Develop 218

Chapter 218 No-no

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 Momoka went to the office for a reason.

 After finishing her usual chores, she looked for Lucena, who was responsible for managing the servants, to report. She found Lucena standing at the front entrance of the mansion, seemingly confused, saying she needed to go call Lewya but not moving from the spot.

 When Momoka asked why, Lucena said she knew she had to go but couldn’t remember why.

 This confusion was caused by Snow temporarily making Neil invisible to others to prevent her from interrupting their conversation.

 Unaware of this, Momoka misunderstood Lucena’s strange behavior and decided to seek help from someone else since she couldn’t handle it alone.

 That’s when Lewya was chosen.

 Honestly, Diana would have been more reliable in such situations, but Lucena had called for Lewya, and Lewya was currently supervising the sl*ves in the fields, so Momoka knew she would definitely find her there.

 So, Momoka came to the field, but here she encountered an unexpected situation.

 Lewya was in the same state as Lucena.

 While saying she needed to report about the spirits, she stood there, looking very confused, not knowing who to report to.

 Momoka suggested reporting to Lucena, but Lewya said that wouldn’t work.

 Momoka felt uneasy thinking about who else to report to if not Lucena.

 Lucena might be in charge of the servants, but she’s not in charge of this settlement.

 That means there’s someone above Lucena who’s in charge of the settlement. As Momoka thought about this, she felt clarity in her mind and remembered Neil.

 Why hadn’t she thought about Neil before? Momoka realized she, along with Lucena and Lewya, had been acting strangely.

 As soon as she realized this, she dashed off. She couldn’t waste any time worrying about why Neil was the only thing missing from her thoughts. She jumped over the fence surrounding the mansion, ran through the garden, and peeked into the office window. There, she saw Neil and Snow having a conversation.

 Relieved to see Neil safe, she pounded on the office window to get his attention. She also noticed a stranger with Neil and tilted her head in confusion. She knew she had to report this unusual situation to Neil.

 When Momoka barged in, Neil and Snow’s discussion was interrupted.

 Momoka informed Snow that some people were acting strangely because they couldn’t recognize Neil anymore. Snow decided it was best to stop the conversation to avoid further disturbance.

 This helped others to recognize Neil again, and everyone returned to normal as if nothing unusual had happened.

 Momoka reported to Lucena and thought everything was settled. But Momoka herself wasn’t feeling normal.

 ”Um… I mean, what does Momo-chan usually do?”

 After reporting to Lucena and being given a short break of about an hour, Snow suddenly appeared from the shadows and joined Momoka during her break.

 Momoka considered Snow a mysterious person who caused a disturbance, but since Snow’s purpose seemed to be to talk to Neil and Momoka didn’t sense any malice, she wasn’t on guard.

 Although Snow’s intentions were unclear, Momoka had other things to think about at the

 ”Do you worry about fighting again?”


 When Snow suddenly asked this question, Momoka reflexively looked at Snow’s face.

 Because the question was exactly about Momoka’s own worry.

 ”Why do you ask?”

 ”Because it showed on your face.”

 ”People often say it’s hard to read my expressions…”

 ”Haha, yeah, Nono-chan isn’t the type to show much on her face. But, well, if you’ve been watching someone with the same expression as you have now for nearly three months, you can’t help but start to understand.”

 ”…Didn’t you say earlier that it was a ‘mistake’?”

 When Momoka appeared at the office window, Snow called her “Nono-chan,” but immediately after, she tried to cover it up by saying it was a mistake.

 Momoka herself, being called Nono-chan by Snow, didn’t recall anything about it, so she didn’t think deeply if it was really a mistake. But now, she felt uncomfortable with the statement that seemed to equate her with Momoka.

 ”Um, at first, I tried to pretend like I didn’t know about that kind of stuff. But your troubled expression looked so much like someone I know that I couldn’t just ignore it.”

 ”…I don’t really get it.”

 Momoka doesn’t know about Snow, but Snow knows about Momoka, or rather, someone who looks just like Momoka.

 Momoka doesn’t know how much she resembles this “Nono-chan,” but being equated with someone else and not knowing how to react, she was at a loss.

 ”As you said, I’m indeed troubled about fighting. My power—”

 ”The explosive increase in physical abilities, accompanied by a significant burden on the body, right?”

