Vol. 3 Chapter 3 – Part 1

“Shin-dono! I’ve come to pick you up!”

“Hmm?”

The next morning. When Shin and Yuzuha were getting ready to dress themselves, a voice came from outside the room.

Shin opened the door while thinking, “Where have I heard that voice before?”. It was Cuore, kneeling in a proper seiza posture.

Cuore

“Breakfast is ready. Come this way, please!”

“Ah, yes. Thank you.”

Since she didn’t talk much at the dinner table, he didn’t know it was her, with only her voice. Also, because it was not a maid, but Cuore, what kind of thing was that?

“Um, why is Cuore the one who is summoning me? Yesterday, I was told by the maid about dinner.”

Supposedly, Shin was a guest of Wolfgang, so the maid came to pick him up at dinner time.

“I asked to take over.”

Why would she do that? Shin thought, while thinking back that he had the same feeling at yesterday’s dinner. Within Cuore, the existence of High Humans was quite glorified, especially Shin’s, for some reason. Though she didn’t talk much, her manner and gaze showed eloquence toward Shin, too.

It was also probably because Shin was Girard’s master. Apparently there were too many anecdotes that were told when she was a child, so she seemed to feel strong admiration.

From Shin’s point of view, his embarrassing past being dramatized was nothing but a punishment game(batsu game) to him.

(I somewhat feel like her image of me is too far away from reality.)

Furthermore, the Cuore of today, her tension felt higher than yesterday. Shin became a little worried about that.

Did Girard tell her about the duel? It seemed to have slightly forced her tension to raise a little.

When he checked the route they were walking, while thinking about what was up with her, he noticed that they were going to a different place from the dinner.

“Isn’t the destination different from yesterday’s hall?”

“Yes, I was told to guide you to Girard-sama’s private room.”

Since the dinner was a banquet feast, he wondered if he could eat peacefully in the morning. On the account of the work, Cuore seemed to finish it earlier.

“It’s here. I think your companions will come soon. Then, I will be on my way.”

“Thank you.”

Shin thanked Cuore who was leaving with a bow, and entered the room. Inside were Girard, Van and Rajim.

Schnee and Tiera entered after a few minutes.

“Then, let’s eat.”

They finished greeting each other and began to eat breakfast. There was rice, miso soup, grilled fish and pickled vegetables when he looked at the contents of the menu.

When breakfast was over, they talked about things from then onward.

“Though I asked you to take care of the equipment, I don’t want you to only do that. You have to take it easy and go sightseeing.”

“Then, will you tell me a place with a library? A place with past documents is good, too.”

“Hmm, understood. There will be a need for a permission, but I will arrange it all.”

“I’m relieved of the trouble.”

He might identify some of the things he didn’t understand in Bayreuth. If there was the permission of the first Beast King, he might even be able to see something like a prohibited book which was his goal earlier. There were no issues somehow or other.

“What will Schnee and Tiera do?”

“I will stay with Shin.”

Schnee answered immediately as if it was natural. To take it easy? It seemed there was no option for her to go sightseeing.

“Well um, I wonder if I can follow you to the library too? I am curious but…”

“Do you want to go together after I repair Girard’s equipment?”

“I don’t mind. When you repair the equipment, will you deal with an 《Ancient》 grade weapon? I’m interested in that too.”

Tiera has been researching the message card he handed over from before, but apart from that, she appeared to be interested in the work that Shin did.

Her study couldn’t crack a part of the mechanism yet, but because she was not in a hurry, it seemed to be postponed.

“Then it’s settled. Girard and company, what will you do?”

“I am, well as they say, putting my affairs in order. While I’m at it, I intend to teach a skill that I failed before to Wolfgang.”

“From yesterday’s talk, did you reach the Hiden rank?”

“I almost mastered it up until the Ouden. Because the Secret Book is almost certainty a loss. What will happen next will depend on that.”

Because Shin had heard the story about their stats, he expected that a rank of martial art skills has been acquired.

The ranks in martial art skills were divided into 5 ranks in THE NEW GATE.

