They walked on for several minutes, but the church was still not open and Rashia and Thoria were cleaning the surroundings. When Shin and Tiera entered the church grounds, Rashia, who noticed, ran up to the two people.
“Isn’t it Shin-san! What are you doing today?”
“I came to check up on the situation. How’d the matter in question turn out?”
“Well then, please come to the orphanage. Um, that person is?”
“Ah, My name is Tiera. Nice to meet you.”
“I apologize for not having told you this sooner. I am a sister in this church, and my name is Rashia.”
To Tiera, who introduced herself while feeling a little nervous, Rashia replied with a calm expression. Was there any progress in the talks? The composure she showed now was not imaginable a few days ago.
Though Rashia was surprised about Tiera being an employee of Tsuki no Hokora, since that was the case, it was no problem to lead her into the orphanage.
Shin thought the duties of the church might be delayed, but the church seemed to be closed today. When they arrived at the reception room in the orphanage, Millie was sitting on a sofa for some reason.
When she realized that it was Shin who entered after Rashia and Tiera, she jumped vigorously. Seeing the state of the girl who was clinging to him with a smile, Shin expected the transfer problem to have been settled.
“Yo, you seem to be happy.”
“The orphanage was not lost! Shin’s help. Thank you!”
She seemed to be in a very good mood as her feelings, which were coming out, were reflected on her expression. For Millie, the possibility of the orphanage possibly being lost would be a big problem.
Shin waited for Millie to settle down and then sat on the sofa, as he had decided to hear the whole story after Tiera had introduced herself again.
“Thanks to Shin-san it was settled that I would take charge of this church as the next priestess without any problems. The official announcement has not yet been publicized, but I think it will be alright unless something extreme happens.”
The priest, who lives in the upper level district where the nobles live, came to the Orphanage a little while ago; he had to confirm whether or not Rashia’s skill acquisition was authentic.
When she was asked how she acquired the skill, she answered that it was the result of training. In fact, because the priest seemed to remember that it was possible to learn skills through training, she didn’t appear to be doubted in particular.
“The children were pleased, too. Really, how can I thank you enough??”
“Since I’ve already received the promised reward, please don’t worry about it too much. Ah, this is a present.”
Because he was worried that she would worry about it too much, he changed the topic by handing over the presents to Thoria. In the middle of shopping, they bought them from a peddler due to its unquestionable quality, though the peddler was surprised because Shin purchased said present in large quantities.
“Is it alright with this many?”
“Because I’ve already bought them, I’d feel rather troubled if they didn’t get accepted. Look, Millie has already taken one.”
Thoria, who reserved herself, was won over, while Millie, who was sitting and pressing Yuzuha to her chest, opened one of the bags filled with candy. When Millie took out an orange candy from it, she put in her mouth without hesitating.
“I’m glad you like it.”
Millie’s smile made everyone around her also smile.
When the reception room calmed down, the sound of a door opening was audible.
“Sensei, is that true that onii-chan has come?”
The one who appeared from the door was the girl who mobbed Yuzuha when Shin came to visit before.
“That’s no good, Melka. Because I’m busy right now.”
“Ehh, but I want to play with onii-chan~”
“Sorry. I’m having an important talk now. I’ll play with you next time.”
“Muuuu, then can onee-chan, play?”
The girl called Melka promptly changed her target to Tiera when she was declined by Shin. Was this because she was together with Shin, or was it women’s intuition? For the little girl, it seemed like Tiera was judged to be a person whom she didn’t need to be cautious around. She had already caught the hem of Tiera’s clothes.
“Um, because it’s my first time coming today, I don’t know the games well…”
Looking at Melka staring at Tiera, Shin, while smiling wryly, thought “Can’t refuse that.” With a lisping voice, and upturned eyes, this combo from the little girl required immense willpower to decline. She might be cunning depending on the person, but Tiera, who rarely came into contact with children, shouldn’t be able to resist her.
“Millie, come play too.”
“Sorry, it’s impossible.”
Tiera called for help from Shin, but she was taken away by Melka along with Millie after all. Was she unable to just watch anymore? Thoria too followed them to save her.
“Umm, will it be fine?”
Rashia answered as if it was not necessary to stop it. Though it was another matter if it was something good or bad for Tiera, Shin thought it would be a good experience for her to play with children.
“By the way, Wilhelm is…?”
“As usual, he went to investigate the bishop in question. It’s unlikely that he’s going to leave it as it is.”
“As expected, he understands it well.”
As an adventurer coming from the orphanage, Wilhelm seemed to gather information in cooperation with fellow adventurers. This way, Shin thought it was improbable for this fellow to be obediently lead by the hand.
“Shin-san also thought the same as Wilhelm?”
“Of course. Though I don’t know why the bishop thought of taking over this church, as far as I know after having heard the story, I don’t think that guy is willing to give up so easily.”
“But it’d good if nothing happens.”
“ Indeed, that’s right. Please hand this to Thoria and Millie just in case though.”
Shin took out 2 small accessories from the Item Box and handed them over to Rashia. One of them was similar to the bracelet he gave to Rashia before, and the other one was attached to a light green colored string and was a simple wooden necklace in the shape of a diamond. If one was to say it in a nice way, it had a handmade feeling, and if one was to say it in a rude way, then it looked crappy.
“It grants various magic skills. Just in case.”
He then explained what kind of magics were bestowed upon it to answer Rashia’s question. Because he had already told her about the damage reduction effect of her own bracelet earlier, it was omitted. The necklace got the main explanation. Although it had a plain appearance, when Rashia heard what kind of material the string and wood were made from, her mind went completely blank for a short while. One of the reasons he chose this material was because it wouldn’t stand out among the children in the orphanage compared to if it was a metal necklace.
