Chapter 80 has come! Sorry for the one day delay, I stayed too long at the gym and my pc was acting up yesterday. But it’s here today, I hope this didn’t bother you guys too much ><
By the way, if this chapter doesn’t burn your eyes, you have Fordoom to thank, as he took care of the editing, as always; thanks again!
For the patrons, Chapter 81 and its preview are available over here. Because of how long the chapter is, I made the preview longer than usual.
Anyway, here is the chapter, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
In the dusk of the day that followed the theft of the treasured sword, a certain report came from Elu. Harold, who was thinking of starting to move by the end of the day under the cover of the dark of the night, was greatly agitated by that report which came just before his departure.
It was fine that Ventus’ face was seen. It would have been a problem if that was not the case as the same had also happened in the original story.
『It’s very likely that Colette won’t follow after Liner. 』, that was the problematic part. According to Elu, while Liner wanted to chase after the criminals right away, it seemed like Colette’s opinion was the complete opposite, as she believed chasing after them would be dangerous and that Liner had better stop himself and fall back.
Huh? Why did this happen? This was the honest doubt that Harold had at first.
So he tried to look for an answer in his confused mind. Due to what had happened in the game, Harold had never considered the possibility that Liner and Colette would take separate actions.
Why would such a fatal deviation from the original story happen?
What was the difference between the Colette from this world and the original one? There was only one factor worth mentioning; Colette’s mother, Clara, had survived. That was it.
Then, which changes had taken place because of that? In the original story, Colette had a grudge against Harold because of the irrational killing of her mother. That was likely the driving force that pushed her to train herself with Liner.
However, with her mother being alive, then wouldn’t she have had no need to have any desire for revenge within her? This was not necessarily true, but considering that Colette had become a young lady who was far away from the bloody stench of the world of revenge and battle, there was nothing strange about her decision. Rather, it could even be said to be the normal choice to make.
Why would a girl like her follow after a childhood friend who was going to chase after actual robbers? For someone with common sense, the right choice would be to rely on professionals, although that did not seem to apply to Liner whose emotions always took precedence due to his reckless nature.
Well, putting that aside, Harold had a major problem to deal with.
If Colette did not follow Liner, that would mean one less member for the main party, which would be a very hard blow to the team’s war potential. In the game, despite her lovely appearance, Colette was a robust vanguard. Her physical attack value was the third highest among all the party members, and she had the highest HP and defense value.
However, when it came to magic, she was helpless. Her attack magic could only inflict damage on lower-rank opponents, and she could not learn even a single recovery magic spell. Even Liner could use some minimal recovery magic, though it wasn’t very effective.
As a character, Colette did not seem very girly, rather, she had a muscle-brain’s status that she made use of to wield a tonfa, with which she would beat her opponents to death.
Furthermore, adding to the decrease in numbers, Harold could not predict how this situation would change things from the flow of the game’s story. So far, it had already broken the flag of Colette’s revenge event, but there was a chance that, beyond this, the situation would have a big influence on the whole story. It was a difficult problem that had come into Harold’s path many times in the past eight years.
At any rate, in order to keep the problem’s influence to a minimum, and in order to control the developments that he knew of, Harold had to get Colette to join the party members by all means necessary. Although this was an early stage of the story, if Liner were to act solo, it could likely lead him to the worst outcome, death.
(What should I do? Though Elu said it’s just a possibility, if he bothered to give that information, then it will almost certainly happen. )
Even if supposedly this was just a very unlikely worst case scenario, if said worst case scenario were to actually happen, then it would be too late to act upon it. Whether the possibility was high or low, if it could bring him danger, then Harold could not overlook it.
Harold wanted to leave it to Elu, who was on site, and let him deal with the problem, but that would not do. Even if Harold were to get Elu to persuade Colette, there were no phones or emails in this world, so it would take some time for him to convey his intention to someone at a far away distance. Therefore, no matter how Harold would go about persuading Colette, if he didn’t go to the Bloche village right away, he wouldn’t be able to do anything.
It was around sunset. In his original plan, Harold was supposed to have left the town more than an hour before.
Moreover, he had already given Ventus and Lilium their action schedules. Telling them that they would be going through the fog valley after the sun made place for the dark, in order to make it hard for them to be found from their surroundings, and to evade the eyes of anyone that might have been pursuing them.
The two of them would not utter a complaint even if Harold simply split up from them at the last minute, but once that is exposed to Justus, maybe Harold would be asked about the reason for said change. With his ingenious brain, there was a chance that the mad scientist would start having doubts just from that.