First, the foundation skill was Shoden. There were many techniques to learn by leveling up. Ouden could be attained by training Shoden and Chuden. When a special quest was completed, Hiden was usually acquired by taking a different action. And then, when everything from Shoden to Hiden skills were forged until they were at their greatest, Shiden could be learned.

(T/N: Shoden[Beginner] < Chuden[Intermediate] < Ouden[Hidden] < Hiden[Secret] < Shiden)

Because there were stat value requirements too, any players who attained Shiden were all advanced level players. Wolfgang’s stats were barely enough for a Hiden rank.

Though Shin understood all of that, Girard’s next words made him raise his eyebrows.

“Is there such a thing as the Secret Book failing?”

Shin was surprised at that information, as it shouldn’t have failed if the condition was met. Was there another factor that has emerged or something? He thought it over.

“Martial arts and magic. Both depend on the mental condition of the user. Long story short, it can’t be learned if he is mentally inexperienced even if his stats are high.”

“…I see. It requires both mental and physical strength, huh?”

It was natural for martial arts, Shin who was thinking of various things, felt silly. As he himself belonged to an archery club in high school, he didn’t remember any sense of discomfort either. Martial arts were such things.

Mind and body were strengthened, to polish the techniques. It was a natural duty for a person to learn combat techniques.

“It’s that kind of thing. Well, if it’s Wolfgang, I don’t have to worry.”

“Certainly, he seemed to be diligent. And he has a warrior vibe as well.”

Shin had never met a person who was a genuine master or a person who was called a warrior in his former world, but he still felt integrity from Wolfgang. That sign would not be worn, if he had an untrained mind or inexperienced heart.

“He is pretty much my valued descendant. I’m so happy to have heard you say so.”

“You have become a grandpa who is proud of his grandchild, don’t you? Well, the meal is finished, so I will start preparing. I want to take out Tsuki no Hokora, is there an open place somewhere?”

“There is a plaza for training. If it’s there, it will be fine. Van, guide them, Rajim, go ask for the permit. I will go to Wolfgang’s place.”

““Roger!!””

Van would guide the three of them, Shin, Schnee, and Tiera, towards the plaza behind the residence. By the way, Yuzuha was on top of Shin’s head, and Kagerou was walking with small steps by Tiera’s feet.

“Step back just a little.”

Van stepped back, and Shin took off the necklace with the crescent moon shape. And then, at the same time he threw it out to the plaza, he said the keyword.

“『Release』!!”

The necklace emitted light instantly. The light with the shape of the necklace was greatly expanded in the next moment, and took the form of a house. And when the light disappeared, Tsuki no Hokora appeared there.

“Hmm, this is the technique that only the store owner can use, huh? There’s a big difference from hearing it and seeing it.”

Van, who saw it for the first time, seemed to feel some admiration as he looked at the state of Tsuki no Hokora. Tiera, who had surely seen Tsuki no Hokora put away before, had her face stiffen at that absurdity again. As usual, only Schnee didn’t show any reaction at all.

“Let’s enter now. What will Van do?”

“If it is possible, I would like to see the process of repairing the armor. Such an opportunity, there will be no next time.”

“Okay. I don’t usually show it, but if it’s Girard’s aide, I guess it’s fine. Come on, follow me.”

Shin spoke and entered the Tsuki no Hokora. They passed through the counter, and went straight to the blacksmith’s workshop. Other members also followed for some reason.

“Somehow, it feels like a tour.”

“I agree. Being able to see the person’s technique who mastered blacksmithing, that possibly nobody will ever see again? Anyone would want to see it.”

“Kuu, it’s interesting to watch.”

“Guru”

Following Tiera’s remark, Yuzuha and Kagerou raised their voices too. When Yuzuha spoke, Van had the look that seemed to want to say “Eh…?”, but never did. Incidentally, Shin recalled when Yuzuha couldn’t speak.

It was possible for Yuzuha to talk, unlike an ordinary monster, because it was an Element Tail; Van was forcibly convinced, and Shin started working.

The divine beast was also there but without Van who consented pursuing it in particular, he looked closely at Shin’s work.

“First, from how I understand its current condition”

By materializing the card, he held the armor in both of his hands. When Shin’s mana ran through it, the armor itself began to shine in seven colors. From that, Shin listed the missing things in his brain.

