Overlord Light Novel Volume 12 Chapter 2 Part 6

Overlord Light Novel Volume 12 Chapter 2 Part 6

Overlord Light Novel Volume 12 Chapter 2 Part 6

 

“Erm, may I ask a question?”
「那个、能问一件事吗?」

Everyone turned to look at Neia after she nervously spoke up, and the tremendous pressure made her regret doing so. Perhaps it might be better for someone other than her to bring this up. However, the die had been cast, and after firming up her resolve, she asked:
在涅娅胆怯地开口后,全员的视线集中过来、这让她感受到强烈压力而觉得有点后悔。不是由自己、而是等到其他某人提出说不定才比较好吧。但是、骰子已被掷下,做好觉悟后她这么问道。

“This might be a very basic question, but where did Jaldabaoth come from? Was the name of Jaldabaoth passed down from earlier days?
「虽然可能是非常初步的问题,可亚达巴沃究竟是从哪里来的呢?亚达巴沃这个恶魔的名字是从前就流传下来的吗?」

“That is unclear. We’ve studied all sorts of literature, but we haven’t been able to find that name in any of them. We’ve also tried looking for clues based on his appearance, but similarly, we haven’t been able to make any headway either.”
「不明。翻阅了各式各样的书籍,但都没有发现那个名字。也试着用外观上的情报为线索,可结果同样没有任何头绪」

“Could it be an alias? Maybe he caused trouble under a different name in the past?”
「会不会是使用了假名呢?曾经使用别的名字造成骚乱之类的?」

“I doubt that. To demons — this applies to angels as well — their names are a very important part of their very being. If a demon wants to show up, it has to engrave its name into the world. Therefore, they can’t use false names. Experiments show that using a false name might even cause them to disappear on the spot.
「那个应该是不可能的。恶魔——天使也同样、名字对于它们来说是构成存在的一种重要因素。恶魔要出现的话,就需要将所谓名字的楔子打入世界之中。因此,那些家伙是没有办法以虚假的名字报上名号的样子。有实验曾证明过如果使用假名的话,甚至也有直接消灭的例子」

Neia knew next to nothing about demons and angels, but if an adamantite-ranked magic caster said so, then that ought to be the case.
涅娅虽然几乎没有关于恶魔或是天使的知识,但所属于精钢级冒险者的魔法咏唱者如果这么说的话,应该就是如此吧。

“As for his origins, if he came from the other side of the continent, then it’s only natural that there’d be no information about him… but after thinking so much, every possibility seems equally likely, and so there’s no telling where to begin.”
「从何处、如果是从这个大陆的彼端流浪过来的话,没有情报也是很理所当然的……但考虑这么多的话就什么事都有可能,变得无从下手了呢」

Evileye shrugged.
伊维尔哀耸了耸肩。

“…Say. What if you got Jaldabaoth’s appearance wrong? Was the Jaldabaoth you looked into the Jaldabaoth in the picture? What if he disguised himself?”
「……吶。如果没有弄对亚达巴沃的长相会怎么样?你调查的亚达巴沃的样子是画上的家伙吧?如果那个外观是伪装的又如何呢?」

“Ho,” Evileye leaned over the table towards Remedios. “Can you go into more detail?”
「吼喔」伊维尔哀一口气向蕾梅蒂欧丝挺出身体。「能详细说给我听听嘛?」

“We managed to press Jaldabaoth in that form quite badly, and then he revealed his true form…”

Remedios closed her eyes.

“It was an utter defeat for us.”
「我们让那个姿态的亚达巴沃陷入了一定程度的窘境,然后那家伙便露出真面目……」蕾梅蒂欧丝闭上了眼睛。「是我们的完全败北」

“Can you be more specific?”
「能说的详细点吗?」

“That should be fine, right, Gustav?”
「那种程度问题吧、古斯塔博」

“Yes, no objections here. If we can learn more about him from his appearance, hiding that information would be harmful instead.”
「是的、没有异议。如果能够从外貌得到有关那家伙的情报,隐蔽反而有害」

“While I feel a full disclosure would be better….”
「虽然我觉得毫无保留的全部说出来,才比较好就是……」

Remedios began muttering and grumbling, and then she told Evileye about Jaldabaoth’s appearance.
蕾梅蒂欧丝嘀嘀咕咕的抱怨起了什么,然后向伊维尔哀说明起了亚达巴沃的样子。

Halfway through, Remedios’ face twisted in anger. She had probably recalled the battle that nobody here knew anything about.
在途中可能是因为回想起了在场所有人都不知道的战斗、蕾梅蒂欧丝浮现出愤怒的表情。

“I see, then we’ll continue our investigations based on what we have just learned. We’ll keep you informed with our findings, so could you tell us if you wish to stay in the city?”
「原来如此,那么我们根据那个情报再重新试着调查一次吧。也会通知你们调查结果的,如果决定好待在这个都市到什么时候,能告诉我们说吗?」

“We haven’t decided that yet. In any case, does that mean you do not know anything about that form of his?”
「现阶段还没有决定。那么也就是说,在各位的记忆中并没有与那个样子的情报,是这么一回事吧?」

“–Lakyus, do you remember?”
「——拉裘丝有印象吗?」

Lakyus shook her head.”
拉裘丝摇了摇头。

“That’s how it is. Sorry.”
「就是这样,抱歉了呢」

“I understand. Then, after we make our decision, we will contact you immediately.”
「我明白了。那么决定好之后就立刻联系您这边」

“But in that case, we’ll have to consider the worst-case scenario — the possibility that his appearance in the Kingdom was intended to create a false impression, so he deliberately refrained from showing his true power.”
「可这么一来的话,就不得不考虑最糟糕的情况呢。也出现了在王都本来是以流出虚假情报为目的,而刻意没有使出真本事的可能性啊」

“In other words, our country was Jaldabaoth’s true objective, and that he had some other plan for the Kingdom?”
「也就是说……我们的国家才是亚达巴沃真正的目标,在王国是有其他的目标是吗?」

“Perhaps. If the Kingdom was his main priority, he would have shown his true form like he did in the Holy Kingdom, no? Or was it because he was startled by Momon-sama’s strength, and chose to protect his true identity rather than let his plan be ruined? I really don’t want to think that’s the case.”
「也许是吧。如果王国是最重要目标的话,像是在圣王国一样露出真面目也行不是吗?不然就是惊讶于飞飞大人的强悍,害怕计划崩坏而选择了保留真面目、吗?还真是不想要那么想呢」

Evileye’s words left the room in a gloomy silence, so profound that even the faint sounds of breathing seemed very loud. Who would speak first? In this tense atmosphere, Lakyus proved her bravery.
伊维尔哀的那句话将室内封闭进了阴暗的沉默,是连微小的呼吸声都显得大声的寂静。谁要最先开口呢、在此紧张感之中,拉裘丝证明了自己的勇敢。

“Now then, let me say again — we’re in the same boat as you. We want to know more about Jaldabaoth. Frankly speaking, everything we’ve learned is basically analysis from our encounter with him. We have no inkling of Jaldabaoth’s aims, true identity, or abilities.”
「那么、再一次——我们也一样、呢。想听听有关于亚达巴沃的情报。说到底我们所得到的情报,也不过是根据遭遇到的事情所进行的分析。绝不是能解明亚达巴沃的目的、真实身份、能力的东西」

“Maybe we could summon demons to learn about Jaldabaoth… But that will stain the soul… And even if we summon low-ranking demons, it’s quite likely that they won’t know anything about high-ranking demons. In that case, we’ll need to contact a summoning adept…”
「召唤出恶魔来收集亚达巴沃的情报也是一种方法呢……。但灵魂会变得污秽呢……。而且就算召唤了低阶的恶魔但不知道高阶恶魔的情况也很常见,这么一来的话就有必要与擅长召唤术的人取得联系……」

“Unfortunately, we don’t know anyone who’s good at summoning demons.”
「很遗憾的,并不认识擅长召唤恶魔的人」

Evileye had been the first one to supplement Lakyus’ words, followed by one of the twins.
最初补充说明的是伊维尔哀,然后是双子的其中一人。

Surely nobody would, at least not under usual circumstances, Neia mused.
一般不会有吧,涅娅在心里思考。

These diabolists were typically evil beings, and fortunately very few of them were powerful in their own right. That was because most of the time, they either destroyed themselves or they were slain by death squads.
所谓擅长恶魔召唤的术者是一种邪恶的存在,幸运的话是并没有什么人能成为实力者。会这么说是因为大多数情况下,他们都会自取灭亡或是被讨伐队所讨伐。

