They say that the people who get mad are the ones who’re on the losing side.
Anger narrows your field of vision. Anger prevents you from planning things out and causes your actions to be linear. Anger makes it so that you’re unable to control yourself and causes you to thoughtlessly take actions that will bring harm to you in the long-run. However, the biggest problem with anger is the fact that it reveals your true self. It makes you stronger, but it becomes that much dangerous as well. In any case, it makes it so that you have no more extra lives. If that true self of yours is defeated, then that represents your actual defeat. It’s like rushing into a situation wearing nothing and swinging your blade around while your opposition hides behind a rampart that’s made out of pretense, deception, and imitations. In the majority of cases, that blade will be blocked and your defenseless body will be stabbed until you fall.
People think like that.
I think like that.
Calm down, I tell myself. Be cool-headed, I tell myself. Nothing will change even if you entrust your body to anger, I tell myself. Sort it out, analyze it, dismantle it, and then strike the opening, I tell myself.
That’s what I’ll do.
A heavy scent penetrated my nose the instant I entered the chamber.
Ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen dioxide, red blood cells, protein, etc, the beings that were summoned from one of the 12 worlds which the Earl could meddle in, including Earth, were all emanating that awful internal smell together. Well, there’s no way that beings which lose the ability to maintain themselves if they’re unable to eat would give off a good scent.
This place was filled with those acrid beings spread throughout the room.
Even in this moment, the very person behind spreading those beings out was absorbed in her task of spreading them out further. With a creature that appeared like an insect laid out on top of a workbench, she stabbed a knife into an organ which looked like the creature’s shoulder joint. With careful movements, she pulled. There was a string wire tied to what appeared to be the creature’s other shoulder. Like rising interest on a long-term saving, the fact that the creature was given pain even if it were left alone made it a clever move.
A cruel move.
As awful as the atrocious scent that was completely occupying the chamber.
“The thought that I’d return here one day, well, I did expect it was going to happen.”
I spoke while fixing the position of my glasses on my face.
“But I didn’t think that it’d be so soon.”
The hands of the very person who was absorbed in her work stopped. Pat, pat, she half-heartedly wiped her hands off on her clothes before turning around.
“Ah hah ha.”
She⎯⎯⎯The Silver Lion Earl, laughed.
“Ah hah hah hah ha ha ha ha.”
With a twisted smile on her face, which had blue-colored blood smeared all over it, she raised her arms as if she were giving a speech. The fact that every single nail on her left hand was now dyed in black, it meant that she had used 3 more summons within that short period of time, it meant that she had depleted 5 of her 12 monthly summons in a single day.
The creature on top of the workbench⎯⎯⎯as expected, the thing that resembled an insect must have been summoned like that.
A being that I didn’t see back when I had put the torture chamber behind me. Currently, the only new face among the otherworld beings here in the torture chamber was that giant insect.
If that were the case, then.
If that were the case, then⎯⎯⎯how great would that be?
“How many did you call?”
“Including this one, two. The other one is still confined in its cell. This one⎯⎯⎯was a bit, ah hah ha ha. It was being annoying. Even though it’s just a piece of trash that goes around digging holes like a Wrick, it gave me additional trouble. As expected of newly summoned beings. They have good vigor. In order to show it my respect, I planned to give it a full-time service course at my Silver Lion Massage Parlour.”
The Silver Lion Earl, who had uttered those words, then folded her arms. Sticky liquid had seeped into her coat making it appear like the surface of a mire. A quagmire-like existence. The Multi-Dimensional Serial-Summoning Torture-Killer, the Silver Lion Earl.
“Anyway⎯⎯⎯Mr. Yujin, what are you here for?”
That mire, took a step towards me.
“Does Mr. Yujin have an interest in massages as well? Mm hmm, as you can see, I already have a previous engagement. I’m behind on a lot of appointments actually, but if you think about it, it’s okay! We aren’t strangers anyway, so the least I can do is let you go first. Ah ha ha, Mr. Yujin······.”
“I see your chest has been healed, huh? Did you apply medicine? Was it Zia⎯⎯⎯or, Yudia? Regardless of who it was, that, the side effects are quite severe, you know? Something like a convenient healing potion is something that only exists in Blizzard games or an island country RPG. The medicine and healing magic in this world are things that just drag out your natural healing ability from the future and use it nooow after all. It’ll heal immediately, but in the long-run, Mr. Yujin, it’s no different to buying a house while falling into debt.”
