Completed ― Outlier Skill [Storage], Proficiency Level 9999 – The Strongest Cheat Awakened After 60 Years of Hard Work

Completed ― Outlier Skill [Storage], Proficiency Level 9999 – The Strongest Cheat Awakened After 60 Years of Hard Work

Chapter 1: A Tale from Long Ago

I’m going to tell you a story from my childhood.

Everyone in this world receives a skill when they reach the age of 15.

My parents were well-known adventurers.

So I never doubted that I, too, would be endowed with an adventurer’s skill.

I’m going to be a better adventurer than my parents. That is my ambition.

I began learning swordsmanship at a young age.

When I was ten,

Gaaaahhh!

With a scream, my sword brought down an Aura Bear.

“I’ve won! Come on, Tina! You’re fine!”

A girl with long blond hair and lovely eyes appears from the trees.

Martina is, therefore, Tina. She’s what I refer to as a childhood friend.

“You beat it?! Ash is really good, and he hasn’t even learned a skill yet… “

“Well, I think the real work starts when you’re 15 and you develop your skills, but it’s good to practice them now, right?”

“But you’re being too reckless; I was worried Ash would get hurt!”

Tina was a little tearful.

She appeared and sounded like a strong woman, but in reality she was a worrier and a crybaby.

“You’ll get used to it; we’ll be adventurers when we’re fifteen, and we’ll be doing this a lot.”

I patted Tina on the head.

“Uh-huh. I’ll follow you as hard as I can! So when you become great adventurers like aunt and uncle… like you… I mean… please make me your wife!”

“Please don’t say it so loudly, it’s embarrassing…!”

“What’s so embarrassing about it? It’s our future! Do you understand? If you don’t, I won’t make you lunch any longer!”

“I know, I know… I promise. Tina says that too often.”

“Fufufu. Ash is strong and handsome, but I’m afraid if he doesn’t hear it at least once a month, he’ll catch bad insects.”

Tina giggled mischievously.

Looking back, I believe I was innocent at the time.

Then I turned 15 years old.

We went through the ceremony to get our skills.

Tina was the first to go.

“Oh, congratulations! Your skill is [Holy Warrior], I haven’t seen an S-ranked skill in ages!”

The priest in charge shouts, his face beaming.

This is a skill worth celebrating.

[Holy Warrior]

You can learn to use the sword, spear, axe, and club.

Light magic can be learned.

Special weapons and magic effects have been improved.

You have access to divinely blessed holy weapons.

Proficiency: 1/99

Status Bonus:

Arm Strength: 7(7)

Physical strength: 7(7)

Agility: 5(5)

Spirit: 6(6)

Magic: 4(4)

The numbers in parentheses show how much of a bonus you get for each level of skill.

It is a skill that combines various weapon specialties with holy magic.

The status bonus you receive when you master a skill is also the highest.

A person’s ultimate strength is determined by his or her own status as well as the value of their skill.

However, the human basic stats are only about 20 at best.

The value of the correction provided by high-ranking skills will far outweigh his or her own stats.

The [Holy Warrior] status bonus is self-evident.

If their power level is increased by two or three, they are already in the superhuman category.

When it comes to fighting power, the skills you learn are the most important thing, and Tina has all the tools she needs to be a great adventurer.

“Wow…! Me?! This is fantastic! I can now follow Ash!”

“That’s great, Tina!”

“Then it’s your turn.”

“Yes, please.”

And my skill are―

“Oh, this is…”

The Priestess’s face twisted.

“Is there something wrong?”

“No, no… Your skill is [storage].”

Storage allows you to keep items in a hidden item box.

The item box menu displays a list of stored items and their percentages.

The item box’s capacity grows as your skill level grows.

Proficiency: 1/99

Status Bonus: None

“Eeeeeeeeeee?!”

I couldn’t stop screaming.

It has F-ranked outlier capabilities.

The effect is that you can store items in invisible space.

The more proficient you become at this skill, the more storage space you will have.

If that’s all there is to it, it’s a good effect, but there’s a catch.

There are already magic bags that perform the same function.

A magical item created through [Alchemy].

This skill has no special benefits because it can be replaced with an storage item.

And you get no status bonus from your proficiency in the [Storage] skill.

There is no special benefit or status boost. That is why it is rated an F.

“Wait a minute! There must be a mistake that Ash has such a skill! Please check it out again! Ash has always wanted to be a great adventurer…!”

“… I’m afraid there’s no mistake; everything is in God’s hands and beyond our control.”

We left the ritual temple because we had nothing to say.

“…Ash, I mean…”

“What are you doing, Tina? Let’s go.”

“? Where are we going?”

“The Guild of Adventurers! I’m not going down without a fight just because I’ve got the short end of the stick! I’ll find a way! Let’s go!”

“T-That’s right! Ash won’t be daunted!”

Tina laughed along with me.

I pretended to be strong in front of Tina, but the truth was that I was stunned.

I might have cried if I had been alone.

Then we became adventurers and embarked on numerous quests together.

Tina’s strength quickly surpassed mine as we gained experience.

The gap between us widened over time until it became hopelessly inequitable.

By the time we were both 20,

Tina had risen to the rank of S adventurer and was widely regarded as the guild’s best.

While I worked my way to the very edge and achieved D rank.

From the outside, I resemble a goldfish who is always clinging to Tina for some reason.

Many are envious of this and get involved at every opportunity.

When they see me and Tina back at the Adventurer’s Guild, they immediately call out to us.

“Tina…how long are you going to keep that piece of garbage with you? Join our party. We’re an S and A-ranked party. You can do a better job here, right?”

Barbas, the guild’s second best adventurer after Tina, says.

“I refuse; it’s none of your business, and don’t call me Tina; my name is Martina, and only Ash is allowed to call me Tina.”

Tina responds with no change in her expression.

“Damn! You’re the reason Tina’s abilities aren’t being used to their full potential! Get out of here or go back to the countryside! It’s for the sake of the world and the people!

“That’s right!”

“If you want, I can break both of your arms right now and make a comeback impossible!”

“””Hahahahaha! “””

“…Shut up. If you say another word, I’ll dismember you right now.”

Tina’s sharp gaze causes Barbas and the others to gasp.

She exudes a frightening, murderous intent.

Even though I wasn’t directly facing her, the intensity of her gaze sent shivers down my spine.

I could tell there was a big difference between Tina and me right now.

“Let’s go, Ash. We have a lot to look forward to today.”

Tina’s face changes, she becomes excited, and she pulls my hand away.

That’s right. Something gave me a strange feeling today.

It’s similar to when I was 15 and learned my skill.

It’s extremely rare, but some people are said to pick up new skills later in life.

It’s called double-skilling, and it happens once in a few tens of thousands.

Regardless of how much the [Storage] skill is improved, no status bonus is generated.

My proficiency level had already reached 95, which is close to the upper limit, but the loading capacity of items has only been increased.

So all I could do was hope for a miracle and acquire a powerful skill.

Maybe it’s finally here.

The results of my repeated training would reveal themselves today.

I came here with a glimmer of hope to have my status appraised.

“I’m sorry, but we need an appraisal of our status. I’ll go first.”

Tina addressed the guild staff.

Tina was also experiencing the same strange sensation.

It is entirely possible that we are both right.

“So, let’s get you looked at… Huh…? Oh, what’s that?! This is incredible…!”

“What did you see?”

“It’s a dual skill! In addition to her original [Holy Warrior], she now has [Great Sage]!

“””Whaaaaaaat? Two S-ranked skills?!”””

The entire guild was in a frenzy of exclamation.

This is completely absurd.

I was astounded as well. How great can Tina be?!

This lady is a genius. She might be in the class of heroes who will go down in history.

“T-That’s amazing…! Congratulations, Tina…! “

Ash… No I…Thank you. It’s now Ash’s turn! If you feel the same way I do, you must be as well!”

“Y-Yeah. Then it’s my turn.”

“Okay, well…Oh Ash-san seems to be double-skilled too!

“””What the hell?”””

Onlookers watching the scene raised their voices.

“What’s Ash’s second skill?!”

Tina is more enthusiastic than I am.

No, that’s not true.

I was just too nervous and excited to speak.

I’m hoping that all of my hard work and effort has paid off.

I don’t want to be seen as Tina’s sidekick any longer.

I want to travel around the world on equal footing, shoulder to shoulder.

“…Pfft… Kkkk…”

“What’s so funny?!”

Tina bites.

“No, my apologies… It’s simply too… No offense intended.”

“Just tell me what Ash’s new skill is right away!

“I-It was [Genius].”

“”What…?!””

[Genius]

It accelerates the growth and performance of the holder’s other skills.

As one’s proficiency grows, so does one’s effectiveness.

Proficiency: 1/99

Status Bonus: None

This is the result.

In other words, [Genius] is a supporting skill that works in tandem with the other skill.

It would have been fantastic if I had gotten something like Tina’s [Holy Warrior] as my first skill.

But if I have [storage]…

Moreover, the proficiency level of [storage] itself is already over 90.

Increasing the growth rate now is almost pointless.

It only increases its load capacity.

In other words, if I want to be a strong adventurer, this is a big no-no.

Just when I thought I’d miraculously become double-skilled… and now this…!

The anticipation almost blinded me for a moment.

Is this the end of my options?

“D-Dang it…! How is this even possible…”

I couldn’t stop myself from dropping a tear for a split second.

“Oh, Ash… you know―.”

But Tina’s words were drowned out by loud laughter in the background.

“””Pfft―Buhahahahahha!”””

“This is a masterpiece! The loser has drawn a loser again!”

“No, no, [Genius] is good in and of itself! But the holder is not!”

“Squandering valuable dual-skills! Aren’t you a [genius] at wasting?!”

“Or you’re a laughingstock [genius]!”

“They are both!”

“””Gyahahahaha!”””

Bakiiiiii! Doshaaaah!

Cut through the laughter, the painful sounds, and the crashing.

Tina punched Barbas, who was laughing the hardest.

“I will not forgive you, I will kill you…!”

“””Hiiiiii?!”””

Tina went on a rampage at the Adventurers’ Guild that day, and she was temporarily banned.

After that―.

Being banned from the Adventurer’s Guild, we supplemented our income by doing business directly outside of the guild or by joining mercenary armies temporarily organized by our country or state lords.

Tina is a tremendous asset wherever she goes. She almost single-handedly cleared out a herd of demons the other day, which must have surprised the bigwigs.

As always, I’m still Tina’s little sop.

On my own, I was at the level of having to struggle with the lowest ranking member of the demon tribe.

So that day, when we were having dinner in the inn’s first floor dining room―.

Bang!

Tina banged on the table so hard that she stood up.

“What do you mean, Ash?! Did I do something wrong?! I know I was kicked out of the guild for a while, but please! I’m sorry!”

“No, that’s refreshing for me as well, so I don’t mind.”

“Then why?! You don’t like me anymore?”

That can’t be true.

You’ve been with me this whole time, even though I’m such a failure and a wretch.

I owe you nothing but gratitude, and… I have feelings for you.

“Of course not; I didn’t forget about our promise.”

“I-Is that right …?”

“But, Tina, didn’t the King ask you to serve him the other day?”

“Yes, he said he’d give me command of the knight’s regiment…”

That’s an extraordinary offer for an adventurer from a commoner’s background.

“I believe you should accept it.”

“Eh?! W-Well, sure, I won’t be getting any guild quests for a while, and the conditions were favorable, but… how am I supposed to support Ash?! Ash and I can form a household…”

“No, no, I’ll stay an adventurer because I haven’t reached my [storage] skill limit yet.”

Since then, my [storage] skill proficiency has reached the 99/99 mark―.

When I appraised it, it’s supposed to turn blue if it’s at the limit, but it didn’t.

This seems to be because the limit for [appraisal] is 99, which means there are more than 100 levels of my [storage] skill.

I’m not sure what the maximum level of my [storage] skill is, but the blue letters indicate that you have reached your mastery. There is still a lot of work to be done.

When will I reach my limit?

But I wanted to achieve the goal in the right order before giving up altogether.

“I don’t want to do that! I just want to be with Ash! I can’t be the only one!”

“There are a lot of people who need Tina’s strength; there’s been a lot of talk recently about the Demon Tribe becoming more active and the Demon King’s impending return, right? Wouldn’t it be good to work with them a little?”

It is the concept that we should use our power for the greater good of the world.

At that time―I felt bad about tying up a genius like Tina to take care of me.

Or perhaps it’s more than that; it simply became too difficult to stay by Tina’s side without strength.

I couldn’t stand the stark contrast she demonstrated day after day.

“I’ll catch up with you so I can be right next to Tina. So you go ahead first.”

Tina still refused to go, so I spent a lot of time trying to persuade her.

“…Alright. But you don’t have to try to line up with me; I don’t mind how you do it as long as Ash comes to get me when you’re done, okay?”

Tina finally agreed with a nod.

“Yeah, I promise.”

Tina seems to have seen right through me.

Tina, too, may have struggled with being too far out.

But at that time, Tina definitely believed what I said.

There is no doubt about it in retrospect.

In any case, we decided to part ways.

Since then―

I’m now 75 years old.

This old man was still the same.

Chapter 2: [Storage] Skill, Proficiency: 9999/9999 Part 1

I arrived early this morning to gather medicinal herbs for my quest in the hills behind town.

The birds’ chirps and the fresh air made me happy.

“Haaa~ It’s a beautiful day once more.”

This old man squints as he gathers herbs and places them in his item box using his [storage] skill. He’s been doing it for years.

So much time has passed that I’m no longer myself.

The [Storage] skill’s limits aren’t quite in the blue yet.

Tina has been fantastic since then. She went to the royal capital to take up an office and achieved a lot of success.

She rose up in the ranks and was eventually adopted by the king, who didn’t have any children because of her accomplishment.

So here in the kingdom of Lasia, Queen Martina was born.

Queen Tina has won many battles against the demon armies, which are getting more and more active, and she has kept her kingdom and people safe.

She has been dubbed the greatest king in the Kingdom of Lacia’s history.

She recently abdicated the throne to an adopted prince for health reasons.

Adopted, indeed. Tina is still unmarried.

Even now, quests with this old man’s name and the name of an unknown client come to the Adventurers’ Guild all the time.

They are simple jobs like carrying loads and gathering herbs for medicine, so they don’t need to be anonymous.

This old man is treated as such so that he does not lose his job (quest) and does not go hungry.

for the sake of the development of [storage] skill.

Tina has probably been giving me work in secret.

If Tina would do that much for this old man, he could not give up.

We’ve come this far, and we’re not going back.

Now, it is a contest of whether this old man dies first or his [storage] skill proficiency reaches its limit.

“This stone is out of the way.”

and to move the stones out of the way so that the medicinal herbs could be picked.

[Stone]

Storage Status Bonus:

Arm Strength +1 (Max: 150)

“Huh? What the hell…?!”

Suddenly, information that I’ve never seen before enters my mind.

Tilting my head, I call up the list of item boxes.

“Inspect the item box’s contents.”

[Item box usage]

Percentage: 1/100%.

List of Items:

Stone: 1

Medicinal plants: 10

Status Bonus:

Arm Strength +1

Strength +10

“Status Bonus?!”

Until now, no information about status bonuses was available.

Is this…?! Is it possible that something has changed in the [storage] skill?!

Is it possible that I’ve finally reached the blue limit?!

“Take out the herb!”

My hand now contains the herb I just picked.

[Herb]

Storage Status Bonus:

Strength +1 (Upper limit: 100)

I see that the medicinal herb status bonus is Strength +1.

I got physical strength +10 because there were ten of them…?

There is a cap. Does this mean the status bonus goes up to 100?

“Y-Yes―!”

I gather up all the herbs and stones I can find.

And―

Percentage: 1/100%

List of Items:

Stones: 160

Herbs: 122

Status Bonus:

Arm strength: 150

Physical strength: 100

It appears that no matter how many items are collected, the maximum value of an item is never exceeded.

But it’s sufficient. 150 of ‘arm strength’ should be many times that of an average person.

“Let’s give it a shot!”

Clench your fists―and punch the trunk of a nearby tree.

Goh!

Fists roar in the wind. And then―.

Bakiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

The tree snaps with a loud crack and falls, leaving a massive cloud of dust and smoke in its wake.

“O-OoooHH?!”

This is not possible. This is something I could never have done before.

It’s like I really have +150 arm strength.

The information regarding the status bonus is true!

“This old man is?! Is this possible?!”

To put it another way. I mean―.

For 60 years, I struggled with my [storage] skill.

Finally, I felt as if I could see the light ahead of me.

It’s shining.

“Hmm? Did I just see something shining?”

It’s not all in my head. There was, in fact, a shine.

“…?!”

A skeletonized figure lies beside the downed tree.

The pendant around his neck glittered.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before… It must have gotten stuck in the tree.”

This old man looks down at the pendant, which stands out.

[Martial artist’s pendant]

When stored, it can use the special “Ki-bullet” function.

“You can use that skill?!?”

Only those with [Martial Arts] or [Martial Artist] skills can learn the special skill ‘Ki-bullet.’

It’s an excellent technique for converting life energy into destructive power and then firing it.

And now this old man is able to use it…?!

I bowed to the skeleton and tucked the pendant away.

“Now I can use Ki-bullet,’ Hmm? Are these bird feathers?”

There are numerous bird feathers all over the corpse.

[Deathcocktrice’s Feathers]

Storage Status Bonus:

Agility +3 (upper limit: 180)

“Deathcocktrice…?!

They are a superior species of cockatrice, a human-eating bird demon.

It’s such a dangerous demon that even S-rank adventurers can’t afford to relax their guard.

Even in the guild to which this old man has always belonged, it is only defeated once every few years or so, and the corpse is undoubtedly that of a poor man who fell victim to the Deathcocktrice.

