Overlord Light Novel Volume 13 Chapter 3 Part 4

That’s a maid demon for you, Neia thought.
宁亚佩服地想,真不愧是女仆恶魔。

She could not have come all this way without CZ.
要是没有希丝的话,绝对来不了这里。

And this is also thanks to the order His Majesty gave to CZ.
(这也是多亏魔导王陛下对希丝下了命令的缘故。)

Only the Sorcerer King could inspire deeper respect in people even when he was not present.
就算不在场还会让人加深敬意的只有魔导王而已。

Honestly, the fact that he was undead or whatever was a trifling problem.
不死者什么的,真的只不过是小问题而已。

I need to let everyone know, after all. I need to tell them how great a person His Majesty is!
(果然,得让大家都知道才行。陛下是多么出色的一位大人这件事!)

The tower was almost completely made of stone and it only had a small window for light. It was darker than the castle that they had pass through earlier.
几乎全由石头造成的尖塔上只有采光的小窗子,比刚刚跑过来的城里还要来得黯淡。

The passage inside the tower was quite spacious, big enough for Neia and CZ to walk side by side. It spiralled up along the inside of the tower’s wall.
塔内的道路还算够宽,足够宁亚和希丝两个人并排着走。这条道路是沿着内侧在尖塔的外壁上呈螺旋状绕着的形式而成。

Their objective, the Zern prince, ought to be near the top, so the only thing they did when passing doors along the way was check for movement inside while the two of them continued ever upwards.
目标的蓝蛆(Zern)王子应该在最上层附近,所以途中经过的门都只是看看里面的动静而已。两人只是往上前进。

About two circuits later, CZ raised her hand to signal that they should stop. This happened almost at the same time as Neia’s keen hearing picked up some creature’s footsteps.
在出发后大概两圈的时候。希丝轻轻抬起手打出停止的暗号,这和宁亚敏锐的听力听到生物的脚步声几乎是同一时间。

It would seem it was wearing metal armor, because she could hear the sound of metal striking stone.
对方似乎是穿着金属铠甲,传出的是石头和金属碰撞的声音。

“It’s alone, CZ-san.”
「是一个人呢,希丝小姐。」

“…Yes. But… heavy footsteps.”
「…………没错。但是……沉重的脚步声」

Neia could not tell, but if CZ said it, then it was probably so. In other words, whatever it was, it was not human-sized.
宁亚虽然不能听出来,但要是希丝那么说的话就是那样的吧。也就是说不是人类尺寸的大小吧。

“What… should we do? Should we hide behind one of the doors we passed along the way?”
「要……怎么办?回到中途的门后面藏起来吗?」

“…It’s already here. Kill it.”
「…………都来到这里了。杀了」

“Got it.”
「我知道了」

Neia readied her bow after CZ. Her plan was to shoot first and not bother with questions. She had heard that the Zern prince was about the size of a human child. In addition, he would not be wearing metal armor.
在希丝之后宁亚也准备好弓。要是看到样子的话,打算二话不说就射过去。听说蓝蛆[Zern]王子和人类的小孩差不多大,而且也不会穿着金属铠。

A massive object came into view, and Neia and CZ attacked without hesitation.
看到突然出现的巨体,宁亚和希丝毫不犹豫地攻击。

The arrow and bullets entered its body, as though they had been sucked in.
箭矢和子弹就像被巨体吸进去一样的射了进去。

“Gaaahhhh!”
「啊啊啊啊啊!」

The massive object stumbled, and backed up along the path.
巨体一个踉跄,在通道上倒退。

Since it had retreated along a curved path, it was no longer in the line of fire.
在呈曲线的通道上只要稍微往后退的话,射击轨道就无法通过。

The fact that it had survived their attacks — particularly CZ’s — suggested that it was a very tough demihuman.
受到两人的——特别是希丝——攻击却一命尚存,这意味着是有着相当体力的亚人。

“What! Who are you!”
「什么!你们是谁!」

An angry cry echoed from the depths of the passage.
在通道的深处响起了怒吼。

“What should we do, CZ-san?”

