Sorry guys the Slow Life Frontier chapter is not ready yet so it will be another Growth Cheat release today.
Everything was over by the time I woke up.
The soldiers and Talwi were cleaning up the Demonic King Dragons that we defeated.
The Demonic King Dragon that was blown up by Sheena No.3 did not retain its original form and its value as raw materials was not that high whereas it seemed that the Demonic King Dragon I defeated would become a national treasure.
The corpse was purchased by Marquis Yutings and it was scheduled to be transported as it was to his mansion with the exception of the Dragon Core that was handed to me.
I ended up getting aid from Marquis Yutings once more but I felt that I would be forced to rise in rank if I tried to repay him so I made sure Earl Paul took credit for everything.
“Kusunoki-kun, this ─ ─ Sheena-san asked me to take care of this. She wanted me to pass it to Kusunoki-kun. Also, she dropped this.”
Suzuki passed me the Hihirokane that Sheena No.3 left behind as well as the disc that she dropped.
It was an illegal copy of the Nyapiece DVD.
I would usually dispose of it but I’ll keep it as a memento of Sheena No.3.
I couldn’t bring myself to throw it away.
“Sorry, Kusunoki-kun. I was too weak.”
“No, you did well.”
Nobody anticipated that there would be two Demonic King Dragons.
“Jofre and Elize, you guys helped too. Everyone would have died if you guys did not ride Centaur and bought some distance.”
“ … Jo, are you okay? It’s better to cry when you feel like crying, you know?”
“ … Jo, are you okay? I’ll lend you my chest if it’s too hard to bear.”
“Idiots. I am praising you guys.”
Sheena No.3’s actions were correct. If she didn’t do anything, not only her but all of them would have died.
“Kusunoki-kun. Talwi-san mentioned to pass this to you. They scraped it from the ice.”
“ … Ah.”
It was a round sphere that shined golden.
The Dragon Core. It was said to be the heart but it didn’t seem to be the heart organ.
Or was it similar to the ball of the Dragon’s neck that appeared in the Taketori Monogatari story?
But there was no meaning in getting this at this stage.
I thought to myself as we rode on Suzuki’s Wyvern and returned to Goats Rocky.
After securing a promise to let us ride to Mallegory, we left to meet up with Carol.
The three of us returned to My World.
I let Haru report to Pionia and the others while I returned to the Log Cabin and collapsed on the bed.
I buried my face in the pillow and spoke to myself.
“ … I’m hopeless.”
I delegated the most painful role to Haru.
I have not changed at all since that time.
How many years have passed since both my parents died? I thought I have grown stronger after all this time. But the truth was that I did not grow at all.
I was still a child.
“ … I’m really weak … Will I actually be able to help Miri as I am now?”
I muttered and looked at the Hihirokane that Sheena passed to Suzuki and the disc.
Hihirokane ─ ─ the metal that I said I wanted.
It was an important part of Sheena No.3 but it only looked like a metal card.
“Did she leave it behind because I said I wanted it?”
But there was no meaning in getting something like this.
And then, I turned my sight to the disc.
The disc was not a DVD.
DVDs have a double structure and looked slightly different from a CD.
If I remember correctly, among the things mixed within the item bag Miri carried, there were empty DVD-Rs as well as CD-Rs.
This was a CD.
(Does that mean this is music data?)
There was a possibility that it was information data as well but Sheena No.3 was hooked on Nyapiece’s opening song. Perhaps she made a copy of that.
However, I didn’t know why myself but I got up from bed, slowly walked toward the part of the house where the generator was housed and placed the CD into the portable DVD player.
Since the portable DVD player was able to replay music as well.
Then, as expected ─ ─ or not, it was not music.
『And so, I am able to welcome the end of my lifespan because of Master ─ ─ or rather, it is thanks to Master desu. My current self, in soccer terms, would be in stoppage time ─ ─ something like service time desu. I do not wish for anything else. I can’t hope for any more. Sheena No.3 is already on the winning side so there will be no overtime desu. 』
It was an audio data that Sheena left behind?
That was Sheena’s conversation with me when I found out that Sheena did not have much time left.
Why did she leave this behind?
『Winning side ─ ─ are you really okay with that?』
It seemed that my voice data was recorded as well.
『Yes desu. Running away after winning is the woman’s dream desu.』
『Don’t you want to be the pirate king?』
『That was a joke desu.』
『And so, what do you want to do? I’ll try to grant whatever wish I am capable of.』
『Let me see … well then, Master, could you please cover your ears desu?』
『Ears … ? All right.』
After that, Sheena No.3 apparently bad-mouthed me.
I didn’t hear anything because I closed my ears at that time but her voice was recorded in the voice data.
『Master … my wish is to have a final adventure with Master. Until the day the siren for the end of the game rings … and after that too.』
The voice recording ended there.
So she didn’t bad-mouth me.
Why was she able to speak so clearly at that moment?
A siren? This was not high school baseball so that sound won’t ring.
My tears started falling.
What’s with this, this is against the rules.
Even though I came this far without crying, return my effort to me.
Or rather, if you wanted to be with me until the end, then do that.
If you were with me, you probably wouldn’t have died.
I would have protected you.
“ ….. ?”
Wait, what did Sheena say after that?
Until the day the siren for the end of the game rings … and after that too?
I looked at the Hihirokane card in my hands.
I could see something like seams along the side of the card.
It seemed that it was originally two separate pieces.
“Maybe ─ ─”
I put my fingernail into the gap and pried. It was quite hard and a normal nail would break but with my physical-based jobs, my physical attack value was over 1000 so my nail was stronger than steel.
“Just … a … little … more! All right!”
