Satou's here. I want riddle to be called mystery.
With this brutal adventure life, I'm saying goodbye to carefree sightseeing trip, Satou.
<TLN: If you haven't noticed, these "Satou's here" preludes will only get weirder lol>
Zen, Zen, Zen huh, I was overwhelmed by his drive, and made to dance according to his plan. He was probably satisfied, but it was a real nuisance to get involved.
Still, even though I've murdered someone because of the course of the event, I don't feel any remorse. It's not just because of my high MND but probably also because his outer appearance was that of a skeleton and he looked happy in the end.
I pull myself together. First, let's check on Arisa and the girls' situation. It seems that Liza is a bit hurt but everyone is safe. They're not in the camping ground but already near Seryuu city.
Somehow they thought that, "When it's morning", meant that they should get to the worker's guild before morning. I meant to say, "Depart when it's morning", but it was difficult to complete it.
I could tell them my safety if we have cellphones, but it can't be helped if it doesn't exist. Let's look for something with the same function when we got to the royal capital and labyrinth city.
Now then, it'd be difficult to traverse through 5 mountains when it's this dark. Putting aside my physical strength, my mental state is weary. I want to rest at least until dawn.
Should I take a rest until dawn here?
I've thought of heartless things, when I think about it, I remember that I shouldn't leave Arisa and the girls alone. If they, slaves they are, come back alone then wouldn't they be treated as escaped slaves?
The knight Soun who guards the front gate is a big hearted person, but I'm not sure if that applies to slaves and demi-humans too.
My health is already fully recovered, and my stamina is still at 90% anyway. I hate to think like an athlete, but let's psyche myself up.
Of course I'll also take Mia, who I'm carrying on my shoulder, and No.7 (homonculus) along. If I leave them here, they'd fall preys to wolves then there'd be no point in me saving them from the maze.
I wrap Mia and No.7 each in thick sheets. By chance, Mia now looks like at the time when she was first handed to me by the red-helmet.
>[Packing Skill Acquired]
I put Mia on top of No.7, and carry both of them on my arms. They call this, bridal carry. If I have common physical strength I'd be down in just a few minutes, but the me now could carry them for many hours without problem. When I try to walk, Mia almost slips out so I wrap one more mantle on the two to stabilize them.
I push my way through the mountain road while carrying the two.
I haven't even run through the mountain road for a few minutes before, like usual,
>[Off-Road Skill Acquired]
comes up, so I put points to it until the maximum and activate it. Incidentally, I also enable the [Sprint] skill in similar manner. I might be wasting points but there's still about 90% of it remaining so it's fine.
I've been thoughtlessly using them up until now, but seeing those purple lights, I feel like I'd get involved with troubles. I've decided to carefully examine each of my skills and use half of my points to strengthen myself after I've reunited with Arisa and the girls.
I'm passing over a place that looks like the ruins of rat-man village after 10 minutes of running. Was this the village where Mia met the red-helmet again?
I'm interested, but I have to keep going through the mountain now.
I can somehow identify good thickets to jump from, I wonder if this is thanks to off-road skill. I can't tell it as clearly as the trap-discovery skill could to traps, is this because the difference in natural and man-made things?
Probably thanks to the off-road skill added with sprint skill, I'm even considerably faster than a horse-drawn wagon. Moreover, combined with 3D-maneuver skill, I'm passing through the mountain almost in a straight line. I feel like some kind of ninja from a manga.
After crossing two mountains, dead trees begin to decrease and greeneries are becoming rich.
At such time, I see interesting place with shinning lily of the valley-like flowers and flickering mushrooms on the middle of the way. I want to look closer but time is precious now, so I give up. Since it's regrettable, I put a marker on the map for the place.
Mia and the woman sometimes get tangled with branches that stick out but I destroy it by flicking coins with my hand.
I run through the mountain relying on the moonlight. It feels like the moon in this world is awfully bright.
After the fourth mountain, a Giant Boar jumps on me. I've noticed it on the radar, but since it suddenly jumps here, I just kick it away.
I've been avoiding small animals who jump my way so far, but as expected, it's impossible to do so with a bear-sized giant boar.
Its head which got hit directly went with a splat, I averted my eyes. Without looking at its scattered head, I put it into the storage before it falls onto the ground as a souvenir for Liza. Since I've seen Liza dismantling it several times already, I may have become accustomed it. Even though I'm boasting now, I'm confident that I'd have abandoned it if it was not dark.
And then we finally get to the highway. From here, it's 80 kilometers away to Seryuu city in straight line. There's one and half hour until dawn.
I run pass the hilly areas in straight line. The grounds are scooped out but no one would mind it anyway, probably.
I'm thinking while running. The thing with Arisa and Zen, I feel I have a luck (Hard Luck) that gets me tend to be involved with humans who have been given power by the gods. I can't think that they're all existences with good will.
Does the gods in this world enjoy themselves by giving people trial?
Or, are they like mythological gods from Northern Europe and Greece where they have human-like trait with both evil and good?
No, there's also possibility of devils pretending to be gods like in the bible.
There's no answer with just just guessing. Later in our journey, let's look for more information about gods if I see a big temple or library.
Then I could compare the informations I got to Arisa's own.
Still, seeing this trend, there are other reincarnated people out there right? And even with them around, this world's culture and civilization didn't collapse huh.
Maybe the people who were chosen were like me, who actively does not intend to spread modern-world knowledge.
