Campione! / Campione! Vol 14 Chapter 6


Chapter 6 – Captivity in the Devil King’s Castle
Part 1
Before the whole commotion, Salvatore Doni had challenged Godou, “let’s
play a game!”
Viewing things through those words of his, they were now heading back to
the game’s starting point. Godou was currently entering the forest where
Uldin’s castle was located.
Sunlight streamed through the foliage, projecting sparkling radiance while
a comfortable spring breeze blew past.
Were this the modern age, it would be a trek through a beautiful Swiss
forest. However, this place was currently ancient Gaul and the forest was
even a terrifying lair belonging to divine beasts.
“It said I’m welcome to visit any time I want…”
The content of the invitation letter could be described as rather ordinary.
Basically, something like ‘Greetings comrade. If you happen to be currently
living in that town there, then it’s perfect. Please visit me any time you
want. I will offer the best hospitality within my ability.’
Neither time nor place were decided. How enviable the lifestyle of an idle
nomad.
Godou stepped into the forest which had neither entrances nor signs.
Taking a carriage took roughly a day to reach here. Since there were no
roads for the carriage to pass through the forest, Godou had to continue on
foot from this point onwards.
In any case, the Rhine’s shore was his target. Godou walked casually for
roughly thirty minutes.
During this time, he sighted divine beasts twice. Those black dinosaurs
resembling Deinonychuses. Despite their seven-meter-long, massive
bodies, they moved quite nimbly as they roamed the forest.
Without exception, they panicked and fled into the forest’s depths as soon
as they saw Godou…
“Isn’t this treating me like a bear?”
Just as Godou shrugged, he heard the rustling of leaves.
Some kind of giant organism was pushing its way through the vegetation to
approach him. Probably another Deinonychus? Indeed, the result was just
as expected.
It was walking upright on two legs in its characteristic posture with its head,
back and tail in a straight line.
With viciously hooked talons on the hind legs and a massive black body,
the divine beast made another appearance, quite a familiar sight by this
point. However, this time there was someone riding in the saddle on its
back. Not Uldin.
“Greetings to you for the first time. You seem to be the other godslaying
monarch similar to my lord. Or am I mistaken?”
“Yeah, I am. That’ll do for now. I am Kusanagi Godou.”
Due to the other person’s politeness, Godou bowed his head in modern
Japanese etiquette.
The rider on the black Deinonychus was a blonde woman, clad in armor
and leather with a helmet. Adorned with feathers on two sides, the helmet
looked quite magnificent.
Furthermore, she was a great beauty with a slender figure and face and
incomparably graceful airs.
“My name is Clotilde. Let me show you the way to my lord’s castle.”
She gave off a vibe like an elegant female warrior. Godou answered
“Thank you” to accept her offer. The forest was mostly likely under
surveillance and the appearance of an intruder had been reported.
“If you are not opposed to the idea, please ride behind me.”
“Eh, is that really okay!?”
Godou was pleasantly surprised by the unexpected suggestion.
Riding on a dinosaur’s back would be a rare experience indeed. Helped by
Clotilde’s hand, he mounted the back of the crouching Deinonychus.
During this time, the Deinonychus remained still and acted quite
obediently.
Unlike the other ones earlier, it was not afraid of Godou. Hence, he was
able to mount the saddle effortlessly.
Naturally, Clotilde was the one sitting in front of him. She had quite a tall
figure for she was only slightly shorter than Godou whose height was
180cm. Speaking of which, she was quite strong despite her slender and
delicate physique.
“Are you ready? Then we’ll set off.”
Issuing the command to start moving, Clotilde kicked the belly of the
dinosaur that was no horse.
The Deinonychus stood up and began to run. Due to its long strides, it
moved very quickly. Also, the motion was less rocking than Godou had
expected, so the ride felt quite nice actually. This divine beast must be a
type of creature that was quite talented at maintaining balance.
As a side note, Clotilde’s feet were firmly planted in the stirrups.
Judging from the riding equipment, it seemed to be in the style of
equestrian tribes. Hanging on the saddle were also a small bow and a
quiver of arrows.
“We’re about to take flight. Please hold on tight!”
Clotilde suddenly announced when they reached the Rhine’s shore.
Although surprised for an instant, Godou immediately understood. Like
riding behind a motorcycle driver, he wrapped his arms around Clotilde’s
waist.
Then immediately, the Deinonychus’ short front limbs turned into wings.
Spreading its wings, the dinosaur took flight.
Thus the flying began. The height was probably thirty, forty meters or so.
Roughly at the speed of a horse’s gallop, the Deinonychus flew over the
grand river of the Rhine.
The castle was already visible several hundred meters ahead. It was
surrounded by walls on all four sides.
From the air, it could be seen that the castle was built in the same Roman
army style as the stronghold at Raurica.
“So that’s the fort Uldin annexed from the empire…”
Godou nodded. There were two Deinonychuses swimming leisurely on the
surface of the water below. One easily got the impression of eels because
only the slender outline from head to tail was visible.
“Do these things really like water?”
“Yes. Although their movements are not impeded in drier places, they do
become more nimble and lively near sources of water.”
Godou recalled the incident of slaying the divine beast at the Arno River.
According to Clotilde’s explanation, these beasts really had an affinity for
water.
“By the way, how many of these beasts are there roughly?”
“Probably ten at the moment. I’m not too sure about the exact number.”
The number of divine beasts could be regarded as Uldin’s combat
potential.
Godou simply asked without expectation but Clotilde answered with
surprising readiness. Did she have no intention of keeping the information
a secret, or was she providing false intelligence? Which was it?
During their conversation, they had already reached the airspace above
the castle before Godou realized.
Indeed, the structure was similar to the stronghold at Raurica. There were
roughly five long and narrow buildings with a plaza and headquarters in the
center.
Controlling the pterosaur, Clotilde descended slowly to the plaza.
As the hind legs landed with a “clang,” the two wings shrunk back into the
short front limbs. The dinosaur divine beast maintained its crouched
posture to allow its rider and Godou to dismount.
A black-haired man approached with a smile on his face.
“You’ve finally arrived! Hahaha, let us drink heartily throughout the night
until dawn!”
Naturally, the man proposing such nonsense in broad daylight was the
godslayer Uldin.
“I asked you to tell me your name the next time we meet. Come, comrade,
time to fulfill that promise!”
“Kusanagi — Godou.”
Uldin’s cheerful temperament was unconcerned with formalities and his
magnetic personality felt rather charismatic.
Admitting to himself that the man did possess a certain charm, Godou
briefly introduced his own name.
Uldin ordered a long table to be brought out to the plaza.
The Hunnic godslayer Uldin declared generously:
“Today we have a special guest here! Bring out all the food and wine!”
The people who appeared to be servants began to work efficiently upon
hearing his orders.
