Having hurriedly returned to the village, Yuusuke called out to Bahana, who he found loitering near the village gate.
“Ah, YUSUKE! It’s Terrible! Sun, she …”
Bahana rushed over to Yuusuke and clung to him saying, “Sun was taken by a group of guards”.
Guards, surrounding a guard carriage that was still in the village, started shouting after spotting Yuusuke. Yuusuke handed over his fishing tools and the fish to aunt Bahana and started walking towards the carriage.
“STOP RIGHT THERE!”
“You, with the black hair, your name is Yuusuke, right?”
“It’s as you see.”
Still nervous from having weapons pointed at him, Yuusuke feigned calmness as he faced the guards. After exchanging a few words with the other soldiers, one of the guards approached Yuusuke, informing him that he is being apprehended as a suspect for spying.
They acted completely different around him as he was a divine arts user, not to mention one whose skills were not known. Instead of using force like they did with Sun before, they exerted caution when dealing with Yuusuke.
“I want to know where you took Sun, so could you take me to the city as soon as possible?”
Yuusuke urged the guard towards the highway while slowly approaching him. Yuusuke, still being feared by the guards even after having clad his hands in shackles, spotted aunt Bahana with the group of worried villagers. After telling her, “I’m off to see Sun,” the youth entered the guard carriage.
“Hmm, so Zeshald was reading records and research related to the Evil God the entire time.”
“Yes… At least suspicious people … unknown people … or anyone like them … have not visited him.”
“Eh? About Mr. Yuusuke… I am not sure about him myself…”
Sun lied, as the person that Zeshald has recently brought with him into the village was yet not that well known to her. Still, she was ordered by Zeshald to keep the fact that Yuusuke appeared from the small shrine a secret.
Sun averted her eyes from shame after telling a lie, but it was not noticed since she has been terrified the entire time.
“Excuse me. We have received a report from the guards stationed in the village. They have captured the black haired man.”
“Oh, is that so.”
A communication officer, that was a wind arts user has informed Violet’s group. Sun’s face has become even darker after hearing the report about Yuusuke, to which Violet showed a worried smile.
“As with you, I just want to have a little talk with him. After all he might be a spy as well.”
Contrary to Violet, who was happy hearing about Zeshald, Kreivol was carefully observing Sun.
The girl held her hands in front of her. They were clad in wooden shackles, made to be used for the powerless. Her being frightened the entire time also did not seem to be an act. Still, he had to consider the possibility that it was an act.
[“By speaking this way, princess is trying to avoid tormenting the girl.”]
After the announcement by Blue Garden, the atmosphere in the palace right now was volatile, thus suspicions of betrayal would be met with severe consequences.
For the time being, Violet was satisfied with having a conversation partner. As Kreivol was thinking about the interrogation of the black haired man he met a short while ago, the guard carriage arrived at Sanc Adiet.
“Whaaa~~…, what a huge city!”
“What!? Is this your first time in the city?”
“Yes, as a matter of fact……”
Sun, feeling dread from all divine arts users except Zeshald, has not been to Sanc Adiet once.
The girl slowly got out of the carriage after Violet, who jumped out ahead of her. Still unsteady on her feet, Sun felt affinity towards Violet, with whom she shared a mutual feeling for Zeshald. As her partner was a younger girl, despite being an ability user, Sun did not feel that much fear towards the princess.
After getting out of the carriage, Sun looked towards the highway, and after seeing another cloud of dust, confirmed the approach of another carriage. Believing that Yuusuke was riding on it, she felt a little bit relieved.
Yuusuke, having his hands shackled behind him, admired the soldier carriage that was not shaking at all despite going twice as fast as the wagon that he rode on when going to the city with Zeshald. At the same time, he was reading the customization menu for his shackles.
He noticed that if he concentrated enough, he could manipulate the parameters as well as activate the customization/creation without using his hands.
[“It looks like I will be able to do this intuitively once I get used to it”]
Despite not able to stop the divine arts user from using his skills, the shackles were made by earth and fire arts users, and the quality of craftsmanship was very high, so they would not break easily. But, if they became ordinary…
[“Parameters are quite similar to those of shouka… If I exert all my strength when I need to take them off it should be ok”]
Yuusuke was practicing manipulating parameters, while concentrating his mind and also being careful not to press the execution button.
Although he was sitting obediently, Yuusuke’s gaze was defocused as he looked absentminded, despite being clearly focused on something. Such atmosphere, coupled with the color of his hair, brought even more uneasiness to the guards that were riding in the carriage together with him.
“Princess, let us return to the palace.”
“Hm? Are we not waiting for Yuusuke?”
