Weekly chapters (2/2)
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Chapter 152 – Libra’s Power
The man in question merely replied with a smile. He was unarmed, and didn’t show any sign that he wanted to fight us.
But the magic power that overflowed from him gave me a heavy pressure.
I need to be careful.
[Yo, Fate. It’s been a while… or has it?]
[What did you do?]
[As you can see. I slayed the monster lurking in this land. I’ve warned the town residents in advance to minimize casualties. I took necessary precautions, okay?]
[There are still some people left around here. And it would take more than hundreds of years before that monster posed any danger. Why all of a sudden?]
[It’s not something for them to decide. It was my own decision.]
What are you talking about? Yours to decide?
[Your face tells me that you don’t get it. Fine, let me tell you. Suppose the monster is left alive for hundreds of years, who will the townspeople ask for help by then? Let me tell you. If it’s allowed to grow up to that point, the monster will easily be at Area E level.]
This land happened to not be under the Kingdom’s management. Furthermore, since it’s also not a Holy Knight’s territory, there wouldn’t be any powerful warrior to help at any time. In addition to that, apparently leaving the monster alive would only make the situation even worse.
[You seem to get it now. Who will defeat it then? Mortal Sin skill holder like you? No, it’ll only be human like me. Think that through. I’m actually busier than it seems. I can’t afford to conform with people’s foolish ego with the limited time I have. It’ll only be too convenient for them if I did.]
[Then, why now?]
[I did say that I’ve given them plenty of time to evacuate. And it wasn’t on an urgent notice as well. Let me say this again. It was my own decision. On the contrary, let me ask you this. How will Fate deal with this monster?]
Libra trampled over the remnant of the monster as he approached us.
It was an unfeeling step. As though he was trampling over something that got in his way.
[You have no reply for that? I suppose you’ve already heard about this monster before, yes? You came here, but after knowing about this problem you simply left because you couldn’t find a solution. Correct? What I want to say is, don’t complain if you can’t even do anything about it.]
He said, before walking passed me.
[Ho… you finally speak. I thought that you’ll just stand there like a figurine.]
Despite her trembling, Eris stared dagger at Libra.
[Hee, so you can actually make that kind of face. Have you become a bit stronger? I wonder if playing king has made you any better?]
[I… I’m not the same as before!]
Eris raised the black bayonet. The muzzle was pointed on Libra. On the other hand, Libra still looked calm.
[Shoot, if you really want to shoot. However, can you really do that? With the door to his land about to open, do you understand how foolish it is to try to fight me? You of all people should know me better.]
Libra smiled when Eris finally lowered the black bayonet.
[Good girl. You should’ve acted more obedient like in the past.]
When Libra turned his head back to me, someone suddenly stood in between us.
[Oh, Snow. No way… To think that you’ll be forced to take that form.]
Snow, who should’ve been with Mimir, stood between me and Libra, spreading her little arms as if to protect me. She growled intimidatingly at Libra.
[Don’t be so angry. Good grief… it’s not like I’m the bad guy here.]
[Scram! I hate you!]
[Even though you lost your memory, you can still act like that, huh? Well, whatever. I actually came here to fetch Snow, but I guess I’ll just leave her in Fate’s care for now.]
Libra smiled as he said so.
[It’s not good to get sidetracked like this, you know? Go to Hauzen immediately.]
[I don’t need you to tell me that.]
[Good boy. But no matter what, be sure to stop the door to His land from opening. Alright? For sure, okay?]
[I know that already.]
[Good then. Just know that, if you fail, I’m afraid Hauzen will end up being destroyed completely.]
Libra just had to say that threat. I was about to chase after him, but Snow prevented me to.
[No, it’s dangerous!]
[Snow actually knows better. Okay, stop wasting time talking with me. Head to Hauzen at once.]
And with that, Libra took his leave.
He left a whisper as he passed by me.
[Be even stronger, Fate. For me.]
Libra truly left after saying that cryptic message.
Leaving us alone in the middle of what essentially a dead town.
