「The great tree’s surrounding is covered by particularly thick mist that will lead even the residents of the sea of trees astray. It’s truly a natural labyrinth.」
「I, I see.」
「L-looks like it.」
Hajime’s group had finished their tour of the capital and headed toward the last attraction of the sea of trees──the great tree Ua Alto.
Hajime was leading the group while giving explanation. However, Sumire and Shuu weren’t making expression of understanding. Instead their expression was like someone who was treating a tumor.
「That’s why normally you can’t even approach it unless you pick the time when the thick mist is thinning down.」
「Umm, Hajime-kun. Thanks for the explanation but……」
「You know, we can do this after you rest for a bit. We won’t mind.」
Even the Shirasaki couples, Tomoichi and Kaoruko were giving considerate words with an atmosphere of someone looking at a seriously injured patient forcing themselves to fulfill their job.
In respond to that, Hajime looked back across his shoulder while saying 「Huh?」 with a tilt of his head.
「Rest? I’m not feeling particularly tired though……what, with the sudden suggestion?」
He looked like there was nothing wrong at all. It was unthinkable that just a short time again he was about to reach the furthest state of being unseeing, unspeaking, and unhearing. Even though he was in a really worrying state of not reacting at all even when someone was calling at him or shaking his body due to completely shutting out information from outside world……
「Hajime-kun……there’s nothing for you to feel bothered about the matter before.」
「Yeah, that’s right. In fact it was a magnificent battle.」
Shuuzou and Koichi also followed up because they couldn’t bear to just watch. But Hajime only looked puzzled.
「Battle? What’re you talking about?」
「I mean the battle against Endou-kun in the past.」
Kirino-san gave it straight at him. Her gaze was serious. Or perhaps it was a probing gaze. She must be wishing to ascertain the state of Hajime’s memory.
Everyone realized her intention and stared at Hajime while holding their breath. In the end the result was,
「Endou? En……dou? ……Jondou? What about John Doe? It refers to unidentifiable or unknown person isn’t it?」
「As I thought his memory is gone!? Hajime, get a hold of yourself!」
「Oi oi, why are you turning pale like that, Shizuku? I’m completely fine right now.」
「Your state is already abnormal since you forgot about your battle with Endou-kun just now!」
「Eh? What did you say?」
「He even got abruptly deaf!?」
Akiko was watching that exchange between Shizuku and Hajime from slightly in the back with a worried look, then she suddenly had a thought and muttered.
「This is really……even though he is being so shiny like that, he’s still reacting normally without even noticing it……his disorder is really prominent.」
「My my……but being so sparkly like that really helps when his role is acting as guide walking at the front isn’t it?」
「Remia-san, that doesn’t really excuse anything. You also won’t look at him at all.」
Yes, Hajime was shining right now just as Akiko said.
「……Hajime, so pitiful.」
「Do your best, Hajime-kun! You’ll surely get better!」
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「Goshujin-sama art someone who couldst overcome any hardship!」
「Kuu, my magic power is already……」
Yue, Kaori, Tio, and Aiko were applying soul magic “Soul Repose” together at Hajime.
The way he was shining brilliantly with four colored lights was just like a musical star.
Hajime almost reached the ultimate state of shutting out at the clearing but, how did he end up falling into this kind of state?
That was of course because the technique of Warrior Head Gil that should be called as the ultimate move of escaping from reality didn’t display that much effect.
His secret technique was a technique to conveniently to cut off information that one didn’t want to see and hear, but in the end that technique only shut out fresh information.
In other words, information that had already been burned inside one’s memory couldn’t really been shut out the moment the person reconfirmed it. Because even if they close their eyes or covered their ears, the memory would still get aroused and replayed the information.
This person here was a veteran and elite otaku who had endured and overcame numerous pains of dark history. Naturally he had also learned the “art of painting over the pain of the heart with different memory to escape from reality” that was passed down to him from his parents. It was his specialty.
It would be a different story if there was a powerful ambush troop lying in wait.
「Papa? Myuu is sorry……」
Myuu was looking down dejectedly behind Yue and others who were surrounding Hajime. Shia was pulling her hand.
Shia smiled wryly and patted Myuu’s head.
