Burning the tyrannical fortress!
Editors: Darkdhaos, RavenSlither, Chris S
By the time I returned to the mansion, it was full of screams and chaos.
“Run! The further the better!”
The panicking Aqua said as she ran in circles, knocking over a lot of things.
Megumin who had already packed her bag placed it to the side as she sipped some tea with a resigned look.
“Panicking now would be of no use. Since everything including our home would be lost, we might as well challenge the demon king’s castle directly.”
I was planning to gear up and head to the guild, but was lost for words as I looked at the two of them.
“Eh… what’s with the two of you? The guild issued an emergency broadcast, so let’s put on our equipment and head over.”
After hearing what I said, the two of them finally noticed my presence.
“Kazuma, what nonsense are you saying? Don’t tell me you want to fight the mobile fortress destroyer?”
Aqua was shocked.
She was cradling a pillow with one hand.
Or rather, I just heard the emergency broadcast and had no idea what was going on.
From how tensed the broadcasting voice was, I could tell that the thing that was approaching was bad news.
“Kazuma, the thing that is approaching the town is renowned for destroying everything except devotees of the Axis cult. The ultimate bounty target, the mobile fortress destroyer. Taking that thing on would be reckless.”
“Nah, why are you speaking about my believers in such a way? Wiz said something like that too, why are you so afraid of these children? They are all good and normal children!”
Leaving Aqua’s shrieks aside, I still didn’t understand despite Megumin’s explanation.
I heard this name not too long ago, what is this mobile fortress thing? From the sound of it, it was probably huge.
“Can’t Megumin’s explosion take care of that thing? Its name seemed to imply that it is large, so it should be visible from far. Just blow it away with magic?”
Megumin said in response:
“It won’t work, the destroyer has a powerful magic barrier. It has no problems blocking a couple of explosion spells.”
Just what the hell is this destroyer?
“Nah, my believers are really good kids! Listen to me Megumin! The disparaging rumours you hear on the streets are spread by those black hearted Eris devotees! Everyone beautifies Eris too much, don’t be fooled, there are times when she behaves unruly! She is even more unreasonable than me when facing devils, and her personality is rather free-spirited! She may even go to the mortal realm to play in her free time! Axis cult! Please support the Axis cult!”
“Aqua, you are not satisfied with just self-proclaiming be a goddess; you’re even bad mouthing goddess Eris now. Beware of divine retribution.”
“It’s not self-proclaimed! Can you just believe me—!”
I looked around me and didn’t see Darkness.
“Weird, where did Darkness run off to? She should have come back before me.”
I asked Aqua who was shaking Megumin violently with a tearful face.
“She charged back into her room.”
Why were they all acting as they pleased?!
I didn’t know what this destroyer was, but I finally got my hands on a house in this town.
There were more shops I had started to frequent, and most importantly, there was something I needed to do in this town.
It failed because of the barrier Aqua set up, but next time I will….!
Or I should that if not for these reasons, I wouldn’t want to be bound by debts and would have ran off somewhere else.
That’s right, the kind devils might not have a chance to set up their business in another town, and it wouldn’t go as smoothly as this one.
Anyway, I had to ready my gear and head to the guild…!
“… I’m too slow! … Hmm? What is it Kazuma, hurry and prepare yourself. Going by your nature, you would definitely go to the guild, right?”
Darkness who came down from the second floor was wearing a set of heavy armor I had never seen before, and said that when she saw me.
Aside from her full plate armor, Darkness also put on a heavy cape made of chains, with a detachable shield on her left arm.
But she still wouldn’t wear her helmet despite arming herself like this, it was something she refused to back down from as a woman.
She didn’t run back to her room to pack her luggage to escape, but was getting her equipment.
As expected of a crusader.
It was impossible for her to abandon the citizens and run away by herself.
“Hey, you two, learn from her! After living in this mansion and town for so long, don’t you have any attachment to it? Hurry, we are going to the guild!”
“… Kazuma, why are you so hot blooded today? The light shining in your eyes is too bright. And we had moved into this mansion for just one day…”
“Oh! You are here, Kazuma! I knew you would come!”
I walked into the guild fully geared up, and saw Dust who was also equipped for battle.
I had faith you would be here too.
Keith, Taylor and Rin were beside him.
I surveyed the interior of the guild.
All the adventurers present had put on the strongest armor in their mind and rushed here.
They must love this town.
It felt as though the ratio of male adventurers seemed really high, but that was probably my imagination.
I should say that almost all the people I had met before were here.
I could see the wielder of the magic sword Mitsurugi who came from earth like me in the distance.
He hadn’t noticed me yet, and I hoped he wouldn’t come over to bother me.
Keep a low profile, and avoid his attention.
… And so, after most of the adventurers had arrived.
“Thank you everyone for responding to the emergency broadcast today! We will now start the emergency quest to repel the destroyer. There are no levels or job restriction, we hope everyone will take part. When the guild judges the quest to be a failure, we will abandon the entire town and all escape together. All of you here are the last line of defence for the town. We are counting on you!”
The staff announced with a loud voice inside the noisy guild hall.
After that, the staff pushed the tables in the bar section into the middle of the guild, setting up space for a temporary conference room.
Ohh, the atmosphere was definitely different. How should I put it; it felt pressing and tense.
This meant the destroyer was bad news.
“Well then, everyone, we will start the emergency war council. Please take a seat!”
We followed the instruction of the staff and sat on the chairs just like the other adventurers.
But, just how many people are there?
The guild was vast, but the people gathered here were several hundred.
Sitting at the table, the other adventurer’s faces could be seen clearly.
… Eh, Mitsurugi noticed us.
He stared at Aqua who was sitting beside me, bored and playing with the water in her glass.
“Alright, I will brief the current situation! Erm… First, is there anyone who needs me to start by explaining what the mobile fortress destroyer is?”
Hearing the staff said that, several adventurers including me raised our hands.
The staff nodded in acknowledgement and began:
“The mobile fortress destroyer is a gigantic golem, built by the nation Norse, which has advanced magic technology to fight against the demon king army. Using their national budget and depleting their vaults, they constructed a colossal spider shaped golem, the size of a small castle. Utilizing large quantities of magic metals, it is far lighter than it looks, able to move faster than a horse with its eight gigantic legs.”
