Taboo is the new Groundhog Day, and everyone’s invited.
Decision Time ①
Author’s comments: Sophia’s point of view
「Ahh. What an awful waking scene.」
The light of the sun is shining so brightly through the windows that it is detestable. I would not normally mind, but in my current state the sunlight feels hateful somehow. With the effects of my True Ancestor title sunlight should have no effect on me, yet I am still a vampire, so perhaps I just don’t particularly like sunlight. Until now, it has not been something that particularly bothered me, so perhaps the mental effects are large.
「Ojou-sama, have you awoken?」
From outside the room, I heard Merazofis’s voice from the direction of the door. I guess this means that Merazofis woke earlier than I did. Of course I am not sleeping in late, it’s just that Merazofis is an early riser. That I can already hear a background noise and sense many people being awake… is surely just my imagination.
「I am awake. I shall go after getting prepared, so please go ahead of me.」
「Certainly. Everyone else is already present, so please hurry.」
I’ll prepare in five minutes… no, three minutes!
「I hope I didn’t keep you waiting.」
「Yeah. It’s an executive privilege.」
When I breezily arrived at the large room where everyone was gathered, the first thing out of Kyouya-kun’s mouth was a bunch of sarcasm. Upon looking at Kyouya-kun in irritation, I decided to swallow the complaints that I was about to utter. This was because Kyouya-kun was uncharacteristically tense.
「Yesterday, after everyone collapsed, there was an enemy attack.」
No way! Was I totally sleeping like a log!?
「I just about managed to repulse them, but they got away without any being defeated.」
I was about to say that it was pathetic of him to let them escape, but somehow I managed to swallow those words. I know just how strong Kyouya-kun is. So given that Kyouya-kun failed to capture them, that surely means that the opponents were also quite strong. Actually, given how tense Kyouya-kun is, perhaps it was quite a dangerous situation. Besides, since I had collapsed and was useless, it would be barking up the wrong tree to blame Kyouya-kun here wouldn’t it. Or rather, perhaps it would be better to view it as him protecting us…
「……I wish to express my appreciation just in case. Thank you.」
After I said that, Kyouya-kun’s eyes blinked in surprise.
「Hey, what’s with that response?」
「Well, to think you would actually thank someone, Sophia-san. Maybe this is a harbinger of something terrible happening today.」
「Just what do you take me for?」
When I scowled at him a bit, Kyouya-kun laughed it off. Well, whatever. In consideration for his actions while I couldn’t move I shall let it go.
Now then, on looking around the place again…… is this a wake perhaps? Despite the fact that almost all the reincarnators are gathered, not a single person is speaking. It’s oddly silent. Well, it’s not like I don’t understand how they feel.
「Sophia-san, you seem to be dealing with it okay.」
「Indeed. It’s likely that Heresy Nullity is somewhat effective.」
In order to suppress the negative side effects of my Envy skill, together with Kyouya-kun I raised the Heresy Resistance skill level, and obtained Heresy Nullity. It’s surely thanks to it that I am less affected than other people. Affected by Taboo, that is.
「Still though, to think that Taboo would be handed out to all of humanity. Whoever god is they sure did something bold.」
The reason why I collapsed yesterday is because Taboo was forcibly installed. Whether it’s Faint Nullity or Sense of Pain Nullity, it pierced all resistances and caused a headache such that I lost consciousness. When I woke up I was on a bed.
「Ah, that’s right. Who carried me to bed?」
Kyouya-kun pointed his finger at someone – a girl wearing maid clothes who was continuously working to bring out plates. If I remember correctly, she’s called Ael and one of Ariel-san’s family, right?
「She carried the girls. I carried the boys.」
「I see. I better thank her later then.」
Incidentally, I wonder what she’s carrying on those plates? When I looked out of curiosity, it was breakfast. Plates full of breakfast were being lined up on the tables, in front of the reincarnators who were hanging their heads.
