Chapter 145: Threat from the undulations of Darkness
In the end, we didn’t find any eye-catching documents in the village elder’s house.
“For nothing to turn up means that the village elder himself didn’t know why he became a demon?”
“Yes. Moreover, the sensation I felt when I slashed him gave me the feeling that he was not as strong as to the extent of the initial demon we encountered.”
” … Certainly, if he had the same strength as the first demon, we would have died nya.”
“Would it be somehow related to how his presence changed in an instant?”
“Perhaps. Tomorrow, we’ll inspect the combat ground and question the villagers. Well, it’s unlikely that we would uncover everything so if nothing comes up by noon we’ll depart for Meratoni.”
“Leave the lookout duty to me nya.”
“Luciel-sama and Lionel-sama, please rest.”
“Okay. Please wake me up if you sense anything astray, even if it is something trivial.”
After activating 「Area Barrier」, I took a nap in a vacant room.
“Before sleeping, maybe I’ll inform Pope-sama about the incident with the demon race in this village and ask Pope-sama to investigate if there’s anything out of place.”
After contacting Pope-sama with the magic communication bead, without using Angel’s Pillow, I lied down in such a way that I would be able to get up at a moment’s notice and closed my eyes.
Was it true that humans became demons? That sole question circled around my head.
My eyes naturally opened and I got up.
“What’s this out of place feeling?”
Leaving the room, I found Lionel asleep.
” … It’s impossible for Lionel to not notice me.”
To investigate the strange feeling, I applied 「Recover」 on Lionel but it was ineffective.
“Darkness Spirit? Or demon race? … I don’t want to die though.”
When I moved to the living room, the room I carried Estia to was emitting a suspicious light.
It’s honestly troublesome.
But I did decide to trust her once so I should follow my own logic.
I inspired myself in such a way and opened the door to the room Estia slept in.
” … Undulations of Darkness? Is she absorbing it?”
While Estia remained asleep on the bed, her body was absorbing and releasing a black mist that was emitting light different from miasma.
“It’s like breathing.”
Deciding that it would be bad if I suffer a surprise attack by this, I used the Hermit’s key and called Fornoir.
“Sorry but I leave it to you.”
After applying purification magic, I activated 「Area High Heal」 to recover Estia and Fornoir’s physical strength and observed the situation.
It was the second time I’ve seen Fornoir’s shining appearance emitting white light but this was the first time she looked as if she was a Pegasus to me.
It felt as if the emitted light formed light wings and golden rings could be seen around all her hoofs.
At that moment, the light was absorbed into Estia.
Finally, Fornoir’s light emission ended and she wanted to return to the Hermit’s stable.
“I don’t really understand but thank you.”
Not knowing if they have any effect, I applied 「Extra Heal」 and purification magic on her before returning her to the stable.
When I’ve sent Fornoir off and turned to Estia, the black waves had disappeared and the Darkness Spirit’s consciousness awoken.
“I thank you for calling Ane-sama, Luciel-sama. If that continued, the undulations of Darkness may have caused mental instability.”
“You’re awake … Do you know the situation you were in? I don’t know if it was done intentionally or subconsciously but the undulations of Darkness were being absorbed and released as if you were breathing?”
If the Darkness Spirit is running amok without us noticing, I felt that it would definitely be a terrible thing.
“Sorry. While using Estia’s body, I’ve never used such strong waves before so it seemed like this time, I kind of self-destructed.”
” … Please be careful. Leaving that aside, as for the demon race, did you notice at that time that instead of just one, there were also 2 others around?”
“What? There were others?”
Her reaction was slightly over-the-top but I judged that she had no merit in lying so I continued the conversation.
“Yeah. The village elder and a villager transformed into demons. It seemed like even Fornoir didn’t notice so I’m bothered by it.”
” … Ane-sama didn’t notice too? If that’s true then Luciel, you must unify all the countries or have absolute power if not the Empire will make their move.”
“Ha? Please tell it to me in an easier to understand manner.”
Leaving aside the sudden topic on the Empire, I knew that the Darkness Spirit was holding onto information that we don’t know but I was suddenly confronted with an unreasonable request.
Thinking about it normally, it would be understandable if I say that it is impossible but … so that I am not confused any further, I posed one question at a time.
“It means that there’s not much time before the Empire commences war!!”
” … How do you know that?”
” … Originally, the Empire was researching on creating a Hero. Do you know that it shifted to research on producing the power of the demon race?”
“It’s the first time I’ve heard of it.”
“Researching on creating a Hero gave good reputation but the point was that they wanted human weapons.”
It can’t be helped.
Wars aren’t the only battle so it would be fine as long as they can fight.
Even for those who gained their strength, they would once again turn to dust as the age goes by.
If that’s the case, it would be more constructive to research a method that would make the number more plentiful.
Furthermore, they can fight monsters and there are labyrinths around too …
” … Did that experiment succeed?”
“No, they could not create Heroes. I said it previously, the result of that is the cause of this time’s incident. If this is reported … wait, you said that you guys defeated all of them right?”
“Yeah. However, due to the activation of 「Sanctuary Circle」 as they were in the midst of the ritual, not only the evidence but everything was erased … ”
It would have been great if anything remained behind.