“What can I say. Just amazing!”
“About Millie’s necklace, it has the ability to block her ability. How’s it going with the bracelet I gave you before?”
“I’m still wearing it. I don’t think it’s a good idea for me to continue borrowing it, but Will asked me to wear it. Though I’m intending to return it in the near future.”
“No, I’m fine with it as it is. Since the safety of the church isn’t settled yet, there is still the possibility of Rashia becoming a target, too. The danger will be minimized if you keep wearing it.”
Rather than the problem of the continuation of the orphanage, the possibility of Rashia being aimed at was high. Therefore, besides the accessory for Millie, the bracelets for Rashia and Thoria had considerable abilities, too. They could even stand against a chosen one for a certain period of time.
“Thank you very much for everything.”
“You don’t have to prostrate yourself that much.”
Though she was only half satisfied with the way she had shown her appreciation, the words were stored in her heart.
“Please have lunch with us at the very least. You still have time, right?”
“That’s right. Shall we feast?”
She probably wanted to pay back her feelings of gratitude, even if just a little. He nodded to Rashia about lunch, and they proceeded to the square where the children were.
Tiera was surrounded by several young girls, maybe playing with dolls, since some beautiful handmade dolls were placed around her. Yuzuha, who was being mobbed earlier, was seeking refuge on top of Tiera’s head. Yuzuha seemed to have learned that no one could touch it when at that location.
In contrast to the young girls, who were happy and joyful, for some reason, the boys were looking at Tiera’s group from afar. Although the boys seemed to be kicking around a round ball that looked like a soccer ball, they glanced at the girls too much, especially toward Tiera.
“The boys are kind of quiet, huh?”
“No no, that’s a normal reaction.”
Shin said while holding his laughter, to Rashia who looked puzzled. She apparently didn’t know why the boys didn’t approach the girls.
“What do you mean?”
“They are probably too embarrassed to approach because of how beautiful Tiera is.”
Though there was a boy who was mixed in with the girls, when Shin looked at him, the boy appeared to be at the age of a child who had just started kindergarten. The boys, who were watching from a distance, were equal to children approaching puberty. When one reached that age, it became difficult to freely talk to an older, beautiful onee-san. That didn’t mean that everyone displayed the same behavior, but Shin, who had similar experiences, understood the feeling of wanting to talk but being too embarrassed to do so.
“Tiera-san is indeed beautiful, even from my point of view as a woman, but I don’t think it’s that hard to call out to her.”
“Well, I can understand, because I also experienced similar things as a boy, but it’s not strange if you don’t understand it, Rashia.”
Speaking of similar patterns, there were children in kindergarten who were in love with their teacher, and primary school children who were interested in the onee-san type.
He had a wry smile when he recalled the good old memories as an adult. The world was different, but similar things seemed to happen everywhere. He told the frowning Rashia not to worry about it, and called out to Tiera who was beckoning him.
Tiera, who noticed it, kept evading the eyes from the girls that seemed to be reluctant at parting, and came over to Shin.
“Shi～n～, how could you abandon me?”
“No, hold on, I just thought that it would be impossible to reject them.”
“That’s… certainly, it was impossible to refuse that. *Sigh* I guess it can’t be helped, huh.”
“Leaving that aside, because I’m treating you to lunch, I want to take out some ingredients. How about it?”
“That’s good. Well, since I promised to make Yuzuha-chan some inarisushi, how about I make it for the children of the orphanage as well? May I borrow the kitchen?”
Even though the sun was already high in the sky, there was still enough time. There was no problem if they overstayed a little.
Tiera also had the 【Cooking】 skill since it was taught to her by Schnee. The eyes of the children were nailed to the inarisushi which was soon displayed on a plate.
“I’m sorry. You’re the one who ended up making it, even though it was me who suggested it.”
“Don’t worry about it, since I’m the one who wanted to do it. Although I said one thing or another, it was fun playing with the children.”
The church seemed to be a place for a tranquil heart, as there were children who could approach without being timid. Even from Shin’s point of view, he had a feeling that Tiera’s expression had become softer than before.
Lunch ended and Shin and Tiera wanted to help put things in order, but Rashia’s words of, “I can’t have you do that” caused them to excuse themselves.
They left the church and returned to the guild. Because it was already past noon at that time, Tiera’s guild card should have been made.
The bar inside of the guild was crowded with adventurers having a meal. They went towards the receptionist area to avoid the crowd, and called out to Celica. Were there few adventurers receiving requests at this time? They were able to talk without even waiting.
“This is Tiera-sama’s guild card. Please check it.”
“There seems to be no problem. Thank you very much.”
Tiera confirmed the card functions without any problems. Shin also took out his own guild card at this point.
“While you’re at it, can you please register us as a party.”
“Understood. In regards to the members, there are only two people, right?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
In the case of a fixed party, it seemed that the guild required a party name, but they decided to not do it this time.
They were seen off by Celica and Els and left the guild. Their destination was the shopping street again.
This time, they bought preserved foods due to the acquaintances they’d be traveling with on their trip. Because they would be in the presence of others during this trip, the Item Box couldn’t be used lightly. However, since the rations were made into cards and taken along, it didn’t change the quantity compared to the normal preparation for a trip.
Besides that, it might not even be necessary since there was the remarks column in the request that stated that meals were included, but it was for emergencies. ‘Save for a rainy day, save for a time of need’ was thought, and they kept shopping.
“It’s time to go now.”
As they arranged the necessary items they bought, Shin called out to Tiera.
“Eh, but it’s not time yet.”
“No, I’m taking Tsuki no Hokora with us.”
He couldn’t leave Tsuki no Hokora as it was, before the departure.
“I completely forgot about it.”