“…this can only be done with Orichalcum.”

After confirming his list, Shin separated one hand from the armor and manipulated the Item Box. Though the armor was held with only his left hand, with it still shining, it was maintained in the air like the time he held it with both hands.

Shin took out the missing material, and materialized it. A transparent lump of metal like a crystal appeared, it was the Orichalcum. When Shin held his right hand out toward it and performed some movement, the Orichalcum came apart at the edges, and changed into a fine thread.

“That skill…indeed, no one could learn that.”

Van muttered, unable to describe the mysterious phenomenon before him. Van was a character originally made to have the role of a blacksmith during the game era. Therefore, he has the capability of a common blacksmith. That was why he was able to understood, more than everyone who was there, the abnormality that happened right in front of him.

The spectacle where the Orichalcum transformed its shape voluntarily, he couldn’t do anything but keep looking at in utter amazement.

“The torn part is repaired. The Orichalcum is diffusing thoroughly and the strength is recovered. Mana is mixing evenly――――”

Was what Shin said, as he was concentrating on his work so much that he didn’t notice the state of Van and the others. It was only natural. What Shin had in his hand now, so to speak, was Girard’s burial clothes. He couldn’t afford to pay attention to the surroundings, because he had to keep working with the utmost respect. As for the reason he allowed their observation, other than the reason that they would not interfere, it was because he had a hunch that there was no room for him to mind.

All of the nerves in his body concentrated to restore the armor to the best possible condition. That was the thing that Shin must do.

At about 30 minutes. When the seven colors of lights disappeared, the dougi type armor reached the point where one would hesitate to touch it. It was unimaginable that its appearance was once battered.

“Phew, it’s done.”

Shin wiped the sweat that slightly drifted away, and change the armor back into a card. The work that ended after several minutes in the game, it was actually felt very time consuming for the one who did it.

Generally, it took more time to finish since his magic manipulation wasn’t perfect yet, although it was understood that he could do it by intuition. Even so, the area around precision rose up greatly when he used mana the same way of using magic skills; it was as one would expect from a person who mastered blacksmithing.

To restore such a flexible equipment like the dougi of 《Ancient》 grade, this method was the most efficient. There were other methods too, but they were inferior in terms of performance.

“Hey Shin. Earlier, was that blacksmithing? It seemed to be a magic skill to me.”

“Indeed, it certainly looks like that when seen by others. However, if there is no smithing skill covering it, let alone to change the metal’s shape, it would become a quality that is lower than scrap iron in an instant.”

Shin didn’t know the requirements before too, so he himself, experienced Orichalcum and Mithril changing into scrap iron. The rare metal which he had gathered through much hardship, when it crumbled right in front of his eyes, it was heart breaking, even to Shin.

“…What?”

“I understand that the mana seems to change the quality.”

Such a thing should have been written on the explanation column of the skill, so Shin then opened the explanation column of the skill he used a moment ago to confirm. <When manipulating the mana, if there is a power fluctuation outside of the material’s quality, it will result in the lowest quality for metal.>

“By the way, the skill level must be sufficient too, or the same thing will happen while repairing.”

“Don’t tell me, you did an experiment on the substance?”

“…There were times when I would repair armor made of Orichalcum and made a mistake, it become an armor of scrap iron.”

Recalling those days, Shin’s mood became deeply emotive as he brooded over that time. Tiera who heard the story, had complicated feelings.

“Blacksmithing is surprisingly a job with a big risk.”

Tiera calculated the monetary damage of when Orichalcum became scrap iron. Since she was dealing with goods in Tsuki no Hokora, she knew the market price to some extent, but for the amount of Orichalcum needed to make an armor and so on, she couldn’t imagine how much it cost to only collect it. Tiera didn’t want to think that there was a job that turned it into worthless scrap metal in an instant.

“Usually it returns to an ingot even if I make a mistake, and other items can be processed to be reuseable. Just this, let alone reusing it, I’m worried because it can, completely become garbage.”

If Shin failed normally with blacksmithing, there were several methods to reuse a material. Of course the item would not just return to its original form without any changes, but it’s still better than nothing. However, the method Shin took couldn’t be reused now, no matter what. The purchase price was zero if sold to a NPC in the game.

