Chapter 369: The Eve of the Decisive Battle
Making sure Trash was sound asleep, we quietly left the room.
When we descended the castle stairs, we found Glass, Ren and Female Knight. Also Itsuki and Rishia. They were meeting up to discuss the coming battle.
It’s dependent on Trash’s plan, but to what extent can we take action… in the battlefield, what sort of attacks could we expect from our enemies. That sort of talk.
“Ah, Naofumi-san.” (Itsuki)
Itsuki notices us, and calls out to us.
“It’s a bit sudden, but I’d like to have a little talk about our enemy.” (Itsuki)
“It’s because Ren-san didn’t know much about our world’s situation.” (Rishia)
“Yeah, that’ll help.” (Naofumi)
Even if I had a slight grasp of what was going on, I can’t just go about using my powers for something like this.
It’s not yet the time to use them.
And so, it’s much more efficient to just ask for whatever information they have on the enemy.
“We were just in the middle of that conversation with Ren-san. But he really did grow big. I was quite surprised.” (Rishia)
Rishia looked at me, turned to Ren, and spoke.
“He’s grown quite splendidly, hasn’t he?” (Rishia)
“No, he still has quite a way to go.” (Female Knight)
Female Knight crossed her arms, and said it with a proud tone.
Even so, between Ren and Female Knight, there’s a strange sense of distance, or some sort of uncomfortable atmosphere. Something like that.
Glass seems to have noticed the gap as well. She’s a bit troubled.
Ah, right. She was fighting in our camp.
“No matter how big he’s gotten, I have yet to see if his heart’s grown as well! After this, I plan to have him show me his swordsmanship.” (Female Knight)
“Ah, I see. Ren has it hard.” (Naofumi)
“Fight on, Ren-san.” (Itsuki)
Itsuki encourages Ren in a clear voice, but… for some reason, it souned like he was muttering to himself.
“Until now, Ren was the youngest of all of us, but now that spot has fallen to me.” (Itsuki)
Now that I think about it… Ren was sixteen, so in two years, he’s become eighteen.
Itsuki was seventeen, I believe.
I’m twenty, and Motoyasu is twenty one, so Itsuki is the youngest among us.
Well, through my wanderings through the rift, I don’t really know my actual age anymore, though.
But I’ll keep that to myself.
“Ah, right. I thought I should give this to you guys.” (Naofumi)
I take out the medicine Arc gave me, and showed it to Ren.
“I think this was the liquid from the Filo Rial’s Holy Land, right?” (Ren)
“It’s the concentrated version. Try feeding it to your weapon. Whatever you do, don’t drink it. It’s poison.” (Naofumi)
It’s a medicine that turns you into a god if you drink it… but I know it isn’t something that shoud be used so readily.
In the first place, even from this world’s perspective, it’s a foreign object.
It’s an exception among exceptions.
Even the current me is probably an exception from the world’s perspective.
… When this battle is over, what should I do?
“I see… understood.”
As I inclined the vial to one side, Ituski took out his bow, and absorbed the drop that fell.
“This is… the Bow of XØ? How is it different from the Bow of Ø? Its effects and stats are the same.” (Itsuki)
“I think it’ll be much more effective on the Bitch Goddess than the Ø Series, you know. When the time comes, try using it.” (Naofumi)
“Understood. Then you will be spreading this medicine around to the other Heroes, too?” (Itsuki)
“Yeah, tomorrow. Before the battle starts.” (Naofumi)
After giving some to Ren and Rishia, I looked towards Glass.
“Glass, do you think it can be used on the weapons from your place?” (Naofumi)
“Hmm… I don’t really know.” (Glass)
“I guess we should just test it.” (Naofumi)
I dripped the medicine onto Glass’s fan.
“The Fan of XZero…” (Glass)
So in Glass’s world’s weapons, the name gets written out?
Even so, it’s good it came out.
“Next is…” (Naofumi)
I explained whatever information I thought necessary, and we organized our information.
And since our business with it was over, I closed the bottle. I mean, it would be terrible if it were to be abused.
It’s supposed to give some godly power, but once you get the power, what sort of end awaits you?
… Even I don’t know what the future holds for me.
The God Slayer who called himself Arc told me.
That no matter what happened, I shouldn’t regret.
It’s probable that he was implying this.
When this battle is over, what will become of me and Raphtalia?
“And? Your enemies… in this case, do you have anything to say about the Reincarnators?” (Naofumi)
“Yes. Of the ones we fought, I thought I should tell you two about the cost conspicuously strong ones we encountered.” (Itsuki)
“Got it. Please tell me.” (Naofumi)
The Reincarnators are like that Bitch Goddess’s vassals.
No, they’re just her pawns.
Do they understand that once she’s done playing around, she’s going to erase the world all at once?
No, if they did, I doubt they would be acting like this.
