My Death Flags Show No Sign of Ending - chapter 109.1
Eight years had passed since Harold Stokes was replaced by Kazuki Hirasawa.
This whole time, he had been tormented by his mouth that always relayed cynical abuses instead of his own words. But he could not deny that he had become accustomed to it to a certain point in these last eight years.
How could he not get used to it? If he kept thinking about how his words would make a person hate him or how it would hurt that person, he wouldn’t ever be able to open his mouth.
Besides, even though the abuses he hurled at everyone made him look like a questionable individual, those words were not backed up by his subsequent actions. This contrast brought a subtle change that turned him form ‘the worst of all trash’ to merely ‘trash’ in people’s eyes, which was better than nothing. By this point, he was used to being the target of hate and disdain anyway.
However, there was something he had yet to grow accustomed to, even now.
It was the fact that when he found himself in a situation similar to something that happened to Harold Stokes in the game, his mouth would arbitrarily repeat the same lines the character said in the game.
This happened to him back when he volunteered to take care of Clara’s execution, which then led him to fake her death, and it happened again when Justus came to meet him in the dungeon where he had been locked up.
The latter event never happened in the game, but there was a similar situation where ‘Justus wanted to grant power to Harold’, which happened at around the same timing.
Based on that, Harold guessed that what he referred to as the ‘Line Repetition’ was something that would happen when there was an event or situation that led to a similar development to what happened to the Harold character in the original story. He felt it was safe to assume that this Line Repetition wouldn’t be triggered by new developments that hadn’t happened in the original story, or by things that had already happened in the last eight years.
Harold did not have much proof behind his theory. He did think of intentionally starting events from the original story to see if that did anything, but since everything that was related to the character of Harold was also connected to death flags in some way, he could not take that risk.
However, now, the Line Repetition had happened again, and it had picked one of the worst times of all to do so.
Before Harold had been able to say what he wanted to smooth things over with everyone, his mouth had let out the lines from the scene where Liner confronted Harold as his enemy for the first time in the game.
Normally, this battle event was supposed to happen at an early stage in the story, when the hero’s party was only composed of Liner, Colette and Hugo. But right now, the hero’s party had all six of its members, and this was not Harold’s first meeting with Liner.
(Damn it! Is that how it works?!)
Harold hurriedly tried to think of why this was happening, and reached one conclusion.
The first time Harold had confronted Liner in this world was back in the tournament in Delfit. At that point, they did face off against each other but it was a friendly combat, not an actual fight. Then, they fought again in the fog valley, but Harold had not been fighting as himself, he had been pretending to be someone else.
However, right now, Harold had appeared while being Harrison’s underling, just like in the original story, and he was facing Liner as a real opponent.
(…I was far too negligent.)
The Line Repetition was far too rare for him to be able to figure out the conditions behind it. Moreover, he had already fought against Liner in the past, and the current state of things had deviated an awful lot from the original story.
Knowing all that, it had never crossed Harold’s mind that the repetition would be triggered here.
【”W-what are you saying, Harold…”】
Liner spoke with a slightly trembling voice, like he was witnessing something unbelievable. Well, Harold was not his traveling buddy or anything, but he still considered him to be an ally. Pure as he was, Liner could not compute the clearly and undoubtedly hostile words he had just heard. Looking at everyone else’s expressions, all of them seemed confused, to varying degrees.
The only one who was giving Harold a serious look was Erica. But Harold could tell this was not out of hatred. Rather, it felt like Erica was neither happy nor sad nor… Well, either way, this was neither the time nor the place to get distracted by that.
【”Are you being serious?”】
【”Who knows? Why don’t you take a step and see if you get sliced up or not?”】
Harold tried to give a negative answer to Erica, but he only let out some more provocative words instead. In short, he was just once again going through the development that he had learned to grow familiar with.
This was his opportunity to show off to himself what he had learned through all these years and to put the situation back on the right track.
First, Harold turned around, showing Liner and the others his back, to show through his actions that he had no intention to fight. Given their personalities, he knew they wouldn’t attack him from the back no matter what he said, so it was safe to do this.
With his back still turned, he stepped towards a different corner of the mansion’s rooftop.
He went towards a shed that occupied about one third of the large rooftop.
He tried to turn the shed’s doorknob with his hand, but it was locked. As a last resort, he used his sword to cut down the door along with the whole outer wall of the shed, and then proceeded to check what was inside.
There, he found a very large collection of weapons. He remembered that, back in the game, there had only been a few swords and axes decorating the walls unlike here. He supposed that small difference did not really matter.
Still, the number of weapons exhibited inside was truly enormous. Some of them clearly distinguished themselves from the rest. Among them was the sword that was stolen from Liner’s family, and the treasures Harold, Lilium and Ventos had brought from the ancient ruins were all enshrined at the center of the room.
These could be used to give a strength boost to Liner’s party. Granted, if they tried to fight the last boss by just wearing this equipment, it would still be checkmate for them. However, Harold had already prepared a solution for that through Frieri.
For now, as long as they had these weapons, they party should be able to progress smoothly through their quest.
【”Liner. This is what you were looking for, right?”】