TLN: Hey guys, Reigokai here!
Happy New Year to everyone! Let’s have a great year!
Also, I forgot to post it in the previous chapter, but the schedule for chapters has been updated. If you want to know more about it: https://isekailunatic.com/2021/12/24/not-a-chapter-about-schedule-for-caught-up-stories/.
Anyways, enjoy the chapter! :D!
A blue sky and sea that spreads as far as the eye can see.
But the sky and the sea are muddied in gray, and it is by no means a vibrant blue.
Even so, there’s still blue compared to the Highland capital.
Queen Noel and I are currently riding the waves with Water Magic.
Queen Noel wasn’t saying anything, and I was absentmindedly looking at the sky and sea while controlling the magic.
I am remembering the last moments of Cain.
The memory of my comrade disappearing right in front of me still remains strongly in my mind.
By the way, I couldn’t equip the pitch black armor and sword which are the sacred treasures of Noah-sama, and while I was troubled about it, they both began to gradually shrink, and became palm sized in no time.
It seems like it also has an enchantment that makes them easy to carry around.
As expected of Noah-sama.
They are currently in my pocket.
I have told Queen Noel where we are currently headed to.
If Queen Noel has an idea of where to go, I planned on sending her there, but it seems like the West Continent has fallen into the hands of the Calamity Witch.
We settled with the opinion that, even if we were to head to the big cities of the Sun Country, it would only end up in wasted effort.
And so, Queen Noel and I were currently moving without saying a word below this muddied sky.
It might be better to speak to her.
“Uhm, Noel-sama…” (Makoto)
When I spoke to Queen Noel, it overlapped with her.
“What’s the matter?” (Makoto)
“Go ahead first, Makoto-sama.” (Noel)
We pushed it onto each other, but the conversation won’t be moving like this, so I went ahead first.
That said, it is not like there’s any specific topic.
“Sakurai-kun’s wound was healed. I am glad he is okay.” (Makoto)
That’s what came out from me.
When talking about a topic we both share, it would be Sakurai-kun.
“Yeah…but it seemed like he was being controlled by the Calamity Witch. Even though the other people seemed to still be conscious to a certain extent…” (Noel)
But it didn’t work in improving her mood.
It is true that Sakurai-kun could barely even talk compared to Lucy and Sa-san.
“It can’t be helped… The Calamity Witch fears the Light Hero Skill of Sakurai-kun. But there’s no way Princess would harm Sakurai-kun, so I am sure he is okay. It doesn’t seem like the Calamity Witch is completely in control of Princess’s body. Let’s save him later.” (Makoto)
I said that in order to cheer her up somehow.
But Queen Noel was still making a complicated expression.
“When you speak of Princess, you are referring to Furiae, right, Makoto-sama? …Do you think she still has feelings for Ryosuke-san?” (Noel)
Those two certainly do give off the scent of a strange relationship.
The kind that’s higher than that of friendship.
At the time when Furiae-san was imprisoned, Sakurai-kun cheered her up.
This time around, Sakurai-kun has been brainwashed by Nevia-san.
The standings have reversed.
“Kuh, kill me.” (Sakurai)
The sight of Sakurai-kun chained up and opposing the Calamity Witch to not submit to her surfaced in my mind.
“Fufufu…it is pointless. No one will come to rescue you.” (Nevia)
Nevia-san laughs like an evil noble lady.
…No, not happening.
“…Makoto-sama? Are you thinking something weird?” (Noel)
“I-It is nothing. Hmm, I don’t know. It seems like Princess was saved by Sakurai-kun when she was imprisoned, and she seems to be grateful for that, so…I am sure she won’t do anything horrible to him.” (Makoto)
Is the only thing I could say to Queen Noel.
What else could I even say to her here?
“More importantly, weren’t you about to say something yourself, Noel-sama?” (Makoto)
Let’s change the topic.
“What I wanted to ask is about Cain.” (Noel)
“Cain…huh. What is it?” (Makoto)
Could it be that she can’t forgive me who is friends with the person that stabbed Sakurai-kun, Cain?
