Chapter 348 – Cydale and Quiche’s Past

 


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“Protect~♪ Fufuun♪ I wonder whether my feelings are going to reach Emissary-sama♪” Catiza sung with a lively and cheerful voice.

And after summoning her <Demonic Bone Fish>, she extended ten black fingernails, and changed her hair into a huge arm with countless blades.

“Emissary-sama, march♪”

“Baaang and booom♪”

“Baaang and booom♪”

Even as she happily sang, she slaughtered and slaughtered orcs with a force just like the Hundred-Armed Giant Hecatoncheir who protected the gate of hell. Her singing voice and the lyrics were completely opposite to the bloody massacre taking place.

Catiza was protecting the gate of Cydale. And as matter of fact, the gate hadn’t received a single scratch ever since she started to defend it.

Even at this very moment, the Chief Gatekeeper was shading her eyes with a hand, and moving around her head restlessly, changing her expressions hectically while keeping an eye out by looking the far distance.

And just then, an orc army appeared in great numbers from the other side of the cliff.

“Ah~ The pigs have come to attack again!” She yelled while freely transforming her silver hair.

She extended one arm and depicted an orc’s pig head with her hair. As if to make sure of the army’s location with her black nails at the ends of her slender fingers, she informed everyone, “Over there! Over there!”, while poking the air with her nails several times.

The size of the orc army was different from the orc company Catiza had annihilated recently. Blue, light infantry units held swords and spears, black, heavy infantry units held spears with their large frames, and a yellow, lightly-equipped unit had bows at the ready. It was a large-scaled military force.

The orc army marched on as if to destroy the cliff. It was a large army, but in the end it was no more than a single sub-battalion of an orc tribe called Hexa. No subordinates or kin of Queen Ghul Dodon were to be found. Bubuu Ghul Kaibadge, the orc Commander-In-Chief boasting of excellent military experience and achievements, wasn’t among them either.

The orcs had conflicts with all kinds of powers on the surface and in the underground. All for the sake of making their clans prosper and protecting their central pillar, the queen. The powers opposing them included the military forces of the Tree Apparition King who were skilled in winning their enemies over, the 12 founding vampire families, stray progenitors, the queen of the big ants who built their nest in the Bewitching Valaydaz Palace, the whimsical Death Butterfly people, a great variety of goblin tribes and monsters in the Sea of Trees, a part of the ancient gods including underground gods, demons related to the Spirit World, the warrior troops of the divine domain such as the Bu family, and other powers such as the human adventurers.

“――Got it, Catiza. Please give us your orders, Commander-In-Chief Quiche.” Helme asked with a bloodcurdling tone.

She respectfully addressed the green-haired Quiche with Commander-In-Chief. Just as her polite phrasing suggested, Helme had been moving in accordance with Shuuya’s order. Except for matters related to butts, of course.

Usually she showed her respect to Quiche like this, and always maintained an obedient attitude towards her.

“Spirit-sama…”

However, Quiche couldn’t help but mutter this word while breathing a heavy sigh.

Yes…spirits were sacred for her. No records about this were left from the era of the Ancient Great Empire Befaritz, but even in the history of the old nobles of Quiche’s elven clan, it was extremely rare to to see a spirit as a visible entity, not through the use of some special magic tool or rituals as intermediary. Moreover, one possessing a clear personality on top of actually serving a master. You could describe such a being, in a certain sense, as divine.

Quiche thought back on her conversations with Helme.

 

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――I’ve been called “Major Quiche, Commander-In-Chief, and Minister of Defense” by Spirit-sama.

At first I refused such titles, but…

“What are you talking about? His Excellency’s words are absolute, you know? His Excellency started with 『I love the word major』 and then added, 『I’ve liked it for a very long time now』…then said, 『The net is vast』, just to continue with 『Life-forms born in the sea of information are possible in this world as well』 and 『Not to mention, space, yes, from macro to micro…』. I got confused since I didn’t understand the meaning behind the last ones, but he said all this enthusiastically as if in a trance. And, the precious, beautiful elven woman on His Excellency’s mind is you…do you truly understand what this means?” 1

I was chided by Spirit-sama.

