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Hardships And Adversities

Chapter 28 -Hardships And Adversities

  “U-Um…”

 

  “…We don’t have time to talk right now! We need to get out of here as soon as possible!”

  

 

  I untied the whip tying Irina’s legs, then grabbed her arm and rushed out of the cave. 

  

 

  “W-Wait… Haa…!”

  

 

  Then Irina, who began running with me in haste, stumbled and collapsed on the ground.

  

 

  “Ge-Get up quickly! If we don’t get out of here…”

  

 

  I started urging her to get up quickly, but…

  

 

  “You need to take off this blindfold and the rope binding my arms, else I won’t be able to run properly!!” 

 

  “…Ah.”

  

 

  Convinced upon hearing Irina’s words, I loosened the blindfold and the whip, tying her arms. 

  

 

  “…W-Where are we?”

  

 

  Irina, who had her brows furrowed, soon scanned the surroundings with a bewildered look on her face. 

  
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  “…This is where Frey’s secret hideout is located. It’s a place where no one approaches because there are usually demons lurking around.”

 

  “……….”

  

 

  I gave her a brief explanation and was about to get going again, but suddenly Irina glared at me sharply and inquired.

  

 

  “…Who are you?”

 

  “……..”

  

 

  After momentarily staring at her, I replied in a hushed voice.

  

 

 “…A nameless maid belonging to the Shadow unit of the Starlight family.”

  

 

  Having said that, I was meticulously hiding my appearance with a white mask and black robe. I also altered my voice to be as thin as possible, using the stellar mana to conceal my nature as a man.

  

 

  Still, I held my breath because there was a possibility of exposing myself to the experienced Irina, who asked one more question with a perplexed expression. 

  

 

  “…Why are you helping me?”

  
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  It seems that Irina didn’t recognize me. As expected, it was the right decision to wait until dusk, when the whole place was submerged in a moonless darkness.

 

 

  Of course, it will be a bit risky due to lack of visibility, but in order to deceive Irina by maximizing the efficiency of the black robe I’m wearing now, moving at night was the best choice.   

  

 

  “That’s…”

  

 

  As I organized my thoughts, I heaved a sigh and began narrating the scenario I had prepared in advance for this moment. 

  

 

  “…Actually, I’m also a victim.”

 

  “Victim…?”

 

  “Yes … I’m a member of the Shadow unit, but at the same time… every night in this secret hideout I’m forced to serve the heinous Frey…”

 

 “Does that mean… Frey is here right now…?”

  

 

  When she asked with an astonished look, I lowered my head helplessly and said. 

  

 

 “Yes… Frey was planning to kidnap you in the duel the other day, so he ordered the Shadow unit to replace Arianne’s recovery scroll with a spatial teleportation scroll.”
 

  “What…?”

 

  “Unaware of that, Arianne tore the scroll to help you… and that’s how both you and Frey ended up here.”

 

  “Then Arianne…!”

  

  “Yes… Ms. Arianne, who fell into the trap, will be castigated. Of course, Frey, who came here with you, would safely enter this secret hideout and would be looking forward to embracing both of us until the search team finds us using magic backtracking.”

  

 

  Upon hearing that, Irina trembled and muttered in a voice, seething with rage.

  

 

  “How can a person do… something so disgusting…?”

 

  “Yes… you’re right… when I was first brought here…”

  

 

  I sympathized with her words, but when I shook my head helplessly as my words became obscure near the end, Irina inquired cautiously.  

  

 

 “Then… why are you helping me…?”

 

  “Earlier today, when… I saw the woman who was running away being killed, I decided… I had to get out of here somehow…”

 

  “Ah…” 

 

  “While I was trying to escape, I brought you along since you happened to be at the entrance of the cave. I wanted to bring other captives with me if possible, but they are all chained up…”

  

 

  As I continued to speak in a quivering tone, Irina, who was biting her lips, approached me and opened her mouth.

  

 

  “I’m really thankful. This grace even after death…”

 

  “Haa…!”

  

 

  Then, when she tried to hug me, I quickly backed away and exclaimed. 

  

 

  “I-I hate it!!”

 

  “Ah…”

  

 

  And for a moment, an awkward silence lingered in the atmosphere.

  

 

  “I-I’m sorry… it’s just that I’m traumatized…”

 

  “……..”