「It’s not Myuu-chan’s fault. The root of all evil is Hauria, my family who got carried away. I guarantee it!」
──Kuku, I’m the one and only Southcloud The First!
The one who said that with a “cool” pose and expression was Myuu who felt that the source of papa’s heartache was cool.
His beloved daughter happily reproduced his dark history (though to be more accurate it was the work of Aby who was cosplaying as Hajime).
It was a critical hit without any doubt.
And then Carm and others Hauria gang at that place copied Myuu with perfect synchronization. It made Myuu to imitate her papa with increasingly brighter smile……
As the result, Hajime fell on his knees the moment he returned from his non-reacting state due to the shut out technique back to reality. He writhed in pain of his heart, and yet his expression suddenly turned blank, and right after that he stood up with a peaceful expression and began acting as tour guide as though nothing had happened.
It was Baaad.
Everyone was of the same opinion.
It couldn’t be helped that his memory had vanished like that──
「P-papa! It was truly cool nano! Just like the dark hero that came out in anime nano!」
「……Eh? What did you say?」
「Myuu-chan, your feeling has been conveyed enough, so please don’t go any further!」
「T-that’s right Myuu-chan. Other people’s opinion doesn’t matter for this thing called dark history! It’s a battle between your present self and past self!」
Even though he was saying the standard line of a dense type protagonist, a crack was clearly entering Hajime’s Buddha-like expression. His body was also starting to shake.
Shia hurriedly hugged Myuu to stop her, while Shuu lectured her about the delicate heart of otaku. Chaos.
By the way, Carm and others Hauria weren’t here. Shia knocked out all of them when Southcloud The First appeared in mass. After that she entrusted them to Warrior Head Gil and his subordinates. Right now he must be transporting them to the capital with a displeased face as though he was handling explosives.
「Hajime, get a hold of yourself.」
Shuu put his arm around Hajime’s shoulders.
「You too had also dug deeply into my dark history in the past right? You went through the trouble of digging up until the back of the attic to unearth my dark history notebook and reenacted the content with wide smile on your face……what’s more, you did that when participating in the neighborhood event……uh, my head-……」
History had repeated itself. Like father like son. Perhaps that was just how things were.
「But, but still. Hajime!」
「How did I act at that time? Did I faint? Did I yell stop it you idiot in panic? Or did I get angry to cover up my embarrassment!?」
「…………No. Rather, you said that I was still immature and performed the pose with even more perfection. It was too painful to watch that the people of the neighborhood association all fell deathly silent, but you performed the act till the finish. Since then, everyone considered Tou-san as a slightly strange person and treated you like a tumor but, Tou-san defiantly acted unashamed in front of them.」
「Yes, exactly. That’s, what it means to be a father. And……」
「That is the otaku path.」
The Nagumo father and son grabbed each other’s shoulder tightly.
「Eh, what’s with this charade? Or rather, Nagumo Shuu. Shouldn’t you warn your son instead to not create a dark history? You should teach him how to avoid getting cold looks from the society.」
「Please stop with the beating using sound argument! That will just hurt all otaku-」
Shuu’s eyes snapped wide open with a glare at Tomoichi. Tomoichi was pushed back by the pressure and apologized for some reason.
「Myuu, sorry. I made you worry.」
「Myuu didn’t do anything wrong at all so don’t mind it. I just, felt a bit embarrassed. But, it made me happy that Myuu said it looked cool okay? That’s why, you understand?」
「……Theeen, will papa do it too?」
「Please stop with the unreasonable request! That will hurt papa. Really greatly at that-」
He still wasn’t at Shuu’s level……perhaps. 「Don’t reach such level……」 Yue and others could be heard muttering that with small voice. Shuu pressed his hand on his chest.
Was I……was I mistaken? No, dear. You were the coolest! Sumire! Dear! The Nagumo couple were wordlessly exchanging such dialogue.
For the time being, due to the father’s consolation (?) and “Soul Repose” from four people, Hajime’s mind somehow managed to recover. Yue and others stopped casting magic seeing that. The musical star Hajime lost his radiance.
While such thing was going on, it seemed they had arrived until very near their destination without realizing it. They had been enveloped in thick mist where they could even see an inch ahead of them.
