I returned to the castle, and without the time to rest, I head to the room of the Queen.
With eyes incredibly wide opened, I am being stared straight at as if she were looking at a ghost.
“Did the Empire’s army really retreat?” (Caril)
“Yeah, they retreated without doubt.” (Makoto)
It can’t be helped that the Queen can’t believe it.
It has only been 2 hours since I left. It can’t be helped that she would question how I managed to make an army of more than tens of thousands to retreat in that short amount of time.
“If you are worried, you can have a scout follow behind.” (Makoto)
“But I don’t think there’s any need to worry.” (Makoto)
“…Why do you think that?” (Caril)
The Queen was looking at me with a face as if saying what’s my basis for this, and Niva-san was having that same reaction.
“Do you know of Latius?” (Makoto)
“—!! That name…!” (Caril)
“Well, he did look like a famous one, so you must know.” (Makoto)
“Yeah. He is considered the strongest of the Empire’s army, the Royal Army’s General… Could it be that the one commanding the Empire’s army was Latius?!” (Caril)
“That’s right. He is not the kind of guy that would lie.” (Makoto)
At the back of the Queen that is making an amusing amount of different expressions, there’s Niva-san who has the same eyes wide opened. I thought he was a prideful warrior to a refreshing extent, but it is surprising that he is this famous.
“And so, how did you make them retreat?” (Caril)
“Hmm, I had a one on one, and had them accept the retreat.” (Makoto)
“…So you won. Against him who is said to be undefeated even in the Empire…” (Caril)
“However, the fact that they brought out Latius must mean that that’s how serious they were about it.” (Caril)
Since he is the Royal Army’s General, he must be in the position of protecting the royal family and the nobles.
“Must be. There’s also a guy named Mirtoshna as their Lieutenant. Know him?” (Makoto)
“Mirtoshna… I have heard about him before but, who was he?” (Caril)
The Queen seems to have it in the corner of her mind but can’t bring it out.
“Mirtoshna became a Platoon Leader at the young age of 20 in the Empire’s army. There’s a rumor saying that his skill with the sword rivals that of Latius.” (Niva)
“Aah! The boy that’s said to be the youngest Platoon Leader ever!” (Caril)
Heeh, so the noisy guy was also someone famous.
“The more I hear, the more I can tell how serious the Empire was.” (Caril)
“Yes… If Makoto-sama hadn’t been here, who knows what would have happened.” (Niva)
“We really have an irrepayable debt with Makoto-kun.” (Caril)
The Queen sighs low, lowering her brows and shaking her head.
“I did tell you that it is to repay the debt of my stay here and the meals I am provided, right? More importantly, what’s the progress on your side? …Right, it has only been 2 hours.” (Makoto)
No, I am the one who should apologize. It hasn’t even been that long yet.
“Hmm, what’s the vigilance perimeter of the fourth division?” (Makoto)
“Around 100 kilometers of the capital, I think.” (Caril)
Meaning that the enemy is outside our surveillance range.
“In that case, the possibility of our side finding the Empire’s army is gone, so there’s no choice but to wait for the notice of retreat to reach Erac. Probably gonna arrive tomorrow or further.” (Makoto)
“Right. If he learns that the Empire’s army has retreated, we are talking about Erac here, so there’s no doubt he will be agitated heavily.” (Caril)
In the end, Latius didn’t have anything that can serve as a secret message.
Just learning the fact that all information was transmitted orally can be considered a harvest in itself though.
“Now then, how are we going to get Erac to show his tail?” (Makoto)
“After making the Empire’s army retreat and making the antidote for the poison, what’s left would be the ‘Ghost’ incident, I suppose.” (Caril)
“Aah, now that you mention it, there’s also that.” (Makoto)
The damage was so shabby that I forgot about it.
“Because of the poison matter, I have allowed moving around at night to a certain extent, but the reports of ghost sightings and victims have not appeared in the last two days.” (Niva)
Listening to the report of Niva-san that is properly doing her job, I decide to arrange the information for now.
“The ghost’s identity has no suspects yet?” (Makoto)
“In regards to that, we do have a bit of progress.” (Niva)
Oh, it did?
