Chapter 32: The Hero obtains a flying ship
Hero Ruti drew her sword.
There was a gathering of eight monsters, four Titan Crabs, crabs as massive as elephants, and four Hierarch Sphinx with falcon heads.
The Hierarch Sphinx was probably the kin of the Andro-Sphinx with human heads that protected the entrance to that ruins.
“I wonder why are Sphinxes defending this ruins?”
Ares held doubts about the appearances of the Sphinxes fighting without fear of death.
Hierarch Sphinx may have low intelligence but Andro-Sphinx should at the minimum possess intelligence equal to humans.
What was the reason they protected this ruins which nobody came to for countless decades and centuries?
Hero Ruti answered as if she was not interested.
That question was completely irrelevant to Ruti.
There were enemies in front of her and there was a sword in her hands.
In that case, there was no need to hesitate.
With her sword lowered to her side, Ruti directly charged into the monsters and slashed.
(I like to fight. Only during then does my Divine Protection and desire match.)
She dodged the claw the Titan Crab swung down on her with a leap.
The Hierarch Sphinx rushed at Ruti as she was in the air but she dispatched two of them with a single swing of her sword and sliced the forelimb of another off.
Upon landing, she thrust her sword up in a flash and pierced the belly of the Titan Crab that appeared above her head.
During that time, Tise had subjugated one of the Titan Crab and Theodora another.
Ares charred the remaining enemies with a chain of lightning.
“Not enough power.”
Ruti said with an expressionless face as she, despite wearing armor, lightly leaped on top of the last remaining Titan Crab that was still breathing and thrust her sword deep into it.
The earth tremor as the Titan Crab collapsed.
The sand that had entered the ruins through the gaps were kicked up into a cloud of dust.
Just as the dust cloud blocked his vision, Ares raised an idiotic sound.
The wide-open beak of the final remaining Hierarch Sphinx stabbed out from within the dust cloud.
He hurriedly tried to dodge but the physical ability granted by the Divine Protection of the Sage was too slow.
The Hierarch Sphinx’s beak was on the verge of tearing off Ares’ head when it suddenly came to a halt in front of his eyes.
Ruti had casually grabbed the back of the Hierarch Sphinx’s head with her left hand.
Despite having the stature of a lion and physical ability strengthening from its Divine Protection, the Hierarch Sphinx still could not break free from the young girl’s left hand.
Ruti wordlessly gathered her strength.
The Hierarch Sphinx which weighed above a ton was raised into the air.
Its large body drew a perfect circle through the air.
There was a wet crunching sound as its head crashed into the ground.
Ruti had smashed the head of the Hierarch Sphinx into the ground.
Its blood formed a puddle and its body convulsed as if putting up a final resistance against death.
“Tha-thanks for saving me … ”
“Ares. There was no need for area attacks. We only have four members now so we have to definitively take the enemies down one by one.”
“Eh, ah …”
“Furthermore, your positioning is bad. Onii-san always covered for you but neither I nor Theodora nor Tise will perform such actions. Protect your own body yourself.”
“So … sorry …”
Ares clenched his teeth.
Ruti’s words were right. Even though Gideon’s combat strength was weak, he had a wealth of knowledge in terms of how to cover for each other or thinking up formations and tactics, so he was great at covering for the rear guard.
He could use magic a lot easier when Gideon was around.
(Wrong, this is because Danan and Yarandorara pulled out! Things would have gone a lot better if they did not selfishly pull out of the party!)
Whenever he faced failure, Ares self-esteem as a Sage took a blow.
Why couldn’t it have gone better? I am a Sage, a wise person.
I have led the journey all this while. I should have been the one who did all the brain work.
Yet these people do not acknowledge me and keep singing praises for that burden, Gideon.
Just what did that guy achieve!
“That is all I have to say, let us proceed.”
Just as Ares was on the verge of spilling all his grudges out, Ruti indifferently said that, like she was not interested in what Ares was feeling, and walked off without turning back.
Ares was no longer in her eyes.
They proceeded through a passage covered with megalith walls engraved with images and letters.
“This is, without a doubt, a ruin from the era of the previous Demon Lord era.”
Ares commented after looking at the Dark Continent letters written on the walls.
“Ares-dono. We can already tell without you saying it at this late stage. Instead, think about what we can do in this situation.”
” … The Magma Slimes just now were the Lava Troops of the Demon Lord Army Four Heavenly Kings, Dreadna of the Fire, right?”
Capable of burrowing through the ruins by melting obstacles using their heat, the Magma Slimes squad was the pride of Dreadna of the Fire that gathered ancient armaments from all lands.
Their combat ability was strong as well and their ability to counter attacks by spitting viscous lava was troublesome too.
“Moreover, there were many with the Divine Protections of Fire Elementalist and Savage Fighter. Even we would be in danger if they attack us with numbers right?”
It would be better if they retreated as soon as possible.
The situation was getting worse the deeper they delved.
“If we allow them to snatch the weapons of the previous Demon Lord, what would be the point of us coming here?”
Ares nodded along to Ruti’s words.
“Theodora, be at ease. If worst comes to worst, we can escape using my Ice Magic. Magma Slimes are weak to Ice Magic.”
Theodora wanted to say something but she seemed to have felt that it was meaningless as she lightly shook her head.
(They are opponents capable of lurking within the walls and we can’t tell when they would open a hole and attack. Even though they are slimes, their intelligence is comparable to humans. Nor do we know their numbers. If they just relied on wave tactics as they hid in the walls, we would quickly run out of magical power.)
But even if Theodora or Ares dies, the Hero would probably survive.
Her strength was growing ever stronger. Even as a Spear-user and Magic-user expert, Theodora could no longer comprehend her heights.
