16-66. To Saga Empire
Satou here. In my father and grandfather's eras, when you're transferring job apparently it's normal for your coworkers to see you off even to the Shinkansen station's platform. It kinda sounds fake, but if that happens in this day and age, people would be under a false impression that there was a celebrity or something.
"Un, Sete received the news straight from the mikos, he said."
Hikaru told me that when I got back to the Solitary Island Palace's living room.
As the airship was on course to Saga Empire, we went back to the solitary island palace to heal our fatigue from Holy Land Parion.
"Sete--ah, you mean the king. So what's the oracle about?"
"Demon lord will make an appearance in Saga Empire, it said."
Another one huh.
The oracle about demon lord I heard from the head miko at duchy capital back then was for one that would appear at the end after everything had been cleared, so this one is probably a wholly different case.
"Are there no oracles regarding Parion Holy Land?"
"Un, I tried asking them about it, they asked me back instead, 'what makes you ask that' they said."
Fumu, did the manifestation of homonculus demon lord came as a surprise for gods as well, or maybe other gods besides god Parion wouldn't impart their oracle because it happened in Parion Main Temple's site, a bit intriguing.
As Parion Holy Land's populace seemed to have incurred the displeasure of god Parion, didn't seem like god Parion imparted an oracle to them.
"Lemme take a glance there."
After saying that, I got to Saga Empire with Unit Arrangement, and went around updating Map info in every part of the empire.
No demon lord was caught on my Map as of now.
At the Saga Empire's old capital--the place where Parion Holy Land's miko told me to go, I found a homonculus who possessed Unique Skills.
It reeked of Canary in a Coal Mine-type of trap somewhat, therefore I simply put a marker on the homonculus without directly going to see it.
After I'm done with all the necessary checks, I make my way back to the Solitary Island Palace.
"How was it?"
"There's no demon lord present for the time being."
After reporting to Hikaru, I told her about the homonculus with Unique Skills.
The other girls are currently taking a bath it seems, I'll tell them later.
"Yep, I think it's a trap. The green greater demon often set up traps like that using its own Avatar."
My instinct got it right for once.
But, for some reason, the fact that it was right made me feel uneasy instead, that maybe it was actually the opposite.
"--Ah right. Ichirou-nii, could I ask you to do one other thing."
Hikaru made a request with an upward glance.
"Of course. What is it?"
"You see, Sete said that there's a sudden outbreak of cold in Seryuu City and the old Capital."
The old capital--It's Oyugock's Duchy capital.
"Should I make them cold medicine?"
Hikaru shook her head.
"It's not that. Could you check up to see if it's really an ordinary cold."
"Not an ordinary cold--you mean like influenza?"
"Un, I hope it wasn't that though."
"Gotcha, I'll look into it."
I arrived at Seryuu City with Unit Arrangement.
After updating Map info, I search for abnormal status on it.
There's no influenza. Despite an outbreak, only around 10% of the total population that has caught a cold.
Something's not right.
I search for abnormal status once again.
70% of the total population here are suffering from abnormal statuses.
They're suffering from physiological diseases unique to this world such as regretful syndrome, impatient syndrome, and rage syndrome.
As these diseases were unfamiliar to me, I looked them up and found out that these are peculiar diseases that are transmitted to people when their bodies are weak due to cold and such via certain undead like Banshee and Fury Ghosts.
Furthermore, every one of these diseases has been hidden like [Regretful Syndrome: Concealed], thus normal appraisal skill cannot be used to distinguish them, and so the locals are led to believe that the outbreak is just for an ordinary cold.
Or perhaps, there really was an outbreak of cold, and they were contracted to these diseases during that time.
These illnesses are not that serious though.
If you catch Regretful Syndrome, you'll be all fidgety and restless as you shut yourself in a room, Impatient Syndrome makes you constantly anxious and never be calm. With Rage Syndrome, you get to be irritated all the time, it makes you want to hit things around you.
