Chapter 337 - Mask Removed
It’s probably true that they are dependable reinforcements.
Especially the Leopard Light Army———— or rather, that guy.
If Vysis still got a secret weapon……
If this battle turns into a fierce one……
I feel that his presence will be an advantage.
Moreover…… We can also use this opportunity to deliver the requested items in Mira’s treasury huh.
[I will send a messenger to ask for reinforcements.]
The Mad Emperor said.
He must have received the key to enter the country too.
The encampment where we are now is also located close to the Faraway Country.
It wouldn’t take for a messenger to reach there.
The Mad Emperor must have assumed this as well when he chose this campsite.
[It would have been great if Wright and Hawk, who were present at the meeting with the Faraway Country, could be appointed as messengers.]
[Is there no one whose face is known by the Faraway Country that can be sent?]
Of course, they would be familiar with the faces of members of the Fly King Squadron but……
[No, it’s no problem. After that meeting, in anticipation of such a situation, I had them acquainted with several people who could be sent out as messengers.]
He won’t make such an oversight huh.
The Mad Emperor also has to take command of Mira’s army.
Well, it is possible that we ourselves could act as the messengers and revisit the Faraway Country.
However, even though it would just be for a short while……
Is it really alright———— Spending several days in this place, I mean.
As long as there’s no clear movement on Vysis’ side……
I feel that the Fly King Squadron should move to the east———— in Alion’s direction as much as possible.
[If time permits, it might be better for the Fly King Squadron to go to the Faraway Country as the messenger. You could also have it as interaction before the decisive battle. However…… As for me, I would like to avoid the absence of the Fly King Squadron in this march. I do feel apologetic for having such an idea in mind but……]
[I think your Majesty has a point. I would like to avoid such a situation…… where we wouldn’t make it in time at a critical moment because we went to the Faraway Country———– And also, your Majesty.]
[ ? ]
I———– took off my Fly King Mask.
The Mad Emperor’s lips lowered to a frown, while his eyes slightly widened.
[…………So that’s your real face. You’re younger than I imagined…… However, why?]
[I’ve been hiding my true identity from his Majesty———–]
Saying this, I glanced toward the sisters……
[————and it seems that they’re finding difficulty skirting away from revealing this information. On this occasion, may I reveal my true face and original name to his Majesty? As proof of my trust.]
At my words, the Mad Emperor smiled.
[I see———— It seems that I have also finally gained the Fly King’s trust.]
A proof of trust.
There’s no particular disadvantage to revealing my identity here.
This is probably the only effective time to play this card.
After all, I have almost lost the advantage of hiding my true identity.
Looking at the state Kirihara was in when we fought, Vysis should already know my true identity.
Since Sogou already knew my identity when we met again, Asagi group, of course including Asagi herself, must have already learned the Fly King’s true identity.
The Takao Sisters also know about my identity.
The only ones who don’t know———– should be Yasu and the Heroes in Alion.
Right now, there’s no one in this world who would be troubled if people find out that I’m a Hero from Another World.
Well, as for the “Fly King Squadron” symbol————
The Fly King outfit should still be useful to some extent.
For example, his presence could raise people’s morale.
There are other things I can consider about.
However, there’s no longer any point in continuing to hide this from the Mad Emperor.
[My real name is Touka Mimori…… Yes, as you may have guessed———– Just like the Takao Sisters, Ayaka Sogou…… and Takuto Kirihara, I am a Hero from Another World.]
About the fact that I was dropped by Vysis into the Disposal Ruins.
About how I survived———- and swore revenge.
I revealed all this.
[————I see. The true identity of the Sorcery is the Hero from Another World’s…… Everything Is clear now.]
I also told him my intention of using the Fly King Squadron as a symbol.
Including my thoughts hereafter.
[Alright, let’s go with what you said……, ————–]
[ ? ]
The Mad Emperor turned his head away……
……and said my name, with a subtle hint of embarrassment mixed in his voice.
However, when he returned his face to a position where I could see his expression, he was already back to the usual calm Emperor.
[As I just said, I will continue to wear the Fly King outfit. However, as for the name———– I suppose it isn’t that important. Please refer to me as you please, your Majesty.]
[No…… I will officially keep on referring to you as Fly King Belzegia. Is that fine, Touka?]
Well, he can just do as he pleases for stuff like that.
[Let’s wrap this up once and for all.]
And so, we began to work out the details.
After we reached a moment when we could take a pause, the Mad Emperor looked at everyone.
