Chapter 232: Effort
“This is… the village Naofumi-san built from the ground up. I am merely here to assist him. Welst-san, so you survived?” (Rishia)
“I find no joy in having found you like this. So you assisted in establishing this filthy Demi-Human village? That’s an insult. An act of rebellion towards all of the proud people of Melromark! I need to punish you!” (Welst)
The mage person begins chanting, and Kiel’s group’s injuries are healed.
Ah, he realized that his own half-assed magic would be useless against us.
Kiel and the others slowly pick themselves up off the ground like zombies.
… Perhaps because they’re not fully conscious yet, they sway back and forth as they walk.
But if we attack them anymore, I can’t guarantee the slaves’ safety.
“Where is Itsuki? Is this situation his doing?” (Naofumi)
“That fake who pretended to preach justice? Why would I speak with such a demon?” (Welst)
Fake who pretended to preach justice?
So there’s been a shift in the hierarchy of the group.
It seems they didn’t get along as well as I thought.
The possibility that they were working with Itsuki has decreased.
Itsuki may even be completely unrelated.
Though he’s probably the instigator of much of it.
“Please tell me! What happened to everyone and Itsuki-sama?” (Rishia)
“Why must I answer to evil!? Now then, my messengers of justice, rid this world of the source of evil!” (Welst)
In response to the mage’s shout, the slaves begin swarming around me.
“Messengers of justice, we’re going to chant Choral Magic!” (Welst)
「「「I who has understood the source…」」」 (Slave)
What?!? I feel the magic in the air gathering and solidifying.
I’ve heard a bit about Choral magic from Sadina and the Magic Shopkeeper, but it shouldn’t be something with an output this high.
Perhaps it is because all of their minds are thinking the exact same thing or that their chants are in perfect sync.
I prepare myself for a large impact.
“Please stop it now!” (Rishia)
Rishia appears right in front of the Mage person.
“Wha- So fast!” (Welst)
It’s a speed the past Rishia wouldn’t even have dreamed of.
This mage must have been imagining the old Rishia and underestimating her.
“However, with this, you will become my follower!” (Welst)
The mage faces Rishia and thrusts a glowing dagger at her.
“Your movements are too easy to read!” (Rishia)
Rishia easily dodges the attack and uses her own rapier to knock the dagger into the air.
“Damn… 「I who has…」” (Welst)
“「Zveit Elemental Blow!」” (Rishia)
Elemental magic… I believe it’s a synthesis of Fire, Water Earth and Wind magic. It’s apparently hard to control, and there are few people with the necessary magic attributes to use it.
A rainbow mass of light slams into the mage’s chest and sends him spinning into the ground.
It gives off a feeling like that Ninjutsu involving a sphere of wind. (TL: Rasengan from Naruto)
The Magic Shopkeeper tried hard to get Rishia to learn it. She said that there were very few people with the potential to use it.
But, it was the perfect magic for the Jack of All Trades, Rishia.
“How absurd… Could this be the extent of the Devil’s power?” (Welst)
“My power? No, this power is the accumulation of all of Rishia’s effort.” (Naofumi)
It isn’t Stats.
Of course, stats always help, but Rishia put all of her being into getting as strong as she is now.
I won’t let you write it off as my power.
The mage who was the center of the Choral magic collapses, and the chant ends in failure.
However, that doesn’t mean the slaves’ attacks have stopped.
They begin attacking me with physical blows.
“If I use any more magic, Kiel and the others will be in trouble. What should I do?” (Sadina)
“They’ve gathered in such a small area. I can just capture them now.” (Naofumi)
I activate Shield Prison with myself as the center.
“Ah… Uu…” (Naofumi)
I’m locked away in the dark cage with the slaves, but…
They’re still attacking me!
What’s the meaning of this?
That hurt! Don’t hit me there! Don’t stab me! It’s not piercing me, but the curse hurts!
And for the next 5 minutes, Kiel’s group treated me as a sandbag.
It seems that the Brainwashing Contagion doesn’t work on me.
At least that’s something to be happy about.
As the cage disappears, I find Atlas and the others watching us.
“Hm? Naofumi-sama, Kiel-san and the others aren’t returning to normal?” (Atlas)
“That seems to be the case. Can you identify the cause?” (Naofumi)
I cast healing magic on myself as I start dodging the attacks.
“The power influencing their actions from the outside was cut off by Naofumi-sama’s cage… but the second the cage disappeared…” (Atlas)
I see… So if it’s just one person like Imya’s uncle, I can save them, but it’s impossible for this large group.
If one of the candles goes out, the other ones will simply relight it. Something like that.
The sinister powers encircling the brainwashed form a spider-web like structure in between them while in the cage.
That’s why I can’t dispel the brainwashing on a group.
This is truly a pain.
I guess we’ll have to deal with that guy first. He seems to be the cause anyways.
