Chapter 3: The wild last boss finds a subordinate

Nations in “X-gate online”—basically players with influence—were allowed to construct a stronghold for their guild. Although the most popular choice was a castle, it could take on any appearance imaginable. A rare few took on the shape of shrines and temples, and one particular stronghold was even modeled after a cafe. While it’s hard to imagine a cafe serving as the heart of a nation, it was something made possible within the game. From the innumerous options, the design I chose was a tower. In no time, I was fully exploiting the customization options.

The tower was redesigned every time our influence expanded. By borrowing the minds of players who had a better eye for art, the “Tower of Mafahl” eventually became one of the most awe-inspiring structures of the game.

“…though it’s abandoned… it’s still so… breathtaking.”

But as you would expect, after a period of two hundred years, the inside of the tower became layered in dust. Nevertheless, the beautiful designs that decorated the skyscraper’s interior still peeked out from under the grime. As I walked straight ahead, a cracked, yet impressive crimson throne came into view.The shattered windows were once beautiful stained glass.Poking a finger into a crack that ran along the wall, I recall the joyful memories made in this room.

Everyone was here with me.Here, we discussed how we would increase our influence. This was the site where we made an oath as guild members and considered our future expeditions.We made merry deep into the night, drowning ourselves in wine…

…wait a second, why do I recall these memories as if I was there in person? Ruphas was the one who drank wine—not me. I simply watched from a computer screen, right? What is there to reminisce about in the first place? It was only days ago that I split my territory into two parts. It’s far too soon to get nostalgic about anything.Shit, are these Ruphas’ memories?I’m going to end up mistaking the game for reality if this continues.I’m having a hard time distinguishing between the two even now.Besides—

“How strange. This should be my first time seeing this in person, but it somehow feels so nostalgic. I feel a sense of security by just being here.”

Nostalgia wells up in my chest.It was as if I had returned home after a journey around the world.A mysterious feeling.Am I going crazy?Or is my consciousness really merging with Ruphas’?It’s impossible to know right now.


My voice slipped out in surprise. Here, where none other than myself was permitted entry, a sound resounded through the room.I turned towards the sound. There, a young girl I didn’t recognize stood before me.

She possessed pale blue hair the color of the sea complimented by marine blue eyes. Her simple, white clothing wrapped lightly around her snow white skin. Moreover, her facial features were stunning.

…an unfamiliar face.At the very least, she wasn’t among guild members I gave permission to step foot on the highest floor of the tower. Who is she? And why is she here?

“—Ruphas-sama! Aren’t you Ruphas Mafahl-sama?”

Calling out my name, she scuttled over and gripped my hands tightly with her own.Just the sincere smile plastered across her face was enough to express just how blessed she thought she was to witness my return.Sadly, I don’t recognize her at all.

“Who… are you?”

“Ho-How cruel! Have you already forgotten me? Forgotten about Dina, your most loyal advisor? I’ve been waiting 200 years in this tower for your return, you know!?”

Dina? Advisor?What is this girl saying?In place of an advisor, I had my guild members. Even then, none of them were named Dina. I never had an advisor, not to even mention a young girl named Dina…


—no, she was there.That’s right, I remember now.When I first built the stronghold, I decorated the tower with various ornaments Among them, I faintly recall positioning an NPC, which paced aimlessly about the chamber. In an empty hall, Dina helped add depth to the background.

Shortly after giving it a name and a backstory, I had forgotten all about her. She was little more than an animated ornament. The next thing I knew, she became just another part of the background.

And that girl, out of her own free will, chose to spend 200 years of her life waiting for my return?Regardless of whether I remembered her or not?She had remained faithful to the role I assigned her and continued to stay here, alone?

“Ah, I see… I remember now. Forgive me, Dina. To forget an existence as important as yours… something must be wrong with me.”

This is not a game.It struck me how naive my attitude towards this world had been up until now.If I continued to treat this world as a game, I could ruin the lives of thousands.Forgetting an NPC in a game would just result in a couple seconds of confusion.However, doing the same to a person with genuine emotions is an unforgivable insult to their existence.

“I commend you for your services. You have done well to protect this place during my absence, Dina.”

“I—I am unworthy of such praise!”

I will never again think of her as an “ornament in the shape of a human”, but instead as another individual.

“Um, Ruphas-sama. How were you able to return to this world?”

“Ah. It seems a nation to the west was attempting to summon a hero, but they failed and pulled me back from the subspace. I owe it to their recklessness that I am able to be here right now.”

“Levatin… should be the country that lies west from here. They’ve shown signs of preparing to summon heroes before. So that’s what it was…”

According to Dina, they’ve been working hard towards that goal for a while now.Thank you so much for your efforts.And—how do I say this—forgive me. For your considerable hardships.

“As you can see, I am quite ignorant of the ways of the world in this day and age. I’ve heard that the Demon King is still in good health, though.”

“That’s right! Immediately after those obnoxious heroes defeated you, the heroes fell apart, the country became divided, and they’ve been beaten