Chapter 25.1 : Tower of Striges
… … …
◆ Dark Knight Kuroki
「I hope you enjoyed the last night to the fullest」
That was the first thing that was mentioned when I left the separate room to Gallios’ house.
To be honest, I couldn’t answer anything since I can’t recall anything that happened last night.
I wonder what had happened last night?
I don’t know about Rena’s goal.
In fact, she must have some sort of emergency event since she left in hurry.
… Or so was supposed to be.
… For some reason, I believe it should be fine.
Because Reiji’s movements have nothing to do against me. Absolutely not.
I got up in the morning and remained bewildered for a long time.
I tidied my messy room up as though I wanted to escape right away.
After that, I noticed that a few hours have passed, and it’ll be bad if I didn’t escape immediately.
When I realized it, my room had become sparkling clean.
It seems I overdid it. Though I didn’t use any softening agent, the sheets have become fluffy and comfy. Good grief, what should I do….
I could determine nothing no matter how much the time passed. I didn’t find any traces of battle in this room.
Could it be that Rena had no intention to have a go with me?
So, she didn’t report about me to Reiji?
Or, did she report to Reiji but gave an evaluation that I’m a worthless existence compared to him?
The last one is the most plausible explanation.
Though I would be angry if that’s the case, as a matter of fact, I don’t know what should I do if that was really the case.
「Kuro, is that girl in there?」
He might be referring to Rena. Gallios is grinning as he asked that question.
「She’s gone when I woke up….」
I reply honestly. I would also like to know the whereabouts of Rena.
Gallios is showing a surprised face after hearing my reply.
「That’s strange, I should know if someone really passes by….」
Maybe she left with flight magic.
Did she go to Reiji’s place?
Gallos is tilting his head while showing a surprised face. But there’s nothing he can do since he doesn’t know about it.
「If you have time after this, Kuro, I suggest you look at your reflection on the mirror. That’s an amazing face you got there」
Gallios is saying so while laughing heartily.
Following Gallios advice, I went to the washroom that has a mirror inside.
The mirrors of this world are made of polished metal. Though it’s rather hard to see my reflection, it’s already sufficient enough.
There’s a trace of assault on my face. And then, there was a lot of something in red color.
「This is…. What kind of red mark is this?」
But, it seems I can wash it.
I pour water from the jug where they kept water to wash my face.
「It won’t disappear that easily….」
Could it be that this red mark is cursed so that it won’t come off that easily?
Abandoning this action, it looks like it’s better to just hide my face for today.
「Gallios-senpai, is Kuro-dono in there!?」
A loud voice suddenly resounded. It was Rember’s voice. What happened?
When I arrived at the living room, Rember is there.
「Senpai!! Kuro-dono!! Please lend me your power!」
Rember bows his head toward Gallios and me out of nowhere.
=== === ===
◆ Sword Maiden, Shirone
Unfortunately, it’s cloudy today.
It doesn’t seem like an enjoyable weather to stroll outside the rampart.
But well, I won’t be asking for more luxury today since I’m not wearing that embarrassing armor anymore.
Today, everyone but me is searching for that pervert.
It’s good if we find a way to go back, but….
To be honest, except for Chiyuki-san, everyone isn’t that keen to go back.
Reiji-kun, Rino-chan, and Nao-chan seem to have no problem with not being able to return.
Sahoko-san is okay as long as she can remain beside Reiji-kun side; Kyouka-san and Kaya-san don’t seem to have intentions to return, either.
Then, what about me?
To be honest, I don’t know.
I’m having fun with everyone. Some parts of me feel relieved that we lost the way to go back.
I’m happy and I still want to be together with everyone.
But, it doesn’t mean that I don’t want to go back at all.
What Chiyuki-san said is correct, there’s someone I want to meet in our world.
I won’t forgive that Diehart, the one responsible for why we lost the way to go back.
I was really annoyed when I lost to that guy.
Maybe I wish for a rematch with that Diehart.
I want to stretch my body a little before the rematch.
That’s why I wanted to go to the tower to blow off some steam.
I stretch myself and then readjust my breathing.
Someone is coming to my side. His name is Rember, a knight of this kingdom. He’ll be my assistant today.
