66: Drive back the innkeeper! The saint's secret


We got up early in the morning and ate breakfast after holding a short meeting.
Then a problem arose just when we wanted to pay the bill.


The innkeeper yells.
"This little isn't enough! It's the rate for six people, you'll have to pay 6 holy gold coins! "
"Th, This is! That's too expensive! It's out of the common sense range!"
Celica was tightly grasping the bag with the gold coins while she spoke.

I also give my words.
"We're in the middle of our journey, so be content with this."
"Haa? Shall I let this remark pass? This is a business! If you can't pay, how about paying with your bodies!"
"In other words, you intend to disturb my journey?"

"If you can't pay, you won't continue your journey! --Hey, guys, make them understand it a little!"
"Hehe" "Haha" "These breasts are the best!" "Don't hit her face...that'll reduce the fun!"


I spoke while I looked around the dirty men.
"Hm, there are 15. Celica, Minya, you'll take five each."
"Yes!" "Understood"

Then Lapisia, who was holding the egg, lightly pulls on my clothes.
"I?"
"You can't hold back, right?"
"Holdback! Can!"
She made a small fist and her golden eyes shone bright. The hammer on her back really is just a decoration I guess.
"Well, then you'll fight together with me"
"Yeeees!"
While I still feel uneasy as to whether it really is okay, we were targeted by the men.


The men surrounded us while having vulgar smiles.
"It can't be helped because you can't pay, right?" "We'll pay for you instead, so be grateful"
A short-tempered guy loosens his belt and approaches.

"--Do it"
Following my signal, Celica and Minya moved while frowning from anger.

Golden and black gales are dancing.
*shu!*, *dogonn!*
Sharp and dull sounds are resounding.


The inside of the bar is flooded with screams.
"Kyaaa!" "Higiii!" "My balls, my baaaalls!" "It's torn ooooff"
...Both of them swung their sheathed swords, kicked from time to time and smashed the men's nether regions.
One man faints in agony. Another man leaks white foam from his mouth. And another man wets his bloodstained pants.

Well, generally that was my order.
But the sight let my own nether region shrink just from looking at it.


I was facing off against four men with my sheathed Tachi.
Well, they can't keep up with my speed.
"Kya!" "HigyaaA!" "Iiiiiii!" "H,Help---ah!"
I thoroughly crushed their crotches.

--Although it might be overkill, they probably have repeated this countless times until know because this is the only inn in this town.
I intend to let it end here.


Lapisia was clutching her fist and swung it sideways.
"Hehe, what do you plan to do, little girl... I won't let you get away!"
When Lapisia then went before the man in an instant, she obviously swung her arm with full power. The floor cracks after she steps onto it.

"Cuuuuuure, Puuunch!"

*dogoonn"*

She swung her arm with full strength. It's the blow of a god.
The lower part of the man's body twists and is sent flying while the upper part is folded before it flies to the side.
"NoooooooOOO!"
He's in death agony while he hits the first wall and then becomes a lump of meat after he crashed into the stone wall of the second-hand shop on the other side of the street.


--No no, just where was she holding back there?

Then, while I was thinking that.
The man was wrapped in a pure light and returned back into a human shape.
Did she cast Cure at the same time when she attacked?
The man was spasming and only the white of his eyes could be seen.
"A...a..."
He lost his words because he just had a near-death experience.

"Lapisia, that's not holding back. I'd call that half killing..."
"Is that soooo?"
Lapisia cutely tilted her head. Her blue twin tails were gently swaying.
Well, it should still be okay since the outcome was that she didn't kill him.


I turn to the innkeeper while sighing.
"Do you get it? That you shouldn't disturb my journey."
"Do, Don't think that it will end with this! There are scary people supporting me!"
"Liar! If that's the case then try to tell me their names? You're just prating to talk your way out, right?"
"It's the boss of the underworld, Gould-sama! Hehe, are you scared now? Be ready to be made into slaves!"

I spoke.
"In other words, you pretended to be an inn and looked for customers who looked like they'd sell and made them into slaves, huh"
"What's wrong with that! This town isn't on the trade route anymore after the forest turned into a desert! I won't have anything to eat if I don't do it!"
"I see, I see. Because it was disconnected from the trade route, you raised the prices as much as you liked. And then you turned those who couldn't pay into slaves. You also planned to do that with us. I see, I see."
The innkeeper started to get cold feet.

"Ju, just who are you?"


I suggestively smiled while I reached for my chest.
"Ah? Didn't I tell you? --I'm someone like this."
I took out the "Proof of Hero" and held it before the innkeeper's face.

