It seems there’s no one in the church.
However, dust hasn’t accumulated either.
The room, where Rubia lived, is still neat.
It looks like someone living in the city does the cleaning.
The mirror is spotless as well. By the way, I won’t retrieve the mirror.
If something happens, I will return here. It will be fine if I explore from the surroundings again. I can use this place as a relay point.
I won’t place a bone knight here either. To the bitter end the building’s appearance is that of a normal church. It’s all well if it’s regarded as a normal mirror no one is interested in, and no one suspects.
Eventually I might retrieve it, but let’s leave it here for the moment.
I go outside the church building.
Corn fields and a muddy road.
It’s the same scenery like the last time I came here.
The other day I didn’t check the place where the corpses of the pursuing soldiers were buried.
Well then, even if I head towards the Fortona Mountain…
I cannot do that without a map and the magic beast, which is my cherished legs, isn’t here either.
I don’t know whether Popobumu can pass through the gate. Well, I think it will be possible if go through the gate together with Popobumu being close to me or me touching it, but this time I intentionally didn’t bring it along.
I’m trying out two plans I prepared to begin with.
I took out the Horn of Kalamabaon from my item box.
Maybe, if I blow this…
Putting it to my lips, a sound of an ocarina *pyuu~~* resounds.
Time and time again I blow while creating a nice tune, with a rhythm like the protagonist of a game who wore green clothes, but… nothing happens.
There’s no way that a pegasus will come flying that conveniently and nicely, is there?
At that time I considered it a joke, but it might really have departed on a journey around the universe’s galaxies in search of Ideon.
Oh well, the other plan is certainly the real deal.
“Rollo, it might get dangerous being on my shoulder. It would be better if you are inside my hood at the beginning.” (Shuuya)
Once Rollo answered lightly, she dove inside my hood and only had her face peek out slightly.
Alright, I invoke <Chain> and <Magic Hand guided by Thought>.
Jumping on the spot, I expand <Magic Hand guided by Thought> towards the sky.
Creating a foothold with ‘Hand of Distorted Mana’ (Magic Hand guided by Thought) in mid-air, I landed on that.
Since it’s a foothold created by the transparent Hand of Distorted Mana, its state of transparency can’t be seen with Magic Observation Eyes.
From that foothold of <Magic Hand guided by Thought>, I once again leap forward into the sky. And then I created a new foothold with <Magic Hand guided by Thought> right away and landed on it.
Repeating that many times, I run up high into the sky.
I reached a splendid altitude.
Rollo is excited. She left the hood and moved to my shoulder.
She won’t be blown away since the wind is at a level of being a gentle breeze.
Thin clouds are hanging in the sky. The horizon in the far distance is only distinguishable by its green colour.
I turn around in a circle and survey my surroundings, but there’s nothing that seems to be a mountain.
If I had a map, I would probably know, but…
Well, that’s asking for the impossible though.
I looked with a bird’s eye view at the city of 【Beltzam】 with the church, which became small, directly below me.
Corn fields and field ridges continue like a patchwork in the surroundings.
Although there were farmers on the fields, it’s such an altitude.
They likely haven’t noticed me.
Ah, in a slight distance there’s a relay station at the highway.
Shall I procure information at the inn over there for the time being?
I warn Rollo before moving.
“Rollo, it’s fine to get down if you can see this <Magic Hand guided by Thought>, but if not, it will be safer to stay inside the hood.” (Shuuya)
“Nya? N, nyaa.” (Rollo)
Oh, she went down.
Her two red eyes are shining due to the accumulated mana.
It seems she can use something like Magic Observation Eyes.
“Rollo, you are a divine beast after all, aren’t you? However, it would be better if you stayed inside the hood. I don’t know when the wind might pick up.” (Shuuya)
Once I said that, Rollo silently returned into the hood.
I’m probably able to move through the sky by just jumping if I use <Magic Hand guided by Thought>, but I attempt to add a little twist to it.
At first I maintain it with leeway—
I travel while carrying out five processes at the same time as I jump into the air.
1.) I make <Magic Hand guided by Thought> move ahead.
2.) I shoot a <Chain> towards the <Magic Hand guided by Thought> in pursuit.
3.) I affix it in the air by directly stabbing the magic hand of <Magic Hand guided by Thought> with the chain or the <Magic Hand guided by Thought> directly grabs the shot chain.
4.) I’m transported to the location of the , which is at the front, by making the chain, which is extending to the front, contract like the cord winding of a vacuum cleaner.
5.) Finely adjusting the <Magic Hand guided by Thought> which is in the sky, I make it move under my feet.
