Arc 02: Guild and Competition for the cursed sword
An unwanted pursuer showed up, so we requested an outside help
The parade in commemoration of the hunt for the cursed sword was held for three days.
On the first day, the count swore in front of the king’s statue, located in the center of the town, to “make sure to obtain the cursed sword without fail”, apparently with much applause from the townsfolk.
On the second day, the employed entertainers paraded through the town. Many stalls were established, turning the event into a festival.
On the last day, the official plan was apparently announced to use the detection magic in front of the dungeon in order to locate the cursed sword, but we didn’t want to go along with it and decided to return to the town just before the daybreak of the second day.
We also didn’t see the parade. However, people said that Tanaka and deputy bishop Argis had chokers on them, and dove into the dungeon as the party’s heralds. Such was the rumor.
I also heard that Tanaka made a [Contract] to discover the cursed sword in exchange for new equipment.
How many contracts does he intend to make before he’s satisfied… Live strong, Tanaka. As for what happens to the deputy bishop Argis, it has no significance to us.
We said our farewells to the curio shop where we were hiding, and then left the town.
There were several courses from Metekal to the port city Irgafar. The one we chose was a bit roundabout, but we escaped going through the area full of lakes and marshes.
The deciding factor the onsen that was located midway.
There was also a large river alongside the highway, and it’s said that large fishes go up the stream at this time of the year. I wondered if they were the specialty cuisine of the onsen town.
We worked a little bit too much, so it’s decided that we would travel on the slow course to Irgafar.
A few hours after we left Metekal at dawn.
Currently we were in the middle of a break, next to a pond located beside the highway. In our surrounding there was a lot of tall trees growing and multiple water sources.
As we were eating the leftover bread and dried meat, and washing it down with the boiling brewed tea —
Several horse riders appeared before us.
“Excuse us for disturbing your rest. I am Count Regild”
There were eleven of them. Eight warriors dressed in armor, and two magicians in robes.
The one leading them was a man sporting a long beard. His helmet had curved horns. The armor he’s wearing was similar to what Tanaka Koga had. He was the only one on the white horse, the saddle of which was adorned with the coat of arms depicting a flying dragon. It took one glance to ascertain who this man was.
This fellow was the head of the [Noble Guild], the Count Regild.
I gripped the cursed sword while it was still in my bag. Cecyl was behind me, Leticia stood next to me and covered Aine with her back.
“Everyone from the [Common Guild], is everyone healthy? Hey, all of you were so capable, you know? You probably managed to reach the lower floors of the dungeon housing the cursed sword, didn’t you?”
After Aine’s mutter cut through the silence, the adventurers averted their eyes from her.
In their stead, the count stepped ahead towards us.
“I would like you to hand over Aine Crunette”
What the hell does this guy say?
“The <<Hunt for the Cursed Sword>> was noticed by even His Majesty The King. Until it’s completely finished, she will remain under our surveillance. Things would get troubling if too much to be said in other towns”
“We have zero interest in your matters”
“You realize that your thoughts on the matter have no significance to me, right?”
“It’s not. Just like what you think has no impact on us”
Towards my line, the count shrugged his shoulders.
“I even treated you with utmost courtesy… how regrettable that you are unable to comprehend my sincerity” — Count Regild touched his forehead and shook his head.
“Would you care to elaborate just when exactly did you display courtesy or sincerity?”
“Fuu, can’t be helped. After all, the plan was to seal everyone’s month”
Aah, this guy had no intention to listen in the end. He’s just pretending to listen.
The count raised his hand in silence. Following this signal, the adventurers dismounted their horses.
All around us was the moist soil and water due to a lake being near. Horses couldn’t move freely here.
Our opponents were the warriors in full-body armor as vanguards, and two magicians as rearguards. The count hid himself in the center of the adventurers.
We stepped back so that we could make some distance while kicking the mud and making noise.