To rise a skill level, just how many rare metals did he convert into garbage? If it was not a game, it was something he wouldn’t have been able to do by any means.

“The reason for the loss is not only because of the craftsman’s ability. To use Orichalcum for practice, would be an unbelievable act for the present blacksmiths.”

“That’s right. How much does Orichalcum cost now?”

“In Falnido, it will be a white gold for a fist-sized ingot. Though only a few people can deal in it, it is obvious that everyone would be in a frenzy if the price was knocked down. It’s difficult to ascertain how many times its value has increased.”

“It’s amazing after all.”

How much would it cost if Shin seriously made a sword from it? There were various rare metals in his Item Box, it seemed like he couldn’t show it to the other blacksmith.

“I will stop selling metals then. Well, the story has gone this far, should I move on to the next one?”

Shin then took out Girard’s personal weapon, 『Crushing Moon』. (T/N: Changed from 『Moon Destroyer』)

Since this weapon was at an even higher ranking than the armor, there was only a little damage on the surface of the arm guard. The durability level also had more than 90% remaining.

He needed to restore this to be completely perfect. This time he put the 『Crushing Moon』 on top of the table, in addition, a small ingot was put on top of it.

“What is that…”

“By chance, is that the…”

Tiera and Van saw the ingot, but only hoarse voices leaked out. The ingot, which was put on top of the 『Crushing Moon』, except Schnee, no one in that place had ever seen it before.

The metal had a dull shine for a black color. However, on the main colored surface, big and small glitters were able to be perceived. It was like the night sky where the stars sparkled for as far as you can see, or like the space contained numerous galaxies.

Tiera, who was sensitive to magic, understood that the metal contained extraordinary magic power, and was astonished. She consistently saw metal that had magic power contained in them many times before, but the metal in front of her was far more superior. She thought it was possible for it to be a magic catalyst as it was.

Van, who knew a lot about metals, had its identity flash in his head. It was different from any of Orichalcum, Adamantine, Mythril, or Crimson Ores, but it felt higher ranked compared to the above metals. Suddenly one thing came to his mind. It was called an illusion among the blacksmiths, because no one could say they have seen the real thing.

“Bang!!”

Despite the two people being shocked, before they knew it, Shin took out a hammer and struck the ingot on top of 『Crushing Moon』. With a high-pitched sound “Kin”, the two people were fascinated to see the phenomenon that happened earlier, following again.

When Shin beat the ingot with the hammer, the ingot melted and faded away. And the scratch under the 『Crushing Moon』 disappeared, it began to shine brightly as if to say it was completed.

The hammer was swung downward a few times to completely fuse the ingot, 『Crushing Moon』 looked like a brand new gauntlet on the table.

“Yosh, this one is complete too. It is perfect if I say so myself.”

While looking at 『Crushing Moon』 which had returned to its perfect state, Shin nodded and agreed. If it was this, there was a confidence of satisfying any kind of demand of the user.

Because he couldn’t look at it forever, he formed it into a card and put it away in his Item Box. “Sorry to have kept you waiting” Shin said and turned around, he saw that Tiera and Van had an indescribable expression on their faces.

Schnee had no change in particular, Yuzuha and Kagerou seemed to be excited for the time being. They were having some kind of conversation with “Kuu Kuu”, “Guru Guru” sounds.

“Shin-dono. May I ask you one thing, only one?”

Among the two people who had frozen in shock, it was Van began to move first. By bringing his face close, he urged Shin to consent with force. As one might expect from a beast of the elephant type, that power was considerable. Shin moved back a little.

“For the time being, please settle down, you will hear the story. You are close, too close!”

“Oof, I am sorry. But the metal that Shin-dono took out some time ago, that is, perhaps a Chimeradite, the one thing that is of the highest grade?”

“Hmm? That’s right. But you seem to know it well. Because there are different types of Chimeradite, there are not many people who see it and recognize it instantly.”

