"There are some things in this world that are permissible and others that are not."
-Each person must decide for themselves what they're willing to let slide.
AUTHOR: Rudeus GREYRAT
TRANSLATION: Jean Rf MAGOTT
Time marches forward all too quickly. It has already been half a year since those chaotic events in Asura Kingdom transpired. I’m twenty now, which means my little sisters will soon be fourteen.
I have continued to train myself while attending to any work Orsted gives me. Orsted knows nearly everything there is to know, yet he’s not the best instructor. I guess he doesn’t have the knack for teaching others. On top of that, he refuses to use his mana so he can’t demonstrate anything for me, either. He’ll teach me the incantation and some tricks for using the spells he’s sharing with me, but—and perhaps this is because he’s a genius so everything comes naturally to him—most of it doesn’t make much sense to me at all.
I’m sure part of the problem is that I’m not a very good student. You can’t show me one small part of an equation and expect me to come up with the rest on my own. I’m not that brilliant. My memories from my previous life do help me figure out some stuff quickly, but they’re pretty much useless when it comes to learning Saint-tier or King-tier spells.
For instance, let’s take a look at Flashover, a Saint-tier fire spell that ignites a vast area in an instant. I thought it was like the spell Sizzle in Dragon Quest, using light to produce heat. Alas, my intuition was off the mark. Although I cobbled together something similar enough, Orsted responded to my attempts by cocking his head in puzzlement.
Spells aren’t the only thing Orsted taught me. He’s also shared knowledge, especially that pertaining to fighting against other mages or swordsmen from various schools of swordsmanship. For instance, since the Sword God Style involves the user moving in Pattern A, I should watch out for those and use Strategy B to combat them. If I’m up against a mage proficient in fire magic, they’ll likely mostly use Coordination C and Combined Magic D against me, so I should try to combat those types of spells. And, should I find myself up against a swordsman and a mage, then I should use Counter Technique E.
Now that I think about it, he basically taught me combat strategies.
Given my high offensive power, the plethora of spells at my disposal, and the Eye of Foresight, Orsted says my best bet is throwing my enemy off-balance and cornering them, cutting off their options before landing my final blow. That’s basically how I’ve been fighting so far, but I think being self-aware makes the biggest difference.
I’ve been employing this strategy during practice battles against Eris and on the occasions I teach Sylphie, Norn, and Aisha, just to ensure it’s completely ingrained. Thanks to those efforts, my magic has improved immensely: my wind and fire magic is now Saint-tier, as is my healing and detoxification magic, while my divine magic is Intermediate-tier. That’s a pretty big jump in only a year.
That said, I still can’t quite draw magic circles, and I haven’t really touched summoning magic. There’s a lot on my to-do list. I may already know a lot of magic, but I can’t rest on my laurels; I’ve gotta keep working at it. At least I have grown a little stronger for now.
My work with Orsted has been going well, perhaps thanks in part to my training. But I haven’t really done anything big since the matter with Asura Kingdom. It’s small stuff like, “Go to this labyrinth and help this adventurer lost inside it,” and, “Go save this merchant who’s about to be eaten alive by monsters,” and, “Go visit this company and purchase this boy who’s become a slave, then sell him off here.”
They’re mostly menial tasks consisting of helping people out, but I’ve put all my effort into them. These will apparently be of use to Orsted in the future. For example, take the dwarven thief I saved the other day named Tal-Chi. She’s not personally useful herself, but her son will be the future leader of the Assassins’ Guild. He’ll eventually assassinate someone that would otherwise become a thorn in Orsted’s side. Of course, it would be no trouble for Orsted to kill this person directly if they got in his way, but by orchestrating things in advance, he saves himself precious time and mana. Simply put, changing the past means less trouble in the future.
In all of this, the key to victory rests in Orsted’s condition when he finally confronts the Man-God. Having lived through numerous time loops, Orsted already knows what certain people can accomplish if saved from an otherwise untimely demise. Ensuring the safety of those who will do things in his favor will allow him to operate efficiently in the coming generations. In game terms, it’s basically controlling variables and fulfilling prerequisites, but in this case, it involves making the right acquaintances.
