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Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 12-7

12-7. Challengers


Satou's here. When fighting games were popular, I liked playing with a player whom I knew I couldn't win against. I was able to learn various things even though I was badly beaten one-sidedly.

The priest rushes over to Julberg-shi and heals his hand.
The effect of high heal magic is terrific, the broken hand is restored in an instant.

"Liza-dono, your strength is genuine."
"I am honored."

Julberg-shi who's been healed talks to Liza.
Liza replies while looking composed, but her tail is swinging around. The tail is honest.

"Shiga Eight Swords is the pike that shields the kingdom."

Julberg-shi suddenly begins narrating a story to Liza.

"For that reason, I think one's race or lineage have nothing to do with it as long as one has the strength and the heart that thinks heavily of one's kingdom."

Apparently he's inviting Liza to become a Shiga Eight Swords even though he hasn't directly said it to her.

"Right now there are three vacant seats on Shiga Eight Swords, among them, two have become the means for factional disputes among the nobles. However, the last seat is for me to nominate."

Would you not glare at me when you were saying the "factional dispute" part?

"I want to commend that seat to you. --Would you receive it?"

He said to Liza with serious face.
The girls around me look at Liza while looking tense. Only Nana who's in 'my pace' is playing with Shiro's and Crow's feather.

"I refuse."

Liza declined Julberg-shi's invitation with powerful voice.
Arisa and Pochi lose their strength after feeling relieved. That's fine and all, but stop rubbing your face on my leg during the confusion, Arisa. You too Mia, stop imitating Arisa.

"Why. You might be Sir Pendragon's slave right now, but the royal family will release you if you become a Shiga Eight Swords and even grant you with honorary earldom you know? It's a status and honor that cannot normally be gotten by a demi-human, why do you refuse"

Liza stops Julberg-shi who's talking while looking like he can't believe it.

"Certainly, I think it is a great honor for me."
"However, my loyalty lies not to the Kingdom, but to Master. I do not have the qualification to become a Shiga Eight Swords who must submit their loyalty to the Kingdom."

Those are some delicately dangerous lines.
Right then, Arisa the mood maker breaks in.

"That's right! We're the 『Pendragon Seven Braves』! Together with Master, we'll show you that we'll become the new world guardian that rivals the 『Shiga Eight Swords』!"

What the heck is [Pendragon Seven Braves]. Do you have any respect to Sanada Ten Braves?
Arisa is just probably saying it to soften the atmosphere in this place, but looking at her proud-looking face, I'm scared that she's serious.

"Ooh! They've declared they're equal Shiga Eight Swords y'hear?"
"However, they did defeat Julberg-shi the 『Unfalling』. They do have the qualification."
"Yeah, using light spear attack, it's the birth of new Shiga Kingdom guardians!"
"『Black Spear』, no, it's the 『Magic-destroying Light Spear』 Liza!"
"Glory to 『Pendragon Seven Braves』 and Shiga Kingdom!"

Somehow, the name that Arisa declared is spreading among the peanut gallery like it's official.
The flow of event is as such that I begin to suspect that someone has prepared some hired applauders, but the peanut gallery's mood is strange.
Is Liza defeating Julberg-shi something that significant?

Looks like Liza has gotten a new nickname since there were some people among them who could see her using the Magic Edge Cannon.

I don't think that Arisa's declaration has stopped Liza from entering Shiga Eight Swords, but it's succeeded to postpone it, it seems. I'll consult Nina-san for the rest.

By the way, I only knew the [Pendragon Seven Braves] thing that Arisa talked about was in fact, a name that came out in the novel Pochi had written, a long time after this.

It's about time for us to meet with Baron Muno who's waiting in the royal castle, but the peanut gallery's clamor doesn't seem like it'll stop soon.
I was able to greet the acquaintances who had come to welcome us, but I'm troubled with the endless line of people who're congratulating Liza.

The ones who break that are two figures of people.

"You the one who won against the old man?"
"Ryouna-dono, don't forget your manner. We are people who sit on Shiga Eight Swords' seats."
"You're too stiff Bauen."

A wild-like woman carrying a large scythe on her shoulder called Ryouna, and a man wearing a single-edged sword came.
They're the Shiga Eight Swords' 8th rank, Ms. Ryouna the 『Mower』 and 6th rank, 『Wind Blade』 Bauen-shi.
Both are level mid-40s, they're considerably weaker compared to Julberg-shi.

