Chapter 104: Sand Town
After digging John Dae out of the ground, I spoke with the Great Goddess Isister and got permission to open the portal to Aerith Continent, the land of the Death Emperor. However, Seiya didn’t let me open the portal straightaway.
「I don’t know where is the Death Emperor is in the Aerith Continent. Anyways, let’s avoid the northern area near the Gastreid Continent where the Demon King lives. First, let’s check the southern region to see its state.」
「Seiya. There seems to be a town called “Fulwaana” in the south. Would you like to open the portal directly to that town, so that we can gather some information first?」
「A town in a continent ruled by the Death Emperor? There’s a high chance that that town is already full of undead and ghosts. It’s dangerous to open the portal directly to that town so suddenly. Open the portal with a distance of 5000 meters south from there.」
「O…Okay. I understand. 」
Seiya was cautious as ever. But, I respected his decision since it could be dangerous for us all. Therefore, I opened the portal to an area far away from that town. Still, Seiya didn’t dive through the portal and waited. He took something like a jar out of his bag.
「Hey, hero. What’s that? 」
「It’s a jar owned by Bardul, the Goddess of Gold. 」
Ah. Speaking of which, didn’t Bardul throw salt at me from that particular jar when I was cursed by Ceremonic…!?
Seiya took some salt out of that jar and placed it at the bottom of the portal’s entrance. When he finished doing that, he sprinkled salt on my head, and then, on John Dae and Kiriko’s heads as well. John Dae frowned upon receiving a bath of salt, and a confused Kiriko asked Seiya the following question.
「Mi…Mister Seiya. Why did you do that to us? 」
「Salt has the effect of shooing away evil spirits. It’s a ghost countermeasure, so I used it as a prevention measure. Salt also works well for slugs.」
Why slugs had anything to do with this…Anyways, I thought that this bizarre talk was just another one of Seiya’s weird talks, so I ignored it completely.
Seiya finally reached the portal’s door. After slowly opening the door, Seiya dived in and we followed him.
「Whoa…This land is full of sand…! 」
Kiriko spoke aloud when we arrived at the land from the portal. Just as Kiriko said, all I could see was a 360-degree area full of sand. In addition, the hot sun shined brightly above our heads. It looked as if we arrived in the middle of the desert. John Dae narrowed his eyes and gazed at the horizon.
「Is that the Fulwaana town? 」
The horizon was swaying like a mirage because of the heat, but I could see something that looked like a town in front of John Dae.
「I think so. Well, let’s walk over there for the time being. 」
「…Wait. Lista. 」
Seiya stopped me from trying to go to the Fulwaana town. Then, Seiya crouched down and put his hands on the hot sand.
「What are you doing, Seiya…Eh, ahhhh!? 」
On this precise moment, a golem appeared from the sand! After one golem, I saw that two more, no, three more emerged from the sand…Seiya spoke after creating four golems.
「We are going to ride on the back of these golems. 」
The big hand of the golem grabbed my body and put me on its back. Similarly, John Dae and Kiriko were placed on the back of their respective golems by force.
「Seiya!? But, why!? 」
「This land is a desert area. There may be monsters that try to drag you into the hot sand like small ants. It will be safer if we ride on the huge golems’ backs. Besides…」
「Besides what? 」
When John Dae asked what he wanted to say, Seiya looked somewhat confident.
「…Isn’t it fun? 」
「No…Absolutely not! This isn’t fun at all…! 」
John Dae was right!! What was fun about this!? I didn’t know how the sensitivity of this hero worked at all…!!
Still, Kiriko spoke with a bright voice.
「I think that this is extremely fun! 」
Is…Is that so!? I wondered if it felt like riding on the back of an elephant!?
「All right. Let’s go now. 」
And then, we…no, actually, the golems with us on their backs began to move forward. However, when we walked a few steps closer to the town, the sand in front of us rose up, and a few human-like bones appeared from the ground!
「Wha…What on earth!? 」
A skeleton with a sword emerged from the sand! Before long, there were nearly ten skeleton swordsmen in front of us!
「He…Hey, hero! That’s a horde of skeletons!! Should we get down from the golems to fight them!?」
「That’s not necessary. Let’s leave this to the golems. 」
The skeletons swung their swords and ran towards us with cracking noises as if their bones were breaking apart. However, they flew away and broke into pieces when the golems’ intense fists smashed into their heads.
As…As expected of Seiya’s powerful golems since they were created after Seiya mastered the properties of earth magic! They had a tremendous offensive power!
While riding the golem, Seiya began to seize the immobilized skeletons and cleaned that wreckage with the power of the “Endless Fall”. Nonetheless, Seiya stopped removing the wreckage from the sand, and stared fixedly at one of the immobilized skeletons. Compared to the other severely damaged skeletons, this one only had a broken head while the body remained intact.
