Golden Week SP – Gold War: Part 2
「Is here good?」
I lay Yohko on the futon spread out in the back of the room.
Yohko curls her body up to make herself as small as possible, and her face turns pale when she looks back and forth between me and the futon.
「I-I’m going to be violated!!」
「Are you stupid? A small girl like you……actually.」
I feel Yohko’s breasts, fondle her ass, and slip a hand under her arm to check her hips.
「I think it can be done, barely.」
I return Yohko to the futon with a grin as she tries to crawl away.
「I’m joking. I won’t fuck a girl who just injured her back. Besides, why did you bring that up at this timing? I’d understand if you were scared of being killed.」
「A strange image was imprinted in my brain……nyu.」
What does that mean?
「Oh by the way, being 1000 years old is a lie, right?」
「Gulp! N-no it’s not!」
People who have lived to that age, even if they are easy-going in nature, generally are more composed.
「Nobody at that age would get this flustered. How old are you really?」
I ask while poking her forehead, and everytime I do, her fox ears flap amusingly.
「Uuu. I can’t remember when I was born, but I came into existence about 80 years ago.」
Yohko mutters, hugging her own tail like a pillow.
「I learnt how to use my techniques while wandering about……which scared humans, but I was revered by beastmen, so I settled here. At first, I exaggerated and said that I was 200 years old, and everyone quickly died, leaving nobody to remember, so I thought it wouldn’t matter if I increased it a little more.」
True, everyone would be dead if she came 80 years ago.
Something still bothers me though.
I mutter out the word after a brief silence.
The tail Yohko is hugging suddenly puffs up.
「W-what are you saying!!? The tail I’m so proud of is all messy!」
She was startled to the point of her tone changing.
I think I understand what’s going on.
Yohko is not given a chance to complain to me as the entrance becomes noisy.
「Yohko-sama! Where is Yohko-sama!?」
「I heard an evil being slipped into the village!」
「I saw the flame technique! While I hate to think about Yohko-sama losing, we have come to help!」
Of course others would be worried and come to check on her.
「W-what should I do!?」
The demi-human village is held together by Yohko’s dignity.
Her authority being damaged will affect the village.
「Go along with my story.」
Three members of the beast tribe enter the room, with all of them being chiefs of their species and having fancy appearances.
「I see, in other words-」
One of them is of the wolf tribe.
I wonder if the fur coat is part of the clothes or the body.
「Yohko-sama exorcized the evil being over here after fierce fighting.」
Another is of the hawk tribe.
The pointy narrow face of a hawk is really jarring compared to the naked macho body.
「That fight was incredibly harsh and she has to rest her body.」
The last one is of the gorilla tribe.
……this one is a beastman, right?
「Umu, I made the vampire surrender, he is no longer a threat.It’s fine to let him be part of the village.」
This way, I can be one of the villagers and Yohko’s reputation will be maintained.
「My my, a vampire is way more powerful than an orc, yet he was taken care of in the short time it took for us to run here, as expected of Yohko-sama.」
「The existence of the 1100 year-old God……has me in total awe.」
Yohko quickly averts her eyes when I look at her.
Come on, at least be consistent with your lies.
「Nevertheless, it is troubling to hear of this unavoidable circumstance. The humans will surely be elated that she is unable to wield her power.」
「About that. Tell me why those humans are coming here.」
I press the beastmen for an answer……yeah, I doubt that gorilla is a beastman……
「Allow me to explain.」
A door at the back opens and a different beastman trudges out unsteadily.
At first glance, I can tell it is a beastman of the horse variety, and one of advanced age.
「Elder. Are you sure you should be up right now?」
This is the village’s elder.
If I were to ask anyone, he would be the best candidate, except……
「I find it interesting for a vampire to be so surprised. Is this your first time seeing a horse beastman?」
「That’s not what I’m surprised about. It’s……the allocation of the horse and human part that differs from my expectation.」
In my mind, the horse half should be the lower portion, like the centaurs of legend, however it’s the opposite when it comes to the elder, in other words the upper body is the horse half.
With that kind of distribution, I’m certain that he can’t move very fast and his hands are unusable. It doesn’t appear to have any advantages I can see as a living creature.