It’s been nesting here…?!

The sooner you get away before it comes back, the better!

But it was too late; a dark shadow appeared over this old man’s head.

GyaaGyaaGyaaGyaa!

When I look up, I see a vicious Deathcocktrice staring at this old man.

It is very upset because its nest has been destroyed.

Deathcocktrices are the type of foe that any ordinary adventurer would have to flee from if they ever encountered them.

This old man is not even average; he has been a humble adventurer for the past 60 years.

“Uh … No, but! “

“There’s ‘Ki-bullet’ technique!”

GyaaGyaaGyaaGyaaaaaaaaa!

The Deathcocktrice, on the other hand, is far more agile than this old man.

It spins around at the back and flaps its wings furiously.

Then, like an arrow, a slew of feathers shoots from its body.

Deathcocktrice’s feather blizzard!

These feathers contain a powerful poison that, if grazed, can kill a person in minutes.

That’s how Deathcocktrice got its name.

“Oh my god! Sorry Tina, this old man is finished…!”

However… Then something odd happened.

The deathcocktrice’s special feather blizzard distorted and vanished just before it touched this old man.

It’s like when you put an item in the [Storage] ―?

Percentage: 1/100%.

Item list :

Stones: 160

Herbs: 122

Deathcocktrice Feathers: 62

Status Bonus :

Arm Strength: 150

Physical strength: 100

Agility: 180

Information flowing through my head.

“Huh …?! I ‘stored’ the attack?!”

Moreover, my status has been improved!

GyaaGyaaGyaa!

The Feather Blizzard was released once more.

“!”

This time I can see it clearly!

It appears to be much slower than before.

All of the feathers’ trajectories are clearly visible to me.

“Huh!”

Sha-sha-sha!

I avoid the attack by taking small steps and eventually slipping past it.

Gagya?!

The Deathcocktrice comes to a halt and turns its head, as if startled.

This old man was taken aback. Is this the power of increased agility?!

“What the hell is this movement? Is this the old man?!”

My arm hurts! I guess I can’t beat old age.

“But… I have a fighting chance!”

Fighting through the pain, this old man fights back.

I’ve seen people shoot this many times.

You concentrate on the image of extending outward from the Deathcocktrice in the air as you point your palm toward it.

You will begin to feel warm, and a light will appear.

―I’m ready!

“Ki-bullet!”

Gyaaaaaaaaaa!

A golden ki-bullet rushes toward the Deathcocktrice, striking it square in the face!

Gaaaaaaaahn?!

The Deathcocktrice crashed to the ground, spewing smoke from its entire body.

It twitches and spasms before stopping.

It does not appear to rise.

“I-I did it?! This old man beat the Deathcocktrice…?!?”

I still can’t believe it.

As unbelievable as it may appear, this is an undeniable reality.

because my back continues to throb.

“Anyway, I’ll bring it back and have my skills appraised…!”

60 years of dedication

This old man felt something beginning to change.

And I’m excited beyond my years.

I haven’t felt this way since I was 15, before I discovered my skills.

Chapter 3: [Storage] Skill, Proficiency: 9999/9999 Part 2

“I’m sorry, but I need you to appraise my skills!”

When this old man returned to the Adventurer’s Guild counter, he immediately requested to do so.

“Didn’t you see it just this morning? Have you forgotten? That’s why you’re such an Oji-chan.”

Ellie, the Guild’s receptionist, sighed in response to this old man’s request.

This girl’s mother also worked as a receptionist at the guild, and this old man had known her since she was a child.

Maybe that’s why she’s so outgoing.

“This old man hasn’t lost his mind yet!”

“Alright, alright, that’s what people who have gone insane say. Okay, I’ll appraise you.”

[Storage]

You can store items in an invisible item box.

The item box menu allows you to view the list of stored items as well as their usage rate.

The item box’s capacity grows as your skill level grows.

You gain status based on the items you store (Proficiency: 9999).

The number of types of objects that can be stored increases (competence 9999)

Proficiency: 99/99

Status Bonus:

Arm strength150

Physical strength: 100

Mobility:180

Additional specialties:

“Ki-Bullet.”

[Genius]

increases the growth speed and performance of the owner’s other skills.

The effect increases with proficiency.

Proficiency: 99/99.

Status bonus: None

Current overall status

Arm strength: 10 + 150

Physical strength: 8+100

Agility:5+180

Spirit:9

Magic:6

On the left side of the number, you can see the character’s physical state.

This is partly due to the fact that this old man is now an old man, but the additional benefits are far greater.

This demonstrates how much a person’s strength is determined by their skills.

“Oh, the [Storage] skill is highlighted in blue! And it’s a great status bonus!”

“You gain status based on the items you store…! That’s the effect! I had no idea that 9999 proficiency would have a secondary effect―.”

It also means that you can store a wider variety of items.

Is this the effect of the phenomenon that [storage] nullified the feather blizzard of the Deathcocktrice?

“If it’s in blue, that means you’ve reached the maximum level of proficiency, right?!”

“That’s right. But what a long time to wait until 9999 is reached.”

“Perhaps it’s unprecedented?”

“Maybe―.”

This old man also has a [Genius] skill, which is already highlighted in blue.

Although I have the [Genius] skill in blue, it took me about 60 years to reach 9999 on my [Storage] skill. And I worked on it nonstop for almost every day.

I’m sure I’d be dead before I got there without my [Genius] skill..

“This is great! Although it doesn’t make me rethink the value of [storage] skills!”

“I’m not sure… But I think you’re right.”

Only this old man could have made it this far.

If you can’t grow to the point where almost no one uses it, it doesn’t affect the general evaluation.

“But just in case, I’ll report it to the higher-ups as a new discovery! Please feel better because you will be rewarded for your information!”

“Oh, and while we’re on the subject of rewards, I’d like you to purchase the demon I’ve killed.”

“Ash-san killing a demon is unusual. What kind of demon is it?”

“Deathcocktrice.”

“Huh?! Deathcocktrice?! Oji-chan?! What’s the matter with you…?”

“Wait a minute, you just saw this old man’s status bonus. Regardless, the proof is in the pudding. I’ll show you.”

“Y-Yeah… Please!”

“Release!”

And from this old man’s item box comes a Deathcocktrice.

“eeeEEEEH?! Is that a Deathcocktrice?!? Isn’t Ash-san incredible?!”

Her jaw drops open in surprise.

“Whoa! Is that a Deathcocktrice?!”

“Old man Ash killed it? I still can’t believe it…!”

“Really…! That old man Ash, the legendary low-class adventurer…?!”

“W-Wait a second! The current market value of a Deathcocktrice is… Holy smokes! Fifty gold coins! That’s enough to get by for a few years, right?”

“Wow, isn’t that amazing…?”

The usual work of this old man, picking herbs and carrying cargo, only costs a few coppers.

Fortunately, if I spend this money on weapons and armor and keep them in the item box, I might be able to become even more powerful.

I want to keep getting stronger!

For 60 years, this old man has been yearning for strength!

“I’ll get it off your hands as soon as possible.”

“Wait a second!”

This old man and others were stopped by a loud voice.

He’s an adventurer in his late thirties, with a good figure but a bad physiognomy.

He resembles Barbas, who used to mock this old man when he was younger.

As it should be, this is his son, Bangel.

He is an adventurer in the mold of his father, who has retired.

He is currently the guild’s most powerful member.

“Bangel-san, what’s the matter?”

This girl is annoyed by Bangel because he constantly bothers her.

“Our party’s target was this Deathcocktrice! We did all the damage first, and then old man Ash went after the goodies!”

“What?! Is it true, Ash-san?”

“―I didn’t think so.”

I felt like I was on pins and needles. I can’t say there’s no conclusive evidence.

“Didn’t Ash-san slay it?”

“Hahaha! How on earth can old man Ash defeat a deathcocktrice? He’s been doing dreadful trash-collecting quests for decades. He would have done it a long time ago if he could!”

“That’s right!”

“I’m sure you’re right!”

“Don’t dare steal what we hunted!”

Bangel and his band of adventurers are talking smack.

“The quest Ash-san is doing is something someone has to do and needs to do! Besides, today’s Ash-san is not the same as the old, stuck-up Oji-chan we’ve seen before―.”

“Uppity is unnecessary! I can’t deny it, but this old man isn’t looking for any trouble. So, what do you think about splitting it 50/50, gold and all?”

After Tina was temporarily banned from the guild for assaulting Bangel’s father, Barbas, they told her she’d be expelled the next time she got into trouble.

Now, this old man would be in for a fight, but he’d rather avoid the trouble that can be avoided.

But Bangel didn’t appear to be up for it.

“Idiot! Nothing an elderly garbage adventurer can do! Get out of the way!”

And as he extended his hand to push this old man away.

purely by instinct.

This old man swerved slightly, causing Bangel to stumble and trip.

“D*mn you!”

Bashi! This old man deflects the hand that is reaching for him by grabbing it in the opposite direction.

“Aaahh, the hell with this old man?! What the Fck…?! I-It isn’t moving…?!”

“Hmmm …?”

Just barely, I twist up.

The strength of this old man appears to be winning.

“Oh, my God!!”

“Wow, Ash-san! That’s some good medicine! Please give him some more!”

Ellie speaks her mind in the heat of the moment.

“…Once again, we’ll split it 50/50, right?”

“Sh*t…Okay, okay, let me go…!”

“Alright.”

So we divided the Deathcocktrice purchase price into 25 gold coins.

Two more gold were given as a reward for the skill information, bringing the total to 27.

“So then! This old man is in a hurry!”

With these 25 gold coins, let’s get some items for [storage]!

“A-Ash-san! It’s fine to be enthusiastic, but you should avoid the Gynt Aqueduct Ruins! I’ve heard there are vicious demons out there these days!”

“Oh! I know!”

This old man then proceeded to the weapon shop.

“Hey old man Ash. Are you on a quest today?”

“No, I’m going shopping today. Let me take a look at what you’ve got.”

“? That’s unusual. You don’t go demon hunting anymore, do you? Is that really necessary?

“Fufufu, It’s a big deal!”

“You appear to be in good spirits. I don’t mind what you buy. Take a look at this.”

He takes a few items from the shop and checks out the effect.

[Bronze sword].

Status Bonus When Stored:

Arm Strength +10 (Upper Limit: 150)

[Iron sword]

Status Boost When Stored:

Arm Strength +15 (Upper Limit: 200)

[Sword of steel]

Status Boost When Stored:

Arm strength +20 (upper limit: 250)

[Mithril Sword]

Status Bonus When Stored:

Arm strength +50 (upper limit: 350)

When stored, the specialty “sonic boom” can be used.

“Wait…this is.”

It seems that real weapons are something different than a simple stone.

Chapter 4: [Storage] Skill, Proficiency: 9999/9999 Part 3

“Hmm. This is a good one―.”

The Mithril Sword piqued my interest.

[Mithril Sword]

Status Bonus When Stored:

Arm Strength +50 (Upper limit: 400)

When stored, a specialty “sonic boom” can be used.

The increase in status and the upper limit are both large, and they even come with a “sonic boom”.

This is an absolute must-have.

Other noteworthy items include.

[Flaming Jewel Wand]

Status Bonus When Stored:

Magic+30 (upper limit: 280)

When stored, the magic “fire arrow” can be used.

[Ice Treasure Staff]

Status Bonus When Stored:

Magic+30 (upper limit: 280)

When stored, magic “Freeze Bullet” can be used.

[Shugden Staff]

Status Boost When Stored:

Spirit+20 (upper limit: 250)

When stored, the magic “heal” can be used.

I don’t have anything that can increase my magical or spiritual power.

Purchasing something like this would be a good idea.

“Heal” is particularly useful for adventuring.

Apart from that,

[Silver Chainmail]

Status Boost When Stored:

+20 Strength (Upper limit: 250)

When stored, the “Automatic recovery (small)” property can be used.

[Magic Stone Pairing]

Status Boost When Stored:

Arm strength + 30 (upper limit: 500)

Strength + 30 (upper limit: 500)

Agility +30 (upper limit: 500)

Magic+30 (Upper limit: 500)

Spirit+30 (upper limit: 500)

When stored, the owner can use the property “One Life”.

The “automatic recovery (small)” of chainmail is also good for safety.

The limit of magical stone pairing is extremely high.

This could be worthwhile.

I believe that pairing is a trait that allows you to share a strength or a weakness with a connected partner.

This could work in your favor or against you.

It is said that people who have two skills are sometimes born with them.

However, the skills, traits, and magic that result from them are not usually easily acquired.

It should be obtained through the development and practice of one’s skills.

It’s terrifying that you can get it simply by throwing it in the item box.

It may be worth the effort since the [storage] skill is assumed to be raised to 9999 proficiency, but… What would happen if you stored a more powerful sword, such as a legendary holy sword or a magic sword?

“Hey, how much for the mithril sword?”

“It’s our signature item. It’s one-of-a-kind, made of rare mithril, and extremely expensive. Twenty-five gold coins”

“Whoa! That’s expensive …!”

That alone would mean I have almost nothing on hand.

“What about this staff?”

“That is five gold coins.”

“What about the silver chainmail?”

“That’s 5 as well.”

“How about a magic stone pairing?”

“That one is the most expensive, 50 gold.”

“You’re a f*cking …! Have you lost your mind?”

“Certainly not! The material is valuable, it is a well-known craftsman’s brand, and it sells well to wealthy people.”

I see…”

I don’t think we’ll get anywhere with this.

“What about the steel sword?”

“2 gold”.

“Mmm―”

Let’s just use it for now.

I’ll store it to enhance my status, earn more money, and start working on other items.

“All right, then, give me the steel sword and the mithril sword, will you?”

“Thank you very much! But you’re going to buy two swords? Double sword holder?”

“I’d love to, but I have a few things on my mind. Can I have a little test cut?”

“Sure thing, old man. Please come in.”

This old man is led down into the cellar by the owner, who is carrying the two swords.

It’s just a basic practice area with a few wooden scarecrows.

“All right then. May I borrow your swords?”

“Here you go.”

This old man accepts it and places the mithril sword in the item box.

Usage rate: 1/100%.

Item List:

Stone:160

Herbs:122

Deathcocktrice Feathers: 62

Mithril Sword: 1

Status Bonus:

Arm strength: 200

Physical strength: 100

Mobility:180

Additional specialties:

“Ki-Bullet.

“Sonic Boom.

“Now let’s get started!”

“Hey, old man Ash, are you not going to use the Mithril sword?”

“Well, this old man’s fine with this.”

The mithril sword is for storage, while the steel sword is used.

This is even more the case with this old man.

You gain a higher stat bonus and the ability to use “sonic boom” from the mithril sword when stored.

This old man holds the steel sword at the ready, his breathing steady and his mind focused.

“You’re far off target, old man. Are you playing?”

“No, it’s fine. Haaaaah! “Sonic Boom!!!”

As the sword slashes down vertically, a shockwave follows it!

Zagaaaa!

As it slashes toward the wooden scarecrow, the shockwave creates a rut in the ground.

Boom!

With a booming boom, it shatters the wooden scarecrow!

“Ohh …! It actually works!”

“Good Lord?! That sword move was fantastic! Since when can you do that, old man?!”

“Hohoho. Even old men mature from time to time, don’t they?”

“That’s great! Oh, I’ve seen something nice one!”

“But I’m sorry, I broke the target.”

“Sure, no problem. Thank you for showing me something worthwhile.”

“I’m sorry. I’ll take care of the bill now.”

This old man finishes his shopping and leaves the shop.

My back is already bothering me, so I’m going to rest at home.

And tomorrow―.

Let’s go to the Gynt Aqueduct ruins that Ellie mentioned earlier.

If there are vicious demons there, we should be able to get a good price for them.

There are still some goodies in the weapon shop, and more status bonuses can be stored.

This old man may be an old man with a bad back, but he’s just as hungry for strength as any kid out there.

Chapter 5: [Storage] Skill, Proficiency: 9999/9999 Part 4

The following day

This old man went to the Adventurers’ Guild first thing in the morning to see Ellie.

I wanted to go to the Gynt Aqueducs Ruins today, but I also had a daily cargo quest to finish.

I could drop it off on my way to the aqueducs .

“A-Ash-san! good morning!”

“Hey, good morning. Sorry, but I’d like to take another cargo-carrying quest today.”

“No, it’s not the same anymore!”

“Huh? What is it?”

“Didn’t I tell you there have been some vicious demons recently in the Gynt Aqueducs Ruins?”

“Yes.”

“When we reported it to the capital, the Order of Knights sent a survey team. As a result, the knights went to the ruins.”

“…They didn’t return?”

“Y-Yes. It’s been three days now. So I sent a few of our best adventurers to check on them, and I sent Bangel-san and the others to… I had the same question for you, Ash-san! Of course, you’ll be compensated.”

That’s a good thing. I’m glad to hear that.

I had intended to go to the Gynt Aqueducs from the very beginning.

“So be it. But are you sure this old man is the right person to ask?”

“You defeated Bangel-san the day before! And I saw your awesome status bonus!”

“Oho, well―it’s the first time I’ve ever been called awesome. It feels good.”

“Well, human beings grow up at all ages, don’t they?!”

“Yeah, I’m glad I’ve been working so hard.”

“So it’s a good underworld journey!”

“Hey, don’t jinx me! This old man still wants to reap the benefits of his skill!”

“Then make sure you come back safely. Be careful, okay?!”

“So be it. Then I’m off!”

This old man changed his mind and went straight to the Gynt Aqueduct ruins .

There are several underground entrances to the ruins located throughout the town.

They were originally the sewage systems of an ancient city that had fallen into ruin.

Over time, they were transformed into dungeons.

