Chapter 030: Third negotiation audience with the Pope and Object X
After returning from the labyrinth, Katria-san called out to me first.
“Welcome back. That expression … Well firstly thank you for returning safely.”
“Please stop doing that. If Katria-san who always takes care of me bows her head to me, I’ll feel uncomfortable.”
“Please stop with those mischievous eyes. Well then first of all, please convert my magic stones into points.”
“Mou. I wanted you to let me tease you a little bit more.”
Even while saying that Katria-san had already taken my card and was moving the magic stones into her bag. That’s right Katria-san had always used a magic bag with greater capabilities compared to mine to perform P conversion.
“It’s really amazing this time. 426,549P.”
“It was quite good. Nevertheless, this time could really be expressed with the bold letters ‘Seriously’ bad. Without 「Area High Heal」 I would have really died.”
” … To be able to cast 「Area High Heal」 at such an age, Luciel-kun are you sure you didn’t falsify your age?”
” … Eh? But when I registered at 15 years old I couldn’t even cast 「Heal」?”
“Or did you dabble with things like dubious drugs.”
“There’s no way I would … Ah?!”
“Let’s cleanse you by confessing your sins in front of the Pope.”
My arm had been firmly caught.
“I was thinking of going there as well. I have something on my mind so please bring me to the Pope this time as well.”
“Ara? Somehow you’ve become more aggressive. Was it because you finally defeated the 30th floor boss?”
“No. This time I just hope that the Pope knows anything regarding something that I have been drinking for more than 2 years.”
” … That’s very different from what I had in mind.”
“That’s because I feel like I’m very close to solving a 2 year long mystery.”
“I feel that the tension is somewhat higher as well. Perhaps you really almost died?”
“Hahaha. I was actually surprised at how the situation turned out. This time, I succeeded with no damage taken only because luck was on my side, allowing me to realise that Holy magic is effective against the Undead. If not for that, I might have died.”
“Luciel-kun, it’s a bad omen to keep saying that you will die so please stop.”
“I was saying it figuratively. Sorry.”
“Well then should we go?”
We continued our conversation while we walked.
“So then what monsters appeared this time?”
“3 Wights and 5 Specter Knights appeared and I truly thought that I would die. I was saved thanks to the fact that somehow I reached level VIII and became capable of using「Area High Heal」. But I am afraid that eventually beast-type undead like Undead Dragons and Dullahans would eventually appear.”
“I see. By the way dragons are classified as fairies and not as undead so Holy magic would not have any effect on them.”
” … Seriously?! I pray that this doesn’t become a flag.” (TL: In Japanese gaming terminology a flag (in this case a death flag or an encounter flag) is where a certain event is triggered by a certain choice made in a game; in this case by him mentioning about undead dragons he’s hoping that he won’t end up really encountering it)
“Don’t mind me.”
“By the way what have you been drinking?”
“Some extremely stinky and disgusting drink called Object X from the Adventurer’s Guild. They said that it was made for the adventurer’s by some sage in the past but have you heard of it?”
“Nope I’ve never heard of it. Is it well known?”
“Yes. Up to the point that I received nicknames because I continued to drink it.”
” … That seems fairly intense. Even so … Your holiness it is Katria.”
Thus my third negotiation audience with the Pope began.
Katria-san and I knelt down and bowed our heads down before the Pope spoke up.
“Is today’s matter regarding the 30th floor boss?”
“Yes. It is regarding the matter that he defeated the 30th floor boss.”
“Umu. Thank you for your hard work. Even so, to reach the 30th floor on your own, you have exceeded my expectations.”
“Thank you very much. This was also thanks to the equipment and tools I’ve received.”
“Hohou. However that is unlikely to be the only reason. I’ve heard that you have high magical powers as well.”
“I have something to report with regards to that. Apparently he has been drinking something called Object X said to be made by a sage.”
“This is it.” I extracted the barrel of Object X from my magic bag.
“?! Put that back immediately!”
” … Ugh, is that poison?”
Huh? Was it that smelly? Not only Katria-san, even the maids had frowns on their faces.
“No, it comes from a magic tool made by a sage-sama from a deal with the Adventurer’s Guild. Between adventurers they talk of it as something that even monsters wouldn’t approach.”
“There was such a thing? Wait … What is the official name for that?”
“I’ve only heard it called as Object X. It is something that novice adventurers must be able to drink.”
” … Maybe, that is not Object X but the pill developed by the adventurers made by mixing various herbs, the heart of a dragon, water from the spirits, root of the world tree and other items, and they somehow developed a magic tool capable of making something similar but for some reason it became a liquid so they renamed it. No, if that is the case then it shouldn’t be named Object X. Supposedly during the time when it was a pill, the assigned name was tasteless so the inventor renamed it as God’s Grief. That should have been written down in literature.”
It was without a doubt a cheat item. But the world would have been fine without such a strange item.
“That liquid form of God’s Grief, Object X might be the source of my success. True, it is so disgusting that even the gods would lament it, the sense of taste and smell would be damaged for 1 hour after consuming it and there is even slight amounts of poison mixed in. However, I’ve learned that the body’s immunity is capable of detoxifying the poison such that the poison doesn’t accumulate. I drink a mug of this in undiluted form after breakfast, lunch and dinner. I started drinking this 2 and a half years ago and I may have reached this stage thanks this.”
I lightly tapped the barrel of Object X kept within my magic bag.
” … Have you really been drinking that?”
