15-29. Divine Punishment (3), Satou's Identity
Satou's here. I remember reading a mystery novel where the protagonist was the culprit all along in the past, but I recalled throwing the book away due to the forced outcome. I really think the author should have foreshadowed it to the readers, so they could understand.
"Huh? There are traces of people searching the house."
When I came to the doghouse which only had its frame remaining using Unit Arrangement, the guest house we were staying at looked as if it was pillaged by burglars.
Our dummy traveling bags are cut, the content inside have been scattered on the floor.
The doghouse where I came out of is also broken in a corner of the room.
It seems the people who searched here were quite violent.
For some reason, there's a holy symbol of God Zaikuon painted on a wall with a cross mark on top of it.
I don't quite understand what it is about, but I see that they hate God Zaikuon.
"For now, let's read the rest of the slates--"
I opened the Map while muttering alone and realized that it was not the time to do that.
There's a luminous point showing [UNKNOWN] on the Map. My Crisis Perception isn't kicking in so it's probably the god's apostle.
Apparently, the situation has changed since I got back to the solitary island palace.
I checked just in case, but I don't see them in Makiwa Kingdom and the neighboring countries.
Of course, the same with Shiga Kingdom where my acquaintances are.
They're not in Saga Empire either, I should just leave the countries I'm not too involved in alone.
"--For now, they seem to be on equal ground."
I closed the Map and checked the battlefield with the space magic's [Remote View], a magic to see afar.
It seems there are some casualties among the military personnels, but I don't plan to be overprotective toward professional soldiers.
Nevertheless, I never thought that the apostle would look like a strange silver cone.
How the apostle look wasn't described in the slates you see.
Moreover, there were lots of blurred words and inadequate depictions since it seems Troll Demon Lord wasn't an author in his previous life.
『--Steel Cutting Slash!』
I saw a familiar knight in the Remote View.
It seems they've invoked the Magic Eater, they're not fighting with magic but with cannonballs and physical attacks.
The apostle that was hurt by the cannonballs and the Temple Knights' white swords restored itself like rewinding a video.
The Weasel Empire's Magic Eaters probably don't have enough power to interfere with the magic power inside the apostle's body.
『This will finish you off! Pentagram Tearing Slash!』
『Stop, Liedill! Techniques that use magic power are unusable!』
Lady Liedill who was going to use her finisher was hit by the apostle's feeler and got knocked down.
She seemed sturdier than I imagined, she evaded the second feeler while unsteadily getting up.
Lady Liedill is an airhead like always.
I sent a cheer for her in my mind.
"Oops, forget about that."
I muttered alone and got right back on track.
Then I opened my Map and checked on the surrounding cities, turned out other apostles had appeared there too.
The Imperial Capital's populace have evacuated to the underground shelters so they're probably going to be fine even if I leave them alone, but the opponent is a god's apostle.
There's a possibility that they have the same attack power as the [Demon God's Offshoots] I encountered in Shiga Kingdom's capital.
I take a holy sword that works as a magic power reserve out of my Storage and use [Another World].
Similar to what I did in the Dejima Island's Labyrinth before, I copy the underground shelters and abduct the people into it.
I'm sorry for doing it without asking their approvals, but please regard it as an emergency evacuation.
I'll put them back once the turmoil is over.
"Wonder if the magic power is enough to evacuate all the cities in Weasel Empire?"
The Magic Crystal Pillar I got during the incident with Demon Lord Shin floated in my mind.
"Looks like I can finish this without using the magic power in the Magic Crystal Pillar I'm keeping as an insurance."
Now then, let's go to the next city.
"There are more god's apostles now."
When I had finished evacuating the Weasel Empire's populace and got back to the capital, the apostle had increased from one to 13.
I was able to evacuate most people but a smoke car used by the wealthy to flee in one of the cities had been turned into a salt object, and most of the cities' defense forces were already annihilated; there were a lot of people I couldn't save too.
It's impossible to completely save them all, and in the first place, my heart isn't going to ache even if professional soldiers and the statesmen who abandoned the people they should have protected die.
Several airplanes and large passenger planes were attacked by Rocket Trees and flying monsters.
I also caught sight of monsters who should have been controlled by screws gaining freedom and rebelling at some cities' lines of defense.
I couldn't exactly neglect that so I helped them dealing with the monsters a bit.
"Oops, I probably shouldn't leave that one alone."
