Chapter 93 – Castor, Get!
Raw link: http://ncode.syosetu.com/n2211cx/94/ (03/07/2016)
Translator: twomorefreethoughts / TpstT (09/07/2019)
Editor 1: Hand of Vecna (22/07/2019)
Editor 2: Keii (24/07/2019)
Translation link: https://twomorefreethoughts.wordpress.com/awlba-c093/
Reminder 1: The release schedule is 1 chapter every 4 days with a chance of being delayed further if I’m not able to get around to translating. Since it’s only fair to you guys. I thought I would also give the reason. (1) I’m in the process of moving from one job to another. (2) My university’s restarting the coming Monday. (3) I’m in the process of applying for clerkships (I want to try and apply to as many firms as I can), so I spend the majority of my time writing a cover letter for each firm (because they all have different selection criteria haha).
The clerkship applications are opened until the midnight of 4 August, so until then I’m going to be pretty busy. There might not be any release between 29 July to 4 August, but I’ll try and go back to 1 chapter every 3 days starting the 5th. I apologise in advance and will update you guys at the start of next chapter.
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“My card is Ace. So Dina-sama’s turn will be skipped.”
“Noo, you’re so mean!”
“I… have no cards that I can use. So I’ll be taking some from the deck. … Hmm, three of hearts, huh.”
“Ah, I don’t have a three. Then I’ll take three cards.”
While Virgo was visiting the emperor’s yurt, we were bored out of our minds, so we decided to amuse ourselves by playing a deck of cards that I had transmuted through the use of alchemy.
The current game that we were playing was called American Page One and its basic rules were similar to those of UNO. Or rather, it was really just UNO.
The subsequent player had to play a card with the same suit or number as the previous player’s, and certain numbers had certain special effects.
For example, the card “Ace” that Libra used had the effect of making the subsequent player skip a turn. Meanwhile, the card “3” that Aigokeros used had the effect of forcing the subsequent player to use the same number three, and if they did not, they would have to draw three cards from the deck.
Furthermore, similar to UNO, there was a rule which stated that in the event where there were no usable cards in one’s possession, the person must keep drawing cards until they had a usable card, and the first player to empty their hand was the winner.
And just for reference, the first person to get rid of all of the cards in their hand was Karkinos and second in place was Scorpius.
In other words, we were currently in the middle of fighting over third place.
The card that Aries had just used was “8”. This number could be used regardless of what suit the previous card was and allowed the user to specify the next suit that must be used.
“I’m going to choose spades.”
“Then I will use this.”
After Aries specified spades, I played a five of spades.
This card had no special effect.
Next, Libra played a nine of spades, causing Dina to scream.
The special effect of the number nine was reverse. In other words, instead of Dina getting her turn as she should, the rotation reversed back to me again.
Although it was pitiful, Dina only had one more card in her hand. If we were to carelessly give her a turn, she could end up winning, thus Libra’s move was the correct approach.
“Oh, I’m also done.”
However, Dina was not the only one with one card remaining. Aries was also in the same situation.
He placed his final card, the six of spades, in the pile and got himself third place.
This isn’t good. At this rate, I might even end up in last place.
“Oh, by the way, Ruphas-sama, are these things called playing cards new merchandise? If we manage things well, I think they could even be a big source of income.”
“Something simple like this would be easily copied by others. We wouldn’t be able to earn much from it.”
I answered Karkinos’s question whilst looking at the cards in my possession.
In this world, there was no such thing as an intellectual property right. Therefore, any idea that people considered to be good was subjected to being stolen by others.
The dwarves, who came to hate this, created a system called the patent system by themselves.
I think that Blutgang might have a system that’s close to intellectual property rights.
As I was thinking about such a thing in my head, I managed to empty my hand and complete the game.
Sigh. I’m fourth this time, huh. I got a delicate position this time.
Matching with the timing I managed to complete the game, Virgo came into the room.