「Hohoho, I also sulked when I was young, but having lived for 30 years already, I’ve naturally grown accustomed to it.」
He’s also using the lifespan of a horse?
Man, this guy might be the only one allowed to resent the world and the Gods.
「This is the village the beastmen have lived peacefully for a long time. Few come from outside and the rare recluses soon assimilate and become part of the village.」
I wonder if it is because of the blood from humans that some beastmen are more beast and some are more human.
「Things started to change when the empire that ruled the continent became more tolerant of us beastmen. Risk of persecution decreased, and many began visiting human cities. That’s when they realized the value of the gold abundant in this land……specifically, many held the dug up gold and went to establishments with naughty women.」
When beastmen from a remote region come with unprocessed gold, of course people would search for the source.
So that’s how the gold of this place came to be known…………well, it’s partially their own fault.
「If gold was the only thing they wanted, we would have let them take it. But the fanatics and brutes wanted us to hand over our land and houses too. We were left with no other option than to fight.」
Makes sense. You can’t negotiate with those kinds of people.
「We are individually much stronger than humans. However, we have never fought in a war, let alone hunted or exterminated monsters, thus we continued to lag behind……」
There’s no one worse to do war with than humans.
「At that point, we could only rely on Yohko-sama’s power, but her thoughts of 1050 years were beyond our understanding.」
She probably spewed a bunch of nonsense, not knowing what to do either.
「Alright, I get the picture. I’ll figure something out.」
As I stand up, the beastmen all reach for the weapon on their hip.
I see, they are as fast as experts.
「I won’t oppose you after being exorcised. In fact, I want to fight alongside you. Isn’t that right?」
Despite Yohko nodding, the three aren’t convinced.
「If he is to fight with us……」
「Then the more reason it is to be acquainted with his ability……」
「That is the law of beastmen……」
I smile, reminded of the similarity with the code of Aless.
Since I might kill them if I use my bare hands, guess I’ll grab a tree branch.
「Bring it on.」
It took half a second for the battle to commence.
The wolf, hawk and gorilla collapse, one piled on top of the other.
By the way, the sound that the gorilla made was……nah, let’s ignore it.
Suddenly, a loud alarm rings from outside.
「It’s the fanatics! The fanatics are attacking!!」
「There are more of them than ever before! Call back everyone who went out to hunt!」
「It’s fine. The three chiefs are unparalleled heroes. They’ll manage somehow this time too!」
I stare at the three heroes heaped on the ground.
The gazes from the old horse beastman and Yohko asking me what to do hurt.
「I guess I’ll go……」
War was such a distant memory.
I step on the window sill of Yohko’s mansion and leap out.
The demi-human village is built on the slope of the mountain, with this mansion being at the highest point and the lookout being at the bottom.
I easily travel 10 or so meters in height and 50 or so meters in distance, landing on top of the watchtower.
I pet the ass of the cat beastman armed with a bow before asking her.
「What’s the situation?」
「There’s several times more of them than when they attacked last time! Their numbers are tremendous! By the way, who are you? You smell like a dead person.」
Squinting, I see people dressed in a familiar black attire running this way.
Comparing this group to the residents of Fanatic Town……this is pretty much all of them.
I ask another question to the dog beastman as I stroke her thigh.
「What’s that in the middle? A palanquin?」
「I-I don’t know. This is also my first time seeing it……your body has an ominous odor, but there’s a manly scent coming from your crotch……」
That fancy object carried by dozens of people doesn’t seem to be something useful for battle.
Since they aren’t exactly an army, I guess it’s not strange for them to bring things like that.
In the meantime, the vanguard of the fanatics clash with the defense unit of the beastmen.
「I see, I see……」
Beastmen overwhelm their opponents with physical abilities.
They more or less don’t lose when it comes to one versus one.
「Their coordination is in shambles though. See, you charge too far and get surrounded.」
It’s not simply a matter of lack of training.
There is too much individuality between species.
Each has their own physique and temperament so it’s nearly impossible to assemble a formation.
「It’s like the horse-faced elder said. They won’t win a war like this. I guess I’ll help out.」
「Wait, who are you anyways……hyan!?」
I blow some air into the dog beastman’s ear and borrow her bow.
An average human isn’t strong enough to draw the bowstring back halfway, but it’s not a problem for me.
