Vol. 4 Chapter 3 – Part 3

“Shin, how many monsters are within your perception range?”

“Besides the other three that I mentioned earlier, there are more than 20 in total. From what I know, most of them supposedly don’t make big movements, but we can’t be careless because some of them tend to disregard this trend too.”

Shin answered to Rionne, while searching for the white sphere to make sure that this was the correct route.

“It would be nice if the rest of the way goes as smoothly as it has been so far.”

“That, I agree with you.”

It was his honest, true feeling.

“Hmm?”

While repeatedly being transposed for several times, Shin noticed something.

After the battle against Ghillie Wize, the route was gradually approaching the center of Kalkia.

“What’s wrong? Is something funny?”

“No, it’s just that I think we are moving away from the gate.”

The route was completely random. There was a behavioral pattern in which a person could transition near the gate in one go.

Were there any requirements that had to be fulfilled during the race to reach the gate? Or was it that the race’s goal was to reach the center? Shin didn’t know, but since it was a one-way route, they would eventually return to the gate even if they came close to the center.

“Indeed. Well, this area in the Sacred Place is uncharted territory, so it’s a good chance to unravel such a place…”

“Although life is more important than information,” Rionne continued and as she followed behind Shin.

When they passed through the street after being transposed some time ago, they used the shade of a wall and the tree that grew in the garden of a residential building to conceal themselves from the wandering monsters.

Such a small technique was possible; although the alleyway couldn’t be used.

Fortunately, they were not lacking hiding places thanks to a house that hadn’t yet collapsed.

The monsters’ blind spots were exploited, as they went behind buildings, garden fences, and occasionally went against the direction of the route.

However, there were some monsters that noticed them because some of the monsters had a perception ability that didn’t rely on sight, but instead sound or heat.

(It’s hard not being able to use skills thoughtlessly…Hiding!)

Shin activated the skill, without Rionne noticing. It was a non-system skill which fell under magic skills, 【Hiding】.

Though its effect was lower than the 【Hiding】 of support system martial arts skills, it could conceal presences, sound, etc. to a number of people like a party within a fixed range. It was useful using this skill too, as they wouldn’t be discovered by snake or bat type monsters.

‘However, it is difficult as I can’t use the skill with all of my strength,’ Shin thought once again.

Even for an upper class Chosen One, dozens of them didn’t have the skill either when he asked Schnee about it.

He didn’t worry about it at that time, but when being with a person like Rionne, it was not done easily.

Even under normal circumstances, she was interested in him because he was knowledgeable in weapons and titles. If various skills of martial arts or magic that he was able to use were discovered, what kind of questioning would await?

(Why is it when coming to a different world, I have limited play?)

‘If the members Schnee, Tiera, and Wilhelm were here, it wouldn’t be a pain in the ass like this,’ Shin thought while running.

It was a considerably high pace, but as expected from a Chosen One, Rionne didn’t have a shortness of breath and so on. Then, after transposing repeatedly several times; just when Shin thought, ‘can we reach the gate without any troubles?’ a formidable enemy appeared.

“…Is that Gilslay?”

It was a different individual that composed 3-way battles some time ago.

With a level of 684, that Gilslay was the highest level among what he saw in Kalkia. It was not a good opponent to be in conflict with as it had random movement and had no regularity.

Weren’t the small-fry enemies that came out in the beginning of the game slimes? This was a monster that could be classified as a formidable boss character.

The most troublesome thing about this Gilslay was that the monster had exceptionally high fighting power for a slime.

Was it because its gel-like shape was irregular? Almost all physical attacks were ineffective. Furthermore, its body stretched out like a tentacle and struck in the same way as a whip. It thrust like a spear, wrapping around to capture its target, and did so until the attacks broke the opponent’s battle formation.

In addition to the body fluids that secreted from Gilslay’s body, it also had an effect of reducing the durability of weapons and armor. It was known to be a typical time-consuming monster, so the battle was prolonged even longer.

Even if its appearance was about 4 mels of semi-transparent water and steamed bun-like, one should never be careless.

“Slime, huh? But if it’s only huge then there’s no problem. Let’s not stand still, but breakthrough in one go.”

“Ahh!? Hey hey, Rionne, don’t go there!!?”

However, apparently Rionne recognized that the said slime was a small-fry and didn’t stay still.

Did she not hear Shin’s panicky voice that said to restrain herself? She went for the endgame as she closed the distance in one breath by using her strength as an upper class Chosen One.

“*Hmph*!! ――Guah!? What on earth is this?!”

Rionne, who swung down 『Muspelm』 at Gilslay, stopped moving when the bizarre reaction occurred.

If Gilslay was similar to any ordinary slime, it definitely would be defeated if she could destroy its core. However, it couldn’t be easily done as Shin examined the situation. The opponent was a monster whose level exceeded 600. It was not so naive as to overlook the chance of Rionne stopping.

Gilslay immediately moved to counterattack. Did it think that she was not a strong opponent? Rionne’s limbs were restrained by the body that stretched out like tentacles.

Moreover, Rionne was not able to react to the unexpected speed.

“Good grief, I told you so!”

The sounds of Rionne’s protective gears dissolving by the Gilslay’s body fluid was heard.

Since he couldn’t just leave her as she was now, Shin approached the slime brandishing his 『Kakura』.