Anyway, Orsted generally doesn’t help out with what I do. He’s working on other stuff elsewhere. Setting up things that only he can set up.
The Man-God hasn’t interfered much. Or, I should say, he hasn’t at all during my solo work. He has been trying to get in the way of what Orsted is doing, which must mean that’s far more of a threat to him. In fact, during the times I worked together with Orsted, one or two of the Man-God’s apostles have made an appearance in the process. The weird thing is that they’ve never come in threes, so perhaps he’s got a third person doing something else in the background.
That makes me nervous, given we have no way to make sure. I have to wonder if we’re doing enough. Should we not be finding some way to attack the Man-God directly?
When I asked Orsted about it, he simply shook his head. “According to your diary, the future he was really trying to change hasn’t yet come to pass,” he said.
Guess that means we’ve gotta keep up with our preparations until then.
As for the future the Man-God is trying to change, I suspect our next big showdown will involve Cliff. According to my future diary, I let him die. I suspect the Man-God was involved with that, though I have no way of confirming that. It doesn’t help that Orsted won’t share most of the essential details with me.
At any rate, that’s how it’s been going. I work for a month, go into the office to make my report, then spend two or three days with my family and friends. I have about five to ten days of rest—which I spend training—before the next job comes in. That’s pretty much how my life has been for a while now.
Oh yeah, speaking of work… I’ve finally carried out some of the plans I’ve made. The first of them pertains to my workspace. We’d been using the little cottage on the outskirts of Sharia where we first built my Magic Armor, but it wouldn’t meet the long-term needs of our headquarters, so I had it remodeled. It’s still a one-story house, but there’s now a nap room, a meeting room, and a reference room. This allows for overnights if needed and makes it easier for us to have strategy meetings. Of course, it makes me a little anxious leaving records of our meetings and plans there, but on the other hand, there’s way too much information for me to remember it all. Such as when so-and-so from such-and-such place will do such-and-such thing, and who, if allowed to live, will have such-and-such impact on the future.
I also made an armory not far from the cottage itself, where I store any magic items or implements, as well as my Magic Armor. (Speaking of which, we managed to make a smaller version of my Magic Armor, but I’ll spare you the details.) With the amount of stuff I’ve got stowed there, a thief would be set for life if they stole it all and sold it. Since I’m the only one who uses the inventory, I’ve sealed the door with earth magic to guard against the chance that someone might swipe it all. Orsted might not have any use for the stuff in there, but since it’s still technically office supplies, I gotta make sure it’s taken care of. It makes me wish I had someone to look after it all.
That said, these aren’t the only changes I made; our central work office is actually in the basement of the cottage. Using earth magic, I’ve created a huge space almost like a labyrinth. The place is split into twenty-three rooms, each with its own teleportation circle. Each one will take you to major locations across the world…eventually, anyway. Only five of the circles have been properly activated, meaning the only places we travel to are Asura Kingdom, the Holy Country of Millis, the Great Forest, the King Dragon Realm, and the southern part of the Demon Continent.
We only have these five because we have to set up a connecting teleportation circle on the other side. And unfortunately, Orsted doesn’t really visit the sort of deserted locations that would be ideal for our purposes; crowded places make it a bit difficult to set up teleportation circles. Hence the reason we don’t have more than five, though we do plan to expand in the future.
All right, Paul. I’m sure my work talk only bored you to tears, and you probably don’t want to hear any more of it. Let’s get to what you’ve actually been waiting for and talk about your kids and grandkids.
We’ll start off with my oldest daughter, Lucie Greyrat. Lucie is growing steadily. She just celebrated her third birthday the other day. She’s gotten better at walking and totters about the house. She’s learned quite a bit of vocabulary and likes to speak in a loud voice—thanks in part, I’d bet, to Eris—so our house is quite lively.
It seems Sylphie has been teaching her the Human Tongue and magic lately. Only three and she’s already receiving the kind of special education usually reserved for gifted children. I guess Sylphie will be a teacher-mom. If she puts on some triangular glasses, my little lessons with her at night might heat up, too.
