TLN: Important. For anyone that has not read the previous Side Chapters, don’t skip them. You will be lost in future chapters if you do.
By switching appearances with Loic, I would avoid the hounding of Leila; the groundbreaking plan, the Fake Prince Charming plan…had failed.
Also, not only did it fail, it resulted in advancing the phases of Laila, and receiving the Eye of the Heavens.
I snapped back and tried to return the Eye of the Heavens to her, telling her that I can’t accept such an important thing, but…
“Ah, s-sorry. Did you not like it?” (Leila)
After Leila apologized as if truly feeling bad about it…
“B-But I am really sorry. This has a special spell on it, so I can’t do anything after I have given it.” (Leila)
She made a shocking revelation.
No, I did expect it.
It is exactly because I expected it to be an item that can’t be returned that I tried to make Loic my scapegoat, and tried to have him take this Eye of the Heavens.
But actually getting hit with that reality is pretty shocking.
I was freed from Leila thanks to her getting worried about my complexion that had turned sour from the shock, but my heart had already been completely destroyed by that point.
This isn’t something I should be saying myself, but I was so out of it that even when I saw Sazan drinking tea without a care in the world despite having escaped, I forgave him with just a few seconds of an iron claw.
The plan failing was purely because I was too naive, and Loic is not at fault at all.
I wrung out the last piece of energy I had to thank him and see him off. After that, I explained the situation to Ringo and the others who gathered around me, worried.
“…I see. But I am a bit relieved.” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki gently placed a hand on my shoulder while I was sitting there all dejected.
“That kind of plan that plays with the hearts of people doesn’t suit you. What fits you are plans that are more fair and square… Plans that tease the other party fair and square.” (Mitsuki)
“…No, I don’t think that can be fair and square though.” (Souma)
But being told this by the honest Mitsuki comforted me a bit.
When I raised my head, I saw Mitsuki’s cat ears silently saying ‘It is okay. That’s how it should be’.
The one to speak after I got slightly back in form here was Ringo.
“…If it were me…” (Ringo)
She said this slightly apologetically even when expressionless.
“…I would probably be able to tell even if Souma were to be disguised.” (Ringo)
That’s what you were about to say when we were discussing the plan?!
Ringo must have not believed in the success of this mission because the disguise would have been seen through if it were her.
(…Speaking of which…) (Souma)
Leila also had the nickname Soul Eye.
I don’t know the reason why she was called that, but there might have been a guy who had the same plan as me and failed.
The Transformation Glasses that didn’t work on normal people in the game could be deceived here, so I might have taken that for granted which led to this result.
“Yeah, I can see through it too. There’s way too many tells in your motions after all.” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki added onto this as if comboing me while I was reflecting.
“Eh?! I can’t tell at all though.” (Maki)
Maki made a shocked face at what the two said.
Even though you are supposed to be the one who has known me the longest…
I thought this and looked at Maki slightly in disbelief, and she faced away with a sullen expression.
“Hmph! I am not a beauty anyways, and even if we have gone shopping together, I am so unimportant that I can’t even be the first time in your life!” (Maki)
Why did it suddenly go there?
I can’t tell the points she gets pissed off at.
But it seems like Maki was terribly angered here, and I could tell even from the side that she is peeved.
My long years knowing her tell me that she is disguising it as a joke, but she is actually angry here.
…This is a pain, but it can’t be helped.
She did help me out here, so let’s just indulge her.
“But Maki, rather than being a beauty, you are more on the c-cute side…and you are the first one I went out shopping with aside from my family.” (Souma)
“I wouldn’t lie to you about this at this point in time.” (Souma)
When I responded to her, Maki’s breathing grew rough and…
“H-Hmph, then, I guess I shall forgive you.” (Maki)
She said this from a pretty high horse.
It is because she ends up like this that I don’t really like praising her too much.
In the first place, I don’t get why it ended up with this talk about being a beauty or not, and forgiving or not forgiving.
“Uhm, Souma-san!” (Ina)
“Eh, Ina…?” (Souma)
One trouble gone, another in.
I turned at the voice that came from my side this time, and Ina was looking up at me as if she were a chick waiting to be fed.
What are you expecting from me here?
“W-Wait! We have deviated from the main topic! This isn’t the time to be doing this!” (Souma)
I raised my voice in order to reset this chaos.
This is mostly just an excuse to slip away from this topic, but it is true that we can’t be lenient here.
(Or more like, why was I keeping up with this charade until now?!) (Souma)
I reprimanded myself.
Even though I should be dealing with things quickly at a time like this, I have been delayed greatly here.
My brain that had stopped working from the shock of the plan failing has finally begun spinning again.
“Mitsuki! Can you tell where Leila is right now?” (Souma)
Just like how Leila has the Eye of the Heavens, we also have the Explorer Ring of Mitsuki.
Moreover, the Explorer Ring is several steps more convenient than the Eye of the Heavens.
We still have a means of victory here.
“…At the center of the capital…slightly north. It doesn’t seem like she is moving.” (Mitsuki)
“North? Her house?” (Souma)
Learning that my last hope had been linked with the response of Mitsuki, I sighed in relief.
