16-32. Garleon Union (8)
This is from Princess Sistina's point of view
The brownie who was assigned to pilot the airship came by while we were relaxing at the Solitary Island Palace.
"We'll be arriving above Garleok City shortly."
"Airships are really fast, aren't they."
I head back to the airship with Mia-sama and Karina-sama.
As we were about to leave the room, Lulu came inside carrying baked sweets that let off sweet smell in her hands.
"Are Liza and Nana currently training?"
"Nana-san is at school, Liza-san said that she was having a 『spa-ring』 with Heiron-san."
That's right, Nana is commuting to school along with Pochi and Tama.
Apparently, Liza is training with the Black Dragon in one of Satou's personal sub-dimensions.
No matter how many times I heard it, I just can't fathom how a mortal could fight with such a combat-specialized species like dragon--even knowing the demon lord slayer fact.
Perhaps, Liza would be able to win even against a demon lord?
"If necessary, I could go with you if you want?"
Lulu's sniping skill is extraordinary, but it's not exactly suitable against groups of pirates.
Besides, it seems like Satou doesn't want to let Lulu step foot in a battlefield where people kill each other.
So long we have Mia-sama's spirit magic, we should be able to handle it as long as no demon lord comes out, and Lady Karina is quite sufficient for the close-quarter combat.
We would have an easier time maintaining the allied front lines had Sera-sama who could all kinds of healing magic was here with us, but she's presently occupied with the ceremony preparation together with Arisa, she cannot be here.
"No, please don't worry, we will be fine."
I shook my head, then Lulu obediently consented and handed over the baked sweets for Satou to Mia-sama.
"What is that I wonder?"
I saw a black thread-like thing in one part of the cloudy Garleok City.
"Smokes desuwa! The central temple is on fire desuwa!"
Looks like Karina-sama could see with her naked eyes at a telescope distance.
"Mia-sama, what's the matter?"
She pointed her cute finger toward a direction where a new smoke line rose.
And, as if following after that, more and more smoke lines keep appearing one after another at Garleok City.
"The pirate underlings must be wreaking havoc there desuwa!"
After saying that, Karina-sama rolled up her sleeves, and said, "We've got to punish them."
This must be the works of the so-called terarist people Arisa told me.
"Put the airship into the optical camouflage mode and lower it down at the central temple."
"Mia-sama, could I ask you to extinguish the fires?"
"Nn, leave it."
Mia-sama agreed with eyes full of sagacity.
So reliable on top of being so cute, as expected of elves of Boruenan Forest.
The airship landed in the front yard of the Central Temple while we were conversing.
Right as I was about to get off, Karina-sama followed.
"I will be coming with you desuwa."
"No, Karina-sama should stay by Mia-sama's side as her guard."
Mia-sama shook her head, telling me that my worry was unfounded.
"My golems will suffice as my escort--"
Mia-sama interrupted me.
As a fairy of the forest, Mia-sama holds the power to see spirits unseen to us.
And spirits hate to be around places with thick miasma, thus Mia-sama can tell places with thick miasma, or so Arisa told me.
"Mia-sama, are those of monsters?"
"Impurity--do you mean undeads?"
I see--Mia-sama is as amazing as always.
Although golems are strong against people and monsters, they're at a slight disadvantage against undeads.
That must be the reason why Karina-sama offered her company.
"Well then, Karina-sama, would you accompany me?"
"--Eh? Yes, of course desuwa!"
Karina-sama was bewildered for an instant, but she quickly regained herself and gave her affirmation.
We got off and then the airship flew off to the sky.
Mia-sama is going to extinguish the fires with her magic from above.
『--Karina-dono, look at that!』
The tiara that emits blue light on Karina-sama's forehead--Raka the [<<Intelligent Item>>] gave a warning.
The central temple's cloister is filled with ash-colored bodies that have been completely dried up.
"People are lying on the ground!"
