Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Death March 1-4 w/ TLN

Chapter 4: 【Date】

-Translator: MiaoMix [Comments will be in Pink]
-Editor: Options [Comments will be in Blue]

>> Satou here. Though younger girls tend to become attached to me, we would only remain as friends and never become lovers. For some reason, girls I am interested in are invariably older. <<

 I am awakened by an unreserved knocking.
 “Satou-san, are you awake?”
 “Yeah, I am now.”
 The morning light shines through the crevices on the closed window. That is the only window in the room, and it is barely large enough to poke your head through, nor is it even glazed. It’s for ventilation, but I remember Martha-chan telling me to close it at night for safety.
 I quickly groom myself, and walk to the door.
 Even after a whole night, my facial hair didn’t grow.
 I do remember not having facial hair at fifteen. When it grew in after starting college, I ecstatically showed off to everyone.
 My girlfriend at the time immediately made me shave it, however.
 My hair isn’t standing up, so I put on an embroidered white robe bought yesterday and head out.
 “Quick, your girlfriend is here for you!”
 What? But my girlfriend dumped me half a year ago because I worked too much.
 So far, the number of people I’ve met in this city can be counted on two hands. After going downstairs with Martha-chan, I find out it’s Zena-san, the arcane soldier, waiting for me.
 “Good morning, Satou-san!”
 “Good morning. Your outfit looks cute today!”
 Today’s Zena-san is not in her usual army gear.
 White blouse, turquoise skirt, and a slightly-too-big chartreuse yellow shawl on her shoulders. It looks a little plain, but thanks to her charm, she gives an impression of neatness instead.
 Being a beautiful teen girl sure has upsides!
 I thought she had a sprain. Is it fine for her to walk?
 “Your sprain, how does it feel now?”
 “Ahh, yesterday, I was able to have a priest at the 「Garlion Temple」 to heal it!”
 That’s so fantastical—! So a priest healed it, huh. I wonder what 「Holy Magic」 is like. I wanna see!
 “I-, I’m not on duty today, so! I wanna show Satou-san, uh, I would like to offer Satou-san a tour of the city!”
 She doesn’t have to push herself this hard. Her eyes are swirling around.
 Perhaps because she noticed me enjoying her small-animal-like behavior, her face is showing uneasiness.
 Oh, oops.
 “Thank you very much. Please, do show me around.”
 “Of course!”
 Once I agree, Zena-san responds with a golden smile like a blooming flower.
 Truly, the energy of youth is blinding!

 After washing my face, I head out with Zena-san.
 Breakfast is at the stalls set up for the morning market on 「Eastern Boulevard」. Despite being a noblewoman, she doesn’t seem to dislike eating here.
 Carried by the wind, the smell of soy sauce boiling is tickling my nose.
 “Is that smell soy sauce?”
 “That’s right! It is one of the Two Great Sauces invented by our Founding Father Yamato. It’s also exported to many countries, so hasn’t Satou-san seen it in your home country?”
 “No, it’s just that I haven’t smelled it for a long time.”
 “Ah, so that’s why!”
 Like I thought, Yamato seems to be written as 『大和』 (There’s no good way to translate this. Satou only knew how the name is pronounced, and now he has reason to suspect it’s written the way he expected it. As an aside, [Yamato]( is an old name for Japan. Whether the person intended that is unknown (for now). What’s the other sauce? Is it miso? (You might know this if you know anything about Japan at all, but miso and soy sauce are very important sauces to them.)
 Zena-san, with a wave of her hand, brings me toward a stall.
 The stall is selling something deep-fried. Croquettes, maybe?
 “Mister, please give me two 「Seiryuu-age」.” (The food “セーリュー揚 *Seiryuu-age*” is literally “Seiryuu fried food”. The last ‘e’ is not silent, by the way. Incidentally, the WN had something called “セーリュー焼 *Seiryuu-yaki*”, which I thought was the same thing, but apparently not. The Chinese text even translated it as the latter.)
 “Yes. Your order will be ready soon.”
 Is it fried in lard? The smell is strong.
 “Didn’t Lilio-chan come with you today?”
 “Lilio just got back from the expedition yesterday, so she’s still resting in her room.”
 Zena-san receives croquettes wrapped in some kind of leaves, and hands one to me. It’s one 「Copper」 each, and while Zena-san has her hands full, I pay the man selling croquettes.
 “Hey, I wanted to treat you as thanks for yesterday!”
 “Now now, you let me ride with you to 「Seiryuu City」, then helped me enter, which is more than enough!”
 I decide to eat on a stone bench near the store.
 There is some dirt on the stone bench, so I lay down a handkerchief from my backpack on Zena’s spot and mine before sitting down.
 “Ehehe, I feel like a princess.”
 Abashed yet quite happy, she starts nibbling on the croquette in her hands like a bird.
 As I admire her appearance, I bite down on my own croquette.
 The meatless, potato croquette is fairly delicious, but it tastes a little greasy. Is it because of the oil? If I have more than two at once, I’ll definitely get heartburn.
 “This 「Seiryuu-age」, it was recommended by Lilio’s boyfriend!”
 “Oh, then is he a chef?”
 “No, he doesn’t know how to cook, yet he knows how all sorts of food are made, a strange person.”
 Hmm, I know it’s dangerous to jump to conclusions, but could he be Japanese?
 Him and Yamato too, it seems like there are other Japanese people who have come to this world. Perhaps just by walking through a wardrobe, you can easily go back and forth! (Reference to the C. S. Lewis’s *The Chronicles of Narnia* series.)

 Just as I am looking around after finishing my food, a little girl holding a basket full of flowers comes up to me.
 “Sir, please buy some flowers!”
 The little girl holds out her flowers and stands still.
 She has been sneaking glances this way for a while, so that’s how she knew when I would finish eating. She’s young but quite clever.
 “Sure, how much?”
 “Each bunch is one 「Micro」. ”
 I give her one 「Micro」 coin for the flowers
 The young girl thanks me happily, and runs to the next potential customer.
 I present the flowers to Zena-san. Of course,after she finishes her croquette and wipes her hands.
 A quite surprised Zena-san.
 Um, there’s no one else here, you know?
 “Is it fine for me to have this?”
 “Yes, I'll be troubled if you don’t.”
 It's not like I can just throw them out!
 A wide grin appears on Zena-san’s face.
 Oh? Does it really make her that happy? Whatever, as long as she is pleased.
To flush my palate, I get some melon-like fruit being sold, cut into small bite-sized pieces, then try some barbecued tuberous plant served with soy sauce. It tastes a little funny, but contrary to its appearance, it's very delicious.
 However, the next stall Zena-san recommends to me, has a strange feel to it.
 “This is called a 「Fried Dragon Wing」, it’s made from a fried bat wing flavored with black miso. It’s a specialty of 「Seiryuu City」 since a long time ago!”
 Using bat wings to represent dragon wings? This has quite the interesting story.
 I choose to trust Zena-san that it tastes better than it looks, and order two of these.
 “Sorry, big sis.”
 As I am paying for the two of us, I hear Zena’s gasp behind me. Seems like a kid had bumped into her.
 Zena-san herself is fine, but her white blouse is covered in miso and ruined. “The blouse I borrowed from Mom...” she murmurs, tears gathering.
 If we go to the store on 「Tepta Boulevard」 yesterday, can they get rid of the stain?
 “’Scuse me~? You look like you need help right? Do you need the help of a sorceress~?”
 “Sorry, but what we need is a launderer that can remove the stain.”
 Bringing up sorcery right now, I wish she would recognize the situation!
 “I mean, I can use 「Life Magic」, so I can remove the stain.”
 Oh, so that’s what she does.
 The timing of her entrance is so impeccable, it feels suspicious, but cleaning the soiled blouse is more important right now.
 “Then, please go ahead.”
 “Alright, cleaning magic and drying magic cost three 「Large Coppers」 total.”
 Haggling is annoying, so I pay the three 「Large Coppers」 she requested and let her cast the spells.
 “Then, I will first get rid of the stain. ■ ■ ■ ■■■■ ■■■■■ 「Soft Wash」.”
 With the 「Life Magic」 cast on her, Zena-san becomes soaking wet.
 Her blouse is now transparent, showing the tank top underneath, so I cover her up with a large towel from my backpack. I ignore the disappointed groans of idiots nearby.
 Now, the miso stain that had covered the blouse has completely vanished.
 As expected of magic.
 “Next is drying. ■ ■ ■ ■■■■■ 「Dry」.”
 As if having gone through a dryer, Zena’s blouse is now dry
 After making sure her clothes are no longer transparent, I take the towel off her shoulders. My hand enters the range of the drying magic, which feels like a blow dryer.

