At first Phyla was perplexed that Serva’s corpse had unnaturally vanished.
However, once I politely told her the obtained information while looking into her eyes, she recovered her composure.
At that moment the swarthy man who had lost consciousness woke up.
When I was pondering whether I should interrogate him just like Serva, the swarthy man starts to talk without me even needing to do so.
He spoke with a frightened and uneasy expression that didn’t suit his tree-trunk-like, burly body.
“I had been simply employed by the one-eyed Serva with a large amount of money.”
“I’m no member of a dark guild.”
Since I have no further business with him, I entrusted his disposal to Phila.
Without saying anything in particular, Phila took the dark-skinned man that insisted on only having been employed to the big room… there he was tortured to death by the surviving adventurers who woke up from their sleep.
Well, you might say that it’s only a reasonable outcome. He was a traitor after all.
There’s no way for the adventurers to forgive a guy that killed their friends.
Phila remained dumbfounded with a pale and dampened expression due to the gruesome sight.
Even though the big room was already bloodstained as is, it became the actual site of a deadly torture.
When I thought that it can’t be helped in this situation…, strength had unexpectedly returned into Phila’s eyes as if she pulled herself together right away.
“… The request has been completed with this. Given that I will properly provide the reward for one day, let’s head to the guild after cleaning up the corpses.” (Phila)
The client Phila nonchalantly talked about “cleaning up the corpses.”
The request is over with this.
A simple funeral was carried out for the corpses of the murdered adventurers while treating them courteously.
Once we finished the cleaning of the saloon which took until morning, Phila, who had shadows below her eyes, heads to the guild together with the adventurers for the sake of the rewards.
Phila submits the wooden tag of a completed request to the receptionist.
As the guild wasn’t that crowded, the formalities advance smoothly.
Receiving their rewards, all the adventurers, who came along, show consenting expressions and leave the guild.
Once I got my reward and left the guild, I was once more addressed by the client Phila.
“Shuuya-san, your work on this occasion was praiseworthy. You saved my life. I really thank you very much—.” (Phila)
Seemingly having actually felt that I saved her life, Phila bows her head politely.
I respond in kind as well.
“Please don’t mind it as I simply did my job.” (Shuuya)
“… Yes.” (Phila)
Phila looks directly into my eyes.
Although she tried to speak about her younger brother, she stops on the verge of it and talks about something safe.
“… As it seems that you will be busy for a while from now on, please do your best.” (Shuuya)
“That’s right, isn’t it? I will strive at work and with the store. However, as the threat of 【Owl’s Fangs】 still remains I will circulate the iron and demonic steel to other companies. I plan to spend my time hiding by closing my store. However, I will appeal for the resumption of the bridge construction with the feudal lord. After all it’s for the sake of this city…” (Phila)
Phila Elizard shows a determined expression befitting a female merchant.
The construction of the bridge and feudal lord Makfol who’s my friend, huh?
I might be able to mediate with just the bridge by using that connection, but I have no intention to help in its construction.
Since it’s related to a dark guild, it’s obvious that it will become troublesome.
It’s probably not necessary for me to get involved with the Earl anymore either.
“… Yes, that seems to be the case. Well then, I will excuse myself at this point…” (Shuuya)
“Ah, please wait. I want to give you another proper thanks.” (Phila)
Phila moves her red lips seductively.
It made me feel some instinctual stir.
She stares at me with eyes filled with passionate emotions while wearing a smile.
My expression becomes reflexively lewd.
“… Thanks it is, eh?” (Shuuya)
“Yes. Come to my room in my mansion…” (Phila)
Phila-san clung to me.
Even though I hadn’t slept, I was full of vigour.
No, it’s because I didn’t sleep that I act this obediently, I guess?
She’s a beautiful woman and she has boobs as well.
However I will refuse. I just had sex with Melissa.
Rejecting her like that, I pushed her slender shoulder away.
“Well then, Phila, stay well.” (Shuuya)
“… Yes, farewell… until we meet somewhere again.” (Phila)
Phila reveals a sad expression pursing her lips, but she holds back.
I separated from the beautiful Phila.
Once we leave the mansion, Rollo immediately changes into her horse lion mode.
Will I once again experience the strange feeling of fitting? — I quickly jumped on the back of her horse lion mode in a light manner and mounted her while straddling on top of her soft black fur.
