10 seconds. Which equates to 1 round in D&B.
This unit of time will most likely become the deciding factor between my life and death.
Mora and the adventurers were already on the verge of being caught up in the cliff’s collapse when I got to them. The only reason why I was able to use [Wall of Force] to create a floor and walls and stairs to save them was because I had those 10 seconds.
After that, I could leisurely shuttle everyone to a safe place using the phantom horse. Most likely due to having flown around in the flesh, the flying sickness was not so bad this time around.
Because of how tired everyone was, we agreed to take a break after coming out of the forest.
As expected, all of the adventurers are pressing me for an explanation of what just happened. Although they didn’t actually see me chanting, “a meteor just coincidentally fell onto the army of Shadow Demons” didn’t work. It didn’t hurt to try, though.
“Well, in any case, we understand now that you are a great magician—no, wizard. Margils…… -sama…… should we call you that?”
After going to the trouble of starting a fire and brewing a pot of Shil tea (the one doing the pouring is Mora though), it appears that Sedam has largely calmed down.
Though calm, his voice and face are, as can be expected, still a bit hard.
Looking around, I see that Ted and Jiruk are outright frightened. Torad and Fijika look uneasy, and Claura is blatantly being wary.
Mora is looking on with worry.
“Please don’t. I am not a noble, nor am I that great. I’m just your average citizen. Please act normally with me. Normally.”
Adding a -sama for a salesman already feels bad enough. Please spare me from being treated as ‘a great wizard-sama.’ But well, a corner of my mind understands that after doing what I did, ‘average citizen’ isn’t going to cut it.
“Margils-sama! It is unthinkable for a personage capable of mowing down such a number of Shadow Demons in one blow to be addressed without the -sama honorific!”
“Margils-sama is a great hero!”
As I’d expected, Jiruk and Ted are desperately objecting. It’s at the level where I can ask “what kind of bullying is this supposed to be,” but they are most likely doing this to not evoke my anger. From their standpoint, they might not even have a choice.
“Of course, I am extremely thankful to you. If a Shadow Demon army of that scale reaches the village, it would be a catastrophe. But that is all the more reason why we are being cautious. It would be quite troublesome if, on on a 1 in a million chance, that meteor falls on our heads. Do you understand what I’m trying to say?”
I don’t blame him.
I quietly, but carefully, enunciate my next words.
“…… I am Gio Margils, a wizard from Jiiteias. I still have a lot to learn about this world. However, I will absolutely never use the power of wizardry to commit evil acts or to harm the people of this world. So I swear.”
“A-, As I’d thought!”
“Let’s all believe in Margils-sama!”
Fijika and Ted, as well as Jiruk, all look at least slightly reassured.
“Who or what do you swear to? Do you have a god?”
As expected of the Warrior Priest to ask such a question. Hmmm, how should I answer this?
“…… I do not know if he is the same as the god you all believe in, but my oath is by The Overlooker.”
I am just raising the first name on my mental list of existences that seem kind of godlike. The one who muttered what sounded like interest was Sedam. Torad simply has his arms crossed. The thought that I might be in hot water if his religion is oppressing believers of The Overlooker as heathens or pagans flashes across my mind, but the die has already been cast.
“I’ve never heard of such a god before. But he surely must be a good god, if he is being followed by someone who uses his power to defeat Shadow Demons.”
Torad’s face breaks into a smile. I wonder if him touching one of his earlobes with the palm of his hand is a religious gesture of some sort?
“Gio-san is a really great person, but he is also really kind and, erm, he’s a kind person!”
Mora also appeals to the adventurers on my behalf. I feel apologetic, having such a young girl back me up even though we’ve only known each other for two days. But is it my imagination, or did she purposely calculate the best timing for her input?
“…… Yep, that’s right, isn’t it. How can we not trust in the hero who saved the village?”
While smiling, Sedam gave voice to both what I wanted to hear and what I didn’t want to hear. I am really not hero material.
“You know, that Overlooker might be the one who brought you here. How about asking him for help?”
Sedam claps my shoulder. You, good sir, are way more reliable than The Overlooker is.
After the break, we go out to the highway and strike east.
This road, which crosses the plains east to west, is covered with stone paving, which reveals that this world’s level of civilization is by no means low. According to Sedam, we will be arriving in Yuule tomorrow morning, after camping out for a night.
The duration of the [Phantom Horse] spell was up since a while ago, so now Mora is walking next to me. The Jyagul statue and jute bag are still floating along behind, though.
I do have a spell that can transport this number of people at high speed, but I want some time before we reach the village, so I didn’t mention it. With Mora’s father’s feelings in mind, I also want to reunite the two of them as soon as possible, but he’ll have to be satisfied with the fact that I’ve already saved her from the bandits.
While looking southward at the mountainous area and forest where we had been just earlier, I first talk to Sedam.
“As I said before, I know almost nothing at all about this continent. Can you teach me? Even the simplest thing is fine.”
