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VOLUME 5: THE COVERT OPERATIONS OF MATAR·DEUS

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EPISODE 225: Nikki’s Will

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The Spirit Forest will now be brought to a closure in this chapter.

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After I finished hearing about the benefits of the contract from Tenn, Nikki and the others who had been waiting came over. Her appearance gave off an atmosphere of a dog wagging its tail to its owner.

“Kiki, I guess I’ll give back the sword first”

After Tenn said that, I felt something heavy on my left waist, and when I checked it, the Rending Blade・Zangeki which wasn’t here a while ago had returned. It hadn’t changed a bit, but according to Tenn, this sword has already become a part of his body.

“Well, let’s try to get along from now on, Hiiro!”

After he said that, he jumped and landed on my shoulder, then patted my head. I feel more irritated of his being overly-friendly attitude.

“……you’re heavy. Get off”
“Eeh~, but it is nice here! And were already bound by a master-servant contract! I’m the master of course!”
“Don’t kid with me you yellow monkey!”

I tried to shake him hard from my shoulder, but I felt dizzy all of a sudden, and my gait became unsteady.

Before I became aware, I was supported by something warm on the left side of my body. As if that existence had prevented me from falling.

“Hiiro……Okay?”

It was Camus. It seems that he supported me. Besides him was Nikki who had been staring at me with a face full of worry. I took a deep breath, then

“Don’t worry. It’s because I used too much of my magical powers so I staggered a little. It’s all right”
“Ukiki, yeah, that’s right! You’re too unreasonable! For a while that little lady, err boy……what is this uncomfortable feeling……Ah geez! Anyway, it’s good that child over there have supported you!”

(TL Note: We all knew that feeling Tenn. We all knew)

I kind of understand his feeling of uneasiness. Camus isn’t a lady, he’s a man. But because he looks like a girl and give vibes of one it was very hard to tell.

As I was intending to walk without being supported, I apologize to him and tried to stand alone, and went back to the place where a table is set, where everyone else is sitting all together.

 

From there was Orun, sleeping in Niña’s shoulder.

“Fufufu, she spent the whole time having fun after your absence and tired herself out”

 

As what Niña said, if I recalled correctly Orun had remembered that I was coming here and was frolicking in high spirits. She was playing noisily with Nikki and the others for a while ago. A feeling of satisfaction can be seen on Orun’s sleeping face.

“First of all I want to thank everyone, especially Hiiro-sama”
“Don’t mention it. Or should I say I did it to earn a favor? Anyway, it’s fine.”
“Yes, Ufufu”

 

(From here the POV switches a lot. Don’t blame me. Blame the author)
She made a beautiful smile, so beautiful that any man will surely get captivated by it no matter what they are. But as expected of Hiiro who is being surrounded by women of high levels all the time, he could only leak a sigh.

If there is a good looking guy like Aoyama Daishi were here, he will surely shine out if I were to evaluate objectively, more so if it’s a beautiful woman. But I stopped that thoughts immediately as it didn’t matter to me personally.

So after Hoozuki got a bird’s eye view of everyone’s faces, I was told that the gate was to be closed soon.

The gate is a rift of space from where Hiiro came. If it closes, it would take time to open it again.

And it is said that the passage to Fairy Garden should also be closed at once, too. Hearing about it, I could see a shadow in the princess’ expression. The same could be also said from Niña who could only give a sigh with a face tinged with loneliness.

“Those two……look very close”

Not that I want to hear it in particular, but Camus whispered to my ear. He seems to have heard the relationships of those two from Hoozuki, although it was heard originally from Nikki.

 

(I see. They’re holding their reigns on their emotions because of their current positions……)

Though I thought of it as but something irrelevant, it was also true that these two have their own circumstances. Thinking that it seems troublesome, I remained silent, then I noticed Nikki sending her gazes at the two people.

With knitted eyebrows, she’s having the kind of face of someone who has thought of something and want to let it out but is unable to. As I was thinking why she is concerned with the two people that much,

“Well, anyway, you can feel at ease, Niña. The gate may close now, but it can now be possible to open it here once more. It was all thanks to Hiiro”
“……I see”

Though she replied firmly with a smile, there wasn’t a trace of joy in her words. It seems that her current relationship with the princess became the splinter for it.

“U~n, you may have seen this, but that princess is always being dishonest with herself”

While Tenn says that while shrugging his shoulders,

“Yeah, I have seen it……though no matter how you look at it she isn’t the type to be frank with herself, isn’t she?

 

“Ukyakya, you can say that again! Princess is so stubborn and obstinate with herself its stupid!”

After I got to the table, Tenn who was talking vividly was blown off by the chair which was being thrown out by the princess.

(That guy really doesn’t learn his lesson either……)

If you say it in such a loud voice, then you should have expected it to reach her. Then, the princess suddenly bowed toward Niña.

“We-We’ll be hoping of meeting you again sometime”

Though she tried to leave immediately after saying that,

“……Eh?”

Princess stopped walking. No, she couldn’t do anything but to stop. Because on her way, was Nikki spreading her arms apart, blocking her. She who was still beside me had gone over there before anyone is aware.