“The reason why I’m telling you this, Mr. Yujin, Mr. Yujin⎯⎯⎯you mustn’t misunderstand. You shouldn’t go with the flow. If you misunderstand that part, then you’ll go under in a blink of an eye. You don’t know what happens to the people whose bodies have gone under, right? What do you think will happen if your natural healing ability starts working in reverse? Your body will start to die even though you’re not doing anything. Just like a zombie! If that happens, then you’ll end up using more medication in order to prevent that and⎯⎯⎯Well, it’s not particularly different from overdosing on drugs. It’s Hell. Your mind will stay sober even though your body is decaying. A Hell where the vector is backwards. Ah hah ha ha!”
Another step⎯⎯⎯I spoke.
The Silver Lion Earl⎯⎯⎯didn’t stop walking⎯⎯⎯but tilted her head instead.
“What are you apologizing for?”
“Because I wasn’t well-mannered towards you.”
The Silver Lion Earl stopped.
Towards the girl who was tilting her head and pressing her blue-blood covered hand against her chin, I spoke.
“I should have considered you more.”
“In what regard?”
“The fact that I came looking for you right now, the thing that happened back at the office, and before I even went on my vacation.”
I got on one knee in order to match her eye level and spoke after taking off my glasses.
“I ask you for your forgiveness.”
The Silver Lion Earl stood in her spot. It seems she was thinking about what she had just heard.
Shortly after, she spoke up.
“Forgiveness, is it?”
She repeated it once more.
“Forgiveness, you know.”
The Silver Lion Earl raised one hand. She lowered it. With her hands now behind her back, and while standing, she tapped the heel of one foot with the tip of her other foot.
“It’s not difficult to show tolerance. I’m the earl after all. But if I show it blindly, then the value of that tolerance dropping is the only thing that’ll happen. Stop being ambiguous and say it properly. In what regard were you ill-mannered and in what regard were you not thinking about me?”
“I was tactless.”
“What kind of tact?”
“I should have noticed that me being next to Sii was something that upset your mood.”
The Silver Lion Earl shrugged.
“Hu~? Not really. Something like that illegitimate child, I don’t care about her whatsoever.”
“I should have quickly realized this before I learned how to speak this world’s language and I should have started off by putting my effort in mediating that. I had quite a lot of time before the test, so I can’t possibly use that as an excuse for having neglected this. It was my mistake.”
“I said I didn’t really feel that way and that I don’t care about that illegitimate child. As I thought, aren’t Mr. Yujin’s ears useless?”
“Furthermore, the biggest mistake I made above all else was the fact that I had gone about my business thoughtlessly.”
“Through servicing a maid without your permission, I harmed your dignity. It’s an action that’s similar to having abandoned your favor. I’m reflecting on it.”
“Favor, is it?”
The Earl tapped on her cheek, tap, tap. Favor. After saying that as if she were ruminating it. Favor.
“What kind of favor?”
“If I didn’t have the clothes, food, and dwelling, which you had provided for me, then I wouldn’t have been able to survive.”
“You learned the language. It’s probably possible for you to be peerless here with the knowledge you have of modern Earth.”
“Being able to learn that language was also thanks to your protection.”
The Earl closed one eye.
“That’s quite feudalistic. You’re saying that you felt gratitude towards me because I gave you protection, therefore you’re devoting yourself to me because of that gratitude. However, Mr. Yujin, that’s something that can be replaced if you just find another benefactor.”
“It’s like that in regard to you being irreplaceable as well. Without your ability, I can’t go back to my world.”
“That’s right. But Mr. Yujin.”
The Earl tilted her head slightly.
“This is like you’re saying ‘Thank you for feeding me, giving me clothes, and providing me with a place to sleep’, towards the kidnapper who had abducted you, Mr. Yujin, just because they gave you food, clothes, and a place to rest. Moreover, this is also like you’re saying ‘Since you’re the only one who can release me from my imprisonment, I’m thankful for that as well’ towards the kidnapper who had confined you. Normal people would get mad in this sort of situation, you know? Are you not angry? Or perhaps, as I thought, does Mr. Yujin have masochistic tendencies?”
Although you saying that makes me believe that you really do have the same blood as Sii.
“I don’t have enough leisure to get mad at a truth that won’t change even if I were to get upset at it.”
“Suure, that’s right. It seems you really are suffering from masochistic tendencies, Mr. Yujin.”
The Silver Lion Earl opened the eye she had shut.