As far as the man I’m aiming at is, my eyes can see that guy’s peach fuzz.
My heart has long since stopped beating, yet this war is causing something within me to well up――
When I pull the bowstring, I hear a twang and the arrow falls to my feet.
「……it snapped. I pulled too hard.」
「Eeeeh!! You idiot!!」
I pet the dog beastman to comfort her and borrow the cat beastman’s crossbow.
Normally, this weapon needs to be set down first, but I can hold it in one hand and load it within one second.
「And I don’t have to worry about using too much……strength!」
The bolt that shot out flew out in an arc……and hit a middle-aged male monkey beastman who was in a completely different direction than the black-clothed fanatic.
「You suck, it went in the opposite direction!!」
「I’m not the best at bow weapons……besides, it stabbed him in the butt, he won’t die.」
I calm down the cat beastman scratching at me, then take the spear equipped to the watchtower.
「I’m better at spear throwing. With my strength, I can take out 10 at once――urk!?」
The moment I was about to throw the spear, sunlight got in my eye.
Naturally, my aim was way off, and the spear destroyed an ally turret, sending the beastmen falling to the ground.
「It was the sun……」
I finally became able to be exposed to the sun without burning recently, however the brightness of the sun can’t be compared to when I was human.
The two of them are treating me like an enemy now.
This is no time to try and look cool.
「Alright……I’ll charge in.」
Fighting at close combat makes me feel like a monster and I dislike that.
Sighing, I leap down from the watchtower.
I casually jump over the destroyed turret and the monkey beastman holding his ass in pain, and land in the middle of the area where the fanatics and beastmen are crossing swords.
「Y-you’re an evil being that came from the village!? Is the reason why the chiefs aren’t coming back because――」
Rather than answer the tiger beastman, I swing my arm at the block-clothed individual in front of me.
The individual stands stock still.
I get it, seeing an unarmed man jump in front of you and swing his arm might seem confusing.
You certainly don’t expect your upper body to be gouged.
The man, with half his body gone, collapses with his head tilted, still unable to understand what’s going on, and all his guts dumped on the ground.
I twist the head of the man who was about to scream, sending his severed head spinning in the air before he can finish.
Before the man can say “This bastard”, I grab his head and slam him face first on the ground.
The man who kissed the ground at an unbelievable speed was turned into meat soup on impact and slid down the snow-covered slope.
I plunge my hand into the chest of the man who muttered, pierce his back to reach the guy behind him aiming a crossbow at me, and break his neck.
I meet the spear coming at me from the opposite direction with the palm of my hand.
The spear bends like sugar sculpture, then I palm strike the man in the chest.
The man shivers and then stumbles backward like a thin sheet of paper.
Well of course, that shockwave just shot all of his insides out through his back.
I watch his hollow body fall flimsily and laugh heartily.
「H-he’s not human……he’s not even demi-human! He’s a monster!」
「Demon! He’s literally the devil!!」
The fanatics charging like maniacs stop in their tracks.
Yes, fear me.
If you flee, it will save me the effort of killing you, plus I don’t have to worry about accidentally hurting a woman.
「This kind of demon in our village……is it possible that the chiefs-!?」
「Why did Yohko-sama let this happen……it’s over for this village!」
For some reason, the beastmen also cry out in despair.
「Wait, I’m on your side, no need to be scared.」
When I try to help a tanuki girl who fell on her butt, I hear a gush of water, and a yellow puddle forms under her, melting the snow.
「……that’s why I don’t like fighting with my hands.」
I slump my shoulders in disappointment.
That was when a beautiful high-pitched but young voice rang out.
「Everyone, do not be afraid!」
Yohko has led the three chiefs to the top of a watchtower.
Upon a closer look, the chiefs are shaking and Yohko is holding her hip like an old man, but it’s not noticeable from a distance.
「That vampire is not an enemy! He used to be evil, but I punished him, and now it’s fine! He’s just a little perverted!」
「True, he looks perverted……」
「Yes! He touched my ass!」
I appreciate her support, but it would be better if she didn’t mention anything unnecessary.
Yohko promptly points to the palanquin being carried in the center of the fanatics and shouts.
