Friday, August 26, 2022 @

Chapter 71 Journey to Death

 Right now, I was summoned to the Adventurers' Guild.
 "This is going to cause a big commotion, so we're trying to keep it quiet..."
 After saying this, the guild official's face turns blue.
 I have a bad feeling about this.
 When they say something like this, it's definitely not good news for me.
 And there are two communication crystals in front of me with a special presentation.
 If my hunch is right, it's from the royal family and the Pope...
 "First, let's start with this..."
 The recording crystal projected an image.
 No way... Zect, Lida, Maria... and Mel are all hanging from chains.
 And none of them have complete limbs.
 The closest I can think of is a man-dog (Hitoinu/人犬). (NB: Slum King's pet in Violence Jack manga)
 Around them are piles of corpses.
 Not many beings can do such a thing to Zect and the others.
 Surely, it's the Four Heavenly Kings of the Demon King's Army...?
 "I shouldn't have to ask... but who did this?"
 "The Four Heavenly Kings of the Demon King's Army, Mammon the Strong-Armed... So far none of the former Heroes (Yuusha) have died. After all, Mammon will wait seven days for his execution."
 After seeing this, I want to kill Mammon.
 But he's said to be 'stronger than the Demon King' and 'a bug created by an evil god'... he'll just kill me if I go there.
 In my head, I've thought of many ways to defeat this man.
 I made preparations to defeat him... and the result was... 'impossible'.
 If I'm going to defeat Mammon... it may sound foolish, but I need to use a large number of people and beat him with the 'logic of numbers'... that's the only way I can think of.
 But why in the world would this guy wait for 7 days?
 "Because you are the last one of ex-Hero (Yuusha) party to fight... He is waiting for your arrival... If Ceres-sama doesn't fight, in 7 days he will execute Hero (Yuusha) and kill everyone in the town."
 Still, what are the people of the town doing...? They could just run away.
 "Why aren't the people in the town running?"
 More images appeared on the recording crystal.
 Countless bodies of knights and soldiers were piled up, blocking the gate.
 It was as if hundreds of corpses had been stuffed into a hole... or so it seemed.
 Because of that, there is no way to get through here without moving the corpses.
 No, if I think about it, a normal person would be too scared to go through here.
 They're probably all shivering in their houses.
 With four people in captivity, not going is not an option for me.
 But the question is how to help them.
 If I just go in there aimlessly, there will be more corpses.
 But I want to save them from pain...
 I want to help them...
 I can't escape...
 Now, my head is whirling...
* * *
 Soon, I realized there is no point in thinking for myself alone
 There are three communication crystals... probably from the Empire, the Kingdom, and the Holy Church.
 But first, I want to ask a favor from the Dhamar Kingdom.
 So, I've decided to speak from Dhamar Kingdom.
 "Ceres-dono... now that you've heard it... what are you going to do?"
 "It's not an option, not to fight, but I need you to do me a favor."
 "You're going to fight...? Even if that Mammon gets away, if you want... we'll fight him."
 "The four members of Hero (Yuusha)'s party have known each other since childhood... they can't escape... but I have a favor to ask."
 "If you're going to fight Mammon, then we as a kingdom will do our utmost to support you."
 What I'm asking the kingdom to do is to take care of Shizuko and the others.
 If they know I'm going to fight, they will definitely follow me.
 After all, Mammon is simply strong.
 He will not be able to lure them away.
 Shizuko and the others are not a good match for him.
 That's why I asked King Zammark to stop them.
 "Ceres-dono, we've kept this information quiet, fortunately Ceres-dono's wives and Mariane know each other, so we'll send an appointment for them to come to the castle... how about that?"
 It was a great help.
 "Thank you very much I owe you a great debt of gratitude."
 "Ceres-dono, I won't say a word... just come back alive."
 Now I have nothing to worry about.
* * *
 Next... the church...
 I know what will be said and I know what the answer will be.
 "Ceres-dono... now that you know what's going on, the question is, what do we do about the former four?"
 What does he mean by "former"?
 "Pope, what do you mean by former?"
 "I didn't think it would come to this, but a while ago Zect-dono asked me to resign as Hero (Yuusha) and I accepted his resignation... so what is Ceres-dono going to do?"
 "What kind and how is it happening?"
 I heard that there are two different opinions in the church.
 In a nutshell...
 'There is no need to send me since I am not a Hero (Yuusha) party any more.'
 'I should be sent because of my past achievements'.
 What surprised me more was that I had become the leader of the Hero (Yuusha) party 'Light of Hope' since Zect and the others had quit, and Shizuko and the others had become regular members of the party.
 But I have already made up my mind.
 "Of course, I won't run away from this duel... I just don't want to die in vain... I'm planning to find some way to take advantage of Mammon."
 "I see... You're going to do it... I think you're a true hero (Eiyuu) just for taking the fight to Mammon... But I have some advice for you as a church... As for Mammon... all I can say is that he is strong... 'Many heroes (Eiyuu), and heroes (Yuusha) challenged him in the past but could not hurt him'... that is all I can say... he is an enemy but he is invincible, that is the best word for him. "
 After the Pope said so, somehow I have a memory in my head of a being who hurt 'Mammon'.
 I thought I had read a book about it somewhere... but if I could read a book about it, how could the Church not know about it?
 "So I have a favor to ask you."
 "You are one of the Hero (Yuusha) party, and a true hero (Eiyuu) who will challenge even Mammon... So tell me anything... and I will support you with everything the church has to offer."
 If that's the case, I asked for a team of healers... and a personal request to the Pope.
 After all, I can't win, no matter how much I think about it... but I still go.
 That's a choice I have to make.
 "I understand... I can't send them to the battlefield, but I'll send a team of healers nearby... and I understand your other request, I'll make sure it's ready."
* * *
 "Ceres-kun, someone has asked us a request, so we'll be leaving now."
 "Sorry, we'll be gone for about a week."
 "Ceres-san, we're sorry, we can't have men on the job."
 "Ceres-chan, we'll see you later."
 "Ah, good timing, I'm going out for a while for a request too... Have a nice trip."
 """"We're off.""""
 I'm sorry everyone... if I make it back alive I'll apologize to you to the death.
 While thinking so, I saw them off... and I went on my way too.

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