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Chapter 19 – Jessica, and a Decision
Uu, my head hurts.
How long have I been out for?
My head is all fuzzy, and I can’t tell. I think, I had just discovered some ominous and enormous mana, when I suddenly lost consciousness.
When I woke up, I was being carried on Tilea-san’s back and she rushed through town.
She seems to be headed somewhere, at incredible speeds as always. Considering the direction we’re headed in, she’s going to the Headquarters?
At any rate, I should ask.
“Tilea-san, just what are you doing?”
“Aah, Jessica-chan, you’re awake. Thank goodness. Honestly, you scared me, you know. Detecting for mana, and then suddenly fainting like that.”
“I see. The reason I fainted was probably because I felt that enormous mana.”
“Yes. With mana like that, I believe an important demon has appeared.”
“Ueh! That’s troublesome. If it’s the boss of the vampires, then that’s the true ancestor.”
“Truwan Cester? I’ve never heard of him. But considering how sinister the mana was, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was one of the direct subordinates of the Demon King.”
“Y-, You’re kidding, right. The direct subordinate of… Please don’t say something scary like how they’re like the Chimera Ants Royal Guard or something.”
“Tilea-san, this isn’t a joke. This truly is an incredibly dangerous enemy. I’m inexperienced, but even I can tell just how dangerous they are.”
“Abababa! Kukanomi definitely won’t work on monster like that. W-, What do we do? We have to call somebody, like the head of the Hunter Association or something.”
Tilea-san became panicked at my words. She really is mistaken about her strength.
Even though she alone would be plenty strong enough…
But actually, between that monster and Tilea-san, which one is stronger?
They’re both so high above me, that I can’t tell. All I can say is that nobody besides Tilea-san can take care of that monster.
“Tilea-san, I have a question but, just how high do you think your mana is?”
“Eh-? Why are you suddenly…”
“Please just answer.”
“Mm~mm, well, I do work my body a lot during cooking, and I’ve even fought with delinquents, and if I recall correctly, Remilia-san was 20,000? So I guess maybe 500?”
She really is mistaken.
That’s even lower than me. Just how much does she underestimate herself.
“What? Did I overestimate a little?”
“Hahhh~ Tilea-san, it’s the opposite. Honestly, even misunderstandings should have their limit. You’re wrong, and by whole levels too. From what I can tell, over 2 digits wrong.”
“GUWAAAN! I knew it. You know, I didn’t think I actually had 500 either. I just wanted to say it a bit as a test. But still, I was wrong by two digits…? Yeah. There’s no way a normal towngirl would be stronger than an old guy with a gun.”
“It’s the opposite I said, Tilea-san!”
It’s impossible. She’s not listening. She’s in her own little world.
Aahh, geez, I’ve been going about this the wrong way. My head is still dizzy and faint. I should have known that she wouldn’t understand unless I said it clearly. Honestly, I think her mana is definitely over 50,000.
“Tilea-san, please listen to me. This is important.”
“What’s wrong, Jessica-chan? You’re looking so serious.”
“Tilea-san, your power is――”
Huh!? What was I talking about again…?
Ummm, we were talking about that demon boss… and then… m-, my memory is gone.
Is all the weariness catching up to me?
To think I suddenly lost consciousness… no, but, something feels wrong…
“Y-, Yes? Tilea-san, what’s wrong?”
Tilea-san suddenly called out to me, cutting off my thought process.
“Geez, you’re spacing out too much. Are you tired? In that case, should we rest?”
“No, there isn’t time to rest. Let’s hurry!”
Yeah. What am I spacing out for. Right now we need to hurry up and contact headquarters.
Yeah. I’m just having trouble remembering because I’m so tired. I fainted while I was talking. Mn, I don’t know why I’m having trouble accepting it, but I’ll have to.
“Um, Jessica-chan, I’m on the way to the Headquarters right now, but can you feel any huge manas in the way? Would it be fine if I just kept going straight? I’d hate it if some boss suddenly popped out.”
“Well, I’ll have a look, but…”
“Aahh~ Right. Sorry. If you try again, you’ll just faint, right?”
“No, if I keep my detection weak, it should be fine. Earlier, I fainted because I pried too deeply out of curiosity.”
“I see. Then please do, and be careful.”
At Tilea-san’s request, I began using mana detection.
Because I was only doing a light probe, I only had a detection radius of about a hundred metres, but for now it looks fine. There aren’t any demons around. Even though there used to be so many former-humans vampires around, they’re almost all gone now.
Could it be that Remilia-sama led the Public Safety Force to exterminate them? Or could it be that it was the Decarabia[Demon Destroying Pentagram] members, after all?
“So, how is it?”
“There doesn’t seem to be any demons around.”
“I see. Thank goodness. Then I’ll just go straight, okay?”
“Yes. Only, my detection range is quite limited, so please don’t hope for so much. And leaving demons aside, there are still former-human vampires wandering about head.”
“Well, leave small-fry like them to me, the kukanomi, and the cross.”
“Yes. I can rest easy knowing you’re here, Tilea-san. By the way, why are you heading to the Headquarters, anyway? Wasn’t Timu-chan headed to the evacuation areas…?”
Well, the truth is that I’m actually leading her towards areas with demons though.
“Aah~ Well, I’ve already met up with Timu, technically. Only, at the time I found this heavily injured servant of the crown, so I’m heading to call for help.”
