ED: Sorry about the delay. Now, enjoy!
I immediately take a stance to guard against any attacks after I heard the voice from the roof. It’s a habit I’ve developed ever since facing Tidus. I need to always be aware of my surroundings; to never let my guard down at any and all times.
Lastiara jumps down from the roof of the bar, and with a wave of her hand, she smiles and greets me.
“Yo, long time no see! Have you been waiting for me?”
She walks closer to me in a carefree manner. The clothes she’s wearing is the same as that time when she attacked me out of nowhere. It looks to be made of high quality silk, probably common for high class personages like her. It’s definitely something you don’t just wear when roaming around a town, especially in places like this. There’s one thing out of place however, it’s that there’s a silver sword sheathed on her hip.
My eyes met with hers. The impression I get from her now is the same as I did back then; her eyes isn’t that of a human’s.
“Nope. I didn’t.”
I reply with a dismissive expression. Lastiara looks at me with narrowed eyes.
Compared to how I was before, I’m definitely much stronger now. I’m quite confident that I’m one of the strongest people in this world given how I am able to beat Tidus when nobody else could. Unlike before, this time, the pressure from her is something I can easily take.
I use [Observe] on her…
|Strength 11.01||Vit 10.56||Dex 6.78||Speed 7.89|
|Wisdom 12.38||Magic 8.78||Quality 4.00|
|Original Skill||Weapon Combat||2.12|
|[Noah of Haven Sword]|
I couldn’t see her status before. But now, I know. Well, I did kind of had a hunch back then. Her level, skills, even her weapon, everything she has is first class. But even so, she’s still within my range. I should be able to fight with her on equal terms.
“You’re so cold! Even though I’ve always looked forward to this day…”
“Saying that I’m cold… You know, today was nothing but trouble thanks to you.”
“Eh, but Kanami~ You can handle the situation easily, right? So, it’s no problem~”
“Ahh? No problem?”
The common sense of the strong. She definitely has it.
“By the way, regarding your way of speaking with me, be more casual! Since we’re a couple~”
She’s always talking nonsense, even up to now. Hey, wait a minute—since when did we become a couple? I really can’t understand her.
“I don’t mind talking less formally with you.”
“Fufufu~ I can feel that you’ve become much stronger. Ah, me too~! I should be more casual with you as well~”
(ED: I feel like there should be heart marks at the end of her sentences lol)
“Sigh. First of all, I’ll tell you this. Whatever you’re planning, I want no part in it. Although if you attack me, I have no intention of going down without a fight.”
“No way! I always mean well with you.”
“You say that after getting me involved with Radiant…?”
“Yes, well, I had no choice, right?”
Lastiara says this as if it was just a trifling matter. But I don’t think she’s lying. She seems to think that the previous incident, battle and all, was really nothing to worry about. However, for me, who now has to deal with knights suddenly challenging me to duels, it’s quite worrisome; especially since they’ll be appearing in the bar as well, most likely.
“What do you mean, you had no choice?”
“I mean what I said. Besides, you still accepted the fight, right? You might think that you have no chance against any of the Seven Celestial Knights, but you took this opportunity to test your abilities.”
… This girl accurately read my intentions. Is that because of her God’s Eye skill? I think it’s worthy to note that I’ve met with a lot of people with unique skills based on their eyes. Sigh, only Dia makes me feel safe nowadays.
Seeing me, the speechless me, Lastiara continues.
“Of course, you and Sera have a lot of differences. Both the skill level and quality of equipment between you two have a huge gap. Hmm, I’ve taught you about different levels of power, right? Still, despite that, you were confident. So in the end, instead of stopping the match, I thought it would be more interesting to see it through.”
… I don’t understand, why is Lastiara’s face all red while she’s explaining this to me. Her eyes are also shining. She looks quite happy with narrowed eyes, like she’s drunk on something.
“Kanami and I are destined to reach the top together! Being loved by the world, giving back to the world, both of us are the chosen ones. Feeling lonely as a chosen one is natural, but if you meet someone similar to yourself, there’s no other choice than to walk together on the same path, right? Therefore, I want the both of us to be together. That’s what I mean.”
“So uhh… what is it that you want to do, exactly?”
“So cold! Though, I’ve already thought about this carefully.”
“You played me for fun, so it’s natural. Anyway, what is it?”
