DK – Chapter 61-62: Inside the darkness of Zakuroa

——The ladies seem to have liked that inn.

The meals were delicious, the rooms were clean, and there’s even hot springs.

On top of that, fortunate or not, it was practically reserved. 

Because of the fears of a war happening, there were few people who came to the hot spring inn of Zakuroa.

——This is the best, the best.

Even my predecessors visited it in the past, you know?

Then, go have a bath.

There’s a big bath area after all!!

——Everyone except the bow princess had no suspicions. 

But the bow princess can’t win to the mood.

She easily gets swept by the mood, so…for now, she said ‘if you peek, I will kill you’.

Just went while leaving those words alone.

——–

“I-I-It is definitely impossible for meeee!!” (Jean)

Jean Redwood, as I thought, you really will answer like that, huh. I did expect this, but I think that personality of yours is a pity, you know?

We are at the men’s bath. 

That’s right, sadly to say, it is a bit different from what I thought. Mixed bath? No that’s not it. It was simply because I have been in the female bath area together with my mother and sister when I was incredibly young.

And the women that were there were saying cute cute over and over as they petted me and washed me. That’s right, that wasn’t mixed bathing. It was simply that the young and innocent me was allowed in the female bath. 

That’s why I was disappointed. 

It has been a while since my knees have fallen right in place. That was something that happened around 20 minutes ago. This is strange, even when I rushed into the mass of Empire soldiers and got wounded all over, I didn’t fall to my knees once. My heart broke more than the battle with the seventh division.

What’s with this sense of loss?

Expectations, hopes, dreams…

When all of those crumbled in my heart, my knees were already on the ground.

Ah, there’s no need to get so down just because it is not mixed bathing. This hot spring is the best. It is big, wide, and there’s no other guests!! Moreover, there’s snow falling from the sky. It is beautiful.

That’s why I could recover myself in 200 seconds. If this inn only had mediocre charm, I would still be silent like a statue and would have just stared blankly into the black night sky. 

But my soul moved once more.

I changed my way of thinking.

If it is not mixed, I should just give up?

Foolish!!

I am indeed a 26 year old man. I have a decent amount of honor and also hold common sense. If there were other guests or outsiders in this inn, I would have given up.

Troubling regular people goes against the knight’s code. But this inn only has us. In other words, it isn’t an exaggeration to say that these are the personal hot springs of the Banjar Mercenaries. 

Then, if we are not troubling other people…I will challenge it. 

Bend reality. 

There’s no mixed baths? Then, isn’t it fine to just peek into the female baths? 

And so, my brain’s gears were making a plan, translating into words, and coming out from my mouth.

“We are going to peep. Jean, what will you do?” (Solje)

But it was as expected. His answer was no. What a pity. If it had been Gandalla, it would have been the same, but if it were my comrade Sharon, he would have gone ‘yes yes!’ in an instant.

Too bad, Jean Redwood.

“N-No, Captain…it would be best to not do that.” (Jean)

“If you are not coming, that’s fine. But what’s with those pathetic words? Do you think you can stop me, Jean Redwood?” (Solje)

“…B-Because there’s not only Riel-san there, but Loroka-neesan too. Diaros are scary-ssu yo. You are going to be killed-ssu yo.” (Jean)

Fumu, Jean has touched the culture of the Diaros in these few days after all.

Unicorns must have become one of the things Jean isn’t good at dealing with.

Good grief, being treated as food by Zephyr and fearing Byakuya. He really has bad affinity with animals. Even though you can turn into a wolf…

“…Diaros are no joke-ssu.” (Jean)

Now that I think about it, he did slip out ‘scary!’ when looking at Loroka-sensei. He really has been baptised by the Diaros. But you are getting too scared, Jean.

“It is true that Loroka is a dangerous opponent. But think about it.” (Solje)

“…What?” (Jean)

“Loroka has big boobs.” (Solje)

“Eh?” (Jean)

“There’s not only the beautiful breasts of Riel but the big ones of Loroka. Twice the reason to challenge it. Rather, coming in a set makes it three times better.” (Solje)

“Is that how it works?” (Jean)

“1+1 is 2? Foolish. When some things come in sets, they can turn into a premium.” (Solje)

“Premium…Big boobs…big boobs…” (Jean)

Those words certainly do pack a punch.

