Sekai no Owari no Encore:Volume 2 Record.2

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Record.2 Now, Let's Head to the Dungeon[edit]

1[edit]

The steam and the terrestrial heat were gushing out.

The mountain path was filled with so much heat that it could cause a heat haze despite not being summer. It got hotter as you got closer to the summit, and by simply standing there you would have sweat fall from all over your body without showing any signs of stopping.

The Great Volcano of Galia——

“…………”

“What’s wrong, Ren?”

Kyelse looked up towards Ren in wonder as she walked besides him. Ren scratched his head as he smiled towards her and looked around.

“Nothing much, just thinking it’s peaceful around here. I'm starting to feel like peace and quiet is the best after all.”

Two days ago.

Back when they headed towards the volcanic crater where the Demon called Achendia, who was known as the Demon General of Blaze, awaited them. Ren himself still did not remember how they got up there.

Back then he was simply desperate to take action.

He only remembered it vaguely.

The ‘Demons’ were the supreme rulers of the Underworld. The other parties that continued to fall against the Demons.

Faced with such a situation filled with despair, Ren who was in a battered state continued to challenge Achendia who had shown him the difference in their power.

……Even now I definitely can’t think that I won with my skills alone.

……It was the result of a series of miracles.

But at the same time it proved that the training he did and believed in was not wrong.

It was a fight which made him think as such.

Two days had passed since that mortal combat——

“Are you referring to the merchants walking ahead of us?”

“That too. But the same would apply for that party we had just passed. There was also a caravan with a group of families on-board.”

The mountain path had been officially closed due to the appearance of one of the Five Great Disaster.

It was a shock even for Ren since the path only took two days to be re-opened.

Merchants headed towards the town of the blazing cliff, with the forwarding agency carrying mail. There was also a caravan going through the mountain path carrying a family. So the town of the blazing cliff must have been opened for entering and exiting now.

“I think it's good that people can enter and exit like before, though it happened much more quickly than I imagined.”

“Yes, indeed. I also didn’t hear about anything about Achendia and her subordinates damaging the mountain path. You could say they were using it as a barrier temporarily.”

“I really don’t like that kind of barrier……”

Fear on other hand smiled at the family that walked past them.

Then. Elise who was at the back of the line said it quietly.

“Ren, you probably don’t know about this, but the main cause of the destruction of the mountain wasn’t due to the Demons, but because of a certain Miss Angel.”

“What do you mean?”

“Look there. You can see that huge crater at the slope right?”

Elise pointed at the sharp slope of the mountain.

What laid in that direction was a large spherical crater which had a diameter of nearly hundred metres.

“Ah, that’s right. I was curious about that. Strangely enough, it did appear to be a crater that was made recently, and it did feel unnatural for it to have appeared in such strange location.”

A trace of a destroyed surface, which appeared as if it was struck by a comet.

Even a Dragon wouldn’t be able create a crater half the size of that if it were to stomp the ground with all its might. It was hard to imagine just how much impact you would need to leave a trace that large.

“That’s simply a trace of destruction left by a single punch from Fear.”

“Eh?”

“Right, Fear?”

Elise looked up towards the Angel with her usual cheeky eyes.

“I’m guessing you started to get excited when you were fighting Achendia’s subordinate and couldn’t help but to punch everything around you without thinking, right?”

“Oh my, you are putting me in a difficult situation Elise. You shouldn’t say something which would make Ren misunderstand me.”

The blonde Archangel on the other hand didn’t break her smile filled with confidence.

“And likewise to you, Elise. Ren, look at that volcanic crater. Can you see how the rocks around that area had been crushed into pieces and the trees has withered?”

“Yeah. I was also curious about that too.”

The direction Fear pointed to was a volcanic crater located in a place that could only be seen by looking up from the mountain trail.

There were huge volcanic rocks all over the place around the path they were walking on, and there were still spots with thick trees and grasses.

But——that area alone was different. There were giant rocks seemed as if they had melted and turned into small pebbles, and the few remaining trees had been covered in white and had withered.

There were no signs indicating that that place had received any kind of impact or attack.

However, it was a creepy phenomenon since all the giant rocks had turned into pebbles and the plants had withered.

“That was the influence of Elise’s miasma. The black miasma which erodes and dismantles all kind of substances. It’s said that even a Demon would faint right away if he touches it carelessly. It’s the terrifying miasma that once ruled and covered the whole Underworld”

“That’s scary! What the heck. That’s much more terrifying than your normal curse!?”

“Isn’t that right, Elise?”

“Eh, I don’t really remember.”

The former Demon King put her hands behind the back of her head and put on a meaningful smile.

“Oh well. I can just blame everything on Achendia.”

“That’s true. If we play dumb then no one would know it was our fault. Let’s just make it that everything was Achendia’s fault.”

“……I started to feel sorry for Achendia now.”

The huge crater and the decayed area near the volcanic crater.

It was something he knew from the beginning. Their enemy was strong but his three comrades were unrealistically strong.

“By the way, Ren. Look. You shouldn’t just worry about what’s behind us and look ahead.”

“Huh? Ahead……?”

When Ren turned around he sighted two parties.

Both of them were a large party since it was made up of approximately ten members each.

And those two parties, in other words twenty people, stopped just before they crossed path and greeted them by putting their hand on their chest.

——The custom exchanged between parties.

——The greeting which has the meaning of wishing each other’s luck and safety.

It was a greeting none of the parties gave to them when they left the Holy Fiora Journey Academy.

They weren’t considered as a party initially. It was also due to the fact that they were travelling with just three members before they met Elise back then. But even with Elise joining their party, they were most likely considered as a strange party made up of one boy and three girls until few days ago.

But now they were recognized as a genuine party like this.

“Ren, you too. Replying them with a greeting is manners.”

“I-I know!”

Having Fear who was watching him with amusement from behind him urge him, Ren greeted back at them in a rush.

You could say it was his charm where he forgot how to greet them by putting his hand on his chest since he hadn’t done it before even though he was taught how to do a greeting back at Holy Fiora Journey Academy.

Then——

After Ren looked back after his greeting.

“Pardon me. I assume this is the party that defeated one of the Five Great Disaster at the town of the blazing cliff.”

One member of the party that passed by addressed them.

The young MASTERKnight man that was walking at the front of his party suddenly approached them.

“Are all of you members of “the Knight of Reincarnation”?”

“Eh? Ah, well……umm.”

“Precisely. This Ren over here defeated Achendia on his own. You should remember his name very well.”

“Hey, Kyelse!?”

“There was no lies in my words. I simply stated the truth.”

Instead, Kyelse answered him proudly as if she simply said the obvious.

On the other hand the young MASTERKnight says it with voice filled with excitement.

“As I thought! I have read the article that were released from Jio. Hmm, Ren E. Maxwell, I presume. Even though you only look to be around my age……I was still shocked!”

His gaze was filled with so much respect. He had a face filled with so much excitement; it was as if he was talking to someone who was far above him even though his age was no different from Ren's.

“So how was it? Was one of the Five Great Disaster strong after all?”

“Yes. She is a legendary great Demon after all. She is no opponent humans who only wish to raise their fame can challenge and defeat. First of all, you would need to know where you stand.”

“U-Understood! I thank you for your advice!”

The young swordsman bowed his head down to Kyelse’s words.

He then sprinted back to his party and resumed their journey to the town of blazing cliff through the mountain path.

“That swordsman just now said he saw the article that was distributed from Jio.”

Fear who watched the party that had left said.

“He also called us “the Knight of Reincarnation”. Looks like we have been recognised throughout the world by that name.”

The start of all of this was from a gossip article that was distributed from the town of the blazing cliff right after they defeated Achendia.

And the party name that was used to introduce the four of Ren, Kyelse, Fear, and Elise, was “the Knight of Reincarnation”. It was obviously something which Ren and the girls did not call themselves by. It was a name given by the news agency without their permission since they needed to introduce the nameless party.

A party made up of Ren, who was identical to the Brave Hero Eleline, and the three girls.

Is it the reincarnation of the legendary Eleline Sword Emperor Brigade? It was a party name used to exaggerate the advertisement, but that name appeared to have spread even outside of Jio.

“The day we defeated Achendia was three days ago. Back then there were dozens of parties gathered at Jio. And they have scattered throughout the world to find the Encore once again so I’m guessing the news about us has spread as rumours now. Ren, you sure have become famous.”

“……Give me a break, Fear-senpai. I’m not used to having people around me praise me like this. Even now I was so nervous that my hand was all sweaty.”

Ren sighed as he scratched the back of his head.

Ren, who had been called the Fake Brave Hero and had been treated as a fool, would have never imagined in his lifetime that a day would come where a party he has never met before would talk to him and look at him with face covered with full respect.

And for that person to be a swordsman who was about the same age as him.

Sekai no Owari no Encore V2 Non-colour 002.jpg

“You don’t like it?”

“I feel that it’s too early for me.”

Ren answered with a bitter smile to Kyelse who took out her favourite candy stick.

“Even with the fight against Achendia, my true feeling would be that I was shown the true difference in strength between a human and a Demon rather than that of a joy of winning against her. ……I know that I can’t just stay like this.”

“Yes. Ren, your will to face forwards is remarkable.”

Fear grabbed Ren’s left arm from behind him.

“Hey, Ren. How about from now on your sis here will give you a special training every night after your ancient summoning training? It will be a one-on-one lesson between the two of us.”

“……I can only have a suspicious feeling when you call it as a one-on-one lesson when it’s supposed to be a training.”

“It’s martial arts. It will be more about defensive body movement rather than attacking.”

“Martial arts?”

What came out from the beautiful Angel was an unexpected term.

“As I mentioned previously, my best expertise is martial arts. In your case, Ren, you might be able to use it to polish your sword techniques if you learn mainly the defensive body movement rather than to learn how to attack using your fists.”

“Ah, that’s not fair Fear! Taking the lead is prohibited!”

This time Elise jumped and grabbed Ren’s other arm from behind him.

“Then I will teach Ren how to use spells!”

“No you won’t, Elise. You also know that Ren is bad at all kinds of spells, don’t you? We would need to strengthen the areas he has potential in.”

“I wonder about that. There are also methods to strengthen the area you are bad with in order to cover up your weakness.”

“Hold on, the both of you. Ren needs to learn sword techniques more than anything and I would be the one to teach him.”

The one who joined their argument was Kyelse.

“But martial arts would work with all areas——”

“He would need to learn about spells which he is bad with first! Leave it to me!”

