Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Even if I tried to become stronger on my own, I was still severely short on the time needed to get to a level where I could beat five dragons. My opponents were monsters categorised as SSS Rank. I knew that it would be reckless to try to defeat them alone.
In that case, I needed to depend on tools as an alternative. If it were something at the level of my motorcycle, it would take too long to make from scratch. But if I focused on creating an improved magic barrier instead, then two months would be more than enough since I only needed to modify the original magic tool. Even in my past life, it was legal to modify any machines bought for your own personal use. The same held true in the Soleil Kingdom.
I needed to make something that could withstand the enormous quantity of my magic. And if I could modify it to float so that it could be instantly deployed anywhere, then my defensive capabilities would be greatly enhanced.
“Since our opponents only possess the Dark Attribute, it would be better to specialize in something that blocks it. If it only focuses on blocking one attribute, we can make it stronger.”
“I see. But then, wouldn’t you be unable to block physical attacks?”
“No. No matter what kind of weapon it is, if the wielder has the dark attribute, then the sword will take on the nature of darkness. Thus, it’s possible for me to defend. However, it would be completely useless against anyone other than dark attribute users.”
There were two types of weapons: those which had no attributes and were simply made from ores, and those with attributes which had magic stones fused into them. All attribute users could wield both types. However, if a weapon with a particular attribute was wielded by someone who possessed a different attribute to it, then that weapon’s attribute would simply get negated and the wielder wouldn’t be able to unleash the weapon’s full power.
Anyhow, our opponents this time were Dark Dragons. Their flames and claws may seem like fire or physical attacks respectively, but in reality, they were all dark attribute attacks. As a result, simply blocking the dark attribute wouldn’t be an issue.
“First, I intend to make a barrier large enough to protect the area around the battle. If we do that, it’ll reduce the risk of commoners getting injured. We’ll also be able to fight without any hesitation.”
“You’re right. If we have to fight while worrying about our surroundings, it will be difficult to avoid the enemies’ attacks.”
That was right. It would be quite dangerous if we were unable to avoid the dragons’ flames and attacks. Usually, there were barriers set up around the large cities, but when Zagan was fighting the dragons in-game, these barriers were destroyed in one hit by the dragons. If these structures were to receive these attacks in reality too, then the same thing would likely happen.
Their lot would still have to wait for me to collect the demonic essence, and then I would be taken outside the city. If I refused, they would just destroy the city. That was why I planned to accept their invitation and prioritize the city’s protection.
“I’ll make another one, small enough to enclose a person in a cube. If I use that, I can drink MP potions immediately after launching a large-scale magic attack and then hold on till Luca arrives. And finally, the type of shield. If I give this to you, Luca, you will be able to launch as many attacks as you wish, all while defending against the opponent’s attacks. The dark attribute is weak against the light attribute, but the opposite is also true. This is why we have to make sure that no attack can reach you.”
“Yeah. Thank you, Zagan. I’m glad you’re thinking of me too.”
“…I’ve told you this much, so it can’t be helped.”
“Fufu, you’re as tsundere as ever. How cute.”
As I quickly averted my face in embarrassment, he called me a tsundere once more. Was I really that much of a tsundere? I didn’t know.
“But from what I’ve heard, it sounds like it will be difficult to modify.”
“I suppose it could seem so from Luca’s point of view. Even if I was told to create something using alchemy right at this moment, I wouldn’t be able to do anything. It is only because magicraft is my speciality that I am able to do this.”
“I see. Speaking of which, Camilla just puts the ingredients in a jar and mixes them, which looks easy at first glance, but there seems to be a lot of rules behind that too. Even when it comes to cooking, I still don’t really know what seasonings to use.”
Just as the girls have fostered years of experience and knowledge, I, too, have studied for 20 years to gain knowledge and experience in building motorcycles. In addition, during the process of making bikes, I had taken apart various magic tools and looked at their internal mechanisms. That was why I knew it was possible.
For the moment, I needed to buy the latest books on magic device research and manufacturing methods. Since there were multiple books published each month, I might even be able to create something better than what I was currently envisioning.
“First we need to go to a bookstore. After that, to a magic tools store, as well as a magic parts store. I have plenty of magic stones, so it’s fine.”
“So we’re going on a shopping date? Ahh, but let’s take it a little easy. Bennett made us some food for lunch. He wanted me to share it with you, Zagan. Also, how should I say this…”
I tilted my head at Luca in confusion as his eyes darted around in a seemingly troubled manner.
“What happened? It’s rare for you to hesitate like this.”
“…I also got you a birthday cake… from Noel.”
Huh? …W-Why is that?
“Don’t tell me, you told her that my birthday’s today? If you did that, the fact that I am her brother will be revealed.”
