“Even though I was mounted, I was knocked down by a humanoid living being. So there’s still new experiences to get huh.”
“Azu-kun. Aznoval… It is the real one, it is the real thing!!”
“No well, I don’t think there’s been a fake of me though… Root, from what I have heard, weren’t you living as a man?” (Aznoval)
“That’s right. It is true. But as the memories I passed with you guys revived, my body returned to that one too. It is definitely because of that! I didn’t notice I turned into a woman until you told me after all!” (Root)
The one that is enjoyably conversing while mounted is a tall woman with long straight silver hair.
A woman that would nail anyone on the ground when they catch a sight of her, golden proportions.
The shirt that is not the correct size was producing a strange sense of erotism.
And the one who was being ridden by such a shocking beauty was a knight that has armor covering his whole body.
It was a heavily unbalanced situation.
“Looks like you are quite the unstable living being, Root.” (Aznoval)
“This has its own fun. Fufufu, hey, that one there, that’s the mysterious abandoned boar that was on top of Azu-kun’s head at the time we separated, right? To think you really raised it. As expected of a being with finite span. With one glance, I can tell that it can even trample on illusory beasts.” (Root)
“I had…infinite time after all. It is until now that I was able to properly ride it and am able to communicate with its heart though… Oops, this talk would end up being long. Let’s stop it. As you can see, it is one of my trustworthy companions now.” (Aznoval)
“You really don’t change. You are just like how you were in the past.” (Root)
“You too. As beautiful as ever. Also, I go out more frequently compared to the others, so this is something that I can tell…” (Aznoval)
“It seems like you are doing well…with the Adventurer Guild. Even though it was a mere verbal promise… You have my gratitude. That’s why Rokuya-san, Haku-san, and Bia-san as well; we all decided on this. If anyone of us were to meet you again, we would represent everyone by telling you our gratitude. Root, thanks.” (Aznoval)
“…Aren’t you actually…holding a grudge on me?” (Root)
The words of Aznoval matched something that Root has always thought of in a part of her heart.
That both sides hold much gratitude.
Of course, within the possibilities that Root had hypothesized, the gratitude is classified in the types that are incredibly convenient, and in truth, most of her thoughts were that they may have a grudge on her.
However, the knight was acting as the representative of the Adventurers of Origin and told Root about their gratitude.
Root looks back at her conversation with Makoto.
‘Did you do that knowing how much pain comes with immortality -with eternity?’, and ‘Do you really think they have accepted it?’.
Being told what her heart was feeling, even Root was doubting the certainty of the promise Root had exchanged with Aznoval and his group a long time ago.
That was the reason why words of anxiety came out from her mouth towards the knight that she had a friendly relationship of shouldering each other in the long past.
“Grudge? Are you talking about the matter of living eternally?” (Aznoval)
“It is true that I have a grudge on it, and I hate it as well.” (Aznoval)
“…But, it is not towards you.” (Aznoval)
“It’s the part about not thinking deeply of the meaning in dragging even Rokuya and the others. Regarding that point…I regret to the utmost my naivety at that time, and I also hate it. Of course, even now and for eternity.” (Aznoval)
“What do you mean by that? Guild Verse is a link skill between all of you. That’s why…what are you saying?” (Root)
“It is true that it was a linked skill. But the one that was actually able to utilize the various skills was me, and the others were simply on the standing of obtaining its benefits. In short, it is because I coincidentally had the Master rights –or at least that’s what I thought at that time. Obtaining immortality, obtaining eternity; I thought about using that time to begin researching and make it so that I am able to hold this skill by myself.” (Aznoval)
“No well, even I have been unable to clarify the skill of you guys all this time, and transferring the user rights to an individual is just…” (Root)
Root had completely returned to his female way of talking and speaks of Aznoval’s thoughts.
The knight nods with unhidden self-derision towards the bewildered Root.
