Chapter 146: To the Ruins of Nakashi Village
Celseus and I, who were able to maintain transparency to a certain degree, were relaxing at Uno’s House. It seemed that Rosalie also got the hang of it. She was meditating quietly in her room, and not in the spring-like fountain, as instructed by Slauri. By the way, it looked like Celseus was baking a cake in the kitchen.
「I can see that you were able to master the transparency skill in a short period of time. As expected of Lady Lista.」
In the living room, I smiled and laughed while drinking the tea that Uno brewed for me.
「Well, somehow. To be honest, I thought that this Slauri guy was some crazy old geezer when I first met him.」
「Even so, he gave his transparency aura to everyone, am I right?」
Then, Uno put her teacup on the table. I noticed that she had a slightly serious and strange look on her face.
「There is a limit to the amount of aura that a person of the Underworld can be born with with. Perhaps, Slauri will no longer be able to grant his transparency to anyone else in his lifetime.」
「Eh!! Is that true!? 」
I was surprised to hear Uno’s story. Slauri gave us such an important aura!
「Ah, Lady Lista. Where are you going? 」
「I’m going to where Slauri lives! I also want to know how Seiya is faring with his training!」
I quickly walked through the forest to reach the Underworld’s spring. On the banks, I noticed that Slauri gently hung his fishing rod on the surface of the water, just like when we first met. When he saw me at the distance, he started talking immediately.
「You probably came to see the hero, but he is not here anymore. He said, “I’m going back to do some synthesis”.」
「I see. So, he already went back…Ah, that means…」
「Yeah. He finally acquired the advanced transparency technique. He is someone remarkable, indeed.」
Seiya told Slauri not to tell us about his new transparency training. Seiya probably had his reasons to hide it from us; therefore, I didn’t pursue this topic that deeply. I just sat down next to Slauri.
「Well, excuse me…I want to thank you.」
「For what? There’s no need to be formal with me.」
「I really want to thank you sincerely. It seems that you can only teach your transparency skill to a limited number of people, correct?」
「So, you heard it from Unoporta, huh.」
Slauri distorted his mouth and laughed “He, He”.
「I do not mind it. If I can help the hero and you gods, then it is okay, really. The Underworld and the divine world are made of supply and demand after all.」
I felt that Hades said that before. By the way, we haven’t been to the Shrine these days. Well, it wasn’t that important right now.
I spoke to myself while gazing at the quiet surface of the water.
「I had no other choice but to come here since I lost my world. However, it seems that many people of the Underworld are unexpectedly good.」
「Uno and Due are good folks. Most of the people from the Underworld want to help you from the bottom of their hearts.」
If the amount of aura given was indeed limited, then that means that the Underworld people who had taught Seiya their techniques won’t be able to teach their skills to anyone else anymore. Someday, I must meet each one of them to say my thanks…When I thought of such a thing, Slauri scratched his head with an apologetic expression on his face.
「But, you see, we must fulfill our roles. It is part of our instincts as people of the Underworld. In fact, that is a common sense in the Underworld, yet unbelievable to both gods and humans alike. Even so, we have no other choice but to do so, since that is the only way that night will come after the day. That is how we are made to be.」
Wha…What was he talking about? That talk was difficult for me to understand it. But, certainly, the Underworld people revealed their true nature when it came to HP. That was what he talked about, am I right?
「Hmm. I think I’ve got it. 」
Slauri looked attentively at the surface of the water. It looked like the bending of the fishing rod dampened down.
「I have my dinner now. 」
After some struggle, Slauri was delighted when he caught a grotesque Underworld fish.
…Hmm. He looked like a cute grandpa.
「Well then, Slauri. I’m going now. 」
「Yeah. Go in good health…Ah, that’s right, before I forget. 」
「Will you show me your transparent breasts when you come here next time? I couldn’t see them properly before, so next time I really want you to show me your full wet skin…Eh, hey?」
I went back to Uno’s house and went to see what Celseus was doing. In the kitchen, I saw that Celseus was happily mixed the dough.
