18-17. Saintess of the Great Sea of Trees
Satou here. I've heard that Saintess-related stuff is popular for female-oriented content, but isn't the normal Saintess thing kind of a rare case?
Feels like lots of those Saintess do many things that fall outside item creations or Saintess-like work.
"Is this all the goods for sale then?"
I checked with Lolo who was walking next to me while glancing at the memo row on Menu's AR readings.
Lolo affirmed with a pretty face that wouldn't lose to Lulu's.
Her beauty is one of a kind even on the continent, but since there's barely any human in this Dungeon City Akatia, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who would agree with that sentiment.
Well, she'd likely be a target of ridicules even if there were lots of humans here since the sense of beauty seems to match Shiga Kingdom's, so it might be better if Lolo lives somewhere that doesn't get her involved with humans.
"You accursed vile!"
I was startled by the sudden jeers, but it didn't seem to be directed to me.
"Over there, Satou-san."
As I put my line of sight in the direction Lolo pulled my sleeve at, I saw a group of men who seemed to be necromancers quarrellings with a group of priests led by a minister.
"You dead defiling necromancers!"
"Say what?! We only employ skeletons who have exchanged contracts with us during their living days!"
"Hmph! What contracts? Denying them peace even in death and putting them into servitude, such unforgivable vile acts!"
"Who needs your forgiveness! Do you mean to deny the poor who wish to make themselves useful after death and better the lives of those they leave behind!"
"You accursed evil cult who prey on the poor!"
The quarrels between these priests and necromancers are getting out of hand.
"I shall liberate you from these wicked necromancers! ■--"
A mud-like object thrown by a kid hit the priest's face on the side just as he started chanting.
There hasn't been rain for days here, that must be Raptor's dropping or something.
"What are you doing!"
"Don'tcha kill our pa again! My sick ma and lil' sist can eat now cuz pa's working even after death!"
"You tell 'em kid! Our town's supported by skeletons controlled by necromancers doing all the dirty works!"
"Turning bone and fangs into weapons would be a pain without necromancers around."
"Yeah weapons woulda soar up in price cause you can't mine metal 'round these parts."
Following the kid, the surrounding adventurers voiced their supports for necromancers.
"Gununu, this is simply preposterous. To think the evil hands of necromancers have spread this far."
The minister groaned with an indignant look on his face.
"Now that it's come to this. I shall have a talk with the temple head and initiate the crusa--"
"Moroc-dono! So you were here!"
A woman in robe interrupted just as the minister was muttering something ominous.
"--Tia-san? Satou-san, that's Tia-san."
As Lolo-san said, the woman in robe is the Grand Witch--'s messenger, Tia-san.
Tia-san remonstrated the people around without hard feelings, and took the priests to the Grand Witch's tower. That was well done.
As Lolo opened the door to the store she manages, [Hero's Store], the knee-tall hamster-like Cuju Rat or Hamkin children shopkeepers came running.
The youngest tumbled down straight to Lolo's lap.
I put the paper bags on the store's counters, and took tip-spoiled branch cucumbers we received at the market.
Branch cucumbers are just as the name suggest, they're like a combination of cucumber and tree branches, apparently a dungeon-borne vegetable.
The hamkin children who had been behaving like spoilt kids around Lolo flocked to me with glitters in their eyes.
"Hold on a bit--"
The branch cucumbers we got had spoiled tips so I cut those tips off with fingertip magic edge.
The hamkin children took the cucumbers and started nibbing on them right away.
Gluttons the lot of them, they all tried to take the spoiled tips I cut.
"No no, you can't have these."
I took the spoiled tips right away.
The hamkin children are looking at me with faces that say, "Why?"
"Because you'd get a tummy ache."
They unwillingly gave up when I told them why.
Of course they never stopped nibbing on the branch cucumbers in the meantime.
"Lolo, you here~?"
We already got a guest even before we flipped the store tag to 'Open'. It's our regular customer, Nona-san.
