So i’m actually scheduling uchimusume, trying to make it so I’m releasing them at regular time for the next few days, so that I have something in stockpile while I work on ryouriban, or get back into uni :v
Edit: Thanks Eliss for the clarification 🙂
Young Lady, Reporting to the Deceased
Kroix’s East District is connected to the main road. Going north of that, there is a large river, eventually reaching a port. On the contrary, you would reach the royal capital by going south. It’s the reason Kroix is a necessary location for commercial flow.
Although Dale had told Latina that their initial destination is the sea, the two of them leave the outer walls of the district from the southern gate, and were heading towards the south-west direction. The direction was completely different. Realising that fact, Latina looked up curiously at Dale.
“Dale? Why are we going this way?”
“You know, I can’t even guess the next time I’ll be taking you outside with me…so shouldn’t we go visit his grave? If it’s too painful for you then we can stop though”
At his words, Latina gets a hunch of what lies in this direction.
“….The forest Latina first met Dale in, is here?”
“That’s right. It’s dangerous since there are a lot of magic beasts though… Since then, I had come here many times to check around, and even found out the shortest path from outside the forest. I’ll protect you properly, Latina”
Immediately after Dale said that, Latina tightly gripped his hand.
“Thank you, Dale”
“You’ve been to Rag’s grave many times right? Even though it really should be Latina who goes. Thank you”.
Latina said to Dale, who had been questioning why she was thanking him right now.
“….Latina, will go to the grave. Because it won’t be good if I don’t tell Rag how super happy I am right now”
No longer worrying as he sees Latina’s gentle expression, Dale smiles once again.
The forest to the south-west of Kroix, is an extremely abundant forest, which can also be understood by the sheer amount of magic beasts and wild animals.
There seems to be an official name for it too but, the people living in Kroix are appropriately calling it, 『Forest of Demons』 or 『Dark Forest』. Given that this is what they mean when they say 『Forest』 in Kroix, there’s probably no need to fuss over the details.
Even though Dale could see the forest, he doesn’t enter it right away, and circled around it, parallel to its circumference. He felt the presence of wild animals here and there but, none of them would come rushing over.
“Hmmm… It’s probably around here”
Dale mutters to himself and quickly chants magic. It seems that since he is good with Earth attribute magic, he doesn’t lose his direction.
Dale beckons Latina as he pulls along the reins of the horse.
“We’ll enter the forest from here. You probably also understand that there are many magic beasts and dangerous beings but still, be careful”
“Un. Latina’ll make sure not to leave Dale’s side”
Nodding with a serious face, Latina had an aura filled with fighting spirit.
It was at this time, that Dale had learnt from Latina that she had the ability to 『Sense things that would harm her』.
It was when they had walked for quite a while.
She suddenly stopped within the forest, and started looking around cautiously at her surroundings. After which, she halts her gaze at one point, as if she had found something and stands ready. Holding the rod, which had been attached to her carry bag since it was a nuisance whilst walking, with both hands.
“….? What’s wrong, Lati….”
When he tried to call out to her, Dale also notices.
Several presences moved, that were much further out than her line of sight.
More than that however, he was in shock that Latina had noticed them.
Even for Dale who is called top-class, it was a far enough distance that he would notice only if he was 『holding caution towards that direction』. Normally he wouldn’t notice it.
“….Do you know, that there are magic beasts over there?”
At Dale’s inquiry, she nods her head without hesitation. Kokuri.
“Latina knows it’s 『Dangerous』. When Latina was here before, at that time, Latina would run away and hide immediately”
“….Amazing. How do you know?”
“I dun know. Somehow. Rag often said that Latina is 『being protected by fate』.”
(… Does she have a 『Divine Protection』? But, I don’t sense something like that from Latina….)
He mutters within his heart as he conceals his agitation. At any rate, right now he should make use of this advantage and take the initiative.
Dale turns on his switch and took one swing with his left hand.
The sound of a stopper being removed from a 『Magic tool』 in the shape of a gauntlet. Within a single breath, he expanded it even further, with a practiced motion. In the blink of an eye, the small bow gun which had been installed onto his left arm was complete.
This was a 『Magic Tool』 as a weapon — A weapon fed with magic.
It has the ability to change, shoot and fire arrows using magic.
Having no need to worry about the remaining number of arrows, nor the time it takes to load one in. And, unlike magic, there’s no need for a time lag whilst chanting the spell.
For Dale who was originally weak at long distance attack magic due to his magic attributes, it was an infallible 『Partner』.
From the form of Dale lowering his sword and the fact that he is actually also excels in swordsmanship, he completely looks like a close range warrior with his swordsmanship as his forte but what he is actually most skilled with is archery. Especially with long range shooting weapons.
Hyuu, a single breath. Stopped, in that so called moment, magic arrows were shot out in repetition.
The second arrow that had been rapid fired, sees a magic beast still a far distance away — Big feline-like beings hunting in a pack — and without varying its aim, pierces it. Although it is a small bow gun, they were magic arrows. Because they were things with quite some power behind it, one of them collapsed inside the thicket, penetrated between the brows.
