Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 78 (Part 2)
At some point, a large, black vortex had formed above the royal castle. Furthermore, demonic essence seemed to be coming down from that vortex bit by bit.
Was it Lune trying to absorb all that demonic essence?
“That’s probably where the goddess Lune is.”
“Yeah. We should hurry.”
I nodded at Luca’s words.
Orobas landed next to us.
“All golems within visible range have been dealt with. However, many wraiths still remain and the Dark Organization members in the vicinity have yet to be captured. How would you like to proceed, Your Highness?”
“I see. Noel… I wonder if I could leave this place to you?”
“Of course. If it’s me, I can lift the curses, and I also promise to protect those from the Dark Organization. So, Zagan-dono, please go forth and fulfil your mission without worrying about what’s behind you.”
I was moved by Noel’s gallant declaration but was still full of worries.
“Still, I’m worried that you’ll use up too much mana and run out of it like I did before.”
“Ah… Since Noel’s just as reckless as you are, right?” (Miranda)
“I developed this MP potion so that that would never happen. But, well, if you’re worried about Noel there’s nothing I can do about it.” (Camilla)
That’s right. She’s my sister – no matter how much faith I have in her abilities I’ll still be worried. So at least…
“Don’t worry, onii-san. I’ll be with her the whole time. If it looks like Noel is about to do something reckless, I’ll stop her, and I won’t let anything hurt her. If anything happens I’ll definitely protect her.” (Nina)
“Yeah. I trust you.” I nodded. She’d spoken just as I was about to suggest she stay back with Noel.
Nina’s eyes opened wide in surprise, then she dropped her gaze to the ground and scratched at her cheek.
“They really are related… They don’t doubt me for a second and even say the same things. Even their strong, beautiful gaze is the same…” she muttered to herself, but I was standing next to her so of course I heard it.
The reason why I trusted Nina was because I knew of the strong bond that existed between her and Noel. Noel, however, had probably told Nina she trusted her before they’d gotten so close.
Nina had initially joined the party in order to steal, but then Noel said she trusted an untrustworthy person like that. At first, Nina may have doubted her sincerity, but Noel was ridiculously honest on top of having a strong sense of justice. Honest to the point that it was stupid to doubt her. Which was how the two of them came to be such close friends.
Touched by the two girls’ relationship, I climbed atop the horse behind Luca and picked Miranda and Camilla up with my tentacles. Orobas grabbed Cindy and rose to the sky.
“Ok, we’re off then. Noel, Nina, I leave this place to you. The rest of you, take care.
“Thank you, Your Highness. May you be victorious!”
“May you be victorious!!”
After receiving the knights’ sendoff, Luca once again spurred the horse into motion.
I was worried about them, but since I trusted both girls, I didn’t turn around to look behind me. Instead, I called out to Cindy in the air.
“Sorry about that, Cindy. We keep stopping.”
“Ufufu. There’s no need to apologise, Zagan-kun. If we’d just left them there like that because we were in a rush, I’d have regretted it. Anyway, Lune hasn’t been resurrected yet, isn’t that so?”
“Yeah, if we hurry, we can still make it.”
In the game, the Evil God was resurrected the moment the hero’s party got to the capital. That’s why it’s ok. Clage and the rest were still alive. But… even now the black vortex was growing larger, connecting between the earth and the sky like a tornado.
With the sound of the horse’s gallop echoing, the buildings around us grew larger as we entered the industrial area of the city.
Normally, this area would be lively and teeming with workers, but now it was deathly silent.
Every now and again, we’d encounter a monster that had strayed too far and Camilla shot them down with magic, but we didn’t stop moving.
I wished we could get through this area without incident, but I knew it wouldn’t be that easy.
At any rate, both the palace and the Dark Organization knew that we were heading straight from the 12th city to the imperial palace. Which was why the people should have been evacuated to a place where they wouldn’t obstruct Luca’s path and why the Dark Organization would have summoned monsters to block our path.
I knew they would, but when I felt the large presence of monsters in front of us, I couldn’t help but furrow my brows.
“What an unbelievable number…” (Zagan)
“There’s more than ten thousand.” (Luca)
“There are that many? We’ve got no choice but to stop then.” (Miranda)
“Hmm. Orobas-dono, can you sense any humans among them?” (Camilla)
“I don’t believe so. The citizens have been evacuated beforehand and the knights would have either evacuated or already died, no? Anyway, there are currently only monsters. I cannot sense the presence of the summoners anywhere nearby either.”
“Those are perfect conditions. Leave it to me.”
Camilla popped open an MP potion and started loading her large staff with mana. The mana stone on top of it started to be gradually filled with mana.
Not long after, the swarm of monsters came into view. They were like a wall looming over us.
