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Chapter 052 – Rising Dragon Mountain
In a small house on the outskirts of the settlement, a certain important person lived there.
On a large chair in a sunny room sat a lady reading a book. Her appearance was almost the pinnacle of perfection, making her seem like a work of art even if she was just doing normal things, so much so that a mysterious air with a sense of calm surrounded her.
She was the previous chief of the Kalar Settlement, The King of the Night — Kesselring.
And this house was her current place of residence after her retirement.
The hustle and bustle of the world was very minimal around these parts of the settlement, and for the Kesselring who loved a quiet place, she decided to build a house here. Therefore, this was the most calming place for her.
Kesselring sighed heavily and closed the book she held. A subtle expression of worry washed over her.
…I wonder how the fight is going…?
She held her forehead to that thought, worrying about the outcome of their battle against the humans.
It was quite shameful of her to think like this since she made harsh remarks to Pale and declared she wouldn’t be participating in the fight yesterday. The only reason she was worrying like this was because she couldn’t fully believe in everyone in the settlement. She berated herself.
It was something she said on her own accord. How could she not believe in them? It was even more unpleasant that she was even considering participating in the battle now.
However, there was still hope. The fact that she could still spend a slow and peaceful time like this could only mean that the situation hasn’t turned for the worst yet.
The battle might still be ongoing, but the enemies still haven’t managed to advance all the way to the settlement. It was quite an accomplishment for Pale since she was not used to fighting. If the commander was unreliable, it would destabilise those under their lead. This could lead to many things happening, like making the subordinates feel uneasy and even end up making fatal mistakes.
But if she could overcome it, she would surely grow. By realising what she could accomplish little by little, she wouldn’t need to do much else and move forward without much problem.
By then, it wouldn’t turn out too bad even if Kesselring participated in the battle as one of the settlement members. The time has yet to come, however.
The moment she thought that,
A few seconds after Kesselring felt the signs and heard the sound of people outside, she could hear someone calling her name.
As soon as Kesselring left the room, she opened the front door to welcome the visitor and sure enough, a compatriot of hers was there.
“Kesselring-sama! That’s, err… a big problem has happened!”
The kalar girl entrusted to be a messenger panicked as she said that. Although the explanation was hardly reasonable, her feelings of desperation set Kesselring off.
No way, thought Kesselring as she then asked with a serious voice.
“…What happened during the battle? Don’t tell me— did we lose?”
“Ah, no! The battle ended in our victory, and the human troops have withdrawn.”
It’s just…, the girl’s expression distorted and seemed to find it hard to continue her words. Kesselring was relieved to learn they won the battle, but her relief was extinguished soon after.
She tried to express herself clearly,
“So what happened?”
They’ve won the battle itself, but something difficult must have happened. Kesselring, having heard that, was already jumping to conclusions. It wasn’t hard to think of what kind of tragedies had been brought about despite the result of the battle.
…Don’t tell me, did something happen to Pale…?
To have something happen to a person she was close to. Feeling uneasy, her body stiffened as she waited for the kalar girl’s words to continue.
The kalar girl finally opened her mouth a few moments after Kesselring asked her again.
“That’s… Pale-sama was—”
Kesselring’s body shivered once she heard those words. Did my bad premonition hit the mark? Thought Kesselring as she despaired—
“—kidnapped by a man.”
Kesselring’s eyes went wide open. Although it wasn’t the worst possibility, it was also not good news. But Kesselring could rescue her as long as she was still alive.
It could be said that she was lucky despite the unfortunate happenstance. As Kesselring thought about it, she didn’t panic and dipped her head down,
“…I see… Did she get kidnapped by human soldiers?”
And asked for the details.
Kesselring never thought that the answer would be something completely different from what she expected though.
“Ah, no, according to what I’d heard, it was a majin.”
An unexpected factor has appeared in the story, and it made Kesselring frown slightly.
What really happened? Why did a majin suddenly appear? Even as such questions bounced about Kesselring’s head, stunning her into a stupor, the girl continued in detail.
“Yes. Err, when we fought against the humans, there was suddenly an earthquake when said majin appeared on the battlefield… Just as we were wondering why he was kicking the humans away, he then went to Pale-sama and, err, eh–… e-embraced her, and went to defeat the humans one after another in that state before he left the battlefield.”
Kesselring was lost for words. Rather than surprise, she simply couldn’t understand why a majin would do that.