The destroyer seemed rather famous, since almost all the adventurers looked as though they already knew about it, nodding profusely.
“Worth mentioning is its enormous body and attack speed. Even a large sized monster would be turned into mush if it got stepped on by its eight agile legs. The torso uses the fruit of Norse’s accumulated technology, casting a large magic barrier over it at all times. That means magic attacks are pointless.”
Hearing this part, the facial expressions of the adventurers became gloomy.
They were probably starting to understand how reckless it was to take on such an opponent.
“Spells are ineffective, so we can only attack physically… We will be squashed if we go near. So we only have ranged attack in the form of arrows and catapults left… But the golem is crafted from magic metals, the arrows would just bounce off; as for the siege catapult, it would be hard to use it with the speed of the mobile fortress. To guard against aerial attack from monsters, midsized golems are situated on the body of the destroyer, using small ballistae to shoot down objects flying towards the mobile fortress. Combat golems are also garrisoned on top of the torso.”
“The reason the mobile fortress destroyer went out of control… was because the director in charge of developing it occupied the mobile fortress. And that researcher is still issuing orders from the heart of the golem till this very day… With its incredible speed, there are no places on this continent which hadn’t been rampaged by it, the eight spider like legs can traverse all sorts of road conditions. As it does not discriminate between men or monsters, the rampaging mobile fortress is known as the destroyer. Whenever the destroyer draws near, the handling method endorsed by the guild is to abandon the town, wait for the destroyer to pass through, and rebuild the town. It is being treated as a natural catastrophe.”
The adventurers that were chatting noisily moments ago turned silent.
“Right now, the destroyer is towards the northwest of this town, heading straight for us… Alright everyone, please give your suggestions!”
That was the common gamer phrase which immediately came to my mind.
… One of the adventurers raised his hand and said:
“… Excuse me, what happened to the magic technologically advanced nation Norse? A country capable of creating that thing should be able to build something to fight against it right? And they might know the weakness of the mobile fortress too…”
“It perished. When the destroyer went berserk, it was the first country to fall.”
“… Any other suggestions?”
The staff prompted.
And so, another adventurer raised his hand:
“To deal with that thing, we need to dig a giant trap near the town…”
“It has been attempted before. A certain place gathered a lot of ‘elemental masters’, summoning the spirits of the earth to dig a big hole, and the destroyer fell in successfully. Everything was going as planned until this moment… But the destroyer was highly mobile, jumping out of that hole with its eight legs. Their plan included throwing down boulders to seal the hole, but they couldn’t execute that in time.”
The place fell into silence.
“… Any other ideas?”
Another adventurers said with hand raised:
“How did the demon king army handle the destroyer? Is the demon king castle safe from its rampage? How did they protect themselves from the destroyer’s attack? They should be troubled too.”
“Their castle has a powerful magic barrier, the scale is beyond that of humans. Right now, the demon king castle seems unharmed, so they have no plans on taking down the destroyer. They are not concerned with wild monsters getting trampled.”
The staff said calmly:
“Any other suggestions?”
Several other ideas were raised and shot down, the conference was proceeding badly.
Someone raised the possibility of using ropes and climbing tools to assault the fortress, but another person rejected it, stating the speed of the fortress made that impossible.
Someone brought up the idea of building a barricade bigger than the destroyer. The staff countered by stating an example of the destroyer going around the obstacle, turning around and flattening the town, returning the hall to silence.
Magic was ineffective, you would get stomped on if you drew near, and aerial attacks would be shot down.
And all its attacks were swift.
I understood now, no wonder Aqua and Megumin wanted to escape.
Maybe he was frustrated by the rough pace the meeting was going, Taylor who was sitting beside us said:
“Hey Kazuma, you are quick witted, do you have any good ideas?”
He threw me such a curve ball.
It was useless to ask me that…
The only method I could think of was to get Megumin to blast it from a distance, but if spells were ineffective because of the barrier…
There was a barrier, so magic was useless.
I turned my head and looked at Aqua who was sitting beside me. She was drawing on the table with the water from her cup to kill time.
“Hey Aqua. Wiz said that with your power, you could break through even with 2 or 3 bosses maintaining the barrier, right? In that case, the destroyer’s barrier should…… Wahh! What is this—!”
After saying that, my gaze was attracted to the artwork Aqua drew on her table.
This could definitely be called a masterpiece. It’s a drawing of a beautiful goddess enjoying playing with a flower in hand…!
“Right, she did say that. But I never tried it before so I don’t know, there is no guarantee that I can really break the barrier.”
As she spoke, Aqua poured the water from her cup unhesitantly onto that painting.
“Ahhh! What a pity, why did you destroyed it?!”
“Why are you shouting so suddenly? I already finished it, that’s why I am wiping it away and drawing a new one…”
As we were chatting about these, the staff yelled:
“There is a way to break the barrier?! The destroyer’s barrier?”
These words made Aqua and I the focus of the adventurers.
I waved my hand hurriedly.
“No, I just thought it might work, she said there is no guarantee too.”
Hearing my panicked explanation, the entire hall turned rowdy.
“Anyway, could you please give it a try? If it works, we can attack with magic…! Ah, but low level spells are useless against that mobile fortress. All the adventurers in this town are novices, our mages are lacking in firepower…”
The staff became troubled again and the place fell silent once more.
At this moment, a certain adventurer pointed out:
“Don’t we have someone with amazing firepower? The one with a screw loose.”
Once he said that, the guild became loud again.
“That’s right, the one that is wrong in the head…!”
“We have that screwy girl…!”
“Hey, stop. If you are referring to me, then do it that way alright? If not, I will prove right here how wrong my brain is.”
Seeing Megumin stand up with her staff in hand, all the adventurers averted their eyes.
Beldia, the boss from the demon king army had caused a lot of trouble.
Because that guy said Megumin was a ‘crimson magic clan girl with a screw loose’, that became the way the adventurers referred to Megumin.
Megumin who stood up from anger started blushing in everyone’s gaze of anticipation.
“Ughh… Even with my explosion spell, I might not be able to… finish it off in one shot…”
She mumbled this and sat down immediately.