“It’s not because I understand it’s type. It is something like a legend, circulated among the blacksmiths. The dark-colored metal where it retains the twinkling of the stars. Chimeradite, The weapon made using it, could easily kill even a higher kind of dragon. Depending on the person, such a thing was deemed as a mere fantasy.”

“Indeed. This thing is certainly quite limited. It’s hardly circulated in the market.”

Even during the game era, for a high-level blacksmith, it was an item that they would almost never see. Even the ingot. Once, a retired player had put a weapon made of Chimeradite into the market on a whim, a fierce competition arose because of it.

It was virtually impossible to be fully equipped even for an advanced player. With only one of those, it was possible to become famous. Of course, it goes without saying that all of the Rokuten members were the irregularity that had all of their metal-based weapons made of Chimeradite.

“By the way, Shin. You were doing it differently a little while ago, is there any significance to it?”

After Shin made Van settle down, Tiera asked a question. If he had used the same method earlier to repair the armor, he should have been able to repair it without using the hammer.

“That 『Crushing Moon』 is a weapon which has the highest rank, that’s why. And both grades are 《Ancient》 grade. But, there is a rating higher than that. The armor is ranked as average 《Ancient》 grade. Because the metal is knitted together with thread using mana, that method was effective and fast. In regards to 『Crushing Moon』, it is a higher-rank of 《Ancient》 grade. When it comes to that, I need to directly hammer it while giving mana. Though it’s possible to mend it using the same method as the armor, this is more efficient and above all, there is no possibility of making a mistake.”

Tiera knew there were differences between the same grade. However, she never thought that the grading was also applied; 《Ancient》 grade was even referred to as a fragment of the world, it was indeed the highest grade.

According to Shin’s explanation, based on the grade and the nature of the armor, there seemed to be a maintenance method that was the most suitable.. Though there were other methods, in that case, the possibility of changing the quality sharply rose. If it was done in a timely manner, with a sufficient ability, it was almost impossible to make a mistake.

“I have to redo my thinking about a blacksmith that is out of their area of expertise. For such precise mana power manipulation, it won’t be possible without mage knowledge.”

“Magic manipulation is necessary anywhere, someway or another. In case of a production job, skill in magic manipulation is required as it gets closer to the advanced levels.”

“Alchemy however, is a difficult study thoroughly too. Even though I learned a few skills, I can’t even call myself a full-fledged practitioner.”

Tiera had the skills which could be said to be the mark of a full-fledged alchemist, but from today, she realized that that was only one part of it, and she was aware that she wasn’t as good in that regard either. She couldn’t help but think that she might not even reach the middle of the pack in the era where Shin came from.

The field was totally different, but to see the person who reached the very pinnacle, doing his work, Tiera felt something towards that person.

“You seem to be improving slowly. It’s not easy to gain skills either.”

Tiera’s shoulder was lightly tapped, and Shin faced the entrance of the forge. The things that needed to be done were over, so everyone decided to go towards the living room now.

When Shin and the others moved, he heard the sound of the store’s entrance being opened. It should be Rajim, when guessing from the timing.

“Shin-dono. This is the reading permit for the restriction area in the library. Please accept it.”

“Thank you. I’m saved.”

As he anticipated, the permit was received from Rajim who entered the store. Because there was also no reason to remain, after everyone left, Tsuki no Hokora was stored again. They headed toward the library with Schnee as a guide. Van and Rajim returned to their residence as they couldn’t be together all the time.

 

When they appeared from the back door of the residence to Elden’s city district, Tiera was surprised at the diversity of the people walking.

There were many people in Bayreuth too, but almost all of them were humans. There were not many races with different characteristics, such as beasts or pixies.

However, this was the beast’s country. Beasts with various animal characteristics, were walking and overflowing. There were types that walked on two feet with almost an appearance of animals in clothes, a type that had a tail and ears on a person’s body and so forth; there was no uniformity.

Even if it was the same as the great number of people in Bayreuth, she was even more surprised to see this many beasts here.

“I thought I got used to seeing beasts, but there are just so much different impressions as there are numbers of them.”

“That’s because the beast race is the one whose outward appearance is the most diverse.”

In the game era, there were people whose bodies resembled a human, there were some who only had their face as animal combinations and the like. The degree of freedom in combinations was high, so the word of beast was attached to it.