I move in such a manner.
I should be able to raise the speed remarkably once I get used to it.
I expect that I will be able to move by jumping through the air if I can handle the <Magic Hand guided by Thought> like a spring and if I can also increase the speed of the <Chain> pulling.
Oh, I got a nice idea.
If I release a far longer version of this <Chain>, it might also be nice to create a chain chair.
It’s a strange idea, but I will try it at once.
I manipulate the chain into extending.
Making the grown chain gather in one place, I create a simple chair according to my mental image.
I’d like something to grab on. I make a small loop with a string out of chain similar to those in buses and trains like a wire puzzle.
I confirm its strength by sitting in the simple chair made out of chain.
Though it has a slightly rough feeling on my butt, the sitting experience is like being on top of a steel plate or like being on a ski lift.
If it’s here, I’m slightly uneasy. I will try it after I descend to the surface.
I go down by using <Magic Hand guided by Thought>. Once I got down to the ground, I immediately started the experiment.
This time it has a different shape. I create a simple iron foothold with the chain.
It gives an impression similar to that of a bike’s pedal.
Placing both my feet on that iron foothold, I affix my body by coiling the chain around my waist. I grab the chain, which I allowed to have some leeway, with both hands. It’s an image of travelling by being on a rope-way lift.
I extended the tip of the chain aiming at the top of a tree.
Piercing the thick trunk with the chain, I affix the chain by having it wrap around the tree.
Being properly affixed to the tree, we are tied together in a straight line.
I confirm the strength by pulling the chain. Alright, it won’t come off.
Therefore I transport in one go my body, by making the chain contract towards my left wrist— the movement started. The chain foothold moves smoothly without any agitation at all. Arrival at the tree’s trunk is a success.
It’s really a sensation as if I got on a rope-way.
My chain is coming out with an unusual speed. If I think that I want to lengthen it, I can extend it to an extent which I can’t grasp any more.
In addition, I realized that I can tamper with its shape quite a bit if I make the chain gather.
Its abilities have grown a lot.
Ah, not only as a rope-way lift but it seems that I can also use it as shield if I gather the chain… it reached the point that I want to try out various things.
In such a mood I forgot about my original objective and enjoyed various shapes by using the chain.
From a shield that has a hidden degree of directionality in my left hand, to a concealed round shield that protects my whole body, to a fake spear which imitated a real one, to creating a shape like a snake sword which extended and couldn’t be cut, to trying to crush the ground with an iron ball punch by covering my left fist with the chain, to making a steel hammer and so forth. I had a good time.
Maybe I will be able to fly if I create wings with the chain…
However, that didn’t proceed that smoothly.
I ended up having my entire body covered by chain in the middle of creating it…
As expected, it seems to be impossible to go that far with <Chain> as it is now.
However, although it was a chain that I could only let fly directly ahead in the beginning, it has now reached the point of being effective with a high application due to its degree of freedom at this point.
At first, when I learned <Chain Sense Guidance>, I lightly thought that I will probably be able to use it for moving and in various tactics, but as a matter of fact it is a deep skill.
Despite me having the designation Chain User as my combat occupation… I shall reflect on it a bit.
Although if it’s wings, I can consider them as possible if it’s in the range of <Guidance Sorcery>.
If I imagine the details of mana wings with <Guidance Sorcery> just like with <Magic Hand guided by Thought> and if I practise it naturally every day like eating, it might become possible sooner or later.
However, right away is absolutely impossible.
Even though I was able to embody <Magic Hand guided by Thought> as a skill at last, after needing a long time and many hardships, constructing wings by imagining them from scratch once again is a next to impossible skill.
At the present time it’s impossible to largely remodel the guidance sorcery.
Or rather, I think there is no need to do so beyond this point either.
The more you practise with the spear and experience combat, the more you are able to see the future ahead… moreover, magic, swordsmanship, other weapons and sage art, there’s still an infinite amount of things I should do.
Quite a lot… it would be different if I had free time though.
First, I will make a chair and a foothold with this <Chain>.
After remaking it many times over, I was able to produce a chain chair with a good state.
Since I have a foothold sitting on the chains, I don’t need a foothold made out of <Magic Hand guided by Thought>.
After I swiftly practise movement and the fixation, it’s complete.
With the simplification, I can travel in the sky with just two processes. Just by moving the <Magic Hand guided by Thought> to the front, I can travel in the sky while sitting with my butt on the chains.
Alright, let’s try it.
I move up towards the sky while imagining the air trip.
After the <Magic Hand guided by Thought> floats in mid-air, I sit down on the chain chair and start the travel.
