15-8. Dejima Island (2)
Satou's here. Talking with a friend you haven't met for a long time until you lose sense of time. When both of you laugh it off since neither remember who's the other one after talking for a long time, I wonder if that's also a form of beauty.
"It's the wolf ear person nanodesu!"
The ones behind us are the hero's followers, Rusus and Fifi.
Since I barely got in contact with them in the Duchy Capital, it would have been bad if I didn't have the information from AR reading.
Why are these girls who should have been in the labyrinth with Hayato here?
"Uwaa, that's some terrible injuries...."
Arisa becomes speechless after seeing the two's bodies.
Rusus has lost her knee to below and her right arm, while Fifi's right leg has disappeared to near the pelvic. Her right eye patch doesn't seem to be a fashion but something to protect the eye that has lost its eyeball.
"We made a slight blunder in our fight with the demon lord you see."
"We're hanging around here since we're useless in battle until the artificial arms and legs arrive from Saga Empire."
Rusus and Fifi ridiculed themselves with light tones.
Limb loss is not something that rare in labyrinth city Selbira, but as vanguards of the hero party, measures should have been taken by all means to recover them.
"Did something happen to Loreiya-sama?"
I uttered the name of the holy magic quiet-type big-breasted beauty in the hero party.
She should be capable to recover limb loss, but if she had died, then perhaps they're low on elixirs.
"That girl is still with Hayato."
"With Rin and Merry too."
I'm bothered that they didn't mention Miss Wiyaryi the long-earkin archer.
"You two, this is not something to talk about in this traffic."
There was a girl with short stature behind them, I didn't see her before since she was hidden by the two's heights.
According to AR reading, she's also one of the hero's followers, Nono the secretary.
I often talked with her in our telecommunications, but she feels different than during the calls.
She's unexpectedly short, her height is about between Arisa and Lulu.
Her face matches her age and her body line is undulated enough, so she's probably never mistaken for a child.
"Viscount Pendragon, please forgive our rudeness."
Nono who's more expressionless than Nana bows her head and apologizes to me.
It seems there's a custom to bow one's head when you apologize in Saga Empire.
In order to continue the talk, or rather, to hear the present situation of Hayato and the others, we went with them to the inn they're staying.
"There's Darry too nodesu."
The children are looking at a carriage with the Pendragon House Crest.
I can't see Lulu anywhere, but according to the map, it seems she's in the rest area where the coachmen gather.
"You're right. Maybe that building is the administration office?"
I nod to Arisa's question.
"Can you tell Lulu that we're in this inn?"
I was asking Tama, but the one answered was Mia who beat her flat chest full of confidence.
I let Mia be the messenger and ask Tama and Pochi to go with her just in case.
"Demon lord's curse?"
"Yes, we were unable to lift the curse even with the 『Wish Ring』."
When I asked the reason why they couldn't recover Rusus's and Fifi's limb loss, the hero's secretary Nono told me that it was because of the [Demon Lord's Curse].
There's no [Curse] status on the girls' AR reading.
"I'll get embarrassed if you stare that much nya."
"Want to rub them?"
Rusus is embarrassed, Fifi lifts her breasts from below.
Looks like they misunderstood me staring at their chests.
Fifi seems to like to tease people younger than her.
"That's right, you can't desuwa."
Arisa and Lady Karina catch my arms from right and left.
Leaving Arisa's side aside, I can feel blissful sensation from the arm Lady Karina caught.
"It's a misunderstanding. I'm merely intrigued by this curse."
"『Demon Lord's Curse』 is not something that can be seen. Although, the Dragon Eyes of a true dragon might be able to see through the curse...."
By Dragon Eyes, it's the thing Liedill the Temple Knight has huh--.
I tried if I could see the miasma by using the same trick I used to obtain the Spirit Seer skill.
I wasn't expecting anything, but I can see something black wriggling at the edge of my view.
>[Miasma Seer] Skill Acquired
I immediately activated the skill and saw chains of black mist-like things binding Rusus and Fifi. That's probably the miasma--[Demon Lord's Curse].
