Chapter 113: Sage Village
Third day in the God’s realm. Noon.
While Seiya’s multiparty practice session continued, John Dae and Kiriko were being taught by Adenela in the vicinity of Cafe De Celseus.
「…Okay…Okay, then…Let…Let’s take a break. 」
Adenela said those words after staring fixedly at Kiriko. Adenela, like Seiya, was the kind of person that couldn’t see their surroundings when practicing with swords, but she noticed how strong-willed Kiriko was with her practice. Therefore, she recommended a break.
Adenela sat on a distant garden table and began to watch Seiya’s practice with attentive eyes. Next to me, John Dae sat on the ground and stared at his sword with a bitter face.
「“Continuous gunshot sword”…I heard that the hero mastered it immediately. But, it’s a such ridiculous and difficult skill to learn.」
「Yes! It’s indeed difficult to grasp the essence of the true knack! 」
Kiriko nodded in agreement. Both of them had extremely high ability values. Still, I realized it again that Seiya was amazing when I saw them struggling to learn Adenela’s skills.
Celseus approached John Dae and Kiriko and talked to them with a smile.
「Are you learning the continuous gunshot sword technique? It seems that you’re having a hard time.」
「Ah, it’s you Celseus. C’mon, don’t make me feel even more miserable… 」
「Well, just take it moderately. The continuous gunshot sword is not something that can be easily learned.」
「Don’t tell that maybe…Miss Adenela taught that technique to Mister Celseus before? 」
Kiriko was surprised by his response. While John Dae spoke aloud.
「Seriously!? Celseus is able to dwell the continuous gunshot sword!? 」
「Well, hmm. You see, about that…Eh, Ohh!? 」
Suddenly, everybody noticed that Adenela stood behind Celseus. She turned her angry eyes at Celseus.
「I…I taught him, but…but this guy gave…gave up in just a few minutes. Compared to Celseus, Ki…Kiriko and John Dae have greater…greater prospects at learning my…my skill.」
「Celseus!! So, you couldn’t master the continuous gunshot sword technique!! Even so, you pretended to know it!! Stop doing that!!」
「I…I just told you that Adenela taught me that technique!! I didn’t say I mastered it!! I didn’t lie to any of you!!」
「Are you a child!? 」
All of this stunned me. I couldn’t even believe that Celseus was the Swordsman God.
「Bu…But, it’s really difficult isn’t it? The continuous gunshot sword! I couldn’t even do it no matter how hard I tried!」
「Right! That’s true! It’s extremely tough to learn! Impossible, absolutely impossible! 」
Suddenly, I heard a cracking sound as if bones were crumbling.
「…Just because it’s a powerful sword skill, that doesn’t mean that putting more power into it will do it justice. You mustn’t do more than necessary. The focus is to make the joints of your arms more flexible to expand the range of motion.」
Then, I noticed that Seiya was holding the sword on his sheath towards Celseus.
「Eat this…“Continuous Gunshot Sword”. 」
Seiya’s sheath left an afterimage as if it were a mirage as he passed through Celseus!
Celseus was blown away while screaming! Without paying much attention to Celseus, which became like a battered rag, Seiya looked attentively at Kiriko.
「Kiriko. According to my analysis, the range of motion of the Killing Machines’ arms is wider than that of human beings. Your progress will be faster if you don’t use unnecessary power.」
「I…I see! I understand! Thank you very much! 」
Kiriko lowered her head to Seiya. And Adenela’s eyes were full of hearts.
「He…He is a great…great role model just…just like a beautiful sword…! Lo…Love him…!」
「By the way, Seiya…Were you listening to our conversation? …Hmm? Hey, what about your multiparty practice session?」
「It’s already over. 」
「Already over, you say… 」
Unexpectedly, I became surprised when I gazed at the plaza. All the gods that were practicing with Seiya were lying on the ground.
「Do…Don’t tell me that, perhaps…Have you mastered the skills of every god you’ve practiced with!?」
I became speechless. Aria walked from behind Seiya’s back with a smile.
