Brought to you by The Patrons
Enjoy the chapter~
Chapter 117 – Miria’s Struggle
We left the holy knight residential area, and went into the commercial district. From there we headed towards the hobgoblin forest.
Yesterday it was with Roxy and Miria. Today I came with Aaron and Miria.
I felt safe since Aaron who was so much more powerful in battle also tagged along. Miria also seemed to have similar thought, as she walked calmly next to me.
With the recent goblin trouble, not many merchant wagons still went in and out of the capital doing their business.
Aaron said while looking at this scene.
[This…is worse than I thought. The situation was even grimier than what I have read from the report at the palace.]
[Yeah, I was also surprised yesterday.]
[Yes, ye~s! Me too. I was really disappointed that I couldn’t immediately find some food stalls when I need to fill my empty stomach.]
First there was Aaron talking about serious matter, then after that, there was Miria talking about a more mundane matter. Well, let’s leave it be since it’s still within topic.
Aaron looked troubled as he resumed talking.
[Just like Roxy’s and Fate’s life, the food supply in the capital might bottomed up if the commodity distribution keeps being delayed like this.]
Considering the situation, I also frowned.
The capital itself had little to no food producing capability, thus having to rely to other towns to supply it with foods. The situation will turn severe if minimum necessities like flour and salt are cut off.
I’ve lived in the capital’s slum long enough to know that well. The outer gate to the commercial district was the key to the capital’s livelihood, as the road ahead of it leads to the neighboring merchant town Tetra.
It’s customary to stockpile foods from other places in Tetra before distributing it to the capital. No other route was allowed. If it’s found that food is being distributed through other route, the perpetrator will be judged as criminal.
Now, with the goblin meadow and hobgoblin forest situated along the way to Tetra, merchants will have a hard time distributing their stuff. And that’s not all. Even if some merchants dared to risk their life to bring supplies to the capital, the amount consumed by the population was not small.
It’ll be the people living in the slum who suffers the most, as they are on the lowest rung of the society. I’ve experienced it myself. When a particularly strong monster appeared in the goblin meadow, I would be starved so hard I thought I’d die. Adding to that was the starvation from the Gluttony skill. The despair was real when there was no food to eat for quite a while.
It won’t be too far off in the future seeing the current state of the gate. Food crisis will soon hit the slum.
[Then let’s settle it today.]
[Of course! Because Roxy-sama’s life is on the line! Fate-san, don’t you dare backing off!]
Really now….am I that irresponsible in her eyes? I felt anger started to boil up, but then realized that perhaps it’s just Miria’s way to show her concern to me.
She told me about her past when we took Roxy back to Barbatos mansion. I suppose we’ve become a bit closer after that?
Yosh, considering the future to come, from now on, I should strive to become closer with her. After all, Miria seems to be staying on Roxy’s side most of the time.
That’s why, I must get along well with Miria.
And since I’m currently on Roxy’s body….she won’t have any penchant of brutalizing me. I stroke her a bit on the head, as that’s what Roxy usually do to me.
[Thank you for worrying about me…..yoshyosh.]
[Uuuuuu…..so unfair….using Roxy-sama’s appearance and kind face is foul play.]
Miria’s face turned red, but she seemed to be holding up well. However, after I stroke her head some more, she started to have a blissful face.
[It’s not Roxy-sama…..it’s not Roxy-sama….]
Such a cute little Miria. Should I stop now?
When I thought that I managed to score one against Miria, Aaron scolded me.
[What are you doing playing around like that. We must make haste. You can do anything you like, but only after everything is over]
[ [ Sorry…..] ]
Both of us apologized….
Aaron promptly left the gate ahead of us. As we followed, I heard Miria said in a small voice.
[Mou, it’s Fate-san’s fault that Aaron-sama became angry like that.]
[It’s because Miria had such a blissful face…]
[I didn’t make that kind of face]
[No no, you truly did. Now now, wanna do it again for proof?]
[That’s foul play]
Miria ran ahead, going after Aaron. I simply followed suit.
Alright, it’s a fight from here and out. I’m feeling good at the moment. Thanks to the mood made by Miria.
We were now in the dense forest.
The traces of footsteps had long faded away, but remnants of the magic diagram were still there. This was the place where the goblin shaman used its magic to switch my and Roxy’s body.
Moreover this was the center of the hobgoblin forest as well as the only open space in it.
Here is a vantage point, so it’ll be easy for you to be found. But it’s also easy for you to see through the enemy line. It’s the most efficient place to do what we are about to do.
[Fate, let’s start]
Me and Aaron needed to focus our awareness. The two of us were about to try to detect magic power on a very wide range――basically sweeping through all the living creatures in the hobgoblin forest.
It’s undoubtedly a daunting task to cover a whole forest with about ten or more kilometers diameter.
It’ll take time as well. At least fifteen minutes if according to Aaron.
We can’t move and have to fully concentrate during the process. In other words, if the minions such as the hobgoblins or the goblin kings in the middle of the scanning, we’ll be completely defenseless against them.
Aaron already belonged to Area-E, so even if he’s attacked, he won’t receive any damage. But, there is always the possibility of irregulars like the nightwalkers. The opponent is an unknown monster after all…. So we can’t throw the chance of a monster that could pierce through Area-E protection appearing here out of the window.
If you become overconfident with yourself, you’ll only end up stumbled by unexpected things.
Unlike regular goblins, the ancient goblin shaman had shown human-like intelligence when trying to dispatch its enemy. So rather than treating today’s fight as a battle against monster, as strange as it is, we should treat it like a battle against other human. Aaron was also agree with me.