“Nope, he would need to learn from sword techniques just like a swordsman.”

The legendary Three Great Princesses started to glare at each other.

They glared at each other for a moment but Fear clapped her hands after a while.

“Very well then. Then how about this. For Ren’s daily schedule he would be doing the sword training with Kyelse throughout the morning. At the afternoon he would be doing the ancient summoning to summon the Spirit. At night he would be doing the martial arts practice with me and to wrap up the day he would be learning about all types of spells from Elise.”

“Yes. I don’t mind that.”

“I have no objection.”

“……Well, I think I’m probably going to die from overworking myself.”

Ren made a deep sigh while ignoring the girls who nodded with satisfaction. He looked both at Fear and Elise who had finally let go off him——

“As I thought I would need to practice my sword techniques just like a swordsman. But I will also find time to improve my martial arts and spells too. Elise and Fear-senpai, I will ask for both of your help when that time comes.”

“I see. Understood.”

“Ask me anytime. Now, what spells should I teach Ren? I’m looking forward to it. How about super-wide destruction spells that had been used by all the historical Demon Kings? Or a forbidden spell which would turn everything within the horizon into dust without mercy. Though it would take you a thousand of years to master it.”

“There’s a limit to what I can do you know!?”

“Ahaha, I’m just joking. But it is true that you should study about spells.”

Elise took a spin and turned around to him.

“What’s important isn’t about you being capable of using spells but to know the logic of spells itself. You will rarely encounter it, but divine beasts hiding in sanctuaries and belligerent Spirits would use spells more powerful than your average Demons.”

“……Ah, the instructor from the Academy also said that.”

It was three-hundred years ago when Eleline stood up against the danger of world’s destruction. Even though the world regained peace, the species known as humanity were still considered as the weakest species.

On top of the three rulers of the world consisting of the Dragon of the Earth, the Angels of the Heaven, and the Demons of the Underworld——

Once you take a step outside a wealthy town you would be inside a world with dangerous and large monsters lurking. It would be the survival of the fittest.

If you visit a territory known as a sanctuary then you would encounter the divine beasts which would be the guardians of such places. At times you might fight legendary creatures such as true-beasts or sacred-beasts which appears in folklore.

“By the way, Kyelse. Our destination is the Valley of the Dragons, right? So I can take it that we are heading to an ancient tomb right now which would become a shortcut right?”

“Exactly. It would take several weeks if we simply walked towards the Valley of the Dragons.”

Kyelse answered while biting onto her chocolate.

What would block the path between Jio and the Valley of the Dragons would be a range of mountains which has a height of four-thousand metres. Going around the mountain ranges would be the normal route. But the shortcut they chose was to go through the ancient tomb that Kyelse knows of.

“It’s like a tunnel made in a mountain. If we go through there the Valley of the Dragons will be quite close. You saw how my kin appeared in Jio, right? He most likely went past the mountain from the Valley of the Dragons and flew straight to Jio. So our route will also be a direct path like that. We would be travelling in a good pace……if we can go through the ancient tunnel in three days.”

“I’m guessing there are dangerous monsters in the ancient tomb then?”

“I wonder about that. I was also told from Eleline that there was such shortcut three-hundred years ago. So this will be my first time actually going there. After all, I had completely forgotten about it until Elise mentioned.”

“And to add more——”

The point they arrived to was an intersection split into two path.

Fear pointed at the signboard placed there.

“The path we will be taking would be the right path. We will reach the forest with the ancient tomb that Kyelse spoke of if we continue to walk downhill but this is actually a path no one takes. Look there. Can you see how there’s a party and a caravan there where they are taking the left path to walk downhill?”

“You are right. And this path is……umm, the port city, was it?”

“Correct. The port city Fairlucia. A stylish town which started as a trade port. In order to go to towns located in other continent, it would be necessary to take a ship from the port over there.”

The five continents of the world.

The continent which Ren and the girls were currently on was located in the East. The size and the population would be ranked the second highest in the world. There rarely had been exchanges between the continents as they were separated by sea. But it was about one-hundred years ago when that all changed and they started getting more active.

The Era of Great War for the possession of Encore.

It’s said the number of ships and the ship skills needed had improved drastically since many parties had advanced to other continents and had set their eyes on sea routes.

“For example, the Holy-ground of Canaan——”

Fear said it as she glanced at the side towards the party that took the left path of the branched path.

“It was the location where they found the most habitat of the Spirits and the only land in the world to prosper the belief of the Spirits. The only ANCIENTER“Ancient Caster” in the current era who is officially recognised in the world. In other words, you would need a ship to go to the city where the Holy maiden, who is an ancient summoner that controls the Spirits, is residing in.”

“……The Spirits, huh.”

Ren said it as if he was saying to himself and looked above his head.


Spirits——the only existence in the world that has the perfect energy form.


They possessed the wavelength which even the Dragons, the Angels, and the Demons didn’t have. Only the humans from ancient time who could hear that wavelength as ‘voices’ had once controlled the Spirits.

That was the ancient summoning. Currently it was a rare spell which was considered as ANCIENTS“the lost spells”.

The Holy maiden of the Holy-ground Canaan was called the last person in the world to be the successor of such spell.

But the world didn’t know.

The possibility of Ren who was the second person. The existence of a boy who succeeded in summoning the SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire despite getting assistance from the feather of Archangel Fear which was a powerful activation substance.

“The Holy-ground Canaan, was it? I do want to go there one day. If I talk to that person called the Holy maiden then I might get a better grip of summoning the Spirit a bit.”

“I don’t mind but there is a place we must head to for the time being. Hurry Ren, don’t fall behind.”

“......Yeah, yeah. Don’t worry about me.”

Kyelse held his cuff gently and pulled him.

Her gesture looked unusually innocent though it did reflect her personality so Ren made a small smile.

2[edit]

At the base of the Great Volcano of Galia——

The scene changed from reddish brown volcano. The place they arrived to as they walked down the mountain path was a primeval forest which was so dense with fully grown trees that the sunlight wouldn’t shine at the spot even at noon.

Even though it hadn’t rained, the earth was partially liquefied due to being heated.

The ancient tree, which was so huge that you had to look up, had its roots sticking out from several locations of the ground. If you lowered your attention even for a moment, you would find yourself tripping on the roots.

“Eww……what the heck is that creepy insect? A strange liquid is pouring from its beak.”

“Oh my, this is a rare sight. That’s a rare-type of centipede. Ren, the biologists would buy it from you for a high price if you catch that and take it back with you.”

“Hmm. If that’s that case——”

“Except, that insect is called the king venous specie and it has high poison even among the insects. So please be careful not to be bitten by it. It will kill you instantly if it bites you.”

“Eh? W-Wait, now you tell me how dangerous it is!? …..What the, ah! Now what’s with this creeping plant!? It’s wrapping itself around my arm!”

Ren pulled back his arm that he had stretched out in a panic.

And several green creeping plants started aiming that arm of his and wrapped itself around it quickly.

“Ah, that’s the blood-sucking creeping plant.”

It was Elise who made a light step to spin and the same creeping plant was after her.

“If we don’t leave quickly then it will suck all your blood out.”

“What on earth is this place!? This isn't funny at all!”

Ren somehow managed to get rid of the creeping plants wrapped around his arm.

To be expected from the enclosed primeval forest.

There were dangerous forests like this throughout the world. No, there were deserts, swamps, and volcanic zones, much more dangerous than this place which had not been set foot in yet.

“Kyelse, Fear-senpai, are both of you okay!?”

“Oh my, what’s wrong?”

“Even if you ask us about our safety this is not something you need to worry us about.”

Fear walked through the forest while ripping the creeping plants off from herself as if it were nothing.

And the one who was ahead of her was Fear who had grabbed the poisonous centipede from before with her barehand in ease and threw it very far away.

“……Looks like they really don’t need my concern.”

“Everything is experience, Ren.”

Fear simply jumped elegantly above the tree’s root which was sticking out from the ground.

“If we wanted to we could have turned a forest of this capacity into wasteland or burnt field within an hour or so. The reason we didn’t do it was all for your experience, Ren.”

“An experience to encounter poisonous insects and dangerous plants like these huh……”

The world where experience was more crucial than knowledge.

Ren studied about dangerous animals and plants at Holy Fiora Journey Academy but the knowledge he gained from there wouldn’t satisfy even 10% of what he needed to know and would be just 1% of knowledge he needed to know at best.

“I am sure you had sensed danger of your own life whether you wanted to or not when you confronted Achendia. This would be the same. What you would need to overcome unexplored area isn’t just knowledge but experience and instinct. What is safe and what is dangerous. Please become capable of making immediate judgement when you encounter something new.”

“……I’ll try my best.”

The wriggling creeping plants above his head and the winged insects he hadn’t seen before.

And there was also a flowing small river with blood-like red water. From Ren’s perspective the whole area around him was full of dangers. Though Kyelse, Fear, and Elise continued to go ahead without hesitation. For example they were like an adults that were easily completing an athletic course made for small children.

“Elise, you are also walking as if you are used to it. Do you have experience in entering a forest like this too?”

“Me? Hmm, I don’t have that much experience. I was also the last one to join Eleline’s party as well so it is fun since we didn’t have that much of these sort of adventures. Though——”

The former Demon King made a mysterious smile and chuckled.

“The forests of the Underworld isn’t this nice. The forest itself moves and will attack you. And there will be swamps all over the places. And the magnetic field is a complete mess so you can't use a compass. That’s why it has more thrills and is more fun over there. I will take you there one day as well.”

“……Sure. Though not for a while.”

They chased Kyelse who was leading them and Fear who was just behind her.

From the looks of it they didn’t have a map or compass. There were getting their direction by using the slight bit of sunlight which was coming from above, and they therefore had a complete grasp of where they currently were and where they were heading to.

“Found it. Over here.”

Roughly two hours after they had progressed through the forest.

Kyesle who was leading the party raised her voice right after Ren had wiped away his sweat.

The ancient tomb.

The lava tube which was created when the Great Volcano of Galia erupted in the past. The nameless King that had ruled this land found it and made it into a ruin by digging a tunnel on the slope of the mountain.

“In other words we can exit from the other side of the mountain if we get past here, right?”

The entrance that was heavily covered by ferns and creeping plants.

It was made from an armful of huge rocks that had been piled onto each other and then had been hardened with clay. There was nothing which could be distinguished as a door. It was simply a widely opened entrance that led into a dark passage.

……Three-hundred years ago.

……The path Eleline took in order to get to the Valley of the Dragons.

