Sunday, December 11, 2016

In That Moment Of Suffering Chapter 53 – Gathering Information and Concerns



 Chapter's up.

Edit: Chapter 54 isn't done yet. A bit out of it from being sick. Addicted to Super Mario Run despite hating it on some level. Well yeah. Can't focus on writing at the moment. Apologies.


Chapter 53 – Gathering Information and Concerns

"I said you're going to damage the paint. Do you know how long we've spent building this place?!" The demon angrily points at Senna. "You don't! Do you?!"

"...Is that really the problem here?" Senna stares at the demon wondering just how should she retort about his priorities.

"It has everything to do with it!" The demon yells with a scolding tone. "We've spent weeks constructing the best stage! How can we allow you to damage it before the appointed time?!"

"......" Senna blankly stares wondering what she should retort.

"Boss. Let me handle this." An extremely muscular demon steps out of the mansion reaching 2.5 meters in height.

"Fine." The first demon steps back. In contrast to the muscular demon, he's dressed in a suit resembling a gentleman at a ball minus the horns protruding from his head. Without her [Identification], she wouldn't think the fancily dressed demon to be so powerful.

The muscular demon steps forward. "Human, why have you one to raid our home?"

"...Right." Senna resumes her battle stance. "I saw the remains of the spell you casted. You've killed so many people. I won't allow you to attack the city in the same way."

"You came here for that?" The demon's stern tone falters. He looks at his boss who's averting his gaze. "Tell me. Was a friend of yours killed in that attack?"

"No..." Senna honestly answers wondering where they are going with this line of questions. "Like I said, i won't allow you to fire that spell again in the city."

"Good. There's been a misunderstanding here. How about a temporary truce?" The muscular demon proposes.

"......Fine." Senna reluctantly agrees after verifying that they're telling the truth. She cautiously relaxes her stance.

"First, I'm Xeros. This is our leader, Balthazar." The muscular demon introduces himself and the fancily dressed demon.

"Senna." Senna bluntly replies.

"We came here on orders from the Demon God." Xeros continues.

"Demon god? Not because of Mater Ro? How unexpected." Senna scratches her head realizing her train of thought was wrong.

"Mater Ro? Who's that?" Xeros asks in confusion. He looks at Balthazar, but he shakes his head unsure of the name.

"A demon viscount that I fought with. I hurt his pride quite a bit, so I thought he had people pursue me." Senna answers with a helpless shrug.

"A viscount. Hah! He wouldn't be able to command our forces. At best he would be the weakest soldier in the squadron!" Xeros laughs at Senna's misidentification. Balthazar behind him isn't as easily amused and shoots a withering glare in Senna's direction.

"My apologies." Senna half-heartedly apologizes. "I'm not familiar with the local customs of the Chaos continent. I only assumed the one that hated me would pursue me. ...Anddd we've gotten off topic. Tell me. Why did you slaughter so many people?"

"Of course we need to eliminate the idiots threatening to ruin my stage." Balthazar interrupts with a particularly venomous tone.

"Stage?" Senna tilts her head.

"Ahem. Our business is with you." Xeros cuts in before Balthazar can start ranting. He would rather not listen to several hours of his boss’ narcissistic praise. Balthazar glares at Xeros, but doesn't cut back in.

"I get that. What I don't get is what the two have to do with each other?" Senna tilts her head.

"Our business is with you. So we're not going to stand by when some idiots try and snatch our target." Xeros replies.

"Snatch?...Two thousand people... An army?" Senna starts piecing the information she's acquired so far. She mutters to herself trying to connect every bit of information. "...That army is too small to attack Erein though..." 

"Their plot was more underhanded." Xeros added.

Senna's eyes widen nodding. "I see. I'll come up with a suitable excuse to report to inform them then." Her stance relaxes a bit since her reason for confronting them has fallen apart. "Then what business do you have? I'm here now, so shall we get to it?"

"Nonsense. We haven't set up the stage yet." Balthazar scoffs at her suggestion.

"I still don't understand why you use the word 'stage'?" Senna asks again.

"Ahem. We have only finished constructing the exterior. The interior is not yet suitable for guests yet." Xeros interrupts.

Senna stares at them for a good while before responding. "In other words, you have not set up enough traps to smoothly accomplish your mission."  Xeros averts his gaze, but Balthazar meets her gaze with a condescending look. "It seems that even if I pick a fight. We won't be able to get to the point of your mission?"

"I would advise against it. The boss' violent tendencies come out when his plans are disrupted." Xeros firmly responds pointing at Balthazar.

".........Fine... I'll fall back then. If you attack Erein though, then I won't hold back and attack at full force this time. I don't care who it is that attacks. I'll aim to wipe out everyone." Senna releases a powerful wave of magic with her threat.

