17-12. Changing World
Satou here. It's hard to notice when you live in it, but even my home town which I thought was unchanging, surprised me when I compared photographs in the span of 10 years. A series of small changes is hard to notice, isn't it.
"It's so peaceful~"
"Yes, peace is best."
I'm enjoying a tea time together with Aze-san while gazing upon a beautiful meadow of blooming flowers.
High elf of Boruenan Forest, my sweet Aialize-san is as lovely as ever today, I'm healed by just being next to her.
"The hectic times a few months ago feel like a dream now."
Half a year has passed by since I visited the Realm of Gods the second time.
I finished testing anti-god barrier-generating devices and all kind of countermeasures in half the first month then successfully mass produced and installed those devices near Purple Towers all over the world in the latter half of the month, yet peaceful days continued on without any critical moment occurring afterward.
The towers I had destroyed were restored back as mounds when I got back from my second visit to Realm of Gods. They've grown as big as other towers now.
Even the tower that ended on floor 30 the last time we conquered has gained additional floors up to 50 now.
"Satou, here, for candy."
Winged Fairies came flying in, demanding candy.
I took out a pile of candy I had stocked and made good use of it to veer these mood crushers' attention away.
"Huh huh? Nana, not here?"
"Nana is currently away on training, so she can't come here today."
Looks like even the winged fairies who usually acted annoyed at Nana's excessive attention felt lonely when she stopped dropping by.
"Are Mia and the girls going to the tower again today? Aren't they pushing themselves a bit much?"
"Oh don't worry about that. I've made sure they get some rest as well."
I told the kind Aze-san not to worry.
The golden members are in charge of culling out monsters on upper floors which also serves as their training, while the silver members are taking care of the middle floors.
At first, without the support of Sera's holy magic every battle was exhausting and not really worth it, but then about a month later, the Purple Towers' God's Gauges were unnaturally filled up and battles got easier, making the towers a more efficient spot to level up than labyrinths.
Now that I think about it, that initial stage was probably a tutorial stage by demon god used to elevate God's Gauges exponentially.
At first, we went in and out the towers with the help of my or Arisa's teleportations, but two months later, the towers got a new teleportation device called Elevators, which anyone could use as a shortcut by obtaining an item called [Crest of Purple-Blue] from defeating bosses found on every ten floors.
And now, all I need to do is regularly checking on the girls' status and send out some support on some occasions.
"It will be fine, Aze-sama. They all come by here every ten days, don't they."
Miko Lua-san said so while bringing in more tea.
Unlike with labyrinths, the monsters in those towers won't die out even if you keep hunting them up, hence Liza and Arisa would have continued raising their levels without a pause if I left them to their own devices, in order to counter that, I have them take a stroll in the forest regularly as a refreshment.
"You'd better let them rest more. Those girls work too hard."
"Ooh, isn't it fine, Shiya. Gotta get to the limit while they're young, would be good for their growth."
"Poa's just too sloppy."
The elven masters were here enjoying tea before I knew it.
"So, have Pochi and the girls reached level 99?"
"Hahaha, of course no, not yet."
The golden members have reached the latter half of level 90 while the silver members are around 70 after half a year worth of training.
Fwoon, with that sound, a teleport gate appeared, and the girls in question came out of it.
"Back we are, nanodesu!"
"Welcome back", Aze-san gently welcomed the lively return of the girls.
"Master, look look! Look at Liza-san and Hikaru-cchi!"
"Congratulations on reaching level 99!"
"Thank you very much, Master."
All other golden members besides Mia who's at level 96 have reached level 98 as well.
"Just so you know, we didn't do anything crazy okay. The tower in the neighborhood of Saga Empire's Capital got additional floors up to 70, you see. Thanks to that, there were more strong monsters we could fight for even better leveling."
"We thought the limit was floor 50, but at the rate it's going, those towers would get to floor 99 or 100."
Arisa explained the reason for their rapid level up, and Hikaru added her expectations.
Checking with Space magic, no other tower even had floor 51.
"We've brought back some super nice souvenirs today! The A5-grade marbled beef of Bahamut Mammoth!"
I have no idea whether it's a dragon or a mammoth from its name, but the meat that Arisa took out from her [Garage] looked so good my drool almost fell out just looking at it.
Gotta put my back into cooking this one here.
"There's Burning Pig amengugugu meat too nodesu!"
"And also Bear Shrimp~?"
Tama and Pochi went inside the Garage and brought back their recommended drop items.
Apparently, this meat was dropped 10kg each, we've got enough on hand.
