Chapter 24 – Devil’s Mountain

 

“Devil’s Mountain” is located northwest of the mountain City of Ox.

The Devil’s Mountain is a name that is too conspicuous, but there is no choice but to call it so.

The vegetation is clearly different from the other mountains and the hard sharp black cedar is covering its surface.

The black mountain itself is a natural fortress and it looks like it is surrounded by black spears.

The Miasma Hole of Doom at the top of the mountain. Miasma is invisible to human eyes but I heard it spurts it out from there and does not stop like lava.

That was until 240 years ago.

There was a man who stopped the Devil’s Mountain’s infinitely blowing miasma.

Former Great Hero, Renz Albert.

The legendary Hero Renz who succeeded in identifying and sealing the cause of monsterfication, the Miasma Hole of Doom. He beats the demon king who commanded the monsters.

As he sealed the Miasma Hole of Doom, the mass production of monsters ceased. People could now live in this region and the country called Silesie was eventually born.

The founder of the Kingdom of Silesie, Renz Silesie Albert I. He is that person.

For the seal problem to be solved, the army coming from the Royal Capital should be placed against the Devil’s Mountain.

Then, perform a pincer attack from both sides of the Royal Capital and the City of Ox which is another base from the foot of the Devil’s Mountain.

I think Founding King Renz made the City of Silesie and the fortress City of Ox to perform such strategy.

—Scene Change—

「It was the same as before.」

Horse-riding Louise who finished the reconnaissance comes back to Ox ‘s old castle and muttered those words.

Even though monsters are activated, there is no demon lord to oversee the monsters in the current Miasma Hole of Doom.

I know both cause and the remedy.

Compared to the era when the former hero sealed it the first time, this quest can be said to be much easier.

However, there is only one problem.

「This Devil’s Mountain is a stronghold of flying dragon wyvern.」

It is a subspecies of the dragon. Wyvern is a smaller bipedal walker and less intelligent version of the legendary dragons which is considered as the last boss of some RPG.  Dragons use four legs with high intelligence and high magical power.

The difference in power is comparable to adults and children.

However, since they have the ability to fly, dragon knights keep them as mounts.

If a kingdom’s chivalry has them, it can be said that the country is difficult to fight with.

However, that is only if there is no influence of the Miasma hole of doom.

Just living near the hole can make those wyvern go stronger.

The scales are jet black and they have evolved to an existence that can even be called black flying dragons.

Their power seems to approach the superior class dragons.

「Therefore, we’ll try to split the flock of black wyvern of the Devil’s Mountain. 」

The tactics of the subjugation troop Louise led before is this; raid the Devil’s Mountain to pull them off the mountain, then fight the black wyvern.

Meanwhile, the saint goes on to seal the Miasma Hole of Doom.

No matter how much it grows, wyverns will never be smarter than dragons.

Though a simple feint, it can be said that the success rate of this strategy is high.

However, it failed.

「The saint who tried to seal it couldn’t fulfill his duty. 」

What kind of mistake was there in the sealing ceremony?

On the contrary, the seal was further opened.  Monster activation has become catastrophic.

Most of the soldiers who tried to rescue the saint by fighting the miasma-enraged black dragons were killed in the battle.

「I did not even know why I failed. I took command, so it can’t be helped that they are blaming me for it.」

Louise who looks back to a last war and murmurs in blank surprise.

Everyone surrounding the desk is silent.

Sister Ria raised her hand and said.

「The saint who went with Louise was my master. A merciful saint of Silesie. She was a holy alchemist that can be considered number one or two in this country. I never thought that she will fail to seal it.」

「But the reality….」

The rebuttal of Louise, Ria continues to suppress it by the hand.

「There are things that can be considered questionable.」

「What do you mean……」

Louise glares at her with her dark red eyes fiercely.

Without fear, Ria continued.

「The upper echelon of the A-sama church has speculated that there was someone who sabotages her.」

「Who would do such a thing? Neighbors hostile to Silesie? Even other countries at the kingdom’s border are experiencing monster invation. Monsters that have been massively generated by the Miasma Hole of Doom.」

There are no human beings that will gain anything by opening the seal of the hole.

I understand that she’s trying to say that it is impossible.

Even Louise and the others, attacked it with great care by using a strategy because of the danger it has.

