Chapter 94: Walking Disaster
Queen Carmilla was gentle towards Kiriko as she put a light brown cloak over Kiriko’s shoulder as if it were a blanket.
「I wanted to give you something more pretty, but it would stand out too much if it were too bright.」
「Ah, no! This cloak is lovely! Thank you very much! 」
At this precise moment, Kiriko, John Dae and I were at the Queen’s residence, the Tarmine Palace.
Kiriko had regained her energy two days after we returned from the Baracuda continent. Queen Carmilla also helped on this regard. The Queen treated Kiriko with care and showed the surrounding soldiers that they didn’t need to feel worried about her. Because of this event, a rumor spread throughout the Tarmine Kingdom that Kiriko wasn’t a terrible monster.
John Dae spoke to Kiriko after she waved her new cloak in front of a full-length mirror.
「Kiriko! It’s a great honor to receive a gift from the Queen! 」
「Yes! I am so happy that many people want me to feel better with myself! 」
The Queen spoke to me after we watched the two of them chatting happily.
「She’s a very good and honest child. 」
「Yes, very! 」
「It’s like…how do I put it… 」
The Queen gently shook her head with a smile. I think she remembered Princess Tiana when she was a young girl.
…Would the Queen believe me if I told her that I was Princess Tiana’s reincarnation? I felt that, if the Queen accepted Kiriko, she would surely believe me. But…
「So, is the hero in Galvano again? 」
「Ye…Yes! Tha…That’s right! 」
I spoke to the Queen with a bright and loud voice. The Queen responded to me with the following words.
「No days off. I wonder if he is all right. 」
「He’s fine! We’re talking about Seiya after all! 」
The Queen was worried about Seiya. But, I wasn’t. It was because I knew perfectly well that it was normal for that hero to prepare in advance without a break.
*ring ring ring ring*
「Ah. Speaking of the devil, it’s the snake mobile phone. 」
I took the earth snake from my chest and placed it on my ear.
「Lista. I got to return to Tarmine now. Summon the portal. 」
「Roger that. 」
I summoned the portal as I was told to. The door opened immediately and Seiya came out.
「So? How about the fortress? 」
「Yeah. I finally completed it today. 」
The other day, John Dae and I became speechless when we saw the fortress being built in the south of Galvano. Countless of golems were put on a watch position, while the rock wall was built through a vast area. In the center of the wall was a magnificent fort. I never imagined that Seiya could build something with such architectural design.
We left Seiya behind, who continued to reinforce the surrounding rock wall. But, before we returned to Tarmine, I noticed that the fortress was already complete. Perhaps the “completion” that Seiya referred to was probably around 120%.
Seiya walked up to the Queen when he saw her.
「Can I borrow this undead for the Ceremonic attack? 」
I was so surprised and shocked that I almost jumped when I saw that Seiya was pointing towards John Dae.
「Ehhh!? Seiya!! I can’t believe that you’re willing to take others with you!! 」
「Hmm, I see. So, you do need my help after all. Well, as long as you have the Queen’s permission, there is no problem.」
Seiya ignored John Dae’s response, and spoke to the Queen and me.
「He’s an undead. Since he is somewhat cursed, there’s less worry about him being cursed once again. And even if he gets cursed, or become disabled, he’s just a zombie after all. What happens to him doesn’t matter that much.」
When we heard the harsh truth, John Dae raised his voice.
「How dare you say something like that right in front of me!? 」
「That’s right!! At least you should say his name, it’s John Dae!! 」
「No!! That was not the point!! You guys are the worst!!…My Queen, please say something on my behalf!!」
「I don’t know much about the undead. You can take whatever it pleases you. 」
「Even the Queen!? That’s harsh!! 」
Seiya may be serious, but the Queen’s amusing face said that it was a joke. After knowing that, Kiriko and I laughed happily.
…By the way, about the so-called “Emperor Ceremonic”. I wondered if he’ll bring a cursed monster army… I hoped that it wasn’t something too dreadful and frightening…
In contrast to me, John Dae, who was chosen to accompany the hero as a fellow comrade, called one of his men guarding the front door.
「I have to be ready. Get the armor from my room. 」
Seiya stopped the guard, who saluted cheerfully, once he tried to go to John Dae’s room.
「Hey, bring some tea as well. I’ll need it if this guy begins to stink like a rotten zombie.」
「Hey, it’s not “Yes!”!! Did you forget who your superior is!? Amory is more important than tea!!」
While John Dae was screaming at his subordinate, I noticed that Seiya was staring silently at Kiriko.
「Hey. What…is that thing? 」
「Eh! That’s Kiri, you know? 」
Thanks to the Queen’s cloak, Kiriko’s metallic body was invisible to the human eye. I was kinda happy that Seiya didn’t realize that it was Kiriko, since it meant that the cloak was a success. Still, Seiya was referring to something else.