Of course, there might be some experts in the field who had slipped through the gaps, but such people typically hid in the darkness, and would not make friends.
当然、有钻了那些空子的好手存在也说不定,但是那样的人物会潜伏在黑暗之中、也不可能结交什么熟人。

“Still, just waiting there to die is very frustrating. The next time that monster comes to the Kingdom, I want to make him weep with my own two hands. In order to do that, I need to learn as much as I can about him.”
「但是啊、就那样束手待毙也很让人恼火不是吗。下次那个怪物来到王国之时,还想要用我们的双手让他哭丧着脸呢。为了那个,想尽可能收集情报」

“Also, he was not leading any demihumans at the Kingdom. If he recruited the demihumans due to his failure in the Kingdom, then we’ll need to be even more wary of him.”
「而且王国的那时候也没有带领什么亚人,在王国的失败而作为对策将亚人纳入手下的话,就有必要进行更深一层的注意」

Those words were spoken by Gagaran, and then the other twin.
格格兰、然后接着是双子的另一名。

“Is that why you wanted to know what we knew?”
「所以想要我方的情报吗?」

Everyone in Blue Rose nodded. Lakyus summed up for them.
苍蔷薇的每个人都点头、拉裘丝做总结。

“We’ll pay a sum equal to the fees we would have otherwise received.”
「以收到报酬的相同金额作为支付」

“Captain. May I handle the upcoming negotiations?”
「团长。接下来的交涉能够交给我处理吗?」

Remedios immediately agreed with Gustav’s question.
对于古斯塔博的询问蕾梅蒂欧丝立刻就同意了。

“–In place of money, we would like some other form of payment.”
「——那么作为金钱的代替,我方希望能以别的形式进行支付」

“What is it? While we would like to satisfy you, we can’t do everything… However, if you want to make contact with powerful nobles, that could be arranged.”
「是什么呢?虽然想要尽可能的满足你们的期望,但不可能什么都可以。……但是,如果是希望与有力贵族取得联系的话,我想是有可能的」

“Is that so? Thank you very much. However, we were not thinking of that — could you come to our country and fight alongside us?”
「是吗,非常感谢。但是我们想要的并不是那件事——能否来我们国家、与我们一同并肩作战?」

The room was silent once more. It lasted several seconds — no, perhaps it was longer. The next sound they heard was that of Lakyus leaning on her hair.
寂静再度返回到现场。数秒、不、是更多吧。在经过那些时间之后传出了声响,是拉裘丝倚靠在椅子的声音。

“I am very sorry, but we cannot offer that form of payment.”
「非常抱歉,但我们没有办法以那个形式支付报酬」

“…We’re gathering intelligence so we don’t die. Doing that would be counter to our purposes.”
「……我们是为了不送命而想要情报的。那样的话就是本末倒置了」

Evileye shrugged, as if to say there was nothing that could be done about it.
伊维尔哀以仿佛诉说毫无办法的方式耸肩。

“We won’t ask you to fight Jaldabaoth. All you need to do is wait in the rear and help with healing magic.”
「我们不会要求诸位去和亚达巴沃作战。只需要在阵地后方待命,帮忙使用治愈魔法就可以了」

“Come off it, you don’t have the luxury of doing that.”
「别骗人了,根本没有那样的余裕吧」

Gagaran did not bother dressing her words up.
格格兰无语的说道。

That was correct. The northern half of the Holy Kingdom was now subjugated by Jaldabaoth’s beastmen, and all they could do was mount a feeble resistance. Many people had been incarcerated in camps, and the remaining paladins were hidden in caves and living as resistance fighters.
说的没错,圣王国的北部已被亚达巴沃所率领的亚人们支配,仅能进行些许抵抗。多数的人民被送到收容所,而残存的的圣骑士们则是作为残兵败将隐藏在洞窟里面居住。

“No, that’s not the case. We stopped the demihuman advance in the nick of time.”
「不、没有那样的事。我们在生死关头挡住了亚人们的侵略」

They still held the south, where the army and Jaldabaoth’s forces were staring each other down, so calling it the tipping point might be accurate.
南部还维持着领土、军队和亚达巴沃军正处在瞪眼相望的情况之中,把那个当成是生死关头的话倒也算是吧。

To Neia, who knew what was going on, Gustav’s words sounded more like lies than the truth.
谎言与真实,对于知道现状的涅娅来说古斯塔博所言更偏向谎言那边。

“Can you come, in that case?’
「那样的话能够来吗?」

“I refuse.”
「我拒绝」

Remedios delivered her question from a proper posture, and Evileye flatly rejected it. Given the way everyone in Blue Rose remained silent, she was most definitely not alone in her opinion. They must have all felt the same way.
对于端正姿势提问的蕾梅蒂欧丝的提问、伊维尔哀的回答是明确的拒绝。从苍蔷薇的每名成员都保持着沉默这点来看,那个绝对不是一个人的意见、而是全体的意见吧。

“…Frankly speaking… we might have stopped them in the nick of time, but we’re also at the end of our rope. The Holy Kingdom is in ruins, but the southern troops are still intact. However, they alone won’t be enough to beat Jaldabaoth.”
「……老实说吧……说是生死关头但其实已经没有余裕了。圣王国北部已经毁灭,但南部的兵力还健在,然而只靠他们怕是没办法战胜亚达巴沃的吧」

Gustav poured a glass of water for himself, drank from it, and then continued.
古斯塔博在那将水倒入自己的杯子中、喝了一口,接着再说了下去。

“The reason why we haven’t been completely conquered yet is because the navy has been pinning down Jaldabaoth’s army on the northern coastline and holding them off. If Jaldabaoth manages to figure out some way to deal with that and advances his troops to the south, we’ll crumple immediately.”
「之所以国土还没被一口气并吞,是因为海军在北边的海岸线进行了牵制、一直将亚达巴沃的军队困住。如果亚达巴沃做出了什么对策,而让军队朝向南方进军的话,即刻就会崩溃的吧」

However, that was the thinking of a man from the north, who knew Jaldabaoth’s power. The people of the south would probably have different plans. For instance, driving off Jaldabaoth with their own might.
但是、这个是知道亚达巴沃力量的北方的人们的想法。南方的人估计有别的想法吧。比如、靠自己的力量将他赶出去什么的。

While part of the reason for that was because they had not shared their intelligence, it was also due to the long-standing feud between the north and the south.
虽然原因之一是没有好好进行情报共有,除此之外的原因则是留在北部以及南部的祸根。

From the start, the nobles of the south had always protested the fact that a woman — skipping ahead of her elder brother — was to be crowned as Holy Queen for the first time in history.
原本、南部对于女性首次就任圣王之位这件事——而且是跳过了兄长的——进行抗议的贵族就占了大多数。

For that reason, the former Holy Queen ignored even such baseless allegations as “The Holy Queen assumed her position because she had something going on with the temples, and she was secretly assisted by Kylardos Custodio” which came from the south, for the sake of avoiding a rift between the north and the south.
正因为如此,过去圣王女为了避免北部与南部的分裂、即使是对于「圣王女的即位是因为与神殿势力勾结,是受到了侧近凯拉尔朵・卡斯特迪奥暗中活动的帮助」这种来自于南部的、没凭没据的中伤也采取置之不理的态度。

After that, the south did not escalate matters any further and thus a full-scale confrontation was averted, but that was only because the north and south had been in a balance of power. Now that the north was in ruins, the south no longer had any reason to hold themselves back any more. Thus, the south began snubbing the north now.
在那之后,虽然南部没有在作出在那之上的行为而避免了全面的对立,但那是因为南北的势力处在均衡状态下。北部已崩坏的现在,事到如今南部再也没有忍耐的必要。于是就形成了这样一个蔑视北部好几级的南部。

Even in the face of Jaldabaoth’s invasion, the humans still bore grudges against each other. Neia simply found that laughable. In addition, there were whispers of a power struggle for the position of the next Holy King, and it only served to make Neia, a commoner, even more unhappy.
明明在亚达巴沃攻进来的情况下,人类间却相互而对立埋怨,这在涅娅看来只觉得是个笑话。再加上为下任圣王位的权力争夺也在若隐若现中时有耳闻,对于平民出身的涅娅来说更加强了不快感。

