Volume 4 Chapter 21: Dragon-san and the Local People
As we were running towards the commotion, I could feel magic being used several times, so the battle must have been fierce.
However, it shouldn’t be all that bad.
Judging by their magical wave patterns, the monsters we were about to encounter were on the same level as the ones we already fought since coming here.
As such, they were coming and going quickly, but I could also feel other magical waves signatures mixed in with them as well.
I knew that the magic of Towa was quite strong, but how could I not notice it up until now?
And since we didn’t know just how large the actual battle was, we needed to hurry.
「I’m going on ahead.」
Apparently thinking of the same thing, Nectar and Senjiro both nodded their heads, and in the next moment I spread my wings and took to the sky.
Senjiro was the fastest one out of all of us when it was the ground we were talking about, but it was way faster for me to get there through the sky, where there were no obstacles.
Heading towards the battle at full speed, I soon arrived at a small clearing in the middle of the forest.
There I could see a small group of people, surrounded by a horde of monsters of various sizes and magic levels.
Even though the people managed to form a circle so that they wouldn’t leave the monsters any openings, their sheer number was more than enough to overwhelm them.
If something like that happened in Ballow, it would be classified as crisis on the spot and a group of Hunters would be dispatched to deal with this threat, preferably of Fourth Rank.
Four or five people were not going to be enough to handle a situation like that.
I watch an amazing scene unfold right in front of my eyes.
Because one of the people turned out to be exceptionally skilled and strong.
He had black hair, looked to be around forty-years-old, and was wearing the traditional clothes of Towa, his body was quite slender and his sword was quite huge…… However, he was managing to slash the monsters into tiny pieces with that sword, using minimal movements of his body, to boot.
The blade of his sword was glowing slightly, so he may have added some sort of spell or special art to it.
Seeing one person be able to handle so many demons at once was a true sight to behold.
Now that I think about it, his clothes seemed to be rather expensive-looking, but it may have been my imagination playing tricks on me.
In any case, he kind of reminded me of Senjiro. I was wondering if it would be alright for me to approach them and offer some help, but then I saw someone approaching the injured people from the back with something that looked like a first-aid kit.
Putting the kit down, she approaches the injured people and starts chanting the spell right away.
Words spoken in the ancient language soon becomes a sturdy magical shield that protects the injured from damage.
It also prevented the monsters from getting any closer.
However, I was surprised that the monsters didn’t even try to attack the shield.
Certainly, that ‘Prism Shield’ should be able to bounce some of the damage off, but it shouldn’t be strong enough to prevent the continuous onslaught of attacks.
Of course, because of the density of magic around here my perception was somewhat distorted, so it may very well be that even though the monsters seem to be the same as the ones in Ballow, they are actually a lot stronger.
But was this the doing of the naturally dense magic, or was it something else?
If we were able to understand that, we may be able to counteract it in the future.
When I folded my wings and got back on the ground right in front of them, they all aimed their weapons at me, ever wary.
I could see that they were all beastmen, with a pair of both human and animal ears.
No wonder they were wary of me, since in their eyes it appears that I appeared in front of them completely out of nowhere.
「Do you need some help?」
The threat was yet to be gone, and so it was only natural that they would feel confused upon this sudden offer of mine.
I also forgot about something crucial: this was Towa here, and I spoke in the Western language!
I broke into a cold sweat and tried to say that again, but in that moment Nectar and Senjiro finally caught up to me.
Senjiro started to brandish his black spear around, disposing of monster after monster.
Nectar was fighting as well, shooting the monsters with massive blades of wind.
Soon, they made a quick work out of them.
I was relieved to see that and I decided to surveil our surroundings in case more monsters were to appear, but suddenly Senjiro stopped moving, a stunned look on his face.
Senjiro’s battle style was mostly hit-and-run, where he was still on the move and would blow his opponents away with single strikes.
It was dangerous for him to stop even for a second, especially with lots of monsters still around.
Then he resumed his stance and started attacking monsters again, and one of the people from Towa muttered in a quiet voice.
Although the meaning of the word ‘Shinsou’ was beyond my understanding, what I did understand was that they meant Senjiro by it.
Senjiro continued to fight, however it was the old man that was at the center of my attention.
When the old man cut down the last monster and it turned into a handful of ash, he let his sword rest on top of his shoulder and laughed while looking at Senjiro.
「This posture, so it is Senjiro! Glad to see you’ve finally decided to come home!」
It was unexpected that he would call Senjiro by his name without hesitation, but what was even more surprising was the fact that Senjiro bent his knee before the old man on the spot.
「It’s been a while indeed, Emperor.」
Emperor, he said.
And although it surely needed some clarification, I understood that Senjiro and the old man were old acquaintances.
