Cross Connect Volume 1 Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Malicious Intent

Along the road, when I headed North I found a family restaurant.

Inside it was empty. But it would be wrong to say there was no human figure, I was welcomed by the hearty smile of a NPC as a waiter and was guided to my seat.

After called our drink, we started our strategic meeting.

「Hey Himeyuri, this is only an if—————*drink, bitter! This coffee is bitter」

「U, uwaa. Haru-chin Haru-chin, even though there is only you and me but you’re still a girl? So don’t make that kind of face?」

「Why, why does this coffee so bitter. How can I drink something like this」

「Not only you’re badmouthing you’re getting angry at me」

「Really………..bitterrrrrrrrr………」

I was not like I hated the realistic replication of the five senses in ROC. Though Himeyuri did it so I could fight my sleepiness. If she didn’t give me a bad suggestion I definitely wouldn’t drink this coffe.

「Nihihi, I’m sorry」

Himeyuri clapped her small hands in front of her chest and apologized.

「I didn’t think Haru-chin had  sweet tooth」

「This thing, although it looks kind of think and sweet」

「It would be nice if you talked more about yourself, really, Haru-chin is so cute. Or do you want to swap with my orange juice!? It even had a straw!」

Himeyuri pointed her glass to me.

Through the surface of the orange colored water, just now she sucked on that straw with (sucking sound). My vision was drawn to Himeyuri’s lips.

「…………Nihihi」

It’s a trap. Just like the yuri in her name, in order to have yuri she set up a trap.

「It’s okay. I can drink this. There’s no other way, I’ll drink this black coffe——————Ke-ho, ko-ho*」 (cough)

「C’mon, it’s dangerous to be hasty! Come one, just relax?」

「Ko-ho, a, aa. Ke-ho ko-ho」

「……….You completely can’t drink it ?」

Blooming a wry smile, Himeyuri went behind my back. She started rubbing my back gently. My rough breathing started to calm down.

Ehem, I cleared my throat.

「Let’s get back to the topic. Hey Himeyuri, although the story was a bit counterproductive and negative but———————–If the aim was finishing ROC, then which way did you think was the shortest.」

「Of course it would be to kill “the princess”!」

「Q, quick answer……..Although that was reasonable. But this is different? In order to discover the “princess” it would cost a lot of time, what I’m asking is the “shortest” way?」

「E. Um, let’s see, it would be “hidden treasure” right」

Finishing two orange glass, Himeyuri answered with sorrow.

「Looking while there’s no suggestion would be difficult, that means “The King’s Henchmen” also isn’t any better. Therefore the hidden treasure would be hot for player. More than just looking for some unknown person, clearly it wouldn’t be hard to just steal something」

「Is that so? What if no one collected them……..」

「Um um, it’s so. The thing called “Cursed hidden treasure”. There are total of 5 cards and its effect is like a restrain. The more you have them the difficulties you’ll have, and your card slot would be limited too」

「————-Then when PVP the chance of losing would be rather high. Ah, you’re right. 」

I put my hand on my mouth and yelled. I see, the winning condition, or to be correct hidden treasure was also a kind of card. Because we had to collect up to 5, we’d end up with 2 slot remaining.

…………Maa, however, that was still the most possible way.

「Hey, do you know its bad effect?」

「Um, there is one I know. Haru-chin, take out your device.」

Right when Himeyuri pointed at the device, a reflected screen appeared before my eyes. I continued to click the icon “map”.

Looking at the place that soft finger pointed at, I saw a blinking white dot.

「This is ?」

「Nihihi. That, is the hidden treasure《Hunted Evil》, I could find the position of the place who held it. Moreover, if you touch that dot—————–」

「Crossbow 《Enhance》《Return》《Revive》《Check》…………E, what is this ? Don’t tell me even the location and card slot is noticeable by all other player?」

「That’s right」

Himeyuri cutely raised her index finger.

「Just looking at it is scary right? Although I don’t know about the others but, this is definitely the last one. If you possessed《Hunted Evil》 we’ll be attack by other player.」

「Right. ………..You have to manage other cards too, but then you wouldn’t have enough card.」

Even though I said that I didn’t know what to do. Because collecting other card except 《Hunted Evil》 would be a better method.

Himeyuri nodded and suddenly stood up, and stretched her shoulder.

「Ưm~~~~~~~~,tou. Nihihi, shall we go, Haru-chin.」

And the, to finish ROC, the curtain was raised for two people on the same temporary battle line.

#

“Seems like a player who owns a hidden treasure is on a grade school’s yard. Spreading that his location everywhere then set traps and wait”—————In order to find the equivalent value to the information I bought, I had to throw myself out into the sky for countless times.

3 times? That was too little. 10 times? Still not enough.

—————————In total the number was 26.

「Just like a fraud………」

While I scrubbed my legs in virtual reality pain, I groaned murmuring.

That cold heart librarian bitch, she smiled boringly and spitted out 『If it was that kind of information you have to trade 7 rare spell card』. Unbelievable? That was outrageous.

「Maa, maa maa. It won’t do any good blaming her Haru-chin. Moreover, don’t you think there’ll be am urban legend about a Bishōjo jumping out of the hotel’s window over and over again? It would be wonderful if it were.」

「Wonderful my neck……….that’s creepy.」

Himeyuri feeling was always boorish as always.

But there was one thing which was completely correct, it was that there wouldn’t be any result blaming the librarian. However, normally it’d be right if she had said something like “if it’s about blaming the librarian then I won’t lose”, well let’s put the small stuff aside. Because walking back and forth between the hotel and weapon shop from times to times, I collected rather a lot of side stuff, if I kept being angry I wouldn’t look like a Bishōjo.

I needed to rearrange the information I just collected.

Everyone had collected information about the hidden treasures they were aiming for, hunting for unaware players that came close———-He is trying to “Jebait” others. He himself didnt need to act

But, how? How to continue hunting player who was planning on stealing hidden treasure not stopping.

「……………For now let’s try observation. Let’s go to the school」

Right when I entered school, suddenly a high pitched female voice resounded.

「2 People—————-don’t tell me you come for this《Great Bondage》!? Nee, do you!? You come to steal it right! Thank you. And let me repay the favor in kind! There for come and get it for me.」

The sun was rising right now. The black sky was being dyed by the early orange light.

In the middle of the drawn white line, a woman was squinting her eyes looking at us.

「I’m so happy! I’ve waited for so long. Quickly come here and save me!」

She kept screaming the pleas.

If you noticed the shoulder part of her cloth had been torn miserably and showed that part of her skin. Her dirtied bare feet was trembling.

「…………….」

「What happens Haru-chin? You look as if you don’t know what to say, nihi, or are you craving some?」

「Don’t be stupid. ……….Even though it was not directly looking but she’s no different than you. Just looking at her you spitted out the word crave, you gotta be on the pretty mad level」

「Naa, that’s crude ! I’m not the kind that like to show myself? Fiercely object to it?」

「Is that so. Then let me ask you, Himeyuri, what do you think about her?」

「Um, I think she cute? A no, it was miserable?」

「Only that ?」

With your personality I wondered where was your limit range.

「Miserable? There’s no such thing. No matter how I look at it this is exactly 200% a trap. There’s no one who would leave everything to someone who he doesn’t know. Even a grade kid couldn’t be trick by this.」

「Oo, it’s thinking mode.」

「But………..what is her purpose ?」

I cleared my throat and started looking at the situation again.

She, for a while now had looked at me with sweet words, I felt like she didn’t seem to want to leave. Moreover, just then she mentioned《Great Bondage》.

Bondage. That meant, it had some kind of weakness like unable to move or something?

If according to that thought, ragged up cloth and dirtied skin—————In short she was damaged and unable to find《Recover》or《Return》.

「……….But, is that the true?」

Question upon question in my mind. The effect of unable to move, was there no method to deal with it? The disadvantage of such card was too much. I could confirm that, it was impossible.

If I said she couldn’t fight against the bondage then, it was just like she pretended as if she couldn’t move. In other words she was lying. It was one of the necessary conditions to win.

