The Strongest In The World Doesn't Have Any Abilities? Book 1 Chapter 68
At a dark room where the only source of light is a dim magic stone tied into a string and hanging on the ceiling, four people sat around a small table. As if an interrogation is currently taking place, one of them acted like an interrogator while another two are the ones being questioned.
"Honestly I don't know what to say, after knowing that you're actually working for this woman."
"Ah, you're wrong about that. I do not work for the Rewriter, and I don't have any plans of doing it."
"Is that so? Then..."
"Silly~ Why would a god like me work for a mere mortal like this one? My pride won't allow such thing to happen."
"Oh. Then how will you two explain what the hell is going on right now?!"
Slamming my hands on the table, I uncontrollably leaked out my feelings of irritation at them. This Myriel and this boar guy--who would've thought they're working hand in hand all this time, without us knowing?
"Just tell me the truth already. You're our enemies, right? You're going all-out just to keep us within your grasp so that when the right time comes, it'll be easy for you to crush us underfoot," I sighed, telling them I don't want to deal anymore with their jokes. Aoi, who's sitting on my lap, gently patted my head.
"...Although you teaming up is the least of my concerns, I didn't expect big brother to be affected this much. You know what'll happen next, right?"
The boar guy raised his hand. "Rampage, isn't it, Death Goddess?"
"...Bingo!" Aoi smiled at him.
"Aoi, there's no need for that. It's all fine," I said to her.
"It's my fault for not telling you about this sooner, boy," Myriel said solemnly, "considering the fact that the Lumiari are the ones responsible for sealing the Death Goddess away from the outside world, you wouldn't want working with this person beside me."
The boar guy nodded at her words. While I've already (forced) myself into working with Myriel, I'm not sure if I can say the same with this guy. I have never met a doublecrossing bastard before in my whole life, so I don't know what to expect from him.
"Well, both of you are untrustworthy to begin with."
"That's rude of you, boy!" Myriel raised her eyebrows at me. "Put more trust into this elder sister, you know?!"
I rested my chin on top of Aoi's head. At the same time she showed a wide grin, possibly aimed at Myriel.
"I get it already. You want to form the Third Triumvirate with me, right? Fine, I have no problems with that. No more."
Good grief. If they planned on doing this all along then they should've just told from me they're allies when we're still at the 'getting to know each other' phase. All of these just makes determining who's a friend or foe more complicated.
Noticing my strange behavior, Myriel asked, "You seem to be lacking energy today, boy. What happened?"
"Nothing much. I just got a feeling that things like this would happen very often, so I'm letting myself get used to this."
I haven't done much yet today but I'm tired already because of the sudden meeting with these two. I want to go home and start preparing for the trip already.
"...A while ago, when I threatened big brother into killing people on the street he didn't do anything to stop me. What's worse, he coaxed me into doing it instead. Big brother must be feeling sick right now," Aoi spoke out of worry.
"Wait, I'm fine you know? I'm just--"
"I understand. Perhaps this is not the right time to discuss things between us, don't you agree?" Myriel looked at me apologetically.
"Nn. Pardon us for being too inconsiderate, Ren Mortel. We hope you get well soon," the masked man also spoke.
"Can you guys give me a break?! I'm not sick for hell's sake!!!"
Where did this situation just went straight into? Are they really taking what I said seriously?
"But you're right about the timing of this meeting. I know you know already that we're having a trip so I won't explain it to you anymore. Maybe, let's postpone this meeting for the meantime, or I suggest not to show up again and stop bothering our lives forever? I believe the latter option is beneficial to all of us."
"Thaaaaaaaat won't do~ if not for us working behind the scenes you won't be able to keep your 'peaceful' life the way it is now, much less be able to continue with your trip, no? You can't just push us away without thinking of the consequences, boy." Myriel said as she sipped her wine nonchalantly.
After placing her wine glass on the table she took out a small bag from between her b.r.e.a.s.ts, and placed it also on the table.
