Develop 216

Chapter 216 Those Connected to Crimson

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 So, I was sitting in my office when suddenly this mysterious girl with animal ears appeared in front of me.

 It’s kinda risky to be alone with someone whose identity and purpose are unknown. I might get in trouble later for not realizing my own position. But the upcoming conversation is something I can’t bring anyone else into.

 Plus, Lucena-san went to call Lewya, so she’ll be here soon.

 ”Is everything okay?”

 ”Yeah, I just called someone, so they’ll be here soon… And I don’t want others to overhear our conversation, it’s kinda private.”

 ”Ah, then it’s okay! I also wanted to talk in private for a bit, so I made it so others can’t recognize us for a while.”

 Is it some kind of magic that interferes with human consciousness?

 In other words, unless this person returns to people senses, nobody will come to this place, and even if something happens, nobody will help, maybe?

 ”Um, since we’re having a standing conversation, why don’t we both take a seat for now?”

 ”…That’s true, but there’s only one chair here, so maybe we should go to the reception room for now――”

 ”Oh, no need to worry! There’s a chair right here.”

 Saying that, the woman sat down on the “pipe chair” that was placed there.

 Needless to say, there are no pipe chairs in this office, or rather in this world.

 Visiting guests are handled in the reception room, so there are no chairs in the office to greet visitors; there’s only a set of chairs and a desk for office use.

 Even though I understand this in my head, I felt as if the pipe chair was there as a matter of course.

 ”Um, about that chair…”

 ”Huh? Oh! I’m sorry, did it become… ‘incomplete’?”

 ”If by ‘incomplete’ you mean a mismatch in perception, then probably yes.”

 ”That’s right, I suppose it’s not quite familiar yet, so it’s affecting you, isn’t it?”

 The woman bowed her head in an apologetic manner, and I asked her a question after sitting down on a chair myself.

 ”Um, is this strange discrepancy caused by your magic or some other power?”

 ”Ah, that’s what it sounds like, maybe about ‘Crimson’ and ‘Origin’.”

 ”I know I have the power to be called that, but nothing concrete.”


 When the woman heard my reply, she suddenly looked far away.

 It’s my first time meeting this woman, but I can kind of understand what she’s thinking right now.

 I thought she was someone I could talk to to some extent, but the other person probably didn’t understand the situation at all and was at a loss as to how to proceed with the conversation.

 ”Well, first of all, to introduce myself, my name is ‘Snow’, the Leopard (Yukihyou).”

 ”My name is Neil Atmiras. Are you a leopard beastman? This is my first time seeing you.”

 ”No? I’m not a beastman, I’m a genuine snow leopard.”


 Does that mean that in Snow’s world, “Yukihyou” refers to the beastmen themselves, not just the animals?

 Come to think of it, there were so many shocking things that I couldn’t process them all at once, but Snow did say something like “I heard it from the god of this world” at first.

 Just the fact that she uses the term “god of this world” makes her sound mysterious, and not just any ordinary mysterious being, but someone who has met a god, just like me.

 So, in the world where Snow comes from, the beastmen called Yukihyo are probably named after the actual Snow Leopard species. That’s what I concluded in my mind.

 ”Oh, with this appearance, it’s no wonder it’s confusing, right?”


 Once again, a phenomenon occurs right in front of me that goes beyond my understanding.

 Just a moment ago, there was a woman in her twenties with animal ears and a tail in front of me.

 And now, in an instant, she has transformed into a 100% pure, authentic snow leopard.

 ”This is who I really am.”

 ”Is that what you mean when you’re not a beastman… huh…?”

 I understand, but it’s hard to keep up with the understanding. Every time one mystery is solved, about two more mysteries appear. It feels like my head is about to explode.

 ”Um, a were-leopard?”

 ”Please don’t call me a were-leopard! I’m alive and well! I take on a human form because I’ve been living in that form for a long time, and also to blend in with the world I’ve come to.”

 ”I see, I see.”

 It’s clear that if she were to appear in public in this form, it would cause a commotion.

 That’s why she transform—wait a minute.

 ”‘The world I’ve come to’? Wasn’t Snow brought here by a god?”