We take a little stroll.
We leave the street in the pace of a horse’s trot.
We came out at the plaza with the Large Tree of Holker and its lush greenery.
We go along the street towards the port in the south. During that time a magic tool shop enters my field of vision.
I wanted magic scrolls of the water attribute.
I look while we drop down to the pace of average walking.
… However, they aren’t sold.
I tried to peek inside the magic tool shop a bit, but with the shop’s scale seemingly being small, they aren’t selling anything but magic scrolls of fire and wind, and wands that had magic gems embedded.
As there’s only hardware dealers and smiths in this city, I believe that there’s quite a bit of demand for a magic tool shop, but yeah, I guess the number of items sold is low because of its lacking choice?
Ah well, it’s alright. I expect 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】 will have those books.
There will also be the underground auction in winter.
Will I splurge at that time? … I want a base or house as well.
Though I don’t know how far I can get with buying while using large platinum coins.
While pondering about that, we arrive at the port with its seashore scent characteristic to places near the sea.
There are also birds similar to sea birds flying around.
As this Heim River is connected to the ocean, its scent is similar to that of the ocean, too.
Leaving the route completely to Rollodeen, we advance at a pace that makes me instinctively want to hum a song.
Once again we ended up coming up to the street where the adventurer’s guild is located.
The stroll comes to an end here.
… Let’s head back. Moving the tentacle reins, we turn at a corner with a lot of gravel and head back to the main street.
“Rollo, the stroll’s over. We will go back to the high-class inn.” (Shuuya)
Rollodeen started to dash while stretching her limbs.
It’s a comfortable pace with a breeze blowing.
In the twinkling of an eye we go past the Large Tree of Holker and arrive in front of the hotel.
I descended off Rollodeen that suddenly stopped by rotating.
Once I got off, Rollo, who changed from the horse lion mode into the small black cat mode, came next to me.
We walk inside the grounds of Hotel Alando together and head to my own room at the hotel.
Once I return to the room, I swiftly retrieve Paredes’ mirror that was placed in the corner.
『Are we leaving this place?』 (Helme)
Helme in her deformed shape appeared in my field of vision while asking that, when I was cleaning up the room after putting the mirror inside my item box.
『That’s right. We are heading to 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】.』 (Shuuya)
『Okay. I got it.』 (Helme)
Helme consents and swirls around.
After bowing, she completely vanishes from my sight.
Leaving the luxurious room we stayed at, I walk to the receptionist.
There are still a few days left where we could have stayed there, but after finishing the checkout, I go outside.
I snicker since there’s no claim of repair costs.
Well then, what shall I do about Popobumu?
Heading to the stables, I mount Popobumu that had been left in the care over there after a long time.
Popobumu cheerfully breathes out through its nose with a “Puboppubo.”
Once Rollo saw Popobumu, she leapt at her usual spot behind its head and while staying there, she gently stroke Popobumu’s nape with several tentacles in order to soothe it.
At that moment a group of stray cats that apparently made the stables their turf appeared.
All the stray cats meowed at the same time as if giving their farewells to Rollo. A male cat with its tail characteristically shaped like a lightning bolt purred at Rollo with a noticeably loud low voice, but Rollo ignored him.
I guess cats also have strange relationships between each other.
Advancing on Popobumu as is, we leave the hotel.
“Riding him after a long while is nice, but… travelling on Rollo is faster. What should I do?” (Shuuya)
It feels like she’s saying 『Really nya?』.
Though it might be something else since she doesn’t convey her feelings to me through her tentacles.
“Do I have to sell him? I will try to go to a horse dealer.” (Shuuya)
Although I think that it still hasn’t been half a year, I’m quite indebted to this guy.
It will be lonely to part from Popobumu with its lovable nature, but… rather than always leaving him in a stable, it’s probably better for Popobumu to be used by someone else.
My master’s words cross my mind.
We proceeded on the main street while I enjoy riding Popobumu for the last time. Our destination was the horse vendor located close to the western gate.
Passing through the crossroads plaza with the Large Tree of Holker, we arrive at the shop with a horse sign.
I address the horse and cattle merchant.
“Sorry, can I sell this magic beast?” (Shuuya)
“Ayes. Sure. … Let me see. I suppose it’s a Murto species of the magic beast Popobumu. Its gloss is nice and it seems to be in good health. I will buy it for three gold coins.”