“That’s quite bad.”
「那还真不妙呢」

“Indeed. The navy has very few air forces, and their battles against flying demons have taken a terrible toll on them. If this keeps up, they won’t be able to hold off Jaldabaoth’s army forever. We need strength to break this deadlock! Please, I beg you, lend your strength to us! All we need is a month or two! We can pay anything you want! I beg you, please save the Holy Kingdom.
「是的,与能在空中飞行的恶魔们的战斗之中,所属海军数量稀少的空战部队承受了相当大的损失,这样下去的话不可能一直拦住亚达巴沃的军队。需要有什么能够打破现状的力量!恳请、把力量借给我们!就算只有一两个月的短时间也无所谓!不论多少的报酬我们都会尽可能的支付!恳请、请拯救圣王国吧!」

As Gustav bowed his head to them, Neia and the other paladins went “Please!” and bowed as well.
配合古斯塔博将头低下的同时、涅娅和圣骑士们也一齐说出「拜托你们!」并将头低下。

The room was silent once more, and then Lakyus’ voice spread through it.
变回一片寂静的室内中,拉裘丝的声音扩散开来

“Please, raise your heads. And — I am very sorry, but we cannot go to the Holy Kingdom.”
「请抬起头。然后——非常抱歉,但我们不能去圣王国」

“Why!?”
「为什么!」

Neia jerked her head up at the sudden shout from Remedios. She saw Remedios had risen from her seat and was glaring at Lakyus.
因蕾梅蒂欧丝的吼声而慌张地抬头后,看到的是蕾梅蒂欧丝从椅子挺出身体、直直瞪着拉裘丝。

“There’s no way Jaldabaoth will stop at conquering the Holy Kingdom! He’ll gather his strength there and then invade the Kingdom, you know! If you don’t beat him now, he’ll become even stronger in future!”
「亚达巴沃攻陷圣王国后不可能就在那里停止!一定会在圣王国积蓄力量、然后朝着王国进攻的啊!?如果现在不打倒那个家伙的话,将来一定会变得更加强大!」

“You are correct. The possibility of that is very high.”
「你说的没错。那个可能性非常高吧」

“Since you understand, why aren’t you helping us!? And it’s not just you, it’s also the nobles of this country, of our country! None of you get it! Isn’t now the time to come together and fight as one!?”
「既然明白的话,为什么不肯帮助我们!?并不只是你们!这个国家的贵族也是、我们国家的贵族也是!完全没弄明白!!现在不正是结合力量、一同战斗的时候嘛!!」

“…The reason why this country’s nobles won’t lend you their strength is slightly different from our own. What do you know about the Sorcerous Kingdom?”
「……这个国家的贵族们不将力量借给你们的理由,与我们少许有些不同。关于魔导国诸位了解到什么程度呢?」

The undead had taken a city of the Kingdom and founded a nation around it. It was a very frightening place. That was all the average citizen of the Holy Kingdom knew about it. As Remedios said as much, Lakyus smiled bitterly to her.
夺取了王国的一个都市、建国了的国家。然后那个国家是由不死者所支配的、非常恐怖的地方,这就是一般圣王国人们的认识。对于如此说出的蕾梅蒂欧丝,拉裘丝浮现出了苦笑。

“That’s true, and it’s largely accurate… but it’s wrong in some places… While the undead are everywhere, the humans there live safe and peaceful lives.”
「说的是呢,大致上是符合的,可也有一些错误的地方。……虽然不死者确实在飞扬跋扈,但人类却仍在安全生活的样子」

“…Eh? In a country founded by the undead, who hate the living?”
「……诶?明明是憎恨生者的不死者所建立的国家?」

“There are many kinds of undead, and the Sorcerer King is a ruler of the undead. Ordering the undead under his command not to harm human beings and enforcing that order is a simple matter for him.”
「不死者也有很多种吧,而且魔导王是不死者之王。下达了在自己支配之下的不死者不许伤害人类的命令、让它们服从是很容易的事吧」

Evileye made a noise of disapproval.
伊维尔哀发出了不高兴的声音。

“Evileye… Mm, anyway, we still have the Sorcerous Kingdom before our eyes to deal with, so it’s hard for them to aid your country. Also, a lot of people perished during the battle with the Sorcerous Kingdom, which will have grave consequences in the future. The nobles who appear so well-off are hardly as well-to-do as you might think.”
「伊维尔哀……。呃、也就是说我们眼下还有魔导国的问题在,因此难以支援你们的国家。而且在与魔导国的一战之中出现了非常多的死者,那个影响对于将来也是非常大的吧。看起来富裕的贵族们也并没有你们所见的那般有余裕喔」

“Even so, isn’t Jaldabaoth a problem that should be taken care of as soon as possible? The fact is, countless people are suffering because of Jaldabaoth. And the Sorcerous Whatever hasn’t harmed anyone, has he?”
「即便如此、也是!难道亚达巴沃不才是应该尽早解决的问题吗?事实上许多人民正因为亚达巴沃而在受苦。而魔导王什么的根本没有让人类受苦不是吗!?」

“…Fighting on two fronts at once while you’re exhausted is very dangerous. I trust I don’t need to tell you that, right?”
「……明明在极度疲敝的状态下却还要构筑两条战线是多么危险的事,这我就不用多说了吧」

Remedios shut up.
蕾梅蒂欧丝闭上嘴。

“Also, we’re the same way. Two of us were killed in combat with Jaldabaoth and while they were resurrected from the dead, they still have not regained their full strength yet. If we invade Jaldabaoth’s territory in this state, we might all end up being killed.”
「然后我们也一样,在与亚达巴沃的战斗之中我们中的两名成员被杀害了。虽然使用了复活的魔法,但是至今也仍没有取回全盛期的力量。在那样的状态下前往亚达巴沃所支配的土地的话,怕是有着全灭的危险」

“Didn’t Gustav say that you wouldn’t need to fight Jaldabaoth?”
「古斯塔博不是说过,就算不与亚达巴沃作战也可以的不是吗?」

“What the heck, she actually believed that…”
「这个人、竟然是认真的……」

“Tia! Excuse me. Ahem. I’m very sorry, but I don’t think things will turn out as you imagine. So long as it involves the risk of facing Jaldabaoth, we will refuse this job. We need to become stronger than we are now in order to prepare for the future. …This is just a hypothesis, but we need to get ready in case Jaldabaoth decides to attack the Kingdom once more.”
「缇亚!失礼了。呃、很抱歉,我想事情没有办法像想象中那么顺利。只要有与亚达巴沃对峙的危险性,我们就会拒绝那份工作。为了将来做准备、而不得不变得比现在更强。……虽然是假设,但我们必须为亚达巴沃再次攻入王国时而做准备」

The faces of every member of Blue Rose was unmoved. It would seem they could not be swayed.
苍蔷薇每个人的表情没有一点动摇,看来是不可能说服了。

Soon, Remedios managed to squeeze a few words out.
不久蕾梅蒂欧丝发出如被挤出的声音。

“Then, who else is there who can save our country?”
「那么还有谁、能够拯救我们的国家呢?」

Blue Rose’s members looked at each other.
苍蔷薇每个人互相对看。

“There’s only one person,” Evileye replied. “Or rather, he’s the person you should have gone to in the first place, no?”
「只有一个人了吧」回答的是伊维尔哀。「不如说、那是一开始就该去找的人物才对吧?」

“…Who’s that?”
「……那是?」

“Momon-sama, of course. The Momon-sama who beat off Jaldabaoth.”
「当然是飞飞大人啦,将那个亚达巴沃击退的飞飞大人」

“Ohhh! Did he?!”
「喔喔!是吗!」

“A moment, Captain Custodio… If I’m not wrong, he’s…?”
「请等一下,卡斯特迪奥团长……但我记得那位大人应该?」

“You’ve heard of it, huh? Yes, Momon-sama is now in the Sorcerous Kingdom and is one of the Sorcerer King’s subordinates. Therefore, you will most likely have to convince the Sorcerer King to help you.”
「听说了吗。是的,飞飞大人现在正在魔导国并成为了魔导王的部下。所以你们要说服的对手怕是会变成魔导王吧」

“Guh!”
「咯!」

Remedios grunted.
蕾梅蒂欧丝发出苦闷的声音。

Neia understood how she felt. Any citizen of the Holy Kingdom would have very complex feelings about asking anything of the undead.
涅娅也非常理解那份心情。向不死者求助什么的,就圣王国人来说心情相当复杂。