 ”Huh? I came to this world on my own.”


 As I watched Snow say this so casually, my brain completely exceeded its capacity and came to a temporary halt.

 ”Um, are you okay?”

 ”Yes… somehow.”

 I received about five minutes to organize the information and also sorted out my thoughts.

 For now, what I understand is that Snow-san came to this world from a different world on her own will, and she has the same “Crimson” as me.

 It seems that the god of this world heard that I have the “Crimson” and brought me here.

 I’ll put aside things like differences in perception and discussions about races because it just confuses my mind.

 In the conversations we’ll have from now on, there will probably be many unfamiliar words, but unless they are directly related to the main topic, let’s ignore them.

 ”So, what is this conversation about?”

 ”Well… where should I start?”

 ”To be honest, I know almost nothing…”

 ”That’s true. Ah, well, then let me start with my purpose. I’m traveling through various worlds in search of someone.”

 ”Are you looking for someone? Maybe I might know that person?”

 ”Yes, but judging from Neil-san’s reaction, it seems that Red-san hasn’t come here.”


 ”Yes! Ah, but when I say Red-san, I don’t mean that notorious meme baby, you know?”

 Nope, no one would misunderstand even if you didn’t correct it.

 It’s hard to believe that a person who travels the world looking for someone would be treated like a toy by internet users.

 ”Red-san is my foster parent. Just as soon as I became independent, they disappeared…”

 ”Can that person move through worlds on their own will?”

 ”Yes, well, Red-san originally came from another World Tree.”

 A World Tree, huh? The god who reincarnated me also mentioned something about “the mainstream in this World Tree,” so it must be different from what people generally imagine.

 Since this seems to deviate from the main story, let’s just accept it as one of the different worlds.

 ”So, Snow-san, does that mean you’ve been traveling through various worlds to find Red-san? How many worlds have you been to so far?”

 ”I haven’t really counted, but I guess it’s already well into the five digits.”


 I was surprised. Not only that there are over ten thousand worlds other than this one, but also that someone has traveled through so many worlds in search of a person.

 I can’t even imagine how difficult it is to travel through different worlds, but it’s clear that Red-san is an important figure to Snow-san just by doing that.

 ”Did you ever feel like giving up or getting discouraged?”

 ”No way! I didn’t give up until I found Red-san! And it’s not just about finding Red-san. I made sure to take breaks and have fun. Before coming here, I even spent a week sightseeing and buying things that you can only find in this world.”

 ”Things you can only find in this world?”


 When I asked what it was, Snow, with a big smile on her face, placed a wooden box on top of the office desk from out of nowhere and opened its lid.

 ”Ta-da! It’s the ‘Twichechika’s Great Labyrinth’!”

 Inside the wooden box was a type of board game that is played in this world.

 It’s an asymmetrical board game where one person creates the maze and the others try to conquer it. I’ve played it once before.

 The traps and events are represented by cards, and the players and monsters are represented by game pieces. It’s a really elaborate game that only accepts custom orders because skilled craftsmen are involved. Plus, you can only place an order at the main store in the imperial capital, which is only accessible to the upper middle class and above. So, even if you want to order it, you have to be in a position where you can gain some social credibility. It’s a difficult item to obtain, including the price.

 ”Wow, you got your hands on it. You’d have to be a noble or the head of a firm to even place an order.”

 ”I negotiated with someone who had it! Actually, I defeated some strong-looking monsters for money, not for the guild, but for this firm. Anyway, I took it to a place that would buy it, and at that time, they asked me to help if I had the power to defeat that creature.”

 ”What did you fight?”

 I think it was a dragon with many snake-like heads called Lad… Lardon, I think?”

 ”Ah, it’s not lardon, it’s Ladon, right!?”

 In the world where Ladon originated, it is a dragon with a hundred heads that appears in Greek mythology.

 In this world, the name and the fact that it has many heads are common, but the number of heads is not fixed at a hundred, and new heads grow from wounded parts, covering the wounds, so much so that the battle-hardened individuals have so many heads that the body becomes invisible.

