I’m sorry for the rant. That was just my way of blowing off steam. It was late. I was Young. I was stuck indoors for 24+ hours by a feet of snow.
Let me say I hold no animosity towards PROzess, or Krytyk. I like and respect both of their works. With Krytyk, the only thing I really wanted was to clarify my translating methods to avoid misunderstanding. They both do really good work. I’m a fan. As for PROzess, I hold nothing against him/her whatsoever, it just so happened that the comments I wanted to object to were on his/her blog.
Oh yes, and to those of you who don’t know, my icon is Elizabeth.
Chapter 240: Research Material
“Is this supposed to be an old RPG Dungeon…” (Naofumi)
There were plenty of traps, but we managed to destroy them through physical means.
Rocks chased us, and the ceiling fell on us, but Firo and Gaelion dealt with these one way or another.
The rocks were kicked to oblivion.
The ceiling? I acted as a pillar of support while Firo and Gaelion competed in destroying it.
How should I put this. The Justice Zombies and traps made a certain post-apocalyptic game play back in my head.
We’ve been scouting for around 30 minutes, and we’ve managed to proceed quite far.
At one point, we found a passage that led outside. The exit was a cave-like structure.
Could this have been the one that Kiel was talking about?
There were also prison-like rooms arranged in a grid formation. ‘The Devil of the Shield’s Subordinate Asylum’ was scribbled on them.
Finally, we emerge in a room that seems to be a research lab. Looking over the documents scattered around, a certain one catches my eye.
“We did an analysis of their combat strength, but it seems that was all based on secondhand information. Their actual strength is estimated to be much lower.”
Various plans to harass my territory, such as the commandeering of my Bioplant Field, are written, but it seems they’ve been put on hiatus.
There are plenty of test tubes like the ones in Rat’s lab, so it seems that an alchemist has been here.
“Just how large is this building?” (Naofumi)
“There’s a document about me here too.” (Ren)
Ren begins flipping through a document with his name on the cover.
The problem is that his reading skills are not that high, so he doesn’t seem to understand what’s written.
“Estimated level: 75, but actual level estimated to be higher.
Skill level allows for him to take out a group of twenty level 80 enemies.
Danger level: (Average)”… How sad.
“According to Mald, his swordsmanship isn’t very high.
According to the Princess’s testimony, the possibility that he will help our cause is low. And as such, we will decrease his power by taking any useful equipment or funding he may hold.”
Well, you know… Ren wasn’t really fighting for real, so it’s not like you can estimate his strength from that.
And the Ren of that time really wasn’t particularly strong.
However, just by relying on the power of the legendary weapon, he was without a doubt stronger than Armor.
“It seems that the reason for Witch abandoning you is documented here.” (Naofumi)
“Apparently, ‘the possibility that he will help our cause is low’.” (Naofumi)
“Of course… Naofumi is one thing, but if a group wanted to take over the country, I’d probably refuse… I think.” (Ren)
“No, that’s where you should be certain.” (Naofumi)
“Yeah, the me of that time was a little messed up, so I don’t really have confidence that-” (Ren)
“The old you was supposed to be a (self-proclaimed) cool, analytical character, right? You’d probably have left them without saying anything.” (Naofumi)
“Don’t put it so bluntly… but you’re probably right.” (Ren)
My document is next to his. It’s quite thick.
“Estimated level: Impossible to Determine.
Danger Level: (Maximum).
Reports indicate that he was able to block the Spirit Turtle’s attacks, but the truth is unclear.
Still, it can be concluded that he has very high defense.
His weak point would be his low attack, but he has been starting to build up forces.
Urgent countermeasures are required.”
“Without careful planning and resources, defeating him will probably be impossible…
Within my forces, the most detailed reports are ones about Raphtalia and Firo.
My forces had planned to have their subordinates dress up as robbers, and attack Raphtalia when she was out training, or Firo when she was peddling. They were to awaken them to the notion of「Justice」. But the plan failed, and their agents’ whereabouts have yet to be determined.”
I don’t know where, but it seems we’ve already had a victory against them.
Raphtalia’s group probably apprehended them and turned them in to the nearest town.
Only people like Atlas would be able to see anything special about that dagger anyways.
There’s also a report of using the Sword Hero to test my ability.
This one seems to be quite recent.
“Estimated Level 100.
If we send a large amount of disposable pawns trained in dealing with his Shield, victory may be possible.
We will send our Trump Card, Mald, to finish him with the strongest equipment.
This is theoretically the most effective measure.”
“This… is…” (Naofumi)
A grave mistake! The work of a fool.
I’m sorry, but it seems your expectations have betrayed you.
I was already able to stop their strongest equipment. I guess that’s something they weren’t expecting.
The next few documents about me seem to be a little older.
They’re things like learning Hengen Musou in order to break through my defense. Apparently, acquisition of the techniques proved to be too difficult, and the plan was put on hiatus.
