The Goddesses have a Thing for Those that Fight on
Within the storm, I looked at the giant Trident Serpent in the middle of the whirlpool.
I crossed my arms, and from the water spray, my body was soaked. On the deck, Novem and the others were calling out for me to return.
While it doesn’t really matter, I have to say my soaked body is twenty percent cooler than usual.
“Lyle-sama, please come back! You’ll get a cold!”
I flipped my hair, and as it was wet, water flew around.
“I’m already sopping wet, so there’s no problem. More importantly, Novem, how much cooler do you think I am compared to my normal state…”
There, Monica shook up her twin tails behind Novem.
“You’re fifty percent cooler than usual! I’ve already got tens of thousands of photos of you stored in my memory! My videos are of perfect quality as well!”
Seeing her wriggle her body in delight, I…
“I don’t really get it, but you say some nice things. Want me to take my shirt off as a public service?”
There, Aria looked at me, and yelled. She gripped the railing, and turned her eyes to the giant enemy… the Trident… too long, let’s just call it Tressy.
“Just come back already! A monster like that’s come out! You do know why we’re here, don’t you!? We’re guards! Guards!”
Her red hair was wet, and since she usually preferred clothing fit close to her body, when wet I could make out her body’s lines quite clearly.
“That’s precisely why I’m here. By the way, I’m quite amazing in the nude, you know? You sure you don’t want to see?”
“Why did you have to come out with this timing!!?”
Aria cried out, but Monica was excitedly looking in my direction. As I thought, I really should take it off. I reached for my shirt.
There, Vera-san who’d come out on deck, called out to me.
“Painful Growth guy over there! Shut up, and listen to orders! I’m cancelling the guard request. I’ve no intent to tell you to fight something like that. Begin the preparations to escape at once!”
On top of the deck, the crouching sailors raised their heads at the thought of escape. But the sea was slowly spiraling inwards with Tressy at the base, and it didn’t look like a small boat would be able to escape.
The currents would probably swallow it up and sink it.
“Cancel? That would be troubling. That thing over there is my prey. I’ve especially taken a liking to Tressy’s crown! I want it! While I’m at it, I’ll do my job, and get money in my hands!”
I clenched my fist in the air to emphasize my point, and the sailors, and my comrades that’d come out on deck looked dumbfounded. As a representative, Vera pointed at me.
“What the hell’s a Tressy?”
“Isn’t it cute? Trident Serpent’s too long so, I’ve decided it now.”
“Cute or not is irrelevant! That’s a monster called the god of the seas! Even if you try turning a blade on it, nothing will come of it! … We can only run away!”
As she hung her head vexingly, Vera-san seemed to be emotionally opposed. On the deck, the sailors had all gathered to discuss their escape.
Miranda pulled Shannon by the hand, and approached me.
“Lyle, what are you doing!?”
Behind a surprised Miranda, Eva and May were looking at me. No, they were looking beyond me, at Tressy.
Showing all three of its heads above the water, and patiently waiting for us; what an honest fellow.
“… For real?”
Eva said that, and May’s bearing was different than usual.
“This one’s… impossible, even for me. I can see why the sea’s divine beasts haven’t done anything about it.”
It seems there are divine beasts in the sea as well. I’d like to see one, one of these days.
With her staff raised, Clara produced light to illuminate the area without anyone telling her to.
The sky was covered with thick clouds, and the clear sky was turning quite dark.
It felt as if it were night, and the water’s pitch black surface lookd as if it would swallow the lot of us.
As more people gathered on the deck, the ship’s movements gradually ceased resisting the spiraling current. It leisurely went with the flow, gradually bringing us closer to Tressy.
Atop the swaying deck, everyone made expressions of despair as they looked at the monster.
“Why the god of the sea…”
“We even had milady with us.”
As the sailors despaired, Vera-san hung her head, made a fist with her hands, and bit down on her Lower lip.
From the Jewel, the ancestors let out their voices.
