Chapter 42 - Burial Chamber of Angels (part eight)

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Chapter 42: Burial Chamber of Angels (part eight)



“……”


『……』


“……W-what is it~?”


『…….』


The silence was very awkward.


In addition, it was difficult to read the expression of Palug whose smile disappeared, it was hard to circle around it.


Please give some reaction.


Why did I say such a thing, I was embarrassed about my self-satisfied look.


No, it was fine even if it was embarrassing.


I decided to settle this not with battle but with wisdom, it was my last ray of hope.


If this was a wrong information, my survival after this was in danger.


After all, it was a straight line towards me being eaten alive.


『Ufuh.』


Unexpectedly, there was a strange voice coming out of Palug.


Gradually, her face was twitching and finally her face broke into a smile as if to say she couldn’t hold it back anymore.


『Ufu, ufufufu. Why do you know about it?


Oh no, ufufufufu. That was a secret between my King and I~.


Eh~, hundreds of years have passed, how did you find out?


Ufufuh, aah~, how embarrassing~.』


Palug covered her face, looking over here from between the gap of her fingers, her tail was swishing back and forth as if troubled.


You looked like you were having fun, Divine Beast-san.


Where was the serious person just a few moments ago?


Ah, no, if that serious person was busy, she didn’t have to force herself to come back.


This person who advance to the gag route by her own will should increase my survival rate.


Anyway, was it really fine to win by a riddle match?


I was supposed to cornered and was about to die, I wondered if this person loves telling a riddle so much.


『I can’t believe it, there is someone who challenges me to a riddle match in this era!


Prepared yourself, daughter of an alchemist.


Here is the match that will decide your fate. This is the beginning of hardships beyond imagination.


Once the match starts, not even God can stop it. If you want to withdraw, this is your last chance, you know?』


“I am the one who challenge you, and I will not run away now! Bring it on, Messenger of God!”


There was no way I would withdraw, I miraculously succeeded in saving myself from being eaten alive by a cat.


Whether it was a tough match or not, it was better than sitting around and waiting for my death.


『Aah! The annoying Curse from my God!


I cannot escape from this constraint that was granted to me by my God who dotes on the diminutive human beings.


I cannot help it, I really don’t want it, I really, really don’t want it!


But alas, I have to accept this riddle match.』


Palug was exaggeratingly lamenting in a tone of voice as if acting on a play, as she hugged herself in anguish.


No matter how I looked at this angel, she was in high spirits.


『If this is a normal match, it will be my complete victory.


Then it will be boring and become a breach of contract with my God.


So, I will give you, who is just a human being, a chance to win.


If I made a mistake even once, it will be my defeat. You lose when you made three mistakes.』


Palug thrust three fingers before me as she said that.


She seemed to give me a handicap.


In this case, let’s get as much as I can get.


“I understand. I guess I can make two mistakes, right?”


『Yes, furthermore, every time you made a mistake, you will give me one third ownership of your body.』


“Um……Palug-san, human beings will die if you pluck one third of their body.”


『Wait……don’t say such scary things. I’ll only mark you a little bit.』


“Mark?”


『Don’t worry. I will return it to normal if you win.』


I said that word many times without voicing it while nodding in agreement.


What did she mean by ‘mark’?


I became uneasy, I wondered if she really could return it to normal.


『Then, I will answer you.


Walks on four legs in the morning, two legs at noon, and three legs in the evening……


An infant walks with their limbs, an adult walks with two feet for a long time, an old man who walks with a stick.


In other words, the answer is human?』


“……Correct.”


The first question was easily answered.


Perhaps in the southern continent, there was the famous riddle of Sphinx that was said in my previous world?


There was no use in regretting, let’s think positively.


Because I thought of that riddle, I pulled myself into this advantageous situation, this was the most satisfactory outcome.


It was unexpected that the riddle was solved easily, but I succeeded in earning myself time.


I was barely keeping myself from thinking negatively.


In contrast, Palug was so pleased with herself that she spontaneously jumping up and down.


『I did it~~! Yay~!


As expected of me! I’m so smart!