If that was so, there needed to be one more person.
If there was one more person with powerful spells…
— When such an atmosphere was lingering in the guild, someone opened the door suddenly.
“Sorry I am late…! I am the owner of the magic item shop, Wiz. Technically, I am an adventurer, please let me help too…”
The one barging into the guild was Wiz who was wearing an apron on top of her black robes, who seemed to be in the middle of work.
From her dressing, she looked like a girl that came to help in the distribution of emergency food rations.
When the adventurers saw Wiz…
“It’s the shop owner!”
“The impoverished owner is here!”
“Shop owner, thank you for taking care of me in my dreams!”
“The shop owner is here! We will win! We will definitely win!”
The cheering started instantly.
I knew Wiz was a lich.
But why were the adventurers cheering about ‘definitely winning’?
“Why is Wiz so famous? She is so popular, why is that? And don’t call her an impoverished owner alright, that’s so pitiful. Is her business really that bad?”
I asked Taylor who was seated near me.
“Don’t you know? Wiz-san was originally a famous wizard. She was a renowned powerful arch wizard, disappearing for some time after retirement before showing up in this town suddenly to set up shop. Wiz-san’s business isn’t good because most of the adventurers in this town are novices, and can’t afford the expensive magic equipment in her shop. She would have better business if her shop was in the capital. We don’t need to fight powerful enemies, so we have no use for pricey potions and magic items. Everyone drops by the shop just to see the beautiful shop owner, but don’t buy anything.”
No, since you guys were there to see her, you should’ve bought something.
“Hello everyone, I am the shop owner of Wiz magic item shop, please take care of me… I am the shop owner, please visit my shop. My shop is still in the red…!”
As we spoke, Wiz was acknowledging the cheering adventurers.
I, I will buy something next time.
“Shop owner of Wiz magic item shop, it’s been a while! On behalf of all the staff in the guild, I welcome you! This way please!”
While ushered by the staff, Wiz nodded at the people around her, sitting at a table somewhere in the middle. After Wiz had settled down, the adventurers looked at the staff chairing the conference in anticipation.
The staff answered the hope of everyone and said:
“With the shop owner here, let’s continue our strategy meeting! Since the shop owner just arrived, I will summarize the current situation… First, the arch priest Aqua-san would dispel the destroyer’s barrier. Next the screw… Megumin-san will cast the explosion spell at the destroyer. That’s the plan so far.”
After hearing this, Wiz placed her finger near her mouth and thought for a moment.
“… It would be better to target the legs with explosion spell. The destroyer has four legs attached to its body on either side, so Megumin-san and I would take one side each, is that okay? If we take out the legs of the mobile fortress, it would be easier to handle…”
The staff nodded, agreeing with Wiz’s suggestion.
And as expected of a lich, she could even use explosion.
That’s right, by blasting off the legs, it would no longer be a mobile fortress, and the town wouldn’t be ravaged.
And with the golems on the torso, it would be dangerous. There was no need to send people to attack with this method.
After the destroyer was immobilized, we could just keep watch over. Megumin could cast explosion on it once every day, and slowly take it down.
As for the supervisor who was controlling the destroyer, if we blast him with magic every day, he might just come out and surrender by himself.
After this, we finalized the battle plan with Wiz’s idea as the core.
But as a precaution, even though it wasn’t effective, we still included the plans to set up traps and barricades in front of town.
“Well then, the plan is to attack the legs with explosion after the barrier is dismissed. In the event the legs are not completely destroyed, all the vanguard adventurers, please equip weapons such as war hammer and standby around the place the destroyer would be passing by. Be prepared to attack the legs that might not be completely destroyed by magic, and take them out. The researcher who made the destroyer is probably still in the fortress, so he might make a move too. To counter that, the guild has prepared arrows with ropes tied to them for the archers to use. Everyone with light armor, please be ready to invade the fortress!”
The staff chairing the conference finalized the battle plan, giving out the instruction to everyone.
Aside from the adventurers, the townsfolk were gathered in front of the town, working nonstop to construct a temporary barricade.
The boss of the construction company who took care of Aqua and I when we first came to town were among them.
The designated area to intercept the destroyer was the plains before the main gate of the town.
They knew it was useless, but the adventurers with the relevant jobs still set up simple traps.
Before the obstacle in front of town, a group of ‘Creators’ congregated there in heated debate as they drew magic circles on the ground.
“Hey Darkness. I am telling you this for your own good, so retreat for now. I know how tough your defence is, but you are pushing this too far. It wouldn’t do any good for you to stand here. Just let go of your useless fetish and wait at the side of the road with me, alright?”
And I was even further in front of the road block, desperately trying to convince Darkness who was standing there, refusing to leave.
This perverted crusader just stood her ground and wouldn’t listen to me.
Darkness stuck her new sword into the ground, resting both hands on the hilt, looking into the distance. She was watching for the destroyer which had yet to show up, without moving.
The silent and still Darkness finally said:
“Kazuma… I have always acted this way, so it can’t be helped if you think like this… But, do you think I am a woman who would be lost in my own desires even in such an emergency?”
“Of course, isn’t that obvious?”
Darkness paused for a moment, and then continued calmly with a slightly blushed face:
“… I am a crusader. And aside from that, I have other reasons compelling me to protect this town. One of these days, I just might share this reason with you.”
Seeing me nod from the corner of her eyes, Darkness continued:
“I can’t explain now, but I have the obligation to protect the citizens of this town. The townsfolk might not think so, but I believe it to be so. Hence… no matter how reckless this might be, I won’t take a single step away from this position.”
“You are really stubborn sometimes.”
Hearing me say that, Darkness said with a troubled and uneasy expression:
“… Do you dislike stubborn companions?”
“A certain arch priest frustrates me when she is being stubborn. But the stubbornness youare showing right now isn’t bad.”
I said casually.
“… I see.”
Darkness muttered softly and seemed to relax.
“I couldn’t convince her. In order to protect that pervert with her brain as hard as a rock, we need to complete our assigned tasks.”
I squatted down next to the tense Megumin who was standing by at the side of the Destroyer intercept zone and reported.
“I, I, I understand…! I, I have to do my best! I, I I I will definitely succeed…!”