 >>>  Obtained skill 「Life Magic」

 Ooh! That simple?
 I got the magic skill so easily. The only means of balance in this unreasonable game is my inability to chant.
 After finishing her spells, the sorcerer girl disappears into the crowd.
 Right, there’s someone who can use magic here, let’s ask her!
 If 「Life Magic」 can replace washing machines and blow dryers, there could even be a shower spell too.
 “Zena-san, how do you chant a spell?”
 “Chant a spell?”
 “Yes, how do you pronounce them? It sounds difficult to me.”
 “Oh, I see~ 「Wind Magic」 generally starts with ‘■■■■’, and if you really try to sound it out, it would be like ‘rew~REE-ah (omitted) RAH~rurerira~OH’. Well, it’s impossible for a beginner to chant properly at first. Most people start with just memorizing the sounds.”
 Zena-san looks downward, making a “How do I put this?” expression.
 “...A rhythm. Yeah, sing those syllables, while following a beat. Then, while keeping to that rhythm, slowly increase the pace, and it will become ‘■■■■’! Yeah!”
 I attempt to practice the phrase Zena-san first taught me, but I am still unable to properly chant a spell.
 “Really, it's not easy.”
 “Of course, chanting normally takes years to learn.”
 “Before you could use 「Wind Magic」, how long did you train?”
 “The official training was about three years, but now that I think about it, I feel like a big part of my everyday life before then was to prepare me to become a magician~”
 What was she made to do? A slight shadow is cast over Zena’s smile, hinting of some bitterness.
 “It started with reading aloud picture books about magical history, then singing practice, pronunciation practice, and breathing techniques. Toys that detect the flow of mana. From learning to playing, it was all to raise me as a magician.”
 I see, so early childhood education? There are also children in Japan who don’t get to play because they are forced to learn at a young age.
 I think we’re getting off-topic.
 “Your parents meant well by raising you that way, no? Having learned to use magic, you can dream of flying with magic one day.”
 I can tell Zena-san feels depressed, and try to cheer her up in a panic.
 “Satou-san. Why does Satou-san want to learn magic? Does it help you do business?”
 “No, since the inns don’t have baths, I thought if I could use 「Life Magic」, I can do without washing myself while traveling!”
 To ease the tension, I try to say something silly.
 Looks like making a fool of myself was worth it, since Zena-san stares at me with her teary eyes, and bursts out laughing.
 “Ahahahah! To-, to learn magic for that reason, first time I've heard anything like it!”
 Was it that funny?
 I seem to have hit Zena’s funny bone, because she can’t stop laughing.
 “Is it ‘that’ weird?”
 I thought it was pretty reasonable though? Doesn’t it make things more convenient?
 “It is!”
 An immediate answer.
 “Because, if you have the time and money to learn 「Life Magic」, isn’t it simpler to build bathhouse at home? And to heat the water, you can just hire a servant or buy a slave.”
 Is that how it is?
 My motto is “Do whatever you can yourself!” But in this world, hiring people for chores seems to be acceptable. The cost of labor is pretty cheap, after all.
 Well, I learned a lot from this, so let’s try beginner guides and pronunciation practice later!
 By the way, while we were talking, I obtained the skill 「Modesty」 and the titles 「Clown」 and 「Gentleman」.
 I didn’t have time to look at the log!

 With the awkward tension gone, we continue strolling while we eat.
 Next up, the sweet-smelling desserts section.
 “This is called an 「Amaimo Bun」, which is made by mixing mashed steamed ‘amaimo’ into dough, then deep frying it.”
 A sweet bun made with a sweet potato-like tuber? (The kanji for *amaimo* is literally “sweet potato” (甘芋), but sweet potatoes are actually called “サツマイモ *satsuma-imo*”. By the way, yam and sweet potato are different plants.) It feels subtly Japanese.
 I chow down on the sweet potato bun, while drinking a warm beverage that tastes like light ginger ale.
 “This store here, Lilio told me about it.”
 The store she speaks of is the same as where Martha-chan and I bought molasses. The uncle tending is even wearing the same apron as the man pushing the cart yesterday.
 Anyway, I give two 「Coppers」 to the uncle for the two of us. He takes out two sticks, stirring them in the tea-colored fluid before taking them out.
 Since she bothered to take me here, it would be awkward if I said I had it yesterday, so let’s pretend we haven’t had it for a long time!
 “Molasses? How nostalgic!”
 “You know about it?”
 She looks a little disappointed. Maybe I should have acted surprised— lesson learned.
 “The molasses I had was something colorless and clear, so I didn’t know what it was at first.”
 “Mister Noble, the clear molasses is a high class product made with rice and sugar. This is for commoners, made using potatoes, gabo berries, and malt, so the color is brown.”
 The uncle cuts in with surprising reaction time.
 Who’s a noble? Doesn’t look like he’s talking to Zena-san.
 “Uncle, I’m a commoner! An acquaintance gave me the clear stuff. I didn’t know that was a high-class item!”
 Because it was only ¥200 at the festival.
 After that, we looked through various stalls, enjoying the lively atmosphere.
 I buy some honey-flavored pastries as a gift for the girls working hard at 「Gateside Inn」. Zena-san looked very content after having one herself. Surely they will be happy too.

 Having eaten enough food, we turn to the stalls selling other things.
 A store selling cute clamshells and clay bottles intrigued me. For some reason, the clamshell has a high market price.
 After asking the granny tending the store, I learn that the shell is a container for medicine.
 “Young man, this is a very effective ointment!”
 “What is it used for?”
 “Cuts, chapped skin, among other things. If you give it to your servants, they’ll work as hard as horses!”
 The wrinkled hands of the elderly clerk really do look smoother than the 「Gateside Inn」 madam’s hands.
 Since the madam served me such delicious food, let’s buy some as a gift for her! It’s not that cheap, but still only costs a few 「Coppers」.
 “Then, I'll take five.”
 “In that case, it will be 15 「Coppers」, but I'll only charge twelve.”
 Why, that’s cheaper than market price!
 When I have decided to take the deal and begin pulling out money from my pocket, Zena’s slender hand stops me.
 “Granny, that’s a bit much. Wasn't it 2 「Coppers」 each last time? We’re buying five, so please make it 9 「Coppers」.”
 Ohh, Zena-san starts to haggle unreasonably with a smile.
 “Ah, I didn’t notice because you are with a man, but aren’t you the girl that was here with Lilio? I can’t go lower than 10 「Coppers」!”
 “Then, please pitch in three of the small ones.”
 Realizing that she can’t lower the price anymore, Zena-san points to the shells next to the ointment, asking for freebies. Judging by the size, three of those shells are about as big as one bottle.
 “Sheesh, if you keep imitating Lilio, you will marry later and later! I'll pitch in one, and no more.”
 “Fine, deal.”
 When the granny mentioned marriage, Zena’s face twitched a little, but still finishes the haggling with a smile. She’s only seventeen! I think it’s a little early to worry about marriage.
 The granny swiftly wraps the shell in a leaf, and ties it up with some sort of vine.
 If it isn’t wrapped, the ointment would probably get everywhere in the backpack!
 To thank Zena-san for haggling, I give her the ointment shell.
 I was going to give her one anyway!

