Campione! / Campione! Vol 15 Chapter 3


Chapter 3 – Goddess from the Land of Gaul
Part 1
Salvatore Doni had drifted to the land of ancient Gaul, three months
earlier.
After encountering the godslayer of this era, Uldin, he wandered north
aimlessly. At the time, he simply took the sword he had brought from the
modern era, stood it casually upright on the ground. The blade happened
to point north when it fell.
Apart from the sword, all he had was the clothing on his body. Completely
penniless, he embarked on his journey in the past.
The language was also different from the modern world. Without a single
acquaintance. An ordinary twenty-first century person would probably have
given up in less than three days. Nevertheless, Doni actually enjoyed
himself.
During the few days he stayed at Uldin’s castle, he already learned the
local language.
Despite lacking money, using his natural cheerfulness and shamelessness,
he was able to join a caravan he encountered by chance to serve as a
bodyguard, thereby starting to travel for free openly.
Also, he confiscated all the money from the robbers he captured alive
when they attacked the caravan. Furthermore, he forced them to lead him
to their stash of valuables and very astutely claimed them for his own…
Casually going about in his travels, Doni soon arrived in the area where the
Franks resided.
The Franks originally roamed the area along the Rhine and were a tribe of
barbarians who repeatedly looted from the Roman Empire’s inhabitants.
But ever since they were suppressed by Emperor Julian the Apostate, they
became subservient to the Empire as allies and moved to live in what
would become southern Holland and northern Belgium in modern times.
Furthermore, in the village that Doni happened to visit by chance…
Reportedly, it was as quiet as a funeral wake. The Frankish villagers
cursed the cruelty of fate, weeping, sighing mournfully.
According to the villagers, this village was going to be destroyed soon, due
to a divine curse.
“Curse?”
“Yeah. Due to angering that goddess from just now, Artio, she prophesied
that These people will all die in a matter of a few dozen days.’ Then I
arrived.”
Doni explained to the puzzled Godou.
After fighting the bears, Godou and Madame Aisha went along with the
Franks and stayed overnight.
Then the next morning, the whole group took off for Colonia Agrippina.
With the three Campiones sitting with the cargo on the horse-drawn carts,
they slowly advanced on the roads. In order to allow Doni’s followers to
keep up, some of which were walking on foot, they did not travel at too fast
a rate.
“So that was why you fought the goddess…”
“It really was an awesome battle. We both injured each other severely,
finally ending in a draw. Oh well, I just happened to recover much faster
than her.”
Doni’s magic sword was able to slice through everything. But that was not
all.
It was also able to cause explosions when cutting through the enemy’s
body, produce wounds that had difficulty healing, along with a number of
myriad applications. Godou had tasted it personally himself. That was
probably why Artio’s wound was recovering so slowly.
On the other hand, the third person present was listening to their
conversation with a touched look on her face.
“So, Doni-san was fighting all-out to protect the Franks… What a noble
sense of self-sacrifice!”
Naturally, the speaker was none other but Madame Aisha.
Perhaps due to her honest and benevolent personality, she interpreted
Doni’s actions as motivated by good intentions.
This was completely different from Godou’s thoughts, which were along the
lines of “This guy definitely took action as he pleased without thinking
deeply at all. He’s fighting simply because he met a deity.”
“1-1 am truly sorry. To think I even mistook Salvatore Doni for an atrocious
demon whose tyrannical willfulness caused trouble without any concern for
the people around him.”
“Really? Well, the misunderstanding can be cleared up right now.”
Answering in this manner, Doni laughed foolishly in a matter-of-fact
manner.
“Oh dear, to be honest, my friend Andrea keeps saying that I’m human
scum, without any value in living, as lacking in thought as an invertebrate,
born as a beast that creates trouble for others, etc, so I was beginning to
think I might really be like that.”
“Goodness gracious, to think he would be unable to understand your noble
heart, Doni-san! That person must surely be the greatest idiot of all.”
Seeing the two Campiones getting along so well, Godou sighed towards
the heavens.
The Madame looked like she had completely forgotten Doni’s “atrocious
act” of conquering Colonia Agrippina.
Oh well, this might be much easier to deal with compared to having a
conflict.
Deciding to put this matter aside for now, Godou changed the subject.
“So, how did you become the boss of the Franks?”
“Well, this happened back when I was recuperating in the Frankish village
after the battle with the goddess. They asked me, hoping I could become
the chieftain to rule the Franks in this area.”
“Why did it become like this!?”
Seeing Godou’s outburst, Doni explained without a care.
“Since having me around, even a goddess can be defeated. That’s why.
Also, the Franks from other lands heard about me and came one after
another to make friends with me, or to test my power… After handling them
as appropriate, I was already the great chieftain by the time I realized.”
“What the heck, great chieftain…”
“Something like a big boss who unified a number of Frankish tribes and
now rules over them? Oh well, I think it’s kind of nice to fight alongside
everyone.”
“Don’t go becoming king so thoughtlessly…”
The Franks were most likely a tribe of fierce and courageous warriors.
Godou could tell clearly from the way they fought the bears. Furthermore,
awestruck by Doni’s power in singlehandedly fighting a deity on equal
footing, they worshiped this man as a living god…
In actual fact, for Godou who was able to summon the [Boar], they also
received him with the highest level of respect.
Madame Aisha was already worshiped by them for her “miraculous hands
of healing.” After all, she had displayed her ability to heal the injured
Frankish warriors and even revive bears as well.
“Thereafter, the goddess frequently ordered bear armies under her
command to attack the Frankish settlements. In order to protect these
people who are under attack, a city is needed, right? Since there
happened to be a walled Roman city nearby over by the Rhine, I decided
to head over and ask them to borrow it for now.”
“Is that the city called Colonia Agrippina?”
“Yes yes, that’s the one. Since our discussion broke down, it became a
battle between me and the Roman army. It ended up something like me
driving them out of the city by force.”
“Using ‘ended up’ is totally wrong!”
“So, hearing that I took the city, the Frankish tribes gathered here from all
over the place. Right now, they’re preparing for round two against Artio.
Since I was too bored, I took some troops and went out to scout, resulting
in yesterday’s battle.”
After learning of the situation, Godou sighed.
“Don’t go changing history so easily, okay?”
“Oh well, I just went with the flow!”
“No matter how radiant a smile you make while speaking, idiotic words are
still idiotic words… By the way, I’ve got a question. Why did that goddess
called Artio curse the Franks?”
After admonishing Doni who was making a thumbs-up, Godou changed
the subject.
Perhaps because he felt compelled by a sense of duty to say something
constructive.
“Perhaps she bears some kind of grudge against them?”
“Now that you mention it, what could it be?”
