Going back in time, immediately after Shin and Rionne were transferred to Sacred Place Kalkia.
“How was it?”
“I was able to contact and convey the message to my companions. They will meet us at Balmel and will contact me if something comes up. I asked them to inform the king that the princess is safe for now, but please don’t expect too much.”
Shin thought about what to do next, while telling Rionne; although it was quite different from his actual conversation with Schnee.
Though he wanted to explore the Sacred Place, it would certainly be bad if he took Rionne with him, so he decided to make escaping a top priority and exploration as a bonus.
Even though Rionne was said to be an upper class Chosen One, if the rumored monsters’ information were correct, she would be in danger if Shin didn’t guard her.
“Rionne-sama, do you know anything about the Sacred Place?”
“No, this is also my first time inside, but I have heard stories about the monsters that would come out, and that it would take several upper class Chosen Ones’ everything to deal with them.”
“That’s similar to the information I know. In any case, I will need a weapon, right?”
“Indeed, it’s impossible without a weapon. Is it a blessing in disguise that I have this?”
Rionne said and took out 『Muspelm』from the case she held in hand.
Was this because Rionne had a weapon that could bear all of her energy? Though she was transposed to the danger zone, there was no grim facial expression from her.
Since the case became useless baggage under the current situation, she decided to leave it behind. Because 『Muspelm』 was currently sheathed in what was thought to be a custom-designed scabbard, she didn’t need to carry it exposed.
“I am good, but what about you, Shin? There may be no handy weapons lying around…”
Rionne, who was equipped with 『Muspelm』, muttered as she looked at Shin.
However, Shin didn’t panic. If what he needed was a weapon, he had more than he could possibly use and had explanations for having them prepared.
“It’s okay, because I have this.”
Shin said and took out a piece of a card from his chest pocket and materialized it.
“Haven’t I said it before? I have one or two trumps card concealed.”
Shin laughed a bit proudly towards the surprised Rionne.
What Shin was holding was something that could be misinterpreted as a weak, elliptic-shaped, flattened bar. The katana without-brim had a thickened portion part of the blade, which also best describes its shape.
Its length was about one and a half mel and was fully black in color. Designs like Sanskrit characters were drawn in red on its flat part. Though it had the appearance of a sword, because the weapon was of the heavyweight class like a mace or a long staff, it was mainly for smashing, not cutting, during combat.
This weapon, which seemed to have completely opposite attributes compared to 『Muspelm』, was an average 《Mythology》 grade, named 『Kakura』. The reason why it had a black appearance was because most of it was made of adamantine. There was a little amount of orichalcum in its core, and mithril was used for the Sanskrit characters; as a result, it could deal with the opponent’s magical and physical attacks.
“Even though I thought that you were no ordinary person, when you concealed such a thing…”
“I went through many hardships to obtain it, so please keep it a secret if possible.”
Shin confirmed his senses by taking a swing of 『Kakura』, which was enveloped by a red aura.
By contrast with its thin appearance, because the material was adamantine, its weight was as heavy as Rionne’s 『Muspelm』. The gust of wind conveyed the weight of a single swing.
“I just wanted to ask one thing, where do the Sacred Place investigation teams enter? I have a feeling that they exit over there.”
“Among the gates are four cardinal directions, they enter through the southern gate; of course, it won’t be so easy to pass by.”
“Is it difficult to climb the surrounding walls?”
“Ah, there was one person who tried it once. It’s fine to do it from the outside, but when you try from the inside, monsters seem to only target you. Evasion is also difficult once noticed.”
From the place where Shin and Rionne were, walls that surrounded Kalkia were seen.
Even if one climbed the wall which, by the way, was higher than Bayreuth’s, and did so without any hindrances, it would probably still take a considerable amount of time.
It would take even more time while on the lookout for monsters.
(But if I get serious, it’s possible to do it…)
Though Shin could do it, his ability may be known to Rionne, and it was a simple matter to escape for the two people.
The technique of combining martial arts and magic skills to run up the wall quickly was a relatively popular technique in a battle between players. If he forcibly used the technique little by little, he may be able to do it with just either one of the skills alone. However, according to what he heard from Rionne’s story, that technique must have been lost too.
“Well then, Shin, let’s advance cautiously.”
The two people moved toward the south gate while observing their surroundings for presences.
Because Kalkia was a city from the game era, Shin thought he could restore the map; however, against his expectations, when he tried there were no significant changes. Still, the map seemed to have been drawn from scratch again.
