Kinda late, but oh well. This chapter was a bit hard to translate. But, enjoy the chapter!
ED: clover, eristol
Auguste and the dragons were gone, and the people who were behaving like dolls who have lost their souls were closing in.
It was my first time to jump into the zombie-like crowd who were approaching and swaying while muttering nonsense with blank expressions, I felt nervous.
However, when I realized that they didn’t attack people like real zombies, I stroked my chest in relief.
Although there is no direct life-threatening risk, caution is necessary.
If I get caught in the flow of the crowd, I don’t know where I will be swept away.
Indeed, I saw some people from Aurelia who have kept their sanity being carried far away, surrounded by the controlled people.
The only salvation is that, since they are being controlled, accidents due to shoving wouldn’t occur.
“Huh? Speaking of which, where is Tir……?”
Tirnanog is more powerful than human beings and he should be able to move through the gap between people as he is tiny.
So it is unlikely that the crowd swept him away.
No way, I wonder if he followed Auguste with other dragons.
In the midst of this great confusion, it would be quite difficult to even think of meeting up.
When I was watching from the shade so as not to be caught up in the crowd, I saw shadows flying about on the roof.
They seemed to be alchemists of Aurelia and mages of Hafan, judging from their clothes.
Aah, that’s right.
Because I was trying to move on the ground, I got caught in the crowd.
Since that is the case, I need to move through a place where the controlled people can’t get in the way, like on top of the building or in the air for example.
I searched for a wand suitable for moving in the air such as Levitation or Leap that Tirnanog put inside the bag.
Hmm, if I only want to climb the roof, then I will need Levitation to move upwards, but if I want to jump from roof-to-roof, then I will need Leap which will strengthen my jumping power.
Since I am looking for Auguste and Tirnanog, I also need a wand for that.
“So you are here, Erica. I’m glad you are fine.”
While I was struggling with several kinds of wands, I was unexpectedly spoken to from above my head.
Upon looking up, there was the figure of father who had gathered a group of alchemists and mages.
The moment when Auguste’s telepathic attack occurred, father was analyzing the magic tool collected from Blackcurrant with other alchemists and mages.
He seemed to have noticed something was wrong when the mages fainted from magical power exhaustion one after another while analyzing.
The symptoms closely resembled the situation if they received continuous high-intensity mental interference.
Father who realized that they were in an emergency situation, suspended the analysis of the magic tool and quickly moved to confirm the situation accurately.
He dispatched the staff members gathered for analyzing the magic tool for the investigation, and father himself attempted to meet up with King Ignitia and the Duchess of Hafan.
The Duchess of Hafan, until fainting due to magical power exhaustion, seemed to be struggling to protect the King and his children and other nobles who had lost their consciousness.
When he joined the Duchess of Hafan, he took over the role of protecting the people.
As a result of the investigation, it turned out that the entire Island of Messenger was under the influence of large-scale mental interference.
It was not possible to evacuate all the citizens of the Kingdom to a safe place, as the only mean to escape the island is by riding a boat or crossing the bridge.
We established the evacuation route for the refugees to the separate residence of Duke of Aurelia which was in the suburbs and only received small influence of mental interference.
After that, father organized several teams for the sake of going around to guide the controlled people, medical treatment for wounded people, dealing with the aftermath, and searching for missing people.
It seems that it was at this time that he was able to join me by chance.
Currently, I am also evacuating to the Duke of Aurelia’s separate residence.
In the room where I was ordered to wait, there were the Duchess of Hafan who had fainted due to magical power exhaustion, Ann, King Ignitia who was magically put to sleep for safety purposes, Tricia and Marquia and other protected nobleman’s children.
“It is not impossible for some outlaws to appear by taking advantage of this confusion. You are at least safe in here. Erica, you must stay here until the fuss gets subsided.”
“Otou-sama! I am a duke’s daughter. In a situation like this, I have to fulfill my duty.”
“That is why we need someone to protect this place, Erica.”
When I gave a proposal earnestly while hiding my true intention of searching for Auguste, he turned the table on me and blocked my movement.
I glanced back slightly, I saw Ann and other people who had fainted.
I couldn’t say no when he referred to the women who were in a defenseless position.