"Got it." Xeros nods as a sweat drop runs down his face. Balthazar quietly scoffs, but doesn't say anything.

"Good." Senna nods sealing her overflowing magic. She calmly turns around and leaves. When she reaches the barrier, she gives it a light tap. Her hand passes through the barrier without resistance, so she walks forward without stopping. She walks at a brisk pace until she leaves the forest. "It looks like they really won't try anything else."

"I need to go all out on the defenses. I can't have the city die because I picked a fight with them. And I have to make sure they stay alive long enough if I do have to raid them." She mumbles to herself after revising her evaluation of their power. With that she runs at full force back to Erein.

Back at the demon's mansion, "...Hahhh. She's gone." Xeros lets out a sigh of relief as his entire body starts to tremble. His entire body is quickly drenched in cold sweat as his sword slips from his grip.

Balthazar nods staring in the direction Senna left. "She's extremely dangerous for a human. I can see why the Lord Demon God wants to discover her motives. We need to quickly build our venue, so we can get some answers." He turns and starts walking back into the mansion.

"Sir." A werewolf emerges from inside the mansion. "What was that?"

"The target of course. We need to quickly prepare so that we can bind her and gather what we need." Balthazar replies indifferently at the obvious question. He ignores the werewolf and continues walking.

"With all due respect sir. That wasn't what I meant." The werewolf continues ignoring the slight. "Wasn't the target supposed to be human?"

"Of course. Didn't you see her? She's obviously human." Balthazar scoffs.

"Are you saying she isn't?" Xeros interjects.

The werewolf shakes its head. "I've smelt humans before. That wasn't a human. Her scent is different."

"Oh. What did she smell like then?" Balthazar stops finally taking an interest in the conversation. The werewolf gives a direct reply. Balthazar rubs his chin in thought. "We'll have to include that in our invitation then. Let's make additional preparations then."

Xeros and the werewolf nods following after him.

 ***

"THERE WAS A WHAT?!?!" King Victor's voice reverberates through the castle's audience hall. They had adhered Senna's request to hold back their forces and been in a discussion since the early morning. When Senna returned, she casually dropped a bomb in her report.

"A dragon. It looks like a dragon passed through the area." Senna repeats. "Here I'll use a spell to show you what it looked like. <Illusion>." She casts a spell to create the image of a black dragon. Several officials jump out of the way when the illusionary body expands from the size of a palm to fill up the majority of the hall. "Ah sorry. The hall is too small to show the actual size. Let me make it smaller."

The dragon shrinks by several hold allowing everyone in the hall to see every detail of the figure. Everyone in the hall goes pale taking in the powerful figure. King Victor hesitantly asks. "...W-Were y-you able to defeat it?"

"No." Senna immediately refutes. "I judged that I would only anger it if I attacked. It would require little effort to kill me with a single strike, whereas I could only irritate it." The Royal Family's faces pale even further hearing the claim.

One of the officials stand forward. "Then we should arm the Army as soon as possible."

"No." Captain Lewis interjects. He points at Senna. "She can easily wipe out the army single handed. If she can barely scratch this dragon, then engaging it will only result in a catastrophe. The officials look at Lewis with an awkward smile as if they heard a stupid joke.

"Please let me finish." Senna interrupts them before their conversation derails too far. "I used some magic, so I was able to talk to it. Basically, someone attacked and annoyed it, so it retaliated. It was only passing through and had no intention of sticking around. I followed it for a bit, but it quickly escaped my range." Senna calmly reports ignoring the expressions of shock around her.

"A-Are you serious?" King Victor hesitantly asks.

"It's an out of the ordinary event, but it shouldn't happen again." Senna firmly replies. She moves onto the victims being the Pope's army. She hints at the possible concern for another attack providing some of the destroyed items as proof. Finished with her report, she bows and leaves the hall.

Afterwards, the Royal Family calls Senna over for a private meeting. Before they can ask about a plan of action, Senna starts speaking first. "I have an idea of what you want to ask, but I should revise what I said first. Everything I declared is just a semi-plausible story to inform the public."

"Public story?" King Victor asks.

"Yes. It would be problematic if too many ears heard the truth." Senna replies. She proceeds to tell them the truth about the demons while glossing over Balthazar's weird obsession with the perfect stage. "So I plan to finish helping out with the tournament and leave Erein as fast as possible so that no one else will get hurt."

"...Is that the truth this time?" King Victor cautiously  asks.

"Yes. If you have a problem with it, then I'm fine with leaving sooner. It's my fault that you're at risk after all." Senna adds. She turns to the shocked Iris. "If you wish to back out, you should decide quickly."

"Senna, your evaluation of losing to the dragon. Is that still true with these demons?" The butler Sebastian asks.

