16-15. New Journey
Satou here. I learned the word 'Quest' from games. Back then, they were small events that could be started anytime you want, but recently there have been quests that can happen unexpectedly and can be missed out. I'm looking forward as to what kind of quests will be added next.
"Eeh, isn't that a fetch quest."
"Yeah, God Tenion laughed about it too."
Once Arisa had gotten over her cold, I gathered everyone for a debriefing session.
"Hmm, that's kinda different from my image of gods."
Arisa knitted her eyebrows with a complicated look on her face.
"Also, I thought gods could only speak in broken speech."
"Was it like that when you were reincarnating, Arisa?"
The former depressed demon lord, Shizuka who happened to come by asked Arisa.
"Un, I mean, rather than broken speech, it was more like images with overlapping meanings."
"Then it's the same as me. Yuika told me before that it was the same for her too."
Looks like Shizuka and Goblin Princess Yuika knew each other.
Maybe they get along well since both are shut-in type with high girl powers.
"It was like that with me too at first. I guess I was only able to hold a proper conversation thanks to Sera-san?"
"I've done nothing much. --Perhaps this is what they call the fruits of wife's labor."
Sera who was sitting next to me with a composed face clung to my arm and leaned her head on it.
Seeing that, Arisa, Hikaru, Lady Karina and Core Two shouted out, Mia who dressed like a female teacher got on my lap and declared my conviction.
Hikaru who had been looking down seems to have sorted out her feelings after we buried Dynast in the graveyard with General, she's been looking more cheerful for the past few days.
Apparently, the reason why I rarely saw the external exploration unit of dungeon core, Core Two, around here lately was because she had gotten addicted to collecting seashells on the rocky area of the coast here.
I'm not sure what she finds fun about it, but it seems like the fact that we've been having lots of shellfish dishes lately is thanks to her.
Additionally, Lulu and Zena-san are silently staring at Sera with an envious look on their faces.
Tama and Pochi have been playing around by rolling below the sofa I'm sitting on since awhile ago. They must have gotten bored with the difficult topic.
"Sera-sama, getting all clingy in front of many people is unbecoming."
Princess Sistina rebuked Sera with a calm expression.
Arisa and Mia exchanged words, "Gununu, legal wife's character?", "Negative, number one."
"Please excuse me. We were doing this everyday back at the Duchy Capital, it turned into a habit."
Sera dropped a bombshell.
She's telling the truth, but those were instances of Sera trying to peel Lady Ringrande who was getting all clingy off me in a fit of jealousy and ending up clinging on me.
Lady Ringrande was probably sticking to me to tease Sera, it's not like she's harboring feeling to me--I think.
"Satou, hierarchy is important. Fulfill your duty to Mito-sama and me before you lose Sera-sama's temptation."
Hikaru tilted her head at Princess Sistina's words.
By duty, does she mean the nobles' duty to have children?
But we aren't even married, she's jumping the gun here.
"Hold it right theeeeeere!"
Arisa pushed her hand out and shouted.
"Our turns come first! Lulu, me, Mia, Aze-tan have it reserved already!"
"Objection. Fiancee first."
"Pochi will be Master's wife too nodesu!"
The youth troupe jumped in with Arisa's words.
Yup, do your best to make it indefinite.
"That reminds me, Mito, what happened when you were summoned as a hero? You met God Parion right?"
"Eh? Right, it was like the voices of gods I heard during the Divine Punishment back then. I think it's probably the same as Arisa and the others."
Apparently, God Parion mediated the summoning when Saga Empire summoned Hikaru as a hero.
Come to think of it--.
A god, or perhaps, a god's familiar, the [Little Girl in Painting] talked normally.
"Hika--Mito, you said that you were stopped by your patron god when you were about to go back to earth right? Was it the same with the patron god?"
"Hn? Ame-no-Mizuhana-hime talked like a normal person would."
Wonder what's with that difference?
"Isn't it because the gods here are of greater existences? It's like the dimension we are in differs from theirs so we can't communicate properly?"
Arisa laid out her guess.
That's a common setting of gods that appear in SF.
They kinda feel worldly for beings of higher order though.
"Did God Parion look like a purple light thing that floated in a white space?"
"The reincarnation god looked like that? I met God Parion in a temple-like place. She looked like a statue of little girl made of light blue crystal, like it was just a statue, you see."