While watching the presences of monsters, they moved along and jumped onto a roof, and Shin felt his view was distorted.
Shin found himself standing on the ground before he knew it.
He intended to jump onto the roof above, but the sensation that transmitted to his feet certainly came through the ground.
“Shin, you felt the same thing too?”
When Shin turned around, Rionne stood there with a similar perplexed expression.
“Wait a minute. Let me try it again just to make sure.”
Saying so, Shin kicked-off the ground a little stronger.
As usual, he only put enough strength so that he could just jump over the roof of the building. However, nothing happened.
“Is this a transition point?”
It was possible to jump to a certain extent. However, when one reached above the height of a certain level, the body that should be jumping up landed on the ground.
“Rionne-sama, how did I look to you?”
For confirmation, Shin asked Rionne.
“You certainly jumped, there’s no doubt about it. However, there, when you reached the height just above the roof of the 1st floor, your figure, which should have been heading up, disappeared, and you appeared on the ground in the next moment.”
While Rionne pointed at the roof of a certain building in front of Shin, she explained how she saw him.
“I see…If we assume that that will happen every time we try to ascend above a certain height, it means that it is blocked.”
“This is the first time I’ve seen such a phenomenon. Shin, do you know anything?”
“I think that I have some idea of what’s going on. Can we move continue along the road as is to confirm my hypothesis?”
“I don’t mind, so I’ll leave it to you.”
Shin moved through the readjusted boundary of the main street.
In the middle of the street, they finally stopped in front of a narrow alley that could barely fit two people.
“Rionne-sama, I will enter the alleyway now, please wait here.”
After saying a few words to Rionne, Shin walked into the alley.
In the following moment, when Shin’s whole body entered the passage, his vision became distorted, and a different scene of the alley came into view.
In Rionne’s eyes, just like what happened to Shin a while ago, Shin seemed to return from the alley unnaturally.
“What on earth is this…?”
Rionne looked at Shin with a puzzled expression.
Although it happened in front of her eyes, she seemingly couldn’t make any sense of it.
“This one too, huh?”
“Shin, can you please explain what is going on? Something is strange with today’s events.”
Rionne asked Shin, who looked like he understood what was going on.
“Sorry, I just want to confirm one last time, because I think I can be sure after this one, could you please wait a little?”
“Muu! If you have to, then it can’t be helped. Also, what is it that you want to confirm?”
Rionne asked as she pressed Shin ahead.
“When we get on this road, there should be a glowing sphere floating. Because you can’t move forward if you go off the road, please take note of it.”
Shin told Rionne the details and began to walk.
Rionne too followed him, while looking closely at her surroundings.
“Rionne-sama, I saw it. It’s there.”
“…Indeed, it’s as you say, a sphere of light.”
The way ahead, also in the center of the road, was a floating sphere with a diameter of about 30 cemels, which emitted a white light.
The brightness was not very strong; one would not be blinded even if they looked straight at it.
“I guess there’s no mistake about it. Somehow this whole city seems to have become a dungeon.”
Rionne heard Shin’s explanation, but raised her voice in surprise.
Though the features for the city were lost because of the roaming monsters, it was once a place known to be full of prosperity. When she heard that it become a dungeon, it couldn’t be helped that she was surprised.
“But, what should we do now? I’ve never heard of a town becoming a dungeon before.”
“Even though I say ‘dungeon’, please don’t worry, because it’s different from a general one.”
Shin talked calmly to Rionne who frowned and pondered.
Shin actually knew this whole dungeon-making thing well.
“Please explain it to me, Shin.”
“Sure. What I’m saying is, In the current situation, we can only reach the exit if we go along a specific route.”
“Specific route? Then, the reason for us not being able to move above the roof and the alley…”
“Yes, it’s because it deviates from the specific route. If you try taking shortcuts that greatly deviate from the route, you return to your original location. In order to escape, we must advance following this shining sphere as a marker.”
Shin had remembered that immediately after a massive update, a time-attack race was held using the entire city.
In the city that newly appeared in the update, there were no players’ shops, guild bases and so on. So, in the case of an event using a whole city which was thought to be impossible, was implemented at this opportunity; a time-attack race.
With the center of the city as the entrance, players competed in a time trial to escape from there. The players and parties with the shortest time got a limited edition rare item distributed from the event; therefore, Shin had seen this sphere before.
“I don’t remember registering in this race though.”