“…Can’t sit here and wait… Close in and attack before the enemy gathers the tower guards.”
「…………不能坐以待毙。……在敌人把尖塔内的警卫兵集中之前,拉近距离攻击」
“Understood.”
「了解」

Neia and CZ broke into a run.
宁亚和希丝跑了起来。

Since it could survive CZ and Neia’s surprise attack, they could assume that it was one of the guardians — a Vah Un. Vah Uns were beings which possessed very good overall fighting power and a shocking amount of stamina.
能够撑住希丝和宁亚冷不防的一击,可以认为就是守护者——水元素巨魔了吧。因为巨魔这个种族在
全面拥有非常优秀的战斗能力之外,还有着惊人的体力。

As they ran, the humidity in the air seemed to increase as well — Neia’s nose picked up the scent of rain.
一边跑着,空气中的湿度感觉好像也在提高——宁亚的鼻子闻到了像是雨水的味道。

“Goooaahhh! The humans! The humans are here!”
「喔喔喔喔喔!人类居然、在这个地方!」

After closing in, they saw a massive demihuman.
拉近间距后看到的是一只身材巨大的亚人。

While it possessed the savage air of an Ogre, it looked much more intelligent than Remedios.
虽然与食人魔(Ogre)有相似的暴力气质,但是比起食人魔(Ogre),容貌要来得知性的多。

Its skin was bluish-white, though it looked more demonic than unhealthy.
皮肤就像字面上一样是青白色的,与其说是不健康,给人更接近魔性的印象。

It had a single thick horn on its forehead. It carried a mace that was bigger than Neia.
额头上长着一根粗角。手上紧握着一个比宁亚还大的锤矛。

Judging by its physical appearance, it was quite similar to the descriptions of the species known as Vah Uns.

While it was not as bad as Buser, it was still quite a dangerous opponent. The arrow and bullets had clearly hit it, but it did seem to be wounded. There was no smell of blood either, so it would seem it had not covered it up with illusions.
虽说不及巴塞,但还是一个相当棘手的敌人。的确,刚刚的箭和子弹毫无疑问是命中的,但却没有任何外伤。因为也没有血腥味,看来不是用幻术来掩盖过去的。

Somehow, it had negated their attacks — particularly CZ’s.
“So you’re here for my life, are you!? You’ve got good eyes on you, humans!!!”
「是来取我的性命吗!!!这还真是,人类之中也有识货的嘛!!!」

It seemed very happy.
好像非常高兴的样子。

In that case, she would let it remain mistaken–
那样的话,就让他继续误会——

“…No.”
「…………不是」

CZ fired as she spoke.
希丝一边说一边用枪射击。

There was a pop-hiss of expelled gas as something flew through the air. After that, part of the Vah Un’s body dissolved into mist and the bullet passed through.
随着噗嘶一声喷气音,有什么一起放了出来。然后水元素巨魔身体的一部分雾散了,子弹穿透过去。

“…Mm.”
「…………唔」

“Wahahahaha! Ranged weapons are useless against me!”
「哇哈哈哈哈!飞行道具对我是不起作用的!」

Neia loosed an arrow at the Vah Un’s forehead, but its head also sublimated into mist and the arrow sank into the wall behind it.
宁亚也对着水元素巨魔的额头放箭,但头部同样也化成了雾,箭刺进后面的墙壁。

“–Useless! It’s useless! Now quiver in fear of me, the enemy of all archers, and then die!”
「——没用的!没有用的喔!害怕身为射手天敌的我,然后去死吧!」

“…Immune to all ranged weapons? On something that’s only that strong?” CZ muttered. “There must be a trick.”
「…………对所有远程道具的完全耐性?就凭那种强度?」希丝嘟哝道「有什么秘密在。」

Neia glanced at CZ and shook her head. Unfortunately, the Zerns did not know any details about its abilities.
宁亚瞥了希丝一眼,摇摇头。很遗憾,蓝蛆们也不知道那家伙的详细能力。

“What are you blathering about!”
「在废话些什么!」

“Back up!”
「退下!」

The Vah Un closed the gap. The sight of its massive body approaching them felt off, like her sense of distance was messed up.
水元素巨魔拉近距离。以远超人类的体格逼近过来,给人有种彷佛距离感失常的不协调感。

