Chapter 3 – We Arrived At Fort Port
From far away, the chirping of seagulls could be heard.
The sun was shining brilliantly in the sky, with a glint of it reflecting off the emerald green sea.
I sighed in admiration as I looked out. It had been years since I had been to the ocean.
The ocean stretched out beyond the horizon for as far as I could see.
There was nothing to block my view.
Wait a minute.
We’re on our way to Fort Port.
According to the tourist guide, it is a bustling port town, and there are always many cruise ships and fishing boats coming and going in the nearby waters.
But now, I don’t see a single ship in the sea.
This is strange, isn’t it?
Just as I was questioning this…
“I have detected a weak earthquake! We are stopping for safety!”
Dest’s voice echoed from the ceiling’s magic speakers.
The speed of the Grand Cabin gradually slowed and eventually came to a complete stop.
Soon after, a serious tremor hit the Grand Cabin.
However, the intensity of the tremor was not that much.
The dishes in the kitchen made a light “clatter, clatter, clatter” sound.
With a tremor of this magnitude, there seemed to be no danger of a tsunami.
As I was thinking about the future plan, Leticia muttered.
“There have been a lot of earthquakes lately.”
“Is that so?”
“If my memory serves me correctly, it seems to shake at least once every three days. …There are no signs of a calamity, but it is a little bit ominous.”
* * *
The earthquake stopped soon, and the Grand Cabin began to move again.
Soon the walled port city of… Fort Port came into view.
Ten minutes later, the Grand Cabin arrived near the city gates.
“We have arrived! It’s been a long journey!”
Dest’s voice came from the magic speakers on the ceiling.
We got up from the sofa and walked out of the Grand Cabin.
“It all happened so fast…”
Iris muttered next to me, looking deeply moved.
“The direct route from Surier to Fort Port is a distance that would take a normal carriage three days to cover.”
“Thanks to Dest’s hard work, I guess.”
I replied and headed toward the front of the Grand Cabin.
There, Dest was standing with a straight back.
“Thank you again. Have a good rest.”
“No, no! I’m honored to be of service!”
After exchanging such a conversation, I made a thought of storing the items in my [Item Box].
A large magic circle appeared on the ground, and Dest and the Grand Cabin were absorbed into it.
I then headed for the town gate, and the guard standing nearby had a stunned look on his face.
“We need to get into the town, is that alright?”
“Eh? Ah, yes!”
The guard came to his senses and turned to me.
“Uh, you must be Kou Kousaka-sama, right?”
“Yes. That is correct.”
We had already informed the Scarlet Trading Company that we would be arriving at Fort Port before noon today. That may have been part of the reason, but the guard seemed to know immediately that I was Kou Kousaka.
“I had heard that Kou-sama has an unlimited capacity [Item Box], but I didn’t expect that you could store such a large item in an instant… I was surprised…”
Saying so, the guard sighed in admiration.
“By the way, Kou-sama, I know you must be tired from your long journey, but could you please come to the Adventurers’ Guild first? Actually, there has been a terrible incident in the city…”
“Before I explain, it might be quicker if you take a look at the harbor first. Please come this way. I will show you.”
We were escorted by the guard through the town gate.
The town of Fort Port was noisy and seemed to lack a sense of calm.
I had experienced this atmosphere before. It was just like the one in Aunen, just before the flood.
Surara opened his mouth nervously.
“I have a bad feeling about this.”
Lily nodded with a tense expression on her face.
“There may be a calamity or a crisis of comparable magnitude looming.”
“There’s trouble everywhere, isn’t there?”
As for me, I can’t help but comment on that.
Devil Treant had appeared in Toue, and in Surier, the Gluttonous Dragon was resurrected.
What in the world is going on this time?
Eventually, we arrived at the docks, where we were greeted with a startling sight.
Every single building along the coastline had been destroyed to pieces.
Everywhere was charred black and turned to ruins.
The damage was not limited to buildings.
Every single ship that would have been anchored in the harbor was destroyed, and the wreckage floated in the sea.
It is a heartbreaking sight to behold.
Iris muttered with a pained expression on her face.
“But it doesn’t look like it was attacked by a monster…”
“──Pirates. They were attacked by pirates.”
The one who answered that was the guard who had led us here. His voice was filled with regret.
According to the guard’s explanation, there was a pirate attack at dawn today.
There was only one pirate ship, but it was a huge battleship with what appeared to be an ancient weapon, and the cannon mounted on its bow thoroughly destroyed the port of Fort Port.
They then sent a messenger to the town, demanding money, food, and young women.