Considering she, as a squire, felt that way, how much worse would it be for the captain of an order of paladins who bore a holy sword? However — Remedios looked forcefully at the members of Blue Rose.
连侍从都有这种感觉,身为圣骑士团团长且手持圣剑的骑士、想避开的心情会更加强烈吧。然而——蕾梅蒂欧丝用带有力量的眼神看向苍蔷薇的成员。

“…If that is the best way to defeat Jaldabaoth, then let’s do it. No, that’s all we can do. If we can, we’ll pin our hopes to that Momon–”
「……如果那是打倒亚达巴沃的最佳手段的话,就这么做吧。不、是只能这么做。可以的话,寄给那个叫飞飞——」

“–I believe it’s Momon-sama, Captain.”
「——是飞飞大人、吧。团长」

“Er, erk! Can you please write a letter introducing us to Momon-sama?”
「唔、唔嗯!能够替我们写介绍信给飞飞大人吗?」

Part 2

After the talks with Blue Rose ended, the diplomatic delegation from the Holy Kingdom to which Neia belonged made an early departure from the Royal Capital. This was because they had already seen that nobody in the Kingdom was willing to aid the Holy Kingdom, researching Jaldabaoth’s true form would need several months’ time, and also because they knew that the only one capable of beating Jaldabaoth was Momon.

In addition, the thought of the Holy Kingdom’s citizens suffering made them anxious to do something for them.

They rested their horses as little as possible, sometimes even casting spells on them, and they travelled east along the roads at speeds that normal travellers could not match.

They passed the final village of the Kingdom, and now they were at the buffer zone between the Kingdom and the Sorcerous Kingdom.

The gently-swelling hills blocked the travellers’ lines of sight, and they could catch the occasional glimpse of a densely-packed primeval forest. There was no sense of human habitation within, and a feeling that a monster might jump out at any time was only to be expected. This might have originally been the Kingdom’s territory, but that was all. The chance of being attacked by monsters had only decreased. It was by no means gone.

On terrain like this, Neia’s sense of vision and smell sharpened, and she forged ahead.

There’s no sign of creatures waiting in ambush nearby. No tracks of large carnivores near the road either.

There were many patches of bare earth exposed on the road. If they continued onwards, they would be entering formerly Crown-controlled territory, whose roads seemed to have been paved. Paved roads were more convenient for travellers, but to Neia, the bare earth from just now would make it easier to spot best tracks.

Neia looked at her hands.

She did not like these hands.

It was not that she resented the hardening of her hands from her training. It was simply distaste for her lack of talent.

She might have inherited her father’s keen senses, but sadly, she had not received anything from her mother.

Neia’s mother had been a famous paladin in her time, and she had excellent sword skills. However, as her daughter, Neia had no talent for the sword, no matter how much she practiced. Strictly speaking, the bow techniques passed down from her father meant that she could use bows skilfully even without any training.

The fact was, Neia was fortunate just to inherit that half of her heritage. However, the skills used by the paladins which Neia so admired could only be used with melee weapons. For Neia, who wanted to become a paladin, being talented with ranged weapons was a waste.

Once more, she gripped the reins tightly.

She straightened her waist and adjusted her position on the saddle. She had spent a long time on horseback after leaving the Royal Capital, and her butt and thighs were quite sore now.

She could have asked the Paladins to use low-tier healing spells to get rid of the soreness. However, she was a girl, and she was a little embarrassed to ask that of them. Also, it was still not yet at a level where it would affect her ability to work the reins, so that made it even more difficult to ask.

…I’ll just apply the poultice afterwards, as usual. I need to thank Dad for that. In the past, when I said my butt hurt, he’d run over with an annoyed look on his face… Did I thank him back then? …Hah.

Neia forced herself to stop before her tears spilled out.

“–Ah, Captain, I can see paved roads. We’re about to enter the Sorcerous Kingdom’s domain.”

The dirt road suddenly turned to cobblestones halfway through its course. It felt strange.

“So, will we ride all the way to the Sorcerous Kingdom? Or will we set up camp at night?”

Neia looked to the sky.

“I think we ought to be able to make it before sunset if nothing else happens. However, we might be taken for a raiding party. What should we do?”

“Let me discuss this.”

Remedios tugged on her reins and her horse slowed down, and then she began speaking to Gustav.

However, this ought to be the Sorcerous Kingdom’s domain from here on in… but where are their troops? There aren’t any fortresses either. There were forts on the Kingdom’s side…

Usually, there would be forts at a country’s borders, but there were none here. Since the Sorcerous Kingdom was just one city, had they concentrated all their forces into the city?

Neia’s gaze travelled along the paved road.

The gentle slope ran between the hills. In the distance, she could see a patch of barren winter forest.

She recalled how she had gone camping in the winter with her father. That did not change, no matter where she went. The scenery here felt just like that of the Holy Kingdom.

…Living in the world’s a pain, huh.

The words her father had casually mumbled stuck in her heart like a thorn.

Her father had chosen to live in a city because of her mother. If her mother was not around, he would have chosen to stay in a little village near the forest, living off the bounty of nature.

When she had still been a child, she felt that living in a natural setting was a pain. However, after going on this journey, she could understand what her father had meant by his words. Was that a sign of maturity? She ought to be able to talk about different things with him now.

Pain flashed through her heart as she thought about these things. However, it was only for a moment. That was because ahead of them — due east along the road — she could see something blurry along the snaking path created by the hills.

–Could it be a fire!?

Neia squinted her eyes, and then looked carefully again.

There was a white, smoke-like object there. No, it was not smoke, but fog. And–

“Sorry to interrupt you while you’re speaking! There’s something like fog ahead!”

“So what?”

After Neia reported to the rear, Remedios took off her helmet. There was a puzzled look on her face.

“Neia Baraja. Is there anything about it that bothers you?”

“Yes. According to this map, there are no large lakes around, yet there’s a large bank of fog ahead. I’m sure it must be an abnormal occurrence.”

The bank of thick, milky fog seemed to be spreading wider and wider, and it looked like it would reach Neia and the others any time now.

Her father had taught her about all sorts of natural phenomena, and when she pondered the situation based on that knowledge, the appearance of this fog really was quite strange.

“Squire Baraja. Could it be some sort of special environment change?”

That question came from Gustav, who had picked up on what was going on before Remedios.

The special environmental changes in question referred to usually impossible phenomena occurring in a large area. For instance, there might be a place where a large-scale ritual spell gone wrong filled an area with toxic rot-gases, or a place where once a year, a desert might rage with sandstorms for a week, or perhaps a place where multi-colored rain fell at certain times.

In other words, he was asking if this fog was one of those mysterious occurrences. However, Neia had not gathered any information on such things. She sensed that she would probably be scolded if she answered as much, but she had no choice but to answer honestly.

“My sincerest apologies, but I have no information about the mist that has appeared before us.”

“In other words, you failed at gathering intelligence, no?”

Yet another difficult question. Who could say that they had collected enough information?

“Captain Remedios, your servant submits that deciding what to do now is more important.”

Their warhorses had come to a halt.

The fog was getting thick enough that horses could not advance through it. GIven what they had learned earlier, there were no cliffs near E-Rantel. If they advanced slowly, they ought to be able to deal with whatever came up. However, this rapidly-brewing fog made them hesitant to move through it, however slowly they travelled.

Neia sniffed the fog.

It smelled of water vapor and nothing more. There was nothing about it that would have bothered her. However, that was exactly what bothered her.

“Captain, could this fog have been generated by a monster? My father once said that some monsters had the magical ability to generate fog, and they would hide in it to stalk their prey.”

“…Everyone, draw your blades! Anyone still on the road, clear off right away!”

This quick decision-making was a sign of Remedios’ excellence in battle.

Neia and the Paladins moved their horses as directed and left the road, whereupon they circled up. By this time, the thick fog looked like it was going to swallow up the entire world.

It was thick enough that she could barely make out her companions next to her, and visibility was zero beyond fifteen meters. Her unease boiled in her chest, and she imagined she saw wraiths in the movement of the fog’s currents.

It would be good if she could detect anything approaching them by sound, but she was surrounded by fully armored knights. Every move they made caused metal to scrape against metal, and it hampered Neia’s sense of hearing. Under these conditions, it would be very difficult to detect anything that was closing in on them. By Neia’s recollections, the only one who could still discern objects by sound in these conditions was her father.

