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Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 16-52

16-52. Sage's Tower


Satou here. One of my friends from university days told me that only geniuses are capable of solving problems left unsolved by ordinary men their whole life.
However, even if it's geniuses who overcome the last step, I think it's the persistent efforts of us ordinary men that tread down the path right before that last step.

"Waa, snow country~"
"The snow is bow-wow all over the places nodesu!"

Arisa and Pochi jumped into the snow like puppies who had just seen snow for the first time.

We arrived at the city state Kariswolk where Karion main temple is located.
I realized that I was overthinking about [God's Backdoors] from previous trials, and so I went with all members who had times on this occasion.

The territory where this city state is located is currently snowing, thus [Sage's Tower], which is also another name for the city, is hidden by the heavily falling snow, we can't see it here from outside the city.

"Geez, Arisa. You're going to catch a cold."

With a 'dear me' expression, Lulu scolded Arisa and Pochi who went on to create snow angels while laughing.
Hearing that, Lady Karina who was late to join in with the two stopped herself from jumping with an awkward look on her face.
Well, Princess Sistina and Sera's scolding time would have waited for her if she did jump.

"Mia, hoping for a snow rabbit."
"Nn, leave it to me."

Nana carefully scooped out snow in her hand and requested Mia to make her a rabbit model out of snow.

"Snug snug~?"

Tama who's piggybacking me hugs my head while purring.

"Tama, get down. You're troubling Master."
"Tama can't~?"
"I don't really mind."

Scolded by Liza, Tama asked for my permission while looking dejected so I gave her the ok.

"Satou, will ancestor king--Mito-sama come along too?"
"Yes, but she's got some business to attend to this morning, I think she will join us in the afternoon."

I replied to Princess Sistina as she looked around.
Looks like she wasn't present when I invited Hikaru while she was going out.

"Satou-san, as ordered, I've told that side we don't need the carriage coming for us."
"Thanks again, Zena-san."

Zena-san who had gone ahead to the city's gate with Flight magic came back.

"Well then, let's get going once Sera-san is here."

I gaze at the kids playing with snow after saying that.

"I'm sorry to keep you waiting."
"No no, don't worry about it."

After a bit, Sera who had dressed herself came down the airship.
Apparently she dislikes cold, thus she was going to go out in thick clothing, but after I told about the perfect effectiveness of my magical temperature control with, she went and changed to light dresses.

I didn't use the magic during our trip to the eastern snowy Kiwolk Kingdom since I wanted us all to enjoy snow kingdom to the fullest, but I'm using the magic here since wearing thick clothing would hinder our mobility.

"Well then, let's go."

I told the girls and stepped forward toward the city gate beyond the snow field.

"It kinda looks tasty nanodesu."
"Ahaha, wanna try putting strawberry syrup on it and have a taste later?"
"Nn, blue calpis."

The kids are laughing while reaching out to the icicles hanging on the windows and roofs of houses here.
Mia seems to like it blue.

"But really, it's pure white desuwa."
"This is what they call blanket of snow."

Princess Sistina replied to Lady Karina.

"It doesn't look like there's a stall in this season here."
"Instead, there's lots of home stores around."

The doors and windows are small so these houses look like private houses, but there are signboards drawn with pictures signifying dinery and bar hung on the front doors.
I wonder if the fact that there's a lot more rental library than other countries here is due to Sage's Tower?

"Is that perhaps the main temple?"
"The holy mark of God Karion is carved on the front wall, that must be it."

Sera answered Zena-san's question.
Karion Main Temple is a building that looks like ice.

It's not actually made of ice, the building is built with crystal reinforced with earth magic.

"It's transparent nanodesu!"
"A building made of ice desuwa!"
"Well, there are people who cross over galaxies with a spaceship made of ice after all, no surprise here too right?"

Arisa said so while mentioning an episode in a space opera about a great man that founded a democratic nation.
She herself intended that to be a joke, but since Pochi, Tama and Lady Karina seemed like they were about to believe her for real, I told them that this was made of crystal.

I went inside the temple with the girls.

"I thought it'd be full of priests, but there's a surprising number of scholars here."

Just as Arisa said, there's lots of priests and scholars here.
Including the priests, most of the people coming and going out of the temple are wearing gray robes, so it's hard to tell them apart.

"Apparently there's a library deep inside the temple, you see."
"Hee, do you think it's open to the public?"
"I wonder?"

Looking at the library's Map, only scholars related to [Sage's Tower] and students studying under these scholars' private schools are inside the library.

"If I had to say, isn't it more vermilion?"

Statues made of vermilion rock salt are lined up in the chapel.
Looks like Tama sees those statues as pink colored.

"Welcome to Karion Main Temple, visitors from a foreign country. What do you seek here, recovery, or blessing?"

A gentle-looking male priest came to greet us.

"No, I'm here to take on God Karion's trial."
"T-trial? Do you wish to inspect the library for the 『Pursuit of Truth』? Or do you mean, trial in its 『Truest Sense』?"
"I would love to get the permission to inspect the library, however, I'm here today to take on the trial in its 『Truest Sense』."
"P-please wait for a moment!"

The male priest went back inside in a hurry.
Other temples seemed to have received a messages about me, did this temple not get it, I wonder?

"T-Thank you very much for waiting."

After a while, the priest earlier came back with a strict-looking temple head, several high ranking priests and a young miko.

"Pleased to meet you, 『Challenger of God's Trial』. I'm 『Oracle Miko』 who serves upon God Karion, my name is Maiya."
"I'm Earl Satou Pendragon of Shiga Kingdom. It's an honor to meet Miko Maiya-dono."

Miko Maiya greeted with an earnest look.
This Miko-san and her serious-looking expression would look good in female teacher fashion.

『--O God. O prudent God whom we revere.』

After the same old procedures, I proceeded to contact God Karion with Miko Maiya's lead.

A bright light fell down the heavens to answer miko's call.
It's a pleasant vermilion light.

The ecstatic expression on miko's face turned flat.
She's entered the trance state.

『...What a pain.』

A child voice of unknown gender echoed in my head.
I think that was God Karion's voice, but the line was cut off along with that word.

I caught the falling miko and quickly checked the Log.

>Title [Mark of Karion] Acquired
>Title [One Approved by God Karion] Acquired

I had feared that I failed, but doesn't seem to be any problem.

"...Earl Pendragon."

The sweaty miko-san looks up at me with flushed cheeks.
Quite sexy.

"You must have found God Karion's revelation to be deeply meaningful, haven't you?"

The miko is looking at me expecting for my affirmation, but it's a bit hard to comply to that.
I don't idolize god Karion enough to feel the deepness of that [What a pain].

"The words earlier had the meaning of 『There is only one trial given to those who seek it. Repeating the same words would only waste time, pursue the temple's records』."

The miko quietly spun her words.
She's quite a lively miko considering she just went through a contact with god.

"And the trial is 『Go to Sage's Tower, inside, pick and solve one among the problems that have been left unsolved for more than 100 years.』"

That sounds kind of fun.

I've gotten the mark already so it's not like I've got to do the trial anyway, but it'd be troublesome if they tried to find fault later on.
God Karion might have given the mark to me just as an advance payment after all.

<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>

"Your excellency, over there is Sage's Tower."

Miko Maiya pointed at a stone-made large tower as her glasses reflected light.
The miko has taken upon herself to show us around the Sage's Tower, but for some reason she's changed her outfit from [Oracle Miko] to [Female Teacher Fashion]. Complete with triangular glasses.

Apparently, it's a traditional outfit introduced by a hero donned whenever she visits the Sage's Tower.

"No matter how you look at it, the character-making is way too much~"
"Nn, excessive."

Arisa and Mia had that conversation behind my back.
Well, I'm actually in agreement here, but the tight skirt looks very much perfect on Miko Maiya, so I have no intention to point out the excessiveness.
Feels like Arisa and the girls would cosplay as one if I carelessly blurted it out.

Inside a building made of stone at the base of the tower, scholars and students are exchanging opinions in the entrance hall and passages here and there.

