Chapter 397 Side Story Chapter 17
“No one should be alone.”
The Knight said.
Standing in the center.
He insisted that everyone should be watched fairly and thoroughly.
“I think it would be nice to pair up and watch each other.”
“But, our numbers aren’t even?”
It was just as the Mercenary said.
The number of people in the group is five.
When paired up, there is one person left over.
“How about spying on two people on each side?”
The Paladin gave an opinion.
It was an idea that seemed to come from a sense of wariness that appeared when the Mercenary and I were paired.
I hope it does.
“Two people? Wouldn’t the boundaries between us be weakened?”
“No. In this case, it won’t be much different as you’re being watched by two people on either side.”
The Paladin’s opinion seemed the most reasonable, and the party decided to follow it.
Looking at the seating chart, the group was seated in a circle in the order of me – Mercenary – Wizard – Paladin – Knight – me.
In this case, I am monitoring the Mercenary and the Knight, and conversely, the Mercenary and Knight are monitoring me.
I wondered if the Paladin would swap places with the Wizard to keep watch over the Mercenary, but he actually didn’t.
Was he trying to avoid unnecessary provocation?
Or is it because he was still not sure of the Mercenary yet?
Or did he decide that it was safer for the Wizard to be with the Mercenary than himself?
I couldn’t be sure.
It would be great if I could read other people’s thoughts.
[Oh, I sometimes think that, too.]
said the doppelganger.
The doppelganger who said so was reading my thoughts.
[No, I mean that I want to read other people’s thoughts. Reading other people’s thoughts is very useful. Reading really solves a lot of problems. On the other hand, though, it sometimes causes a lot more problems.]
The devil laughed quietly.
Goosebumps rose on my forearm, perhaps because of that laughter.
I shuddered at the sensation burning down my spine.
Then the Knight turned his head and looked at me.
His eyes were full of doubt.
“Are you all right?”
Did you even watch me shudder?
I cleverly sat behind the others.
In the situation where I was sitting in a circle, I sat out of sight unless the Knight moved his head.
“I, I suddenly got a chill. It’s okay.”
“I see. Maybe it’s because you’ve been nervous for a long time. You need to eat something first.”
The Knight climbed back to the common center.
He seems to be talking about having a meal for a while.
It’s okay to just say it on the spot, but he thought it was a common topic, so he sincerely went to the common center.
The Knight begins by explaining the physical and mental effects of nutrition for a person before he even talks about eating.
Was it a coincidence?
The Knight was clearly looking ahead.
But as I moved, when I looked at him, he turned and looked exactly at me.
Is it because his hearing is abnormally good that he stares at me even at a rustle?
I don’t think that’s why he turned his head every time I moved.
Am I mistaken?
Because of the excessive tension, I suffer from hallucinations that the Knight is always watching me with an eye on the side of his head.
There was a possibility.
I had seen many adventurers who went crazy in the dungeon and suffered from megalomania accompanied by optical illusions and hallucinations.
[This is not an illusion. human friend. To a human like that Knight, vision is nothing more than an auxiliary means to grasp the world.]
What kind of nonsense is that
* * *
The doppelganger explained the principle of magic.
I didn’t understand at all.
Can you manipulate magical powers to see where your eyes can’t reach?
What is that?
It’s a scam
The meal began.
As the advance team was organized, they didn’t know how long the expedition would last, so they had plenty of food.
“Sir, have some of this too.”
In addition to the supply, I had a few more snacks.
This is what I am giving away to my party now.
These are dried plums with a sour taste, sprinkled with sugar and pickled. If you eat them one by one, your mouth will drool, and if you eat it when you are tired, you will feel refreshed.
I had a lot of experience of being in distress or suffering in the dungeon, so I still brought a variety of things even in a situation where there was enough food.
Finally, I handed out the dried plums to the Knight and took a seat close to him.
“It’s delicious. Normally, I wouldn’t have eaten it because it was too sour. Maybe it’s because I inhaled a lot of dust, so the sour taste is really good. Thank you. I’ll enjoy it.”
The Knight said.
I handed out plums to everyone, but this Knight was the most kind, saying thank you.
This gentleman also seems to have a good personality.
He was like a character in a fairy tale, so I felt a sense of alienation.
“Plums are said to be good for recovery from fatigue and intestinal activity, as well as good for eye strain and immunity. Oh, what does immunity mean? Humans have a certain level of resistance to various diseases. According to bacteriology…”
Although he’s a bit chatty and likes to pretend to know.