This is exactly what I want the time for. Before reaching the village and coming into contact with a large number of people, I want to learn Sedia’s commonsense, and mentally ready myself.
What I’m most curious about, as it seems so important, is the relationship between Shadow Demons and wizardry, but let’s start with the basics.
“That’s quite a broad question. What do you want to know specifically, Margils-dono?”
It seems that inside his head, this way of addressing me has already taken root. Well, let’s just bear it.
“That’s true…… Alright then, how about the countries and history of the continent?”
For some reason, Sedam laughs delightedly.
“If I am to speak of this, one or two nights would still be insufficient. Let’s go further in depth after we set up camp……”
“I’m sorry, please give me just the outline for now. In simple terms.”
“…… Well that’s fine too, I suppose.”
Clearly enthusiastic about this subject, his summary turned out very easy to understand.
Firstly, the region that we are currently in is called Liuus, which is located near the centre of the whole continent, and is comprised mainly of Lake Liuus and the city states and small countries that dot its shores. As I had heard from Mora, these small countries are all allied together under the name Liuus Union.
This highway and Yuule are both within the borders commanded by the Carbanera Knight Order.
At the other end of this highway lies Lake Liuus and the city of Lelis, which is Mora’s and these adventurers’ birthplace. Further west beyond Yuule is a very dangerous wilderness, but beyond even that is a rich and bountiful country, so at times there are travellers or caravans or adventurers coming and going. Far to the north of Lake Liuus is the largest country on the continent, the Kingdom of Shulendal, while the south is currently embroiled in a rebellion that is causing public order problems even in Liuus.
“I see, I see……”
This is so similar to the moments in TRPGs where, at the start of a new scenario, the game master does the “you are now in a ~~~ world” part that I find myself unconsciously nodding along.
It seems to me that it would be safe to say that this world is, in general, of the medieval Europe variety.
“Alright, next question. What are Shadow Demons?”
“…… That’s a difficult one.”
Even Sedam, who I now know really enjoys talking, struggled a bit, but the overall gist of his explanation of Shadow Demons is as follows.
Firstly, the term ‘Shadow Demon’ is the catch-all term for a variety of different species, including Small Demons, Large Demons, and Rock Demons. What makes them distinctive is their unappeasable desire to destroy all intellectual living creatures who are not Shadow Demon, including humans, dwarves, and elves (there really are elves). Almost all countries and regions acknowledge Shadow Demons to be an absolute enemy to all humankind. There is even an unwritten rule that in the event of a Shadow Demon appearance, all nearby conflicts must cease and all forces present must participate in a joint campaign against the Shadow Demon.
“After all, there was a time in history when the Shadow Demons nearly completely wiped out the human race.”
So revealed Sedam grudgingly.
Fortunately, the absolute number of Shadow Demons today is not high. Sedam and the other adventurers have only come upon Shadow Demons a few times, and in all of those cases, what they found were only ‘stragglers’ that had gotten separated from the mob.
Strangely, Shadow Demons do not have a specific homeland. Instead, they ‘build nests before anyone notices.’ Once built, a nest will continue spawning Shadow Demons limitlessly. Which is why when a large scale Shadow Demon nest is found, there is no choice but for everyone to join forces to destroy it. In some countries, this job has apparently become a duty for the nobles and knights.
“What was the case this time? I find it hard to call that number mere stragglers though.”
Sedam scrunches his face into a grimace.
“Then it would mean that there is a nest nearby……? It must be destroyed, then.”
“When this is reported to the Knight Order, that is most likely what things will turn to, yes.”
He sounds averse to flaunting his power, and maybe even reluctant to fight. But Shadow Demons are not existences that can be left alone for personal reasons, as I’ve already learned firsthand. This is what I meant about Sedam being reliable.
…… This has crossed my mind even before we set off, but it seems that the laid back early retirement life that I’d been looking forward to will have to be put off for a while longer.
Preparations for camping out would have been over with a single word in the game, but the real thing turns out to be a pretty big job.
But with that said, when I tried to help, Jiruk and Ted stopped me while saying “No no no no no, we cannot let Margils-sama do something so menial,” and even Sedam said “You’re our guest, so please stay still,” so all I did was watch.
While Mora and Fijika are stirring the pot that they had thrown meats and beans and spices into, I take the opportunity to chat with the magician, Claura.
This world’s ‘magic’ and my ‘wizardry’ are different, and it is about high time I got around to identifying the specific differences.
“This is not the place to go into such a topic.”
This lady with a comb adorning her wavy blond hair answered me curtly. Unnn, although she is older than Mora, talking to young women really does tire me.
“Ahh, ermm, so……”
As I am trying to find my words, Claura speaks again, while gazing intently at me with a dangerous glint in her eyes.
“May I have some of your time once we arrive at the village? Let’s find a secluded spot and talk at length.”
“Ohhh, Margils-sama is so popular!”
Ted jokes about it next to me, but all I feel is that this is going to turn into something extremely troublesome.
“…… After all, depending on where the conversation heads, the Magician Guild might get blown sky high.”