"Here, take this pocket money from your big sister. The cost of living at your destination is higher compared to here so having extra allowance won't hurt, right?"
"...Huh?! Who said you're big brother's big sister, you woman?!" Aoi protested.
"Who said you're his little sister, you noisy brat?" Myriel retorted.
"You two..." I felt my headache becoming worse, so I immediately stopped them from quarreling.
Meanwhile the boar guy just watched over us, trying to conceal his laughter from under his mask. I gave him a deadpan stare in return.
"I-I'll take it if you insist," I hesitantly took the bag from her.
I mean, it makes sense that the cost of living at the capital is higher than in the border towns just like Plate Town. With the money Alisha and this woman gave to us, we could lessen the financial burdens we're going to impose to the Rainens for this trip.
"Very good," she said, "however, compared to my gift, your own destiny has something more prepared for you."
Myriel chuckled. While raising her wine glass at me, she said, "If you can catch it with your arms, that is."
Lately, I've been hearing sorts of foreshadowing from other people, and I can't help but to ponder about it while I'm busy packing up things for the trip.
'The stars! You have guaranteed their descent!'
'Your own destiny has something more prepared for you.'
Should I be worried? Am I just overthinking things? Unlike Myriel who has a way to 'peek' into one's future any time she wanted the only thing I can do is to helplessly wait.
Is that a bad thing? Nope, honestly I'm fine with it. Good things, bad things--all of it can wait. I don't need spoilers in my life.
Yeah, maybe I'm just giving it too much thought.
"...Big brother, you've been looking at those panties for a while now. What is wrong with you?!"
Aoi, who noticed I've been spacing out for too long, threw a pillow at me.
"A-Ah, wah--sorry! I'm almost done packing your clothes, Aoi!" I realized that I've been holding one of her panties in my hands all this time, staring at it silently (or in a perverted way, based on Aoi's perspective.)
Aoi puffed her cheeks and said, "...You've been acting weird today. Are you really okay, big brother?"
"I told you, I'm fine. Come here, let me prove it."
I grabbed her hand and placed it on my forehead. From her hands I could feel a cold sensation, as if the girl in front of me is actually a living corpse.
"Okay, that's enough. I'm done packing up our things, so let's go downstairs and see if Saku and Saki needs our help, understood?"
Downstairs we saw Saki lying on the floor face down with a mountain of clothes and various items piled up on her, and her brother Saku panicking around. Just add some blood, and this scenario will turn instantly into a murder case.
"Aoi, Brother Ren, hello! Sorry for the noise just now," Saki greeted us cheerfully even though three-fourths of her body are buried under the pile of stuff.
"What happened here?" I asked Saku, who's already crying buckets.
"It's my fault, Ren. While we're preparing for the trip all the luggage burst open, and Saki got almost buried under all that stuff. Waaaaah!!!"
"S-Stop, Stop crying already! So you mean to say, you're planning to bring all of those?!"
"Those are all just Saki's stuff. I haven't packed up mine yet," Saku sniffled.
You're...you're kidding, right?
"Tsk. This won't do. I'll pack up her things, but first let's get her out of that pile before her condition gets worse." I said to him.
"...Don't worry Saki, big brother will pull you out of there," Aoi knelt beside Saki and patted her head.
With the help of Saku we finally pulled Saki out of the pile of her things. Well, the reason why Saku can't do it on his own is because there's a full body armor mixed up with Saki's clothes, and its weight pushed against her small body. Seriously, why do they have that thing in the first place?
"Saki, are you hurt? You want me to take you to the doctor?" Saku, feeling extremely worried for his sister, asked her condition.
Saki shook her head. "I'm fine, Big Bro. If not for my clothes I would be crushed by now."
"Ah, thank goodness..."
"...Look, big brother! I'm the evil knight wahahahahaha--ouch!!!"
"Aoi, don't run around wearing that thing...ah, see? You hit your head on the wall."