『That one’s a bit too big, isn’t it? What’s more, we’ve never fought anything like that. What are you going to do, mr. lyle?』
『Even if you plan to run, it’s looking on us as prey. Huh? Does it eat humans? Just how does it fill its stomach with that humongous frame it’s got?』
『Do monsters ever get full? Anyways, it’s too big to be cute. If only it’s eyes were just a little bit rounder…』
『The best option at hand… it would be to use something as bait, and survive… now then, what’s your take on the matter, mr. lyle?』
They were placing some expectations on me, so I boldly stood at the bowsprit alone, and pointed at Tressy. In a loud voice…
“Monica, is that a god?”
While Monica was pelted by the sea spray and rain, neither her clothes nor her hair looked wet. She stood perfectly postured, let off a light from her red eyes, and opened her mouth.
“I concluded it is a monster. It’s oversized, but I can detect Magic Stones in its body. Well, it does have quite an atmosphere, to say the least. Perhaps it’s the crown?”
“It really is a nice piece. I want one. It’ll sell for a fortune…. Now then, gentlemen. As you’ve just heard, that there is no god.”
There, one of the sailors called out.
“It’s the reincarnation of the goddess! The third goddess… if you go against the sea, it’ll draw you into its depths, and steal your soul away!”
It appears they believed in the superstitions. Most of the crew quivered as they huddled together.
“Then there’s no problem! My House has been faithful to all the goddesses for generations. Even if I take one down, there’s still six to believe in!”
In the Jewel, the Third laughed.
『Oh right. We fundamentally supported all seven goddesses, didn’t we. It’s true that there won’t be much of a problem even if we lose one or two.』
There, Novem looked at me with a conflicted expression, and Aria yelled out.
“You ungrateful heretic! Are you sure it isn’t your fault we’re being targeted!?”
I calmed down a little, and touched my right hand to my chin.
“You’ve got a point. I’m a man who’s got it… maybe the goddesses are sending down some funds for me. I’m scraping by for now, but daily faith is important, you hear!”
Aria’s face turned red, and she muttered something like, ‘why is it only at times like these, that he’s overflowing with confidence…’ so I pointed at Tressy, and made a pose.
“… The goddesses smile on those that fight on!”
Those around were looking at me. As I thought, even if I just randomly threw words out, the magnificent aura I was born with gave birth to persuasive power.
Vera-san raised her face to look at me. A majority of the sailors looked my way as well.
“Just offering your prayers won’t get you anywhere. It’s to those that fight on to survive, that the goddess will grant her final smile. That goddess of the sea is testing us. And I will take her on… is there anyone to join me? If we achieve victory here, we’ll be the ones who challenged god! God slayers! How about it, doesn’t it have a splendid ring to it!?”
Fastening herself tight to Miranda, Shannon spoke out in a small voice.
“This guy’s definitely messed up in the head.”
Genius is never understood by the ordinary man. I’ve read it in a book once. So this is what they meant, I smiled to myself.
(Fool. Defeat the monster, and we’ll be heralded as god slayers. Isn’t it perfect!)
Vera0san looked at me, and after taking some deep breathes, she asked.
“Do we have a chance?”
I spoke confidently.
“As long as we’re alive, we can win. There is no such thing as a strongest in this world. By the way, I’m only here to fight because there’s a chance. I, Lyle Walt… have never once faced defeat in my life!”
There, Shannon whispered again.
“… Even when Celes knocked the living daylights out of you?”
Miranda shut her up with a, ‘Shhh!’
(Ha, I haven’t lost yet. We’re still in the middle of the match. And I’m a man who’ll reign victorious at the end! My losses up to now were all to lead to my triumph!)
Vera-san looked at my face. And turning around, she issued a manifesto to the sailors.
“Men! Do you seriously intend to leave it all to him!? This ship is our ship. You’re going to let that guy rampage around as he pleases, while you shut your lips and watch!?”
The crew cast their eyes down.
It was at that moment. The captain took off his hat. And he raised his voice.
“You lot, our goddess of fortune has commanded us to fight! You’re going to let that bodyguard adventurer have all the cool parts to himself!? If we lose, it’s the end either way. Try to run, and the boat’ll sink. Then what say you we go out with a bang!!”