『According to the documents from Furu Empire's era, the magic circle inside fire wands is--』
『Fundamental differences in mana supply between magic cannons that exist today and magic cannons from Magic Kingdom Lalakie--』
『I proclaim that we could clear up monster dominions without wasting human resources by making use of Soul Art considered forbidden!』
『To produce clean water through water gems in desert areas, the mane of kelpie as a catalyst would be--』

There's a lot of discussions related to military technology for such a place of learning.
It's probably because the close proximity of monster threats here, that military technology dedicated to strengthen city defence feels close to people in a different way than in modern times.

"There's statues over here too nodesu!"
"They look different from the statues we saw at the temple."

Tama and the girls found rock salt statues scattered in the entrance hall with their sharp eyes.

"From here on is where the scholars are doing their research, therefore I would have to ask for a minimum number of people--"

Miko Maiya told us so in front of a spiral staircase at the deepest part of the entrance hall.
Arisa, Mia and Princess Sistina, aka the researchers, are coming with us, while the other members have been tasked by me to trail-blaze stores that sell tasty stuff intended for scholars and students around the tower.

We climb up the stairs to the topmost part of the tower with miko Maiya leading.
Since Arisa and the girls complained that they were tired halfway through, I created [<<Floating Boards>>] with Force magic and put them on board.

And then we came to a room at the top.

"Miko Maiya, if you're here that means that man is?"
"Yes, Sage Kanryu. This gentleman here is Earl Satou Pendragon, he's taken on God Karion's trial."

The kind-looking old man with white beard appears to be a sage.

"Welcome, Satou-kun. I hope to witness you work out an answer to the unsolved problems here."

Sage Kanryu smiled profoundly as he said that.

Now then, what kind of problems are left unsolved for 100 years?
I would prefer if it doesn't take too long to solve.

Previous Chapter

Shinsetsu Nobu-san Isekai Ki Chapter 56

Chapter 56 Beginning of Mayhem


The sun is still high up, the veil of night is still a long way away. Two sisters are unloading goods from a horse carriage at a pleasure quarter in the corner of Gramada.
Once the two are done, they talk to a woman in charge of inspecting the storehouse as they wipe their sweat.

"Ane-yan, we're done with the load."

"Yes yes, Futsuno-chan, Mitama-chan, thanks for your help."

"...We're hugely indebted to Kirishna-neesan, so this much is nothing..."

The woman in her 30s called Kirishna smiles cheerfully at the two. Wearing bold black suit-like clothing that empathizes her body lines, with three fox tails growing out of her rear.

"Fufufu, Mitama-chan you're such a good kid. I'm sure you'll be a good wife and wise mother someday."

"Only Mitama? Ane-yan, how 'bout me?"

"Ufufu, since Futsuno-chan keeps acting like an elder sister, and can't be honest with men, you've got still a long way to go."

"...Correct. Nee-san is always acting behind her mask. I can't think of a man she could open her heart to."

The two are looking at Futsuno while smiling. Futsuno who finds it awkward puffs up her cheeks.

"What's with ye two! Even I could easily get a man or two if I just put my mind into it ok!?"

"My my, you're really saying that?"

"...Un, as expected of Nee-san, so staunch."

"Uuu, you two meanie."

This time the two laugh out loud to see Futsuno like that. While Futsuno herself pouts at the two. It's quite a heartwarming spectacle to happen in the tumultuous pleasure quarter.

Geez, what's with Ane-yan, and Mitama too. Do they really think I'm that dense with men?
...Oh no, I cannae think up a single thing to deny that. It's true, there isn't a whole lot of men I could open up to.
Cannae be helped, I mean with the reasons we got ta flee the village and all. Mugugu, I gotta catch a wonderful husband one day and brag 'im to the two into silence.
Kirishna ane-yan is the manager of this slave company, 『Beastfolk Expansion』. It's a famous store in many ways. The slaves here are of all races but General Human. Customers cannot pick their slaves, only slaves recommended by the manager can be bought out. Ya might wonder how she could stay in business with such an odd custom, but ane-yan store is in fact flourishing. I heard a rival company tried to mimic her method, but it quickly went out of business.
Ane-yan and her insights are capable of finding the right slaves for the right customers. The slaves are educated well and adore ane-yan, so they truly trust in the owners she introduces them to. The store's reputation is the real deal even with the pick-customers part, hers is one of the leading stores in this town.
Ane-yan herself acts like a cool beauty while she's taking care the store, I long to be like her. Yet she has mother-like broad mindedness behind the scenes. One of the reasons we ended up drifting to this town was because ane-yan is a distant relative of our mom. Truly, we're really indebted to her.

There's a shadow of a person looking at the three from afar.

Kukuku, hahahahaha. Found you, finally found you. Fufufufu, ahahahahaha.

The person let out an ugly smile and disappeared into the shadow.

<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>

A week has passed since I moved in here.
From my point of view, it was a very eventful week... Special training with Master and Eleanor-san, once it was over, experiments about magic development began. In addition, whenever I could get back home, I had to cram making medicines in my free times. Phew, just when did I bid farewell to my retirement-like depraved lifestyles again.

Right, I've also sorted out the stuff I stealthily borrowed from Jamito. The gold and silver coins amount to around 10,000,000 mani in total, which translates to around 100 million yen. An amount that shook a lower class person like me. I have completely no idea about the jewels' worth. Quantitatively speaking, there are enough to fill up a common small container.
As for the magic tools, Discerning-sensei managed to identify them as such.

Ring of Water Soul
Quality: Excellent - Enclosed Mana: 10/15
Ring that enables user to create up to Lv2 Mana Water by putting in mana. However, it's hard to control for those who aren't used to it. Not a disposable item, it can be reused many times over so long it's supplied with mana.

Earring of Solace
Quality: Good - Enclosed Mana: 5/10
Ornamental magic tool infused with Heal spell. Cast heal if user equips the earring and wishes for it. However, be warned that the Heal only affects the user.

Water Spider
Quality: Good - Enclosed Mana: 9/9
Magic tool originated from the east equipped on top of shoes. Enable user to walk on water. Effective on marshes and mud too.

Lovely Fake Hair
Qualit: Good - Enclosed Mana: 8/8
Magic tool equipped on head. When put on, it can be activated by wishing for its appearance. From afro to mohawk, it can deal with any needs. A gem for those on the brink of baldness.

Bracelet of Scapegoat x 4
Quality: High - Enclosed Mana: 1/1
Bracelet that can take over damage that would have resulted on death of the user once. Once activated, it will lose its effect and disintegrate.

Besides these, there's a number of soul stones inside the magic rucksacks. I haven't tried it myself, but apparently you need soul stones to create magic tools. As the origins of these things would have cast doubt on me, I've put them away along with the jewels. Actually, I've stealthily created a stone hut using magic deep beneath Sefi-san's house. Since it's quite deep down, it should be impossible to dig out without magic. Even with magic, as the thickly made stone hut has been reinforced with my mana, it shouldn't be that easy to break.
I'll gradually take a few of these items over time and make it like I found them in dungeons.

Come to think of it, I should ask Sefi-san about the things Jamito mentioned that bothered me.

"Sefi-san, do you know about slave collars?"

"Yes, I do. Eh!? Nobu-chan, did you want to put one on me? Iya~n, I wouldn't mind if Nobu-chan wants to~"

You're wrong. Please stop your delusions.
Apparently, slave collars are prohibited goods now. Since with one, even a commoner will be able to make more slaves. Amongst slave merchant network, slave crest is used instead.
What I wanted to ask is whether there is a way to counteract the collar. According to Sefi-san, there are.
First, you have to have a resistance against curses. Like Kagura-san and Onifolk in general. But this method depends completely on the individuals, so let's forget about this for now.
Next, put up magic barrier, then deal with the collar somehow while you're resisting. For example, you could apparently break the contract down if there is a vast gap of mana between you and the person trying to activate the collar. But the amount of mana needed is not definite.
Lastly, the slave collar's contract can be annuled by binding yourself to a contract of a higher order. Of course, this also depends on the amount of mana the main contractor has.
Lastly, the slave collar's contract can be annuled by binding the victim to a contract of a higher order. Of course, this also depends on the amount of mana the main contractor has.
Just imagining what could happen if Sefi-san were caught as a slave back then horrifies me. Since there's no guarantee that we won't face similar situations in the future, I should mainly focus on acquiring more mana from now on. Not sure how much I need, and it's not like there's a disadvantage in having much. Which means there are more reasons to increase my level now.

The plan to create new products with the help of Tama-chan's new skill 【Medical Element Mixture】 is still currently on-going.