“Then let’s get going. From the looks of it this passage is dark and crampy. So who’s going in first?”

“Go for it Ren.”

“You, go.”

“I have high hopes for you.”

“……I knew all of you would say that.”

Ren started to walk into the entrance of the ancient tomb after the three girls push his back as if it was the obvious choice.

3[edit]

The ancient tomb. At the ground floor——

A tunnel was drilled through the slope of the mountain where the sturdy passage was made from the cubic stones that had been piled on top of each other which started from the floor up to the ceiling.

After hundreds of years, the wall of rock had been broken and crushed where you could see the reddish brown earth showing up from several locations of the walls and the ceiling. Though the ground had rocks spread out which made it easier to walk on. Though there were cracks here and there on the rocks due to long time that had passed.

While they were inside.

“Looks like there are people already inside.”

Kyelse who was behind Ren muttered that out as if she was talking to herself.

What she was looking at was the walls of the passage.

What was set on the walls were simple man-made candle stands with flames. Obviously a candle stand that had been lightened hundreds of years ago would not last till now.

“So there’s another party besides us then?”

“This isn’t anything to be surprised about. Since Eleline had passed through here in the past means that this ruins had been known for at least three-hundred years. I do not know how big this place is but it would not be weird if there were still areas that had not been investigated here.”

“I see. There might be valuable treasures at places yet to be investigated. So that’s why huh.”

Ren looked far into the passage as he nodded to Fear.

……And the candle hasn’t melted that much yet.

…...They might possibly have passed through here few hours before we arrived.

“Hey. Does this mean it will be a competition? I love jewels too and if it’s going to be a treasure hunt, that means finders keepers right? Let’s just overtake the party front of us right away then.”

“Hold on, Elise. Aren’t we going through this place now to simply use it as a shortcut? To compete with them……actually, simply rushing ahead would be dangerous. We don’t know what is ahead of us.”

They were able to look several metres ahead within the passage thanks to the candle lightened by another party. Though that means that the areas beyond it was gloomy and dark instead. So they could not see anything beyond past it.

Maybe there would be dangerous monsters lurking deep within the ruin.

Or there might be a trap set to prevent intruders as this was an ancient tomb. It was hard to say which either of the two was more dangerous. But what appeared in Ren’s mind was the forest they had just passed before.

……It was a forest with such dangerous plants and poisonous insects.

……There was no way that dangerous creature wouldn’t be living here as this ruin was located in the middle of that forest.

“We need to be cautious and move ahead.”

“I agree. By the way Ren, I believe you got a new sword at Jio?”

Fear looked at the sword hanged on Ren’s hip.

“It looks like the new sword is considerably better than the last one.”

“Yeah. My previous one was in a bad shape like an antique. But this time I found a new sword at the weapon workshop which was just right for my height.”

The sword Ren had been using since he was at Holy Fiora Journey Academy was shattered in his battle against Achendia.

She did not bend it or guarded herself from it.

The sword started to rot on its own the moment the blade touched the miasma that was enveloped around that highest ranked Demon. It was a moment when Ren was shown just how reckless it was for a human to challenge a Demon.

“And this new one is really important to me……”

The moment he said that.

Ren stopped and spread his arm to the side to stop the three girls behind him.

——The diverting point.

To go left or right.

You would have to rely on instinct in locations you did not have a map for and one of the other route would most likely be a trap. Even if it wasn’t, there was a high chance that it would make you walk for so long till the dead point.

It was one of the basic knowledge Ren was taught at the academy regarding ruin investigation.

“What’s wrong? You can choose the one you like.”

“That’s what you say. But if I chose the wrong path it would be dangerous so I need to think carefully.”

Ren turned around to Kyelse who had spoken so light-heartedly.

“It would have been reassuring if we had a THIEFSearcher at a time like this……”

A THIEFSearcher would be the brain of the party and in terms of specialty they were close to an archaeologist.

They possessed the skills to specialise in searching for traps and hidden passage by using their previous experience in investigating a ruin.

They would seem dull compared to a MASTERKnight and a ARIACaster that would be the powerhouse of their party during battles. Though due to the era where they would compete for the Encore, there were more opportunities for the parties to investigate the ruins and hence the roles of a THIEFSearcher started to gain more attentions.

“Oh, I can do that for you.”

“Huh?”

“I have a I-Grade THIEFSearcher license. Look.”

Elise took out a certificate that was in poor condition from her pocket. There was no mistake that it was her name written on the certificate for I-Grade THIEFSearcher.

“You have it? Eh, but why?”

“I kept on telling you that I love jewels. Remember how the ritual item I gave you was an amber? Since you can find experimental records of ANCIENTS“the lost spells” in ruins like this, I had some hope into finding a way to return to my original form. Ten years since I reincarnated. I’ve been going around ruins on my own.”

There were places where having a THIEFSearcher accompany you was compulsory at ruins with high risk of danger.

At those places there would be securities from the town in charge at the entrance that does a THIEFSearcher license check. That might be the reason why she acquired it.

“But that’s amazing. Didn’t it take long to obtain it?”

“Nope. I passed immediately in one-go at the practical test. Though they were in shock and said I was the youngest person to obtain it in history.”

The dark-skinned small girl said it as if obtaining the license was an easy accomplishment.

“Well, I am a former Demon King despite my looks and I can tell a trap set by a human with one look. It’s an application of curse searching spell but it might be easier if I tell you it’s basically an “evil intent search”. If you can use that, then a trap set by a human hundreds of years ago would be easy to find since it’s an embodiment of evil intent.”

“……I have never heard such method.”

“It will be impossible for humans. If you are a Demon, it will be easy even if you are not a Demon King. Anyways, if you are having troubles in choosing then I will choose for you! Here, I choose this one!”

Elise ran to the left passage without listening to his response as soon as she said that.

“H-Hey!? I can trust you in this, right!?”

“It will be fine~. This path will be more interesting.”

“……Interesting?”

That specific word Elise said.

Ren became nervous in which he couldn’t describe in words so he muttered out the word she said.

“Hey, Elise? What do you mean with the word ‘interesting’ from before?”

“Yeah. For example the side of the wall directly from where I’m standing. You see how there is dent? You know how it makes you want to lean and put your hand against it when you are all tried while walking?”

Elise pointed to the right wall as she said that.

“Eh? Yeah, now that you mention it……”

“So then. Let’s test it out by touching this. A poisonous arrow will most likely be shot so make sure you dodge it.”

“……Yes?”

“Aye!”

The small girl touched the wall as she let out a cute shout.

Sekai no Owari no Encore V2 Non-colour 003.jpg

Immediately after that.

Dozens of iron arrows shot out from the cracks on the other side of the wall where it was heading towards Ren.

“Oh crap!?”

He ducked down with his reflexes. Several arrows passed just above his head instantly. And those arrows also shot towards the two girls behind him——

“Kyelse, Fear-senpai, dodge!”

“Huh? Dodge what?”

Smack. The Dragon Princess smacked down the poisonous arrows with her hand.

Right beside her.

“These rusty arrows. Even touching them would be disgusting.”

Ren then saw the blonde Archangel do the same where she moved her fist to hit back dozens of arrows easily. She didn’t touch them directly as the air pressure released from her fist hit them back.

“……I’m glad both of you were safe. More importantly, Elise, what the heck are you doing!?”

“Oh my, that sure was a let-down. I thought there would hundred times more arrow than that.”

“That’s not what I meant! Did you just activate the trap on purpose!?”

“Yup. It’s more interesting that way.”

The former Demon King nodded with her innocent smile.

“I like these sort of things. To expose useless traps that humans from long time ago desperately made. And to tease them by saying it was dull and pathetic is so fun.”

“……I seriously don’t know from where I should start. If I had to ask you one thing, Elise, don’t tell me this left passage you chose was——”

“The one with the most trap of course.”

“I knew it!”

Ren timidly looked at the iron arrow that was stuck on the wall and then wiped the sweat from his forehead.

“No. We are returning back to that diverting point again. There’s no need to purposely choose the path with traps. This was the left passage so let’s go back and take the right passage.”

“Eh~. Even though this path will be more interesting?”

“Let’s leave that for next time.”

Ren urges Elise who was reluctant to do so with his hand and they then walked back to the diverting point.

Red then noticed it now. The left passage they took did not have those man-made candle stand.

So that meant that the party ahead had properly picked the safe right passage.

……Instead this passage had dense luminous moss.

……Though we were able to use it as a light.

That became the trap itself to trick people in taking the left passage.

“We are going to take the right passage. Hey, Elise, this way.”

“Mggh~. So boring. This passage only has bunch of weak monsters only.”

“That enough is dangerous for us. ……Wait, what did you just say——”

Explosive sound.

That was when dusts came blasting towards them from the depth of the passage around the corner.

The ruin itself vibrated from the shock of the bomb blast. Along with the vibration, the sound of a footstep that belonged to something huge that was shaking the ruin approached——

“A Dragon!?”

“Idiot, that’s a lizard. It doesn’t have a wing and it’s also stupid. Don’t put that together with my kind.”

What appeared while being engulfed in fire blast was a giant lizard.

It had a height of one-metre. In terms of length it was double the size of Ren. It had a huge body where a single of it would block the passage. Its three-layers of armour consisted of its hard scales, where it only had minor scratches from being struck by the bomb blast, as well as its muscles and fat within its body.

It also had a fierce behaviour. It was a monster that was known to prefer a habitat where it was dark and wet. So an ancient tomb would be a perfect place for them.

“Damn!”

The lizard approached them as soon as it saw them.

Ren on the other hand leaped forward and closed his distance with the monster right away. Behind him was the three girls. Even by including the breadth of this passage, Ren didn’t have enough space to wield his sword with all his might.

——Concentrate. I won’t stand a chance against it in terms of brute strength.

——The one who will lose in power fight if we crash head on will be me.

A single stroke.

Ren swung his sword down against the nose of the lizard that came jumping towards him. He aimed for the slight moment when it flinched. He also took another step to close the distance even closer.

“Hah!”

The handle of his sword that he swung smacked the chin of the lizard like he aimed for.

Cerebral concussion.

How much it would be effective would differ between different species. Though it would be an attack that would work in all living creatures. The effect it would bring was to lose conscious through nervous system being paralysed. Especially against an opponent like lizard with solid armour, instead of cutting it down with a sword you would be able to completely disable its movement by ‘stimulating’ its brain which isn’t protected by its muscles

“…………”

The lizard weakly fells to the ground after receiving an attack it had never experienced before.

“……That was close. I broke out in cold sweats.”

