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Chapter 115 - The Curiosity of the Weapon Shop Owner

The next few days passed without issue.

We went out every day to prepare for the wave. Sometimes we would go to the mine and search for rare materials, and other times we would fight monsters to raise our levels.

In the mine, I would feed all the gems we acquired into the shield and we would also eliminate any nearby monsters.

For Firo’s legs, it doesn’t even take a day to return to the castle.

At the castle, I would mix medicines or learn magic. Rafatalia and Rishia are also studying magic under the court magician.

For some reason, after the class-up, Rafatalia has begun to be able to use magic other than Illusion. She has started absorbing new types of magic into her fighting style like a sponge.

But even for her, there is not much she can learn in 2-3 days.

The court mage says that in 2 weeks, she will be able to utilize Dreifach Class magic. I am waiting expectantly. [1][2]

This will be useful in the future.

I was unable to save the people of the plagued village on my own, so I am studying medicine. For some reason, the Medicine Shop owner went to the trouble of personally teaching me.

This world’s medicine is very effective. However, only a select few actually studied and sold it.

They seemed to make up a sort of Apothecary Guild.

However, the Church and Apothecaries were constantly fighting over treatment methods, and there are very few skilled people among either of their members.

The Church is putting its resources towards researching Healing Magic. This magic can heal extremely severe injuries, though it is not effective on disease.

The Apothecaries are putting their efforts towards mixing medicine. They are making progress towards eliminating diseases, however are unable to heal severe physical wounds.

Both sides have few advanced equipment and skilled individuals, the medicine shop owner complains.

I wonder what field I should direct Rishia towards for support.

In order to make her stronger, I have a lot to learn.

By the way, Firo is spending her time playing with Melty.

The Wave will come in 4 days.


I go to the Weapon Shop to check on the old man’s progress.


“Oh, it’s you kids.” (Old Man)

“Are there any new developments?” (Naofumi)

“Let’s see… The bird girl stopped by with her friend to play.” (Old Man)


Friend?… He’s probably talking about Melty

She’s the princess set to take over the country, you know. Wait, for now she is the only princess.

He should already know, as he saw my wanted poster.

And Melty is being too carefree, playing outside after all that stuff happened.


“You brought some mysterious ingredients, boy. I used the Black rabbit materials you gave me to try to reinforce the sword, and it immediately turned white.” (Old Man)

“Ho-…“ (Naofumi)

“I applied a Blood Deterring Charm to the sword. It’s not as effective as the coating, but it should work for your purposes.” (Old Man)


Blood Deterring Charm?

Is it a level below Coating?


“Ah, it somehow gives off a better feeling than before.” (Naofumi)

“I sharpened the edge, and put some light enchantments on it. The process went well.” (Old Man)

“This is incredible.” (Naofumi)

“I tried to do the same on the Bird Girl’s claws and it went well. For this one, I used the Black Dog Materials.”

“Wow…” (Naofumi)


For some reason, Firo’s claws have turned white as well.

It looks like a curse was lifted from them.

I inspect these two items.


-

Usauni Sword, Quality High [3]

Item Effects: Agility Up, Magic Up, Pierce Power Up, Blood Deterrent

-

Inulut Claw, Quality High [4]

Item Effects: Agility Up, Magic Up, Pierce Power Up, Blood Deterrent

-


“You do good work.” (Naofumi)

“Thanks.” (Old Man)


These weapons have increased in quality considerably. They will be a major asset. I wonder if they already had preset names, or if the Old Man named them.

Usauni… Inulut… I believe they were the legendary monsters of the islands.


“I also finished this spear.” (Old Man)


-

Speckle Spear

… Effects pretty much the same as the others.

-


“Who here can wield a spear? Also, where did you get that spear from?” (Naofumi)


From that name, was it made from the Penguin Ingredients?


“I thought it was odd, but when I started using some of the remaining ingredients, this was the result. The ingredients almost ran out, it was difficult.” (Old Man)

“That was unnecessary…” (Naofumi)


Well, I guess there’s no harm. Worst comes to worse, I’ll give it to Rishia. She’s even wearing the Penguin suit, so it will be quite fitting.


“This is still under construction. Try giving it to the Lady in the Costume.” (Old Man)

“Keep up the good work.” (Naofumi)

“Sure. But… The problem is the modification of the Penguin Suit that you ordered…” (Old Man)


With a sorry face, the old man goes into the back of the shop and pulls out what used to be the penguin suit.


“Oy… It’s slightly different, but it’s definitely still a costume.” (Naofumi)


The whole suit has turned white.


“I think I am going crazy. When the bird girl came over to play, I got inspired to try something, and it turned out like this.” (Old Man)

“… I have a really bad feeling about this. What sort of inspiration was that!?” (Naofumi)

“What is that?” (Rishia)

“Come on, Rishia!” (Naofumi)


Rishia touches the suit. She is shaking.



“Hey, Old Man. No matter how you look at it, this is impossible.” (Naofumi)

“I also think that it turned out wrong.” (Old Man)


The Old Man looks like he is going to cry.

That’s right… What was once a Penguin Suit is now a Filo Rial Suit. [5]

And no matter how you look at it, Firo was the model.

It is pretty much a Firo Suit.


-

Firo Plushy


Defense Up,

Agility Up (Large),

Impact Resist (Small),

Wind Resistance (Large),

Darkness Resistance (Small),

HP Restoration (Weak),

Magic Amplify (Medium)

Autonomous Repair,

Pulling Skills Increased,

Carrying Capacity Increased,

Size Correction,

Race Change - Monster (When Equipped)

-


… Both me and the Old Man avert our eyes from the Costume.


“Wa- Is this imitating Firo?” (Firo)

“It definitely looks like you.” (Rafatalia)

“What a wonderful costume!” (Rishia)

“Hey! Don’t just equip it by yourself!” (Naofumi)


Rishia immediately puts on the suit.


“How do I look? Kue! Kue!”


… There is now a bird-form Firo next to the human-form Firo.

Well, compared to the real thing, it is a bit smaller.

It’s quite a sorry sight.

I go and check Rishia’s status.

High! Is this the effect of the shield?

What was once 1/5 of Rafatalia’s stats is now 1/3!

For an equipment to be this effective… The Race change also gave her the Filo Rial Shield Bonuses.

Well, as long as it’s effective, I guess it’s fine.


“Yes. Apart from the appearance, it is fine.” (Naofumi)

“How cruel.” (Firo)


Rishia seems happy with the Firo Suit.

However, Firo seems to be protesting.


“This is all I can do for now. Next time, I’ll make some actual equipment for the girl.” (Old Man)

“How about me?” (Naofumi)

“I can make it, but I don’t think it will be ready in time for the wave.” (Old Man)

“I see.” (Naofumi)


Well, with the defense of the Shield, my armor has taken very little damage to begin with. I guess I can leave it as it is for now.


“I’ll pop by later. Thank you for your work.” (Naofumi)

“Sure. Oh yes, boy?” (Old Man)

“What is it?” (Naofumi)

“I can also make you new shields.” (Old Man)


That’s right. With these strange ingredients, he can also forge new shields that I have yet to acquire.

Feeding materials to the Shield will not necessarily guarantee a new shield. It will be more efficient to have the Old Man forge shields out of the drops.

Should I leave some materials from the next wave’s boss to the Old Man?


“If I run into some interesting materials, I might ask for that. Please wait ‘til then.” (Naofumi)

“I’ll be waiting, boy.” (Old Man)


And as such, we prepared for the wave.

I have been using the methods the other heroes gave me to strengthen the shields already in my possession as well.


-

Soul Eater Shield (Awakened) +6 35/35 SR [6]

Ability Bonus

Equipment Bonus

Skill: Second Shield

Soul Resistance (Medium)

Psychological Attack Resist (Small)

SP Up

Passive: Soul Eater

Sp Recovery (Weak),

Drain Effect,

Intangibility,

Undead Control

Proficiency 67

Enchantment Level 7, SP +10%

Bonus against Undead (Defense +50)

Status Enchant (Endurance +30)

-


I am currently raising my proficiency. For some reason, upon strengthening, this shield's stats went higher than the Chimera Viper Shield.

I guess this is because this is from the boss that came after the Chimera. Its abilities’ effectiveness also went up with reinforcement.

The abilities Drain, Intangibility, and Undead Control appeared after awakening the shield.

Just as its name implies, Intangibility allows me to pass through solid objects… But going through a single wall takes up all of my SP. And that was quite a thin wall at that. I wonder what will happen if I solidify inside a wall. [7]

Undead Control allows me to manipulate undead monsters to some extent. I tried using it on some Skeletons, but it immediately dried up my SP.

I don’t think I can use these functions.

But by stats alone, my Defense is now 4 times what it was when I got back to the castle.

Yesterday, I let myself get attacked by all sorts of monsters, and I didn’t even feel anything.

… However, I myself never let damage get through to me to begin with.

After leaving the Old Man’s store, I go the Castle’s courtyard to experiment.


Chapter 116 - Blue Sand Sound

I summoned Raphtalia, Firo, and Rishia to conduct an experiment.

I have plans to train and study magic after this, but for now we have free time, so there's no problem.


“What's wrong? Naofumi-sama?”

“Ah, I have a favour to ask you, Raphtalia.”


I opened Raphtalia's slave menu and unchecked the restriction preventing her from attacking me.

If I didn’t remove it, the seal crest would activate before I could experiment and cause Raphtalia pain.


“I want to test the defense of the strengthened shield. I give you permission, so please strike at me.”

“Okay......”

“Please start with your bare hands. Don’t hold back.”

“I, I understand.”


Hesitantly, but with power, Raphtalia hit me with her fist, aiming for my chest.

It made a good sound.

However, it didn't even have the pain of a mosquito bite.

Is this the extent of Raphtalia's fist.....?

What would happen if I was stabbed with a sword?

It seemed foolish even to me, but even though I think it's unpleasant to get hurt, I wanted to see how many attacks I could handle.


“Next is the sword.”

“U-um. Is that alright?”


Rishia inquires timidly.

I understand her feelings. From an ordinary person's point of view, I can only be seen as a weirdo.


“I'm testing to see how much I can endure.”


I want to think that if I can withstand attacks of Raphtalia's class, then I will be fine for the time being.

There's no such thing as having too much defensive power.


“Th-then here I come.”


Raphtalia faced me holding not her usual weapon, but an iron sword. I understood it as going somewhat easy on me.

With a loud clang, Raphtalia's attack hit me on the shoulder and stopped.


“I-It's tough......”


Raphtalia responded tearfully, whilst silently letting the iron sword drop and shaking out her hand.

Oh, I didn't receive any damage at all.

This is amazing. It feels as if I have a body made of steel.

Although it still feels fleshy when you touch it, just like before.

Looking at it closely, don't I have more muscles when compared to before I came to this world?

I think that including the level compensation, it's become a suitably fit body to fight with.

Well, we haven't had much of a break in fighting for the past four months.

In the past, you wouldn’t think that so much physical strength would be expended between walking and riding the carriage. It can't be compared to when I was an otaku.


“Let Firo do it too~”

“Ah, sure.”

“Ya~y!”


I released Firo's monster crest as well.

In terms of power, if I can defend against Firo's attack, I can say that I have considerable defense. I'd like the self-assurance.


“Okay, I'm coming!”


Turning into her monster form, Firo stood before me and lifted her foot back in order to kick me.


   creak*....*creak creak*...*tense*...

“H-hey....”


The sound of muscles contracting could be heard from Firo's leg.

My past experiences told me. That was dangerous.


   tense*.... *tense tense tense*

“Wai-, sto----”

“Hiya!”


I prepared my shield at once.

After a loud roar, together with strong vibration, my body lifted. I flew with the impact from the whole body.


“A-are you trying to kill me!?”


If I didn't prepare, wouldn't that have gone right through me? What is this?

When I was about to complain, I glanced back at Firo who started to giggle.

For a moment, I felt like frowning.


“Wah... Master's very sturdy~”

“What the hell was the kick just now!?”

“Well, er.... In a real fight I always save some strength when I kick, so I won't be exposed.”


Firo's serious kick, huh.... She's totally not going easy on me.


“The strength I put in would be enough to split that spear guy into two.”


I pity Motoyasu. If he was kicked with this much power, his life would be over.

I kind of want to see that.


“If it was Master from before, you might have flown all the way to the horizon?”

“You should think more about your actions before you do them!”


Really, it's enough to kill.

A kick that sends you flying all the way to the horizon... I mean, what the hell?

This isn't an anime...... although if you think about it, it is another world.

However, this result really proves my high defense.

I was able to defend against Firo's full strength, which is comparable to the heroes', according to Glass, so it's remarkable.

I don't know how far it will go, but I'm anticipating the effectiveness to be beyond what it is now.

“Hm... it's all right.”

“The one who decides that isn't you. It's me.”

“But I thought it was fine.”


Is this kid just instinctive?

Having it happen a second time is scary, so I'll reset the limitation for now.


“Jeez....... I'm alright so it's good...... If I had gotten injured, you'd have become tonight's dinner.”

“No~”


Now then, I slowly look towards Rishia.


“Ehh?”

“It's fine if you don't do it.”

“O-Okay.”


I didn't receive any damage from Raphtalia or Firo. It's probably impossible for Rishia no matter how much she tries.

It'd be troubling if she got hurt trying to do the impossible.

It feels like handling someone with a weak constitution, but I'll lose if I worry too much.


“For the time being, the wave is drawing near, so let's work on our magic acquisition today as well. That's all.”


It is better to go on an expedition if we want to earnestly level up.

Though it seems Raphtalia does spars with the knights.


“Okay.”

“I understand.”

“Then Firo's gonna join Mel-chan with her studies~”

“Ah, off you go.”


It's obvious as the princess of the country, but Melty basically spends most of her time studying in the castle.

Now that Bitch has been stripped of her right of inheritance, it's a necessary thing to do as the next queen.

It's called the royal studies or something. There was a similar thing in my world.

One can only say that she's doing her utmost studying everyday to make this a decent country.

Speaking of Melty, she is taught pharmaceutics and magic in the castle, and when she has free time, she heads to my place.

Even in her studies, she says she enjoys it when it's with Firo.

Firo's not smart, so surely Melty's also dumb. Yeah.

I assured myself of that and after that is to....... let's also strengthen my Wrath Shield just in case.


Wrath Shield (Awakened) +7 50/50 SR

Ability Locked...... Equipment bonus, Skills [Change Shield (Atk)] [Iron Maiden] [Blutopfer]

Special effect: Dark Curse Burning S, Strength Up, Indignation of the Enraged Dragon, Roar, Family's Rampage, Magic Sharing Garment of Rage (Mid)

Proficiency 0


It appears that I can't do Item, Spirit, or Status Enchantments on unreleased shields.

Nevertheless, the abilities have improved tremendously.

The problem is that when I change into this, it tries to take over my mind, which is frightening.

Well, the preparation for the wave is almost complete.


The next day.

3 days until the wave.


“Come to think of it, Queen...”

“What may that be?”


At the end of lunch, I called for a meeting with the queen.

Most of the preparation is complete, and I just have to wait for the wave.

As expected, it's harsh to just fight that Glass by ourselves.

That's why I thought to ask what the heroes are currently doing.


“What happened to the other Heroes? Also, is it all right that I'm not participating in the waves of the other countries?”

“The heroes, apart from Iwatani-sama, have been fighting the other countries' waves for the past few days and seem to be suppressing them safely. Iwatani-sama has basically become exclusive for our country....... so it's fine as long as there are no big problems.”

“Those big problems you speak of are worrying though-”


!?


Suddenly, the sound of glass shattering reached my ears.

When I shook my head, a big shock entered my field of vision.

The sound was similar to the sound made when a wave is coming, but...... it's different in a complicated way.


“Just now.... What just happened!?”

“Huh?”


I surveyed our surroundings.

I thought I'd been transported to the wave, but I hadn't moved anywhere and was still in the corridor of the castle.


“What in the world is going on?”

“I don't know......but, I'm certain that something has occurred.”


I summoned the red hourglass icon notifying me of the wave that was located in the corner of my vision.


– The time counter has stopped at 3 days remaining until the next wave.


And then, right next to it another......blue hourglass materialized with the number [7] engraved on it.


“Another hourglass appeared. It has the number 7 written on it, but I don't know what this means.”


I opened the Help menu to confirm that there are no new entries.

However...... I could not find any information that resembles that.

Just what in the world happened?

7...... I recently heard a story concerning people with a similar title, the Seven Star Heroes or so they're called.

Maybe it has something to do with that?


“Come to think of it, aren't there heroes defeating a wave somewhere?”

“No, apart from the wave that the other heroes are participating in, there’s only the incident from just now, I think, but....I'll solicit information from each nation just to be sure.”


On that note, the Queen and I gave instructions to a messenger requesting information.

This was the start of the incident......


Chapter 117 - When Game Knowledge Betrays You

It was only a few hours later that we realized exactly what had happened.

A messenger riding a gravely injured dragon flew to us.


“What is happening?” (Queen)


The Queen shouts with the face of someone who has just failed a mission. We are all gathered in front of the throne.


“T-there’s big trouble! The seal holding the legendary Magical Beast, the Spirit Turtle, has been broken!” (Messenger)

“Spirit…?” (Naofumi)


Spirit? As in referring to ghosts?

The Spirit Turtle… In my world, I remember it was a sort of legendary beast.

He often appeared in games as one of the 4 minor holy beasts

Does this world have some system like that as well?

The major 4 are Seiryuu, Byakkou, Genbu and Suzaku. The minor 4 are Phoenix, Spirit Turtle, Quilin, and Dragon.

Many people think they are the same, but they are slightly different.

But from the feeling I am getting from this conversation, this beast is probably Genbu.

In Mythology, The Spirit Turtle was said to carry Mt. Horai on its back. [8]

Genbu was a tortoise-like beast with a snake for a tail, and long legs.

The Chinese said that Mt. Horai was a legendary mountain in the east inhabited by immortals. Whether it is based on a real location or not is still up for debate. [9]


“It can’t be…” (Queen)


The Queen’s face has turned pale.

… That means the situation is really bad. I might get dispatched.


“In my world, there was something similar so I can kinda understand, but is the seal breaking something that bad?” (Naofumi)

“Yes. Long, long ago, the beast suddenly came into existence. It’s a monster that all four summoned heroes had to work together to seal.” (Queen)

“I see…” (Naofumi)


Did the seal weaken from the wave? Or did the seal just run out naturally?

The Help menu says that when the hourglass stops, a calamity even bigger than the wave is imminent.


“And to make it so that the seal never breaks, the four heroes of the time never told anyone how they set it. We do not know how to reseal the beast.” (Queen)

“Did it break because of the wave?” (Naofumi)

“Unfortunately, that is quite likely.” (Queen)

“But that does not explain the 7 that appeared on the hourglass.” (Naofumi)


7- that number holds many ominous connotations.

I hope it just means that the situation has to do with the 7 star heroes.

If not, then…


“U-um…” (Messenger)


As he speaks, the messenger’s face turns blue.


“What? Do you have some information?” (Queen)

“T-that is…” (Messenger)


The Messenger averts his eyes from our gaze.

? What is it? He’s staring intently at my feet.


“Speak up.” (Naofumi)

“T-the truth is…” (Messenger)


The Messenger began to elaborate on the situation.


“I was told that the seal was broken by the four summoned heroes, the Sword, Spear and Bow.” (Messenger)

“Are you certain?” (Queen)

“Yes! They all visited the town it was supposedly sealed in and performed some strange ritual. After investigating the town thoroughly, they destroyed a statue in the shrine. It was only after that that the seal broke. The heroes were last seen heading for the beast.” (Messenger)


The Queen looks pale.

But based on the messenger’s words, this reaction is appropriate.


“Itsuki!” (Rishia)


Rishia tries to run off to some unforeseen destination.


“Firo, please capture Rishia.” (Naofumi)

“Yes~” (Firo)


Firo chases after Rishia and promptly captures her.


“Unhand me! I need to go save Itsuki!” (Rishia)


For her to be devoted to this extent… Itsuki sure is lucky.


“But… Why would the Heroes take such idiotic actions… Why did they even know how to undo the seal?” (Queen)

“The heroes other than me should be quite knowledgeable about this world.” (Naofumi)


They probably used the knowledge of the games they used to play to undo the seal.