It is not about liking or not, your heart is simply pulled by it, a kind of instinct.

“That’s right, Jean. Our forces are despairingly low. Also, look, the terrain disadvantage.” (Solje)

“Terrain disadvantage…t-true. There’s about 30 meters.” (Jean)

“Umu. What do they think about the male guests here? Not even a brat from hell would be able to climb this wall.” (Solje)

The men bath and women bath(target) are adjoined. But in order to arrive at it, there’s practically a 90° wall.

“…U-Uhm, Captain! C-Can I speak?!” (Jean)

We don’t have that kind of military system, but I allow it. Really, don’t misunderstand. We are an incredibly friendly workplace.

“Yeah, what is it, Jean?” (Solje)

“…How about not climbing this wall, but instead walk normally through the hall into the bath? Like, the normal route.” (Jean)

Hooh, so you bit to the bountiful Loroka, huh. Using your brain so well, analyzed the information of the terrain, and chose the course with the lowest difficulty. 

This thin and weak-looking boy. So you are weak against those kind of motherly women, huh. 

Being abused terribly at the orphanage you were in your childhood, that motherly woman must look like a saint.

“…Cadet, I understand your opinion.” (Solje)

“T-Then…!” (Jean)

“But I refuse!” (Solje)

“W-Why? With our infiltration skills, it should be easy to conquer the challenge with that route.” (Jean)

“Easy? …We are going to be peeking on our angels. We HAVE to shoulder a risk. If not, it would be rude to them.” (Solje)

“Rude to them?” (Jean)

Hearing Jean repeat what I said, even I ended up cooling at my own words. Looks like I was so heated up that I said something weird in the moment.

This is bad. What should I do? I am feeling embarrassed now. 

If this were Gandalla…’Haha, is that so, isn’t that great?’.

He would have crushed my heart with only those words. Cool words that push the other party away? They can easily destroy you 100%.

But Jean Redwood is not Gandalla.

“Y-You are right…!” (Jean)

“Eh?” 

Oi, you agree? 

What a relief. This guy is not brains, he is in the idiot faction!

“Of course, we are peeking, so this is something we have to compromise to.” (Jean)

“…Jean.” (Solje)

I have a decent amount of memories with Jean, but this is the first time I have heard him say something with such clear strong will.

What manly eyes you have.

You have the eyes of a war dog. 

“That’s right! Riel, Mia, Loroka! They are all beautiful women!! Watching them without any risks?! Are you making a mockery of them?! They are worthy enough to risk your life to witness their beauty!!” (Solje)

“Yes sir, Strauss!!” (Jean)

“Nice response, Cadet!! Your strength and resolve are properly showing in your voice! This is the first time have heard you with that powerful voice! Nice, that’s how it should be!” (Solje)

“Yes!!” (Jean)

“And so!! …Who is to your taste?!” (Solje)

“Eh?!” (Jean)

“Don’t be shy, say it!!” (Solje)

“…L-Loroka-neesan…she…is kind and…” (Jean)

Fufu, thought so.

“Okay!! Nicely said! By the way, mine is Riel. Mia is my sister-in-law of sorts, so it should be safe. Ah, Loroka-sensei is also to my taste.” (Solje)

“Eh? Everyone?!” (Jean)

“That’s right! I like all women that are cute and beautiful!” (Solje)

“I-Incredible… That’s something I wouldn’t be able to say!” (Jean)

“Fufu, once you have passed more than 5 years in the battlefield, you will also be able to reach this enlightenment.” (Solje)

“E-Enlightenment?” (Jean)

Umu. As expected of someone who wasn’t allowed to go to school or things similar to that. His vocabulary is low. Looks like there might be the need for the help of Gandalla or Loroka-sensei.