“Uhm……Is there something you need?”

The princess asked in perplexity.

“Your farewell is no good desuzo!”

What is that stupid pupil doing? I asked my mind in reflex.

Everyone is at loss at Nikki’s actions and can only stiffen. Nikki however, is pouting and throws a powerful gaze at the princess.

“Uhmm, what do you mean by that actually?”

She feigned calmly as much as possible.

“A farewell shouldn’t be done with ill feelings!”

You can perceive that the princess panicked a little. However, she restored her expression to a composed demeanor at once.

“………wha, what is this child taking about?”
“Because”
“Eh?”

Nikki interjects the princess’s words.

“Because, if you were unable to meet again, you will regret it very much!”

As having received a shock, the princess’ lips was faintly shaking. But Nikki harbored sorrowful eyes as she looked at Hiiro, recalling a certain thing.

That girl……so she remembered from that time……)

It was when I met Nikki for the first time. The fear that brought her to………… though it is also related to her growth, I think she doesn’t want others to have such an experience.

It was a painful and heart-breaking event. For this reason, I think Nikki doesn’t want the princess to experience it herself and tried to stop her midway.

Hiiro who knew everything sent a calm glance to the princess. She who is an All-Seeing Race should now know how much her present remarks is not a lie and how heavy it is to her.

With that in mind, I took interest in what kind of reaction would she take. As of noticing the feelings of Nikki,

“……Haha, you might not understand this because you’re still too young, I value something called distinction. So until I have made that distinction……”
“What’s more important to you? That distinction or your important person?”
“!?”

Though the princess tried to talk back as an adult, being given a straight sound rebuttal that she cannot argue back, she gritted her teeth as she exposed her irritation.

“……get out”
“Don’t wanna-desuzo!”
“I said get out!”

At that moment, a terrifying force gushes out of the princess and surrounds Nikki.

I should say as what you expect of a High-Ranking Spirit, to even influence her surroundings with just her haki. Camus vigilantly tried to go to Nikki, but I immediately made her stop.

(TL Note: Yeah. I can’t translate that One Piece word (覇気) well. Still, I’m keeping it as it’s already well-known as it is)

Though he turned at me with a puzzled look saying “Why did you stop me?” I told her “It’s okay. See?” then said nothing anymore.

As Camus is being worried, Nikki took the haki head-on, causing her body to tremble and her face turn white, but still standing. However, not a step back was made from her.

“……wh-why?”

As for why she stands in her way that much, I also don’t know. On the contrary, not even a sensation of being shaken was felt from Nikki.

Meanwhile, Hiiro made a big sigh. Even if just a little, his capriciousness woke up in order to help his pupil.

“*sigh*, Oi, snake girl”
“S-snake girl……and, what is it?”

To her raised eyebrows clearly signifying her unpleasant mood, I moved my mouth.

“Once, there is a stupid fellow, but that guy isn’t always stupid”
“………Huh?”
“and always thinking what’s right, and though it may not look like it, always idiotically charging ahead”
“…………”
“I’ll tell you something about that person. That fellow was very close to a certain guy. But one day, after just a trivial quarrel, they didn’t talk to each other for a while”

All the members as well as the princess listened to Hiiro’s story.

“Always being so worthlessly stubborn, thinking that sooner or later they will be able to make up soon. However, even a single conversation is not possible for them anymore”
“……th, that’s……”
“Yeah, That thing happened. That person has died”

Being at loss for words, the princess who is unable to refute looked down. Not only her, but also Hoozuki and Niña as well.

“That foolish pupil of mine and that guy can never reconcile throughout their lives anymore. This is the result of that trivial pride”

That time, sadness and suffering put the childish Nikki in pain as if stabbing a blade into her heart directly. For that reason…… she who knew the pain of the princess who is doing a similar thing couldn’t able to keep silent.

“So, how’s your ‘distinction’ faring?”
“…………”
“Well, for you it may be something that important”
“…………”
“However, as for me and that kid, we have no idea why we should really protect that distinction. She wants you to give priority to what’s the most important thing you have”

Hiiro sighed in disgust as he stood up and went to Nikki’s direction. He then closed her whited eyes and held her in a princess-carry.

While holding Nikki, he moved next to the princess and said.

“Well, no matter what answer you give, it doesn’t matter to me. Even then, compared to this fellow who kept standing even if she fainted, which is more of a fool I wonder?”

Apparently, it seemed that Niiki has been deprived of her consciousness from the time her body received the princess’ haki head-on. Still, maybe because of her strong will, it didn’t make her fall and remained standing.

While keeping his glare, Hiiro turned his gaze to Hoozuki.

“Oi, We want to go now. If we stayed here a little longer, it will eventually cause an uproar over there, and it’s a lot of pain in the ass”

“……Alright”

After Hoozuki nodded, I sent a wink at Tenn who has returned to the table unnoticed.

“I’ll leave the latter part to you”
“Kikii! You can count on me!”
“And also……”
“Eh?”
“Though I forgot this, the next time I come here……… get ready for your punishment okay?”
“Hii! U, u, ukiiiiiiiii!”