The metal card split into two. And then ─ ─
I quickly ran out of the house and asked Carol, the first person I met, where I could find Pionia.
Carol told me that she was in the work shed and asked what was going on but I replied ‘I’ll tell you later’ before heading toward the work shed.
In the work shed, Pionia was storing the body we prepared for Sheena No.3 into a wooden box.
“Master, I’m sorry. Although it is only pretending, I wish to use the body we prepared for Sheena No.3 for the funeral.”
“Look at this before this matter about the funeral.”
I showed her the card that has been split into two.
Written words were tightly squeezed into that space.
“Isn’t this that thing used by Magic Journalists?”
“Affirmative. Those are words used by Magic Journalists. It is a spell meant to store information.”
“Store information? In other words ─ ─”
“If the Philosopher’s Stone takes on the equivalent role of a human’s heart and gastrointestinal tract, this Hihirokane plays the role of the brain. Sheena No.3’s memories are most probably stored in there.”
“In that case, won’t Sheena come back to life if we install this in the prepared body?”
“ …… ”
Pionia didn’t say a word.
It was unusual for her to be troubled.
“Pionia, what’s the matter?”
“ … Negative. Master, Sheena No.3 can’t be fixed with that.”
“Because her soul is no longer there. Even with Sheena No.3’s memories and a complete recreation of her body, without a soul, it would no longer be Sheena No.3. It would be a different being.”
Without a soul, she can never return.
No, that can’t be the case. I denied it.
“Sheena No.3’s soul is definitely sleeping in here.”
“Why do you believe so?”
“She said it herself. Even after the siren signals the end of the game, she wishes to remain with me. She then left this behind for me. In this Hihirokane, Sheena’s soul ─ ─ no, Sheena’s being is retained in it. I believe so.”
After I said that, Pionia lowered her face.
And then, she raised her face and looked me in the eye before saying.
“My calculations state that the chance of Sheena No.3 returning to life is below 10 percent.”
“I think there are sufficient chances with Lost Time and Remake. At the very least, I do not know a high school baseball kid who abandons victory and gives up on the game when there is a 10 percent chance.”
Pionia said and accepted the Dragon Core and Hihirokane from me.
She poured Nectar into the container made of Adamantine and submerged the Dragon Core in it before replacing the lid. It seemed like a children project but Pionia’s eyes were serious.
She incorporated the Hihirokane.
But, Sheena No.3 didn’t move.
“Now that I think about it, this alone is insufficient. Even if we install the Philosopher’s Stone, it only gives the ability to turn miasma into magical energy, it doesn’t provide energy.”
“Affirmative. So, I have a request for Master.”
“Please approve making Sheena No.3 my younger sister.”
“Younger sister … don’t tell me!?”
I took out the test tubes that Torerul-sama passed to me from my item bag.
There was a Homunculus egg inside.
“After the Homunculus egg hatches, Goddess Tet-sama incorporates the soul of a person from the reincarnation cycle. However, if Sheena No.3’s soul is within this Hihirokane, her soul would reside in that Homunculus.”
“In that case, won’t the problem be solved initially if we had placed Sheena No.3’s soul inside that Homunculus?”
“Negative. Sheena No.3’s soul is a soul born from mutation ─ ─ it can’t survive without mechanical aid. By inserting her soul into this egg, she would no longer be an Automata or a Homunculus but a new life form ─ ─ in the words of Master’s world, I predict she will return to life as a Cyborg.”
“Then what will happen if we fail?”
“Nothing will happen. A regular human soul is incompatible with a mechanical body. No soul will reside in the egg and it will quickly rot and disappear.”
“In other words, regardless of success or failure, whatever is born from this would not be your younger sister?”
After all, to Pionia and Neete, the Homunculus born from this final egg would be their younger sister.
Is it really okay to sacrifice that younger sister to bring Sheena back to life?
“Master. Master is mistaken. I do not only consider Neete as my younger sister. Sheena No.3 is also a troublesome younger sister to me. If there is a 10 percent chance of reviving my younger sister, I do not care about a younger sister that does not exist yet.”
“Until now, Sheena No.3 was the older sibling due to her age but with this, I would become the older sister, in name and in reality.”
“ … I see, all right. With an elder sister like you, Sheena No.3 would definitely return to us. Please do it.”
She replied before opening the mouth of the prepared body for Sheena No.3 and placed the Homunculus egg within it.
The mouth closed naturally.
But, nothing happened.
Her mouth didn’t open.
Her finger did not move.
Her eyebrow did not rise.
“Sheena! Please. Give us a reply. This is Master’s orders!”
My voice echoed in the work shed.
At the moment.
That voice … those numbers …
“─ ─ Please reply with the numbers if you wish to register as my Master desu.”
Sheena No.3 opened her eyes and said with a smile.
The numbers I recall.
“Master recognized desu.”
Sheena No.3 raised her upper body.
“Good morning, Master. Now then, I shall waste no time in shifting into my mission to ensnare Master desu.”
I hugged Sheena No.3 and replied.
“I’m already ensnared. But only for today.”
Welcome back, Sheena No.3.
And thus, her match extended into overtime.
With this, the Mercenary Country arc comes to an end.
There’s a lot I wish to say but it is quite a kind world.
That said, I had decided from the start that Sheena No.3 would be reborn as a cyborg.
A firm eldest sister. A slightly tomboyish second sister. An idiotic cute third sister.
The rule of the three sisters.
Sheena’s [No.3] was because of that reason as well. There were many foreshadowing regarding Sheena No.3 but I decided to talk about it in volume 10’s afterword.
Next, we will finally enter the Mallegory arc.