"Sorry for coming before you're open, but I'd like to get three Lost-less Candles, and two serving of the tasty rations. Oh and also an Insect Repellent like the trial one young master gave me that one time."
"Guys, go fetch rations from the warehouse. The smell good one okay?"
The hamkin children raced to the warehouse as instructed by Lolo.
"How many repellents would you like?"
A good part of this dungeon is a jungle-like deep forest after all, insect repellents are a necessity.
"Oh, you're here too young master. How many depend on the price. I'd like one at the very least, too pricey and I gotta give up."
These repellents are my original creations, seems like it's getting good receptions.
"They're the same price as Lost-less Candles, you know?"
"Eh? It's that cheap? --No, isn't that too cheap? But it's way effective for something so cheap--bought. Gimme three--no, five! Five of those Insect Repellents please!"
The margin isn't that high but it's not like I use expensive mats to make them anyway, so this price should be just right.
Got Hero Store the copyright for the recipe, and we plan to disclose it to the alchemy guild.
"Thank you for your patronage. Would you like to give this repellent basket a try as well? Feel free to take it since it's still a prototype."
"Let me! You're the best, young master!"
I flipped the store tag to 'Open' while peeling off the clinging Nona-san.
"Geez! Nona-san! No getting all touchy feely in our store!"
"Ahaha, sorry sorry. I'm not gonna snatch up your lover, Lolo."
"L-lover, oh no...."
Lolo looked down with a reddened face.
"Nona-san, please don't tease our pure manager too much."
The hamkin children brought the requested rations while I was telling Nona-san.
The youngest tumbled down again like usual, but the other two helped carry back the rations in one piece.
"Yo, you done with sharpening my weapon?"
"Heard you started selling new rations, got some left?"
"Insect repellent! Gimme repellent! That one without weird smell!"
Customers came rushing in while we were billing Nona-san.
It's nice that business is thriving, but this looks to be another busy today.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"Lolo, are you in~?"
A tired-looking Tia-san came just as the rush receded.
"Welcome, Tia-san. Oh you seem really tired."
"Uu, I'm so beat~. I just can't with those hardheaded priests anymore. I was super right to reject the permission to build a temple in this dungeon city."
Tia-san, Tia-san, Lolo's gonna find out if you say that out loud.
"But what are those priests doing in this dungeon city?"
"Nn, we got witness reports of high-ranking undead at the 『Temple』."
This [Temple] Tia-san mentioned refers to a temple-like construction found in this Rampant Evil Dungeon.
It's a different place from the Ogrekin District's Temple where [Palm of Demon Lord] got brought by that Evil Cult.
"That spot is a lesser undead hunting spot for beginner adventurers, so we gotta exterminate them asap~"
"Can't we rely on mages or magic swordsmen to exterminate undead?"
"They can beat them just fine sure~ but you need to get those undead purified lest they pop up again~"
I put an energy drink on the counter where Tia-san flopped herself on.
"Ah this is the stuff~ I can't go on without this anymore lately~"
Tia-san got up right away and quickly opened the energy drink's bottle.
"You're not putting some weird ingredients in here, are you?"
Tia-san joked around as she drank it down with one hand on her waist.
"Satou-san will never do that!"
Lolo got mad right away.
Looks like she took the joke seriously.
"Sorry sorry, I'm just kidding."
'Right?' Tia-san asked for my help, so I nodded.
Tia-san can't win against Lolo.
Hero Store's door got flung open, and a woman wearing the same robe as Tia-san came running in.
"Tia-sama, Moroc-dono is causing another commotion."
Tia-san groaned in disgust.
"Sorry, Lolo. I'll come by again later."
Tia-san gulped down the rest of energy drink and left the store while waving at us.
"Satou-san, we're back!"
"The expedition was a huge success desuwa!"
A few days after Tia's last visit, the silver members who had gone on an expedition came back.