“What the testimonies of the victims share in common is that, before the ‘ghost’ appeared, they would see something like a faint light being shot.” (Niva)
“From what I have heard, I think that it might be the magic power light that’s released at the times when a magic tool is activated. Also, because only a faint silhouette can be seen before it happens, their face and race are completely unknown.” (Niva)
“Magic power light, and their face and race is faint, huh.” (Makoto)
The energy source of magic tools is magic power. And when magic tools activate, they release a variety of magic power lights, but since this is simply proof that they are activating properly, it is possible to hide them intentionally. However, that point can be used for evil practices, so it can be exploited.
“…Some kind of perception disruption, maybe?” (Makoto)
“Probably… Just that I haven’t heard of a portable magic tool that can cast perception disruption.” (Niva)
Even the knowledgeable Niva-san hasn’t heard of anything that matches this.
“Does Makoto-sama have?” (Niva)
“Not ‘do you know’ but ‘do you have’, huh.” (Makoto)
Oh my, immediate response.
I indeed have, but they are the type that have the magic power light function cut out. There’s no point in light shining when doing stealth missions.
“I do have. But they are completely for stealth missions since they don’t release magic power light. There’s one fault though.” (Makoto)
Saying this, I show the bracelet I take out from the Item Box to Niva-san.
“Is that the one? Quite the small one.” (Niva)
“It is a bracelet after all. It can isolate your presence and obstruct perception, but its effective time is 10 minutes. It takes 1 hour to have the magic power circulate. In that time it can’t be used, so in my opinion, it is a pretty doubtful item.” (Makoto)
“Just by its effect, I think it is pretty appealing though… But it is true that it would be dangerous in emergencies.” (Niva)
“Right. —And so, in terms of an item that has the same effect but doesn’t cut off the magic power light, it would lengthen the effective time to 30 minutes. Also, it finishes the magic circulation to 40 minutes, so depending on its use, it has more freedom.” (Makoto)
“So it is whether you want to prioritize efficiency or stealth, huh. I see. So the Ghost’s magic tool is one that prioritizes efficiency.” (Niva)
“It is not an assured thing, so just take it as a reference.” (Makoto)
“I am aware.” (Niva)
Niva-san lowers her head and says ‘Thank you for your cooperation’, but it looks like she has reached a line of thought to a certain degree. If she is wrong about it, it would be no joke though, but she is not the type of person that would base her whole reasoning on one thing.
“But in that case…I have an idea of what she used.” (Makoto)
“If we go with the premise that it is perception disruption, Niva-san should also know about it.” (Makoto)
There’s an item that served as the base of the magic tools I created.
“…Continuous Barrier Magic Tool.” (Makoto)
“—! Are you saying they used that?” (Niva)
“The barrier magic tools are used to protect you from outside forces, so it is made in a way that it also disrupts perception of the inside. By using that principle, it is possible to create perception disruption magic tools. The bracelet just now is also from that.” (Makoto)
“Now that you mention it, that’s true. Why didn’t I notice?” (Niva)
I say ‘based’, but a continuous barrier magic tool is a set of four that make a single magic tool. It has a magic formation that serves as the core of the magic tool, and as a result, it can work as one with four parts. By putting those together into one and giving it a new magic formation, a magic tool for perception disruption can be created.
Also, this world’s barrier magic tools are only 30 cm in size. Even if they were all put together as one and given a magic formation, the weight wouldn’t be that big of a deal, but it would be quite the size.
If someone wanted to use it, I think the best way would be to carry it on their back, but that would limit movement. Even if one can carry it on their back, if they are of a certain size, you can’t call them portable.
“Ah, I see. They could be using the four separately.” (Makoto)
“What do you mean by that?” (Niva)
“A barrier magic tool is a set of four that works as one magic tool. If they were to use all four together, I thought it is not possible they would be able to see the silhouette faintly. They are probably increasing the effects to the limits by using the four separately.” (Makoto)
“…I see. That’s why there’s reports of sightings from several locations.” (Niva)
“This is just my view of this. I have no proof that’s the case. Investigating under wrong assumptions would only lead to increased damage.” (Makoto)
“I know that plenty well.” (Niva)
So it was unnecessary worry on my part, huh.
At any rate, there’s not much progress with the ghost. On the other hand, the well poisoning incident has been ascertained that it is Makirus. But even if we have physical proof, we have no proof that she was the one who made them.