『Karina-dono, hold it!』
Raka stopped Karina-sama who was going to run up to those bodies.
"But, we've got to save them quick."
"No, it appears they have been long gone."
Rain begins to gradually fall.
This must be Mia-sama's handiwork to extinguish the fires.
"--『True Silver Horse』"
I called out to a pony-sized true silver horse golem from my personal magic tool, and then I rode on it to run past the cloister.
I've also let loose of True Steel Wolf golems that Satou made for me to act as a scout, going ahead.
No monster should exist that's capable of stopping the True Steel Wolves that can fight on par with Shiga Eight Swords, however I still hovered away [Drone-kun 39] to look out in the surroundings.
The sphere-shaped drone may not look strong, but even one of this is capable of downing a mere wyvern.
Together with these impregnable guardians, I rode the True Silver Horse toward the temple where the black smoke is rising.
Karina-sama who had run past me and was running side by side with the True Steel Wolves made a sudden stop, breaking the stone pavements as a result.
Hit by the ever-increasing torrential rain, the dust forming from the broken stone pavements fell on the ground.
"What's wrong, Karina-sama?"
I called to Karina-sama while stopping True Silver Horse.
"I can sense evil presences...."
Karina-sama looks around at the surroundings, like she's mimicking Tama.
"Over there desuwa!"
Karina-sama shouted that as she rushed off.
Not toward the black smoke, but to the cathedral where the [Golden Wheel] resided.
I can't let the gullible Karina-sama to go off alone to a place where something unknown might be waiting, so I pursue her on the True Silver Horse.
『Sistina-dono, you can believe in Karina-dono's intuition.』
Raka, the tiara on Karina-sama's forehead spoke.
He then told me how she saw through a demon disguising as a consul that tried to ruin her father's territory, and acted on that to save the territory.
"I can feel something weird desuwa!"
『It appears to be miasma.』
Karina-sama stopped before the door to sanctuary.
The [Undeads] that Mia-sama mentioned must be here.
<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.>
"O God Garleon! Grant your protection unto your believers!"
In front of Garleon Holy Mark, the temple head, several miko and high ranking priests are facing off against black clothed men.
This was right when a temple knight, who was fighting against the man in the center of the black clothed men, met his demise.
I hold back Karina-sama who was going to run off while saying, "Oh no desuwa", and ascertained the situations for now.
I ask Raka to tell the situations to Mia-sama up above on the airship.
"Fools who accumulated enough miasma to even let undeads like us, the so-called Impurity, into a sanctuary crowned in the God's name, and you dared to ask God's protection in the name of believers!"
A deep voice echoing like it was from hell itself came from the black clothes in the center.
The black clothes let down their hoods while ridiculing the temple clergies.
--Jet black skeleton?
The black clothed man in the middle wasn't a human, but an undead.
He must be the originator of the miasma that Mia-sama noticed.
"This cannot be! How could an undead be fine inside temple's Sanctuary?"
"Let me give you the answer to that--"
The black skeleton elatedly continued on in spite of the sorrowful grief of the temple head.
"--This Garleok City has always been a city where foolish merchants drown in their own greed. Thus, we simply manipulate the pirates to thicken the miasma and expand our sphere of actions."
While listening to the skeleton, I investigate the identity of these undeads using the Appraisal Spectacles Satou gave me.
"We let loose of the iceberg and the pirates to tear the navy off of Garleok City, but I'd have never imagined you'd sortie the entire fleet to face the pirates, y'know?"
Information comes flowing on my spectacles' lenses.
His race is [Death Lord].
Level 51--not much difference than ours.
"And for the temple knights who should have been protecting the temple to be gone as well... It's so unbelievably stupid, I suspected that this was all a trap until I got here."
I see, the black skeleton set up everything for the sake of infiltrating this place.
Had Satou didn't come here for God Garleon's trial, his ploy could have gone well.