「The secret is the Crazy Warrior state. By practicing in a Berserker mode, the speed of learning has greatly improved.」
I see! Naturally! If it was Seiya, who was already a fast learner, practiced after becoming the Crazy Warrior to improve his abilities, of course he would learn faster than usual!
Seiya was not that particularly happy as he spoke with everyone.
「Right now, I’m going to relax for this night because tomorrow morning we’ll go to the Sage Village.」
「We…We’re finally going! 」
John Dae had a bitter smile on this face…
「Eh, I see…Already? 」
Kiriko also seemed to have the same feelings as John Dae. She looked attentively at her sword. John Dae shared his thoughts.
「It’s a bit disappointing that we’ve just started our practice to learn the continuous gunshot sword technique.」
「Yes, it is. I wanted to practice a little more… 」
Adenela saw how dejected they felt and said the following words.
「I…I already taught you the basics. After…After that, you should practice on your own. I’m…I’m sure that you’ll improve soon.」
「Yes! Thank you very much! 」
Kiriko bowed deeply to Adenela.
That night. I was playing with Kiriko in the room with Seiya’s toys. Then, I thought deeply about tomorrow and decided to sleep early tonight.
…Many hours had passed since I closed my eyes. I was sleeping next to Kiriko when I woke up after feeling strong vibrations.
…Was it an earthquake?
However, I was wrong. I noticed that Kiriko was trembling so much next to me.
「Kiri! What’s wrong? 」
Kiriko woke up brusquely. Then, she hugged me.
「Listen, are you all right? 」
「A…A dream…I feel awful now. Suddenly, when I closed my eyes, I saw that a huge black shadow covered the world…That was what happened in my dream.」
「A huge black shadow? 」
「I think that was…probably the Demon King Artemaeus. 」
Kiriko continued to speak with a trembling voice.
「I felt it. Artemaeus is increasing his power in a frightening way… 」
Even the Great Goddess Isister couldn’t know the current state of Artemaeus. However, Kiriko used to share a sensory organ with Emperor Oxelio. I wondered if she perceived the power of the Demon King because of that previous link.
I smiled at Kiriko.
「It’s okay to feel worried right now. But, you know, when this battle is over, Exfolia will be at peace once again! Kiri, Queen Carmilla, and the people of Exfolia, will be in a world where everyone can live happily!」
「Ye…Yes…You’re right. 」
When she thought deeply after I comforted her…
「I can’t behave like this! I just had a dream! There’s no reason to feel this depressed! I have to be strong like Mister Seiya!」
I gently stroke Kiriko’s head.
「Seiya will defeat Artemaeus for sure. So, don’t worry. 」
With the lights on, I slept while hugging Kiriko.
When I headed to the plaza while holding Kiriko’s hand, I saw that Seiya and John Dae were already holding their luggage.
According to the Great Goddess Isister, the Sage Village appeared to be in a remote island located south of Aerith Continent, the previous land ruled by the Death Emperor. I cast the spell to summon the portal.
「There will be demon priests, right? Therefore, I placed the portal in a place about thirty meters away from the Sage Village in advance!」
I should have known Seiya’s character…
「Hmm. Just thirty meters? You should’ve put a hundred meters away from that village…Well, it’s fine. It doesn’t matter now.」
Of course, he would complain about it. And, as usual, Seiya opened the doors of the portal, waited for the proper surveillance first, and then, dived in.
We also followed him. Nevertheless, the moment we dived through the portal, Seiya rolled in the ground quite hurryingly.
「What’s wrong, hero!! It’s the enemy!? 」
John Dae and I were astonished and hesitant. However, we stared at the surrounding area and there was nothing at all. It was quiet and calm. Seiya stood up as if nothing had happened.
「Why…Why did you roll on the ground!? 」
「…I was rolling around in preparation for the enemy attack. 」
John Dae became frustrated while moving his nose.
「Just roll down when a real enemy appears!! 」
「That’s right!! We were startled because you were rolling on the ground as if an enemy was already here!!」
「Well, well, everyone. It’s nice that we’re safe… 」
Kiriko tried to appease us. Seiya touched the soil with his hand.