「The real evil is inside that thing! I can tell because my tail felt a shiver!!」
Everyone’s gazes gather on the palanquin.
「I thought that thing was strange.」
The palanquin is decorated with fancy ornaments and cloaked in a black cloth.
It’s the same color as the clothes of the fanatics.
「Your leader was called Gugulkas, right? He said he was the former bishop of Altair? They’re supposed to use all that white stuff that hurts your eyes.」
I say to the palanquin.
『My teachings are the true teachings handed down from the Divine Nation of Altair――』
「Those guys were way whiter than the Altair I see now……」
Now that I’ve come this close, I understand even without logic.
『Fufu, says the fake.』
The voice pretending to be aloof changes to a malicious tone, while the people carrying the palanquin exchange looks in bewilderment.
「Fake, huh? Then show me the real thing――the sun is hidden at the perfect time.」
Black clouds slowly drift in front of the sun.
『Fools――foolish humans, I’ll teach you all that you are nothing more than bags of blood for this Gugulkas.』
The black cloth covering the palanquin flips up.
A short and fat middle-aged man does an acrobatic move incongruous with his appearance and lands in front of me.
His eyes glow a bright red and sharp fangs extend down from the corners of his mouth.
My intuition was right.
「How does it feel to see a real vampire appear before you, you fake?」
What should I say?
He can’t tell at this range?
「That disguise is so dumb I can’t stop smiling. No vampire exists who can be exposed to sunlight in just a hooded robe. Vampires who have conquered sunlight only appear in legends!」
Lucy was also surprised.
Well, I actually have a serious reason for wearing the hood.
「N-no way! The founder is a vampire……!?」
「What he said about being the true savior of Altair was a lie!?」
「I can’t believe that the one who should have gone to the world of the gods for training is……」
Gugulkas sneers at the fanatics.
「Who cares about Altair and Gods. Humans are merely prey to me. There is no such thing as a savior. Fufu, if I had to say who is God, it would be me, the great Gugulkas-sama」
Gugulkas nails the villain pose with both his arms spread out, then he tears the necks of the inattentive fanatics and bathes in the blood that squirts out.
Yohko shoots out fire to prevent the gruesome scene from continuing but Gugulkas disperses the flames with a single hand.
「Yohko-sama’s power has no effect……it can’t be……」
「Is he that strong of an evil being? We’re done for.」
It is the beastmen’s turn to be in disbelief, but honestly, Yohko’s fire was never that hot to begin with.
「Kukuku, even your last ray of hope amounts to this much……now that I’ve revealed my identity, all the humans and beastmen have to die. Not a big deal, as long as I have Altair’s teachings and the rumors of gold, I can quickly gather more blood bags again!」
Gugulkas’s voice echoes.
In a theatrical play, this would be where the battle against the last boss would begin.
「Can I go?」
「I don’t know what kind of low-level monster you are, but you cannot escape. In a remote area with no crowds to blend in and against my vampire eyes, you have nowhere to run――」
I warned you.
I slowly take a step forward and swing my fist.
「Kuhahaha! You’re a fool to fight me barehanded! If you had a silver knife, you might have been able to burn my skin, but nothing like that exists here in the――」
A dull thud resonates.
To be specific, my fist connects with Gugulkas’s chin, disintegrating it into pieces of flesh and bone.
His chubby body does three twirls in the air before falling back on the ground.
Now I don’t have to listen to his nonsense.
「Gu, guhyuhu……I’m an immortal vampire, a wound of this degree will heal in……」
「Are you still talking?」
I stomp my foot on his back.
I hear the sound of his spine breaking, then I kick him in the side and send him flying.
Quickly leaping after the body, I catch up in no time, grab his arm in midair and slam him against a rock.
I casually toss away the arm which tore off as a result.
A sigh leaks from my mouth when I see Gugulkas and his limbs bent in different directions.
「Are you really a vampire? It can’t be, you’re so weak.」
Believing he is the same species, I didn’t hold back, yet he put up less resistance than an old man.
He would probably lose against someone like Gildress.
「So you are really a vampire……an opening!!」
His jaw seems to have regenerated to the point he can talk again.
I catch the punch he throws, twist his arm and ram his fist into the side of his own head.