“We are leaving this house immediately for now!” (Souma)
I don’t know how it works, but it seems like search items can tell you the distance and direction of the other party.
On top of that, Mitsuki has cheat levels of space awareness and the ability to tell the distance between others, so she can tell the location of the other party by calculating the buildings, but I doubt Leila can pull off something like that.
Even if she were to know that I am staying somewhere south of the capital, she shouldn’t know yet which building it is.
She would be able to tell in no time that we live here if she were to ask others, but I don’t want to risk it if there’s the chance that it hasn’t been discovered yet.
I hurriedly left the mansion and carefully think of a plan.
(I have to do something about this Eye of the Heavens…) (Souma)
But getting rid of this thing that has the indestructible trait and also returns to you after a set period of time once you throw it away is close to impossible.
I tried slashing it with Shiranui, clinging to that little hope there was, but it didn’t even scratch it.
If it had been before the patch, things would have been more simple.
When there’s too many items left on the field, the items will disappear beginning from the first one that was placed there.
If you take advantage of this, you could get rid of as many indestructible items, so I could have gotten rid of the Eye of the Heavens just by readying a lot of trash items.
But that was fixed with a patch, and it is now not possible to dispose of the items that have the indestructible trait.
It might have been because there were a lot of complaints about event items disappearing especially with the Mysterious Scrap of Paper. And so, they had to deal with it seriously despite being Nekomimi Neko.
That in itself is great, but I couldn’t help cursing at the diligent response of the staff here.
“W-What?! J-Just saying, but I actually did this for your sake and—” (Sazan)
I cut off Sazan, who was running his mouth with excuses again while scared, and I gave him the Eye of the Heavens.
“You can use teleport magic, right? For now, can you please teleport to the furthest location you can and leave it there?” (Souma)
“…That’s fine with me, but can you write off what happened with this?” (Sazan)
Sazan peeked at me from within his mask as he asked this.
Looks like he is feeling bad in his own way about not helping me.
“Okay. Let’s do that.” (Souma)
When I said this, Sazan’s voice turned cheerful in one go.
“T-Then, it is okay for me to live in this cursed mansion where the bizarre live in, right?!” (Sazan)
“You…do you want to live here or not?” (Souma)
Sazan is from the party of Alex, but I do think of him as an honorary member at least.
I don’t have any issues with him using the mansion.
“Also, I can have free mea—I mean, I can participate in the dark feasting of sacrifices?!” (Sazan)
“Don’t say it as if we are doing weird rituals every night! Well, I don’t really mind doing that much.” (Souma)
It is super obvious here that he is trying to freeload in the house, but that was pretty much the case already anyways, and I don’t have any intention of throwing him away.
This is an emergency, so I don’t mind accepting this mu—
“Then, while at it, can you give me the gloves that are darker than the darkest night and blessed by the shadows which I borrowed from you bef—” (Sazan)
“That’s a no! Or more like, give those gloves back to me already!” (Souma)
When I shouted, Sazan jumped and hurriedly snatched away the Eye of the Heavens and began to teleport.
Once the chant ended, Sazan disappeared.
“We can buy some time with this.” (Souma)
He didn’t give me back the Fingerless Gloves again, but this is not a situation where I can be bothered by that.
The Eye of the Heavens will return to me in 6 hours.
This is simply delaying the inevitable.
We can notice her approach with Mitsuki, but when Leila enters the Death Stalker phase, she apparently can pursue the player 24/7.
I would like to sleep at night and I don’t want to live a life where I have to be on edge the whole time.
Of course, I could just steer clear from women, but my party is composed of women, so that’s impossible.
Even if so, parting from my comrades and living alone with Leila is out of the question.
(…Then, what do I do?) (Souma)
It really goes back to destroying the Eye of the Heavens somehow, or moving to a remote island at a distant sea where she wouldn’t be able to get to even if she were to know about my location with the Eye of the Heavens.
But a place like that…
“…No, there’s one!!” (Souma)
That’s when a certain event showed up in my head.
(If it is that…it should be possible?) (Souma)
I checked several times in my head to see if there’s anything I am missing here, and then nodded internally, feeling confident about this one.
I tighten my fist and look at Mitsuki who is shaking her cat ears in worry.
“Mitsuki, I want to reach the castle without meeting Leila. Can I count on you to guide me?” (Souma)
“…Looks like you have thought of something.” (Mitsuki)
Mitsuki said this happily.
I nodded confidently as if to answer this.
“Yeah, I remembered a good place to take shelter in. Going to the castle is just a preparation for this, and we will head there after that. We won’t be able to return for a while, so the decision is yours whether you want to follow me or not.” (Souma)
The forgetful knight captain that’s at the castle, Spark Hawk.
I remembered that there’s a quest that’s triggered from a few words of his.
“A shelter that we won’t be able to return from for a while and an uninhabited island, huh. If we are to move away from human civilization, we will need to take the proper preparations—” (Mitsuki)
I cut off the words of Mitsuki and answered.
“No, the place we are going to be heading to can be reached in just a few minutes on foot from the capital. The Aken Residence. A normal house that we will be heading to after notifying in advance about a ring theft!” (Souma)
The mystery quest that is triggered from the words of the knight captain: Ring of the Aken Family.
I will bet my chips on this!!