I feel that I can get rid of them if I touch them directly, but since hex-like thing are located directly on top of their hearts, it's hard to do it without telling them the reasons.
I'll consult with Arisa and the others later for the best timing.
Once they're released from the curse, Loreiya should be able to restore their limbs with holy magic.
"The demon lord has joined hands with the 『Dungeon Master』?"
"Yes, we're convinced of that after the last battle with the demon lord. Before that, we thought that the demon lord himself was the Dungeon Master...."
Secretary Nono told us about the present situation of Hayato and the others.
"The rat demon lord escaped with teleportation in our first two encounters, and then we planned to seal teleportation for the third encounter and crush it to death."
"We used the 『Magic Eating Binding Chain』, an 『Artifact from the Age of Gods』, to seal his magic power, and then we just needed to defeat him but--"
Rusus and Fifi talked about their third battle with the demon lord.
Still, the demon lord here isn't a weasel but a rat huh. I was convinced that it was a weasel somehow.
"When the demon lord emitted purple light, he took out weapons from hero's country called 『Masin gan』 and 『Klaymor』 and went on a rampage."
"Really, we never thought he had such hidden tricks besides the transformation."
"I thought I'd die."
"At that time, we and Wi were seriously injured."
"We'd have died if Hayato wasn't there."
According to the two, while the [Magic Eating Binding Chain] was active, any magic, be it support magic or magic defense, were all nulled.
It seems only hero's and demon lord's Unique Skills that could be activated during that time.
It appears this [Magic Eating Binding Chain] is far more powerful than the [Magic Eater] the weaselkin used in the war with Makiwa Kingdom.
The [Magic Eater] is probably an inferior version recreated in present time.
"Nevertheless, Hayato managed to corner it to the limit, but then monsters suddenly flooded into the room from the exit and the demon lord escaped during that chance."
"Hey hey, from that story, it wouldn't be strange for the demon lord to be the Dun Mas right?" <TLN: Dungeon Master, abbr.>
Arisa asked Rusus who looked frustrated.
"The demon lord didn't touch the 『Dungeon Core』 you see."
"Your Highness Arisa, a Dungeon Master has to touch the 『Dungeon Core』 in order to manipulate the labyrinth."
The secretary Nono added Rusus's explanation.
They got the information from someone who was once a Dungeon Master.
Nono was being vague, but from the nuance, it seemed that either some past hero or their follower was a Dungeon Master.
"Shouldn't you just need to destroy the core first then?"
"That's impossible, Honey-chan."
"Right right, we'd have done it if we could."
Rusus and Fifi denied Arisa's question while smiling wryly.
"You can't interfere the Dungeon Core as long as the Dungeon Master isn't defeated."
Fumu, I've touched a Fake Core in the [Ivy Mansion] in the labyrinth city Selbira, but it appears the real Dungeon Core is something like a shadow.
"In other words, from now on you need to defeat both the demon lord and the Dungeon Master right?"
"Yes, it's impossible with our current force, but we've requested reinforcements from Saga Empire."
According to secretary Nono, Dejima Island's [Phantasmal Labyrinth] greatly branches in the middle layer on top of having its layout change every time, thus finding the demon lord and the Dungeon Monster that are located in the lowest layer requires a lot of manpower.
Arisa who's sitting beside me is pulling my sleeve.
When I turn to her, Arisa's large eyes are glittering.
I nod at her.
"We will cooperate too. Our power might not be enough to defeat the demon lord, but it might be what's needed to curb the Dungeon Master of the 『Phantasmal Labyrinth』."
If the reinforcements from Saga Empire prove to be useful, we can just change with them then.
Even without them, Hayato should be able to easily defeat the demon lord as long as there's no obstacle.
After all, it looks possible for Hayato to defeat the demon lord if the Dungeon Master doesn't interfere.
"--Then let us perform that plan if Hayato-sama approves of it once he's back."
"Yes, we wish to express our gratitude for Viscount Pendragon's cooperation."