"No. That was just to explain why I didn’t retaliate. Let's see... I have 80% confidence to completely repel them with some injuries..." Senna tilts her head thinking about her chances. "If it comes down to it, I can fight to the point that I'll be disabled for a couple of days. In that case, I have completely confidence in getting rid of them."

"...That strong?" Captain Lewis asks dryly gulping.

"Stronger than anyone in the Kingdom at least." Senna replies. She realizes that she never mentioned that they were part of the Demon God's army, but decides to keep silent on that part. "For the time being, there's little to worry about. They don't have any intention of attacking anyone from what I can tell. They're only focused on me which is the best lining for this entire situation."

The King and Queen look at each other and start to privately discuss. Iris sidles up and clutches Senna's sleeve. "Senna, I'm absolutely coming. I won't let you leave without me." She answers with determination.

Seeing Iris' determined response, the Royal couple quickly converses again. Eventually, the Queen decides to speak up. "...Senna, will we be safe?"

"Mmm... I plan to put up some defenses throughout the city now that I have a better scope of their abilities. My plan is to create a city-wide barrier. That said, something can always happen. I'm not omnipotent after all." Senna replies.

"There's already a city barrier that can be activated in times of emergency." King Victor interjects.

"Ah of course." Senna smacks her forehead realizing they have their own forms of defense. "Then if I have permission, I'll try making some additions to strengthen the barrier as much as possible."

After some discussion, they agree to Senna's request. However, for formality's sake, the Royal Magician has to shadow her during the entire process.

Things become extremely busy in the town over the next few days. News of the tournament spread drawing a flurry of people into the city. A messenger from the church capital arrives announcing the independent action of the Pope. They deny any involvement and provide some tributes to avoid any further retaliation. King Victor easily promises to let things slide. However, the messenger leaves with the shocking news of the Pope’s early annihilation. Senna takes a few days, but successfully transforms the single barrier to a triple layered barrier while only using 1.5 times its previous consumption. She sets up a reservoir of magic to negate the increased consumption and emphasize the increased defenses.

Senna and Iris continue to maintain their relationship without any significant advancement. Senna forcibly takes on the dominant role at night overwhelming Iris before she can reciprocate. Iris tries to overturn the situation, but is normally too exhausted to do a thing after Senna has had her way with Iris.

Several days later, the tournament begins creating an even larger flurry of activity. The coliseum is packed to the brim with people because of the King's royal degree of forced attendance. Merchants make the most of the event setting up stalls and selling off their wares.

The tournament progresses fairly quickly because of the unexpected and urgent tournament. Only people in the nearby villages were able to arrive in time to participate. After several hours of battle, the finals come to a close as one of the men knocks his opponent off the stage.

The referee holds up the winner's hand. "Winner! The leader of the Raging Flame, G..."

Before the referee can finish his declaration, a white pillar of light crashes down onto the stage. The two break away and take their distance from the display of magic. The referee hides, while the champion and other spectating adventurers ready their weapons.

Senna descends from the royal viewing platform while throwing up a <Barrier> behind her to protect the Royal Family. She stands outside the light pillar poised to attack at the slightest hint of trouble.

A silhouette starts to emerge from within the pillar of light. The figure steps out of the pillar revealing her long blonde hair and white wings. Senna relaxes seeing Ariel's familiar figure emerge. Out of curiosity, she tries [Identification] on Ariel, but only receives a bunch of garbled text revealing nothing of use.

In the next moment, Ariel dashes forward wrapping her arms around Senna. "I've missed you!"


Author’s Note
Ahhh~ This chapter gave me a lot of headaches. A bit of the demons’ objective and a temporary truce. Ariel finally descends too. The tournament came and ended in a flash. Apologies if anyone was looking forward to it. XD  Rather than spend a bunch of time on the tournament, I opted to get it done fast since there wasn’t any significance to the participants.

I’m working on the next chapter, but I’m a bit behind at the moment. I binged read Spirit Realm earlier this week and kinda shut off most other things. My reading mode was really deep.~ Anyways, I’ll do what I can. Hopefully my work week isn’t too busy. End of the business quarter and some rush to finish things up.

I think that’s all. I think up stuff to say, but always forget by the time I get to the Author’s Note. XD Until next time.~


6 comments:

  1. So the Pope did actually die, and isn't being stupid over the next hill?

    Also I've been rereading Death March because the releases are caught up. So I understand that feel.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading! I'm not sure what you mean by next hill. XD

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    2. I just mean not in the blast range but in a HQ somewhere nearby.

      Also I remembered the other comment I was going to make: "poor turny champ to only be remembered as the Japanese code word for cockroaches."

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    3. Nah. He's dead. The entire camp got obliterated with everyone in it.

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