"A, ah! Herooo! --No, this is, this is!"
"I told you, right? That you shouldn't disturb my journey. Those who are disturbing my journey are underlings of the Demon Lord. I'll dispose of you"
"Ju, Just wait a sec!"
"No, I can't answer that wish."


Then guards came over.
They look at the disastrous scene with the men, that were rolling around on the floor, and point their swords at me.
"Th, this is! --Bastard, what did you do!?"
"Be careful of what you say. I'm a hero"
I hold the "Proof of Hero" before them.

The soldiers' expression changes.
"He, Hero-sama!? We're terribly sorry for this! --But, just what in hell.."
"This man demanded six holy gold coins as payment for staying one night with six people. When we refused, he instigated the men to attack and tried to make us into slaves. Behind him seems to be someone called Gould, the boss of a criminal organization. Take him away and throw him into jail."

"Six holy gold coins!? Also with Gould!? ...I already thought, that the innkeeper behaved strangely, but that he was doing such evil!"
"Wr, Wrong! I did it for this town...!"
"I should let you tell everything at the station"
"N, Nooo...!"


The innkeeper rampaged but was immediately seized by the soldiers and taken away. The men were also captured and taken away.

I speak to the captain.
"If I visit next time and find something strange in this town, I'll dispose of everyone as underlings of the Demon Lord. Do you get this?"
"Yes, understood, Hero-sama! We'll keep a watchful eye on it from now one."
"Please do so. And thoroughly investigate and uncover the background"

"Yes!"
The captain saluted and went away.


Then, only we were left.
"Well then, shall we go?"
"Yes, Keika-sama"

Fioria approaches and lowers her head.
"Thank you, Hero-sama. They targeted us to make us into slaves, right?"
"That was dangerous. Or rather, normally the accommodation fee will be charged in advance as precaution against people who try to sneak away at night. You should be suspicious if they ask for postponed payment. Well then, please guide us."
"Yes, please leave it to me."

Thus we made arrangements for crossing the desert and chased after the saint.

======

The sunlight is strongly shining down upon us.
The fine sand continues endlessly in the desert.
It's been three days since we had mounted large lizards-- Sand Lizards, and were heading northwest.
I can't remember how many sand dunes we had passed.

By the way, we have one lizard exclusively for luggage.
Because Minya didn't sell the high class materials, saying "The purchasing prices are low", the luggage didn't decrease.
We nimbly rode while leaving footprints in the sand.


We're pursuing the saint now straight for five days since we crossed the border.
I looked ahead many times over with "Clairvoyance", but I just couldn't see the saint.
It was strange, no matter how I looked at it.


Fioria spoke when the sun had just passed the zenith.
"The World Tree is about one hour away."
"So at the end, we didn't catch up to the saint, although we hurried that much. We'll turn back if she died... I'll check a last time--'Clairvoyance'"

My gaze penetrated the sand dunes in front of me and I looked far into the distance.

There was a huge stump about ten kilometers ahead. The diameter alone was about two kilometers.
It looks like it would break through the clouds if the tree grew normally.


Then, I found a woman who was walking around the stump.
The woman wore a white veil and a habit.
She carries an egg on her back.

However, I remembered her face.
For a while, I was thinking "I've seen her before somewhere", before I realized it.

It was the saint that apparently undid the curse on the first village. I've seen her on the portrait that was hanging on the wall.
She was more beautiful than in the picture though. And she had a mysterious atmosphere around her.
She was aimlessly walking around.


--Then
A question floated to my mind. There's no luggage. She doesn't even have a water bottle.
Did she cross the desert on foot? What about equipment and food?
I mean, she shouldn't have been there when I was checking in the morning.

I thought, that it was strange and looked at her status with "Truth Sight".
--------------------
[Status]
Name: Lilille
Gender: Female
Age: Se・cret (♥)
Race: God
Job: Ocean God
Class: God Art User, Summoner
Attributes: "Natural Water" "Ocean" "Holy Waves"

[Parameters]
Physical strength: 8.88 million (+1 million + 1 million + 7.6 million)
Agility: 8.85 million (+1 million + 1 million + 7.6 million)
Magical strength: 8.9 million (+1 million + 1 million + 7.6 million)
Wisdom:: 8.87 million (+1 million + 1 million + 7.6 million)
Believers: about 761.050 ("Light" virgins 50 + other virgins 1.000 + other 760.000)

Vitality: 88.66 million
Mental strength: 89.35 million

Attack strength: 8.88 million
Defense strength: 17.7 million
Magical offense strength: 26.7 million
Magical defense strength: 17.94 million

[Equipment]
Weapons: None
Protective gear: "White angel's raiment (habit)" Defense ×2 Magic Defense ×2 [Invalidates all abnormal effects]
Accessories: "Tidal Wave Ring" Magical strength ×3
Possessions: Evolution Egg
--------------------
I spontaneously laughed.
"Haha! Of course, she appeared at the most unexpected places and changed the people's Jobs! Or rather, shouldn't I be surprised that she's alive?"
"Ke, Keika-sama!? Just what the hell are you doing?"
"Celica, let's hurry! The saint is at the World Tree!"
"Ye, yes!"
We sped up by kicking the sides of the lizards.


