14-6. Holy State Parion [Revised]
Satou's here. Crisis comes when I've forgotten about it. Things like finding myself not being able to answer the last question of a test that should have been easy, it was quite unnerving.
Arisa wasn't there when I woke up in the morning.
Lulu who should have been sleeping beside me is also missing.
"Ah! Master, you woke up?! And I was just going to give you a wake-up kiss!"
Arisa showed up wearing an apron on the entrance.
She looks more cheerful than usual.
"Smells sweet nanodesu."
The youth troupe raise their bodies on the bed.
"Ehehe~ I made hot cakes today with Lulu's help!"
"Arisa is amazing nodesu!"
"Now, wash your faces. Let's have a breakfast."
Arisa urged everyone to get off the bed with a theatrical tone.
"Nana, you should get up."
"Master, another five minutes."
I shook the shoulders of Nana who was still sleeping even then.
She hugged my arm to her breast while saying another five minutes.
She was clinging to Mia just awhile ago, she probably missed her body warmth.
The sullen Mia quickly snatched away my happiness.
Mia mercilessly shakes Nana to wake her up and then pulls her arm toward the washroom.
Liza did a morning practice so she looks like usual.
I fix my appearance with the personal grooming advanced magic and report the yesterday's detail to my connections.
I had conveyed "A demon lord got destroyed" to Echigoya Firm and the royal castle when I defeated the demon lord, but I didn't touch the detail.
I connected the king, the prime minister, Echigoya Firm, and me with Telephone.
The sound mode is of Nanashi. Since I previously changed my tone to sound arrogant like Kuro, I have to be careful not to mix them up.
"--Thus, the demon lord who was also the dungeon master of Yowok Kingdom labyrinth had blown himself. There were something called 『Fake Core』 and 『Doom Core』 inside the labyrinth."
『I can understand the Fake Core, but what kind of thing is Doom Core?』
<TLN: TL Mistake last chapter, 'Dummy Core' should have been 'Doom Core'.>
The prime minister asked.
I answer while reading the document I've confiscated from the lesser demon on the menu.
"Doom Core is an apparatus that can effectively produces monsters by gathering curses and grudges."
I convey the information written in the demon document.
"It seems that it had collected grudges from the former royal family before it was installed in the labyrinth. This might be groundless, but perhaps the royal capital was left in poor state in order to collect negative emotions from the surface."
In addition, it seems the Fake Core was used to cultivate Gabo fruits which were needed to breed demi goblins.
The demon document also details about the re-installation of traps inside the labyrinth, "Demi Goblin Trappers work independently."
It seems the demi goblins and the rats in that labyrinth were not all produced by the labyrinth, but some were brought in from outside.
Although it's not written in the demon document, it seems the demi ogres in the lowest floor were brought in from outside too.
From now on, Yowok Kingdom's labyrinth is most likely going to gradually decline, and will eventually wither.
I tell them my plan today once that matter is over.
"--I'm thinking of investigating Holy State Parion today."
『Then we will the necessary documents for the investigation.』
"Thanks. I'll stop by and take it later."
The prime minister said these when I was going to cut the talk after finishing the report.
『Nevertheless, it's such a pitiful end for the great demon lord who plunged the Royal Capital into chaos and created a new demon lord. As expected, there should not be multiple demon lords hidden in one country, the ploy must have been planned by the senior greater demon.』
Those words stay in mind like a thorn.
Certainly, it's quite unlikely for two demon lords to be in the same country, but if they search a reincarnated person that fits the requirement, and forcefully make them use too much Unique Skill after giving them the intended title--.
It's not impossible.
--However, that's a bit of a stretch.
I laugh away my mind that was on the verge of becoming a conspiracy theorist, and then went to the dining room with Arisa who had came back to call me for the breakfast.
"So? So? How is the taste?"
Arisa peered to my face while looking worried.
The bottom is charred black, and I can see semi-liquid dough when I cut it with a knife.
I can stealthily use heating magic here, but I'll appreciate Arisa's hard work here and put the half-baked hot cake to my mouth with a smile.
"Yup, it's good."
"Ehehe~ well~yes. This is Arisa-chan's true ability."
Arisa twists her body bashfully.
This feels like a father with a daughter who just cooked her first dish.
"Pochi's is honey-syrup-clad special nanodesu."
Looks like these girls' shares were baked by Lulu.
"Um, hey, Satou. Are we doing it too today?"
"Should we stop if you don't like it?"
"I-it's not that I don't like it."
Although this would create a misunderstanding if you only hear it, this is just a morning conversation with the princess who's reluctant with going to the labyrinth.
"That monster has the optimal reproductive power, however, should we use different monsters if you don't like it?"
"...Is it alright with different monsters?"