Bauen-shi who's around forty years old is wearing a normal knight outfit, but the latter half twenties year old Ms. Ryouna wears some wild-like attires with knee-high trousers, and a coat that looks like a vest. By the way, despite the high exposure, she relatively doesn't feel sexy due to her ripe abs.
The reason why I don't refer Bauen-shi's sword as katana is because it's made with western-style workmanship. I could've called it saber, but since Bauen-shi lets out samurai-like atmosphere, I refer it as such.

Pochi and Tama are excited with the appearance of the new warriors.
They've begun playing Look-that-way game, probably to decide who goes first. Their action must have looked nonsensical by the people around us.

"Fight with me."
"I refuse. The we--"
"Ryouna-sama, I'm very sorry, but Liza is exhausted from her fight with Julberg-shi. Please ask again another time if you wish to challenge her."

I interrupted them since Liza was seemingly going to say "the weak".

"Who are ya?"
"I am Chevalier Pendragon, her master."
"Have you forgotten, Ryouna-dono. He's a candidate for our new colleagues."
"Ah.... Then, you fight me?"

I shake my head toward Ryouna who looks like a cat that's just found a rat.
Or rather, first time I've heard about this [new colleague candidate] thing.

"Please ask the people there if you want a fight."

I turn my hand toward the muscle-brains--Mithril explorers who have been glancing here.

"Everyone is a warrior that'd not fall behind Liza. It surely will be a fun fight."
"Right.... Okay, the lady-killer man over there! Looks like you're the strongest. Fight me!"
"I, Jeril, won't hold back even against women you know?"
"That's what a warrior is! Now, make some room! It's the beginning of a fun fight!"

It went well.
I'm interested with the fight between Mithril explorers and Shiga Eight Swords, but let's disperse from here immediately.
I pull Lady Karina who's glued herself on the front row together with our girls and go to the carriage.

Pochi who won the Look-that-way game is dejected but since it seems Baron Muno is going to hold a reception for us today, she's probably going to forget about it soon.

"Is that an airship?"
"Yeah, that's the shipyard adjoining the airport."

Arisa is pointing to an airship factory.
They're building the hull parts that are going to be connected to the aerodynamic engines I've brought as Nanashi. The airship design is from me, but since it's not the type that has magic furnace powered by the Philosopher's Stone, it should be the traditional one that make use of the fuel rod made from magic-core-powder alchemy for the magic furnace.

Every country conceals the technology used in this type of magic furnace so I also don't know the way to make it.
I'm not really interested since its output is lower than the engines that use a Philosopher's Stone, and it seems to be theoretically impossible to be downsized.
I also already have the magic cylinders to power small airships aside with the Philosopher's stones, so I probably don't need it for now.
I've been given permission to access the forbidden library under the royal castle, and the royal academy's library, so I'll be checking them out when I have some free time.

Still, is it alright for the shipyard to be visible from outside?
I've heard that long ago nations went out of their way to hide the construction of warships, trains, or automobiles that run on national highway.

Leaving that worry of mine, the carriages keeps passing through the workshops area beside the shipyard to the noble street and then continue on the main street.

By the way, we're riding on four carriages since it wasn't enough with one.
The first one is for Lady Karina and the others, the second is for me, Arisa, and the beastkin girls, the third is for our luggage, and the last is for Lulu, Mia, Nana and the others. The division is decided fairly with rock-paper-scissor.

"Pochi wants to rattle-rattle too nodesu!"

Tama and Pochi have found the people playing kickboards in the alley.
It's not popular in the labyrinth city since the city's roads have a lot of turns and twists, but I've let Pochi and the others test them on a straight passageway in the labyrinth once.
That kind of vehicle seemed to be first for them, everyone, including Liza and Lulu, were having fun riding it.

"It's spreading nicely huh."

Arisa mutters earnestly when she sees it.
Kickboard is a product that Arisa has devised, it's being produced in Echigoya firm's workshop in the Royal Capital.
The product is selling so well Porina the manager almost overworks herself to death.
I'll make some time and show up in the workshop before long.

The street is crowded and lively as one would expect from the capital of the whole kingdom.
The main street is wide enough to hold four carriages, but since there's no traffic signal, it's seldom get crowded in the intersections. It's a good thing that there are few traffic compared to the modern area.

--Red points light up in the radar.

"Enemy's attack"
"Their direction?"
"Oh no! Nanodesu!"

Tama warns everyone about it almost at the same time as the radar.
Tama tells Liza who's asking the direction with her glance while taking out the stick shurikens. Pochi also took out the long toothpick from her bag in haste.

