35: A Small Wake
Ten days have passed since the battle with demon general, Rajas. Since then, Suimei and Lefilla have crossed the border from Astel Kingdom into the Nelfila Empire and are reaching the capital, Filas Fila. Suimei looks up from the stone paved highway they walk upon to glance at the city.
Not comparing the sight to Astel is impossible. The city gate is huge. It has three towers that pierce the sky. The continuous, tall metal, walls are nothing like Klant’s. If anything, these fortification were a prime example of the Nelfila Empire’s might. As for the city, it was almost double that of Astel’s capital city. Outside the wall were many cheap hotels and markets.
According to Sun Tzu, maintaining the quaka between the three kingdoms is of utmost importance. Likewise, the highways stretching to the east, west, and south were heavily trafficked, but also well maintained. A very clear flow of trade existed in this country.
Suimei originally meant to go to Klant, but now intends to find temporary lodgings here. The reason for his detour walks next to him, Lefilla Graphis. The power she unleashed against Rajas back in Astel depleted her spirit energy which resulted in her shrinking down to the size of an elementary school girl. Without her strength, she can no longer wield her five foot long sword much less travel the Nelfila Empire alone. Therefore, he’ll go to Klant as soon as he crosses the boarder with Lefilla.
There’s also the problem with Lefilla’s curse. It acted up multiple times along our journey. He was able to suppress it each time, but wasn’t able to get rid of it.
I get restless and my face gets hot each time I remember. No, I’m not doing anything wrong, but I still feel like I’m doing something bad. I would definitely be labeled as a lolicon if someone were to see us. Even revealing that Lefilla’s actually the same age as me would be pointless.
Yet, even considering all that, Suimei cannot abandon things as they are. Such a choice is impossible for him. I cannot allow Lefilla who lost her ability to fight travel alone.
Her curse is already an invitation for disaster. Right now, I’m the only person who can suppress it. I’m not leaving her until she returns to normal and we either dispel her curse or find a way to get it under control. Actually, wouldn’t it be better to take out the demon responsible for the curse?
The idea gradually takes form as he stares at Lefilla.
It’s a female demon different from Rajas, one possessing mastery over sleep magic. In the other world, such magic belonged to succubi. According to European folklore, succubi engaged with men during their sleep. Upon running them dry, they would snatch their souls away. They could only exist thanks to mankind’s insatiable lust. Would they still be classified as demons in this world?
Undoing the curse requires the establishment of an intermediary through sleep so the problem can be passed off. This would require for the intermediary to always be at hand, but it is the most reliable method. However, if creating the required intermediary is beyond my power, then the only option is severing the curse from its source.
Yes, I am willing to go that far. I’ll cooperate with her even if it means postponing my journey home.
“What’s wrong, Suimei-kun?”
“Huh? Oh, nothing….”
“Fufu, are you fascinated by my current form?” Lefilla gives a light smile as she twirls on the spot. The ornaments decorating her high quality children’s clothes flutter with her. Her face is one of pure bliss. Since she always takes care to behave like a proper lady, this playful side of hers is a rare sight.
As for her question… How do say this… “Yeah, I somewhat like it.”
“Wait, really? Oh…”
Suimei’s grin causes makes Lefilla’s face turn crimson. She lowers her head out of embarrassment. She’s like a child trying to be strong after having her secret exposed. In her case, it’s being an adult who likes wearing children’s clothes. Looks like she can’t hide her shame.
At the moment, I’m wearing a knight costume.
We just wanted some cheap and simple outfits for our journey to Nelfila. But the clerk, up until we paid, wouldn’t leave Lefilla alone. Up until the end, Lefilla cried, “Stop treating me like a child,” “I’m a respectable adult,” and “We-well… it is cute.” With the two clasping their hands in agreement, I ended up purchasing the extra outfit as well. Her wearing this very lovely outfit is the result.
Lefilla asks without shifting her line of sight, “….Does it suit me?”
“Yeah, like the clerk said, you’re pretty cute,”
“C-cute? Those sort of words… They won’t make me happy.”
Her gait got a lot lighter despite what she said. Deep down, she is happy to have been called cute. If a man received such a compliment from an attractive girl, he’d be soaring through the clouds. Everyone enjoys receiving compliments, after all.