 ”…I’m surprised. Nono-chan is so similar to me even in that aspect.”

 ”Yeah, but there’s a significant difference between you and Nono-chan.”

 ”A significant difference?”

 ”Momo-chan doesn’t have a body that can withstand that power.”

 Snow said something that made Momoka widen her eyes in astonishment. Momoka approached Snow with an expression of shock she hadn’t shown before.

 ”How… how did this happen!? How did you, the ‘me’ you know, acquire such a body!?”

 ”P-Please calm down! I’m sorry, but I don’t know the details about that either. When I met Nono-chan, she already had ‘that body.’”

 ”…I see.”

 Hearing Snow’s words of not knowing anything, Momoka seemed disappointed, releasing the grip on Snow’s shoulder that she had held tightly.

 Seeing Momoka like that, Snow guessed at the source of her distress.

 ”Are you troubled because you can’t fight due to that power?”

 ”Yeah, my body can’t handle my strength. That’s why everyone around me doesn’t want me to fight.”

 Now that Momoka has been freed from the spell of living as a group of five and has started walking her own path, there is no one to tell Momoka not to fight.

 But even though no one could command her anymore, it was unthinkable for Niya and the others to silently overlook Momoka behaving recklessly and risking her life.

 Neil agreed with this sentiment. He had advised Momoka not to participate in the defense during the recent monster attack.

 ”Right now, I wouldn’t achieve much in defense. I’d only be able to scatter a dozen or so monsters from among the hundreds, and then my body would reach its limit.”

 Scattering a dozen or so among hundreds wasn’t futile, but it didn’t change the course of the battle. It didn’t seem worth risking one’s life for.

 So Momoka decided not to participate in the defense, agreeing with the words of those around her.

 Even though she understood in her mind that her participation would only worry everyone, her heart couldn’t quite accept it.

 ”I have the power to fight. Yet my body cannot wield it properly.”

 ”You have the power, but you can’t fight—or rather, ‘You have the power, but you choose not to fight.’ That’s what bothers you, right?”

 ”Yeah, people close to me worry about me. But…”

 Despite having the power to fight, some people don’t approve of Momoka’s reluctance to do so.

 For instance, when Momoka sparred in the training grounds, some would hurl aggressive remarks at her.

 ”Why don’t you use your fighting skills outside and hunt?” “You’re just a coward doing safe jobs within the settlement.” Such criticisms naturally reached Momoka’s ears, but she didn’t let them bother her.

 She understood that it was inevitable to be judged for avoiding battles despite having the ability to fight.

 What Momoka couldn’t forgive herself for was her own incompetence, which led to such judgments.

 Even though she knew it was pointless to dwell on what could have been if she had fully utilized her powers like the other four, she couldn’t help but think about it.

 So, when Snow told her about obtaining a body capable of fully handling such power, Momoka was deeply moved.

 It might have been possible. If only she could get a hint leading to that alternate self…

 ”You know, Momo-chan and Nono-chan look alike in both appearance and strength, but they’re different people. The Nono-chan I know didn’t agonize over being unable to fight, but rather over whether to fight.”

 ”…Luxurious worries.”

 ”Do you think so? From my perspective, Momo-chan, who was given options other than fighting, seems much more privileged.”


 Between being someone who can only fight and someone who can’t fight oneself, indeed, when considering only the options given, someone who can choose paths other than fighting must be much more fortunate than someone who can only choose to fight.


 ”I want to fight. I don’t like fighting itself, but I want to fight for everyone’s sake. The ‘me’ you know isn’t me, but the me right now wishes to be that way.”

 ”…Is that so? In the end, both versions of you choose that path.”

 As Snow, with a smile tinged with sorrow, takes Momo-chan’s hand, who ultimately chooses to fight despite being given the choice not to, it evokes a sense of melancholy.

 ”Okay then, I’ll do what I can. So you can fight again.”

 ”How can I fight again?”

 ”Leave that to Snow. Come on, let’s go.”

 Holding hands with Snow, Momoka suddenly disappears with Snow.

 The subtitle “no-no.” has two meanings. One is “don’t do it” or “forbidden” in English. The other is “no number,” meaning there’s no number assigned. I hope I can write about Nonna in a short story somewhere.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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