Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Death March 2-4 w/o TLN

Volume 2 Chapter 4: 【Attackers at Gateside】

-Translator: MiaoMix
-Editor: Options

>> Satou here. Ants are used to describe diligent workers, but with white ants (termites), it can only mean trouble when they start working. In this world, there seem to be even more troublesome ants... <<

 On the way back to 「Gateside Inn」, we run into county soldiers who have just returned from patrol.
 “Ahh, Zena-chi!”
 “Lilio! Iona-san and Lou too!”
 Zena-san’s three guards come over after roll call on the 「Gateside Plaza」.
 Perhaps having battled another wyvern, Miss Iona and other armored soldiers have all sorts of scratches on their equipment.
 The tall woman named Lou is also missing one of her shoulder pads.
 Running up to them, Zena-san hurriedly starts chanting 「Wind Magic」 healing spells.
 “Goshujin-sama, we'll go ahead to set down the luggage.”
 “Yes, please.”
 Arisa and the beastgirls separate in front of the inn, then respectively head to the room and the stable.
 In place of Zena-san who is busy chanting her spell, I chat with Lilio and others.
 “You look quite exhausted! Did you fight another wyvern?"
 “If wyverns show up that often, I would have quit the army long ago.”
 Lilio sighs and shakes her head. A gesture that would mean no different in Japan.
 “Today, we fought with ant monsters called 「Large Fang Ants」.”
 “Man, those rat bastards! I’ll turn them into kebabs the next time I see them!”
 Miss Iona tries to explain for Lilio, but the tall Lou makes it more confusing.
 Ants or rats, which one was it?
 “Before we ran into the group of 「Large Fang Ants」, we discovered ratman knights trespassing upon the county. Lou is angry because she thinks the ratmen lured the 「Large Fang Ants」 here.”
 Seeing confusion on my face, Miss Iona adds.
 I see, the ratmen had led a Monster Train here.
 If this goes on, 「Seiryuu County」 and the ratmen might start a war.
 But, is it really fine to tell an outsider about this? Maybe the discipline here isn’t as strict, or maybe the 「Shiga Kingdom」 doesn’t see intelligence control as important.
 “The bright red helmet bastard at the front of their team, I’ll make sure he gets the gallows next time I meet him!”
 As if to appease Lilio, Zena-san casts her healing 「Wind Magic」 spell.
 “Thank you, Zena-chi.”
 “You’re welcome.”
 After responding to Lilio and the others with a smile, Zena-san goes to heal the other wounded.