On those words, the sailors raised their faces and stood. One, and then the next…
“Dammit, it really isn’t my day.”
“If that guard fails, he’s in for a wallop.”
“Tsk, goddess of the sea, and goddess of fortune… a clash of goddesses? How meaningless.”
Seeing them complain as they stood in the rain, Vera-san looked a little surprised.
When the ship took a large sway, I used the momentum to leap and land in front of Vera-san.
The Third spoke.
『It would’ve been interesting if you slipped there.』
He said something like that, but I stood, and faced Vera-san.
“No, you really are a goddess of fortune. Of all else, when you went to challenge the god of the seas or whatever, you had someone as strong as me aboard your ship… now then, for victory, there’s something I must request.”
Hearing it was for victory, Vera-san made a serious expression. She looked a little tired at the first part, but seeing her face turn serious, I…
“I want a kiss. What’s more, a deep one!”
The sailors looked at me in surprise.
“Oy, someone get the guns!”
I embraced the surprised girl, and used the rocking of the boat to support the back of her hip with my left hand. It was as if I was holding her up as she was about to fall.
She was too surprised to resist…
“My apologies. But worry not, I’ll make you mine before you know it.”
“You really are crazy!”
I covered up her mouth, and stuck in my tongue. She tried to resist, and push me away, but perhaps finding she couldn’t break free, she soon gave up.
The Fifth let his voice.
『Why can’t Lyle be this assertive on a regular basis?』
The Fourth seemed to be of the same opinion.
『If he was like this normally, it’d all be much easier.』
After a while, I slowly proper her up, and she took a few steps back, as she wiped off her mouth, and glared at me… she opened her eyes wide.
“Y-you… so that’s…. how it is. It really was necessary for victory.”
“I know, right? So won’t you tell the sailors around us to lower their weapons?”
Around me, sailors with bloodshot eyes were holding up their guns, giving off a feeling that they’re pull the trigger at any moment.
“What has he done to the Lady!”
“I’ll blow ‘is ‘ead clean off!”
“You’re food for the fishies!!”
They were looking at me with faces of rage, and prepared to fire at the slightest provocation. But there, Vera-san stopped them.
“Stop it! I hate to admit it, but it was something necessary to win. Look, the ship’s being pulled in! Everyone to your stations! Lyle! After kissing me like that, I definitely won’t forgive you if you let us lose!”
I nodded, and looked around. Their fear and tension from before had been somewhat mitigated.
(Now then, I’ve successfully undone Vera-san’s and the sailors’ anxiety…)
Looking over the crew members reluctantly put down their guns, and return to their stations, I made a triumphant smile.
“It’s only natural. If I don’t win here, my name will die. Now then, how about I get a little serious? Monica, stay by my side. May by Shannon. Shannon’s eyes will prove essential. Aria, Eva, Clara, stay on the ship. Listen to Vera-san’s orders. Novem, Miranda, you’ll be stationed on the front and back of the deck.”
When I gave out orders, Novem came over to my side.
“Lyle-sama, can we win?”
Hearing that, I…
“We shall! Kill that monster, and we’ll be called god slayers, you know? Don’t you think it’ll be more effective than killing a Land Dragon? We’ll be famous once we get back. And it’ll get noisy again… good grief.”
There, making a bitter smile, Novem looked at me.
“So the goddesses smile on those that fight on, is it… perhaps you’re right.”
I smiled, and pointed my thumb at myself.
“Right? I, Lyle Walt… I’m confident I can make even a goddess fall for me. More than that, I’m sure they’re already swooning over me in heaven. What a sinful man.”
Perhaps finding it strange, Novem smiled, and nodded a number of times.
“I’m sure you’re right.”
Is what she said.
… Vera instantly changed out of her soaked clothes, and took over the bridge.
She held her head with her left hand, and endured the pain. Overflowing with unfamiliar information, she could get a precise understanding of everything around.