Tama Soup (Temp)
Quality: High - Enclosed Mana: 30/30
Undiluted solution created from pickling of a Moss Ball carrying the effect of robust nourishment. Since it is too thick, be careful not to take a large quantity of this nourishment.

I might have gone a bit too far, but I do think it's usable if I just dilute it and add flavoring. The ratio and flavoring are the next challenge to tackle for me. By the way, here's how it's made.

Nobusada's Three Hour Alchemy~♪
1: Prepare a big container (about 1 meter in diameter) and thick mana water, have Tama-chan get ready
2: Pour mana into the container till I'm beat
3: Let Tama-chan dive into the mana water
4: Have her take it easy inside for about three hours
5: Scoop out Tama-chan and it's done

Yep, it's got zilch to do with alchemy. Tama-chan is quite multifunctional. For now I'll keep this solution in several bottles and iterate further. I'll have Master and the guys at the guard station serve as my guinea pigs, I mean, assistants in this experiment.

While I was thinking that, the door was suddenly beat down loud.

I looked at Sefi-san, inquiring if we were expecting guests, but she tilted her head in  confusion. The beating sounds are getting more intense, looks like the guest is in a hurry, so I run to the front door.

Opening the door, Mitama who has wounds all over her body is there, looking like she'll collapse any minute. The moment she saw me, she fell forward and clung on me.

"...Nobu, please. Save Nee-san. I don't have anyone else to rely on anymore..."

After saying that, she lost consciousness.
Just what's going on? I laid down Mitama in a guest room and treated her injury with potions and magic while pondering what to do next.

Previous Chapter

Shikkaku Mon no Saikyou Kenja Chapter 193

Chapter 193 Strongest Sage, Refines


『Rankine Magic Ore?』

『Yeah. It's a peculiar ore that can be made into 『Rankine Magic Crystal』, a material to create powerful mana bombs... The stuff about it being a building material is, of course, a lie.』

It's clear now why demons went out of their way to employ humans.
Since Rankine Magic Ore would be polluted and turn useless if anything other than humans try to refine it.
Demons can get close to Rankine Magic Crystals produced from the refining of the ore, but the refining process itself absolutely needs humans' involvement.

This property isn't naturally inherent to Rankine Magic Ore, it's a result of the past me casting a large-scale spell that inserted such a property into the ore in the whole world.
If I didn't do that, demons would have completed mana bombs and the world would have been destroyed by now.

『Mana bomb... Is that dangerous?』

『Around one ton of 100% pure Rankine Magic Crystal would be enough to destroy an entire country.』

I looked around the refinery as I said that.
The purity seems to be nearly 100%, but at the rate this refinery is going, it probably produces only around 200 gram a day even when it's operating for 24 hours.

Since there are five refineries of this scale in this town according the the map, in around 1000 days they should acquire a ton worth of Rankine Magic Crystal--the amount needed to destroy a country.

『One ton, one country!?』

『...Since this ore is difficult to refine, it's not easy to pile collect a ton of it. It would take about 15 years to create one ton with this refinery alone... Even so, this facility is quite a high level one.』

Afterward, I look at the machines in this factory.
In order to refine nearly 100% pure Rankine Magic Crystal, one needs very high level facilities.

『Y-you're right, the magic device over there looks really complex... I don't get how it works at all... Don't think I could make it...』

『I can guess its structure somewhat, but it's not something you'd want to make anyway. Tenfold enchanted magic swords are easier to make than that thing.』

Even if Ruli tried to make one with my design and under my supervision, she wouldn't be able to make this level of refinery machine at her current level.
And of course, it's also not something the sub-species demons here could have created.

Either they got a demon with higher level of technology understanding backing them, or they found a refinery machines created by the previous civilization somewhere.
Magic reactors that destroyed the previous civilization also used Rankine Magic Crystal as fuel, thus perhaps there's some refinery machines made for the reactors lying around somewhere.

Judging from the apparatus, it seems the demons have remodeled facilities left from the previous civilization to refine high purity Rankine Magic Crystal.
That kind remodeling is several degrees easier than creating one from scratch.

"You must be new faces. Let me explain how you're going to do refinery here."

A man approached us when he saw us standing at the entrance.
His name tag has 『Factory Manager』 written on it.
The title is factory manager even though this place is a refinery huh.

...This guy is not a demon, he's a human.
I could detect faint traces of demon-like mana from his body, it's probably from a mind manipulation type of spell.
The underling adventurers are only under the effect of 『Thought Dampen』, but apparently, the one guiding those adventurers are completely under mind control.

"Is refining difficult?"
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"It's heavy labor, but the process itself is simple. However, there's no change to the fact that it's dangerous. Listen well if you don't want to die."

Afterward, the factory manager walks to a nearby machine.
The machine is enclosed within a 5-meter wide barrier, looking heavily guarded.

"First, put ore into the tank on top of the machine and close the lid. Then push the button here and wait about five minutes for the crystal to come out, and then put it into the casket, that's it."

The manager points at the button. There's already an ore inside the machine.
The thing is quite polished as expected of a machine from the previous civilization.
There were probably other machine thats automatically inserted the ore during that civilization.

"What's so dangerous about this?"

"Well... This machine sometimes explodes when you push this button here. About once every 40 pushes. You've got about 10 seconds to get out of the barrier before the explosion,  so you'll be fine if you manage to do that... But there's lots of guys who got used to it and were slow to get out in time. There's already four casualties this month alone. Still safer than the mining group though."

I see, explosions huh.
There's probably a problem in the remodeling of the magic device.
Since the machine itself is sturdy, it should be fine even after eating some small-scale explosions, but the people who get swallowed up in the explosion are helpless.

But still, that's a lot of casualties.
I can see why the town feels gloomy with that many death.
And the refinery group is apparently still safer than the mining group.

Yet the fact that there are still people around in the town must be because of a scheme of the demons. 『Thought Dampen』 is most likely included in it.

We could stave it off with defensive magic, but the demons would definitely find us out then.
Since the effect is supposed to stop you from running away due to 『Thought Dampen』, no need to worry about getting influenced by it so long we don't let our guard down.

"That's it. You can go home once you're done refining all the ore piled up there. Should take around six hours."

The manager pointed at a heap of ore as he said that.
That's quite an amount... But it should be done in three hours if we take full advantage of this refinery machine.

However, they'll suspect us if we finish too fast.
For now, we should take it as long as the manager said.

Previous Chapter

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 16-51

16-51. Guardian Dragon


Satou here. In many of earth mythologies, dragons are said to be equal to gods, an existence that slays gods. That it's been demoted to be a mere [good farming] monster must be because the popularization of home RPGs, no?

"Cross over the mountain range and it's tropic."

This is normal in a world where climate is controlled by City Cores, but I just can't brush off the fantastical feels.
After leaving Tokiswolk Kingdom that had been partially destroyed by vampires, we got out of the long and narrow monster dominion facing north and arrived at Dragg Kingdom.

It's a curiously hot country with subtropical-like vegetation.

"This looks like a good country with lots of meat around."
"Woulda been fun if they were a wee bit stronger."
"I'd love the deck to be a bit wider too."

Liza, Rusus and Fifi who had been dealing with flying monsters that were coming to attack the airship gave their own subjective impressions each.

"Satou-sama, a Ride Beast is coming from one o'clock direction."

A voice came through the speaking tube from the cockpit.
The Ride Beast is most likely coming for us, but I don't think it'll suddenly attack without warning.

I look at one o'clock direction.

--A richly-colored parrot?

According to AR readings, it seems to be a phantasmal beast called Elder Parrot.
Seeing someone riding the parrot, I realize that it's this country's Parrot Rider.

"Looks like they're from Dragg Kingdom to meet us."

I waved at the Parrot Rider while saying that to the speaking tube.

The knight appears to be human at a glance, but he has a lizard tail like that of Liza.
Judging from the scale's color, it's probably a bluescale-kin young man.

Checking the Map, I see that half of this country's population is that of scale-kin. Lots of humans too as usual, but even then they're only 30% of the total.

Following after the Parrot Rider, we arrived at a vacant lot that had been re-purposed into a temporary airport.

"Huh? There's two ships?"
"Did someone other than Meiko come by here?"

There are two airships with Saga Empire's emblem on them moored in the airport.
A medium sized cruiser and a slightly smaller destroyer.