People who love conspiracy theory probably would say that the reincarnated person who's spreading modern-world knowledge would be removed by some kind of power.
Now then, the magician Zen said that he became No-Life King after he was executed by a noble.
What I'm worried about when I heard that story is my unique skill [Indestructible]. They sounds too similar. I'm afraid that I'd also become No-Life King or Demon Lord if my HP becomes zero.
<TLN: I translated it as Immortal back then, but it's more appropriate to be Indestructible so I'll change it for now. We'll see how the author play this out.>
Were the skills I saw from Zen in camping ground, like [Physical Attack Invalid] or [Instant Recovery] unique skills? Maybe it was because of those two skills that he wasn't able to kill himself.
This is only a guess from what I gathered from his talks, but [Hero] title combined with a holy sword are probably able to invalidate the two skills.
Perhaps the demon lord has the same requirement too, or am I just thinking too much?
However, in comparison I was able to completely annihilate the heavenly dragons and the dragon god without any title. The meteor shower might have the same effect as [Hero and holy sword], but I feel that conclusion is too light.
I think that the dragons may be existences that hunt the demon lords, but they may also be a race that specialize in attack. I'm not really satisfied with this, but until I get new informations, let's conclude that for now.
While recollecting the things that I talked about with Zen, I remember to put my title back to [None]. While I'm at it, I also change my level on the Exchange tab. Since Arisa and Liza have leveled up, I also raise my level to 12.
The growth of Arisa and the girls are like these
Arisa.... Level 10=>12, Skills are omitted
Lulu... Level 2=>3, Skills are [Etiquette], [Marshalling(new)]
Liza... Level 13=>14, Skills are [Spear], [Thrusting], [Dismantling], [Cooking], [Heavy Blow(new)]
Pochi... Level 13=>14, Skills are [Short Sword], [Throwing], [Dismantling], [Enemy Search], [Shooting(new)]
Tama... Level 13=>14, Skills are [Short Sword], [Throwing], [Dismantling], [Collecting], [Enemy Search]
Lulu's new skill [Marshalling] is not bad, but I'd have loved if she learned [Cooking].
In a game, you could assign skill for party members but reality isn't so convenient.
Come to think of it, I have [Education] skill if I recall right.
Maybe I could teach intended skills with this? I'll work together with Lulu to try it next time.
I'm looking at the map every 10 minutes, but there's still nothing but me in this highway. Arisa and the girls have arrived in front of the Seryuu city's gate.
I've done an impossible thing by getting to the place where I could see Seryu city in 40 minutes. I'd say that my speed was 120 KM/H in average.
Since I lowered my speed when I reached highway as not to break them, you could guess yourself what my speed was on the hills.
When I got out of the last forest I began to walk normally since I could possibly be seen by the Seryuu city's scouts.
There are only 3 kilometers left anyway, and the gate isn't going to open for 50 minutes.
I came into a slightly elevated place 2 kilometers away from Seryuu city. I could not only see the outer wall from here, but also the entire gate. Our wagon can be seen in a distant.
While I look at it, the wagon starts to come toward here. Apparently, someone has seen me. The one with sharp eye, Tama I wonder?
The wagon comes into my view, Liza is operating it. Pochi and Tama lean out of the wagon as if they're about to fall and are waving at me. Arisa and Lulu are anxiously looking toward here, seems that they can't see me yet.
I put Mia and the woman on one of my arm smoothly, and then I wave back at them.
Still, everyone look strange. I've thought that they would worry about me but aren't they worrying too much?
Before long, the wagon comes into view while raising dust clouds.
I put the two on the side of the road and go to greet everyone.
The wagon makes a sudden stop, then Pochi and Tama who descend like they're tumbling down run here.
Bam, with that sound, Liza who jumps over Pochi and Tama from the coachman's seat runs here first. "Mafter", she says in a loud muffled cry while strongly hugging me. Losing her body weight, I support her center of gravity. Liza is crying like a flood while hugging me.
While I was surprised with Liza's unexpected behavior, Pochi and Tama climb up my body and Liza and hug me from both sides.
Maybe because they can't express their relief well, they're thoroughly play-biting my head and shoulders, and licking my face. This is intense.
Arisa and Lulu who come down from the wagon late aren't able to interrupt the intense hugs. "Welcome home.", said Arisa while looking at the ground, and said Lulu gracefully.
"I'm home, I'm sorry to worry you."
Liza is still crying while hugging me, but when she hears my voice she replies with a weak tearful voice. And then, seemingly aware that she's hugging me, she shyly parts away from me.
Matching her, I put Tama and Pochi on the ground and pat their heads.
"We were worried nodesu!""Any injury~?"
Pochi and Tama look at me worryingly, Lulu is looking at me while smiling, and then Arisa pushes to the front while still looking a bit at the ground.
She's not like the usual Arisa?
"...I, I was worried! Mou, promise me to never do something that absurd ever again!!"
Arisa resolves herself to raise her face and come up with words. Tears are swelling up on her large eyes.
I gently hug her while apologizing, and lightly pat her back.
She seemingly isn't able to hold back anymore, begins crying, and I comfort her. Maybe because they're swept away with it, Pochi and Tama also begin to cry together with Arisa. Lulu and Liza who look on us from a distance are also moved to tears.
I've decided to apologize for how many time, however many, until everyone stops crying. The pouring tears and scolding from everyone who was worried about me, warm my slightly hardened heart. And then, I continue to apologize until the sky turns white.