14-31. Water Peach Kingdom (4)
Satou's here. Once you're familiar with a habit, it comes out of you unconsciously. You can say that it's been optimized, but there was a time when it backfired on me when I changed my job and environment.
Although I think Hikaru's flag-like line isn't the culprit, several Wyvern Riders from Rumooku Kingdom's area are coming here flying.
"That sounds like a flute we've heard somewhere isn't it?"
The source of the sound seem to be the Wyvern Riders although we can't see them here because of the trees obstructing the view.
I shift my glance toward the queer sounds, the tied kidnappers on the ground are writhing in agony while anguishing.
Parts of their bodies and faces are moving like different creatures, it's quite a horror.
"Uge, that seems dangerous!"
"Princess-chan, come here with your little sister! Keep a distant from these guys."
Arisa screamed, the female adventurer urged the two princesses to escape with the adventurers.
"Hikaru! Take care of the wyverns."
"Leave it to me!"
Hikaru kicks the tree and disappears into the sky.
She should be fine with that side.
"What about Tama~?"
"I'm counting on Tama to protect Arisa and the others."
Tama joins her hands in Ninja-style and runs to Arisa.
The kidnappers cut their binding while I was feeling grossed with the spectacle and stood up after becoming grotesque-looking.
I remember these figures.
They look like someone who has excessively taken Fiend Drugs.
The difference is the existence of the wriggling red rope-like light magic circles on their bodies--They're likely the human version of the [Red Rope Monsters] that attacked Shiga Kingdom's Royal Capital.
--What a bad taste.
I'm sorry for the adventurers who are holding their sword and wands in alert, but I'll deal with this quick.
I hate splatter after all.
I invoke the advanced force magic [Magic Arm] to immobilize the kidnappers, and drain their magic power all at once with [Mana Drain Thorn].
This magic is a version of [Mana Drain] that works against many people at once, furnished with thorn-like light that grow in all directions as a visual.
The quantity of the MP drain is less than the original but it's more than enough for these guys.
The kidnappers whose magic power have been drained become mummy-like.
It's still better than being grotesque-looking but it seems they won't go back to their original figures like the people who were addicted with Fiend Drug.
The luminous points of the adventurers reflected on the radar are moving toward the Shadow Castle.
Come to think of it, that female adventurer undertook the job of carrying the [Magic Creature for Intelligence Gathering] into the Shadow Castle from the weaselkin huh.
She probably took Princess Rumia to open the barrier.
When I turned around to Arisa's voice, I saw Arisa and the others being pulled by countless black hands toward barrier's beyond.
I immediately used space magic [Article Pull (Abort)] to pull them back, but it was canceled in vain.
--I forgot that this was a teleportation-prohibited area.
While regretting my foolish mismanagement, I moved to the foremost black hand with Ground Shrink and helped Tama escape from it.
It seems Holy swords can easily cut the black hands but they grow back every time they're cut so Tama couldn't escape from them.
I stretched my hand toward Arisa but tsunami-like shadow hands pushed me away, she got kidnapped together with the princesses and the others to beyond the barrier.
Tama repeatedly hits the surface of the barrier that was closed before her.
Then, Hikaru came back while dragging beastkin people who seemed to be the Wyvern Riders.
"Satou, I've defeated them--wait, what about Arisa and the others?"
"They were taken by the shadow."
Looking at the map, Arisa and the others seem to have been taken to the innermost room in the maze-like castle.
"Wait a minute, I'll use the barrier puncture magic--"
"There's no need."
I stopped Hikaru's talk midway.
--Things like barrier, I'll just tear them off.
I'm being dominated with a slightly violent thought from the impatience of losing Arisa.
While doing self-analysis like such, I throw away my restrain and extend my hand at the barrier.
For some reason, the barrier doesn't reject me, my hand is slipping right through it.
Tama who's still hitting the barrier is still denied of entry.
I tried to pull Tama's hand and we could enter together.
"Hikaru, let's go together. Tama, wait at the rock with the carved seal board after you've delivered these guys to the knight."
"Un, I got it."
"Tama will wait."
Hikaru agreed with my instruction, Tama nodded and talked with a stiff not-slow voice.
After patting Tama's head once to relieve her, I took Hikaru along beyond the barrier.
--Now, let's go help Arisa.
"<<DANCE>> Claiomh Solais"
Hikaru uses Claiomh Solais to turn the Shadow Sentries blocking our way into dust.
I wonder if it's just my imagination, I feel that the Shadow Sentries are only attacking Hikaru since awhile ago.
Perhaps they remember about their fight with Hikaru a long time ago?
While getting distracted by that, we passed through the forest and arrived before the castle.
There's a cliff before our eyes and a pitch black castle towering over us on top of the cliff.
"They're coming again!"
Shadow Sentries are appearing one after another from the shadow of the trees and rocks.
It's like a spawn point with unlimited spawn, and even if a hundred of them appear, they're nothing but a hindrance since they're only level 30.
Furthermore, they don't exist on the map until after they've appeared which is annoying.
--<<Remote Shining Javelin>>.
Just like the name suggest, homing spears that emit intense light defeat the Shadow Sentries.
Once I, who was ignored by the sentries, defeated one of the them, they seemed to deem me as an enemy and started to attack me.
"They don't give you experience, so we'd better use 『Light Net』 to catch them and leave them alone!"
Following Hikaru's advice, I use several Light Nets to catch the pursuing sentries, stopping them.
Thanks to that, we successfully invaded the castle.
It seems Arisa and the others are in the innermost room of the castle, [Master Room], in fainted states.
