Chapter 60: Riruna’s Determination and The World of the Mind
「I have a request to make, Tooru-chi! 」
Entering the cabin of my magical ship, Riruna had an expression of determination on her face.
Her face seems to have been damp and soft, and I could see a trace of dry tears on her cheeks. It would seem that she overheard my conversation with the Princess a little while ago
「…. Don’t tell me, by request you mean that you want to fuse the Divine Corpse into your own body? You aren’t going to start saying something like that, right? Tachibana-san?」
「Yeah, that’s exactly it.」
Casually nodding, the side tail hair of the Gal Yuusha swayed.
Although I expected it, my head was throbbing with a headache.
Crap……. There are just so many things I could say to retort to her sudden crazy proposition that I don’t even know where to start.
「Say, if you heard our conversation you would have also understood the risk involved, right? The chances of me successfully merging the Divine Corpse with your body and then using my Enslavement magic to control it……. this is not something we understand very well, we don’t even know what negative effects it may have on your body and your mind.」
The Divine Corpse is the Demon King’s corpse; it’s power is the real deal. Even if she may be the “Hero”, we can’t say that she will be safe from any side effects.
There is even the possibility that her heart becomes corrupted and broken into a thousand pieces before my Enslavement magic can even activate.
No….. Even before we get to that fact, there’s also something else….
「Tachibana-san, why are you even considering being placed under my Enslavement Magic? Don’t you know that you will become my slave? 」
If she was at least in love with me like in Princess Sistina’s case, it might have made some sense. Not only that, as a Hero that is supposed to fight evil, wouldn’t it be her worst case scenario if she gets caught by an “Evil Slavemancer” like me?
「That’s cause we have no other way right? In order to stop that giant….. in order to stop Oruto….」
Without changing her expression, Riruna was looking through the window of the Magical ship to the scene below…… The giant who was born from the floating mass of rock which used to span over 1 km, and now a flock of shadow beasts were covering Paravata city.
I see, is this what this is about…
「You feel a sense of responsibility as the Hero, or is it that you’ve seen through your trusted partners true motives and now you feel a sense of guilt? Tachibana-san, you seem to be extremely desperate.」
For some reason, I was getting irritated – enough to make Princess Sistina start worrying.
If I were to think about it carefully, I had been trying to think of a solution to subject Riruna to my Enslavement Magic all this time and yet she was now volunteering herself to me, so I shouldn’t be trying to stop her….. But for some reason, the words just keep coming out of my mouth.
「And so are you trying to become my magical slave without even thinking it through? For what? To do a double suicide with Oruto and the divine corpse? I can only see that as nothing but a cheap selfish action. Is that the kind of Hero you are? I’m totally disappointed in you」
「……….That’s not it, Tooru-chi.」
「What am I mistaken about?」
Still having eyes of determination, Riruna took one more step towards me.
And then, she suddenly smiled sweetly as her bright side-tail and her chest jiggled.
This was not the face of a human being who had given up in despair.
「I know that having the divine corpse attached to my body is a dangerous risk to take. But this thing is….. Becoming Tooru-chi’s magical slave? I didn’t make that kind of decision because I was desperate you know? After all this is the result I came to after clearly thinking about it for myself」
「What do you mean…..」
「I mean that if it’s Tooru-chi, I know that you will be able to properly manage and control my powers.」
Looking into my eyes with her big and clear pupils, she declared her thoughts.
「…….Are you serious, Tachibana-san? I don’t think I am the man you think me to be———」
「 You aren’t good enough? Is that really true? Toori-chi, aren’t you the one who doesn’t really understand yourself?」
Looking at me so intensely, it was like she was looking into the depths of my mind, and I was suddenly at a loss at how to reply.
「Tooru-chi, you think really quickly and you are always composed. I see you as someone who is very observant of their surroundings and always knows what must be done. At the very least, you are much more deserving than I am.」
「Yeah. I couldn’t see through nor understand what Oruto was really thinking. Even though I was together with Oruto all this time, I didn’t realize it at all. That’s why things turned out like this.」
The Gal Yuusha seemed lonely as she showed a bitter smile.
I see. Since a long time ago, I had viewed Riruna as some sort of perfect superwoman that was able to digest everything by pure talent and good sense……
But when it comes to reading other people’s minds, that prodigal talent of hers may actually get in the way of being able to understand other people.