Because there aren’t many powerful monsters here most of the time, it’s a good place for new adventurers to hone their skills.

Looking back, this old man and Tina were frequent visitors in the early days of our adventure.

It’s also a fond memory of being stunned by being outmatched in terms of ability.

Since I became an old man, I’ve mostly stopped fighting, but―

It’s great to be back at the entrance to these underground aqueducts with a fresh mind again.

I take a step down the moss-covered stairs and into the sound of running water.

Then, as soon as I did, I came across a demon.

It is a large lizard with a semi-transparent body and a light blue coloration.

When it dives into the water, it goes almost all the way down, making it very hard to detect.

Its spouting water is tinged with strong acid, and its long, thick tongue can be detached at any time.

A predator that wraps its abdomen around its prey, immobilizing it before detaching and finishing it off.

“Is that an aqualizard?”

Aqualizards are found only in small numbers at the far end of the Gynt Aqueduct Ruins.

Even if you look for them, you may not find them.

Because they are so uncommon, their strength stands out from the rest.

They aren’t as powerful as Deathcocktrice, but they’re a significant burden for a low-level adventurer.

Previously, this old man would have lost ten out of ten fights.

But not now.

Bishuuuuh!

A shot of acid spurts towards this old man.

―I can see it! I can dodge it!

This old man dives out of the way of the acidic water and kicks the ground toward it.

Take a step forward and slash!

Boom!

But the sound of footsteps is much louder than this old man thought it would be.

I’m far too quick. My senses haven’t kept up with my quick ascent.

As a result, I was unable to draw my sword and slash in time and ended up shoulder tackling the demon.

“Huh?!”

However, as an attack, it is still effective.

Dogooooooo!

The aqualizard’s body crumples and crashes into a wall, its body bending in an unexpected direction as it crumples to the floor.

I killed it with a single hit. This old man cannot believe how much he has changed.

“Fufufu — you’re too strong for your senses to catch up with you. What a luxurious misery.”

For a brief moment, this old man grimaces, shakes his head, and comes to his senses.

“No. We must exercise extreme caution. But there’s something odd about an aqualizard at an entrance like this.”

I stored the Aqualizard’s corpse.

I’m sure the guild will pay a good price for this.

I nod and continue to go deeper and deeper.

“Oh, another aqualizard.”

This time, there are two of them. They don’t appear to have noticed me.

If this is the case.

“If my senses continue to fall short of my strength, then…”

The sword has been drawn, the tip has been extended, and the posture is sideways.

“It’s better if I charge with a thrust!”

Daaaaaaaaah!

This old man charges at the enemy while maintaining his thrust.

Shaaaaaaaah!

Two aqualizards skewered together!

But they’re still flailing around, struggling.

“Hmph!”

I swing my sword with all my might through the two bodies, completely severing them.

Don’t forget to collect the two corpses.

“All right, let’s keep going!”

I take the stairs to the bottom, hoping to reach a lower level.

“…! Another group of aqualizards? What’s going on? I didn’t realize there were so many.”

This time, there are four or five of them.

“Just enough to get my senses used to it!”

From afar, this old man unleashes his technique “sonic boom” acquired from the mithril sword!

Zagaaa!

Then dash after the shockwave, hiding behind it as it bounces across the ground.

The shockwave slams into the Aqualizards.

Three bodies are devoured, ripped apart, and blown up immediately.

There are two more! I rush in and slash at one of their necks, severing it!

“Good!”

Now I’ve succeeded in running in and cutting them off.

I’m becoming accustomed to moving so quickly!

Shun!

The remaining Aqualizard’s outstretched, translucent tongue wraps around one of this old man’s legs.

It tugs at me, attempting to drag me down―

“You’re not powerful enough!”

I pull my leg hard in the opposite direction―.

“Come on!”

The Aqualizard is dragged in and slashed in half!

“―Hmm… I never thought I’d be able to hunt them so many times…”

Yes, this is not a battle.

It is a one-sided hunt in which the hunter’s and prey’s positions are irreversible.

“This old man has grown strong, Fufufu…!”

I’m far too happy to stop smiling!

Getting drunk on your own power! This is the sweetest wine in the world.

This old man smiled as he descended the next staircase to the bottom level.

At the bottom there were demons I had never seen before.

Chapter 6: [Storage] Skill, Proficiency: 9999/9999 Part 5

The lowest level is the Gynt Waterworks Ruins.

At the deepest part of the ruins, where all of the waterways converge, there is a large reservoir.

This old man was planning to go there, but―

As soon as I stepped onto the bottom floor, I found a demon I had never seen before wandering around.

“…What the hell―.”

It has the same translucent coloring as the Aqualizard, but its structure is completely different.

It walks like a human on two legs.

It’s as if an aqualizard stood up and began walking.

It’s quite large, standing more than two heads taller than this old man.

It has long, well-developed fingernails that resemble sharp blades.

Is it a more advanced species than the aqualizard? Whatever it is… it’s a monster I’ve never seen before.

Gagga?

“Huh…?! It took notice of me!”

I’m at a greater distance, but it’s running towards me.

It appears to have superior vision.

It charges forward, its footsteps sounding like a fish jumping.

Then it slashes at me with its long, sharp claws.

It moves quickly. But―.

“I can see it!”

Ging! The sword and claws clashed with sparks.

It’s big… but I think I can beat it in a strength contest.

I’m going to make a move when―

It leapt backward at that point, perhaps realizing it was no match for its strength.

It seems to have more cunning than the Aqualizard.

But it’s still a simple and large movement, as if it doesn’t expect to be launched at.

“Take this!”

This old man aims for the enemy’s landing and unleashes a “Sonic Boom”.

A shockwave hits the enemy. blows it up loud and hard.

The severely injured enemy is still struggling to get up.

The other aqualizards I’ve encountered were all killed with a single blow, but not this one.

“Hmph! Ki-Bullet!”

After him!

Bashwun!

Finally, the demon is rendered completely silent.

“Hmm. I can defeat it, but it is more difficult than the Aqualizards.”

Strength, endurance, and judgment all certainly improve.

One of them would suffice, but more than one might be too much for me to handle.

For the time being, the enemy I killed has been stored.

I keep going. Continuing on the path that leads to the reservoir at the far end.

“Huh… What’s this?!”

I find weapons scattered on the floor.

[Silver Knight’s Rapier]

Status Boost When Stored:

Arm Strength +50 (Upper Limit: 400)

Agility +50 (upper limit: 400)

When stored, the specialty “Barrage Thrusting” can be used.

[Knight’s Golden Shield]

Status Bonus When Stored:

Strength + 80 (upper limit: 450)

When stored, the specialty “Extreme Guard” can be used.

[Great Axe of the Great Warrior]

Status Bonus When Stored:

Arm Strength +90 (Upper Limit: 450)

When stored, the specialized “Extreme Guard” can be used.

“Was it abandoned by those who came here…?”

The Order’s emblem can be found on the silver knight’s rapier and the knight’s golden shield.

So this is the gear used by the Knights who came here to investigate…?

And wasn’t that Banger’s favorite weapon the [Great Axe of the Great Warrior]

?

The great axe with the magnificent dragon carved on it that he must have inherited from his father.

“So they either came here and were attacked, or they were abducted…”

Because there are no bodies, it is more likely that they were abducted.

It’s crucial circumstantial evidence. But more than that―

“… That’s a nice piece of equipment… As one would expect from the Order and our skilled adventurer.”

The status bonuses and special skills at their disposal were impressive.

“… Let’s put it in storage for the time being.”

This old man puts the equipment he finds into his item box.

Usage rate:1/100%.

List of articles:

stone:160

Herbs:122

Deathcocktrice Feathers: 62

Martial Arts Pendant: 1

Mithril Sword: 1

Rapier of the Silver Knight: 1

Shield of the Golden Knight: 1

Great Axe of the Great Warrior: 1

Status Bonus:

Arm strength340

Physical strength: 180

Mobility: 230.

Additional specialties:

Ki-Bullet

Sonic boom

Barrage Thrusting

Extreme protection

Day Break

“I’m just collecting misplaced items and keeping them. Fufufu…”

Forever!

This is such a significant improvement that you find yourself saying, “I’m going to keep this forever!”

I’ll take my time deciding what to do later.

Vichan. Vichan. Bichang. Bichang.

There were footsteps that sounded like water rushing from everywhere.

―The enemy from before! There are seven or eight of them, forming a circle around me.

Oh no, they’re all rushing towards me at the same time!

They’re attempting to crush me with numbers!

“Interesting―! Then I’ll take them!”

This old man dared to remain where he was. He made no movement to flee.

As the enemies close in on me, they all swing their clawed blades at me at the same time.

Slashing blows rain down from the front, back, left, and right.

If I don’t, I’ll be killed… Of course, I have a strategy!

“Extreme Protection!”

This old man crosses his arms and curls his back in a defensive stance.

A thin wall of light forms along the surface of this old man’s body.

“Extreme Protection” has created a light wall.

Kiiiiiin!

The protective wall strengthens this old man’s body, repelling all of his enemies’ slashes.

This has a brief duration of effect, but if timed to coincide with the enemy’s attack, this is what you get.

He survives unharmed and launches a counterattack!

“Barrage Thrusting!”

Thud, thud, thud!

Countless sharp blasts rained down on the opposing side.

When I try to use it, my hand moves extremely quickly and nimbly. It’s like a different creature.

At close range, the “barrage thrusting” pierces the enemy’s body with numerous holes.

It wasn’t a completely complete beehive, though.

This old man’s status bonus has been significantly increased.

As a result, the speed and power of each thrust are incomparable.

The power of the thrusts is stronger than my senses.

Zashushushu! Boshuboshuboshuboshu!

It is not satisfied with a beehive, so it dismembers the pack of demons.

“H-Huh?!”

I couldn’t help but think of it as a relentless scourge.

I found myself surrounded by pieces of the demon’s flesh scattered around my feet.

Fortunately, their bodies are light blue and transparent, so it only appears to be a splattering of jelly.

“I guess I went a little too far… We can’t sell it right now.”

The bodies have been severely damaged.

Let’s just collect them all and destroy them all at once.

It was a last-minute countermeasure, but it worked.

“No, I’m honestly sorry…”

I couldn’t help but join my hands with those poor demons.

It’s another of those so-called “too powerful” techniques for my senses to keep up with.

The new techniques and status bonuses, on the other hand, are very satisfying.

I keep going until I reach the deepest waterways.

“Huh …?! It looks completely different than before. What’s this hole?”

There’s a large hole that hollows out the center of the reservoir.

Water is pouring down the hole like a waterfall.

Ooooohh~

“Does something exist down there?”

From below, there’s what sounds like a terrible moaning.

Chapter 7: [Storage] Skill, Proficiency: 9999/9999 Part 6

“Who the hell are you?!”

This old man walks up to the reservoir’s edge and looks down.

The rainbow-colored, shimmering haze makes it difficult to see.

But there was a huge shadow there that the haze couldn’t hide.

“What on earth is that thing?!”

It is two or three times the height of this old man.

Although it is a bipedal skeleton, its face is that of a terrifyingly dignified dragon.

Its body is covered in light blue scales that shimmer like crystals.

It carries two massive swords around its waist and two more on its back.

Its armor is beautifully decorated in silver and white, giving it the appearance of a knight.

a massive knight with the face of a dragon. That’s the impression I get from looking at it.

In its chest is a gem-like object that shines in seven colors that give off a haze.

It’s clearly unique and more powerful than anything I’ve ever seen.

It appears to be meditating rather than moving.

Glaring!

The demon’s eyes suddenly open.

His gaze was clearly fixed on this old man.

“… Do you want to know? Human.”

Then he speaks, quietly and clearly.

“Huh…?! It awoke…?!

“Haaaaah!”

The demon bends down and jumps up.

Its massive body leaps from the bottom of the reservoir and lands behind this old man in an instant.

The ground trembles beneath its weight.

It’s surprisingly agile for a demon of its size.

“I am Barvel, one of the Demon King’s eight demon generals, the Crystal Dragon General Barvel…!”

“The Eight Demon Generals?!”

He’s considered a high-ranking member of the demon tribe’s army. What is it doing here…?!

The demon army was increasingly moving around the Lacia Kingdom when this old man and others were still young, but we had never heard of this Barvel.

If we had known, the Gynt Aqueduct Ruins would have been guarded more closely.

That means that it has been sleeping here since the mythical time of the all-out war between humans and demons.

“It’s been a long sleep… I’ve been gradually gathering your kind’s energy for many months… Now my resurrection has finally been completed!”

From the back of Barvel’s body, a series of clear tubes grew that led to a round, jelly-like sphere.

Inside… There were dozens or hundreds of human bones crammed inside.

“What? Is that…?!”

“Sacrifices I’ve had my followers gather. That’s what happens when you drain all of their energy.

Adventurers who visited the Gynt Aqueduct ruins were secretly captured and used as food for resurrection over a long period of time?!

Perhaps the Knights, as well as Bangel and the others who had come to investigate, were also…?!

“No, that or …!”

Bangel and his companions appear to be the only ones who are unconscious but not yet skeletonized. There was no sign of the knights. Which means that they already have―.

“There are still survivors! Let them go!”

It’s probably pointless to say, but Barvel’s response surprised me.

“Very well!”

The tube is ripped apart and separated from Barvel’s body with a snap.

“They are a hindrance to battle anyway! You may be an old and frail man, but you have defeated my followers by standing here. You are the ideal prey to test whether this one’s resurrection is truly complete! Now demonstrate how you can defy me with all your might!”

Barvel took a two-sword stance, drawing the swords at his hips.

“Bloody fellow…! But I’m willing to play with you!

It goes without saying that I cannot abandon Bangel and the others.

Maybe not!

This old man wishes to put his strength to the test. And he wants to be certain of his power.

If it’s enough to defeat a top-tier demon, this old man’s chest will swell with pride as he approaches Tina.

It’s taken 60 years, but this old man has caught up with Tina.

This is, in a sense, the final exam to make it. Let’s do it for ourselves!

“Zeeeey!”

Barvel strikes hard.

This old man cannot react because the line is too close. But―.

Zagaa!

“Sonic boom!”

“Good!”

This old man unleashes a sonic boom!

The shock waves collide head-on, swell, writhe, and then vanish like a massive whirlwind.

“Hoo~! That is quite an accomplishment for a human! Are you a saint or a hero?!”

“Neither! I’m just an old man with a [storage] skill!”

“Hmph! Don’t joke around with me!”

“I don’t care what you think!”

Once again, the “sonic boom” hits each other.

Another massive whirlwind is on its way.

But not this time.

From the other side, a shockwave enters the whirlwind !

“This one has two swords!”

So says the other side, who is superior in rapid-fire capability.

Zagaa!

Shock waves are bearing down on me.

“Aah!”

This old man leaps to the side to avoid it―

But then there’s Barvel, charging right into me.

“There it is!”

He knew that this old man would leap to the side to avoid him.

Of course, he didn’t let the opportunity go to waste, but pounced on me like crazy.

But this old man had anticipated it!

“Ki-Bullet!”

My body floats up and changes its trajectory as the Ki-Bullet is fired directly downwards.

This old man leapt over Barvel’s head and landed behind him.

“Huh?!”

“There’s a gap!”

―I’ve got him!

“Barrage Thrusting!” ooOOOHH!

Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud!

“Ahhhh?!”

Barvel screams as countless thrusts come at him.

But―.

Kinking, kinking, kinking!

With a dry thud, this old man’s thrusts slide over Barvel’s armored body.

―Unscratchable?

Biiiiin!

My iron sword shattered as a result of the attack.

The clash between this old man’s skill and Barvel’s hardness was unbearable.

“Huh…? Is my sword not strong enough?!”

“Haha! That’s not enough!”

“How about this?!?”

“Ki-Bullet!”

Bashwun!

“Hmph!”

Barvel turns around and uses his right sword to sever the Ki-Bullet.

“What the…!”

“Good move! It numbs my hand!”

In other words, it only has that much power.

As one would expect from one of the Eight Demon Generals! He’s not like my previous enemies.

“This isn’t the end, is it?!”

Boohoo! and a left cleave appears.

I leapt up to avoid it!

And as I land, I prepare for the next attack. But the moment I try, an electric shock hits my body.

“Gaaaah?!”

My back aches! At this point in time, this old man squats unexpectedly. He is immobile!

“Then take this!”

The sword of Barvel glows with a fiery light. It’s the same seven-colored light that shines through the jewel in his chest.

Is it also transmitted to his sword?!

“oooohH! Smash to pieces! “Motion Wave Blast!”

Bashuuuuuuuun!

This old man is definitely caught by the sword’s attack, and an explosive pillar of light is created in its place.

The floor beneath my feet is gouged out, leaving a crater-like destruction mark.

If you take this sword seriously, this old man’s body, which is as dead as a dried tree, should be in shambles.

But―.

“Huh …?”

“W-What the…it definitely hit you! You ate my motion wave blast and you’re still alive?!”

Barvel was startled and took a few steps back.

Yes, this old man had taken a serious hit from his special moves, but―.

Oddly enough, nothing happened.

Chapter 8: [Storage] Skill, Proficiency: 9999/9999 Part 7

“What in the world is going on…?!”

This old man himself is puzzled.

Barvel’s special move earlier blew off and cratered the ground beneath my feet, but this old man is unharmed.

By any stretch of the imagination, it should not be possible.

“You …! What in the world are you?!”

“What? What are you talking about?!”

“Don’t try to fool me! I see! Your old man’s appearance is to catch me off guard, right?!”

“What are you talking about…?!”

In any case, if you’re safe, the game will go on.

The steel sword is broken. I am unarmed. I need to get something out instead.

“Then we have no choice. Mithril sword…!”

This old man reaches down and retrieves the mithril sword from the item box. That is when he realizes…

…My hands are weird.