“That’s the most important point, you idiot!”
“Uh, lemme think, during the earlier duel, Artio did say something. I
remember it was something about her being summoned by the resentment
of the people of Gaul who died from Frankish attacks.”
“The people of Gaul — Their resentment?”
But the Franks were also inhabitants of Gaul, right?
Godou did not understand what it meant. On the other hand, Doni was
uninterested in the meaning of those words. However, the third Campione
reacted differently from both of them. Madame Aisha murmured slightly
sadly.
“The goddess named Artio… She’s probably a Celtic deity.”
“What does that mean?”
“Summarizing the essentials, although ancient Gaul was part of the Roman
Empire’s territory, its inhabitants, the Gauls, were mostly tribes of Celtic
descent.”
That was who the Celts were, inhabitants of ancient Europe.
Godou knew these facts roughly. They were an ethnic group that had no
written language, worshiped nature and were adept at using iron tools.
However, they were supposed to have gradually fallen into decline as
history transitioned from the ancient to the medieval period.
“I think I remember the Celts losing in their battle to resist the Germanic
peoples and were driven out of their lands. Then they crossed the Strait of
Dover and migrated over to Britain, right?”
“Yes, that what is believed. Also, the Germanic peoples include the Goths,
the Lombards, the Burgundians, the Franks who later founded France, and
others.”
“Ah…”
“The Franks invaded various places in Gaul over a long period of time,
looting and killing repeatedly.”
“So the victimized peoples’ curse summoned that goddess huh…”
“This could be the result of a magical ritual to summon a [Heretic God],
performed by magi or priests inheriting Celtic bloodlines…”
A rise and fall story of earthly impermanence. Viewed from a modern
perspective, the Franks’ current predicament, attacked by the goddess,
could only be described as their comeuppance.
That said, intervention from the authorities of Heretic Gods did factor into
the human world’s rise and fall.
As one may expect, this was not entirely out of place.
In the end, Godou was nothing more but a modern visitor in passing.
Whether the Franks or the Roman Empire, he had no intention of aiding
either of them. However, Godou believed that as a human, first and
foremost, he was at least obliged to repel the pursuing goddess…
“Well, even if I’m doing it, I’m definitely not going to use Doni’s approach…”
“Hey hey, don’t say it like I’ve been doing something stupid.”
“‘Like’ doesn’t even cut it. You are currently doing stupid things, in the
present continuous sense. I’ll figure out a way to deal with that goddess, so
you should take a break for now.”
“No no, I’ve got an idea about this matter, actually.”
Godou proposed his correct opinion, but Doni objected frivolously.
“Kusanagi Godou and Salvatore Doni, let’s see which of the two
Campiones will defeat the goddess first — We should have a contest
between the two of us!”
“This guy still likes to talk nonsense as always…”
Godou muttered while trying to think.
Letting Doni do whatever he pleased was definitely out of the question. But
trying to imprison him somewhere also posed a challenge. Why not go
along with him to act as someone to monitor him and stop him from
continuing to act stupid?
Was this where he should compromise? Sighing from the bottom of his
heart, Godou spoke:
“It can’t be helped. If I agree to your idea, you must stay within my sight at
all times, okay?”
“Oh, so you’re saying that stealing a march is forbidden. Then before the
battle against Artio, we might as well have a duel between you and me
first, to decide who gets to challenge the goddess, how’s that?”
“Shut up. As if anyone’s going to do something so tiring!”
Worn out from dealing with Doni, Godou noticed something by chance.
Madame Aisha was staring at him intently. Her gaze also seemed to be
expressing disapproval.
“What’s the matter, Aisha-san?”
“Oh nothing. Kusanagi-san, didn’t you just say something like ‘you must
stay within my sight at all times’? It sounded almost like a speech of
courtship…”
“Please don’t misinterpret. Because I’d like to request the same from you,
Aisha-san.”
“Eh?”
“Absolutely do not leave my sight — Please stay by my side.”
Since it would be bad if she only paid lip service, Godou tried to plead in as
sincere a tone of voice as possible. As a result, Madame Aisha began to
act awkward for some reason, nodding vigorously.
“R-Really, it can’t be helped. Since you’ve already said this much,
Kusanagi-san, I will try my best to do that…”
After that, they kept going on their journey while protecting the Franks.
By afternoon the next day, walking on a road along the Rhine’s shore,
Godou and the group could already see a large city ahead of them.
This was also a Roman colonial city built beside the great river. On the
city’s east was the Rhine. The remaining three sides on the north, west
and south were surrounded by city walls. Defense on all sides was
rock-solid.
This was Colonia Agrippina.
…The city that Doni had taken possession roughly a week earlier.
Part 2
Many modern European metropolises were originally ancient Roman
colonial cities.
Apart from the few cities Godou had visited, this also included Bonna
(Bonn), Lutetia (Paris), Portus Namnetum (Nantes), Lugdunum (Lyon),
Genava (Geneva), Massalia (Marseille), Aquincum (Budapest).
All of them were cities that even a Japanese person would recognize and
go “come to think of it…” upon hearing their modern names.
This was only logical, given the presence of aqueducts, road networks,
public baths, and other infrastructure for living, as well as amphitheaters,
arenas and other entertainment facilities. Also, there was protection
conferred by standing Roman armies…
Presumably, all colonial cities offered all these things without exception.
Naturally, people would flock to the cities for their comfort and stimulating
entertainment. The cities’ subsequent development would then be inherited
by the future world.
Later known as Cologne, the city of Colonia Agrippina was also perfectly
equipped with all sorts of urban infrastructure. Life here for Godou was just
as comfortable as in Augusta Raurica earlier. Furthermore, unlike that city,
this one was defended on all sides by city walls.
At one point, Roman soldiers assuming the title of emperor had apparently
used this city as the capital of their short-lived Gallic Empire.
“To think he conquered this place singlehandedly, what kind of heroic saga
is that…”
Godou recalled what Doni had cheerfully talked about.
It was now two days after they had arrived in Colonia Agrippina. Godou’s
current location was in the courtyard of a vast mansion that the Franks had
prepared for “the great chieftain’s ally.”
Salvatore Doni’s only skilled weapon was the sword.
However, the sword was just a weapon wielded in “one-on-one” battles to
begin with.
In the ancient Roman army, soldiers used spears and shields as their basic
equipment, arranging themselves into formations to move en masse on the
battlefield. Cavalry armed with bows and arrows were necessary to oppose
them. Hence, these kinds of armaments and tactics on the battlefield were
the most effective.
Conquering the battlefield with a single sword was not something a human
was capable of.
Nevertheless, Salvatore Doni achieved it effortlessly.
