All Right Not
We walked through the town tailing lolimast.
She's quite the fleet of foot. Wonder if her job necessitates her to be out and about rather than behind the desk.
"I'm gonna tell you what's going on as we walk before we get to the detail about your job. I hope you understand."
"We heard the townspeople mentioning about the seal in the magic beast cave coming undone. What's sleeping in there?"
"I'll lay it all out from the beginning, in short there's an unbelievably strong monster sealed in that cave. A giant powerful monster with enough strength to easily destroy a whole town by itself."
"Yup. Some demons way back in the past created it to go up against the hero at the time, or more like it was mostly an accident. They had a slime type magic beast as a base absorbing all kinds of magic beasts in an attempt to forcefully raise its stats, but they lost control of their own creation once it took in too many powerful beasts, it turned into a creature that devours everything around it regardless of foes or allies."
Uwaah. That's another classic creature. Heck, that was a slime? Was sure it'd be a dragon or the likes.
But this is no laughing matter anymore now that this thing is coming for our lives.
"But this creature did manage to devour the hero multiple times, you could say the demons succeeded in a way. Ignoring all the damage it caused their side."
"Devour the hero multiple times? Eh, what, this thing is strong enough to win against many heroes!?"
"Ah, heroes are blessed with a Grace that lets them be endlessly revived until they have defeated the demon king, apparently the hero at the time would always get revived right after his defeats. He was returned to the summoning altar every time though."
...So something like that game's system. You'd think it'd come in handy but with how easily it could make you experience hell from one minor mistake, it sounds more like a curse.
Feels like you'd have to keep pushing beyond your limits as a price of having a life so cheap. Sorry for hero-san, but I'm so glad I wasn't one.
"After dying every time he attempted to eliminate the monster, gradually increasing its power in the process, the hero finally decided to seal it up instead. Casualty would only grow larger if it wasn't dealt with right away, yet he didn't have the luxury of time to grow strong enough as to match it. In fact, the creature would have only gotten stronger with time itself as well."
"So this sealed creature was contained inside the magic beast cave?"
"Yep. The place where it was sealed should be protected by multiple powerful barrier gates but our culprit managed to get around that using an unconventionally brute force method."
"You know about the break-in incident at Maldania Magic Tool Shop of Daijel? A large scale magic excavator used for mining was stolen in the incident. Apparently they used it to dig a hole from the opposite direction of the barrier gates."
Ah, right there was that news.
Wait so they were hoarding all those magic ore to make that excavator?
"Several other barriers were also erected in the areas outside the gates but they were nowhere near as powerful, you could break them with some effort once you got close enough. These barriers were starting to break down early in the morning today."
"...How long would the remaining barriers hold up?"
"Less than an hour at best. It's happening at an incredibly high pace, the pursuit unit we dispatched likely won't make it in time. Dear me, Maldania Store sure hired quite the master craftsmen. Once things have calmed down here, I might order from them myself hahaha."
Despite her carefree words, lolimast's face was pale.
It shows how desperate she is at trying to break the deadlock in this situation for the sake of the town's populace, she's really the guildmaster.
"So here's the thing, the hero had prepared a sealing password to unseal the creature once the barriers got cracked open, passed down to the father presiding this town's church over generations. Somebody attacked him with mind manipulation magic yesterday. He is currently in coma now."
Why'd you pass down something like that? Wouldn't it better if you just erase it from history.
"...It must be the culprit behind this chaos."
"Either that or a cooperator. They swiftly dealt with the intruder so the father narrowly escaped with his life, but considering the state he was left in, there is a high chance they managed to get the password through a forceful mind manipulation. How the barriers around the seal are getting destroyed as we speak reinforces that."
"...Why would you pass down the password? Can't you just forget it and keep the seal intact forever?"
"Apparently this seal may lose its effect after hundreds of years, you see. So there's a need to redo the seal with these passwords every one hundred year cycle."
"Redo the seal?"
"Yup. There are passwords to undo the seal and redo the seal. Apparently it's so long it takes ten seconds to finish reciting it to completion even if you speak rapidly. You could write it down if you had a Clerk Job with Shorthand Skill though."
Ah, I can see where this is going, what lolimast wants from me.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
"However you need to speak that password through a megaphone-type magic tool within a certain distance from the magic beast."
"Is that all it takes? Sounds like something anybody can do."
"If the target was anything but that monster, yes. According to historical documents, this creature has Attribute values far beyond any slimes imaginable, so much so that anything that gets within a 20 meter radius will be immediately devoured."
Scary! What the hell, I absolutely don't want to get close to that thing!
"The only people who can take on this creature are the very limited Rank S adventurers, or another extremely powerful creature like dragons. Your average adventurers would have died twice, thrice before they could finish reciting the password to completion. Unless you can fly around in the sky, that is."
"..........Don't tell me."
"Yup, sorry about this. I want to task you with resealing the monster."
I knew it! It all just wrote itself! I just knew it!
No no no no, that's way over my paycheck.
The suicide attack during Stampede was nothing compared to this. I'm gonna die.
"D-does it have to be Hikaru?"
"Kajikawa-san is just a rank D adventurer you know!? There must be someone stronger than him around!"
"I admit that it's highly dangerous, but we have no other possible candidates. Even if I or a rank A adventurer were to go, we'd just get eaten before we could finish reciting. But you and your flying ability has the best chance to do it without getting eaten, you just have to stay out of its range."
I get what you're saying! I really do! But it's still scary!
"A lot of people will die if you refuse, you know that right?"
Seemingly seeing through my nervous wreck of a mind, lolimast spoke calmly yet resolutely.
"Once the creature has broken through the barrier blockading the city, it'll likely go after the people inside unless it gets sealed right away. You could escape through the fissure created by this monster, but most people likely won't make it. Seeing as this is a commercial town, the majority of populace are that of Production Jobs. Most of them simply cannot outrun that monster."
"Of course that includes those two next to you. I won't force you to oblige, but what do you say? You could likely escape alone with your life if you abandon everything."
"...Aah! I got I got it already dammit! I just gotta do it, right?!"
I almost snapped as I replied.
Honestly, if this was truly hopeless, I'd most definitely grab Alma and Reina to escape by ourselves, but there's no way I'd refuse if there's really a way to overturn this situation.
Damn, damn! I'm gonna beat the crap outta the perps!
"I'm so glad I get your consent, Soarer-kun."
Lolimast sounded satisfied.
Despite her words, there's a hint of guilt behind her smile.
"Check again what 'consent' means in a dictionary. Just you know I'm gonna demand compensations, lots of it. I'mma go on a rampage in that monster's stead if you give nothing after making me do this crap."
"Ooh, scary. So rough, is that your true nature?"
"Sure is, got a problem? You ain't gonna complain about my tone now of all time, yeah?"
"Nope, it's fine by me. I don't care if it's a hero or a criminal, I'll take any hands who can get us out of this mess. Let's hurry to the church and fish the password out of the father now."
"...Are you gonna be all right, Hikaru?"
"I will, make it all right."
I bluffed myself at Alma's worried question.
All right? Not at all, and that's a problem.
But it'd be an even bigger problem if harms were to come Alma's and Reina's way.
...I'm not even a protagonist of some story, why am I stuck risking my life to protect those important to me.
No, I guess it's nothing that grand. I honestly want nothing but to run away now. Let's just get to the church.