 A young girl’s scream can be heard from the inn’s courtyard.
 —Shit, I haven’t reset the range of the 「Radar」.
 The voice was Yuni-chan’s. She probably found a snake or something, but I should still go check on her.
 For some reason, Lilio and the others follow me.
 “Got prey~”
 “Goshujin-sama! Praise us, nano desu!”
 Tama runs to me with something raised over her head with both hands. Pochi is running behind her and holding a wooden stick in one hand.
 Seeing that, Lilio and the others unsheath their swords at the same time.
 In the face of sudden hostility, Pochi and Tama stop dead in their tracks.
 “No need to worry, it’s already dead.”
 I tell the three raising their swords what I confirmed through the AR, then ask Tama what happened.
 “What’s with that ant?”
 Yes, the prey that Tama brought over is the carcass of a 「Flying Ant」.
 “It was on top of a wagon and attacked no desu!”
 The two wave their hand around to answer my question.
 The carcass they set down is full of dents apparently made by a blunt weapon, and on the head has a hole probably punctured by Liza’s spear.
 “Goshujin-sama, there don’t seem to be anymore monsters around.”
 Liza comes to report, her spear propped up on her shoulder. Behind her stands Yuni-chan.
 Probably having been spooked, Yuni-chan is gripping Liza’s coat with her small, shaking hand.
 Hmm, the species is slightly different, but was this one missed by the county soldiers?
 The 「Radar」 range is too small, so I open the 「Map」 to reveal the forest beyond the main gate.
 —Red. The numerous dots indicating enemies are approaching from deep within the forest.
 “Pochi, Tama, go get your short swords. Arisa, bring Lulu down here. Liza, go get the tent that was used as a bed cover.”
 “Yes, nano desu!”
 “Yes, sir.”
 The four starts moving as soon as I give the order. I thought Arisa would want to know the reason, but like the beastgirls, she just jumps into action.
 My actions probably seem out of nowhere, so Miss Iona asks suspiciously
 “What’s the matter?”
 “This Flying Ant, it can’t be acting alone. I’m afraid there might be more. You should send at least several riders out to check—”
 Overshadowing the seemingly believable excuse I’ve made with the 「Deception」 skill, one of the towers on the wall cuts off my sentence with an alarm.
 They probably saw the ants approaching.
 After hearing the alarm, Zena-san and other soldiers all run to their respective captains.
 The Madam and Martha-chan look out from the inn with uneasy faces. Yuni-chan had turned to hug my leg after Liza left, and I usher her towards them.
 According to the 「Map」 data, the 「Flying Ants」 are only about Level 3. Individually, they’re weaker than fully-equipped county soldiers. About as strong as the average adult.
 Only, these 「Flying Ants」 all have sharp claws and exoskeletons tougher than normal ants. What’s more, they can fly. They seem fairly dangerous for the average citizen.
 The best scenario is to burn them with the spell 「Fire Shot」 while they’re still in the air, outside the city. But the flying speed of these monsters is much faster than I expected, as many of the ants have gotten to the city wall in my brief hesitation.
 The ants are flying right past the city wall, but like birds suddenly encountering glass, they then turn back toward the other side.
 Some were unable to turn in time, crashing into something above the wall and falling off. The ants that didn’t crash can’t seem to accelerate, and are shot down by the archers as they slowed.
 —What was that?
 “The monster deflection barrier on the city wall seems to be working.”
 As if predicting the question in my mind, Arisa explains, already having brought Lulu downstairs.
 “Barrier? But they passed right through?”
 “This isn’t 「Space Magic」. If they set up a constant physical barrier, it would waste too much mana.”
 I remember the 「Dragon’s Canyon」 Barrier having physical resistance… No, this isn’t the time.
 “Arisa, take Lulu inside the tavern to hide. That place has stone walls on three sides, so it should be safe.
 I’ll let Pochi and Tama guard the entrance.”
 I order Arisa, and also have Pochi and Tama stand at the entrance when they come back with their short swords. Then using some tables and the tarp Liza brought here, I make a barricade for in case the ants get in.
 “Pochi and Tama, I’ll leave the entrance to you.”
 “Yes nano desu!”
 “And goshujin-sama~?”
 “I’ll be clearing the monsters that come close to the inn with Liza.”
 People working outside the city are now running inside. Some seem to have already been hurt.
 The county soldiers stand in formation at the front gate. Zena-san is casting a defensive spell against air attacks, but it’s taking a while likely because of the sheer size.
 After the dogkin slave carrying a large basket has gotten inside, the front gate begins to close.
 Like a rude commuter trying to get on a train that’s about to depart, an ant lodges itself into the gap of the nearly closed front gate.
 “There’s only one, crush it with the gate!”
 From within the Guard Office, the voice of Sir Soun orders the guards.
 However, there is no longer just one.
 During the brief moment the gate paused, one by one the ants pile onto the gap, wedging open the gate— in the end, the ants have successfully broken into the city.
 With Zena-san now at their side, the Patrol team that had just returned engage the ants.
 Ants that try to take flight after entering the city are struck down by Zena-san’s 「Fallen Hammer」 while Lilio and the guards shoot down any that avoided the spell with their crossbows.
 Under the threat of Zena-san’s magic and crossbows, the ants stop trying to fly.
 Turning into a ground battle is in the county soldiers’ favor, but there are still too many ants.
 Dozens of ants get past the soldiers and begin to attack Liza and me. Of course, the nearby shops are also under attack.
 “Goshujin-sama, allow me.”
 Liza swings her black spear against the swarm of ants. Stab, sweep, slam— like that, she forces back the ants with devastating momentum.
 Some low-flying ants try to go for the horses in the courtyard, but I blast through them by flicking 「Micro Coins」.
 —Hmm, not enough of a hook.
 If I practice a little more, I can probably even hit enemies behind obstacles.
 While I am developing unnecessary little tricks, I get careless about covering Liza, and several ants approach the 「Gateside Inn」.
 “You shall not pass no desu!”
 “Entry Prohibited~?”
 Blocking the ants trying to attack the inn, Pochi and Tama stand in their way.
 The folks inside the inn scream as they see the ants get closer.
 “Hah, nano desu!”
 Pochi raises the short sword resting on her waist and assaults the first ant, defeating it in one hit.
 Seeing Pochi stop her movements, the remaining ants on both sides swing down their claws—
 “Getting careless~?”
 Hopping onto Pochi’s back, Tama blocks the ants’ attacks with her short sword and buckler.
 “Tama, thanks nano desu!”
 “Just doin' what 'ah can~?”
 Why Okinawan slang— wait, that wasn't Arisa?
 When the ants pull back their claws, Tama takes the chance to jump into the air, stabbing her short sword into the head of one ant.
 Meanwhile, crouching down from the downward force, Pochi hugs the ground and thrusts upwards, piercing the other ant’s jaw.
 The inn erupts in a deafening cheer for the tiny warriors who took down three ants in the blink of an eye.

