21.1 The Territory’s Future Management Plan
Upon returning to the village, we have a festival.
Hazama Village has always been threatened by the mamono in the forest. Those attacks worsened when the “Black Knight” and its companion settled within the abandoned castle.
Now that threat has been resolved. It’s impossible for no one to be delighted.
An enormous bonfire was setup in the village square, and everyone is making a racket around it. The adult Oni laugh as they drink sake brewed from fermented cereals while the children run around as they sip fruit juice. The main dish of the festival is an enormous wild boar that was hunted by adults in high spirits.
It seems that “Hazama Village” style is to fillet then bake meat, and then eat it with cereal porridge.
As for me……I’m in a corner of the village, watching in a daze as everyone swells with excitement. This village doesn’t seem to have the custom of encouraging others to drink. When I said, “I’m tired,” I was told “if you change your mind, come join us.” I was then left alone.
What good people.
[Speaking of which…… The “Dragon Temple”. It didn’t work.]
Lisette, Haruka, and I stopped by the “Dragon Temple” on our way home. This was to confirm whether Lisette could be given the Dragon Emperor’s skill. However, Lisette couldn’t enter. Even when I opened the door, there seemed to be an invincible wall blocking her way.
[Even though Lisette has dragon blood, she doesn’t seem to have the King’s Vessel.]
Lisette explained it like that.
Although she herself didn’t seem bothered by it, I still think she should possess the Dragon Emperor’s skill. Looks like I need to think up of a way to give her the qualification for being king.
[….Transferring my position as emperor to Lisette… Is it impossible?]
Anyway, it seems that I’ll be holding onto Dragon Emperor’s skills for a while longer. Until then, I’ll research how to you them better. Also, there’s something I noticed.
[Activate, “Naming Bless”.]
With that declaration, a window appears before me. There were 3 enchantment slots.
“Long Sword”—“Ultra Tough”
“Sei ken”——“Holy Sword.”
The number of empty slots has increased to 3. Seems like I levelled up. My “Ki Ryou Ou Shou Ma” was affected too, the mana gauge for each one has increased. Looks like I can store a lot more mana now.
The conditions for levelling up were—
1) Defeat the “Black Knight”
2) Appoint a “Castle Lord”
—I wonder if either of them were the cause. I’ll investigate it later too.
[Shouma-onii-chan!][I’ve brought you a replacement tea.]
The children come and surrounding me. One of them has a cup of tea in hand. Were they in a hurry? A lot has spilled out.
[Today’s festival is so exciting.][What is Shouma-onii-chan doing?]
[I’m slacking off.]
Since, as could be expected, I’m exhausted. It’s impossible for a 30 something year old to keep up with an Oni’s physical ability…
[What are Lisette and Haruka doing?]
[The two of them, they are talking to Garunga-san. About what comes next.] [More than that, how should we show our gratitude to Shouma-onii-chan?]
As for me, it’s enough just to live in the village. Speaking of gratitude … that’s right.
[That’s right. I’d like some help experimenting my skills later.]
[Experamenting skall?][What’s that?]
[I want to make this village glow.]
[Don’t get it.][But got it.]
The children run back to everyone while holding one another’s hands. Well then, I guess I’ll go rest in my room.
The next day.
I’m in the chief’s house meeting with Haruka’s uncle, Garunga-san.
[I have a proposal.]
[What’s the proposal?]
We are at the parlour. Well, I say that, but it’s just a wide room with a large table. Lisette, Haruka, Garunga-san, and I sit in the surrounding chairs.
The expressions of Lisette and Haruka are tense. Both of them, as of now, will be hearing my suggestion.
[Although I’ve already confirmed this with the 2 of them, this village used as a wall during the Dragon Emperor’s era, right?]
[Th- that’s right. According to legend, this place was a small fortress meant to protect the “Abandoned Castle”.]
Garunga-san nods raises and lowers his shoulders.
[When our ancestors were chased out from the center of the continent, they found this place. From what I heard, walls and several houses remained.]
[The Oni didn’t live in the “Abandoned Castle” but here. Was that because it’s near the territory of humans?]
[That’s correct. And the remaining walls were another reason. While the “Abandoned Castle” had a working barrier, that would the moment the mana crystal finished draining. Furthermore, we took a Dark Knight appearing into consideration……deep, deep, consideration.]
Well, he’s right. They’d be isolated if the barrier were to cut off. They might have even ended up annihilated.
[This village is being protected by the walls……..there’s no barrier here.]
[But…… if this village was built using the old ruins of the castle…]
I speak after some consideration.
[If that were the case, it would probably have the same barrier as the “Dragon Tree Castle.”]
Garunga-san leans his body over the table with his arms thick arms.
[……Although, I’m not entirely convinced about this.]
Still, I don’t think I’m off.
My “Dragon Pulse” shows me the parameters of “Dragon Tree Castle”. On it is the phrase, “Chain: none”. As the Dragon Emperor-san’s skills function through words, I think there’s some significance behind that phrase.
Nevertheless, if this “Hazama Village” was intended to be a small fortress for guarding the “Abandoned Castle”— The activation of the “Abandoned Castle’s” barrier may have had some sort of reaction.
[But, in order to achieve this, I need to stand at the top of this village.]
I once more explain the restoration of the magic circle in the “Abandoned Castle”.
[By designating a “Castle Lord” through the “Dragon Pulse” skill, the mana sleeping in the land can be awakened. If we that magic power were to be used, then a powerful barrier against mamono could be raised.]
[The “Abandoned Castle”…… No, just like “Dragon Tree Castle”.]
[Yes. It’s just, in order to strengthen the magic circle, I need to judge this village as a castle and appoint a lord. That means I need to become the King, in name only, of this village. That decree would allow me to designate a lord which would then allow for a barrier to be set.]
[Shouma-dono as the King!?]
[Of course, it’s just in name only. I don’t plan to assert any privileges.]
I wave my hands in a fluster.
[I don’t intend to rule this village. I promise this as the family of Lisette and Haruka. I just want to make my life easier.]
I continue my explanation.
At the moment, the barrier around “Dragon Tree Castle” covers about half of the forest. Although it’s safe inside the barrier, the space between “Hazama Village” and there is unprotected forest. That is because the protection against mamono offered by “Hazama Village” only extends until its walls.
With that said, we can’t move everyone to the “Abandoned Castle”. There are neither buildings nor fields over there. Moving the livestock would be very difficult too. More than that, if we abandon “Hazama Village”, it’ll fill of mamono this time. That would result with the route to the human territory being blocked. Using the castle’s barrier would be pretty impossible too.
[However, if “Hazama Village” gets a barrier of the same level— a safe zone between the castle and the village could be created.]
It’s because the two barriers would cross. We would all be able to move freely between the castle and the village. Not only could forest land could also be clear away, but everyone would be free to go hunting and gathering. No child would be attacked by the mamono either.