Then, how could I link it with victory.

………For example if I listened to her words.

Because she couldn’t move from there or leave the hidden treasure. It was just that, about ROC setting, it was impossible to trade or sell card. Therefore there was only one way that was PvP and defeat each other.

However, with that trick she still could fight back. A world without law or moral but only had mutual precaution. If possible I wanted to use a safe method, like a range weapon, I wanted to aim at the steal spell.

And———–Right now, I had a “trump card” right here.

While trading with the librarian, sometime I got extra stuffs. Its effect was “move the card with highest rarity from the player in your sight into your card slot”, a super rare card spell 《Deprive》.

If I used it now, I could definitely steal 《Great Bondage》. It was just…………

「…..Not good, that would be too easy.」

If  《Deprive》 failed tan it couldn’t be call fighting. Moreover, even if I had the plan to win in the PvP after 《Deprive》, but in that condition, wouldn’t that be a battle for 《Great Bondage》between 2 people. She didn’t look like she had any weakness.

「But, if so in the end what would she do………..」

Looking at her emptiness, I thought thoroughly.

《Deprive》. As expected, no matter how I thought about it the only thing she was most aware of right now was 《Deprive》. It could be a bad trade. Therefore to 《Deprive》how would she deal with it? What was her plan? ————-I didn’t know.

Moreover, I still hadn’t known all of the card in ROC, not only that, even if there was such card as that it was an one time use card. Not suitable for continuing hunting.

No………Or was that a recycling card?

Or, that couldn’t be……..…

「What is it!? Come here quickly, it’s cold and I couldn’t take it anymore! Come here and save me!」

—————–A, is that so. That’s why she did something so ineffective.

While somewhat understand the problem, my hand had activate my device. Opened card slot screen. 《Speed》《Delay》《Enhance》《Teleport》. While arranging the common spell, I started choosing card.

「Cast《Deprive》」

After I cast, the card also disappear.

And in a moment, the wining card《Great Bondage》must surely be mine—————Didn’t come.

「Fufufu, ufufufufufufufufufufufufufufufu !」

After that, a maddening delightful laugh slammed into my ears. It seemed when I cast《Deprive》, she also use something else. From the start she had lie about the binding, with nimbly action she approached me.

On her hand was a blood soaked scythe.

While reacting with the twillight she aimed at my neck.

「Aaaaaaaaaaaaa !」

A shriek. Or was that a happy laugh. With a smiling evil face she slashed the scythe down.

A full body swing————-However, she couldn’t touched my body.

「…………..Actually. I wanted to show you some new skill」

「!!?」

「Sadly you’re alone, but that’s enough」

In a moment, with 《 Delay + Teleport》I “blink” behind and stabbed deep into her neck with the short knife, then slowly pull it out. With beautiful action, her HP dropped to 0. A complete kill combo.

「A—————」

She made a strange face and disappeared into particle.

「Nee nee Haru-chin, what did you just do ?」

「 U, o!?」

While I was confirming my device’s screen, Himeyuri blew into my ear from the behind.

「Nihihi. Haru-chin’s ear is really sensitive. Can I lick it? Can I eat it?」

「Stop, don’t be stupid」

「I’ll let it in? I must let it in?」

「Stop this madness. In face—————-Hyaa !? U, ha, don’t lick it」

She did as she said, Himeyuri restrained me from behind and started licking, while I was roughly breathing I covered my body.

In contrast Himeyuri was satisfyingly smiling, she put her hands on mine.

「You’re hot again. Just now you feel good right?」

「There’s no way ……….Though, do you want to ask me or not. I was about to answer you.」

「A, I’m sorry. Don’t mind it. What was that attack and defense, I completely don’t get it. So I’m listening? Tell me?」

I heaved a long sigh before Himeyuri eager look.

「It’s not anything difficult……….Just that I made it becomes difficult, weakness or something, then after thinking tht I didn’t know what her intention was」

————-It was just her crazy fighting style, I said disappointedly.

「? Um———?」

Himeyuri her tilted in confusion, maybe I needed to explain in more details.

First I used《Deprive》. Supposedly at that moment I could’ve stolen 《Great Bondage》. Because there was no card with higher then hidden treasure, so it was impossible for it could slip to other card.

However, the stolen card was not 《Great Bondage》.

That right, that was her secret plan.

“The case another player take a card from your card slot, leaving all condition, this card will surely be chosen”—————-Rare spell card《Sacrifice》.

A card to overcome 《Deprive》. The opponent had planned carefully so that I would have openings. Then she could just easily use that scythe. Wasn’t that a perfect plan.

………Not going to happen.

In fact. In truth, that strategy didn’t have any value. Just like the theory I just threw away. Even if that strategy succeeded, in the end the only reward in PvP would still be 《Sacrifice》 .

Moreover, she did “that”.

「From the start I didn’t look for her weakness——————-But that was the only way? People likes her only want to PVP.」

「Ha————–, I see————-」

After finishing the explanation, Himeyuri nodded and admiringly said.

「Using 《Deprive》with great understanding, so Haru-chin had moved a step before that person? That was unexpected………..Um, isn’t that surprising?」

「It’s nothing special. This is extremely simple, if there were a trap then I would only steal the card twice in PvP with 《Deprive》. ………Haa, though from the start of ROC till now I only see weirdos.」

「Nihihi, that’s so. I’s been tough on you? Don’t be sad?」

「Um, you’re not different from them? In contrast you’re the weirdest!?」

「Eeeeh———-, why, why is that?」

Himeyuri pouted her cheeks as if sulking and hugged my back tightly. I tried to turn my face away from that sweet girly scent coming from her. Accidentally, the soft silky hair touched my nose.

………Enemies are everywhere. I’m about to lose self control.

「Get away from me」

Why being pressed down by Himeyuri body, I once again touched my device. I’d been hindered for a while, so I still hadn’t seen the effect of 《Great Bondage》. It was very urgent business.

Right when I touched it to open the window——————-Its effect appeared before my eyes.

「Fu…………」

「Um ? Ah, are you looking a《Great Bondage》effect? Seemed like you could still move easily, don’t you meet with any hindrance?」

「A, right, ……….. In short it is “Lower SPD by 10%” only. So it wouldn’t affect much. At this much I could still move normally」

「Fu. I see, that’s good.」

「……………….」

I avoided Himeyuri bright face. ……..Maa, in fact, it was all a lie. 《Great Bondage》, its actually effect was “You can’t log out from ROC”.

Of course, from the start 『Kumoi Haruka』 had been blocked from logging out so this was not much problem.

It just, although it was not a problem, but it was my problem. Everything would become a bit annoying when my real identity was exposed. Once it was I’d die.

Therefore……………I could only play innocence. Um.

Himeyuri didn’t doubt my words I just said, she leisurely raised her hand indifferently.

「First of all we got one card? So let’s go find the second hidden treasure」

「——————-Wait」

In the middle of it, I interrupted Himeyuri happy voice. ……….Right now, don’t tell me she didn’t hear anything?

My face became stiff, I knelt on the ground and slowly looking around in vigilant. However, I didn’t saw anyone.

「What happened, Haru-chin ?」

Feeling curious, Himeyuri also crouched down.

That “sound”, it didn’t seem like a sudden sound, even now I still could hear it. A very weird sound. It sounded like metal grinding against each other, or the sound of strong wind whistling.

「_____________________ !!!」

……..In a moment, that thing appeared before our eyes.

A strange thing. A thing, yeah right, this was the unique look of a thing. It looked like a twisted human figure, or to be more precise from head to toe it was covered in heavy metal armor, it was not an “armored man” it was a “block of metal”. An object. A perfect function or bravery, all these words didn’t correctly describe it, a special form as if “indestructible”. Moreover its weight too.

Even though it was stupid but I could say it was the toughest metal warrior———————–!

「Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrry !!」

As it cried its battle cry it swung its right hand. It didn’t use any weapon. A, that would be unnecessary. A punch of this scale could crush the opponent.

Immediately Himeyuri and I looked at each other. Definitely immediately.

「「Runnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn !」」

Looking at the short knife which I threw easily got rebounded of him, we used all our strength to run away.