Looking at the raised flags, the cruiser seems to be Meiko's ship.

"--Are you here to laugh?"

Hero Meiko derided herself while pouting.
She looks pitiful with bandages all over her body as she lays on bed.

According to her attendants, it appears that she went and picked a fight with the Guardian Dragon of Dragg Kingdom, the green dragon, and had the tables turned on her instead.
Apparently, she was thrown into the air by earth magic before she could get close to the dragon, then she was shot by the dragon's diffused breath midair, resulting in her current state.

From what I can tell, her condition has gotten quite better compared to when she left Shiga Kingdom back then.
The damage on her Soul Vessel seems to have been restored too, god Parion must have mended it.

"We're not gonna laugh at you."

Rusus and Fifi shook their heads.

"Having the gal to challenge a dragon alone is amazing."
"I don't like you, but I don't hate that battle obsessed part of you."

They pet Meiko's head while smiling frankly, while the recipient herself looks unwilling.

"Good grief, and I didn't oppose you to meet the guardian dragon since you said you wouldn't fight it..."

A droopy eyed civil official moaned.
She seems to be hero Meiko's attendant.

There's other civil official-type attendants around too, but all of them are unfamiliar faces.
Since the previous members were apparently annihilated during the divine punishment, it must have been reshuffled.

A scalekin dragon priestess is also present in this room, but she appears to be a personnel of this country, not an attendant of Hero Meiko.
Her face is well-featured, but rather than beautiful, the word dignified fits her more.

"I wanna have a match too."
"Yeah, you just can't get enough of battles to the limit."

I got a slight headache to hear Rusus and Fifi's battle junkie-like remarks.

"I shall guide you if you wish to fight the guardian dragon."

The dragon priestess easily gave her permission.

"Then, I will too."
"You can't. And the person over there too, please refrain from it."

Liza was eager to take part in it, but the dragon priestess shook her head as she looked at me.

"Why can't Satou and Liza?"
"My intuition."

The dragon priestess replied Rusus's question.

"Were these two fight, dragon-sama would likely forget to hold back."

Even without considering a huge part of the dragon continent turned into barren land because the ancient dragon was too engrossed in its fight against a demon lord, I could really understand what she was saying.
The black dragon Heiron and the lesser dragons at the eastern Siruga Kingdom also go nuts when they fight after all.

"By the way, shouldn't you treat her with magic and potions?"
"Having her raked over the coals like this once a while will be a good experience for her."

I got that reply when I whispered to one of the attendants who also happened to be a Parion temple priest.
Trivially, it seems the idiom of raking someone over the coals has been passed on to Saga Empire from one of the heroes among generations.

"Ain't that a true dragon!"

Rusus's scream echoed in the green dragon's nest the dragon priestess led us to.
Its nest is located at the peak of a sacred mountain soaring high to the north of Dragg Kingdom's royal capital.

Although I had no plan to fight it, I wanted to see the dragon thus Liza and I went with them.

"Will you secede from fighting then?"
"We ain't suicidal enough to fight a true dragon yep."
"It's a 『fight to the death』 instead of a 『fight to the limit』 when yer' up against a true dragon."

Rusus and Fifi shook their head vigorously at the dragon priestess's question.

AR readings indicate that the green dragon is a level 69 true dragon.
Perhaps, it's the parent of the infant dragon that's staying with me.

Liza stepped forward before Rusus and Fifi who flinched back.

"Then, allow me to."
"Like I said, you're not allowed to."

The dragon priestess immediately rejected Liza's proposal.
It's unusual to see Liza dejected.

...Were you really that eager to fight, Liza.

Suddenly, wind blows.

One of the green dragon's eyelids opened languorously.

That eye turned at me and stopped.

『You the human over there. And the lizardkin girl. I could smell black dragon on you.』

The green dragon muttered in dragon language.

Since the dragon priestess here also has [Dragon Language] skill, I can't speak carelessly here.

『Yes, we have just met him at his residence in the black dragon mountain.』
『I see. Is that guy still--』

Green dragon looks straight at me.

『--obsessed with battles?』
『He does love to fight. He was fighting gleefully in the desert the other day.』
『I see. That guy is still the same as always, eh.』

Green dragon squinted its eyes while smiling wryly at my reply.

The green dragon raises its head and begins to sing in an unbelievably clear voice in spite of its looks.

While listening to the wonderful song, I could hear the sounds of rubbing grass.
Flowers around the green dragon are growing rapidly, a variety of rare herbs and pretty flowers are blooming about.
A spring was born in the center of it all, dragon spring sake with sweet fragrance gushed forth.

"--Dragon Festive Song."

The dragon priestess muttered in delirium.

Once the green dragon's done singing, it grew its tongue out and drank the dragon spring sake.

『Have a drink. It's my thanks for bringing news about an old friend.』
『Then allow me to keep you company.』

I took out an especially big mug from my Storage through the Garage Bag, drew the sake, made an air toast and put it in my mouth.

--This is good stuff.

It's sweeter than black dragon Heiron's spring sake, dense fragrance oozes out of my nose from inside my mouth.
The others were also eager to have a drink, so I handed them their own glasses after getting the permission from the green dragon.

The dragon priestess who looked the most eager said, "This will be the temple's treasure!", and held it close in her bosom without having even a sip.

I asked the green dragon if it wanted snack to go along with the sake as my thanks--

『Marine products would be nice. Either fresh kraken or Shell Tuna is fine.』
『I have some kraken with me. But not Shell Tuna, would you be alright with whales?』
『Whales? Do you mean the Northern Gluttonous Fish? Those things eat even my breath, and are quick to dive deep, I'm impressed you could catch them. I've always wanted to taste one. Gimme some.』

I took some huge slices of kraken and whales out of my Garage Bag, roasted them and gave them to the green dragon.
Everyone besides Liza was exaggerating when they were surprised at the spilling plates, but when you talk about dragon spring sake, steak on iron plates naturally has to be there.

We enjoyed the feast with green dragon and went down the mountain came dusk.
After hearing the dragon priestess talking about, "A huge monster that challenged the green dragon and was driven away" while we were going down the mountain, Rusus and Fifi went off to fight with it.
They're true to their desires, or rather, those girls' people sure love to fight.

<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>

"There's so many unusual looking ingredients here."
"Master, found lots of weird fruits, so I report."

Lulu and Nana said so while looking around the stalls and booths.

Since Rusus and Fifi were gone, I'm currently having a tour around the town with the girls, it's been awhile since the last one.
Since they haven't been in subtropical places like this much, they look to be having fun.

"Hmm, I still don't get what's so good about green bananas."
"Pineapples are very tasty nodesuyo?"

Bananas and pineapples are apparently local specialty here, but unripe bananas are not well received among the girls.
I'll make them ripe enough using the original spell I created in the southern island back then.

I forgot that I had created such magic until Arisa pointed it out.
Many of those magic were made impromptu on the site, and lots were never used again.

"Even if it's local specialty, putting fruits in stir-fry is a bit much..."

Looks like Princess Sistina can't stand pineapples in her sweet-and-sour pork.

"Good food bear no sin."
"Delishas nanodesu."

Lady Karina and the girls who aren't picky about their food savor theirs without any prejudice.
Sera and Zena-san who saw that also went to have a taste.

"Would you like some fruit juice?"
"Thank you. Satou-san."
"I'm sorry, I should have gone to purchase it instead."

Sera accepted her cup normally, Zena-san did so while apologizing.
I'd love for her to be more unreserved in this kind of stuff, but it seems difficult for the serious Zena-san to stop caring about the gap in our positions.


Mia is looking up at me while holding a native dress in front of her body.

"That looks good on you, Mia."

Might as well purchase clothing and accessories native to Dragg Kingdom for the girls.
While we were at it, I rented a room at a random hotel and had the girls put on local fashion.

Of course I've put on tropical clothes myself too.

"Ah, it's chocolate!"

After changing, we went around the town, then Arisa ran out when she saw chocolate drink.

"Ugee, it's bitter."

Arisa frowned after having a sip.

The stall owner asked Arisa if she wanted honey with it while laughing to see that.
Seems like sugar is expensive in this country.

This is my first time drinking chocolate drink with honey, it's a novel idea.
The taste itself is good.

