The joy of late night conversations.
A little pre-translation note: It’s probably better to consider this chapter and the previous chapter to be more like side chapters or background chapters around the main story. This particular chapter is from the pope’s point of view though I’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether the title is referring to him or not.
It’s the dead of night. As I possess the Sleep Nullity skill, I don’t require sleep. However, that doesn’t mean that I have no need of sleep at all, but just that there’s no negative side-effects as a result of not sleeping. The fatigue accumulated while awake does not vanish. The most suitable method to recover from fatigue is to sleep, so in the end, despite acquiring Sleep Nullity, I still can’t avoid sleeping entirely. With the Sleep Nullity skill it is theoretically possible that going one’s whole life without sleeping would not cause any problems, but that would only be possible for someone with sufficiently high enough status values such that fatigue is negligible, and on top of that someone who is rather strange in some respects. While physical fatigue can be papered over with sufficiently high status values, there’s nothing that can be done about mental fatigue. For a person to be able to continue to disregard that and still be active, they surely could not be said to be someone with a normal mentality.
「Like me then.」
「Indeed. That remark is certainly persuasive.」
In the dead of night, a time when there’s usually nobody else but me in the office, there was still a voice that responds to my voice. A fraction of the light that is illuminating the documents near my hands is also reaching the other party, revealing a young man with a pallid face. His appearance might be youthful, but he has a mature ambiance. However, he doesn’t seem to actually be elderly either. When a person has evolved from a demon or monster, their appearance and their true age does not necessarily match, but I’m sure that the true age of the young man in front of me is not particularly high. Despite that, he possesses the dignified presence of someone who has been alive for over a century. To think that there was still someone like this hidden on the demon’s side – I can’t help but be surprised by their depth of talent.
The man’s name is Merazofis. Sensing that I was continuing to work without sleep in spite of it being the dead of night, he said he came to check up on me. I might be treating him as a guest currently, but normally we would be mutual enemies. Because of such things I had arranged for the lodgings of the demon members to be in a partly isolated location, but I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that it wasn’t that effective in practice. Considering how openly he went roaming around, the precautions have become absurd. There’s virtually no meaning to taking precautions anyway. So long as Ariel-sama and Shiro-sama are around, it’s probably meaningless no matter how many precautions we take. Because they have the strength to overcome every precaution we could take. And most likely, the man in front of me as well.
Without glancing at the man I continue to work my hands. Signing documents, or possibly writing down corrections. While doing that work, I exchanged idle talk with Merazofis-dono. The conversation began from an inquiry at the start as to whether I’m okay without sleep, then it changed into a discussion about the abnormalities of those people who use the Sleep Nullity skill before I noticed. That was the conversation just now.
「In your eyes, do I seem abnormal perhaps?」
「Indeed. At the least, it cannot be considered normal. While I am slightly curious as to what has driven you to go to such lengths, I shall refrain from finding out.」
Saying so, Merazofis-dono turned his back towards me. It seems the conversation ends here. It really was brief. Perhaps it was out of consideration to not interfere with my work, but I wouldn’t have expected the conversation to be over so soon.
「May I enquire as to why you won’t try to find out?」
Perhaps that’s why I called out to him as he was leaving. Amongst the members on the demons side, there’s many enigmatic ones whose intentions cannot be figured out even by me. This man is also one who I cannot comprehend. Perhaps it was because I was in a state of mind of wanting to learn even a little bit more about him that I attempted to prolong the conversation.
「Because I think it is ojou-sama who should find out about you.」
Ahh. The answer I got back, was more than sufficient to understand this man. That this man is also another one who is not normal.
「I see. I understand you perfectly.」
Without intending to, I couldn’t help muttering that. The man bowed and left the room. The refinement of those movements would be suitable for an attendant of a high class noble. In reality he is an attendant serving the person he referred to as ojou-sama.
I open a drawer in the desk, and take out a certain document from there. The document for the detailed investigation on the Keren household. I leaf through the document, and locate the entry I was looking for. Recorded there is the name of the attendant who served Lady Keren since childhood. The name of Merazofis.
Amongst all the attendants of the Keren household, he was particularly valued, the person who was trusted in all respects by the lord. His personality was serious and sincere. Despite that, he was not an overly straight-laced person and it seems he was thought of fondly by his colleagues. In that regard he doesn’t seem any different now.
However, while he might not seem any different, he’s gone insane on the inside. Just one aspect of him has stayed the same, while everything else has been completely cast away. For him to have even abandoned all feelings of hatred towards the one who drove the person he loved to her death – such a person cannot be normal.
According to the documents, there were signs that Merazofis-dono had fallen in love with the lady wife of the Keren household. And yet despite all that, he was approved of by her husband, and trusted in all respects. Since I did not know him at the time, I can only guess as to the degree of his feelings. However, those were surely not ordinary feelings. Despite facing the head of the Divine Word Religion which was the organisation that caused his feelings to be outrageously trampled over and to lose his most beloved person, he didn’t display even the slightest hatred. In that situation where we were both alone, he didn’t display any signs that he had any intention of killing me. Instead, as calm as the still surface of a lake, there was not even any fluctuations seen in his emotions.
Everything he does is for his ojou-sama, for Sophia-jou. I am a stepping stone to help Sophia-jou grow to adulthood. For him, that’s probably all that he can see.
He’s just plain terrifying. That is a monster in human form. His thoughts have already deviated from human norms. There’s almost nobody normal around Ariel-sama. That ojou-sama of his, Sophia-jou, and also Felmina-jou could just about be called normal in comparison I guess. In their cases, they are far outside the norm, even if they haven’t reached the level of insanity.
Considering everything that has piled up, I breathe out a sigh. Then, I begin to move my hands again after they had stopped for a short while. I must press ahead with my work as quickly as possible. Because there’s no time to lose. Indeed, the great task of breaking the Divine Word Religion, is about to begin.
A liberal translation:
Mera「Yikes, this old man is crazy……」
pope「Yikes, this man is crazy……」
The “liberal translation” at the end is by the author. Take it to be a tongue in cheek interpretation of each other.