Episode 10『Being Frightened By Darkness』

Olivia Elieresire is dead.

She was bitten by the Toothy Bugs and died in despair while screaming in agony. Only a large amount of blood stains and Olivia’s scattered clothes and an ornament to be left in the cage.

After ascertaining the death of Olivia, I erased all the traces that we had come here.

Olivia was carrying out a horrifying experiment using the demonic beings. Due to the experiment, many villagers died.
Eventually, Olivia was killed by a demon due to an accident during the experiment.

Perhaps it will be such a scenario.

After that, Karen is supposed to coping with that. Olivia cried out that she would like to be recognised, but if it keeps as it is she would be known to the world as the worst criminal.

「……Gouache」(Iori)

I searched the basement, but there was no corpse of Gouache could be found. It probably has already been disposed of.

Why is such good man must die such a death?

Remembering what Olivia was talking about happily really make me feel nauseated.

「Shit……」(Iori)

……will Karen be able to cope up with the death of her parents?

Thanks to quick wit of Elfi, she should not have heard that story. Still that her father has died would be transmitted.

In the same way as her father, Karen desperately did her best, thinking about the people of the fief. What was waiting ahead of it was no other than such ending.

「Shit……!」(Iori)

While searching, whether it was before disposal or not, it was possible to find a few of blood stains and part of the body that probably from the population of the fief. According to words of that fellow, probably there’s a lot of people have been sacrificed.

She was living in self-satisfaction on their death. So, I pray that they will be comforted a bit with the dreadful end of that woman. Because, that’s the only thing I can do for them.

While searching, I also found a brainwash magic report that Olivia put together.

It is a simple instruction order that can be mastered in a short time. If I spend more time performing the brainwash, it’s possible for me to do the complicated thing like the one she did to Jean

Olivia herself seems to have borrowed the power of the ring because she can not perform multiple order at the same time.
This ring seems to be independent, too. Also, other than the brainwash magic it seems that it is possible to make the sense of the opponent deviate depending on a number of magical powers.

「……As for brainwash, to derail the subject sense, huh」(Iori)

I mostly understood the summary of the brainwash magic because I got it directly from Olivia and I know roughly how to exercise it, too.

It seems possible to use it for my revenge.

「……With this, three down」(Iori)

Merwin Johannes.
Beltoga.
Olivia Elieresire.

I have achieved my revenge on the betrayers who have lived their lives comfortably.

I have driven them into despair while make them regret on what they have done and made them apologise sincerely, but the best part is that I end up killing them as it is.

But it still has just begun.
There are still many betrayers.
I cannot stop here.

Then I completely erased the trace that I was here and it was when I tried to leave the basement behind.

「――Whose there!」(Iori)

I turned around quickly as I suddenly felt like being watched from behind. There should not be anyone in the basement.

Did somebody from the mansion get down to the basement?

The question immediately turned out to be a mistake when I looked back at the things that are watching me.

「――……」

At the corner of the room.

Under cover of the darkness of the dusky basement, an eyeball was floating. It is composed of water as it occasionally *PokoPoko* bubble are appeared from inside of the eyeballs.

My sight match with it.

An inorganic eye made of water and at the moment when our line of sight intersected. It distorted to shape of dreadful “Smiles”.

「――――」

At the next moment, the eyeball disappeared without any trace after the bubble burst.

「…………」

That is a magic.

Someone produced that eyeball and was watching me.
一Who the hell……?

I tried to find out where the eyeball was up until now, but there are no magic traces.

I do not know its true identity, but I need to be cautious. While felt unpleasant, I left the basement after everyone else has gone.

 

 

By the time I returned to Karen’s house, the sun was falling.

Given that I go over to Olivia at midnight, more than half a day passed. I felt nothing until the fatigue struck as soon as I knew the elapsed time has passed.

「It was late, you know」(Elfi)

Elfi was waiting in front of the mansion.

「Yeah……」(Iori)
「How was it?」(Elfi)
「I have taken care of it, it will be enough as a reward」(Iori)
「……Have you killed her normally?」(Elfi)
「Of course, I have not done anything unusual. Rather I used the continuation-type portion so she won’t suffer」(Iori)
「……as usual you have come up with nasty things」(Elfi)

Elfi nodded in understanding,「It is certainly a suitable end for that woman」while frowning as if she imagined the scene. I also explained about the eyeball of water that I saw in the basement.

「It seems that someone was watching the events in that underground with remote magic」(Elfi)
「Or probably it’s monitoring『You or my conduct』」(Iori)

Or either both of it?