「John Dae. Do you want to try to make this skeleton your new body? 」
「No…No, I don’t. It doesn’t make sense to change from an undead to a headless skeleton. I refuse it…」
「But, the smell of death will disappear, you know? 」
「I just told you that I don’t want to be a “skeleton of an unknown person”! My current body is better even if it rots!」
「Oh my. You’re very picky. What a luxurious guy you are. 」
「How am I a luxurious guy!? 」
John Dae refused to become a headless skeleton…We…Well, obviously. I mean, well, if one thought deeply about it, transferring John Dae’s soul to a different body was complicated. After all, he won’t be able to borrow a living human body, and the other choices were scarce. I wondered if there was no other option but to transfer his soul to a monster’s body?
Either way, after we wiped out the skeleton swordsmen, we started heading towards Fulwaana once again. Still, our peaceful journey only lasted for a brief moment. This time, a large haze comprised of red mysterious beings appeared in front of us! Those things didn’t have any physical substance, so that meant that those monsters were…
「Seiya! Those are ghosts! They’re so many! 」
I noticed that shadows of people’s faces were floating in that haze. It seemed as if those people were full of resentment. Apparently, the grudge of dead humans had become monsters with the power of the Demon King.
「Oh, so those things are ghosts? Now is the time to show the results of my training. 」
Then, Seiya held his Killer Sword and activated the Ghostbuster taught by Nephitet. Seiya held his sword with a white membrane while he rode the golem and charged against the ghostly haze!
「You too get out the Killer Swords from your waist. 」
We pulled the Killer Swords from the sheath that Seiya gave it to us. When I took my sword, I noticed that my blade had the same white membrane like Seiya’s sword.
「Eh!? My sword already activated the Ghostbuster!? 」
「I gave my spiritual power to those swords when we were in the heavenly world. I’m going to let you guys help me this time.」
Unusually, Seiya was asking us to cooperate with him! I’ve always wanted to help Seiya, but this was a battle and my hands began to tremble persistently!
I…I was going to fight as well! I wondered if I could do it…No, what was I thinking about! The goddess had to support her hero! I had to do my best as well!
I imitated John Dae’s movements and held my sword upwards. Then, Seiya stared at us with cold eyes.
「What are you going? Just give your swords to the golems. 」
「Ehh!! Give our swords to the golems!? 」
Both John Dae and I were surprised. Nevertheless, we gave our swords to the golems as instructed. The golems, who received the swords with the hidden spiritual power, assaulted the ghosts! They swung their arms as if they were large branches of trees falling and they slashed the large amount of dark haze! Once the ghosts took the hit from the Ghostbuster…
The red cloud disappeared like a morning fog with excruciating voices of mourning.
…After that, the golems played an active part by manipulating the Ghostbuster against the enemy, even with us on their backs. Thanks to the golems, the number of ghosts were steadily decreasing, but John Dae had a difficult expression on his face.
「You’re leaving everything to the golems…I wonder how you do it. Don’t you have any sense of “feeling defeated” by relying on extra powers and not on your own directly…?」
「What does that mean “feeling defeated”? I don’t need to feel such a useless thing. Safety is my number one priority.」
「Well, you’re right about that part, but… 」
Ah…Mash was like that too. Most men just wanted to fight against monsters on direct battles.
However, I noticed that Seiya wrinkled between his eyebrows when he stared at one particular direction.
「…Hey, Kiriko. What are you doing? 」
I was surprised when I looked at Kiriko. It seemed that Kiriko didn’t give her Killer Sword to the golem. Instead, she dwelled the Killer Sword with her trembling hands.
「I…I…I want to fight these ghosts with my own power! 」
She…She shouldn’t be saying something like that to Seiya!! There was a reason why Seiya successfully overcame these obstacles without much difficulty!! So, it would be better if all of us followed his strict instructions…!!
Seiya spoke while staring fixedly at Kiriko.
「Do you want to test your own power that much? 」
「Yes! I want to become stronger! 」
Then, a brief silence. I was worried that Seiya would hit Kiriko with his fist, however…
「All right. If you want that much, then try it. But, don’t get down from the golem until I say it’s safe, do you understand?」
「I understand! 」
Wha…What!? Kiriko got Seiya’s approval!? Somehow, this was a little bit odd since Seiya never acted this way towards anybody!!
Surprisingly, Seiya seemed to accept Kiriko’s opinion…
「…Astral Break. 」
Seiya invoked Valkyrie’s destructive technique that was effective against ghostly beings. He wrapped a ghost with a chain that came out of his hand. Seiya said the following words after seizing the ghost…
「Okay, Kiriko. Try attacking this ghost. 」
So…So overprotective!! We…Well, I was fine with that though!!