「We’re going to the village now, so be vigilant…Cave Along. 」
We went underground and we walked through the cave.
…After ensuring our safety below the ground, Seiya released the Cave Along. After surfacing, he looked at the surroundings from behind the trees.
In the distance, we could see the demon priests wore masks and walked around a magical circle, it was the same picture as we saw in the crystal ball. Seiya looked at them with sharp eyes.
「If they are doing some kind of summoning ritual, I have to clean it up before they call something weird.」
「You…You’re certainly right! 」
「Fortunately, one of them went away. I have to gather some information from that thing. If I disguise myself like one of them, they won’t flee when I start attacking them.」
Seiya held his hand in front of his eyes and professed the following words.
「Job Change. To “Pleasant Flute Player and Earth Magic Warrior”… 」
Soon, Seiya’s visual changed! He resembled a clown! And ohh! His offensive stance of the Pleasant Flute Player was somewhat nostalgic!
The memory of when we dived underground for days to defeat the beast men swirled back to my mind. I was depressed during that time, but now, I recalled those memories with care.
However, the thing that Seiya took out from his chest was not the nostalgic Platinum Blowgun.
「Wha…What’s that thing!? 」
I was surprised when I saw a long tube that could be one meter long…But, eh. Where did he hide that long tube!
「It’s called “Platinum Blowgun ver. Cannon”. From now on, I’m going to wipe out the demon priests with Burst Air.」
Seiya lowered the Platinum Blowgun on the ground. Then, the soil was sucked into the injection opening like a vacuum cleaner. Seiya held his massive flute upwards and looked enthusiastic about it.
I immediately heard a blast that roared high! At the same time, that roaring sound reverberated at the tip of the blowgun! Huge flames and black smoke engulfed the area where the demon priests were having their ritual!
After the smoke cleared up, I became astonished when I saw that the demon priests were all annihilated because their mutilated bodies were scattered miserably on the ground.
「Hey, how much power did you put on that attack!? 」
I was astonished at the blasting radius… It resembled the site of a rocket launch. I mean, he was no longer a Pleasant Flute Player!
「It seems that I successfully wiped them out…Let’s check if they’re really dead.」
「More importantly, Seiya! Didn’t one of them get away before that crazy explosion!?」
「It’s okay. The earth snakes already captured it. 」
When Seiya snapped his finger, a large earth snake brought the missing demon priest near the area of the magical circle. Actually, when I looked closely, I noticed that it wasn’t a large earth snake. Several earth snakes were wrapped around the body of the demon priest.
First, Seiya changed his profession to Fire Magic Warrior, then he burnt the remains of the demon priests’ corpses with Maximum Inferno, and finally dropped them to the core of this earth. After that, he began to interrogate the surviving demon priest from the distance.
「What were you doing over there? 」
Yet, there was no reply. Obviously. Seiya was ten meters away from the demon priest. Most probably, his voice wasn’t even heard in the first place.
「He…Hey, hero! Why are you so far apart? 」
「There’s a possibility that the seized priest will do something. It’s dangerous if you get too close.」
「But, you won’t be able to hear each other’s voices! 」
「Then, I’ll use an earth snake mobile phone. 」
Seiya asked the same question to the demon priest through the earth snake mobile phone.
「It doesn’t concern you…! 」
We heard a voice from the earth snake mobile phone. It seemed that this earth snake managed to transmit the voice of the distant demon priest.
「Be honest with us. Otherwise, the earth snake will strangle you and kill you.」
Seiya threatened the demon priest, but he giggled in return.
「I don’t care if you kill me! All of you are going to die! Lord Artemaeus will be invincible! He’ll be unstoppable! *laughs devilishly*」
Seiya suddenly stepped on the ground with his feet! Suddenly, a rock wall appeared around us! At the same time, an uproar and large vibrations shook my entire body!
「Wha…Wha…What happened just now!? 」
「He blew himself up. Suicide apparently. As expected. 」
「As expected of Mister Seiya! You distanced yourself because you had foreseen this incident!」
Kiriko admired Seiya as always, while John Dae groaned frustratingly. Seiya first gazed at John Dae with confident eyes, and then he looked at Kiriko.
