Chapter 76 is here!
For the Patrons, Chapter 78, chapter 79, Chapter 80, 81 (Easy mode) and chapter 82 (normal mode) are all available on the Patreon page, and now right here, on the wordpress.
Anyway, here’s chapter 76, I hope you’ll enjoy it!
A week later, Kurats went to visit the Narak village.
The local representatives and the heads of neighboring villages had all gathered here to prepare the best possible welcome for him.
As the new lord’s designs and decisions could lead straight towards the destruction of the village, they had prepared a grand feast for him, the likes of which they could not quite afford.
The guard force’s members were also present, dressed in seldom worn formal uniforms. They were lined up in a perfect formation as they waited for Kurats and his companions.
【”――We’re in trouble.”】
When he saw the cold sweat on Lucas’ troubled face, Gilbert turned pale.
Lucas would only show such a serious expression when a strong monster appeared.
【”Don’t worry, there is no monster coming. It’s just that I got a report that princess Lunaria is coming along with the new lord. Then again, that might be even troublesome than a monster appearing.”】
Gilbert’s skin turned white to the point he almost fell down on his back, but Lucas quickly supported him.
【”I know you did the best you possibly could to welcome them. All you can do at this point is entrust yourself to fate and hope you won’t offend her.”】
Gilbert wanted to cry.
(It’s just trouble after trouble, can someone put an end to this already?)
Bashtar was the poorest region in the whole kingdom.
It was absolutely no place for an heir to the throne to carelessly visit.
At the same time, this made Gelbert seriously wonder if the new lord was taking the threat of the monsters seriously.
In Bashtar’s golden age, the territory had a 100,000 people and an extraordinary military power of 10,000 soldiers.
If it still existed nowadays, it would be the most populated region of the country, save for the capital and maybe the marquis of Strasbourg’s territory, which would be at a tie with Bashtar at best.
But even that extraordinary power could not last longer than a week before being annihilated by the monsters. That was how dangerous they were.
Gilbert did not know how many troops this new lord intended to bring, but no matter the numbers, the fact that he had brought the princess of the country to visit this place showed he had a serious lack of common sense.
And it didn’t take long for Gilbert’s doubts to be confirmed.
【”Thank you for your welcome.”】
【”I may be a princess, but today I am just here as the count’s escort. There is no need to worry too much about me.”】
【”Count Bashtar, your highness Lunaria, I am sincerely delighted by your visit.”】
Gilbert stared fixedly at Kurats.
Although Gilbert immediately lowered his eyes and bowed down, the strong impression that Kurats’ giant body had left on him did not fade.
(I see, we might not have to worry about him lacking bravery at least.)
【”Please forgive my rudeness. This is a poor land in a remote region, so I’m afraid to say we do not have enough in reserve to accommodate a nobleman such as yourself.”】
【”I was also born in a remote village. I’m well aware of what poverty is like.”】
Gilbert made a stupid face without realizing it.
【”Well, I got lucky and got this position, but until recently I was just a commoner living in a village. So don’t worry, I’m not gonna ask anything unreasonable of you.”】
【”T-thank you very much!”】
Gilbert was not really happy to know that Kurats used to be a commoner, but he still felt relieved.
This would have somewhat of a grasp on the poverty of the village.
【”So, when will the rest of your people arrive? I’m afraid there is a limit to the number of men the guards’ station can fit.”】
There was a guard station here that could house 100 people in case of a battle.
To prepare for Kurats’ and Lunaria’s arrivale, the commander’s private room had been thoroughly cleaned and brand new beds had been brought inside the station.
【”I’m currently gathering mercenaries at the capital, but for now, there is just us.”】
Bernard Auger, the assassin, or rather, the former mercenary who had fought Kurats in the tax office had now become his subordinate.
Having been offered to be absolved from his crimes and protected from the nobles who could antagonize him over what he had done, Bernard did not actually have any other option than this path.
He was a very loyal subordinate now, and he was giving it his all to recruit his former mercenary companions in the capital for Kurats.
