Published at 15th of April 2019 11:19:17 PM
Chapter 4

17-4 . Purple Mound


Satou here . Although not to the point of like a bolt out of the blue, I remember feeling absolutely stumped waking up at unknown places after a night out drinking away with friends many times over .
Waking up to a Death Valley-like scenery only happened that one time though .

"Over there, Earl Pendragon . "

Heim-shi of Shiga Eight Swords points at something that looks like a purple mound .

The morning after Bridal Knights formation, he suddenly dropped by my mansion and brought me to capital's outskirts .
We headed to an area barricaded by the capital soldiers to find the aforementioned purple mound .

"This thing?"

Crisis Perception isn't reacting, it doesn't seem that dangerous .
AR reading says, a [Soil Structure] .

I got off my horse, handed over the rein to a knight who led us here, and walked toward the purple mound .

A purple mound is standing at the center of a field that has been fully harvested .
It looks like ruins from Lalakie era somewhat .

"Indeed . This was found when a farmer was making his rounds in this area . "
"You mean this wasn't here before?"
"Yes, according to testimonies of harvesters, this mound was not present up to sunset the day before . "

Fumu, not a Mystery Circle, but a Mystery Monument huh .
I noticed that the maker's name is blank when I check its detailed info . Either this was made by someone with a blank name like I could do, or the name was erased with some kind of mean .
Well, you'd normally think it's the latter, no doubt .

"Perhaps someone created this with earth magic in the middle of the night?"
"I would not have called for Earl Pendragon so early in the morning if it did . "

Heim-shi dismounted, picked up a pebble on the ground and threw it at the purple mound .

"--It passed through the mound?"

The stone Heim-shi threw disappeared into the purple mound, and came out on the other side .

"Is this an illusion?"

I knew it was not despite me asking .
I would have immediately seen through the illusion if it really were .

"It's not . "

Heim-shi grabbed and stopped my arm that was going to reach out to the mound .
Heim-shi turned around and made a signal to a group of people that was already in the area around the mound .
One of the people, a magician wearing a blue sash on top of his robe--Blue Sash of Shiga 33 Wands stepped forward and began to chant a spell . Judging from the chant, it's a summoning magic .

The magician summoned a pigeon and released it toward the mound .

The pigeon nested on one of the bumps on the Purple Mound .
Stones pass through it but it appears that living things can touch it just fine .

"Magic passes through it as well, but not living creatures . "

According to Heim-shi, his light magic and one of the magicians' force magic just went through the mound .

"Watch closely, Earl Pendragon . "

Heim points at the pigeon .
The pigeon started to cry out in pain, so I checked the AR and saw its HP gradually decreasing .

--It's Drain .

Looks like the mound will start draining life force from living things after they come into contact with it for a certain period of time .
However, I didn't saw such a dangerous bit when I checked the mound's detailed info on the AR .

I stare at the purple mound once again .

There's a complex mana flow inside the purple mound . I can't read its effect, not sure if it's because it's not magic .
At the very least, it doesn't seem to be a spell formula for Life Drain nor Mana Drain .

"As you can see . This mound snatches vitality and strength of living beings . "

The pigeon fell on the ground before Heim-shi .
Looks like it's only fainted .

The summoner picked the pigeon up and unsummoned it .

"I was wondering, Earl Pendragon who has traveled all over the world would know about this mound, no?"

Looks like that was the reason why he picked me .

"I think it kinds of resemble ruins left by Lalakie Civilization, I suppose?"
"Fumu . A relic of an ancient civilization huh . . . Even if it has only enough power to kill insects, for something like this to appear suddenly--"

A scholar standing next to the summoning magician nodded, like 'I know what you mean' .
Looks like he's a researcher from the Royal Research Institute .

Numerous dead bodies of small insects are lying on the ground around the purple mound indeed .

"--In my humble opinion, this is some kind of blight . "
"Why not just say it straight? Like, this is the demons' doing . "

The summoner snapped at the scholar .
Ignoring their feud, I walk around the mound, pretending to check it out, then I tested magic edge and holy dagger on it, but they all passed through the mound all the same .

I probably could intervene with the torrent of mana inside the mound if I just put some strength into it, but since it's dangerous as I have no idea what the formula is about, I refrained myself .