「I think that if I was going to do this alone, I would probably make the same mistake. That’s why I need someone who can control my powers as the Hero. Because of this event, I realized it…….. Even Oruto once said that there is a necessity to properly use the Hero’s power correctly.」
As the hero who is one of the only people who will be able to contend against the Demon King, there is a great responsibility that comes with the power.
For her to realize that she was still immature in terms of her spiritual aspect, her idea may have some validity.
But even so…
「But even so, by becoming my magical slave, aren’t you taking a big leap of faith? How do you know that I won’t misuse your power as the Hero?」
「If it’s you Tooru-chi, I believe in you」
「On what grounds———?!」
Speaking as if she understood me, my irritation only grew larger.
Just what did she think she knew about me?
Without even knowing my true colors how can she believe me with such simple-mindedness?
「I do have a basis for it. Tooru-chi, you may not remember this, but long ago….. I got my courage and I found my dreams because of you, Tooru-chi」
「……Your courage and your dreams?」
Riruna had this distant look in her eyes.
What was it….? It’s like a faint memory from my past was trying to resurface itself….
「Ahah, as I thought you don’t remember….. Well, I suppose that for Tooru-chi, it might not have been anything special. But, for me it gave me enough reason to believe.」
「…….If you are basing it on something that occurred in the past, don’t you think that I might have changed since I came into this new world? The me who has obtained an absolute power of being the Slavemancer that is…」
「Mn~…… I do think that you have parts of you that changed, but I think that the root of you has not changed. This is the conclusion I came to, after talking to Hime-chi in the Ancient Ruins, and hearing you talk outside of the door just moments ago.」
Rather than saying that her eyes were clouded, it was more like she had an excessive amount of expectations of me, and she had a very optimistic view.
Riruna’s tone of voice was somehow filled with this mysterious conviction.
「Moreover, if, I have seen wrongly and if Tooru-chi in fact turns out to be a very evil person…..」
「If I am, then what?」
「At that time, I will beat Tooru-chi up!」
「…….Ha? No, I mean you’d be under my Enslavement Magic…..」
I was talking to her in a serious face, but Riruna was answering me with a smile like a large sunflower.
「That kind of thing, I just have to fight it off with my fighting spirit and my will-power! After all….. I am the Brave Hero!」
*Don* she smacked her chest——— but because her breasts were enormous, the sound was more like *Puyunn*——— In any case, Riruna was asserting her baseless claim with great confidence.
I could only open my mouth widely as I was taken aback in astonishment.
「Fufuh……. Ufufuh. Riruna-san is an amazing person.」
Princess Sistina was just silently observing our conversation up till now, but she now joined in as she covered her mouth with the back of her hands that was covered in a pretty lace to laugh elegantly.
Being caught by the moment, I also instinctively laugh a little.
「Hahah……. What’s this Princess, it almost seems like you are telling me “This is Tooru-sama’s loss.”」
「I’m sorry, that was not my intention. But I also think that she has a point in what she says……. In regards to Tooru-sama’s ability to make proper judgements, Tooru-sama has my full trust and confidence in this matter」
The blonde hair blue eyed Princess bowed gracefully. I returned a wry smile and faced towards Riruna.
「I understand, you have convinced me, Tachibana-san.」
「In that case?!」
Good grief, to think that I originally wanted to force her to be subjected to my Enslavement Magic, and yet now I am the one who is being forced by her…. What an unusual turn of events.
Whenever I associate myself with this girl known as Tachibana Riruna, for some reason, my pace seems to go out of order.
But…. Strangely, I didn’t really hate it right now.
「Fine then, I will make you into my magical slave and create a plan to stop that Oruto. However…. on the condition that we will not be using the Divine Corpse.」
「Ehhh!? B-but if we don’t use it then———」
But how are we going to make my Enslavement Magic work on her? This is the most pressing question right now.
Nevertheless, I came up with an idea whilst having the conversation a little while ago.
The hint was given to me when Riruna was talking about something quite casually.
「Before anything, I have a method that is worth trying. You will cooperate with me won’t you, Tachibana-san?」
「A magical dream world……?」
「Yeah… I’ll try to explain it as easily as I can for Tachibana-san, think of this world as something that is exists within your dreams and which can only be accessed while you are asleep.」
I started to explain my strategy to make things work. The people listening to me were Riruna, Princess Sistina and lastly the person that we needed to make this plan work, the Dark Elf Priestess, Dianne.