[Well then, let’s try to keep Ayaka Sogou and the Takao Sisters’ existence here hidden as much as we could.]
[That especially goes for Hijiri, who we think is supposed to be presumed dead by Vysis. We would like to keep her survival a secret.]
[I also have the Fly King outfits for the Takao Sisters that Touka requested already prepared. They will be treated as members of the Fly King Squadron, and are originally members of Fly King faction in the former Ashinto…… They used to act separately, but recently reunited with the others in the group———– Did I get that right?]
[Yes. If asked for an explanation, that would be their background————- Are you two fine with that?]
“However……”, Hijiri spoke.
[If I decide that it’s time to use it, I won’t hesitate to use my Unique Skill. It would be a bad idea to jeopardize the situation at hand by being too concerned about concealing my survival.]
[I’ll leave that for you to decide. Well, think of hiding your identity as insurance. It’s not like there’s a part of the plan that will never work in this battle if you don’t keep your identity hidden.]
The Mad Emperor waited for the right moment to interject before proceeding.
[As we had planned, I will make sure that Kirihara is kept in our custody.]
[Thank you, your Majesty.]
Hearing my thanks, the Mad Emperor pointed his thin finger at the map on the table.
[First…… We will resolve the matter regarding Neia and march to the east again…… Seras Ashrain, I first would like you to try to find a way to avoid conflict with Cattleya.]
[Understood. Well then, it would be great if you could write a letter.]
[Umu, I will arrange that later.]
I have heard about this plan as well.
Now that the uncertain factor in the war, Sogou Ayaka is gone……
The success rate of that happening is high.
The Mad Emperor put both hands on the table, and in a commanding tone———- I mean, he is the commander of this war———— he spoke.
[It seems that the time for the full-scale battle against Vysis is finally coming. I look forward to the success of you all who have overcome many difficulties. I’ll make sure that we too will do our best.]
At that moment, a bell rang outside the barracks.
[The sound of this bell…… It seems like an important matter has come.]
Saying this, he exchanged looks with Hijiri, to which Hijiri nodded neatly and quietly.
The Sisters then went to the back room, drew the curtains and hid.
I also put my mask back on.
Seeing that everyone’s ready, the Mad Emperor rings the bell on top of the table.
A signal to give permission for the people outside to enter.
Soon after, Mira’s retainers entered.
[Your Majesty, Asagi Ikusaba-dono and Kobato Kashima-dono have arrived.]
The Mad Emperor had his retainers leave once again.
On our way to the barracks earlier, the Mad Emperor had already told me about this.
“”When you come back to the camp, she’d like to meet you”———- That’s what Asagi said. Kobato also asked for the same thing.”
Putting aside Sogou and the Takao Sisters, many people saw the Fly King entering the encampment.
I have been seen by the Imperial Guards and the retainers.
It would be rough to try saying that the Fly King is absent.
It’s also undesirable to create a sense of distrust with Asagi and Kashima.
Therefore, I told them in advance through Mira’s people that I was willing to meet with them as well.
[As I told you earlier, they should already be aware of my true identity.]
[Is it alright if we meet them now?]
[Yes———– I think we should meet them now.]
I knew that we would have to talk with them like this sooner or later.
Even if it’s just to probe the human named Ikusaba Asagi.
There was no problem with Kirihara, who was covered with a cloth on the floor in the back room.
However, can I reveal the existence of the Takao Sisters and Sogou Ayaka to Asagi here?
[Hijiri…… Would you like to hide and observe while we interact with Asagi?]
I ask Hijiri behind the curtain.
It took her a few seconds to reply.
[Indeed. I do feel like wanting to talk to her directly and find things out for myself, but I suppose I should see how things would go first. As for Sogou-san lying on the bed———–]
[Could you put her back in the carriage?]
Kashima would probably be concerned for Sogou’s well-being……
It is possible to tell only Kashima about Sogou’s condition later.
The other party is Ikusaba Asagi.
It would be best to hide the cards we had on hand for the moment.
With each of us ready, the Mad Emperor allowed Asagi and Kashima’s entry.
[Heyya, Fly King-chin. You’re my olden….. No, I guess it isn’t that way back to use that word. In any case, Fly King-chin had been an acquaintance———– since way back, right? Heard that from Poppo Expopose Ch.]
Asagi and Kashima entered the barracks.
After Kashima’s gaze wandered about, she then looked at my face, hidden behind the Fly King mask, and lowered her gaze.
She looked somewhat apologetic.
