17-10. Purple Towers (2)
Satou here. I'm aware that even demolitions require calculations from seeing videos of multi-storied buildings getting demolished. Collapsing multi-storied buildings down below without damaging the surroundings feels like a work of art, doesn't it.
"Well then, I'm counting on you to inform the viceroy."
"Un, I got it. I think it'll take about three hours to finish evacuating."
I brought Hikaru with me to Labyrinth City Selbira using Unit Arrangement.
The king has requested me to destroy the purple tower at this city first since it's fully equipped for it with excellent city defense being a labyrinth city and all.
Other members besides Hikaru are standing by in their full equipment on the airship.
Hikaru candidly greeted the guard in front of viceroy's mansion before going in.
The king must have informed the viceroy about his plan to destroy the purple tower through [City Core] transmission line already, but considering this world's time schedule, I expect that they have not done anything about it.
As such I asked Hikaru to act as a messenger to urge a prompt evacuation.
I went to the Purple Tower near the labyrinth city.
It's situated right on the opposite side of the labyrinth.
"--Uwaaa. W-who goes there!"
A young soldier guarding the Purple Tower was startled to see me appearing all of a sudden, he held out his spear while inquiring my identity. The fact that he got his spear backward must be part of his charm.
"You fool! Lower your spear! This person here is Hero Nanashi-sama of Shiga Kingdom!"
"Eh? Ah, purple hair and a mask--"
An older soldier reprimanded the young one.
His reaction was understandable if he never saw me before.
I mean a suspicious man donning a mask just showed up out nowhere after all.
The young soldier lowered his spear and apologized.
"Oh no worries. By the way, --what's that over there?"
There's a lot of people getting treated near the Purple Tower.
No uh, I can see that.
"When the mound got bigger, many explorers burning with curiosity gathered here and went inside the tower, saying something like 『We'll help with the investigation』 or 『Treasures~』."
"You didn't stop them?"
The older soldier shrugged his shoulders and said, "We were outnumbered."
There are dozens of explorers getting treated here, and some are high level ones. Just five or six average soldiers can't possibly stop them.
Right now, additional newly-dispatched soldiers are here forming a barricade near the entrance.
"How many people went inside?"
"We don't know the exact number. What we know are a mixed party of 30 people led by Koshin-dono, a party of nine led by Dozon-dono, and also 30 elites from Earl Pendragon's sub-organization, the 『Pendora』."
Pendora guys huh--.
They're not exactly my sub-organization, but I can't tell him that as Nanashi.
But this is troubling.
I can't destroy the tower from outside using anti-god magic if there's people inside.
Gotta remove--save the people who have gone inside first.
Well, guess I'll get to it while the labyrinth city finishes its evacuation and defense prop-up.
"When did they get in?"
"First thing in the morning!"
It's been quite some time since they got in, but I believe the parties led by Kosin-shi with his excellent commanding abilities and the veteran Dozon-shi would still be intact.
Same with [Pendora] guys who have been taught to prioritize returning alive at the Explorer School.
"OK then, I'm going in. Don't let anyone inside okay."
"As you wish, sir."
The older soldier saluted.
I lightly returned the salute and went inside the purple tower.
"--Just in case."
I put staircase on the first floor under space magic 『One-way Traffic (Deracinator)』.
And now, no one can go to the second floor from the first floor.
It's not like I don't believe the soldiers would do their job, but it'd be annoying if explorers who have gone back to the first floor attempt to go up other staircases here.
I used [All Map Exploration] when I got to the Second Floor.
"So many victims..."
I fetched the dead bodies with [Item Aport] and put them in Storage.
Fortunately--though I really shouldn't say that, no one from the [Pendora] was among them.
"Only three survivors huh."
Since they were huddling together at one spot, I went to meet them using Map and teleport magic.
"Is it a gobu!"
Surprised by me showing up with teleportation, young female explorers raised their short spears at me while protecting a wounded male priest behind them.
I'll make myself invisible before teleporting in next time.
"Hello there. I'm Hero Nanashi of Shiga Kingdom."
I raise my hands up to show them that I'm not an enemy while greeting and touching them with [Magic Hand] at the same time.
"Why would you be here--"
I didn't answer them and instead took them with me outside the tower using Unit Arrangement.
"Are we saved?"
"We are! We're saved!"
As the three were rejoicing and hugging each other, I teleported back inside the tower.
All eight pillars had staircases, thus I searched through all eight areas, from [Purple Tower, 2F-I] to [Purple Tower, 2F-VIII], collected the dead bodies and saved a few survivors along the way like the three earlier.