I think Pochi mistook [Amazing] for [Amengugugu]?
All the meat had miasma seeped inside, so I unleashed the full power of my Spirit Light to disperse it away.
This trait is shared with meat found in labyrinths, so it's not a problem unique to Purple Towers.
"I'll go prepare our meal with Nea-san."
"Lulu-sama, we shall lend a hand as well."
"Thank you. I really appreciate everyone's help."
House Fairies (Brownies) gathered around Lulu.
Lulu lifted up the ingredients with force magic [<<Floating Board>>] and brought them to the kitchen. There's so much of it, but with Nea-san the elven cook and brownies helping, it should be no problem.
"Master, there were lots of treasure chests too, so I inform."
"Hee, that's new."
Mia fetched all kinds of musical instruments from inside treasure chests Nana carried out.
So far, the stuff we found in treasure chests found in towers were equipment that would help in exploring the towers, or simply money or jewels, this would be the first time they found musical instruments in an exploration.
"That seems to be a sort of equipment. It's got 『Raise the effect of Curse Tunes or Curse Songs by 10%』 on its item info."
Hikaru taught us the result of analyze.
"Curse songs, they exist?"
"Yup, I once met a minstrel who could use Musical Magic before I ascended the throne back then, apparently, this musical magic cast curse tunes by playing instruments."
Looks like it's a tune and song version of chanting.
Looking at Map search, there's no one with Musical Magic skill.
It's probably some kind of a lost skill.
"Should I ask Core to make a skill orb for it?"
"Don't need. Music is to be enjoyed."
Mia shook her head left and right.
Her whip-like twin tail hair hit Nana's chest.
"Mia, twin tail attack is plainly painful, so I protest."
"Nn, bad my."
Mia apologized while holding her hair in both hands.
"Master, what should we do about these equipment? They're too weak for us or Karina's group, should we sell them to Shiga Kingdom's knights by way of Echigoya Firm?"
"Right. Let's purify the dangerous looking arms and tools and sell the unproblematic ones."
Due to the close proximity of an efficient leveling ground in the form of Purple Tower near the capital, many of capital knights have been challenging the middle floors of the tower in a shift system.
Lots of the knights lack the kind of equipment on the level of magic swords and such, I'm sure they'd be ecstatic to obtain upper floors' drop items that Arisa and the girls gathered.
"--Whoa, got a Pick-up signal from Karina-tan and the others, gotta go."
"Should I go instead?"
"Hmm, it was me who received the request, so I should be the one going."
For some reason, the silver members never asked me to fetch them even though it would have been easy with my Unit Arrangement. They're fine when I'm sending them though, so weird.
"It's not a matter of efficiency, but delicacy you know."
Hikaru told me an easy to understand hint when she saw me looking confused.
I see, they don't want an opposite sex see them while they're still unclean from their time in the dungeon.
Since Zena-san and Sera can use life magic, I believe they could easily do personal grooming even inside a dungeon, but I have a feeling that Hikaru would be amazed if I said that out loud, so I refrained.
"Come to think of it, have Ringrande and the others who have gone to Saga Empire area contacted you yet?"
"Yea, I got some letters."
Lady Ringrande and Emperor Sister Maryest--since the next Saga Empire's empress is supposed to be Lady Maryest's aunt, I probably should call her Empress Niece from now on--are currently exploring towers in Saga Empire.
Of course, they're not alone, they're in a group consisting of former attendants of Hero Hayato; light warriors Rusus and Fifi, Archer Wiyaryi, and priestess Loreiya.
Besides the two, other members have also joined my Bridal Knights publicly in order to dodge the ardent invitations to be reinstated by Saga Empire's bigwigs.
Additionally, I've sent silver member-level equipment to those girls through Echigoya Firm.
"Hmm, so they got a new vanguard huh. Ringrande-san had a really high opinion on her."
"Ah, you mean Brume-san."
Brume-san is an old lady who's also the mother of Shiga Eight Swords' leader, Julberg-shi.
She was a former attendant of a great hero of the past, a level 53 magic swordswoman when I first met her in Kubooku Kingdom's dungeon ruins back then.
"Those hero boys look to be doing fine huh."
Lady Ringrande sometimes wrote about the recent states of Hero Yuuki and Hero Seigi in her letters.
Both of them are helping with reconstruction efforts in the cities they visited while exploring towers in the outskirts of the empire.
"Oh and what about the remaining members of Bridal Knights?"