「Are you making another cake? 」
「I can be transparent now. So, I want to take advantage of my spare time.」
「If so, then why don’t you practice with swords? You are the Swordsman God after all.」
「Swords are out of date. 」
Suddenly, Celseus showed me the dough with the ingredients for the cake.
「I also have a plan. This might help with our quest.」
「Do you mean emergency food? But, cakes don’t last long, do they?」
「Sometimes the brain is mightier than brawn. 」
Celseus then laughed fearlessly.
「In any case, our departure isn’t going to be today for certain. Seiya may have reached the perfect condition in the transparency skill, but it would be troublesome for him if the enemy saw us if we let our guard down, correct? I’m sure that Seiya is continuously practicing in order to avoid that. And he might want to do an additional “final check” on us before we leave. I have to enjoy the spare time I have now.」
Then, Celseus began to focus on making the cake. Certainly, in retrospect, even after Seiya learnt the art of change, I was forced to imitate a fish-man so that the beast men wouldn’t know my true identity. Yet, it was too risky and sometimes hard for me to keep my cover-up. As Celseus described, Seiya might do a strict examination on us before we depart this time. I…I wondered what I should do with my spare time as well…!
After that, I went to the living room and ate a slice of Celseus’ cake with Uno. Seiya walked in soon after.
「We leave tomorrow. Be ready.」
I spoke aloud with a surprising voice along with Celseus.
「Why are you that surprised? You’ve already mastered the transparency skill, am I right?」
「But…But, Seiya! You haven’t seen our practice! Is it okay for us to leave like this? Don’t you want to check on us?」
「I’ll pass it this time. Even if your transparency fails, you are gods. The enemies won’t be that dangerous unless they have the Chain Destruction. In addition, based on my experience so far, you’ve never completed a successful test where I insisted on you. I already expect your failure. So, don’t worry about that.」
「Ah, yes. Is that so…」
No, he actually didn’t trust our capability at all! Well, it may be my fault! But, even so!
「But, I think that Rosalie can become transparent now, you know?」
「Whether she can do it or not, it’s okay with me.」
「It doesn’t matter to me if that thing is dead or alive.」
「How…How can you say that repeatedly! C’mon!」
「Ah, yeah! Ah, ah, ah! 」
Celseus laughed awkwardly upon hearing Seiya’s severe words. However, it was no wonder why Celseus felt uneasy. Seiya was staring at the room on the second floor where Rosalie was staying. I was amazed when I saw Seiya’s eyes. Seiya often looked at Celseus and me with indifferent eyes, but right now, he looked at the room with icy eyes. No warmth was found in his eyes. Seiya didn’t seem to see Rosalie of the twisted world as a woman, not even as a human being.
…I felt as if something was definitely wrong this time around…! Well…Well, he just needed her now in order to gather some information! It’s not like he was using her to attack the enemy land! That’s right!
I thought so. Then, I went to Rosalie’s room alone after a while.
「…Listen, Rosalie. Can I come in? 」
I heard her reply, 「Please do. 」 after I knocked on the door. I opened the door to enter the room…
Rosalie was nowhere to be seen.
「It seems that I managed to master it somehow.」
Suddenly, I heard Rosalie’s voice right next to me! And Rosalie’s figure emerged from the empty space!
「You were able to make yourself transparent! That’s great, Rosalie!」
Rosalie showed me a slight smile when I happily held her hand.
「Will I be useful for everyone now? 」
「Yes, great, it is indeed great! 」
「Will the hero be happy about it? 」
「Of course! I’m sure he’ll be happy! 」
「Re…Really!? I was wondering how I could become the hero’s arms and feet!! I’m glad!! Ah, I’m truly glad that I can help him…!!」
I almost forgot about the harsh-looking Rosalie of the twisted world when she behaved like a little girl. Her cheeks were rosy, and she looked extremely happy. One of my worries got resolved. However, a new worry passed through my mind.
「Li…Listen carefully, Rosalie. I think it’s better for you not to have that kind of feelings towards Seiya, okay?」
「Ah!? I…I know that!! I…I don’t hold any special feelings for the hero!! Absolutely none!! I just respect him very much!! That’s all!!」
She was actually too transparent about her feelings!!