More than likely, using the mystic sword skill he displayed in the battle
where he annihilated the bears in one strike, he had blown away dozens if
not hundreds of soldiers all at once, thus by his own very words, obtaining
victory before he knew it. Absolutely ridiculous.
“Excuse me, master.”
“…I already told you yesterday, could you not call me that?”
Godou instantly replied as soon as he was addressed.
Imperceptibly, a maid had arrived by his side. She was a roughly
sixteen-year-old Frank with quite a cute face.
Offered to him together with the house when he was taken to “Kusanagi
Godou’s residence” yesterday, a servant — One of many servants.
“It makes me feel uncomfortable. Besides, I don’t really need servants.”
“What are you talking about? Master, you are exalted as the great
chieftain’s ally in addition to rivaling Tyr’s Sword’ Uldin in power. No one
would object even if you had thirty servants or so. Rather, even double that
would be fine.”
Including this girl, Godou’s residence had a total of thirty servants.
This was actually quite a pain and it was all arranged by the Franks.
Originally a Roman army officer’s mansion, this residence was frighteningly
vast. Even with thirty servants living together here, there was still plenty of
space.
“Well, let’s put that aside for now.”
Godou could feel a shred of agony in his voice.
“Among those thirty people, what the heck is with all of them being young
maidens!? With me as the only man in a house filled with women, I can’t
help but feel embarrassed! At least replace them with men!”
“Hoho, what are you saying now?”
No matter how Godou requested from the bottom of his heart, the maid
remained smiling.
She had mentioned earlier that she was a daughter of Frankish nobles and
already “used to” getting along with prestigious people. Perhaps because
she was used to it, Godou could frequently see her acting “with too much
familiarity.”
Godou was almost about to scream “I get it” when she spoke up:
“I have heard how you lived in your previous city, master, surrounded by
your two beloved consorts, building something like a nest of love.
Furthermore, you got along well with His Highness Uldin who is known for
his lust. The two of you even established an alliance of comrades as a
result of your ‘compatible taste in women’…”
“This rubbish must be coming from Madame Aisha, right!? Almost
everything is false!”

It would not be surprising for rumors purely about Kusanagi Godou at
Augusta Raurica to have spread all the way to Colonia Agrippina.
But information regarding Uldin’s ties to the “great chieftain’s ally” should
be very sparse indeed.
Despite that fact, this maid actually knew of that event.
Apart from Madame Aisha who had come from Raurica together with him,
Godou could not think of anyone else leaking such news.
On the other hand, faced with Godou’s indignation, the maid gave a
knowing look.
“Apart from preparing a residence worthy of your stature, we have also put
in consideration in the choice of personnel to serve you. This is our tribe’s
hospitality, so please enjoy yourself without reservation.”
“That’s exactly why I feel embarrassed! It really makes me very
uncomfortable!”
Godou was currently in the courtyard of his residence.
Thirty girls, ranging from early to late teens (most of them with pretty
faces), were hard at work doing chores throughout the interior of the
residence.
Unable to remain calm inside the house, Godou felt forced to come to the
courtyard like a father going to the veranda for a smoke.
“The rumors turn out to be completely true. You are only serious in your
words.”
“I’m not lying, this is honestly what I think. By the way, did you have
something to tell me?”
“Yes. Actually, there are guests to see you, master.”
Finding their positions on parallel lines which would never meet despite
any further discussion, Godou changed the subject. Then the maid left to
bring in the guests. Several minutes later…
“I knew it was you two. Finally, we meet up again.”
The maid had brought in his two companions.
Naturally, they were Erica Blandelli and Seishuuin Ena.
Although Godou had used Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi to transmit news
that he was safe and had met Doni, it was impossible to hold
conversations like a phone after all.
Godou was glad to be finally reunited with his companions.
As expected of Erica and Ena, they did not encounter any trouble on their
way here.
However, the blonde Italian girl looked quite displeased. On the other
hand, the black-haired Hime-Miko was making a face as though she had
eaten something bitter.
“Why hello, Godou, it’s been quite a while… Isn’t it wonderful that you’re
still the same as always?”
“After parting for a matter of days, you’ve already established this
residence, all filled with girls. Your Majesty truly isn’t someone who can be
left alone to do as you please.”
The two girls had apparently toured the mansion thoroughly, witnessing
how it was teeming with maids.
Erica was dripping with piercing sarcasm while Ena sighed mournfully.
Godou objected in a panic:
“It’s not like that. It’s just those surrounding people who decided on their
own to prepare this for me!”
“This sort of destiny should be called the Kusanagi Godou disease, I
suppose. A disease that causes you to die unless you’re surrounded by
women.”
“Surely Your Majesty must have done something to these girls all around
you. Definitely.”
Then the two of them sighed together.
“L-Let’s put this aside first and talk about what happened while we were
apart. We need to exchange information, right?”
“You’re really poor at changing the subject, Godou. But no matter, indeed
you are right. I’ll let you off the hook this time.”
“Well, after Ena and Erica-san fell off the ship, we quickly got back on
land.”
“Indeed, we did not suffer much hardship. As soon as the storm subsided,
we resumed our journey.”
Despite her anger, Erica still acted rationally. The forgiving Ena also did
not look like she intended to pursue the matter further.
Gratified by his companions’ consideration, Godou explained about Doni
and Artio.
“…Then, that guy Doni is now staying with the Frankish warriors and living
in what used to be a Roman army outpost.”
Roman army outposts were military installations established at many
Roman colonial cities.
Doni’s subordinates were trying their best to gather Frankish warriors from
nearby lands to Colonia Agrippina. Naturally, the outpost was the best
location to shelter all these people.
“So, what about Aisha-san… She’s also in this city, right?”
“Uh yeah, she’s actually…”
“If you wish, should I go and call her here?”
Just as Godou hesitated in answering Ena’s matter-of-fact question, the
maid went ahead and made a suggestion.
Godou jumped in surprise. On further thought, he realized this matter could
easily be misinterpreted. No, he had not done anything against his
conscience, so it should be fine —
While he was thinking, the maid left the courtyard to call Madame Aisha.
Then in merely three minutes, she rapidly arrived.
“Well I never! Although I’ve already heard that the two of you are safe and
sound, it is truly wonderful that we are reunited again so smoothly without
trouble. I am so happy! Hohoho!”
Coming here, Madame Aisha smiled warmly while exclaiming in joy.
However, Erica was glaring at Godou in terrifying manner while Ena was
making a pained expression as though about to exclaim “This again.” She
replied to the female Campione:
“Yes. Ena and Erica-san are very happy too. But let’s put that aside first.”
“Oh sure. What may be the matter?”
“It feels like you took only a very short time to visit here, Madame. I was
thinking it would take an hour at least, but unbelievably, it turned out to be
instant…”
The Madame smiled cheerfully and answered Ena and Erica’s question.