#

Lunatic Killing Cursed Warrior. That monster seemed to be one of the King’s henchman.

According to Himeyuri words, he (although I didn’t know about its gender) had a personality as to attack player that owned hidden treasure, if seemed 『If we could damage it in a PvP he will become our teammate』. However, till now only some small part of player could seemingly do it.

And, after an hour running away from that cursed killer.

Himeyuri had already log out. Since she was out of breath maybe she hit her limit. If wanting to rest then the real world would be safer than this background world.

After that, because I still had things to do with “me”, after I said goodbye to Himeyuri, I collected a few 《Return》and————-for now I’d use one.

「Um…………Mu ? Nya mu…………, um—…………., a………」

I heard an extremely erotic sleeping moan.

Immediately I opened my eyes. I opened my eyes and? Since when did I go to sleep? I fixed up my chaotic memory before and after the swap. ……… Ah right, Harukaze went to sleep to avoid meeting people. Therefore even if swapping mind but my body was still closing its eyes.

Maybe, Harukaze had tightly hurt the pillow and covered in blanket when sleeping. So I felt a little tight, my world was covered in the blanket making me unable to see anything.

That was the truth right. More than just my vision, I felt something very sensitive.

Why bed was this soft? Why was it this fragrant?

Being wrap in this warm comfortable heat, if I was neglected I’d be sunk back into the darkness.

And then, suddenly.

「Nagi………Naagi. Um…….Gyu———–」

I force myself to let go off that hug pillow.

I was being hugged by a not so strong force, my mind was shaking in suffocation and chaos.

What? What is this ? Was it another weird nightmare? A no, how could I call it nightmare, my whole body was feeling wonderful, a dreadfully wonderful feeling, though to start with—————–I didn’t have a hug pillow?

…………………

I quickly calmed down and yanked the blanket away.

「………..Munya ?」

Tilting myself, my vision became a big blurry, don’t tell me it was as I predicted, there was someone who I’d known the most in the world, Sasahara Yukina. She was wearing a two wire coat very looked very sexy, for some reason, she was hugging me and smiled happily.

The bottom of her coat had been pulled up revealing that white belly.

「Fufu——–………..truly Nagi couldn’t live without me」

「………….There’s, no such thing, idiot」

Being evasively before Yukina’s sleep talk, or more correctly meaningless words, I quickly looked around.

A room full of girl’s smell. White, blue, pink, orange….… A colorful bright space.  I couldn’t be wrong, this was Yukina room.

That means, for a while now I was sleeping on Yukina bed.

「…………………Ee」

What the? I slept with Yukina for one night?

In the time I swapped!?

「H, hey……………Yukina ?」

When I called out worriedly, she answered in a cryptic language 「Nyu nyu ?」

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Being clutched in her arms, I had no other choice but to reluctantly and forcefully get up.

Sitting up straight on the bed, I put my hands on her soft cheeks.

「Wake up. Hey Yukina, hurry and wake up, I beg you」

「Um………….Fu-e, what, what is it, stupid」

「Quickly and wake up, now is not the time to say stupid, stupid. C’mon, hurry up and wake up. Or I’m going to grope your breast」

「What, what Nagi, what kind of sexual harassment did you just said—————–Why,………….A-re, Nagi ?」

「Nagi what. It’s Yuunagi-kun, your childhood friend. Is something strange」

「…………….Oh」

Yukina blinked her big eyes in my hands, then she burst out laughing. So cute.

………. A no, she was truly cute but that was not what I meant. It just that she didn’t look surprise at all.

「Good morning, Nagi.」

Saying her greetings as any other morning, then while Yukina was rubbing her eyes she yawned and stretch her hands.

And then, she said about things that I’d never expected.

「Hey. I thought about it a long time ago, your friendly smile is really cute.」

「…………What’s that?」

「Because, your friendly smile from yesterday. It was rare? Suddenly Nagi said 『Because I easily get lonely I want to sleep together』that made me startled a bit………..How was it? Did you have a good sleep?」

「_____________」

Now I understood why deep within I felt relieved.

Completely not because of Yukina expression right now. Mostly because she had trusted in my need for help and accepted “the plea” of Harukaze. Really, as expected of a perfect childhood friend, nothing better.

It was true that I said if there was any difficulties come and seek help from Yukina ———–But sharing a bed was a bit too much!?

「~~~~~~~~~~~ ! Not good, I completely couldn’t sleep a wink! Now I’m seriously lack of sleep right now! Therefore, sorry Yukina, now I’m going back to my room to sleep!」

「A, wait Nagi, what about going to school!?……….. Moo, I’m not going to take responsibility if you’re late!」

Because I didn’t want my blushed red face being seen, in a blink of an eye I dashed out of the room. Putting my hand on the window I jumped back to my room. I closed the window and ignored all her angry words.

While tightly holding my strongly beating heart with my right hand, I straightly went to the study desk.

The thing I aimed for was definitely the swapping diary. Seeing as something was hidden inside the study book, I grumpily took it out. Then I opened the newest page.

I didn’t encourage her to stick with someone who was the different sex as Yukina, I was about to grouse her so ——————But.

「………………………Fu, Fun. I get it now」

Immediately I felt calm down when I saw her feeling, which was full of gratefulness that was written on that page.

Seemed like she had written all her feelings. The content of the letter was very lively and emotional. That pure, sincerity didn’t have any ulterior motives. She had trusted me unconditionally. With Yukina personality there was no wrong.

She had wrote in determination 『Although I’m still a bit scare but, just as what Yuunagi-san said, I think I’ll try to love this world one bit at a time.』.

Thinking about her feeling in that situation————–She was a really shy girl.

「Maa…………………. it’ll be alright if she’s interested.」

Saying so I slowly shaking my head. Then I sat on the chair and picked up the pen.

Right now『Kumoi Haruka』was owning 5 《Return》cards. Maybe that would not be enough, if needed I’d add more. Because of that I logged out near the weapon store.

First of all, let’s begin.

「Harukaze. From this moment in order to trade information with each other, use this diary and《Return》, I have something to talk about. Calling it talking but it’s just like communicating through letter? Well, in short just read it.

First is situation report. About me and you swapping or anything else I don’t know much about. Therefore, for now completing ROC will be place first. Let me say it now, if not I don’t know what this me will become. Your stuff is secondary.

Therefore. In order to complete the game, but logging in and logging out without any order would be annoying right? So I’ll take responsibility. I have to take in consideration of your naivety too, specially I’ll stay inside ROC. And Harukaze would just use my body like before. Do you have any objection?」

『Ee? I do. I object. Because, is it okay for Yuunagi-san? Am I bothering you too much? Even though I was called useless I don’t want it. I’ll also go into the game. So let me participate too.』

「That’s not what I meant. It’s not that I want you to completely enjoy the real world or anything. If I let you take responsibility in ROC, you’ll be dead if you woolgathering for 3 seconds. If that happened it would be bad for me.

And one more thing, it’s true I told you to relied on Yukina but there should be limit? Sleeping together is completely prohibited. So please bear with it.」

『Au, I’m sorry. Because Yukina-san was so gentle so I…….I will review myself. Um, got it, I’ll try not to hinder Yuunagi-san. So Yuunagi-san do your best』

「Of course. Because there’s my life.

First of all let me summarize things? Except for emergency log out, at every night I’ll collect a vast amount of 《Return》. Each time we swap we’ll report the situation into this notebook. You too, if anything happens write it in here.

The talk will end here.____________A, there’s one more thing.

Calling it limit but if it was in control it’d be fine. If you want to go to school or go out it’d be okay. Maa, to you maybe my body is boring」

『There’s no such thing. I’m really grateful to you.

As expected, Yuunagi-san is a good person, ehehe』

#

After finishing the conversation with Harukaze, because my childhood friend was waiting outside impatiently so I also have to hurry and return to ROC.

After meeting up with Himeyuri, I and her stare into the map and thought of our next move.