The group reflexively stopped walking. Koichi and Kirino frowned as they spoke.
「Yes. This feels like being inflicted with the disability to differentiate the front and back while still possessing a sound mind.」
「We dungeon conquerors won’t get lost anymore though.」
「……Nn. It’s also possible to intentionally clear the fog if you have the proof of clearing. It’s also possible to interfere with the white mist itself if you can use the essence of sublimation magic to interfere at the level of the information itself.」
This white mist itself was like a magic of perception obstruction that was produced by the great tree. Yue explained that while lightly waving her hand.
Then as though to prove Yue’s words, the white mist wavered before its thickness was declining as though it was melting into the air.
Hajime urged the group with his gaze and they walked through the last path toward the great tree that kept getting clearer as time passed.
Like that, what came into view was──
All the parents fell silent without exception.
At first they couldn’t even perceive what that was. They only thought that there was a huge wall there that was like a castle wall, or perhaps it was an important place that was protected with a wall surrounding it like that.
But, the closer they got, they finally understood the moment they entered the area where the mist completely didn’t reach──the area of the great tree.
That the wall was none other than the great tree’s trunk.
Their gazes were sucked toward its base before their gazes rose toward the sky. They were people who were used to seeing skyscraper building, but they could only watch with their mouths hanging open seeing the gigantic and majestic figure.
The tree trunk became covered with a canopy of white mist at the middle, making it looked like a sacred peak that pierced through the cloud. It made the tree looked even more grand to their eyes.
It didn’t matter that the tree was withered. It was the grandness of nature that didn’t exist in earth. A symbol of fantasy. This tree made them felt that all the more clearly.
Yue’s expression relaxed into a smile seeing the parents looking overwhelmed like that while responding to Hajime. She walked toward the tree’s trunk and used regeneration magic.
With that, even more fantasy and mysticism of nature were displayed.
Golden light surged from the trunk toward the top, and then the light spread toward the thick branches. It was as though the tree was absorbing water.
The cracked trunk immediately regained its lustrousness and strength. It was filled with overwhelming vitality. Vibrant leaves were growing from the branches one after another. The canopy of white mist also became completely cleared up now. The great tree was showing its majestic figure to the world under the blue sky.
The great tree was regenerating from inside the radiant golden shine.
「This must be, what the term superb view means……」
Surprisingly, a trickle of tear flowed down silently from Shuuzou’s eyes. As the oldest one here if Yue and Tio were excluded, what he felt here must also be bigger than anyone else. He never thought that he would be able to encounter a scene this grand when he was at the final stage of his life like this.
There was nobody who raised objection to his words. There was also not a single one who made fun of his reaction.
Everyone was simply staring quietly at the great tree Ua Alto with an entranced look.
Hajime grinned to the returning Yue and held his fist toward her. Yue also chuckled seeing the reaction of Sumire and others and high fived with Hajime. Then Shia, Kaori and everyone else also joined the high five.
They were smiling innocently like children to each other for their success in drawing out such look of surprise from their parents.
A while after that, the parents were finally liberated from being deeply moved and returned to reality with a deep sigh.
Shuuzou faced Hajime with an expression of basking in the lingering memory.
「It’s a magnificent view. My thanks, Hajime-kun.」
Shuuzou’s words were the start of Shuu and others speaking their words of gratitude toward their children for the surprise present.
「That’s quite the show, Hajime. Certainly, this surprise is far better than seeing it from the sky first or being told beforehand.」
「It’s great that it satisfy you, Kaa-san. We too were really overwhelmed when we saw this for the first time. We wanted all of you to also experience that emotion.」
「Yes, we were really overwhelmed. We won’t forget this for our whole life.」
They were already here, so Hajime and others took a group photo in front of the great tree. Its great size felt even more overwhelming when they got closer to it.
Tomoichi who was an architect looked up to the top of tree while squinting his eyes.
「It’s as high as Tokyo Tower……no, is it higher than that? It’s unbelievably big.」
「It’s around 400 meters tall. But Tomoichi-san, actually this is just a part of the tree you know?」
His pupils turned into dots. Shuu and others also opened their eyes wide asking 「What do you mean?」
Hajime’s expression turned mischievous.