Those contracted with these diseases will naturally recover fully in five to 10 days time once their condition has improved, there's no specific treatment for these.
I'm not sure whether advanced holy magic [Purification Virus] would have any effect on it, but it's customary to use mid class holy magic [Remove Disease] and water magic [Cure Disease] on those suffering from these diseases, and magic medicines like elixirs should be able to fully cure them.
I don't think I need to worry about this, but since the sources of infection are undead, I should inform Seryuu City's authority at least.
As I'm not too thrilled at the prospect of meeting Earl Seryuu, I'll ask his daughter, Miss Ouna, to deliver a message instead.
The fact that Miss Ouna is inside the room of her fiance, Yukel-kun, Zena-san's little brother, is intriguing but as I don't think they'd do a premarital intercourse when the sun is still high in the sky, I let myself in after changing into Kuro.
"O-ouna-sama, we can't! We're still--"
At the destination of my teleportation, a scene of Miss Ouna pushing down Yukel-kun was playing before me.
So passionate--no, wait.
"Come to your sense."
I use water magic [Cure Disease] on Miss Ouna.
She was suffering from Lusting Syndrome that originates from Succubus--the same kind of syndromes that come from undead.
"Yukel? W-what was I--"
Behind Yukel-kun who covered for her, Miss Ouna's flushed face turned pale.
I have Yukel-kun to take care of her and forcefully bring her sense back with mind magic [Calm Field] to calm her.
Once the anxiety in Miss Ouna's eyes had disappeared, I told her about the undead-borne diseases rampant in Seryuu City.
"I knew it, so it wasn't an ordinary cold."
Ouna muttered in frustration.
Looks like she noticed how unusual infection trend of the cold was.
Normally, infections would spread out from downtown where many living there had no resistance to disease, yet this infection spread out from inside the inner wall where many wealthy people lived.
"Thank you so much, Kuro-dono. Please leave the rest to us."
I gave an affirmation to the unusually eager Miss Ouna, and handed over 30 bottles of panaceas and elixirs each, to her, just in case.
I also dropped by Echigoya Firm's branch office, and delivered panaceas and perfumes that could stabilize mental state there.
"Satou, how was it?"
As everyone had finished with their bath and gathered here, Hikaru called me with my alias.
"It really wasn't a normal cold."
I told Hikaru and the girls about my experience.
Besides Seryuu City and the duchy capital, the diseases are also spreading in Muno city and Brighton city that I administer.
Symptoms are also appearing in the royal capital and the labyrinth city, though it hasn't spread yet in these cases.
Since Brighton City had some excess mana, I visited the City Core room and activated a ritual magic that seemed like it could help the citizens coping with the disease. It consumes a lot of mana relative to its effect that apparently only helps to relieve, but it's better than letting the mana overflow.
It might have been a coincidence if it only happened in Seryuu City, but when it's happening simultaneously in many places, high chance someone is acting secretly behind the scene here.
"--Hey, it's definitely that mastermind guy who's behind this."
"Yeah, I've considered that myself, but don't you think their objective here is too haphazard compared to the vampire transformation?"
I replied with that to Arisa's retort.
"Maybe he's leading us to think 『they won't do something that has no meaning.』"
"Master, how about you inform them about that stuff you did in Brighton, and let other cities do it too?"
"Hold on, that may be precisely what our opponent wanted."
"You mean, their goal is to waste City Cores' mana?"
"Un, a tactician of Furu Empire employed a similar tactic to conquer impregnable fort cities in the era of Orc Empire. It's not completely the same, but still really quiteS similar."
City Cores are capable of almost every feat imaginable, however, every one of these feats requires a huge amount of mana to execute.
It's very plausible that their goal is to make us waste mana, and decrease the things that could be done with City Cores.
"All right then. Let's relay these info to the king and leave all the decision making to him."
"I'm sure. I mean, it's a king's duty to mull over this stuff."
Besides, the king and the prime minister will surely pick the optimal solution, better than me.
