinite-capacity Inventory."
Apparently, there were three other heroes besides Hikaru in Saga Empire at the time.
"And then the airship that carried me was shot down by the demon lord's surprise attack, and I became a prisoner of Orc Empire--It's alright, don't worry! My chastity is still there for Ichirou-nii to take."
"I'm not worried about that."
Of course I'm happy that Hikaru wasn't sexually assaulted.
The demon lord that Hikaru talked about was the [Golden Wild Boar King] that I fought in the duchy capital's underground.
Hikaru who had become a prisoner made friends with the orcs thanks to [Friendship] Unique Skill, and built a camaraderie with the demon lord, but the demon lord who was encroached by the god's fragment challenged the two major empires at that time--Furu Empire and Saga Empire, causing a great war, turning the situation upside down.
It was a dreadful war that had a large number of demon lords and multiple heroes fighting with each other.
All of those heroes besides Hikaru lost their lives in that battle, Furu Empire who boasted of being invincible fell into ruin, and the world was thrown in chaos, so Hikaru narrates.
Afterwards, Hikaru was released from being a prisoner, and then she became friend with Tenryu, bestowed holy arms including Claiomh Solais at the Dragon God's place, and accomplished the great deed of vanquishing the great demon lord.
Hikaru herself seem to regret defeating the demon lord and the orcs, she doesn't seem proud about it.
"Did you choose to remain here after subjugating the demon lord?"
"No way. I immediately chose to go home since I wanted to go to where Ichirou-nii was."
--Then, why is she here now?
"When I was returning to Japan, I got an oracle from our enshrined deity--I won't meet Ichirou-nii even if I get back to the former world, it said."
Hikaru stops talking there and then stares at my eyes.
Hikaru's family from her father's side work as Shinto priests of a shrine, and the enshrined deity is--
"Did you meet Ama-no-Mizuhana-Hime?"
"I didn't. Only the voice....no, that's not right, I got something like a lump of image before it become words."
She believed that image, and then she returned to the current Duchy Capital.
After that, Hikaru founded Shiga Kingdom with her followers and comrades.
The current capital of Shiga Kingdom was relocated after the second generation King took over, and she herself passed time by touring while reforming the world and excessively hunting youth restoration medicines in labyrinths.
And then she received another oracle, established a magical cold sleep facility in the tower at the sea of trees on the foot of Fujisan Mountains, and fell asleep there. It's just recently that she woke up it seems.
The violet wig accidentally enters my view.
--Right, I forgot to apologize to Hikaru.
I apologize for not clearing the misunderstanding of the king and the others about me being Yamato, and suggest one thing to her.
"If you want to see your descendants, wear this wig, you'll be treated as the reincarnated Ancient King Yamato and can get to meet them y'see."
"Didn't I say that I protected my chastity! The second generation king is my adopted child you see. He was an illegitimate child of the last Furu emperor, a good child who pressed on even in difficult situations. His favorite phrase was 『To not shame the name of Shiga』--"
Come to think of it, the king had Shiga as his family name huh.
"--But, I see. It might be nice to meet the descendant of Sharlick-kun."
Hikaru quietly said those words.
The same name as the third prince--wait, it's the opposite. The third prince probably got his name from the second generation king.
I take out an unused violet wig and Nanashi set from Storage and give it to Hikaru.
After talking about our girls, I get back to the reason why I came here.
"『Mock Body (Avatar)』?"
"Yeah, there was a record about it being used by a greater demon that was killed by Tenryu's breath."
"Then that's probably about the green greater demon. That one was like the different colored one among the rangers."
<TLN: Ranger as in Power Ranger. Sentai.>
According to Nanashi there were six senior greater demons with different colors that served under the Golden Wild Boar King, they were Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, and Black.
As for the greater demon itself, there are a lot of them that exist it seems.
"How did you deal with it?"
"I figured its characteristic after encountering it many times. It used 『Zamasu』 as its ending word. I could quickly distinguish if it was a mock body if we just talked for a bit."
.....Why didn't it just change the ending word.
The Ropo from back then talked normally, so it was not the same person huh.
"Then it's most likely a concealment type Unique Skill after all."
"Ichirou-nii's Unique Skill is enemy search type is it."
"Yeah, it's close to that. Once I marked someone, I know wherever they are even if they went to a different dimension."
"Hee, then does it know my current location?"
What is she saying when she's right in front of me.... Hikaru's luminous point disappears from the Radar.
Surprised, I open the map and check the marker column, Hikaru's marker denotes location unknown too.
"How about it?"
The moment Hikaru spoke, her marker reappeared on the Radar.
"The marker still existed, but the location became unknown."
Looks like she's satisfied with my answer, she nods proudly with crossed arms.
"As I thought. Ichirou-nii's search skill gets its information from the same resource as the analysis board that I made."
"Analysis board, you mean Yamato Stone?"
"Looks like it's called that now.... Rather than that, it's about the resource."
According to Hikaru's explanation, there's a stream of Magic Essence created by the Dragon God--the so-called Dragon Vein--and, the thing that's flowing in that stream is not just Magic Essence, but also various information.
The information from Appraisal and Market Price/Estimation skills also come from this Dragon Vein.
"In other words, if you can stop the information from flowing into that Dragon Vein, you can isolate the information."
Recognition Inhibition type items work by circulating false information to that stream.
I understand the principle, but then I can't catch Ropo like this--
"However, it's difficult to maintain complete isolation you know. Your own magic power will be getting depleted terribly fast while you're isolating yourself from the flow of Magic Essence, and during that time, you can't even recover your magic power from outside~"
Looking at Hikaru's MP gauge, it's been decreased by about 30%.
If it's decreased that much in just that short time, maintaining it in a long period of time should be difficult even if the user's level is relatively high.
I can understand why Ropo didn't do the stealing himself.
I imitate Hikaru and try to isolate myself from the flow of Magic Essence.
....It's not going well.
Is it different from cutting off my presence?
Just like when I use hiding skills, I assimilate myself with the surrounding and furthermore, I project the opposite side of my body on the Magic Essence like optical camouflage--
>[Recognition Inhibition] Skill Acquired
>[Magic Essence Concealment] Skill Acquired
>[Magic Essence Camouflage] Skill Acquired
>[Optical Camouflage] Skill Acquired
>TItle [One who Deludes All] Acquired
I got something slightly different too, but well, since it looks useful, there's no particular problem.
Now that I'm able to do it myself, I now understand the way to sniff out the camouflage.
"You're amazing Ichirou-nii. Is it a magic to make you disappear?"
"No, it seems to be an 『Optical Camouflage』 skill."
"It seems huh. You'd be a Jack all trades, Master of none if you waste your skill points you know?"
I tell Hikaru who's worried, "It's alright", and start to try getting the crucial skill.
I ask Hikaru to activate her camouflaging from Magic Essence skill.
Just like before, Hikaru's luminous point disappears from the Radar.
In order to increase my concentration, I cut OFF the menu indicators.
--Search for the oddness.
If there's none of it, then search for the blank space.
If there's no blank space, then search for the discrepancy.
As if looking at the dead point of my view, I stare hard at the thing that can't be seen....
....The fluctuation of information.
....The unnaturalness of the flow.
--I see it!
>[Oddness Detection] Skill Acquired
>[Magic Essence Distribution Perception] Skill Acquired
>[Anti Magic Essence Camouflage Detection] Skill Acquired
>Title [One who Sees Through All] Acquired
Unfortunately, it seems the skills can't link well with the Map, but I can use them to detect within the Radar's range.
Now then, the preparation is complete.
I'll seize Ropo's tail when I get back to the Royal Capital!