“If we do not comply with their demands, or if even a single person escapes from the town, they will resume their attack and burn Fort Port with all its inhabitants. That’s what the pirates’ messenger said.”
“…They’re a hell of a bunch of people.”
Ancient weapons, without exception, have great power, but in the end, what matters is how they are used.
If they fall into the wrong hands, many people will be hurt for personal gain.
“…We can’t allow that to happen.”
Leticia, who had remained silent up to that point, muttered a few words.
Her profile tightened, and a flame of righteous indignation flared in her deep blue eyes.
“The strong trample the weak with their desires. Such evil cannot go unpunished. We must strike the pirates with the iron fist of justice.”
“…Yes, I agree.”
I nodded to Leticia’s words.
The pirates were doing something outrageous, and us abandoning the town would be unthinkable.
For my part, I’d like to lend a hand in protecting Fort Port.
Iris, Lily, and Surara seemed to share the same opinion and nodded strongly while looking at us.
They’re all good people, or at least good-natured.
Well, I can’t speak for others either.
While smiling wryly to myself, I told the guard.
“I understand the situation, and we’ll lend a hand for the good of the town. Pleased to be of service.”
“Thank you very much…! That’s very reassuring…!”
“First of all, I need information about the pirates. Where should we go? Is it the Adventurers’ Guild?”
“Yes, sir. I was just about to guide you there. Then let’s go.”
And so we left the port, led by the guard.
After walking for about 15 minutes toward the town center, we saw a large three-story building.
It was the Adventurers’ Guild.
“Please come in.”
The guard opened the door for us.
He treated us like VIPs…
I bowed to the guard and stepped inside the Adventurers’ Guild, feeling a little embarrassed.
In the lobby, there were many adventurers hanging out. Perhaps because this is a port town, many of them are dressed more openly.
For example, about half of the male adventurers were dressed to show off their dark skin, toned arms, and muscular pectoral muscles, while the female adventurers were generally revealing a lot. Their chests and thighs were generously exposed.
Normally, adventurers would be merrily chatting about their adventures in the lobby.
But now, perhaps because of the imminent threat of pirates, everyone had a heavy atmosphere.
…I felt like I was being watched.
“Who is that guy in the black coat?”
“Black eyes, black hair, and he’s got a Dragon-folk woman with him, meaning he’s… the “Dragon Slayer” Kou Kousaka?”
“No doubt, I’ve seen him before in Aunen.”
Apparently, there are a good number of people who know me.
“Hey, the “Dragon Slayer” is very strong, isn’t it?”
“Yeah. I heard that he defeated Devil Treant in Toue and a huge monster in Surier.”
“If the Dragon Slayer can help us, then there is nothing more reassuring than that. We might be able to beat those pirates…”
The faces of the adventurers in the lobby gradually grew brighter and brighter.
“That’s great, Kou!”
Beside me to my left, Iris gave a small smile.
“The atmosphere in the Adventurers’ Guild changed just by your arrival.”
“I haven’t done anything yet…”
The surrounding adventurers gossiped about me and looked at me with anticipation and even envy.
…I wonder if this is indeed an overestimation.
When I was puzzled, Leticia called out to me from my right.
“Kou-sama, are you perhaps embarrassed?”
“…Well, I guess.
“Fufu, The famous “Dragon Slayer” also has a cute side, doesn’t he?”
Leticia giggled as she covered her mouth.
Then, she called out to Lily and Surara, who were walking right behind us.
“Don’t you two think so, too?”
“Let’s see… Yes. I think Kou-san is surprisingly shy.”
“I know! When Masters are shy, he will look away and crooked his mouth! …Mumm.”
Surara looked to the left and bent his mouth into a “へ” shape.
Indeed, I make that expression when I’m embarrassed.
Surara, you are very observant, aren’t you?
After that, the role of being our guide was passed from the guard to a young male staff of the Adventurers’ Guild.
“──Then, Kou-sama, I’ll take my leave now.”
The guard saluted me with a firm salute, turned to the right, and walked away.
We were taken by a male staff member to the branch manager’s office on the third floor.
According to the staff member, the Adventurers’ Guild was currently receiving a messenger from the pirate side.
The pirate messenger was only one person, and when asked to give up all the money and food in town, as well as a young woman, he occupied the staff cafeteria on the second floor, drinking and eating as much as he wanted and waiting for an answer.
“…That’s a rather nice position he has here.”
I muttered to myself, and Leticia, who was walking to my right, looked disgusted.
“A thief is a thief, is what I’m saying! I’m going to have him arrested right now!”
“…That may be difficult.”
The male staff member muttered as if he was at a loss.