「The great dungeon is located inside the trunk and it continued to the underground but, there are also thick branches as wide as a passage growing from that trunk that extended to the underground……」
「Wai-, wait a second. Then what? It’s actual base is located even deeper underground?」
「Yes. We don’t know the actual number because we didn’t investigate but……at the very least the tree’s height is double than this, or perhaps……it might be around a kilometer tall.」
「……Nn… We don’t know whether it was originally like this already or it was altered to build the great dungeon but, the tree is sinking deeply into the ground.」
「It’s a shocking fact even for us dragon race who live for more than 500 years.」
「……Haha. This is really a fantasy world huh.」
Tomoichi pressed his hand on his forehead while looking somewhat exasperated. A tree that boasted a height more than one kilometer was hard to even imagine. The other parents were also making similar expression.
「This tree is truly the symbol of another world now that the god mountain has crumbled. We’re going to avoid this underground space we just mentioned for various reasons, or rather for the sake of everyone’s mental health but, we’ll at least look around inside until the midway before teleporting to the garden at the top of the tree.」
Hajime asked with his gaze whether they were already satisfied with looking at the great tree. The parents looked at the great tree’s majestic appearance once more before nodding.
The parents who finally overcome the big waves of astonishment and deep emotion and put on a composed expression immediately let their jaws dropped once more from another surprise.
「We have heard the story but……to think that there’s really a forest inside a tree.」
「……I don’t know in which area inside the great tree we are, but aren’t the space too big?」
「Remia-san, this is just a guess but, I think the space inside is enlarged using space magic.」
A crack on the great tree’s trunk spread open and formed a hole. The group entered inside from there and got onto a teleportation circle. What appeared at the other side was the same forest like outside.
For a moment the parents thought that they hadn’t actually entered the great dungeon, but the words of Aiko and Remia who only entered inside this great dungeon for the first time made them realized that they were really inside a great dungeon here. They couldn’t help but felt even more shocked.
Also, during the one month after the final battle, there was a time when Myuu begged Hajime to bring her here alone for a stroll.
「I too was really nervous in the past because it was my first time challenging a great dungeon. It was really shocking because I never even dreamed that there will be a forest inside a tree.」
「What’s more, when we all fired up ourself to advance in high spirits, Hajime-kun,, he suddenly shot Yue. Really Hajime-kun, that was too shocking.」
「That was really surprising wasn’t it. I thought that perhaps Hajime-san has gone insane.」
「E, Ee!? Hajime shot Yue-chan!? Just what kind of situation was that!」
Shizuku, Kaori, and Shia spoke of their experience here. Sumire was dumbfounded hearing their dialogue and instantly returned to reality. The other parents were also the same. Their eyes opened wide hearing that impossible story and they looked at Hajime.
「No, that wasn’t Yue but a fake Yue, Kaa-san. In the first several of our friends got replaced at the same time of the teleportation.」
「I think that normally it would be impossible to see through something like that though. ……Both Shizuku-chan and I, no, even Shia was unable to see through that trick.」
Kaori added while casting past replay.
「……Nn. I had been told the story, but I never actually saw it myself so I’m curious.」
「Indeed. Ryuutarou and I were also turned into monster at that time after all.」
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「Turned into monster? Tio-kun, what do you mean by that?」
「Koichi-dono, do thee know about the monster called goblin that art famous even in earth’s fantasy story?」
「It’s famous in story like the tale of a ring and the like. I once saw it in movie.」
「Umu. Yue and I were turned into such monster. Whilst Ryuutarou, he was turned into an ogre.」
「……Sorry. I just can’t imagine it.」
Koichi’s bewilderment was only natural. Both Yue and Tio were such great beauties that even adding the word super wouldn’t be enough to truly describe them. Even if he was told that they got transformed into an existence that could even be said as the synonym of ugly creature, it would certainly be difficult to imagine it.
Kaori managed to locate the aforementioned point of time while Tio was giving explanation.
And then what was shown there was Yue, Tio, and Ryuutarou who were being restrained by Bola, with Hajime pointing his gun at the bewildered Yue. His expression was cold.
And then, a gunshot. Yue’s shoulder got hit mercilessly.