  

 

  If Irina had hugged me, she might have figured out my body shape, so I started making excuses based on the scenario I came up with on the spot. Upon hearing the excuse, Irina gave me a guilt-ridden look.

  

 

  “…Sorry.”

 

  “No, it’s fine. Now let’s get out of the woods… Hmm?”

  
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  Having calmly accepted Irina’s apology, I turned around with a sharp expression when I suddenly sensed a presence behind me as I was preparing to leave the forest.

  

 

  “Guruk…! Guruuk…!”

 

  “Guuruuk…”

  

 

  Looking back, what entered my field of vision was a horde of goblins corrupted by the dark mana approaching us with a slavering look. 

  

 

  “B-Be careful…!”

  

 

  Seeing the scene, Irina hurriedly stepped in front of me and summoned flames in her palms, but the flames were extinguished in less than 3 seconds.
  

 

  As I looked at Irina’s figure in silence, who was muttering in a hushed tone, I drew the sword I found earlier in the pile of skeletons inside the cave.

  

 

  “I’ll take care of this… First and foremost, you should…”

  

 

 – Kachiing!

  

 

  “…Huh?”

  

 

  However, when I suddenly darted forward and cut off the head of the goblin leading the horde, she looked at me with a shocked expression.

  

 

   “Guruuk!!”

 

  “Gu-Guruuk…!”

  

 

  Meanwhile, I looked at the horde of goblins, who began running away when they lost their leader. Soon, I glanced at Irina and opened my mouth when I discovered that she was still staring at me from behind.  

  

  

  “Come on, the hideout houses a lot of agents who are several times stronger than I am.”

 

  “Uh… yes…”

  

  

 That’s how my and Irina’s arduous adventure began.

  

 

 .

 .

 .

 .

 .

  

 

  “Gasp…gasp”

 

  “Um… are you all right…?”

   

 

  For a while, we encountered only a few weak monsters, so we’ve been able to endure to a certain extent, but… eventually, within a few hours of leaving the cave, we met a flock of fairly strong demonic monsters, the ‘Drakes.’ 

  

 

  Because of this, my body soon reached its limit as I had no choice but to protect Irina while facing all the drakes who were rushing at us from all directions.

  

 

  If it wasn’t for the penalty… I would have been able to hold on somehow. What a shame.

  

 

  “Sorry… I’m afraid I need to take a break…”

  
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  Fortunately, I drank a lot of highest-grade mana potions, originally intending to transfer a considerable amount of mana to Irina, so I’m brimming with stellar mana.

  

 

  Therefore, unlike other times, it wasn’t too difficult to keep my voice altered with stellar mana for such a long period. 

  

 

  “Ye-Yes… let’s take a brief break… Y-Your body is also in a terrible state…”

  

 

  While I was immersed in my thoughts, Irina pointed at me with a trembling tone. 

  

 

  When I looked down at my body, wondering what she was talking about, I realized that my condition was indeed terrible.

  

 

  My shoulder, that was torn off by the Fenrir, had turned green, the entirety of my body was covered in scars, and blood was seeping through the fabrics of the mask because of the significant amount of blood I coughed up.

  

 

  “…Don’t worry too much. It’s a hundred times better than the abominable things that happened in the secret hideout.”

  

 

  I tried to reassure her with a smile, but seeing my state, Irina trembled and muttered.

  

 

  “If I get out of here… I’ll definitely kill… Frey… somehow…”

 

 

  ‘…Did I just dig my own grave?’

  

 

  Thanks to this, I felt a chill down my spine, but since sooner or later it would all be converted into false evil points, I decided to remain silent and sat down on the floor.

  

 

  “Ugh…!”

  

 

  However, as soon as I sat down on the floor, I suddenly felt an excruciating pain surge over my body.

  

 

  Whether it was because the tension subsided or because of the change in posture, the pain only worsened over time. 

 

 

  Because of this, Irina suddenly approached me, seeing me writhing in pain.  

  

 

  “I-If you don’t mind… I’ll cast a healing magic spell on you… I can’t muster mana, but if I touch your skin directly, it might relieve some of the pain…”

 

  “Do-Don’t touch me!”

  

 

  As I hastily backed away from Irina, who was about to cast a healing spell on me, she was taken aback for a moment, then soon lowered her head. 