Kreivol, who was scolding Violet that [“Jumping from the carriage is a sign of bad manners,”] was mindful about the curious residents of the city that have started to gather around them. A spy of Blue Garden could have been mixed up in the crowd.
Since the approaching carriage was still some distance away, Kreivol judged it would be better for them to return to the palace instead of standing here. Since that meant the end of the scolding, Violet happily accepted Kreivol’s proposal.
“Aaaah, your highness! I am glad to see you back safely.”
A green haired man with a suspicious look in his eyes, who was surrounded by the city guards, turned towards them as they were nearing the gate, separating middle class and lower class districts. He was rubbing his hand with a flattering smile floating on his face.
“That’s right, we had this guy wait here.” – remembered Violet.
The man has been standing there as if waiting for merits. While he was flattering Violet, he shoved extremely rude attitude towards the guards.
Sun froze after seeing the sunburnt face of that man.
— [“Woohoo, we hit a jackpot! Ahahahahaha!! – “]—
— [“Heheh, hold his bitch down like this.“]—
— [“Aw, the hell. I was aiming for the neck.”] —
Fleeting nightmare of her past suddenly rose up from her memories.
“N… No.. Nooooo……!!!”
“Hm? Hey?! What’s happened to you?!!!”
The man looked at the girl while talking with the princess. [“It can’t be!”], he thought as he was overcome by anxiety. After successfully escaping from that terrifying water arts user, named Zeshald, he was hiding in the city slums for nearly ten years. Until recently, he was fearing apprehension his every waking minute.
This time, regaining his freedom after Zeshald’s exile, he got a chance to get on the good side of palace officials. He devised a plan to provide them with information concerning a Blue Garden spy. After all, there was nothing in that [powerless] village.
Compared to Foncrank, treatment of [powerless] in the Blue Garden differed like heaven and earth. Contrary to the Blue Garden, in addition to being treated like cattle, [powerless] could not expect to obtain support from the country officials in Fonkrank. (NOTE: this sentence can be completely off the mark)
Even if the incident from nearly ten years ago, concerning [powerless] treasured by Zeshald, came to light and truth about the deaths of two [powerless] and one earth arts user would surface, Zeshald, who killed the earth arts user, was now in the enemy nation of Blue Garden.
He expected that this would increase the credibility of his story and admonish any lingering doubts. Still —
[“Unbelievable… the brat from back then…? Her wound was supposed to be fatal… !!”]
Having thought this far, he suddenly realized that Zeshald was a healing type divine water arts user. If he could wield his arts to the extent of being able to kill a person by momentarily stopping his blood flow, he might have been able to save the girl despite her fatal condition.
[“Bad! This is bad! She remembers about me… …! Wa-wait it’s still okay, the result will be the same.”]
[“She was a still a brat then. She should not be able to remember what happened back then too well. If the man that seemed to be her father, who died back then, were to become a Blue Garden spy collaborator, then my problems would simply disappear.”]
While the wind user was persuading himself, his body breaking in cold sweat, the guard carriage that Yuusuke was riding in had arrived at the city entrance.
Yuusuke was brought up to the district gate. Upon arriving, he saw fire god corps, clad in brightly colored clothes, gathered along with the city guards at a location not far from the district gate.
Looking for the bright red twintails, thinking, [“has that Violet come down to the city again?”] he spotted the familiar white hair.
The guards surrounding Yuusuke instantly heightened their guard, since Yuusuke suddenly started running towards the other group of guards gathered around the gate guardhouse. They started chasing him while keeping a small distance.
If not for princess Violet, who jumped at her asking what happened, Sun, whose legs gave up their strength, would have been dragged off by the guards, who thought it to be normal to drag a resisting person away.
Instead, the guards were halfheartedly scattering the curious spectators while they waited for their princess’s mood to change. Suddenly, a black haired man, clad in shackles, jumped into the scene followed by a group of city guards, increasing the tension tenfold.
“Oh! Yuusuke! You came!”
Without even caring to reply to Violet’s call, Yuusuke attended to Sun, who was shaking on the ground. Despite that, since Sun’s sudden collapse also weighed down on her mind, the princess restrained herself from dishing out fiery punishment on Yuusuke.
“Sun… is everything alright?”
Sun was muttering something, lying face down, covering her face with the shackled hands. She was trembling after curling up into a ball as if to hide from something. Yuusuke understood that his words were not reaching the girl. Thus, not knowing how to deal with Sun when she was in such a state, he redirected his attention towards the princess.
“Hey You, what have you done to Sun?!”
“ I.. I haven’t done anything!”
Violet, not used to being spoken to so frankly, froze momentarily, having had her self-confidence shattered by Yuusuke’s angry question that he asked disregarding every social norm.
“I was only simply talking to her!”
“Is this what you call [simply talking to her!?!?!?”
Shouting abruptly, Yuusuke inclined his body forward. After taking a hit on his back, as if losing strength in his entire body, he fell on his knees. Because his hands were tied behind his back, Yuusuke could not support his body and he fell down.
[“What is this? … The back of my nose feels heavy…?”]
Compared to the hazy consciousness and swaying vision he had at the time he appeared in this world, what he felt now was quite different. He heard a conversation from somewhere above him as he felt dull pain in his head as if it was being pierced by iron needles.
“Hey, stop using violence!”
“Eh? Y-Yes…. I am sorry mam.”
Yuusuke understood that he fell after being hit by a city guard. He was hit at the back of his head, and, when he fell on his knees, the soldier has probably also kicked him.
From being hit into the back of his neck, he felt no strength from the waist down. While Yuusuke was mustering his strength in his current state, he managed to raise his face to get a glimpse of Sun. The girl had raised her face a little bit, noticed Yuusuke lying down on the ground, and covered again with her body continuing to tremble.
[“Shit, I’ll only needlessly frighten her even more like this.”]
Yuusuke, being angry at himself for his own helplessness, was thinking about how good it would be if he could customize his own body, and complained to whomever gave him this power for not giving his body any fighting abilities.
Even if he created a powerful suit of armor with his ability, its ability to help the wearer through the tough situation would still depend on that wearer’s physical abilities. Being a game otaku, Yuusuke had little experience in fighting, not to mention any training in martial arts.
“Damnit Yuusuke, don’t you keep crawling on the ground like this!”
“Oh~! It’s this girl! She is the child from back then!”
Violet, who has called a soldier that was a water arts user and was currently instructing him, only now remembered the green haired man that has given her the information. This man was saying those words as he was pointing towards the girl lying on the ground. He decided to gamble now and continued his fake story.
If only he could somehow connect the story to the fact that the girl became terrified after seeing him. She has succumbed to fear because she remembered the tragedy from her childhood. Even though he was not sure if she remembered all the details from that day, it would still be convenient for him to silence her by using this opportunity.
A powerless man, accused of dealing with a Blue Garden spy has brought a young child with him. It was surely to fool the eyes of any potential witnesses. He saw this child getting hit by a stray divine art during the battle. It was a serious would so he thought the girl to be beyond saving.
Having thought of a “It happened back then” story, he approached the princess and, faking politeness, told it to her. Violet, fond of listening about adventures and other people stories, listened attentively to this man.
However, for Violet, who knew “old geezer Zeshald” since infancy, the “Zeshald” in this story seemed like a different person. Based on what she heard about “teacher Zeshald” on her way to the city, Sun and Zeshald – she could not feel any signs of either of them being spies.
[“Th.. That reaction does not seem favorable… Was it too soon after all?…… Th-That’s right – the evidence! It will go my way once I show her the evidence!”]
Passing Violet’s reaction as [“Was Sun really there during that incident”], he decided to prove girl’s presence during the incident by showing the scar that the divine art must have left on her body. Man was staring at Suns dumbfounded face as he was telling about his bravery during the fight with the spy
Humans are strange creatures. When something outside their range of comprehension happens, they easily fall into a state where their mind stops functioning . When confronted with anger or malice, rather than getting angry, rather than getting sad, they are overwhelmed by surprise. Sun was surprised.
She, who has never traveled farther than the village outskirts, who was ignorant of the ways of the world, was surprised that such kind of humans existed.
[“Enough with your nonsense.”]
Hearing the man’s story, Yuusuke, who was still lying next to Sun, understood that this wind arts user was one of the two that attacked Sun and her father. His body was shaking from resentment of being unable to do anything. Gathering his hazy consciousness by utilizing his anger like it was some game resource, he opened the customization menu.
“There is no mistake! Here, she should have a scar around this area from that encounter!”
Frustrated by the man, Violet groaned while holding her chin. Meanwhile the green haired man walked towards Sun, who was still in shock, and forcibly made her stand by pulling her on the shackles.
Sun, finally regaining her senses, started struggling to get away from this man. Before Violet, who was already wary of how freely this person acted in front of her, could even comprehend his actions, the wind user has torn the powerless girl’s clothes to pieces with a wind blade divine art.
“Look, it’s there after all! It’s here, HERE, it’s this scar!”
Holding the desperately resisting girl by the manacles that tied her hands, the man was pointing towards the scar that ran diagonally through Sun’s abdomen.
Rather than questioning the scar, that was the reminder of a wound so deep that it even held different color that girl’s skin, Violet was alerted of the true nature of the man that he has just revealed.
“This scar might be the result of Zeshald’s healing arts. That’s right! It might be that my escape was successful because that traitor was forced to heal this wound”
“ENOUGH WITH YOUR CRAP!”
