Translator: Hand of Vecna ✎ Editor: Two More Free Thoughts
“Well, let’s go sightseeing today. Visit the capital as you please, but don’t cause any trouble.”
In the early morning, I told Dina and the others that we would be staying in the capital for a while. I was curious about the country founded by Merak. I was also concerned about the mixed-winged faction which was in the same situation as me.
Most importantly, I needed to confirm what was inside Merak, so we could not leave too early. Since learning that Megrez was a resident of this world, I had partially given up, but it was not like I felt there was no possibility.
The question was how to contact him… Unlike Megrez, I needed to consider the fact that he had not abdicated his throne.
After all, this was a country of flügels, whose lifespan was different. Unlike Svalinn where there were many different humanoid races, this country was completely composed of flügels. Unless there were a lot of antipathies, there would not be a change in political regime in merely two hundred years. In other words, he was harder to contact than Megrez who had retired.
“Solo action…There is no problem when considering combat power.”
“Sightseeing…Where should I go?”
Libra and Aries had no particular objections, seemingly enthusiastic about sightseeing. No, I couldn’t tell if Libra was enthusiastic or not. On the other hand, Dina was easy to read. A joyful expression was evident on her face.
“Sounds good. I will check out the situation with the white-winged faction. I might find something interesting.”
It was difficult for me to check out the white-winged faction, so it would be of great assistance for Dina to do it instead. Solo action would disperse our fighting strength, but there should be no need to worry about these people even if they encountered a bit of danger.
Even if the Seven Luminaries attacked, they could easily repel them. Libra and Aries had such combat capabilities. As for Dina…I did not know her strength, but she was smart enough to keep herself safe, so there was no need for concern. Besides, she could teleport, so she could just teleport over to me when in danger.
“Then, dismiss for now. The meeting place will be this inn.”
That said, I left the inn. Dina left soon after for parts unknown. Aries ran off in another direction as well. Libra…oh, she was flying with jet propulsion again. I told her not to use that since it was too noisy. I really didn’t know what to do with her.
Now then, should I look around this town?
I left the inn and wandered around the town. I did not feel like I was attracting a little attention from the surroundings. However, wearing a red cloak that covered my whole body, it was natural to attract some gazes, so I gave up. It would be nice to have a slightly better disguise than this.
Considering Ruphas was female, I should wear men’s clothes instead. I was actually male anyway, so it probably wouldn’t seem too unnatural. Hmm? Oh, that was a surprisingly good idea. I should create a set of men’s clothes with alchemy later.
After walking for a while, I saw a building reminiscent of a Greek temple surrounded by pillars. Although it looked like a temple, its color was completely black. The pitch-black temple gave me an ominous feeling, but my curiosity got the better of me. So I stopped by the temple and decided to visit it.
I wondered if they worshipped an evil god or something. This was strangely exciting.
Concerning the deities of this world, Alovenus was the goddess of creation and also the only deity in this world. Although the demons claimed the name of divinity, they had nothing to do with the goddess. They probably used the name of divinity out of rebelliousness against Alovenus.
There were also five dragons that governed the attributes other than Metal and Water, which were governed by Alovenus. They never appeared in the game though. Online version aside, even TRPG and console games did not have them. They were phantom characters who only had setting pictures publicly released.
Well then, what was being worshipped here? Was it an independent religion? Or perhaps this wasn’t even a temple?
As I passed by other worshippers and entered the temple, I saw the idol within.
Hair that reached her waist.
A unique fashion sense involving a coat over her dress.
This was undoubtedly me—Ruphas Mafahl. I was strangely looking at my own statue…
“Oh, how rare. Are you a traveler?”
A gentle voice spoke to me, who was staring dumbfounded. When I turned my gaze towards the voice, a smiling youth with reddish-black wings stood before me. His face was neither beautiful nor ugly, somewhat average I guess?
Unlike the beautiful elves, flügels usually had ordinary looks and generic faces. It wasn’t that the flügels’ beauty standards were not high when compared to humans, but there were still ugly individuals as well. However, since the flügels’ beauty standards were based on wing color instead of facial features, nobody would pay an individual’s face much attention unless it was overly ugly. In such a situation, the youth with a generic face and reddish-black wings…well, he must have a difficult life.
“You are quite surprised to see this statue, right?”
“Yes, I’m surprised. Does this temple idolize the notorious overlord?”
Upon hearing my reply, the guy with the generic face looked grim.
What? Was he unhappy because Ruphas was criticized? I was just telling the truth about myself. It was somewhat funny for him to be upset about it. When I thought so, a weird laughter nearly burst forth.
“Indeed, to the outside world, Ruphas-sama was an evil invader. But to us, she was a savior.”
“Oh…Tell me about it.”