I telepathically speak to her.


--Hey, old lady with the Secret (♥) age.
"Eh! --Who's there, some insolent fellow!?"
Lilille turned her head. Our eyes met over the distance of ten kilometers.

"...A god? Keika Hiko-no-Mikoto? I've never heard of you"
--Ah, there's no way you could have heard of me. Sorry to have spoken rudely. I'm a god from a different world. I'm currently acting as a hero. I have the approval of Lupersia.

"You've helped Lupersia-neesan, haven't you"
--That's right. I purified her and she's now asleep.
"Could it be that the one beside you is my niece Lapisia?"
"Auntie!"
"Ah! It's 'Lilille-neesan', please properly memorize it..."
--You were also listening, Lapisia?


At that time, there were movements in the distance.
Demons appeared from above the World Tree's stump.

--There are demons, be careful.
"I know"

Lilille waved her hands.
Just by that, the group of demons vanished.


I speak.
--We don't have time. You seem to have a way to deal with Barrier Muuk, can you tell me your plan?
"I don't know whether it'll kill him or not. ...But... if I should fail I'll leave the rest to you."
--What do you intend to do?
"I'll let him drown"

--I see. He's immune to physical and magic attacks. So you act under the assumption that he has to breathe.
"That's right. I'll escape if it doesn't work. I didn't come here to die. If I'd die, the oceans would die as well. ...I can't even really fight. I can only let the ocean rampage and devastate coastal cities."
--I see. Understood. I also thought something up. If you fail, we'll try to fight him.


"Thank you very much, god of a different world. Is there anything else you what to ask?"
--That's right. Why are you fighting the guy of the Four Heavenly Kings yourself? The damage just would be too great if you'd die, so why won't you leave it to someone else?
"The World Tree won't last any longer. It desperately puts forth sprouts, but they are continuously plucked. It's been long forgotten, but the World Tree is also one of the main gods. If the World Tree dies, all trees will die with it."

--Eh! Then, won't that mean the extinction of all living beings...?
"That's why there's no choice but to go myself because I'm the strongest of those that can move at the moment."
--If the people are dying, I also won't be able to become a Valor God. There's no choice but to do it.


"Is there anything else you want to know? Other than my age"
--Don't you have a little to few believers?
"Although the oceans are full of monsters, I'm thankful that there are still people who are worshiping me."
--I see. Surprisingly you are collecting quite a lot of virgins.
"Hehe. I simply spread the rumor that you can meet a splendid husband if you worship me."
--You don't say. You seem to also gather the "Light"-attribute.
"I protect them at my monasteries as soon as I find them"

--Come to think of it, I took Fal in. Do you mind that?
"I thought that that child would be okay, so I didn't accommodate a hidden retreat for her. You defeated Evil Squid and rescued her, didn't you. Thank you very much. Please make her happy somehow."


--Next is..., ah, that's right. You tried to give some people high level Jobs, didn't you?
"Yes. But there was never something that I couldn't do even better."
--If you're that strong, why don't you defeat the Demon Lord yourself?
"I would have defeated him a long time ago if I could defeat him. But as I am now, neither I nor even you can win."
--Is he that strong? What became of the other gods beside you?"
"They either got cursed or were sealed"

--So that's what is was. There wasn't anyone when I spoke to them. You also didn't respond though."
"My location might become known if I speak with the humans..."
--That's certainly possible.
Telepathic communication within the same species is encrypted. But you have to use magic or devices to communicate between different species and then it seems like normal communication.

"I cut all calls from the temples... the days were painful when I couldn't even confer oracles."
--I guess it can't be helped... Ah!

"He came, huh... I'll concentrate on the fight a little. Any interference is unnecessary."


While she walks toward the huge stump, a man whose body is complete golden appears. He wears black pants and a black cloak.
His aura is unusual.
So this is Barrier Muuk of the Four Heavenly Kings?

Barrier Muuk was loudly laughing.
"You did well to come that far, you fool! I am one of the Four Heavenly Kings, Barrier Muuk! I praise your skill to defeat my underlings. --Well then, I'll let you attack three times. Then despair because your attacks won't get through."
He crossed his arms and turned his back to her while he madly laughed.


Lilille threw a sharp gaze at him and sticked out her slender hands.