Yuusha no furi
77: Leo's Report
It is evening in the royal capital Chloe.
We ate dinner at the inn.

It's the new menu that Minya brought back from the trip.
Dragon steak, a pie with nuts that she got from the elves, fish burgers from the craftsmen...
Kynmerick's voice can be heard from the kitchen while he snatches some food.
"What is this?! Isn't this already at the level of an innkeeper?!"
It's certainly delicious.
It seems that Minya became a cooking king during the trip.

While I was enjoying the delicious meal together with Celica, a man with long hair and a black robe came beside us.
He's taller than me and speaks while he looks down at me.
"Keika-san. It's been a while."
"If this isn't Dark. You look well."
"...can we speak in private?"
"Sure. Let's go to my room."

I stood up and guided him.
Two persons, who were completely concealed by their robes, were following behind Dark. They have the statures of a young man and a boy.

We entered the room on the third floor.
I speak while I sit on the bed.
"Dark, also Leo and Tilt. It's been a while."
They answer while they are taking off their robes.
"It's been a while, Keika-san"
Tilt, who was usually rather noisy, was fidgeting and his cheeks were blushed.

"Is something wrong, Tilt?"
"No...ehmm. I heard it from my comrades. Thank you for saving the World Tree, Keika."
"Don't worry about it. Rather, I'm sorry that I took your prey."
"...He had a curse, right? I wouldn't have been able to defeat him. --So, please tell me if I can help you in any way."
"Are you alright with that?"
"Yeah, I said some rather cheeky things before, so I have to do at least this much"
Tilt scratched his head and his face got even redder.

"Heh, then I'll look forward to it-- but before that, Leo, how went the search for the eggs?"

Leo, who sits on a chair, answers.
"It seems that Greyhades didn't have one when I asked the demons."
"It looks like the saint had Greyhades's egg."
"So it was like that after all. Just in case, we searched around the northern forest."
"How was it?"

Leo wrinkled his brows.
"There's an old road in the forest. It's now overgrown with trees and grass though. There were several fortresses that aren't in use anymore when we went north and there were several things that belonged to Greyhades. But there wasn't anything when we followed the road."
Dark added.
"There are multiple barriers inside the forest. We were separated and got lost when we went further inside."
"A forest that makes you lose your way, huh..."

Tilt nods with his arms crossed.
"That forest is bad news. There's something strange with it."
"That even you got lost although you are an elf, Tilt... and you were also unable to do anything, Dark?"
"It was impossible on the spot. There are a countless number of barriers that incorporate tens of thousands of trees."

"Is that so. I couldn't feel anything when I was walking there though... maybe they were created when the Demon Lord's army withdrew. Well, it couldn't be helped that you were unable to investigate when you got lost."
Leo's hair swings when he nods.
"I think that we should look at other places and leave the forest be, since my demon friends said, that there isn't anything in the forest."
"That might be for the best. Do you have some other clues?"
"Yes. According to the demons, Barrier Muuk at the World Tree had one."

I spontaneously raised my voice.
"He had one?! I searched for it though!"
"It seems that he drilled a hole into the stump and buried it together with some demons' corpses. It seems to be at a recessed place on the northern side."
"At such a place! Please wait a moment"

I telepathically contacted Lilille while I scratched my head.
--Lilille. Lilille, are you there!?
There's no reaction.
--Ocean hag.
Just now, I could feel some reaction.

--Lilille is beautiful. She has long eyelashes around her big eyes. Her well-proportioned small face perfectly fits a beautiful goddess. Her uniform legs are long and elegant. Her breasts are as wide as the ocean. Her curves are like waves. Her skin is as white as a sandy beach in midsummer. Her long hair..."
"P-Please stop! It's embarrassing, Keika-san! Please don't describe my bare body."

--Oh, so you actually heard me! Or rather, where are you at the moment?
"I'm currently at the elven village. Nebula has safely returned to the village! The World Tree is still weak, so I'll watch over it for a while!"
Lilille exclaimed in an angry tone. I can easily picture her cute, red face.

