|Author: Firehead||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Hands of Vecna||English Source: Hands of Vecna|
Since then, we waited overnight. In the end, the spirit of Parthenos did not appear to us. I wondered if she had already passed on to the afterlife. I didn’t really know if the afterlife existed, but since this was a different world with magic, it wouldn’t be strange for an underworld to exist. After all, there was a goddess in this world. Ghosts and vengeful spirits also existed in the game as monsters, so it felt like heaven and hell probably existed as well. After all, Aigokeros was born in hell.
However, this was troubling. With Parthenos dead, it would now be Eleven Heavenly Stars instead of Twelve Heavenly Stars. I did not intend to recruit Parthenos in her ghostly state, so the position of the Maiden would definitely be left vacant. After all, she did rather well so far, so she should get some rest.
But should I look for the next Maiden or just leave them as Eleven Heavenly Stars? Dina was asserting and pointing to herself for some reasons, but I ignored her and made my way back. Should I tame a humanoid monster and train her from scratch? Or perhaps create a golem? Either way, she would not be like her predecessor.
“It seems Parthenos is no longer here. In that case, there is no reason to stay here any longer. Let’s go.”
I announced my intention to leave the forest. Dina and the others nodded in agreement. I would like to meet her at least once, but if we stayed too long, it would just inconvenience Virgo. If Parthenos had already departed for the afterlife, I wondered if she would be angry with Aigokeros for breaking the barrier. I hoped we could come back at a later date.
Unlike Svalinn which was invaded and Gjallarhorn which was on the verge of civil war, there was no reason to rush here. I felt sorry for the flügels who were exiled, but this issue could wait.
“Oh, but is it okay?”
“What is it, Aries?”
“This is Ruphas-sama’s hometown, right? You told me before that your mother’s grave is in the country on the mountain.”
I stiffened at Aries’ words and stared at the mountain. Mother, huh…By the way, there was a memory of mother in the dream I had in Gjallarhorn. Ruphas hated her father and was hated by him, but her relationship with her mother seemed to be good. Or rather, she wanted to destroy the irrationality of the world for her mother’s sake. A grave would imply she was already dead. This might have unexpectedly influenced Ruphas’ behavior.
“My memory recorded that master would visit the place annually and devote prayers to her deceased mother two hundred years ago. Since we have come this far, why not visit your mother’s grave for the first time in a while?”
Hmm. Libra’s explanation implied that their relationship wasn’t merely good, but that she was a considerable weight in Ruphas’ heart. For me, it was just the grave of a stranger. But I was Ruphas now, so this was not completely unrelated to me.
“…That’s right. Since this place was sealed for two hundred years, the grave must have been neglected for some time. It’s not a bad idea to visit now.”
I didn’t know if Ruphas’ mother would wish for a stranger like me to visit her grave, but this couldn’t be helped. I still didn’t know why this was happening, but I expected that there would be a hint ahead. If the Demon King’s words were to be believed, Ruphas took independent actions that were not in my knowledge and had her own experiences and memories. She was aware of some things that I did not know.
“The goddess’ scenario”…This would be the most important phrase in the future. If the mystery could be solved, I might find out why I became like this. And the key to unlocking it was none other than “Ruphas”.
What did Ruphas notice before she was sealed? What was she trying to do? Knowing that would probably unravel the entire mystery.
“Are we visiting the grave? Shouldn’t we hurry then?”
“…? This is unexpected, Dina. You are actually opposed to it.”
“Oh, no. I’m not actually opposed to it. I just feel that we shouldn’t stay for too long.”
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I was surprised that Dina had a negative opinion about visiting the grave. I thought she would casually reply, “Let’s go.” But I understood after hearing her follow-up statement.
“It’s just that the mountain is very high. I don’t really want to climb it.”
“Oh, I see.”
I nodded and looked at the mountain again. There was a saying that fools and flügels like high places. Well, flügels really preferred high places. The mana was thin in high altitude, so it would be comfortable to flügels. Since they could fly, it wasn’t that difficult to reach high places.
For example, to reach the summit of a mountain with an altitude of five hundred meters, a flügel could do it like a human walking five hundred meters on the flat ground. (Ah, no. It would be about seven hundred meters if the horizontal distance was included.) It would not feel that far.
Furthermore, the mountain formed a natural barrier to make it difficult for foreign enemies to attack, giving the inhabitants a peace of mind. But the problem was…uh, what was Vanaheim’s altitude? I did not have a skill that could measure altitude by the eye, but it seemed to be very high.
“Libra, do you know the height of the mountain?”
“Yes, I measured it at an altitude of 3807 meters.”