The sensation was like instantly moving to the outskirts of a town with a limited express train which got onto a lift.
Right below me is the inn at the edge of the city which I saw far in the distance some time ago.
Erasing the chain I sat on, I descend to the muddy road close to the inn by using <Magic Hand guided by Thought>.
My first objective is to obtain information in the inn.
The inn is an oblong log-house.
Going up the small wooden stairs at the entrance door, I open the door and step inside.
Similar to a bar, there were several guests inside drinking alcohol.
Ignoring those guests, I try asking the inn’s owner about Fortona Mountain.
Since I’m asked by the owner whether I’m doing a pilgrimage, I answer vaguely confirming that.
I was informed by the owner that Fortona Mountain is in the north-western direction from here and that I will come upon a large forest if I go straight ahead along the ridges of the fields.
Once I cross the large forest, I will see the mountain sooner or later.
It’s sketchy, but I have no more business here as I have obtained the information I needed. I left the inn right away.
After confirming that there’s no one travelling on the highway in the vicinity, I once again move up into the sky using <Magic Hand guided by Thought>.
After reaching a fixed altitude, I create a chain chair.
Sitting on the chain chair, I began the journey.
I have fun travelling in the sky while fully enjoying the refreshing wind.
Two hours… already passed, I think?
Sitting on my right shoulder, Rollo gazed at the sky’s scenery while looking happy.
We are fast since there are no obstacles in the sky at all.
It’s rough when measured with the eyes, but haven’t we travelled around 50 km by now?
A dust storm rises on the earthen road below us and envelopes the fields in a vortex.
Let’s move steadily in this manner. We travel several tens of kilometres.
Before long a region with a large forest spreading out became visible.
Will I see the mountain soon?
Thinking that, I check the front, but I can’t see it.
Several tens of minutes after that— since I got tired of moving normally, at the moment I travelled through the sky like Tarzan while raising my voice, I ended up being seen by a resident who was below.
In a panic I immediately use <Hide>.
Launching <Chain> towards a tree in a hurry, I dived into the space between the trees.
I conceal my figure in the shadow of the forest. The resident, who wore a straw hat, looks up to the sky, and moves his head around restlessly, but enters his house after tilting his head to the side.
Phew, I wasn’t exposed.
It seems he wasn’t able to identify me since the chain’s movement speed was fast.
Or rather, it doesn’t matter even if I’m exposed.
I spontaneously ended up hiding with a feeling that I have done something bad.
Well… this is the territory of the religious state.
It might have been correct to hide… while thinking about such stuff, I fire a <Chain> into the upper part of a tall tree and make the chain contract— my body is transported with a momentum of crashing into the tree. Kicking the approaching trunk as stepping stone, I fly forward in one go.
I move by weaving through the spaces between many trees.
After a short time… I land by placing a knee on a thick branch.
I looked diagonally below from the branch. A small village was there.
Broad-leaf trees cover the expanse on the right side and the highway continues on the left side. There’s also a field of flowers that resembled sunflowers.
Are they doing apiculture over there? Small straw boxes were placed there, too.
A rural village surrounded by abundant nature, huh?
There are many lumberjack-like people. The people, who carried axes in their hands, raised them overhead and fell trees while causing low and high sounds. The scent of what can be considered to be the sap of pine trees is wafting around as well.
Even now the lumberjacks are felling the trees with all their might. Wood splinters were rapidly scattered about in the surroundings.
Their figures are smaller than that of Raglen, but they are macho-man like people.
I still can’t see the mountain if it’s from here.
Shall I try to check from a higher location?
“Rollo, stay in the hood since I will head above for just a bit, okay?” (Shuuya)
Rollo answers with a throaty voice, and gets into the hood.
I begin jumping while feeling Rollo’s weight through my back.
I move high into the sky using <Magic Hand guided by Thought>.
It’s an elevation of around more than 600 meters measured by eye, I guess?
… Cold. At this altitude there are strong winds.
I protect against the wind by making the chain transform into something like a wall creating a small enclosure.
There are gaps, but the force of the wind settles down considerably.
At once I observe the far distance which is in the direction of my travel.
Ooooh, found it. It’s a mountain… I can faintly see it.
I was able to discover a large mountain and something that seems to be a lake far away.
Let’s head over there.
Given that the wind’s strong, I enjoyed a walk in the sky after descending.
After around three hours passed, the number of monsters, which floated in the upper reaches of the sky, suddenly increased.
I stop for a moment. Is it because there are many woods around here?