"Temple head, I ask you once more--"
It felt like someone poured cold water on my spine hearing the black skeleton's voice.
It must be the power of [Fear] that high ranking undeads have.
"--Where are you hiding the 『Golden Wheel』."
Looks like the [Golden Wheel] that Satou carries is the main objective of the black skeleton.
"I-I already t-told you, it's in the hands of its r-rightful master."
The temple head spoke while sweating waterfall.
He's covering for Satou--no, he's covering for the man who takes on God Garleon's trial.
"Muuttering that nonsense again huh."
The black skeleton raised one hand, and then the black clothes that were standing by in all four directions around him readied their swords.
The arms carrying swords were of dirty yellowed bones.
It looks like the black skeleton also have undeads as his guards.
"Allow me to smoothen your mouth a little--kill all of them except the temple head."
As they swing their swords down, they get close toward the miko and the high ranking priests as fast as a warrior that's using Twinkling Movement.
There is no need for me to issue an order to the True Steel Wolves that are standing by beside me.
--A golden wind flew past me.
Karina-sama who rushed out at a speed rivaling even Liza mows down the four black clothes in one blow.
"Blue holy light--You're, Hero of Parion!"
The black clothed man who was giving orders shouted at Karina-sama.
Karina-sama sweep her golden hair behind, and turned toward him.
"I am not a hero desuwa."
She looks truly reliable, like a hero out of an epic tale.
But not ending with that is just like Karina-sama.
"I am--well now, what should I call myself?"
『Karina-dono, we should focus rescuing the temple personnels first thing first.』
"Oh right desuwane."
Karina-sama obediently agreed to Raka like a child.
"Are you mocking me! You damn ground crawler fake hero!"
The four black clothes who were flung back onto the walls stood up while Karina-sama was distracted.
Right about then, their ragged black clothes fell off.
Information flow on my spectacles' lenses.
Their race is [Wraith Knight]. Their levels are around 40-42. Stronger than expected.
No wonder they haven't been downed by Karina-sama's attack.
Even Karina-sama should find it tough, dealing with these Wraith Knights and a Death Lord of equal level at once.
"Death Lord--or perhaps, I should call you Skeleton Archduke?"
I stepped into the sanctuary along with the True Steel Wolves.
"Skeleton Archduke? So this guy is the ringleader of pirates, that Skeleton Archduke!"
The temple head sounded surprised.
According to the Appraisal Spectacles, the Death Lord's name is [Skeleton Archduke]
Satou has told me that the man with [Skeleton Archduke] title on the pirate fleet was a fake, and this Death Lord should be capable enough to rule over mid-class demons.
We can probably safely assume that this is the real one.
"And what would you do if you get your hands on the Golden Wheel?"
The Skeleton Archduke isn't answering my question.
He's just glaring with eyes concealed with [Fear].
"Oh, I know!"
Karina-sama struck an unusual pose while speaking in a cheerful tone.
It seems to be an arranged version of Pochi and Tama's [Shupi] pose.
"Hou? You're saying that you've seen through my ambition huh."
"Yes, of course desuwa--"
I'm getting a bad hunch from Karina-sama's confident sounding words.
"--It must be, to gather pirates all over the world under your wings and 『Become the Pirate King!』 desuwane!"
Hearing Karina-sama who said that full of confidence, the Skeleton Archduke is shaking his shoulders, making rattling sounds.
"A-are you mocking me, me the Skeleton Archduke! By dyeing the 『Golden Wheel』 with miasma, it will be corrupted into the 『Jet Black Wheel』 that can control all things, and by using that, I will rule over Lalakie sealed in the deep ocean as its rightful ruler and destroy your countries!"
The enraged Skeleton Archduke spilled all the beans.
Just as I thought, that dried up brain of his must not be capable of deep thinking.
"By Lalakie, you mean the floating island bestowed by Gods to the heaven dwellers in the Ages of Gods?"
