I look at the vicinity of the port without minding them.
I can actually feel that it’s a city at a lake from the scent of water hanging in the air…
The shapes of the ships anchored at the port resemble the shapes of the ones I saw in Hekatrail and Holkerbaum, but there are many undersized fishing boats.
I wonder where I can find a temple-like building…
Shall I move to the top of a slightly high building?
I will also give the guys, who are following me the slip if I do that.
Running towards the shadow of a building, I confirm my surroundings while close to the wall which was jagged and angular.
I check whether there are any onlookers. After I confirm that there isn’t anyone, I climb on the roof while making use of drain carvings located at the windows and pillars, window-sills and lintel protrusions.
Right after I reached the roof, the guys, who chased me, showed their figures on the road below.
Going by their appearance they are either adventurers or those who prepared appropriate equipment.
Turning their heads left and right restlessly, they seem to search for me desperately.
What’s their objective? Is it because I showed my item box?
If it’s that what they are looking for… they appear to be a bit too persistent.
However, I will leave them alone for now.
While stretching myself carefreely, I look at the panoramic view of the port as I hold up my hand over my head and walk on the roof.
— Is it that building? Or rather, that’s probably it.
I can observe a great number of people climbing what appears to be a long stairway at the left edge of the wharf.
There was a temple-like building, which was made out of cut-out limestone, at the top of the stairway.
Let’s try going over there.
Running on the roof, I jump over it as if crossing a rectangular stone vaulting horse and grab a rod, on which laundry is drying, to use for sliding down.
I jump over to the neighbouring stone roof and land with a roll.
I cross over obstacles with a fixed rhythm as if performing dance steps.
I recall the artistic group movements in France.
As if I turned into a performer of Yamakasi* in a parkour. (T/N: A france group organized by practitioners of parkours and other acrobatic techniques, according to wiki)
Furthermore, just like an achievement among samurai, I run along a thin rope which was tied to a building by using Magic Feet after lightly accumulating mana in my feet and cross over to the neighbouring roof.
I arrived on a red roof which was close to the temple.
While doing a cartwheel with no particular meaning, I move on top of its roof.
On the roof in front of my eyes, after finishing the rotation, a long and thin board like the perch of a falcon, enters my field of vision.
Since I got slightly interested… I proceed forward, walking towards the thin and long board.
The landscape is great. I’m watching the town with an overhead view.
And, just below me, I can see that there’s a carriage filled with straw.
It’s that, isn’t it? A sign that I have to jump down from here, right?
It’s not bungee jumping, but… jumping down?
“Rollo, hold onto me. Pretty much prepare for an impact after we fall down below.” (Shuuya)
For the time being I give a warning to Rollo who has moved from the hood to my shoulder.
I jump down from the wooden tip, which protruded out from the roof, while simulating the wings of a falcon with both arms—.
It’s a swoop down towards the straw-loaded carriage located on the ground.
I felt like a high sound of *pyuu* could be heard alongside a sensation of my nether region shrinking with a *kyun*.
I safely plunge into the straw after turning my back towards it.
Is it because the cushioning nature of straw is excellent?
I remember Assassin’s Cree○. (T/N: Not sure why the author bothers to censor it at this point, neither do I get the reference as I had never anything to do with Assassin’s Creed – Marco: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFfT3svTn_w)
Rollo is safe as well.
Was she uneasy? She landed and extended her tentacles into the straw in front of her.
“Rollo, we are going to the temple. Will you return into the hood?” (Shuuya)
Rollo, who is crawling around inside the straw, transforms into a black panther.
She gets off the wagon while using her tentacles and forepaws.
I swiftly spring up in order to fling away the straw, too. Then I escaped from the wagon.
I can see that there’s a stone corner ahead of a gap in the alley.
Approaching that corner by running, I kicked the clean stone floor to the extent of causing a squeaking sound with my feet and arrived in front of the temple’s stairs once I went around the corner.
When I turn my sight towards the top of the stairs which have a shape similar to the character U, I can plainly see the temple’s outward appearance.
It’s pure white with the presence of an old church.
The building’s material isn’t limestone, but close to coarse marble with a Greek meander pattern. (T/N: https://ameblo.jp/pancada/entry-11458827122.html, first picture)
It’s an arabesque pattern typically displayed on the outer side of Japanese ramen bowls.