“Oh, getting here quickly is only natural. That’s because I’m currently living
in Kusanagi-san’s residence. So if you call me, I’ll instantly arrive.”
Madame Aisha continued.
“Of course, I felt a little resistant against staying in a man’s house, but this
place turns out to be a huge mansion. Furthermore, Kusanagi-san
threatened me, saying ‘you must stay within my sight’ with a horrifying
expression… So I had no choice.”
In actual fact, the Madame was the one who insisted yesterday on staying
in this residence. But for some reason, she seemed to be admonishing
Godou and he could notice her looking at him with a slightly shy
expression.
In addition, even Erica and Ena were glaring at Godou again.
“As expected.”
“Although I did consider the possibility of Godou playing around on
occasion, it really did turn out this way.”
“Ahhh, jeez. That’s the kind of person His Majesty is…”
Ena’s words were mixed with complicated emotions of anxiety and
resignation. On the other hand, Erica sounded like a detective who had
discovered important evidence.
Ever since Godou’s duel against Uldin, the two girls had become
inexplicably in tune with each other.
Godou was surprised by this unexpected discovery. At the same time, he
spoke up to defend his honor.
“Uh, I’m sorry to interrupt while you’re so engaged in the conversation, but
I need to go out a while to handle a necessary task.”
Hence, Godou rode his favorite horse and went into the streets of Colonia
Agrippina.
However, he was accompanied by three people. The maid from earlier,
Erica, as well as Ena. The three girls were riding respectively on horses
taken from the stables at Godou’s residence.
“Godou really isn’t a person who misses out on any opportunity!”
“Who could’ve expected things to get weird between him and that
person…”
“C-Come on. You two should know very well that Madame Aisha is the one
who needs to be watched the most closely, right!?”
His two companions were riding behind Godou’s horse with the maid
slightly further away.
Apart from the maid in the back who dutifully remained silent, the rest of
them chatted casually while moving through the Roman colonial city.
Peace was maintained in the city’s interior and the citizens were living their
lives as usual.
Reportedly, the standing Roman army normally stationed inside Colonia
Agrippina was defeated by Salvatore Doni singlehandedly and had
retreated already.
At the time, Doni’s Frankish subordinates had arrived, resulting in the
occupation of the city.
Normally speaking, the Franks would begin to loot, resulting in a great deal
of bloodshed among the citizens, with people captured as slaves and
towns burned by arson — This kind of tragic scene would be usual, but
contrary to Godou’s expectations, Doni actually prohibited such atrocities.
“That man turned out to be quite wise in this area, thank goodness…”
While patrolling various parts of the city by horse, Godou muttered to
himself.
Seeing the Frankish warriors looking restless in the city, Doni had realized
their intentions and had apparently given orders to prohibit looting from the
very start. After all the effort spent in obtaining a stronghold needed to fight
a deity, labor should not be wasted unnecessarily. That was how Doni
expressed it.
Back in modern Milan, Doni once commanded the [Copper Black Cross].
Godou was surprised to find Doni quite used to leading subordinates. But
rather than a general, it would be more accurate to describe him as a
bandit boss or a barbarian chief.
“By the way, Your Majesty. By ‘necessary task,’ you mean patrolling the
streets?”
“Yeah. As for why—”
Just as Godou was about to explain the reason to Ena, it so happened that
the “reason” took place before their eyes.
As they passed before a bar, three Frankish men with topknots were
causing a ruckus inside the shop. It looked like an argument had erupted
between them and other customers in the bar.
“Could you help me go stop them?”
“Understood, master.”
Under Godou’s orders, the maid waiting at the back dismounted swiftly.
Then she entered the bar and spoke a few words to the rioting Frankish
men. As a result, the troublemakers instantly stopped, looked at Kusanagi
Godou who was waiting outside, and began to show panic on their faces.
“In other words, Godou, you’re watching over the Franks’ actions?”
“Well, even with the great chieftain’s orders, it’s inevitable that people from
the conquering side would get cocky. Since that idiot is kind of sloppy with
certain details, I was thinking that this kind of incident should be reduced if
I let those Franks know that I will patrol around town.”
Godou nodded in response to Erica.
Doni and the Frankish warriors were currently at what used to be a Roman
army outpost.
The city streets where Godou’s group was visiting were located on the
Rhine’s west bank. In contrast, the outpost’s location was on the east bank.
Going back and forth simply required crossing a bridge. Due to irregular
bouts of isolation, the Frankish warriors seldom visited the city streets on
this side. But still, there were a small number of exceptions as one would
expect.
“I have returned, master.”
“Sorry for troubling you. Thanks for the help.”
“This sort of thing is nothing at all. On the other hand, I did hear something
strange.”
Returning from the bar, the maid made a slightly displeased look.
“The men were causing trouble just now because they heard someone in
the bar bring up disrespectful rumors…”
“Rumors, you say?”
“Yes… Soon, a hero wielding a sword of light shall arrive to vanquish Devil
King Salvatore Doni of the Franks, the black-haired ally as well as the
witch in white. That was what they said.”
Godou signaled to his two companions with his eyes. The two girls nodded
together in response.
“That was the rumor we heard in Augusta Raurica as well.”
“Did a rumor spread from that city all the way here? When did Your
Majesty and Aisha-san get added in as well… Eh, wait a sec.”
After Erica murmured casually, Ena showed a pondering expression.
“This seems like something that Ena heard before somewhere.”
“I am also wondering about this rumor. Something about it bothers me
regarding that goddess called Artio.”
Erica also murmured in deep thought.
Godou only felt that it was a strange coincidence, but the girls apparently
found the rumor to be some kind of hint. The blonde Italian girl suddenly
proposed a constructive idea.
“In any case, let’s visit Sir Salvatore’s side next. Godou’s patrolling job
should be handed over to someone else. Of course, don’t ask Sir Salvatore
to do it but let me take command instead.”
Despite having arrived in this city for less than half a day, Erica was
already thinking with such practicality.
Having displayed how nothing less should be expected from the one
named Erica Blandelli, she turned to the maid and smiled glamorously.
“I will be returning to the mansion afterwards to get reacquainted with all
the other servants. From here on, Ena-san and I shall be the mistresses of
the house. You don’t mind serving us, do you?”
“Of course not, madam.”
The maid bowed her head respectfully.
Thus began their new life in Colonia Agrippina.
Part 3
Later at night, on that day when Erica and Ena met up with Godou…
For the first time in a while, Godou gathered with his companions for dinner
together in his residence.
The dishes included salad with olives and broad beans, fruits such as figs
and grapes, boiled pork, roasted hare, sausages, grain porridge, deep fried
flower bulbs whose name was not known, etc. Quite a sumptuous array of
offerings.
