Second chapter. This one is a bit short. I am also not posting a map, which was included in this chapter. Maybe later.
Arc 26: What can be done for tomorrow
Chapter 263: The Interlude, and the Investigation and the Infiltration
「Fumu. So I’ve returned, huh?」(Yura)
Yura, having been sent back to the dimensional threshold by “Backlash”, murmurs for whatever reason. There was a little hindrance on the way, but he didn’t think of it as a problem since he managed to achieve his goal.
「Yo~, How did it go on the other side? Was it even interesting?」(Gira)
Gira’s voice resounds from the darkness of the threshold. Yura glances at him and opens his mouth with a sigh.
「I’ve met the guy called Touya or something whom you talked about. He’s definitely strong — he managed to cut off my arm 」(Yura)
「Ka-kaa, just look at that. The eyes of the great me were certain of that though, eh? I’m tellin’ you now, but both ‘im and “King”’s core are my trophies. Lay your hand on them and I’ll break you all the same, got it? 」(Gira)
「Have it your way. I have no interest in either of those」(Yura)
「Hmm, same as always. I still can’t get what’s this plan or something you’re thinking about. Well, I ain’t gonna complain if you ain’t gonna be an obstacle」(Gira)
Smacking his lips, Gira disappears into the darkness once again. Be it fighting a strong opponent or forcing them to yield, those are the only things existing inside Gira’s mind.
“I am different from him,” Yura thinks.
Even though Yura is seeking power, it isn’t just simple raw power like what Gira wants. What he’s seeking is an absolute power which can make any kind of being submit to him.
Before, he had thought that the absolute power was to control all frazes — even other Ruler-classes — that was obtainable through the “King”’s core. It’s for that reason that he brought back the way to break through the world barriers and cross through the dimensions which the “King” disposed and concealed.
However, a void was born inside Yura the more he crossed swords with various tribes and the more he traveled across worlds.
In the end, he’d only be able to stand at the top of the frazes even if he acquired the “King”’s core and took its power into himself. That means he’d only be able to rule over a single world. If that’s the case, how can he get the power that surpasses the power of the “King”?
It’s simple. He’ll just have to become a being higher than the “King”.
Yura has sensed existences in various worlds which they’re unable to comprehend. The existences called “Gods”.
Unable to confirm their visages, he wasn’t even sure whether they existed or not. However, their power had been seen here and there in those worlds. The pieces of evidence only amounted to the items known as holy swords or sacred treasures, but it’s certain that the thoughts of those who were called “Gods” were dwelling in them.
And now, Yura felt a certain wave before the tear opened up this time. A sonorant similar to the frazes yet entirely different at the same time. What caught his interest was the scent of a “God” present within that wave. “That” continued to emit a resonance as if it was calling out to Yura.
This time, Yura has forcibly broken through the barrier, taking advantage of an advanced-class that was trying to come out there through the tear. This said tear has then been located close to the source of that wave. For a short time before the “Backlash” occurred, he had managed to retrieve “That”. Although an obstacle did show up along the way, “That” thing was now in Yura’s hands.
As for the nature of that thing, it’s an egg, shining in gold color.
「? What’s this?」
Just as when he’s becoming confused as to why the egg is shaking bit by bit, it dissolves into a mud and slips through Yura’s fingers. Soon, this amoeba-looking lump of gold begins to gradually increase in darkness, until it manages to form itself into a figure.
It eventually becomes a skinny aged person with white hair, who’s now appearing in front of Yura. His muddy pupils are gazing at Yura and eventually start to gaze around.
「This is… a dimensional threshold, huh? I see, there’s no way I’ll be discovered by them in this place」(Old man)
「… Who are you?」(Yura)
「Me? I am… a god, see」(Old man)
Looking at the old man who answered like this while emitting a dark golden spirit, Yura displays a thin smile.
「This is terrible, isn’t it~…」(Rosetta)
Rosetta mutters that along with a sigh as she looks up at Linzie’s Helmwige and Rin’s Grimgerde, which have been recollected into the hangar.
「Damage to the frames is indeed serious. As I thought. It looks like the damage from “Brionac” is still here」(Rosetta)
「Should we swap all the parts? Say, since it was Rosetta who had made such a thing…」(Monica)
「What’re you saying?! That giant gun is the star of the battlefield! Even if it’s efficiency is probably bad and even if it’s power consumption is likely poor, it’s definitely overflowing with romance!」(Rosetta)
Rosetta and Monica start quarreling, so I sneakily escape from Babylon’s “Hangar” before it comes over my way. Though as for me, I’m grateful for having “Brionac” because we’ve managed to defeat that Tortoise-type fraze with it.
Guess we have to think a bit more about the methods on how to deal with the advance-classes. Firing “Brionac” every time they appear is… the frames will break every time that gun is going to be used, making the cost of repairs really unfavorable, I suppose.