「———————As expected, I think it was somewhere in here.」

While saying so, I pointed at the five 5 “light point” on the map. In North there were 2 point, west 1 point, south east 1 point, and my current location 1 point. All the point was scattered, they were not meaningless.

This light point, from the moment I got 《Great Bondage》it was shown on the screen—————That meant, each point was correspond with the position of each “Cursed Hidden Treasure”.

「Um, in other words, when we got one hidden treasure we could know the location of other treasures, is that so? The hidden treasure attracts each other…………kind of like telepathy………?」

Himeyuri murmured and tilted her head wondering.

「What that, then it’s really convenient.」

「Is that so? If in that case we have to be ready PvP without prior preparation. Then it wouldn’t be fun playing game like that, moreover………..There’s also this. Not only《Great Bondage》, but the location of the guy who possessed 《Hunted Evil》also coincides with this light point. This is not coincidence.」

「? O——–, that’s right! Nihihi, as expected Haru-chin is really great. You’re smart.」

Himeyuri continued leaned on me and touch her finger tip to the map screen.

I was thinking about what she was about to do but it seemed like she was just measuring the distance between the light point.

「Um………..Will it be here? This is also close too. Which is it that Haru-chin is aiming at ?」

「If it wasn’t《Hunted Evil》then whichever is fine. Anyways we have to collect them all.」

And, saying that I suddenly remember.

「Right, before that I need to add more spell first. My card slot is already empty」

「That so. Speaking of which, you threw away that short knife right. Yoshii, then before going trading in the weapon store———————-we have to go jumping right!」

「……………A」

「Nihihi, urban legend ☆」

There was really no other way but that damn method.

And then, after done with the weapon shop, where we came to was Oue city third park.

Near the station, where half of the ground was covered in the greenness of tree leaves, the other half was built for balls game, one of the big rare park in this city.

In break day this place was filled with teenage who came here exercise, old man taking a walk and relax under the tree’s shade, but because I was inside ROC so this place was empty.

「As expected less player comes to wide places.」

「Um. But it must be like that to be balance right? The place where the populace is high, then it will be boring if it became an all out battle」

「A, you’re right. Then there wouldn’t be any need of strategy and cards, the only thing left was to fight and crush the opponent, then it wouldn’t match the concept of game.」

「A right ……………..Nihihi, a girl like Haru-chin saying words like “crush” makes me very excited?」

「What. At least don’t say it out like that」

While fiercely talking we walked into the park.

Different to 《Hunted Evil》which revealed the location, the light point affecting each other between hidden treasures didn’t have high accuracy. It could only tell there was one around here, nothing more.

Therefore, even though I knew the person who owned the hidden treasure was somewhere inside the park but I was still blind about his real position. An extreme story, maybe he was hiding in the push in front of me.

「……….Or is he in the jungle. As it’ll be easier to hide thing in the jungle」

Half believe and half not, I steady my feet and went straight.

No matter what, the opponent was the same as me, he could feel the location of the hidden treasure, so that guy also knew my position. The more I got closer the more danger I felt. Also, the opponent didn’t run away, meant he was hiding somewhere ready to attack, or it was some other choice.

「So hot……….」

The high noon sun was as if burning my skin. A small sweat dropped out my neck.

—————————–At that moment.

「Kyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa」

A scream teared up the air.

#

A small area inside the tree shade.

2 man were attacking a girl, her cloth was violently tore off.

Following that scream, I saw the scene which I felt as if wanting to vomit.

The girl was still wearing underwear, it seemed that scream was the final limit. Maybe it was not because she had lost her shame and fear. That reddish eyes because of crying had become lifeless, her lips was trembling as if calling someone’s name.

「Ko………..ki, kun………….」

Hearing that whisper I suddenly remembered. That right, this girl was with Izayoi before………. Seemed her name was Rikka.

Her scream for help didn’t reach him. As if to satisfy their savagery and their lust, those sexual offenders was disgustingly grining.

「Tch…………」

Immediately, my body became engaged, I took out the small sword I just replaced and headed toward those two. I was readying for the ambush, attack when they wasn’t paying attention. However…

「————–You son of bitches, don’t lay your dirty hands on my stuffffffffffffs!」

Really, the Izayoi Kozuki guy had appeared right next to me at that moment, holding his black seemingly heavy gun, he pointed at the big man then pulled the trigger.

“Pew, pew”

An immediately gunshot sounded. The man somehow dodged it, after looking at the girl regrettably he ran away.

And the other one, while letting out the “hiii” from his throat, he started keeping distance.

About this guy I remembered him. He was the guy who used that bizarre long sword. The bastard who wanted to rape me before. And now, in this situation he was busted.

「Hi, hyaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa !」

He scream and ran in the different direction compare to the other one.

A weak Rikka fell on his arm. With her remaining strength, she held her body tight, closed her tearful eyes and murmur as if having delirium.

「E, U………….Cough, cough………..Ko, zuki-kun」

「Aa, I’m sorry Rikka. I was late. Now I’ll go and castrate those 2.」

「I, so, ry……………….I, I was, lost」

「It’s okay, so be quiet. ……………Haa, don’t show this haggard body anymore, really」

Why being grumpy, Izayoi scratch his black tea colored hair, then he covered Rikka with his coat, then after getting patted, somehow Rikka’s pale face had become lively again.

「Tch, they separated into 2 ways.」

Izayoi grunted in furry, his forehead had clear vein popping out.

……………..What is he going to do.

Weren’t he a bad guy. This was  a little cheating.

「Hey.——————-Hey, don’t ignore me, I’m talking to you Tarumi Yuunagi」

In contrast to the angry upon angry Izayoi, he suddenly shifted his sharp glare at me.

「E ? Me (Ore)—————–Me(Watashi) ?」

「Watashi ? Ha, are you trying to mimicking fairy tale. How ridiculous」

「A? It’s very fitting, are you blind or what?」

Didn’t mind his defamation, I also strongly retorted. So dangerous, the smile of a Bishōjo was so dangerous.

「Ka ha」

Izayoi stared at me, with his mocking laugh he spitted.

As if turning 180 degree, this time he curved his mouth as if laughing at himself.

「Yuunagi, thanks for lending a hand.」

「Even if I’m not here you still make it. I didn’t do anything」

「I don’t care. I said you helped means you helped. All are base on my decree, whatever you say doesn’t mean anything. …………..So, I have something to discuss, can you help me clean them up?」

「What the, saying those words doesn’t suit you at all」

「Ka ha, shut up. When running away they don’t seem to have both《Return》nor《Teleport》, but if we let them run to weapon store or floating point it’ll be annoying. Even for a second I don’t want to breath the same air with them, but I’m alone is not enough」

Leaving those angry words. Agitation, although I only stand face to face and a few meter away from Izayoi, but I felt the surrounding temperature was rising, as if something dangerous was about to blow.

Ha———————

「Izayoi. To start with why are you here?」

「Ha? You think I came here to confess? If so then I’d done it in my previous life」

「Keep your joke to yourself———————–Look, from the start they were my target. I don’t need you to tell us to go hunting them. In fact they are our preys, don’t interfere.」

「…………A, yeah yeah. You are really troublesome.」

Izayoi waved his hand before my enthusiastic words. The he looked back at Rikka as if worrying about her.

Over, Himeyuri was starting to take care of her.

Drinking sip of water she took from somewhere, then using wet tower to wipe her body. Wiping her face, her neck and chest. That gentleness, I completely didn’t feel it when she was trying to rape me.

While watching Himeyuri—————-Maybe Izayoi also felt that Rikka’s expression had calmed down. He suddenly let out as if forcing it down for a while now「I also owed a favor.」.

「Then, I leave that side to you, Yuunagi」

「……….Aa, you too」

After trading looks, we slit and chased after each target.

Now—————You will pay for making me this mad, bastards.

…………Anyways I’d spilled out those cold blooded words, I had to end it with that long sword bastard.

Maa, anyways he had used《Speed》 to run away. Knowing a bit about PvP, full of experience, and also had a companion, even for a newbie like me he wasn’t my opponent.

「Then, goodbye.」

Saying those hard words cutely. The man body tumbled down and turned into particles.

