Categories: Zero Attack Power

ZAP – Chapter 103: Eugene accompanies the crusade

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Reigokai: Hey guys, two chapters today! Make sure you didn’t miss the previous one~.

—A few days have gone by since we arrived in the holy capital of Arshaam.

We were making preparations for the expedition to the nest of the Great Demonic Beast Raum in Shishapangma.

That said, there’s not much preparation we need to do as students of the magic academy who are used to exploring the Last Dungeon for a long period of time.

The most we need to do is buy several days worth of rations.

I greeted the parents of Sara before the expedition, but they were both extremely strict believers of the Goddess Church.

I was so nervous and the talk was long…

“Eugene-kun, what kind of relationship do you have with Sara?”

“Which Goddess do you follow?”

“You seem to be a magic swordsman.”

“If you are going to be marrying Sara, how about joining the Holy Knight Order?”

“Ah… Yeah, I will think about it.” (Eugene)

I was assailed with questions.

That was tiring…

After that, we joined the Holy Knight Order that will be subjugating the Great Demonic Beast, and headed to the mountain of death.

There are 3 divisions of the Holy Knight Order in total that will be going on the crusade.

It is formed by the Eins Division of the Holy Knight Order, the Zwei Division, and the Drei Division, which we are together with.

Shishapangma is slightly north of the Tarsis Mountain Range’s center.

There’s no settlements around, so we went through pretty much the animal trail and mountain road.

It has been 3 days since we departed from the holy capital.

We are at a high elevation and the air is thin.

We defeated the monsters that showed up in the middle of the road and headed to our destination.

There’s not that many monsters, but this mountain road that’s not worked on is sapping away at my stamina.

“Haah… Haah…” (Sumire)

Sumire’s complexion is looking bad.

Seems like she isn’t feeling good because of the unfamiliar mountain road and the high elevation.

“Sumire…want me to lend you a shoulder?” (Eugene)

“Hey, Sumire-chan, do you want to go back to the city…?” (Sara)

“…N-No, it is alright. Thanks, Eugy-kun and Sara-chan. I will think about it at the next resting point.” (Sumire)

I pay attention to the condition of Sumire as I continue the trek together with Sara.

Sara was apparently ordered to stay in the holy capital because she is an upcoming Holy Maiden, but she came here as a helper from the academy, so she said it wouldn’t look good as the student council president to not participate in the crusade. And so, she pushed her way into the crusade.

We eventually reach a location where there’s several tents set.

It must be the 1st Division and 2nd Division that got here first.

It is also our destination for today.

“Everyone, we will be camping here today! We will finally get close to Raum tomorrow. Think of this place as the last place you will be able to take a break in!”

“““Yes!”””

The knights gave a short response to the words of the knight captain and swiftly began to make preparations for camping.

Sara and I set the exploration tent as we normally do, and had Sumire, who is all languid, lie down.

“Doesn’t seem like Sumire will be able to keep on…” (Eugene)

“…W-Wait! I will definitely get better if I rest…!” (Sumire)

Sumire got up and told me she is okay, but she is still looking under the weather.

“I will stay here and nurse Sumire-chan. I have been prohibited from joining the frontlines as an upcoming Holy Maiden anyways.” (Sara)

Sara volunteered.

“But…I would be troubling you…” (Sumire)

“Why? We are comrades, right? Come on, go to sleep.” (Sara)

Sara pushed the shoulder of Sumire and had her lie down.

“…I’m sorry, Sara-chan.” (Sumire)

“Don’t apologize, Sumire-chan.” (Sara)

“Sara, I leave Sumire to you.” (Eugene)

“Yeah, count on me, Eugene.” (Sara)

“Eugy-kun…be careful…” (Sumire)

“Yeah, you take your time and recover, Sumire.” (Eugene)

I said this and exited the tent, and headed to the big tent where the captain of the 3rd Division is at.

The knight captain was in the middle of a strategy meeting, so I told the knight that was guarding the place that Sumire and Sara will be staying here.

It seems like it was great news that the upcoming Holy Maiden Sara will be staying, so it didn’t take long to get an answer.

I thought they would say something about Sumire, but there’s the teaching of ‘treasure the otherworlders’ from the Goddess Church.

When I told them that Sumire wasn’t feeling well, they immediately called a doctor that had come along on this expedition.

They said it was just because of the unfamiliar mountain road and the altitude, so there’s no need to worry.

However, she needed to rest.

And so, I am going to be acting alone from tomorrow on.

◇Next Day◇

I will be going solo now that Sumire and Sara are staying back in the camp.

It is a situation that doesn’t happen often recently.