Eris made her way to me slowly, and snuggled herself into my arm.
[After everything… I guess there is still a long way to go.]
I could sense her body shivered almost feverishly. Personally, I thought she did pretty well for someone with a trauma. Regular person normally wouldn’t even be able to utter a word in front of something they fear the most.
[Eris already did your best.]
Alright then. What I can do right now is not to fight Libra.
The town had been severely damaged, but the remaining residents were fortunately still alive.
After regrouping with Roxy and Mimir, we proceeded to meet the residents once more to explain what had become of the monster, and convinced them that it’s impossible to stay in this town anymore.
Roxy spoke up before boarding the magic bike again.
[Thank goodness. We managed to convince them to move out.]
[Yeah… Ironically, the monster starting to emerge from the ground below was the decisive factor.]
[Even if their mouth insists to say all that, they cannot turn away from the reality before them.]
[When utter danger is right before our eyes, will we also change like them…?]
One thing that people always seek for is happiness.
But these people shared a history with this place. They had nowhere to go, wandering around aimlessly before finding this oasis.
Now that they’d found their paradise, it’s only normal that they’d be unwilling to leave.
However, faced with overwhelming fear, they decided to leave.
[Humans sometimes can be so feeble. Even a Holy Knight like me. But, Fate, you are strong!]
[Is that so… I never thought it that way.]
[But when Fate fought the Tenryu, you were so amazing. Even when you were cornered and losing, you did not give up. The same was also true when you fought at the capital.]
[Ahahah, I just felt like I’ll regret it if I gave up.]
I laughed in return, but Roxy wasn’t going to let me off so easily.
[Always acting like that, really now…]
[Enough talking about me. Fortunately the townspeople are willing to move out to Lishua’s territory. That’s a relief. Although it’ll be only temporary, so I guess they’ll have to move again in future, this time to Hauzen.]
[I guess so. Then, first!]
[Yeah, look for Myne’s whereabouts in Hauzen. Then we’ll stop the Door to His Land from opening. Only then Hauzen will be safe.]
I started the magic bike and began speeding on the road again. After a while, I could hear Snow’s excited voice.
[So fast! It’s fun!]
[If you don’t hold on, you’ll fall.]
Un, certainly, there’s no need to worry. As someone belonging to Area E, falling from the speeding bike wouldn’t hurt her.
[Then I’ll speed up some more.]
[Hey, Fai! I am getting nauseous here! Eris-sama too, please say something.]
Eris and Mimir ran their bike parallel to ours. This time Eris was at the helm.
She simply smiled without saying anything.
[Eris-sama! What is wrong?]
[Now now, I’m in a good mood today. Therefore, I’ll just turn a blind eye to Fate’s childishness this time.]
[What do you mean by childish!]
Eris didn’t reply and just smiled. Perhaps it had something to do with Libra’s appearance earlier today.
Despite fearing him so, Eris who hadn’t been able to utter a word before was actually able to speak up this time. It could be considered a huge step up for her.
Libra said that should I fail in preventing the door to his land from opening, he won’t hesitate to wipe the entirety of Hauzen out.
There might be some rules of his own that dictates him to not act right away. I guess it’s the same with the city-eating monster case; he’s giving me time to handle it myself.
When the deadline has been reached, if the situation hasn’t been resolved yet, then he’ll take things into his own hands, regardless if there are still people nearby.
That guy, he’s prioritizing his goals over human life.
[Hey, Eris. Can I ask a few things regarding Libra?]
[Sure. You don’t have to make a worried face like that.]
[I see… Alright then. Can you tell me, just what power Libra used to kill the city-eating monster?]
[That guy’s power… I’m not really sure about the details, but it seems that he can manipulate lifeforce.]
Lifeforce!? Now that I think about it… That monster withered and died as if something had sucked the life out of it.
But being able to control that kind of power, shouldn’t that make him nigh-invincible?
As I thought about all that, Eris broke my reverie with her laugh.
[Are you scared?]