"Master, it's the market over there! They're selling lots of dried fruits there!"

Lulu is in high spirits.

Dried fruits that are relatively expensive in Shiga Kingdom are very cheap here in this country.
Lulu appeared to have a soft spot on [Affordable], she went around one stall after another with Arisa.

I bought a huge amount of dried fruits that Lulu took a fancy on, and shared them with the brownies at the solitary island palace, and Echigoya Firm's folks.
Of course, I shared some to Core Two, demon lord Shizuka, and the former demon lord fox girl too.

"--No suspicious activity huh."

I went to Saga Empire after enjoying our first normal sightseeing tour after a long while.
After all, the person who was acting suspiciously during the vampire incident at Tokiswolk Kingdom was from Saga Empire.

Tactician Touya and the plain-faced reincarnated person who have markers on them are happily managing an alchemy shop together at a town near their hideout.
Looking at their expressions, tactician Touya had this sour look like that of a just-married couple, but the wife, the plain-faced reincarnated person, was all smiles like she was truly happy.
Please, do live on in peace without holding some unnecessary ambitions from now on.

The mastermind behind him hasn't shown themselves like usual.
They're probably lying in wait somewhere while keeping a lookout on me.
Just in case, I'm sending a sesame seed-sized surveillance golem to tactician Touya and the plain-faced reincarnated person's alchemy store.

The new emperor seems to be pretty busy putting up a new system in the empire after his enthronement, doesn't seem like he can afford to meddle with other countries.

After we've finished checking on the administration, we walked down the imperial capital's streets.

I was thinking of gathering info about the rather mysterious Hero Fuu while we were here at the capital.
Since he's not in my Map, he's probably somewhere I don't know about after leaving the imperial capital.


Mia who had come here with me went and hugged me.

"Master, we went asking around, and although lots of people knew about the four heroes, no one had any idea about Hero Fuu."

Arisa who came back after Mia brushed Mia aside and pushed her own face on my stomach.
I peeled away Arisa as she was sniffing on me, and asked Mia.

"Ask, spirits?"
"Dryad huh..."

I don't mind having a large amount of my mana sucked, but the way she does it is problematic.

"Guess I have no choice."

I reluctantly summoned Dryad, however--

"Don't ask me. I mean, I can't distinguish between humans."

--Thus, she replied.

Even though she could tell if it was me in particular, she doesn't seem to know which one is Hero Fuu.

I had residential officials and civil officials of Shiga Kingdom who stayed at Saga Empire introduce me to scholars experts about Vampires, and acquired their knowledge.
As far as they're concerned, turning someone into a vampire by way of water or insects is just impossible.

Well, the true ancestor Ban and Corpse who live in Selbira Labyrint's lower layer also said the same when I asked them while I was sending Tokiswolk Kingdom's vampires to them for protection, so asking scholars around is just a complement to it.

However, there was a curious exception.

There were records about [Vampire Demon Lord] who could produce more vampires through curses.
Though since the method required an [Artifact] that originated from the demon god along with the demon lord's Unique Skill, we probably don't have to take that into considerations in this matter.
According to them, the hero who defeated the [Vampire Demon Lord] also destroyed the artifact.

"Being told that it's impossible makes you all the more curious instead."
"Hnn, agreed."

Arisa said so on our way back from the scholar's residence.

"For examples?"
"They were bitten by bugs right? Maybe that was the vector that caused people to turn into vampires?"

Mia nodded at the haphazard guess that Arisa said with a serious expression on her face.
It might be possible if we were talking about normal diseases, but I don't see any suspicious insects through Miasma Sight, and it's not like the vampires here are like their earthen counterpart as they need to do rituals to create more of them in this world.

"We've been introduced to several more scholars, let's try visiting them all for now."

I told the two and went to one scholar residence after another.

Unfortunately, all the scholars agreed that insects and water can't be the source of contagion.
One of the scholars told me that there was a case where a vampire came out of Saga Empire's [Bloodsucking Labyrinth] and escaped outside the empire's territory.
The scholar postulated that maybe that vampire built numerous settlements in monster domains while stealthily increase their number before attacking Tokiswolk Kingdom.

I think this hypothesis seems more probable than Arisa's for this incident.

Checking monster domains inside and around Saga Empire on my Map, there really are several vampire settlements in them.
For the time being, there isn't a single Vampire Lord around.
I ignore the settlements that are living peacefully and report the ones that do problematic activities like pillaging to the neighboring empire's garrisons.

"Oh right! You mentioned a demon lord that records the world's secrets on slates with his Unique Skill before right. Can't we find the culprit on those slates?"
"Good idea."

Mia's eyes are sparkling at Arisa's idea.

"It probably won't work y'know?"

In the first place, if we knew that much, I would have known about the mastermind's identity and location too by now.

"Huh, why?"
"Just like news on televisions, only events that piqued the record keeper's interests are written on the slates."

Only stuff the troll demon lord found interesting are written on those slates, so the information there is quite inclined to one-side.
After finishing our business in Saga Empire, we tried checking on the slates since we might find some info.

"Yup, it's a miss."

Checking the slates, as I thought, there's no important info.

The part about Vampire Lord' atrocities and Rusus and Fifi's thrilling battles were written on around 300 slates, but important info like [Where the vampires came from] or [What was their goal attacking a country] was completely absent.
There are records about Hero Yuki beating the Land King that hard turned into undead at Sania Kingdom before the Vampire Lord part, but there is nothing written after the Vampire Lord part until Rusus and Fifi's arena battles.
Looks like Rusus and Fifi are the most recent favorites of the troll demon lord.

As it all depends on what the troll demon lord find interesting at the time, these slates are only useful for additional stuff that "we're in luck if it's recorded."

Well, from this investigation I can almost safely conclude that my fear about the vampire incident being "A plot by someone hiding in the darkness of Saga Empire" to be unfounded, so it's time to get back on clearing trials.
As for the investigation about the goal of Saga Empire's royalty found dead at Tokiswolk Kingdom, I've forwarded the written report about it to Shiga Kingdom's king and prime minister through Hikaru, I'll leave all additional investigations to them.

If I don't limit my involvements to [Catastrophes that are out of the local people's hands], I'd be gradually burdened with more things I need to do, eventually turning it into a literal death march.

Now then, next we're heading to the city-state Kariswolk where the main temple of God Karion resides, also known as, the [Sage's Tower].

I'm looking forward to touring the [Sage's Tower] more than the trial itself.

※ Next update is planned for 6/17

Previous Chapter

Shinsetsu Nobu-san Isekai Ki Interlude 4

Intermission 4 Gilui's Northern Bar


Clank clank

The door closed while making a pleasing sound.

Finally got my important free time after today's work's done. I felt like enjoying my time in a quiet bar, so I went to one my coworker told me about.
Ah, I'm Kyle. A humble guard of the west gate that may or may not be a key figure there.
Just right when the evening bell rang to signify I could go home for today, total-commander caught me and made me go through a special training overtime.
Geez, I always get overtime the entire week whenever total-commander is around. My body's screaming y'know. If I had to go do that special training, might as well do it with Eleanor-san, I woulda work hard then. And then she'd invite me to a dinner... Mufufufu.
Oops, no no, gotta drink quietly today.

The store interior is dimly lit, but this calm atmosphere is perfect for drinking slowly. As it's still early in the evening, there's a few customers inside and only one at the counter.
Oh, I 'mite as well sit at the counter. Sipping my glass while listening to the barkeeper is how adults have their drink, yep.

"Welcome. What would you like to have?"

The mustached barkeeper with dark green uniform asked me at the perfect timing right as I sat. He looks familiar somehow, but I can't put my finger on it. Ah, well.
Looking at the menu, there's quite a lot of liquors. Some I've never seen before. What the heck is 1UP Oozeki? Why is it drawn with a green mushroom, what a mystery.
I found some with 『Cold』 mark on the menu. When I asked what they were about, apparently, the barkeeper just procured some nice ice blocks from his acquaintance, so he's got some drinks that's been cooled well. That sounds good for my sweaty body, I ask for a cup of cold ale.

Afterward, a stone cup was put on the table, and the barkeeper poured cold ale into it.
Sipping it down, my flushy body is cooling down. I reflexively chugged it all down. Whew, can't believe just having it cooled could make it taste unlike anything I've drunk before. In the first place, just where'd he get all the ice when summer is fast approaching, but I feel like I'll lose if I delve too deep. Either way, I'm a lucky guy to have this chance. I ordered another cup and looked around the store.