“That’s not good, forgetting about it, at least.”
“I normally wouldn’t think about forgetting a 『House』, you know!”
That was quite natural. It was crazy to think that a 『House』could be considered a personal property item.
“S-Sorry. Look, am I not the owner of Tsuki no Hokora? So it’s only natural to think that it could be carried.”
“The old generation is weird after all. Or is Shin particularly strange?”
Tiera voiced the question without hesitation with a teasing smile. While receiving the mental damage, Shin took out a light blue crystal from the Item Box.
“It’s a 『Crystal Stone』. You’ve never seen one before?”
“That is a Crystal Stone? That one is big and clearly processed, something which I am seeing for the first time right now.”
“This item is bestowed with 『Metastasis』 magic. I can move to a registered point in an instant if I use it. It a disposable one, but with this we can move to Tsuki no Hokora without any effort.”
“…That’s right. The things that Shin pulls out are all unique.”
Did Tiera go beyond being amazed, and arrive at the acceptance state? ‘Shin clearly said that we could move in an instant with the metastasize-crystal.’ .
There were a lot of mages who have tried to reproduce the magic up till now, but they weren’t able to get even a little foothold on it.
This mystery, among the secrets of the old generation, was assumed to have already been lost.
No one would be able to expect things would came out from said item with a pop.
“Shin, I want to check one thing.”
“Ah, ok, what is it?”
“Maybe, just maybe…is it possible to manufacture this?”
Tiera had glossy eyes. It was completely different from the mood from a while ago, and Shin couldn’t hide his bewilderment.
Still, he understood that the item he took out appeared to be the stuff that defied common sense, again.
“Please tell me, before I answer your question, but what would others think about a Crystal Stone with the metastasis ability?”
“…Metastasis, itself, is considered a lost magic.”
Shin understood with those words. If that was the case, he could see why Tiera would be surprised. Even from Shin’s experience so far, the Crystal Stone was thought to be quite valuable.
But he frankly found the ‘lost’ part in Tiera’s sentence hard to believe. He was certain that it could have been spread out to the general public, but it seemed like such a thing was likely to have been concealed. It would not be surprising, if even the country and the organization were secretly covering it up.
“Then I will also answer, yes, it’s possible to manufacture it. If, and only if, you have sufficient materials.”
“…Sigh, I guess so. For one of Rokuten, a Crystal Stone with metastasis is easy to make, huh?”
As she settled with a sigh, Tiera too, seemed to begin to understand what sort of people belonged to the Rokuten guild.
“Ahh, though it seems bad when you are dispirited, may I transfer us now?”
“Yes, do it.”
He took the defiant Tiera to an open place with no signs of life. Together with Schnee, he had confirmed that it was usable without problems. It was possible to use it soon after having woken up in this world, but he would rather not take the risk. Unlike other tools, it was unknown what would happen if it failed, so he couldn’t bring himself to use that item.
When Shin let magic power flow into the Crystal Stone to act as a detonator, the magic stored inside the stone activated itself. Their vision distorted, and shelves that lined up with goods came into view in the next moment.
The two people were certainly in Tsuki no Hokora.
“T-That’s a strange feeling. And, how are you going to carry this place?”
“Let’s go outside for a moment. Then we can start on that conversation.”
Shin went toward the door as he mumbled a bit. Because Shin turned his back, Tiera didn’t see that Shin’s mouth continued moving.
It was the familiar woods outside of the store as they exited it. Shin glanced around as he surveyed the surrounding area.
There was a green marker which was not there when he came to Tsuki no Hokora before, glowing on the map screen.
“What’s the matter?”
“There’s a rat. I think it’s time to tease that guy a little.”
Shin said that while looking at the trees or at the rat? Tiera had a question mark floating above her head. Though she wanted to retort that he might be looking for a rat in the wrong place, the opponent was Shin. Common sense wouldn’t work anyway, so Tiera stopped questioning it.
Shin finished the preparation, stopped talking to himself, and held up his hand toward Tsuki no Hokora.
Simultaneously with those words, Tsuki no Hokora began to glow faintly. The light extended out to cover the whole store, and in the next moment, the lights were converging into a single point.
It stayed in the air for only a few seconds and then slowly flew and settled in Shin’s hand afterward. When the light disappeared, a necklace with a crescent moon shape was grasped in his hand. It shined silver and seemed to be more valuable than its poor artwork showed. The transparent glow was proof that it was not ordinary silverwork.
“Yes, this is Tsuki no Hokora, carry mode.”
“You really can carry it! As expected.”
Tiera’s doubt was answered while he put the necklace away into the Item Box.
Did she tire of getting surprised? Or did she grow accustomed to it? Tiera’s words contained pure admiration.
There was no reason to stay forever in a place that had gone, although Tiera looked at the place where the former Tsuki no Hokora was for a while, so they decided to head toward the departure place on the request. It was just the right time. Shin knew this because of the time displayed in the menu screen. Furthermore, it was because he was wearing a wristwatch-like item.
The other two possible applicants had already arrived. Because of that, he planned to have a conversation for a little while. They would participate in the same request for some period of time, so there was no loss in deepening their friendship.
When they entered the country in the direction of the east gate from the Tsuki no Hokora site, in a corner of the plaza before the east gate was where the departure point was located, the wagon upon which the luggage was already loaded had arrived. A group of two people who appeared to be a Dragnil and Lord race were standing on the side.
“Excuse me, this is Nack-san’s wagon, correct?”
“Hmm? That’s right…Oh, both of you adventurers are joining us, right?”