『Kakura』 had a clad in mallet technique system martial arts skill 【Sandstorm Burst】――A single blow of 『Kakura』 was dyed in a brown aura, and blew away the tentacles that had caught Rionne.

Shin’s current stats were quite restricted, but he somehow managed to deal damage to Gilslay.

Nevertheless, Gilslay didn’t appear to have the physical resistance of its main body as the tentacles became thinner. 【Sandstorm Burst】 was effective against opponents who had high physical defense, so it may have been a good idea to use it.

“We will fall back so don’t move for a moment!”

Attack of the Tentacles

The liberated Rionne was held with one hand by Shin, who jumped back.

With Shin’s leg power, they were able to escape from Gilslay’s attack range in one jump. Tentacles of Gilslay pierced the place where Shin was before just one breath later.

The road they were on used a orichalchum mixture for the pavement. Only the strength of a rampaging middle class Dragon could crack it.

Even so, the tentacles of Gilslay had easily pierced the pavement.

“It penetrated through the orichalcum pavement…”

If it’s Shin’s armor strength, there was no problem receiving any number of attacks, even on his own body. However, knowing the hardness of the pavement, his face was stiff instinctively.

Even though there was no damage, Shin unleashed a single blow and blew out the tentacles. Did the Gislay judge him as a threat? Unlike when it was against Rionne, the Gilslay didn’t go easy.

“Shin, what is that? Is it really a slime?!”

“Calm down first, I’ll explain it to you. That is Gilslay, a monster that is strong at resisting physical attacks. Never confuse that with small-fry slimes from the grassy plains.”

Because it would be a problem if Gilslay charged again, Shin explained briefly what kind of opponent it was to Rionne.

It was indeed troublesome if he plunged into the enemy who didn’t match his power.

“…Sorry, it was careless of me. Even though we are in the Sacred Place.”

“Well, it’s inevitable if you only know about ordinary slimes. Gilslay has a gentle-looking appearance; however, be it slashing or striking, it’s a troublesome opponent since half-hearted attacks are reduced to nothing and have no effect.”

“Ah, it pierced through its body. For my weapon to really be repelled.”

Even though it was a slash without any skill, the attack of 『Muspelm』was repelled.

Looking at Rionne, who nodded seriously, Shin, who for now felt relieved, thought ‘Is this alright?’.

While Rionne was glaring at Gilslay and preparing 『Muspelm』, Shin thought about the plan. It wouldn’t be difficult to separate from Gilslay, as it was a high defense but low agility opponent.

If there was a problem, it lied in its tracking ability.

The monsters who didn’t rely on their five senses could perceive many things such as the opponent’s magic or presence and could pursue them.

Among them, slimes were especially good with this ability. Even if they thought they succeeded in escaping, there were many cases where it actually followed them.

In many places, leaving it alone would lead to more danger. It seemed better to defeat it, Shin concluded.

“This fellow has a considerably high sensing ability. Because we’ve already been targeted, it will chase us for a long time even if we escape. I think I’ll defeat it here, how’s that?”

“I won’t object for my future’s sake, but can you break through that defense, Shin?”

Rionne, who had experienced the firmness of the slime firsthand, had her eyes seem doubtful toward Shin.

The story would have been different if the attribute bestowed upon 『Muspelm』was flame or thunder, but it couldn’t be helped that she said that. Light attributes tended to be very effective against monsters such as undead and ghosts, but it were not very effective towards other monsters.

In other words, since Rionne’s attack was only a physical attack with light attribute, it was ineffective towards Gilslay.

“I’ve got few tricks up my sleeve. I can clear the way to the core, so please destroy the core with your strongest skill. Since the core itself is quite fragile, it should be good to go.”

Generally, monsters with cores were vulnerable to direct attacks on it. It was especially noticeable on the slime group.

It was said that it was the result of balance adjustments for having high defensive power except for the core. So, if given the chance, Shin judged that there would be no problem if it was Rionne’s skill and her weapon’s ability to break the core.

“Shin’s trump card huh? All right then. I’ll leave it to you.”

As if there was no uneasiness, Rionne faced towards the Gilslay.

『Muspelm』was carried on her shoulder and was ready to step up at any time. Rionne would’ve been knocked down by Gilslay if Shin wasn’t there――No, she would have been devoured. The binding force of the tentacles seemed to laugh at Rionne, who resisted desperately. It was frightening just remembering it.

However, with such a strong binding, Shin blew it away with only a single blow, which was why she said she would leave it to Shin.

‘It would be a disgrace as a woman if I didn’t go,’ Rionne thought and let her entire body be filled with power; at the same time, she got rid of idle thoughts from her consciousness.

This world’s mental improvement enhances precision and the power of skills. The original power increased a little, regardless of skills and arts.

Rionne, while waiting for Shin’s signal, prepared the skill that she would unleash.

“I have to meet his expectations.”

Shin took out a card. A blue flame-like pattern was drawn on the surface.

“【Flare Burst】 release!”

Simultaneously with the shout, Shin pointed the card toward Gilslay.

Then as the card tore itself apart, a sphere with a diameter of about 30 cemels appeared.

In the following moment, a heat ray around 1 mel was discharged from the sphere.

The sphere was blue on the outside and white in the center, and charged through the air aiming at Gilslay’s core.

