Chapter 20:

I Love You

Writing a Guidebook with You

“This is what happens if I don’t give you a trial,” Antony said before he rolled his cage to the side.


Kousuke looked around. He noticed that Arabella, Hal, and Adelina didn’t react to what Antony said. Ah, this must be my delusion. But can I interact with them or move my body?

He raised his middle finger. And it worked. Antony just chuckled at his gesture.

“My lady, can I kiss you?” Kousuke asked Arabella.

Arabella looked at him and said, “Let’s save that for our wedding.”

Damn it. Even he knows how Arabella would react! Emotional damage!

So now everything is just like in the real world.

“Let’s go!” Adelina brightened and jumped into the first floor of the castle’s tower. Like a typical tower in the Middle Ages, the first floor was a storehouse for all kinds of food, but no live animals in this case.

Adelina walked ahead without fear and arrived on the stair toward the second floor. She put her hands on her back and hummed. She looked so relaxed and couldn’t repress her excitement.

Hal didn’t look impressed. Arabella, too, didn’t look around like a peasant. But although Kousuke had seen Arabella’s tower, he looked around and was amused by the contrast of it compared to Arabella’s: it was white and crimson everywhere, not black outside and white inside.

When they explored the second floor, Adelina halted her steps in front of a wide crimson door. She looked at the party and said, “Don’t you think this is where His Holiness’ friend resides?” She closed her eyes and revealed her teeth like a cute anime girl, gleaming.

“The hall?” Arabella guessed while she observed some paintings in the walkway. There were many paintings of a freckled, crimson-haired woman.

“I guess so,” Kousuke responded. He muttered, “System. Assign 5 skill points to [Triple Cuts] and [Critical Hits],” and said, “[Charge]! [Weapon Buff], [Physical Pierce], [Critical Hits].”

Arabella and Hal also shouted, “[Charge]!” Although Hal usually relied on those cubes which flew around him and followed him everywhere.

“Peddler, did you receive that silver knife, the Sudden Death, from Saintess Flavia?” Kousuke asked.

Adelina nodded, “Yes, Sir Sniper! Here! Don’t worry, I can fight a little!”

I honestly doubt that. Kousuke said, “Alright.”

Kousuke pushed the door. He saw a wide room. The tower’s windows had glasses, not heavy shutters like typical windows in the Middle Ages. And there was a long crimson carpet in the middle of the room instead of on the wall which, again, was not typical in the Middle Ages. These proved even more that the developers of Astarthe Online cared more about aesthetics!

The long carpet led Kousuke’s sight to a raised platform at the other end of the room. There, a knight in dark plate armor was holding his cheek on a throne. The knight wore a helmet that covered his neck, head, and face. The helmet, too, was dark. And the knight jolted for a moment.

He didn’t emit purple fire surrounding his body. That’s strange. Well, I have seen many deviations from the game, since I was reincarnated into the period before the game story began.

The Dark Knight Maxentius grabbed the dark sword that was leaning on the throne. He walked toward the party and raised his sword to aim it at them. A challenge.

“One debuff skill, four attack patterns, and his sword nullify any magic,” Kousuke explained, “Let’s beat his ass.” He then nodded.

Kousuke dropped his drag bag and rushed to Maxentius with his combat knife in his right hand. “[Air Freeze]!” Arabella shouted and accompanied Kousuke with her lances of ice.

Maxentius raised his sword and left a glint on the point of his sword. “That’s Magic Debuff! Magic skills will be reduced greatly!” Kousuke shouted while he ran.

“What an annoying trick,” Hal had formed two huge hands with his cubes. He ran after Kousuke and let his jacket drop.

Arabella’s lances of ice were broken without inflicting any damage. Thus, she raised her arm and shouted, “Dekever’s Calibur, D. Calibur!” She also ran after Kousuke.

Maxentius walked toward them, directing his sword toward the ground. When Kousuke jumped at him with a protruded tongue, he swung his sword upward and parried Kousuke’s knife, which also deflected Kousuke’s body.