He had chills when the lizard’s claw passed his cheek. Though at the end he won without a scratch.

“Yes. Looks like you are good with those kind of small tricks.”

“Is that even a praise?”

“I am praising you. You could say that was the most human-like way of fighting. Humans can’t even be compared with the Demons and the Angels in terms of spells. Their strength obviously can’t beat that of the Dragons and even the monsters. You could say that your fighting style just now was the way humans fight in order to survive.”

Kick. Kyelse kicked the fainted monster’s head with the tip of her feet.

Then.

The sound of footsteps echoed from the corner of the passage where the lizard appeared from.

“Premier, you sure it’s this way?”

“Y-Yes, Instructor! I wasn’t able to finish it off with my spell just now, so we won’t know when it will attack us again……”

The one who appeared first was a girl in white robe.

She appeared to be in her mid-10s. Her blonde hair which was curling out was her trademark which looked lovely.

The one who followed behind her was a man with short-hair who was wearing battling garments on the top and the bottom.

His tanned skin. His tall height where he was a head taller than Ren. And his whole body with worked out muscles that had no flaws. Obviously because of his body which appeared like steel but also his appearance showed that he was a veteran warrior.

He appeared to be in his thirties. His face where you couldn’t read his expression and his calm personality made you feel a sense of intimidation and dignity from him.

And these two came running from the passage——

“The lizard has been defeated!?”

“Looks like they beat us to it. Either way, Premier, you still lack training as you couldn’t defeat that monster with your spell earlier. Do not forget to improve yourself even further.”

“Y-Yes……Instructor Thyrus.”

The girl said that when she saw the defeated monster.

On the other hand the tall sturdy man looked at both the monster and Ren’s party with cold eyes.

“And you lot should turn back.”

“……Hmm?”

“It appears your party is new and that it hasn’t been that long since being formed. This ruin has more traps as you progress further and the monsters will become even more dangerous. You should attempt this ruin after more preparation.”

It would be too early for your party to challenge this ancient tomb.

Ren didn’t feel good for being told that in an indirect way. But what Ren was more concerned about was——

“Umm, how did you know we are a new party?”

“Let me ask you instead. Don’t you recognise which party we are from by looking at my battle garnets and her robe?”

His battle garnets had the base colour of white with golden embroidery.

And the robe the girl called Premier was wearing had the similar design.

Her robe was long as it covered her from her collar down till her ankle. The fight against monsters had been considered for the designs of their clothes. Their clothes were custom made for each members as it would fit their body perfectly so it could withstand intense movement.

The fabric of the robe was made from an expensive material which was smooth and lustre like silk.

——Even if it may be an important battle wear.

——To prepare a custom made battle garment or robe for each member would mean they have plenty of funds and confidence.

For example, the Elmekia Dusk that was known for their black battle-wear.

And a world famous party that could be compared to them.

“Our party’s name didn’t come to your head even after seeing us. In other words that was the reason why I judged your party to be new.”

“Ah, so that’s why.”

The one who said that.

It was Fear who was watching the people in robes from the backrow of their party.

“The Holy-ground Canaan. The party, “Canaan Pilgrim, the Boat of the Sacred Teaching”, which is led by the Holy maiden. That’s who they are Ren.”

“Yeah. I see, so you two belong to the infamous party……”

“Y-Yes, that’s exactly right!”

The girl called Premier became proud happily.

Canaan Pilgrim, the Boat of the Sacred Teaching —— the Holy-ground of Canaan which was famous for being the place of belief of the Spirits. It was an enormous party led by the Holy maiden who was the highest rank spellcaster as well as being the only ANCIENTER“Ancient Caster” of the world.

Their biggest trait was that majority of their members were women.

They had few men with the roles of MASTERKnight and FULLTYPEFighter as their vanguards. But they compensated the lack in brute strength by having powerful spellcasters. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that for all the girls that aimed to join a party would dream to join this party.

“Wow, I’m impressed. Premier, was it? You are still fourteen or fifteen years old, right? So being allowed to join the party means that you are very talented.”

“Ah, t-that’s not true! I’m still in the middle of my training and I was finally allowed to join six months ago. I have also been causing troubles for Instructor Thyrus too……”

The girl answered happily while looking next to her.

“We came here by the order of Elies-sama——”

“Premier. It’s not like you don’t know the saying of “becareful of what you say”, right?”

“Ah, yes. I’m very sorry, Instructor……”

The girl put her hands on her mouth in panic.

The one who sighed quietly while glancing to his side was the man called Thyrus.

——He’s most likely a FULLTYPEFighter.

You could come to that conclusion as he wasn’t equipped with any sword, spear, or armour.

Their body becomes the ultimate sword and armour by adding defensive spells on their body which had been trained to the utmost limit. In order to release their potential without relying on weapons and armours they would need to master both martial arts and spells and therefore were called ‘Fulltype’, the almighty.

So it could be judge that he was both the escort and the instructor of the trainee spellcaster called Premier.

That could be guessed from the conversation between these two.

“A party made up of three young girls and a young boy. Basically the girls are either a ARIACaster or a ENCHANTERBarrierer and you, the boy, is the MASTERKnight, right? I’m guessing you had started your journey to find the Encore soon as you graduated from the raising institute.”

“Well, you are not far off……”

Ren honestly nod his head as he glanced to his side to look at Kyelse, Fear, and Elise.

What he said made sense. Certainly you could assume that their party was made from one MASTERKnight and three spellcasters if you see that they were made up of four members.

……In reality Fear-senpai is a FULLTYPEFighter.

......Kyelse on the other hand is an all-rounder type since she can do everything.

Though Elise was the only one who was a heavy spellcaster. Ren learned just earlier that she also has a skill of THIEFSearcher. Even though their party was made up of four members, it was instead harder to find what they weren’t capable of doing and thus was a perfectly formed party.

Though they wouldn’t believe it even if he argues back.

“This is for your own safety so I’m suggesting that you leave here.”

The short-haired FULLTYPEFighter said that plainly.

“It appears several parties beside yours’ are investigating this ruin, but they are having difficulties against the monsters and traps. Even an experienced parties can’t handle this ruin. There’s no reason for a new party such as yourselves to push yourselves. You should attempt ruins where the method of overcoming it has already been revealed and gain experience from it.”

“I thank you for being concerned with our wellbeing.”

Fear answered gently to his suggestion.

But she showed her rare expression where she had a fearless smile on her face.

“However, I believe you have another agenda behind your words.”

“……What?”

“We had seen through you from the beginning. There’s something you want to hide from us, right? I had researched about this ruin as I was interested in it. And there was this certain rumour too.”

Elise stepped forward while crossing her arm behind her head.

Thyrus was calm. And Elise stepped in front of him.

“A rumour? What is this rumour you speak of?”

“You don’t have to hide it. I have good sense of smell. And there was this mysterious smell lurking in here ever since we stepped foot inside this ancient tomb. So I had thought that maybe this place was it. And we encountered the party that has believes in Spirits exactly then, so that could only mean one thing.”

“......I don’t understand what you are trying to say.”

“Then let me rephrase it so you can.”

The former Demon King looked up towards the human in front of her with belligerent eyes.

There is a habitat belonging to a Spirit somewhere in this ancient tomb. You came here for that purpose, right?”

“A-Agh!?”

“That’s a good reaction. The blonde girl over there is really honest.”

Elise started to laugh.

“So, what about you? You didn’t change your expression even slightly but it’s too bad that the defensive barrier around your body wavered for a slight moment. Actually, it was remarkable that you had put back your defensive barrier immediately. But it’s too bad. Humans’ spells are too obvious in front of my eyes.”

“……Who are you?”

The FULLTYPEFighter looked down at Elise with cautious face.

“I am positive that your party is new……but……no, I do remember hearing a strange rumour in the town nearby. Isn’t that right, Premier?”

“Eh? The rumour of the town of the blazing cliff? The rumour about a party made up of only four members defeating one of the Five Great Disaster that had descended to Great Volcano of Galia. And the rumour says that they were boy and girls in their 10s—— ah! Don’t tell me that the four of you are them!?”

The blonde girl released a shocked voice.

“Y-You are “the Knight of Reincarnation”!? N-Now you mention it, I did think that boy looks identical to the portrait of Elline. ……I thought that the article was lies made up by the information leaker. I never expected it to be true……”

“Well, the party name “the Knight of Reincarnation” was falsely given.”

Ren answered with bitter smile. He then looked at both of the members of the “Canaan Pilgrim, the Boat of the Sacred Teaching”.

“You two must have your own reason to be here but we are also here for our own reasons. Choosing another ruin isn’t an option. We have business with what lies past this ancient tomb.”

“Past this? So your objective isn’t to investigate the hidden area of this ruin?”

Thyrus became doubtful.

And then.

“——Very doubtful indeed. About the identities of you four more than your motives.”

He then made the blonde girl behind him leave first.

“There won’t be a third warning. If you choose to follow us then I won’t hinder to choose the option to eliminate you as I would judge you as a dangerous opponent.”

The sound of Premier’s footsteps who had power walked echoed from the passage.

The two members of the “Canaan Pilgrim, the Boat of the Sacred Teaching” disappeared into the corner of the passage without waiting for their reply.

“So he says. What should we do?”

“Even if you ask…… This is bad. Looks like he’s completely suspicious of us.”

Ren stopped himself from sighing. He then looked around the gloomy dark passage that spread out in front of him.

——This passage is the shortcut to the Valley of the Dragons.

——And there won’t be any benefits from opposing such huge party this early on.

So there was only one choice.

“Let’s return. To that diverting point. We won’t encounter them so easily if we take the left passage since the Canaan Pilgrim is taking the right passage.”

“The passage with the traps? I’m fine with that passage but I won’t mind beating those two by myself and throwing them out of the ruins, you know?”

“No no, let’s be gentle here.”

Ren stopped Kyelse who was gripping her fist enthusiastically and turned around to the passage behind him.

“Kyesle, Fear-senpai, you two follow behind me. And Elise……”

“Stay at the front, right? Leave it to me!”

Elise ran towards the diverting point as if she was skipping.

The left passage of the diverting point.

Only the luminous moss that had a faint light made the passage visible a bit.

“Hmm, the trap with that poisonous arrows flying at you was……oh.”

“Don’t you dare push it!? I’m begging you, don’t push it again, okay!?”

“Ahaha, you’re funny, Ren. It’s okay so you don’t have to panic that much. Even I will be bored of the same trap for the second time.”

Elise turned around him with a smile without any concern.

