TLN: T-minus 2 chapters.
Right Light Country’s Capital City, Coat.
At its center there’s the holy ground that is the Coat Grand Church.
Right now in that Coat Grand Church, the birth of the Holy Brave was being celebrated, and there were already 7 households in this celebratory party.
Maybe because it is the last day of the celebration party, there were extravagant wines lined up, and there were wonderful meat dishes and a great variety of seafood, which were bringing joy to the tongues of the guests.
They are being rounded up with the general term ‘guests’, but their origins are varied.
There are guests who have been invited, many who are affiliated with the guild branches, and even people like government officials of other countries who one can’t lower their guards to.
People of distinguished families who are basically moving the country’s money and people, and there’s also a lot of people related to the Church which the Archbishop is the top of.
The Pope looks around the place with caution while entrusting his body to the sacred seat.
There are even some foreign government officials who would get surprised by the gorgeousness of the location prepared by the Right Light Country, and would have their eyes opened wide.
“Your Holiness, everything is proceeding accordingly.”
“It is not enough.” (Pope)
“…Is there something you are not pleased with?”
“Look at both the Daedalus and Gorgon companies. They brought an exaggerated amount of money and goods, yes, but the envoys are all people with no decision making power and have a low position.” (Pope)
When talking about the companies that represent the continent, it would be Daedalus at the west, and Gorgon at the east.
The Right Light Country has requested both of the companies to do things like: lower their prices, review their cost of transportation, and suspend the supply of armaments to the hostile countries.
But looking at the faces of the envoys, it looks like they don’t have any intentions of having a proper conference this time around as well.
Normally, there’s many merchants who are submissive, but both of these companies take a defiant attitude, and their nature is worse than that of your regular hostile country.
“On top of that, because it was shortened to 3 days, the events we had planned were heavily derailed.” (Pope)
“That’s because, uhm…Holy Brave-dono requested it so…”
“That man is way too involved with the petty. It is as if he doesn’t understand rules at all. He only looks at the trifling matters in front of him and doesn’t see the whole picture at all.” (Pope)
These celebrations were originally planned to be done for 10 days, and there were many things scheduled to accommodate that timeframe, but because of the strong opposition of the Holy Brave, it ended up being reluctantly shortened.
Of course, he must have been thinking about the explosive costs these celebrations would expend.
The Holy Brave wanted them to do something about the poor instead of using it on this kind of parties.
“Church Head, do you remember what that man said first?” (Pope)
“Yeah, he said that 1 day was plenty enough…”
“What foolishness. Even though there’s also many guests coming from foreign countries, how do you think we would be able to gather them in one day? Looks like this man doesn’t even understand the concept of travelling time.” (Pope)
“Exactly as you say…”
Maybe he is thinking that his chance to shine had been crushed, the Pope’s complaints were not stopping. The Church Head who is skilled in communication had turned into a person who had his head hanging low and responding with short words.
“In the first place, just think about it. The difference in weight between moving the money for the poor of the country, and the money spent to bring fear to the foreign countries. No matter how much money you spread to the poor, it would just turn into cheap food and enter their stomachs, only turning into excrement. No matter how much we fill the bellies of the poor, if the people of the surrounding countries invade us, there would be no point.” (Pope)
“…It is just as you say, Your Holiness.”
“Then, even if it seems like wasteful expenses, does he even know just how much of an advantage it is to show our prestige to the surrounding countries so that they will lower their spears? This is the actual way to use money. That’s what it means when I say that man doesn’t see the whole picture.” (Pope)
“Truly a wise saying. I would like to pass on these words for generations to come.”
The Church Head bowed and gave words of flattery. The person himself was real serious when saying it, but looking from an outsider’s perspective, it looked like small talk.
And in reality, the thinking of the Pope does have a point. When thinking about the management of a big country, it is not as if what the Holy Brave says is correct.
In other words, the personalities of these two are like water and oil.
A certain Demon Lord will be jumping into the gap between those two, and would tear apart that relationship of the two definitively.
“And so, that bunch…what are those 3 troublemakers doing?” (Pope)
Hitting the elbow rest of the sacred seat with his finger, the Pope says this with a frown.
It was a look that said even speaking of them was annoying.
“Just as Your Holiness has commanded, we have sent them to the frontlines, but because the other countries are taking a spectator stance, it looks like they are dying of boredom.”