“In any case, handling you had become a bit troubling. The more intense a person’s emotional range is, the easier they are to handle, but in your case, it didn’t seem like you had something like that. Since it felt like you didn’t care if you yourself received harm or were humiliaated. Be that as it may, you didn’t seem like you could be bribed with money either. In other words, you’re a pet whose reaction is difficult to predict. That part about you makes you unique, that part about you makes you interesting, but⎯⎯⎯Mr. Yujin. That part about you, also troubled me. Be it a hero or an adult, they’re both difficult to handle since they don’t cling onto their own well-being.”
The Silver Lion Earl put her arms behind her back.
“But, there’s also a way to handle those types of fellows in their own way.”
She spoke in a light tone as if she were whistling.
“That’s why, after making you get along with Mikatni’s adopted daughter for a while, I tried cutting off her arm.”
“And your reaction, ta-dah. It was dramatic.”
The Silver Lion Earl giggled.
“Ah hah ha. For Mr. Yujin to get that riled up. What am I supposed to do when you showed me such a stereotypical reaction? YesYes, standard procedure⎯⎯⎯the more insensible a person is to their own harm, the stronger a person’s sense of self-sacrifice is, the more sensitive they are to the harm of the people around them. Isn’t everyone like that? I’ve now found your weakness, your noose. If it were me, Mr. Yujin, then I would be more concerned about this. From this day forth, the days that’ll be awaiting Mr. Yujin, will be days of overwork which even the Mr. Yujin who has masochistic tendencies would find to be difficult to handle⎯⎯⎯.”
“That’s not right.”
The Silver Lion Earl stopped abruptly.
“You didn’t cut off Sii’s arm with that kind of thought in mind. Something like cutting off Sii’s arm in order to get a hold of my weakness, that’s just something you added later on.”
“Hu~? I added it later on? Why does our Mr. Yujin think that’s the case?”
“Because you aren’t that kind of person.”
“Ah hah ha! What’s with that? Hm? Hm? ‘You aren’t that kind of person’, shock! I never thought that I’d actually hear something like this in real life. Just how do you see me as, Mr. Yujin? I’m,”
“The Silver Lion Earl.”
“The Silver Lion Earl.”
Her and my gaze crossed.
“Because you’re the Silver Lion Earl.”
“Because you aren’t a fellow whose head is good enough to come up with something like that.”
The Silver Lion Earl had a puzzled look.
“Of course, there are fellows who’re able to wring out that kind of intrigue. Extremely strange tacticians who feel as if they’d appear in fictional stories actually do exist in the world. I’ve met a countless number of those kinds of monsters.”
Joo Chanmi. Lee Seonha. My elder cousin. Saei.
Although the category is a bit different⎯⎯⎯Yudia Batsand.
“But that’s not you. You aren’t Josua or Akagi Shigeru. Your head isn’t as good as theirs. Since you were born wrong and raised wrong, you’re just someone who will one day become a tremendously twisted human, thus you’re incapable of squeezing out that kind of intrigue. Silver Lion Earl, the reason why you severed Sii’s arm.”
Isn’t because of some grandiose stratagem like that.
“It’s simply because you didn’t like the fact that the Sii, who you hated, was playing around with me, your toy.”
The Silver Lion Earl stood still.
“My right hand that Sii had bruised.”
Sii’s right arm that had been cut off.
“Zia who took care of Sii.”
Made the person who was nothing more than a guest, Yudia Batsand⎯⎯⎯Zia’s teacher, be the one to cut off that arm.
The Silver Lion Earl then uttered.
“Your ego is overinflated⎯⎯⎯Mr. Yujin. In other words, Mr. Yujin is saying that⎯⎯⎯this Silver Lion Earl of the world, showed possessiveness.”
“And because Sii bothered you.”
“To some illegitimate child like that! You’re saying that I was throwing that kind of childish tantrum, Mr. Yujin!”
“What kind of person do you see me⎯⎯⎯this Silver Lion Earl as!?”
“After seeing you as the Silver Lion Earl.”
“Something like that, I⎯⎯⎯.”
“You’ve been doing it to this very day.”
I spoke up.
“In the first place, everything you’ve done until now, were all things like that, weren’t they?”
In order to either vent your anger or pass the time, you tortured people who didn’t have human rights.
Once the maid you cherished stole something, you came to me while drinking alcohol.
You’re boundlessly soft to Zia who’s your close-aid.
You waste your 12 monthly summons and even put your hand on the taxes a bit.
A mass of narcissism.
“A girl who’s turning 16 this year and just has a slightly good head on her shoulders.”
Her directional nature was simply absurdly crooked, the essence of her being was no different to a child throwing a tantrum.
“You’re just human after all.”
The Silver Lion Earl, was human.
Everyone, was human.
“Yujin⎯⎯⎯Yujin. Han Yujin.”