A table was moved outside and chairs were arranged neatly with a clatter.
Then with highly experienced motions, they laid various objects onto the
dining table: jugs of wine; plates of meat; bowls of fruit such as
pomegranate, peaches and figs; wheat bread; large amounts of cheese;
roasted onions; etc.
Did they hold banquets like this often? These people worked with great
familiarity.
The men and women working as servants numbered roughly thirty. When
Godou tried asking Uldin, the answer he got was that “Rather than selling
them, I think it’s better to have these guys work for me.”
Confronted with the fact that this man’s occupation was “invasion and
plundering,” Godou frowned.
Then he asked about something that occurred to him by chance.
“So, is this forest the place used to raise these dragons?”
“Yeah. These beasts don’t live too long. They mostly die after one or two
years. I need to constantly replace them.”
Supposing Uldin was not lying, he had just divulged a major secret.
The so-called equestrian tribes were nomadic peoples after all. Since they
were apparently steeped in the ways of raising animals, Godou tried to
ask —
“So, there may be cases when they might run away unnoticed…”
“Well, occasionally. Roughly a month earlier, two of them went missing.
They probably died somewhere in the forest.”
Godou’s prying attempts ended up obtaining information from Uldin that
could not be ignored.
Weren’t there two Deinonychuses that had appeared in modern Tuscany?
This did match the facts. Godou secretly nodded to himself.
While chatting over this and similar topics, the banquet’s preparations were
ready. Godou and Uldin sat together at the center of the long table.
Waiting on them, the servants stood quietly in the surroundings.
“This isn’t lively enough. Whats-your-name over there, go fetch those other
fellows!”
Uldin called out again.
Several minutes later, fancily dressed beauties had gathered. There were
blue-eyed blondes, those bearing the Roman characteristics of black hair
and brown eyes, silver-haired women, and brunettes. There were even
black ladies and oriental women of Uldin’s ethnicity. It was like a great
racial melting pot.
The beauties poured wine into two cups and handed them to the two
godslayers.
Taking the cup, Uldin took a great gulp in one breath. Godou declined the
wine and asked:
“Are they all your servants? They’re all quite beautiful.”
“No, they’re not servants. They’re all my women, get it? Basically what
people call lovers.”
Uldin’s matter-of-fact answer caused Godou to go “What!?” and almost fell
over in his seat.
“Don’t openly ask about this obvious-as-heck stuff, comrade. Isn’t it a bit
awkward?”
“W-What is the meaning of this!? You mean every single one of these girls
is your lover!?”
“Yeah, of course. All twelve of them are my women. Well, I can understand
how you feel. You must have many questions.”
Nodding, Uldin finished his wine.
One of his lovers instantly refilled his empty cup with wine.
“For a man like me, this harem is a bit lacking in scale. That must be what
you’re thinking, comrade? However, I don’t want to be tied down too
much.”
Uldin’s unexpected answer caused Godou to be flabbergasted.
With a serious expression, Uldin continued:
“Rather than increasing their numbers meaninglessly, these women
represent the very best I’ve picked.”
“What kind of joke is this!? Twelve people are more than enough in scale!”
Godou tried as hard as he could to retort against this tyrant who kept
downing wine, cup after cup.
Furthermore, wine during this time period was usually prepared by diluting
with water. However, judging from the intensity of the color and fragrance
of the wine, Uldin was clearly drinking undiluted wine.
He was apparently quite a drinker. On the other hand, Godou simply drank
water.
Although he was currently in ancient Gaul, Godou had no intention of
contravening modern Japan’s underage drinking laws.
Next, one of the many lovers brought forth skewers of roasted pork.
Feeling it would be rude to decline this as well, Godou ate some as
appropriate. Although the pork was roasted with only salt for seasoning,
the taste was actually quite good.
Uldin continued to speak as Godou stuffed himself with food.
“Hmm, well, to be honest, I do have other wives apart from these girls.
Comrade, now is a good opportunity for me to make introductions.”
Other wives apart from these twelve lovers? As Godou watched in
surprise, Uldin waved his hand.
The one who approached was — Clotilde.
She was gallantly clad in armor, leather and a feathered helmet. Her
beautiful countenance carried nobility and elegance. All this, combined
with her tall physique, contributed to airs like a queen’s.
Godou had only had a brief conversation with her, but her personality was
probably the very serious type.
It was quite surprising to find out that such a person was Uldin’s wife.
Clotilde bowed to the surprised Godou, then spoke to her husband:
“Uldin-sama, it’s probably time I should…”
“Yeah, sorry my bad. I’ll leave things to you.”
Was she entrusted with some kind of task? Clotilde departed the venue.
Mounting the pterosaur she had just ridden with Godou, she took to the
skies once more. The banquet continued leisurely for almost an hour.
“By the way, comrade. I’ve got an important request for you today.”
Eating a pomegranate as he listened to the banquet’s host, Godou began
to get nervous.
This was because of Uldin’s personality. Although Godou felt that Uldin’s
welcome banquet might not have any ulterior motives, the opposite was
also possible as speculated.
However, Uldin’s request was completely unexpected.
“Are you willing to become king as my proxy?”
“K-King!?”
“I have this fun little idea. To set up proxies as kings on occasion and let
them take over the country. Then I’ll send them off to conquer other lands
to further increase the number of countries under my control.”
Uldin casually proposed “taking over the country.”
If a normal person had said this, one would simply regard these words as
delusional.
However, this man was a Campione who commanded an army of dragons.
Furthermore, this was currently a tumultuous era in the ancient world. The
entry requirements for becoming a king were much lower than in the
modern world.
Considering Uldin, it was possible indeed —
“I established a country not too long ago in the east and even lent my
name to the chieftain I established there as my proxy. However, that guy
isn’t very reliable so I foresee the country heading towards ruin on its own
in the near future.”
Uldin was talking about the rise and fall of countries as though he were
talking about developing business ventures.
He looked quite young in appearance. However, given the examples of the
sworn elder sister and Madame Aisha, a Campione’s outward appearance
was not a good indicator of actual age.
Perhaps this man had accumulated decades of experience —
Godou stared intently at Uldin, causing him to smile in the end.
“Indeed, if my proxy does not possess the requisite mettle, great things
cannot be accomplished. Hence, I want to entrust this role to you who are
my fellow godslayer. Become king as my proxy!”
“I can’t possibly agree to such a request. Besides, why me?”
Godou refused cautiously with a displeased expression at the same time.
They had only encountered each other merely by chance. Why would
things come to this?
“I am completely certain, because your taste in women is similar to mine.”
“Women!?”
“Yeah. The two girls you had by your side previously, they both looked like
indomitable broncos without exception. Despite your young age, you have
excellent taste, comrade. In fact, I love that type of women too. Women
who only obey subserviently are no fun at all.”
