Atk 0 Crit All ~My attack stat is negligible, so I can't help but rely on critical hits to succeed!~
I took a deep breath as I readied the huge stack of ingredients that was finished being prepped. Behind me, large tubs of tomato sauce and diced veggies were stacked on a table, waiting to be added.
“Yi Long, can you get the oven ready like how I showed you?”
In response, the young prodigy of magic started casting an Earth spell. Soon, flat slabs of rock rose from the ground, braced by short pillars. He had created a long flat table of essentially earthenware. In the middle, I plunked down a huge ball of dough, freshly made.
Using large hammers of wind, Yi Long next pounded and rolled the dough, thinning it out as it stretched across the table. Within minutes, the dough reached all the way to both ends.
“Portal, please.” I looked over to Chrys, who had borrowed Katalina’s invention.
She shot one in front of me and placed the other above one end of the dough. With a tub of sauce in hand, I dumped it into the adjacent portal, such that the sauce drizzled on top of the dough as the other one slowly moved along the length of the table. Once it reached the end, I switched to the bowls of veggies, sprinkling that while the portal moved backwards.
By now, most people from my world would know what I was trying to make. In particular, a girl from Japan, who was currently wearing a cute maid outfit, was starting to drool from watching.
“Alright, it’s not pizza if there isn’t cheese!” I grabbed a large hunk of cheese and a grater, shredding the last topping with gusto into the portal. “Cheese rain!”
Shredded cheese sprinkled down onto the pizza, giving it the needed ingredient to hold everything together. Then with a snap, I signaled for Yi Long to work his magic once again.
“Pit of Fire!”
A well-controlled flame rose underneath the earthen table, baking the ridiculously long entree on top. With a wave of his hand, Yi Long cast another spell, swirling the air around the entire length of the table. This Wind magic kept the heat trapped in a confined space, melting the flakes of cheese against the other ingredients. After some time, the smell of freshly-baked pizza started drifting in the wind towards the workers in the distance.
We were outside, next to the construction site for the Queen’s new castle. Although, if you asked anyone, it didn’t seem so much like a castle as a secret hideout for a mad scientist. It didn’t seem to matter since she was the Queen. That had been what she envisioned as her personal royal quarters. In truth, she probably just wanted a space for her creations now that she stood at the top. There were even maids, who she referred to as ‘assistants’, that were tasked to clean up and reorganize after her fits of ingenuity.
And so, my first task as her Chancellor was to provide any support needed to the kingdom’s reconstruction and to get things running smoothly again. That meant organizing the funds and manpower from the various lords, addressing any issues or conflicts that popped up, and more or less, boosting the morale of the country.
What better way of improving morale than to feed all the construction workers some good pizza, in which this world had yet to discover the joy of. And to top it off, being served by cute girls in a maid outfit would be the finishing touch.
Saki looked at me nervously, fidgeting with her skirt as she waited for her turn to begin. After I became the Chancellor, it seemed like there was no other place for her to be but to serve the next one. Honesty, embracing a bit of freedom wouldn’t have been so bad for her, but having her by my side wasn’t unfavorable either.
However, there were times that I swore she gave off this chilling aura that towered behind me. I already accepted her for who she was, so hopefully, it was just something I had to get used to. On the other hand, the sight of her in something frilly was pretty pleasant to the eyes compared to the bulky armor that she usually wore. She had a slim, petite figure in which explosive attack power was the last thing you would expect, and the touch of shyness gave off some dangerously moe signals.
‘I know her defense is bad, but wearing normal clothes in times of peace should be a given, right?’
With the pizza finally getting crispy, I got to work slicing it into plateable servings for Saki to take over to the busy workers.
“Go on! Service, service with a smile!” I called out to her. She stiffly smiled back at me, probably regretting her decision to serve the next Chancellor.
Yi Long and Chrys had decided to stay in Sistina, helping out wherever they could. In particular, the two of them didn’t have the same troubles as they did in Sanshiro. With Yi Long practicing magic under Cornelius, he couldn’t be happier to find a place where his talents were appreciated. No one in Sistina had ever associated long ears with demons, so there was an absence of caution in approaching Chrys. She was the cute, beaming girl that loved helping out in the kitchen and enjoyed singing in her free time. The townspeople embraced her like she was their long-lost daughter. I felt like it was a sin for anyone to think otherwise.
‘Idols didn’t exist in this world. What if?’
I slapped myself before I could think too deeply into this. I had plenty to do as the Chancellor. There was no need to be Mr. P as well.
I looked off into the distance. Lau had returned to Sanshiro. After getting some punches in on Pietro, acquiring some similar bruises in response, they called it a draw. He gave Carina a big hug before heading back to report the news to Lady Kaguya. Not long after, we received a letter from her, thanking us for taking care of the two kids for the time being.
“Master, slow.” A monotone voice interrupted me as I had zoned out.
Ludmila had already distributed everything that I cut. In contrast, Saki was racing back and forth with much effort to catch up. She really shouldn’t have held herself to any standard, especially not against a speed demon.
“Alright, I’ll get to work….” I activated my skill and let my knife fly across the pizza.