"Hmm, Hayato said that she was a cute little girl, seems like she looks different depending on the person."
I see, I wasn't really interested in the pantheon so I never asked before, but it appears that the image wildly differs depending on the person.
Perhaps, gods will look like the image a person has about god?
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"Master, you're going to take us along in the God's Trials right?"
Acting as the representative of the girls, Arisa asked me.
"Sorry, but I'm going to take the trials alone."
"No you can't! We don't know what will happen, you know? It's dangerous to do it alone!"
Arisa beat the desk and insisted.
I'm doing it alone precisely because it's dangerous.
"It's alright. Arisa will come to save me if it gets dangerous won't you? By way of, you know, familiar power."
I persuaded Arisa who 'gununu'ed and looked unconvinced.
"Please leave it to me. If Master orders for it, I will pierce even gods with this Dragon Spear."
"Are gods bad kids nanodesu? You can't cut good gods nanodesuyo?"
Pochi was being unusually reasonable at Liza and Tama who were in high spirits.
"Don't worry about that, I'm not planning to go to war with gods.."
Sera who looked troubled and Zena-san and Lady Karina who believed in gods normally looked relieved.
I'm prepared for it if the other party intends to go through it though.
By recycling the code from Arisa's anti-god forbidden spell of space magic [Mythology Down], I have developed a spirit magic called [Mythology Eater] in the form of a platinum-colored great wolf artificial spirit for Mia to command.
Additionally, I've coated Pochi's holy sword, Tama's ninja katana, and Nana's great sword with fine powder made from dragon fang using Weasel Empire's technology.
I got this fine powder when Tama and Pochi were visiting Fujisan Mountain where the Heavenly Dragon was together with Hikaru.
Who would have thought that you would get hold of materials for strengthening weapons by doing some dental care.
Lulu's acceleration gun's bullets have also been coated with the aforementioned powder.
"You have to really call me if it seems dangerous okay? There's no miracle like in manga where the protagonist suddenly awakens to his hidden power and turns the tide around, you hear?"
Arisa confirmed me again worryingly.
I have two of those [Hidden Power], that look like it could awaken, in mind, but I don't think it would suddenly become usable so timely like that, thus I think exhausting all possible options and human resources beforehand is imperative since we're facing someone that might take an aggressive position.
I've got to complete my own trump card too before we depart for the trials.
"I got it. Besides, I'm only going alone during the trials. Liza and Nana will accompany me right until the trials, and we will be touring the foreign lands with everyone once the trial is over."
"I will definitely protect Master's safety, so I announce."
Apparently many of the countries' cultures on the continent west are left over from Furu Empire era, I'm sure we will find a lot of delicious food and unusual stuff there.
The other girls voiced their dissatisfaction, but they consented when I told them that I would be fine as I would have Team Pendragon's strongest spear and shield with me.
I had no problem having Zena-san who's thorough on everything around, but if I took her along, Lady Karina and Sera would likely follow too so I didn't include her in the end.
In this journey, there is a chance of gods making use of Arisa and Hikaru who carry God's Fragment in them and Sera who has Oracle skill as a back door to peep on us, so I have decided not to take them along after consulting with Arisa and Hikaru.
It goes without saying that the shut-in inclined demon lord Shizuka never seems interested in going from the start, so she's outside of the consideration.
"Oh right, Nezu-san started to say something else besides, 『I want to go home』."
That Shizuka said something like it was nothing big.
"By Nezu-san, you means the person who was the rat demon lord?"
"Yes, that one."
Rat demon lord was the person who was too attached to Japan and got his Soul Vessel broken after over-using his Unique Skill.
After removing his God's Fragments, I managed to somehow recover his flesh and Soul Vessel with elixir and mind magic, but his mind was shut-down, so I let him live in one corner of the sub-dimension where Shizuka lived and had the brownies take care of him.
"It looks like his heart was healed while he was taking care of Hamsaemon."
"Hamsaemon, hamster? That's so simple~"
Arisa stole a glance at me.
Yeah, I don't have naming sense too.
"Ahaha, it's a squirrel."
"That Hamsaemon is a squirrel that Nezu-san picked up in the forest."
Leaving aside Arisa's retort, I'm glad that Nezu-shi seems to be recovering.
It might be a good idea to take him along to earth if he's fine with a world that isn't exactly identical.
Additionally, the former sword demon lord, fox girl is spending her days training with the green infant dragon and black dragon Heiron at the Black Dragon Mountains.