(I can tell what’s around the ship. In the sea… even in the ship itself… a Skill of this level, and he can share its use. He really is amazing, isn’t he.)
To her, the captain sent a worried voice.
“Starboard. And keep throwing Magic Stones into the motion hearth! Get close enough for our cannons to reach.”
“I-is that alright!?”
To a surprised sailor, Vera spoke.
“If our attacks won’t reach, there’s no point at all. And with the cannons, time the firing with that adventurer’s words.”
The sailor was surprised once more.
“A-are you sure it’s alright to leave that much to him?”
“I’ll take responsibility! So why don’t we teach that three headed monster the terror of humans!? And there aren’t enough people on the motion hearth. Hurry and send some support!”
Sending out order after order, Vera verified the image in her head once more.
(I can see it. The movements of people. And I can even hear some voices.)
『God f***ing dammit!! Only mine was a few milliseconds shorter than the others!!』
『Monica, shut up! I’m soaked, and going through hell here! *Cough*! *Hack*!』
『Oh my, Shannon swallowed water again. Didn’t you say it’d be fine as long as you could see?』
『Clara, you haven’t said anything for a while. Are you fantasizing over something strange again?』
『… Aria-san, I’m not the only one who felt like a pure maiden when he kissed me, was I?』
『It’s hot! It’s really hot here! They’re pouring magic stones into a giant cauldron thing! Because of that, it’s really hot!』
『Eva, you quiet down too! Out here, it’s freezing, and wet!』
『Lyle-sama, have you gotten the information you needed?』
『Got them from Clara’s Skill without a problem. I’ve found out that I have absolutely no idea what sort of attack it’ll make. It’s a massive harvest!』
The voices Vera heard in her head were loud, and she held her hand against it.
At the bridge, the sailors hurriedly gave their reports. And Vera transmitted them to Lyle.
『Preparations ready over here. Can I leave firing the cannon to you?』
There, Lyle gave a response.
『Leave it to me. If we don’t win, we’ve no future… how did that line come out?』
『As expected of Lyle-sama.』
『Do your job properly! Why are you so laid back!? There’s a giant monster right before your eyes! Why did you have to come out with this timing… you’re a nuisance!』
On the words of the girl called Shannon, Lyle…
『I do think I’m restraining it more than usual, you know? See, my aura is simply different from a normal humans, so it’s quite a trial to contain it. Even if I may say irresponsible things, I do believe in all of you. As I thought, this must be a talent I’ve been born with.』
Vera began to become a little anxious over Lyle’s words, but after them, she got the feeling she heard the voices of some other males.
『No doubt about it. This has got to be a talent.』
『Right. Finding a man of this caliber isn’t too easy…』
『Hey, think we’ll get anything better than, I can make even a goddess fall for me?』
『It’s only just begun, has it not. Oh, we’ve connected to a strange line… ah.』
The voices suddenly cut off, and Vera shook her head a number of time. The voices she heard were male… what’s more, they didn’t belong to Lyle, but a wide array of men. Hearing those voices in their early thirties, it sounded as if they were actually enjoying the present situation.
(… Seriously, what?)
As Vera thought that, the ship moved, and approached Tressy.
“Milady! We’ve got it in the range of the cannons!”
“Don’t fire yet! Wait for the order!”
(Kuh, I don’t have the leisure to think over it now.)
As Vera concentrated on Tressy, the voices resounding through her head gradually began to turn serious. But Lyle alone was…
『Ah, a catchphrase! Don’t you think I need a catchphrase! Dammit, I wasn’t able to say the usual, ‘let’s have fun with it’…』
Still on cloud nine…
On top of the deck, I stood around the center with Monica to my side.
The metallic blunt weapon we had once recovered from a boss in Arumsaas. Monica had repaired it, and turned it into a cannon.
Taking a stance with the cannon that didn’t match her small and slender body, Monica spoke to me.
“This weapon is incomplete. And it hasn’t even been test fired. Our ammunitions number a minimal five armor piercing shells, two explosive ones. I can calibrate it after the first shot, but we’re in a storm. The distance considered, please think of our chances of landing a hit to be considerably low.”