Because my personaly had been resolved, I quickly activated my device and confirm my spoil of war.

Looking at the map, the place with the light spot was definitely the long sword user (he just died). And there was the big guy who I was not related to, although I didn’t know what happened to him, at least the hidden treasure was owned by him. So I had definitely stolen it if I won the PVP.

「This is. What is this————-, E?」

Unconsciously, I let out a weird voice.

《Corrosion Time》. The appeared card had a nice name. Exactly as I expected. Just that, why was my HP lowering in an abnormal speed?

I quickly check its effect. 《Corrosion Time》——————I see, poison. Or it could be said to be an abnormal status. Effect “Take a fixed amount of damage each hour”………….. !

This lots on myself wasn’t a bit too much. That had to be 10 damages in 5 seconds. If it was Himeyuri then the chance of surviving was  a bit higher.

However, to 『Kumoi Haruka』 this wa deadly.

The maximun HP was only 50, there was 25 more second to my end.

「Dammit——————-What must I do? Is there no other way?」

I tremblingly went through the card slot in hopelessness. Even if I had《Recover》 it wouldn’t be enough.《Return》 didn’t even have any meaning. Also, in ROC the way to “discard a card” didn’t exist.

「Even though I’ve collected 2 cards, don’t tell it all will end here………..」

I must not let my final moment be like this. Therefore I needed to mange it, find every possible method to survive in this situation. But, was there anything to help me? Can I find it? The place to traded card was only the weapon shop, but from here to there was very face.

In the end I couldn’t think of anything in the last 20 seconds.

Now my HP was only 10, the health bar had become dangerously red.

Righ when I was ready to accept my death——————-

「Cast《Deprive》」

Suddenly, the card 《Corrosion Time》on my hand dissapeared.

「…………..Uwa, what is this! It cuts your Hp down a lot!?」

At the same time, I heard an innocent scream behind me. With swiftly footstep. Waving twintails. The personality of a noisy girl as always.

That right. The one who saved me from that dangerous situation, was none other than———- Himeyuri.

「Why did……….you」

「Nee, Haru-chin Haru-chin. What do you mean why, you’re really cruel? Aren’t we a team. After leaving Rikka-chan to Izayoi-kun we had hurriedly chased after them………Don’t tell me you are still doubting me?」

「……………………」

I couldn’t answer her.

Maybe, the most part of my heart had started accepting Himeyuri. But my doubting personality was still lurking somewhere. Therefore, I always thought that humanity was always ugly and annoying.

Although, I didn’t plan on being so low I wouldn’t say thank to the one who saved me.

「Thank you. You just saved me」

「No biggie. Um, but we couldn’t handle this hidden treasure, although it was a pity but we had to sell it to the weapon store」

「Yeah, right」

I agreed with a dark face. True to what Himeyuri said. 2 hidden treasures with 《Great Bondage》,《Corrosion Time》was the card which I would lose faster if I obtained it early.

I wanted to take it back later—————But this time even 《Hunted Evil》was also a big problem.

Give me a break. Maybe I needed to think carefully about these 2 cards with cursed abilities. Too much murderous intent, without any help at all.

「…………Collecting hidden treasure ends here for today」

Mumuring with a small voice, I also knew myself right now was a bit impatient.

b

(Quoted a part from the trading diary)

『Today thanks to Yukina-san I was lead outside. I borrowed Yuunagi-san’s cloth but as expected boy clothes are hard to wear. Ehehe, I made Yukina-san laughed out loud.

A-no. Hey Yuunagi-san!

The outside world——————-There were human everywhere which made me feel very astonished.

At first I was very scared, but after Yukina-san took my hand and led me (This way it will be better?), slowly my fear was gone before I knew it. Everything was simply so bright, happy and the noisiness of the district. Or it could be said as the “lively” atmosphere. So I knew a little more. Ehen.

On the way, we met a girl named Ruri-san who jumped down from the tree (The people at the real world also live on it!), we 3 took a walk around the city. Even though the building and location was the same in ROC but, I was able to look at a completely different scene. Maybe this was the best day of my life, I was really, really happy.

And about Yuunagi-san do you need to swap back? Do you feel uncomfortable or anything? If there’s anything I can do please tell me. I really want to return the favor. Anything.

Because I am Yuunagi-san’s partner.』

#

Writing about《Corrosion Time》and being attack by Cursed Madden Killing Warriror attacked, I logged out to receive the periodic report from Harukaze then continued to return back to this world (ROC).

By the way, the impatience I felt a while ago had faded like a small lie.

Why……….Because, it was just because I’d calmed down.

Like being emotional at “being helped a lot” of Harukaze written in the book, it closed the deep of my heart that there was no crack that impatience could breach anymore, it was completely not because the fairy tale like reasonu.

—————I and Himeyuri was opening a strategic meeting in the family restaurant like before.

As to not make the same mistake with the coffe, this time I only ordered a cup of tea with lots of milk and siro. As long as it was sweet. Though it was rather feminine.

「Now, about the first victory condition, collecting 5 “Cursed Hidden Treasure” is impossible」

「Um, that’s right. That’s right. What are you planning to do Haru-chin ?  Or we give up and go look for the “princess” ?」

「No, actually I’m not that desperate yet」

Ho, Himeyuri  said in surprised and leaned her body to me in agreement.

Someone who had little enthusiasm as me, somehow had risen my finger and acted like a real teacher, I cleared my throat.

「Kohon————Things go like this right?  There are three kind of people in ROC」

「3 kind, that means…………like me, above me and below me. Something like that?」

「What is that plain idea. No not that, it was player, NPC and something else. NPC likes this store employee, people who plays the role of a guide」

In a glance the female employee here all had a synchronized smile and said 「what is your order」. Even their manner and facial expression too, all was perfect. Just that, I completely couldn’t feel their humanities. It was simply a non-player character no more no less.

「Um, then that other thing, not NPC nor player. Then there is only “the king’s henchman” related to the game completing condition right. They are camouflaged like normal NPC but real they aren’t————–There are definitely people inside.」

「That’s right, rumor has it that they are enticing people player in ura-game, or to attain them we have to go through a bloody battle?」

Behind the curtain of this ROC in the end there were how many monsters, thinking about it only was enough to make me feel uneasy, but right now it was not important.

The important point was only one thing right now. It was there was people inside the “King’s Henchmen”. If so, different than NPC they could react like human. Thinking about the candidate that could react normally I rounded them up.

Except the Cursed Madden Killing Warrior, there was the weapon shop. Then the librarian in the center library.

「If so there are 3. ………….Maa, although it’s a little untrustworthy, to see if it’s the true or not we have to go and confirm it. In theory if all is around here there is only 1 more person? Maybe it’s the case where we could complete it easily without notice」

「O—–!」

Himeyuri said happily and clapped her hands with bright eyes.

I understood her feeling. When losing one victory condition I was also very sad. Although seeing a new goal I still didn’t feel at ease.

「………..Um, a-re, but」

Having clapped her hand with an employee, Himeyuri became excited. However, in just a second she became gloomy again.

「Haru-chin Haru-chin, what about the condition? For Cursed Madden Killing Warrior-san “we must damage him” right, if we could not complete that “condition” set on each individual the henchman-san wouldn’t become our ally.」

「A, that’s alright. I have plan for it.」

After finish the tea I stood up. Drinking it all in one gulp was a little wasteful but if it was inside ROC I didn’t care much.

「First let’s go to the weapon shop.」

Welcome! After being warmly welcome, I and Himeyuri walked inside the weapon store, a too familiar place. On the second floor of the west building, the only shopping center of Oue’s city. It was placed in the same location as the sport shop in the real world.

The shop owner was a burly uncle who was looking at us and exposed a friendly smile.

