Otherworld Company Chapter 149.1: The Effort We Have Accumulated, That Is Our Strength

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 The party, a kind of reflection party, went on until late at night, partly due to the effects of alcohol and the good atmosphere.


 The underage group, who had originally planned to stay the night, went to bed in the sleep room before the dates change.


 Suela, who was also pregnant, went to sleep early with Himiku accompanying her.


 The rest of the group also started to drink, one person dropped out, then two, and the last person to be assigned to clean up the mess was the youngest, who was a little too lively to be a member of the group.



“It has grown up a lot, hasn’t it?” (Kaley)


“Is that so? I do think the shape has changed.” (Jiro)


“I’ve lived longer than you, but I’ve never seen a Mineral Tree grow that much.” (Kaley)



 It was a rare combination, me and Ms. Kaley.


 I had packed up the dishes and rearranged the table to make room, and Ms. Kaley observed me chirping as I worked on what I needed to do until I got sleepy.


 When we’re alone, even if we are of the opposite sexes, I intentionally kept my distance from her as a normal co-worker, eliminating the feeling of being a man and a woman, our differing race helped.


 In such a private space, and at night, it would have been a conversation between the three of us with the vampire Memoria remaining, but unfortunately, she was weak to alcohol and had actually gone down before the underage group.


 As for the rest of the party, Kaido was down on the sofa due to his desperation to drink and his forced tension to mix Japanese liquor and otherworldly liquor, while Minami and Kitamiya somehow started a drinking competition and were down at the same time. Then they fell asleep together as if they had never been on bad terms.


 So, the only ones left were me, with my demon-trained liver, and Ms. Kaley, who paced herself moderately.


 At this stage, I didn’t try to stop her, and we called it quits.


 Even if neither of us had any intention of doing so, I thought it was a bad idea for two people who were not in a relationship to stay together until late at night.


 I didn’t fall asleep right away, however.


 I had a bottle of fruit wine, which is a favorite of the dark elves and which I have also started to drink since Suela recommended it to me, and the leftovers from the feast that Himiku and Masaru had prepared for me, I thought I would take care of the Mineral Tree.


 Surprisingly, Kaley decided to join me in this activity.


 She was not going to be tending to the weapons either but wanted to look at my weapons for her own personal interest and watched me work while slowly tasting the liquor and pickles I had prepared with one hand.



“At first, the weapon was really just a mass shaped like a sword, but now, no matter how you look at it, it’s shaped like a sword, so the nickname ‘Blacksmith’s Tears’ is not a misnomer.” (Jiro)



 The time has not passed so much as to make me nostalgic, but still, enough time has passed for me to become attached to it, and my partner’s appearance has changed to the extent that I, who is using it, am surprised at its appearance.


 The image it had when I first bought my partner is gone, and I have in my hand a magnificent odachi. [T/N: A slender Japanese great sword, a katana but on steroid.]


 The blade, which at first was just a dull gleam, now shines like a polished mirror and looks so much like a weapon that I wonder how many people would believe me if I told them that this was just an iron plate that transformed into a sword.


 I polish its surface with a cleaning cloth, taking care not to cut my fingers.


 A blade that grows, or perhaps it is more accurate to call it a sword, given its shape.


 It is a partner with a game-like origin.


 In addition, it comes with a lottery element that is said to not know whether it will grow well or not until you spend a long time with it.


 I think I got a very twisted weapon, but now I can say that it was not a mistake to choose this weapon.


 While carefully polishing the blade of my partner’s sword with a cleaning tool, I have a conversation with Ms. Kaley.



“So, what’s up? Do you have something you want to talk to me about?” (Jiro)



 No, rather than a conversation, it would be more accurate to say that it is a transmission of a message.


 Without turning my face to Ms. Kaley, who seemed to want to say something, I asked her without stopping my maintenance movement while keeping my eyes on the Mineral Tree.



“What are you talking about?” (Kaley)



 At first, I was interrupted by Ms. Kaley’s words, which seemed to be dumbfounded.



“You’ve gone to the trouble of adjusting the amount of alcohol you drink so that we can be alone together. If it’s not here, it’s fine, but my intuition tells me to ask here, so if it’s possible, I’d like to hear about it.” (Jiro)



 But contrary to her words, Ms. Kaley’s actions themselves said there was something going on.


 That doesn’t mean she has a bad poker face.


 It doesn’t mean she doesn’t enjoy the party.


 It doesn’t mean she didn’t read the air was blank about forgetting her surroundings.


 It’s just that my intuition, trained by the instructors, sensed something strange and kept it in a corner of my mind.


 It would have been fine if it had been a groundless fear.


 I am so used to having to worry about things that I don’t mind putting in that much effort.


 And it seems that my intuition was functioning normally today.


 After taking a sip of the liquor she had reserved, she smiled at me and told me.


 Her smile was well-placed, but if I had to describe it in terms of color, I would say that it was definitely black, not white.



“Which would you like to hear first, the bad news or the slightly bad news?” (Kaley)



 Sure enough, my senses were not mistaken, and the words that came out of her mouth were not good ones.



“What is with the unreasonable choices, and on top of that, I don’t even have the option of not asking.” (Jiro)


“Eh~, I am just talking because Jiro wants to hear it, right?” (Kaley)


“Don’t show a flighty attitude there, even if you can deceive most men with that, I don’t think it will affect me who is looking past you. If you want, I can leave too.” (Jiro)


“Don’t worry, I’ll do my best to make you listen to me.” (Kaley)


“There is no reassuring bit when you have the intention to use force.” (Jiro)



 I decided to listen to her obediently, as I sensed from her that she was not only going to bring us to a verbal discussion with all her might but also to a physical discussion with all her might.


 And about the topic I threw myself, I have lightly despaired that there was no good answer in return, but I was silent as I sharpened my sword, saying that I could not help and reminded myself that I no longer needed headache medicine.



“I’m sorry, but Lady Evia will be angry with me if we don’t talk about this.” (Kaley)


“Th bad premonition turned into a warning of something like bad news from the Superior. What is it? Am I about to be laid off?” (Jiro)


“Ahaha, there’s no way she’ll let go of someone useful like you.” (Kaley)


“I’m glad you think so, but it’s hard to be happy when I know there’s bad news on the way.” (Jiro)



 What else is there to do if not to have a message of termination, which is one of the worst parts of modern society?


 It’s not easy to imagine, even in my experience.



“So which news would you like to hear first?” (Kaley)


“Then the bad story.” (Jiro)



 I decided to mitigate the psychological damage by listening to the bad news first and thinking that the bad news first would be better than receiving the less bad news.



“Well, I’m going to have to ask you to do something a little troublesome, okay?” (Kaley)


“A little troublesome, how troublesome?” (Jiro)


“You’re not running away?” (Kaley)


“Is it bad enough to run away?” (Jiro)


“You don’t want to run away?” (Kaley)


“Would it make you want to run away?” (Jiro)


“Maybe escape from reality?” (Kaley)


“…is it that much?” (Jiro)


“Yeah, when I heard this story, I felt really sorry for Jiro.” (Kaley)



 The reason why she was smiling was to hide her feelings, but when she was about to say the news, the smile disappeared from her expression.



 That expression was one of someone’s face often seen by those who tried to hide their emotions and carry out their work, the face of someone who was able to completely control themselves as a private person.



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