Did it determine that it couldn’t dodge the attack? The Gilslay expand its volume size as the 【Flare Burst】 hit it directly.

There, the heat ray pierced through while scorching the air.

“――!!? ――!!!”

Though the Gilslay desperately withstood it, its body had low resistance to magic by nature from the start. Even if the strengthening by level was taken into account, it wasn’t able to endure the 【Flare Burst】.

When the bluish-white heat ray went off, the figure of Gilslay could be seen with a portion of its body vaporized in the line of fire.

The heat ray didn’t destroy the core, but it was left half exposed.

It may be because a quarter or more of its original volume vanished at once, and the Gilslay didn’t move immediately after receiving the heat ray.

“Now!”

“Leave it to me!!”

Without missing the opportunity, Rionne, who reacted to Shin’s voice, prepared to use 『Muspelm』 and dashed toward Gilslay right away.

Rionne was surprised of the 【Flare Burst】’s power, but since she had to focus on defeating the enemy, she left that thought in the corner of her mind.

With the increased concentration, Rionne’s ability was perfectly demonstrated.

As of now, she arrived at the front of Gilslay quickly, leaving her afterimage as she swung down the 『Muspelm』, and the core was cut in two with little resistance.

“!!?”

Once the weak point of Gilslay was cut right in half, its gel body shook, and its life was ended.

Afterwards, the jewels broke into two and dropped on the ground along with a gel substance.

“Let’s collect the jewels and leave quickly. Other monsters are approaching as they noticed the battle noises.”

“Understood. Please lead the way.”

 

The jewels, which rolled over the ground, were picked up while running. The two people ran at full speed on the supposed correct route.

“By the way Shin, your language has seemed quite friendly since a while ago.”

“Ah…”

Rionne pointed out as if she just remembered and Shin looked at her with a distorted expression.

His face had “Oops!” clearly written there. Ever since he warned Rionne, who had jumped out recklessly in the spur of the moment towards Gilslay, he had been talking like that without change.

“I wonder if the wall between us disappeared a little, Shin?”

“Ah no, I’m sorry. It’s just, when in battle, my wording becomes rough.”

“Mu! I don’t mind it as is. This is a situation where we must entrust each other’s lives. It’s difficult to cooperate if you’re strangely humbled.”

“Even if you say so, I can’t just talk like this after all…”

In Shin’s mind, in a society where a privileged class such as the royal family and nobles exist, a commoner and the like shouldn’t be talking to them over-familiarly.

“That won’t do. This is the Sacred Place, you know? Anything trivial can cause death. From being modest some time ago, the consequences of it may delay me a bit. If I am killed by my own mistake, then that’s what I deserve. However, if you are put in danger because of my mistake, I’ll not be able to live with it, so dying is not an option. At this time, let’s leave out the strange modesty from each other. You can drop the formalities and just call me Rionne.”

“Well, um…”

Though it was about the problem of wording, before he knew it, it became a serious matter between life or death.

As for the matter of Gilslay, Shin didn’t mean to be especially reserved toward Rionne, but she seemed to interpret so. Still, when it comes to the matter of life or death, he couldn’t decline it without special reason. Before he was aware, it was difficult to continue keeping a distance in that type of atmosphere.

“…Got it. However, I think we should give priority to the royal family in this case, no?”

“Though what you said is also a fair argument, even if only I was left alone, the probability of safely escaping is not high. It’s more meaningful for both of us to be alive. Again, don’t be reserved from now on.”

Words of reluctance didn’t come to Shin’s mind; he accepted Rionne’s condition unwillingly.

The frowned Shin and the joyfully smiling Rionne were indeed opposite.

“This is only temporary until we escape.”

“Mu! Well, there’s no other way.”

He also didn’t forget to make it clear, “I’ll do it since there’s no one here”.

“…Then let me say this while I have the opportunity.”

Because she was slightly annoying, Shin decided to launch a little counterattack.

“I’ve seen them. In various ways.”

“Hmm?”

Did she not understand what Shin was talking about? Rionne looked puzzled.

“Have you look at yourself after being caught by Gilslay?”

“Caught? ――KyaAH!!”

Rionne, who checked her own appearance after Shin’s words, raised a cute voice and crouched down on the spot.

In addition to the equipment that was caught by Gilslay, she finally noticed that it melted her clothes too. Frankly speaking, there were almost no safe places.

Most of her arms and legs were bared, hotpants and so on in a very dangerous state. Only a portion of her body was safe. It was probably thanks to the double equipment of armor that consisted of dragon’s leather and a jacket. It seemed to have prevented her clothes from melting completely.

Although there were holes here and there, given that Rionne was a woman, she had hardly shown it to other people.

The body fluids of Gilslay, which had durability reduction effects, seemed to accomplish its duty well to the last minute.

Was it because it was the body fluids of some fantasy creature? It may be a fortunate blessing in disguise that the skin had no injury. However, Shin was worried about the voice Rionne raised.

“Kyaah?”

“…Don’t look at me.”

“Ahh, sorry…for the time being, put this on.”

The figure of Rionne, which may have been visible and invisible, was very tempting for eyes.

This was embarrassing for Rionne too it seemed, as she was blushing and huddling herself up. Because it couldn’t be helped, Shin let Rionne put on the jacket he wore.

“For now, let’s enter the house over there. It’s bad to stay still here.”