The third floor had 16 areas in total, I combed through all those and found no survivors, total dead bodies were about 30% of the ones on second floor.
I couldn't find either Dozon-shi, Kosin-shi or the Pendora guys so far.
<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.>
I found Koshin-shi's party on the fourth floor.
They're in the back, getting cornered by six groups of Demigoblin Vanguards that have blocked all three passages leading to them.
I was told that they were originally a group of 30, but it's been reduced to 20 now.
I hide myself using Optical Camouflage and teleport near them.
"Great shield unit, brace yourselves! Priest unit, prioritize healing shield unit! Mage unit, don't try to attack directly! Focus on using support magic and diverting the gobu! Strike unit, don't get too far ahead! Consider yourself lost if you get hurt!"
Koshin-shi is there. He's desperately giving instructions to the explorers at the center.
The average level of explorers in his group is relatively low, but thanks to his commands, they have avoided a total annihilation.
I could demolish those Demigoblin Vanguards in a single volley of [Remote Arrow], but then their efforts so far would be meaningless.
Thus I gave them a hand by overlapping my healing magic when the priests used theirs, and distracting and pulling the demigoblins' legs using Magic Hands.
Leaving the Demigoblin Vanguard Mages and Demigoblin Vanguard Priests who were leading the groups would problematic, thus I manipulated the Demigoblin Vanguards guarding them to kill them using their swords.
Thanks to my help, the battle ended in 10 minutes without any casualties.
"Haa, haa... We managed to repulse them somehow..."
"All members, get your first-aid now that we have a chance! Let's move out before the enemy who had run away brought reinforcement with them!"
Koshin-shi gave orders to the party.
"Thank god for Beria magic medicine."
"Dang right. We'd have been demolished without it."
"I'm sorry for being an inexperienced priest."
"Oh my bad, that's not what I mean."
"Dang right. That last heal was pretty awesome."
The shield unit chatted with a young priest.
"But dontcha think something felt amiss with those gobu at the end?"
"Those entire gobu are a mass of weirdness, y'know?"
"Not that, it's like they got distracted by something invisible."
"Hahaha, maybe gods' were helpin' us."
There's some explorers with a sharp institution among them.
Before they were finished with the first-aid, I produced flashy effects with light magic [Illusions] and showed myself up in front of them.
They were surprised as expected, but it's better than being found out that I had been here for awhile.
"Are you guys Koshin Party? I'm Hero Nanashi of Shiga Kingdom."
I told so to the surprised Koshin-shi, reached out [Magic Hands] toward them and took them to the tower's entrance before they could answer back.
As I walked away from the group while they were shocked and rejoicing together, Koshin-shi approached me.
"Allow me to express my gratitudes for saving us. You see, some of our comrades are still left inside."
"I got it. I'll make sure to save all survivors."
"Thank you--young master."
Koshin-shi bowed and whispered only the last word.
Wonder at which point did he find out?
"Who do you mean?"
"Nevermind, it appears I mistook you for someone else."
After saying something that didn't sound convincing in the least, he went back to his party.
I went back to the tower to seek out the remaining explorers.
"There they are. Pendora."
I finally found them at the sixth area on the fourth floor.
Looks like they've kept the safety first mantra well, they're not missing anyone.
Just that, I thought the 30 of them were moving together, but there's a lone party that's split up from them moving by themselves.
For now I'll go collect the party with fewer people.
"Geez! This is what happens when you don't listen to Rabibi-san!"
"But, ya know~"
"Ya know, not!"
"Now now, Rikurina. That one was inevitable."
"Right right. Talking plants are stuff you can only found at Fairy Forest like Pochi-neesan said."
"Can't imagine how much we'd get if we sell it."
The destination of my teleport was a party of mainly humans with a dwarf and a foxkin.
They're looking lively despite being separated from their friends.
I teleported them to [Pendora]'s location while keeping my invisibility.
Both groups screamed in surprise at the sudden appearance of the lost group.
"Usasa! There's somebody close by, gau!"
"All hands, assume battle formation <Ring>!"
At Gaugau's report, Usasa promptly took the Ring formation.
The dogkin boy Gaugau found out about me probably because I forgot to erase my scent.
"Excuse me for surprising you."
Looks like lots of these kids knew about Hero Nanashi, not sure where they saw me.
I caught all of them with [Magic Hands] and brought them outside the tower.
"Eh? Outside? Why?"
I informed the confused kids that they king had requested me to destroy the tower.
"Aww, and there were lots of treasure chests too."
"You there, no complaining."
"Garbage treasure chests the lot of 'em anyway, bau."