As she realized her father’s greatness once more, she desperately pricked up her ears to listen.

“This is a really weird fog; it doesn’t get this thick even on the sea.”

“Aren’t we about to reach the Sorcerous Kingdom’s city? Are there still monsters this close to the city limits? Or are these strange things par for the course because it’s the Sorcerous Kingdom?”

“I don’t know… could it be some sort of defensive spell used by the Sorcerous Kingdom?”

“Let’s leave magic out of it, just talking about it makes my head hurt. If you see anything, let me know, and make it easy to understand. If it’s a monster, we’ll kill it so we can have the Sorcerer Kign owe us a favor when asking him to send out Momon. How about that?”

“How do you think that will turn out? While they say clearing out monsters within a country’s borders is the responsibility of that country…”

Perhaps it was because she had focused all her energies on listening intently, but she could clearly make out the contents of the conversation between the Captain and Gustav. However, if she moved away, she was no longer confident that she could hear them. What would her father do at a time like this?

I can’t keep relying on someone who isn’t here! I need to stand on my own two feet!

However the fact remained that staying here would only impede her abilities. In that case, would it be better to see if she would be allowed to move away by herself in order to verify the situation.

–Probably not.

Neia quelled her desire to speak up.

Even if she did not do so, the Captain was hardly close to her. If she asked for that and failed, there was no telling how she would be punished. She did not want to open up that can of worms.

Also, it would be bad if the Captain stopped trusting my guidance as a result.

Neia struggled to make excuses in her heart. However, it would be very bad for her mental health if they ran into danger and she thought, I could have made a better choice back then, but I kept quiet.

Although part of her mind thought, if we all die here, the people suffering in the Holy Kingdom will have to wait even longer for salvation, but Remedios’ barbs had already punched countless holes in Neia’s heart, and she could not bring herself to care any more.

Just then, Neia saw something from the corner of her eye that she could not ignore.
正在此时,涅婭的视界角落捕捉到了某种不能被忽视的东西。

Amidst the dense fog, she glimpsed the murky outline of something huge coming from the Sorcerous Kingdom.
在浓密的雾中,模模糊糊地看得到魔导国的方向上有着什么巨大的东西。

“Say, can you take a look over there?”
「呐,能看下那边吗?」

Neia poked one of the mounted paladins beside her.
涅婭戳了戳身旁骑着马的圣骑士。

“…Nothing. Sorry, but the fog’s too thick and I can’t see anything. Is something there?”
「……没有,不好意思,雾还是太浓了什么都看不见,有什么在吗?」

She heard the paladin reaching to his waist and fluidly drawing his sword, then the sound of him tightly gripping its hilt.
听到了从圣骑士那传来利落地把手挥向腰间,紧握住剑柄的声音。

“Ah, it’s nothing. I thought I saw something, but maybe I was mistaken.”
「啊,没什么,感觉好像看到了什么,不过也可能是错觉吧」

“Really? Well, if you think there’s something there, just tell us, no matter what it is.”
「是吗,感觉到有什么的话,不管是什么都请说出来吧」

“Alright, I’ll be counting on you when the time comes, then.”
「好的,到那时就拜托了」

After thanking him with an earnest look on her face, Neia turned back to the front. If one divided the women in the world into those who were suited for smiling and those who were not meant to smile at all, Neia would fall into the latter category. Even a word of thanks from her was better delivered with a serious expression than with a smile. Neia continued studying the fog bank. Perhaps only Neia could see it because it was too far away, but she was sure she had not been mistaken.
涅婭一脸认真地答谢,便把视线转回前方。要是说世上有非常合适笑容的女性和非常不合适笑容的女性的话,涅婭便是后一种吧。就算是一句答谢,比起笑容来,还是认真的表情比较容易让对方接受。
涅婭继续认真盯着这弥漫的雾气。也许是因为距离太远,一行人中只有涅婭才看得见,但那绝不是错觉。

Perhaps her interaction with the paladin had restored her spirits, but Neia decided to say something to the Captain. However, she was still talking to Gustav.
也许是与圣骑士的交谈回复了一些心中的血槽吧,涅婭正想向团长搭话之时,团长仍然在与古斯塔博继续着谈话。

“What should we do next?”
「接下来该怎么办?」

“It’s very dangerous to move around in this fog. Let’s wait a bit more, and if there’s nothing we’ll dismount and rest. Come to think of it, are there fog-emitting monsters in the sea?”
「在浓雾之中行动还是很危险的。再继续待机一会,如果没有什么的话就下马休息吧,说起来在海里有能发生雾的魔物吧?」

“Sure there are. However, there aren’t any seas or lakes nearby. It’s just like Squire Baraja said.”
「有的哦。不过这附近海啊湖啊完全没有哦。正如同侍从巴拉哈所言」

“Is it possible that she made a mistake or overlooked some piece of information?”
「那家伙搞错了,或者是漏掉了情报的可能性呢?」

“She wouldn’t screw up like that. Frankly speaking, she’s brought us safely all the way here, hasn’t she? When we were leaving the Holy Kingdom, the demihumans patrolling near the broken wall didn’t spot us either. We couldn’t have done it by ourselves, could we?”
「她不会有那样的失败的啊,实际上,她不是带着我们一路平安地到达了这里么。逃离圣王国的时候——在被破坏了的城壁附近警戒着的亚人的巡逻兵也没有发现我们啊。如果只有我们自己的话可是没法做得到的哦?」

“We could have broken through by force.”
「可以用武力强行突破」

Once again, Neia’s heart sank.
再次地,涅婭心中的血槽又一下子掉了下去。

How many frustration had she gone through to bring them all the way here?
自己到底绷断了多少神经才能把一行人带到这里的啊。

Memories awoke in her mind, of how she had asked them to stay behind while she scouted by herself in the freezing rain, crawling around on the ground and getting all muddy in order to prevent herself from being spotted by ranger-type ambush skills.
让大家在后待机,自己在冰冷的雨中,为了不让游击兵[ranger]之类的潜伏术所察觉,趴在地上移动而弄得满身泥泞,单独一人前出侦查的记忆鲜明地在脑海中苏醒。

If she were spotted, the lone Neia would most assuredly die. Even so, Neia had carried on with the determination to die, clinging to the belief that she was doing this to save her suffering countrymen.
要是被发现了,单独一人的涅婭肯定没命。尽管如此,为了拯救圣王国里受苦的人们,秉着这一信念,涅婭是带着死的觉悟前行的。

That’s right, I’m not working hard to win praise or anything.
(对啊,我并不是为了得到谁的赞赏而努力的啊)

She tried to talk herself round. Even if the Captain refused to acknowledge her contributions, the others would surely approve of her efforts, even if they did not say so.
她努力地说服自己。就算团长不认可自己,其他的人也一定会认可涅婭的努力的,就算他们没有说出口。

Wanting to be praised or rewarded for working hard is just a child’s selfishness. This is what it means to be a shield of humanity. Biting your lip, making yourself a shield, all in order to keep pain and suffering from the people is the duty of a paladin. Surely the Captain must be the same way. Still… could she lower her volume? No, maybe the two of them think they’re speaking quietly enough.
(因为努力过了所以就想要相应的代价——赞赏什么的不过是小孩子的任性罢了。成为人类之盾就是
这样,咬紧嘴唇,以此身为盾,为人们挡住一切痛苦之事才是圣骑士的使命,团长肯定也是这样的。只是……至少能不能小点声说话啊。不,也许那二人也觉得自己已经足够小声了吧……)

The two of them were still talking.
二人的谈话还在继续。

Having been left out, Neia thought that they should not focus on talking and instead keep an eye on their surroundings. Especially Remedios, whose beast-like danger sense and fighting ability meant that she ought to be able to respond better than anyone else.
被排除在外的涅婭心里想着别光顾着说话,你们倒是也一起警戒一下周围啊。特别是蕾梅蒂歐絲,凭着她那野兽般的危险感知能力和战斗能力,应该会比谁都更快的做出最好的对应吧。

Neia quashed the frustration in her heart, and focused on the shadow in the fog. That was also because she had not yet regained the strength needed to call out to them again, and also because she did not want to continue listening in on their conversation.
涅婭压抑着心中的焦躁,把意识集中到雾中的那影子上。这也是因为她用于搭话的气力还没回复,以及为了不想再继续听到二人的对话而做。

And then — perhaps the fog had been parted by the currents of the wind — for a moment, just a moment, Neia clearly glimpsed the shadow’s wheelhouse.
然后——也许是雾被风吹着流动起来了吧,只在那么一瞬间,涅婭看清了那影子的轮廓。

Eh? No way… is that… a ship?
(哎?不会吧?那是……船?)

