Chapter 37 – Congratulations! Ruphas Has Evolved Into A Clown!
Raw link: http://ncode.syosetu.com/n2211cx/38/ (2015/12/20)
Translator: twomorefreethoughts / TpstT (2018/12/28)
Editor 1: Hands of Vecna / Vecna (2018/12/29)
Editor 2: Keii (2020/09/30)
Translation link: https://twomorefreethoughts.wordpress.com/awlba-c037/
~ Summary up until this point ~
Unexpected! Just Loupe!
Ruphas: (… why a loupe?)
Dina: (A monocle…)
Libra: (A loupe…)
Aries: (Why a loupe?)
Merak: (A loupe…?)
（；0w0)＜ A loupe…
(Author Note end)
The White Town and the Black Town had previously been a step away from head-on collision, but the battle itself had been avoided.
Nevertheless, if someone were to ask whether the issue was resolved or not, the answer was unfortunately no.
Indeed, the collision had been avoided, however, the underlying cause of their hostility had not been addressed in the slightest.
On the contrary, the relationship between the two sides had only worsened. This was due to the fact that, regardless how they had been manipulated by a demon, people from the White Town had intentionally formed a volunteer army in order to attack the Black Town.
And for this point alone, there was nothing that my group could do.
Merak was this country’s king. As such, as long as he did not man up and keep both camps under control, the danger for civil war would continue to be a possibility.
I was thinking like that with the self-satisfied look of a third party. However, the situation had developed to such a state that we could no longer remain completely uninvolved.
Really, you reap what you sow. Considering that I was the one who had ordered Libra and Dina to act in the way that they did, there was no room for me to feel regretful about it. Notwithstanding that, Merak’s stare was quite severe.
At this time, I was still hiding in the shadows and observing the situation. However, Merak’s line of sight was fixed on Libra.
Well, I guess, if a golem that had supposedly been destroyed just casually showed up, then anyone would be suspicious of it.
As a side note, since a golem could only be repaired by using a skill from the alchemist class, unexpectedly, the possible identity of the one who had repaired Libra would be limited.
An alchemist who would purposefully (in this day and age) climb to the top of that certain extremely-hard-to-conquer tomb, then repair and bring Libra out of that place, and proceed to release fake information about Libra’s destruction… Well, I guess the only individual who could have achieved such a feat in this age was either Megrez or me.
Furthermore, an individual who would actually do something like that… Yeah, it could only be me.
Although… it was actually Dina who had spread the fake information.
For those reasons, it was within my expectations that he would arrive at such a conclusion.
“The golem over there… Umm, Brudzewski XVII, was it?”
“Nope, I’m Copernicus IV.”
“……… Err, it really doesn’t matter which it is, but can I get you to come to the castle with me? Of course, if there is anyone that is accompanying you, I’d like them to come as well.”
Merak’s forceful wording left no room for her to say no.
Yet, without even the slightest change in expression, Libra firmly stated her reply.
“I refuse. You do not possess the power to issue an order to me.”
“I, I would appreciate it if you don’t say it like that and come with me…”
The moment Libra replied in a firm manner, Merak became timid for some reason.
Oi, King. Why did you become so timid so quickly?
At this rate, unless there was an order from me, Libra would most likely stick to a single phrase, that being, “I refuse”. Merak was also unable to bring himself to be more confident… It couldn’t be helped, I guess I needed to take action.
After I decided that, I donned a robe (What about me cross-dressing? Aah, I stopped with that…) and showed myself in front of Merak’s group.
“Well, hold on. This is a rare invitation from the king. Why don’t we accept it this time around?”
“If that is my master’s order, then I have no objections.”
Once I made my appearance, Libra easily agreed to go to the castle and went to stand diagonally behind me, as if it was a predetermined position.
Dina and Aries also stood diagonally behind me, suggesting that this was everyone accompanying Libra.
In truth, Aigokeros was still inside my shadow, however, there was no need to go out of my way to let them know that.
“I’m really thankful…. Well then, let’s head off. There are quite a few things I want to talk about.”
Although Merak was putting up a front because he was in front of his citizens, watching his back as he walked in front of us, there was no feeling of any haki or dignity coming from him at all.
