“It is not like you will be exploring alone the whole time from here on, right? Our partner relationship has not been undone, right?!” (Sumire)
“It hasn’t, Sumire.” (Eugene)
I answered with a wry smile.
“Eugene, I will come back after a bit more! 10 days more and the details of the academy festival will be solidified, and my work as the student council president will be done for a while! Just wait a bit more!” (Sara)
“Got it. Once the three of us are back together, let’s resume our exploration as a team.” (Eugene)
I soothe Sara who is all agitated here.
The two of them were staring at me with their big eyes.
“Eugene-kun, don’t be reckless on your own, okay?” (Sumire)
“Yeah, I will be careful.” (Eugene)
Sumire grabbed my hand tightly with watery eyes.
I pet her head gently.
“Eugene…I am worried. You can’t attack monsters on your own, right?” (Sara)
“Yeah, but this is training as well. I will stop if it gets dangerous, Sara.” (Eugene)
Sara pushed Sumire away and drew her body closer to mine.
Sumire glared at Sara.
“Sara-chan, how about returning to the student council already? I will keep Eugene-kun company.” (Sumire)
“What about your magic lessons, Sumire-chan? I will talk with Eugene.” (Sara)
“No no, you are busy, so there’s no need to be considerate here, Sara-chan☆.” (Sumire)
“You are the one that’s busy, right, Sumire-chan? There’s no need to be reserved☆.” (Sara)
Sumire and Sara exchange smiles.
“Then, how about we go back together, Sara-chan?” (Sumire)
“Right, Sumire-chan.” (Sara)
The two of them grab each other’s hands tightly -to the point that I feel like I could even hear when they grabbed each other.
“See ya, Eugene-kun!” (Sumire)
“Do your best, Eugene!” (Sara)
Sumire and Sara returned to the academy with their hands held.
I felt like they were talking to each other at a low volume, but I couldn’t hear them.
(The two of them get along better now~.) (Eugene)
I was thinking about that and…
(You become an idiot sometimes, Eugene.) (Eri)
The voice of Eri rang in my head.
It seems like she heard our conversation.
(The relationship between Sumire and Sara is better than before though.) (Eugene)
(You don’t get it~. It is just that they are not fighting in front of you, but they are all thorny and muddy at the back, you know?) (Eri)
(You should learn more about the heart of women, Eugene.) (Eri)
Eri reprimanded me.
But where do I even learn about the heart of women?
The face of the womanizer dragon knight showed up in my head for a moment, but I feel like he would say ‘why don’t you go out with both?’.
(No, maybe that’s an option…?) (Eugene)
Polygamy isn’t rare in the Empire.
There’s many cases where nobles would have several wives for the sake of an heir.
As for the Emperor, he has more than ten consorts.
“It is hard to match the names and faces of my stepmothers~” -is what my childhood friend Airi would say often.
(But, how to say it…Pops is…) (Eugene)
He hasn’t remarried once since mother died and has stayed a bachelor.
It is because he is loyal to mother.
That’s why I was thinking about marrying just one person.
I was rejected by that person though…
(Oh my, you have me though.) (Eri)
(…What did you say, Eri?) (Eugene)
(I am your first time, so I am perfect to be your wife, right?) (Eri)
(…L-Listen here…) (Eugene)
Would Pops be horrified if I were to tell him I am marrying the Demon Lord?
He is a pretty nonchalant person, so he might unexpectedly just laugh out loudly at it.
And most of all…
(No, in the first place, my relationship with you is…) (Eugene)
I am simply looking after her as my job in the animal club.
I ended up making a contract with her due to the flow of events though.
Most of all, what does Eri think about me?
(I like you, Eugene.) (Eri)
Words that she has told me more than a hundred times.
Those sweet words were about to shake my heart.