I've read books on myth in the Forbidden Archive.
"Indeed. You seem knowledgeable unlike the dimwit girl over there."
"You mentioned that it was sealed in the sea, but didn't Lalakie let itself get sunk in the sea in order to seal the Sea King."
Sea King--It was said to be one of the four kings of the Dog-Head, the one called Evil God.
It was told in the myth that sealing them was the most people could manage even with the Divine Treasures given by Gods.
"Hmph, that's a story of the past. The revived Lalakie was sunk deep in the ocean by the hands of the loathsome purple-haired hero. With the loss of 『Skeleton King』 and the 『Last Princess』 who can control Lalakie, only 『Jet Black Wheel』 is capable of bringing Lalakie back to its rightful place in the air."
I see--if the one sealing it was Satou, then there is no possible scenario of Lalakie getting revived even with the [Jet Black Wheel].
I let out a sigh of relief after realizing that the possibility of world crisis is no more.
"What's the matter? Has the fear got to you?"
"No, I have just been made aware of the greatness of my loved one once again."
As expected of my hero-sama.
No, perhaps I should say 'our' here?
"Let me tell you the location of that 『Golden Wheel』 you seek."
The temple head was surprised to hear me.
"There is someone who has inherited the 『Golden Wheel』 among the rank of Allied Fleet that went off to fight the pirates."
"Do you mean to drive me away with such nonsenses? So shallow of you woman--"
What a bonehead befitting of skeleton.
Let's corner him a little to teach him a lesson.
"Karina-sama, please annihilate those foot soldiers."
"I got it!"
Karina-sama knocks off one of the Wraith Knights while letting off blue light.
But three of the knights that escaped Karina-sama's attack are coming to attack me.
"A leader magician with mere lesser golems as her guards, you must be asking to get attacked!"
The Skeleton Archduke jeered.
Such a huge misunderstanding.
The True Steel Wolves tore up the Wraith Knights.
Their attacks wouldn't have worked if these skeletons turned into their ghost form that nulls physical attacks, but I managed to make use of the opening since they had underestimated my wolves as lesser golems and turned into half-ghost form to attack.
"...■■■ <<Create Sanctuary>>"
My advanced earth magic purifies the damaged Wraith Knights.
"--You were the one who said that I was magician, weren't you?"
I took out the World Tree Wand from my magic bag, took one swing and then pointed it toward the Skeleton Archduke.
Karina-sama's flying kick was coming toward the Skeleton Archduke, but he quickly turned into ghost form and evaded it.
She would have definitely defeated him if it weren't for that shout, but we can't do that, for the sake of Satou's trial.
"Bring your army here to challenge us if you want the 『Golden Wheel』."
"Challenge, you say? To this heaven dweller, the great Skeleton Archduke--"
The Skeleton Archduke is burning with dark red flames.
The Skeleton Archduke who was talking big begins to disappear into a jet black shadow.
"I'll make you regret that word in hell. Go and struggle as hard as you can before the true might of my Ghost Fleet!"
The Skeleton Archduke sunk into the shadow while leaving those words.
The magic tool for emergency rang right after the Skeleton Archduke disappeared into shadow.
I held back the temple head who was going to complain, then we went out of the temple and were made to bear witness a sight of nearly 100 ghost ships cruising in the sky beyond the torrential rain.
"That monster sure is quick to take actions."
"Saying it like it's none of your business..."
The temple head complained in grumbles when he heard what I said.
He probably can't say it out loud because we saved them from peril.
"No need to worry desuwa!"
Karina-sama declared so to the temple head with a smile.
I nodded beside her and pointed at the eastern sky.
Light spills down like cutting through the cloudy sky.
I made a correction to the temple head.
"--It's a Fleet of Golden Ships."
The battle between the Ghost Fleet and the Golden Armada is about to begin above the sky of Garleok City.
Please do your best--my dear Satou.
※ Next update is planned for 1/28