Translator: “Hakou” Editor: “Weasalopes”
Under the clear blue spring sky, I walk towards the east gate of the royal capital.
It was early in the morning, so there were not many people on the streets yet. In the shopping district, shopkeepers were cleaning the main street.
(Now then, let’s go see the inspection result on the Old Lady)
A training ground for Knights located in the north of the royal capital. There, I felt something strange about the Old Lady after its remodeling.
Hearing my complaint, Herbivore mechanic began to investigate it, and the result of that will be out today.
I arrived at the merchant guild’s Knight hangar. There, I greeted the slender young man and listened to his explanation.
「Actually….. I have found no abnormalities. We will switch back to the usual operation from today」
He still looks unsatisfied with the result, but the reality of the situation pushed him to move on. Because the work as a merchant guild Knight was starting to pile up.
(The knight order of the Kingdom also exterminates demon beasts around the highway. But that was just something like a side job for them. Also, the timing is bad)
Winter is almost over and it’s starting to get warmer. The demon beasts will become more active.
「I understand. Then, let’s begin selecting requests immediately」
I picked up requests that need to be completed immediately from the “unfinished request” box in the office. Furthermore, from among them, I select the ones that seem reasonable.
One of them caught my eye and I spoke to the herbivore mechanic with the document in my hand.
「How about this Desert Ghost extermination request?」
Desert Ghost is a demon beast that lives in the desert northeast of the royal capital. It hides itself in the sand and attacks when it detects vibrations from people walking on the surface.
They are a threat to merchants who travel the route across the desert.
「I agree. Besides, we don’t need a party of adventurers for support with Desert Ghosts」
We rely on adventurers for various things, such as notifying nearby residents, guiding evacuation, and collecting dropped items. That’s why we decide on when we will need them in advance and meet at the site.
In this case, however, there was no need for that.
(After all, it’s a desert, so no one lives there, and the drop items are not that popular)
A material obtained by killing a demon beast. It is a carcass or remnant of it, but in Desert Ghost case, it’s something like a balance ball with a warty surface.
It is about two meters in diameter, and often contains several smaller ones inside.
The last time I tried to bring it back, unfortunately it was not worth the price so it was discarded.
「Let’s pick this one then. The Old Lady is ready to go at anytime, Tauro-san」
That’s the Herbivore mechanic for you. Apparently, as soon as he’s done with the inspection, he was preparing the Old Lady so it is ready to dispatch anytime.
I nodded strongly and climbed into the cockpit with the wooden ladder.
『Well then, I’m off』
I told the young man while waiting for the huge gate to open. I used the external voice system although the breastplate was still raised upwards.
「If you feel something is wrong with the Knight, please come back right away!」
I nodded, closed the breastplate, and departed.
(Alright, here we are)
The Old Lady walked down the street near the royal capital and hovered midway after getting far enough from the city. Without taking much time, I reached the southern edge of the desert in the northeast.
I look around through the eyes of the Old Lady, but see nothing but a bunch of sand dunes.
(That is… a shelter?)
I spotted a small shadow in the sea of sand reflecting the sunlight. Thinking it was a person or a golem horse, I deployed the optical correction magic circle in front of me.
When I look closely with it, what I see is a small stone hut.
(Wow, it even suppresses the shimmering on the air due to the heat haze. He sure is talented)
The figure of the slender young man floated in my mind as I admired his talent.
『I actually wanted to work at the knight order』
That’s what he said to me when we drank together before.
I only have known the merchant guild, but I think Herbivore mechanic will do well in the knight order.
(Just like me, there’s probably a reason why he wasn’t accepted)
I thought and returned to the present.
When I checked the surroundings further through the Knight’s eye, I saw another hut in the far distance.
(Just some huts huh. I didn’t see anything else)
Small huts made of stone were set up in various places, and merchants are crossing the desert by walking through these huts. It is so that they can hide in case they encounter a demon beast or a sandstorm.