Secretary Nono worked on the details as to how we're cooperating to search for the Dungeon Master, but left the final decision to Hayato.
"Satou and Honey-chan, what are you going to do until then?"
"In order to grasp the 『Phantasmal Labyrinth』's atmosphere, we're planning to enter it lightly on a day trip."
"The maze in that labyrinth changes frequently, so be careful okay."
Rusus exchanged such talks with Arisa.
If this were a game, it'd have been the 100-floor dungeon to enjoy, but when you're actually thrust to capture it in real life, it's most troublesome.
It seems Hayato also had a hard time searching in the middle layer and beyond until the magic item, offered by the weaselkin, that could point at the direction of the demon lord came.
Rusus's and Fifi's ears are twitching.
At the same time, my Attentive Ears skill picked up the noise outside the inn.
"It sure is noisy outside."
Fifi nimbly gets up and goes to the window with a wand in hand.
"--Airships of Weasel Empire? And the three of them are of the high-speed destroyer type."
Fifi mutters while looking up at the sky, Secretary Nono who hears it stands up in surprise.
The crown prince seems to be visiting the imperial capital after all, maybe some political disturbance has happened in the Weasel Empire's Capital?
Opening the map, I see that there's a person with marker riding on that airship.
Why is she at this place... Political disturbance might be really happening in the central.
I heard noisy sounds of someone running up the stairs, and then a big-breasted woman wearing Saga Empire's civil official clothes rushed into the room without knocking.
She's never introduced her name, but it seems she's one of Saga Empire's officials who are stationed in Dejima Island working to support secretary Nono.
"Oh no, Nono-sama!"
Big-breasted aid-san hardened slightly.
She probably remembered that there were guests when she saw us.
"What is it."
Urged by Nono, big-breasted aid-san recovered from her freeze and opened her mouth to report, but an intruder showed up faster than she could.
"You're in the way, move aside."
Someone wearing Saga Empire clothing outside the door resisted till the end, but a woman in armor forcibly pushed him away.
"Are you Saga Empire's hero? Pleased to meet you, I am one of the Temple Knights under direct control of his majesty the emperor, Liedill."
The one introducing herself while staring at me is the level 57 Temple Knight we met in Weasel Empire's Mogeiba City.
Leaving aside her incomprehensible pose, it appears she has wrongly guessed me as hero Hayato after seeing my black hair.
"Geh, it's the Kukkorosan."
Even though Lady Liedill never uttered [Ku, Korose (Kuh, kill me)] even when she was cornered, it seems Arisa's mind has made up to give her [Kukkorosan] nickname.
"She didn't figure it out right?"
『All is fine, Karina-dono. You're heavily guarding it.』
Since Lady Karina asked Raka nervously in whisper, I stand up from the chair, and walk a step forward to hide her from Lady Liedill's line of sight.
"Nice to meet you, Liedill-sama. I'm Viscount Satou Pendragon of Shiga Kingdom."
"--Eh, Shiga Kingdom?"
I lightly cleared her misunderstanding and introduced myself.
Lady Liedill who had become aware of her misunderstanding froze in surprise.
Rusus and Fifi are openly showing their wariness as they grab the handles of largish knives behind the cushions.
Nono stands beside me with a firm manner.
"Temple Knight-dono, Hero Hayato-sama is currently inside the 『Phantasmal Labyrinth』 to defeat the demon lord. Temple Knight-dono wouldn't have wasted her time in vain if you had just informed us beforehand...."
She was saying it politely but she clearly reproved Lady Liedill's visit without an appointment.
"Is that so, then it can't be helped."
Lady Liedill muttered without even being aware that she was getting reproved.
Her glare which was pointed at the air turned to me.
"Hey, you. Have we met somewhere?"
"There is no way that I would forget an encounter with such a beauty as you, just where have we met I wonder?"
While putting both my hands on Lady Liedill's hand, I befuddled the matter with a line from some smooth talker.
I could have said, "We've never met before", since I was in ratkin costume when I met her, but since the Deception and Crisis Perception skills told me that telling a lie would be dangerous, I decided to take the question-dodging route.
