Chapter 31 – The Four Heroes’ Strength and Premonitions of War
Translated by nightraccoon
“I see, the Gabranth are finally moving.”
The king of |Royal Capital Victorious|, Rudolf van Strauss Arclaim had a somber expression on his face.
He had just heard the news from his office. The state of affairs in the country. The Gabranth had finally declared war on the Evila. Of course, he had expected this, but the Gabranth’s speed had surprised him.
“Is that so… it seems the world is on the brink of chaos.”
“Training a Hero at a time like this is absolutely necessary to up our war potential for the upcoming battle.”
The minister’s was Dennis Norman. Dennis had also served the previous king.
“Hopefully, they’ll both fall together, then we can seize power.”
“That seems unlikely… the way the Gabranth are, defeat is inevitable. The Evila are quite strong.”
“Especially those , the elite serving directly under the Demon-lord. Fighting against them is insane. Each of them is said to be able to fight of thousands at once.”
“No, those are rather the Gabranth’s |Three Warriors|. They are beyond the ‘Cruel’. Someone who could stand against them…”
“Yeah, if it’s him, even the could be defeated. However, he’s only one person. There are few things one can accomplish alone.”
Really, no matter how strong one is, there’s no way you can win a war alone.
“If they come up with good strategies, couldn’t it work? They aren’t foolish enough as to fight a losing war.”
“True. They may have a plan, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Evila are stronger.”
Rudolf folded his arms with a stern expression.
“Hypothetically speaking… if the Gabranth were to win… what would happen?”
“I wonder. The animosity between the Humas and Gabranth runs deep.”
“What about if the Evila win?”
“Hey, shouldn’t we check the authenticity of ‘those’ letters?”
“Ah, those letters. We’ve been receiving for a while now. Since last year. But as we couldn’t determine their real intentions, we’ve been leaving them alone.”
“If that letter is indeed genuine, I doubt they plan on wiping out the Gabranth.”
“That’s just wishful thinking.”
“Assuming it is fake, they will exterminate them… right?”
“Whether it’s forged or not, the chances are quite high. Since we don’t know anything about the new Demon-lord, we should probably remain as spectators in this war.”
“Either way, we still have our trump card.”
“In the meantime, let’s wait for more news. Their country might get shaky, but I’ll leave you to deal with it.”
The citizens will surely start hearing talk of war. They’ll probably get anxious then. But he thought that letting the minister deal with them would suffice.
“Speaking of which, where are the Heroes right now?”
“At |Buckstorm Pass|, with Vale.”
“Woah, doesn’t a Dragon live there? They’re gotten quite strong…”
“They must become stronger. For our sake.”
“To your right Chika!”
The Heroes were facing a group of demons. Taishi had sheathed his sword and was firing off blasts of magic. Meanwhile, Chika, with her quick movements, was cutting them apart.
The other two, Shuri and Shinobu, were supporting them from behind.
The magic Shuri cast was . The demons were, bound, swept up, then dropped.
Using lightning magic, Taishi and Chika’s movements were sped up.
With their increased movement speed, they continued to hack and slash at the demons. In a matter of seconds, the battle was over.
*Clap clap clap clap
“An excellent job everyone!”
That was Vale. He had only just been teaching them combat the other day, but there was no need for it anymore. He doubted he could win against the Offensive-Type Taishi and Chika in a straight out fight.
“As expected of Heroes! Those B-rank demons didn’t stand a chance!”
“Haha, are we really that strong?”
Grinning, Taishi scratched his head.
“Hey! Don’t get cocky. Didn’t you get careless the other day and take some damage?”
“Ah, haha… did that happen?”
He replied, glaring at Chika.
“Still, we’ve really gotten stronger!”
“Right, but are we going for the real thing now?”
Shinobu stared at Vale. Vale nodded with a serious expression.
“Errr… anyways, after this is the |Buckstorm Dragon|. Rank-S… A formidable foe.”
Taishi laughed to break the tension.
“Alright! Rest up, we’re finally going to fight it!”
Everyone answered Taishi. Using pots, they restored their HP and MP and began to ascend the pass. They had heard that no more monsters could be found beyond that point, as they were all scared away by the dragon.
Upon reaching the top, they found a sleeping dragon. Taishi glanced at Vale. He nodded quietly. They had found the |Buckstorm Dragon|.
It was massive. Its scales were green, claws sharp, with two giant wings on its back. In addition, its mouth was huge. Dragons were known for their .
Trying to catch it off guard, they quickly cast offensive magic. However the dragon had noticed them. It opened its eyes, startling them.
The dragon opened its mouth and sent out a gigantic sphere of compressed air. Most of their attacks were swept away. Only a few were able to reach its body, but it still did quite a bit of damage.
“Let’s go Chika!”
The two of them drew their swords and jumped to the front line.
Shinobu instantly raised their speed.
They slashed the dragon.
Blood sprayed out of the wound.
“Dammit! Too shallow!”
It’s scales were quite thick, so their attacks weren’t very effective. The dragon, enraged, took to the skies and charged at them.
Shuri’s water magic managed to protect them. However, the dragon fired off another . Shuri’s magic was dispelled and the two in the rear were sent tumbling.
Taishi cried out, but
Chika warned him, this time the dragon slashed at them with it’s claws. Fortunately, they managed to scramble away in time.
“Shit! Eat this! |Thunder Break|!”
A blast of lightning flashed toward the dragon. Hitting it with a loud crackling sound. The dragon cried out in pain.
“It looks like magic is more effective than our swords!”
“Oh! Then next is this! |Flame Lance|!”