Also, there was the casual chatting between Godou and the two girls who
were finally reunited with him.
Although it was supposed to be quite a lively occasion, there was the
addition of Madame Aisha who was “freeloading” here, as well as the
presence of thirty maids to wait on them.
After finishing dinner and escaping to the office reserved for the
residence’s master, Godou spoke from the bottom of his heart.
“There’s too many girls here. I really feel like moving over to live in the
soldiers’ quarters with Doni and the rest. It’s basically all men there…”
The former Roman army outpost was located on the opposite side of the
river. Currently, it was where Doni’s faction lived for now.
Gathered at Colonia Agrippina, the Franks’ women and children were also
living in the city.
Most of the men capable of fighting were at the outpost. Apart from women
who went there to cook, it was all men and quite a pig sty. Nevertheless,
Godou still envied that sort of environment devoid of females.
Casually sitting down on the desk meant for handling official matters,
Godou crossed his legs and spoke:
“I’d feel so much more relaxed in a place with only the smell of men’s
sweat, like a baseball or soccer club’s activities room.”
“This is a little difficult for me to understand.”
“No matter what, this isn’t something you should be saying in front of Ena
and Erica-san.”
Next to the desk, Erica showed surprise while Ena made a wry expression.
Unlike the rest of the female lineup here, Godou did not feel mentally
exhausted when hanging around these two girls. Well, in a certain sense,
Madame Aisha was also someone he “did not mind” interacting with.
“It’s no big deal, right? I’m actually more able to adjust to that kind of place.
Other than that, living like before, just the three of us, would be nice and
relaxing too.”
“Oh dear, compared to such a grand harem, you’re saying that having just
Ena-san and me would be better instead?”
“Ehehe… Putting it that way, Ena feels embarrassed by the compliment.”
“Oh no, I don’t mean anything weird in that.”
Seeing the two girls smile suddenly, Godou began to panic.
Then a knocking was heard from the office’s door followed by a voice from
outside.
“Is everyone inside? To celebrate our safe reunion, let us drink and chat
the night away in joy. This is called a free and easy party, hohoho.”
Madame Aisha had arrived at the door. Just as Godou was about to reply,
Erica took action first. Taking a seat on the desk where Godou was sitting,
she moved up close to him and leaned herself intimately against his body
before saying:
“Please come in, Madame!”
“Ah yes. Pardon my intrusion.”
Seeing Godou who had stiffened from the sudden intimate contact as well
as Erica leaning against him, the cheerful Madame froze as she entered
the room.
“E-Erica, stop doing weird things!”
“Yes, that’s right, Godou. The Madame has come over. — How terribly
sorry I am, Madame. Please excuse the unsightly display.”
By the time Godou regained his senses, he found that Erica had merely
separated slightly from him before apologizing gracefully. Nonchalantly,
she placed her hand on top of Godou’s while continuing to apologize in a
passionate tone of voice:
“Wanting to fill up the lonely void we felt due to our separation with this
person — Godou — we impatiently desired privacy for the three of us. Unable
to bear it, we hid in this kind of place.”
“W-When did I do such a thing!?”
Godou retorted against the blonde beauty whose eyes were lowered in a
gaze of ecstasy. Madame Aisha’s mouth opened and closed, muttering
meaninglessly, apparently speechless.
Nonchalantly ignoring all this, Erica murmured passionately like a lover:
“Seriously… Godou is so shy. Just bear it for a little longer. After a
delightful night of chatting with Madame Aisha, we still have enough time.
— Ena-san should also understand, right?”
“Ah, yes. Of course, Ena understands, Your Majesty.”
Catching the signal from Erica’s eyes, Ena spoke abruptly.
Then took a seat on the desk as well, taking up the spot next to
Godou — opposite Erica’s side — whispering in a stiff tone of voice:
“Although Ena also wants to enjoy Your Majesty’s love sooner, Ena is good
friends with Aisha-san too and wants to chat over many things. No
problem, Ena can wait patiently…”
The Hime-Miko’s watery eyes drew near to Godou while she whispered
softly.
Caught in the middle between Ena’s cuteness and Erica’s bold passion,
Godou was quite shocked. Meanwhile, Madame Aisha’s mouth finally
stopped muttering unintelligibly and managed to find words:
“S-S-Sorry, I didn’t notice. Th-That’s true too. Surely, the three of you must
have many things to talk about and apart from that, with this and that to do,
you must be very busy tonight. I-I-I will excuse myself now!”
Finishing her speech extremely rapidly, Madame Aisha left the office.
Her face was bright red and her head was bowed low…
“Ehehe… Feels so naughty, like driving her away.”
“But it’s true that we would like to spend some quality time together, just
the three of us. A prank of this level probably shouldn’t deserve karmic
retribution.”
The two girls next to Godou commented respectively.
Furthermore, Erica suddenly brought her lips near Godou’s ear and bit him
without warning.
“Ouch! W-What are you doing, Erica!?”
“Not like it matters. After all, we originally wanted to say private time for
two, but changed it to three people together instead. Consequently, you
should be thanking Ena-san and me for our generosity, Godou.”
“For example, you should share the joy of reunion through a kiss.”
This time, Erica brought her face and lips close to Godou’s lips.
Although he considered evading, Godou did not actually carry through with
this thought. He suspected this was because he was already used to it and
he could also understand to some extent what the audacious Italian girl
was implying.
But as the kiss progressed to the point when both of them were sucking
forcefully at each other’s lips, one could no longer regard this as one-sided
intimate contact that Godou was accepting passively.
“N-Not just Erica-san, Your Majesty…”
After separating from Erica’s lips, Godou found Ena’s face drawing near
this time. However, the Yamato Nadeshiko, who would tend to grow timid
in situations like this, did not press her lips towards him no matter what,
despite bringing her face close enough for their foreheads to almost touch
together.
At the very brink, she was hesitating, still unable to commit her resolve.
The sight of her behavior invited Godou’s tender affection. Godou took
initiative and kissed her gently, making contact like a light peck. Ena smiled
blissfully as a result and pressed her lips against him in the same manner,
kissing Godou on her own.
Just as this sweet air of burning passion was produced between the trio of
Erica, Ena and Godou —
Sitting on the office desk, the trio was suddenly startled.
“Uh, umm… It’s about time we start discussing serious matters, right…”
“Perhaps you are right. D-Discussing the situation is necessary, after all!”
“S-Speaking of which, Erica-san, there’s something you find concerning,
right!?”
The girls exchanged a few words as though trying to change the mood.
Prior to the battle against Uldin, the trio had engaged in that certain ritual.