A normal human would die from getting his head smashed open, but the injury slowly heals, proving to me he is a vampire, though I’m still doubtful.
「How do you kill a vampire again?」
The quickest way would be to stab his heart with a silver weapon, which unfortunately I don’t have.
「How annoying, I’ll just tear him apart……why are you kneeling?」
「I have determined that you are someone of legendary status to be able to walk under the sun without any issue! Please, I beg you to make me your servant!! As tribute, I offer all of my followers to you!」
So he’s going this route.
「Let me ask you, have you drained any female followers to death?」
「Huh? Well yes, almost every day. The ones somewhere between an infant and a young girl are the most deli-……」
I nod at his answer, grab Gugulkas by the collar and throw him up in the air.
His plump body rotates slowly as it descends and falls directly on one of the stakes surrounding the village.
「Thankfully, it doesn’t look like a blizzard will come.」
The dark clouds in the sky clear up.
「It’s going to be a nice day.」
I say as I adjust my hood.
A dreadful scream comes from Gugul……Gugul-whatever as he gets burned by the sun.
「How effortless it is with the sun. And no filth is left behind.」
The body skewered by the stake is charred black and eventually scattered by the wind.
My gaze shifts to the fanatics.
「I can’t believe I followed a demon……wait, you were the one who invited me……could you also be like him!!?」
「You’re the one who put in a good word to Gugulkas for my wife, saying how she could go to the Divine nation……and she ended up being turned into a dry husk……you’re the one who sold her out!!」
「Demon……you’re all demons……every one of you!!」
The ones who blindly accepted the words of that guy are devastated after discovering he was a vampire.
The fanatics become enraged and turn against each other.
This is out of my hands now.
All I can do is to signal to the chiefs to ensure none of the beastmen get involved and keep my distance.
When I look over at Yohko, I see she has already fainted and is being supported by the horse-faced elder.
The sight must have been too much stimulation for her.
「I just have to see if I can save some women who hasn’t gone completely insane and I can call this a job well done. Maybe I can take a bath and go one round with a nice-looking beast――」
I stop mid-sentence.
My back feels like it’s burning.
「Eh……? Why, it can’t be……」
The shaky voice of an awakened Yohko is awfully loud in my ears.
Turning around……I see a hooded beastman with a knife thrusted into my heart from behind.
Wait, is that knife what I think it is?
「Yes, it is a silver knife, vampire. You flaunted your strength in my city and now you’re going to pay for it.」
Vapor rises from my body.
「You bastard……Gyugan from the Punk City……?」
I knew he moved weirdly, but he was really ugly, so I thought he was a naked mole rat beastman.
「Indeed. Unlike the fanatic idiots, I’m clever. We hid in the village and waited for the right time.」
Out of nowhere, thugs appear all over the village with the powerless beastmen as hostages.
That makes it hard for me to act.
「Yohko-sama is mysterious? No, she’s just a brat who is ignorant of the world.」
Gyugan twists the knife deeper in my body.
「Beastmen are not fond of violence more so than war. In the end, she has the brains of a beast. Gahahahaha!!」
「Gu, how cowardly……」
The elder neighs.
I feel sorry for thinking that she is dumb.
「Gyugan-sama, what now?」
Appearing while doing a fondling gesture is the gorilla……I knew it!
It was so obvious, I can’t believe I got tricked, how embarrassing.
It’s so embarrassing, I’m going to pretend to be helpless a bit longer.
「Kill them all, of course. We’re going to be using the village as a base for mining gold so don’t burn the place down. Also……keep around the ones who look like human females, they can still be used as holes even if they are beast-like. Tie up the rest and turn them into dried meat or something.」
This is a pinch.
With how many enemies there are, it’s inevitable that some beastmen, especially the females taken as hostages, will die.
Just as I am about to resolve myself, a cold sensation runs up my spine.
It is a threat far greater than a lesser vampire or the silver knife stopped by the muscles in my back.
My instincts are warning me about this true threat.
My tense face looks at the horse-faced……no, past him, at the fox behind him.
「We just wanted to live in peace……why does everyone have to kill each other……I won’t allow it……I won’t allow you to kill……you……all of you are……」
A fearsome aura exudes from the downcast Yohko and spreads across the land.
