Chapter 129 – Flying
“So, I’m going to the Hagwai Republic to work during the winter.”
I announced with a smug expression on my face, and Nojaloli-san offered me a cup of herbal tea with no reaction. Myrril is an excellent cook, and the problem is that I tend to overeat, but the tea after a satisfying meal is delicious.
“Is this the adventurers’ guild you were telling me about?”
“Yes. Don’t stop me; it’s a man’s dream.”
“What’s with that snickering, snorting, smug look on your face? Are you imitating me? It’s a little annoying to see someone like that. But more importantly, what exactly do adventurers do?”
“Let’s see… I don’t know much, but I think they hunt and dismantle magic beasts and sell the meat, skins, magic stone, and other materials. And also escorting merchants and gathering ores and stuff like that? If there’s a dungeon or something, maybe they go into it and hunt magic beasts there.”
“How could I stop you from doing such an interesting thing? Of course, I’m going with you.”
“I knew you would say so. As expected of you, Myrril-san, you’re so reliable!”
“If that’s the case, you should have invited me from the beginning.”
No, I had no information about the Republic or the adventurers’ guild even after researching, so I was hesitant to confidently invite her to join me.
Merel-san’s merchant network did not seem to have much contact with adventurers either, so it was possible that we might go, only to find ourselves disappointed later.
When I confessed my almost complete lack of a plan, Myrril-san half-heartedly helped me pack my luggage.
However, the main thing is to “unload things to be left behind” rather than to “pack up things to be taken with me.”
There was no use for all of the vehicles since I hadn’t bought winter tires or chains for them, and the tanks weren’t currently stored in the first place. We are not going to war, so there is not much we need regarding firearms. Most of the equipment, materials, and, incidentally, the kingdom’s currency are left in Casemaian, and in storage is an AKM and a MAC 1.0, some food and drinking water, and a few other items and also winter camping gear.
I plan to return in the spring, so the encampment is for emergency use. I have no taste for sleeping outdoors in the winter if I want to.
“You are going to the Republic with the ‘airship,’ right?”
“Yeah. It’s supposed to be a test flight within five days, so I’m going to take it to the border of the Republic.”
The weather in the vicinity of Casemaian during the winter months is rarely rough, but there is a mountain range of up to six hundred meters between Casemaian and the Republic. Therefore, adjustments were made to the departure date in order to pass through that area.
On the morning of the fourth day, when I received word that a test flight would be conducted, I headed for the Dark Forest, where I found a 50-meter-long airship moored at an airfield that had been created by clearing out the forest.
On the balloon portion of the newly built airship, the Tornado (named by Rinko) was a large three-way mark on a white background. Apparently, it indicated a tornado and the ties of beastman, elves, and dwarves.
“What about humans?”
“You and Rinko are the tornado itself, the one that is hoisting us up.”
What is that, terrible!
After a ceremony simplified by the cold weather, the Tornado, with Rinko, the dwarven technicians, the elf and beastman volunteers, and us on board, took off very easily and without a moment’s hesitation.
I was impressed that we flew, but it was so smooth that I didn’t really feel it. The people waving at us from the ground were reduced to peas in a pod, and the airship quickly gained altitude and speed to catch the wind in the sky.
“We’re drifting a little south, ten degrees to the left.”
Under Captain Rinko’s direction, the Tornado tested control and maneuverability and also tried flying upwind.
“We are currently flying eastward at a position 20 miles southeast of Casemaian. It is a quarter of an hour to our destination in the vicinity of Hagwai. Ah, everyone, please look to your right.”
Looking at Rinko’s bus guide-like announcement, we could see a snow-covered, ruined wasteland in the far distance.
“It is the former capital of the kingdom, which lost its large population to an outbreak of plague in the early autumn.”
Oh, yeah. That’s amazing. Scary, scary. Alright, everyone, don’t look at me.
“It must be the demon king’s curse. They got what they deserved.”
“That’s what I think, too.”
“Me too, me too.”
Yeah, yeah. Will you stop worshipping me all together, please? I won’t curse a good child. In the first place, I don’t have that kind of power.
Chapter 130 – Frozen Valley
The airship Tornado circled the western side of the mountain range and descended to an altitude where we could see an open area where we thought a village might be.
“Maybe that village is the westernmost point. I heard that all the big towns in the Hagwai Republic are by the sea, so it looks like there are still five hundred miles to go.”
Rinko looked down from the edge of the gondola and checked the east side with a handmade telescope. It was clear near Casemaian, but as we approached the Republic, the weather began to get a little rougher. Even now, the clouds were a bit thick in the sky, and visibility was poor due to powdery snow near the ground.
