The end is nigh! And then…?
Blood 35 – After the end
Under goshujin-sama’s orders, I’ve gotten stuck with acting as Natsume-kun’s assistant. To be honest, I’m not really good with Natsume-kun. He was at the summit of the school hierarchy, so he was someone far above me who was low in the social standings. Also, due to the way he would continuously ignore the opinion of others and be jerking others around with orders, somehow or other I feel he’s like goshujin-sama. Perhaps because of all that, even though my status values are far higher than his, somehow I couldn’t oppose him. Thanks to that I’ve built up a huge amount of stress over the last few days.
What I’ve been up to, is making use of Charm on the higher-ups in one part of the Empire, turning them into puppets. From that basis, the soldiers are being assembled and preparations for an expedition are being made. Then, once Natsume-kun gives the command, they’ll be able to march on the elf village right away. However, I didn’t make a move on the magician who is called the strongest in the empire. I only looked at him from afar, but he seemed to be considerably strong for a human, so I wasn’t quite confident as to whether or not my Charm would work on him. Well, by having the higher-ups give out orders, that magician can also be ordered about indirectly anyway, and most of all Natsume-kun himself is the Prince as well. Even if I don’t seize all of them, there shouldn’t be any problems.
And so, after I’d assisted Natsume-kun take possession of the Empire, I returned to the Demon King’s Castle for the first time in several days. That being said, I can’t just laze around either. After getting one night’s sleep, next I had to participate in the conference with the Divine Word Religion after all.
Apparently the conference with the Divine Word Religion is progressing steadily. It seems that Merazofis has been participating as a substitute for me, but he said that progress is being made steadily and without any problems. At that time I was shown something like a recording of the proceedings, but unfortunately it was all gobbledygook to me. Even if I’m shown this stuff like political horse-trading or the details of military tactics, I won’t really get it you know. Since I took lessons on the basics at the academy, if I was so inclined then I could probably make sense of it if I read through it carefully, but I can’t be bothered. It’s just such a hassle. It’s best to just leave these kinds of details to those that understand them. To handle what I’m ordered to do by goshujin-sama is enough for me. Until the end.
「Ugh! It stinks!」
On opening the door, my nose was assaulted by a smell that was laden in the air. The strong smell of alcohol alone was enough that it felt like it could make me drunk. Having walked into the room, I opened the windows fully to refresh the air. Even with that the dregs of the smell didn’t disappear, and with a grimace I shifted my gaze to the owner of the room.
The owner of the room, was sprawled on the bed while looking pale. Anyone could tell from the condition of this girl, that she was suffering from a hangover.
「Hey, you do realise that you have a conference with the Divine Word Religion today, right?」
I called out to the body that was sloppily lying on the bed, or rather, to Felmina. I’m not sure whether she heard me or not, as all I could hear was a muffled groan, so it seems she can’t talk properly. On looking around the room in exasperation, on top of the desk was a bundle of documents, and on the opposite side I caught sight of a collection of empty bottles. It was clear at a glance that with a pacing like she was drinking tea while organising the documents, she was actually drinking alcohol while working. And with there being a number of empty bottles that had been carelessly allowed to roll off onto the floor, the room had taken on the appearance of that of a useless drunken bum.
How did things end up like that? At the least, before I went to the Empire a few days ago, I hadn’t seen or heard of Felmina having an any inclination towards alcohol at all, right? Just what chain of events led to her evolving into such a drunkard? Or rather, not so much evolving as degenerating?
Because Felmina hadn’t arrived yet, I had come here at Ariel-san’s request to check up on her, but I never expected her to be hungover. Naturally I associate alcohol with goshujin-sama, but for such a diligent and straight-laced person like Felmina to actually expose herself to such foolishness…… Seriously, what happened?
Ding-dong. Please wait for a moment.
「Are you feeling better?」
「Yes. While having to be cared for by you of all people is the ultimate disgrace, fortunately I am feeling much better now. It is exceedingly annoying to say this, but thank you very much.」
「If you’re able to say that much then I guess you really are better huh.」
Even though I went to the effort of cleaning up the vomit and even using Treatment Magic on her, this is her attitude. She really pisses me off.
「So? Just what is the meaning of this awful scene? Did goshujin-sama force you to drink 100 shots of alcohol or what?」
The only thing I could conceive of was that this was due to some kind of crazy punishment game, but since we’re talking about that goshujin-sama, the scary thing is that it’s actually quite possible.
「No. It is merely because I could not cope unless I drank alcohol myself.」
Perhaps it’s because she was still feeling unwell, but unusually for Felmina she straight out voiced her complaints.
「Can I ask just one thing?」
Normally she wouldn’t seriously ask me anything, but since Felmina is still weakened, I found myself thinking against my better judgement that I ought to answer her properly. Yes, against my better judgement.
「After goshujin-sama has brought the System to an end, what are you going to do?」
Because of that, I wasn’t able to respond right away to Felmina’s question. Normally I might have just tried to evade the issue with a response laced with sarcasm. However, because I thought I should respond seriously against my better judgement, I couldn’t say such a response. Because I had no response.
「Sorry. I asked something stupid. Please report to Maou-sama and goshujin-sama that I am still preparing things and ask them to please wait a little bit longer.」
Felmina saw through that my lack of a response was my response. Driven out from the room, I was at a loss. For the time being, I set out to return to where goshujin-sama and the others were, as requested. However, even as I walked forwards, I wasn’t able to see what was ahead of me.
Whether it’s goshujin-sama, or whether it’s Ariel-san, and also, whether it’s Kyouya-kun, they’re focused on the end. Heading towards that end, they are taking action. I am doing the same, but there is one clear difference. That is, whether they are focused on what’s after the end, or not.
I think goshujin-sama is taking action with a focus on what’s after the end. In Ariel-san’s case, she has no future after the end, and is taking action as though the end is the end. In Kyouya-kun’s case, probably…… Amongst them, I’m the only one with no assumptions about what’s after the end. I’m unable to.
After the System has ended, what will become of me? I have no idea at all. For now, I can just abide by goshujin-sama’s orders. But, what about afterwards? For what comes afterwards, I will have to think about what actions to take myself. Because it’s most likely that goshujin-sama will no longer be there beside me anymore.
I want to ask what to do myself. Just what should I do I wonder?
Vamp「I’m the one with more experience in dealing with puke girls! I’ve perfected the way to dispose of it as well!」
“After the end” – this is slightly awkward to translate since it can mean both the “end” itself and also what’s beyond it. Sort of “above and beyond the end” but within the context of the chapter it’s more about what’s after the “end”. Based on the context, the “end” here would be the “end of the System”.
“Ding-dong. Please wait for a moment” – imagine this as being a holding screen that comes up on a TV or similar. There is a similar “notice” back in chapter 86 (Dance of Victory).
“goshujin-sama will no longer be there beside me anymore” – to be clear about what’s expressed in the original Japanese, there is a specific but subtle sense that Sophia would prefer to be with Shiro.
“Vamp” – for these little bonus lines at the end of some chapters, the author tends to use a shortened form of their name (or how they’re referred to by Shiro or in chapter titles). In Sophia’s case this is actually just “blood” but this wouldn’t make much sense in context so I changed it to “Vamp” instead.
“Puke girls” – See Blood 31 for the reference.