  

 

 “What the hell… kind of dreadful trauma is that… to make even a strong person like you shudder in fear…?”

 

 “……….” 

 

  “…If you hadn’t saved me, would I have gone through such dreadful suffering?”

  

 

  She muttered to herself for a moment, then soon raised her head and said with a bitter smile on her face.

  

 

  “Excuse me… can you tell me your name?”

 

  “…I’m Liana.”

  

 

  After thinking for a moment, when I gave her an alias that came to my mind, Irina looked at me with a resolute expression and declared.

  

 

  “Liana… If you escape from here… lie low for a while.”

 

  “…Huh?” 

 

  “Hide for a while and wait… for the arrival of good news. And, when that time comes, live in peace.”

 

  “Are you going to… kill Frey?”

  

 

  When I asked cautiously, she nodded with a grim expression. 

  

 

  “Yes… no matter what, I’ll kill that bastard. Even if I’m forced to crawl under his crotch, I will surely end him.”

 

  “…Will you be returning to the academy?”

 

  “Yes… I honestly want to leave the academy… but if I do that, my childhood friend and her sister will be in danger.”

 

 “…I see.”

 

  “Yes, so once I return to the academy… I’ll be Frey’s faithful dog. If he wants me to crawl under his crotch, I’ll crawl. I will even hurt myself if he orders me to. If he asks me to serve him at night… I’ll serve him at night.” 

   

  “……….” 

 

 “I’ll pretend to be traumatized by this incident and completely surrender to him… And when the opportune moment arises, I’ll end his life with my own hands. So, until then, you’ll have to put up with this disgrace.”

  

 

  I didn’t feel uncomfortable seeing Irina talking in a spiteful tone about her plans to kill me, rather I naturally smiled because of the fact that Irina’s heart had not yet shattered.

  

 

  “Um, but I’m curious about something…”

 

  “…Yes?” 

 

  “Why are you wearing that mask?”

 

  “……..”

  
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  But that smile faded away when Irina began to think that my mask was bizarre.

  

 

  In fact, no one has laid eyes on this mask besides the little girl who I gave the ‘Ring of Fortune’ to and the Succubus Queen who is now suffering in the netherworld.

  

 

  Of course, Clana and Ferloche have seen me wearing a mask before, but at that time, the whole auction house was engulfed in darkness and the mask I wore was just a ball mask distributed at the auction house, so I was probably safe.

  

 

  However, it will be troublesome if Irina considers my mask itself bizarre. 

  

 

  “I apologize, but I don’t want to show my face to other people…”

 

  “…Why?” 

 

  “…I was beaten to the extent that my face is now disfigured.”

 

  “………”

  

 

  In the end, I had no choice but to use my notoriety again to persuade Irina. She looked convinced and soon averted her gaze.

  

 

 To be honest, I thought she would still harbor some suspicions, but it seems my name lived up to its infamy.

  

 

  “Well then, let’s get some sleep…”

  

 

 – Growl…

  

 

  “…Uh.”

  

 

  As I was about to lie down with such thoughts in my mind, I suddenly heard a growl from somewhere.

  

 

 “…Uh.”

  

 

  As I scanned the surroundings vigilantly, wondering what that sound was, I soon noticed Irina was clutching her belly with her face flushed red.

  

 

  “…Are you hungry?”

 

  “Oh, no… not really…”

 

 

 – Growl…

 

 

  “”……….””

  

 

  Irina, who tried to deny that she was hungry, soon lowered her head when the growling sound from her stomach rumbled once more.

  

 

  ‘…Well, it’s understandable that she is hungry.’

  

 

  Irina, at this point in time, must be rather poor.

  
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  So, she probably would have been spending her money eating the cheap meals at the commoner’s restaurant in the academy.

 

  

 

  Then she used up a considerable amount of mana before getting caught up in this incident, so she didn’t even get to eat… Of course, she must be hungry…

  

 

 – Growl…

  

 

  “So-Sorry…!”

  

 

  Once again, when a growling sound resounded, Irina hurriedly tried to apologize. However, this time around, the growling noise didn’t come from her stomach.

  

 

  ‘…Come to think of it, I’ve been through a lot as well, haven’t I?’

  

 

  It seems, since I’ve been struggling so much lately, I’ve become insensitive to this sort of situation.