It was the Dragnil who responded. Probably because he had thought words similar prior to joining, they served as confirmation and he therefore called out to him. The blue scales that were covering its whole body gave out a really strong impression. Judging from the deep voice, it was probably a male. The longsword on his waist and the chest protector were made with some kind of skin that stood out. If he didn’t put on that much protective gear, he was probably the type who played around with speed. Or maybe, he probably didn’t need much protective gear because the scales were hard enough?
“Yes, we will be going together, although it’s sudden. By the way, I’m Shin. This here is Tiera who is made a party with me.”
“I am Tiera. I hope to get along with you.”
“Yea, my name is Gaien. It is my pleasure to get along with you along the journey. And this one here is――”
“Tsubaki, best regards”
The one who had introduced herself with a few words was a girl with crimson hair that reached her back along with red eyes. The red eyes, which were transparent in contrast to the hair which was darker in color, were observing Shin and Tiera.
Her height was considered short. At least one fist lower than Tiera. Probably about 150 cemels. Though the features were in order, it would not be strange if someone said that she was a high school student only by appearance. However, he had a painful experience because of judging from appearances in the THE NEW GATE.
Since she could work as an adventurer, he judged that they wouldn’t have any problems. He was positive that she should at least have an E rank ability.
Gaien’s level was 187, and Tsubaki’s level was 133. If one judged it only by the level, Gaien might be an A-rank adventurer. The sword on his waist didn’t seem to be for decoration.
As for Tsubaki, her level already exceeded rank E.
“Oh! Did additional faces appear? I am Nack the merchant. I hope we get along until Beirun!”
When they introduced themselves to each other, a dwarf showed up from the shadow of the wagon and started talking. Apparently, this person seemed to be the client of the request. The muscular body which differed from the usual Dwarf, was wrapped in well-tailored clothes, which gave off the feeling that something was wrong. They properly exchanged greetings, and boarded the wagon in order.
“Everyone has gotten aboard. It’s a little early, but let’s depart!”
Nack’s voice was cheerful while the whip slash was heard from the driver seat, and the wagon started to move slowly.
As the wagon with 5 people passed through the east gate, it began to advance straight north, to Beirun.
Afterwards, the news of the disappearance of Tsuki no Hokora made the higher-ups of Bayreuth Kingdom arrive at the pinnacle of the confusion. It would be a story for the future before Shin and the others knew it.
The disappearance of Tsuki no Hokora.
That information was not only known to the upper echelon of the Bayreuth Kingdom, but it was spread out even to the other countries, which were monitoring Tsuki no Hokora, in a flash.
Initially, everyone had to confirm whether it was a mistake. For more than 500 years, preceding the Dusk of the Majesty, the immovable building existed without change. People couldn’t invade it no matter how powerful they were, it didn’t permit any high-level monsters to invade, not even a single step. It was the secret shop that was made with lost technology, that was Tsuki no Hokora. When it was said to have disappeared, it was impossible to believe it so easily.
However, after verifying it many times, the only answer was: “No doubt about it”. The side that received the report was still good. At the actual scene, the shock of the people seeing Tsuki no Hokora vanish before their eyes, was also indirectly affecting the superior who heard the news from far away. At this point, a strange situation occurred, where the spies who monitored Tsuki no Hokora revealed themselves in broad daylight, and ascertained each other whether the scene they just saw was true.
“What the heck just happened!?”
It was their superior who was shouting.
It was noisy in a corner inside a castle.
They had gathered in a meeting room, talking about the important matter at hand. Although they were roused up from bed before the first sunshine appeared on the horizon, no lack of sleep appeared on their faces. To begin with, there was no such margin for that, except one part.
“Well then, there is no mistake in that report after all?”
“Yes, there’s no doubt about it.”
The one who asked from that place, where the head of the table sat, was the King of Bayreuth Kingdom, Jeon Courtade Bayreuth. With blond hair, blue eyes, and 2 mels of height covered with muscles; this person had the body of a warrior.
By all means, it was a splendid king who clad himself with dignity as the ruler of his body, but it wasn’t going so well today. The agony-clad expression on Jeon face made even the prime minister worry about whether they should continue answering his questions or not. This time, it was not just a problem for Bayreuth Kingdom. Let alone the neighboring countries, an inquiry would surely come from the Empire and Imperial if they did a bad job.
“Tsuki no Hokora…Disappeared…huh?”
Everyone who gathered had a dark complexion.
The one who was, more or less, better off was the first princess, the royal magician. Jeon saw the report while knowing that it would not change no matter how many times he read it. Here was the summary.
–Report About the Disappearance of Tsuki no Hokora–
Fourth month, second day.
At the sound of the 12th bell, that indicated it was noon, all of sudden the Tsuki no Hokora begin to emit light.
After a few seconds, when the light settled, Tsuki no Hokora was already gone.
The spies for each nation were confused about the sudden occurrence, too.
This caused the situation where we mutually contacted each other.
There was no reaction from the skill detection system, though we did investigate the hollowed-out mark left in the ground.
Again, there was no sign of anything happening in the surroundings either.
The whole occurrence was a complete mystery.
The people who were assigned to the monitoring job jotted down the details of what they saw in the report. It was written as detailed as possible, even though the amount of sentences were few. It was not possible to report it any further, as they didn’t have much information.
The spies of the other countries in the vicinity whom they exchanged information with and of whom they should be wary of, understood the disordered state of the site well. It was that crazy.
However, they didn’t want to go back without understanding anything. Even though Tsuki no Hokora did not belong to Bayreuth Kingdom, it was almost next to them. They took pride in having a more intimate relation with the shop than any other country.
“Do you know what happened to Raizar-dono?”
“No, however the second princess, Rionne-sama has reported that she came into contact with her in the Wraith Plains. Because of the considerable distance, it is the only place to think of when Tsuki no Hokora disappeared.”
