Beyond Abyss 14

Chapter 14 Return Magic Circle

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 ”It was a dead end.”

 I lightly explored the small room with a door at the end of the hallway, then returned to the formation and reported the results.

 The girls who were chatting and giggling quickly organized themselves and switched positions between the front and the back of the line.

 Asagiri, who was carrying Kanon on her back and had her hands full, entrusted her spear to the girl right behind her.

 ”Here you go, Tsuchimiya-kun.”

 ”Thank you!”

 I received the spear from the third-year girl in charge of holding it and started moving clockwise.

 When I reached the back of the line, I handed the spear back to the girl in charge.

 ”I’m Hagiwara Akane from Class 1-B. Nice to meet you!”

 ”I’m Yanase Akiko from Class 2-C. Actually, I haven’t thanked you yet. Thanks!”

 ”Ah, nice to meet you.”

 I reached out my hand and shook hands with Hagiwara-san.

 It seems like the girl in charge of holding the spear changes every time, and it’s always someone I don’t know. At first, I was even nervous about shaking hands, but I’ve gotten used to it. Just when I thought that, Yanase-san hugged me and I was deeply shaken.

 ”Ahaha, Tsuchimiya-kun turned bright red, so cute♪”

 How would a cool response be in a situation like this?

 I couldn’t think of anything and just froze. I avoided making eye contact with Asagiri and Kanon, and headed out while looking straight ahead.

 After searching for a while, I found a treasure chest in a small room. Inside were three bottles of water and something like a roll bread. We took a short break and shared the water. Since there wasn’t enough bread, I left it with Kijima-senpai. It’s no good to give it to Higurashi, as she might eat it all.

 I resumed the search, and after another 30 minutes passed without any clues, I started to feel a bit anxious.

 ”Hey, Tinaemon, got any good ideas?”

 Tina, who was floating lazily above my shoulder, sighed as if it was a hassle.

 She’s really changing her character, isn’t she?

 ’How about leveling up and expanding the exploration abilities?’

 ”Can Tina level up?”

 ’Yes. The guide fairy has been optimized for efficient use, but even with that, there was concern that if I leveled up when Master still level 1, I wouldn’t be able to maintain the “activation” state. However, now that Master has obtained the Title and the magic power has increased, there should be no problem.’

 ”Alright, then I’ll leave it to you.”

 ’Understood. I will raise guide fairy Tina to level 2. It will cost 30 experience points as compensation.’

 ”I’ve always thought, the ‘compensation’ thing isn’t really a big deal, is it?”

 As I mumbled, Tina looked at me with a start and then reluctantly spoke.

 ’As I’ve said before, becoming the Master of a guide fairy is a rarity even among high-level players. The compensation needed for me to reach level 2 is equal to the exp points needed for the Master’s next level up. Normally, it would require a value in the tens of thousands.’

 ”Oh, so that’s the standard, huh?”

 Previously, the price used to expand the automap function was 11. At that time, the class was ‘Spearman’ and the required exp points for leveling up were 22, so it must have been about half of that.

 ”So this is also the advantage of level 1, huh?”

 ’Unfortunately, that’s how it is. Masters at level 1 are originally unexpected, and a Master who earns this much exp point at level 1 is clearly an exceptional (illegal) existence. Honestly, it’s quite a loophole. Even so, considering safety, I strongly recommend leveling up, Master.”

 ”It’s going to be tough, but I’m counting on you.”

 When I answered with a wry smile, Tina let out a particularly big sigh.

 ’That’s my job. But if I could, I’d like a “reward.”‘

 ”A reward?”

 What happened? Tina never used to talk about her wishes before. I hope she’s not talking about my level up again. That’s a no-go.

 Suddenly, Asagiri leaned on my shoulder.

 When I looked, she seemed like she wanted to say something. She’s always so close. It’s like she might kiss me any moment. And then, Kanon, who was clinging to Asagiri’s back like a koala, looked at me from up close with a curious look.

 Oh! I just realized, only Asagiri knows about Tina. Right now, I must look like I’m talking to myself. Asagiri must be pretending to have a conversation with me to cover for me.

 And Asagiri whispered something to Kanon, and I barely caught the word “fairy”.

 Suddenly, Kanon’s face lit up and she looked at me with sparkling eyes.

 ’My wish is to stop and eliminate the suppression program.’