 As we reached the end of the stalls, she brings me somewhere else.
 “Do you like this place?”
 “Yeah, the wind feels nice.”
 “Haha, I think so too!”
 Zena-san giggles as she sweeps her eyes across the scenery below.
 This is one of the towers along the city wall. As it was pretty close to the open-air stalls, I asked her to bring me here. It’s a military facility, so I wouldn’t have been able to get inside without Zena-san, who is an Arcane Soldier.
 Zena-san seems to be well-known, since despite being in her civilian clothing, she was let in.
 “Hey, I know I was the one who asked you, but is it really okay to bring a stranger into a military facility?”
 “Yes, since the only thing that will attack a countryside city like Seiryuu are wyverns. The neighboring countries have never attacked in several centries. Even the war against demi-humans was more than ten years ago.”
 Hmm~ The demi-human slaves in Seiryuu City, were they captured during that war?
 “Zena-san, what kind of a building is that windmill?”
 “Oh, that? It’s for milling flour. If a wyvern comes, it can serve as a battery.”
 A battery? In the middle of the city?
 “If you fire artillery from there, wouldn’t houses be damaged?”
 “We could shoot cannonballs, but we usually only fire nets or blank shots at the wyvern.”
 “I see, so it’s meant to drive them away right?”
 “Yeah, we would drive it to the lord’s orchard on the other side to defeat it.”
 If that happens, wouldn’t the place be destroyed?
 Perhaps noticing that I am really curious, she decides to also take me to see the windmill and the lord’s orchard.
 I was going to ask her myself later, but this works.

 On the way to a nearby windmill, she mentions a 「Parion Temple」, so we take a detour to visit. Wasn’t the guy giving out a questionable sermon yesterday from 「Zaikuuon Temple」? There’s also the 「Garlion Temple」 which Zena-san said had healed her. Do the names of gods all end with “-on”?
 “Ah, there it is!”
 We’ll find the 「Parion Temple」 a few blocks from the open-air market.
 It’s huge. About 300 tsubo? (*Tsubo* measures area, usually for tracts of land. Nine hundred *tsubo* is about 0.75 Acres (3,000 meters squared)) It’s as large as thirty houses.
 The surrounding fence is directly connected to the building. Upon entering the arch gateway, a lot for parking carriages with an open entrance is visible.
 The parking lot has a carriage that looks very luxurious. In my opinion, this church seems very rich.
 Zena-san enters the temple, leading me by the hand.
 Inside the building is a ten meters wide room with a tall ceiling. At the back where there are banners with what looks to be a holy insignia, several priests are performing a baptism with merchants and their children.
 There isn’t any stained glass on the ceiling, but there are openings to let in light. The upper half of the walls are filled with murals of knights fighting horned demons with their swords. The layout is a little odd, but it is a very majestic painting.
 “That depicts the 「First Hero」 battling with a 「Demon King」.”
 “Huh, I thought it was a knight.”
 “That blue glow is unique to 「Holy Swords」. If it were a knight holding a magic sword, it would be drawn with red light, so it’s easy to tell! ”
 Speaking of which, the 「Holy Sword」 I had glowed blue at one point right? Well, only in the beginning, it stopped glowing after a while.
 “Would a 「Holy Sword」 not glow blue if someone other than a Hero holds it?”
 “If they are accepted by the holy sword, it should also glow blue. The 「Holy Sword Gjallarhorn」 and the 「Protector Sword Claíomh Solais」 that our Founding Father Yamato passed down, they were also once used by people without the title of 「Hero」.”
 Hmm~ “Accepted by the 「Holy Sword」”, huh?
 Since I’m not that brave, I don’t think I would be accepted by one. And, I know the name 「Claíomh Solais」 because it’s fairly famous, but I've never heard of 「Gjallarhorn」!
 And also, didn't I receive a lot of titles? I even defeated a dragon, so maybe I already have the 「Hero」 title.
 As I think about it, I check the list of my titles, and find one that surprises me.

 —「God Slayer」?

 I nervously check the 「Log」. Fortunately, the record hasn’t been flushed yet.
 Hidden among a large number of notices about enemies defeated by 「Meteor Shower」, there are also messages saying 『Title obtained: \_\_\_\_』.
 The titles read 「Reptilian Slayer」, 「Dragon Slayer (Lesser)」, 「Dragon Slayer (Adult)」, 「Dragon Slayer (Ancient)」, 「Dragon Slayer (Sky)」, and so on. Other than ones that say 「\_\_\_\_ Slayer」, there are also titles like 「Disaster of \_\_\_\_」 and 「Natural Predator of \_\_\_\_」.
 And, at the end of all this—

   >>> Defeated 「Dragon God Aconkagura!」
   >>> Title obtained 「God Slayer」

 —There it is.
 Who knew that a god could die?
 I see, 「Meteor Shower」 can even kill gods? I see, so it can…
 I had fired three shots in a panic, but if I stopped after one, I might have had to face the wrath of an angry god? What a blessing in disguise!

 As I am shocked wordless by the revelation, the bell-like voice of a girl is heard behind me.
 “Being able to wield a 「Holy Sword」 isn’t enough, you know? Those allowed to fight a 「Demon King」 are limited to the Heroes who answer the call of the 「Young Goddess Parion」. In front of the Hero wielding a 「Holy Sword」 blessed by god, even a 「Demon King」 can only admit defeat!”
 Turning around, I see a girl wearing a vermillion western-style priestess outfit.
 Maybe because of her faded irises, I can barely feel her presence. Her outfit is different from the rest of the clergy. Is she someone influential?
 Next to her face, information is shown by the AR.
 Yup, convenient.
 “Oracle Ouna-sama!”
 “Long time no see, Zena of the Mariantell family. I trust your younger brother is doing well?”
 “Yes, he will inherit the title next year, so he’s studying hard.”
 “I understand, but if there is anything I can do to help, please don’t hesitate to ask.”
 “Yes, thank you for the offer.”
 After talking to the Oracle, Zena-san turns around and introduces her.
 “Lady Ouna is the daughter of the Duke. Since my mother was her nanny, she often takes care of my younger brother.”
 I see, so the duke’s daughter has a thing for Zena’s younger brother? In order to hear about him, she purposely came to talk.
 “Pleased to make your acquaintance, I am the traveling merchant, Satou.”
 “I am Ouna the Oracle who serves the 「Goddess Parion」. Please do forget what Zena said about my upbringing. Worldly ranks are meaningless to an Oracle.”
 So like a Buddhist monk?
 She’s younger than Zena-san, but due to her composure, she has the air of a loving mother.
 “Well, I am relieved. Even for someone like Zena who is only interested in magic, springtime has come.”
 “N-, no, that’s not it~ Satou-san is, um, we just met, uh...”
 Is Zena-san not used to talking about love? Thrown off by the Oracle’s words, she starts to panickingly stutter some excuse.
 “There are feelings, but not enough to fall in love, yet I don’t want to deny it”, basically. A nuanced adolescent feeling.
 Well, I could say she’s too green, but she is just a teenager, after all~ (I think the Chinese translation dropped the ball here... After reading the Japanese raws, it makes so much more sense!)