「No need to be so formal. I’m glad I can see you again.」
Said the old man –– Emperor-san –– while patting Senjiro on the back and laughing. Then he looked at us while sheathing his sword on his hip.
「You there, lassy, thanks for taking care of my vassal for me.」
「No, we didn’t really do anything, and we weren’t even that much of a help.」
I was taken aback by the fact that he spoke to me so suddenly, but still I managed to answer.
Emperor-san had his hair loosely cut, seemed full of confidence and spoke in a rather humble voice.
He looked just like the cool and laid-back older brother type.
Unlike Ballow, which was more similar to the Middle Age Europe, the people and the atmosphere here were similar to the Japan of the Sengoku Period. And since the Emperor-san was giving off the same kind of aura like Senjiro, I reflexively answered with a very friendly and laid-back manner.
However, the people behind him weren’t so nice.
「How rude! You there, girl! You are one of the Towa people, so act like one!」
They must have took me for one of their own, since I erased the red bunches from my hair right before coming here.
I had also changed my eye color, but I had no actual idea what it was.
「Jurota, you are the only one who is being rude here. She may have black hair, but it is as clear as day that this girl is not one of our own.」
Hearing the words of the Emperor-san, the man called Jurota went silent, and then he started glaring at me in an angry way.
Somehow, I had a really bad feeling about that vassal.
Now I was really wondering if I would be able to fit in here, but then Emperor-san looked at me again.
「It’s not really that interesting of an introduction, but it’s better than none. Let me welcome you, travelers from the foreign land and comrades of Senjiro. I am the current emperor of this country of Towa.」
Feeling another wave of cold sweat running down my neck and back, I sent a quick message to Senjiro, who for the time being stood up and rejoined us.
“Senj-san, answer, now! The title of Emperor here is going to be what in Ballow terms!?”
“Umm, I think that the Emperor would be equal to king? I guess?”
“…… In other words, this guy here is the most powerful person in the entire country!?”
“I have no idea, but it is true that he is one of the most influential people in the whole of Towa.”
After Senjiro answered my question, all of my worries came to be true! I felt so ashamed of my own behavior towards that person that I wanted to shout out loud!
Why is it that we get to meet the most important person in the whole country as soon as we arrive!?
And why is he being so friendly to us!?
I get the feeling that our arrival isn’t going to go unnoticed by Ten-san at this rate, but for now let’s try not to think about it so much.
I wonder, does this man knows about Senjiro’s soulmate……?
But even if my head was full of things I didn’t quite understand yet, for the time being this person introduced himself to me, so I needed to respond in kind.
「It’s a pleasure to meet you, Emperor of Towa. My name is Lava. I may not be one of your kind, but I am a good friend of Senjiro-san.」
Saying that, I look at the Emperor and his subordinates.
Looks like there was no way around it, so I make my red bunches reappear on my hair. Seeing that, the Emperor opened his eyes, clearly astonished.
At the same time, his vassals clearly become scared.
「Now this is surprising. You may be a deity from a foreign land, so how would you like for us to respect you properly?」
…… Are you seriously concerned about that?
Oh well, if there’s something good from this situation, is that the vassals were keeping their mouths shut for now, seemingly scared that they might accidentally say something rude to me.
I’m not all that sure, but maybe they thought of me as an unstable powder keg, ready to explode at any second?
If anything, such profiling was nothing more than downright rude.
「Umm, I understand that your position is very important, as it brings many people together. What kind of praise do I need? I don’t know, can we just speak normally? Or maybe be polite to one another?」
Ah, if we could speak just like I did with Isha-san, that would be nice.
As I said that, the Emperor looked as though he couldn’t believe what he was hearing and seeing.
「Senjiro, I didn’t realize that foreign gods were so talkative.」
「Lava-dono is special. On the other hand, the soulmate that I found is a demon, and she’s nothing like that.」
「Hmm? So, you’ve made a contract with her?」
Senjiro tries to explain it to the Emperor, and he finally seems to understand.
But I want to know what exactly did he tell him.
「So, Sen-san, could you possibly explain what is your relationship with this man?」
「It is something that we call being recognized as equals through the Gods’ judgement. By the way, they are my companions.」
Is it only me, or is Senjiro much more relaxed when it comes to speaking in his native tongue?
I also think that is quite funny to be considered Senjiro’s companion. …… Wait, a companion? Say whaaaa!?
I finally came to realize that this Emperor person was greatly misunderstanding Senjiro’s circumstances at the current moment.
「I think that she’s cute and pretty woman. Hmm? What’s that? It’s not like that….. Oooh.」
It was surprising to me that Senjiro was so close with the Emperor, but just when I wanted to properly explain our relationship, I was suddenly hugged from behind.