Were those symbols of authority in ancient China?
Even while I’m pondering about such stuff, a lot of people are coming and going on the stairs.
Female adventurers who wear light green platoks, merchants wearing shoes which had gold-inlay soles, elder women who wear skirts wrapped around their body in the old style and who can be considered as vagrants, youths which are dressed in brand new cotton clothes and elder people who wore woollen caftans… as might be expected from a temple, there are also many people, most likely believers, covering their bodies with light blue robes which are open at the front.
A mix of those people go up the long, white stairs.
Ahead, once I climbed the stairs, I was greeted by an arched entrance.
Together with many men and women I advance inside by passing through the arched gate.
Inside, a narrow, vertical hallway continues onwards, but the dome is high… Many marble pillars supporting the ceiling are lined up along the left and right side of the hallway.
At the end of the hallway there was yet another arched entrance.
I proceed inside by going through that entrance.
From there on the number of people, who had a believer-like appearance, increased.
They have layered the light blue clothes with a blue gown.
I don’t see any elves.
This place is within the sphere of influence of the【Religious State Hesliphat】 after all.
Heading down a passage, I came out at a drafty, large hall.
The form is certainly that of a church which serves as temple.
Various large and small candlestands have been set up along the wall and corners of the hall as if paying attention to symmetry. With plenty of fires lit, the candles are a source of bright light.
The vicinity is filled with the sounds of bells and beautiful singing.
It was dignified, but it made me feel strangely as if I was being invited into heaven by the timbre of a boy’s soprano, gushing forth like the water from inside a spring.
Even Rollo on my shoulder, shuts her eyes. She looks as if she’s attentively listening to the singing voices. Though she might also be just asleep.
My gaze is naturally drawn to the tunes which can be heard.
There’s a place similar to a tiered gallery on the left side. There was a choir of boys and girls standing on the platform wearing blue garments. Along with the choir, there was also a group holding iron pipe instruments in their hands.
Although the boy with the soprano is still small in stature, he’s singing at the top of his voice with all his might.
Is that soprano granted for a short time by god?
Once his voice breaks, he will shift to alto, I guess?
The motions of the conductor’s hands resemble the movements I know of.
Are the instruments held by the children similar to handbells?
While I’m thinking about such trivial matters, the solo part of the boy finishes and it develops into a combined singing, like howling, with the altos. They carry out a transition from a melody which resembled the arias of Mendelssohn.
While savouring the wondrous piece of music, I turn my line of sight to the center.
In the middle there was a huge statue of Water Goddess Akreshys.
In the form of a woman who is holding a large water jug over her head with both hands, it’s certainly a sacred icon.
Even the the shape of her garments have been given a design certainly befitting the body of a goddess.
There are traces that water streamed from the water jug she supported with both hands. Distinct traces of water were left behind at the lower part of the statue.
However, currently there’s no water flowing out of the water jug.
Is the water, which poured out from the water jug, the spring water?
A priest-san, who wore a light blue robe, joins his hands together in front of the idol holding the water jug. He offered prayers to Water Goddess Akreshys. Various believers have gone down on their knees as well, and imitate the motions of the priest while making the sign of a cross with their fingers. They are praying with their utmost effort while pressing the fingers towards their platoks located on their foreheads.
A solemn mood drifts about as the choir’s singing voices reduce in volume in concert with the prayers of the priest-san.
However, I want to ruin this atmosphere by releasing a fart with a *puu*.
Setting aside that childish idea of a joke, I addressed the priest-san with a serious expression and without messing around.
“Umm, sorry.” (Shuuya)
“Can I receive the Spring Water of Akreshys?” (Shuuya)
“Sorry. As you can see, spring water doesn’t come out of the water jug currently.”
Did it stop after all?
“Is that so…?” (Shuuya)
“Yes. Snake Dragon Hesp has captured one of Akreshys’s idols located in the 【Forest of the Goddess】 close to 【Akreshys Lake】. The spring water of the main temple here ended up stopping.”
Snake Dragon Hesp? Are there several idols?
“Are there other idols as well?” (Shuuya)
“Yes, that’s right. In total there are six idols, but because of the power of the idols scattered about in various places, the idol, which is located in this main temple of Water Goddess Akreshys, gets supported and gives birth to the spring water from the Water Jug of the Water Goddess.”
