Monster no Goshujin-sama Volume 3 Chapter 10
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TL: Thy Unsus
Chapter 10 – Road to the Trade City
Synopsis of the last chapter:
Gerbera-chan and a blunt weapon.
Thanks to the cooperation of the villagers who knew the geography well, the monster subjugation conducted around the pioneer village by the Knights ended in a success with no casualties.
As asked by Leader-san, Lily and I participated in this as well.
The monsters seemed to be on the rise, and there were a few frightening scenes here and there.
But, Silane, who fought in the front; Lily, who went around firing support magic whilst protecting me; and the battle-accustomed Knights, directly cut their way through these.
It was a valuable chance for me to gain experience in combat.
It was a shame I couldn’t find any new family members, but even if I did find one, it would be difficult to explain to the villagers accompanying us. Maybe that was for the better.
After returning, we stayed in the pioneer village for one more night.
The night came to an end without anything in particular happening other than Taichi Miyoshi coming to my room at night to apologize with his friends, who got drunk and behaved selfishly, and in the morning we departed.
The villagers all bid farewell to us——or rather, the heroes.
The fast horses Leader-san sent ahead should have delivered the news about the fall of Fortress Tilia, but it wasn’t clear how fast the Empire would take measures.
Depending on the situation, the villagers would need to abandon the pioneer village and evacuate to the north.
Despite this situation, I thought that hope outweighed the anxiety in the villagers’ expressions. I imagine the reason for this was, naturally, because of the existence of heroes descending to this world.
Why had Fortress Tilia been abandoned in the first place, consequently causing there to be a need for the villagers to evacuate? My feelings were slightly mixed when I thought about that.
The villagers did not know about Tatsuya Juumonji and Riku Kudō’s deeds.
That wasn’t something which could be carelessly made public, so Leader had only explained that the reason Fortress Tilia fell was because it was attacked by a large number of monsters.
Had they known, how different would the eyes they turned towards us have been?
I couldn’t help but sense the gazes of the villagers pouring onto the car from behind as it left the village.
Leader-san left behind some soldiers at the village in case of emergency.
Therefore, the journey ahead became a bit tougher. Though, considering they recovered their energy and strength by resting at the village, maybe it was actually easier?
The monotonous forest landscape continued without end, but I didn’t let my mind wander. We continued our journey, repelling monster attacks.
Our journey changed three days after we left the village.
“This is……” (Majima)
I thought the trees I saw were gradually getting sparser.
I had expected it would happen soon.
But, I never thought it would『change』as clearly as this.
Our surroundings were constantly filled by something as though we were treading through water.
It had neither color or a scent.
I hadn’t noticed we’d been in it the entire time until now.
Saturated, my senses had become numb to it.
But, it dawned on me for the first time once it disappeared.
This was the Sea of Trees.
A kind of spirit world created by the unique trees tinged with magical power.
Maybe the reason animals such as horses were reluctant to enter was because they were sensitive to the difference in atmosphere.
I left driving the car to Lily sitting next to me, and stood up on top of the coachman’s bench.
The car we were on slowly descended down the gentle slope while the brakes creaked.
From my heightened field of vision atop the coachman’s bench, I could see the area ahead through the gaps of the lined up trees.
The trees were reduced in density, and a grassland spread out in our path.
A small pioneer-like village could be seen.
Was the mass of dark green spread out at the base of the mountains that could be seen in the distance just a forest? Or, was it a leftover piece of the Sea of Trees?
I closed my eyes in the headwind. The smell of the wind was also different.
“Senpai, we’re now……” (Katō)
While I gazed at the scenery before me, Katō-san came out into the coachman’s bench.
It appeared she’d also felt something. Hope appeared in her eyes. I returned a nod.
“Yeah. It looks like we’ve left the Sea of Trees.” (Majima)
A slightly relaxed atmosphere was born in the soldiers advancing ahead in two lines.