Another arrow seems to have veered away from the vitals. Piercing into the stomach of the other beast that was next to it, making it go wild with an anguished look.
Having their comrades defeated, the magic beasts were agitated.
Using those movements, Dale was able to accurately grasp the numbers and position of the remaining magic beasts.
The rest is simple.
Despite dodging the arrows he continuously shot out, catching up at such a distance would appear to be impossible no matter what. No matter how much the number advantage the opponent held, there was absolutely no chance for them to win or anything.
Latina’s 『Ability』 has a good compatibility with Dale.
In addition to being able to take the initiative from quite a distance, it makes the best use of his forte, his bow attacks.
Due to the numerous “obstacles” inside the forest, since Dale is handling the bow with his left hand, he even handles the ones that slip past by swinging the long sword in his empty right hand.
Also, today’s Dale had support. Latina’s magic definitely has not been through actual combat, however in regards with the control, even Dale is singing from admiration.
In order to protect herself, he had let her learn a magic in the branch of 『Defensive Barrier』 before they left. She can even provide support for Dale using that, via her quick witted thinking.
She had exhibited her cleverness in it’s whole back when they had fought back against the frog-like magic beast too.
It was once the magic beast which he had accepted a subjugation request for, at the time Dale had met Latina.
Having discovered their herd, Dale twisted his face by reflex.
It was because he had recalled their body liquids and mucus that they release as a reaction to threats.
Defeating them isn’t hard. However, he is thinking, ‘I wonder how I should defeat them’.
“Dale? What’s wrong?”
“Nn…. Those guys, I don’t really want to fight with them up close, at all….”
“If only Latina could use attack magic”
“….No, it’s alright as long as you just think about protecting yourself”
For Latina, who was still a child, should there be no need to teach her 『life taking』 spells then, there is nothing more to it.
And he doesn’t want her to be burdened with the weight of 『Life taking』. No matter how many magic beasts or wild beasts there are. — That is how he thinks as her 『guardian』.
Because of that, the only attack magic that Dale had taught Latina is at the opportunity of the 『aforementioned incident』. The original effect was just a magic which attacks a far away opponent with a strong bashing force.
“Why is it no good up front?”
“…Their bodily fluids and such, smell. A lot”
“Oh I see”
Latina nods at Dale’s response. Kokun.
“Latina, if it’s just that, Latina can probably do something about it?”
At Dale’s question, Latina points with her rod.
「” Oh light, raining from the heavens, grant thy wish at the origin of thy name, sweep away the universal calamities, become a shield that protects thyself 《Magic Barrier》 “」
A soft light expands from her rod, enveloping Dale’s entire body.
“Latina surrounded Dale’s body with a shield, all of it. It can’t stay for too long though. It’ll stay like this for a little while”
She declares readily but, she had made this magic based on『Magic Shield』. She would definitely not make an『Armour』. (TL: 決して『鎧』を作るものではない。)
She, with her excellent control ability, expanded the effective range of the magic onto his entire body.
(….She did it like it was obvious but… if this is 『normal』 then, the magicians of the world would cry….)
Trampling the final 『Frog』, he lowered his sword. During the intervals of that operation, he had unintentionally thought of something like that.
(However, when Latina uses magic and the light envelops her, she’s sho cute, almost like she’s divine, naa)
His expressions loosens up with love.
With more than enough to spare.
Their destination was embraced in silence.
A large, white rock, exposed to wind and rain, made it feel like the whiteness is being brought out even more than before.
Latina approaches it, tote tote, sliding those small hands against that rock.
She shows a mature expression every now and then. Almost as if she was holding in her tears, as if she was swallowing down her loneliness, it was an expression that made him feel like her past was too heavy for a young child to carry.
With a bump, she lays her forehead on the rock.
「 ” **、***、****、*****、***** ” 」
She slips out in complex vocabulary that Dale couldn’t follow.
「 ” ***、****************。**、********、****** ” 」
Latina’s voice continues without pausing.
In her posture, just like that, she talks continuously to he who was sleeping.
“Dale, sorry. It’s gotten late”
After some time had passed, Latina looked up, and apologized to him, just like that.
During her grave visit, Dale had been on watch for the surroundings. He smiles at her words and gently strokes her head.
“You had heaps of things to say, right? Lots of things happened after all”
Latina made a slightly teary face but, after Dale strokes her head once more, she showed a smile.
“There were lots. Latina, is happy that’s why, Latina said that everything is alright”
–One day, I want to hear the story of her father from her own mouth, Dale thought.
If the day comes that Latina can speak of it with a peace of mind then, I wonder if I will be able to listen to it. He thought of things like that.
Latina, as if she was reluctant to leave, slid her hand across the rock once more. After doing so, she waved as if to part.
With that as the signal, the two of them turn their feet and start walking so that they can exit the forest.
(Speaking of which, Latina has never talked about her 『Mother』 before….)
–Dale holds that question within himself.
(Author’s note: Like always, the story progresses with a casual feel.
Thank you very much for always continuing to read. I think I would be happy if you keep on reading from now on)