The idols’ power, huh? So he is saying that the snake dragon is hindering that.
“Will the spring water come back if that snake dragon gets killed?” (Shuuya)
“Yes, that’s correct. We have requested its subjugation through a request in the adventurer’s guild. … However, close to seven days have already passed, but for some reason no one has been successful in subjugating it this time. Since I have heard talk that the hunt will be carried out by an alliance of adventurer clans, I think that it will be defeated soon, but… if they can’t defeat it, it might be hopeless if we don’t wait until Snake Dragon Hesp’s egg hatches.”
The power of an idol is amazing… it seems to grant an effect even to the egg of a monster.
Well, it’s an ingredient making it possible to revive the withered large tree.
It has such strange power, I guess.
“How long is the time until Snake Dragon Hesp’s egg hatches?” (Shuuya)
“It will take one year, I think…?”
“That’s long, isn’t it…?” (Shuuya)
“Yes, if it results in the spring water not coming out during that period, it will cause a heavy negative influence to not only drinking and medical treatment, but also to agriculture, the planting of medicinal plants and the production of potions.”
It has various utilities.
The spring water is an important item after all.
“That will be… terrible. If it isn’t defeated quickly, that is.” (Shuuya)
“Yes. That’s how it is, but regarding circumstances in relation to anything besides Light God-sama, we can’t hope for an ounce of support from this country. There’s no other option but relying on adventurer-sama’s. Therefore I believe a swift solution to be impossible.”
Then they can’t expect anything.
【Hesliphat】 gives the impression of a monotheism of Light God Lulodis.
Once I consider that, it’s great that this temple hasn’t been torn down.
“Indeed, I guess you are right. And, it’s about Snake Dragon Hesp, but does it always take an idol at the time of laying eggs?” (Shuuya)
“No, it’s not always. It’s only in the case it gives birth in a lake or a forest. However, if the snake dragon lays its egg close to Akreshys’ idol, it knows that the egg will turn into a strong snake dragon by absorbing the idol’s power. Therefore such a thing has happened several times in many years.”
So that’s the reason. There’s no other option but to defeat it then.
“I see, is that so? Got it. Then I will subjugate it.” (Shuuya)
“Eh? You by yourself?”
The priest-san puts on a long hat.
Was he surprised by my words? Shaking his head, that hat slipped off a bit.
“Nyaa nya.” (Rollo)
Having intently listened to the words of the priest on my shoulder, Rollo reacts as well.
If I judge by her purring, it’s probably 『I will be there as well nya』.
“You are my partner, it’s alright. I plan to accept the request at the adventurer’s guild for the time being, but you said that the clans are hunting with an alliance, right? I still don’t know whether I will associate with them.” (Shuuya)
The priest-san looks at me as if admonishing me.
“Snake Dragon Hesp is a gigantic, powerful monster. I won’t say anything bad. But it might be better if you join up with the clans if you are going to hunt the dragon.”
“Let me think about it. So, do you know any of its weak spots?” (Shuuya)
“I have heard that lightning is its weak point. However, I’m a simple priest. Since I don’t fight, I ((know)) only this much… sorry. You should get the details at the adventurer’s guild.”
“That’s right, I guess. I will head to the adventurer’s guild then. Thank you very much for especially giving me your time to answer my questions.” (Shuuya)
I bow respectfully towards the priest-san.
“No, not at all. This also Water Goddess Akreshys guidance. Please accomplish your task safely—”
The priest took out a small rod from his pocket, and started to pray while swinging it left and right.
After bowing lightly once more, I take Rollo along, and head outside the temple.
Well then, shall I try going to the adventurer’s guild?
I walk along the main street after descending the stairs.
When the guild’s building came into sight after walking on the street, I encountered those fellows who chased me a while ago.
“Rollo, get ready. I think you are aware of it, but, basically it’s in town.” (Shuuya)
“N, nya.” (Rollo)
Rollo takes action swiftly.
She runs behind the guys we encountered.
There are six of them who might be considered to have laid in wait there for me.
The leader, who held a spear, is a blonde knight with a big stature.
A medium-built, middle-aged man with two swords visible at his waist.
