Chapter 238: Chasing Too Far
Ren and Motoyasu are Heroes, so I can’t kill them, and there are some things I need to make Witch do, so I’d like to leave her (barely) alive if possible.
But these guys are different.
In fact, in order to prevent them from harming more people, it’s best to make them leave the stage early. For the sake of the world.
“And, like, did you seriously think you could beat me with such low power?” (Naofumi)
A possibility is that Armor challenged Ren when he was a bandit and thought he could beat me if that was my power level. But, the Ren of that time had not yet learned strengthening methods.
To face me, he kept himself in perfect condition and got his hands on the strongest equipment he could find.
He used brainwashing to amass an army to wear me down so he could strike the finishing blow.
But those assaults had pretty much no effect on me.
He seriously underestimated his enemy. I should use this as reference. (TL: Learn from his mistakes)
Though, I have no idea if an enemy with that large of a gap in strength will ever appear before me. I have no idea how strong Houou is supposed to be.
I should do what I can for now.
My current mission is to take care of this ridiculous farce.
“You’re cowardly otherworlder who does nothing but rely on the strength of your Legendary Weapon! This World will be saved by its own people!” (Armor)
“Cowardly… You’re in no position to tell me that!” (Naofumi)
You people arbitrarily summoned me. I don’t need your complaints.
What is this person even trying to say?
It doesn’t seem that words are getting through.
Though I get the feeling they weren’t getting through from the start.
“This world’s people will save themselves? That’s quite a noble thought, but it was those very same people who decided to rely on the heroes and perform a summoning ritual. Your argument lacks persuasive power.” (Naofumi)
And just because you happened to summon someone you didn’t like, why must you abandon him?
I should direct those words at Trash.
The Queen supported me to the best of her ability, but it seems the country has lost some economic power.
When I see her tackling a mountain of paperwork, I find it hard to ask for funding.
I acknowledge that I may be a devil, but at least I have a conscience.
I’m surprised she hasn’t ruined her body from stress yet.
No, perhaps she has.
I’ve seen her swallowing medicine before.
She’s also been patting her stomach. She’s definitely acquired stress ulcers.
Now that I think about it, how’s the Castle Town doing?
I think Motoyasu and his Filo Rials will be able to suppress any uprisings.
I also sent a messenger to Raphtalia’s group when this mess started, so I wonder what happened to them.
… It’s been around half a day since this mess started.
If Raphtalia immediately came running back, I would suspect her of being brainwashed.
“Anyways, it’s best for your sake if you honestly tell the whole story.” (Naofumi)
From the Magic User’s testimony, this guy’s the ringleader. Perhaps I can wring Witch’s location out of him.
“If you don’t, my subordinates will torture you until you wish you were dead.” (Naofumi)
“Naofumi-sama, leave it to me.” (Atlas)
Atlas happily starts shadowboxing. She punches the air in front of her.
What’s with her movements?
“Yeah, Firo wants to do it too.” (Firo)
Firo begins imitating her.
Is that the new fad? Not on my watch.
When I turn around, I find that the others of my group have driven the brainwashed people outside and are in the process of setting up a barricade.
And just like I’m doing, Taniko borrowed a dagger from Ren, and began threatening the Three Hero Church remnants.
Ren cautions her that she shouldn’t be doing such things, but she shouts at him to shut up.
Gaelion has a delicate expression on his face.
I wonder who the girl takes after.
Rishia has just finished binding all of the remnants.
In the confusion created from throwing the bomb, they had scattered all over the place inside of the spacious church.
Rishia’s quite skilled.
She even ran on the walls… though I don’t know the logistics behind it.
Could she be concentrating magic on her feet to temporarily bind them or something?
Perhaps she’ll be able to run on water as well.
Hey, I told you people to kill them…
“Hey… just talk. You’ll lengthen your lifespan by a bit.” (Naofumi)
As I declare this, Armor retreats a few steps and catches his breath.
Has he finally gotten a grasp of the situation he’s in?
His face is blue.
He assured himself that he would win and that his enemies were all evil, and now it’s come to this.
Caught up in Itsuki’s justice, he began to believe that he was justice itself.
“I’m waiting.” (Naofumi)
“Ku… If I have to talk to you, then I’d rather di-” (Armor)
Just as he was speaking…
The roof of the church caves in, and three brainwashed Filo Rials rain down from the sky.
“KUEEEEEEE!” (Filo Rial)
“You’re in the way!” (Firo)
“Please, Move!” (Atlas)
Two of them grapple with Firo and Atlas while the last one forcefully throws Armor on its back and starts running.
“Like I’d let that happen!” (Naofumi)
Just as I’m about to deploy Shield Prison, I remember something.
Where are they running to?
I thought I would leave Itsuki up to Kiel, but if I follow them there, I may find Witch and her compatriots. I can capture them all at once.
And it seems that Armor would rather commit suicide than be captured.
There’s no point in capturing a dead man.
So I should use him as much as I can while he lives.
Firo kicks away the Filo Rial blocking her and begins to give chase.
With her speed, catching up will be easy, but the destination is the important part.
The situation is this dire. It’s probably not a trap.
If we just manage to find the enemy stronghold, then no matter the situation, we’ll be able to apprehend them sooner or later.
Of course, if they run towards Castle Town, I have no intention of letting them get far because I’ll probably find Witch and Itsuki there.
“Wait, let’s chase them too far!” (Naofumi)
(TL: I can’t think of an English alternative. Pretty much, the term means to pursue a goal too far, and is usually used with a negative connotation, but Naofumi means to chase them to the end.)
What’s with that line?
It’s something I said myself, but I have no idea what it means.
Aren’t you usually supposed to say ‘Don’t chase them too far’?
Well, I do plan on pursuing them until the end.