“That’s right. Enlightenment…is like, when your eyes have been opened!!” (Solje)

“Meaning that I can also become like Captain someday?!” (Jean)

“Yes, you can. If that’s what you wish.” (Solje)

“Y-Yes!! I will do my best! Work hard!!” (Jean)

Tears of gratitude, huh.

Umu, I was just taking the tone of a soldier to tease him, but it looks like he completely got into it. That’s a man with dog elements in his core, I suppose. Or more like, you get swept by the atmosphere way too easily.

I didn’t expect you to be brought to tears… I feel like a person without a proper personal core is bad. They are the type that are easily brainwashed. It would be bad if he were to get recruited by some fanatics that worship a dark god. 

Yeah, well, he does worship someone… Me.

I hope it is just worship…

“Captain!! Please guide me!!” (Jean)

“Y-Yeah!! Follow myself lead!!” (Solje)

“Yes!!” (Jean)

Eh eh? This is weird. Why do I feel like I am being cornered? I feel like this subordinate that’s so passionately following me is becoming a burden instead? Ares, can you provide me with your wisdom? 

Jean’s feelings for me are way too heavy. 

The magic eye is silent… I see, it is so stupid that you don’t want to answer huh. I wouldn’t answer either if I were in your position. 

…Now that I think about it, when I told Jean we were going to take a bath, he answered with a happy ‘yes!’.

When I was taking off my clothes in the dressing room, he said ‘those are incredible muscles!!’ and praised me a whole lot. A man gets happy when their muscles are praised, right?

Like when the lady at the bar touches your arm and says ‘So hard! So thick! Kyahaha!’, you would think it is great that you worked out, right? 

That’s why I made a pose while being praised.

Eh? …I kinda feel chilly.

This is only admiration right, Jean Redwood? 

“Uuh!! You are the best! Captain is the best!!” (Jean)

He is following behind me while crying! What’s with this? Even though I am in an exciting situation of going to peek at the female’s bath, I am chilling a bit?

This isn’t good! 

You can’t have noise in the middle of this!!

Look at this overwhelming wall.

It is more vertical than even the ramparts of the Garuna Palace, you know? Just what’s going on here? Did the owner of the inn deem it necessary to create such a wall in order to protect the female bath? …Impossible. Just how much coin does that take? 

I tap that wall with my finger, grab it, and put strength in it. Umu, it isn’t shaking at all. It is incredibly tough. There’s no brittleness. If it were so feeble as to crumble from putting in strength, it would be impossible to climb it. 

With the palm of my hands, I confirm the properties of the material. Aah, it is decently slippery. They really made an incredible wall. Honestly speaking, it is on the degree that I feel military level protection from it.

Was there a legendary warrior who has been able to clear this hurdle and peeked into the female bath? If that’s the case, I would like to at least know his name.

Sharon would be happy to know. He could even be used as reference material for his idiotic novel.

“…Captain, can this wall be climbed?” (Jean)

“If you lower your guard, you would immediately fall…and die.” (Solje)

“D-Die!” (Jean)

“You are tough, so you should be fine. Me…not sure.” (Solje)

“N-No way…! This really is too dangerous!” (Jean)

“Idiot. We of the Strauss love danger.” (Solje)

That’s right, but I have no intention at all in dying a dog’s death. I have a tough mission waiting for me tomorrow.

“Okay…Jean. Concentrate.” (Solje)

“Y-Yes!” (Jean)

Take a deep breath and relax your heart and body. That’s right, use my magic eye to its full power and look well. Gather information, and then, listen to the voice of the craftsmen that created this wall.

They must have been careful about not falling too. They stuck to this wall and were doing work. In other words…see? There it is.

There really are footholds. Ones that hands or fingers could grab on to. Slight ones.

That’s right, this isn’t impossible. Umu, the dragon eye that cancels the darkness of the night is showing me the way to conquer this.

“…I see it, I can see the ending! Jean, follow me!!” (Solje)

“Yes sir!!” (Jean)

  • Chapter 62

I have the skill for rock climbing. Why? It is basic training for the Garuna knights. Dragon knights have superhuman strength and willpower polished to the extreme. In order to rear their body strength and bravery, rock climbing isn’t bad.

