Chapter 20 Part 3


Translator: Adam Seacord
Editor: Weasalopes

「…Singing. It seems that servant girl has failed.」

「How useless can she get…」

「But she doesn’t have the power to immediately wipe out the malicious energy of six thousand souls, it seems. I believe it’s time for us to take matters into our own hands.」

「How insufferably infuriating.」

Twisting her face in an ugly scowl at her precarious position, Katrina spat out begrudgingly. No one would see her like this and call her the most beautiful princess in Farlane.

Until Haruna had arrived, Katrina still possessed her own set of standards. Interestingly, despite a twisted sense of reality, as long as one’s standards stood in reason of that perception (no matter how disassociated from the rest of the world) their actions won’t appear as ugly. Katrina was no exception, as she arguably possessed a certain form of malicious beauty, until Haruna arrived.

But now, Katirna had lost that. Her ugliness was accentuated further by her external beauty. She had forsaken anything close to standards, devolving into a child having a tantrum. There was no beauty to behold there, nor reason that commanded support. What remained was an aged child and her ugly self-centeredness.

The nobles that had supported her (if they had not been burned by Barold) would have regretted their decision had they seen her like this. However, most only ever projected themselves onto her.

「In any case, with that girl and the priestess out of the picture, your victory is assured. The world is at your command after that.」

「Yes. I’ll start things off by taking care of that insufferable brat myself. It’s infuriating to think that we are even half-related.」

Barold knew that Katrina had no more outs. Even if everything went as planned, she would only be seen as a usurper. Even if they eliminated Elena and Aearis without a hitch, afflicting the mineral veins all over again would prove extremely difficult. True, Katrina had traded her sound mind for incredible power, but she would still die before the veins were completely afflicted. As long as the King and Mark were safe, there was no victory in Katrina’s future.

And Barold didn’t mind that. Plenty of lament and hatred. That was the gift his god most desired. In a large city like Wulls, the veins would be completely tainted in no time, if he could only eliminated the Priestess Princess. Katrina was merely his pawn to achieve that endgame.

「Let’s end this war, shall we?」

Barold’s best case scenario was out the window. He was left to make a desperate gambit from where he was cornered.

「In a bit of a pickle, are we?」

「Lord Douga!?」

In the courtyard, the Knights’ Order was met with expected back-up as they were struggling to finish off the ever-flowing swarm of the Undead.

「Are thing all right at the entrance!?」

「For the most part. Rayna can handle the rest.」

Douga said with blatant nonchalance before charging into the area most dense with Undead creatures. He was holding a shield instead of a lance, but the charging mass he had become was a threatening weapon on its own. Taking down the new wave of Undead creatures with a single Shield Charge, Douga observed his surroundings.

「No Mutants, it seems.」

「We eliminated all of those.」

「Then we’re in for the long haul. Now that the entire castle is an Isolated Dimension, there won’t be an end to these swarms.」

Douga concluded without much disappointment in his tone. Hit with expected disappointment, the knights stood on guard against the newly appearing monsters.

「At ease. The Ritual Room and the Princess are both fine. It won’t be long. Our job is to keep these ants away from the Temple while they take out Barold. An easy task, considering how many of us are here.」

「I expect the clean-up work to take longer, when you put it that way.」

The second-in-command of the Order answered, somewhat tired, as he picked up on the strangely upbeat song from the Temple. Even at this distance, the affliction in the courtyard was being purifying, weakening the monsters little by little. Still, they were facing down countless monsters. The second-in-command was already dreading his tasks afterward, like equipment maintenance and scheduling everyone’s breaks.

「I’ll take it for the next five minutes or so. Check on your men, and regroup.」

「Yes, sir.」

At Douga’s command, the second-in-command moves to check on his knights. It started as a fierce battle, so some of them were running out of steam, and a few members had broken their primary weapons in the process. They could all carry their weight with their back-up weapons, but the second-in-command decided best not to push them too much harder. One knight, who had continued to block attacks on the frontline, had his armor damaged nearly to the breaking point, and injured almost too severely for potions to keep working on him. Without his valiance, the second-in-command assessed, it would have been impossible to make this much progress without casualties.

Quickly assessing the status of each member in this manner, the second-in-command rearranged their formation while accounting for the damage each member had taken. The fact that he concluded this rearrangement of several thousand knights in five minutes was telling of his leadership of this elite Order. No matter how impressive one’s resume could be in combat, that alone would never serve as qualification for a leader.

