I smell conspiracy and betrayal… There is so much we still don’t know O.O\
A funny chapter even though most of it is fanservice lol~
BTW- I got tests coming up this month, but I hope it won’t change anything in our schedule ^^
Chapter 1, Episode 20: Lie
Border town Links. A mysterious town where a desert and grassland coexist.
The southern district lies on a desert area.
Normally, the main street would be bustling with stalls, but due to signs of war, no one opened their stores. The lower class citizens were holed up in their homes.
There were only a few people in the inn and the bar.
In the northern district’s grasslands, the merchants there have stagecoaches set up, and the nobles have their luggage packed so as not to get involved in the war. There’s confusion and an air of savagery.
If you continue along the road, you can find the mansion in which Margrave Grinda resides.
The mansion is surrounded by a tall fence, and in the center, is an iron gate. When you pass through that gate, visitors are greeted by a line of well maintained trees.
Once you walk by that area for a bit, a beautiful mansion leaps into view.
The walls have a white theme, and there is an octagonal roof which slopes on all sides.
The mansion was a wooden, two story building built atop a plateau so as to look down on the town.
On the second floor of that building, there is a room full of history books about the town and the Empire.
There are bookshelves all around the square room, lined with books both old and new, and any books that don’t fit there are placed on the floor.
In the center of the room which could be called a library, was long, rustic table lacking any unnecessary decorations. It’s presence seems to suggest that it is the master of the room.
Below that table was Cerberus. At the moment, he was not a white wolf full of majesty, but a puppy that was drenched in the rain, hiding and trembling.
The top of the table was piled with books, and to the side of it, was a lone male reading a book on the floor.
He was a young boy with black hair and black eyes who looked both pitiful and gentle.
「Phew… This is embarrassing.」
Hiro placed the book he was reading on the table and pinched his brows to relax them.
He felt as if he was being shown a dark past about his time in middle school.
All the books mentioned the first Emperor, and if he was mentioned, the Hiro that was once known as Schwarz was surely mentioned as well.
For Hiro, it was 3 years ago. For this world, it was 1,000.
Just thinking about the fact that he was even deified gave him a headache.
「But it’s weird…」
He should have returned to 「Earth」 from Aletia three years ago when he was 14.
But all the books say that Hiro lived out his life as the second Emperor.
(I wonder who this Schwarz is exactly.)
There was a possibility in Hiro’s mind, but he immediately shook the thought out of his head.
—This all happened 1,000 years ago. No matter what he says now, it won’t change a thing.
He looks towards the window on the other side of the room for a change of pace.
In the western sky, the violet clouds had the sun to their backs, as if they were playing a prank on it.
Relying on the light coming from that window, he grabs a different book and pulls out a card from an inner pocket of his uniform.
It was an item given to him by the first Emperor Altius before he returned to his own world.
「… It resembles a spirit charm.」
There are similar charms cited in the book he opened, but they weren’t as plain or as thick as his.
He doesn’t know what it is or how he should use it.
「And it doesn’t just work, like with 「Excalibur」…」
The spirit king’s divine protection. It’s an <outside> power which goes beyond the limits of human intelligence.
Hiro stares into a blank space. There is a snapping sound, and then a tear in space.
And that which creeps out from that tear, is a white handle.
When he looks down, 「Excalibur’s」 handle is gone, as if it had been cut clean off.
When he grabs the handle that’s floating in space and pulls it out, 「Excalibur」 disappears from his waist and appears in Hiro’s hand.
—You have received 「Excalibur’s」 favor.
He recalled those words Altius said to him when he showed this to him.
(… Spirit swords have a will.)
When he wishes for it,「Excalibur」 materialize by means of a 「gate」 which connects Aletia and the spirit world.
Once Hiro let’s go, the moment it hits the ground, it vanishes as if it had disappeared into air.
The room falls silent, and that silence ripples out.
Darkness slowly creeps up onto the room.
Outside, sounds of loud footsteps ring out as they start to get closer.
After a while, the door violently swung open and a seemingly angry, crimson-haired girl entered.
「Cerberus! Are you in here?!」
Hiro, who was facing that way, was so surprised he almost spit up.
Cerberus pricks his pointy ears and hides behind Hiro.
「Hey! Come here!」
Liz approached him and stretched her hand out, but the wolf just growled in an attempt to intimidate her.
His eyes were burning as if he had met with a sworn enemy.
He looked resolute in his decision not to take a single step.
「Come on! Why do you hate baths so much!」
「Ah—… Excuse me Liz, I’m sorry to bother you while you’re busy, but do you have a second?」
「What is it?!」
「Umm… wh-why aren’t you wearing any clothes?」
「I’m covering myself, aren’t I?」
「No, umm… that’s not good enough.」
Well, it was true that she was hiding the important parts with a towel.
It was an impossibly difficult decision, but Hiro squinted his eyes so as not to look below, and focused only on her face.
In a way, that wasn’t a good idea either, but he had no choice this time.
「Cerberus, for my sake too, won’t you go take a bath?」
He has to do something before Tris comes.
It would be impossible to talk himself out of this situation.
Hiro forces his arms around the torso of the wolf that was deftly shaking his head in refusal and hands him over to Liz.
「Hey! Stop fighting!」
Because of the stubborn Cerberus, the towel flutters down to the ground.
She kept her back to Hiro as if she hadn’t noticed.
And so, Liz left the room with her secret garden exposed.
Hiro wasn’t able to tell her. His narrowed eyes were now open.
He could tell a torrent of power that he never even felt from his spirit sword was swelling in the lower half of his body.