「I…I see. Well, we’re leaving tomorrow, so be prepared… 」
I told Rosalie those words and left her room immediately.
…Ah…Seiya and Rosalie had completely opposite feelings. Let’s hope it doesn’t get messy.
Uno’s house garden was the meeting place. When I arrived there, I saw that Seiya made Celseus carry a large amount of luggage.
「By the way, Seiya. Where are we going first? 」
「Hmm. First, we need to return to the town of Igle. From there, we’ll use Rosalie’s movement magic circle to go to Nakashi Village where the Dragon King grew up.」
Rosalie apologized nervously to Seiya.
「I’m sorry, hero. But, Nakashi Village is in ruins. It seems that no one lives there anymore, you see…?」
「I know that. Okay, Lista. Now it’s your turn.」
「My turn? 」
「We must find Mash’s personal belongings at the village. And from there, you are going to read the lingering thoughts on the objects with your power.」
「Seiya, that means that you are finally going to use Lista’s ability!」
…Se…Seiya was going to rely on my abilities…!?
「Well, even if Lista didn’t have that type of ability, I can still get some information if I activate my Appraisal skills.」
「I…I will do it with my power! I will do my best to read the information on the objects!」
I was tense and nervous. Still, Uno, who had come to see me off, approached me with a mysterious look on her face.
「Lady Lista. If you become a devil in the earthly world, there is something that you should be careful of…」
「I…I think that you told me this before…Didn’t you say that it could harm my body!?」
「No. It’s not exactly that. I fear that you are going to explode if you escalate your emotions unnecessarily.」
「My emotions will explode!?」
I was stunned, but Celseus hit his knees as if he realized something.
「If you ask me, when I became a devil in the town of Igle, my negative emotions suddenly sprung up when I tried to go up against Lucifer! I see…So that’s what it feels like!」
「No, your emotions were actually the opposite! You became a devil to try to go to the other side!」
「Ah, is that right? Hmm…So that’s what really happened back then. I’m sorry.」
「Anyway, just shut up will you! Well then, Uno. I don’t have other problems other than that, right?」
「Yes. There is no problem if Lady Lista can keep the emotions calm.」
「Okay! I’ll be careful! 」
「…Lista. Is it really okay? 」
「I did emotional control when I trained with Slauri! Trust me!」
And as Seiya told me, I opened the portal to the town of Igle. It has been a few days since we left Igle. However, the flow of time in the Underworld was as slow as in the Gods’ realm. In fact, for the townspeople, it should have been a few hours since we left.
「Ah, hero…! I’m sure that you want to go to Nakashi Village as soon as possible, but you thought of me, so we’re going to my town first!」
Rosalie was extremely grateful for Seiya’s gesture even though he had a different purpose.
「Ohh! Lady Rosalie is back! 」
Eventually, everyone gathered around Rosalie to know what exactly happened. Every single person listened enthusiastically to everything that Rosalie said. I was looking attentively at Rosalie.
…Hmm…Despite his different motives at coming here, Seiya probably came to Igle because this was the only safe place in Twisted Geabrande. I believed that before going to Nakashi Village, he wanted to arrive at a safe place first, before venturing to the unknown.
It seemed that my speculation was right. Seiya spoke in a harsh tone.
「Hey, Rosalie. Forget them now, and get ready to invoke the movement magic circle.」
「I…I apologize! I’ll do it promptly!」
Within a short moment, Rosalie explained to the townspeople that she would accompany the hero on this quest. Then, Rosalie drew a magic circle on the ground with a stick. As expected, Seiya wanted to examine the surroundings before entering the magic circle. However…
「I’ll make myself transparent just in case. Celseus. Lista. You guys too.」
We activated our transparency skill. We couldn’t see each other. I heard Celseus’ worrying voice from the empty space.
「But, Seiya. If we go like this, we won’t know where everybody is.」
「Yeah. That’s the downside of the transparency skill. Therefore, only Rosalie will be visible, and she will walk in front of us as a guide.」
Rosalie nodded with a strong smile…Well, Nakashi Village seemed to be uninhabited ruins, so it should be fine.
