53: Subjugate Leo's party!

At dusk.
Green Mountain towers like a spear piercing the clouds and is dyed red.
We arrived at the cave at the foot of the mountain where Leo, the suppression target is said to be.

Pickle, the dwarf who was guiding us, rushed into the cave with a smile on his face.
"Leo! I brought the Hero-sama! He'll help you!"

We enter next.
It seems to be a limestone cave and the entrance was so narrow that we had to crouch to get in.
The inside on the other hand was wide.

Water drips from the moist stalactites and the air feels cool to the skin.
There was a lot of pure water, so as a god related to water it felt very pleasant.

I touch the "Proof of Hero" to turn on the environment light.
The surroundings become bright with me in the center. It's magnificent that it doesn't cast any shadows.

Celica is next to me. Minya and Lapisia are walking behind me.
The voice of Pickle who ran into the cave's depths echoes many times over.

The cave became wider and higher as we walked further inside.
If speaking in roads, it would be about four to six lanes. Streams were flowing along the cave's walls. Even without further investigation, you can tell how clean they are.

After about ten minutes have passed, we encountered an underground lake.
It's filled with blue, clean water. The humid air is chilly.

Three persons are sitting around a bonfire on the shore.
A man wearing a coat, a boy with long ears, and with a gloomy face and blue hair, Leo.

The man who wears the black coat stands up. He is tall and slim. He wears thin glasses and holds a thick book in his hand.

He looks down as if he's displeased and pushes up the glasses with his finger.
"Well well, you did something troublesome again... The probability for trouble is at 55% I guess"
--'again', does this mean that it wasn't this guy who ordered the attack on the capital? Rather his demon friends acted on their own account?

Pickle is surprised.
"What do you mean!? This person is a hero! He saved us!"
"It's also possible that he only helped you to get information he needed to accomplish his goal. The probability is about 90%."
"Su, such a...!"
Pickle's look alternates between me and the man with tears floating in his eyes.

The man spoke while looking at the "Proof of Hero" that was shining at my chest.
"Especially because he is a hero, he follows the words of the king. The probability for subjugation is at 99%. ...Am I wrong?"

I scornfully laugh as I speak.
"In that case, what would you do?"
"I won't let you do it!"
The man scooped up his black, long hair and stood to block the way to Leo.
--This is troublesome. Will he quiet down if I show off my strength?

I pulled my sword and said.
"Pickle, stand back. Thank you for guiding us."
Pickle cried as he ran to the wall.

I looked at the man with "Truth Sight".
Name: Dark Raven
Gender: Male
Age: 28
Race: High Human
Job: Sixth Realm Wizard (High Level)
Class: Mage Lv 40 Black Magician Lv 52
Ancient Magician Lv 38 Dimension Magician Lv 42
Magic Circle Master Lv 60 Grand Wizard Lv 88
Attributes: "Fire" "Water" "Wind" "Earth"

Magic Circle Grimoire: Converts magic and spells into magic circles and lists them. Activates just by putting in magical power and saying the number.
Robe of Black Ravens: Robe made with raven feathers. Allows space-time manipulation. Magic attacks and Mental strength x2, Defense +77
Wow. He specializes in black magic.
Moreover, I don't know why, but he even seems to be familiar with magic and sorcery that doesn't originate from this world.
Well, since at least I came from a different world, there might be ways to do that.

"Do you know what it means to challenge the hero to a fight?"
"Unfortunately, I'm not a person caught up in common sense"
He puffs up with pride and pushes up his glasses with his finger.
His attitude is full of confidence.

"So generally speaking, just because he is a hero doesn't mean that he is a good guy."
The boy makes a fist under the sound of crackling fingers. His green hair spreads fluffy, making his long ears clearly visible.

"How do you want to check? With that fist of yours?"
"Isn't my fist now slightly different?"
I looked at the boy's fist that was wrapped in a red flame.