The dark-skinned young girl shrugged her shoulders as she pointed at the wall with poisonous arrows set up.

“But there’s a good reason to choose this path for your sake, Ren.”

“Hmm?”

“The smell of a Spirit. You know how I said it before?”

“Yeah, you said that the Spirit’s lair is somewhere in this ancient tomb, right?”

The reason why the “Canaan Pilgrim, the Boat of the Sacred Teaching” visited this place. If they could find the Spirit’s habitat then it would become a good chance to gain a powerful Spirit armament for the SPIRITSpiriter.

Or they came here for the reason to seriously worship the Spirit as part of their belief in Spirts.

“About that smell. The smell is stronger this way. Obvious the Canaan Pilgrim going from the right passage means that you could go from there. But this left passage we are taking will be much——”

“This will be a shortcut though it will be much more dangerous huh.”

“Right on.”

The former Demon King winked at Ren.

“We will reach the Valley of the Dragons much quickly. And we might reach the Spirit’s lair before them. If you successfully make the Spirit like you then you will increase the number of Spirits you would be cable of summoning by ancient summoning, Ren. See how it’s a win-win for us?”

“……First of all, the requirement in order to achieve that is to overcome this passage full of traps safely.”

The passage full of luminous moss.

Except, the deeper you go, the less the number of luminous moss was. The passage therefore blended in with the darkness and it was obvious that the ground, the walls, and the ceiling started to taint in black.

“Hey, hold on a sec, Elise.”

“Hmm? What is it, Ren?”

“We need light. It’s too dark in here. And there was something I wanted to try out.”

Ren stopped and what he took out from his pocket was a white feather.

——The Archangel’s feather.

It belonged to the Heaven’s strongest Angel Fear herself. Ren was able to use an ancient summoning called ANCIENTS“the lost spells” by using this divine tool.

……I was able to summon it during my fight against Achendia.

……But it won’t mean a thing if that happened in pure luck.

It must be definite.

He needed to be capable of succeeding it in anywhere and anytime.


——SingRh/ s the door of the worldhec ele Selah——


Summoning language.

The moment Ren said that a small flame appeared in the empty air.

Though it was only a fragment of fire in the beginning it eventually turned into crimson blaze.

When they thought it had become so big that it filled the passage, this time it started to compress where by the end a winged fire lizard appeared.

The SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire.

The Spirit which had once lurked around Ren as a small fire Spirit. But what had appeared by ancient summoning now was in its completed form.

“Oh! So this is the SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire that played the active role in the fight against Achendia. I wasn’t watching your fight so I was so curious about it!”

“……The ancestral Spirit. It has been long since I have seen the Spirit in this form.”

The Spirit that was floating around Ren’s shoulder while it gave out a glow.

The Archangel and the former Demon King voices had become lively as they looked at the Spirit’s mystical appearance.

“Ren? Was the reason you summoned this Spirit part of your Spirit summoning training?”

“Yup. And you know how this passage is dark? This guy is a Spirit of fire so I thought he would be able to lighten this passage by igniting its flames……though it seems like I didn’t need to give him an order to do so.”

The glow given out by SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire had lighten the passage till very far.

It would be the most accurate to call it a refined condensation of fire in terms of appearance wise but they didn’t feel its heat even though they were very close to it. The Spirits were a sacred being that was still full of mysteries.

[……I go too?]

The SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire that was floating around Ren’s shoulder.

“Yeah, that’s right. So Elise, this guy is coming with us too.”

“Hold on Ren. Don’t rush it.”

Kyelse grabbed Ren by his sleeve and put on a rare expression of that of confused look as she looked up towards him.

“You might be able to communicate with the Spirit but sadly the three of us can’t hear what its saying. So explain what’s happening.”

“…………Ah, t-that’s true. My bad. You are right.”

The voice of the Spirit that could be described as a sacred wave.

Their voices couldn’t be heard even from the Dragons, the Angels, and the Demons. And there were only two humans in this world that could completely hear their words as they had the characteristic of a ANCIENTER“Ancient Caster”.

Saint Elies who was the Holy maiden of the Holy-ground of Canaan. And Ren who was still inexperienced.

……But the voice of SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire just now.

……And did I hear his voice even more clearly compared to the time I had battled Achendia?

Since Ren heard its voice very clearly he assumed others also heard it without thinking too much.

“Well, it seems like he will be coming with us.”

“I see. Then we won’t be having troubles with lights for a while. Even its appearance is adorable.”

Fear looked up towards the Spirit which was floating in the air.

“Then let’s keep on going ahead. Elise, we will entrust the guidance to you.”

“Okidoki. Well, we will be alright if we just walk ahead as we like. My castle back in the Underworld is hundred times larger and complicated than this ruin. It will be a piece of cake!”

Elise then went running ahead as if she forgot there were traps here.

“H-Hey!? That’s dangerous!”

“I’ll be alright. I will make sure to notify you about the trap just before I step foot in it.”

“That’s practically saying that you are intending to activate the trap!”

——Relying on her leading would be dangerous instead.

That was what he thought so he started to walk right besides Elise who was walking ahead of him.

“Oh, what’s wrong, Ren?”

“This will be a good occasion to learn about the proper way of walking inside ruins and such. Besides, there’s one thing which came to my mind. This place……is called the ancient tomb but I actually think this place was a shrine.”

“Oh?”

The one who released a lively voice was Fear who was at the back of their line.

“You got my interest. What made you think so?”

“This place doesn’t seem to be like a tomb no matter how much we walk here. A tomb means that it’s a place to mourn for the dead. It will be weird to be coming from us who are walking here. But it would be quite normal for the person sleeping here in this tomb or the one who created this tomb to avoid people from coming inside to cause noises or dig up the tomb. Even if they did make the tomb fancy it would be normal to seal the entrance.”

But this tomb was different.

They made the entrance easy to find even though it was inside a deep woodland.

“I don’t know how many hundreds of years has passed since this became the monsters’ lair but the right passage we walked through before seemed safe just as you all remember. The entrance was wide open as if it was saying that they welcomed all visitors and furthermore, if we take in account of the Canaan Pilgrim coming here could only mean——”

“That this might have been a shrine for worshipping the Spirits huh?”

Kyelse said it as she chewed her chocolate.

“Yeah. Though this is just my assumption. There are traps set on the left passage because there are important equipment used for rituals installed here and the traps are for prevention from it to be stolen.”

“That indeed makes sense. To tell you the truth I had also thought the same just now.”

Fear said it as she gently touched the wall with her fingers.

“And there’s also another reason to support it. Do you remember what those two from the Canaan Pilgrim said earlier? When we had been calling this place the ancient tomb or simply tomb several times, those two simply called this a “ruin” till the very end.”

“I see. So the reason why they were vague about it was to prevent us from knowing that this was a shrine to worship the Spirits.”

“Yes. And that FULLTYPEFighter called Thyrus. Don’t you think it was strange, Ren?”

“Eh? ……Even if you say strange the only thing that comes to my mind is that he’s one of the rare men of the Canaan Pilgrim.”

“That is the answer.”

Fear winked at Ren and shook her head.

“I’m sure you have also learned it back at the academy but the trait of the Canaan Pilgrim which is led by Saint Elies is that it is mostly made up of women with high rank spellcasters. Among such party, having a FULLTYPEFighter man is very rare even if he is the instructor of the trainee spellcaster. It means he has a very important role in the party—— in other words he must be very skilled.”

“Yeah. I also felt the same from him……”

His steel body with no flaws.

But what Ren paid attention to the most was the presence he felt from him when he came running with Premier.

He made no sound.

If he was that tall and muscular then he would have quite a weight.

It was natural for your body to be slower if you have more weight on your body. But the man called Thyrus did not make it feel like he was slow, instead it was elegant and light from Ren’s perspective.

——Mastering of the martial arts.

——The region that could only be reached by those who had offered everything into training their own body.

He was a man who the Canaan Pilgrim, that were mainly consisted of women, would go far to employ.

It must mean he was a skilled man befitting their demand.

“That man called Thyrus is most likely an executive staff of their party. There would be no way for a man of his calibre to be deployed for a mere investigation of the ruin, don’t you think?”

“I see. So that’s where it links with Elise’s words where she said “there is a Spirit” huh.”

Ren’s voice was filled with excitement without even trying to.

It wasn’t just Elise’s smell that caught the presence of the Spirit.

The ruin which was so important that they had to send Thyrus who would be an executive staff. That alone would be an enough fact for it to become an evidence to be a Spirit here.

“So it was like what Elise said after all huh. Nice one.”

“You see?”

Elise who was staring at the walls made from cubic stones.

“And another thing. This place worshipping the Spirits means that there is a possibility that a Spirit armament might be here. So don’t you think it was a right choice going through this passage?”

“Yeah, but the thing is I can’t use Spirit armaments. I have tried it many times at the Academy.”

“Ah, that’s right. It sure is strange that you can summon a Spirit but can’t use the Spirit armaments. Ren, did you lose all the possible potential you were supposed to have in exchange for summoning a Spirit?”

Elise said it as if she was finding it amusing instead.

She then pointed at Ren’s feet as she walked next to him.

“By the way, Ren, there’s a trap there.”

“Huh?”

What she pointed at was a small crack on the ground. If you had a quick look, it looked like one of the many cracks on the ground. But with a good observation you could see that this crack alone was unusually deep.

“Oh, I got it. If you walked here carelessly you might get the tip of your shoes stuck in here and then push the trigger to activate the trap.”

“Possibly so. You’ll find out if you push it.”

“Why are you giving me that option!? Listen to me and don’t touch it, okay? Don’t, okay?”

“Ah, sorry. I already pushed it.”

“Eliseeeeee!?”

Elise who had a big smile put her feet inside the crack with the trap. Few seconds later. A heavy quake and vibration shook the passage of the ruin.

Bang.

The sound came from behind them.

Something with heavy mass was coming behind from the passage they came from with intense speed——

“A cave-in? ……No, it’s a huge rock!”

His sight and the passage. A huge rock which covered both came rolling towards them.

No, it would be more precise to say it was sliding towards them.

As the surface of ground was slanted due to a slight slope, the huge rock increased its speed the more it rolled. So it scraped the walls and the ceiling as if it gouged it out. The way how it also brought in the sand and rocks made it appears as if it had turned into a debris flow.

“Damn, even if this was the sake of protecting the shrine this is going overboard isn’t it!? Anyway let’s run by going ahead. Kyelse, Elise, Fear-senpai——”

“Thou shall sleep.”