 I wanted to chat a little more with the Oracle, but there is a commotion at the entrance, so I give up reluctantly.
 “Your Revevrence, Master Borier’s life is at stake! Please have some mercy, go see him!”
 “Borier-dono, is it? Normal priests like us can’t do anything for his illness.”
 “Then, ask the Oracle!”
 “Borier-dono’s residence on the west side! Bringing the Oracle, who is the goddess’s prophet, to that place filled with brothels, I cannot allow it!” (I feel like the implication is that he has some sort of STI... They’re apparently hard to treat even in an alternate universe!)
 “Make an exception!”
 A priest is arguing with a man who barged in.
 “Zena, I seem to have a patient, so later.”
 The Oracle states, then goes to that man and the priest.
 “I will go. Please prepare the carriage.”
 Hushed talk between the unwilling priest and the Oracle can be heard. Eavesdropping is bad manners, but I forgot to turn off the 「Enhanced Hearing」 skill, so I listen to the whole thing.
 “Ouna-sama, shouldn’t you deliver the prophecy to the Count first?”
 “For that matter, please ask the Chief Priest.”
 “But, the prophecy said ‘Disaster at 「Zaikuuon Temple」’, so isn’t it dangerous to go the westside where that is?!”
 “Borier-dono’s residence is far from the temple. It’s fine.”
 「Zaikuuon Temple」? Right, the Fat Chief Priest who was preaching on the east side belongs to that temple.
 Maybe he’s gathering his followers and planning something?
 Well, even if there is a riot, it’s fine as long as we don’t get too close. If it’s only Zena-san and me, I can bring her to the rooftops to hide.

 Zena-san and I leave the temple and continue down the street.
 Strolling in a European style town with a cute girl, it’s really enjoyable.
 In this city, there would be public parks, open plazas, and wells set up every few blocks.
 As we walk past one of those parks, I look around it.
 In the open plaza with clean-cut grass, there is an elderly couple resting with young children. About a dozen young adults are practicing martial arts. The grass in the park looks well-kept but is actually a mix of different weeds.
 Zena-san seems to have found something, and runs under a tree growing in the park.
 “What is it?”
 “Satou-san, I found this.”
 Held in her palms, there is a chick.
 A beautiful girl holding a chick basked under the light shining between the leaves, such a picturesque scene that makes me want to capture it with my phone camera and upload it.
 “There should be a nest on the tree.”
 Hmm~ Two and half meters to that branch? I could jump straight up there, but it would look humanly impossible. Could I grab the branch and swing myself up?
 “Um, Satou-san, would you please?”
 Since Zena-san meekly asked for my help, I instantly agreed.
 Well, I did plan on doing it.
 After receiving the chick, I grab onto a branch. I swing myself up that way with one hand hanging, letting my feet stand on the branch, then my entire body. I am also trying not to crush the chick, so it wasn’t easy.
 The chick’s nest is sitting between two leafy branches, but it wasn’t too difficult to return it. When I place it back, its parents threaten me, trying to protect all the chicks begging for food in their nest.
 I can use both hands on the way down, it was much easier. On the last branch, I don’t forget to hang from it before getting off.
 If I just jump right down, Zena-san will be worried!
 “Satou-san really is nimble!”
 “Oh, it wasn’t that amazing.”
 As I respond to Zena’s compliment with modesty, we resume chatting. In the process I find out that by “Would you please”, Zena-san was asking me to give her a lift so she could climb the tree herself.
 Good thing I misunderstood. It’s no good for a lady in a skirt to climb trees, Zena!

 Looking at the young people training, I ask her about them.
 “Zena-san, how does the army train?”
 “Let’s see~ A common soldier’s training is the same everywhere. Us arcane soldiers would try to avoid depleting our mana though! Most of the time, arcane soldiers like us tend to ensure that we can always use magic at full strength.”
 So the training is separate, huh.
 Indeed, a magician without mana would be pretty useless.
 “The roles arcane soldiers and magicians receive are different based on our attributes. This might surprise an outsider, but attributes other than fire don’t really have spells that attack directly.”
 True, fire is more aggressive, like trials by fire, for example.
 “My 「Wind Magic」 has 「Wind Protection」 that defends against arrows; 「Air Cushion」, which stops battering rams; and 「Wind Whisper」 for conveying orders, so there is a lot of strategic potential. Reconnaissance in the air is also useful, but there’s no one in the 「Duchy」 yet who can cast 「Fly」.”
 Wasn’t it Zena’s dream to fly with magic some day?
 “If you learn to fly, it would be great to have a date in the sky!”
 Though I said it jokingly, Zena-san blushes all the way to her neck, and says while biting her lips: “Pl-, please anticipate it!"
 She’s pretty cute, but I worry that she will be deceived by a bad man.

 Not far from the park is the windmill tower.
 I can’t go up the tower, but they still let me see the flour mills on the first floor.
 Massive metallic machinery grinding grain with a thundering noise, it really gets my blood pumping.
 But, these are normal windmills! In a fantasy setting, I wish that there would be fairies dancing while milling flour!
 Having thought of a question, I ask Zena-san.
 “Couldn’t you use magic to mill the flour?”
 “We could, but it’s still easier to use windmills!”
 ’What are you saying?’ I was answered with an expression that seems to say this. Oh yeah~

 Our next destination, the orchard, is a little too far to walk, so we get on one of the rental carriages all over 「Central Boulevard」. To anywhere in the city regardless of distance, it’s only one 「Large Copper」 to ride.
 The rental carriage has no roof, and the seats are about shoulder level, so it’s perfect for touring around.
 The carriage moves through the city in a casual trotting pace.
 Riding around a fantasy town with a beautiful girl on my side, it feels great. If she were a gorgeous busty babe it would be perfect, but it would be asking for too much.
 The carriage leaves the main road, and heads toward the craftsmen sector in the north.
 As we enter the craftsmen sector, the number of tough-looking people with serious muscle increased.
 After navigating the workshops and factories, then passing through a lumber yard, we arrive at the inner wall. Then going west, there is a small path between the inner and outer walls, which seems to lead to the lord’s orchard.
 “After this, we’ll arrive at the orchard!”
 “The walls are towering over us, it really looks impressive!”
 “Yeah! It sure looks reliable!”
 With her hands in front of her, Zena-san comes close.
 And as if on cue, the carriage shakes, maybe because it hit a rock on the road?
 I catch Zena-san, who lost her balance and bumped right into my chest.
 Compared to before when she was wearing armor, the softness is different. Though her chest is unfortunately flat, she still has the softness inherent to women.
 If possible, I’d really like to wait five years before doing this.
 “Ye-, yes! Excuse me, I'll get up now.”
 Zena-san gets up panickingly. She didn’t have to be so bothered.
 Suddenly, I notice the driver smile briefly. It was intentional! What a considerate driver for couples.