Leading the group is magic soldier Zena-san smiling like the sun, followed by lady Karina, princess Sistina and Sera.
"Welcome back, here's wet towels for you."
"So warm--thanks, Lolo-san."
Sera gave her thanks for the towel and wiped her hands and face with it.
Even if they can use Livelihood magic, this kind of things still feels nice after a long expedition.
And I can only admire how Lady Karina could keep her hair rolls pristine even after such an expedition.
"Satou, we caught sights of a large force consisting mainly of priests and temple knights sortieing out. Did something happen in the dungeon city?"
Princess Sistina must have seen minister Moroc's group, the group that had a dispute with necromancers.
"Those must be the priests invited by Grand Witch-sama here. Apparently they've been asked to cast [Purification] to exterminate high-ranking undeads seen at the [Temple]."
This should lessen Tia-san's hardships.
There was no day we wouldn't hear about trouble caused by minister Moroc's group, and Tia-san's assistant would come here to fetch energy drink every single day, Lolo and I had been worried about her.
"Purification is it... I would not mind helping if only they asked me."
"We'd have nothing to worry about if Sera-san took care of it."
I offered brewed green tea and cookies made from dungeon acorns to the slightly disappointed-looking Sera. Of course, for other members too.
"So tasty. Baked sweets Satou made really have no equal desuwa."
"Karina, one more please."
The hamkin children seem to have taken a liking on lady Karina, they've climbed on her lap asking to share the cookies.
"You girls are gonna take a break right?"
"Yes, the plan is to have a three day rest."
Zena-san answered my inquiry.
"Then can I count on you to keep a watch on the store for a bit?"
"Yes, that will be no issue--"
"I'm thinking of fetching materials needed for making insect repellents, you see."
I told the reason to Zena-san who tilted her head.
I've asked adventurers who come here to gather materials needed for making repellent, but I'm running out of this particular mat needed in a huge quantity.
"Where are you heading to?"
"It's a place near that [Temple] we talked about earlier."
I replied to Sera's question.
"Then, do you mind if we go along with orphanage children? There are only weak monsters in that vicinity, aren't there?"
"Sure, I don't mind."
There's the stuff about high-ranking undead in the Temple, but they're not that strong, and undead type monsters are basically earthen-bound, they can't get out of their territory, so it should be fine.
Besides, the more manpower we have the easier this gathering mat job will be.
"Then I shall dispatch my escort golems."
"In that case, I too--"
"Karina, let's look after store?"
Following princess Sistina, Lady Karina was also going say she'd come along, but with the hamkin children all over her, she couldn't continue.
Kinda envious of these kids positioning themselves between her assets.
"As the departure will be for tomorrow, let's all have a feast to celebrate your safe return today."
The silver members were elated with the food I worked hard to cook.
In case of these four, their food usually center around long shelf life rations.
Lady Karina focuses on meat, Princess Sistina on sweets, while Zena-san and Sera are on a balanced diet.
That said, Zena-san usually prefers the filling ones, while Sera goes for the lighter ones.
During mealtime, hamkin children who usually stick around lady Karina are following Sera everywhere, nibbing on celery they got from her. Either I'm imagining things, or lady Karina looks a little lonesome there.
"Satou-san, I'm glad we have a nice weather today."
"Yes, and we haven't encountered a monster either, perhaps the suppression force took care of them."
The day after, I, Sera, and princess Sistina have taken orphanage children along to gather mats.
"I've been receiving regular reports from Rock Apes and Rock Wolves on monsters they took down, make sure the children do not let their guard down."
"Yes, your highness."
After getting a warning from princess Sistina who have deployed her golem units in the vicinity, Sera went to warn the children.
"This area is infested with quite a lot of undead as per the report."
"Yes, the few hostiles my golem units defeated were all skeletons too."
"Well, we're near the [Temple] after all here."