“Keep them away from that man. It might turn problematic.” (Pope)
What surfaced in the mind of the Pope were the three skilled knights feared by the other countries as the Three Binary Stars.
The achievements they have obtained in the battlefield are tremendous, and they are fervently trusted by the soldiers. Their strength is so much that their names resonate even through the heads of the distinguished families.
But all three of them are strongly rebellious.
They would straight on oppose the diplomatic policies the Pope pushes that are closing on coercion and threats, and the political measures that prioritize the plans of the distinguished families.
They may not be as extreme as the Holy Brave, but they probably also don’t consider the current state as righteous.
These three have resonated in the other countries, but they most likely learned in their many battles the fact that not everything can be solved with violence.
“Like chickens.” (Pope)
“Don’t mind it.” (Pope)
The Pope talks to himself comparing those three knights to chicken ribs.
Can be used for soup, but there’s little meat that can eaten.
They were in a strange middle ground in which he wants them to die in the frontlines, but at the same time it would be problematic if they do, which was troubling the Pope.
“Enough of that. And so, has that man still not vacated his previous residence?” (Pope)
“That seems to be the case.”
“I do believe I told him that he should be living here though?” (Pope)
“He seems to be an obstinate man… He says he wants to return to his original residence after the celebrations are over.”
“Good grief, what is he thinking? Is he drunk in some sort of justice sense after being chosen by the Holy Box?” (Pope)
There’s 5 Grand Churches in Coat.
At the center there’s the Coat Grand Church that worships the Light, and the other Grand Churches are placed in the east, west, north, and south, as if to protect it, and each are respectively Fire, Water, Wind, and Earth.
There’s a difference of heaven and hell with the livelihood of the dilapidated houses that have wind blowing into its crevices, and the Coat Grand Church.
Other people would not take even a second to accept the offer of moving. In this place, there’s beautiful court ladies who would take care of everything from your meals to your baths.
“Church Head…gather around a hundred beautiful court ladies. Don’t let that man any leeway to think about stupid things.” (Pope)
“That’s a good idea. In time, his backbone will be gone and he will become a man that won’t even be able to tie his shoelaces.”
“Haha! He is a man too. Have him take a bath with beautiful court ladies every day, and have him wash away the dirt together with his stupid thoughts.” (Pope)
While those two were exchanging that kind of talk…
The Holy Brave was standing at the corner of the venue with a depressed expression.
(What a pompous and wasteful space…)
A regular person would have their heart bloom, and would drown in the expensive wines within this gorgeous space. No, there might not even be the need of wine for that.
A commoner has become a legendary existence that is the Holy Brave in one jump, so even without alcohol, they would be drunk in happiness just from the astronomical jump in social standing.
Luxury, glory, alcohol, gourmet food, beauties, honor, fame, wealth; everything was as he wanted. If there’s someone who doesn’t get merry at this, you could only call them abnormal.
But that ‘abnormal person’ was exactly this man.
He was a little exhausted from the party the day before, but his heart was clear to the extreme, and his figure carrying the giant box on his back was picturesque.
“Oya oya, it stinks around here. A monkey seems to have slipped in here.”
Fray speaks to that Holy Brave while bringing along robust lackeys.
Today as well, he was wearing a splendorous costume with red as its main color. It was an outfit that drew the eyes of the surroundings.
Because he wasn’t chosen by the Holy Box, he had been raging in his residence for these few days, but it looks like he finally came out.
“In this venue where the noble gather, there’s a smell that doesn’t fit here. Someone spray some perfume. My beautiful nose is going to bend at this.”
Fray holds his nose in a showy manner while waving his hand, and his lackeys laugh out loud.
Fray, the heir of the distinguished family among distinguished families, the Luxembourg household, would behave selfishly no matter the place.
There’s also none who can stop him.
His mentality is that of an infant, and when there’s something he doesn’t like, he has always crushed it with the power of his family.
Even the Pope that stands at the top of the Right Light Country treats him as a tumor. He is like walking gunpowder, and even his clothes reflected the red of it.
The lackeys also begin to insult the Holy Brave as if following blindly after Fray.
“Good grief, it looks like there’s a monkey here who has mistaken itself as a human.”
“To displease Fray-sama, you are quite the piece of shit.”
“How about just cutting him down to cut off the source of the smell?”
“Don’t don’t. Tainting the Grand Church with the blood of a monkey would be a blasphemy towards the Light.”