「Shirone-sama, I have gathered all of them」
I turn around after hearing Rember’s report.
There’s a group of men with various kind of weapons gathered near the gate outside the rampart.
They’re the people from the Rox Kingdom who will be coming along with me to investigate the tower.
Since I have no detection skill, Chiyuki-san had appealed to the Rox Kingdom to dispatch manpower.
Naturally, the king agreed to dispatch the kingdom’s personnel.
Well, that’s natural since they’re the ones who were harmed by the Striges.
The number of dispatched personnel is 12. Since Nao-chan isn’t coming with me, we have no choice but to fill the gap with numbers.
The problem is the fact that I don’t know whether they can deal with the demons inside the tower.
Since there should be some demons left inside the tower, even if I’m alright, it might be not the same for them.
Though I won’t say that I’m as strong as Reiji-kun, I want them to be at least strong enough to protect their own self.
Though I know that it’s too pitiful to compare them with the powerful Reiji-kun, it’s just a comparison.
Not good, I haven’t fixed this bad habit of mine.
It’s as Chiyuki-san said, I shouldn’t compare another man with Reiji-kun as the standard.
I bow lightly toward them after looking at them.
「I’m looking forward to working with you today, everyone」
When I bow to them, they also bow.
A look at the members.
First is the leader of this party, Rember. The person is a knight from a family that has served as knights of the Rox Kingdom for generations. He has considerable status in this kingdom due to his betrothal with the princess.
Next is the one who feels like the true-leader, Gallios. Though he seems like a former knight, he is currently working as a freedom fighter. He managed to gather this much personnel in this short amount of time showing his considerable capability.
Next is the ranger, Stor. It seems he is this kingdom’s best ranger and the one who exterminated the demons in the forest together with Gallios.
The magician, Nimri. The person who is working as the staff officer of this party and the magician of Rox Kingdom. He appears like how a normal magician would usually be.
After that, as expected, I can’t remember the names of the other 8 freedom fighters. By the way, I can only remember 4 people amongst them.
These 12 and I combined to form the 13-person party for tower investigation.
「Well, shall we go then, everyone?」
When I say so, a little commotion happened amongst them.
「Uhm Shirone-sama…. Can I have a minute with you? 」
One person comes toward me. It’s the ranger Stor.
「What’s the matter?」
「It’ll take us half a day to arrive at the tower from our position. So, do you want to camp near the tower? We haven’t made any preparations….」
Stor asks so with concern.
「Ah, it’s okay. We will make use of movement type magic」
When I say so, the members blankly stare at each other.
Though not as skillful as Rino, I can use wind spirit magic.
It’s a magic to make the people following behind the user of that wind spirit magic to move at the same speed as the user of the spirit magic with the user as the vanguard.
If I go as the vanguard, I should be able to arrive at the tower within 30 minutes, along with everyone.
Everyone is exchanging looks with each other when I explained it to them.
But, explaining more than this was more troublesome.
「Well then, let’s go!!」
=== === ===
◆ Sword Maiden, Shirone
We arrived at the tower of Striges.
「Eh, did our number just decreased?」
When I look behind, the number of the freedom fighters is lesser than when I met them at the rampart’s gate.
「I…. It seems, s-some of us…. dropped out along the way」
Rember is saying so between his panting breaths.
「I … it seems … t-this speed … is … too much … for them」
I feel disheartened after hearing those words.
I actually lowered my movement speed as much as possible, but it seems that my reduced speed is still too much for them.
Four of the freedom fighters had dropped out. It didn’t take half of them.
The four freedom fighters whose name I remembered, including Rember, were present, too. With a total of 9 members including me, it seems it isn’t possible to search the whole tower. However, when I take a glance at the remaining freedom fighters, all of them save for one have fallen flat on the ground while gasping for breath. To be honest, it seems they’re totally useless in this case.
The sole remaining freedom fighter was the one of those whose name I couldn’t remember. This person is wrapping a cloth around his face to hide it and was calmly nursing Nimri beside him.
Maybe he is the only one available amongst the freedom fighters. Let’s ask for his name again later.
I leave the other freedom fighters under his care and then head toward the tower’s gate.