Watching her like this warms my heart. Although, I’m not sure if it’s because she got smaller. Is this how Lefilla’s normally speaks?
Suimei readjusts the long sword on his back as he gazes at Lefilla. Right now, she’s humming as she walks. She has been displaying a lot more emotion since shrinking. That’s not to say she had less emotions before. Her current playfulness is just a sharp contrast to the seriousness she displayed before. Could her soul have been affected by her body shrinking? There’s no way to confirm it.
Another way to look at this situation would be saying that she’s completely like a child her age. The thought makes me want to stretch my arms towards the sky. Yeah, it’s a good feeling.
While Suimei is lost in his thoughts, Lefilla stops walking. The sever expression on her young face as she turns to face him is just like one from her older self.
“Hey, Suimei-kun, about my body getting smaller…”
“That’s right, I forgot to mention it before.”
“I also forgot about a few things.”
The seriousness of her tone and facial expression are so different from before, that Suimei remembers the various things he forgot to mention due to the chaotic circumstances leading up to where they are now. Why did Lefilla become small? It’s something he’s been speculating since they came down the mountain. Suimei rubs his jaw and a crease forms between his eyebrows as he summarizes the situation.
“Now… where to start? Okay, in my world, there’s a school of thought called Idea Theory. It states that everything humans can see is actually a reflection of the world’s true essence. Every essence is called an Idea. The things we perceive are just imitations or illusions.”
“Umm, huh… That includes everything I see…”
At my nod, Lefilla contemplates my explanation. Looks like such concepts are still beyond this world. “For example, the me that you currently perceive is an 8- key idea known as Suimei. When the 8-key idea that creates me passes through your eyes, this is what you see. The Idea passes information through all of your sensory organs so you can perceive me.”
“The true essence are called Idea? That means, everything we perceive… the true essence differs from what we see?”
“Well, if the Idea influences our perceptions, then shouldn’t everything look the same?”
“Ideas possess potential features which differentiates them to observers. As a result, you and I don’t look alike. The same applies to the trees, rocks, and buildings surrounding us.”
“…I understand your explanation when applied to nature. Everything that’s born has a soul. But, how does it apply to objects crafted by people? People can shape objects and assign them roles, but they can’t make Ideas.”
“Certainly, people don’t consciously create Ideas when they craft things. However, the thoughts they have such as, “Let’s do this,” influences the final product. Those distortions breathe something like a soul into the object. You could even say that they’re fabricating an Idea. Well, that’s just the object’s physical state. In short, people create Ideas by manipulating an object’s shape.
“The objects people make only have that appearance because of the Idea they strive for?”
Lefilla receives a nod to her question. Looks like she’s starting to grasp the concept. She makes a grim face and says, “But, Suimei-kun, if we interpret everything as Idea Theory, then doesn’t it all becomes tasteless? It becomes the same as selfishly characterizing people as individual statistics on paper!”
Writing it down on paper? That’s a strange metaphor to make. Still, her shock to hearing this theory for the first time is pretty reasonable. So— “That’s right. Everything in this world is covered by a thin veil. Our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch are our misrecognition of Ideas. Everything we see around us is actually fake.”
She can’t bring herself to accept this. People accept the reality they see with their own eyes as real. My words even put me down. I feel like I’m denying my own existence. “You can just take my explanation as a metaphor. You don’t need to think too deeply over them.”
“Don’t be stupid, Suimei-kun. How does that theory apply to me? I can’t accept my situation with a metaphor.”
“Well, if you insist. But, it’s a conversation about natural philosophy. You really don’t have to think about it too hard. Anyway, what’s the problem?”
“Well, I get the general concept, but what does that have to do with me getting smaller?”
Suimei closes and opens his eyes at Lefilla’s question. After all, “Everything up until now was simple. We could say the world exists as was written on paper. The powerful Lefilla is both a spirit and a human girl. In the average human body, both the flesh and soul cooperate with each other. If either one were to be damaged, the result would be death. Your body, however, is mostly a spiritual existence. Spirit is an element different from the flesh and soul. If something were to happen to the spirit, then both the flesh and soul will also be affected. Naturally, weakening of the Idea is bad. Doing so thins the existence.”