She must have finally completed her audience with the emperor to receive their gratitude and successfully healed the guardian dragon.
It took longer than I expected, therefore I did well for us to have created playing cards to pass the time.
Nevertheless, I noticed that Virgo was flustered and sweating, therefore I had to adjust my thought process.
Looks like… something troublesome happened.
“What happened, Virgo?”
“I have something I need to talk to you about… but first, there’s someone who wants to meet Ruphas-sama.”
I stood up from the sofa and walked towards the door.
As I did, I saw that there was someone handsome wearing a white coat and giving off a feeling of a pirate outside.
I could not recall seeing him before. However, I felt nostalgic looking at him.
Although it was an assumption, I believed it was someone that I was acquainted with. At the very least, that was what I was feeling.
Anyways, I supposed I should try and dig it up from my memory. Recently, as long as there was some form of trigger, it had not been too difficult to pull out the memories of the real “Ruphas”.
As I decided this, I focused my consciousness into myself, searching through the memories I had no recollection of.
He is… Ahh, that’s right. I remember now. If I recall correctly, he’s Castor.
The older brother of the [Twins] and one of the Tyrannical Ways 12 Heavenly Stars. He was an individual with a good balance in handling both magical and physical abilities.
Back in the game, he was nicknamed [Fairy Siblings (Brother and Sister)] and was always in a set with his sister. However, in this world, he was clearly moving around alone.
To reflect that, his status was showing something that I could not recall ever seeing.
HP: 32 500 / 55 000
SP: 2300 / 9800
STR (Strength/Attack Power): 4208
DEX (Dexterity): 2100
VIT (Vitality): 3005
INT (Intelligence): 6000
AGI (Ability/Speed): 3995
MND (Mindpower): 800
LUK (Luck): 1092
Right arm: Anchor Lance (STR+1200 AGI-200 Uses both hands)
Left arm: ___
Body: Sky Pirate’s Garment (Reduction of mana usage when using Wood attribute arcane magic)
Others: Sky Pirate’s Coat (Reduces physical damage received by half)
Hmm, although it was the first time I had seen Castor’s status without being in a set with his sister, his stats were decent enough to be of use even if he was alone.
Nevertheless, because he was always in a set with his sister, his individual strength was only around that of Aries even when he was using his equipment.
Type-wise, he was a backline magical attacker who could also handle himself in the front line, therefore his role overlapped a little with that of Sagittarius’s.
Although, compared to Sagittarius who was purely specialised in speed and magically enhanced attacks, Castor had decent capability to fight in the frontline, so it was not impossible to distinguish between the two of them.
Having said that, he’s in a really weird position. After all, if it was about the role of the jack of all trades, there was already Aries.
Or more like, back in the game, tamed beasts didn’t have equipment… To begin with, it should have been impossible to even equip them with equipment as a tamer.
Hmm, could it be that if I make specialised equipment for Aries, Aigokeros, and the others, they would become even stronger than they currently are?
But yeah, the most important thing I need to pay attention to right now is this strange situation where he’s lacking in HP.
“It has been a while, Ruphas-sama. I have always believed that you would return one day.”
“Indeed, I’m glad to see that you’re in good health, Castor.”
Castor got on his knees in front of me and bowed his head.
The first impression was not bad at all. His appearance of being a Prince Charming character was not something I liked, but he was not like Aries and the rest who had been causing problems up until this moment nor was he like Karkinos who had a weird personality.
Was it finally time? To have an individual with common sense and sanity finally join a party full of idiots whom you would want to retort back to all day long?
“Ara~, isn’t it Castor? What are you doing in a place like this?”
“Long time! It’s been 200 years, hasn’t it, Castor?”
Scorpius and Karkinos who had already finished playing the card game showed their faces from behind me and started talking to Castor.
Furthermore, Aries and Libra also joined in and peeked at his face.
It seemed the ones still playing to avoid last place were Aigokeros and Dina.