 In less than half an hour, the ants in 「Gateside Plaza」 have mostly been eradicated.
 There were several more close calls like with Pochi, but every time the situation is defused as the ants stop unnaturally in their tracks, then turn over and die, bleeding from their eyes and mouths.
 Probably Arisa’s 「Mind Magic」. I see her making peace signs with her tiny hands.
 Anyway, I saw a few ants run inside Nadi-san’s 「All-Round Agency」. Nadi-san will probably be fine hiding in the basement, but I should still go help her out.
 “Liza, I’ll leave this to you for a moment.”
 “Yes, sir!”
 As if to prove her determined response, Liza takes down two ants with one strike of her black spear.
 I dance around an ant coming at me and run toward the 「All-Round Agency」.
 Inside the「 All-Round Agency」, I take out an 「Iron Bar」 from 「Storage」, after making sure I'm hidden from view. It isn't a mace, but actually the handle of some sort of weapon.
 I could just kick them, but I pick out something that’s better suited as a weapon indoors. If I use the 「Magic Gun」, it’ll be hard to cover up the evidence after taking down the monsters, and the inside of store will be shot full of holes!
 I exterminate the ants that try to attack me with the 「Iron Bar」.

  >>> Skill obtained: 「One-Handed Blunt Weapon」.

 Speaking of which, I haven’t gotten a blunt weapon-related skill before.
 I don’t plan on using one as my main weapon, so I will leave it alone to save skill points.
 Two ants are gathered at the wooden door leading to the basement, and I quickly dispose of them with the 「Iron Bar」.
 Pulling the dead ants aside, I see the door already battered. Just in the nick of time.
 I can tell Nadi-san is unhurt from her status displayed on the 「Map」, but I call out to reassure her.
 “Nadi-san, are you alright?”
 “Y-, yes, I’m alright!”
 The stairs to the basement are dyed yellow from the acid spat out by the ants. Unfortunately, I don’t have anything that can neutralize the acid.
 If I line the floor with gold coin, they shouldn’t be dissolved by the acid, but that will be the backup plan.
 Well, let’s try grinding up rocks in 「Storage」, and covering the stairs with it...
 Before I can actually do so, a small figure runs in.
 A teenage boy. He has long green hair tied in a single braid behind him like a character in a Kung Fu flick and is wearing a plain tunic and pants. If there is anything out of the usual, it would be the strange pointy hat on his head?
 “■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ 「Ivy Control」.”
 With his magic, the ivy that served as decoration begins to move like tentacles, reaching into the basement.
 Soon, Nadi-san is brought up by the vines.
 Amazing. That is true Fantasy magic.
 “Thank you very much, Satou-san! And Boss, too.”
 “No, I really am thankful!”
 Nadi-san gives the boy of few words and me each a thank-you kiss on the cheeks.
 “He requested us to look for housing, and he just saved my life! If Satou-san hadn’t come, I would have been eaten by the ants before you got here, Boss.”
 The boy turns around, and thanks me by saying only the word “Grateful”. So terse, it makes me wonder if he’s really being sincere in his gratitude.
 Seeing what the 「AR」 displays about him, I can't help but look surprised.
 He is of the most famous race in all of Fantasy— an Elf.