「O, isn’t it lady Himeyuri Nanase and lady Kumoi Haruka. Today you two are also beautiful.」

「Nihihi, uncle still has his way with words as always. Um, what should I buy, do you have anything to recommend?」

「Come here! Then what about this? The replica of a legendary sword, Excalibur……… a sword that had destroyed evil. Although only its ATK is guaranteed」

「Uwa, what kind of size is this!  A, I can’t bring this thing?」

「Wouldn’t it be called romance if lady with your style bringing those big sword.」

「It’s not like I don’t know that…….. but it alone takes up 3 card slot!? Who could use this thing. I don’t need it.」

Himeyuri refused the offer of (the replicated) legendary weapon. He became puzzled after those words, but immediately he regained his sense and laughed 「Gahaha」. He curved his hair up and popped out his chest.

As expected, no matter how I looked at it he didn’t look like a NPC.

「A-no」

「What is it, lady Haruka. You want another plain weapon? With a silver hair girl like you lady I think a mechanic partner would fit well?」

「OK. When I’m old enough to drink alcohol I’ll talk to you all night about it……….A maybe not.」

Looking the happy face of the shop owner, I opened the device and deplayed my card slot. First I materialized the small sword Revia. Then I selected 2 spells from the empty slot.

At the same time, the effect of each spell showed up when I touched them————–In the bottom of the page, the unique word “Trade” flared up.

「”Trade”. I give《Recover》and《Synchronized》. For《Delay》and《Enhance》」

「OK. Here you go」

「I give《Delay》《Speed》《Enhance》. Take 《Sense》《Teleport》《Recover》」

「OK. Here you go」

「I give 《Sense》《Teleport》《Recover》《Iron Wall》. Take any 4 kinds of normal spell」

「OK. Here you go」

「………..What are you doing. Haru-chin」

As I was continuingly trading with the shop owner, seemed like Himeyuri had become sulking when left behind, she hugged me and pouted her cheek angrily.

It was this sweet smell and that numbness that always made my head dizzy.

「Kuu……….」

But though I’d gotten used to it. Truly I was used to it. And since I’d gotten used to it I didn’t care anymore.

「Tch, then just look at me. Let’s continue———–《Enhance》《Speed》《Teleport》《Synchronized》trade for one《Return》and《Speed》《Iron Wall》」

「………OK. Here you go」

The reaction speed of the shop owner suddenly slower. …………So it was around this?

「《Return》《Return》《Iron Wall》for《Enhance》《Return》《Speed》《Synchronized》《Teleport》 」

「…………………..Um, OK. Here you go」

Got it. I confirmed it. Although the owner seemed like he had kept his calm but, his eyes were becoming sharper. Being provoked? Or getting angry? All was not.

Simply I was confirming in my head if the set condition could be reached or not.

—————–The man who was the weapon store owner, while trading card he would simply said one line 「OK. Here you go」. However, sometimes he paused on his answer.

I was thinking about the cause of it.

First, the case if there was no stock left. To investigate about goods in front of the store it was when it was presented. There was possibility it would be different than the calculation from the player…….. In order to balance the scale when trading of course he couldn’t keep nodding.

However, this time what I asked for was 《Return》with the cost of 3 and normal spell with the cost of 1. As if normally there was reason for pausing.

But he was confused.

From there, another theory was born——————–The condition to become the weapon shop’s owner partner was to point out the correct trading card. Meaning “Just need to established the trading of X card for Y card to make him become partner”.

Therefore when he was told the few card, in a moment he paused and answered slowly………

「Next」

If what I predicted was right then the answer was really close. Because the limit of card slot was 7 card, and the value of each card was simply divided into rank as normal (1), rare (3), curse hidden treasure (18), so when combining them it wasn’t muchm.

「《Ehance》《Speed》《Return》《Teleport》trade for 《Return》《Teleport》《Synchronized》《Synchronize》《Speed》—————–What’s the matter ? If there’s anything wrong let me do it again」

「……………….」

「Uncle?」

「………..Fu………..No, this is bad. I can’t node my head」

The owner with a barbed head smile listlessly (it didn’t fit with his appearance), he slowly shook his head, crossed his arm and fixed the posture of his legs.

“Bing!”, he just raised a finger———and introduced himself.

「Very good, I’ve been seen through! That’s right, “The Number One Captain of The Imperial Knight Squadron” “Strum and Drang” Olfa-sama has been hiding in this “weapon shop”! Although it was different than our wish but it’s a deal, very well, I’ll become your partner.」

「……………..」

「What kind of plain reaction is that!?」

I didn’t know how long would it take to remember his titles, seeing that the shop owner Strum and Drang something something knelt down with extreme disappointment. As it was truth that my reaction had made the middle age man of this knight company or the wish something of our become listless. Because I felt a little sympathy I patted his shoulder “bop”

However, anyways————–This is a big turnaround.

「Hey, Hime—————」

「AH?」

「Hime, Hime………..La, lady Himeyuri Nanase! Are you free?」

「Um? Do you have something to say. If it was dating then I always did it with Haru-chin?」

「Ha, haha, is that so, what a pity. Failure failure. Haha」

That heroic demeanor I had just saw when to who knows where, captain Olfa right now only talked in a calm voice of a weapon shop owner. When his pleading eyes looked at me, I only sighed.

The king’s henchmen, they all knew 『Kumoi Haruka』 was the princess————- I only just knew this surprising information. That was the result when I interrogated Olfa with this cute voice behind the shop, and then made him 4 times blurted out as he called me “Hime” and “My ledge”.

Or to be more precise, 『It would be strange if the related people doesn’t know your face right?』……. Because I couldn’t deny it I became a bit annoyed.

「Then」

「O, Oh !?」

The shop owner returned to his demeanor when he saw my upset face.

「What’s the matter, lady Kumoi Haruka !?  A no, it must be Kumoi Haruka-sama」

「What’s the different between them……….Well whatever, I have something to ask you. The card《Corrosion Time》, you just got it recently. Did you sell it ?」

「……………..Hee?」

Before my question, the one who let out a strange voice was Himeyuri. For some reasons, she avoided our eyes and just like that intervene the talk.

「Why, why do you need that card? Didn’t we give up on the first wining condition………..?」

「A, um. That’s right」

In order to collect my thought, I gently used my index and scratch the back of my head.

《Corrosion Time》 in truth was a card in the wining condition series. It was just that, there was the possibility there was only one card of that kind and couldn’t be replaced by other.

It was an abnormal condition. Taking damage constantly. Or to be more precise poison.

Now, although it was “poison” to the mysterious buyer in the real world, but to social game player and RPG it would be understood by another meaning.

That right———————to someone with high defense poisoning them would be a strategy.

「It was the cursed madden killing warrior Himeyuri. We couldn’t pierce his defense in a normal way. If there was any other way I would be ready and prepared it already, and one of it was 《Corrosion Time》」

「A……..but, but how to do it? We can’t give the card to the enemy?」

「Ah, the card itself can’t apply to him. But we could copy the abnormal condition with 《Synchronize》. ………….From the start, if using synchronize his defense would also disappear, and I could win afterward. However when thinking about it carefully, it was not like he couldn’t run away in that situation. While《Synchronize》he would《Teleport 》and could《Return》」

「Therefore……………When we are poison by《Corrosion Time》it was the time to deal damage」

Himeyuri nodded in admiration.

However, her face looked a bit darker than normal. Ah no, compare to saying it was dark she was just somewhat embarrassed.

「……….Himeyuri ?」

「Eh!?  W,what’s the matter Haru-chin !?  Today you look extremely cute!!?」

「No, that’s my line……….Moreover, the way you change the subject is very armature」

「Is, is that so, that’s right that’s right ! Um, I know that !  I always know that」

「Are you okay」

Looking at the strange appearance of Himeyuri I heaved a sigh. I knew why she became fidgeting like that. Now there was nothing to stop it. I suddenly felt uncomfortable.

This reaction…….It was that.

To prove it, for a while now the shop owner just shook his head and thought deeply, after that he said the true.

「……….A, because? From the start, I didn’t import the rare card called《Corrosion Time》? Have you mistaken, lady」

「———————-!! W, what are you saying !」

「Eh ?  I only said the true」

「~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~」

Unable to speak out. Himeyuri face became pale.

While ignoring those words, I myself felt a disappointment.

————————-At that time, Himeyuri said she would bring 《Corrosion Time》 to sell at the weapon store. However that exchange did not happen. If looking at that action it could only be said as she had 《Deprive》《Corrosion Time》from me.