--Ah, that's good. The egg that Barrier Muuk had is at the World Tree.
"Eh!? Is that true?!! Even though there wasn't anything when we searched for it."
--It's in a hole in the stump together with the corpses of demons. It's on the northern side in an area that is slightly recessed. Please look for it."
"At such a place! ...Understood. I'll immediately take a look."
--Please do so.

I breathed a sigh.
"Just what the hell did I do. I've never even thought about the possibility that it might be buried."
I relied too much on "Truth Sight".

"It seems to have been hidden quite well, so it couldn't be helped."
"Well, it's alright. I just requested the collection of Barrier Muuk's egg."
"Eh!? Just now? You're awesome, Keika"
"What kind of magic is that? I can't even guess"
Tilt and Dark were impressed.
I couldn't say that it's a godly power, so I kept silent.

Leo speaks.
"We also searched for the other eggs. It seems, that they are with the most influential guys after the Four Heavenly Kings."
"Are there such guys? Who are they?"
"It seems, that there is a vampire king, who lives in the southeast of the kingdom, but the exact location is unknown."

I tilted my head to the somewhat vague information.
"That's quite vague, given that the information comes from your demon friends."
"Although he seems to be cooperating with the Demon Lord's army, strangely there isn't much information about him. It's said that he even hides the information about himself from the Demon Lord."
"Eh!? Is that so. I'm surprised that the Demon Lord accepted that. Either he's amazingly strong, or might he have received some favor?"

"He seems to be an incredibly dreadful guy. It's said that his territory is just like hell."
"Oh. Please be careful when you investigate."
"I'll let you know once I have more details."
--So, now we are at four eggs.

"Another one should be with the last guy of the Four Heavenly Kings."
"Yeah, the fifth is with Gerdolf. We're still investigating the sixth."

Tilt is poking his cheeks while sitting on the chair.
"Gerdolf is always moving about for management purposes, so he's hard to grasp as well, even for my friends among the demons."
"He shouldn't even have time to sleep if he is managing everything by himself."
"We'll let you know once we find out his schedule."
Dark swung his hair while he answered.

"What is the dragon doing?"
"It seems, that she is busy with the creation of her dungeon."
"That's fine. The non-interference pact might crumble if she'd heedlessly move. It might also cause trouble for you, Leo."
"Well, we already asked her to leave everything to us without making a move herself."
Dark spoke while he pushed his glasses with a finger up.

"She's probably grateful for the help since she wasn't able to find even one on her own."
It might just have been the solution for her problem. Maybe it feels like the direct intervention of the gods to her.
"She certainly stands out with her large body, so it's no wonder."
Dark spoke with a bitter smile.

Then an idea flashed in my mind.
"Leo, I have a favor to ask"
"What is is?"
"You're currently acting while hiding your identity, right?"
I looked at the robe in his hand.

"That's right"
"Then, could you help me by making it look like the work of Hero Keika?"
"Why do you ask?"
"I need the faith of many people to defeat the Demon Lord-- in other words, it seems that my name has to be known."

"I see. You need everyone's prayers, huh. Understood, I'll try"
"I'm sorry for snatching your achievements"
"It's alright. You're the one who saved me after all. I'm only alive because of you, Keika-san."
Leo swung his blue hair and vividly laughed.
I bitterly smiled with admiration as he spoke from the bottom of his heart. He's just too nice a person.
Dark and Tilt gestured something like "It can't be helped" with their hands.

There was a knocking sound.
"Who is it?"
"It-It's me, Fal. Keika-san."
"Ah, please enter."
"Excuse me"

Fal entered the room, wearing a navy blue habit.
She stopped for a moment when she caught sight of Leo.
Then she clung to Leo while she cried.
"Fal, I'm glad you're alright"
"Ah, I was so worried! I'm so glad. I'm so glad that you're alive!"
Fal hugged him tightly.
Leo smiled while he stroked her head.
--Just looking at them was heartwarming and I felt glad that I had saved them.