“Even for the people other than the beasts, there are items so you can feel what’s it’s like to be a beast too.”

What Schnee was saying, is that there were items such as animal’s ears or tails which could be mounted and removed. A so-called cosplay item. The item was surprisingly popular among the female players. It was also the item for which the male players made a petition for the female players to wear.

“Speaking of which, I also have several of them.”

“By chance, it’s that!?”

Schnee pretend to reach into the pouch on her waist, and a card was taken out of her Item Box.

It was the cosplay item that Shin gave to Schnee before. When she materialized the item, it was adjusted to match Schnee’s hair, silver colored dog’s ears and bushy tail, grasped in her hand.

It was an item created on a whim by the members of Rokuten before. Anyway, it was high quality with various options. It was not just an ordinary cosplay item.

“Amazing. doesn’t this feel like a real one?”

“It was Shin, Reed-sama, Cashmere-sama, and Hecate-sama collaboration. To bring it as close to the real thing, there is a function that automatically conceals the characteristics of other races when attached… how’s it look?”

Schnee stated, and equipped the cosplay set. The long ears peculiar to elfs disappeared in a moment, instead there were dog ears on top of her head, and a tail of a similar color to her hair emerged from around the area of her tailbone. The beautiful High Elf woman, transformed into a beautiful woman of High Beast.

By the way, what Schnee was wearing now was hotpants with boots under, and a light-blue shirt with nothing but a long jacket on top. Because the uniform of Tsuki no Hokora somehow stood out, her clothes were changed into an easy to move adventure-like style.

A belt was worn near the lap on top of the jacket, and the pouch was attached there. In one of the equipments in the game age, the jacket was split into right and left from the belly area, so it wouldn’t obstruct the movement of the legs. Schnee left only one button in front of her belly, and others remained open. There were two reasons. One, it wasn’t so cold to close everything. Two, she couldn’t completely close it because of her chest measurement.

In the game’s specifications, even if it’s armor or a dress, it would automatically adjust to the physique of the person who equipped it; one would not deliberately wear something without that feature. What Schnee was wearing, was the equipment previously created under supervision of one of the female members of Rokuten, Hecate. Not to mention its good performance, it was set-up to emphasize Schnee’s style. According to Hecate, it was erotic for a beautiful woman and young lady, like a cute outfit where a man would want to help her put it on too, was what she said.

Clothes that focused on seduction, when worn by a woman whose style was the embodiment of a man’s desire, such as Schnee, the effect level rose by at least one more step. In comparison to a thin waist tightened with a belt, the bulging of a chest pushed up due to the shirt in the jacket, but it would be emphasized too much.

Schnee, in such a state, blushed a little as she felt embarrassed, but still asked for an impression.

“…It suits you very well.”

Anyways, in the game era, the NPC’s only reacted like a doll. So when asked “How’s it look?” by Schnee just now, Shin couldn’t think of anything good to say except, she matched well. He wasn’t used to seeing lively garments either, but the dog’s ears suited her very well.

The moment Schnee heard those words, her face’s rosy complexion flashed even pinker. At this point, one would have noticed her abrupt behavior.

“…E-Elfs stand out, so disguising as a beast makes it easier to fit into the surroundings. Besides it’s better like this now I will lead us to the library let’s go.”

While talking quickly, she stuttered to some extent and Schnee began to move at a quick pace. There was no breathing in the latter half of her speech.

Supposingly, the long ears, peculiar to elfs, would have turned bright red. As for the dog’s ears that were shaking on top of Schnee’s head too, they somewhat look red when seen by Shin and the others.

“I saw, for the first time, Master, act like this.”

“To be honest, me too.”

He agreed with Tiera’s remark while running after Schnee. As for the two people, it was better not to attract attention. So he took out some items, and Shin and Tiera changed their appearance to beasts, too. What Shin lent to Tiera were, cat ears.

Could it be, Schnee wanted him to see so she changed herself? Shin guessed while chasing the back of Schnee. Though it might just be him over thinking it, but if it proved to be right…it was already too late to think about it in various ways.

