Chapter 11 – I Headed to the Volcanic Island
After parting ways with Milia, I headed to the meeting place.
On the edge of Fort Port’s harbor was a battleship that looked like a huge fortress.
An ancient weapon, the Orichalcum Rox.
Around it, for some reason, the city’s residents had gathered.
“Heh. This is the ship used by the pirates, huh?”
“It’s huge…! I’ve never seen a ship this big before.”
“I’m really grateful to Dragon Slayer-san for exterminating the pirates…”
It seemed that the residents had come to see the Orichalcum Rox.
There were quite a few people gathered here, and the atmosphere was a bit like a tourist spot.
“…Wait a minute, isn’t the one over there Dragon Slayer-san?”
One of the residents who was looking at the Orichalcum Rox suddenly turned to me.
“It’s true! It’s Dragon Slayer-san!”
“What did you say?”
“Black hair, black eyes, and a black coat. It’s definitely the Dragon Slayer!”
While I was surprised by the suddenness of the situation, I was completely surrounded by the residents.
I felt like a celebrity surrounded by fans.
“I heard about it, Dragon Slayer. I heard that you donated the reward for defeating the pirates to the city!”
“Thanks to you, we can buy a new ship. Many thanks!”
“You are a real hero! I will never forget this favor…!”
All the money from the pirate extermination was donated to the city of Fort Port to help recover from the damage.
Apparently, the residents had already heard about this. Not only sailors but even their families approached me one by one and thanked me.
It was kind of embarrassing.
As I was doing so, I saw Iris and the others in the distance.
It seemed that they had finished their shopping.
Alright, let’s join them.
First, I have to get out of this crowd.
“I’m sorry, but I have something to do. Can you let me through?”
As I said this, the city’s residents quickly cleared the area around me.
“Oops, sorry, Dragon Slayer. Pardon us for taking up so much of your time.”
“What do you want to do? Are you trying to get rid of the bad guys?”
“Yeah. I’m sure it is!”
“Dragon Slayer-san! Good luck!”
“We’re all rooting for you!”
“Hurray for the Dragon Slayer!”
What’s with this flow?
I noticed that the people in the city had somehow started a chorus of hurray for some reason.
What kind of face should I make at a time like this…?
At first, I went to Iris and the others, pretending to be calm.
“Kou, you’re as popular as ever.”
“…Well, I guess they are grateful in some way.”
I responded to Iris’s words in a slightly blunt tone.
Then Leticia came close to me and giggled with amusement.
“Ara, Kou-sama, are you embarrassed?”
“…I won’t deny it.”
“Master-san! In that case, you should eat a snack! Here, I’ll give it to you!”
What Surara offered was a pineapple that had been cut and skewered.
Looking at the surface, it was slightly frozen.
I patted Surara on the head.
Then I took the skewer and bit into the pineapple.
The pineapple was as smooth as sorbet. And yet, the taste was still raw and juicy.
What on earth is this?
I wondered, and Lily told me.
“I asked the shopkeeper. It was made by using ice magic to slowly freeze the fruit.”
I see. So it’s a food unique to a world with magic.
This is interesting.
After we finish our research on Mahoros Island, let’s go buy some more.
We then moved to a place by the sea, a short distance away from Orichalcum Rox.
Fortunately, there were only a few people around. So there would be no commotion here.
I opened my [Item Box] in my mind and thought of taking out the Exceed Cruiser.
A magic circle floated on the surface of the sea nearby, and a ship without sails slowly rose from it.
Dest was connected to the center of the hull like a piercing rod, and when he turned his face toward me, he raised his right hand to greet me.
“Hello, Master! Please embark!”
“Yeah, we’re going to be a little busy today. I need your help.”
I boarded the Exceed Cruiser and headed to Dest’s side.
I then activated [Auto Mapping] and explained the location of Mahoros Island.
“They say there are ancient ruins on the island. We don’t know what will happen, so we’ll be very vigilant.”
“Understood! I will do my utmost to ensure your safety!”
Dest raised his right arm and saluted with a resounding thump of his chest.
In the meantime, the others had also boarded the Exceed Cruiser.
Let’s get going.
* * *
At the rear of the Exceed Cruiser, there is a descending staircase that leads to the cabin. The cabin is furnished with a table, a sofa, and several easy chairs for passengers to relax during the cruise.
