The Strategist Knows Everything - Volume 1 Chapter 1 : The Beginning
Chapter I: The Beginning
Re-translated by: Hiro02
I took out a deep breath as I watched soldiers who were going in and out of the castle with my exhausted eyes.
“Am I truly suitable for this…?”
There’s no one around me. I arranged it that way, but if I really had someone with me, they would have been ripped to shreds by the army coming into the castle.
That is almost a certainty, so there’s no one with me. Though, I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
From the balcony, after watching the army leave the castle, I turned on my heel. In the center of the room is a chair for the highest-ranking person, but there is no one to sit on it.
I took off the black coat that covered my body and draped it over the armrest of my chair, hoping that I would at least be allowed to take one last rest.
The coat is not mine. A friend who said, “Return it no matter what,” lent it to me.
As I sat down in the chair, drowsiness tried to overwhelm me from the exhaustion. Resisting it, I turned my consciousness to the past, wondering why I was here.
■ ■ ■
This is sudden, but I, Kurei Yukito, am not from this world.
I am an 18 years old male. A country boy from Niigata who came to Tokyo to study at a University.
I took History as my major. I have no particular passion for it, but I found books about History interesting to read.
I have always loved reading since long ago. I had been taught to read by my mother when I was a child, and I found myself picking up books on my own.
Perhaps as a consequence, I didn’t have many friends. I considered reading more interesting than talking to other people.
With such a mentality, my number of friends never increased, but I was satisfied with that. As long as I had a book, I was basically satisfied.
Even so, I had one person I could call my best friend. He was a very cheerful and talkative guy. He was always looking for fun things to do, and his stories were very interesting, probably because he had lots of fun experiences.
He had a lot of friends, but he never forgets to meet me each day during the University lectures or to drag me to drinking parties even though we were underage — I was never alone.
To be honest, I admired that guy. I had never seen anyone who could get along so well with others, and his smile that said he was enjoying life, was dazzling.
That is why I thought he was joking when he pointed the knife at me, until the moment he stabbed me through the heart with it.
For some reason, I knew that I was really dying. All I felt was warmth but no pain.
The guy who I thought was my best friend stared at his bloodied hands in disbelief and immediately called for an ambulance with his cell phone while sobbing.
Calling for an ambulance after stabbing the victim might sound crazy, but that guy was definitely crazy.
“Sorry, please somehow,” he muttered repeatedly.
“Don’t worry. I don’t mind,” I tried to say, but I never got the chance as my consciousness was engulfed by darkness.
I regretted that I hadn’t been able to do much for the filial piety of my parents and that there were still many books I wanted to read. I had many regrets, but my biggest one was that I hadn’t noticed the changes in who I thought of as my best friend. There must have been clues somewhere, but I kept my eyes on the book and didn’t even try to notice.
If only I had a better understanding of people’s minds. If only I was better at interacting with others.
It would have never happened.
At least, if the afterlife exists, I want to be a person who understands people well. And so, I sunk into deep darkness as I strongly wished for that.
■ ■ ■
I heard a small but clear sound in the deep darkness.
I recognized it as some sort of musical instrument. Trying to figure out what it was, I woke up on a crappy bed.
“Where am I?”
I don’t know why, but even though I was fatally wounded in modern Japan, I woke up in another world without a scratch. Even my clothes were the same white shirt and black pants I was wearing when I got stabbed.
The moment I asked, ‘where am I?’, I knew it was a different world because of what was written in the flickering screen floating before me.
【Parallel World・Fortuna. An oceanic world where small islands and the large continent, Rodinia, floats. This place is the Territory of Earl Yuren, located further south of Veris Kingdom, at southern Rodinia.】
The square screen looked similar to a game menu screen, and when I finished reading everything, it just wavered and disappeared.
What the h**l is this? Just as I thought, the screen came up again.
“What? Obtutus Skill, a skill that can assess various non-visible information. The embodiment of Kurei Yukito’s wish…” (Note: Obtutus – Latin word for gaze, seeing or looking.)
It’s a valuable ability, like having a dictionary with everything in it.
Yet, I certainly want to be a person who understands people. I wished that. It was meant to happen in the next life, but it came true in an alternate world, however, that’s okay. A miscalculation is a miscalculation, but what’s more important is…
“When I said I wanted to understand people, I meant the subtleties of their inner thoughts and the changes in their facial expressions…”
While saying that, I thought, “I want to see my own information.” The screen appeared again. However, the look of the display is different this time.