He was Justus after all, a single opportunity could perhaps allow him to uncover every single one of Harold’s secrets.
Then I have to find a solid pretext to split up from them, thought Harold.
Based on the fact that Liner and the others’ assailants were known to be two and even that Ventus’ face was seen, it wasn’t unimaginable that some eye-witnesses would catch up fast to the duo by relying on that information. If there were indeed people pursuing them, then Harold could turn the tables on them as the third, unknown member of the gang, by knocking them down by surprise.
If, on the contrary, there were no pursuers, then the three people could just escape, as planned before. Moreover, by concealing himself within the dense fog of the fog valley, Harold could render his surprise attack many times more effective. With that many motives for it, it wasn’t all that odd for him to split up from the group.
If he was asked why he went that far, he would just say that it was a precautionary measure and it would settle the matter. If the pursuers did come, then there would be no mistake with Harold’s judgement and Justus would not inquire too much.
While thinking that, he instructed Lilium and Ventus to split up from him with the pretext that, in consideration of the possibility that some pursuers would appear due to Ventus’ face being seen, Harold was going to confirm whether anyone was following them to the fog valley, so as to clear his anxiety; and during then, if there were indeed some pursuers, he would get rid of them.
He also told them to just wait on standby at the fog valley until he joined them. Naturally, the two people obediently followed his instructions.
When it came to those two, it was useless for Harold to worry about them getting killed by monsters. Also, just in case Liner would come in contact with Ventus and Lilium before Harold’s return, he ordered them to figure out their opponents’ abilities without killing them. This would surely reduce Liner’s chances of getting killed.
Thus, after watching them leave together with the disappearance of the sun, Harold went towards the Bloche village, on foot.
Anyway, there was no more time to waste. In the game, Liner and Colette left for their journey a day after the incident. In other words, it was on this very day’s morning, or perhaps at noon; either way, it was early in the day, so no matter what, Liner had surely already started moving.
Speaking of which, Liner is on one very forced schedule, thought Harold. In the span of a single, nightmarish evening, his parents were beaten up by some trespassing burglars and his treasured sword was stolen. Yet, as soon as the sun came, he directly went to chase after the criminals. It was safe to say that he was full of energy.
Well, Harold wasn’t one to talk, he had gone to steal the sword in the last evening and returned to the inn before dawn, then, after only a few hours of sleep, he pushed himself on yet another late-night, five-hours-long walk for the second consecutive day.
He had also changed his action plan after receiving Elu’s report, and had little time to actually put it into practice. If he arrived at his destination a little early, it would be possible for him to borrow a horse, but if that turned out to be impossible, he would only be able to rely on his own two feet.
After Harold advanced for tens of minutes at almost a running speed, his ears caught onto some peculiar noises.
There were dull metallic clanks, and a loud, beast-like voice. But it wasn’t anything unusual, someone nearby was simply fighting a monster.
Harold was in a hurry, but when it came to the monsters that would appear in this area, there was none that Harold could not just instantly kill in passing. Therefore, while thinking that it wouldn’t be bothersome for him to help out whoever was fighting if he was in a pinch, Harold approached the path where the battle seemed to be happening. In doing so, he identified the person’s identity.
He had fire-like red hair, and a voice that Harold was quite familiar with. As it turned out, the one who was fighting against the monster was Liner, the protagonist of this world.
Harold narrowly bore with the impulse of saying “What the hell, it’s you?!”. Moreover, since he was concentrated on his fight, Liner fortunately did not notice Harold, who was hidden under the cover of the dark.
Therefore, Harold made use of that occasion to observe Liner’s battle. The monster wasn’t really strong, and there was a sense of stability to Liner’s movements, so he was very unlikely to be defeated.
Although he appeared to have a few injuries, none of them seemed like they would prove to be fatal. Liner had likely obtained those wounds from fighting some other monsters while he was on his way towards here.
Despite being a little worried, Harold decided to ignore Liner and let him fend for himself.
He didn’t think that Liner would be defeated by this monster even if he was fighting alone. Furthermore, the next town was right next to here, and there were no powerful monsters to be encountered on the way there.
But, above all was the fact that Harold was Liner’s acquaintance. Being the friendly boy that he was, Liner would probably start getting all too familiar with Harold if he were to come across him. Harold regrettably did not have the time to do that at the moment, so he had rather avoid any contact with Liner.
