Chapter 20 “Consciousness”
Lilynette – the one who had been – let out a loud laugh.
She…or rather “he” was from a special family.
The family had many long-lived members, and their race was not unified.
There were elves, goblins, dwarves, and other subraces.
There were even some strange kinds of magical beasts.
Their characteristics include an unusually low birth rate and the ability to use a special kind of magic.
This is a magic that swaps the body of the target.
The condition for activation is eye contact at close range.
If the target is too far away, it will be ineffective, and the magic power will be drained from the target.
This time, I was lucky that my opponent let his guard down.
I am lucky after all.
I was a Lilynette Acothern who had made a big mistake in a previous job and used her body as a cover, but I liked it because it was easy to move around and I had a good position.
My parents believed in her, which was convenient for me.
The fact that she was young was also a big plus.
If I wanted to enter someone, I would rather be a young girl than an old man.
After that, the management and groundwork for the branch in this city should have been completed to some extent…but the target this time, Rothfeldt, has killed a lot of our members.
I had to start all over again to gather my subordinates.
It was a particularly painful loss that the brothers Shudhuri and Sudri were killed.
The two were not only skilled in combat, but also in many other areas, such as leadership of subordinates and drug dealing, making it difficult to find replacements.
But…now that I have this body.
It is possible to turn back the clock.
Special abilities and physical capabilities that defy the difference in skills.
Perhaps not human, but if it looks human, it doesn't matter.
Lilynette's body did not have such high potential in the first place.
She was used only to solidify the ground, and although she was trained, her abilities were not as good as they could be.
This new body is not at the bottom of its capabilities.
Taking away the body means you can even take away its memories and experiences.
If one remembers the experience of the body, it will be easier to use it and even master it.
We're going to be friends for a long time.
Tell me about yourself.
Let's check your memories and take control of your body.
But first, I'm going to ask Rothfeldt what he thinks of Lilynette's body.
I'm looking forward to seeing that margin of error erased.
I'm going to try to knock him out and bring him back to consciousness…
and do it…?
I can't move my body…? What's going on?
…Hey, what is it!?
I hear a voice from inside my head.
And this voice…
–That's why what's on the inside doesn't match what's on the outside.
…How did you prevent my soul from transferring!
As long as I'm in this body, I must have replaced it.
Then who is in Lilynette's body…
–I didn't prevent it.
You just came into my belly on your own.
In the belly?
Before I could even comprehend those words, an abnormality struck me.
My consciousness was fading fast.
It was like a sleep demon, and my existence was fading at an irresistible rate.
It was fear.
It was the first fear of annihilation I have ever felt in this world.
–It was not annihilation.
It was digestion.
The voice echoed as if it read my thoughts.
–I told you earlier, didn't I? You're in my belly.
…In the belly!? What the hell did you just say?
–I was caught off guard when I walked in, but I learned a good lesson.
The voice ignores me and continues.
You can die now.
With that voice, my consciousness melted away.
I look at Lilynette's body lying at my feet.
It seems that he is a spirit that has taken over Lilynette's body and is still alive.
I wonder if he had grown up and grown into a real being by taking over Lilynette's body.
In doing so, he had taken away her memories and experiences to grow and develop his own abilities.
…He's totally my kind of guy, isn't he?
He was magical, I was more direct, but what we were doing was almost the same.
That's why our looks don't match what's on the inside.
We've always been able to swap bodies when things got bad, but this time the person he moved to was a bad choice.
When he moved to me, for some reason I didn't switch, I just felt a foreign object.
As soon as it entered my body, it started screaming, so it was easy to detect it, and all I had to do was to be aware of it and digest it.
The memories and other information entered on their own, so I was able to get the information I wanted to know, and my objective was achieved.
As a result, I have nothing to say.
The rest is…
this woman's body.
She is breathing, but as long as the contents are missing, she will probably remain bedridden.
I feel sorry for Hoffer…but no, the real Lilynette is dead.
Is it better that it happened this way?
While I was wondering how to explain, Lilynette let out a shallow breath.
Slowly, she opened her eyes and began to try to get up.
Hey, hey, hey.
I thought you were a shell.
Yeah, I got it.
You made it back just in time.
I'm gonna pick up Makana.
Since eye contact is required, blowing his head off would kill him.
“What happened to me…”
Something is wrong with them.
It looks like a different person.
…let's just check it out.
Lilynette looks at me and her eyes widen in surprise.
What is this reaction? It's too real to be an act.
“Hey, you!? What's going on! What's happening to me!?”
She stood up quickly and grabbed me.
”What are you? Why are you with me?”
I popped him on the forehead with my finger because he was being so noisy.
First of all, I had to make sure.
I have a bad feeling about this.
”I'm sorry to confuse you, but can you tell me your name first?”
”……My, my name is…”
Biting his lips, as if he were trying to remember, he said his name.
“I am Rothfeld.
I am the Rothfeldt Oratorium.”
