Chapter 15-Intermission 3. At the Eastern End of the Continent (2)
"Niisan, what do you think that white thread is?"
One day when we got close to the black dragon mountain range, my little brother said that.
"Look, it's between the peaks over there."
It must be very thin.
Unfortunately, I can't see it with my eyesight.
I could only make out silhouettes of countless wyverns flying near the summits.
"That's the world tree."
My brother and the guards were dumbfounded since they didn't understand the term [World Tree], but I knew the name from the title of a game I played in my previous life.
Even though it was a used game I bought for 100 yen in a bargain sale, I remember playing it for around a year.
The fox girl died young in her previous life so she doesn't have that kind of memories.
Now then, putting that aside--.
"Mize, I know you're telling us to cross that mountain range, but shouldn't we prepare some countermeasure for the wyverns?"
"Everything's fine. They will be driven away by the master of the mountains. That's why I've brought those with me."
The ratkin warrior Mize glanced at the 10 goats tied to the horse.
I turned around at my brother's warning, and then a black shadow appeared in front of us.
The thing that appeared while being accompanied by several tornado and shaking that equaled earthquakes was a monster that makes the kaijuus in monster films looks cute in comparison.
The taciturn fox girl is looking up in rapture.
Unlike us who couldn't even move an inch, apparently this girl is very daring.
"It is an honor to meet you black dragon-dono!"
Warrior Mize talked to the black dragon while still on his horse.
His voice is shaking.
He's probably afraid of the black dragon too.
"We have prepared these goats for black dragon-dono's tribute! Please have them!"
The black dragon seemed to understand Mize, after roaring once frighteningly, it began to catch the goats with its huge hands and greedily devour them.
The sounds of the goats screaming and the crunching sounds of the bones made me hallucinate my own future.
The black dragon finished eating the goats in a flash, and then it looked at Mize as if it was urging something.
"We're very glad to see that you like it. We have a business to do at the other side of the mountain range. We would like a permission to cross over black dragon-dono's territory."
The black dragon shot a flash after replying Mize.
A black ditch of several kilometer long was carved on the mountains, raising white steam.
To think the otherworld dragon was such an out-of-ordinary being....
The black dragon flew to the horizon after roaring once.
Guided by Mize, we crossed the mountain range through the warmth black road, arriving at Boruenan Forest.
We did not get attacked by monsters even once during our trip in the black dragon mountain that was said to be perilous.
"Purple fur is it degozaru...."
We met an elf who was speaking with [Gozaru] as we arrived right before the barrier of Boruenan Forest.
"The ratkin over there can go inside the village since you have a letter of introduction from Yuya, but the weasels and the fox people cannot."
After the gozaru elf said that, another elf behind him muttered weakly, "If only the matter with Touya didn't...."
"Elf-dono, we would like to learn about agriculture. Would you please allow my little brothers and the guards to enter?"
If the problem is with the purple fur, then it should be okay if I and this fox girl just not go with them.
Fortunately, there's a lot of wild beasts at the foot of the black dragon mountains.
I should be able to live alone until they've finished their study.
"What should we do degozaru?"
At the gozaru elf's question, the elf behind him contemplated with folded arms and then he nodded.
"If you want to learn about agriculture, I'll introduce you to the gnomes of Borueswen. Our agriculture cannot be replicated by anyone but elves. Although gnomes use earth magic for it, it should be similar enough to general agriculture."
Thus, we will be staying at Borueswen with the elf's introduction, while warrior Mize will be training in combat at the Leprechaun's training site.
『Ui fight too.』
The fox girl who had learned the basic of swords from Mize during our trip went with Mize to the Leprechaun's training site.
Thus we spent three years, and obtained useful skills like Compounding and Alchemy besides Agriculture.
It was thanks to the skill points I saved up during our journey.
We could have led a comfortable live with a permanent residence at Borueswen, but even though it was a wasteland, that place is my second birthplace.
Above all, my little brother wants to go back to our homeland.
I don't want to part with my little brother after he's kept me company this far.
We bid the gnomes who took care of us farewell and went toward the Leprechaun's training site to say goodbye to Mize and the fox girl.
"I-is that you?"
The fox girl who had grown rapidly in just three years appeared.
--In a macho way that is.
"You look like you can even hit a bear to death."
"Ui, cut that once."
Since the fox girl leveled up from 1 to 12, she can seemingly kill a normal bear easily now.
She's swinging a heavy looking bronze great sword buzzingly.
"You've really worked hard."
