My actions had good intentions, but they completely backfired.
I was on the deck of Partner.
The wind was cold, but I went outside in order to stop pondering about these various thoughts I had. However, the one who was really in an uncomfortable position was Livia.
Luxon floated beside me.
[A pet, was it? Indeed, she would seem like a pet considering the affection you’ve given to her, Master. Having doted on her like she’s your favorite character in a game, it seems you couldn’t say anything to her.
The annoying AI didn’t comfort me.
The words coming from this thing pierced into my heart as well.
[It seems that she’s dejected over genuine malice towards her at the academy. Her state of mind has become unstable. I wonder if it’s okay not to worry about it.]
“Aren’t you going to ask about me as well? I’m hurt too. My heart is fragile like glass.”
[Your heart is a special-made bulletproof glass. You won’t get a single scratch from something of this degree, so you’ll be fine.]
I had experience from my previous life. I held worldly wisdom.
However, Livia’s words strangely pierced into my heart.
I shook my head.
“This is fine. A mob oversteps his boundaries and gets carried away when he reaches out to the protagonist and villainess. This was a good lesson.”
[Don’t you think it’s improper to withdraw at this point?]
“You mean I should look after them until the very end? Quit joking. The protagonist refused being treated like a pet. I expect that she will be more active from now on.”
[How sulky you are.]
“How annoying you are.”
I got irritated at it calling me sulky. By that, I meant irritated from becoming aware of myself.
I got angry after realizing it.
A little while later, I spoke to Luxon.
“Where did I go wrong?”
[In this case, it might be that you’ve hindered Olivia’s growth, Master.]
“Hindering her growth? Hey, don’t joke around. I was helping her. I was lending a hand in the academy’s dungeon, or in many other──”
Luxon did not yield to my answer.
[She was originally supposed to solve those matters alone. In the short run, your help was beneficial, Master. However, in the long run, you’ve obstructed Olivia’s spiritual growth. It’s as she said. Master, weren’t you thinking of Olivia like you would a pet? No doubt, you treated her like some cute, favorite pet. For you, she’s a valuable and convenient girl in this world after all, Master.]
I instantly lost my tempter.
When I struck Luxon, it flung onto the deck and bounced before slowly coming back to me.
[Have you calmed down?]
“I’d like to hit you again, but my fist hurts.”
My face was burning with anger. I waited for the cold air outside to cool it down.
[I’m going to continue speaking. This is important for you, Master. While you have experience from a previous life, you’re like a child that needs spiritual growth, Master.]
“Spiritual growth? I don’t need that. Don’t you know the difference between adults and children?”
[If not in a physical sense, then what about in self-restraint or things of that sort?]
I had ample patience already. I didn’t need it.
“Nope. The difference between adults and children is whether or not they can adapt to society. I’m enough of an adult. I live in this world without trying to destroy its common sense despite having your power.”
For better or for worse, adults adapted to society.
There were many words to describe what it meant to be an adult, right? Those words related to an ability to adapt with society.
Children were the ones that created new values and changed society.
There were many that never became adults.
I was an adult. Right, a useless adult!
[The words themselves were touching, but they sound like a joke hearing them from you.]
“Is that so?”
When I sat down in irritation, Brad come out onto the deck. He held a sword in his hand and had a very disgusted expression when seeing my face.
Luxon hid behind my back.
“Practicing your sword?”
Brad briefly said “I’ll be borrowing this deck,” and began swinging within the cold weather. His abilities weren’t exactly that skillful.
Mine were still better.
“What about practicing magic? You’re specialty is supposed to be magic.”
Brad stopped moving when he heard what I said. Sweat trickled down onto his forehead.
I wondered if I brought up a serious topic.
“I know that!”
He pointed his sword towards me.
“What are you so worked up about?”
Brad began swinging his sword again, but couldn’t concentrate, perhaps from what I did.
“Have you been swinging everyday?”
“That’s a matter of course. This is necessary in order to become a knight.”
“It’s not really necessary.”
“M, martial arts is necessary!”
Even if one could use a sword, they didn’t become a knight just from that. It was a different matter if one was above the rest to the point of being called a master swordsman, but many others never became knights no matter what they did.