Now that I think about it, Itsuki said some incomprehensible statements before.

He told Rafatalia, ‘You will come to rely on me someday,’ and he told me, ‘This is the last time you can act so conceited.’

Did the feelings of inferiority he got from those times cause his current actions?

The turtle will probably give a lot of EXP and some valuable items.

The three heroes probably headed there because they became overconfident after defeating the Level 80+ wave bosses of other countries.

Again with the Game Knowledge. They should quit it already

I bet they plan to beat the Spirit Turtle to one-up me.

Even after all of this, they only care about strengthening their own characters.

I’ll bitch about it to them later.


“About that…” (Messenger)

“They unsealed it, correct? So how are they doing in regards to defeating it?” (Naofumi)


The Dragon Hourglass is still stopped. Those gamers would never pick a fight with an enemy they cannot beat.

They should soon be celebrating in a nearby village.

There’s no food tastier than food on someone else’s tab anyways.


“Well… After heading for the turtle, the heroes are currently MIA, and the Spirit Turtle has yet to be stopped.” (Messenger)

“What?!” (Naofumi)


What the Hell?!


There’s no way they would unseal it if there was no chance of winning.

Well, that’s just my opinion as a hero.

I have a bad premonition.

There’s a possibility that something is impeding them from fighting the Spirit Turtle.

But for a monster so powerful that it could only be sealed to be released into a populated area…

This is really, REALLY bad, isn’t it?


“Shadow, what information do you have?” (Queen)

“I followed each hero, but…” (Shadow)


Shadow appears next to the queen and whispers into her ear.

It doesn’t seem to be the shadow I know that says –gojaru.


“… It seem the situation is … uncertain.” (Queen)


Two days later.

Me and my party had departed with a large squad of knights to a neighboring country to join the fray.

We will be the front line of this war.

Our job is to make sure the damage caused by the Turtle is kept to a minimum.

So far, 5 Cities, 3 Forts, and 2 Castles have fallen to the beast.

The Spirit Turtle is a Gigantic monster, and it is usually surrounded by numerous subordinate monsters. These subordinate monsters are tasked with finishing off all those that flee in the Turtle’s path.

It seems to be headed towards areas with high populations.


“Will the 7 Star Heroes be participating as well?” (Naofumi)

“We have sent out a request, but currently, we are the closest to the Beast. It will take several days for the others to arrive.” (Queen)


If I leave it to the 7 Heroes, the sacrifices will be great. This has to do with my duty as a hero.

And I don’t know if those heroes are strong enough to depend on at this point.

Also… If the monster is strong enough to render the other 3 heroes missing, I myself am in quite a bit of trouble.

But it doesn’t seem that I will be able to run.

If I weigh fighting here with being considered a traitor and having the other heroes come after me again, I would rather perish in this battle.

I have to do this.

The other heroes better have not just unsealed this thing and disappeared to show the queen my lack of worth as a hero…

However, I cannot deny that I do lack such worth.

The risk is too great, so they probably won’t do that… probably.

I guess I should act as if the other 3 are dead.

Their Game knowledge… The factor that allowed them to believe that they understood everything about this world. It finally betrayed them, and caused them to underestimate a terrifying enemy.

That is the only explanation I can think of for their failure.

Perhaps in their games, it was a different beast that had been sealed away.


“… No matter what happened to the other 3, I have no choice but to fight. So how powerful are our current forces?” (Naofumi)

“We have this country’s knights, our soldiers, various vagrant adventurers, and some other armed forces sent from neighboring countries… But some countries have already attempted to confront the turtle and have suffered crushing defeats.” (Queen)

“They advanced without waiting for the heroes?” (Naofumi)

“There’s no way a country can refrain from fighting when a monster is destroying it right before its ruler’s eyes.” (Queen)

“… I see…” (Naofumi)


It may have been rash, but there was no choice for those people but to fight.

It’s not like I can’t understand their feelings.


“So the only hero you can count on… is me.” (Naofumi)


If I allow even one casualty, my reputation will only get worse.

If the other three heroes are the culprits of this calamity, then I, the fourth hero, must step up and act like a hero for once.

… Acting heroic isn’t like me at all.

I am up against a monster that can destroy countries overnight, and I am fighting with nothing but a shield. This may seem very reckless. But if I do nothing, nothing will result.


“I can see it.” (Queen)


The Queen calls out from the carriage Firo is carrying.

I’m speechless as I stare at the monstrosity on the horizon.


“Um… Is that Mountain over there moving, or is that my imagination?” (Naofumi)


I’m supposed to fight that?

It’s far away, so I can’t see it clearly, but this is even larger than the largest dragons of the games in which you hunt monsters. [10]

It truly is the size of the Turtle said to move an entire country on its shell in my world.

There seems to be the wreckage of a town on top, and the Turtle is carrying it all on its mountain-sized back.


“Queen, in the legend of the heroes that fought this thing, how exactly did they fight it?” (Naofumi)

“It seems they got inside of it from the city on its back and placed a seal on its heart.” (Queen)


So that means we first have to stop that thing, and then get inside of it somehow… No, stopping it will take more forces than we can muster.


“Do you have a plan?” (Naofumi)

“There is one. The turtle seems to be headed for areas with high population. We can estimate its course, evacuate the cities and castles in the way, and set up ambushes to hold it down in those cities.” (Queen)

“That isn’t all is it?” (Naofumi)

“After that, we plan to follow the legend and send you inside to attack the heart.” (Queen)


Should I try to damage it with Iron Maiden or Blutofer?

I had just gotten over the shield’s curse… but looking at that thing, I don’t think I have a choice.


“But with that plan, the casualties will be quite great, won’t they?” (Naofumi)


If we enter the Turtle, he will probably start rampaging.

So while we proceed towards the heart, a lot of damage will be done to the forces on the outside.


“…Yes.” (Queen)

“Unhand Me! I… I Won’t fight! The Shield. Send the Shield!” (Trash)

“……” (Naofumi)


Trash is sitting in the seat next to the Queen.

The Queen is currently performing an iron claw on his face to prevent him from escaping the carriage.

… This person does not look like he will be of any help.


“I understand the risk, however there is no other way we know of to rid the world of that monster.” (Queen)


Trash’s interjection completely ruined the atmosphere.

Why is this person even here?

He may be the general, but I feel the army would be better off without this idiot.

I guess he is here as the Hero of the Cane, or the former Wise King to increase troop morale.


“We’re done for… in many ways.” (Naofumi)

“Meaning?” (Queen)

“Well, for one, your husband is done for. Also, that plan will result in too many casualties.” (Naofumi)


It’s too risky and too rash.

But I can’t decide anything unless I can see just how powerful an attack from the beast is firsthand.

All I know right now is how many people attacked it and lost.


“… Let me try fighting it as a test.” (Naofumi)


We’ll decide our next course of action based on whether I can withstand its attacks or not.


“Fue…” (Rishia)

“Rishia, We are going to go scout out the power of the Spirit Turtle. Depending on the situation, I am counting on you to relay the information to the queen.” (Naofumi)

“B-but I’m-” (Rishia)

“I understand your concern. That costume should greatly increase your speed. You don’t have to go on the front lines, but please observe the battle and report your findings.” (Naofumi)


This doesn’t look like an opponent I can beat with just the power of a Hero.

And it also doesn’t seem to have any intention of backing down.

He’s as large as a mountain. If I encountered such an enemy in a game, I would run. However, if I ran here, I would only be making more enemies of the shield.

I should start off by trying to fight it.


“Understood. I will help relay the situation.” (Rishia)

“I’ll also leave magical support to you. Worst comes to worst, we’ll have to retreat and wait for the Star Heroes to arrive.” (Naofumi)

“Iwatani-sama, your performance will affect the morale of all of the troops fighting here. Please be careful.” (Queen)

“Yes ma’am.” (Naofumi)


We detach Firo from the Queen’s carriage. Firo takes us all on her back.


“Firo, we’ll be fighting that giant thing.” (Naofumi)

“Yes~!” (Firo)

“Raphtalia, just fight as you always do. As the Queen said, if this doesn’t work out, we can always think of another plan.” (Naofumi)

“Understood.” (Raphtalia)

“Rishia, only think about your own safety. If worst comes to worst, retreat and report the results to the Queen.” (Naofumi) Boss Battle: The Spirit Turtle

“Y-yes.” (Rishia)


I give out orders and prepare for battle.


“Let’s go.” (Naofumi)


Firo starts running at full speed. We begin our assault on the Spirit Turtle.


Chapter 118 - VS. Spirit Turtle, Recon Battle

“It’s much bigger up close.” (Raphtalia)


Before my eyes, the large turtle is getting closer step by step.

There is an earthquake every time it takes a step, making me stagger.


“That seems to be the case.” (Naofumi)

“……We should escape.” (Rishia)

“I understand your feelings.” (Naofumi)


It’s been about a month since the heroes came and let this out….. It is reckless to fight against an opponent that those heroes from before couldn’t beat.

…..There is a reason why I can’t leave, so it can’t be helped.

Well, let’s test something.

It should be fine to withdraw immediately if it gets dangerous.


“That turtle is huge~” (Firo)

“Fueeeeeee! Itsuki-samaaa!”( Rishia)


A swarm of demon bats is coming from the first mountain-like shell.

Are these the Spirit Turtle’s Familiars?


“Meteor Shield!” (Naofumi)


Immediately, the Meteor Shield I learned expands, and I fall back to Rishia.


“Highten Reaction!” (Naofumi)


The swarm of the Spirit Turtle’s familiars fire rays of light at us from their eyes.

Thumping sounds could be heard as the barrier is struck.

So they can use long-range attacks, huh? [11]


“Tei!”(Raphtalia)

“Teriyaa!”(Firo)


Raphatalia and Firo exit the barrier to attack the Spirit Turtle’s familiars.


“Gyiii!” (Familiars)


The familiars die off as each attack hits.

However, they are too numerous.

Since this is just reconnaissance, there aren’t that many methods to go about things.


“Taha!” (Raphtalia)

“Oryaaa!” (Firo)


The familiars fall with a gasugasu as Raphtalia and Firo cut them down.

It might be good to analyze the fight in case of something surprising.


“Are you alright?” (Naofumi)

“Yeah. But, I think it’ll be hard to bring it down.” (Raphtalia)

“I see.” (Naofumi)


A thud could be heard, and something falls from the Spirit Turtle.

A gorilla-like demon with a turtle shell on its back is now coming towards us.


“Zweit Aura!” (Naofumi) [12]


I apply support magic on Raphtalia and Firo.


“Fast Guard!” (Rishia)


At the same time, Rishia applied defensive magic on me.

That was good judgement.

It seems that status and smarts aren’t related.


“Go! Yin-Yang Sword.” (Raphtalia)


Raphtalia’s sword alternates between black and white glows as it cuts through the demon. It was split into 2 black and white spheres, which collide and destroy the demons.

Is this a certain kill sword attack that kills two birds with one stone!?


“Critical Quick~ ̄” (Firo)


Firo becomes a blur as she quickly flies of towards the enemy and kicks.

What is that? The same attack?

That’s what I thought, but Firo’s speed doesn’t fall, and she unleashes a flurry of kicks onto the demon.


“Umm you see~, it's an instant version of High Quick.” (Firo)


It’s an attack is easy to maintain.

That is certainly useful.


“Fue, Fast Water Shot!” (Rishia)


Rishia slips through the barrier and fires her Water Magic at the familiars.

Yup. They didn’t die.

But, they have been slowed down.


“This may be good.” (Naofumi)


Well, there is a large margin between us and familiars of this degree.

The problem is the main body. Maybe, the other heroes struggled against the main body.

There is also the possibility that they are fighting within the body.


“Anyway, let’s try to fight it!” (Naofumi)

“Yes!” (Raphtalia)

“Okaay~” (Firo)

“Fueeeeee!” (Rishia)


And so, the closer we got to the spirit turtle, the stronger the demons become……As we arrive in front of the spirit turtle, it recalls all of its familiars.

Of course, it’s gigantic when seen up close. A village can be made on its face alone.

Now, what to do?

The turtle turns its gaze towards us.


“―――――――――――――――!”(Spirit Turtle)


It lets out a tremendous roar, and I have to cover my ears.

This is not a friendly attitude.

I activate Meteor Shield again to repel the familiars as I check the status of the spirit turtle.

The turtle moves its foot towards us.


“That’s dangerous!” (Naofumi)


It sends forth a powerful kick. I raise my shield to prepare for the attack at once.

With the sound of glass shattering, Meteor Shield is broken, and immediately after, I’m hit by the Spirit Turtle.

The shock goes through my whole body.


“gu……” (Naofumi)


I am pushed back a few steps.


“Na-Naofumi-sama?!” (Raphtalia)

“Master?!” (Firo)


Raphtalia and Firo manage to get in behind the shield without trouble.

Rishia had slipped under my mantle understanding the situation, letting out a ‘fueeee’.


“I-I’m fine. Here it comes again.” (Naofumi)


Despite being trampled, it doesn’t seem I suffered any damage.

The cooldown for Meteor Shield has passed too.

Let’s try a new approach.

Right after that, Rain clouds gather in the sky, and the familiars surrounding us are swept away.

It’s the Queen and her guards; they’re providing cover fire.

It’s an attack that if not timed correctly would have hit Raphtalia as well.

I think it’s an attack that can only be fired after I used my meteor shield.


“Alright! You guys, attack it for the time being!” (Naofumi)


It’s a problem that I don’t understand this monster, but it might be weaker than it looks.


“Tooooo!” (Firo)


Firo lands a powerful kick on the enormous jaw of the Spirit Turtle.


“――――――――!?” (Spirit Turtle)


The Spirit Turtle’s head was bent back.


“Waaaaa…heavy~” (Firo)

“It’s not over yet!” (Raphtalia)


Raphtalia cuts across the limits of the Spirit Turtle’s neck while its head is bent backwards.

A crevice was made into the turtle's neck as the sound of vegetables being cut could be heard.

Blood gushed out.

However, the cut was shallow. The wound quickly regenerated as the Turtle turned its angry gaze at Firo and Raphtalia.

……It’s not going to fight, huh?

Raphtalia and Firo have become immensely stronger as well.

I’m aware that I got stronger, but is that enough?

This is a hard fight to some extent, but it’s not an enemy we can’t beat

If that’s the case, those guys…. if they could have won, why did they leave?

Now, it is impossible to deny the possibility that it could have been left to annoy me.


“――――――――――!”(Spirit Turtle)


A large magic formation appears before the Spirit Turtle.

…..I have a bad feeling about this.

Immediately, Raphatalia and Firo are forced to the ground.


“Gu~uuuuu~” (Firo)

“Wha, What is that…..” (Raphtalia)

“What happened?” (Naofumi)

“I-I don’t know. But my body is stuck to the ground….It’s heavy-” (Raphtalia)


That’s dangerous! I don’t understand, but Raphatalia is in danger.


“Fuee?” (Rishia)


Rishia, who was under my cloak, let out a goofy sound.

This girl doesn’t have any problems……Right?

The barrier created by Meteor Shield was vibrating.

It’s good to see this defended against something.

I approach Raphtalia and Firo to get them into the barrier.


“Ah, It feels light again.” (Firo)


They both stand up and approach.

From the looks up it, it’s safe to say this is Gravity Magic.

However, the Spirit Turtle's Magic wasn’t able to break through my magic defense.

After confirming that we are not moving, the Spirit Turtle tries to trample us.

You think I’d let you?!


“Shield Prison.” (Naofumi)


I use Shield Prison on top of Meteor Shield.

A large clank sound can be heard. The prison breaks and the foot is blocked by the meteor shield.

……It seems to be supporting the weight of the spirit turtle for the time being……

The barrier starts creaking.

It’ll break as it is.


“We’re moving, come with me.” (Naofumi)


There is no reason to continue being trampled.


“Okay!” (Raphtalia)

“Okay~” (Firo)

“Fueee….I understand.” (Rishia)


After those three understand what is going on, we escape from being trampled by the Spirit Turtle.

With a thud, the Spirit Turtle raises a cloud of dust.

Ah, it seems that Meteor Shield also prevents the dust cloud.


“We should be able to endure this for the time being.” (Naofumi)

“It shouldn’t be able to pinpoint our location within this cloud of dust.” (Raphtalia)

“Firo thinks we should be able to beat it right? But only if its magic is stopped.”(Firo)

“Fumu….That might be a chance to attack, but….”(Naofumi)


The area rumbles as familiars drop down.

Is it being overly cautious? It seems to be verifying that we were defeated.

There’s no time. What should we do……?


“Isn’t there something we can do?”(Naofumi)

“……There is. Block the next attack.”(Raphtalia)

“Yeah. Firo will put everything in to the next attack.” (Firo)

“Can I count on it?” (Naofumi?)


We can only attack the turtle's neck. It may be possible to kill it if we attack seriously.


“I’ll leave it to you.” (Naofumi)

“Yeah.”(Raphtalia)


I take a stance in order for Raphtalia and Firo to deliver the their special moves.

Firo’s stance looks familiar.

She flaps her wings.

The magic power is so condensed that you can see the flow of wind from behind.


“Whenever you’re ready, Raphtalia onee-chan.” (Firo)


It’s faster than before! Can it now be used in actual combat?


“Wait a little longer.” (Raphtalia)


Raphtalia’s tail begins to puff up.

She has condensed a suitable amount of magic also.


“My preparations are complete. Let’s go.” (Raphtalia)

“Yeah!” (Firo)


Raphtalia gets on Firo’s back, releasing her magical power.


“Spiral…..”(Firo)

“Eight Trigrams…..” (Raphtalia) [13]


Dust swirls around them as light gathers around Firo.

The light forms into an Yin-Yang symbol and parts into eight.

For some reason, Raphtalia’s attacks are oriental.


“Strike!” (Firo)

“Heaven’s Sword!” (Raphtalia) [14]


Becoming a straight light, Raphtalia and Firo pierce through the Spirit Turtle's throat.

The Spirit Turtle's eyes are colored in surprise.

No…. because the head was already decapitated, it could not react.

The huge neck and body of the Spirit Turtle was beautifully pierced, tearing off the head and sending it flying.

Fresh blood spewed from the Spirit Turtle's neck and rained down.

Its huge body falls to the ground with a thud.


“We did it!” (Raphtalia)


It should be dead since the head is blown off.

That was unexpectedly easy.

It doesn’t appear to be the type of enemy we have to enter the body of to seal the heart.

Cheers are heard echoing from behind.


“Fuhee……” (Rishia)


Firo touches down on the ground with experience, while Raphtalia does the same.


“We did it!” (Raphtalia)

“Yeah, you guys did great.” (Naofumi)


If we can hit with high-powered moves like these, we’ll never lose.

It feels like we may have become stronger than the other Heroes.


“That’s amazing.” (Rishia)

“Rishia, you work hard too, to become like that.” (Naofumi)

“Fueeeeeee?! That’s impossible.” (Rishia)

“It’s not impossible. You can do it!” (Naofumi)

“That’s impossible for me!” (Rishia)


Rishia thinks about tearing off the head of the Spirit Turtle and fervently denies it.

I can’t train her spirit.


“Well then, let’s have a victory party—-” (Naofumi)


The sound of something wriggling comes from the direction of the Spirit Turtle.

Everyone notices the sound and turns their sight on to the spirit turtle.

The body of the spirit turtle stands up……The meat on its neck starts to wriggle…..

The body and head are regenerated as though nothing happened at all.


“Wha……” (Naofumi)


What happened?

How strong is your regenerative ability? Didn’t it just lose its head? Like a Hydra...

It seems this regeneration ability is related to the reason why those heroes of the past had to seal the heart.


“――――――――――――――――!”(Spirit Turtle) [15]

“Argh!?” (Naofumi)


The Spirit Turtle lets out a roar.

No…. I see something bright rise from the body through the throat.

A shiver runs up my spine.

I jump before everyone and use Meteor Shield, along with Shield Prison.

Highly concentrated lightning erupts from its mouth, almost like a particle gun seen in anime.