Indeed, Neia had discerned the true nature of the shadow; a ship which floated upon the sea.
没错,涅婭看到的影子的真正模样,那是就是在海上飘浮的船。

In addition, it was a large ship, similar to a galleass. It was a momentary thing, and it was promptly veiled again by the heavy fog, so even she was not sure that she had actually spotted a ship.
而且那还是比较巨大的,似乎是加莱赛船[Galleass]那样的船。这只是一瞬间的事情,立刻浓厚的雾如又将影子的模样隐藏起来了,到底是否能确定是船就连自己也没有信心。

Of course, such a thing was not possible by common sense.
当然,就常识上来说这是不可能的事情。

The information she possessed notwithstanding, Gustav himself had already said there were no lakes in the vicinity. No, even if there was, only a Remedios-grade intellect would float a ship the size of a galleass on an inland lake.
不仅是她掌握到的情报,刚才古斯塔博不也说了这附近并没有湖吗。不,就算有湖,在内陆制作加莱赛船这样大小的船只简直是脑袋有毛病。

If this were a coastal region, it might be possible that they had used an old ship as a fortress or moved it onto dry land for some other purpose. In fact, there were several examples of that in the Holy Kingdom. However, doing so this far inland was impossible.
如果这是临海的地方的话,将老旧的船只作为要塞或其他用途而将船搬上陆地也有可能,实际上,圣王国里也有这样的例子。但是,在这样的内陆做这样的事也是不可能的。

I was seeing things, right?
(看错了吧)

That was the best way to think of it.
这么想才是最正确的。

Still, her eyes refused to leave that direction, scanning over and over again.
但是视线无论如何都离不开那里,扫了又扫。

“…So you did see something after all, huh?”
「……果然是看见什么了吗?」

In response to the question from the knight she had spoken to earlier, Neia squeaked out an “Eh!?”
刚才搭话的圣骑士问道,涅婭「哎!?」地不禁出了声。

“You were looking in the direction from just now, which means you did see something over there, right?”
「似乎是刚才的方向,果然发见了什么吗?」

“Ah? No, that…”
「哎?不是、那个……」

I saw the shadow that looked like a nice boat. If she actually said that, they would probably think she was insane. Certainly Neia would. In that case, what should she say?
看见了类似船一样的影子,什么的说出来的话会被怀疑精神不正常了吧,涅婭的话就会这么想。那么,该说什么好呢。

“Doesn’t matter if you were mistaken, but could you tell me if you saw something? It’ll help if something’s happening over there.”
「就算是错觉也没关系了,如果有些什么的话能告诉我吗?如果那个方向发生了什么也比较容易对应」

It was a perfect argument.
完美的正论。

She peeked around from side to side. Everyone was listening in to Neia’s exchange with the paladin, and all eyes were on Neia.
她偷偷地左右窥视,大家都竖着耳朵听着涅婭与圣骑士的对话,视线完全集中在了涅婭身上。

Things being what they were, she could not simply bluff her way through this by saying “Oh, I was just seeing things”.
这回可不是随便说句看错了就能过去的状况了。

“..Ah, I just felt that there was a big black shadow out there.”
「……那个,只是感觉似乎有什么比较大的黑影一样的东西」

“Is that big shadow a monster?”
「那个所谓大的黑影是魔物吗?」

The person Neia least wanted to hear fired a question her way. Dammit, don’t ask me, she thought, but obviously she could not actually say that.
最不想听到的人向涅婭投来问题。讨厌,不要问我,心里这么想着,但是这样的话当然不可能说出口吧。

Neia sighed several dozen times in her heart before answering:
涅婭在心中叹息了几十回后,回答到。

“No, it’s not like that. I had the feeling I saw a building or something similar.”
「不,并不是那样,而是感觉似乎是什么建筑物一样的东西」

“…Did you really see it?”
「……你真的看到了吗?」

“I’m not too sure, it just felt like that. It’s more likely that I was mistaken.”
「并不十分清楚,只是感觉上是那样的什么东西而已。也许是错觉的可能性更高一些呢」

“A building? A fort of the Sorcerous Kingdom or something like that?”
「建筑物?魔导国的要塞之类?」

“I don’t know. However, the fact is that we haven’t seen anything that looks like a fort of the Sorcerous Kingdom near the roads, or near the villages. Those would not be out of place on the borderlands.
「不知道。但是,的确到现在为止,道路附近并没有类似魔导国的要塞一样的东西,村落也是如此。若是在国境的话那有也不奇怪就是了」

While she had felt that it was a ship, it would be more convincing to say it was a building which looked like a ship rather than say she had seen a ship.
虽然自己刚刚还那么觉得是船,不过比起说出见到船来,说是船一样的建筑物会更让人信服一些。

“I see… what do you think, Gustav?”
「原来如此……你怎么看?古斯塔博」

“I believe her. Although — you didn’t verify that it was a building, did you?”
「非常让人信服呢。只不过——所谓建筑物并没有能正确地确认清楚不是吗?」

“Yes, it was just for a moment. It might have been something else entirely.”
「是的,真是只有一瞬间,也许是别的什么也说不定」

“Captain Custodio, in any event, I think waiting in the fog is the best option. I don’t think the Sorcerous Kingdom’s forts will permit foreigners to enter.”
「卡斯特迪奧团长,无论如何,我认为再继续在这雾中等待才是最好的选择。我不认为魔导国的要塞会允许别国的人随便进入」

“Makes sense. Let’s do it, then. Everyone, stay alert.”
「有道理,就这么办吧。那么全员,继续警戒」

She was answered by a chorus of voices, as well as Neia.
回答明白的声音一起响起,涅婭也同样。

While they were ostensibly keeping watch, everyone’s attention was focused on a single point. That was because everybody wanted to verify what Neia had seen.
说是警戒,但是大家无论如何都会把意识集中在一点上,因为无论是谁都想亲眼确认那个到底是什么。

The thick fog continued to obscure all vision, and just as everyone was starting to lose interest in the building, something happened.
由于浓厚的雾而视野不清的时间稍微持续了一会,正当大家渐渐对建筑物的兴趣淡了下来的时候,发生了事件。

“–What!?”
「——什!」

Neia and the knight to her right both gasped in surprise.
涅婭,并且右侧站着的骑士同时发出了吃惊的喘息。

A shadow was moving in the thick fog.
浓厚的雾中,明显地看得到移动的影子。

“W-what? What was that?”
「什、什么?那是?」

Neia could not answer the paladin’s question. Saying it was a ship was crazy talk.
骑士的发问涅婭无法回答,那是船在移动什么的,回答了的话就是疯子了。

“Is that shadow… moving? Isn’t that a building?”
「那就是影子吗……在动哦?不是建筑物的吗?」

The Captain’s question was very reasonable. However, since Neia had not told her what it actually was, all she could say until the end was that it looked like a building.
团长的疑问非常在理,然而,对于没有把那东西类似的本体讲出来的涅婭来说,直到最后也只能坚持说是看起来像建筑物一样。

“When I saw it, it looked like one…”
「我看的时候是这么觉得的啊……」

“But it’s moving now, isn’t it? Also… the shadow looks like it’s getting darker; is it headed our way?”
「但是果然是在动哦?而且……影子好像慢慢浓厚起来了,这不会是正在往这边来吧?」

Indeed, if that was really a ship, then it could move towards them. In other words — that ship was one which could sail on land.
没错,如果那是真正的船的话,就能往我们这边前进,也就是说——那艘船是陆地上航行的船吗。

How could that… no way…
(怎么会……不可能)

In the end, the shadow approached close enough through the fog until even the people apart from Neia could see what it really was.
结果,在浓厚的雾中,那影子已经接近到了连涅婭以外的人也分辨得出它的真正模样的距离了。

It was indisputably a ship, and it was moving as though it were sailing upon the waves. Rows of long, thick oars protruded from its sides, rowing like they were actually pushing through the water.
那是无可争辩的船,而且是仿佛在海面上行动一般在前进。长而粗大的船桨在两侧突出,如同真的在搅动水面一般在划动。