“The Weeb Sect Fingering Technique. First Form:” Kousuke said. But before he finished his pose, Maxentius leaped at him and swung the dark sword horizontally. Kousuke ducked and was prepared to attack, but Maxentius reacted quickly again and swung the sword downward. Thus, Kousuke got whacked like a mole.

Right, Maxentius is very agile and a magic knight!

“The first attack pattern!” Kousuke rolled on the ground sideways and shouted. “He’s gonna swing his sword repeatedly and made multiple [Air Cut]s! So, jump!”

“[Anti Gravity]!” Arabella shouted, jumped, and held her sword with both hands. She was leaping to Maxentius and going to strike him down. Hal also made one huge hand break and stepped on its cubes to leap toward Maxentius. He was going to slam down Maxentius with a cube.

Maxentius jumped and made a slash a couple of times. He made some arc-shaped vapors, which moved fast toward Arabella and Hal. But they managed to dodge it because they had jumped.

However, Maxentius raised his sword and moved it up and down before Arabella and Hal reached him.

“Cover your head!” Kousuke shouted while he dashed toward Maxentius from behind.

Some sharp stalagmites were formed from thin air above Arabella and Hal, and falling. They, in response, shouted, “[Wind Blast]!” Thus, they blasted the stalagmites and Maxentius, while they protected themselves.

Maxentius noticed Kousuke, so he rotated his body and parried Kousuke’s knife again. Then he raised his sword and moved it up and down.

Kousuke warned, “Cover your head or avoid the ground!” That warning looked confusing because should they have jumped, ducked, or what! Therefore, Arabella and Hal shouted, “[Blessing Shield]!”

However, due to Magic Debuff, the water that seeped from the ground managed to bypass [Blessing Shield] and became ice to freeze Arabella and Hal’s legs. Kousuke avoided the water because he jumped.

Damn it, it’s hard to predict without the game attack warnings---those colorful marks on the ground.

“[Triple Cuts]!” Kousuke made small cuts with his knife. [Triple Cuts] was good enough to reduce HP because it had constant damage. Combined with [Critical Hits] and other buff skills, Kousuke could ignore Maxentius’ armor and eventually defeat Maxentius, assuming there was enough time.

Yes, the playstyle of a knife demanded the players attack aggressively multiple times. It was tiring, but that was the only weapon Kousuke could use.

He didn’t have more bullets for his pistols. Kousuke also did not use his rifle because Maxentius always moved and was very agile. So he thought it was hard to kill Maxentius with one shot.

Since Kousuke’s attacks didn’t have to be dealt with immediately, Maxentius turned around. He leaped toward Arabella, leaving dust with his feet. He swung his sword while he was in the air and close to her.

“Did you ever think, am I happy?”

“[Charge]! [Air Cut]! [Air Cut]!” Kousuke spammed random magic skills, although he was aware magic skills got nerfed. He just panicked.

“But you will always be on my side, right, my dear fiance?”


Hal hesitated to break the ice around their legs with the huge hand because he seemed afraid of breaking their legs too. He seemed to regret deeply that he was hesitating. Because it was too late.

“Then I found you.”

Arabella’s upper body fell to the ground. Her sword made a clang that echoed throughout the room. Kousuke could only hear that echo. He froze and couldn’t stop gazing at where she had stood and been alive. Something seeped within his chest. It was cold, sharp, and rebellious. He did not want to acknowledge the reality before him.

“GET A GRIP, PEASANT!” Hal smashed the ice and his own legs into pieces with the huge hand to avoid Maxentius’ downward swing.

“MY LADY!!” Adelina screamed and rushed toward Arabella’s body. Adelina, too, was late. But she also had no idea to prevent Arabella’s death. Death was always sudden, and it ripped apart anyone’s heart.

Ah, I see. I do love her. Even though it was just love at first sight, horniness at first.

But we became closer and closer, and it’s something that I don’t want to lose. Did I ever have someone who was always on my side, and I didn’t mind her? No. Did I ever have someone who played along with my quirks? No.

I cherish Arabella Dekever. I want her to be happy, although I don’t care what happens to me right now.

But that’s not possible anymore.

Kousuke realized that a single slash could be fatal in the real world, although it just reduced HP in the game.

It wasn’t playing a game, for God’s sake.