The Silver Lion Earl spoke while gritting her teeth.
“You came here, to ask me for forgiveness⎯⎯⎯ but are you here, to insult me instead? Patronizing me, Mr. Yujin⎯⎯⎯.”
“Silver Lion Earl, the fact that I was unable to be well-mannered towards you means that I was unable to become certain in that regard.”
I folded my glasses, put them into my pocket, and lowered my head.
“I thought that you were a bit more insane. I thought that you had no attachment. That Zia was the only person who was special to you, that you wouldn’t care about how I went about my business. There was no way that you would. Even when we were in front of Yudia, you mentioned things like public favor and whatnot. Although you displayed responsibility and possessiveness towards your city, I misunderstood and thought that I wasn’t a part of that. That’s why, by carrying out actions that harmed your reputation and lowered my value as your property, I ended up upsetting you. ”
The essentials were this.
“I’m yours. Regardless of whether I want to be or not, I’m yours. From this point forth, I won’t misunderstand this fact even in the slightest degree. I’ll be conscious of this at all times. Until the day I’m able to safely return home, I’m your possession.”
“Han Yujin is the Silver Lion Earl’s property.”
A drop of blood dripped down onto the floor of the torture chamber.
It was blood that had flowed down the Silver Lion Earl’s chin. From her bottom lip, it was flowing from the place where she was biting down onto with her canines.
“That’s why, Your Excellency Silver Lion Earl, bestow generosity upon me who belongs to you. Return Sii’s arm.”
The Silver Lion Earl stood while biting her lip for a long time.
After standing for a while, she uttered.
“I said it’s funny, Mr. Yujin. Just, how. Me. Ah, what do I look like to you? And even then, whether I’d return that arm to you. If I don’t return it, then.”
“I’ll ask you to return it every time the opportunity presents itself.”
“That’s right. It’ll become tiresome so I’ll probably just kill you, you know?”
“In order for that to not happen, I’ll prove my usefulness and loyalty to you.”
“Ah, just die.”
A silence flowed by.
The Silver Lion Earl roughly wiped the blood off of her mouth. One step, two step. As if she were looking at something repulsive, she looked down at me with her arms folded.
I looked straight into her eyes and spoke.
The Silver Lion Earl let out a sigh.
“I’ll give it.”
“Whatever, a piece of trash like that. If this were Korea, then I would have had to pay a fee for throwing out trash illegally if I kept it around. In any case, I’ll give it to you so go away. Since it seems I, Mr. Yujin, need to relieve my mood which has become a mess because of you.”
After saying that, the Silver Lion Earl turned around and headed back towards the torture rack. She picked up the dagger which she had put down earlier and placed it against the creature that was lying on top of the torture rack.
I didn’t have any particular thoughts about that.
I knew that this was something that occurred even before I was summoned here. Be it Zia or the Earl, they had both raised me up to be some hero or adult, but I wasn’t that sort of impressive existence. Similar to how the Silver Lion Earl was just human, I was nothing more than human as well. In the end, I’m only capable of the things that were within my limitations. I,
“I can entertain you more.”
Without turning around, the Silver Lion Earl spoke.
“That’s not it. Right now, you’re supposed to just turn around and leave. While acknowledging your weakness and acknowledging your own cowardice, you’re supposed to calmly nod your head and leave. You did that well back when you were spending your time in this basement, didn’t you?”
However, this creature, was most likely summoned only a few dozen minutes ago.
The other one who was still locked in the cell as well.
If that was the case, then there was still.
“Earl. I’ll entertain,”
“I told you to leave three times nooow. If it’s the smart Mr. Yujin, then you wouldn’t want to repeat the same mistake, right?”
The Earl turned to look at me. Gray sunken eyes that appeared like crushed snow were directed towards me.
I held onto my beads tightly.
The Earl tightened her grip on her dagger.
“3. 2. 1!”
“Yujin! I’m here to help!”
The door to the torture chamber was swung open and Zia had entered.
A candlelight entered between the Earl, who was standing in front of the torture rack with a dagger gripped tightly in her hand, and me. The numerous specks of dust that were drifting underneath the light swirled around. They flowed according to the heavy breaths coming out from Zia’s mouth, and flowed according to the swaying of her uniform. The dust swirled around before descending to the floor.
The Earl pressed her hand against her forehead.
“Just die already, seriously.”
“I-I’ll summarize what happened just now. I opened the door and entered the torture chamber in order to help Yujin, but the moment I entered the room, Her Excellency told me to die. Although I think that I’ll be unable to understand what’s going on, I have no idea what’s happening······.”