And then, she added, “…It’s difficult to ascertain as of yet, but you might be eventually added to His Excellency’s dear circle of blood family. It’s one of my own, indispensable ambitions as well.”

“Blood family? Ambitions?”

“Yes, the Holy Lucival Empire. Based on my aim to found such a nation, you might be a person who could become a valuable asset――”

Is Spirit-sama implicitly telling me with blood family to marry Shuuya? I don’t know since my comprehension can’t keep up with her. The chest of Spirit-sama, who has started to talk about many incomprehensible things at some point, is quite big.

Her gestures as she walks while dancing left and right give me the impression that each single one has some special meaning. I keep agreeing with her, naturally and without even meaning to do so. Moreover, each time her big breasts sway, they draw the attention of the children.

I think Spirit-sama is overflowing with natural charm.

The boys especially reacted to her strongly…their appearance as they ran off to the toilet while holding their nether region…

From an educational viewpoint, I don’t think it’s overly good for them to experience something like this, but somehow I couldn’t quite speak up after seeing water gush out from the nipples on her voluptuous breasts. Thus I gave up on warning them. As expected, it must be because she’s Spirit-sama that I felt a holy grace, going far beyond lowly obscenity, from her behavior.

Moreover, a nice aroma is being released from the blue and bluish-black leaves all over her body. It’s different from high-quality wine. It’s something with a fruity aroma I’ve never smelled before…

It’s not like I got charmed by Spirit-sama’s scent and beautiful appearance, but…without me realizing, I fell under the influence of her energetic and cheerful dancing.

Right now I’m having her teach the children together with me. The Burning Knights are nearby, too. They’re noisily clamoring, “Your Excellencyyy, Spirit-sama’s dance is too complicated,” as they try to join the dance while moving their swords and shields, but in the middle of that, they unnaturally stop moving.

“It’s too sophisticated for us…”

“I can hear creaking from my hip bones.”

“It’s dangerous. We were almost sent back to the Spirit World, Zemetas.”

“We’ve been entrusted with the mission to defend this village, so we cannot afford to go back yet.”

Solemnly declaring such things, they suddenly begin to fight each other. On top of the Burning Knights being strong, their weapons are powerful as well, albeit I forgot their names.

Won’t you be sent back to Spirit World if you get tattered during their little duel? is what I wanted to ask them, but the faces of the Burning Knights were covered by unique helms adorned with skulls. And the flames dwelling in their eyes totally give me the impression that they’re angry.

To be honest, I didn’t say anything because they’re scary. Furthermore, them screaming while releasing thick red and black smoke from parts of their big armor, which might be made out of bones or steel for all I know, makes them even scarier.

However, they are popular with the children for some weird reason.

“You’re going to train <Throwing> by tossing stones at us!”

“Villagers! It’s training to deal with the orcs! Though it’s going to be shield training for us at the same time.”

“Yaaay! They say it’s fine to defeat puff-puff knights~!”

“I’m going to take down the black bone head~!”

The children played around by throwing stones at the Burning Knights while running around and squealing. In the meantime, I received lessons in Spirit-sama’s dance.

The teaching afterwards covered a lot of topics. But, all of them were quite difficult.

“Quiche, 『acquaintancesbutt love』 is important. You have to do your best in the future.”

My heart throbbed from Spirit-sama’s expression as she said this while tinkling her long eyelashes.

And then, in the afternoon of the day I’ve received lessons in dancing together with the children, Spirit-sama said with an unusually serious expression while adopting a unique pose, “…Quiche, you have a magnificent butt. I can feel a lot of potential from it.”

“Is that so…?”

Usually she’s harsh when teaching, but today I got praised by her.

“Whaaa~ How nice. Your butt got praised by Spirit-sama~”

“Spirit-sama~~ What about me~~?”

“I’ve done my best as well, you know!”

“I’d like to have some delicious water.”

“Ah, me too!”

The children seem to love Spirit-sama. They’re always begging her for the water coming out of her breasts and fingers, saying that it tastes wonderful.

“Fufu, I shall give you some water later on. But, your dancing still needs a lot of work. It’s important for you to eat well and grow up big.”