Leader-san’s voice reached here as she gave instructions as though to re-fire up the soldiers.
When Katō-san muttered so in a voice filled with various emotions, she leaned forward in the coachman’s bench.
Her eyes were stolen by the scenery for a while.
Since she was leaning forward, it appeared she didn’t notice the distance between us was closer than usual.
But, that wasn’t unreasonable.
Ever since we’d been dropped into this world, we have always been trapped in this forest.
We had finally gotten out of the forest. Strong emotions she was unable to put into words must have been filling her mind.
All of a sudden, I noticed Katō-san’s hand was holding the hem of my clothes.
It seemed to be an unconscious action, as her eyes remained fixed on the plain.
If I pointed it out, she would probably pull away her hand.
That seemed like an act that would destroy this atmosphere.
I pretended to be unaware, and my gaze once again flew into the distance.
At the end of this road was the Trade City Selatta, Lawrence’s Territory in the Empire.
With a slightly lighter gait, the surviving soldiers of Fortress Tilia walked down the main road.
We passed through the Sea of Trees and entered into Earl Lawrence’s Territory of the Empire.
According to a story I heard before from Kei, this region apparently had a strong hatred for the Elves.
In the southern part of the Empire, including Earl Lawrence’s Territory, the Elves had a strong semblance as a commoner compared to the northern part which didn’t face the Sea of Trees.
Perhaps it would be more convenient if one were to think of the Elves’ position as “potential defenders”.
On the other hand, in the Five Northern Countries—including Aker, Kei and Silane’s home country, discrimination against the Elves had been historically weak.
However, apparently those countries had all been partially engulfed by the Sea of Trees from the very start, so in any case, the lives of the Elves seemed to be difficult.
Thinking back on it, when we were preparing to depart from Fortress Tilia, Silane had brought together the knights in place of Leader-san, who was issuing instructions to the Empire’s Army with Mikihiko.
A great number of soldiers in the Empire’s Southern Army were former inhabitants of Earl Lawrence’s Territory.
The above circumstances were the reason for the division of roles between Leader-san and Silane.
“Kei. Could you come over here for a minute?” (Majima)
At night, we camped a little ways away to avoid unnecessary friction with the soldiers accompanying us.
Our mediator, Kei, also was with us.
Silane and Mikihiko would come from time to time, but today they had not come.
“What is it, Takahiro-san?” (Kei)
Kei, who was conversing with Gerbera, came this way.
Ayame was in her arms. Her loosely-hanging limbs were cute.
When her eyes met mine, Ayame flapped her legs.
It looked like she wanted to come to me.
I spoke to Kei, taking Ayame whose paws doggy-paddled through the air while her tail swished around restlessly.
“I have something to give you.” (Majima)
“Something… to give?” (Kei)
“Yeah. Rose. Give her what you showed me earlier.” (Majima)
“Okay, Master.” (Rose)
Nodding beside me, Rose gave Kei the thing she was holding.
“As you know, I borrowed several new magic stones. Rose made a magic tool using a simple one among those.” (Majima)
What she had given to Kei was a bracelet with simple ornaments on it.
A cream-colored pseudo-magic stone was imbedded in it.
“This is an imitation of a flash magic stone.” (Majima)
The hand Kei was gleefully trying to put into the bracelet froze at my words while I stroked Ayame.
“A flash magic stone…so it’s a disposable one then, right?” (Kei)
“Yeah, it is.” (Majima)
Some magic stones had a limited number of uses.
The flash magic stone was a blinding magic stone with no killing intent. It self destructed by creating a strong light.
Even though it created a similar light, it was different from an illumination magic stone which could be used for a long time.
This was due to the quality of the magic stone and its output.
If the quality was high then it lasted longer, and if the output was high then it emptied sooner.
“I-I can’t take something this expensive.” (Kei)
Flustered, Kei tried to return the bracelet.