「What if it is a knight that supposed to do that disturbing work? Master was the person who doesn’t know how to doubt a person. For instance, to the person who believed the ally, Saint Wand Holy Paul that is used for the seal can be replaced by an imitation.」

「That’s impossible! 」

For Louise, the Knights Order and the soldier are both her subordinates and colleagues.

I really understand the feeling of wanting to believe.

「Because there is no mean? I would like to say, how about General Gale who was a deputy head of the King’s Knight Order? At that time, he was contesting Louise for the leader’s seat.」

The name of the other party who dislikes her most in this world is put out. Louise can’t retort.

「No, I certainly think that Gale is the worst man. In order to have a successful career, he doesn’t mind getting rid of others. However, what if the sealing of the Miasma Hole of Doom fails. How many people would die …」

No, no, I do not want to think.

Louise shakes her burning red hair and has an expression of agonizing on her face.

「Well, I will ask you, what is the movement of General Gale as commander of the King’s Subjugation Army? Given his current moves, it looks like to him, sealing the Miasma Hole of Doom is nothing to care about. On the other hand, the opposition, who wants to save people, were raided and were exterminated.」

Well, I guess that Gale is incompetent.

「That’s impossible! He is a proud knight of this country. The leader of the knights of this country will never sacrifice the safety of this country’s citizens just because of self-interest!」

「However, given the current circumstances, it is certainly the case.」

「Impossible! A knight betraying the country, that won’t happen. As a former knight, even if it’s Gale, I can assure you that it is impossible!」

Louise is unusually rough.

Well, we are talking about something she cares the most.

Lyle-sensei, who was listening to Louise’s story quietly, inquired something as the strategist.

「Commander Louise, I’m not saying that this is the case but what if, just answer this in a strategic manner without any feelings involved, what if what she said is true?」

「If the knights who are supposed to be protecting the country and its citizens has really done that, this country is already doomed….」

Somehow, the talk comes off from the main plot.

I also decided to intervene.

Internal conflict within the country, betrayal, it would be nice if we no longer discuss it.

Let’s set our eyes on our goal first.

「Well, let’s leave that topic at once. How shall we seal the hole? 」

Because I intervened suddenly, Louise and others, who were arguing, look blank and stare at me.

Oh, sorry. Is it a serious scene that you should not disturb air?

「Well, the basic strategy is the same as the punitive team led by Louise-san. Lure the Wyvern from the Devil’s mountain while Ria-san seals the Miasma Hole of Doom. I think that it is easy to do since we have cannons.」

Lyle-sensei added after being silent for a moment.

「I see. Let’s make sure that no one will sabotage this time….」

Lyle-sensei absolutely does not believe Louise’s opinion that no one betrayed.

I do not know how deep Lyle-sensei’s strategy is but I can tell by looking at his face that he already has a countermeasure.

This is the scheming face of sensei.

I’m sure he will make a secret strategy considering that there is someone who’ll get in the way.

I assume that what we spoke of was not our only strategy.

However, I did not ask for a separately detailed strategy.

Sensei won’t say what he doesn’t have to say and would inform me of what I should know.

Will someone sabotage us as we seal it?

Rather than searching for someone like that, I’ll prioritize thinking of sealing the Miasma Hole of Doom.

If we do not seal it as soon as possible, we will be sacrificed for the revitalizing monsters.

Until sensei says to stop, I’ll continue to prepare for it.

Because we don’t want to fail like the previous attempt.

—Scene Change—

Lyle-sensei is fortifying the City of Ox so to the point that it seems to be overkill.

We are doing engineering work to the point that we’re like making a new town.

The moat is deepened and the spire is repaired. All of those changes are made for one reason, to set up artillery.

I wonder what sensei is going to fight.

It seems that we are engaged in the development and increase of production of the new type of cannon in cooperation with Ye Mountain Range Mining Association. We are keeping in touch with Nattal in Losgow mine from behind.

We need to climb the mountain in front and seal it up. I wonder if I need to be there.

When will the ” Miasma Hole of Doom ” be attacked?

The demand letter from the kingdom, sensei crushed it.

Is that all right?

Oh dear, sensei does that so it might have a deeper meaning.

Apart from the new canon, I also want a rifle.

I’m sending many blueprints to the blacksmiths.

The volunteer soldier corps led by Louise could also do a quite complicated mobile practice now as requested by sensei.

Group of monsters comes down regularly from the top of the mountain where the Miasma Hole of Doom is. They’ve become a good opponent for training.

Since we don’t want to waste gunpowder, monsters were massacred with guns. We don’t even use the cannon. Killing them all as quickly as possible is the strategy.