This was their first kiss since that event. However, for some reason, it now
felt even harder than before to resist the momentum in such behavior…
Was that why Erica and Ena both pulled themselves back to regain their
senses? This posed a different kind of risk compared to being alone with
one of them.
Godou felt his heart pounding madly. Ena was also clearly panicking.
Then Erica coughed drily and finally managed to muster a resolute voice to
start talking:
“After listening to what was said, the impression I gathered is that the
goddess Artio should be a mother earth goddess. The bear is a totem of
the earth, while saying she’ll bring her son along is also proof of this fact.”
“She’s one of Athena’s kind?”
“Yes. It is quite common for goddesses linked to the earth mothers’
lineages to have a boy or a young man by their side as a companion. This
companion is sometimes a lover, sometimes a brother or follower.
However, for this type of myth, in their most ancient form, in most cases it
is a ‘son’.”
Hence she was identified as a mother earth goddess. Godou agreed with
Erica’s argument.
“If I had to give examples, in Greek mythology, there is the handsome
young man Adonis who was loved by the goddess Aphrodite. Godou, you
should recall the name of Baal, the divine king who was revived by his
sister, the goddess Anat. Then there’s the earth goddess Leto’s son
Apollo… Tracing all the way back to the origins, these are all relationships
between earth mother goddesses and their sons.”
Erica suddenly lowered her voice at this point.
“In addition, through the passage of time over the ages, the ‘mother earth
goddess and son’ relationship has given rise to another variant, that of ‘a
woman possessing magical powers along with the hero under her
protection’…”
“Hero? Erica-san, you can’t be saying…?”
“How sharp of you, Ena-san. The so-called hero is the warrior whose very
being could be taken as a metaphor for a ‘sword.’ Possessing the trait of
invulnerability, one who subdues dragons and snakes. The various sword
gods. Heretic Gods. These are the heroes that we call the [War Gods of
Steel].”
Bringing up the term referring to the war gods who stood as the
Campiones’ mortal enemies, Erica continued.
“For example, there is the hero Achilles whose invulnerability was
conferred by his fairy mother, Thetis. Raised by the Lady of the Lake,
Lancelot du Lac also fits the mold.”
“Lancelot huh…”
Nostalgically recalling the name of his great rival, Godou could not help but
mutter.
“On further thought, these kinds of guys also exist in this era.”
“Yes. However, the problem here is King Arthur — the hero that Lancelot
and Divine Ancestor Guinevere were seeking. Did you know? The name
Arthur evolved from the word ‘artos.'”
“What does it mean?”
“Hero. There’s also another meaning, bear. Coming from the strongest
beast in European forests, the [Bear], that was probably why it took on the
meaning of hero, brave and powerful. Furthermore, the name Artio’s
etymology also comes from Artos.”
Saying that, Erica shrugged.
“The name of the goddess Artio carries the meaning of [Bear]. I recall her
definitely being a goddess worshiped by the Celts in central Europe. If this
goddess has a son, then Artos would surely be his name. Then becoming
the hero who later served as King Arthur’s prototype — ”
“Eh, wait a sec, okay?”
Godou’s memory was jogged by the repetition of the two words, Artos and
Arthur.
“Didn’t Alice-san mention before? King Arthur’s legend was a fake myth
fabricated by the witches of old. I remember Gascoigne trying to solve the
puzzle.”
“Indeed. Moreover, Prince Alec has also made the following findings
through his investigation — the hero called the ‘King of the End’ by the
Divine Ancestors had descended at one point under the name of Artos
during a certain period between the fifth and sixth centuries…”
“Actually, Ena also thought of something.”
The Hime-Miko of the Sword began to speak in an uncharacteristically
strange tone of voice.
“Recently, haven’t there been rumors of the hero wielding a sword of light
to defeat the Devil Kings? Actually, something similar also happened in
Japan’s Bousou Peninsula, where people spreading rumors of a hero’s
divine sword would suddenly appear…”
Queen Oto Tachibana-Hime, jumped into the sea with sword embosomed.
Sea currents carried her sword to a landless location, whence a floating
island subsequently appeared.
Ena recalled the legend that kept appearing in the land of Bousou.
Reportedly, no matter how many times the History Compilation Committee
tried to cover up these rumors, people spreading the rumor still continued
to appear.
Godou jumped in surprise. Sayanomiya Kaoru had told him the same thing
earlier. In addition, he had also learnt of something else from a certain
person —
‘Regardless, the location where the ‘King of the End’ sleeps definitely gives
rise to legends about warriors and divine swords.’
‘In that case, one would naturally think there was an authentic Floating
Island somewhere in Tokyo Bay.’
These were Alexandre Gascoigne’s speculations.
The ‘King of the End’ should be sleeping somewhere in Tokyo Bay, near
the Bousou Peninsula.
“Could the goddess Artio’s son be King Arthur’s prototype — the ‘King of the
End’?”
Artio — Artos — Arthur. A chain of connections.
The relationship between the ‘King of the End’ and places where legends
surfaced about divine swords and warriors.
Godou muttered due to these details stimulating his imagination. That man
was supposed to be the hero who exterminated all godslayers, the
existence that Athena once warned him about.
Part 4
The goddess Artio had undoubtedly said:
‘In our next encounter, I shall bring my son before you.’
However — Godou began to ponder. After all, subordinate or allied gods
summoned by a goddess were not supposed to possess particularly
powerful divinities. Nevertheless, if it really were the ‘King of the End’…?
“In a fight against that guy, I’d die beyond a doubt. That’s what Athena said
once.”
“Asserted already? That’s not so good.”
“Whatever, there’s no point getting bothered by it. I’ll just do the same as
always.”
“The same as always? Ahhh, you mean naturally getting into a fight.”
“At least call it adapting to the situation, Seishuuin…”
This was the morning two days after Godou was reunited with Erica and
Ena.
Almost simultaneously with the break of dawn, Godou left the house,
accompanied only by Ena. The two of them crossed the Rhine by bridge
on horseback, arriving at the opposite shore.
Indeed, they had gone from the city on the west bank over to the east
bank —
The opposite shore was where Doni and the Frankish warriors lived in a
Roman army outpst.
But apart from that, there were no other major buildings. This was no
longer within the city’s boundaries, since east of the Rhine was Germania,
a land where Roman imperial rule did not extend.
The army outpost was on the east bank in order to intercept enemies
coming from Germania.
(As a side note, the current period seemed to be when the Roman Empire
had built “great walls” in the interior of Germania to establish frontier
fortifications for blocking Germanic invasions. However, the defensive line
had retreated to the Rhine’s position by this juncture.)
Compared to the west bank with well-equipped urban facilities, the east
bank consisted more of undeveloped, natural areas.
