Omniscient First-Person’s Viewpoint Chapter 177

Chapter 177 - A Tale of the Past, Insider

༺ A Tale of the Past, Insider ༻

 

 

  The history of the Military State went hand in hand with clothing packets.

 

  The clothing packet, improved over two generations, was truly a revolutionary invention. Convenient and durable, it would envelop the body in an instant when infused with mana. Soldiers, for whom food, clothing, and shelter were a part of their labor, were captivated by the convenience of the clothing packet.   

  

  However, salons and tailors leading the fashion at the time were not pleased with the existence of the clothing packet. Lacking in skills but rich in money and connections, they approached the knights with a box full of gold.  

 

  The effect was immediate. Just a few weeks later, a ban on the use of clothing packets was issued throughout the kingdom. Ostensibly, it was to prevent the luxury and decadence of soldiers, but in reality, it was the result of knights in power weighing a box of gold against the ‘minor’ inconvenience of soldiers.

 

  Additionally, the third generation heir to the title Seamless Cloth received a challenge to a duel from a mysterious knight and was defeated by the end of it, without any right to refuse.  

  

  If the knight who received the box of gold was still alive until now, he would have regretted it immensely.

 

  After all, though it wasn’t the only reason for the coup d’état, if it hadn’t happened, it would have at least been delayed by a few more years.   

 

  “…The 2nd Seamless Cloth was devoted to the Military State. Thanks to their support for soldiers in every way, the Military State was able to ensure that no soldier suffered from the cold, even in tough times. We are also very grateful for such assistance, but….”  

  

  Peto replied with a somewhat awkward expression, as if at a loss for what to say or do.

 

  “Still, the matter of a holding company is a domain we cannot interfere with. We are Public Affairs, handling all kinds of miscellaneous tasks including family affairs, but succession matters of the company are not within our purview.”

  

  Even the girl standing bravely among strangers could not hide her disappointment at Peto’s words.  

  

  “B-But they told me that if I wanted help, I should come here!”

 

  “Who on earth told you that?”

 

  “A friend said a kid like me, who is rich and fearless, could just go to the host bar and stick a man next to me who would help!”  

 

  Cut ties with that friend. Right this instant.

 

  That remark almost burst out of everyone who was listening in to this conversation. As long as one did not know the full story, it was taboo to meddle in someone’s personal life.

 

  Deeper conversations should come after establishing deeper relationships. That was the creed of Public Affairs soldiers.  

  

  “Hmm. Quite intriguing.”  

  

  It was then. Hughes, who had been unusually quiet and focused, straightened up with an expression as intriguing as what he had just said.

 

  Peto murmured, ‘No way’, perhaps finding it unimaginable, but…  

  

  “Senior. I will help her.”

 

  The unimaginable had become reality.

 

  “What? You?”

 

  “You told me to take care of kids, right? Well, I just got demoted anyway too. I might as well lend a hand with Lady Bakiya’s situation.” 

  

  Hughes stepped forward confidently, as if his involvement would solve everything. The face of the granddaughter of Seamless Cloth brightened.

 

  Peto, feeling an urge to pull out his own hair, spoke.  

  

  “Help? Help, my foot! We might call ourselves Public Affair soldiers as a way to boast, but we’re no different from a host bar!”

 

  “Huh, you’re admitting it yourself now.”

 

  “One has to admit things when it’s time to admit them! Let’s be honest! What do we even have to offer besides our faces and words?!”  

 

  Every time Peto finished speaking, the slightly brightened expression of Sephier darkened in real-time. Sensing the discomfort of a customer with his whole body and soul, Peto grabbed Hughes by the collar and whispered in his ear.   

  

  “Know your place, Hughes. You and I are just flashy nobodies. We need to literally lay flat on our stomachs just to protect this host bar!”

 

“So you’re just going to let her go? The heir to Seamless Cloths, the greatest holding company in the Military State, comes to us for help and we just ignore it? Is that what a proud soldier of the Military State should do?”

 

“It’s a pity for us too. But what can we do? We’re just useless loafers and playboys! We don’t have the ability or the responsibility to meddle in such a huge affair!”  

 

  Distinguishing between official and personal duties was a virtue demanded in all positions of the public sector, but Public Affairs soldiers bore an even greater responsibility than most.