Neia would not be able to survive a single hit from it, so she obediently listened to CZ and fell back.
宁亚的话一击都承受不了,因此她乖乖的照着希丝的话,退到后面去。

CZ stood on the frontline, and the mace slammed down on her. The strike was like a howling storm, but she elegantly evaded it.
巨大的锤矛向留在前方的希丝打去;这如同暴风的一击被希丝优雅的闪开。

The Vah Un’s strength was extraordinary, given that it could swing a weapon that was as tall as CZ with one hand. The stone was shattered where it had struck the ground, and cracks radiated in all directions. It felt like the massive tower was shaking.
能够单手挥动尺寸和希丝身高一般大小的武器,水元素巨魔的力量非同寻常。打到地面的锤矛粉碎了石造地板,周围成放射状的龟裂开来。给人甚至有一种这个巨大的塔在摇晃的错觉。

“Tch!”
「啧!」

Neia loosed an arrow.
宁亚射出箭。

While the Vah Un was locked in melee with CZ, there was a huge difference between their body sizes. If she aimed up, she could strike the Vah Un without hitting CZ.
虽然水元素巨魔正和希丝进行近战中,不过两人的体格差距很大。瞄准上方的话,就能够不击中希丝而命中水元素巨魔。

As expected, the Vah Un transformed into mist in order to avoid the arrow whistling through the air.
破空的箭矢果然和之前一样因雾化而被避开了。

“Useless! Useless! I told you arrows are useless against me! Foolish — uwoooooh!”
「没用!!没用!!我都说了箭是对我起不了作用的吧!!愚蠢的——呜喔!」

The Vah Un roared even louder than before. CZ seemed to find it annoying and hacked at him.
水元素巨魔更加大声怒吼,似乎觉得这很碍事的希丝砍了过去。

While CZ’s shooting skills were far superior to Neia’s, she was not as skilled in close combat, so unfortunately, her strike was blocked by the mace.
射击的技术远超宁亚的希丝对于近距离武器就似乎没那么擅长了,所以很可惜的被锤矛挡了下来。

Neia nocked and drew back another arrow.
宁亚再度抽箭。

This time, Neia aimed for the hand holding the mace. While it was very likely that the weapon would not drop even if it turned to mist, she decided that she had to try, however small the possibility.
接下来宁亚瞄准的是拿着锤矛的手。虽然很有可能就算化成雾,武器也不会掉落,但她判断就算可能性再小也要试试。

In the end–
结果是——

The mist-formed arm did not release the mace.
化成雾的手臂,并没有放开锤矛。

“Aren’t you going to stop, human!?” The Vah Un presented a palm to Neia. “[Water Splash]!”
「还不住手吗,人类!」水元素巨魔空手对着宁亚「<水沫>[WaterSplash]!」

A ball of water flew out at Neia.
水弹朝着宁亚击出。

Something hit her right shoulder. Neia was blown back like something had crashed into her and fell to the ground.
右肩传来一阵冲击。宁亚像是被猛撞似的轰飞到后面,倒在地上。

It hurt like she had been savagely beaten. She might even have broken bones.
被很很揍了一样的痛楚。说不定都骨折了。

After nervously trying to move her right arm, she found that it could move without issue. However, a torrent of pain spread from her shoulder inside her body. She touched her shoulder and found that it was wet. While she was afraid that it was blood at first, she immediately realised that it was water.
小心翼翼的试着活动右手后,发现没有问题可以动。但是从肩口到体内传来一阵剧痛。手碰向肩口发现湿漉漉的。一开始还害怕的想说是不是血,但立刻明白那其实是水。

“Hmph! You made me use a petty spell!”
「哼!让我使用小家子气的魔法!」

The Vah Un swung its club as it spat its reply at them.
水元素巨魔挥舞着锤矛,不爽的说道。

CZ muttered quietly to herself as she nimbly avoided a deadly stroke that could have smashed Neia to bits.
吃了一击就能让宁亚四分五裂的死亡飓风,希丝却一面轻松回避一面嘟哝着。

“…Why that girl? Why attack someone who can’t hit you? I don’t get it.”
「…………为什么,对那孩子?去攻击一个无法攻击到自己的对手?不能理解」