“Gu….u….” (Naofumi)

“Na-Naofumi-sama!?” (Raphtalia)

“Waa!” (Firo)

“Fueeeeee!?” (Rishia) [16]


The cage is broken, the barrier is also penetrated, and the smell of burnt skin passes through my nose.

However, with all of this pain passing through my whole body, I can’t lose consciousness.

That brief moment felt like an eternity.


“Haa…Haa….” (Naofumi)


I feel light-headed, but I see the Spirit Turtle's attack has stopped.

This is like the damage I received when using Blutopfer.

No, more than that….

I feel some places with deep burns.


“Master!?” (Firo)

“Naofumi-sama!” (Raphatalia)

“Hero-sama!” (Rishia)


Ku…..I try to chant recovery magic, but i can’t concentrate.

At that moment, a warm light pours around me.

My wounds heal quickly.

However, there isn’t enough time to heal completely.


“Zweit・Heal!” (Queen)


I use magic I had to learn these past few days and block the Spirit Turtle’s finishing kick.

Good, I can think clearly again.

That was probably support magic from the queen.

I was saved. Soul Eater Shield was not enough to endure that attack.

Fortunately, that finishing move from the Spirit Turtle needs time to recharge.

When I look back, everything that I wasn’t guarding vanished, and the mountain behind us is missing.


“Firo, restore your magical power.” (Naofumi)

“Okay!” (Firo)


I throw Firo a magic potion I had prepared, and she drinks it quickly.


“It’s bubbly~ tastes like fruit.” (Firo)

“….people call it a carbonated soft drink.” (Naofumi)


Indeed, I think that mana(mp) potions taste like soda without sugar a.k.a. carbonated water, but to sum up my world’s drinks in one phrase….. as expected of this wild kid, she’s quite sharp in unusual ways.

At any rate, with this, Firo is at maximum potential.


“It looks like attacks from the outside will be impossible. Let’s withdraw.” (Naofumi)


While blocking the attacks of the Spirit Turtle, I expand Meteor Shield and dodge his foot.

The earth shakes every time as it raises its foot again to trample us.

However, this is our chance.


“High Quick!” (Firo)


Firo carries us and leaves in haste.

Really, even ignoring the way it broke through my defense, it’ll be impossible to win with a frontal attack against a guy that can even regenerate its head.

It looks like we have no choice but to attack the heart.

Riding Firo, we withdraw from the Spirit Turtle.


Chapter 119 - Strategic Countermeasures

“As expected, this is quite tough.”


I have returned to base, and am resting with the rest of my party. I head to the strategy meeting taking place between the leaders of multiple countries.


“Ah, The Hero of the Shield.” (Someone)

“Please, save the world.” (Someone else)

“I beg you, because of that, our country is…” (Someone else entirely)


The faces of the country leaders are quite pale.

The situation is quite grim. There will be no hope if I run here.

But… The difference in their treatment of me now is annoying.

Well, these people are from different countries. They may not know about my false crimes.


“We were watching from the back line. For it to have regeneration power to that extent…” (Queen)


The Queen speaks up with a worried face.

Trash… doesn’t seem to be present.

But I think he would be a nuisance if he was here, anyways.


“I thought we had a chance of victory… but I guess we will have to defeat it in accordance with the legend.” (Naofumi)

“Yes… But the problem seems to be how to get you onto that giant.” (Queen)

“Now that you mention it, I have been seeing dragons flying around for a while.” (Naofumi)


On the way here, I saw many soldiers preparing and riding on dragons.

I guess they were making preparations to infiltrate the turtle’s insides.


“Will it be possible?” (Naofumi)

“The problem is the monsters that accompany the beast. It will be nearly impossible to break through a swarm of monsters that dense, and make it to the Turtle’s back.” (Queen)

“Fumu…” (Naofumi)


An impenetrable defense…

If it is just my party, we might be able to break through. But we have no idea how to seal the heart.


“Just to make sure, but you do have personnel capable of putting a seal on the heart?” (Naofumi)

“Yes, we have investigated the matter and have found a method we are certain will work.” (Queen)

“Is it something that my party will be able to perform?” (Naofumi)

“That is…” (Queen)


The Queen stays silent.

It seems we will not be able to do it alone.

It’s not that convenient, I guess.


“I see…” (Naofumi)

“It’s something we’ll need an entire platoon of magicians to perform.” (Queen)

“So we will need to infiltrate the Turtle with an entire army, and somehow reach the heart with minimal casualties?” (Naofumi)

“…Yes” (Queen)


If only the spell was long range, our lives would be so much easier.

So we need to buy enough time for an entire platoon to enter the body.

I look at the map on the table. It shows the location of the Turtle and nearby cities.

It’s getting very close. If we don’t hurry, more cities will be destroyed.


“Have you completed the evacuation procedures?” (Naofumi)

“That has been… difficult.” (Queen)

“I see.” (Naofumi)


Just by getting close, this monster causes large-scale earthquakes. The fissures themselves can collapse buildings and block off escape routes. This is very bad.

And this monster is proceeding with clear purpose and direction.

Now that I think about it, it hasn’t shot out that powerful attack yet.


“What was that large scale attack that thing released on my party?” (Naofumi)

“We are currently investigating it. It has not released one since.” (Queen)

“Fumu…” (Naofumi)


It seems that it will take time before it can use such a large-scale attack again.

Or maybe it has yet to find another opponent worthy of firing it at.

Regardless, I will have to buy time for the Magician army to infiltrate the body.

And I need to help evacuate the populace…


“How far have evacuations progressed?” (Naofumi)

“It doesn’t seem we will make it before the Turtle arrives.” (Queen)


So this event will result in a really large amount of deaths.

What should I do?

I could try attacking it head on while trying to destroy the heart, but there is a possibility that the result will be the same as when we destroyed the head.

It might be impossible to kill this monster.


“Why is it attacking densely populated areas, anyways?” (Naofumi)

“This is just from our investigations, but it doesn’t seem to be searching for food or resources.” (Queen)


So it isn’t trying to sustain itself, and is attacking of its own will.

I can’t think of a reason.


“Moreover, we have observed that it is not heading for the areas with the highest human populations.” (Queen)

“What do you mean?” (Naofumi)

“It also seems to be heading towards areas with the highest monster populations.” (Queen)


So is it like an animal that enjoys going after ants’ nests, and wants to make sure that no bugs build homes on its territory?

It’s not only attacking humans.

A monster like this…

I direct my gaze to Firo, who is resting outside.

This Filo Rial Queen may be able to attack it head-on and win.

Though I don’t know exactly how strong either of them are.

But I guess I shouldn’t try to test that.


“Will the ground troops be able to somehow board the Spirit Turtle’s back?” (Naofumi)

“It’s taking all of their manpower just to hold back the subordinate monsters. The flying unit may stand a chance, but breaking through the wall of monsters will be difficult.” (Queen)


The plan isn’t perfect, but there’s no choice.


“If I stall the Lesser Monsters and the Spirit Turtle, will the Army be able to get on its back?” (Naofumi)


If I can take on its strongest attack, then stalling might not be impossible.

When it was fighting my party and me, I was able to draw its attention, and its advance slowed.

If worst comes to worst, I can just stall it until evacuation measures are complete.

Though I don’t know if I can stand that attack consecutively.


“Well, I’ll need a bit of back-line support.” (Naofumi)

“… Please wait for a second.” (Queen)


The Queen and the leaders from the other countries begin to discuss the plan.


“How is it? Taking an all or nothing chance?” (Someone)

“We’re acting too fast! If we are to go with that plan, it is better to wait for the 7 Star Heroes’ Arrival.” (Leader Person)

“But at this rate, several cities and castles will become sacrifices before they arrive.” (Person)

“You’re only saying that because your country has yet to face any casualties! This monster needs to be defeated as soon as possible.” (Another Person)


This is getting quite heated.

Right now, the integrity of the four summoned heroes is in question, so I can’t really say anything.

Of course there are objections, and the counterarguments are understandable. Such is politics.


“That’s right, if we let that man defeat it, we can reduce the casualties to an absolute minimum.” (Someone)

“But he is the cause of this tragedy is he not?! One of the four heroes!” (Person I do not like)

“Let me ask you, what is a hero?” (Naofumi)


It does not seem I can remain silent for much longer.

I am supposed to be the Shield Hero, the one who will save the world.

Even if I don’t want to.


“T-that is…” (Person I do not like)


In response to my question, some people begin stammering out answers.


“A hero is a strong person who uses his power for just cause. It is someone with courage.” (Queen)


The Queen presents this answer.

Good, if this person understands, then we may be able to proceed as planned.


“Heroes are all about Heart. No matter how hopeless the situation, they can never give up. Heroes must possess a will to protect the people!” (Naofumi)


What the hell am I trying to say.

Even though I’m the one who said it, I feel disgusted.

And anyways, I’m not that good of a person to begin with.

But don’t these things appeal to everyone?

Things like Courage, Justice, Will, and Heart?


“If the people stationed here do not have enough power, then I will become their shield and protect them”. (Naofumi)

“Hero of the Shield…” (Person)


It seems I have left an impression on these people.

I spoke quite loudly. I bet my voice reached quite a few people outside as well…


“Hero of the Shield. Please forgive our previous words of cowardice.” (Person I didn’t like)

“Don’t mind it. I am used to being hated by the people. Let me take on the hate the people have for the four heroes.” (Naofumi)


I hold out my hand to the person who looks like a Shogun from another country.


“So for now, I want all of you to lend me your power. Let’s work together and defeat this monster.” (Naofumi)

“YES!” (Shogun)


The Shogun-like person firmly grasps my hand and exclaims loudly.

How simple. [17]

And so, the plan to defeat the Spirit Turtle was finalized.

And it seems I raised the morale of the leaders.

We’ll work together to defeat the monster, and I will fight as a hero of justice.


“Now to return to topic, let us find a way to reduce the amount of casualties.” (Queen)


…The Queen is staring at me with a complicated expression.

Well, she knows that I’m not this sort of person.

The Queen restarts the meeting.


“Even though the Seven Heroes have yet to arrive, do we have enough soldiers capable of using the sealing spell?” (Queen)

“That is.. As long as they learn it by the time we are ready…” (Someone)

“Then do you think they will be able to proceed without issue? The army will be advancing regardless of whether they learn it or not.” (Queen)

“But to safely reach the heart, we need to…” (Someone)

“But that will only result in more damage. The best course of action is to seal the beast as fast as possible. Do you think the Hero of the Shield can hold out until the Seven Heroes get here?” (Queen)


…The leaders exchange some more words.

That’s right. The 3 heroes that caused all of this are currently missing. Even if we amass the seven heroes, it is not certain that we will attain victory.

As the shield, I am probably the only one capable of restraining the Spirit Turtle.


“Iwatani-sama, please protect the Magical Platoon as they proceed towards the heart.” (Queen)

“I had that intention from the beginning. But once the platoon has infiltrated the turtle, I’ll only hold them back. My job is to decrease casualties. I’ll definitely buy those people enough time to complete their mission.” (Naofumi)

“Understood. Does anyone have any objections?” (Queen)

“…”


No one spoke up. There was no way that they could.

There is a strong feeling of unity present in the room.

All that’s left is to snatch victory.


“Well then, the mission will commence after all the preparations have been carried out.” (Queen)


The meeting is adjourned, and I leave the tent. I take a deep sigh, and Rafatalia calls out to me.


“Naofumi-sama, did you do something again?” (Rafatalia)


I had purposely raised my voice so people outside could hear.

But by her reaction, it does not seem that she was listening.


“Yep, it was the same as what happened back at Cal Mira.” (Naofumi)

“*Sigh*… I don’t understand what you are saying, but I guess that’s alright.” (Rafatalia)

“Oneechan, Master said that he would protect-” (Firo)

“Silence, Bird.” (Naofumi)


If Rafatalia did not hear, then it’s fine as it is.

Truthfully, she will probably just sigh and look at me strange


?


Rishia is staring at me with admiration.

Why are her eyes sparkling like that?


“I’m inspired! It’s scary, but I’ll do my best!” (Rishia)


So both Firo and Rishia heard my speech.

Why is Rafatalia the only one left out?

I later found out that she had gone out to fetch water.

Replenishing the water supply is also important.

By the time she had returned, the camp was already astir with the trouble I had caused.

Most of the things I have caused so far have been no good, so there’s no helping it if she thinks I did something wrong.


“Now then, I’ll tell you the decision reached by the meeting.” (Naofumi)

“Yes.” (Rafatalia)

“It’s been decided that I will stall the Spirit Turtle to give the army an opportunity to infiltrate it. Rafatalia and Rishia will be helping out that squadron. Firo, help me fight on the outside.” (Naofumi)

“Yay~!” (Firo)

“I understand, but will Naofumi-sama be alright fighting that beast without us?” (Rafatalia)

“I can’t even feel the attacks of the lesser monsters, and after the army has succeeded in its infiltration, I will follow on Firo.” (Naofumi)


If all else fails, I can use the Shield of Wrath to hold off the Monster.

I haven’t tried to use it yet, as I was testing my Soul Eater Shield. The Wrath Shield will probably be able to take the Spirit Turtle’s attacks.

But I’m not sure if I can control my feelings.

Last time, Firo helped me get through it. I guess I’ll have to count on her again.


“Rishia, don’t be afraid. There is a possibility you might find Itsuki inside of the Turtle.” (Naofumi)

“Yes! I’ll try my hardest!” (Rishia)


This girl is more energetic than usual.


“And fix that talking habit of yours.” (Naofumi)

“Fue…” (Rishia)

“Yeah, that. Every time you feel uncertain,you let out that sound. Listening to it is annoying.” (Naofumi)

“Fueee!?” (Rishia)

“Hey, are you picking a fight or something?” (Naofumi)

“I-I’ll work on it…” (Rishia)


If she gets over it, she will mature mentally.

The first thing she must change is her own heart.

Rafatalia was like this at the beginning as well. It’s fine if she just progresses slowly.


Chapter 120 - Stalling for Time

“Illumination magic should be fired after the troops finish mounting the Spirit Turtle. Please hop on then, Iwatani-sama.” (Queen)

“Understood. Then, operation start!” (Random soldier)

“Roger that. Everyone! We're going!” (Naofumi)

“Okay!” (Raphtalia)

“Oka~y!” (Firo)

“I'll do my best!” (Rishia)


And thus, Firo and I faced the Spirit Turtle for another assault.

During that time, Raphtalia, Rishia, and half of the Allied forces circled around the Spirit Turtle's back to mount it.


“Together with Master~” (Firo)


Firo let me ride on her in good humour, and ran towards the Spirit Turtle.

Such a fearless kid.

I checked the number of Mana Potions and.... medicine.... and stood before the Spirit Turtle.


“――――――――――!” (Spirit Turtle)


As the Spirit Turtle detected us, it simultaneously released a swarm of familiars.

And then it used its body to trample down on us.


“Zweite Aura! Meteor Shield!” (Naofumi)


I chanted protective magic while raising my voice, and deployed Meteor Shield.

The Spirit Turtle's foot rained down on us and caused an earthquake.

As if I'm going to take that obediently!

Just like that, we evasively dodged its foot before Meteor Shield could be broken.

Fissures formed in the ground.

In the midst of the raised dust cloud, I used my whole body to grasp the Spirit Turtle's foot before it could lift its gigantic leg.


“―――――――――――!?” (Spirit Turtle)


It seems that the Spirit Turtle raised its voice in surprise at being unable to raise its leg at will.

Such a sorry state.


gu....gu gu...... *clench*


Nevertheless, if I show even a little hint of an opening, the Spirit Turtle will try to raise its leg. And in terms of strength, I don't have nearly enough to prevent myself from being thrown out into the air.

The good thing is that the neck didn't extend up to the tip of the forefoot that we were on. I'll try to make use of that.


“―――――――――――!” (Spirit Turtle)


Familiars were released in our direction.

Now!

A large number of magic circles were deployed in the sky, and fire came raining down incessantly.

A wave of supporting magic swept down from the rear and descended upon the familiars, stitching up that interval.


“Tahh!” (Firo)


Firo kicked the familiars away, protecting me.


“How long do we hafta wait?” (Firo)

“Who knows.” (Naofumi)


gu gu....... *clench*


This is bad, if I lose even a bit of focus, I won't be able to restrain the Spirit Turtle's foot.

All the same, it's only focusing in my direction, so the rear was defenseless.


“Master......that.” (Firo)


I looked behind the Spirit Turtle through the gap in its legs. Well, what I could see was no larger than a speck.

A ladder or rope hung in order for the army and Raphtalia's party, who had circled to the rear, to climb onto the surface of the Spirit Turtle's shell.

It appeared that there were also wyvern-riding soldiers who boarded the Spirit Turtle favorably and were lending a hand.


All right......


A crackling vibration transmitted through the Spirit Turtle.


This is.......


The Spirit Turtle turned to us and tried to fire its special move.


“Firo!” (Naofumi)

“Kay!” (Firo)


Firo hid behind my back.

The Spirit Turtle opened its mouth and fired that intense thunder, intending to wipe out its own foot together with us!

I immediately changed to the Wrath Shield.

Anger ignited in the depths of my heart


“Master!” (Firo)


Firo's arms and legs were covered in black flames.

Not yet..... I could endure it. Because Raphtalia and Firo were lending me their strength.

There was a dazzling flash, which was immediately followed by a loud roar one beat later.

I held out and defended with the Wrath Shield.


...... There wasn't any pain like the last time.

As expected from the Wrath Shield, I'm unharmed.

As I thought that and waited for the Spirit Turtle's attack to end, I realized a time counter had appeared in the corner of my vision.


4 : 37


This number that was decreasing every second......

What the?

When the number fell to just below 4:30, the Spirit Turtle's attack ceased.

All right, I withstood it. And then I realized it. Somehow, strength wouldn’t enter my body.


“Master?” (Firo)


What just had occurred?

I checked my status.

......My SP became 0!?

What the? Why was my SP 0?


It couldn't be that that Spirit Turtle's attack also drains SP, can it?

I changed to the Soul Eater Shield and recovered SP by stealing it from the swarming familiars with a counter-attack.

I summoned Meteor Shield.

The number that appeared when I changed into the Wrath Shield has disappeared......

I have a bad premonition.

Could it be that that number was the duration that the shield couldn't control me, or otherwise Firo, converted into a numerical value?

It seems like something bad would happen if it reached 0.

The Spirit Turtle regenerated its burnt foot and trampled down on us.


“No way!” (Naofumi)


Like before, I seized the Spirit Turtle's foot to halt it. If I changed to Wrath Shield, the Dark Curse Burning S would activate from the neighboring attacks and Firo would be caught up in it. I can't change it until the very last moment.

When I did, the Spirit Turtle took a breath as though to say it was waiting.

No matter how much, wasn't this a bit quick!?

Sweat dripped down my face unpleasantly.

It had an ability to drain SP.... would spit out a lightning attack with that recovered SP, and then sucked away the SP I acquired again.

I could remain uninjured with the Wrath Shield, but my SP would be absorbed. I'd receive a lot of damage with the Soul Eater Shield, but because it invalidates the drain and steals SP, it would take time before the lightning attack could be fired.

So it's like this?


“Tsk! Shield Prison!” (Naofumi)


I aimed at the Spirit Turtle's head and summoned a cage.

However, the cage was broken as soon as it appeared.

As expected, I can't encase something as large as that.

Well, it looks like I can't attack with Iron Maiden.

I withstood the next lightning attack by changing into the Wrath Shield.

However, I lost all the SP I had as compensation.

I changed back to the Soul Eater Shield to counter, but........

When I look to the vicinity, the familiars hadn't finished assembling together.


“Are you alright, Master?” (Firo)

“Gu......” (Naofumi)


Should I get on Firo and flee?

The power of that attack is no joke. If it had misfired and hit the allied troops, it would have caused serious losses.

I deployed Meteor Shield with the SP I just managed to recover.


“Firo, it might be painful, but bear with it.” (Naofumi)

“Kay!” (Firo)


I caught the lightning attack with Firo supporting me up.


“Guu.....” (Naofumi)


The lightning attack pierced through me for about 30 seconds.

It's a pain I've never felt when I was in my original world. This feeling was like receiving an electric shock together with the pain of my whole body being roasted.

..... My consciousness took a leap.

I chanted recovery magic concurrently with supporting magic invoked by the troops behind me.