 

  It was an ungodly combination of a profession that could die publicly as a soldier and one that could die privately as a host; the responsibility on their shoulders were unimaginably huge. To prevent an enraged officer from storming in with a blade, they had to take care of themselves.

 

  Well-accustomed to this attitude, so much so that it was practically branded into his flesh and bones, Peto actively dissuaded Hughes. Eventually, Hughes conceded.

 

  “Ahhh. It’s not gonna work. Then…”

 

  “Right? You thought wel….”  

  

  Hughes released a packet. All sorts of decorations stuck to it fell to the floor and Hughes returned to his attire of a simple shirt.

 

  Hughes, who had quickly taken off his uniform, handed the uniform packet to Peto.  

  

  “I’ve always wanted to say this. I quit here, starting today.”

 

  “You crazy fucker….”

 

  “You are no longer my Senior. Do not speak so carelessly, Mr. Peto.”

 

  “You’re actually fucking crazy….”  

  

  Hughes pushed the packet into Peto’s arms and approached Sephier. Sephier, who had tried to hide her disappointment, looked up at the young man who had just approached.  

 

  “It was quite an interesting story. May I help you, Lady Sephier?”

 

  “…Thank you. But…”    

 

  Until then, it was hard to tell because of his flashy uniform, but without it, Hughes looked just a few years older than Sephier. Sephier asked Peto with a dubious glance. 

  

  “Is this man also a Public Affairs soldier?”  

  

  Peto closed his eyes tightly and replied.  

  

  “Not anymore.”

 

  “Was he at some point?”

 

  “He was a substitute, but at any rate, yes. He was.”    

 

  The tall and lean stature typical of a rapidly growing child. A face still bearing traces of baby fat; it was so young that even the word ‘youth’ seemed slightly insufficient to describe him.

 

  Sephier looked up and down at Hughes and tilted her head.  

  

  “Are you sure he isn’t just a child who borrowed a fancy uniform to wear?”

 

  “PUHAHAHAAHAH! Hey, Hughes! She said you borrowed it!”

  

  Peto burst into laughter for the first time this year.  

    

***

  

  Though one may even grasp at straws when drowning, when a straw was actually presented to them, their expression couldn’t help but sour. That was exactly how Sephier currently felt.

 

  Sephier looked at Hughes with a doubtful gaze and then turned her head away. It was unknown whether he knew how she truly felt, but regardless, Hughes walked alongside the girl with a beaming smile.

  

  “So, to put it simply…”    

 

  Hughes neatly summarized the situation.  

  

  “The 2nd Seamless Cloth is suffering from a chronic illness, and in the meantime, other relatives are coveting Lady Sephier’s position as the heir, right?”

 

  “…Yes. For now.”

 

  “For now?”    

 

  Sephier clenched the clothing packet in her hand and replied.  

  

  “Currently, in the Military State, only my grandmother and I can create the Arch-Avatar. When my grandmother was in good health, she taught me while also having my back. But now….”    

 

  As the health of the 2nd Seamless Cloth deteriorated and she could no longer exert her influence, there was no one left to protect Sephier.

 

  Hughes asked Sephier, who faltered in her speech.  

  

  “How strange. I’ve heard that the Arch-Avatar is an essential tool for creating clothing packets. If Lady Sephier completely abandons it, then there is no one else who could replace you. What are they even thinking?”

  

  Sephier hesitated before responding.  

  

  “…Unless I wish to destroy Seamless Cloths, I can’t stop making the Arch-Avatar.”

 

  “Aha. You don’t want to destroy the company even if it feels unfair. And they know that too.”

 

  “Seamless Cloths is a venerable fabric store passed down through generations. It has struggled for a long time but has recently regained its prosperity. It is…impossible for me to ruin it just because of my own desires.”

 

  “Hmm. What to do, what to do.”

  

  Sephier spoke gravely, but Hughes’ response was endlessly carefree. Sephier, who couldn’t bring herself to see him as reliable no matter how hard she tried, cautiously asked.  

  

  “…This time, I’ll ask a question. How old are you?”

 

  “I’m eighteen.”

 

  “Only two years older than me….”

 

  “Age isn’t very important when it comes to handling big tasks.”

 

  “Do you have some kind of plan then?”  

  

  Instead of answering, Hughes gave an ominous smile. For a brief moment, a chill ran down Sephier’s spine.

 

  That smile, which seemed like that of either a mischievous child who did not know the gravity of the situation or the schemer of the century, made Sephier feel an inexplicable sense of unease and relief at the same time.

