“Makoto, are we getting on that?” (Lucy)
“Uwaaa, so big~.” (Aya)
At the place Lucy and Sa-san were pointing at, there’s several tens of Flying Battleships.
The prided air force of Great Keith, the Crimson Wings.
They were lined up in the sky of the capital.
Their presence was quite overwhelming.
“Then, let’s go, Hero Makoto-dono.” (Tariska)
“Uhm…General Tariska, we can go to Highland on the Flying Ship of a friend of ours though…” (Makoto)
General Tariska had come all the way to our inn with a ton of subordinates in tow.
What’s with this feeling as if we can’t run away from this?
“We are going the same way. On top of that, it is not only Hero Makoto-dono, the Fire Country’s Hero Aya-dono is also present. As such, it is natural for us to accompany you, don’t you think?” (Tariska)
“Hero Makoto, let’s accept the sincerity of the General.” (Sofia)
Princess Sofia whispered in my ear.
When I directed my eyes at her, her eyes were saying ‘let’s give up’.
“This place is hot. Let’s get on already, My Knight.” (Furiae)
Furiae-san was holding an umbrella.
But it seems like, even with that, she is still feeling the heat, and she was glaring at the sunlight as if annoyed by it.
Tsui was sleeping on top of the umbrella.
I am surprised it isn’t falling off.
“Got it, Princess. Everyone, let’s go.” (Makoto)
I gave up and got on the Flying Battleship of the Fire Country.
A few hours after departure.
I was sitting on a chair in a meeting room of the battleship together with General Tariska and the others.
Princess Sofia, Prince Leonard, Lucy, Sa-san, and Furiae-san were here too.
There were soldiers of the Fire Country lined up around the room.
(It is hard to relax…) (Makoto)
I would have preferred the Flying Ship of Fuji-yan.
But Fuji-yan has returned to Makkaren for now.
It is to leave Kawakita-san with Chris-san.
When adding the conversation from the other day, it sounds slightly ominous, but for Kawakita-san, who is currently homeless and jobless, Makkaren is most likely the safest place for her.
Fuji-yan said he would catch up with us later.
“Now then, everyone, there’s something I would like to tell you all.” (Tariska)
General Tariska looked at us from the center of the giant round table.
It seems like he will be explaining to us the circumstances behind the sudden order.
“As you know already, Great Keith sends many warriors to the Demonic Continent on the regular, and we gather information of the Demon Lord army.” (Tariska)
Heeh, is that so.
Does the Water Country not do that?
I glance at Princess Sofia.
(We don’t have people who can do that…) (Sofia)
The sadness of a weak country.
“According to the reports, there have been big movements from the demons and monsters of the Demonic Continent. The Beast King Zagan, and the Sea Monster King Forneus; there’s been reports that their subordinates are gathering.” (Tariska)
Everyone gulped at the words of General Tariska.
The Beast King rules over a huge plain which is comprised of the Poison Lake of Ashes and the Phantom Desert.
The subordinates of the Sea Monster King are sea monsters, so all the coasts of the Demonic Continent are their turf.
They normally don’t act together, so these two gathering must mean…
“A military move?” (Leo)
Prince Leonard asks General Tariska.
“Most likely.” (Tariska)
The General nods heavily.
“The leaders of the Demon Lord army have acted a few times in the past as well. However, there was information that the Demon Lords themselves were at the center of this call. This hasn’t happened since the battle 100 years ago.”
One of the Fire Country knights explained.
“100 years ago… The battle where Rosalie-san became a legend?” (Makoto)
“That’s right. The war where Mama and the Highland Hero fought together against the Insect King Valac.” (Lucy)
I converse with Lucy in a low voice.
It has been 100 years since the Demon Lords themselves moved.
This certainly is big news.
I remember the history lessons I got in the Water Temple about the West Continent.
The darkness of 1,000 years ago.
There were 10 Demon Lords with the Great Demon Lord as the summit.
Great Demon Lord, Iblis.
Dragon King, Astaroth.
Beast King, Zagan.
Sea Monster King, Forneus.
Giant King, Goliath.
Immortal King, Bifrons.
Insect King, Valac.
Fallen Angel King, Erinyes.
Fiend King, Barbatos.
And the Apostle of Noah-sama, the Crazed Hero, Cain.
They ruled over the whole world.
