I had asked Rachel about Soul Soleil, because we needed to bring Matsumoto into the plan. He was worth a hundred men. Perhaps with his whole harem, they were worth a thousand.
However, Matsumoto’s position was related to the country. It would require Rachel’s help to get him out.
Well, that was what Daniela told me, anyway. Indeed, it would make things a lot easier if we were working with someone from the inside.
I had felt that it would be best to go through all the proper procedures, even if it took a little longer. But Daniela destroyed this notion with her own brilliant idea.
She could be quite arrogant, and had no concerns about whether or not it was convenient for Rachel.
However, considering that Rachel had been quite perceptive about it, it was clearly not a bad decision. Basically, things would be fine if I left them to Daniela.
“Alright, let’s go.”
We left the inn and walked to the town’s entrance. It was here that we would meet up with Manager. As we knew it would take some time, we had gone to the meeting with Beowulf first. And I expected them to arrive just as we got back…
“Ah, Mister Asagi and Miss Daniela!”
“Sorry to keep you waiting out in the cold.”
I turned to look in the direction the voice was coming from and saw that Lemon was waving at us. Her gray hair looked very pretty with the white snow behind it. Maybe I should change my hair color and become a more cheerful person.
“Miss Rindo said she’s going to say goodbye to everyone who helped us.”
“Ahh…I see. Better not bother her then.”
It was a sacred ritual. It was because there were goodbyes that there were reunions. You would regret it if you didn’t do it properly…
“Lemon. Want some?”
“Ah, thank you!”
I sighed and leaned against the gate while watching Daniela feed Lemon. Just how many of those meat skewers did she have in her bracelet?
Things were calm and quiet for a while as they ate, and then I saw Manager walking towards us from the other side. I pushed myself away from the wall and started to walk towards Daniela and Lemon. Sensing something, Daniela turned around and glanced towards me before looking to the street.
“Lemon. Get ready.”
She quickly picked up her bag that was lying on the ground and made sure that her sword was equipped. Daniela and I didn’t need to carry our belongings any more. Still, I felt a little sad while watching her back.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. Now, let’s go.”
I nodded at Manager and turned on my heels. It had been a short but nice stay. This city alone was supposed to be the country of Erediares.
Still, I’m sure this quiet winter country would continue to develop. And one day we would return and travel through it at our leisure.
□ □ □ □
Several days had now passed since we left Erediares.
The snow around us melted, and we now walked on rich grasslands.
“Still…you can never be too careful… Those Snow Arachne.”
We had been attacked by a group of them shortly after leaving the town. I suppose what was most striking about this experience to me, was seeing Lemon fight and the beauty of the Snow Arachne.
Her high purity fire ore sword melted through the Snow Arachne’s magic and severed limb after limb. While they looked like humans from the waist up, they were still monsters. And emotions had to be set aside as we exterminated them.
However, one of them was exceptionally beautiful… Perhaps that wasn’t the right word to use, but I had a thing for monster girls, so I would use it.
There was a Snow Arachne that was a beautiful pure white. According to Manager, it was the boss of the pack. And yes, it was female.
She had white, straight long hair that covered most of her curvaceous body. As for her lower half, it was that of a very thick tarantula. The eight legs that extended from there were also covered in fine hairs of pure white. Underneath the hair, the legs were slender but also strong. Indeed, I couldn’t describe the monster as being anything but beautiful.
And I met it face to face. Unfortunately, the other three were busy fighting with the others. Not having any support had made me frantic for a moment.
After all, aside from the beauty, there was a tangible will to kill. And perhaps the strength to do just that. I wasn’t always good at detecting such things, so the rage must have been especially strong.
This caused me to freeze for a moment, but instead of immediately attacking me, the Snow Arachne looked me up and down as if assessing an item. And when she was finished looking at me, she suddenly turned around and fled.
Well, I was quite stunned by this. I had no idea what could have caused this change. She was strong enough to not have to fear me. It didn’t make any sense.
That’s when Daniela threw a snowball and shouted at me to work. And so I returned to myself and took down the other Snow Arachne that surrounded us, and we escaped the danger.
“Still, that Snow Arachne really was something!”
“Are you still talking about that, Mister Asagi?”
Lemon looked at me with annoyance.
“You better stop soon, or I shall brand it infidelity.”
“Sorry… Don’t be mad.”
“Hmph. I really cannot let my guard down… When it comes to you and the Snow Arachne.”
Daniela had been quite angry for days. I had to be careful…
“Now, now…I think we should be close to Soul Soleil.”
“Nice try, Asagi. Hehe, but it’s just too bad. We are still two days away. You’ll just have to suffer a little longer.”
Manager said with a chuckle. I ignored her and used Eyes of the God Wolf. Hmm, I could see a building far up ahead. Maybe it was a checkpoint.
“I guess we’re too close to the capital now for monsters to come out.”
“There is a fortress checkpoint up ahead. And so soldiers regularly hunt any monsters in the area.”
Well, that was interesting. I looked at it again and realized that it did look like one. It was very big.
“Long ago, there was a monster stampede near here.”
Manager was about to continue, but Daniela cut her off.
“It was a dragon stampede. Adult dragons.”
“Do you mean…!”
“Aye. The settlement where I was raised used to be here.”
I gulped. This empty field used to be Daniela’s home…?
“Well, we are talking nearly two hundred years ago. I doubt it has anything to do with the current hunts.”
“What? Are you worried?”
Daniela was concerned that I was concerned. She even smiled back. Was it just me that was bothered?
“It really is nothing. I have been through here many times since.”
“It is just a place I once lived. You worrying about me will not help… Besides, it is merely a grassland now.”
Daniela said as she spread her arms out. I had nothing to say to that. And so I shrugged.
If she wasn’t bothered, then I probably shouldn’t talk about it…
I looked around again. There was nothing. Just grass that swayed in the wind and solitary trees. If one was born and raised here, and had the right talents, they would likely acquire ‘Fresh Green Eye.’
While I felt sad, there was nothing obstructing the wind here, and it somehow felt comforting on my skin.
“A fine place, is it not? I was raised in this wind.”
“Yeah, it’s nice… Calming. It makes you feel at peace.”
Manager’s long black hair waved in the wind. Lemon was also closing her eyes as if relishing the sensation. Had the wind ever felt so good? It made me feel like I was wasting it, being the only one here whose mind was filled with negative thoughts.
Now that I thought about it, I had finally arrived in the homeland of the person I loved. This was a great thing. It was unfortunate that I would never be able to show Daniela my own home, but this beautiful scene before me was something that I wanted to remember forever.
I activated Legs of the God Wolf and dashed up into the air. The wind hit me at full blast as I rose high enough to look down at the field. Daniela and the others smiled and waved at me from below.
As if to answer them, I slid through the sky and did a backflip as if I was some kind of street performer.
Their reaction was better than I had expected. I was greeted with shouts of joy, and becoming drunk on myself, I zipped up and down through the air as if I was teleporting.