 Moreover, each head moves with its own will and emits magic from its mouth, so the more heads there are, the more troublesome it becomes. Therefore, it is a rule to defeat Ladon as soon as it is discovered before the number of heads increases. Most individuals have fewer than a hundred heads, but occasionally, individuals with close to two hundred or three hundred heads are found.

 Ladon is also a magnificent dragon species, and in the wild, there is hardly anyone who would dare provoke or even wound a Ladon.

 So, what causes Ladon to increase its number of heads? It is usually the work of greedy humans.

 Like other magic creatures, their bodies have a high conductivity of magic, and they are utilized as materials in various fields related to magic.

 The heads of Ladon are no exception to this, and being a dragon species, their value as a material is overwhelmingly high compared to other magical creatures. Those who are greedy hesitate to deliver the final blow and as a result, they attempt to cut off the heads of Ladon, causing the heads to proliferate rapidly.

 ”If the firm is the kind of individual that makes individual requests, there must have been a considerable number of them, right?”

 ”Yes, rather than the name Ladon, it was called “Thornspire dragon (Kenzanryuu)” or “Three Hundred Legends (Sanhyakusama)”.”

 I’ve heard something about the “Thornspire dragon”, but I believe it was Ladon who lived near Golstak, a port in the western part of Empire.

 There was talk that even the army of the feudal lord that ruled around Golstack couldn’t compete with it, so the national army might have to move in.

 If such a monster had been defeated, it would be necessary for the firm and the lord to give a corresponding reward, but it is clear that the reward is not commensurate with a single board game.

 ”Um, do you get any other rewards?”

 ”No? I felt like I was being forced into so many things, so I just got a board game and ran away. After all, I just stopped by this world while looking for someone. I need to use it up right now. I wouldn’t be in trouble if I was given a large sum of money that I don’t have, and above all, the people of this country would be the ones who would suffer the most if that money disappeared with me.”

 ”That’s true though.”

 Firm executives and lords have a duty to reward those who have made contributions, and it is not acceptable to say that it is unavoidable if the recipient refuses the reward.

 This is because if the person who made the contribution does not receive the reward, it will be seen as a doubt about the ability of the giver to provide what the person desires, or it will be suspected that the giver tried to put a noose around their neck under the guise of a reward. In any case, it is very disgraceful for someone who should receive a reward to escape without receiving it.

 I silently pray for the people who are desperately searching for Snow-san right now.

 ”But if it’s this type of board game, are there any in other worlds?”

 ”There are many similar games, of course, but there are differences in the details of the rules, pieces, and card designs! If there are differences, collectors would want to have them!”

 ”…It’s a really irrelevant question, but how many of these board games do you have?”

 ”There are ‘16,068’ types of dungeon battle board games!”

 Wow… that was a quick response.

 Even though she can’t remember the number of worlds she has traveled, this person remembers all the types of board games she has. I mean, over 20,000? How many does she has?

 ”Oh, it looks like you’re taking a good break… right?”

 ”Games are my life, you know.”

 ”Life? What do you mean?”

 ”Well, I’m not a human, I’m a snow leopard. That’s right, if you’d like, I can give you my favorite game as a token of our acquaintance!”

 As Snow-san said this and moved aside the wooden box containing the Great Labyrinth of Tuichechika, a pile of boxes appeared around me.


 ”Huh? You can see it properly this time, right? I meant to make sure it wouldn’t affect your perception.”

 ”I can, I can see it.”

 This time, there’s no conflict between my mind and heart, but I was simply overwhelmed by the sudden appearance of a pile of boxes in front of me. Where did this come from, really?

 Even if I can recognize it properly, it’s still a mystery, so I look away from the pile of boxes and look at Snow-san.

 ”Are all of these board games?”

 ”This is a carefully selected set of recommendations for analog games in general, not just board games!”

 ”I wonder if this is really a carefully selected set…”

 ”I actually wanted to promote digital games as well, but I received a message from the god to stop doing that.”

 ”A message to stop?”

 ”Yes, I was told not to introduce unnecessary scientific technology into this world, so I reluctantly decided to focus only on analog games.”