As she held up that unperfected cannon, I spoke to her.
“It’s more than enough. For now, as he’s standing there so elegantly, we’ll have to show him we’re just a bit serious.”
Monica tilted her head.
“Are you certain you wish to anger it?”
I looked down the barrel twice Monica’s height, as I replied.
“If we see we can’t inflict a severe wound with that, we’ll just have to move on to the next means. In that case, it would be easier to defeat it if it came closer. Now then, guess I should take a swing at it too.”
I took the Jewel in my left hand, removed it from my neck, and had its silver ornaments take the form of a large bow. The longbow had a length that exceeded my height, and no string. But by pouring in Mana, a pale blue light spanned it, and formed a thread.
“I’m connected to you with a line. Want me to try calibrating it?”
There, Monica spoke.
“Please don’t underestimate me. If it’s only to land a blow, it’s an easy task. Our scales of precision are different. But are you sure you won’t aim for the center of its head? I get the feeling it’s quite clearly its weak point.”
In regards to her, I…
“We can’t have that crown fly away on us. Well, it’s best if it doesn’t… I’ll take the center head.”
Saying that, I drew back the bow, and an arrow of light began to take shape. What was initially light in the vague shape of an arrow slowly recreated an arrow’s shape down to its finer details.
After taking enough time to set my aim…
“Don’t sink from this.”
I shot the arrow. That pale blue arrow flew straight at the right head, and landed on the mark, and the enemy seemed to take notice of it, as it moved its head.
“Armor piercing round coming up. Please cover your hears, and open your mouth.”
I followed Monica’s orders, as the cannon breather fires, and Monica endured its impact. The wood of the deck grated, and the entire ship shook alongside it.
Water spray hit the gun barrel, and evaporated to coat it in white smoke.
In my head, I could hear Vera’s voice.
『Wait a minute! It’s more powerful than ours, isn’t it!? If you were carrying such a weapon around, then you should’ve just said it!』
But as I took my hands from my ears, I looked at the left head the shell had hit. There wasn’t a doubt my arrow had hit the right one either.
The smoke cleared, and perhaps the head that’d been hit had flown into a rage, as it pointed itself at the sky, and let out a roar. The intense vibrations of the air could even be felt where we stood.
The momentum of the whirlpool increased, and we began to pick up speed.
The middle head opened its mouth with, and in it, a blue lump of Mana began to form, and expand. I could confirm it with Skills.
Using the information obtained through Shannon’s demon eyes, and…
What I gained from the Second’s, and Sixth’s Skill, my conclusion was…
“If it hits, we’ll be blown to smithereens. That isn’t good.”
Monica looked at my face.
“Despite that, you seem to be having some fun.”
“It’s simple. We just don’t let it hit. Novem, Miranda, deploy it on my orders. And fire the starboard cannons on my order. Vera-san please increase the ship’s speed. It’s fine if we get closer.”
My Skill… the Conection link related responses from Novem, Miranda and Aria.
『The preparations are complete.』
『Don’t let it hit… you make it sound so easy.』
『If you’re going to give orders, give them sooner. We can’t make sudden movements!』
Tressy’s center head opened its mouth towards us, and fired off that blue ball of magic. It was distant, and I could make out its movements quite clearly, but as it came closer, it looked as if it was picking up speed.
I swung my right hand to the side.
“Deploy Magic Shield!”
Novem and Miranda deployed their magic, and for only an instant, a thick wall of Mana protected the ship.
What’s more, it was oval shaped, and with the increase in the boat’s speed, we were able to slip the vessel out of its impact trajectory. The Mana mass that strayed from the ship hit the sea’s surface in the distance, and raised a large pillar of water.
Monica looked at it.
“Truly, one hit of that would have blown us away.”
I protruded my right hand out forward.
The cannons on the starboard side blew fire all at once, and I used the Select Skill.
I set my aim on the heads on both side, and adjusted their speed so they’d collide, but when they hit, I saw Tressy’s form let off a faint light.