Even though he knew it was impolite, Gilbert couldn’t help himself from raising his voice.
There was an imminent threat of monsters right now. There was no time to leisurely gather soldiers in the capital.
Not to mention that the guard force’s men couldn’t fight as they had to be the escorts of Kurats and Lunaria.
How many sacrifices would there be before the soldiers would come?
No, in the first place, even if he was recruiting, how in the world did he intend to gather people who were willing to go to Bashtar?
He was too naive.
As Gilbert expected, this new lord still did not understand the severity of Bashtar’s circumstances.
【”Is something wrong?”】
When Kurats asked that question, Gilbert found the determination to put his life on the line and speak up.
Right now, to protect his brothers who refused to leave their birthplace even though it was hell on earth, he had to put his life at stake.
【”―― Please allow me to make an insolent request.”】
Lucas perceived Gilbert’s determination and tried to stop him, but Gilbert ignored him and kept speaking.
【”My lord, we’ve gathered more than half of Bashtar’s forces here for your safety. But these are dangerous lands with monsters roaming around. If we’re shorthanded on troops, there will be more and more sacrifices. Please! Please send back the escorts to the guard force until you’ve gathered new soldiers.”】
In short, Gilbert was basically asking Kurats to stay unprotected.
Thinking that Gilbert was definitely going to lose his head for this, Lucas’ back was sweating cold bullets.
The heads of the neighboring villages were all in a dead silence.
【”…What’s the scope of activity of the monsters?”】
【”They don’t like leaving their territories all that much, and I’m assuming the only ones who actually leave the forest are the ones at the top of their hierarchy. Am I wrong?”】
【”I-I suppose you’re right but…”】
What did this mean? Was this new lord actually knowledgeable about monsters? Wasn’t he supposed to be clueless?
【”We had monsters back in my village, too. In Gaura, if you go half a mile (1km) away from the forest, you won’t get attacked all that much. Isn’t it the same here in Bashtar?”】
【”T-that is usually the case yes, but we have saber wolves that walk in packs and may attack even more than half a mile away… But never further than one mile (2km) away….”】
Nobody in Bashtar ever approached the forest because they knew they would be putting their lives in danger.
The times when the people were most likely to be killed were when they were attacked by starved Saber Wolves expanding their territory.
The saber wolves were lower-rank monsters that always came to hunt humans during breeding season to feed themselves.
These pack hunters were quick-witted and clever fighters. It was not possible for humans to compete against them unless they fought in a group and hid behind ramparts or the like.
【”Understood. Then I’ll keep it at 1 mile (2km) for now.”】
Understood? Understood what?
Gilbert timidly called out to Kurats, who was tightly holding his fist, making it look like a literal rock.
【”My lord, may I ask what you intend to do?”】
Kurats smiled like the answer was obvious.
【”―― I’m just thinking of erasing everything inside the forest, and everything 1 mile around it.”】
Lucas and Gilbert hurriedly tried to stop Kurats as he calmly headed towards the forest.
【”Please wait!! You can’t face them alone, it’s too reckless!”】
【”Besides, my lord, if you fail and provoke the monsters’ anger, you might trigger a second big invasion!”】
【”Invasion? How is that a problem? That will just make it easier to get rid of them in one go.”】
No matter what they told him, nothing got through.
Kurats was acting as relaxed and nonchalant as a child on his way to catch butterflies.
Having experienced the monsters’ strength firsthand, Lucas and Glibert could only see Kurats as being clueless.
【”Let him go, Kurats is a man who pushed back an army of 40,000 men from the Asgard empire all by himself. He is not going to be defeated by monsters.”】
When Lunaria said so, the two men witnessed something that almost made their eyes pop out of their sockets.
Something unimaginable was taking place right in front of them. It was a sight that did not seem to belong in the realm of reality.
Kurats only seemed like he was randomly boxing against empty air, and yet somehow, the trees, rocks, and monsters of the forest were smashed and pulverized like they were being hit by a massive hammer.
『W-wait, this is going to take that far too much time, isn’t it? You could do this in one go with one well-placed wind spell…』
Bernst’s suggestion fell on deaf ears as Kurats continued punching the air in high spirits.
