16-59. Sage's Tower (7)
"Suicide bombing at Echigoya's main headquarter?"
"Yes. However, thanks to Reilas-sama who was visiting by chance, none of the store personnels nor our visitors was injured. Many were wounded, but they've all already recovered thanks to magic potions and magicians belonging to hq."
Satou and Sera who had returned to the solitary island palace for a lunch break got a report from Tifaliza, the general manager's secretary of Echigoya Firm.
Apparently, the holy shield user of Shiga Eight Swords, Reilas-dono was dropping by to make an adjustment on his new armor equipped with Armor Expansion and quasi-type [Fortress] functions that was provided to him through Echigoya Firm.
Gotta remember to say my thanks as Kuro later.
"We couldn't save the person who performed the suicide bombing, however, since we found internal organs that couldn't have been belonged to human from the remains, we had someone with Appraisal skill to check on it, and identified that it was a homonculus."
And it's not the commonly seen modern homonculus, but an ancient battle-type homonculus made during Furu Empire era, Tifaliza added.
"But really, a terror act huh..."
Since the enemy's leader seems to be a reincarnated person, I should have considered the possibility of them resorting to terror acts if they can't win a direct confrontation.
There's been lots of terror acts before after all, like the indiscriminate terror acts in Shiga Kingdom's capital through [Reborn Seed], and the terror acts at Siruga Kingdom by Weasel Empire's agents.
Satou picked up several items from his Storage while thinking that.
"Tifaliza, these are for you and General Manager Elterina. And these here are for anego-san and the others who are guarding the executives, please pass these along to them."
"Bracelets, slim gauntlets, and parasols?"
The bracelets and gauntlets are loaded with the same function, an ability to produce Force Magic-made artificial matter shield on demand.
And just having the bracelet equipped will provide one with an always active defensive wall that's sturdier than [Physical Defensive Buff] by a skilled magician, I should instruct them to have it equipped at all times besides when they're going on a trip.
As for the parasols, [Umbrellas] are defensive items installed with [Fortress] experimental magic circuit.
The defensive power is only about 20% of the real [Fortress], but I think it's more than sufficient enough against ordinary terrorists.
The king, the prime minister, Marquis Muno and Nina-san are probably going to be targeted too, maybe I should mass produce and pass these to them through Echigoya Firm.
"I can see it!"
Lady Karina who looked up and saw a tower beyond the snow field called out to Pochi and Tama who were playing around by chasing a snow rabbit.
"Over there, nanodesu!"
The two whose faces were filled with snow shook their bodies and wiped the snow off their faces.
Lulu and Liza can also be seen behind these three.
Today, they're invited by the 『Witch of Ice Field』 to visit her tower.
"Pochi feels like she can pass through it somehow nodesu."
Around here, said Pochi as she poked the barrier with her still-sheathed sword.
"You two, we're here today because we're invited by witch-dono, so you can't break this barrier okay."
Liza rebuked Tama and Pochi.
If they use the barrier-breaking Dragon Fang Swords, joking aside, they could really break most barriers out there if they wanted to.
"Witch-san is here for us."
Lulu called everyone.
"Thanks for waiting ssu. Oh? Is Sir Satou not coming along?"
"Yes, master is a bit busy at the moment."
The witch dropped her shoulders while muttering, 'And I thought I could talk about Demon God-sama all days with him.'
"Master was looking forward to this visitation too, I am sure he will come too once he's taken care of his business."
"You think sso to? I've gone and borrowed materials about Underworld his excellency was interested in from Juhyou-chan after all, he's gotta come ssuyo."
The witch waved her hands around while calling the nickname of her best friend, the Witch of Frost Covered Trees (Juhyou).
"No point in standing around in the middle of this snow ssu, shall we go inside the tower. I'll let the barrier open for a while, wouldn't want his excellency to lose his ways ssu."
The witch waved one of her hands, and then light emitting ice appeared on top of the snow, creating a path above the new snow.
"Witch person is really really amazing nodesu."
Karina, Tama and Pochi's eyes turned round when they saw what she did.
That seemed to have stimulated the witch's self-esteem, she led everyone toward the tower while saying, "I'm just that good ssuyo!" with a proud look.
At the Sage's Tower Library, Arisa groaned while looking at the ceiling with a pen between her upper lip and nose.
Hikaru who's reading documents next to Arisa is also racking her brain over their difficult research subject, [The transition of primeval magic to modern magic and variations].
"You think Mia's group has made a progress?"