  

 

  Anyway, now that it’s come to this, I think I need to satisfy our hungry appetite. 

  

 

  The best way to restore your depleted life force is to eat and rest well.

  
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  “…I’ll get us something to eat.”

 

  “I-I’ll help as well…! No matter how you look at it, this is still a battlefield… and I’m pretty confident in my survival skills …!”

 

  “Then, don’t stray too far… and just search around here. Scream if anything happens.”

 

  “…Got it.”

  

 

  Thus, in the middle of the night, ‘Food Search Quest’ to satiate our hungry appetite began.

  

 

 .

 .

 .

 .

 .

  

 

  “Y-You… how did you catch that…?”

  

 

  Irina, who arrived at the promised place with her arms full of berries, looked astonished at the sight of the giant boar I had caught. 

  

 

  “…With a sword.”

 

  “That’s not what I… Sigh, I see.”

  

 

  When I answered calmly, Irina, who was about to say something, immediately shook her head, then put the gathered berries on the ground and asked.

  

 

  “I have been curious about something for a while… You’re really strong, aren’t you?”

 

  “…Yes.” 

 

  “Then… Why were you stuck with Frey?”

 

 “…Because the hideout is full of strong men who are several times stronger than me.”

  

 

  I answered calmly when Irina doubted me again. Upon hearing my reply, she nodded and grimaced when she remembered the man from earlier.   

  

 

  “And… not too long ago, my siblings were held hostage.”

 

  “…Hostage?”

 

  “Yes, it’s a dirty tactic that Frey often uses.”

 

  “That’s right, because that bastard specializes in such dirty tactics.”

  

 

  Irina, who strongly sympathized with my additional explanation, soon grimaced and muttered to herself.

  

 

  “But… the sound I heard ‘a while ago’…”

  

 

  After muttering to herself for a long time, she looked at me with a sullen expression. Soon, she closed her eyes and grumbled. 

  

 

  “Why am I making so many mistakes today…”

  

 

  Of course, it’s not that she made a mistake, it’s just that currently I’m acting. So, it’s not Irina’s fault.

  

 

  ‘By the way, am I becoming too much of a scumbag? Will I be fine?’

  

 

  Leaving behind the guilt-ridden Irina, as I stared at the giant boar and grabbed the hilt of my sword, I suddenly began to ruminate if I was becoming too much of a trash as a person… In retrospect, it’s not that different from my widespread infamy. Thus, I decided to put aside my concerns for now and began to skin the giant boar.

 

 

  – Crackle… Crackle…

  

 

  After a while, Irina kept glancing at the meat of the giant boar I had skinned while it was being cooked in the bonfire.

  

 

  “…Ms. Irina, please feel free to eat.”

 

  “Re-Really?”

 

  “I hunted it, intending to share it with you in the first place…”

 

  “Bu-But… I only have berries…”

 

  “Oh, isn’t this my favorite ice dragon berry? I really liked it when I was a kid…”

 

  “…Huh?”

  

 

  I picked up the berry and took a bite so Irina could eat the meat without feeling burdened. However, suddenly Irina frowned and kept staring at me. 

  

 

  “What’s wrong?”

 

  “No-Nothing…”

 

 “Ummm… It’s delicious… After all, this fresh taste is the best…”

 

 “…………”

  

 

  Thus, smiling cheerfully, I pushed the berry under my mask, and Irina, who had been observing me for a long time, eventually quietly picked a piece of the meat from the bonfire and took a bite.

  

 

  So, for a while, a munching sound echoed through the forest.

  

 

 .

 .

 .

 .

 .

  

 

  After finishing their meal, the two decided to get some rest for an hour. 

  

 

  “Then… shall I sleep first…?”

 

  “…Un, sure.”

  

 

  Eventually, Liana, who won the rock-paper-scissors, went to bed first, as Irina stood quietly next to her for an hour.

  

 

  “……….”

  

 

  However, even after the promised hour had passed, Irina was silently staring at the woman who introduced herself as ‘Liana’ without waking her up.

  

 

  “Zzz… Zzz… Zzzz… Zzzzz..”

 

  “Good…”

  

 

  After a long time, when Liana began snoring, Irina stealthily approached her.

  

 

  “…As expected, I need to check for myself.”