「Ohhh~! There’s such a thing?!」
「If I am not mistaken, this is the place that the powerful demoness contacted Tooru-dono through. How is this related to the current situation I wonder?」
「Listen up, inside of your dreams, is a world based on your spirit. In order words, the physical body that exists in this world has no relation to the dream world….」
The intelligent Princess was the first to be startled and recognized my ideas.
「In that realm, is it possible that Riruna-san’s ability to reflect magic becomes ineffective…..?」
「Umm, you mean to say that Tooru-chi, you will come inside of my dreams and use magic on me!? Uwaa, so much fantasy~!」
What is she on about at this late hour, isn’t this world a fantasy in itself….
Yes, this is an idea that came to me, when she mentioned the word “dream” in our conversation a little while ago.
「But I can see a variety of different obstacles, Tooru-dono. The first being, is it even possible to use Enslavement Magic in the dream world?」
「Ahh, Dianne, in that regards there won’t be any problems. I have already confirmed the possibility with the demoness that created the world.」
During the ecchi match I had with Mikura, and during a state where I had been able to mentally defeat her, I had a feeling that I could use my Enslavement Magic on the vulnerable Mikura——— A fact that she herself confirmed.
「I see, but another thing is…… Will it be possible to make both Tooru-dono and Riruna-dono enter into the “same dream”?」
「Ahh, that’s where the problem lies. Therefore, Dianne, I will need to borrow your power.」
The brown skinned Priestess was doubtful of my words and repeated them back at me.
In exchange for her eyesight, she possesses and extraordinary sensory ability. It is her ability to perceive supernatural things.
Her powers were keen enough to be able to sense that the Divine Corpse which was eroding her body was actually holding a will, and she had a vague sense that it was a powerful will which ended up belonging to the Demon King.
「As for Dianne, I will have you play the role of being our radar or sonar.」
「r-redar? sonaa?」[1. Dianne obviously doesn’t understand English]
「Tooru-chi, unless she’s from earth, I don’t think she would understand those words you just used」
「Woops! Well, it’s kind of a like a detector or a probe……. In any case, the first thing I will do is place Dianne under my Enslavement Magic again. And with that, I should be able to have a connection established between us as you will become my magical slave.」
Whenever I give her an instruction or an order, I will be able to convey it to her via my mind connection. If I trace it back, I can perhaps merge Dianne and my consciousness together while I am still in the dream world.
「And then Dianne will touch Riruna in the real world and “search” for that place with your super senses. After that I want you to lead my consciousness towards hers, which will be in the dream world.」
「Oh my! is such a thing really possible!?」
「I-I have never used my powers in such a manner so, I am not sure whether it will work out as desired……」
Naturally, there was no guarantee that this would work.
Everything was based on the assumption of minor possibilities upon possibilities stacked on top of each other, and it was like betting on finding a needle in a haystack.
Even so, it is much better to try this for a start instead of just giving up immediately.
「I think it’s a great idea! It’s better to give it a try as we’ve got nothing to lose! If this fails, we can always just use the Corpse and attach it to my body, I wouldn’t mind it either」
「Oi oi…….. I thought of this idea so that we could avoid that kind of method」
「Auu… I’m sorry, Tooru-chi」
After saying that, Riruna turns a fleeting glance towards Paravata city which was below us.
Although the giant was not moving its body right now, it was obviously charging some kind of power.
I felt that if we really did give it time to completely charge itself, our chances of winning against it would disappear.
「We don’t have much time, let’s begin immediately. Princess, please tell the others about what is happening——— Now then, mission start!」
The giant which has a body that spanned over a 1km distance was eerily quiet.
In the center of the giant there was this huge hourglass object made out of transparent crystal, it was enshrined in that location and the ceiling and the floor was covered in a mysterious type of metal.
A green stone that was emitting light was floating near the sand that fell down the hourglass.
This was Oruto’s Core.
Just like Nana it once again abandoned it’s spare part body and was now united with the center portion of the power plant….. The power plant is a mobile weapon from another world.
As of now, the giant itself had become Oruto’s body.
〈Plant repair percentage 89.2%, All defense functions are now operating normally. Current energy refilling percentage 73.6%, every minute stably gaining 1.2% energy ——— It looks like it was the correct decision to make the Divine Corpse act as a catalyst. 〉
A mechanical tone of voice resounds.