“First is about Glass’s world’s vassal Heroes. There are five we’ve encountered.” (Itsuki)
Glass was the Fan, right?
And from what I’ve seen, there was a Scythe, and a Katana.
The wall guy just had a strange power, and he shouldn’t be a legendary weapon holder.
“First, there’s the Heroes of the Katana and Scythe. There was also the Harpoon, and Instrument, and the ship.” (Itsuki)
“A Harpoon, an Instrument, and a Ship.” (Naofumi)
They’re all quite strange weapons.
What the hell’s with the Instrument? I can’t imagine what sort of attack’s supposed to come out of it.
But there’s one even stranger than that mixed in.
“What’s with that last one. The Ship.” (Naofumi)
“It had an ability much like the carriage Fitoria-san holds. It flew in the sky, and rained down attacks on us.” (Itsuki)
“I didn’t see it on the battlefield I appeared on.” (Naofumi)
“It was fighting with Glass-san and Wyndia-san in a different squadron.” (Itsuki)
I did hear from Gaelion. Fitoria was supposed to be there as well.
Just how much of an all-out-war is this?
What’s more, they’ve enclosed in on Melromark, and the defense of the other countries is in shambles.
There are also many countries that have fallen, it seems.
Right now, a safe country… doesn’t exist.
For the time being, the world’s allied army is still fighting as one, but I can’t foresee how that will work out in the future.
“So we should be wary of them?” (Naofumi)
“Yes, right now, those five seem to be the enemy’s aces. But if you count the other reincarnators, the amount increases.” (Itsuki)
“There was also a person who nullified Itsuki-sama’s Down Magic through strange ability. When the Kin tried to use Naofumi-san’s Support Magic to try to increase our abilities, the result was the same…” (Rishia)
It’s an iron rule of support, that when the other side uses it, your irritation increases proportional to their stats.
That Bitch Goddess seems to make up for the lack of coordination in her own troops through Support Magic, though.
Even though the enemy is playing on hacks, we’re using proper procedure and… Yeah, if it went like that, it’s clear why we have more losses than wins.
What’s more, she revives those involved with our side, and controls them. This is no joke.
But… I’m not going to let her do that anymore.
However… just what is Raphtalia doing?
She just went to go get Motoyasu, so isn’t she taking way too much time?
Is what I think, but the place Motoyasu was in was a troublesome parallel time-space loop, so perhaps it can’t be helped.
Atlas lightly floats to my ear, and whispers a plan.
Fumu… that sounds interesting.
“Female Knight.” (Naofumi)
“… Yes, what?” (Female Knight)
When I called her Female Knight, she gave an expression that showed she had given up in the deepest depths of her heart. She let out a sigh before answering.
“Do you want to become a vassal Hero?” (Naofumi)
“What are you saying all of a sudden!? Could it be that one of the four legendary Heroes plans to steal a weapon from another Hero?” (Female Knight)
“Naofumi… I don’t know who you plan on taking it from, but please stop. Everyone’s working hard.” (Ren)
“Don’t misunderstand, I just wanted to try asking is all.” (Naofumi)
Well, I guess that’s the thought that would surface first.
But what I’m trying to do is nothing like that.
“I just wanted to ask those that distinguished themselves… you know.” (Naofumi)
No, perhaps I should act oblivious.
I don’t plan on letting the chance slip by, though.
“I’m not sure if it’s possible or not, so don’t expect too much.” (Naofumi)
“I don’t know what you plan on doing, but can’t you share it?” (Ren)
Atlas whispers into Ren’s and the others’ ears too.
I don’t know if I can do it, so this talk is nothing more than a good luck charm.
Though it seems Atlas is sure of herself.
“You can do something like that?” (Glass)
Glass leaned her body forward, and asked.
“It’s only a possibility, but if it worked, wouldn’t it help our situation?” (Naofumi)
“Can I… get my hopes up?” (Glass)
“Please don’t hope too much. I’m only on the level of, ‘It would be nice if that was possible.’” (Naofumi)
I mean there’s no demerit to having more people.
Well, I’m leaving the larger-scale plan to Trash.
Come to think of it… there was something I was curious about.
“Glass, you use Spirit Water to recover your strength, right? Are you still able to do that?” (Naofumi)
“Yes, Itsuki offered to give some to me.” (Glass)
“We were able to overcome crises many times because of her.” (Itsuki)
“That should be my line.” (Glass)
“Naofumi-san, would you like to hear about Glass-san’s forces? I think the information may prove useful.” (Itsuki)
“Glass’s forces. You mean her allies that acted with her when she was outside of her world?” (Naofumi)
“Yes, before the World Assimilation… my comrades that were quite active in my world.” (Glass)
“One of them was a Person of Soul we almost mistook for that person. You know, the one who’s part of this country’s security. She ended her sentences with…” (Rishia)
And so we shared information to some extent.
After that, I left the castle, and started walking down the dark streets.