"Usasa, lookf at thatf woof . "


"It's likef the thingf at the villagef's squaref!"
"It even gotf the samef colorf too . "

I turn around at the source of accented words and found the dogkin boy, Gaugaru, a graduate of the labyrinth city's Explorer School, [Pendora] .
He's together with his friends, the bunnykin Usasa, Rabibi and the others .

They were among a crowd that had formed outside the soldiers' barricade without my knowledge .

"It's the young masfter!"
"""Young masfter!"""

The Pendora members waved at me .
With that as an impetus, the crowd who were here to look at the purple mound noticed me .

"Am I seeing things or is that--"
"It's the Demon Lord Slayer!"
"Hail Pendragon-sama!"

The crowd began to call out for my name .

"Oy! Don't push! Stop pushing!"

People at the end of the crowd began to push at the barricade to look at me better .
They're ignoring the soldiers telling them to stop, they're gonna crash here if this keeps up .

These people would go straight to the purple mound at this rate, not good .

" . . . ■ Clay Wall!"

Field soil rose up 30 meter tall before the crowd .
The one who cast the magic was a magician with pink blond hair . Since she's wearing a red colored sash which signifies her position in 33 Shiga Wands, she must be a subordinate of the blue sashed summoner earlier .

"Was that of use to you, lord Pendragon?"

The beautiful magician turned around and let out a smile .

"Why yes, thank you . "

When I frankly thanked her, the magician had a complicated look on her face .
Looks like my reaction didn't live up to her expectations .

I check her AR reading .

She's called Athena, with [Sakura Guardian] title, I kind of remember her .
She was the girl I met at the base of the huge sakura tree at the royal castle when I first visited the castle right after I became a Mithril explorer .
If I recall right, she had a little feud with Mia due to her sense of rivalry against Boruenan Forest elves .

Since it's a story long past and not like it's got anything to do with me, I nod at her to end the conversation and ask one of the soldiers to fetch Usasa and the others .
Not because I know them, but because I heard them saying something curious .

"""Young masfter! Congratulationsf for the formationf of your privatef knights!"""

I promptly say, "Thanks" to them and get to the point .

"Everyone, have you seen something like this before?"
"Un, we have . "
"No idea what is it, but that thing sprouted up in the village's square this morning . "
"It sprung up like nyoki-nyoki-nyoki woof . "
"It shone bright before it did, didn't it . "
"Right right . Was doing a night watch, then suddenly a magic circle-like something on the ground, that surprised me kuma . "
"Kubea's scream woke us up . "
"I didn't scream kuma! I was just a bit startled kuma . "

I ask them more questions while arranging their words and the content of their testimonies in my head .

"Did you hear a chant before the magic circle showed up?"
"I didn't kuma . "
"Neither did I . "

"Kinda felt like I heard a grating sound like 'kiiin' . "

Rabibi added more testimony to the two who were on night duty .

"The mound was at the center of the magic circle?"
"That's right kuma . "
"Was the mound already purple from the beginning?"
"Yup, I think it was . And since the magic circle also shined purple, so was the magic circle's color, I think . "

In the middle of the night, a purple magic circle manifested in the village's square, and then soil rose up to form a mound in the center of a magic circle shining purple .

"We tried to poke the mound with a stick and it just passed through . "
"Touching it made me lose strength, it felt yucky kuma . "
"So, we woke everyone, and ran here to inform young master . "

And then they met me by chance here when they took a shortcut through the field from the west gate .
Dryad might have a hand in leading them here indirectly .

"I see . I'm grateful for the valuable information . "

I convey their testimonies to Heim-shi of Shiga Eight Swords .
Information about the appearances of purple mounds in other place and that it was created by some kind of magic was a major one to Heim-shi and the researchers, he smiled broadly and clapped the kids' shoulders, "Well done!"

"Uwaah, it's a Shiga Eight Sword in the flesh . "
"You guys, you're being rude . "
"Right right woof . "

The [Pendora] kids seemed to be fans of Shiga Eight Swords, they were elated to receive a thanks from Heim-shi .

"Everyone, you've done a good job . Since it'd be a struggle to reach my mansion, you should take some rest in one of my villas instead . "

I took a paper out, drew a map on it and handed it over to Usasa .
It's close to the market, so it's an ideal spot if they want to tour the capital .