“Uhm…is it true that you married Anna-sama?!” (Noel)
About that, huh.
But it can’t be helped.
The Holy Maiden Anna is the founder of Highland.
She is the most important person lining up together with the Savior Abel.
If she heard that she married me, it is natural to want to confirm the truth of it.
No one is talking about it in the present.
Ira-sama said that it would heavily affect history, so it has been made as secret as possible.
…Also, I personally didn’t feel like proactively talking about it.
“About Anna-san…” (Makoto)
‘I haven’t married her’, is easy to say.
There’s barely anything recorded about what I did 1,000 years ago.
The normal populace doesn’t know that the former Hero of the Water Country, Takatsuki Makoto, went 1,000 years into the past.
The only ones who know the circumstances are Queen Noel, Princess Sofia, and a few of the related party.
Moreover, I asked the people of 1,000 years ago to please rewrite my achievements as being from Hero Abel in order to not change history as much as possible.
I told them that, if possible, make it so I myself didn’t even exist.
But Johny-san and Anna-san were vehemently against it, so I couldn’t make it that ‘I didn’t exist’.
Thanks to that, I am now standing in the mysterious 5th mage that no one knows what they did.
“What was your relationship with Anna-sama…?” (Noel)
Queen Noel was waiting for my words with bated breath.
Her face is just like that of Anna-san, and it ends up bringing back my memories of 1,000 years ago no matter what.
—“Makoto-san…I am so happy. I will treasure this ring for the rest of my life.”
The Anna-san in my memories put on the mythril ring made by the magic of Mel-san in her ring finger, and smiled sadly.
…I couldn’t bring myself to say ‘I haven’t married her’ towards Queen Noel who looks just like her.
It would make me feel like I am tarnishing the memory of Anna-san with that.
I slowly put my hand in my pocket.
There it laid the same exact pair ring of Anna-san.
At the time when I was going to be casted Cold Sleep, the Destiny Goddess said that it would be better to take off any metals, so it has stayed in my pocket as it is.
…I couldn’t bring myself to put it on in front of Lucy, Sa-san, and Princess Sofia.
“As Cain said, I married Anna-san 1,000 years ago.” (Makoto)
Saying this, I put the ring on my finger.
Seeing that ring, Queen Noel made a shocked expression.
“T-That ring! Please show it to me!” (Noel)
Queen Noel was staring intently at that ring as if her eyes were nailed to it.
“Makoto-sama…please look at this.” (Makoto)
Queen Noel showed me her own ring finger.
The ring that Sakurai-kun put on her at the ceremony the other day was shining.
“…They look similar.” (Makoto)
Of course, the making is completely different.
The ring of Queen Noel is made from orichalcum, and it is a piece of art made by many artisans.
On the other hand, my ring was made dubiously by the White Dragon-san who said ‘I don’t really understand the accessories of humans…’. That feeling of being hand-made is hard to take away from this one.
My ring is a design like that of warped ivy. It apparently represents the World Tree branches, and it holds the meaning of wishing for peace.
There’s small differences, but it has the same design as the one of Queen Noel.
The ring of Queen Noel is a more polished version of my crude one.
“The marriage ring of the royal family of Highland is an imitation of the ring that’s said to have been used by the Holy Maiden Anna-sama when she was alive. The original is being stored in the treasury as a national treasure, and I have rarely seen it…” (Noel)
“I see. So Anna-san has been using that ring the whole time, huh.” (Makoto)
Her sad face right before I went into Cold Sleep flashed into my mind.
—“Makoto-san, please save the world 1,000 years in the future as well, okay?”
The words of Anna-san play back.
I nodded slightly at that time.
Unfortunately, this is the result.
“Uhm, Makoto-sama!” (Noel)
“Y-Yes, what is it?” (Makoto)
I was sinking deep into my memories, and hurriedly turned back to Queen Noel.