“Hah, you idiot! That’s because she’s a pain–”
「哈!**吗!那是因为碍——」

“–Because it was effective? Limited uses?”
「——其实有效?回数限制?」

The Vah Un’s face changed. In other words, CZ was right.
水元素巨魔的表情变了,也就是说答对了。

“Neia!”
「宁亚!!」

“Got it!”
「我知道的!」

Neia loosed an arrow, which the Vah Un avoided by turning into mist. After that, she fired again — and the arrow pierced into the Vah Un.
宁亚放箭;又再度雾化躲过攻击。接着再一射——那箭刺进了水元素巨魔。

As the Vah Un grunted in pain, CZ spoke.
希丝面对发出短促痛苦声的水元素巨魔这么说。

“…I understand. You can only defend against seven ranged attacks. Is that… per day? Per hour? …Doesn’t matter. You’ll die here.”
「…………理解了。防御射击攻击的回数只有七次。那是……一天中?还是说一小时中?……不管哪个都没关系。你会……在这里死掉。」

The Vah Un could not catch up to CZ, who dodged with amazing skill. In other words, if this kept up, it would take a one-sided beating and die. Perhaps the Vah Un had sensed this would happen, because its face knotted up.
自己无法捉到展现出精湛闪避能力的希丝——也就是说这样下去会被单方面攻击而死。是看到这样的未来了吧,水元素巨魔的表情扭曲起来。

“Damn you! [Fog Cloud]!”
「可、可恶!!<雾云>[FogCloud]」

A bank of fog sprang up.
刮起了一阵雾。

It was thicker than the fog she had seen in the Sorcerous Kingdom, and Neia did not even know her own location. While she could not see CZ fighting against the Vah Un, she could hear CZ’s spell gun going pew pew pew.
这比在魔导国见到的雾还要浓,宁亚连自己站在哪里都不知道。在这场连和水元素巨魔战斗中的希丝背影都看不到的大雾中,希丝的魔枪响起砰砰的声音。

When she thought about it, that was obvious.
想了下就知道这也是理所当然的。

Even if the Vah Un conjured fog in the middle of the passageway, she still knew where it was. All she had to do was keep shooting. Neia followed CZ’s lead and launched arrows. She was a little worried. so she aimed up high; that way even if she missed, she would not hit CZ.
就算在通道的正中弄出雾来,也还是能知道位置到底在哪里。只要持续射击就可以了。宁亚也学习希丝,射出箭来。因为有点害怕所以瞄准了上方,就算有个万一也不会打到希丝。

The arrow she loosed melted into the fog, and it was followed by the sound of something striking the wall. It would seem she had missed.
放出来的箭融入雾中,接着响起了打到墙壁的声音。看来是没射中。

“It’s moving behind you now.”
「现在,绕到后面去了。」

As CZ said that, Neia thought Eh?
被希丝这么说,宁亚的想法是「欸?」。

When one considered the size of the passageway, it was impossible for the massive Vah Un to get behind CZ and Neia without bumping into them. However, along the way here, Neia had come to realize that CZ was a trustworthy demon. Or rather, she did not trust CZ so much as she trusted the Sorcerer King which she served.
考虑到通道的幅度,那个巨大的水元素巨魔是不可能在不影响到希丝和宁亚的情况下绕到后面去。但是一路同行到这里的宁亚知道希丝是值得信赖的恶魔。不对,与其说是信赖希丝,应该说是信赖使役她的魔导王。

Neia turned, and while the fog was still so thick she could not see anything, she loosed another arrow.
宁亚转过身来,虽然雾还是很浓所以什么都看不见,但还是就这样放箭。

Just like before, she heard the sound of an arrow striking a distant wall.
跟刚刚一样发出箭打到远方墙壁的声音。

“Where, Where is it!?”
「哪里,在哪里!?」

“..Mm. You’re looking in the right direction. It’s trying to run… get down!”
「…………嗯—。现在,你看的方向角度没错。是打算逃跑……趴下!」

Neia instantly dropped prone as CZ spoke in a tone that was very forceful for her.
以希丝来说十分强硬的口气让宁亚像弹起来一样趴了下来。