A high-quality raw stone was not normally used for a flash magic stone. For this reason, they were on the cheap side among magic stones, but while it was still considered a disposable good, it seemed to be at a price that made commoners think twice.
However, this was not a normal magic stone, but a pseudo-magic stone.
“She made it herself, so it isn’t expensive to make or anything like that. It’s disposable, though, so pardon me on that. Rose is the only one who can make it still.” (Majima)
As of now, the pseudo-magic stones Rose could make were low in both output and durability.
It was still in the trial and error stage, so we were naturally limited on what could be made.
In addition, Rose’s pseudo-magic stone had another practical limitation.
Generally speaking, magic stones were objects that either required the user’s magical power or did not require it.
The former were magic tools like the lighter or the water-producing canteen, and the latter were the cars that used the magical power in the atmosphere as fuel.
The latter had a function to absorb magical power in the form of some type of magic stone.
For example, as an extreme example of this, there were tools to keep prisoners of this world in prisons.
In our former world, humans could be neutralized by just being put into a prison cell.
However, there were people in this world that possessed the power to strengthen themselves with magic, manipulate magic, and break themselves out without a single tool.
In this world burdened with the threat of monsters, they received a fair bit of hospitality, but even so it wasn’t like there was not a single soul committing crimes.
As a countermeasure towards such people, there existed a tool to seal magical power in this world.
The principle behind it was, when you tried to manipulate magical power, the restraints would absorb the magical power and diffuse it.
Once restrained by this, ordinary people could not escape.
Living things had resistance towards their own magical power being interfered with, so you were unable to restrain them unless the person had no intention of resisting or they were unconscious; there were several restrictions.
Furthermore, it was questionable whether it was strong enough to capture combat-specialized heroes like Warriors, but even so, it was certain that such a tool played a vital role in preserving the public order of this world.
Unfortunately, magic stones such as these had to come with a separate magical-power-absorbing mechanism, so it seemed impossible for Rose to make something so complicated now.
Rose apparently wanted to make a car from this world—one that used magical power as fuel, but it required a mechanism for absorbing magical power from the atmosphere, and durability strong enough to output continuously. When she realized it would be difficult with her current technology, she became downhearted.
“I understand the situation, but…why give this to me?” (Kei)
I found it strange that her hand holding the bracelet was trembling, and my mouth slackened.
“I’ve heard that the Elves’ position is low in the Empire. You can never have enough ways of defending yourself when you get dragged into something troublesome.” (Majima)
“The contempt for the Elves is certainly high in the Empire, but it isn’t at the level where stones will be thrown suddenly, so I’ll be fine? If it’s Earl Lawrence’s Territory we’re speaking of, then the Elves receive no such pressure……though, I have heard such stories about the Margrave McLoughlin’s territory.” (Kei)
“Hmm……the『Elf-hating McLoughlin』, was it?” (Majima)
I was studying about this world bit by bit.
According to the lessons conducted by Kei as a tiny teacher, in the southern part of the Empire, there were three houses with great political influence and military power controlling the surrounding nobles.
One of them was the Margrave McLoughlin.
As might be expected of a ruler, the Margrave’s territory was vast. The map of the northern area of the Sea of Trees I had seen before had been drawn way bigger than all of the Northern Five Countries combined.
Though they were small countries, the fact that a single noble had more territory than a country didn’t fit well with me, but from what I heard, apparently the territories of the greater nobles in the Empire were almost the size of a country.
The Emperor in the Empire said『Those who possess more power, have a venerable history, and lastly, have churches who worship the heroes, should be recognized as greater nobles』, according to Mikihiko.『The important thing is the last one. Conversely, if there was a problem with the current Emperor, the church simply had to replace the head』had been said as well, it seemed.
I found the existences known as ‘heroes’ to be unpleasant, and therefore did not feel too good about the church. It was a very him way of thinking, but I thought he was hitting the bullseye.¹
The important thing was the heroes.
This world was probably built like that.
Coming from another world, it felt a bit unnatural……but that was a natural thing for this world.
