First Outer World Story Series: The Black Mist that Devours - Chapter 26
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
Events that took place within a month.
Greetings, everyone. I am Yaharai Houki.
Eh? You have no clue who I am? I am the housekeeper of the Nasu family who became a Kirijin most recently.
Incidentally, the skill I possessed was ≪Mana Trace≫.
As to why I was at this place, Kurokiri had been conducting operations at an undisclosed area for nearly a month and had asked me to provide insight into the present state of events in the world.
If all that was needed was an explanation, I believed it would be as simple as asking Lady Ryo or another person whose face I didn’t recognize, but I was certain there was another Kirijin present…
Lady Ryo was now occupied with some issues at the high school, while the other Kirijin were seeking ways to improve their own abilities. After expressing, “I wish I had more capabilities,” the other Kirijin had gone back into labyrinth X-J1, and there had been no contact with them which led me to be the one to offer an explanation to Kurokiri.
[Well then, please explain.]
I can hear the voice of Kurokiri-sama directly in my head. Apparently, it’s a privilege after turning into a Kirijin, but it’s very convenient, right?
“Yes. First of all, after Kurokiri-sama conquered labyrinth X-J1, the whole country was enveloped in a whirlpool of gaiety and joy.”
Indeed, on that day a month ago, the Demon King who was the master of Labyrinth X-J1 was vanquished by Kurokiri’s hand.
Nevertheless, it had not been disclosed to the public who triumphed over that Demon King.
The reason is simple: both Kurokiri-sama and Lady Ryo are averse to having their identities, or rather, information, exposed to the outside world. Kurokiri-sama probably left via a skill like teleportation while Miss infiltrated and retreated without being discovered by anyone through her ≪Mist Cloak≫.
Even I myself, who witnessed the incident unfolding in front of me, felt it was a dream. Truthfully speaking, if I recounted that battle to anyone, they would probably dismiss it as a joke.
“However, since the labyrinth and the monsters remained unchanged, it seems that even now, the barrier monitoring unit is supervising labyrinth X-J1 and occasionally entering the labyrinth to execute cleanup operations.”
[Ah, about that, it is better to give up since that is like the curse of the so-called Demon King.]
Curse. Before the discovery of these skills that emerged in the world, this would have amounted to a joke or a kind of occultism. Now that such skills actually exist, I have heard rumors about that sort of thing.
“Let’s see, next is… yes, about two weeks ago, I think. The United Nations issued a worldwide proclamation regarding the existence of skills, raising awareness of skills in all but a few authoritarian countries and underdeveloped areas where information is scarce.”
[Ah, I knew that was coming.]
The impact and consternation brought upon the world by the existence of skills, a mysterious power to humanity, was phenomenal. In the developed countries, they knew in advance that such a phenomenon would arise and had prepared for it, so many countries were spared, but in countries with poor security, safety had deteriorated even more than before, and the number of crimes committed with the use of skills had been escalating.
Even so, security had not worsened, but rather improved in regions where labyrinths were present, possibly due to the threat of monsters emerging from the labyrinths.
On the other hand, it turned out that certain mad scientists had been carrying out inhumane research to investigate what these things called skills were and what kind of laws applied to them. It was said that some areas were being pressed to deal with it, and in all likelihood, no amount of hunting will drive these people away. Furthermore, several groups of such organizations had been discovered and arrested in my country.
“It’s a horrendous story. Fighting amongst fellow human beings brings no meaning, it doesn’t even add experience points.”
[Yeah, that’s true.]
Huh? For some reason, I feel that there is a subtle difference in nuance between me and Kurokiri-sama, but… let’s leave it at that.
“Oh yes, about a week ago, the ‘National Skills Survey Law’ was enacted and promulgated in our country, and we are now obliged to reveal the skills we possess to the government. Did you already know that?”
[No, I haven’t heard of it. Or rather, you didn’t divulge about the ≪Mist Cloak≫, by any chance, I assume?]
“I did not release that information since the Lady prohibited me from doing so. And to be honest, this is a law full of loopholes.”
Because, as it stood, there was no particular penalty for violating this “National Skill Survey Law,” nor was it mandatory to demonstrate the specific effects of the skills presented, only an outline will suffice.
Besides, the government didn’t even do a confirmation of how many skills each person possessed, even though there must be people like me who owned more than one skill. It really was a law full of loopholes.
However, thanks to this law, I had learned one thing.
That was with respect to the age when children acquire skills, and apparently, with some exceptions, the first skill was obtained at the age of 10 to 12 years old. The exceptions were children who were in imminent danger will acquire skills to escape that life-threatening situation or children who were forcefully activated by illegal drugs.
In either case, the child was subjected to a substantial strain that can leave them severely disabled or lead to skills spiraling uncontrollably.
“After that, well… There are some countries that have encountered adversity at the hands of the Demon King’s large-scale aggression, and some countries have even been swept into the labyrinth.”
[Hmm. That means that there will be a country reigned by a Demon King or a second dungeon to be conquered.]
“I’m hoping to grasp a hint of the labyrinth X-J2 in the neighborhood at the earliest opportunity, but a few days ago, I couldn’t even locate the entrance. Would you happen to have any knowledge of it, Kurokiri-sama?”
[No, I don’t have any information about Labyrinth X-J2.]
As I thought, even Kurokiri-sama lacks insight on the subject. I wonder where this country is heading in the future… it disturbs me deeply.
“As I said, this is what has happened in this past month, as far as I know.”
[Oh, thanks a lot. I’ve learned various information. Then, I’m going to terminate the communication, and be careful not to be exposed regarding the Kirijin from now on.]
“Yes. Take care, Kurokiri-sama.”
Check out other Outer World Story series in order: Outer World Story: The Black Mist that Devours (First series), Outer World Story: Pumpkin Sorcerer (Third series), Outer World Story: Basilisk of Ice Sculpture (Fourth series)
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