“You think I’d break my promise with you?”
“No, I don’t believe that, but —”
Even I was aware that I was the one Luca cared for the most. So I gently shook my head as he hugged me.
“Of course I didn’t tell her. It’s just that when I told her that I wouldn’t be returning for the next two days because I was going to spend it with Zagan, she asked me, ‘Is it perhaps Zagan-dono’s birthday!?’ I denied it, but then she decided to make a cake anyway and asked me to take it. …Noel seems convinced that you are her older brother.”
I let out a long sigh. Why wouldn’t Noel give up?
No, I knew the reason. It was because she didn’t want to think that her brother was dead, or that he might have joined the dark organization and had become a murderer. It gave her more peace of mind to think that her brother was contributing to the country as an S-ranked adventurer, and someone who also hung out with Luca from time to time to boot.
It couldn’t be helped. All I could do was just continue denying it as I have all this time.
“So, what will you do? I worked hard to make this cake while making sure to not let Noel and Bennett know the truth, so will you eat it? ”
“I’ll eat it.”
It was my sister’s home-cooked food; it was the obvious answer. That was why you didn’t need to be so smug.
It was a bit early for lunch, but after that I was served a cake. It looked like a regular shortcake. The taste was…hm, yeah. It was delicious, just like a normal cake. Thank goodness, it wasn’t food gore.
The only problem was that, even though it was Noel’s cake, it was Luca who was feeding it to me. The visual impact of the man who was in love with me feeding me my sister’s cake caused me to experience some very complicated feelings.
After we reached the town, we walked through the streets while perusing the map Luca had with him. Soon, Luca brought his face close to mine.
“Even if I search the surroundings, I can’t find any lurkers who seem to have the dark attribute.”
“It’s because if they lurk in high foot traffic areas and get noticed by someone, they will lose their chance to steal the star fragments. Besides, my blood lust brought more than half of them to their knees and rendered most of them immobile. They must be coming up with a countermeasure because their current methods don’t work on me. Since they know where I’m going anyway, then doesn’t that mean they can take their time?”
“And the next time they come will be when they’ve worked out a plan to steal the fragments from Zagan?”
I nodded. That would be after the 9th dungeon was captured. That was why, I, too, had to be prepared to face them.
We soon reached the largest bookstore in the city. Luca folded his map and took my hand.
“But just in case, I’ll talk to the Marquis when I return the keys to the villa. I’ll tell him that my friend was surrounded by more than a hundred dark attribute users. I’m also going to notify the people in charge of the cities we’ll be going to and tell them to be careful because there’s a possibility that the dark organization will attack. That way, the knights and mages will be on alert, right?”
The moment he said that, I was taken aback. The scales fell from my eyes.
That wasq right. Luca was a prince. That was why he could easily order around the kingdom’s Knights and mages. I only focused on trying to manage it all by myself, so asking others for help never occurred to me.
Luca chuckled, probably because I was staring back at him in shock.
“To protect you, I’ll use my power and position freely and as much as I can. That’s why, don’t worry so much.”
“…That’s extremely reassuring. …Uhm, thank you, Luca.”
It was embarrassing to thank him while we were facing each other, so I grabbed my hood and looked down. Yet Luca happily kissed the top of my head. Ugh, stop it! Don’t do this here, where there are so many people! It makes me even more embarrassed.
But since he was holding my hand as we walked, my legs steadily headed to our destination.
“So the next thing I have to do is… Come to think of it, Zagan, what do you plan to do about your weapons and armour? Your sleeves were singed quite badly when you faced the chimera last time, right? Is the armour you’re wearing now more durable than the previous one?”
“Actually, it’s a little weaker. But its strength is more than enough, I think? Well, it’s obviously inferior to the stuff made with the top-class materials and is more accessible to nobles.”
“Is it that you can’t enter the shop because you can’t take off your hood?”
“Yeah. Even though I should be able to get S-Rank items since I have all the raw materials for it, I can’t get them because I can’t enter the shop after it’s made into armour. It’s quite laughable. Besides, they don’t sell things like staffs that are for the dark attribute, so I have no choice but to get them from dungeons. It’s something that can’t be helped.”
The dark attribute staff I was using at the moment was one that someone had obtained from a dungeon and sold to me, I think. If it hadn’t been sold to me, then it wouldn’t even have gone inside a shop. Simply having the dark attribute meant that it took great effort to find weapons and armour.
“I see. We have to do something about that too. You have tons of raw materials, right?”
“I do. I try to not sell S-Rank items as much as possible. After all, it’s not like I’m hurting for cash.”