I looked at the boy with "Truth Sight".
Name: Tilt
Gender: Male
Age: 142
Race: Elf
Job: Magic Fighter Master (High Level)
Class: Magic Fighter Master Lv 35
Attributes: "Raging Fire"

[Martial Artist Skills]
Second level punch
Roundhouse kick
Flying Swallow Leg

[Magic Fighter Master Skills]
Iron Fist: Punches the target with a fist harder than iron. Doubles damage.
Flame Fist: Attacks with a fist clad in a flame. Additional flame damage.
Burst Dance: A series of attacks with kicks clad a flames.
Fire Wave: Attack by hurling a flame.

[Passive Skills]
Protection of the spirits: Can talk with spirits. Increases ability score. Invalidates fascination.
Mental concentration: Invalidates stun and sleep when concentrating in battle. Resistance against abnormal states.
Dragon Howling: Rise in muscle strength and speed. Intimidates the opponent.
So he has also a high class Job?
I guess it is the magic version of a martial artist.
It seems to be quite strong.

I was told before that ten elven years equate to one Human year, so he would be about 14 years old.
He certainly is cheeky.

Leo raised his head. He looks tired.
"Wait, Dark and Tilt. Keika isn't a bad person!"
"Lot's of things can happen even if he isn't a bad person. He might be a good hero for the king. --With a probability of 50%."
Dark glares at me with sharp eyes.
I also confront him holding my sword.

"Even if I said that I came to talk? I plan to help Leo."
"I don't think you can help him-- or do you have a good plan?"
I shook my head.
"At least not for now"
"Guess so. If there would be one, we would do it somehow!"

Tilt gets into a bad mood.
"In the first place, even if you call yourself a hero, can a guy who is only being served by women be any good? Do you even feel like beating the Demon Lord right now?"
--Yup, only women. That's right.
And right now I'm not interested in beating the Demon Lord until I've increased my believers.
He has too much of a sound argument, so I don't really have an excuse here.

Celica however wrinkles her brows while and speaks.
"There are things you can say and things you can't say! --eh?"

Blocking Celica's words, Minya readily comes in front.
"Badmouthing Keika-oniichan... I won't forgive you"
Her ears and tail are standing. She is clad in a tense aura.

I spoke.
"Leo. You got good comrades."
--Leo is enough of a hero to befriend demons.
So it's not surprising that he already gathered some excellent party members.

"You're all doing too much for me... so, can you please stop fighting each other?"
"I guess you're right. At least that's what I'd like to say, but it looks like our companions are already on fire"
Minya is still standing where Dark looked at previously.

Minya unsheathes her kitchen knives and points them at Tilt.
"Those words... Take them back"
"Not interested. My fist isn't for beating women and children."
"Then, just die"

Dark takes an exasperated looking breath.
"Tilt. You can fight for real. But your chance for winning is at 5%."
"Don't say stupid things! The companions of this hero who makes a harem for pleasure shall be stronger than me!?"
--It is a little offending, but I am actually quite pleased with only women, so it's a fair argument I guess.
Besides, he certainly is stronger than Celica, that's a fact.
Just as I'd expect of Leo's companion, he seems to be a good guy as his frank opinion doesn't make me feel any bad.

But that's different for those who are devoted to me.
Minya's ears and tail stood upright from anger.
"That disrespect, definitely, I won't forgive"
"...Tilt. Your winning chance just dropped to 1%"

"What! That has to be a mistake--"
"I'm coming"

*donn!*, Minya kicked the ground and dashed forward.
The bare kitchen knives are twinkling. A cloud of sand is whirled up.

"Fa, fast!"
Minya already rushed in before he could take a fighting stance.

Carried by the yell, he lets out a punch at the slash coming from below.

He hits the knife's side and deflects it.

However, the two sword style continues. Next is a slash from above diagonally from the shoulder.
He dodges it by a hair's breadth.

The kitchen knife in her left hand greatly cuts the air. She pitches forward before her posture collapses and turns her back at him.

"Got you!"
Tilt delivers a flaming fist towards Minya's back.
However, Minya kicked the ground before it connected without losing any of her forward pitching momentum.

--She kicks as her body is spinning.