A small man wielding an one-handed sword and a shield.
A giant-like man who carries a halberd.
A woman with brown hair who had a small rod and wore the clothes of a magician.
A black-haired woman possessing fox-like eyes who seems to have strong character and holds a bow.
Six people in total, four men and 2 women.
Except one of them, the others don’t make mana circulate in their bodies.
It’s only the woman, whom I consider to be a magician, who is able to perceive mana.
With the six of them, they block the road in order to surround me.
“Leader’s prediction was correct after all.”
“Yea, he told us that he will probably come here sooner or later, if we keep watch here, since he’s an adventurer. As expected of leader. His predictions are excellent.”
Each of the six stated their foolish impressions.
What’s this about excellent prediction… it makes me laugh.
The knight-like man, whose head towers high due to his long neck and who wears leather clothes on his high stature, took one step in front from among that group of retards and addressed me with a composed attitude.
“You came after all, huh? It’s because we both have the same occupation as adventurers. I expected that you will come here.”
“So what about it? What’s your business with me?” (Shuuya)
“That bracelet of yours, looks quite high class.”
“Ah, that might be so?” (Shuuya)
Once I talk to him without including any emotions, the knight-styled man glares at me with his blue eyes while furrowing his golden eyebrows.
And then he pointed his spear’s tip at me.
Do these fellows know what it means to turn their weapons on someone?
This place is the main street…
Why take such action while being basked in the attention of the surroundings?
There’s probably no small numbers of guards. Do they want this this much?
“Really? Since we are drawing attention here, won’t you go into the back alley over there?”
He urges me to move by giving two or three light pushes with the spearhead.
Each of the other five people also drew their weapons.
Rollo, who is behind the adventurers makes a threatening sound.
Meeting eyes with the angry Rollo, I shake my head slightly sideways telling her “not yet.”
Rollo immediately stopped her threatening.
Well, it will be convenient if they invite me into a back alley. I decide to deliberately go along with them.
Let’s give them plenty of the return gift called “death.”
“Got it, let’s go.” (Shuuya)
“It helps that your understanding is good. Kukuku.”
What’s with that “Kukuku?” Thin lips with a skinny face.
I wonder how long he will be able to continue that faint, scornful laughter…
We advance into the back alley.
“— Here will probably be alright. Well then, please hand that bracelet over to us.”
The blond-haired Westerner, who was called leader, says with a smirking face.
… There’s no way that I will hand it over, is there?
“Haa? I don’t want to.” (Shuuya)
“Do you grasp your current situation?”
The blond-haired Westerner asked while contorting his skinny face.
“Leader, let’s finish him off. We expressly came to a place where there are no people.”
The bow-holding woman, who is behind the spear-carrying blonde man, says such thing.
Moreover, the sword-holding middle-aged man butted in.
“Youngster, hand over that bracelet quickly. It’s for your own good.”
He has already drawn his other sword from his waist. He warned me while pointing both swords at me.
Next the short, bearded man, holding a shield, turns a sharp look at me and starts to talk.
“You black-haired bastard’s attitude is quite rude. You were told to do it without delay, so do it accordingly.”
“— Leader Sauza, there are no people coming from behind.”
It seems that the halberd-carrying giant is monitoring the narrow path at the end of the back alley.
“Sauzaaa, though this youngling is refusing to hand it over, what will we do? Kill him?”
“That’s right. We won’t kill him if he hands it over obediently though.” (Sauza)
“Leader, if you order it, I will kill him? Shall I shoot?”
The fox-eyed female archer with the bobbed, black hair tried to prepare her bow.
Good grief… they are doing as they please.
Including Sauza, do they really warn someone before killing them promptly?
Let’s wait for three seconds.
“Oi, you guys. If you can’t properly judge after looking at your opponent, only death will be waiting for you, no? Since nothing has happened until now, run away obediently.” (Shuuya)
I talk to them with the intention of mercy. I wave my arm with a “shoo!”
I don’t know whether these guys will accept it obediently, but I implicitly show them “Go away somewhere.”
And silence drifts about for a short while.
“… Ahaha, how ridiculous.”
“Hahaha, you are really a rude guy. Do you intend to win against this six people?”