My wounds healed, but I lost physical strength and accumulated fatigue during the time I was recovering from the injury.


“Firo's also gonna go.” (Firo)

“I'll leave it to you.” (Naofumi)


If Firo could blow away the head, that would buy us some time.

Firo took the stance for her special move, established her aim, and attacked.


“Spiral Strike!” (Firo)


Firo's assault arrived at the Spirit Turtle's throat and pierced through.

And yet, it may be because Raphtalia wasn't there, but it didn't manage to sever the head. Before our eyes, the Spirit Turtle's wound repaired itself with an unpleasant tearing sound.


“Fuee....” (Firo)


Firo sought refuge in my barrier as she landed and dropped her shoulders in fatigue.

The Spirit Turtle once again opened its mouth to spit a lightning attack.

Wha...... did the time for the next attack shrink because of the damage!?


“Firo, get away the next time this guy tries to stomp on us.” (Naofumi)

“Kay!” (Firo)


I braced myself so that Firo could have time for her magic to recover; Firo's feathers bristled as she concentrated.

Speaking of which, the duration of the Spirit Turtle's lightning attack and the time it takes for Firo to accumulate magic power is about equal.

The Spirit Turtle spat out its lightning attack and I changed to the Wrath Shield to resist it.

And then, the Spirit Turtle's blackened leg regenerated again as it attempted to stomp on us.


“Now's the time!” (Naofumi)

“Oka~y!” (Firo)


Firo retreated back at a high speed and I stopped Spirit Turtle's trampling with the Wrath Shield, then started running towards its face.

Dark Curse Burning S activated and black flames coiled around with me as the centre.

The Spirit Turtle's leg and face were thoroughly burned by the cursed flames.


“How's that!” (Naofumi)


Dark Curse Burning S has an effect of diminishing recovery. It might be able to seal that miraculous regeneration power.

If that's the case, then stalling for time will be easy.

However.....the blackened leg and part of the face regenerated as if nothing happened.


“――――――――――!” (Spirit Turtle)


W-What vitality.


“Master!” (Firo)

“Yeah, I know!” (Naofumi)


I changed the Wrath Shield into the Soul Eater Shield to economize the time.

This will turn into.... quite a drawn-out battle.

Once again, I instructed Firo as I endured the lightning attack.


“Firo, please go and ask the queen, who's monitoring the timing, for the state of progress. This is quite relentless. Make them hurry up as much as possible.” (Naofumi)

“If I do that, then Master will.....” (Firo)


Firo replied with a voice that seemed like it would break into tears at any moment.


“I'll be fine.....” (Naofumi)

“......okay.” (Firo)


That Spirit Turtle let out a mortifying cry, possibly because it couldn't steal any SP.

I think I can endure until the next discharge.

Firo kicked the enemy away.


“High Quick!” (Firo)


With high speed, she ran down to where the queen was.

I materialized Meteor Shield with SP taken from the familiars and repeated the action of pinning down the Spirit Turtle's foot.

It was difficult, because all the lightning attacks made the footing worse. There were fissures caused by the earthquakes as well as crater ruins.

This is harder than I thought.....

The Spirit Turtle's familiars forcefully attacked the barrier made by Meteor Shield.

.......If I didn't learn those strengthening methods from the other heroes, wouldn’t I have died?

Well, this situation is the fault of those other heroes.


<As one worthy of the origin of power, Firo is commanding: She's reread and understands the terms, blow away those creatures with a tornado of intense vacuum!>

“Zweite Tornado!” (Firo)


The familiars surrounding me were blown away by a tornado


“I'm back~!” (Firo)

“How was it?” (Naofumi)

“They're hurrying, but said to hang in there for a bit longer.” (Firo)

“I see.......” (Naofumi)

“Ah, also, this is medicine to recover stamina.” (Firo)


Firo took out some medicine from a bag she wasn't carrying when she left and gave it to me.

It was a candy-like medicine.

When I put it in my mouth, there was a minty taste. I felt like a bit of strength had returned to me.


“And this was also set aside for Master's use.” (Firo)

“What?” (Naofumi)


....it was a Lukor fruit. [18]


“Yes, yes.” (Naofumi)


I also put that in my mouth.

......I felt more strength return than from the candy. When I checked the status, magic, SP, and MP was recovered.

The Lukor fruit has a recovery effect. I'll remember that.

With this, the curtain closed on the long battle of suppressing the Spirit Turtle

I don't want to do this offense-defence thing a second time.

This repetition of sometimes using the Wrath Shield to resist, sometimes using the Soul Eater Shield to endure.

The barbarian's armour had become tattered here and there. Its self-repairing was no longer able to catch up.

So intense.


“Haa......Haa......” (Naofumi)


The Wrath Shield's time counter had dropped to below 0 : 30. Around this point, Firo also started tearing at her head, seeming to be enduring something.

I also had a dark emotion taking over my heart, which made my mind start to become strange.


“M-Master....... Firo is already.......” (Firo)


Firo, who wanted to release the anger that didn’t have anywhere to strike, and I myself. We're almost at the limit.

I can't change to Wrath Shield anymore.


“I understand. I won't change it any more! Endure it!” (Naofumi)

“Okay!” (Firo)


I endured the Spirit Turtle's lightning attack with the Soul Eater Shield.

How many times have I endured this roasting sensation? I'm already fed up with this. Should we flee?

Just when I thought that, the illumination was fired at last.


“Alright! Let's go!” (Naofumi)

“Hooray! Firo will do her best!” (Firo)


The Spirit Turtle regenerated its foot, and in the instant it tried to stomp down, I got on Firo's back and passed through its legs at high speed.

Tsk! That Spirit Turtle, it's trying to crush us with its whole body.

The Spirit Turtle's stomach drew nearer second by second, as though the ceiling was lowering.


“High Quick!” (Firo)


Firo changed her course midway using a high speed movement, turned her back, and escaped from the front, dodging earthquakes by leaping over them and changed direction as she landed.

And with a huge leap, she jumped onto the Spirit Turtle's shell.


Chapter 121 - The Message from the Hero

“It’s good that we jumped on the Turtle, but…” (Naofumi)


The ground is shaking. More specifically, the Spirit Turtle’s whole body is shaking.

But its head can’t stretch far enough to look at its back. I don’t think it can concentrate on its shell.

I check my surroundings.

The place we landed is quite close to the ruined city.

The buildings give off a Chinese sort of feeling. Possible because of the Chinese legend that the Spirit Turtle carried the city of immortals on its back.


“Firo, can you sense where the army is?” (Naofumi)

“Nn… Probably… that way?” (Firo)


Firo points to the mountain range outside of the city.

That direction is towards the back of the Turtle, so she’s probably correct.


“For now, let’s leave the city and meet up.” (Naofumi)

“Yes!” (Firo)


I get on Firo, and she runs towards the mountains.

… There are quite a few corpses littered around the ruined city. It seems the cause of death is attacks from the Spirit Turtle’s familiars.

The cause of all of this is those three idiotic heroes.

Why would they do such a thing…?

The putrid smell of rotting bodies is making me feel sick.


“Master, please hold Firo tightly.” (Firo)

“Sure.” (Naofumi)


Firo runs while kicking familiars that look like gorillas and yeti.

Along the way, familiars that looked like floating eyeballs and bats also appeared. These ones seemed to be more powerful than the others.

But none of them are a match for the speeding blur that is Firo.

We still have yet to get out of the city.


… For a while, I have been seeing nothing but carcasses.

As I think this, I see the shadow of a person.

I wonder if it is one of the Army Soldiers…

But it is definitely a corpse. The dead bodies on the turtle’s back have begun to move.


“Even after death, his body is being controlled by something… Something like that?” (Naofumi)


I’ve only ever seen Zombies in games. In reality, fighting them while looking at their decrepit faces is quite mortifying.

The only undead I have ever encountered before was Skeletons. Apparently, finding undead monsters that still had flesh is quite rare.

There’s no way I can fight these.

A child zombie appears and Firo is unable to kick.


“Let’s avoid it.” (Naofumi)


Even though Firo will happily eat most humanoid monsters, even she cannot bring herself to fight a child.


“I’m sorry Master…” (Firo)


With amazing leg power, Firo jumps out of the swarm of Zombies that had begun to form.

If they were doomed to have such a fate after death, it would have been better if they had been hit by the Turtle’s lightning and been obliterated without leaving a trace.

But I’m just stating my opinion here.


“That girl… looked a bit like Melty.” (Firo)


Melty is in the castle, but Firo’s imagination is running wild.

I couldn’t see anything in that child that looked like Melty.


“Why would this Turtle make that child do such a thing?” (Firo)


Firo looks down at the ground.

That’s right. I can’t seem to see the turtle’s goal.

It’s not eating anything, it’s just going around and killing as many things as it can.

As if killing in itself was its goal.


“We need to hurry to Oneechan.” (Firo)

“Yeah…?” (Naofumi)


I see a building that looks like a temple.

The architecture is not of eastern origin. It looks like a Greek temple from my world.

In a game, a building like this would usually contain a useful clue or key item.


“Please stop by that building.” (Naofumi)

“Yes~” (Firo)


I carefully peer inside.

Perhaps due to the Turtle’s walking, the temple is half-collapsed.

Is this the statue that the other heroes supposedly destroyed in here?

I search the temple, but cannot find any artifact with a relation to the Turtle.

I should have probably gotten more information from the queen.

It seems that I am wasting my time.


“This is…!?” (Naofumi)


On a mural on the wall, I see some writing.

… It’s in Japanese.


“What is this…” (Naofumi)


If anyone is once again summoned here from japan… if you are reading this, please… this.

Th…Monster was se… but the… Seven Eye seal will probably… ek someday.

From what we learned, his purpose is………… and to protect this world’s……………..

I pray that the blue sand…… and the seal never breaks.

Though having more victims may benefit this world.

Looking back, we have paid a large price by sealing this monster

But… be… greed. If you… read these letters… for the… living in this world… defeat… Monster.

…way to defeat it is……………………….

… and then use the eight… courage… -Keiichi [19][20]


… The writing is faded and scratched out, so it is difficult to read.

But I can pretty much guess what is written by context.

Something like the seal we placed will someday break.

The dragon hourglass will turn blue and display a warning.

However, the Turtle’s objective and the ever-so-important sealing procedure are illegible.

More victims may benefit the world? Even though this was left by a hero, I cannot make sense of it.

And this isn’t an Anime or a Manga. Why is only the most important information omitted?

This writing seems to be very old, so I can’t really complain to anyone.

The only piece of info I really got was the person’s name, Keiichi.

I don’t know his last name, but there was definitely a Hero of that name.

Apart from the cracks caused by the turtle’s walking, this was already an old piece of writing. There isn’t much else I can learn from this.

There’s a high possibility he comes from a different Japan than me.

I don’t know how long ago this Mural was painted, and I’m not sure that this world even records its history accurately.

But thinking about this won’t really help anything.

Is the number eight connected to something? I can’t read any of the text around it.



“Can Master read this?” (Firo)

“Yeah, sort of.” (Naofumi)

“hm… these letters are a little weird.” (Firo)

“Yes, these are not letters used in Melromark.” (Naofumi)


By the way, it seems that the countries around here all have different languages and writing systems.

The shield acts as a translator, so I can probably manage with the language barrier, but as for writing…


“There doesn’t seem to be anything else of interest, so we should be on our way.” (Naofumi)

“Yeah!” (Firo)


We leave the temple and continue towards the mountain.


“It will be difficult to locate Rafatalia and the others.” (Naofumi)


We enter the mountain range and continue heading towards the turtle’s rear.

It looked like a rocky mountain from afar, but the base of the mountains is surrounded by dense forests. It will be difficult to find the army squadron.

From what I know, the legends say that there is a cave that leads into the Turtle somewhere around here, so the army is probably searching for a cave as well.

There is also a possibility the entrance was somewhere in that village.

And where are the other heroes, anyways?

They could be inside the Turtle fighting, but they could just as easily be lost searching for the entrance on top.


“Firo, can you sense the others?” (Naofumi)

“Over there I think.” (Firo)


I leave navigation to Firo

Occasionally, we find a soldier’s corpse lying around.


“We need to hurry.” (Naofumi)

“Yes!” (Firo)


Firo speeds up, and we find the army squadron locked in battle.

Since their forces are very large, it is difficult to miss them.

Rafatalia is on the front lines destroying the familiars one after the other. Those that can still move are aiding her in battle.

Rishia is frantically casting support magic from the rear.

There are also many who have deserted due to the onslaught of monsters.


“Alright Firo, we’re helping them!” (Naofumi)

“Yes!” (Firo)


Firo rushes in at the speed of sound and sends the familiars in front of Rafatalia flying with a kick.


“Naofumi-sama!” (Rafatalia)

“Yep, we’ve finally met up. What’s the situation?” (Naofumi)

“We are in the middle of looking for the cave.” (Rafatalia)

“You still haven’t found it?” (Naofumi)

“According to the magic brigade, it is impossible to locate it with magic because the Turtle is constantly moving.” (Rafatalia)

“Fumu…” (Naofumi)


So the troops have been manually searching for it whilst fending off attacks from these monsters.

The number of familiars seems to be infinite. That must have been difficult.

As I think this, an army recon squad comes running in.


“We have located a cave that seems to be the one we are looking for. Its appearance matches the one spoken of in legend.” (Recon Person)


And the Reson squad leader points deeper into the mountains.


“That’s good. I’ll hold off the attacks, so please lead us there.” (Naofumi)

“Understood.” (Recon Guy)

“Everyone, follow the Hero of the Shield’s lead!” (Army person)

“SIR YES SIR!!” (Entire army)


We continue to drive off the familiars and proceed to the cave the Recon Squad found.


Chapter 122 - Exploration

Naofumi: “Be careful.”

Raphtalia: “Okay.”


Raphtalia uses magic to create a ball of light that illuminates the cavern.

I am in the lead while Raphtalia, Firo, Rishia, and the allied forces follow along.

Eyeball-like familiars and caterpillar-like familiars were appearing from the walls of the cave, though they weren’t that strong at fighting.

The problem is this cave……This structure is as complex as a maze……

The walls aren’t living beings, but stone and mud.


Naofumi: “Do you know the way?”

Soldier: “More or less, I was assigned to the reserves because I investigated caves in the past.”

Naofumi: “That’s helpful.”


It would take too much time to map this place out from scratch after all.

We spread open the map to confirm the location.

As I thought, the cave has a complex maze-like structure.

The ironic thing is that there is another entrance at the back, where the town was.

Shit……

Well, it can’t be helped since I didn’t know. In the first place, it was just Firo and I.

It would be meaningless if I didn’t meet up with the group that is supposed to seal the heart.

The problem is…….it seems that the location of the heart isn’t shown.

Perhaps it could be on the way, but unless we can stop the spirit turtle from regenerating, we won’t be able to stop it from advancing.

Doesn’t seem very reliable, huh……


Naofumi: “Oh?”


After checking the map, I find a spot that is somewhat bigger than the rest. It would be a good idea to put together a search group and have the rest wait there.

Honestly, too many people would burden our movement.

There’s no problem if there were guys that could match Raphtalia and Firo’s level of performance, but it would be cruel to demand the same as these two from the rest.

Anyway, tricking the allied forces into thinking this is a break would be fine. Let’s go with that.

Deciding what to do, I mark the large space on the map of the cave, and tell the allied forces the goal.

Eventually, the space opened up according to what was shown on the map.

Originally I thought the map was based entirely on guesses, but it might be dependable after all.

It’s good that we have arrived at our desired location, but……


Firo: “There’s a huge demon.”


Within the large clearing is a large demon, which has a presence suitable to being the spirit turtle’s familiar.

It would be useless to compare its huge total length to the other familiars.

Looks like the purpose of its deployment here at the plaza is to remove invaders like us; it’s like that game called Prisoner’s Base. [21]

It feels like a Mid-boss from a RPGS.

It’s the spirit turtle after all. This should be considerably stronger than the other small fries.

The problem is the number of them.

We can still keep our composure with just one, but if there are more, it would be dangerous for the allied forces.


Raphtalia: “Since this is the case. What shall we do?”


It would be troublesome for another to appear after we defeat this one……Should we just try it?


Naofumi: “Alright, fortunately there is only one. We will defeat it, and then observe the circumstances. You guys in the allied forces, pay attention to the rear.”

Soldiers: “Roger!”

Firo: “Okay~”

Rishia: “Fuee……I’ll do my best.”

Naofumi: “Haah……”


As usual, Rishia said those words I warned her about.

Well, it’s not like it’s going to stop all the way just because I warned her.

Right now, what Rishia needs is confidence and experience.

It would be nice if she could act like she did with the queen. I want her to become strong, not only from levels, but also from actual combat experience.

With that in mind, you could say that the spirit turtle is the perfect opponent for that. ……Though it’s just a slightly drastic measure.


Naofumi: “Alright, charge!”


We charge towards the familiar that is occupying the plaza.

This is different from the gorillas and yetis outside…….A turtle-man type? It’s a monster that spans a full 4 meters in length.


Firo: “Teryaaa!”


Firo kicks the familiar’s shell with all her might.

A loud crack resounded and the shell caved in. It was sent flying into a wall with its movements stopped.


Raphtalia: “Yaaaaaa!”


With a flash of her sword, Raphtalia cuts off the familiar’s head.

That familiar is so unreliable.

Rishia was trying to attract its attention with weak magic attacks, and she also supported Raphtalia.

In the case that we are targeted, I have the meteor shield up to defend.

For the time being, her understanding of cooperation is lacking. Just a passing mark.

Or rather, the cooperation itself isn’t a problem. We can expand on that after strengthening her body.

The problem is that her abilities are affected by her status.

……What was she concentrating on before?


Raphtalia: “This thing is quite disappointing.”


Raphtalia swings the blood off her sword after confirming the annihilation of the familiar.

It was certainly much weaker than expected.

I mean, the spirit turtle was so tough. Was I too cautious?

No, the allied force is behind me. Being very cautious is just right.


Firo: “Yup. It was only a little bit hard.”

Raphtalia: “Firo, did you kick the hardest place intentionally?”

Firo: “Because everything else is soft~”

Raphtalia: “That’s wasted movement.”


The two of them are having a silly conversation.

It’s like a conversation between a genius and a prodigy.


Rishia: “The two of them are very strong.”

Naofumi: “Rishia.”

Rishia: “Fuee—–I’ll make that my goal!”


Hrmm……Put in the effort and strive to get there, don’t just say it.

This has completely become a habit.


Naofumi: “As for reinforcements……it doesn’t seem like there are any.”

Raphtalia: “Seems that way.”


Apparently there is no trap that causes us to defeat the thing endlessly.


Soldiers: “Amazing……”


Our group of allied forces exclaims this to us.

For us who fought though, I’d say it was weak, but……

What is the average level of our forces?

If it’s around level 60, I’ll cry.


Shadow: “Hero of the Shield-dono.”


Shadow appears. Speaking of which, where were you?

The knife in her hand is drenched in the blood of familiars, so it looks like she was fighting somewhere else.


Naofumi: “What happened?”

Shadow: “I am investigating this place according to the plan degojaru.”

Naofumi: “Right……I mean, why did you come?”

Shadow: “As per the plan, I was assigned to guard the allied forces degojaru. Other than that, the queen told me to ask Hero of the Shield-dono for orders degojaruyo.”

Naofumi: “That’s fine.”


To have shadow guard the allied forces……For the time being, this guy can act as a military unit.

Are the familiars of the Spirit Turtle that strong?

Well…… I should regard the allied forces as a special unit that seals the spirit turtle.

I’ll calculate where I should assign our combat ability.


Naofumi: “Alright! To each of you from the allied forces, I intend to search for the spirit turtle’s heart with this place as a base. It is important for everyone to protect this place. We will begin the search.”

Allied Forces: “R-Roger that!”


The tension is gone as the allied forces cautiously begin to rest in the plaza.

It seems they have become considerably fatigued from the extreme tension and continuous fighting.

I didn’t expect that they would fight till they were this tired……

Is it the shield’s influence?

Or is it just that Raphtalia and Firo are strange?

In any case, without thinking about various things, we won’t be able to reseal the spirit turtle.