"Ui, worked hard!"
The fox girl who's purring like a cat looks heartwarming befitting of her age.
"Is that you Tarou-dono, is your farmwork going well?"
Warrior Mize showed up.
His level only increased by one, but the aura around him looks sharper than before.
"Yeah, my master has given me a permission to go independence."
They've shared us resilient seeds and seeds suitable for our homeland's climate, we just need to raise them next.
"Is that right. I will pray to the god of this land for the development of Tarou-dono's homeland."
My face was going to reflexively warp at Mize's words, but I can't show such a rude behavior in front of our benefactor, so I endure it.
"No need for prayer--Mize-dono's words are quite enough."
I overwrote the true intention I spoke out with good words.
"Master, where are you going?"
"Ah, back to my village."
"Ui will go too! Help, master's trip!"
I had never been yearned so defenselessly like this so I inadvertently nodded at the fox girl.
"You too Mize-dono, be in good health--"
We parted ways with our benefactor and went straight to our homeland.
There were times when we got chased by people who saw my and the fox girl's purple fur, but we were somehow able to safely reach the familiar-looking wasteland.
"Niisan, the village!"
We arrived at our homeland after four years, it's become a ruin of burned buildings.
"Looks like the lizards invaded."
Those rotten arms under the ruin must be of the brown scaled lizardkin.
"Master, something smelly over there."
While having a bad feeling about this, I quietly walked toward the place the fox girl pointed at.
"Yeah, those damn lizards...."
The bodies of weaselkin women and children have been thrown inside a deep hole.
"GAIE, ZOIOAAAAAAAAA! Damned lizards, I'll kill every last one of them with these hands."
The two guards wailed, it seems they caught sights of people they knew among the bodies.
"Niisan, those are."
"Yeah, it's father and brother."
Father's and eldest brother's heads are decorated inside a small hole at the edge of the big hole.
I don't know the type, but this small shrine is something to worship a god.
I saw something like it in human villages during our trip.
"Serves them right."
I was planning to scrape off the patriarch's social status with my own hand as a revenge for my little sister, I'd never thought that the lizards would get to it first.
"Young master, it seems the lizards are going to attack the lionkin settlement nearby while taking our brethren along."
"Then these were sacrifices for their victory in war huh...."
My little brother who heard the guard is looking at the bodies of our brethren with a pained look.
"--Should we go help them?"
I said that after a careful calculation.
I actually was fully intending to abandon them, but if I chose that here, I would likely lose not only my brother but the two reliable guards.
Besides, we'd need manpower to create a new agriculture-based village.
"That's a suicidal act deesu."
A man wearing yellow overcoat suddenly appeared behind us even though there wasn't any presence before.
His skin is dark brown, nearly ocher-colored, but his face is unmistakably that of a human.
I use [Status Check] which I don't use often since it's tiring, to check the man's info.
This is the first time I saw this race.
It might sounds nefarious but most races in this world are terrible anyway, so there's probably not much difference.
"I'm just a passing by nice demon desu."
The guards and my little brother seem to know about it.
"If you answer my question, I can compensate you with your wish desu."
"Are you saying that you can fulfill the compensation even if I tell you to exterminate the lizardkin?"
"Killing all the lizardkin in this world would require too much efforts desune. I can help if it's just annihilating the lizardkin who attacked this village and is at war with the lionkin deesu."
"Pay it in advance. I'll answer anything you want after we've confirmed it."
I don't care even if the demon is the same devil from my knowledge.
"Okay deesu. If you don't, I'll be having all your lives for it desuyo?"
I'll sell even my soul.
"Nice resolve you have there desu."
The next moment after a mysterious roar reached my ears, our bodies are already flying in the air.
"I'm not good with wind magic, you'll fall if you struggle desuyo?"
Despite being not good with it, he could fly up this many people in an instant, astounding.
Even among gnomes, there wasn't any who could use magic this well.
"Before that, I'll be destroying an eyesore that is the monument of foolish god deesu."
A fireball shot by the yellow clothed demon smashed the small shrine.
"You, do you hate gods?"
"I loathe both the foolish god and the god of pestilent deesu. I only believe in my lord nanodesu."
Looks like I can get along with this guy.
The result, it was an infringement.
My vocabulary cannot express just how dreadful the being called demon is.
The yellow clothed demon's fire magic was vividly striking enough that I could imagine him fighting against that black dragon.
We saved the female hostages and freed the soldiers that had been enslaved while his fire magic was reducing the lizardkin and lionkin armies to ashes.