“Yes. That’s because this a world that one loses life easily. I wouldn’t feel at ease without doing things that can be done to prevent that. Without any risks, if just by drinking it one can become stronger then of course I drank it. Ah, with the exception of the nicknames gained and pitying gazes obtained from drinking this.”
I felt slightly sad when I said that.
“I understand. Your extraordinary growth was due to your hard work and suffering.”
” … Luciel-kun is amazing.” Oh? Katria-san has returned to normal.
“Umu. If that’s the case then there’s no issue. Although the sage had really neglected to think about how it would turn out taste and smell-wise.”
I totally agree.
“Well then, what were the monsters this time?”
“Yes. 3 Wights and 5 Specter Knights. I defeated them while on the run using 「Area High Heal」.”
“Hou. To be able to reach such heights at such a young age, you might one day even ascend to the rank of Archbishop.”
“I will work hard.”
“Well then take them out.”
I took out all the items I picked up and passed them over to the maids.
As usual, the Pope looked at the items handed over by the maids and suddenly muttered.
“This belongs to those 3 girls … That’s enough for today. I will pass the rewards to Katria, good luck with the labyrinth capture.”
Her voice sounded slightly stiff and gloomy. Looks like it was a setting with those 3 being her acquaintances. (TL: He still thinks that they are acting out the setting for the ‘game’ = labyrinth he is assigned to clear)
After leaving the Pope’s room, I went to the dining hall for the first time in a long time.
“Ah, oneesan, long time no see. Please give me a generous serving for today’s dinner.” (TL: Oneesan = Elder sister or a polite way of calling a woman who is younger than aunty but older than a young girl)
“Erm knight-sama, how much do you desire?”
The oddly stiff manner of speech left question marks hanging above my head.
“What is with that manner of speech? I am Luciel.”
I checked my surroundings before quietly whispering. Obachan stiffened, before her face thawed out and was replaced with a gentle expression. (TL: Obachan = aunty)
“Ohhh so it was Luciel-kun. With your hair tied up and your equipped armour, I totally had no idea who you were. I will immediately go prepare your food.”
After that the kitchen was fairly hectic. “Thank you for waiting. Eat up and regain your energy.” A plate that had slightly more than my usual was prepared for me.
“It looks delicious. Great job.”
“Thanks for the compliment. I’ll pass it on to the others.”
“Thank you. I’ll leave it up to you the next time as well.”
After taking a seat and while having my warm meal, I thought “Do the waiters here have it tough? They look so tense.”
“Thank you for the delicious meal. I’ll be back tomorrow.”
“Then I’ll prepare plenty tomorrow.”
“Yeah. Thank you.”
I conversed with obachan and returned to my room.
“There hasn’t been any harassments, maybe everyone knows that I do not stay here. Maybe they can’t openly challenge me because not only is it impossible to intimidate using force within the church headquarters, I have also had multiple audiences with the Pope.”
While I considered that, I read the magic spell books for the first time in a long time and concentrated on fundamental magic training before falling asleep at the place I laid down upon.
The next morning, I had a filling meal and collected my bento. Right when I wanted to enter the labyrinth, Katria-san was unusually already there.
“Katria-san, good morning.”
“Good morning. Luciel-kun the Pope gave you this …”
A piece of parchment was handed to me.
“It seems like records of God’s Grief, or Object X’s, effects.”
God’s Grief aka Object X was written in detail.
“There’s quite a lot written down, oh well. I’ll be entering the labyrinth then.”
“Good luck. If you have any troubles come discuss them with me.”
” … ? Okay. Thank you.”
Katria-san had unusually displayed eyes with pity and quickly hid them away or was it my imagination?
I thought about that as I entered the labyrinth.
After defeating the monsters from the 1st floor to the 20th floor, right before sleeping I read the parchment I received and got a shock.
Below is word for word what was recorded in literature regarding God’s Grief aka Object X.
There was a trend that the occupations related to the church like knights, healers and priests was on the decline due to mankind’s three greatest desires, the desire to sleep, the desire to eat and the desire for sexual pleasure.
Although I feel immensely regretful that I was forced to name it God’s Grief, I created this remedy so that they would not be treated unfairly in this world and so that they would not lose the joy of living as people.
The effects are increased appetite, increased sexual desire and activated autonomic nervous system. As a by-product, I learnt that various abnormal status resistances are gained, and dormant cells are activated resulting in various statuses becoming easier to rise.
When I introduced it to the church, I was consecutively criticised for the smell so it was deemed inappropriate by church and disposed of.
I was depressed. At that moment the Adventurer’s Guild headquarter’s master Crius was interested in its effects and wanted to make newbies drink it.
Thus my research was instead harnessed by the Adventurer’s Guild.
I’ve decided to concentrate all my research into one day developing a remedy that can be introduced to the church as well.
Subsequently within the church, every time the sage-sama made a new adjustment to the remedy it released a nasty odour, so the therapeutic medicine was never completed.
After I finished reading I understood. That pitying eyes from Katria-san was because she saw me as an asexual (TL: no sexual desire. She thought that he had low sexual desire so he drank Object X to boost it XD). Wait.
And then I realised, I could converse with females and I do have interest in them but I’ve never felt horny.
“Note to self, once I clear the labyrinth, I will go fall in love with someone.” I somehow mustered energy from my tired body, only after reaching the 30th floor did I finally recover from my shock.
The next day, while exploring the 31st floor, I also had combat with the Specter Knight squad. Incidentally they disappear with only 1 cast of purification magic so, without being unreasonable, I gradually increased the numbers that I faced and I began training within my labyrinth training ground.