[That’s not what I’m thinking about. Rather, I was trying to think up a way to fight someone who could control lifeforce.]
[Ahahahaha, just you being yourself.]
It’s a bit annoying to be laughed at like this, but if it can make Eris feel a bit better, then I guess it’s fine.
[If you want to laugh, then just laugh.]
[That’s a bit too much of a laugh!]
In the end it was still too much, so I had to complain. Meanwhile, our destination had finally come into view.
An old castle built on a small hill, with a high wall surrounding it.
The city which was abandoned for many years and eroded by nature, now had been rebuilt completely.
It’s the new Hauzen.
[Hee, that looks more beautiful than I thought it will be.]
[Uaaa… It has gotten even more beautiful than my last visit.]
[So that’s the Barbatos Territory! I heard that it’s still under construction, but it looks perfect already.]
[We made it a priority to fix the wall since we need it to repel monsters. The castle has also been renovated. I mean, every town has to have a landmark, right?]
The town itself began right from behind the wall. Many houses and shops were still in construction.
It seemed that Snow was looking forward to this visit.
As someone who was involved in the reconstruction, it made me happy.
We took the magic bikes closer to the entrance. When we got close enough, a loud noise rang out and the gate slowly opened.
Perhaps the soldiers saw us coming from the distance.
A man waved at me from beyond the gate, along with him were soldiers guarding the wall.
[Fate! Everyone! Welcome to Hauzen.]
[Seto! It’s been a while. How’s it going!]
[Because we received the support from the capital, as you can see, we’re doing fine.]
Seto spoke with such confidence. We met up some time after we took our separate ways back in our hometown, and since then he’s been helping with Hauzen’s reconstruction.
We might not have been on good terms in the past. But we’ve since reconciled and become good friends.
After exchanging handshakes with him, I introduced him to my travelling companions.
Seto was surprised when he saw Roxy. But not as much as when he saw Mimir dressed in her maid uniform. I supposed the former knight turned maid was indeed a rare beauty.
Then he promptly knelt down on the ground upon seeing Eris.
[Eris-sama! It is an honor to have Your Majesty to visit this humble and dirty place.]
[Oi! You! Don’t describe Hauzen like that]
[What are you saying, Fate! This THE Queen herself. It’s too early to show the town to someone of Her stature!]
[Calm down, it’s alright. Eris might look noble and charismatic, but the content? Not so much.]
[Fate! You’re horrible.]
Owowow! Eris pinched my ear in response to my mocking her.
[Fate always has such a bad mouth, don’t listen to him. Anyway, I’m here to see if Hauzen needs more assistance from the capital.]
[That will really help, thank you.]
Seto seemed to be relieved upon hearing that from Eris.
And lastly, his eyes darted to Snow. His gaze alternated between me and Snow repeatedly, until he came to his own conclusion.
[No way! Is she your kid, Fate!? Who is the mother…?]
He then threw her gaze to Roxy, Mimir, and Eris one after another.
You girls…why did you all reacted like that? And you Seto, how come you arrived at such a ridiculous conclusion… You girls could at least correct him?
Seto then nodded and gave us a knowing look.
[Un un, I see…]
[Enough already. This little girl’s name is Snow. We found her back at Lishua’s territory, and had to take care of her since then. I can’t tell you the reason yet.]
[Excuses, huh…? Anyways, it’s better if we talk inside the castle. I was in the middle of cleaning up the interior when everybody told me to greet Fate outside.]
First of all… I’m the legal owner of this Barbatos territory.
Well, I did ask Seto and several other people to watch over the territory while I’m away. And I knew that he’s just messing with me.
[Alright then, over here. And Fate, I’ve been informed about the matter regarding Myne. Can we talk about that after this?]
[Yeah, no problem.]
Nodding to me, Seto began walking ahead of us. He guided our group through the outer gate into Hauzen.
It’s said that Myne had been spotted here. Was there something in here that is required to fully open the door to His land?
I had a feeling that to stop her, fighting would inevitably break out.