「There’s no need to wear something useless. I can change her into a human being with the power of my art of change.」
I see! So, she could transform into a young girl with Seiya’s power? Why didn’t I realize it before!
However, Kiriko felt that my flower pendant and the Queen’s cloak would be meaningless if she changed completely. Therefore, Kiriko rejected Seiya’s proposal.
「Sorry, but I…I want to stay in this form as much as possible. Because, this is my true appearance now after all…」
After a brief silence, Seiya muttered the following words.
「Okay, do as you please. 」
「I…I’m truly sorry. I didn’t want to speak haughty words. 」
「That was what you decided for yourself. So, that’s fine. 」
On this moment, the air became a little heavier. I felt that Seiya’s body bounced sideways.
「Eh? Mister Seiya? 」
Not only me, but Kiriko noticed something strange as well.
「Are…Are you all right, Seiya!? Didn’t you sway just now!? 」
Suddenly, an alarm sound quite different from the earth snake mobile phone rang on Seiya’s chest! This sound was the same alarm sound that alerted us when the Imperial Machine Corps attacked Tarmine!
The earth snake, which Seiya took out of his upper armor, was trembling and making a weird noise. Apparently, it had a vibration function. So, this was the earth snake that made Seiya’s body oscillate slightly.
「Seiya! Did something happened to Tarmine? 」
「No. The alarm of this earth snake came from the southern coast of the Radral continent.」
「Then, does that mean that the Ceremonic’s attacking forces crossed the sea!? 」
「Most probably. Wait a moment. 」
Seiya closed his eyes. It seemed that he connected his eyes with the earth snakes. After a while, he finally opened his mouth.
「It seems that a small boat is approaching the coast. Apparently, there is only a single person on that boat.」
「And…is that person Ceremonic? 」
「I don’t know. 」
The Queen twisted her neck when she heard what was happening.
「Does a mighty monster that rules an entire continent come here by rowing a small boat? If he was planning to attack us, wouldn’t he bring a whole army of monsters with him?」
「Yeah. I thought the same. That’s why I built a strong fortress. But, I can’t say for sure if that single person is Ceremonic or not.」
「Excuse me, hero. What does that person look like? 」
「I don’t know. 」
「Why is your information too sparse since a while ago? Is the boat too far in the distance? 」
Then, Seiya wrinkled between his eyebrows.
「I don’t want to see it clearly. I might get cursed just by looking directly at it. I don’t want to be turned into a stone.」
「Wa…Wait a moment, Seiya. How can you get cursed if you can’t even see if that person is Ceremonic or not?」
I spoke with a small grin on my face, but Seiya was serious.
「There was a video, which came out of a rental store of my world, that cursed the person who saw it. I should consider the possibility of the curse being activated when you see it.」
No, that was just a cheap imitation to scare other people. There was no way that you’d find a cursed video in a rental store…But, I couldn’t argue with him, and I just nodded silently.
「Anyway. I’m going to the fortress to analyze it closer. Lista. Open the portal. 」
I didn’t think it was Ceremonic. Yet, the whole scene was quite suspicious. After I invoked the portal, I stared at Kiriko.
「Listen, Kiri. What do you want do to? Do you want to stay here? 」
「I…I am also a comrade! I will go with you! 」
Kiriko put her hands on her chest vigorously. I nodded and the Queen smiled.
「Miss Goddess, you don’t have to worry about Tarmine. There’s a lot a golems here. Besides, we also have the huge goddess protecting us from outside the walls.」
「All right! Okay, we’ll go now! 」
「Well, even though that thing is just a big junk. 」
「It’s not a “junk”!! 」
As instructed, I opened the portal that was connected to the inside of the fortress, Seiya opened the door and went in, John Dae, Kiriko and I followed him.
We kept following Seiya, as he walked through a dungeon-like passage made inside of the rock wall…
「Hey. It’s a dead end. 」
John Dae spoke after we arrived at rock wall that blocked our way. On this precise instant, my feet began to shake slowly.
I felt a floating sensation so abruptly! My field of vision swayed up and down! It continued for a while and then it stopped immediately.
「It was like an elevator. We are now in the basement of the fortress. 」
「Basement, you say!? 」
The fortress built by Seiya was so strong that it seemed like it had a tremendous defensive power. But, I wondered if he was actually arranging a shelter in the basement of the fortress. I thought that I was used to Seiya’s cautious attitude, and yet, I was surprised once again.
Seiya walked through the underground passage much to our surprise. Eventually, a door made of wood appeared right in front of me.
When I entered inside, I was astonished even further.
It was a large room illuminated with the magical stones. There were countless of water buckets inside the room. The buckets reflected several different zones, such as the sea, the flatlands and the surroundings of the fortress. In addition, I noticed that Seiya created a stone-like deck at a distance, and a large number of earth snakes were pierced on the deck like microphones. This surveillance room, which was created for the battle against the next Emperor, looked like a military command room.