I visited her from times to times with Liza and her sword skill looked even more skillful than in her demon lord's days.
"I'm planning to go to the western part of the continent for a bit."
"Western part of the continent--"
Tourism minister is my job for once, so I've come here to tell the king and the prime minister about my planned trip.
"The next salvation is coming to the west it seems."
"As expected of the Dragon Avatar, he's very sensitive to the smell of battlegrounds."
The king and the prime minister muttered in whispers.
Looks like both of them have firmly determined that Satou's identity is [Dragon Avatar].
"Your excellency, I heard rumors that the west was in disarray due to the Divine Punishment, is it still continuing even today?"
"Umu, the confusion from monsters have been calmed down thanks to the heroes dispatched by Saga Empire, however, even heroes cannot do anything about the devastated countries. Disputes in the scramble for grain-producing regions have begun to appear in the continent west."
I don't plan to get involved with faraway countries, but if I see that the scale of the famine looks bad in my journey, I won't hesitate to lend a hand.
Preserved food made from alga, mass produced in the automatic factory have been accumulated enough to feed the entire population of Japan, there should be no problem sharing a bit here.
"Will Sistina go with you?"
"I had that in mind, however, I couldn't possibly take her highness to a place with chaotic public order in fear anything happened. Her Highness will be staying in the royal castle."
I made up some random excuse with the help of Deception skill.
I used the same excuse to leave Sera and Lady Karina too. And also Zena-san.
"That is fine. The empress has been wanting to spend times with Sistina too, so this is just right."
I guess Princess Sistina hasn't been interacting with her family much since she tends to hole up inside the royal castle's forbidden library.
The king called me when I was done telling my business.
"What do you think about Saga Empire emperor's sister, Meryest-dono, who visited here as a member of princess Trimenus's entourage?"
"Yes well, she's a comrade-in-arms who fought together with me and Hero Hayato against the demon lord."
I had a bad feeling about it, so I put emphasize on the [Comrade in Arms] part.
"Fumu, comrade huh.... The present Emperor of Saga Empire is pushing Princess Meryest to be your wife."
Really, enough with that stuff already...
The king who saw my face cast down his eyes as if he saw through everything, and coughed once.
"I don't mind if you decline were you unwilling to. However, for the honor of the other party, be it positive or negative, let us hear your answer after your journey this time is over."
According to the king, refusing here won't have an impact on the diplomatic relations with Saga Empire.
"--Be that as it may, is there even anyone who can match Maryest-dono. Perhaps she is fated to spend the remainder of her life in the corner of a monastery somewhere.... Alas."
The prime minister muttered quietly.
Even if you do that with a pitying look on your face, I'm still not marrying her okay?
If Princess Maryest has someone in mind, I can just power level him and have him beat an artificial demon lord to make them match each other, and if it's about age, it can be solved with rejuvenation medicine, lots of them.
I might as well send lolified lady Ringrande and Princess Maryest to Hayato's world.
Those wild ideas flashed in my mind, but there's quite a few problems to realize that.
I can at least suggest the idea if she comes to discuss with me after I decline the marriage proposal.
For now, since I've got the permission to go on a trip to the continent west, I should go around and visit my acquaintances to inform them of my departure.
Afterward, I went around to visit my acquaintances in the Royal Capital and the labyrinth city, renewing old friendships.
"--I feel like it's lacking something."
I muttered alone in a quarantined laboratory located in the back of the research room in the Solitary Island Palace.
This place has been sealed with several layers of Yuika's barriers, so no harm will reach outside even if anything happens here.
I sensed a presence so I looked below and meet eyes with Tama who had been calling for my attention inside the shadow.
She can't get in due to Yuika's barrier, she looks like a cute cat who's desperately clinging to a glass while calling for me.
I opened the barrier and invited Tama inside.
Looks like she felt lonely because she was blocked by the barrier, she climbed on my shoulders to ride on them and then began to rub her cheeks on my hair.
Tama quickly regained her calm after I lightly patted her head.
"Time for meal~? It's stew ham~ burg today~?
I see, it's already this late huh.
Tama is looking at lined up weapons which were in my hands just now.
"That's a sword called Holy Magic Sword."
The Holy Magic Sword is emitting a mix of blue and red light that turns into purple light.
This is a reproduction of the Holy Magic Sword, that Elder Dohar created, I made by myself.
