Develop 209

Chapter 209 Spirit rules and rebirth

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 It’s been a week since I started constructing the defensive fort, and while I’m working on building the defensive fort, I’m also busy with the usual paperwork and receiving damage reports related to earth spirit that come in periodically. It was about time.

 ”‘Crimson one’, I have something to tell you.”

 When I suddenly heard that voice, I stopped and looked up to see an earth spirit standing in front of my office desk.

 ”Um, could you please stop calling me ‘Crimson one’? My name is Neil. If you want to call me, please call me that way.”

 ”Names used by humans are used to identify individuals, so there is no problem as long as I recognize ‘Crimson one’ as your own name.”

 ”That’s not the problem– Sigh, that’s fine for now…So, what do you mean by talking?”

 It was the first time that the earth spirit had approached me, and I had a feeling that it was an important conversation. I decided to temporarily give up on changing my title and continued the conversation.

 ”Have you been preparing for the recent counterattacks?”

 ”Are you talking about the defensive positions? Did something go wrong when we cleared the forest on the east side?”

 ”That doesn’t matter. We don’t have the right to interfere with what humans do. We try to avoid excessive involvement with you. You should ask Lewya about that.”

 ”Well, I do ask, but… why are you calling Lewya by her name?”

 ”Lewya is part of the Valiare bloodline. We can’t treat her the same as others.”

 I recognized the name her, but it had been so long that I momentarily forgot what it meant. Valiare, if I remember correctly, was Lewya’s family name her.

 ”Is Lewya born into a special lineage among the elves?”

 ”It’s not just Valiare that is special. All elves belong to special bloodlines, and their abilities are determined by them. Among the many bloodlines, Valiare has a high affinity with us, but on the other hand, they are not adept at handling magic. We have a contractual relationship with the Valiare bloodline, so we cannot neglect them.”

 ”I see…”

 Lewya, despite being an elf, has often been heard to struggle with magic, but it seems that it’s a matter of bloodline.

 And from what I’ve heard, it’s a relief to know that being special to the spirits doesn’t necessarily make you important among the elves.

 ”We’ve gotten off track. What I wanted to talk to you about was regarding the wind.”

 ”Regarding Wen?”

 ”We don’t interfere excessively with humans. However, the inexperienced wind seems to disregard that rule and is considering interfering in this matter.”

 ”You mean the monster attacks?”

 ”Yes, even if I tell her not to get involved any further, she won’t listen. The wind wants to do something for you all. So, I judged that it would be quicker to have you persuade the wind.”

 I see, I understand the matter with the earth spirit.

 It seems that she want to ask for caution from Wen, who disregards the spirits’ rules.

 Earth spirit’ve been taking care the crops, and if possible, I’d like to fulfill the earth spirit’s wish, but――

 ”Sorry, this is a shameful story, but it’s incredibly grateful that Wen is willing to help. We were struggling to figure out how to deal with the horde of monsters on our own.”

 While we are making preparations, it’s better to do something rather than nothing. In reality, if things continue like this, the settlement will suffer significant damage.

 If Wen is willing to lend a hand here, there was no option for me to refuse it.

 ”So… um, it’s really distressing, but that request――”

 ”You seem to be misunderstanding something. I didn’t come to ask you to persuade the wind on my behalf. I told you, I came to recommend that you persuade the wind. If the wind breaks the rules again, there is a risk that you will direct hostility towards the Creator, claiming that you didn’t know about it.”

 ”What do you mean?”

 ”I mean it literally. If the wind interferes further, she will be deemed unfit as a spirit and will be recreated by the Creator.”

 ”Recreated…? That means, she will be transformed into an entity that listens because she doesn’t listen!?”

 ”In a nutshell, yes, but it’s a bit different. Her memories will be retained, and it’s only a purification of the soul. There won’t be any intentional character modifications. The purpose is to reset the mind of those who can no longer fulfill their role as a spirit due to being controlled by emotions.”

 ”Only to reset… that’s just…”

 ”I’ve conveyed what needs to be said. If you don’t like it, try your best to persuade the wind. Even if the wind remains unchanged, it will be the wind’s own choice. And if she ends up being recreated, don’t ever imitate holding a grudge against the Creator.”