The rumbled stopped.


“Ren, there should be my candy inside your bag.”

The debris flow which had turned into a blue iceberg.

The Dragon Princess who had completely turned every single sand and rock into an ice with a spell that was activated with her power of words started to poke Ren on his flank.

“I want one. Is there still any left?”

“……There is, but I would rather have you explain what had just happened.”

“I froze it because it was on our way.”

Kyelse answered as if it was the obvious action.

She received the bag of candy from him politely and then put the small candy inside her mouth.

“Delicious.”

“I’m glad you are happy…… Well, I don’t even know if I should be happy to be safe. Instead I started to feel pity for those people from long time ago who had desperately set up a trap.”

“Hey, who’s going to step on the next trap? Ren, do you want to try it?”

“Give me a break……”

Ren endured it by making a heavy sigh to Elise who was looking at him with enthusiastic eyes.

“But there was that poisonous arrows and the debris flow just now. Both of them had been put with great effort so maybe there are only few more traps left after those two?”

“Yup. Even though I’m searching further ahead there are only few left. So I’m guessing there’s either one or two traps left. So unfortunate.”

“……It might be late asking you but do you like traps, Elise?”

“I love it!”

The former Demon King did a small jump.

“That’s because traps and cheating each other would be the greatest thrill. I love to come up with traps and even imagining just how it would succeed is also fun. ……But what I love the most is to see through traps someone else desperately made and to activate it on purpose to simply breakthrough it and laugh at them.”

“There’s a limit to how nasty you should get!”

“But it does become a good learning, don’t you think? What kind of trap is possible in what kind of places? It’s easier to learn by actually activating it and seeing it. Yeah, this is all for your training, Ren. So I am purposely activating the traps for your sake.”

“……Well, it’s a bit too late for you to say that to convince me.”

Too break through the trap made by evil intention without mercy with even a greater evil intent.

It certainly was a Demon’s way of doing things. Elise who said it with pride. It might be better to say that this was certainly expected from the former ruler of the Underworld.

“By the way SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire, are you okay? Are you feeling okay even though you’ve been out for so long?”

[……I go too.]

The Spirit that was still floating around his shoulder.

Even Ren did not know how long it was able to manifest in this state. But the crimson Spirit nodded with the same behavior as before.

——The passage lightened by the Spirit.

They did not need to worry about light. Though the smell of the wet earth and the smell of the mold became stronger as they went deeper inside so it would make you cough when you tried to breathe in the air.

“We went quite deep inside, didn’t we?”

“Yes we have. We would be merging with the path that the Canaan Pilgrim is taking somewhere along this passage. Even so, this passage will be the shortcut. We might have advanced further than them if they are having difficulties with the monsters.”

Fear had her usual smile.

Even the strong irritating smell which would make human start coughing with a single breathe didn’t affect her who was an Archangel.

……If I think about it, Fear-senpai has her usual nice smell.

……Maybe the defensive shield of an Angel is purifying these kind of nasty smells as well.

“Ren, is something bothering you?”

Fear made a bigger smile meaningfully.

“Eh? N-No, it’s nothing……”

“Oh, is that so? I would answer any question from you, Ren. If it’s just about me that you want to know, then I can answer anything for you without even hiding a single fact.”

“I-It’s nothing!”

“By the way, my BWH from top to bottom is——”

“I haven’t asked yet!”

“Oh that’s too bad. But do feel free to ask me anytime, okay? Even the secret about my good smell.”

The Archangel who had a seductive face waved her hands at him as if she was luring him for something. Ren looked away silently due to the embarrassment as she had completely read his mind.

“Leaving that aside. Hey, Ren? That jewel sure is beautiful isn’t it?”

“Jewel?”

“Over there, look. The crimson ruby which is graved on the wall over there.”

The direction where Fear pointed at was quite further ahead of this passage.

Within the distance where the light emitted from SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire reached by a margin. Ren didn’t realise it until being pointed out as the red light emitted from the Spirit and the red colour of the jewel had blended in colour.

The ruby graved into the wall of the passage.

It suddenly showed up in the path full of traps. The jewel that had been graved in the wall where it stood out.

“Seriously, this is out of the question……”

Ren glared at the ruby that was giving out a red shine as he walked just in front of the jewel.

It was a trap. It was clearly a trap from anyone’s perspective. There was no doubt that it was a trap which would activate by either pulling the ruby out or touching it.

“This is too obvious. Is there even a person who would fall for this after coming this far?”

“……Hmm. I’m also disappointed. I sure don’t feel like falling for it either.”

“It should be awarded for its disappointment. I am guessing the person who had set the traps lost creativeness.”

The one who was behind Elise who scratched the back of her head with a bitter smile was Fear who was making comments with face filled with sympathy.

But among this party.

“Wait! This is different!”

There was one girl. The one who put on a lively voice was Kyelse.

She brushed off her shining silver hair with her fingers. She then walked right in front of the jewel.

“Listen up, Ren. You still lack in knowledge if you have assumed this was a trap because of the appearance. That way of thinking is poor indeed! Elise and Fear. The same goes for you two as well.”

“What do you mean?”

“Think carefully. Those other traps which were hidden very skillfully. But the location where this jewel is placed is too childish for a trap. It’s unnatural instead.”

“……Well, I certainly thought the same.”

Ren put on a confused look at Kyelse who said it with confidence.

“So what does this mean at the end?”

“Very well. Let me reveal the answer. This jewel itself isn’t the trap. They put the jewel on the position where it would stand out on purpose. So their aim was to take our attention away from the real trap. So that means that the real trap is hidden nearby and that was their true goal!”

The princess of Dragons who said that with pride.

“They might have schemed it by trying to trick us. But its hundred years too early for humans to trick my eyes. That’s why this ruby is a fake trap which they made it seem like a real trap.”

“H-Hey, Kyelse! Wai——”

“Just watch. I will prove to you that we don’t need to be frighten at this fake trap.”

Before Ren could even stop her.

She took out the ruby from the wall in an instance. Kyelse then chucked it away as if she wasn’t interested in it.

“Look. Nothing happened after all…………huh?”

Kyelse who had become astonished released a puzzled voice.

Of course she would. It was because the area of the ground the four of them were standing on disappeared instantly, even before the ruby which she threw away could hit the ground.

A trap hole.

Without having no time to avoid it, the four of them fell to the lightless hole upside down.

“It was a trap after all—— —— —— ——!”

“Hmm……it was a trap by making it appear as if it wasn’t. Trying to put on a decoy behind another decoy. Splendid.”

Kyelse who had become unusually satisfied while crossing her arms as she was falling.

Likewise, the former Demon King and the Archangel who were also falling had a confident expression.

“Leaving aside her theory, what’s right below here is……oh, it’s nothing serious. It appears to be a simple highly poisonous swamp.”

“That’s so plain. They should have at least put a burning hot magma down there.”

“It sure is a let-down. Did they think they could take us down with a mere poison?”

“It’s an instant death for me you know!?”

The dark purple swamp that Ren was just able to see while falling upside down.

The way how it was gushing out the bubbles as if it was boiling. The appearance of it could clearly be seen as a poisonous swamp due to the ominous colour it had.

And that swamp closing in right in front of their eyes——

“Oh my, I won’t feel good if we continue to fall like this and get our clothes soaked.”

The torrent of light.

The golden glow that was overflowing lightened every single spot of the trap hole.

“Please hold on to me tightly.”

The Archangel Fear who had a large pair of wing appear on her back.

The three of Ren, Elise, and Kyelse had their body stop falling instantly before falling into the poisonous swamp thanks to being supported by Fear’s hand. Kyelse and Elise had hold on to Fear’s hand respectively. Ren was barely holding onto Kyelse’s hand and……

“……Mm.”

Kyelse’s low voice.

“R-Ren, you idiot! You shameless man, where on earth are you grabbing!?”

Kyelse who was all red had her body shaking.

She used the other hand which wasn’t grabbing Ren to fix her clothes around her chest area——

“Y-You got it wrong! You are misunderstanding it! I was simply trying to grab Kyelse’s hand! And my hand slipped a bit……”

“Ren, you perv~”

“Oh my, Ren. That’s not fair. You are having the fun just by yourself, Kyelse.”

“I’m saying you all got it wrong!”

Ren had Fear pull himself back to the surface while he had the girls say things to him.

“……Phew. Ever since enrolling in the human’s academy it has been about four years since I actually used my wings. I almost forgot how to fly.”

Sekai no Owari no Encore V2 Non-colour 004.jpg

“Thanks, you were a life saver, Fear-senpai.”

“You are welcome. Though this wasn’t a big deal.”

The blonde Angel chuckled lively.

Like she said, it didn’t seem like she was having difficulties when she pulled the three of them up. Instead she was flying as if she still had plenty of energy left.

“Though it does seem like this was the last trap.”

Elise who went further into the passage by herself said that with sadness and sighed.

“This is unfortunate. It was quite lacking, wasn’t it?”

“I agree. It would have been more fun to take down the monsters in the other passage from before if this was what it had to offer.”

“Certainly this was a bit of a kill-joy.”

Elise, Kyelse, and Fear all started to say as they liked.

Traps that were supposed to be life threatening to the humans were no different to a child’s toy or a mere staving off boredom in front of these three girls.

“Hey, Ren. Let’s go to an even harder ruin next time! I happen to know this ruin which is supposed to be insanely difficult where none of the humans have overcame it before!”

“That definitely has my interest but I’m hoping you won’t activate the trap on purpose then.”

Ren shrugged his shoulders to Elise who had a lively voice.

Then——

“Hmm. A footstep?”

The curve that had appeared after walking through the passage.

The one who responded first to the presence approaching from the curve was Kyelse.

“This is a smell of a human. Ren, several humans are approaching. They are most likely a party.”

“A human…… Do you mean the Canaan Pilgrim from before?”

The party that were approaching.

What appeared in Ren’s mind immediately from Kyelse’s words were those two that wore a pure-white robe and garment who belongs to the world’s largest party.

The second encounter. The moment he felt a quick nervousness at such prediction.

“What the! What was that large sound just now?”

“Don’t tell me there are monsters in this passage too!?”

The two heavy armoured MASTERKnight that sprinted to the scene.

Behind them were two men that appeared to be a ARIACaster and a woman that was either a ENCHANTERBarrierer or HEALERCurer. An intelligent looking girl with a lamp came from behind their line and walked timidly. She was most likely the THIEFSearcher.It was easy to tell as she held a map and a measuring instruments on the other hand she was holding a lamp with.

