The Men’s Night
First night: Maroudo’s side
The two swords gave off sparks, with hands and feet were fluttering every now and then.
One side was clear and strong yet lovely like a firework, and the other one was freely flowing like a stream.
The strong severed the soft, the soft reined the strong.
Having exchanged blows an unknown number of times, both swords broke from the middle at the same time with a strong dissonance.
Hiyuki and Maroudo both stopped their movements while still holding a slashing posture.
“…Losing in power huh, even though these are really good leveled swords.”
Hiyuki sighed while looking at the cross-sections of the broken swords.
In reality, these kinds of swords are impossible to purchase above ground. The material used, level of smithing, and the magic used for strengthening are of the very highest grade, so if for example there really exists one above ground, it would probably be stored inside the deepest part of a treasure warehouse.
Even so, in this country of everlasting darkness, Imperial Crimson, it could be called a scarce weapon but it isn’t one that couldn’t be replaced. Hiyuki only felt that it was just a bit wasteful as she ferried the sword towards the watching death knight who was in charge of practice ground (Although it was called a practice ground, its size was equal to a coliseum, and the paintings on the wall were so detailed that they gave off a spectacular sight which may make you mistake it for temple or sanctuary).
Similarly, a death knight came toward Maroudo. While being nervous towards the death knight’s appearance (A skeleton with a huge body crossing 2 meters wearing super heavy class armor like a hill, with white shining will-o-wisp eyes), he ferried the broken sword towards the hand it presented.
Then, when he came back to his senses, grim reapers had already appeared, cleaning the swords that fell on the ground and fixing the soil of the practice grounds.
He planned to seriously try to quickly get accustomed to this place, but seeing this scene, he can’t help but wonder what unthinkable place this is.
Nonetheless, it’s true that it was a comfortable place to live in. The food was delicious, high elves and angel tribe women who walked down the road were truly beauties of heaven (Still, in front of him existed one who surpassed the best of them), the demon citizens are nothing but good natured people, and there is also a lot of entertainment that he couldn’t think of above the ground, boredom is a word that was very out of place here.
In short, this unthinkable country has the appearance of hell, but after he tried living in it, it turned out to be paradise.
And then above all, there exists the unchangeable supreme beauty, who was more beautiful than anything for him.
“―Hmm? Is there something wrong?”
Perhaps noticing his hot gaze, Hiyuki slightly tilted her head.
“No, just that somehow I am still not really used to them, I admire that you can remain calm about them.”
She faced Maroudo who smiled bitterly looking at the grim reapers that finished the ground preparation and the death knights that withdrew back outside the practice grounds in a smooth motion which was unthinkable since they wore super heavy armor and helmets.
Hiyuki cheerfully laughed. The real reason for her laughing was ‘Of course it’s scary, I haven’t even moved since a while ago because my feet were frozen in fear so I can’t move!’, but Maroudo thought that his cowardice was being laughed at so he scratched the side of his check embarrassingly.
“Well, I am going to get accustomed it soon.”
“Noo, don’t mind it.”
By the way this sentence was also loaded with implications like: ‘I’m still not even accustomed it yet, don’t get ahead me, would you!?’
“…Putting that aside, the swords that sell in the markets here are nearly the highest grade but even though it appears that way, it seems for you they are insufficient. The Ogre Stroke which I had given before is not that different from this sword. Perhaps it is time to change equipment, including your armor?”
The corridor was 60 meters wide, furthermore it was wholly filled with sculptures made from gold and silver, and also contained detailed yet gorgeous ornaments (More or less Maroudo is someone who was born and raised in a royal palace, but compared to the size and splendorous of this, it can be said that his royal palace seemed like a dog house). It wasn’t a metaphor, the end of this corridor disappeared into the horizon and couldn’t even be seen, therefore he was escorted by the death knight guide, as well as fierce god soldiers and some others. While walking, he faced Hiyuki who walked a bit ahead of him, today she wore an unusual white basis toned dress. He opened his mouth.
“At any rate, the scale of this castle is terrific as always. It’s amazing that you get around without getting lost.”
The meaning of her laugh was: ‘If there wasn’t a guide of course I would have gotten lost.’
By the way, even when she wants to go to toilet in the middle of the night it turned into a big parade of about 50 attendants, perhaps because her retainers worry that each place would be hard to understand if she went alone and if she got unlucky she would get lost. Because of that, she usually stored a simple house that included a toilet (Gacha IM prize item) inside her inventory. It is one of her secrets.
Then, two hours had passed by with them advancing through the corridor, descending and ascending through stairs, and opening large doors again and again (Inside the castle teleportation magic is unusable because preventative measures were put in place, so there’s no choice but to walk).
At the end of corridor, a huge and thick door which was engraved with roses and snow crystals on the center stood in their way.