 The earth spirit disappeared from in front of me as it said that, and I was left alone in the office, continuing to chew on the spirit’s words in my head.

 ”That spirit’s rebirth, huh. Sorry, but I don’t know much about that either.”

 That night, as I was getting undressed for a bath, I told Diana and Lewya about today’s events.

 ”A spirit is the embodiment of the natural environment with its own will. Even when we interact with them, the spirits rarely interfere beyond what is requested, and they hardly recognize us as individual beings. So, it’s more accurate to say that we didn’t even think about their rebirth, rather than not knowing about it.”

 ”So, how would a reborn spirit change?”

 ”Since I didn’t think about it specifically, I have no idea. Besides, spirits like Wen, who actively interfere, are rare. I don’t know what would happen to them through rebirth.”

 ”…I wonder if Wen will cease to be Wen.”

 ”I’m not sure. It’s unclear how much impact soul cleansing would have, but from what I’ve heard, memories remain, right? If their experiences are not lost, then wouldn’t that still be the same being?”

 ”It’s a difficult issue. Especially with spirits, the concept of a physical body, like that of humans, doesn’t exist. Therefore, their rebirth is different, and it may not be a problem that can be discussed within our framework. It’s probably best to ask the spirits themselves about their matters… Alright, that’s enough.”

 Stripped naked by the hands of two, I stepped into the bath ahead of them as they changed into more suitable attire. As I immersed myself in the hot water, I immediately noticed the presence of another bather.

 ”The Water Spirit…”

 ”I’ve already claimed it. The temperature is just right today.”

 Similar to the Earth Spirit, the Water Spirit also enjoyed the sensations of the physical world since taking on a tangible form. Although it happened sporadically, there were times when we both soaked in the bath like this.

 However, the Water Spirit never ventured outside in her tangible form, only materializing when in the bath. Therefore, only the humans who worked in the mansion were aware of its existence.

 We had shared the bath a few times before, but the distance between me and the Water Spirit remained unchanged. While it would engage in casual small talk, the moment I tried to delve into more meaningful conversations, it would promptly avoid the topic.

 Though she appeared approachable, the Water Spirit was the entity that kept the greatest distance from humans among the three spirits.

 ”…Hey, I’m going to ask you a question out of the blue. Have water spirits ever been reborn?”

 “There is.”

 I didn’t have any expectations when I heard those words come back quickly, so I made a stupid face.

 ”What? That strange face?”

 ”No, I didn’t expect you to give me such an easy answer. I thought giving birth again was something like a punishment. So I thought it would be something that would be covered up or denied. I was there.”

 ”‘Punishment’…I’ve never thought of rebirth as a punishment.”

 ”Isn’t it a punishment? Then, what does rebirth mean to a water spirit?”

 ”I consider rebirth to be a necessary thing.”

 ”Things necessary?”

 ”We have emotions just like humans, and we have lived for longer periods of time than humans. When we continue to exist for a long time, our emotions accumulate, and before we know it, our hearts can reach their limits. Do you know what happens to spirits that reach their limit?”

 ”No, I don’t know.”

 ”They go wild. They can no longer control their own powers and emotions, and what you humans call natural disasters are the work of spirits who have lost their reason. Before that happens, it’s best to clear out the spirits’ accumulated emotions.” It’s “rebirth.”If there was no rebirth, the number of natural disasters would have increased dozens of times.”

 “So, does that mean that sooner or later, spirits will be reborn?”

 ”That’s right, just as you humans are reborn with the lifespan of our bodies, we spirits are reborn with the lifespan of our minds. That’s why the word ‘punishment’ you just said is not appropriate. We are just… , it’s just optimized to do its job.”


 Alright, I was shocked at the water spirit’s words, thinking it was almost like a machine, when the door leading to the changing room opened, and Diana and Lewya, dressed in undergarments, entered the bathroom.

 ”I thought I heard voices, and it turns out it’s the water spirit after all.”

 ”Master Neil? Is everything okay?”

 ”No… I just asked the water spirit about something from earlier. It’s all good.”

 With the arrival of the two, I paused my conversation with the water spirit and moved over to the washing area.

 But even as the two of them washed my body, the water spirit continued chatting as if nothing happened.

 ”Coming to ask about a rebirth all of a sudden… could it be related to the wind?”

