Ascraeus Sacred Mountain.
The Sun Temple that’s located at the summit.
I have heard about it before.
It is one of the Goddess’s sacred grounds of the Sun Country of Highland.
The first Pope that was the Holy Maiden Anna, after the world became peaceful, it was said that she prayed there to the Goddess so that the peace would continue for a thousand years.
If I remember correctly, Princess Noel had to do training there and managed to become a Holy Maiden, or something like that.
(…But in the original history, it is not a place we would be going at this time.) (Makoto)
It is not written in the picture book of the Legend of Hero Abel, and it is different from the story I heard in the Water Temple.
In other words, this is the original story of the Destiny Goddess.
…Is this going to be okay?
I was a bit uneasy, but when I looked at my comrades…
“Got it, Destiny Oracle-sama!” (Abel)
“If that’s the guidance of the Destiny Goddess-sama…” (Mel)
“Sacred mountain… Sounds like an amazing place, right, Master?!” (Momo)
The eyes of the 3 are sparkling.
Everyone is pumped up, so I guess it is okay.
“Increase your strength here for at least half a year. Especially the Hero-kun and the Sage-chan; they will become even stronger.” (Ira)
“For half a year?!” (Makoto)
Ira-sama looked over here when I let out a voice of surprise.
“You are hurrying too much. Momo-chan there has just recently become a sage, you know? Properly train her.” (Ira)
“…Got it.” (Makoto)
Being told this by Ira-sama, I had to agree.
It is true that the Great Sage-sama is still lacking in training.
There’s a lot she should learn.
“Momo, want to polish your magic together with me for a while?” (Makoto)
“Got it!” (Momo)
It seems like Momo has no complaints.
“Abel-san, White Dragon-san, the plans have changed. Is that okay?” (Makoto)
“I will do as you want, Makoto-san.” (Abel)
“Half a year can’t even be considered ‘waiting’.” (Mel)
Looks like the two have no problems with that.
What’s left…is to contact Johnny-san.
We did promise him to meet a month later after all.
Now then, our next plan has been decided, so about the matter that was bothering me for a while now…
“Can I check out the magic tools and magic weapons that are here?” (Makoto)
“Yeah, go ahead and take whatever you want.” (Ira)
There’s still a lot of magic tools lined up there.
While I was checking them out with my eyes sparkling…the Destiny Oracle -that has Ira-sama inside- approached me.
“How about this? A blue cloak.” (Ira)
“A cloak, huh… I feel like it would impair my movement, so I’m not feeling it…” (Makoto)
“Now, don’t say that and just try it.” (Ira)
Ira-sama wrapped her hands around my body and put the cloak on me.
I don’t feel the weight at all?
Not only that, my body felt lighter.
“T-This is…?” (Makoto)
“It has gravity magic on it. You can fly in the sky to a certain extent, and has a divine protection that deviates long range spells and things like arrows. Also, it lightens your body, reducing the fatigue of long journeys. Pretty nice, right?” (Ira)
“It is impressive.” (Makoto)
It comes with everything.
The things here were gathered by Ira-sama, so it might be a good idea to have her teach me about them.
“Is there any other recommendation?” (Makoto)
“Hmm, how about these earrings? Don’t they suit you?” (Ira)
“Isn’t it a bit femenine? It is cute though.” (Makoto)
“Right? I designed it. It has the effect of reducing mana cost.” (Ira)
“Is that so.” (Makoto)
“Here, I will put them on you.” (Ira)
“I can do that myself.” (Makoto)
While we were having that conversation, I suddenly felt gazes on me.
“Uhm…isn’t the distance between the Oracle-sama and Master too close?” (Momo)
“Spirit User-kun, you are acquainted with the Oracle-sama?” (Mel)
Hearing the conversation I had with Ira-sama, Momo directed eyes of suspicion at me, and the White Dragon-san asked with deep interest.
“T-That’s not it!” (Ira)
“This is our first meeting!” (Makoto)
Ira-sama and I hurriedly shook our heads to the sides.
Even Hero Abel directed eyes of suspicion at me.
Within this slightly awkward atmosphere, I choose a number of magic tools recommended by Ira-sama.
“Thanks for all your help.” (Makoto)
“Thank you very much!” (Momo)
“Destiny Oracle Esther-sama, thank you very much.” (Mel)
“Please give my regards to Ira-sama, Oracle-sama.” (Abel)
We left the hideout of Ira-sama.
Ira-sama was seeing us off and said ‘one last thing’.
“About the Moon Queen’s gatherings every morning in the capital of Laphroaig…if you go there, you will be Charmed. Don’t participate in it, okay?” (Ira)
Ira-sama was making serious eyes.
Hearing this, we looked at each other.
“Makoto-san, if I remember correctly, that’s…” (Abel)
“That thing about gathering at the front of the castle in the morning that the innkeeper told us about.” (Makoto)
I remember the conversation we had around noon.