In the sky spreading above the forest large bat types, dragon species and monsters with the appearance of a creature having gorilla faces and possessing ashen wings, which I haven’t seen before, gathered in large swarms and flew through the air.
Those numbers are eerie. Since it’s not like I have grown wings, I don’t want to fight in the sky.
I decided to lower my altitude and to advance through the woodlands.
Driving a <Chain> into the trunk of a high tree, I travel by contracting it with my wrist.
Changing the direction by kicking the trunk just like before, I extend <Chain> a second time towards another tree trunk and advance by making the chain contract in the same manner.
This fits me well. This place is a forest that seems like elves live here.
Given that trees, which have thick trunks and branches, are crowding together plentifully here, there are many scaffolds. Therefore I was able to advance quickly and very steadily by using <Chain> and <Magic Hand guided by Thought>.
Even in the middle of travelling while using the trees, I catch sight of large amounts of strange monsters who live in the forest.
However, they don’t approach me.
To be more precise, is it the correct interpretation that they can’t get close?
My current speed of going forward isn’t that different from my speed advancing in the sky while sitting on the chain chair.
In such situation it seems possible to hunt monsters swiftly by capitalizing on my three-dimensional manoeuvring.
However, for now travelling is the priority.
I jump by kicking and stepping on the ends of thick branches like in a famous ninja manga— using <Chain> and <Magic Hand guided by Thought>, I advance comfortably while jumping over the trees.
The air travel is nice and also has a great scenery, but if it’s about moving swiftly, this way is easier.
After a few hours I leave the grove of trees.
I could see the mountain and lake nearby. There’s also a highway.
Oh, ahead of that highway, it’s a town? A town surrounded by a wall.
It looks like there’s a small town between the lake and mountain.
I jump on the ground.
I land while rotating. I advance by kicking the ground deeply while leaving my footprints.
— I run along the highway.
Once I was close to the town, I run up a high tree. I observed the town while kneeling with one knee on a thick branch.
Being enclosed by a low wall, wooden houses are lined up inside.
It’s a town since it’s smaller than 【Holkerbaum】.
I was able to see that there is a large amount of ships anchored at the blue edge part of the large lake.
Since it seems that 【Fortona Mountain】 is really close, I should be able to obtain information about Water Goddess Akreshys if it’s this town.
I jump off the branch while suppressing my high spirits, and run along the highway.
Rollo runs ahead on the highway to let her limbs move.
It seems that she wants to check ahead.
Well then, rather than that…
I wonder whether it will be alright if I enter this town while wearing this overcoat.
Although Rubia mentioned the possibility of me being persecuted…
If this town is tainted by a religious atmosphere, it will be dangerous.
There might be a culture that is strongly influenced by the monotheism of only believing in the Light God.
However, if I consider it geographically, it might be different?
The name of the lake is that of Water Goddess Akreshys, but it crosses over the southern 【Great Desert】 and reaches even 【Oseberia】… well, shall I try to summon my courage and go there?
The town’s wooden gate, ahead of the road, was open.
I uneventfully enter inside the town by passing through it.
There were soldier-like people, wearing ochre uniforms, on top of the gate, but they didn’t take notice of me.
Rollo, who went ahead, comes back running from down-town.
She jumped on her usual spot.
Shall I look for an inn and bar first then…? Continuing from the small town gate, I advance straight down the street, where people come and go, which can be considered to be the principal street.
The people, who come and go along the street, don’t notice my clothes, or rather they ignore me. There are no surprised people.
It seems to be alright. It was unnecessary to worry.
Rubia might have said that because she spent a long time in the church.
It’s a small town, but it appears that the population is quite high. However, the race going past me is only humans.
The number of dwarves and beastmen is low.
I toured around the town to inspect it.
In the right corner a group of horse traders, located at a horse enclosure, has assembled.
Oh, it’s the guild. In the left corner there’s a signboard which had Adventurer’s Guild 【Fortona】 written on it.
So there’s an adventurer’s guild here as well, huh?
Besides, the name of this town is Fortona.
You can say that’s only natural as the Fortona Mountain is right in front of their eyes.
Next to the adventurer’s guild I could see an alley with various shops lining up.
In the small alley there is a weapon shop, armour shop, general store, funeral parlour, souvenir shop, an inn and a church.
The inn seems to operate as an establishment that incorporates a bar.
A signboard, which had a woodcarving of Fortona’s Alcohol Inn on it, leans against a wall.
Two wooden shops are overlapping, and turned into one large store.
First, going by the standard, I will stay in the inn here and get some information.
Without delay I push the wooden door open and enter inside.
The service counter lines up lengthily on the left side of the inn. From the centre to the right side there’s the dining room and there was a corridor continuing towards the inn’s rooms.