I didn’t know.
There’s something called a Murto species?
The price is three gold coins.
Although I don’t know the market price, let’s sell it without regard towards the amount of money.
“Got it. You’ve got a deal.” (Shuuya)
Saying that, I got off Popobumu and received the gold coins from the merchant.
“Thank you. With this he’s mine.”
The horse merchant says so and leads Popobumu inside the stable while holding its reins.
I heard its “Puboppubo” from a distance.
It looks like Rollo is giving it her farewell.
However, somehow it feels like I’m being called by Popobumu… it’s slightly heartrending.
“… Rollo, I will mount you.” (Shuuya)
Once Rollo heard my quietly mumbled voice, she immediately transformed into her black horse lion mode with a billowing sound.
One can also call it a big black panther, black lion, black horse mode.
While looking at me with her red eyes as I was admiring her gallant figure, she entwined a tentacle around my waist and forcibly put me on her back.
“Whoa— that’s sudden.” (Shuuya)
Once she places me on her back, Rollodeen starts to run alongside such lively meowing and jumps out of the western gate.
Rollodeen dashed along the highway by making full use of her limbs.
She’s running as if trying to forget her parting with Popobumu.
We very easily overtook carriages that advanced ahead of us and walking travellers.
Once I turn around, 【Demonic Steel City Holkerbaum】 becomes gradually smaller.
Before long… it wasn’t visible anymore.
I have left Melissa.
Turning around to the front again, we plunge forward on the earthen highway.
Fast, how very fast.
… Since we are travelling at a speed that’s faster than a sport bike, the head wind is slightly intense even when I bend forward.
A cloth covering my mouth or a helmet might be necessary.
Should I next time buy a pleasant hemp cloth for travelling long distances?
At the instant I pondered whether to ask her to ease up on the speed, the velocity slows down.
The feelings of Rollodeen are transmitted through a tentacle connected to the nape of her neck.
I want to run, I want to play, but should I do it gently nya? I guess that what it means?
A shared sensation of motion.
Without mentioning it, my slight feelings have been transmitted to Rollo.
“As expected of telepathy. It’s thanks to the skill Divine Beast Serene Mind ・ Soaring that surpasses Unity of Rider and Mount.” (Shuuya)
I gently stroke behind the back of her head as if caressing a horse.
Haha, I can’t get used to her voice still being that of a cat with her appearance having become big.
“Let’s soon fly in the air?” (Shuuya)
Once she hears my words, Rollodeen immediately moves into action.
Although she ran on the highway, she gets off the earthen road and and starts to get a head start by running through the thickly-growing grasslands.
On the way she further changed her figure to be one level bigger.
It’s the size of a gryphon.
While transforming into a huge lion mode, she swiftly runs through the pathless plains with her powerful limbs.
And then, releasing tentacles left and right, she affixed the bone swords into the ground.
Rollodeen keeps running while ignoring that and twisting four tentacles right away, she stretches them while they were intertwined like rubber.
The tentacles stretch, eh?
Since she’s a large lion-shaped beast, her running figure is cool.
She increases the power of pulling the tentacles that are loaded with the power of the limbs of a black beast’s physique.
Seemingly having pulled the tentacles to the limit, Rollodeen stopped her movement once.
And then, once she turns around to the back while slowly rotating sideways, she separates her tentacles just like making a pachinko ball fly.
— The body of Rollodeen gets flung into the air.
Due to the recoil Rollodeen, with me holding onto her vigorously, flew into the air with a *gyuun* like a pachinko ball, or rather like a rocket.
— The acceleration is amazing.
Although it looks like my body would be pushed back by the force of the wind, I get supported by a tentacle pressing against my back.
I use the tentacle reins that were in front of my chest as a joystick of a fighter aircraft and we flew through the sky while I grasped it strongly.
At that moment the tentacles that were growing at the side of Rollodeen’S body transform into wings, black wings that have primary feathers similar to those of falcons.
Riding upon the winds, she gracefully exposes her feathers.
Below one could see a tiny town that seems to be 【Demonic Steel-City Holkerbaum】.
“— Let’s head south-west along the Heim River like this.” (Shuuya)
The flight had slowed down into a comfortable pace.
