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Okami wa Nemuranai 25.2

2





"I was going to teach you <Dehydrate> at one point. But I've changed my mind."

"But why."

"Because I found out you're much more emotional than I initially thought."

"Me, emotional?"

"You probably can cast <Dehydrate>. However, you won't be able to bear the bitter after taste from killing human with <Dehydrate>."

"I've killed people before. And will continue to from now on."

"Then why are you diving in dungeons instead of going to war above ground?"

"Because I enjoy fighting in dungeons."

"You like going up against powerful adversaries, but you don't enjoy fighting those weaker than you, do you?"

"What? Ah, that's true. What's the fun in fighting the weak."

"See there. You do not derive enjoyment from killing. What you like is the act of fighting itself. Or in another word. You don't hesitate killing the weak when it comes to magic beasts. But you don't kill weak people. That said, you do give an exception to those who do you wrong and those who are clearly hostile."

"Now that you mention it, you might be right."

"Killing someone with <Dehydrate> can't be called a fight. It's nothing more than a murder. There is no way to defend against that magic after all. Believe me on this. Abandon the thought of learning <Dehydrate>. Just remember the existence of this magic when someone is about to use it."

"I see. Then what about Holy type <Blessing>?"

"<Blessing> is a magic that reinforces human armor and weapons by making use of stuff made in temple rituals like holy water and the likes. There's so many more than one kind of <Blessing> out there."

"What does this reinforcing do?"

"It adds buffs like anti-magic defense, anti-physical defense, temporary attack acceleration, a huge boost to spear and sword damage against magic beasts, or a huge damage boost against spectre-type monsters. There's even one that rouses up ally courage."

Lecan knows about those well.

Priest warriors and monks wielded similar techniques in dungeons at his former world.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Then I guess you can't use it."

"I sure could if I had some holy water around."

"How are you able to touch holy water?"

"Listen now. Humans may have arbitrarily given it the name holy water, but its real nature is that of water with a portion of god's power in it. Gods themselves do not put the label of right and wrong on anyone or anything in this world. That's something humans adopt on their own."

"Fumu. At any rate, doesn't look like something I could use. Hold it. Didn't you tell me you believe <Purification> and <Recovery> are the same type of magic?"

"I might have. And yes that's what I believe."

"But wasn't that classification something you made yourself? Why would you classify <Purification> as Holy type?"

"I may have put together that classification, but <Purification> being in Holy type is a common conception in this world. I personally think <Recovery> and <Purification> are in the same type, and both should be in a whole different type than either Body or Holy. <Blessings> and a few other magic people lump together could use some split as well."

"I've recalled another thing. Body type has <Transformation> and <Suspension> magic, what about those."

"You probably don't have the aptitude for them, or very low. <Transformation> is a magic that transform parts of your body, people commonly believe it's a magic used to change your face. But in reality, it's a magic that modifies your inside and blood vessels, altering your bodily functions temporarily. Someone who can use advanced level <Recovery> magic like you has no need for it."

"<Suspension> suspends bodily functions then."

"If you get confined somewhere, you can survive for a long time without food using <Suspension>. You still need some water though. Not a magic that'd see much use. However, both <Transformation> and <Suspension> are shockingly useful for the purpose of studying human body, see."

"So that means both <Transformation> and <Suspension> can be cast on other people."

"Once you've gained enough mastery, sure you can. Casting <Suspension> on your opponent will make them move very slowly, it's amusing to watch. Though well, a mage capable of such a feat would have used other means to defeat their foe."

"I see. Then I guess <Barrier> will be the last magic."

"Of magic I teach you myself."

"There were lots of magic besides the ones written on that list."

"There's a whole heap of them. Light and Heat type magic in particular, it's got so many shapes and forms, and since people place different names on the same magic with different forms, there's literally hundreds of spells going by names alone. But all the basics are written on that list."

"You forgot to put <Water Blade> and <Ice Bullet> though."

"Real sorry about that. <Water Blade> just slipped my mind. I thought <Ice Bullet> had been lost in time. Turned out it's been revived."

"Thanks to Gyol?"

"Might be thanks to Gyol."

"Gyol surprisingly has his use."

"You're right. What a surprise."

"Ah, come to think of it, in Gyol's classification, there were these earth type offensive spells. Err. They were <Stone Throw> and <Earth Pike> or something."

"<Stone Throw> is simply a magic that flings stone through <Move>. <Earth Pike> has you shave down soil into the shape of a pike and then lure enemy there. Hardening the soil takes quite a long time, so even mages with little mana can create several big and sturdy pikes alone. Often employed in mountain path where cavalries pass by. It's done over a period of time and if the other party have luck on their side, the pikes could end up being useless. It doesn't suit you, does it?"

"It doesn't suit me."

Meaning his master-pupil relationship with Shira is over once he's learned <Barrier>. No, the fact that Shira is his mentor won't change in the future, but the fun times of learning magic from her is coming to an end.

Shira is probably planning to have <Barrier> as the final piece of useful combative magic she teaches Lecan.

It's her roundabout way of saying the time for them to go separate ways is coming closer.

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 25.1

 1





The following day, Lecan started practicing on <Barrier>.

"This will be the last magic I teach you."

"What?"

"You've no aptitude for Mind type magic. Hence, no need to teach you that. You have to get Grace-laden accessories and the likes yourself to guard against mind magic. Well, that's how it works with everybody else though so it's not like you're at a disadvantage alone. Lots of Grace Items for that anyway."

"Yea."

"I've taught you <Appraisal> <Graph Make>, and <Concealment> in Perception type. <Detection>, <Clairaudience>, <Amplification> and <Analysis> are meaningless for you. So we're done."

"No, <Clairaudience> is that magic that lets you listen to faraway conversation and other sounds right? That kind of intel comes in handy for fights."

"You'd better off training your own ears. Extraneous information could carry unforeseen pitfalls with it."

"You won't know till you use it."