“Is that how it was.”
According to Tilea-san, the injured person was apparently a member of Decarabia[Demon Destroying Pentagram]. Although that group is filled with incredible fighters, apparently the demons are even more incredible.
“Ah-, also I met Edim at that time. It seems that she’s gotten really close to Timu now.”
“Eh-!? Edim did? That’s unbelievable.”
She became more obedient after being done in by Tilea-san but…
Even though she hated us so much… How come?
“I can understand that you find it hard to believe, Jessica-chan. Edim seemed to be shocked by the things she did as well. But you know, Edim is back now. With Timu’s support, she’s already decided to look to the future and live.”
Mm~mm, but since it’s Tilea-san, that doesn’t sound really reliable. For now, I’ll put off my decision until I can meet her and ask myself.
“Anyway, you’re worried about that injured man, right? Let’s hurry.”
While I searched the surroundings, Tilea-san rushed forth.
Then, just as we had moved about three blocks, I sensed a large mana. Mana definitely on another level from the grunts. But they still weren’t comparable to the sinister mana from that time.
This guy isn’t a boss.
“Tilea-san, I’ve detected a mana signature about three-hundred metres ahead of us. It’s definitely a demon.”
Tilea-san slowed her feet.
And then, the two of us hid in some greenery to the side, and waited. She had a nervous expression as well.
“Tilea-san, I think it’ll become a battle again. Are you ready?”
Huh? There’s no response. Tilea-san, what are you spacing out about. Did something happen outside the bushes? I leaned forward to have a look.
…And then, my eyes met with a scene that sent me trembling.
When I looked about, I just saw people, people, people, collapsed on the floor. Men, women, young and old, anything it could get its hands on, it drained of blood.
“Fwo fwo fwoh, I have finally revived. Honestly, what a fool to explode herself. Even I thought I would die. But thankfully I was in the Capital, filled with prey.”
The man who was responsible for this atrocity was immersed in joy.
H-, How ghastly…
Although the demon had the appearance of a small, old man, his eyes were different. Twin holes of shadow, muddy with the colour of darkness. If I stared into them, would my soul be taken away?
I unconsciously looked away.
The feeling of the cold sweat on my back felt more unpleasant than usual. And that grotesque monster was still drinking blood, building his mountain of corpses even now. It felt like I would scream in terror, but I desperately suppressed it.
“YA THINK I’LL LET YOU, DO ANYMOREEEEEEEEEEEEE!?”
Together with a cry of grief, a massive hammer swung down at the monster with a roar. But the grotesque monster immediately evaded, and struck its assailant with magic bullets.
A cry escaped her mouth.
The one whose greathammer was repelled, and whose face was twisted in agony, was none other than my treasured friend.
“Fwo fwo, human. You’ve gotten ahead of yourself, for a livestock species.”
“I-, I’ll kill you, fucker. I’ll definitely fucking kill you… And I’ll smash your fucking arrogance with you!”
“Fwo fwoh, as usual, Decarabia[Demon Destroying Pentagram] members are all bloodlust, and no skill. Did I do something so terrible?”
“How dare you. How dare you kill Vera, and continue these atrocities as Chief of the Demons for a thousand years, AND THEN ASK A QUESTION LIKE THAT!”
“Fwo fwo fwoh, a tragedy like this is simply the opening act to the true hell that is about to follow.”
“DON’T FUCK WITH MEEE!”
“Fwo fwoh, I am being serious. We are entering the age of the demons. I look forward to seeing you humans wallow in despair, and finding out just what expressions you’ll make.”
“Hmph, acting arrogant now. Even though just a while ago you were trembling before your cheeky boss, Camilla.”
“S-SILENCE! R-, Right. I shall not lose her esteemed trust any longer. I will kill you, destroy this nation, and then reclaim my place!”
The fierce battle between Lyris-chan and the grotesque monster continued.
Amazing. There’s no room for someone like me to even help. Lyris-chan’s battle power was far above a student’s. But it looked like the monster was even stronger. Her injuries slowed increased. Her blood loss seemed especially bad. I could see the blood even from here.
Won’t Lyris-chan die at this rate!?
“Tilea-san, at this rate Lyris-chan will be in danger. P-, Please hurry and help her…”
“J-, Jessica-chan, did she just say that h-, he’s the chief of the demons?”
“I-, I’m sorry, I didn’t hear it very clearly.”
“N-, No, she definitely said it. W-, What do I do? It’s the true ancestor, you know, it’s the big boss, you know. W-, Would kukanomi even work?”
Aahh, geez, even though we don’t have time to waste. He’s not a boss demon. At best, he’s a little higher than Arcune and the others.
Even though it would be an easy win with Tilea-san’s strength…
Can’t be helped. I guess I’ll have to make sure she knows the truth about her power.
Wait, hang on a moment. Thinking carefully, would it actually be okay to tell her about it?
I think her power is comparable to a Hero’s, or even a god’s. What if after knowing the truth, Tilea-san went back to heaven or something? It often happens that in legends, a god returns to their sacred land once their identity is revealed.
Can I bear that risk right now?
At the very least, we need her power until this crisis is resolved.
Alright. Let’s hide the truth. I suppose I’ll just have to guide the conversation until she ends up exterminating the vampire.
“Yeah. There’s no way a normal towngirl would be stronger than an old guy with a gun.”