 ”You’re quick to catch on. Do you think the Wind is going too far from the spirit’s perspective?”

 ”You guys understand that the Wind’s actions are beyond the usual limits, right? Especially lately, the Earth won’t stop fussing about ‘the Wind will be reborn as it is’.”

 ”…Could it be that the Earth spirit is worried about Wen?”

 ”Who knows? The Earth hardly shows her emotions… just like me.”

 ”What do you think about Wen being reborn?”

 ”I think it’s a good opportunity. The Wind is still young, and spirits who haven’t experienced rebirth are terrible at controlling their emotions, so it’s better for her to be completely refreshed once and for all. Remember when you used to clumsily speak to us in spirit language?”

 I was initially confused by the sudden change of topic, but then I realized it was a story about when I used the power of spirits. I had prepared my own altar and would talk to them every day.

 ”Do you remember that time when it rained and you caught a cold?”

 ”Yeah, I remember. It was a day with heavy sideways rain.”

 When I replied to the water spirit with those words, Diana, who was washing herself, suddenly stopped.

 ”Huh? That day, it did rain, but it was just a light drizzle and there wasn’t much wind.”

 ”What? No way, the wind was crazy strong! That’s why I caught a cold.”

 ”If the rain and wind were that intense, I would have had to forcefully bring Master Neil back to the mansion.”

 Indeed, now that she mentioned it, it’s hard to believe that Diana would have allowed me to be reckless in such heavy rain.

 But in my memory, that day’s rain was definitely very intense. I am now puzzled by the difference in our memories when the water spirit interrupts our conversation.

 ”That was the work of the wind. That girl disliked you, so she made the wind blow around you to drive you away quickly.”

 ”Wen disliked me? That’s ridiculous! Wen helped me. If she disliked me, she wouldn’t have done such a thing.”

 ”It’s true. There was someone among us who was strangely hostile towards you. That was the wind. If you think it’s a lie, ask Lewya, who acted as our interpreter.”

 ”Lewya, is it true?”

 When I looked at Lewya and asked, Lewya nodded slowly with a guilty look.

 ”I’m sorry. I knew Neil was concerned, and there were times when I debated whether or not to tell you. But I didn’t want to dig up the past while you and Wen were getting along.”

 Wen, the spirit who was cursing at me so rudely, is actually Wen? Even if you say that, it doesn’t make sense with her current attitude. I just can’t wrap my head around it.

 ”I told you, didn’t I? That child is still young. Sometimes, even trivial events can cause a change from dislike to liking. Things you used to love can turn into things you hate. Spirits who have not experienced rebirth are like that.”

 ”…Was I disliked by Wen to that extent?”

 ”At that time, the wind had never observed humans herself, and I strongly believed that humans were like that based solely on the stories I heard from others. Especially the prejudice against nobles was strong, so it would be more accurate to say it was because you were a noble. And it was me who taught that child insults like ‘lacking manners’ or ‘commoner’.”

 ”Did you teach her those insults!?”

 I stood up from the bath chair in surprise at the sudden confession.

 Even though she had been speaking as if she had nothing to do with it, it turned out she was directly involved.

 ”That child was still young and had a limited vocabulary, so I taught her various things to prevent her from being taken advantage of.”

 ”Don’t act like an adult who takes advantage of children’s ignorance…”

 ”Just teaching good things won’t help a child grow up to be good. Not knowing bad things means not being able to recognize them as bad, and there is nothing worse than unintentional evil. That’s why I teach both good and bad things, before being rebirth.”

 ”…Is rebirth something so casual? Emotions are erased, right? Aren’t you afraid? Have you never thought about losing yourself?”

 ”I have never been afraid. I have experienced rebirth several times, but I have never felt like I became someone different. And just before being rebirth, emotions swirl violently like turbulent waves in my heart. But as soon as I am rebirth, they all disappear and my heart becomes clear. It feels very refreshing, and I can objectively see things like ‘Why did I cry or feel sad about such trivial matters?’ That’s why spirits need rebirth.”

 ”Well, that――”

 I swallow the words that were about to escape my lips.

 Even though I already knew the answer that would come back from the spirit of water.

 With the lingering unease in my heart, I pondered not only the words of the spirit of the earth but also the words of the water spirit.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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