 Going ahead, we see an open gate, and the guard posted there. The driver gives a nod to the guard, then enters the orchard through the gate.
 It looks too small to supply the city with food, yet also too large to be the lord’s private orchard.
 The carriage moves slowly on the path between fields.
 I watch the people working on the fields, who seems to be harvesting something, and by looking closer with the 「Telescope」 skill, I realize that they are gathering the 「Gabo Berries」 I saw yesterday.
 I’ve already experienced this at the market, but there really is a lot of school-aged children working.
 “Those children, they are probably all kids from the orphanage. It’s harvesting season right now, so other kids in town might also be helping out.”
 “The 「Gabo Berries」 they’re harvesting, do they taste good?”
 “Not at all. They’re occasionally served in the army, but they smell weird and taste bitter, so no one really likes them. ”
 Zena-san makes a frown in distaste.
 Do you hate it that much?
 “But, if it doesn’t taste that good, why plant this much?”
 I look at the field full of Gabo berries, and voice my bewilderment to Zena-san.
 They could have planted potatoes or something. Maybe it is more nutritious?
 “As an administrator told me, it can be harvested many times a year. The yield isn’t very high, so in order to produce every month, they almost never stop planting it. It also enriches the soil, so thanks to the 「Gabo Berry」, less people go hungry.”
 What a convenient Fantasy vegetable. It certainly has a lot of value.
 She’s doing the official who taught her this proud! What a detailed explanation, Zena-san.
 “Unfortunately, since it can only be planted in walled-off areas like this orchard, the food situation in the countryside is actually rather harsh.”
 The outer wall is shorter here at the orchard than in the town, only about two and a half meters tall?
 It has to be planted within walls, why’s that? Can it not survive pests? Is it monopolized by the lord? A strange mystery.
 “What’s the reason?”
 “It’s the goblins’ favorite food. If it’s not planted in a walled-off area, it will be quickly consumed by goblins. So, exporting it is impossible too.”
 Ooh, there are goblins too!
 If I get the chance, I really want to see one from a safe place.
 “Feels like people might smuggle it.”
 “If it’s discovered, they'll be punished by slavery!”
 Seems like there are people so hungry, they’re willing to risk becoming slaves.

 “That is the anti-dragon tower.”
 Zena-san points to one of the twelve large towers built on this orchard. But only two visible have windmills like the ones in town.
 “They look tougher than the towers in the town.”
 “Yes, in order to fight wyverns and dragons, these towers are equipped with large 「Mana Cannons」, so they must be built sturdy.”
 Regrettably, since the anti-dragon towers have cannons at the top, civilians aren’t allowed to enter.
 Just thought of an issue, rather than doing it here, they might as well fight outside the city, since if the fields are ruined, production would decrease!
 Wondering about this, I convey my confusion to Zena-san.
 “That’s because this area was prepared for fighting wyverns in the first place.”
 Apparently, wyvern attacks are rare, yet it’s wasteful to abandon the land, so the Count at the time decides to have it double as an orchard and a ranch.
 Ah I see, I had the order reversed!
 The carriage trucks along the roads wrapped around the towers. One is a blackened tower that seems to be fully destroyed.
 There is someone taking measurements nearby. Is it being rebuilt?
 “Was that tower destroyed by a wyvern?”
 “Right, that’s the tower destroyed by a lesser dragon that attacked nearly two years ago, and at the time, half of the towers fell along with this, and even the town was damaged. Well, it was repelled in the end.”
 “Repelled, huh.”
 “It was still a real dragon, and if defeating a wyvern was difficult, then a dragon is impossible. It would take a great magician like our founder Yamato, or the 「Hero of Saga Empire」.”
 My eyes dart toward 「Storage」, but I stop myself.
 Zena-san continues her story.
 “Though the lesser dragon attack was resolved this way, when the black adult dragon came forty years ago, we were no match for it. Maybe it’s hard to believe, but even the outer wall was destroyed back then! The wall near the orchard is shorter because was built after that. ”
 “Then, how was it repelled? With the help of the Hero in the end?”
 “No, it devoured all the goats in the ranch, then perhaps satisfied after that, the black dragon flew away casually. The way dragons see people, maybe it’s like how we see ants!”
 Is the power gap that large?
 In that case, I who has defeated dragons, can probably conquer the world. I don’t have that kind of dream or ambition though.
 Oh yeah, I heard about Heroes in the temple too right?
 “The Heroes? The 「Saga Empire」 seems to know the magical ritual to summon 「Heroes」, but since performing a summon is so taxing, it isn’t done outside of the 「Demon King」 attacks that come every sixty-six years. The Great Yamato and the First Emperor of the Saga Empire might have also been people summoned by magic to save the world! Awesome, right!”
 Heroes are summoned? So they are Japanese, huh! The Founder was “大和", and the First Emperor was “嵯峨” or “佐賀"? (Again, Satou is guessing how their names are written in Kanji. The names “嵯峨” and “佐賀” are both pronounced “Saga”.) Why 「Holy Swords」 are named 「Excalibur」 and 「Claíomh Solais」, I think I understand now.
 That 「Saga Empire」, it might be the key to returning to my original world. Just so I don’t forget, let’s write that down in the notes of the 「Social」 tab!
 “You said ‘every sixty-six years’, so we know when a 「Demon King」 will attack again?”
 “It wouldn’t be strange for a 「Demon King」 to attack any time now, but there hasn’t been any sightings of a 「Demon King」 yet.”
 In other words, it’s possible that one has already revived, but the news of it hasn’t gotten around, huh.
 “Is it not simply because the report of the revival hasn’t been received?”
 “Every city in 「Shiga Kingdom」 and 「Saga Empire」 has magical tools for emergency situations, so when a 「Demon King」 appears, the news will be delivered even if the city is destroyed.”
 Oh, that’s impressive.
 “And, right before a 「Demon King」 would appear, the 「Oracle」 at each temple will receive a prophecy, so we know ahead of time.”
 That is really impressive! Good job, gods!
 “Not just 「Demon Kings」, prophecies can also predict disasters, but the ‘Starfall’ two days ago, not a single Oracle received a prophecy, which due to being on the other side of the 「Barrier of Dragon Canyon」, so maybe it couldn’t be predicted.”
 Oh, that barrier? So it couldn’t be predicted because it was under the dominion of another deity?
 “Would a 「Demon King」 lead monsters when it attacks?”
 “That depends on the 「Demon King」, some fight alone, but most have large armies of monsters and demons. There was even one who led humans and demi-humans.”
 Hmm~? So much variety!
 “However, a 「Demon King」’s most fearsome subordinates are the 「Demons」, and even a Low Rank one is as powerful as a wyvern.”
 “Low Rank sounds weak, but is actually strong, huh.”
 “Only magic or magical weapons can injure demons, so they’re a lot of trouble.”
 “There are Low Ranks, so are there Middle- and High Ranks too?”
 “Yes, people say a Middle Rank can easily destroy a city. In other words, so strong it would take the entire order of knights and all court magicians to defeat it. Against 「Middle Rank Demons」, magic is not as effective, and a small spell wouldn’t even scratch it.”
 A Middle Rank can destroy cities, Heroes who fight them really have it hard.
 But that’s just a Middle Rank, there are even stronger ones right?
 “Then, a High Rank?”
 “Like dragons and 「Demon Kings」, humans can’t possibly win against them. If we do encounter one, it’s not about ‘How do we defeat it?’ but ‘How do we minimize the damage?’ and ‘How do we escape?’”
 Just like the adult dragon earlier.
 Huh? I might have forgotten something. What is it? Oh well, I'll remember later!
 I try to learn about other things.
 “So, are 「Demon Kings」 or 「Dragons」 stronger?”
 Ooh! An immediate answer.
 “Among the 「Demon Kings」 of the past, there was a particularly strong 「Demon King」 who won against the Hero, but a dragon defeated it in the end.”
 “In that case, why not skip the Hero summon, and ask dragons to defeat it?”
 “That’s impossible. The dragons simply think it’s fun to fight 「Demon Kings」 and demons, and will never do it for humans. And compared to the damage a 「Demon King」 can cause, the ruins from a dragon fighting a 「Demon King」 is far worse.”
 I see, so the goal is “Before a dragon shows up, have the Hero defeat the 「Demon King」 with the gods’ help”?
 Considering the power of 「Meteor Shower」, don’t I serve the same purpose now as the dragons? If the Hero loses, just quietly cast 「Meteor Shower」 from afar and defeat the 「Demon King」!
 After all, fighting a 「Demon King」 up close is impossible for a wimp like me.