 “Is something wrong, Satou-san?”
 “E-, uh, I’ve never seen green hair before.”
 I was going to blurt out 「Elf」, but I stop myself and go with his hair color instead.
 “Ahh, that’s because Boss is an 「Elf」, a fairy of the forest. Cool, no?”
 “Elf, huh? With long ears?”
 “Hmph, wrong.”
 Hearing my words, the Manager turns his face away like an upset kid.
 Despite acting like a child, this Manager is actually already 280 years old.
 His name is Yusalatoya Boruënan. As later explained, rather than a family name, 「Boruënan」 is actually the forest where he lived, and all 「Elves」 who lived there bear this name.
 “Sheesh, Boss— What you’re talking about is the 「Long Ear Tribe」, Satou-san. The race with long, horizontal ears like bamboo leaves, right?”
 While pacifying the Manager, Nadi-san confirms with me.
 I nod in agreement.
 “Ever since the First Hero and Founder of the Saga Empire called the 「Long Ear Tribe」 「Elves」, there have been people who confuse the two, even after a thousand years.”
 I see, even the First Hero got it wrong...
 Surely, just like me, the First Hero must have been influenced by that classic Fantasy work, set on a “cursed island” , and mistook the 「Long Ear Tribe」 as 「Elves」.
 —Mn? But he lived more than a thousand years ago?
 A Japanese who lived that long ago couldn’t have known what an “Elf” is...
 Unless time flows differently between this world and mine?
 “Therefore, mistaking 「Elves」 for the 「Long Ear Tribe」 is a bit of a taboo!”
 “So that’s how it is. I didn’t know, but it must have sounded rude. Manager, please forgive my disrespect.”
 I smile at Nadi-san for informing me about this, and bow to the Manager in an apology.
 “Mn, forgiven.”
 “Sheesh, Boss. That doesn’t even sound like you’ve forgiven him.”
 As she spoke in place of the untalkative Manager, Nadi-san brushes back the Manager’s hair, unveiling his ear— slightly more pointy at the tip than a regular person’s— so that I can see.
 The Manager pushes Nadi-san’s hand away but doesn’t seem to be annoyed.
 From their casual interactions, these two are probably married or in love.
 Alright, I shouldn’t stay here too long, let’s go back to everyone else.
 “Then, Nadi-san, I’ll come to you later about housing.”
 “Sure, and you were a great help today.”
 After saying goodbye to Nadi-and the Manager, I leave the place.

 When I get out of the building, the battle at 「Gateside Inn」 is already over.
 The monsters that invaded the city have all been exterminated and the county soldiers are starting to clean up the ant carcasses.
 Zena-san runs up when she notices me.
 Perhaps unused to running in a skirt, she trips over it just as she reaches me. I put my arm out to support her before she can fall.
 “You alright?”
 With my arm being held onto like that, it feels somewhat pleasant right now.
 Though I would like to stay like that a little longer, Zena-san’s guards are giving me looks, so I help her get back on her feet.
 According to Zena, none of the county soldiers nor citizens died.
 The injured ones aren’t badly hurt either, and priests who answered the alarm have already begun treatment.
 Leaving Healing Magic to the professional priests, Zena-san and the others will be scouting outside the city with some light cavalry.
 “Bummer, your hard-earned vacation is up in smokes!”
 “It is unfortunate that I was interrupted, but my 「Wind Magic」 is good for reconnaissance. It’s best to go as soon as we can. Villages nearby could be under attack!”
 As Zena-san explains, nearby villages all have a system that repels monsters known as 「Barrier Pylons」, but they are not as powerful as the wall barrier in 「Seiryuu City」.
 I watch as Zena-san leaves with her team and some light cavalry. The Arcane Soldiers beside Zena-san seem to also be mobilizing, and other teams have already departed.