The fragment of Divine Corpse which existed in the depths of the ruins was already assimilated into this plant.
Using the Divine Corpse in order to control the Shadow Beasts, it was possible to give them orders.
Originally, this power plant was created for the purpose of destroying the Divine Corpse fragments because the people of Oruto’s world was afraid of the adverse effects it may have, however right now, Oruto did not seem to hesitate in using its enemy’s power as a source of energy.
〈The time is near. After a long time of being inactive, we will soon be able to make our wishes turn into a reality. My “Elder Sister” ——— Armor Valkyrie VII.〉
Oruto was talking to the red stone core which was enshrined on the metal pedestal.
This was Nana’s core which he stole from Tooru.
〈Let’s provide you with a new “body”. I shall bestow this power plant’s strongest extermination unit.〉
The floor opens soundlessly and something gradually rises from the ground.
It was something that was shaped like a human.
〈This will serve as our entertainment while we wait. Being unable to accomplish my original mission, I was used by the human beings as a tool…… Yes, if I were to borrow their words, it would be that I have been “humiliated”. With this new body, we shall be able to return our grudges without reserve———〉
As Oruto spoke, there was only a non-human mechanical voice that came out.
However, talking to itself even though nobody could hear it, it was doing a completely unproductive action, but somehow it seemed to have some emotions dwelling within it.
「….. It would seem that we have somehow cleared the first stage.」
I was standing in a river that was clear and went up to my ankles as I muttered to myself.
The river stretches endlessly and above me was a clear blue sky.
Without a doubt, this was obviously inside of the magical dream world.
This was the same spiritual dream world that the Immortal Fox Goddess Mikura ruled over.
「The first step was for me to come into this world….. And as expected thanks to this I was able to come here.」
I was looking at the bracelet attached to my hand, this was the present I acquired from Mikura in the dream world that had appeared in the real world as well. Although the magical function was exhausted when it prevented Oruto’s attack, it still seemed to possess a spiritual connection with Mikura.
『Tooru-dono….. Can you hear my voice?』
When I look up, Dianne’s figure was semitransparent as she drifted near my shoulder. Even though she was in spirit form, she still seemed like a goddess, she grew even more mystical than usual in this form.
「Yeah, I can hear you Dianne. With this the second stage is also clear…… By the way, is your eyes possibly…?」
『Yes. In here, there seems to be no restriction of the flesh, so I seem to be able to see again』
Hey eyes which were normally closed shut were now opened slightly forming a gentle smile.
『I see now…… So this is what Tooru-dono’s features look like……』
「Umm, if you stare at me so much, I’ll get self-conscious…」
『Ah! I-I’m very sorry, I’ve heard so much about you from Sierra so I just got really curious…… N-no, nevermind .』
Although it was hard to tell because she was semitransparent, it would seem that she was blushing as her long dark elf ears twitched.
Well, at any rate, the next step is crucial. The thing we need to do before we searched for Riruna’s consciousness…
「You must be here right? Immortal Fox Goddess-sama?」
「Araa…….. So you have noticed me, little boy.」
Calling out into the empty space, a clear whirlpool of energy gathers and the beautiful demoness with blonde hair, and Japanese type clothing which wrapped around her voluptuous body appeared.
『T-this person is….?』
「Yes, my name is Mikura. Nice to meet you, Dark Elf Princess Priestess.」
Using her fluffy nine tails as a cushion to sit on in the air, she smiled sweetly.
As expected, it would seem that she has understood our present condition and the predicament that we were in.
Although it has become unnecessary to explain, the downside is that there are no secrets that we can hide from her.
「To think that you would think of such a method. I was sure that you were going to make use of the Divine Corpse in order to assimilate it with the Hero-chan so that you can cast your Enslavement Magic on her, dawa.」
「Well it seems that you have made a miscalculation. In your case, if I really did use the Divine Corpse on Riruna and it ended up shattering her mind, the growth of the hero would stop and it would eliminate a future threat to your Devil Kingdom…… I’m sure you would have liked for that to happen, isn’t that right?」
After I pointed this fact out, the fox eared demoness covered her mouth with her sleeve and giggled. It was not possible to read her expression.
