Chapter 124 Things to Bind
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
Unexpectedly, Niya-san asked me whether I was an ihomono, which momentarily bleached my consciousness.
No, if I keep quiet like this, it would be bad for me, so I squeezed out a few words.
”What are you suddenly saying, that I’m an Ihomono. I’m a human being born in this world.”
”Is that so? But you seem to be a bit dumbfounded by that…”
”I was just taken aback by an unexpected question.”
Although Niya-san pointed it out, it may have been good that I was momentarily taken aback.
If I had shown signs of being half-conscious or unnecessarily agitated, I would not have been able to come up with such an excuse as I did just now.
Calm down, I don’t know what made Niya-san think so, but there is no information to be sure.
Perhaps there was something that made her suspect something, but if I firmly deny it, there should be no problem.
”What are you thinking when you ask such a question?”
”Master Neil, when you asked me about my abilities, you said I was a good commander. But I never said I was a commander.”
”Hmm? No, I certainly heard it from Niya-san’s mouth. I heard you say that ‘my role is–‘”
I was about to say something when I realized my serious mistake.
”Yes, I did mention my role, but, I did not say ‘commander’, it was just ‘command.’”
”Not only that, but Master Neil did not question anyone else’s role. It was as if you were familiar with the words.”
Completely off-guard, Niya-san was conveying their roles in English.
Some English words that were familiar to them might have been brought into this world by someone who was an ihomono, but not all English words would be understood.
If the conversation with Niya-san contained things that were already conveyed in this world, it would have been great, but at least I do not remember hearing the English words earlier in this world. However, that didn’t mean I could readily admit it.
”That’s, you know! Remember when we had dinner together before? I said I was doing some personal research, so I know a lot of words. Even Niya-san knows that there are many words in this world that have been handed down by people from other places, don’t you?”
”Then, can Master Neil tell us where those words are used?”
”No, I gathered a lot of knowledge broadly rather than deeply, so I don’t have that level of detailed knowledge. I understand the meaning, though.”
This is not a lie.
The first thing I did when I came to this world was to gather information about it, and I collected all kinds of information rather than focusing on quality
So I had a lot of knowledge that I did not know in detail, but I knew at least the outline of it.
Well, it’s a story from soon after I was reincarnated, so I’ve forgotten a lot of it.
”I see, Broadly, huh? But you seemed to understand all the words pretty well.”
”It wasn’t all of them, just a few words, it’s just coincidence.”
I thought it was a painful excuse, but I didn’t think there was anything that couldn’t be passed off as a coincidence at this level.
”No Master Neil, it is not two or three words. Even if you weren’t conscious of it, we mentioned a lot of words in front of you.”
I wondered what she was talking about, and soon found out why.
”Catalog, privacy, window shopping. You can easily remember those three, can’t you? It’s a conversation you just had with Moona today. At that time, Master Neil didn’t ask any questions and answered back with a clear understanding of the meaning.”
”…You’re talking about it as if you’ve seen and heard it yourself. Did you use your ability?”
”Yes, not only the conversation with Moona and Mio, but also the conversations with Iko and Momoka.”
My bad, because I accepted the conversation without any sense of discomfort, I couldn’t notice it until it was pointed out to me.
I desperately look back at our previous conversations to see if I have made some other terrible mistake, but Niya-san starts to point out my mistakes one after another.
”It’s not just our role in our conversation earlier. Clones, alphabets, numbers, and so on… We too have gathered knowledge in a wide range of fields in an attempt to learn more about this world. Some of them were familiar to us in our former world, but none of the words I have just mentioned. However, it is possible that these words exist somewhere in the world, but we are not very well informed about them. It would be understandable if Master Neil, in his broad and shallow search, happened to find a word or two and kept them in a corner of his mind by chance. However, Master Neil knew all the words. Not only did Master Neil know them, but Master Neil spoke them naturally, as if familiar with them.”
”Please answer me. Is it really just a coincidence, as Master Neil has said?”
This is a stalemate situation
The excuse I dismissed so easily–that it was just a coincidence–now doesn’t hold up.
The reason why Niya-san told me their secret so openly was to get my reaction, and Niya-san was revealing my secret while at the same time taking out mine.
There’s no longer any point in hiding it now that we’ve come this far. I ask Niya-san, surrendering.
”Since when did you suspect me?”
”Since Master Neil and Ronald visited us.”
”Isn’t that from the beginning?”
If I never spoke with Niya-san at that time, then there must have been something Moona-san said during our conversation that made them suspicious of me.
”Could it be another word?”
”Yes, when Moona used the term ‘indirect s*x,’ Master Neil reacted and ejaculated, which made me feel strange.”
Niya-san’s outrageous statement flew off their tongue, and the tension that permeated the air just moments ago vanished in an instant
Huh? Wait a minute, how does Niya-san know all this?
Is it possible that Moona-san found it amusing and spread it to everyone? Still, Moona-san isn’t the type of person to do something like that. If that’s not the case…
”Um, were you watching me?”
