Is Saraten a goddess? Oh well, she might be a goddess or a restive horse, I’ll ignore her anyway.
I focus on <Saraten’s Secret Arts>, trying to call Saraten back into my left hand, but――
『Kuuh, thought manipulation, eh!? I won’t lose! I’m a magic swooord! Besides, I’m no cursed sword!』 1
As soon as such a bad-pun-like telepathic voice reaches me, Saraten splits by making its blade slide apart. Now it looks like a fan with multiple blade copies which overlap like a multipurpose knife. Above that fan of blades float illusions of girls clad in angel’s raiments with their figures also overlapping.
The illusionary girl has also split into several clones? Are they Saraten?
The illusions stand atop Saraten. Their movements look as if they’re regarding Saraten as a surf board. Then, just like that, they set out to ride across the sky waves while creating pretty mana trails on Saraten.
That damned sword opposes my will once again.
『Albeit inferior, blood is blood!』
Saraten with its three blades sends a telepathic message my way. And then fiercely heads straight for a nearby deer monster, just to collide with it.
Saraten pierces through the monster’s body, but far from just opening up a hole in the monster, it filets it into three parts. A thrusting attack by three sharp blades, resulting in the monster’s body, bones and all, being cleanly cut apart. However, the attack doesn’t end there.
The holy sword freely moves back and forth to the left and right, piercing, penetrating and killing deer monsters. While the sword keeps absorbing the blood sprays whirling through the air, it continues to spiral and fly around.
Once Saraten has eliminated all deer monsters within a set range after racing through it at a terrifying speed, it lets an eerie echo sound roar across the vicinity as it drains down the blood in satisfaction.
But, right now I’m in the middle of a battle. There’s still other armed soldiers of the Tree King of Wonders around. I can even see a giant-like deer monster among them. They might actually belong to the same unit of Sea of Trees spear troopers we confronted before.
I clad my whole body in Magic Combat Style as if to rally my fighting spirit once more. And after concentrating on hitting a cluster of mana into my left palm, I firmly order Saraten, “Don’t be such a pain, and get back here!”
Saraten makes its blades stand upright while trembling, apparently opposing my will.
『Gunununu』, I received as a thought. And then, after inclining towards me as if being pulled by a string, Saraten――
――doesn’t return into my left hand.
Suddenly Divine Beast Rollodeen stands in front of me.
“Garururu――” She growls and then bites into Saraten.
I can’t see it from my position, but I can also hear Puyuyu’s voice. It looks like Rollodeen has followed me after catching Puyuyu.
Once I look at the path Rollodeen took…I can see how a part of the forest has been destroyed. Trees have snapped and fallen to the sides. With things like this, this looks like a highway continuing from Cydale’s path into the Sea of Trees, doesn’t it? Since the hill road into the village is a narrow path that winds its way through a rocky area, it doesn’t change the fact of it being a perilous pass though…
――『Agyaaaaah! I’m soooorry, it was my baaaaaad!』
Saraten screams. Stuck between Rollodeen’s sharp fangs, you can hear sounds similar to grinding and crunching from it. Rollo doesn’t chew on Saraten, but the sword seems to be in quite a bit of pain nonetheless. Creating three goddesses of fate by chewing through Saraten like Amaterasu Oomikami might also be entertaining.
“…Haha, how funny. But Rollo, let go of it. So far it goes, this one is an ally of ours.”
Rollodeen opens up her muzzle, releasing Saraten, and then transforms herself into her black panther mode. Rollodeen stands out after having suddenly shown up as a huge divine beast and now having become a smaller panther.
Beginning with the orcs, the deer monsters also stop moving. The Sea of Trees becomes peaceful and silent. It’s such a silence that the divine beast’s breathing sounds awfully rough and loud.
Puyuyu, apparently riding on Rollodeen’s head, squeals in surprise, too. Quickly moving its small legs like a ninja, it nimbly runs off Rollodeen while unleashing butterflies from its wand, taking refuge on a tree.
『Alright, I’m free! I’m not acknowledged as sacred treasure for nothing!』
Saraten’s telepathic message reaches me at the same time as Puyuyu moves.
『You sure love to talk. Now be a good sword, and get back here』
『――Humph, it might have been inferior blood, but I got a fill of it. I’ll now teach thou what it means to be a sacred treas――』
At that moment, the sword is sucked into my left hand. Rollodeen seems mystified by the sword vanishing like that.
“Nn, nyaaa~” She comes up to my feet while meowing, lifts her upper body with a huff, and sniffs my left hand. She also pushes a paw against it. Once I show my palm to her, she licks it.
“…A spear user who manipulates a sword? Besides, that black beast is――” The big orc swordsman comments, and then relaxes after having apparently confirmed that the number of enemies around him has drastically dropped in number, getting rid of the blood clinging to his silver longsword with a swing.
He looks at Rollodeen, and then examines us. He’s a very calm orc.
“…The black-haired spear user and woman using water and darkness magic are allies?”
