Weekly Chapter (2/2)
The next chapter of Gacha Girl Corps and Former Hero should be ready on the next batch.
Enjoy the chapter~
Chapter 111 – Crimson Full Moon
The hobgoblin forest was quiet. But I could sense some presences among the distant trees.
It’s frustrating and unpleasant pressure.
Seeing me like that, Miria snorted.
[What’s wrong? Why are you so wary of some goblins lurking around?]
[It’s only natural. We are investigating the anomaly here. You’re the one who seems to have forgotten about that.]
[I haven’t forgotten! Let me tell you this, I’m quite strong despite my appearance.]
She declared while swinging the magic sword Flamberge――with flames made of magic power swirling along the blade, around.
[In that case, I’ll be counting on you.]
[Fufu~, praise me more!]
[Thank goodness that Miria is tagging along with us. Behold, kingdom’s strongest magic swordsman!]
[That’s a little too much~, guhehehe]
Seemingly weak to praises, Miria’s face had somewhat loosened up. She could actually be such a sweet girl.
Heave-ho! Heave-ho! Suddenly Roxy pinched my cheek.
[Keep your guard up. What are you doing anyways?]
[Anyways, this place is eerily quiet.]
[In the past, there should be hobgoblins wandering around here.]
[Let’s go deeper into the forest. I can sense the gaze of those monsters, so keep your heads up.]
[ [ Yes ] ]
[It’s nice to see you two reply in unison like that]
Roxy walked upfront. On my part, I activated 《Night Vision》 for a better view inside the dimly lit forest.
With this, I could see the surrounding better.
Those signs of presence actually backed off as we proceed forward. It’s as if they’re luring us in.
Apparently something was in control of these goblins.
[Is it possibly a Goblin King?]
[No idea….but, as far as I know, Goblin Kings can only give rough command to other goblins, not some detailed instruction such as this.]
We stopped in the clearing at the center of hobgoblin forest――flowers were in full bloom, and there was a fallen tree in the middle.
This place brought back memories.
Back then, I defeated the goblin king using Greed’s bow form secret, and also killed Hado Burix here, which allowed me to unlock the scythe form.
For me this place actually meant a lot.
Knowing that as well, Greed laughed at me through the 《Mind Reading》.
『If you like this place that much, why don’t you live here instead? Hahaha』
What the hell is he talking about? But anyways, ignoring what Greed said, this place did look quite suspicious.
We were pretending to fall for the trick and headed right here.
I could feel signs of magic power from the surroundings. Maybe they planned to attack us from all directions.
Before they showed their appearance to us, I already switched to bow form and shot to all directions. As the arrow flew, I switched back to sword form.
Roxy and Miria were already prepared as well. Oh well, this kind of stratagem wouldn’t work on people who had experienced Gallia.
The goblins that didn’t get hit by the arrows rushed out from the bushes.
Goblins, hobgoblins……wait, ten Goblin Kings!? There shouldn’t be this many monsters in this forest…
They were supposedly highly territorial monsters, so it made me feel uneasy to actually see ten Goblin Kings, who shouldn’t be working together, actually did just that.
[The goblins are indeed fighting in a strange manner. Perhaps Roxy should be the rear guard just in case?]
[Understood. Then, Fai and Miria, I leave the floor to you.]
[ [ Roger! ] ]
Despite my uneasy feelings, I kept slashing the incoming goblins down. The inorganic voice kept announcing the rise in my stats.
For the current Gluttony skill, the goblins couldn’t even be considered as a snack anymore. The Goblin Kings, however, seemed to satisfy it somewhat.
『This brings back memory, isn’t it, Fate!』
[Yeah, it’s been a while]
I cut down the hobgoblin that was right in front of me, then did a jump slash. Doing so, I decapitated the Goblin King that was being distracted by Miria.
[Oi, that one was my prey! No target-snatching]
[My bad. I’ll listen to your complain after the battle is over.]
Miria seemed to be more well versed in duelling compared to fighting against many enemies. I could see that she often got distracted by the crowded monsters. Her sword was no longer as fluid as usual.
There were only three of us here. It’ll be troublesome if we fight a prolonged battle in this closed area.
There were also more movements from within the forest. Arrows were released towards us without regard to the surrounding goblins. Oioi, at least they should’ve watched out for the friendly fire.
Greed said through 《Mind Reading》.
『You are someone of area E now, those arrows won’t even nick you』
[I know that. But Greed told me already. I think I’m developing a bad habit of taking the attack head on. Right, it’s just a bad habit kicking in]
『It’s Fate’s habit, so of course I remember it. In any case, reform! Reform!』
We talked about this last night. I still remembered it well.
I dodged the arrows left and right, sometimes using the goblins as my shield. On the other hand, Miria was having a hard time, but barely got through.
It was all thanks to Roxy’s support.
[Focus on the battle! Miria! Don’t fight while only relying on your eyes, sense the sign of opponent’s magic power]
[Sorry. I know that, but….]