“I see. There’s no mistake if Rionne said so, but…as long as Raizar-dono does not have some problem, she will at least show up for the distribution of the spoils of war several days later, because if Raizar-dono is healthy, it should spread to the many countries.”
Even if Tsuki no Hokora disappeared, if Schnee Raizar was alive and well, it should not become a lethal problem. The important one was not the building, but the person who lived there.
“Tell Rionne that when Raizar-dono appears, she is to report it with Mind Chat immediately. That’s an order!”
He passed on an order to one of the soldiers who was standing guard, and left. There were a few of the old generation who served the king, and every one of them was currently in the midst of gathering information by Mind Chat. Jeon had to change his plan, as there was no other way, even though it put a strain on his information network.
And then, because the disappearance of Tsuki no Hokora had never happened before, he ordered an investigation.
Let’s rewind back the time a little to the previous day.
While Shin and the others who left the kingdom were jolted about in a wagon, they confirmed each other’s hands. They confirmed what they were able to do and what they couldn’t do, because it might cause a delay in judgement in the case of an emergency. It was mainly confirming each others job and rank, also whether having the ability to use magic or not. The level and way of fighting could be understood roughly with this. Since there was the danger of revealing level and trump cards during the first meeting, it might be concealed somehow or another.
“As you can see, I am a samurai. Adventurer rank is A. I can use charms to some extent, but I don’t not want to rely on it very much.” (T/N: Gaien uses “sessha” to refer to himself)
It was Gaien who gave information about himself first. It seemed he was an A-rank adventurer after all. His equipment itself was unrelated to his job. So when he said “As you can see” with his current state of not wearing a kimono, no one could have guessed it without 【Analyze】. Samurai was a vanguard job, it was natural that they didn’t use much magic as they didn’t get an occupation bonus for that. As for expecting a proper magic attack, the rear guard jobs that get an occupation bonus (in INT/WIS) commonly used those.
“I am a fist fighter. Rank is E. I can use a little support magic to raise agility.”
The next one who opened her mouth was Tsubaki. Her level seemed to be befitting of a rank D, but it appeared that she had only newly joined the guild. Incidentally, he was told that she was going to be rank D very soon.
“I am more or less an alchemist, but I can use a bow and dagger…if I have to… I just registered to become an adventurer, so my rank is G. I can use water and wind magic arts and create simple recovery medicines, if necessary, please call out to me…”
Tiera, who almost spoke in formal lines, did so partly because it was their first meeting. Though it was a great difference from when she met Shin in Tsuki no Hokora for the first time.
It was Gaien who suggested first to speak casually, so they didn’t have to pay attention to their wording. Since they had to entrust their lives to each other, and there was no objections, which lead to the present.
Even though she was worried about having a low-level and rank, her recovery medicine was reassuring, Gaien and Tsubaki encouraged Tiera who was feeling a little small.
In reality, it was very difficult to consume a potion during a battle. Though the story was different when there are a lot of people, there were many situations where there was only a little bit of time when hunting a dangerous monster. For the few adventurers who fight regularly, having an ally who could cast recovery magic could make a big difference in the survival rate.
“I am similar to Gaien, a samurai. Rank E. I can use a little fire and lightning magic. And this is Yuzuha. Even though it might appear this way, this is an excellent monster.”
Shin told them about himself and Yuzuha. Including Tiera, he didn’t forget to inform them that they did a guarding-type job for the first time, too. This was because experience could be the factor which makes the difference between life or death. He was not asked for his level this time, but if he was, he ought to pretend that it was low. Because he didn’t know what surprise it would cause, if he carelessly said that his level exceeded 200. When one thinks of Shin’s age, it was indeed too abnormal.
Just in case, he had already arranged beforehand to tell the same story as Tiera. Of course, he had already forbidden Celica, who knew the circumstances, from speaking about it, too.
For Yuzuha, he talked about it being contracted by the tamer contract, and informed them that there was no danger.
“Oh, you can use magic while being a samurai, huh? I didn’t hear about it in detail, but it seemed that doing so requires extraordinary training. It is also unusual to have tamed a monster.”
“Well, that’s that. I’d be troubled if you expect me to be at the magician level. I only use it for diversions and surprise attacks to a certain degree. Yuzuha, by the way, is unexpectedly strong, right?”
Although these diversions were a far cry from the instant kills he could produce if he was serious, it seemed to be moderate for a rank E.
Since for a vanguard to use magic was enough, Gaien and Tsubaki should not have high expectations, like magician level, either.
“Are you people coming from Hinomoto?”
“We’re not, but why do you think so?”
“Almost all people from Hinomoto are samurais. This is the first time that I’ve met a samurai other than Gaien.”
Shin looked puzzled at Tsubaki’s question, but understood it after hearing the reason. Even though Shin had also collected information via the 【Analyze】 and【Listen】skills, finding a person who had the samurai job was nearly impossible. That was probably why Tsubaki said that it was unusual. But, it didn’t mean that Shin had never seen one. When he was walking toward the guild for the first time, the Dragnil he saw wearing a long sword at his waist was actually Gaien.
“Usually it is a warrior or knight one sees in this country. And then there is the job specialization. A lot of the people who are aiming to be a samurai are oddballs.”
“Oddballs!? That’s absurd… because it is a job that is excellent for raids…”
In a basic strategy, it is a hit and run job that deals out a heavy blow while playing around with speed, but the samurai could also tank if equipped with warrior armor.
The job that was popular in the game era regardless of generation seems to be different in this world.
“That is probably because the prerequisite is the necessity to master both the knight and berserker jobs.”
“Ah… I see.”
Shin consented to Gaien after hearing the reason.
In the game specification, one needed to have two jobs, knight and berserker, to become a samurai. The requirements seemed to be identical in this world.