After a while, she ruminated it over inside her head. Thereafter, the first thing she did was ask for confirmation,
“…My apologies. I don’t really understand, but… you said what exactly was kicked away again?”
“The humans. The majin kicked the humans away with a force that sent them flying over the trees.”
Kesselring still didn’t understand even as she clarified the situation, but if that was true, it was a ridiculous feat that was pretty much impossible for a human to accomplish. Although it was indeed possible for a majin to do that, she didn’t understand why the majin would kick the humans away.
…Did he come to torment the humans?
Majin are violent existences. It wasn’t weird for majin to commit acts of terror against humans, but the action in and of itself could be considered lacklustre, and it was puzzling for the majin to not aim for the kalar instead.
However, it would be hard to read into the thoughts of a being that existed outside of common sense. Kesselring banished these thoughts of the majin to the back of her mind for later. What important now was,
“…Since you said she was kidnapped… Does that mean you know where they went?”
“Ah, yes. The corps reported that they seem to be headed for the Rising Dragon Mountain according to the trail they left behind … it is just that… the majin was so fast that they are unable to declare for sure—”
“—No, that’s plenty.”
Kesselring replied with a nod and proceeded to head out the door.
After closing the door behind her, she began to walk quickly. The girl was a little confused by the reactions of the former chief.
“Ke-Kesselring-sama? What do you—”
Kesselring immediately answered. She already listened to everything she needed to hear. Therefore, it was time to take action.
The solution was something Kesselring could do. She had the highest possibility of success and it was something in line with her beliefs as well. She followed her own words to protect Pale who acted and accomplished her duty.
Kesselring said it with a strong conviction.
“—I’m going to rescue her.”
—To rescue the girl captured by the majin, Kesselring decided to use her power once more.
After the girl chanted and activated her magic, a ray of light emitted from the tip of her wand and swallowed the large shadow.
The one who got caught in the magic was a giant-like demon — a gigant, who raised to heave its last scream. The demon fell noisily, and the kalar girl who shot the magic — was Pale. [T/N: I tried to do a quick search, and failed to find a demon named gigant. Perhaps the fanfic author meant dekant, or some subspecies of giant? Anyway, I’ll faithfully translate it as gigant since the fanfic author wrote it as that.]
Majin Leonhart, who witnessed the turn of events, praised her.
“Heh, to think you managed to defeat a gigant in a single move. You are quite capable.”
“E-ehehe… it’s not that big of a deal.”
Leonhart complimented the Pale who was still in his arms. Pale was also squirming in embarrassment, though she didn’t seem dissatisfied about it. Leonhart gave a sidelong glance as he looked at the fallen gigant,
“No, I can concentrate on climbing this way. I’ll leave the small fry to you, Pale.”
“Ah, yes! Leave it to me!”
As Leonhart looked at Pale who squeezed her wand tightly, he gave her a light smile.
…I picked up an unexpectedly helpful person.
Not only did she know the area well, the girl also had good magical skills. When he was lost — or rather, took a few wrong turns, was provoked by a treasure chest dango that drove him to swing his sword in anger, and somehow made him interrupt the battle between the humans and kalars — he thought that things would turn for the worse, but he managed to get a good travelling companion instead.
He still wouldn’t forgive that treasure chest dango though. He would kill it the next time he saw it. Leonhart once again suppressed the resentment that built up as he looked at Pale’s magical prowess,
…I think I’ll have an easier time.
And it made him feel quite optimistic. He was still carrying her so he couldn’t move about recklessly. Just as he had declared earlier, he would leave the small fry for Pale to deal with and if an opponent that Pale couldn’t handle appeared, he would put her onto the ground and fight it in her stead instead.
I guess I’ll keep climbing like this, Leonhart kept trekking with that thought.
“—Hey, that’s not what I was supposed to do!!”
Pale stiffened all while still wearing her smile for some reason, before she suddenly raised her voice. It seemed she was talking to him, so Leonhart listened to her, then…
“How did I end up becoming your party member so naturally?! I even said to leave it to me too?!”
“…You’re referring to that.”
In return for Pale’s all powerful complaint, Leonhart muttered his retorts.
“I thought you would help to point out the path as we both climbed together…”
“Yes! It’s also about that!”
Pale gave a big nod. She sure has high tension, as Leonhart was impressed by her energy level, Pale pointed up at a stretch of rock that went all the way up like a wall. She then shouted,
“Why did I end up at the Rising Dragon Mountain as well—?!”