The first problem is that conventional weapons won’t be able to reach the core of an advanced-class since they are way too huge. Therefore, a long weapon like a spear is necessary, huh? However, if the said weapon is that big, no other frame besides Suu’s Ortlinde Overlord will be able to wield it.
As for Suu, I want to leave her in charge of the defenses if possible, though…
As I thought. The weapon will end up being a long-ranged type similar to “Brionac”.
Same goes for me. I also have to think about other methods of attack aside from “Meteor Zapper”. Something like what happened today may happen again in the future.
Suu has been telling me things like “Hammer! A hammer, Make me a huge hammer!”, but that hammer won’t have an effect of turning an opponent into light after destroying that opponent even if we make it. It’s just an effect in the anime she saw…
I try thinking about it for a bit as I stop nearby — I then look up in the net in my smartphone, surfing the site dedicated to anime about robots.
「Powerful gravity wave… disintegrating up to their photons…」(Touya)
If I apply “Gravity”…. Will I be able to do it? I feel like I should be able to if I leave it to Professor, but ye-e-ep… Assuming we’ve managed to make it, I think the finished product will become something terrifying…
In any case, let’s try talking about it with them later. It’s better to have multiple ways of fighting in case of the times when push comes to shove. It may become the key to victory, though it will be necessary to control those methods of attack rigorously.
=== === === === === === ===
Upon returning to the ground, the trio of new kunoichis came up to me as I was walking through the corridors of the royal castle. E~to, I think their names are Sarutobi Homura, Kirigakure Shizuku, and Fuuma Nagi, right?
「Ano~, Your Majesty! We have a request!」(Homura)
Saying this, Homura and Co. kneel down on the floor at once. Hey~, what’s with them!?
「Please somehow bestow also upon us the magic correspondence tool which the boss has!」(Shizuku)
「We beseech you」(Nagi)
Following her, both Shizuku and Nagi start speaking about it. Did they mean Tsubaki-san when they said “boss”? And the magic correspondence tool is… Aah, they’re talking about smartphones.
「I’ll ask just in case, but why do you need those?」(Touya)
「Yes. There will be numerous occasions wherein we’ll be going afar and infiltrating various places in order to perform espionage. That tool, which is capable of communicating with comrades even if they’re far away, will be exceedingly helpful. That’s why… 」(Homura)
I see. Well, it’s not like I don’t understand them. It should be quite helpful to the infiltration unit thanks to its features like recording and photographing stuff.
「Remind me, where will you be going this time?」(Touya)
「The Sandora Kingdom. There are strange rumors going around there, so… All three of us are scheduled to depart tomorrow」(Homura)
The Sandora Kingdom, huh?… That country still continues to implement slavery even now, making them the only country in this world who deals with it now that Yuuron no longer exists.
It has a rigid class system, and it seems that a person belonging to a lower rank isn’t allowed to go against a person of a higher rank even if their ranks are different by just one level. That country also doesn’t interact with any other countries, managing to achieve a peculiar culture.
But even so, it appears that slaves are being collected there from all over the world. It’s already to the extent where the saying “If your daughter vanished, go first to Sandora” exists. Unusual races like elves and dwarfs are being sold there at high prices, they say.
It’s also said that ⅓ of Sandora’s population are slaves. It’s a cruel thing to say, but it will be the end for them if a new slave is bought once the old one has been used up since slaves are considered as tools. I can probably only feel the same when one replaces an old footwear for a new one.
To be honest, it’s a country I don’t want to deal with a lot, but…
「I guess so… Those smartphones will likely be essential for the intelligence unit. Please wait for a bit」(Touya)
I want to avoid the situation where those girls will end up becoming slaves due to some mistake. I then contact Tsubaki-san and ask her to come to the courtyard.
When I’ve arrived at the courtyard with three girls in tow, Tsubaki-san is already there. So fast! As expected of a ninja.
「And for those reasons, I’ll be handing those smartphones to the other members of the intelligence unit」(Touya)
Hearing my explanation, Tsubaki-san glares at the trio — she may be angry that they’ve come to appeal to me on their own accord — making all of them totally wither away.
「Now-now, I was planning to give those to everyone in the knight order eventually and, well, the intelligence unit will be getting theirs first, considering the nature of their duties, okay?」(Touya)
「… If that’s what His Majesty wishes. It will definitely be helpful… Thank you very much」(Tsubaki)
I’ve bestowed a return magic on the smartphones just in case so that those units will return back to their owners’ hands even if the said owners drop or lose them. If by any chance… which is the worst case scenario, the knights of our household try to abscond the smartphones while carrying them, they will also be able to return to my hand by my thoughts, making theft irrelevant.
Taking out ten-odd smartphones from “Storage” which are simpler models than those that I’ve given to Tsubaki-san and the rulers of each country and which are painted in yellow-green color, I then pass those units to Tsubaki-san.