Garuna is a mountainous region. We would have to aim for an egg in a nest that is at the very middle of an incredibly steep cliff, and every year, a number of the residents would lose their lives.

Learning rock climbing is a necessary skill for all Garuna men who want to attain adulthood, by getting an egg without dying. 

“Listen well, Jean! Be sure to procure at least 3 spots! If you keep that point, you will normally manage!!” (Solje)

“Yes!!” (Jean)

“You have strength and are light. You would normally be more suited to this mission than I. Don’t mess up your breathing. Make your mind like that of water and calm it.” (Solje)

“Yes.” (Jean)

“Right, be silent too. This is stealth mission.” (Solje)

“Yes…” (Jean)

“Let’s go. Imitate the moves of my arms and legs, and follow.” (Solje)

“Understood…!” (Jean)

And so, the plan begins. It was an incredibly trying course. Damp stones that you can easily slip from, this vertical angle…a normal person wouldn’t be able to overcome this. Even an alpinist by profession would have to question if they can conquer this.

Fufufu, but because of this, the greatness of the Banjar Mercenaries is once again shown.

How’s this climbing speed? Even the Bandit King would be surprised. Without my magic eye, it would have been difficult to find a route to success in this darkness.

Also, the crazy physical strength of Jean was showing its colors here. His vision works in the darkness just like my magic eye. 

Beastkin are amazing. In terms of physical ability, they have way too high specs. 

They have everything cramped in their bodies. Seriously, you are a mass of talent, so I would really like you to use them efficiently—?!

“Wait, Jean! Stop!!” (Solje)

“Eh? Y-Yes!” (Jean)

Jean stops in place. He is not moving an inch just like ordered. His hand is hovering in place. Sorry, it is a tough posture to maintain, but endure it. 

“W-What is it?” (Jean)

“…I feel a bad presence. Wait for a bit.” (Solje)

I used my magic eye at full power and investigate the wall. I couldn’t tell right away, but this ‘feeling’ that itches in the back of my neck…it hasn’t been wrong once. There’s something…there should be something.

“C-Captain, only grabbing three points is r-rough!” (Jean)

What? Even with that much physical strength, there’s no way…hm. I see. There’s…magic silver wedges buried here and there in this wall.

Jean has the strange constitution of losing stamina when close to this kind of silver materials. Magic silver has slight silver mixed in it, so he must be affected by it. However, that’s not all.

These magic silver wedges have runes edged in them. A rune to mitigate fire mana? 

“…Fumu, a trap that saps away stamina, huh.” (Solje)

“T-There’s something like that here?!” (Jean)

“Yeah, the owner must be crazy… If you fall from this height, normal people would die.” (Solje)

“C-Captain, are you okay?!” (Jean)

“Yeah, thanks to the dragon mana. A low grade magic like this is automatically cancelled.” (Solje)

“A-Amazing… I am close to my limit…!” (Jean)

“…Hm, w-wait, you idiot, don’t touch that rock!!” (Solje)

“Eh?” (Jean)

*Click*

It was too late. I feel like something was activated. Right, I remember this. It was the magic landmine that Riel ingeniously concealed.

“C-Captain, there’s something below my hand that made a sound…!” (Jean)

“It’s the landmine of Riel.” (Solje)

“L-Landmine?!” (Jean)

“She set countermeasures.” (Solje)

“W-What should we do?” (Jean)

“…Nothing. There’s nothing that can dispel that.” (Solje)

“N-No way!” (Jean)

“Sorry, it was my mistake in command…” (Solje)

“Captain is not at fault. It is my fault for not obeying orders…!” (Jean)

No, you are not in the wrong. I simply dragged you into this. 

“Jean, jump at the same time as the explosion!!” (Solje)

“Eh?” (Jean)

“That’s the way to reduce the damage of it the most. Retreat.” (Solje)

“…U-Understood… What about Captain?” (Jean)

“There’s no retreat in the dictionary of the Strauss.” (Solje)

“T-That’s Captain! …M-May your journey be blessed!!” (Jean)

*Jump!*

Jean kicked the wall. The next instant, the landmine activated, and an explosion happened close to my feet. Jean disappeared in within the blast…and…yeah, he is okay.