"I do know. There's roughly two utilities of <Clairaudience>. Eavesdropping an opponent's house, and for scouting in group battle. Eavesdropping doesn't suit you. And you've got a much more reliable mean for scouting. There is no point in putting effort into pointless stuff."

Lecan still couldn't agree to her fully, but he couldn't talk back with how forceful she was being.

"So we're also done with Perception type. <Origin Water> is good enough for Creation type. We're done."

"I believe there's <Mist Spray> spell in Creation type. Besides, aren't there still a lot of other spells in it?"

"There's a whole lot of them. But you know. Creation type eats up a stupid amount of mana."

"Yea, I've experienced that with <Origin Water>. Took me an absurd amount of mana to produce such little water."

"At the end of the day, Creation type is a magic that creates thing from nothing. It goes against the law of nature. In reality, only those who have deviated from the law of nature can learn it and only after an extended period of intense training. And yet, you have already acquired a Creation type spell in your former world for some reason. So since you got the aptitude from that, I taught you just <Origin Water>. You know full well just how useful that magic is, don't you?"

The Creation type spell Lecan obtained in his former world refers to <Gust>. It was a skill he acquired in a dungeon, but it apparently got appropriated as magic in this world. It does consume mana though.

"I know full well. I realized that magic is all about applications after watching you healing that whatchamacallit knight."

"So bear with <Origin Water> for now. Learn other Creation type magic once you've gained an even deeper understanding of the world. But I know that your interest likely lies elsewhere."

Apparently, Lecan only gets to learn <Origin Water> for the Creation type.

"I taught you <Draw>, <Move> and <Float> in space type magic. Now only <Barrier> left. I'm teaching you anti-magic <Barrier> but once you've got that figured out, getting the anti-physical version of <Barrier> would only be a matter of time. I'll teach you the knack at least."

"Space magic's got <Control> and <Exchange>. Are you not gonna teach me those."

"<Control> is normally an advanced version of <Move> magic. It affords a very precise control completely outside the realm for <Move>. However, comparing between <Control> and <Move>, <Move> excels in moving heavier objects."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Fumu. And?"

"Among chefs, there are those who collect knives of all size from small to big, using appropriate sized knives depending on the foodstuff they cut, and then there are those who use the same knife to cut everything, small and big. "

"Yea. There are."

"Then you know the convenience of mastering one magic that's applicable to all situations rather than switching between two magic. You're a bearer of an overwhelming detection capability. Capable of detecting even the smallest of thing. You can see how your magic move in fine detail. In short, your <Move> boast a precision on the level of <Control>."

In other word, it's all thanks to <3D Perception>, and <Mana Detection>. Both are skills Lecan acquired in his former world's dungeons, nobody else in this world has them. Now that she mentioned it, Lecan realized that fully focusing on <3D Perception> could likely afford him a similar result as <Amplification>.

"As such, you have no need to learn <Control>. Go master <Move>."

"Got it. Then how about <Exchange>. No other magic is that handy."

"Your common sense is a bit out of whack cause you only know it from me. <Exchange> is normally a magic utilized only to exchange notes. Mages with common sense won't even entertain the thought of transporting living humans to some faraway spot using that spell."

"Why."

"A minor slip while casting this spell could mean entirely erasing the person you sent off this world. And fluctuating emotions tie to such slips. Someone as passionate as you must not learn this magic."

That means Shira has been moving around between faraway spots while risking herself getting erased from this world. Calmly at that. I see, that is beyond me, thought Lecan.

"Space magic also got other spells like <Snap>, <Airtight>, <Liberation>, <Compression> and <Purge>, but every one of them is just way too dangerous. I don't plan on teaching those to anyone, not just you."

"Got it. How about Special type. I thought you're gonna teach me <Dehydration>."

"Like I've told you before, every spell of Special type magic is virtually a different type. Each one of them requires its own aptitude. Like say, <Training>, the aptitude for this spell directly correlates to your affinity with animals and magic beasts. You cannot learn this unless you're someone who finds a Longarm Ape's fur more attractive than a human girl's hair."

Lecan turned at Jericho and stared at their fur.

"Yeah, it's impossible for me."

It felt like Jericho looked a teensy bit dejected there.

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 24.9

 9





"I see. So you were keeping watch over me during these past three days."

"Why were they aiming for you, not Shira."

"If you think about it carefully, they couldn't have gone for Shira-sama. Think. It would result in wasting a plan laid out by the prime minister office as decreed by the king, and having guide Skalabel's master killed under his very nose. It would utterly ruin his majesty the king's and the prime minister's faces."

"Not even Zack Zaikaz could escape that huh."

"Indeed. On the other hand if it was me who got assassinated they shall never make it public. News of a town lord tasked by his majesty getting killed would harm the king's dignity, and hinder this project. My death would be announced to be due to an illness, and the project would carry on after my successor named."

"Even so, there's no point in assassinating you to Zack."

"Oh there is. It serves as a grim warning to the neighboring lords. Warning them not to act as they please in the northeastern region. The town lords would surely tremble in fear. Realizing how dangerous it is to dice with Kogurus."

"I see."

"Moreover, once I'm not of this world, the yet greenhorn Agito cannot possibly deal with Zack. He'd get all his limbs bound in no time, eventually turning Vouka into another yes town for Kogurus."

"But the royal capital won't stay quiet either."

"That's where things get blurry. Prime Minister Office will make an estimation if the trouble is worth the expenditure and labor. And then there's long term and short term angles."

"I don't get it."

"Prime Minister Office itself desires to have the king's authority reach into every single part of the kingdom. They wish to make the entire kingdom flourish. But they must plan how will they interfere with the northeastern region and if there is even a need to within the scope of their limited budget and manpower."

"Fumu."

"If they believe meddling in with half measures now would result in a chaos that may very well turn into a revolt at the kingdom's northeastern region, they will likely postpone the development of the region. No matter how displeased they get."