I affirmed the princess's question.
"Meat is better than fish! Pochi likes the jungle area where she can collect dinosaur meat!"
"The dinosaur is good. They're rich in variety, and we can enjoy both chicken and beef flavor."
The beast girls' standard is a bit odd.
"Ara? Tama and Pochi, are you not going to the tasting festival today?"
"Pochi will go on a hunt nodesu. It's absolutely not because she's tired with Lulu's omelette rice nodesuyo?"
I see, looks like Tama and Pochi had enough of omelette rices that only provide little chicken meat.
The dishes for the cooking contest should be rice dish, meat dish and soup, so the test today is probably for the soup.
Lulu, Arisa and Mia are going to the experiment for the cooking contest.
The other girls are going to power-level in the labyrinth.
I tell Echigoya Firm to buy ingredients that Lulu requested, and send the labyrinth group.
The jungle forest has been revived in just half a month even though it was half-destroyed back then.
"Ah! There's a Tricera nodesu! The helmet grill is really delicious nodesu."
"Chief is there too~ wrapped roast~?"
"There are raptors and archaeopteryxes too. The hunt today is worth it."
The beastkin girls are staring beyond the fern forest with drooling faces.
I told them, "Don't be too hard okay", used long-lasting continuous support magic on them, and then left the labyrinth.
Zena-san's wind magic skill should be high enough soon, I'll present her with a magic book that has [Fly] magic after today's dinner.
Now then, I'm going to visit Holy State Parion, but going there through the air lane from the great desert would take too much time, so I decided to take a bit of shortcut.
First, I changed into Kuro, and moved to the relay satellite located at the geostationary satellite orbit with Unit Arrangement.
Next, after using [Astro Suit] and [Barrier of Resist Fire] magic together, I dived into the atmosphere.
It might just have been my imagination, but since I felt that the descent velocity was slow, I used Flash Drive to accelerate more.
It felt a bit hot, but since my clothes aren't burning, it should be fine.
I've never done sky diving in the former world, but this is too fun, I'll get addicted to it.
Tama and Zena-san should be willing to sky dive with me together if I invited them.
When I'm about 10.000 feet above Holy State Parion, I move to the ground with Unit Arrangement by sight.
I made use of Unit Arrangement's inertia reset characteristic.
I use [Cold Wind] magic to blow off the heat accumulated from the descent.
Due to the time difference, its still right at dawn around here, I can see the Holy City Parion wrapped in morning fog beyond.
Now then, let's gather some intelligence before the native people come here.
I get Holy Parion Kingdom information by using [All Map Exploration].
As for the highest priority question, [Holy State Parion's Pope, Zazaris, being a demon lord], it turns out to be a false info.
The pope has a Unique Skill called [Heal All], and two titles, [God's Agent] and [Saint].
Since he has Unique Skill, that means he might be a reincarnated person with violet hair like Arisa.
I'm slightly interested with him, but I can just visit Holy City cathedral later.
I tried searching for other people with Unique Skill or demons, but it seems they don't exist here.
This kingdom has no labyrinth and there's no blank zone on the map of the area that's under direct control of the pope.
At most there's only the City Core room under the Holy City cathedral, but there shouldn't be a demon lord lurking in the center of the country.
Next I search powerful people whose level are 50 and above.
Excluding Pope Zazaris at level 51, it's only the Inquisition Bureau director and chief who are both at level 50.
I'm bothered with the Inquisition Bureau executors who have many and varied skills in spite of their relatively low levels.
Perhaps, Holy State Parion has a peculiar way to teach them skills.
In addition, I've also searched people who belong to the demon lord believers, [Light of Liberty], but there are only around 100 people in the whole territory, unexpectedly it seems they don't have much influence.
It seems that the whole Inquisition Bureau including the cardinal who commanded the sabotage in the Royal Capital and the chiefs are all members of [Light of Liberty].
Their number should not only be 100, they might be in other parishes of Holy State Parion. Apparently the territories in Holy State Parion are called parishes.
According to the document from the prime minister, the parish under the aforementioned cardinal is suspicious, thus I'm thinking of going around all the parishes with that one as the last so I won't miss anything.
Lastly, I searched for [Army of God] but there wasn't anyone like that.
They're probably in the middle of the reversal invasion campaign against the three country union.
I'd like to sightsee the Holy City but I need to investigate the other parishes first.
I make a teleport point with [Create Safe House] in an undeveloped area near the holy city for when I'm going back here.
I get away from the point with sight-based Unit Arrangement, and then go around the parishes with Flash Drive.
I noticed that a lot of the populace here are afflicted with [Overworked], [Malnutrition], and [Illness], when I used [All Map Exploration] in each parish.
In contrast, the majority of the parishes' priests and the Holy City's populace are in good health.