(Hey hey, what do you think of me, Eugene?) (Eri)
(I am grateful, Eri.) (Eugene)
(That’s boring~. A man that’s more faithful to his desires can become stronger, you know? Don’t you know about the saying: heroes love variety**?) (Eri) <It means that heroes are full of vitality, so their relationships with women is proactive.>
I know that there’s a lot of tales about heroes that are like that, but…is it really the case?
While I was having that conversation with Eri, I arrived in front of the dungeon elevator.
(It is about time for me to go to my exploration, Eri.) (Eugene)
(Okay~☆. Do your best, Eugene.) (Eri)
(Thanks, I will.) (Eugene)
(Right! You are soon going to face the Floor Boss, right? Show your face at my place before that. It would be better to replenish your mana.) (Eri)
Actually, spending a night with Eri uses more stamina than getting through one floor.
(I should take a break from exploration on the days I meet Eri.) (Eugene)
I think that as I got on the dungeon elevator.
◇3 days later◇
—Floor 60: In front of the Floor Boss’s Territory.
“Eugene Santafield challenges Floor 60’s Floor Boss.” (Eugene)
I was facing the Floor Boss alone.
I have told Sumire and Sara that I would face the boss.
They were really worried, but I promised them I would run away if it gets dangerous.
There’s a giant moving tree standing in front of me.
There’s a big face in the middle of the trunk of that giant tree, and it is looking down at me with incredible pressure.
“So the boss is a Treant King, huh…” (Eugene)
It is fitting to have as a Floor Boss in a sea of trees zone.
It is understandably big as a tree monster.
— “The challenge of the explorer Eugene has been acknowledged. Godspeed.”
The Angel Voice resonates on the floor.
Many Treants began growing from the surroundings of the Treant King.
The Treant King doesn’t move from its place, but the Treants can move freely.
I can’t reach the king without defeating them.
*Swish, Swish, Swish, Swish, Swish, Swish, Swish, Swish, Swish*
The leaves of the Treant King were raining on me.
The leaves of the Treant King have mana and miasma in them, and are like blades.
It can easily slice a normal human.
They are raining on me as if they were throwing knives.
Several hundreds of Treants on land.
Leaf blades attack me endlessly from the air.
(It would have been easy with Sumire here…) (Eugene)
Even if the Treant King is being protected by mana and miasma, it is still a tree in the end.
It is weak to fire.
That’s why it should be possible to burn it down with the magic of Sumire who is an Ifrit.
But there’s no point in asking for what’s not here.
— “Twin Heavenly Resonance Style: Wood Form – [Nekoyanagi**].” (Eugene) <Rose-gold Willow>
I used a sword technique and bided my time as I avoided the attacks.
But the leaf blades were not lowering their pace and the Treants were only increasing in numbers.
(This is rough…) (Eugene)
I can’t attack the Treant King without getting close to it as a swordsman.
Moreover, if it were just a normal monster, I could just aim for the neck, but I am dealing with a tree monster.
There’s the need to find the magic core that is the heart of the monster, and destroy it accurately.
Should I come back some other time? -is what I began thinking when…
(What are you getting all weak on your knees for, Eugene?) (Eri)
The voice of Eri rang in my head.
(Even if you tell me that, isn’t it hard to break through this?) (Eugene)
I can attack if I borrow the Dark Mana of Eri.
But the number of Treants is so much that I will end up running out of mana before I reach the Treant King.
(Fufufu…that’s where my Purple Mana comes into play.) (Eri)
(Purple… Poison, huh.) (Eugene)
One of the 3 mana colors of the Demon Lord Erinyes.
Purple Mana rules over poison and curse.
Poison eats onto the enemy physically and Curse will do so mentally.
(Now, wish for it; wish that you want to use the Purple Mana of the Demon Lord.) (Eri)
I hesitated for a bit, but this is just going to get worse at this rate.
If I am going to retire here, I might as well try it out.
I take a stance with my sword and mutter in my heart…
(The contractor, Eugene, wishes of the Demon Lord Erinyes… Grant a touch of Purple Mana onto this hand…) (Eugene)
I felt as if the blood from my whole body boiled.