When nobles reached a certain age, they almost automatically became knights, though.
“I’m pretty sure you can become a knight without doing such things.”
Brad brushed aside his bangs in a pompous manner and then spoke to me.
“I’m doing this to win against you one day! We decided that we would keep trying our hardest until then!”
Trying their hardest. How laughable.
Wait a minute. Were these guys thinking of fighting against me again?
“Aren’t you an idiot. I’m not going to fight you guys anymore. You’ll just have to be losers for life.”
Upon which, Brad made a frustrated expression, but resumed his practice-swinging.
“Not gonna talk back?”
“If I had the spare time to, I would be using it to swing. I’m the weakest amongst the five, after all.”
I scratched my hair.
Brad was a character who specialized in magic.
On the contrary, he had no talent in anything other than magic. Due to him being such a character, he was hard to work with in the game. He was weak, but would charge in first and subsequently go down quickly. I couldn’t recall how many times I begged him not to charge ahead.
“You should work the hardest on your area of expertise.”
“I’m doing my best there too! However, I don’t want to lose.”
Brad opened the torso area of his clothing to reveal his chest.
“I want Marie to look my way. I worry if I’m not as good as the others among the five of us. I have the best looks among them. However, the difference in everything else is so big that I can make no excuses.”
This guy just claimed that he was the most attractive one without any hesitation.
Was he actually in low spirits?
“What good qualities do you see in her? She’s a flat-chested shorty.”
“It’s not her outward appearance! It’s what’s on the inside that counts!”
She was rotten on the inside! She was the one that snatched away Livia’s position, wasn’t she? She was full of personality problems, and her inner-self became apparent the moment she tried to obtain a reverse harem.
No matter what these people said about her true nature, I didn’t believe them.
“Even if you did say that it was because of her outward appearance, I wouldn’t believe you. She has no chest.”
“What did you just say?! Chests are simply for decoration!”
“They are not for decoration! Take that back! A woman’s large chest is the dream, hope, and desire of men. I definitely cannot allow you to say such──huh?”
Thereupon, a floating robot came towards us. It held two wooden swords in its hands, handed them to both of us, and then left.
Brad had an eerie expression.
“T, those lumps of iron loitering around are a little creepy.”
He backed away and was quivering. Brad was also a coward. A narcissistic coward…how bothersome.
He was scared of the robots onboard, but they looked pretty cute to me.
At any rate, there were two wooden swords.
Brad pointed the tip of the wooden sword at me.
“Let’s have a match, Baltfault!”
“Don’t wanna. It’s cold.”
Brad seemed annoyed and stamped his feet.
However, he resumed his practice-swinging while glancing at me from time to time, which was getting annoying so I decided to accept his proposition.
Brad was pleased.
“Well then, come on!”
Why are you so pleased with fighting in areas you’re not good at? Are you stupid?”
“I have better classroom grades than you, so I’m not stupid! Leaving that aside, I’m happy that I can challenge you. I’ll definitely win!”
Brad prepared himself while saying so, but he only had a decent stance when practicing.
When I approached and swung, he quickly fell back and ruined his posture. I couldn’t sense any talent from him.
“Hey, what’s the matter?”
I kept swinging, and Brad kept shifting around.
However, just once──Brad took a big step forward raised his left hand in order to swing. He swung the sword diagonally from bottom to top, and it was surprisingly powerful, causing my posture to falter.
I think it was just simple carelessness.
Brad got caught up in the moment and stepped closer.
“If I just keep the pressure──ah!”
Since he carelessly stepped in, I shortened the distance and struck Brad on the head with the handle, causing him to fall to his knees.
“It seems you really are stupid.”
“D, darn, I thought I could do it.”
I believed that he still had talent with a spear. During the duel, he had been thrusting a sharp object.
Brad got up and returned to inside the ship, perhaps done with his practice-swinging.
“N, next time for sure.”
I watched Brad, holding his hand against his head as he returned, while glancing at my wooden sword.
It had been a long time since I did some practice swings.
I realized that I haven’t been swinging by myself lately.