“Changing the topic, is the investigation that Makirus obtained those ingredients going well?” (Makoto)
“We are currently earnestly investigating, but we haven’t found trails yet.” (Niva)
“Once we learn the connections she used to obtain the Atomos Titan’s meat and the Bulb of a Detorashta, we could settle that Makirus is the one though…” (Makoto)
“I think she has an original route of her own. If it were a normal route, the ingredients would be difficult to obtain due to the season after all.” (Niva)
The Atomos Titan’s meat shouldn’t have had any cases of being used as an ingredient in alchemy. Then, if we get proof that Makirus was the one who got it, we can back up the claims of her making poison.
“I see… She probably got it from under-the-table deals.” (Makoto)
“Indeed, I do think so myself.” (Niva)
It is not as if it isn’t possible to sniff out the connection, but this is not the time to think unnecessary things like this won’t work.
“Other things to do would be…” (Makoto)
“Makoto-kun, rest when it is time to rest.” (Caril)
“I’m fine without rest.” (Makoto)
“Just watching you makes me worry.” (Caril)
When I return a dry laugh at the Queen who is directing worried eyes at me, she made a tired expression as she sighed.
“Ah, right.” (Caril)
“He -Tortemi- was calling for you, Makoto-kun.” (Caril)
What business does he have with me?
“He said he wanted to thank you. If possible, can you visit him?” (Caril)
“Well, I am supposedly free.” (Makoto)
“Then, please.” (Caril)
“—Wait, right at this moment?” (Makoto)
Telling me ‘the earlier the better, right?’, I was pushed out of the room, and Niva-san guided me to the room of the King.
☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆ ☆☆
In a room where there’s a slight medicinal scent, at a bed in that room, there’s a person lying down on it with a small smile. This person is the Motoyasu king – Tortemi.
“Hey there, is this the first time we speak in this way?” (Tortemi)
“Indeed it is. Great to see you are doing well.” (Makoto)
His cheeks are still skinny and his smile still feels painful, but considering the fact that he was in a state where he was sleeping the whole time, this is progress. His voice does have spring to it, and he doesn’t seem to be troubled speaking. What’s left would be to recover his stamina. Doesn’t seem like there’s any problems.
Niva-san at my back was whispering ‘Makoto-sama, you are in front of His Majesty’, but I ignore it. I am a man that doesn’t bend to money and power.
“Kuku! …Caril told me already, but you really are one to not falter.” (Tortemi)
“Getting used to things is scary.” (Makoto)
The King laughs in amusement.
“I apologize for showing you this pitiful sight of mine…” (Tortemi)
He looked straight at me and lowered his head.
“This time around, you lend us your strength for my sake. I have no words to express how grateful I am.” (Tortemi)
“I didn’t do much.” (Makoto)
“You say that, but it is not something that anyone could do. More so, who else would have managed to learn the production method of the Loroad Virus.” (Tortemi)
Well, in regards to that, I went through my fair share of troubles though.
“If you are grateful, give those thanks to the Queen. She was desperate trying to save you after all.” (Makoto)
“I do know that… I have truly troubled Caril and worried her.” (Tortemi)
“If you really think that way, get better as soon as possible and give her peace of mind.” (Makoto)
“That goes without saying.” (Tortemi)
You are making quite the nice smile there. Looks like he is going to be recovering faster than anticipated.
“I have something to ask, but first comes getting better.” (Makoto)
“Is what you want to ask…in respect to the hero summoning, maybe?” (Tortemi)
When I nod, the king seemed to be understanding of this, and placing a hand on his chin, he begins to think of something.
“I have to explain it to you in time, however…Niva, sorry but, can you leave for a bit?” (Tortemi)
And then, the King began to speak slowly, and after cutting off his words for a moment, he directs his gaze at Niva-san.
“Sorry for the trouble.” (Tortemi)
“Don’t mind it. Well then, I will be taking my leave.” (Niva)
Niva-san bows to the King, and then leaves the room. It ended with just the King and I alone in the room. Dorui-san is making the dose for the King, so I wonder what he plans on saying after clearing out the people.
“First of all, let me correct this. —You weren’t caught in it, you were chosen.” (Tortemi)
Looking straight at me, he speaks this statement in a clear voice.