That he had taken the body of my daughter and was living as her?”
We decided to rearrange the conversation and to take care of Hoffer, who was frozen in his office, and we moved the place to the reception room on the first floor.
The stairs were broken, so it was difficult to get down, but we managed.
Hoffer talked to the people in the mansion and sent them away.
We all sat down on the sofa and talked.
“Yes, your daughter is already dead”.
”Then they tried to take your body and failed.
Somehow, she's got the old you in her.”
”I'm not sure I understand this old you…”
Hoffer looks at the one who used to be his daughter sitting next to him.
”I was killed a while ago and then revived…”
For the time being, the two of us were miraculously revived at the time of our deaths, and the persona that was born at that time was me.
I explained to them that the person who was born at that time was me, and the person who was replaced this time was the original me.
I'm sure they wouldn't understand if I told them I was reincarnated in another world, so I'd like to keep my constitution as secret as possible.
As it stands, it's not known.
I want to take advantage of the benefits of keeping it under wraps.
It's the only reason I've been able to win.
”Wait a minute.
Does that mean I have to live like this?”
Lili…no, Rothfeldt looks at me with an expression more like she is about to cry than bewildered and clutches at her eyes.
I'm sorry, but I'm not going to give you this body back.
”Don't be so sure.”
I busted out.
“If this continues, the Oratorium territory will not be able to accept the people returning from Liard…”
What is this guy saying?
That's long over and done with.
”Oratorium…? Are you the lord of Oratorium?”
Oh, Hoffer picked up the story.
Oh, by the way, what's going on with Oratorium now?
I wasn't interested, so I didn't gather any information at all.
Hoffer is looking at Rothfeldt with a kind of complicated face.
After all, it's not every day you get to talk to a stranger with your daughter's face on after hearing that your daughter has turned into a different person.
I don't really know what's going on right now, either.
I think I ended up in my office at home, drinking tea, and then…no.
I can't remember.”
The tea was poisoned.
That's how you died.”
Rothfeldt's eyes widen.
”You were dumped in the wilderness near goblin territory afterwards.
That's where I switched places with you.”
”Wait a minute.
If my drink is poisoned, that means it was done by…”
”As you might have guessed, it was Zubel, the butler-in-chief.
Oh, and by the way, the client is Zubel, too.”
Why would that Zubel do this to me?”
Wow, he still believes him?
What is this guy? How much of a happy-go-lucky guy is this guy?
”No, think about it calmly.
It was Zubel who created the whole situation. And if you include the story of the cession of territory to Liard, you see what I'm talking about, don't you? Laird and Zubel set you up.”
Rothfeldt opened and closed his mouth as he recognized the facts…
and then he dropped his head.
I urge Hoffer to continue.
'Oh, ah, I haven't heard that much detail myself, but I'm told that the lord is currently recuperating and that his fiancée, Laird's daughter, is managing the place on an interim basis.
I guess they'll just assume he died of illness and take over after a suitable amount of time has passed.
Or she could be replaced by a token marriage before that.
This reminds me of Rothfeldt's fiancée from memory.
Fatima Rose Liard.
She was a beautiful girl in a different vector from Lillinette.
Cool sounds good, but I can't help but notice those eyes that don't show the same amount of heat.
I think she's beautiful, but she's not my kind of girl.
Rothfeldt, congratulations, interpreted her lack of speech as shyness and good-naturedness.
I'm sure our memories are the same, but maybe he and I see things differently.
”…Fatima…how could she do this to me?”
Rothfeldt mutters with his face down.
”I don't know.
If you want to know, why don't you ask her?”
”How could I possibly meet her like this?”
He was silent again.
I don't have anything special to do with him, and I've given him the information.
The rest would take care of itself.
”Now it's time to settle this.
What do you want with me?”
I've been on a rampage, and I even killed his servant.
I don't think there's nothing to it.
I'm willing to take the punishment that comes with it.
Hoffer looked at me and let out a heavy sigh.
You've done a lot of damage to the mansion, but thanks to you, my family's problems have been taken care of.
Now that the head is gone, the hunter will disappear.”
”Maybe another head will come, you know?”
”Maybe so, but at least we have a reprieve.
I'll use this time to think of a countermeasure.
If you promise not to mention this to anyone, I'll bring this matter to my grave.”
What are you going to do? He speaks to me with his eyes.
He'll just shut his mouth and pretend it never happened, that's a good deal.
I don't even have to think about it.
I'm not going to tell anyone about what happened here.
I didn't come here.
Is that clear?”
”Yeah, you do that.”
”We have a deal.
Then I'd better get going.”
We've done our business, and there's no point in staying here.
”What are you going to do now?”
”Oratory and liard for now.”
”You're not going to run away?”
”I'm not sure I can.”
”I can't help you, but you take care.”
I was about to sit up to leave the room when…
”Wait a minute.”
Rothfeldt, who had remained silent, stopped me.
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