“I haven’t done much outside of class work. It’s simply a matter of lacking practice.”
I had practiced quite a bit before leaving my parents’ home. I had practiced swinging almost daily, but I had been skipping out on it after coming to the academy.
The reason being that I had been busy with a lot of things.
The miserable part was that reason having to do with searching for marriage.
Luxon once again appeared.
[You seem to be having fun.]
“You went through all the trouble to do something bothersome. That robot with the wooden swords was you, wasn’t it?”
When I pointed the tip of the wooden sword at the night sky, I saw the stars shining quite beautifully.
“──It seems those guys have a lot to think about as well.”
Brad was an unexpectedly hard worker, but for some reason that made me just a little bit happy.
There was a dungeon in the royal capital.
Inside were Marie and Kyle, fully equipped.
Kyle was carrying a heavy baggage on his back while complaining to Marie.
“Let’s just go home. I mean, this place is definitely dangerous.”
Marie and Kyle traversed beyond a sign labeled “Keep Out”, and went down a pit.
Marie, carrying a heavier baggage than Kyle, had lowered a rope into the pit while scolding Kyle with a bloodcurdling expression.
“Don’t give up! Our future lies ahead of here──a promising glory awaits.”
“I wish that we could have brought along everyone, though. The monsters here are strong too.”
As he was saying that, something creeped out from the bottom of the pit.
A large, lizard-like monster opened its large mouth and climbed a wall.
It clutched onto the wall using suckers attached to its hands and approached closer to Marie.
“Something came ouuut!”
As Kyle screamed, Marie took out a grenade from her luggage.
“Don’t underestimate meeee!”
She threw the grenade into its large mouth, and the monster’s cranium exploded when swallowing it, causing dark smoke to appear.
That explosion caused the wind to roar, violently shaking the rope.
Marie grasped the rope tightly, calling out to Kyle.
“Kyle, hold on tight!”
“I want to go home already!”
Marie and Kyle descended down the rope until reaching the bottom of the hole.
Kyle sat down when finally reaching the floor and seemed like he was about to cry.
While cautious of her surroundings, Marie lowered her heavy luggage and took out some tools.
(Alright. I can do this. I have the proper knowledge for everything up to here.)
In the game, she was able to make do with her own strength up until the mid-way.
She knew that there was a hidden item inside the area labeled “Keep Out.”
(If I can retrieve that──I can break free of this current situation.)
Livia’s face popped up in her mind.
(Right. She’ll be my stepping stone to happiness.)
Tackling the depths of a dungeon with only two people was a reckless action.
She kept silent about it from Julian and the others since they seemed to be busy.
There was one other reason as well.
(I thought that Olivia wouldn’t be able to do anything, but I can’t be careless when that mob is by her side. If I don’t retrieve what I need as soon as possible, I might go mad from my life plan getting beaten to the punch.)
After a certain matter at the school festival, Marie was wary of Leon. Perhaps it was foolish, but her intuition told her that mob wasn’t the type to be careless.
That boy was always by Olivia’s side whenever she entered the dungeon. It was possible that he was trying to retrieve that. Such a possibility frightened Marie.
Due to that, she couldn’t wait for everyone to gather and went to retrieve it during the holiday.
Even though it was irrational, Marie wanted to obtain it at any cost.
As she was preparing a shotgun, she spoke to Kyle, who was still sitting down.
“Let’s go, Kyle.”
As Kyle got up reluctantly, he carried his heavy baggage onto his back and held a lantern in one hand. It lit up the pathway for Marie.
“What is there ahead?”
“Follow along and you’ll see. When we get there, be relieved. We can say goodbye to our life’s troubles.”
Even though Kyle’s face brightened when he heard that he was going to be free of his troubles, he soon shook his head and made a complaint towards Marie.
“Wait, can we get back home safely before that?”
Marie walked forward with her shotgun ready.
She had a serious expression and was full of determination.
“Anyways, I’m going to grab the treasure that’s just ahead. Our life is at stake here.”
All of this was in order to reach her ideal life.
Marie advanced towards the dungeon’s depths with Kyle.
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