17-15. At the Changing World
Satou here. Just like how it was during the modern day Industrial Revolution, a rapid change in social life brings about a huge effect to people. The socially vulnerable gotta be careful not to get crushed by distortions in the change.
"Aren't you tired, Satou?"
The one who called out to me was my beloved Aze-san, the high elf of Boruenan Forest.
As the girls are out exploring the towers, there was no one else besides House Fairies (Brownies) in Solitary Island Palace, so I dropped by the Tree House in Boruenan Forest.
"Just yesterday you went to a faraway country to stop a war, didn't you?"
"Oh it wasn't much."
I merely created a super huge long wall of flame to separate the battlefield so they couldn't continue fighting, and summoned original artificial spirit [Griffon Riders] to stop the flying units.
I'm still lamenting the fact that there were quite a number of casualties and burned down villages that occurred before I got there.
Restoring villages and farm fields are a simple matter with magic, but it's not so simple with human life.
Me being lost in thought thinking about that must be what caused Aze-san to ask worriedly.
"Besides, just being able to have tea with Aze-san like this is extremely uplifting to me."
Aze-san smiled gently.
Lua-san who was sitting slightly apart from us looked like she wanted to say something, but since it didn't seem like she had any business with me, I ignored it.
With a buon sound, a teleport gate opened while I was enjoying my time alone with Aze-san.
"We're back nanodesu!"
With Tama and Pochi leading, Arisa and the girls who had been training in the tower came back.
"Master, look look~?"
"Pochi and everyone got to level 99 too nodesu!"
"Whoa that's awesome, you worked really hard everyone."
Following after Liza and Hikaru, everyone besides Mia have reached level 99.
Mia who was the only one at level 97 went to hug me and then mashed her forehead on me.
Since Mia, an elf, needs about twice the amount of exp other girls need to level up, it seems like she's sulking since she's the only one who hasn't reached level 99.
Arisa pulled my sleeve.
"Take a look at Pochi and the girls' titles."
Arisa whispered that to me.
I tried checking wondering if they got something dangerous attached to them, but they only got one new title which Hikaru and Liza also got earlier; [One who Reaches the Limit of Man].
"Next, try me."
I checked Arisa's titles as told but I found nothing new in particular.
"Nothing's changed though?"
"That's exactly why it's a problem."
Arisa said so in an even lower volume.
I realized what Arisa was trying to say just as I was about to speak.
Arisa doesn't have that title.
The title [One who Reaches the Limit of Man] that natives like Liza and summoned heroes like Hikaru got when they reached level 99.
I thought it was because reincarnated people didn't have a level limit, but I quickly realized that's not it.
Goblin Princess Yuika living in labyrinth's lower layer, a reincarnated person like Arisa, also has the same title as Liza and the others.
If I had to look for a reason, it'd be--.
"Is it because you're my familiar?"
My level surpasses 99 despite being a human.
"Pochi wants to be a familiar too nodesu!"
Tama and Pochi who heard my conversation with Arisa jumped here at an Instantaneous Movement-like speed.
"Pochi wants to get stronger and stronger and be helpful to Master nodesu!"
The two leaped up and down with raised hands.
"Master, if that is how one breaks through level limit, I would like to become a familiar as well."
"Master, requesting further strengthening."
Liza and Nana came from behind Tama and Pochi and expressed their desire to be my familiars as well.
"I-I feel the same as Arisa and the others too."
"Uun, I don't really wish for more power to fight, but being Satou's familiar sounds kind of nice?"
Lulu, Hikaru, and Mia joined to actively demand for familiar status.
"Hang on, everyone. We don't know for sure that being a familiar is the reason why I don't have a level limit."
Arisa stood in front of me facing everyone else.
"There is another thing I'm different from everyone else remember."
All the girls besides Tama and Pochi looked like they understood what she meant.
"What's different nodesu?"
Arisa smiled softly at Tama and Pochi who were tilting their heads.
"I might have turned into a demon lord once back then."
Arisa spoke of the other possibility.
Every beings besides me who has broken through level 99--[Golden Wild Boar King], [Dog Head Ancient King], and [Goblin Demon Lord]--are all demon lords.
"That's right. Even if demon lord is demon lord, Arisa is a good demon lord nanodesu."
"Same with Shizuka~?"
"That's right nanodesu! Pochi was going to say that herself nodesuyo."
Tama and Pochi who realized that she wasn't too keen on talking about the subject were getting flustered, but then Arisa patted their heads and said, "Don't worry about it."
"Arisa, we cannot conclude that that's the reason yet."
After lightly whacking Tama and Popchi's heads, Liza said that to Arisa.
"Master, would you let me become your familiar?"
She probably wants to test whether she can break through the level limit with it.
--That said, honestly speaking, I'm not exactly sure what's the condition to be my familiar myself.