Somehow this country…or rather the mixed-winged faction’s impression of me was different from the rest of the world. I wanted to hear more about his story. I thought that it could help me understand more about Ruphas.
“Do you know that the flügels are concerned with the whiteness of their wings?”
“Oh, I know it well. Since flügels claimed to be descendants of angels, white wings are considered to be the unique pride of the race?”
“Yes. However, not every flügel is born with white wings. There are those, like me, who have wings of different colors.”
The beauty standards of the flügels were dominated by wing color, then followed by wing shape. Face and body are considered secondary, so people with wings of different colors were discriminated against.
Nonetheless, completely pure white wings were unheard of. Most of them were slightly gray, using white with a low lightness as the standard. Perhaps, light gray was considered passable.
Conversely, the darker the color, the more one would be estranged. Of course, my jet black wings were out of the question. Also, wings like his that were mixed with other colors were automatically out as well.
“Our situation was terrible. Currently, we have a town to live in and a certain quality of life, but it used to be really terrible. Other flügels do not even think of me as a comrade. When I walked down the streets, I was pointed at and mocked. People with similar conditions stick together. I was living miserably in the slums. Can you believe it? Because our wing colors are different, we could not get jobs and had to starve.”
What he said was not unique to flügels. People discriminated against others over minor things, thinking that they were justified because of group psychology.
When one was in a superior position without the constraints of reason, even kind people could easily become evil.
The twenty-one subjects in the Stanford Prison Experiment were randomly assigned as guards or prisoners. As a result, the guards who were in positions of power went out of control and abused the students serving as prisoners, beyond the call of duty. In the end, after merely six days, the experiment was aborted because of a prisoner-student becoming psychologically traumatized. The student seemed eager to continue, claiming “It is different from what was agreed.”
This was despite the fact that they knew the prisoners were innocent and that it was just an experiment. In other words, when men believed their superiority was justified, even kind people would become evil. Everyone had this quality in them.
As a result, discrimination intensified according to the easily noticeable difference in wing colors. There was no exception among the flügels who claimed to be descendants of angels. Whenever I heard this story, it felt overwhelming.
The descendants of angels…Hearing this was enough to stupefy me.
“We lived in fear every day, hiding in shadows. It was miserable…Those days were really miserable. But she was different.”
He raised his head and spoke with a strong yearning.
“Her wings were black, but she was more beautiful than everyone else. Unlike those of us who could only curl up in fear, she proved the value of her existence with her own power. Then, she dominated the nations, forbade discrimination of the flügels under her rule, and treated us like people.”
Ah, yes. Truly, when you were praised before your eyes, your back would itch.
I did not dislike being praised, but it would be uncomfortable if it was too much.
“Thanks to her, we were able to regain our pride. We are not a miserable existence…We could take pride in being flügels with wings of different colors.”
“Isn’t this over-exalting her? Have you forgotten that the Twelve Heavenly Stars under Ruphas took away your homeland?”
“I have not forgotten. Rather, I think we reaped what we sowed. Betraying Ruphas-sama, subjugating her, then foolishly allowing the demons to make a comeback. I think it is rather merciful that we aren’t all killed.”
…Ah, this was rather bad. I could clearly sense the hate overflowing from this hot-blooded man. It was enough to make him reveal his dissatisfaction to a suspicious traveler.
Yet I still had to listen.
To his…no, to the rage brewing in the hearts of the people of this town.
“Those words could be considered an insult to King Merak…What do you people think of your own king?”
My question stunned him. In the next moment, his eyes turned sharp and cold with an icy rage. It was ice because there was no outlet for the anger. However, if the subject was before him, it would easily burst into flames. The man replied without hesitation.
“He’s the lousiest foolish king…Being called a hero or whatever, it makes me laugh.”
Aries was walking alone in the dark streets. He had neither a clear destination nor something he needed to investigate. Because there was nothing in particular for him to do, he was just pointlessly strolling around the town.
In the first place, happiness to Aries meant serving his master. Currently, doing what was useful to his master had a higher priority than anything else. For the master that he did not see for two hundred years, he wanted to do something to show his filial piety. He would not mind going the extra mile for that.
That was why he wasn’t really interested in strolling around the town. He would much rather return to his master now.
But I don’t want to get in the way.
Ruphas was obviously very interested in this city. However, Aries could get interested in a city founded by the hero who betrayed Ruphas. On the contrary, he would rather burn it all down right now. But since his master wanted a stroll, he would obey without causing trouble.
Therefore, there was not much that Aries could do. At most, it would be to avoid disturbing his master’s sightseeing and to eliminate the things that would likely get in the way.
Specifically, the Seven Luminaries of the demons. They were probably setting up something in this town. Or rather, they had no reason not to do so.
