9-8. Air Travel
Satou's here. I've boarded airplanes for business trips before, but I've never ridden on a flying blimp. I have made some hot-air balloon in my school days, but there are many different things between a dummy model and the real thing.
"Hey, won't you raise the altitude? Don't the beasts that hang around the treetops will want to get on the airship?"
"Nah, it's alright."
Arisa's concern is right on mark.
Actually, the airship has been jumped on twice since its departure by beasts that are brimming with curiosity. Of course since it was dangerous, I stopped their momentum with [Magic Hand] by matching the timing when they were about to jump.
All kinds of birds are also coming, but since none of them is like the crow from western anime with beak that looks dangerous for the balloons, I leave them alone.
Thinking for if the airship crash, the airship is advancing only slightly higher than the top of the trees.
I use [Air Control] magic to propel the airship forward. Since it's not originally a magic for flying an airship, the airship only flies at 15 km/h max. Since there's a high probability that the web holding the balloons breaking if I use [Air Cannon] like I've done when I was using Sky Drive, I won't use the magic.
The speed itself is slow, but since it's going in a straight line, the airship covers more distance than the wagon.
I fold the wagon's canopy and put it inside the airship ark along with the horses. I've thought of putting the wagon into the storage, but since the airship can float just fine with it, I leave it outside.
I've made observation windows on all directions in the ark. Even though I've said windows, they're just holes with covers. I've made the side wall higher than the horses. The ceiling, or rather a protective wall, that's separating the blimp and the ark is made of the great monstrous fish's material.
Tama has climbed and sat on that side wall, she has been watching the passing scenery since a while ago. It's dangerous, but since I will pick her before she hits the ground even if she falls, I let her do as she pleases. Tama probably won't fall.
Nana seems to be gazing outside from the rear window. Even though Nana herself seems to think that the rear scenery is the cutest, I don't understand just how is it cute. The day where I can understand it might come soon.
Arisa, Mia, and Lulu who don't have anything to do are playing ayatori since awhile ago. Putting aside Arisa and Mia, I didn't expect Lulu to not be afraid.
And then, whenever Tama leans forward out of curiosity, the ship sway--
"Tama, it's dangerous nodesu! What would we do if we fall nodesuka!"
"That's right! Tama, behave yourself. Sky, we're up in the sky. We can't fly if we fall you know?"
Pochi who is sitting on my lap while I'm sitting on a captain-like chair, and Liza who's holding the back of my chair diagonally behind me without moving an inch warn, or rather, reproach Tama.
Tama answers in her own pace.
"I, it's not alright nodesu. Master! Don't laugh, put your hand here nanodesu. It'll be dangerous if you don't hold on properly nodesu."
"You hear me, Tama. It's punishment time if we fall to the ground you know?"
Seems Pochi and Liza aren't good with air travel.
Their voices have been seriously scared since a while ago. I've already expected Pochi to be scared, but I didn't even expect Liza to be frightened.
Whenever the airship shakes, Pochi jolts and petrified on my lap. Pochi's ears are closing down since a while ago. Looks like she's still uneasy with just sitting on my lap, she makes me put my hand on her stomach.
Liza aren't only holding the chair, she's also secretly clutching the sleeves of my clothes. I pretend not to notice it.
Of course Tama's lightweight body isn't enough to incline the ship.
The culprit is me.
Since Tama was leaning her body like she was going to fall, I used [Magic Hand] to match it and shook the airship, but for some reason, it wasn't Tama, but Pochi and Liza who were overreacting.
Since Pochi's reaction is cute, I've done it a few more times inadvertently, but let's refrain myself now.
Now then, even though it looks like it's going smoothly, there are more problems with air travel than I've expected.
The first problem is about toilet.
I intend to build it during the camping tonight, but for now, I'm going to carry the members down one-by-one with sky drive in regular interval.
I wanted to carry many at once, but instead I was made to carry them with princess carry one-by-one somehow.
The second problem is meal.
Since fire isn't allowed, we're going to have a meal with bento I've made in the morning.
"Uwaa, it's chicks nanodesu!"
The three seem to be really happy as they show me the inside of the lunch boxes.
Err, I'm the one who made those.
Pochi's and Tama's shares are patterned with chicks, Mia has chicken rice without the chicken and vegetables in the shape of flowers.
"You're really~ hardworking aren't you. I didn't think that I would see characters bento here (this world)."
"Ara, even Arisa likes this one better after all?"
Lulu makes fun of Arisa who's looking amazed.
"Will it break if I eat it~?"
"Is it okay to eat this?"
"It's okay, they're food after all."
"Look really delicious~."