I wonder why. I understand what he is saying, but I don’t want to understand.
“What do you mean by chosen?” (Makoto)
“Meaning you were chosen by the summoning circle.” (Tortemi)
“Hold on a moment. You are confusing me even more.” (Makoto)
The summonings I have had until now, they each have had objectives and roles. However, this time around, there’s none of that.
Are you telling me that thought was incorrect?
“The summoning circle is…something that was created to summon people that have the aptitude to be heroes, and people that have the power to bring change to the world. That’s the way it was created by the first king.” (Tortemi)
“…Power to change the world?” (Makoto)
Why the hell are you mixing in something unnecessary in your hero summoning?
“I have already heard that you don’t have the aptitude to be a hero. Also, Caril has told me about who you are.” (Tortemi)
I didn’t really tell her to keep it a secret, and I did think that I would have to tell him anyways, so it saved me the trouble… Wait, that’s not the issue here.
“The reason why you were summoned to this world this time is…most likely, because your power was deemed necessary to change the world.” (Tortemi)
“…How could that be.” (Makoto)
Things have turned incomprehensible.
“The first king wished for the power to change the world… For the sake of releasing this world.” (Tortemi)
“From the unreasonable game of the Gods. To free this world.” (Tortemi)
No no, it can’t be.
“Eliminating the Irregular’s system, he wished for a Messiah that would save the world.” (Tortemi)
So he really is the enemy.
That idiot God is involved this time around as well. What a troublesome guy to the extreme…
Anyways, a messiah comes into play now, huh.
I thought I was simply caught in this, but to think I would move from side-character to main cast.
“I am not the type to be a savior though. If I had to say, I am more fit for destruction.” (Makoto)
“If you destroy the chain that is the Irregulars, we would be grateful.” (Tortemi)
Can you please not say dangerous stuff with a smile on your face?
“Destroy, you say. Do you know what’s needed to accomplish that?” (Makoto)
“About that…I am sorry, but I don’t know the details of it.” (Tortemi)
The memories are inherited, but the important part is unknown. What a troublesome cliche that pattern is.
“Do you think I can do it?” (Makoto)
“I have no intentions of forcing you. I simply wanted you to hear what kind of feelings the first king had when making the hero summoning technique.” (Tortemi)
“That way of saying it is cheating.” (Makoto)
The king laughs and lowers his brow as if apologetic. That expression is also cheating.
Well, let’s see. A kind of solution immediately popped in my mind, but in order to do it, the timing is essential. Only one chance, and an instant at that. The success would depend on me. It is a solution that is filled with holes and is basically a gamble.
“By the way, isn’t the first king an otherworlder?” (Makoto)
“He is indeed an otherworlder. Just that…” (Tortemi)
“Just that?” (Makoto)
“Because the God guided him here…no, forcefully brought him here, he had lost his memories.” (Tortemi)
Forcefully. Well well…
“Because of this, he didn’t know anything aside from his name. However, in his last years of life, he suddenly regained his memories, and ended up remembering what happened to himself.” (Tortemi)
His life would have been happier if those memories had stayed forgotten.
“Rather than saying he remembered, it would be more accurate to say that his restraints had been released.” (Tortemi)
“The first king had all his past memories aside from his name sealed by the God, and in exchange, he apparently received the power of a hero. However, in his last years, his physical strength began to decay, and his memories began to resurface in fragments. It seems he was quite flustered at that time.” (Tortemi)
Sealing his memories… Oi oi, stupid God, don’t go doing such nasty stuff.
Of course you would get flustered if your memories suddenly return.
“The first king, having regained his memories, learned who he was…and then, understood what happened to himself, and began to create the magic circle for the hero summoning. All for the sake of releasing everything.” (Tortemi)
“The so called game of the God, huh.” (Makoto)
“That’s right. The first king was brought to this world on the God’s whim, had his memories conveniently changed, and had him fight the Demon Lord.” (Tortemi)
“…That’s messed up.” (Makoto)
Sounds like something that guy would do though.
“From what I can gather, the Demon Lord is also being manipulated.” (Makoto)
“That’s right. The Demon Lord was manipulated as well, but the Demon Lord themselves don’t know… The God’s power is an unbelievable one.” (Tortemi)
I have experienced that many times with this very body of mine.