The survivors of the Seven Heroes—Megrez, Merak, and Benetnash—were the strongest combatants among the humanoids. The demons could not dominate the world because of their existences. That was why Mars of the Seven Luminaries manipulated Aries to attack Svalinn. Therefore, it was impossible for them to leave this country alone.
And so, here we are.
Aries strongly sensed that someone was following him from behind. No, was that person intentionally revealing his presence to let him know of his existence? Either way, he probably wanted to have a one-to-one conversation. In that case, he might as well go along with this invitation.
Aries walked along the streets to find an empty spot. Eventually, he came to an abandoned plaza.
Normally, there would be children playing here, but there was nobody now. It was not late at night, so there was no reason for people to avoid this place.
An anti-encounter barrier?
Among the seven attributes of this world, the moon attribute included magic that could prevent encounters. It was a simple yet convenient magic that allowed one to avoid encountering unwanted opponents. This magic was treasured by adventurers.
Two hundred years ago, Ruphas often grumbled about how nice it would be if she could use it too. Even if she could not use it herself, there were the Twelve Heavenly Stars around her that complemented her lack. This was especially true for the magic that she was not proficient in, which was supplemented by the Archer, the Maiden, and the Goat.
The Archer was in charge of offensive magic, while the Maiden was in charge of recovery and support magic. Finally, interference and disturbance magic were what the Goat excelled in.
“Come out already, Aigokeros. It is you, right?”
As Aries spoke, the empty space began to waver. Immediately after, a devil-like being appeared like a heat haze. It was a heteromorphic monster with a goat’s head, a human torso, and bat wings. Its lower body was fluctuating, as if it had no real substance.
One of the Twelve Heavenly Stars—Aigokeros of the Goat.
As the man that legends considered to be the devil personified, his dark eyes shone eerily to confront Aries.
※ Author’s Notes: Difference Between Dragons and Dragons (ドラゴン) of this world are mostly like the western dragons (竜). There are two types—flying dragons and ordinary dragons. They are the strongest magical beasts. They originated from dinosaurs that did not become extinct in this world. Mutated by mana, these super-strong dinosaurs became magical beasts. It was natural that they became uncontrollable monsters.
The level depends on the source of evolution. A dragon evolved from T-Rex would exceed Level 700. Even the demons leave the king of monsters alone. However, their population is small, numbering less than one hundred. They are an endangered species. When encountered, it is necessary to be prepared for death. If more than half of the people have black feathers, the dragons would flee. Lives could be saved by avoiding a confrontation.
Wyrms (龍) are the oriental, long-bodied dragons. These were created by the goddess herself. There were only five of them, each controlling an attribute other than Metal and Water, which are controlled by the goddess herself. Their levels are unknown, but 1000 is assumed to be reliable since they govern the system of the world. The guardian deity of Svalinn, Levia the water dragon, was an imitation created by Megrez based on these legendary wyrms. Of course, since water is governed by the goddess, there is no water wyrm per se.
Dinosaurs (恐竜) are not even monsters, just normal animals. Despite this, they are very strong. Even without skills or magic, they could kill demons. Their intelligence is low. They are dangerous creatures that would attack anything before them, regardless of humanoids, demons, magical beasts, or even other dinosaurs. However, their numbers declined more than two hundred years ago. Now, only a few are living somewhere. For some reasons, they would not prey on black birds, even fleeing from them instead.
Crow: “Even dragons and dinosaurs are afraid of us, are we the strongest?”
Black Dove: “That’s right.”
※ Foot NotesDemons (魔神族) in this novel are literally called “demonic god tribe”. Since Alovenus is the one true deity, the demons are more like false gods.
TRPG (tabletop role-playing game) is a form of role-playing game (RPG) in which the participants describe their characters' actions through speech according to a set formal system of rules and guidelines.
Lightness (明度) of color, also called value or tone, is a representation of the variation in the perception of a color or color space's brightness. The lower the lightness, the closer the color is to black.
Stanford Prison Experiment (スタンフォード監獄実験) was a 1971 social psychology experiment that attempted to investigate the psychological effects of perceived power, focusing on the struggle between prisoners and prison officers.
Heat Haze (陽炎), also called heat shimmer, refers to the inferior mirage experienced when viewing objects through a layer of heated air.
Dragons (竜), in this translation, refer to the western dragons, usually depicted as four-legged, winged, fire-breathing creatures. These dragons are evolved from dinosaurs.
(龍), in this translation, refer to the oriental dragons, usually depicted as four-legged, wingless serpents. These wyrms are divine creations of the goddess herself. Technically, both 竜 and 龍 are usually translated as "dragons". But since this web novel used the words differently, another word is needed to differentiate the two. The word "wyrm" is also used in Dungeons & Dragons RPG for the most powerful dragons (usually called "great wyrms").
A WILD LAST BOSS APPEARED!