「Sir, we are ready.」

「Then, I’m going to take a breather. I’m too old to be running around a battlefield like this.」

「We can handle it, sir.」

The second-in-command answered Douga (who was obviously far from exhausted) and order his first battalion forward to take down the new wave of monsters. From the Temple, another song mismatching to their situation (one of yesteryear Japan, a slow poetry of life). The incredible quality of Haruna’s singing nearly entranced the knights. Nevertheless, the same song was washing away the affliction in the area. Asking her to stop was out of the question.

Without much a solemn mood, the Knights’ Order continued taking down the horde one by one.

「Sorry, I need a sec.」

After four consecutive songs, Haruna felt something in her throat, and stopped. She wasn’t aware of this, but songs that purified affliction seemed to wear her out more. The problem was that Haruna (not aware of this) wasn’t adjusting her method of singing.

「Good job. Got you a lolly.」

Hearing the slight difference in her voice from her usual performances in bars, Hiroshi tossed Haruna a lozenge. A rather gentle one, made from something like a kumquat and honey. Of course, those ingredients (while similar to their earthly counterparts) were monsters; most adventurers would not even get the chance to touch them. Since Hiroshi made it, it also had the effect of a potion.

「I guess we gotta make some noise until Haruna’s done with her lozenge.」

Tatsuya said.

「Ya said it. They started materializin’ soon as she stopped singin’.」

The gang could only chuckle at what Hiroshi pointed out. There were in an isolated dimension, after all. It was getting really tiresome that monsters appeared from this little puddle of affliction.

「Brin’ it on!」

Hiroshi pressured the beetle-like monsters to attract them to himself.

「Brother, if we dry and treat their guts, they make liver medicine.」

「That’s a niche…」

「I doubt we got time to take ‘em apart, though. Just light ’em up.」

「On it. Let’s burn the affliction around them with it.」

Three beetles flew around Hiroshi. Tracking their movement, Tatsuya activated a spell that could burn them all (along with the affliction around them) at once.

「Get ready, Hiro!」

「Brin’ it!」

「Hellfire Sanctum!」

With Tatsuya shout, a flame (in a strange blend of color) charred the puddle of affliction. Hiroshi Smashed all three beetles into the fire in one move. The spell had a confusing name as to whether it was Holy or not, but its effect of summoning the flames that encaged hell to burn impurities might clarify that this was an Advanced Holy and Fire elemental spell. These kinds of roundabout Skills were the only way Tatsuya could get rid of affliction.

「…Here comes the big kahuna.」
Hiroshi warned the rest of the party, as a dense mass of affliction, unlike what they had been seeing, entered the nearly purified Temple.

「I understand Holiness filling this place may not aid you, personally. But to go this far in eliminating it? Just as I thought, you are helplessly selfish, struggling against nature’s current.」

「He sounds like an environmental group that focuses too much on a single tree and forgets about the rest of the forest…」

Tatsuya mumbled in response to Barold’s opening statement.

「How so, Tatsu?」

「Humans are part of nature. Disposable chopsticks are a good example.」

「What do you mean?」

「Once a forest has been reformed by humans, they have to cut down extra trees once and awhile, or they’ll burn down more often than natural forests. And they make disposable chopsticks from those extra trees they cut down. They don’t threaten the environment at all. I mean, no one uses disposable chopsticks anymore, and they didn’t always use those extra wood, so I guess I can’t blame them for criticizing the use of disposable chopsticks.」

The member of Farlane seemed to be impressed by Tatsuya’s explanation. Haruna and Makoto (who were into trivia to begin with) and Hiroshi, who had acquired that kind of knowledge through levelling his Farming/Felling skills, simply nodded in agreement.

Back in Japan (in this story, anyway) disposable chopsticks were limited to food stands at festivals, or to-go meals from stores. Any kind of diner or restaurant, as well as hotels, used reusable chopsticks. Of course, those disposable chopsticks were all made from materials acquired while thinning the forests.

「So. Even if we left things to your definition of natural order, the world may not be a better place for monsters, anyway.」

「And if we shall perish, that is nature’s way.」

Barold replied, and Tatsuya deem him hopeless. No amount of logic would compel someone like this to see the error of their ways.

「And you’re okay with that?」

Tatsuya turned to Katrina.

「This country can burn to the ground, for all I care.」

She declared.


One Comment

  1. Rotten to the core. Thanks for the chapter.

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