A bit much.
I listened carefully to something that didn’t even make sense to me and said, ‘Oh, that’s right. Indeed. I knew it. I can’t believe it.’ I replied hard, adding those following words.
While talking to the Knight, the Mercenary came closer.
He seemed to want to chat for a bit as we seemed to have a comfortable conversation atmosphere.
“Sir Knight, where were you from?”
“Didn’t I tell you? I’m from the Frembe region. Come to think of it, you two said you knew each other?”
So the story of the hometown began.
The Mercenary was excited and started talking about his hometown.
The Mercenary was actually from somewhere together with me.
I just don’t remember him.
“In our village, there was a famous tree rock…”
A tree rooted in rocks.
The children used to swing in the tree.
It was an unusual tree, and there were many adults praying under it.
“Is there such a rock in our village?”
“Huh? Don’t you remember?”
The Mercenary asked as if he couldn’t remember the rock tree.
“…I don’t know. Haven’t you mistaken it for another town?”
The Mercenary said that he could be mistaken, he shouted so, so I hesitated, saying that I did not remember well.
The Mercenary said that my memory is not good, and he told me to take a decoction of good medicine for my memory and went on.
It didn’t seem like a big deal, but the light of doubt in the Paladin’s eyes who was looking at us from behind, more precisely, the Mercenary, grew stronger.
“What was the Knight’s hometown like?”
I asked the Knight to change the topic.
I thought that if it was the Knight, he would make me forget this ambiguous situation at once with his unique chatter.
* * *
“The promise I made with that commoner friend had a profound effect on my life.”
Had I known this would happen, I would not have asked the Knight about his hometown.
If I had known the chatter would be this long.
“It was not my intention to become a Knight. It was my destiny to become a Knight. I had no desire to become strong and become a superhuman, nor did I feel obligated to be loyal to His Majesty the King. I was just being carried away like a boat swayed by the waves. It was that friend who gave meaning to my life. Meeting him gave me the goal of living a life where I can protect and help more people. I…”
When the hell will this end? This damn talk…
“So I started practicing swordsmanship again…”
I know a lot of talkative people.
Mainly, they talk a lot when they are drunk, but they have the characteristic of repeating the same thing over and over again while getting drunk and chattering endlessly.
But the Knight did not get drunk, nor did he repeat what he said.
The fact that the chatter was being filled without overlapping content was surprising, and I was honestly amazed.
“In order to meet the qualifications to become a royal Knight…”
So the Knight continued talking.
[Open your eyes, human friend.]
I was startled by the doppelganger’s voice and opened my eyes.
I fell asleep for a moment.
My heart was pounding.
I hurriedly looked at the Knight, but he was still talking as if he didn’t care that I was sleeping.
The Mercenary was listening with much amusement.
The two were immersed in the story properly, even with strange slogans.
Aren’t they just two idiots?
“It’s strange. The creator of the light sword said that he left only one word. If you don’t think you can do it, you’ll die at once.”
“Ha ha ha ha ha!”
Where the heck is the point to laugh at?
If you don’t think you can do it, then die?
The only answer is to die and be reborn. What is this?
Are you saying to just kill a person with no talent?
It was an upsetting story to hear.
I looked around.
The Wizard was still silent.
The Paladin was still looking at the Mercenary.
I had to keep this situation.
The Mercenary is under suspicion, but should not be branded as the doppelganger.
If the Mercenary even dies due to suspicion, the next victim will be me with a high probability.
My goal is never to reduce the number of party members.
Let’s say you kill the people in this cavity one by one.
In the end, there will be two people left, including me.
And I’ll die as the last one.
As the overwhelmingly weakest me, I had to hold on to the time somehow.
Until the rescue team arrives and the blocked path reopens.
[After the path is open, don’t worry. Activate the stun magic trap beyond the wall once more, kill everyone, and then get out of here.]
The people outside don’t yet know about the doppelganger.
If I kill everyone and the rescue team and go back to the entrance alone, I’ll be the only survivor and can make up a story.
I can survive.
I couldn’t die like this.
When I left home to find the treasure, my life was ruined.
Since then, my life has been like rolling in shit.
Killed people, cheated people, betrayed people.
I was betrayed, deceived, and nearly killed.
All that was left for me was that I did not die and survived.
If the end of that long, long abyss is futile death.
I couldn’t accept it.
* * *
The night passed.
