Maseki Gurume – Vol 9 Chapter 1 Part 1

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ED: LonelyMatter



Chapter 1 – To the Battlefield

Part 1

 

On the deck of the Leviathan, the sea dragon ship anchored off the coast of the Kingdom of Heim.

Even though he had lost one eye, Marshal Lloyd was looking at the great tree towering in the distance with his piercing gaze.

 

──The Gluttonous World Tree.

 

The tree, named so by Crown Prince Ain himself, was located in the royal capital of Heim, piercing the sky, and shimmering crystals in its branches sway in the night wind.

The majesty of the tree could be seen from the distant sea.

“It’s just like…”

It’s just like a party going to defeat the Demon King.

Lloyd muttered while shifting his gaze and looking at the three who had just landed in the port town of Roundheart.

Well, there is no point in just staring at them.

“Attention, everyone.”

Lloyd clapped his hands to attract the attention of the knights and crew.

“We are now returning to Ishtalika.”

Everyone was puzzled.

They had thought they had been prepared for any eventuality, but they had never thought that Lloyd would give the order to retreat.

“I, too, feel a sense of failure. However, we will inevitably be a liability in this situation. We must never forget that our will and good name are worthless here. All we can do now is to wait for the three of them to report back to us!”

Everyone gasped at the sight of Lloyd’s stout, regretful, painstakingly enduring face.

“We will therefore do what we can. We must not allow any harm to come to the people of Ishtalika!”

Lloyd’s words were muddled, but it was Ain who had the potential to cause that harm.

Even just recently, it was still fresh in their minds that Ain, in the midst of his rampage, extended his tree roots off the coast of the capital of Ishtalika.

Everyone was painfully aware of Ain’s love for Ishtalika.

That’s why they must prevent any chance of his making a move on Ishtalika with their own hands.

“All hands, take your positions in accordance with the words of the Marshal’s orders.”

The captain, who had been watching the situation, said.

Then all the knights and everyone else started to move at once.

“Hurry up!”

“Don’t dawdle!”

They were in a hurry to do what they could.

 

──Soon, as Leviathan began to advance toward Ishtalika.

“Please, may the fortunes of war be with them.”

Lloyd wished the three of them well.

“Ain-sama, we are waiting for the day when you will be our king.”

A future someday, a future that was not far away.

He wished for the return of the hero, who was said to be the second coming of the first king.

 

◇ ◇ ◇

 

Elder Lich Misty.

Dullahan Ramza.

And the Dream Demon Lord──Arche.

The three of them landed in the port town of Roundheart after disembarking from the sea dragon ship Leviathan.

The cobblestone pavements were hard to walk on because the Gluttonous World Tree roots were crawling everywhere, and the houses that were not hit by Princess Olivia’s main weapon were also constricted by the tree roots. If there was a village in the forest, for example, and several hundred years had passed since the inhabitants disappeared, it would be just like this.

“Onee-chan!”

Arche opened her mouth. The gothic dress she wore was a piece of clothing that was inappropriate for this place.

“What were you going to use my magic stone for?”

“Do you mean what I would have done if Arche hadn’t been resurrected?”

Misty answered, but she, too, had good looks that didn’t suit the occasion.

“I don’t really enjoy listening to this.”

It was Ramza who interrupted her with a word, and he, who had remained fearless here, said with a calm expression on his face.

“It might bother me later if I don’t ask you, so tell me.”

“Ramza and I were going to scratch the big tree and throw Arche’s magic stone into it.”

“Ugh….. I-I feel like I could blow something up…”

“Because it was the only way. Ramza and I were both willing to risk everything to stop Ain, but to be honest, it was more than just the two of us could do.”

“…..Even with that man there?”

“Yes. Even with that loyal knight there.”

“Onee-chan, Onii-chan. …..Where is Marco?”

When asked, the two couldn’t answer and laughed.

“Perhaps we will see him soon,” said Ramza.

“Let’s get back to the story.”

Misty cleared her throat and straightened her posture.

“We must now stop Ain-kun──No, the Gluttonous World Tree.”

“And without a plan.”

“I know it. That kind of thing is called brute force. ──But the Gluttonous World Tree is another great name, isn’t it? Were you the one who named it, Onee-chan?”

“Ain-kun named it himself before he lost consciousness.”

I see. Arche nodded. And Misty continued.

“If you two can look at it and come up with a plan, I wouldn’t mind waiting here for a little while, you know?”

Ramza and Arche both looked at the great tree towering over Heim at the same time and smiled bitterly.

“I guess all the tricks don’t make sense after all.”

“I know. I know that in this kind of situation, the best way is through brute force.”

“But don’t forget to work together. Avoid both reckless and wasteful attacks. If you can’t stop Ain-kun, be prepared to self-destruct.”

“I understand.”

The silver-haired demon lord stopped and looked down next to the sword king, who nodded in agreement.

“……”

“Arche too. Are you ready?”

 

Reflecting on her past, she clutched the hem of her dress with both hands and shook her fists. But when she looked up next, her eyes were not the same as before.

“I will definitely save that boy.”

Her usual sleepy eyes were gone, and her clear eyes were filled with determination.

Her voice was also full of a high spirit that neither of them had ever heard before.

The two were a little taken aback, but when they looked at each other, they nodded firmly at each other, and, with Ramza’s murmur of “Let’s go,” the three of them quietly began to walk away.

 

“──But still…”

Ramza suddenly opened his mouth.