Anyway. Back to Lucie. I guess I haven’t spent that much time with her, so sometimes when I come home, she stares blankly at me like she has no idea who I am. It’s super disheartening. Thankfully, Sylphie always says, “That’s Daddy. Say hi.” And she’ll respond, “Welcome home, Daddy.” She is so ridiculously adorable I could just eat her up. But immediately after she’s greeted me, she gets this look like she doesn’t know what a daddy is, then hides behind Sylphie.
It’s heartbreaking. She’ll never respect me as her father at this rate. I know this is the path I chose, but that doesn’t make it any less depressing.
But while we’re on the topic of Lucie, I did take her to meet Orsted once. I was curious as to whether his curse would work on her—whether what the Man-God said was true or not.
In short: his curse doesn’t work on her. In fact, the moment she saw him, her eyes lit up. She stretched her tiny hands toward his silver hair and shouted, “Daddy! Daddy!” As if she legitimately thought he was her real father. I honestly considered killing Orsted at that point.
Just kidding! Sorry. I swear I didn’t feel that murderously toward him. But, you know…it kinda annoyed me, that’s all.
Maybe it’s because Sylphie has white hair, so Lucie assumed Orsted must be family since his hair was a similar color. I taught her his name, which she then promptly repeated as, “Orstay? Orstay!” How sweet. Perfectly native pronunciation, if I do say so myself.
As I watched sourly, Orsted let Lucie ride on his shoulders. She was gripping his hair tight enough that I worried she might rip it right out, so I scolded her. “It’s not good to pull people’s hair,” I said.
Amusingly—or perhaps interestingly—enough, Orsted replied, “It’s not an issue. Something this trivial won’t even begin to affect my Dragon Saint Battle Aura.” He seemed rather happy that our Lucie took such a liking to him. And how could he not be? She’s insanely cute.
Anyway, what the Man-God said seemed even more believable now. The part about my descendants working with Orsted to defeat him, I mean. When I brought that up to Orsted, he glared at me with a terrifying expression and said, “Don’t trust what the Man-God says.”
Of course I don’t trust everything he says, but I also sense that there’s some truth in there. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.
Lately, I’ve gotten better at reading Orsted’s moods. He’s in a super good mood when he plays around with Lucie. He apparently finds anyone who becomes attached to him endearing. On top of that, I’m sure he’s happy to encounter something new after going through the same time loops over and over. I can only imagine how he must be feeling after the number of loops he’s been through. As his subordinate, I want to help ensure he finds each day as entertaining as the last.
Whoops, guess I got off track again. Well, while we’re on the topic of children, Roxy gave birth. There was a blizzard that day. The renovations on our office weren’t yet complete then, so after I’d fulfilled my mission and returned to the cottage, I found Orsted waiting for me. This was something he did on occasion. The cottage had only one room at that point so there was nowhere else for him to go, really, and getting new orders and reporting on previous work was kind of a combo deal. So when he finished his own work, he would often wait around at the cottage until it was time to move on to the next step.
Anyway, that day I’d intended to start my report as usual when he suddenly said, “Isn’t it about time?”
Those were the first words out of his mouth. I knew what he meant; it was obvious enough. I had been anxious the entire job wondering when it would happen. I never dreamed, of course, that Orsted would bring it up. But like anyone else, I’m only human.
“You can report to me later,” he told me.
I agreed and quickly left the cottage, charging through the drifts like a snowplow as I hurried home. I came home to find Roxy ready to go into labor at any time. If I’d returned home even two days later, I would have missed the birth altogether.
“Oh, Rudy… Are you sure I’ll be able to do this? Will I really be able to deliver this baby?” Roxy had asked me.
Poor thing. She was at her wits’ end by the time I made it back. Her face was white as a sheet as she repeated the words, “Will this be okay? Maybe I can’t actually do it.” She never let go of my hand. It made me wonder if Zenith—Mom, I mean—had reacted the same way when she gave birth to me. At the time, all I could think was, Roxy sure is a worrywart.
