A high-pitched noise reverberated indoors.
The noise, which would make one close their ears with both their hands reflexively, was produced by a man, who seemed to be in his mid 30’s, growing a Kaiser beard, holding a staff which shined with a black lustre, and donning a high-collared military uniform. He had smashed a huge vase, which was about 1 meter tall, with the staff grasped in his right hand.
White petals fluttered down, as the leaking water spread onto a deep crimson carpet.
「How will you take responsibility for this!?」
「I am extremely sorry! Please forgive me……!」
「Don’t screw around, you inferior woman!」
The man’s face was dyed with anger. The phrase, demonic expression, indicated his facial features perfectly in the current situation.
Like a raging fire, in his anger, which was as though it couldn’t be satisfied by merely smashing a vase, he was using foul language to abuse the servant in front of him, who was on her knees, bowing her head down and offering words of apology while crying.
There was also the appearance of a young woman, wearing a resplendent dress, hugging a young boy and looking at the servant with scorn in her eyes, next to the man. At a glance, it seemed as though the man in the military uniform and the woman in the dress were verbally assaulting a lone servant.
Comprehending the current state of affairs, Hirasawa Kazuki came to the following conclusion.
(……Maybe, this is a game event?)
It might seem like a flustered and crazy conclusion, but there was a reason this conclusion was reached – Kazuki recognized this figure and this scene.
Presently, the sequence of arguments unfolding in front of him bore a resemblance to a scene in the single-player RPG – 『Brave Hearts』, which was up for sale a few years ago.
He was able to recall it instantly because he was a fan of the game, and no other reason. Even the fingers on both hands weren’t enough to count the number of times he had completely played the game.
There was no mistake, since the dialog of the characters in each event scene was more-or-less memorized.
The man in the military uniform and the woman in the dress were the parents of a character appearing in the game, and the servant begging for forgiveness while crying was the mother of the main character of the game.
Grasping the circumstances up until there, Kazuki, who was being hugged by the woman in the dress from some time, falls into a state of extreme confusion and comes to a standstill.
Why are the characters of a game moving; in the first place, is this reality; is something happening to my body.
His thoughts were racing with each emerging question.
Abruptly being dropped into this scene of fighting, to which his comprehension couldn’t catch up, a single thing was clear.
(I’ll be troubled if I’m thrown into such a depressing event all of a sudden though!?)
For argument’s sake, if the current scene were to trace the scenario of the game, then the servant, Clara’s, life was in an extremely precarious situation.
Based on Kazuki’s thoughts, it could be guessed that this is an event where the servant is killed. Clara’s life is taken by the hands of Harold, the son of the man in the military uniform.
(Where is Harold, the vital character? If I’m not mistaken, in this scene, his anxious mother is………eh, no way)
And then, Kazuki realizes a fact which comes as a huge blow – That his current position is the same as Harold’s.
A certain uncomfortable feeling rose up like a link. It was a concern about the height of his field of view.
Even though he was firmly standing on both his legs, his field of view was considerably lower.
This event scene is shown as a reflection of the past in the story. His exact age was unknown, but at that occasion, Harold was a boy of about 10 years old.
Various factors displayed an unpleasant coincidence.
(Perhaps, I have become Harold……?)
That was a preposterous thought that hit him. It wasn’t as though there was any proof. But the instant that possibility went across his head, severe chills ran down his spine.
(No no, what am I saying. This is a dream, if I think about it normally.)
As though to shake off an unpleasant premonition, he persuades himself. That is the most acceptable answer according to common sense.
No matter how desperately his reasoning claims that this is a dream, the warmth transmitted from being hugged, the angry voice striking his ears, carrying a sense of reality, screams at Kazuki’s five senses. No matter how much he denies it, in no way could it be thought of as a dream.
(Well then, since I know that this isn’t a dream, as expected, is this the game world? There’s no way………but this feeling of reality, can only be thought of as……..but still, the world of the game…….if thought of like that, then isn’t Clara-san going to die!?)