“You’re right, half of it was indeed just for fun, but the other half is for a serious reason. I’m looking for a partner; a companion. I want you to add me as a member of your party. Will you please be my partner?”
“So fast?! Uhm… Please, please think about it some more! Please?”
Lastiara pleads with both of her hands clasped in front of her like in prayer, while I just look at her coldly.
“I refused because I don’t know anything about you. I don’t even know if you’re human.”
“It wouldn’t be interesting if you knew about me since the beginning, right? It’ll be more interesting if you learn more about me as we travel.”
“I’m not interested in interesting things…”
“Eh?! Then, why are you exploring the labyrinth?”
“Well, that’s… I want to return—“
Tsk. It almost slipped out. I checked around to see if anybody’s nearby. I don’t want anybody having any interest in what I just said. But it’s different for Lastiara, since she already knows about the existence of other worlds.
“Eh? You want to go back?” Lastiara asks, shocked.
“Of course. Ever since the first day I came to this world, I’ve thought of nothing else other than to get back to my own world.”
“Ohh? Mm! Then if you want to do that, you definitely need me!”
Sigh, well, it’s true. If she does accompany us to the labyrinth, the exploration would go that much smoother. Her ability and knowledge both surpass Dia’s. Honestly, I do want her cooperation to the extent that it should be me who’d be asking her to join me if we had met under better terms.
“It’s as you’ve said, if we tackle the dungeon together then exploring it would be much easier. However, I’m still not comfortable with being together with someone I don’t know anything about. I at least want to know the bare minimum about you.”
“Mmm, the bare minimum, eh? Alright, fine.”
“Then tell me. What’s your purpose?”
The first time we’ve met, she rescued me from danger and even went so far as to barge into my room in the middle of the night to raise my level. Then, I became the target of the Seven Celestial Knights. That’s how I got involved with this troublesome girl. Those two events pretty much summarize my involvement with her.
If I don’t understand the ‘why’ of those events, I won’t be able to trust Lastiara. And labyrinth exploring is all about trust. There can be no doubts among people who rely on each other in the midst of life and death situations.
“—I only have one aim. I want to become an adventurer.”
Declaring such, without any ripples on her eyes, she seems to be completely sincere about it. And at that moment, for the first time, I felt that her inhuman eyes felt strangely human.
“From the bottom of my heart, that is my wish. I want to have someone who I can call a comrade. I want to be able to wake up in the morning, looking forward to being with others to venture into the unknown. Ah—however, I don’t want just any group of companions. It must be with people I recognize, okay?”
“So that means you recognize me, then?”
“Yes. Well, you know, I’ve been bored for as long as I remember. Ever since I was born, I felt like I was in a cage. That’s how it goes being on higher levels of society. I felt like a prisoner, where all my actions were dictated and expectations were suddenly forced onto me without my understanding of why. That’s why I’m envious of those below me, especially adventurers who live their lives only being influenced by what’s right in front of them. I’m jealous of their lives. I’m jealous of their freedom. I’m jealous about their hardships. I’m jealous—jealous—jealous, everything makes me jealous!”
It was a rant filled with her honest feelings. Despite always being hidden in a fog of mystery, with the current her, I can understand what she’s like. She’s actually selfish, not unlike a child.
“… I understand.”
“If you understand, then you must take responsibility, Kanami! Before I met you, I was able to keep these feelings locked up, you know? But imagine my surprise when I saw someone like you who possessed the [Person from Another World] title! Moreover, even though you were just level 1 and had wounds all over your body, even coming close to dying, you were able to explore the labyrinth. My envy at that point reached a level that I couldn’t hold back anymore. I just had to break out. I couldn’t stand being locked up anymore when I saw you fighting for yourself like that. The curiosity for you who might even become a hero is too much.
I want to witness your story, Kanami. I want to get involved with you.
So please, please~? Hey, hey, let me join you, okay? Pleeeaaaase~”
Right from the beginning up until the end, all she did is beg. Well, she didn’t look pitiful doing it, she just comes off as stubborn. However, by now, my doubts about her is almost gone.
Today, I managed to learn about Lastiara Whoseyard.
ED: tfw still no Ouroboros Records update.
Random excuses corner. I was gonna update this around 2 hours ago, but PSO2 lol. Must get money. And a new class “Yuusha” is gonna be patched this week, so yeah. Preparations.
Anyway, next chapters will be Arcadia.