“Are you kidding me?”
「这是开的什么玩笑啊,那个」

The shocked words which escaped Remedios’ mouth spoke for everyone in the group.
蕾梅蒂歐絲惊愕中吐出的话语代表了在场全员的心声。

“Do the ships of the Sorcerous Kingdom travel on land? The inland countries have all sorts of surprising toys…”
「魔导国的船难道就是在陆地上行动的?内陆国还真是会开发些叫人吃惊的玩意啊……」

No, no, not like this, Neia said in her heart. She was probably not the only one to think that way.
没有没有,不是这样的吧。涅婭的心中如此吐槽着。大概,不止她一个人会这么想吧。

“A ship that travels through fog… I seem to recall hearing about something like that before…”
「在雾中行进的船……记忆中好像在哪儿听过类似的东西……」

“I expected nothing less of you, Gustav! Come, try and recall it, I’m sure you can do it. You taught me all kinds of things in the past, I’m sure you can do it. Right, want me to rub your head for you?”
「不愧是你啊、古斯塔博!来、回想起来吧,是你的话肯定能做到,教给了我各种各样的事情的你肯定办得到。对了,要不要帮你晃晃脑袋?」

“Please don’t do that. Besides, I’m not a sage or anything. It’s just because our Captain has no head for such facts which required me to remember them on her behalf.”
「请不要这么做。再说了我也不是贤者什么的啦。都是因为团长完全记不下那方面的知识,所以才只有由我来代记罢了啊」

“…That’s because all I needed to do was ask you or Kylardos.”
「……因为有你和妹妹在啊,只要问起都能告诉我」

“It seems we’ve been spoiling you too much. Once we send Jaldabaoth back to hell, I’m going to make sure you make up for all your years of lost learning. Ah, thanks to that, I remember now. It’s a Ghost Ship. I heard some sailors talk about it, a ship that appears out of the fog. It’s a ship that should have sunk, but which sails once more, and it is helmed by the undead.”
「看来是平常太过娇惯你了啊。等把亞達巴沃送回那个世界之后,你得好好把以前落下的份全部学回来哦。啊,多亏这个我想起来了,就是那个,幽灵船啊。在浓雾里现出身姿的船,从船员那里听说过。本来应该沉没了的船再次出现,而操舰的是不死者这样的传说」

“Oh! Yes, I’ve heard that Ghost Ships are preceded by thick fog. …Everyone, form up! If it’s a Ghost Ship, then we’ll be facing the undead! It’s the enemy!”
「哦哦!的确有听说过幽灵船现身之前作为前兆会出现浓雾啊。……全员,组成楔形阵!是幽灵船的话对手就是不死者!是敌人!」

Even the paladins could not help but be shaken by their Captain’s order.”
对于团长的命令,就算是圣骑士们也不得不出现了动摇。

“Wait! Please wait, Captain Custodio! The Sorcerous Kingdom which is our destination is ruled by an undead king, so what if this is one of the Sorcerous Kingdom’s ships?”
「等!请等一下!卡斯特迪奧团长!我们正要前往的魔导国是不死者的王所支配之地,那会不会是魔导国的船只呢?」

“What!? He brought a Ghost Ship onto dry land and then used it? …What the hell is this?”
「什么!?把幽灵船拉上陆地,然后使役它吗?!……那算什么啊」

It was only natural that Remedios would be dumbfounded.
蕾梅蒂歐絲会哑口无言也是当然的。

The undead could control other undead. However, what kind of undead being could put a Ghost Ship, that would originally have sailed the seas, under one’s command?
不死者能够支配其他的不死者。但是,将本来在海上出没的幽灵船置于自己的支配之下,能行使如此力量的不死者究竟是怎样的存在呢。

Soon, the ship revealed itself in its entirety.
不久船现出了全貌。

As the name indicated, it was a ghost of a ship.
那是名副其实的幽灵船。

It was broken down all over. There was a huge hole in the side of the hull, and the deck planks were curled upwards in many places.
全都是破破烂烂的。船身开了个大洞,船板上有许多地方都卷了起来。

It was gigantic, even bigger than the Holy Kingdom Navy’s flagship “Hammer of the Holy King”. If it were not so dilapidated, it would give off an impression of tremendous power.
十分巨大,肯定比圣王国的海军旗舰“圣王铁锤”号要来的大。要不是这么破破烂烂的话,会让人觉得十分强而有力吧。

The last of its three masts flew aftsails, while the others had regular square sails. However, they were all torn and tattered, and they did not look like they could accomplish their mission of propelling a vessel.
三根船桅的最后挂着纵帆,剩下的是横帆。但是果然都是破烂不堪,实在不像是能完成船帆使命的样子。

There was an abnormal sharpness to the way its prow protruded forth. It looked very impressive, like it had been polished. In addition, it glowed with a dim, mystical light, and it gave the feeling that the ship was proud of itself.
冲角异常尖锐突出,就像是打磨过般壮观。而且还带有像是魔法般朦胧的光芒,甚至让人感觉船自己也以此为傲。

After that, the most eye-catching feature was the ensign it flew on top of the mainmast. It bore the symbol of the Sorcerous Kingdom.
接着最让人注目的就是主桅上高高悬挂着的纹章。那正是魔导国的纹章。

The ship floated a meter off the ground as it moved forward.
船在离地面一米处的上空漂浮着前进。

Soon, the ship passed by the group — who were frozen in place by the bizarre sight — from the side.
不久,船以无视因为异样的光景而一动也不动的一行人的方式从旁边擦身而过了。

Nobody was able to move, and then the fog began to thin. DId that ship spew fog as it sailed? No, if that were the case, then the fog would have been thickest when one was near the ship, so they should not have been able to even see the hull itself. It was probably like some sort of concealing layer that shrouded the area around the ship with fog.
全部人都僵住在那里无法动弹,之后雾渐渐变淡。那艘船是一边吐出雾一边航行的吗。不对,那样的话,在船最靠近的时候也是视野最差的时候,应该是连船本身也看不见的。恐怕那像是隐藏住船的膜一样,在离船身周围稍微有一点距离的地方覆盖着雾。

Or perhaps it was a cage to keep its prey from escaping. Neia was scared stiff by that thought of hers.
又或着那是不让猎物逃离的牢笼吗。涅娅被自己的想法吓到背部僵硬。

The Sorcerer King… an undead king. He might be a fearsome foe for all we know.
(魔导王……不死者之王。说不定是相当恐怖的对手吧)

When she heard he had summoned gigantic goats of uncertain origin, she had imagined them as adorable sheep, so perhaps Neia might have underestimated the Sorcerer King in some small way.
因为听到召唤了来路不明的巨大山羊时,擅自想象成了可爱的山羊,涅娅可能有点小瞧了魔导王也说不定。

It made her uneasy.
真是不安。

Just like how paladins viewed the undead as enemies, the undead might consider paladins to be their enemies too. If that were the case, the fate of their group would be–
就像对圣骑士来说不死者是敌人一样,对不死者来说圣骑士是否也是敌人呢。如果是那样的话,自己等人的下场不就是——。

Even so, they had no choice but to beg him for aid, in order to meet Momon, the man who had once fought on par with Jaldabaoth. Neia wiped her sweat away with her palm.
即使使这样,为了会见曾和亚达巴沃不分胜负的飞飞,也不得不去请求援助。涅娅用手掌擦拭渗出来的汗。

“…The fog’s cleared. Everyone, let’s go.”
「……雾好像散了。各位,走吧」

The undead king who ruled these bizarre beings.
支配着那样异常的存在的不死者之王。

Neia gathered up her resolve.
涅娅做好了觉悟。

The Sorcerer King is undead, yet he permits humans to live… What sort of person is he, really? Well, I won’t be able to see that side of him, being a squire and all.
(明明是不死者却允许人类生存的魔导王。……实际上又是怎样的人呢?不过,嘛、身为侍从的我也不会见到就是了)

Part 3

She could see the outermost of E-Rantel’s — the capital of the Sorcerous Kingdom — three walls, and the imposing gate set into it.

However, neither of them could draw Neia’s attention away from the two gigantic statues which flanked the gate.

They depicted a bizarre undead creature who held a staff that resembled snakes coiling around each other. Those statues were probably made in the image of the Sorcerer King, Ainz Ooal Gown.

Despite being a good distance away from them, Neia could make out the intricate detailing of the statues. In all likelihood, she would not be able to find a flaw in them even at the statues’ feet.