Erica Blandelli and Seishuuin Ena were exactly as he described.
To be able to discern that simply from their faces and appearances, Uldin
truly had an extraordinary ability. Could this man possess astounding skills
in the realm of female-related matters?
Godou felt impressed at the same time as being surprised. Then he took a
deep breath.
This was for accelerating the gears of his mind and body. Although Godou
had no intention of entering an argument with Uldin, he was prepared to
respond with force if the other side picked a fight. Godou prepared himself
for that.
“I understand your well-intentioned invitation, but I’m sorry. I have no
intention of agreeing to your proposal.”
“Don’t decide so quickly. Please enjoy yourself at this castle for a couple
months and consider my offer carefully. Despite appearances, I’m actually
quite a patient man. I’ll give you plenty of time to think over things.”
“No, it’s not necessary. Let’s talk again some other time.”
Seeing Godou stand up, Uldin waved his hand lightly.
Understanding his wishes from this single motion, the lovers and servants
all swiftly left the area. They must have smelt a fight brewing.
“You probably can’t understand even if I tell you, but I’m a pacifist. I don’t
like unnecessary conflict. Will you allow me to leave?”
“Hey hey, this is getting better and better.”
Uldin partially closed his eyes towards Godou the pacifist.
“I, too, am a person who subscribes to a philosophy of avoiding
unnecessary conflict as much as possible. For that purpose, I prepared
something that has now arrived.”
Saying that, he looked up into the sky. As a member of an equestrian tribe,
did his sharp vision capture something?
All Godou could see was a black dot flying in approach. After a while, he
could see it was a pair of winged Deinonychuses.
The two Deinonychuses each carried a rider. One was Clotilde while the
other was a black-haired woman.
Godou focused his gaze. Apart from the dragon riders, there were
additional passengers. Sitting in front of Clotilde on the saddle was Erica,
tied up in ropes. In a rare moment, she was biting her lip in an expression
of chagrin.
In addition, the black-haired rider was carrying Ena.
Naturally, Ena was also tied up, displaying a strange expression like a
playground bully who had lost a fight.
In actual fact, Godou had set off to Uldin’s forest with two companions.
Their plan was to provide support to Godou, who was inside the castle,
regardless of whether he decided to negotiate peace, run away or fight.
“As expected of my wives. Looks like it went off without a hitch. So that’s
that. Why don’t you enjoy your stay a while longer?”
Declaring arrogantly, Uldin cast his gaze towards Godou again. Clearly,
the other side had captured hostages. Naturally, Godou could not refuse.
“Just to be on the safe side, I resorted to a petty trick.”
Uldin motioned with his eyes. Clotilde jumped down from the back of the
pterosaur.
The tall, blonde beauty approached Godou as she drew out a small,
bladed tool — a razor.
Godou was surprised. He could sense divine power from Clotilde’s razor.
Was this also something related to the gods?
While he stared in shock, Clotilde had already arrived before him, swinging
the small blade in a flash.
Confronted with the mysterious razor, Godou perceived its incredible
sharpness…
Part 2
It was the next morning since Godou was stranded in Uldin’s castle.
The accommodations arranged for him here also consisted of quarters for
military officer. However, the quarters were surrounded by several guards.
Hence, Godou was currently under house arrest.
Furthermore, Godou was the only one detained here. His two companions
were not by his side.
Godou had no choice but to kill time on his own. At noon, Erica came by to
visit.
“We were taken out by those two women.”
Erica explained to Godou with a face full of resentment.
They were the only two occupants of the reception hall in the quarters.
There were no guards inside. Superficially, Godou was a guest and not a
prisoner, hence he was still given the freedom of such meetings.
“Uldin’s wives huh…”
“Yes. Without a doubt, they are powerful warriors who can rival those of
the Paladino rank. Even if my uncle or Saint Raffaello were here in
support, chances of victory would still be slim.”
Godou had already expected Clotilde to be a female warrior.
Furthermore, Erica pointed out that she was apparently a master of “this
era’s rune magic.” In a direct confrontation of sword and magic, Erica and
Ena were apparently defeated in quick succession.
Moreover, they were clearly defeated in a merciful manner, unharmed with
only their weapons struck down from their hands.
“Is the other woman powerful too?”
“That’s Ruska. She… I’m not sure of the details but she’s probably a witch.
She apparently discovered our location effortlessly.”
In the face of such terrifying events, even Erica was showing a frightened
expression.
“If Lily and Yuri were here, perhaps we could still offer some resistance…”
Were those two girls here, perhaps they could have discovered the
enemy’s assault using spirit vision and psychic sensing. Then using
witchcraft’s disorienting effects to counter the enemy’s strength advantage,
they might have escaped successfully.
Two were currently missing from the five-member team.
Feeling deeply the effects of that through this incident, Godou and Erica
sighed heavily.
“What about you, Godou? Are you still unable to use your authority?”
“Yeah. I never knew a tool like that existed in this world.”
Touching his severed bangs, Godou muttered.
Yesterday, Clotilde had swung the razor to cut off a little of his bangs.
Immediately after that, he was unable to invoke his authority.
Even when he tried to summon Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi, it did not
appear in his right hand.
Despite his mental orders for the [Boar] to “destroy this castle,” there was
no response whatsoever.
“I believe that razor should be a divine artifact related to Samson^, the
biblical judge from the Old Testament. However, discerning the artifact’s
origins isn’t going to recover your power, Godou. How truly vexing.”
“How about you and Seishuuin? Did they do anything unusual to you?”
“Things are fine in that regard. We’ve been offered grand hospitality.
Clotilde, Ruska and the other women have been very cordial. Oh well, at
least from my perspective as a hostage.”
Erica replied in a slightly sardonic tone of voice.
Godou felt relieved. If the two girls were to suffer inhumane treatment, he
would never forgive Uldin.
“That guy Uldin seems unexpectedly considerate in this area…”
“A description of daring would not be enough to encapsulate who he is. I
believe he is surely a man possessing the disposition to become a great
king. Hey Godou, you must know the name of Attila, right?”
“Hmm? Yeah, that’s the king who would unify the Huns later.”
Godou knew the name from his World History textbook. Erica explained
about the man in great detail.
He was reportedly born in a barbaric equestrian tribe. Not only was Attila
skilled in war, he was also a great diplomat. He also employed talent
based on merit regardless of race.
His Hunnic Empire stretched from the Caspian Sea all the way to the
Danube River — covering the areas of western Russia, Eastern Europe and
Germany in modern terms.
However, his empire fell apart due to his sudden death. And with that, the
Huns disappeared into the annals of history…
Recounting the name of the great king of the barbarians, the Italian girl
spoke with a gloomy expression.