Now then~, this time it’s my turn to ask, okay?』


Palug assumed a mysterious pose that looked like some kind of martial art, somehow she seemed very excited as she was saying that.


Unlike her appearance, she was as childish as a little child.


By the way, until this monster was found by Auguste, she had been living for a long time.


『He dies every night and revives every morning.


He runs all the way in a day and he will not stop walking no matter how tired he is.


Who is he?』


Incomprehensible words came suddenly.


Died and revived every night, was it a zombie?


Or, was it a magical beast or a phantom beast of some continent that I didn’t know?


No, there wouldn’t be such a problem like that.


Palug said that it would breach the contract with God if it didn’t favor human beings.


So, problems that human beings could never solve should also be a breach of contract.


Something that disappeared every evening, and revived as the sun rises.


Shadow?


But shadows didn’t walk thousands of miles.


Was there anything else that linked to sunrise and sunset?


No, wait.


Rather than being linked—


“Sets in the evening, rises in the morning, and from our standpoint, this star goes around us—the answer is the sun!”


『Ufufufufu, correct. Perhaps that was too easy?』


“No, it was very difficult.”


『My, my, how splendid. Next time, let me give you a problem that you cannot afford to be humble, okay?』


Palug answered with a large smile.


Oh no, should I have pretended to struggle a bit?


『But before that, Erica Aurelia, it’s time for you to ask.』


As if she couldn’t wait, Palug was beckoning me to start.


Well, what kind of riddle should I make?


Since I didn’t not particularly like riddles, I hadn’t prepared anything.


Palug seemed to really love riddles.


She would have already covered the basic riddles of this world.


Then, now was the time for my so-called modern knowledge cheat.


Even a common riddle in my previous world would be a riddle that nobody knew in this world.


After hesitating for a while, I asked Palug.


I chose a simple problem that even children in my previous world would know.


“A big flood on the top, a big fire at the bottom, what is it?”


A smile appeared at the mouth of Palug.


It seemed that a riddle that didn’t exist in this world had drawn the interest of the divine beast.


Yosh, if she is thinking about it carefully as she is, I can spend the time to think about the next riddle, I was thinking about silly things.


『Hmm~, to say a big flood, if it’s a pot, it is an exaggeration.


The submarine volcano should not be known yet by people.


Oh, I remember. Long ago, I have seen it on the southern continent.


—The answer is a bath.


You have an extensive knowledge, daughter of an alchemist. However, unfortunately my knowledge seems to have surpassed yours.』


“Uu……that’s correct.”


In the meantime, my modern knowledge cheat had been defeated.


No, rather, it was not even a cheat if it got insta-killed.


It was just modern knowledge.


If I thought about it carefully, it might be good that there was a bath in this world as well.


Without it, the problem would fail.


It made me shiver when I thought that the penalty for cheating was made with the sensibility of a monster.


I secretly thanked the ancient technology in my mind.


Without knowing my internal conflict, Palug cheerfully pointed at me with an exaggerating gesture.


『Well then, now it’s my turn!


It is sometimes a serious illness leading to death.


No matter how powerful their magic was, no doctor can heal it.


But this disease will make people and beasts happy.


Is this problem too easy for little girls?』


What should I do, I didn’t understand it at all.


Was it not ‘despair’, if we were talking about deadly disease?


But it was uncertain whether ‘despair’ made people and beasts happy.


Besides, ‘easy for little girls’?


It became more and more mismatched with the answer ‘despair’.


This was troubling……


No matter how many times I thought about it, my thoughts returned to ‘answer: despair’.


My modern knowledge was interfering with my ability to solve this riddle.


Eventually, I couldn’t think of any other answer after going around in circles.


This was not good, well, it was better than not answering at all.


I opened my mouth after thinking so.


“……Despair?”


『Oh my~, you finally made a mistake! Too bad!


The answer is ‘love’.


I thought it was too easy~』


Palug expressed her joy exaggeratingly.


However, her face suddenly became clouded.


『Hm? Wait a minute, ‘despair’? Huh? Why did such an answer come out?』


“Eh……, is ‘love’ something you can be happy with?”