It's dim cause there's only a few lighting, but by no means it's unpleasant, in fact, this quiet atmosphere is probs what makes it perfect for slowly drinking booze. Looking around, all other customers are also enjoying their drinks calmly.
The customer sitting next to me is... Huh? Don't I know this guy?

"That you... Nobusada?"

The haggard battered out-looking customer turned out to be the aspiring adventurer I met before, Nobusada. I couldn't tell that it was him at first. How do I say it, he's got this tragic aura around him.

"Oh, Kyle-san... it's been awhile. What's the matter?"

"That's my line, what's up with you? You're like some veteran at the window on the verge of retirement, what happened?"

"Do I really look like that? Haha, well. The training with Master and Eleanor-san have been really tough these past few days..."

Apparently, he recently suffered an embarrassing defeat to adventurers, thus Master who heard about that put him through some intense training regimen. Like how he's been training, heating up together with Eleanor-san for hours on end.

"But, ain't that nice. Eleanor-san is in your constant attendance the whole time rite'? What more could ya ask?"

I regretted saying that right afterward.
Because Nobusada began trembling so hard the counter was saying, I thought it was a quake. Then he's staring blankly into space with a pale face. Did I make him recall something?

"No no, please stop already. Eleanor-san, look my face is bloody all over. Please stop thinly cutting up my skin with your fists. Hiii, stop aiming at my neck. Ouch ouch ouch, itchy, it's too fast I can't see you swinging your fists anymore. Eh, don't look, feel? No way no way, it's impossible. Give you my left cheek since you're done cutting up my right? No no no, help mee~~~~~~~~"

"C-calm down. My bad my bad. I shouldn't have asked that."

Nobusada is quivering while tearing up. My impressions on Eleanor-san have slightly changed. Just what kind of training did she make him go through with?
T-think I should change the topic here?

"I mean, look. You're gonna train with her for a long time right. Which means you're gonna get to taste Eleanor-san's homemade cooking yea? Ain't that something to be glad for as a man??"

Nobusada suddenly stopped trembling like, pita! Then he makes a really hard to describe expression. It's like expressionless that comes after going beyond terror. Like he's reached an enlightenment.

<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>

It was a hair-raising experience.
Eleanor-san asked me to teach her how to cook the day before yesterday.
I wonder if there was something that changed her mindset? She's becoming unusually proactive once I started living in Sefi-san's mansion.
But I have to repay the favor for training together with me. I smiled and consented to teach her.
According to Eleanor-san, she's been practicing cooking for a while now but it's never turned out well.
Thus I made her make a simple sandwich first before challenging the harder ones. You simply need to cut up the ingredients and piece them together. That's all, so there's almost no chance for her to mess up.

With my guidance, she sliced the ham, cut the cheese and put them between the bread.
She had no problem making scrambled egg either, or rather, she's proficient at it. How could it turn out bad with this?
While that question crossed my mind, she shredded the prawn and put it in between along with the cut cabbage.

And here's the finished product.

Eleanor's Sandwich Plate
Quality: ??? - Enclosed Mana: ???
Combined sandwich that has been loaded with with Eleanor's devotion.
An excellent article that's been influenced with goddess's protection.

Tettere~♪ Discerning Magic Eye leveled up.

Hm? Having Discerning-sensei leveled up is nice and all...

But there's something on it??? I can't see its quality???

While question marks fly about on my head, Eleanor-san is staring at me with a serious look. She must want me to sample it.
I stuffed the ham cheese sandwich into my mouth while feeling a bit uneasy.



Such an impact stimulated my taste bud. And then, as if rushing in after that, various things assaulted my tongue. Sweet, bitter, spicy, sour, salty, stinky, ouchy, heavy, painful!!!!!!!

B-but how!? How'd it come to this with those ingredients and process.

Tettere~♪ Resistance: Poison has been liberated.

W-whaaaat!? Just what's happening here?
Eleanor-san is looking at me anxiously. Not good, she'd definitely cry if I don't chow this all down.
I steady myself and put the sandwiches into my mouth one after another. Taste? My taste bud has been completely paralyzed already, I can't feel no nothing.

Tettere~♪ Resistance: Paralyze has been liberated.
Tettere~♪ Resistance: Confusion has been liberated.
Tettere~♪ Resistance: Instant Death has been libe...

Once I finished everything, I smiled at Eleanor-san... and fainted just like that.

Afterward, apparently Master who just got back home found me twitching on the table and carried me to the temple to get a treatment. Looks like Master had gone through a similar experience before, thus he was able to quickly deal with my situation. After I was healed, Master apologized looking deeply apologetic, as I could only wryly smile.

I appraised Eleanor-san who had come to visit me and found one thing that Discerning-sensei couldn't see before.

【Protection of Hadin】
Proof of divine protection given by Goddess Hadin that rules over death and destiny. Greatly increase physical ability. However, any cooking made will be granted abnormal status-giving effect, this is always active. The abnormal status effect will be worse the deeper the affection. One theory states that it might be because Hadin is extremely bad at cooking.

Oh look, another no-goddess.

I explained all this to Eleanor-san who was apologizing in tears. 'That protection on me?', she was surprised and then felt dejected when she heard about its effect.
Huh? But with how bad the abnormal status that afflicted me, am I allowed to consider that she's quite fond of me?

"Please don't worry about, it's not your fault Eleanor-san. Let me be in charge of cooking. I'll make anything Eleanor-san want, okay?"

She was cheered up somehow with that. And then I realized too late how embarrassing that line was.
You there Master, stop grinning you!

While recalling that, Kyle who's stopped moving is looking at me with a worried look. Oops, not good. I spaced out while we were talking.
I break the silence by chugging down my cup in one go.

"Oy oy, sure you could chug it down like that? I ain't gonna carry a dead drunk man out with me, ya hear."

"Ah, this is 100% fruit mixed juice, no problem there."

"You're tellin' me that ain't booze!?"

Thanks for the punchline. But there's no rule that states you must drink alcohol in a bar ya know. Even Milk will do.
But well, I wouldn't drink something like this if the bar owner weren't Boss-san's little brother, Gilui-san. In the first place, I wouldn't have entered a bar as a non-drinker. I came here to deliver ice per Boss-san's request.
Besides, there's times when I just want to relax. That day, I exchanged talks about trivial stuff with Kyle while ordering more mixed juice bit by bit.

Previous Chapter

Shikkaku Mon no Saikyou Kenja Chapter 192

Chapter 192 Strongest Sage, Ordered


"...Was Folkia a mining town?"

"I don't think I've heard anything like that..."

The quest is about ore mining.
The name of the ore in question isn't mentioned, but apparently it's used to make a [Sturdy Building Material].

The reward is on the higher side for a quest that doesn't involve fighting monsters... but it's frankly pretty low for an adventurer's quest.
Since there's no other quest present, adventurers must have no choice but to take up this quest.

"Are you here to accept quests?"

A man came out of the guild's interior and approached us while we were looking at the quest form.
From his attires, apparently he's a receptionist, but...

『Um, this is...』

『Yep, a demon.』

The guild receptionist is a demon.
And the demon cast a spell chantlessly on us as he walked here.

『Thought Dampen』--In short, a spell to dull the target's judgment.
This spell seems to have been adjusted to work with general populace in this era, so it's not working on us... but in exchange, it's hard to detect.
Ordinary adventurers probably wouldn't have any clue when this demon cast the spell.

The reason why fake bandits are sent to raid on high-ranking adventurers is probably related to this magic.
As there might be high-ranking adventurers capable of noticing the spell being cast on them.

Adventurers who noticed it would flee, and spread the story about weird things happening at Folkia Guild.

『Did he just cast a spell?』

『Yea. A spell that's not working on us... no doubt about it now. This mining quest is connected to demons.』

I look at the demon while talking through comm magic.
We'd better... pretend that we've been affected by his spell here.
We'll infiltrate their inside in in the meantime and show everyone these sub-demons at the site.

"That's right. We're here to take a quest."

"Then I recommend this quest. You can complete it without fighting monsters, the reward is pretty bountiful too."

The receptionist (demon) gave us the mining quest form.

"I got it. We'll take it."