“Oki~~”

“I’m an adult already! I mean, just the other day my hair has grown out at my pee-pee!”

“Ugh, too much information!”

Ahaha, they’re truly energetic children.

“――Come on, Spirit-sama’s teaching period is over. It’s time for you to grind the nuts now, right?”

“Yeees.”

“Quiche-neechan, I’m going to gather the leaves!”

“Got it.”

The children run over to the place where we’ve piled up jute bags full of nuts. They’re already familiar with arranging the mortar plates and side plates on the table.

“…Sorry, Spirit-sama.” I turn my eyes to her, and apologize for the children’s disrespectful behavior.

“Don’t worry. I look forward to the future growth of the lively children. But, for now it’s not clear whether I’ll be able to recommend them as His Excellency’s subordinates…I’ve also heard from him that the number of spots for <Servant Leaders> are limited.”

“You don’t need to recommend them to begin with. The most important is them being lively and healthy. But, Spirit-sama, you mean Shuuya with Excellency, don’t you?”

“…Why are you asking something so obvious? His Excellency is His Excellency. I’d like you to show more respect to His Excellency as well, Quiche.”

Of course, I knew. From the term blood family…from Shuuya being called His Excellency…and from how he summoned Spirit-sama, Catiza-dono, and the Burning Knights. But, hearing it clearly out of Spirit-sama’s mouth…

Just how far did you climb…in this short time, Shuuya?

I understood that he was an amazing man from his great efforts during the Evil Dragon King battle with his partner Rollo. But, for him to have a Spirit-sama obey him…he’s exceeded my imaginations by far.

Still, the friend I’ve got to know, Shuuya, hasn’t changed. He hugged me during our reunion. And he immediately went our to rescue Arry and Taack…

That’s Shuuya’s way of life. My friend Shuuya – a gentle and affectionate man.

He hasn’t changed at all from the time when we fought the Evil Dragon King together. …I know that it’s the same Shuuya who kissed me back then when we parted from each other. My precious friend. My friend with whom I exchanged love. I want to see him…

“…Of course I respect him. He’s my cherished, important friend.”

I hold back the tears.

“Fufu, you’re tearing up, aren’t you? But, I sense a deep meaning from the term ‘friend’. It contains some kind of implication, doesn’t it?”

It looks like I’ve been crying.

“…I can infer that you have a special kind of relationship with His Excellency. It’s extremely enviable… But, at the same time it’s something important for the Holy Lucival Empire His Excellency is going to build in the future. As a being who can shoulder the responsibility to unify and control the elven clans who will likely fall under His Excellency’s rule sooner or later…”

“You’ve been mentioning it before as well, but what’s this about a unification of the elves? And empire means…”

“Yep, it’s something in the distant future as of yet. It simply means that you might become a great, crown-wearing elf who will be known by the name ‘Green Sword Empress.'”

Shuuya wants to build a country? I’m going to govern the elven clans?

 

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The Burning Knights, riding Alray and Hueremy, gathered in front of Quiche, who reflected on the conversation she had with Helme in the past, and announced their presence. Helme, who acted like a strategist, and the Burning Knights, who looked like military commanders, had assembled in front of the highest officer in Cydale, the heavy knight elf.

“――A new great army of orcs! Minister of Defense Quiche, please give us your verdict just like the last time!”

“Adomos, don’t be so impatient. Last time we went out to scout the enemy forces, but this time it’s going to be a defensive battle. I’m sure we’ll be in charge of pursuing the fleeing enemy. Our mobility is of no use in front of the cliff.”

The Burning Knights were talking as if they were truly speaking to their lord and his strategist as military commanders. Alray and Hueremy roared as befitting felines. Hearing the dignified voice of the Burning Knights, Quiche assented.

Energy was dwelling in her jade green eyes, but also a tinge of hesitation. Quiche let her eyes wander while pondering, If we don’t deal with the orcs…, and then told the Burning Knights, “Please wait a moment,” while casting her eyes down.

“――Chief Quiche, are you alright? If you’re worrying about His Excellency, don’t do. He’s going to come back very soon.”