“Okay.”

While Rionne, who was out of order and suddenly became meek, Shin pointed at a relatively decent abandoned house nearby.

Though there were no monsters around, it was better than being outside. Even though it was in the middle of a time-attack race, they were able to enter the isolated house.

Just in case, Shin activated 【Barrier】 without Rionne noticing. Then, an item card was taken out from his chest pocket. Of course, it was actually from the Item Box.

“First of all, change into this. It should be better than what you currently have on.”

The item card was materialized, and presented out to Rionne.

It was the equipment items which had been stored in the Item Box. Because he couldn’t hand over powerful things, the equipment’s rank was low, but since it was strengthened by Shin, it was several times more powerful than those of which were sold in the market, without exception.

What he handed over was a shirt made of rockworm thread, a  jacket that used the skin of a black buffalo, and a pair of pants that was made of orb-weaving spider string. As for the appearance, it was a simple plain white shirt, a light brown jacket, and black pants.

“Thank you, do you always have this with you, Shin?”

“Pretty much. There’s a saying, save for a rainy day, save for a time of need, at the place where I’m from.”

Shin said.  Just in case Rionne didn’t understand the saying, he made sure to say his hometown.

“It’s a good expression. Still, to possess so many item cards…”

“Acquaintances…Wait, I’m sorry, but I don’t mean to tell you any information about this. It’s sort of an agreement.”

Instead of taking all the responsibility, Shin hinted it as if he obtained it from a personal connection.

“I got it. Not all Chosen Ones are Item Box carriers. I don’t think of trying to pry into you thoughtlessly. It’s just enviable, I think.”

Every item skill were no match compared to the usefulness of an Item Box.

Its carrying capacity was very useful in many fields such as business and military affairs. Rionne was in a preferable direction, since she wasn’t persistent.

“By the way, Shin, though it’s a little rude to ask, I wonder if there are a bit more comfortable clothes that I can borrow?”

“Oh, was it torn anywhere?”

“Well, no? It’s a bit tight.”

“Tight? …Ah.”

When Shin pondered over Rionne’s words, he noticed the meaning behind those words.

The size of the equipment which Shin handed to Rionne was fitted to Shin’s physique. Because a size adjustment function was not included in low-grade equipment, he deliberately disabled the function so he wasn’t suspected.

However, a problem appeared as the result. Mainly on the chest measurement.

“………”

“Hey, what are you looking at?”

“Oh, nothing.”

Shin had glanced at Rionne’s chest, which seemed to be able to burst out of her shirt at any moment because she buttoned up forcibly.

Furthermore, the bottom half of her chest was pushed up. The top half was left open, so now there was a deep cleavage to look down into. In the case of general mass production of clothes, it may be in the right size until there. However, this time, what Rionne wore was equipment that matched with Shin’s physique.

The size adjustment function was adjusted along the line of the body, so Shin, who was classified as a thin man, had no need for room at the chest at all.

The shirt may have been no problem if it was an average sized shirt, but when a pair of hills that were bigger than the average like Rionne’s, there was not enough to hold it in various ways. Additionally, the length of the sleeves were too long; even the joints of her fingers were covered. Her appearance was sensational, in a different meaning than from a while ago. Rather than it becoming shabby equipment, it became cool to see, but only the fingers were outside the long sleeve.

“I’m sorry but the sizes of the clothes are helpless.”

“Muu! There’s no choice, huh?”

Shin didn’t have the intention to tell the truth at the moment, so he decided to say it was helpless.

The reason was by no means a delight for his eyes if she stayed as is.

“Putting that aside, what was that a while ago?”

“That?”

“When you suddenly went “KyaAH!?” before.”

“Wha!? Such a shameless appearance has been seen! I guess it’s not possible to stay dignified.

Rionne protested, but there was no intimidating feeling while her face was dyed in red.

“Is being shy is a common thing?”

“…It’s a way of speaking when I got mixed up in something.”

Rionne, who heard Shin’s remark, scowled at him lightly.

“Well, because there’s an image that a lady’s maid helps to change the clothes of royal families and nobles, I thought you were fine even if you are seen.”

Because there were such scenes in manga and novels he read before, Shin thought that Rionne would also be so.

“Having a lady’s maid to help change my clothes and having been seen by a man in an improper appearance– there’s no way that it’s the same!”

“You say so but don’t you usually notice when your clothes are in tatters that much? I thought it was certainly so, because you were so dignified to that extent.”

“I was focusing on the fight!”

From the slime’s strength to the power of Shin’s card 【Flare Burst】, she should have had enough to be surprised at; even if her clothes came off completely, it couldn’t be helped.

“Also, I am a woman. I can scream too.”

“I don’t mean that, what I want to say is that you are not feminine. Until now, you had a different image. Look, you don’t feel scared when you fought against Ghillie Wize, right? Therefore you are not really similar to my impression of you.”

Shin didn’t know Rionne that much. However, from her attitude until now, the impression of her was dignified was strong.

“…I have no need to keep up appearances. This tone is my personality. I’m aware that it’s hard to say it’s charming as a woman. I’m a woman whose job is to fight.”

“No wait! Why are you being so down for? If you said you’re not attractive, you will make all the women in the world your enemy!”

Because the story deviated towards a strange direction, in order to change the mood, Shin spoke the lines he heard somewhere.