“Yeah, just as you say. Even when I researched for several centuries, even when I searched for several centuries, the situation where I was basically trying to grasp straws didn’t change at all. That’s right. I intended to shoulder that myself…for eternity. And yet, this is how it ended up as. Acting so much like a knight, and yet, in the end, I have dragged all of my companions and have been unable to save a single one of them. If I could, I would want to kill myself.” (Aznoval)
“Well, that’s how it is. And so, we are now here. Just as I said before, I have no grudge towards Root who has raised the guild into a healthy and neutral organization, and has maintained it that way. I am simply grateful for it. It makes me feel that there’s point in me still being alive.” (Aznoval)
“Also, just as promised, we haven’t taken the side of a political force, and haven’t raised a country either. Existences that can’t be seen at the front stage of the world, existences that don’t exist. No problem, right?” (Aznoval)
“Yeah. But I didn’t think I wouldn’t even be able to search for you guys, you know?” (Root)
“I was determined to do a thoughtless research. I also didn’t want to bother you in the time when the guild was in the very moment of beginning to move. It is not like I hated you.” (Aznoval)
“You see, actually, I wanted Azu-kun and the others to cooperate by becoming the top brass of the guild and the strongest direct corp, you know? I even prepared the seats for that sake… A lot happened… I wouldn’t have let you be bored. Even if the name of the Adventurers of Origin were to disappear, it would be safe to leave your name as the top brass of the guild.” (Root)
“Sorry. But don’t you have young and reliable ones now? Was it Sofia? She has your blood, right? It looked like she was doing her job with pride. Isn’t that plenty enough?” (Aznoval)
Aznoval brings out the name of the adventurer he just met and praises her.
But Root shook her head to the sides in sadness.
“That would never become a substitute for you guys. Yeah, such a person doesn’t exist to begin with. It is because it is you guys that I wanted to welcome you. The most Sofia can do is…be a proxy.” (Root)
“How strict. I do think pampering parents are questionable, but if you don’t at least recognize her achievements every now and then, she will be sad, you know? And, by the way… can you please get up already? I have to return to Lorel after all.” (Aznoval)
At some point in time, their bodies were sticking to each other, and Aznoval and Root were conversing as if having a lover’s talk.
Aznoval who was at the bottom, placed both hands on Root’s shoulders and lifted her body up.
“Eh? You intend to return now? After living for 2 thousand years already?” (Root)
“I haven’t lived so long! I haven’t reached the millenniums yet. Well, I did think for a second about having a meal together at least.” (Aznoval)
“In that case—!” (Root)
“No. The moment I saw you trying to take off the buttons of your shirt, I once again remembered what kind of person you were. I am not the type that likes doing it in the outskirts. I will skip all those kind of adventures.” (Aznoval)
“Then I will properly endure until we go to a room somewhere!” (Root)
‘What’s with that ‘then’?’, the uneasiness that the knight had was correct in a sense.
“It reminds me of the words of Munemori, good grief. You haven’t changed at all. Your appearance, and the inside as well.” (Aznoval)
“That person’s words?” (Root)
“He said that when you are together with us, you are either a disappointing beauty, or a full score slut. You can call it a true bullseye there.
“…There was no ‘perfect beauty’ or ‘wife’?” (Root)
“There was. When you are together with other people, you are close to that. But there’s no fun in that, so he said that he liked you the w—no, that’s fine. Seriously, what a lovestruck guy.” (Aznoval)
“He said something like that? I see…” (Root)
Skillfully moving Root who was immersed in the memories of the man that she had raised her love with, Aznoval lightly pats away the earth on his armor.
When he stood up and stretched, he looked at his companion Greenblue.
The wild boar, that was silently resting as it watched over the course of events, received the gaze of his master and lifted its body.
“Whatever the case, I was glad I met you, Root. Until the day destiny brings us together again—?!” (Aznoval)
Aznoval was trying to one-sidedly give his farewells, but both Aznoval and Greenblue suddenly turned their faces to a certain direction.
Root also did the same a second late.
However, different from the perplexed face of Aznoval, the face of Root was showing distinct displeasure.
It could be said that the thing where they are gazing at was outside the boundaries of understanding.
“I didn’t know at all that the royal family of Aion was connected with them, but I see. The reason they were able to turnaround the situation when in danger was because of this huh.” (Aznoval)
“As expected of Azu-kun. You can already grasp their identity huh. Hah… It is true that it is because I was expecting this turn of events that I am here today in Tsige though. Being ruined this long awaited reunion that can be called a miracle… It really pisses me off.” (Root)
“Such a dangerous bunch have allied with the Aion kingdom which is the lowest within the five ma—no, the four major powers. Just when did they form an amity?” (Aznoval)
“It was pretty recent. Adding to it, there’s one mixed in the Limia hero’s party. It is extremely rare for two swords to have come out in the present day.” (Root)
“The swords of the Goddess huh. Thinking about their raison d’etre, that’s a valid point. The people that caused the coup d’etat in this country were an organization that had antecessors of a religion of a half God after all.” (Aznoval)
“Azu-kun, for someone that declares to have the acting principle of using muscles over brain since a long time ago, you really don’t move imprudently. Your information gathering and intelligence; I don’t know how you do it, but it is incredibly precise. Don’t tell me, are you actually only faking being a knight?” (Root)
“Stop it please. It hurts quite a lot being told that. I am putting my life on the line in being a knight.” (Aznoval)
“It is coming from the mouth of a woman that was rejected, so I won’t stop~. At any rate, the half God church, no matter how many times it is crushed, they dive underground and come back. It hurts my head. But this is also within expectation. This is my job huh. It is fine Azu-kun, I will be talking with that. I won’t let it touch one finger of Tsige.” (Root)
Letting out a small sigh, Root encourages Aznoval to leave.