That there’s apparently a speech from the Queen every morning in the capital.
“So that’s how she has been Charming everyone, huh…” (Mel)
“Eh? C-Charm, you say? What are you talking about, White Dragon Master?!” (Momo)
“Makoto-san, what’s going on…?” (Abel)
Mel-san muttered as if impressed, and Momo and Hero Abel were looking uneasy.
Mel-san and I explain that the residents of the capital have been Charmed.
“…Why do something like that?” (Momo)
“I didn’t notice…” (Abel)
The two paled at this.
“Also, the Queen is aware of all the new people that have entered the capital, so if they don’t participate in the gathering, she will be informed about it. Don’t stay for too long and leave as soon as you can. We also plan on leaving as soon as we find the chance.” (Ira)
“…So they already know about us?” (Makoto)
I felt chills down my spine.
“I don’t think they know as far as who you all are, but…they at least are aware that you are not Charmed. The residents here are all friendly, right? That’s because they are trying to sound you out by speaking to outsiders like you in a friendly manner.” (Ira)
Everyone went silent.
It is surveillance to a whole other degree.
We thanked Ira-sama and headed to our own lodging.
It was night already by the time we left the hideout of Ira-sama.
The lights of the city were almost all gone, and there were few people out.
But I did feel that we were being watched from somewhere.
When we returned to the inn, the lights were still on.
“Welcome back. Took your time out there.”
The innkeeper smiled at us.
“Yeah, sorry it got so late.” (Makoto)
“No no, this is your first time in Cornet. It can’t be helped that you would get merry and forget time. Just that…I don’t think there’s any establishments out there working till this late. Where were you?”
The innkeeper questioned us with a smile.
The conversation of Ira-sama surfaced in my mind.
Can’t say anything that might raise suspicions.
At that moment, Mel-san entered the conversation.
“This child here was tired and fell asleep. We were resting.” (Mel)
“Aah…yes, I did.” (Momo)
Momo said with a childish tone.
“I see. You must be tired for today. Please take your time and rest. But…there’s the Queen’s speech tomorrow morning, so I will be calling you then, okay?”
“G-Got it.” (Makoto)
I respond to the ever present smile of the innkeeper with an awkward smile.
We head to our rooms while feeling the gaze of the innkeeper at our backs.
When we returned to our rooms on the second floor, I sighed heavily.
“Let’s leave here before tomorrow morning.” (Makoto)
I tell everyone.
After hearing what Ira-sama said, the gentle words of the innkeeper were scary.
“Yeah, showing up at the gathering would be bad. Let’s do as the Oracle-sama said.” (Mel)
The White Dragon-san nodded at my words.
“…Why do something like this? Even if it is to unite the people, isn’t Charming going too far?” (Abel)
Abel spoke out his question.
“Well, that is maintaining the peace of the city… I don’t feel like there’s the need to go that far either though.” (Mel)
The tone of the White Dragon-san was heavy.
“…I am scared.” (Momo)
“It is okay.” (Makoto)
Momo was trembling in fear, so I patted her head.
“The innkeeper was awake at this time, so let’s stealthily get out before night is over. I think leaving through the gate is dangerous, so can you give us a ride on your back, Mel-san?” (Makoto)
“Umu. In that case, the plaza that was in the middle of the main street that we passed by during the daytime should work fine. At that place, even if I go back to my dragon form, there should be no problem.” (Mel)
That’s close to where Mel-san and I were eating skewers at.
It is true that there’s plenty enough space there.
We have our plan then.
We slept in shifts and stealthily left the inn before dawn.
We paid our lodging beforehand.
The innkeeper was nowhere in sight.
We walk slowly through the dark city.
There should still be a bit of time before dawn.
There’s no people.
It didn’t take long for us to arrive at the plaza.
Alright then, let’s get out of here by having Mel-san turn back into her dragon form.
At that moment…
“Oh my, travellers…are you leaving already?”
A beautiful voice.
Hearing that voice, I felt like my heart was shaken.
I look at the place where that voice came from faster than my mind could process.
There was a single woman standing there.
Long glossy black hair and deep purple eyes.
A beauty that’s hard to believe it is from this world wearing a black dress.
That figure of hers made me remember someone I know for a second.
And the several hundred of black armored knights that were at her back.
I can tell that she is from a high standing.
But well, I could immediately tell who this woman was without all those things.
“Who might you be?” (Makoto)
Despite that, I purposely ask for the sake of the other 3.
I was expecting her to not answer, but she easily spoke.
“I am the one that rules Laphroaig, my name’s Nevia. Nice to make your acquaintance.”
She introduces herself with an elegant smile.
The Queen of the Moon Country of Laphroaig, Nevia -also known as the Calamity Witch- has shown herself.