The Schnee that Shin knew was a woman like a secretary, a calm, cool and collected woman. Because she always communicated in a businesslike manner during the game, he never saw this side of her like at this time. It seemed he needed to change his way of thinking.

(I think that’s not so bad, mostly.)

While he was aware of his favorable impressions of Schnee rising, Shin quickened his pace in pursuit of her.

◆◆◆◆

It was several hours later, after seeing the unknown side of Schnee. Shin was alone in the library of Elden.

When he arrived at the library with Schnee’s guidance, after he showed the permit and entered the restricted reading area, he proceeded to examine what happened after the ‘Dusk of the Majesty’. Unlike Bayreuth, because the materials were not open to public, the content was different in quality. Some information that Shin wanted to know was recorded too.

“The natural disasters that occurred after the ‘Dusk of the Majesty’…there’s no difference in damage by the regions after all. Isn’t the range of the last dungeon connected to the…Ley Line?”

Shin arranged the information he obtained, while voicing out in a small volume. According to the material, what was called Ley Line seemed to have been related with the natural disasters. Shin has heard it well in manga and light novels, it was something like a circle that ran through the earth. Though it was the guess of the person who compiled the document, the biggest place where the continents divided had numerous flows of Ley Line. The dungeon that Shin faced at the end of the death game, 【Gate of the Otherworld】, that place was the convergence point, which could be read from the document.

“Come to think of it, Yuzuha interfered with the Ley Line and suppressed the damage, huh?”

Even if he said they had a contract, a monster was still prohibited from entering the area. So now, there was no figure of Yuzuha on top of Shin’s head. Under the watch of the young lady at the reception desk, while apologizing to Yuzuha, who was waiting at the entrance in his heart, he remembered the things Yuzuha said before.

“Is the Ley Line also related with me coming here? But at the time of the game, it was not a major thing.”

There was an event related to the Ley Line, but there were a lot of limited-time events that he couldn’t remember up until a trivial setting. The one he understood the most was, the place where the Ley Line runs, monsters were likely to appear. Even if he knew this, there was no conclusive evidence in this world.

However――――

(As shown in the document, if the place where the Ley Line gathered(Power Spot) is related to the dungeon, it is possible for me to return if a similar place is found…right?)

Though it was only a plain hypothesis, it was simple and persuasive too.

It would save a lot of trouble if it was simple as this. While thinking about these kind of things, Shin picked up the next document.

“(Shin~…Shin~?)”

“Hmm?”

One hour later.

Shin was concentrating on reading the documents, when he noticed the Mind Talk from Yuzuha.

“(What’s the matter?)”

“(I’m hungry…no lunch yet~?)”

When he confirmed the time due to Yuzuha’s meal remark, it was already past 12:00 in the afternoon. He seemed to have forgotten the time passing as he got absorbed in reading the documents.

“(My bad, I will go out immediately. Schnee, can you hear me?)”

“(Yes, is there something wrong?)”

“(Let’s have lunch soon. Yuzuha seems to be feeling hungry.)”

“(Understood. I will go toward the entrance.)”

Schnee was contacted with Mind Talk, and Shin left the restriction area a little early. He caught Tiera who was conducting research in the general area, and went toward the waiting Yuzuha and Kagerou. After thanking the receptionist who looked after them, Shin left the library after all the member joined.

“Did you find something?”

“No, not much of the important things. Still, it is regretful that the dungeon disappeared. If I could investigate it directly, I think I might able to get a little clue from there…

“Well, there’s nothing we can do since it’s already gone. It’s thanks to Schnee that I understood something, and it’s going steadily.”

While pretending not to worry about it, Shin thanked the discouraged Schnee. For the information that vanished afterward, it was not possible to know without Schnee.

Instead, Shin was more worried if they couldn’t collaborate in information gathering together.

“(Kuu, smells good from there.)”

“(Hmm? It indeed smells nice. Let’s go there.)”

Shin changed his feeling from Yuzuha’s urging voice. Even if he was anxious, he decided not to say it yet.

 

After the meal, he looked around the residence a little, and then shut himself in the library again.

He took a rest in the residence at night, and it was the repetition of the library in the daytime.