"Princess Menea is learning the basics at Selbira's Explorer School, while the rest are all non-combatants, so they're currently standing by at the Knights Garrison."
Princess Menea has Erina and newbie-chan as her escorts.
Sometimes they went on an expedition to the capital along with [Pendora] guys and explorer school's kids who wish to enter Bridal Knights and had a joint training on the tower's lower floors.
Transient members like Miss Rina who's working as an acting governor of Brighton City at Muno Marquisdom are members in name only, so they don't participate in the training.
Oh right, the hammer woman I saw last time was really Princess Awayuki herself.
I remember being surprised to see her among explorer school members for some reason.
From a letter Princess Menea sent me, apparently she's been getting along well with Princess Awayuki lately.
I'm a bit intrigued as to how those two of opposite personalities would end up becoming friends. I'll ask about it the next time we meet.
<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.>
Arisa's voice resounded from the speaking tube while I was cooking with Lulu in the kitchen.
She must have brought the silver members back with her.
I asked Lulu to give the finishing touches to the dishes I have cooked and went back to the living room to meet the silver members.
"Aialize-sama, if you would please accept my apologies for visiting by with nary a prior engagement."
"Oh, please don't be so formal, okay?"
The dressed up princess Sistina greeted Aze-san.
Princess Sistina is dressed like she's going to a country-wide party or ceremony.
Next to her, Sera is donning an extravagantly elegant yet prim and proper dress, her impeccable natural make-up brings out the best of her beauty.
Zena-sand and Lady Karina are wearing tamer attires than the two, but they're still more well dressed than their usual attires in Solitary Island Palace.
"Everyone is firing all the cylinders."
"Well, of course. I mean they're facing off against their biggest rival. Since they know they'll be compared with, they might as well unload everything they have."
Hikaru and Arisa had that conversation in low voices.
I've never compared Aze-san to other girls in my life before, but perhaps it shows in my behavior and glances. I've got to be careful about that.
"Which tower were you girls exploring today?"
"It's the one that's close by Trade City Tartmina desuwa."
"We ran across Shiga Eight Swords-sama and their entourage along the way."
Lady Karina and Zena-san narrated the events unfolded there.
Those Shiga Eight Swords were culling out monsters on the middle to upper floors while also training the holy knights.
"Great teacher Heim was there too nodesu?"
"Yes, he was. His brilliant commanding helped defeated those monsters safely desuwa."
Pochi jumped onto Lady Karina's shoulder and asked.
She had been sampling food in kitchen until a while ago, she must have gotten a whiff of her favorite Lady Karina and ran here to meet her.
"Of course not! His martial arts were wonderful as well!"
When Tama jumped on her other shoulder and asked, Lady Karina narrated about Heim-shi's tale with exaggerated gestures.
Each time, her demonic-infested breasts were--.
Before she could finish it, I held Mia, who appeared out of nowhere next to me, up in my arm.
Whoops, that was close.
My line of sight was almost locked on to Lady Karina's chest.
Zena-san called me.
I thought she was mad about me glancing at Lady Karina's chest, but turned out it was for something else.
"I'd like to ask you something--"
Zena-san asked if she could talk with elven wind mages for the sake of her study.
"That's fine by me, but isn't it about time for Zena-san to choose your second magic?"
Since she's reached level 70 and all, her wind magic skill and one-handed sword skill must have been maxed out already, hence I think she should choose another magic skill that would complement wind magic before her skill points ended up getting allocated to some weird skills instead.
"About that, I've already made my choice after consulting to Arisa-chan and Mia-sama."
"So what did you choose?"
"It's Summoning Magic and Lightning Magic."
"Two of them?"
I can understand Lightning Magic since it's got a good affinity with wind magic, but I don't get the reason for her choosing summoning magic.
"Yes, I'm thinking of employing summoning magic for communication and reconnaissance use."
"Can't Sistina-sama's golems fill that role already?"
"Her highness's golems are for advance guard."
According to Zena-san, she would always react too late when they received surprise attacks while she was out scouting, some monsters even succeeded breaking through golems' line of defense.
Wind magic can also be used to scout, but there are locations inside the towers that mess with wind magic, so she can't rely on it alone.
"I understand. In that case, I'll go get Summoning Magic orb and Lightning Magic orb before today's end."
The diligent Zena-san was going to learn them from nothing, but at her level, doing that would be pretty tough without the help of skills, as such I got her to understand the usage of orbs.
"Master, I brought the orbs you requested."
"Thank you, Core Two."
Core Two in her adult form handed over the orbs.
