Zero no Tsukaima:Volume21 Chapter 6

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Chapter 6: The Free City of Eumenes[edit]

After walking for several hours across the desert, with the sun blazing overhead, Saito's group finally arrived at the free city of "Eumenes"

From the bay that could be seen from outside the city, you could see several masts. Thanks to it being located right on the border between East and West, while it was among the cities of the xenophobic Elves, it was the only successful trade city between Halkeginia and the eastern world's "Rub' al Khali".

The solid stone wall surrounding the city appeared to be several hundred years old, with the remnants of the war with Halkeginian forces on it. Camel caravans, loaded with goods, were lined up at the main gate in the city wall.

There weren't only Elves, but humans were also present.

"Oh, there really is interaction with humanity. Although it's a free city, originally it seemed that it would be a little more low-key.

"It's only that this place is relatively special. This city was originally a place of banishment for elves."

The surprised Saito responded to Luctiana being carried by the "doll"

"Banishment?"

"Correct, this is the place that those who violate tribal law will end up."

In the time it took to reach the city gate, Luctiana told Saito the situation in Eumenes.

In Elven eyes, this far-flung part of the Sahara Desert had been abandoned by "The Great Will", thus those elves who previously had committed crimes were banished to this region.

As a matter of course, Elves of the desert loath the residents of this city, and had not been in contact with them for a long time. In order to survive in this isolated region, the residents were forced to interact with Halkeginian barbarians... and apparently, that is the history of this city.

"Although banishment is a matter from long ago... up until present, the residents of the desert seldom approach this place."

Thus spoke Ari.

After arriving at the city gate, the "doll" immediately collapsed, returning to the sand it was originally composed of. The contract with the desert spirits apparently ended here.

"We're not escaped criminals? We can enter the city?"

"We have Bidashal's pass, there should be no need to worry."

Hearing Saito's worried question, Ari responded.

"Moreover, the Council shouldn't have released the news that you've escaped yet. The Council definitely wouldn't want to lose face for having let a descendant of the demon escape.

Ari, pulling out the pass, said a few words to the guard at the gate, and returned after not too long.

"We got permission. First, we'll head to a hospital that Luctiana knows."

Saito carried Tiffania, who was passed out because of the heat, on his back. Ari carried Luctiana, and Madhav carried Fatima, still under the sleep enchantment. Idris used both hands to carry the travel bag full of Brimir's weapons.

The main street of Eumenes was permeated by a lively atmosphere. Unlike Tristain's Magic Academy, or the elf capital of Adyl, there was an exotic feel to it.

There were many shops on both sides of the street, the kind that sold handicrafts, as well as metal and fine jewelry. At that time they passed a delicious aroma, coming from a shop still cooking pork skewers, as well as a candy shop. The atmosphere was very festival-like.

Many of the peddlers selling goods appeared to be human merchants. In spite of this being an Elven city, they were naturally integrated here. Halkeginia people, who clearly are scared to death of elves, linked to elves who also view humanity as barbarians.

"What... so basically we don't need to fight."

Saito unconsciously said. He obviously knew that the problem wasn't that simple. But the scene in front of his eyes couldn't help but fill a man full of this kind of hope.

"It's here."

Luctiana said from Ari's back.

The hospital that Luctiana knew of was located in a plaza that the road merged into. It was a two story building painted with white plaster, and various kinds of plant leaves were drawn on the sign.

"Then let's stop here."

Idris put the travel bag on the floor, and Madhav set the deeply sleeping Fatima on the wall next to the entrance.

"Ah, you two have done well."

Ari praised the two as he set down Luctiana.

"You want to say goodbye here?"

Thus asked Saito.

"Ah. Originally, it was only Luctiana and I that were supposed to go to the country of barbarians. Besides, the fewer travelers, the better."

"This is how it is. Although we're all escaped criminals, the punishment for me won't be as severe as for you as the team leader. We just need to hide and wait for events to progress, Lord Bidashal will probably try and help."

Madhav stated.

"Well, thank you. For helping us."

Saito expressed his thanks to Ari's two subordinates. Although these elves kidnapped Saito and Tiffania, they were still the ones that saved his life.

"This wasn't for you, but for our team leader."

Madhav groaned.

"This is just a temporary goodbye, you should be careful of the pursuit by the "Steel-Blooded Party".

"Team leader, you should also be careful."

"Don't argue with Luctiana."

"Oh... eh."