「All of you are――――」
A bluish white hellfire erupts from the perimeter of the village and rushes toward Yohko at a tremendous speed……in other words, toward the center of the village, threatening to engulf the place. The range is 360 degrees and the height of the flames is over 20 meters, meaning there is nowhere to run.
「W-what is that!? A wall of blue fire……?」
「It’s taller than Goldonia’s city walls, there’s nothing we can do against that!」
「Hey Yohko, stop it this instant! If you don’t, I’ll cut the neck of one of your friends! Are you listening!?」
No matter what the punks say, Yohko remains downcast, her head wobbling from side to side.
「Yohko-sama!! At this rate, the village and everyone will get hurt in the process!」
The elder’s plea falls on deaf ears as Yohko seems to be in a trance-like state.
There are no signs of the conflagration slowing down.
Finally, the fire swallows up a mother and child.
「Aaah, why are you doing this, Yohko-sama?」
Enveloped by the flames, the mother and child……don’t get turned to ash, rather, they fall on their butts with a dumbfounded look on their faces.
In fact, none of the stakes surrounding the village or any houses or any watchtowers are burning.
「It feels warm.」
The mother and child embrace each other, meanwhile the punks smile nervously.
「He, hehehe……it was a bluff?」
「Scaring me like that. Someone, shoot that damn fox with an arrow!」
However, one of the punks gets a different outcome when he acts tough and gets swallowed by the flames.
The punk is set on fire and, after much screaming, is burnt until nothing is left of him.
「It isn’t a……bluff after all!?」
All the punks devolve into a state of panic.
「Hey, stop that! If you don’t stop, I’m gonna――ugyaaaaa!!」
The punk goes up in flames while the hostage he tried to use as a shield is unharmed.
Even though the punks try to take cover inside houses, the flames only burn the villains.
Even though the punks jump into wells, they are engulfed a few seconds later by bluish white flames.
Even arrows shot out of desperation at Yohko get engulfed by a bluish white flame in mid air and burn up before reaching her.
No longer do I need to act, so I break Gyugan’s arm and then stand next to Yohko.
The horse guy……yes, the elder, is also here.
「I remember hearing about something a long time ago.」
「You mean 30 years ago?」
This old horse is giving off the appearance like he’s of a different generation, but he’s still just 30 years old.
The elder ignores my retort and continues.
「The blue foxfire said to be used only by kitsune who have lived hundreds of years is a fire that only burns those who have sinned……villains are burned while virtuous people are given warmth.」
「Is that so?」
That is false, but I’ll keep quiet to not ruin the mood.
The gorilla beastman skips away humming innocently――and oh, he got burned.
He tried to deceive the flames, but it didn’t work.
Soon, the only one left of the punks is Gyugan himself.
The flames close in.
「W-wait! Help me! If you save me I’ll……I’ll……」
Give it up.
Gold, glory, status, and beastmen are all meaningless.
「I’ll give you women!」
「Tell me who.」
Crap, I reacted.
The elder and the chiefs stare at me.
Sorry, it was an instinctual reaction.
「I’ve been stocking up plenty of slave girls for those working in the mines! I’ll give you everyone hidden in the two caves over in that mountain! You can use them as playthings, make them your meals or do whatever you wish with them!」
The elder gives me an affirmation when I ask whether he knows the location.
「I see. Alright.」
I smile at Gyugan.
He’s a scumbag, but I can at least show some gratitude for giving me some women.
The fire doesn’t stop.
「H-hey, this isn’t what you promised!」
「You’re giving me women, right? Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to make them happy, you can peacefully burn away.」
I smile again and Gyugan curses me as much as he can until the fire takes his life.
「It’s all over.」
The elder and I converse after all the villains have been incinerated.
「There’s one thing I’m curious about.」
「What is it?」
The flames engulfed the villagers as they closed in on Yohko and nobody was afraid.
It was because they knew the fire granted them warmth.
「Which do you think a vampire is, bad or good?」
「That would be bad, of course. Vampires are monsters who bite and kill humans.」
That’s what I thought.
「Then wouldn’t I burn up too!? Hey, don’t move away you horse-faced――dowaaa!!」
I burst into flames for the first time in a while after conquering sunlight and rolled around the village until Yohko came back to her senses and stopped the fire.