Naofumi: “Shadow……Do you know the average level of the allied forces?”

Shadow: “The average level of the military units for sealing the heart of the spirit turtle is 65 degojaru.”


……It’s not as bad as expected.

What? Is the difference with growth correction this big!?

Since Rishia’s stats are so low, is this the standard without growth correction?

No no, I expect that’s not the case.

Since Itsuki’s reason for dismissing Rishia is because she is weak.

……That Rishia at least has some war potential now thanks to the Firo costume.

Should I ask the old man to make more Firo costumes? There are only two pieces of material required.

Mass production of the Firo costume, huh……

I wonder if it’s possible by plucking Firo’s feathers.


Firo: “!?”


Suddenly, Firo’s feathers stand on end restlessly like a wave.


Raphtalia: “What’s happening?”

Firo: “Something strange is in the air!”


I didn’t say anything and she still noticed.

……What a sharp fellow. It seems plucking her feathers is impossible.


Naofumi: “Shadow is stronger than that fellow though.”


I know since we fought together a little back on Cal Mira Island.

Having a unit that is on Shadow’s level is extremely convenient; they should be useful.


Shadow: “Temporarily, our assassination unit will enter the battlefield degojarukara. We are knowledgeable on levels and martial arts degojaru.”

Naofumi: “Then take half of the shadow corps to defend, and the remaining half to search.”

Shadow: “Understood degojaru. That being said, right now there are considerably less shadows degojarukara, so please don’t expect too much degojaru.”

Naofumi: “I know.”


The shadows tailing the other heroes are missing……They probably can’t move due to the situation, or are dead in the worst case scenario.

To that extent, the allied forces should be more dependable when including them.

Anyway, the strategy has been decided.

There is still a long way to go. We will look for the heart as the allied forces take a break.


Naofumi: “Rishia, you wait here and fight with the allied forces if demons appear.”

Rishia: “U-Understood!”

Naofumi: “Raphtalia and Firo, you two are searching with me. Firo use your nose. I’ll be relying on you.”

Firo: “Okay~! I’ll do my best~!”

Raphtalia: “Roger.”


We left Rishia behind and advanced towards the caves that started to diverge.


Chapter 123 - Blue Hourglass

How many dead ends does this make now?

I check the map, and confirm that everything is mapped out……The road connected to the heart of the spirit turtle still hasn’t been found.


Naofumi: “Hmmmm……”


Sometimes we encounter familiars, but they aren’t a problem since Raphtalia and Firo are here.

Every time we come across a dead-end, we head back to where Rishia and the allied forces are to confirm it.

They encountered some familiars several times as well, but somehow they were able to defeat them with Rishia leading the way.

With those stats…… It’s thanks to the Firo costume.


Naofumi: “Shit……”


As this continued, the spirit turtle approached human villages and we started getting impatient.

In the first place, shouldn't the walls of this kind of cave, as long as the spirit turtle isn’t some artificial life form, be made of meat?

I wonder. It feels like we haven’t even found the entrance yet.

Or is this cave itself a mistake?

According to the map this should be the bottom layer, but……


Shadow: “Hero of the Shield-dono.”


Shadow appears and updates my map.

……All the dead ends have been filled out.


Naofumi: “What happened? Was there a mistake in the legend?”

Shadow: “Not exactly degojaruka……But we have checked for hidden doors degojaru.”

Firo: “Hey Master~”


Firo is having a good time kicking the ground.


Naofumi: “Can you check one more time? Or should I just go ahead and dig?”


A tool to dig will be necessary……That reminds me, I have a digging skill.


Firo: “Hey.”

Shadow: ”The allied forces have already packed their luggage degojaru.”

Firo: “Hey!”

Naofumi: “……What!?”

Firo is trying to get my attention by calling out.

Firo: “Umm you see. The floor……Isn’t it kind of strange?”

Firo rubs her foot and on the ground and hits it.


By the way, there are no echoes, and I even confirmed that there is no hidden floor.


Naofumi: “What’s strange about it?”

Firo: “It’s a living creature.”

Naofumi: “Of course. We’re inside a mountain on the back of a giant monster.”

Firo: “That’s not it!”


Firo smacks her foot on the floor again.

The floor ripples with a boing sound.


Naofumi: “Hm?”


That sound……It was strange.

Come to think of it……That strong acid water from the intermediate class recipes that I wasn’t able to make before should be suitable here.

I recall exactly how, and make it with my shield.


Naofumi: “Firo, stay back a little.”

Firo: “Okay~”


I take the strong acid water from the shield and pass it to Raphtalia.


Naofumi: “Scatter that.”

Raphtalia: “Ah, okay.”


Raphtalia scatters the strong acid water on to the ground.


Spirit Turtle: “———!”


The floor wriggles and reveals its true form!

The mucus-bodied huge eyeball opens up like mochi, and a turtle shell appears in its place. [22]


Shadow: “I see, so it is a mimic type familiar degojaruka, no wonder we couldn’t find it degojaru.”

Naofumi: “Since it was dormant, it didn’t show any signs of being alive, so that’s why we were never able to sense it.”


To think that even Shadow and Firo couldn’t sense it…….What a splendid cheat-like familiar.


Naofumi: “Kill them!”

Firo: “Okay~”

Raphtalia: “Roger!”

Shadow: “I too shall go degojaru!”


Every attack on a mimic type familiar kills it.

The mimic type familiars shrink like a slugs and then disappear into vapor when they die.


Shadow: “So the path was concealed in such a place degojaruna.”


When we confirm the disappearance of the last familiar, a path appeared.

That means, all dead ends up until now are doubtful.

That being said, let’s proceed down this path first.


Naofumi: “Let’s go.”


All members nod and follow me.

After advancing a little, I felt the wall, temperature, and air change.

The wall itself is warm and pulsating.


Firo: “This feels strange.”

Raphtalia: “That’s right……I feel a little sick.”

Firo: “Does Firo’s mouth feel the same?”


…….What an unpleasant thought.

It does seem like Firo to say something like that huh?


Naofumi: “I wonder if we entered the spirit turtle’s body.”


It still feels like a cave though, but it’s for real now.

Our foothold is squishy, and pulsing could be heard.

Anyway, let’s verify where the heart is.

Thinking about it, the demons and white clumps flying towards us are like platelets under a microscope. [23] [24]

Thanks to my meteor shield repelling them, Raphtalia and Firo were able to kick them around.

Apparently, these familiars appear to be the immune system.

Every now and then, parasite-like caterpillars would appear, spreading potent acid wherever they went.


Naofumi: “It would seem that bringing the allied forces here would be hard.”


The demons appear quite frequently. Since we are getting close to the heart, the defense will become stronger.


Shadow: “Shall I return and guide them here degojaruka?”

Naofumi: “No, we haven’t found the heart yet. In the first place, there is no conclusive evidence that this is the correct path either. We’ll get to where it’s at and clear it out.”

Shadow: “Understood degojaru.”


As we advanced forwards a little, a red muscle dangling from something is blocking our path. …….Either way, a gimmick of this kind will just be cut open.


Naofumi: “Raphtalia, cut through it.”

Raphtalia: “Ah, okay.”


Raphtalia cuts the red muscle.

The wall of meat opens up and a path appears.


Shadow: “Houu……You understand it well degojaruna.”

Naofumi: “I don’t know about the other heroes, but frankly that muscle was suspicious…… I do know a few things you know.”

Shadow: “So that’s how it is degojaruka.”


Now then, after advancing a bit, what blocked our way this time is a blue muscle.

Haah……Even if you change it a bit, the path is still here.


Naofumi: “Raphtalia.”

Raphtalia: “Okay!”


After cutting it down in the same fashion, the path in front opens up, but the red muscle behind us is restored.

Uggh. So troublesome.

Furthermore, just like a warning, every time we cut down a muscle, demons from the immune system appear.

Though……We advanced quite far…….


We heard the beating of a giant heart from behind a door.

After cutting open a blue muscle, we found it.

However, after seeing the inside, the double doorway in front of us closed.

That’s troublesome; it seems that unless we cut somewhere else, this won’t open completely.


Naofumi: “As if I’d let you! Raphtalia, cut the red tube!”

Raphtalia: “O-Okay!”


After cutting open the red one, the inner part of the door opened……I rush forwards while deploying the meteor shield.


Naofumi: “Firo! There should be another muscle somewhere, tear it up!”

Firo: “Mkay!”


The meteor shield makes a cracking sound.

It seems the attack outside was more concentrated.

After Firo checks the area, she uses Spiral ・ Strike to tear apart the muscle on the wall, and that causes massive bleeding.


Spirit Turtle: “———!”


I heard a voice that could be from the heart in the interior.

It was probably painful.

Regeneration……seems like it’s trying.

Do we have 30 seconds?


Naofumi: “Let’s go!”

Raphtalia: “Okay!”


I advance through the path opened to the heart.

After a while, I discover a white muscle. The rear opened when it was cut.

Ha! Obediently let me conquer you!


Naofumi: “Shadow, if continuing through this place is the path, then it is your duty to report it.”

Shadow: “Understood deojaru. Do you want me to carry out the order now degojaruka?”

Naofumi: “No, After a little more.”


Before long, an out-of-place blue building came into view……

It was a blue Hourglass of the Dragon’s Era.

The size of it is smaller than the hourglass in Melromarc. It’s just that it exerts a somewhat light presence inside the body of the Spirit Turtle


Naofumi: “Hourglass of the Dragon’s Era……?”

Raphtalia: “It’s blue.”

Shadow: “That’s right degojaruna.”

Firo: “There’s less sand.”


Right, as Firo said, there is less sand in this blue Hourglass of the Dragon’s era compared to the other one.


Firo: “Also, what are those letters in there~?”


In the middle of the Hourglass of the Dragon’s Era, written not with letters of this world is a familiar character, the number 7.

What on earth could it be?

Also, on the hourglass……. there are marks similar to a scale

The whole thing seems to only have about 1/10th of its quantity left.

I try to gently touch it.

And my hand slips through. It seems I won’t be able to touch the blue hourglass.

Something is different about this Hourglass of the Dragon’s Era from the country’s.

That one has the functions of informing us when the next wave will appear and administering the Class Up, but I don’t understand what this can do.


Naofumi: “There’s no use worrying. Our first priority is to confirm it.”

Raphtalia: “Okay!”

Naofumi: “It will be fine to investigate it later.”

Firo: “Okay~”


After advancing past the blue hourglass for a little, we discover the heart.

With magnitude more than 6 meters wide, the heart is divided into two different colours.


Naofumi: “So this is the heart of the spirit turtle, huh?”

Shadow: “Looks that way degojaruna. It’s a very ominous creature degojaru.”


An eye opens on the heart and directs its gaze towards our voices.

No matter how you look at it, that is not a welcoming gaze.


Spirit Turtle: “———!!”


Do we seal this guy?

   Pew* Light hits the meteor shield and is reflected off. [25]

It seems a high-powered laser was discharged from the eye.

The eye on the heart of the spirit turtle opens wide and vibrates.

Familiars of the spirit turtle appear out of nowhere.

What a troublesome opponent. It’s not necessary for us to fight it; we’ll have to group up with the allied forces to come and seal it.

It can probably call an unlimited amount of familiars.


Naofumi: “Should we weaken it for now? Shadow, go back.”

Raphtalia: “Okay!”

Firo: “Mkay!”

Shadow: “Understood degojaruyo.”


Raphtalia and Firo jump out from the barrier and attack the heart of the spirit turtle.

Both of them can’t help but unleash their respective finishing moves.


Raphtalia: “Yin-Yang Sword!”

Firo: “Critical Quick~”


Both their attacks hit the eye of the spirit turtle’s heart.


Spirit Turtle”——–!!”


Hey hey, it’s raging, it’s raging. The vicinity around us vibrates.

A huge magic formation develops on the heart of the spirit turtle.

It seems to be doing something.


Naofumi: “Raphtalia, Firo, get back.”

Raphtalia: “Roger.”

Firo: “Okay~!”


Both of them fall back within the range of the meteor shield as I prepare for the attack.

The spirit turtles heart shoots……. a black ball of magic at me.

I receive it.

The meteor shield shatters like glass.

When the black ball hits the shield, light is distorted.

My body is heavy!

This magic is super gravity.

My body feels incredibly heavy.

However, my defensive power won’t be suppressed by something of this degree!


Naofumi: “Deryaaaaaaaa!”


I divert the ball of light to the right, and the ball of supergravity is repelled.

As expected, I won’t be hit with something as powerful as that electric attack from outside.

Well, that’s what it feels like. I don’t think the spirit turtle would do something that would destroy its own heart.

And so, the tube streaming around the spirit turtle’s heart is analyzed……Some kind of white spirit is circulating through it.

It is scattered around the room centering from the heart.


Naofumi: “Meteor Shield!”


I once again put up the meteor shield.

…….I should receive it, once……what kind of attack is it?

I must receive it to analyze it….. Though for now I should be careful.


Naofumi: “Alright, we’re not going to fight now. We’ll withdraw and bring the allied forces here.”

Shadow: “Roger degojaru.”


We postpone the battle against the spirit turtle’s heart and withdraw.


Chapter 124 - Heart of the Spirit Turtle

Rishia: “A-Are you guys alright!?”


When we came back, Rishia and the allied forces greeted us.


Naofumi: “We found the heart.”

Soldiers: “Ohh!”


The allied forces let out delighted voices.

The problem is getting these guys there.

Just like a while ago, it would be difficult to get to the heart.


Naofumi: “How is the damage?”

Soldier: “Before Hero-sama returned, we were attacked by demons nine times. There have been some victims.”

Naofumi: “Fumu. Anyways, victory is before our eyes.”

Rishia: “Umm……did you find Itsuki-sama?”

Naofumi: “No we did not.”


Come to think of it, the other heroes still haven’t been found.

Did we just miss them?

That’s a pretty painful thought. Since there are hidden floors here, they might have entered by destroying them if they knew.

Could they be fighting somewhere else on this mountain?

No……Surely they witnessed that disastrous scene in the town. Normally, after seeing a scene like that, the subjugation of the spirit turtle would become top priority.

So far my analysis of those guys tells me that they aren’t bad to that extent.

No way, did they get annihilated after all?

This thing is a monster, so I can’t deny that possibility.

Should I prepare for the worst case scenario?


Rishia: “I see…….”

Naofumi: “Don’t be discouraged. It’s better than finding a corpse.”

Rishia: “Fuee—Okay.”


Orders to protect would be evaluated higher. They shouldn’t be that desperate. [26]


Naofumi: “It’s fine to look for the other heroes after we seal the spirit turtle. You guys from the allied forces come with us. From now on, the demon’s attacks will become even more intense. Prepare yourselves. Even heroes aren’t almighty, so if possible, try to protect yourselves!”

Soldiers: “””Yes!”””


The group of allied forces nod and raise their voice at my instructions.

After this…… Let’s concentrate on the units that I expect will make it to the heart. It has to be that, huh? I had to rely on volunteers in the last wave since I was weak. Yup. When I think about future waves and fighting with the strength of others……it’s harsh. How many sacrifices will there be…….

We bring the allied forces and head back to the depths of the cave.

Along the way, I explain to the allied forces the various attacks of the spirit turtle’s heart to reduce the chances of their defeat between the gaps of the Meteor Shield, Air Strike Shield, and Second Shield’s protection.


Soldier: “As expected of the Hero of the Shield-sama, to go through the effort of analyzing the enemy to prevent our sacrifice.”

Naofumi: “I…..guess so.”


It’s not possible to protect.

It’s not possible to defend them against the attacks of the opponent when they are attacking as well.

I am only conveying that.


Naofumi: “Just that, I wasn’t able to grasp the real nature of the white lump attack that the heart fired before our withdrawal. Be careful.”

Soldiers: “””Roger!”””


The familiars that appeared along the way were barely beaten by Raphtalia, Firo, Rishia, and the allied force’s attacks.

When the cave walls became walls of meat, the allied soldiers' breath got taken away.

As everyone carefully proceeded, the sound of the heart beating could be heard.

The task of opening the red muscle and closing the blue line was assigned to the allied forces, while Raphtalia and Firo dealt with the attacks from the front and behind by familiars.

Those parasites that suddenly appear are a problem. They appeared when the meat walls were torn down, so the response was late.

There were some casualties.

Mental fatigue started appearing on the group of allied forces.

When someone was caught by the immune-system like familiars…….He was melted right before our eyes. [27]

Those with weak spirits vomited on the spot.


Naofumi: “Don’t stop! Anybody who stops here becomes their prey! Anybody who is separated has no hope!”


I lead the way and protect, while Raphtalia and Firo defeat the enemies.

And shadow was standing by, at the last gate mechanism.


Naofumi: “Heeey.”


When I call out, the door opens.


Naofumi: “Are you okay?”

Shadow: “I wouldn’t be opening the door if I wasn’t safe degojaruyo.”

Naofumi: “I guess so.”


Since she is good at hiding, there doesn’t seem to be any problems.

As I thought, Shadow is dependable.

This is just my selfish wish, but I want a companion like Shadow.


Naofumi: “Alright, the spirit turtle’s heart is just beyond this point. Everyone from the allied forces, I’ll be relying on you.”

Raphtalia: “Right. But don’t start until we weaken the spirit turtle’s heart.”


……That’s right.

Well, there shouldn’t be any problems considering Raphtalia, Firo, and Shadow’s attack power. Even Rishia and the group of allied forces should be able to have some effect due to their numbers.


Soldier: “It takes time to prepare the ceremony.”

Naofumi: “So we should be playing for time then?”


There’s this too?

Can’t be helped……


Naofumi: “You guys can’t prepare the cast beforehand?”

Soldier: “Right……The ceremony requires us to stay within a certain range.”


So it’s come down to that, huh.

During that time, the power of defense from the shield will be useful.


Naofumi: “Then I’ll protect you guys from the allied forces as you concentrate on the ritual. Everyone else will defeat the familiars that appear while Raphtalia and Firo weaken the heart.”

Raphtalia: “Understood!”

Firo: “Okay~!”

Soldier: “Roger!”


I see Rishia making a face that asks what she should do.


Rishia: “What should I do?”

Naofumi: “You are–……”


What she should do is a delicate question. [28]

She is more reliable than the group of allied forces, but I feel anxious for her compared to Raphtalia.

Her movements have become faster, and the person in question is also delighted about that……Though there is fear that she doesn’t understand what is ahead.


Naofumi: “I’ll entrust Rishia to cover the rear. Before you go, your job is to report to me if something unexpected happens.”

Rishia: “O-Okay……”


This is the only thing to do for now.

On the way, everybody held their breaths due to the blue hourglass. It is still somehow intimidating.

Huh? Did the sand increase slightly?

No, It’s just my imagination. Some sand might have collapsed due to swaying slightly.

Now, let’s head to the decisive battle.


Soldier: “This is……the spirit turtle’s heart……”


Somebody from the allied forces expresses.

It is certainly ominous.

The spirit turtle’s heart lets out a sound that’s like a roar.

The eye opens widely and its pulsation strengthens.

I remember from a while ago.

Yeah, we won’t withdraw this time, and we will defeat you.


Naofumi: “Let’s go!”

Everyone: “””Oohh———-!”””


The magic corps from the allied forces start preparing the ceremony by chanting magic.

Following up, Raphtalia and Firo start attacking the spirit turtle’s heart while the other allied forces start cutting down the familiars that appear.

I interfere with the familiars aiming at the magic corps with Heighten Reaction, Air Strike Shield, and Second Shield. I also use Change Shield to give status debuffs.

In addition, Shield Bash is also utilized.

My SP decreases considerably, and I use the Soul Eat ability on the Soul Eater Shield to replenish. I also use a convenient SP recovery potion (Small).


Raphtalia: “Naofumi-sama! As expected, there is a lot!”

Firo: “Yeah! There is no end.”


Since the fight we had before was just reconnaissance, our combat time was short. Due to that, we couldn’t measure the number of reinforcements……

Familiars are appearing in the room with the spirit turtle’s heart from the wall, the ground, and the ceiling.

The heart doesn’t remain silent, and throws all of its familiars at us while also shooting lasers.

The spirit turtle’s heart is aiming towards the magic corps that is reciting the magic for the seal.