The protesting kids were quickly persuaded by their friends.
"Please wait! Hero-sama!"
"There's something we need to tell you, Hero-sama!"
As I turned around and was about to leave to look for Dozon-shi.
The [Lost Pendora] kids I saved first called and stopped me.
"What is it?"
"The weed spoke!"
The boy said that while holding up withered weed.
Come to think of it, they were talking about talking flowers or something earlier.
Even while shouting back to their friends who made fun of them saying that they must have seen a hallucination out of fear, the kids insisted that it was all real.
"And, what did the weed say?"
"Stupid imps get them stronger! it said."
"They love greets, mystery and gruel! it said."
What the heck?
"You guys be quiet! Misorin, I'm sure you remember it, right."
"Un, I do."
A kid who seemed to be their leader stopped the two and asked a clever looking kid to explain instead.
The clever kid closed her eyes and recited like she was retracing her memories.
『We're getting stronger thanks to those impious fools.』
『Greed, misery, pent-up grudges, unhappiness and pain are our favorite food.』
『Tolerance, service, empathy, kindness and gratitudes are our nemesis.』
『But our worst nemesis is prayers to those detestable gods. The stronger gods the weaker our protection be.』
...It can't get any plainer rather than being some roundabout indirect hints.
This and the gauge-like tree relief with colors of gods at the entrance, it feels like these towers are created by someone's will.
"Thank you, it's really helpful."
I give my thanks to the [Pendora] kids for the valuable info.
Let's give them equipment fit for their levels through Echigoya Firm later.
And Dozon party which I went to save last was engaging a boss at the boss room, in a state of partial destruction. They would have cleared the boss room with Dozon-shi suffering grievous wounds though without any casualty if they had kept up.
『Sete said that it's OK to execute the destroy Purple Towers plan.』
I wrap the Purple Tower in an excessive number of barriers.
These won't break even if the anti-god magic bounced toward the barriers.
I check Map to see that no one is inside the evacuated area.
『Well then, here it goes.』
I cast an anti-god spell from Magic List.
Sparkling rainbow colored lights converged, then a moment later, it erased everything including the adjacent sub-spaces.
Normally, the spell composition would have dispersed just like that, but it's raging around, refusing to let go of my control.
『Master! Kinda looks like something odd is happening, are you okay?』
Arisa who was standing by on the airship called me through Familiar Link.
『I'm fine. This is within my expectations.』
The latter part was a lie, but I could manage this much trouble just by firing myself up.
I forcefully brought together the dissolving magic composition by spending a huge amount of mana on it, finishing the spell construction.
That was tiring.
Afterward, I went around to cities under direct control of the king and erased the purple towers there one by one.
A similar phenomena, overreaction of anti-god magic, happened at the second tower as well, but dealing with it was a simple matter when you knew about it beforehand.
My mana would almost get depleted each time it occurred though, thus I had to keep recharging to full power from holy swords every time, it was tough.
It made me remember the days of death march at the company I worked at a long time ago somehow.
"Territory lords have refused to have the towers destroyed?"
"More accurately, except for the towers that are close by their territory capitals, they said."
I asked Hikaru back.
Except for Marquis Muno and Earl Seryu, some or maybe the majority of those territory lords refuse to have the purple towers in their territories destroyed.
"Well, it's only natural. Though it's not really efficient, they now got labyrinths--magic core mines in their territories after all."
"I can't believe they dared to ask to destroy towers that are close by their capitals!"
Arisa explained the logic behind those lords' decisions, while Sera and her strong sense of justice was furious.
Only Marquis Muno kept the [for the sake of people] slogan for real, as even the affluent Duke Oyugock and Duke Bishtal wished to keep multiple purple towers in their territories intact.
I have no idea about Earl Seryuu's intentions, but he probably has no interest in those towers as they're not as profitable as the [Devil's Labyrinth] he's got at his capital.
"Just leave those capital towers alone if they refuse to--"
Sera fell down while she was still talking.
I held Sera up before she fell on the floor.
Did she faint from being too furious?
Sera muttered like she was delirious.
"H-hey, isn't this--"
I put my hand on Arisa's mouth as she pulled my sleeve.
No doubt about it, it must be an oracle from God Tenion.
"Guess we shouldn't destroy those purple towers now."
"Looks like it."
They didn't say anything about the Purple Mounds I had destroyed when I visited the Realm of Gods though...
And thus it was decided that I would visit the Realm of Gods once again even while feeling slightly dissatisfied about it.
Guess next time I'll ask them [What are the Purple Towers built for?] and [Stuff about Demon God Seal]?
※ Next Update is planned for 4/14