“And so, the gears that have begun to move already cannot be stopped. Even after 1,000 years, the battles against the Demon Lord still continue.” (Tortemi)
“…Even if they learned the truth at this point in time, they most likely wouldn’t listen. Ah, now that we are talking about it, how do they inherit the title of Demon Lord? Do they also do the memory inheriting?” (Makoto)
“According to the information that the first king left, the Demon Lord’s power is inherited by the demon that has been acknowledged though…” (Tortemi)
So the Demon Lord’s site really does have a similar system. And I have also learned that it is incredibly close to the one I know.
The Demon Lord can only be killed by a hero, but…the previous Demon Lord died a natural death.
This is a disease that only Demon Lords can contract. I remember the idiot God told me ‘it would be boring if the Demon Lord stopped being a Demon Lord, ya know’ as he laughed. I still get pissed off even now just remembering the face at that time.
From what I know, when the Demon Lord has been defeated by the hero, or has died from natural death, the Demon Lord’s power will be inherited by an acknowledged demon and becomes the next generation of the Demon Lord. Or in the case that a demon superior to that of the current Demon Lord appears, there are cases where they can become the Demon Lord if they fulfill the requisites. This is quite the rare case, so Phal told me the requisites are uncertain.
“Only demons inherit the Demon Lord title after all.” (Makoto)
“Even after 1,000 years, we still don’t understand a single thing about the Demon Lords.” (Tortemi)
Humans, Beastkin, Demi-humans, and Spirits; within the many races that live in this world, only the demons can inherit the power of the Demon Lord.
This is something that the right-hand of the Demon Lord and the base of the Demon Lord’s power -Phal- told me. She also told me that the Demon Lord’s power possesses a kind of will. Just that it seems the will of this power simply chooses the inheritor and transfers itself to them. It is different from Phal who is able to take form and display emotions.
“But why is it that the damage the demons create is small? It should be easy to destroy the humans with the power of the Demon Lord. There’s quite the small amount of reports of demons destroying human settlements.” (Makoto)
From what I have investigated with Akashic Library, the towns and villages the demons have attacked are concentrated in the Ushtolma country, but even with that, the casualties are a lot lower than I thought. Instead, the pillaging of food was sizeable.
“That must be the whim of the Demon Lord. The current Demon Lord has no interest in the weak, and it seems they don’t even leave the castle for now. And because the demons don’t have the patronage of the Demon Lord, the demons are living in daily poverty.” (Tortemi)
“Eh, what? The Demon Lord is a shut-in?” (Makoto)
“It is recorded that the only time the current Demon Lord has departed to the frontlines has been to Ushtolma, so that impression is not wrong.” (Tortemi)
Oh my, a shut-in Demon Lord.
“However, in terms of pure combat power, it is said that the current Demon Lord is one of the highest in history. The Beast King at that time had received an attack from the Demon Lord and half his body went out of commision, so he was abdicated.” (Tortemi)
“Waa…a muscle-brained Demon Lord.” (Makoto)
“Kuku, that might indeed be the case. The Demon Lord seems to only be interested in fighting the strong, so there’s even talk between the demons about how a new Demon Lord should be chosen. When there’s disputes in the demon race territory, he would simply order his subordinates and doesn’t do anything themself.” (Tortemi)
So like a company president that acts like it’s a one-man show and is not loved by their subordinates. How pitiful.
The area that the demon race lives in is called demon territory as a whole, but many have the public opinion that demons don’t need a country, so they mostly reside in desolate areas or extremely strange locations, so it is normally called the Land of Death.
“Demon territory… The Land of Death, huh.” (Makoto)
“1,000 years ago it was apparently still a land filled with green, but with accumulated wars and insurrections, the green was lost. I heard that their land is currently almost completely unable to cultivate anything.” (Tortemi)
“And the Demon Lord won’t move even with that, huh. Even though his brethren are living a life of poverty, the Demon Lord is living a life of retirement while seeking the strong. Smells like a rebellion will be happening.” (Makoto)
“Yeah. This time’s Demon Lord is an exceptional case within exceptional cases, so we are on guard in the case an unexpected situation happens though.” (Tortemi)
It is a shut-in Demon Lord after all. It certainly is an exceptional case.