In my peripheral vision, I saw that the two of them were staring at the cards in their hands and groaning.
“By the way, it looks like you’re really drained?”
“In regards to that… I’m gravely sorry! [The Key to the Heavens] that I had been assigned to keep safe by Ruphas-sama had just been stolen by the Demon King the other day…!”
……… The Key to the Heavens? What the hell is that?
As I looked at Castor who was grovelling on the floor and apologising, I dug back into my memory. However, I could not recall any memories which matched what he had just stated.
At the very least, there wasn’t an item like that back in the game, was there?
It was not as if I remembered the names of all of the items back in the game, however, I was confident that I knew all the important ones.
However, I was sure there was no such item back in the game.
I knew of a one-use item which could open any dungeon door called a Dungeon Key though.
Anyways, I should ask Dina later. She probably knew something about it.
But in any event, you fought with the Demon King-san, huh… of course that didn’t work out well.
With your status, even if the Demon King was doing hand stands, you wouldn’t be able to win against him.
“It’s fine, don’t let it bother you. Dina, tend to him.”
“Pl – please wait a bit. I’m about to be done soon….”
“Oh, it’s my win.”
It looked like they finally completed the game.
Dina, who had ended up in last place, stood up from her seat and started walking towards us whilst looking depressed.
In any event, as it was probably their first time seeing each other, I decided to introduce them to each other.
“Castor. This is Dina, and she’s currently serving as my advisor. She says that she was also there 200 years ago, but because her presence is so thin I can’t verify if it’s the truth or not. She’s quite shady in many different ways, but feel free to treat her well.”
“Is – is that…. is that even fine?”
“Well, she’s not a bad person. Probably.”
In the face of my very frank introduction, Castor made a wary face. However, because a suspicious person is naturally suspicious, there was not much else that I could do.
Even if I had decided to unskillfully cover for her, there would just be contradictions later on. To begin with, I was not that skilled with my words.
In that case, it was probably better for me to be blunt right from the start.
Although Dina was looking at me from behind with an exasperated look, I decided to ignore it.
“And this is Virgo. She’s the successor to Parthenos and is the new star in the position of the [Maiden]. She’s still quite inexperienced, but she has good potential. Treat her well.”
“Yes, I understand.”
As there were nothing particularly suspicious about Virgo, I introduced her normally.
The difference between Virgo and Dina’s introductions is mean to Dina? Well, this is just our usual routine, so don’t worry about it.
“Now then, let’s hear what happened.”
I turned towards Virgo and made a statement so that she could talk about what she wanted to discuss.
I smelled that something troublesome was going on, thus there was no option of not hearing about it.
“Yes, the truth is…”
And true to my instinct, what we ended up hearing from Virgo was a troublesome event.
The tale of four demi-humans who had killed the guardian dragon and their resentment, grief, indignation, anger and oppression that they had suffered from the humanoids. And the one standing behind them, Leon.
This is… definitely that thing, right? However I think about it, the declaration of war on the humanoids is going to happen in the near future.
Although… the act of attacking the guardian dragon is already as good as a declaration of war.
Long story short, the magical beasts, even though it wouldn’t be strange for them to be categorised as humanoids, couldn’t endure it anymore. And after reaching their limit, they are demanding their rights, huh.
Furthermore, the reason behind Sagittarius’s betrayal that I had heard from Libra matched almost perfectly with this story. Therefore, it was not hard to imagine that Leon was the one instigating them from the background.
That guy… is he trying to make an enemy out of both the demons and the humanoids?
“What do you think?”
I asked the opinions of the 12 Stars who were sitting behind me.
When I did, all of them replied with roughly the same answer.
“I can only say he’s impatient.”
“Definitely a fool.”
“He’s an idiot without any salvation.”
“I also think it’s a bit over the top.”
“He can just die, you know.”
“He’s rushing without any plans in mind.”