It seemed like she had some sort of idea about what the existence approaching is.
But that’s the same for Aznoval.
It looks like they already had a grasp of the circumstances surrounding Tsige and Aion, and also the one that is at the back of it.
‘Then, I will leave this to Root and head back to Lorel’, is not what the unmoving knight did.
He stepped half a step to the front of Root, and seemed to be prepared to confront the existence that’s the Sword of the Goddess.
“In Tsige, there’s the descendants of the Hiiragi household living there, you see. Most of the reason why I came to this town was because of this. It is impossible for me to pass by such a dangerous thing of unknown objective.” (Aznoval)
“Hiiragi… Ah, if I remember correctly, within the group at the Adventurers of Origin, there was one of the hyumans who was named Hiiragi. I remember now, Adusa Hiiragi.” (Root)
“Yeah. Adding to that, that person died before the agreement with you and the guild. The place where my hopeless younger brother got engaged with was the Hiiragi household.” (Aznoval)
“Brother… Nagi-kun?! Then could it be…that Toa is…?!” (Root)
“It is already a diluted blood, but well, yeah. Really, I am a useless person who just can’t save the people that I really want to save no matter what. However, I am impressed that you could tell Toa was a Hiiragi. She is an undisputable top quality adventurer that came to the wasteland on her own volition and got back the Blue Oni dagger, Lapis.” (Aznoval)
“Actually, the one that is soon coming here also has business with that girl. And that Lapis is the underlying cause of it.” (Root)
“That’s a dagger that was synthesized with the guild skill and has a power close to the Desire Sword of Munemori, but the evolution of it was only brought out a few moments ago, you know? What’s this about ‘underlying cause’, Root? If she is involved, I definitely won’t back down. Please tell me.” (Aznoval)
“Desire, you say… Was it such a monstrous dagger? No, the problem is not the power of the dagger. It is because of the reason of how Toa got it back.” (Root)
“I heard that she obtained the cooperation of her companions and the town though.” (Aznoval)
Aznoval recalls the conversation he had with Toa.
From what he remembers, that’s what she said.
It definitely wasn’t on her own.
“Yeah. And within those people, the one that lended the most assistance was the Kuzunoha Company. They guided her into the way to get back the dagger, or you could say, they directed it that way. Depending on how it is explained, it might create a crack between the relationship of the representative there and Toa.” (Root)
“If we are talking about guiding, then it would certainly be considered cooperating, but when you talk about directing it, it is not always the case. Hmph, and in truth, didn’t that company do something quite gray there?” (Aznoval)
“I won’t negate that. But the Kuzunoha Company’s representative, Raidou -or Misumi Makoto-, is a Wise that was kidnapped to this world on the whim of the Goddess, and his roots aren’t those of a villain. And at present, he is becoming an irreplaceable existence in this Tsige lined together with the Rembrandt Company. I can’t have the relationship of him and Toa, who is becoming adventurer-like, to crumble.” (Root)
“So it might become a hole in the ant’s nest that could lead to the town’s destruction huh. Wise… a japanese person. This person that’s calling himself Raidou, looks like he is quite the naive type. To think he would become such a spark in this kind of situation by his own volition.” (Aznoval)
Root didn’t say anything about Aznoval who connected the word Wise with a japanese person as if it were natural.
The circumstances of Makoto are different from the others, and while he is hyuman, he is a Wise, and he is also Japanese.
And in turn, it would make the interpretation of Aznoval slightly wrong, but Root didn’t show any signs of explaining at all as she continued the conversation.
“It is not completely his responsibility though. I won’t deny that he is naive either. Because of it, his guard at night is thoroughly tough and it is troublesome.” (Root)
“…For some mysterious reason, my impression of Raidou has improved. Or more like, I pity him. You are already trying to make a pass on him? Keep it moderate.” (Aznoval)
“Anyways…so that means, within the plans to crumble Tsige -which is practically akin to a firm rock- from the inside, the one that has the highest chance by stirring up distrust and anger between Toa and Raidou. The Sword of the Goddess that’s coming here seems to be the strategist type of magician after all. In my personal opinion, when it comes to Tsige and the Kuzunoha Company, I am a bit biased, so I came here in secret.” (Root)
The words of ‘moderate’ from Aznoval were ignored by Root and she continued explaining the current situation.