"From what I heard from Zena after breakfast earlier, they're completely stuck at chantless magic since there's too few documents about it, but they're making progress on the differences in bodily sensation between the usage/non-usage of Chant Shortening skill, it seems."
"I see~ No wonder all these problems remain unsolved for more than 100 years."
After sighing so, Arisa suggested to focus their research on the transition part of [Transitions and Variations], since it seemed they could make an analogical reasoning about it from the materials they had on hands.
"About the transition periods, it's said that the propagation was not like the common slope shape, but more like stairs with stages in between."
"We know the propagation had stages because the transmission of information's speed periodically halted at countries' borders looking at the map."
The two draw different periods of propagation with colored pen, that Satou carefully made, on a transcribed map of the continent.
And they managed to draw several things from the visualized information.
"And if we trace that all the way back, the starting point was the 『Dragon's Valley』 to the north of Orc Empire..."
"Is it Dragon God-sama's work?"
"Or perhaps, Orc Empire was the original developer..."
If it were the former, there should have been legends and myths about Dragon God being the founder of modern magic.
The witch insisted that Demon God was the founder, but from what the two investigated, even though there were documents hinting to that, there was close to zero that clearly gave an affirmation.
"There's barely nothing about the variation point, but it's clear that primeval magic is completely different than what we use today."
"Un. Compared to modern magic, Primeval Magic consumes extraordinary amount of mp, takes way too long to be cast, and you don't get headaches nor nausea like when you're trying to use magic without the corresponding elemental skill."
Hikaru agreed with Arisa's remark.
With Satou's guidance, the two have managed to cast simple primeval magic.
Though, on top of taking a long time, it's at a level of [got it cast somehow], so it has zero practical use.
"But there's too few documents about Orc Empire."
"Nothing we can do about that..."
Hikaru lets out a lonely smile.
"Guess we've got no choice but to ask Master to let us interview either Ri Fuu under the royal capital or Ga Hou under the duchy capital then~"
"--Ga Hou? Is Ga Hou living under the duchy capital?"
Arisa nodded repeatedly as Hikaru caught her shoulders and shook her.
"You know him?"
Arisa who escaped Hikaru's grasp with Warp magic asked.
"Un, Ga Hou was a proud 『Griffon Rider』 of the Orc Empire. After the war was over, I asked him to supervise the clean water facility of the old capital. He should have been living peacefully in a small autonomous region after I went to sleep. But there was not even a single orc when I visited that region after I woke up, when I asked Sete about it, he said all the orcs who lived there were all killed after the war 400 years ago--"
Hikaru began to reminisce on her past even before Arisa asked.
"But, I'm so glad he's alive..."
Hikaru muttered words filled with many thoughts.
Arisa clapped Hikaru's shoulders and said, "Let's go see him next time."
Since she's connected to Satou as his familiar, Arisa lifted her face to feel the sense of oddity he felt.
"What's wrong Arisa?"
"Looks like our enemy's been caught in the net. It might be a decoy, so we should go help Nana who's watching over the 『Heart of Gold』 headquarter."
Since there's a possibility the enemy might detect their teleportation, Hikaru and Arisa run through back alleys toward the headquarter instead.
<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.>
A small man who had teleported into City-State Kariswolk clicked his tongue right after he got in.
"Teleport detection barrier and even seals on additional teleportation--we've been playing right into your hands have we not, Irregular!"
"Spot on--is what I'd have liked to say, but since the body double is here, that means the real one must be in another place huh?"
The small man--the body double talks back smugly at Satou who's appeared in front of him.
"You think I'll talk? --<Open>"
The body double took out a sinister looking elliptical orb from Item Box's black space.
Just before the body double could finish talking, Satou jumped into his bosom with Ground Shrink and put the elliptical orb into his Storage all the while neutralizing the man.
The moment an echoing voice resounded from the body double's chest, a white flash and an explosion rivaling that of an advanced magic swallowed the surroundings in.
『Kukakakakaka, you moved exactly like Chief-dono said you would, truly laughable, Irregular.』
A single Wraith Lord floated up at the place where the body double was.
『There is nothing alive that could withstand the [Cursed Flame of Kwaku]. Lament over it in hell, Irregular!』
The city that has turned into rubble is sunk in the flames.
"Seems like this place is a miss."
"Un, there are some suspicious people, but they're just ordinary suspicious."
"In agreement so I inform."
Arisa, Hikaru and Nana exchanged those words on top of a roof near the 『Heart of Gold』's headquarter.
Hikaru muttered shortly.
"Finding no fresh personnel within my vision so I inform."