I also ask her to tell them that I'm open for consultation if they need a hand.
<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.>
"Satou-sama, the old capital of Saga Empire will come into view very soon at the airship."
"Got it. I'll go to the airship after I'm done changing."
I gave that reply to the brownie in pilot uniform, and went back to my room.
Five days have passed since then.
According to Hikaru, the king refrained from using City Cores' ritual magic, instead he opened up the royal treasury and distributed emergency rations and medicines to the poor, the goal was to increase their resistance to sickness.
The undead-borne diseases whose initial symptom starts with cold was not restricted to Shiga Kingdom, it spread in the whole world.
It was obviously a man-made phenomenon, but the people behind it were quite cunning, only a few cities, including Eluett Duchy capital and Bishtal Duchy capital managed to deal with it before the diseases spread.
As for oracle about demon lord, there's nothing new past the initial one.
Through Hikaru, Emperor's sister Maryest, and princess Trimenus who were staying at the Royal Capital unofficially requested me to defeat the demon lord at Saga Empire. There was also a suggestion from Lady Ringrande at the duchy capital, she wanted to assist me in the demon lord's subjugation, but I politely declined her offer.
"Master, here's your ceremonial clothes."
I took the ceremonial clothes Lulu fetched from the dressing room.
"Allow me to help."
Arisa in maid uniform smoothly and naturally moved in and reached out to me.
"Lulu, take care of the coat's button please. I'll be here getting this belt out of the way--"
I whacked Arisa on the head as she attempted a sexual harassment while breathing roughly and drove her out of the room.
When did she get in anyway, sheesh.
"You too Lulu, don't worry about me, I can do this myself."
Seeing her looking slightly disappointed, I'm getting a bit worried about Lulu's future.
After I'm done, I took several items out of Storage and equipped them.
After that little scuffle at Parion Holy Land where I got cut off from Source, I've prepared a vest installed with a portable Sacred Tree Stone Furnace that makes use of Crimson Coins.
I think my Storage would still be usable anyway, but since there are ways to inhibit the usage of space magic and Item Box, I regard this as an insurance.
Of course, I've given this equipment to the girls too.
Liza was waiting outside when I went out to the corridor.
"Master, please allow me to accompany you in your war campaign against Saga Empire."
"I'm just going there to take on Parion's trial, I'm not fighting anyone you know."
"However, isn't the enemy who employed the proliferating demon lord the other day lying in wait over there?"
Yup, he's probably waiting for me there.
But that's precisely why I'm going there alone first.
"Am I still of no use to Master?"
She looks feeble, you would never imagine she's the same person who stands fast before her enemy with spear in hands.
"You've always been a huge help to me, Liza."
What came out of my mouth was apparently not what she wanted to hear, her gaze that was facing me turned down.
I put my hand on Liza's chin and lift it up.
"--The reason why I asked you to stay behind is not because I don't rely on you."
In fact, she has proved herself capable of defeating even demon lords at the Phantasmal Labyrinth and Parion Holy Land.
The only foes the girls cannot handle right now are exceptional cases like the great demon lords, say, Dog-head and Wild Boar King.
They could even deal damage to gods if they took them by surprise, as Arisa had demonstrated.
"I cannot predict what our opponent this time has in mind. I don't know what kind of tricks waiting for me there, so I'm counting on you Liza, and Arisa to guard my back."
Liza stares at me.
Looks like she's ascertaining whether I'm telling the truth or if it's just consolation words.
"Would you come to help me if I fell into a trap and got myself in trouble?"
"...Yes, Master, I will come to your aid even if it costs me this life!"
Liza hesitated for a bit before giving her consent with a powerful voice.
"Oh my? Liza-san, did something good happen?"
Arisa called out to us when Liza and I entered living room together.
Arisa and Mia look at each other, seemingly taken by surprise to hear Liza.
I turn around toward Nana's voice.
Almost with a puff-like sfx, I was wrapped in softness.