 Talking about serious topics was quite tiresome, so we end up sitting in a fallow field watching the cows graze, and pleasantly chatting about what kind of food we like or dislike.
 After leaving the orchard, we thought about going to a restaurant at a plaza near the castle gate with favorable reviews, but it is still a long time to noon, so we left the inner wall, and circled to the west side.
 I really want to see the alchemy store in the west!
 “In the west side, other than store for those who aren’t as well off, there are butchers and alchemy stores too. There are also, uh...”
 Zena-san stops here a little embarrassed, unable to say the word.
 According to the Map, there are pawn shops, loan sharks, prostitution and so on. The slave trade center is also on this end. She probably didn’t want to say prostitution or brothel, right?
 If I press on, it will become sexual harassment.
 After passing the area that sells food and everyday items, less reputable stores start to appear.
 Hot women and scum-like men are wandering around.
 In the plaza on 「Western Boulevard」, there are all sorts of open-air stalls, and auctions of birds and other animals are being held. Looking closely, there are young men and women being sold as slaves tied up next to the animals.
 I have seen a lot of slaves so far, but seeing an auction like this, it still doesn’t feel right.
 I suddenly have urge to buy all of them and then grant them freedom, but I’m not sure I can ensure their well being after that, so I dismiss the notion.
 At the front of the plaza, there is a merchant-looking man announcing details about the slave market. Auctions will be held for three consecutive nights starting tomorrow.
 Past that plaza, I see brothels everywhere. This reminds me a bit of Yoshiwara depicted in historical dramas. ([Yoshiwara]( was the red light district in Edo (historical Tokyo).)
 Women who do this professionally are the best. Rather than slaves that are unwillingly forced into it, I think it’s better to do it with someone who honed their skills.
 Let’s go to a place with pretty ladies tonight!
 There are bars like that right? Rather than soap play, I would like to talk dirty with someone— Wait, even if she’s not a lover, it’s not the time to be thinking about such things in Zena’s company. Repent, repent.

 Along the outer wall there are parks every few blocks, and in one such park I see many people gathered.
 “Please stop.”
 Staring at the crowd, Zena-san stops the carriage in a strong tone.
 “What is it, Zena-san.”
 “Satou-san, please look over there.”
 Hmm? Hey, isn’t he the Fat Chief Priest from last time?
 “We must punish the demon’s subordinates! Punishing them with this holy stone is doing good!”
 In front of the mob, I can hear the voice of Fat Chief Priest at the top of his lungs, raised an octave.
 No one listened when he took the effort to go to the east side, and now he’s going local?
 However, unlike before, doesn’t it feel like a riot might happen? Is the the “Disaster” that the Oracle spoke of?
 “O good citizens! Remember the sign of divine wrath known as the ‘Starfall’ two days ago!”
 Are half of them secretly in on it or just want to yell?
 “And! What’s more! A 「Demon King」’s subordinate attacked the Duke’s castle yesterday!”
 “““OH GOD!”””
 Hmm? Did something like that happen?
 I look toward Zena-san, and I was met with a puzzled expression.
 “Yesterday, there was a man who barged into the guard office saying ‘There is a shadowy figure flying around the Duke’s castle’, but none of the guards on duty or the people in town have seen it.”
 “So this is a farce right?”
 “I don’t know what he’s trying to accomplish. Because the man he talked about, he was already jailed for causing trouble.”
 What a harsh parallel universe.
 “It means our god’s protection has become weak! Do good! O good citizens! If you do good you will be blessed in times of trouble!”
 “““DO GOOD!!!”””
 This simple-minded mob! They are too easily swayed.
 “Do good! Have you understood! Do good!”
 “““DO GOOD!!!”””
 “““HELP US!!”””
 Seems like the people on this street will easily fall for phone scams or pyramid schemes.
 “Look here!”
 The Fat Chief Priest leans back and points toward the center of the plaza.
 “These demi-humans are the incomplete forms of demons, no, they’re the 「Demon King」’s subordinates! Granting them divine punishment is doing good!”
 Oi, that instigator.
 “Wait! O good citizens!! If we kill them, it’s against the law. We must not!”
 “““What should we do, Chief Priest!”””
 There sure are a lot of people just yelling!
 “We can’t kill them! We can do good by throwing the holy stone at the demon subordinates.”
 “““GIMME STONES~!!”””
 Following the direction the Fat Chief Priest pointed, I see three beastgirls.
 The Dog Ear, the Cat Ear, and the Reptilian girls are crouched and trembling.
 “Not only that, you can do good with your money!”
 “““DO GOOD!!!”””
 Oh, there are fewer people yelling.
 “Each holy stone is one 「Copper」. There’s a special discount now, five holy stones for one 「Large Copper」!”
 The voices stop.
 People like their cash.
 “What’s wrong! Good men and women! The holy stones are limited! The sooner you do good, the better!”
 “““I'LL BUY!”””
 “““SELL TO ME!!!”””
 No immunity to limited editions.
 “Buy them from my staff here! Line up! You’re doing good by lining up!”
 “““LINE UP!”””
 Isn’t the Fat Chief Priest using some mind-controlling magic?
 The people who bought the holy stones throw them at the beastgirls without reserve. They have no mercy.
 What?! Really?
 “I can’t watch this anymore! I’m going over. Satou-san, please wait here.”
 Zena-san gets off the carriage in a hurry, running towards the center of the commotion.
 I was too baffled to react in time.
 The Reptilian girl is protecting the smaller Dog Ear and Cat Ear girls.

 The mob’s emotions run high, but only a few stones are thrown at the beastgirls.
 When I spot someone raising a stone to throw it at the beastgirls, I shatter the holy stone by flicking a 「Micro」 coin. I am a little afraid of hitting someone, but thanks to the 「Throwing」 skill I didn’t miss.
 Maybe because they are shocked by seeing a stone in hand shatter, people holding holy stones paused their movements.
 That bought enough time for Zena-san to cast a spell to protect the girls right?
 Standing up for the beastgirls is simple, but if it’s pointless if they do the same to her…
 Observing the beastgirls, I see the AR displaying information as usual.
 That’s it!
 I contemplate what the information means.

 What I discovered by staring at the beastgirls, is the name of their owner.
 It’s not the Fat Chief Priest’s name.
 Then where is their owner?
 Could it be, their owner isn’t here? Maybe they couldn’t disobey the Fat Chief Priest—or maybe they’re the Fat Chief Priest’s accomplice!

 I have only relied on the AR pop-ups recently, it’s time to use 「 Full Map Exploration」 to its fullest.
 I search the owner’s name on the Map.
 There! Corner of the plaza! Sitting on crates watching the commotion, a smirking short man with a rat-like face and beady eyes.
 I look through the AR information.
 The short man is named Urs, thirty-nine.
『Skills: 「Scam」, 「Persuasion」, 「Threaten」』
『Slaves in possession: 「Cat」, 「Dog」, 「Lizard」』

 ...Hmm? Only the race is shown for slaves, no names?
 No, that doesn’t matter right now, I need more details! This isn’t enough.
 『Position: 「Seiryuu City lower class citizen」』
『Guild: 「Gray Rats」』— That’s it! Search for Guild: 「Gray Rats」!
 There are fifty-two members of the guild, and ten in this plaza including Urs, so other than Urs and the big guy guarding him, eight are serving as plants in the mob.
 I label every member, including the ones who aren’t here.
 Okay, let’s go!