Seiya stared at one of the water buckets and frowned. I also looked at the video of the earth snake camera and I was shaken.
「The…The boat is empty…? 」
The earth snake camera showed that the small-unmanned boat reached the shore.
…The person who was on the boat…already arrived in the Radral continent!
「It’s strange. Although I didn’t see that person clearly, my earth snakes would’ve alerted me about a possible arrival.」
「Se…Seiya! Where did that person go? 」
「Don’t fret. I have countless of earth snakes out there. I will find him immediately. 」
Then, Seiya gave a quick glance at John Dae.
「John Dae. It’s your turn. 」
Seiya stopped John Dae who stood up with his sword.
「What are you doing? 」
「Eh!? Weren’t you saying to get rid of it!? 」
「No. Your job is to find that person on the earth snake monitors. 」
「That’s just it!? 」
「In addition to a video curse, there may be an audio curse as well. There’s a danger of being cursed just by listening to it. First, you have to see it and listen to it. Then, you can tell me about it afterwards. So, try it.」
「Am I a “taster for poison”…!? 」
「Never mind about that. Just look at the buckets. Bring yourself closer and watch carefully from the earth snakes monitors.」
John Dae looked at the water buckets with hesitation. And then, he slowly spoke the following words.
「…The person is walking towards the fortress. The person standing in front of the wall looks like a human woman…but…with two faces…」
At first, John Dae’s voice was intrigued, but soon, his tone became serious.
「I’ve never seen a monster like that before. Maybe that woman is Ceremonic. 」
「How do you know that? You can’t use clairvoyance, am I right? I’ve done a bit of research, but I didn’t find much information about Ceremonic. You can’t make a judgment based on its appearance alone.」
「No. I’m certain that that monster is Ceremonic. It’s the most ominous monster that I’ve encountered on the battlefield so far. The grass is dying while she walks on it.」
Although he was bullied and abashed by Seiya, John Dae was still a war veteran general. His words sounded real and true.
「…So, what about your symptoms? 」
「Stop reminding me of that. If you’re talking about the curse, I don’t see any particular changes in me.」
Seiya nodded positively after a while.
「Okay. It seems that the curse won’t activate if you see it or hear the voice. John Dae, you can go home now.」
「I’m not going home now!! Don’t joke with me!! 」
After he pushed an angry John Dae aside, Seiya began to look carefully at the water bucket. Kiriko and I also looked behind his back.
A woman walking with a dirty long dress entered my field of vision. On the next bucket, I could see the full close-up image of this person. It was a woman with a long and dark hair. It looked quite disturbed to me…and…the other woman’s head had a dark hair as well but was beautifully arranged! As John Dae described, it was a woman with two faces in one body!
The disturbed dark-haired woman began to shout aloud.
「Big sis Monica! You did it again! 」
The woman with the beautiful hair responded with a calm voice.
「It wasn’t me. Serena. You were the one who did it. I just crushed Shanak’s eyes. 」
「But, I just broke Shanak’s nose, you know! 」
Wha…What! They were arguing about some weird story…! So creepy…!
「Serena. More importantly. Now our duty is to finish off the hero, and not the dead Shanak. I heard that both the Beast Emperor the Grand Lion and the Machine Emperor Oxelio were defeated. Don’t let your guard down.」
「Who cares. By the way, I wonder if that bastard hero will be surprised by us? After all, we came here by ourselves.」
「Well, the real strong being is the one that acts in a small numbers. But, Serena. He won’t be that surprised…」
On this moment, one of the heads moved its eyes towards the monitor! My eyes quivered when our gaze met with one another!
「The hero is already listening to our conversation. 」
I shook Seiya’s body while my hands trembled incessantly.
「Se…Se…Seiya!! They’re aware of us!? 」
「Yeah. Let’s move the earth snake further away from that spot. I shall put it with a distance of 30 meters apart between the monitor and that thing.」
「Tha…That’s really far away! That’s such a high-performance camera! 」
Nonetheless. Seiya stopped his movement when he tried to give the new instructions to the earth snake camera.
「…Hmm. Fast. 」
When I heard those words, I saw a huge and stagnant big one eye that was projected through the earth snake camera!
Kiriko and I were so startled that we screamed extremely high! This must’ve happened when we moved our eyes away from the camera for a very brief moment. At this precise moment, the two heads were reflected on the camera of the water bucket. The woman with the arranged hair and the woman with the disturbed hair spoke alternately.
「Nice to meet you, hero. I am the Empress Ceremonic. 」
「Noooo! Big sis Monica! You’re too polite! I am the fearsome one! I am the Empress Ceremonic!」
Then, the two heads laughed wickedly at us.
「From now on, I will defeat you in order to avenge the death of my younger sister Shanak.」
「I will kill you with the curse. You’ll suffer, suffer, and suffer a lot… Until you die!」
Ohhh…Creepy but interesting, don’t you folks agree?
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