Libra, Karkinos, Aigokeros, Aries, Scorpius and Dina, in turn, denounced Leon’s rushed decision making. However, frankly speaking, I was also of the same opinion as them.
Yeah, you know. An idiot or a fool.
Everyone else aside, I wonder if he’s forgotten that there’s also Benetnash left in the midst.
I mean yeah, he could probably easily manage against people like Megrez and Merak. I also think he’ll win against those like Levia or Blutgang.
But… to have both Benetnash and the Demon King as his enemies at the same time is nothing but an act of a fool.
Or more like… even if I just leave him alone, wouldn’t he just self-destruct?
It’s just… those demi-humans, who might get caught up in his self-destruction, are quite pitiful.
Those demi-humans were likely only sweet-talked by Leon after they were cornered and left without any options. Therefore, it was too pitiful to leave them one-sidedly surrounded by strong opponents in all directions along with Leon.
If it was just Leon, I would have left him to swim by himself. Only after he got himself beaten to a pulp by Benetnash and the Demon King would I have gone to collect him, whilst he was just a ragged piece of cloth, but at this rate, it was too miserable for the other demi-humans.
“But it’s strange~. Leon aside, was Sagittarius also that much of a fool? I thought he was at least a man who could think through the situation properly… Did I think too highly of him?”
“Hmm… you’re right, it’s definitely strange. The Sagittarius me remembers should definitely have been a lot more careful and cool.”
I deduced from their remarks that it seemed Leon always had this type of personality.
Although, in regard to this, I had been informed prior to this event. He must be similar to Benetnash.
However, judging from Scorpius and Karkinos’ reactions, Sagittarius was not. At the very least, he was different enough such that everyone felt a sense of abnormality from his actions.
In other words, there was something more to all of this than what we were seeing.
Alternatively, he was burdened by circumstances which left him no other option but to obey Leon.
Even his very act of informing Libra made no sense. If they were laying down a trap, it would definitely be better for him not to inform me that he was on the other side. To intentionally say, “I’m going to be on Leon’s side” was no different from saying, “Watch out because I’m going to be on Leon’s side.”
With all this in consideration, our next destination was as good as determined.
Let’s go to their location next to retrieve Leon and Sagittarius.
Then I would just have to ascertain their real intentions myself.
Castor has officially become an ally.
Notwithstanding that he’s in an awkward position when he’s alone, when combined with the Argonauts, he’s a reliable man which could be considered in the strongest tier even amongst the 12 Stars.
However, Argonaut is a fusion skill with his sister. Therefore, when he is alone, he is not able to put it to use.
Because he was sunk by the Demon King, until he reunites with his sister, the Argo ship and the Argonauts cannot be used.
Q: Is it just me or is Castor weak?
A: Ah nah mate, he had a bad match-up with his enemy… The only ones who could go one-on-one on equal footing with the serious Demon King-san are the real/original Ruphas and Benetnash during the night of the full moon, ya know~.
(Author’s note end)
TLN: Next chapter is a transitional chapter between this and next arc.
 American Page One (アメリカンページワン), also called Page One or Last One, is a variation of Crazy Eights, which is a shedding-type card game for two to seven players. The objective of the game is to be the first to get rid of all of the player’s cards into the discard pile.
 Raw actually said copyright… but the author mentioned patent right below, so I included trademark and patent here as well and bunched it all up as intellectual property.
 Slightly off-topic from the story… but short explanation about dungeon key if anyone cares;
Popular item in many MMO. Dungeons in MMORPG often have a limited number of entries (per day or per week) so that there isn’t too much disparity between players who have to work and those who can play all day long. Dungeon Keys often allow the player to enter a dungeon even if they have reached the entry limit or without consuming the entry number. It’s often used by the developers/publishers when they screw up something… or as a cash shop item that people can buy with premium/real-life money to get ahead of other players.
 See chapter 88 footnote 2 for explanation.