Apparently, Hiiro didn’t forget Tenn’s punishment for playing a prank on him either. Tenn seems to have hoped that it will be forgotten as it is, but it didn’t seem to go that well. He ran away to the depths of the forest with a terrified expression. It was totally a picture of a poor small monkey.

I returned my gaze to Hoozuki who seems to be smiling for some reason.

“Thank you”
“……for what?”
“in various ways. That child too”

Still wearing that gentle smile, he sent a glance to Nikki. He truly wished to express his gratitude especially for the princess, even though the person in question hardened herself and turned back.

“Hiiro-san, see you again”
“if fate gives us a chance”
“Ufufu, too bad Orun is still in such state”

She was dripping her saliva while sleeping soundly on her shoulder.

“Well, she won’t be as noisy so it’s fine. Let’s go”

Camus steps behind and extends his eyes towards where Tenn ran off to and tried to chase after him. But then,

“Wait!”

 

My feet was stopped suddenly. this voice, it surely belonged to the princess.

“……What is it?”

While holding Nikki, I turned around.

“……n, name……”
“Haa?”

she then thrusted her finger while blushing in deep red.

(TL Note: AKA the classic tsundere pose, like this)

“N,name! The name of that child!”
“……didn’t I introduce her a while ago?”
“Uu……”

In other words, she didn’t remember. The princess gave an embarrassing sight.

“……Haah, She’s Nikki”
“……Nikki……Nikki……hey”

She then approached and gently wrapped Nikki’s small hand with both of hers.

“Really……despite being so small……you’re quite cheeky”

She gave a somewhat refreshing expression, contrary to her words. The she took the white ribbon binding her hair, and tied it on the hand of Nikki.

“……Thank you”

Though I could only see her lips move, I was able to almost hear her saying it softly.

 

(Heee, so this fellow knows how to smile)

Her smile, whom I had seen personally was richer than all of the women I had met until now.

“You, so you can smile like that. You know, I would prefer you if continue doing that”

If she were to put out an honest front like this, I will surely have a good impression of her, and this won’t go on a strange turn of saving her.

But in response to the words of Hiiro, the princess’ face reddened like a boiling octopus.

Wa, wawawawawawhat are you saying! A-are you making advances on me!? I-I-I’m not such an easy woman to fall for that you know?”

(TL Note: But didn’t you already fall? Or maybe you have fallen so hard your senses became numb and jumbled your memories of falling for him?)

As she yelled threateningly as her lips tremble,

“……Huh? What the hell are you saying?”

I cannot understand what she wanted to say at all. How in Edea made her think would I am making a pass on her?

(TL Note: Dude. I’m just curious. If I throw you in the Dead Sea, will you float?)

“eh……?”

 

With Hiiro’s expressionless reaction, she was able to regain her usual composure. Then,

“Aaaah Geez! Anyway!”

The princess went and faced Niña. Niña on the other hand, was surprised at her sudden actions.

“Uhmm……you see……I, I want to apologize. No, it’s not that, err……I’m sorry!”

Being apologized suddenly, Niña was confused on how to react to the situation.

“Uhm……will, will you forgive me……Ni, Nia?”

With this, Niña’s expression brightened and turned into a gleeful look like a flower in full bloom.

“Princess……Of course, I’ll gladly forgive you, princess”

(TL Note: I know this is kind of late but, should I continue using “Princess” or change it to Hime? What do you guys prefer?)

Tears fell down on both of their eyes. They were tears of joy.

(Looks like my stupid pupil’s fainting was worth it)

Despite the emotional situation before him, Hiiro continued advancing. Tenn who appeared from nowhere waved his hands urging them to hurry up. It seems he’s very afraid of the punishment before him and wants to leave quickly. Then, at my back,

“Hiiro Okamura! The next time we meet, I’ll make you acknowledge me by all means!”

(TN Note: should I use the term ‘notice’ instead of acknowledge? But ‘notice’ is kind of unfitting for an obstinate princess)

While thinking that there isn’t a need for me to acknowledge her in my mind, I moved my feet ignoring it. I turned my gaze again for a last look at the fairy-tale like place, then directed my sight to Tenn to make him lead the way.

(what a strange bunch of companions I have gotten……)

“A dog for Nikki, a pheasant for Mikadzuki, and a monkey for Tenn. Well, for Nikki she only acts like one though.

(What am I, Momotaro……?)

Anyway, what’s good is I have obtained a new kind of power. Even though the basic problem is not settled yet, because in this encounter I obtained something, it’s all right.

(……but that explanation surely is a pain in the ass)

Thinking hard on how I would tell this Lilyn, and more importantly Silva when I get back, I left the fairy-tale like place and home of the spirits, the Spirit Forest.

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(Author’s notes)

The point of view changes in the next two episodes more or less. The setting is……the Holy Land Ordina. There will be a lot of talks then afterwards something will happen.

(TL Notes: Great. Just great. Thanks for the warning. But would really help if you DON’T CHANGE IT AT ALL! SERIOUSLY!)

 

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