“…Reloading… full burst.”
「……交换子弹后……火力全开。」

There was a piercing kyuuuuun and then a cacophonous dakka dakka dakka dakka thundered down the passageway. Unlike the pew pew sound from before, this was a sound that was filled with an oppressive brutality.
随着锵地一声尖锐声响,一股震耳欲聋的「咚咚咚咚咚」嘈杂声在通道上响起。和砰砰这样有间隔的声音不同,是让人感觉到压倒性暴力的声音。

“Gobooh~,” There was the sound of someone coughing up something, followed by a crash as a massive body hit the ground. After that, the mist cleared, and she could see the body of the Vah Un lying along the curved passage.
「咕啊」像是吐泻的声音之后,发出了砰的一声巨体倒下的声音。然后眼看着雾就散开,出现了倒在弧形通道上的水元素巨魔的身影。

Its body was covered in holes, and it looked like it had been blown apart. There were similar marks all around the nearby walls. What had happened to cause this?
身体各处都像是爆炸后一样绽开。周围的墙壁上也留下了同样的痕迹。到底是做了什么才办得到这种事。

As a demihuman assigned to guard this place, it should have been quite strong. In truth, Neia alone would not have stood a chance at all. Yet CZ could instantly kill a demihuman like this as long as her weapon was effective against it. That was a difficulty 150 maid demon for you.
接下守护这里的任务的亚人应该是相当的强者才对。实际上,如果宁亚的话一点胜算都没有。只要拿手武器有效的话就能瞬杀这样的亚人。果然希丝是难度一百五十的女仆恶魔。

“What… was… no. With magic, you can do anything, huh.”
「到底……是怎么……。不,有魔法的力量的话什么都做得到呢。」

Neia worked her stricken shoulder. She had forgotten the pain during the excitement of battle, but now it was starting to hurt more and more.
宁亚活动起被攻击魔法打到的肩膀。到刚刚为止因为战斗时的兴奋所以忘记了痛楚,但现在慢慢的越来越痛。

“…Okay?”
「…………没事?」

“Mm. But it hurts to draw a bow. I don’t think I can aim well.”
「嗯。但是拉弓的时候有点痛,没有办法好好瞄准。」

“…Got a healing potion?”
「…………回复的药水呢?」

“No, but I have a healing item His Majesty lent me.”
「虽然没有,但是有从陛下借来的回复道具。」

Neia could only use it once during that battle, but now she felt like she could use it more often. Still, that did not mean she could waste mana, because she might need to heal CZ if the situation called for it.
在那场战斗中,宁亚只能使用一次。但感觉现在能够多用一点了。虽说如此也不能无端浪费魔力,因为视情况说不定有会要对希丝发动回复魔法的时候。

“Don’t worry. We just need to rescue the hostage and retreat.”
「不要紧的。我们接下来只要救出人质然后撤退就好」

“…Mm. Then let’s hurry.”
「……嗯。那就赶快吧」

Neia nodded and ran with CZ. The Vah Un, which was most definitely a worthy opponent, had been defeated.
宁亚点了点头,跟着希丝一起跑了起来。称得上是强敌的水元素巨魔已经被打倒。

All that remained was to rescue the prince and return to the larder.
那么接下来就只剩救出王子并安全返回最初的食物仓库了。

Part 3

“…Here.”
「…………这里」

“Yes.”
「是的」

Having reached the topmost level, CZ and Neia exchanged looks. There was only one door here. That would mean it was undoubtedly their objective.
到达了最上层的希丝和宁亚对视了一眼。门只有一道。首先这里毫无疑问就是她们的目的地了。

They nodded to each other, and then kicked the door in.
二人互相颔首示意,一起踢开了门。

They had long since abandoned any thoughts of a covert entry. After all, they had just fought a big battle with the Vah Un. That said, the two of them leaned against the threshold of the door, in case someone attacked them in the instant it opened.
她们心中已经完全没有安静入室的打算了,毕竟刚刚经历了与水精灵大鬼的一场恶战。不过两人也将身体靠向了入口的边侧,以防备说不定会在门开瞬间袭来的攻击。