Watching the still expressionless Nana hugged me, Arisa and Mia protested loudly.
"What's the matter, Nana?"
"It's a good luck charm to pray for Master's safe return, so I inform."
"Really now, thank you."
Looks like I had put up a stern face that was unlike me, perhaps because of my serious talk with Liza.
"I'm praying too!"
"Pochi too wants to fray for safety nodesu!"
The youth troupe comes clinging on me one after another.
Rather than getting hugged, I feel like being a schoolyard climbing pole in an athletic meet.
""E-err, what's, happening here?""
Lulu and Zena-san who brought tea from the kitchen with them voiced out their surprise in unison.
I peeled off the clinging little girls, and tossed them on the sofa.
"Satou, I manage to finish Drone-kun No. 47, so here take it with you. I've had Mito-sama's help this time and put emphasize on its stealthiness and autonomous action."
"Satou-san, please take this holy water too. It's a specially made one I created together with head miko-sama at duchy capital."
I took the parting gifts from Princess Sistina and Sera who looked like they were competing.
"Master Satou. I brought 『Scapegoat Dolls』 from main core to you."
Core Two handed over several cursed-looking dolls.
This main core she mentioned is the Dungeon Core of Phantasmal Labyrinth where I preside over as Dungeon Master.
These [Scapegoat Dolls] aren't like the item often seen in games that would [void death], but it's a high level body-double item whose functionality is similar to [Physical Mirror Image] installed on Pochi's golden armor.
It's not like I absolutely need it, but they're disposable items anyway, so I requested some thinking they might come in handy.
"Thanks to the Evil Philosophy, we've got an abundant of soul points and miasma points, so please don't hesitate to ask if master needs anything, said main core."
"Thank you, Core Two."
I gave the Evil Philosophy to Phantasmal Labyrinth's Dungeon Core intending it to be a miasma supply as I didn't have any other use for it anyway.
The fact that it supplied soul points on top of miasma points is a fortunate miscalculation.
Nana's followers, the wingkin little girls, Shiro and Crow came flying in while flapping their wings.
Princess Doris's pet, the godbird Hisui also came flying in along with Shiro and Crow.
The sage mouse, Chuu Fat is riding on her back, adorned with a crown on his head complete with a red robe.
Looks like everyone is coming to see me off.
"It's like you're a main character in the final episode or something."
I turned to the direction of the voice, and saw the former depressed demon lord who's also a reincarnated person, Shizuka, resting on a door next to the kitchen door.
"Mito told me about it, you're dealing with demon lords again right? I'll be staying here in the meantime, feel free to call if you need me."
Looks like she came here from the sub-space she shut herself in to perform her role in separating [God's Fragment] from demon lords.
"Thanks, that will really help."
"Please, no need for that. I've been sponging off you after all, think of it as me paying back my debt."
Shizuka turned away without a blush on her cheek.
She's not covering for embarrassment, looks like she truly thinks that.
"Well then, I should be going now."
"If it gets dangerous, contact me immediately through the Familiar~ Line okay?"
"I will definitely come for you together with Arisa-chan and the girls!"
Arisa and Zena-san cheerfully declared such.
"O-Of course, I and Raka-san will also rush into action when that happens."
『Umu, I shall endeavor my best.』
Late to the party, Lady Karina and Raka-san asserted.
I head for the gate that connects to the airship while responding to the girls who are saying their farewells.
Hikaru has gone to the royal castle to report to the king, she's not here.
The former sword demon lord, the fox girl is doing well at her own pace today as well, she's currently playing with Heiron in the sub-space.
I said so to the worried-looking Liza and opened the gate.
"Satou-sama, it's terrible!"
"Ichirou-nii! This is bad!"
From the airship's gate that I just opened, and the royal capital's Echigoya firm mansion's gate, the brownie in pilot uniform and Hikaru rushed out with grave expressions.
I feel like I've seen this pattern before.
They're not going to tell me that Saga Empire has collapsed now, are they?
※Next update is planned for 10/7