Well, that martial art required quite a bit of talent and a lot of experience.
They didn’t have that much time, so it was impossible to learn for people who only wanted strength to inflate their own egos.
Besides, the current me can negate a weak defense-breaching attack.
There were many other plans proposed, but in the end, they shifted towards infecting my subordinates with「Justice」.
Put your useless efforts toward something more productive.
“Master, there’s something strange about this wall.” (Firo)
“For reals? Destroy it!” (Naofumi)
What about solving puzzles? Don’t care.
There’s probably a key somewhere around here, but searching for it is a pain.
An officer of the Three Hero Church is probably holding it, and I don’t need it.
Firo and Gaelion competitively reduce the wall to rubble.
It seems there was a secret door somewhere in it, and behind it is a single room.
“It’s more research data.” (Naofumi)
Upon entering the room, I found many more documents piled up.
“What is this? Reproducing… the Heroes’ weapons?” (Naofumi)
I read the document from the start.
… It’s a report on the weapon the pope used.
It spoke of maintenance cost and how to imbue it with magic. They looked at the problem from quite a few angles.
Apparently, these weapons were items of a lost civilization, and reproducing them with modern alchemy was difficult.
Yet, they planned to aim for mass production.
In the end… It ended in failure.
“If we can capture a Hero test subject… Research will advance leaps and bounds?” (Naofumi)
After that was a sketch of… something labeled as a fragment of a weapon.
A sketch of a fragment of the Demon Lord’s weapon.
I’m pretty sure that Legendary Weapons couldn’t be damaged.
So there was something like that?
Also, where the hell did Armor run off to?
He probably proceeded smoothly with a key.
I’m fed up already.
I’ll have the Queen send people to look over this research later.
There’s no end to these stacks of paper.
And, continuing our pursuit, we end up going deeper and deeper into the lab.
We pass by a test tube. It is filled with a strange liquid, and a dagger is suspended in it.
This seems to be the origin of those weapons.
“Atlas, can you see anything?” (Naofumi)
“Yes. The evil aura… is coming from over there.” (Atlas)
Atlas points to the source of the pipeline connected to the test tube.
Well that’s obvious.
“It’s gotten stronger than before.” (Atlas)
“Then the origin may be over there.” (Naofumi)
Should we go over and do some collection?
I think Rat would be delighted here.
I wasn’t able to procure that much funding, so maybe I’ll repossess some of these facilities and recycle them.
Gaelion looks ahead as he tugs on my cuff.
“What is it?” (Naofumi)
“I smell the scent of treasure from over there.” (Gaelion)
“Leave it.” (Naofumi)
In the end, he’s still a dragon.
Later, I’ll repossess that too.
Though I have no idea where they got their treasure from.
“Yay. You got him mad.” (Firo)
And Firo is Firo.
Anyways, while we were messing around as such, we arrive in a wide room.
There, Armor is tapping on a stone tablet as if it were a keyboard.
“So this is where you went. Thanks for leading us here. As a reward, I’ll send you to the other world.” (Naofumi) (TL: As in the afterlife)
“Ku… So you’re already here, Demon Lord of the Shield!” (Armor)
“There were quite a few interesting gadgets set up, but we destroyed them all. Didn’t you hear us get here?” (Naofumi)
What is he doing, anyways?
Armor gives a wide smile as he places his finger on the stone tablet.
“But you’re too late. We’ve already fulfilled our purpose!” (Armor)
By this pattern, something’s going to pop out, right?
As I think that, the ground behind Armor splits in two, and something rises out of it.
From the looks of it, it’s another test tube.
“There’s a fearsome, ominous aura emanating from over there. I assume it to be the progenitor of this incident.” (Atlas)
“I see.” (Naofumi)
What’s going to come out?
Usually in these situations, a large monster is summoned.
And then Armor would become a sacrifice and get killed by it.
“Ha ha ha.” (Armor)
I ignore the laughing Armor and gaze into the test tube.
The Hero of the Bow, Itsuki, was lying down inside of it.
But he seems a little strange.
His eyes are covered, and a Gag ball is in his mouth, preventing him from speaking.
What sort of joke is this?
He’s probably been forcefully apprehended. The fact that I’m imagining S&M scenarios makes me question my own psyche.
Anyways, it’s not a pretty scene.
I want to laugh.
Just when I was wondering where he had gone, I find him confined here.
“I-Itsuki!? What happened to you!?” (Ren)
In a contrast to my amusement, Ren and Rishia seem highly troubled.
But, I guess their reactions are the correct ones here.
I feel that if Raphtalia were here, she would put pressure on me.
“Is that your trump card?” (Naofumi)
Isn’t Itsuki supposed to be a false prophet to this guy?
Did he lose hope and come crying to Itsuki for help?
Then why is Itsuki in a test tube?
“Now awaken! It’s time to annihilate the Demon Lord of the Shield!” (Armor)