Despite the unexpected encounters, the purpose of coming to this western village was solely to find a way to counter the boss.
As for the fairy, it may have been an undiscovered event in this village, but as expected, it is not as if this was the only way to counter the boss.
In the first place, it is too difficult of an event, such as discovering invisible fairy. It is hard to believe that this would be a condition for defeating the boss.
Having concluded that, as originally planned, we had made our way to the village’s cathedral.
“Haa,…… it really is cute.”
“You’re a little out of character, you know that?”
Surprisingly, it was Reno who was most interested in Lumina on top of my head.
She looked quite mature, but the expression on her face as she gazed at Lumina was disheveled.
Apparently, she has a personality that likes cute things. Well, there are guys in our dojo who have such a propensity, and it’s not that we don’t understand them.
Incidentally, Lumina, who is being stared at, doesn’t seem to be bothered by such stares and is sitting on my head in a good mood.
Sometimes she plays with my hair, which is tied up in a knot, but I’d like her to stop doing that because it makes me feel unbalanced.
“If you care so much, why don’t you try to get “Tame” too? Well, you can’t do it on Lumina.”
“Yes, I’m just curious, but …… “Tame” means that you have to use a party slot when bringing with you.”
“The distribution of experience is the same as with normal players. ……, but because of this, stray parties get into trouble when it comes to distributing items.”
“You mean, ‘Give me the items for both of us?’
“Yes, that’s what I meant. Well, in the case of tamers, they have to bear the cost of the taming monster’s items as well, so I understand how difficult it is.”
I put my hand on my chin and keep my eyes down at the words of the Kurage.
That’s certainly a story that could cause trouble. Neither side of the argument is without reason by any means.
If I were to walk with Lumina, I would have to take that into consideration as well.
…… Well, it’s not like I’m going to have much of a chance to work with other parties, so I probably don’t need to worry about it too much.
It’s not like I’m that interested in collecting items either. As long as I get only what I need, I should be fine.
“Well, It doesn’t matter if I’m alone. Then it wouldn’t be a problem.”
“Haha …… not many people can say that so easily though. Ah, but there are others like Shepherd-san, so I guess it’s not uncommon.”
“He’s a famous solo player who makes a living as a “tamer. His party is all full of tamed monsters”
I was inwardly impressed by the fact that some people are so strange.
The “Tame” is a skill with a fairly low success rate. But if he has a party full of tame monsters, he must have a certain level of skill.
Now that I’m a tamer myself, I’d like to talk to some of these players eventually.
As for know-how as a tamer, Shepard would definitely have more knowledge than I do.
–While I was thinking about that, we arrived at the cathedral.
“I came here once before, I wonder if anything has changed.”
“I don’t know,…… but for now, let’s hear the story again.”
With a slightly skeptical look on their faces, Kurage and Reno open the door.
The cathedral is so magnificent that it bears no resemblance to a small village. Opening the door, I noticed the neat rows of seats, the stage behind it, and the stained glass above it.
The vivid stained glass depicted a divine female figure – perhaps a revered goddess or something.
On the stage in front of the stained glass, a bespectacled man was staring at me with a soft smile.
He was an elderly man with some gray hair. He was dressed in a black priest’s robe and raised his voice when he caught sight of us.
“Oya, are you a foreigner? Please, come in here.”
“Y-yes. Sorry to disturb you.”
Kurage, slightly overwhelmed by the atmosphere, nodded her head and stepped into the cathedral.
Following her, I looked around.
It was a building that was out of keeping with the size of the village, no matter how I looked at it. Surely, there must be some kind of secret inside.
But despite this, nothing has been found yet. The possibility is that some conditions have not been met.
I can’t say for sure at the moment,……, but for now, it would be good to hear what the priest has to say.
“Welcome to the House of the Goddess, Foreigner. As I recall, you have visited us before.”
“I am so glad you remember me. I’m sorry, I have been bothering you so often.”
“No, that’s fine. Oya, I see you are new here.”
The priest looked at me – his eyes wide open.
Needless to say, his gaze was directed at Lumina, who was above me.
Of course, I would have been surprised if a guy with a fairy had come out of nowhere.
“This is …… surprising. I didn’t think there was anyone who was recognized by fairies.”
“Is it really that unusual?”
“Of course. Fairies are very cautious and will not approach anyone but pure-hearted people. You seem like a very innocent person.”
“Integrity is an uncharacteristic evaluation. I am just a swordsman.”
I responded to the priest’s assessment by shrugging my shoulders.
I am aware that I have had an unusual career, but I am not the kind of person who can be so praised.
The priest, however, responded with a wry smile.
“If that is the case, you must have followed that path foolishly. It is because of your earnestness that the fairies have taken to you.”
“…… you’re overreacting.”
“Receiving the blessing of the fairies is such an important milestone. Now, enough small talk.”
With a soft smile on his face, the priest switches topics.
He is a model of a priest in his ability to easily enter into the hearts and minds of others.
Well, that’s why I am wary of him.
I don’t feel any harm from him. However, it is fatal for a swordsman to have his tempo seized.