Shin continued talking in a small mutter that was not audible to Rionne.
“Because there are no traps installed on the route, if we find the sphere while killing monsters, we should be able to escape without any trouble.”
Monsters would emerge and would match the stats of the players.
【Limit】 couldn’t be released during an event, and decreased stats were applied. In addition, the course became longer if the stats were high; it was the overview of the time-attack race that Shin knew.
Instead of the race deciding on stats or learned techniques, the race was decided upon the escape routes that were randomly generated and differed in length.
(It’s possible to release 【Limit】 now, but will it be different from the event in the game? No…, to begin with, there is a possibility I cannot interfere with the stats because the game became a reality, right?)
Because this world itself was mysterious, Shin couldn’t be certain, but then, not everything should act according to the game scenarios.
“I see, is there a time limit? When exploring the ancient ruins and the dungeon, I heard that there were such things.”
“No, there should not be.”
It was an event which one could clear even if one took their time.
The goal was to compete for the quickest time to escape. According to Shin’s knowledge, there was no particular penalty in the case of being slow.
“Shin, though it may seem bad when I say it this way, I feel lucky to be teleported with you. Thanks to you, I did not have to make any effort in trying to solve this riddle.”
Rionne said while smiling wryly.
If Rionne was actually alone, it was certain that she would waste time before she understood the situation.
“Then, Shin, let’s go look for the lightsphere. Tell me if there’s a place that differs from your knowledge. This is a Sacred Place, I don’t know what can happen.”
“Understood. As for this sphere, it becomes the transition point to the next route. First, I will be transposed ahead. I will return immediately if there is nothing, so please standby.”
Hearing Rionne’s answer, Shin touched the sphere.
His surrounding scenery suddenly changed in an instant, and Shin was in a different place than a moment ago. When he checked the map, the distance between him and Rionne was not that far. It was the distance of less than five minutes if walking normally.
“This is the part of the race where it gets unpleasant.”
Shin sighed, as he recalled the race that he had experienced before. He returned to Rionne right away.
“It’s safe for transposing. Now then, let’s go.”
“I’m sorry to leave you in a dangerous position.”
“I cannot afford to let you, the princess, to be in my position. Besides, there are groups of monsters ahead at the transposing point. If it were just me, I could only run away.”
Shin, on the contrary, could easily crush the enemies ahead.
If he was in a place where he wouldn’t be seen, Shin would instantly kill any monster that was there without hesitating.
“There’s no need for etiquette here. Let’s both survive and leave together.”
In response to Rionne’s words, which were full of determination, Shin returned a big nod.
With Shin as the lead, the two people walked down the street.
During the time-attack race, it was basically impossible to move forward except through the main street. There were exceptions, such as hidden passage-like alleys and shortcuts, but it depended completely on luck whether or not they were found.
Unless they were in a very desperate situation and aimed for reversal, it only cost time to look for such a thing. Rionne was also looking for such alleys at first, but with Shin’s advice, she went ahead through the main street obediently.
In a place where they approached a crossroad, Shin looked back at Rionne.
“Rionne-sama, let’s go straight from here.”
“Did you find something?”
“There are three monsters on the left, one on the right. Because there is nothing up front, we should go there first. If it’s no good, we go to the right. Even if the left is the correct path, there will be a series of battles. I think we should avoid battle as much as possible.”
In Shin’s perception range, there were already several presences of monsters.
Because he could narrow down the range to value accuracy, he was able to see their names and levels.
On the left side, there was a level 602 wolf type monster “Blue-Mist Hound”, a scorpion type monster level 544, “Spoerk”, and three level 588 slime type monsters, “Gilslay”.
He could see that it was a three-way battle from the movement of the markers. It would probably be hard for Rionne to jump in there.
In the opposite direction, there was a ghost type monster level 531, Ghillie Wize.
It was a troublesome monster that uses some advanced level magic skills, but with Shin’s 『Kakura』 and Rionne’s 『Muspelm』, they had more than enough to deal effective damage to it. Even with Rionne’s fighting ability alone, going right was the easiest fight. There was no problem even if she were to be directly hit by magic skills if Shin became her shield.
“That’s right, there are only two of us. We should avoid the fights that are likely to be disadvantageous.”
Rionne seemed to believe Shin’s story, and stepped straight forward.
However, the view for the two people became distorted after they walked for about five minutes. It was incomprehensible because it was in the middle of the main street, and the left and right shops changed similarly to a moment ago.