“Erica……at that time, were you with His Highness Auguste?”
Looking down, I closed my mouth and father asked with a slightly calming tone.
When I was feeling troubled about how to answer him, father bent over and smiled while looking at my face to cheer me up.
“It’s alright. We will definitely find and protect His Highness Auguste.”
“The confusion is great, but there is no life-threatening danger. Please wait here with a peace of mind.”
Although father was gentle, I could only answer ambiguously, and then he left the room.
What should I do?
I had prepared for various situations, but the actual situation has surpassed my expectations.
It would have been easier if I had to battle the contract beast.
The fight against the huge ancient monstro from the labyrinth search is in easier mode, what do you mean–!?
As a matter of fact, if a battle between a contract supremacy stuffed animal from that magical girl thing1 and Tirnanog broke out, it would have been a fluffy mascot showdown with a pleasant feeling.
From this point onward, I wonder if the contract beast would come out.
When I used a bag as a chair and looked at the ceiling to escape reality, there was a sudden rattling noise coming from outside the window
『Erica, so you’re in this place. I was looking for you.』
The one who was waving from outside the window was Tirnanog, who had been missing until a while ago.
I quickly hurried up and opened the window.
I am on the third floor, but he was able to climb it nicely.
Although he is wearing a heavy armor, Tirnanog is amazingly nimble.
Though considering the power of the huge monstro Zaratan, one or two armors might not be very heavy for him.
“Tir, where have you been?”
『As you planned, I was pursuing that blonde prince. I have located the place where the signs of the monstro are properly showing.』
『What, did you forget, my friend? It is the strategy you had set up. After the blonde prince fell from the dragon in the tournament, you told me to secretly track the guy and find the hiding place of the contract beast, right?』
Due to various things happening at once, I had completely forgotten.
Initially there was such a strategy.
I didn’t instruct him to either cancel or continue the strategy, but did Tirnanog track Auguste arbitrarily in that confusion?
“Amazing, Tir! What a fine play~!”
『Kukukuku, you can praise me more. I’m a very useful guardian.』
“As expected of Tir! Tir is very cool! If this is the case, then let’s beat down the contract beast and end the unusual phenomenon right away!”
『That’s my favorite development! Leave it to me, no matter what kind of monstro appears, it is useless before my wisdom and power!』
I handed the battle bag to Tirnanog and wound a belt with a wand-holder above the decorative dress I was wearing to watch the tournament in order to prepare for battle.
My tension rose to the unexpected good news.
Because of that, I made a mistake of forgetting where I was, and who was around me.
“Erica-oneesama, that golem……no, is that monstro possibly Zaratan?”
Hearing that voice, I looked back nervously.
Ann had woken up unnoticed and she had a suspicious look on her face.
“A-Ann-sama, I’m glad you’re well……”
“Thanks to being away from the center of the mental interference, it seems that my Magic Resistance was able to block its effect. In order to preserve my magical power, I temporarily set my magical power required for mental defense to zero and let myself faint.”
She is the same cool child as ever, huh.
“Rather than that, the figure closely resembling that of Zaratan, a magic mechanism similar to that of Zaratan, and the golem’s voice is similar to Zaratan……”
“Hii, t-that’s not it. This child is an ordinary golem, Ann-sama. Right, Tir?”
『I, I am a golem. Move. Fight. Spinning.』
Tirnanog walked while swinging like a toy robot with his hands striking out a pose.
It is obviously an act no matter how you see it, but now I have no choice but to let it pass.
“Is that so? Although I can see the scratches around his thigh when I blasted him with a Scorching Ray?”
“No way……the exterior is a new armor, so there shouldn’t be any scratches left……”
『I’m fine, Erica. The scratch from when I was tracking you in the deepest layer has recovered.』
It was a firmly induced interrogation.
Ann-sama, what frightening child.
“T-this is……it’s confidential.”
“The one who I respect as my older sister is collaborating with a mysterious monstro that attacks people. Moreover, with suspicious speech and conduct for some reason. If it were you, Erica-oneesama, could you have stayed silent in this situation?”
“Guh……please don’t tell anyone.”
『Wait, Erica. Leave this to me.』
Tirnanog advanced before Ann, as if to protect me.
Perhaps he will try to persuade Ann.
