Chapter 97: Wilderness Saint 04
I wondered how Hime knew I was here and then it hit me that the suspicions that Lector had must have been true.
“Did you… plan all this?”
I was surprised and Hime replied nonchalantly, “Huh? Yeah? It was so hard! Lector protected you very well, and I couldn’t act at all! I had to devise such a roundabout method because of that. Don’t make me go through all this trouble again. I had to make myself pleasant for the stubborn old man because of you!”
She said in frustration, but you used ‘Charm’ on that Elder, didn’t you?
But Hime didn’t care about my reaction and said proudly, “I came here to see how ugly you look. You can’t do anything if you’re this far from him. Fufu. Farglow’s army is crumbling right now. Do you know why? Oh my! It’s because of influenza, something that has never existed in this world before! Farglow and you may have noticed the betrayal of the Grunge People in the scenario, but you didn’t notice that they were all getting sick. It’s spreading like wildfire since they’re not immune to it. There isn’t any adequate medical care in the areas where the soldiers are, so if I just ignore it, then the Farglow army will be destroyed on its own, just like in the scenario. If everyone gets sick, then it doesn’t matter how healthy you are, you’ll get sick anyway.” Then, she grinned.
“What? Influenza? The one like in our previous world?”
The first time I had healed that sick man in the village, I felt like I knew what the illness was. I’ve certainly never heard about influenza in this world.
And yet, that influenza was a scenario that suddenly spread! Wait a minute, scenario, how reckless can you be…!?
“That’s right. There was a sudden influenza pandemic in the game. It originated from the birds that the Grunge People use for communication, and suddenly mutated to spread to the people. That’s why it also quickly spread in the Farglow army since they are in frequent contact with the Grunge People. They’re not immune to it, so it can spread really fast.”
Come to think of it, Garwin’s birds… wait… what about Lector then…?
“To save Lector-sama in the hidden route of the game, a nearby Saint foretold that they had to get rid of all the birds, disinfect at an early stage and Lector-sama had to be completely quarantined, or else it would spread. He didn’t believe the ‘Saint of Prophecy’ at first, but she tried her best to convince him. He was so moved by her efforts and devotion that he confessed his love to her and asked her to marry him when the war was won,” Hime said ecstatically. She was probably remembering the scene as she spoke.
“Yes, there isn’t any way to save him except to quarantine him completely and prevent him from coming into contact with anyone. He can survive if he can handle that. It was the only way for him to survive. So, if I stayed by Lector-sama’s side, I would have been able to save him according to the scenario, and he would have been moved by my devotion and love and would have wanted to marry me. He would have left you and married ‘me’ just like in the scenario. I was supposed to let you see that happening.”
Hime glared at me hatefully then said, “But Lector-sama won’t leave you for some reason, and he doesn’t believe me at all. This isn’t right. My Lector-sama isn’t like that. He’s supposed to be more understanding and kind, and he’s supposed to love me more than anyone else. He’s not supposed to be cold at all. His personality has changed. It’s really horrible. How dare you break my precious Lector-sama like that. He’s pitiful since he’ll die without any help if things continue like this.”
“No, I won’t leave him to die, and I don’t think he’s broken…? He’s been like that from the start, you know?”
He’s flirtatious, a sweet talker, and leaks out a lot of sparkles, and yet he’s black bellied. I don’t believe his personality has shifted at all since the beginning, but Hime didn’t believe me at all, “Oh, stop it. I told you he’s not like that! You don’t even know anything!”
Then she continued, “I tried my best to get Lector-sama to open his eyes, but he won’t. Finally… So, I thought, enough is enough. It’s a shame, but if he can’t go back to his original self, then I don’t need him.”
Hime looked disappointed.
“It’s really hard to conquer Lector-sama’s route. It’s really, really hard to stop him from dying! He’ll die if you make one wrong turn. He’ll catch influenza with just one wrong move. Once he has a fever, it’s impossible to save him. So, the only thing you can do is to avoid him catching it in the first place. I can’t remember how many times I tried his route, and I tried every possible choice, and I finally found a way to have that happy ending. And yet, Lector-sama refused me and threw away his last chance…”
I was shocked when I realised the meaning of her words, and Hime smiled triumphantly when she saw this.
“It’s all over now. Lector-sama will die tonight. There’s no route to save him from here on out.”
“Excuse me…? Tonight…? Really?”
“Really. It’s all your fault. You stole my place when I could finally save him. What the hell is good about a useless person like you? But it’s over. Lector-sama is dead. So, I don’t care about you anymore either. I’ve dismissed everyone here, and I’m going to release you in this abandoned place. If you think you can survive in the middle of this winter wilderness, then go for it. Hmph, I hope you die alone, frozen, parched, and hopeless. You should cry and regret that you killed Lector-sama!”
Hime was saying something, but I didn’t have time to worry about her.
There was only one thing I cared about right now.
“But wait. He was fine this morning. The poison is also gone. It’s impossible for him to suddenly die tonight…”
I couldn’t help but recall Lector’s cheerful voice this morning.
We’ve actually been talking often through Lolo since then. He greeted me this morning. He didn’t seem any different from normal.
“Hah? Oh. Of course, there was a route in the game where he didn’t get poisoned, so it’s just going down that route. I’m surprised you found the route since it was so rare. Coincidence? Oh, you thought you were doing well. Hmm? But you’re naïve. Of course, I tried to avoid that as well, but even so… If he’s fine, then he’s fine, but he’ll force himself to work through a high fever and hide it. And it had already gotten worse, and he’d collapsed by the time he realised… then he died a few hours later. Influenza encephalopathy. You’ve heard of it right? When that route didn’t work, I already felt a strong will to not let him die. Oh, what a cruel scenario… My poor Lector-sama…”
Hime shook her head sadly as she remembered that time.
I unintentionally sent a thought to Lolo.
――― Lolo, how’s Lector?”
She replied straight away.
“Meow, meow.” 『Huh? He’s fine? … Huh? 』
H u h?
“Meow.” 『He looks uneasy, maybe?』
――― Maybe? Don’t say that! Does he have a fever?!
“Meow.” 『I don’t really understand humans… You’re too weak… But he does feel a little warmer than usual?』
――― Wwwwhhhhhaaatt? You didn’t notice?!
“Meow.” 『Well, he looked fine just before while he was giving orders left and right. He wasn’t much different from normal. 』
“Meow.” 『Ah, he fainted. 』
F a i n t e d?!
I felt the blood drain from my face.
Hime continued when she saw me standing there looking pale, “It’s too late no matter how much you regret it. He’ll still die. And even if you do survive, you’ll be arrested for murder as the enemy spy who killed the General. I’ve seen this ending many times. If Lector-sama dies, the ending will be the execution of the Saint. There are no other alternatives. Ah, Lector-sama… if you had accepted me like you had in the scenario, then I could have made you happy.”