She's the terminal body of Dejima Island's [Phantasmal Labyrinth]'s Dungeon Core found in the lowest floor there.
"Master, the Main Core is sulking, please come visit 『<<Dungeon Master Room>>』 every once in a while if you could."
"Isn't it connected to Core Two?"
"It does. However, she has developed an ego of her own."
"I got it. I'll drop by after dinner later."
"I'm very much obliged for Master's consideration."
Core Two bowed.
"Master, meal is ready--oh my, if it isn't Core Two. Care to join us?"
"Yes, Arisa. Main Core is probably going to sulk, but I shall put priority to Lulu's meal."
I headed to the dining room together with the two.
"Satou, Shizuka isn't coming she said."
Demon Lord Shizuka who lives in one of the sub-spaces I own prefers not to go to Boruenan Forest.
For a shut-in type like her, the free elves and the lack of privacy atmosphere here must be stressful to her.
"Over here nanodesu!"
Mia, Tama, and Pochi grandly waved at me.
On top of a round table enclosed by everyone, dishes such as Bahamut Mammoth-made beef stew, steak, hamburg steak and even fresh Jingisukan are ready to be consumed.
Some of the Hamburg steak is made from [Burning Pig] meat.
We sliced this meat thin and fried it to make sweet-and-sour pork.
As a side dish, we made [Bear Shrimps] into stir-fry in chili sauce and fried prawns, and also deep-fried batter as requested by Tama and Liza.
"Okay then, time to dig in."
After confirming that everyone has taken their seats and gotten their bowl of beef stew, I give a signal to Arisa.
With Arisa leading, everyone said [Itadakimasu] in unison.
I fetched meat for Tama and Pochi whose hands couldn't reach, but then Arisa and Mia came along saying that I shouldn't discriminate, so I fetched them meat and vegetable dishes as well.
"Beef stew is good and all, but Hamburg sensei is still the strongest nodesu."
"Pochi, cease with your tunnel vision. Jingisukan and sweet-and-sour pork are not to be underestimated as well."
"Deep-fried shelled-shrimps with batter is stronk too~?"
"Of course nanodesu. Meat has no highs and lows nodesu. Pochi just wanted to say that Hamburg-sensei is the strongest nanodesu."
The beastkin girls are having their usual lessons of meat in harmony.
"Curry really is too good desuwa."
『Karina-dono, holding your spoon in such a way will drip the curry down your clothes.』
"I'm sorry, Raka-san."
[Intelligent Item] Raka warned the delighted Lady Karina.
Even him and his impregnable defense loathe to protect Lady Karina's clothes from curry drips.
"Don't you think the meat in this beef stew will taste good in curry?"
"Umu, meat that goes well with beef stew will surely do well with curry as well."
"Alrighty, I'm gonna go ask Nea-san."
The two elven masters approved of Lady Karina's idea, Pochi's master, Miss Portomea ran to the kitchen where elven cook Nea-san was.
"The meat is nice, but these vegetable dishes are fine themselves."
Mia approved Princess Sistina's impression.
"That reminds me, the priests here are allowed to eat meat dish huh."
"Is there a temple that forbids consumption of meat?"
Sera tilted her head at Arisa's remark.
Looks like Sera found her favorite dish in the beef stew.
"Chili stir-fried shrimps are good, so I report."
"It's a bit hot, but I agree, this sweet and spicy flavors are addicting."
Nana and Miko Lua-san are into the stir-fried shrimps in chili sauce.
The winged fairies who had been latching onto Nana had their bodies dyed in orange color from the shrimps they got from Nana's plate.
"Zena-san, would you like a bite of this hamburg steak? Master grilled this himself."
"By Sa-Satou-san?! By all means!"
"I'll have some myself."
Lulu, Zena-san, Core Two went to fetch from a mountain of Hamburg steak right in front of Pochi.
I've sliced into small sizes, hope they enjoy the various flavors.
"Aze, gimme, that."
"I prefer, this one."
"Meat, for me."
"P-please don't talk all at once. Wait for your turn, okay."
Aze-san who's sitting next to me hasn't eaten any herself since she's full attending to winged fairies.
Aze-san obediently opened her mouth as I carried a spoon of beef stew into it.
Seemingly surprised by me feeding her, Aze-san choked on her food.
"My bad, did I surprise you?"
I asked while rubbing Aze-san's back.
"I-I'm fine. Thanks, Satou."
Seeing Aze-san's sweet smile, I was lured into smiling myself.
Peace really is the best.
※ Next update is planned for 4/28.