Chapter 65 : The Story About When I Was A Baby
Thanks to the old map that has been passed down from generation to generation of the royal family, we were able to proceed through the shortest route, and thanks to Slad-san and I defeating monsters on our way, we arrived at the sixth layer without problems.
The passage from the first layer to the fifth layer was rock and there were a lot of narrow paths, but the sixth layer was different.
There was a large space with a high ceiling in the sixth layer.
The walls were made of white stones that were cut into rectangles, and there were carved columns all over the place.
The area comprising the sixth to tenth layers is called the “Temple”.
There were a lot of enemies that could use magic here, and they were stronger than the ones in the previous layers.
We didn’t know the exact current time because we were inside a dungeon, but most likely it was already night.
Therefore, we decided to take a break before going down from the sixth layer.
After Claire-san finished making a bonfire using fire magic and goblin magic stones as fuel, Sniff-san took out an iron plate, put a few slices of meat on top, and started grilling the meat over the bonfire.
Immediately, the delicious smell of meat stimulated my appetite.
It seems that the meat was chilled with the magic stone of an ice-based monster, so it was still fresh.
While eating, I told Slad-san about my relationship with Laney.
「Yes. I was raised by the Sword Princess, Laney.」(Hanna)
「Geez! Why are you so skeptical!?」(Hanna)
I told him about that just because I wanted to hear more about Laney from him.
However, it looks like Slad-san was more surprised than I thought.
Everyone was also surprised.
Even Princess Marian sent a doubtful gaze at me.
「So… You guys don’t believe me?」(Hanna)
「Well, if you’re really Laney-san’s child, why are you not using a sword?」(Ward)
「Exactly. Instead, you’re using a hammer which is the evil god’s weapon.」(Sniff)
「It’s hard to believe…」(Claire)
「Well, I’m sorry that I suck at using a sword! Besides, Laney is not my real mother, so it’s natural that I don’t have the talent to use a sword…. Slad-san, have you ever hear about me from Laney?」(Hanna)
「I have, but Laney-chin never mentioned your name. She used “my daughter” to refer to you, so I didn’t know it was you.」(Slad)
「”My daughter”… Hehe~」(Hanna)
That makes me really happy.
Ahh~ I want to see her as soon as possible and call her “Mom”!
I’m sure she will be happy if I go to the Demon Land to see her.
When I thought like that with my cheeks loosened, Slad-san patted my head.
「W, what? Don’t treat me like a child all of a sudden!」(Hanna)
「Haha! My bad, my bad. I was deeply moved seeing how big ‘that baby’ is now.」(Slad)
「You know what? Laney-chin and I were in the same party when we found you in a ruined village years ago.」(Slad)
「Oi, you look like me a while ago now… At that time, I was still a B-rank adventurer, and that was my first time coming to the Demon Land, so I remember it very well.」(Slad)
「Eeehhー L, Long time no see!」(Hanna)
When I spontaneously said that, Slad-san laughed vigorously.
「So that baby was Hanna-chin, huh? Then it’s not weird if your blunt weapon level exceeds 100 million. You were a strange baby after all.」(Slad)
「Strange baby…? What do you mean?」(Hanna)
「Aa, so Laney-chin never told you about that?」(Slad)
「Laney was somewhat shy and didn’t want to talk much about her adventures….」(Hanna)
She only told me that I was the only survivor in a village attacked by monsters in the Demon Land.
A baby that survived a monster attack is indeed strange, but I felt like Slad-san was talking about something else.
「I see. Well then, I’ll tell you how we found you 15 years agoー」(Slad)
From here on is a story I heard from Slad-san.
Only A and B rank adventurers are allowed to enter the Demon Land, and the only base in that land is a town called Deltana.
But actually, that rule was only decided 10 years ago.
Before that, there were a lot of people living in the Demon Land due to the plan to turn the Demon Land into a living space for humans.
『Even though the Evil God is still sleeping in the Demon Land, he can’t harm us as long as we secure some areas by preventing monsters from entering.』, said the【Great Experimenter】, Abatin the Sage about 20 years ago before the plan was started.
The plan was going well at the beginning.
A strong barrier was created in a small area inside the Demon Land, and people started to live there.
Fortunately, the land was quite fertile and suitable for growing crops.
Unlike the barrier that covered the Human Land (about half of the continent) which only reduced the power of the monsters who entered, this barrier was so strong that it could completely repel monsters as it only covered a small area.
If the number of villages in the Demon Land increased, the number of adventurers who could fight the army of the evil god also increased.
Therefore, the kingdom wholeheartedly supported the plan by providing subsidies for the people who were willing to live there.