On one hand, a knight put emphasis on defence, and on the other hand, a berserker put emphasis on attack. Mastering two contradicting jobs was the reason that samurai were known to be able fight versatile. That was the reason a samurai was easy to use. Although there was high compensation, Tsubaki seemingly found it difficult to understand somehow or other.
“I understand it, but to put it bluntly, it’s strong?”
“I agree on that point, but it’s strange after all.”
Then Gaien interrupted the conversing Tsubaki and Shin.
“Either way, it’s the difference in cultures. Hinomoto is an island country that was formed by a natural disaster. There are some bases of the guild where people with jobs like samurai and shinobi gathered at that time. Those people played a key role and made it possible for the country to be established. For that reason, the people who now use their body to fight for Hinomoto have a strong admiration for samurai. The country is regarded as a curiosity, even though it is quite small compared to the countries on the continent, so only a few people come near it. I, personally, was often puzzled in various ways after I left the island.”
The guild that Gaien talked about appeared to be different from the current adventurers’ guild. Hearing the story, it seemed to be the one from the game age.
Shin felt like it was too good to be true when he heard about an island country filled with samurai.
“By the way, what are the names of the guilds that founded the country?”
“Hmm, the ones well-known are ‘Beauties of Nature’, ‘Majin Keppuuroku’, and ‘Dark Miko Shrine’.”
“H-Heh, it that so?”
Shin showed understanding with an ‘I see’, without putting it into words.
The guild that Gaien mentioned, with a Japanese style name, represented by samurai and shinobi, was formed by people who liked the Japanese clothes, such as the shrine maiden clothing. In that guild, the samurai, shinobi, and miko(shrine maiden), ordered sequentially by the highest number, were competing for power. The guild house was a castle, needless to say a Shinto shrine, and consisted of many eccentric players. Because the armed forces that protected the guild house consisted of only support characters, they might have been able to repel monsters even if the players disappeared. Shin thought that if they cooperated, they should have the ability to govern a small country.
“In addition, there seemed to be some small guilds, too, but I don’t remember it well.”
“I understand it well, thank you.”
He didn’t know that the country had originally been a guild in the game era. Possibly, there might be a lot of surprises there.
They exchanged various information while being jolted around in the wagon for a few days. The party advanced smoothly without being attacked by monsters, and because it was a Grimm horse, a demon beast, that pulled the wagon, their speed was twice as fast as normal. By the way, this Grimm horse was the one that Shin saw at the gate, when he had visited Bayreuth for the first time. The Tamer, who he caught a glimpse of when entering the gate at that time, was Nack who was doing this request. A merchant with the sub-job Tamer could pull a wagon in the same way as players did in the game era.
Shin and the others decided to take turns watching the surrounding, and those who could take the position of coachman took over for Nack alternately as they continued traveling.
It was when Nack had just taken his turn to be the coachman that the sign for enemies was displayed in Shin’s perception range.
“Something is coming. And it’s fast.”
“What? Tell me in detail.”
“There are 12 bodies ahead. Judging from the number and speed, it might be a wolf pack, but…”
Though Shin knew the full details, he simply told them some speculation, because it would be troublesome if he told them too much.
“That alone is plenty of notice. You guys! It’s time to work!”
When Nack heard about the situation from Shin, he immediately raised his loud voice, before Shin had finished talking. As expected from a former adventurer, his courage resounded through the air. It was so loud that if a person was asleep, they would jump up to their feet. However, his words sounded more like that of a bandit than a merchant.
When his voice rose, Gaien and Tsubaki were already finished preparing. Tiera too was holding her bow, and confirming the quiver position. Apparently Gaien had also perceived the signs.
“It’s a wolf group as Shin said. I’m worried about there being no movement from the 2 animals at the rear, but first, let’s take care of the 10 animals in the lead.”
“I’m thinking the same thing. If they are willing to approach a Grimm horse pulling a wagon, then I know that they are not ordinary beasts.”
Shin, who heard Gaien and Nack exchange opinions, looked at the monsters’ details that were coming up.
The monsters’ name was Jag Wolf. It was twice as big as a normal wolf, an extremely aggressive monster. Their movement speed was in a different league compared to ordinary wolves. Ten of them were coming toward Shin and the others. Their average level was around 100, with one of them at level 120. This one was probably the leader of the pack. As for the two that were staying behind, their level didn’t even reach level 10. They might have been left behind because of the danger.
3 out of 10 Jag Wolves went ahead of the pack. The rest of them divided into two to go to the right and left, scattering between the trees successively, while the leading three, including the leader, were getting closer approaching.
The road where the wagon was on right now was caught within in the forest. They seemed to intend to perform a surprise attack using the forest as cover. Gaien appeared to grasp the position of the approaching enemy, immediately deciding the arrangement without Shin having to suggest it.
“Split into the left and right. I will hold the front. Shin to the right, Tsubaki to the left. Tiera, give support from the top of the wagon. Nack-dono, stay near the horse. I think it won’t go wild if a tamer is nearby.”
“There’s no turning back in this situation. Come on!!”
Nack stopped the wagon at a relatively wide section, and each of them was given a position to hold. Yuzuha stayed beside the Grimm horse, just in case.
“Here we go!!”
Gaien’s shout was the signal as the three leading wolves showed movement. The center one sprang forward from the front and the remaining two went to his left and right.
Gaien, with a longsword in his right hand and the sheath in his left, charged to the front.
Something like a light blue aura covered Gaien’s body as the Jag Wolf approached, flicking away the large beast.
Delayed with a short pause, the other two Jag Wolves approached. Without Gaien panicking, he sliced at the jaw of the beast on the right by brandishing a large swing and jumped to his left, where the one on that side received a hit on its mouth and thereby silenced.