What’s this? Does it intend to fire something?

A magic formation appears on the eye of the spirit turtle’s heart.

Is it the supergravity magic!?

The magic begins to form at high-speed.

It’s something else!

I stand in front of the magic crops and ready my shield.

Immediately after that, I realize that my hunch was correct.

A high output laser was released from the heart’s pupil.


Naofumi: “Whoa!”


Several people who were in the way of the laser were disintegrated without a trace, and when it hit my shield, I was blown a few steps back.


Naofumi: “Damn……”


This laser doesn’t end like the normal ones; it is still going. It is a very thick beam, sort of like a deadly attack from a game.

The firepower is lower than the electric shock, but it would do more than hurt if I was hit.


Naofumi: “Deryaa!”


I change the angle of the shield and deflect the laser.

The ceiling of the heart room was scorched, and fresh blood drips down.

Well, it regenerates in a bit, as if it was never there in the first place.


Raphtalia: “Naofumi-sama!”

Firo: “Are you okay?”

Naofumi: “Yeah, no problems here.”


The one outside was still stronger. The heart probably can’t withstand it though. We can win when the sealing ceremony is completed.


Naofumi: “Is the magic seal not completed yet?”

Soldier: “Just wait a little longer!”

Naofumi: “Alright, Raphtalia and Firo, use your best attack to weaken it.”

Raphtalia: “Okay!”

Firo: “Okay~!”


According to my instructions, Raphtalia and Firo use their finishing attacks.


Raphtalia: “Yin-Yang Sword!”

Firo: “Critical Quick-!”


The spirit turtle’s heart starts to shake in agony as the ceiling starts to tremble.

Not yet?

Does damaging the monster’s source of vitality weaken it?

For the time being, let’s concentrate our attacks……I have a very bad feeling for some reason.


Raphtalia: “With this–”

Firo: “How’s this!”


Raphtalia and Firo cut apart several tubes that are connected to the spirit turtle’s heart.


Spirit Turtle: “——-!?”


The movement of the eye on the heart weakens remarkably.

With this, we should be able to buy some more time before the sealing magic completes.


Soldier: “It’s completed!”

Naofumi: “Alright! Go!”

Soldier: “Okay!”


“””We command the origin of power. We have read and deciphered the truth, Four spirits of calamity, become the wedge that stops the spirit turtle here and now!”””


Hm!?


The spirit turtle’s heart starts to move suspiciously.

A large white mass circulates through the heart and scatters in all directions!


Solider: “High Class Group—-!?”


The white mass flies everywhere, including towards the allied forces.

I use Meteor Shield, Shield Prison, Air Strike Shield, and Second Shield to defend the magic corps as much as possible.


Naofumi: “Whoa!”

Rishia: “Kyaa–”

Naofumi: “Damn……


However, a small part of the attack wasn’t prevented completely, and it hits the rear.

As I was holding the shield in front, I look back.

Damn……There was an unexpectedly large amount of casualties.


Naofumi: “A-Are you guys okay!?”

Soldier: “My apologies, we have failed……”


A person from the magic corps reports to me.


Chapter 125 - Possibilities

“Not yet! Report your situation!” (Naofumi)


“The people who received the attack have yet to recover. We are confirming the situation.” (Soldier)


How is the front line holding up?

I look towards Rafatalia and Firo, who are currently battling around the heart.

The assaulting familiars seem to be endless. Both of them are exhausted.

When the chance comes, they break through and reach my location, but their faces are pale.


“A-are you two alright?!” (Naofumi)

“Y-yes… but… my Mana is…” (Rafatalia)

“Yeah… you know… they absorbed our mana…” (Firo)


Ku… how troublesome. This attack has the same effect as the electric blast from the head.

I receive an information report from the back line.


“A large number of troops have died from Mana depletion.” (Soldier)

“How is the situation on the front?” (Naofumi)

“Because of the Hero of the Shield’s protection, they have begun to prepare the sealing magic for the heart.” (Soldier)

“I see…” (Naofumi)


For my Drain resistance to come in handy in a place like this…

The casualties are great, but we will still be able to carry out the mission.


“It might be difficult, but please finish the sealing preparations as quickly as possible!” (Naofumi)

“S-sir yes sir!” (Magicians)


By this pattern…

The Spirit turtle’s heart begins releasing the magic energy it has stored up.

I rush in front and hold up my shield to deflect the blasts of energy.


“_____________!” (Spirit Turtle)

“Gu-…” (Naofumi)


The output is even higher than before.

The white masses the heart had released are now re-assimilating with it to increase the output.

Long! The duration of this attack is much higher than any of the others I have withstood. My HP begins to drop.


“Guuuuuuuuu-…” (Naofumi)


I can’t change my position or the blast will be reflected on our forces.


“Mu… Don’t use Firo’s power to hurt Master!” (Firo)


Firo takes a stance.


“Rafatalia-oneechan, costume-wearing Oneechan! Please keep monsters away from Firo for a little bit.” (Firo)

“Y-yes!” (Rafatalia)

“I understand!” (Rishia)


Rafatalia and Rishia get into formation and repel the swarms of monsters from Firo.


“Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…” (Firo)


Firo takes a very deep breath.

I can feel the wind gathering around her.

The white masses that had returned to the heart are being pulled away.

More specifically, Firo is sucking them in.

The white clumps are forcefully pulled towards Firo, being drawn to her strong magic.

Soon, the magic blast weakens.


“Good job, Firo!” (Naofumi)

“Gepu-” (Firo)


I look behind me and see Firo waving happily. She looks slightly more inflated than before.

…Did she eat those things?


“Payback.” (Firo)


Firo faces the heart and opens her mouth. Something comes out.

I think it is the air that she sucked into her body.

A sphere of pressurized air flies towards the heart.


“_______!!!” (Spirit Turtle)


The turtle hastily deploys a magic barrier around its heart, as if it sensed the dangers presented by Firo’s attack.

The familiars, as if protecting the organ, fly head on into the ball of air.

But the sphere merely sucks in any monster that gets close, and continues to fly at the heart.

A large sound fills the area, and the magic barrier around the heart breaks.

The heart is reconstructing its defenses. It’s the perfect time to activate the seal.


“Now!” (Naofumi)

“Ha!” (Magicians)


『We have read and understood the origin of power. It is the time for the Truth of the world to manifest. Now become that chains that binds one of the four: the Spirit Turtle, this beast of Calamity! 』


A large magic circle appears centered around the heart.

The turtle is currently focused on healing the damage caused by Firo’s attack, and is unable to perform a follow-up attack.

This is the end!


「Large Scale Covenant Spell: ‘Magic Sealing’!」


Ribbons appear from the magic circle and begin encircling the heart, which has almost finished repairing itself.


“____________!?” (Spirit Turtle)


Badump… badump… ba… dump… ba… [29]

The beating sound of the heart gets fainter, and eventually fades into nothingness.

The monsters outside seem to have also stopped. From the next room, I can hear some noise.


“YYYEEEEAAASSSS!” (Soldiers)


They are celebrating.


“Victory! We won!” (Soldier)

“Hooray!” (Soldier)

“It was long and difficult, but we finally did it!” (Soldier) [30]


Fuu……..


“Oneechan, Firo is returning these.” (Firo)

“? Firo, what are you doing?” (Rafatalia)


Firo suddenly throws up all of the white clumps she had inhaled at Rafatalia. Are they Spirit attribute? Maybe I should absorb them.

Rafatalia’s face color is getting better as the Drain effect wears off, but her expression is getting much, much worse. It’s as if a bug had dropped down her back.

Slapping the white clumps away, Rafatalia begins chasing Firo around in rage.


“Oy, Firo! I definitely won’t let you off easily!” (Rafatalia)

“Ahaha~” (Firo)


   Sigh* It seems we were somehow able to finish the sealing.


“…- Master!?” (Firo)


Firo suddenly stops. Her face is pale.


Badump! Badump!


The heartbeat sounds resume.

With the sound of breaking glass, the magic circle breaks apart.


“How could this be!?” (Naofumi)

“Firo did her best, so why?” (Firo)


The eye on the heart grows very large, and releases the beam attack once more.


“This thing knows not when to give in!” (Rafatalia)

“Yeah!” (Firo)

“Was it a failure?” (Naofumi)

“No… the spell went perfectly… but it was able to shrug it off with ease.” (Magician)


Dammit! Damn it all!

We don’t have any forces left. The head has regenerated. We cannot seal the heart.

… No there still has to be a way. I can’t give in.


“Rafatalia, Firo, can you handle it?” (Naofumi)

“Leave it to me.” (Rafatalia)

“Yes!” (Firo)


Both Rafatalia and Firo prepare to unleash their respective strongest attacks.

Even though it’s broken free, there must be some information I can gain from this exchange.


“Tell the troops in the back lines to fall back!” (Naofumi)

“B-but-” (Soldier)

“If possible, try to support these two. Otherwise, tell them to focus on protecting themselves. Worse comes to worst, we will have to retreat!” (Naofumi)

“U-understood!” (Soldier)


The army follows my command and withdraws the back line.

And Rafatalia, Firo, Me, Shadow, and Rishia prepare for battle.


「Zveit Aura」 (Naofumi)


I cast support magic on the party. The two rush forward.


「Spiral Strike!」 (Firo)

「Hakke Destiny Slash」 (Rafatalia) [31]

Forward! This may be rash, but there are no other options.


“_________!?” (Spirit Turtle)


The two fighters rush the Heart of the Spirit Turtle. The turtle tries to summon familiars to protect it.

But those two are putting all their magic remaining into this strike. The familiars have no effect.

There is a grotesque sound. The heart has been pierced.


“…” (Rafatalia)

“This is the limit.” (Firo)

“I understand… please stand down.” (Naofumi)


I observe the heart. Just as when it had been sealed, the beating has stopped. Did we do it?

Most of the arteries around it have been reduced to scraps of flesh. The heart itself has a large hole in the center.

If it could recover from this, it would truly be immortal.


…badump.

___!?


Before my very eyes, the arteries restore themselves and the hole begins to close.


“Wha…” (Rafatalia)

“What tenacity…” (Naofumi)

“Fueeeeeeeeeee…” (Rishia)


I also want to say Fueeee.


“The mission… was a failure-gojaru. We must call a retreat-gojaru.” (Shadow)

“And after that? Can the seven star heroes win against a Monster like this?” (Naofumi)


Out of rage, I unintentionally speak my mind.


“T-that may be so-jaru… but staying here will not accomplish anything-gojaru.” (Shadow)

“Ku…” (Naofumi)


Shadow’s right. Nothing has come out of fighting for hours inside of this thing.

Where is it getting all of this vitality?

If a monster like this appeared in a game, then no one would buy it.


“… I understand. We’ll retreat for now and think of another plan.” (Naofumi)

“… Sir yes sir.” (Soldier)


The hearts of the soldiers are heavy.

To fail after we had found victory, the mental damage inflicted is quite high.

Carefully avoiding danger, I lead the men away from the heart and out of the Turtle’s body.


“It will be easier to escape from the town than from the mountains.” (Naofumi)


The mountain path is heavily sloped. With the earthquakes caused by the moving turtle, the footing is unstable.

Though we may have to deal with the rubble, it will probably be safer to dismount from the town area.


“We are thankful to you for finding a safe escape route.” (Commander)


The army’s commander gives me words of thanks.


“Don’t mind it. Protecting is my duty.” (Naofumi)


But… for all our efforts to come out in vain…

The only information we got was that the sealing magic didn’t work.

Is there no way to win?

I fend off monsters as we head towards the exit in the town.


“This is…” (Naofumi)


It’s a building similar to the temple I investigated with Firo.


“It seems to be a temple-gojaru.” (Shadow)

“You can tell?” (Naofumi)

“I have been trained in scouting out buildings-gojaru. There are lithographs of the messages left by the heroes all over the place -gojaru.” (Shadow)

“Lithographs? Are they of the message I saw in the other temple?” (Naofumi)

“Perhaps these were made using that as reference-gojaru. Selling lithographs of these messages was this town’s specialty-gojaru. There were probably more, but the entire town has been destroyed with the awakening of the Turtle-gojaru.” (Shadow)


Reference? Could there have been people who could write in Japanese here?

Hmm… so this temple contains various lithographs…

Keiichi left the method of defeating the turtle. Perhaps, I may find a lithograph of his message.


“Can you let me look around for a bit?” (Naofumi)

“I do not believe now is the time for that-gojaru.” (Shadow)

“”The previous message I saw had writing regarding how to defeat the Spirit Turtle. However, the most important info was left out. (Naofumi)

“How surprising, then we must search through these records-gojaru.” (Shadow)


My party and the rest of the army search for and gather all the Lithographs we can find.

These paintings are not very well done. They seem to be mass-produced varieties, with a simple picture of the Turtle and words printed on them.

And these works have also been damaged by the Turtle’s movements.


“Can you read it-gojaru?” (Shadow)

“How is it?” (Rafatalia)


Like a jigsaw puzzle, I gather the pieces of various mass produced pictures. Many of these have shattered beyond recognition. I don’t think I can decipher this.


“I have found more.” (Rishia)


Rishia comes carrying a large fragment of a Lithograph.

… Finally, something I can read.


Even more so than the wave, his objective is… to stop…


I can also make out the words 'Head', 'Heart', and 'Same'.

I have to think, what would the Hero Keiichi want to leave behind?

Along with the head, you must… to defeat this monster, then… It’s cut off here.

Now that I think about it, from the start, Keiichi has been talking of a method to defeat, rather than seal it.

So in the past, people had already figured out the method for defeating it.

So why was it sealed until now?

I don’t understand.

If I can’t understand this point, I have to move onto the next.

I must gather some useful information from this.

Head, Heart, and Same were used on the same line.

… Could it be that? That thing in games and manga… [32]

However, there is no way of testing that theory.


“What?! Is that true?!” (Soldier)


As I am deep in thought, the army people are getting noisy.


“What’s wrong?” (Naofumi)

“Look outside. The Spirit Turtle is approaching a city that hasn’t finished evacuation!” (Soldier)


Chapter 126 - Versus the Spirit Turtle, the Final Battle

… I guess I can’t waste any more time.

Now that I think about it, we spent way too much of it inside of the turtle.

It seems that due to our nervousness, we hadn’t noticed just how much time had passed.

If I don’t leave to help out now, many deaths will result.


“There is something I would like to test.” (Naofumi)


I pull out all of the medicine I have on hand and give it to Rafatalia and Firo.


“Naofumi-sama?” (Rafatalia)

“Master?” (Firo)

“Go back to the turtle’s heart. I think I figured something out.” (Naofumi)


It will probably take everything these two have to stop the heart again.

I know this, but there is no other option.


“Master?” (Firo)

“There’s something I must do outside.” (Naofumi)

“Outside?” (Firo)

“Yeah, I can only do it once, so I’ll have to retreat after that, though. Rishia, please come support me.” (Naofumi)

“Fueee… I understand.” (Rishia)

“You couldn’t be…” (Rafatalia)


Rafatalia is staring at me.

I’d like to speak with her more, but she probably already knows my intentions.

Rafatalia was there as well.


“If this plan fails, we have nothing left. At that time, please assist in the army’s retreat.” (Naofumi)

“I can’t! What about Naofumi-sama!?” (Rafatalia)

“I understand the danger. If I can’t defeat it here, please return with the Seven Star heroes and try to hold it off.” (Naofumi)


The number on the blue hourglass was most likely the Spirit Turtle’s lifespan.

And the number never went down no matter how many times we killed it.


“If we do nothing here, many more innocents will die. Rafatalia, you understand that, right?” (Naofumi)

“…Yes, but…” (Rafatalia)


I put my hand on Rafatalia’s shoulder and pat it gently.


“It’s fine. I won’t die. Even if the mission fails, I will do my best to allow the people to evacuate.” (Naofumi)

“But…” (Rafatalia)

“I know I am acting out of character, but if we can’t stop it now, then our journey will just get much, much harder from here on out.” (Naofumi)


I mean a lot when I say this.

I plan to take on the crimes the other heroes have committed. Even after we deal with this turtle, the wave will continue.

The Blue sand and the Red sand. The message from Keiichi has made me certain this Turtle and the Wave are related.

The things I hadn’t even thought about before are now coming together in my mind.

There are four heroes, and their weapons can be strengthened with no visible limit. That means that unbelievably strong enemies were set to appear where these bonuses were needed.

If I can’t beat this monster here, stronger enemies will appear alongside it.

I want to avoid that at all costs.


“I understand, but still I wish to stand by Naofumi-sa-” (Rafatalia)

“Have you ever seen me hurt by an enemy attack?” (Naofumi)

“N-no…” (Rafatalia)

“Then worry not. I’ll say it again, but I’m not the kind of Good Samaritan that will sacrifice his life here. I will live and return to my old world.” (Naofumi)

“……” (Rafatalia)

“Regardless, after I use that skill, I will be left unable to battle. Then Rishia can help drag me out.” (Naofumi)


If they launch a surprise attack on the heart, it shouldn’t have enough time to retaliate.

All I need to do is match the timing.

This is a last resort. If this does nothing, then this mission has had no meaning from the start.

I’ll put my hope on the small fragments of information I have gathered.

The risk is high… but if worst comes to worst, the Seven Star Heroes can take over battling the wave.

I am a little worried about the heart’s energy blast, but Firo should be able to avoid it.


“The problem is getting back to that room.” (Naofumi)

“”I got there using an underhanded method, but for these two…

“Leave that to me-gojaru.” (Shadow)

“Do you have something?” (Naofumi)

“I prepared something just in case we had to reach the heart again.-gojaru.” (Shadow)

“Thank you. I’ll leave those two in your care.” (Naofumi)

“Understood-gojaru.” (Shadow)

“Now then, Rafatalia, Firo, and also Shadow, go take out the heart! Rishia, please back me up. This is the plan-” (Naofumi)


Rishia and Shadow show clear disapproval of my plan.

Rishia also witnessed my fight with the pope. She didn’t know the long-term effect it had on my body, but she did witness the immediate effects.


“Fuee… You’ll die!” (Rishia)

“Isn’t that a bit much-gojaru?” (Shadow)

“This is something I must do. Rafatalia and Firo don’t have attacks large enough to finish off a monster of that size. I have to do this.” (Naofumi)

“If the Hero of the Shield retires here, it will greatly affect troop morale-gojaru.” (Shadow)

“If I was sure of the Seven Hero’s prowess, I might have been able to back down, but when there’s a city that is about to be attacked right before my eyes, how can I stop?” (Naofumi)

“…understood-gojaru. I apologize for making the recuperation you did on Cal Mira meaningless-gojaru.” (Shadow)

“Likewise, I apologize for always relying on you like this.” (Naofumi)


I somehow managed to convince the other two, and I give Rafatalia and Firo the orders to assault the heart.


“I’m sorry for sending you back after we just escaped.” (Naofumi)

“Don’t worry about it.” (Rafatalai)

“No Problem~” (Firo)

“I’ll leaving the attack timing to you. It will be difficult, but I trust you can do it.” (Naofumi)

“I understand.” (Rafatalia)


The Turtle’s is almost at the city’s gates.

Even if the plan fails, I must fight the beast to bide for time.

If I can just slow it down a little…


“Naofumi-sama, we’re off. I wish you luck.” (Rafatalia)

“Master, fight!” (Firo)

“Remember to escape as soon as you destroy the heart!” (Naofumi)

“Yes.” (Rafatalia)

“Yep!” (Firo)


In truth, I also don’t wish to fight.

But to defeat this thing with the smallest amount of casualties possible, I must do this.

I don’t think I am wrong.


Rafatalia rides Firo, and disappears into the cave we just came out of. With Firo’s legs, they should be there soon.


“Men, protect yourselves and follow my lead! Let’s go!” (Naofumi)

“Sir, yes Sir!” (Army people)

“Y-yes!” (Rishia)


Before Rafatalia can make it to the heart, we must reach the head.


“Meteor Shield! Come on Rishia, I’m counting on you too. Fight on!” (Naofumi)

“Yes!” (Rishia)


Rishia clenches her fists tight and follows close.

On the way, we run into a Yeti-like familiar.


「Zveit Aura!」 (Naofumi)


I cast support magic on Rishia.