Her flexible leg that is further sped up by a forward somersault hits Tilt's head like a whip.
Tilt protected his head with his hands.
Her leg is repelled and drifts to the side.
But Minya quickly lands and waves her white robe as she targets his head with the kitchen knife in her right hand.

Tilt was unable to get away. --He steps forward to grab the hand holding the kitchen knife--.


Tilt was blown away.
While swinging her kitchen knife down, Minya stopped her movement and stretched her slender leg upward.
Her white thighs peek far out of her black Hakama. Her black hair fluffily returns into its original shape.

The kitchen knife is only a feint.
Tilt was distracted from the attack from above and was unable to respond to the kick coming from below aiming at his chin.

Tilt was kicked flying and fell into the underground lake with a big *splash*. A water column rises.
Before she started to pursue him, I spoke up.

"That's enough, Minya"
She sheathed her kitchen knives and went back behind me.

Tilt returned to the shore under splashing sounds.
He spoke while water was dripping from his green hair.
"...My bad. I understand that you gathered good companions."
"As long as you get it it's fine. ...Isn't it okay, Minya"
"Yes... I'll forgive him"
Her black hair swings while she slightly nods. Her ears moved.

I got my eyes off Tilt, who sits down at the bonfire and looked at Dark.
"What do you want to do? Want to test my strength? Whether I have the strength to help Leo"
"Sounds interesting... but, you would die"
"Don't worry- I have a general understanding of your magic."

To my words, Dark pushed up his glasses. They are sparkling.
"Heh? Even though I haven't done anything yet"

"I know. The book in your left hand, it's filled with magic circles that contain already prepared magic. They can be used immediately by saying the key word."
"...That's the right answer. It's regrettable, but it seems that the probability that the magic doesn't activate is very close to 0%"
"You're right. We'd better stop. Let's have a discussion."

However, Dark opened the book and set it up.
"Nevertheless, I want to help Leo with my own hands."
"Says the guy who permanently preaches about probabilities"
"Yeah, it's bad I guess. ...But even I am fascinated by Leo's soul! --Aria magic circle activate! 3 6 15 26! --'Tyrant Nova'"

Four magic circles emerged and overlapped in front of Dark. They emit red light, black light, purple light and yellow light.
A flame of scorching heat is brought forth in front of the light.

I step straight into it while I quickly take my sword.
"--'Water Blade Grant'"

*saa, saa!*

A sound like cutting something hard echoed over the underground lake and the light composing the magic circles was scattering like fireflies before it disappeared.
The flame looks like it is twisting and then vanishes.

Dark's jaw dropped from shock. His glasses slide to the peak of his nose.
"I, impossible! Does this mean you cut through the magic circles drawn with light with a sword?!"
"Sorry for exceeding your expectations."
I swung the sword and sheathed it.

Dark looks heartbroken and falls to his knees.
"Such a... can't be... my magic formula is perfect... where... why..."
He starts to murmur with empty eyes.

It seems that I also cut through his pride.
"Well, don't mind it-- rather, can I talk to Leo now?"

Tilt and Dark are feebly nodding.

We surrounded the bonfire alongside Leo's party. Pickle is also there.
Celica prepared drinks from her water bottle.
Lapisia sat on the floor, hugging her knees while holding the egg between her thin legs..

Leo's smile looks still as tired as ever.
"I'm sorry, Keika-san. I got you into this mess."
"No, the feeling of wanting to desperately protect your comrades was thoroughly transmitted, so it's fine"
"Thank you very much. I am relieved."

"You're quite worn out, huh, Leo?"
"Yes...Although I tried to become a hero to protect everyone, I am called a sinner... I'm just causing trouble for the people I wanted to protect, it hurts my heart"
Leo slowly shook his head. His blue hair is smoothly flowing.

I spoke while I drunk some tea from the cup I received from Celica.
"Well then, let's come to the main subject. I was thinking, Leo, how about living while you're dead?"
"It's difficult to revoke your status now that you've been recognized as an underling of the Demon Lord. So how about pretending to be dead to regain your freedom?"

To my words, everyone made a difficult face.