“This is what I suspect. In a few decades’ time, Uldin will probably help
Attila succeed the throne to establish the unified empire of the Huns.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Didn’t he propose to you, Godou, to ‘become king’? If Uldin continues to
survive, this enterprise will likely come into fruition.”
Making a rather bold hypothesis, Erica continued:
“Furthermore, there is a factual consistency that cannot be overlooked. In
the early fifth century, the Huns did indeed have a chieftain named Uldin.
In addition, there is also this legend about Attila, which calls him the bearer
of the sword that brings victory to its owner, the divine sword of the war
god Tyr…” [2]
Uldin had mentioned that he had lent his name to a man who was currently
king.
Furthermore, Uldin’s nickname was [Tyr’s Sword]. However, Godou still
had yet to witness the Hunnic godslayer draw his sword in battle —
Just as Erica had pointed out, there was a consistency in facts that could
not be attributed to coincidence.
“Although Attila’s active period was quite short, he left extremely deep
marks on European history. Whether his existence should be considered
good or bad, he was undoubtedly a super important figure in history.”
“If he disappeared, the effects on history would be unimaginable…”
“Assuredly. I am currently starting to consider the possibility of Uldin
becoming the future Attila. However, he seems to have said he had no
desire to become king…”
This speculation was fairly bold but also quite convincing.
Godou began to agitate. Although he could not fight Uldin in his current
state, Godou wondered if he should fight when he regained the ability to do
so.
“No one can guarantee that Aisha-san’s idea of a corrective force is true. In
a work of science fiction, this would probably be a parallel world instead,
right? Yeah, so even if history gets changed, it’d generate a second world,
leaving the original unchanged.”
“In that case, have you considered this? The Madame did not tell us, but in
actual fact, she may already know something that could prove the
correctness of her hypothesis — ”
“I see. Deducing in reverse huh.”
“Your Majesty. Ena has brought something for you!”
Just as Godou nodded in agreement with Erica, a cheerful voice called out
to him.
Ena happened to be entering the hall at this time. There was also
someone accompanying her. Like the Japanese Hime-Miko, she also had
black hair.
But unlike Ena’s extremely long hair, hers was cut to shoulder-length.
The woman was the blooming beauty who had ridden a pterosaur along
with Clotilde yesterday. She seemed to be oriental in race, perhaps born
among the Huns or somewhere in Asia. Godou greeted her:
“I remember you are Uldin’s wife, is that correct…?”
“Yes. I am Ruska. Since he is not here today, allow me to care for your
needs. Are there any inconveniences you would like to be addressed?”
“I’d like to leave this castle.”
“Hahaha, unfortunately, this request is denied.”
Ruska was a black-haired beauty whose eyes gave off an air of weariness.
She spoke concisely and her mood seemed inexplicably depressed.
However, she reacted to Godou with laughter and a low-tension. She did
not seem like a cold person.
Ena was carrying a large plate of fruit while Ruska held a jar of drinking
water in her arms.
“Ruska, where did your husband go?”
“No idea. He is a man who seldom leaves word on where he’s going.”
“Ah, got it, got it. Ena is also the type who doesn’t tell people where she’s
headed.”
Erica and Ena were already able to converse intimately with Uldin’s other
wife. In this regard, they really had first class social skills and natural
instincts respectively, having established excellent interpersonal
relationships without any apparent difficulties.
“Anyway, Why is His Majesty unable to to use his power?”
“It’s the divine artifact. Delilah’s Razor.” [3]
Ena stared blankly in response to the curt answer, but Erica went “just as
expected” and nodded.
“In the Book of Judges in the Bible’s Old Testament, Samson was a man
with unparalleled, supernatural might. His source of strength, his hair, was
lost because he was betrayed by his lover, Delilah. So this is the divine
artifact that recreates this story?”
“Yes. Samson’s head was shaved clean during his sleep, thus he lost his
power.”
Ruska gave a grinning smile to Godou whose bangs were cut off a little.
“Uldin had suffered the same before. But he deserved it. Because that
razor is a tool that only women can use.”
“Was Uldin-san also betrayed by one who shared his bed?”
Ena stared wide-eyed as she asked. Ruska nodded in response.
“He’s always behaved like that. Out of my sight, he’d immediately get
friendly with other women. On occasion, he’ll even take them home and
add them to his troupe of lovers.”
“But provided it’s only ‘on occasion,’ perhaps there’s still hope for him.”
Chiming in sarcastically was Erica.
“A certain someone somewhere would ‘always’ make his target his lover…”
“Based on His Majesty’s situation, it’s not like his affections wander
wantonly. He’s always very serious in each case. But only thanks to that,
Ena was able to get along so harmoniously with everyone as the fourth, so
no complaints there.”
In contrast to the critical gaze Erica was giving Godou, Ena was smiling
somewhat wryly.
Nevetheless, both were acting in a way that would lead others to
misunderstand Kusanagi Godou.
Just as predicted, Ruska’s lethargic gaze turned towards Godou as she
murmured.
“‘Always’… ‘The fourth’… Sigh, I knew it…”
“Oh no, that’s not true. Although I have no idea why so many girls gather
around me, I definitely don’t engage in Uldin’s problematic behavior.”
“Hmm… You are very similar to him — Uldin.”
Finding Ruska’s words shocking, Godou went “!?” and froze.
“Probably, your personalities are fundamentally similar. Bold and unusually
prone to willful unruliness, yet unexpectedly adept at taking care of
others… And skilled in reading people…”
Murmuring with a hollow gaze, Ruska’s eyes turned into the color of glass.
Godou was shocked.
This was a change that he had often witnessed in Yuri — a Hime-Miko who
had strongly inherited the blood of the Divine Ancestors. In other words,
Ruska was also a distant descendant of the Divine Ancestors!?
Erica and Ena exchanged glances. They must have realized it already in
the previous day’s battle.
That was why Erica had said she was “not sure of the details.”
“The number of girls accepted is different… The world you were born and
raised in is different huh. Hmm?”
Ruska murmured as if receiving revelations through spirit vision.
However, she was suddenly puzzled as she gazed directly into Godou’s
face.
“A man from a different world… A godslayer who could not possibly exist
here… Who are you?”
“Yeah, I came from somewhere quite far away.”
Godou nodded emphatically to agree with Ruska’s description that he
“could not possibly exist here.”
Indeed, he really should not linger too long in this era. Wasn’t it the same
for Salvatore Doni and Madame Aisha?
Should he discuss this with her? — Just as Godou wondered…
“So you’re here, Ruska.”
Another person arrived. This time it was Clotilde.
“Uldin-sama cannot be found anywhere… Do you know anything?”
“No, I have no idea. No one has seen him since this morning.”
“Really? That guy came over to visit me early in the morning.”
Godou recalled what had happened a couple hours earlier.