My Radar caught those skeletons too, but since princess Sistina's golems are pretty good at their job, not one of those skeletons got anywhere near the children even without me interfering.
"May you rest in peace. ■■■ Repose of Souls Purification."
Sera used holy magic on the remains of skeletons the golems defeated.
The children offered their prayers next to Sera.
I've brought anti-undead item, [Purification Candles], with me, looks like they won't get a turn though.
A faint presence drifted from afar.
Though it's not on Greater Demons' level, a dangerous being appears to be rampaging around somewhere.
Explosive sounds echoed in some distant location, then a huge cloud of dust rose up beyond the trees.
"It's from the direction of 『Temple』."
As it was outside Radar's range, I opened my Map.
Looks like a Wraith Lord and a Wraith Bishop have spawned in the center of [Temple]. They're not that strong. Just about Mid Demons levels. Even Silver Members can easily beat them.
Might be a bit too much for minister Moroc's group, but it should be doable if they make good use of holy barriers.
I'll lend them a hand if they're having trouble.
First of all--.
"Let's get the children to safety first."
After saying that, we moved the children elsewhere.
"I've received reports from my scout golems. They're heading in our direction."
Faster than anticipated.
Minister Moroc's group seems to have made a blunder, they're getting decimated.
"Satou-san, it's getting tough for the children. We should leave their evacuation to her highness and go eradicate the monsters ourselves."
I cast [Create Golems] to make quadrupedal golems for the children to ride on, as well as a horse-shaped golem for princess Sistina.
"No way they can catch up now."
"Your highness, please take care of the children."
"Yes, very well. You two do be careful not to get hurt yourselves."
I replied with, "Don't worry" to the anxious Princess Sistina, and went toward minister Moroc's direction along with Sera.
Sera's stamina and running speed seem to have improved, perhaps thanks to the training she went through in this field-type Rampaging Evil Dungeon.
"Touchdown in a few."
I told Sera while glancing at the information dots displayed on Radar.
Space is warped in Rampaging Evil Dungeon, so what your eyes see is not always correct.
"There they are! Those adventurers look familiar."
"Oy, get away from here!"
"That thing's monstrous! A real bad one's incoming!"
The adventurers warned us just as Sera spoke.
A translucent Wight got repelled by a holy barrier as it tried to attack a priest from above.
Looks like they're deploying holy barrier properly.
That Wight appear to be a vanguard, more and more incorporeal-type undead showed up from between trees, encircling the priests.
The adventurers and temple knights could only manage to keep those incorporeal undead away, and while the priests put up a fight with [Turn Undead], those undead seem to be resistant against it.
Minister Moroc's Turn Undead seems to work, but it only covers a small area and lacks the power to erase high ranking Wight and Wraith-class undead in one cast.
"Yes! ■■ Purification (Turn Undead)!"
Sera's holy magic spreads out like a ripple accompanied by a sacred light.
"Those Wights and Ghosts!"
The undead who were coming at us with anguished looks on their face ascended with serene looks the instance Sera's purification ripple touched them. Same with Wights and Wraiths too.
Befitting of the next saintess of the Duchy's Tenion Temple, Sera's holy magic is highly potent.
『Kukakakaka! My servants--』
"■■ Turn Undead!"
The Wraith Lord was about to say something when Sera cast Turn Undead without caring.
It managed to withstand the magic, but smoke-like things were rising from its whole body.
"Ooh! She managed to damage that Wraith Lord!"
Minister Moroc was so shocked his eyeballs looked about to fell out of eye sockets looking at Sera.
"■■ Turn Undead!"
Sera paid no mind to him and kept casting Turn Undead to purify the underling undead.
The Wraith Lord seems to have some sort of resistance, it's persisting on even after several shots.
Oh right, where'd that Wraith Bishop gone off to anyway.
"All of you! Cover for Miko-dono!"
Minister Moroc enchanted temple knights' and adventurers' weapons with holy magic.