The gondola is surrounded by a magical barrier that incorporates the technology of dwarves and elves, so although it does not feel airtight, it does not feel as if a cold wind is blowing.
Well, once we get off the airship, we are still exposed to the elements, though.
“I can’t see anything.”
Myrril-san and the other dwarves are also looking around, but they have not found any landmarks to mark our progress. Even though their eyesight was astonishing, they could not see anything that was shielded from their view.
“This is about right, Rinko. Thank you, we’ll take care of the rest.”
The border had long been crossed, plus we were riding a huge unidentified 50-meter-long flying object. If we get too close to it, we might cause an unnecessary commotion.
“Be careful, okay? Well, I think you will be all right.”
“It’s okay, of course. We’re not going to war.”
Perun, a young man from the werewolf tribe who was taking part in the test flight, laughed.
“There isn’t a country Yoshua has been in contact with that hasn’t gone to war with him, right?”
“We did, didn’t we? I’ve never picked a fight with anyone. You know… right?”
Myrril-san laughed and shrugged her shoulders. No, it’s a partner’s job to offer a helping hand there, isn’t it? I understand that the gray area is pretty wide. But I have heard that gray is not a gradation of white, but black.
“If there is something urgent, please ask one of the winged tribe to deliver a message to me. In case of emergency, we’ll come back with my teleportation.”
“Don’t worry. If anyone has the strength to invade Casemaian now, they will not be able to march until the spring. Besides, isn’t that too reckless?”
I received a word of encouragement from Heimann-jiisan, the leader of the dwarves, and with Myrril in my arms, I leaned my legs over the edge of the gondola and made the short distance teleport to the ground.
When I reached the ground, I was greeted with a flurry of snow. The fresh snow was so thick that I was buried up to my waist.
The wind was not so strong, probably due to the proximity of the mountain forests. Thanks to the warm clothes made by the beastman’s ladies, the cold did not seem to be unbearable.
I waved my hand to let them know that we had arrived safely, and the airship above us slowly circled and flew off to the west.
“Yeah. I can’t wait to see what Hagwai is like.”
Even though we got a new house, there was always someone coming in and out of the house every day. The only time I can remember an environment where no one was around was on the first day of our escape from the royal capital. We were almost always chased and nearly always killed.
I had to paddle through the snow, but after only a few minutes, I felt like I was going to get sick of it. I probably wasn’t cut out to be a climber.
“We’re heading east. Do you know which direction it is?”
“Of course I do. I have the ‘Kompass’ with me.”
I had left all the dead stuff at Casemaian in order to reorganize the inside of my storage and bought new adventure goods and equipment.
Simon was astonished at what I was up to this time.
“You have enough food for Casemaian, don’t you?”
“Unless we continue to feast every day until spring, I don’t think we’ll be able to exhaust the food supply.”
Now that there is no shortage of salt and fuel, they are actively making preserved foods, and they have processed most of the large quantities of meat from the earth dragons, land-runner dragons, and winged dragons that had been left in storage. All of them tasted excellent, and some of them were given to us as souvenirs.
Carrying Myrril in my arms, I teleported to the top of a small mountain that I could see nearby. The view opened up to reveal a plain surrounded by forest. Considering the unnaturally wide expanse with no vegetation, it might be a lake or swamp under the snow.
Since the thickness of the ice was unknown, we did not land on the ice but instead jumped over it and landed on a mountain on the opposite side of the river.
“We have a long way to go, so you don’t have to push yourself too hard, okay?”
“No problem at all. I can go on like this for at least half a day.”
“…Fumu. I can see from touching you that your magic power has increased a lot.”
I’ve long since stopped looking at my stats.
This is partly because the skills I use regularly don’t have much to do with the numbers, but in the first place, with beastman, elves, and dwarves, I lose sight of the standard values, and it makes no sense.
In Casemaian, there are a lot of specs that are in the class of heroes in terms of humans. The parameters are quite distorted due to differences in tastes and preferences, but if you mix with such a crowd of superhumans, you will not feel happy or sad about the ups and downs of numbers and ranks.
For the sake of convenience, I am called a demon king, but in terms of status, I am a small fry who can be counted from the bottom. It’s a little sad.
“…Yeah, as long as everyone is happy, I don’t really care about my status. Is that right?”
“I’m not saying anything. Who are you making excuses to?”
As I moved eastward, teleporting over mountains and valleys one after another, I was seized by a strange sensation. When I saw Myrril-san, she grinned wickedly and lightly pulled the UZI from her shoulder up to her chest.
“There’s someone following us. Yoshua, I’ll meet you in that valley up ahead, okay?”