If the horses were allowed to gallop for a bit, one would be greeted by the
sight of flourishing forests. This area was essentially a plain. The flat
grassland stretched endlessly with rather good visibility.
This sort of scenery with small and medium sized forests scattered
sparsely here and there was quite rare in Japan.
Godou and Ena was heading to one of these forests. It was the
Hime-Miko’s request.
“Ena has been spending all her time in cities recently. Hence, purifying the
body and mind is necessary.”
Ena spoke cheerfully. The two of them walked amidst the dense coniferous
trees as well as deciduous trees such as oak, white oak and beech,
strolling under them casually. Before stepping foot inside the forest, they
had tied their horses outside.
Summoning a god’s energy into one’s body was the secret art of divine
possession —
As the user of this technique, Ena regularly distanced herself from
civilization to purify her body and mind using the spiritual energy deep in
the mountains.
“So even in this era, you’re still able to receive power from that old man
Susanoo?”
“Ena only tried it out as a test without much hope. It seems like there is a
weak connection between this time period and our present… Looks like it’s
really possible.”
“A weak connection?”
Godou could not help but mutter. In response, Ena gave an unexpected
answer.
“Yes, although Aisha-san’s corridor appears to manifest only once a
month, Ena thinks that it isn’t totally gone during this time. It’s just that it’s
invisible to the human eye and its ability to transmit things is weakened.”
“Probably, ‘subtle things’ like spiritual energy and magical power can still
be transmitted between this and the modern era. Ena thinks that’s why
divine possession can be used.”
“But is it okay for me to be here? If you’re trying to purify your body and
mind, being alone should be better, right?”
“What are you talking about, Your Majesty? Hey, on the last trip to
Uldin-san’s place, didn’t Your Majesty travel together with Erica-san as a
pair? So this sort of counts as compensation.”
“S-So that’s what this is about?”
“Yes. That’s why Erica-san didn’t come along. How considerate of her…
Well, her trouble with getting up early in the morning is also partly the
reason.”
“That girl is always so lethargic in the mornings…”
The pair walked in the forest, advancing deeper.
The spring breeze, blowing through the trees, felt pleasant beyond belief.
Streaming through gaps between the leaves, the sunlight was bright and
dazzling. Rather than purifying one’s body and mind, this felt more like a
countryside outing.
Soon after, Godou and Ena reached the edge of a spring.
The size was roughly the same as the school swimming pool. The spring
water was so clear and pristine that the sight was simply touching.
“It’s so unbelievably clean that I wouldn’t be surprised even if a fairy or two
lived here.”
“Coming from Your Majesty, that’s completely not strange at all — Look, it
feels great!”
Laughing at Godou’s words, Ena took off her boots and stepped into the
spring water.
The coldness of the spring water felt refreshing, resulting in carefree
laughter — But suddenly, she cried out “Ah.”
“Speaking of water, Ena now remembers. Ena was chatting with Aisha-san
yesterday, right, along with Erica-san. It was something mentioned at the
time.”
“Something related to water?”
“Yes. She said that after drifting in the river with Your Majesty, she was
trying to dry her drenched clothes and you ended up seeing her naked
body. When we were asking Aisha-san about what happened after we
were separated, she acted very suspiciously. However, Erica-san
managed to get it out of her.”
“Hold on! Many things are wrong with that explanation!”
It was an event that was quite difficult to talk about. Couldn’t she have
expressed it in a slightly more prudent manner?
Believing he needed to defend his honor, Godou loudly protested.
“Things only turned out that way because we were both careless. It felt
more like an unfortunate accident!”
“Well, Ena thought so too.”
Ena gazed at Godou with a face like a sulking child’s.
Then she suddenly took out a ribbon and tied her long, silky, black hair into
a ponytail. After she walked into the shadows of some nearby trees, out of
Godou’s sight — The rustling of undressing could be heard.
“!? Seishuuin, what on earth are you doing!?”
“B-Because Ena is here to purify her body and mind…”
Ena answered from the shade in a stiff tone of voice. Then a splash
followed immediately. Having removed all her clothes, Ena had entered the
spring water.
“Seishuuin, what are you doing!? I’m right here on the side!”
“S-Sorry. Looks like Ena got careless as well… N-No, Your Majesty is at
fault too. To think you’d stand in this kind of place, th-that’s called
carelessness too, right…?”
II II
“B-But being even more careless and taking a longer look is okay too, you
know…? Like the time with Aisha-san, it’s just an accident, right?”
Waded into the spring water at chest height, Ena spoke quietly.
She was separated from Godou at the spring’s edge by only five or six
meters at most. Furthermore, the transparency of this spring water was
rather high.
Hence, even her body from the chest down was clearly visible under the
water.
Godou had witnessed the same at the Chuuzenji hot spring before, the
sight of Ena’s complete nudity.
Despite a voluptuous figure rivaling Erica’s, with all the curves in the right
places, Ena huddled her body and her pale skin became flushed red.
Naturally, this was due to embarrassment.
The Hime-Miko of the Sword was now sitting on an underwater rock.
Perhaps still indecisive? She was using her arms to cover her bountiful
bosom.
Gazing upwards at Godou in a coy manner, Ena had tied up her silky black
hair in a ponytail for the very first time, exuding a kind of charm different
from her usual liveliness.
Thanks to that, Godou was unable to tear his gaze away from the
embarrassed Ena.
“Ah. Ena’s very sorry recently, Your Majesty.”
“Eh? I don’t think there’s anything you need to apologize for, is there?”
“There is. Recently, Ena seems to have nagged at Your Majesty a
lot — Due to another increase in girls, Ena is feeling jealous… Sorry, Ena
was supposed to be more calm in the first place.”
Sitting in the spring, Ena bowed her head despondently.
As a result, she lowered her arms and the breasts she had been covering
became completely clear to view.
“Ena feels a slightly heart-wrenching feeling. It’s fine when it’s Erica-san,
Yuri or Liliana-san, but Ena feels very unpleasant when other girls get near
Your Majesty…”
“S-Seishuuin.”
This was a jealous side that did not quite suit the bright and cheerful child
of nature.
Hearing this confession, Godou felt compelled to give Ena a hug, so he
took a step forward.
Walking any further forward would mean stepping into the spring.
Nevertheless, driven by an impulse to shower the Hime-Miko with tender
affection, he did not mind and was just about to approach closer — At that
very instant…
Even though it was clearly in the early morning hours, the sky suddenly
went pitch black.
Despite being in a forest, Godou was currently in a wide open space, being
next to a spring. Gentle sunlight was supposed to be shining down,
illuminating the clear spring water and the forest air.
Godou and Ena looked up into the sky and were surprised at the same
time.
“The sun — It’s gone dark!”
