Second chapter of the week.
Arc 27: The Reverse World
Chapter 273: The Three Behemoths, and Palerius
Borrowing for a short period of time the sense of sight of the summoned bird that was sent to that mysterious island, I then open [Gate].
The amount of magic power to use [Gate] exceeded five times more than the usual. It might be the effect of the [Magic Dispersion] barrier. It feels as if the connection is going to be cut if I stop pouring my magic power. If we come here riding a flying vehicle or something similar that uses magic power to fly, we undoubtedly would’ve immediately crashed down due to magic power being severed from the vehicle.
「Ooh, I did it!」(Touya)
The capital, located in the southern parts of the island, can be clearly seen in the distance. The town is encircled with high walls, along with ballistae installed on top and even at the sides of the walls. This town gives off the feeling of a real fortress city.
And right now, this capital is being surrounded by three behemoths.
An ape-man behemoth, Snake Kong, covered in a common brown fur is earnestly smashing the barrier of magic power. A hog type behemoth, Grand Boar, is moving away to gain momentum and doing ferocious dash attacks over and over again. An ox-type behemoth, Power Bison, is striking the barrier with its large horns which look like drills.
One of them, the Grand Boar, is getting fired at with a rain arrows from the ballistae at the ramparts.
「Hee, so the magic barrier only prevents someone or something from trespassing. Well, I guess that’s natural.」(Touya)
The Islanders would be unable to counter-attack the beasts if the barrier prevents them from attacking from inside the town as well. By the way, there are a lot of barriers similar to this one installed in the capitals of each country.
Still, it appears that the arrows from the ballistae aren’t that effective. Several arrows are stuck in the beast, but most of it is being repelled by its thick fur. This fur probably has a similar enchantment to hardening magic. Probably.
I’ve only seen this barrier briefly, but its durability is definitely suspicious. In my assumption, that barrier can withstand an attack with a power level of 10. For the magical beasts, the Snake Kong seems to have an attack with a power level of 3, the Grand Boar — a power level of 5, and the Power Bison — with a power level of 4.
This barrier can probably withstand simultaneous attacks from those three only if there’s two of them attacking at the same time. If the three of them attacks simultaneously, the barrier will break.
「It looks like we won’t be able to talk to the people inside in advance. Let’s just intervene by ourselves for now.」(Touya)
Taking my smartphone from my breast pocket, I confirm everyone’s preparations in Brunhild via a call. I then open a [Gate] in the sky before me.
Frame Gears start descending one by one from the transfer gates I’ve opened. With a hundred machines descending from the sky, the earth trembles as each of them land on the ground.
「Alright. Elzie, you take care of the Snake Kong. Yae, you handle the Grand Boar. Hilda, you deal with the Power Bison. The others will be on standby for now. Stay alert since there may be other behemoths around here.」(Touya)
Elzie’s group of three machines immediately move toward their respective behemoths.
Upon noticing our presence, the behemoths look like they are also taking their battle stances against the Frame Gear heading toward each of them.
First, the Snake Kong heavily attacks Elzie’s Gerhilde. The deep crimson Frame Gear nimbly dodges the Kong’s powerful right straight attack and lands a single hit on the opponent’s chest with a cross-counter.
Donnn! The Pile Bunker attack goes through the Snake Kong’s chest. A tremendous amount of blood splashes and the Kong collapses to the ground.
On the other hand, Yae engages the Grand Boar. Her Schwertleite plunges into the behemoth like a bullet and cut it in two with one swift strike right from the front. That’s extremely quick. With an exposed clean cut, the hog falls down, being cut right in half.
At the same moment, Hilda’s Siegrune stops the charging Power Bison with her shield and cut its head down like a guillotine with a sword.
The battle ends. It didn’t take even a minute to deal with the three animals.
After defeating the behemoths, the three machines move away a bit from the fortress city and line up before the main gates. Behind them, a white commanding machine, a Shining Count, steps forward from the group of frame gears lined up in a row.
Standing on a shoulder of that machine, I project with magic several planar speakers in the air above the town in order to be heard in every part of it. Then, I turn on the microphone in my smartphone to address the fortress city.
『We are people from the Dukedom of Brunhild located in the continent to the south from here. We have no hostile intentions and only wish to speak with the representatives of your city. We will wait for your reply within an hour』
The reason behind giving them an hour to reply is mainly for them to forcefully select anyone suitable as a representative.
They will only be able to assemble only a few of them within that time frame because we don’t want them to think that they will be fine no matter what we do due to the presence of their protective barrier. It will be troublesome if no one will come out to speak to us. Although I’ve mentioned that we aren’t hostile to them, it’s possible they might have the impression that “we don’t know what they will do if we don’t come out!”
The best outcome will be for someone similar to a mayor or a feudal lord to come out and talk to us, but they may have thoughts of them being killed. If so, we are still fine even if they will just send a messenger. It’s alright as long as it becomes the start of discussions. For now.
