Chapter 54- Alfred & Talcott
I dashed through the Twilight Forest while using Water Glide. It was as if I was weaving my way through the trees.
A swarm of hornets as large as puppies was headed our way while buzzing loudly.
They were Giga Hornets, abnormally aggressive and territorial insect monsters. They immediately attacked us when we stepped into their territory. They were fairly dangerous, since they were also highly venomous.
I infused Mana into Ouroboros, crossed paths with the hornets that headed towards me, and struck them down. Their nest was up ahead. We had to strike at the source, or this would be endless.
As we got closer to their nest, the hornet swarm got more dense.
(TN: literally says the hornet’s density will increase)
A Support spell that seemed like one of Ashley’s came from behind me.
A wall of water rose around me, limiting the direction that the hornets could approach from. Now they could only come at me from in front or behind. I swung my Dragon Staff at them, spinning it as if it were a windmill, and advanced onwards while crushing the approaching hornets like they were chips of wood.
I used the wall of water that Ashley created like this, then pulled myself together and began to manipulate the water to create a path in the air, for the sake of my own convenience.
I got on top of the Water Rail and constructed a Roller Coaster-like track. Without a moment of hesitation, I dashed towards the hanging hornet nest.
Although the hornets were still trying to crawl out of it…the entire nest was tightly enclosed in a jail of ice. The honey and larvae sold for a reasonable price, so I wanted the hornet nest to remain intact and collect them.
I swung at the tree that supported the hornet nest, knocking it off and dropping it to the ground. It flew a large arc before hitting the ground.
Although the hornets that had already left the nest remained, they weren’t a problem.
Ashley aimed at the surviving hornets that were furiously approaching me and cast a thundercloud at them, killing them all in one swoop.
“Good timing, Ashley.”
“Thank you very much!”
Ashley responded with a smile. Meanwhile, I beautifully struck down a Whispermush that was approaching me like I was swinging a golf club…. We had quite the room to spare. It was a good development.
Sheila and Irmhild understood each other’s movements, so the two of them paired up to fight together. Irmhild complemented Sheila’s dagger attacks by shooting arrows at the enemy to block their movements the moment they retreated. Those who dodged the arrows that Irmhild shot would receive a surprise attack from Sheila.
Grace confronted the new monsters.
Among them were the Angrymush. They were giant, pudgy mushroom Monsters that were around my height.
They were different from the Whispermush, and they took the role of vanguard. They were very strong and used a lot of attacks that relied on their constitution and physical strength, so great care had to be taken when it was attacking or was trying to crush you with its own weight. By the way…they tasted like maitake mushrooms. Although there weren’t that many of them, they were filling––and one wouldn’t feel dissatisfied after eating one.
Although a single blow from an Angrymush’s raised arms was enough to smash trees apart, Grace easily avoided its attacks.
Although they were the vanguard and excelled in physical strength…they weren’t a match for Grace, who could suppress Guardians on her own. She threw the chains attached to her axe at the Angrymush as if she was drawing an arc, which first chained the its feet and robbed it of its movement. She then raised her favorite axe high above her head and drove it into the Angrymush.
“…Umm, can the mushrooms be eaten if they have been cut vertically…?”
“That’s just an old superstition. It doesn’t affect whether we can eat it or not.”
Sheila answered Irmhild, who asked about the properties of the Angrymush. Despite admiring the existence of such a superstitions here, I picked up where Sheila left off.
“Those just now were the Angrymush… Well, they can be eaten. I also considered splitting the Scarletmush vertically, but they’re highly poisonous, so be careful of them.”
It was fine if they easily understood these things. However, it was difficult to distinguish the species of mushroom monsters, so you had to be cautious of them when you reached these floors.
Since both the hornets and Angrymush had gathered in large numbers, I was considering what to send home after collecting the spoils from our surroundings. We then found the stele and returned to the shrine.
After confirming that they were fine and checking today’s loot, an armed group descended to the square from a higher floor of the Shrine. The group had around 30 people, all wearing matching equipment.
It looked like, they were intending to split into parties of six people and enter the Labyrinth. They were lining up to take a roll call.