Inside the cavity in the cave where neither the movement of the sun and the moon nor the intersection of light and darkness could be seen.
We could tell the time by looking at the clock.
And apart from the movement of the world
Incidents happened at night.
As if it was set that way.
People become more sensitive over time.
The friendly atmosphere of the mealtimes became harsh as if it had all been a lie.
The problem was that fatigue and drowsiness after eating were setting in.
The fact that there was still a doppelganger in the cavity made people afraid to fall asleep.
They began to guard each other sharply like a wounded beast.
And sparks flew over the oiled fuse.
The Wizard suddenly insisted on doing business in the corner.
Everyone was against it.
It was too dangerous for one person to disappear out of sight.
“It’s because I can’t! Damn it, I’m so old that I’m so embarrassed about my wrinkly things. We all should go away little by little and get business done.”
The Mercenary fiercely opposed it.
But the Wizard didn’t give up.
He insisted on doing business in a place out of sight no matter what.
It may be inevitable that the Mercenary suspects the Wizard as a doppelganger.
To the Mercenary, the only person in the group who was acting suspiciously was the Wizard.
He accidentally pulled out his axe.
The Paladin who was watching him accidentally raised the hammer and blocked him.
“What, this! You should attack that old man, why stop me!”
Instead of responding to that, the Paladin used a holy spell.
“Cast a shadow under the light. Holy Mark.”
“Bastard, you want to try it with me now!”
The hammer of the Paladin and the ax of the Mercenary began to collide.
The Knight was perplexed by the sudden development of the situation, and I was quietly watching.
As if dealing with the enemy of his life, the Paladin swung his hammer desperately with a frightening expression on his face.
However, the fighting power of the warrior representing the Mercenary guilds covering the entire continent was formidable.
The Paladin fell on his butt.
Then, in the eyes of the Mercenary, I saw the Wizard casting a spell.
“This crazy old man…!”
The Mercenary pulled out the dagger hidden in his abdomen band and threw it.
The Wizard was hit by the dagger and fell.
A sudden burst.
As the Knight swung his sword and hit the floor, there was an explosion like magic, and the floor shook.
While the Mercenary looked at the Knight in amazement, the Paladin threw the hammer unhurriedly.
The hammer that even had a holy spell on it hit the Mercenary.
The Mercenary just fell to the floor.
[Hoho, this is totally messed up.]
It was as the devil said.
Damn, I should have stopped the fight somehow.
The fight broke out much more suddenly than expected.
There was no room for me to intervene.
I didn’t even have the strength to stop their fight.
If I had intervened blindly, I would have died within a second.
The Paladin jumped up and picked up the hammer again.
The Knight also approached and began to stop the Paladin from trying to end the fallen Mercenary.
It’s fucked up.
Really fucked up.
Those excited gents didn’t seem to notice, but the Mercenary’s head was bleeding.
It’s bursting like a waterfall.
“Stop! Why are you doing this all of a sudden!”
“Get out of the way. He’s a doppelganger! Let’s take this opportunity to put an end to it…”
The Paladin clouded the end of his words.
It was then that he discovered that the back of the Mercenary’s head had been completely smashed.
The fact that the body of the Mercenary, which had already been stretched out on the floor, was not moving at all.
“is, is he dead?”
The bewildered Paladin’s eyes slowly rose and turned towards me.
Before new doubts appeared in those eyes.
I reflexively did what I was supposed to do.
I ran to the fallen Mercenary with bitter tears.
And grabbed the Paladin’s leg.
“Paladin! Please use a healing spell!”
“If a doppelganger is in danger of dying, should he reveal himself! This man is definitely not a doppelganger!”
Even in the midst of embarrassment, the Paladin poured healing spells into the back of the Mercenary’s head.
The Mercenary miraculously survived.
Just for a second.
“If I become successful and go back to my hometown someday…..I want to propose to your sister….. Yuri… “
The Mercenary grabbed my hand and said so.
That was his will.
At the end of his last words, he died completely.
I wept and wept like the end of the world.
Meanwhile, my mind was filled with unresolved doubts.
But who the hell is this Mercenary bastard?
I can’t quite remember who he is.
How does he even know my sister’s name?
My doubts were not resolved.
The only Mercenary who held the key to the answer was already dead.
While the bewildered party was silent, only the sound of my crying as I hugged the Mercenary’s corpse reverberated in the cavity.
The sound of the devil’s laughter also accompanied the cavity.