Since I never had seen her flying appearance from a distance, I could only imagine it, but… I’m certain that the flying Rollodeen looks just like a gryphon.
Her foundation is that of a black-haired beast with limbs after all.
Well them should I check it after a long time?
Name: Shuuya Kagari
Title: Super-Warrior of the Water Goddess
Race: Light Demon Lucival
Combat Occupation: Magic Spear Darkness Warrior – Chain User
Current Status: Exalted
Obtained Skills: <Throwing>, <Demonic Brain Speed>, <Hide>, <Night Vision>, <Inhalation of Odour Technique>, <Blood Chains Banquet>, <Thrust>, <Meditation>, <Life Magic>, <Guidance Sorcery>, <Magic Combat Style>, <Magic Hand guided by Thought>, <Sage Art>, <Summoning>, <Ancient Magic>, <Crest Magic>, <Darkness Drill>, <Darkness Drill – Magic Spear Break>, <Language Magic>, <Chain Spear of the Ray System>
Permanent Skills: <Power of True Ancestor>, <Natural Gift of Magic>, <Torrent of Light Darkness>, <Drain Soul>, <Immortality>, <Darkness Adaptation>, <Blood Mana>, <Suzerain of Household>, <Super Demonic Brain Nimble Sensation>, <Magic Combat Style Knowledge>, <Guidance Magic Knowledge>, <Spear Sparring>, <Chain Sense Guidance>, <Magic Crest Construction>, <Instant Staff of Water>, <Spirit Employment>, <Divine Beast Serene Mind ・ Soaring>
Extra Skills: <Language Comprehension>, <Granted Seal of Light>, <Chain Factor>, <Demonic Cerebral Spine Revolution>
My status has grown in average.
I touched <Divine Beast Serene Mind ・ Soaring> that I had acquired.
※<Divine Beast Serene Mind ・ Soaring>※
You share senses with your contracted divine beast to some extent. The movement performance rises sharply.
The more you mount it, the faster the experience of the divine beast will accumulate and grow.
The more I ride her, eh? That’s good.
I erase the status screen.
I gaze at the sky where the clouds are drifting about.
The calm wind feels great.
It’s my second time in the air, but I like this feeling. I want to fly as much as possible.
It’s a refreshing sensation. There’s the Heim River flowing far below us.
The stream of water that twisted and turned into a large river appeared to be similar to a dragon or snake.
It’s not as narrow as the one on the journey together with Raglen. The flat ridges of potato fields are visible. Houses similar to little specks and forests that look like the hair and beards of dwarves can be seen.
The speed accelerates even further with the flapping of the black wings.
Reflexively I put strength in my hands holding the tentacle reins.
“Nn, nya? Nya~”
Rollo’s feelings are transmitted to me.
“It’s fine. I don’t mind if you enjoy yourself a bit either.” (Shuuya)
Her lively meowing resounded in the sky. Rollodeen does flight acrobatics by performing somersaults by drawing circles in mid air.
— Hahaha, you’re having fun, aren’t you, Rollo?
However, in this height the headwind should be far more terrifying, but…
I feel less wind resistance than at the time when I moved through the sky with <Chain> and <Magic Hand guided by Thought>, and when we ran on the surface just now.
Is that the result of her releasing mana from her wings?
Once I confirm with Magic Observation, I see that mana is definitely being emitted.
Is the mana giving birth to some kind of repulsive force, I wonder?
I will enjoy myself while obediently accepting the current situation.
I bend down into a posture similar of sitting while hugging Rollodeen’s fluffy back.
Like that I said in my mind “up the speed.”
Alongside a consenting voice, the wings’ angle shifts and she suddenly speeds up towards above.
We dashed through the sky similar to a fighter launching its afterburner.
Shooting through the clouds, we plunge into the azure sky with its dazzling sun light.
“— Woohooo.” (Shuuya)
As my tension rises, I scream naturally.
In the middle of it I spread both my arms while overflowing with feelings.
It feels great… I want to fly to unknown places in far, far away lands that are not noted down on any maps. It’s a feeling as if I had become the ruler of the sky.
Once we exit the sea of clouds, she slowed down to a gentle pace again.
Thereupon I looked at the rear of Rollodeen. I see. It seems she’s setting the direction by swinging her black long tail left and right just like the rudder of a ship.