Arisa became one after I made her drink [Nectar] when she turned into a demon lord, however, Chuu Fat and the other sage mice as well as God Bird Hisui didn't become my familiars even though their races changed after drinking Nectar. In another case, God Parion's hero, Meiko passed out while vomiting blood.
The other familiar besides Arisa, Lady Liedill of Weasel Empire got to be one after I gave her a large dose of Blood Elixir to heal her grave limb loss.
No one else became my familiar with a proper dose of Blood Elixir.
In both case, it may look like the condition is to be healed from a critical state, but since there are opposing cases like Meiko and Hisui, I can't say that for sure.
Oh right, in Hisui's case, right after she became God Bird--.
> Unit Name [Hisui] requested affiliation. Will you give permission (YES/NO)
--Came out in the Log, didn't it.
Wonder if Hisui would become my familiar if I had picked [YES] back then.
"Am I not befitting to become Master's familiar..."
"No of course, that's not it."
Looks like my silence made Liza uneasy.
"Hold on, I have no idea how to turn someone into a familiar, and it's not a certainty that being one release level limit, so."
I can't have Liza be a guinea pig.
I'll probably use a small animal-type homonculus created with alchemy as a test subject.
The gigantic artificial spirit, Behemoth unleashed an eye-blinding thunderstorm by Mia's command.
An <<Evil Dragon Vanguard>> that was hit by the lightning storm vanished into dark purple mist leaving death throes behind.
The Artificial spirits that Mia commands get stronger with her level, thus even a level 80 Evil Dragon Vanguard looked nothing more than a mob monster before it.
"Congrats Mia. You got to level 98."
Mia smiled happily when Arisa praised her.
Arisa's level stays at 99.
The exp point needed to take Mia from level 97 to 98 vastly exceeds that of human's, yet even that is not enough to raise Arisa's level.
"Ooh, a treasure chest! Master, open it please."
I unlocked the treasure chest Arisa found with force magic from a remote place.
Crisis Perception and Trap Detection skills weren't reacting so it should be fine, but just in case.
"So much gold and silver coins."
Jewelries that appear to be magic tools mixed among gold and silver coins are a usual sight, but there are some items that are unlike the norm as well.
"There's scales too."
There were purple colored fangs and scales of Evil Dragon Vanguard.
I got my hands on these scales from Evil Dragon Vanguards Liza and the girls defeated before, and the Dragon Liquid created from these scales wounded up to be purple-colored, instead of blue, Magic Liquid.
That purple liquid couldn't be used to make holy arms, instead mysterious items that emitted purple aura ended up getting built.
Instead of [Pierces Everything], the fangs have a property that [Corrodes Everything] if you circulate mana into one.
I figured that could have its uses, but since the corrosion keeps spreading with the passage of time, it's got limited uses.
"Oh there's a pouch behind the fang. And with something inside."
Arisa sent a glance asking if it was dangerous, thus I nodded after checking with AR reading.
There were two types of candy inside the pouch.
"Apparently it's not poisonous."
According to AR readings, it's cola candy and coffee candy.
I have checked them for curse and miasma, but the density is no different than all other drop items.
Since I've been releasing my Spirit Light fully to help with Mia's level ups, the miasma should immediately disperse.
I took the two back to Solitary Island Palace since it was about time for dinner.
"Welcome back, Satou-san."
Sera and Core Two who were enjoying Fruit Water in an open terrace in front of living room greeted us.
Since it's a rest day for the Silver members, Sera is not wearing her combat attires but a white summer dress that fits well with Solitary Island Palace's climate.
As for the members who aren't here, Zena-san is practicing her newly learned magic on the beach, while Princess Sistina has gone out to play at the castle's Forbidden Archive.
Lady Karina are hunting for foodstuff with Pochi in the labyrinth, Liza are doing a provincial tour culling out monsters in monster domains along with Black Dragon Heiron, Hikaru and Nana are visiting orphanages, and Lulu has gone to the island where the surviving sisters of Lalakie Dynasty live at, in order to revive ancient cuisine. Tama is surely being a ninja again somewhere.
"Master Satou, reporting that Main Core grumbled about lack of prey lately."
Core Two said something that sounded like both grievances and grumbles straight from Phantasmal Labyrinth's Dungeon Core.
"Should I make it so foodstuff get dropped there?"
"Since the area around Dejima Island are rich fishing grounds, Main Core said that foodstuff would not be effective."
Unlike Selbira's Labyrinth case, looks like I've got to come up with something this time.
"Got it. I'll think about it later. Arisa, sorry."
"Okay! Just leave it to Arisa-chan if you want ideas."
Arisa gave her consent even before I explained to her.
Since it seems like she understands what I'm trying to ask her, the conversation moves fast.
"Welcome back Satou-san, Arisa-chan, Mia-chan."
Zena-san returned from the direction of beach area.
Since she has been training under summer sun, her trickling sweat is glittering.
"Arisa-chan, Sonic Guard!"