Of course, that was reality.

Though Shin has seen a lot of beautiful girls, it didn’t feel unnatural to put Rionne along with beauties like Schnee and Tiera.

Rionne was more than beautiful enough, though she didn’t seem aware of it. From Shin’s point of view, he couldn’t understand why she became so servile.

“The ability as a warrior and being of royal lineage. There’s not much I can boast about. Not only am I useless in political marriage, I’m also powerless against enemy monsters.”

“You know, you have looked very down for a while now. What’s the matter?”

After they entered the house to take a rest, her thoughts were too negative.

Shin understood that it was not the type of atmosphere to laugh or make fun of, as he tightened his expression himself.

“It’s the fight just now. I couldn’t even put a scratch.”

Even though it could be said that she was the one that gave the final blow, it seemed to be caused by the fact that she wasn’t able to do almost anything to Gilslay.

“I would say a while ago is the question of compatibility. If you had known the physical attacks didn’t work, it would have been a different battle.”

“It’s certainly so. However, if a similar opponent appeared, there’s nothing I could do. If it was only me alone, this time is…”

Shin was worried about how to speak to Rionne, who was now discouraged.

The problem that resulted in having the power of an upper class Chosen One was that it was likely that she had never fought against such a difficult opponent. However, since they have to act together from now on, he couldn’t leave her as is.

“…Hey Rionne, can’t you use a magic skill? If you can use it, you can fight without being repelled.”

“That’s right. I’m not at my elder sister’s level, but I can use several magic skills of elementary level. However, can that affect the enemy in some way or another?”

“Only the elementary levels are usable, huh? Well then…”

It didn’t mean there was nothing she could do about it. If physical attacks didn’t work, one should go with the bestowed attribute instead of the physical attribute as the weapon.

Magic and martial arts. If Rionne could use both skills, a combination skill may be usable, and even if she couldn’t use them, there was a little loophole path too.

The problem was whether he should tell her or not.

While Shin has encountered some things in this world, the people who could use combination skills were limited. Because of that, he didn’t know how combination skills were treated in this world.

Even a mere skill was valuable. A combination skill was unleashed using two or more skills, and it didn’t appear to be common.

On this occasion, he decided to ask it from Schnee.

 

“(Schnee, is it alright to talk now?)”

“(No problem. Is there anything you need?)”

“(I want to confirm something; nowadays, how are combination skills treated?)”

“(Combination skill, huh? I would say it’s valuable, but it’s not strange for a Chosen One to be able to use it. However, the number of people who can use it are quite limited.)”

Shin briefly talked about the current situation, because he didn’t have much time.

Schnee, who guessed the situation, shared her knowledge about the skills. Living more than 500 years in this world, she covered all of the information to this degree.

“(If I’m a Chosen One, is it alright to teach it?)”

“(I think it’s alright. If you are an upper class Chosen One, it isn’t strange to have multiple combination skills.)”

“(I’m saved)”

 

Apparently, there was no problem.

He had no doubt if it was information from Schnee, and decided to give advice to Rionne about the skills.

Rionne herself was not a bad person, and she couldn’t protect the country if she was left alone in this condition.

“Hey Rionne, may I ask which magic skills you can use?”

“Magic skills? I don’t mind.”

As a person who seemed to already know, they just started to get acquainted with each other.

So to add one thing to another, Rionne gave away the skills’ names. As for Shin, he explored the combination of Rionne’s martial arts skills and the magic skills she had told him.

However, as expected, she didn’t have a clue about her skill, 【Full Moon Edge】, which was classified as a combination of elementary level magic skills and Ouden rank martial arts skills.

Not only was its balance bad, but also, combination skills that used elementary level magic were few in numbers.

“There’s no helping it. I guess we’re going with an imitation, huh?”

“Imitation?”

Shin, who was lost in thought for a while, decided to teach a method of giving an attribute to a physical attack, although it wasn’t a combination skill.

If he found out the information of other martial arts skills that Rionne could use, there might be some good combinations too. However, he’d like to stop the act of uncovering everything of the other party’s skills.

“Just checking, but Rionne, you can’t use combination skills…right?”

“Indeed, my magic skills haven’t reached the level where they can’t be used as combination skills. I tried many different ways though.”

“Then, have you tried this method?”

Shin explained the method to bestow a false attribute.

It was not a legitimate way, so its power was inevitably diminished compared to the real thing, but it was still powerful enough.

“Can I really be able to go with that?”

“You will know once you try it. I also only knew about this by chance.”

“Okay, let’s try it.”

Rionne then activated the basis of flame technique system magic skill 【Fire】.

Thereupon, near the poised 『Muspelm』, a flame about 30 cemels appeared. When she maintained the state as described by Shin, the flame was gradually absorbed by 『Muspelm』, and its blade turned red.

“Look!”

The foot of the chair which Shin suddenly threw was cut off by『Muspelm』 without any resistance; it was like cutting tofu.

The cut surface scorched; it was clearly understood that heat was added to the blade. Although the proper support magic skill 【Enchant Fire】 somewhat lacked thermal power when compared to combination skills with flame techniques, the effect of the bestowed attribute was still obvious. At least with this, it would be much better than the light attribute.

“What kind of state is this?”

For Rionne, who couldn’t use support and combination skills, she seemed unable to comprehend the current phenomenon just yet.

