Sponsored chapter by Patreon, enjoy~
There were no other items that I could acquire, so I walked back to the small room and opened the door on the far right.
Normally, only the sage could enter this room. I wondered what kind of items were prepared there.
I walked down the long, narrow corridor and eventually arrived at a space about four and a half tatami mats in size. [T/n: Around 7 square meters.]
In the center was an altar. When I peeked over the top, I saw that it was decorated with three pieces of a shattered shield. There was some kind of emblem drawn on the shield’s surface, but the outline was unclear because of the rust.
“It’s the Dragon God’s shield. It has been handed down from the time of mythology, but it was shattered by the black dragon in the battle four thousand years ago.”
“…Doesn’t it have the same description as the Gram?”
You weren’t aware of it, huh?
The Glasses Slime jumped up and down in surprise.
“But, it’s not the hero who can restore this; it’s the sage. Well, I think Master-san can fix it with [Creation]…”
“Let’s give it a try.”
I collect the shield into my [Item Box]. But surprisingly, no new recipes came to mind.
“I can’t seem to fix it.”
“Maybe you don’t have the right materials.”
“I wonder what it needs?”
“You need a special jewel called the Dragon God’s Red Jade. I heard that you could get it only once in a thousand years in the land of the Dragon-folk, but I don’t know the details. I’m sorry.”
“…I guess we don’t have time to go to another country right now.”
Well, even with just Gram and the Destroyer Golem, it’s quite an accomplishment.
We left the vault and headed back to the underground city.
“Good night, Master-san! Thank you for coming to the vault!”
“I should be the one to thank you. We were able to strengthen our forces considerably, and I really appreciate it.”
“You’re welcome! Oh, one last thing! Please stay still!”
What the heck is the matter?
When I stopped, the Glasses Slime extended its tentacles toward me. It touched the back of my left hand and whispered to me.
“──May the spirits bless you, Master-san.”
I can feel the heat coming from where it touched me.
“It’s a good luck charm from me! If you have any problems, the spirits will be there to help you.”
I smiled and crouched down, patting the Glasses Slime on the head.
Come to think of it, what is a spirit?
At the entrance to the underground city, there was a sign that said, “May the spirits bless you,” and if I go back in my memory, I think I saw a similar message just before I was transferred to another world.
As I thought that, the [Full Assist] was activated, and I heard a voice in my mind.
Spirits are beings born from the strong thoughts of people. They are invisible to the eye, but they are always watching over you.
* * *
I asked the Glasses Slime to use transfer magic on me, and I returned to the underground city. The transfer point is at the city’s edge, in front of the first house I built.
It might be a good idea to turn this house into my home.
As I thought about this, an inorganic voice sounded in my brain.
Contact from the main system of the underground city. Do you wish to allow Irisnot Fafnir to enter?
Apparently, Iris had returned.
She said she wanted to talk to me later, so I guess that’s why she returned from Aunen.
About five minutes after I gave permission for her to enter, Iris arrived.
“Here you are, Kou. How was the vault?”
“It was quite a turnout. Why don’t we talk in the house for now?”
“I see. Well, I guess I’ll take your word for it.”
I walked Iris into the house.
At the house entrance, A Helper Slime was waiting for us and gave us a slight bow.
“Welcome back, Master-san! You haven’t had your dinner yet, right? Shall I make you something?”
“Sure. Please do. What about you, Iris?”
“Me too, please. I haven’t eaten anything since lunch, and my head is starting to spin.”
“Awawawa! That’s a big problem! I’ll get it ready right away!”
The Helper Slime jumped up and headed for the kitchen, bouncing up and down as if in a panic.
We decided to wait for the food while talking in the living room.
The sofa was in the shape of a U, with a table in the middle. I sat on the underside of the sofa, and Iris sat diagonally across from me.
“Iris, how was the city?”
“The preparations for the evacuation are going well. The rest is a race against time. …Can you tell me about the vault?”
I briefly explain the items I acquired in the vault.
Gram, the dragon-slayer’s magic sword. The super high-powered magic laser cannon and the Destroyer Golem that was created from it. And the Dragon God’s shield that was shattered into three pieces.