The quarrel that had suddenly begun stirred up the venue.
The people of the Right Light Country had an expression of ‘again, huh’, but it didn’t go the same way for the foreign government officials, they were sending sharp gazes at this incident.
Within the birth of this threat that is the Holy Brave, they were watching the moment that a single crack had appeared.
The Right Light Country is not a monolith.
The Pope hurriedly stood up since it might mess up the stage he took so much trouble of preparing, but the Holy Brave acted faster.
“I am plenty aware that I am not suitable here. I will be taking my leave so as to not bring anymore displeasure within the guests.”
Bowing his head deeply in a way that seemed as if it came out straight from a painting, the Holy Brave leaves the place without making a sound.
Fray had a dumbfounded expression for a moment, but in time, he slaps his knees and laughs out loud in a victorious manner.
“That’s the Holy Brave? Not only is he a commoner with no pedigree, he doesn’t even have a single bit of courage! Isn’t that just weird?!”
“Straight on! That box must really be broken.”
“There’s no way someone other than Fray would be able to carry it.”
“Wait wait, what Fray-sama carries is not only that box, but this country itself.”
“Oh right, that was my mistake!”
Fray and his lackeys laugh out loud, and the Pope had his face go pale.
Rather than showing off the glory of the Right Light Country, they were shown how their own people were insulting the Holy Brave and dropped the authority of the Light, so of course he couldn’t stand it.
The one who couldn’t see the whole picture wasn’t the Holy Brave, but him.
The Pope decided he should call Fray, and had the guards move in the venue. There was a single man watching this noisy drama with cold eyes.
(The people involved and the people getting involved are equally foolish…)
It is the priest who had concealed expensive Trance in his pocket.
He was using this flashy celebration party to make transactions one after the other.
Rather than making transactions stealthily in the shadows, he judged that the chances of being caught in open places having a straight exchange would have lower chances of being caught.
That plan of his had hit the mark splendidly.
Who would think someone would make Trance deals in a party that celebrates the coming of a Holy Brave.
You could say this was an action covered by the merriness and celebration of everyone.
The priest was praying to the Goddess of Fortune he respects and reveres, and this time around, he obtained big results as well. Because he was able to meet several big fishes that could be called ‘fat guests’.
(Moira-sama…I am grateful for your love!)
The priest shouts in his heart.
Normally, getting a small dose of Trance is one thing, but getting a lot of it is difficult. But because the priest is directly connected to the Daedalus Company, his supply is practically infinite.
On top of that, because the Trance that is used as medicine doesn’t have good quality, high class customers don’t bite, but the ones that the Daedalus Company deal are incredibly high in quality.
Once they learn of it, they won’t be able to return to the other coarse Trance.
(I am the one that is worthy of standing at the side of His Holiness…)
The priest glanced at the altar, and his glaring eyes shine.
Trying to be at the side of the Pope would mean having an even higher position, a Head Priest, and further above which is Grand Priest. Then, once he manages to climb to what comes higher after that is the Church Head, he can have a direct connection with the Pope.
(The Goddess has decided to bless, not the Holy Brave, not the heir of a distinguished family, but me!)
The priest made a dark smile.
Seeking people with high standing that he would normally be unable to interact with, he takes his first step swaying like a zombie.
- Chapter 79: The Fool
2006 AD, a certain *pachinko* establishment. <Slot machines>
The clinking sound of silver balls, and the roaring sounds of machines that rang right into the eardrums resounded inside the establishment.
Cigarette smoke hung around the place, and the regulars were talking in a loud voice, and at times there would be an old lady hitting the table hard as if she had gone crazy.
The people coming to this old place, at what could be considered in the outskirts, are all regular customers. The serious pachinko addicts were sitting at the same machines almost everyday.
This bunch only have pachinkos in mind from morning to night, to the point that it looked as if they wouldn’t care even if a war overseas occurred or there’s an earthquake happening.
For them, holding the handle and making silver balls fly out must be their life. Everything other than that would just be inconsequential stuff.
Even if a big earthquake were to hit at this instant, their hands wouldn’t let go of the handle. More so if they are in a winning streak, even if a terrorist were to come and order them ‘put both of your hands up!’, their right hands would still be holding the handle, and they would continuously throw silver balls at the attacker with the other.
In this kind of hopeless space, Oono Akira was sitting there with an annoyed expression.