The light was still burning in the Weapon Shop..
It was already quite late at night.
I could hear the sound of a Hammer hitting metal from the back of the shop.
“We’ll be intruding on you.” (Atlas)
We knock on the door to announce our presence.
“What. The shop’s closed you know… if it isn’t the young lad!”
For some reason, Imya and her uncle were with him.
Because of the constant battle, they’ve been making armor and weapons without stop, I’ve heard.
“Did you hear about what happened on the battlefield?” (Naofumi)
“Yeah. I was told you may be a fake, so I should wait for them to determine it at the castle, but from how it looks, there was no problem with that.” (Old Man)
“I’m sick of everybody doubting me like that, though.” (Naofumi)
“Haha, that behavior fits you, boy.” (Old Man)
Well… being doubted makes me remember the time I came to this world…
But if someone asked if such things fit me, I’d like to shake my head.
This all happened because Witch framed me, and if that never happened, perhaps I would have lived normally.
Well, that’s fine.
“And? How are things on your end? Imya seems to be there too.” (Naofumi)
“The village is still safe, but they’re making armor for those participating in the war.” (Old Man)
The Old Man and Imya’s Uncle are known craftsmen. I guess requests keep coming.
And the reason Imya and her uncle are here probably has something to do with materials and equipment.
Right now, they’re not making things for the village, but for the world.
I’ve heard that the Castle Town’s largest manufacturing workshop keeps going, making weapons day and night. Here.
The weapons they make go the heroes and those close to them with the highest priority, but they’re also distributed to the lower level soldiers as well.
Come to think about it, Itsuki, Female Knight and Sadina seemed to have some high-class equipment.
They even use their free time to develop new sorts of equipment.
“And to aid your work, I brought a few books from my world.” (Naofumi)
I showed the weapon books from my world to the Old Man.
Truthfully, over that long journey, they got to the brink of falling apart, but before I got to this world, I used a bit of power to restore them.
“He~! So this is a book of your world’s weapons, boy. There are quite a few here.” (Old Man)
He can’t read the lettering, so I collected books that mainly focused on pictures.
They’re mainly books on the manufacturing of guns, though.
Of course, there are also a few with words tightly packed together explaining just what sort of weapons they were.
If we had time, I would help explain it in detail, but tomorrow I have to head to battle.
“In my world, there’s a process where you use charcoal to refine and harden things. So I think this may prove a little useful.” (Naofumi)
“Thanks, laddy. I’ll use it with care.” (Old Man)
“Making things harder with carbon… can it be applied to clothing too?” (Imya)
For some reason, Imya’s eyes are shimmering.
It seems she’s anxious to eat her way through the books.
“If I don’t teach it, it’ll probably be difficult. Just slowly analyze those books, and use them to make this shop flourish. That’s enough.” (Atlas)
On Atlas’s words, I also nod.
That’s right. As long as there’s war, his business will be booming.
But I think that the Old Man is one who wishes for a world at peace.
Because he’s been lending me power since the time my life was thrown apart, I can understand.
“Leave it to me, boy, and tiger girl. By the way, where’s the young miss?” (Old Man)
“Raphtalia is working on another mission. She’s bringing Motoyasu.” (Naofumi)
“Ah, the Hero of the Spear, is it? I saw him a while ago, but she’ll have it rough.” (Old Man)
Rough referring to interacting with Motoyasu.
I’m of the same opinion.
So the Old Man’s seen that Motoyasu to.
To put it bluntly, no matter who looks at him, they’ll find him strange.
… No, I don’t really care about Motoyasu.
“Make sure you don’t work too hard and collapse.” (Naofumi)
Well, I think this tough battle will end tomorrow.
Of course, the enemy’s situation, and Raphtalia’s arrival could delay it.
But we survived up ‘til today. I’d hate it if they died from overwork.
“I know. Hey, all of you too.” (Old Man)
“Yes.” (Imya’s Uncle)
“Ah, I see you guys are caught up in the books the young lad brought. Let me have at them too!” (Old Man)
And off they go. The three indulged in the books I brought, as they began debating things with one another.
If they collapse because of this, does it become my fault?
I’m a little worried, so I cast some fatigue recovery magic.
And after giving them a few warnings, we returned to the castle.
When I returned, at the castle gate, Firo and Melty were asleep. Perhaps they were waiting for me.
Melty had drifted to sleep while sitting atop Firo.
And Firo, as she was, slept with Melty on her back.
They must be tired.
They were quite peaceful, so I ordered a soldier to fetch me a blanket, and after draping it over them, I laid down to take a nap nearby.
Everyone’s quite busy.
But this battle will soon come to an end.
I should find some peace of mind, and sleep for a while.
At that time, Atlas murmured, 『It’s the first time that Naofumi-sama agreed to let me sleep by his side』, but that doesn’t really matter.
Like that, the night before the battle passed by.