"Is that how it is. So Zack was trying to impede the prime minister."

"Indeed. He must want to express his anger by killing me. Betting on Prime Minister Office not bothering with all the trouble to resolve it."

"I think that's quite a risky gamble though."

"It is. However, this is exactly a turning point where he must take that risk, I'm sure Zack believed that. If he succeeded in pressuring the surrounding town lords and the prime minister office, he could enjoy the privilege of better highways himself, so it is worth the risk."

"However, Zack lost that gamble."

"Indeed. Moreover, since you caught the watchman, it will take some time until Zack found out about his assassins' failure. That said, he will likely send another batch of assassins sooner or later. Lecan, as a gold rank adventurer of this town, I have a request for you."

"I'll give it a listen."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Work as my bodyguard."

"No."

"Why! Not even you will like it if things go his way, do you."

"I don't really care whether you die or the highways don't get maintained."

"Wha?"

"Had Zack gone for Shira, he would make an enemy out of me. But thinking again, that guy isn't going to try that."

"What do you mean?"

"That guy's got ways to gather info. He must know my relationship with Shira to a point. If he killed Shira, I'd go seek out his life. He must understand that much."

"Does Zack truly fear you so?"

"Fear isn't exactly right. He simply won't go out of his way to make me turn on him because he cannot calculate my strength."

"Have you met Zack Zaikaz before?"

"Didn't I tell you? I've gone to Kogurus before. Even talked with Zack there."

"What kind of man do you think Zack is like?

"To him, everything is a fight. In order to subdue, cut down and grow everything around Kogurus. The success of a trade is nothing more than a mean to him. I got in the way of his plans by chance yet the man offered to hire me."

"What"

"Zack Zaikaz isn't a man I can get along with on a personal level, but I do not mind with money talks. For better or worse, that's the impression I got from that man Zack."

"It can't be, it can't be that you will allow Zack hire you, won't you?"

"I might get hired. But I don't think I'd take a request to assassinate you or something along that line. It's gonna cause trouble to Chaney."

"Aren't you worried about my well being?"

"Not really."

"Didn't you save me from getting killed earlier."

"That was nothing more than an outcome. You're someone who rode on those capital fools' coattails to bring Shira and me trouble. Why should I be worried about you?"

"What do you mean trouble! You have absolutely no idea just how great of an honor this is!"

"You're no different from Zepus Goncourt eh."

"W-what?"

"That guy tricked Eda, knocked her out with a magic tool and kidnapped her to his mansion. That guy said this to Eda in front of me. 'You would have all the pretty clothes you want, all good food you can eat, you will live happily as long as you stay in this mansion'. I'm sure he had no doubt in his mind. All of that being the highest honor to Eda."

"Are you putting me on the same level as a cowardly kidnapper?"

"I ask you in turn. Both you and Zepus unilaterally push your own sense of value and standpoint without considering the other's party circumstances and feelings on the matter. And you never even doubted that they would follow suit without questions. Where's the difference?"

Lecan never intended to say this much.

Lecan has recognized Vouka Town Lord Crimus Ulban to a degree. The town this lord rules over is a pretty nice town. And he's at least sympathetic to the town lord's joy and plight on this matter.

However, Lecan was wrought with an unreasonable anger once he listened to Shira's feelings on the matter.

Shira only wanted to lead a quiet peaceful life in this town. Serving and helping people while living quietly without standing out.

That peace is breaking down, and Shira is starting to give up the idea of living in this town.

His anger on that had inadvertently turned into harsh words toward the town lord.

Crimus looked indignant.

But he pinned down his emotion with willpower, readjust his breathing and asked Lecan with the calmest voice he could muster up.

"Lecan. What are Shira-sama's feelings. Just what does Shira-sama desire?"

"Why do you think Shira live at such an inconvenient location despite her vast knowledge and skill? Why didn't she try to profit off it greedily? Why didn't she take even one apprentice, only interacting with other at a minimum?"

Crimus furrowed his eyebrow to show his confusion without saying a word.

"To live quietly without troubling anyone. That's Shira's wish."

Crimus sighed out.

"That is impossible. After hearing Skalabel-sama , it's clear just how grand Shira-sama's meritorious deed is. Her knowledge and skill are just too great. It is not possible to ignore that."

I mustn't say what I would say next, thought Lecan.

Saying any more would break the amiable relation he's built with Crimus. He understood that.

And yet, the words just spilled out of his mouth.

"I see. So you're saying it's inevitable to those who hone their craft and those who have made great accomplishments in the world to be bound by those who hold power in the world. That it's only inevitable for nobles to abduct people with the power of <Purification> and enslave them. You believe that Shira must be sacrificed for the sake of bettering Vouka."

It's pretty much nothing but a false accusation. Lecan himself understood that, but that was the only way he could express his anger with no outlet.

Crimus didn't answer back.

"Just remember this. If you or Skalabel bring any more nuisance to Shira, if you try to make a mess out of Shira's life, you and Skalabel both are my enemy."

He said it.

He said something he shouldn't have said.

But there is no taking back words spat.

Lecan left behind the town lord's mansion with a bitter taste in his mouth.




[Episode 24 Shira Assassination] End/Next [Episode 25 Sushana's Naivete]

 

 

 

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Okami wa Nemuranai 24.7_8

7





That day, town lord's mansion was as hectic and lively as ever.

The town lord had to deal with an unending flow of visitors who kept coming despite his need to listen to reports and give orders for the highway maintenance project.

Envoys from other territories, merchants, craftsmen just kept coming in, trying to sell themselves, making a deal or looking for directions.

Agito has been sent to Vantaroy along with Commander Tesla. Once he's done there, he is to survey and supervise the highway maintenance sites.

All of the town lord's subordinates are running around everywhere to accomplish the duty given to them. Right now, the town lord's mansion is awash with those related to construction works.