However, as I neared the end, I felt the knife snap. As I usually did when that happened, I grabbed another cheap knife and held it against the exposed gem on the handle, willing the magic stone to absorb the metal and repair it.
Strangely, nothing happened this time.
After a few attempts, Chrys walked over and examined my knife.
“The magic stone is dead. End of its lifetime.”
Not realizing that could happen, I smacked my forehead. It looked like I would have to make a trip to Grimm’s store soon for a new one. I was thankful that he had escaped from Engelberg before his shop was demolished. He ended up building a shop in Faulkner afterward.
“Hmm… what to do with this one though?” I pondered, thinking that this knife had served me well all this time. “I’m going to take a walk. Chrys, wanna come?”
I eyed the elf girl, who noticed the hint I was giving her. With how busy things had been, I never did get around to asking her about the previous world.
“Okay,” she simply said, bouncing over for an overdue piggy ride.
It was still strange to think that we had met in the same world before this one – heroes summoned on opposite sides of a meaningless war. For us to meet again in this world and work together to save it, that was quite the scheme the Gods had for us.
As we trotted through the fields of the Faulkner region, we shared stories that we remembered of our past lives. If war hadn’t happened between Botticelli and Rinaldi, it seemed like each country would have had its own charm. If we had worked together back then, would it have turned out differently?
That was, of course, an answer that we would never know. What was done couldn’t be reversed. All we could do was learn from our failures, just as Katalina had said.
After a while, we reached a hill that overlooked the former Capital of Engelberg distantly on one side and the City of Faulkner on another. One place, full of memories of a long journey, and another, where unknown possibilities had just begun – This seemed like a good place to say farewell to a partner that had weathered through the whole adventure.
With that, I stuck the knife into the ground, its handle pointing to the space in between these two locations.
“Thank you, partner. Couldn’t have done it without you.” I looked up to the sky before adding, “And thank you, Hero Claude and Hero Chrysanthemum. We’ll live the lives that you couldn’t in this world.”
While they may have been past lives that we didn’t even know of until just recently, we carried their regrets and wishes into this world. That may have been why the prophecy foretold as such.
Though it may have been the light playing tricks on my eyes, I could’ve sworn I caught a glimpse of the two waving back at me, the glare of sunbeams casting a glow upon their foreign clothing . After I blinked, they were no longer there.
I turned to Chrys with a smile.
“C’mon. Let’s head back. To our home.” Her response was a cheeky grin, one as innocent and heartwarming as any girl her age should have.
Hand-in-hand, we walked back, two residents in this lively, wonderous world.
A purple wisp of mana drifted across the ruins of Engelberg, seemingly searching for something. Finally, it felt around and found the corpse of a soldier mostly intact. This body had been frozen in Ice magic and possessed a decent amount of residual mana, which slowed down the decomposition of the body.
The purple wisp dissolved itself into the gradually failing core and reignited the glow from it. What remained of the core’s original owner was overwritten with a new signature. After several minutes, the body slowly lifted his limbs up and down, as if testing whether they would stay intact. Eventually, he rolled to the side and onto his feet.
Licking his lips to rejuvenate the moisture that had been lost, he muttered a few words.
“Well, that was a miscalculation.”
Pulling up his stat menu, he noticed the name ‘Cesar’ at the top. While the body felt fine, he felt a bit annoyed at the bland name he had ended up with this time. But that wouldn’t matter to him for long. He would find a better replacement in time. Like he always had.
As he scanned through the lines of stats, he saw that the current body was of modest build. There was nothing remarkable about the stats of a common soldier, one that merely happened to have a bit more mana than most. That would be adequate as a temporary host.
Next to the current window, he pulled up another one. If anyone were to see what was written there, he or she would question if it even belonged to a living being. A column of nothing but zeros filled the right side of the screen, save for one line at the very top. Next to HP, the value that measured the life force of a living being read 999999.
Given that typical humans only had numbers in the hundreds and thousands, with the few highly-trained maybe breaking into the next digit, this seemed like an impossibly large number.
But for this being, who was the Electi of Life, these restrictions didn’t hold. To compensate for its apparent immortality, its very existence was cursed with the inability to do anything without the help of a medium.
While the bodies it possessed may shatter and crumble from attacks, that was separate from the lifebar of its true self. Maybe, a small portion of it could be drained, but soon afterward, it would recover to full. It would then search for another body, and the cycle would simply repeat itself once again.
Of course, finding good bodies to possess who weren’t Electi themselves took time and good planning, or in this case, a measure of good fortune. But it had all the time in the world. After all, there was nothing in this world that could degrade its existence.
Even with its previous core obliterated, one that it had picked up randomly at some point, the chef and his Master merely shaved off a tiny sliver of his health, only numbering a few percent. The ‘miscalculation’ had been losing the abilities that came with possessing those cores, which had no doubt been valuable.
Getting up, he brushed himself off and hummed. Within the abandoned ruins devoid of other life, only the sound of a creepy melody floated in the wind.
“Mine is a life that never ends,
Oh, how the world crumbles and bends,
Though you may kill me, I won’t die,
My very existence is a lie.
Lured again by the demon’s dance,
In this world, surely you have no chance.”
Volume 5 End