「They will come out, right?」(Rain)
「I wonder about that. Well, it might be alright for us to simply go to another city if they won’t come out.」(Touya)
I lightly reply to Commander Rain’s question. However, if we go to another city, we won’t be able to give the impression that we’re aiding them against behemoths and that we’re not their enemies, so being attacked all of a sudden by the inhabitants of that city is what will most likely happen to us.
If possible, I would like to make this city the starting point for future interactions and have them convey my message to the other cities.
I call Kougyoku and ask her to report the situation in the city.
『It looks like the town is in a huge uproar. They are observing this side with telescopes while preparing ballistae and catapults 』(Kougyoku)
「I suppose they would.」(Toya)
I don’t know what their higher-ups have concluded, but I wonder what’s happening inside for them to be only preparing for battle.
Though according to rumors, it looks like those higher-ups haven’t reached a decision yet.
We might even be shot with arrows from their ballistae if we do something strange, so we are just remaining on standby while still being alert. How tedious. I am lying idly on the shoulder of the Shining Count while staring at the sky.
「Your Majesty, the gates are opening.」(Rain)
「Oh, are they coming out now?」(Touya)
Rain has been observing the situation from the cockpit of the Shining Count, so I immediately leap up from my place and jump down onto the ground the moment she conveyed to me the present situation.
From the city gates, knights riding on horses are coming out in groups and are heading our way. All of them are equipped with full body armors, they look quite intense.
The armor design is considerably different. Is it probably because they haven’t developed that much since the era of the Paruteno civilization? Assuming that they didn’t have many wars between fellow human beings, their technology not advancing could be a possible scenario.
As I stand in front of the frame gears, the knights stop at about 10 meters away from me. Then, from among them, a single knight, who’s wearing a specially rough-looking plate mail with a surcoat attached to it, steps forward.
When the knight eventually comes up in front of me, he dismounts from his horse and slowly walks toward me. His helmet looks like a Corinthian-style helmet from ancient Greece, with the front part having a T-shaped gap and a crest-looking decoration attached to its parietal.
It’s not a closed helmet that hides most of the wearer’s face like the bascinet or armet type which we see in movies or anime, so this knight’s face can be clearly seen.
He’s a large man with a stern face. His eyes are staring straight at me. I cannot detect any emotion such as anger or hatred in him for now, but…
「I am Dient South, representative of the southern capital Meridias, one of the four high pupils and the descendant of Freyend South. I thank you for the assistance in this incident. So, who may you be?」(Dient)
「I am Mochizuki Touya, Sovereign King of Brunhild Dukedom. I am glad to meet you, representative Dient.」(Touya)
Although he’s surprised since he never have thought that I’ll introduce myself as a king, he still grasps my hand and displays a friendly attitude for the time being. I wonder if what’s currently happening should be considered a progress for now.
「I was told that His Majesty The Sovereign King came from the continent to the south, so… the world didn’t get destroyed, is that right?」(Dient)
「I see. It’s as I’ve feared. This island had severed its connection to the outside world before Paruteno was ruined. The world was not destroyed. A large number of countries are inhabiting it now.」(Touya)
I project a world map into the air from my smartphone. It is the complete version, with this island included in it.
「This is the world nowadays.」(Touya)
Representative Dient looks up at the projected map.
「This island is over here. Brunhild Dukedom is over here. It’s an awfully small country, but those giant soldiers… whom we call “Frame Gears”, should also be called a legacy of Paruteno. We are the only country which possess this war potential. It’s for that reason that our country hasn’t been invaded by other countries. 」(Touya)
「What a thing…!」(Dient)
It would be troubling if he makes light of the small size of Brunhild, so I exaggerated it a bit. Though it’s true that we haven’t been invaded up until now, Brunhild was only founded last year.
「We thought that the outside world was surely ruined by the crystal apparitions and ruled by them…」(Dient)
「If I remember correctly, the ancient civilizations should’ve been destroyed once. However, the people from before have recovered since then. How about we discuss the matters concerning one another in detail? Moreover, there are a few things I would like to hear from you.」(Touya)
I take out a large table and some chairs from [Storage] and place them on the ground. Representative Dient becomes confused at the sudden appearance of the table and timidly sits down on a chair.
The first thing I find out is the name of this island. It’s called Palerius island, and it was named after a Paruteno wizard, the sage of time Alerias Palerius.
He had arrived alone to this island 5000 years ago which was, at the time, called an island of devils and discovered a structure capable of summoning natural barriers. Thus he decided to make this island his own magical experiment site.
When Palerius eventually died in Paruteno and the invasion of the frazes began, his disciples, who sensed the danger, immediately evacuated their families and the people of their hometown on this island.
They used treasure left behind by Palerius to strengthen the barrier and to prevent the frazes from invading the island. In the end, the island was disconnected from the rest of the world and the people ended up unable to leave it.