“Hey, calm down. It things turn bad, I will strip her of her heavy armor with ‘steal’ and drag her away!”
— I’m more worried about…
“Woah, there’s smoke rising out from your head, are you okay? What skill is this? Are you doing party tricks?”
“No, Aqua-sama… It’s because the weather is very good today, so I became like this after basking in the sun for too long…”
On the other side of the intercept zone, Aqua and Wiz squatted there, chatting about something.
Beside us were adventurers holding blunt weapons such as war hammers. Blunt weapons would be the most effective against golems.
The archers had nocked arrows with a hook at the head and rope tied to the end. They were ready to shoot ropes onto the fortress if there was a need to go in.
— The staff’s magically amplified voice could be heard throughout the whole plain.
“Attention all adventurers, the mobile fortress destroyer is about to appear before us. Citizens, please evacuate out of the town! Adventurers, please get ready for battle!”
— Mobile fortress destroyer.
It was said to be the same as Jack Frost, a name that was casually given by a Japanese gifted with cheat like blessings.
I wanted to bash them for their cheesy naming sense, but those who had seen the destroyer before felt the name was a good fit.
From behind the hills in the distance, I could see its head looming.
And a faint tremor.
It was light, but the earth was definitely shaking.
“What’s with this, it’s too big…”
Someone was mumbling to himself.
It was large indeed.
Having been in a party with Megumin for so long, I had a clear idea how powerful the explosion spell was.
That’s why I had to ask.
This thing… Could explosion really take it out?
“Hey, this is too much of a stretch. Is it really fine? This is impossible!”
Someone nearby started to panic.
“Create Earth Golem!” x3
The Creators created golems from the earth.
The golems they created formed a row behind Darkness who was guarding the town.
All the creators of this town were novices.
To create stronger, more powerful and bigger golems, they had to cut down on the active time of the summons.
That was the reason why they started creating when the destroyer was so near.
“Big! And fast! It’s scarier than I imagined!”
Facing the enormous object approaching them, the adventurers fell into disarray.
“Incoming—! Keep your head down! Don’t move in front of the destroyer, you will get crushed!”
Someone yelled, but frankly, nobody was calm enough to listen.
That’s how huge and imposing the mobile fortress before us were…
“Hey Wiz! It will work right? Is it really okay?!”
Some distance from where Megumin and I were standing by, Aqua confirmed with Wiz who was standing beside her again and again.
“No problem, leave it to me, Aqua-sama. I am a lich after all, one of the top tier undead. If Aqua-sama can dispel the barrier, you can leave the rest to me! If we fail… we can return to dust happily together.”
“Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?”
I couldn’t hear the contents too clearly, but seeing the two of them bicker noisily, I said to Megumin who was standing stiff from the tension and said:
“Hey, relax. Even if it fails, no one will blame you. We just need to abandon the town and run away then, so don’t think too much about this.”
There was nothing I needed to do, so I said this casually.
“Don’t don’t don’t worry! I I I will use explosion to blast blast blast it into dust!”
But this was normal. Not just Megumin, all the adventurers here were novices.
“It’s coming—! Prepare for battle—!”
This voice was probably Taylor.
For some reason, the responsibility of commanding the group and giving Aqua the instruction to release her spell was left in my hands.
The guild’s staff even gave me a voice amplifying magic item to help me issue commands.
The main coordinator of this battle was me, they said it was my duty as Aqua and Megumin’s party leader.
Taylor probably recommended me to the staff at the guild too.
Before we knew it, the destroyer was just a short distance away.
If they didn’t entrust the command to me, and if Darkness wasn’t adamant on staying, I probably would have already fled.
The top of the destroyer was as smooth as an aircraft carrier, with a fortress like structure on top like the residence of a hermit crab. The sides of the torso were equipped with cannon, and as a whole, it was a gigantic golem with the appearance of a spider.
— Mobile fortress destroyer.
Contrary to its comical name, the mobile fortress the size of a small castle shrugged off the countless traps we had set, moving as it pleased noisily…
“Aqua! Now, do it!”
Aiming to ravage the town we were residing in, it charged into the intercept zone!
“Sacred spell break!”
Aqua cast her spell on my cue.
Complicated magic formation floated around Aqua and a white ball appeared in her hands.
Aqua aimed the ball in her hand towards the destroyer and shot it out.
When the flying ball of light touched the destroyer, a giant membrane appeared on its surface to resist the light ball. But it shattered into pieces like glass shards.
Megumin who was holding her staff and trembling slightly looked at me uneasily, waiting for my go ahead.
The membrane that was shattered just now was probably the magic barrier.
If that was so, magic should be effective now.
I shouted through my loudspeaker:
“Wiz, I’m counting on you! Please take out the legs on your side!”
After giving Wiz the instruction, I said to Megumin who was shaking nervously:
“Hey, is your love for explosion magic a lie? You keep talking about explosion this, explosion that, it would be ugly if you lost to Wiz. Is your explosion a joke spell that can’t even blow that thing up?”
“What, what did you say! What you just said was even worse than making fun of my name!”
The corner of Megumin’s mouth started cramping from anger and she stood up. Her nervousness was nowhere to be found, as she concentrated and chanted her spell…!
As the destroyer passed by the place we were standing by with a bang.
The one known as the strongest arch wizard in the past, and presently a lich who was troubled by the poor business of her magic item store.
And the one known as ‘explosion girl with brain problems’, who devoted her all to one and only one spell, the top arch wizard of the crimson magic clan.
The strongest offensive spells of these two were fired at the bounty target said to be invulnerable.
The two of them fired at the exact same time, breaking all the legs of the mobile fortress.
The mobile fortress which lost its legs suddenly crashed into the ground with a big bang. After its bottom part hit the plains, it slid towards the town with its forward momentum.
But the giant sliding object didn’t hit the barricade placed before the town, stopping right before Darkness who was standing at the very forefront.
The legs shattered into bits with the sound of explosions and rained down onto the heads of the adventurers.
The side Wiz was responsible for didn’t have anything raining down, the explosion blowing the pieces into dust.
On the other hand, there were several large pieces of debris falling here and there.