"Oh right, this is for you, young master . "

Rabibi fetched a bundle of letters from his knapsack and handed it to me .
The topmost letter has the name Iruna and Jena of [Beautiful Wings], who are working as teachers at Explorer School, written on it . A letter from those two, that's rare .

"Teachers were wishing for more staff, they said . "

--I see .

"The Explorer School's selection test was incredible woof . "
"Lots of knights-sama and nobles-sama kuma . "
"Like that princess with a gigantic hammer, it was amazing . "

Skimming the letter over, it was a petition to change the way recruitments work since nobles and knights were flooding in the selection tests, thus they were losing time to teach students .
Looks like the effect of Demon Lord Slayer even manifested here .

--Oh .

Looking at Map, I saw that Pochi and Tama have just started their daily morning practice .

『I'm sorry you two, but could you do me a favor?』
『Aye aye sir~』
『Acknowledged nanodesu . 』

I took the readily consenting two here behind a nearby tree with Space magic .

"Rabibi nanodesu! Ah, Gaugaru and Kubea's here too nodesu!"
"""Tama neesan!"""
"""And Pochi neesan!"""

Pendora kids were ecstatic when they saw Tama and Pochi .
The kids whose names didn't get called were pointing to themselves while looking like they were saying, "Me, what about me?", seeing that Pochi looked like she was at a loss for words for a bit and then said, "Everyone, you have done well to come here nanodesu!" to brush over it .

"Sorry but could you two please show them the way to the downtown villa?"

There's a lot of people in the royal capital, I'm worried whether they can arrive at the villa otherwise .

"Yes nanodesu . Pochi is a pro at showing ways to people nanodesuyo!"

While smiling and praising Pochi for her yet another pro, I sent everyone off .

"Now then--"

These purple mounds are either related to demons, or gods, or neither at all . . .

For now, I'll check out the most likely location first .
I connect to Arisa and Sera at Pendragon Mansion with space magic [Tactical Talk] .

『Sera-san, sorry but could you ask Head Miko at the Duchy Capital--Lily-sama as to whether she received an oracle about purple mounds . 』
『Yes, very well . 』
『Arisa, sorry but could you take Sera-san there . 』
『Yesh yesh, jusf leave it to me~』

I ask the still half-asleep Arisa to teleport Sera while informing them about Purple Mounds .
Right afterward, it hit me that I could have just asked the head miko myself as Hero Nanashi, but well it's too late now, might as well entrust it to Sera .

<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka . com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel . >

"None of the mikos at every temple including Lily-sama received an oracle of such . "

Sera who had just come back from the duchy capital reported to me .

"Sete told me that he didn't receive a report about that from other cities and towns either, though there was another one near the capital . "

Hikaru who had gone asking the king told me .
Looks like he had been checking towns and villages in Shiga Kingdom after the report from Pendora came in .

"Master, got a follow-up report from Echigoya Firm . The mounds showed up in other countries as well . "

Arisa who came out of the gate told me .
The purple mounds have shown up in cities and areas around towns where Echigoya Branch Offices are located .  

Instead of a simultaneous global terror attack, it's a simultaneous global construction effort huh . . .
It would have been simple if I could just search them on Map, but [Soil Structure] spat back too many results, there's no way to distinguish them .

I tried to look at some of them near Echigoya Branch Offices with space magic [Clairvoyance] and found out that they were all structurally identical .

"I guess this is a new ploy by the demons?"
"Don't you think the scale is too big for demons?"

It's one thing if it's limited to a city or a country somewhere, but such a large scale like this should be infeasible for demons .

"But master can do it, right?"
"Well, yeah, I can--"

I affirmed Arisa .

The plan was to visit [Realm of Gods] once I was done with Bridal Knights formation ceremony, but it seems like I'll have to postpone it .

"That face--"

Arisa went around me, placed both her hands on my face and then peeked at it .

"--You're trying to bear the burdens all alone again, aren't you?"

As expected of Arisa .
She can see through everything .

"Just leave things here to us . "
"Arisa is correct . We shall protect the people in your place, master . "
"Un, Liza is right . We'll make sure to house-sit well while you're away, don't worry . "

Arisa, Liza and Hikaru told me that, then the other girls also nodded reassuringly .