“The pirate messenger said. ──If anyone tries to interfere with me, I will contact the main group with a communication device. An all-out attack will be launched immediately.”
“That’s pretty nasty…”
That’s when I replied.
A young woman’s voice sounded.
I stopped right there and activated my Armored Bear Armor’s《Hearing Enhancement A》.
“D-don’t touch me…!”
“Hey, hey, Staff Member-san. You think you can go against me?”
The woman’s voice is followed by a threatening male voice.
“If I call the main group, this whole town will be gone in an instant, you know?”
“If you understand, do as I say.”
The woman was an employee of the Adventurer’s Guild, and the man was the messenger from the pirate side.
The pirate messenger was using his position to try to get his hands on the female staff member…
I couldn’t turn a blind eye to this.
“Kou, what’s wrong?”
Iris, who was walking in front of me, looked back at me and called out.
“Aren’t you going to the branch manager’s?”
“Wait a minute. I’ve got some things I need to do.”
I was standing at the crossroads of two corridors.
The branch manager’s office was straight ahead, but the voice I heard earlier came from the right.
“Hehehe, if you spoil my mood, you’ll be in big trouble. So entertain me at your best.”
“Ugh… Someone, help me…”
Okay, I’ve located the place.
I walked down the corridor to the right and stood in front of a door close by.
Leticia was lined up next to me.
“Ara, you heard it too, Kou-sama.”
“Yes. I never miss a cry for help.”
“You’re just like a hero in a story.”
“Fufu, thank you very much. I am honored to hear a hero like you say so, Kou-sama.”
I exchange a few words with Leticia and put my hand on the doorknob.
“Yes, very well.”
After exchanging glances, I opened the door.
It was a storage room, and at the far wall, a blonde man was approaching a female guild employee.
He was in what’s called a kabedon* position, but there was no hint of sweetness at all.
The female staff member looked at me and shouted.
“Who are you! Don’t you dare interrupt me! Or rather, how did you get in here?”
The blonde man turned around and looked at me with an astonished expression on his face.
Have we met somewhere before?
According to my [Appraisal], the man’s name was Zeed, but I couldn’t remember him by any means.
Well, it doesn’t matter.
Let’s just save the woman for now.
I activated the《Divine Speed Blessing EX》attached to my Fenrir Coat.
In a split second, I was close to the blonde man… Zeed. And then I reached out with my right hand and grabbed him around the neck.
Since I’m here, let’s try out a new item.
It’s the Bastard Gauntlet’s granted effect,《White Scorpion Thunderbolt EX》.
A gush of blue-white lightning shot out from the gauntlet on my right arm.
Zeed’s eyes rolled back in white, and his entire body trembled.
In my brain, the [Full Assist] said, “The power of the lightning strike will be adjusted automatically. Are you sure you want to use the non-lethal suppression mode?”
The answer was, of course, “Yes.”
If I let this man die, I will not be able to extract information about the pirates.
When the release of the thunderbolt was over, Zeed was completely unconscious.
As I laid his body on the floor, I called out to the female staff member.
“Are you all right?”
“Y-yes! Thank you for saving me…!”
The woman bowed her head over and over again as she fixed her messy clothes.
I’m so glad I could stop it before something irreversible happened.
As I breathed a sigh of relief, Leticia came toward me with leisurely steps.
“As expected of Kou-sama. …I’m very disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to act.”
“Well, Well, an enemy is an enemy, after all.”
Aside from a big one like Devil Treant, one or two defenseless minor thugs, I alone am enough to subdue them.
“I’ll need your help another time.”
“Yes, of course. …But for now, I’m afraid I won’t be able to sleep tonight if I don’t do something about this uncontrollable motivation. Otherwise, I’m going to be a raging calamity.”
“That’s not good.”
While we were talking, Iris came in a little later.
“Kou, are you all right? I heard someone screaming…?”
“No problem. The pirate messenger was about to do something bad to the female staff member, so I just let him sleep for a bit.”
Iris glanced at the unconscious Zeed, then nodded approvingly.
“So, what are you going to do after this?”
“I suppose we should report this to the guild’s branch manager. It would be better to have him take a look at the scene, so why don’t you go get him?”
“I’ll call him. Hold on a second.”
Iris nodded and left the room in a short run.
Let’s get some ideas together now on how to explain this to the branch manager.
T/n: Kabedon is the act of pinning down a love interest against the wall. The receptive gets cornered in the wall and unable to escape. In Japanese media such as shoujo manga or anime, this is a sign of affection, jealousy, or frustration by the dominant. There could be sexual tension between the two it is an aggressive move. Typically, a tough male character performs the kabedon to a meek female character.