Saturday, May 14, 2022 @

Chapter 45 Dark-green Sword Princess

 “This is ridiculous... why are you...”
 Why is Nagisa Seikai here?
 In confusion, I cover my mouth with my hand.
 I've rescued my classmate from a gargoyle attack, enslaved Urza, a heroine from another game, and so on. And finally, I saved one of the main heroines, Aeris, and made her my friend.
 I understand that the scenario of [DunBrave] as I know it has already deviated from the one that I know, and that it is impossible to fix. So, I'm not going to dwell on the scenario now.
 But still... why does Nagisa Seikai appear in front of us? Why is Leon not here beside her, the heroine?
 What kind of a fate could have brought about such a situation?
 Unaware of my confusion, Nagisa stabs the fallen giant praying mantis with the sword in her hand.
 The mantis lets out a short grunt and vanishes, leaving only its sickle as a drop item.
 The giant praying mantis, the boss monster of this dungeon, seems to have been defeated by Nagisa before we could fight it.
 “Baskerville and Centorea...? And that little one over there...”
 “My name is Urza, desu~no! Urza is not small, desu~no!”
 “Oh, right, Urza. I'm sorry if I offended you.”
 Nagisa apologizes with a slight bow of her head.
 She sheathes her sword and turns to face us.
 “Are you guys exploring this place too? I heard that Baskerville was suspended from school after a violent incident, was I mistaken?”
 “No, there is no mistake. I am just practicing while suspended. What about you, Seikai? What about your classes at school?”
 Today is a weekday, a normal class day. And it is still early afternoon, before the end of the school day.
 “I decided to cancel the afternoon classes voluntarily. I'm also here for training.”
 Nagisa readily confessed to skipping class.
 Her cool good looks showed no sense of guilt, and she did not seem to think anything of missing the class.
 But Nagisa's remark caused a sensitive reaction in Aeris, an honor student, who was listening to the conversation behind me.
 “Seikai-san, you can't do that!”
 Aeris comes out in front of her, puts her hands on her waist, and raises her eyebrows in reproach.
 “Your studies are an important opportunity for your personal development. You can't selfishly take a break from it for personal reasons!”
 “...Centorea, are you saying that? You also absent from school to work with Baskerville...”
 “I'm responsible for causing a ruckus and I'm suspended too! I also have the school's permission!”
 Aeris said while pushing out her ample breasts.
 Hmm? Aeris doesn't have to be suspended as well, since I am the only one who is being punished... but she probably won't listen to me. Experience has taught me this.
 “Besides, I'm part of the party, so, it's a joint responsibility!”
 Being together with Aeris, I have noticed that she is surprisingly stubborn and self-possessed.
 It might be better than the time when she sacrificed himself for others, but I am a little confused when she shows her straight favor to me.
 “...I see. Even though I don't know, I'm glad to hear that you seem to be enjoying yourself more than when you were in the academy. Whatever the reason, it's good to get some real-world experience.”
 Nagisa murmurs in a flat voice as she collects the items dropped by the praying mantis.
 There is no one around her who seems to be her friend. Neither Leon nor Ciel nor anyone else is around. It seems that she has come this far solo.
 Nagisa is wearing a colorful kimono over her school uniform, but her slender body is covered with countless wounds and blood.
 Aeris also noticed Nagisa's wounds and looked worried.
 “Seikai-san, please let me treat your wound...”
 “Hmm? Oh, I'm sorry. Please take care of me.”
 Nagisa accepted the treatment quietly. As Aeris holds out her hand, Nagisa's body is enveloped in a green effect.
 “Thank you. Now I can continue my training a little longer.”
 “Seikai-san... it's too dangerous to come here alone... what if you get hurt?”
 “I know it's dangerous. I know the risks, but I have to be strong. I will not stop even if the god of death has to stand by my side”
 Nagisa looked with a strong color of determination in her eyes.
 Hard, sharp, clear and straight eyes.
 But at the same time, they have the color of fragility and danger, as if they could break at any moment. The way she risked even her life for the sake of self-improvement was similar to Aeris when she used to devote herself to self-sacrifice.
 “I don't mind your training, but... why are you alone? I thought you were in a party with Leon and Ciel.”
 I asked what I had to ask.
 In the original scenario of [DunBrave], Nagisa should have been working with Leon after the fight with the gargoyle at the 'Sage's Playground'.
 And yet, here she is, diving in a dungeon solo, and accomplishing the dangerous feat of defeating a boss single-handedly.
 What in the world could have happened to Nagisa?
 “You mean Brave? We've been a party for a while, but I'm already out. He and I just don't get along.”
 Nagisa says it matter-of-factly. She is supposed to be the heroine, but her words deny the hero.
 “Brave was out of school for a few days due to an injury, but he's already back. And now he's teaching the underachievers in the class. He train them in combat and dive dungeons with them. Uranus also with him. And sometimes he does the same thing with the other class”
 “Huh? Why would Leon do that?”
 “Well... he said things like, 'It's the duty of the class president to lead the others!'“ . He cares more about everyone taking a step forward together rather than about his own personal growth.”
 It was a good-natured Leon-esque argument, but it was a development that did not appear in the game. Is it possible that this mysterious scenario was changed due to the ball-kicking incident?
 “I respect what Brave is doing as a human being. I think it's a very noble idea. But... the strength I'm looking for won't come from being with him. I'm not looking for group strength. I'm looking for the strength of a single sword sharpened to its limits. That's why I've trained alone.”
 I try to say something, but I fall silent because I don't know what to say.
 I wonder how things turned out this way.
 In the game, I was only allowed to form a party with the three main heroines and other fellow characters, but in this world where the game has become reality, I can form a party with mob characters who have no names. This may be a factor.
 Or it might be because of the fact that I saved Jean and his friends by defeating the gargoyle in the “Sage's Playground”.
 Maybe the gargoyle's killing of his classmates made Leon feel powerless and he began to seek for strength.
 So, it was also possible that my saving Jean had made Leon not want to be as strong as he needed to be.
 “This change is troubling... what should I do about this...?”
 This development is not good.
 The hero and heroine, Aeris and Nagisa, are already gone from Leon's side. This is a clear reduction in the strength of the team.
 There are other strong characters besides the main heroines, but from the looks of things, I don't think he has any contact with them either.
 At this rate, the future in which Leon is defeated by the Demon King is becoming more and more realistic.
 He may not be able to acquire enough strength to face the Demon King.
 For the note, the Demon King will return in April of the second year. Although there is still a grace period of about 10 months, the monsters under the control of the Demon King are already on the move.
 If Leon continues to smolder, there is a possibility that he will be defeated by the Demon King and the world will be destroyed.
 “Well, I'll leave for now. I'll see you at the school.”
 Nagisa bids us goodbye as I have been thinking about it, and then she turns to leave.
 “Wait, Seikai-san!”
 Aeris calls out to her behind her back.
 Nagisa turns around with a curious look on her face. Her pony-tailed hair sways softly.
 “What's wrong? You still have something to tell me?”
 “Um... Seikai-san, if you don't mind, would you like to join our party?”
 Aeris said something that made me roll my eyes.
 Why in the world would Aeris say something like that? I listened to her words so that I wouldn't miss anything she said.

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