“Ugh… It’s regrettable… as expected of a lich. Seems my level isn’t high enough to win against Wiz’s explosion magic…”
Megumin who was lying face down on the ground mumbled, and seemed displeased.
I helped that frail body to get up, and Megumin who had exhausted her mana said with a pale face:
“I, I don’t want to lose… Next, next time… I will definitely…!”
“Good girl, you did great. Wiz is a powerful lich, it is normal that she bested you. Just work harder next time. Look, we accomplished our objective, well done.”
I was planning to carry her to a tree for a rest, but the pale Megumin refused to let me go.
“Once more…! Another chance! I will definitely prove my explosion is the strongest…!”
“Let, let go, stop that! Don’t pull my pants! I get it, you are the best in terms of explosion! It must be because of something, that’s right, because your condition wasn’t too good! Alright, when you recover your mana, I will look at your explosion spell, so rest quietly in a safe place!”
I placed Megumin under the shade of a tree and lay her down. As the other adventurers were dodging the falling debris, Aqua and Wiz came to my side.
As for Darkness, she wasn’t fazed by the falling debris and didn’t move away with her eyes wide open.
When I raised my head to watch the gigantic body of the destroyer, the fortress which had lost its legs remained silent.
When the debris pelting down like rain drops stopped, the adventurers finally calmed down enough to grasp the situation, gasping in awe.
But we wouldn’t need to work so hard if things could be settled so easily.
At a moment like this, we had to be careful with our words, and avoid blurting out the cliche ‘did it work’ and raise a flag. We needed to be vigilant, surround the destroyer slowly, and not…!
“We did it! What’s with that, I thought it would be powerful with an incredible name like mobile fortress destroyer, but what a letdown. Alright, let’s go back and have a beer! We took out a target bountied by a country after all, I wonder how much the rewards would be!”
“You idiot! Why do you like to act in such a cliche manner! If you blurt something like that…!”
Hearing what Aqua said, I did my best to stop her.
… But, it was too late.
“…? What, what happened, why is there a tremor?”
Wiz who came over with Aqua glanced towards the giant mobile fortress uneasily.
The tremor that was shaking the earth came from the destroyer.
The adventurers was looking up at the mobile fortress uneasily too.
“This machine has stopped operation. This machine has stopped operation. Unable to expend unused energy and vent heat, operators please evacuate from the machine. This machine has…”
The mechanical recording came from within the fortress again and again.
“Look at what you’ve done! Why do you always have to drag us down after accomplishing something?!”
“Wait! Wait okay! This is not my fault! I didn’t even do anything this time!”
As the destroyer kept on repeating its evacuation order, I gathered all the adventurers in the vicinity.
“Hey, what is with that announcement? Would it be bad to continue staying here?”
One of the adventurers asked.
I thought so too. Or rather, everyone here felt the same way.
“It is just a guess, but I think it would explode if this goes on.”
When they heard what I said, the adventurers’ expression stiffened.
If such a gigantic fortress were to explode, there was no telling how damaging it would be.
We didn’t even know where the fortress drew its power from, so we couldn’t do anything to stop it.
The only thing we could do was to run away as fast as possible…
But would the stubborn crusader in my party be willing to abandon this town and escape?
No, it was not certain an explosion that was big enough to damage the town would happen.
If I could convince that stubborn girl with this excuse, then that would be great…!
“The, the shop… If this goes on, it would be disastrous for the town, the shop will, will disappear…”
Wiz sounded like she was going to cry.
She must be referring to her magic item shop.
“This machine has stopped operation. This machine has stopped operation. Unable to expend unused energy and vent heat, operators please evacuate from the machine. This machine has…”
When the broadcast repeated again, someone muttered:
“… I want to attack.”
I don’t know whose voice it was.
“… Me too. I remembered the reason why I stayed in this novice town despite being over level 30.”
… So there were such people here too.
And I knew how he felt.
“That shop had been taking care of us with its low prices, if we don’t repay them back now, there won’t be a next time!”
In the complete silence, the only sounds was…
“This machine has stopped operation. This machine has…”
— I took up the loudhailer and yelled.
“Those in favor of infiltrating into the mobile fortress destroyer raise your hands—!”
All the adventurers raised their hands without hesitation. The archers pulled their bows and shot their hook arrows with rope attached onto the destroyer!
The archers had a skill called ‘snipe’.
The ability of the skill was to extend the range an arrow could fly and increase its accuracy.
The arrows that were enhanced by skills were not affected by the weight of the hooks and ropes, flying onto the deck of the destroyer easily.
The hooked arrowhead caught onto the obstacles on the destroyer.
The rope tied to the arrow became taut with a pull.
The adventurers grabbed the taut rope one after another and scaled up the destroyer.
I wanted to tell them not to climb up the rope while wearing armor, which was a superhuman feat. Even if they had such strength, it was unnecessary to go so far.
Finally, the first adventurer who climbed up the rope got onto the deck.
He was followed by many others. It was like all their training was just for this day, the morale was sky high.
The adventurers were like a bunch of bandits attacking a powerless village as they screamed and went into the fortress one after another!
“Wahh… Kazuma, I am a bit afraid of that group of people… From the looks of things, it should be enough to leave everything to them. Let’s go back alright? We will return for now, and work hard from tomorrow onwards.”
Seeing how hyped everyone was, Aqua started to fear the adventurers and tugged my sleeve.
But, I couldn’t do that.
We were comrades, and my comrades were fighting up there.
“How could we go back now you moron. Can’t you tell how brave the heroes invading the fortress are! Your job is just beginning. If you don’t want to be treated like a fake goddess, then heal these brave warriors properly.”
I told Aqua and followed the adventurers into the fortress.
The archers who fired the arrows had scaled the fortress too.
I said loudly:
“Darkness, your armor is too heavy, I don’t think you can climb up! Megumin continue to rest! Wiz please act according to your own judgement! Aqua, this is your fault, so follow me!”
“Wait! I have nothing to do with this!”
When I grabbed on to a rope, Aqua followed me on the verge of tears.
Wiz also joined us and climbed up the rope.
After getting up the deck, what we saw was…
“Surround those golems! Overwhelm them with numbers and topple them with ropes! Hammer them when they are down!”