“Amazing, my body feels light.” (Rishia)


Rishia quickly takes out the Familiar’s eyes and pierces its heart.

Though her base stats are low, due to the bonuses from the Firo Plushy and my support magic, her attacks have become quite potent.

She developed a knack for observing the situation when studying under Itsuki.

For her, seeing through a monster’s weakness is quite easy. I don’t have to protect her against monsters of this caliber.

The Yeti dies before it can even realize it has been hit.


“I-I did it!” (Rishia)

“There are more coming, don’t falter!” (Naofumi)

“Yes!” (Rishia)


Nice response, it seems she has gained some confidence.

We eventually get out of the town, and head into the mountainous area.


… The city is right at the Turtle’s feet.

Damn!


“Isn’t that Melromark?!” (Naofumi)


I see a lo~t of familiar buildings.

The Turtle moves slowly for its size, but its stride length and lack of rest itself makes up for this.

The Spirit Turtle has crossed the Melromark national border. That’s right, it was going for places with high population densities. Of course, Melromark’s castle town is an obvious choice.

The Queen’s predictions were quite off.

I can see people evacuating in every direction.

If they just run like that, who’s going to help those who can’t run?

Not yet…!?


The Spirit Turtle steps into the city. The buildings collapse like toys beneath its feet. [33]

Some attack spells are shot from the Castle’s direction, but this monster withstands them without even getting a scratch.

Its magical resistance is too high.

When we first fought the Spirit Turtle, the Queen’s army tried to back us up with support fire, but it had had no effect.

Gu… The Turtle is headed directly for the castle.

Rafatalia, Firo, are you there yet?

Suddenly, the Turtle’s body clenches, as if it had been hit by a heavy blow.

I can’t see its full facial expression, but its eyes show that it is in great pain.

Good, the heart has stopped.


Wrath Shield!


A number appears in my field of vision.

30 Seconds Left. But 30 Seconds is more than enough.


“Rishia, I leave the army’s safety to you! If something bad happens, call for an immediate retreat!” (Naofumi)

“U-Understood!” (Rishia)


The Target is the head.

It still hasn’t noticed my presence, so I must act fast.

…wait.

If I stop here, Melromark will fall into ruin.

How much grief have these people put me through?

I will never be able to forget the humiliation this country made me feel.

This is my chance to get back at this country, isn’t it?

…wrong.

There are many kind people here as well.

Old man, Melty, Apothecary, the volunteer soldiers, the magic shop… and even though he doesn’t really count, the slave dealer is there too

I still haven’t thanked these people for the kindness they showed me.

Now isn’t the time for vengeance. Now I can finally repay my debt.


「Blutopfer!」


Blood erupts from all over my body. My flesh rips apart and my bones creak.

The pain is even stronger than last time. My head is throbbing.

Is it because I strengthened the Shield of Wrath?

But I knew what was coming this time. I was mentally prepared.

I wonder if my body will hold up…


“*Hack*…” (Naofumi) [34]


Please endure, I can’t fall just yet.

I’ve paid the price. Under the Turtle’s head, an unbelievably large Bear Trap manifests from the ground.

The Spirit Turtle is still concentrating on healing its heart, so its reaction speed has dropped.


“______________!?” (Spirit Turtle)


A faint scream escapes its lips. The ground below my feet is shaking.

Then a loud metallic bang is heard. The trap closes, digging into the Turtle’s flesh.

With a creek, the trap opens again and once more…


“!!!!!!!??????????” (Spirit Turtle)


The Turtle lets out an unbelievable scream that echoes throughout the area. It tries to rampage.


It’s too late.

You… Are already dead! [35]


Bang! The Bear trap closes for a final time. There is not a shred of the Turtle’s head left.

Having finished its purpose, the Giant Bear Trap is swallowed by the ground.

…Will it regenerate again?



My conscious is fading. I change my shield to the Soul Eater Shield.

Wait! What about the Familiars?

When I turn around, the army is rushing at me whilst cheering.


“The Spirit Turtle and its familiars have stopped moving entirely!” (Soldier)


As I hear this, my vision slowly fades to darkness… [36]


“____mi-sama!” (Rishia)


I hear Rishia’s shocked voice. I think she caught me. She’s wearing the Firo Plushy so it’s hard to tell, but it’s probably Rishia.

Firo… never calls my name, anyways.

Anyways… I can’t stay conscious any longer.

Did I act too rashly…?


“Rishia, please… Rafatalia… Queen… Report…” (Naofumi)


I’m sleepy. I pray I’ll still be alive when I open my eyes.

I wonder what death is like? I’m a bit scared.


Chapter 127 - Overprotective

“Uuu……heavy.” (Naofumi)


I remember this feeling.

I open my eyes and check the surroundings.

Looks like I was put to sleep in the healing house’s bed.

When I look, I see that Firo is sleeping while leaning on me, and Raphtalia has fallen asleep while sitting in a chair.

This is still fine, but for some reason even Melty is sleeping with Firo.

Again, huh? When I use Blutopfer, it always ends up like this.


“Ah, you regained consciousness!” (Rishia)


Rishia just came into my sick room carrying a water bottle.

Unusually, she’s not wearing the costume.

Thinking about it, Rishia looked like this, didn’t she?

She’s always wearing the Firo costume, so I forgot.


“Raphtalia-san, please wake up. The Hero of the Shield regained consciousness.” (Rishia)


With a sway, Rishia shakes Raphtalia.

While watching that, I checked my condition.

There don’t seem to be any wounds. The healing house’s people probably dealt with the curse too.

But the lethargy following my body around nearly makes my eyes spin.

As expected, the stat reductions are having quite an effect.


“You guys! Heavy!” (Naofumi)


I moved Firo and Melty and got up.


“Nnya?” (Firo)

“Ah, Naofumi-sama! You woke up!” (Raphtalia)

“Yeah, I must’ve worried you.” (Naofumi)

“Of course I was worried! Truly, you were so unreasonable!” (Raphtalia)


I ignore Raphtalia’s grumpy scolding and look at Rishia.

After all, if I obediently listen to her from the beginning, the sun will have set by the time she finishes.


“What’s the situation?” (Naofumi)

“Are you listening!?” (Raphtalia)


If I say no, she’ll probably get angry…….

Well, I am not listening though.

But there’s no reason to start a quarrel.


“I’m properly listening. There’s a lot of other stuff I want to know." (Naofumi)

“Eeeeto…one day’s passed since then.” (Rishia)


One day……When I released Blutopfer before it took 2 days, so it’s pretty fast.

As usual my condition’s bad, but it’s the kind of thing you get used to.


“The queen ordered your treatment to be of the utmost priority.” (Rishia)


Which means, it’s probably safe to think I received expensive magical and herbal treatment.

There wasn’t even a place to give treatment in the castle town before.


“What happened to that turtle?” (Naofumi)

“Its life ended right before Melromarc was going to take casualties.” (Rishia)

“I see.” (Naofumi)


It’s good that it didn’t revive or something while I was unconscious. It seems that method was right.


“Right now, they’re in the middle of disposing of the remains.” (Rishia)

“Understood. By the way-” (Naofumi)

“Nn……” (Melty)

“Why is Melty here?” (Naofumi)

“Etto, Princess Melty heard the hero of the shield was seriously wounded, and――” (Rishia)

“Wa, wa, waーーーー!” (Melty)


Melty, who just woke up, yells in a loud voice to make Rishia, whose eyes are glittering, shut up.

Just what kind of situation is this?

Just as before, Melty still has a hysteric part to her.


“While I was still sleepy, just what kind of made-up stuff were you trying to say!?” (Melty)

“I, I’m extremely sorry!” (Rishia)


Aah, when dealing with a princess, Rishia is also unable to act strong.

Raphtalia and Firo are used to it after all. Rather, she seems to dislike stiff attitudes.


“Then Melty, I’m already fine, so return to the castle.” (Naofumi)

“Is that the way you talk to someone who came to visit you, worried!?” (Melty)

“Oh, that’s right. While you’re at it, call the queen. There’s a mountain load of things I want to ask her after all.” (Naofumi)

“In the end it’s that!? I got it already!” (Melty)


Melty storms out at a pace unthinkable for a princess.

And then right after turning around, she stuck her tongue out and taunted me.

Like a child. No, she is a child.

Isn’t it an action fitting for her age?


“Just what are you laughing for? Stupid Naofumi!” (Melty)

“Wait, Melty-chan! I'll go after her, Master!” (Firo)

“Follow her and come back.” (Naofumi)

“Yeah!” (Firo)


Firo followed after Melty and left.


“Then……” (Rishia)


The noisy person disappeared.

However, even then, there’s no need to stay on my side forever.

I get up from the bed and stand.


“Are you fine? Resting a bit longer would be……” (Raphtalia)

“The injuries are already healed, so it’s stamina only. Right now, I want to check the situation for myself.” (Naofumi)


I check my status.

……Uwaa. There’s only 30% of before I lost consciousness. My defense staying unchanged is the only relief.

While dragging my heavy body, I look outside from the healing room.

……I can see a shell as big as a mountain range that is blocking out the sun.

Other than that, I can see guys doing repairs.

Losses ended up heavy. On the other hand, if it hadn’t been stopped there, the castle would’ve been destroyed.

……That’s right. The wave is coming in 2 days.

Preparations need to be made.

With that thought, I focus on the hourglass floating in my vision to measure the exact time.

Huh?

The red hourglass’s number is still frozen.

And then, I’m able to confirm that the blue hourglass’s icon is still moving.


……Etto。

The number is 8?

I have a really bad feeling.

Just in case, I check.

This time, the remaining time in the blue hourglass is displayed.

Roughly……3 and a half months?


What’s happening?

If this is the time until the next wave, or alternatively, some seal dissolves then……it’s quite long.

No, if it’s preparations to fight a monster that caused that level of damage, then it’s short?

I don’t know.


“Excuse me.” (Queen)


When I turn to the voice, the queen enters the room.

Behind the queen, there’s also the Allies’ top brass.


“How does your body’s condition seem to be?” (Queen)

“Not that good.” (Naofumi)

“I have come with a message from an expert healer. You will need at least 3 months to recover. Also, even if you go with house rest, he wants that move to be prohibited until full recovery.” (Queen)

“Even if you say that, if I hadn’t used it, the castle and town would’ve been annihilated.” (Naofumi)

“……I understand. Regardless, it’s the healer house’s healers’ appraisal that if you end up having to use it before you recover, you’ll definitely die.” (Queen)

“I see……” (Naofumi)


There’s that large of a risk? Well, even I knew it took a large toll.

To be honest, it’s not like I used it because I wanted to, and if I can avoid having to use it, I’d prefer that as well.


“I got it. As expected, I won’t use it.” (Naofumi)


I don’t want to use a skill that damages me anyway. From now on, I’ll avoid using Blutopfer.


“Then, how about the repairs?” (Naofumi)

“Yes, we took heavy damage, and the disposal of the upside-down turtle is holding us up.” (Queen)

“Can that thing even be disposed of?” (Naofumi)


What can I say, it’s currently as if an actual mountain came to the castle.


“Right……According to the investigation squad’s analysis, rather than dispose, it’s better to leave it.” (Queen)

“That’s about right. It seems disposal is more getting rid of perishables such as the meat.” (Naofumi)

“Yes.” (Queen)


It’s true the disposal of that mountain-like monster’s body will be problematic.

However, leaving it to rot until it spreads diseases would be the true problem.


“Currently, we’re in the middle of butchering the meat.” (Queen)

“Are you collecting the familiars and materials?” (Naofumi)

“Yeah, the kinds of things Iwatani-sama would want were set aside in advance.” (Queen)


That saved me.

There’s the soul eater shield’s example.

The turtle’s shield will be really strong. Probably.

It seems I’ll also be able to absorb its heart and familiars.


“The rest, I think I’ll explain at the castle.” (Queen)

“Aah……By the way, it’s about the hourglass, but-” (Naofumi)

“I know about that matter as well.” (Queen)


There were 2 days, so preparations are already finished by now it seems.

It’s really helpful the explanation’s fast.


“Then, guess I’ll go.” (Naofumi)

“Wouldn’t it be better to rest a bit more……?” (Raphtalia)


So says Raphtalia, who is worrying about my body.

I understand the feelings, but there are some things I might do at the very least.

It’s best to rest my body only after I’ve dealt with the troublesome stuff.


“No. Either way, I only have to talk. Since I’m only tired, there’s no problem.” (Naofumi)

“……I understand. But no matter what, don’t overdo it, okay?” (Raphtalia)

“Yeah, yeah.” (Naofumi)


It’s true I’m exhausted, but not to the point that I’ll die. I’d prefer if I wasn’t treated like an invalid……。

Was Raphtalia always this overprotective?


Chapter 128 - Hero's Treatment

“Thank you, Hero of the Shield-sama~!” (Random citizens)

“Hero-sama~!” (More random citizens)


I was heading towards the castle. However, because Firo had already gone ahead, I rode in the carriage provided by the queen. The citizens of the castle town waved at me like I was in the middle of a triumphant return.

Such materialistic guys.

Well, I knew that the population had that kind of simplistic thinking from anime and history.

I waved back with no problems. If this was a few months ago, wouldn't there even be trash flying around?

No matter what, I was the devil of the shield.

Speaking of which, after we overcame the first wave, I was glared at as if saying 'why are you there?'

I'd be delighted if I could just receive the proper appreciation, but I just get cheated.

Before long, I entered the castle and proceeded to the conference room.

The troops from the Allied Forces were waiting together with the queen.


“Hero of the Shield-sama, this is in appreciation of your efforts in suppressing the Spirit Turtle. Really, thank you very much!” (Queen)

“Your introduction is good. I'd like to hear the status report in relation to the wave.” (Naofumi)


The status of the wave and other topics, I have a mountain of things I want to ask.

The Spirit Turtle was a state of emergency so everything is in chaos, but there should be a lot that they've investigated already.


“......I understand. Currently, the Hourglasses of the Dragon's Era throughout the world have stopped.” (Queen)

“Throughout the world?” (Naofumi)

“Yes. Every hourglass has stopped.” (Queen)

“There was a blue object inside the Spirit Turtle that resembled an Hourglass of the Dragon's Era, that too?”

“Ah, Naofumi-sama.” (Raphtalia)


Raphtalia raised her hand.

Raphtalia and Firo came back after fighting in the heart, so maybe they know.


“This is about when we suppressed the Spirit Turtle, but when we were returning from the heart, I saw that hourglass go *poof* and disappear.” (Raphtalia)

“What?” (Naofumi)

“Everything disappeared; I saw it turn into a light and vanish.” (Raphtalia)


What did that mean?

I looked again at the hourglass with the time of the invasion of the next wave.

As I thought, there's about 3.5 months remaining.


“That matter is currently in investigation. We will report it in due course.” (Queen)

“I understand. I don't know if only the heroes can realize it, but even on my side, the hourglass's wave arrival prediction time has stopped.” (Naofumi)

“Alright..... We'll also ask the Seven Star Heroes about their side.” (Queen)

“However, three and a half months are projected on another hourglass. Objectively looking at that...” (Naofumi)


Immediately, the atmosphere became heavy.

I don't think I was wrong to reveal that, like in a chain reaction, there would be the appearance of a monster after the spirit turtle.

Since it was the four spirits, there should be a Phoenix, Kirin, and Dragon.


“The time limit is 3.5 months. To prepare until then would be the appropriate action.” (Naofumi)

“As you wish.” (Queen)

“What's the damage count?” (Naofumi)

“......it's fortunate that only 7 towns, 4 fortresses, and 2 castles have been decimated. If more villages were included.....” (Queen)

“I see.....” (Naofumi)

“The victim total is......the count has not been finished yet.” (Queen)


It's not looking great. There's still the danger of subsequent appearances of monsters capable of causing this much damage.


“Jeez, what's become of those 3 heroes?” (Naofumi)


To do this sort of thing and leave it behind, yet not showing themselves...

They weren't inside the Spirit Turtle and they didn't come out from the back.

Where was Itsuki – who Rishia was worrying about – wandering about?

The most likely scenario was his death.

However, the image of them dying didn't cause any excitement in me.

Those guys were just irritating rascals and annoying with their fake heroics.


“Is there no report of seeing them anywhere in the Spirit Turtle?” (Naofumi)

“Not at present. We sent out searches everywhere, but we don't even know they are.” (Queen)

“Hmm....” (Naofumi)


It's an enigma. What were they trying to do by breaking the seal?

I hope that it's not something like there was a strong weapon hidden in a labyrinth underneath where the Spirit Turtle was sealed.

If that's the case, it won't be forgiven with just a punch.


“And, this is concerning those heroes who broke the seal, but...” (Queen)

“Hm? Do you have something?” (Naofumi)

“In order to avoid more disorder, we've concealed the identities of the ringleaders who broke the seal.” (Queen)

“What?” (Naofumi)

“We're concealing it for now, since an inquiry about who's responsible will produce a big risk, so....” (Queen)


......Indeed, that's the case.

If the country announces that this great disaster happened because of the heroes, it's quite capable of causing a disservice to unrelated heroes as well.

Three of the Four Sage Heroes caused this calamity. It's not necessarily true that other heroes won't do it.

But before that, the chaos......in this case, it's the heroes' credibility.

Looking at the triumphal return, I can sympathize with how much the inhabitants of this world expect from the heroes.

If it was discovered that heroes were responsible for this, there might just be a riot.

And having to suppress the riot and the waves simultaneously, everything would finally fall together in mutual destruction.

The country should choose not to publicly announce the truth, but instead assert that the Spirit Turtle was defeated by the hidden heroes. That sort of visage is better.

This feels like the so-called result of 'playing hot potato with the responsibility issue'. It's a common occurrence but, it's quite.....


“Also, the heroes are extremely powerful beings, so we will be needing an equal strength to administer justice.” (Queen)


......Catching them will also be a pain.

Which is why we have to conceal the truth.


“However, isn't this truth already well-known?” (Naofumi)

“It's still at the stage of gossip. That said, it seems with each nation being silenced, there won't be much influence on the support of the populace. We're persistently announcing that this incident was from a wave.” (Queen)


One's livelihood will also be affected when the heroes they believe in, even when there are waves that hint towards the end of the world, in promote havoc.

It can't be helped; you can't even understand it.


“......Nevertheless, there are still rumours.” (Queen)


The queen added a supplement.


“I've spread a rumor about being punished so that it won't appear to the other heroes as anything more than simple gossip. Of course, I’ve made a large publicity campaign about the Hero of the Shield, Iwatani-sama, being very active, but.... just from looking at the status quo in the castle town, it doesn't seem very necessary.” (Queen)

“Half-hearted! Catch the ringleader! Just fighting the waves? Isn't this all just punishment for me!?” (Naofumi)


Unable to put up with it all, guys raising a commotion appeared. [37]

In this case, catching said people and turning them into slaves would be good, but....they can't do that, can they?

If enslaving was possible, it would have been more efficient to enslave us four when were were first summoned.

With the high-grade slave crest, it could even be hidden from the masses.

To begin with, the fact that that Trash didn't enslave me is proof enough.

It seems improbable even if I inquire about it now.

The problem is that hard-to-handle guys would be useless as slaves.

Well, thanks to that, I didn't end up becoming a slave.


“Have I mentioned it's because it was determined that Iwatani-sama and the Seven Star Heroes could do this?” (Queen)

“Grr...Nevertheless, couldn't you just face everyone and say 'we are the country' or some other meaningless line!?” (Naofumi)


Their problem is that, isn't it?

Even if they've become rotten, those guys are still heroes, so it's hard to tell their followers to arrest them.

Stopping a riot is also a pain.

If it was me, I’d fight, but it'd be quite severe to fight with my status having fallen to just 30%.

At the very least, I shouldn't be fighting until I’ve had a full recovery.

I do have the option of leaving it to Raphtalia and the others, but I don't know about trying that.

I don't want to burden them with that risk.


“If course if it's possible. I’ll have you participate in waves as you've been doing until now. However, heroes are people who possess power. There's always the danger of them going on a rampage. Can't you understand that we can't even say that there are no countries who watch vigilantly for the opportunity to try to assemble heroes?” (Queen)

“Melromarc, you vixen! Are these your words!?” (Naofumi)

“Certainly, our country has its faults. But this argument should have already finished. What do you intend by bringing up this political question again? Are you saying that there aren't people who would use powerful heroes as government tools?” (Queen)


......So troublesome.

