Episode 75: The ruins in the sea of trees.
They arrived at the ruins site, their destination.
“So those are the ruins… so big, right Yamato?”
“Yeah, it’s more than I expected.”
While hiding under the shade of a tree, Yamato answered the voice of the knight Lienhardt.
Beyond their eyes stood up an unnatural building made of stone.
Yamato wanted to ask their guide, the girl Sildria for information about the ruins.
But similarly to Lienhardt, he was surprised when he saw them.
(So, this is a legacy from the Ancient Super Empire? It is certainly different from everything else I’ve seen in the continent…)
While hiding, they observed the ruins.
As if the sea of trees had been carved out, the ruins stood in the hollowed part.
According to the story from Prince Loki, a random day two years ago, these ruins suddenly had appeared in the sea of trees.
The scale is like that of a small fortress, and it is surrounded by walls as tall as castle walls over all of its circumference.
It didn’t look like a war-time wall, but more on the level of a security barrier.
(That is not stone and cement. Just what kind of material are the walls made of…?)
The material of which the ruins were built of couldn’t be discerned by eye at their current distance.
And also, their styles were one unseen in the current cities and towns in the continent.
Furthermore, even for Yamato, with his modern-day knowledge, it was a material that he had never seen before.
They were probably the result of a technology that made it possible to manufacture it only in the era of the ancient super empire.
“Even so… it’s so quiet it gives an eerie feeling.”
While under the shade of trees, Lienhardt explored the surroundings for any kind of sign.
According to what the imperial soldiers who managed to escape and return to the imperial capital, all around the ruins was filled with danger.
The report was concise, and its contents were as follows.
The incident occurred when the survey team escorted by a group of guard led by the large-sword wielder Barrès reached the deepest building in the ruins.
Three irregular variants of Spiritual Beasts suddenly appeared and encircled the ruins.
A small path of retreat was opened thanks to the efforts of Barrès, and some imperial soldiers were able to flee to the imperial capital.
However, around the current ruins there was no sign that a fight had broken out.
“Let’s not be careless, there are Spiritual Beasts.”
“It seems so… Yamato.”
“I got a strong feeling there’s something dangerous there… Danna.”
At Yamato’s warning, the Valkyrie Knight Sildria and Lacq responded as such.
These two people had never faced against a Spiritual Beast, but although they can’t see it, they feel it.
Just like at the time of the rock salt mine, it is difficult to detect the signs and appearance of a Spiritual Beast.
Even Yamato wasn’t able to see it until it was right in front of him.
“The time is short. Let’s go from the front.”
Calling to the other three to be vigilant, Yamato decided to move towards the ruins’ site.
The signs and appearance of the spiritual beasts couldn’t still be felt.
That being the case, it was better to go to the front and move straight ahead.
The four of them proceeded while being vigilant inside the ruins in the sea of trees.
Spearheading the group and assuming the most dangerous position was Yamato, and in the rear-guard position was the knight Lienhardt using the composite armor shield.
With Sildria and Lacq in the center, their formation could be called a “diamond”.
They were only four, but their physical and combat abilities were high overall.
These four could even manage to break through a small knight siege.
“A bit further ahead is a small tower… That is where Barrès was surrounded by the Spiritual Beasts, Yamato.”
“I see, that tower at the dead-end in the deepest part of the ruins.”
The Valkyrie Knight Sildria explained the layout of the ruins.
Having visited this place before, she guided them using the shortest route in these maze-like ruins.
Of course, even if the Spiritual Beasts have not appeared yet, they still were in high alert.
“Like I told you before, don’t be reckless when the Spiritual Beasts appear.”
Yamato gave the other three a final warning while they were being vigilant.
He wasn’t sure if the Spiritual Beasts followed some sort of pattern, but their fighting abilities were beyond that of a human.
The Knight Guard Lienhardt and the Valkyrie Knight Sildria certainly had fighting skills enough to consider them far above the normal person.
