Chapter 61: Pleasant Flute Player
We went up the long staircase illuminated by the magical stones, soon I saw a wooden board right above my head. If I opened the board, it would probably lead to the floor of an abandoned house.
However, just before exiting, Seiya put his hand on the wall in the middle of the stairs.
「Eh? What are you doing? 」
Suddenly, without a sound, a large cavity appeared in the soil-based wall!
While I was astonished, Seiya stepped inside.
「Se…Seiya!? Wait!! 」
I also went inside the cavity. Seiya took some magical stones out of the tool bag and illuminated the cavity.
It was a strange sight. The cavity itself was a very narrow space. It felt tight with just the two of us. But, when Seiya walked towards the front wall of the cavity, the wall transformed and created a new cavity. After I walked a while inside the continuous forming cavity, the place where I was until a while ago, closed and was gone. It was unlike digging a hole, because the soil moved along as we walked further inside.
「Amazing…! Is this Earth Magic? 」
「It’s “Cave Along”. It’s possible to move freely inside the soil of the underground. 」
Seiya advanced through the underground while speaking with a lower voice. But, eventually, he slowed down.
「Currently, we are located around the abandoned house. We are about one meter below the ground.」
「Eh, I see… 」
Why was he suddenly doing this?…When I tried to ask him, he stopped and shook his head silently. He pointed overhead with his index finger.
When I looked overhead at the clay wall lit by the magical stones, I heard a muffed voice.
「…Do you think that the hero and the others came to this abandoned house?」
「…Yeah. I heard reports of people disappearing near the abandoned house.」
I had no doubts. The muffed voices were from beast men. We hid the sound of our breaths and listened closely to their conversation.
「But. We didn’t find any humans the other time we investigated the abandoned house, am I right?」
「Of course, there won’t be any humans inside. Lord Bunogeos says that some humans are capable of using magic of earth attributes. Even if they hid underground, there won’t be a way to find them. It seems that the entrance can be open only if a human uses that magic.」
「Then, does that mean that the hero is hiding with them? 」
「We didn’t search the ground properly yet. I’m sure he’s here. 」
And then, the beast men laughed in a crazily manner.
「I will kill him once I find it! 」
「Yeah, its hero hunting! 」
When the conversation was over, Seiya proceeded walking silently through the soil. He looked at me and nodded in silence. It seemed that it was okay to speak.
「Hey, listen! We’re being targeted! 」
「It’s not surprising. We fled in the middle of the fight. Bunogeos must feel insulted right now. It’s only natural for him to be looking for us with bloody intentions.」
「I was speaking about the beast men…They knew that someone like Eich was using Earth Magic as a mechanism to create an escape route under the floor of the abandoned house. They seemed to figure that magic only appears when a human uses it, just what happened with the staircase that led to the settlement of the Light of Hope…」
「What about it? 」
「That’s obvious! It means that the enemy will surveillance the abandoned houses! How can we go back?」
「Of course, I expected that to happen. That’s why we prepared good amount of food and magical stones in advance.」
「EH!? Does that mean we’re going to spend time in a man-made cave!? 」
「That’s what it means, basically. I would like to warn you that, even though we’re underground, we’re going to be surrounded by beast men from above the ground. Some of them have better hearing than others. You should avoid making noise unnecessarily. 」
「I…I understand. 」
I felt nervous about this situation, but I tried my best to answer with a lower tone. Nevertheless, at the same time, I was nervous in a completely different way.
What was this!? Were we alone in such a narrow place under the faint light…!? This was a great chance to regain his affection for me!! But, who knew that an adult development was coming this fast!? AHHH!!
In the midst of my excitement, Seiya put his hand on the soil of the wall.
「…What are you doing? 」
「I’m checking to see if there are any signs of beast men around here. 」
Then, Seiya stared at me face.
「Lista. You said you wanted to help me, didn’t you? 」
「Ye…Yes! That’s right… 」
Suddenly, Seiya bent down and grabbed my ankles! Seiya’s face slowly approached my lower body part!
Oh…Oh gosh!! What’s this!? What was he trying to do!? Don’t tell me that…no, he can’t…he isn’t allowed to do naughty things to a goddess!! But…It’s not like it was a bad thing to be honest!! Rather, I didn’t mind that at all!! Yes, please take the whole thing off!! I’ll gladly give you my everything!!