Unfortunately for me, Roxy’s worries were not misplaced. The birth wasn’t an easy one. The baby’s shoulders got stuck in the birth canal. What they call shoulder dystocia, I guess. No idea what the cause was. Maybe it was because Roxy is so petite. As a Migurd woman, she was more than old enough to bear children, but having a half-human child meant it was larger than a normal Migurd baby. For her, it was probably similar to someone giving birth at a young age. Regardless, it was highly likely that my genes were the culprit here.
Fortunately it didn’t lead to any danger for the mother or baby. Lilia’s hands were well-practiced by this point, and Aisha was ever the genius. They had the added help of a doctor and midwife, thanks to me rushing out and snowplowing to a clinic and back. Our party setup was not lacking for this adventure for sure. Aisha had some experience helping with Lucie’s birth, so she was extremely calm throughout the affair. It went relatively smoothly with no one making any mistakes or anything else going wrong. Thus, Roxy was able to give birth without a C-section, and both she and the baby made it out alive.
The new baby was another girl, a bit bigger than Lucie had been as a baby. I wouldn’t call her chunky, but she did have a brazen look on her face. Wonder who she could’ve gotten that from…
“Her eyes look just like Roxy’s, but her mouth is more like Rudy’s,” Sylphie had said.
Her impertinent face was apparently a mix of ours. Well, it would be weird if it wasn’t, considering she was our child.
“We agreed on Lara if it was a girl, right?”
And so, my daughter was named Lara Greyrat.
I didn’t notice until a little after she was born, but she has Roxy’s hair color. A beautiful blue. One that characterizes the Migurds, you might even say.
Roxy and Sylphie had complicated feelings on the matter. At first, I didn’t understand what bothered them so much about it. I thought Roxy’s hair was beautiful. Plus, Lara was a girl. I had no doubt she’d grow up to be adorable too.
However, Sylphie reminded me that having a unique hair color would give kids plenty of ammunition to bully her. There are plenty of non-human races living in Sharia, but the majority of the population is still human. Naturally, the less human you look, the more likely you’d get picked on for it. Would Lara’s blue hair that she’d inherited from Roxy be a curse? Would she be bullied for it? It was too soon to know, but as her father, I intended to keep an eye on it.
This is a bit of a digression, but Elinalise also gave birth around the same time as Roxy. Given her experience, she had no trouble popping her baby out. One day Cliff was telling me she should go into labor any day now; the next time I saw her, she was cradling a baby in her arms and was back to her usual slender form. Guess that’s what happens when you’re a child-birthing veteran. She’s probably been through a hundred births by now.
At any rate, the Grimors’ first child was a boy they named Clive. As I looked at him, Elinalise excitedly gushed, “I gave birth to an heir!”
An heir, huh. Personally, I don’t think the heir of a family needs to be a boy. If either Lucie or Lara expressed interest in continuing my job helping Orsted, I wouldn’t try to stop them. His curse didn’t seem to work on them anyway.
Alas, Elinalise’s words managed to provoke one person: Eris. She’d been working with me at that point. A temp employee working collaboratively with Orsted’s company, I guess you could say. She’d stay by my side, take the vanguard in battle, and mow down anyone who stood in our way. However, upon hearing what Elinalise said, she began having her way with me more often, even in the middle of work, as if to say, “It’s my turn next!”
We were going at it often enough that getting pregnant shouldn’t have been a problem for her. In fact, given how active our sex life was, it’d be weirder if she didn’t fall pregnant. Each time she’d push me to the ground and like a helpless maiden, I’d—okay, yeah, I’ll spare you the gory details.
Anyway, whether through bad luck or something else, Eris wasn’t having any luck getting pregnant. Naturally, that made her anxious. I noticed her consulting Sylphie night after night when we were back home. She apparently didn’t want me to know how concerned she was because she kept the intricate details from me. Though, I did hear her say one thing that did terrify me.
“I wonder if we should be going at it more often…”
Eris was already draining me of all I was worth; any more and she’d shrivel me like a prune. Nonetheless, it is the husband’s duty to soothe his wife’s concerns, so I gave it everything I had. I started using the calendar method (or the Ogino Method as it’s known in Japan, which involves keeping track of a woman’s menstrual cycle), being more careful of what I ate, and keeping training to a minimum. I tried all sorts of things.