Just like that time, I have a hunch that this won't get through gods.
I store the Holy Magic Sword in the Storage.
"That black box over there a sword too~?"
"Yeah, that's a sword I put here for Hikaru."
It's dangerous in its bare state, so I have it wrapped it in a quarantine barrier which also doubles as a preventive measure.
When I undid the quarantine barrier, Tama shuddered and protracted her claws on my shoulders.
Looks like the stimulation was a bit too much.
I took the Divine Sword from the pedestal, returned it into the white sheath and put it away in the Storage.
"Is this one scary too?"
I lifted a black spear that was placed next to the divine sword and asked Tama, who gave an affirmative.
Judging from her reaction, she seems to be better with it than with the Divine Sword earlier.
When I put the spear in the Storage, I could sense Tama's body relaxing.
"Well then, shall we grab some food."
I was going to inspect the enigmatic blank space skill but I should do that after the meal.
And then, the day we depart for the trials--.
"We will be going now, so I gallantly announce."
The heavily armed Nana saluted everyone who came to see us off in front of the airship's ramp.
It's not like we're going to the frontline okay.
"Everyone, get along well, okay."
"Pochi would like meat as her souvenir nodesu."
Tama and Pochi replied Liza at their own pace.
"Yes, I will bring some solid hard meat back with me."
"Po-Pochi would like meat that isn't too hard nodesu."
Even the meat-lover beast girls have their own preferences, it seems.
"Leave Shiga Kingdom to us."
"Yeah, I can travel in peace knowing Mito is here."
Most threats can be eliminated with Hikaru around.
"Ara? Just Mito-tan?"
"Of course, everyone too."
I pat Arisa's and Mia's heads and glanced at Lady Karina who was sulking behind everyone.
Calling her here would likely end up with taking her along so I'm going to ignore her now and follow-up in the Solitary Island Palace after we have departed.
Since I can immediately return here with Unit Arrangement and all.
Lady Ringrande was coming here while waving her hands from afar.
"You're going to the continent west right? Can you take me along with you? I've got a lot of acquaintances and connections over there you know?"
Lady Ringrande's connections sound reliable, but that would mean disclosing my identity and the Solitary Island Palace, so I chose not to.
"I'm grateful for your kindness, but my journey this time is a private matter."
It seemed like Lady Ringrande never thought that I would refuse, she had a bored look on her face.
"Oh that's right, you've got a marriage proposal from Maryest right? If you're marrying Mary, how about marrying me too? You've got a lot of wives anyway, so adding one with me should pose no problem right?"
"There's a lot of problem! What are you doing marrying someone you don't even love!"
Sera was enraged at Lady Ringrande's declaration.
Lady Ringrande turned her face away and muttered miserably, "--I mean, I can't meet the person I love anymore", which could only be picked up by me and Ninja Tama who had [Attentive Ear] skill.
"The matter about Her Highness Maryest's marriage proposal is for after I return from this trip."
"What, you declined huh. What a waste. Mary might be older than Satou, but she's got a bombshell body even coming from me a woman, you know?"
I entrust Lady Ringrande who has become emotionally unstable and prone to drink heavily ever since Hayato left to Sera and speaks with other members.
"Zena-san, please take care escorting the children in their commutes."
"Yes! Leave it to me!"
Zena-san who beat her chest in affirmation looks reliable.
"Satou, leave the matters here to me and complete the trials without worries."
By matters, I think she means the stuff between the nobles and first prince Soltrick?
We boarded the airship after saying our farewell.
A tremendous amount of crowds are waving their hands from places away from the girls.
Ear-deafening cheers erupted every time I waved my hands.
It felt like I was an idol or a star athlete.
I have given my regards to the first prince Soltrick and other leaders of the kingdom yesterday, they're not here today.
Those VIPs couldn't possibly risk getting assassinated by coming to this kind of place.
"Satou-sama, we're ready to set sail. Is there no change in our course?"
"Yes, no change."
The airship circled the capital's sky once, went over the labyrinth city and advanced above the great desert.
The first trial is located in a country where the central temple of God Heraruon resides.
The airship we're riding is heading southwest of the great desert, toward a mid-sized country located in a small desert next to the great desert.
Our destination is the [Country of Sun] Sania Kingdom--.
I wonder what kind of country it is, I'm looking forward to it already--.
※ Next update is planned for 10/1