Without answering Arisa and Nana who look around, Hikaru readies her wand.
A gigantic telephone pole-sized spear appeared next to Hikaru who's stood up.
The gigantic spear pours down toward a spot that has no one around.
Pedestrians scream out, and run to the opposite side of the cloud of dust where the spear hit the ground.
"--Geez, I'm no match for ya. Talk 'bout reckless."
A small man who's caught the spear with his small green hand showed up from inside the cloud of dust.
"Hey hey, how'd ya find me? It shouldn't be possible for Analyze skill reincarnated people and heroes got from gods to see through me."
"Oh is that you Green. I didn't recognize you at first since you're not wearing your usual green outfits."
Hearing Hikaru's words, the small man seemed dumbfounded as he looked at his own skin.
"You can't weasel this out. Only Greater Demon Green can use Mana Camouflage and Avatar abilities."
The small man continues to deny Hikaru's accusation.
"Nay nay. Imma the original."
"I taught Green 'bout ways to create Avatar, and 『Thief God Harness』 was given to me by milord-san."
The small man's corner of the mouth raised up under his hood.
"Well, who cares 'bout that. Lucky me for this chance to meet the 『God Banisher』 girl without Irregular around."
"You shall not lay your hands on Arisa so I announce."
Nana moves forward with a huge shield as if guarding Arisa from the small man's line of sight.
"I ain't gonna do that for the time bein', ya can rest assured."
He sighed as Nana didn't seem like she would relent, and then continued to prattle on.
"So, Arisa-han. I'll give ya half of the world, come over to our group will ya?"
"Out of question. Like there's still anyone who'd fall for that straight-to-bad-end route nowadays."
"Really now. Then how 'bout the whole round world? Wealth, fame, good food, good men, ya can have anything you want. I'm serious 'ere, that just how valuable a magician that can overwhelm gods is."
"My answer will not change no matter how many times you ask. I won't ever leave Master's side, ever!"
Arisa refused the small man's temptation without a hint of hesitation.
"That's some spirit a'ight. But y'know, you can even obtain your beloved man's heart if you come with me. How 'bout that? You could monopolize a fickle man for yerself alone."
"Hmph, would you please stop making fools of Arisa-chan! Master--Satou's heart, Arisa-chan will get it with her own powers!"
Arisa gallantly shouted at the man.
"Izzat so. 'K then, go fer' it."
Since the negotiation failed, the small man turned on his heel.
"I'mma excuse myself before Irregular comes here. Since yer' all here, the vampirification plan musta been spoiled no?"
"You think we'll let you? I'd like to see you try running away from a space magician."
"She's also with a former hero here."
Hikaru stands up next to Arisa.
"Was wondering how yer' so well informed 'bout Green, ain't it the Ancestor King lil' lady. Ah heard yer' shutting yerself in the capital and rarely go with Irregular, yet here you are at this timin' eh."
The small man muttered.
"Well, whateva'. For yer' information, ya can use Avatar to create not only your own body--"
He took off the worn-out hood as he said that.
"I knew it--"
Hikaru and Arisa who saw his titles muttered polar opposite words.
"Who would have thought that you were hiding that kind of cards. The first one was a decoy huh."
Satou showed up from among the burning rubble.
He was covered in soot and dirt, but after using Life Magic, he appeared unscathed.
"Did you get it from Weasel Empire?"
『I know not its origin.』
"Is that so. I'll go ask Tactician myself later then."
The Wraith Lord that found Satou's composure puzzling distorted.
『What is this Irregular. Do you not realize that thousands of people who lived in this city have perished because of your blunders? Have you no regret, no anger?』
The Wraith Lord blamed Satou for the thing it did.
"--Regret? None in particular though?"
『So those who call themselves heroes are incapable of admitting their own mistakes!』
The Wraith Lord unjustly enraged.
"I mean, there's no blunder."
"Have you not noticed yet? I dragged you to this sub-space right when my barrier detected that small man teleported in."
Wraith Lord looks around at the surroundings, as Satou spoke in amazement.
There is nary dense miasma and vengeful spirits that should have gotten generated en masse after a genocide.
『Then, not a single life has been sacrificed?』
"That's right. Going out of your way to do a suicide bombing at Shiga Kingdom gave the hint of what you guys would do here after all."
Satou drew the holy sword hanging on his waist.
"What's your chief--"
The Wraith Lord ignored Satou and roared aloud, then the area surrounding it distorted black and began to suck in the surrounding rubble and flames.
