Arc 26: What can be done for tomorrow
Chapter 267: The Ongoing Damage, and an Enigmatic Island
「Still, it was unexpected for them to appear in Restia」(Touya)
It has been 10 days since the second city of Sandora, Astal, was annihilated. After that, skeleton frazes have appeared next in the town of Merica located in the southern parts of the Knight Kingdom of Restia.
Apparently, the feudal lord of Merica imposed extremely severe taxes from his fief, taking advantage of the vast distance between the town and the royal capital. Needless to say, there were a few cunning people who tried to enjoy the benefits while most of the people suffered greatly from it. Even if the extent of the damage was not the same as Astal, there’s no doubt that this town was full of [Negative Emotions].
As a result, the souls of everyone who had lived in Merica were eaten and their bodies became skeleton Frazes. Though it’s more accurate to say that they became zombies with crystal bones. Last time in Astal, the bodies didn’t turn because we burned them up first.
In this incident, the zombies in Merica were defeated by adventurers from the neighboring towns together with the Knight order of Restia who had rushed in.
Skeleton Frazes aren’t that strong by themselves. However, they may become a considerable threat if the population of a whole town becomes zombies. They may even attack the neighboring towns if their subjugation is handled unskillfully.
In the end, these attacks don’t seem to be caused by a contagious virus since there’s nothing wrong with both the knights of Restia and the adventurers after their fight with the zombies.
There’s [Something] that’s devouring the souls. Perhaps, it should be called the [Larva of an evil god].
Moreover, this fellow probably comes over here from the dimensional tear, attacks humans, and then returns to the tear, just like the Frazes. Maybe the [Backlash] affects it just like the other Ruler-class frazes, but this fellow seems more troublesome than those said frazes.
The perception board can only predict the appearance of the Lower-class, Middle-class, and Advance-class frazes. If only that evil god fellow was moving alongside with some Lower-class frazes, then it’d have been possible to detect him.
It’s getting irritating. Let’s completely and utterly beat him up once we find him.
「Touya-dono. Your eyebrows are wrinkling, you know?」(Hilda)
「Eh? Ah, sorry. I was just irritated there for a moment 」(Touya)
Sitting in front of me who’s in deep thoughts in one of the castle’s room is Hilda who smiles while calling out to me.
In order to calm myself down, I immediately drink the already lukewarm black tea in front of me in one gulp.
「His Majesty appears to be in a state where his desires have accumulated. To deal with it, they… *mumbling*…」(Shesca)
「Eeh? Eeeeh? This is…」(Hilda)
「Oi, you ero-maid over there. Don’t whisper nonsense into other people’s ears 」(Touya)
Hilda’s face turns red after Shesca whispers something into her ears. I can roughly understand what sort of things she has told her so unless I outright deny those right here, my future will become troublesome.
As for Hilda herself, she places too much faith on people both in a good and a bad way, to the point where it’s very easy to deceive her most of the time. Even if she doesn’t fall for feints during sword matches, there are many cases in other aspects wherein she tends to believe in lies that wouldn’t work even against a child.
Even if we put aside her position as a sheltered princess who’s ignorant on the ways of the world, I cannot deny the fact that she has been raised with the way of the sword strongly embedded in her blood— she’s the complete opposite of her grandfather who’s such a dirty old man.
Well, she surely resembles both Elzie and Yae in those aspects though. All members of our fighter faction are quite delicate when it comes to love affairs. Nevertheless, it really helps that they don’t seem to be not interested in it at all.
I wonder though, are they completely purifying their wicked thoughts when they do martial arts? It’s something about “a healthy mind resides in a healthy body”, right?
Though there are times when Yumina, Rin or Linzie, who are from the magician faction, act in a bold manner too.
While thinking about this, I turn toward the red-faced Hilda to talk to her.
「I was just thinking about the incident in Restia, that’s all」(Touya)
「Aaah… My older brother has ended up feeling a bit depressed because of it as well. He thought that if he had noticed the corruption of the feudal lord in Merica a bit earlier, then…」(Hilda)
「He wouldn’t be able to grasp the situation of the entire kingdom no matter how great of a king he may be. There was really nothing he could do about it」(Touya)
Even though I said that, I’m actually hoping that large countries, such as Restia, will make sure that they keep an eye on every nook and cranny of their land, just like how small dukedoms such as Brunhild does.
It’s the country that exists to protect its citizens. Citizens do not exist in order to protect the country.
That’s why here in Brunhild, any event that the patrol knights, the spy knights or even Nyantaro’s cat unit learn of will be reported to me.
「So, what are they going to do with the town of Merica from here on out?」(Touya)
「I’ve asked older brother about that matter on the phone, but… For the time being, they’re rebuilding… or rather, they’re inviting immigrants since the buildings remained as they were even after the fight. However, it’s a city where a zombie outbreak has occurred, so… The recruitment seems to be difficult. 」(Hilda)
I guess it’s natural for the recruitment to be that difficult. After all, people will be reluctant to live in a town wherein zombies have attacked it. It can’t be helped since they’ll be highly suspicious whether the land is cursed or not.
Cursed lands, graveyards, and poisonous swamps — all of them are places which are inseparable from zombies.
It seems like it’s hard for a dead soul to go to heaven in places mentioned above. It’ll then establish itself in a dead body and become a zombie if left unchecked. Also, it’ll still stay as a zombie even if the soul is devoured by a [Soul Eater].
Which reminds me, aren’t zombies and skeletons overall belong to the same category of the undead? Their prime difference is whether there is still flesh on their bodies or not. Based on my observation, skeletons move faster than zombies. Is it because of their lack of meat? Well, they are still lacking in speed though.