“They are––the Knights, huh?”
It looked like they were going to form into groups with a Knight as the leader, along with four soldiers and one Healing Magician to support that Knight.
After the groups had made their preparations, they formed a line at the Labyrinth entrance and proceeded onwards.
Chester was among them. He briefly looked towards us without saying anything or changing his expression, and then led the soldiers into the Labyrinth.
“The Knights are entering the Labyrinth…?”
Ashley tilted her head as she asked that.
Some type of investigation might have taken place at the Palace. Making the Knights take action made it seem like they had finally gotten their act together.
Chester was with them, for some reason. I did not think that it was the Flying Dragon Knights’ turn to enter the Labyrinth.
I headed towards the place where loot was sold, but it seemed that Heather had only heard that the Knights had decided to enter the Labyrinth. Although this reached the ears of the Guild’s higher officials, it seemed that they were ordered to keep quiet about it.
Well…if anything happened and it was my turn to take action, I could get sounded out by King Melvin.
“Yo, it’s been a while, Theo-kun.”
After we returned home and parked our carriage, Prince Albert, who was in disguise as Alfred, got off his carriage.
“Haven’t you heard the story from His Highness, Prince Albert? He said that, since my ambition is to become a Magic Engineer, I should cooperate with you, if you’re fine with it.”
“Oh, I’ve heard about that.”
“Hmm, since it’s like that, I’ll look forward to it.”
He smiled and reached out for a handshake, so I gave him one.
“Besides that…today, I brought a person along who said that he wanted to talk with you no matter what.”
“Who is it?”
After Alfred knocked on the carriage’s door lightly, a face that I knew well appeared.
“It’s been a while.”
Talcott said, with a wry smile. The air around him was a bit…different from before.
“Yeah, it’s been a while.”
“I caused trouble for you in the past. Father also made a real mess of things, so I wanted to apologize.
Talcott closed his eyes and bowed.
Having Talcott thank me and say his apologize…made me feel uneasy.
“…You don’t need to be concerned about my matters. Father only has himself to blame.”
Regardless of his expression, Talcott said such a thing. For him to use this tone–was it because he knew, to some extent, about me being involved with the discovery of the kidnapping incident?
When I made an appearance when I tried to cooperate with the authorities. That information was probably sent to the Palace.
“Is, that so?”
“Yeah. After losing to you, I was warned by a certain someone. I then thought about various things by myself. I will stay myself, though.”
Talcott squinted his eyes and gave a somewhat lonely smile.
“At the very least, if I had no connection to you, my mother and I definitely wouldn’t be able to stay here.”
“I haven’t considered such things, you know. I take action for myself. You don’t need to be thankful.”
That was why, it was all the more unreasonable to receive his gratitude.
I thought that he would be fine, since he got himself involved with the Prince. For this reason, he should have thanked Prince Albert.
“If you’re saying this…then the things I do will be for myself. It’s been decided that I’ll receive a punishment if I ever get found in another situation like that.”
It was possible that, as long as he wasn’t involved in another incident, he would strive and work hard for his eldest brother’s sake, huh? Even considering the fact that Morris had punished Talcott, he might have been at odds with his father from the very beginning.
Talcott replied with “Well, it’s like that”, and nodded slightly, and then he spoke to Alfred.
“My story ends here.”
“Are you fine now?”
“Yes, sir. Although I’ll be escorted later, I will remain inside the carriage until Alfred-sama finishes his business, so that I won’t get in your way.”
With that, he placed his hand on his chest and gave a salute. His attitude towards Alfred was one of a noble. Although he had acquired some manners, it seemed that he still couldn’t do it skillfully, as he was forcing it.
Rather than that, a person’s behavior and actions didn’t change the honesty of their thoughts, huh? At the very least, I understood that he respected Prince Albert. If the person they served changed, then the servant would change as well, huh.
Although Alfred looked troubled, he seemed to understand these things, so he reluctantly smiled and nodded.
“Understood. Well my business isn’t complicated, nor is it important. Go ahead and wait in the carriage for a bit.”