The blade was being dyed in a creepy purple color.
“Barrier Magic: [Steel Heart]! [Light Veil]!” (Eugene)
I had a bad feeling, so I protected my body and mind with barrier magic.
A Mana Sword that instilled disgust in me just from looking at it had been made.
(Mana Sword: Poison Blade… It is pretty decent for your first time.) (Eri)
Eri says this in a good mood.
(But how am I going to attack the Treant King with this?) (Eugene)
I can’t use a big spell that blows up a whole ton of monsters at the same time like Sumire, and I can’t use long range attacks consecutively like Sara.
Eri is not saying anything.
But she isn’t someone who would make me do pointless things.
I look at the pulsing purple Mana Sword.
I most likely can only do two attacks with this Mana Sword.
The mana that I borrowed from the Demon Lord will run out with that.
The leaf blade attacks from the Treant King are not stopping.
They then fall on the ground and Treants are born one after the other.
That’s when I suddenly noticed.
(Could it be that the Treants are being born at…) (Eugene)
I strain my eyes.
That’s when I noticed.
(The roots… The roots of the Treant King are spread all around Floor 60.) (Eugene)
The place I should be attacking has been decided.
I avoided the rain of leaf blades and aimed for the moment when the Treant sprouted out from the ground.
I didn’t use any sword technique and stabbed the exposed root the moment the Treant was born with my Poison Blade.
The Treant King’s root that was stabbed by the gooey sword changed color and melted.
There wasn’t a big change on the Treant King at first.
However, the leaf blades slowly decreased in numbers.
The speed in which the Treants were being created dulled, too.
The face of the Treant King is warped in pain.
Could it be that the poison is working?
(With this…) (Eugene)
— “Twin Heavenly Resonance Style: Wind Form – [Wind Step].” (Eugene)
I close the distance to the Treant King in one go.
The Treant King’s face was at the trunk, and it was glaring at me hatefully.
The Treant King is so big that I doubt I will be able to defeat it just by slicing at it.
I most likely can only use the Poison Blade one more time.
In that case, I shall hit it with my strongest attack.
— “Twin Heavenly Resonance Style: Fire Form – [Dance of the Lion].” (Eugene)
The technique that ended the Floor Boss in the 10th Floor was slammed onto the face of the Treant King.
The Treant King shook its giant body in a painful way.
The ground trembled and the roots underground came out and began to rampage.
The roots of the Treant King that were wriggling like an octopus eventually stopped moving.
And then, the Treants surrounding me began to fall in droves.
The leaf blades that were attacking me were fallen leaves now.
The Demon Lord’s mana…is impressive.
(Right? Be grateful, Eugene.) (Eri)
(You saved me there, Eri.) (Eugene)
I thanked her honestly.
Looks like it is possible to defeat a boss from Floor 60 alone by borrowing the power of Eri.
— “Victory of the explorer Eugene. Congratulations.”
I was watching Eugene-kun from the big screen in the cafeteria of the academy.
The artificial victory announcement from the screen rang.
It was right during lunch break, so I came with my friends to the cafeteria.
“Uwaah, Eugene-san defeated the boss of Floor 60 alone, Sumire-chan.” (Leona)
Leona-san munched on meat and vegetables sandwiched in bread while saying this amazed.
“Floor 60 alone… That really is crazy. It is just like Eugene-kun though.” (Teresia)
Teresia-chan said this while amazed, too.
That’s right, I am having lunch with Leona-san and Teresia-san.
They are both good friends, but this is the first time all 3 of us gather.
Cause you know…Leona-san and Teresia-san are being two-timed by the friend of Eugene-kun, Claude-kun!
The two of them should be love rivals, and yet…
“By the way, is Eugene-san not going to invite Claude?” (Leona)
“He apparently did…Claude-kun, that is. But he was apparently rejected because he wanted to train alone. Claude-kun was dejected.” (Teresia)
Leona-san and Teresia-san are having a normal conversation.