A party of six. It was a common number for the number of members of a party. It was a very basic formation as it was concentrated on the formation MASTERSKnights and ARIASCasters.

……They aren’t wearing the white clothes.

……So that means they are a party different from the Canaan Pilgrim?

“So what business do you have with us?”

The MASTERSKnights that were observing the surrounding in front of Ren who had asked them replied with a nervous expression.

“That’s what we like to ask you instead. It’s natural to become curious if a loud noise comes from behind. ……Let me confirm. It’s not like you encountered a monster right?”

The heavy armoured {{Furigana|Knight|MASTERS} who still held his sword.

Ren nodded silently to his question.

“I see, if it wasn’t a monster then that’s a relief. Right, Rien?”

“Y-Yes! It sounded different to the footsteps of a monster. So I honestly feel relieved.”

The THIEFSearcher with the lamp became relieved on the spot.

But that changed right away.

“P-Please hold still! The trap has been activated!”

The THIEFSearcher girl opened her eyes wide when she saw the huge trap hole behind Ren and the party.

“A-Are all of you okay!? Don’t tell me someone fell in the trap hole……”

“My apologies. It appears we have caused disturbance to you all.”

The one who spoke with a gentle voice to the girl was Fear. The sparkly glowing wings had already disappeared from her back and she had returned to her usual form.

And the SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire was hiding behind Ren right now.

“Just as you see, we fell into the traps due to our failures.”

“All of you fell into the trap…… If it wasn’t mishearing I believe I heard two very loud sounds consecutively.”

“Ah, I think you are referring to the debris flow from before. And together with the trap holes adds up to two traps. See how it is consistent with your claim?”

Elise said that in an easygoing manner.

“Oh, I see. There were humans that passed through this passage before us. So you evaded all of the traps till now. Good work.”

“Eh? Ah, thank you very much……?”

The THIEFSearcher nodded in confusion since she was praised by a small girl (Elise) who clearly looked younger than her.

On the other hand, the MASTERSKnights that were standing in front of her had a doubtful look.

“……All of you were safe after activating those traps? From what Rien said it was supposed to be quite a large-scale traps.”

“Large-scale? Was there such a trap, Ren?”

“Well, it’s about the debris flow and the trap hole.”

Ren shrugged his shoulders with bitter smile to Kyelse’s serious question.

“Well, all of us are fine anyway. Instead I apologise for causing noises. We certainly did cause troubles to you all because of Elise who fell into the trap on purpose……”

“Eh?”

“Oh, it’s nothing. Don’t mind what I just said.”

Ren waved his hand as the THIEFSearcher girl asked again.

“So who you guys? You don’t appear to be the Canaan Pilgrim.”

“We are veteran enough to be even compared to that famous party. We are still a small and weak party.”

The heavy armed man who didn’t hide his sour smile.

“This was the result of gaining experience around our hometown and challenging this place to test our strength. We escaped as the other passage was pretty much a monsters’ lair but this passage ended up being full of traps. We don’t even know what would have happened to us if Rien wasn’t here. It appears that you guys had activated the traps. But it appears you had a blessing in disguise and were safe from it.”

“Yeah, thanks.”

……A blessing in disguise huh.

……You could say that it was natural for all of us to be safe.

Elise chose this path because she thought the passage with the trap would be more interesting.

Ren didn’t have any intention of telling them this.

“Though it seems like you are all safe too. Did you end up fighting the monsters in the passage that was a monsters’ lair?”

“We sure did. Though the people from the Canaan Pilgrim wiped them out while we were having difficulties. ……It was so overwhelming that I was speechless. I felt as though we were shown what the party that represents the world were made up of.”

The THIEFSearcher said that in a blank amazement.

“Fortunately this passage appears to be safe from here so we are escaping from this ruin. It was a good investigation as we have learnt that we still lack experience. What will your party do?”

“Us? We are…..”

Having being asked that question, Ren turns around to the girls.

——Can I answer her with the truth?

Maybe his intention went through to them. So the girls nodded silently.

“We are going to investigate this ruin a bit more. To the furthest point we can reach.”

The Spirit that was somewhere in this shrine. They chose this path which was supposed to be a shortcut in order to find it before the “Canaan Pilgrim, the Boat of the Sacred Teaching”.

“So you guys are leaving then. I hope all of you a good luck till the end of your journey.”

“The same for all of you too. As a reference, there was this cave just a bit further from here where you can rest. It would a perfect place to take a short rest if you are planning to investigate here. ——So let the fortune fall on both sides.”

The party of six left in hurry.

You could feel from their backs that they wanted to leave this shrine quickly as they can even if they had to push themselves.

“I see. With this, it now means that the finding the Spirit has become a competition between us and the Canaan Pilgrim.”

“This was the situation we had already foreseen.”

The Canaan Pilgrim that were advancing through here while wiping out the average monsters.

On the other hand, Ren and the girls that were overcoming the passage with the traps.

Both parties were advancing through the ruin in order to find the Spirit——

“Hey, there’s that cave he just mentioned. It’s spacious so it’s just about right!”

Elise who had went ahead by herself showed her face from the corner of the passage and waved her hands at them.

“Hurry, hurry I say!”

“This is the perfect time. There won’t mean a thing if we miss the Spirit’s lair by pushing ourselves and rushing our search. Let’s take a break and progress here slowly.”

Fear agreed to Elise.

“You are right. I also want to relax and eat the snacks. Ren, let’s go.”

“I heard you so don’t rush.”

Ren power walked through the passage following behind the girls.

4[edit]

Sparks. It gave off spark as it made sounds.

The small sparks raised up and sparkled even more up in the air. It made a glitter for a moment and then disappeared into thin air.

The night watch.

Ren sat on the floor which was covered with dusts and then dimly gazed at the bonfire in front of him.

“……So it’s 10 o’clock at night now huh.”

Behind him was a tent.

It had been exactly two hours since Kyelse, Fear, and Elise went to sleep. You wouldn’t be able to tell the position of the Sun if you were deep inside a cave. Only the pocket watch within Ren’s hand could inform him the current time.

“But this place is amazing. This place really was a shrine.”

The storage space of the shrine—— the space where the ritual equipment and ornaments used for the rituals were most likely kept.

Sadly it seemed that most of the precious ritual equipment had been stolen. Though Ren was able to know just what kind of place this was thanks to the old candle stands and the ritual equipment which was cracked in half.

“What kind of shrine was this? Was this the shrine to worship the Spirits after all?”

[………..]

The SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire was floating in the air.

Maybe it preferred fire because it was the Spirit of fire. So right now it was floating right above the bonfire.

It appeared only few minutes ago.

It had disappeared once, but it suddenly appeared on its own when Ren was gazing at the bonfire by himself. It didn’t do anything particular but simply floated near Ren.

……Though he had always been like this.

……It always appeared and disappeared on its own when I’m alone by myself.

“I wanted to ask but were you feeling anxious of me?”

[——————]

“Yeah. I guess there was a leap in the way I said it. ……Hmm. Were you perhaps showing up to make sure I didn’t feel lonely?”

The Spirit was silent.

Except, it gazed at Ren as if it was thinking. And then.

[I stay?]

“Ah, so you were. Sorry about that. I even made you worry about me.”

Ren held his laughter and then shook his head.

He never thought he would have not a human but a Spirit worry about him.

“But I’m alright. We are just taking turns for the lookout only. You’ve been with us for the whole day today so aren’t you also tired? It’s safe now so go and have a rest. I’ll ask for your assistance tomorrow as well.”

[——————]

After a moment of silence, the SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire disappeared into thin air.

After he sent it off.

“It sure is attached to you.”

It was that time when a voice that ringed like a bell came from the tent behind him.

It was a silver-haired girl who was putting on a smile.

“Kyelse? Ah, did I wake you up because of my voice? Sorry.”

“I couldn’t sleep from the start…… It was a mistake to have Fear sleep in the middle. She continued to hug on to me and kept on shoving that huge breast of hers on my face. It was just too sultry.”

Kyelse started to rub her sleepy eyes.

“You can imagine it too, can’t you? Just how uncomfortable it is to have your face shove between those breast. I could barely breathe.”

“……Well, that’s something I’m having difficulty in answering.”

He didn’t know how to answer her so he just vaguely nodded to her question.

Then Kyelse gently sat right next to him.

“Leaving that aside, are you feeling tired at all?”

“Me?”

“You had been commanding the SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire for the whole time. A Dragon like myself can’t understand what an ancient summoning is very well. But does it put stress on the spellcaster for continuing to command a Spirit?”

“Ah, I get your question now. That’s how ordinary spells work after all.”

The attack spells of a ARIACaster and even the barriers of a ENCHANTERBarrierer. The longer you use it and the more you use it, the more it wears the spellcaster’s body and mind corresponding to the usage of the spell.

“I’m fine. Instead I’m more worried if the SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire is tired.”

“I see, so that’s why you told it to “rest” just before.”

Kyelse looked at the empty space.

As she gazed at the space where the Spirit disappeared from just now.

“That really sounds like you.”

“Hmm?”

“For you to naturally tell the Spirit to rest. You had also been worried about the SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire even while we were heading for this location.”

“……Umm. Are you talking about the time when we had been continuously falling for those traps?”


“By the way SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire, are you okay? Are you feeling okay even though you’ve been out for so long?”

[……I go too.]


“You are quite the strange one.”

She took out the candy from her pocket.

Kyelse who had the candy in her hands softened her expression.

“Let’s say other humans besides you gained the ability to use ancient summoning. Those humans would boast their ANCIENTS“the lost spells” they had just learned till it would satisfy them. Don’t you reckon they would test how much power the Spirits they had summoned has and check its limit?”

“……That’s possible.”

“But you’re different. Instead you worry about the Spirit that you had summoned and what comes to your mind first is to restrain the Spirit from using its strength much as possible. I don’t know whether you would call that ‘kindness’, hence I called you the ‘strange one’. In the end, you are that kind of person.”

The SALAMANDERancestral spirit of fire that was more of attached to Ren rather than being obedient to him.

It appeared front of Ren frequently even before he learned how to use ancient summoning. It stayed with Ren even during the time when he couldn’t hear its voice.

“Maybe your ancient summoning doesn’t have to do with talent or qualities. Instead that personality of yours’ that draws in the Spirit was your natural ‘specialty’. You don’t call the Sprits but the Spirits come to you. That’s the impression I have.”

“Is that a praise?”

“I simply said it because it’s a rare trait. Whether it is a praise will depend on what you and the Spirit will do from on.”