Even Megrez gave off some form of dignity, so what was up with this?
The lack of feeling was so bad that Aries also quietly asked, “Is that person really Merak?” Merak really did not give off the feeling that he was a king.
There was absolutely no feeling of confidence or the sort from him.
What about when he was playing the game?
The Merak that I knew… was always calm and the person who would mediate between everyone else.
He was by no means self-assertive or outspoken about his views.
Nevertheless, he was also not someone who would be carried away by the flow. Indeed, when there was a clash of views, he would gently list out the pros and cons of each opinion for everyone else and guide the others.
It was the same in fights.
He was never the type to proactively stand at the front.
The flugel race was suited for battle, yet they were also a race that has good compatibility with backline support classes, such as acolyte.
Therefore, there were battle types like me who buffed themselves, as well as complete backline support players. Between these two types of players, Merak was the latter.
He himself was neither proactive nor matchless.
However, the difficulty of the battle was completely different depending on whether he was at the scene or not.
Whatever the situation, he always used the best possible support magic at the best possible timing.
He could read the atmosphere… was how I would put it.
Strangely, before we could write down what kind of support we needed and when we needed it, he would always cast the support magic you wanted at the exact time you needed it. He was that kind of a person.
He could always manage the situation, and he always knew what people wanted. That was what I had thought of him.
…Was I just overestimating him?
Maybe it was “he couldn’t go in front” instead of “was always a step away”.
Maybe it was simply “he had no confidence” instead of “he was reserved”.
Maybe he actually did not have any autonomy, even though he looked calm and collected.
Maybe he just could not do anything by himself, instead of being capable of reading the atmosphere.
Was that how it was?
Maybe I had just selfishly thought that he was great and projected that image onto him.
If that was how things were, then this might be a bit problematic.
I had only ever become a king in the game itself and thus I did not know how difficult it was to be a king in actuality.
In other words, I was a total amateur. Even if I had become Ruphas Mafahl, I myself was still an ordinary citizen.
Notwithstanding, even someone like me knew that a king without confidence was no good.
Especially now when the fuse had already been lit, having a king that was not assertive was detrimental.
Even if it was a little forceful, it was important for a king to show his majesty and keep both sides under his control.
…At this rate, this country would really collapse even without the demons doing anything.
—somehow, it pisses me off.
Can you truly call yourself one of the Heroes who took me down even though you look like this?
“Please, have a seat.”
Merak led my group into what looked like his personal chambers then poured cups of tea for all of us.
I had only ever known and drank tea out of a can or a plastic bottle before, but even I got the feeling that it was high-quality tea from the fragrance it gave off.
As expected from a king. He had been drinking some good stuff.
“It’s tea made by using tea leaves that were imported from Draupnir. I think you will enjoy it.”
Again, it was another name that I did not know of.
I took a sip of tea and shifted my line of sight to Dina, who was sitting in the chair beside me.
Maybe she had expected that I would do that, because when I did, she quietly explained it to me.
“It’s a country of beastkin, established by the now-deceased Beast King Dubhe. I’ve been told that the quality of agricultural products from that country is quite exceptional.”
The country of scholars, Svalinn. The industrial nation of Blutgang. And now the agricultural nation of Draupnir, huh.
One way or another, each country was prominent in some way based on their own ways of life.
“And this country?”
“By utilising monster tamers, the exportation of dairy and other products resulting from the farming of livestock serve as their main sources of income. It’s just, they never export any poultry.”
“Well, err, I guess they’re kind of birds themselves.”
At this point, it would be stating the obvious, but flugels were humanoids with wings.
Although there was no official explanation concerning the origin of the flugels, the most influential explanation was the story that claimed they were the descendants of angels.
In addition to that story, there was another explanation which theorised that they were birds that had been transformed by mana.
In other words, it was a cruel explanation which postulated that the ancestors of the flugels were not angels, but rather animals along the lines of pigeons, pelicans and cranes.
More explicitly, the flugels were the beastkin which had originated from those animals. And those beastkin, in turn, had gotten involved with humans in order to create the flugel race. That was the thought process of some people.
Of course, the real truth was unknown. However, if that were the case, it would make sense why there were so many flugels with mixed-colored wings. It would be difficult to believe that only the white-winged birds had been transformed.