After the two saluted Ari, they left. At first, Saito wanted to say "How very blunt," but it could be that they just didn't know how to respond to this kind of situation.

"Barbarian, carry those two in."

"Ah."

Just as they entered the hospital, a wonderful smell immediately drifted into their noses. It appeared to come from something similar to incense. The interior of the building seemed wider than it appeared from the outside, with several beds in an orderly line. Most of the beds were empty.

Ari rang the small bell hanging next to the entrance, and immediately a female elf, in the prime of her life, wearing a long dress, came out.

The female elf, seeing Luctiana carried in Ari's hand, immediately let out a shout.

"Oh, isn't this Luctiana? What happened?"

"Long time, no see, Sara."

Luctiana responded to Sara, in a weak voice.

"Hmm, looks like you're not here to study barbarians today."

The female Elf's eyes shone. She seemed to notice that Luctiana's condition was bad.

"I would like for you to treat these two, I have money."

Saying this, Ari set Luctiana down on a bed. Saito also gently laid Tiffania on the next bed.

"Let me check their injuries."

Sara carefully examined the bodies of the two laying on the beds.

"Oh, is this girl a half-blood? That's truly rare."

She said while examining Tiffania.

Even though this city interacted with humanity, it appeared that a half-blooded elf was still a rarity.

"What's going on with this strange chest?"

Saying this, Sara poked Tiffania's chest.

"Ah... you, what are you doing?"

The already tired Tiffania, had no choice but to let out a little shriek.

"Hey, I don't need to treat this strange chest?"

"No, no, you don't!"

With tears gleaming in her eyes, Tiffania looked to Saito and asked,

Saito... my, my chest, is it really that strange?"

"No, it isn't."

Saito hurriedly responded.

"I think... it's very nice."

"Really...?"

"Ah, it really is. I can guarantee, that's absolutely correct."

"But the doctor said, my chest is very strange...."

"It, it isn't the least bit strange. Tiffa's chest is world-renowned, it's a nice chest!"

"A nice chest?"

"Ah, a nice chest."

"A nice chest...?"

Seeing Saito giving her a thumbs up, and constantly complimenting her chest, Tiffania lowered her head, embarrassed.

"What are you guys doing?"

Luctiana gave the two a suspicious look.

While Sara continued to examine her injuries, her eyes abruptly sharpened.

"These injuries aren't bullet wounds, are they?"

"...."

No words came from Luctiana.

"What happened?"

"I hope you could not ask that question."

Seeing Luctiana's forced smile, Sara could only mutter.

"Is this girl for real...."

Then Sara headed to the shelf where medicine was placed, and neatly prepared something.

"Let me help."

Saito requested....

"Are you a doctor? or a magician?"

Sara immediately turned her head and glared at Saito

"Neither...."

"Then there's nothing that you can help with."

"If they hold a ceremony to strength the spirits, we'll just be in the way if we stay."

Ari said, placing his hand on Saito's shoulder.

"I'm not worried, Saito. Why don't you wait outside."

"...I know."

Hearing Tiffania also suggest this, Saito had no choice but to leave the hospital.

Only then did he see the sleeping Fatima leaning against the wall next to the entrance.

"I'll go and find a hotel to stay at tonight, you're responsible to stay here and watch her."

After Ari had said his piece, his silhouette immediately disappeared down one of the roads.

"Even if you tell me to watch her...."

No matter what you say, letting her continue to sleep against the wall next to the entrance wasn't right, so Saito carried the sleeping Fatima out to the square and laid her on a bench.

"You still can make such an innocent expression."

Carefully studying her gentle sleeping face, he really felt she looked like Tiffania. Even if they were from the same race, it would still be very difficult to find those with the same appearance, two people with such similar faces.

But even if their appearance is the same, the two had one thing that was completely different. Looking at the "completely different" region, Louise's form appeared in Saito's mind.

"Louise...."

He always felt that he cherished Louise's delicate and cute chest...cherished the washboard on his master's body. After all, recently he had constantly been seeing Tiffania's chest, so what can be said, he felt all sorts of confusion in how he measured chests in his mind.

"Louise, wait for me. I will definitely return."

In the square, businessmen from Halkeginia were conducting lively business with the Elves. This dazzling and chaotic atmosphere, was very similar to when he was taken to Ameya-Yokochō [1] by his parents when he was young.

Elves and humans can peacefully coexist here... since it's this way, it definitely should be possible in other places.