A large white pillar sits in the center of the cabin, which probably contains Dest’s body.
It takes two hours to travel from the port of Fort Port to Mahoros Island.
We sat down on the sofa in the cabin and shared information.
“Then I will speak first.”
Leticia was the first to speak.
“I’ve been talking to some of the old folks in town, and they tell me that Fort Port only gets an earthquake once every few years at the most, and this is the first time it’s happened two or three times in a short period. …This could be a harbinger of an eruption.”
“It could also take a while to survey Mahoros Island…”
“Yes, I think we should be vigilant.”
Leticia nodded and finished her story.
Iris was the next to open her mouth.
“Lily and I did a lot of shopping. I’ve put together a list of what we bought on paper, so please check it out when you have time.”
Saying this, Iris held out a piece of paper about the size of an A4 sheet.
The contents were a list of purchases.
It seems that Iris has prepared a list of items necessary for the survey of the uninhabited island, mainly food and other items.
“Master-san, I want to report back to you too!”
I wondered if Surara had done something too.
“Well, the old lady at the pineapple shop told me an old story about Fort Port!”
“What kind of stories?”
“It’s called “Grandpa Reindeer of Mahoros Island.” At the end of the year, the old man gives a wonderful dream to a good boy who is sleeping soundly!”
It sounds like Santa Claus, doesn’t it?
Putting these impressions aside, there is one part of the story that is a bit disturbing in terms of its content.
There are ruins of an ancient civilization on Mahoros Island, and perhaps there are magic creatures with antlers like reindeer living there.
Well, we’ll find out when we get there.
Lastly, here is my report.
I took out a twilight scroll from my [Item Box] and showed it to everyone.
The scroll depicts a magic circle and triangle, a spirit ring, a dragon holding a shield, and an old man blowing a horn.
“Hey Kou, this dragon is…”
“I think it’s the Dragon God. I have seen it many times in the ancient manuscripts in my hometown.”
According to the results of the [Appraisal] of the twilight scroll, this incorporates a technique to unite the five powers of the Spirit, the Creator God, the Dragon God, the God of War, and the Calamity.
If that is the case, it is only natural that a picture of the Dragon God is drawn on it.
If so, is the old man who blows the horn the God of War?
I asked Lily, and she answered as I had expected.
“Yes. This is a painting of the God of War, Warden-sama. …The same thing is depicted in the religious paintings displayed at the sanctuary.”
The scroll also depicted a spirit ring, which probably represents a spirit.
As I nodded to myself, Leticia said.
“If the scroll depicted Spirit, the Dragon God, and the God of War, then there should also be pictures of the other two, meaning the Creator God and the Calamity.”
“I wonder about that.”
I thought for a moment before answering.
“The twilight scroll is supposed to be used for [Creation], and at that point, it fulfills the element of the Creator God, doesn’t it?”
“Then the only thing that remains is the Calamity.”
As Leticia said this, she stared intently at the magic circle drawn in the center of the scroll.
It was a crest combining a circle and a triangle, matching the one that appears when I activate the [Item Box].
* * *
After we were done sharing information, I walked up the stairs at the rear of the cabin to the deck.
I was in the mood for a bit of fresh air.
The Exceed Cruiser was speeding along at a good speed, and the breeze felt good against my cheeks.
In the distance, a few small islands could be seen dotting the horizon.
We were just over a quarter of the way to Mahoros Island, according to the [Auto Mapping].
We still have more than an hour to go before we arrive.
I heard a voice from behind me.
I turned around and saw Lily.
“Can I sit beside you?”
“Of course. Suit yourself.”
Lily bowed politely and lined up next to me. Then, she sat down and looked at the surrounding scenery.
“The ocean is beautiful, isn’t it?”
“It makes me want to jump in and swim.”
“…I can’t swim, though.”
“I don’t know how to swim. The sanctuary was surrounded by land, so…”
Lily had no parents and was raised in the sanctuary of the God of War religion, which is said to be far away across the sea.
She had the skill of the [God of War’s Shrine Maiden] and had therefore been educated to fulfill the mission of a priestess.
Apparently, their education did not include learning how to swim.
In modern Japan, there are schools all over the country, usually with swimming pools, but this is a different world.
