V2 Chapter 29: The Black Attacker

I ride on the cheerful Clau Soras and head north.

On the way, three barriers passed below me. These are the four-layered barriers that were built to protect Ishka during the previous monster stampede.

The fourth barrier, which I’m heading to now, was the only one that was used, but I can see some people around the other three, so they must be operating at a minimum level. Probably, this is taking into account the unstable situation in Titis Forest.

Before long, the fourth barrier comes into my view. The front line of the previous monster stampede. While I was fighting Hydra, Claira and the others were holding back the monsters here.

This fourth barrier is also the base for this monster extermination mission, and there are a lot more people coming and going than the other three.

Of course, most of them are armed, but they don’t look very murderous. There is a line at a stall that seems to be selling food, and there are adventurers who are raising their glasses and cheering in the middle of the day. And the Canaria soldiers on patrol are not trying to stop them.

The lack of tension in the scene was something that was never seen in the previous monster stampede. In other words, they have that much leeway in the situation. Well, there was no need to hurry and come here – cough cough.

As I was thinking about that, I saw some people who noticed the indigo-winged beast wyvern and pointed at it, raising their voices excitedly. Then, others who noticed them did the same, and the commotion was spreading.

The indigo-scaled winged beast wyvern really stands out. I didn’t intend to advertise myself as a dragon slayer here, so I landed Clau Soras a little away from the barrier. I don’t want to provoke the defense soldiers by making too much noise.

Then I headed for the barrier on my own feet. I was prepared for some trouble because I approached without contacting them in advance on a winged beast wyvern, but the Canaria soldiers guarding the gate let me through with almost a salute.

Apparently they mistook me for some kind of reinforcement or something. I didn’t feel the need to correct their misunderstanding, so I straightened my back and walked through the gate.

Now, where are Ciel and Suzume? The barrier is actually more like a fort, with barracks, towers, stables, and command posts. I won’t be able to find them by just walking around.

I tried to ask someone, but the people around me just surrounded me from a distance and made a fuss. I felt like I had become some kind of rare animal.

I guess I’ll have to go back to the gate and ask a soldier. It’s one thing for the beastman Ciel, but the kijin Suzume should stand out, so there shouldn’t be anyone who doesn’t know her if they work in the same place. Oh, but if Suzume is wearing a hat, there’s a possibility that the people around her don’t realize she’s a kijin. I have to be careful not to say anything careless.

As I was about to turn back on my heels, I saw two familiar figures coming out of a nearby building – the one I judged to be the command post – with great momentum. And then they recognized me and ran up to me breathlessly.

Of course, they were Suzume and Ciel.

“Sora-san, welcome back! You’re already back!”

“Welcome back…!”

Ciel greeted me cheerfully, followed by Suzume.

I replied to them with a “I’m back” while casually observing their appearance. As far as I can see, neither of them seems to be injured. They don’t have dark circles under their eyes from the continuous fighting either. As I thought, the appearance of monsters is much slower than during the monster stampede.

I sighed inwardly with relief and asked the two of them a question.

“I’m glad you two are doing well. So, I heard from Priestess Sarah that Lunamaria and Miroslav are also here, are they okay?”

“Yes, of course they are fine! They are in the forest right now, so they are not here.”

Ciel nodded vigorously and answered my question.

I asked them again with a puzzled look.

“In the forest? I heard it was a request to exterminate the monsters that came out of the forest, are they going in and killing them?”

That would make the danger level much higher. Of course, they wouldn’t go as far as the deep or, let alone, the deepest part of the forest, but the current Titis Forest is in a state where the conventional divisions – outer, deep, and deepest – don’t make sense because of the aftermath of Hydra’s appearance. It wouldn’t be strange if a deep monster showed up in the outer part at any moment.

In response to my question, Ciel and Suzume looked at each other. It was not a look of confusion, but a look of consultation as to who would answer.

After a while, Suzume opened her mouth.

They went into the forest not to exterminate, but to guide. They were asked by the people of the Temple of Law to have someone who knows Titis Forest guide them.”

I had question marks dancing in my head as I listened to Suzume’s answer. Why did the Temple of Law ask for a guide to Titis Forest?

I was about to ask more, but I saw the two of them with troubled faces and hurriedly shut my mouth. If I kept asking questions one after another, it would seem like I was blaming them. Besides, they wouldn’t be able to answer the intentions and purposes of the Temple of Law anyway.

I guessed that Lunamaria and Miroslav had some reason to go into the forest at this time, since they accepted the request on their own. There was no point in me saying anything about it now.

Rather than that, I had to praise the two of them for risking their lives for the clan and joining this request.

I was about to open my mouth and say that, but then I saw someone coming out of the command post after Suzume and Ciel, and I had to shut my mouth again.

“…It’s been a while, dragon slayer.”

The one who said that with a stiff expression and bowed her head was Lidelle, the receptionist of the Adventurer’s Guild.

This was the first time I saw her face since I invited her to my house at her request after the Hydra battle. In other words, it was the first time since I sent her back without doing anything to her after she tried to sacrifice herself for Elgart.

I don’t know what kind of settlement the guild had internally after that, but the fact that Lidelle is still working as a staff member means that Elgart was somehow able to keep his position as guild master.