They are not this old man’s wrinkled hands.

They were young and full of life, but also small and lovely.

In a nutshell, they were a child’s hands.

“Huh? What? A kid’s hand…?!”

That reminds me, my voice doesn’t sound quite right.

“Yes! An old man has transformed into a child!”

“Huh…?!”

Is there a problem with my [storage] skill?!

Usage rate: 21/100%.

List of articles:

Stones: 160

Herbs: 122

Deathcocktrice Feathers: 62

Martial Arts Pendant: 1

Mithril Sword: 1

Rapier of the Silver Knight: 1

Shield of the Golden Knight: 1

Great Axe of the Great Warrior: 1

Other lists :

Life wave: 1

Status Bonus:

Arm strength: 340

Physical strength: 180

Mobility: 230

All skills increased by 1.25

Additional specialties:

Ki-Bullet

Sonic boom

Barrage Thrusting

Extreme protection

Daybreak

“Huh…?! Aside from that, “Life Wave” is on the list…?!”

It also has a status bonus that boosts all of its abilities, and it has been transformed into a young child.

If by chance,

“D-Did you suck my Motion Wave Blast’s energy?! How could you possibly do that?! It’s my signature move!”

Barvel’s surprised guess is most likely correct.

This old man had the same thought.

just like when he absorbed the Deathcocktrice’s feather blizzard.

Until now, I assumed it was a random feather flying by and that it stored the attack because it was an item.

However, it appears that this is not the case.

Even an energy attack, which is not an object, can be stored.

That’s why it’s on the list of “Others” instead of “Items”.

I recall having my skills tested yesterday.

The number of types of objects that can be stored increases (Proficiency: 9999/9999).

This is most likely the mentioned ability.

And it has the effect of [storage].

[Life Wave]

Status Bonus When Stored:

All abilities have been multiplied by 1.25.

When stored, it rejuvenates into a youthful, vital appearance.

That’s exactly what it means.

This is most likely the power Barvel sucks from the humans he collects.

As a result, it is brimming with human vitality, and [storage] produces a rejuvenating effect.

It’s a morbid thought, but it may be more meaningful than allowing demons to use this energy.

In any case, the [Storage] ability that causes such a phenomenon is a tremendous asset.

“What a load of bollocks this 9999/9999 proficient is…”

If you could even take in the energy attacks of your opponents, wouldn’t you be almost unbeatable?

The only thing you need to be concerned about is the item box’s usage rate.

The usage rate is 21/100 %.

Here is an example of a case in point.

Previously, the usage rate was 1%, with the remaining 99% unfilled.

Even with a proficiency of 9999, this old man’s item box has a massive capacity.

If it had been a normal item, I could have stored more than enough.

The usage rate has increased by 20% since the installation of the “Life Wave.”

This means that if you save energy attacks that aren’t items, the item box will become overloaded.

If the box is overloaded, the attack will be carried out normally.

The damage would then be unavoidable.

“You’re not just any ordinary man, are you?! Are you God’s messenger or God Himself?!”

“Hohoho! Isn’t that a bit of a stretch? Isn’t this old man just a man? He’s just a man who didn’t give up, even when he was almost dead.”

“Then I should make you look dead…! Ahhhh!”

His own “sonic boom” is unleashed simultaneously with two swords.

Zagaaaaaaaaa! Gagaaaaaaaaaa!

Two shockwaves slam into me with a loud crash!

―There’s no reason to avoid it!

This old man runs directly into the blast.

The shockwaves distort and disappear just before they touch me.

“What the…?! Another of my attacks is…?!”

Of course, I stored it.

Usage rate: 26/100%.

The “sonic boom” increased by 2.5 percent.

“…I’ll give it back!”

This old man doesn’t stop and shoot the store the sonic boom’!

Zagaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

The shockwave smacks Barvel in the face!

“W-What the hell …?! What is this?!”

Barvel, who was startled and slow to react, was hit by his own “sonic boom.”

“Gaaaahhh?!”

Barvel’s huge body is bounced around so much by the shockwave that he crashes into the wall.

“U-Ugh, what a monstrosity…?! This isn’t something that any other hero would do…!”

Then this old man fired a follow-up shot right away!

Dogoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

The golden “Ki-Bullet” is lodged in Barvel’s abdomen.

“Goboooooooooooooooooooooooo?!”

This old man’s Ki-Bullet, which had been further strengthened by the Life Wave, had become powerful enough to destroy Barvel’s defence.

Chapter 9: [Storage] Skill, Proficiency: 9999/9999 Part 8

“That’s all there is to it! Let’s get started!”

Dogodogodogodogogooo!!

“Gohooo…?! That’s absurd; you didn’t have this much power before…!”

This old man’s “ki-bullet” continues to push Barvel’s body up against the wall.

In quick succession of Ki-Bullets, Barvel’s body is pinned against the wall like a crucifix and buried deep for greater impact.

“Hohoho! It’s more powerful, and I can catch my breath even after firing in rapid succession!”

The power of the “Ki Bullet” has been greatly increased as a result of the increased status of the “Life Wave.”

Furthermore, I used to be unable to fire the Ki-Bullet for more than a few rounds in a row, but now I can shoot it as many times as I want without running out of breath.

I’m wondering if it’s because my body has gotten younger.

“Above all, my back and knees are not in pain! I’m doing fantastic!”

“Goaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh?!”

Barvel’s depressed voice falls into an ever-expanding hole.

Rumble rattle rattle …!

Finally, the hole collapses so wide that Barvel’s body is obscured by the debris.

“…Phew.”

This old man exhales and stops hitting with the “Ki-Bullet.”

“I’ve worked up a good sweat―Now then…”

This may not be the right time, but I’m curious, so I move closer to the reservoir’s edge and check my reflection.

I see a young boy, about ten years old.

He has an innocent expression, firm, youthful skin, and eyes that seem to sparkle.

I’m certain of it. This is definitely this old man when he was 10 years old.

“Hohoho. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but now I realize what a cute child I am.”

Would my grandchildren look like this if I had them?

“Tina will be surprised to see me like this… And, besides, this could be a nice souvenir. I’m going to stay here for a while.”

This old man’s mind was racing with ideas.

And, tactically, there was no reason to activate the Life Wave, which would boost all of his abilities.

The issue is that it consumes a large portion of the item box usage.

“oooooOOOOOOOHH!”

Boom!

Barvel emerges from the ruins with vigor.

But he has wounds all over his body, his shoulders move up and down, and his breathing is all over the place.

“Really? You’re a tough fella to still be standing after all this time.”

“You. What is your name?”

“Ash Aberth.”

“I see. This Barvel, the Crystal Dragon, has never faced an opponent as formidable as you in his entire life! So, haaaaaaaaa!”

The jewel in Barvel’s chest glows so brightly that it transmits to the two blades in his hands.

―Motion Wave Blast.

And now he’s going to use both of his swords?

“…Motion Wave Blast?!? But that didn’t work, did it?”

“You can’t be sure you’ll be able to take the next one! And my greatest attack is this technique. Then I will use my best technique! Or else I’ll regret it as a warrior!”

“I see. Then go ahead and do it! Come on!”

“Ahhhhhh!”

Barvel charges forward with the greatest speed yet, two shining swords swinging down at the same time!

“Double Motion Wave Blaaaaaaaaaaaaaast”

This old man dares to catch it without moving.

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaashh!!

At this old man’s feet, a crater twice the size of the previous blow has been left.

It’s a frightening blow.

With its massive destructive power, this single blow can take out dozens or even hundreds of enemies at once.

But, sadly, this old man was unharmed.

Check the status

Usage rate:61/100%.

Item List:

Stones:160

Herbs:122

Deathcocktrice Feathers:62

Martial Arts Pendant:1

Mithril Sword: 1

Rapier of the Silver Knight:1

Shield of the Golden Knight:1

Great Axe of the Great Warrior: 1

Other lists :

Life wave: 3

Status Bonus:

Arm strength: 340

Physical strength: 180

Agility: 230.

Additional specialties:

Ki-Bullet.

Sonic boom

Barrage Thrusting

Extreme protection

Daybreak

Additional Properties:

All skills increased by 1.25

Indeed, regardless of the number of the same “life waves,” the magnification of the increase in total power does not appear to increase.

“How is it like this―?!”

“…I’m sorry about this!”

This old man extended his hand to the heavens.

He pulls out the Mithril sword from his item box and grips it tightly.

The blade was engulfed in the seven-colored light that Barvel had emitted.

“W-What the hell? Now you want to claim all this power for yourself?!”

“Yes! It’s a powerful technique that I’ve been wanting to try! Haaaaaa!

With all his might, this old man swung his Life Wave sword down at Barvel.

“Motion Wave Blaaaaaaaaaaast!”

Bashuuuuuuun!

A huge pillar of light engulfs Barvel.

Its energy has scorched and ripped Barvel’s body to shreds.

“Fu,fufufufufu! … Brilliant! Brilliaaaaantー!”

Barvel let out a shriek in praise of this old man.

As the pillar of light disappears, an ugly, smoking body crashes into the center of the cratered destruction.

“You’ve always been a man of integrity. Thank you for the compliment. I apologize, but it’s all part of the game, so don’t take it personally.”

This old man bent his hand to Barvel’s and stored his body.

As the hulking figure disappeared into the item box, there was something left behind.

It was a large jewel that glowed in seven different colors.

“Huh…? Isn’t this―?!”

It’s the one that shines on Barvel’s chest!

Chapter 10: [Storage] Skill, Proficiency: 9999/9999 Part 9

This old man stares at the jewel.

[Pearl of Life].

Status Boost When Stored:

Arm Strength +400 (Upper Limit: 400)

Physical strength +400 (upper limit: 400)

Agility +400 (Upper limit: 400)

Magic+400 (Upper limit: 400)

Spirit+400 (Upper limit: 400)

All skills increased x 1.3

When stored, it rejuvenates you into a youthful appearance full of vitality.

“Oh …! This is truly extraordinary…”

This was most likely the source of the life wave’s power.

The application resulted in Barvel’s special move ‘motion wave blast’.

The upper limit is not so much, but the status bonus is maxed out.

If you [store] one of these items, items with a maximum value of 400 or less are no longer required for the status bonus.

Not to mention “Stone”, “Herb”, “Feather of Deathcocktrice”, “Mithril Sword” and “Silver Knight’s Rapier” are no longer needed for status bonuses.

Although the Mithril Sword and Silver Knight’s Rapier are still needed for special skills.

“…But what a magnificent trophy.”

It was most likely formed from the power Barvel had absorbed from the humans he had gathered.

The item is known as the “Pearl of Life.”

The crystallization of so many human lives. It’s frightening to think so.

The spirits gathered here will be enlightened, rather than being used by demons or hidden away where no one can find it.

This old man should be able to make better use of the pearl of life than anyone else.

That’s what a [Storage] skill proficiency of 9999/9999 is all about.

“…Please help this old man. I will not treat you badly. “

This old man places his hand on the Pearl of Life and bows politely before storing it.

Also, a status check.

Usage rate:21/100%.

List of articles:

Stone:160

Herbs:122

Deathcocktrice Feathers: 62

Martial Arts Pendant: 1

Mithril Sword: 1

Rapier of the Silver Knight: 1

Shield of the Golden Knight: 1

Great Axe of the Great Warrior: 1

Pearl of life: 1

Other lists :

Life wave: 1

Status Bonus:

Arm strength: 450

Physical strength: 450

Mobility:400

Magic+400

Spirit+400

Additional specialties:

Ki-Bullet

Sonic boom

Barrage Thrusting

Extreme protection

Day Break

Additional Properties:

All abilities increased x 1.3

“Well …! Looks like I’m even stronger now.”

All abilities have gained 1.3 points. Furthermore, my usage rate has dropped by 40% since I just fired two Life Waves.

Because the Pearl of Life is an item, storing it has almost no effect on [storage]’s usage rate.

That’s another benefit.

Since its 1.3 times the multiplier of the “Pearl of Life” seems to also apply to the increase of all abilities, the “Life Wave” can be let go.

As a result, the usage rate can be reduced to the original 1%.

“Now let us save the survivors and return home.”

This has been an extremely worthwhile journey.

I had grown stronger and I had been rejuvenated to ten years old, as if I were a different person for my purpose.

Then this old man returned to the guild and tried to leave the survivors to Ellie―

“Huh? Did you rescue all of these people?! Thank you very much! And have you ever seen an Oji-chan named Ash-san?!”

“This old man is Ash. Here’s this old man’s adventurer’s card―isn’t it?”

“I-It’s Ash-san’s adventurer’s card …! That means Oji-chan is dead! Uwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!”

Ellie burst into tears.

“W-Well, that makes sense. You suddenly look like a different person at the age of ten. So, here’s what we’re going to do―”

Then this old man removes the Pearl of Life from his item box.

On the way home, the last “Life Wave” had already been used to blow away the debris.

So with the Pearl of Life removed, this old man’s body has reverted to that of an old man with a sore back.

“What, eh? A-Ash-san?! What about that kid?”

“Both are this old man! It’s the item in my storage that has made me young again.”

“Eeeeeeeee? You can do something like that?!”

“Watch and see―.”

The “pearl of life” is then re-stored.

Poof!

Then this old man quickly turned into an adorable 10-year-old boy.

“What do you think?”

“Wow, that’s incredible! And you were so adorable when you were younger, Ash-san.”

He patted me on the head. It’s not all that bad.

“Anyway… I’m glad to hear that Bangel-san and the others are safe, but did you find the knights from the earlier surveying party?”

This old man shakes his head―.

“No, it was terrible. They were already trapped by the demons and their lives had been sucked out of them by the time this old man ran to them.”

“…! T-There’s such a terrifying demon?”

“Yes. But it shouldn’t be a danger anymore. I’ve defeated it.”

“I-Is that so? What kind of demon was it?”

“Rather than explaining it with words, see for yourself. I’ll need some space.”

And this old man caused Barvel’s corpse to appear in a large space in the guild’s center.

He was powerful.

Even as a corpse, his size and the aura of strength he exudes overwhelm anyone who sees him.

“…! W-What is this vicious-looking demon?! It’s got a face like a dragon and a hard body, but it’s shining and beautiful and―This thing was in the Gynt Aqueduct Ruins?!”

Not only Ellie, but also the other adventurers, are taken aback.

“Ahhhh?! What in the world is this demon?!”

“A dragon… A dragon knight?” Man, it looks really strong!”

“Does it have a crystal-like skin? Does it become a great material if we peel it off…?!”

This old man decides to tell everyone what Barvel said.

“It was apparently sealed further down at the Gynt Aqueduct ruins. He introduced himself as Barvel, one of the Demon King’s Army’s eight demon generals. “

“””eeeeeEEEEEEEEEH! The demon army? The eight demon generals?!”””

The place was filled with astonishment.

“Isn’t that some kind of legendary demon?! Wait a second! I’ll go get the guildmaster! And the content for the Demon’s Illustrated Book!”

Ellie fluttered along―.

She came back with the guildmaster, a short, fat old man.

The guild master is carrying a large book.

He was so taken aback when he saw Barvel’s body that he nearly passed out.

“Aaaaahhhh?! I-I-It’s true! It’s Crystal Dragon General Barvel, one of the legendary Eight Demon Generals of the Demon King’s Army…! Everyone, Ellie! Take a look at this!”

The Guild Master brought a large-sized picture book with Barvel’s name and figure drawn in it. It also stated that Barvel had “destroyed a thousand of the elite with a single strike” and that “his skin is harder than steel and cannot be damaged by ordinary weapons.”

He was, after all, a very famous figure amongst the demon tribe.

“Wow! He beat that thing!”

“Then, he is, without a doubt, a hero!”

“Who the hell is this kid?!”

The guild is suddenly very lively.

“A-A-A-Anyway, this is a great achievement! We’ll make an exception and promote you to S-rank adventurer right away, so you don’t have to take any advancement exams!”

The word came from the guildmaster.

I have no reason to say no. I’ll accept.

To be honest, that makes me happy.

This old man wished to be a better adventurer than his parents.

I’m not sure if I have… but I have joined the ranks of the great adventurers.

In the midst of the guild’s excitement, this old man had made up his mind yet again

―The moment has arrived.

Of course, it was time to fulfill my promise to Tina.

I promised to pick her up more than 50 years ago.

Tina was still secretly helping this old man.

Even after all these years, this old man was wrong and stubborn.

That can’t be helped.

It is certain that too many years have passed between us.

But I owe it to Tina to let her see this old man for once. I must keep my word.

When we’re ready, we’ll ride to Tina’s palace in the royal capital.

I understand she recently resigned from her long reign as Queen due to health concerns.

I’m worried. But I’m confident that if this old man arrives in time, he will be able to save Tina.

Anyway, we need to hurry!!!

Chapter 11: Martina and the Dragonmancer 1

After two days.

“All right, let’s get going.”

This old man is leaving his long-term residence.

The house has already been emptied and is deserted on the inside.

He’s already made arrangements for it to be given to someone else.

―I’m not coming back.

This old man is leaving for the great wide world today, after a long, long, far too long period of training.

I said my goodbyes to Ellie, the Guild’s receptionist, and others who had assisted me around town.

Bangel, an adventurer who had been taunting this old man for two generations, apologized and thanked me for saving his life at the Gynt Aqueduct ruins.

This old man accepted it with the maturity that comes with age, but chose to remain silent about the “great axe of the great warrior”. Its special abilities and status bonuses are beneficial.

That was the price he had to pay for the trouble he had caused, so I thought I could be forgiven for that.

And all of the necessary purchases have been made.

I already purchased the Flame Jewel Staff, Ice Jewel Staff, Sage Staff, Silver Chainmail, and Magic Stone Pairing, as well as everything else in the town’s weapon shop.