Since it was placed as an underhanded trick in the game era too, it was no wonder she didn’t understand it.

“Well this, if I have to say, is 【Imitation-type Fire】. I don’t know its formal name either. Please keep in mind it’ll break low-grade weapons when it’s applied there. At least 《Legend》 grade weapons are still needed, and overuse of this is strictly prohibited. Even without the application of personal skills, there are a lot of things that can be done with that.”

“…I understand it vaguely, but was it okay to teach me? This is an undiscovered technique, you know?”

“In this world, the strength of monsters exceeds humans. If such a technique spreads out, there will be fewer victims too. Are you unhappy or something?”

“Very unhappy. You’re only giving it to me, aren’t you Shin?”

Rionne wasn’t convinced at the immature soteriology.

The application and the diversity of the technique that Shin taught, she probably had understood it accurately.

“I tried and understood it, Shin. This can be applied to arts too. You may even use a low durability weapon if it’s an arts, there are many usages besides battle as well. The value of this information is higher than a Geyl gold coin, do you understand?”

“I understand it even without you making such a scary face, Rionne. Isn’t it fine? You obtained so much valuable information. Shouldn’t you be pleased as a royal family?”

While calming Rionne who approached seriously, Shin told the reason.

“But, that is…”

“It’s not convincing, huh? Then――”

Let’s give her a good reason.

“Protect. I want to protect all the countries, people, and myself.”

“That’s the equivalent price,” Shin finished it while staring at Rionne.

“Shin, you…”

Rionne thought there was a secret in Shin’s speech, but she was at a loss for words.

Rionne felt as if Shin was completely making up excuses.

――Therefore.

(Crap! I said it like that to deceive her, but in fact, it wasn’t so useful and was treated as a joke. When such a look of respect was directed at me, the sense of guilt is incredible!)

Rionne wasn’t aware of the things going on in Shin’s mind.

◆◆◆◆

 

“I’ve accepted your reasons, Shin. I’ll put it to good use without fail!”

Rionne, who didn’t know the truth, firmly clenched her fists and expressed her determination.

Something like eyes on fire could be felt from her.

“First of all, have you recovered?”

“You can count on me. The me a while ago is already gone!”

“Though this is a bad place to display your motivation as we will be avoiding battle, you know?”

“I will bear that in mind, whatever the circumstances may be. Please take care of me.”

Though Shin was worried whether the revived Rionne would want to rush the race or not, as expected it didn’t go to that extent.

However, should one say ‘as expected?’ Her spirit was quite high.

“When I’m together with Shin, it makes me think various stuff. I have thought that the talk about engagement is not bad either.”

“I’ve a fiancee. Give me a break!”

He had a feeling that the distance between each other was gradually diminishing, and Shin couldn’t settle down in the difficult situation.

Though Rionne was a little surprised about how he had a fiancee, she didn’t have the intention to uselessly talk further, and their travel went smoothly.

 

On the way, when they reached the closest point to the heart of the city, Shin saw something like haze spread out in the center of the Sacred Place.

“What is that?”

The anxious Shin informed Rionne in a few words to see if it was possible to move to a better place on the street and observe the central part using a skill.

Since the central part of the city was slightly higher than the surroundings, they could see it without even without getting on a roof.

Though there were ruins everywhere in the Sacred Place, only the building in the center remained intact. Shin also remembered it faintly because he often came there when the game had just begun.

When he looked back at the haze again, for an instant, something seemed to move inside it.

“What? There’s something there?”

In order to ascertain its identity, Shin stared at it motionlessly.

In several seconds, the moment when something began moving in the haze again, and Shin was assaulted by a sense that seemed to pull him into the haze.

“Uwah!?”

He lost his balance in the abrupt situation, but recovered quickly.

“What’s the matter? You suddenly raised your voice.”

“No, I had the feeling of being sucked in, but it’s alright now.”

At the moment he lost his balance, when he looked again in the haze, he felt nothing in particular.

If he said that it was because he was leaning forward too much and nearly fell because he was staring at one point for a long time, she would have been convinced.

“Shin, I don’t feel anything though?”

“Just what on earth was that?”

Will a similar thing happen? Although Shin watched the haze for a while, the sense he felt in the beginning didn’t come back in the end.

“I’m sorry for making you wait. Now, let’s go.”

“Is it alright? Aren’t you interested, Shin?”

“I’ll come by again even if I don’t go now. In this situation, I don’t have any intentions to say anything more selfish.”

With the princess, he couldn’t investigate the dangerous Sacred Place thoughtlessly.

Shin reaffirmed his priority, and both of them resumed their travel.

Then, in the place where they had transposed for more than three times, Shin and Rionne finally reached at the plaza that existed inside the southern gate.

While being alert of their surroundings just in case, they moved to an alley path to leave the gate and there was nothing stopping them like the teleporting fiasco from before.

“Somehow we have reached the goal. There’s no need to worry about the route anymore.”

“Indeed, with this we escaped at last.”

If Rionne’s story was true, the southern gate seemed to be the gate which was used when Sacred Place was investigated, so they decided to go toward it right away.

 

“That’s the place.”

Before long, in front of Shin and Rionne, the southern gate of Kalkia revealed itself.