“Me too! |Flame Lance|!”
The two spears combined into one and hit the dragon, burning it.
Crying out in pain, it tumbled onto the ground.
The two rushed forward to deal the finishing blow. But the dragon opened its mouth. |Breath Attack|
At that moment,
Two shouts came from behind them. Shuri and Shinobu. The girls’ magic succeeded in stopping the dragon.
“Guys! Attack now!”
Taishi and Chika nodded at each other. They focused their magic on their hands. And…
They thrust their fists forward, letting out of a burst of light which turned into an arrow. The arrow pierced through the dragon’s body. After letting out a shrill cry, the dragon died.
Taishi and the other three cheered. Though they weren’t hurt, the release of tension from their battle caused them to sit down.
Though they had certainly gotten stronger, it was inevitable to receive high damage front a direct attack. Thanks to their experience, they were able to continue fighting.
“Though there were a few close calls, you performed magnificently!”
Vale was quite ecstatic.
“Alright, let’s get the drops and head back.”
When they approached the body, a shadow fell upon them.
When they looked up, they saw a shadow descending toward the dragon. Vale’s face paled.
“W-who are you?!?”
Taishi shouted. The figure crossed his arms, and opened his mouth.
“I’ll be taking this.”
With that, the man unfolded what appeared to be his wings. He couldn’t be human. He was clearly a birdman.
“Wait a second! We’re the ones who defeated it!”
The person stripped the dragon of its scales and tossed them their way. He glanced at them, as if saying ‘With this there should be no complaints.’ His attitude filled him with the same rage he had against ‘that’ classmate.
“Aaah, argh! Anyways, don’t just do as you please! Give us a reason, you!”
When Taishi raised his finger, Vale calmed him down.
“W-what are you doing, Vale!”
“It’s fine! We got what we wanted. Don’t mind him.”
Seeing the two arguing, the bird-man grabbed the tail of the dragon and lifted off. Flying away with the entire dragon.
“A-amazing. The dragon’s massive.”
As Shuri was saying, he was holding the dragon in one hand. In addition to his vice-like grip, the strength of his wings was spectacular. Everytime the wings moved, a gale could be felt below.
And like that, the birdman disappeared into the sky.
“…Hey, Vale, he’s gone, but are you okay with that?”
“I-it’s fine. Right now, you wouldn’t stand a chance against him”
Seeing Vale sweating bullets, Shinobu asked.
“By any chance, is that Bird-san strong?”
“… Yes, that was Bird, and as you can see he is |Bird-Man|.”
“Well, anyone would be able to tell at a glance that he was a Gabranth”
“Why didn’t we fight him? Wasn’t it 5 on 1?”
Taishi’s question was natural. They had managed to defeat the S-rank dragon. In addition, Vale was with them, they should be able to defeat Birdo. However, Vale shook his head.
“There are many factors. The beastman is unlike any other.”
“What do you mean?”
“He is one of Passion’s |Three-Warriors|. He serves directly under the King. If we fight, the Gabranth will not stay silent.”
“Th… that guy was from the top brass?”
“Yes… and I’m afraid his power exceeds ours… He should be at least Rank-SS. I’m sorry, but we wouldn’t last a minute against him. And besides…”
Vale put on a difficult expression and closed his eyes, as if hesitant to say it. Then, he slowly opened his mouth.
“The fact that he’s gathering monsters means… the war has started.”
They were stunned. Finally, Shinobu asked.
“W-war? Are they going to attack us?”
“When I first saw him, I thought so. However, he didn’t show any signs of aggression.”
Vale looked up.
“If they were waging was on the Humas, he would have finished us off here. There’s no reason to let us live.”
“So you’re saying…?”
“Yes, their enemy is the Evila. They are moving faster than expected.”
Taishi was told that the Gabranth would soon be waging war against the Evila.
However, the King had said that there was still some time. But in fact, it would start soon.
“C-couldn’t this be a misunderstanding, Vale?”
Taishi asked. But Vale shook his head.
“No. Do you know why he’s gathering monsters?”
Everyone shook their heads.
“They have a method for reanimating demon corpses.”
“Doctor Yuhito. He is said to have researched the |Humas|, |Gabranth|, and even the |Evila|. There are rumors that he’s been working on a method to turn dead demons into zombies.”
Taishi and the others shivered at the thought of zombies.
“However, it doesn’t last too long. And I’ve heard that the corpse must be fresh. I guess that’s why he’s been collecting them.”
“Yes. They seem to be gathering dead demons to increase their forces.”
“That’s pretty serious… are the humans safe?”
“…Most will probably stay as spectators.”
“We won’t participate?”
“Yeah, since we aren’t allied with them, if we went and messed up, we’d be attacked by both parties.”
“Besides, we’re still in the middle of training right now! It’s not like we’ll send you off to your deaths.”
Hearing the word ‘kill’, the four paled. They had clearly been preparing to fight, but hadn’t really given it much thought.
Suddenly, they didn’t feel like it was their problem anymore. As Vale had said, if they joined now, they’d be killed immediately. The heaviness of the thought left their throats dry.
“If it’s you, Hero-samas, you’ll be able to become stronger than anyone else. Now is the time to train.”
The four looked at each other and nodded.
“We understand, Vale. We know that we can’t take it easy anymore.”
“Yes! Let’s get stronger than anyone else!”
The four had once again regained their motivation. Vale looked up at the sky, to where Birdo had disappeared.
(However, no matter who wins, the world will definitely fall into chaos.)
Thinking of the fate of the world, he too, vowed to become stronger.