"Tarou-sama, we have annihilated the enemy forces and captured the lionkin's women and children. What would you like to do with them."
"Kill them, but do not torment them. Do it in a single stroke."
I had determined myself to do that even while holding the Japanese sense of guilt.
If I showed mercy here, the lionkin would go after the weaselkin afterward.
"The grief and resentment of the innocents are pleasant deesu."
"What bad taste."
"That's the kind of existence demons are desu. More importantly, I'm here for the reward deesu."
I face the yellow demon.
"Do you know the location of Troll Rock desuka? It looks like this desu."
A hologram of a strangely shaped rock floated in front of the yellow clothed demon.
"I do. That's the one in the bottom of the ravine."
In our village, there was a rumor that you'd get cursed or go missing if you got close to it.
"Most excellent deesu. After four hundreds years, the shape of the land has changed from the battle between the foolish god and the god of pestilence, how very troubling desu."
I guided the yellow clothed demon to the rock.
When the yellow clothed demon touched the rock, one part of the rock disappeared, showing a set of stairs.
"Your eggs would break if you do not strengthen your mind desuyo."
I went down the stairs in confusion.
A fear that felt like an icicle piercing my heart bound me down.
"That's the troll demon lord desu. He's the most ancient of demon lords, sealed in this land, he's recording the secret of the world on those slates desu."
Knowledge is power.
"I also want to read that language."
"You can call me whatever you like desu. Incubating the eggs is one of my jobs too deesu. I could make you the king of the world if you wish for it dyesu."
I sold my soul to the devil, and obtained various knowledge from the yellow clothed demon.
I obtained an ancient artifact called Screw, capable of manipulating monsters, at Rumooku Kingdom, and researched the development of robot-like heavy machinery golems, rapidly gaining power.
Most importantly, now that I got a gigantic resources called monsters after securing the power of Screw--I had gotten a hold of an abundant of materials for both food and arms.
After securing plentiful food and enough forces to repulse foreign enemy, we gathered our brethren who were living in the surrounding nations, and rallied ratkin and foxkin people who lived in poverty, and the weaselkin village eventually grew to be called a country.
"A pleasure to meet you, King Tarou and Crown Prince-dono, I'm Touya who will be assisting you per Yellow Clothes-dono's request."
--With the wisdom and tactics of the black clothed Tactician who called himself Touya, we annexed the once eastern big three countries of the lionkin, tigerkin and lizardkin, and our country became known as an empire.
"You're not going to dispatch troops to the ash ratkin and the longhair ratkin countries?"
"Yeah, that place is our benefactor's homeland."
I wouldn't be here without warrior Mize.
"Even if I obtain the world, I won't meddle with them if the kings of those lands do not wish to be under our empire."
"Is that right, then I will abide by my emperor's wish."
Tactician Touya bowed like a retainer.
"Touya, what's your and Yellow Clothes-dono's goal exactly?"
"I am not aware of Yellow Clothed-dono's goal. My goal is to beckon my lord to this land and exterminate the foolish gods."
I thought he was speaking nonsense to flatter me, but Touya's eyes were bereft of any lies.
Apparently, he was a comrade called in by my [Luck] all along.
"What are you going to do after exterminating the gods?"
"After that huh--the owner of this body, Trazayuya wants the elves to lead mankind into a calm gentle world--"
Tactician Touya burst into laughter in the middle of his words.
"That'd be nice if possible, but this world cannot endure a battle that would destroy the foolish gods. The god of pestilence refereed by Yellow Clothes-dono--the dragon god can even crush a planet."
I could easily imagine the myth that Tactician Touya heard from the long-living High Elves.
According to the records in the Slate Room, battles between gods during the age of gods destroyed many continents, people were driven to the brink of extinction.
As I thought, there is really a need to beat the gods with our hands as people.
"Only dragons and demon lords can reach gods."
However, the [Golden Wild Boar King] revived by Yellow Clothes-dono and his cohorts and the [Dog-Head Ancient King] revived by Touya's master were both destroyed by Hero Nanashi.
That person just might be able to win against gods.
Judging from the Star Fall at the Dragon's Valley, he is powerful enough to challenge the dragon god and survive, he's even destroyed the Demon God's Offshots at Shiga Kingdom.
"Tarou, only a fool relies on uncertain elements."
"You're right. Relying on uncertain elements is like praying to god."
We will do what we as people can do with our own hands.
Before the gods destroy this land--.