” … Then, since the experiment was a failure, the research might go on for another couple of years? If that’s the case then during that time …”
The Darkness Spirit looked at me with eyes that could pierce through me.
“Wha, what is it?”
“Luciel, if you don’t want to die, collect all the blessings.”
” … The phrasing you used refers to collecting the blessings of Spirits and Dragons?”
“That’s right. Receive the blessings of the Fire and Wind Spirits and you would reach Fluna’s foundation … ”
Maybe the Darkness Spirit reached its limit when it talked to that point as it fell asleep.
“To run out of steam at the crucial moment … why am I getting caught up in one thing after the other?”
I muttered as I stared at Estia and silently left the room.
When I opened the door, Lionel was waiting but his complexion was bad.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes. My consciousness is slightly muddy but it won’t impede my movements.”
“I wouldn’t call that okay … I’ll check on the condition of the 2 people outside.”
“I’ll come along.”
Lionel forced himself to stand up and he looked intent on it so I agreed to him coming along.
When Lionel and I left the village elder’s house, I immediately saw the 2 of them but their staggering figures were strange.
“Just to be sure.”
When I activated 「Recover」 with 「Magic Circle Chant」, the 2 of them held their weapons and charged over.
Lionel readied his Flame Greatsword and stood in front of me.
“It’s Luciel-sama and Lionel-sama nya.”
” … That startled me.”
The 2 of them fell to their knees and sat down.
“Did something happen?”
“Amazingly strong undulations of Darkness came from the direction of the village elder’s house and it caused my consciousness to become cloudy nya. I didn’t notice that it was Luciel-sama and Lionel-sama who were approaching.”
“I thought you were an enemy for using magic all of the sudden but my consciousness cleared so I halted at once.”
If the Darkness Spirit goes on a rampage, a village or a small town would easily descend into chaos.
Even though being told that fact caused me to think, the condition of their bodies took priority.
” … The Paladin squad will arrive tomorrow so we’ll remain here and search. You 2 can go take a nap first.”
The 2 of them entered the village elder’s house.
Then, Lionel glanced at me and asked.
“Did you realize something?”
“Yeah. I understood that, apparently, if we are not able to cope with the emergence of the demon race, the Empire might make their move.”
” … So it’s true … I will serve to protect only Luciel-sama.”
While feeling out-of-place as the atmosphere that Lionel gave off was different from the usual, I told him the direction we would be taking from now on.
“Yeah. Even so, we have an overwhelming lack of people so I plan to increase the number of my allies.”
” … Looks like it is going to become busy.”
“Yeah. I’ll have Lionel work too so please train yourself well.”
I don’t understand Lionel’s feelings but his expression looks like it became softer compared to before and the day gradually became bright enough to see the village’s condition.
As Lionel and I watched the village from that spot, right before the sun rose up to the sky, 3 of them including Estia came out of the village elder’s house.
“Estia, how is your body condition?”
“Yes, it is fine. I’m sorry for troubling you.”
Apart from the Darkness Spirit, there’s no problem with Estia but would it really be alright to bring Estia to Meratoni like this?
I ended up having such a thought.
I refreshed my feelings and looked at Cathy and Kefin and while the 2 of them looked normal, I asked about their condition for now before giving instructions for today.
“What about the 2 of you?”
“Complete recovery nya.”
“Very well. After we finish our meal after this, we’ll search this house one more time to look for any clues on anything that disappeared here and also ask the villagers some questions.”
After our meals, we didn’t find anything special when we searched the village elder’s house.
Even so, the demons that transformed into the village elder and the villager had often been seen talking with people from the outside.
When we investigated up to that point, the Paladin squad arrived so we handed over the scene to them and departed for Meratoni.
“It wasn’t the Valkyrie Paladin Corps nya.”
“What a pity.”
Why have Cathy and Kefin been attacking me lately?
When I asked that, Lionel looked at the 2 of them with a serious expression and asked.
“Cathy and Kefin, do you 2 want to get married?”
A bomb that shocked even me was dropped.
That abrupt remark caused the grinning faces of the 2 of them to stiffen.
” … What do you mean?”
“Luciel-sama, do you consent to the 2 of them forming a family?”
” … If they both really think so then, of course, I’ll allow it but …”
“This time, because the demon race have appeared, I don’t think that the peaceful times will last forever.”
” … I understand Lionel’s thinking but even if I release you 2 from slavery and if you 2 get married, I will still have you 2 remain as my retainers you know?”
“Of course nya.”
“I have my own dreams as well so I will be following you.”
Lionel looked at the 2 of them with an indescribable expression and then looked at me and sighed.
“I’m the one who wants to sigh. It would be difficult to immediately find replacements for the 2 of them and even if the demon race have appeared, it’s not as if the danger would strengthen all of the sudden right? Lionel, for now, you can focus on thinking about your rematch with Instructor Broad.”
” … Understood.”
After that, needless to say, due to the bomb Lionel dropped, the somewhat awkward atmosphere continued throughout the duration of the ride until we arrived at Meratoni.
Thank you for reading.