Translator: Kurehas.h.i.+ Aiko
Volume 4 Chapter 22: Dragon-san and the White Youma
Even if the tears did not flow, you could clearly see that the Emperor was moved by Senjiro's pa.s.sion.
「I see. Maybe some extra people would be a nice addition?」
For a while Senjiro was seriously considering the offer, but ultimately decided to turn it down.
「Umm. Are you really sure that's okay?」
「What is it, G.o.d from the foreign land?」
You, you could seriously stop calling me that. Oh well, whatever floats your boat, I guess.
「For the time being, what should I call you?」
Hearing my question, the Emperor looked at me in a really interesting way.
Then he took his time wondering about that question.
Now that I look at him, his height was about the same as Nectar's.
「You truly are an interesting one. You can call me whatever you like. It doesn't really matter to me, because I am bound with no such thing as a name.」
Hm? What does that supposed to mean? He has no name?
I decided to ask Senjiro about that later, but for now we had more pressing concerns to focus on.
「Okay. Mikado-sama it is, then.」
「Hm, It's a name I've never been called before. But it has a nice ring to it. I'll allow it.」
Said Mikado-sama with a entertained expression, and then he let out a sigh and I decided to change the subject.
「We came to Towa with a certain purpose in mind, and so we cannot afford to waste too much time. That "travelling permit", for how long is it going to last?」
It was a matter that we needed to clear, especially since we didn't know who had the greater influence here: the Taisha or the Emperor?
For now it looked as though the two had no connections to each other, but it was still good to be just a little bit suspicious.
It is precisely because of that reason, that it would be best to avoid talking about important matters with the Emperor still around.
Aru and Mikoto's safety comes first and foremost. To that, I will do whatever it takes.
「If you ask me, for as long as you need. When it comes to us, we are travelling the land and exterminating the youmas, and I would surely like to see the results of Senjiro's training.」
Hearing such an answer I bowed my head just a little bit, seeing as Mikado-sama was also pleased for some reason.
「So, are you finished with your youma hunting for now?」
「Oh, there are just a few small fries that are left. Nothing like the big game we were hoping --」
My spine s.h.i.+vered.
It wasn't the usual unstable sensation that accompanied the leylines whenever the monsters would appear. It was something different. A complete magical anomaly, spreading throughout the region.
Besides, I could never possibly hope to forget this mixture of fear, grief and anxiety stirring deep down inside of me.
Nectar must have also noticed the change in the surrounding magic. He also noticed that my face was pale and asked me:
「Lava, what's wrong?」
「The 'Eclipse' is somewhere nearby.」
Hearing me say that, expressions on Nectar and Senjiro's faces tightened instantly.
Why was it here of all places!?
…… In any case, now was not the time for wondering.
For the time being, we needed to locate the threat and remove the Emperor to somewhere safe.
But before we could actually do that, his va.s.sals spoke to him.
It didn't look like it, but I got the feeling that they have just received a message on their own somehow?
He exchanged a few quick words with them, and then the Emperor turned towards us again.
「So, you felt that just now as well……?」
There was so much that I wanted to ask Mikado-sama right now, but before I could do that he turned back towards his va.s.sals and began shouting orders.
「We have a white youma in the vicinity! So let's ma.s.sacre them and collect as many Light Stones as possible!」
They began to mobilize instantly, and seeing that I couldn't help it but to ask Mikado-sama.
「You guys are you…… seriously going to fight against the white youma!? In that case, please let us accompany you!」
「Is the purpose of your coming here somehow related to white youmas?」
It was precisely because of that, but I was still a bit reluctant to admit it.
Mikado-sama looked as though he understood something, and his face was now sparkling with excitement and expectations.
「You truly are an interesting bunch. I see we have nothing to worry about. As for our numbers…… Some of you guys shall go with Senjiro here. I will take a few men and go ahead.」
It seems that Mikado-sama was overcome with enthusiasm, which was already beginning to show on his face.
「You can come with me as well, G.o.d from the foreign land. I shall show you how people of Towa take care of youmas.」
We ran through the woods together with Mikado-sama and his men, and after a short while we arrived.
After all, the only thing we had to do was to follow this nasty feeling.
It was a small meadow situated in the basin between two mountains, but the scene that was spreading in front of us was something otherworldly alright.
The women who were standing there, wearing white hakama pants and blue coats were most likely the Shrine Maidens.
They all looked as though they were suffering greatly, but they managed to maintain a huge barrier that was erected right in front of us.
It was a semi-transparent one, shaking and swaying while we were looking at it.
Inside of it, there was the "White Youma" thras.h.i.+ng about and attacking the barrier fiercely.
In terms of shape, it looked strangely similar to some of the monsters we encountered before.
It was a truly bizarre creature, which was really huge and ma.s.sive, but its body was almost entirely composed of the white fog.
It wasn't the same one as I saw in the dungeon near Melias, but it was close enough.
And even though there was a barrier separating us from it, the negative emotions emanating from it were so strong that they were permeating the skin of the people outside of the barrier.