The language of the orc somewhat resembles ancient dwarvish. He sheathes his shiny longsword into the long scabbard in his hand. The instant the sword fully and smoothly glides into the scabbard, a metallic click can be heard from the sheath’s mouth.
Then he exchanges the scabbard for the conic hat on his back by affixing the scabbard to his back and taking the hat into his hand. This casual performance of sheathing his weapon and exchanging it with his hat reminds me of a samurai. It also makes me remember Yui and Kaldo.
He must be the orc the Burning Knights called an irregular swordsman. A picture of an orc face with a special, red triangle pattern on its forehead is visible on the hat in his hand.
He’s different from the skull-mask-wearing orc soldiers who are strewn across the ground as unmoving corpses.
“It’s impossible for us to have allies on this canopy-less land where thieves and cannibals are rampant…”
The voice of the flute-blowing orc belongs to a woman. I mean, she’s obviously wearing a kazuki as well… 2
“A black-haired spear user…if it’s just the usage of a red magic spear, Dean the Flame Spear of the Tree King’s spear unit comes to mind…”
“There’s no way for a strong spear user, who’s killing the troops of the Tree King, to be connected with Flame Spear and Violent Dust.”
“Then, Quema-sama, are you saying one of the humans who devour us…who are hostile to us…is an ally of the orcs?”
The swordsman calls the leader orc Quema. Quema holds out an arm with the flute in its hand.
“…Solobo, couldn’t you call him currently remaining silent without attacking us, despite being one of the humans who regard us as food, the best proof of that? Also, you’ve seen his terrifying spear mastery which would immediately remind anyone of that devilish god, haven’t you?”
“Certainly, if it’s him…he might also be able to crush the commander of the Tree King’s pursuit unit.”
“Correct. I’m also quite curious about the black beast which shrunk down, but…there’s still some of the Tree King’s soldiers left. Only very few of us remain…but, we cannot afford to disappear just like this! Until I hold Kisalame-sama’s statue and book in my hands…I’ll keep clinging to life. That’s why we’ll use them in the current situation, even if one might be a human.” Quema fervently declares with a high-pitched tone of voice.
I guess she’s got to be a woman after all.
The swordsman, Solobo, nods while trembling in excitement, apparently having been infected by Quema’s drive. He looks my way while slowly inclining his head. He’s emitting a rather rough aura.
Speaking of swordsmen, Moga has most recently become my party member…maybe he’s an even match for Solobo.
Still Quema and Solobo have talked about various things, seemingly believing that I don’t understand orcish. For now, I’ll do as they wish…
I begin to clean up the remaining troops of the Tree King of Wonders while sending an eye signal towards Helme. Receiving it, Helme lifts the corners of her mouth into a beautiful smile. And then she extends <Lapis Lazuli Flower> towards a tree’s branch, twining the strings around it. While creating several small water spray rings at her feet, she swiftly travels through the air.
Meanwhile I advance on the ground.
“Rollo, I leave the right side to you. Puyuyu, you watch from over there.”
Together with Helme, we aim at a large monster. She from the air, me from the ground. It’s a monster with a disgusting head reminiscent of a wart on a shoulder. Moreover, it possesses multiple legs and arms.
At once kicking off the ground with Magic Combat Step, I close the distance to the monster. After a <Thrust>, I unleash a low <Fang Stab>. I summon Ganghis and erase Baldok while launching a series of attacks. I summon and erase back and forth between Ganghis in my left and Baldok in my right, delivering a barrage of spear thrusts with the idea of keeping the time between the switches as small as possible.
After a few milliseconds, I crush the base of the multi-legs that are growing out of the dear head’s lower half. At the same time, Helme, who’s been moving through the air at high speed thanks to <Lapis Lazuli Flower>, makes a barrage of ice spear spells crash into the monster with the force and speed of a machine gun. The ice spears come down on the monster like a storm of hail.
However, the huge deer uses its countless, thick arms for defending, hiding its deer head. It’s still alive and kicking.
Immediately after Helme stops her barrage upon my signal, I unleash <Powerful Slash>. I’m going to sever the arms alongside the ice spears stuck in them. After readying Baldok by holding it above my head, I powerfully swing the red ax blade down. Just as I planned, the ax blade servers the huge head vertically alongside the arms and spear. Splitting into two chunks of meat, the monster collapses.
I can see how Helme continues to drill ice spears into the two, slowly falling body halves.
“Be Za-sama was ※! By the human spear user and magician who are ※※ with the orcs!”
Crooked monsters with deer heads on their shoulders, who were still alive, scream. Their words are corrupted.
“A panther is over here! The one which was previously a black beaaaaaast!”
Rollodeen sinks her fangs into the neck of a deer monster. Her sharp forepaw claws, which seem like they’ve been sharpened by a rasp, dig deeply into the monster’s torso while a thick thud is audible from the monster’s neck. In the next instant, I can hear a crunching from its neck, and the head is uprooted.
It’s not like those movements of Rollodeen, which look just like the hunting of a wild beast, are the reason, but the surviving deer monsters lose their last bits of morale. Just like the orcs have said, the huge deer monster, which Helme and I defeated, seems to have been their commander. It looks like it was called Be Za.