Morning came very early in ancient Gaul for there were many who rose
with the sun. Although Erica remained tardy in rising from bed, Godou was
already accustomed to rising at 5am back in the modern world.
Nevertheless, there was nothing to do here even if he got up early.
Uldin had visited at that time. After a brief chat with Godou, he had left.
Clotilde demanded forcefully:
“Did he say anything about where he was going!?”
“No, nothing about that… However, he was a bit annoying in the way he
kept asking me about Aisha-san — the Holy Maiden in the town we were
living in.”
Godou had no intention of obediently coughing up information about
Madame Aisha.
Hence, he had answered coldly and sloppily as though he were dealing
with Salvatore Doni, thus sending Uldin away. Hearing about this, Ena
suddenly murmured to herself.
“Just maybe. Uldin-san headed by himself to Raurica, intending to bring
Aisha-san back here by force? Uldin-san really lusts after women, right?”
Rather than a deduction, Ena’s suggestion was more of a cheeky joke.
However, Clotilde’s reaction was considerably intense. Her shoulders
shook as she went “Gun” and stared straight at the Japanese Hime-Miko.
“Only with someone like my husband, Uldin-sama, would that sort of thing
be… That sort of thing — ”
“Oh sorry. Ena wasn’t serious just now. It’s completely baseless, don’t you
worry.”
In a rare moment, the innocent Ena was actually panicking.
She seemed to be saying “What a disaster, I never intended to bully her
like that” with troubled-looking eyes as she gazed at Clotilde whose power
had vastly overwhelmed her in battle.
On the other hand, Erica crossed her arms in thoughtful contemplation.
“But now that you mention it, I do feel like he is the type who might do
something like that. Coincidentally, it happened precisely after he resolved
the pending issue of capturing Godou.”
Clotilde suddenly looked up as a result of Erica’s words.
She was staring into space with a terrifying expression. Her whole body
was shaking intensely.
Ruska looked at her with a lethargic gaze. Soon after, she sighed as if
finding things troublesome.
“If it really bothers you that much, why not go and have a look?”
Thus spoke the witch who wielded unfathomable powers.
Part 3
Although the honorary title of “Madame” was dedicated to Aisha, she was
not of noble birth.
She was born in northern India during its British colonial era and grew up
as a daughter from one of those ubiquitous families of low-ranked castes.
Her turning point in life occurred when she was seven years old.
At the time, she was hired as a maid and entered the household of an
Englishman who ran a diamond mining business.
As an adolescent girl, Aisha was deeply loved by the master’s young
daughter. When it came time for the family to return to England, she
convinced Aisha with repeated entreaties to accompany them home
overseas.
However, given Aisha’s humble origins, her life as a maid in England was
not completely happy.
She frequently suffered hardship and all sorts of discrimination.
Nevertheless, Aisha was naturally born with a cheerful and optimistic
personality. To go even further, in contrast to her slim and delicate figure,
she possessed the resilience in mental strength to survive in any sort of
country.
Not treating hardship as hardship was precisely Aisha’s characteristic.
But when Aisha reached seventeen years of age in England, a series of
tragedies befell the family she served. First, the master suddenly passed
away. After that, even the daughter who inherited his estate died as a
result of illness.
However, the daughter made very considerate arrangements for Aisha.
She bestowed her massive funds and stockholdings to “the wonderful
friend who had served her over the long years.”
However, Aisha had lost her maid occupation and was all alone without
any relatives.
How was she going to live the rest of her life henceforth?
Not dwelling too deep into pessimism was another of Aisha’s good
qualities. After that, hoping to calm her tumultuous feelings through
traveling, she set off enthusiastically on a trip to Greece. This happened to
be the time of the great commotion from Heinrich Schliemann and his
wife’s discovery of Troy.
Aisha was originally a servant girl who never had a chance to be educated.
However, thanks to the deceased master’s generosity during his lifetime,
she was able to read the books in his library. Furthermore, while helping
the daughter in her studies, Aisha also learned the corresponding
knowledge and more.
Aisha particularly loved history and geography.
Hence, she chose the land of Greece as her tourist destination.
There, she had encountered the [Heretic Goddess], Persephone. Left
without a choice, Aisha managed to slay her first deity —
Dating from her time as a nameless girl, over a hundred years had already
passed.
And now, Aisha was situated in ancient Gaul.
She was an adventurer who traversed gaps between countries and eras.
However, her adventurous journeys were always accompanied by disaster.
Augusta Raurica was facing an unprecedented crisis.
At noon of this day, black pterosaurs flew over the skies above Raurica.
There were three in total. As their master, Uldin was riding on the back of
one of them. Ever since Kusanagi Godou had set off for Uldin’s main base,
a number of days had already passed.
“Looks like Kusanagi-san did not succeed…”
To resolve conflicts peacefully. That was what Kusanagi Godou had said
before he left.
However, the young Campione from the modern age had failed. Perhaps
he had lost his life in a battle against Uldin. Maybe the same fate befell the
two girls who were his companions.
As soon as Aisha imagined their unfortunate fates, tears overflowed from
her eyes.
“We had become friends through such rare circumstances… Kusanagi-san,
I shall avenge your regrets for you…!”
Clenching her fist tightly, she looked up into the sky.
Were it nighttime, she would have sworn an oath to the stars. However,
there were currently two pterosaurs flying back and forth, freely over
Raurica’s airspace. Furthermore, they were making high-pitched shrieks.
KAAAAAAH! KAAAAAAH! KAAAAAAH! KAAAAAAH! KAAAAAAH!
Overwhelmed and intimidated by the pterosaurs’ flying and shrieking, the
citizens on the ground were trembling nonstop.
Augusta Raurica’s population was roughly twenty thousand. During this
time period, that would have been quite a large-scale city. All the citizens
were terrified by the divine beasts’ arrival and were cowering in fright.
On the other hand, the pterosaurs’ master, Uldin, remained casual and
composed.
Only the pterosaur he was riding did not make a racket. With its wings
spread wide, the pterosaur glided slowly through the air above Raurica.
Mounted on its back, Uldin surveyed the city’s condition from above in a
unhurried manner.
It was as though he were appraising the value of treasure that had already
fallen into his hands.
Feeling a weight in her heart, Aisha began to ponder.
Now that Kusanagi Godou was not present, there were no warriors
capable of engaging Uldin in battle. Although she was a Campione like him
as well, Aisha was not skilled in fighting.
— At the very least, she had to assist the Roman army in the stronghold.
She must encourage them in their fight against the pterosaurs and heal
their injuries.
Deciding that, Aisha quickened her footsteps. She had just left town and
was heading towards the stronghold. She was about a kilometer away.
In contrast to her frail appearance, Aisha was actually quite athletic and
fleet-footed.