Yuusuke punched the man’s face with the shackles (SHACKLE PUNCH) as the wind user was drunk on his glory. After standing up, Yuusuke hit him with all his might again with the Kaizer Knuckles (from what I found in google this is probably a reference to knuckle dusters in some games, namely FF, Ragnarok Online, castlevania), he made from the shackles that were meant to be used for power users, and thus were made from a very hard material to begin with.
Man was facing sideward, pressing both hands to his face. City guards could not understand how Yuusuke got out of his shackles. After all it was an item that even a skilled earth arts user could not break easily.
“Y-You! How did you do it?!”
Soldiers prepared their spears … and their target disappeared.
“Wh-what is this?”
Princess stood dumbfounded, staring at the place that her soldiers were just standing at. A huge hole has opened there.
When customizing something as big as planets’ surface, it was treated as a map and customization power only worked at a fixed distance from the place that Yuusuke has touched.
Customizing a house, its structure, doors, windows, and even roof were treated as separate items, but it was possible to customize them at the same time as an item group.
Incidentally customization on flowing water, such as rivers, had to be performed fast or it got canceled as the water, which was being customized, has flowed away. Cancellation could be avoided for a short while by moving along the flow.
The city of Sanc Adiet, despite being separated into districts, was treated as a huge pyramid shaped pile of stone. Yuusuke’s customization power recognized this city as several different objects joined as a single item group.
As long as it was recognized as one item, there were no limitations on customization that could be performed. When used like this, customization power could be used as a weapon. Today was the first time that Yuusuke has decided to use his power in battle and, as his first battle maneuver, he created a pitfall.
“In the past, this man attacked an innocent powerless father and child. He’s one of the murderers!”
Yuusuke pointed at the green haired man, who was still silently lying on the ground. As Yuusuke was explaining in detail of what he heard from Zeshald, the man’s face became stiff. Suspicion also appeared in princess Violet’s eyes as she started eyeing the wind user.
“Damn! Brat! You are also their comrade!”
Half-crazed, the man shouted, cast a wind blade and directed towards Yuusuke. Yuusuke raised his hand in a similar motion, and activated customization for the stone pavement he did a little while ago.
With a dull sound, a stone wall emerged in front of Yuusuke. Having had its divine arts resistance status buffed up, the wall stopped the wind blade, scattering it in all directions.
Divine art to freely manipulate earth and to join rock into a shape that resembled a golem, belonged to the earth manipulation type divine arts. But the divine art to instantly create holes, that can swallow people or to raise a stone wall in a blink of an eye was unheard of.
The soldiers of the fire god corps and the spectators who managed to avoid falling into the pitfalls, were also left speechless by the man that threw the wind blade.
After a moment of silence, Yuusuke kicked the wall of stone he had created. He performed a simple customization on the walls base for it to fall forward.
Since the target the pitfalls were meant for did not stay in one place for a long time, and since the pitfalls had to be hidden (for them to be effective), Yuusuke has decided to attack with the walls themselves .
“Damn, using some strange divine arts!”
The wind user jumped backwards to avoid the falling wall and attempted to flee. Since Yuusuke had no other means to attack while the wall was falling, he restricted the fleeing man by erecting other walls in succession.
Yuusuke was coordinating his walls with the pitfalls, to restrict wind users movements and vision. At the same time, he was paying attention towards the spectators as to avoid hurting them in the process. Unfortunately for Yuusuke, who was a novice in fighting, such concern was equal to negligence.
Such method of fighting, while being aware of the surroundings, often increased the difficulty and carnage. Only those with confidence and experience could afford to resort to such way of fighting. Yuusuke, being brought up in calm and peaceful environment, was being naïve.
With a sound of a propeller, a wind blade flew close to Yuusuke’s head, damaging his face and shoulder. Since Yuusuke was the one erecting the walls, the wind user was attacking him with the wind blades before his path of retreat was completely closed off.
Since the trajectory of the blades was hard to see, reasonably powerful wind blades, fired in quick succession, was a threat.
Erecting walls around himself, Yuusuke took a defensive stance. Several of the wind blades were scattered by the walls, but Yuusuke left an amateurish blind spot.
Defensive walls could not protect from attacks coming from above. After hearing the sound of wind, Yuusuke dodged immediately, but, as the attack grazed his side, he lost balance and fell.
As Yuusuke tumbled outside of the protection range of the defensive wall, the wind user has raised his hand over his head, preparing to deal the finishing blow. The moment he raised his hands his body was covered in flames.
“My name is Violet, not You. Also I am not stupid, no matter how I look at him, that guy is strange.”
As Yuusuke raised his eyes, Violet snapped her fingers again as she ordered to arrest the wind user.