The remaining Jag Wolf, which had been pushed off, saw its companions get defeated in an instant, and was disheartened.
“Mu, it’s somewhat easy.”
He scowled at the lightness of the resistance, but he didn’t need to go all out if the opponent was weak, so Gaien concentrated his attention on the approaching leader.
“As expected. By the way, there are some coming here, too.”
“The left side is quick. Do you see it from above?”
To Shin’s warning, which perceived the Jag Wolf approaching from the forest, Tsubaki answered and asked Tiera.
“I caught it!”
Tiera was already aiming at the fastest one and shot the arrow into the forest.
A howl of pain was heard from the point that the arrow landed at, and one of the markers displayed on Shin’s map disappeared.
“Did you actually kill it?”
As Tiera was relieved, Tsubaki voiced some admiration.
Shin thought she couldn’t kill it in one shot when he thought about the level differences, but the Jag Wolf seemed to have run out of energy unexpectedly. It might have hit a vital point.
Was it because they received an unexpected counterattack on the left side? The Jag Wolves turned back to where the leader was.
“It went back, huh? Tsubaki, please go support Gaien. Tiera and I are enough to hold this position.”
As Tsubaki moved according to Shin’s instruction, a Jag Wolf jumped out from the forest on the right. The claw attack of the Jag Wolf passed through next to Shin, and moved toward where Nack was. The attack towards Shin appeared to have been a feint.
But, it was too careless to have thought that it was able to outwit Shin to that degree.
Shin twisted his body to dodge the Jag wolf’s claw and at the same time, pulled out a katana to parry. The one he pulled out from the scabbard hanging at his waist was the longsword katana which he had forged in Tsuki no Hokora before. A single attack from a sword that was at a similar level to an average Magic Sword; it traced a white line in the air and the Jag Wolf’s neck was cut into two.
As the body fell over, Shin thought that his physical ability rose proportional to his kinetic vision, but he only had time to observe the Jag Wolf. And then he felt that something was wrong.
While thinking about the source of that uncomfortable feeling, Shin perceived another Jag Wolf approaching. The Jag Wolf probably didn’t want to waste an ally’s sacrifice, as its fangs were already out when Shin turned his eyes. It was at a close enough of a distance for Shin to quickly counterattack with his sword.
But an arrow pierced the forehead of the Jag Wolf before he could swing the katana. Seeing the wolf receive a mortal wound, Shin dodged with a sway as the Jag Wolf fell past him due to the momentum from its leap, and then he turned toward Tiera.
“It’s not nice, geez.”
Tiera, who shot the arrow, breathed out as she was relieved, and nocked the next arrow.
Instant sniping was quite a sight to behold. No matter how one looked at it, that was not a move a newly fledged adventurer should know. Schnee training her was really not just for show.
“If you can do that kind of movement, you would have no problem at rank E. Go cover the other side quickly!”
“Tsubaki also said something similar. Well, I got it.”
They shifted their attention forward as Gaien and Tsubaki fought against five of the wolves, including the leader. Did Tsubaki use magic to raise her agility, as she mentioned earlier? Her body was enveloped with a thin white aura while she was trifling with the Jag Wolves.
One of the wolves was unable to keep up with her pace and received a direct hit from her fist and vanished.
Tsubaki’s radiant blunt gauntlet sunk into its body, and it was thrown off at the tree while bending back and forth, without moving. It was a scene that would make one question where that power came from, with such a thin arm.
Tsubaki’s level was 133. There was nearly a 30 level difference compared to the Jag Wolf; even so, she gave off a feeling of power.
“This is strange. These fellows’ movements are rather slow.”
“Agreed. Their reactions are pretty mild.”
While Gaien muttered that while throwing an enemy down into the ground, Tsubaki also agreed. Apparently everyone seemed to have felt that something was wrong.
Shin joined in and it became 3 against the remaining 3 members of the pack, including the leader. They didn’t show any behavior of turning their backs at all. Normally, they should have already tried to run away.
“Hey, don’t these fellows look a bit thin?”
Shin said as he noticed it when the other two people spoke of a sense of incongruity. The Jag Wolf appeared to show its ribs if one looked closely, even the leader as well.
“It’s like the demon essence affected these monsters somehow or another. They probably aimed for the Grimm horse because of its meat and demon essence. That certainly explains the lack of resistance I felt a while ago.”
Gaien nodded when he understood it, without dropping his guard against the Jag Wolf.
There were monsters that were born from the demon essence’s influence, and wild beasts that became monsters due to the demon essence. The former could live on demon essence alone, but the latter was different. They had to eat meat and could not just absorb demon essence to maintain their bodies. The majority of these latter types often attacked people and domestic animals, but it didn’t get much public attention, because the former have such a strong demon essence. Gaien explained the situation on the way. As for Shin, since he didn’t remember in detail how the monsters spawned during the game, he memorized it for future reference.
“It is prepared for death as there’s nowhere for it to go.”
Tsubaki said it plainly. Even for the monsters in this world, they had to be strong to exist. Before the rule of the survival of the fittest, all living things were equal. There was no line dividing the humans and monsters here.
It must be remembered that Shin’s and the others’ request was to guard the wagon. If it ran away, they would not chase after the wolf, but they could not help but kill it if it continued to attack.
The choices left for the Jag Wolves was either to die starving or to die fighting.
“We are also risking our life for this. Shin, it’s useless to hold back.”
Shin answered him briefly, as this was not the first time he fought a monster to live.
However, he had never met such a desperate opponent prior to this time.
(The resolution is different from the previous guys. Though that’s the only difference, it couldn’t have done that so easily.)
It was not about challenging a strong opponent, nor the hunt or fight.
It fought to live.