【”Come on, come on! Are you going come at me or just run? You better hurry and decide!”】
When the trees were removed, the monsters living inside the forest were exposed.
Although every single one of them showed hostility, they could not get anywhere near the shock-waves brought upon by the barrage of punches.
Two red-eyed bears, known for their resilience, roared and tried to rush at Kurats, but they were instantly beaten to death by the shock-waves.
Using their characteristic resilience thoughtlessly did nothing to stop the pain of a hundred blows. Their death was a hellish sight.
Seeing these dangerous monsters that could put the village’s survival on the line die so quickly, Gilbert and Lucas showed frozen smiles as their pupils became like small dots in their eyes.
【”What have we been doing…”】
【”With this man, maybe we could consider straight-up going on an all-out war against the monsters…”】
【”OUT OF MY WAY!”】
The forest quickly disappeared.
Every single thing that got it in the way was pulverized. Most of the forest lands close to Narak and the nearby villages were obliterated.
―― But at that moment.
A loud, high-pitched noise resounded.
Kurats’ shock-waves had just been repelled by an extremely solid object.
【”This can’t be happening! It’s a Corundum Tortoise!”】
This monster was gifted with a defense and solidity on a whole different scale than the rock tortoise Kurats had fought before.
After it was hit, the tortoise slowly stood up.
On top of its solidity, the tortoise’s body reached a length of about 100 feet. (30 meters)
This was an adult specimen.
Seeing this monster that simply could not be defeated unless the kingdom’s mage forces intervened, Gilbert was at his wits’ end.
(I told him so! I knew he shouldn’t have provoked the monsters of the forest!)
Bernst’s desperate advice came too late.
Kurats instantly shortened the distance between the tortoise and himself before planting his feet on the ground, twisting his upper-body slightly to the side, and punching forward.
This punch was enchanted by his magic power and carried his whole body’s strength.
This was enough to make the tortoise’s body, which was supposed to be as solid as diamond, burst from the inside.
To Lucas and Gilbert, who were standing a bit far away, it felt like they were looking at a small volcano exploding.
The Corundrum tortoise’s body could easily repel swords and spears alike, but Kurats had destroyed it with his bare hands.
【”Maybe I’ll have myself some tortoise meat tonight.”】
After Kurats picked up a big lump of meat for himself from the scattered remains of the monster tortoise, Gilbert and Lucas decided that the answer was to just not to think about what had just happened.
The rest of the tortoise’s meat was then distributed to the villagers.
The very nourishing meat of monsters was precious. When the villagers had a bad harvest, their very last resort would sometimes be to brave the dangers of the forest and hunt monsters to eat.
But today, these villagers who knew nothing but hunger were going to attend a feast they could not refuse. Today only, they would eat meat to their hearts’ content.
The high expectations and hopes that they held towards Kurats were clear to see in their eyes.
These villagers spent their days thinking only about living and surviving.
Death was never very far, watching for any hint of carelessness from them.
Since they were malnourished, their elderly and children would die from any small illnesses.
But now, it felt like those days, spent in fear of the monsters and abandoned by the kingdom, might come to an end.
Kurats’ abnormal yet very clear and easy to understand power was giving them hope.
【”―― It’s been so long since I last heard such cheerful voices.”】
Gilbert was moved almost to the point of tears.
This was a whole new experience for him. Never had he heard the cheerful shouts of joy of the children, who were going to eat meat, a luxurious meal, without having to hold back.
It was only natural for growing buds of loyalty towards Kurats to sprout within them.
【”I will make Bashtar the most prosperous territory in the whole kingdom.”】
If anyone else was speaking these words, people would laugh and think it was stupid.
Bashtar was the poorest territory in the kingdom. Very far from being the most prosperous, ever since the big invasion, they had become a burden that did not pay any taxes to the kingdom.
However, when those words came out of Kurats’ mouth, they felt mysteriously realistic.
Note: This chapter is part of a double release, you can read chapter 77 right away.