If so then Himeyuri approached someone who was going to finish the game like me in order to collect hidden treasure for someone else?

Her suspiciously intimate action until now of her, all was a trap to keep me down?

An uncomfortable feeling was raging inside my mind.

What should I do now. What should I say. Wasn’t it from the beginning I’d already known. All those who approached me always have malicious intent, they only wanted to trick me, beat up and kill me. If I didn’t think so I couldn’t survive. Wasn’t I already known that for sure.

「Ha, Haru-chin ?」

Himeyuri stared at me as if wanting to say something. I didn’t even know what she was going to do. That look, that scent or any other nonsense was only tricks. I must not trust it. Must not trust.

Because no matter where I am, I’m always alone.

「Haru-chin !!!」

「!? W,what is it…………..?」

Suddenly being yelled into my ear, my calmed mind just came back. In front of my eyes was the figure of Himeyuri with a red face as if she was angry.

「Haru-chin, listen to me. No, look at me?」

「What is it. The problem about you I’m not going to——————–Hah?」

The dark way of thinking in my head suddenly become “chaotic”, in a blink it was blown away.

I unconsciously looked her again————————Himeyuri’s card slot was making me face up and look. Over there there was the 《Corrosion Time》.

Then Himeyuri said.

「Sorry? Because I lied. But, it’s not like I’m going to give it to someone. I had a very important business」

「No………….it couldn’t be」

I said in bewilderedness.

「This, you’ve hold this for a few hours? No matter how much your HP is. Even with all the 《Recover》card you couldn’t survive it」

「E, e-to, it’s that. Bonus synchronize? Combining《Recover》and《Iron Wall》it will regenerate in a fix time. Ah, generating here means recovering HP continuously」

「That I know. But maintaining it for several hour is not simple」

「A…………….Um, it’s impossible……….?」

Himeyuri clapped her hand behind her back playing dumb, she looked at me sadly. No matter how much HP you had it was very difficult to maintain it.  In order to analyse it was not simple.

Because of that I had to urge my head, using my all to turn the situation around.

《Corrosion Time》 was the kind of hidden treasure that continuously damaging the owner for a fixed amount. That effect wouldn’t disappear as long as the player was still holding it. Even though you could recover your HP with normal spell but, it could only last for a few hours, or to be more precisely it was impossible.

However, in reality Himeyuri had done it.

How did she do it? My brain really wanted to know. The effect of《Corrosion Time》, to player it was an “Inevitable” item. The time limit, or to be more precise, if possible we should collect it last, the remaining time was to complete the game.

「………….A」

Thinking about it, suddenly I remembered.

Yes, yes, it must be. There was play that wouldn’t die when keeping possess of 《Corrosion Time》. If there was they were cheating, so it was impossible.

If—————-if I assumed Himeyuri from the start was not a player, then what?

「……………..Hey, Himeyuri. I got something to ask you」

「Wh, what is it?  If it’s a request from Haru-chin then I’ll answer anything? Even if it was my three sizes, the kind of girl I like and even my most sensitive spot——————–」

「You. The truth is from the start you had already known I was the princess right」

「!?」

Himeyuri opened her eyes wide in surprise. Her breathing was rough, her lips opened an closed, awhile later she started talking.

「What are you saying Haru-chin!? That’s no good, what if someone heard it———————–A」

「Ho-ra, as expected you knew」

「U,~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~」

After an action as if putting her hat down, Himeyuri crouched down and put her head on her knees. The gap between her arms let out small groans.

…………..That was right. If I tried to think about it there was a lot of suspicious point.

In order to have information had to go buy the guide myself. And the thing she ignore the truth of『Kumoi Haruka』first time logging out. Also there was the frequency of meeting as if she knew before hand my location.

And now, just to be sure…

「The information about the event in ROH. Himeyuri, do you still remember?」

「Eh? That was the princess could not log out from the game? But, I’ve said it before, that was completely not a guide?」

「Ah, about that. It was to trick me. The real information deployed in the event was the opposite……………That was the words “2 faced princess”」

「A—————」

「That right. The words “2 face” have 2 meaning. ……………..It was “Conspiracy – Divide from the Imperial” and “Inside the princess there are 2 people”. ………..Maa, normally for the context it meant conspiracy, and the inside nobody would think of. However, both me and Harukaze if we were chased by you it would be very dangerous. But you didn’t kill me.」

The reason was simple. From the start Himeyuri knew I was the princess, but even so, killing me was not needed.

In other words, from the start she wasn’t a player.

「There are 3 kind of people in this Ura-game, I told you that right. If you aren’t NPC, nor are you player, then there is only one option left. The wining condition, you are the king’s henchman—————-Right ? Himeyuri」

「……………..Nihihi」

Himeyuri’s face suddenly became stiff and she heaved a sigh s if wanting to give up. “Um……” why humming she stood up, then let out a naughty smile.

「Exactly. ————–The real identity of Himeyuri Nanase is “Captain of the Imperial Guard” with the role of playing as a player, or toy could call me a head maid, someone who takes care of the princess? Is that right, my master?」

While saying so Himeyuri held the hem her skirt, lifted it up a bit and bowed greeting me. A very noble way of greeting. But I’d never heard of any kind of noble who exposed that slender thigh behind the skirt which was 20 cm higher then her knees.

「A———-a」

However, the dark atmosphere before had been extinguished after that action. A just now depressed Himeyuri had become lively again.

「I’m not going to expose myself. But Haru-chin is really sharp」

No, that was because you exposed 《Corrosion Time》. If not for it I wouldn’t know, maybe.」

「Um, but but, if bringing it we could complete the game right? Nihihi, actually I was set up that after I died I’ll reincarnate right beside Haru-chin. While talking to Haru-chin I had died a few times?」

「You gotta be kidding me. …………..Therefore you held into that《Corrosion Time》」

I answer in wide surprise. Thinking of a strategy, applied it to the real life or when chatting with her, I felt like an idiot.

「…………………..Fuu」

I silently lowered my face avoiding and heaved a long sigh. Once again, my eyes and Himeyuri met.

「Can I ask you one more thing? You are not the player of ROC. Then you must be at natural position. Why do you help me so much?」

「E, that’s for me to decide. From the start my setting was the head maid of “the princess” was not a hostile position…………Moreover」

「Moreover ?」

「Nihihi, if it was Haru-chin you would understand ? Or do you want me to spill to out? Um?…………Nihi. You see, I’m really worry about Haru-chin. No matter if the inside was Harukaze-chan or Yuunagi-kun?」

「………………..」

Being told that directly I couldn’t say anything.

My cheeks blushed red before that “enthusiastic” look of Himeyuri.

「—————–Other than that I don’t have interest in nothing else」

And then, she said something I felt like I’d heard it somewhere.

「Haru-chin have you heard of it? Sphia U-ra game, the place which is responsible for building the third advance technology. There is someone who is at the top name Tendou Byakuya. At the age of 20, he rose to the position of chef of Sphia. He could be say to be a genius」

「………..Ah, I know. I met him once」

A game master running all of Ura-game, Tendou Byakuya.

It wasn’t like I didn’t know. He was a devil, instead of granting my wish he carved deep inside my mind an incurable wound. Unconsciously, I held my hand and bit my teeth on the soft lips.

「That’s right! That’s him!」

Not paying attention to my appearance, Himeyuri started to say excitedly.

「Game created by that monster genius had been completed by a player in a grand way with unimaginable speed. Even after a few months there was no one who could obtain victory, but there was one player who could complete it in a week!

A first recognition in Sphia history, sympathy or irresponsibility, all about that damn game was discarded.

Because of that all the player was stuck behind, some become disabled, some had mental instability, even though it was not elated to the underworld bt that game became the absolute recognition!!

「The one who obtain victory perfectly————————–Or ended it was Yuunagi-kun. If not because of Yuunagi-kun that game would never end. That an ending would undoubtedly drag in more victim………….Nihihi, really you look like a hero. After that it would be strange if I don’t pay attention to you? How could I be not excited!?