Since the time the past venue, ‘world’, collapsed, Akira has been passing days without any productivity, and was leading a life that could only be called desperate.
“Damn it! Already gone? …Damn Noguchi, put more spirit into it.” (Akira) <Noguchi = 1,000 yen>
“Kaka! Oono-chan, so how many Noguchis have died?”
“Shut up. Amma gonna choke you dead, geezer.” (Akira)
Raw kansai dialect flew from Akira’s mouth.
This man normally talks in the standard dialect, but maybe he relaxes in his hometown, he would at times return to his old dialect.
“Oi oi, why did this *reach* miss…? Kenjiro, get outta the way! I will be the one fighting Raou in your stead.” (Akira) <Changing tiles in pachinko for a chance in jackpot.> <Raou is a fist of the north star reference.>
“Uhyahya! Oono-chan, yer an interesting lad as always!”
The old man by his side opened his mouth wide as he laughed, but the inside of his mouth has practically no teeth.
It was like a dark cave, and it really accentuated the appearance of an old man that looks like a youkai.
Akira always thinks ‘how can he eat food when he doesn’t have proper teeth?’ but maybe he felt like asking about it would be stupid, he decided to ignore it.
What Akira and the Youkai Geezer were playing was a battle type pachinko based on a manga called the Fist of the Arctic and sometimes of the Antarctic.
It is the nonsensical kind of story about a protagonist called Kenjiro who goes to the Arctic and Antarctic to get back his kidnapped lover, and has to fight a naked pervert called the *Naked King*. <A pun of the name Raou.>
(I’m not doing well today…) (Akira)
15 bills of 1,000 yen with Noguchi Hideo’s face printed in it had already been sucked into the pachinko.
If this were the battlefield, it would mean that 15 important lives were gone.
But an incompetent commander is the kind that would successively put more soldiers in order to turn the tables.
“Next one. In the next Noguchi, it will be a hit.” (Akira)
“How stingy, Oono-chan. It is like the *Guadalcanal Campaign*. Even if you place soldiers little by little, you ain’t gonna win. Gotta go all out and put that Yukichi-san <10,000 yen> in.” <WW2 battle in 1942. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guadalcanal_campaign>
“Why you talking about war here? Talking all big about mere pachinko…” (Akira)
Akira spits out poison as he puts one more Noguchi.
His 16th one will probably die without lasting 10 minutes.
“Pachinkos are the modern era wars, Oono-chan. If you win, you can drink good alcohol. You can even go to a massage parlour. 8,000 yen for a paradise course of 60 minutes.”
“Don’t use money for pointless stuff and go to a doctor. A toothless geezer going to a massage parlour would be horrifying instead. Just sleep in your coffin like the Youkai you are.” (Akira)
“Youkais have it nice. There be no schools and exams after all. There was an anime song about that, right? What’s the name again? Parlor Onitarou? No, ain’t it… If I remember correctly, it be the CR eyeball old man.”
“There’s no such anime.” (Akira)
Akira ignored the nonsense of the geezer and lights up his cigarette.
As if opposing this pointless time, he puffs out white smoke grandly.
“Cough cough. Oono-chan, I stopped smoking. Can ye stop smoking by my side?”
“Are you stupid? Why do I have to be mindful of you? In the first place, this is a product allowed by the country, and I am even paying expensive tobacco tax. Show respect to us taxpayers. This will make full circle and will turn into money for welfare and public projects. Listen, geezer, smoking is the act of saints that exhaust themselves for the people by using their own money.” (Akira)
“Your mouth running well as always… If I end up ill with yer second-hand smoke, ya better pay for the medic fees, Oono-chan.”
“If it reduces the lifespan of you geezer, I will gladly smoke more.” (Akira)
Akira lights up 2 more cigarettes and puffs out smoke of 3 cigarettes worth.
This was already a small scale fire.
“Oono-chan! Keep the burning to just your wallet!”
“You think you said something witty there, geezer?” (Akira)
“Fer reals, how were ya raised to turn up like a demon…”
The geezer opens a can of beer while saying this.
As if to value even the bubbles coming out, the geezer places his mouth on the can as if licking it.
“Geezer, my head hurts from 2 days worth of hangover. Drink somewhere else.” (Akira)
“Oono-chan, this be a product allowed by the country, and Imma paying high money for it, ya know? This gonna make full circle and help out society-sama.”