「Wait Hajime, you didn’t even hesitate!」
「I’m telling you Kaa-san. That’s a fake.」
Yue didn’t look fake at all no matter how they looked at it. Even her memory and personality had gotten copied. She also didn’t have any strange atmosphere. Even her habit got copied. It couldn’t be helped that Sumire and others got shaken from watching.
But, it was immediately proven that the Yue there was a fake. Blood didn’t flow from Yue’s wound, her expression turned blank, and she wouldn’t answer Hajime’s question. The bizarreness of the situation became even more prominent with how the fake’s humanity vanished in an instant.
It was only natural. After all the fake’s true identity was a slime monster with mimicry ability. It would become lifeless like a doll after it was seen through.
Hajime shot the fake Yue’s head with his expression staying cold the whole time. Rust colored sticky liquid scattered, which proved that it was a slime.
「Uu……I understand that it’s a fake but……even then, you should still hesitate a little at least. Its appearance was completely Yue-chan you know?」
「……That’s right isn’t it, Okaa-sama! I also think so desu!」
「No, there’s no need to hesitate when facing a fake right? It’d be different if it’s the real thing being controlled but──」
「……Ha? Hajime will still shoot though? Even if it’s the real thing getting controlled, you will still shoot normall though? Have you forgotten what you did at the abyss?」
Hajime quietly averted his gaze. He certainly couldn’t deny it. And now he would surely hesitate even less because resurrection had become possible. There will be no negotiation with enemy! Even if it will cause (ally’s) death! That was Hajime quality.
Yue stared at him *jiii~* with eyes that lacked any highlight. Hajime hugged Myuu and attempted to use her as shield from the stare. Myuu loved being hugged, but she looked like she wanted to say 「Geez, papa is really hopeless」 from noticing papa’s intention.
But, even that helplessly murky feeling inside Yue was……
When Suzu asked 『How did you notice?』 inside the past replay, Hajime made a puzzled expression and,
『Even if you ask me how, I can only say that I understood right away the moment I saw it. That thing in front of me “isn’t my Yue”.』
Changed into a smile in a flash from that reply. No, perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a smirk. Her lips were wavering.
Hajime saw through the fake Yue using only his instinct instead of logic or reason. Shia and Suzu and the others inside the past replay were all showing a look of exasperation, but Sumire and others were also making the same look in reality.
「After this I asked if Hajime-san will also be able to notice right away if that happened to me but……」
「He plainly answered that it might be impossible to do it from just a glance didn’t he.」
Shia and Kaori’s eyes were looking at the far distance. In fact, inside the past replay Shia and others could be seen looking at Hajime with gazes of expectation, but they all dropped their shoulders dejectedly when he casually said that would be impossible.
「Papa~, what about Myuu? Will papa notice the fake Myuu?」
Myuu lightly slapped at Hajime’s cheek from within his hug. Her eyes were sparkling with expectation.
「Ou, obviously papa will notice.」
「Ehehe~, that soo, so papa will noticee~」
Shia and others were whispering to each other things like 「Uu, of course he will say that to Myuu-chan. No, I’m completely fine with it though desu!」「I wish he could direct that kindness toward the past us even just for a little……」 and so on.
Hajime smiled wryly.
「I said that at that time but……actually inside, I thought that I would notice if it’s Shia.」
「Ee!? Is that so!? Then why wouldn’t you just tell me that desu!」
「I thought Kaori would receive damage if I said that.」
「Of course! I’d definitely get injured there! It would make me cry for sure! Thank you very much for the consideration!」
Kaori said thanks in self-abandonment. Yue-sama was looking at Kaori with a smirk so smug it looked exquisite! No, she was pointing her finger while bending backward. It was the pose of a certain pirate empress who looked down on others too much. Kaori leaped! Fight-.
*Poka poka, bam bum-, pichun-, baribaribari-*
The group had gotten completely used with the two’s quarrel and continued with their tour without really paying attention to it.
A fight against a swarm of large bees with many legs covered with sticky liquid.
The provocation from pseudo monkeys and Hajime snapping, which brought great fire disaster to the forest.
