The horse did run, but not that fast.
Even though the way it ran was unsure somehow, they should be thankful that it did run at all, Lapis thought.
She didn’t know if Loren, who she was holding on the back of the horse, was aware or not. Sometimes he clenched his teeth or knocked at his own head in an attempt to clear up his mind, but it didn’t seem to work.
“It’s useless. You should sleep, if you like to.”
Loren muttered and looked at her over his shoulder. For a brief moment, Lapis was thoroughly surprised at the gaze he directed towards her. The molten eyes on his flushed face carried such interest for the opposite sex that she had to wonder if it was too blatant. Needing to confirm it, Lapis cautiously spoke to him even as she blushed involuntarily:
“Loren, could it be that you’re thinking about…”
“Quiet… ‘s nothing…”
Loren replied in a somewhat ashamed voice. He let himself fall face down on the horse’s neck and made a ragged sound while thrusting a fist into his own head. Lapis knew she should make him stop, but she could somehow guess what kind of state Loren was in right now from his gaze and expression earlier; if she stopped him, things would become impossible to stop.
Klaus’ shriek-like voice came from behind her then, making the horse stop.
“Wait! Now is… tch, uwah?!”
Lapis turned the horse around to look. The girls had reached out and grasped Klau’s hand, who was pulling the reins of the horse carrying them. He was right in the middle of shaking them loose.
Ange slipped down from the horse with intoxicated eyes and a smile on her face, and clung to Klaus’ neck. Before one realized, Layla had also dismounted and was hugging him from behind, while Roll clung tightly to his leg with both arms.
Normally, Lapis would have yelled at them, but she couldn’t after seeing the state Loren was in. It was clear that something was causing these usually-cannot-happen things to happen.
“Well, what should I do?”
Strangely, the idea of helping Klaus didn’t cross Lapis’ mind at all. The problem was Loren.
She could somehow guess what was happening to him. If this continued, Loren would probably endure it with his will, but it wouldn’t be good for his body, not to mention especially hard on his mind.
For a moment, Lapis considered just coming at him, but she immediately shook her head to chase that thought away. She didn’t want to be rejected, and if it turned out that Loren didn’t desire her, there would be problems with their relationship from now on. And above all, doing it on horseback in a forest was no way to her taste.
“I don’t mean that the first time must be on a canopy bed, but well.”
She joked while patting Loren, who was lying on the horse’s neck.
“Shayna, can you hear me? If yes, take control of Loren’s body for a while. As you are the No Life King, you can do that much, right? I will apologize later if there’s any problems.”
As Lapis made her appeal, Loren’s body, which had been lying face down, twitched. A short while later, it rose up and turned around with an emotionless face. Even though she felt slightly uncomfortable as the empty eyes turned towards her, Lapis still spoke to Loren’s body, which was staring at her without moving.
“Did you succeed?”
The words came from Loren’s mouth, in Loren’s voice, but didn’t belong to him. The flatness of the tone, as well as the words that he normally wouldn’t use caused something like a chill running down her spine. Still, Lapis spoke.
“So you succeeded.”
“Because onii-san voluntarily gave me the control.”
Loren replied, but Lapis could sense that regardless of the appearance, the person inside was different. Of course, it went without saying that this other person was No Life King Shayna, who normally reside quietly inside Loren.
By all rights, it was not an easy thing to take control of someone else’s body while dwelling inside it, even to a No Life King. For it to go smoothly, Loren must have been giving the control of his body to Shayna by his own will after noticing his own unusual condition.
“Do you have any difficulty moving the body?”
Even though both Loren and Shayna were from the same race, there was a clear difference in their physiques. Movements were basically the same, but if the different sensation coming from the difference in physiques became a hindrance, it would need some getting used to.
“I don’t. But I think fighting is impossible, onee-san.”
Shayna answered. She had looked at her arms and body as if they were something strange, and began to raise the arms and turned the neck and such. Even though Loren’s physical strength could be used as is and she could easily lift the greatsword, Shayna herself didn’t have the knowledge or skills to fight with it. It would be just like swinging a big sword around, and even though that was kind of a threat of its own, it would be impossible for Shayna to fight like Loren.
“And, I don’t recommend maintaining this state for a long time.”