I immediately signed the form and handed it back.

"I also need your guild cards to process the form. Do you have them with you?"

<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
I fetched four... fake guild cards from my bosom pocket and handed them over to the demon.
Since the demons seemed to be cautious of high-ranking adventurers, I've camouflaged our cards to be of Rank E in the way here.

There's not many high-ranking adventurers in the world, disguising as one wouldn't last long once they looks at the guild register and such... but not even the guild note down every Rank E adventurer's names.

"Thank you."

As expected, the demon took the cards, and handed them back after nodding in satisfaction.

『Is it really okay for us to take this quest... oh, is this like an undercover investigation?』

『Exactly. Declining here would make him wary of us cause his spell didn't show any effect.』

While we were having a briefing, the demon completed the quest form processing and came back here.

"This quest has two stages of operation. Mining and refining. You're free to participate in either of them... which one?"

"The refining please."

"Okay. The refinery's location is marked on this map."

The demon handed me a map.
It shows locations of the refinery, first-aid station and other facilities.

Looking at the number of facilities, this mining operation looks to be quite a large scale project.

"Err... This way."

The refinery is right in the center of the town, very easy to spot.
It's a very sturdy building that's been reinforced with magic.

And there's a demon standing in front of it.
...This place is really full of demons.

"We're here for the ore refinery quest."

I gave the demon the quest form while saying that.

"Got it. I'll have you guys work immediately."

While saying that--the demon cast another [Thought Dampen] spell on us.
Most likely, these demons cast [Thought Dampen] on the adventurers every step of the way to make them work like robots for demons.

But demons are still demons despite being a subspecies.
They should be able to yield way more ore by doing it themselves rather than gathering a bunch of humans to do it for them, why would they out of their way to--.

I got the answer of that question when the demon opened the refinery door.
The ore gathered here looks familiar.

『...Rankine Ore huh.』

Previous Chapter

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 16-50

16-50. Vampires


Satou here. Don't you think that the most terrifying thing about vampires that come up in movies and stories is their ability to turn people into vampires? Since their proliferation rate outstrips even that of rats'.

"Snacks that Satou made really are the best."
"This liquor is pretty nice too, no? Saga Empire's brandy huh?"
"Ale is nice too, but this snack go down the best with strong stuff!"

Rusus and Fifi sipped their glasses in good moods in the airship's main cabin.
They're already without their armor, wearing risky-looking clothing.

Liza is in the room too, she's currently absorbed in sampling the seven types of jerky we stocked at Pier Rock kingdom.

"Where'd the lil' girls go?"
"I asked them to do some errands for me."
"Eeh, booring."

The drunk Rusus puts my head under her arm.
The sensation on my cheek is quite wonderful, but the impregnable fortress pair would intrude in if this kept up, thus I steel myself and get away from the sweet powerful shackles.

"You're gonna fight dragons once we arrived at Dragg Kingdom 'rite?"

Fifi said some dangerous sounding words.

Come to think of it, the treasures in my Storage belong to [Dragg Holy Kingdom].
Since they look like old coins, it might be a currency used in the country that precedes Dragg Kingdom.

"I can't wait for it. How bout you Liza, ever fought a dragon?"

Replying Rusus, Liza who blurted out unintentionally realized her verbal slip and looked at me.

"--You fought some lesser dragons when we visited the western countries, remember."
"Lesser dragons huh--Well, I guess that's only right."
"True dragons are on a whole different level than those."

Rusus and Fifi nodded at each other when I replied in Liza's stead.

"Is that true?"
"Those guys are simply outta this world, just you know."
"There was this time we ran into a blue and a red dragons at Saga Empire, they were way out of league it wasn't even a fight."
"I mean, a single breath managed to blow us away."
"On top of having a wide range, it was unbelievably fast, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Hayato's protection given by god."

Rusus and Fifi narrated their story while looking boastful somewhat.
Hearing that, Liza replied with, "Truly", with a meaningful look on her face.

Indeed, there's no way to evade those laser-like breaths of a true dragon without something like Ground Shrink or Flash Drive, no way to block them either without a Fortress-class barrier at least.

While we were having such a conversation, I caught sights of overflowing refuges in the towns and forts trailing to the neighboring country, thus I landed the airship and shared provisions to them many times.
Food in the form of portable carry cereal bars made of a mix of Giant Kelp fine powder, finely chopped dried fish and sea serpent meat.

"Think we're about to arrive soon?"

Leaving the dead drunk Rusus and Fifi in the main cabin, I went to the deck with Liza.

I realized that we were out of Pier Rock Kingdom on the Map, so I used [All Map Exploration] from the magic list.
I don't see any vampire in the monster domains around the neighboring kingdom.
I used [All Map Exploration] again once we got out of the monster domain and reached the neighboring country.

"--Lots of them seem to have been scattered about."

Not insignificant numbers of Vampire Slaves and Blood Stalkers are still lurking in the two destroyed towns, while one Vampire and several Vampire Slaves are hiding in the subterranean tunnel of the Royal Capital.

"I shall immediately go exterminate them if Master wishes so."
"Right then..."

According to the documents I have on hand, only Vampire class and above have the ability to increase their numbers, I should leave the clean up in the destroyed Tokislu town to Saga Empire's expeditionary force and to Tokiswolk Kingdom's troops who must be hellbent on getting their revenge.

Since Vampire Slaves and Blood Stalkers are relatively strong, they will likely suffer some casualties, but from what I've seen through space magic Clairvoyance, butting in here seems like it would invite their grudges instead.

"...We should leave this area to the local troops, I'll be counting on you to look for the vampires in the capital city later."

Liza gave her affirmation.

The airship came nearby Tokislu town while were conversing, thus I decided to land the airship there to offer our help.
I'm not going to participate in the subjugation, but there should be no problem in sharing provisions here.
I gave them lots of magic potions, magic tools embedded with light gem that vampires hate, and a few simple version of holy monuments.
I hope it could ease Tokiswolk Kingdom's generals and soldiers even a bit.

I also asked about what happened during the vampire raid.

"--It just suddenly happened?"
"Yeah. Missing persons increasing, weird incidents happening, monsters and beasts shifting locations, it was completely void of those omens."

According to the soldiers, no [Vampire] was ever sighted here since the country was founded.

"This Tokislu town was overrun by vampires the same day the Royal Capital's Parion Temple Miko received an oracle."
"Lots of rumors flying about like maybe the gate of hell had opened, or that they were summoned through a ritual by an evil sect's Soul Art users, but the truth is shrouded in darkness."

The two towns were destroyed practically in the same day, the capital suffered an attack by masses of vampires when the other six temples were on their way to convey the oracle they received.

"The attack was carried out in daytime?"
"Yea, there was an out of season torrential rain on that day, musta because the sun those vampires hate didn't show up then."
"Now that ya mention it, the survivors of Tokislu town also said there was a torrential rain on the first day too."
"Damn, what a totally shitty coincidence in this dry season."

I heard some troubling words in the soldiers' conversation, so I tried to search the Map and found neither evil sect nor Soul Art users in this country.
Didn't catch any sight of people powerful enough to cast magic capable of manipulating weathers like reincarnated people with Unique Skills either.

After thanking the soldiers for the info, I took off on the airship.

"Where did those vampires come from--"

I'm pondering while feeling the winds on the airship's deck.

According to the documents I have on hand, the vampires in this world cannot multiply as easily as they would in tales about vampires on earth.

Vampires here have three specific skills that can be used to increase their numbers; [Blood Covenant], [Blood Contract], and [Blood Subordination].
[Blood Subordination] is used to create [Blood Stalkers] from corpses.
The ability to create Vampire Slaves and Vampires, [Blood Contract], has some restrictions; it needs a ritual to be performed during a night of full moon, thrice. Once a ritual has been performed, the recipient will have [Blood Contract: In Progress] state.

In other worlds, creating one vampire above Blood Stalker class needs at least two months time.

The documents state that Appraisal skill cannot see through the [Blood Contract: In Progress] state, however, it's hard to believe that no one noticed the amount of vampires needed to destroy a countries the entire time.
Additionally, the [Blood Covenant] greater vampires have can create vampires with [Blood Contract] ability.

"--Guess asking the person itself will be the fastest."

I muttered so while gazing at the Tokiswolk's capital city in the distant.