「The feat to fly off the eyeball and watched the situation in such distance, it can not be done by anyone. If I or Ortegia’s and other high ranking Mazoku, it will be possible to create an alter ego body as we want」(Elfi)
「Its either a high-ranking Mazoku or a capable magician……」(Iori)

Either it’s the assassinator from the Maou forces that were monitoring our movement.
Or the act of the “Selector”――by the kingdom magician.

「Either way, it must be a troublesome opponent and for the time being please be vigilant」(Iori)
「Got it, I will be careful even if there is no watchdog around, too」(Elfi)

We have already travelled across two labyrinths.

We have never encountered any pursuer up to now, but it just matters of time for we to get caught in a surprise attack. If we act as it is, it is also a matter of time that Luser to appear with「Yoo~, Amatsu-Ku~n」

「So……What happens to the mansion after that? Are those brainwashed people alright?」(Iori)
「No problem has happened. That guy Jean and other servants are also normal」(Elfi)

Apparently, at the same time as releasing the effectiveness of the ring, Jean’s brainwash seemed to be solved, too.

「Is there any aftereffects?」(Iori)
「Yes, I saw their conditions with my demon eyes, but there is nothing unusual with their brain and magical power」(Elfi)
「Really? That’s good, then」(Iori)
「There’s someone have ambiguous memories of the last few days, but there is nothing more than that」(Elfi)

There seems to be no other aftereffect.

For now, regarding brainwashing, I could call it will be pause for the time being.

The problem is Karen.

「How is Karen doing?」(Iori)

There was only that.
It isn’t strange for her to be upset.

But Elfi said it with a grim expression.

「She’s woke up about two hours after she fainted……there is no particular change with her state」(Elfi)
「There is no particular change……?」(Iori)

Though her parents have died, huh?

「Without a wink of sleep, she looking over the state of her employees and preparing for the cleanup」(Elfi)
「That is……」(Iori)

Karen doesn’t especially have such strong heart because I realise it from the matter at the Imperial castle. She’s just an ordinary woman who is acting in a temperate manner. She was forced into a cruel reality and will she able to act like there are nothing changes?

「For now, I will enter the mansion and you can see the state of that girl by seeing it directly」(Elfi)
「……Ah, that’s right」(Iori)

I open the door and enter in the mansion.
As soon as I entered, I was been called out by a servant.

「Welcome back, Iori-sama. Karen-sama is waiting for you」

It seems that Karen has told the servant to tell me to come to her room. I reply and head straight to Karen’s room.

The inside of the mansion was quiet as the servant who seems to have been brainwashed seems to take a rest for just in case. There are only a few people working, including the servant from a while ago.

They walked along a quiet hallway and came in front of Karen’s room. It seems that she is still awake because I can hear the sound of writing brush from inside.

「……Karen-san, I have returned」(Iori)

When I call out, the sound stops. Karen replied, and the door opened immediately right after that.

「Iori-san! Do you have an injury!?」(Karen)

Karen who has appeared was changing into the loose clothes which seem to be a negligee. She called out to me as soon as she saw my face.

As Elfi said, her tone, state and expression is certainly like the same atmosphere that she had before.

「……I’m fine」(Iori)
「All that matters is that you’re safe……!」(Karen)

Karen had a relieved expression on her face when she saw there are no injuries on me.

「I have heard what happen back then from Elfi-san that I fainted after being attacked by the demonic being and how you two have rescued me……And I was worried to hear that Iori-san is being left alone」(Karen)

Karen who supposed fainted by the demonic being is the stories both of Elfi and me had arrange beforehand. Because, I don’t want to tell Karen about that talk of Olivia.

「Yes, I have cleared up the demonic beings. It just that……Olivia’s brainwash magic has failed and she ends up being attacked by the demonic being that she manipulated……」(Iori)
「Is that so」(Karen)

Only as for instant that somewhat darkened facial expressions of her have immediately returned to her usual expression.

「Well……I have to report this incident to your Majesty and I have to go to see the state of the labyrinth, too……So, I have to work on it soon」(Karen)
「……Are you going to start it now?」(Iori)
「Yes…… I’m sorry. But, I will also prepare the remuneration for Iori-san’s properly」

「I have not forgotten……!」said Karen with a mischievous smile as if to make fun of me.

……No, that’s wrong.

「I have heard that you haven’t been sleeping since then,
Karen, why don’t you take a rest for a short while?」(Iori)

Then, Karen shook her head in disapproval and reply me.