Despite having a good sword arm, all this is a bit too much for Roxy to handle. Perhaps I should ask Aaron to help her train later.
Perhaps it’s because Miria was used to fight alongside Mugan, it seemed that she is more accustomed to follow his lead.
Even so, isn’t this situation looking quite good?
I kept attacking while dodging arrows, while focusing my senses. I was looking for a certain magic power in the midst of battle.
It’s located five hundred meter south from here. Large amounts of magic power were coming from there. Without a doubt, that must be where the goblin nest is situated at.
Even if we are here only for survey, the story changes if there is a battle involved.
[Greed, shall we?]
『This me is always good to go as usual. It’s all up to you』
Paying up the 10% stats cost, I readied the 《Bloody Ptarmigan》. While I felt my strength got sapped away, the black bow changed shape and grew in size.
Aiming Greed towards the south, I nock the bow.
As I did so, I noticed a red pillar of light in the distance.
[Fai, look down!]
[Wha, whawhat is that? This thing!?]
The same pillar of light also started appearing around us. The red color invoked a terrifying feeling that penetrate to the spine.
[Miria, leave this place quickly!]
Roxy grabbed Miria immediately, and threw her away from the light.
The goblins were also escaping. That only means that the light will cause some kind of damage.
In that case, I’ll just have to attack it before it can attack.
The bloody ptarmigan released its arrow as Greed spoke. The arrow collided with the pillar of light, engulfing it in a huge explosion.
[Did that do it?]
『No idea……anyways, I have no idea what kind of magic this is, but it seems like we managed to stop it before it’s fully invoked.』
My and Roxy’s body glowed red light for a short while. But we didn’t feel any abnormality even after the light dissipated.
[What was that? That last attack was….]
[Even Greed don’t know about it. But it seemed that the goblins were aiming for this. Looking at how they all escaped as soon as the plan failed.]
[But you saved us there. That was a marvelous skill]
Roxy said that as she looked at the trail left by the bloody ptarmigan. Then she said as she got reminded of something.
[The valley north of the Heart territory….didn’t it get destroyed just like this?]
[Aaaaaaah, sorry about that]
[It’s alright. It was to protect the people from the rampaging kobold. Even this time is the same. Her Majesty would be gentle and forgive you]
The Hobgoblin forest was one of the kingdom’s water source. Destruction of nature is prohibited here.
I heard in advance from Mugan that this forest should never be razed. The hobgoblin forest was very wide though. Despite the trail was as huge as 30 meters wide, and 500 meters long, I did shoot the ground to prevent further destruction. I believe Eris would just laughed it off and forgive me.
[I don’t think Eris-sama would want her country to be exposed to danger either.]
Roxy was commenting on my control over my unusual power after she looked at the aftermath of the attack. I guess I’m getting better at it…
I also thought that it’s better to refrain as much as possible. But Greed goaded me to shoot once more.
『Fate, one more shot with the bloody ptarmigan!』
[You…aren’t you listening to what Roxy said?]
I looked southward, ignoring Greed for the time being.
I didn’t feel any sign from it. But I didn’t know if I have defeated it as well.
[Let’s go check. Miria should be fine, right?]
Miria replied to me in a sullen tone. She couldn’t function properly during earlier battle, that Roxy had to cover for her.
The way I see it, I believe she’d rather go away and hide somewhere at the moment.
[Just leave me be]
What a troublesome fellow to handle. Actually, she reminded me of Myne. But the difference being Myne was mostly silent, while this one is talkative.
Myne….where are you now? I wouldn’t need to worry about her if it comes to battle. But….her last words still haunts me.
Should I give chase back then? No, that would be a wrong move. I won’t be here if I did. At the very least….I would be in a worse situation.
That black spear wielding boy――Shin, it seemed that he’s up for something big. And Myne also wished the same thing.
If something unusual were to happen, Eris has arranged for us to gather at the capital. So until the time comes, I only need to train myself and wait.
I thought while watching Miria running to Roxy’s side.
『It wasn’t your part to begin with. Give it up!』
It was those rare moments when Greed actually sounded serious.
『Remember what happened with Roxy. You did things in a roundabout way.』
[Kuh, I can’t refute that.]
『That’s how it is. If you want to do something about it, then first look around and think some more.』
I sighed. There is this thing with Miria….and there is also Mimir Burix on the other hand. With the Burix family crushed, there was only Mimir left on her own.
Some time had passed since she became a maid in Barbatos mansion, but I still hadn’t been able to win over her heart.
『You should experience all the sufferings when you’re young. If you slack you’ll only suffer later！』
What a horrible thing to say. Even if I’m as old as Aaron already, I would still aim for it.
Noticing me seemingly talking in monologue behind Roxy, when I was actually speaking with Greed, Miria narrowed her eyes and turned around.