"Let go, how filthy."
Lady Liedill brushed my hand away and glared at me like looking at a dirt.
Apparently, she's a clean-freak.
Arisa is wiping my hand with a handkerchief while saying, "It really is."
--Please stop provoking her.
"My Dragon Eyes tell me. I've absolutely met you guys somewhere before."
"Perhaps it was in Shiga Kingdom's Royal Capital? Sorry but we've just arrived here at Dejima Island, so we've yet to attend any ball or banquet here."
Lady Liedill said so with eyes full of conviction.
Normally you'd have resigned here, but since her eyes are relatively bad, I'll just deceive her.
Lady Karina who's sweating waterfall behind me is a reason for anxiety, but Arisa and Mia should be doing something about her.
And then, a male temple knight I saw in the Weasel Empire before rushed in.
It's the escort knight of Lady Liedill.
"Oh? You're late."
Contrary to the desperate escort knight, Lady Liedill replied normally while still not letting her eyes away from me.
"It looks like the hero is not here. Rather than that, have you ever seen this black haired kid?"
"No, I haven't--"
"Is that so.... That's strange."
Losing her vigor after hearing the escort knight, Lady Liedill was dragged away by the other knights who came later.
"Everyone, you might have taken offense from Liedill-sama's impoliteness, but we beg your forgiveness."
The leader-kun of the escort knights apologized for their master, and left after saying that they would formally apologize later.
"Somehow it seems like they'll barge into the battle with the demon lord too."
"Isn't that fine, they'll be additional forces then."
"Well yeah. Let them get stylishly beaten by the demon lord and become hero's and our stepping stones."
Secretary Nono showed a dark smile and said "That would be nice" to reply Arisa's dark remark, and then both of them are laughing "Hohoho" together.
The two's eyes aren't laughing, Lady Karina and even Rusus and Fifi look scared.
Rusus and Fifi highly praised the karage Lulu made.
After the disturbance with Lady Liedill, my companions and the house-sitting group of the hero party met up and then we had a party in a reserved room of the high-class inn.
"Lulu's dishes are amazingly amazing nodesu!"
Tama and Pochi who saw Rusus and Fifi praising the dishes asserted vigorously, stepping forward on top of the table.
"Un, it's really good. This red sour fruit is especially nice."
"Wi, which one do you want next?"
"Then, please get the rod-shaped vegetable with meat wrapped around it."
Miss Wiyaryi, the long ear-kin archer, enjoyed the tomato dish.
The reason secretary Nono is diligently looking after her is because she's lost her limbs in the fight with the demon lord.
There are other aids here, but it seems Nono personally takes care of her.
The two seem to be close.
"Asparagus meat roll is tasty so I tell."
Nana nodded with Miss Wiyaryi's choice, Mia raised an objection, telling that the sukiyaki is better.
Looks like Mia still dislikes dishes with a lot of oil even though she's able to eat meat now.
"Here comes the main!"
Arisa and the others who saw the main dish that appeared on the door raised their voices in joy.
"Thank you for waiting."
"The main dish is a whole roast cow."
Liza and Lulu put the huge plate on the middle of table.
Even though I know that they have mighty strength due to their levels, seeing young girls carrying whole roast of a one-ton class cow, that's impossible even for men with good builds to carry, is quite an unrealistic scene.
The reason why we're serving meat even though we're in a port town is because it was the request of the hero's staff who had gotten bored of fish.
Well, my companions like meat more than fish too.
"Master, here you go."
"Thank you, Liza."
Liza put a plate with the spoil from the scramble for the whole roast front of me.
"Yup, it's good. Liza too, eat it too before it's gone."
"Yes, then I'll kindly accept--"
Liza jumps into the scramble (battlefield) with eyes of a warrior.
The whole roast's shape changed in an instant into bones so clean it probably wouldn't be sufficient to even make soup stock.
Now then, now that I'm full, I'll finish the thing I have to do before going into the labyrinth.