Arisa chantlessly cast visible ray-type Isolation Walls (Deracinator) in front of Zena-san's clothes which had turned see through from all the sweat.
She had nothing to worry about anyway, I made sure not to look at her bare skin and colorful underwear under her white shirt anyway.
"Kyaa, I'm sorry. I'll go get changed at once."
Zena-san disappeared indoors with Twinkling Motion.
A dire-sounding scream could be heard along with a sound of a glass breaking.
I turned around to see Sera who had dropped a glass of water.
Not sure how she dropped it to make her thin dress dripping wet from chest area to below, highlighting her body line.
"Ain't gonna let youuuuuuuu"
Arisa dried off Sera's clothes with [Freeze Dry: Clothing] magic.
It's moderately dangerous to use it on clothes that are being worn, I'll have Arisa know later.
"Oh my? It's all dry already."
The impregnable fortress pair, Mia and Arisa went to give a scolding to Sera who failed her prank.
It would be nothing less than a treat for eyes if it was just a coincidence, but it'd be bad if it turned into an appeal battle were she did that in front of the kids, hence I'll let the two handle this and fetch the other girls.
Once everyone is present and accounted for, we'll have another feast in Boruenan Forest today as well.
<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.>
"Candy, so good"
"It's snapping and crackling"
"Coffee, candy, the best"
The new candies were all in the rage with Boruenan Forest's Winged Fairies.
"Sorry, that's all I got."
Around 30 pieces of candy were all gone in no time flat.
"Master, we have a lot more candy from Echigoya Firm so I inform."
When Nana took out several sacks from her Fairy Bag, Winged Fairies rushed to her from all directions.
"Elterina-san and Tifaliza-san gave us these. It's been getting dropped a lot in the tower lately, they said."
Hikaru who was with us informed me the origin of these candy while dodging the Winged Fairies.
According to the statistics Tifaliza wrote, these candies have been getting dropped from Bosses' treasure chests and very rarely even from lower floor <<Demi Goblin Vanguards>>, starting a few days ago.
And it applies to towers in other cities also, not just exclusive to the capital's.
"Satou-san, there's no dangerous drug inside, is there?"
"Yes, as far as I can tell."
In place of Aze-san who was worriedly looking at the Winged Fairies crowding the candy, Miko Lua-san asked me.
I hadn't erased miasma from the candy Nana brought, but since me and Aze-san are here, it should immediately vanish from our Spirit Lights.
"Whoa, it's a bit scary looking at this vigor."
"Should we ban it?"
Liza nodded at Arisa's murmur.
"Nyu~ candy good~?"
"Cola candy is so fluffy, it's so fun nodesuyo?"
Looks like Tama and Pochi are in the Candy Sect.
"What's worse, being without candy or meat?"
"Of course it's being without meat nodesu."
Tama and Pochi instantly replied to Arisa's question.
Pochi and Tama scolded Arisa, "You can't say something so scary even if it's just an illustration nodesuyo", "Bad!"
◇◇◇Meanwhile, in a Tower◇◇◇
"Whoopsie, candy gotcha."
A man with a scary face gleefully picked up a candy that popped up in place of the vanishing <<Demi Ogre Vanguard>> and threw it in his mouth.
"Oy! Don't eat drop items without permission you!"
"Eh, ain't it fine, it's just a candy. You get hungry when you're in charge of front lines, unlike priests who just lurk in the back."
"What did you say? Are you making a mockery of us priests?"
The priest's vein showed up on his forehead seeing the scary faced man not showing any sign of remorse.
"Now now, priest-sama, the candy's gone into his stomach anyway, let's all calm down okay."
While pressing her glamorous body on the priest's arm, the female scout took a piece of candy from loot and put it in the priest's mouth.
Either he likes sweet things, or he yields to the temptation, the priest's attitude softened.
"It appears that I have been acting childish. You as well, cease from carelessly picking and eating stuff just because you're hungry. Those candy might be poisonous."
"I gotcha. I'll be careful next time."
They resumed their exploration after the scary face replied so with a sudden meek look on his face.
『Everyone loves candy.』
A pink haired little girl showed up by passing through tower walls in the spot where the adventurers were after they left.
『I mean, candy taste good after all.』
『Kusu kusu, you're right. Candy taste good.』
A second and third pink haired little girls showed up.
『Ufufu, candy is tasty.』
『Watch out for swe~et, sweet candy.』
『You shouldn't eat too much.』
『Else you'd get decayed tooth.』
『Ufufu, or maybe even scarier things than tooth decay.』
『Can't wait for it.』
『Looking forward to it.』
The little girls looked at each other and laughed, then they went back into the tower walls as if they were done with their business.
The last little girl danced around in a desolate passage.
『Will hero make it in time I wonder?』
The twirling little girl disappeared into the floor.
The little girl's laughter kept forever echoing in the desolate passage.
As if it was a Funeral Bell--.
※ Next update is planned for 5/19