By nature, being forcibly moved by someone else that wasn’t its owner like this wasn’t a good thing for Loren’s body, Shayna said. Moreover, some adverse effects might happen to his mind due to the separation from his body, no matter how temporary it was. Such an unnatural state should be corrected as soon as possible.
“It’s either one of these two: Just abandon everything and run away if the worst happens, or give the control back to Loren, assuming that he’ll accept me.”
“Onee-san, you are such an adult…”
Shayna bashfully blushed just a little, but the appearance was that of Loren. The gap between the action and the appearance was so big that Lapis felt dizzy.
“A-aside from that, is there any inconvenience?”
“That’s right. That… is a bit uncomfortable…”
Shayna hesitantly looked down at her own crotch. Lapis understood what she wanted to say with that action; she looked up at the sky and sighed, unable to say anything.
The difference in physique between Loren and Shayna was definitely a problem, but something even more problematic was their difference in gender: Loren was a man, and Shayna was a girl. In short, Loren had something that Shayna originally didn’t have, and the feeling of a non-existing organ brought confusion and discomfort to her.
“I have decided that this is a very serious situation.”
“I’ll need to tell him to give me some detailed data later…”
“Please stop, onee-san. Onii-san will die mentally.”
Shayna flapped her hands in a panic. The action would be cute had it been done by a girl, but it was a deadly weapon being performed by a well-trained swordsman like Loren.
The horse whinnied in annoyance at all the fuss being done on its back. Lapis soothed it while smiling wryly and apologizing to Shayna, who was still waving her arms around.
“Sorry sorry. It was a rather bad joke.”
“Please stop, really. Onii-san can hear this.”
Lapis’ face twitched slightly at those words. While residing inside Loren, Shayna was able to see and hear the state of the outside world by synchronizing with his sensations. Conversely, now that she was in control of the body, she seemed to be able to transmit what she saw and heard to Loren.
“As I have become the No Life King, I’m alright with the total darkness I reside in, where I can’t hear anything. But Onii-san is human, and spending a long time in a state where there’s no sound or no light can cause abnormalities to his mentality.”
“I feel like there is a kind of torture just like that.”
“Therefore, I’m still maintaining my synchronization with onii-san’s sense of sight and hearing. Please act while bearing that in mind, onee-san.”
“I will keep it in mind.”
Wondering what kind of retaliation would await her once this was all over, Lapis shuddered slightly and turned her eyes towards Klaus and the girls, who were still entangling with each other on the ground.
Seemed like Klaus was trying desperately to fend off the girls, but even though he had an advantage in terms of individual power, he was overwhelmingly disadvantageous in terms of number. The situation was slowly becoming one where it was impossible to say that his defense wouldn’t break.
“So unexpected. I thought you’d just go with the flow and do it.”
“There are occasions when I care about the timing and situation too!”
Klaus was trying to peel the girls off him somehow, but he couldn’t be too rough with his companions. The girls were in no state to care about places or situations though; they just thrust their hands into any gaps of his armor and clothes and trailed their tongue along his nape. Klaus was overwhelmingly disadvantaged.
“Also, doing it with them while they’re being dosed with such a horrible drug is no fun at all!”
“I’m having troubles reacting to that even if you press me.”
“Please! Do something-!”
Klaus asking for help while being approached by women was an extremely rare sight that might never ever happen again if one missed it, Lapis thought. But this was not the time to happily watch.
“It’ll be a little rough, so forgive me, OK?”
Lapis waved her hands without waiting for a reply, and Klaus and the three girls who were coiling themselves around him were all blown away and crashed into the trees.
Klaus, who still had his senses, was able to immediately get up as the girls had acted as his cushions and lessened the impact. But the three girls hadn’t landed well and had taken some damages; they were writhing in pain and unable to stand up.
“What… Or rather, wasn’t it too much for ‘a little rough’?”
“I was trying to blow you all away in one go with <<Force>>… Was it too rough? I don’t have time to peel them off one by one.”
<<Force>> was one of the few offensive spells in the list of spells deemed legal to practice by law, which was dominated by protective and healing spells. Being hit by it was just like being punched by an invisible fist; it was not a spell with the power to blow away four people including Klaus.
“It’s already too late by now, but can I ask who you are?”
“Just a priestess serving the God of Knowledge. Let’s keep it at that.”
Her words did not allow for any arguments. Klaus immediately understood that it was not something for him to delve into; he nodded to show his acknowledgement while enduring the pain running through his body.