TNG Vol. 16 Chapter 3 Part 3
The next morning.
Shin and Schnee had spent a peaceful night; Filma and Sety came to switch places, so Shin and Schnee did not have to wake them up.
“No attacks after all.”
Shin mumbled to himself while looking at the town’s citizens, busy with their daily activities.
Even if there were rumors that Durgin might attack soon, if they stayed in their houses they couldn’t keep on living. Everyone had all sorts of different reasons, but they tried to live their usual lifestyle without succumbing to fear.
According to the maid assigned to Shin’s party, there were fewer people out and about.
“The presence of the item they installed is gone, so they’re being more careful?”
“It’s a possibility.”
Shin replied to Sety’s question, a clouded expression on his face.
The poison filling the castle did not belong to Durgin.
Durgin’s appearance and the poison incident could even be completely unrelated. There were too many possibilities to consider.
“What are we going to do today, anyway? We could stay in the castle and monitor the situation, I guess?”
The castle was located in the center of the city: it was a location that allowed quick access to any place Durgin attacked. As such, Filma’s proposal was valid.
“I’d like to do something before it comes over the city, though.”
If Durgin’s wings were damaged by weapons or magic attacks, it could be possible to make it crash into the ground, though that would cause damage to the city.
Durgin was a flying monster, so no one could tell what location would turn into a battlefield until the battle started. Evacuating the citizens immediately would be difficult. If Durgin crashed on a building, the people inside might be hurt and would surely find it difficult to escape later, even if they survived.
If it scattered its poison, normal people without resistance would die on the spot. If possible, they wanted to bring the fight outside the city.
“Does it always come from the same direction?”
“I didn’t hear anything about that. We should confirm it.”
Schnee answered Filma’s question after trying to recall if they had heard anything. Therefore, Shin’s party decided to consult Garon and the others, who were lodging in the castle as well.
“The direction Durgin comes from? It was north, right?”
“Yes, that’s right. But we only know the direction, no one knows if there is something that way. It might be coming here after attacking another country’s city or similar.”
Durgin always came at different times, so that would be difficult to predict.
“So, as far as we know, it has always come from the north. Maybe it has a nest somewhere…though that doesn’t sound very likely.”
“Even without a nest, a single Durgin would easily find a place to rest, I’d wager. Well, there’s not much we can do even if we find out its dwelling, though.”
Garon shook his head at how hopeless the situation seemed.
To the north of Passner there were several cities, though none were the size of a country. There were several villages too, and Garon was worried about any casualties or damage they might have suffered.
Shin tried recalling everything he knew about Durgin, but it was a monster that traveled all over the world and appeared randomly. Finding its dwelling was a nigh impossible feat. In the game era, the most effective way was to find cursed areas or polluted areas and monitor them.
“In the game, we would usually set items to attack incoming monsters, though.”
There were regular events in which monsters attacked cities.
Most cities were equipped with magic devices created by players specialized in item crafting, so except in the very early days of the game, monsters never dared to fly over cities.
A certain city was so well armed that such events would be resolved without direct intervention from players.
Such a maniacal pursuit of item crafting and magic devices had left even the creators flabbergasted.
It was something impossible to recreate now, so it was quite the problem to deal with.
“Did you come up with something?”
“No, I was just talking to myself.”
Garon had apparently heard what Shin whispered to himself. Shin replied that it was nothing and started thinking again.
After more discussion, they decided that Shin would stay in the center of the city, while the other party members would stand guard on the city walls: Schnee on the north side, Filma on the west side, Sety on the east side and Yuzuha on the south side.
Garon’s party would guard the king, with the equipment Shin gave them. There were royal guards too, but since it was Garon and his comrades, the guards accepted their cooperation. They were adventurers that could use Mythology-grade equipment and had braved the perils of a deadly area for Passner’s sake, so no one expressed any discontent.
After half a day of guard duty, Yuzuha sent this message.
Shin also understood how she felt.
To wait for something that might come at any time, or not come at all, was more tiring than expected. Especially because it was something they’d rather never came.
The soldiers on guard duty had been informed that Schnee and the others would join them. They knew that the king had personally requested their help, but to see unknown adventurers do their job, it would be normal for them to think that they weren’t trusted and glare at Schnee and the rest of the party with looks of discontent.
The soldiers, however, had directly experienced how terrifying Durgin was. They knew that now wasn’t the time to act proud, and they welcomed Schnee and the others.
The soldiers even acted politely and courteously to Yuzuha, who had the appearance of a young girl.
Yuzuha’s Mind Chat was delivered to Schnee and the others too, but they probably understood that she meant the message for Shin and did not say anything.
“(I’ll groom you all nice and pretty later, so do this for me, please.)”
The Mind Chat was pretty peaceful, for the time being. Yuzuha sounded playful, but she was carefully watching the surroundings too.
The changes finally happened after one full day of guard duty, just as the morning hustle and bustle began quieting down.