『Eh……?』


“While I am happy if I see people falling in love in a fiction—a drama……”


Palug widened her eyes, her mouth was half-way opened, and with an expression that looked like a goldfish.


She took several steps back with that expression.


Eh? By any chance, did Palug move away from me?


“Can falling in love really makes you happy? It seems to be troublesome, and it will be painful if the other person didn’t love you back, right?”


Palug stepped even further away.


Somehow she had an expression as if seeing a pitiful child.


『I do not deny that there is such a dark side.


It is because the decease of loved ones could also lead people to death.


But, nevertheless, don’t you feel happy when you fall in love?


Look, what I’m trying to say is, that your heart would tighten with a ‘kyuuun~’ when you around that person, and when you think about them, you became excited.


Since I was born, I have fallen in love about thousands of times, but I was happy each time.』


“……!”


It was in four digits number, what amazing love affairs.


I was happy if it was in a game, manga, or novel, but my real experiences with love were all disgusting.


I was seriously scared of love.


Most of all, the feeling of refusal was terrible because I had been caught up in such feelings by other people.


『……I wonder if you are too young to talk about love……you are not even a ten years old.


But, what do you mean?


To feel that ‘despair’ is a happy thing, just what the heck happened……what kind of life are you living even though you are not even a ten years old?』


No, I didn’t think ‘despair’ was a happy thing, but I couldn’t think of anything else.


I attempted to interject her, but when I heard the following words, I withdrew the words that had come up to the tip of my tongue.


『……This is my mistake in making the question. I will think of an alternative problem.』


Somehow I got through it and even got an advantage.


However, I appreciated Palug’s condolences.


『Cannot do anything, but can do anything.


Does not help with anything, but more precious than anything else.


The existence itself is a blessing, bringing salvation and happiness to those in contact.


However, not everyone wants it.


Who is it?』


I examined the second problem of Palug.


This time I only thought about it a little and quickly arrived at the answer.


The scripture stated that He was omniscient and a supreme being.


But, in reality He did not do anything.


The existence Himself was said to be a blessing, bringing salvation and happiness.


But the choice of whether to believe or not was left to each person.


The answer was surely ‘God’.


It was a problem that seemed to match perfectly with ‘God’.


“The answer is God, isn’t it?”


Palug made a face.


『Sorry.


That was pretty good, but it’s not the answer.


If it is God, He will help people even just a little.


The correct answer of this riddle, is a baby.』


“Uh……!”


This was bad.


Because there was a God’s messenger, God had to be exist.


If even one of the miracles conveyed in the folklores or scripture was true, it would not match the condition that ‘cannot do anything’ and ‘does not help with anything’.


Besides, ‘baby’ was a perfect match for these conditions.


『Ufufufu. You finally made a mistake. Then, as promised, I will get one third of your body.』


“W-wait a minute.”


『Nope~. Because I have been kept waiting for a while.』


The arm of Palug lit up in light crimson.


It was lighter than the nails of flame, but I couldn’t feel at ease even by saying that.


She brandished her lit up arm and aimed it at me.


Due to the bright light, I closed my eyes.


『Yep, nice work.』


After a while, with the pleased sound of Palug as the signal, I opened my eyes.


There was no pain.


It seemed that I was not broken, gouged, scratched, nor bitten.


(That’s good, I’m not being eaten yet……truly, I don’t want to be eaten alive!)


Just to be sure, I touched all over my body and checked.


Yup, I was fine.


I had all my fingers and my legs, there was no place that I couldn’t move.


There was nothing bleeding.


I could feel both eyes, my nose, and my ears too—


fluff.


(Eh? ‘Fluff’……?)


As I was touching my head, I realized there was something out of place.


Something was attached on somewhat above the place where my ears should have been originally.


I hurriedly took out a small hand mirror from my bag.


Nothing was lost.


However, there were extra things added.


They were in a golden color similar to that of Palug in front of me.


However, mine were in a sharp triangle shape while Palug’s were a round lion-type.


On my head, they moved with a twitch.


There were cat ears growing on top of my head.


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