The Silver Lion Earl threw her dagger. After contemplating whether she should dodge it or get hit by it, Zia moved her upper body at the last second and chose the path of dodging it. Despite that, the fact that she wasn’t able to dodge it completely and ended up having her cheek be scathed by the blade, that was really a Zia-like behavior.
However, Zia Batsand was also a knight. Not minding the blood that was flowing down her cheek, and with a knight-like behavior,
“Your Excellency the Earl. For Your Excellency, I⎯⎯⎯.”
She shut her mouth with a Zia-like behavior.
It seemed the Earl was brimming with the desire to ask why Zia had come here, but I could tell why she didn’t because of the fact that the venom in the Silver Lion Earl’s voice had dissipated. With a tired expression, the Earl pressed on her temple with her hand for a while.
“If I were to say it, then.”
The Silver Lion Earl spoke as if she were fed up.
“Mr. Yujin. Certainly, as you said, it was a lie when I stated that the reason why I cut off Mikatni’s adopted daughter’s arm was because I wanted to find your weakness. If I wanted to do that, then I would have done it while you were here. Also, without needing to even do that, there are things in the world which you don’t have to even confirm. If I just summon a Korean and threaten you, even if it’s not a Korean, if I summon something that looks like a Korean and threaten you with them, it’s possible to make you move if I summon any intelligent life form and use them as blackmail. The question is.”
Now then, Mr. Yujin, here’s a question, the Silver Lion Earl continued.
“I, thought of something fun, I tell you. Handing you the knife, you cut them, I tell you. I’ll be watching, I tell you. And if you don’t, then I’ll cut off Mikatni’s adopted daughter’s other arm, I tell you. Can you do it?”
“I, thought of something fun, I tell you. Give me the names of five people, I tell you. Five people from your world, I tell you. The people you cherish, are intimate with, and feel affection for, I tell you. Can you tell me them?”
Zia raised her head.
“Your Excellency, you shouldn’t do······.”
“I said to shut up.”
Zia lowered her head.
“I can do it and I can say it.”
The Silver Lion Earl gazed at me. I spoke.
“I’ll do it. Although I don’t like stimulating things. If I can prevent Sii’s arm from being cut off by torturing that creature until your mood is better, then I’ll do it. Afterwards, I’ll probably search for a way to heal that creature and send them back home. Furthermore, I’ll say it. Even if you summon those 5 people, it’ll be fine as long as I can protect them.”
“Mm hm. So you’re saying it’s possible. That you can even shoulder them. Your reason being because you can still restore them back to normal. However, Mr. Yujin, there are actions in the world that can’t be undone. What if I tell you to not cut, but to kill them? You’re going to kill that precious person the moment I summon them, what if I tell you this? Mr. Yujin.”
“Can you say it?”
“Can you still, say that Han Yujin is the Silver Lion Earl’s possession?”
With her arms behind her back, the Silver Lion Earl lowered her back. Without even glancing at the panicking Zia, the Silver Lion Earl turned her head.
“Can you still, say that I’m human?”
“This, will continue.”
The Silver Lion Earl released the steel wires and snapped her fingers. The insect creature who was being tortured had their summon canceled and vanished.
It would have been great if it had returned to its own world, but I was aware that that wasn’t the case. As the Silver Lion Earl had said, this will continue. There was no way to know whether it would happen sometime in the future or within the next few seconds. The moment when the continuation of this situation isn’t an assumption and ends up being actually carried out, will occur.
“I only do the things that I can do.”
“I’ll make it so that I can say it.”
The Silver Lion Earl placed one hand against her mouth.
“Ah hah hah hah ha.”
Grabbed her stomach with her other hand.
“Ah hah ha ha ha ha ha ha hah ah hah ah ha ha ha ah hah hah ha ha ha ha hah ah hah hah hah hah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.”
It abruptly stopped.
The Silver Lion Earl dragged Zia and left. Having been left by myself in the torture room, I motionlessly stared at the closed door.
TL note: That’s 3 chapters in one week. I think I’m going to die. I know the chapters are shorter, but uploading 3 short chapters takes more effort than uploading a single long chapter. This is mainly because of the multiple editing processes. In any case, everything has been incredibly stressful for me this week, so translating this chapter really felt like Hell since nothing sounded right in my head. (There’s also those people who were nitpicking rather trivial things about my translations, but let’s not worry about that).
Anyway, I probably need to get some rest, but I’ll bear with it for now. I’ll most likely completely finish volume 2 next week, so I’ll take my rest after that.