However, their caution had been in vain. Therefore, they both leapt into the room at the same time. Neia grit her teeth against the pain from her shoulder and went left, while CZ went right, and they both covered each other.
但这份小心似乎只是徒劳。于是她们同时跃进屋内,忍着肩膀伤痛的宁亚在左,希丝在右互相进行掩护。

The first thing they saw was a large, canopied bed. Perhaps its lace trimmings had once been white, but age had blackened them. The room also contained a simple dresser and human-sized furniture such as a cabinet and others. These pieces of noble-styled furniture were old and damaged, and they did not look like antiques so much as used goods.
最先进入视野的是一张有着顶棚的大床。本来或许是纯白的花边布料都在成年累月的老化下变得一片乌黑。房间里也有简朴的梳妆台和与人齐高的朴素的木制衣柜等家具。这些贵族风格的家具都是一样的陈旧破败,给人一种比起古董不如说是旧物的感觉。

A quick glance across the room revealed no demihumans.
一眼望去房间里似乎没有亚人的身影。

CZ raised her chin to signal to Neia, and Neia silently approached the cabinet before opening its doors. Of course, Neia opened it from the outside and stayed out of its way in case anything happened, while CZ pointed the muzzle of her spell gun at the interior of the cabinet.
希丝以下巴示意,宁亚随即安静地靠近衣柜,拉开了柜门。当然,为了能应对任何突发状况,宁亚是在侧面打开的,希丝顺势将魔鎗的鎗口对向了柜内。

“…Not here.”
「…………不在」

After that, the two of them looked to the bed.
然后二人的目光就转移到了床上。

After verifying that there was nothing underneath it, they approached the bed.
宁亚在确认了床下没有东西后靠近了这张床。

Part of it was bulging up.
有一部分鼓了起来。

Neia looked to CZ before nodding to show she understood, and then she flipped up the blanket.
在和希丝对视一眼并点头示意以后,宁亚一下子掀起了床单。

There was a pretty-looking lump of lustrous purple meat there. No, it would be better to say it was a huge maggot. It was about 90 centimeters long, and it did not have hands, but stubby feet.
在那里的是一个感觉有一点点好看的艳紫色的肉块。不,该说是一只大个的蛆虫吧。体长大约九十厘米,身上长着的不是手而是疣足。

CZ pointed her gun’s muzzle at it without any hesitation, and Neia hurriedly called out to her.
希丝毫不犹豫地将鎗口对准了它,宁亚慌忙出声制止。

“Wait! That’s the target we were sent to rescue, the prince of the Zern!”
「等一下!这就是我们来救援的目标,蓝蛆的王子大人」

“…This?”
「…………这个?」

That was what the Zern envoy had told Neia. However, she could understand CZ’s doubts, because Neia had gone “wat” when the Zern had given her the description of the Zern prince.
宁亚从蓝蛆的使者那里听来的情报就是如此。但希丝的疑问也可以理解,宁亚在蓝蛆向她说明王子外貌特征时也是相当傻眼。

The Zern were a species of demihumans whose royalty looked very different from other individuals of their species. In addition to that, they ought to be sexually dimorphic too.
蓝蛆是一种王族与其他个体有着相当大外形差异的亚人。不过除此之外还有雌雄之间的区别吧 。

“Er, can you hear us, Zern prince-sama?”
「呃,能听我们讲两句么?蓝蛆的王子大人」

“–Mm. Speak. It seems you are not my food.”
「——嗯。说吧。汝等似乎并非吾的食物啊」

He sounded like a teenager. Neia was curious as to where his voice was coming from and examined him, whereupon she saw that his maggot mouth was opening and closing.
声音就像一位少年。好奇这声音是从哪里传出的宁亚观察了一下,于是就发现它蛆虫一般的嘴正一张一合地动着。

“That’s right. We’ve been asked to rescue you. Let’s start by getting you out of here.”
「正是如此。我们是受了救助您的委托而来。首先就让我们把您带出这里吧」

He was still a prince, even if he looked like this, so she had to abide by the rules of etiquette. In addition, she would need his race’s help when finding the Sorcerer King. Therefore, she ought to do him a favor now, instead of offending him.
就算长成这样它也是位王子。必须遵守礼节。而且寻找魔导王时也需要它的种族的帮助。所以此时应该卖他人情而非招来不满。