“Right! The heart as a demonic warrior beating in my chest tells me that His Excellency’s return is nigh.”

“I, Zemetas, agree with Adomos’ feeling. Ever since His Excellency asked, 『You guys are rather demonic warriors than Spirit World Knights, aren’t you?』…our emotions have been seething within our hearts as demonic warriors.”

“Indeed♪ They’re almost boiling over!”

Everyone had a very calm attitude despite the impending danger by the orcs.

Catiza imitating the Burning Knights is adorable. Quiche thought with a smile appearing on her face, but then shifted from a serious expression to a sorrowful one.

At that point, Quiche looked at the conspicuous mountain that looked like rock ruins between her hometown and the blue sky.

Oh gods ruling over sky and earth, use your light and valor to deliver a divine punishment against those standing in the way of Shuuya and the children! And have the orcs, who are attacking Cydale, taste your hammer of fury…!

Quiche prayed to War God Vice and Light God Lulodis in her own way. With this, the sorrow vanished from her face. The wrath of the gods burned within her eyes which swayed like special shining globes. They looked like the moon-shaped jade magatama having their origin in Sassanid Persia.

“…Protector Catiza-dono and I are going to head out in front of the cliff as vanguards. Spirit-sama, please assist us with magic from the sky and keep the situation of the whole village in sight. It might not only be orcs but also trolls. Burning Knights, I’d like you to resolutely assault upon my signal, so please stay back as rear guards for now.”

“Understood, leave the rear guard to us!”

“Okay, I’m looking forward to your charge later on, Adomos-san.”

“The teamwork with the sonrissa ― ah no, Hueremy-dono, is something I can brag about as being vividly reminiscent of a Spirit World Knight!”

Hueremy lifted her forepaws, showing off her powerfulness. Even though Adomos looked like he’d tumble off her back any moment, he held on somehow.

“…While capitalizing on the power of Alray-dono, I shall obey your orders, Minister, although I believe that it might be fun for us to break through the enemy front line at the beginning of the fight.” Zemetas asserted reassuringly

“Nyaa.”

“Nyao.”

Alray and Hueremy meowed as if to agree with the Burning Knights.

 

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The battle around the cliff continuing to Cydale lasted until evening. Immediately following the explosion of the sphere tossed into the air by Quiche, the Burning Knights headed out on their steeds to pursue the enemy. Most of the orcs were routed by the charge of the Burning Knights on their vigorous and enthusiastic mounts.

However, the battle at the place stretching out to the cliff in front of Cydale still continued. Even after the Burning Knights ran through, many orcs were still left.

Quiche skillfully used her sword to slaughter the orcs. She magnificently cut, cut, and slashed orcs. She repeatedly jumped over difficult terrain plastered with smaller cliffs. As she crossed the wide cliff top, she cast a single glare at the orcs.

And then she dealt with the orcs closing in on her with a series of diagonal slashes. Next, she coped with a group of orcs with counter attacks from a stooping position. With her longsword, which carried the momentum of her sharply stepping in with her left foot based on <Quick Charge>, she repelled an orc sword by grinding it upwards, and accelerating even further, Quiche ran past an orc while swinging her sword horizontally from the side. Right after she passed the orc, a straight line formed on its torso with blood spraying out like a shower.

Furthermore, she dealt with an orc which approached as if looming over her by thrusting out the tip of her shield, and thus pulverizing its jaw with one blow.

At that moment, another orc drew near while clearly showing its resentment.

Thereupon, the lovely elf laughed. While her green forelocks swayed, she confused the orcs with bird-like mobility you wouldn’t expect from her heavy knight appearance.

She took an approach run, and delivered a knee strike, modified by adding a twist of her body to it, into the solar plexus of the approach orc. The orc lost its balance with a pained face, and fell prostrate.

Quiche shifted to a combo movement as she had felt something soft with her knee. It was the longsword technique <Stabbing Sword – One Fire> which was performed by folding one arm compactly from the shoulder to the elbow – a sharp thrusting technique that led the point of her sword towards the throat of the fallen orc and stabbed through it.