In any event, if that was the truth, then it would be strange for them to export poultry.
It would be an unforgivable act to turn their own ancestors into domestic products and sell them out.
“Anyways… isn’t this enough? Can you take your hood off and show me your face?”
“Hmm, very well.”
As there was no one else nearby, even if I showed my face here, there would be no problem.
I took off the hood that I was wearing just as I was told to and showed my face.
When I did that, Merak became teary-eyed. I could not decide if the expression on his face was joyful or sad. He then hung his head down.
“As I thought, it’s you… Ruphas. It’s been a long time. You… you’re alive.”
Seeing that reaction, I was feeling slightly disappointed.
I had thought about it, but… this guy… was not a player.
He had lived in this world from the very start and was originally an inhabitant of this world.
He was not a mixed existence like me.
“On the other hand, you’ve changed a lot. You’ve become quite weak during the short time I haven’t seen you.”
“Is that… what it looks like?”
Merak weakly laughed in response to what I said, which could have been taken as an insult depending on how he interpreted it.
The pitiful smile on his face looked like it could be broken at any given moment.
“That’s not it… That’s not how it is, Ruphas. I was weak from the start. I never had the caliber to be a king.”
He grabbed at and scrunched up his own hair with both of his hands and laughed at himself.
The appearance of him holding onto his own head was far from what one would imagine of a hero who was called the Sky King. It only gave off the appearance of a young man who had been beaten down to rock bottom.
“Back then, you were there. Alioth and Dubhe were there, and everyone stood in front for me. I was just… someone who walked behind you guys.”
He must have really been tired, because he was even using a different first-person pronoun.
His mask as the king of this country had completely fallen away, and the sight of that alone made me feel pity for him.
This was most likely his true face.
He was timid and had no self-assertion. He was a young and weak-willed man who simply went along with his surroundings.
His previous appearance was nothing more than a mask he had frantically kept on.
And due to the appearance of someone he had known from the past, that mask was completely peeled away… was how I would word it.
Though, I was “me” and not the “Ruphas” that he knew of.
“I-is this person alright? I feel like even if we let him do whatever he wants, he might get a hole in his stomach and die.”
“Yeah… This is also the first time I’ve found out he was this weak-willed.”
Dina asked me a question with an astonished tone. However, it was also the first time that I had found out Merak was this kind of a person.
This guy, was he really this weak to stress?
Megrez was also someone who had been driven into a corner, but he was different from Merak.
Megrez sought abuse and disdain, but it could also be said that he was loved to the extent that he could wish for those yet still not receive them.
In other words, regardless of whatever people wanted to say, Megrez had properly unified his country and was loved by his people. Megrez was capable of all of that.
However, if Merak tried to do something like that, he might die from stress.
… This is bad. The Seven Heroes are super troublesome.
“I should not have become king… you should have remained as king. Ahh, why did I become your enemy and fight against you 200 years ago? … I should have been the one to die… At that time, I shouldn’t have been the one who won…”
Even as I left him alone, he started falling further and further into the deep end, reaching the point where he started muttering.
This guy is not okay… he might really end up committing suicide.
It can’t be helped. I’ll give him some shock therapy.
I’m not good at nor do I enjoy giving lectures, but if Merak doesn’t pull through, this country will really collapse.
I stood up from my seat and rudely barged in front of him.
I then kicked away the chair that Merak was sitting on and made him fall onto the ground.
It was the kind of act where if I had kicked at the wrong place, it might have gotten ugly. Nevertheless, because his HP was well over 10,000, even if it had landed on him instead, it would not have done much damage at all.
It was weird to say at a time like this, but it was like a fantasy banzai.
“Shut up, you fool. I’ve been listening to you this whole time, but you’ve just been saying whatever the hell you want to. You, you dare call me a clown that you accidentally defeated!?”
I was not the Ruphas that this guy knew.
However, if those final few words that I had said back then (or more like typed) were also the words that Ruphas had said out loud, then she most likely would not feel any regret about losing.
Yet, to think that the winning side felt regret to the point where they eventually started muttering, “It was wrong of us to have won”.