Presently the town lord is using the time for applicant interviews to survey the guest house's construction site. Bringing the three applicants with him, surveying while listening to them.

He's been visiting the site three times a day as he can't settle down until he's ascertained the construction progress himself. Seeing the steady progress made on the guest house is the one thing that would calm him down during these unbelievably hectic days.

A man came out of a cover.

Crimus Ulban turned around at him thinking it was another applicant, but he was shocked to see the man holding a dagger.

He's got to get away. He doesn't even have a guard with him now.

That was when Crimus noticed.

The cold eyes of the three applicants standing like they were encircling him.

The town lord opened his mouth in an attempt to shout out.

"<Fire Arrow>! <Fire Arrow>!"

Lecan's voice resounded as two fire arrows landed on the assassin.

One on the hand holding a weapon.

Another on the leg.

The dagger was blown away, the man fell down.

And then Lecan knocked out the three men encircling the town lord with <Lightning>.

"<Lightning>!"

A properly adjusted <Lighting> hit the assassin man who tried to get up, knocking him out as well.

"L-Lecan?"

Lecan is standing under a giant tree in the garden.

There's no way anyone could have missed Lecan standing there, yet he was undetected until just now. No wonder the town lord sounded bewildered.

"<Lightning>!"

Lecan knocked out the fifth man hiding in a bush some distance away.

"Phew. They finally showed themselves up. This <Concealment> magic is handy and all but using it like this sure puts a lot of strains on your body. I'm never doing this again."

"L-Lecan. Just what is"

"Assassination. Though not Shira as the target. It's you."

"Ah. Where do you think you're going, Lecan! Please wait a minute. Tell me what's going on."

"I'm hungry."

"I'll have lunch prepared right away."

Lecan was tired and hungry, yet he was filled with a sense of fulfillment.

These four assassins were clearly more skilled than Dovor and Gido. He managed to beat all four so easily.

It feels as if he finally paid back the disgrace he tasted due to his carelessness back then.



<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >

8





"So you mean to say that the one spreading the rumor was Kogurus itself."

"That's what Shira figured."

"I see. If you think about it, they'd have never dispatched external parties. Zack Zaikaz would definitely order his own subordinates. That could never leak outside. And I didn't even notice that."

The enemy's target has always been Vouka town lord, Crimus Ulban.

And they purposely spread rumors about Shira being their target.

After hearing that intel, Crimus panicked.

That might have been part of the enemy's plan.

As he couldn't allow the person guide Skalabel is coming for dead, naturally he would dispatch guards to her. Ordinarily, that is.

There would be less guards around Crimus, heightening the success rate of his assassination.

Or so Zack Zaikaz thought.

But in reality, Crimus couldn't dispatch guards because Shira is living in such a hard to reach place. In the meantime, the situation around the town lord got so hectic he had to sent out all of his employees all over the place, not leaving even a single guard for him.

The enemy who had infiltrated this town early on waited for guards to show up around Shira. And yet, there was no sign of any guard getting stationed near Shira all the while they watched her. Thus they abandoned having her as a decoy and proceeded toward their original goal, the town lord's assassination.

As the town lord would only speak to his longtime servants, slipping in among them proved difficult. They could have met him easily if they disguised themselves as visitors, but there would always be some employees present during an interview, and only so many people could attack in a room. No telling what kind of contraptions hidden inside the mansion either.

On top of that, there's a high chance the two officials from Prime Minister Office would be present. Getting them involved is out of question, neither is carrying out the assassination in front of them. And more importantly, the two officials have skilled knights as their escorts. As well as subordinate knights.

That town lord would visit the guest house construction site three times a day. Without a guard, virtually defenseless. A prime opportunity for the deed.

Though to begin with, it's not like Lecan had foreseen the enemy's plan. He simply detected a suspicious man lurking near the guest house and monitored him.

But this man would barely make any move at all. Lecan could have caught the man then and there, but he knew there were four suspicious individuals around Shira's house that day.

Catching one carelessly would just make him lose tails of the other three.

As such Lecan kept watching over the man.

The man would lurk around the same spot for a period of time during daytime. As he just wouldn't carry out the assassination even when the town lord came, there was nothing Lecan do.

Lecan thought of tailing the man once he withdrew, but he didn't have the necessary skill to accomplish that without the man noticing him.

In the end, he had to keep watch on the man for three days before he made an attempt along with his comrades. A fifth man was hiding himself superbly in some distance away. This man had probably been tasked to watch over the assassination and report the result to Kogurus.





Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku 18-10

18-10. Tales of Hero Hayato [7]


"You're scouting me? --Are you being serious?"

Sweeping her straight silver hair fluttering in the wind, she--Duke Daughter Ringrande's face warped as she asked.
We're at a veranda of Duke Oyugock Mansion at Shiga Kingdom's capital.

"Yeah, I've heard all about your exploits this past year."

This girl has triumphed over the [Floor Master] of Selbira dungeon in just a year and even mastered explosion magic to a practical level.

"So have I. On rumors about you."

Her thorny words stung my heart with regret and a sense of unworthiness.

"You came across a greater demon and got almost wiped out, didn't you. And you bring along a different group of people with you besides the princess and priest-dono now? I'm not just going to let you use me up like a disposable."

Ringrande went into the room from the veranda as she said that.
Behind me Seina insisted, "Me too, I'm still here!", but Ringrande ignored her after taking a glance. Her personality is as bad as ever.

"This great me will never treat my friends as disposable."

I got in front of Ringrande with Ground Shrink.
Ground Shrink which I couldn't get at first because it required way too many skill points ended up being useful here.

"Never has been. --And never will."

I stare at Ringrande's eyes with my sincerest feelings.

"Then, I'll give you a test. Bring me a dragon scale by tomorrow. If you manage that, I don't mind making a temporary contract as your attendant. Leave this place at once if you have any objection. I can go beat up some demon lord on my own even without your help."

She's quite a strong-willed woman.