    >>> Skill Obtained 「Covert Ops」

 However, I was disturbed by the beastgirls’ situation. I had missed one important fact. Time cannot be turned back, but if I had taken a little longer, it might not have turned out this way.

 Zena-san finally gets to the Fat Chief Priest.
 “Please stop your ruthless behavior!”
 “What, girl! Are you a demon’s accomplice too!”
 At some point, he stopped using the word “subordinate”. With that hard-to-retort accusation, he really knows how to incite people!
 “““A demon’s accomplice is also a demon!!”””
 While Zena-san is buying time for me, let’s do something to the plants in the mob!
 “Don’t say irresponsible things! Does 「Zaikuuon Temple」 intend to break the law!”
 “What’s wrong with throwing holy stones at demons?”
 What’s with the non-sequiturs? No, maybe the Fat Chief Priest understands, but is trying to muddle the issue.
 Getting off the rental carriage, I wade through the mob. Using the experience from taking the packed subway and the power of the 「Evasion」 skill, I move through the crowd.
 “Thats right! Stone that girl too!!!”
 Zena-san seems to have cast 「Wind Protection」 already. Not just herself; she is protecting the beastgirls as well. As expected of the army’s 「Arcane Soldier」.
 Alright, let’s clean this up before the mob starts a riot.
 Even for Zena-san, it’s dangerous to be lost in a stampede.
 I move next to one of the 「Gray Rats」 throwing stones.
 In order to take him out, I adjust my 「Grappling」 skill to the max. Thanks to that, I know how to knock him out, neutralizing him without killing.
 I take him down with one hit.
 Since it was a sudden move, no one nearby noticed. I pretend to be concerned about my suddenly anemic friend, and carry him outside the plaza, and throw him down. Time is of the essence, so I won’t care about details.

  >>> Obtained skill 「Acting」
  >>> Obtained skill 「Kidnapping」
  >>> Obtained skill 「Assassination」

 The skill 「Kidnapping」 looks useful, so I max it out. I leave 「Assassination」 alone, I won’t touch it, alright?

 There is a young man wearing a priest outfit in the plaza backing up Zena-san.
 “About demi-humans being demons, is it the view of the entire 「Zaikuuon Temple」, or just you?”
 “Hmph, the all-loving priest from 「Galrion Temple」? If you love beasts that much, after we’re done, their bodies are all yours!”
 Wow, what a dirty bastard!
 Zena-san starts to blush— not. Did she not understand? Good.
 “Kill demi-humans!”
 “Punish demons!”
 I'll leave the debating to Zena-san and him, and do some pest control.
 The second and the third guys are quickly knocked out, and I leave them on the side of the street somewhere. Like throwing out a beer bottle on the ground, it’s an easy job.
 “Do you understand? If you keep inciting people like this, there'll be a riot! Zaikuuon will become the instigator of a rebellion!”
 “Foolish girl, you dare! Don’t kill the demons? You are the real rebel here!” (There’s an idiom lost in the translation here. He says “竜の威を借るトカゲ *ryuu no i wo kariru tokage*”, which is the alt-world version of “虎の威を借る狐 *tora no i wo kariru kitsune*”, literally “a lizard (fox) borrowing a tiger’s (dragon’s) authority”. He means that she is hiding behind the threat of accusation of rebellion.)
 “Kill demons!”
 “What if that girl is the demon’s incarnate?!”
 The purging is half done.
 The number of people yelling has decreased. There’s a particularly loud guy, but he’s not one of the 「Gray Rats」. Let’s just label him for now.
 I'll have a talk with him after the purge.
 “People of the west side! Everyone is as afraid as you are! However, don’t become the cowards who blame it on the weak!”
 “Did you hear, citizens! 「Galrion Temple」 says you are the bad guys! You’re trying to do good and he called you evil!”
 The crowd answered the Fat Chief Priest’s taunting, but the volume is much smaller.
 “Kill demons!!”
 “You fake priest!!”
 Good, two more.
 I quickly take them out and throw them away.
 Before Urs enters the stage, I have a talk with the loud guy, and make some final preparations.

  >>> Skill obtained 「Conspiracy」

 “Please make them stop. I'll block every stone they throw!”
 “You mean to interrupt the holy ritual! You godless fool!”
 The Fat Chief Priest barks angrily, but there are only a few responses from the crowd. Those voices are also disappearing one by one.
 I slap Urs’s shoulder from behind him.
 “You’re up next!”
 “You, who’re you! Hey Banse! Break him!”
 Surprised, Urs tries to order the man behind him with his chin. Only, when he turns around, the tall guy is nowhere to be seen, and he looks mortified.
 “Banse? Where did the moron go!”
 “If you mean the tall guy, he left with some woman!”
 Actually, I knocked him out in the alley.
 I knee him in the solar plexus to take him out, then bring him on stage.
 “Everyone, disperse, or else the army will come! If you have any concerns please come to the temple, we will listen to any and all of your troubles!”
 “You mean to interrupt the holy ritual! You godless fool!”
 Aren’t you both priests?
 I throw Urs between those two.
 “What, Urs! You! What did you do to the faithful believer who provided me the demi-human slaves for this holy ritual! You heretic!”
 I’ll ignore the Fat Chief Priest.
 “Zena-san, thanks for waiting. Good job to the priest over there too. This man is the instigator.”
 “As expected of Satou-san. You’re so nimble!”
 “The instigator?”
 Your compliment is a little weird, Zena-san.
 I smile to the skeptical young priest and nod. Rather than introducing myself, there are more important matters.
 “Zena-san, if you still have the mana, could you use magic to broadcast my voice to the plaza?”
 “Yes! ■■■■ ■■■■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 「Whisper Wind」.”
 I raise the fainted Urs up high, so everyone can see him clearly.
 I purposely hide behind Urs’s body, where I’m not as conspicuous.
 “Everyone, do you see? This man is the one who planned all this! He lent his slaves to the Zaikuuon priest, incited everyone’s worries, pretended the rocks are holy stones, and wanted to scam everyone’s precious wealth! ”

  >>> Skill obtained 「Indictment」.

 “Give my money back—!”
 A particularly large voice cries out. As if encouraged by it, the crowd also begins to murmur “Give my money back”.
 “In addition, he has another goal! His true purpose taking advantage of the Zaikuuon priest, after making some money! He means to start a rebellion against the Duke! He is the real demon worshipper!”
 The 「Deception」 skill is at max speed!
 "Making some money” is the truth, but the other two are just bullshit.
 Actually, I have no idea what his goal is, so I make up something shocking.

  >>> Skill obtained 「False Accusation」

 If it’s to sell holy stones, he made five 「Silvers」 selling about a hundred. It’s not worth the cost of the demi-human slaves. From what I see with the Evaluation skill, the three of them are worth six 「Silvers」. And if this had gone on, the slaves would definitely die.
 Right? It doesn’t make sense.
 “Is that guy working with the demons—!”
 That loud idiot, I did ask him to go against the Fat Chief Priest, but please look at the situation a little! He’s going to start a riot.

 Hmm? Demons?
 Oh, I remember! When I first got to the city—

 « Hohohohoho. »
 Urs, still being held up with two hands pinned behind his back, starts to laugh with unusual vigor.
 Though he should have been completely immobilized, Urs suddenly retaliates with pitch-black arms.
 Those demonic claws rip into the Fat Chief Priest.

 —I had discovered a demon.