Thus, Harold took his leave from the place, but not before altruistically leaving a recovery item on the path that Liner would likely take after beating the monster. That was the best consideration that Harold could currently give him.
A few more hours after that, close to midnight, Harold finally arrived at the Bloche village.
By the side of the gate that served as the village’s entrance, he noticed someone’s presence. That person who was standing within the darkness was none other than Elu. It seemed like he had somehow foreseen Harold’s actions and was waiting for him.
【”You’ve come early.”】(Elu)
【”Tell me about the situation.”】(Harold)
【”Liner left by himself. It seems like your expectations were off.”】(Elu)
【”……What about Colette?”】(Harold)
【”She was worried, but there were no signs that she had any intention to follow after him.”】(Elu)
Without any hesitation, Elu gave Harold the information he wanted. Perhaps it was selfish of Harold to be thinking “Then go persuade her already”; from the very start, this whole problem was brought upon by Harold’s lack of foresight, so this would be quite a harsh demand considering that Elu knew nothing about the situation. Besides, Elu had properly accomplished what Harold had personally requested of him, which was to get acquainted with Liner and Colette.
I’ve gotta fix my own mistakes by myself, he thought.
【”Prepare two horses. I don’t care if it’s the ones that you and the others ride.”】(Harold)
【”When do you need them?”】(Elu)
【”You have an hour.”】(Harold)
Elu readily consented to the sudden request, showing once again to Harold how reliable he was. Harold really appreciated the fact that Elu did not inquire more than necessary. He also asked him to give out some instructions to the Frieri personnel that was still in the town where he had been staying.
Moreover, having acknowledged Elu’s generous cooperation, Harold was now strongly determined to reward him no matter what, by bringing some actual results.
Once he separated from Elu, Harold went to look for Liner’s house. From what he had heard, Colette and Clara’s new home was neighboring Liner’s residence. Harold had received that information from Zen, who used to peek into the Bloche village once in a while out of worry for Colette and Clara, and he had said that they seemed to be getting along with their neighbors. At the time, Harold had indirectly investigated the identity of said neighbors, and when the words “red-haired boy” came up, he was greatly delighted within the closure of his own mind.
As he recalled such things, Harold headed for his destination while relying on the moonlight to lead himself through the sceneries, which he still recalled, within the village that was not as small as the map of the game. If Colette did not accompany Liner, then she was surely at her home.
After advancing for a little while in the village that had fallen silent, Harold saw the house he was looking for. It was a two-storied house, that he had seen more times than he could count, there was also a wooden warehouse that was built beside it and a bungalow directly facing the house. Perhaps that bungalow was where Colette and Clara lived.
They had likely already gone to sleep as there was no light coming out of the windows. While apologizing in his mind, Harold knocked powerfully on the bungalow’s door. The deep sound of the knocks echoed within the house.
There was silence for a short while, then Harold felt some signs of movement from the opposite side of the door. However, the door did not open.
(Well, I guess it’s only natural that they’d be vigilant of someone coming at such a late time. Especially since there are only two women there, all by themselves.)
Considering Colette’s strength in the game, Harold didn’t think she would lag behind any man out there, but that had nothing to do with it. Their reaction was all the more justifiable since some thieves had trespassed in the neighboring house the previous evening.
But, even so, Harold could not withdraw, and he did not want Colette and Clara to be scared.
【”Is anybody here? I’d like to ask about last night’s robbery incident.”】(Harold)
For the time being, he tried to appeal to the fact that he was not a robber. However, his words alone were not enough to be trusted as the entrance door remained tightly closed.
Harold let out a sigh, and then, he decided to pull out his trump card.
Even if his bad reputation had reached her, as the one who had saved the person’s life, he would likely be welcomed inside. Thinking that, Harold pretentiously and conspicuously introduced his name to the person on the other side of the door.
【”I know you’re inside. If you’re going to oppose me, Harold Stokes, then prepare yourself for the consequences because ――”】
But Harold couldn’t finish his line. That was because the door was powerfully opened before he got to do that, and he almost collided with it.
He could tell from the other party’s state and facial expression that she was extremely flustered. That person was Colette’s mother, Clara. She was greatly surprised as she found herself before Harold, and her eyes opened wide with tears rising in their corners.
【”It has been so long, Harold-sama…!”】(Clara)
Translator’s note: Honestly, I had forgotten her name, but hey, nice to see old characters come back ><
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