”Yes, I ‘was’.”
Seeing Niya-san nod, I reach the limits of my shame and bury my face into the desk while letting out an inhuman scream.
I’m barely able to forget the fact that not just Moona-san but others were able to witness such an embarrassing sight
If I had the ability to erase one of our memories from Niya-san, without hesitation, I would choose to erase this shameful one.
Perhaps Niya-san heard my scream. The door to the office opens roughly.
”Master Neil! Are you okay?”
Diana, who had rushed into the office in a panic, was stunned at the sight of me writhing on top of the desk.
”Um, what happened here?”
”…Well, humans, just like how everybody has some kind of black history they don’t want anyone else to know, Master Neil is no exception. It would be best to leave it alone for him now.”
Diana, who didn’t seem to grasp the situation at Niya-san’s words, had a question mark on her head, but when she understood that I was not in any danger, she followed the order I had just given her and left the office.
After confirming Diana’s departure, I asked Niya-san with my face down in a question that could be interpreted as an expletive.
”Why were you watching? It’s such a perverted thing to do…”
”I’m sorry. Normally, I wouldn’t do things like peeking to see how the customers are doing, but since I knew that fellow nobles had found out that we were Ihomonos, we couldn’t leave that alone, so we all kept an eye on things.”
I see, it is natural for everyone to keep an eye on the situation, not knowing what might happen in such a situation…
”Yes, we shared the information so that we could all respond immediately if something happened. However, we didn’t share it with Iko as there was fear of neglecting the customers. Therefore, we did not share it with Iko.”
”In other words, everyone except Iko-san saw it!?”
Not only Moona-san, who was in charge at that time, but also Niya-san, Mio-san, and Momoka knew what I had done at that time.
”Kill me… just kill me already…!”
”If you keep saying things like that, another servant will come running.”
”Ugh… what even is your goal?”
Niya-san didn’t reveal my secret out of vanity or recklessness, so there must be some ulterior motive behind her holding onto it as a bargaining chip.
”Our goal is to live freely for ourselves, without being bound by anyone. So my request is very simple. We will leave this place and return to our travels. I would like Master Neil to promise us not to interfere with us ever again.”
”What did you say?”
I rack my brain to consider the contents of Niya-san’s request.
When I originally invited Niya-san and her group to the frontier, there was a contract in place that stated they could return to their travels whenever they wanted.
But the fact that Niya-san used my secret as a bargaining chip to make sure that I would not be forced to keep the contract means that she does not think that I will keep the contract.
”Do you really think that I would ignore the contract and try to recruit everyone?”
”Though it may be conceited of me to say, I believe that our existence has a lot of value to the people of this world. There may be those who will try by any means necessary to make us one of their pawns. Considering the current state of the frontier, don’t you think that those of us who were manufactured specifically for combat would be an attractive proposition for Master Neil?”
I couldn’t completely deny what she said.
I have no intention of forcing Niya-san and her friends into combat. However, I did consider how their power could benefit the frontier, and Niya-san apparently saw through my thought process.
After being used and exploited for so long by others, my idea was simply unacceptable for her and her companions.
”I have come to understand Master Neil’s kindness over the past week. However, that does not mean we are ignorant enough to trust the nobility.”
”…Tell me one thing, Niya-san, did you decide to leave the settlement only because you don’t trust the nobles? Or was there something else you disliked about the settlement?”
”No, as I told you this afternoon, we all enjoy living in this peaceful and lovely place. I’m sure everyone likes it, including me. That’s why we have to leave.”
”What do you mean by that?”
”You know that I forbid Momoka to fight. It is for Momoka’s own sake, but if Momoka uses her ability, then Moona will use her ability to heal Momoka. Momoka understands this, and until now she has obeyed my words. But Momoka broke the ban and used her ability to help Master Neil, do you understand the meaning of that, Master Neil?”
I felt a slight anger in Niya-san’s voice as she asked me this, and I understood the reason for it, which made my heart ache.
”…Momoka helped me, knowing that it would cause Moona-san trouble.”
”That’s right. In just one week, this place has become a precious place where Momoka wants to protect it even if she has to sacrifice herself. If something like that happens again, Momoka will repeat the same thing. Until the day she dies.”
”This is a new frontier, even if this case is solved, the presence of monsters and other uncertainties will never be removed. If there is a risk that Momoka will put herself in danger every time something happens, we cannot overlook it.”
”So, you’re leaving the settlement to protect Momoka?”
Well, Niya-san has told me about themselves so openly not only to expose my secret and use it as a bargaining chip, but also to make me aware of Momoka’s situation correctly.
She wanted me to be aware of Momoka’s situation correctly and expected me to back down quietly for the sake of her life.
I could not say anything back to her when he brought up the possibility of Momoka’s death if she continued to stay here.
”That’s all I have to say. Tomorrow we will leave the settlement and never come back. Thank you for your help, even if it was only for a short time. Tomorrow, we will say good-bye―”
As Niya-san was saying this, suddenly there was a commotion outside my office, and Niya-san and I both turned our eyes toward the door.
