16-71. Saga Empire, Satou's Battle
Satou here. In horror and mystery stories, often there are characters whose thought process you can never guess present. In most cases, there is a reason to these characters' actions, told in the story.
However, I think the real scary ones are those whose actions don't have any rhyme or reasons behind them.
"--Where is he?"
I arrived at a [Mapless Area] after pursuing the goblin demon lord into shadow.
I head to where he is by relying on the light dot displayed on the Radar.
That light dot suddenly disappeared.
I've put a marker on the demon lord, so he cannot escape me.
His marker info pertaining location displayed in my vision changed to one of the satellite cities of Saga Empire.
He must have sensed my chase and got out of the shadow space.
I broke out of the shadow space myself with that in mind.
Big blue open sky, with a sprawling town under my eyes--I'm currently on top of a steeple in the center of the town.
There's one building with a broken window.
I jump into one of the windows with Flash Drive.
"Oh yer' here already--"
The goblin demon lord that had wasted the room like some kind of burglar jumped out of another window at the opposite side.
I caught sight of the demon lord's long fluttering hair as he jumped out.
Did this demon lord who should have been bald grow hair, or did he put on a wig, I'm not sure.
He also didn't have the white coat he wore until just now.
What interrupted my fleeting thoughts was a red explosion outside the window and screams of people.
I jump out of the window.
The demon lord is shooting elementary and mid-rank fire magic all over the places as he jumps from roofs to roofs.
To stop this brutality, I shot at the demon lord with the light magic Laser.
The demon lord jumped down the roof, escaping in between buildings at the expense of his right arm.
He might be using evasion or crisis sensing-type of Unique Skill.
I use fire extinguish magic at a building that caught fire from the fire magic the demon lord shot and grazed by the laser I shot.
I had weakened the laser's firepower to decrease collateral damage, but as it was a mid-rank magic, it still wasn't enough to prevent secondary damage.
After landing on the ground with Flash Drive, I chase after the demon lord who escaped behind buildings after buildings.
Apparently this demon lord possesses Ground Shrink skill himself, I can't catch up to him.
Moreover, he kept shooting out fire and explosion magic whenever he hid behind something.
The fact that he mixed in some delayed activation spells among those is really annoying.
After chasing him through two, three blocks all the while preventing damage, the demon lord fled into shadow once again.
--He's done with just setting fire?
I jumped into the shadow while having some doubts about the demon's lord action.
There were some small fires that I failed to extinguish, but I'd leave those to the locals to take care of.
"--What is this guy (demon lord) plotting?"
I arrived at another satellite city after passing through the shadow.
Chasing after the light dot shown in the radar, I discovered the demon lord who was destroying a water fountain while laughing maniacally.
In order to prevent him from escaping again, I use shadow magic the same way as sealing space magic to stop him running away into the shadow space.
The demon lord noticed me and ran away as if he was purposely letting his figure seen.
When I was about to give a chase, a block of wood rolling among the fountain debris caught my eyes.
--It's a barrel.
Scattered barrels that spread Vampire Mosquitoes around which brought upon the Vampire incident that destroyed Tokiswolk Kingdom flashed on my mind.
It's the same barrel.
I heard an explosion sound from afar.
Looks like the demon lord has started his destruction run again.
I isolated the debris of the destroyed fountain with space magic and sterilized it with fire magic.
These Vampire Mosquitoes eggs should turn into ashes after this much roasting.
The method is a bit rough, but I had to prioritize saving time here.
I went after the demon lord by tracing on the sounds of explosions.
Whenever I try to use teleport and pull-type space magic on him, he keeps getting away behind buildings using Ground Shrink during the slight window of time lag before activation of those magic. Sight-based Unit Arrangement is no different from Ground Shrink.
I would have never imagined that a Ground Shrink user who put everything into running away could be this troublesome.
The chase this time was easier than before since the demon lord was mainly using explosion magic and sound-only wind magic, thus there was no need for fire extinguishing and such.
Just like earlier, after chasing the demon lord through several blocks of the city, he escaped into the shadow once again.
That's right, he escaped.
I didn't think that he could leap over the blockage I put with shadow magic.
Since I saw him got clad in purple light when he was diving into the shadow, it must have been some kind of Unique Skill.