“Magic Stone Pairing” is especially important for the future, and I’m glad to have it.

This is how it currently appears.

Usage rate: 1/100%.

List of articles:

Martial Arts Pendant: 1

Mithril Sword: 1

Rapier of the Silver Knight: 1

Shield of the Golden Knight: 1

Great Axe of the Great Warrior: 1

Pearl of Life: 1

Staff of the Flaming Jewel: 1

Ice Jewel Wand: 1

Sage Staff: 1

Silver Chainmail:1

Magic Stone Pairing: 1

Status Bonus:

Arm Strength: 480

Physical Strength: 480

Agility: 430

Magic+430

Intelligence+430

Additional specialization:

Ki-Bullet.

Sonic boom

Barrage Thrusting

Extreme protection

Daybreak

Additional magic :

Fire Arrow

Freeze Bullet

Heal

Additional features:

All skills increased x1,3

Automatic recovery (small)

One partner

The status bonuses for stones, herbs, and Deathcocktrice’s Feather have become completely meaningless with the addition of the Pearl of Life, so they have been reordered.

The money made from selling defeated demons and the rewards from the rescue quest in the ruins of the Gynt Aqueducts were used to buy new items.

The aqualizards and humanoid aqualizards appear to be Barvel’s followers, so I was able to get a reasonable price for them.

Barvel’s own items have not been sold.

This old man had no intention of doing so.

Many people were undoubtedly sacrificed, but Barvel was an honorable warrior.

It’s a little unforgivable to treat them as if they were material. I planned on giving him a proper funeral somewhere.

However, the Guildmaster instructed me to first go to the royal capital and report to His Majesty the King.

He stated that defeating one of the eight generals of the demon army would be a great honor for the kingdom.

That was my first quest as an S-rank adventurer, and I had already been paid in advance.

I needed the money for more items, and there was no reason for this old man to refuse.

Besides, storming into the palace didn’t guarantee I’d be able to meet Tina.

If it is a report of one of the eight demon generals’ defeats, we can safely enter the palace.

The guild also appears to have communicated with them in advance.

It pains me to keep making a show of it, but I won’t be able to mourn Barvel for a long time. We need to be patient.

“This could be my last walk in town. I’ll keep this in mind.”

By carefully looking at the streets he knew, this old man found where the carriages going to the royal capital were stationed.

“Hey! Are you taking a ride?”

“…”

“Did you not hear me? Hey, kid! Hey, it’s you, with the black hair, over there. Hey!”

“Oh? Oh, you mean that old man?”

“Who else around here is a kid? What a dopey kid… “

said the troubled-looking man sitting on the coachman’s platform.

He has a good body and gentle eyes that don’t quite match his features.

Nonetheless, this old man is 75 at heart.

He’d forgotten he looked like a kid and didn’t think it was him.

“Please forgive me. I’ll ride with you to the Royal Capital. I look forward to working with you.”

“You’re a kid, but you speak like an adult. Well, that’s fine, but the Royal Capital is a long way away; are you traveling alone?”

This old man nods and smiles warmly.

“Yes, I have an important task to complete.”

“I see. That’s impressive for such a lad. There may be some demons along the way, but you shouldn’t be concerned. Oji-san used to be an adventurer in the Royal Capital. I’ll make sure that our passengers arrive safely.”

“Hohoho… Don’t worry! Even if he doesn’t appear to be one, this old man is an adventurer. I’ll defend myself.”

“What are you talking about?! You’re just ten years old. You don’t have the skills yet. Don’t do anything rash!”

The coachman is right.

A person’s combat ability depends far more on status bonuses from skills than on the strength of the human body itself.

And, basically, at the age of 15, everyone is given a skill.

In other words, children under the age of 15 have no skills and are weak.

Children are always vulnerable and require protection.

This old man looks more vulnerable to others than when he was an old man.

―When, in fact, the opposite is true.

“Hohoho. You’ll have to wait and see, though I’d rather it didn’t come to that.”

“It’s best to travel in peace. So jump on board. We’re leaving right now!”

And so the carriage leaves this old man’s town and sets off in the direction of the Royal Capital.

Chapter 12: Martina and the Dragonmancer 2

On the way, we passed through several villages and towns, and the number of passengers gradually decreased.

There is a mountain pass on the way to the capital that is also full of demons, so few people go there unless they have something to do.

Tina would have taken this route to the royal capital in the past.

I’m curious how she felt at the time.

I’m more than 50 years late, but now is the time for this old man to follow in her footsteps.

I was thinking that as I looked out the window at the mountain scenery―.

Boom!

The carriage comes to a halt and shakes.

“Huh… This is awful…”

The coachman was making a lost voice.

“What’s the problem?”

“Well, look ahead. The path is blocked by rocks. There was a landslide… The carriage is unable to pass. We should return to the village at the mountain’s base.

Rocks of various sizes had piled up and were blocking the narrow mountain road ahead.

“No, no! This old man is in a hurry! Please do not do so.”

“However, the carriage is unable to pass. Even if you could climb over on foot, it would be dangerous. “

“Then I’ll find a way. Just step back a little.”

And this old man takes a step in front of the carriage, facing the rocky hill that is blocking the road.

“W-What are you going to do?”

“This is exactly what I’m going to do! Come, serve me, and rise!Fire arrow!”

It’s one of the spells I’ve learned. I thought I’d give it a try.

This old man’s magic status bonus is already Magic+430.

This should be a very powerful spell!

BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOM!

Countless flames erupt around this old man.

“H-huuuuuh?! What the hell are these fire arrows?!I can’t believe it…! That’s a f*cking big numbers…!”

The coachman is terrified out of his mind.

This is understandable given that children under the age of 15 are generally helpless.

“Goooooo!”

On my command! The fire arrows rushed towards the rocky hill ahead with countless tails of crimson fire.

Dogogogogogogogo!

A series of audible explosions. strong winds. huge dust clouds.

When the dust settled, the road was clear.

“Mmm. It appears to be satisfactory.”

This old man nodded.

Unlike the “Ki Bullet”, it can fire a large number of fire arrows at once and may be superior in terms of rapid fire ability.

On the other hand, it requires you to pause and chant a spell, so it has advantages and disadvantages.

You’ll have to decide which one to use based on the nature of your opponent and the purpose of the spell, but it appears to be a useful tool in the fight.

“W-W-W-What the hell are you? I’ve never seen such a child before…!”

“Oh-ho. I’m just an adventurer. Come on, let’s get on with it.”

So we’ve arrived at the heart of the mountains and the first night of this carriage ride.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr…!

Outside, the low roar of demons could be heard.

A pack of wolf-like demons is about to surround the carriage when we look up.

“Uh…?! Demons?! I thought I turned on the lamp to keep the demons away…?! Is it at the end of its life?!”

and looking at the lamp outside the carriage.

It is a lamp that emits light to ward off demons.

It’s a magical item, similar to a magic bag.

[Demon-repelling lamp]

When stored, the special skill “Demon-repelling ward” can be used.

“All right, let me borrow it for a moment.”

This old man has stored the “demon-repelling lamp”.

Bikka!

This old man’s body then glows like a lamp and emits a “demon-repelling lamp.” effects.

Hooooowl!!!

The demons who despised the light fled without attacking us.

“I guess that’s all there is to it.”

“Hahaha… You’re brilliant in so many ways.”

“We can finally sleep soundly.”

And further into the mountains…

“Huh…? Isn’t it a little smoky?”

“It has to be a forest fire. Uh…?! There’s a fire over there!”

“Shall we then put out the fire?” Be my servant, come forth, cursed ice, blue conglomerate! Freeze bullet!”

Pikiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnn!

“Whaaaaaaaaaat…?! The fire was extinguished in the blink of an eye?! Hahaha… I suppose anything is possible now. Oji-san’s common sense is about to fail…”

“Hohoho. No matter how old you are, the world is a big place.”

and additionally―

Crack―bang!

Neeeeeeeigh!

“What the hell?!”

Unfortunately, the tree fell and struck the horse pulling the carriage.

“What?! Are you alright? Hey?!”

“Is it all right?”

“No. I believe its leg is broken. Oh my goodness… the poor thing…”

“Well. Then let this old man handle it. Holy Mother of God… Grant me your mercy and heal his wounds…! Heal!”

nEEEEIGH!

“Ohhh…! He’s recovered! I told you I’d protect you, but all you did was save me! Thank you so much!”

“The world will be kind to you if your journey takes you where you need to go.”

So the trip to the capital appeared to go off without a hitch.

But when the royal city finally comes into view―

”We’re about to see the royal capital! Huh?! W-What the hell are those flying creatures?!”

“Are those…dragons, by any chance?”

Dragons circling The Royal Capital’s skies…?

Chapter 13: Martina and the Dragonmancer 3

The royal city where we arrived after the carriage ride was nothing like the bustling metropolis that this old man had imagined.

Anghaaaar… Anghia…

Flying dragons buzzed above, and―

Kishaaaa~a~a! Gurururururu~u~u… !

The streets are filled with land-based dragons, and the earth rumbles with a thudding sound.

A massive dome-shaped ward encircled the entire royal city, most likely to keep the large number of dragons out.

A ward so large that it covered the entire city where hundreds of thousands of people lived. One word describes the spectacle: breathtaking.

An army, possibly the Knights of the Kingdom, is encamped outside the wards.

Citizens who had been driven out of the royal city gathered outside the camp and formed a kind of refugee camp.

“What in the world is this?!”

This is clearly an unusual circumstance.

“I’ve visited the Royal Capital numerous times, but I’ve never seen anything like this! Is this the end of the world?!”

“Stop! Stop! Stop!”

A kingdom’s soldier, who had been on the lookout, spotted us and approached us.

“As you can see, you are no longer permitted to enter the royal capital! Sorry, but you’ll have to detour and visit another town!”

“…What do we do now? Ride to another town?”

The coachman asks this old man.

“Don’t worry about it―thank you for your hospitality, but this old man has some important business to attend to and will be leaving here. “

“Oh, okay, all right. I’m sure you’ll be fine, but do be careful.”

This old man exits the carriage after paying the fare on the spot.

Then he addresses the soldier.

“I’m sorry, but I need to speak with his Majesty the King or the former Queen about an urgent report from the Adventurers’ Guild in Kiriya. Please take this…”

I have a letter from the Adventurers’ Guild as well.

This means that this old man is a guild official messenger.

“Huh…? It is, without a doubt, an official letter from the Adventurers’ Guild. But why a kid like you?”

“Ohoho. It’s a long story. “

“?”

I believe he was tilting his head due to the tone of voice rather than the content of this old man’s statement.

But this old man is just that: old. Even if he is told to, he cannot change his way of speaking.

“All right, all right. But, as you can see from the situation, I will try to schedule an appointment, but the higher-ups may be unavailable right now.”

“Yes, that’s all right.”

“Then come with me.”

As a result, this old man is allowed to enter the order’s camp…

“Hey, good for you! His Majesty the King will see you right away!”

“I thank you very much. Is Her Majesty the former Queen present?”

“No…Martina-sama is not here.”

“Huh? Where on earth would she be in such a time of crisis?”

“That’s…I’m sorry, but it’s not my place to say anything.”

―What exactly is going on?

In terms of the atmosphere, there is something wrong with it.

“Please accept my apologies.”

“No worries, let’s go.”

and the soldier leads this old man to the biggest camp tent.

“Reporting from Kiriya, I brought a messenger from the Adventurer’s Guild!”

“All right, come on in.”

“Please excuse me!”

This old man enters the tent after the soldier bows.

A man in his mid-30s stood there with a stern expression on his face.

He looks dignified and graceful in his white armor and cloak with the royal coat of arms.

He is the adopted son of the former Queen of Lacia, King Elfin.

Tina must have seen something special in him if she chose him to be her successor.

And by his side is a stunning woman dressed in a sorceress’ robe.

She’s probably in her late twenties.

“Huh…? Isn’t he still a child? I’ve heard they’re sending us the adventurer who defeated a legendary Demon General…?”

His Majesty the King turns his head at this old man.

“That’s this old man you’re referring to. He may look like this for a reason, but he’s got the skills.”

“I-Is that so…?”

His skeptical expression becomes even more skeptical.

After all, speaking in a way that is inappropriate for a ten-year-old is perplexing.

“If that’s the case, would you like to appraise my status and so on?”

“…All right, let’s do that―please, Erica.”

And he calls out to the robed woman.

“My name is Erica, and I’m a court magician. I’m delighted to meet you. Now, would you please hold still?”

She smiles softly and extends her hand to this old man.

It’s essentially the same as having your guild status appraised.

The information appears as a window with the status displayed on it.

“…Huh! What a huge status bonus! But, how?! His only skills are [Storage] and [Genius]?! What?! 9999 skill proficiency with an added effect?! This is something I’ve never seen before… 9999 proficiency is nonsense!”

She exclaimed in surprise when she saw this old man’s status.

“Oh…! This is absolutely fantastic! I can’t believe such a child exists…!”

“Your Majesty!  I don’t think he’s saying anything false…!”

“I agree…!”

His Majesty the Elfin nodded enthusiastically.

“I’m sorry I doubted you. What is your name?”

“Ash. Aberth Ash.”

“You’re a strange talker, aren’t you? But that’s perfectly fine. But killing a demon general is a good thing for our country. Did you bring the body with you? Can I look at it?”

“All right. I’ll take up some space.”

This old man takes Barvel’s body out into the middle of the tent.

“Oh…! This is exactly what I saw in the book! One of the Eight Demon Generals, Barvel…!”

“What a terrifying demon! Even though it’s already dead, I can feel its power!”

“Ah, if this had appeared in the city, the city might have been destroyed…! Ash, your country will lavishly reward you. What do you want?”

If he gets a reward, this old man has only one wish.

I want to see Tina. That’s it.

This old man is about to say it, but…

“Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

With a ferocious scream, Barvel’s body, which had been lying on its side, rose to its feet!

Barvel’s eyes are a brilliant red light that I’ve never seen before.

Chapter 14: Martina and the Dragonmancer 4

“Hey…! This is insane; it’s still moving…?!”

I can’t believe it―because he was once completely dead.

And what is the source of that strange gleam in his eyes and the sinister aura that surrounds him?

“Your Majesty! Please take a step back!”

Erica, the court mage, hastily brings His Majesty Elfin to the back.

The surrounding knights surround the resurrected Barvel and this old man.

“You! You dare to harm His Majesty by summoning a demon!”

“Are you attempting to deceive us into thinking you’re a child?!”

“…!”

If Barvel goes on a rampage under these circumstances, suspicion is warranted.

“No, I don’t mean to! As evidence, this old man will stop him! Everyone, take a step back!”

This old man approaches Barvel, who begins to move.

“Oooooooooooh!”

Barvel draws his sword from his hip and strikes a menacing pose at this old man.

“Come on! I’ll put you to sleep this time.”

This old man also prepares and assumes a fighting stance.

“GAAAAHHHH!”

In a powerful thrust, Barvel raises his sword.

Zash!

But he thrusts it at his big foot?

“?! What in the world are you doing?!”

“Haa… Hah! Phew… I will not allow anyone to take control of this warrior who has done everything he can! I’m sorry for causing you any trouble, but I’ve come to my senses.”

Barvel said, breathing heavily.

The odd glint in his eyes had apparently faded.

“Barvel…?! You’re alive?!”

“No. I had died. Until just a moment ago…”

“How come you suddenly came back to life?”

“It’s the Dragonmancer, Dormina. No one but her can control me like this!”

“Dragonmancer?”

“Don’t you humans have your own necromancer? Consider her the dragon’s version of that. She controls dead dragons as her servants. She, too, is one of the eight Demon Generals.

“…! So she’s to blame for what’s going on in the Royal Capital?!”

As he listened, His Majesty Elfin roared.

“Your Majesty, the demon named Dormina was the enemy’s general in the battle against the Demon Army many years ago… Martina-sama defeated her…”

“Yes, that’s right. But I didn’t see any indication of that, huh…? A large number of dragons have appeared from Martina-sama…”

“…! Wait a second! What happened to Tina… er, Martina-sama?!”

“Sigh… You’re aware that Martina-sama hasn’t been feeling well lately? For unknown reasons, that’s why she bestowed the throne upon me. She was receiving medical attention. Then, out of nowhere, she told the people around her to flee as fast as they could. Immediately after that, she was surrounded by a sinister aura… and more dragons were summoned… We were busy evacuating when they took over the Royal Capital. All we can do now is keep the enemy at bay by putting up wards.”

” Oh no. Then what’s happening in the Royal Capital is Tina’s doing?”

“Dormina has taken over her body. She was a spirit without a body by nature. You say you’ve defeated her…? But all you did was destroy her host, not kill her. But she might be a little hurt, so she’s been looking for an opportunity to take over while healing the damage to her spirit ever since you thought you’d defeated her. Am I right?”

“I see… Perhaps you’re right.”

This information was extremely useful, and I owe it to Barvel.

“You were an excellent teacher. I’m glad you returned from the dead.”

“… There’s no need to thank me. I was only expressing gratitude to you for defeating me. Goodbye.”

“Hey, where are you going?!”

“I will not stand by and watch her resurrect me and use me as her errand boy. We are dragon warriors with pride… and Dragonmancers should not exist! Now that I’ve regained my will, I’ll kill her!”

“Are you planning on punching her in the face?”

“That’s right. I’ll be your partner if you want to stop her as well. That’s fun, too.”

Barvel looks at this old man. He’s waiting to see what I’ll do.

“…What a strange coincidence. We appear to be heading in the same direction!”

“Oh…?! Are you going too?!”

“But I will help Tina when she becomes possessed. That is absolute.”

“Is there a reason for this?”