「Papa, papa. Why is Suzu-oneechan scared of bugs nano? Even though she’s the bug lady.」
「……Never said that to Taniguchi herself okay? She’s still bothered by it.」
「She has already gotten called with a title like Insect Queen though.」
According to Shizuku, the historians who were recording the legendary final battle in history book had apparently gave Suzu such nickname. Also the person herself still hadn’t learned it.
「Insect Queen? That’s certainly a title that any girl will dislike but, why that nickname is chosen for her?」
Kirino asked Shizuku. Shizuku’s expression turned conflicted.
「Before the final battle, Shizuku went to the abyss to tame the monsters there using metamorphosis magic but……for some reason, she could only tame insect type monster.」
「At the end she was also able to contract with Inaba but, that was more an employment contract rather than familiar contract. Or perhaps mercenary contract……anyway, it isn’t anything like master-servant contract.」
「The spasm in her expression when she was surrounded by things like giant spider, centipede, ant, and the like, it was truly a sight to see. Apparently Suzu art originally not very good with insects, but then why of all things……her eyes were completely dead at that time.」
Hearing the additional explanation from Hajime and Tio, not only Kirino, everyone else were also looking like they didn’t know what to say.
They did that while averting their gaze from the past Hajime who was radiating an atrocious aura surrounded with a forest that was enveloped in hell fire and many crow shaped reconnaissance drones flying around him. Because, he simply looked scary.
「And then, after this. Yue……aah, annoying, let’s just use the temporary name Yuegob, Yuegob noticed the explosion just now and came here to find us.」
Kouki who was about to cut down a goblin got hit with a kick that blew him away. Everyone’s eyes opened wide in shock while saying 「Eh? That’s Yue-chan!?」 seeing that. The replay kept playing even while Yue was looking embarrassed.
In the replay,
「This is, still really a mystery isn’t it.」
「Yes. It’s really mysterious.」
「Hajime-kun is a bit strange when it came to Yue-san.」
「Aiko-oneechan, everything is due to the power of love nano. The afternoon drama said so nano! There is nothing impossible as long as there is love! You can live behind your country and family and live happily!」
「M-Myuu? Let’s stop using afternoon drama as reference material okay? Mama is reflecting already, that’s why, please?」
Putting aside the matter of Myuu’s education, Hajime and Yuegob was conversing normally in the replay.
Of course, they were using Yue’s gob language that only sounded like Gugya! Gigih! to everyone’s ears. It was unknown whether gob language was beyond the ability of “Language Comprehension” to translate or there simply wasn’t enough time to comprehend the gob language, but even the hero was unable to understand the conversation. Naturally the same also applied to Kaori and others. Hajime’s love allowed him to understand the language using only his feeling. So heavy.
「You can say that the eyes can tell you as much as the mouth. When I look into Yue’s eyes, I can understand everything.」
「……Nnn, sheesh Hajime. Buuut, I also can understand everything when staring into Hajime’s eyesss」
「Yes yes, please don’t create a world of just the two of you! Or rather, Hajime-kun. Those weren’t Yue’s eyes but goblin’s eyes. Those eyes were really murky just like mud. It’s just strange that you can understand with that.」
「……Nn. The blockheaded Kaori who can’t understand is saying somethiiing」
Kaori leaped──but Tomoichi papa grabbed her from behind and stopped her. Kaoruko mama also scolded her, Bad girl! Really this child, she’s so quick to get into a fight when it came to Yue-chan!
「Even so, how terrifying. To be turned into such form just for challenging a great dungeon…… Thank god Yue-chan managed to join up with everyone safely.」
Akiko trembled a little. The atmosphere seemed comedic but, thinking carefully it was certainly a terrifying trial.
After all Yue had lost her original combat ability. She was truly reduced into the level of goblin.
It was even possible for the worst to happen to her if she encountered another monster before she could join up with the others.
「It’s just as Akiko-san said. Thank god she made it in time. When I imagined Yue-chan encountering a monster before that could happen……」
「……Nn? Okaa-sama. I encountered monster before this you know?」
It wasn’t only Sumire, even Hajime and others also went 「Eh?」. Yue was able to link up with them safely, there wasn’t any wound on her body, and most of all Yue didn’t make any mention about encountering trouble, so they didn’t really ask but, to think she got into a battle in that goblin form. Their eyes widened in astonishment.