I should remain vigilant.
“Then, what is your business here today?”
“Oh, yes. Uhm….I wanted to talk to you about demons …….”
“demons huh,…… I believe we’ve talked about that before?”
“I’ve only heard second-hand about demons. I wanted to hear from an expert.”
The priest nodded his head in agreement as he told the upset Kurage
Well, he is not lying. It is an undeniable fact that as an expert, I wanted to hear what Father had to say.
But, well, the AI in this game is really flexible in its response.
It makes me wonder if it is really programmed or not.
Putting my inner feelings aside, the priest began to talk about demons in an eloquent manner.
“First of all, a demon is a creature that is hostile to all living things in this world and lives in an unworldly realm.”
“Is it different from a monster?”
“Yes, many monsters are hostile creatures to humans, but they have their own ecosystems and lives. But in the case of demons, they are hostile to these creatures as well.”
A third force that is also different from demons? From the player’s perspective, both are just opponents to be defeated, but it’s a bit of a curious setup.
As for the monsters, I can understand them as living creatures and as an ecosystem.
But what exactly are these highly intelligent demons? What purpose do they have in antagonizing the creatures of this world?
From what I’ve heard, I don’t understand much at all.
“Well, I’ve heard that demons sometimes follow the undead,…… but they’re not living creatures, and maybe that means they’re the exception among demons.”
Come to think of it, I was told that the demons blocking the streets also have undead following them.
The pattern of having subordinates with them is tricky. I also hear that the undead are quite tough, so countermeasures are probably necessary.
While simulating in my mind how I would cut them down, I listened to the priest’s story.
“There are several ranks of these demons……”
“Ranks? Some kind of strength index or something?”
“Yes, it would not be wrong to recognize it that way. Demons above a certain level of power have titles.”
“…… you mean strong demons are aristocrats?”
“Now, it is not clear if demons have a class system similar to that of humans. But it seems to be true that the higher-ranking demons subordinate the lower-ranking ones.
The priest does not hide his dislike of demons, but he speaks of them as such.
It is natural to say so, but it seems that the priest hates demons a lot.
Well, it is true that there is nothing to like about them from what I have heard.
“Also, it seems that there is a rank within each of the titles, and the smaller the number, the stronger the demon.”
“Are there that many of them?”
“Yes, after all, it is said that as many as 128 barons exist in the world. There are 64 viscounts, 32 counts, …… and so on down to marquises, dukes, and grand dukes.”
“….. there are more of them than I thought there would be.”
I had no idea that there were over 250 entities with knighthoods alone.
Well, since this is a game played by such a large group of people, it probably doesn’t matter how many there are.
By this standard, what level are the demons blocking the roads really at?
Well, it is the first time, and I don’t think it is a very strong demon.
However, it is said that the knights were defeated by this demon. One should not underestimate the level of the demon.
Speaking of which…
“Can I ask you something?”
“Yes, what is it?”
“I heard in Ribrum that some knights used to visit this village?”
“Yes, they were. They also asked about demons.”
Apparently, the soldier was telling the truth.
As the four girls stared at me with slightly surprised expressions on their faces, I continued my story.
“Were they going to challenge the devil?”
“Yes, it seems so,…… but if the demon has not yet been defeated, then you know what it means…”
With a somber expression, the priest lowers his gaze.
After all, had the knights been defeated by the demons?
Then, I cannot deny the possibility that the undead might be those knights.
After a moment of silent contemplation, I raised my voice again.
“I want to avenge their deaths as a human being who stands on the battlefield. But it is said that the devil uses a powerful curse. Is there any way to prevent that?”
“Quon-san, ……, aren’t you being too direct?”
“I don’t see how that’s far-fetched. So what do you have for me?”
At my words, the priest is silenced for a moment.
His gaze looked straight into my eyes – then shifted to above my head.
Above my head is Lumina, the same as before. From the sensation in my head, I can tell that this one is responding to the gaze directed at him.
The priest continued to look back and forth, silently thinking – and nodding his head in a small, nodding affirmation.
“I understand. Normally, it is not something that can be handed out easily.”
With that, the priest takes something out of his desk and brings it to me.
In his hand was a pendant with a medal with a strange pattern on it.
A line running vertically, a crossed spiral around the line, and a pair of wing-like patterns.
It was not an exquisite piece of engraving, but considering that it was handmade, it was a very elaborate piece of work.
“What is this?”
“This is a holy seal, an amulet that repels evil forces. It may not protect you from all influences, but it will surely protect you.”
“……Are you sure?”
“Yes. I can trust you because you are a pure person who is recognized by the fairies and you said you wanted to avenge the deaths of the knights. I would not hesitate to give you this holy seal. It is not a very rare item.”
Laughing slightly mischievously, the priest hands me the holy seal.
If that is the case, I should accept it.
I nodded in agreement and accepted the seal.
“I promise you, Quon of the Kuon Shinto School, that I will surely defeat the demon.”
“…… Pleasure to meet you, Quon-san.”
A word of oath, filled with determination.
In response, the priest bowed deeply.