“Yes. Your Majesty Elfin, please allow this old man to enter the ward. I’ll make sure Tina…No, I will save Martina-sama and stop this whole thing.”

“…We needed to send a raid party inside sooner or later. I was hoping you could assist us because you’re capable of killing a demon general. But could you please wait a moment? We’re still assembling men for the raid.”

“No, if Barvel is coming along with them, the others will be concerned. And it doesn’t appear that he’s willing to wait. This old man is the same. I can’t stay still…!”

“Yes. We are on the same page. We must smash anyone who stands in our way…!”

“No, no, no, this old man didn’t say he’d go that far! Don’t do it with me!”

Seeing this old man and Barvel like that, His Majesty Elfin let out a sigh.

“It can’t be helped. That demon will only listen to you. So please be careful.”

With His Majesty Elfin’s permission, this old man and Barvel had a section of the ward removed to make way for us.

The streets of the royal city are teeming with dragons as you pass through the wards.

“Wow, there are a lot of them!”

“Originally, they were all fallen dragons—Dormina messed with so many of my people’s lives!”

“I see…”

“By the way, Ash, you can’t slay a dragon with such a dull sword.”

“Huh? Oh yeah, it did break when I attacked you.”

The sword in this old man’s hand now is the steel sword he bought again.

“…Take this one. It’s of the same workmanship as my sword.”

He takes a dagger from his pocket and hands it to this old man.

It’s a dagger to Barvel, but it’s the size of a two-handed sword to this old man in the body of a 10-year-old child.

Numerous scales cover the pitch-black blade. And the sword is adorned with gold ornaments here and there, giving it a brilliant appearance.

[Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales]

Storage Status Bonus:

Arm Strength +150 (Upper Limit:950)

Physical Strength +150 (upper limit: 950)

When stored, a special skill “Dragon Strike” can be used.

“Oh, this is…! I’m sorry, I’ll put it to good use…!”

Strong…! It’s different from the items this old man has.

Not only is the bonus fantastic, but so is the upper limit.

I put it in the item box right away.

“Hey! I told you to use it!”

He’s enraged.

But what better way to use the sword for this old man?

Chapter 15: Martina and the Dragonmancer 5

“No, no, no, I’m not kidding, because [storage] makes this old man stronger.”

“What exactly do you mean?”

“Actually, because of this old man’s skill.”

I briefly explain to Barvel the additional effect of the [storage] skill.

“Hmmm. So that’s how it works; you gain strength based on the items you “stored”.

“No, that is not the case,”

“However, it’s a sword I gave you. You’ve got enough status bonuses to begin with. Hold on to the sword and use it!”

“It can’t be helped… I guess I was curious.”

Well, naturally, using the sword’s ability with a steel sword may cause it to break.

So this old man takes the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” from the item box once more.

“Yes, that’s it. It suits you.”

“It’s quite long, isn’t it?”

“Use it as a two-handed greatsword. A good wielder does not select his weapon.”

“Even so, I’m still not used to it. Let’s go and have a little practice.”

“No, we don’t have time for that right now. They’re on their way!”

Ggwaaaaahhh!!!

Angaaanggaaa-!

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

The dragons spot this old man and Barvel and immediately gather around us.

There are three red-scaled fire dragons and two dark-green-scaled flying dragons. This is a wonderful combination.

Each of them is far more powerful than the deathcocktrice that this old man previously defeated.

That is why dragons are such powerful species.

“””Gaaaaaaaaaah!”””

The three fire dragons open their mouths wide and spit fire at this old man.

“It’s coming! Dodge!”

“No―I don’t have to!”

Then, this old man thrusts with his sword.

Zgoooooooooooooooo!

The flames cause your vision to turn red. But it is only for a brief moment.

Because this old man had “stored” the flame, which was quickly extinguished.

“Oh?! Is it the same as when you battled me…?!”

Hearing Barvel’s voice behind his back, this old man had passed through the flames and was closing in on a fire dragon.

“Take thiiiiis!”

I slam the greatsword and cleave into the fire dragon’s feet.

as the blade made contact with the fire dragon’s skin. The blade melts into the skin of the fire dragon, severing it with a light touch.

It felt strange, like cutting butter with a hot knife.

Grraaaah!

The fire dragon, which has lost its front legs, collapses with a roar.

“Huh…?! What’s up with the blade’s color?”

The blade, which should have been black, has turned bright red.

It’s as if it’s been scorched by a very hot flame.

And I can actually feel a lot of heat coming from the blade.

It’s so hot that it melts the fire dragon’s scales, which are supposed to be fireproof.

“Wait, what the…?! How does it cut through the scales of a dragon so easily?!”

Barvel appears surprised as well…

“It’s a sword that cuts well! Isn’t this the sword’s power?”

“N-No…! It’s powerful alright, but it doesn’t serve such a function. Isn’t that your power then?!”

As he said this, Barvel slashed at the neck of another fire dragon with two swords.

His swords cut well as well, but not as well as mine. And it appeared to be made of the same material as the sword given to this old man…?

“Hohyo?”

So this old man examines the usage rate as well as the other lists:

Usage rate: 10/100%.

Other list:

Dragon’s Flame: 3

[Dragon’s Flame]

When stored, the weapon contains the power of the flame. The more there are, the more powerful the firepower.

“I see! So that’s how it is!”

Then I wrap my sword around the neck of the unbalanced fire dragon and strike it.

The cut gives me the same feeling as before.

“But if it weren’t for that sword, you wouldn’t be able to withstand that much heat. You should be thankful!

“I certainly will!”

As this old man complies, he approaches the last of the three fire dragons.

―Let us get a head start! And I’d like to put my skills with this weapon to the test.

“Barrage Thrusting!”

Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud

Countless barrage thrusts are launched at the fire dragon.

The high-heat thrusts pierce the fire dragon’s scales, causing smoke to billow out.

As a result, the fire dragon collapsed on the spot, its body riddled with countless clouds of smoke.

“I can’t believe you can do that to the heat-resistant fire dragons! You’ve grown stronger in the short time I’ve seen you!”

“Well, it’s only been a few minutes!”

Yes. It’s thanks to Barvel’s “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” and the Fire Dragons’ “Dragon’s Flame”.

Chapter 16: Martina and the Dragonmancer 6

“You’re so tricky and unpredictable…!”

At the same time, Barvel finished off one of the fire dragons.

After all, he is one of the Eight Demon Generals… He fought without a moment’s hesitation.

” That’s the rest! “

Two flying dragons soar through the skies!

“”sonic boom! “”

Both this old man and Barvel send shockwaves into the sky…

Gaaaah!

Gaaaah!

The flying dragons pivot and avoid the “sonic boom”!

“Huh…?! Wow, they’re quick!”

“Then we’ll get them directly…!”

Thud!

Giant wings appear on Barvel’s back and spread wide.

With a flap, his feet leave the ground.

“You can fly?!”

“Yes…! The wings were just tucked away. Now get on!”

He points at his shoulder.

“Yeah!”

This old man jumps up and climbs onto Barvel’s shoulders.

Barvel soars into the sky as his wings flap wildly.

In a flash, he catches up to one of the flying dragons and grabs it by the wings.

“On my mark!”

“Now!”

This old man leaps onto the dragon’s back and strikes it in the neck squarely.

He cuts the thick dragon’s neck with a strangely soft touch.

“Ho!”

Before my body loses balance and crashes down, I kick back, somersaulting back to land on Barvel’s shoulder.

On the way to The Royal Capital, I’ve gotten used to it enough that I can move my body exactly as I imagined.

“Well, that’s a good move! Let’s get the other one!”

“Yes…!”

As Barvel approaches, the other rises in a big flap.

He tries to pass this old man over, but…

“Don’t let him escape!”

The face of the flying dragon appears in front of this old man when he performs an air summersault.

“Doryaaaah!”

and swings his sword down at it head-on.

A single vertical red line ran from the flying dragon’s face.

And in the next instant, the flying dragon’s body split into two pieces and it fell to the ground.

“F*ck… The man who defeated me. That’s how it should be…”

Barvel caught the feet of this old man and took him by the shoulder again.

“Should we keep flying directly to the royal castle? Then we can ignore our opponents on the ground.”

“Yes… but first, let us gather the enemies we’ve defeated!”

Dragon scales are difficult to work with, but they can be used to create high-quality weapons and armor.

You can have them made by a craftsman or sell them to the guild for a good price.

There is no reason not to collect them since it will be over soon.

“Oh, man, hurry up.”

Barvel puts this old man down in a tone of annoyance, but he lets this old man down with an open mind.

After recovering the dragons we had killed, I was once again picked up by Barvel and advanced over the royal capital.

The streets of the Royal Capital below are teeming with dragons.

Despite their large numbers, it appears that the damage to the city’s buildings is minor.

“I’m guessing because Dormina told them to. They appear to have put the city on the defensive.”

“…I wonder if they’re doing this for a purpose.”

“Yeah, I’m sure of it. It’s not a good one.”

“But it’s good that there’s less damage—Tina won’t have to worry about it later.”

Before we left, His Majesty Elfin informed me that human casualties were still low.

Tina had apparently warned the people around her before the strange thing happened, so they could leave while the area around her was sealed off with wards.

However, the damage is minor at this point, but we have no idea what is going to happen in the future.

Because the situation came up so quickly, the raiding parties may lose a lot of people, and the people who were forced to leave the capital may not be able to make it through the long evacuation.

Food shortages and diseases can also be considered prevalent.

The sooner we can put an end to this anomaly, the better.

With this old man’s hands, he will do it today.

It’s the very least this old man can do for Tina, who has waited far too long.

“Why do you care so much? Did you say it for a reason?”

“Well, it’s just a silly old story.”

This old man then tells him briefly about his history and relationship with Tina, as well as how he has been steadily improving his [storage] skills over the last few decades.

“Sniffle! Sniffle! Uwu~uu…! That brings tears to my eyes…!”

Surprisingly, when he hears this old man’s story, Barvel bursts into tears.

Chapter 17: Martina and the Dragonmancer 7

“To keep a promise made decades ago and continue your training! And that she believes in you and secretly supports you?! Because a human’s life is limited, every moment is more valuable than ours! And you use it in this manner… Isn’t that beautiful…?!”

Demon? Dragon? Barvel wipes his tears and groans, which is kind of shocking or something.

“Y-You’re more of a romantic than I thought. I’m embarrassed to be referred to as that. It’s just that I’m not one to give up easily. Tina’s works, after all, may be the product of this old man’s imagination.”

“No, I’m sure she’s expecting you! Let’s find out quickly. I’ll fly as fast as I can!”

Barvel’s flying speed increases.

Anghar…! Anghaaaar…!

Flying dragons are blocking the way.

There have to be a dozen of them.

“Get out of the waaaaaaaaaaaay!”

Barvel is in a good mood and charges forward without pausing.

And with his sword, he slashes at the dragon’s wings with all his might.

The flying dragon is knocked to the ground.

“Ash! Don’t fall!”

Then, he uses aerial spinning kicks and reverses to strike it with his thick, log-like tail, opening up a blood path.

“Oh…! This old man will not stand idly by!”

The enemies are numerous, and this old man’s mobility is restricted.

In such a case, this old man recites a spell and does the incantation.

“Be my servant, come forth, flame, Fire Arrow!”

Countless red fire streaks dance across the sky.

Flying dragons that are hit hard fall to the ground, and flying dragons that move around to avoid them crowd together and create chaos.

“Then I’ll follow…! Dragon Strike!”

Barvel’s sword created a massive dragon’s jaw out of pale light.

GROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

It roars as it flies through the sky. It sucks the flying dragons into its mouth, one after the other.

Bashuuuuuuuun!

They burst open with a sound, forming a massive pillar of light that engulfed the flying dragons.

The flying dragons are ripped to shreds and fall to the ground one by one.

―The front’s open!

“We’re going to break through!”

Barvell makes an immediate breakthrough. He’s going to break out of the enclosure.

“Is that “Dragon Strike”…! The way it pops at the end is similar to “Motion Wave Blast”.

“Yes. That is the power I drew from the Pearl of Life and channeled into Dragon Strike, the original technique.

“…Pearl of life. That’s the one this old man has.”

“You are welcome to have it. It was only borrowed to break my seal. I don’t need it now that I’ve turned into this.”

“Wasn’t it yours from the start?”

“Yes.”

“And whose―”

“Well, this is a new move!”

The conversation is cut off at this point.

Barvel has already passed through the city and arrived at the castle.

However, a new interceptor appears.

The face of a dragon, but a bipedal, almost humanoid.

They have wings spread wide on their backs, and they are armed and armored.

They may be smaller than Barvel, but they look exactly like him.

Almost a dozen of them were blocking our path.

“?! They’re…! “

“…They look exactly like you.”

“Oh it’s the same dragonborn… They’re dragonewts. These were once my men…! Dormina, d*nm you! You did not allow those who fought so valiantly to rest in peace!”

Barvel is gnashing his teeth.

The dragons who used to be Barvel’s men have bright red eyes, just like Barvel’s did in the tent earlier.

Barvel has managed to remain sane and uncontrollable after his resurrection, but it appears to be difficult for them.

“Well, well, well…? Isn’t that Barvel-sama?”

“Hasn’t it been a while?”

“But, for Dormina-sama’s sake, we can’t let you pass here.”

“…Come to your senses, Dormina is just taking advantage of you!”

Barvel’s attempts at persuasion appear to be futile.

“That goes for you too!”

“We would be dead now if we had followed you!”

“Under Dormina-sama, even if I die, I will be resurrected!”

“Damn it! Ash, go ahead and take down Dormina! I’ll hold them off until Dormina dies, and then we can rest in peace…!”

But there was something about the way he said it that struck me.

“Are you certain…?! If that’s the case, you will, too…”

“I don’t mind! You’ve already defeated me! And It was worth resurrecting to hear your beautiful story!”

“… I understand!”

“Alright! Let’s take it up a notch! Goooooo!”

Barvel grabs this old man by the scruff of his neck and hurls him towards the royal castle grounds!

“Whoaaaaaaaaaaaa?! You’re a real jerk!”

“Hmph. Don’t begrudge me for getting you this far!”

His dragon face is difficult to read. But it looks like he’s smiling a little.

Chapter 18: Martina and the Dragonmancer 8

This old man is thrown by Barvel and nearly faceplants into the courtyard of the royal castle.

“Ki-Bullet!”

To slow his fall, he hits downwards in quick succession.

Finally, he lands by thrusting his two-handed sword into the ground.

“Whew… You should show some respect for this old man.”

Barvel is probably older, but this old man is clearly older as a human. He just happens to look like a 10-year-old boy now.

“But, thank God! Now we must hurry to Tina!”

This old man walked in, putting the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” in the item box.

Barvel hasn’t seen it yet. But the increased status and allure of the “Dragon Strike” are enticing.

For this old man, weapons are for [storage], and he only needs the bare minimum to use them in combat.

Upon entering the building through the courtyard,

It is quite spacious inside, as one would expect from a country’s royal castle.

There are no dragons or dragonewts roaming around.

Are they all outside?

The beautiful and spacious castle is shrouded in eerie silence.

You’d be lost in the dark, but this old man has brought a map of the castle with him.

His Majesty Elfin gave it to this old man before the raid.

The goal is Tina’s own room, where she was recovering at the time of the outbreak.

Climb the stairs to the top floor and find yourself at the end of a hallway lined with gleaming black heavy armor.

The door, carved with a flowing pattern, is pushed open with great force.

Bang!

“Tina! This old man’s Ash! I’ve come to get you!”

But there is no response.

The large room was deserted, and this old man’s words rang hollowly.

Bang!

Behind me, I could hear the sound of a door closing.

“?!”

When I turned around, there they were, the ornamental heavy armors lined up in the corridor.

They move independently and in groups, blocking the room’s exits.

Each is armed with a spiked ball, a chained flail, and a large shield.

“Huh…?! Is this a trap?!”

Some kind of guardian.

I’m not sure if they’re original or created by Dragonmancer Dormina.

I don’t know, but I’m sure I’ve fallen for it.

The heavily armored Guardians surrounded this old man.

“I don’t have a lot of time… but I don’t have a choice…!”

I need to get this over with and find Tina.

This old man draws the steel sword at his waist.

―But, the blade of the steel sword turns red and begins to melt.

“Noooo?! T-That’s right!”

The “Dragon’s Flame” effect has been [stored], and the weapon in this old man’s hand now contains the power of the flame.

It’s too strong…!

The molten steel landed on the ground, creating a sizzling, burnt odor and smoke.

The effect is strong, but there is a problem. It means that if you use a low-grade weapon, it will melt.

The steel sword was still okay because it’s inexpensive, but any other weapon with a special skill melting would be a problem.

The Guardians don’t miss this old man’s fuss about his sword melting.

They all raise their flails of chain-iron balls and hurl them at this old man at the same time.

But it’s a long way off. It’s too far to reach.

“?!”

It’s an odd move, but I immediately understand why they’re doing it.

The flail’s chain makes a jingling sound and stretches out like a whip?!

“Huh?! The chains are getting longer…?!”

Some of the chain balls strike their own bodies, and others wrap the chains around this old man’s body.

Not much, but some discomfort. The chain is then tightened with great force.

This old man first grabs the chain around his neck.

Information floods his mind as his hand touches it.

[Mutant Mithril Battle Flail]

Storage Status Bonus:

Arm Strength+80(Upper Limit:450)

When stored, the special skill “Armor Transformation” can be used.

“Oh…! So, then!”

This old man releases the chain and pulls the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” from the item box.

As he swings the bright red blade, the chains melt and break easily.

“That will do!”

I’ll pick it up locally. I’m intrigued by the “transforming armor” aspect.

This old man slashes the chains that bind him and reaches for the ball of chain steel on the floor.

