“The hero is going to be killed.”
Everyone nodded their heads in agreement with this statement of mine.
Yet there was no negativity in the atmosphere. In the first place, to put it bluntly, the hero was merely a stranger to the Twelve Heavenly Stars. There was no reason to be pessimistic about it.
But it was different for me. In the game, it was the hero who eventually defeated the Demon King, so it would be troubling if he died at this point. Thus, I said it in the serious tone of something important was going to happen…but Aries and the others merely responded as if they didn’t really care: “That seems like it.” They probably thought I was just making small talks.
“As expected of Ruphas-sama. That is indeed the case. The demons would probably send someone from Seven Luminaries today or tomorrow—depending on the hero’s departure.”
“Well, that’s probably true. There’s no need to wait for him to become strong. There is no reason to match the monsters and dungeons to the hero’s current strength.”
Dina also nodded in agreement to Aigokeros’ words, making a remark that dismissed every RPG in the world. This couldn’t be helped. If a newbie came under attack by the last boss right at the start, the setting couldn’t be established and the game would be unplayable. Even the last boss would be trying desperately to make it enjoyable for players. I knew that.
Anyway, the timing of the hero’s departure was too good…Ah, no. It was Dina who pushed this topic on me. In other words, she raised this topic in time with the hero’s departure. It seemed Dina also thought that it would be troublesome if the hero died at this stage.
“…Lævateinn has a Sword Saint as usual. Since it is the kingdom of swords, their soldiers should be of fairly high standards. Assuming the Seven Luminaries will attack…how much of a fight can they put up?”
I asked Aigokeros since, like Dina, he would know about the strength of the demons. Aigokeros muttered to himself and then spoke:
“That’s right. That country is the sword.”
“If the barrier set up by the Sword King Alioth is still active, the Seven Luminaries would be repelled. Ruphas-sama.”
As Aigokeros answered me, Dina forcibly interrupted for some reasons.
What is this? Hmm. You actually love expositions, don’t you?
Or was she just desperate to hold onto her position as the one who set the expositions?
In contrast with the two who were competing for a strange position, Aries and Libra were rather quiet. Aries was preparing to eat his second corn, while Libra was an uninvolved ornament in the corner.
“Yes. The skill of the hero—Soul Succession. Its effect is as you already know, Ruphas-sama.”
“…Ah, I see.”
Soul Succession. Its effect was to greatly increase the abilities of player characters and reduce those of enemies within the skill’s area. It was just a skill that combined buff with debuff, but the strange part was that its effect would continue even after the battle was over.
However, the demerit was huge. When it was used, the hero would die instantly and be returned to the town with no time to use resurrection magic. When this was a game, Alioth would rush back from the town into battle after dying due to the use of this skill. There would be exchanges like “I thought you were dead!?” and “Too bad, it’s just a trick!”.
…In this world, using the skill was equivalent to dying…I guess. Naturally, it wouldn’t be something ridiculous like running back from the town after dying.
“This is the reason the country continues to survive until now after losing the hero…No, that’s not it. Even now, Alioth is protecting the country.”
Svalinn depended on Megrez and Levia. Gjallarhorn depended on Merak’s Coercion. And Lævateinn depended on the barrier. They were defending their countries in their own ways. Hrotti, which was destroyed by the fool Scorpius, probably did not have such a strong defense. However, Phecda had levels in the monster tamer class, so it would not be strange if at least one powerful magical beast was left in defense of the country. …Did it die in battle with the Demon King? In any case, it should be safe to think that all the surviving countries had some kind of defensive measures.
“I see, so it should be safe within the country for now.”
“So that’s how it is. Even Aigokeros and I would have some difficulties fighting a massive number of humans within that barrier. Of course, we should still be able to inflict some devastating damage.”
Based on what Aries said, it seemed that even the Twelve Heavenly Stars were wary of that barrier. How admirable. The level difference between the Twelve Heavenly Stars and the humanoids was as wide as heaven and earth. To be able to make Aries hesitate, its effect must be immense.
Of course, even when facing buffed opponents while being debuffed, we could still drive the country to near-destruction and annihilate the knightly order. However, the Seven Luminaries would have no way to accomplish this. This assumed that the Seven Luminaries did not include Level 1000 characters like Dina.
This was also proof that they had nobody else like Dina. Because if they did have someone like her, they could just drop a meteor from outside the barrier and that would be the end of it. Therefore, even though there might be some differences among the Seven Luminaries, everyone besides Dina was like comparing the back of acorns. To put it bluntly, it was a gathering of small fries.
But I did not feel any special influence when I was in that country. Did the barrier really exist? Did it not affect me since I was a player? Or was I too stupid to notice its effect? This was slightly worrying.
“If it is me, there is a ninety-eight percent chance of taking down Lævateinn, master.”
I didn’t know why Libra was bragging, but I struggled to keep myself from sighing. …Now I thought about it, it was a good thing that Libra remained in the tomb all this time. If it was her, the barrier would not matter if she used Brachium. Buff and debuff were irrelevant before fixed damage.
“Back on topic. So as long as they remain in the country, they would not be threatened?”
“If Scorpius-sama, the Demon King, or his son do not appear, it would be safe. Conversely, if they appear, they would be in danger of destruction. Also, if they leave the country, they could be attacked as well.”
“In other words?”
“They will be watched as soon as they begin the journey. They will encounter the Seven Luminaries once they leave the country.”
Dina declared with confidence. Indeed, as soon as they left the country, it would be “A wild Seven Luminaries appeared!”