I survey my surroundings.
We freely flew through the sea of clouds… the blue sky.
The wonderful scenery of this boundlessly continuing sea of clouds surely extending into the far distance is…
At that moment a black shadow is— nuoh? A whale?
Eh? A whale!? Looking back a second time, I stare at the spectacle.
A huge whale is devouring a huge jellyfish.
Even the sky being what it is has struggles for life and death, I suppose… yeah.
There are other strange monsters around as well. Let’s head down since it’s scary.
“… Let’s lower the altitude a bit?” (Shuuya)
I give the instruction while gently caressing the side of her black lion-like head.
According to my instruction, she glides slightly downwards.
Flying high above the Heim River’s outskirts, she sets the direction towards south.
In this way, while riding upon the winds, we pass many small villages, plains and forests.
I can’t see people attacking other people on the ground.
I didn’t catch sight of robbers, but I did see the figures of countless monsters and animals.
A big group of bisons similar to water buffalos and horses running across the plains, animals like giraffes and horses, hyenas, lions, huge animals that appear to be elephant-like, gigantic wild boars, huge ants, komodo dragons, big herbivorous dinosaurs, carnivorous dinosaurs similar to Tyrannosaurus rex’. That over there might be called a dragon. In addition there are goblins, horse-shaped creatures, jellyfish flying in the air, and figures of wild gryphons.
Although there are thickly growing forests with huge trees, there are also grasslands.
The plains give one an impression similar to that of the African savannah.
I was also able to confirm the figures of many adventurers fighting against those monsters and animals on the ground.
There are small villages and the area is dotted with spots of settlements made up of tents.
Before long something similar to a huge, round city became visible.
【Demonic Steel-City Holkerbaum】 had a quadrangle shape, and 【Fortress City Hekatrail】 has a set of high walls.
This city is surrounded by an ochre wall in a circular shape.
Even from a distance one realizes that it’s a huge city… the city’s interior was crowded by countless buildings.
It’s as if I’m looking down on a miniature model.
To be precise, it’s not circular but oval-shaped?
Since there are no walls where the city meets the Heim River, its shape is slightly lost.
When I looked briefly at it, there are three huge ring streets, inner, middle and outer. Small lanes are radiating out from the centre of the inner circle. They are extending straightforward in a mesh pattern. The long and narrow lanes are connecting to the three, main ring streets.
They are distorted circles since the terrain rises and falls, too.
A huge arena like the Colosseum of Ancient Rome stood out with its presence of impressive quality in the south of the city.
Eh? Dragons? Oooh…
Dragons were flying through the air. Moreover people were riding them.
Those are dragon knights, aren’t they?
Three of them are patrolling above the circular city in a formation.
Is that possibly the defence unit of 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】?
I’m also interested in the southern venue that seems to be an arena, but we should stop heading straight forward now, shouldn’t we?
If we directly trespassed into the city from the sky like this, we would likely be noticed by those dragon knights. And even if they didn’t notice us, it seems that we would be arrested by the knight orders and guard units apparently stationed on the ground due to standing out.
Therefore I gave up on trespassing from the sky.
Well, that’s only my public stance though.
For some reason or another I want to normally pass through the gate at the first time.
There’s pedestrian traffic on the highway. I will check it out.
Because there are only sporadically private houses, we fly while lowering the altitude a bit off the highway in order to not stand out.
Given that the dragon knight unit is flying towards the opposite direction, they didn’t notice me.
Just like that we descended at a place that was divided into tatami-like terraces located on the opposite side of the Heim River.
“— Rollo, thanks for your hard work.” (Shuuya)
Descending to the ground as if jumping, I immediately gently stroke the root where her tentacles are growing out from.
Rollodeen instantaneously shrinks down to the size of her Horse Lion Mode while releasing a single purr with a throaty voice.
Once again coiling a tentacle around my waist, she carried and put me on top of her abundantly black-haired back.
In front of me the tentacle reins have been prepared.
Rollo is a thoughtful one.
Grabbing the tentacle reins with my hands, we run up a hill while I steer Rollodeen.
At the moment we arrived at the summit of that small hill, I observe the surroundings.
Below the broad mound there are huge flower beds and common vegetable gardens.
Private houses exist here and there, too. They continue as the highway weaves its way between them.
