After we have walked through the forest for a considerable amount of time, my vision turned sepia again. I wasn’t trying to do it, nor did I have any feelings before it happened. It just randomly occurred. However, I do recall that onee-sama said that this might be a Martial Practice which was created due to focusing on my ‘reading intent’ talents.
However, there are two things I am certain of. The first is that eventually, I will end up back here, the moment my vision changed colours. The second: That this ability is incredibly useful given my claims. Of course, there is also one bonus: I can do whatever I want, and no-one will know about it.
Haha, just kidding. Although people might not remember anything, even during this vision, I have confidence that they would still be able to stop me doing anything. Thus, all that I can do is gather information. The word for that… Reconnaissance, isn’t it? Anyway, it’s important to use this time effectively…
“Everyone, time for a break!”
We may still be in the forest, but we are nearing the edge which leads back to the path, according to what Zynthia said a little while ago. We are quite safe for now, and I need to talk to onee-sama… she might know what the best use of this time might be…
Therefore, while everyone else is taking a break, I’ll talk to onee-sama honestly, without the facade taking precedent. As long as we don’t get caught, it should be okay. Well, even if we were, I think it will reset just like before? I’ll just hope that is the case.
Anyway, time to get to onee-sama and have a secret conversation… to do so, I’m going to need to avoid everybody else, as well as ensure that we’re in a private location. Well, the first part isn’t too hard, as they are all frantically preparing food for themselves. Even Cindy seems to be hungry, as she isn’t staring at me with suspicion like usual. It’s convenient for me, so I’m not complaining.
So, onee-sama… Ah, she’s over beside Yuuki. She’s a distance away from all the merchants, but still in their general direction. How do I get her and myself away from this group without arousing suspicion, huh? I’ll just signal for onee-sama to come over here with my hands, I guess. There’s not much else I can do…
As I gesture towards her, onee-sama finally realises I am telling her to come to me. I wonder if she has any sneaking abilities? Wait, doesn’t Yuuki have that wall magic? She used it when we were eight, so surely she still has it, right? In fact, she probably has other magic which can be utilised for our exact purpose.
Ah, while I was thinking about that, onee-sama and Yuuki have both come over. It’s odd. The merchants have not noticed anything strange even though Yuuki and onee-sama are meant to be keeping their distance from me. … Cindy started napping after a small snack. It appears that she has been overworking herself with monitoring me. I don’t see why, though. It’s not that hard to keep an eye on me.
“Yuuki’s using a concealment magic which makes it seem like we’re all located where we were at the time Yuuki activated it; if that’s what you’re thinking about. Stop getting distracted by every little thing.”
With the knowledge that Yuuki’s magic protects us, I take off my mask. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been without it, so it’s a nice change of pace.
“Whatever. Why did you want us over here, anyway? It’s not like anything’s suspected, is it?”
“Uh, no. My ability… The sepia sight has returned.”
“Hmph. I can’t see anything different, so what makes you so sure?”
Ahhh…. I’m not too sure as to where to proceed from here. I have them over here, and I am completely sure that it is occurring, yet… How am I meant to prove it? I can’t think of a way which would be able to. I really should have thought of this earlier, huh? It’s a mistake only to think a little bit ahead. Although I thought that it would be good to organise plans with onee-sama – if I can’t make her believe me… those thoughts would be useless.
“Anyone there? You’ve gotten distracted again, haven’t you?”
“No! I was just thinking about what I could do to convince you that I wasn’t lying!”
After I had said has such, onee-sama began laughing.
“Hahaha, you really are something, aren’t you? You are basically awful at everything, but when it comes down to it, you still try and think your way out of a problem… then manage to still screw up, don’t you? Seriously… Fine, I’ll believe you this time.”
Huh? What is she saying… and why does she find this funny? Eh, does it matter? If she says she’ll believe me, she’ll believe me. She might be hostile towards me a lot of the time, but it seems it’s in good faith these days, huh? I’ve never noticed before…
“… Thank you.”
“I wouldn’t thank me yet… If what you’re saying is true, I am going to be sending you through hell.”
Eh? Sending me through hell? What is onee-sama talking about?!
“What do you mean…?”
“It seems that your skills are mainly associated with intent. Therefore, to hone the unique Martial Practice you are using right now, we’re going to try and improve your ability to read intent further. Get ready.”
Uh oh. The pressure that onee-sama was giving me just changed from ‘practically nothing’ to ‘I wanna go cry in a ball”. It appears when she said she’d be sending me through hell, it meant that she’d be beating me up… probably because it won’t affect anything after the skill wears off?
Alright… She’s trying to punch me with her right hand, is it? Fine.
Reading that, I try and sidestep and then-
I get a kick right to the stomach, which knocks me down and I’m now lying on the ground, facing the sky. Onee-sama got me good this time, didn’t she? It appears that she changed her intent at the last second from ‘knock him out’ to ‘knock him down’. The two are very similar to me, so I got tricked. Well played.
Wait, why am I thinking as if it’s over?! This is onee-sama talking, and she’d said she’d send me through hell… I should move…
Too late… Onee-sama took advantage of my delay and ran up to me, and is now holding me down… Uhh… The position we are in now feels quite odd.