Then, she saw several human-shaped creatures working near the statues.

Eh? Ah… aren’t they too big? How high are those walls? While I know the statues are large… who are those people working down there, anyway?

The others seemed to have the same questions as Neia, and the paladins began discussing the identities of those human-like creatures.

“…Those aren’t humans, are they?”

“Yeah. Are they giants? Although, they don’t seem to be the same as Hill Giants…”

Neia, a mere squire, had never seen a Giant in the flesh before, but she had heard about these beings during a monster knowledge class.

Giants were essentially enlarged humans, but in addition to their powerful bodies, they also possessed racial abilities. Thanks to these abilities, they could endure environments which humans would be hard-pressed to survive, so they typically made their homes in such places. They were a demihuman species which had little to do with humans, who could only live on the plains.

Some races which were skilled in magic were more advanced than humanity.

Race alone did not determine the goodness or wickedness of a being. One of the Thirteen Heroes was a giant. In the Holy Kingdom, the giants known as Sea Giants sometimes showed up to trade.

That said, giants were generally a violent and dangerous race.

On the subject of dangerous giants in the human world, one would have to mention Hill Giants, who lived in the hills. Giant-kin such as trolls and the like were also quite (in)famous.

In that case, what were these Giants doing in a city of the undead?

“…Were there always been giants in this area? Did he conquer them?”

“Does that Sorcerer King command giants? I’ve never heard of something like that before.”

That surprised exclamation from one of the paladins was only to be expected.

They had gathered a great deal of intelligence in preparation for their journey to the Sorcerous Kingdom. Of course, a lot of that information was incomprehensible, so they could not be said to have succeeded in their objective, but that still counted as doing their due diligence. Both the Ghost Ship and giants were matters of mystery.

Was the Sorcerer King an undead giant, Neia thought. But such a distinguishing characteristic ought to have showed up in their intelligence reports.

Just then, Gustav addressed her from behind.

“Squire Baraja, it’s about time we changed formation. Move to the rear.”

“Understood!”

During their journey, Neia had been at the head of the formation, but now that they were near the city, Neia would occupy the rearmost position. In turn, Remedios and Gustav would take Neia’s place at the front.

“Captain Custodio, shall we send an envoy out to announce us?”

Surely anyone would be wary of a group of people in full plate armor and bearing arms showing up near a city. Therefore, when they entered a city or village of the Kingdom, they would typically send out a paladin to inform them that they were coming, and then the group would approach, bearing the flag of the Holy Kingdom. This was etiquette.

After receiving Remedios’ permission, they sent a paladin out before them.

After reaching the gates to the Sorcerous Kingdom, he turned and came back.

“Captain, I’ve informed the watchmen of the Sorcerous Kingdom. They extend a welcome to us.”

“Is that so, got it. Then let’s go! Raise the flags! Hold your chests high! Do not disgrace the name of paladins of the Holy Kingdom!”

With that, the group slowly guided their horses towards the Sorcerous Kingdom.

Finally, they reached the stately-looking gates, as well as the giants working there.

The giants seemed to be cleaning the statues, as though to make the beautiful statues even more beautiful.

They glanced at the giants’ appearance, and their skin was bluish white, while their hair and moustaches were white. They seemed to be dressed in primitive clothing made from the hide of some kind of beast, as well as exquisitely made chain mail armor.

“What kind of giants are those?”

Neia’s keen senses picked up the conversation from the front row.

“This is just a guess, but I think they should be Frost Giants, right?”

“H-mm~” Remedios replied vaguely. “Are they strong? What can they do?”

“…God, spare me… Frost Giants are giants who live in cold climates, and they are immune to cold. In contrast, they are weak to fire.”

“I see. So if we have to fight one, we should use fire, is that right?”

“Well, pretty much. Mithril-ranked adventurers should be able to beat them with ease. However, they can train and learn like us, and sometimes you might encounter a giant with warrior skills. Therefore, you must be careful.”

Those were giants.

One could train to be a warrior, a magic caster or a thief. It was not just humans who could train themselves in such techniques. While creatures with racial advantages generally were not inclined towards such training, some of them would put in the effort to pick up such skills, and that made them very difficult opponents.

Neia’s father had repeatedly told her, “Beasts intimidate you with their appearance. But a powerful foe who does not appear to be one is very frightening.”

“H-mm~ Well, I’ve never fought a giant before. Still, Ogres are a different matter.”

“Take care you don’t upset them by mentioning Ogres in the same breath as them. To the Sea Giants, at least, it would be like comparing a monkey to a human. Of course, that’s a rumor from a bard, so there’s no telling how much of that is true.”

“H-mm~ The Holy Kingdom can’t hire Sea Giants, but the Sorcerous Kingdom can employ Frost Giants. Which of them is stronger?”

“I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that…”

While the Captain obviously wanted Sea Giants to be stronger, the important thing now was the sort of treatment these Frost Giants faced in the Sorcerous Kingdom.

Were they treated as friends, enslaved with force, or was it an exchange of currency for service in a mutually beneficial relationship?

There was no way to tell from the forms of the silently-laboring giants.

Still, it would seem these giants are excellent laborers. The Holy Kingdom has worked with demihumans in the past, but if they expanded the scope of that, it could do many more different things. Of course, the Holy Kingdom would never do that.

Of course, there were races such as the Mermen, with whom the Holy Kingdom had a long history of mutual cooperation. However, the memories of war with demihumans still remained, so it would never be accepted.

Had the Sorcerous Kingdom only accepted Giants? Or did it also take in other strange races. If she encountered demihumans here similar to the ones who had attacked the Holy Kingdom, could she rein in the anger within her heart?

No, if I don’t control myself…

For instance, what would happen if she met a Snakeman here? It would be a Snakeman who came from a land far removed from the Holy Kingdom, living in peace with humans in this nation. Perhaps it might not be possible to use an emotional appeal to dissuade the others from showing hostility, but given the present circumstances, they would have to do just that.

Neia looked uneasily at Remedios’ back.

Could she do it?

She mentally shook her head. Worrying about Remedios like that was very rude. She was the leader of this diplomatic party, and she was working to save the country. She could certainly do that much. Worrying about her like that was just too disrespectful to her.

“Can we just enter like that? How about going in through another gate?”

The gates might be open, but the giants were working. She was worried about whether they would mind the passing of the humans at their feet.

“We’ll go in like this. If word gets out that the Hoy Kingdom’s emissaries went in through another door because they were afraid of giants, we’ll become laughingstocks.”

“…Understood. Then we shall obey your instructions, Captain.”

And so, the group advanced toward the gates.

Fortunately, the giants took a look at them and then stopped their work for a while, allowing them to pass without incident. Neia felt that this was less goodwill towards humans than a mysterious sentiment towards visitors to the Sorcerous Kingdom.

Normally, they would have been stopped outside the gates, but since they had sent someone to announce them, they were ushered in by human soldiers who looked like street guards, and the group passed through the gates, under the light of magical lanterns. Their illumination was distinctly different from that of the sun, and the trained warhorse harrumphed uneasily under their radiance.

“Welcome to E-Rantel, city of the Sorcerous Kingdom. Is this your first time visiting here, honored paladins?”

“Ahh, yes.”

“I see. Then, I beg your pardon, but can you please dismount?”

This was probably a luggage check, Neia thought. While it was somewhat inconsiderate to do so with people calling themselves emissaries from another nation, they were right to do so.

There was no protest as the group got off their horses and obeyed the instructions to “walk this way please”, which brought them to a huge door beside the gates.

Going by common sense, this ought to be a side tower, a combination of troop barracks and a defense base.

“Please enter here. This city is different from the cities of the Kingdom and the Empire in that it possesses all manner of different locations within, so first-time visitors will have to attend a workshop in the room ahead.

“A workshop?”

“Yes. This is to minimize unnecessary disturbances. Only people who have attended this workshop may enter the city. What say you?”

They had come all this way, so obviously they could not refuse the request to attend. While it was to be expected, Remedios’ answer was a definite “yes”.

“Then, may I request that you give your weapons into our safekeeping?”

Naturally, they could not refuse that, but just as naturally, Remedios had a put-upon look on her face.

Remedios’ sword was a divine treasure of the Holy Kingdom. Just by bearing it, she would not even need to kneel before the Holy King. She could not surrender such a treasure before even meeting the king of the realm, and after hearing that much, the soldier nodded in understanding.

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