“What’s wrong Master? You don’t want to capture them?” (Firo)
“If they’re going to run… then we’ll just use that. Haha. It’s hunting time.” (Naofumi)
“As expected of Naofumi-sama. You let one escape to capture them all, right?” (Atlas)
“You can see through everything, can’t you?” (Naofumi)
Atlas’s comprehension ability is scary.
Could this be an instinct of the militaristic Hakuko tribe?
She can cut off her anxiety and calmly view the situation.
For now, I should get the Filo Rials on our side. They’re Motoyasu’s, so their stats aren’t bad.
I lock the one Firo kicked away in my Prison.
“Good. Now, you guys will be bringing the Three Hero Church Remnants to Melty’s estate! I’m leaving Gaelion’s group in charge.” (Naofumi)
As if they were expecting the order, Rishia and Taniko were already holding a net which they use to hold the Three Hero Church Remnants together after gathering them in one place.
The situation reminds me of a large haul of fish on a fishing boat.
All of the Remnants are directing foul language at my group.
It’s truly a stupid sight. I’ll apply some torture later.
If I don’t let them suffer a bit, I won’t be able to calm down.
… For this to be a possible stress-reliever… I’ve changed as well.
In a bad way.
Though, I have no intentions of correcting myself.
“Gaelion, you catch up with us later. And Taniko, I’ll leave the command of the people at the mansion to you.” (Naofumi)
“Taniko!? Do you mean me?” (Taniko)
“I told you before, right? Why are you so surprised?” (Naofumi)
“No, I knew! But hearing it directly is…” (Taniko)
“I’ll pursue the cause of this ruckus. You guys should focus on suppressing the violence in this village. Tell Kiel, who’s supposed to be good at tracking, to follow me.” (Naofumi)
“And after you deliver that message, send Gaelion over. Decide whether you’ll come or not based on the situation.” (Naofumi)
Taniko nods at all of my orders.
“Then everyone else is following that Armor with me. Get on a Filo Rial.” (Naofumi)
“Let’s go!” (Naofumi)
With Firo at the head, Rishia, Atlas, and Ren all board Filo Rials and follow to chase Armor.
“Are you sure they went this way?” (Naofumi)
“Yeah, I thought that if we were too close, they’d notice, so Firo is keeping some distance.” (Firo)
. . .
Without any lights, we rely on Firo’s instinct to give chase. It’s already been two hours.
All of the Filo Rials from my place are quite fast.
Without a cart, their normal running gait is around the max speed of a wild Filo Rial.
And such an amazing Filo Rial is running at full speed with Armor. They’re already outside of my territory and on the mountain roads.
I wonder where they’re running to.
But, I’m not about to waste time. Atop Firo’s back, I begin Reinforcing the Spirit Turtle Shell.
It will take a while before it awakens, but I’ve already managed to raise its abilities beyond Soul Eater Shield.
What’s more, it has a Growing Power ability, so I can’t wait to see what happens next.
As expected of the Shield the Old Man made.
Ah, right. About the non-copy one, I had it carefully packaged and sent to the Mansion with Taniko.
It may get taken again, but taking it with me here would provide the highest chance of it getting scratched.
I won’t let anyone touch it.
I don’t think it will be able to get any more skills, but it’s still an amazing Shield.
By the way, I tested out Reflect Shield to find out its ability.
When I shouted out the skill name, a list of the Shields I had with offensive power popped up.
There are a few I can’t choose, but it seems this ability can temporarily give my Shield some offensive features.
It will be useful for attacking when using shields with high defense.
E Float Shield → Change Shield → Reflect Shield is also a possible combination.
Then, the manifested shield can have greater durability.
My possibilities have increased.
“Master, it seems they’ve entered a building.” (Firo)
There’s a building out here?
I see a mountain fortress with some traces of light leaking out of it.
We’ve finally discovered their base.
I’ll make this a splendid massacre.
“Is that their stronghold?” (Ren)
“Seems like it.” (Naofumi)
I nod at Ren’s question.
Though it could just be a resting spot, it’s a fortress built in the middle of the mountains.
There’s a high probability that it’s an important point.
They’re probably recycling a fortress abandoned by the country.
It would be nice if Witch were somewhere here, but…
He may be there.
Either way, we’ll have to apprehend them.
But, Armor sure is a fool. Did he think he had outrun us?
That Filo Rial used to be mine, you know.
But I guess he had no choice but to run.
‘It was all a trap, now die Demon Lord!’ is also a possibility.
But I have confidence I’ll win. He’s a small fry.
I don’t know his level, but he wasn’t even able to scratch me when his blade was in direct contact with my skin.
At this rate, whether it be the Three Hero Church, the Nobles, Witch, the Rebels, or Armor, I don’t think any of them can hurt me.
It would be strange for them to have someone with such capabilities.
… Now that I think about it, can the current me only be hurt with attacks on Curse-Series-level strength?
Then, my first objective should be to defeat Itsuki.
And with me are Firo, Atlas, Rishia, Ren, and the other Filo Rials. A perfect Battle Party.
With this party, it will be easy to capture him alive.
… The only problem would be if Rishia betrays us, but I have an idea for that.
“What’s wrong, Master?” (Firo)
But, I can be certain that some of my own brainwashed subordinates are there as well.
I’m also taking that into account.
Firo and Ren can only inflict fatal blows, so I’ll save them for enemy management and Itsuki.
Atlas and Rishia can manipulate the invisible force of Chi, so I should send them to deal with the brainwashed slaves.
Anyways, to stop two Heroes, a Filo Rial Queen, and an awakened Rishia, is probably impossible.
All that’s left is to trample them.
“Now then, Itsuki or Witch… Who’s hiding here?” (Naofumi)