All the continents in the east, west, north, south, and the ocean, and even the Floating Continent that’s said to be somewhere in the world.
The world was covered in black clouds that didn’t clear up, and every person was a slave of the demons; an era of darkness.
Savior Abel suddenly appeared and defeated the Great Demon Lord.
There were Demon Lords who were also defeated by Savior Abel.
Demon Lords who went missing after the fall of the Great Demon Lord.
Demon Lords who shut themselves in the Demonic Continent together with their subordinates, waiting for the time when the Great Demon Lord revives.
And the Demon Lords in the Demonic Continent are finally beginning to move in order to rule the world once again.
But this is a whole lot better of a situation compared to 1,000 years ago.
The Great Demon Lord hasn’t revived yet, and there’s 3 Demon Lords remaining.
The 3 remaining Demon Lords including the oldest dragon and strongest Demon Lord, Astaroth, are at the top even within the 9 Demon Lords.
Their war potential is unknown.
The General says this as if trying to change the mood.
“According to the Fire Goddess Sol-sama, there’s still time before the Great Demon Lord’s revival. Isn’t that right, Dahlia?” (Tariska)
“Yes, that’s right. That’s why we should be the ones doing the first move.” (Dahlia)
The Fire Oracle, Dahlia-san, was obviously present in this meeting.
Hero Olga was by her side, but she is docile like a borrowed cat.
“I am bothered by the movements in the Demonic Continent. Demons normally don’t do sly stuff, but…” (Dahlia)
“Within the Demon Lord army, there’s the betrayers of humanity, the gathering of devilkin, the Snake Church. There’s no assurance that they won’t be scheming anything with them in their ranks. They do specialize in it after all.”
I was bothered by the wording of ‘the devilkin, betrayers of humanity’, and looked at the back with Perspective Change.
I saw Furiae-san with a bitter expression.
(Should I say anything?) (Makoto)
I sent a gaze to Furiae-san…
(…It is fine, just shut up and listen.) (Furiae)
Is the kind of gaze she directed at me.
I’m feeling conflicted about that, but I decide to just listen silently.
“The Northern Expedition in 1 month is because, according to the Oracle-dono of the Destiny Goddess Ira-sama, it will be more than 60 days before the resurrection of the Great Demon Lord. The minute details of the plan will be briefed on at the Sun Country when all the Heroes are gathered. Do you have a question till here?” (Tariska)
Silence covers the meeting room.
(So the Great Demon Lord will resurrect in 2 months at the earliest…) (Makoto)
It has been around 2 years since I came to this world.
There were many personal dangerous situations, but the West Continent was peaceful.
If I hadn’t picked a fight with the Snake Church, I would have explored dungeons of my own choice, and would have enjoyed a carefree isekai life.
But what’s going to begin now is a war.
Demons vs humans, beastkins, elves, and many others. A war together with the allied countries.
(Hm? …If I remember correctly, there’s people living in other places aside from the West Continent, right?) (Makoto)
“General, I’ve got a question.” (Makoto)
I raised my hand as if it were school.
Everyone looks over here.
…I am not good with attention.
“What is it, Hero-dono?” (Tariska)
“Are we not going to be acting together with the countries of other continents?” (Makoto)
Leaving aside the Floating Continent that’s not well known where it is, there’s the East and South Continent, and there should be humans and other races living there.
It doesn’t seem like there’s much exchange between them, so I wasn’t taught much information in the Water Temple though.
“…Right, you are an otherworlder, Hero Makoto-dono. It can’t be helped that you don’t know. We have sent messengers to the other continents to ask for assistance, but…” (Tariska)
The South Continent has 3 big countries.
The relationship between those 3 isn’t good, but it is not to the extent that it is dangerous.
Highland represented the West Continent and sent an envoy to the Empire that has the biggest scale in the South Continent.
However, the South Continent and the North Continent have a lot of distance in between them, so they passed on the Northern Expedition.
‘If the Great Demon Lord resurrects, they won’t hold back in their cooperation’, was apparently their response.
The two other countries also did the same.
As for the East Continent, it was a completely lost cause.
There’s currently a lot of countries fighting for the hegemony of the continent.
There’s currently no knowing which country will win, and if the West Continent were to sent and envoy to any one country, it might bring the sparks of conflict to the West Continent as well.