(Everything might just work out fine as long as the Hero survives.)
Theodora flashed a rare wry smile as she had that thought.
“Maybe I should have gone to search for Gideon too.”
If it was him, he probably could have pieced together the best solution even for this situation.
Apart from combat, he was a man vastly different from her talentless self, a man with a broad field of view.
At this late hour, she regretted not requesting for his teaching on what to do when she started feeling that she might be a burden.
Theodora nostalgically thought of Gideon’s face that she had not seen for a long time.
Protecting the depths of the ruin was an eerie demon that had the appearance of a goat skeleton with a thin layer of skin stretched across its body.
It was a type of elite demon and it threatened them with the crooked trident in its hand as acidic drool dripped from its open maw.
“To think that we would have to face a Haunt Demon …!”
Ares was speechless at the existence of the elite demon.
Most elite demons possessed magic invalidating abilities and in the case of the Haunt Demon, an approximate 50% of spells would be invalidated.
That ability might be a threat to individuals like Ares who relied on magic to fight, but it was fatal to magicians who wanted to enslave it, as no matter how meticulous they were and how perfect the control spell, in one out of every two cases, it would resist the control and snap the neck of the magician.
Therefore, they were named the Haunt (Fear) Demon.
Both Theodora and Tise showed tense expressions facing such a formidable foe but … only Ruti was thinking about something else.
“Why is a Haunt Demon here? I heard that demons were on the Demon Lord army’s side but it seemed as though it is surrounded by dead Magma Slimes?”
The question that came there was the exact opposite from that regarding the Hierarch Sphinx.
Ruti had no interest whatsoever as to who the kin of the Hierarch Sphinx was but she was brimming with interest for the meaning behind the existence of that Haunt Demon.
Demon Lord Army = Demon.
Even if you perused through just a few documents on successive Demon Lords, that was the only portion that was consistent regardless of the document.
“Does the current Demon Lord Taraxon have different ideology and doctrine of force compared to the previous Demon Lord? But the books described the demons as a race with no diversity.”
Apart from the Asura Demon, demons were living beings and naturally possessed Divine Protection as well.
However, demons were born with a single unique Divine Protection for the entire species.
For example, the Haunt Demon in front of their eyes, and every other Haunt Demon, would possess the Divine Protection of the Haunt Demon. There have not been sightings of demons with other Divine Protections such as Warrior or Magician.
Or rather, races that only have a single unique Divine Protection are called demons.
“In other words, demons share the role of their Divine Protection with their entire race. Onii-san speculated that the Gods did not intend for them to play the role of evil beings.”
Instead of answering, the Haunt Demon struck the butt of its spear on the ground.
It was probably asking them to come at it.
The edge of Ruti’s mouth curled slightly as she smiled.
The discussion topic that she exchanged with her brother through many long nights. What was the Demon Lord army? The true identity of the existence that they sought to defeat.
What would Onii say if he was here … just imagining that relaxed her heart.
“I told you!”
The barrier Theodora put up held the assault from the Magma Slimes but it was just a matter of time before it was broken.
After they defeated the Haunt Demon, as if having calculated the timing, Dreadna of Fire and his Magma Slime troop attacked them.
The barrier set up by the Haunt Demon disappeared as well and Magma Slimes appeared one after the other from within the walls. They were probably aiming for this opportunity.
Ruti and party had retreated to the door that the Haunt Demon was guarding and they were under siege.
Apart from Ruti, all the members were exhausted from the battle with the Haunt Demon.
Ares would be out once he used a couple more spells while Theodora’s magic consumption was also intense.
“Tise! How was it!? Was there a weapon capable of decimating the Demon Lord army in front of us!?”
Their only hope laid with the weapon behind them. Ares shouted as he clung on to hope.
“There was a ship.”
“I have disarmed the traps along the passageway, follow me.”
Tise said before she once again returned to the passageway.
There was no other option.
The heroes trailed after Tise.
A crack split through the desert and an enormous shadow flew into the air.
It looked like a sailboat without any sails but countless propellers rotated as the enormous hull floated in the sky.
The desert sand that had accumulated on the ship for a long time was blown off and they sparkled as they drifted to the ground.
“Wh-what the hell is this!?”
“A flying ship.”
Tise, without any expression, piloted the flying ship using the control stick.
However, she trembled with tension and anxiety in the face of the lump of equipment that she was moving for the first time.
There weren’t many but the Magma Slime troop was chasing them from behind.
She could see that many wooden parts formed the ship’s hull. Flames would quickly spread if they were attacked with fire … Tise thought to herself.
We have to escape as soon as possible!
“Flying ship!? Tise, why are you capable of controlling the secret weapon of the previous Demon Lord that even I have no knowledge of … don’t tell me you are related to the previous Demon Lord Army.”
“Ares, now is not the time for that. Tise, you can focus on flying. If we get chased by drakes, I will do something about it.”
Ruti headed toward the deck.
Looking down below the deck, she saw that they had already broken through the Blood Sand Desert that they had struggled to walk through and they were already close to the desert resident’s settlements.
“This has amazing speed, Hero-dono.”
Theodora who was standing behind Ruti exclaimed with admiration.
“This isn’t even full throttle so the previous Demon Lord’s weapon is really amazing. With this, we can go anywhere we wish in the world … is there anywhere Hero-dono wishes to go?”
“I cannot go there. Not as long as I am the Hero.”
Ruti said as she stared at the rotating propeller above her head.
“These wings are too much for me.”
A Flying Ship.
Wings to freely fly around the world.
While almost all the members were captivated by those wings, only Ruti laughed at herself with a dampened heart.