That’s fine. What I don’t understand is why Lidelle came to talk to me. She didn’t come to say something like “Thank you for not doing anything to me and sending me back that time”.

She came out right after Ciel and Suzume, which was not a coincidence. If Lidelle had been talking to them, I couldn’t help but listen to what they were saying.

She seemed to sense my wariness, and she looked clearly nervous. But that was not because she had something shady, but because she was worried that her presence would offend me.

As proof of that, when I returned her greeting briefly, she visibly relaxed. Then she bowed her head again and invited us three to a room inside the com

According to Lidelle, the “people of the Temple of Law” that Suzume had mentioned just before were an advance party sent by the Holy Kingdom. Their purpose was to set up the base points for the barrier magic before the arrival of the Pope.

The request to exterminate the monsters brought in by the “Blood Spraying Sword” this time was also linked to this.

The advance party included some very high-ranking priests, which suggested that the Temple of Law and the Holy Kingdom were serious about this matter.

There are many believers of the Temple of Law living in the Canaria Kingdom, such as Priestess Sarah and Iria. Besides, if the turmoil in the Canaria Kingdom continues, it will also affect the neighboring Holy Kingdom. Considering these things, the Pope probably decided that he could not sit idly by in this situation.

Thinking about it, it makes sense that the Pope’s arrival in Canaria was so quick for the wedding of Prince Azar and Princess Sakuya. The construction of the barrier magic was also on the Pope’s schedule besides the wedding.

However, there was a talk that the horn of the King of Beasts Behemoth was necessary for the barrier, but I wonder how that is going. Maybe they had a spare one in the Holy Kingdom. Or maybe they need the horn of Behemoth to maintain the barrier for a long time, but it’s okay with human magic power for a short time, something like that.

Anyway, I want to express my sincere respect for the Pope’s decision to work hard for another country. Poison is a threat to me personally, but especially to the people around me, especially the children. No matter how much antidote we can prepare, it’s better not to be exposed to poison in the first place.

After finishing telling me all the information, Lidelle said the expected line at the end.

“Your knowledge of the Titis Forest, especially the deeper areas, is one of the best in Ishka, Lord Sora. Could you please lend us your strength?”

How many times have I heard this? The receptionist bowed her head deeply. As I was about to reply, it happened.

Clang! Clang! Clang! A high-pitched bell rang out.

When I looked out the window, I saw a soldier on the lookout tower ringing the bell frantically while pointing in the direction of Titis.

A little later, words like “attack” and “monster” came into the room in fragments. Seeing me frown, Lidelle said calmly.

“It’s probably one of the attacks that happen several times a day. We have enough forces, so I don’t think there’s a problem.”

“Isn’t it bad if Ciel and Suzume don’t go out?”

“They are off duty today, so they have no obligation to participate in the battle. Don’t worry.”

This was another calm response. I couldn’t help but frown in a different sense, wondering why it wasn’t the two of them but her answering. Nevertheless, it was true that a defensive position of this scale would not be shaken by a minor attack.

Unless it was an assault on the level of a monster stampede――――before that thought could finish, a piercing scream struck my ears.

Not just one. Two, three, four, five… and still continuing. The surprise and tension on Lidelle’s face made it clear that this was an emergency.

In the meantime, an especially loud scream rose. The source of the scream was a soldier from the lookout tower we had just seen.

A black shadow clung to the soldier’s body, enveloping him.

I immediately tried to unleash my Kei technique from this room, but the abrupt end of the scream made me realize it was too late.

The dead body, its neck slashed open, fell from the lookout tower. What remained was a black monster, standing on two legs, moving its two arms, baring its fangs and tearing the soldier’s neck apart.

“Ghouls – no, black ghouls, Alghouls!? Why are there undead monsters here!?”

The name of the attacker was uttered by Lidelle with astonishment.

Ghouls are often equated with zombies, but they are much stronger than zombies. And black ghouls, Alghouls, are powerful undead that can be called the superior species of ghouls.

There are many monsters and beasts in the Titis Forest, but there are no undead monsters. At least, I have never seen them.

Of course, I can’t say for sure that there are no unlucky adventurers who died in the forest and became undead, but if such undead came at us in groups of ten or twenty, it would not be a natural phenomenon but a human-made plan.


The moment I guessed the enemy’s identity, the face of Jijinbo, whom I had cut down the other day, flashed through my mind. The flag-bearer of the Mitsurugi family who used undead monsters to attack the royal capital Horus and the Dragnot Duke’s mansion.

But well, I doubt that the Mitsurugi family is behind this. I just defeated the demon god the other day. They should know that ghouls and alghouls, no matter how many hundreds of them there are, won’t do any good to kill me.

The purpose of this attack is not me. Then, who is it?

The natural enemies of the necromancer are the gods and the clergy who serve them. In that case, is the target the advance party of the Holy Kingdom that was mentioned earlier?

While organizing my thoughts in my head, I draw and release the sword at my waist.

I don’t care if my guess is wrong. But if it’s right, Lunamaria and the others who are acting with the advance party will get caught up in it.

I didn’t intend to let someone I don’t know or care about hurt my valuable source of souls.

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