|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3967 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1806 words|
We went to work right away after that. To avoid contact with the king for the time being, we all left the inn and Strom as soon as possible, returning to Bordaule. We did not think it was rude to leave without saying anything, given we had a lengthy meeting with him the day before, and the less contact we had the more time we could buy. Usually traveling from Strom to Bordaule takes many days, but with Flight Magic it was accomplished in a much shorter time frame, which gave us even more time to prepare. I could imagine the demon I left alive might get annoyed and think of harming the hostages, but considering they were an important part of their plan I doubted they would actually do that.
Ciel and Diaria supported me with their own magic to fly for longer and faster, so we went straight past Surfour and reached all the way to the capital of Bordaule in a single day.
“Luvias, are you sure you don’t want to see your father?”
“No, if we meet him, he might tell Strom of our arrival through a long distance communications magic device. That might give Strom’s king an opening to tell us to return immediately as some sort of reinforcements, so we should avoid meeting my father for the time being.”
We had to pretend we were still traveling somewhere to buy us more time, so she probably was right. The only reason we had gone to the capital was to use her authority as princess to gather more helpers.
“Luckily my brother Magna is on our side now, and many of his followers are involved with the temples too, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to convince him to send some strong priests on our way. While we’re on it, I want to get in contact with Bandit and Freya too.”
Freya was probably still on her way back from Strom, so contacting her was a bit hard, but still worth a try. Meanwhile we had helped Bandit in the past, so he would definitely want to help once he received our message. The only issue was that I would need to go with Diaria to pick him up if he agreed to help. The trip from his country would take upwards of a month, so Flight Magic was a necessity. Ciel, Luvias and Karin could remain in the capital, so in case we got word from Freya they would be able to go pick her up.
“Luvias can go take care of the messages then, we’ll wait in an inn for now.”
Luvias went to talk with her brother while the rest of us walked through the capital looking for an inn. There was little we could do for now, which was a bit annoying, but we had no choice but to wait.
§ § §
Thanks to Lapis things calmed down in Barius. The earthquake had caused little harm, and Lapis had stopped the tidal wave, so things had gone as well as one could expect. After they left, we continued training day in and day out. During our fight against Behemoth we had been shown just how powerless we were, and if Lapis had not been with us, Queen Titis and Barius would have perished. That was the frustrating truth for me, as the hero, the man representing the power of our country. But I had no time to sulk, I had to become stronger. I decided I had to reform my own training regiment, gathering the strongest men I could find around me and constantly sparring against them.
I swung my sword down on Annero, who stopped it with the spear he held and then pushed me away with it. I fell on the ground, and turning towards him I saw the tip of his spear closing in, but I turned my body around to evade it, then tried to kick his feet.
He had been expecting that and jumped back dodging my kick. I used that time to quickly stand up again and began pouring magic into my sword Xanthus. As my blade turned blue with magic, Annero’s speartip gained a red color as well. For a short moment my demonic sword and his demonic spear shone under the sun as their power increased, and then we charged against each other.
Our strength seemed to be equal when our weapons collided, our feet digging into the ground as we tried to not lose against the other with our eyes locked on each other. Our bodies were charged with magic and spirit, creating an inapproachable aura around us. Slowly I began to get pushed back, probably because of the difference in our sizes, and I could see the tip of his spear inching closer to my face.
He suddenly screamed with a burst of strength, fully overpowering me and sending Xanthus flying away. Losing my foothold, I fell on my back and had all the air pushed out my lungs. When my brain finally caught up with everything that happened, it was too late, Annero’s spear was pointed straight at my face. Seeing that, I took a deep breath and lay limp on the ground.
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“I give up. I lost this time.”
“Heheh, I guess I still got the upper hand when it comes to sheer strength.”
He held his hand out, and holding it I was quickly pulled on my feet. We were in a large training space inside the palace of Cusantos. Annero, Versis’ hero, had come here to train with me. He seemed like a nice guy when I met him in the gathering of Leble. When I felt like I needed more training I invited him over, and he instantly agreed and came here.