Being torn between the conflicting thoughts of his reasoning and instinct, Kazuki could only act like an idiot. He wanted to stop thinking, since his thoughts were repeatedly going around in circles.
As though it was cut off from his will, his body moved in contrast with his thoughts. Shaking off his mother’s arm, his legs advance, step-by-step.
「There is no merit in lending ears to you begging for your life. That corrupt blood, I will personally purge it. 」
「Father, wait. Entrust the execution of this woman to me」
The man had taken the sword which was hung on the wall, ready to cut down the servant. From behind him, Harold spoke words of restraint.
Kazuki was familiar with those words as he had seen them on-screen.
He spoke the dialog which wasn’t voiced out in the game originally, in the voice of Harold, which he had gotten used to. Intervening at that point wasn’t entirely only his intention.
「To you? What do you plan to do?」
「Recently, I learned a new magic. Let her become a guinea pig for testing that. Instead of dirtying the room with the blood of an inferior species like this, isn’t that a better use?」
He found out that the corners of his lips rose up. Contrary to Kazuki’s feelings, a villainous smile floated up.
It goes even without saying, but Kazuki didn’t even have the slightest bit of complacency to express the smile. On top of being placed in an incomprehensible situation, his body overturning his will and taking action on its own was an unendurable terror for him.
Kazuki hadn’t piled up an abundance of life experience to think fast in such a situation. A person who can adapt to and deal with such a situation, surpasses what can be called as calm or skillful and can only be called as a freak.
Fortunately or unfortunately, Kazuki wasn’t a freak.
But if viewed from another angle, this meant that the flow of this event was irreversible.
「Hohou, that might also be amusing. Until then, throw this woman in the dungeon!」
As soon as Military Uniform raises his voice, immediately a soldier arrives and drags Clara away by grabbing her hand. Kazuki could only see off her retreating figure off.
「Filthy mixed-blood. Even though she was hired after I took pity on her, when asked to do something, she can’t do even a single thing properly.」
「After all, she is an inferior species. Harold wants to test his magic, so she might be useful.」
「Humph, that is also true.」
As though looking at an object which was filthy, their eyes had no intention of hiding their disgust. This married couple didn’t even perceive the servant, Clara, as a human being.
Under normal circumstances, towards this, Kazuki would have expressed his discomfort.
However, since his outlook had contracted due to the chaos, the married couple’s speech and conduct didn’t reach his ears. Even if it had reached him, he wouldn’t have properly perceived the contents.
He had fallen into a stupor for several minutes. Let alone his surroundings, since then, what kind of conversations he exchanged with whom, how he reached this location, not a single thing did he have a recollection of.
When he finally came to his senses, Kazuki was in a room, of which he had no memories, resting deeply on a single person sofa, with his gaze wandering about in empty space.
「……Where is this? Is this Harold’s room?」
While muttering with a powerless voice, without an aim, he looked around inside the room with swimming eyes.
Since it doesn’t appear during the course of the game, its accurate parts aren’t known, but from the feeling he got from looking at the width of the room, the canopied bed, the sofa he was resting on, he could guess as to whom this room belonged to.
In a corner of the room, there was a full-length mirror whose height was greater than a grown male’s. Kazuki swallowed his saliva, with a sharp sound resounding from his throat.
Standing up after putting all his power into his trembling knees, he walked towards the full-length mirror with unsteady footsteps.
To confirm his hypothesis. While praying that his hypothesis was off.
As he gets closer step-by-step, his heartbeat increaseed violently and his breathing also became fast and shallow. And yet, Kazuki didn’t stop his footsteps.
And finally, he stood in front of the full-length mirror. He slowly raised his face, from a position where his head was bent low where he could only see the tips of his foot.
Facing the full-length mirror, he opened his tightly shut eyelids. The person who was reflected from its surface, was without a doubt――
「It’s a lie, right…….」
Ruthlessly depicted, was the figure of Harold with the appearance of a young boy.