Previously, it was divided into top and bottom sections, with my question at the top and the explanation written at the bottom, but this time it was divided into four sections, each with multiple words and numerical values.
“Strength is 5… garbage…!” (Note: Strength can also be referred to as Combat power/ability)
I glanced at the words that made sense for the moment and was shocked to see the numbers. It’s true that I don’t work out much, but I’ve done some heavy lifting in my part-time job and haven’t even caught a cold lately. For my strength to be a one-digit number, unbelievable!
“Oh? You’ve woken up.”
The door of the room opened, and an old man with gray hair walked in. A menu screen opened up instantly. It seems like it reacts to my doubts and questions immediately.
The old man’s Strength is 7. That’s higher than mine.
■ ■ ■
The person who opened the door and entered the room is Gordo Hazard-san. He’s 73 years old. His straight back and kind eyes were impressive, and for some reason, he’s stronger than me.
I was more grateful for the fact that I can understand his language than the fact that I know his name or age.
Gordo-san said he had found me collapsed on the roadside and nursed me back to health. Apparently, I’ve been sleeping for two straight days.
“No, I’m glad you’re awake. I was thinking you would never wake up.”
“I’m sorry for the trouble I caused you. Thank you so much.”
Sitting up in bed, I bowed my head as deeply as I could. Thinking that I might have died without him, no amount of bowing would be enough.
“It’s true that I was the one who nursed you, but it was someone else who found you.”
“Is that so? Then I should thank him as well.”
“Well, it’s difficult to meet him. It’s because he is Diorood-sama, the Prince of the Kingdom of Veris.”
I never thought that I would be saved by a prince. From my impressions, a prince is usually a spoiled, self-centred guy, but I’ve heard that there are exceptions. Although I’ve never met a real prince…
“He has a weak body. He’s been recuperating here in the territory of Earl Yuren.”
“He does? Is he better now?”
“No, I’m afraid that the Prince’s health will probably never improve. But he’s raising an army, you know? Against his father His Majesty, King of Veris.”
Gordo-san said while sadly casting his eyes down. The word ‘army’ didn’t feel quite right to me. I was astonished to learn that this world was so dangerous in the first place.
Suddenly, a screen appeared, shimmering. On it, there was a description of the current situation of this world.
I guess Gordo-san can’t see the screen. If he could see it, he would have reacted differently.
I skimmed the present condition of this world.
To summarize, there was originally a giant country called the Kingdom of Rodinia in this world. Right now, it seems that this kingdom had split up and was in the middle of something similar to the Warring States Period.
I got transported to a troublesome era. Basically, it is difficult to live in a period like this. Rather than having confidence in my own abilities, my fighting power is… I feel sorry for myself.
“Judging by your hair colour, you’re from an island, aren’t you? Why are you on the continent? Didn’t you know that the continent is in the middle of wars, so it’s dangerous?”
“That is… I myself don’t understand that. It’s also a mystery to me why I am here.”
“Have you lost your memory? Or were you brought here by force? Either way, you need to have a way to sustain yourself…”
I can’t let Gordo-san continue taking care of me. An atmosphere that makes it harder to speak covered us. He already looked after me for two days. I can’t take advantage of him any longer. As I tried to say that I would leave voluntarily, I was interrupted by the sudden opening of the door.
“Excuse me, Old man. I heard your discussion. I’ll take him into my care.”
He had blond hair and high-class clothes that were mostly black. He was about the same height as me, in the high 160 cm. His gentle smile is striking.
A screen appeared indicating his name 【Diorood Arkwright】, together with various stats.
“Is something wrong?”
“N-no, it’s just, I was not expecting to see the Prince. I was told that it was the Prince who saved my life. I am really grateful.”
It was a sincere thank you, but before that, there was a different reason for my surprise. The stats are too outrageous. All are above eighty. Everything from Strength, Intelligence, Charm and others. As one would expect from a prince. They’re way out of standards.
“Don’t worry about it. I just happened to be passing by, and yes, it was just a coincidence, but I felt fated to do so. Would you be willing to be my companion?”
With that, Diorood-sama held out his right hand to me. I had no reason to refuse. It’s a chance for me to return the favour, albeit in a smaller way.
“I– Rather, it would be my pleasure.”
I took Diorood-sama’s hand without even knowing the meaning of accepting it. I never imagined it was the greatest turning point in my life.
(TN: Dio changed from informal ‘ore’ to formal ‘watashi’)