Chapter 25.2 : Tower of Striges
… … …
I notice an unusual phenomenon.
「Could it be … a barrier」
Somehow, I can feel a different magic barrier than the last time.
It seems there’s a detection inhibition barrier present within the tower.
Though Chiyuki-san might be able to unearth more information, I, of all people, is the worst choice in this area.
Moreover, it seems that the one who set this power has quite the powerful darkness power.
「Don’t tell me it really is in this place?」
If that was the case, it’s way too easy. But, I couldn’t feel any Striges with such powerful magical power previously.
「What’s the matter, Shirone-sama? 」
Rember approaches with an unsteady gait.
「To go, of course. We entered from the sky last time, and since you guys are with me this time, we are entering from the front」
In fact, the top floor of this tower is the residential area of the Striges.
We thought we had beaten all of those Striges since there was nothing but signs of undead even with Nao-chan’s detection ability, so we left it as it was.
There should be some remnants of traps, for repelling the intruders, and undead inside the tower.
But, seeing that we have already arrived all the way here, I might as well as search from the residential area, which I am yet to see, all the way toward the lowest floor. I’m thinking of breaking from the front gate since none of the other members can fly in the sky.
Moreover, I don’t know what is waiting in there.
However, once I enter this tower, I will know about it immediately.
「Since it’s better if I work alone, do your best to protect your life, everyone. If you think that the situation is dangerous, run immediately」
I mention the same things that Chiyuki-san said to me as protective measures. To be honest, I wish they do not force themselves. I’ll be troubled if they die.
Thus, we went into the tower.
=== === ===
◆ Dark Knight Kuroki
That was close.
Just how many times have I felt like this today?
Glorious is inside that tower.
It all began when Rember came to Gallios’s house in a hurry.
It thought that this will expose my identity.
But, it seems I’m completely wrong.
The one who raised the request to Rember was Shirone.
Though I never expected that Shirone will be there, I’m glad that I hid my face with a cloth to hide the red marks on my face.
After that, I understood from Shirone’s reaction that nothing was reported to Reiji-tachi.
But then, a completely different problem surfaced.
At this rate, Shirone will meet Glorious. One way or another, Glorious will be defeated by Shirone.
We arrived at the tower without me being able to devise any good idea.
「I’m sorry…. Kuro-dono….」
Nimri’s apologizing to me.
I was the one who hauled the seemingly-about-to-collapse Nimri by the time we arrived at this tower.
Though Nimri barely made it to the tower, some of the freedom fighters were left stranded inside the forest. I pray for their safe return.
Though we’ve subjugated demons in the forest, it doesn’t mean there’s none left anymore. Danger could be lurking everywhere.
Are they going to be alright? The humans of this world are weaker compared to summoned people like us, after all.
Moreover, people who managed to arrive until this place are gasping for their breath, unable to move their body.
However, Shirone hurriedly jumped into the tower, leaving the other immobile people behind.
I wish she’ll at least pity these people but that’s impossible according to Shirone’s personality.
Shirone is strict toward men.
To be exact, it’s toward the men weaker than her. I can somehow guess the reason for that.
There wasn’t a male kid born in Akamine house, Shirone’s family.
Though he never said it loudly, uncle Akamine might have wished for a boy child to inherit the dojo.
And I think those wishes of his unknowingly came out in his attitude.
Maybe Shirone had also guessed her father’s wish for a boy. That’s why she does her best to not lose to men.
Thus, Shirone became far more powerful than men around her age. Consequently, Shirone hated men far weaker than herself.
Thinking that girls are weaker, Shirone saved those weak girls from brutish men. For that reason, Shirone was extremely popular amongst the females.
I noticed that the reason Shirone rampaged to exterminate the evil guys is also due to the influence of manga and novels that she liked.
I recall the memories of my past when I role-played as the villain while playing with Shirone.
I happily took up the role of the villain since Shirone loved to be the protagonist.
Lately, I have come to realize that I might have been hated by Shirone since I was exactly that kind of villain.
Also, Shirone definitely loved the kind of man who saved girls and fought against evil like the ones in the story. And I know that man is Reiji.
Maybe Reiji is that kind of existence for Shirone.
Moreover, against myself, I mean a villain, I am even hiding my identity from Shirone.
But, I won’t let Shirone become a dragon slayer hero this time around.