As for me, I’m doing my work as the general. Watching everyone from a carriage.

Because Sharon and Sara are watching, it is not possible for me to slip out to the battlefield.

I, who is looking at the progress of a battle, has come to gradually sympathize with the monsters.

I have become a hero. I have a sword of light. But I still haven’t used it yet.

With the hero thrown into the carriage for a long time, am I in Dragon Quest?

「Takeru, are you there? 」

「Oh, Ria? 」

I feel sorry for Ria. After making me a hero, I seem to be a secret weapon that is reserved for the end.

Somehow, the eyes of Sharon and Sara are looking Ria fiercely.

It will be okay because this person is not aiming to be part of my personal guard corps.

It took some time to know the character of Ria so it can’t be helped if they look at her with suspicious eyes.

In fact, her behavior is really suspicious.

「I heard Strategist Lyle. It seems that the date for attacking the Miasma Hole of Doom has been decided.」

「Ah, at last.」

Sensei’s suggestion.

There is probably something. Probably the reason why we did not go immediately to seal it.

I’m looking forward to what will happen.

「By all means when sealing it, there should be a hero with the saint. 」

「You want me to climb the Devil’s Mountain with you? I don’t mind if sensei approves it. 」

While listening to the story, it seems unlikely that a light sword would be useful for sealing.

Because the one that sealed it up first is a hero, it is probably not needed in the ceremony.

Oh, I don’t like that. Ria’s tone is infected.

「The permission of the strategist, I certainly do not have it.」

「Don’t laugh Ria.」

「Seriously, my master who went to seal it disappeared. Even if you say that the black wyvern will be lured, wouldn’t there still be danger?」

「Yeah, but I believe in the strategy so it’s okay.」

Ria’s god is A-sama.

The god of my strategy is Lyle-sensei. As long as the sensei says it, it is okay.

I’m not afraid of enemies.

「Takeru is religious, isn’t he? 」

「Right. 」

Ria made her well-shaped mouth come unsewn suddenly.

Though it is hidden under the hood, I barely see her dazzling mouth.

After coming here, Ria did not take off her hood.

She never takes it off.

Wanting to take it off might be a joke of her.

Well, she keeps wearing a hood so there might be a reason for it.

However, I won’t ask her to show her face to me.

I won’t poke a bush because I’m curious about the snake.

「My preparation is also complete. With that, I’ll prepare the Sacrament that will give the goddess’ protection to the hero. Please take the time before we make our move.」

Sacrament? 」

It is a word that I haven’t heard.

「 To the A-sama church; it is a ceremony of strict secret.  By the blessing of the saint, the hero’s magic power and physical defense power are greatly improved.」

「I like quite a bit of that, but what’s the catch? 」

There is a disadvantage to a good story.

「It is good you understand.」

「I’m always skeptical when doing business.」

It’s a pattern.

「There is a safe procedure in the sacrament too. However, as a hero, Takeru lacks magical power and fighting power as well. I am also not a saint. Therefore, even if taking risks, I will try to raise each other’s power to the utmost limit by using a forbidden spell. 」

「You clearly said that I am lacking in combat power.」

Well, saying the point without holding back is Ria’s good point.

It is not a joke.

「Forbidden spell is too dangerous that it made the church forbid it. If Takeru’s spirit can’t endure the ceremony, you will lose something important.」

I’m afraid. I’m certainly afraid. But given our circumstances, how can I decline?

Even if I’m obstinate, I am confident of perseverance alone.

As long as I won’t die, I may try even a painful trial.

「If the ceremony failed, I will definitely lose the qualification as a sister. I wavered many times, but I am now prepared for that.」

Ria is serious.

Well, she’s also risking something heavy, isn’t that natural?

「Even if you fail in that ceremony, can you seal the Miasma Hole of Doom? 」

「We have already completed the creation of the Saint Wand Holy Paul for the seal.」

「Well, I’ll do it if Ria is fine with it.」

「Didn’t I already said that I’ve already prepared? 」

Ria plays with the ankh that shines in white silver.

She’s resolute.

「Then, I’ll rest a while after this battle. Let’s meet this evening.」

「Well, as you wish.」

When I became a hero there was no trial or emotion, and I find it awful.

I feel like my time has finally arrived.

In order to obtain a strong power, there is a wall that must be overcome and it is natural.

I’m a man. I am ready.

 

 

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