「In that case, let’s go right away. There’s no telling when the next Goblin will come along.」
Ys nodded at Kain’s suggestion, and they started walking.
What they were headed for was the Goblin settlement.
In the current Aledona Forest, it was nothing more than one of several settlements, but even so, there was no changing the fact that it was a threat. If they could find one, they should prioritize annihilating it.
Besides, there was the possibility that the Goblins of this Aledona Forest were tougher than normal Goblins.
Kain picked up something that fell near the Goblin that was defeated earlier.
It was a slightly rusted knife. It didn’t seem to have been something of good-quality to begin with, but even so, it was not something that a Goblin should be carrying.
A Goblin’s weapons were basically tree branches and stones that were picked up from the vicinity. This knife was probably something it picked up from somewhere as well, but the problem was where it picked it up……that is what he thought.
「Hey, Ys. This knife……」
「Ara, you mustn’t pick up something so filthy. You’ll get sick, you know?」
「No, that’s not it. This thing, where do you think the Goblin picked it up from?」
After displaying signs of pondering for a bit, Ys breathed a small sigh.
「From bandits I suppose. There is no telling if they were killed by Goblins or if they were already dead when the Goblins found them though. Well, we should probably see it as being from a bandit hideout, or something picked up from somewhere from the dead.」
「Bandits……Is there no possibility of it being a killed merchant?」
「There isn’t. There was no such information after all.」
If a merchant had gone missing, word of that should have reached the Adventurer’s Guild.
Since a merchant would report their expected departure and expected return to the Merchant’s Guild at the time of their departure, in cases where they have passed a certain amount of time from their expected return, they would be treated as having gone missing at the Merchant’s Guild, and that would start the arrangement of sending an investigation request to the Adventurer’s Guild.
「In that case……Ahh, this seems like it’s going to become really troublesome.」
Kain said that and looked up to the sky.
If Goblins were to have taken weapons out from the bandit hideout, there was a high possibility that the Goblins would be decently armed. In that case, the degree of danger would rapidly increase.
However, Ys looked at Kain’s state and chuckled.
「Will it really become that big of a difference? But still, if you’re scared, it’s alright for you to go back you know?」
Having his male pride provoked by Ys’s line, Kain immediately had a serious expression.
「There’s no way I would be scared. Now then, let’s go.」
「Ara, how reliable. I will take a look at your abilities.」
Kain and Ys walked while having that sort of exchange.
However, that conversation immediately came to a stop.
「……You can hear them, right?」
What reached the two’s ears was the voice of something making merry.
That high-pitched *kii kii* grating voice was something characteristic of excited Goblins.
「Ara, it looks like they’re in the middle of a gathering. This is perfect.」
A Goblin gathering was a sort of ritual.
To begin with, a Goblin settlement was something managed through a single village chief and a single Goblin Shaman.
The village chief was the decision-maker, and the Goblin Shaman was their assistant and the Goblins’ agitator. These two who were relatively smart among the Goblins would create a place where they could call a gathering and bring the settlement together through suspicious spells and speeches.
Even at this moment, at the end of the gaze of Kain’s group, a Goblin Shaman was chanting some sort of spell in front of the bonfire.
From Kain and Ys’s perspective, it was a spell that was far too nonsensical, but there was no way that the Goblins in attendance could know that.
「……This is perfect.」
Kain expressed a question mark at Ys’s muttering.
There was no mistake that this certainly was a chance to storm in on them, but one would normally hesitate to charge into a place where the Goblins’ morale is rising.
However, Ys spoke out words that blew away Kain’s doubts.
「Let us cast a large magic over there. It will be the end with that.」
「O Darkness, gather. Gather, spread, and manifest the horror of beginnings. That is a perpetual repose, an eternal sleep……」
Darkness magical power congregated. Turning into a dark brilliance, it appeared in Ys’s hands.
What had gathered in Ys’s hands stretched out towards the Goblins……And before long, it rapidly spread out.
The Goblin Shaman who continued its spell, the village chief that was next to it, the fanatic Goblins, it enveloped all of them, and screams that were like shrieks resounded into the surroundings.
「Geh, gah, GIGYAAAA!」
Those were death throes. Within the darkness that enveloped the entire settlement, the screams of the Goblins resounded……then stopped.