In fact, there was a usurpation of the throne in the past by a greater noble with backing from the church.
The Illex Empire’s nobility had enough power to surpass even the royal family sometimes.
If one were to speak of Margrave McLoughlin, their territory wasn’t just vast. There were a vast number of mines in which magic stones could be mined, and it was very rich economically, too.
In addition, as it wasn’t directly touching the Sea of Trees, monster attacks were relatively rare. The『Elf-hating McLoughlin』criticism might have emerged from how the Elves were treated with the local color『despite being the southern part, where hatred for the Elves is high, that power is not required』.
“Soldiers from the Margrave of McLoughlin’s territory are mainly sent to Fortress Ebenus. So, we will not bother going all the way there this time. I’ll be okay.” (Kei)
“Well, still, I’m sure there’s not too many people that would help you should something happen, right? So, there shouldn’t be any disadvantages in holding onto this. Please think of this as my way of thanking you for helping me with everything.” (Majima)
It looked like she’d realized I had no intention of giving in. Kei made a troubled face.
Katō-san lightly struck both of her shoulders from behind as she did.
“Isn’t it fine? Senpai is worrying about you.” (Katō)
“……I think he’s a bit of a worrywart.” (Kei)
“Fufu. You got that right.” (Katō)
Seeing Kei’s eyebrows droop as she held the bracelet to her chest, Katō-san smiled.
Seeing her expression, my brows creased slightly.
“Why are you talking like it’s someone else’s problem?” (Majima)
“I made sure to get one for you, too.” (Majima)
Responding to my gaze, Rose held up a bracelet. Katō-san’s eyes rounded.
“But I just got a knife the other day.” (Katō)
“Like I told Kei earlier too, you can never have enough ways to defend yourself.” (Majima)
I hadn’t forgotten the trouble that occurred in the pioneer village.
Them going out of their way to worsen our relationship was absurd, so I wasn’t worried about Miyoshi coming to apologize. However, I had no sense of duty to trust them enough to not take countermeasures.
“Take it, Katō-san.” (Lily)
Lily interrupted Katō-san as she attempted to speak.
“As you said, Master really is a worrywart. Isn’t that right?” (Lily)
“……I’m just cautious is all.” (Majima)
I knit my brows at Lily as she embraced me from behind and poked my cheeks.
“Ufufu—”, Lily laughed. Guess she knew I was hiding my embarrassment.
The journey continued.
We stopped at pioneer villages, asked about the current state of the village, and sometimes took breaks, but basically we headed straight north.
On the way, we met up with an Army unit that was about to head to Fortress Tilia.
The group decided to stop for nearly half a day.
I didn’t meet them directly, but when I later asked Leader-san, it was apparently a unit 20-men strong.
The serious face Leader-san was making had me worried, but we had to resume moving, and soon she became very busy.
Even though we supposedly asked for aid, the fact that a half-assed 20 or so people came meant that the information brought by the contactors might have not been understood as the real deal.
If that was the case, then there really was meaning in Leader-san, someone who held a dutiful position at Fortress Tilia, coming to Selatta and giving an explanation firsthand.
Before long we entered a vast grasslands area.
Earl Lawrence’s territory was the near this center of this area, where grazing was being conducted.
I saw cows eating grass and cowherds.
The cowherds were acting en masse; no matter how I looked at it, they only looked like a burly mercenary group.
In this monster-dominated world, the southern cowherds of the Empire were apparently famed as an armed group.
Living in a grassland unaffiliated with both rural and urban areas, they were exposed to a prejudice in a different sense from the Elves.
However, that might have not been unreasonable. They seemed to be living in their own world even in my eyes.
I guess their way of life was weird to the villagers who spent their entire lives in the villages and towns they were born in. This was no longer a talk of “good” or “bad”, but that was just how it was.
In a sense, their position might be similar to us transferees.
After all, unconditional gazes of respect too, were no different from prejudice.