However, such a common sense comparison wouldn’t make sense with the opponent being a Spiritual Beast, with abilities such as curses and immortality.
“In the case where you are forced to fight against a spiritual beast, keep the number advantage as two to one.”
When it came to fighting, Lienhardt and Sildria had been instructed to fight as a pair.
Since they both were knights, when they checked their cooperation before entering the forest, they did quite good.
Their accuracy will further increase if it becomes a real fight, and so, if they are together, they can easily earn time by fighting one spirit beast.
“If I’m correct, there are three Spiritual Beasts, Danna. What do you plan to do with the other two? ”
Doubting his instructions, Lacq approached Yamato with a question.
The only ones left were Lacq and him.
“I’ll take care of the other two. If you just run around you should be fine, right Lacq?”
“Yes… I’ve always been quite good at running… but, no matter how good you are danna, facing against two Spiritual Beasts by yourself is a bit…”
“Don’t worry about it. I got a plan.”
After Lacq voiced his uneasiness over this reckless operation, Yamato told him that he would be alright.
This because, according to his calculations, if the opponents were on the level of the Spiritual Beast of the rock salt mine, the current him could take on two of them at the same time.
Besides, the last time was his first time facing a spiritual beast and his equipment was worse than his current one.
And above all, the difference in experience and the knowledge of the weak point of the Spiritual Beast, its core, was significant.
He had also told the other three about the core, and measures were taken.
Therefore, he had calculated that even if three Spiritual Beasts came out, it would be fine.
“In our imperial army, and of course also among the heroes of the continental war, there have never been a story about someone defeating two Spiritual Beasts alone… That’s a lot of confidence there, Yamato.”
“This is neither confidence nor conceit. This is simply the result of calculations.”
Yamato corrected Sildria’s half-amazed words.
Indeed, the Spiritual Beasts were frightening existences.
However, being in the shape of a living thing, their movements and way of fighting were limited.
The Spiritual Beasts had joints and senses, and therefore they had blind spots and weak points.
Based on his experience at the rock salt mine, he calculated his physical abilities and the fighting abilities of the Spiritual Beast.
And based on the result of those calculations, he volunteered to rescue the knight Barrès.
“Hmm, Yamato started speaking with difficult words like those scholars.”
“Danna is called “the wise man in the north” after all.”
“Hmm, I see. So, there is reason behind his knowledge.”
Lacq answered Sildria’s doubts.
At first glance theirs seemed like a casual conversation, but both of them were properly vigilant of their surroundings.
This was just that kind of place.
“Careful. We’re here.”
Then, Yamato who was at the front, called out to them.
They had finally arrived at their target location, the place where the tower was situated.
Unlike in the road thus far, the air in the plaza around the tower was tense.
“Is that!? ”
From the middle, Sildria suddenly raised a shrill voice.
Yamato too found the figure of the empire knight in the plaza around the tower and shouted.
She rushed ahead, and in front of her was the standing figure of the Barrès wielding his large sword, and his body full of wounds.
“Tch… Princess Sildria… quickly get out of here! ”
“What are you saying, you idiot! Let’s quickly get back to my brother’s.”
Just as she ran up to him, Sildria and Barrès exchanged words.
Apparently these two were acquainted, and their relation had some circumstances.
Gathering from the conversation between those two, the other members of the survey team were safe for now inside the tower.
But after seeing that, Yamato wondered why Barrès and the rest weren’t running away from this place.
Soon after… the answer to that question was made clear.
“Guys, watch out.”
As soon as Yamato felt that presence, he warned the rest.
If they didn’t want to die, then they had to show no openings from now on.
“What… when did they…”
In response to his warning, the knight Lienhardt raised a surprised voice.
Following him, Sildria and Lacq also looked around.
The three of them, who should have excellent danger detection abilities, didn’t notice it at all.
“I see, so Barrès was left alive as a bait. Spiritual Beasts… and five of them…”
In the dead-end square, they who had rushed to rescue were surrounded.
By a heard of five deformed Spiritual Beasts.