As the Wraith Lord shouted, more and more undead showed up from between trees.
Looks like it's gathered up all undead around the temple here.
A fierce fight between temple knights and adventurers versus the undead summoned by the Wraith Lord ensued.
I secretly cover for them from behind the line as to not snatch their achievements.
"There's no end to them. ■..."
Sera started to chant an advanced level holy magic.
"....■■■■ <<Sacred Turn Undead>>!"
A ripple of light spreads out of Sera.
Then a new ripple spreads out whenever that ripple purifies an undead, eventually purifying all undead gathered by the Wraith Lord around [Temple] in one go.
And even the Purification-resistant Wraith Lord was no exception...
Evil aura escaped the indignant looking Wraith Lord as its body crumbled down into sand.
Even then, it would not disappear completely.
Sera walked up to the Wraith Lord.
"Let's put this to an end. Throw away the grudge that binds you in this world and takes your first step toward the next world."
Sera quietly spoke to the Wraith Lord before her.
She put her hands together and cast Turn Undead once again, wrapping the Wraith Lord in light.
『Saintess, your, benevolence, gratitudes...』
The Wraith Lord ascended toward light after thanking Sera.
"It's the Saintess..."
Minister Moroc muttered.
Per Sera's request, Moroc who acted weirdly servile as if he was her servant brought her into the temple where she cast purification, afterward, we joined with princess Sistina and the children before going back to Dungeon City Akatia.
"Oh man, you really saved us there."
The following day, Tia-san dropped by Hero's Store.
Apparently, they stopped getting regular updates from Minister Moroc's group during the mission, thus they were about to send a rescue unit fearing for the worst when they got an update on Mission Accomplished.
She's biting on the newly developed Acorn Cookies while enjoying Lolo's brewed tea.
Not sure if she's lacking sugar, or it's stress piling up, but gobbling down that much will come back hard to you later, you know.
"I heard from that Moroc geezer. Like how amazing Sera-san is?"
"Yes, she's an outstanding Miko at Shiga Kingdom after all."
It sure makes you proud to hear your friends getting praised.
"I can't help but wonder why Sera-san is even here of all place."
"Oh, she's here to train."
"Don't think you need any more training with such an amazing purification at your disposal..."
Tia-san groaned while looking unconvinced.
BAM, the door got flung open then Sera came rushing in.
"What's the matter?"
A man wearing minister outfit came in Hero Store's door chasing after Sera.
"Here you are, Saintess-sama!"
It's minister Moroc.
"As I have stated before, I cannot accept that title. I am a miko of Tenion Temple."
"Mere accessories such as titles can come after. You are without a shred of doubt, the Saintess! I, Moroc! Has discarded my minister position and converted to god Tenion religion instead!"
Conversion in a world where gods exist for real... This guy's a riot.
"I shall henceforth devote my all to serve as Saintess Sera-sama's manservant."
"I am not looking for a manservant."
"Please speak not of that! Come, let us together spread the teachings of Tenion Temple to the unenlightened mass and adventurers!"
Minister Moroc--I guess he's priest Moroc now? --is sidling up to Sera as she looks stumped.
"Satou-san, save me~e~e."
With tears in her eyes, Sera ran and hugged me.
"Se-Sera-san! You're troubling Satou-san!"
"Zena! It's an emergency desuwa! Satou-san is getting cajoled desuwa!"
"Satou-san! Infamy is a no no!"
"Ufufu, maybe I'll get Satou spoil me rotten too?"
Lolo's face reddened, lady Karina and Zena-san objected, princess Sistina took the opportunity to slide up to me next to Sera.
"Saintess-sama, allow this Moroc to bring up your children! I will make sure I shall raise the next generation Saintess."
Minister Moroc reacted in an unexpected way.
"I can't take this anymooooore."
I soothe Sera who's unusually panicking.
Well, guess this kind of colorful day is fine once in a while?
※ Next update is planned for next month