Chapter 162: Repeated Fate (1)
I sensed a smell when we got out of the portal. For a moment, I believed Seiya’s words and frantically wondered if poisonous gas had spread around. However, it seemed that the air was just dense.
The surroundings were dark and the visibility was poor. It looked like we arrived in Twisted Exfolia at night. Even so, I saw a group of buildings in the distance. The streetlights lined up at equal intervals in the passageway. This red light illuminated the group of reinforced steel buildings. Far in the distance, buildings such as factories spewed smoke from the chimneys.
「Is this place…Exfolia…!? 」
A huge tower-like structure glowed in the factory area. I stared at it while activating my Appraisal skills. The Appraisal spoke to me in my head.
『Supply Tower of Magic Power…This tower converts magical power into general-purpose energy to send it to various parts of the town. It functions like a Power Plant.』
A man wearing an old-looking leather jacket, wandered through the paved cobblestone street with a bottle of wine. This image was very different from the image I had of Galvano, a town once ruled by the beast men. On the contrary, the appearance of this place gave a totally different vibe from the world we knew. It was as if it was a new world. Moreover, this was the first time I saw an earthly world with such a developed civilization. I could hear Celseus’ high-pitched voice right next to me.
「This place looks quite different from the Twisted Geabrande.」
「Yes…I’m sure this place is the future Exfolia! 」
I said those words with certainty. The Twisted Geabrande was ten years into the future from the original Geabrande timeline. But, this time, I felt that the timeline had advanced more than just ten years. I had the impression that this place was hundreds of years older than the original Exfolia.
I heard Seiya’s voice close to me. I couldn’t see his expression because we were transparent, but Seiya spoke to me with a strange voice. I wondered if Seiya pondered about the present situation after having a glimpse of this world. I silently waited for his next word.
「Am I not visible right now? Am I completely transparent?」
「What an hassle, c’mon!! I haven’t seen your figure ever since we became transparent in the Underworld!!」
Although I confirmed his invisibility, I realized that Seiya was more concerned about his transparency form than anything else. I was amazed by Seiya’s cautiousness once more. I thought that he would have a different impression upon seeing such a different world!
I sighed as I looked around. There were no beasts on the street. I only spotted humans nearby. However, the people wandering around the town at night had lifeless faces. I could hear glass breaking sounds and angry voices from the back alleys. A staggering young man wandered through the cobblestone street. Apparently, he was drunk and disorientated.
「Wha…What is going on? This civilization looks advanced but this place feels like a slum. I can only spot shady-looking people.」
「A slum, huh. You’re right. 」
「Oh gosh. This place really looks uninviting. 」
I was wondering if Celseus put a strong front, but in the end, he was just afraid of this place and people. The Swordsman God got weakened after witnessing a man who seemed to be a drunkard. I ignored Celseus’ ridiculous fear, and spoke in the direction of Seiya’s voice.
「Hey, Seiya. This place is really the future Exfolia, isn’t that right?」
「It’s too early to conclude that. Anyway, I got enough information for the time being. So…」
「Let’s go back to the Underworld.」
「Already!? It hasn’t been three minutes yet!! At least look at what weapons and tools these people are selling…」
I stopped talking. I did it because a man who had been drinking from a bottle of wine was trying to get past me. Even though he couldn’t see me, he could still hear my voice. I silently waited for the man to pass by. I glanced at this man’s appearance when he approached me. He was very drunk and his face was bright red.
…Ahahah. In this case, even if I spoke aloud he wouldn’t hear my voice.
As soon as I felt relieved, his unfocused eyes suddenly shined sharply. The man, who became disturbed, turned his sharp eyes on me.
At the same time, the bottle of wine fell from his hand. When I turned my eyes from the fallen bottle in the ground to the man, I saw that he held a weapon coated in black gold that I had never seen before in an earthly world.
「…Are you an Imperial spy? 」
The man spoke to me with an intimidating voice as he pointed that shiny weapon at me! He was obviously not drunk!
…A…A handgun!? But, why!? I was fully transparent!!
I panicked. However, I heard a loud noise coming from the man’s wrist. Then, the gun turned sideways and fell to the ground just like the bottle of wine. I noticed that the man’s hand was bent in a strange position. At this, the man with round glasses looked away from me and stared in a different direction.
「You should have not looked that way, bro.」
On the other side stood a grinning man, which held the newly handgun taken out from his pocket. On this very moment, a gunshot roared toward an empty space. At the same time, the drunken man’s body bent with a dull sound and blew off. The drunken man violently crashed into a garbage dump a few meters away from us, while scattering the waste that had been left behind. The grinning man spoke with blood dripping from his mouth.
「Ah, ah…The reaction speed is amazing…But if I fire the Disorder Bullet into someone’s body, the magical power will activate…And the spirit will break down…」
The grinning man hung his head. It seemed that he fainted. Still, I didn’t feel relieved. “Why did the drunken man suddenly blew in the air? What really happened after the grinning man shot the bullet?” I couldn’t understand what was going on. And soon, my anxiety became a reality. In front of my eyes appeared Seiya’s figure. He released his transparency skill and crouched down on the ground.
Seiya protected me! Because the enemy was competing somehow with one another, Seiya got shot with a deadly bullet!
No way, right after the start of the saving quest…When I thought about it, my horrifying memories crossed my mind. Once when we started the saving quest of Exfolia, the werewolf suddenly broke into the portal’s barrier and invaded the Gods’ realm. Seiya protected me when the werewolf tried to attack me. As a consequence of that attack, Seiya’s reckless personality returned, and he was pushed to the point where the saving quest of Exfolia could fail entirely.
…Do…Don’t tell me that it’s my fault again!?
「Hyahhhhhh!! Seiya has been shottttttttttt!!」
Celseus shouted high when he saw Seiya struggling to stand with one knee. My heart was so anxious that both Celseus and I cleared up our transparency form just like Seiya.
Seiya muttered in a low and quivering voice.
「I was shot…in the abdomen… 」
「Don’t move! I’ll heal you now! 」
「The premonition was…it was…the same as last time…Exfolia keeps having an unlucky portal* at the time of departure…」
…That’s why Seiya didn’t say Perfectly Ready even at Level Max!
However, I was too foolish by comparing Seiya’s cautiousness with a cowardly act. I only thought about myself and just wanted to go on the saving quest with Seiya without thinking of the pros and cons. I mocked him for being cautious, this act made me feel disrespectful towards him somewhere in my heart. Seiya was right all along. Yes, after all, this place was a world with a SS+ difficulty rank…
「Celseus, keep an eye on that man! He may harm us if he is still alive! 」
I immediately activated my healing magic in order to cure Seiya. However, my power wasn’t strong without Order. Seiya! Please don’t die…
*Again, 鬼門/Kimon, but this time, referred to by Seiya. This event was foreshadowed in the previous chapter’s title, and reinforced in this chapter’s title. The meaning of 鬼門/Kimon is found at the end of chapter 161.
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