Yet, the next moment, I noticed that my body floated in the air!
Seiya grabbed my ankles with a firm grip, and with his strength, he lifted me “very high”! Inevitably, my face approached the top wall made of clay in an instant!
However…There was no shock of impact, as I feared. Surprisingly, it was a soft sensation as if my face thrust into water. And then…
I could see a purple sky right in front of my eyes! I was able to see the open space with a 360° rotation view! There was a sight of a desolate town! In addition, I could see the dog-faced and cat-faced beast men from the other side!
How…My head was stuck on the ground!
Whoa!? Wha…What the hell was this!????
I was on the verge of panic, because my head was dragged into the top of the ground!
*yells with anxiety*
My body trembled unceasingly with fear inside the narrow cave, yet Seiya spoke as if he didn’t heard my excruciating screams.
「Hey, how is it? Are there any beast men around here? 」
「Eh, yes…I’m not sure if I saw them correctly, but I could see two of them around here…eh, wait a minute!! I’m not a “periscope”*!! What are you planning to do with this!! 」
「You said you wanted to help, right? I wanted to secure our safety in advance. If it’s not safe, then I would have to pull you out of there immediately …Okay. Well then, pay careful attention now because as I’ll push us higher than this.」
When Seiya released the Cave Along, out bodies rose up and slowly surfaced to the top of the ground.
As soon as we emerged, Seiya looked at our surroundings. He found a shadowy spot and quickly ran towards that direction. From there, he listened the conversation between the two beast men. I could hear a beast man’s voice on my ears.
「This hero hunting it’s tedious and frustrating as hell, meow. When I get home, I’ll eat my house slave to relieve my frustration, meow.」
The dog-faced beast man frowned upon hearing the words of the cat-faced beast man.
「Hey, hey. Did you forget that it’s forbidden to eat humans in this town? 」
「But, it’s rumored that Lord Bunogeos is eating humans in secret, meow. There’s nothing to worry about, meow. Besides, we’re in the middle of a hero hunting. Nobody will care if one or two slaves are gone during this time, meow.」
「I guess you’re right. Then, how about you share half of that human with me?」
「It can’t be helped, meow. I shall go now to prepare our feast, meow. 」
I whispered on Seiya’s ears.
「Se…Seiya! The slaves are going to be killed! 」
「Don’t panic. 」
Seiya took a shining elongated silver object from his chest.
「I’ll blow this flute now. 」
「Ah…This is not the right time to blow some flute, don’t you think!? People are going to be killed, you know!?」
However, I realized something. The flute that Seiya had on his hands was not of an ordinary design. There was only a hole at the tip and at the end. There were no holes on the side like ordinary flutes.
Seiya crouched down and tried to pick a bit of soil below his feet. He rolled the soil with his fingers to knead the clay.
「Wha…What are you doing…? 」
「I’m fixing this soil with magic. In addition, I’m getting this streamlined to eliminate air resistance.」
Then, I noticed an elongated and pointy object on Seiya’s hands.
…It…It looked like a bullet of a gun that existed on Seiya’s original world…It was so similar that it resembled a riffle’s bullet…!
Seiya put it on the tip of the flute. And, he looked at the beast men standing a dozen meters ahead from us with a sharp eye.
「I lost many skills and magical techniques when I gave up on being the Magic Warrior. But, I learnt new skills to replace them. I have the “Tough Lung” skill, the “Continuous Whistling” skill; among others…I consolidated all of those skills as a Pleasant Flute Player into this blowing attack…」
Then, he placed the silver flute onto his mouth.
「Take this…“Burst Air”…! 」
In a second…
I heard a dry sound.
…I didn’t know what happened. However, when I saw the front of the flute, on which Seiya put his mouth in, I got speechless.
The head of the cat-faced beast man, who was talking happily about his upcoming feast, disappeared without a trace!
The dog-faced beast man, who noticed that the above of the neck of his fellow companion, his head was missing, said an idiotic remark.
「Ah, what? What happened to your head? 」
Nonetheless, before realizing the seriousness of the situation…
Again, a dry sound was heard, and the head disappeared from the neck of the dog-faced beast man! Black blood overflowed continuously from the necks, and the two headless corpses fell to the ground at the same time!