It bothered me so I looked at the fields, most of them were infertile.
Looking at the split field with clover and root crops, I understand that they're using four-wheeled farming method, but both the wheat and the barely are hollow.
As an experiment, I went to an abandoned farm village, and used the advanced earth magic [Cultivation].
It's the same synchronous magic used by the royal court magicians to fix the land devastated by the heavenly dragon back then.
As the magic showed its effect, the reddish dried field turned into humus-like black soil in a blink of an eye.
Apparently it's not because the lack of magic essence (mana), but that this country lacks earth magicians.
And then after five more parishes, when I was investigating the last parish, I finally found a town that looks like it's being used as the base of the [Light of Liberty]. The majority of the inhabitants seem to be its members.
And, there are seven level 50 strong people in this parish.
The parish head, the temple knight leader, and five priests of this town seem to be members of the [Light of Liberty].
There doesn't seem to be any demon lord here, but just in case, I'll check this town's City Core.
I made a teleport point in the outskirt, and went to the town's sky through sight-based Unit Arrangement.
Of course I've hidden myself with optical camouflage skill.
"What a gray town..."
I got such an impression since the plaster used in the town's buildings are of gray color and the townspeople are all wearing undyed simple clothing.
That impression is also fostered with the gloomy expressions of the residents.
The only color comes from the colorful belts of the priests and the ornaments and the clothes of the women who walk with them.
I lower my altitude and check the downtown's condition.
>[Western Regions Language] Skill Acquired.
Even though I've got a skill, I can just use the force magic's [Translate].
I choose [Translate] magic on the Magic Column.
"--The wheat price is raised again."
"Again?! Wasn't it raised just three days ago?"
"Sheesh it's disgusting. It's going to be three times the last year's price soon right?"
The people who are rustling bags on a cart seem to be a wheat merchant and his customers.
I don't think it's strange for the staple food to suddenly raise in price during wartime.
When I randomly looked at the bag of wheat, it showed, [Wheat, low quality. 20% of the weight is of impurity.]
Looking at the price using Estimation skill, it's almost four times the price of Shiga Kingdom's Royal Capital expensive variety.
"Looks like there's little impurity this time, I'll buy one jar much."
"Ey, come again!"
Apparently, it's normal for impurity to be mixed in the wheat of this country.
I'm glad that I didn't come to this country when I first came to another world.
As I'm nonchalantly looking at them, the wheat gets exchanged for mahjong stick-like things.
That seems to be the currency of this country.
"I wonder if the living condition would improve a little once we won the war."
"Haha, only pastors-sama and priests-sama will."
"I'm alright as long as my husband who's gone to war is safe."
"Hee, wasn't onee-san's husband one of the 『Army of God』? Then there's no way he'd lose."
"Wait there, my husband and my brother who have gone to the war front won't lose too."
"Hehe, please don't compete on it."
The other wife protested to the wheat seller man.
What.... So the [Army of God] is just militia men.
It's good that they're not some dangerous folks.
"Thank you. Currently, they should be attacking the tuban guys country with the northern Magic Turtle Fortress."
"That's amazing. Doesn't it take a lot of money to move that fortress?"
"That's why we gave a lot of charity to the church, I'm worried whether we can make it through the next winter."
Found some new keyword, I tried searching the so-called [Magic Turtle Fortress].
One of it remains to the east of the Holy City.
Since [Northern] was mentioned earlier, I investigated more and found three of it including the one I found earlier protecting the Holy City at the four directions.
It looks like a gigantic turtle magic beast fitted with countless magic cannons on its back.
It seems the turtle magic beasts are not tamed, but being controlled with some kind of magic device. That control unit probably needs a lot of money to be operated.
They're level 50s magic beasts, so they're just right to become prey for our girls, but as expected, breaking military equipment of another country would be bad.
However, I wonder if these [Magic Turtle Fortress] and the militia men really pushed back army six times their size?
It seems God Parion bestows power to Saga Empire Hero, perhaps the [Army of God] also received blessing from God Parion and became six time stronger.
While thinking such a thing, I intruded Parion Temple in the center of the town.
I didn't use the mana camouflage which has bad fuel consumption, but I used every hiding skill I have.
Level 40 male and female temple knights are guarding the door that leads to the City Core.
I feel that these class of temple knights are too much as gatekeepers.
I can't teleport to the other side of the door since it's of a different map.
I think I can just beat them up and enter since they're [Light of Liberty (Terrorist)] people anyway, but let's think of other methods first.
Magic that I can spontaneously use have increased ever since I gained the ability to chant, so there's a lot of magic that I don't remember on the Magic Column.
And, I found the most appropriate magic on the Magic Column.
It's the intermediate force magic [Through Eye].