“It seems to be no good here.”
“It looks like it. No choice but to return.”
Since they could not proceed forward, as they agreed beforehand, they returned and instead turned left.
Shin caught the monster’s appearance in his view after moving for a while.
“It’s here. It’s still the only monster, and there’s no other presences of monsters nearby.”
Before the two people was a figure of a mummy, which wore a mist-like black robe and had a twisted, warped-shaped staff.
Only the head and arms resembled the figure of a mummy, neither the legs nor upper body were there. It was a monster that fell into heresy; its own body had turned into mist. Its name was Ghillie Wize.
In fact, by looking at it alone, the mummy that appeared had no physical substances for its head and arms either. It could be said that normal weapons couldn’t deal proper damage; it was a mage type monster which could resist physical attacks.
“What… is that?!”
“A ghost type monster, Ghillie Wize. It can use earth and wind magic. Though it seems to hold a staff, because the staff is floating, it’s movements are irregular. Please be careful.”
“Thanks for the advice!”
Shin gave important info to Rionne while running.
If a person saw this creature for the first time, they may have thought that it was holding a staff, and they would have received severe damage from the flying stick, as they would not be able to perceive any movement from the monster.
Its voice reverberated, not knowing where it came from.
It was the magic chants of Ghillie Wize.
Almost at the same time as the Ghillie Wize finished chanting, Shin shouted.
What it released was a wind system magic skill, 【Air Barret】 and 【Air Cutter】. Bullets of compressed wind and blades of sharp wind swooped down on Rionne and Shin. Though both magics were elementary level, the number of attacks were no match for an ordinary mage.
Rionne closed the distance while lightly evading the barrage of winds from Ghillie Wize.
Sparing no effort to display her strengthened physical ability by the support system martial arts skill 【Spirit Manipulation • Katsusen】, she continued dodging the wind magic which should be difficult to see.
Shin too, closed the gap in the same manner as Rionne, approaching the Ghillie Wize. However, if one looked closely, the magic shots actually vanished when they neared Shin. With the magic resistance from the said High Human’s abnormality, the magic couldn’t maintain its form. Judging from mage types such as Ghillie Wize, the existence of Shin had a thoroughly bad compatibility.
That surprised voice originated from the Ghillie Wize.
Apparently it had noticed that the magic around Shin had disappeared.
While moving with a speed matching Rionne’s, Shin had a grin and laugh that could only be seen by the Ghillie Wize.
The word that came out, did it mean, “Crap!!?” if it was said by a human?
It may have realized that its magic didn’t work. The mummy’s face, which should have had no expression, appeared to twitch.
The approaching figure of Shin, who was a little behind than Rionne, must have appeared as the devil in the Ghillie Wize’s eyes. It’s being more cautious toward Shin rather than Rionne who was holding a holy sword that should be its weakness, was the best evidence of it.
With a cry, a large mass of magic power developed around the Ghillie Wize.
It was charging the wind system magic skill 【Storm Blast】 and earth system magic skill【Dragoon Bite】. With a tornado that exceeded the height of the Ghillie Wize, and a huge clay jaw modeled from a dragon, the skill 【Air Barret】 flew wildly, pushing the two attackers.
“Damn it! Is this the power of a monster in the Sacred Place?”
Even Rionne seemed to be alarmed by this.
Putting strength into the hand holding 『Muspelm』, she was going to activate some kind of skill. However, Shin interrupted there.
“Leave it to me here! Rionne-sama, you deal blows on that fellow!”
“Okay, you can count on me!”
Rionne canceled the skill she was going to invoke, and accumulated more power into her arm.
Though it was quite dangerous if Shin failed, Rionne didn’t think that Shin would make a mistake. Even if she only knew a little about his ability, she didn’t doubt Shin’s so called trump card, 『Kakura』.
Shin stepped forth strongly by one step while a pair of advanced level magics drew nearer. These magic skills were unleashed with the Ghillie Wize’s whole power. However, the magic already lost its power due to Shin’s magic resistance; in fact, the magic was on the verge of dispersing.
“Here I go~!!”
Shin used a side sweep towards the magic, which would disappear if blown apart.
Contradictory with its appearance, in front of 『Kakura』’s brandish, which carried a considerable amount of mass, was able to erase the magic that approached the two people so easily that it was basically disappointing. The Ghillie Wize too, never thought that it would be easily broken there.
Seeing Shin and Rionne charging through unscathed, the Ghillie Wize’s movement already stopped completely. Rionne, who never overlooked such opportunities quickly took advantage.