"Hold on a minute. How do you expect us to get a dragon scale by tomorrow!"
"Please don't worry, I'll tell you where to find a dragon. At the summit of Fuji Mountain Range splitting the center of Shiga Kingdom lies Guardian Holy Dragon and its dependents, or you can find adult dragons at the Black Dragon Mountains to the south. The Evil Dragons dwelling on lower layer of the dungeon and lesser dragons loitering around Central Country Group are pretty famous as well. Oh, and there is that mountain where lesser dragons live at Silga Kingdoms."

As if provoking the protesting Maryest, Ringrande listed places near Shiga Kingdom that have dragons.
That's some knowledge. Her wisdom on top of her swordsmanship and magic are truly fascinating.

"By tomorrow huh. You fine at sunset?"
"Yes, that's all right."

I said "Hold on tight" to Ringrande who gave her OK, jumped to Jules Verne I summoned and went to Fuji Mountains.
The holy dragon at Fuji Mountains is supposed to be Hero King Yamato's sworn friend, so I thought they'd listen to me.

Though in the end, I didn't meet the holy dragon.

Cause we caught sight of two lesser dragons quarreling along the way.

"Uhhyaa, lotsa treasure~"
"Aaah, so many dragon scales!"

Seina the scout aside, this might be the first time Maryest ever forgot to act like an imperial princess and grinned broadly.

"Doesn't seem like there's a legendary Dragon Liquor Fountain around."

Loreiya murmured dejectedly while sniffing the wind.
Apparently she's looking for something. I consoled Loreiya who dropped her shoulders before we all picked up the dragon scales lying around the spot.

"That was a cinch. I can't wait to have a good look at that haughty's woman popping her eyes out."
"...Seina. Yeah, don't think she'd do that?"

Rusus said that looking amazed.

"--Oh crap. Everyone, get away!"

Fifi shouted out loud.
A moment later, a gigantic mass fell down the sky.

Looks like the dragons are still fighting.

I got away with Flickering Steps, carrying Maryest with me.
Loreiya had jumped away with Rusus and Fifi on her.

"Anyone hurt?!"

The girls let me know they were alright when I asked.
No, we're missing one.

"Wiyaryi!"
"I am fine. But things have gotten a bit out of hand."

Wiyaryi is looking at Jules Verne raising a dark smoke beyond some fallen trees.

"Can we run to the capital from here?"
"That would be a no. Even if Hayato sprints at full speed, there is no way you could reach there by sunset."

Seina responded to Maryest while unfolding a map.

"It might be doable if he goes in a straight line. There's lots of deep forests and low altitude mountains along the way. Even Hayato can't manage that."
"So you're saying a straight line would do?"
"Y-yes."

--That's just swell.

I'm fine with going a bit wild to make that girl join us.
I put on Flying Shoes I had in my Inventory.

"Mary, help me accelerate. Blow this great me away with advanced class wind magic once I'm up in the air."
"N-no way! That's just reckless!"
"Reckless is fine, I'll do it. Believe in my Unique Skill!"

Maryest nodded after hesitating a bit.

I floated up into the sky, activated [Invincible Shield] Unique Skill and signaled at Maryest.
The next moment, a tremendous gust blew me away spinning.

That impact felt like it turned my body asunder even with Unique Skill on.

However, I got the kind of speed I wanted, no even more.
I kept kicking the air with Flying Shoes while using my holy shield as a glider.

My body aches all over from that impact, but I won't use [Endless Regeneration] just yet. Gonna save that for the second part of this air marathon.
I gulped down the magic potion I had in my pouch and ran full speed ahead toward Shiga Kingdom's capital.


<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >




"--I can't believe you really went and grabbed one."
"Keep your promise."
"I know I know. I don't lie. I'll join you for a bit."

Ringrande spoke condescendingly.

"By the way, you look quite worn out, where's the other girls?"
"Oh they'll get back once they're done repairing Jules Verne."

I told her what happened during our quest for dragon scales.

"You really went and grabbed one yourself? And here I was sure you bought one from a merchant in the capital or the neighboring cities."

Wait, you could do that?!

"Wait, don't tell me that never crossed your mind?"
"No uh, that doesn't sound fair, no?"
"Good grief--"

Ringrande groaned with her hand on his head.

"--Just what is that sagacious princess even doing. You guys really are a lot of trouble."

I followed after Ringrande who rushed out of the room.

"Where are you going?"
"I'm asking grandfather to go fetch them with a ship. I may not be well versed in Jules Verne's internal, but airships are not something you can repair without a mechanic or a hangar you know."

Guess in earth, it'd be like trying to repair an airplane that crash landed on an uninhabited island?

Even though Ringrande sounded irritated, I strangely didn't feel any animosity from her, if I had to say she felt more like a nosy neighboring auntie.







There were many trouble along the way, but in the end we managed to get Ringrande join us, and restarted our special training at [Dungeon of Heroes] once Subdimensional Ship Jules Verne had been repaired.

"Missy! Don't get ahead on your own!"
"You're just too slow with your provocation! Do better if you want to keep up with me!"
"You boar woman!"
"Dimwitted turtle!"

At first we kept verbally abusing each other, but it settled down a bit by the third floor conquered.

"Rin! Get the left one!"
"Count on me! Shall I take care of the middle one too?"
"That guy's mine. Rusus and Fifi will chomp 'em if you keep talking."
"Ahahaha, I'm gonna chomp 'em!"
"Completed annihilating the left side. Which one needs help."
"The middle one is this great me's!"

Since the name Ringrande was too mouthful, I quickly switched to calling her Rin, and then Maryest sulked cause a junior got the nickname treatment, so I changed her to Mary. As for others, Wiyaryi gets to be Wii and stuff.
The other girls also call me Hayato, Loreiya is the only one who keeps calling me Hayato-sama formally.