<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>

"...This is terrible."
"Yes, it's like a village in the wake of war."

I'm currently strolling the capital city with Liza.

Lethargic people sitting beside rubbles and burned down houses, the sights of piled up bodies being burned with fire magic and oil, and the figures of people crying around those piles.
These sights would have been enough to make me hate vampires as a whole if I wasn't acquainted with true ancestor Ban Hellsing and vampire princess Semeri.

I asked Rusus and Fifi to get a permission from Saga Empire's garrison in the capital city to let us through.
Of course, my goal is to separate the two away from us.

"Looks like we can get into the tunnel from there."

I head for a drainage trench at a riverside.
To meet the vampires lurking in the capital city of course.

I buff Liza with dark magic [Night Sight] and went into the tunnel without lighting.

Red dots are reflected in my Radar.

"Yeah, they're here."

Vampire Slaves.
They seem to have noticed us, they're moving toward the Vampire's location, slightly away from them.

"Hold it, Liza."
"Should we not run after them?"
"We can't get through that path with our physiques."

I stopped Liza who saw the red eyes, and picked the shortest route to the Vampire's hiding place.

Someone was waiting for us when we got close to the hiding place.


The voice of a boy.
Six red lights float in the darkness at the direction of the voice.

It's the Vampire Slaves.

"I need to interrogate them, no killing, got it?"

Liza closed in on the Vampire Slaves with Flickering Step and suppressed them with a single blow.
Without even giving the Vampire Slaves a chance to use their specific ability, [Mist Form].

"Cats and children..."

I restrain the Vampire Slaves with soul magic [Soul Bind (Hold Undead Soul)].
They'd get away with Mist Form if I used ordinary ropes.

This magic seems to be painful to undeads, the Vampire Slaves are groaning in anguish.
I feel pretty bad since their appearances are that of cats and infants.

The last red dot approached us while I was thinking that.

A shadow jumped out of an inconspicuous corner in the tunnel.
Liza quickly holds down the shadow on the ground while leaving trails of red light from her magic spear, without me having to do anything.

"Torque! Please, I don't care what you do to me, just please let them go!"

The hiding Vampire was a girl.
Moreover, her attire is that of a normal village girl you could find anywhere.

According to AR readings, she's a level 20 Vampire with all the specific abilities peculiar to the species, but she's only 12 year old without skills nor gifts.
Detailed info taught me that she was a daughter of an ordinary family that lived in the capital city.

Dunno if I could get any info out of her, but I should ask just to be sure.

"Tell me all information you have. I'll let them off with their lives if you could give me a satisfactory one."
"Information? What kind of information? I'll tell you anything!"

She's more obedient than I thought.
Looks like there was no need for hostages and interrogation.

"When did you become a vampire?"
"I don't know. I had fangs before I realized it, and when I saw mom and my little brothers, their blood..."

The girl mumbled at the end.
When our eyes met, the girl hesitantly spoke, "Thirsting for blood, she was afraid she'd assault her family and ran out of her house."

"Then tell me what you can recall about the time before you turned into vampire. No matter how trivial it is."
"Before I turned?"
"Before you have fangs."

The girl closed her mouth with a serious look afterward.
She's probably retracing her memories.

"I got unusual jerky from the uncle next door. It was really tasty."

Liza who's standing next to me is slowly swinging her tail, probably piqued by the girl's story.

"I ate the jerky at the fountain since my little brother would have snatched if I went home... A hunter with his dog came by to get water from the fountain, and I was injured by the dog who jumped for the jerky. Huh? But it's healed. Even though it was really painful and I had it bandaged."

The girl recited the day in stutters.
Even though there were some suspicious episodes, none seemed to be related to the vampire yet.

"Come to think of it, there was someone weird at the fountain square."
"Someone weird?"
"Un, he was fetching water from the fountain even though he was a noble."

Well, normally nobles would have sent their servants to do that.
According to the girls, his entire body was hidden in a hooded mantle, the girl concluded that he was a noble since the clothes seen from the mantle's gap was that of a foreign high-class suit.


I urged on the girl who hesitated to continue on.

"That person went away somewhere after leaving the pot he used to draw water."

That's suspicious for sure.

"Did anything unusual happen afterward?"
"Nn, I don't think so."

I asked the girl about the location of the fountain in question, and checked it with space magic [Clairvoyance].
There was not even a trace of the pot.
It was either taken away or destroyed during the vampire raid.


The girl raised her face.

"I got stung by a bug."

The girl raised her skirt and pointed at her leg.

Not a trace of bug bite there.
It must have been healed by the recovery rate of a vampire.

"Remember anything about your surroundings? Like how other people were like."
"Other people? Oh right, lots of people were yawning."
"At what time?"
"At the second afternoon bell, I think? Even though it was the time when I was usually awake and hungry, I felt really sleepy so I went straight home, I think."

And apparently, she was a vampire when she came to.

--No, wait.

Something bothered me with what she said.

"You think?"
"Un, I don't really remember what happened after I felt sleepy."

It seems like her memories are quite fragmented.
I tried to probe for her missing memories with mind magic as a form of hypnotherapy, but I only found out that there was nothing unnatural involved, like memory deletion or tampering through some means.

The seemingly nobleman that drew water with a pot at the fountain is the most suspicious.
The unusual jerky and the hunter with a dog are suspicious too, but it's impossible for them to be involved with the vampire incident.
The bug is suspicious too with the bloodsucking thing and all, but these fiction on earth-like stuff like turning people into vampires by means of insects can't possibly exist in this world.

Just in case, I contacted my beloved high elf Aze-san at the Boruenan forest, Hikaru who was acting as the founder king, and the [Master of Forbidden Library] princess Sistina through space magic [Telephone], and re-confirmed that the only ways to create vampires are through the three methods found in my documents and a ritual to bring forth True Ancestor.

"Now then, what to do with these kids..."

Apparently, my whisper was heard, as the kids began to hug each other while looking terrified.
I forgot about the outstanding senses of vampires.

"Don't worry, no need to get frightened. At the very least, we're not going to kill you."

These kids have no Crime of harming people carved on their status.
They must have been terrified and fled here.

I asked them about their ages and their family names, but I couldn't find those names in the country with Map search.
Unfortunately, they seem to have passed away during the vampire incident.

"Liza, please take care of things here for a bit."

I entrusted the kids' safety to Liza, teleported to the True Ancestor Ban's castle in the labyrinth's lower layer, and requested them to take the kids and cats into custody.
Of course, they asked me back for compensations, but they readily agreed to my request while also using this opportunity to kill their time.
Well, compensations here mean three bottles of a cheap wine [Lesseu's Blood], so it's really just for form's sake.

"Suspicious nobleman?"
"Aah, you must be talking about Prof from the 『Sage's Tower』. He came to this country to conduct a research or something, methink?"

Sage's Tower should be the name of a city state where the Karion Main Temple resides.
Apparently, there were reports of suspicious individuals sighted by the citizens, one of the guard even dropped by to question him.

"Do you know his name?"
"Ah, I sure do. It was Shigan Saga or something."


"Is it perhaps."
"Yea, forgot if it was illegitimate child or grandchild prince, the stuff about having 100th seat for the succession got a laugh out of me."

A family member of Saga Emperor huh... The fishiness has been turned up to eleven.

I should search the Map just in case.

--There he is.

Or rather, was.

Shigan Saga has become a corpse in a forest near the capital city.

There's no other corpses around him in the Map.
Checking with space magic [Clairvoyance], he had been outfitted with thief-like attires, his face had been crushed, and there was nothing in his belonging that could be used to trace back his identity.
Well, Appraisal skill should be able to identify him to an extent, but there's no way anyone would dispatch an appraiser to a mountain where a bandit's corpse was found, neither would they carry a bandit's body down the mountain.

Judging from the situation, high chance he was killed to silence him.

I had declared that [There is no next time] when I put the [Damocles's Sword] in the emperor's bedroom, so even with the circumstantial evidences, I'm hard pressed to conclude that Saga Empire is behind this vampire incident.

I should investigate Saga Empire once again, which means I ought to meet Meiko at Dragg Kingdom.
I was planning to go ahead to the next trial after escorting Rusus and Fifi there, but the plan has changed.

I let out a small sigh as the plan that's gone awry crossed my mind.

※Next update is planned for 6/10

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