  

  It wasn’t reassurance that the man was on her side. Rather, it was a relief that, at the very least, this man, whose actions were utterly unpredictable, wasn’t an enemy….

  

  “Lady, can you trust me?”  

  

  …But because of this strange feeling that she would lose this verbal bout if she complied too easily, Sephier swallowed hard and responded.   

  

  “No. I can’t trust you at all.”

 

  “How wise of you. But you’ll have to.”

 

  “Why so?”

 

  “Well, that’s because…”    

 

  By then, the two had arrived at the head office of Seamless Cloths in District 3. At the entrance of the seven-story building, hired security guards scowled fiercely.

 

  Pointing in their direction, Hughes replied.  

  

  “I’m going to tell them everything.” 

 

  Alexei Bakiya, the acting President managed the company in place of the bedridden 2nd Seamless Cloth, was entertaining an unexpected guest.

 

  Having heard the whole story from Hughes, he laughed uproariously as if it was the most amusing news of the year.  

  

  “KUHAHAAHAHA! Silly girl! She even goes to Public Affairs soldiers because she has nowhere to go?! To those who are no different from mere hosts! I guess kids can’t help but be kids, huh?!”

 

  “Seeing as she came straight to the host bar without knowing anything… Perhaps she’s actually quite precocious, isn’t she? Kehehehe!”

 

  “HAHAHAHA! You! I like you! Both your way with words and your attitude!”

  

  After a long laugh, Alexei wore a fishy smile before continuing.  

  

  “….And how you came straight to me because you’re so quick-witted.”    

 

  Wasn’t it said that snobs could recognize snobs? Hughes, too, responded with a similar smile to Alexei’s words.  

  

  “As expected, you had a rough idea, didn’t you?”

 

  “Ahhh, of course. The only place that little girl, who had never stepped foot in other districts, could go is near this vicinity… I didn’t expect her to drop by a host bar, though.”

 

  “But she basically ended up entering a far more dangerous place. Into a den full of bums with nothing but a quick buck in mind…. Kekekekekek.”

 

  “Kuhahahahah! What an unfunny joke!”


  “Kehehehehheeh!”

  

  The two, laughing in such a similar manner that they were practically looking into a mirror, eventually got to the main point after a few minutes.

 

  Alexei, who had been laughing so joyously just moments ago, hardened his expression. He asked what compensation Hughes wanted with a face full of wariness and regret.

  

  “Alright. So. You. What exactly do you want from me?”

 

  “I am a host. Precisely, my job is to engage women in conversation and disturb their minds to such an extent that they can’t dare to have any other thoughts in my presence.”

 

  “Oho? So?”  

 

  At the mention of disturbing minds, a positive response emerged. Sensing success, Hughes rubbed his hands together and spoke.   

  

  “Wouldn’t it be troublesome for you, President, if that little lady ran around freely? Especially if she gets her citizenship registered. You never know where she might bolt off to. Don’t you need someone by her side to keep an eye on her?”

 

  “You’re saying you’ll monitor her?”

 

  “Well, the word monitor sounds a bit harsh. What I mean is, doesn’t she need a tutor, President?” 

  

  Beyond anything, the choice of the word ‘President’ definitely seemed to please Alexei. He extended his hand to Hughes with a much more generous and genuine laugh than before.

  

  “I’m counting on you. From today, you are Sephier’s tutor. Since she won’t be attending middle school due to succession lessons, I guess it is my duty as her godfather to at least provide her with a tutor!”     

 

  Hughes bowed deeply, clasping that hand. His demeanor satisfied Alexei even more.  

  

  “Just leave it to me. I’ll push her to the point where she won’t even think of rebelling, making her capable of nothing but producing the Arch-Avatar!”

  

  If Sephier had a gun at that moment, she would have shot Hughes. Unfortunately, she did not have a gun then.

  

  Sephier paid a high price for trusting people far too easily.

 

  And so, 1 year passed.

 

 

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Omniscient First-Person’s Viewpoint

Omniscient First-Person’s Viewpoint

Status: Ongoing Author:
I, a mere con artist, was unjustly imprisoned in Tantalus, the Abyssal Prison meant for the most nefarious of criminals, where I met a Regressor.   But when I used my ability to read her mind, I found out that I was fated to die in a year…   And that the world would end 10 years later.

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