A portion of it was hidden by buildings from the plaza space, but its appearance didn’t change since the game era. It was a solid gate which had defense magic bestowed upon it.

“Wait a minute!…”

Nevertheless, what leaked from Shin’s mouth was a voice of disappointment.

Because the side entrance was for palace guard usage, the door Rionne meant to go through was crushed and buried. The side entrance was more fragile than the main wall, so it was not strange for it to break. However, it was clear that it didn’t collapse naturally.

“I wonder if this is an accidental attack to the side entrance by a fight between monsters?”

“There are some scars in addition to the side entrance, but it’s still unknown with only this.”

Visually on the surface of the side entrance, it was in a state like a cement was poured and hardened.

Even if Shin gently tapped on it, only a feeling of a rigidness was returned. The surface was easy to blow off, but if it was firmly filled in on the inside; it would be the same for the walls. One could see it was hardened in a similar way, as the cement, which fortified the side entrance, was widely used in the surroundings.

“Now that it has come to this, we must climb up the gate; also…what is that?”

When Shin just thought about climbing the gate forcibly as the last resort, he saw a strange thing come into view from the ordinary sky and spread out on the wall which enclosed the Sacred Place.

“I don’t know about this either.”

Similarly, Rionne turned her attention to the sky muttered.

“Is it a barrier?”

When Shin looked around, a dome shape covered the town, and a semi-transparent thin coat was being developed.

Because it resembled the state when 【Wall】 and 【Barrier】were being erected, Shin predicted that it was some kind of barrier.

In the game era, except during events, flying-type monsters couldn’t enter the town. So in this world, it could be said that there was protection developed before their eyes.

“Shall I try a little experiment?”

When Shin picked up a pebble which dropped at his feet, he threw it with all his might toward the sky.

The stone, which was shot by the physical strength of an upper class Chosen One, flew to the top of the wall without losing power and hit the thin coat. The result was slightly different from Shin’s expectations when the electricity made a noise that sounded like a short-circuiting, *Crackle*, and the stone crumbled in an instant.

While the stone was falling, it lost to air resistance and disintegrated in midair; it became sand and blew with the wind.

“Leaving from the top of the wall will be difficult.”

“You’re right. It’s not possible to touch that carelessly.”

Rionne also agreed with Shin’s opinion.

Though it was uncertain how much electrical output the erected barrier had, there’s no doubt it wouldn’t end without someone getting burned.

If Shin used all of his power, he may be able to break the barrier, but he couldn’t do so in front of Rionne, so he decided to keep that as a last resort under the current situation.

“Can’t we use other gates?”

“Only this place was secured in case of an invasion. There are dangerous monsters, so I cannot afford to open the gate leisurely. Thinking about the unlikely event, this is the only place. Besides, the side entrances from the other gates have probably collapsed from the beginning due to the impact of natural disasters. It’s a different story for a small animal, but there’s no gap for a person to pass.”

The findings of Sacred Places seemed to be shared among the countries; Rionne knew in details.

“Then, do I need to break through the site gate forcibly? Is there no other choice but to open the very gate itself?”

The gate’s opening and shutting mechanism was located inside the wall and the entrance was through the side entrance; it was said that the methods to open a gate were a common everywhere.

Even if the part which leads to the outside has been destroyed, there was a possibility that the room with the opening and shutting mechanism was safe. Because they couldn’t move in the southern gate because of the current state it was in, both of them decided to leave for the eastern gate.

 

◆◆◆◆

 

“…Strange.”

“Hmm? What it is?”

Rionne asked about the words that she happened to overhear during their travel.

“Most of the monsters’ presences have disappeared. I was going to choose the route with the fewest monsters if possible, but no matter how I look at it, there are no presences at all.”

When Shin felt uncomfortable, he turned his attention to the map; there were already several monsters dwelling in the Sacred Place. That number was greatly reduced than the ones he had perceived when they were heading toward the southern gate and were being transposed.

Although Ghillie Wize was defeated by Shin and Rionne, it should be no more than a ‘pouring water on a hot stone’ level.

“It’s certainly strange, but it has become easier to travel in this way, so isn’t it fine?”

“I hope so too, but because of the difference of information in various ways, I can’t help but foretell something dangerous will happen after this.”

Even if the side entrance of the southern gate was crushed as an accident, the top of the wall had a barrier to prevent anyone from escaping.

The contact was completely cut off from the outside world; it seemed to be trying to confine those who were inside.

“Then, all the more reason to escape quickly. Hurry up!”

“An enemy may appear suddenly. Don’t let your guard down, Rionne.”

It was only an unpleasant premonition, but there was no reason to waste time either; Shin and Rionne raised their running pace.

As a better alternative to the shortcut of going on the roof, due to the dangers of being found by monsters and risks of  houses collapsing, they advanced through the way along the wall obediently. In the process, Shin noticed certain things.

“…Isn’t the wall somewhat shining?”

“It’s seems so. I’ve never seen such a phenomenon before.”

At first he thought it was just his imagination, but now it was clearly shining; it was emitted from the wall which stood towering over the surroundings of their flank.

Two colors, ice blue and emerald-green, flowed to the front of Shin and Rionne as they blended together.

“Hey…at this rate, I have a bad feeling about going straight.”

“I agree. However, there’s no place for us to escape to, right? If that’s the case, it’s better to check what’s going on, and then think of a way to countermeasure from there.