“Haa, it can’t be helped, there’s no other choice but to finish him off—” (Sauza)
The blonde-haired man with the high stature who was called Sauza, breathes out a sigh and turns a triumphal expression towards me.
He approached me with a battlecry while wielding the point of the spear he held in his hands.
Haa, “it can’t be helped” is my line.
I take action while thinking such idle complaint— <Throw> in an instant.
While piercing the forehead of the black-haired female archer with a dagger, and not the man who charges while holding his spear— I dashed in front with Magic Combat Feet.
I purposely challenge them to a close combat.
I will use them as guinea pigs.
The tip of the long spear, handled by Sauza, approaches my chest, but I lightly parry such long spear with my left hand.
While maintaining my magic feet, I draw the short sword, possessing a silver-blue blade, from my chest belt and swiftly slouch my entire body— this is a reference to Oze’s movements. You can even say I ripped it off him.
Leaping into the bosom of the blue-eyed, spear-carrying knight Sauza, I make use of his long neck.
“Wh-, fas—” (Sauza)
Grabbing his long neck at the base of his throat with one hand, I pull him towards myself.
While drawing the silver-blue blade of the short sword to the nape of his neck which was bent forward, I tear up Sauza’s neck by sinking the shortsword’s blade into it in order to make his neck eat a neckbreaker in the style of a half rotation.* I went around towards Sauza’s back with a horizontal rotation. (T/N: https://matome.naver.jp/odai/2143057932562741901/2143556550814955403)
Blood gushes vigorously out in a spray from Sauza’s severed carotid artery of his neck— it covers the woman, who was next to him, in the style of a shower.
The female magician, who was completely bathed in blood, screams due to the sudden event.
Since I’m standing behind Sauza after going around, I have no spurts of blood.
Oh? Is it the effect of the magic shortsword’s absorption? I get filled with vitality.
After convulsing, Sauza stopped moving.
Let’s use this guy as shield.
The dual-wielding man came to counterattack.
However, has he lost the presence of his mind? He only unleashes reckless and random sword thrusts.
His swords got stuck in the corpse of their leader Sauza which I changed into a shield.
“Oops!” is the feeling he voices out.
— I <Throw> the shortsword, which cut Sauza’s neck, in that opening.
The dual-wielding man can’t react to the quickly thrown silver-blue shortsword. He collapses to the side with the silver-blue sticking into his middle forehead with its conspicuous wrinkles.
Once it leaves my hands, it won’t absorb mana and vitality, huh?
“— What’s that? A black cat? Guaaa, hyuuu… pogooh.”
The hoarse voice of the giant, who was standing watch in the rear, resounds at that point.
The giant, who stood at the rear, became bloodstained. He fell down with a thud while holding the halberd at his chest.
It seems Rollo had defeated him by drilling her tentacle bone swords into the giant’s neck.
Meanwhile I fling Sauza, whom I used as meat shield, at the still-alive, small man who holds an one-handed sword and a shield.
“Gunuo, fuck! Move aside!”
He tries to repel the corpse of Sauza, who was his friend, with the shield he held in his left hand.
— I won’t overlook such opportunity.
Drawing close to him with my magic feet, I release a roundhouse kick from a low position in order to crush the man’s feet.
The sound of bones breaking with a *snap*, as if a baseball bat had snapped off, reaches my ears.
“Ugyaaaa, ah, my feeth are aaaaah.”
The man screamed while simultaneously enduring the pain— then trashed about on the ground.
Dropping his sword and shield on the ground, he holds his legs.
Did the woman, who was bathed in blood, recover from her state of panic? She opens her mouth while glaring at me.
“Even Aegis! This monster! Eat th—”
Shouting the name of her friend who is rolling around on the ground, she turned her upward-slanted eyes at me and I was wondering whether she will fire magic at me with her raised wand, but a thick sound reverberates.
Rollo’s tentacle bone swords pierced through the woman’s belly.
While dropping her small wand, the female magician assumes the posture of the character く, gets launched to the rear and crashes into a wall.
The woman spits out blood from her mouth due to the impact.
As if she was stitched to the wall, the woman limply hangs there.
“Rollo, nice*—” (Shuuya) (T/N: word in English)
I take the Magic Wand into my right hand while praising Rollo. I lowered the red axe blade onto the head of the man, who was lying on the ground with his legs broken, and pulverized his skull.