“I don’t feel any sign of magic power being supplied to Misty and me.”

The two were summoned by the ‘Familiar’ skills, so this was a question that had to be asked.

“That’s right. I got a lot of it right after I was summoned, but I haven’t had any supply since then.”

“Mmm….. what do you mean?”

“According to the original Marco’s skill, the summoner keeps supplying magic power to the summoned familiars. But now we don’t have that supply.”

“It’s probably because it thinks we’re the enemy.”

“I thought the same thing. But I have been collecting magic stones in anticipation of that. Don’t worry; we can recover our magic power if the need arises.”

 

◇ ◇ ◇

 

At the same time, in the royal city of Ishtalika.

A lone Caith Sith was walking along the corridors of the royal castle. She is the first princess in a white robe──Katima.

“It’s about time-nya.”

She guessed by looking at her wristwatch that it was around the time when three people got off from the Leviathan headed for Heim, and Lloyd gave the order for their return.

It’s all right. There would be no one to interfere with this.

As long as Lloyd could manage it, the only one who could break through the barriers of the underground laboratory was Chris, and even that Chris was sleeping now.

As she passed through the corridor and onto the path leading to the treatment center, she was greeted by a group of knights on guard.

“Why are you here, Katima-sama?”

“Have you come for Guard Dill-dono?”

Katima nodded at their words.

“I have some business with Varra, too-nya.”

“Understood. If you are looking for Varra-dono, I think she is in the back of the room.”

“Hoho! Thank you for telling me-nya!”

“But, Katima-sama. Shouldn’t you be staying in your room?”

“Mmm, why is that-nya?”

“I heard that His Majesty was very upset about you going to the Ist without permission.”

“Mm! He indeed got ridiculously angry with me-nya, but there were a lot of things that happened-nya. Besides, thanks to Misty-sama’s protection, it was practically a non-issue-nya.”

Not only because it was for Ain’s sake but also because, coincidentally, it played a role in the resurrection of the Demon Lord Arche, and Sylvird, who believes in reward and punishment, could not say anything strong about it.

“And so, I’m sorry to interrupt you-nya.”

As one would expect, even Katima suppressed her usual energy and stepped into the place where the wounded were.

But the wounded inside were happy to see Katima.

Although she was the one who made the castle bustling with activity in various ways, she was very friendly to the knights and servants. The current members of the royal family were all like that, but Katima was especially close to them and was very popular.

“Nya….. I went to the trouble of entering quietly, but if you guys are all noisy, my concern will be ruined-nya!”

“Hahaha! There’s no point in being so down and out!”

“Yes! Injuries are inevitable. Rather, I would only be proud if I were injured for Ishtalika’s sake!”

“Well, I’m counting on you-nya… But make sure you make enough noise to keep the wounds from opening-nya!”

After passing through the rows of beds where the knights were lying down, she headed to the back room.

With a light knock, Varra, who was inside, opened the door and urged her to enter, perhaps because she had heard and understood the bustle of the knights.

“Have I done something wrong-nya?”

“Not at all. If the presence of Katima-sama has helped the injured regain some of their strength, then as a healer, I welcome it.”

“…..I am glad to hear that-nya.”

Varra then pointed to a chair by the desk in the back.

“Please take a seat by the bed where Guard Dill is resting.”

The bed of Dill, who was in more danger than anyone else, was by Varra’s desk.

“Have you been with the seriously wounded when they were fighting over there-nya?”

“Yes….. I marched with His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, and when we arrived in Birdland, there were many wounded people there.”

“But none of them were as wounded as Dill is now, I guess-nya.”

“──Yes.”

“I knew it, so you don’t have to look sad. Ahem. I’ll just look at his sleeping face-nya.” 

At first glance, Katima walked with her usual cheerful appearance.

But, her footsteps were heavy.

“So, how was it-nya?”

It was a question without a subject, but Varra understood what it meant.

“You mean the healing magic tool you brought with you from Ist?”

“Mmm! By the look of it… ah, this is it, right-nya?”

“Yes. This is a small magic tool similar to a magic stone furnace that is connected with tubes on that side. The other magic tools would have required a lot of work, but I was able to cover the work with just that.”

Oh, just enough to cover the work.

Katima sighed loudly.

“Even the magic tool that I took from Ist isn’t doing so well-nya.”

“That’s…..”

“I know-nya. I also thought it was just one of the possibilities.”

Having said that, she doesn’t seem to be giving up. Varra peeked out from next to her and saw Katima’s face, dignified, ready for anything.

“Is the other knight okay now-nya?”

“Y-yes! The other healers have done enough!”

“Mm-hmm. Then can I request you regardless!”

“Request… you say?”

“Yes, that’s right-nya. I ask Varra to bring Dill’s bed to me.”

The sudden request left Varra in a daze.

But Katima only laughed and didn’t make a clear point. She got up from her chair and walked toward the door.

“I want you to carry Dill to my basement lab.”

There was a strength in her voice now that made it impossible to ignore.

“Is there a new way to treat him?”

“There is….. Hmm, there is-nya. But it’s a little too much work for one person, so I’m going to need Varra’s help-nya.

The basement laboratory of Katima was a place where many expensive magic tools were lined up.

There must be another magic tool brought in from Ist. A pleased look appeared on Varra’s cheeks as she thought so.

“Yes! We will bring him right away!”

She followed Katima’s instructions without any doubts.

 

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