「……I was surrounded by, goblin comrades? It was unclear but, they didn’t attack for some reason. It was annoying but……thinking back now, perhaps, they might be protecting me even? I didn’t have any leeway to consider it because I wanted to find Hajime quickly though……」
「I-is that so?」
「……Nn. Then how about taking a look?」
And so, before the group headed to the direction of Gobtio, they went to take a look at Yuegob before she was reunited with everyone.
What was projected in the past replay was Yuegob who looked bewildered and a bit flustered, and ten odd goblins surrounding her.
But, they certainly didn’t show any sign of attacking Yuegob. Or rather……
「………………These guys, aren’t they looking at Yuegob too intensely?」
「Y-yeah. They look like they are, in a daze?」
「Ah, that’s a pseudo monkey monster desu──eh, the goblins protected Yuegob-san?」
「Certainly it looks like they were protecting her……」
「No, they’re definitely protecting her! Look, the goblin is kneeling and staring at Yue-san even though it’s injured! David-san and others often acted like that with me! That’s the pose for, I offer this victory for Aiko! Something like that!」
「S-strange. Even though that art Yuegob, she looks just like a princess.」
Exactly, inside the past replay, Yuegob was wary toward the goblins at the beginning, but she half ignored them the moment she understood that they wouldn’t attack. She focused only on finding Hajime, but the goblins around her were proactively removing anything that could hinder her.
Yuegob silently went forward on her own path as the goblins served her. Those goblins certainly looked just like gobknights protecting a gobprincess.
The goblins were so devoted, but, it brought tears to eyes seeing Yuegob not noticing them at all.
「Myu? That mister goblin, he is presenting a fruit nano. While looking away……Myuu know that nano! That’s a cliché tsundere type boy nano! The type that goes 『Here, for you. Don’t misunderstand. It’s just a bother for me to carry it』 nano!」
「Myuu, how do you know that kind of──」
「Ah, papa! Myuu think the mister goblin over there is the arrogant type nano! Yuegob-oneechan subconsciously punched him away but, Myuu definitely saw the way he tried to grab her arm like 『Just shut up and become mine!』 nano!」
「Is it afternoon drama? Is that knowledge also came from afternoon drama!?」
「No, dear! I like to watch the murkier type of drama so I don’t think it’s from that!」
「I see. So you like to watch murky conflict that much.」
「Next is an innocent puppy type gob-kun! That one is definitely a yandere type gob-kun nano! Ah, Yue-oneechan Smashed them so swiftly nano! The sharpness of her stone throwing is amazing-」
「No, really Myuu, just where did you learn that kind of trope──」
「Sumire-obaachan had taught Myuu everything about shoujo manga from zero nano! Obaa-chan said that Myuu will definitely be able to lead a lot of men around by the nose in the future!」
「Y-you misunderstand, Hajime, Remia-chan. You see, I only taught Myuu-chan about various types of men to prepare her for the future. Just like the teaching of know yourself and know your enemy~ thingy! I have never thought to drag her down into the swamp of shoujo manga, not even once you know? I also never thought about wanting to watch a real reverse harem of elementary school kids happening in real life──」
The family meeting would inevitably be held.
Anyway, what was projected there was definitely the scene of a goblin reverse harem.
Yue did nothing but silently searching, and the number of the goblins was decreasing as more time passed but……
They all, met their end in satisfaction seeing the back of Princess Yuegob walking forward through her path……
「Just, what in the world is this?」
「Perhaps, it’s something like an aid function of the great dungeon.」
Tomoichi and Shuuzou made their observation. Tio nodded.
「We hypothesized that this great dungeon’s concept art testing one’s bond. It didst that by changing comrade’s appearance, experiencing thy ideal world in a dream, reversing emotion, and so on. Therefore a measure to avoid the transformed challenger dying before the trial couldst happen might certainly exist.」
「No, didn’t you get beaten up violently here?」
「Mu, that’s certainly true. Didst I make a wrong estimation……」
「Ah, I see. Perhaps the dungeon had also read that you are a pervert who would rejoice from that. Though even the goblins were disgusted by you then.」
Let’s put aside the depth of Gobtio’s sinfulness for the time being.