"You should talk at your room since it seems that it's been a while. We'll depart tomorrow, Fal."
"Yes, Keika-san. Thank you very much!"
She lowered her head while she bowed. Her veil slips off and her brown hair spreads out.
Leo smiled with a grin, picked up the veil and spoke.
"You never change, huh. --Then, shall we go?"
"Yes, Nii-san!"

Tilt and Dark also stand up.
"Well then, Leo. We'll return to our inn."
"Take care"
"Both of you, thank you. Thank you as well, Keika-san."
Leo leaves the room together with Fal after expressing his thanks.

"Well then, Keika"
"We'll come back when we have some new info."
Tilt and Dark are also about to leave the room.
"Ah, Tilt. Fioria is in the room next door."

Tilt stopped and frowned.
"I'm..., not really good with Fioria-neechan..."
"Rii is also there. You should be about the same age."
"Eh, what, really!? --Ah, I see. Rii grows up fast because she is a Half-Elf. She was so cute when she was little--"
"Are you friends?"

Tilt points at himself with his thumb.
"She's something like a little sister to me!"
"I guess that's why you're on bad terms with her mother. You probably took her along while doing mischief."
"Shuddup! I'm already through with the time at the village!"
"A mischievous black history, huh."
--But it's nice that they could be friends without any discrimination or distinction, even though Rii is a Half-Elf.

"How nostalgic. Rii is 70 years younger than me. We even have the same birthday."
"...Ah!! Can you tell me her exact age?"
"Wh, what is it suddenly... I'm 142 years old, so she is 72."
"I see, I see. Thank you. I was quite troubled because I didn't know her exact age. So her father was a human after all."

"That's right. Remembering months and years is quite hard for elves since we live for thousands of years. I remember the number of years because I also lived in the human society since I was young."
"Well, she might be happy if you show your face."
"I get it... Dark, I'm sorry, but please go back to the inn without me."
"You don't have to mind me"
Dark had a parenting smile floating on his face.

Then they left.
Suddenly the room feels quite empty.
It might be quite a while until the next report. --Maybe I should go back to dinner.
I stood up and went back to the tavern.

I was contacted by Lilille during the meal and got told that she had safely secured the egg.
We were unable to find it because the hole was completely covered by the World Tree's life force.

It seems that she was attacked by rotten demon beast zombies after she dug up the hole and got completely covered with liquids.
--I wish I would've seen you, all wet and see-through...
"Ah! Please don't say strange things! I definitely won't show you!"
She was still mad.

Although it sounded like she was alright, I was still worried that she might have been injured by poison or acid, so I looked in the direction of the World Tree with "Clairvoyance".
It would hurt my heart if her smooth skin would be scarred.

Then I caught sight of a peerless beauty who was bathing in a spring near the stump.
The water droplets on her white skin are bewitchingly shining as she bathes in the moonlight. She is a beauty with well formed breasts and wonderfully proportioned curves.
The wet, peach-colored hair that reaches until her waist is beautiful.
This goddess doesn't have even one single injury.

--I'm glad. It doesn't seem like you've been hurt.
"Eh? --*kyaaa!* Pervert!"
Lilille's face turned bright red and she stooped down into the spring, emitting a splashing sound as she hit the water surface.
A barrier was set up and I couldn't see her anymore. Too bad.

Celica was staring at me while I was grinning.
"Keika-sama...? You're thinking about something indecent again, right?"
Celica has a sharp intuition.
But I won't dodge.
"You knew?"
"Ah... you're hopeless"
Celica inflated her cheeks and turned sideways.

I tried to push the bulge with my finger. A strange sound leaked from her cute lips.
"What do you think you're doing?"
Most likely because she was embarrassed, Celica's face was flushed and she was lightly hitting at me.
"Sorry, my bad"
"Again and again!"
Celica was cute when she was embarrassed and sulking, and she forgave me after I stroked her blond hair many times over.