When I finished talking about the shield, Iris put her hand over her mouth and pondered, then opened her mouth with a serious expression.
“I haven’t told you why I’m looking for the ruins of an ancient civilization, have I?”
“Yes, you’re right. Are you going to tell me now?”
“Yes. I’m rather sorry it took me so long to tell you. …The reason I left the land of the Dragon-folk was to look for the Dragon God’s shield. The Dragon God’s Shield was originally a precious treasure of the Dragon-folk, but it went missing four thousand years ago in a battle against the calamity.”
“Four thousand years ago…”
The time is right around the time of the fall of the ancient civilization. In order to find out the whereabouts of the shield, Iris may have decided to search the ruins first.
“A treasure of the Dragon-folk, it would be a lot of trouble if I had it.”
It would be better to give the Dragon God’s shield to Iris.
When I was about to take it out of my [Item Box], Iris said, “Wait a minute.”
“Is it possible to restore the Dragon God’s shield with Kou’s [Creation]?”
“It’s difficult now. According to Glasses Slime, it requires the Dragon God’s Red Jade to restore it.”
“…I have it right here.”
That was a completely unexpected remark.
As I was puzzled, Iris took out a red ball from her waist pouch.
The ball was small enough to fit in the palm of her hand, and it shone brightly as if it were burning. It was like a miniature sun. I felt a warmth surrounding it.
“Iris, can I use the red ball?”
“”If the [Transmigrator] has the shield, give them the red jade” ──So says the legend of the Dragon-folk.”
“Then. I won’t hesitate…”
I store the Dragon God’s Red Jade in my [Item Box].
Immediately after, a new recipe came into my mind.
The pieces of the shield and the Dragon God’s Red Jade. I use these as ingredients and activate [Creation].
Dragon God’s Shield: A shield created by the Dragon God. Whenever a calamity is revived, it responds to it and shows its true value. It can only be used by those who possess the [Dragon God’s Shrine Maiden].
Granted effects: 《Strength Enhancement S+》《Dragon God’s Divine Protection S》《Dragon God’s Barrier EX》
It seemed that the Dragon God’s shield had been properly restored. The [Creation] process granted it extra effect, and the performance was higher than it was before.
The《Strength Enhancement S+》is just what it sounds like, and the《Dragon God’s Divine Protection S》activates when fighting a calamity. The effect seems to be that it amplifies the holder’s magical power and raises their physical abilities as well.
The《Dragon God’s Barrier EX》can be used by consuming magic power to develop a powerful defensive barrier. It might even be able to protect against the black dragon’s fireball.
But since I don’t have the [Dragon God’s Shrine Maiden], I can’t use the《Dragon God’s Divine Protection S》or the《Dragon God’s Barrier EX》.
This is troublesome. It’s a waste of treasure.
“Kou, are you okay? Your expression looks very difficult…”
Iris peeked at me with concern.
“Is there a problem?”
“No, I’m fine. The shield has been successfully restored. …However, it seems that in order to bring out the true power of the shield, you need to have the [Dragon God’s Shrine Maiden] skill.”
“It’s not a problem, then.”
Iris lowered her eyes meaningfully and told me.
“If it’s the [Dragon God’s Shrine Maiden], then I have it.”
* * *
With Iris’s permission, I used [Appraisal] to check her status, and she indeed had the [Dragon God’s Shrine Maiden] skill. The effect of this was to “draw out the power of items with the name ‘Dragon God’.”
“──It’s a very rare skill. It is said that only once every few hundred years, only a woman of the Dragon-folk can possess it.”
What Iris told me was one of the old legends of the Dragon-folk.
According to this, the [Dragon God’s Shrine Maiden] has two missions.
One is to search for the “Dragon God’s Shield.” The other is to hand over the Dragon God’s Red Jade to the [Transmigrator].
It seemed that the previous shrine maiden was unable to fulfill her missions, but Iris has accomplished both of them.
Normally, she would have been overjoyed. However, Iris was calm and collected.
“This is not the time to get carried away. If the black dragon appears before the evacuation of Aunen can be completed, I will have to fight.”