Judging from the scene before me, I couldn’t tell who the real invaders were.
Most of the adventurers in town should be novices, but many of the smaller combat golems had been destroyed by them.
“Jerk! You are in there right! Open the door or I will smash it with my hammer!”
“Come out now! The one responsible for attacking the town come out right now! I will teach you a lesson!”
I looked at the place the shouts were coming from, and saw several adventurers attempting to break open the door of the building. That should be the place where the rumored supervisor of the fortress was shut in.
No matter how I looked at this, we were the invaders.
At this moment…
“A big one is heading your way—!”
Hearing this sound, I turned my head and saw a combat golem.
It was large and bulky with a humanoid shape, similar to the robots in the world I came from.
As that golem was moving in our direction, the other adventurers rushed to our side, ready to lend us a hand.
But I have a secret technique against golems.
“Hey Aqua, let me show you something interesting. This should be the best way to use this skill.”
I flexed my fingers and reached towards the golem, my palm facing upwards.
The enemy was a golem.
In that case, it would be stopped by stealing its crucial parts away.
When I was still in Japan, a certain RPG game required the usage of this method to defeat robotic enemies.
That’s right, using steal against machines was a one hit kill!
I am improving myself every day too!
Aqua probably realized my intentions and tried to stop me…
But my outreached hand had already robbed the golem’s head successfully.
After losing its head, the golem stopped moving immediately.
As I suspected…!
The heavy head of the golem was in my hands because of my skill. It obeyed the laws of gravity and crushed my hand onto the ground.
“… Hya—! My hand! My handdddd—!”
My cocky face turned into a crying expression as the adventurers nearby hurried to push the golem’s head away.
“Ahhh! Are you alright, Kazuma-san! When facing a monster carrying heavy objects, do not use ‘steal’!”
Wiz was worried about me and Aqua was checking my right hand too.
“Aqua… it’s fractured right, it must be fractured.”
“There is no fracture at all. I will heal you up, but don’t let it get into your head and act recklessly okay?”
Ugh, how shameful!
The adventurers used their giant hammer to bash the door of the building in, and rushed inside.
Right now, they were fearless.
Everyone ignored the siren that was blasting and moved in one by one without regards to party make up.
We followed behind the reliable adventurers and went in.
There were a few golems inside, but the adventurers were taking them down efficiently.
… They had always acted as they pleased, but the adventurers were scary when they were united.
We reached the deepest parts of the building and found a group congregating before a room.
All of them looked troubled, their heightened emotions gone.
“Oh, Kazuma, you came at the right time… Take a look at that.”
The one talking to me was Taylor, who was standing in the center of the room.
Taylor seemed to be a little down and unhappy.
Looking closely, he seemed to be pointing at something… which was the skeletal remains of a human.
The researcher who took over the fortress was sitting in the chair in the middle of the room alone.
I called Aqua over and asked her to go in.
I pointed at the skeleton, but Aqua just shook her head.
“He had already passed on. He won’t turn into an undead, he had no regrets at all.”
No regrets at all?
“No, he should have some lingering for the world. From the look of things, he should have died alone…”
As I was saying that, Aqua seemed to have found something.
A notebook that was buried in the messy documents on the table.
After Aqua picked up that notebook, everyone shut their mouth obediently.
Under the watchful gaze of the adventurers, the only sound was the mechanical evacuation warning.
And so, Aqua started to read—
“—O month X day. The higher ups of the country gave me a tough problem, asking me to create a mobile weapon. Impossible. They wouldn’t listen to my protests, and ignored my apologies and requests. I wanted to resign, but they wouldn’t accept my resignation letter. I pretend to be retarded, streaking around in my underwear. But the female researchers simply asked me to take off my underwear too. This nation is going to be over.”
… Everyone rested their gaze on the remains.
“—O month X day. The deadline for the design is today. What should I do? I couldn’t just submit a blank paper. Why did I started drinking out of desperation and spend all the funds away? As I was feeling frustrated staring at the blank design plans, a spider which I hated the most showed up on the paper. I shrilled and picked something up to smash it. The spider is now stained onto the design paper… The economy is bad, and high quality paper like this is expensive, I won’t have money to compensate for it. Screw it, I will just submit this.”
… Ugh. The atmosphere was turning awkward as Aqua continued reading:
“—O month X day. That design was unexpectedly well liked. I don’t dare to say to them ‘that was the goo that spurt out when I squashed a spider, why are you touching it’. And is it really fine for the project to carry on like this? What should I do? The only thing I did was kill a spider, and they made me the director. Yahoo!”
… I was suspecting that Aqua was making up the content, but Aqua was reading it with a serious expression.
“—O month X day. I didn’t do anything and the weapon was still taking shape. I am not needed at all right? Whatever, just do what you want, I just want to live my life leisurely… When they came to ask me about the power source, I couldn’t be bothered. I said from the start that it was impossible, if you want a power source then get that super rare legendary ore rumoured to be able to burn for eternity— the Coronatite. I rebuked them. That felt great! Bring it to me if you can.”
“—O month X day. They really brought it to me. What should I do? They actually did it. They are even placing it in the power reactor, what should I do? What the hell should I do? I only said it because I thought it was impossible, and they actually did it. What if it doesn’t move? What would happen to me? Death penalty? If it doesn’t move I will be sentenced to death? You have to move, please.”
Maybe our gazes were making her uncomfortable…
“—O month X day. They said the activation test would be tomorrow, but to be honest, I didn’t do anything. The only thing I did was squash a spider. This should be the last day I can sit on this chair so leisurely… I start feeling mad when I think about it. Forget it, I will just drink. This is my last supper, so I won’t hold back! There wasn’t anyone left in the machine today, so it won’t matter how much I drink or how drunk I get. I will start drinking from the most expensive wine!”
As Aqua read, she felt a bit scared of the way we were staring at her.
“—O month X day. When I woke up, I felt a strong tremor. What is happening? How much did I drink? I don’t remember anything. No, I don’t remember anything about yesterday at all. The only parts I remember was heading to the central zone and lecturing the Coronatite. No, wait. After that, I said I wanted to test its courage and flicked the lighted cigarette onto the ore…”
As she read, Aqua didn’t dare to look our way any longer.