Seina told me that our group gets ridiculed as [Harem Party] by the public, because there's only women besides me.
Well, forget harem, I don't even plan to make a move on anyone, so I paid it no heed and focused on leveling up.

"Hero-sama, we've got another letter."
"Ooh! From honey huh!"

I got my spirit back whenever a letter from princess Arisa arrived as we got back above ground.
Most of them was talks regarding administrative cheat or how awesomely beautiful her elder sister by different mother was, but simply reading her graceful intellectual sounding letters made me feel like I'm managing a country together with her.

However, there was no letter after a three month excursion in the dungeon.

It was a bit worrying, but since the last letter talked about how she reconciled with her parents and elder brother the prince, and how she would get serious with developing the kingdom, she might just not have any time to write a letter.

Thinking that was a big mistake.

Disaster struck when we had an eight month long expedition aiming for the deepest floor of the dungeon.
A few months before the last missing letter, Kubooku Kingdom got absorbed into Yowolk Kingdom, and all the royalty including the king and crown prince were executed.

My relief when Mary, through Foreign Ministry, found out princess Arisa managed to escape execution was short lived. I blacked out when they told me how a few days before we got out of the dungeon, a demon raided the castle of Kubooku Kingdom and burned down the royal villa where princess Arisa was held.

The royal villa has been burned down with no survivor.

I couldn't eat or drink for three days, only looking at the floor like a dead man, but I got back on my feet without Seina's help this time.

"We need a civil official."

Someone who works behind the scenes to gather information outside battle.

By Mary's recommendation, official Nono and her twin sister, Riro were added as members.
Apparently one specializes in negotiations, another in managerial. Both are very talented.

The now solid hero party went on a pilgrimage to many countries, eliminating monsters and demons troubling people and also accumulating experience outside battle.

"Hayato! There's a new oracle divined!"

And then that day came.
Just before this great me reached level 70, a demon lord's revival was finally prophesied.

And in seven parts of the world to boot. Something like that hasn't occurred in the past several hundred years.
It's only been written down twice in history. Dating back to the founding of Saga Kingdom by the first hero, and the era where Hero King Yamato founded Shiga Kingdom.

Both saw the emergence of a whole different class of demon lord called Great Demon Lords.

That's what may be going on now.

"Getting the cold feet now?"
"Of course not. I'm trembling with excitement."

I responded the provocative Rin by smiling fearlessly.

Jerid, Subac, Zayan, Shiaryi, Rokos, all my friends who fell in the line of duty against a greater demon.
Princess Arisa who fell victim to demons, despite being so young.

To prevent any more victim.

"I will defeat demon lords."

I look a the girls after declaring thus.
Every one of them has a resolute look on their face.

"Because I am a hero. Little Goddess's Hero, Hayato."

I flipped over my mantle and jumped onto Subdimensional Ship Jules Verne.
Toward the ground zero of Demon Lord's advent.



※ Please refer to chapter 8 and chapter 15 for the continuation.






Okami wa Nemuranai 24.6

6









The following day, Lecan dropped by Shira's house first thing in the morning and studied <Concealment>.

"You, you always get enthusiastic whenever you're learning magic, but you're especially fervent this time, aren'tcha."

He studied until evening that day, but he couldn't manage to cast it.

The day after, he did the same.

By evening, he finally succeeded casting the spell.

"And now you just gotta polish it up yerself."

"Shira."

"What is it."

"There were four suspicious persons around this house the day before yesterday."

"There sure were."

"So you noticed."

"Well of course I would when they put their presence out in plain sight like that."

"There's rumor of someone sending assassins at you."

"Hee. That's no fun."

"Of course it's nothing fun."

"This fun and no fun you have in mind likely differs from what I have."

"What."

"I love to live in peace, you see. That peaceful life is gradually coming undone."

"Yea."

"Having assassins sent at me shows how much I'm attracting attentions."

"Right."

"That Skalabel is coming to see me. Looks like that matters is being kept secret right now, but those who know know. And that causes a ripple effect in the surroundings. To the point that they're even sending assassins."

"Yea."

"Once Skalabel got to this town and met me, what do you think comes next?

"Rumors will spread all over the kingdom."

"And afterwards, what happens then?"

"Many more people will want Shira's medicine."

"Right. And then?"

"There would be town lords trying to employ Shira. As Vouka town lord seems to be a lackey among town lords, he's probably gonna have a hard time rejecting them."

"Yup, that's probably happening too. Is that all?"

"There will be people wanting to be Shira's pupils. Carrying letters from bigwigs."

"Lecan. You're focusing only on the brighter side. You gotta see the darker side of things as well."

"Darker side?"
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Skalabel is a famous apothecary, see. There are people who don't take kindly to that."

"Ah. You mean that. But he seems well received within the temples."

"Even in Elex Temple there are those who revere Skalabel with zeal, and those who hate him like he's an apparition. Some parts of the temples think Skalabel as an eyesore. After all, the art of apothecary has many schools and factions to it. There must be some who hold grudge to Skalabel."

"Fumu."

"And there are also people who loathe Skalabel at Prime Minister Office. But well, the most troublesome one in this case would be temples, I guess."

"The temples could suspect Shira as a Longlifer if they caught wind of you. You're the master of Skalabel who's more than 100 year old after all."

"That fact in itself is not a big deal. Longlifers are indeed sought after by temples and detested by the capital, but they are also an object of awe in a way. I believe there are two reasons why Longlifers are both sought after and detested."

"Two reasons?"

"One reason is because Longlifers have a track record of demonstrating skills beyond human comprehension. People get wary of those with powers, don't they?"

"Yeah, that's only natural."

"Another reason is because they live twice, thrice longer than ordinary men. People envy and detest those who are more fortunate than them. Could you imagine old folks in a position of power not detest Longlifers?"

"I see."

"But you know. There are cases when they pretend and look the other way even when they knew a Longlifer."

"What?"