If Melromarc and the other countries could just offer heroes a prize and not penalize them, the heroes would immigrate to a nice country by themselves, but there's a risk of becoming a tool of the government.

That's why I can't judge them strongly.

I had already rejected any invites from nice countries before I even knew of them, so I couldn't have done that though. If it's them, it might be possible that they have.

Really, this group is too much; we're not getting anywhere.

There's even 1 person in the party, me, who also thinks that.....


“I understand the hero's treatment. Also, in regards to just this disaster......is reconstruction possible?” (Naofumi)


The tension of the Allied Forces suddenly dissipated with my query.

Ah, indeed it was quite intense.


“The Allied Forces have taken damage from the infiltration and induction.”

“I'm sorry for not being able to defend against it all.”


As the Hero of the Shield, I originally had to take action so there won't be any victims. In spite of this, a substantial amount of damage has been dealt.


“No.... they would have been satisfied. Everyone who participated in the infiltration said that they could avoid death thanks to the Hero of the Shield-sama being there.” (Queen)

“I'm pleased to hear that.” (Naofumi)

“The neighboring countries took a lot of damage and much time is needed to rebuild.” (Queen)

“......I see.” (Naofumi)

“To be honest, supporting Iwatani-sama is also quite difficult.” (Queen)


I could only nod at this. If they said they could still give me a lot of assistance even after suffering such devastation, I'd be concerned about where they would get the money from.


“We will assist as much as possible, but when compared to what we had planned......” (Queen)

“Yeah, I know. If I want money, I’ll do something about it myself.” (Naofumi)


At this point, you should be gathering money for reconstruction instead.

I saw the damage in the castle town when I was coming here.

25% of the castle town had been crushed by the Spirit Turtle. Land reclamation is essential for the sake of the people who lost their homes.


Reclamation......that's it!


“Hey, aiding with something that's not money is okay, right?” (Naofumi)

“Yes, it would be more helpful for us if it was something other than money under the current conditions.” (Queen)


This would solve the Allied Force's issue, as well as the thing I thought of so far.

“Then― " (Naofumi)


Chapter 129 - Social Standing

“Can you grant me some land?” (Naofumi)

“Land? That will probably be fine, but can you explain your reasons? I thought Iwatani-sama was indifferent to the state of this world.” (Queen)

“I understand I am asking for quite a bit.” (Naofumi)


Staying in the same city as the army is something I would like to avoid…

The Queen probably understands this.


“When we were inside the Spirit Turtle, I noticed something. To put it frankly, this world’s army is weak. If I do nothing about this, we will not be able to reduce casualties during the wave.” (Naofumi)

“You Bastar-” (Country Leader)


The one who spoke up is a commanding officer, but the soldiers around him restrain him.

I knew this would happen. That’s why I wanted to remain silent.


“Iwatani-sama has made a rational analysis; let’s hear him out.” (Queen)

“We also have testimony from some soldiers. According to them, the Shield’s companions had super-human strength and performed magnificently. Compared to that, we…” (Another Leader)


The other leaders hang their heads and say nothing.

I have worked with various branches of the military, including the fighters, mages, and assassins. This is my analysis of them so far.


“I’ll concede that if the army wasn’t there, we would have been destroyed by the turtle. But that is exactly why.” (Naofumi)

“Muu…” (Country Leader)


The commander that spoke up lets out a sound of defeat and sits back down.

These people are annoying because of their pride. However, they can be quite easy to deal with.


“When I say they were weak, I’m talking about the entire army’s attack power as a whole. As we have not established the exact connection between the Turtle and the wave, there is a possibility that even stronger enemies will manifest as the wave progresses. That’s why I want to raise a fighting force to combat these disasters. I’ll also need some money, but that is secondary. For now, I would like to request for some land to set up a base.” (Naofumi)

“I see where Iwatani-sama is coming from. We have also yet to reward him for his efforts, so I guess this will be a good opportunity.” (Queen)

“Then my country can-!” (Leader Person)

“No, my country will-!” (Another Leader)

“I apologize, but I have already decided upon a location. I understand what you all are trying to say and am grateful, but I must ask you to stand down for now.” (Naofumi)


It would be troublesome to build a base in a country I know nothing about.

And you people just had your towns destroyed by the Turtle. Your people are still suffering. This isn’t the time for you to be giving away money, land, or manpower.


“Someone please get a map.” (Naofumi)


The Queen takes a map from Shadow and spreads it on the table.


“… I would prefer it to be close to the Castle Town, but what location does Iwatani-sama wish for?” (Queen)

“Here.” (Naofumi)


Without hesitation, I point to a spot near the harbor we went visited to get to Cal Mira. It is on the coast.


“…!” (Rafatalia)


Rafatalia has a shocked expression, but she doesn’t speak up.


“I see… That land was the location of the first wave. It faced heavily casualties and has now been abandoned. Is that alright with you?” (Queen)

“I plan to start from scratch anyways. Instead of being close to the Castle, I think it is best to choose a location that fits my preferences.” (Naofumi)

“I understand. But for you to own such land, I must present you with some sort of nobility.” (Queen)

“I plan to return to my world after this. I don’t think I need a permanent title or anything.” (Naofumi)

“I shall present this land to you along with the title of Count.” (Queen)

“Hey…” (Naofumi)


If I were to become a count, then I would have to deal with troublesome things like land disputes and inheritance.

If this was a light novel, wouldn’t I have to work my way up from knight?

I know about the title hierarchy from a manga I read a while ago. Though that manga was set in recent times instead of the medieval times. [38]

Duke, Marquis, Count, Viscount, Baron.

These are known as the five ranks of nobility, and the higher you go up, the more prestige you get.

Titles can be based on either Family or Land ownership rights. In my world… in Europe, nobility was decided by the amount of land one was given to control…

I think.

This gave birth to many different conquests for land and many different nobles arising.

And many people controlled more than ten-thousand acres of land.

But I don’t know if that applies here as well.


“Iwatani-sama might have a child in the near future, so we must prepare for that.” (Queen)

“Hell no.” (Naofumi)


Her intentions are being revealed quite casually.

Do you really want me to marry Melty that badly?


“Whatever. If it is completely necessary, I will take the title of count.” (Naofumi)

“Please wait for a moment; there are rituals we must go through to bestow the title unto you.” (Queen)

“That sounds like a pain.” (Naofumi)

“However, you have really helped us this time around. I would like for you to properly receive the title as a reward for your efforts.” (Queen)


I guess if a hero defeats a monster of that caliber, then simply handing over some money isn’t enough.

It did kill many people.


“And I am excited to see the change that happens through the country. If the Shield hero who is worshiped by the demi-humans were to become a noble in the Human-dominated Melromark… I told you about it before, right? About the capable person of this country.” (Queen)


“Hm?” (Naofumi)


Now that I think about it, when Trash’s reign of terror ended, I heard something about that. That a capable person of this country had died in the wave. He had helped facilitate Human- Demi-human relations.

The Tanuki-human Rafatalia lived in a province heavily populated by Demi-humans.

I see, the land I am asking for was formerly that person’s?


“The land that Iwatani-sama requested belonged to that person. He was quite popular and trusted by the people.” (Queen)


… The Queen seems to be reading my mind.

The various leaders are listening to the conversation intently.


“This will create a lot of rumors, be they good or bad. Fine, I’ll leave the land to you.” (Queen)

“Don’t expect too much.” (Naofumi)

“Now then, please come to the throne room for the ceremony.” (Queen)

“Understood.” (Naofumi)


We are led to the throne room.

The Queen hands me a ceremonial sword.

Unless I have the intent to equip it, the system will not give me a warning, so it is probably fine.

It won’t look good if it shoots out of my hands.

Before reaching the throne, I receive some instruction from Shadow.

I’m supposed to draw the sword and present it to the Queen, after which she will touch both of my shoulders with it and present a title unto me.


“Hero of the Shield, Iwatani Naofumi, has arrived!” (Guard)


The Castle Guards are playing instruments reminiscent of Trumpets.

It’s loud. It’s annoying.

I confidently walk towards the Queen, who is standing in front of the throne.

I take a subservient pose and lower my head, while unsheathing and presenting the sword to the Queen.

The Queen grasps the hilt, and slowly taps both of my shoulders with it.


“Hero, for your valiant efforts, my country courteously bestows unto you the Title of Count.” (Queen)


And the Queen returns the sword to me.


“We expect great things from you.” (Queen)


I return the sword to its scabbard and stand up.


“That’s how it is. It’s supposed to be a more grandiose celebration than this.” (Queen)

“Don’t. That would be a pain.” (Naofumi)

“Is what I thought you would say. However, the populace needs some form of celebration to advertise your newly gained authority.” (Queen)

“I got it.” (Naofumi)


With this, I think I will be unable to walk the Castle Town’s streets anymore.


Is that the Hero of the Shield? Yeah, that person. Hmm… Just like the rumors say, he looks like he is up to no good.



Is what I used to hear.


Ah! The Hero of the Shield! The one that defeated that Monster and saved us all!?



People point at me and shout. It is now difficult to walk around for a different reason.

It’s not like I don’t want to be noticed, but this is enervating in itself.


“Now then, I will be talking to representatives of another country for a while. If anything happens, please allow me to help.” (Queen)


Wait, where was Trash during all of this?

… Ah, there he is.

He is staring at me with an irritated expression.

Is he under surveillance, and unable to approach me?

As I think this… I notice he is wearing a collar. [39]


“___!” (Trash)


Whenever he tries to speak, the collar seems to glow.

It appears to rapidly tighten. Can I laugh?

I think I will laugh.


“_______!!” (Trash)


He seems furious.

But the collar shuts him up whenever he tries to scream.

I give a cynical smile.


“Naofumi-sama…?” (Rafatalia)


Rafatalia speaks in a stern tone.


“I mean, how can I not laugh? Look at him.” (Naofumi)

“Anyways, I also have a lot of things I want to talk to you about.” (Rafatalia)

“I understand, but today I’m tired. Let’s go back to our room and rest.” (Naofumi)


When I woke up today, it had already been past noon. The days are passing by too quickly.


“See ya, Trash of the world. Your bitch of a daughter’s situation is uncertain, and the other heroes are yet to be found. You will be forever remembered as the Foolish King who led 3 of the 4 heroes to their demise. Good for you, you’ll be famous.” (Naofumi)

“_______!!!!” (Trash)


Trash points his finger and tries to advance on us as we leave the throne room.

But the soldiers surrounding him succeed in restraining him.

He can’t even talk to me anymore. The Queen does good work.

Is that man really one of the Seven Star Heroes? That’s definitely a lie.


Chapter 130 - Level Reset

I lie down on the bed in the guest room and rest my body.

Ah, indeed it's heavy. When I lie down, I can really feel it. The effects of the curse are strong and quite severe.

The sun has set already; what can I do?

By the way, Firo is with Melty. Their relationship is quite close.


“Thank you for your hard work.” (Rishia)


Rishia voices these words of gratitude.


“Come to think of it, you're not wearing the costume.” (Naofumi)

“Ah, Yes. I thought we weren't going to fight for a short while so I took it off, but is that displeasing?” (Rishia)

“No, it's just become habitual. I wasn't telling you to wear it.” (Naofumi)

“Rishia-san is, how do I say it.... it seems like you enjoy wearing the costume.” (Raphtalia)

“Yes. When I wear that costume. my body becomes lighter.” (Rishia)


That's because there are various enchantments on it. It's quite convenient.


“It was amazing, Naofumi-san.” (Rishia)

“Ah, at last you call me by my name.” (Naofumi)

“Eh, ah....” (Rishia)

“Don't worry about it. I'm not particularly angry.” (Naofumi)


Perhaps Rishia gained some courage after prevailing in a big battle.

This is a joyous thing.


“There's territory. There's also the count ranking.....this is quite a big promotion.” (Raphtalia)

“I was originally a hero..... it doesn't really excite me though.” (Naofumi)

“Naofumi-sama, what is your desire?” (Raphtalia)


Raphtalia asks me with distrust in her eyes.

Speaking of which, she started to speak out when I specified the territory I wanted to the queen.


“Is this about today? It's just as I said. It's unfortunate, but the allied troops just aren't reliable. Judging from the tough battle from before, if we don't make a private army of troops, it'll be quite relentless from here on.” (Naofumi)

“But still, why the damaged area from the first wave?” (Raphtalia)

“That's also in accordance with what I said during the day. We'll be doing a variety of things, so please be prepared.” (Naofumi)

“Hah.....good grief, it seems as though we won't have any peace if we're together with Naofumi-sama.” (Raphtalia)

“This is all just until we finish overcoming the waves. Please bear with it.” (Naofumi)

“I understand.” (Raphtalia)

“Fufu, you look just like an old married couple.” (Rishia)


Rishia dropped a bombshell-like announcement.

Well, Raphtalia is the one who I’ve known the longest in this world, I kind of understand.

We're not a couple though.


“Wha-wha-what are you saying!?” (Raphtalia)


Raphtalia yells, her face colouring in embarrassment.

Ah, indeed, Rishia has stepped on a land mine and brought on imperial wrath by mentioning that love affair.


Originally she was just an ordinary slave, but Raphtalia is a more kind-hearted and meddling person than others.

She lost her family, her home was snatched away; I can easily imagine her grief.

In other words, Raphtalia is fighting so there won't be more people in the same situation as her.

With such a noble purpose, Raphtalia wouldn't be thinking of love affairs.


To begin with, though Raphtalia's outer appearance may be that of an adult, in terms of age, she is still a kid.

She's not old enough to be falling in love.


Well, Rishia is in love with Itsuki, so those kind of feelings are, for better or worse, a woman's.

Which reminds me, how old is Rishia? Her appearance gives the impression of a middle school student.....so around 14 years old?

It seems a bit premature, but it is another world.


“That's right, Rishia. Raphtalia doesn't like those kinds of jokes. Be careful.” (Naofumi)

“Na-Naofumi-sama......” (Raphtalia)


A blushing Raphtalia regained her composure.

There there, provoking others isn't good.


“O-Okay....?” (Rishia)


Rishia tilted her head in confusion whist staring at Raphtalia and I.


“Well then, we'll be engaged in a variety of things tomorrow. Rishia, what are you going to do?” (Naofumi)

“What do you mean by 'what am I going to do'?” (Rishia)

“I'm referring to resetting your level. Since the wave has been pushed back considerably, if you want to re-level up, now is a good time.” (Naofumi)

“Eh, ah!? Tha-that's right isn't it.....umm." (Rishia)

“The one to decide is Rishia. Consider your actions properly. Seeing as this is a good opportunity.” (Naofumi)

“Okay. I will think about it for a bit.” (Rishia)


Thus, we rested thoroughly and prepared for tomorrow.


“Now then.” (Naofumi)


After eating breakfast at the castle, we have a quick chat with the queen.

Since the timing was just right, I ask Rishia.


“Have you come up with an outcome?” (Naofumi)

“Ah, yes...... I also want to become as strong as Raphtalia-san! Therefore, I have decided to start over.” (Rishia)

“Is that so, well then....” (Naofumi)


When I turn to face the queen, the queen also nodded.


“Then I will give instructions to perform the service by means of the Hourglass of the Dragon's Era.” (Queen)

“That'd be a great help. Today, we'll be occupied with a lot of things.” (Naofumi)


We leave the castle and travel to the Hourglass of the Dragon's Era.

Ah, we should put on a robe to obscure our face. If we don't do this, guys will be following after us in groups, even with the queen.


“I heard the story from the queen.” (Soldier)


A soldier guides us to the Hourglass of the Dragon's Era.

......As I thought, the hourglass has stopped.

For some reason, the sand has solidified and doesn't fall.


“Originally this was only used as a punishment for criminals, though.” (Soldier)

“Just a bit.” (Naofumi)

“I heard the rumours. The Hero of the Shield's comrades possess strength rivaling that of the heroes', so what's the secret to that strength?” (Soldier)


What a nosy soldier.

It would be a burden to get involved in something strange. I limit my answer to something ambiguous.


“No, it's just simple harassment. This kid is a subordinate of someone I hate, you see, so I thought I'd reset her level and send her back to him.” (Naofumi)

“Fueeeeeeeeeee!?” (Rishia)


Rishia lets out a dreadful cry.


“I-is that how it is!?” (Rishia)


Read the atmosphere.

Raphtalia looks at me with a shocked face.

Where is Firo looking? She's gazing into the horizon.

Sigh....I bring my face close to Rishia's ear and whisper.


“The harassment thing is a lie. If I tell the truth to that kind of fellow, mercenaries and adventurers will swarm us, wanting to be strong. Your Itsuki also had a habit of concealing, right?” (Naofumi)

“Ye-yes.” (Rishia)


Jeez, I'd like you to sense these things.

What adventurers? In the end, it'd just be a gathering of ruffians.

After they acquire a certain amount of power, guys who are really eager should enlist to become soldiers in a country somewhere.


Even if they reach the level cap prior to a class up, guys who become adventurers either don't want to enter a guild or are wannabe criminals.

What I want to make is a private army that will listen to my instructions, not guys who are just strong.

After the weak become strong, complaints will be raised. At any rate, I would have to deal with those kind of guys in the distant future.


“And, how do I reset the level?” (Naofumi)

“Firstly, put on this choker and stand on the magic circle in front of the Hourglass of the Dragon's Era.” (Soldier)


I give Rishia the choker that the soldier was holding out.

Rishia put on the choker and stands on the magic circle as per the instructions.

Perhaps some sort of power of resistance will be removed by wearing the choker.


“Is this really alright?” (Naofumi)

“Yes!” (Rishia)


Rishia's decision was firm.

Hm? There are people to help with the service, just like during the class up, but they had prepared a stretcher.


“There is a reaction from the resetting. A few days of rehabilitation will be necessary, I think.” (Soldier)


I see.....

That's right, if the stats that were natural until then suddenly drop, the body will become heavy....

Since I'm already like this, I think that if someone returned to level 1, they would become unable to move for sure.


“There are individual differences though.” (Soldier)


While saying that, the soldier starts the ritual.

The Hourglass of the Dragon's Era shines, filling the magic circle with power.

It's similar to the scene from the Class Up.


“Right now in this place, there is someone here to release their power for the sake of choosing a new path. Oh, world. Show this person the path and give them a chance.” (Soldier)

“Uu....ku....” (Rishia)


Rishia moans in the centre of the magic circle.


“The feeling of p-power escaping is...” (Rishia)


As I thought, it's that kind of feeling.

Before long, something suddenly emerges from Rishia and I affirm it scattering in all four directions.


“It's over. How's your body's condition?” (Naofumi)

“Eh?” (Rishia)


Rishia repeatedly opens and closes her hands.


“It doesn't feel very different.” (Rishia)

“Was it a failure?” (Naofumi)

“That shouldn't be the case?” (Soldier)


I slowly check Rishia's status.

Right.

It's returned to level 1.


It's just that.... there’s almost no change in stats.

The bit that rises from leveling up is almost non-existent, so there’s no sense of discomfort even when returning to level 1.


..... If this was reversed, it would be considerably harsh.

If she has no disposition for battle, then what should I do?

I can't just depend on the shield's growth correction.


“By the way, should Raphtalia and Firo do it too?” (Naofumi)

“No.....I am....” (Raphtalia)

“Firo doesn't want to do it either.” (Firo)


Well, these two don't really need to.

Growth Correction started when Raphtalia was level 25, so it's not like it would be meaningless.

Firo also has the Philorial Series Growth Correction to depend on, so there shouldn't be any loss.


Well, if we don't proceed gradually, offensive power won't be enough and we'll become unable to fight.

Moreover.... it seems that the moment Firo resets her level, she'll become a baby chick.

I don’t know what kind of growth Philorials have though.

Fixing her upbringing is good, but since the one in question doesn't want to do it, there's no need.


“Is that so? Then let's head to the next place.” (Naofumi)

“We're ready whenever.” (Soldier)


The soldier in charge bows his head.

The interaction is considerably different from before.

I'm aware that I’m staring back and inspecting him.

He's a bit childish, but.....my evaluation of him rose a little.

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