 Wow, this seems like a serious conversation. Let’s focus on this for now.

 ”Restriction program, I think it’s currently undergoing repairs, it seals emotions and memories, right? Didn’t you say that problems arise when there are memories?”

 ’I confess, thanks to Master, my emotions have been greatly stirred, and little by little, my memories are returning. But they’ll disappear once the repair program is complete.;

 ”…You don’t want to forget, huh?”

 I kind of understand that feeling, but I don’t really get the part about me stirring her emotions. It’s probably a misunderstanding.

 ’…That’s right. Without memories and emotions, I’m just a machine. I know that’s the most efficient way. But, even though I’m someone who has died once, it’s scary to go to sleep not knowing when I’ll wake up again.’

 Losing memories and returning to being a machine might feel similar to the sensation of possibly dying again.

 ’Originally, it’s a proposal that should not exist as a guide fairy. If emotions return, there will be hesitation in judgment. If memories return, processing ability will decrease due to unnecessary thoughts. There is a price to pay for stopping the program. For Master, there are only disadvantages.’

 Tina looked down with a sad expression.

 ”But, that seems more fun.”


 ”I want to talk to the human Tina rather than the machine Tina. I approve the suspension and removal of the restraint program.”

 ’Master… T-thank you.’

 Tina showed an expression of laughter and tears that she had never shown before, and deeply bowed.

 ’Stopped the restraint program in exchange for 30 exp points. Purged from the main program. Transition to level 2 is complete. New menus have been added to the expansion function. It is recommended to acquire the map creation function for unexplored areas within the search range expansion and the magic sensing function within the search range. The required price is 60 exp points.’


 ’Got the master’s approval, and enhance the functions.’

 Suddenly, the map that was more than half empty was filled with corridors and rooms. The scale changed, showing a broader area. The parts I hadn’t been to yet were displayed in a slightly darker color.

 ’An active Magic Circle will be shown as purple lights. There are none within the current search range.’

 Wow, this is so cool! Now I can ignore the rooms I’ve been checking one by one and explore the unconfirmed areas by following a predetermined route. Tina is really something.

 ”Wow, that’s awesome! Thanks a lot, Tina.”

 ’I’m honored to be of help.’

 I can spot a few red lights, but they’re not a big threat because there are only a few of them. I’ll just ignore them as long as they don’t intersect our route.

 As I ignore the doors lining the corridor and move forward, Kanon looks at me with a worried expression. When I reassure her, saying, “The fairy’s guiding me, so it’s okay,” her worried look turns into a respectful one, and she starts muttering, “Fairy-san, fairy-san,” while looking for the invisible Tina. She looks so cute, like a child.

 Asagiri is smiling and leaves everything to me without saying a word.

 As we were walking for about 15 minutes, a blue light popped up at the edge of the map. It was probably a signal from a person, maybe a student.

 There were two blue dots side by side, not moving at all. What caught my attention was not the room, but the fact that it was at the corner of a clear intersection.

 I remembered there was a goblin sentry near the base.

 When I checked the route, I realized we had to backtrack a bit and take a big detour from my current location, but I decided it was worth checking out.

 After changing the route and getting closer, I saw many more blue lights ahead. In the center, I found it.

 A purple light. It was the Return Magic Circle!

 Since I didn’t know what was going on, I tried to contain my excitement and approached the lookout first.

 There, I saw two male students armed with swords. One was a small, yankee-looking first-year, and the other was a calm, big third-year.

 The first-year who noticed us shouted,

 ”Whoa!? Survivors! There are a lot of people!”

 I stop the line and went to the front first.

 ”We’re looking for the Return Magic Circle. What about you guys?”

 Then a third-year student stepped forward.

 ”We’re helping out with the Student Council Executive Committee. I’m Yanagi, a third-year student. This is Haraguchi, a first-year student. You’ve come a long way. The Return Magic Circle is up ahead.”

 ”The Student Council?”

 ”Yeah. The president and vice president are leading the way, clearing out the monsters in this area and guiding the students to the Magic Circle. We came here following their guidance, but they said they needed more help, so we’re lending a hand.”

 Wow, the Student Council is doing great. There seem to be a lot of people around the Magic Circle, so they must have helped a lot of students.

 ”Can we continue like this?”

 ”Yeah, of course. Let Haraguchi lead the way.”