To the extent that the pressure they received was remarkably different.
(Moreover, the two of them that are behind it are still pups.)
The two that were approaching little by little were still children with the shapes of puppies.
Was it because he was a Japanese person, that his blade was getting blunt?
“I will kill the leader. Tsubaki on the right, Shin on the left.”
The timing was matched to each other.
Tsubaki and Shin were the first to begin.
Tsubaki stepped into the fight with her aura continuing as it was. Judging from the Jag Wolf’s point of view, it felt like there was a chance of being cut down if it blinked. To the opponent, which froze by reflex, Tsubaki swung down her fist without mercy.
The Jag Wolf slammed into the ground with a cracking sound, and then twitched a few times before it stopped moving.
Shin also took a stance and raising his sword above his head, stepped in with a speed superior to Tsubaki’s. The katana swung down as he stepped forward. The Jag Wolf didn’t move. No, it was not possible for it to move.
At the same time as the arc in the air disappeared, its body slipped diagonally. The eyes of the Jag Wolf blinked a few times as it turned toward Shin. It might not even have noticed the cut.
“Then after you.”
Gaien stepped forward between Shin and Tsubaki. The reason why the leader didn’t attack Shin and Tsubaki was because Gaien had overpowered it.
There was no longer a chance of winning. Still, the Jag Wolf leader didn’t back down. It raised a short howl and put its strength into its limb. Its intention to live was straightforward. Even if he thought it was hopeless, Shin felt a sense of respect for that figure.
The leader exerted its power for a few seconds. In its last dash, it squeezed out all of its strength, aiming at Gaien. The speed was as expected from the alpha of a pack; powerful.
It was Gaien who spoke words of praise. He prepared his longsword while facing the oncoming leader.
For the leader, which was approaching straight, Gaien moved calmly. The figure of Gaien wavering, with his feet side-stepping.
The moment of their clash. In the next moment, along with Gaien’s swung down sword, there was the figure of the leader split in two.
While waving the blood off of his blade, Gaien turned his eyes toward the last, small Jag Wolves ahead.
“What should we do?”
How would a person of this world make such a decision at this time. To find out the answer to that question, Shin called out to Gaien.
“I will kill them if they attack, but I won’t give chase if they decide to leave. Our work is to guard, not to hunt monsters. In any case, I don’t know whether it’s possible for those two children to survive on their own.”
In case they survived, they might get attacked by someone else. However, that was for another story. If they appeared outside a village in this world, it was a common sense to employ a bodyguard or to learn some self-defense. They might get attacked by other monsters or even by bandits in either case. Even if they killed the Jag Wolf children here, the possibility of someone else attacking the wagon, as well as themselves, didn’t decrease.
The children might have understood that their parents had died. They disappeared into the forest to escape.
“Somehow, it leaves a bad aftertaste in the mouth.”
“It was different from a fight against common monsters, huh.”
Shin nodded to Tiera’s words.
“I share your sympathy. I’ve never experienced such a fight before.”
“But it’s not good to mind it too much either.”
What Tsubaki said was right; if they worried about it too much and thereby let it dull their blades, a companion might be sacrificed next. They had to be practical.
“Is it over? Then let’s hurry up and leave.”
Nack, who was near the Grimm horse, called out to the four people. As expected from an elderly former adventurer, he changed gears quickly. He was not shaken to see the scene from a little while ago either.
“Still, for them not to eat to get thinner, there must be something in the forest, right?”
Gaien then answered Shin’s question.
“Well, there’s nothing I can add. Jag Wolves are smart monsters. It’s hard to think that they failed at hunting until they reached such a condition.”
“Even if the food supply diminished?”
“These guys also eat goblins. It unreasonable to think that the goblins were swept away, right?”
“I agree. If one of them was found, 30 of them would come out.”
Tsubaki said it in a way that was like saying a G* was lurking in the house. After all, the goblins’ reproductive power didn’t seem to have changed, just like in the game era. (E/N: G = cockroaches, ‘cause Goblins are like cockroaches)
“I heard a story that said Skull Faces were appearing in large numbers in the Wraith Plains. Wouldn’t that have an influence?”
When Tsubaki said that, Shin opened his mouth as he suddenly remembered.
“Ah, that reminds me, I overheard that all high-rank adventurers are away the guild, wasn’t there something like a large-scale request?”
“That matter, huh? At that time, I was going to go home for a few days before, at Bayreuth’s southern town with Tsubaki. So I didn’t participate there.”
Then Tiera secretly whispered into Shin’s ear.
“(What’s the matter?)”
“(The Skull Faces, was that the request that came to master?”
“(Yes, those fellows were quite strong. That might be the cause.)”
There was the possibility that their territory was overflowing with Skull Faces.
“Either way, we don’t know the reason. It’s useless even if we think about it. So I’m going to go to sleep.”
Doing things at her own pace, Tsubaki said that and put on her overcoat. It was typical for adventurers to be able to sleep in a shaking wagon. Because there were shifts between being coachman and standing guard, it was an important duty to rest while one can.
“It’s as Tsubaki said. There’s not enough information even if we think about it. Since that took a significant amount of time.”
“That’s right. For the time being, should I do maintenance on our weapons? What are you going to do, Tiera?”
“Because it’s my turn soon, I will be at the coachman box.”
When Tiera said so, she exited the canopy, and moved next to Nack.
According to Schnee, Tiera learned most of the necessary skills for an adventurer, so she could take the role of coachman without any problems. Rather, it was Shin who didn’t have the experience. That was because a horse could advance without him having to guide it when he set the direction in the game, so he was not used to doing such things.
“What adventurer can’t drive a wagon? Even a young woman can do it.”
Even though they were just simple words, what Nack said made him feel a little down.