In the case of Lily, she has a role as a [God of War’s Shrine Maiden], and education related to this role was probably given priority.
“Well then, after this investigation is over, maybe we can practice swimming a little.”
“Can you swim, Kou-san?”
“Well, I can swim reasonably well.”
Lily turned her sparkling, straight, longing gaze toward me. I scratched my right cheek, feeling a little bit embarrassed.
Then, for a while, a quiet time passed.
The only sound that could be heard was the sound of the Exceed Cruiser moving.
Suddenly, Lily said.
“Kou-san. Are you enjoying being an adult?”
“What’s the matter, all of a sudden?”
“Yesterday, you and Iris-san went out drinking together, didn’t you?”
I nodded and thought back to last night.
It had been a while since I had the opportunity to talk one-on-one with Iris, and we were just grateful to Leticia and the others for their thoughtfulness.
“Could it be that Lily wanted to go with us?”
“…I don’t know.”
Lily looked thoughtful and tilted her head.
“But having a drink at the bar after dinner is a very adult thing to do.”
“When Lily is a little older, we should all go together.”
“Is that okay?”
I nodded and patted Lily on the head.
“Lily is also a very important friend of mine. I won’t leave you behind.”
“…Thank you very much.”
Lily looked up at me, and a faint smile appeared on her mouth.
“I’m looking forward to it. Really.”
Lily is a [God of War’s Shrine Maiden] and still has several missions weighing on her shoulders.
One of them is to summon the “Calamity Slayer’s Arrow” in exchange for her life.
The night before we left Surier, Lily said.
──I am still determined to fulfill my mission, but I would also like to live longer if possible and visit various places with Kou-san and the others.
One of those ‘various places’ would be the bar after dinner like this time.
As for me, I’d like to give Lily what she wishes.
I was wondering, how old do people in this world have to be before they can drink alcohol?
It was [Full Assist] who answered my question.
It seems that for the human race living in this country, it is customary to start at the age of 20.
However, there seem to be no clear regulations or penalties as in Japan.
Lily is 15 years old, so it will be about five years before she can drink alcohol.
I hope that by that time, all the calamities will have been cleared up, and the world will be at peace.
* * *
Lily and I continued to watch the distant scenery from the deck. Then we saw white smoke billowing up from beyond the horizon.
“Kou-san. That smoke, could that be…”
“That might be the volcano of Mahoros Island.”
I used [Auto Mapping] to check the geography of the area. The location of Mahoros Island matched the direction of the smoke.
I turned around and told Dest, who was still connected to the center of the Exceed Cruiser.
“Dest, can you increase the speed?”
“As you wish! Boost on!”
With a loud and booming shout, the speed of the Exceed Cruiser surged forward.
Mahoros Island came into view in the distance.
In shape, it resembles a witch’s tricorn hat. The brim is covered with dense forest, and the pointy center is a volcano.
The elevation of the volcano is probably less than 200 meters.
However, this is only the part of the volcano that was protruding from the water.
In fact, it is a huge volcano, and it is possible that only the tip of the volcano is visible above the sea…
Smoke was still rising from the crater, giving off a disturbing atmosphere.
Perhaps an eruption was imminent.
As I was thinking about this, suddenly a sharp metallic “Schwiiinnngg” sound rang out, and a magic circle of an [Item Box] floated in front of me.
From there, a large sword with a silver blade ─ Gram appeared by itself.
“Kou-san, could it be…?”
“Yeah. Probably a calamity.”
I pull Gram out of the magic circle and look around.
The first thing that came to my mind was the words “The Greedy Dragon.” Maybe Leticia’s brother is nearby.
While I was thinking about this, I heard footsteps behind me.
When I turned around, I saw Iris and Leticia there.
Both of them have grim expressions on their faces.
“Kou. Could it be a calamity?”
Iris said and raised the Dragon God’s shield.
A sharp metallic sound echoed from the shield, just like Gram.
“Yeah. Maybe one of them is near here.”
I looked at Leticia as I answered.
Leticia had her hands on her temples, and her eyes were slightly closed. Then she opened her eyelids and replied to me.
“This feeling, this is not my brother.”
“Is that so?”
I was a little surprised. I thought I was finally going to meet Leticia’s brother.