Due to how dreadful the invasion was, the four disciples and their comrades were convinced that the world of men had been ruined and that it came to be ruled by the frazes. Thus, they’ve decided to live on this island. And that’s how the current situation of the Islanders came to be
「As I’ve feared, you were locked inside of it, right?」(Touya)
「No, we had guessed that the outside world was eliminated by the crystal apparitions… by frazes. We believed that it has been ruled by them ever since, so… we didn’t really consider ourselves being locked up, you see. In the past, there were some people who had set sail toward the outside world, but all of them ended up coming back to the starting point.」(Dient)
It’s probably because of the [Route Induction] barrier. It utilizes the magic fog hanging over the coastal waters of the island.
I have mostly caught up on the matters about this island, so I then decide to broach the main topic.
It’s about whether they have intentions to interact with other countries and the possibility of decreasing the number of behemoths being born by breaking down the barrier.
「The problem is that it’s also possible the frazes will appear on this island if you take down the barrier, but… 」(Touya)
「No… I dare say that those things aren’t connected. If you ask me why, that’s because those frazes have already appeared on this island 」(Dient)
When I ask about what he meant by that, he tells me that the frazes have appeared twice within the last two years. Both appearances were only composed of the lower-class, so the islanders managed to somehow defeat them. Even so, the people were afraid of the appearance of an apparition which only existed in legends from 5000 years ago.
They cannot defend against the appearance of the frazes even if they can defend against their invasion.
In other words, the frazes who cross over to this world cannot invade the island from outside of the barrier, but they can appear directly into the island which the barrier cannot defend against.
If that’s the case, what use does this barrier have? It cannot defend against the appearance of frazes. People cannot leave to go to the outside world. Finally, behemoths are being born here left and right. Their current situation may not be a good thing.
「It’s exactly as you say. Nevertheless, I hope you don’t feel offended since it’s still impossible for us to completely accept the words of His Majesty The Sovereign King — we currently have no way to ascertain how much of what you’ve said is the truth」(Dient)
Well, that’s expected. They probably can’t fully accept all of the information that was said by a person they don’t even know anything about and why that person has come to this place all of a sudden.
「Moreover, this matter isn’t something I can decide with just myself. If only I could talk to the representatives of the north, the east, and the west as well as inquire with Central-sama from the central temple…」(Dient)
「Central Palerius-sama is a descendant of the sage of time Alerias Palerius. The barrier of this island is Palerius-sama’s legacy, and this person is in charge of protecting the [Door]」(Dient)
「It’s an artifact which Palerius-sama tried to construct during his lifetime. It’s said that we will be able to start a journey toward a new world if it’s completed. The four high disciples succeeded him after this but were unable to complete it」(Dient)
It must be some sort of transfer gates. Were they trying to escape this island by using that artifact or something? Still, if it’s something that Palerius tried to create, then it probably was before his disciples came to this island. What’s the meaning of this?
I wonder if the disciples had been trying to return to the world outside the barrier after they finished changing the transfer gates into some sort of [Door] that Palerius tried to build. It’s certainly suspicious whether or not they had the means for communication to the outside world 5000 years ago.
「At any rate, can I ask you to talk to the representatives of the other towns and to this Central-sama? It won’t even be a problem even if they dismiss this talk. We will at least make sure not to ever again set foot into this land again if that happens. The other countries won’t be able to interfere with you anyway if the barrier isn’t broken 」(Touya)
「… I understand. It’s just my personal opinion, but I would like to be freed from this barrier. I am already fed up living in fear of behemoths」(Dient)
「We will, of course, also enter a contract with you for exterminating the behemoths during this time. We can take the materials of the defeated behemoths as remuneration.」(Touya)
After setting our next visit in two weeks time with Dient, the representative of the southern capital Merideis, we then decide to leave the island.
First of all, I don’t have a bad feeling about this encounter. I’m glad that they didn’t turn hostile unlike what happened in Sandora.
Nevertheless, I wonder who was it that repaired the tears in the [World Barrier] covering the entire world 5000 years ago. I thought it was Palerius but, it looks like he had died before the [World Barrier] was repaired.
Someone might think that it was disciples who did that, but that’s not the case since those four disciples did their best to seclude themselves on this island.
Was it another person?… Or maybe there’s supposed to be something else that we don’t know about yet? The disciples influenced the tears throughout the world through the treasure of Palerius that was placed on this island… No-no-no. Just how confusing could that scenario be if it was true? Assuming it has been a side effect in the first place, it will be difficult to cause it a second time.
I guess I have no other choice but to reach the point where I can repair the tears in the world by myself. It looks like I’ll need delicate control of my divinity to do that. According to Kami-sama, it will require the same level of attentiveness as if I’m fixing a spider web with my bare hands, but… haaa….
I feel like it’s way easier to simply smash all of the frazes. Still, it’s likely that there are other unfavorable consequences if the [World Barrier] is full of holes. Frazes aren’t the only one who can cross over worlds. Just please excuse me from the second and the third fraze look-a-likes who have appeared.
I may be able to ask the descendant of Palerius, the one called Central or something, to teach me a thing or two about the barriers in the islands.
Should I expect something along those lines? After all, I am also a tad bit interested in the “inheritance” of Palerius himself.
ED: Blackswordsman, Empress