“I look like this because the Idea that generates the image of me that you and everyone else sees changed to match the condition of my faded existence? Using up my spirit power didn’t affect my body or soul, but it still resulted in this abnormality?”
“Correct, I believe that’s why you currently possess that form.”
Lefilla’s body is the result of her spirit being incomplete. The image presented results from the change of data possessed by the Idea. The damage Lefilla received doesn’t show on her body as an injury, fatigue, or a bad complex. Instead, we compensate for the missing information by recognizing her as a little girl.
Lefilla gives a small sigh upon hearing my confirmation. Words lamenting her birth flow out, “…It feels like I’m being told I’m not human, again.”
“That’s a trivial concern. Personally, to become a magician, I quit being a human being. What matters is that you have a heart.”
“…Yeah, you’re probably right.”
Are her feelings settling? Then, Lefilla, in a manner that doesn’t suit her small body, crosses her arms to ask a question. “Your world is unbelievable. I was shocked to hear you were summoned from a parallel world.”
“That’s my number one worst story of the year.”
Lefilla presents a strained smile to Suimei’s disheartened expression. “He wields that much power, yet claims to lack the courage necessary to save the world. Truly, an ironic story.”
“It isn’t such an amazing thing.”
“You think so?”
“All I did was kill a large number of small fry. Well, I could take pride in that as a magician, but that’s it.”
“……How idealistic. But you might be right.”
Suimei pictures the man who embodies those ideals. Him- because he’s always been staring at his father’s back, his standard might be higher than the average person’s. It’s why he still has such strong aspirations to be like his father.
Lefilla guesses his thoughts. “Can your respected father do the same?”
“Yeah? My dad could probably take that many out no problem.”
Suimei ponders the question for a moment. How would his father fair? Of course, the premise shouldn’t be on whether victory can be achieved, but that victory is achievable. Rajas had a vigorous and sturdy body, but not even that would be enough to make his father’s eyebrow twitch. Therefore, “He’d blow him away with a single punch!”
“Seriously!? With one punch!?”
Suimei nods at Lefilla’s amazement. Even though his father was a magician, he was forced to use a wheelchair due to a battle he had long ago. With bad legs and a weak body, no one would ever have been able to compare him to Rajas. Regardless, he did once create a fighting style that combined magic with acrobatics. But, unless there’s some annoying reason to stall, the proper attitude is to attack head on. But his father, he had a terrifying combat ability. The few seconds it took him to rise from his wheelchair was enough to knock out his opponents. His attack was like an earthquake. Its name was The Central Punch that Returns Everything to Dust.
Hmm, my fist comes nowhere close to his.
“…If he could do it, then I think I can do it, too. What a funny thing to say.”
Because my father achieved it. He would analyze the mazoku and develop an attack by utilizing modern magic. Honestly, getting to where I am now took time and I didn’t do it by borrowing scarps. Still, my father was stronger. Even without his legs, his imagination was able to keep moving forward.
“…How easy would that demon general have been?”
“You really don’t want to know. Seriously, what did you gain your strength for? Well, I can’t ask you to do more…”
My reason no longer exists. My father died. It happen right in front of me. On that day, I inherited his will and continued walking.
“Somehow, I feel that your world is very different from this one.”
“That can’t be helped. The other side achieved a different level of culture. The progress of technology affects human strength. Lefilla is the exception.”
“You being sarcastic?”
“I’m saying that you overpowered Rajas at the end with a single strike of your sword was an exception. Your power makes you the natural enemy of magicians.”
Indeed, a murmur deep down comes up deep down from the back of my heart. Lefilla’s spirit is outside even this world’s standards. With that thought, Suimei looks up to the blue sky, “One day, I’ll also be a magician like that.”
T/N: Okay, my first translation of this series. Hope you all enjoy it. I’ll keep doing this while I can. If anyone wants to take over, just let me know.
quaka: The text said to read it as kuchi, but that didn’t actually help in translating. From what I can understand, it means maintaining roadways or just road control. I could have translated it, but this has a nicer touch.
The actual translation is “In my world.” Does anyone know when he revealed that he’s from a different world to her? Maybe it’s one of the disconnects from the various translations shifting between WN and LN. Or was it skipped?