Oh, it was higher than Mount Fuji. Certainly, we could not do this on foot. To flügels, this would be merely three to four kilometers of travel. Since they could fly at a speed faster than an adult riding a bicycle, covering this distance would not be tiring. There were plenty of people who commuted to work or school on bicycles over such a distance. This could be done daily without any problems. If I or Libra flew at full speed, we would need only one minute…no, less than thirty seconds.
“Certainly, this height is troubling, but it isn’t impossible to carry you and fly there.”
“There would be no problem if I carry Aries and Aigokeros while master carries Dina. However, for future considerations, we need the means to fly en masse.”
Libra made a good point. There were only a few of us now, but the number of people would increase in the future. The situation would become troublesome by then. Besides me, only Libra and one of the Twins among the Twelve Heavenly Stars could fly. Furthermore, the other twin could not fly, so it would be difficult to move when the number of people increased. Since both hands were occupied, it would be impossible for us to respond quickly if anything happened.
“By the way, Aigokeros, can’t you fly? You have wings after all.”
“Master, I can certainly fly, but I can’t fly so high. Have you forgotten?”
“Oh? It’s like this?”
Since Aigokeros had wings, I decided to ask about it, but it seemed he could not fly so high. Basically, he was like an early form of Charizard that had not yet learn how to fly. In other words, only Libra and I could really fly.
“Hmm…In that case, I might as well let him fly.”
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The non-flying members needed to come along, but Libra and I should not have both our hands occupied. Therefore, the solution is simple: “Let someone who can carry everyone fly.”
“Okay, everyone leave the forest now. Dina, find the Floating Stones out of the alchemical materials that we recovered from the royal tomb and bring a few of them here.”
Now then, let’s start remodeling. In the game, once an alchemist transmuted an item, it could not be further modified. To upgrade an item, it must be rebuilt from scratch. But this was not a game, so it should be possible to upgrade. Anyway, it wouldn’t be a mistake to at least test it out for the future.
And so I remodeled Tanaka. Its outward appearance did not change much. In consideration of the future, it was enlarged and its height was increased significantly. Of course, it was not unnecessarily high. The second-floor space, which did not exist previously, was added. The roof itself was mobile, so it could be changed into a roof terrace as a luxury specification. But this was just the start as the main feature was yet to come.
“Okay, Tanaka. Transform.”
At my command, Tanaka turned on its lights. The wind blew from its bottom, causing the car body to float, while its four wheels turned sideways. Flames surged from the centers of the tires to increase buoyancy. Steel wings were deployed from the sides of the car, accompanied by engine sounds.
This was the newly upgraded Tanaka, called…
…I couldn’t think of a good name.
How troublesome. Let’s just call it Tanaka Jet.
Race: Artificial Lifeform
STR (Strength): 862
DEX (Dexterity): 120
VIT (Vitality): 987
INT (Intelligence): 9
AGI (Agility): 1530
MND (Mind): 78
LUK (Luck): 100
Oh, it seemed if good materials were used during the upgrade, its level would increase. In that case, Libra…probably already exceeded the level limit. This was unfortunate, but I couldn’t make her any stronger. It might be possible for Mizar, but it didn’t make sense to rely on the deceased. A flying camping car was amazingly surreal, even if I said so myself.
“How is this, Dina? Now everyone can come along.”
As if distracted by the flying camping car, Dina’s reply was somewhat lackluster. In contrast, Aries and Virgo were looking at Tanaka with eyes shining like children. By the way, Virgo came along as a guide and for surveillance. Since it was an important place that was once guarded by her granny, she was taking the precaution in case we did something strange. After all, Aigokeros the fool already did something like that, so we couldn’t deny her concerns.
“Do you want to ride it?”
“Eh? Is it okay? If so, yes please!”
I asked Virgo since she looked so curious about it. She happily accepted my offer. Hmm. It seemed flying vehicles were considered romantic everywhere. Although it looked the way it was, I did not dislike stuff like this.
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“It’s a big problem, Ruphas-sama.”
“What is it, Libra?”
“Tanaka did not have any equipment for aerial combat. At the very least, there should be a gunner’s seat. Then the main cannon, anti-aircraft attacks, and explosive bombs…”
“What in the world are you talking about?”
I played the straight man to Libra, who requested excessive armaments on Tanaka. I got inside Tanaka, followed by Aries, Aigokeros, Dina, and Libra. Virgo entered last in a reserved manner. After confirming that everyone was aboard, I closed the door and commanded Tanaka:
“Okay. Let’s go, Tanaka.”
Tanaka answered and flew into the sky. Since this was a different world, it was fine. If it was in Japan, it would be really surreal. Anyway, a flying car was truly romantic, such that although it was still a fictitious invention, it could be considered a promised product. But for this romance to be realized in such a manner, the world was truly full of surprises.
Now then, next stop would be Ruphas’ hometown. It would be nice if there were some useful clues.
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