Okay, leaving aside my excuse that I was trying to allay her worries, I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t turned on by the whole thing.
I’d heard that that at one point Zenith had been concerned because she wasn’t able to get pregnant, either. I wonder if you did stuff like this to try to reassure her. I do remember the two of you going at it every night like animals. That was how Norn was conceived, after all.
Speaking of which, Norn is in good spirits and still attending school. Enough about her, though. Thanks to my efforts, Eris finally managed to get pregnant. It happened approximately a month after I made her cut back on all her training. Apparently the source of her struggle was the intense training she was doing every day. Jumping, hopping, punching, kicking: you name it, she was doing it. Babies are normally pretty resilient, enough that a person can still get pregnant even if they’re working out, but in Eris’s case, the frequency and intensity of her exercise was twice or more than what any normal human being would do. It was quite likely that fertilization was taking place but the embryos couldn’t implant because of all her rigorous activity.
That brought an end to her temporary employment. She could no longer accompany me for work, but she seemed satisfied nonetheless, grinning proudly and snickering as she rubbed her swollen belly. As someone who’d known her since childhood, it filled me with emotion to see her like this. She had grown into such an awe-inspiring woman. Philip and Sauros—rest their souls—must be weeping for joy in their graves.
Incidentally, confirmation of her pregnancy only happened about a month prior to me penning these words to you. Right now, Eris is in the fourth month of her pregnancy. She’s been pretty well-behaved lately, perhaps in part because of morning sickness. By the time I finish my next job and get back home, I guess she’ll be in her fifth month.
Part of me worries that she’ll return to her intense workouts once she’s gotten used to pregnancy. I sent a letter to Ghislaine asking for advice since she’s the only other person who has known Eris for as long as I have. I figured she might know how to convince Eris to cool it until her pregnancy is over.
Ghislaine must be having it rough, too. Namely because the king, who’d long been bedridden with illness, finally passed away. Ariel will soon be taking the throne. First Prince Grabel seems to be putting up one final struggle, but he’s hardly a formidable foe at this point. There’s no chance that Ariel will lose this fight. As she informed me, Ariel will probably need to spend the next two or three years fighting to secure her seat, so Ghislaine will have plenty to do as her bodyguard in the meantime.
If for any reason we head out toward Asura Kingdom after Eris gives birth, I’d like to pay all of them a visit.
While we’re discussing Eris, it seems like she’s only given thought to what we’ll name our baby if it’s a boy. For that reason, I decided to come up with a girl’s name on my own. I don’t care what gender the child will be; I’ll be happy as long as she safely gives birth and has a healthy baby. That’s all I care about—the safety of the mother and child.
Honestly, between work, training, and hanging around the house, my days are pretty fulfilling. Granted, I don’t have a whole lot of time to spend with my kids, but otherwise things are good.
Finally, I’d like to talk about Zenith’s mental state. There’s still no sign of her regaining her memories. She was making progress with her emotions, but that progress stalled at some point. She basically can’t speak whatsoever. I tried brainstorming with Orsted for solutions, but he doesn’t seem to know how to help her, either. And if it’s a mystery to him of all people, maybe that means there isn’t a way to help her at all.
That said, he did tell me that in all the loops he’s been through, this is the first time he’s ever seen her become disabled like this. So perhaps there is some solution out there he simply isn’t aware of—some magic item that can cure her. I’d prefer to not give up and keep looking for a cure, but I think my only choice is to prepare to be in it for the long haul.
Father, remember how you scolded me when we were in the Holy Country of Millis? You were upset that I was preoccupying myself with another woman and leaving Mother to fend for herself. I don’t mean for that to be the case this time, but I hope you’ll forgive me for not prioritizing her recovery more.
I’d like to continue doing the best I can.
With a thud, I shut my diary. I had written it like a letter—one I would never send to anyone. There were days where writing like this hardened my resolve, and that resolve meant plenty of motivation to get me moving.
“All right, guess it’s time to go.”
Eager to greet the day, I stood up and started toward a magic circle. Thus began another day of work.