Saito rested his hand on the bench, and looked up at the exotic sky.

Halkeginia is definitely also under the same sky.

The Earth’s sky, I wonder how it has changed now...?"

While Saito was in his homesick daydream.

"Hey, partner."

"Eh?"

"It looks like Ms. Elf is already awake."

This sentence brought Saito back from his daydream.

At that time, as Fatima was laying on her side, her eyes suddenly opened and she yelled.

"Die, you repulsive descendant of the demon!"

and grabbed the conveniently placed Derflinger at her side and swung at Saito.

"Woah!"

Saito jumped up on the bench, dodging the perilous swing. But Fatima once again brandished the sword, and suddenly swung at Saito.

"Partner, I'm sorry, could you please dodge!"

"You're telling me!"

Even if he couldn't rely on Gandalfr's power, Saito also had Agnes' personal hand to hand combat training. You only saw him dodge to the side, and easily grabbed and twisted Fatima's wrist as she swung the sword at empty space, forcing her to drop the sword.

"Oh, re..release me...!"

Fatima hatefully glared at Saito. It looked like she was pretending to sleep, looking for the opportunity to sneak attack Saito. If Derf hadn't reminded him, things could've been dangerous.

"Repulsive!"

After Derflinger had been grabbed back by Saito, Fatima shifted to an unarmed attack. She's worthy of being called a soldier, and it appeared she had been trained in hand to hand combat. However, she basically wasn't an opponent for "Gandálfr" when he's holding a weapon, and after Saito easily dodged, he immediately subdued Fatima.

"Re... repulsive, I missed a one in a million opportunity...!"

With a regretful expression, Fatima cursed.

"Don't cause trouble in this kind of place."

Saito said to Fatima, who he was subduing on the ground.

All the elves in the square were looking at the two people.

"Uhh, please pay us no mind, everybody...."

Saito momentarily released Fatima, then knocked the dust off his jacket.

Apparently realizing she couldn't beat Saito with a weapon in his hand, Fatima gave up resisting. Then it appeared she suddenly realized something, and started to look around.

"Uh, where are we?"

"The town of Eumenes"

Saito responded.

"You said Eumenes!"

Upon hearing this, Fatima immediately showed an unbearably bitter expression.

"I can't believe it, I never thought I’d return to this place in this lifetime."

"This lifetime?"

Saito really wanted to investigate this matter.

Suddenly came an uncontrollable "grumble" sound.

"Are you hungry?"

Saito asked. There was no surprise that she clearly was a soldier, but it was just that her previous actions lacked power...

"N...no...that wasn't me just now!"

Fatima, a blush across her entire face, howled.

"Hey~"

"I said no!"

"Oh~"

Saito cracked a grin. Then showed a malicious expression.

But... actually Saito's stomach was also hungry. After all, while they were crossing the desert, they had only drunk a little water.

The town plaza had several restaurants, but they had one big problem.

Ever since he was kidnapped by the Elves, Saito hadn't had one cent on his person. Ari, the one with money on his person, was also not nearby, moreover he wouldn't really be willing to lend Saito money.

Possibly guessing Saito's thoughts:

"Partner, I got a way to make money.", said Derflinger.

"Really, Derf?"

"Yup, you see that big street."

Saito looked towards the big street that could be seen from the square.

There were several people gathering on the street. On closer inspection, it seemed to be a group of Halkeginian travelling performers doing a knife throwing demonstration.

Honestly speaking, their skill couldn't be called particularly spectacular, but it seemed to be very welcomed by the Elves.

The naturally talented Saito had a thought.

"If it's like that, I could put on pretty good performance, couldn't I?"

"Good, then just follow their example."

Then Saito looked at Fatima.

"You're also going to help."

"Who would help you?"

Fatima cursed, but a moment later....

another very loud "grumble~~" sound echoed by.

"oh, n-no...!"

"Look, as hungry as you are, how are you going to kill me?"

Saito gathered several small rocks sitting next to his foot, and passed them to Fatima.

"What are you doing?"

"You just need to throw the rocks at me."

"Don't make me laugh!"

At that point, Fatima dropped the stones in her hands....

it seemed she figured out the plan.

"Humph, ok."

Then Fatima, with what appeared to be a smile, concentrated on gathering up stones on the ground.

A yell ripped from Saito's throat as he stood in the middle of the street brandishing Derflinger.

"Come one, come all! Everyone come and admire this exotic sword dance!"