“The exit has been blocked. Even if we avoid danger here, there’s no point,” Rionne said.

“It seems so, but I think most humans would want to avoid trouble, don’t you agree?”

Shin joked, as he failed to remember any information about the phenomenon that occurred in front of them.

If there was such a flashy event, it should be caught somewhere in his memory. If there wasn’t, it became a situation which was unknown during the game era.

“I don’t get it, not. Well, look Shin!”

Coming into the wryly smiling Rionne’s view and Shin who was talking jokingly, the eastern gate was visible.

Apparently, a torrent of light seemed to flow to the eastern gate from the north side.

“Did it gather in the gate? …If it gets slightly nearer, it’s better to hide ourselves and observe.”

He didn’t know whether the same thing happened in all gates and decided to stay here for safety.

In front of the gate, the road where they ran along the wall and the main road merged and became a small plaza.

Shin and Rionne entered an inn that was facing the street, and observed the gate from a window on the top floor.

“There’s something like a huge ball.”

A huge blue sphere appeared in front of the gate.

By a rough estimate of 5 mels in diameter, luminous green occasionally ran through on its surface. The mana that moved along the wall could also confirm that it was flowing into the sphere.

“Shin, is this change caused by that?”

“Maybe. I’ve never seen something like this, but it feels like the time when a monster is born, don’t you agree?”

A monster spawned from mana in this world. Shin thought Rionne may have seen it, so he asked.

“No, when a monster is born from accumulating mana power, the scene is warped and takes the monster’s form. Then, it appears by breaking out of the shell. As for a sphere like that, I’ve never seen one.”

“If so, does it mean it’s not an ordinary monster? Or is it not a monster to begin with?”

While looking at the sphere, which was stationary, Shin thought, ‘what is that sphere?’

On Shin’s map, the sphere was displayed with a green marker. This represented neutrality.

However, even if a marker was usually green, there were monsters which turned to red when a player approached, which represented an enemy, so he couldn’t relax his guard.

“For now, I should change to my original equipment. Rionne, here.”

Shin changed his equipment with a shortcut function. It was the Dark King series which he wore during the duel against Girard.

Black coat and trousers, red arm guards and leg guards, and a muffler with a red line like lightning bolt; Shin wore so much protective gear that not a scratch could be dealt if hit by a half-assed attack.

Apart from that, Shin materialized a pair of gauntlets and handed it over to Rionne.

“This is?”

“It’s called ‘Gauntlets of Moribito’, it raises the resistance to magic and abnormality statuses for the equipped person. Its best effect is when the equipped person is about to receive a fatal blow, it’ll become a sacrifice, but only once. I don’t know what will happen in the future, so please equip it just in case.”

“Is this alright? It seems quite a valuable thing to me.”

Rionne, while listening to Shin, turned her attention to the gauntlets.

As for its appearance, the material used was orichalcum, although it was mostly silver in color and close to iron gauntlets. The red pattern on its surface was drawn with paint of mithril and scarletite ingot, which was dissolved by a special method. Self-repair was also possible if not destroyed completely.

Even though the gauntlets were 《Legend》 grade, it had been reinforced by Shin, so its strength was close to 《Mythology》 grade. High defensive power combined with a sacrifice effect was demonstrated when the gauntlets were used as a shield during a critical moment.

“It’s alright because I have these arm guards. Though, even my clothes are far sturdier than armor, I tend to be a puzzle a lot this time. I said it a while ago, ‘save for a rainy day, save for a time of need’.”

Shin raised his crimson red arm guard equipment with both arms himself, and spoke to Rionne.

That so-called Dark King’s Arm Guards have the effect of preventing the skill with an effect such as trap and theft. Also, there is even the effect of reflecting back a portion of the damage; Gauntlets of Moribito’s performance was not on a par with the arm guards.

“…Understood. I’ll use it gratefully.”

When Rionne put on the gauntlets, it shone slightly and its size changed to fit her hands.

“I was worried about the size, but this is really cool!”

“This is my treasured item, so return it later.”

“Got it. However, I feel like I’m being protected by you somehow, Shin.”

“You’re joking―― and as we continue talking, there is movement within the sphere.”

“Are those cracks?”

Urged by Shin, Rionne also turned her eyes to the sphere.

The cracks on the surface of the sphere were spreading gradually, reminding the scene of an egg hatching.

“Indeed, I have a feeling that something will be born after this, Shin.”

“It looks like it. Besides, the wall that shone until a while ago is restored now. Maybe its duty has been finished.”

Shin looked up at the wall.

Was it a place for the mana to pour into the sphere? The possible cause that he could think of was that the wall or the entire city was becoming some kind of device.

Shin didn’t know of any existences that could do so such a feat. If this was in the game, it would be management and the GM, but if they still existed now, “Return me to the original world quickly,” was what he would likely say.

What was the meaning of this phenomenon in this case? When he thought about it, Shin suddenly felt the sense of being dragged into the center of the Sacred Place similarly to a while ago. Shin thought that this might be related.

“――Shin, it came out!”

“It came, huh?…”

There was movement in the sphere before his thoughts were being settled.

When Shin returned his view towards the sphere, the cracks that were spreading little by little already had its whole surface covered. Light began to emit from several places, and flickering ominous light informed them that some kind of existence was moving inside.

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