“What if I told you there is no need for you to be our opponents, what would you do?” — As I was speaking, I grabbed Cecyl’s hand. She then returned the grip two times. That was the signal that preparations were completed.
“There is no reason to listen to a worthless threat. Sealing your useless mouth is—”
“Burn them, Cecyl!”
“[Destroy my enemies] — [Fire Arrow]!”
I already guessed that the count might come. We were vigilant, and we also sent a scout. Once we understood that they were approaching, we chanted the spell in advance.
Since the talks are useless, then we will render them powerless in one blow with the fire arrow, casted in the ancient language!
*swoosh* *boom* *boom* *boom* *boom* *boom*
The magic formation, created by Cecyl behind me, launched fire arrows at once. However —
“We heard about your abilities from Tanaka Koga and deputy bishop Argis”
“[Oh bulwark of purity, return the flame to nothing] — [Anti-Flame Shell]”
A suddenly produced semi-transparent shield stopped the fire arrows. The magicians behind the count laughed.
So that’s the anti-flame defense magic, huh?
“We also know about the rapid-fire of the huge fire arrows, and the a dodgy light you can create. It was natural that we came prepared with at least this much”
“… Cecyl, keep at it for a little more”
They’re still a little far…
*swoosh* *boom* *boom* *boom* *boom* *boom*
“Don’t you understand that I’ve told you that it’s pointless?! That’s why the commoners are so handful!” — the count was shouting.
More than this would be a waste of magical power, huh?
I had Cecyl stop with [Fire Arrows].
“That’s some line for someone who is stalking those same people of low birth”
The other side had two magicians. The warriors were even carrying large shields. Their composition of pressing us down with just simple magic and sword techniques was quite fearsome.
“We have eleven people. You have four. We really have no reason to fight, do we?” — the count laughed while rocking the large sword on his back.
As I suspected, he didn’t notice.
The count didn’t notice that the horses behind them became frightened for some reason. Or the reason why we expressly decided to rest on this marsheland.
“So you can’t even count despite being a noble, huh? Our party consists of five people and twenty four bodies”
“Five people and… twenty four bodies?”
“Take a good look around you, count. This is slime’s habitat!”
I displayed the cursed sword that remained this far in my bag.
“I urge the slimes to unite! Invoke [Slime Bringer LV1]”
<<Ye-es, My lord!>>
*slippery* *slippery* *slippery* *slippery* *slippery*
The surrounding poodles of water began to move.
If one took a cautious look, they would notice that the water was making strange flabby noise and moving a little bit.
The flame arrows from before were just a distraction. We had already predicted that it would be ineffective. It was nice that those guys did us a favor and blocked their own field of vision by hiding behind the shields.
The green slimes agreed to cooperate and had already surrounded them.
<<Green Slime — a low level slime which inhabits forests and marshlands. Due to their docile character, they don’t attack humans unless provoked. Their disposition allows them to prey on and swallow small animals. Volume-wise, they’re abound the size of puddle of water. Possessing jelly-like bodies, green slimes can completely absorb the incoming damage if it’s impact-based to some degree. With the help of the strong adhesive power, they won’t that simply separate from their target once they cling to it once>>
The number of slimes that could be controlled with the [Slime Bringer] skill was proportionate its level. [LV1] only apparently allowed to control just one slime.
However, the skill also made it possible to convey thoughts, so we managed to negotiate with other slimes through the contacted one. The talk settled with us giving each slime four pieces of dried meat for their cooperation.
That helped us a lot. I don’t really like to give out orders.
Although we asked the slimes would they be fine with what we’re going to have them do after giving them the prepayment, the slimes just began to divide, making it impossible for us to distinguish those who agreed to cooperate.
Thanks to Reginablus’ interpretation, I found out that slimes had quite different comprehension of self-consciousness from humans and other monsters, and how they viewed their mortality. It could probably be said that they had a colony-like consciousness or a group-like ego.
In any case, it’s a good thing they agreed to help us. Henceforth we should not show any hostility to green slimes. Yep.