「It’s nice to meet you, Emperor. My name is Nectar Figura, and I am this woman’s husband.」
Nectar introduced himself in a polite and gentle manner, but I didn’t fail to notice just a slight mix of venom in his words.
No, I’m sure that he didn’t mean to sound so hostile. Maybe my ears were playing tricks on me again.
Even so, it was pretty embarrassing to be hugged by Nectar like that and I wanted to escape him, but when the Emperor saw him, his expression brightened instantly.
「Ooh! I see, now I understand. Foreigners are accompanying Senjiro. Hoo, hoo, and won’t you look at that! Your eyes and hair are of different color! Just like the books said!」
He then looked as excited as a small child right before Christmas, which was pretty embarrassing to look at in its own right.
For now, it was actually a good thing that Nectar was being treated like a normal and ordinary person. Thanks to that we would hopefully not be treated like a walking freakshow.
「The way in which you handled your spear, it is something completely unheard of here…… I guess good things can happen as a result of studying abroad.」
The Emperor looked as though he was about to be swallowed into his own little world, but Senjiro’s silent words managed to pull him back to the real world.
Emperor gave Senjiro a strange look, but ultimately gave up.
「Ah, I’m not making fun of them or anything, just to let you know. But even though you’re not a Guardian anymore, I hope that you will never forget your time with your Master and your brothers.」
「Such wasteful words.」
Now Senjiro was swayed back into the Emperor’s pace.
Watching their bickering, the only thing that comes to mind was an old married couple going at it.
「Good grief, what a stubborn person. Oh well, just let me get along with your friends, okay?」
However, judging by the look on their faces it was nothing more than joking around.
But his vassals were still as doubtful as they were in the beginning.
「Emperor, he brought foreigners with himself of who we don’t know a thing!」
「We do know them. They are Senjiro’s friends.」
「B-but, Shinsou left Towa once in the past. Being in the foreign lands for so long and coming back so suddenly, it’s suspicious no matter how you look at it!」
Again, there were some words that I didn’t know, but I completely agree with the ones that I was able to understand.
While I was thinking that, Senjiro’s eyes widen with surprise.
「Don’t tell me, are we in the prohibited zone!?」
Seeing Senjiro’s distressed expression, Emperor hurried with an explanation.
「Yup, that’s right. What’s more, the Head Shrine Maiden also came back some time ago, so talk about a crazy coincidence with your return.」
While the Emperor explained, we send a message to Senjiro, demanding an explanation as well.
“Sen-san, prohibited zone?”
“It is a zone where magic is especially dense and the danger of monsters appearing inside of it is exceptionally high. Usually the Taisha dispatches some people to monitor it. And the people sent by the Taisha establish their branch offices in the vicinities of such zones.”
“In other words, it is a perfect place to be stranded to while drifting from a misguided Teleportation.”
Nectar makes a statement like that and Senjiro nods his head.
“While we’re at it, I never would have thought that Makoto would actually become the Head Shrine Maiden.”
Senjiro then proceeded to explain that it was a very prestigious position, sort of like the Shrine Maiden presiding over every other Shrine Maiden. But it looks like for us it’s more of a cause for concern.
If the Emperor’s words were true, Makoto was already back at the Taisha.
I wonder just how much does he know?
While I was wondering about that, the Emperor spoke again.
「Fumu, from your expression I can say that you have some sort of business to take care of with the Taisha.」
「Our Emperor, please reconsider!」
Said one of his vassals, but the Emperor only shook his head in response.
「He came back because of my comrades here. And in order to achieve their goals, they will need as much information as possible. You know Senjiro, he wouldn’t be a threat to his own people. So if there’s anything you would want to know, just ask away.」
Seeing as the Emperor’s will was adamant, his vassals were about ready to give up.
The Emperor only smiled at Senjiro’s bitter words.
「So, how it will be? My disciple?」
He smiled, and it was a smile full of confidence and attractiveness, as if nothing could possibly stop him.
Maybe that’s what people are calling charisma?
「Even if I left your country years ago, it’s good to visit your hometown once in a while. I was considering that. But……」
Since the reason for us being here was rather delicate, Senjiro couldn’t really say anything.
「What are you talking about? Listen, you are going to travel, right? And the Guardians are bound to be on the lookout for anyone suspicious. So the least I can do is to issue you a travelling permit.」
Ah, yes. Honestly, I knew about that.
In addition, Senjiro shook his grey tail, as if he was trying to say that there was nothing left to say here.
Perhaps he was ready to even give his life away when he knew that he would meet his old acquaintances.
Honestly, this wasn’t much of a homecoming, but I understood that Senjiro was feeling relieved from the bottom of his heart.