「A bit more……I suppose that is where it’s at?」
「Hey, Ys……This magic……what is it……?」
「It’s one of the large magics of Darkness. Magic that invades the heart, and mangles it. That sort of thing is the cause for the misunderstanding that the God of Darkness Dagulas is the God of the Mazoku, you know?」
Not limited to the Dark Palace that Ys used, Darkness Element magic had extraordinarily many spells that exerted an effect on the heart and mind. It had a weakness where it would have little effect on an opponent that had a higher difference in magical power, but against Goblins, it was magic that could be said to be invincible.
And then, after the darkness vanished……what was there were the corpses of Goblins that died expressing anguished expressions scatter about.
「This part is the reason why I said I wouldn’t teach you Darkness Magic. I am sure that you do not want to become this kind of Magician after all……And above all, it does not suit you.」
Kain tried to say something, however, it didn’t turn into words.
After going in front of Kain, Ys looked up at his eyes.
「Kain. I said that I had some business with you, right?」
「Eh? U, un.」
He certainly heard her say that. However, why would she bring that up with this timing?
Before Kain could ask that, Ys opened her mouth once again.
「Kain. Your sword, could you give it to me?」
Kain’s sword──the Hard Sword Tilnok. It was a sword whose only redeeming features were that it was hard and tough.
「Because I want it. Is that not enough?」[Illustration]
Seeing that Kain had fallen silent, Ys breathed a small sigh.
「Of course, I will prepare a replacement sword. A beautiful sword that would amaze everyone. A strong sword that would leave behind legendary songs……Kain, I will give you everything you want. Even with that, is it not enough?」
「Why, would you want this sword to the point of going that far?」
A sword that was only hard and tough, as a sword, it didn’t have much value.
To a sword, its sharpness was its life. On that point, the Hard Sword Tilnok couldn’t be said to be excellent.
However, the Hard Sword Tilnok had a secret.
It was a secret known only to Kain. A secret known only to Kain……that’s how it should have been.
「I feel that it’s best that you don’t hear it. Even so, do you want to hear it?」
「……If I don’t hear it, then I can’t answer you.」
「That’s right. But, there is also the path of purposely not hearing it. I, recommend that path.」
Kain and Ys silently stared at each other for a while.
And then, Ys was the first one to sigh.
「It is, in order to destroy the Demon King. The Demon King of Chaos, Vermudol……see.」
Vermudol──Kain had heard of that name as well.
The king of the country of Mazoku called the Zadark Kingdom that formed a treaty of friendship with the Jiol Forest Kingdom.
「Why, is there a need to destroy him?」
From what Kain knew, Vermudol had not done anything that would warrant his destruction. Not attacking mankind, he should instead be a Mazoku that is trying to get along with mankind.
「For Demon King Vermudol to be an opponent that needs to be destroyed……I don’t feel that way.」
「That’s right. I feel the same way.」
「In that case, why?」
In response to Kain’s reasonable question, Ys displayed slightly hesitant behavior. That was because she was troubled over how she would communicate it.
「……That is, because Vermudol is an existence that needs to be destroyed. I, can tell that.」
If she were to say that, there was no turning back. Despite knowing that, Ys spoke it out loud.
「……I can tell. I am also a Demon King after all. I, the Demon King of Harmony……Ykslas, can tell that. Vermudol is an existence that disturbs the logic of the world. Even if he appears to be good, he needs to be destroyed.」
That’s right, that is the meaning to why Ys──why Ykslas was born.
As if ruminating over Ys’s words, Kain closed his eyes.
And then, he quietly opened his mouth.
「……Sorry. As expected, I don’t really get it.」
He muttered those words.
Hearing that, Ys expressed a somewhat lonely smile.
「That’s right. It’s a story that is unreasonable to tell you to understand. But you know, Kain. Even so, it’s something I need to do. Even if it is understood by no one……I, will fulfill my duty.」
「Why, do you have to go that far……」
Kain leaked his voice out while facing down.
Ys thought for a bit, and then answered after choosing her words.
「……It is because that is the only way of life that I know of, I suppose.」
A bit of silence dominated the area.
Let’s go back──Saying that, Ys started walking.
「You don’t need to say it. I know.」
Kain immediately sank into silence at Ys’s words.
Ys stared at Kain with a troubled-looking smile.
「I’m sorry, Kain. I had no intention of troubling you that much. Yes, it’s alright. The reason why I wanted that sword, was because it was something like an insurance.」
Within the Aledona Forest, the conversation that only Ys and Kain knew of resounded.
The ones that heard this conversation, there was no one but these two.