A separated apostle is approaching a rocket launch pad where there are civilians.
I close the Map and exit the mansion to prevent that.
There's a pillar of purple light beside the rocket.
"Geh, there's even a demon lord."
--This is way too chaotic, Weasel Empire's Imperial Capital.
Using space magic forbidden spell <<Aport an Object>>, I retrieve the people in the rocket launch pad and the control room.
"W-where is this?"
"W-who are you?"
I only explained that much to the confused people.
"Why is a pawn of God Parion here!"
Oops, looks like hero's worth is at an all time low in Weasel Empire.
No, Hero Hayato was welcomed in Dejima Island, there's a possibility that it's just a part of people in the Imperial Capital who keep that perception.
"Now then, I have no time to chat. Take shelter together with the capital's people."
I open the gate to the sub-space and throw them one by one inside using [Magic Hand].
I left only the purple haired girl since she was in a critical state as her body was covered in purple light.
I absorb the surplus magic power from her, maximize the Spirit Light and tear off the miasma that binds her.
Contrary to what I thought, it was just an initial symptom, so I neutralized it easily.
"I don't have to remove her Unique Skill at this rate."
I send the girl to the same place as the people earlier and close the gate.
Now then, the critical situation continues, but since they're doing better than I thought, it doesn't seem like I need to intervene.
For now I'll go read the slates to collect information and see the emperor later.
"--Here he is."
The moment I showed up in the room where the emperor was after I had finished gathering information, some unwelcoming words hit me.
With a wave of his hand, tactician Touya made the Temple Knights and officials who were in the room to withdraw.
Ignoring the sarcastic gaze of tactician Touya, I ask the emperor.
"I have two things to ask of you before we get to the main subject."
"Say it. You will have your answer if it's something I can tell."
Is it just my imagination or is his tone pricklier than yesterday.
"Have you read slates from recent times--about 100 years ago?"
"With your own eyes?"
"I can read ancient language from the age of gods just fine."
Fumu, in that case he should know the same thing as me if he's directly read it.
"Then, about his identity too?"
I asked the emperor while looking at tactician Touya.
"I do not know which identities you're referring to, but yes I know about both of them."
--Then I guess it's fine.
"Is that all?"
"Yeah, if you're not being deceived then it's fine."
After all, there are demon lords in my faction too.
"Then we will be asking ours."
After saying that, the emperor urged tactician Touya with his eyes.
"If you've already read the recent slates, then you can already guess what I am going to ask don't you?"
It's probably about me.
The recent slates were choke full of me.
For some reason the matter in sub-space starting from the solitary island palace, the events in the Dragon Valley and Elven Homes that are protected by barrier, and the things in void sky weren't recorded, but my activities as Nanashi were written profusely.
However, there was nothing about the fact that Satou and Nanashi are the same person.
I can easily imagine that he, with his intellect, should already realize that they're the same person.
Even so, there's no need for me to reveal it myself.
"What are you trying to say?"
"Playing dumb is futile. Viscount Satou Pendragon--"
I'm ignoring his questioning without relying on Poker Face skill.
"--Or perhaps, I should say it like this?"
Tactician Touya stops, takes off his mask and scowls at me as if he's instigating me.
Guessing that he's going to call me God Slayer, I put up a defense in my mind.
"One who challenges Dragon God--"
Just as I thought huh.
"--No matter how many times he was killed--"
The turn of events seems strange somehow.
"--One who continues to challenge. The eternal challenger--"
Not understanding what tactician Touya's intention is, I match my line of sight with his to probe for information.
"--One of the seven Gods that arrived from another world together with the World Trees--"
Challenging dark purple light leaks from the depth of his eyes.
Since that's a symptom of demon lord-fication, shouldn't you better calm down a bit?
I missed his words because I was thinking that.
Thanks to that, I replied like I were a deaf-type protagonist.
He apparently thought I was making fun of his decisive lines, color of anger were mixed in tactician Touya's eyes.
"I'll say it no matter how many times until you can no longer hide it."
Tactician Touya's eyeteeth begins to lengthen like fangs.
Un, sorry about it. That's why, calm down.
"One who surpasses all principles, an existence outside of this world--"
Tactician Touyaa threw his arm inside the mantle, flipping it up and vigorously pointed his finger at me as if it was going to pierce my heart.
"--God Zaikuon! That's your true identity."