She had a mysterious smile. Just what kind of future appeared in her mind when she said “from now on”?

It felt as though Kyelse’s eyes was looking at not the present but the far future.

“And Elise did say that the Spirit’s lair is hidden somewhere in this ruin. My nose won’t work in terms of finding it. So this will be Elise and your job.”

“Yeah, you’re right.”

Another issue he was concerned about was regarding the Canaan Pilgrim.

They had the objective of finding the Spirit from the very beginning and they should have taken the different route as Ren and the girls. To add, it couldn’t possibly be just the two of Premier and Thyrus. Ren and the girls were still in a situation where they didn’t know how many of them there were deep within the ruin.

“I sure don’t want to get caught by the Canaan Pilgrim. They are completely alarmed at us now.”

“It won’t be a problem. If they oppose us then I will throw them out of the shrine. This kind of thing is common in the Valley of the Dragons since its one of the daily routines. So I’m familiar in dealing with the humans.”

“Wait, if you do that then we will be on the wanted-list in the Holy-ground of Canaan——”

Right after he said till there.

What unexpectedly flashed in his mind wasn’t about the concern with the party that they will compete with but a curiosity at what Kyelse just said.

“What kind of place is the Valley of the Dragons? I did hear at from the instructor when I was at the academy and know that it’s an unexplored region where the Dragons all over the world gathers, right?”

“Being called an unexplored region is far-fetched. It’s a simple lair. I was also born and raised there.”

Kyelse peels of the wrap around the candy.

She then puts the large one-bite size candy in her mouth.

“Delicious.”

“……You’ll get a decayed teeth if you eat sweets at night. Now, leaving that aside.”

The Dragon Princess had a big smile on her face.

Who could believe a girl who could make a smile like this with a single candy was a Princess of all the Dragons that were gathered in the unexplored region.

“Since you are even called the Princess of the Dragons, does that make you the most important Dragon in the Valley?”

“More than being important, it’s more like there wasn’t any Dragon that could oppose me. That’s simply it.”

Kyelse said it while rolling the candy inside her mouth.

She then gazed at the bonfire with her emerald green eyes.

“The society of Dragons mainly revolves around the seniority system. The longer the Dragons lives, the bigger and stronger it is. Though the irregular one that was born in the valley with such system was me. I was stronger than every single Dragon since the day I was born. So even the Dragon Elders had no choice but to obey me.”

“By force?”

“I did not do such thing. I......simply ‘stood there’ and my kins were afraid of me and worshipped me as their Princess.”

The tone of the silver-haired girl who said that was heavy. She had a shadow in her expression which she never had shown before.

“Though my time as a Princess continued for a bit more than dozen of years if we use the human’s way of counting years.”

“It’s because you joined Eleline’s party, right?”

“Yes. And I met comrades who I could talk to without hiding myself for the first time. Though it seems like the Earth, the Heaven, and the Underworld, were in quite a stir since it was an irregular party three-hundred years ago.”

Ren also looked behind when he followed Kyelse’s gaze who had turned around.

The quiet tent.

The ones sleeping inside were the Archangel Fear who was the strongest in Heaven and the former Demon King Elise who was the former ruler of the Underworld.

“I see. But I still wanted to ask. I wanted to ask you about your impression about the journey with Eleline. You travelled the world together with him, right? Was it fun?”

“……My strongest impression would be that I was happy. For me, who was even feared by my kins, to have comrades I can trust was a new experience.”

She then started to think for a moment.

Little by little. Kyelse continued to speak as if she was remembering the good old days.

“Not just Eleline. There were also times where I had a fight with Fear and Elise where we had an argument or a fist fight. But right after that, I simply had gratitude for them since I had comrades I can do that with. They argued back to me face to face without fearing me. Eleline, Fear, and Elise that gave their honest opinions. Thanks to that, I was able to understand for the first time what a humans, the Angels, and the Demons are like.”

“……In my case I’m also curious about the argument and the fist fight you mentioned.”

“We didn’t hold back or hesitate. Even for the fist fights and arguments, it’s better to go all out on the spot rather than dragging the negative emotion till afterwards. This is the opinion all four of us shared. Thanks to that it was a journey where we were always covered with new wounds. Don’t you think it’s rare to find a party that received most of their wounds from their comrades rather than from the enemy?”

Kyelse smiled pleasantly.

“Hmm……I’ll try to take that as that all of you got along so well that you could fight casually.”

“That’s exactly it. Fear had an upper hand at a pure fist fight but even so our strength were on the same level. I had a comrade whom I can share my thought with. That’s why it was so fun. The journey to go around the places of the world we never went to. I’m sure I would have had half the fun if I did that by myself.”

It was fun because she had her own comrades.

——It wasn’t a party that just got along well.

——The human, the Angel, the Demon, and the Dragon at times had quarrel and fought while strengthening their bonds.

Thanks to that bond, even now since three-hundred years have passed, all three of Kyelse, Fear, and Elise had their total trust to each other. That could be felt even from Ren’s perspective.

“……I get it.”

“What’s wrong? What’s that sigh as if you just saw something?”

“Well, I just thought how wonderful it is. That’s what I thought.”

Kyelse who was looking into him.

Ren shook his head to the side at her and simply said that.

“Oh yeah, what happened while you were on your journey? It’s the same situation now but you had left the leadership of the Valley of the Dragons to another Dragon, right? So was that an old Dragon or in another words a Dragon that had lived long?”

“It was my younger sister.”

“Your younger sister!?”

His shout was mixed with a shocked tone.

“Eh, hold on, wait……your younger sister? That’s something which isn’t known at all.”

“The same could be said about the current Demon King. There are not even a dozen people in the world that knows that he is the actual younger brother of Elise.”

After she said that much.

Kyelse crossed her arm as if she was thinking of something.

“Saying that, I guess the way I said it wasn’t good either. The number of Heavenly Silver Dragons that are pure-blood like me is low. But the number of the Spirit King Dragons is also low due to a different reason. In Calra’s case, she’s not a pure-blood but a mixed-blood that carries the blood of every kind of Dragons. Among such mixed blood there are rare times when a bloodline called a miracle bloodline is born.”

“The Spirit King Dragon……that legendary Dragon huh.”

Ren himself had pretty much no knowledge regarding the Spirit King Dragon.

For example he was told many times that the Heavenly Silver Dragons were the oldest Dragon species. Kyelse who was one of the Three Great Princess of Eleline Sword Emperor Brigade was also a Heavenly Silver Dragon that had left quite a number of anecdote and legend.

But the humans didn’t know that much regarding the information of the Spirit King Dragons except for its existence.

——The miracle bloodline.

The number of the Spirit King Dragons were so low that Kyelse referred to them as such. And it was also because it rarely appeared outside the valley.

“Anyway you are saying that you have a younger sister called Calra who is the Spirit King Dragon and she is taking the leadership of the Valley of the Dragons on your behalf, right?”

“That’s how it is. She has the highest ‘rank’ at the Valley of the Dragons where her rank is equal to that of Heavenly Silver Dragons that are the oldest Dragon species. Except, I was too strong in terms of pure strength and thus I became the Princess of the Dragons. Even so, if something were to happen to me the Dragons would need a replacement, right? That was the reason why I made a sisterhood oath with Calra.”

“She seems to be a good younger sister. She’s fulfilling her role as your replacement, right?”

“……As a replacement, yes.”

Kyelse answered with a sigh that was similar to a sarcastic laugh.

She then crouched as she hugged her knees while next to Ren and then became silent. She didn’t behave like her usual self as she was putting on a weak and fragile gesture.

“It happened about two months ago. I had returned to the valley after I got out from the seal and when I said I was going to search for the Encore the one who was against it the most was Calra.”

“Eh!? Why was that?”

The Encore would be the greatest item left by the Brave Hero Eleline.

It wouldn’t be unnatural for Kyelse who was once his comrade to search for it. Instead, it wouldn’t be farfetched to say that she would be the most deserving person to obtain it.

“The humans and the Dragons have a different way of life and different way of thinking. Even if a human has a certain logic that would make sense to them doesn’t mean the Dragons does as well. That’s how I would sum it up in few words.”

“…………”

“Similar to that reason, I am actually troubled at returning to the Valley of the Dragons. To regain my powers and to find the reason for the Sword Saint Shion’s visit. It would be a place I wouldn’t go near and visit there if it wasn’t for having to go there due to being related to our objective which is to find the Encore.”

“……I see.”

Kyelse seemed to have a trouble of her own.

Ren kept the words from coming out of his mouth the moment he was about to say that.

——She doesn’t just want words of sympathy.

——The girl who was sitting beside me has her eyes wavering and those eyes itself clearly told me so.

“I’m sorry.”

“Huh?”

“Looks like our discussion ended up turning into my complaints. Though I didn’t have the intention to……”

Kyelse who had a bitter smile stood up while looking as though she felt uncomfortable at the mood. She swept away the dust on her clothe around her hip area. She then slowly turned around in an elegant manner.

“I’m returning to the tent. I feel bad to disturb your lookout time.”

“Okay. ……Ah, hold on Kyelse. Behind you. You haven’t got rid of all the dust yet.”

The fragments of earth that was on the edges of her skirt.

Kyelse might have thought she had swept all of them away but there were still dust on her skirt.

“There’s still some left?”

“Just a bit. I’ll clean it off so turn around.”

Ren made Kyelse turn around and got himself up. He tried to sweep away the small amount of fragment of earth on the edges of her skirt——

“Kyaaan!?”

His fingertips touched Kyelse’s buttocks by mistake as he was rushing it.

At the same time, the Princess of Dragons jumped by having her whole body twitch and released a sound which couldn’t be distinguished whether it was a scream or a shout.

“Ah……”

“Y-You idiot! Haven’t I told you before!?”

Kyelse turned around while covering her buttocks.

“This part……of a Dragon is usually hidden by the tail. So being touched there never happens. S……So……it’s a very delicate area!”

“I-I’m sorry! I’m serious, that really wasn’t my intention!”

“…………A-Anyway.”

Kyelse who covered her buttocks with both her hand had her face turn red and was wiggling her body.

“D-Doing this kind of thing……is too early for us. I still need to prepare for myself……”

“Yes?”

“~~~~~~I-It’s nothing!”

Kyelse turned her face away.

It wasn’t because she was angry. Instead you would get the impression from her panicked gesture that she wanted to hide her face that was all red.

“……I really don’t know what’s going on here.”

He was all by himself now.

The muttering simply came out of Ren’s mouth.


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