In the neighbourhood the large Heim River is visible as well. Merchant ships with bulging sails can be seen advancing on it.
Let’s head to the labyrinth city along the highway that’s next to the river?
There’s a gentle slope facing towards the highway.
I descend it while imagining the cliff where Yoshitsune plunged down children headfirst. (T/N: A legend about Minamoto no Yoshitsune choosing his successor)
I immediately finish descending the elated slope.
I got on the highway from the side of a beekeeping farmer.
We proceed by blending in among the coming and going people.
Rollodeen sets her pace with a nice rhythm while looking happy.
Soon the colour of the wall surrounding 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】 became clearly visible.
The city’s exterior is a stone wall with a trace of roundness.
The highway separated from being close to the Heim River and continued towards the right side in a manner of following along the wall surrounding the city.
The line of people is also turning right just like the path.
Following it obediently like that is boring.
… I will take a little side trip slightly away from the highway.
I go next to where private houses are lining up.
Since they are drying daikon and chopped wood at the eaves, it’s difficult to pass through.
Exiting in-between those buildings, Rollodeen’s feet turn towards the vicinity of the Heim River’s shore.
I gazed at the swelling, blue Heim River from atop a grassy spot.
Once I look from nearby the Heim River like that, I fully grasp that it’s adjoining to the 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】.
It can’t be seen since there’s the wall, but I was able to confirm that ships are apparently entering the port on the other side of the wall.
Liners and trading vessels.
There were plenty of wealthy clients who are using ships in Holkerbaum, too.
That means that the ship transportation business yields quite a profit.
I feel like I can understand the major dealer Eribol Macabyn, who is the foundation of the dark guild 【Owl’s Fangs】 that Serva mentioned, hindering the land routes in his deep desire to make excessive profit by using his maritime rights.
Well then, let’s return to the highway?
I go back to the highway in-between the private houses with a sidelong glance at the ocher wall that is preventing further view of the Heim River that is flowing into the city.
The wall’s height is average.
Though it hasn’t the height of the walls of 【Hekatrail】.
When I’m advancing on the highway, I not only catch sight of private houses but also work sheds and people performing various work tasks.
Dozens of people washing clothes at a laundry and a workshop for brick production where people place stones inside many stoves to bake them. There are barrels in many colours placed in a place for producing dyes.
Even outside the wall there’s an imposing townscape.
Around this part there aren’t only peasants but also many merchants, I guess?
Races like humans, elves, dwarves and midgets, all of them are apparently carrying out various jobs.
That race, are they Hobbits since they are midgets?
There was an even smaller race possessing dog ears.
There are really many various races here, I suppose.
I could also see cattle-like domestic ducks.
The domestic ducks with their few feathers are crossing the highway while quacking.
Children happily chased those ducks while squealing.
It’s heart-warming. It looks like the public order around here is good.
Now that I think of it… the public order was the worst between 【Leften Kingdom】 and 【Oseberia Kingdom】.
Outside the wall of Hekatrail it was really bad as well though.
As I was advancing on the peaceful highway, I could see the city’s entrance before long.
If I pass though this place, it’ll be 【Labyrinth City Pelneet】.
I’m greeted by a stone gate matching the huge city.
Slightly different from the ochre wall, the building material used here are white building stones.
The broad pillars on both sides of the gate were splendidly designed with masonry that depicted people and animals seemingly carved by skilled artisans.
A great variety of people get swallowed into the city through that stone gate’s entrance.
When I’m looking at the coming and going with its loud hustle and bustle… I’m reminded of the time when I entered 【Fortress City Hekatrail】 for the first time.
I also pass through this huge stone gate…
— Mmh? A black spiral pattern is reflected in my field of vision.
I feel uneasy.
Stopping Rollodeen, I pay attention to below my feet.
Black steel? It continued below the wall, buried underground, as if those are railways of a broad, black-steeled tram.
Does this continue to the degree of encircling the outer part of the city?
The width of the black steel has almost the same size as the city’s wall.
Is it the foundation of the wall? Parts of text-like geographical patterns were drawn on the surface of the broad black steel.
Huh? I feel like I have seen those characters somewhere…
I turn my look towards a thick stone pillars located at the side.
There are plenty of animal decorations, but because of its peculiar round shape, it also resembled the pillar of a Shinto shrine archway.