I can't use teleport and Clairvoyance magic so I can only see them from the map's information.
The situation uncontrollably worries me.
"Ichirou-nii, Arisa would be fine, you shouldn't get impatient."
"Yeah, I'm just worried if Arisa would go too far."
I replied Hikaru with a light tone somehow.
Still, my mind was able to calm down somewhat from the conversation.
We quickly advance the path after thanking Hikaru.
With Arisa's current ability, she should be fine even against a demon lord, but I can't say that out loud.
Some god or great demon lord feel like they'd appear if I do that.
"--Hikaru, let's stop a bit here."
I let Hikaru who's breathing roughly to rest, take out an accelerated magic gun and annihilate [Shadow Sentries] and some mixed level 50 [Shadow Knights] with [Holy Bullets].
The bullets hit the wall and got repelled while leaving sound like when you drop waterdrops at hot oil.
....Stopping holy bullets huh, that's quite a sturdy wall.
Still, on top of the increasing enemy level, their spawn rhythm has increased too.
We're just wasting time if this keeps on.
Arisa and the others are not injured for the time being, but on top of not knowing the other party's objective, there's no guarantee that they will keep being safe.
Wonder if I can make a short cut somehow?
I took out a small white knife from Storage and cut the wall with it.
--Yup, looks like it'll go well.
"■■■■■■■■ ■■ ■ ■■■....."
Next, I point a wand made of [True Silver] that has good magic accuracy diagonally toward the wall and begin to chant the forbidden spell of destruction magic [Banishing Perforation].
"Ichirou-nii, the wall here can't be broken you know. The child who came with me in the past said that it had 『Non-Destructive Element』."
I lift the corner of my mouth to reply Hikaru.
We'll see the result soon.
The forbidden spell consumes magic power that equals the Meteor Shower's.
I can't afford the chance of Arisa and the others getting injured so the target's direction is the opposite of them.
"....■■■■■■■■■ Banishing Perforation."
A collapsing phenomenon from the concept of [Destruction] that can't be comprehended by the science I know is slowly destroying the wall.
Judging from the preface of the spell code, it seems to be a spell that recreates the power of dragon fang that [Penetrates all].
--Still, the control of the magic is difficult.
If I lose focus, the power of [Destruction] might even erase me as the user.
I maintain the wand that feels like it'll fly off with my physical strength, enduring until the spell ends.
The wall in front of me has been erased, and many walls beyond it are also bored through.
In the end, it seem to even reach the sky.
"Uwah, you really destroyed the wall."
Hikaru muttered in astonishment.
I drink a magic potion and calm my rough breath.
This was a test to see whether the wall could be broken with magic, but I used a white knife made from the remain of the black dragon's fang to test whether it could be broken itself.
"Now then, time for the real thing."
I use [Banishing Perforation] once again in order to create a shortcut in the maze-like corridors.
Unfortunately I couldn't pierce through the target location.
Judging from the sensation, it seems the area surrounding the [Master Room] is protected by an Anti Magic type of barrier.
Together with Hikaru, I jumped into the hole created by the [Banishing Perforation].
"Tubes? Hikaru, do you know what is the facility here?"
"U~n, I didn't reach here when I came before so I don't know."
After entering the door at the end of the hole, we came into a room full of glass tubes that looked like the ones used to create homonculus that I saw in the Royal Capital.
Among many of them, one has some kind of liquid with something floating inside.
"--But there's no mistake that this is an important facility isn't it."
"That seems to be the case."
Shadow Knights appear in every direction of the room--and they're strong at level 99 to boot.
Hikaru might get hurt if I don't fight them seriously.
I cut down the Shadow Knights with the advanced light magic [Photon Laser].
I understand from the fights so far, these shadows are weak against light magic indeed.
--This is bad.
The Photon Laser that hit the wall was reflected and cut down the unexpected facilities.
Glass pieces are scattered, black sparks paint the space.
"Ichirou-nii, behind you!"
A Shadow Knight is closing in even while breaking down into dust.
I fill the holy sword Durandal I have in hand with magic power and imitate the light magic finisher that hero Hayato showed once before.
The shock wave produced by Durandal annihilated the Shadow Knight like an ink dropped into water.
"Ichirou-nii, you overdid it!"
Glass pipes and equipment as tall as a person are breaking one after another behind Hikaru who's running toward the exit at full force.
Looks like they're broken by the after-waves of the light magic and the finisher.
The one with something floating inside is protected by Flexible Shield so it's safe. I collect the pipe into the Storage as is.
I'll check the inside after we've saved Aria and the others.
While deploying wind magic protection to evade the dust, I follow after Hikaru.
After kicking a monochrome door that's as tall as a person, we came into a place that looked like a throne room.
It appears the level 75 [Great Shadow Knight] that were endlessly spawning just before aren't appearing in this throne room.
This place is filled with serene atmosphere.
And, Arisa and the princesses are sleeping on the gigantic 10-meter tall thrones on the back.
I reach it in one leap with Flash Drive and wake Arisa up with wakening magic.
The half-sleeping Arisa hugs my neck, I stop her from stealing my lips by pining her forehead.
"I'll do as many kisses as you like later, just wake up quick."
"Fue? --Eh, Master?"
Arisa who was laughing nihe nihe with half-asleep eyes woke up and got back to her sober face.
Apparently she didn't hear my statement earlier.
"I'm sorry, I've become a drag."
"It's fine as long as you're safe."
I can manage somehow as long as she didn't die.
On the other hand, I noticed that Hikaru who's under the throne seemed strange.
"Ichirou-nii, look at that!"
Hikaru points at--.