“Was it a request from my eggmates (comrades)? Who asked you to do this?”
「同卵[同胞]的委托吗?是谁拜托妳们的?」

“It was a Zern called Beebeebee. Do you know him?”
「是个名叫贝贝贝的蓝蛆,您认识他吗?」

“Beebeebee, you say? Ah, him, then? Hm… But if I leave this place, Jaldabaoth…-sama will be angry. This will place the Zern people and particularly the King in danger.”
「妳说贝贝贝?啊,是那家伙么?嗯……。可是吾若离开这里就会招来亚达巴沃——大人的怒火吧。这会让众多蓝蛆子民,尤其是王会面临危险」

“While I’m not too sure about the details, it seems the King has passed away, so we must rescue you at the very least. That is why the Zern made this request of us.”
「虽然我不清楚详情,国王大人已经去世所以至少要把您救出来,这似乎就是蓝蛆提出委托的理由」

“What!?”
「什么!」

It was impossible for a human like Neia to read the expressions of the Zern prince, who could not be anything but a gigantic maggot. However, she could clearly sense the profound sorrow in his voice.
想要辨认出看上去无非是个巨型蛆虫的蓝蛆王子的感情,对于身为人类的宁亚来说是个不可能的任务。然而她确实能从王子的声音中感受到深深的悲痛。

“Oh, Father was actually… I see. That bastard Jaldabaoth… In that case, can you get us safely out of here?”
「吾那位父亲大人竟……。这样啊,亚达巴沃那个混账……。那么,吾等能平安无事地从这里逃出去吗?」

“Your Highness’ underlings will be guiding us out, so I think it should be fine.”
「我们有王子的属下们提供的路线图,所以请放心吧」

“I see… oh human heroes, who have come this far to aid me, I have a shameless request for you. Can you pretend that you carried me off by force while I was resisting you?”
「原来如此。……深入此处前来救助的人类英雄们啊,吾有一个非常厚颜无耻的请求,能请二位当作是你们把进行抵抗的吾强行带走的吗?」

That request was probably just in case.
这请求是为了以防万一吧。

“I understand. We shall pretend it is so.”
「明白了。那就当作是这样吧」

“Thank you very much.”
「十分感谢」

The prince raised his head. While it looked just like a maggot raising its head, this was probably how his species expressed their gratitude.
王子抬起了头。虽然看上去就是只蛆虫抬起了脑袋,但这大概是他们的种族用来表示感谢的态度吧。

Neia wrapped the prince up in the sheets like a baby — if he had been a baby, he would have been scared to tears; she had experienced that twice now — and carried him on her back.

She firmly tied the blanket around her chest, so it would not loosen even when she was moving vigorously.

The weight on her shoulder made Neia hurt. She wiped away the sweat beading on her forehead and used the necklace’s magic.

Her wounds healed instantly. Now she would be fine even if she had to run with the prince on her back.

“Are you feeling alright? If it hurts, please tell me right away.”

“No, I am not uncomfortable… but you smell delicious. It makes me hungry.”

Hearing those words spoken from the vicinity of her neck made Neia shudder.”

“…What do the Zerns eat?”

CZ asked a question which Neia did not want to ask.

“The precious bodily fluids of living creatures, be they alive or dead.”

“…I’ll get angry if you do anything weird to my junior.”

“There is no need to worry. I am not hungry enough to do such a thing to the heroes who came to rescue me. While I have not been allowed to leave even once since the day they brought me here, they took care to feed me, at least.”

If she knew exactly what they are, she would probably have dropped him like a ton of bricks, so Neia hurriedly stopped up her ears. Fortunately, CZ did not ask further.

“…Alright, let’s go.”

“Okay.”

“Please do.”

After that brief exchange, the two — three of them began to move. There was no time to waste on idle chatter during a clandestine infiltration.

Fortunately, they managed to return to the larder without incident. This was when CZ raised her hand to stop them.

“…There are people inside.”

“I’ll leave them to you.”

CZ readied her spell gun and forcefully opened the door.