“Heeh, really? When did you hear that?” (Leona)
“Yesterday night. It is Leona-san’s turn tonight, so how about you ask him?” (Teresia)
“Right. I will make fun of Claude who’s still sad for being rejected by Eugene-san.” (Leona)
“Don’t bully Claude-kun too much, Leona.” (Teresia)
“Oh? But don’t you say pretty harsh stuff to him too, Teresia?” (Leona)
“Really? I think you are harsher to him than me though.” (Teresia)
“Is that so?” (Leona)
“It is so.” (Teresia)
I was listening to their conversation.
Looks like Leona-san and Teresia-san have settled with being the girlfriends of Claude-kun.
H-How does that work?
“Hey, Sumire-chan, is it okay to not explore together with Eugene-san?” (Leona)
Leona-san spoke to me while I was spacing out.
“Y-Yeah! I have told Eugene-kun that I will be grouping up with him again when my concentration lesson is done.” (Sumire)
“That said, it is abnormal that he can defeat a Floor Boss by himself. How far does he plan on going alone?” (Leona)
“It kind of reminds me of the legendary explorer, Cristo.” (Teresia)
I can tell what Eugene-kun is doing is pretty uncommon from the conversation of the two.
No, I can tell even by just watching the footage.
The Treant King was bigger than any of the bosses we have fought until now.
The intensity of its attacks are most likely number one until now.
And yet, he easily…
“If only I could control my magic better…” (Sumire)
I gathered mana on my right hand and a small Fireball floated there.
…*Tsst… Crack! Crack!! Pop!*
Even a small fireball is not stable.
It is unstable like a bomb on the verge of exploding.
I sighed and erased the fireball.
“It is so strange. The magic of Sumire-san is like the mana is alive… But it seems like it will be hard to use it in a stable manner as it is now.” (Teresia)
The sage apprentice Teresia-san pointed this out.
“Hmm, Sumire-chan just recently came to this world, so I think it is plenty good though.” (Leona)
Leona-san followed up.
“But the exploration progress of Eugene-kun is faster than the improvement of Sumire-san’s magic.” (Teresia)
“I wonder how I can be of help to Eugene-kun…” (Sumire)
Leona-san looked worried at me.
I know that there’s no point in hurrying.
Even so, I just can’t relax seeing Eugene-kun going ahead more and more all by himself.
Can I really call myself his partner like this?
“Hey, Sumire-san.” (Teresia)
Teresia-san said this after looking at my state.
“Are you willing to do anything for the sake of Eugene-kun?” (Teresia)
“Do you have an idea, Teresia?” (Leona)
“Really, Teresia-san?!” (Sumire)
I leaned my body forward by reflex.
“Woah there… It is a pretty special method, so I don’t really recommend it. Or more like, I feel like President Sara will get angry at me if I were to tell you this… Hmm, what should I do…” (Teresia)
“Eeh, don’t say it is a secret after telling us this much, Teresia. Just spit it out.” (Leona)
“Well…that’s true.” (Teresia)
Saying this, Teresia-san told me that ‘special method’.
That certainly is a crazy method.
>Are the Holy Maidens of the South Continent as important as the Holy Maidens of the West Continent?
>Or are they just called the same but are a completely different concept?
It is a different concept.
I am writing this on the premise that the readers don’t know about the previous work, so even when the words showing up are the same, please think of them as different ones.
By the way, the Holy Maidens of the South Continent are simply a title that was borrowed from the Holy Maiden-sama of legends.
They don’t really have the powers of a Holy Maiden.
The readers that thought ‘it was interesting!’ or ‘I want to read more!’, please support the author by giving them a ★★★★★ rating!
■Next Update: August 28th.
■Author’s Comment: The manga version of Zero Believers Chapter 23: Takatsuki Makoto fights together with the Light Hero Ⅱ has been published on August 19th.
I read all the comments, but I am sorry that I don’t have the time to answer them all.
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