"See Yacklubend as an example of this. The capital nobles and temples have been long aware of that being a Longlifer. But Tomato Company has too large a contribution to this kingdom, the royal palace would be at their wit's end if the company went away. Hence, everyone would never say out loud how Yacklubend is a Longlifer."

"Guess that's how it is."

"There have been other similar cases in the history of this continent as well. In reality, not an insignificant number of heroes told in legends are Longlifers. Apparently there are even whispers about Skalabel potentially being one."

"Hou?"

"Well anyway, the fear towards Longlifers exists because everyone has a fear of the unknown deep down. Once they think someone in one certain location doing a certain job contributes to the town's community, they won't publicly treat you as a Longlifer. Well, you've still gotta be careful of the temples though."

"Does that mean there's no problem with Shira being seen as a Longlifer?"

"Yep. But that is only if I can bear getting praised to the sky by people around me like that Skalabel."

This free-spirited granny probably won't be pleased by that.

"Well, I don't mind seeing that Skalabel with how eager he is though."

(Once Skalabel's visit comes to a close.)

(Shira probably plans to get away from this town.)

(What will I do then?)

"By the way, Lecan, about this assassination of me."

"Hm?"

"Where and how did that leak out I wonder."

"Leak out?"

"Rumors of someone trying to assassinate someone else, you see. Just don't get leak out by accident."

"What?"

"And if it did leak out, what are your thoughts on that?"

Lecan put some thoughts on it for a bit.

Then he got what Shira was trying to say.

"I see. So that's what's going on."

This new skill I just learned gonna come in handy right away, thought Lecan.





Okami wa Nemuranai 24.5

5





"Either way, Shira-sama will have to move to the guest house once Guide Skalabel arrived. What's wrong with having her do that sooner."

"What? What is this about?"

"You can't be expecting to lead Guide Skalabel to that dilapidated house Shira-sama lives in right now, can you?"

"I'm not gonna stop him if he's coming on his own. Won't throw a welcome party though."

"One man can barely get through the path that goes there. It's at the furthermost spot in an area full of abandoned houses. And considering the public order there, we cannot possibly allow guide Skalabel go there. And frankly, who in their right mind would show him that dirty place."

That dirty place is where Shira resides though, what's really going in his mind there, thought Lecan amusingly.

"Naturally, Shira-sama will be living at the guest house during Guide Skalabel's stay. We have arranged the rooms with that plan in mind."

"Did you get the OK from Shira?"

"There is no need to. It's only obvious."

"Then there's need to discuss that with me. Tell Shira yourself. 'Move to the guesthouse, it's only obvious'."

"Everything will go to waste if by any chance she declined."

"I don't care."

Lecan stood up once again.

"Lecan."

"What."

"Very well. We shall enlarge the road leading to Shira-sama's houses. We will demolish all buildings that stand in the way. So carriages can get through. The residents will be moved elsewhere. Is that good enough for you?"

"Don't care."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Why do you say that there."

"That place will cease to be the place it is now if that's done. What Shira thinks of that doesn't concern me. However."

"However?"

"Shira is probably gonna be pissed off if you remove the herb field in her garden to make ways for roads."

"Father, unless we do something about that herb field, there is no choice but to proceed through a narrow path on the right side pressing against the wall while getting tree branches caught on your clothes. I do not think we can lead Guide Skalabel there."

The town lord crouched down with his hands pressing against his head.

"<Recovery>."

Lecan left the town lord mansion with <Recovery> as a parting gift.

Lecan contemplated on his way back.

Is there really no way to assassinate Shira.

If there is one, it would be <Purification>.

There are no <Purification> users in this town. Except Eda.

But Kogurus might have one.

A trip from Kogurus to Vouka takes five days, but that can be shortened to two days by riding a horse without caring for its wellbeing.

By doing that, they could bring a magic water charged with <Purification> effect intact.

How would they sprinkle that magic water on Shira.

No, they don't have to. They can just put it in her drink.

However, Lecan has never seen Shira drinking something someone else made.

What if they coat it on an arrowhead.

That's not going to work either.

She may look like an elderly woman outwardly, but her true body is more like that of the young Nike.

Considering how agile she moved with that body, ordinary arrows and spears can't possibly hit her.

Besides, that's assuming the enemy knows Shira's weakness being <Purification>, which is unthinkable in reality.

Lecan can't come up with any way to assassinate Shira.

But Lecan isn't an expert assassin.

Those who specialize in assassination can think up measures beyond expectations.

Wonder what kind of scheme would Dovor and Gido employ for this.

Lecan has no idea.

That said, just because Lecan can't come up with one, doesn't mean those expert assassins won't.

(Hold it.)

When you think about it, just having the assassination ends up in failure isn't necessarily a good thing.

It actually makes thing worse.

What will happen then if they found out that a certain method that would have killed any living breathing human no matter who they are didn't work on Shira.

That's the true crisis.

In short, he cannot truly protect Shira without stopping the assassination even before there is an attempt.

But Lecan is unable to anticipate the enemy's method of attack.

(Then I'll do what I can do to the best I can.)

Lecan decided to frequently visit Shira's house until Skalabel arrived.

He went straight to Shira's house from the town lord's that day as well.

Shira was working on the herbs they gathered. Lecan observed her working.

If they're really going to kill Shira, doing it after the highways have been repaired would be pointless.

If there really are assassins, they would have long infiltrated Vouka town already.

That day, Lecan planned to expand <Life Detection> range to the utmost and observe Shira's surroundings.

He was surprised when he actually gave it a try.

<Life Detection> is originally an ability that enables detection of living beings within a 1000 step area, this area can be moved to a degree. However, the further away it's moved, the blurrier the image gets.

But right now Lecan can see information 2000 steps away. Meaning he can observe Shira's house and the area around it.

Just when did it got like this.

Must be that time.

That time his ability got boosted after the fight in Dungeon Ninae.

As if something is telling him to use this ability to protect Shira.