All the Elven and Halkeginian business on the road stopped after hearing. A short time later, after a small group gathered, Saito began to jump around with Derflinger in his hand.

"Hey! He! Hiya!"

There was very scattered applause... It seems this isn't well received.

"That was just a little warm-up."

After grunting a sigh, Saito beckoned to Fatima.

Fatima glared at Saito with her crystal clear blue eyes and and yelled.

"You can die, devil!"

After saying this, she threw the rocks at Saito's face with all her strength.

"Oh!"

But Saito was "Gandálfr" after all, you could just watch him nimbly dodge, swing Derflinger in his hand, and split the little rock in two on the spot.

The surrounding crowd loudly applauded and cheered, and the Elf children's expressions glowed.

Saito let out a breath, and wiped the sweat from his forehead.

As expected, it took very little to entertain the Elves. He wasn't sure if the reason for this was a racial trait, or if there just was less entertainment compared to Halkeginia.

"Humph, if my body was in perfect condition, it seems like you're this type of person..."

Fatima, annoyed at failing to destroy Saito, said.

"You... were seriously trying to kill me."

"Hello, why don't you take a look at this!"

An old man running a fruit stand threw a very large coconut over.

A smile came to Fatima's lips, as she held the coconut in both hands.

With the coconut in hand, he started to whisper something in a low voice. Then Fatima, with the coconut in hand, began to chant something in a low voice….

"Partner, this is bad."

"What's the problem?"

"That's Firstborn magic."

"What!"

Around Fatima, the sound of a gale began to echo.

"Spirits of the wind that surround us, smash my enemy!"

In a moment, the coconut, riding on a fierce gale, flew at the speed of a bullet at Saito.

Moreover, it was spinning at a high speed, if he was hit by this thing it would definitely kill him.

"Woah!"

With no time to think, Saito swung Derflinger, and with a ringing "slash" sound, the coconut split in two and flew off into the distance... and the coconut milk splashed onto Saito's face.

"D...don't underestimate Gandálfr..."

Even Saito's voice was shaking.

"It's definitely dangerous, partner."

"Abomination, what exactly are you..."

The defeated Fatima regretfully stamped her foot.

"That big brother is really ferocious, he beat elf magic!"

"I've never seen such a ferocious swordsman!"

Soon after the enthusiastic applause of the surrounding audience echoed, and one after the other they threw in money and fruit. It's good that we were well received, but....

"But using the legendary familiars power in a street corner performance, it seems a little like I should apologize to Brimir."

Hear Saito say this, Derflinger said in a reminiscing tone.

"No no no, Sasha and Brimir did similar things previously."

After gathering the offered tips, Saito returned to the square and sat on a bench.

"Earned quite a bit of money... oh, there's even silver coins."

He had elven coins whose exterior looked like a slender leaf, as well as the metal coins that are used in Tristain. Among the fruit, there were strange shaped varieties that Saito had never seen before.

"What do you want to eat?"

Looking at a fruit that's exterior looked like a crushed ammonite [2], Saito felt doubtful.

In short, first he tried to take a bite... the results being that it was so hard he couldn't take a bite.

"That's skin, you're an idiot."

Fatima coldly said.

"You eat too, because you worked hard for it."

"Humph, I don't need charity from a barbarian."

"OK."

After Saito spoke as if looking for trouble, he peeled off the firm fruit skin, he began to sample that strange fruit.

The texture was similar to a sandy sponge. Not only was there little moisture, it wasn't sweet. It really didn't taste good. But Saito still showed restraint, and deliberately let Fatima see him eating enthusiastically.

"This is really good! I've never eaten anything this good before, Derf!"

"That's really good, partner."

"I, my clan, no one would sell us a few loaves of bread. However, we still had our Elven honor, and never came close to begging...."

Seeing Fatima swallow once, she didn't turn her face to him.

It looked like she intended to persevere to the end.

"Oh, OK. Then, I'll go ahead and eat it all."

With a fire in his heart, Saito started to scoff everything down.

Although Fatima continued to not turn her face to him, after a little while....

"Oh... give it to me, barbarian!

Having arrived at the limit of her patience, Fatima snatched the fruit out of Saito's hand, and started to wolf it down. You could say she was extremely hungry, since she didn't even care if it got on her uniform, she simply stuffed her mouth as fast as possible.

