Chapter 299: The Last of the Seven Stars
And well, it was preserved decently, but the bottom of the mural was completely weathered away.
They probably thought it was just a pattern in the picture, but it was honest-to-goodness Japanese
Just like this… there…
There’s barely any that I can read. Again, what’s the meaning of this?
But there was something amazing in the list of Houou’s attacks…
The picture depicted the first one falling, and the second one swelling up.
After that, the next pictogram depicted the remaining one exploding, leaving nothing but scorched earth.
After taking this attack once, the heroes retreated.
At least, according to this record.
Didn’t they beat it?
I thought for a second, but looking closely at the exploding bird, I saw that it was dividing in two.
I guess this attack happens whenever you beat one of them.
And after the remaining one explodes, both of them revive, and the cycle repeats.
… This is like the Spirit Turtle.
Just by stopping the heart, you can’t beat it. Just by severing the head, it lives on.
But this time, if you defeat one individually, the other releases a powerful counterattack.
Someone nicely sketched some stars around Houou.
It looks like these were added in later.
After that, the remaining drawings were too cracked for us to make out anything more. But I did learn that we have to defeat them at the same time.
“With the Spirit Turtle, you had to destroy both the head and heart to defeat it. Most likely, we’ll have to do the same with the two birds. Upon failure, the remaining one uses a powerful self-destructing attack, and both are revived.” (Naofumi)
“As I thought… The game was different. In the game, both Houous shared an HP bar, and if you beat one, both of them fell.” (Ren)
“Self Destruction… while reviving at the same time. How troublesome.” (Itsuki)
Once more, Itsuki reads in a monotone with an expressionless face. I feel no motivation from him.
But by his words, he’s earnestly analyzing the fresco.
“What’s more, as one flies higher, we’d naturally have to concentrate our attacks on the lower one.”
“That means a bomb will explode from above…”
With added revival.
According to Ren and the others, Houou was quite strong, but it looks like someone upped the difficulty.
“Then how bout me and Itsuki-kun attack the higher one, and Father-in-Law and Ren-kun concentrate on the lower one?” (Motoyasu)
“Well, I guess that’s how it’ll turn out. From her weapon properties, Rishia should help Itsuki with the higher one.” (Naofumi)
“What should I have the army do?” (Queen)
It would be nice if we could defeat it with only the Heroes, but I’m not really sure.
If the allied armies want to participate, then I should make use of them.
“Get everyone who can use long range magic. I guess the others will be using bows. The people skilled in magic should target the higher one, and everyone else, the lower. I’ll leave you in charge of the precise organization and strategy.” (Naofumi)
Well, we have four heroes strengthened to their fullest here. I want to end this one as painlessly as possible.
I don’t want to run into some unknown factor later.
And this time, we have a slight grasp of their attack pattern, so creating countermeasures shouldn’t be too difficult.
Of course, it’s not certain that the words of the past are completely true, so we should proceed with caution.
“Understood. How should we ask them to train until the day?” (Queen)
“Let’s see… If we have a flying target, it should work out if they just practice on it.” (Naofumi)
Should we leave that to the Dragon knights?
No, both Firo and Gaelion can fly, so we can get them to imitate the supposed attack pattern, and train on that.
The flames and breaths can probably reproduced with magic, I bet.
“I understand. Then from here on out, the allied army forces will begin training to combat Houou. I hope the Heroes will assist as well.” (Queen)
“Leave it to me.” (Ren)
“I’ll try my best.” (Itsuki)
I mean, isn’t that why we’re here?
Our main goal is to get the casualty count as close to zero as possible.
I’d like to avoid battles like what we’ve had until now. Battles without preparation.
I’ll put my all into this.
“Then shall we look over the other temple we passed by once more.” (Queen)
After we finish looking over the Houou Mural, the Queen and the man from this country guide us.
“Is there something over there?” (Naofumi)
“At the moment, that is the only one of the Seven Star Weapons that has yet to select a wielder.” (Queen)
That piques my interest.
Honestly, we have absolutely no idea what sort of weapon the seven stars are.
It seems that the strange weapon in Rishia’s hands is something else, and I’ve never seen Trash holding a cane.
“Why is there such a line behind it?” (Naofumi)
“Can’t the Heroes understand?”
Well… It’s not that hard.
The legendary weapons can be used by those of this world as well.
Of course, from that previous journal, it seems that otherworlders can use them too.
Thinking that they were worthy of it, they lined up to see if they would be chosen by the weapon.
With this many people, I think this would be a good chance for business.
Something like one silver coin to test your worth, or something.
… This world seems to worship Heroes, so I think such practices will breed animosity.
The long line parts for us, and we enter the temple.
In front of the line was… the center of the temple,in which there was a lone wall. No, in this case, it was a block of stone with the weapon embedded into it.
It appears that people are testing whether they can take it out.
An army soldier’s face turns red as he desperately pulls at it.
“Yes, next person step up.”
The soldier drops his shoulders, and stumbles down the path he came from.
… Is getting chosen that happy of an event?
Being selected as the Hero of the Shield was nothing but suffering for me.
Aren’t these guys lucky? If I said that, these guys might think me prideful and selfish.
I think, as I gaze at the weapon.
… It’s a gauntlet.
The Hero that sealed Houou apparently had a gauntlet. It’s not strange for the weapon to be here… or is it?
By that logic, one would be in the Spirit Turtle village as well.
“Hey, Queen, why is this gauntlet here? Is there a reason Faubley doesn’t come to collect it?” (Naofumi)
“Long ago, this country experienced great prosperity. By the legend of the Hero of the Gauntlet. It’s one of this country’s treasures.” (Queen)
“Then what about the Spirit Turtle?” (Naofumi)
“It seems that it was sealed by a hero of a foreign country.” (Queen)
“So it’s like that.” (Naofumi)
Does that make Houou a newer legend?
It’s not like I have to investigate it thoroughly. I mean, that sounds like a pain.
… From what I see, it’s of quite a simple design. You could also just call it a glove.
It’s a basic shape like that of the Small Shield.
In the middle of the gauntlet, there was a single gem embedded.
Is there one of these in all of the Heroes’ weapons?
I guess this is the first form of the weapon.
“This is the last Seven Star?” (Naofumi)
This is the first time I’ve seen a real one… but I think I’ve seen something similar, somewhere. I wonder why.
Rishia’s weapon remains semi-transparent, and I get a different feeling from it.
When I look at this one closely, I sense… a greater power.
“So it’s waiting for a new wielder here?” (Naofumi)
“That’s right. Most of the people visiting this country have come to test their mettle, and obtain this weapon.” (Queen)
I’ll have the slaves from my place try for it as well.
It would be nice if Atlas obtained it.
Her talent is high, so it actually sounds highly likely…
But this line is way too long.
“When do you think this line will clear?” (Naofumi)
“I think it’ll remain throughout the day.” (Queen)
Wow… just how popular is this attraction?
“Well, with times as they are, many adventurers are challenging the weapon as well.” (Queen)
“Well then, this may be an unreasonable request, but can you let my places fighters try it as well?” (Naofumi)
“I’ll try negotiating for it. Until training starts, the Heroes and their party members are free to act as they wish.” (Queen)
Following the scholar of the country, the Queen headed towards the castle.
The result: when night fell, my slaves were given special permission to challenge the Gauntlet.
I’d like to see those results.