「You’ll know your own numbers if you look into the “Telephone” section in the “Settings” tab」(Touya)
I hand over smartphones to the three girls as I say those words. Their eyes, gazing at the smartphones they’ve just received, start to sparkle with joy, bubbling over. They still end up being rebuked by Tsubaki-san because of that though.
「Now then, I’ll be now leaving a vehicle exclusive to the knights of the intelligence unit」(Touya)
Three so-called “Magic Carpets”, taken out from “Storage”, are handed over to Tsubaki-san. It should be a convenient item since it has an “Invisibility” effect, obscuring its form.
If they themselves hide with the carpet by attaching its backside closely to a wall, it will probably be possible to call it “Wall Hiding Arts”, I guess. Naturally, they’ll be found out if they are touched.
I’ll send them off to the deserts of Sandora with “Gate”, but they can escape with those carpets if anything happens.
「Thank you very much for everything and anything you do」(Homura)
「No, I just prefer not to fall behind like that time in Yuuron. There are some dark rumors floating around about that country, after all. It would be too late after an incident already happened」(Touya)
The thing controlling the slaves, the “Subordination Collar”. If I’m to describe it, it has become a foundation for that country. Moreover, I’m capable of releasing people from it. This fact should still be hidden from others, but things will likely turn troublesome the moment they find out about that ability of mine.
Rumors stating that “One will be released from being a slave if they go to Brunhild” may start to spread. If that happens, Sandora Kingdom may consider us their enemy, and it’s likely that assassins will be sent by some fool after us like what Yuuron did.
Well, if someone tries to do the same thing, I’ll expose that mastermind using any means necessary and make them face retribution though.
「Bluntly speaking, what kind of country is it? This Sandora Kingdom, I mean」(Touya)
「I can only describe my personal viewpoint on it, but… due to the class system being enforced with total control having the king on top of it, the rich become even richer while the impoverished live in an environment of utter hopelessness — their class being decided the moment they are born. It doesn’t matter how much ability one has, the child of a slave will be a slave, and the child of a citizen will be a citizen. They won’t be able to raise their class even if they fall down to a lower class 」(Homura)
Certainly. Even in places like the capital of the Kingdom of Belfast, the areas where nobles live and the areas where the general populace live are divided. It’s not something unusual by itself, but it’s possible for a person to get promoted in Belfast if they have the ability.
A person born in the slums can choose to be an adventurer, gain fame, and even become a knight, which is difficult but not impossible. My case is one of those.
「While it’s possible for the citizens to throw away their country and escape to another, slaves don’t have such option. It’s normal for them to die without being given even a satisfactory meal as they’re being made to work until they die」(Homura)
「This is an unpleasant story, all right」(Touya)
They probably think that “there are as many substitutes as I would like” or something along those lines.
「And, what about the reputation of the King of Sandora?」(Touya)
「His fame is nonexistent. There’s no one who’d speak about the King straightforwardly — they only speak fixed lines like “The King is a wonderful person”, “We can’t be thankful enough”, “He is our sun”」(Homura)
「Are those their true feelings?」(Touya)
「Who knows… Those may be the true feelings of the upper class, but the lower class probably don’t want to be degraded into slaves by speaking thoughtlessly about that matter」(Homura)
So it means that people from the upper class can’t be criticized, huh? If that’s the case, there are probably no retainers who would admonish their superiors, and yet someone like me is being scolded every day. Saying that the King of Sandora is a splendid person when he’s only being pampered by his surroundings is… suspicious, I suppose.
「Besides that, we can’t underestimate the military might of Sandora. The order of magic beast warriors is troublesome」(Homura)
「Aah, that’s right. The “Subordination Collars” were originally made in order to tame magic beasts, after all」(Touya)
The order of magic beast warriors. It’s a warrior order accompanied by magic beasts subdued with the “Subordination Collar”. Sandora doesn’t have borders with any country, so there’s no way for them be invaded aggressively by outsiders.
However, it also has plots of land where extremely dangerous magic beasts loiter around, having come from the places boarding the Great Forest Sea and deserts with numerous magic beasts.
The order of magic beast warriors are the ones exterminating those threats. However, the thing about them is that they’re merely being called an order of warriors — they’re not only riding the magic beasts which have become their mounts after being tamed with the “Subordination Collar”, but there are also a lot of slaves among those riders. In other words, there’s a reason to call them “Slave Warriors”.
So they’re leaving the dangerous work entirely to slaves, huh?
「I feel awkward to send people to such a dangerous country…」(Touya)
「It will be alright. We’ll be in regular contact every day, and we’ll immediately get out of the area once things become dicey. That’s because the primary function of an intelligence agency is to bring home information」(Homura)
Homura puffs her chest with those words. Will they really be okay…?