「So, it really appeared here……」
I could understand Nectar feelings all too well.
After all, I had some doubts about it, too.
Even though I knew that it wasn't the scale of the actual 'Eclipse' from Melias, still, having but a fraction of it here was certainly unnerving.
I took a step forward, thinking that I needed to do something about, but then I felt someone putting their hand on my shoulder.
It was Mikado-sama who stopped me, showing me that I can leave this to them, and then he started instructing his subordinates.
「Shrine Maidens, good work containing it! On my signal remove the barrier, Light Stone at the ready. You lot, I'm counting on you!!」
「Senjiro, I hope you didn't forget how to fight those b.a.s.t.a.r.ds after five years!」
「Of course not!」
Senjiro responded enthusiastically, shaking his spear and activating the spell it was enchanted with.
Also, the tattoo on his arm began to glow. It was said that it was a spell that would boost his physical abilities tremendously.
「This is the first time we have ever shown the secrets of our country to foreigners. Watch closely.」
Even in this situation, Mikado-sama was smiling as he shouted loudly:
At that moment, there was a magical circle forming at the side of Mikado-sama, and what appeared from inside of that circle was a creature resembling a monster or even a demon.
She was a beautiful woman with a brown skin and silver hair reaching out a little bit below her jaw.
She was also wearing gla.s.ses and an intricate purple kimono. She slowly descended until she was standing right next to Mikado-sama and glaring at him.
「For the last time, my name is not Karura but Caleilavile. My contractor…… Wait a minute, why do you have foreigners with you!?」
She seemed like a really cool and composed person, but when she saw us, her mask fell off almost instantly.
Ah, no. It's not like that. I could guess she was like that. I mean, with her being a demon and all that, they were pretty bipolar.
Seeing how Karursan was trembling with anger, Mikado-sama raised his brows, clearly astonished.
「Do you know that G.o.d-person here by any chance?」
「…… G.o.d, yes, I'm a G.o.d alright. Oh well, not that it matters right now. You should be grateful that I don't feel like killing you all on the spot!」
Said Karursan and then turned towards Mikado-sama, probably as to not look at me all that much. She seemed to be having a huge headache for some reason.
「Anyways. Contractor. It looks like the time has come to get ourselves rid of some pests.」
「That's right. I'll let you handle the half to the right.」
「Then I'll trust you with handling the other half to the left.」
After saying that, Karursan put her lips to Mikado-sama's left hand.
In the next moment, a sign of the contract appeared on the back of Mikado-sama's left hand, and Karursan started to flow her magic power into it.
Having Karursan's magic flow into him, a part of Mikado-sama's hair turned silver in color.
I was fascinated by the sight and changes before my eyes, but even more so my eyes were glued to something that started to flow from Mikado-sama into Karursan.
Mikado-sama then ran his hand through his silver hair and turned back towards us.
「Right, you two, I trust that you can take care of these guys as well?」
I was surprised, but then I turned around as I felt some disturbing magic signatures coming from behind us and trying to surround us.
Countless black youmas were merging from inside of the forest.
「White Youmas tend to attract black ones as well. Please keep them away from us while we're going to deal with the white one.」
「Contractor, what are you-」
「Emperor! They are going to break the barrier!」
I wanted to ask them something, but my question was interrupted by one of the Shrine Maiden's screams.
「Right! Let's do this, Karura!」
Shouted Mikado-sama, jumping forward.
The dirt went up in the air from the ground, and less than a second later Mikado-sama was already at the side of the breaking barrier.
It looks like he was used to having his physical abilities boosted tremendously like that, and he was making a good use out of them.
「Aggh, why aren't you ever listening to me!? You there, foreign dragon. Please take care of those youmas! But don't use up too much magic from the atmosphere. I might die if you do that!」
Karursan said so and then she followed right after her contractor.
I know I might have said this already, but the contrast in her behavior was so huge that I didn't even know what was going on anymore.
「What should we do, Lava?」
「For the time being, let's destroy those youmas here and then we can go back Mikado-sama up!」
I still didn't quite understand what Karursan meant by not using too much magic, but I guess this means that I must rely solely on physical attacks and small magic for now!
I told Nectar and then I created a sword of fire in my hand, and charged at the youmas coming towards us from inside of the forest.
As soon as Mikado-sama got close to the barrier, it broke into tiny pieces.
I don't how it managed to contain the white youma for so long, but the skills of those who erected that barrier must have been outstanding.
When the barrier broke down, the youma tried to attack the nearest Shrine Maiden it could reach.
But Senjiro was there to intercept the youma, thrusting his spear at it's claws and deflecting them. However, each time his weapon touched the white mist, it would begin to flicker in a disturbing manner.
The youma was looming ever closer. The Shrine Maidens began to run away, but some of them tripped and lost their balance. But when the youma tried to approach them, Mikado-sama was there to save them, brandis.h.i.+ng his sword at the white demon.