It seems that someone is arguing with each other in the corridor, and as we are listening to the conversation, the door to the office is suddenly opened with a great force.
Ignoring Diana’s admonition, Momoka bursts into the office, locks eyes on me and Niya-san, and strides toward us firmly placing each footstep on the floor.
”What were you two talking about?”
”About our future plans.”
”Why didn’t you share that with me?”
”It wasn’t necessary to share every detail. Anyway, what’s up with Moona―?”
”Don’t change the subject. Tell me what you were discussing.”
Momoka shoots Niya-san a sharp piercing stare, a warning that she won’t tolerate being misled.
”You didn’t share it with me because you didn’t want me to know, right?”
”And if I say that’s not true, will you be satisfied and drop it?”
”That depends on the content.”
From the conversation, it seems that Niya-san did not share the conversation with Momoka alone.
However, that is to be expected. If Momoka heard that everyone would be leaving the settlement for her sake, it’s doubtful she would accept it gracefully.
”Niya, if you’re trying to do something for my sake, stop it right now.”
”I can’t do that, it’s already been decided.”
”You’re not denying that you’re doing it for me, is that it?”
Momoka looks away from Niya-san and looks at me instead.
”Master Neil, what did you and Niya talk about?”
”Well, I don’t know if I can share that…”
”…so you can’t say, huh?”
She looked down sadly, but Momoka looked up as if she had made up her mind and opened her mouth.
”Okay, I’ll leave here alone.”
”What!? What are you talking about all of a sudden!? You can’t do it alone!”
”I know it’s impossible, but I don’t want everyone to be unhappy because of me.”
”We’ve never felt tied down by you!”
”Then tell me, Niya, what did you do for me? Is it for your sake too? Is it for everyone, for Iko, for Mio, for Moona? Ronald also said that we are bound to each other because we have been living together for five years. Can you say with confidence that you didn’t make that decision while being tied to my existence?”
”I can assure you, I am not tied to anyone, I made this decision because I wanted to.”
Neither of them would yield, and their argument continued to be at an impasse.
As I was watching their argument, a certain discomfort started to grow in my mind.
At first, I didn’t even know what the source of that discomfort was, but with Niya-san’s words that she wasn’t tied to anyone, I realized something
”Niya-san, about what you just said…”
”Master Neil, that conversation is now―”
”No, please let me finish. I disagree with what you just said.”
”What are you saying?”
Niya-san turned a hostile gaze towards me.
Although I was momentarily intimidated by her pressure, I spoke up as I couldn’t back down here.
”You made this decision without saying a word to Momoka, saying it was for Momoka’s sake. It may have been a natural action for Niya-san, who has always had the role of bringing everyone together.”
”What are you trying to say?”
”Niya-san said that your purpose is to live freely for yourself without being tied down by anyone, but I can’t help but see Niya-san now as being tied down by the role of a commander. And if there is anything that binds others, it is you, Niya-san.”
Niya-san must have been completely unaware of this, including Momoka and the others.
Niya-san was the commander, and the other four followed. That was natural and they had been living that way until now, so it couldn’t be helped.
”I-I was the one holding everyone back…?”
Niya-san muttered with a trembling voice, only realizing it for the first time after being pointed out.
The shock was so great that Niya-san was clearly in a panic, something unprecedented.
”I, I was just trying to―”
When Momoka gently wrapped her hands around Niya-san’s fists that were trembling slightly, she spoke kindly to the confused Niya-san.
”Niya, I’m sorry.”
”W-Why are you apologizing, Momoka?”
”I didn’t realize it until Master Neil told me. I thought it was natural, giving you all the tough jobs and role, because that’s how we’ve always lived. Even though Niya told us to forget about our roles and live freely.”
”No, I wasn’t forced into a role, I took the burden on myself without even realizing it. You guys didn’t do anything wrong. It’s me who’s to blame, who arrogantly thought I had to protect you all.”
”No, it’s not Niya’s fault. We wouldn’t have been able to survive in this world if it wasn’t for Niya. We owe that to you. But it’s okay now, we can all live without relying on Niya. So Niya, you should forget about your role and live freely too.”
It seems that their argument has been settled.
Iko-san, Mio-san, and Moona-san were standing at the entrance of the room, listening to the conversation, perhaps arriving after chasing after Momoka. They were all crying.
”Niya-san, it’s already late today. Let’s continue this discussion another time, and decide together as a group. If it’s the conclusion all of you have come to together, then I won’t say anything anymore.”
”Yes, Master Neil, thank you very much.”
Niya-san bowed and left the office with Momoka and the others.
I don’t know what will happen as a result of Niya-san and the others’ discussion; they may end up leaving the settlement.
But if this is the decision of all the girls, I vowed to send them off with smiles on my face even if this is where we have to part ways.
Please bookmark this series and rate ☆☆☆☆☆ on here!
Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.