 Hearing Liza calling for me in front of Gateside Inn, I go up to her. A man who looks like a soldier is here.
 “You’re this gal’s master?”
 “That’s correct. I’m Satou.”
 As I answer the man, I receive a small bag from Liza.
 Checking inside, I find the Cores of 「Flying Ants」.
 “Cores are always requisitioned by the county. I’ll take it from here.”
 “No problem, but shouldn’t treatment of the casualty and clean up come first?”
 The man’s unusual haste seems a little suspicious, so I check his status under the 「AR」. The county army’s financial officer, huh, This man then proceeds to swipes the bag out of my hand, saying “That’s the job of others,” and heads toward other soldiers.
 He didn’t evaluate the cores, count them, or even ask for my name. Not that I’m particularly paranoid, but this is nothing less than trying to pull wool over my eyes.
 “Please wait.”
 When I stop him, he merely looks arrogantly over his shoulder.
 Looking firmly into the side of his face, I assert my stance.
 “Please write down a receipt. Here’s the paper. Please note the number of cores, the equivalent value, and your name and department.”
 In terms of my net worth, the value of these Cores is a drop in the ocean, but it isn’t right for Liza and everyone else’s hard work to be taken advantage of.
 “What’s this? Are you saying I’ll cheat you?”
 “A merchant is alway cautious. Even if the client is a saint or a Hero, we will always take a written contract over any oral agreements.”
 Of course, I made up the second part. The skill 「Deception」 sure is scary.
 The man scoffs then scribbles something with the ink and paper I provided. When he tries to write down a price lower than market, I merely draw out the calculations on the ground to correct his “mistake”.
 “Is this enough? You greedy merchant!”
 His words are harsh, but I’ll take the IOU note without complaint. I’ll be able to exchange this for money with the County.
 The man is wearing a signet ring but hasn’t stamped it on the certificate. I consult my other documents, and sure enough, both my identification and the certificate of custody for Liza’s spear are signed as well as stamped.
 “Are you not going to stamp it?”
 “I just forgot.”
 The man’s face twists in displeasure when I remind him and grabs the certificate from my hand and stamps it forcefully.
 “Are you done?!”
 Not seeing any more tricks, I put the certificate away this time.
 With his plan to make a killing foiled, the man leaves while cursing under his breath.
 A crook like that, he’ll be fired for fraud or embezzlement before long.

  >>> Skill obtained 「Calculation」
      >>> Skill obtained 「Intimidation」
  >>> Title obtained 「New Merchant」
  >>> Title obtained 「Shady Merchant」

 Checking the 「Log」, I see additional titles and skills.
 I really want to ask whoever is governing the skill system, “When did I ever intimidate someone?”


 As the sun sets, people on the streets have returned to their everyday life.
 The 「Flying Ant」 that Tama defeated in the beginning seems to have been hiding inside a cargo carriage that had just arrived at 「Gateside Inn」.
 As for why the guards at the gate didn’t discover it during the inspection, Lilio and her team which just returned from patrol was right behind the carriage, so they probably let it go without a thorough check. Old habits die hard.
 “These kids are amazing! They defended the inn against monster attacks despite being so young.”
 Hearing the Madam’s praise, Pochi and Tama become bashful.
 But Liza probably did the most work keeping the monsters away...
 Doesn’t seem like she is going to be praised.
 Let’s reward her later with some delicious chicken kebabs from that store with the red flag.
 “Is this good?”
 “Little more to the right. There, it’s shielded from the wind, and won’t get dust all over it when carriages pass through.”
 The Husband is moving a large table to the courtyard while the Madam directs where it should be set.
 The Husband goes into the kitchen from the back door, then brings out the dishes with Martha-chan.
 “In front of my other patrons, I can’t let these kids stay inside, but I’ll be damned if I can’t express my gratitude! Allow my husband to show off his cooking, enjoy!”
 Other than the quiche and vegetable stew I had before, there’s even a whole roasted animal. The 「AR」 display reveals it to be 「Roasted Shortear Hare」. A mashed potato mountain sits on a large dish, and some croquette-like things are served on a long plate.
 “It smells great!”
 “The smell of happiness nano desu.”
  “So hungry~?”
  “Just wait a little more.”
 I can’t help but smile at the four standing back to get out of the way, yet staring so intently at the food.
 “Satou-san, I bought what you asked!”
 “Thank you, Yuni-chan.”
 When Yuni-chan comes back with a basket full of fruit, I give her one from the basket and some 「Micro Coins」 as a tip.
 These fruits are for Lulu. She was already feeling unwell and only got more anemic after the scare from the 「Flying Ant」 attack, so now she is all pale, lying down next to me.
 Arisa has been taking care of her until just a moment ago when she lost to her hunger and went to eat first.
 If only there were some medicine for this. Let’s go check out the alchemy shop on the westside or an apothecary after eating.
 —Oh, and all the food tasted great.


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