Saturday, October 15, 2022 @

Chapter 185 What Nagisa Said

 "Nagisa, are you there?"
 "...Come in."
 I knocked on the door of Nagisa's private room.
 Her voice was dignified like the sound of a bell. It was the first time I heard Nagisa's voice in a month.
 I open the door and enter the room... A female samurai in a kimono and hakama with bluish-black hair in a ponytail is waiting for me sitting on the tatami floor, bowing deeply with three fingers on the floor.
 "I have been waiting for your safe return, My Lord."
 "I heard that your expedition was a triumph. Your bravery in destroying the enemy in an unfamiliar land with impunity is truly remarkable."
 "...Forget the formal greetings. Raise your head already."
 Nagisa looks up as ordered.
 Her face is resolute and strong-willed. Her eyes are as straight as they were a month ago.
 Naturally, my cheeks relax in front of the beauty of this beautiful swordswoman.
 "Huff... It's been a long time. I'm glad to see you're doing well."
 A month is not a long period, but I am strangely struck with a sense of nostalgia.
 Perhaps Nagisa Seikai has become such a part of my life.
 "Yes, I am glad to see that my Lord is in good health. More importantly... Excuse me!"
 "I missed you! My Lord!"
 Nagisa stood up and hugged me.
 Her rich breasts are pressed against me through her kimono, and our lips collide without hesitation.
 "My Lord! My Lord...!"
 "Hey...!? A-All of sudden, why are you being too aggressive!? What the hell are you doing!?"
 I shouted in protest.
 Even Aeris had never attacked me with such a fast reaction.
 After all, I had not expected that Nagisa Seikai, a loyal warrior, would be so fierce in her demands.
 "Muu... Please forgive me. But I have not been able to see you for a long time, and I have been worried about you so much that I could not sleep at night, my Lord..."
 Nagisa's shoulders slump.
 Surprisingly... it seems that Nagisa was more worried than Aeris. Her dignified eyes become unreliable as if she were a child separated from her parents.
 "Even at night when I could sleep, I dream of it. I dream of the day when Shinya Kushinagi, my bitter enemy, attacked my dojo. I know it was shameful of me, but I was afraid of what might happen to the Lord."
 "Ah... I see. I see what you mean."
 Nagisa had once lost her family and all of her comrades to a dark swordsman named Shinya Kushinada.
 She had lost everything once before and she was worried that the same would happen to me.
 "...I'm sorry for worrying you. I should have come home earlier."
 "No, it's not my Lord's fault. It's all because of my immaturity and stupidity. It's me who should ask for forgiveness."
 "No, that's... it doesn't worth it to talk like this. Let's get down to business."
 I pull away Nagisa's body from my body and sit down on the tatami mat.
 The Baskervilles' mansion is basically a western-style room, but Nagisa's room is on tatami mats. The furniture and other furnishings are all in Japanese style.
 Well, the room had been remodeled for Nagisa, a native of Zipangu in the East, as a reward for the female swordsman who had worked so hard for me.
 "I'd love to take my time and celebrate our reunion, but I'd rather talk business first. Tell me about it."
 "It seems you're talking about Brave, huh...? I understand, I'll let you know."
 Without asking for everything, Nagisa understood what I wanted to know and began to speak in an upbeat tone.
 "While my Lord was away, several incidents took place in the Slayers Kingdom. The main one was the attack of demons, that is, the attack of the demon king's army."
 Since the Demon King's resurrection, the movement of demons has become more and more active.
 In the game, there were also events in which villages and towns were attacked and destroyed, and Leon, the main character, was fighting against the demon army.
 "But... the damage to the demons must have been less than expected, right? I mean, Leon had become strong enough. He could have handled it just fine, couldn't he?"
 I cross my arms on the desk and think.
 The damage caused by the outbreak of the demons is still minor compared to the game. It would be strange if it wasn't.
 Because... I had predicted the villages and towns to be attacked from the game scenario in advance, and had sent knights and adventurers to those places.
 Now that I am the head of the Baskerville family, I can negotiate directly with the royal family. I was providing the royal family with predictions of the attack, claiming that I had obtained the information through the Baskerville family's secret agents.
 Of course, I also casually informed Leon the Hero.