Right now, onee-sama has her legs over my stomach… and is looking at my face. It seems as though the internet she’s giving off now is ‘I’m going to bruise his face for good’. So long, semi-decent face. It was nice knowing you!
I close my eyes I brace for the pain that I’ve been expecting for a long time –
I feel an odd sensation on my lips. Uhh… what? No, no, no, no. This situation just isn’t right. Surely I’m dreaming, right?! Well, I guess technically I am, but still! What the hell just happened?? Goddess, are you around?! I just don’t understand.
Given what just happened, I haven’t opened my eyes yet… I am not prepared for what I may see. Imagine the face of onee-sama with pinkish cheeks… I refuse! Onee-sama is a strictly all-business type. With tsundere tendencies! She wouldn’t do something like this, at least, not this early in the game… There’s at least another six months of bashing left, isn’t there? Oh wait, that’s just stuff out of my fantasies.
The real thing is – Onee-sama would never kiss me!
“Who are you, really!?”
“… Open your eyes.”
I follow onee-sama’s commands and in front of me…
It’s still onee-sama.
“It’s just training, so don’t read into it. Seriously, do you have mud for brains?”
For someone who has access to so many memories of past lives, I’m beginning there is something more to reincarnation than simply ‘you are reborn in a new world’. It feels as though your mentality restarts with it… Then again, I’ve never been one who is good at relationships. Just look at how I proposed to that goddess… I guess, either way, I could be considered someone who isn’t very intelligent.
“Well, whatever. Get up. We’re going to keep doing this to help you improve.”
I do as onee-sama says and then she immediately goes to kick me. Instead of dodging, I step forward and wrap my arms around her body. Well, I managed to win this battle so far…
Or so I thought.
Onee-sama then immediately steps back and breaks my hold on her.
She doesn’t say a word, but she doesn’t seem angry this time… Thank the stars. For a second there I thought she was gonna knock me out. It seems she just wants to continue with the training.
Alright, so… what now?
I can’t work out what she’s intending on doing now… Unless that is really what she means to do. Nothing. In that case, what should I do… It’s not as though I can actually fight. The best I can do is kind of… pretend.
But even if I pretended to be a god to people, I would still only be doing that – pretending. It only gets you so far.
“What’s the matter? Can’t work out what I want to do?”
The answer to that is yes, but it’s not like I’m going to tell you that! I’m fairly sure you are just trying to taunt me because you actually aren’t planning on doing anything. So…
I’ll do nothing as well!
Right now, onee-sama and I are merely standing opposite each other. Not talking, not exerting pressure. Just standing.
Half an hour passed with onee-sama and me just standing in a single spot, trying to predict what the other would do. Around halfway through, I began to think that it was the plan onee-sama had created in the first place, with everything beforehand being mind games. Yeah, mind games.
Well, it wasn’t fascinating, but I think I’ve gotten the grasp of the Martial Practice – Foresight, onee-sama called it – to an extent. Though, I’m not sure what triggers it to reset as I still see in sepia tones!
“Fei, Fei, Fei! Trouble! Big problem!”
Zynthia just came in rapidly and is screaming frantically. What’s going on!? She’s not even talking in proper sentences… and she’s been noticed by the merchant group! With the racket she is making, it’s obvious that Cindy would wake up, so seeing her watching Zynthia tumble towards me isn’t that surprising.
“She… disabled Yuuki’s magic, master.”
How? Whatever, that doesn’t matter right now. It appears the facade has been lost for now. Hopefully, it can reset, and I can do something to avoid this situation again.
“The Brutal Bandits are on their way… And they’ve been enraged by something!”
The brutal bandits… If I recall my studies from the academy correctly, they can usually be reasoned with, which would help my facade… However, I don’t know what this ‘enraged’ situation is?
As Cindy is on her way here to gloat or something, onee-sama fills in the gaps.
“Enraged is a word which we use to describe the effect some monsters have on humans and similar beings. If someone has been enraged, then… They cannot be reasoned with for the next 24 hours, no matter what.”
… this is bad. It sounds like there is no way to cure people who have been enraged. There goes any chance of reasoning. Hmm…
“It seems as though you’ve been lying to us. Prince..”
Ah, Cindy has arrived. Let’s make this quick, shall we?
“Yes, I am the prince. However, that is not important. What is important right now, is that we’re in for a fight.”
“This fairy will explain to you. I have another matter to attend to.”
I say so and leave Onee-sama and Zynthia with Cindy while dragging Yuuki along with me. Once we are in a secluded location, I began to talk in a quiet voice with her.
“No matter what, I need you to prioritise your own and onee-sama’s life. I’ll be okay.”
“Yuuki is worried, but Yuuki does understand, master.”
It might seem odd that I am prioritising onee-sama’s and Yuuki’s life over my own, but I have my own ideas. If my feeling is correct, I can end Foresight. However, I have to be in the presence of extreme emotion.
Last time, it was when onee-sama discovered that Cindy was a heretic. Maybe, the intense feeling of the fight can turn it off.