At the same time, he had forgotten to breathe and his face was quickly turning red.
It can be said that it is extremely important to humans. You could even say it is indispensable in living.
Hiro finally remembered how to breathe and was able to regain his senses.
Then, Hiro noticed there was someone at the door which still open, staring at him.
His face didn’t appear angry or sad. It was very strange.
As Tris slowly approached, Hiro made a quick decision to get on his hands and knees.
「Please, spare my life at least.」
「Boy, there’s something I’d like to ask you.」
「Anything you want… so please, my life…」
「I don’t understand why you keep acting so frightened… Are you listening to me?」
The man once called 「Mars」 1,000 years ago racked his brain at full power. After a few seconds of scrutinizing Tris’s words, he answered.
「Do you have a question for me?」
He forces a stiff smile to try to look composed.
Though Tris looked puzzled, he seemed to decide to brush it aside.
「A lot happened the other day and I’m a bit unsettled.」
It didn’t seem to be about Liz after all.
He breathes a sigh of relief in his mind, and concentrates on listening to Tris.
「Boy, who are you exactly?」
「What do you mean…?」
A slight ray of light glitters, and a cold blade is placed on the nape of his neck.
「Depending on your answer, I may cut off your head.」
Looking into Tris’s eyes, Hiro gathers that he is serious.
「I trust you, boy. I also owe you a debt for saving us from that battlefield which reeked of death. However, after witnessing such powers, I cannot play the fool.」
「Well, that’s true.」
「If anyone would bring harm to the princess, I will personally take care of them, even if I am indebted to them. So don’t try to deceive me.」
Hiro gulped and cleared his throat.
If he said that he was the second Emperor, his head would likely tumble across the floor.
But if he said he came from 「Earth」, his head would still fall.
—What do I do?
As Hiro hesitates…
「Tris, what are you doing?!」
Liz enters the room in a panic.
She clings to Hiro’s neck and pushes him down. She then lifts her face and sternly glares at Tris.
「I don’t know what happened, but this going too far!」
「Quiet. And sheathe your sword.」
Without a word, Tris sheathes his sword and takes a knee.
Liz removes her body while leaving the hint of a sweet smell.
「Tris, tell me what happened exactly.」
「Actually, this is perfect. There’s something I want you to hear too, Liz.」
Hiro gets up and stands between the two.
「What is it?」
「—My true identity. I’m sure you were wondering about it, too.」
「… You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. I don’t really mind.」
Seeing her eyes trembling, Hiro hesitated a bit, then stroked her face.
Hiro forced a smile at Liz who looked like a lonely child that had been separated from her parents.
「It’s okay. I want to tell you now.」
「… All right. If you want to tell me, I’ll listen.」
「It’s not that complicated though—」
After a brief pause, Hiro quietly spoke.
「I’m a descendant of the second Emperor.」
If he were to tell the whole truth, he would have to tell them about 1,000 years ago as well.
They had to depart tomorrow, and he couldn’t explain everything in half a day.
So he decided to simply tell a lie.
「If you want proof, I guess it would be the color of my hair and eyes. They’re atavisms.」
While he thinks their silence is odd, Hiro continues.
「By the way, I think the reason I was able to enter the Anfang forest was because I’m part of the second Emperor’s lineage.」
「… Hiro, do you know what that means?」
Hiro tilted his head in response to Liz’s serious question.
「Eh, what does that means?」
「If what you say is true, that means you’re a successor to the throne.」
「That’s not true. I’m just a descendant.」
「Of that 「Mars」, right?」
「… Yeah, that’s right.」
「Then that puts you at the bottom of the Imperial family. Probably.」
「Well, there’s the first Emperor’s last testament.」
「Yeah. It’s a strange last testament.」
Liz looks at the silent Tris.
「If one who calls himself a descendant of Schwarz appears, confirm it at the spirit mausoleum. If it be true, grant unto him a befitting status. Those who do not adhere to this last testament will fall to the spirit king’s curse.」
—Altius… what are you doing?
He’s a smart man. He might have had some sort of premonition.
He may have done that so that no matter which era Hiro returned to, he would have no inconveniences.
But to think that he predicted that Hiro would claim to be a descendant. What a scary man.
「So, you might able to enter the Imperial family. Are you happy?」
There was a smile on Liz’s face as she approached to grab his arms.
If Hiro wasn’t thickheaded, he might have sensed her feelings of love.
He might have realized it wasn’t a love which arose from different social standings.
But Hiro managed a stiff smile in response to the unexpected development, and looked towards Cerberus, as if to request any form of assistance.
It might have been because he held a grudge for the incident earlier, but Cerberus turned his back in a huff and ignored Hiro.
「… Hmm. I suppose that’s fine for now.」
Tris says reluctantly as he gets up with an unconvinced look on his face.
It was only natural, because even though Hiro had answered the question about his origins, the mystery of his powers was left unexplained. Tris was likely holding himself back in the presence of Liz.
「I can’t believe that you were a descendant of the second Emperor. But I think I’m a little disappointed that you weren’t a spirit.」
He wanted to poke fun at her about bringing up that topic again, but there was a more important matter.
「Umm, do you think you can keep quiet about my being a descendant of the second Emperor?」
「I know. We’re in no situation for that right now. And there’s something bothering me, too…」
Though he brought this on himself, his lie had made things even more complicated.
This may be what they mean by a crafty schemer drowning in their own scheme.
He sighs at the fact that nothing goes his way with his life in this alternate world.
Hiro’s mind raced desperately with thoughts of the future.