“Then let’s go to the armour shop tomorrow. Let’s spend the rest of today together. It’s Zagan’s birthday, after all. I want to celebrate it till the end.”
I could do nothing but nod at his seductively sweet smile.
For the moment, I bought several useful books at the bookstore, as well as various parts and components at the magic parts shop. After that, I also bought more than 10 high-performance magic barrier sets at a large magic device shop in the noble district. It was an extreme purchase that was only possible because I had the prince by my side.
It was already nighttime when I finished buying what I needed. Then I entered the restaurant Luca had brought me to. The interior was dimly lit, perhaps because it was dinnertime. Since we were escorted to a private room, I saw no reason to keep my hood on. He must have chosen this place after carefully going over the city’s brochure.
I whispered a quiet “Thank you,” to which he replied with a soft “You’re welcome.”
Throughout the day, I had only been thanking Luca. However, it was my first time celebrating my birthday in such a special way, so I could honestly show my gratitude.
Besides, I was able to come up with the plan for the barriers, we were going to fight together, and he has also been supporting me in various other ways. Thanks to Luca, I no longer held a fear of death. But I also had the embarrassing experience of being bullied by his tentacles.
But I was still very happy and grateful from the bottom of my heart to be able to celebrate my birthday this way, and couldn’t be unthankful to him.
On the night of my birthday, Luca and I stayed in an inn that I often used. We were in a narrow room with two single beds. I couldn’t help making a small smile when I saw Luca so intrigued by the fact that the toilet and the bathroom were in the same room, though I made sure to keep him from noticing. I was a bit far away from him so he couldn’t have noticed me, right?
The next morning, we ate the breakfast served at the inn and then, as promised, I was taken to the exclusive armour shop for the nobles. Luca told them that I couldn’t take off my hood, and yet they still let me in. As expected of a Prince.
But still, when it came to aristocrats, they could guess just from Luca’s appearance that he was the second prince, though the owner of the inn didn’t recognise him at all.
I was able to commission a set of armour made from the items I had obtained from the Chimeras and the wyvern hide that I had. Since it would only be completed by the end of July, I made a promise with Luca to come back again.
It felt like I had made various promises with Luca before I could notice it. …Well, it wasn’t all that bad.
The dungeon in the seventh city has opened. I wanted to be the last one to enter the dungeon in order to modify the magic barrier, and to avoid being seen by the dark attributes. As such, I entered the dungeon only after the sun had set, and under the cover of darkness.
Anyhow, I moved ahead, and after about three hours, I reached a checkpoint with a transfer magic circle where I could set up my tent. Once I finished setting up there, I continued tinkering with the magic barrier I had already started modifying.
Since Luca and his party would obtain the star fragment in the seventh dungeon, there was no need for me to clear it. That was why, this time, I decided to dedicate all my time to crafting the barrier. For around 15 days, I continued to spend all my time single mindedly crafting.
However, it was not something that could be done instantly, even if it was only a modification. I was almost depressed when I couldn’t do it as well as I wanted. But at that moment, I received a phone call from Luca.
“Zagan, what happened? Are you lonely because I’m not with you?”
“I just want to rest my mind a little. Is now a good time?”
“It’s fine, I’m just walking. Do you want to talk to me for a while?”
Thanks to him being my conversation partner, I was able to stop wallowing in my negative feelings.
On the other hand, Luca also contacted me sometimes. It would usually be around ten o’clock at night. It would only be for just a few minutes of conversation and a “good night.” Simply listening to his voice and replying back with a goodnight made my heart feel full.
Perhaps I was able to concentrate this much thanks to Luca. I was able to successfully complete the magic barrier that would cover this city five days before they would finish the dungeon capture.
It was midnight too — the perfect time to leave the dungeon. I blended into the shadows and left the dungeon. I headed for the outskirts of the city, and left my tent and luggage as is. I moved to a place where I could sense no one and then activated my magic barrier.
At that moment, all six points floated up and when I moved my remote control from side to side, the size of how it was spread would change accordingly. It was properly able to expand widely enough to protect a city. Most importantly, it gave me a sense of relief that I was able to make it remote controlled.
I was really glad that it came out the way it did. I was somewhat frustrated because I could imagine in my brain how it could work, but the reality of it didn’t come out as I’d expected.
I also tried hitting it with my strongest magic, but it held strong. It was perfect.
Phew, I was extremely happy. I wondered if I should tell Luca. But it was already the dead of the night; he must’ve been asleep already.
Besides, I was so deeply focused on this that I didn’t even notice if he contacted me this night or not. I hoped I didn’t worry him unnecessarily. Let’s call him first thing in the morning.
I returned to the dungeon, went into my tent, and lay down. I felt that I was going to sleep well that night.