 His organs shredded by the sharp claws, the Fat Zaikuuon Chief Priest spills his guts everywhere and dies on the spot.
 Witnessing such a brutal murder, I am unable to react.
 So surprised, I thoughtlessly let go of Urs’s arms I had been pinning down.
 “What… what are those arms?”
 Black arms had sprouted from Urs’s chest and are swinging around its claws. Kneeling on the ground, Urs spits out blood and stares at his own chest shockingly.
 “Demon! Everyone, get away from the plaza!”
 The young priest returns to his senses first and after warning the crowd, backs away from the demonic claws himself. Then, he starts chanting a spell with a strong, baritone voice.
 The people, seeing Urs grow black arms from his chest, scatters everywhere like a disturbed nest of baby spiders.
 Without regard to Urs’s condition, the demonic claws are trying to attack as if they have a will of their own, but since Urs has fainted on the ground, the claws cannot touch anything.
 “Satou-san! Bring those kids away from the plaza! I'll call for backup!”
 “U-, understood!”
 Shamefully, I come to my senses only after Zena-san gives an order.
 I have to make sure the beastgirls are safe. Otherwise, confronting the Fat Chief Priest would have been in vain.
 I try to break the chains by pulling, but the pole comes out of the ground with a bang first. Not what I had planned, but they can move like this.
 “It’s dangerous, so go hide. I can’t remove the chains. The three of you have go together to find a sturdy building and hide inside.”
 However, all three are standing still. Doesn’t seem like they can’t move.
 “There’s an order. We can’t~?”
 The Cat Ear kid speaks with a despondent voice. Her words are trembling.
 “Can’t move, nano desu.” (They’re here! Just in case you don’t know, I’ll talk a bit about how they speak. Tama tends to drag on her words and sometimes leave out or repeat the last syllable. On the other hand, Pochi ends her sentences in some variation of “なのです *nano desu*”.)
 “Please forgive us. Our owner, Urs-sama, had ordered us, ‘Do not leave this place’. If we do, the enslaving collars will strangle us. Please leave us here.”
 The Dog Ear kid and the bleeding Reptilian girl shake their heads in despair.
 Help arrives unexpectedly.
 “Go—! Kill the demon!”
 The people who were stoning the beastgirls are now throwing their holy stones at Urs who had grown arms. The one who gave order is the loud guy I had talked to earlier.
 *Crack*, Urs’s neck bends at an unsettling angle— I avert my eyes.
 This world really has no regard for life. The guy said to kill the demonized Urs without any hesitation.
 ... I might be the only pacifist fool here.
 “Ooh! The demon got up! Everyone run!”
 Turning back in response to the Loud Guy’s words, I see Urs’s corpse, which should have collapsed, stands up without bending its joints as a video being played in reverse. It looks like a zombie.
 The body is leaking some black smog.
 I look over to the young priest, who is still chanting his spell. He’s taking too long.
 « Insignificant ants, breaking my host’s head was helpful. Me grateful. » (If you read the WN, you’ll know this guy ends his sentence in “吾輩 *wagahai*” plus something. In the LN, this guy actually says “ワテクシ *watekushi*” (a corruption of the formal “私 *watakushi*”), followed by a two-kanji phrase. You’ll see why later. It’s difficult to translate well, so just keep that in mind.)
 Did it learn this way of speaking from a clown somewhere? He doesn’t sound as scary as he looks.
 “■■■■ ■■■■■ 「Circle of Anti-Evil」!”
 « Measly tricks. Me mocking. »
 Releasing the spell he had been chanting with much focus, the young priest creates a magical circle of light that seals the Arm Demon inside.
 The Arm Demon, despite his ‘mocking’, can’t seem to get out of the magic circle. Meanwhile, the young priest begins chanting the next spell.
 « Grrrr. Human throat can cast magic! Me erred. »
 The civilians are fearfully watching the situation unfold from inside buildings.
 Ripping Urs’s corpse apart, the demon reveals its true form.
 A grotesque creature that looks like a huge eyeball with wings and arms. Just by looking at it, I think my SAN stat is falling.
 « Pushurururu~ Much easier to speak now. Me thankful. »
 It’s harder for me to understand though!
 And how is it talking when it doesn’t even have a mouth? Is it vibrating the eyeball like a speaker?
 No, that doesn’t matter at all.
 This must be the “Disaster” the Oracle spoke of. The riot earlier was no doubt the sign.
 I watch the Eyeball Demon. The AR now indicates it as 「Low Rank Demon」 rather than 「Urs」. There is a name, but rather than normal letters, it is written in phonetic symbols.
 Keeping my eye on the Eyeball Demon and doing a search, I find that after Urs died, the beastgirls’ statuses now state 『Owner: None』. That means these kids can move now, right?
 ”...■■■ 「Sacred Javelin」.”
 The young priest launches a spear of light.
 « Me annoyed. »
 With a bellow, the eyeball demon creates a wall of shadow blocking the spear of light.
 So now that it can speak more easily, it can also use magic?
 It bellows once more, and the magic circle at its feet shatters.
 « The uproar, dispair, worry, bias, and hubris just now, it pleases me! Me content. »
 Shit! If it attacks with magic now, I can’t protect these kids.
 Do I go for the kill? But if I can’t defeat it in one hit, these kids will be in trouble.
 The eyeball demon lets out a blood-curdling shriek.
 « Therefore, a base will be made for my master on this land. Aren’t you glad? Me, zealous. »
 Master?! Is it the 「Demon King」?
 Centered around the Eyeball Demon, a black magic circle appears.
 Not good! It must be some kind of magical attack. Trying to bail out, I grab the three of them.
 The young priest, too, grabs the elderly people in the plaza who couldn’t leave in time and starts his retreat.

 As I start to leave, the army, with Zena-san at the front, arrives at a bad time.
 “Satou-san! The army’s here!”
 Zena-san looks all sweaty. She must have ran desperately.
 Judging from how fast they got here, this must be the squadron sent here to break up the riot that the Fat Chief Priest caused. With the clanking of their metallic gear, the squadron surrounds the demon with large shields, standing in formation.
 Sorry to interrupt their efforts, but this is an emergency.
 “Zena-san! The demon is trying something! Get out!”
 While running with the three under my arms, I decide to warn Zena-san again, but the situation quickly aggravates.
 The ground under my feet twists and deforms like special effects from the Showa Era. (In other words, like an old movie.) Ground that should have been solid, is now glowing a deep purple, swirling, pulling us under... A flash dyes the world around us ‘black’.


 As the flash fades, a cave-like area becomes visible.
 Since the ground is emitting a weak purple glow, I can kind of see. The ground is mostly intact, but bedrock can be seen protruding at certain places. We’re in a room of about ten meters in radius, with only one exit on one of its walls.
 The only ones with me, are the three beastgirls I had been protecting.
 Not to mention Zena-san, even the Eyeball Demon is no longer nearby. Of course, neither is the squadron Zena-san brought.
 « Welcome to me master’s dungeon! It has no name yet, but monsters are being made. You can be grateful. Me, fervent! »
 The Eyeball Demon’s voice rings from somewhere. Doesn’t sound like telepathy, though?
 The Cat Ear girl points toward a corner in the ceiling. There is a vent that’s probably carrying the sound.
 « Be afraid for me amusement! Kill! Stealing is fine too. Me, rewards! »
 The Eyeball Demon continues after a slight pause.
 « Giving up makes the heart weak, me despise!
 « Hence, every room is connected to the exit. Me truthful!
 « Anticipate the despair after hope. There is bait for you! Me assure! »
 ...I see.
 In other words, “This game’s mandatory quest ‘Dungeon Escape Mission’ has started!”

  >>> Obtained title: 「Dungeon Explorer」.

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