「But, if that’s all then shouldn’t it be fine if they simply guard her normally? They are clearly showing affection there.」
「Yeah……could it be, it’s Lyutillis’s hobby? Was her brain filled with shoujo manga? Perhaps that’s why the monsters assigned here have strange characters?」
「What’s with that, now I’m feeling kinship with her.」
It was a damaging misinformation about Lyutillis-san……or perhaps not. It was possible that it might be true.
「No, wait a sec. I see! It’s possible that perhaps there’s a simpler explanation!」
「Hajime-san? Have you realized something?」
「Yeah. This is just my guess but, Yue is a super duper beauty.」
「Hajime-kun, we don’t need to listen to that kind of thing right now.」
「……Nnu, really Hajime!」
「Yue too, enough with that kind of reaction already.」
Kaori almost turned into a savage, so Hajime said 「No, that’s not what I mean」 and continued.
「Now listen you all. Try looking at the normal Yue. Even without doing anything, she look sparkling just from standing there right? Just like a goddess. She is just too pretty, and even transcendentally cute on top of that, that ten thousand of ten thousand people won’t be able to help but stare at her.」
「Let go of me-, Shizuku-chan! I’ll wake up Hajime-kun now! I need to tell him that right now isn’t the time to talk like a love drank fool!」
「I understand but stop struggling! Hajime too, be serious!」
「No, I’m talking seriously. In other words. Even when she turned into Yuegob, no, exactly because she turned into Yuegob, to the goblins she must looked like an impossibly beautiful goblin.」
「So much so, that she looked radiant to them?」
「Yes. Just like how even at Japan, she would cause a ton of incidents by drawing the eyes of the passerby and playboys and idol scouts gushing out like co*croach if she walk around without perception inhibitor artifact.」
「A-amazing nano, Yue-oneechan. You’re a beauty who is acknowledged by everyone regardless of the race or world nano!」
Everyone’s gaze turned toward Yue.
The gobknights were finally annihilated inside the past replay. They saw the princess who they risked their life to protect breaking into a run toward a man, then they sighed fuh at the end and returned to earth.
As though they would be satisfied as long as the woman they loved became happy, regardless of who she was with.
Kaoruko rubbed her eyes.
「This is strange, dear. The goblins all look really cool to me.」
「Y-yeah. They look like devoted knights……」
Kirino smiled genuinely.
「They’re real men.」
「Umu. ……I don’t know what to say seeing Yue-kun not noticing them at all like that though.」
「They don’t even enter her sight.」
Akiko and Aiko muttered with slightly twitching expression.
「Deciding to risk their life like that just after a single glance……well, I can’t say I can’t understand if they had seen Yue-chan’s beauty though. This is a bit scary. Perhaps this is what devilish beauty mean.」
「And Yue-san will look even more amazing when in her adult mode. Depending on the era, she might become what they called a country toppling beauty.」
Amidst such commentaries, Yue who gathered everyone’s gaze looked around at the goblins who died protecting her and then to Hajime and others. A second passed.
「……Fuh. It’s difficult being too popular.」
She made a slightly “cool” pose while saying such thing coolly.
Even though it was an awful thing to say, she looked so adorable that everyone unconsciously held their breath. It made everyone even more at a loss for words.
Everyone also didn’t know what to say seeing her looking like she didn’t particularly feel anything even after watching the goblins sacrificing themselves for her in the past.
The theory about the great dungeon’s relief measure or perhaps the theory about Lyutillis’s hobby might be possibly the truth after all, or rather, those were the highest possibilities, so certainly there wasn’t really any need to feel anything but……
「……But, there is only one person who Yue-san want to be popular with!」
The two embraced each other tightly. Seeing them, everyone was thinking It should be fine even if you two have one or two things to say about the gobknights isn’t it, even so the parents and the girls smiled wryly 「Well, guess this is just “Hajime and Yue” are……」.
In addition, after this they also went to see the scene of Gobtio-san getting lynched by her fellow goblins, and yet she was going haa haa.
「Can you believe it? She is showing an ugly look isn’t she? And this is actually also a princess you know?」
It was just too different with Yuegob’s case. And for some reason Tio was happily fidgeting when everyone saw the scene. Everyone couldn’t help but looking at her with pitying gaze.
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