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Vermillion – Chapter 23.2 Bahasa Indonesia


Kei dismounted off Sasuke, fervently denying the accusations.


“Well, because… you know… ”


Pierre looked to Dagmar to back up his claim, and Dagmar didn’t disappoint, nodding.


“You being together with a beauty like her and saying that nothing has happened between you two is weird, don’t you think? I really thought you guys were a couple or something like that.”


“… She’s a close friend, not a lover. ”


“But Kei, how can you sleep with a girl and not think anything?”


Dagmar wore an expression of doubt on his face.

「普通、あれだけの美人が無防備にしてりゃ、突っ込むだろ? 男なら」

“Normally, seeing a beautiful, defenseless woman, you’d rush in, right? It’s your duty as a man!”


Dagmar made a circle with his left hand and delicately inserted his right index finger.


“No, that’s… ”


Blushing slightly, Kei became flustered, not knowing how to respond.




In the end, Kei was a man too.


In front of a beauty like Aileen, it was impossible not to have amorous thoughts.


And it was these thoughts that were quickly growing on Kei’s consciousness.


Aileen and Alexei―whenever Kei saw them talking, a hazy feeling would rise from the depths of his chest.


Alienation, unease, anxiety.


Kei could think of plenty of words to describe his feelings, but he felt that certainly the most visceral and powerful of them all would be “jealousy.”


――So then, why was he so jealous?


It was a rivalry against Alexei, and it was all too easy for one to put their hand to their chest and declare, “ah, so this is love… ?”


But Kei wondered: was the kind of attachment that he had for Aileen really due to love?


In the end, Kei didn’t know, but that wasn’t to say he didn’t have his suspicions.


――Perhaps he was just trying to justify his lust for Aileen by characterizing it as ‘Love.’


It couldn’t be helped if he thought like that. After all, wasn’t it just the result of being swayed by libido? Thinking that he liked Aileen would just be a way to vent this unknown feeling.


If that was the case, Kei thought it was incredibly disrespectful towards her.


Originally, before coming here, Kei was not so sexually conscious.


Those desires probably peaked in his mid-teen years. After that, his genitals began to stabilize his hormone levels, but they suddenly peaked after about twenty again. Just before being transported, Kei had been mildly interested, but not to the point of feeling horny. One could say he was biding his time, waiting to become a ‘Sage.’ (ED Note: ‘Sages’ are how Japanese people humorously refer to a thirty-plus year old male who is still a virgin.)


However, barely ten days have passed since Kei had gained a new body in this world.


He had nothing to complain about his it. It was healthy: too healthy, in fact. Kei felt as if his desires were increasing by the day. Back in Satyna, he had managed to handle it―Kei had managed to “do it” by himself somehow―but caravans were a different story, with basically no privacy whatsoever. This was a very perilous situation indeed.


Still, what little endurance he had built up was about to collapse with the appearance of Alexei. Kei wanted to split up Alexei and Aileen. To have Aileen only look at him. To talk with Aileen more. To submit himself to his impulsive desires. (ED Joke: It’s the emergence of a yandere… ?) (PR Joke: Kei is slowly turning into a yandere.)


(I wonder if I genuinely like Aileen.)


Kei had been with Aileen―or rather, Andrei―for roughly two years now. They had been through a lot, and even though it was a virtual space, they had enjoyed their time together.


However, it was only as ‘friends,’ a thoroughly platonic relationship if you will. After all, Kei had always thought that Andrei was a guy.


It was only after they had arrived in this world that Kei found out ‘Andrei’ was a girl.


Even so, how did that suddenly become affection in less than ten days?


(… In the end, I’m just after her body, aren’t I… )


Kei bitterly reached such a conclusion.


“Uu~n… ”


Kei wrinkled his eyebrows, once again becoming lost in thought.


“ … ”


Dagmar and Pierre looked at each other and shrugged.



The sun had begun its slow retreat beyond the horizon.


The caravan, which had not reached the next village yet, was setting up camp on a clearing on the shoulder of the highway.


“The density of the trees is thin here, and there’s no dangerous beasts. But, I can’t say much about the threat from humans… ”


“Alright boys, be lively now. Split up into three groups. It’s fine to have just one person at each of the three locations, just rotate in shifts later.”