Immediately after Quiche killed the orc by penetrating its neck, she pulled out the sword while rotating it. After carrying out another dash as if adding the sword’s rotational force to her body’s momentum, she stepped forward, and jumped high into the air. Her floating body gave one the impression that she was moving in slow motion.

She whirled the longsword upwards, making her look like a nymph with a flute in hand as you’d find them on frescos in the Grottes de Mogao.

But, Quiche’s outfit was that of a heavy knight, and not some nymph. Capitalizing on the weight of her equipment, she swung down her sword. Executing the longsword technique <Rough Noble Blade>, a technique similar to a bamboo splitter, she reaped the head of a fifth orc with her sword. That orc’s body got bisected alongside its head.

Quiche tilted her sword diagonally as she swung it down, and held up her shield so as to not get showered by the orc’s blood. And then she rotated sideways, using her toes as axis. At the same time, her sword flashed up while drawing a semicircular trajectory from below.

The naked blade, which looked like a sharp, white lapis lazuli as it continued to be wielded while pointing down, was sucked into the shin of a sixth orc, easily severing the orc’s leg just as it screamed in pain. Following that, the blade invaded the other shin as well. It was a lower sweeping slash, a new skill called <Flowing Slash>.

She wasn’t officially working as an adventurer anymore. But, it wasn’t as though she had put down her sword and retired. She had created a village, and by continuously piling up experience going far beyond what she had achieved during her time as adventurer, her swordsmanship, shield mastery, and physical abilities had visibly evolved.

“Gyaaaa――”

The orc repeatedly screamed shrilly as it collapsed after having both its legs severed diagonally. With her sharp glare, Quiche powerfully brought down her square shield on the skill of the fallen orc. The skull got crushed by the shield’s edge, silencing the screams for eternity.

The female heavy knight crushed her enemy to death with such a grace that it sounded as if she had said 『Shut up, pig』.

Even after the last orc had died, she didn’t get careless. As if to show her wariness, she quickly got rid of the blood on her sword by swinging it sideways. Then she sheathed the blade back into the scabbard at her waist with a fast motion.

She confirmed by sight that she had returned close to the village’s gate. And then, after strengthening her look and looking around her to see whether any other orcs were lurking in the vicinity, she shifted her eyes to the sky.

“――Spirit-sama! Did the orcs retreat?” She asked with a dignified voice.

Her words were intended for Helme who was keeping an eye on the battlefield from above.

“――Yes, they ran away as if tumbling down the cliff. I shot one ice spear (icicle lance) after the other at remarkably big orcs.” Helme replied.

She possessed a perfectly clear glance befitting of a spirit, and a cool-looking eye expression. The skin across her whole body being formed out of leaves with pretty colors hadn’t changed. The blue and bluish-black leaves, which emulated a human skin and clothing, rippled. Darkness and ice cocoons with dense mana had formed at the tips of her hands. Sheets of water spray were released below her feet. Those water sprays landed on the ground below while forming all kinds of shapes such as spheres, vines, quadrangles, and plant-based puzzle rings.

It was pretty obvious that she liked botanics. While drawing plants around herself with the water sprays and adopting her prided pose, she met eyes with Quiche.

“So you can use these without chanting, huh?”

“Fufu, that’s one of the commonplace, basic abilities nowadays, you know?”

“…It’s amazing for you to call ice spears at the level of advanced class, which poured down like rain, one of the basics.”

“It’s because I have fused with His Excellency and received his mana. However, my growth is still insignificant. Having said that, results have been steadily showing――”

Helme danced around, showed Quiche her back, and touted her butt. And then, her but started to tremble repeatedly.

“…”

“…”

Quiche was confused.

Spirit-sama is doing her usual dance. She waters the plants, kills enemies, teaches the children, and this…at times, when I imitate her, she cries out very happily, “It’s a new Helme Pose!”, and teaches me kindly, but…her teaching is quite harsh. The other time she praised me for a change, though. However, I wonder whether she’s expecting me to imitate her movements just now…’ Quiche pondered-

Helme continued, wobbling her chest and butt, and declaring it as “New True Helme Pose.” She was conducting herself as if she was trying to establish a new religion.