「Ara ahn, what a shame little boy. Did you really think that I would hope for such a fearsome outcome?」
「It’s unclear. But at any rate, please don’t obstruct what I am about to do from now on.」
「What if I want to decline your request? In normal circumstances, I would not be able to drag Yuusha-chan’s consciousness into this place, and now because of little boy’s plan……. I have a fortunate opportunity to break her mind apart. What if I wish to use this chance?」
As usual her mouth was covered up, and she was smiling with her eyes. But unlike Dianne, this level of provocation was not enough to make me falter.
「Please stop it with such dull bluffs. As a precaution, I’ve told the girls to wake us up if anything strange happens to our bodies while we are sleeping.」
This was set in place for insurance. However, I thought that this was probably an unnecessary precaution.
「In the first place, even if such a thing was possible, considering you are in a peace seeking faction, so I don’t think that you will risk the chance of completely antagonizing me. In fact, if someone like me, who has no interest in meddling with the Devil Kingdom’s affairs became able to control the Hero, this would actually become mutually beneficial for the both of us, don’t you think?」
「…….Fufuh. Indeed little boy, you are very smart. This is interesting, in that case I will let you do as you please for now.」
After she gracefully swung the metal pipe in her hand, a thick fog started to envelop the river like a mist.
「That ahead is the boundary line into other people’s dream. With the Priestess’s power, it may certainly be possible to venture into that vast domain and she may be able to find the Yuusha-chan’s spiritual consciousness.」
If this action were to be explained, it would be like trying to find a single webpage with very little information and having to search for it on the vast internet. Dianne’s powers were going to act like a search engine in this place.
「Even if you don’t tell me, that’s exactly what I plan to do. Let’s go Dianne.」
「Nfufu, I’m expecting a lot from you, dawa. After all, if little boy was to die from this predicament, it will become impossible to settle the results of our ecchi match.」
『Yes, Tooru-dono…… let’s, ehhh!?』
Immediately before we entered into the mist, Dianne’s consciousness became disordered due to what Mikura said.
“Why is she talking about such a thing at this point in time”. I complained in my own mind.
While looking at Mikura who was waving us off, I entered into the foggy area———.
A few minutes, a few hours, or perhaps it has been several days…….. Maybe even longer than that.
Both Dianne and I have been wandering around in this milky-white fog.
Even if plenty of time passes in the dream world, in the real world, it will be as if hardly any time has passed. In that sense, it is unlikely that we are in danger of being attacked by Oruto as of yet.
However, our minds can still become exhausted just like we normally would in reality.
If either Dianne or I reach our limits, this will be the end of the journey. Especially for Dianne, she needed to concentrate her hardest in order to locate Riruna’s consciousness and this would be even more draining on her mind.
In that sense, we only had one chance to make this work.
『Tooru-dono….! Look at at that….!』
She spoke in a voice that could not cover her fatigue, but she still spoke clearly. In front of the fog which surrounded us, we could see a shining space that was dimly glittering.
「That is….. Riruna’s Spiritual world?」
『Yes, I believe so…. and… I’m very sorry…… I can’t hold on for much longer……. Next it will be up to Tooru-dono….』
Dianne’s floating figure continued to become even more transparent, and was gradually disappearing. After consuming such a large amount of willpower, she was probably exhausted and was going to fall into a deep sleep of her own.
「Thank you, Dianne. You’ve done well to find it; you can rest slowly now……. when this is all over, I will be sure to give you a reward, with your favorite sex position.」
『Wha….. I-if you say such a remark….. how could I possibly…. fall…. asleep….?』
After reacting very shyly, Dianne’s consciousness leaves me. After making sure of it, I made up my resolve and jumped towards the light.
After arriving at my destination, I saw a scene that I was familiar with.
Study desks that were lined up in an orderly manner, and a black board which had the name of the person doing day duty. [2. day duty in Japan is like a task given to the students in a rotational based system to clean classrooms, toilets, etc.] Looking outside the window, I could see the sports oval and the setting sun.
In saying this, this was not my high school.
If I am not mistaken, this was my classroom in junior high?
「I’ve been waiting for you, Tooru-chi.」
When I turned around…
Riruna was standing there ——— wearing a sailor uniform.
Her hair was simple and braided together, the color of her hair was also different to the one she had now, and in this place, her hair was a deep black color.
There were no over the top gorgeous accessories and her nails weren’t painted either.
At first glance, it was very hard to guess that she was the same Riruna, who was always shining brightly.
(I see…. I remember it now)
This was from the time when I was in junior high.
It was the first time I ever met the girl named Tachibana Riruna.