But…

[Mithril Remnants]

Storage Status Bonus:

Arm Strength+5 (Upper Limit:350)

“What?!”

This is already a shambles, and its performance has suffered greatly.

Chapter 19: Martina and the Dragonmancer 9

“Well, I don’t think I should break it…!”

So, then…!

This old man charges at the Guardian with the flail still intact.

Its reaction time does not match the speed of my steps.

A simple invasion

Then a slash from the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” cuts off the right hand holding the flail.

Then I picked up the flail on the ground and stored it right away.

“Okay…! Now, when you say “Armor Transformation”…?!”

The chain of the flail was extended, so I wonder if the sword of this old man will extend as well.

Doshuuuuuuu!

In an instant, the blade of the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” extends.

And, unluckily, it pierces through the belly of the Guardian ahead of it.

The blade also pierces the door behind it, creating a hole.

“Ohoho…! That’s an excellent response! Then…!”

Bend at the waist and twist your body, then swing the sword in a circular motion with all your might!

“I’ll mow them all at once!”

Zugagaaggaa!

It slashes through the walls and pillars, reaping the Guardians in the process.

The guardians are destroyed in one fell swoop.

and the room is also a bit destroyed.

“Hmm. I may have gone a little too far…? I’ll have to apologize to Tina later.”

But where in the world is Tina?

I know it’s a shambles, but are there any hints here?

This old man looks around the room.

The blow from the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” has scattered things, but―

I noticed an old wooden box fall from a fallen chest’s shelf.

It’s a lowly article for one that once belonged to the previous queen. Poorly made, even.

On the contrary, it stood out and drew my attention.

I took up the long, slender object and examined its contents.

On the inside was a plain old monocular.

“Huh…?! Isn’t this…?!”

It appeared to be familiar.

When they were kids, this old man gave it to Tina for her birthday.

Tina used to accompany this old man on his childish adventures. She always complained of being scared and concerned.

This old man gave it to Tina for her birthday and insisted that she look around with it and told him about the danger.

Tina was doing her best to keep this old man safe by looking around for danger.

And this is a genius with the highest levels of Holy Warrior and Great Sage. Thinking back, this old man used to make her do terrible things.

But, back then, this old man was certain that he would stand in front of Tina and protect her. It was a youthful blunder.

“Tina… You haven’t thrown this away yet, have you? In such an important location…”

It’s a bittersweet moment. I knew Tina was still waiting for this old man.

This old man puts his hand on the box’s monocular.

[Monocular with Memories]

When stored, the special ability “Presence Detection” can be used.

The information is pouring in.

“Oh… If I have this―”

I might be able to get a clue!

This old man has carefully and quietly stored away the “monocular with memories”.

“I wonder if I can detect the presence of a large enemy…”

Concentrate on your thoughts by closing your eyes.

―I know! I know!

In my mind, I see a spherical map with dots that show where enemies and allies are and how far away they are.

Barvel appears to be still in the sky near the castle.

There are many signs of enemies nearby, and it looks like more have come together since then.

But we shouldn’t be concerned about Barvel.

He’s powerful. They appear to be tightly packed together, so perhaps he’s tying them up in a bundle or something.

This old man keeps probing.

“…? Below…?! Underground? I feel a strong presence…!”

There is a strong, foreboding presence.

This is a foreshadowing of things to come.

“Is that where Tina is?! We’ve got to go!”

This old man exits the room and returns to the stairs.

A spiral staircase with a stairwell at the bottom makes up the structure.

Then―

“Stretch!”

I raise the blade to pierce the floor.

Gasp!

As a result of a stabbing in the ground.

“That’s all!”

I leap down the stairs, hilt in hand…

“Go back!”

The sword snaps back to its original length.

The body of this old man was carried downstairs.

“Yes! That’s convenient for getting around! Now how do we get down to the basement?!”

There are still large signs down there.

Chapter 20: Martina and the Dragonmancer 10

This old man follows the map and goes underground.

The corridors were lined with a series of large stone statues of warriors.

This is the Guardians, despite the watery silence.

This old man who has learned “Presence Detection” can see right through them.

They are clearly visible as enemy dots in my mental spherical diagram.

“I’m sorry, but I see right through you!”

This old man’s thrusts have re-extended the blade, and the stone guardians in a straight line have been smashed through in one fell swoop!

Rattle! Rumble, rattle, rattle!

The other Guardians begin to move in unison, possibly in fear at the sight of this.

―But it’s too late!

“I’m sorry, but I can’t accommodate your time!”

Put them all together and mow them down!

The stone Guardians are destroyed by a single blow from this old man.

“Umm…! You’ve proven your worth, you!”

It emits high heat and slashes like butter at the dragon’s scales, and it can also transform into an extendable and retractable form.

It’s so convenient to use in hand that you won’t want to give it up.

I encountered no more guardians after that and was able to descend into the basement.

But―

“Huh…?! The signs are located further down… However, there is nothing further down the map.”

Hidden passageways, hidden rooms?

However, there is no additional information. And there is no time.

In that case―.

“It’s going to be difficult, but I’m going to force a breakthrough!”

This old man launches a “Barrage Thrusting” on the ground, directly over the signs!

“Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

Zugagagagagagagagagagagaga!

Dogagagagagagagagagagagaga!

Gogogogogoggogogogogogogo!

The high-speed vibrations of the shocks scraping across the floor shake the castle like an earthquake.

A circular, deep groove was carved into the ground moments later.

“All right, let’s get this over with…! “

“Daybreak!”

This old man raises his massive sword high and wide.

A golden aura, similar to that of a Ki-Bullet, clings to the blade and shines brightly.

“Daybreak” is a technique that boosts Ki and unleashes a powerful attack.

It’s a straightforward, powerful blow, but the increase in power is astounding.

It’s best to be simple and strong.

But there’s a catch. Perhaps you can only fire one shot per day because it is too powerful.

It’s a tricky technique, but it’s useful in situations like this.

BOOOOOOOM!

The “Daybreak” fires at the floor, causing a gouge and opening a massive hole in the floor.

I had a feeling there was something down there!

This old man descends by thrusting his sword into the bottom of the hole.

“… A magical circle? A big one at that…”

The hidden room was far too large to be considered a room.

The floor was covered in strange patterns of magical circles.

It glowed softly, as if pulsing, and you could feel the power flowing to the center.

And when you follow the current and look toward the magic circle’s center.

An elderly woman is kneeling on the ground, reciting an incantation.

It sounds like a ritual, but it doesn’t matter.

What was important was who was doing it.

She’s gotten older, and her face is riddled with wrinkles.

Nonetheless, this old man recognizes her. I mean, how could I not?!

As this old man ages, so does Tina. It’s natural.

But, Tina is still beautiful in this old man’s eyes.

“Tina! Tina! Tina! This old man’s name is Ash! I’m sorry for keeping you waiting so long…! I’ve come to keep the promise we made!”

This old man rushes over to Tina and calls out to her.

But Tina is deafeningly silent.

Her eyes are closed, and she continues to chant an incantation, her body engulfed in the same color as the magic circle.

“Can’t you hear what I’m saying…?! Answer me, Tina!”

This old man yells right next to her, but she pretends not to hear him. This is not normal.

“Argh! Tina!”

This old man reaches for Tina’s shoulders, but―

Bashooooooooooo!

The light shining on her body tears the sleeves of my clothes, injuring my arms and causing pain.

“Huh?! No, not yet!”

I couldn’t care less!

This old man reached out even further, grabbing Tina’s shoulders and shaking her.

Chapter 21: Martina and the Dragonmancer 11

“Tina, this old man’s name is Ash! We haven’t seen each other in a long time! Please say something!”

“A-Ash…?!”

Tina’s light vanished in an instant. Her eyes widen in surprise as she looks at me.

“Oo~h… It’s a little Ash, you’re so adorable… God must be revealing a vision to me for the last time…”

Her eyes welled up with tears.

“No, no, no! This is real!”

“Is it real?! Then why is little Ash here?!”

“There’s a reason I’m this way! I’ve come to keep a promise I made to you.”

“O~oh… I never thought I’d hear that in my lifetime… It feels like a dream―.”

“We’ll discuss it later!” Dormina, the Dragonmancer, has taken control of you. Are you safe now…?!”

“?! Yes, T-That’s right…! Run away from here! If things continue as they are, I’ll… I’ll… Ahhhhhhhh!”

Tina’s body was once again engulfed in the previous glow!

“?! Tina! “

“Don’t touch me!”

Her swung hand had a huge impact, and this old man’s body was blown backwards with a huge bang.

“Uuuugh! …What?! “

On my way to the ground, I thrust my sword into the ground and braked to a stop.

“Damn…! Tina!”What is going on?!”

“So noisy! Get away! Come on out! Black Dragon, White Dragon!”

Tina waved her hand quickly, and a black shadow emerged from beneath her feet. It split in two and grew larger and larger.

Then they transformed into dragons and began to rise and materialize.

Kishaaaaaaaaaah!

They were stunning dragons, with contrasting scales in pure white and jet black.

They are nearly twice the size of the outside fire and flying dragons.

“Dormina-dono, you wanted to see me?”

“Please give me any orders you might need.”

“! They can talk…?!”

Size and intimidation, and they talk despite the fact that they are not Dragonewt.

A formidable foe who is unlike any other dragon…?!

“The Holy Sword’s descent will be upon us soon! Let such a man not get in my way!”

“”As you wish!””

“The Dragonmancer Dormina, I knew it was you…?! What are your plans for the Holy Sword’s descent?!”

“―Kill him quickly, this mistress will continue the ritual!”

“…But this place is far too small.”

“Can I blow off this obstructive ceiling?”

The white dragon follows the black dragon.

The black one appears to be more serious, while the white one appears to be more casual.

“All right, do whatever you want!”

“Many thanks!”

“Hyahhhh!”

The two dragons turn their heads toward the ceiling and spit a ray of breath from their massive mouths.

Zugoooooooooo!

The black dragon emits a dark light. The white dragon emits white light.

It burns through the ceiling, then the ceiling of the castle above it, piercing multiple layers and opening a massive hole that reaches all the way to the sky.

“…What a terrifying destructive power!”

It’s more impressive than the fire dragons and other creatures you see outside.

“Fufu… It’s a little more mobile now.”

“I haven’t seen the sun in a long time!”

“Yes, the sun is nice.”

“But, if we kill you, we’ll have to return.”

“So prove to us that you’ll live as long as you possibly can. Let us enjoy the sun longer.”

“That’s right! Well, you’re not included!”

The White and Black Dragons address this old man.

Do you believe you can kill this old man in an instant…?!

“You’re the one who should be worried that you won’t have time to enjoy the sun in a moment. Run now, while you still can! This old man is in a hurry! “

“Oh…? This guy is a joker!”

“Hahahahaha! You said it well in front of the two of us, you piece of sh*t!”

“You are a piece of sh*t!”

” What nonsense! I’m going to torture you and slowly eat you―.”

“Stop, stop, stop! He infuriated us! We’ll kill him right away!

“Yes. It’s good to settle things quickly. Let’s not worry about the outcome.”

“Hmph! You’ve got guts! Then take it!”

“Die! Vaporize, disintegrate, fizzle out, oooooohhh!”

Zogooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Two of them spit their dragon breaths at this old man at the same time.

―Exactly as I predicted!

This old man doesn’t move an inch and dares to expose himself to the dragon’s breath.

The black and white breath that touches this old man vanishes cleanly, causing no harm.

Of course, this old man has “stored” it.

“”What the hell?!””

The two were taken aback.

Chapter 22: Martina and the Dragonmancer 12

Usage rate: 40/100%.

originally 10%, so 15% for each attack.

That’s a lot of damage, but there’s still plenty of room. Just as I predicted.

So…

“I’m returning it!”

This old man extends one hand to each dragon.

And he releases the freshly stored dragon breath from the tips of his palms!

Zogooooooooooooooooooooo!

The white dragon breathed on the black dragon, and the black dragon breathed on the white dragon.

These two probably have opposing attributes.

That means their weak point should be each other breaths.

If I can take advantage of that―

“What…?! Gowaaaah?!”

“No way! Gowaaaah?!””

They screamed and vanished, engulfed by the breath of their weaknesses.

Only a smoldering ember remained.

“Huh? Two of them died quicker than I thought. “

Because each of them has their own special weakness, which they have allowed this old man to exploit.

This is the quickest way for this old man to defeat them.

On the other hand, it would have taken longer if they had been summoned one at a time.

“Well, I suppose there’s no point in saying that now.”

Nothing can be said about those who have vanished.

“Now I want Tina back!”

As this old man approaches, Dormina in Tina’s body snorts and smiles.

“… How are you going to reclaim her? This old woman is already under this mistress’s control. When this mistress regained consciousness a moment ago, she was taken aback. It will never happen again. And your pathetic attack will only hurt this body, not this mistress!”

“Why are you attempting to manipulate Tina right now? You’ve already had your chance. Were you waiting for Tina to get old and weak?”

“…I’ll tell you something to take with you when you die. That’s correct. The Holy Sword has identified this human hero. Even this mistress can’t control her that easily. I’ve been possessing her in secret, waiting for the right moment.

Why would she go to such trouble to wait for such a long time?

Was it resentment for being beaten once…?

Dormina continues before this old man can inquire.

“In the past, this person used the power of the holy sword to break the vessel of this mistress, and this mistress herself was severely injured. But at the time, I was thinking… If this mistress could obtain the power of the holy sword, she would become even more perfect…! This mistress has no intention of being a mere one of the eight demon generals…!”

She talks a lot, which is a complete departure from the original topic.

“With the demon power of this mistress to control the dragon corpses, as well as the power of this vessel and the Holy Sword. I’ll be the next Demon King…!”

“Hmph…! I’m sorry I’m just a corpse…! But this piece of corpse will kill you now…!”

A voice from overhead.

Barvel landed near this old man with a thud.

“Barvel?!”

“Mm. You smashed the castle good. That made it much easier to grasp.”

“No, it wasn’t done by this old man…”

“Oh my, Barvel. I know you’re dead. And yet you’re such a stubborn one, one who revives with my power and refuses to be ruled! You’re a scumbag who eats other people’s power for free!”

“This was not something I requested! I will not let you go the way you manipulate my men after their deaths to serve you… My rebirth and refusal to submit to your will is a sign to you that you must be extinguished!”

“Where are your men, Barvel?”

“I tied them up and left them. I couldn’t bear the thought of killing them. She’s all that’s left now!”

“Well, yeah… Huh?”

Something’s wrong with Dormina. No, the magic circle at her feet is.

The previous light has faded and converged on Dormina’s right hand.

“Kyaahahahahaha! Thank you for your lengthy and silly conversation! I just finished the ritual of descending the Holy Sword. Thanks to you!”

“…!”

“…?! Her goal is to buy time…?!”

“That’s precisely what I mean! Even for a holy sword wielder like this vessel, it’s a ritual that necessitates intense concentration, which I lack when fighting! It’s a good thing you’re a talker! Come out, Holy Sword!”

Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

A roaring torrent of light and stormy winds!

Within it… a spatial distortion appears at the tip of Dormina’s right hand.

Slowly, a pure white sword with glittering ornaments emerges from its hilt.

Chapter 23: Martina and the Dragonmancer 13

“Hahaha! Wasn’t this mistress the first demoness to possess this? Now, Holy Tear, one of the World’s Seven Holy Swords, obey this mistress!”

It’s a beautiful sword, particularly the blade. It’s both translucent and gleaming.

It’s almost as if the light itself is the blade.

However, its power is terrifying.

Dormina swings the sword lightly with one swing, sending out a fierce wave of light.

Hiiiiiiiiin!

A distinctive high-pitched sound.

“Guaaaaaa?!”

Barvel blew helplessly and was thrown against the hall’s wall.

“Barvel!”

“Gu… Ggh…! Don’t worry! I’m not that weak to be killed by something like this…!”

Dormina was dissatisfied with the exchange.

“You…?! Didn’t that blow hit you as well?! How did nothing happen?!”

“Huh? I believe you have me mixed up with someone else.

“Don’t get smart on me!”

Hiiiiiiiiin!

A wave of light comes flying again.

But it becomes distorted and disappears in front of this old man’s eyes.

This old man’s [storage] appears to have an effect on the holy sword’s strike.

That’s what I’m talking about with a 9999 proficiency!

“I-I knew it…!”

With Dormina staring at me, this old man assesses the situation quickly.

Usage Rate:60/100%

Other List:

Dragon’s Flame: 3

Holy Sword Wave: 2

[Holy Sword Wave]

Storage Status Bonus:

All Abilities Increased  x1.3

When stored, it gains the power of the Holy Sword. The more there are, the more powerful the weapon.

I see, it was originally 10%, so each blow is now 25% more powerful. It’s quite potent.

However, the stored effect is quite strong as well.

The multiplier is the same as the Pearl of Life. The power of a holy sword in a weapon? Does that mean this old man’s “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales ” weapon…?

Hiiiin!

The sword’s blade was gilded in the same way as the “Holy Sword Holy Tear.”

“Oh…! This old man’s sword now looks exactly like the Sacred Sword…!”

“Excellent, Ash! With the holy sword, we can damage Dormina within!”

“What the hell are you?!?”

“Ash Aberth! I’ve come to get Tina! Now return her to me!”

This old man lunges at Dormina with his glowing blade.

“No… take this, aaaaaAAAAAAAAH!”

Dormina swings the holy sword repeatedly, constantly releasing waves of light at this old man.

“Doryaaaaaah!”

And the slash of the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” intercepts the incoming light waves.

Bikiying! Biking! Biking!

Dormina’s attack still hurts a lot, but the “Holy Sword Wave” of this old man’s sword crashes into it, making it useless.