I continued to chase after the demon lord for another five cities and two towns.
Once, I tried to encircle the demon lord using ninjutsu clones, but he immediately ran into shadow after noticing it, thus I abandoned any similar attempt onward.
But still, how far does he intend to flee.
I noticed something odd.
Why would the Gob demon lord continue to run away when it's just an Avatar?
He could have just hopped onto another replaceable Avatar body if he wanted to, what would be the point of running away without doing so.
While chasing and preventing the demon lord's harassment-like attack magic in the 13th city, I'm racking my brain to guess his goal.
What has he done so far?
Set fire to stuff, destroyed a water fountain, attempted to spread the Vampire Mosquitoes around, destroyed buildings, and surprised the populace with sounds of explosions.
Aside from the Vampire Mosquitoes, none of the acts could be fatal to an entire city.
He may be weak compared to Wild Boar King and Dog-Head, but he's still a level 99 class demon lord.
He could even submerge an entire city in flames like with the old capital if he had just used advanced-rank magic chantlessly.
I saw his long purple hair disappearing into a corner.
I went after it.
"There's another one over here!"
Black knights with magic edges at the ready rushed in after I turned around the corner.
I evaded their assault with rapid usage of Ground Shrink and got back to chasing the demon lord.
I didn't connect the dot since the only thing similar was the colors, but the reason why he wasted the room in that mansion in the beginning was because he was looking for clothing similar to Nanashi's.
It's actually not the same at all if you look closely, but it should be difficult for ordinary people to tell us apart when we're moving at super high speed.
But this method is too roundabout if his goal is to smear Nanashi's name.
He could have just dispatched homonculi in my attires to every cities, he didn't need to go out of his way and drag me along.
I'm growing more irritated at myself who can't figure out this demon lord's ploy.
I saw the demon lord looking here with a grin and sneer on his face for an instant.
While enduring the impulse to attack him with the fast-moving light magic, I used Ground Shrink.
The demon lord escaped into shadow once again when I was just one step away from him.
I dived into the shadow while getting irritated.
--Don't go after him.
I felt like I heard a faint youthful voice while I was entering the shadow.
And that was the continuation that I felt I heard, but I'm not really sure since it happened right when I was going inside the shadow.
It felt like something inside my mind rather than a voice.
『Arisa, did you call?』
『Unnya, I didn't say anything.』
I thought it was the Familiar Link, turned out not.
It can't be the always-connected space magic [Tactical Talk] either.
『Did something happen over there?』
『No well, I've just been pursuing the demon lord to cities after cities.』
『That sounds rough~ be sure to call us anytime if you need our help! I'm gonna send help with the Familiar Powah~』
I feel my accumulated irritation vanishing thanks to Arisa.
She's really the mood maker.
『Thank you, Arisa.』
I cut off the Familiar Link after saying that and went out of the shadow space.
<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.>
"Back to the starting point huh?"
The destination was the place where the demon lord first showed up, the old capital.
I look at Map.
The demon lord isn't inside the city.
--There he is.
He's in the [Hill of Heroes] located in the old capital's suburb.
This hill with a nice view is an ancient temple where god Parion's miracle, [Heroes Summoning], get performed.
--The magic circle is active?
The mana accumulated in a giant magic facility under the hill's ground is flowing into the magic circle laminated on the temple's ceilings and pillars, it feels like it's about to get started.
Of course it is--.
Inside the temple that was usually devoid of people besides the custodian, miko and priests of Parion Temple along with two blue dots that signify my acquaintances are present.
While feeling slightly impatient, I close in on the ancient temple where the demon lord is with Flash Drive.
There he is, Goblin Demon Lord.
"Good work out the~re."
His mouth that was peeking out of his white hood grinned repulsively.
The miko and priests are bound by chains made of dark purple lights, piled up on the floor, with the demon lord is sitting on top of them along with one blue light dot I discovered earlier--an attendant of hero, and a Parion Temple priestess, Loreiya, next to him.
She's also bound by dark purple chains like the other priests, the demon lord is restraining her from behind, with a dark bladed dagger thrust before her neck.
"Sorry for being cliched, but don't ya dare move a muscle if ya wanna see these hostages alive. No matter how out of the ordinary yer'are, killing these people before yer' ground shrink got here is easy peasy."