“On top of that, in this kind of important situation, it is the type that moves itself huh. Is it because it is lacking in trustworthy subordinates, or maybe because it is the type that doesn’t trust anyone aside from itself; whichever it is, if they plan on utilizing Toa in their conspiracy, I won’t forgive it. You are also here, so let’s swing my sword in a level where it is almost stepping onto the front stage. What do you think about that, the person over there?” (Aznoval)
The words of the knight were send to a direction different from Root, and in the place that resonated, there’s a woman who was dressed in lightweight mage equipment.
There’s no companion with her, and from looks alone, it seemed as if she was a magician wearing a robe as casual wear and holding a staff.
But looking at it carefully, you could tell that that equipment is made of high grade materials.
If she were to fight with a dragon as she is, she would be able to. At the very least, that’s the level of preparation she had, and the two of them could tell that in an instant.
“Is that your assessment of me? Or is it regarding you fighting with me?”
“Oh, sorry about that. I would be grateful if you were to forget about my assessment of you. I am a very ordinary knight you can find anywhere, name’s Azu. It would be great if I were to know your name, Sword of the Goddess.” (Aznoval)
“…I repudiate disclosure of information. About your assessment of me, the former was exactly right, and the latter was practically all correct. I only have one dependable companion, but that one is currently acting separately. Also, regarding you fighting me, do whatever you want. It all amounts to who crushes the other after all.”
She doesn’t introduce herself.
The woman ignores the question and voices out her displeasure of being called the Sword of the Goddess by the knight.
“Having contact with Toa is not something I can agree to, personally and as an ally of the adventurers, Alte Barrett.” (Root)
“…Falz. Turning into a woman, turning into a man; you really are a hectic person. What’s this about? I am under the orders of the Goddess-sama and am going to save Aion, and subjugate the rebels. It is true that she didn’t say anything about Tsige, but they are trying to go independent from a country, that also falls into the area of a coup d’etat, and it is not something proper to do. Is it wrong to do what I have to do in order to make it properly return to Aion kingdom?” (Alte)
Being called her name by Root, she clearly made a displeased expression.
Her face, her neck, and her arms and legs that are sticking out from her equipment as well; they were all pure white and beautiful as if saying that suntans are evil.
Her blond hair was shining to the point you would think it is actually made of gold.
The woman that’s apparently named Alte Barrett is without doubt a hyuman that possesses beauty the Goddess would like.
And that beautiful voice that came out from her was also filled with faith to the Goddess, and was not holding a single doubt to her own actions.
Aznoval leaked a strained laugh probably as a substitute to his impressions about that part of her.
“About fighting with you, I am neutral to the end. But I am simply saying that I don’t like having the adventurer Toa utilized in your plans. That’s why, if you are not going to rethink this, I will personally be getting in your way.” (Root)
“And for me, Toa is one of the people I have to protect. Just means that, I can’t overlook this as a knight passing by.” (Aznoval)
Aznoval continues to the words of Root and makes his standing clear.
Unsheathing the japanese sword-like greatsword of wide width on his back, he takes a stance with it, and chants something. When he did that, the width of the sword in his hand increased, and settled into a truly strange shape.
It was too big to be called a katana, a shape that lacked balance.
If we leave aside the point of the size, it would be a sword that’s similar to the short sword Masamune.
“Wow, you suddenly bring that out. Azu-kun, as expected, you really do understand.” (Root)
“I am counting on you for support. If we rampage to an extent where it would be a disturbance, this person will understand that this is not a fight she should take.” (Aznoval)
“Are you saying this will become a battle of attrition? It is a peculiar sword, but that doesn’t matter for me. Falz –no, Root probably only wants to pester me with words anyways.” (Alte)
“Now, I wonder about that. At the very least, if I were you, I would drop that thought about defeating him quickly, Alte Barrett.” (Root)
“Unless it is the Goddess herself, that’s impossible.” (Aznoval)
“Not only me, but even the Goddess. That contempt of yours, learn it with your own body, low life.” (Alte)
At the outskirts of Tsige, several pillars of light, thunderous sounds, and magic power flew about.
In this pressing situation, the emergency adventurer team of Tsige moved promptly, and they arrived just a few moments after it began.
It was truly a fast response.
However, the place had the remains of a battle, but the concerned party was not there, and not even a corpse either.
The next day, the investigation came out with a truly foolish conclusion that it was a battle where there had to be at least a Superior Dragon and several High Spirits fighting.
The staff that was doing the investigation was truly skilled, but…the reality of things is only known by the three that were at Tsige that day.
The connection of Toa and Makoto had brought a legendary knight and the oldest Superior Dragon to Tsige in this day.
The day the related two will learn that this had secretly saved the town will be in a far future. <in real time>