Then, she stopped. CZ looked back.

“…Not sure who they are. Zerns. Many of them.”

They ought to be the recovery team. Specifically, they were the Zerns who had brought Neia and CZ here.

They had probably arrived first because Neia and CZ had been later than they had said.

After entering the room, the five Zerns inside turned as one to them. The sight of these heteromorphs with unreadable faces doing the same thing together generated a feeling inside Neia that was either fear or revulsion.

Neia undid the sheets on her back, and revealed the Zern prince within.

“Ohhh! It’s the Prince!”

It was Beebeebee. Neia would not have been able to tell them apart if they did not speak. However, if they were as different from each other as the prince was from them, she might not even have been able to tell if they were fellow Zern.

“Oh eggmates of mine. I hear my father has passed on. I know that he — Jaldabaoth — does not intend to keep his word. But where will we flee after betraying Jaldabaoth? He has already conquered our lands, and installed his trusted demons as their rulers… are we not destroying ourselves by choosing to rebel?”

“Your Highness is correct to be worried. But to him, the Zern are no different from livestock. Our hero Boobeebee was a little late to arrive before him, yet it was judged enough reason to have the flesh torn from his shoulder.”

“What! Boobeebee, you say!?”

The Prince’s shuddering told Neia that said Zern must have been of quite some status.

“Once everything is over, will the Zern find a place under Jaldabaoth’s rule? We have determined that the answer is no. My Prince, there is no time, let us save these words for–”

“–You fools. Can we leave that question until after we run? This is the turning point. Once we cross it, we must follow our course to its very end. Now is the only time we can turn back. Tell me, once we go back to our hive, once we go back to our hills, how do you intend to live on?”

“That… that land is vast. Surely there will be a place where we can hide.”

“You think so? Do you intend to have the species walk the road to destruction for this fleeting, wavering chance? Give me a more concrete, more practical solution.”

“In, in that case, not everyone is in service to Jaldabaoth, we could form a resistance…”

“You fool. That will only invite destruction from Jaldabaoth. An ant swarm draws more attention than a single ant.”

Beebeebee fell silent as the prince shot down each and every proposal. It would be bad if this went on. Neia and the others had carried out this dangerous operation to this stage. If the prince now went, “We can’t do it after all”, their efforts would have been wasted.

It was then that Neia came up with something to soothe the prince’s worries.

“Ah, in that case, why not have the Zern go to the Sorcerous Kingdom?”

“The Sorcerous Kingdom? What is that?”

It was not just the Zerns, but also CZ who looked to her.

“Yes. It is the country where Momon resides. He is the hero who once drove off Jaldabaoth in the Kingdom.”

Neia sensed the Zerns were staring at her, but she did not know the implications of their looks. How could humans understand a Zern’s expressions?

“Is what you say true?”

That single sentence was enough for Neia to understand why the Zerns had kept quiet. They doubted the truth of Neia’s words. But that was only to be expected. The better one knew Jaldabaoth’s power, the harder it was to believe that anyone could defeat him.

“I mean every word. I learned this through reliable channels. In fact — CZ-san?”

“…She’s right. Neia speaks the truth.”

“Also–” this was the crucial part. Neia psyched herself up internally. “If you go to the Sorcerous Kingdom like this, I am sure they will accept you as refugees.”

“Refugees, you say…”

There was bitterness in the prince’s voice.

“But if you can provide information about the Sorcerer King of the Sorcerous Kingdom, I am sure that you will not be slighted even when you go there.”

“Hold on, hold on. Why would they be happy to hear about their own King?”

“Ah, yes. Right now… ah… The Sorcerer King’s location is unclear…”

“Is that not very bad? In the worst-case scenario, he might even be dead, is that not true?”

“A moment please. His Majesty cannot possibly be dead. There is concrete evidence, and we are verifying it now.”

Neia told them about how the Sorcerer King might have fallen to the hills where the demihumans lived, so she wanted to use their strength to search for him. The prince fell silent. Is it not going to work, Neia thought, but since she had already made her pitch, she could say nothing more. The ball was now in their court.

Also, even if they could not provide any direct assistance, they ought to be able to at least provide knowledge, as they had promised.

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