“I-i-it’s the slimes, a-a-a-a-a-a-ah!”
The count raised a cry.
They finally noticed that they ended up in the middle of the sea of slimes.
The horses were smarter than them, they quickly run away the moment’s notice.
“What are you doing? Burn them! Scorch all the slimes completely!”
“Y-yes! [Oh the spirit, the enemies of mine —]”
The magician who started to chant had their arm pierced with a jet black arrow. The flame arrow they tried to produce shook in the air before vanishing into the air.
“— Wha? What’s this?!”
“It’s [Force Arrow]… This magic belongs to me! It’s my job to protect those who help us!” — Cecyl declared, pointing her slender fingers towards the count group.
The magic shot forth was usually the result of the strength of the magical power multiplied by the chant. If the flow was interrupted during the chant even for a moment, the magic would end up becoming just the words devoid of any magical power.
It was similar an error that occured if you pulled the electrical cord during the work of a machine or any other system, no matter how amazing it could be.
“Please give up and go back home! [Force arrow], [Force Arrow], [FORCE Arro-o-ow]!!”
Cecyl shoot more and more jet black arrows while the magicians still continued their chants.
[Fireball], [Flame wall], [Ice Javelin]
However, the magic was being erased before it could be fired.
The magic control of the demonkin descendant Cecyl was perfect. Weaving its way through the gaps between the warriors, [Force Arrow] accurately shot through the magicians, snatching away their magical power in the process.
“Damn! Don’t get cocky! We will clear away those lowly slimes in a single breath! Invoking! Sword Arts — “
“— Too slow!”
Jumping from the branch of a tall tree growing in the marsh, Rita landed a kick on top of the head of a warrior prepping his sword. Blowing away his heavy helmet, she then hit his opened face with her knee.
“We were very much aware of you guys approaching us, you know? That’s why we could prepare. Aren’t you making light of us too much, arriving here with so much noise coming from your footsteps just to talk?”
Rita was taking a separate course of action for some time in order to do the scouting. After coming here, she was keeping watch from atop a tree. She hid herself between the branches and leaves, erased her presence, and cleared her ears. It’s thanks to Rita that we could prepare [Ancient language, Fire Arrow].
“It’s exactly as Nagi said! It’s normal to target the magicians first! Then concentrate the attack to stop their movements, right?!”
Rita avoided the slimes while gracefully stepping on as if she was ridiculing the warriors swinging their sword through the air. Without changing her course, she aimed a blow onto the stomach of each of the magicians hiding behind their comrades. The hand of the golden-haired beastgirl sent the petite magicians flying.
Leticia followed after. Wielding a longsword, she striked the weapons out of their users’ hands to the ground.
“The enemies are few! Attack them! Protect me-e-e-e-e!!” — The count cried with a parched throat.
“What the hell is this? What’s going on?! What’s the meaning of all this?!”
“We don’t know, oh esteemed count! Can you tell us how are we supposed to launch an attack in this situation?!”
A group of green slimes was coiling around the feet of both the count and the warriors. Through the gaps of the armor they invaded beneath while all that surrounded their opponents was the slime sea squirming around.
Even if one slime was weak, a dozen of them gathered and put together was an entirely different entity.
The count and the warriors couldn’t walk or run away. They couldn’t even change their posture.
“Kill them! You can massacre all of them!”
“I understand that, but this situation is… Eh, Aine Crunette?!”
Seeing the figure of Aine with a broom in her hand the soldiers just stopped.
“Yes-yes, why don’t you stay there obediently, okay?”
*poof* *poof* *rustle*
Aine stood on the sea of slimes and brushed her broom across the warriors’ faces.
“Everything is fine, I won’t kill you, okay? If I did, it would’ve lost any meaning for Aine to leave the guild. Na-kun also gave his permission. That’s why, why don’t you sleep for a little while?”
With experienced hands, Aine wielded her broom.