Lecan concentrated on <Life Detection>.

Four red dots indicating humans are encircling the area around Shira's house.

There are only uninhabited deserted houses around Shira's house, no one should be there.

Shira can use <Detection>.

However, <Detection> is unlike Lecan's <Life Detection> in that it doesn't work unless it's actively cast. Shira probably doesn't use <Detection> much if at all in her daily life. Being that powerful, she doesn't need to be constantly on guard of her surroundings.

Which means she might not be aware of these four suspicious individuals.

"I'm off for a bit."

Lecan rushed out his house, leaving Eda behind.

But then, the four red dots got away from Shira's house before Lecan could get there.

Lecan went back home, had dinner, got <Purification> cast on him and went to bed.





Okami wa Nemuranai 24.4

4





"Someone's aiming for Shira's life?"

"Indeed. This town will be graced by <Herb Saint>-sama's presence. He will be staying for nine days here. And to make that a reality, highways leading here are to be repaired as decreed by his majesty the king. Furthermore, Vouka town lord is to be in charge of maintaining the highways near Vouka."

"I heard that the first time."

"This is an omen of the capital trying to meddle with the northeastern part of the kingdom, with Vouka believed to be the center of that change."

"Heard that one too."

"Thus many figures want to bolster their connection with Vouka. We have been getting many gifts as of late, as well as requests for collaborations. And for some reason, Agito has received 23 marriage proposals."

"I see."

"They believe having a solid connection with Vouka will make it easier to quickly find out what's going to happen in the future. They shall get on board if it will bring them gains, but if it's something disadvantageous, they would like to minimize loss."

"Sounds right."

"As such, presently we have been getting all kind of information that normally wouldn't have ever reached us."

"I see."

"Among that is an information pertaining Kogurus town lord's plot to assassinate Shira-sama."

"You mean Zack Zaikaz?"

"The very same."

"Right."

"What would happen were Shira-sama killed? I would be regarded as an incompetent lord who could not even protect Guide Skalabel's master. The guide would call off his visit. Trampling down the royal decree, wasting all the preparations done to respond that decree. Cities around the capital and Guide Skalabel himself would direct unfathomable anger at me."

"Sounds right."

"Naturally that would mean the dream of this town becoming the center of northeastern region development will forever remain a dream."

"Did that talk ever come up?"

"Of course not. However, everyone believed it could turn real, or at least close to it. Though well, it's not like new industries and resources would just magically crop up, so this 'development' has a loose meaning."

"Vouka town lord would lose his standing, and the highways would be left unfinished. Would be the best outcome for Kogurus."

"That's right."

"But wouldn't Kogurus bear the brunt of Guide Skalabel's anger if their town lord killed Shira?"

"There's no way they would left an evidence. Hence, assassination."

"But practically speaking, are they even capable of assassinating Shira?"

"Even if you, Nike and Eda are there with her, Shira-sama herself is nothing more than a frail elderly lady. A single dagger could easily reap her life."

Lecan glared at the town lord's face while thinking 'what is this guy spouting off'.

But he doesn't look like he's joking around.

He's serious.

Dead serious.

A frail elderly lady.

A single dagger could easily reap her life.

This man truly believes that Shira is that kind of being.

If you think about it, Shira has been living as a mere apothecary in this town for many years.

She never showed anyone the side of her being an unparalleled mage in history of this continent.

She never showed anyone her swordswoman side that could easily eliminate gigantic magic beasts, brandishing her magic sword.

No, Lecan knew she never showed it. Of course.

But someone like the town lord and Chaney should have an inkling on what's really under the surface of Shira's face. They must know that she can't possibly be a mere apothecary, that she possesses knowledge and ability beyond their understandings. Or so Lecan believed.

However, it appears Shira has managed to camouflage herself far better than Lecan would have thought.

Lecan let out a sigh before standing up.

"Got it. I'll keep it in mind."

"No you do not get it! Sit! Ah, ouch ow."

"<Recovery>."
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
Lecan sat down once again.

"That helped. Sorry. But what do you think I called you here for?"

"You're giving a warning because Shira is in danger."

"No! No one would fear assassination if it's something you can avoid with a warning. This is a confidential matter, but we have been clued in about how Kogurus are rearing people that specialize in assassination."

"Father. The one who beat <Cold-Blooded> Marakis and saved Sushana was Lecan-dono himself."

"Ah, that's right. I forgot. But they have several experts in assassination that would make Marakis look like a joke."

(I know.)

(I fought two of them.)

(They were indeed expert assassins.)

"Lecan-dono. I'll get straight to the point. We have no way to prevent assassination at the abode Shira-sama lives in currently. We simply cannot dispatch escorts there."

"Those assassins gonna have a hard time getting close too."

"We have no idea what kind of means the assassins would employ to get there. You cannot let anyone the least bit suspicious get close."

"Fumu. What should be done then."

"We shall have her moved to the town lord mansion."

"Wha?"

"And then we will have guards permanently guarding her. No one but the most trusted employees can get close to her room."

"Can Shira freely get out of that room to go to the forest or the likes."

"Of course not! Are you messing around?! Ah, ouch ow."

This time Lecan didn't cast <Recovery> on him.

The town lord looked at Lecan with a slightly reproachful eye.

"Stationing guards would lose its meaning if she could."

"Yeah, I don't think Shira would agree to that kind of restricted life style."

"That is where you come in, to persuade her."

"Ah, so that's the reason you called me. I got it now."

"So you're going to do it."

"Nope."

"Why!?"

"Because it's an impossibility."

"What?"

"First of all, there's no way Shira would move out to this mansion even if you told her to. Secondly, even if she did move, she'd just go off somewhere whenever she felt like it. And nobody can stop that."

"Even if it's you persuading her?"

"The chance would be like."

"Like?"

"Slightly less than Agito winning against me in a one-on-one duel."

"But that's no good then. Might as well say it's absolutely hopeless."

"...."






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