“It was commonly known that the one Anna-sama married was Hero Abel. But the Highland royalty knows that is impossible.” (Noel)
“They are the same person after all.” (Makoto)
“Her marriage partner was a mystery for the longest of times. The Great Sage-sama said the whole time: ‘It is a promise with Anna, so I can’t tell you’. To think that it was actually Makoto-sama…” (Noel)
“Momo did…?” (Makoto)
I think it should be fine to tell the Highland royalty though.
I tilted my head and Queen Noel suddenly lowered her head.
“So you were the forefather of our Highland royalty then, Makoto-sama… Please forgive my many acts of rudeness until now.” (Noel)
“Please wait! I did marry Anna-san, but I didn’t have a child, you know?!” (Makoto)
Or more like, I haven’t done anything.
The Destiny Goddess said baffled: ‘Why did you marry her and didn’t put a hand on her?’.
It is not like I married her with that objective in mind.
“Eh…? Really?” (Noel)
“It was a constant battle with the Demon Lords 1,000 years ago after all. After dealing with all the Demon Lords, I immediately returned to the present, so we basically didn’t have a married life.” (Makoto)
“Uhm…then who was the partner of Anna-sama…?” (Noel)
“Who knows…” (Makoto)
Is it someone she met after I was in Cold Sleep?
It bothers me and at the same time I don’t want to ask…
Momo should know.
But if Anna-san doesn’t want to say it, it might be better not to ask.
“Makoto-sama! Please tell me in detail about Anna-sama…” (Noel)
“Noel-sama, our target is in sight.” (Makoto)
Queen Noel seemed like she wanted to hear about the past, but I cut that off.
Past the gray sea.
Small islands came into view.
Islands that are normally considered an everlasting paradise.
It is slightly apart from the West Continent, but the islands here are managed by the six kingdoms of the West Continent including the Sun Country.
Princess Sofia said that the Rozes royalty also has a number of villas there.
There’s two reasons as to why we are heading there this time around.
One, it is apart from the West Continent, and there’s the chance it hasn’t been affected by the Charm of the Calamity Witch.
Queen Noel and I were approaching the biggest building among the various residences there.
That residence is being managed by the Highland royalty after all.
The wave approached the sandy beach and I landed on the ground with Queen Noel.
It has been several hours since we have felt land.
I look up at the sky.
It is faintly muddied in gray, but it is faint compared to the West Continent.
How is it affecting the residents here…?
At that moment, several people ran here.
“Who are you people?! Do you not know this land is owned by the Highland royalty?!”
“Identify yourselves! If you don’t, we will do it by force!”
A number of knights came from the residence.
They must be the guards.
“Everyone, I extend my gratitude for your protection. The one here is Takatsuki Makoto-sama. The Legendary Hero of Rozes. You must know his name.” (Noel)
Queen Noel stepped up here.
“You were alright! Contact with the nation was suddenly cut off, and the people who went there to contact them directly haven’t returned…”
“Just what in the world is going on…? The sky and sea have changed into a strange color a few days ago, and I can feel there’s something abnormal going on though…”
“We will be explaining that from now on. Please gather the able people. Not only the Sun Country, but the people of the neighboring islands from other nations. I don’t mind you giving out my name. Please tell them it is an emergency.” (Noel)
The knights immediately ran off.
Maid-looking people were also running around from the other residences and they immediately stood at ready by the side of Queen Noel.
“As you suspected, Makoto-sama, it seems like this island is not under the control of the Calamity Witch.” (Noel)
“It is pretty far from the West Continent after all. That’s a relief…” (Makoto)
“We will be confirming the fighting force of the people in these islands, and plan our future actions. Please come with me as well, Makoto-sama…” (Noel)
“Please rest before that, Queen Noel. That’s not a healthy countenance you have there.” (Makoto)
“I don’t have the time for that!” (Noel)
“The West Continent would be done for if you were to collapse.” (Makoto)
Queen Noel seems to be brooding here.
“I have something I want to investigate, so I will be moving separately for a bit. Let’s meet up here once the sun goes down. Please recover your stamina by then.” (Makoto)
It doesn’t seem like she is pleased with the idea, but she nodded.