As she increased her running speed, the path ahead was suddenly
blocked. A black pterosaur had made a rapid descent from the sky.
Furthermore, there was a rider on its back.
“I’ve been searching for you, Holy Maiden. If I couldn’t find you, my original
plan was to break every house here, one by one.”
The man speaking from the pterosaur’s saddle was Uldin of course.
Aisha glared at the pterosaur’s rider sharply. However, due to her inborn
gentle temperament, she was not very intimidating.
“For what reason do you seek me?”
“Nothing much. I just wanted to have you in my grasp before I attacked the
town seriously.”
“l-ln your grasp!?”
“Yeah. I want to make you my woman no matter what. It’d be a shame if
you escaped during the chaos of battle, so I wanted to get it done
beforehand.”
As always, Uldin made a shocking declaration with a cheerful tone of
voice.
“If you refuse, I won’t force you to become mine. But you still need to come
with me. Once you start living by my side for a while, I’m sure you’ll change
your mind.”
“Well well… That’s really quite some confidence you have there.”
“That’s basically how it always goes. Those women who hate me at first,
they pretty much end up falling in love after a while. They desperately cling
to their obstinacy as though they are trying to hide their change in
feelings.”
As Uldin laughed with joy, unbelievably, his words did not sound especially
repulsive.
He was not putting up a front or bragging. It felt like he was talking about
things in a matter-of-fact manner. Aisha realized that Uldin possessed
undeniable charm.
However, faced with the crisis of her chastity, Aisha could not possibly give
in so obediently.
“My utmost apologies. I have no intention of joining anyone’s harem.”
“Not even mine?”
“Indeed. Granted you may be a rare hero, godslayer Uldin… But
considering our status, you and I are equals. Hence, there is no reason for
me to follow you!”
Aisha tried to speak as sternly as she could.
In addition, she began to increase the magical power in her Campione
body with a cry of “Yah!”
If this continued, she was going to be taken away by force. Despite the fact
that Aisha did not possess authorities suited for fighting, she did not want
to submit without resisting. If she did not oppose with all her might —
“This power… Are you…”
“Kusanagi-san and you are not the only godslayers. Besides, I already
have over a century’s experience since I first slew a deity. Some have
even called me ‘Queen.'”
In actual fact, Aisha had no confidence at all that she could defeat Uldin in
a direct confrontation.
Nevertheless, Aisha still held her head high and puffed out her voluptuous
chest, giving her best effort to look strong. No weapon could seize
instantaneous victory in a situation like this. This was the wisdom she had
acquired in her century-plus life as a Devil King.
In response, Uldin glared down sharply at Aisha from his saddle.
“I knew you were no ordinary person from the start… So you call yourself a
godslayer.”
The pterosaur flapped its wings forcefully and began to soar once more.
Returning to the skies, the Hunnic Devil King declared loudly to his peer on
the ground.
“Indeed, I can sense that sort of presence. However, that alone is not
enough to convince me. Let me test your powers, how’s that?”
Uldin smiled fearlessly and reached out.
He took an arrow from the quiver hanging on his saddle and threw it
towards the ground. The arrow flew with a “whoosh” as though it had been
shot by a bow, embedding itself into the earth. Right before Aisha’s eyes.
Immediately, the arrow suddenly burst into flames.
The resulting fire instantly turned into explosive flames, incinerating Aisha’s
surroundings intensely.
A fire god’s authority — This must be the power he had used to counter the
sun god’s spear that Kusanagi Godou had summoned several days earlier.
Aisha deduced calmly while surrounded by a roaring inferno.
Despite her frail appearance, Aisha’s womanly body did not perspire a
single drop of sweat, let alone suffer a single burn.
Not only that, her white overcoat was not even soiled by a speck of dust.
“Oh…”
Gazing down at the completely unharmed Aisha, Uldin picked up his bow.
With lightning speed, he repeated the motions of nocking the arrow,
drawing the bow and aiming thrice, firing three arrows in succession.
The three arrows all flew towards Aisha’s heart while the flames devoured
her.
However, all the arrows passed through Aisha’s body and simply struck the
ground behind her.
“What a wonderful skill. However, what if I did this?”
Uldin muttered as he snapped his fingers.
The raging flames suddenly vanished and were replaced by something
flying towards the ground. Two seven-meter-long
pterosaurs — Deinonychuses with their front limbs turned into wings.
These were the two pterosaurs which had been flying over town, sending
the citizens into a state of panic.
Unnoticed, they had returned to their master’s side and were now diving
rapidly towards the ground!
Using the “terrible claws” on their hind legs to attack, they intended to
cruelly slash Aisha’s slender body apart.
However, their claws simply passed through Aisha’s body.
Seeing this occur, Uldin whistled loudly. The two pterosaurs returned to the
air once more. All of them were watching Aisha on the ground as though in
amazement.
“What trickery is this astounding skill? It’s like fighting against air.”
Uldin praised in admiration.
Aisha smiled with a calm and composed expression as though she were
praying. This was the result of her using this time period’s “force of
attachment” to correct the results of phenomena.
But under the current circumstances, that was as far as it could manage.
Presently speaking, Aisha did not have any authorities that could be used
to attack.
Although the charisma authority was quite potent, it was not very effective
against gods and Campiones. Unless the opponent was showing a
massive opening, it was not worth trying.
Then how could she break through this encirclement?
Just as Aisha pondered desperately, cover fire was shot in support. The
massive bowguns standing on the castle walls of the stronghold one
kilometer away — the ballistae.
Massive arrows were being shot at Uldin and the pterosaurs.
However, they were ineffective against the divine beasts. The pterosaur’s
sturdy outer skin deflected all the shots. Nevertheless, the soldiers refused
to admit defeat and prepared many ballistae to keep firing continuously.
The three pterosaurs began to feel annoyed and started to evade the
attack of the arrows.
At the same time, the castle gates opened and a small team of roughly
forty soldiers made a sortie.
They were rushing forth in a straight line, presumably intending to rescue
Aisha.
“Getting in the way of my romantic pursuits, huh? No matter. I guess I’ll
need to rely on a greater power to catch you who has turned into air.”
Sitting astride the pterosaur, the Hunnic Devil King declared briskly.
“I will take my leave for now, but I’ll return once night falls. When the time
comes, I will surely make you submit obediently!”
Leading the two pterosaurs, Uldin flew towards the western sky.
She had apparently survived the battle. Relieved, Aisha relaxed her entire
body and collapsed into a sitting position.
Soon after, the small contingent of soldiers approached.
“Holy Maiden! Are you injured!?”
The small team’s leader hurried over. Unlike the citizens, he had not
trembled in fear.
Instead, he resembled an excited racehorse. Aisha had noticed. Due to her
repeated usage of the charisma authority to encourage them, the soldiers
had developed absolute loyalty towards her. Even their fear towards the
pterosaurs was easily forgotten.