Rionne mightily jumped up from behind Shin and rotated once in the air.
Releasing the accumulated power, she invoked the fencing technique system martial arts【Full Moon Edge】. With centrifugal force added to the mass of 『Muspelm』, she struck the increasingly white radiant blade against the Ghillie Wize.
The slashing attack pierced the robe diagonally and blew off one-third of what the Ghillie Wize was composed of, and cut off the arm that held the staff.
The cut off arm then vanished into thin air. Even though it was said to be disembodied, it couldn’t avoid damage if so much of its body got blown off. All the more was true since the attack had a light attribute to it, which was its weak point.
The staff that should have been floating around was also lying on the ground now. The Ghillie Wize screamed at the substantial damage it received, but its suffering hadn’t ended yet. This is because, charging towards the Ghillie Wize that had received so much damage and had started to retreat; was Shin.
Shin was grinning and laughing again.
It’s needless to say that the Ghillie Wize saw Shin, who had a brutal smile, as the devil.
Did it have intelligence? The Ghillie Wize started to desperately take distance, as it no longer raised the “Hiiii!?” voice.
However, it was not possible to escape from Shin’s pursuit.
“Time to put an end to this fellow!!”
Shin jumped and swung downwards, on the Ghillie Wize which fell due to damage.
It was the mallet technique system martial arts skill 【Fission】 that enveloped 『Kakura』. Because of the very few martial arts skills that could cause damage to disembodied monsters, the already strong 『Kakura』 was powered up even more.
Ghillie Wize uttered at its final moment as a single blow came from sky; although, what it muttered was a meaning even itself didn’t understand.
“It’s unexpectedly an easy win.”
Rionne seemed to feel satisfied, for the battle that ended after only a few minutes.
“It may be because its weak point is the light attribute bestowed on 『Muspelm』. Added with its high quality, somehow even with only us, two upper class Chosen Ones, we were able to defeat it. It’s usually not so easy.”
Because Shin was troubled that it was strange to be thinking optimistically, he gave a firm reminder.
Perhaps, if his weapon was an iron bar or sword borrowed from the ruins, it hardly would have gone in this direction. Though Ghillie Wize was brought down very easily, if its opponents were ordinary soldiers, it had the ability to destroy approximately a small country on its own. It just had a bad matchup this time.
“I get it. Anyway, my level didn’t go up even when I defeated a unique Skull Face, but this time it did. While it may be true that the battle was easy, I never thought it was weak.”
Apparently, Rionne’s level had gone up.
The opponent was close to her rank in this case. For such, she earned enough experience points to level up.
“Moreover, I also acquired some kind of title.”
‘Titles are obtained through battles and leveling up’, Shin thought as he recalled the things that corresponded to the current battle.
“Yes, it’s displayed as ‘Natural Enemy of Magic Users’.”
‘Natural Enemy of Magic Users’ was a title that was obtained by defeating a monster without using magic, and without receiving any magic damage when fighting against an opponent who uses advanced level magic skills. There was an effect of decreasing the damage of magic skills by 2 percent.
“Oh, I see…but is it okay to tell me that? This kind of thing should be kept a secret, right?”
“It’s thanks to you that I obtained this, Shin. Besides, you will not spread such a thing around, will you?”
“That’s true, but…”
Before he knew it, Rionne’s reliability on Shin seemed to have risen.
Was it because they both fought together?
“Still, from your appearance, you seem to know the effect of the title, Shin.”
“Well, what are you talking about?”
“A while ago, you said “I see”, didn’t you?’
He seemed to have been exposed from his answer.
Because he had a hunch that it would be bad if he knew in detail, he didn’t answer affirmatively. On that subject, Shin recalled that ‘titles are rarer than skills’.
“…I don’t remember it.”
“Are you a noble?…”
Rionne gave out a little disgusted feeling; the nobles in this world seemed to have said similar things, too.
When related to politics, these types of lines seemed to be common anywhere.
“Fufu, but I’m more interested in you suddenly. However, it’s an emergency now. I will question you later on. Then, I will go ahead.”
Did something tug on Rionne’s heartstrings? She began to run away with a small laugh.
Her eyes felt like a hunter who found their prey.
‘I would be rather thankful if you forgot that,’ Shin thought while following Rionne.
When he escaped from the Sacred Place, Shin had a premonition that a troublesome thing like this would come back when he returned.