Three days have passed.
We are still in the village, unable to decide whether or not to accept the King's request.
"Be careful, you might fall in there."
A giant mushroom slowly bends down.
With my special mushroom axe in hand, I watch the villagers flee.
Soon after, the mushroom collapses.
Immediately, the villagers with baskets gathered and cut off pieces of the mushroom with their knives.
Among them was Kaede.
"Master~, tonight I will prepare a delicious mushroom soup for you."
"I can't wait to eat it."
My pretty slave smiled mischievously. All the housewives around me smiled and said things like, "Youth is such a lovely thing" or "They look so cute together"
I wonder what's going on with these people.
Mushrooms are a very desirable food for them.
They grow everywhere and are edible. The taste isn't particularly delicious, but it becomes quite tasty depending on how you cook it, especially if it is crispy.
"Why are you chasing Frau!?"
"Kyu, kyu, kyui!"
"It's not because I look delicious! Stop staring and help me!"
Frau was running through the village. Behind her, a large rock rat was giving chase.
Rock rats are kept in this village as beasts of burden, mainly for transportation.
They are plump and lovely looking, and watching them eat fruit with both their paws was very endearing.
They are very shy animals, but it's a whole nother story when they're with Frau. It seems they enjoy her company very much, and no matter if they're big or small, they are always chasing her, and they also lick her all over, covering her in saliva.
Frau, on the other hand, is quite disgusted by this arrangement.
"Dammit, a wall!"
"Hey, stop it, leave me alone."
Frau gets backed up against a wall, and the rat starts to lick her.
"Kyu, kyu, kyu, kyu!"
The rock rat turns around and stares at Panda.
By the way, Panda usually gets licked too just like Frau. I think it would have been better if he had escaped while Frau was being attacked.
"I see you are settling in nicely here."
"Ah, old Hansel."
The old man casually appears. He had been out hunting a while ago, and had a rabbit in his left hand.
"Well, they're letting me stay here for free, so I have to help out somehow."
"That's very considerate. So, do you have some free time later?"
"Sure, but what do you want me to do?"
"The blacksmith wants to see the sword you're carrying."
He wants to see my sword?
Well, I guess that's okay.
I arrived at the weapons store that old Hansel had told me about. In the store are a lot of high quality weapons.
But what is most striking is the group of old men gathered here.
"Hmmm, it's made of a metal I've never seen."
"Surely it's not made of a material found in these lands. How was it even processed? I can't even imagine that."
"It looks like it was cast, but from another aspect, it also looks forged... What kind of weapon is it?"
"Let me take a closer look... Hmmm, what is this?"
The blacksmiths were gathered together, curiously discussing the sword. In addition, there was a fierce looking person who lightly tapped it with a hammer, examined it under the light and then licked the blade
Umm, I'm not comfortable with a stranger licking my weapon.
"Don't you know what a sacred weapon is?"
All the elders turned their eyes on me. They don't seem to know what I'm talking about.
"A sacred weapon is an object that only the chosen ones can obtain. It looks like a sword now, but it can be transformed into whatever it's wielder desires."
"A sacred sword...? Ho. And where does one obtain such a thing?"
"In a temple. Anyway, it's a powerful weapon that only heroes can use."
"In short, this is some kind of relic?"
The elders started talking to each other and saying things like "This is a relic?" "This is nothing like the sacred swords we know of."
"Are there sacred arms here?"
"I don't know where to find any sacred arms, but I've certainly never seen a relic like this before. You can find many relics that are called sacred swords, but I've never seen or heard of one obtained from a temple."
I see... So sacred arms aren't obtainable in this continent. Or perhaps these people have not traveled far enough to know of their existence.
The relics here are more varied and have better performance, and the sacred swords might even have better performance than my sacred arms.
But still, I like this sword, so I don't plan to change it.
"Well, it's time for you to give it back to me."
"Not yet. I just need a little more time."
"We want to know more."
"We still haven't figured out the secrets of this oddity."
"Well, all right. Do as you like"
The elders were pleased and went back to examining the sword. I don't know what kind of things they will do with the sword, but I will have to wait and see how things go.
Oh right, there was something I wanted to ask old Hansel.
I turn my attention back to him as he sits in a chair near the counter.
He is still half naked and painted all over, barbarian style.
"I've been meaning to ask you something, why are you dressed like that?"
"That way if I'm caught, they'll just think I'm a barbarian."
"Are you expecting to be captured and tortured?"
"It's to protect this place. Rudra is still searching for His Majesty."
He takes out a cup and brings it to his mouth. From the smell, I could tell it was sake.
Hansel was a general.
Originally, he was the chief of staff, but both the general and the vice general died in the last battle, so he was left in command of the army.
Not to mention that this army has also disappeared. There used to be about 6,000 men. Now, they are less than a hundred in total.
"Can't they go somewhere else and try again?"
"That's what we'll do if our final strategy fails. I won't be alive by then. His Majesty and the people left behind will be banished to Galbaran."
"Why do they want to go so far...?"
Hansel answers Kaede's question by saying; "I think it's because I want to reward him."
"When Rudra appeared, he took everything that belonged to us, we were very helpless and desperate, I couldn't do anything about it. If I don't get my revenge, I won't be able to live peacefully after the death of all the innocent people. You have no idea how it makes me feel."
No... You're wrong.
I know that feeling all too well. The pain of having what you love most in the world taken away from you, it's something that poisons your heart.
There is no way I can convince you otherwise. The more important it is, the more it drags your heart into darkness.
You can't help but hate this damn world. You see no hope anywhere, and everything becomes empty and cold.
"I will accept the request.... Although I have to discuss it with my friends first."
"Truly!? His Majesty will be pleased to hear that!"
Next, Hensel called the blacksmith in the store.
"I want you to make a ball this size."
"I wouldn't mind, but... What do you want it for?"
"It's what you call a strategy. The quality of the ball doesn't matter, just make me a hundred of them."
The blacksmiths cocked their heads curiously as he said "balls?"
I won't forgive anyone who steals mercilessly. Whether it's the Demon Lord or the Hero.
Besides, I have to make Rudra pay for what he did to Soara and Pione.
I don't care if he won't leave the country. I'll drag him out of there myself.
We are former heroes who already bested one Demon Lord.
We will become the hope for these people who have lost everything because of that bastard.
Clan clan clan
Suddenly, the sound of bells echoed through the village. It sounded like an alarm for some kind of imminent danger.
Hansel steps out in front and leads the nearby occupants inside.
"Quickly, get in!"
"What's going on?"
"Damn it, Rudra's men are closing in!"
Once the evacuation was complete, Hansel and I peered out the door just above us.
The shadows of multiple Wyverns pass over us.
This rocky mountain has countless valleys that extend like blood vessels, and the valleys themselves are deep, so it's not easy to spot the figure of anyone who's down here.
In addition, the giant mushrooms that grow wild provide a good hiding place.
This is the perfect place to hide.
...At least, it should be, but several bags containing oil are dropped one after another directly from above.
"We've been spotted!"
Following Hansel's words, there was an explosion in the village.