「Kiriko. There is such a saying. “A cornered rat will suicide”…Remember that.」
Wasn’t it “a cornered rat will bite a cat”*? Ah well, it didn’t matter that much, anyways…In fact, he saved us all by being overly cautious again…
「In the end, we didn’t find out about the purpose of that ritual. 」
I felt somewhat disappointed. On this precise instant.
『They were…offering a prayer to the evil god… 』
I heard a hoarse voice.
「Hmm? John Dae, did you say something now? 」
「No! It wasn’t me! 」
「I heard a voice that resembled that of an elder man. Seiya, you don’t have that type of voice, do you?」
「I don’t have a voice that resembles a grandpas’ voice! Bu…But…that voice resonated in my head too!」
「I…I heard it too! 」
Then, we heard that voice once again.
『I am a person named Immel who once lived in this village. No, actually it is better to say, “I was once a person named Immel”. Only my consciousness exists now…』
Ehh! Was it the ghost of a wise man!? Even though he died, he was waiting for the hero to come to the village!?
After the Demon King killed the hero and gained the power of the evil god, this village was attacked and the wise men were killed. If Seiya stopped by this village a year ago, none of those sad events would had happened.
…I…I was probably sure that this person had a grudge against Seiya, didn’t he?
I was worried. Nonetheless, Seiya spoke to the faceless voice without much problem…He asked Immel the following question.
「Did you not perceive the presence of the enemy approaching this village? You’re a wise man, but you don’t seem to be that smart.」
Immel’s soul laughed dryly.
『I do not know the future. Especially when it comes to my destiny. 』
「What’s the purpose of talking to me now if you really became the wandering spirit of a wise man?」
『I am trying to tell you what I could not tell you during that time… 』
After a brief silence, Immel’s solemn voice resonated in our heads.
『The Demon King Artemaeus has two lives. 』
「We already know that. 」
The voice became speechless after hearing Seiya’s response. That was a well-known fact to us. The Great Goddess Isister showed us the past battle with the Demon King from her crystal ball. Seiya continued to speak.
「It’s assumed that the Demon King, who gained the blessing from the evil god and continued to accumulate more power, has gained another life that goes beyond that fact.」
『Ye…Yes. That is probably true. 』
「Is that the only thing that you wanted to tell me? 」
『No…Originally, I wanted to grant you the power of the “Drain Charge Move” that has been passed from generations to generations here on the Sage Village. Unfortunately, the wise men who knew how to teach it already perished…』
「No problem. I already learnt that skill. 」
The voice of the wise man named Immel was stunned.
『If…If that is true…my hero! You are transcending time and space! You might be fully capable of defeating the Demon King Artemaeus even with the protection of the evil god…!』
「Of course! We will definitely defeat the Demon King this time! Right, Seiya! 」
I thought he would say, “Naturally”. However, Seiya asked Immel with a difficult complexion.
「Let me ask you one thing. Do you think there is a way to save this world other than defeating Artemaeus?」
『To save Exfolia, there is no other way but to defeat the Demon King. 』
「I see. 」
Why…Why did he ask that question? Perhaps, Seiya…Wasn’t confident enough to win the upcoming battle against the Demon King?
『If…If you defeat Artemaeus, you will become the true hero. When that happens, I want you to come here again…』
Immel’s soul was still speaking to Seiya. However…Footsteps. Seiya turned around and began to walk away silently from where we were standing.
「He…Hey!? Wait, Seiya!! 」
John Dae and I were both confused…
「…I have nothing to do here anymore. 」
He continued to walk after professing those words. I chased after Seiya after swallowing my fresh saliva.
…Wha…What happened so suddenly!? Why did I felt such a suffocating atmosphere from Seiya!? Don’t tell me…that he was going straightaway to the Demon King’s castle from here!?
My heart was beating violently in the anticipation of the final decisive battle.
*A Japanese proverb. “A cornered rat will bite a cat” literally means, “despair turns cowards courageous”. Seiya may be strong and thoughtful, but he always messes up proverbs and cultural phenomena from Planet Earth.
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