Monica gave a level-headed analysis.
“It’s covering its body with that mysterious energy called Mana. Of that attack, a vast majority of it never reached the main body. Mine and your attacks had more an effect, Chicken dickwad. Looking closely, it does seem those heads do have wounds from our attacks.”
“I see. Then I’m glad we didn’t aim for the center one.”
Hearing that, I looked at Tressy. It was glaring at us with its red eyes, and the whirlpool had grown stronger still.
“If it’s grown serious, then so be it. Will it approach, or continue attacking at a distance…”
“It looked like it’s closing it. You have successfully angered the beast.”
I pulled the bow with a smile. I increased the number of arrows from before, and pointed it a little higher. As Tressy began to move, the arrows of light rained down on him. They exploded on impact, but that pale light protected him, and none of them did anything decisive.
There, he dived into the water.
“The whirlpool has ceased. It seems it has to stay still for it to occur.”
I gave orders to Vera-san.
“The whirlpool has stopped. Please go right into running from Tressy.”
『Don’t make it sound so easy! Ah, god! Port! Port!』
The boat slowly turned its course to the left, and with the speed we’d built up, Tressy was stuck chasing us.
“Now then, should we aim for when it surfaces?”
Me and Monica held up our bow and cannon, and I aimed at the water front, and fired an arrow. Immediately afterwards, I covered my ears, opened my mouth, and Monica fired the cannon.
Two pillars of water.
Tressy’s movements dulled, making some distance to the ship.
From the Jewel.
『Huh? Is it really just going to croak like this?』
『No, Tressy should be able to get more serious than that.』
『But what a tough one… aren’t we at a disadvantage here? Monica’s cannon has five rounds left.』
『But when it’s that big, it sure has some firepower. If you’re going to take it back, you’ll have to decide on a piece… in that case, the middle head does look appealing.』
Monica set the next shell, and Tressy’s head… when a face other than the center surfaced, it began gathering pale blue light in its mouth.
Letting out a sigh, I quickly pulled the bow, and fired.
“The same trick again… and too slow!”
My arrow hit the lights in its mouth, causing it to explode, and inflict magic damage on itself. It fell back into the water, and its movements grew even duller. It seemed to be trying to get itself together underwater.
“Hahaha, give chase!”
On my words, Monica also…
She held up her cannon, and turned it towards the water. Setting her aim, she fired it off again.
The distance was getting too great, so I told Vera-san to drop our speed.
“Could you lower our speed?”
『Understood. More importantly, couldn’t we just run away like this?』
To Vera-san, who’d chosen the option of running away, I…
“We can win, so don’t sweat it. And wait, if I don’t bring back something here, my financial situation will be thrown into quite a mess, so…”
There, Monica set the next shell, and addressed me.
“It seems you’ve really enraged it.”
When I turned my eyes to Tressy, the center head showed itself from the water’s surface, and bit at the other ones. It sunk its teeth in, and tore off one of its flailing heads, and after some fighting with the other one, it tried to discard it as well.
“… Okay, fire.”
Tressy had waited for us. But we didn’t have to wait in return. He was making such a nice opening, so we were going to open it.
“I, Monica, love it when you’re so vicious, Chicken Dickwad. Let’s go right at it.”
“I also love you. I love you, Monica.”
“…! What was that!? Daaaamn!! I let it slide! Please say it again! Say it again with a refreshing smile!”
“Hahaha, you won’t get it from me so easily. Now then, on to the next shot. Once it’s done, I’ll give you as much love as you want. That goes for everyone!”
『Take this seriously!! You’re definitely an idiot! Hey!!』
I smiled at Shannon, as she shouted out in protest atop the deck. May was protecting her, and she was keeping her demon eyes locked on Tressy.
“But before I shower you with love, we’ll have to collect the materials and magic stones.”
“I-I must hurry! The clock is…! I must put an end to all this before the Chicken Dickwad’s Fever Time ends!”
As Tressy was fighting with the heads of its body, we mercilessly poured our attacks onto it.