Even though we were both imprisoned, I was living a luxurious lifestyle while she was in a prison cell. The difference in exhaustion levels are worlds apart.
Also, I doubt Queen Noel has gone on adventures.
I can tell from her face that she is pretty exhausted.
“Then, see you later, Makoto-sama.” (Noel)
“Rest well, Noel-sama.” (Makoto)
I doubt she is in the mood for resting.
Queen Noel made a wry smile as she went to the residence.
“Now then…” (Makoto)
Confirming that Queen Noel left, I stretched widely.
I return to the beach once again.
Slowly stepped onto the sea.
“Water Magic: [Water Surface] and [Water Current].” (Makoto)
I controlled the sea water and moved it.
It accelerated in one go and the water roared noisily.
It is actually faster this way when moving on the sea rather than using a water dragon.
I was with Queen Noel, so I didn’t.
I checked out the islands of the Herbung Archipelago for a while.
As expected of a place where the West Continent royals and nobles use as a resort, the big mansions stood out.
I searched for the island I am looking for with those at the corner of my eye.
“Is it that?” (Makoto)
I found a familiar small island.
Because of the sea currents, you can’t arrive there by simply drifting around.
An uninhabited small island that’s not even 100 meters in radius.
That said, all islands were uninhabited at that time, and we chose this place as our base because there were no monsters.
An unmaintained rough sandy beach.
I step into the island and find rocks drawing a circle.
The rocks we used at the time when we were making a fire.
Well, because of how long it hasn’t been used, it has moss growing on it, and they are all scattered around because of the wind.
I lined them back up again one by one.
“This place hasn’t changed much.” (Makoto)
The base Cain and I used 1,000 years ago when we were trying to clear the Deep Sea Temple.
The second reason I came to the Herbung Archipelago.
It is because these islands are close to the Deep Sea Temple.
But because it is a Last Dungeon with the highest of difficulties that almost all adventurers ignore, there’s not even an Adventurer Guild here.
You can’t gather comrades here, and even if you did, they wouldn’t come here.
I would have wanted to come with Lucy and Sa-san if possible.
The two of them have become the number one adventurers of the Water Country, so I am sure they would have given me some good pointers.
Or maybe my reach to clearing it would have been closer with the help of Momo who is the number one mage of the West Continent now.
But they are currently imprisoned by the Calamity Witch.
I have to save my important comrades.
But, at this rate, we can’t match the Calamity Witch.
I don’t know how to undo Charms, and most of all, this ‘gray world’ barrier that apparently will cover this whole planet.
If this gets finished, the fate of this whole planet will be controlled by the Calamity Witch.
What should I do…?
Even when I think about it, the only thing I can think of is what Noah-sama said.
“…Even if the whole world is your enemy, I alone will be your ally.”
Did Noah-sama predict this situation?
At that time, I thought she was being cryptic, but it seems like it was exactly as she said.
Now is the time I would like her to guide me, but I can’t hear Noah-sama’s voice.
This must be because of the Calamity Witch’s barrier too.
The effect of the Charm hasn’t reached these islands, but it looks like the voices of the Goddesses are still being interfered with.
The Calamity Witch hated the gods that conferred unfair destinies.
She must think the guiding of gods is unnecessary for the residents of the Mortal Realm.
Then, I have no choice but to listen to the voice of Noah-sama directly.
“Let’s head…to the Deep Sea Temple.” (Makoto)
I have absolutely no confidence in clearing it as always.
But I can’t think of anything else.
If Noah-sama had predicted this, she might have told me a countermeasure.
It is a plan that leaves everything to the gods.
I slowly approach the beach.
When I looked up at the sky, the gray sun in the grayed blue sky was there.
It is a little after noon.
I promised Queen Noel to meet up after the sun goes down, so I still have a few hours left.
It has been 1,000 years since I challenged the Deep Sea Temple.
(Before a serious run, let’s investigate the surroundings…) (Makoto)
I approached the slightly rowdy sea and jumped in without hesitation.