「Okay. It’s time to leave.」
A dazzling light shined and our bodies disappeared as if they were absorbed by the magic circle.
The dazzling light gradually disappeared. The first thing I saw was a group of collapsed buildings. It felt like a scenery of a long past. Weeds grew through the gaps in the rubble.
「This place must have been destroyed a long time ago.」
Only Celseus’ voice echoed in the spot. At this precise moment, with the exception of Rosalie, our appearance was completely gone. However, I could tell where he was, based on the direction of his voice.
「The village was destroyed by the invasion of the dragon people a few years ago.」
「But, this is Mash’s hometown, isn’t it?」
「I heard that the Dragon King also slaughtered the humans who raised him.」
「No way…! 」
『In my village named Nakashi, I am called “Hero Mash”! 』
Suddenly, I was reminded of a cheerful Mash who was extremely proud of his home village. I still couldn’t believe that Mash did such a terrible thing to his home. I wondered if someone was manipulating him…Or if he was a totally different person… I couldn’t wipe away these thoughts.
「I want to find Mash’s old house. 」
「I heard that the Dragon King was raised in the mayor’s house of this village. Since it is the mayor’s house, I’m sure that it must have been one of the biggest building marks in the center of this village.」
「Well then, Rosalie. Go ahead and check it out.」
Rosalie, who only had eyes for Seiya, ran energetically. Celseus murmured.
「Rosalie is doing a good job, isn’t she? Even her movement magic circle is more useful than Lista’s portal.」
「I…I can cast my portal anywhere in the world if I go there once! And I can invoke it in a short time! I’m actually faster than her!」
I tried to defend myself, but I thought that Seiya would say to me, “You are unusable”. Nevertheless…
「I wonder. Overall, I think that Lista’s portal is better.」
Seiya unexpectedly praised me. Just…Why? How rare!
「So, did you memorize how to invoke your portal to this village?」
「Yes! It’s all right! 」
「If Rosalie dies, it will be difficult to secure a way out. Remember it if that time comes.」
「Ple…Please, don’t say such things…Eh, EHHHHH!?」
Suddenly, a large amount of lizards came from the direction of Seiya’s voice! Dozens of fire lizards appeared from the void, and scattered throughout the village with a quick movement!
「Why did you do that!? 」
「They are more convenient than Automatic Phoenix to explore private houses.」
Seiya began to investigate the village on his own, while letting Rosalie go by herself. However, after a short moment, I saw that Rosalie came running back. She couldn’t see us, so she looked at the surroundings quite nervously.
「Rosalie. I am here. 」
「Ah, goddess! I have a report to announce! The area around the village mayor’s house is safe! Although the building itself is a bit in ruins from the outside, the furniture and other items remain intact inside!」
「Hmm. Let’s head over there. Rosalie, take the lead.」
However, when Rosalie took a few steps further, Seiya spoke with a serious tone.
「No…Wait. The fire lizards say that they found a dragon on the ruins of a chapel, north of the village.」
「Let me observe it carefully.」
I heard Seiya’s voice from the empty space. The eyes of the fire lizards, which Seiya released earlier, were probably linked to his own eyes.
「Yeah. It really looks like a lizard but with a humanoid form. There’s no doubt that it’s a dragon man.」
After a while, Seiya confirmed that fact. Rosalie showed a surprised expression.
「A dragon person in these abandoned ruins, you say? Let me go and kill this dragon! Hero and everyone else, you must go to the village mayor’s house first!」
「No. First, let’s see who he is. After capturing him even if I must torture him or torment him in some way, I’ll be able to get different information than the one I’ll receive from Lista’s power to read the lingering thoughts on personal belongings.」
「Tor…Torture, you say! 」, I heard Celseus’ shocking voice from behind me. I was also surprised and swallowed my raw saliva. I…I don’t think that’s something that a hero should do in the first place! But, this was for the sake of saving the world, right?
Our purpose was to gather information at the ruins of Nakashi Village, which should have been a safe endeavor with us being transparent. However, the appearance of the mysterious dragon man in an uninhabited area smelled fishy to us.
On this saving quest Seiya has gone full hardcore mode…
Thank you to the Patrons for the continued support!