Because of that, they haven’t requested for their cooperation.
“It is said that the West Continent would be the first one to be aimed at once the Great Demon Lord resurrects. It is the closest to the Demonic Continent, coupled with the fact that Savior Abel came from the West Continent.” (Tariska)
“…I see. I understand now. Thanks for the explanation.” (Makoto)
The West Continent is the one closest to the threat of the Demonic Continent, and it is the one with the deepest fear towards the Great Demon Lord.
That’s why there’s almost no war between the countries, and they managed to prepare themselves for the battle against the demons.
But the other continents don’t have the same sense of danger as the West Continent.
They can’t be counted on.
(What a rough situation…) (Makoto)
The meeting that day ended.
A few days later.
The Fire Country’s flying battleship force arrived safely to the Symphonia capital.
The giant Highland Castle was getting bigger and bigger as we got closer.
The one in Gamuran was big as well, but this one is definitely bigger.
At the front of the giant fortress city, there’s the statue of Savior Abel holding up a sword.
This greenish statue reminds me of the Statue of Liberty.
I felt something strange.
What is it?
“Waah, I can see it now. The capital of the Sun Country. Wonder if Eri-chan is doing well.” (Aya)
Sa-san had her body pushed against the handrails of the flying battleship.
I thought ‘that’s dangerous’, but the current Sa-san wouldn’t have a single scratch even if she were to fall from the flying battleship.
“Hey, Sa-san.” (Makoto)
“What is it?” (Aya)
“Was the statue of Savior Abel always that color?” (Makoto)
I spoke out about what was bothering me.
“Eh? I think it is the same though.” (Aya)
“…When I saw it before, I think it was a different color…” (Makoto)
Am I remembering wrong?
“I would notice if the color suddenly changed.” (Aya)
“Hmm, right.” (Makoto)
It is just as Sa-san said.
I must be remembering wrong.
“We will be landing soon. There’s a carriage waiting below, so let’s get in it and head to the Highland Castle.”
A subordinate of General Tariska guided us.
“Princess, we gotta go meet Sakurai-kun.” (Makoto)
Furiae-san averted her face probably to hide her embarrassment.
As for me, it has been a while since I have met Sakurai-kun.
But in this situation where the Demon Lord army is planning something, I think the Light Hero-sama will be busy.
Will he have time to talk if we go visit him?
I was thinking that while being shaken by the carriage and watching the scenery of the capital.
There’s a lot of people as always.
But only humans.
I don’t see elves and beastkin.
It is different from Rozes and Great Keith; the Symphonia capital has drawn a clear line between races.
Is the young mafia boss Peter still doing well?
I am also worried about the children in the church at the slums of the 9th District.
(But I got no time to worry about others, huh. A war is about to begin…) (Makoto)
It is just that a sense of danger isn’t welling up.
Maybe because I was raised in a peaceful lifestyle, or because of Clear Mind calming down my heart…
Most likely both.
Eventually, the carriage stopped in front of the giant gates of the Highland Castle.
I was going to go down the carriage, and Furiae-san spoke to me.
“Hey, My Knight, misfortune will befall you…probably?” (Furaie)
“Aah, I could see the future for a second there, but…I couldn’t really tell what it was.” (Furaie)
“Can you please stop stirring only my insecurity there?” (Makoto)
I direct a look of suspicion at Furiae-san while crossing the gates of the Highland Castle.
The stone pavings orderly lined up.
“Takatsuki-kun, stop.” (Aya)
Sa-san suddenly pulled my arm.
Even Sa-san. ‘What’s the matter?’, is what I was going to say.
A sudden flash.
And then, after a second, the ground shook.
After that, a cloud of dust rose, taking away my vision.
The Snake Church?!
I hurriedly unwrap my right arm and prepare for an enemy attack.
After the cloud of dust dispersed, there was a swordsman with blonde hair and golden armor that was dazzling to the eye.
There were sparks of Aura coming out from the armor.
“It has been a while, Rozes Hero, Takatsuki Makotooooo!!”
You don’t need to shout so much. I can hear you loud and clear.
“…Heya there, Gera-san. You seem to be doing well.” (Makoto)
“Lend me yer face fer a secoooond!!” (Geralt)
The one who showed up with delinquent talk was the Lightning Hero, Geralt Valentine.