「There are a lot of things to do and I do not have time to take a break at such a time, too」(Karen)
「……But」(Iori)
「I am okay and more than that, wasn’t Iori-san who have fought against the demonic beings? It was Iori-san who need a rest right now」(Karen)

Karen doesn’t intent back down when she said she’s okay. Karen breaks off the conversation with that and returned to her room.
While both I and Elfi have no choice but to leave the place and told her「If there is something, please tell the servant」

「It will be useless even if you going to say anything right now, isn’t it?……So, we have no choice but to leave her alone for now」
「……Yeah, that’s right」(Iori)
「Well ……That girl’s word is also true, too. Iori should also somewhat tired, right? I suggest you take a rest once」(Elfi)

There is indeed a sense of exhaustion.
Although I able to keep on without taking a long sleep, I should just take some rest while I can, right?

After asking the servant to make a light meal, I returned to my room with Elfi. I lie on a bed and look up at the ceiling.
What comes to mind is the expression of Karen as usual.

「As usual……」(Iori)

Even though there is no reason for her to be that calm.

「…………」

Many sacrifices have created by Olivia.
The people who knew that would feel sad.
Surely many people should cry.
Even Karen would want to do that……

――A lot of crying faces.

「――」(Iori)

Noises ran into my field of vision. Someone is standing in a sandstorm spreading all over.

「……Kuh」(Iori)

The proof of the brave on my right arm is emitting heat.
I will bear the heat on the back of my hand.

「……Iori?」(Elfi)

How many seconds have elapsed?

My consciousness returned by Elfi’s strange voice as she sits on the next of my bed. My view returns to normal and the heat on the proof is settled, too.

「Is there something wrong?」(Elfi)
「No, I am alright」(Iori)

……I wonder if caused by the accumulated fatigue.
For the time being, I should just take a rest.

I close my eyes after I decide to do so. My consciousness fell down smoothly as I immediately fell asleep.

 

 

Fuu, I woke up.

Looking into the gap between the curtains, the outside was dark.

Is it already night?

Although it is night, the lights in the room are bright. By the way, while I am staying at this mansion, I think the light was always on when I get up in the morning.

It should be no other than Elfi’s doing.

「Suu……Suu……」(Elfi)

Elfi makes the breathing on the next bed while sleeping.

「Good grief……」(Iori)

I raised my body and turned off the room lights. Not by electricity, but the magic is being consumed by left on the light.
By just left it on, the consumption of magical power would become ridiculous too. Even though, she said sort of things like “Do not put out the lights”, but it won’t do either.

Although she got no body, her head looks a little fluffy.

Rather than my body, I may be tired mentally. I am still sleepy and should I have another sleep?

I yawn and lie down on my bed.

It was the time when I was going to fall asleep once again in the room where it became dark.

「――――!!」

*Gaba* Suddenly Elfi got up vigorously. She’s looking around on the bed while having a rough breath. Then she trembles and embraces her own body with both hands.

「I do not want it……I hate it, being in the dark……again」(Elfi)
「……Elfi?」(Iori)
「Please don’t leave me……alone」(Elfi)

Elfi got up from the bed and turned towards me.
Her state is strange.

「Ori……Iori」(Elfi)

I raise my body from a bed in responded by the feeble voice of Elf.

「Iori~……」(Elfi)
「……What’s wrong?」(Iori)

When I return a reply, I heard Elfi breathed a sigh of relief.
Then Elfi puts on the light again.

「……Didn’t I told you to don’t turn off the light」(Elfi)

Elfi glare at me while sitting on the edge of my bed.

「……Are you afraid of a dark?」(Iori)

Speaking of which, even on a journey, she tried to keep the bonfire not to disappear at night and I feel like she was showing such behaviour in Merwin basement, too.

「You are wrong, it just that I hate being alone in a dark and silent place」(Elfi)

……Didn’t you said that you scare of dark?

「Haven’t I told you before……In the seal is pitch black without any sound and light」(Elfi)
「……Ah」(Iori)
「It’s after I go out of a seal……I can not stay alone in a quiet and dark place anymore because my will body trembles as my breathing becomes rough」(Elfi)
「That’s why……you keep the light……」(Iori)
「……It was my wrong who did not explain it properly」(Elfi)

Elfi told me while cast down her eyes and sneer at herself
with “Sorry” or “please do not turn off the light”

「……It’s my bad, for not become aware of it」(Iori)

Although we have been together for a while, it is really pathetic.

「That fine, But……If you thought that it was your bad to turn off the lights……Then, have some talk with me till I get sleepy
because I have woken up now」(Elfi)
「Got it」(Iori)

Then I spoke with Elfi for about an hour.

For thing in the future, about brainwash magic, about labyrinths and finally some idle talk. It has passed for one hour and Elfi has got to sleep again.

「…………」

While keeping the light on, I also close my eyes as I lay down.
I get drowsy provoked by Elfi’s sleeping breath.

「……By the way」(Iori)

Just before falling asleep――.

Unaware of it, I become able to sleep without being cautious even though Elfi is next to me.

Such thing has crossed my mind.

 


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