It was quite handy during the initial stage of the casted holy sword production, but recently, I haven't used it at all.
When I pick [Through Eye] on the Magic Column, I gain the ability to see through the magic metal-made door.
Before my line of sight could wander to the female knight's breasts, I teleported into the room with [Unit Arrangement]. Looks like it's usable with sight through magic.
I use [All Map Exploration] in the room.
As I thought, this area is the [City Core Space].
There's mostly no one here, but there's a person of interest in here.
--It's the demon lord.
I never thought that I would meet another demon lord in two consecutive days.
The demon lord this time has [Transfer] and [Familiar] Unique Skills. The titles are [Demon Lord], [Devotee], and [Calamity Saintess].
It's a woman, her original race is [Long Earkin]. She's 24 year old, she's young.
In addition, she doesn't have even one normal skill, only gift-like skills; [Self Status] and [Hide Skill]. Her level is only 50 too.
It can be said that she's the weakest demon lord I've ever meet.
If she's a demon lord that can be reasoned with, now is the chance to persuade her when there's no familiar.
I'm quite bothered with her [Sickness: Depression] condition, but I can just cure it with [Cure Disease] and [Spirit Exaltation] magic.
Thinking so, I changed into hero Nanashi and walked to her room.
Of course, I won't plunge recklessly.
I've taken a little "Insurance".
"Good evening, demon lord."
"Holy sword? Then you must be a hero right? You came to kill me didn't you."
When the beauty with a gloomy smile stood up, her long violet hair flowed back.
I wonder if she doesn't wear underwear below her silk priest clothing, her body line is slightly tempting me.
Looks like she's maintaining her normal ego.
It's troubling that she looks like she wishes for death, but I feel that we can negotiate peacefully.
"But, I'm sorry. I must kill you in accordance to the order."
While deriding herself sadly, she slowly lifts her arm toward me.
As if telling me to kill her first before she could finish.
When the bracelet on her arm shined, hero Nanashi and the ground he was standing on turned into black dust.
Since the City Core behind her throne lit up when the bracelet shined, it's probably a kind of ceremonial magic through the City Core.
I'm glad that I used a phantom.
I release the mana camouflage, and hit the depressed demon lord on her vital to make her swoon.
I took her bracelet the moment she fainted.
Next I'll see what I can do with the City Core.
I tried touching the City Core to see if I could gain control of it, but it was denied with, [An Exclusive User already Exists].
--Luminous point behind.
When I turned around, I saw a black clothed person casting violet light.
It might be an omen of Unique Skill.
Maybe I should fall back with [Unit Arrangement] now and confront it again later?
My thought revolves during that instant.
Hearing the chant leaking from the black clothed person, I threw away the evade option.
If the person was really a reincarnated person or a teleported person that can use Unique Skills, there should be no need to chant.
Then there's a high chance that that violet light is simply a bluff.
--I can just interrupt it if it's a chant.
I go before the black clothes with Ground Shrink and throw a kick to the person's stomach to interrupt the chant.
The black clothes tried to evade with a speed faster than Tama, but I'm not gentle enough to let it avoid easily.
Sliding using Ground Shrink while kicking, I hit the black clothes just right.
While in the middle of the Command Word, the black clothes sank into the wall with the speed of a cannonball.
Looks like the last Ground Shrink was too much, the black clothes was thrown into the wall with a higher force than I expected.
The arms and legs are bent in the wrong direction, must be my imagination.
The person must be of a race who has a lot of joints.
However, that was my blunder.
The Attentive Ears skill picked up the activation of the remaining Command Word from the man's mouth.
The skill that bounds Arisa and Lulu?
I choose the countermeasure while being surprised in my accelerated mind.
I scroll the Magic Column, and pick up the [Spirit Guard] in the mind magic category.
>Unable to resist Geass effect. Dominated.
>[Geass] Skill Acquired.
>[Geass Resistance] Skill Acquired.
Right before I can select the activation of the countermeasure magic, such logs flow in the corner of my view.
At the same time, red cobweb-like pattern emerges on top of the AR reading, my consciousness becomes turbid.
"Kneel, my servant."
Black cloth--er, the person wearing black clothing--no, my great master.
"Yes, my master."
Abiding my master command, I knelt down.
Various AR information are showed next to master.
The red cobweb displayed on my vision is bothersome, but it's not enough to hinder me from reading the information.
His title is [Dark Sage], [Ruler], [10.000-shape Magician], [Master of Demon Lord], [One who Reaches Man Limit], and [Lord]. A level 99 magic warrior with more than 100 skills, including [Geass], [Pain Resistance], and [Chanting Interruption Resistance].
He's an unrivaled being who has [Counter] and [Soul Shot] Unique Skills.
I long for the next order from my great master.