He must have received some damage from that, but he managed to land on the hot spring. 

A giant pillar of water was raised.

He won’t be dying. It will only hurt like hell. That’s basically saying he is totally okay.

“…So you really did come, Solje Strauss!!” 

“Hm!” (Solje)

It is Riel.

From the fence of the female bath that is several metres up, Riel pokes her face out and looks down to where I am. And from both of her sides, Mia and Loroka show their faces too.

“Ahaha, Onii-chan, you doing well?” (Mia)

“Captain, that’s sexual harassment, good grief…!” (Loroka)

“…N-No, with beauties like you girls, it would be rude not to peek, right?” (Solje)

“Don’t spout nonsense. Peeking on someone bathing is obviously ruder.” (Riel)

Riel throws logic to me. Shit, it hit right in my conscience. 

“…Throwing logic to a person doing a prank is cheating!!” (Solje)

“Hmph. Well, fine. You won’t be able to break through this line of defense after all.” (Riel)

“W-What?” (Solje)

“I thought that since Jean is an unlucky one, he would be the first one to fall to it. And when that happens, you would notice that there’s magic landmines. That’s why, further up is like this.” (Riel)

Riel snaps her fingers. 

The concealing spell of the forest elf was undone, and in front of me, an innumerable amount of magic landmines showed up. 

Unbelievable! This is not only 10 or 20!! This is on a whole other level!!

That’s right, a frightening amount of magic landmines were set in this tough rock wall. How can this be. There’s practically no openings. 

“This isn’t fair!!” (Solje)

“Hmph. That’s coming from a sexual offender?” (Riel)

“Don’t call me a s-sexual offender! I-It was a prank of sorts!!” (Solje)

“I don’t think that’s gonna get you out of this, Captain…” (Loroka)

Loroka-sensei says this while making a strained laugh. Yeah, peeking wouldn’t fall into the prank category.

“…T-Then! I will make it so that it isn’t a crime!!” (Solje)

“Huh?” (Riel)

“Riel, you are my girlfriend!! That’s why it is safe to look at your naked body, right?” (Solje)

“D-Don’t just say whatever!” (Riel)

“Shush! This is a match!” (Solje)

“Match?” (Riel)

That’s right, Tsundere Elf! When challenged to a match, you are the type to buy it.

“Fine! I will settle this clearly here!!” (Riel)

Easy!!

“Okay! If I manage to overcome this landmine hell and reach all the way there…welcome me bare!! With drinks ready to pour for me!” (Solje)

“Hahaha!! Okay. Try and see if you can!!” (Riel)

“You said it. I will make you regret it!!” (Solje)

The two of us bare in the bath? Don’t think it will end with just pouring drinks, Riel Harveld!! I’mma get that booty!

…B-But! 

There’s really no openings to go through. What should I do? It would be impossible in the normal way. Then…

“[Fireball]!” (Solje)

I create a fireball on the tip of my index finger. It is a basic level fire spell. I shoot that into the magic landmines.

*BOOOOOOM!!*

The magic landmines explode. The ones far away from me, that is.

“T-That’s cheating! Are you planning on cleaning them up like that?!” (Riel)

“Shush! Now that it is a match, challenging it head on at full power is the knight’s code!!” (Solje)

Really? …Even when I said it myself, I questioned it. Oh well, I have the expectations of Jean on my back. I gotta enter the Shangri-la! 

“Uuh, he is slowly climbing up!! B-But accurately controlling magic in that position shouldn’t be easy for a human like you. I wonder how long you will be able to last. Your concentration and stamina aren’t infinite!” (Riel)

Indeed. But Riel-chan, you don’t understand. The overwhelming power of libido!! There’s not only physical and magic power; people can overcome the limits with the power of desires!! 