[I thought things might become too noisy, so rather than bringing all members of the group, it would just be us two acting as the representatives here. Well, it seems that there are some girls who felt uncomfortable with the way we parted ways back then. Nfufu, that’s why…… Can I have you take off that stylish mask nya? Ah, is it bad to do it in front of Zine-chin?]
[No, it’s not bad. Just now———— I told him my real name and that I’m a Hero from Another World.]
[Whoa, even your tone sounds stylish.]
I took off my mask.
Kashima gasped for a moment.
Back when I revealed my identity to her, I didn’t take off my mask.
In other words, this would be the first time since the time I was disposed of that Kashima sees my unmasked face.
[Ohh, the atmosphere around you changed, but you really are Mimori-kun huh…… Heehhh…… So you survived and escaped huh? Is the Disposal Ruin a dungeon with a name unbefitting to it?]
[I wish that was the case.]
Saying this, I looked down at my hands.
[The only reason I survived was because of my Sorcery———– my Unique Skill.]
[Yes, yes, that one that didn’t work on the Goddess, right?]
Asagi closed the distance between us.
Then, seemingly poking fun at me, she started nudging me with her elbow.
[Well, it’s a classic standard that Boss Characters have State Abnormality Immunity. No, there actually were Bosses where state abnormalities unexpectedly work depending on the game…… But well, State Abnormality Skills are really troublesome in the recent social-network games if the enemy uses them, and even if you’re the one using them, they’d be a high-difficulty essential skill. In games where they get favorable treatment, they end up being very OP. Of course———— only when it effectively hits, that is.]
[……In this world, it seems like they’re basically treated as useless though.]
[“Why does this game have state abnormalities? Even if the enemy uses it, it’s not a big deal, as after the battle ends, it’s easy to heal from. Besides, for battles, it’s much stronger to just buff yourself up and smack the enemies dead, right?”. Such comments can be seen a lot in various games.]
[It seems like my Unique Skill was the troublesome and high-difficulty essential skill that you mentioned.]
[Fufun…… In this situation, wouldn’t that theory we talked about back in the castle dining room be right? You know, that theory where the Abnormal State Skills was nerfed because the Deities considered it a super dangerous skill line…… It surprisingly feels like even Goddess-chan unconsciously avoids it, don’t you think? That’s why, she got nervous and decided to dispose of you early on?]
[……Well, I don’t really care about all that.]
[Ah, that so.]
[She disposed of me like I’m some roach———— she threw me there, decided that I was going to die. She attempted to kill me…… That’s why I want to make her suffer a fate worse than death. That’s simply what all this is about.]
I make eye contact with Asagi.
[It’s for that very reason that I came all this way, hiding my survival———– hiding my true identity.]
Asagi’s eyes, as lustrous as prayer beads, met my gaze.
The width of the top and bottom of her eyes narrowed slightly.
[Haven’t you thought that revenge is but a futile thing?]
[Not at all.]
[An immediate answer———– No hesitation in it. Heehh…… Is it that? Holding no hesitation leads to no conflicting thoughts?]
[You want me to feel conflicted about that?]
[A charm in feeling conflicted…… Not like you’re the type of person to have that. The current Mimori-kun, I mean. Personally though, I don’t see the charm of feeling conflicted about the righteousness of revenge.]
Without looking away, Asagi shrugged her shoulders.
[Then, you gonna take revenge on the kids in class who abandoned you?]
[I don’t really care that much about the people in our class. I do think some of them are rather sh*tty. However, in order to take revenge on that sh*tty Goddess, I will crush those who are obstacles————- That’s why I crushed Kirihara.]
[Hou…… Have you done him in?]
[Yeah, I’ve had the tables turned on him.]
[You didn’t say “you killed him” though. Ah, right, right…… By the way———- Did the Great Justice Girl President-sama went to crash the party? Did she?]
Hearing Sogou mentioned this, Kashima anxiously reacted.
Seems like she’s been wanting to know that for a while now.
Thereupon, Asagi clapped her hands.
[Sorry about that, Mimori-kun~~ Unfortunately, Ayaka-paisen isn’t a good match up against us~~————- Of course, physically dealing with her, I mean. After that, Poppo-chan’s gamble-like attempts to persuade her also ended in failure…… That’s why…… I thought Ayaka-paisen might have attacked your group and gotten in the way, yes.]
Kashima gulped, waiting for my answer.
A few beats later…… I spoke.
[There’s something I’d like to ask you.]
[What is it?]
[Are you our ally?]