“Don’t copy me. You are completely talking like a drunkard already.” (Akira)
“I don’t wanna hear that from a nicotine addict.”
In the end, that day he had sent 4 more Noguchi Hideos without being able to turn around the battle, and the curtains fell with a complete defeat.
Akira stretches both arms after leaving the place and looks up at the sky.
There was a blue sky without a single cloud extending there, and a gentle sunlight poured down.
He somewhat felt like that light wasn’t giving its blessings to him. He narrowed his eyes, and makes his way to his house while shrugging his shoulders.
Today he passed his day pointlessly again. Tomorrow will most likely be the same.
Akira himself felt that way.
If people don’t act, they just repeat similar days. Whether it be good or bad.
(What am I doing…?) (Akira)
There was cheerful music playing downtown, and there were couples holding hands and walking by happily.
Maybe because today is a weekend, the faces of the people were bright. Each of them must be drawing their weekends in their hearts.
But the current Akira has nothing.
He eats away on his savings, loiters around the city, eats whatever food he feels like, goes to the pachinkos, takes a bath, and sleeps. There was no sign of the lively man of the past; only a shabby man.
(Damn it, it is kinda chilly…) (Akira)
Even though the weather is good, he somewhat felt cold.
Akira pulled the cardigan closer to himself, and walks pass downtown with quick feet. Because he felt like…the sparkling atmosphere didn’t fit him.
(Every single one of them being all merry…) (Akira)
That might be an end of the day that’s pretty common. It is not as if every single person lives a happy everyday life after all.
Some laugh, some cry, some grasp massive wealth, some lose massive wealth; the world repeats all these kind of things without tiring.
(How should I live tomorrow…? Should I go travel to some random place?) (Akira)
While Akira was thinking about such a sporadic plan, he continued on in a back alley.
Suddenly, he noticed his pocket vibrating, and when he takes out the cellphone, he saw that it was a call from XX. He wondered for a while whether to ignore it, but maybe he lost to their persistence, he presses the receive button.
“I’m gonna hang.” (Akira)
“Wait! I still haven’t stated my business! Ain’t that just unreasonable?”
“It must be some stupid business anyways…” (Akira)
And in reality, the calls and mails of XX have mostly stupid content. But well, for Akira who is now not as busy as before, this could serve as a bit of a change in his unchanging everyday life.
“I was free, you see. So I tried looking at your future with tarot cards.”
“What? And the result?” (Akira)
“The Fool came out! Doesn’t it fit the current you perfectly? Jobless and Pachinko Thrash, ain’t that just checkmate in life? I would like to show your current appearance to the Akira of the past that looked down on me for being a NEET!”
“I am just resting my tired wings. Don’t put me in the same feather as an all year long NEET.” (Akira)
A painful excuse comes from Akira’s mouth.
With how much free time he has, not only exhaustion, he is the very peak of healthiness. On top of that, he has spare time to waste.
“I get you, I get you. I toootally get you. I was in a similar state. ‘I will get serious tomorrow!’ ‘This is bad!’”
“When is that ‘tomorrow’ where you will get serious…? Next year? A decade?” (Akira)
“Ah, I forgot to get the log-in bonus of my online game! Be right back!”
The call was one-sidedly cut, and Akira snorts while shoving the cellphone into his pocket.
This was the same as usual. A stupid exchange.
When he takes out his vibrating phone again, this time around it wasn’t a call but a message.
(You again…) (Akira)
Seeing the name of the sender being Mikiti, he closes his phone as if pissed off.
All the things he sends have similar content, so there was no need to look at it. The current Akira was stubborn, so he was in a state of mind where he didn’t want to take the hand of anyone.
“…I am sure tomorrow will be better than today.” (Akira)
This has been the favorite phrase of Akira lately.
Was this some sort of consolation for his current self that is being crushed by a hopeless reality? Or were they words of encouragement?
“Or more like, I don’t mind The Fool, but…at least tell me if it was upwards or downwards.” (Akira)
Mumbling something completely unimportant, the day ends.
Will tomorrow continue being the same?
Just that, the everyday life of Akira was always by the side of the ‘abnormal everyday life’. It would be only a bit into the future that he would learn this with his own body.
Because 10 years after…the ‘line of fate’ that would change everything was waiting for him after all.
Free, Uncaring, Pure, Innocent, Naive, Potential, Expressive, Genius.
Rash, Selfish, Dropout, Negative, Irritated, Impatient, Dejected.