“Does that man intend to take the Holy Maiden’s life…? What a bastard!”
“Oh no. Uldin-san does not want to kill me. Instead, he said he wanted to
capture me to make me his wife. So there shouldn’t be any danger — ”
In an attempt to appease the soldiers’ excitement, she told them the truth.
But unexpectedly, these words made them even more fired up.
“How dare he intend to make the Holy Maiden his wife?” “That barbarian
bastard, how dare he harbor such delusional dreams!?” “Next time he
comes, we better teach him a lesson…” “Kill him! Kill that Uldin!”
Hearing the soldiers yelling in a clamor, Aisha went “Oh dear” in
puzzlement.
What an unexpected development, but no matter. Then a certain soldier
brought her a horse and helped her mount.
This soldier yelled out as he started escorting Aisha towards the
stronghold.
“We must protect the Holy Maiden! Everyone, let’s lay down our lives!”
OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Angry roars erupted in response, sounding as though they could cause an
earthquake. Meanwhile, Aisha could feel their goodwill as they escorted
her towards the stronghold. Rocking on the horse, Aisha murmured to
herself:
“Perhaps, I’ve done it again…?”
Part 4
Like the city of Raurica, Uldin’s castle was also built on the Rhine’s shores.
This was for defending against foreign invaders. Reportedly, it was
customary for the Roman army to swiftly send soldiers to swiftly repel
enemy attacks.
The Rhine’s river water not only provided the citizens with the blessings of
water but also stood as a natural boundary and defensive line.
The water surface of this grand river was now showing the battle between
two godslayers.
They were the ancient godslayer Uldin and Madame Aisha respectively.
Uldin’s “first wife,” Ruska, was using a spell to project on the water surface
what was happening far away in Augusta Raurica.
“Fortunately, it’s a town that I know. Otherwise, there would be no way of
viewing it.”
Ruska spoke softly in an aloof tone of voice.
The make-shift screen on the water by the shore was showing images of
the great tumult caused by Uldin’s flames and divine beasts. Nevertheless,
all of the attacks had simply passed through Madame Aisha’s body.
“What on earth is that…?”
“It must be Madame Aisha’s authority, right?”
Erica and Ena were baffled. Even as a Campione, Kusanagi Godou was
entirely clueless. However, Ruska used her glass-colored eyes to gaze at
the Madame and began to speak slowly:
“The other godslayer who is not supposed to exist here… Protected by a
power capable of reducing to nothingness phenomena that were supposed
to happen, correcting all phenomena even if they had already happened…”
“Eh?”
Godou wondered if he had misheard because he caught Ruska saying the
word “correcting.”
“It’s the power that maintains her attachment to this place — Or rather, this
world? The force that attaches her to a world where she should not exist.
That’s what it feels like.”
Apparently an oracle delivered through spirit vision. Ruska spoke in a
blank tone of voice.
“She is only impervious to calamities and powers in progress. Hence the
impossible was able to occur just now. However, due to Uldin’s keen
instincts… He ultimately noticed after all.”
The two Campiones’ fight was projected on the water surface.
Uldin had stated “I’ll be back once night falls” and left with his pterosaurs.
With that, the incident was temporarily settled for now.
“Even the full-powered attacks of a godslayer like Uldin could not
neutralize that miraculous power… I’m guessing he left because he sensed
that.”
Hearing Ruska’s words, Godou began to think.
Very likely, Madame Aisha was actually able to control, to some extent, the
“corrective force” she had mentioned before? That was probably the
reason why she adhered to that suspicious philosophy of hers and
indulged freely in her time traveling —
Speaking of which, this sort of live playback really was quite a convenient
spell.
Although Liliana could do something similar, she could only show images.
In contrast, Ruska’s live playback included sound.
Ruska’s powers were superior in this and other regards. However, too
much convenience was sometimes quite troublesome too.
Godou took a glance at Clotilde.
The blonde beauty’s face was locked in some sort of mental impasse. She
continued to stare intently at the water surface which no longer reflected
any images. During the battle just now, she had listened to many
problematic statements.
‘I want to make you my woman no matter what.’
‘Once you start living by my side for a while, I’m sure you’ll change your
mind.’
Etc etc. Uldin had said quite a lot to Madame Aisha.
Clotilde’s shoulders shook as she murmured to herself.
“Not only does he have us as wives, but also the other dozen women
surrounding him, yet he dares make a move on another woman…!”
Although her voice was not loud, it was a mournful lament.
Rather than anger, it was more the expression of mixed feelings. As a
result, the mood instantly grew heavy. Godou could not casually offer
comforting words to her either.
Seeing Clotilde struck down by such a blow, Godou felt rather somber.
(Even a master warrior on Paolo-san’s level cannot withstand this sort of
matter.)
(That’s only natural. No matter what time period, humans’ greatest sources
of stress are love, money and health without exception. Even someone like
my uncle has started worrying about the problem of losing hair.)
(R-Really?)
(He really is unexpectedly concerned with his image and presentation…)
(Speaking of murder motives, they all boil down to a few causes like love
disputes and money.)
Seeing Erica shrugging as she explained, Ena also whispered in a rare,
sighing tone of voice.
The trio were all whispering in consideration of Clotilde, naturally.
(Hey, Your Majesty, can we talk?)
The black-haired Hime-Miko was looking at Godou with a troubled
expression when she suddenly spoke up.
Although she usually behaved with cheerful optimism, Ena would display a
Yamato Nadeshiko’s docility on occasion. Godou was quite surprised to
see her making that kind of expression.
(So. Even if Your Majesty decides to go somewhere, even if you leave for
many years, Ena will resolve herself to wait for you at home no matter
what…)
(Uh sure.)
(As a result, to stop Ena from stabbing Your Majesty when welcoming your
return, Your Majesty really must show appropriate restraint in womanizing
outside, okay? This will surely be tough…)
( )
(Hearing Ruska-san describe Your Majesty as very similar to Uldin-san,
Ena can understand very well. Ena has always been very aware of
similarities between people.)
(You feel that way too, Ena-san? What a coincidence, I actually have the
same feeling as well.)
Erica instantly nodded in agreement with her companion’s words.
(If Godou were born in this era, he’d probably turn out with the same
character? His self-styled pacifism is simply a tenet branded by modern
society, isn’t it?)
(So true. Yeah, it’s really a great thing that Ena and Erica-san were able to
come here together this time.)
(Indeed that’s true. Because we are both here, we can prevent any
opportunities for strange women to hang around Godou.)
( )
Realizing he would simply bring about his own demise if he were to raise
his objections, Godou endured and remained silent. In actual fact, all of
Kusanagi Godou’s “bastard” behavior resulted from the girls’ own tolerance
and goodwill.