Their current location was Leonhart’s destination.
The place Pale pointed at was the almost vertical slope that extended beyond the clouds like a long and narrow tower.
The world’s tallest mountain — the Rising Dragon Mountain.
Pale screamed to the cliffs at the foot of the mountain.
As Leonhart was the closest, he looked away with an awkward expression as she huffed and puffed,
“Ah–… well, it’s… one thing led to another.”
“O-one thing led to another, you say…”
Pale was dumbfounded by the unexpected response, but that was all Leonhart could say, and although he did feel bad that it ended up like this, he could only continue trying to fool her as he looked away,
…I actually intended to leave her at the mountain entrance, though…
Since Leonhart had a feeling he would end up lost, he decided to use her guidance until he climbed for a bit. It wasn’t like he had no confidence in finding the right path, it was more of an insurance.
But they ended up climbing this far, and they would be reaching the middle of the mountain anytime soon.
Now what should I do about this? As Leonhart pondered, Pale sighed out,
“…We-well, I guess that’s fine…”
“…Is it okay?”
Leonhart’s eyes widened. It’s fine if you want to call it quits here, but before he managed to say anything, his words were lost once he heard what Pale said.
She glanced at him while playing with her fingers.
“I-it is true that I agreed to guide… or rather, the deal? You asked for me anyway… It was really helpful for you to repel the humans away… well, your method was a little… peculiar though…”
“Yo-you kicked humans away like a ball, right? An-and you did that while carrying me like this… it felt humiliating…”
Aah, you meant that, Leonhart nodded as he understood what she meant.
Right after he struck a deal with Pale, Leonhart proceeded to kick away the humans who seemed to be the commanders of the human army. There were quite a number of them, so he did a head-hunting operation without killing.
It helped that they all wore a different colored armour to the rest, but he doubted that was all of them so he also kicked those with big bodies and knocked them all down.
Remembering the moment, Leonhart looked at Pale, who trembled slightly in his arms, and wore an awkward expression,
“…I tried to not kill them though… it should be better than directly cutting them down, right?”
“…I wonder if they even survived that…? Most humans would die if you kicked them with a force that sends them flying hundreds of metres away…”
Leonhart was troubled as he lost confidence in his words.
A long time has passed since he stopped being human, so perhaps his senses were already paralysed. For the last century, the people he fought against were either fellow majin, or his apostles Carol and Hunty. He has also fought the commander of the human army a few times, and during the time he had to fight on the frontline, he just randomly beat up enemy troops rather than properly fighting them so he couldn’t reasonably answer Pale’s words.
…But well, even Hunty — Well, let’s leave her aside, even Carol could endure a decent hit just fine. Aside from the first dude I kicked, I hit the rest of the people quite lightly so they should be alright.
Holding back sure is hard, with that thought in mind, Leonhart replied with something around that spectrum of reasoning.
“…Being commanders means they are decently trained. They should have survived that.”
Anyway, Leonhart literally kicked away those commanders, and even those who weren’t commanders were left wounded. He already confirmed their retreat, so the kalar should be fine for now.
I can achieve my goal this way, thought Leonhart. Pale, who was in his arms, then said,
“…A-anyway, I am fine with guiding you…Although I did wonder why you need a guide on this kind of mountain with a good view to begin with…”
Pale said she would cooperate with him and Leonhart was moved by her kindness, or rather, sincerity. The latter part of the sentence was selectively blocked out from his ears though.
Leonhart looked up and decided to reciprocate her sincerity.
“—Well then, let’s go…!”
“Ye-yes. Let’s go.”
Indeed, just like his initial goal—
“—I’ll do my best in climbing it!”
“I-I’ll also do my best…!”
To conquer the Rising Dragon Mountain. To achieve that goal, he exclaimed enthusiastically alongside his guide, Pale.
Leonhart once again proceeded to walk the mountain path with Pale’s guidance.
—On a side note, when Pale later noticed she was dragged in by the situation and noticed what climbing meant, she screamed once again, but since it had already come to that point, she reluctantly proceeded together with him.
Launea: “…(The next chapter will be about the situation in Maou Castle when Leonhart is not there)!”
Carol: “Heh, so that’s how it goes!”
Launea: “…(So look forward to it)!”
Carol: “I sure look forward to it!”
Hunty: “…You can understand what she is talking about?”
Carol: “Yes! I can understand that she was talking about Leonhart-sama!”
Ssulal: “I also can understand that.”
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