Not long after filling his stomach, Saito exhaled. At this point, the sun started to go down, and it was already approaching the time for the sun to set, but the square appeared to be even more lively.

"It's truly a nice town, brimming with vitality."

Saito stated his thoughts. While the Elven capital of Adyl was certainly magnificent, it had a very cold feeling, and was really very difficult to like.

On the contrary, the cities like Eumenes were, comparatively speaking, more to his liking.

"Humph... I don't like this city, people who have forgotten their Elven honour gather here."

Fatima cursed.

"I ask you... didn't you use to live in this town?"

Recalling that she had said "I'd never thought I'd return here in my lifetime..." Saito opened his mouth and asked.

"...."

After a little time passed. Fatima spoke as if half talking to herself.

"That is a matter from a long time ago."

Originally it seemed like she definitely wouldn't introduce herself, so Saito felt a little amazed.

"Bearing the punishment for Shajal's crime, our clan was banished afterwards, and we wandered the desert for a long time. In the end, we arrived at this city that has been known since ancient times as a place of banishment."

Fatima's voice trembled.

"Moreover, a lot of our clansmen decided to stay here. In this city, despised for the people who have been banished here, in a city that flatters and fawns over barbarians... but I'm not like these people. After Master Aishmail found me, I left these streets behind."

Aishmail, I remember he is the leader of the "Steel-Blooded Party", Saito thought.

"But those guys tried to cook us together in our boat, how can you believe in that guy?"

"What?"

On hearing this, Fatima unhappily wrinkled her brow. That said, at the time they were under attack from the Elven navy, she was in a deep sleep from Ari's enchantment.

"Don't lie, that's impossible."

"What good does lying to you do me. The reason things are this way is only because we escaped from the ship. That guy called Aishmail, he's probably only using you...."

"Not true! Even if that's true, it must be because Master Aishmail didn't know that I was with you guys!"

Please..., how exactly could that be... although he thought this, Saito didn't say it.

From the same sea blue pupils she shared with Tiffania, he could see she still firmly believed in the elf called Aishmail.

He could imagine, that this girl had been persecuted since she was small, she had constantly suffered miserable situations, her heart filled with nothing but hate, those people were definitely using and taking advantage of her.

Thinking about it, Saito felt that she seemed a bit pitiable.

Of course, he still wasn't able to forgive her for what she did to Tiffania, but...

Saito closed his eyes, placed his hands on his chest and thought. After a bit... Saito wrapped up all of the money they had just earned, and handed it all to Fatima.

"What are you doing?"

Fatima asked with a surprised expression.

"You can go."

"What?"

"I'm telling you to go now. If Ari comes back, it would be a problem."

Those words really made Fatima angry.

"Repulsive! You demon, you think you can buy my favor!"

"You think too much, I just want to get rid of the trouble you cause. To be honest, I really don't want to watch you. Let me add, as soon as I let down my guard, you immediately become harmful to me. That's how it is, goodbye.

Standing up from the bench, Saito waved, and took a step to leave.

"Brat, you'll regret this...."

Fatima angrily muttered.

This time Saito stopped his steps.

"However, if you dare to do anything bad to Tiffa again, I won't spare you."

Saito turned and glared, scaring Fatima so much she couldn't help but shake.

"You're too naive, partner."

"Probably."

Saito said, shrugging his shoulders.

Afterwards Saito continued to perform on the street, to earn a little cash.

"Say Derf, we should probably not sell our skills on the street, it's hard to say if can rely on this for food."

"It's hard to say if we can or not. You can have these results, but luckily Elves usually lack entertainment. Moreover, my partner is already a magnificent lord, there's no need to do ordinary work, and there's no need to worry about the basic essentials."

"What you say is also true."

This world's nobility, apparently truly don't need to work, they just live a pleasant life. However there's a problem - when he returns to his real home, what would he do? He should take advantage of the skill he's developed... Saito suddenly started contemplating these matters.

It had already been nearly a year and a half since Saito had been summoned to the world of Halkeginia.

He didn't know how much time had passed on Earth....

The flow of time on Earth and Halkeginia could be different. But if it was the same, he would currently be preparing to get course guidance. Speaking of that, he was completely unprepared for the entrance exams, would everything really be OK...?

As Saito reminisced about his hometown on Earth while in a different country in a different world, suddenly....

"Oh, I really didn't see wrong! It's Tristain's hero!"

He didn't know where this loud and clear voice came from.