He's telling the truth.
That dagger is bad news.
It's giving off a more dangerous vibe than the demon lord himself.
I put markers on everyone with Map Search.
Same like how I did during the incident at the old capital, I use space magic <<Aport an Object>> to--it failed?
"It's the Unique Skill version of yer' Space Magic Sealing magic y'see. A goblin I am 's a weakling, but I got lotsa slots for Unique Skills, been real helpful."
The demon lord boasted.
The goblin demon lord living in Selbira Labryint's lowest layer, Yuika, had 13 Unique Skills, but I don't believe that it's a characteristic of goblins.
However, considering the many Unique Skills this guy has used thus far, the claim that he possesses as many Unique Skills as Yuika might not be necessarily a lie.
"What's your goal."
I examine the dagger thrust before Loreiya while talking.
--Dagger of Deicide.
I read the troublesome-sounding name and the remarks column while feeling a cold sweat down my spine.
It was made from a fragment of Dragon God's claw, a vicious dagger capable of even killing gods.
The name of its creator is--.
"Nanashi-sama! Please forget about us and kill the demon lord--"
"Shut up boobs."
Loreiya's shout turned into a painful scream.
The demon lord grabbed her breast and forcefully silenced her.
Loreiya meaningfully turned her line of sight toward the right interior for an instant.
I nodded back lightly to hide it from the demon lord.
There is another blue dot over there.
The other blue dot I found alongside Loreiya earlier, an attendant of Hero Hayato, The long earkin archer, Wiyaryi.
I peer at her while being careful as to not draw attention.
She's readying her bow while hiding in the shadow with some kind of stealth skill.
She's holding a longbow made of sapphire-like blue crystalline substance at the ready.
The arrow set on the longbow is clad in holy blue light--that's a holy weapon not unlike holy swords that was displayed in the Museum of Heroes.
When I'm getting ready to support Wiyaryi, the demon lord stops me just as I'm about to move a leg where my center of gravity is.
"Don't move 'k, I'mma seriously kill 'em if ya--"
An arrow of blue light pierced through the demon lord's head from diagonally behind.
Half of his head was blown away like it was sucked in.
"I did it!"
The long earkin girl that shot the blue arrow, Hero Hayato's attendant Wiyaryi let out a shout of joy.
The dark purple chains binding the priests are still persisting.
"Don't let your guard down!"
There's a high chance the demon lord is still alive.
"I got it!"
I got a reply immediately.
Wiyaryi began to prepare for the second shot while keeping her guard up.
In order to save the hostages, I went to the center of the temple with Ground Shrink where the demon lord and Loreiya are.
I noticed that the Magic Essence in the surrounding area had disappeared when I reached out my [Magic Hands] toward the hostages.
It's the same as the Mana Neutralizing Space that got us good in the vertical passageway of the Phantasmal Labyrinth.
The mana inside my body is still intact, but whenever I attempt to use Sky Drive, the accumulated mana disappears.
I turn my gaze down.
There's a 40-meter underground space below.
Me aside, the other people here would die at this rate.
I let out seawater I had in my Storage into the underground space.
The facilities to summon heroes might break by doing this, but lives are at stake here.
We landed on water after falling about 10 meter down.
I put the seawater back into my Storage to lower the water level.
Something's weird on Radar Display, this underground space is apparently a whole other Map.
The demon lord's body disappeared into black mist inside the decreasing seawater.
Looks like his Avatar had come undone.
At the same time, the dark purple chains binding the priests also vanished.
Without minding her wet hair and clinging clothes, priestess Loreiya went to operate a control panel located in a small tower at the center of the underground space.
Looks like the Mana Neutralizing space has been lifted off, not sure when.
Since there were many that got hurt during the landing, I treated them with advanced-rank water magic. The priests take too long to chant their healing magic after all.
I used All Map Exploration just in case, but it appears there is neither a hidden door nor a hidden room in this space.
"Nanashi-sama, the summoning magic circle that was in the midst of activation has gone out of control! At this rate, it will continue to summon heroes from another world until the lives and mana of everyone in the old capital have been exhausted up!"
Is this what the demon lord had been scheming?
I ran to the control panel to prevent the worst-case scenario.
※ Next update is planned for 11/11