“Our first priority should be to draw information from that man. Can you get these guys off of me?” (Naofumi)
“Yes~… Can I be a little rough?” (Sadina)
“No more lightning.” (Naofumi)
“I know.” (Sadina)
On Sadina’s signal, the aquatic Demi-Human slaves rise from the water.
Now that I think about it, they were living in the ocean with her.
And they begin chanting Choral Magic. And… For some reason, the unaffected slaves begin backing off.
“I’m sorry. Grit your teeth for a second.” (Sadina)
「「「Choral Magic! Daidal Wave!」」」
(TL: This is a pun. Dai is big in Japanese, so they mixed Dai with Tidal Wave)
This is that. What Witch was trying to do while she was testing the limits of the Slave Seal.
The target of the attack isn’t me, but the swarm of slaves surrounding me.
Upon the chant’s completion, a Tsunami rises and washes away everything in its path. Including me.
The world spins around me, and I can’t breathe.
As I think about it, Sadina steps into the wave and drags me out.
“It’s a bit like a defensive wall of water, but the duration has been shortened and the impact has been increased to make it an offensive magic.” (Sadina)
“Won’t they die?” (Naofumi)
“No, don’t worry about that. I controlled the output.” (Sadina)
Just as Sadina said, the water is only covering a limited area.
The village’s buildings aren’t damaged.
The effect time was probably around 90 seconds. After which, the large wave of water disappeared as if it had never existed.
The only things left were the bodies of the brainwashed slaves collapsed on the floor.
“Now then, everyone tie them up so they can’t move.” (Sadina)
‘Why have you become the leader,’ is what I wanted to say, but I don’t have the energy to do so.
“Now spill everything.” (Naofumi)
I speak to the tied-up former comrade of Itsuki.
“Why must I answer to Evil?” (Welst)
“You know… Do you know who you’re directing your words at?” (Naofumi)
I have quite a bit of confidence in my psychological torture skills.
Firo isn’t here, but there are still plenty of Filo Rials here.
“Even if I were to die here, that would just be a sacrifice for the sake of justice.” (Welst)
“Justice… is it?” (Naofumi)
Doesn’t this man have anything else on his mind?
He’s acting like those annoying knights of the Three Heroes’ Church.
But I guess he’s of a similar type.
“Rishia, what sort of person is he?” (Naofumi)
“Um, among the companions in service to Itsuki, he’s been there the longest.” (Rishia)
Ah, so he was there when no one wanted to be my companion.
I no longer feel any mercy.
Though I never really had any from the beginning.
“And I’ve heard that his family was nobility within Melromark.” (Rishia)
“Were they related to your family?” (Naofumi)
“They were in different territories. There are quite a few noble families in Melromark.” (Rishia)
Well that sounds about right. As long as there wasn’t a large-scale event, I guess they would never meet. What’s more, Rishia’s a fallen noble.
He must have used a few of his connections to get himself into the Heroes’ starting party.
Just like the princess mixed in among them.
Does that mean some seditious nobles are backing him?
I turn my gaze to the suspicious dagger the mage held.
I can’t appraise it. It’s quite a suspicious item.
I wonder what it is.
“What is it?” (Rishia)
“Use this to stab him.” (Naofumi)
Rishia reveals a surprised face as I turn her on her former comerade.
However, the mage’s face is even paler.
He’s turning blue.
“Stop! Don’t turn that thing on me!” (Welst)
“So you can use it on others, but the reverse is forbidden? You’re quite a selfish fellow.” (Naofumi)
I should begin threatening him.
This weapon is definitely related to the brainwashing.
Looking at it closely, it has a strange gem embedded into it.
“Atlas, can you feel anything from this?” (Naofumi)
“Yes, from the weapon Naofumi-sama is holding, a sinister aura is being emitted.” (Atlas)
“I see.” (Naofumi)
There’s no doubt.
If this stabs him, he will be corrupted by Justice.
“Well, Rishia? This is a good opportunity to get back at the guy who planted false charges on you and got you kicked out.” (Naofumi)
Rishia wears a troubled expression and shakes as she approaches the mage one step at a time, dagger in hand.
So she’s really going to do it.
“Stop it! Don’t get any closer! The hammer of justice will punish all evil!” (Welst)
“Yeah, that’s right. You’re evil, and I’m justice. And Rishia is the hammer that’ll punish you.” (Naofumi)
“Evil should stay silent!” (Welst)
“I’m fine with evil. But you will be the one yielding to such evil. How unfortunate. Where is your justice now?” (Naofumi)
I wonder just how deeply the belief that he is justice is embedded in his head.
Even if we stab him, I’m not sure he’ll even change at all…
I guess I should at least dispel the brainwashing on Kiel.
I drink a mana potion and enclose Kiel in my Shield Prison.
“If you don’t want that dagger in your ribs, then spill out your guts.” (Naofumi)