I was terrified by the dreadful spectacle that happened just now.
No. This wasn’t how a “Pleasant Flute Player” was supposed to act!!
「Se…Seiya!! What’s that!? Isn’t that a flute!? 」
「It’s more like a blowgun than a flute. I used your hair to synthesize it last night, just like the way I did with the Platinum Sword before. It’s called a “Platinum Blowgun”, which increases the durability and also creates a deafening sound at the time of firing.」
「Platinum Blowgun…!! 」
Seiya didn’t give me enough time to make a fuss. He went immediately to the beast men he defeated without paying much attention to the surroundings.
「What are you doing? What if they see us? 」
「It’s certainly better not be here. But, I still have to clean-up this properly.」
「H…Here he goes again with his cleaning…! Even so, I think they’re already dead by now…!」
「No. The beast men might resurrect from powers that are unimaginable to the human mind. I can’t be reassured just by destroying the head. I have to completely destroy them.」
「But, you can’t use Hell’s Fire anymore, right? 」
「I know that. I will annihilate them safely and quickly with my new magic. 」
「What are you going to do this time? 」
「Do you want to know? Okay, let me tell you. 」
Suddenly, Seiya put his hand on my head. On this precisely moment…
My body sank to the ground! When I tried to grasp the reality of my situation, I noticed that Seiya’s ankles were right in front of me! After all, only my head was stuck outside of the ground!
「What on earth are you trying to do!! 」
I was angry and yelled at my current situation because I couldn’t move an inch. However, Seiya remained calm as usual.
「I have activated my Earth Magic with the intention to completely bury you alive. But, as you can see, only your head remained above the ground. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m not very skilled at using Earth Magic yet. So, unfortunately I can only sink you down to this level right now.」
「How dare you say something dreadful like that!? Does sinking me have any sort of a different meaning!?」
「Listen to me. You don’t have any particular “Earth Magic resistance”. However, you have some magical tolerance because of your existence as a living organism. That’s why you didn’t completely sink into the ground.」
After that, Seiya touched the headless bodies of the two beast men.
「“Endless Fall”…! 」
Soon, the two beast men swallowed into the ground and disappeared completely!
Un…Unlike me, their bodies were sunk entirely!? Ah…I see!! Their magic resistance was zero because they were dead!! There’s where Earth Magic shows its full potential!!
「How deep did they sink to? Ten meters? 」
「No, way more. I don’t know if there are thousands of kilometers to the core of this planet, but I sunk them further down anyways. If this goes well, they should be completely annihilated by the ultra-high temperature and ultra-high pressure generated by approaching the central nucleus of this planet.」
「Did you sunk dead bodies for thousands of kilometers in depth!? Isn’t that too much!?」
「I would feel more secure if I could see their annihilation before my eyes. But, unfortunately, I can’t do that. Or I’ll get annihilated in the process as well.」
Of…Of course you would get annihilated…! How could this person talk things like this with a bored expression…!
In a way, he substituted the burning of Hell’s Fire with something equally frightening…
「Hey! I heard something! 」
「This way! 」
It were the voices of new beast men!
「It’s bad, Seiya! We have to run away…eh, wait!! I’m still buried from my neck down, don’t you see!?」
「Don’t worry. We’re going to dive in. 」
Seiya immediately activated the Cave Along! My face, which was at the top of the ground, was abruptly swallowed inside the dirt and I dived below the ground!
I fell into a narrow cave. Suddenly, I felt that I was going to be splashed with water, but Seiya took out the magical stones straightaway and lit the inside of the cavity.
「Okay. We moved to a safe place. I’ll shoot the beast men again from here.」
As I followed Seiya around, I asked him fearfully.
「Li…Listen, Seiya. What is your overall plan for this? 」
「I already told you that I would free this town from Bunogeos’ rule. After capturing targets with Cave Along, I’ll perform a mid-range fire using Burst Air from a safe position to reduce the enemy’s strength. In other words…」
The hero’s eyes were crazy sharp even in the dark.
「It’s beast hunting. 」
*An apparatus consisting of a tube attached to a set of mirrors or prisms, by which an observer (typically in a submerged submarine or behind a high obstacle) can see things that are otherwise out of sight.
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