“Hehehe!! I wonder about that. Just you wait. I’m getting that feast!!” (Solje)

“S-Scary!! W-What are you planning on doing?!” (Riel)

“Hehehe.” (Solje)

“D-Don’t laugh! You are scaring me here!!” (Riel)

“Shush! I’mma treat you real good, so wash yourself and wait for me!!” (Solje)

“W-What do you plan on doing to me?!” (Riel)

Riel draws back with a red face. And then, returns soon after.

Her ‘tsun’ part begins.

“Take this!!” (Riel)

“Agh?!” (Solje)

Something hit my head. As expected of the bow princess who is good at shooting things. I don’t know what hit me, but it was at an unbelievable speed. It plain hurt. 

“Uuh, he is not falling!! Once more, take this!!” (Riel)

“Too soft!!” (Solje)

Don’t underestimate my reaction that can even catch flying arrows!! 

*Grab!!*

My right hand grabs the thing that was thrown at me. This is..I see, soap. That would hurt a decent amount. Also…this is bad. 

Riel, don’t notice. Don’t. If she uses this effectively, it would be incredibly bad.

“Ununu!! Mia, bring more soap—wait, Mia, what’s that?” (Riel)

“Loroka-neechan said you can use this.” (Mia)

This is bad!! The tsundere and the yandere are decently stupid, but the Diaros is crazy intelligent!!

I have to deal with the magic landmines quickly!! I shoot fireballs successively and destroy the landmines one after the other. 

But I didn’t make it in time.

Riel Harveld is smiling sadistically.

“Solje Strauss, this is a present from the female team.” (Riel)

“…I can imagine what it is, but it is seriously dangerous, so don’t.” (Solje)

“Rejected. Drop to hell, you horndog!!” (Riel)

Horndog is a bit excessive.

But Riel, who is feeling danger to her body, was more ruthless than usual. She will most likely pour from above the soap water that Loroka made.

I underestimated the Diaros culture.

I didn’t expect them to go this far… If I fall from this height, an amateur would die, you know?

Aah, damn it. The dissolved soap is wetting my path.

“Here comes some more!!” (Mia)

Mia seems to be innocently producing more soap water. What innocent killing intent. As expected of my little sister. But the rampaging Riel grinned evilly, and this time around, she poured that soap water my way.

My whole body is slippery. Damn it!! Are you a fiend?! If you do that, even I—

*Slip*

“Uo?!” (Solje)

Finally, my fingers slipped. Even the fingers of my legs that tried to brace themselves grabbed air, and finally, I was in a state where only the middle and pinky finger of my left hand were supporting my body…!

“Hahahaha!! Looks like it is our victory, Solje Strauss!!” (Riel)

“W-What?! …Not yet. I haven’t fallen yet!” (Solje)

“It is a matter of time, but leaving things hanging isn’t to my taste. I will finish you off with my own hands.” (Riel)

Riel was taking aim with a wooden bath tub. Adding more soap water? …No, that’s not it. It probably has a lot of hot water in it. It must have a decent amount of weight. 

“Goodbye, Solje Strauss!!” (Riel)

This elf that’s supposed to be my girlfriend shouted that kind of thing, and without any restraint or mercy, threw down the bathtub aiming at me.

All paths have been closed. 

There’s nothing I can do. That weight will hit my head and my balance that’s at its limit will crumble.

My fingers easily slipped…and the strength connecting me to the cliff had been cut to pieces. 

I could feel the gravity coiling around my body.

The ground is pulling me down.

Wingless humans have nothing they can do in this situation. I simply fall. I fall and hit the hot spring ass first!!

My ass hurt like hell and my vision was covered by the pillar of water made of hot spring water.

Right after, the water rained down, and a sense of defeat attacked me…

So this is how it ends…

I can hear the laughter of Riel. Riel high above thinks that she has won and is laughing.

…But Riel-chan, I hate losing. Don’t think that my feelings for boobs are going to disappear with just one defeat. 

I stand up once again.

I tear off my eyepatch covering my left eye. 

The shining golden magic eye is fully open.

If you don’t care about the means, I will do the same.

“…Let’s go for a second round then!!” (Solje)

Previos Chapter l Next Chapter

 

6 thoughts on “DK – Chapter 61-62: Inside the darkness of Zakuroa

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