In this kind of situation, Ruphas would be turning in her grave, and I too would not be able to stomach it.
If the winner was the one who said such a thing, then the loser would have no face left at all.
Hey, am I a clown that was just accidentally defeated, huh?
There was no option but to think of it like that.
That was why I grabbed onto Merak’s collar and forcibly pulled him up into a standing position.
“Be proud. Stand up straight. You are the man who defeated this Ruphas Mafahl. I will not accept you acting so pitifully.”
Exactly, there was no way I could accept it.
If the winner was this pitiful, then there would be no salvation for Ruphas.
After I lifted him up, Merak looked dumbfounded. However, after a while, his well-featured face became distorted, and he started sobbing.
“… I can’t compare to you for sure, huh. You haven’t changed at all… you’re exactly the same as you were 200 years ago, still always full of confidence.”
“Even if I look the same, I’ve still changed a bit.”
I released Merak and let him sit on the chair.
I had uncharacteristically spouted out some arrogant things, but I did not think that anything I had said was wrong.
Having said that, after saying something so boastful, I was a bit embarrassed.
I could no longer just go back and sit on the chair again with how things had developed, so I decided to quickly take my leave.
“This country is yours alone. I will not help you further, nor will I even let you ask for help. Show me that you can resolve the rest of your problems on your own, Sky King.”
I quickly turned my back to him and left. Dina and the others also followed suit.
There was nothing more for me to say nor for me to do.
Even if we resolved the issue, the king was still Merak.
In any event, unless Merak decided to believe in himself and be more confident, something similar was bound to happen again.
“You won against me. Show me that you can at least resolve small issues like this. Don’t make me look like a fool.”
Merak: “But really, I don’t have the confidence to unify the country, and even if I try to act with dignity, it’s just embarrassing, and everyone will hate me, and everything I do is fruitless, and my luck is bad, and I lost to the Demon King, and Benetnash calls me incompetent, and she ignores me when I ask for her help… and she says I don’t look commanding… and saying “stand up” and “stick your chest out” is easy, but… if I get carried away because of phrases like that… I’ll just be in trouble… and they’re not suited for me anyway…more like… I can’t… I probably can’t…more like it’s impossible…” mumble mumble…
Ruphas: “The Seven Heroes are supeeeerrrrr bothersomeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!”
(Author Note end)
 I previously noted about the different types of “kings” in the Japanese language before. This time, “king” is literally a “country’s” king.
 Haki (覇気) was explained a few chapters ago when I explained “King” and “Ha”. This “haki” is exactly the word used in One Piece. It literally means will, spirit or ambition.
 In chapter 17’s comment section, I wrote a short explanation a few “I” pronouns in Japanese, but here is a copy paste of the relevant part of that comment (also, with regard to this line, Merak usually uses “watashi”, but now he’s using “boku”).
“Commonly used ones:
“watashi” / “watakushi” = Common, more soft-spoken, more feminine but is gender-neutral, the go-to pronoun for women, used in business/formal aspects by both genders, etc
“boku” = Common, more soft-spoken, polite version of “I” for males. It’s the go-to pronoun for younger boys, as well as for an adult male who is trying not to step out of line (though, oftentimes “watashi” in a gender-neutral form is used instead)
“ore” = Common, masculine version of “I”. A bit more haughty than the previous three. It’s the go-to pronoun for most older males (honestly they probably start using it in primary school when “cooler boys” start wanting to look cool) It’s probably the most common “I” pronoun for males imo (don’t quote me on that). This is the pronoun that the protagonist uses to refer to himself when he’s thinking.
“yo” = The “I” that’s used by the protagonist when he’s speaking as Ruphas. It’s a form that is used to show/signify their position, more so than just referring to themselves as a king (as in it’s not limited to a monarch and it’s not a royal “we”, that’s “chin” used by another emperor in later chapters). The aristocratic system is a Western system, but if there were kings, dukes, earls, counts, marquis or those fictional, haughty evil, fat conglomerate merchants (*v*), I imagine that a Japanese translation would most likely use this one.”
 “Ruphas is cheering about the fact that, in this fantasy world, Merak is strong enough to take her kick without suffering much damage, compared to ordinary folk.” – mimisan (comment below)