The first brush — a warrior’s face became drowsy.
The third brush — a drool hanged from soldier’s mouth.
The ninth brush — a warrior dropped to his knees and lost consciousness.
“That’s it. I’ve debuted the [Memory Wipe] skill that I received from Na-kun”
The maid-san did one more circular brush with a broom in her hand.
[Memory Wipe] allowed to render an opponent unconsciousness by rubbing their face with a cleaning tool. No matter how skillful the adventurer could be, there way no way they could deal with a skill they saw for the first time.
“Aine has become happy. Aine has become brand new. That’s why, do not hinder Aine”
“The hell?! What’s going o-o-o-o-o-o-o-on?!”
Alright, the chaos is spreading.
The only thing we showed to Tanaka and Argis was the offensive magic that Cecyl was capable of. They didn’t see any other skills.
Our opponents thought that they could overpower us with sheer numbers, but thanks to our alliance with slimes, the negation of their magic, and even stunning their comrades with broom, it would be natural for panic to appear.
I held no sympathy for them.
“Listen, just protect me! Create no openings! Fortify the defenses with everyone we have!”
The enemy changed their battle formation, with the count positioned in its center. They were packed so tightly that they could only point their swords outside the formation and not move an inch. That was the chance I was waiting for.
“I know, I won’t kill Aine’s former comrades”
I knew that killing them would’ve made Aine’s submission of the common guild pointless. The goal was to make them unable to interfere with us. We should teach them the risks of getting involved with us by beating them down.
“I wonder if I can do it? …Ummm”
I probably shouldn’t summon [Reginablus] in front of the count. Then, let’s go with a nickname —
“Are you ready, Laydi?”
<<… Is that? Could it be that my lord has bestowed me with a new name…?>>
A soft sensation was transmitted from the sword.
<<I will do as my lord wishes. I am going to cut them down even from the scabbard inside the bag>>
“Make sure not to drag slimes into this”
<<Do a horizontal swipe, my lord. The slimes should be able to handle that much of an aftermath with their elasticity>>
“…. Got it”
I tightly gripped the former cursed sword Reginablus, now magic sword Laydi in my hand.
“Wha-what are you planning? Wait a minute! I got it. I am not going to imprison Aine Crunette. I will hire her as my maid! You all as well, I will hire you under the same contract as Tanaka Koga — “
“Shut up. Just disappear already”
I had no intention to play along with this guy.
You didn’t even listen to what I had said earlier, did you, count?” In comparison to slimes who properly listened and agreed to help us. — Speaking of which, it’s kinda strange that monsters are more susceptible to dialog than humans.
“Laydi, tell the slimes to withdraw”
In the direction where I pointed Reginablus the slimes began to leave.
“Rita, Leticia, you too withdraw quickly!”
The released count and the warriors looked at us in visible amazement.
I set up the cursed sword Reginablus. The enemy was still in a tight formation. All of them were within the scope of my attack skill.
I swung the sword horizontally from the right.
In this marshland where the slimes gather, I will display the power of the cursed sword which I continued to swing for a long time.
“Invoke! [Delay Arts LV1]!!”
A gigantic black scabbard teared through the bad and manifested itself.
The raised wind rolled up the muddy water from the surroundings. The enemies, who found themselves in this strange situation, began to run. However, they just hadn’t the time. The sword broke their hastily made defenses. The shields were bented, the armor was crushed. And — a single blow from the magic sword Laydi blew away the whole crowd of tightly packed warriors.
TL notes: So Reginablus got herself (itself?) a new name. It’s just the first two syllables of the initial name, so it should’ve been Regii, that doesn’t really sound well, so I changed it to Laydi, since romanizaiton would’ve been Lady otherwise which is a rarity to use as a name.
Also, for those who didn’t understood the latest part, about the delay arts or whatnot. Basically, it works as a buildup. MC swings the sword to “store” power in advance, which is then released in larger magnitude in a single swing when he invokes the skill.