Holland, Dagmar, etc., the heads of the had gathered to talk about the night watch. Kei, watching them with a sideways gaze, steadily pounded away at the tent state with his hammer.


“Now, I wonder if I’ll get a shift today… ”


As Kei tied the rope, Aileen wondered aloud excitedly while holding down the tarp on the other side.


Because the camp last night was in a village, it was relatively safe, and thus, the night shift was sufficient with a small number of people. Kei had been one of those unlucky few who drew the short straw, but Aileen seemed to have had plenty of sleep, not having to keep watch at night. Nevertheless, she appeared wholly unsatisfied, like a child deprived of staying up late on a camping trip.


Relieved that Aileen had not changed a bit, Kei gently shook his head as his mouth broke into a gentle smile.


“According to the bosses, it seems they’re going to increase the number of lookouts tonight, but seeing how you slept like a rock yesterday, won’t you have a hard time?”


“Geez, you’re so mean!”


The pair finished assembling the tent in cheerful banter. Patting down his coat, Kei stood up and stretched, suggesting,


“Well then… I suppose it’s dinnertime now. The rice granny Marie makes is―”


“Hey, Aileen!”


Unfortunately, his words were drowned out by an enthusiastic call.


“So it’s you again?” Kei groaned to himself in disgust as he reluctantly turned around. Next to him, Aileen glanced up at the sky.

「то ты будешь делать сегодня вечером?」

『“What’cha doin’ tonight?』


As expected, it was Alexei that had come to raise the tension with a broad smile.

「Ничего делать …」

『Nothing much… 』

「Серьезно? В противном случае, в первую очередь мы будем есть вместе――」

『Seriously? In that case, how about we eat together first―』


To the effusive Alexei, Aileen smiled along accordingly. On the other hand, Kei watched the whole scene unfold in a state of appalled stupor. All the while, unbeknownst to them, the rest of the caravan were observing the trio from afar with great interest.


“So then, we’re to set up a rotation?”


“That’s rights. The bandits are horrible, you can never be too careful… ”


As usual, Holland and group were discussing the arrangements for the night. While listening to the conversation, Kei stared at the dancing flames of the bonfire. Seeing the swaying shadows, a mischievous idea sprouted in his mind.


“… ”


With a mean smile, Kei turned to Aileen.


『Hey, Aileen. I’m sorry for disturbing your conversation, but can you listen to me for a sec?』(ED Note: These brackets now denote Esperanto, the spirit language.)




Looking away from Alexei, Aileen blinked confusedly at Kei who had forcibly interrupted the Alexei’s story.


『Of course, but… 』


Aileen stuttered with a quizzical expression,


『… but why the spirit language? 』


Aileen tilted her head while responding in Esperanto herself. Kei laugh and declared with his arms crossed, smiling,


『Umu. It’s because I wanted to talk about magic. It’d be bad if the others hear too much.』


『Ah, so that’s it. Oh, right. Speaking of magic, I never showed it to Edda… 』


Aileen smacks her forehead, having completely forgotten about her promise. Meanwhile, from the edge of his vision, Kei could see Alexei’s eyes widen at the introduction of a foreign language he didn’t know.


『Well, I’ll do that later. What did you want to talk about?』


『Right, actually it’s partially related to your promise to Edda, I came to ask you about your magic.』


Donning a serious expression, Kei revealed his purpose. Though this conversation did exclude Alexei, that was not its sole reason.


『Now, Aileen. Do you think you can get your Kelstein to create a warning system to supplement the night shift?』


『… Fumu.』


To Kei’s question, Aileen things for a while, stroking her lips with her fingertips.


『… Well, the answer would definitely be ‘no’ in the game… That being said, I don’t know about this world. I think you might be able to.』


『Umu, is that so? I agree with that.』


『I think the spirit has become smarter since we’ve come to here. Kelstein’s thinking has become much more flexible.』


『Right? I also feel like Shiv becoming more honest and docile too.』


The two people whispered to each other in hushed tones.


The magic of Demondal is a little different compared to that of other games. For the Japanese, it might be more appropriate to call it ‘summoning’ as opposed to ‘magic,’ the difference being that the contracted spirit, not the player, was the one that actually would cast the magic.