Then Godou turned his gaze involuntarily and found Ruska comforting
Clotilde.
“Why not just stab him mercilessly to take out your anger? After all, he’s
not going to die.”
“S-So ordinary blades are really ineffective against Uldin-sama?”
“Yes. I was quite angry once and stabbed a spear into his flank. Although it
was probably quite painful, he not only did not die but also had no serious
injuries either. Now that’s truly vexing.”
“So basically, that’s not going to make him mend his ways…”
The two beauties’ conversation was gradually veering off in a radical
direction.
Were such excessive reactions of ancient people the result of living in
borderlands like Gaul? Or perhaps, it should be seen as the harsh side of
Ruska and Clotilde’s natures?
(Godou, absolutely do not forget the conversation just now, for I hope you
can learn a lesson from it. If you don’t keep yourself in check, perhaps we
may turn out like them as well.)
( )
Godou felt the bottom of his stomach convulsing in pain in response to
Erica’s whispering grumbles. At the same time, he listened to the two
ancient beauties conversing dangerous topics.
“The only ones capable of terminating godslayers are gods or their fellow
godslayers…”
“Yes, indeed. But no matter which side, they are all rare existences.
However, when that man is backed into a corner, he always fights back as
normal.”
“If that’s the case, if only there were a godslayer right here…”
“Indeed. If only a godslayer were here…”
Clotilde turned her gaze meaningfully towards Godou.
…Realizing their intent, Godou sighed. If things were left alone, Augusta
Raurica would be trampled by that man while Madame Aisha was also
going to fall into danger.
Since things had developed to this point, there was really no way to avoid
a duel against Uldin.
In that case — Godou motioned to his negotiator with a glance.
“So, shall we confirm the terms and conditions? Just so you know, the
price for hiring Kusanagi Godou definitely does not come cheap.”
Comprehending Godou’s intentions, Erica immediately spoke up.
At the castle’s plaza, Clotilde swung a pickaxe and dug out a small sack.
It contained a small blade — Delilah’s Razor — and a small lock of hair. This
was Godou’s severed hair from yesterday.
Clotilde placed the hair on the ground and pressed her index finger on it.
With a flash of radiance from her fingertip, a symbol resembling a letter
from the Latin alphabet appeared. Then the letter turned into burning
flames, devouring the hair. It appeared to be a runic symbol for
incineration.
“This releases the razor’s curse. With that, Kusanagi-sama’s authority is
restored.”
Clotilde reported to Godou who was standing quietly beside her.
Severing a person’s hair would seal their authority. This was the divine
artifact named Delilah’s Razor. Apparently, one must burn the severed hair
in order to neutralize the effect.
The rune’s flames were small but intense. In mere seconds, the hair was
completely consumed by the fire.
Immediately, Godou’s body gave off a sound akin to glass breaking. An
indescribable feeling coursed through his entire body and he understood
that his authority had been released.
“If you want to go by boat, you can take one from inside the town. That’s
the fastest way.”
“That would help greatly. Thank you, Ruska.”
“However, it’d be great if you could lend out those pterosaurs. Riding them
to fly in the sky seems quite fun. It also looks faster than a boat.”
The trio had gone to pick up their luggage and returned.
Erica expressed her thanks to Ruska who was standing in front. On the
other hand, Ena made a suggestion.
“I’d advise against it, because those beasts can suddenly go berserk. Even
for us, we almost never ride them without Uldin nearby.”
“Oh I see, that’s a shame. But if there’s a chance in the future, please
teach me how to ride them.”
Declined by Ruska with a wry smile, Ena took the opportunity to make a
promise. Then Godou’s group was taken to where the boats were moored.
The Rhine’s source came from the Alps mountain range.
In terms of modern place names, this river ran through Switzerland from
east to west, then flowed from south to north to trace out the boundary
between Germany and France, towards Holland.
Even in ancient times, the shipping industry relying on this water route was
already quite developed and prosperous.
Ena was the first to jump nimbly onto the large cargo boat that was tied to
the river shore. Erica followed at an elegant pace and Godou got on last.
As a side note, Ruska’s final parting words were also quite radical.
“Well then, we’ll entrust the rest to you. I hope you will fight with the intent
to kill. Please do not show any mercy.”
“I don’t think I have the room to show mercy in the first place… But are you
sure that’s fine? If that Uldin guy dies — ”
Although Godou brought up common sense in a matter-of-fact way, Ruska
shook her head and answered:
“No, if you don’t fight with the intent to kill, you won’t be able to corner him.
Without the intent to kill… I truly hope you can prepare yourself to fight with
the intent to kill your opponent.”
Perhaps it was because she had spent so many years following that
ridiculous man and a godslayer to boot?
Although Godou had no intention of sympathizing with Uldin, he reflected
on himself and sighed.
“O spirits of water. I beseech you to bestow special protection upon these
people.”
Clotilde invoked magic. Once again, her fingertip shone with the radiance
of runic symbols.
“May your journey be blessed with safe passage. All you need to do is
follow the river downstream and the boat will naturally reach its
destination.”
She had apparently cast protection to prevent the boat from capsizing
along the way. Furthermore, she was aiding the man who was about to
battle the husband she loved deeply. With these complicated thoughts and
feelings, Godou bowed his head.
With that, the boat set sail, carrying the three moderners along with
complicated feelings of hate and love.
“This is heavy responsibility in all sorts of ways…”
As the boat advanced forward swiftly, Godou quietly muttered to himself.
Part 5
The boat’s size was apparently large enough for ten adults to sit with room
to spare.
Used to riding small wooden vessels, Ena initially took up the oars to row.
But she soon realized it was unnecessary. Even without anyone in control,
the boat automatically remained balanced and evaded rocks on its own.
No mistake about it, this was all thanks to Clotilde’s protection spell.
“This is so interesting and it’s great that the speed is so fast!”
“This is much faster than riding galloping horses over the road. So Godou,
have you made a decision regarding the earlier problem you were facing?”
“You mean how seriously I should fight Uldin?”
Sitting with Erica and Ena and facing the wind blowing across from the
river’s shore, Godou began to ponder.
The Hunnic godslayer Uldin was believed to have certain connections to
the barbarian king, Attila, who was about to enter the historical stage in the
near future. If he were killed, or simply injured seriously, there could be
serious effects on the future.
And even from a modern perspective, one might find him sympathetic in a
certain way.
Rather than tyrannical, he was more of a man who caused trouble for
others.
However, if Uldin, who treated “invasion and plundering” as his daily life,
were left to do as he pleased, the twenty thousand inhabitants of Augusta
Raurica were going to be swept into a tragic fate.
Even though such tragedies were probably quite common in the ancient
world —
In the end, Godou could not stand back and feign ignorance. Hence, he
spoke with certainty.

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