“…Umm, that’s…”

“Hmm, the other day I felt growth from you, Quiche, but for you to not understand this…how disappointing. Your acquaintancebutt love is still lacking, isn’t it?”

“…It’s because I’m still training.”

When Quiche answered this while reflexively revealing a smile at Helme’s words…deep voice and the roars of cats thundered over from the other side of the simply-made ice and mud wall. The ones gallantly showing up were the big tigers Alray and Hueremy. Riding those two were the Burning Knights.

The mounted Burning Knights had come back from pursuing the orcs. Above their heads floated Catiza while sitting on one of her bone fish.

Catiza jumped off her fish, and while twisting her body in midair, she landed upon the wooden gate marking the beginning of Cydale.

The Burning Knights passed through that gate on their tigers, returning to Quiche and Helme.

“――Spirit-sama~ Recently I’ve become quite skillful~~~”

Seemingly having heard the conversation between Quiche and Helme from a distance, she danced by nimbly alternating her legs on top of the gate while making her waist wobble. And then, while twisting her body, she pulled off a Helme pose.

“Gununu! Catiza-dono’s moves! That skill is too advanced for us so we can’t imitate it…”

“It’s regrettable, Adomos… Spirit-sama’s teaching level is high. Didn’t we swear that we’d pulverize and defeat enemies with our shields and swords, and form special expressions with the enemy’s blood instead?”

The Burning Knights looked up to Catiza, and talked like two connoisseurs. Then they got off Alray and Hueremy with sluggish movements. Though, they acted like gentlemen when dismounting.

However, their expressions were those of purgatory knights that seemed to have crossed hell. Going by their looks, you’d never guess that they felt disappointed about being unable to dance despite wanting to do so.

But, Alray and Hueremy knew. They charged head-first at the massive breastplates of the Burning Knights.

“――Nyaa.”

“――Nyaoo, garururu.”

“Guooh.”

“Nuooh.”

The Burning Knights were pushed down on the ground. Their imposing breastplates were licked by big tiger tongues.

“Fufu, welcome back, Burning Knights, Catiza. You finished the pursuit as ordered by Quiche, right?” Helme asked while whirling around.

Adomos and Zemetas slowly stood up after getting licked by Alray and Hueremy.

“…Yes, Spirit-sama. In accordance with the orders of Minister of Defense Quiche, we chased the orcs down the cliff while reaping their lives.”

“As usual, we didn’t spot any trolls, though.”

The Burning Knights explained while performing a Spirit-Word-styled salute towards Quiche. The two tigers ran up the feed tray which had been prepared for them beforehand. The tray contained orc meat. That meat seemed to be a real treat for the two.

“…Once again with the minister of defense or Commander-In-Chief…” Quiche muttered unhappily after returning her look to the Burning Knights from following the tigers with her eyes.

“This will not do. His Excellency has strictly ordered us to follow your instructions, Quiche-dono.”

“Yes! It is the command sole, steadfast, great Excellency, so this makes you the Commander-In-Chief of this base at present, Quiche-dono.”

“Yes♪! Chief Quiche-sama~♪ Please watch~”

Catiza imitated the Burning Knights, and in the next instant, orc heads were spat out of the mouths of several bone fish. However, those had transformed into melted meat clusters as if having decayed.

“I did my best! Praise me~, Chief Quiche-sama~~”

“Y-You did splendidly…”

Despite her face cramping up, Quiche tried her best to smile at the happiness of the cute girl and gave her some praise, but without any confidence.

…Kuh, the stench…what’s going with those bone fish… Besides, they’re scary. Her silver hair is also scary as it moves and changes its shape!

Quiche was filled with nothing but dread. Thus, so as to pull herself together, she shook her head, making her hair sway.

“…Still, because of you guy’s great efforts, Cydale was protected from the orc army. Moreover, it’s worrying how big the orcs have grown in number lately.”

“It is all because of your orders, Commander-In-Chief-dono.”

“It is just as he says, Minister! Your instructions were very accurate. Your handling of us as cavalry was superb as well!”

“Aye♪ Instructions are important…maybe?”

Hearing the words of Burning Knights and Catiza, Quiche reminisced once again.