 After all, that man had become strong enough. That's why I was able to vacate the Slayers Kingdom and go to the Maafern Kingdom.
 "But... Leon is dead. That's what I heard. What happened to that man?"
 "...The Four Heavenly Kings."
 Nagisa answers my question with a somber look on her face. It was a reply I had not expected.
 "A man claiming to be the "Four Heavenly Kings" of the Demon King's Army has declared war on the 'Alteriore' city with an army. Hearing this, Brave went to the city and confronted the Four Heavenly Kings of the Demon King's Army there. It seems he engaged them in single combat."
 When I heard the name of the city, I recognized it immediately. This was the big battle event in the game too... the 'Battle for the defense of Alteriore'.
 The battle for the defense of Alteriore is a major battle event that occurs near the end of the game, and it is still too early for it to happen.
 Various factors must have accumulated to change the timing of the event. It's just bad luck that the event happened while I was out of the kingdom.
 "...So, he took part in the battle of Alteriore and he was killed?"
 "Yes. I was also in the battle as a volunteer soldier with the Baskervilles' secret service but I was fighting in a different part of the city than Leon. By the time I heard the report, it was too late. Leon had been stabbed to death by the enemy."
 "...Did he not use revival magic? If the war had been declared beforehand, even the high priests would have been standing by."
 "Unfortunately, I don't think they were able to revive him. Leon's body was never found."
 "His body was never found...?"
 What does that mean?
 Did he get blown to pieces by magic?
 "It seems that part of the city caved in under enemy fire. Leon seems to have been dragged under the broken ground. He was swallowed up by the ground together with the Four Heavenly Kings of the Demon King Army with the swords thrust into his chest."
 "The ground caved in... so it was the work of one of the Four Heavenly Kings of the Demon King's Army, Bolfedusa..."
 I remember my knowledge of the game and say the name.
 The Four Heavenly Kings of the Demon King's Army—'General of the Flamebloods' Bolfedusa.
 He is the brain-muscle of the Four Heavenly Kings. He is a muscle-loving, muscular, macho demon who lives for combat.
 He was the strongest man among the Four Heavenly Kings, surpassing even the 'Evil Swordsman' Shinya Kushinagi in terms of fighting ability alone.
 If it is only about troublesomeness, Rujanaga is superior in intelligence and strategy, but if it comes to a head-to-head fight, there is no more troublesome enemy than Bolfedusa.
 "Did he come out here... because of an unexpected turn of events...?"
 In the scenario, the first Four Heavenly Kings Leon fights is another opponent.
 The so-called 'Kukkuku... that's the weakest of the Four Heavenly Kings' is the first demon who fights against Leon.
 However, considering that Shinya Kushinagi and Rujanaga, who were supposed to fight in the second half, have already been defeated, it is not surprising that the scenario may have been changed by the previous events.
 "Indeed, it's not surprising that Leon would lose against that man... just because he's a hero doesn't mean he's immortal."
 O, Hero! It's shameful that he's dead.
 I don't mean to be so selfish and irresponsible.
 Thinking it again... the standard way to conquer an RPG is to repeat the game over again and again and to repeatedly try and level up.
 It is extremely difficult to clear a game on the first try without the help of a strategy book or @Wiki.
 I couldn't blame Leon for being beaten.
 "Still... the hole he left is huge. We haven't even found a hero to replace him yet."
 "...I'm sorry I couldn't save Brave even though I should have been there."
 I can't help but look downcast, and Nagisa looks frustrated as well.
 But I reached out and patted Nagisa on the shoulder, telling her not to worry.
 "I didn't entrust you to babysit Leon. It's just that he had his own adventures."
 Nagisa also participated in the siege of Alteriore, but she was not in the same party as Leon. So, she was not in a position to be held accountable.
 Leon's defeat was his fault. It would be the same if he had died.
 And... there was something I had to do before I could question the responsibility.
 "If Leon is dead, I need to fill the hole he left behind. But... before that, I have to do something first."
 I got up from the tatami.
 I had just returned from a trip to a neighboring country. It's already dark and I have to go out again.
 I clucked my tongue at the thought.
 "I'm going to the trading city of Alteriore and find out if Leon is really dead."

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