“Be Za, who belongs to ※ the seven ※ of Wonders, ※※ …too strong! ※ looks ※※ human, but that ※ the reincarnation of ※ Fierce God Kisa ※ me ※ handed down by the orcs?”
“That or an incarnation of the Ancient Premo ※※ King ※”
“The female ※ ? That blue hair and her magic power…it’s possible! But, Be Za-sama has died! Run ※!”
“Yeah! Run a※※aaaaaaaaay!”
“Retreat, re※※t! L※※e the orcs ※※ b※!”
The words of the Tree King’s soldiers are more corrupt than the other day. I can understand them to some extent, but the translation doesn’t keep up.
The Tree King’s troops fully withdraw. Therefore I erase Baldok for the time being, and stare at the orc called Quema.
The two eyes peeking out of her skull mask are glaring at me as if she’s trying to coerce me. It’s only natural for her to be cautious. It’s evidence of her high intelligence.
After signaling Helme with my eyes, she remains on standby in the air. I take a step towards the orcs, and after bowing, I greet them with a Hello while putting a smile on my face.
“Wh-!? Your language…” Solobo yells out in surprise.
“The likes of a human, who eats us, has bowed his head?”
Naturally, Quema is just as surprised.
“He might be scheming something…”
Solobo readies his hat, seemingly wary of me, and steps forward in order to protect Quema.
As if saying that he wouldn’t need Quema’s help, Solobo steps even further in front. She’s wearing a breastplate with a bulging chest part beneath her garment. Though I can’t quite see her head because of the skull mask.
Well, she’s going to have the face of a pig anyway, so I’m not going to get my hopes up here. I kinda want to see it and then again not.
Several pouches are affixed to her waist belt, and a long-handled spear, similar to the ones of the other orc soldiers, is visible on her back. The lower part of her legs is covered by protective leggings which form a set with the old-styled cuirass.
Quema comments, “…There are also other humans who can understand our language. But, for starters, could you tell us why a hostile human like you has saved us orcs of the 【Fierce God’s Squad】 in the first place?”
This woman appears to be rather smart. The swordsman in front of her is coldly glaring at me, however.
“The reason is simple. But, I guess I should first start with giving you our names. I’m Shuuya. A spearmaster. And the black panther currently lying at my feet is Rollodeen. The one you see above is Helme.”
Rollodeen shows off her belly, apparently not feeling cautious of the orcs in the least. She’s rubbing her back against the ground, seemingly feeling itchy. I’ve left out Puyuyu.
A “Puyu?” is audible, it’s fine for you to stay up there.
“…Yes, I’m Helme. If you orcs show any intent to attack His Excellency, I’ll butcher you in a way that makes you experience such a terrible dread that the time when you attacked the village will seem like playing around to you, so please choose your actions wisely, okay?” Helme hisses with a cold look, and amasses mana in both her hands.
Quema has seen her previous magic barrage. I can’t see her expression because of the mask, but her shoulders are trembling. It’s obvious that she’s scared.
“The language of the floating woman is dwarvish with a heavy accent? I can’t understand her.”
“Is it an underground language of sorts? It does resemble the language used by humans too…”
Quema points her bone flute at Helme. Apparently vigilant of Helme, Solobo retreats a few steps.
“Shuuya and Helme, right? My name is Quema Ghul Totokhun. Despite my small stature, I’m the one leading the orcish clan Totokhun. And just like I mentioned moments ago, I represent the 【Fierce God’s Squad】.”
“I’m the Great Orc Solobo Ghul Kaibacz, a very, very distant relative of Commander-in-Chief Kaibacz’s family…”
A very, very distant relative of the Commander-in-Chief, huh? I recall having encountered a distant relative in the Pel-Heka-Line. But, the past is just that, the past.
I look at them with calm and clear eyes as if watching the ocean during a gentle evening.
“…It’s a pleasure. Then let us talk about the reason why we rescued you. We want to know the reason why you attacked our village, and it seemed unclear whether communication with the Tree King of Wonders’s side would be possible.”
Let’s leave out the semi-transparent orc for the time being. I’ll talk politely to them, but…for the sake of showing my stance that battle is possible at all times…I adopt the Palm Law stance I’m currently learning from Kisara.
I focus on the knees and the acupuncture point below the navel, bend the left and right leg slightly forward, and stand there in a relaxed manner.
“If you’re talking about a village we attacked, it must be the village with the slightly elated mountain that contains a path to the 【Bee Formula’s Tool】, something a faction of the Hexa Ghul Gungh Clan desires…”
Quema shakes her shoulders and places a hand on her mask. Her hand’s fingers resemble those of humans.
“We had been forced to participate in a raid, but we suffered a defeat in that battle. It’s a village with a silver-haired monster…”
“…And bone knights who release smoke and are called Zemetas and Adomos…”
So he was the orc who fought Adomos and Zemetas, as expected, huh? It sounds like they also fought against Catiza.
“I see. So that’s the reason. How about you fight us here if you still aim to take down the village?”
I summon Baldok after saying so.
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