 I had suspected since I heard the story that only equipment disappeared when Momoka and the others were brought to this world. It seems that the god do not approve of any kind of science being brought into this world.

 In the first place, I had wondered about it.

 The appearance of Ihomonos is not something that just started recently.

 Despite the fact that the existence of ihomonos has been confirmed for hundreds or thousands of years, the civilization level of this world is still at best in the late Middle Ages. Even the kingdom that tries to make the power of ihomonos its own has not been able to create any kind of scientific weapons.

 What has spread in this world is only technology that does not deviate from the culture and worldview of this world. Even though it is difficult to reproduce because the laws are different from the original world, I can’t help but feel that the lack of development in civilization level is intentional.

 ”But the only thing that has been stopped is to spread the word about digital games, so there’s no problem playing here! I have a game that I recommend, so let’s play together!”

 As soon as Snow said that, a ridiculously sized LCD TV, numerous game consoles, and shelves filled with their software appeared without a sound, filling half of the office.

 ”What genres of games do you like, Neil? It seems like you’ve been playing RPGs, fighting games, or online games. Do you prefer PCs to consoles?”

 ”Wait a minute!”

 I was once again confused by the scene that instantly shattered my worldview, but I pointed out the part that bothered me the most.

 ”The fact that you’ve been proceeding with the story on the assumption that you already know this means that you’re aware that I’m not originally a resident of this world, right? How did you know that?”

 It’s not like I guessed it because I reacted to some words like I did with Niya-san.

 In Snow-san’s case, no matter how she thought about it, she knew from the beginning that it would get through to me, so she talked to me about it.

 It’s hard to imagine that I would have heard such insignificant personal information from God, and I also couldn’t imagine that God, who only had a purpose for my soul and not for me, had knowledge of my personal information.

 ”I didn’t mean to do that, but I happened to see it by chance… I was checking to make sure it wasn’t a case of mistaken identity when I saw the soul, and at that time, I thought, ‘Hmm, there seems to be a strange cartridge attached to the soul. I wonder what it is.’ It turned out to be an external memory storage.”

 I’ve heard that spirits can see my soul and they say it’s Crimson-colored. Checking for Crimson seems to be a popular method worldwide.

 Also, the external memory storage is probably related to memories from my past life. The spirit tree said it separates and preserves memories from past lives so they don’t fade. But there’s one word that really caught my attention.


 ”Oh, right. I don’t really know much about the details, including the origin. To put it simply, the shape of a soul varies in different worlds, and there are countless worlds. These worlds can be roughly categorized into five types, and souls are also divided into five types. Neil’s soul is classified as a fifth-generation soul, which means it only retains the essential functions and has the flexibility to attach and detach functions as needed.”

 ”So, the cartridge refers to the attachment and detachment of functions. By the way, are there any other things attached to one’s soul besides the memory storage?”

 ”There’s a function for generating and storing magic power. Originally, it’s a standard function for second and third generations, but I think it’s just added to match the second-generation system of this world, so I don’t think you need to worry about it.”

 So when I heard that, I let out a sigh of relief.

 I had been feeling like my soul was being played with without my knowledge, and I had a feeling it was happening somewhere else, too. And sure enough, it was.

 But it seems like it’s just to fit in with the people in this world, so as long as there’s no other intention, I can relax a little.

 ”…Do you really not like it when someone else plays with your soul?”

 ”Huh? Well, I don’t think anyone would feel good about having their soul played with by someone else.”

 ”That’s true…”

 Snow-san’s expression turned serious at my response.

 I didn’t understand why Snow-san, who had nothing to do with what the god of this world did, would have that kind of expression, and it raised a question in my mind.

 ”Snow-san, you came to me to search for people, right? From the way the conversation was going, there’s a possibility that this Red-san will appear where someone with Crimson is. Why would this person appear where someone with Crimson is?”

 So, it’s not unrelated that they’re called Red-san.

 And my expectation turns out to be correct, but Snow-san says something that surpasses my expectation even further.

 ”That’s because… the ‘Crimson’ you possess, Neil-san, is something given by Red-san.”

 That was the answer that approached the mystery of why I had something called ‘Crimson.’

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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