 ”Alright, leave it to me! Although there’s not much for me to do, to be honest!”

 This guy may not look like much, but he doesn’t seem like a bad person.

 When I announced that I found the Magic Circle, the female students cheered. Some of them were even so moved that they started crying.

 ”You’re amazing, man. You managed to gather so many girls all by yourself. Those goblins, they must come rushing in like idiots whenever they find a girl.”

 ”Tsuchimiya-senpai is really something!”

 For some reason, Kanon has a proud expression. Asagiri also nods in agreement, but you guys are also pretty amazing. Especially Kanon’s brainwashing beam is quite frightening.

 ”Tsuchimiya, you mean that Tsuchimiya-senpai!?”

 Which Tsuchimiya-senpai are you talking about!?

 ”The most dangerous Tsuchimiya, the one who killed a hundred policemen! You were really something!”

 ”I can’t believe there’s a high school student like that! Is this the Sengoku period or what!? I’m just a regular student!”

 My rumor, what’s actually going on?

 ”But dude, you’ve got a really cool vibe! I actually wanted to challenge the toughest one day, but it was a good thing I didn’t get involved.”

 Seriously? Yankees don’t get involved with pumpies like me!

 ”No, it’s because the girls worked really hard, more than me.”

 Actually, when we were moving in formation, Kanon wiped out most of the goblins with her cannon, so I didn’t even get a chance to do anything.

 ”So like, yo, there are girls at Level 2 as well? They gotta have gone through some hardcore showdowns, man.”

 Saying that, the Yankee Haraguchi glanced at Asagiri.

 So, I wonder if he’s also at Level 2? Yanagi-san from earlier had a cool vibe too.

 ”The girls seem to have calmed down, shall we move? I’ll show you the way smooth like butter, Tsuchimiya-senpai!”

 Haraguchi smirked and confidently started walking.

 We walked straight through the room, passing by a crossroad with a sentry, and arrived at a large hall. Inside, there were over 20 students scattered around. Those guys doing radio exercises at the side are probably still in the process of getting used to things.

 As we entered in a group, we naturally caught everyone’s attention.


 Kijima-senpai raised her voice and ran towards one of the people inside. Oh, I think I’ve seen that person before.

 ”Shiori!? Is it Shiori!?”

 The one who responded was a stunningly handsome blond-haired, blue-eyed young man. He was over 180cm tall (5’11 ft) and didn’t look Japanese at all, but apparently he was born and raised in Japan. I think he’s the vice president of the student council.

 The two of them embraced firmly in the middle of the hall, celebrating each other’s safety. When a beautiful couple like that does it, it looks like a scene from a movie. There’s even applause happening.

 After a while, the two of them came up to me.

 ”Nice to meet you. I’m(boku) Sogahara Takashi, a third-year student. I’m the vice president of the student council. It seems you helped Shiori and everyone. Thank you very much.”

 Sogahara-senpai said that, took mine and Asagiri’s hands, and bowed his head. That name, it feels really out of place, senpai.

 ”I’m Tsuchimiya, a second-year student. Asagiri asked me to do this, so I’m kind of going along with it, but don’t worry about it.”

 ”Um, I’m Asagiri, a first-year student. Well, everything is thanks to Tsuchimiya-senpai, so I haven’t done anything.”

 Well, that’s an exaggeration.

 ”Anyway, there’s no need to stay here for too long. The Return Magic Circle is over there. It’s better for those who want to go back to the school.”

 In the direction pointed out by Sogahara-senpai, there was a Magic Circle about 2m (6,5 ft) in diameter emitting a pale blue light.

 ”Can we really go back to the school with this?”

 When I voiced my doubts, Sogahara-senpai nodded confidently.

 ”That’s been confirmed. Actually, I asked those who returned earlier to report on the situation at the destination if possible. Only one person was allowed to come back, but it seems the other side can quickly treat injuries with Magic over there. They didn’t allow us to bring food, though.”

 I see, they’re doing their job properly. Then I can rest assured.

 ”Oh, by the way, if anyone wants to help us, we could really use it. Specifically, we still have some students to guide and monsters to defeat, and it can be pretty dangerous. So, we’re looking for people who can fight and are willing to do so. If you have support skills, that’s okay too.”

 When Asagiri leaned in to me, she quietly asked, “Tsuchimiya-senpai, what should we do?”