He turned his head towards a man raising his hands buried in goods, walking over from the other side of the street.

The other person wasn't an Elf, it was a older man in his 50s dressed as a businessman.

"Heya, meeting you in a place like this, what a coincidence, isn't it!"

"Who are you...?"

Saito asked as he grabbed Derflinger's handle. Although the man wasn't an Elf, he couldn't be careless. In the end, former nobles used assassins to try to harm Saito.

"Eh, sorry."

"Ah, and this is why being a noble is... oi, you know, think back, I was indeed on Bourdonné Street in Tristain, I sold you that chattering sword."

"Ah, the owner of that weapon shop!"

Saito recalled just then, that this person was the weapon shop owner who sold him Derflinger.

"Oioi, sorry for being that chattering sword, you dimwitted shop owner!"

Derflinger couldn't help but complain.

"You, you, who are you! It can't be, are you that chattering sword? But you don't look anything like you did when you were sold."

"Talk less, a lot of things have happened!"

The old man carefully examined Derflinger, who was in Saito's hand.

"Sir, is this noisy, chattering sword really that easy to use? If you want, I could easily sell you a much better sword!"

"Oi, sorry for being that noisy and chattering sword!"

Hearing Derflinger’s temper start to come out.

"He is indeed invaluable, and has saved my life numerous times."

Patting Derflinger's handle, Saito said as he shook his head.

"Oh, that's how it is. If he says so, then... whatever you say, this gentleman is the hero of Tristain that stopped an army of 70000, Chevalier de Hiraga. At the time I boasted to everyone in the town, that the commoner that bought my store's weapon became a hero.

The old man said while rubbing his hands.

"Right, how did you end up here, old man?"

"I'm coming along with the 'Coalition Army for the Restoration of the Holy Lands'. In the end I eat by selling weapons, and if we're talking about war breaking out with the Elves, then this is a great business opportunity."

"You said 'Coalition Army for the Restoration of the Holy Lands'?"

Saito asked in surprise.

"Oh, you didn't know, sir? A few days ago, the army was organized with the Romalian Pope at the core. Finally, they're prepared to take back the holy lands."

"Can... can you tell me the details again."

"Hey, no problem, but I'm unclear on the specific details."

According to the old man's words... Romalia organized the 'Coalition Army for the Restoration of the Holy Lands', and apparently this happened a few days after he was kidnapped by the Elves. The Pope used his excellent negotiation skills to unite the countries of Halkeginia, and prepared to launch the assault on the desert.

"A lot of stuff has happened since I got nabbed..."

That Pope got his way in the end....

To mobilize a huge army to reclaim Saito and Tiffania... no, he was preparing for this from the start.

"Where is the Halkeginian army right now?"

"I heard that they are garrisoned at Alhambra."

Alhambra, Saito had heard this city's name. It was a city on the border of the desert, where Tabitha and her mother were imprisoned.

Saying this, was the army already approaching here?

"Will this place also become a battlefield?"

"That would be unlikely, as this isn't any sort of strategic location."

It looked like there was no need to worry about this city being pulled into the war, and Saito was relieved at hearing this.

Speaking up to this point, Saito became aware of another matter.

"I say, the princess wouldn't... did Queen Henrietta come here as well?"

"Hey, I heard Her Majesty is responsible for commanding Tristain's forces."

"Really?"

Henrietta is nearby, this was indeed the best news he could have hope to hear.

No, thinking carefully, if the Pope truly wanted to reclaim the "Holy Lands", it would only be possible if Louise, the one who possessed the Void, was with him.

"Soon I'll be able to see Louise...!"

My beloved master, my affectionate sweetheart, my Louise... Just thinking this filled his heart with images of her, and nearly brought him to tears.

"S, sorry, there's a favor I'd like to ask you!"

"Oh, good. If it's something that I can do, all you need to do is ask."

Seeing Saito's suddenly becoming emotional, the old man nodded his head and replied, not quite following the situation.

"Can you pass word to Queen Henrietta that I'm here?"



At this time... The Elven naval fleet was continuing a large-scale search of the bay, after attacking and sinking the Sea Dragon boat of Saito's group. One by one, the naval personnel who were in the water returned to the deck of the especially huge "Dragon Whale Boat" located amongst the naval fleet.

"How is it, have you found the corpses of the devil and the traitors?", asked an Elf, with a sharp expression, wearing a high level general's uniform.