"I got it . I'll be on my way after checking some things out . "

"Sorry for asking your assistance out of nowhere . "
"Please don't worry about it . Pipin and me are loyal extensions of your limbs, Kuro-sama . "

I've come to a depopulated village at the outskirts of the eastern country group .
I was thinking of checking out the purple mounds for a bit before departing for God's Realm .

I have given more than enough compensations to the inhabitants of this depopulated village and have them take shelter at a nearby town .

I look at the purple mound at the outer edge of the village .

Its aspect of being permeable to tangible attacks bears a striking resemblance to the [Demon God's Offshots] that were once summoned to the capital .
If it's related to demons, I'll let the girls handle it even if they're up against demon lords, but if it's related to gods, especially if it's a ploy to resurrect demon god, things could go south if I just thoughtlessly leave them behind .

"Sharururun, I have checked the surrounding area . Confirmed that there's no one who missed out evacuating . "
"Well then, you two, please take some distance . "

The two people helping me are the former phantom thieves and the current members of Intelligence office of Echigoya Firm, Sharururun and Pipin .
After confirming that the two have evacuated the area, I approach the purple mound that's appeared near the depopulated village .

I put up multifold barriers so the village won't feel the shockwave and then I use advanced magic on the purple mound .

--No change .

Magic don't work on it just like holy swords and magic edge .

Next, I tried to pierce it with a dragon fang sword, but it just passed through the mound .
I was hoping that this could destroy the mound, but even a dragon fang sword that holds the [Pierce Everything] property doesn't work on something that's intangible to physical objects .

Lastly I draw the Divine Sword and hit the purple mound with it .

--Ooh .

Like a water droplet on a frying pan, the purple mound dispersed away as if it's an illusion .

"Hyuu, nice goin'"
"Looks like it went well . "

Pipin and Sharururun came back .

"Does this mean we don't have to go to the next village?"
"No, there's still one thing I'd like try yet . "

Led by Pipin, we went to another depopulated village at the neighboring mountain, then I used anti-god magic on the second purple mound there and confirmed that the magic was able to destroy it .

This means Arisa, Hikaru and Mia can deal with these mounds even if something goes wrong .

◇◇◇ POV Change: Arisa ◇◇◇

"Well then, I'll be off . I'll leave the rest in your hand . "
"Un, just leave it to us . "

It's the day Master departs for [Realm of Gods] .

He's departing for the Sanctuary of Tenion Temple at the Duchy Capital as appointed by gods .
Jealousy welled up within me at Sera who would go with Master until midway through, but as Master's sole familiar, I will display the extent of my caliber here and watch over them with a smile .

"Mwu, lovers' hand hold . "

Mia murmured .

--Mumumu .

"Well, that much is--"

I'm maintaining my calm expression .

"Guilty . "

Ahead of Mia, Sera interlocked her fingers with master's, pulling over to lean on him .

Recently, Master often ogled Sera and her remarkable growth on chest area .
He's had Poker Face on, but he's definitely enjoying the softness and fluffiness, I'm super sure of it .

I mean, my Familiar Sensor and Maiden Sensor are blaring hard .

I've gotta teach master, an inhabitant of planet oppai, the allure of chippai . <TLN: Chicchai (small) oppai . >
Mito calmed me down when I reflexively rolled up my sleeves and stepped forward .

"No one would have a hard time if that much was enough to take him down . "

It's got some weight when said by the childhood friend .

Master who had separated away from Sera after Mia pointed that out teleported to the duchy capital soundlessly .
For some reason Nana also teleported together with them . She must have wanted to meet the sealkin children at the duchy capital .

"Oh right, Arisa-chan . "

Mito whispers in my ears .

"Manager (Elterina) got a scoop from exclusive intelligent officer (Sharururun) . "

Looks like Master went out at night yesterday .
The former phantom thief name, Sharururun came up in the bit of words I caught on Familiar Link, thus I had asked Mito to check it out at the capital .

"Was it really about purple mounds?"
"Un, looks like he was trying to figure out a way to destroy them . He asked her to give us this letter if there's any sign of something bad happening to the purple mounds . "

The letter said that the purple mounds could be destroyed with anti-god magic .

Looks like his night outing last night was to look for a way to destroy the purple mounds .

"Geez, master is really overprotective and worries too much . "
"Well, that's just how Ichirou-nii--Satou is . "

Mito's and my eyes met and we laughed together .

We're all fine here, so please come home safe--my beloved Master .

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