 ”No, it’s not necessary. We have to make sure Kanon gets the treatment she needs.”

 When I answered like that, Asagiri’s expression relaxed a little, like she was relieved.

 ”You’re right. Actually, I’m pretty worn out too.”

 ”Asagiri really worked hard.”

 ”Hehe, I was able to do my best because you were there, Tsuchimiya-senpai. I’m really grateful.”

 ”Ah, good job to both of you. You really did your best.”


 And then, the girls in formation came to me and Asagiri, shaking hands and expressing their gratitude before entering the Magic Circle. We watched them until the very end.

 Kijima-senpai and the three female students seem to be staying here, and Higurashi is also wandering around the room, so they might stay as well.

 Finally, it’s Asagiri and Kanon’s turn.

 I stood close to the two of them and watched them until the edge of the Magic Circle.

 When Asagiri, carrying Kanon on her back, got on the Magic Circle, it started emitting a faint glow.

 ”Asagiri, this is a parting gift. You might have a tough time ahead if you don’t have a proper weapon. Kanon, please hold onto it for me.”

 Asagiri and Kanon turned around with surprised expressions, and I carefully handed Kanon the spear of the Hobgoblin, making sure not to step on the Magic Circle.

 ”Huh? …Huh? T-Tsuchimiya-senpai?”

 ”Well then, this is goodbye. I’m glad I got to meet you guys. It’s been a while, and it was pretty fun. So, Asagiri, Kanon, take care and stay well.”

 ”What? No way! Why does it have to end like this…! When I get back, I’m going to talk to senpai…”

 As the light burst, the two of them were gone.

 Asagiri seemed a bit flustered. Did she not expect me to stay?

 I thought she understood, but maybe I should have said something. It ended up being a one-sided farewell, and they might have wanted to say goodbye too. Either way, once I return to school, I won’t have anything to do with them anymore.

 ”Was that okay? Tsuchimiya-senpai?”

 When I turned around, Higurashi, with a displeased look on her face, was standing right behind me, as if reprimanding me with her eyes.

 ”There was a little misunderstanding, but it’s not a big deal.”

 ”Tsuchimiya-senpai is drier than I thought.”

 ”Huh? What does that mean?”

 Her words have a sharp edge. What is she getting annoyed about?

 ”Why did Tsuchimiya-senpai stay here? Why not go back with Asagiri-san?”

 ”I originally planned to go as far as I could on my own. It was a promise to help Kanon and bring her back to school. Now that I have fulfilled that, it was decided from the beginning to part ways here.”

 ”But there must be more to it. That… well, it’s not for me to say, but…”

 Higurashi crosses her arms and looks troubled. In the end, what is she trying to say?

 ”What does Tsuchimiya-senpai think of Asagiri-san?”

 ”Such a cute kouhai.”

 I can say this with confidence. It was a short time, but they’re really cute and a good person, they treated me without discrimination. If they were in trouble, I would want to do anything to help. Maybe it’s the first time I’ve had such feelings for someone other than family.

 ”Hey, Tsuchimiya-senpai, do you… like want to date Asagiri-san or something? Even from a girl’s perspective, I think she’s a perfect beauty.”

 ”Don’t talk nonsense. There’s no way I could date Asagiri. She’s so cute and has a good personality, there must be three or four handsome boyfriends. I think we’ve built a good relationship, but it’s temporary while I’m here. Wanting more than that is just being greedy.”


 Higurashi, with her right hand on her forehead, let out a big sigh as if deeply exasperated. What’s the matter?

 ”Good grief… I’m really frustrated and angry, and things are getting even more complicated. What should I do about this?

 I have no idea what’s been said for a while… Wait, what!?

 The map that was closed suddenly opened up in front of me.


 Without waiting for an answer, I noticed many red dots on the right side of the map.

 Five blue dots moving towards this room. About twenty red dots are moving in pursuit of the blue dots.

 Three blue dots are leading the way, while the remaining two are repeatedly engaging with the leading red dots at a relatively slow speed. It seems like they’re trying to somehow escape from the three dots.

 This doesn’t look good, does it?

 Am I going to explain Tina’s auto-map function to someone and get a rescue team out in time? There’s no way that’s going to happen.

 ”Tsuchimiya-senpai!? Where are you going!”

 Ignoring Higurashi’s voice, I dashed out of the room.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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