“—O month X day. I finally realized what was happening, I am doomed. The mobile weapon is running amok right now. What should I do? They would definitely think it was my doing, so I am probably a wanted criminal right now. They wouldn’t forgive me even if I cried and begged for their forgiveness… How irritating… They would probably destroy the mobile weapon, drag me out and execute me. Damn king and the officials, and that female researcher who smirked after taking off my underwear, they are all scum! It’s fine for such a country to fall. Enough, I will just drink and sleep. Fortunately, the food and wine are plentiful, I will think about this after I wake up.”
Towards the end, the sound of someone clenching their fists tight and muscle tightening could be heard.
“—O month X day. The nation has fallen. Oh no, it has fallen, it is really gone! The citizens and high officials had all fled. But I destroyed my home country. Oh no, this feels great! I am satisfied, I have no regrets. Alright, I have decided. I will live out the rest of my life in this machine, I can’t alight or stop it anyway. The one who made this thing must be retarded… Wrong! The one in charge of creating this thing was me!”
Reading the final entry, Aqua said with a troubled expression:
“… That’s, that’s all.”
“Are you kidding me!” x3
Everyone aside from Aqua and Wiz shouted in unison.
“This is the Coronatite. So, how do we take this out?”
This was the central area of the mobile fortress.
Having too many people in here won’t help, so Aqua, Wiz and I became the representatives for everyone and walked into this room.
In the center of the room was a small stone surrounded by a steel fence, the Coronatite.
— That rare ore was emitting a fiery red light continuously.
But, what should we do? No matter how you look at it, the ore that was fenced in couldn’t be taken out.
… I see, this was the last line of defence.
It was easy to light up the ore through the gaps, but removing it wasn’t simple.
“What should we do… Ah, right, I remember there was a guy with a magic sword, what was his name again…”
Before Aqua finished, I had an idea.
“Hey, we don’t need to cut the fence open, this would be fine. If it is this close, the fence won’t matter… ‘Steal’!”
“Ahhh! Ka, Kazuma-san!”
Wiz seemed to be shouting something, but as I expected, the Coronatite went through the fence into my hands.
— And it was still burning.
“‘Heal’! ‘Heal’! Nah… Are you an idiot? Kazuma is usually quick witted, but you are doing the same thing even after the incident with the golem, you are actually stupid right?!”
Ugh, I hate to say this, but I couldn’t rebuke Aqua’s lecture!
The Coronatite which burned my hand and almost took my arm too was on the floor after Wiz helped me cool it down and knock it away.
Even though it was frozen momentarily, it turned fiery red again…
“This is bad, there is no time, it’s about to blow. What should we do with this thing…”
As Wiz was troubling over this, the Coronatite by her feet was glowing brighter.
Before we realized it, the mechanical warning announcement had stopped.
The thing powering this fortress was definitely this ore.
But we had no way of handling it.
No, this thing was clearly too dangerous for any adventurer to handle.
With the power to move such a large fortress, who could handle this burning ore… That’s right, if you encountered any problems you couldn’t resolve, you just needed to ask the gods.
“Hey Aqua, do you have any way to seal this thing? Isn’t it the norm for goddess to seal the power of evil or something!?”
“I heard that before, but that’s just a game setting! Hey Wiz, you have a way to deal with this right!?”
This woman who proclaimed to be something pushed the hot potato to the lich she was always bullying without hesitation. I thought Wiz wouldn’t have any way, but she said…
“There is a method… But my mana is insufficient. Sorry Kazuma-san, I need your help!”
As she said, Wiz pushed her serious face before me.
“What, what is it?”
Wiz looked desperate, putting both hands on my cheeks, her thumb lightly touching the corners of my lips.
She then said with no hesitation:
“Can you let me suck a little?”
“It would be my pleasure.”
I won’t say something cliche like ‘suck what?’
Or something like ‘at a time like this?’.
I was not a dense character who would panic or pretend to be retarded at such a juncture.
“Thank you! Well then, I will start sucking!”
Wiz’s lips closed in before my eyes, I couldn’t ignore it even if I wanted to.
Dad, Mom. I am going to be an adult in an alternate world…?
“Kazuma-san, pardon me! ‘Drain touch’—!
“Stop, stop! If you take anymore Kazuma will become a mummy!”
Aqua restrained Wiz in a hurry, and Wiz released my hand before I lost consciousness.
What a disappointment.
No, I already had a hunch it would turn out this way!
“Now, I can use teleportation spells! But… The problem is where to send this thing to… The places I can teleport includes Axel, the capital and the dungeon. Which one should I choose…”
This meant she was planning to teleport the ore to somewhere else?
“In that case, wouldn’t the dungeon be fine?”
“But… The dungeon I registered as a teleport marker is a place I will visit to collect magical ingredients, the world’s largest dungeon… Right now, that place is a tourist attraction with the dungeon as the main selling point…!”
“That’s just looking for trouble! Hey, this is bad! The ore is going beyond red and turning white!”
As Aqua and Wiz were panicking, I casted ‘Freeze’ on the ore even though it won’t help much.
“Theoretically, there is another way! There is a spell called random teleport, which sends things to an unspecified place! But we won’t know where it would be sent to. It would be fine if it was sent to the mountains or sea. But if it was sent to a place with a dense population…!”
Wiz said with a frown, she sounded like she was about to cry.
“Don’t worry! The world is huge! Compared to a place with lots of people, the chance of it ending up somewhere with nobody around is higher! Don’t worry, I will take all the responsibility! I might look this way, but my luck is incredibly good!”
Hearing me say that, Wiz nodded and chanted her spell loudly.
“How was it? Where did the Coronatite go? Is it nearby?”
Wiz and Aqua looked at each other when they heard me said that.
No matter what, we needed to leave this place first.
After exiting the room, we found out that the other adventurers had defeated all the golems on the deck, and the alarm had stopped. Everyone was getting ready to withdraw.
They rappelled down the ropes, and it was just us up here.
Looking carefully, the guys had carried the remains of that researcher down and placed it in a box.
They were probably planning to bury him in the public cemetery back in town.
We climbed down too, and headed towards where Darkness and Megumin were.