“I don’t know if it was wrath, envy, or the white dragon or the yellow dragon… I don’t know which calamity it is, but if it tries to destroy the world, I will punish it with my iron fist. You can count on me.”
Leticia smiled and raised her right fist in the air.
Her appearance was very encouraging.
It seemed that she was not afraid to fight the other calamities.
Lily suddenly raised her voice.
“Something is wrong.”
“At the time of the Gluttonous Dragon, there was a more horrifying presence. But now it’s…”
Lily couldn’t quite put her feelings into words and dropped her gaze as if she was having trouble.
I also dropped my gaze down, and just then, Surara rolled over to me.
“Hey, hey, Master-san. Could it be that even though it is a calamity, it could be a gentle calamity, like Leticia-oneesan?”
No, a gentle one like Leticia, ……?
I feel like it’s all about rampaging, but I know what Surara is trying to say.
I guess Surara meant that it might not be a being that wants to destroy the world… unlike the Black Dragon or the Gluttonous Dragon.
Certainly, I didn’t feel the usual eerie presence.
The metallic sounds that had been echoing from Gram and the Dragon God’s shield had also somehow disappeared.
Iris spoke to me with a puzzled expression on her face.
“Hey, Kou. What in the world is going on…?”
“All I know for sure is that this is something that’s never happened before.”
Immediately after I answered her, the [Auto Mapping] automatically started up.
A blue-white window appeared in the space, and a map of the surrounding area was displayed.
In the northwestern part of Mahoros Island… around to the left from the current location of the Exceed Cruiser, a red spot of light was shining.
It coincided with the entrance to the ancient ruins.
I headed for Dest, who was in control of the ship and instructed him, showing him the [Auto Mapping].
“Can you take us here?”
“Understood! I will proceed with caution!”
“Yes, please do so.”
If the opponent is a calamity, we should not neglect our vigilance.
“Iris, be ready to set up the barrier at any time. Can you do it?”
“No problem. I’ll do my part.”
Iris nodded her head with a reassuring expression on her face.
In the meantime, the ship had begun to make a wide turn.
Looking toward the island’s coast, we saw a series of steep cliffs. The sky was blue, and the sun was dazzling.
In the distance, we could hear the relaxed cries of seagulls.
When the Black Dragon and the Gluttonous Dragon appeared, the area was much dimmer, and not only the animals but the whole forest was silent as if gasping for breath.
I wonder what [Full Assist] has to say about this.
The presence of the calamity has already been sensed.
In order to determine the threat level, further information needs to be gathered.
I apologize for not being able to help.
I don’t mind.
I mean, really, [Full Assist] is becoming more and more human-like…
Eventually, the ship turned to the northwestern part of Mahoros Island.
Below the cliff was a large cave, the mouth of which was so wide that the Orichalcum Rox could easily fit inside.
According to the information from Milia, the cave was connected to the ancient ruins.
I looked toward the top of the cliff. There was a figure there.
He was waving at us.
I wondered if the figure was a castaway or something.
“Dest, get a little closer to the island.”
“As you wish!”
As the ship moved forward, the outline of the figure became clearer.
It was an old man with a fishing rod.
His face was covered with frizzy hair and beard, like that of a hermit.
From his head were horns like a reindeer.
What was that?
My bewildered mind suddenly recalled an old story that Surara had heard in the city.
──Grandpa Reindeer of Mahoros Island.
He is like an otherworldly version of Santa Claus, who gives children wonderful dreams at the end of the year.
His appearance… It was really an old man with reindeer antlers.
I check [Auto Mapping].
The red light spot indicating the location of the calamity coincides with the location of the old man.
Does this mean that the grandpa reindeer in the old tale was, in fact, a calamity?
It’s getting kind of complicated, isn’t it?
At least I don’t sense any hostility from the old man, and it might be quicker if I went to talk to him directly.
I put Gram back in my [Item Box] and took out a Flying Potion.
After downing it all in one gulp, I told the others.
“I’ll go talk with that old man for a while. You guys wait here.”
“Wait, Kou. Are you okay? …That man is probably a calamity.”
“At least it won’t be a sudden fight. I’ll talk to him first. If something goes wrong, get off the island right away.”
“Alright. Be careful.”
“Yeah. I’m off then.”
I manipulated the wind and floated in the air.
Then I headed for Grandpa Reindeer──.