Individually the monsters weren’t that strong, but with all of them together like that the pressure was immense.
“Nice. My blood is boiling.”
It was just like Miranda, who was full of an adventurer’s pride, to be in full fighting spirit rather than intimidated by that sight.
Had I not been in a hurry, I would have probably felt the same. After all, it was a chance to show off the skills that I had honed while fighting formidable enemies in the 1st to 12th dungeons.
Luca slowed down a bit. However, the monsters had already noticed us, and, unable to go against the will of their summoners, the whole army turned to face us.
As the ground shook, the horse resolutely stomped its hooves. And, at that moment, a spell was cast.
“Fires of hell, answer our sins and burn all who live to the ground – Hellfire!”
Fwoosh!! The tremendous magic headed straight towards the monsters. It was a beautiful, ice-like, blue flame. A magic that burned one’s enemies to a crisp in an instant. It reaped the souls of the living without setting the buildings on fire. What tremendous precision. It was the kind of ultimate magic that suited Camilla, who was good at mana manipulation.
After a couple dozen seconds, a path opened. Though there were still many monsters left, the path in front of us was clear.
“Zagan, let me and Miranda down. We can’t let so many monsters roam free. Miranda, you’ll watch my back, right?”
“Of course! I won’t let you get a single scratch!”
I lowered them to the ground as she’d asked me to, and Camilla pointed her staff towards the castle.
“Go, my friends. Don’t let the path I opened go to waste.”
Luca had already urged the horse back into motion, running through the path she’d cleared for us, surrounded on both sides by the many monsters that were still left.
I used magic to defeat the monsters that followed us from behind and we made it past the swarm without incident. We didn’t stop though. We had to keep going forward.
Camilla said that we couldn’t just let so many monsters roam free. In reality though, by staying behind, she and Miranda were reducing the number of monsters that were chasing after us.
I was thankful to them for staying behind despite the danger but worried whether they’d be ok with so many enemies around. However, I trusted in their strength. Miranda who specialised in defending the vanguard and Camilla who specialised in rear-guard attacks – the two of them had excellent compatibility, so I was sure they’d be fine.
As I silently clung to Luca’s waist, the castle grew closer. At the same time, my sense of unease also grew stronger, as the black vortex had completely disappeared.
When I looked up at the sky, I could see the stars. It was proof that all of that demonic essence that had darkened the sky had been absorbed by Lune. And because of that, I began to feel a colossal amount of mana. This tremendous pressure… was what one would expect from a being called a god.
Though we couldn’t see her yet, judging by the heavy pressure, she would soon appear. Also, just like we’d heard, there were dark dragons flying around the castle walls. At a glance, I could spot six of them. However, I could sense the presence of more.
Here and there, on the high buildings surrounding the castle, I could see knights and mages fighting against the dragons. I could see them using their sword skills and magic without being intimidated by their mighty opponents. They were also doing quite well in defending against the dragons’ attacks.
Since they were stationed around the castle walls, they were probably the royal knights and the royal mages. And since they seemed strong enough, we didn’t really need to stop to help them, did we?
Luca seemed to think the same, since he didn’t stop the horse. Even as we heard the roaring sounds above us we just hurried onwards.
And just as we neared the castle… Boom! An unbelievably heavy presence fell down on us.
For a second I couldn’t breathe.
“Aaaahhhhhhh!!” A loud roar reverberated in the air.
And there was Lune.
She appeared behind the castle, looking like she was being swallowed by demonic essence. That eerie, giant form truly was that of an evil god.
Ah, she’d been resurrected and we hadn’t even reached the castle gates yet.
Even though we were running out of time, the brave horse that had carried us this far froze in fear. It took two—three steps backward. Luca immediately patted it on the head, telling it everything was ok, and the horse stopped its retreat, but it wouldn’t move forward.
Did we need to go by foot from here on out?
Though the castle was close, I heard its grounds were vast enough for even Luca to get lost in, so, if possible, I wished the horse would try its best just a little bit longer.
I was contemplating whether to get off the horse when Orobas suddenly cast a spell.
His Black Needle was different from mine. There was only one gigantic, black needle and it was incredibly fast. It pierced the body of a dragon more than a dozen metres away that was about to spout some flames.
The dragon roared in pain.
On the roof next to it was a lone mage. Did Orobas save him? That man with the flame-coloured hair…
I looked at Orobas and he handed Cindy to me. I grabbed her with my tentacles. Orobas then flew to the man’s side.
“Lyle, you idiot! You’re not paying attention to your surroundings!”
“Hah!? You bastard, you show up out of nowhere and just start cursing me? Wha…t…” The man who had turned around to yell at Orobas noticed me in the distance. His eyes widened in shock.
I couldn’t hear what he was saying, but from the way his lips were moving I was sure.
He called out my name.