Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
To the Tower
Hikaru checked his map. Taking everything into consideration—where he originally saw the tower from, Lands Harvest’s location, and their current coordinates—he should’ve been able to see the tower even from the boat. The fact that he couldn’t meant it was hidden using some sort of special method.
『Are you really going? We’ve been told never to go north of the river.』
The river flowed north of Lands Harvest, and the tower was also located north where monsters were more vicious.
「What did he say?」Hikaru asked.
「He’s asking if you really intend to go. I agree with him… Silver Face, can I come with you?」
「No.」Hikaru replied immediately.
Wakamaru probably thought that if his brother was still alive, he’d be in that tower. He wanted to talk to him directly. But to Hikaru, Wakamaru would be nothing but a burden. He could use Group Obfuscation for them both. If, however, Wakamaru was right and his brother really planned the Yamamaneki attack, nothing would change by talking to him.
「I see.」the old man muttered.
It appeared as though Wakamaru aged rapidly. Having descended from Man Gnomes, however, it was difficult to tell if he’d aged or not.
Hikaru wrapped Drake around his neck and leaped from the edge of the boat. He made it to the land just like before, but something was a little different this time. He could sense massive amounts of mana, most likely powerful monsters prowling about.
Now that I think about it, Deena mentioned there was a Root near Lands Harvest. There was one on our way here too, and the monsters around it were strong. So there’s a Root up north too?
『Be careful, Hikaru. There are a lot of evil creatures here.』Drake said, baring his teeth.
「I know. Just tell me if you notice anything.」
Hikaru proceeded cautiously. The forest looked the same as the one he was in yesterday, except it was quiet. Insects and birds barely made any sound. The crunching of leaves under his feet sounded loud in comparison.
Neverthless, he could feel unfamiliar ferocious enemies lurking all throughout, not only with Detection, but his Instinct as well. He had to believe his Stealth was working, or he wouldn’t be able to take a step.
Hikaru followed a route that avoided the monsters. Strangely enough, the monsters seemed to be avoiding him as well. They couldn’t have sensed Hikaru. It was probably their intuition—or perhaps they had the same Instinct that humans had—that told them to avoid confrontation against strong enemies (read: Hikaru). This was convenient for Hikaru. Although monsters having Instinct would be too troublesome.
He was walking with a map on one hand, but he couldn’t see the tower. He couldn’t find the so-called “Roots” either, perhaps because he was inside the forest. Am I lost? Hikaru wondered.
「Hmm?」Hikaru stopped all of a sudden.
『What’s wrong?』Drake asked.
The white drakon looked at Hikaru and saw the cold sweat beading on his face.
「Oh, I see now…」
Hikaru detected massive lumps of mana, shining bright as though announcing their location. He stopped counting when he reached thirty. He was sure the tower was there.
Hikaru found an open space where the forest ended. The ground was bare, without a trace of grass. It was a strange place in the middle of the woods. In the middle stood a man-made tower, its walls white with no seams and windows. It looked as if the tower prevented nature from coming closer.
「I sense vicious mana from the tower.」
『I’m sure there’s a filthy dragon in there.』Drake growled, baring his fangs.
「You’re not being you right now. You look scary.」
Drake growled once more. Hikaru let him be in the end, as he didn’t really know what went inside the minds of drakons.
「Anyway, the problem now is how do we get in.」
Hikaru and Drake were hiding behind a tree a little away from the clearing. Although grass didn’t grow there, creatures still roamed about. More than thirty Stone Golems—monsters with arms, feet, and bodies made of rock—were stationed around the tower. The lumps of mana that Hikaru sensed earlier came from the tower and the golems.
A high-pitched shrill came from above. Something spread its wings and took off from the tower. The clearing was as big as a school’s campus grounds, and the tower was more than fifty meters high. The flying creature appeared to be a dragon.
「A dragon’s residence?」
Hikaru’s Group Obfuscation wouldn’t work if the enemy had high-level detection Skills. In fact, the hollow eye sockets of three Stone Golems glinted red. They started lumbering towards Hikaru. He closed the drakon’s mouth and moved to a different spot.
Only three of them moved. The others are staying still. I don’t think I can draw all their attention at once.
If there were only a few of them, he could make do with his revolver. Unfortunately he only had ten bullets on him.
If I knew this would happen, I would’ve asked Professor Katy to make lots of bullets.
Hikaru had seven Flame Gospels, two Flame Lasers, and one Healing magic from Paula in case of an emergency. The bullets could only hold mana for twenty days at most, except for healing magic which only lasted ten days. Hikaru was overjoyed when he found out he could put healing magic inside the bullets too.
Back when he first found the revolver, the mana in the bullets had been stored there for hundreds of years. Katy’s studies could further increase the preservation period for sure.
Now how do we get inside…