 

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As expected, I can’t get used to those titles of Commander-In-Chief and Minister of Defense. However, right now I’m the village chief, so I do have responsibility. I’m still not used to the weight of my responsibilities and words, but I’ve no choice but to accept it for what it is.

The reconstruction of my home…Cydale is still not finished.

At that point, I looked up to the mountain in the village. It’s a part of the gorge continuing from the Baldok Mountains.

This mountain isn’t an ordinary mountain. Scratches are left in the area, which consists of black and white, thin rock formations, located close to the base of the summit. They are marks of the Evil Dragon King. And also proof that Hadelrend Village was erased alongside the mountain.

Its claws…smashed the 『Bees’ Twilight Rockface』 which was my clan’s symbol. Even the rock, which had the same crest carved in as the bee mark – a proof of clan members ship – on my cheek has collapsed by now, and is getting gradually destroyed by nature. It’s so buried that it looks like a pile or rock debris by now.

However, there’s still a number of cave holes, not necessarily remnants, but places that are similar to what you can find in the Bewitching Palace. I’m sure it’ll be possible to find an underground tunnel leading to the Pel-Heka-Line and the corridors of Hadelrend beneath those caves. A tunnel connected to Hadelrend’s sanctuary should certainly exist beyond that as well.

Of course I warned the children since it’s dangerous, unlike the holes of normal caves. Because I knew that Taack was eager to enter that place, I severely scolded him.

And each time I look up to the night sky…the faces of my family, who lived in Hadelrend together with me, surfaces in my mind…

My Dad, Kidd, my Mum, Shumi, my big brother, Stran, my little sister, Rush, and the baby Ratshumi…Aunty Shud, the gentle Gramps Abb, and my friend Mitten who cultivated grapes for my sake.

The only one alive in my family…is me. I know only very few among the other survivors. I don’t want to remember that annoying guy.

My past always follows me around. But, Shuuya saved me…without asking anything about my past. He killed the killer of my family, the Evil Dragon King, for me. He defeated it for me. My precious friend…took revenge for me.

Shuuya…

Since meeting you again…I cannot suppress the wish of wanting to see you as soon as possible.

…My partner who vowed under the stars of Cydale. You’ve become a legend, and I was able to reunite with my friend…I’m so happy.

I want to see you. No, I’m responsible for the village! Get a grip, me!

For me to think about my friend Shuuya more than about Arry and Taack as their foster mother… However, it’s not like I’m thinking about him because I recalled my lost family…

I’m anxious. Having vowed under the stars of Cydale bears yet another meaning… I believe I understand Shuuya’s strength, but…

Shuuya followed the children to such a dangerous place. I’m worried about him, but…I’ll believe in him. If it’s my friend Shuuya, he’ll definitely find and rescue Arry and Taack for me.

 

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At that moment, Helme suddenly pointed her eyes in the direction outside the village.

“This is yet another orc presence――” Helme flew up into the sky again.

“Sparkle――”

After moving slowly, Catiza extended the nails from both her hands, stabbing them into the ground, and while taking her bone fish along, she made her body float and moved atop the gate.

“This time it’s a conspicuously big orc presence.”

“――You’re right, Spirit-sama. Is it a huge orc that’s eating the corpses of its kin over there?”

Helme and Catiza talked.

“Oh, this sensation is aahn! I shall go ahead! Fufu~”

“Spirit-sama?”

Helme revealed an overjoyed expression she hadn’t shown so far, speaking with an ecstatic voice. And then she left while flying in the exact direction where the huge orc is eating its kin’s corpses.

What’s going on? Quiche wondered. Did Spirit-sama notice an unknown enemy with her unique senses? Did she sense something from a monster inhabiting the Sea of trees? No, Spirit-sama was laughing just now. The captivating smile so far has changed into one that made me feel an astonishingly beautiful divinity.

Since the sheet of water spray scattered from her feet also changed into the shapes of hearts… Is it possibly…


 

 


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Translation Notes:

  1. The quotes sound like a reference to Ghost in the Shell, which reminds me….I’ve got to rewatch that series again…one of the best anime ever made.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: The Spearmaster and the Black Cat – Chapter 348: Cydale and Quiche’s Past »

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