[You make me feel sick]
Uhh….. that dealt a huge damage to me. Meanwhile, Roxy was smiling as she looked at me.
[Roxy-sama thought so too, right?]
Miria smiled, asking for Roxy’s agreement. But Roxy merely shook her head and said.
[That is something important for Fai. Don’t say such a thing.]
[So he talks with his sword every time? That’s weird]
[I have no other choice! Greed cannot speak unless using Mind Reading.]
Right after I said that, she pointed at me.
[Don’t you dare control my mind with that skill]
[I didn’t and I won’t! You’re in control of your own actions.]
I really had no proof to give. Mugan’s daughter Raine also had the same mind reading skill, but barely anyone mentioned it….
Unable to breakthrough Miria’s steel walled heart, I decided to go to that place which I thought to be the goblin’s base.
After releasing the bloody ptarmigan, the inorganic voice had informed me of the rise in statuses. I couldn’t feel anything at all here.
Goblins and Hobgoblins corpses were strewn about on the ground. Among them, something like magic diagram was drawn. The left half was blown apart by bloody ptarmigan it seemed.
Roxy took out a notepad and copied the magic diagram.
[Let’s ask Raine-san about this later. Also just in case, me and Fai should get our body examined.]
[Of course…..that girl]
[What’s wrong? You don’t seem convinced]
[While doing the diagnosis, she often touched on various parts including weird places….]
[That’s, unbelievable. I need to have a proper talk with her about it!]
Roxy held up her tightly clenched fist. When Miria joined in, she actually began to look around to many places….
When she twisted her neck, her gaze fell on something gray between my feet.
[This is a goblin’s arm…]
[Goblins are green skinned. This one is gray. So this must be not a goblin.]
Miria said. She’s most probably correct. But the arm’s muscle structure was similar to that of goblin.
Whether it’s a goblin, or not a goblin as Miria said, Roxy decided to bring it back for further investigation.
[Let’s have Raine-san examine that as well. Fai, can you please?]
[Yeah….I get it.]
It’s a bit uncomfortable to bring, but it’s still a piece of evidence. We could only bring it back.
I picked the gray arm and stashed it in a hemp bag that I prepared beforehand. When I touched it, it felt limp and soft, invoking a feeling of disgust.
[It’s late already, let’s wrap this up.]
It’s as Roxy said. We already got the information. We’re here to investigate the anomaly that was happening to the goblins after all.
There were more goblins than usual. It reminded me of the orc army back at Gallia.
And then, there is this mysterious magic diagram and gray arm. I suppose it’ll be best to let Raine examine it.
We returned to the capital, and separated at the West Gate. Roxy and Miria went to send the information to Raine at the Military district.
On my part, I stopped by the orphanage to pick Shara up. Perhaps she worked quite hard to help the sister.
When I arrived, she was sleeping on the chapel bench.
[Thank you for today. We’ll be bothering you again tomorrow.]
[Yeah, the same]
[See you tomorrow]
I saw Roxy and Miria off before heading to the church. Apparently, Shara fell asleep while praying at the chapel.
I greeted the sister, and carried Shara on my back. Seeing her sleeping form kind of sooth my heart.
When I returned to the mansion, there were Aaron, already finished with his duty at the palace, and Mimir.
[You’ve returned, Fate. How was it going with the goblins?]
[Something is indeed different. We collected some information, what’s left is to analyze it.]
[I see…. I wonder if this has something to do with that as well. At the Palace, I heard that monsters are becoming more active in various places.]
So it’s not only here but everywhere…. This caused me to worry about the people on Heart territory and Barbatos territory. But Aaron tapped on my shoulder and said.
[Even if you are worried, you should just leave it at that. You are now a Lord. Others will only feel uneasy if their Lord felt disturbed. Just forget about it for now.]
As Aaron said so, he took over the sleeping Shara from my back. He then carried Shara to her room.
Only Mimir and I left there. And then, Mimir smiled to me and said.
[Welcome back, Fate-sama. The dinner is ready. Since Aaron-sama is currently putting Shara to sleep, shall we dine together?]
[Yeah, please do]
[Yes, as you wish.]
Politely, Mimir went back inside. There is this feeling of nobleness in her every move, which was a far cry if compared to me.
Perhaps she’s the maid in the capital who was formerly a Holy Knight.
After finishing the dinner, I took a refreshing bath, then laid on my bed to get some sleep.
When I was about to sleep, I heard a knocking on my door.
[May I come in?]
It was Mimir’s voice. I replied and opened the door to let her in. Even this late at night, she’s still wearing her maid uniform. Since Shara had already gone to sleep, the burden of the house chores will fall entirely on Mimir. I guess we really need to consider increasing the number of servants.
Mimir sat on the bed next to me, and spoke as she watched the moon through the window.
[Today is a full moon….]
[Yeah…indeed it is.]
She smiled like a little devil, her small fangs visible.
This was the reason why she came to Barbatos family.