“— A-Aegis has… gu, gaahaa…”
Even while being crucified to the wall, the woman was still alive.
That fits just right. Let’s absorb her soul and blood after talking to her for a bit.
“Oi— what’s your name?” (Shuuya)
I slam my hand into the wall in front of her.
I closely look at the face of the woman who had Rollo’s tentacle bone swords stuck into her belly.
“Lanya, eh? Did you guys see me at that inn? What’s your true identity? Did you came attacking me with this bracelet as your objective?” (Shuuya)
While showing her the bracelet, I investigate this woman’s background.
There might still be dark guilds around this area.
“Guuh, it hurts…” (Lanya)
“If you don’t answer honestly, you will end up dying while experiencing even more pain though?” (Shuuya)
“G-Got it. I will talk. We are simple adventurers. Our goal was your bracelet. Leader said “Let’s steal it even if we have to attack and kill him” or such. Because of that we chased you…” (Lanya)
… Are they really adventurers? It seems that the quality of the adventurers around here is quite low.
There’s a world of difference to the adventurers who worked with me at the time I spent in 【Hekatrail】.
Even if they saw me possessing an item box, their thoughts of stealing it or such were non-existent. They also had looks of respect. They were adventurers who possessed the backbone called ambition that they will obtain it sooner or later as well.
The adventurers here are no different from thieves without any morale… I want to believe that it’s only by chance though.
“… H-Hey, please. Since it’s fine for you to use my body freely, release…” (Lanya)
Lanya reveals a frantic expression while buttering up to me.
Well, as the person herself told me, “let’s make free use of her body.”
“Got it. Before that, Some time ago you laughed and said “Ahaha, how ridiculous,” but is it amusing for you now as well?” (Shuuya)
“W-What are you talking about? It’s not amusing!” (Lanya)
“Oh, really—” (Shuuya)
I show a wicked smile, and once I bring my face close to kiss the woman, pretend that is, I bite the nape of the magicians neck— I drank her blood.
“Eh? Hiiiii, ah, aaaaah…” (Lanya)
Delicious. Fresh blood is tasty after all.
The woman faints and become incontinent while revealing an expression of ecstasy.
I take her soul just like that, too. The entire body of the female magician dries up completely in the blink of an eye and turns into bones. Those bones turn into dust and vanish as well.
The clothes, which were wrapped around her body, the ornaments she possessed, her backpack and her purse dropped to the ground.
It’s not like there’s a fingerprint search, but… for the time being, I cover my hands with with leather clothes and examine the bag which serves as purse.
I get 10 silver coins and 5 large copper coins from the bag.
I collect the Shortsword of Yazekapos, which I used with and rummaged through the corpses of the others.
Wiping off the blood which clung to the silver-blue blade, I put it back in my chest belt.
Once I finish the looting of the corpses, it totalled to 1 gold coin, 25 silver coins and 18 large copper coins.
That’s the monetary spoils? There are guild cards as well.
Rank D and their names were written on them, but since it doesn’t interest me, I won’t take them.
I break the cards in pieces and cast them away into a corner of the back alley.
I fought with this shortsword as main this time, but it went surprisingly well.
Regarding spear combination moves, it has a good affinity with shortswords and longswords in close combat.
That head-twisting throw is originally a technique to trap a neck by using the stick part of a spear. But, if it’s a shortsword I can cut directly. In that way ((the opponent)) will also turn into a meat shield.
The last meat shield was able to show its effect with some ad lib though.
Besides, the movements of Oze, who handled two weapons, still remained in my head.
It’s learning by imitation, but I intend to try mimicking his slight fluent movements to handle the shortsword.
Since I haven’t been able to gain any skill either, it’s probably still far too comical and clumsy if compared to my main job, but… while thinking about such things, I put away the money I retrieved.
I only put one silver coin into my chest pocket, and stored the gold coin of the rest in my item box.
“Rollo, we will go to the adventurer’s guild.” (Shuuya)
“N, nyanya.” (Rollo)
Though Rollo had applied her small tongue to a pool of blood and used it to lick up the blood, she returned to my shoulder.
After leaving the back alley, which reeked of blood, we went back to the street and headed towards the Fortona Adventurer’s Guild.