(I wasn’t bothered by it before though…) (Eugene)

I was often solo before meeting Sumire, but I have nothing to do now that I am alone again.

I kept my luggage to the bare minimum, so my steps are light.

I follow after the holy knights while being wary of the surroundings.

I was told that we will be reaching the nest of the Great Demonic Beast in a few hours.

It will be taking a while…is what I was thinking and…

“Hey hey, Eugene-kun.”

Someone spoke to me from behind.

It wasn’t a holy knight but a girl with sister attire.

If I remember correctly, she is one of the people that came along to heal the injured.

It seems like she knows my name, but I don’t know hers.

“Is something the matter?” (Eugene)

“My name is Ulrika. A Holy Maiden Candidate like Sara. Ah, she is not a candidate anymore but an upcoming one, right. Nice to meet you, Eugene-kun.” (Ulrika)

“Eugene Santafield… Is it okay for a Holy Maiden Candidate to be all the way here?” (Eugene)

I thought for sure the Holy Maiden Candidates would stay behind in the camp just like Sara, so I am surprised here.

“The other girls didn’t come. But…even if so, I thought it was worth coming.” (Ulrika)

“You are brave.” (Eugene)

Raum is treated as the symbol of fear in the Holy Union just like the Empire does with Haagenti.

Even Sara said she didn’t really want to get close.

“Oh my, that’s because the great hero that defeated the Great Demonic Beast in the Empire is here with us. There’s no need for fear, right?” (Ulrika)

“That’s because I had the help of the elites of the imperial army, the Sword Hero-sama and Po—the Imperial Sword-sama.” (Eugene)

It was definitely not my own power.

“Fufufu, but you are the one who dealt the finishing blow, right?” (Ulrika)

“…Well, you are right.” (Eugene)

The details of the Haagenti subjugation are pretty well known.

The Empire itself is talking widely about it to the other foreign countries after all.

There’s even people who know about me thanks to that.

There’s been a bit of embellishment though.

The one who is apparently embellishing the story is my childhood friend and next to the throne, Airi.

I honestly want her to stop.

“Hey, hey! Is it true that you can slice apart a mountain when you swing your mana blade?” (Ulrika)

“There’s no way!” (Eugene)

Oi, childhood friend, just how much did you embellish?!

Just when we were having that aimless chat…

*…Thud!!!*

The sound of something big landing on the ground and a small tremor.

“““…”””

Tension ran through the whole expedition team.

There’s a big shadow stretching out right in front of me.

The source of that sound was the corpse of a demonic beast.

“Griffin…?”

“It doesn’t seem to be a demonic beast in these parts. A Griffin with black wings is a demonic species that is often found in the North Continent.”

“A stray, huh… And so, it accidentally entered the territory of Raum?”

“Even if so…the investigation last year stated that this area isn’t the territory of the Great Demonic Beast.”

“Its territory expanded…?”

“There haven’t been any changes in 3 years though…”

I hear the conversation from the holy knights.

They are arguing about whether they should continue like this or stop for now.

Looks like it will take time before they reach a decision.

I can’t take arbitrary actions, but everyone has stopped their feet, so I approached the corpse of the griffin for a bit.

“H-hey, Eugene-kun, is it okay to approach it?!” (Ulrika)

Candidate Ulrika called me with a flustered voice.

“I am simply confirming whether there’s any danger.” (Eugene)

I won’t approach it too much.

Just confirming.

The fur of the griffin is beautiful and there’s not a single external wound. There’s no doubt it was alive just a few moments ago.

But I can’t even see the faint movement of breathing.

This demonic beast is without doubt dead.

(This is the death curse of Raum…) (Eugene)

I heard this is the strongest curse in the South Continent.

There’s a whole lot of cursed magic tools in the 7th Seal Prison of the Lykeion Magic Academy, but the magic formula is different to all of them.

I strain my eyes and try to read the magic formula cast on the griffin, but…

A chill ran down my spine.

I could see a big black feather fall at the corner of my vision.

I reflexively tried to slice it, but stopped myself.

I turned back and Ulrika, who I was talking to just a few seconds ago, had collapsed.

Not only that.

Several of the holy knights that were talking had collapsed.

(Just what in the world is going on…?) (Eugene)

There was no presence at all.

You normally feel something off when a monster or demonic beast attacks you.

I couldn’t feel any of that.

The surroundings turned dark in an instant before I could understand the situation.

I look up at the sky.

What was there was…

(That’s…the Bird of Darkness, Raum.) (Eugene)

A titanis with giant pitch black wings like the night sky blocked the light of the sun and was looking down at us.

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