Ignoring Aoi who collapsed on the pile of clothes with the helmet still on, I started helping Saki prepare her things. By asking her what type of clothes she likes or wears often, she narrowed it all down to a set of clothes having a common theme.
"W-What is it, Brother Ren?"
"How do I say this...are you sure these are the clothes you'll bring for the trip?"
I suddenly felt pity in my heart. This girl, is planning to only wear work clothes for the entire trip.
"But we're going to the Innkeeper's Convention! I have to promote our Sandy Fish to the other delegates that will attend at the venue!" Saki explained to me.
Even so, it'll be a waste if a cute girl like her don't get to wear beautiful dresses once in a while.
From the pile of clothes I saw something like a purple dress. I grabbed it, then gave it to her.
"B-Brother Ren, this..."
"No questions. That convention is a competition in disguise, and your usual strategy won't get you more guests in the future. That dress will be your ultimate weapon. Believe me, I can already imagine dozens of people flocking around you while rocking that thing," I spoke while looking straight into her eyes.
Ah yes, bullshit your way into her young mind, Ren Mortel. While you're at it too, why not apply it also to yourself? Pretty sure you'll look not as plain as always.
"This...I'll try my best, Brother Ren!" Saki said while brimming with resolve.
"A-Ahem!" Meanwhile Saku coughed as he sat on the corner.
When I asked him if he also wanted help in his things, he said, 'It's okay, I can do it myself' with a faint 'hmph' at the end. What the hell?
After everything's all set for tomorrow, we had our dinner at a earlier time so that we can all rest immediately afterwards. Though I called it dinner, Saki made sure that we'll be having a feast tonight by bringing out all her signature dishes in one go, that we had to put four tables side by side just to accommodate all of them.
Luckily there's no customers today, or else they'll burn in jealousy if they see us.
"To us, may our trip to the capital be a safe and enjoyable for everyone. Cheers!" While everyone's eating, Saku stood up as he raised his glass and called for a toast.
"To Sandy Fish, may our business grow more prosperous and have more branches throughout the kingdom in the future. Cheers!"
"Lastly, to me. May I finally find my one true love, and I hope that I could find it at the capital. A very beautiful and elegant woman, of course! Cheers!"
With the exception of the last one, we raised a toast each time he wished for good luck.
"You're cruel, all of you! Have I got no right to aspire for love?" Saku grumbled as he slumped back to his chair.
"That's not it, Big Bro. It's alright for you to find love, but we're not going to the capital for that sole reason, remember?" Saki replied.
"You're right, but that won't stop a good man from achieving his dreams, Saki. After all, your brother is a living work of art. I have heard that noble ladies from the capital loves art, so making them fall to my charm is an easy job for me."
"Fine, fine..." Saki placed her hand in her forehead out of irritation. "But, I won't lend you my shoulder for you to cry on again if you fail. When Big Sis Alisha rejected your confession, you kept on crying like a baby for days and you also sneezed on my apron. I don't want that to happen again."
"H-Hey, don't remind me of tha--"
Meanwhile, I almost choked on my food after Saki brought that up in their discussion. Though I have heard that story a few times already, it never fails to make me laugh. Sorry Saku, I just can't help it.
Ah, no good--he heard me!
"What about you, huh? Have you tried pursuing a girl before?!" Saku's death glare started sending shivers to my spine after he heard my suppressed laughter.
"M-Me? Uh...I haven't tried asking a girl out before."
"You haven't? Sheesh, that's why it feels like you're lacking something, Ren," Saku clicked his tongue.
Wait, why am I the one who's being looked at with pity now?! Except for Aoi who's always in her own world whenever she's eating, these siblings' eyes look like they're mourning for my inexperience in that aspect.
"Well, looks like I have no choice," he spoke.
"No choice? For what?" I asked.
When I asked that he stood up from his chair, pointed his finger at me, and said--
"I challenge you to a contest!"