“In that case, I think Iris should keep the Dragon God’s shield.”
I took out the Dragon God’s shield from my [Item Box].
It was a shield big enough to cover my body.
In the center of it, the Dragon God’s Red Jade was fitted, and it still shines with a red glow.
“This is the Dragon God’s Shield, huh…? There are replicas in the land of the Dragon-folk, but the real thing has a different style…”
Iris nervously reached out her hand and received the Dragon God’s shield.
“Once we overcome the black dragon’s return, I will return the shield properly. Please don’t worry about that.”
“I understand. But this is originally a treasure of the Dragon-folk, isn’t it? Can I keep it?”
“It’s a delicate matter. However, in the Dragon-folk’s legends, the [Transmigrator] is treated as a special being, and if Kou claims ownership, it will probably be accepted as it is.”
“…Well, we can think about that after this case is over.”
“Yes, I think so too.”
We both chuckled and nodded at each other.
Just in time, a delicious smell drifted from the kitchen.
“Master-san! Onee-san! The food is ready!”
The Helper Slime came in with a cheerful voice and brought the food.
The menu was quite lavish: thick corn cream soup, grilled cheese with hot vegetables, fluffy bread, and a mountain of roast beef.
Each dish was excellent, but this time the bread was a big hit. It could be dipped in soup, topped with grilled cheese, or sandwiched between two pieces of roast beef.
It’s a bargain to be able to taste so many different things in one meal, isn’t it?
As for dessert, we had vanilla ice cream, the simple sweetness of which soaked my tongue.
I can’t wait to feel the sugar flowing into my brain.
The full stomach made me feel sleepy, but I have things to do now.
I need to discuss with Chief Zitan about the plans for tomorrow.
“I will return to Aunen now. What about you, Iris?”
“I’m coming with you. I can’t be the only one taking a break when everyone else is in trouble.”
That’s why Iris and I decided to return from the underground city.
We walked through the tunnel and up the stairs.
When we reached the surface, it was already late at night outside.
From the surrounding forest, we could hear the ringing… of the bellbirds.
“It’s a beautiful sound.”
Iris smiled at me. The moon was shining in the night sky, and its light was gently enveloping her.
Her shimmering crimson hair and pure white skin were as beautiful as a painting.
“…What’s wrong, Kou?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
If I could have said one of those pretentious lines here, it would have made me look cool, but unfortunately, I’m not that kind of a character. I know where I stand.
We both walked straight to Aunen.
It wasn’t long after we left the forest that Iris called out to me.
“Do you remember the first time we came to this forest together?”
“That was my first quest, right?”
“You collected Naose Grass in the blink of an eye and devised new ways to collect it using the [Item Box]. When I think back, Kou has been out of the ordinary ever since then, haven’t you?”
“As for me, I thought I completed the quests as normal.”
“But what surprised me the most was the next day. You killed a Black Spider by yourself and saved my life when I was about to die, right?”
“What’s so surprising about that? A friend of mine is in trouble; it’s only natural for me to help.”
“Fufu, that’s right. That’s what Kou was thinking?”
Iris muttered happily and began to walk a little faster. When the distance between us opens up a little, she stops and looks back at me.
“I’ve been treated poorly in the land of the Dragon-folk.”
“…Is that so?”
Iris has the rare skill called [Dragon God’s Shrine Maiden]. Normally, she’d be given preferential treatment, but perhaps there was a reason for this?
“Whenever I was injured or sick, no one would help me. Of course, not even my parents.”
If that was true, this was a terrible story. In the beginning, Iris was closed off to the people around her, not only because of the prejudice against the Dragon-folk now, but also because of her upbringing.
“When I was almost killed by the Black Spider, I had completely given up. No one was going to come to my rescue. I thought I was going to die alone. But that didn’t happen.”
Just then, a strong wind happened to blow. Iris’s long red hair flew up and hid her face for a moment.
Eventually, after the wind stopped blowing, she said with a strong look of determination.
“I was really happy that Kou came at that time. …I will repay that debt with my life. No matter how strong the black dragon is, I will definitely protect you.”