「I suppose I understand why the people would be afraid to live there.」(Touya)
「It will be good if such [Feelings of Fear] won’t spread out any further since it may end up as a catalyst and summon the [Soul Eater] once again」(Shesca)
Mnnn. I guess that’s possible… I then end up carefully thinking about what Shesca has said.
[Fear] is one of the simplest [Negative Emotions] a person can possess. People will become anxious if accidents like those attacks keep on happening again and again. This anxiety will invite fear eventually. Then, those accumulated [Negative Emotions] will summon the [Soul Eater], or quite possibly, even summon the [Evil God]… It’s basically a cycle of negative cause and effect.
I have to crush the root of this evil in order to stop this vicious cycle. And because of that, I have to catch the tail of that [Evil God] no matter what…
(Black: For those don’t know the meaning of “catch the tail” like I did, it means he has to catch the evil god by surprise or get to the bottom of the case.)
「Touya-dono, your brows…」(Hilda)
I wonder why recently, I get irritated easily. Is it because every time a disaster like this happens, we turn up late no matter what we do? It feels sickening when I think about this persistent harassment occurring in many different places I can’t see. It feels like being a victim of malicious bullying.
「Haaa… I wonder if I’ll feel better if I have a change of pace…」(Touya)
「This is an indirect invitation to do erotic activities, right?」(Shesca)
「I-Is th-that how it is?!」(Hilda)
「90% of what she says is a lie, so don’t believe her!」(Touya)
Good grief… My stress only keeps on piling up.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
「Kougyoku? What’s wrong?」(Touya)
As I walk through the corridor, Kougyoku comes up to me, flapping her wings. I stop and lift up my left hand. She’s only the size of a small parrot right now so she’s not particularly heavy.
『A message came from one of my dependents that I sent to the island you had mentioned. My dependent said that it managed to arrive at the island somehow, but… 』(Kougyoku)
「Did something happen?」(Touya)
『Yes. The island is full of behemoths.』(Kougyoku)
Full of behemoths? Well, that’s… The island developing in a manner different from the rest of the world is within expectations, but the behemoths are completely out of my predictions.
「What about people in there? Is anyone living in that place?」(Touya)
『It looks like there are several areas with barriers that not even the behemoths can breach. Those areas contain a village that’s similar to a city-state with people living inside. There are four of those villages with one for each direction namely: north, south, east and west. As for the center of the island, a structure similar to a temple has been in place』(Kougyoku)
So there are people there, huh? Moreover, it appears more evident that the [Sage of time], whom Professor has talked about, is related to them due to the presence of those barriers in each of those towns.
「About the barrier, is it some kind of [Magic Negation] barrier? 」(Touya)
「No, [Magic Dispersion] is applied in the sky, while [Route Misguidance] is applied to the sea.」(Kougyoku)
I see. So it’s a kind of barrier which stops the supply of magic power, disperses the magic power of artifacts, and leads ships astray, huh? This barrier is likely the cause why flying boats crash and ships mistake their course.
It means I can probably use [Gate]. My magic power dispersing for a little bit isn’t a problem since I have a large supply of it.
I’ve somewhat understood the circumstances of this enigmatic island. There are even people who live there. Now then, how should I handle this situation?
Kougyoku said that it’s full of behemoths, so that makes it the Galapagos of a different world, having accomplished its own unique development, I guess.
It’s definitely a mysterious island, and I’m interested in it. However, I wonder if it’s a good idea to interfere with their circumstances.
Perhaps, the people of that island probably don’t know anything about the outside world. It might be a bad idea if we visit them.
「So, what should I do now…?」(Touya)
I’d probably invade that island with “doing a conquest” and “expanding our borders” if I were a king burning with ambitions as my reasoning. Or maybe I’d promote trade and aim for diplomatic ties, just like Admiral Perry who arrived along with black ships.
That reminds me, the mnemonic way to remember the year was [A disagreeable Perry-san], wasn’t it? Yep, it somehow sounds disagreeable.
(TL: another word pun, (嫌(18)でご(5)ざ(3)るよ ペリーさん))
They probably won’t even regard me as a foreign party if I go there by myself and declare that “I ‘m the king of a country from the outside of this island. Let’s form diplomatic relations”. They might even kill me while thinking that I’m a suspicious person if I don’t handle the situation properly.
If I don’t give them an impression that “An amazing person has come” or “We have to properly hear him out”, I won’t be able to bring them to the discussion table.
Should I try going there and bring with me about a hundred Frame Gears?
Somehow, that action will appear as if I’m doing the same thing as what Perry-san did… I don’t plan to threaten them, but there might not be another way for me to make them hear me out.
Besides, I wonder if it’s alright to solely decide on this matter. If I look at it from the perspective of trade, the countries of Hanock, Elfrau, and Paluf near them. Zenoasu will probably not be interested in foreign relations.
All three of them don’t have deep diplomatic ties with us though.
Our association with the country of Hanock goes through His Majesty The Emperor of Regulus. For the country of Elfrau, it’s through Rerisha-san. Lastly, our interactions with the country of Paluf is through their neighbor, the Rynie Kingdom.
I’m not really sure about establishing diplomatic relations with that country since doing so doesn’t look like it’ll benefit our country. Oh well~.
「It cannot be helped then. Have your dependent continue scouting as it is for the time being — collect various information and examine what kind of culture and society they’ve built. Safety comes first, of course. 」(Touya)
It’ll be helpful to us if the [Sage of time] has left some sort of magic. Apparently, he was a person who excelled at creating barriers, so could it be… It’s only a possibility, but… Could it be that he was the one who restored the world barrier?
He might’ve left behind a secret formula if it was him.
I may end up empty-handed, but I won’t hold back if there’s even the slightest clue that him restoring the world barrier was real.
There’s no such thing as wasted efforts when it comes to saving the world.
I secretly declare this to myself and start walking through the corridor.
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