As a change of pace, he had a match with Cuore, and watched the skill succession of Wolfgang so he was never bored.

When he went to Larua Grand Woods for a preliminary inspection, Tiera’s leveling up also took place. With her level still low, she became completely dependent on Kagerou conditions. Even if her upper limit was pretty much decided, Shin respected Tiera’s intention to want to become strong even if by only a little.

In the meantime, the remaining days passed in no time.

◆◆◆◆

One week later, Shin met Girard again. They moved toward Larua Grand Woods in the early morning.

Because they were in the wagon which Shin remodeled, it was Kagerou who pulled it. There was Shin, Girard, Schnee, Tiera, Wolfgang, Cuore, Van, Rajim and Yuzuha who rode in the wagon.

“It’s fine weather.”

“It’s the perfect weather for a duel.”

Shin and Girard were sitting on the driver’s box. Contrary to everyone who seemed a little tense, the two people had a conversation like they were going fishing. Since there was nothing that could be done about it, there were no things that needed to be discussed left. Everything has come to an agreement, including the things after the duel.

“How is your condition?”

“I can do it anytime. My mind and body are joined together.”

The broad grin and laugh from Girard, an irrepressible presence was leaking out. Shin felt it was refined even more from the time when they met again.

Girard certainly seemed to be at full power today.

“Though I want to begin immediately, let’s send the other people to the spectator seats.”

“I guess from that hill should be fine, right?”

“Indeed, if there I guess it will be fine. Last time when the chosen ones dueled, I watched it from there.”

For a fight between the chosen ones of another country, Girard seemed to be called as a referee role. Though there were guards with low fighting power watching from the top of the hill, it seemed to have no problem if they saw Girard was nearby, Shin thought.

It was the human’s and beast’s chosen one that fought. Their stats were around 400, but the beast appeared to have won by a hair’s breadth.

“The usage of skill and power were rough, but the fight was not so bad.”

While they were talking, the place where the ground was several floors higher than its surrounding, appeared in Shin’s field of vision. Only short grass grew there, and it seemed to be quite vast when they surveyed it on the top of the hill. Because Shin and Girard were to fight, it was impossible to know what would happen. It was certainly perfect for a spectating place, when he thought about the spectator’s safety.

“Then, we will wait here.”

“Ah, I will count on you if there are any stray shots.”

The wagon was returned to a card, and he asked Schnee for precautions just to make sure. He thought it would be fine, but it wouldn’t end as a joke if it did happen.

“I understand. And as for Girard’s matter, thank you in advance.”

“Well, see you soon.”

“Shin, go for it~”

“Guru”

“I’m going.”

Schnee, Tiera, Yuzuha and Kagerou saw Shin off, and faced toward Girard’s people. Shin glanced ahead, and saw every one of Falnido were exchanging their last words.

“I will leave it to you two afterward.”

““I wish you good luck in battle!””

The things that should be told might have already been conveyed. So Girard only said a few words. Van and Rajim striked their left palm to their right fist, and said their farewell words.

“I will not forget the founder’s teaching throughout my life. As for the country and the people, leave it to me.”

Wolfgang declared that he would take responsibility of Falnido when Girard was no more, he announced it with confidence, sticking out his chest with pride. That expression has a close resemblance to Girard in the past. Powerful words, and oozing with presence, it was worthy of a Beast King.

“…I will become a warrior that won’t shame the founder’s name.”

Cuore, who stood nearby, had little watery eyes, but still looked ahead and stated her oath firmly. She couldn’t expose her unsightly side at Girard’s final goodbye, so she didn’t cast her eyes down.

Girard who saw her state nodded in satisfaction, and began to walk toward Shin’s party.

The parting was finished. There was only one thing left to be done.

“Shall we go?”

“Ou.”

Starting with those words, Shin and Girard began to run. With that sudden acceleration, the figure of the two people became blurry. They ran down the hill’s slope in a flash without anything obstructing them, and entered the forest.

“The king hadn’t laughed like that in a long time.”

“When was the last time I saw him like that?”

As they saw the two people disappear into the forest, Van and Rajim exchanged a few words. That face, that was laughing innocently like a child, was similar to Girard’s expression.

◆◆◆◆

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