When I look at the status of the group, it seems that Rember and Gallios have recovered enough to be able to move. Then, we chase after Shirone in the order of the recovery.
Naturally, it includes me too.
Well then, what should I do. I have to do something about this situation. I tightly gripped the necklace in my bosom pocket while trying to sketch a plan.
Since Striges are a winged race, the entrance to their residence doesn’t have to be on the first floor.
That entrance is there for the sake of letting their prey, humans, to enter the tower.
According to Rember, despite the surrounding countries’, including the Rox Kingdom’s, attempts to subjugate the tower via subjugation parties, none of those who entered the tower returned. Maybe their blood was sucked by the Striges until they died and were then turned into undead.
There are still numerous traps and demons to capture the intruders of the tower even now.
It’ll be okay, though. After all, Shirone and I are going along with them.
「Come to think of it Kuro-dono, why are you covering your face with that cloth?」
Rember’s question hit my sore spot perfectly.
Though I do have many reasons to hide my face, the most urgent reason, for now, was to hide my identity from Shirone. However, to be honest, there’s no way I would say that. What should I do? Deceive him?
「Well, you see, Rember」
Gallios approaches Rember while beaming and then whispers something to him.
「I see, so that’s the reason. Even Kuro-dono unexpectedly does that, huh」
Rember smiles while speaking those words.
「Hey?! What did you tell him?!!」
I protest against Gallios’s action.
It seems he won’t accept my reason for hiding my face since I have no idea of what happened last night.
「Oops, my bad. Let’s get going then」
「Yeah, Kuro-dono. We’ll be left behind by Shirone-sama」
The duo moves ahead with those weird smiles on their faces.
Though it’s vexing, I have nothing to comment on this matter either; I enter the tower after them.
The tower’s interior is gloomy and spacious; I’m fine since I have night vision, but Gallios couldn’t see anything.
Though the magician Nimri can illuminate the space with magic, it isn’t to the point of being able to illuminate this ginormous tower completely.
Shirone won’t even care about things like her comrade’s pace inside such a gloomy tower. She will advance at her own pace.
「Rember, I think this tower is still dangerous even without those Striges. Is it okay to let that little miss go ahead of us?」
Gallios is saying so while looking at Shirone who’s walking ahead of us.
「No need to worry about that. Shirone-sama is far stronger than any of us」
Shirone’s appearance is that of a lovely girl. She doesn’t seem to be that powerful from Gallios’s perspective.
「Shirone-sama is a skilled swordswoman. Even more, though not that skilled in it, she’s a magic warrior who can use sunlight magic, recovery magic, and spirit magic. We won’t able to beat her even if we ganged up on her. That’s why we have to do our best to protect our lives to make sure we don’t become a hindrance to her」
Rember issues such instructions to the other freedom fighters.
「Nimri-sensei, please illuminate our surroundings with magic; Stor, please heighten your vigilance to detect anything unusual. The people behind, go forward to protect Nimri and Stor」
The vanguard was the same as yesterday, Steros, with me being the rear guard.
It seems that Steros himself wished to be the vanguard.
It seems he possesses some sort of impure thoughts toward Shirone and might be wanting to see Shirone’s back by acting as the vanguard.
It’s not like I don’t understand his feelings after seeing her wear that kind of costume in yesterday’s parade. However, she’s wearing her normal combat attire today.
Naturally, I’ll stop him at all costs if he’s trying to do something to her.
Shirone suddenly comes to a halt.
「Something is there」
Stor, walking right behind her, suddenly points forward as he noticed something.
Though Gallios might not be able to see it, my eyes can see what’s ahead of us.
It was a zombie. Moreover, it seems like a former human too since they’re armed.
It may be members of one of the previous subjugation teams. There are five of them slowly coming toward us.
After she loudly uttered, a dazzling light comes out from Shirone’s hand and shines over the zombies.
Sunshine magic could only be used by high ranking priests.
The body parts of zombies coming into contact with the light start evaporating. They disappeared a few minutes later, leaving behind their clothes and equipment.
「Amazing, to insta-kill them….」
Nimri is admiring Shirone’s skill.
Undead is an extremely troublesome opponent as normal attacks won’t work on them.
Moreover, those zombies were skilled persons when they’re alive. The sword-wielding zombie from before also showed signs of having wielded a shield.