I carried Megumin who was resting in the shade, passing through the adventurers who were immersed in the victorious atmosphere and came to Darkness who was standing tall in front of the town.
Unlike the adventurers who were cheering, Darkness was the only one staring at the fortress seriously.
“Hey Darkness. We already stopped the heart of the destroyer, it’s over. Ah— I am dead tired, let’s go back to the mansion, we will eat something good tonight.”
Darkness replied softly”:
“It’s not over yet. I can smell a strong enemy and the stench of danger… That thing is still a threat!”
In response to Darkness’ words, the fortress trembled with a loud jerk.
Hey hey, I already tore out the heart!
“What is happening now? What is going with that thing?!”
“Calm calm, calm down! At such a time it should be something like this! You have to cut the red wire or white wire right?!”
“No, you are talking about a bomb! We are discussing why the destroyer is still moving even though the core has been removed!”
Not just us; the other adventurers realized something was wrong and fled from the destroyer.
“What, what should we do! It’s probably the heat accumulated inside is able to be vented! I can’t teleport something so big! And look at the front of the destroyer, there is a crack due to the power of the explosion spell right? Heat is escaping from there! If this continues, the heat will spray into the town…”
“I don’t want to hear this! Kazuma-san— Kazuma-san—! Quick, think of something—!”
Aqua interrupted Wiz and made an unreasonable request to me.
No, there was no way I could think of anything…!
“Ma, mana! Can someone share some mana with me! If I cast explosion spell at that crack, it would neutralize the impact!”
Wiz started canvassing the adventurers around us.
I grabbed Wiz in a hurry and whispered into her ears.
“Hey, Wiz! What are saying all of a sudden! The other adventurers don’t know you can use drain touch! What would you do if they discovered that you are a lich! As a human, I can let them inspect me even if I use lich skills, but if they found out that Wiz is not a human, it would be the end!”
“But, I can only stop that explosion by absorbing mana…!”
I extended my hand and stopped Wiz right here.
“I can use it too. So I will absorb mana from someone else and transfer it to Wiz. It will take an additional step, but that’s the only way.”
‘Drain touch’ can absorb mana and transfer it away too.
The fellow with the most mana among adventurers would be…!
“Nah, Darkness, don’t say such stubborn things, let’s escape! The farther the better! And we will start over… Wait, thinking carefully, our debts are being cushioned by the guild in this town, if this place gets destroyed…!”
“Hey, the one that proclaims to be a something, get over here.”
I dragged that woman who was blurting out her schemes loudly over. I felt that she had the most mana among all of us.
“Hey, what are you doing?! I don’t have time for you Kazuma. Let’s just hyaaaa—?”
Aqua couldn’t resist my sudden ‘Drain touch’ and shrieked.
“You HikkiNEET, what are you doing to me at a time like this!”
“I am only doing this because it’s an emergency! Listen carefully! I will be transferring your mana to Wiz later, to let her cast explosion at the destroyer! That should resolve the crisis!”
“I don’t wanna! Why must I share my mana with an undead! And Wiz will definitely be purified if large quantities of my holy mana is transferred to her!”
Hearing what Aqua said, I turned and looked at Wiz, who nodded repeatedly with a pale face.
“Erm… When I absorbed just a bit of Aqua-sama’s mana the other time, my physical condition became bad…”
Something like eating food that didn’t agree with you. But what Aqua said seemed to be true.
In that case, what’s left would be—
“The main character’s turn.”
Megumin got off my back and stood up.
“Are you listening to me? Don’t absorb too much okay? Don’t absorb too much!”
“I know I know, this is the request of the goddess of parties, right? Don’t worry, leave it to me!”
“Wrong! I am not joking here!”
Aqua was sitting properly (Seiza) in front of me, ready for her mana to be absorbed at any moment.
Megumin was standing beside her, pointing her staff at the destroyer, ready to unleash her spell.
“Kazuma-san, choosing places where the skin is thinner allows you to absorb more mana, and transfer more mana too! And the source of mana is the heart. So the closer it is to the heart, the more efficient it would be!”
Wiz instructed me with a serious face. I see, a spot where the skin is thinner was necessary.
That’s why she touched the corner of my lips when she absorbed my mana just now.
I can’t do that, it would give me false hope.
… No, wait.
“I am ready, you can start anytime! Two explosions in one day, today is really wahhhh!”
I stuck my right hand into Megumin’s back, making her scream and lean backwards.
“What are you doing all of a sudden?! Putting your cold hands on my back, I thought my heart was cramping! What is this? Sexual harassment? At a time like this?”
“No you idiot! Didn’t you hear what Wiz said? This is not sexual harassment, it’s the most efficient way to transfer mana! A place near the heart where the skin is thin, that would be the back! … Ah, wait, hey! Aqua, don’t resist! I have a grand and proper reason of saving this town! You should be thankful I didn’t put my hand in front!”
Hearing me say that, Aqua resisted even more, she didn’t want my hands on her back at all.
“Everyone, there’s no time!”
Wiz cried out loud.
After a compromise, I grabbed the base of Megumin and Aqua’s necks.
I drew out mana from Aqua and sent it to Megumin.
“Amazing, this is amazing! Aqua’s mana is super amazing! I can sense that this will be the strongest explosion spell to date!”
“Megumin, isn’t this enough?! I can feel a lot of my mana had been taken!”
Just as Aqua said, a considerable amount of mana had been injected into the petite body of Megumin.
As expected, no matter how rotten she was, she was still a goddess.
No matter how much I absorbed, there seemed to be no end to Aqua’s mana.
“Just a bit more! A bit more! Ah, this seems bad…”
“Hey, what do you mean by bad?! What will happen if it exceeds your capacity, you won’t explode right?!”
Megumin who said something dangerous tore off the eye patch on her left eye and chanted magic with her staff raised.
It was the explosion spell I was very familiar with, echoing among the adventurers watching from a distance.
“Other things do not matter, but I can’t lose to anyone in terms of an explosion spell! I am ready! My finest spell of destruction!”
Megumin’s staff was aimed at the crack at the front of the destroyer that was spewing heat and might explode at any moment.
— Her crimson pupils shone, the arch wizard who refused to lose chanted her magic so loudly her voice was almost breaking.