There were two pedestals on both sides of the door. A blue crystal dragon with an overall length about 50 meters and a black quartz turtle with a shell size of about 30 meters enshrine it.
“These sculptures are almost like living things.”
“They are alive, you know? Genbu and Seiryu will attack any trespassing intruders so be careful.”
Hiyuki gave a light comment toward the admiring Maroudo.
Maroudo spontaneously stepped back. Leaving him, Hiyuki promptly approached the door.
As she approached the door when she was about 5 meters away, the huge doors on the left and right side began to open inward.
In that moment, a cool breeze and bright light overflowed the corridor.
Within the doors, an absurdly high ceiling extended. The perfectly polished floor, the pillars that were like huge trees standing closely together, everything was made from marble with a light red color like a drop of blood.
However, what snatched Maroudo’s eyes was the cause of brightness near the wall before him that continued far ahead.
Mountains of gold coins, platinum coins, orichalcum coins, gold and rare ore bars, gems and magic stones that overflowed from boxes, ornaments and sculptures, swords that were works of art, armor, shields, even precious materials from monsters are piled up high―the top of the pile, how deep the pile was, and the end are nowhere to be seen.
Dumbfounded…mostly in a daze, he heard the voice of himself from somewhere far away.
“Huh? It’s the treasure warehouse.”
Hiyuki answered with a tone of ‘Why are you asking something obvious?’
“…How much is this…?”
“Who knows? Originally it was the contents of my inventory, in addition there is also the guild members’ shared items, and there are also parts that were presents from citizens. The guards who manage this place don’t even know, I guess…?”
“…With this much, you can purchase every continent, right?”
“Maybe, but I don’t think the continents have that kind of exchange value.”
While she saying so, short and stout fairy like dwarves numbered of hundreds (No, if the figure is more by indications, they’re probably numbered in thousands) appeared out of nowhere, they simultaneously prostated toward Hiyuki.
“Who are they…?”
“They are the springgan (treasure guardian fairies). Somehow, they were born before I knew it, but they happily guard the treasure and sort it so it’s convenient. ―Ah, don’t arbitrarily steal those gold coins okay? If you do that they will get angry, and all turn huge then chase you till the end of earth while making a ruckus.”
Maroudo who thought it would be fine to pick up two or three coins withdrew his hands that he unwarily brought forward and then nodded quickly in a panic.
“Excuse me, would you guide us to the magic weapons and armor floor?”
“Yes, please follow me, Hime-sama.”
With the guidance of the springgan boss fairy, 30 minutes lapsed advancing further deep inside the treasure warehouse.
When he finally got used to the brightness of his surroundings (rather, his senses became paralyzed), they arrived at the sector where not ornaments, but weapons were intended. There were high magic weapons and armor lined in a row.
In front of Maroudo who gulped his saliva, Hiyuki pointed there,
“I want to choose the replacement weapon and armor for your Ogre Armor and Ogre Stroke that you presently have, but..”
Here, she folded her arms and made a troubled face.
“There are so many, also, finding which ones suit you makes it harder to judge.”
After that, she suddenly stared at a 50 meter square place like an altar, deep inside the weapons floor, and she chanted a single word.
“That’s why ―Giou (Warehouse King)”
“…Did you call me, Hime-sama?”
Answering her voice, a huge bluish fire pillar rose from the center of the altar, it took the form of a huge human with horns and wings.
“He is Giou the Ifrit. He took the role as this treasure warehouse’s guard leader. ―Giou, I want you to choose an armor and a weapon that fits with Maroudo, would you?”
“―Fumu, I understand, if that’s the princess’s will. Then, Maroudo or something, come here.”
While being beckoned, Maroudo climbed the altar that had become a stair shape.
“Do your best!”
Hiyuki’s laugh which contained loud encouragement gave Maroudo a horrible violent foreboding feeling and turning back, Giou then faced him and poured out an angry roar.
“Where are you looking, moron!? Quickly ready your weapon!!”
Hiyuki gave an explanation to the dumbfounded Maroudo.
“You see, to give you an explanation about about Giou: if an opponent challenges him for a match and satisfies him, Giou will choose a weapon that fits his opponent, that’s why you will die if you get careless.”
“Huh..?! Wa-wait a mi―”
“Well then princess, please give the start signal.”
“Okay.” Before Maroudo realized, the springgan leader respectfully brought a pure gold gong, ‘GOONG!!!’ Hiyuki loudly rung it and began the match, “Start.”
“UOOOOOOOOHHHH! LET’S GO BRATTT!!”
Giou filled his body with power and was punching his fists together with a roar.
After that, Maroudo who somehow succeeded in surviving, successfully obtained the legendary weapon ‘Haurvatat Blade’ and ‘Water Dragon King Armor’.
Imperial Crimson, that place is overflowing with enjoyment, an unrelated place to the world of boredom.
Although, sometimes that comes with threats to one’s life…
Interlude 3 End