[Miria, we’ll be relying on you for protection in the meantime.]
[Yes, leave it to me. Any enemy dare to trespass will burn from the fire of my magic sword flamberge! Fate, you must protect Roxy-sama’s body as well]
[You are welcome.]
Miria drew her magic sword out, overwatching the surroundings. Me and Aaron began to focus our awareness back to back.
I would be searching the south while Aaron will look in the north.
Yesterday, I shot Bloody Ptarmigan southward. I’m pretty sure that the goblin shaman was at least 500 meter away from here back then.
It’s just an estimation of course. After taking into account the skill’s maximum range and the additional distance required for the target to survive the skill’s area of effect.
By the way, if the same amount of distance must be maintained to keep the switcheroo magic in effect, the goblin shaman should’ve been inside the capital already.
In short, I just hope that it hasn’t left the hobgoblin forest yet. In any case, it lost an arm yesterday, so it shouldn’t be able to move far and still unable to fully recover its wound yet.
…..are you kidding me!?
Aaron also seemed to be aware of this, as he had already drawn his holy sword.
[Hold on! Everyone please continue as is. I’ll handle this!]
[Believe in me. I’m at least as strong as any of the kingdom’s royal guards.]
Three goblin kings appeared from the direction where Miria pointed her magic sword. Oioi, something that strong appear so early?!
Goblin kings weren’t actually a commonly appearing monster, so there shouldn’t be that many of them. But I can sense several hobgoblin archers behind them. Thirty or so…..if all of them shot at the same time, it could be dangerous.
Just when I thought so, arrows were released from all around us. A full 360° attack.
This isn’t something a normal person can defend against on their own, let alone protecting others from it.
[For me, this isn’t much!!]
Unlike her usual tone of speech, Miria sounded sterner as she thrust the magic sword into the ground.
At that moment, I could even feel the ripple of her spiking up magic power on my skin.
In fact, fire rose up from the ground, creating a wall around us. The fiery flame wall was thick and strong enough to instantly burn all the arrows flying towards us.
The hobgoblin archers continued to rain arrows on us, but none managed to reach us.
[That’s quite amazing, Miria.]
[This is my utmost limit though. Therefore, I can’t maintain it for long. Please, finish the search quickly.]
The three goblin kings immediately sprang into action after seeing how the hobgoblin archers were ineffective, swinging huge tree trunk as they go. However, since their weapon was made of wood, it nonetheless burned away upon contact with the fire wall. Attacking without knowing that, just like any normal monsters would do.
This is taking too long.
On Miria’s part, she was sweating profusely, and her breathing had become haggard. Her magic power was approaching its end.
[Fumu, I’ve searched a long way and found nothing but some goblins….no other response. There is no need to search any further, I think. What about you, Fate?]
[There is a sign of huge numbers of goblin in the south. Perhaps because most of the goblins in this place had gathered there. It’s hard to pinpoint the target due to that. It’s about 4 kilometer away from here. That is the most likely place. How about Aaron also join in to search in that direction?]
[Alright, let’s do it. But, Miria seems to be already on her limit. Perhaps it’ll be better if I also join in to handle the goblins]
Aaron said so after checking on Miria’s state. But the girl in question shook her head.
[I can do it. I won’t allow myself to drag everyone down. Just let me do this much.]
[Such an unyielding nature. I do not dislike it. In that case, we’ll trust Miria on this. O Fate, let us finish the search quickly]
Aaron and I cooperate to cover the rest of the unsearched area. Then, I sensed the ripple of a magic power distinctive from other goblins. It was weak, but very much the same with what I sensed yesterday.
[Found it. 5 kilometer away from here, near the edge of the hobgoblin forest. Perhaps it’s trying to run away.]
[Fumu, then we should hurry. But before that……Miria, that’s enough]
Just as the flame wall dispersed, Aaron and I split up and started killing. Aaron first charged toward the goblin kings which were at the frontline.
Meanwhile I quickly snuck into the ranks of the hobgoblin archers hiding in the woods. Using holy sword technique《Grand Cross》to make short work of them.
When all monsters had become corpses that littered the ground and situation had calmed down, I could feel warmness flowing in my body. Followed by a sense of mysterious power.
When I asked Aaron about this, I was laughed at instead.
[What are you talking about. That means you have leveled up]
[Level up!? So this is how it feels like to level up!! So full of energy. It feels good!]
[Now that you mention it, Fate is unable to gather experience orbs due to the gluttony skill, causing you to be incapable of leveling up. Perhaps because you are currently in Roxy’s body, it becomes possible.]
Let me say it once again! Level up feels good.
This is a feeling worthy of envy…. To think all other warriors get to feel this every once in a while….how envious.
Because on my case, despite the gluttony skill could make me stronger through eating soul and starvation state, it’s mostly a painful experience. That was like hell if compared to leveling up.
Then Aaron added something even more amazing.
[Level up is the blessing of the god Laplace-sama had given to living being. As you say, it brings pleasant feeling. But continuous level up is even more intense than regular one.]
[Is that true!?]
[Hush hush, hold yourself down. That kind of outburst….is uncalled for since you are now in Roxy’s body.]
The feeling of leveling up was so pleasant, I forgot that I was still using Roxy’s body. If I could….I’d like to feel it one more time,
[O Fate, speaking of which, go check on Miria. All this will not be possible without her.]
The girl was on the ground, out of breath. So I stroke her head like before, and praised her.
[You’ve worked hard.]
[Eeee…..even I know when I have to be serious.]
[If so, I’ll be counting on you again in the future.]
I offered her a hand. Miria took it and stood up. She then smiled to me.
That cute smile of hers actually caught me off guard.