Around us stood my sisters Avenis and Epsilon, as well as Sweelen from Annero’s party and a few other reptids. Every day we would reorganize our parties and practice fighting against different situations, preparing us for any battle.
“I guess that makes the scoreboard 70 wins to 79 losses huh. I know I can make it even though.”
“Nah, I mostly won by pure chance. Also, a true battle doesn’t have a scoreboard, you only get one opportunity to win or lose, so training scores don’t matter.”
“…Yup, ya got a point there.”
I really liked Annero. I had not known him for too long, but somehow I felt like we were already really close friends. Inviting him had turned out to be an unexpectedly good idea. As I tried to regain my breath and wiped my sweaty brow with a towel, a knight entered the training grounds and looked around desperately, once he saw me he quickly ran towards me. Has something happened?
“Bandit, sir. I’ve been looking for you.”
“Lady Luvias from Bordaule has gotten in contact with us, please come inside the palace.”
Luvias was calling for me? That was odd. I apologized to Annero for the sudden interruption and gathered my things before I ran inside the palace. Long distance communication devices were very valuable, so the country only possessed a handful, one in the palace and the rest scattered in strategic locations. The one in the palace was located in a room under heavy guard, and usually one could only enter with the permission of the queen, but the guards seemed to be informed of what happened and let me through just by seeing me. Past the door they opened for me was the table with a crystal ball shining on it. That was the long distance communications magic device, and once I put my hands on it words began flowing into my mind and it was like I was talking directly with someone.
(Luvias? I’m here.)
(Bandit! I’m glad to know you’re there.)
(Yeah, I’ve been staying near the palace training all this time. So, whaddya need? Did something bad happen for ya to use the magic device?)
(That’s a way of putting it. You see…)
I was horrified when I heard the news. We lived so far away from Strom that we didn’t even know they had gotten invaded, and on top of that the demons had gotten really deep into the country on top of that. Then to make things worse more demons had gotten there and were holding people hostage to puppeteer the king. I shuddered realizing the same could happen literally anywhere without us knowing.
(Gotcha, I’ll help ya as much as I can. I still owe ya for saving Queen Titis and the city, so I’ll happily do anything to repay that favor.)
(Thanks! Your help is worth a hundred men. My Master will go pick you up soon, so just wait right there.)
I guess that means Lapis was using Flight Magic to get here. I saw how fast she could move while fighting Behemoth, so she would make quick work of a roundtrip from Bordaule’s capital to here and back. Then I thought of something else, so I made Luvias a proposal.
(Oh right, you might be getting some more help from here than you think. I can’t guarantee they’ll come, but I trust they’ll be willing. Ya don’t mind if I bring some friends along yeah?)
(Not at all, the more allies we get the better. My Master will be there in a few days, so get everything ready by then.)
When the conversation was over I went back the way I came. This was the best moment to return the favor, so I better held nothing back. First I had to gather all the manpower I could though. Luckily Annero and all of Versis’ hero’s party was in Barius now, so if I enlisted their help as well we would have the best army to take on the demons.
Still regaining my breath from running back to them, I quickly explained to Annero what Luvias told me, and asked him to join us as well.
“Hmm…so we’re essentially hunting undercover demons. Sure, I’ll go with you. I’m also a fellow hero after all, so I’ll have to fight demons sooner or later, and a little skirmish before the main battle doesn’t sound bad at all. You all are in too, right Sweelen?”
“Of course. There’s nothing I’d want more than to fight demons.”
Annero and his party agreed to help without hesitating. I knew they were nice guys.
“Thanks a bunch! Let’s kick those cowards capturing hostages where it hurts!”
We exchanged a quick handshake, but I could still feel Annero’s powerful strength in his grip. Soon both Lapis and all of Strom will see what we heroes can do when we fight to rescue them!
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