Outer World Story: The Black Mist that Devours - Chapter 88
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
In my room, I sat cross-legged with my clothes on and drew in a deep breath to calm my spirit.
Why am I going through this? It goes without saying.
“It’s been ten years.”
Since that day… since Ichiko was sent somewhere by the God of Calamity… today marks 10 years.
And on this day, the skill that God of Calamity imposed on me, ≪Tsunagi-dō Fūsa≫, will be released.
“Haa… I wonder why I’m so nervous.”
A sigh escaped my lips.
However, I immediately put my mind back on track, figuring that I can’t let Ichiko see me like this.
And then the time came.
Ichiko’s voice, while mingled with noise, reverberated in my head for the first time in a decade.
“Ah… it’s been a long time… isn’t it?”
[Yeah… I guess so.]
I cleared my throat and regulated my breathing.
“First of all, let’s congratulate each other for being safe.”
“Well… would you mind telling me? About what’s happened since then. And can I ask you? What happened to us?”
[It would be my pleasure.]
For the first time in a decade, I was hearing the voice of Kurokiri, and it was strangely very warm.
I wondered what it was this. About this feeling of mine. In the past, I would have despised him to the point of wishing I could kill him, yet now I felt very nostalgic and loving.
[Well… would you mind telling me? About what’s happened since then. And can I ask you? What happened to us?]
Kurokiri mentions something like that to me. That’s why…
“It would be my pleasure.”
…I reply back.
I shared many of my experiences with Kurokiri.
That I was transported to the South Pole, where I trained under the “Eternal Polar Queen of the South”. That the Eternal Polar Queen of the South also shared the same intention to oppose the God of Calamity. The fact that I had crossed over to the African continent. Having vanquished the Demon King, “Distinguishable Warrior Who Isolates the Species” by myself. And that I was now traveling northward while working as a mercenary.
Also, all the things that were both enjoyable and distressing during the journey.
Kurokiri gave me a sympathetic ear to my words.
[Even so, Antarctica… How did you cross the African continent alive?]
“Yeah, that’s amazing, isn’t it? I would still be in Antarctica if it weren’t for the Polar Queen’s assistance.”
[If something happens to Polar Queen in the future, I would be willing to help her in any way I can.]
“Yes, I would appreciate your help on that occasion.]
I was truly indebted to Polar Queen. I would like to repay her for her hospitality.
“Next, can you tell me about your ten-year experience, Kurokiri?”
I recounted what had transpired over the last ten years.
The development of the country in which I currently resided. My level had risen. The Demon Kings signed a pact with each other. Chirito tied the knot. About what will happen to the children of the kin and the progress of my research on skills.
Ichiko, who had been listening patiently until now, interrupted me after I had told her everything about myself.
“What is it?”
[I’d like to inquire about something if you don’t mind.]
I was starting to perspire profusely without any rhyme or reason.
What is this bizarre sensation I’m experiencing… ah yes, this state of mind is like…
[How many women have you laid your hands on in the last ten years?]
…the feeling of a husband who has been caught unfaithful to his wife.
! Not good! Ichiko’s mood is exploding swiftly! But I ought to reply cautiously!
“A-Ah, yes. About laying hands on a woman, right? Of course, that’s…[You’re lying, aren’t you?]…!?”
W-Why am I exposed!?
I even abstained from touching women for the past few days in preparation for today!?
[Hahaha… I knew that Kurokiri is still a trashy Kurokiri… Well, that’s fine. Shall we have a thorough discussion about this matter when I return to ‘White Mist and Black Swamp Forest’?]
Ichiko-san… Ichiko-san… You’re terrifying me! Have I done something!? No, I did indeed do something!
[It will work out fine, you know. I’ll pay attention to what you have to say.]
From her voice, I can clearly tell that Ichiko was putting on a nice smileー
And I can’t keep letting her take the initiative indefinitely, right?
“Ah yes. Ichiko?”
[What is it?]
“As a matter of fact, I’m sending Ryo and the others out as a search party for you. And since I have the magic source device, if you can reach the coast of Southeast Asia, I figure I can use the Transportation Formation to bring everyone back to our place.”
[Is that true!?]
To my words, Ichiko uttered the widest cry of joy I had ever heard.
It kind of rejoiced me too. But there was something I had to tell Ichiko before she met Ryo.
[What is it, Kurokiri?]
“Well… While we’re on the subject, I’ll enlighten you about the ramifications of your metamorphosis into a half-Demon King.”
I informed Ichiko about what had been altered to everyone’s memories, including mine.
First and foremost, I had practically 100% of my memory intact.
Izumi appeared to have retained a substantial portion of memories as well, though she made no mention of it to the others, perhaps because she would have died if Ichiko had not existed.
However, when I spoke to Mugi, Ryo, Houki, Chirito, and Ichiko’s classmates from her human days, their recollections were jumbled. Although they could remember the nature of their relationship with Ichiko, they could hardly recall any of the episodes that had taken place between them to varying degrees.
“I’m sorry. If only I had arrived earlier at that time…”
The atmosphere darkened slightly.
I am sure I will regret that time for the rest of my life. That was a lifetime blunder for me.
[No. It’s already in the past. More importantly, what should I do from now on?]
Ichiko changed the subject. Then I’ll have to respond to her question.
“Ah, yes, that’s right. Ryo and the others seem to be in India right now, so Ichiko, I propose you go north and enter West Asia.”
[Across the desert, right?]
“Yeah. Is that okay?”
[It will be fine. I’ve been trained intensely over the past ten years.]
Ichiko replied emphatically. Somehow, I can feel that Ichiko was wearing a smile on her face.
And that day, Ichiko and I carried on conversing until the sun went down.
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