Therefore I’m really, really, really, really wanted to see you. I’m really curious ?」

「……………….Fu, hm, only weirdo comes close to me」

「E, I’m not like Izayoi- kun. It’s just that following a cute girl like Haru-chin would be really fun?」

「I told you, from the start I don’t want companion!?」

While pointing, Himeyuri smiled 「Nihihi」, she was only standing one step in front of me. Even though it was not a intended action but I felt like the atmosphere around me just changed. Speaking of which, Himeyuri was really good in sensing “feeling distance” with me.

「Hey, that ROC —————-It was a game created just for Harukaze-chan」

He tone suddenly changed. It was like a whisper or a prayer.

「Um, or to be more precise in order to abandon Harukaze-chan. The genius Tendou Byakuya has used all means to bully Harukaze-chan, to make her fear the game she was born like that. Therefore, maybe the gap for Haru-chin to finish this game is just as small as a needle hole」

「A needle hole」

「Nihihi, a good “scowled face” Haru-chin. I had thought about “that thing”. Because I’m at a neutral position, I could spy Harukaze-chan from the shadow but I couldn’t become her ally. Therefore the only person who could fill that gap is only you Yuunagi-kun. Right, is that right? Dear late prince.」

Himeyuri swung her twin tails, even though her words sound jokingly. But her eyes were filled of challenging and were expecting something.

—————–Why was it me, though right now I didn’t even care about it anymore.

「Himeyuri. Trade 《Corrosion Time》for 6 rare spell and then buy it again. After that confirm about 《Synchronize》. Even if re-enter the hidden treasure you’ll be attacked by cursed maddened killing warrior, therefore we only need to use 《Synchronize》 immediately in the effective range and we can complete the condition.

Although it’s a little different than the plan but, counting the weapon shop owner, Himeyuri and curse maddened killing warrior——————then we got three people」

「E, eh?」

Himeyuri blink continuously when I returned the topic back to ROC.

「E-to, Haru-chin ? I also don’t want to talk about this but, I’ve always lied to you Haru-chin? An you still want to travel with me? Don’t need to disband the party………..?」

「In order to defeat the enemy this was the best time」

「N, no, that not what I mean! I mean, e-to」

「…………..Aa, moo. What is it now」

Before a Himeyuri who was acting hesitantly, I became irritated and scratch the back of my neck.

Dammit, I understood what she wanted to say but you also had to understand it yourself. I was also embarrassed about this problem…………..Moreover, from the start she knew I was inside 『Kumoi Haruka』. Only thinking about that I felt not good. My whole body right now was feeling really hot.

However———————-Doubting Himeyuri right now was unnecessary.

「Listen? It’s not like I don’t trust you or anything. Not like it’s going to happen. However, if you are not a player then for better or worse you are still better than others………..Right, I don’t say that I trust you or want you to be my ally. If you’re fine with it then follow me Himeyuri. At least do it for the body of 『Kumoi Haruka』」

「………………..」

Right when I finished my words, upon Himeyuri eyes tears had begin to flow.

Maybe, right from the start she herself didn’t have any scheme. She looked down as if avoiding me and slowly wiped her tears with both her hands.

And then———————As if turning 180 degree.

Himeyuri had regained her liveliness, she hugged me and let out a smiled.

「Nihihi, can’t be helped !」

#

『———————-I’m sorry. I can’t become your partner』

I just needed to copy 《Corrosion Time》that I could deal damage on cursed maddened killing warrior as what I expected, I was shocked when I knew the inside was a handsome man like the librarian, the moment that nonchalant face let out a smile it was like a punch to my face (a merciless punch).

After that, there was a notice that said it allowed us to communicate through the device.

After introduced himself as “Hero”, and was the last of “the king’s henchmen”, then he started saying in a calm voice.

『First of all, allow me to congratulate you two. I will be called out when the player completed the condition “3 allies”. As usual, the condition needed to be completed will appear and point of my location.』

For some reasons the hero talk seemed instability.

If it was right to what I imagined what came after that talk would be 『However』.

『That was the case of normal player——————-And like that it would be simple. Till that point I could say 「I get it. Everyone can trust this group. That king is really terrible」………… But from the start other than you no one could come to my place right』

「? What do you mean. Even Himeyuri true identity was exposed was complete coincidence it was still a possibility.」

『No. Don’t you hear it about her? The condition to add the captain of the imperial guard is “player has to see through her true identity when she is disguising”, and one thing “never have an intention of killing the princess”. Even for once, if the player wants to kill the princess they will lose the chance to become her ally.  Therefore I also couldn’t be passed………. However』

Suddenly the hero voice became heavy. A tone talking about truth as if he was praying for passage.

『Once again, you being here is destiny. Now let’s talk about the intention. 「I will become your ally? ………..Fine, but even if I said so? When you have prepare to set me up. If you come here by force I’ll fight back with force』

「Ha……………?」

『It seemed I was set up for doubt, that was always have to be careful of the scheming princess. ——————Maa, from the start the condition was set up in order to camouflaging me, or to be more precise it was to avoid completion. So I’m really sorry.』

「…………you gotta be kidding me」

『Right. A, please don’t misunderstand. I’m only talking on the view point of a “hero”, therefore I don’t hate you or anything』

Finishing an one-sided talk, I heaved annoyingly. This hastiness had not gained me anything. I crouched down and clutched my head with my hands.

—————-For a moment I lost my calm. Well that was obvious.

Camouflage. Camouflage? If what the hero said was right, the second wining condition was a trick. And therefore only one road that was pointed out, that was from the start there was no end point. Looking for 4 people, complete the rebellion army could not be completed.

A no, not only that. if so then 『Kumoi Haruka』would be completely isolated.

「…………!」

The moment I realized it make my head want to scream out.

However, ah right. That right. With only a small amount of HP of 『Kumoi Haruka』it couldn’t maintain《Corrosion Time》. Because the problem of view point she couldn’t get the corporation from “the hero”. In short killing the princess meant suicidal, but so before that it was game over.

「What is this……….! Why, why has it become like this !? It’s like———————from the start there’s no way the princess could win………!」

In this desperate time, I could only sigh and scream out.

No………..I knew that. I knew that very well. It was truth Himeyuri said my chance of victory was as small as the nidle hole, it was not wrong that this was the nature of Sphia. However.

「Unbelievable !」

I couldn’t see my winning chance. It’d been a while since I felt this depressing feeling.

Don’t tell me——————the existence of Harukaze was set up as a prey only to be hunted? I don’t understand what the heck Sphia is doing?

「I don’t get it…………Dammit!」

Boom, to reflect the pain of me punching the wall strongly, tears running on the cheek of a weakling like me.

『Player name: Kumoi Haruka.

Collecting “Cursed Hidden Treasure” Status 1. Creating “Rebellion” Status 3.

Status: Wining condition 1 and 2, not doable.

———————Do you want to commit suicide? (Deny)』

default.png

_Harukaze: I heard in the real world there’s a place called school.

_Yukina: No no no no.

Did you hear that, Nagi

As if you see it for the first time.

_Harukaze: Ah I’m only kidding. Of course I knew it ?

In fact. I’ve always wanted to go to school.

Anyway since I got permission I must come and see it. Ehehe,…….. I wonder what kind of place the school is♪.

_Yukina: Ehehe!? And there’s a note sound!?

Uwa, Uwaa. Nagi had gone mad. Recently you’re really weird but, Nagi had really gone mad!

Hey Nagi, did you eat something weird? In recent days…….don’t tell me it was my porridge!? Why!?

_Harukaze: Mumu, no! I (watashi) haven’t gone mad or anything.

Ah not that.

I(ore) not mad or anything? I’m completely fine ?

_Yukina: Um, instead of going to school let’s quickly go to the hospital. Nagi, you are not alright.

From the start Nagi isn’t the type of people that wants to go to school. I also don’t want to say it. But I felt you are different.

_Harukaze: Is……..that so ?

Uh-huh, um.

I got it.

_Yukina: ? What do you understand?

_Harukaze: If I could—————–return the favor, by that way.

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