「She did make breakfast as well?」
「Nope. Ariel-san did.」
Ariel-san did? But, isn’t Ariel-san in bad shape right now?
「Hey hey. It’s time for a delicious breakfast.」
That same Ariel-san then arrived with a plate in hand.
「While I’m sure you’re feeling depressed about various things, humans need to eat to live. So why don’t we dig in?」
In response to Ariel-san’s words, the reincarnators raised their heads. Then, Ariel-san came to where we were, and took a seat at the same table. Without a moment’s delay, Ael brought over breakfast for Kyouya-kun and I.
Urk. I unintentionally said that together with Kyouya-kun. Ael silently bowed her head, then went outside.
「Ael is on guard while we’re eating.」
「Yeah. There’s no reason why there wouldn’t be another attack is there.」
「Okay. Everyone has a serving, right? Then – itadakimasu.」
Ariel-san gives the address prior to eating. The reincarnators gave a sporadic “itadakimasu” as well, and a number of them began to eat. There’s a number of people who’ve not begun to move yet, but I’m sure they’ll start sooner or later. I ignore them and begin to eat.
「Ah, it’s good.」
「I made it just from what was available, so it’s hard to say that the quality is particularly good though. Outside being what it is and all.」
Outside a lot has been burnt down after all. In other words, it means that the ingredients used to make this breakfast just barely escaped the war huh. Or else, perhaps it came from the military rations that we brought? Either way, it would be hard to say that it’s good quality stuff. The reason why it’s quite delicious even so, is perhaps due to Ariel-san’s advanced cooking skills. That being said, there would be limits to the remaining food, so it seems we better leave here sooner rather than later.
「With regards to the future, what are we going to do?」
When I tried asking her that, Ariel-san put on a difficult expression while going into deep thought.
「Frankly, I can’t read how things are going to develop from now on. I guess you could say that I don’t know which direction to go in to be honest.」
Goodness, to think that this situation is unforeseen to such an extent. Well, I guess there’s no way that this would be within expectations from the start.
「For now, I’m having Merazofis-kun and Felmina-chan make preparations.」
Ahh. So that’s why they’re not here. At any rate……
「With regards to Taboo, can anything be done about it? It’s so gloomy that I can’t stand it.」
Every time your mind wanders onto what I guess you could call the Taboo menu, from there comes a thought constantly saying “Atone”. It’s depressing to think that this is going to continue forever.
「There’s nothing. I’ve had to deal with it the whole time as well.」
I expected it, but I couldn’t help breathing a sigh.
「However, if the System goes away, Taboo as well as all skills should go away.」
We’re planning to destroy the System anyway, so then we can be freed from this gloom! This means we have another reason to destroy the System then.
「……It’s too advantageous for us.」
Ariel-san’s brow is furrowed while she ponders it. Certainly, by looking at the contents of Taboo, it is possible to understand in a consistent way that Ariel-san is trying to save the Goddess. Then, if knowledge spreads that destroying the System means the harassment from Taboo will go away, surely the number of people cooperating with us will increase. Even with Heresy Nullity and the suppression of Taboo’s influence I get from it, I still find it to be gloomy and all. Surely for anyone without Heresy Nullity it should be much more unpleasant. If you could be released from that suffering, then you wouldn’t be bothered about how it looks to others. Thinking about it that way, having Taboo installed on all of humanity is favourable to us.
「You have some kind of concern?」
Before I could ask that myself, Kyouya-kun asked Ariel-san.
「As far as I am aware, the god who is the High Rank Administrator is not someone who would favour either side. Despite that, the situation is in our favour for now.」
「……So, you think that something unfavourable will happen to us later?」
「I don’t know. But, when Taboo was distributed, it said World Quest, sequence 1. In other words, there’s at least two.」
Come to think of it, that’s true. In short, after this something will happen.
『World Quest, sequence 2』
Oh my. Is this a case of speaking of the devil I wonder. Now then, I wonder what will pop out next.