The 12 shadows reflected on the radar seem to be party of a criminal guild [Gibbon].
A man on the later half of 20s who can use water and fire magic seems to be the leader. This guy is on the rooftop of a nearby three-story building.

The thieves attack when I have checked that much. We're in the middle of a junction.
Four covered wagons that move like they're going to crash surround the back carriage that has our luggage in front and back.
Some men come down from the covered wagons and throw several flare-like things to the ground, blocking the view. It's probably the same thing as the smoke ball often used in the labyrinth.

"Pochi and I will defeat the suspicious people. Tama you protect the carriage."
"Aye, nanodesu!"

Liza and Pochi assault into the white smoke, defeating the assailants. Tama who's climbed to the carriage's roof also throws a stick shuriken toward the the leader who's chanting a spell to support the thieves from the rooftop.
I use Magic Hand to pull the foot of the leader who's lost his balance from Tama's stick shuriken, dropping him to the ground. It seems the carriage on the back is being taken care of by Nana.

They're probably aiming for the third carriage.
It's normally the one where the expensive equipment of explorers are stored after all. In our case, it's no big deal even if they get stolen since it only houses dummy equipment, but if it becomes known among the criminal groups that stealing things from us is easy, touring the capital would be difficult, so we're handling this seriously.

It seems our reaction speed was beyond their expectation, they're working to steal the luggage carriage slower than I expected.
The criminal guild people board the luggage carriage, drag the coachman down, and try to quickly get away.

"I won't let you run!"

Liza shoots a short spear between the wheel of the carriage, overturning it.

I, who's running beside it while catching the coachman of the thief, have almost got rolled up in it too.
I also lightly push a man, who had almost been ran over by the toppled carriage, with my foot to make him fall down to the ground, and then embrace some girls wearing servant-like attires who were going to be hit too, on both arms, bringing them to the safe place.

I put the girls to the ground and trample the back of the thief who's trying to run away from me, arresting the thief.
I've been treating this thief roughly, but it seem it's a woman.
Well, I guess it's fine. She's a thief.

"Master, there~"

Tama who was in charge of guarding the carriage rushes over to me and points to a nearby roof.
Over there is a suspicious woman in black clothing. Unlike the thief I'm trampling, her breasts are big so I'm aware that she's woman even from a distance.

The woman who notices that she's been sensed suddenly turns around.

"Ran away~?"

I catch the nape of Tama who was going to use Flickering Movement to chase the woman, stopping her.
I hold Tama, who turns around with a wondering face, on my arm and pat her head.

The woman earlier doesn't seem to be in the same gang as these thieves, but since she's suspicious, I've put a map marker on her just in case.
It seems she's wearing equipment that inhibit recognition, so her information is displayed twice. She's probably aiming for treasures since her title is [Phantom Thief].
Phantom Thief-san has some unusual skills like [Disguise], so I leave the marker on her alone.

"What is this uproar!"

Someone forces his way through with arrogant voice.
It's a man riding a horse. He's not wearing an armor but judging from the painted crest, he seems to be a part of Royal Capital's guard.

"We were attacked by thieves. I'm Chevalier Pendragon. I was taking my master's daughter to the royal castle."

I make a gesture, and his line of sight shifts to Lady Karina who's showing her face to look outside.
Lady Karina is making a disappointed face since she didn't get to join the fray, but it probably looks like she's worried from the point of view of someone who doesn't know the circumstance.
The man's face is reddened and he's going toward Lady Karina, but I make him call his troop in order to take the thieves to the jail.

Repairing the carriage seems like it'll take some time, so I negotiate with a shop nearby to rent their carriage.

After a while, the foot soldiers that the cavalryman has brought take the thieves away.
According to the foot soldiers, an attack this showy is very rare even in the Royal Capital.

There are probably some people who heard about Mithril explorers coming here with an airship, and came up with a plan to steal their expensive magic tools.
The treasures gotten from the Floormasters have been delivered to the castle by officials who have Item Box skill and work directly under the royal family, so it's fine. The chant orb's marker is in the underground treasure room of the castle, so there's no mistake about it.

The thieves targeting us at the labyrinth city were increasing, so I'm going to assume that they will also come in droves during our stay in the Royal Capital's mansion.

After tearing off the cavalryman who persistently whispers words of love toward Lady Karina's carriage, our carriages continue to the royal castle.
It seems Baron Muno doesn't have any mansion in the Royal Capital, so they're borrowing a guest house of the royal castle.

Passing through the gatekeepers who are wearing dazzling full body armors (Plate Mail) and holding Halberds, we've finally arrived at the royal castle.

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