Kiriko descended from the golem, and approached the ghost bounded by chains. Yet, Kiriko didn’t move and just trembled in front of the ghost.
「What’s wrong, Kiri? All you have to do is slash it with your sword. 」
「You…You know…what if this ghost was originally a human being as well… 」
The friendly Killing Machine was hesitant to attack the seized ghost. As Seiya exhaled a small sigh, he slayed the ghost himself that was captured by the Astral Break.
「If you can’t fight them, then you should’ve given your sword to the golem from the very beginning.」
「I…I’m sorry. 」
「Kiri! Don’t force yourself! You just need to get used to battles! 」
John Dae tried to comfort a depressed Kiriko.
「New ghosts have appeared again!! They’re more than before!! 」
Before long, dozens of ghosts charged against us from both the left and right sides!
The…They were certainly too many!! Were we going to be okay!?
Then, Seiya held his hand in front of his face.
「Job Change. From Earth Magic Warrior to Fire Magic Warrior. 」
Seiya moved his hands towards the horde of ghosts that approached us rapidly.
「Maximum Inferno. 」
In a moment, Seiya’s hands projected scorching flames that divided in different directions and attacked the relentless ghosts! Those ghosts were wrapped in crimson flames…
After the ghosts cried aloud, they disappeared entirely.
「…So, your flame magic does work after all!! The Ghostbuster wasn’t even needed! 」
「There may arise some opportunities to use it in the future. And if I can defeat them without using the Ghostbuster, then that’s a good thing, don’t you agree?」
「Yo…You’re right, but…I feel that you’ve trained so hard for nothing, at least for now. 」
「Ghosts don’t have a physical body, so I can’t finish them off with Endless Fall. So, I have to burn them down.」
There was a huge horde of ghosts not too long. But, after Seiya finished them off and they disappeared, he began to use his flames in an random space with nothing except sand.
「What the hell is he doing…! 」
John Dae and I stared at Seiya with perplexed eyes, after he poured salt on the scorched land from Bardul’s jar. After a while, we finally resumed our path towards the sand town.
After walking on the golems for a while, the whole scenery of the Fulwaana town finally came into view.
「Seiya! We’re almost arriving at Fulwaana! 」
On this moment, something happened on our way to the town.
There was a sudden gust of wind. The sand got into my eyes, and I closed my eyelids instantly. I heard John Dae’s voice next to me, 「Ugh! 」.
I opened my eyelids while rubbing my eyes.
Suddenly, I felt extremely uncomfortable. It seemed that the appearance of Fulwaana town, which I had been observing from far away, had changed slightly.
I thought that it were my mind that played tricks on me. However, Seiya thought otherwise and spited with his tongue.
「Be careful, Lista. There was a strange feeling with that gust of wind. 」
「Ah! Seiya, did you feel that too? 」
「Maybe we’ve entered the Death Emperor’s territory. Don’t lose your vigilance. 」
Both John Dae and Kiriko hardened their faces. We felt nervous as we headed towards the entrance of Fulwaana town.
At the entrance stood a woman in a traditional costume who hid her head in order to avoid the wind and sand. She uncovered her face when she noticed our presence. It was a beautiful woman with a suntanned skin.
The woman had a suspicious look, maybe because we rode on top the golems. But, as soon as she noticed Seiya, she received us with a bright smile on her face.
「Lord Seiya!! 」
She shouted aloud and rushed towards Seiya’s golem. Seiya pulled out his sword.
「Who the hell are you? Don’t get close to me. 」
「Ehh! Have you forgotten? I’m Millie, Gerstein’s wife. 」
「I don’t know any Millie or Gerstein. 」
「It can’t be…! 」
The woman named Millie was confused. Perhaps, was this person acquainted with Seiya from one year ago!?
「Excuse me! Seiya has memory loss! 」
Then, that woman softened her expression and laughed a little bit.
「Is…Is that so. But, when I met you the other day, you seemed to be fine… 」
Hmm? I thought it were one year ago, but it was “the other day” instead?
I was confused about it, but John Dae and Kiriko were smiling when they looked at the houses of Fulwaana that were smeared with dirt of the desert.
「This town is still safe! 」
「It seems that the Death Emperor has not arrived here yet! 」
Then, Millie showed a puzzling complexion when she heard our talk.
「“Death Emperor”? What’s that? 」
「What!? Don’t you know anything about it!? 」
…She didn’t know the name of the Emperor that reigned over this continent!?
We looked somewhat confused, but Millie said with a smile.
「Lord Seiya defeated the Demon King Artemaeus, and for the past year, this land has been peaceful.」
What kind of sorcery is this?
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