It's apparently a self-destruct skill as the Wraith Lord's body itself is beginning to get sucked into the jet black hell.
『I shall be your guide to hell. Perish along with me, Irregular!』
"Nah, I'm good."
Satou slashed with the holy sword once, and the Wraith Lord that had been cut in half by a blue flash disappeared, however, the jet black hell it created still remains.
"Well, guess I'll just close it along with the sub-space--"
After muttering that, Satou erased the sub-space along with the Wraith Lord's final parting gift.
"Hordes of monsters near where Pochi and the others are?"
Judging from the Maps, Monster Tamer Homonculus are riding battle-ready tamed monsters, leading hordes of monsters toward City-State Kariswolk.
The witch tower where Pochi and the girls are visiting is apparently located in their route.
Tama raised her voice, and at the same time, the witch noticed that monsters had invaded her territory.
"Looks like some monsters slipped in cuz I let the barrier wide open ssune."
The girls who were enjoying bitter tea and Japanese-style confection immediately stood up after hearing the witch.
"Should we go exterminate those monsters?"
"I will take part in it!"
"No no ssuyo. I'd feel bad if my guests do all the work ssu."
The witch took up a pointy hat and a cane hanging on the wall.
Denied, Liza and Karina looked dejected.
"There's lots of big monsters nodesuyo?"
Tama and Pochi who saw monsters peeking between trees asked her out of concern.
"Don't worry, just watch ssu. A witch that's close to the Source she rules over is invincible ssu."
The witch runs up to the rooftop.
"I've got lots of mana in winter, just right ssu! ■■ Snowfall, ■■ Tornado, ■■ Thunderbolt, are efficient when used consecutively ssuyone~"
"Amazingly awesome nodesu!"
The Witch who can make use of the abundant Source mana butchers the monsters one after another.
Small, and mid-sized monsters that accompanied the big ones stopped moving after getting hit by the snow and lightning, but four big-sized monsters that were just wounded kept pushing their way through the snow toward the tower.
"Ge ge, they're still alive after eating that many magic, must be real sturdy ssu!"
As the witch grumbled, a shining bullet shot through one of the big monsters' head.
"Pochi would like to have a shot too nodesu."
Tama and Pochi drew their trusty swords and immediately shot out magic edge cannons, crushing heads of two big monsters.
"T-the last one is my prey desuwa!"
Karina accumulates mana in her trusty gauntlets.
In the meanwhile, the last big monster bulldozed its way through the snow, drawing close to the tower.
"A-are you not done yet? Maybe I should go for it--"
"I've gathered enough! Here I go!"
Interrupting the fretting witch, Lady Karina shot out her magic edge cannon, hitting the big monster's head.
"The kung fu is still lacking nodesu."
"Your focus is inadequate. Also, you won't be able to use it in practical combat unless you knead mana faster."
"Wha, this isn't the time for that ssu! ■■ Thunderbolt!"
The witch's magic managed to make the monster scream and stop it, but it still survived, and glared at the witch after roaring in anger.
"Karina-sama, do it like this."
Liza who kept her calm in contrast to the witch jerked her spear, and then a red light sphere whirled through the blizzard, and blew away the big monster's head.
Liza continued her explanations afterward, but the witch whose mouth was wide open in surprise couldn't hear a thing.
"I'm supposed to be the great witch-sama who rules over a Source though..."
The movements of monsters in the witch's territory was reflected in her head as she grumbled.
"Ge ge ge, all of the monsters are coming straight here ssu."
To be more accurate, all of the monsters besides the tamed monsters leading the hordes, however, a god not the witch has no way of knowing that.
"I'll do even better this time!"
"That won't be happening, it seems."
Lulu pointed at the sky while giving a negative to Karina's declaration.
"W-w-what is that!"
What looked like hundreds of thousands of light spheres rain down from the sky, shooting through the blizzard and monsters, grandly rolling up the snow in the field.
"Is anyone injured?"
"Apparently, one of the terrorists from the other day attempted to throw us into disarray by sending hordes of monsters to Kariswolk city."
Satou who appeared in the sky greeted the witch and entered through a window.
"Then, the enemy's mastermind is at Kariswolk?"
"Yeah, seems so. I just got a rescue signal from Arisa."
Tama beckoned Satou with half of her body sunk in the shadow.
"I'm counting on you, Tama."
"Aye aye sir~"
"Ms. Witch, I'm sorry, but I'd have to postpone our talks for another day--"
After saying that, Satou and the girls disappeared into the shadow.
※ Next update is planned for 8/19