  

 

  Eventually, Irina, who was now in front of her, began to reach out to the mask she was wearing… the moment she was about to unmask her hidden face. 

  

 

  “…Whoaa!”

 

  “…Haa!”

  

 

  Suddenly, Irina tripped backwards when Liana yawned aloud and sprung up. Liana stretched for a while, then soon turned her gaze to Irina.

  

 

  “…Hmm? Ms. Irina? Why are you like this?”

 

  “Ah no… it’s nothing…”

 

 “Come to think of it, it’s time for the change in shift. You have gone through a lot today… so rest for a while.”

 

  “…Yeah.”

  

 

  Later, when Liana suggested the change in shift, Irina tried to reply calmly, but she was still biting her lips. Soon afterwards, she lay down on the ground and closed her eyes.

  

 

  “……….”

  

 

  And Liana… No, Frey, who briefly stared at her, put his hand on his chest and muttered under his breath.

  

 

  “…I almost got caught.”

  

 

  Thus, Frey stood by Irina’s side, keeping watch, as he ruminated that it was fortunate that he hadn’t slept for an hour. 

  

 

 “…Mhmm.”

  

 

  I shouldn’t sleep at the expense of my identity being discovered. 

  

 

 .

 . 

 .

 .

 .

  

 

  I wanted to give Irina a bit more rest, so I stood by her side for about an hour and a half keeping watch, and when she woke up on her own, we began to forge our way through the forest again.

  

 

  As we continued to advance through the forest, it was soon the break of dawn. However, Ashen Forest, as its name suggests, was a place that remained submerged in darkness until noon, and thanks to this, I was able to hide my appearance effectively from Irina until we reached the end.
  

 

  “Ms Irina, look over there! I can finally see the end of the forest!”

 

 “…I’m truly glad.”

  

 

  By dawn, we had finally reached the end of the forest. 

  

 

  We were fortunate to arrive at the end a few hours earlier since we didn’t come across any monsters. For some odd reason, they suddenly vanished from the vicinity. Meanwhile, we looked at each other with a bright smile.

  

 

  “Then… it’s time to part ways, isn’t it?”

 

  “Yes.. I’m going to beg Frey for my life like a dog… make sure you hide somewhere.”

 

  “…Got it.”

 

  “Oh, and… I’ll never forget that you saved me. So, if you’re ever in need of help, please visit the Imperial Mage, ‘Irina Philiard’.”

  

 

  She paused for a moment, then soon opened her mouth again with a smile. 

  

 

  “…If you can’t bother to remember my name, you’ll just have to find the strongest Archmage in the Empire.”

 

  “…All right.”

   

 

  As I waved at her and bid farewell with determined eyes, I concentrated stellar mana to eavesdrop on Irina, who began to mutter from behind.
  

 

  “…After all, should I take off the mask by surprise?”

  

 

  And soon after realizing that she was still suspicious of me, I hastily headed for the end of the forest…

  

 

 – Ruuuuumble!!!

  

 

  “…….!”

  

 

  Suddenly, something colossal emerged from the exit and I froze on the spot. 

  

 

  “Tha-That’s…!”

  

 

  And it was the same for Irina, who experienced the previous timeline.

  

 

 Because that’s…

 

  

 

  “…Fuck, that’s why all the monsters in the area disappeared.”

  

 

  Because the dark golem, the final boss of the quest ‘Academy Demon Invasion Incident,’ which was supposed to take place a long time from now, stood before us.

  

 

『Target Recognized… Confirming Objectives…』

  

 

  The colossal golem that sprang up from the ground in an instant quietly examined us, then soon spoke in a mechanical voice.

  

 

『Begin Eradication…』

  

 

  And as soon as the voice ceased, a dark beam of light flew towards us. 

 

 

  I’m afraid we’re screwed..

 

 

 


 

Translator’s Notes:

 

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The Main Heroines are Trying to Kill Me

The Main Heroines are Trying to Kill Me

메인 히로인들이 나를 죽이려 한다
Score 9.2
Status: Ongoing Author: Released: 2021 Native Language: Korean
To save the hopeless Dark Fantasy World, I held back my tears and destroyed the world, then killed the Demon King and returned.   Now, I'm trying to save the world using the 'System' I gained as the 'Regressor's Privilege'...   But the Main Heroines have also awakened their memories of the previous timeline.   God dammit.

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