I discover a middle-aged woman who seems to be the landlady and who possesses a light brown coloured skin.
She is dealing with a great number of guests on the other side of the service counter.
I was able to start a conversation once I got close to her.
“Welcome. You want to lodge? Or just have a meal?”
“Can I lodge for around two days while having a pet with me?” (Shuuya)
“Of course. Staying for a night by yourself with dinner included costs one silver coin. And, if you can’t use life magic, it’s fine to request a bath of my helper Lepoi for five small copper coins. If you can use it, there’s a large bucket on the veranda of the room. It’s alright to use it freely.”
Operating my item box, I take out two silver coins.
At that moment the looks of the surrounding guests gathered on me all at once.
An item box seems to be rare.
“Wow, it’s first time I’ve seen such magic item. You, are you a remarkable adventurer who has challenged a labyrinth?”
Even the landlady is no exception. She reveals a surprised expression. She sent an intense gaze at my bracelet instead of the silver coin payment.
“No, well, that is, I’m an adventurer though. I placed the money here.” (Shuuya)
“I know— So, what’s your business in this town where pilgrims gather? Ah, do you possibly want to exterminate the Snake Dragon of Akreshys Lake, Hesp, or the Blue Dragon Rastis? Or do you want to subjugate the seven-legged monster Loperion which lives on Fortona Mountain?”
Once the landlady took the money, she repeatedly fired questions in rapid succession.
Are there such monsters which need subjugation?
“I haven’t decided on the request yet. Speaking of Akreshys Lake, is there any temple and idol of Akreshys?” (Shuuya)
“That’s only natural. If it’s the temple, it’s close to the port of this town. And there’s also Akreshys statue being passed around in the vicinity of this town of Fortona.”
It seems there are many statues existing in the outskirts.
“The port, huh? Lastly, is there a famous location around here?” (Shuuya)
“Sure, there is. I dare say they are famous places. On Fortona Mountain there’s the Marvellous Rock Art of the Light Spirit Fortona-sama. The Voice-raising Idol of Light God Lulodis-sama is especially famous. After those, the Akreshys’ Spring Water, brought about by Water Goddess-sama, is also famous.”
Is the landlady proud of her home town? Or is it her business instinct? She talks while looking happy.
“A Water Goddess-sama? I’m curious.” (Shuuya)
“Oh, do you intend to go pray to Water Goddess-sama before the request?”
“Yes, that’s the plan.” (Shuuya)
“I see. I told you just now, but the temple is in the direction of the port, right? Do your best no matter what request you take. So, about the room for you to stay at, the room’s name is Room of the Spirit and it’s located the deepest inside at the end of the corridor. This is the key.”
“Yes— Well then.” (Shuuya)
I receive the copper key.
Everyone looks at me, but I ignore them.
Leaving the dining room, I head towards the room through the corridor.
Opening the door which had Spirit Room written on it, I entered inside.
It has an average size. There are two beds.
Next to them there are only purely wooden side tables and plain, dark-coloured drawers.
Does it only feel spacious because there’s a veranda?
I confirm the large bucket as well.
“N, nya.” (Rollo)
Once I check the bucket for bathing, Rollo crawled out from my hood and moved from my shoulder to my right arm.
While skilfully walking atop my arm, she kicks my arm, jumps on top of a bed and plays around.
“Ouch, that, you like it, don’t you?” (Shuuya)
It was painful and blood was flowing as she scratched my skin with the small claws which grew on her hind legs, but… since Rollo is playing around by happily jumping around, I didn’t get angry.
“Nn, nya.” (Rollo)
I guess the room’s check-up is fine with this.
I decide to head to the port at once.
“Rollo, I will go ahead.” (Shuuya)
I call Rollo who is playing on top of the bed.
I exit the room leaving Rollo, who only released a throaty voice while playing around by jumping up and down, behind.
Leaving the inn, I walk along the street.
Once I did that, Rollo chased after me while purring as if complaining about something.
Did she jump from behind? She gets on my shoulder just like usual.
Did she get back in a good mood when I gently stroke the head of the adorable Rollo who is dissatisfied and has lowered her whiskers? She made the purring sound of the pampered child Tareko-chan.* (T/N: 甘えん坊のタレ子ちゃん – Seems to be a specific baby or something, but no idea about the reference here)
While flirting with such cute Rollo, I walk along the main street. I head towards the port while peeking at a street stall which is roasting meat sticks that are similar to fish meat sausages.
There were presences of some people following me from behind.
Is it the group that stayed at the inn, I wonder?