Yes, it would be checkmate. Or the boss just came out by himself. This was forbidden in RPG. In addition, since this was spoken by Dina who was one of the Seven Luminaries, it must have been a pre-arranged matter. According to customs, the hero would probably be accompanied by the Sword Saint and so on, but they could not possibly overwhelm the Seven Luminaries.
“The Seven Luminaries would surely appear to ambush the hero. Conversely, this would be a good opportunity to attack the Seven Luminaries. Everyone, wait here. I will go to Lævateinn.”
Honestly, I wanted to help the hero, but it would be hard to convince Aries and the others. Therefore, I would do it myself. If it were just the Seven Luminaries, there was no need for company. The only one who could catch up with me flying at full speed would be Dina, provided she moved ahead of time. If it was Libra, she could catch up after a while, but there was no need to bring this dangerous object to the royal capital. If she fired Brachium, it would be the worst possible scenario for the royal capital.
Dina…no, it would not do.
Dina mentioned that the Seven Luminaries knew that Dina was Venus. If Dina showed up behind me to oppose the Seven Luminaries, it would be taken as a betrayal. This would ruin her cover as a double agent. Currently, it would be better to let them think that Venus was an ally.
“Master, are you planning to go alone?”
“No problem. If it’s the like of Seven Luminaries, even if they all attacked me simultaneously, I can defeat them.”
Libra sounded a little worried, but there should be no problem. It might be a bit conceited, but if they were just like Mars and Jupiter, there was no way I would lose. Even if I was lacking allies, I could just create a few golems on the spot in the worst possible scenario. Well, I wouldn’t lose as long as I didn’t become too reckless.
“I’ll be back tomorrow. Don’t worry.”
I said that to Aries and the others, then stepped out of Tanaka. Considering the current situation of the world, it would not be a mistake to eliminate the Seven Luminaries whenever possible. I didn’t know what the Demon King was thinking, but the impression was that he never moved on his own. The active ones were the Seven Luminaries and the Twelve Heavenly Stars.
Two of the Seven Luminaries had been defeated. Excluding Dina, there were only four people left. If I eliminated one of them this time, there would be only three people left. This should be advantageous to the humanoids.
As I pondered this, I spread my wings and soared into the sky. It felt good to be free from the constraints of gravity. I would never be tired of this. This was the time when I was glad to be a flügel. Cutting through the winds, I shortened the distance in one breath.
The distance that Tanaka took several days to travel was covered in merely tens of minutes. This feeling was irresistible, but what was really going on with these wings? I remembered seeing somewhere that a human would need wings of twenty meters to fly, but my wings were not that big. They were quite big, but each wing was only one and a half meter. Despite this, I was able to fly normally. It was truly a fantasy.
After flying for tens of minutes, I was in the sky above Lævateinn where I was first summoned. It was nostalgic, despite it not being that long ago. In fact, only a few weeks had passed. In a way, I was grateful to this country. I was here because this country messed up the summoning. And because I was here, I met Aries and the others.
This was probably a funny way to think. Normally, I should be angry that I was separated from my peaceful life in Japan. Wishing to return home soon was probably the correct way to think.
But…why? I did not think so at all.
It was not just about being homesick. I did not even feel nostalgic for my hometown.
A peaceful life, guaranteed safety, reliable housing, and readily available food and clothing. Numerous entertainment.
…It was a big difference.
Compared to a world threatened by demons, the difference was as wide as heaven and earth. If I was to say which was the blessed world, it would most certainly be the other world.
It was almost like a dream…It did not feel real as if it was merely a movie on a screen. It felt like a different world to me. It did not feel real. There were memories of staying and growing up there, but it felt like someone else’s memories instead…as if I was being shown the peaceful life of a stranger in a drama or perhaps in another person’s memories.
It seemed I was currently being dyed in the splendid yet dangerous feelings of “Ruphas”. No, maybe it was from the beginning…
…Oops. Now was not the time to think about such things. No, I should say this was not something to think about at all.
I shook my head and looked at Lævateinn again. As I looked closely, something like a barrier seemed to cover all over the royal capital. Originally, the skill’s area of effect should not be so wide. It seemed to be a difference between reality and the game. Or was it Alioth’s last will?
“I see…With this, the Seven Luminaries would not be able to come close. Do you not think so?”
I muttered and called out to someone behind.
I had not confirm the person’s appearance yet…I sensed someone appearing suddenly just before I shook my head. I could sense that the person was just standing behind me without doing anything.
A sudden appearance would imply teleportation via X-Gate. I confirmed it with Dina that the only teleport magic currently in the world was X-Gate. There wasn’t any other. The condition required to use X-Gate was to be able to use both divine magic and arcane magic. Therefore, it was considered impossible to be used by the flügels, who could use only divine magic, and by the vampires, who could use only arcane magic. In addition, the beastkin generally did not like magic, so it was probably not used by them in the present time. As such, it was considered to be magic that few people could use.
…This was not Dina. This penetrating hostility and the oppressive feeling were not hers. This was different from the Seven Luminaries. Their sense of presence was not so great.
Then the possible answers were sorely limited. And I already got the answer. It was just a hunch, but I was fairly certain.
I never met him, but I knew him well.
I wondered when this encounter would come. We must have shared, feared, and longed for this feeling over the past two hundred years.
“Right? Demon King.”
To my own surprise, I distorted my face with a smile that seemed belligerent.
Thus, I spoke to “that guy” behind me.