If they successfully defeated the evil god, the next step would be developing the Demon Land even more so that people could comfortably live there.
Thus, adventurers set out to the north with such hopes and dreams.
However, about five years after the plan was started, tragedy suddenly occurred.
The barrier that covered a certain village was broken.
Either it was attacked by a monster who was resistant to the barrier, or someone used magic to break it. Nobody knows.
When Slad-san, Laney, and their other party members arrived at that village, they saw the villagers’ corpses lying all over the place.
There were no wounds on those corpses as if they had simply lost consciousness.
To investigate what in the world happened, Laney and the others split up to look for clues.
If they couldn’t find a single clue, they couldn’t take precautions to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again in other villages.
As the search continued, Slad-san got more and more frustrated, and suddenly, he heard a baby crying from the village church.
He then opened the door of the church and found Laney standing in front of the statue of the Holy Mother.
『Laney-chin… what the heck is that…?』(Slad)
『Slad, what are we going to do with this…?』(Laney)
Laney was carrying a large jar in her arms with a confused face.
The sound of a baby crying came from the jar.
「ーーand when I look inside the jarー」(Slad)
「ーyou saw me…. right…?」(Hanna)
「…Yeah. Now you know that you were a strange baby. That jar’s mouth was really narrow. I didn’t know how you got inside…」(Slad)
Certainly, that was really strange.
That was like a ghost story or something.
Claire-san was trembling while hugging Galle-chan.
Perhaps she hates scary stories.
「Keh! How could you bring such a creepy baby home?!」(Marian)
「E, Excuse me…?」(Hanna)
The grown up version of that creepy baby is now right in front of you, you know!?
「Well, there were several party members who had objections. Especially the old man Bazel. He was totally against the idea of bringing the baby back.」(Slad)
「Eh!? The chairman was also in the party!?」(Hanna)
「Yeah. And as you know, that old man was very stubborn. He said that the baby was a monster who killed all the villagers. Haahh… it was hard to stop him from killing the baby at that time…」(Slad)
Uwaaa…. So I was almost killed by him, huh…?
Even now, he still treats me as an evil god believer.
He hasn’t changed at all…
Wait….. Does the chairman know that the baby was me…?
Ummm…. No, maybe I’m just thinking too much.
Just like his daughter, he doesn’t seem to be interested in others after all.
「Aba-jii, too. He wasn’t as bad as the old man Bazel, still, he wanted to use the baby as his test subject. On the contrary, Laney-chin and Cecilia-chin wanted to protect the baby. That was the first time our party members had fought with each other so hard…」(Slad)
Oohー Slad-san spoke out the name of the party members so lightly.
Aba-jii…Aba-jii… He must be talking about the【Great Experimenter】, Abatin the Sage, right?
And Cecilia is probably the chairman’s wife. She is called the【Blue Saint】, and she also often appeared in the tales of adventurers.
Unfortunately, she died shortly after giving birth to Cecil.
「It was unusual for Cecilia to oppose her husband, but I thought it was because she had Cecil-chin in her womb at that time. That was probably why she didn’t want to see a baby get hurt in front of her eyes.」(Slad)
I don’t know Cecil’s birthday, but it seems like she was born a few months after Slad-san and the others found me.
That means I’m older than her!
I don’t know why but I feel like I won something!
Still. Isn’t the party way too gorgeous?
The Sword Princess, Laney, and the Sword Fighting King, Bazel Sortlarc as the frontliners; The Seven Spears, Slad Arkman as the middle guard; The Great Experimenter, Abatin, and the Blue Saint, Cecilia as the rearguard.
It’s an all-star party!
「…..And? Which side were you on, Slad-san?」(Hanna)
Depending on his answer, I have to reconsider how I will interact with him from now on.
「Of course, I was on Laney-chin and Cecilia-chin’s side!」(Slad)
「W, What? You don’t believe me? But I was still a young B-rank adventurer at that time, you know? I felt like I didn’t have the right to decide. In the end, Laney and the old man dueled to decide the baby’sー no, your fate.」(Slad)
「The Sword Princess and the Sword Fighting King dueled with each other!? I’ve never heard of that story!」(Ward)
Suddenly, Ward-san leaned forward and shouted like that.
Well, I can picture them fighting each other.
After all, if people were asked, “Who do you think is the strongest sword fighter in this country?”, they would definitely answer either Laney or the chairman.
「So… what happened next? Who was the winner?」(Hanna)
When I nervously asked that question, Slad-san made a face as if saying, “are you dumb?” as he scratched his head.
「Hanna-chin… You already know the answer, don’t you?」(Slad)
I’m still alive, proving that it was Laney who won the duel!