In the game, there are NPCs called ‘spirits,’ and players could contract them by clearing certain conditions. The crux of the system was that spirits who have entered a contract with a player could exercise their power upon being offered magical power and a catalyst.


In the tutorials, this feature was often compared to the relationship between an artisan and a customer. The ‘artisan’ was the spirit, the ‘customer’ was the player, and the ‘customer’ paid the ‘artisan’ for their work with magical power.


For example, suppose there was a confectioner, and the customer ordered some pastries. Given sufficient money, covering for both the labor and material costs, the artisan would make the sweets and deliver them to the customer. This transfer of money was analogous to the magic flow in spirit contracting in Demondal.


However, the customer could give the baker not only money, but also flour and butter, negotiating with them to make the overall price a bit cheaper; that would be how catalysts works in magic. The artisan would receive the raw materials if they wanted it, but if they didn’t need it, they could reject it and collect the money mercilessly. Also, if magic was cast, but the net balance remained negative even after payment, the caster’s internal organs would be pawn off, and evidently, they would die. This was the mechanism behind death from the lack of magic.


By the way, it was possible to negotiate with the confectionary artisan, to take wood to them and say, “I will pay you, so build a house with this please.” While the artisan could accept, it was up to them whether they do so or not. Furthermore, even if they do, the quality was not guaranteed as it was not their field of expertise. Inversely, if the request was of a similar field―asking a Western confectioner to make Japanese sweets, etc.―the product could end up turning out unexpectedly well.


Additionally, all of these interactions must be done in the spirit language: Esperanto. The spirits only understood Esperanto―official, textbook Esperanto―and because there was no other way to communicate with them, the player’s grammar and vocabulary were directly linked to the complexity and flexibility of their ‘magic’ casting.


Moreover, because the spirit AIs were intentionally designed to be childlike, the instructions had to be clear and concise. The system itself was a hassle; players often had to rely on their own experience for knowledge in navigating the poor translation softwares.


『But, that seems to not be the case now. Some way or another, I feel that Kelstein’s understanding has improved, and the spirit can communicate better.』


Kei nodded in agreement to Aileen’s assertion.


『Yeah, that’s why I think that advanced skills like warning systems can be done with more abstract instructions… 』


If a player had wanted to build the skill Kei wanted in-game, they would have to consider various parameters like how to distinguish between friend and foe, range, duration, etc., making such a process comparable to programming.


However, if the spirits were no longer stupid child AIs, more flexible thinking should theoretically be possible.


『I see… Fortunately, we still have quite a few catalysts on-hand. At least, it’s worth a try.』


Grinning from apprehension, Aileen removed a small drawstring bag with a piece of crystal from the chest.


“Okay, let’s do it then!”


“Oh, before that, we should probably talk to Holland… ”


“Oh, you’re right!”


The two headed triumphantly off towards Holland.


“ … ”


With that, Alexei was left alone, mouth agape at the drastic turn of events. (ED Note: The specific expression used was ‘pokan’ (ポカン), which looks something like this.)


As a result.


Holland consented to the use of magic, and Aileen successfully came up with the skill at the expense of a small amount of crystal.


The way the skill worked was that it allowed Kelstein to teach the other shadow spirits to alert them if beasts or outsiders came within a radius of fifty meters surrounding the circle of caravans. It seemed to only be effective until sunrise the next day, but considering that the risk of a surprise attack could be greatly reduced, it had an excellent cost performance.


Edda jumped around in delight, watching the spectacle of the shadows swallowing the crystal and the faint, dancing figure of Kelstein who twirled about in the darkness. Seeing her daughter delighted so, Holland dejectedly thought of the cost of the magic catalyst that the magic would cost to be cast again. Although Aileen still had a sizeable stock of the crystal catalysts, they were easily worth a small fortune.


Also, because this method immensely reduced the amount of manpower needed during the night, Aileen, who had become something akin to a celebrity among the escorts, was removed from the night shift rotation. Kei was exempt too, having had his tenure the day before.


After dinner, once again, Alexei eagerly rushed over to talk with Aileen, which annoyed Kei, but not to the point of being angry about it. After all, he had successfully exacted his petty form of revenge against Alexei.


Thus, with a moderately restored peace of mind, Kei fell asleep―


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