He swung his blade at the youma's side, putting every ounce of his strength into the swing. However, it would be no good, since the blade would end up getting evaporated by the white fog.
Or, at least, it was supposed to do that……
Mikado-sama. He managed to inflict damage to the white youma with a sword, even though they were supposed to take only magical damage.
I knew that his physical abilities were raised severely, but that doesn't explain what just happened.
The white youma's wound was closing almost right away, but it definitely felt that damage, as it backed away a little and took Mikado-sama as its target.
I was so surprised by that that my mind was finding it difficult to catch up.
Huh, what about the laws of physics?
Shouldn't his weapon be affected by the fog, just like Senjiro's?
As I thought about that, I've come to realize what was the cause of that, what was the power of the sword right now.
It was vague, almost unnoticeable, but some sort of art or spell was surely there.
「Now, come at me! Threatening our country, I'm sure you're prepared to face the consequences, right!?」
Answering to his provocation, the white youma raised a soundless roar as it spat white fog from its mouth.
Senjiro managed to escape together with the Shrine Maidens, but Mikado-sama was completely engulfed in the white fog.
I shouted, but then, the white fog was burned away by tongues of silver flames.
It was Karursan who used her magic to aid Mikado-sama, who then jumped out of the white fog, with no visible injuries of any kind.
He cut the youma again, and this time it let out a roar full of pain.
He didn't even miss the opportunity to counterattack?
But how could he still be in one piece after taking a direct hit from the 'Eclipse' fog!?
「You muscle-brain of an idiot, I've told you time and time again that you will end up dead if you keep receiving damage like that face-on!」
「However Karura, don't you think that those flames were a bit much? You could've baked me there!」
「I knew that you'd be fine with only this much, so what's your problem!?」
Even though their bickering was reminding me of the old married couple, you had to admire the levels at which their cooperation was executed, so effective that they managed to overwhelm that white youma.
Karursan's flames burned away the white fog, while Mikado-sama's sword was hacking away at its body, wounding it all over. Still, even if some fumes of white fog touched his body, he didn't receive any kind of damage.
「Mikado-sama's body is completely covered in Karursan's magic. It protects him from the 'Eclipse's' effects, but it seems that it is also leeching something away from his body. No, it's not any kind of ordinary magic.」
While fighting the monsters, Nectar and I couldn't help but to be astonished by what we were seeing right now.
「Yeah, it looks as though Mikado-sama is wearing this magic like a set of armor.」
It keeps bugging me.
Mikado-sama is resisting the 'Eclipse's' effects by coating his body with magic.
But no matter how I look at it, a normal person's magic should never be strong enough to nullify the destructive effects of 'Eclipse'. Did something happen to his body when Karursan kissed his hand?
However, I could feel that something was also flowing into Karursan……
We were soon to find out what it was.
As soon as Karursan touched the white fog, it was repulsed.
「Karura! Don't approach it so carelessly!」
Although she was strong, Karursan holds her arms in pain.
The cloth around her arms was ripped to pieces, and the skin looked as though it was burnt.
What was also surprising, was the fact that normally calm and collected Mikado-sama was now losing his composure.
Could it be that the demons themselves were vulnerable to 'Eclipse'?
I was really curious, but for now we still had our share of monsters to take care off.
However, using any area of effect spells was out of the question. One - it would make a huge chunk of the forest to disappear. Two - it would hit the other people as well.
I was at a loss as to what to do. It would be incredibly easy to just cut the s.p.a.ce around the monsters in half, but Karursan's words about not overdoing it with magic were still ringing in my ears.
Ah, but what if we do this instead?
「Nectar! I have an idea, but please give me a boost and take care of the others, will you?」
Nectar produced the spell that raised me into the air while I struck my sword into the ground, making it create a shadow.
The words influenced by the ancient language force the sword's shadow to split apart, and then it sprinted towards the monsters, catching them one by one.
However, this spell would do nothing more but to "bind" them.
It could also be used to strangle or suffocate things, but monsters were usually immune to such underhanded tactics.
When all of the monsters were caught by the sword's shadows, I placed my hand on the handle and said:
「I beseech thee, set this matter ablaze!」
The magical power ran through the flames, lighting them ablaze with fire.
The flames burned the monsters away and disappeared right afterwards, so there was no risk of burning the surrounding forest with that.
But even so, it was the kind of flame that burned only demons, but because they were rather hot I wanted to limit its use as much as possible.
Confirming that all of the youmas have been defeated, I look back towards Karursan and Mikado-sama.
He was there, in the middle of the basin, swinging his sword at the white youma for one last time.
He severed the white youma's head from its body, and the corpse soon began to disappear in volumes of white fog.
However, as it was wriggling in agony, the negative emotions only grew stronger, to the point where I needed to close my eyes and cover my ears to block some of it from seeping into me. Once the youma disappeared, the negativity stopped.
But, did they really managed to beat it? Normal humans, that 'Eclipse' monster?
While feeling stunned by that fact, I ran towards Karursan and Mikado-sama.