The two who are looking at the character bento and me alternatively in delight and anguish look cute. Mia seems to hesitate as to where to start.
Except for these three's bento, the dish for everyone is the same, though there are individual differences. Liza gets a lot of meat, while it's lighter for Lulu and me.
"Pochi, Tama! I will safeguard those characters bento. If you eat something that cute--"
It was a failure of me for not anticipating this kind of reaction from Nana for the characters bento.
"You can't nanodesu."
As it will be dangerous if the horses get agitated if they make a ruckus in the narrow ark, I raise the three of them with [Magic Hand] to stop the racket.
"Master, this is an unfair capture. Requesting liberation."
"You made a ruckus in the narrow ark, so you're guilty."
"No. Eat in the air just like that for today."
Good grief, we can finally continue the meal now.
I'll make characters bento for Nana too tomorrow. No, maybe it's better if I don't make characters bento while we're traveling by air.
Nana isn't giving up today--
Using unthinkable sexy technique, she slips out of the restrain.
Nana is approaching Pochi and Tama while her top is bare, but the two seem to have finished their meals. The lunch boxes might have been too small.
Lulu puts a cloth on Nana who's fallen down and placed her hands on the floor.
Using sexy technique like that, she's grown up.
No, that's not it. That is not it. I have to lecture her later. Yup, let's put the scene earlier in the folder inside my brain. Pictures aren't crime.
Of course I didn't use the photography magic.
The third problem is that it attracts attentions.
Since we're deep in the mountain, there's no need to worry with people, but there seem to be curious monsters and animals as they are following from behind without letting go.
We've arrived at the base of the mountain in the second day, but it was hard to clean up the animals that had gathered when we went down to the camp ground yesterday. Since Pochi and the others were happy with, "Prey!", let's treat it as a good thing.
Originally, it should be unexpectedly hard to ascend and descend with something like an airship. That is because you need to adjust the buoyancy. However, in our case, since the buoyancy decreases if I put the balloons into the storage, we can easily descend. After putting away some amount of the balloons, I can use [Air Control] until we descend to the ground, and then I can retrieve them all afterwards.
Today, the airship is anchored on the side of a lake.
Since the part with the balloons is about 20 meter wide, it's hard to find a place to put it down. Today I lower it on the water surface and retrieve the balloons.
After putting the airship on the bank, Liza and the others immediately intercept the monster. The opponent is the Horn Snake that has been running in parallel with the airship ark since a while ago. Since Arisa and Mia are backing them, I prepare the dinner together with Lulu.
After everyone is done with the hunt, let's go on a stroll around the lake by riding horses while also making them exercise.
"Arisa! Hold back the snake's attack for moment. Nana! When the snake stops moving, put your shield up again."
They seem to have an unexpectedly hard fight.
Pursuing Liza and Nana, the snake that's come breaking out of the forest is quite big. I can't see how many meters is its length, but it's at least as thick as Mia's waist.
The horn is between its eyes pointing straight about 50 centimeters long. This snake's horn seems to have paralyzing poison, but before that, you're going to be seriously injured if you're pierced by this horn.
I'm on alert while deploying [Magic Hand], and [Flexible Shield] so that I can intervene anytime.
The snakes stands up forming sickle-shaped neck about 3 meters high, and as Nana is about to assault it, Arisa keeps the snake in check with the space magic [Isolation]. This magic seems to make a wall out of space gaps, but it's quite fragile. When we tried it before, I broke it by just hitting it without even using [Magic Break]. Arisa was somehow mad, but wasn't it alright since it was an experiment.
According to Arisa, one should have needed to use [Magic Break] or [<<Remove Isolation>>] of the same space magic to destroy this [Isolation] magic.
As for me, I feel that I can destroy magic that intervenes with [The Other Space] like shadow magic or summoning magic just fine.
Leaving that aside, Nana puts up [Shield] again, and seems to have finished chanting [Sharp Edge].
Arisa removes the barrier, and the second round begins.
First, Mia fires off [Water Cutter], but the horn snake easily avoids it.
Continuing on, Nana executes provocation.
"Now, come! I declare, I'll make you realize that you don't have arms or legs."
<TLN: Japanese idiom for 'can't do anything.'>
No well, snakes don't have arms or legs.
The horn snake uses its horn to repeatedly stabs at Nana. Pochi and Tama are attacking from the sides aiming for its body, but their attacks don't quite reach since the tail obstructs them.
Liza activates magic edge and is taking a posture to attack, at that time--
That thing appears from the shadow of the forest.
--It's not aiming for fisherman's profit right?
<TLN: Japanese proverb for 'profiting while others fight.' Why don't I just use that then? Because it's the next chapter's title. ;>