Fourth Outer World Story Series: Basilisk of Ice Sculpture - Chapter 49
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
“We’ve made it.”
“Huh? The temperature has dropped… it’s freezing!?”
[Hmm. The temperature has dropped all at once.]
Instead of our original world waiting for us beyond the gate, there exists a wilderness similar to the one we had just traveled through, equipped with black stone pillars placed at each of its four corners as if it were a standard room of a “Maze.”
However, the sun-like illumination source that has been gloriously beaming down from above, depriving us of our strength and energy, has descended halfway behind the horizon, accompanied by a substantial drop in temperature.
The temperature would probably drop even further once we step out of the room.
But since I am physically a Graecian by contract with Ys, the frigid temperature poses no particular obstacle to me.
“Toki nee-chan, that’s not fair!?”
Toki-san appears to be endowed with the abilities of Kagutsuchi, the God of the fire lineage and is capable of withstanding this degree of cold with ease.
Sora-san, on the other hand, is shivering from the cold and apparently lacks that type of ability.
Sigh, it can’t be helped.
“If I recall correctly, there are a couple of clothes in the baggage you brought with you, so please put them on and then scout the perimeter.”
Following my words, Sora-san pulls out some clean white cloths that are placed in the “Frozen Cloud” for several purposes before throwing them on.
This should be satisfactory for the time being, and the purifying salt-infused water can be tested once more if necessary.
“Toki-san, have you got a minute?”
“How may I be of help?”
So as not to impede Sora-san’s reconnoitering, I get off the “Frozen Cloud,” and after a short walk away, I initiate a conversation with Toki-san to find out what I want to know from her while Sora-san is conducting a search for adversaries.
Though that being said, I for one am positive about the answer to the question that will be asked to her due to the earthworm we encountered earlier.
“Toki-san. Toki-san, you can…”
[You can hear my voice huh.]
Ys interrupts my line after approaching Toki-san’s ear and raising her voice; this results in a subtle shift in Toki-san’s complexion which represents the confirmation of our suspicion.
[I knew it.]
“Looks like it. Toki-san, since when did you start hearing Ys’ voice?”
“…The time is unknown to me. When I became aware of it, it was as if I was hearing someone else’s voice that sounded a lot alike Akira-san’s. Um, I am sorry for keeping quiet.”
“That doesn’t really bother me.”
Hmm. Does she recognize the fact that she can hear Ys, regardless of the time?
I mean, is Ys’ voice similar to mine? Perhaps it’s because it’s my own voice, but I never realized it.
Maybe I should ask her some questions.
“Do you mind if I ask you a few questions, Toki-san?”
“If I can answer them.”
“Can you see Ys like Sora-san does?”
“No, unlike Sora, she is not visible to me.”
[That does seem to be the case.]
During the time Toki-san and I are speaking, Ys is deliberately and conspicuously moving around to my shoulder, but Toki-san’s gaze remains fixed on my face.
Toki-san seemingly truly can’t glimpse Ys and only hears her voice.
Even a human being’s line of sight would waver momentarily at least when something that moves so much appears in their eyes.
“And do you have any idea why you can hear her voice now, Toki-san? Also, Ys, any idea why she can hear you now?”
“No, nothing on my part. As I mentioned earlier, I came to hear her voice out of nowhere, and there is no divine power that I can remember receiving from God that is related to auditory perception.”
[For maidens, priests, and priestesses who worship a particular God and are in service to that God, hearing only the voice of God is a common occurrence. Toki, however, does not have faith in me and is not a maiden who devotes herself to me. Furthermore, the fact that Toki can hear me despite the absence of my intention to convey my voice to her implies that she has the ability to hear the voice of God.]
Hearing both of their accounts, I rack my brain.
Even though I don’t remember Toki-san being bestowed with this kind of power, if what Ys speculates is true, it would mean that a God of some sort has granted Toki-san that power.
“I have another question for Ys. Can you think of any entity that could empower this kind of power?”
[Umm… I don’t have any insight into either the Graecian Gods or the Japoterasu Gods. As for the Japoterasu, my circle of friends is too narrow for me to be familiar with many of their Gods. In the first place, though, the use of sound to convey intentions is a convenient method for both Gods and humans that imposes a small burden on the amount of information, but being able to perceive voices that are not directed at oneself can invite all types of complications.]
“What do you mean?”
[Well, this is the story of the Graecian God, Hounahime, whose voice is so harsh and shrill that you want to suppress your ears even if you are well-trained and prepared for it. Imagine hearing such a voice suddenly at close range.]
When I picture a scenario in which I hear the voice of the God called Hounahime by Ys out of the blue… a strained smile inadvertently crosses my features.
Yeah. I would at best crouch down or at worst faint, if a voice of such ludicrous volume were to burst into my ears unannounced.
[At best, you’ll lose consciousness; at worst, your spirit and soul will experience a severe shock, followed by death.]
“It’s that serious!?”
But the actual Hounahime is even worse than I expected.
The best is fainting, and that can be called a weapon rather than a voice anymore.
“W-Well, in any case, after you conquer this ‘Maze’, you should only discuss it with someone you trust, such as Susanoo-sama or Director Nihyo, and devise a countermeasure.”
[You guys are underestimating Hounahime’s voice… Well, let’s leave this matter at that for now. There is nothing that can be done for us at this point anyway.]
“I suppose so.”
“Shall we head back then?”
So, having concluded our conversation, Toki-san and I return to the “Frozen Cloud” together…
I then catch sight of Sora-san, who is looking sullen for some reason.
Huh? Why is she wearing a sulky face? Have I done something wrong?
“Well, I don’t particularly care if Akira onee-sama and Toki nee-chan are holding a secret talk alone. I don’t really care, either way.”
“…Um, by the way, have you uncovered anything?”
“Though I’m not sure how long ago they were formed, I discovered what I believe to be human footprints. No signs of hostility are present. So, why don’t you two hop on board the ‘Frozen Cloud’ and follow the tracks?”
Toki-san and I board the “Frozen Cloud” at the urging of Sora-san, who is in a foul mood over something, and with the divine power flowing into it, our vehicle moves in the direction Sora-san has directed.
Check out other Outer World Story series in order: First Outer World Story: The Black Mist that Devours, Third Outer World Story: Pumpkin Sorcerer, Fourth Outer World Story: Basilisk of Ice Sculpture
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