I feel that I rely on Tirnanog for everything, I am useless.
『The youngest mage of the eastern mages……no, Ann. It can’t be helped if you are going to disturb us.』
“What are you planning to do, monstro Zaratan.”
『Kukuku, what, you just have to sleep a little. I will not take your life.』
“At last you have revealed your true nature. Get away from Erica-oneesama!”
Tirnanog flicked his sharp claws and Ann drew her staff.
No, wait, why is this becoming more complicated?
I hurriedly went between them.
“Wait a minute! Both of you calm down!”
『Do not be afraid, Erica. I will finish this in a moment. Of course, I will do it in a way that wouldn’t leave a scratch on me.』
“Do not think that I am the same as I was at that time. Likewise, I will annihilate you.”
“I said, wait a minute! Tir, Ann is my friend, so don’t attack her!”
“Ann-sama, Zaratan is……now his name is Tirnanog, but this child is my guardian beast! In order to solve the mental interference case, this child’s cooperation is necessary!”
Tirnanog obligingly stopped his intimidation and Ann stopped directing her staff.
She looked at me with a complicated expression as if troubled.
“At the center of that incident, there is my friend. I cannot tell you the details yet, but I have to go there.”
“Somehow……you are sticking your neck into troublesome things again.”
“Ah, yes. This is embarrassing. But since the risk of endangering my life is a little this time, please be relieved.”
As of now, my relationship with Auguste is good, so the death flag has been broken.
Besides, right now we have entered a development which didn’t exist in the original scenario.
However, if this major incident happened in the original, it wouldn’t be something to laugh about.
If it was not in the original, it can be said to be a kind of safe route that doesn’t interfere with the original death flag.
Maybe, I definitely want to believe that.
Well, frankly that is just me deluding myself for a moment.
“So it is an information about something called a death flag from some oracle, huh……”
“Do you not believe in me?”
“No, it is not that……I, Erica-oneesama, as a human—I am afraid and worried that your instinct for survival is broken.”
I wonder if that is true.
It might be so.
It was said that I had zero danger sense as well in my previous life.
『Do not worry, Ann. In the case of Erica, I will definitely protect her. Since you have fought with me, you should know of my strength well.』
Ann looked into the eyes of Tirnanog through the surface cap.
Tirnanog had a confident gaze and stared right back at her.
Eventually, Ann sighed as if she had lost her power.
“Really, it can’t be helped. Promise me, if you are in danger, please escape.”
“I understand. I will not do anything dangerous this time, so please be relieved, Ann-sama.”
“Zaratan—Tirnanog-sama, Erica-oneesama said that, but she will definitely be unreasonable, Tirnanog-sama please protect her.”
『Leave it to me. I know the personality of this girl. I was going to do that from the beginning.』
Ann grasped the forearm of Tirnanog as they shook hands.
Tirnanog nodded back strongly.
Both of them misunderstood me terribly.
Even though I try to avoid danger so that I won’t die all the time.
“I wish I could accompany you, but my immature Magic Resist will cause inconvenience for the two of you.”
“I will protect this place on the behalf of you, Erica-oneesama. So please make sure to come back.”
I answered her with a smile so that at least I could remove some anxiety off her.
Tirnanog jumped on the window frame and was beckoning me closer.
I pulled out a wand from my wand-holder.
The shaft material was bundled reed and coiled wire was wrapped around it.
The head of the wand was magnetite, and the legs of grasshopper, rabbit, and frog as the core material.
It was the wand of Leap that dramatically strengthens the user’s jumping power.
If Levitation is a wand specialized for vertical movement, Leap is rather oriented in the lateral direction.
It can’t be used where there is no scaffolding, but it is perfect when you want to jump roof-to-roof like this time.
“Take care. I wish for luck to be with you, Erica-oneesama.”
“Thank you very much, Ann-sama. Good luck to you too.”
『Let’s go, Erica!』
“Yes, let’s go, Tir!”
Tirnanog and I jumped out into the Kingdom which was still dominated by chaos.
Heading towards the center of this unusual phenomenon, towards Auguste who was the cause of this confusion.
1 Referring to Cardcaptor Sakura, I think. Or maybe Puella Magi Madoka Magica.