If there is no sign of them on the route between the huts, it is safe to assume that no one was around.
(It’s a perfect opportunity to test out the Old Lady)
The desert is better than the Knight’s training ground in that I don’t have to worry about the surroundings.
This is also the place I chose for my experiment when I came up with the idea of hover movement.
(That was fun)
For practice, I would glide in an S-shape between the dunes, and sometimes I would use the dunes to make big jumps.
(A meticulous full examination by Herbivore mechanic revealed no abnormalities. Even the know-it-all turtle said that it is safe to use magic up to D rank)
Since the professional and my advisor had given their approval, there should be nothing to worry about. So I’m going to try my best to do as much as my ability allows me.
「Cure Disease, D-rank!」
I shouted the name to liven up the mood and activate the magic. The sensation of magic power accumulates in the Old Lady without a hitch feels good.
The reason I didn’t use it to treat my injuries was because of my feelings.
「Hover, full throttle!」
A magic circle for a wind magic installed near the Old Lady’s calf. The fierce wind generated there blew into the ground along the skirt-like armor.
Just by bending down a little, the skirt-shaped armor parts change direction. The wind that blows diagonally to the rear provides a great thrust to the Knight’s giant body.
I’m pressed against the back of the chair as I let out a squeal. The difference between this and a car or a motorcycle is that the acceleration goes on forever.
If I have to make a comparison, I would say it’s like when an airplane takes off.
「Wooaa– Easy now!」
We meandered away from the dunes, shouting in an old man’s voice. The speed limit is higher than before, so it’s much more difficult to maneuver.
I couldn’t keep the understeer under control, and the car went into a big spin, scraping the dunes and sending us flying into the sky in a big heap.
(The response fall behind huh)
If this was a ski, what happened just now can be said to be a giant slalom or downhill. It’s fast, but the turn wasn’t very good.
Lesson learned. I’ll keep this in mind.
(All right, let’s try dune jumping next)
While imagining a jumping competition, I hovered over the top of a dune and danced into the air. However, it didn’t go as I imagined.
It started to spin backwards in midair.
(I see! It might be because we don’t have ski and stabilizer wings!)
It was careless of me.
As expected, nature is harsh. Even the slightest slopes will make water flow from higher to lower places.
There is no such thing as mercy or tolerance.
With a remorseful me on board, the Old Lady plunged head first into the sand.
I managed to pull myself out of the Knight’s body by shaking my lower parts several times, and get up. The upside-down position was quite agonizing, even for a short time.
(I’ve been thinking to fly using thrusters, but it seems it will be difficult with how things are)
I can’t do something like controlling my posture with the hover on my legs. That would require a motor nerve comparable to that of a bird.
It seems that romance to fly in a robot still towers high in the distance.
(Oh well. It just mean I have another goal to achieve in my life)
Old Lady’s face turned to the clear blue sky as she flicked off the sand from the gaps in her armor.
『Someday, I will fly through the sky with this Knight』
It was a moment when that dream was realized clearly in me.
Immediately afterwards, I felt the sand beneath my feet rise and retreated backwards with a quick hover.
The fangs of sand protruding from the ground grew to a height of about ten meters and collapsed.
(So you’ve finally shown yourself, Ghost Desert!)
The warty balance ball clung to the sand, making it its weapon.
It must have sensed that the Old Lady stopped moving as it launched another attack.
(Bring it on! I’ll have you fill my quota)
I had my rifle at the ready as I hovered sideways.
Tarou! Don’t abandon the unpopular ball in the sand. There is a lady in a Landbarn near you that desperately needs a replacement. Or was that the Mature Countess? Hmm… lots of ladies that don’t meet Tarou need that ball.
Pretty sure it was the Lily Knights Captain that wore out the last one, now she is taking that frustration out on one of the maids.
It was the Lilly Knights Commander at their main headquarters.