He was the leader of the "Steel-Blooded Party", Aishmail. After hearing of the failure of the "Dragon's Nest" suppression mission, Aishmail dispatched his own ship on a search and destroy mission from the headquarters in Adyl.

"Yes, the vessel the demons were riding in took critical damage from my fleet's depth charge attack!", a sailor belonging to the "Steel-Blooded Party" saluted and responded.

"And then, have you found the corpses?"

"Th, that...."

"What? Don't tell me you haven't found the corpses?"

Under Aishmail's piercing gaze, the sailor reported in a quivering voice.

"The, there wasn't a single person on the ship."

"...Really."

Aishmail calmly nodded his head

"Good work. If you want to rest your bodies, it's fine, comrades."

After showing his appreciation to the sailors, he proceeded to the fleet commander's office on the ship.

A relaxed atmosphere filled the sailor living area.

"Your humour is good, Comrade Aishmail, even though we failed to capture the demons.", an officer said.

He was Admiral Salken, the Fleet Deputy Commander. He had attacked and sunk many barbarian pirate ships, a veteran of long service.

"But they are descendants of the devil, I had already anticipated that this wouldn't kill them."

The corner of Aishmail's mouth seemed to smile.

"Where do you think the escaping devils will run off to?"

"Eumenes... it probably is that city previously for banished people."

Salken said, stroking his beard.

"True, if they're still living, they should head towards that city."

"In that case we should immediately send out a search party."

"That won't be necessary."

"Why do you say this?"

"I've heard the barbarian army is approaching the border of the Sahara."

"Really?"

Aishmail rudely changed the subject, making Salken feel doubt. If the barbarian forces already were in the Sahara Desert, was there already no way to pursue the devils?

"Isn't this a good opportunity? It's best to let the barbarians witness the power of 'it'."

Saying this, Aishmail proudly smiled.

"Don't you think this town of banished people would make an excellent test site?"

"Comrade Aishmail, you don't mean to use the 'Jewel of Fire' on that town?"

Hearing these words, the always bold and fearless Admiral Salken, couldn't help but break out in a cold sweat.

Concerning the use of a "Jewel of Fire" during the barbarian's civil war, in one moment it incinerated an entire fleet. Of course the capital city of Adyl also received those reports. Upon hearing the report, Aishmail ordered his subordinates to research how to cause a "Jewel of Fire" to explode.

"Do you have a question?"

Aishmail said in a voice whose temperature was so cold it could cause a person to shiver.

"You really make a good point, but that city also has Elven residents."

"That's fine, in any case they're all people who've given up their Elven pride, and trash who interact with barbarians."

"I understand, that is also true."

Salkan expressed agreement. What the "Steel-Blooded Party" touted, was the destruction of the barbarians and doctrine of the purity of Elven blood, thus that city that continued to trade with barbarians was a thorn in their side.

"Returning to the topic, it seems that those demons apparently grabbed Fatima as a hostage."

"Fatima?"

After hearing these words, Aishmail wrinkled his brow... soon after he let out the sound of a happy "Oh..."

"She failed her mission. In the end, she came from a group of traitors. Originally I thought she might accomplish something, but in the end she was useless."

And then Aishmail lifted his cloak, and in a loud voice ordered the sailors on the deck.

"Bring out all of the 'Jewels of Fire', let's have ourselves a glorious fireworks display!"

"You want to use Jewel of Fire to level the city? You've got to be kidding!"

Hiding in a secret place, the face of the elf couldn't help but color at hearing the content of the conversation. It was the Elf that had just reported to Aishmail on the deck.

Just then you saw her face twist, and immediately become that of a beautiful woman. This was the square class magic "Face Change" that her partner had cast on her body.

The sailor's true appearance was Fouquet, the one commissioned by the Pope to find Saito and Tiffania.

Several days before, Fouquet, pretending to be an Elven sailor, infiltrated the "Steel-Blooded Party".

But hearing this, there was no way she could stay here.

Saito didn't matter to her, but Tiffania, who she thought of as her own daughter, she'd protect.

"Looks like I'll have to hurry a little...."

Fouquet removed her sailor uniform, immediately exposing her slender limbs wrapped in skin-tight cloth.

In this fashion, Fouquet jumped into the sea, and left the ship for a nice long swim.

Notes[edit]

  1. Ameya-Yokochō is an open-air market in the Taito Ward of Tokyo, Japan, located next to Ueno Station. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ameya-Yokochō)
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonoidea


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