“A-An eclipse?”
Before they knew it, the morning sun had turned black, becoming a circle
of blackness.
The circle was ringed by a white halo. The sky was pitch black, almost like
the scene of a total solar eclipse. This occurred despite the fact that no
impending signs of large-scale astronomical phenomena were sensed!
Furthermore, accompanied by a crash of thunder, white lightning
descended from the dark sky to strike the ground.
From Godou and Ena’s location, the black sun lay to the east. The flash of
lightning gave off extremely powerful magical power.
‘—It’s here.’
Suddenly speaking softly was Ama no Murakumo no Tsurugi from Godou’s
right arm.
‘My kindred, the blade born from the star of [Steel] has crash landed.
Although its origin is unclear, it is surely a horrifying and sharp sword. King,
miko, best to beware.’
“Ama no Murakumo, do you know where it fell?”
Ena exposed her gorgeous nude body while rising from the water.
Bearing a nervous and commanding expression, she came over to
Godou’s side and asked her steel partner.
‘The approximate location is — ‘
Godou and Ena exchanged a glance then nodded respectively.
Beneath the still-dark sky and the eclipsed sun…
After Ena had put on her clothes again, Godou and Ena were currently
riding their horses in a gallop.
Following Ama no Murakumo’s guidance, they moved northeast. Unlike
Gaul, Germania on the Rhine’s east bank was an undeveloped region.
Forests were especially numerous in this area. It was also a forest region
frequently used by royalty and nobles as a hunting ground ever since
medieval times.
However, Godou and Ena were currently riding across a plain where there
were few hindrances to visibility.
Hence, even as novice riders, Godou and Ena still managed to traverse
the plain without problems. Soon after, the sound of equestrian hooves
could be heard from the rear. Three riders were galloping on horseback to
catch up.
“Ah, Godou, you’re here too!”
“You’re heading to the place where the lightning descended, right?”
Finally caught up, Doni greeted Godou who replied with a question.
The Campione standing as Europe’s strongest swordsman also seemed to
be a skilled equestrian and was displaying superb riding form. The same
need not be said for Erica whose horse was galloping alongside. To
Godou’s surprise, even Madame Aisha was also riding skillfully.
“Yes. The sky turning into this would be clearly very unusual, right?
Intending to investigate the powerful presence of magical power that
descended just now, I left the city and came over with the two of them.”
Erica explained in response. Presumably, she had used magic to divine
which direction to pursue. Anyone could tell that the three riders who
caught up from behind were very skilled equestrians.
“To think it would be at such a time, could Artio-san have done
something…?”
Murmuring in this manner, Madame Aisha was dressed in clothing
facilitating mobility for once. Instead of a one-piece dress, she was wearing
knee-length pants with her usual white overcoat on top.
This was probably for riding more conveniently. Most likely, she was
already used to traveling on horse.
“Come to think of it, Aisha-san, you mentioned about crossing deserts by
camel before, right?”
“Yes. I’ve also ridden horses all over South Dakota during the Wild West
era.”
She happily revealed her past exploits. As expected of the expert traveler
who had traversed the world, oriental and occidental, past and present.
Allowing their horses to take occasional breaks, the five of them hurried
northeast. The trip was guided by Erica’s magic and Ama no Murakumo no
Tsurugi. Not long after that, a small hill appeared before them.
White, rectangular pillars of stone were arranged in a circle there.
Similar to England’s Stonehenge, it was a historic site known as a stone
circle.
The nearer they approached the stone circle, the more Godou’s body and
mind filled up with power for battle. As expected, the goddess Artio
emerged from the depths of the stone monument.
Wearing a bear pelt, the beautiful goddess looked down at the world below
from atop the hill.
Imperceptibly, the black sun had moved to what would be the very center
of the sky.
The time was estimated to be noon. Dismounting several hundred meters
from the hill, Godou signaled to Erica and Ena with his eyes. From this
point on, only the three of us should proceed — That was what he
conveyed.
Comprehending his message, the two companions stopped their horses to
wait on standby.
Conversely, Doni and Madame Aisha dismounted.
One of the three Campiones, who knows which one, started walking
towards the stone ring’s hill.
“I don’t have any intention of fighting in a group of three. It’s just that
something weird is going on in this area, so the three of us came to check
it out…”
Standing at the foot of the mountain and speaking to Artio, that person was
Doni, of course.
“Who should take the fight? Having a deciding match here first sounds like
a good idea.”
“What are you talking about, Doni-san? Even if she is a deity bringing
calamity, it is not right to slay her without saying a word. It is more
appropriate to have a calm discussion first, making compromises where
possible. Bloodshed should be avoided as thoroughly as possible.”
“In contrast to your proposal, Aisha-san, you’ve already defeated quite a
few gods…”
Godou could not help but point out the inconsistency. Perhaps because
this was a question that had been weighing on his mind a long time
already.
“Although you keep saying stuff like how you’re not good at fighting, in
contrast, you’ve already defeated one, two… at least four or more deities.”
“Oh Godou, you didn’t know? Madame Aisha fights in quite a sly manner.”
“Eh? Although I’ve slightly guessed this much already, is it really that
amazing?”
“W-What are the two of you talking about!? There was never a battle I
wanted to fight in. I always felt bad after every victory!”
Under unusual conditions akin to total solar eclipse, with a goddess ahead,
expected to counterattack any moment…
Nevertheless, none of the three Campiones said anything serious. They
simply took things in stride and faced the situation as usual.
On the other hand, this was different from a lack of tension. Godou and
Doni were gazing sharply uphill. Facing off against a deity, their bodies and
minds were filled with concentration and power unique to Campiones.
It was probably the same for Madame Aisha. In a rare moment, she was
also displaying a solemn expression.
On the other hand, the goddess waiting to strike at the three Campiones…
“You came as expected, godslayers.”
Solemnly, her beautiful face tensed up and she closed her eyes.
“The three of you, in addition to those located in distant land… Four, five…
a total of six godslayers existing in this present world. How lamentable
beyond compare.”
Still with her eyes closed, Artio murmured.
She was apparently watching the state of the world illustrated beneath her
eyelids, thereby counting the number of Campiones. What kind of ability
did she rely on to obtain such clairvoyance?
“In that case, given my injured state, exterminating all six would be quite a
challenging task. Even if my son were to be summoned, it would probably
fail to make a difference in the situation…”
Summoning her son. Did she mean summoning a subordinate god?
After ruling out the idea of a summon, Artio haughtily gazed down at the
godslayer trio.
“Be that as it may, I am not completely bereft of options. If the one who
stands as my son’s proxy — the Devil King-exterminating hero — manifested
to confront you godslayers… Hoho, the victorious side should prove difficult
to predict, yes?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *