Day 291

Day 291

Traveling on foot is practical if you have the endurance, but we avoided the high mountains and deep valleys where possible in order to save time. Continuing to run through the night, we had to cut through some dangerous areas but we kept a steady pace and weren’t attacked by any nocturnal monsters. Thanks to everyone’s determination we arrived at the capital earlier than planned.

However, as a result of our relentless pace, the youngest members of our party – excluding Kanami-chan and I who are still less than a year old – finally gave in to exhaustion. [Usurper] had until recently been living an unhealthy lifestyle and was still quite physically weak, and because [Witch of Mystic Flame] and [Merciful Maiden] both had weaker bodies due to their specialisms it was difficult for them to keep up as well.

Thanks to their leveling up and increased physical abilities, they were just about able to keep up with us although as time went on they began to sweat heavily and their breath came in ragged gasps. As their clothes and armor absorbed the sweat it grew heavier and started to make it harder to run, so they eventually stored most of their clothes in their [Item Boxes] and ended up running nearly naked.

[Usurper] started to dress in comfortable clothes so he didn’t really have to do much, but it was quite interesting how few clothes the beautiful young girls [Witch of Mystic Flame] and [Merciful Maiden] ended up wearing.

Their flushed appearance and the sweaty underwear stuck to their skin gave the pair a strange but very erotic appeal.

Well, since there was no one else around to see at the time, perhaps there was nothing for them to worry about.

It would have been fine to slow down the pace, or even stop for a while and take a break somewhere. Whether it was the determination forged through successive Labyrinth conquests or just pure guts, they had become stubborn and pressed on without stopping even though it wasn’t really necessary.

Of course, it’s not a bad thing to push past your limits as doing so is an important element for continued growth.

Indeed, the fact that they pushed themselves and managed to keep up with us the whole way is honestly quite commendable.

That said, Avenger and [Cavalier Defender], a front-line fighter, despite being a girl, both had energy to spare so they encouraged and assisted the others along the way, but even still it was quite a feat.

More likely I think those three persevered so well from the fear that if they made us late I’d inflict some even more brutal training on them!

Judging by the result, and the shadow of terror I caught in their eyes, I think I’m probably right. Well, this topic is probably better left alone.

After all, I barely had any intentions along those lines.

Well, be that as it may, we ended up arriving much earlier than planned. Rather than being late, it’s better to be early and then be ready to act on an opportunity as soon as possible.

However because we arrived early, it was still dark and the capital’s gates were firmly closed.

In short, we’re too early. Damn!

Of course, the lights were lit inside and guards were on duty to keep watch for monsters through the night, but the law forbids opening the gate during the night time.

Even though the guards are there, they won’t open the gate at night for anyone except the royal family, so there’s no chance they will open it for us.

If it came to it, we could get over the wall without hesitation. However, there’s also no real reason to hurry so we decided to wait outside until the sun rises and the gate opens normally.

We could have just used the waiting time to sleep, but it’s a bit uncomfortable to sleep outdoors and we were all still hot and restless after the continual running so getting to sleep would have been difficult.

In order to make use of the spare few hours, we left the densely populated area near the capital and went to a forest a ways off to do some light training until the gate opened.

Although it was Avenger’s idea, I also wanted to experiment with the [Red Spear] so I agreed.

The pair of us were keen, but Kanami-chan and the others just smiled wryly at us.

It seemed that Kanami-chan and the others were hungry and wanted to eat instead.

Yes I see, that is definitely something I can agree with!

In my Item Box I had accumulated a mountain of ingredients from the recent Labyrinth conquests, so we could enjoy a delicious meal with just some simple cooking.

It might be a bit early for breakfast, but having a meal is really not a bad idea.

That said, it’s a natural law that food tastes better after exercise.

Since I hadn’t expended much energy just running here, I wanted to have a proper workout first so that the food would taste even better.

Huh? The other members weren’t feeling like it? They’re saying it’s fine to just skip the exercise? No, no, if they do that I’ll be stuck with no one to train with! So I’ll just order them to do it.

There is no way they will disobey my orders, but while that would force them to train with me it’s much better to work with people who are motivated to participate. So, in order to increase their motivation this training session will be held in the form of a game with prizes.

Firstly, the rules. We need to avoid drawing too much attention, as clumsily causing a disturbance could bring the royal army to investigate in the morning. It’s probably okay since the capital city is some ways away, but there’s still a chance. We could probably politely explain the situation and resolve the matter, but there’s no need to cause the locals any anxiety as it could hurt our reputation and damage our future business plans.

So, large scale magic is banned and the fight will be with mostly physical attacks, while avoiding those techniques that are too flashy, generally keep it simple.

Next, the victory conditions: If Avenger and the rest can hit me a certain number of times, it’s my loss. If I can avoid their attacks it’s my win.

All the same, even in training mode and restricting my ability usage it will be very difficult for them to win, so I proposed a compromise.

The winner will receive a large selection of the best tasting, finest quality ingredients from defeated Labyrinth bosses, allowing the winner to enjoy a huge amount of great food.

If I lose, those who have already been defeated before I lost will receive a smaller proportion than those who are still standing.

So, therefore, the amount of food each person receives will vary depending on their performance.

But regardless of who wins or loses, everyone will receive a minimum amount of good food for their breakfast in order to keep everyone motivated.

It's my hope that this teaches them that if they want to fill their bellies with good food, they need to work not only for their team but also for themselves as individuals.

So after all that, hoping to win some delicious food, we kicked off a pretty serious training bout.

So, in the vanguard against me is Avenger, armed with 【Sunlight's Soul Sword, Hisperiol】, as well as the items gained from the former Holy Land of Gambling (now renamed Funeral Gambling House) for their victory over the arena champion, [Notorious Indestructible Armor] and [Fate of Attracting Cloak].

Dressed like that, he's really starting to look like the [Hero of Sunlight].

Directly behind him was [Cavalier Defender]. She was equipped with a [Red Queen's Complete Set] which was obtained by defeating [Red Queen's Rose Knights], (their strength was on par with a floor boss) in the 【Blue Rose Garden Keep】 (now renamed 【Funeral Black Rose Garden】). The set contained:

[Red Queen's Rose Sword]

[Red Queen's Rose Mail]

[Red Queen's Rose Shield]

Their middle guard was [Usurper] dual wielding [Stone Rose Estoc] and [Venom Butcher Knife], both gained in the 【Museum of Stone Sculpture】 (now renamed 【Gallery of Funeral Statues】) from the floor boss [Magnificent Virubiras]. Also wearing a stealth cloak [Shadow Stiched Camoflage], [Usurper] was poised to exploit any chinks in my defense.

The rearguard, [Witch of Mystic Flame], was equipped with several items for the 5th ring item shop in the Funeral Gambling House:

[Dragon Staff of Heavenly Roaring Flame] ([Fiery Dragon Rod])

[Roaring Flame Ring]

[Fine Scarlet Robe]

Similarly, [Merciful Maiden] was also equipped with items from the 5th ring item shop, and she equipped:

[Healing Silver Mace]

[Bracelet of Snake's Regeneration]

[Floating Shield]

This collection strongly reinforced her defenses, allowing her to focus on immediately supporting her teammates when needed.

By now, repeated training sessions with the same group has really improved their coordination, and they have gotten used to the way Avenger fights.

Without needing to speak, they communicate with just the slightest glance or movement. They're learning to read each others intentions which in itself is great progress.

They're now managing to co-operate fluidly at high speeds, even though there are still occasional rough patches they comfortably earn a passing grade.

Kanami-chan has used her racial ability [Summon Ice Blood Familiar], and is joined by [Ice Blood Hydra] and [Ice Blood Sirus], making this a very strong battle formation.

Household should be "familiar", since they're pets :) - grifonenero

[Ice Blood Hydra] (lit. [Ice Blood Many-Headed Poison Dragon]) is an intelligent species of dragon, over 30 meters in length and distinctively long and thin, making it one of the smaller varieties of dragon. However, its small body is extremely strong, and it's not called a hydra for nothing. If you cut off one of its heads two more will immediately grow from the wound thanks to its strong regenerative ability. Its scales are tough, reminiscent of red-tinted ice, and so poisonous that any living thing that touches them will immediately die.

Boasting an array of abilities associated with poison and ice, it is a very dangerous creature. It could probably kill a lower level dungeon boss in an instant.

[Ice Blood Sirius] (lit. [Ice Blood Heavenly Wolf]), boasts a similar stature to Kurosaburou, and its silvery fur reflects the light, giving it a glittering appearance.

With its fur able to manipulate light, its able to become invisible and on top of that it has a lot of abilities associated with ice, excellent physical speed, and strength. It is far more threatening than the average [Heavenly Wolf].

By attacking blind spots while also invisible, it can tear off an arm or a leg before you even know it's there. With abilities like that it's also probably able to one-shot kill ordinary dungeon bosses.

Of course, let's not forget Kanami-chan herself. I can't let my guard down fighting her, and with her ridiculously strong familiars added in I won't be able to relax for an instant.

There we have the full composition of the Avenger and company. A grand total of six plus two pets against me armed with my two spears, [Scarlet Spear] and [Cursed Spear]. As a result, coming up with some simple rules looks to make this a pretty effective training session.

Unfortunately, before I managed to finish off Avenger and Kanami-chan, they managed to get enough hits on me to win according to our rules. I did knock out the other four and both pets though.

Well, without being allowed to use all my abilities, I guess it's not a surprise.

Still, I got some practice with [Scarlet Spear] as I planned so it wasn't a waste.

Now we've had some good exercise and worked up a healthy sweat, the food should taste delicious!

While thinking about that, I realize that we'd already missed the gate opening time. Still, there was no reason to hurry so we relaxed and started cooking breakfast.

The main ingredient for breakfast was the dungeon boss [Blue Rose Empress Flower], and some selected other ingredients we had collected in the previously cleared Labyrinths. By now we were all starving, so we only made a half-hearted effort at cooking.

For now, our main course is the [Blue Rose Empress Flower], but I'm wondering if we should avoid it. It's human-shaped so eating it could be a problem for Avenger and co.

We started preparing it anyway. Even though it looks like a human, it can be classified as a plant monster, so we briskly chopped it up with a kitchen knife. The feeling while cutting it up varied from part to part. The outside felt like meat, but once past that it felt like cutting a plant's stem. It was a strange feeling, but having dismantled many [Rose Knights] previously there was also a sense of familiarity and I soon got used to it. It didn't leak red blood, so there was nothing to splatter about while preparing. I stored a portion of the prepared food in my [Item Box], and piece by piece we chucked the remaining pieces into the pot one by one along with the other ingredients and left it to cook.

Bustling about, we managed to fry some vegetables [Fried Roses], [Blue Rose Empress Hana] and [Black Minotaur] simple ham salad, rose fresh herbal tea, [Black Minotaur]'s sirloin, and similar dishes.

As breakfasts go, this one was pretty extravagant.

After everything was ready and just before I ate the first bite, I took the set of [Gambling Dice] out of my [Item Box].

Although [Gambling Dice] are a top level item, they are completely useless in actual battle. This just means that they are a [Sacred Treasure] used in a supplementary role.

Of the various abilities [Gambling Dice] hold, [Roulette Destiny] (lit. [Whimsical Changing Fate]) is especially useful. In order to invoke this ability, I poured a large amount of mana into the dice while praying for luck.

Once the dice were fully charged, I found a bowl just the right size and threw in the dice. The others watched to see what numbers came up as the dice made a rattling sound rolling around in the bowl.

I thought I heard a faint voice desperately screaming "No Count!", "No Count!", "No Count!" while the dice was spinning. I must have been hallucinating, so best put that to one side...

This seems to be a reference to a well-known gambling manga ~Dynamisx

[Roulette Destiny] has been safely activated, and I had  injected ten times as much mana as normally used to invoke the ability, resulting in my body being engulfed with a golden aura.

While thinking "Good, good", I also activated my [Probability Control] and [Good Luck] abilities.

With all the preparations finally taken care of, I braced myself and tried the [Blue Rose Empress Flower] and [Black Minotaur] raw ham salad.

The [Blue Rose Empress Flower] mixed in with the raw ham allowed me to enjoy several distinct flavors together. Normally the raw ham is just meat, and quite tasty in its own right. However, once eaten alongside the [Blue Rose Empress Flower] meat, it becomes clear that its not in the same class. [Blue Rose Empress Flower] was a meat-like vegetable, fresh and with a crisp texture that was a pleasure to chew. It's deep flavor with natural sweetness was of the finest quality, and it leaves a feeling of satisfaction similar to having eaten meat. On top of all that, the texture, flavor and aroma all varies between each part of the dish, so you can eat it repeatedly and still enjoy new sensations every time.

As everyone was agreeing how delicious the food was, I suddenly learned a bunch of new abilities.

Ability Learned: Rose Dance

Ability Learned: Empress Fragrance

Ability Learned: Predisposition to Sweat

Ability Learned: Morale Fragrance Rose Troops  Not 100% sure on this one ~Dynamisx ((For better wording it probably should be Rose Troops Morale Fragrance ~AnonymousPanda))

Ability Learned: Self-Defense Techniques of the Demonic Boar Knight

It's always good to pick up new abilities, and come to think of it I haven't picked up anything new except from the Dragon Empress and the [Sacred Treasure] since evolving into a Vajrayaksa Overlord.

Having suddenly found a way to increase the chance of gaining abilities, I grinned spontaneously and my tense expression relaxed.

By combining the [Gambling Dice] and [Roulette Destiny], and feeding them a huge amount of magical energy it seemed the overall effect was greatly increased.

Basically, using this method I can greatly increase the chance of gaining new abilities, even as a Vajrayaksa Overlord, so I called this experiment a success.

Of course, the dice might not always come up with such a good result, but I was very glad that I had a way to increase my number of abilities.

Incidentally, if I ate the [Gambling Dice] to gain the equivalent ability, I wouldn't need to physically roll them, but since rolling the dice is one of the ability's conditions, there is some chance that the ability would fail to work if used in that way, so I'll refrain.

Praying for continued good luck, I returned the [Gambling Dice] to my [Item Box], thinking that they would be helping me out a lot in the future.

I enjoyed finishing off the remains of breakfast, delighting in the [Blue Rose Empress Flower]'s rich and delicate flavors. Once we finished eating, we all headed back to the gate, which had already opened and started allowing people in and out.

As usual, we didn't have to stand in line, we simply flashed the royal pass without stopping and went straight in.

While enjoying the familiar sight of the capital, we headed directly to the mansion and let Redhead and everyone know we'd returned.

Without even a taking a chance to rest, I proceeded to the palace alone to meet Tomboy Princess and was taken straight to her as soon as I arrived. After making small talk for a while, I handed over a new set of dungeon equipment for Boy Knight as previously agreed.

Of course, I kept the most powerful magic items for Parabellum members and I won't give them away, but this time I had accumulated a whole bunch of items from the [Knights of the Rose] so I was able to provide a full set of gear for Boy Knight.

With [Rose Knight Mail], [Rose Knight Helm] and [Rose Knight Poison Lance] all equipped, [Boy Knight] looked just like one of the [Knights of the Rose] himself.

A full set of metal armor is quite heavy, but since these items were all magical they weighed no more than leather armor when equipped.

After a quick bit of sparring, it turned out that not only does the new armor not slow him down, but it actually has a positive effect on his movements which became better than before.

In exchange for these gifts (basically a bribe), Tomboy Princess gave me official permission for the production of alcoholic beverages.

With that problem solved, I hurriedly made my excuses and rushed back to the mansion to get started on building the brewery.

I also contacted the master craftsman we used before (an experienced fellow in his 50s), and let him know that as planned we would be starting work tomorrow.

With the time until tomorrow, I drew up the plans and set about collecting the necessary building materials. All that remained was for the hired workmen and our elves to work diligently and get everything ready.

-Then, it was time to start brewing!

Day 290 == Day 291 == Day 292

Day 291 RAW

 踏破は可能だが相応の時間が必要になる標高の高い山や深い渓谷を極力回避し、その隙間を通り抜ける危険だが最短となるルートを一定速度で走り続けた俺達 は、道中では夜行性のモンスター達から襲撃される事もなく、皆の頑張りもあって予定よりもかなり早く王都に到着する事が出来た。
 その代償としてまだメンバーの中でも若年――生後一年経過していない俺とカナ美ちゃんは例外として――で最近は多少マシになったが以前の生活環境が悪 かったせいで華奢な体躯相応の体力しかない【簒奪者】や、得意分野が他の分野よりも大幅に伸びているため肉体面で劣る【妖炎の魔女】や【慈悲の聖女】とい う、彼・彼女等三名の消耗はかなり激しい事になっている。
 え? 他のメンバーはいい感じに仕上がっている? だからしなくてもいいじゃないか? いやいや、それだと俺が困るじゃないか。だからやるぞ。と強権を発動する。
 どこぞのハンチョーが『ノーカン! ノーカン! ノーカン!』と必死に叫んでいるような幻覚と幻聴があった気がしたが、それはさて置き。