Who can you believe?
The Last Two Options ④
Author’s comments: Tagawa Kunihiko’s point of view
「……In short, according to Wakaba-san, she’s going to destroy this “System” thing that was designed to prevent the collapse of this world. And, once it’s destroyed then half of humanity will die.」
In response to my summarisation, Asaka silently nods her head. Unintentionally, I start to scratch my head. To be honest… even though I said that myself, it doesn’t feel real at all. Earlier on even, with the explanation I heard directly from Wakaba-san, I was totally at my wits end trying to sort that out in my head. With these further bombs tossed in, I’m like totally capacity overloaded……
「……What should we do?」
「Even if you ask what should we do, is there like even anything we can do?」
The scale of the situation is so damn big – I can’t even imagine what to do. There’s not much difference between this and “tomorrow a giant meteorite will fall and destroy the world” I guess…? Would it be okay to ride up a spaceship and excavate the meteorite like in *rmageddon? Wait, there’s no meteorites in this situation! Oh crap, I’m so confused that I don’t know what I’m saying anymore……
「Do you want to do something?」
「……It’s a difficult problem eh.」
Some god that I’ve never even seen or heard from, er, actually, I guess I heard those Divine Words huh…. Wait, never mind that. Anyway! If you asked me whether I wanted to save some god I’d never even met, I’d say I don’t really care. With regards to what Wakaba-san apparently wrote in that book she left behind, then sure, given the situation that Goddess is in, then the reason why that person called the Demon King wants to save the Goddess makes sense – I get that. If it’s humanity who are responsible for the collapse of the world, then sure enough Wakaba-san and co would be justified, right. But still, losing half of humanity is going too far, right…? On top of that, the people who are most likely to die are those with lots of skills, yeah? Meaning, all my adventurer buddies are going to die then, right…?
「I believe that Wakaba-san and co are correct. I believe that, but… there’s no way I can go “Oh is that so” when I hear that my acquaintances are going to die, right…」
I’m not sure if it’s really right to say this though but fortunately, due to Wakaba-san’s consideration, it seems we reincarnators don’t have to worry about dying. In which case, I guess this doesn’t have much to do with those who were confined in this elf village, never had much to do with the outside world and never had any outside acquaintances. No, if humanity is going to be reduced by half then wouldn’t they still get involved with the reconstruction or whatever afterwards? I can’t really picture humanity being halved though, so I don’t really know what would happen afterwards. Or rather, couldn’t this “System” thing that rules over skills and status do something about that? Even if it’s just us humans returning to basically the sort of ordinary people we were before reincarnating that’s one thing, but what about monsters and stuff? If the monsters become weak too that would be fine, but if not then how are we supposed to fight them?
Argh! I dunno what to do! Or rather, there’s so many things to think about that I can’t think properly. Seriously, what should I do!? Unintentionally I sat down while holding my head.
「……But like, hey, how much of that is actually true?」
When I turned my head to the person who spoke, there was Shinohara reclined on a chair with a self-important attitude. All the reincarnators were gathered here, apart from Hasebe who was laid up in bed, and Shun and Kanata who seem to have gone somewhere. After gathering everyone’s attention, Shinohara then continued to speak.
「I’m referring to what was written in that book and like, what we’ve been talking about since earlier. Surely there’s no way for us to confirm the authenticity of all of it. So wouldn’t we be unable to tell if any lies were included?」
「……Now that you mention it, that’s right.」
We might have been overawed with Wakaba-san’s presence, simply accepting whatever we were being told, but I guess we can’t tell whether that’s the truth or something else. It’s entirely plausible that it could be lies.
「Shino – how was it where you were?」
Shinohara now questions Kusama Shinobu. Kusama is a spy of the Divine Word Religion, so knows more than anyone here about how things are on their end. Ogi might know things as well since he’s also a spy, but Ogi entered this elf village undercover many years ago for a start, so in terms of firsthand information Kusama probably has a lot more.
「Eh? I dunno.」
「Hey? Are you messing with me?」
In response to Kusama’s boneheaded reply, Shinohara glares at him like she’s about to snap.
「Eek!? I’m not messing about! Totally! Okay!」
Despite the fact that in terms of status values Kusama should be way higher, he’s too much of a fucking coward to stand up for himself. Even after being reborn this guy is either a natural born gofer or has the mentality of an underling I guess……
「I never heard such detailed stuff! Totally! Okay!」
「Really? You’re not lying?」
「I’m not lying! Right, Ogi!?」
「Don’t get me involved in this!」
「Ah, yes. He’s not lying. Definitely.」
You too huh, Ogi… Well, Shinohara’s intimidation is badass enough without having the skill, so it can’t be helped I guess?
「What we know about is only as far as the annihilation of the elves. We seriously have no idea about things after that. We vaguely know about the world being screwed, but we never heard any particular details about that.」
「…… So the world being screwed is actually true huh?」
If that part is true, then maybe that gives everything else a degree of authenticity……
「Sigh. So in the end just how much is true?」
「It’s all true.」
That’s a voice I’ve not heard before. That’s when I first noticed that the door was open, and that people were entering. Ah… in my confusion I didn’t even notice them. Dude, you’ve gotten way too careless. Following in behind a girl I didn’t recognise was Negishi, Kyouya and finally someone with whom Asaka and I have a particularly strong connection – Merazofis.
「Hi there. I’m meeting most of you for the first time huh. My name is Ariel. I’m the Demon King.」
On hearing her words, I stood up immediately. To my side, Asaka also suddenly became tense.
「Now, now. Stay calm. I have no intention of causing any harm. Shiro-chan, or I guess it would be easier for you to understand if I said Wakaba-chan instead. So Wakaba-chan is a bit tied up at the moment. So I’ve come to give a supplementary explanation.」
Saying that the Demon King casually smiled. Going by her appearance and attitude, you’d never have believed her to be the Demon King unless told so otherwise. However, she is accompanied by that Wakaba-san, and also Negishi and Kyouya, and also Merazofis. She couldn’t be any ordinary person. Still… she looks really weak. But, I better not be fooled by appearances I guess.
「Well, I just want you to listen to my explanation, then make a decision. Namely, which side are you on.」
Then, the Demon King put a decision before us.
Author’s note: Please think of Shinohara-san in the web novel as being born differently and being almost an entirely different person to the one in the published edition.