“Mmm…! I’ve got this…!”

The blow from the Holy Sword is powerful, but I can counter it.

I’ve already reached 60% usage on my item box.

It will be difficult to store all enemy attacks.

If I continue to receive them, the usage rate will quickly exceed 100%.

In that case, it will be necessary to deal with it in this way.

According to the current exchange, if you store the power of two Holy Sword Waves, you should be able to win the game.

“Tsk! We’re not getting anywhere…!”

Dormina becomes agitated and approaches me.

“You b*stard! You should die!”

“No, that is not the case!”

Dormina’s slash collides with this old man’s slash.

Chapter 24: Martina and the Dragonmancer 14

Baguinnnn!

A clash of forces

The sound of impact echoes through the air… This old man has been pushed back slightly.

When the holy sword and my “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” collide, they are both repelled with great force.

This is most likely due to differences in weapon capabilities rather than differences in raw strength.

My weapon can pick up light waves from a distance but cannot directly collide with them.

This old man is pushed back and is thrown back.

This is a significant and potentially lethal gap between sword fighting.

“I’ve got you!”

Dormina takes a quick step forward.

This old man does not bother to return to the prone position but deliberately continues to lie down, pointing the tip of his sword at the ground.

“Stretch!”

The sword’s tip stabbed into the floor, and the momentum of the extension lifted this old man’s body into the air.

I managed to keep my distance while somersaulting with the sword as a fulcrum.

It’s advantageous to be able to use it in this manner to widen the gap. It’s a clever trick.

Dormina misses her target and stomps on the floor.

“Argh…?! Clever rat!”

“Ooh…! I let you out of my sight for a split second, and you grew stronger?!”

Barvel is also impressed.

“Handy, isn’t it? This old man likes it too.”

“What are you looking at?!”

“I’ve only been looking at Tina since the beginning!”

“Screw you!”

Dormina rushes toward me and unleashes a thunderbolt-like thrust.

“I’m not kidding!”

This old man matches her and pulls back the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales,” which has been lengthened.

Bageeeey!

The sword tips spark off each other.

“Hoooooooooooooooooooooooo!”

Dormina throws a series of thrusts.

Her hands are moving so quickly that they resemble afterimages: “Thrusting Barrage”?!

“Deeeeeeeeeeee!”

Then this one too!

This old man collides with Dormina’s “Barrage Thrusting”!

Gagagaga! Gagagaga!

The force dispersed by countless collisions cuts the floor and walls off.

“Ugh, the speed is nearly the same…! But…!”

Barvel snarls.

“Is it because of the weapons? The force of each blow is…!”

Yes, this old man is under even more strain.

The point of impact between the thrusts is coming toward this old man from the center of each other.

Then…!

“Come on, let’s get it together!”

Dormina’s powerful thrust will knock this old man out for good.

This old man did not dare to intercept her and instead was hit on the shoulder!

“Hmph…!”

Dormina grinned as I took a direct hit… But, a moment later, she seems to realize this immediately.

“N-No response?! It’s the same as before…?!”

“That’s exactly what I mean!”

“Huh…?! I thought you couldn’t absorb any more as long as you were under constant attack from this mistress…!”

Dormina is correct.

With this blow, this old man’s condition is like this.

Usage Rate:85/100%

Other List:

Dragon’s Flame: 3

Holy Sword Wave: 3

According to my calculations, the next attack I receive will be unbearably damaging to me.

We’re hemmed in. However, on the contrary―

[Holy Sword Wave]

Storage Status Bonus:

All abilities have increased by x1.3.

When the weapon is stored, it gains the power of the Holy Sword. The greater the quantity, the more powerful the weapon.

As you can see, the more you store, the stronger the “Holy Sword Wave” becomes.

“What do you think of this?!”

Baguinnnn!

This old man’s sword collides once more with Dormina’s holy sword.

And this time, it’s Dormina who takes a step backwards.

Chapter 25: Martina and the Dragonmancer 15

“What the hell…? It’s almost as if you’ve been… Did you cut corners?!”

“No, I won’t do that! I am stronger here and now!”

―”Barrage Thrusting”!

Gagagaga! Gagagaga!

Now the collision point is moving towards Dormina.

“What the…?! What kind of bullsh*t is this…?!”

“Sixty years of toil! I’ve had a thorough education!”

“Shut up! That’s not much time for this mistress…!

Dormina’s face is stained with rage as the force of this old man’s thrust blows her away.

“Gugh… What the…!”

“Now!”

Regardless of the distance, this old man strikes with his sword.

So, the sword comes out and shoots at Dormina’s holy sword, which throws her off balance.

Finally, Dormina’s sword slips from her grasp and falls to the ground as a result of the impact.

―Barvel is closest to Dormina in position.

“Barvel now! Take away the holy sword!”

“I’m on it!”

Barvel reaches for the “Holy Sword Holy Tear” that has fallen to the ground.

Bazi!

But the sword shatters into a ball of light and slips through Barvel’s hand, as if to deny him.

“Huh?!”

“Fools! Do you think it’ll allow a demon to touch it?!”

The sword floats away and lands in Dormina’s grip.

“Barvel, are you all right?”

This old man rushes over to Barvel and joins him.

“No, I’m fine. But… Dormina! You’re using borrowed energy…! You’re always taking something and using it for your own gain, whether it’s the power of dragons’ corpses or the Holy Sword! I don’t like it!”

“Fufu… So let’s be like that… Come on out, corpse dragon spirits!”

Dormina’s back sprouts several pale, translucent dragon heads and dragonkin faces.

Gooooooooooooooooooooo!

Each of them writhes, seemingly in some sort of pain.

“What the…? Are they in pain?”

“Powerful dragons are far too proud to be tamed by others. They suffer as a result of their power being used against them.

“Kukuku… With that rage and resentment comes a newfound power…! The dragons are so obstinate that their trapped souls produce an endless supply of negative energy.”

This old man whispers to Barvel when he hears this.

“… That’s a revolting ability…”

“Yeah! She has to be killed right now…!”

“But don’t go too far and hurt Tina’s body; this old man is here to get her back!”

“You say so, but are we able to afford it? Do you have any plans?”

“Yes…! If only I could get close enough to her and stop her from moving…”

―That was my plan all along.

The conversation happened right before the ritual of the Holy Sword’s descent was finished…

The opposing party may believe she has bought time, but this old man also has definitive information.

So I had a chance to win. I’m certain.

“Then I’ll take your word for it…!”

“I’m sorry, please! “

The conversation between this old man and Barvel has concluded.

Dormina smiles mischievously, surrounded by translucent dragon heads and faces.

“Kukuku… It’ll be a terrible burden for this vessel… but it can’t be avoided. If you’re worried about this body, then let it slay you!”

The heads of the dragons turned towards us in unison, each spitting out a pale bullet.

Chapter 26: Martina and the Dragonmancer 16

“Huh?!”

“Dodge!”

Whoooooooooooo!

It hit the floor and bounced off, making a strange screeching sound, gouging out the floor and leaving a claw mark.

” What the…?! “

”The Curse of the Corpse Dragon”: That kind of thing has destructive power! Be careful! You may suffer physical harm if you are exposed to them! Try not to eat it!”

“But…!”

Each shot is not lethal.

However, every dragon spirit shoots out of their mouths in quick succession!

In the blink of an eye, the area around this old man and the others would be covered in cries of curses.

Oooooooooooooooooooooooo~ !

Carpet bombardment in all directions!

The attack is so dense that even this old man is slightly struck in the right leg by a curse.

My right leg immediately feels as heavy as lead.

“Gugh…? Is this the curse’s effect?!

Usage Rate:93/100%

Other List:

Dragon’s Flame: 3

Holy Sword Wave: 3

Curse of the Corpse Dragon: 1

The Curse of the Corpse Dragon is calculated at 8% per shot based on the original usage rate of 85%.

[Curse of the Corpse Dragon]

When stored, the resistance to curses is increased. The more there are, the more resistance there is.

So it seems that the weight of the body is such that it has become unbearable.

“… It’s a pretty nasty trick, in my opinion.”

Close combat with a Dormina would be a bad idea at this point because my movements would be hampered.

“Where did it affect you?!”

“My legs are so heavy!”

” Get on! Don’t take any more!”

Barvel urges this old man to get on his back.

“No…! Wait!”

While holding Barvel back, this old man lets go of the dragon fire he got from the fire dragon at Dormina.

Gooooooooooh!

The red flame flew straight to Dormina!

“It’s only lukewarm!”

A brandishing of the holy sword. The flames are easily extinguished.

―This is a foregone conclusion.

In turn, this old man is confronted with the curse of the corpse dragon.

“Ash, it’s going to hit you again!”

“But hey, if it’ll make you stronger!”

Curses strike this old man!

It vanishes without a creepy cry, and then poof!

Of course, I’ve stored it.

Usage Rate:100/100%

Other List:

Holy Sword Wave: 3

Curse of the Corpse Dragon:  3

The usage rate is now exactly 100%!

I’ve made some room in my usage rate by releasing dragon’s flame to increase my resistance to those nasty curses.

And the amount of resistance I’ve built up…

“Finally, I can move properly…!”

I hardly notice the curse’s effect any longer.

“Did you absorb it again?!”

“Well, thanks to that, I feel lighter! Okay, take off!”

Even though it is not subject to the special effects of the curse itself, it is, of course, a technique that also has pure destructive power.

We can’t take it any longer.

“You’re a difficult foe to deal with…!”

With this old man on his back, Barvel flaps his wings.

With a mighty thud, his huge body rises and dances into the sky.

“You’ve been exposed to it, haven’t you? Are you all right?”

“Remember how I used to be a corpse dragon? A corpse dragon cannot curse another corpse dragon.”

“I see…! You’re a troublemaker who defies the Dragonmancer despite being a corpse dragon!”

“I suppose it’s both of our faults!”

“That’s got to be it!”

This old man and Barvel exchange nods.

Chapter 27: Martina and the Dragonmancer 17

An exasperated Dormina raises her voice.

“Argh! Take them out!”

As Barvel flies through the air, the curse of the corpse dragon pursues him.

Barvel expertly avoids the numerous attacks fired at him.

” Just keep dodging!”

” But what are you going to do?! We’re too far away to launch a counterattack!”

“Don’t worry!”

This old man makes a move to swing his sword at Dormina below.

Of course, it won’t reach her in this manner, but―

The sword stretched itself out to reach the ground and was quickly approaching Dormina.

“Unuuuuuuh?!”

Dormina evades immediately.

Dooooooooo!

The sword hits the spot where Dormina used to be, cracking the ground and leaving a claw mark.

“Oooh?! Is it really that long…?”

“Umm…!”

I tested it while searching the castle.

“Take evasive action! This old man is going to attack and corner her!”

“Leave it to me!”

This old man’s offensive power and Barvel’s mobility.

When we combine the two―.

I can stand up to Dormina, who has unleashed the power of the Curse of the Corpse Dragon!

“That’s it! “Battle Thrusting!”

A massive thrust of massive mass rains down like a hail of arrows on the ground!

Gooooooooooooo!

As holes are drilled into the ground, it becomes uneven.

“Oh, no…!! What a ferocious assault!”

Dormina’s movements are hampered by deteriorating footholds, and she is being pushed further back.

We’re pushing! It appears to be self-evident.

“We just need to get closer to her and stop her, right?! I’ll get closer to seeing the opportunity!”

“Right! “

While this old man maintains his attack, Barvel gradually loses altitude.

The resistance on the other side is not as strong.

They say that the best defense is an attack, but Dormina is so focused on dealing with this old man’s attacks that she has little to counterattack with.

“Good. Keep up the good work!”

And take advantage of the situation by grappling Tina…!

“All of the corpse dragons…! Cast off your flesh, transform into pure power, and join me!”

oOOOOOOOO~!

ooooooooooo~!

oUOO~!

“What?! “

The voices of the Corpse Dragon’s vengeful spirits can be heard echoing from all directions.

Countless corpse dragon spirits are flocking to Dormina from all over the Royal City.

Are they the fire dragons and flying dragons stationed in the royal capital?

“She’s taking the final risk…?!”

Barvel grumbled to himself.

The Holy Sword takes in all of the dragon corpse spirits that have gathered around Dormina.

“…! The Holy Sword is sucking the vengeful spirits of the Corpse Dragon?!”

“Look…! The holy sword…!”

“Is it changing…?!”

Wiggle… wiggle… wiggle… Swish-swish-swish-swish…!

With an unpleasant noise, the holy sword turns blue and black.

The blade has a curved and thickened edge. It’s a hideous figure with prongs and thorns strewn about.

Finally, some faces of corpse dragons emerge, bobbing and bumping.

It’s a horrifying sight. And…

Dormina’s, or Tina’s, arm was veined in an unusual pattern as she held it.

They throb and pulsate, and the arm gradually turns blue-black.

“It’s infiltrating Tina’s body!”

“This is bad…! If this continues, that body will be devoured by the sword and will never return!”

“Kyahahahahaha! It’s better than defeat…! Even if she loses the vessel, this mistress will always be able to find another…!”

Dormina laughs maniacally.

Chapter 28: Martina and the Dragonmancer 18

“That may be acceptable to you, but not to this old man. I will not allow it!”

“There is no time to waste! I’m not sure what her sword is capable of, but I’m going in right now!”

“Oh! Please!”

Barvel is hurtling down towards Dormina.

“To rush headlong into this mistress right now is reckless!”

She draws her hideous holy sword and unleashes a barrage of sword blasts.

The color and shape of the raging waves also changed dramatically.

“Ooooooh!”

With his slash, this old man uses all of his strength to smash the waves of the sword.

However―

“Gugh…?!”

The response is too heavy! It’s incomparable to what it once was!

“H-Hold on… Huh?! Uuugh?!!”

“Ouuuuuuuu?!”

This old man and Barvel are blown away because they can’t hold back any longer.

We almost crashed into the wall of the basement hall with the hole in the ceiling.

“Ughhh…!!”

I manage to stop being blown away by thrusting the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” into the floor as I am being blown away.

Still, it doesn’t stop right away, and I’m dragged along behind it.

But somehow I managed to…

But looking at Barvel, he’s about to get slammed against the wall, unable to control his posture.

And there it is: the wall’s rubble, destroyed and deformed by repeated destruction, protruding like a massive, sharp-edged spear.

“No… ?!”

If this continues, the stone spear will pierce Barvel!

The “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” is stuck on the floor.

Even if you shoot “Ki-Bullet” in this situation, you may have difficulty getting it right under these circumstances..

―But there is still hope…!

This old man removes his left hand from the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” and replaces it with the “Great Axe of the Great Warrior” from his item box.

“Doooooooooooooooooo!”

With the power of “Weapon Transformation,” the hilt and blade of the “Great Axe of the Great Warrior” stretch.

With it, strike the stone spear.

Dogaaaaah!

I was able to sever the sharp edge before it could pierce Barvel.

However, Barvel’s collision with the wall is unavoidable.

This old man rushes to Barvel with the return of the “Great Axe of the Great Warrior” to the item box.

“Guaaaahhh?!”

“Barvel! Uh…?! T-This is―?!”

“Don’t worry…! It’s just a cut…!”

But in reality, it was a terrible mess.

One of his wings is slashed open and dangling limply.

And his strong arm… His left arm had been severed and was lying nearby.

“W-Where’s your…! You’re badly hurt!”

” Don’t worry about me! It’s coming!”

“Hohohoho…! I dislike it when you turn away!”

Dormina is back with the same sword wave!

“Ash! Avoid it!”

It will, however, hit Barvel if you avoid it in this position.

If he gets hit again, this time it will not be just his arm.

But with this old man’s power,

“?! No don’t…!”

I had a feeling I might be able to pull it off!

The “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” is raised once more by this old man.

The blade is enveloped in a golden aura like the Ki-Bullet!

“Ooooooooooooooooh, Daybreak!”

Bigiiiiiiii!!!

Dormina’s sword wave was crushed by this old man’s slash, which had now been purely maximized in power.

“Daybreak” is meant to be a unique technique that can only be used once per day.

But the moment I removed the “Great Axe of the Great Warrior” from the item box and put it back in…

Daybreak was now usable again.

This implies that the [storage] skill has that effect.

Chapter 29: Martina and the Dragonmancer 19

“…This is a good one!”

With the exception of the time it takes to take out the “Great Axe of the Great Warrior,” this old man can fire daybreak as many times as he wants.

He can also make every sword attack a “Daybreak.”

Then this old man’s attack power in a real fight will increase dramatically.

The power of the “daybreak” move is quite impressive.

“Are you still hiding your hand?!”

“It’s a mutual feeling! You’ve tried every trick in the book! But that’s all you have! “

“End this, Ash!”

“Alright!”

This old man charges with the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” in one hand.

The other hand is used to load and unload the “Great Axe of the Great Warrior” into the item box.

Dormina’s sword flashes, but it is stopped and crushed by a series of “Daybreaks.”

―She’s in range! I can reach her now!

“Damn it! Don’t come near meeeeeeeee!”

“Just give me Tina back; I no longer want to be around you!”

Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing!

The most ferocious clash of swords can be heard.

―Dormina recoiled and collapsed on her back.

“…Now!

However―

Bariiiiiiinnngg!

“?!

The “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” shattered into pieces.

“Kyahahahaha! In the end, the weapon itself determines the outcome! This mistress had some good fortune! “

Dormina was victorious and charged at this old man with all her might.

But a huge shadow was blocking this old man’s view at that moment!

ZASH!

Dormina’s thrust pierced Barvel’s body, and the sword blade protruded from his back.

“Barvel?!”

“You! Why go to such lengths to annoy this mistress…?! “

“I dislike you…! That’s it!”

And Barvel grabs Dormina’s hand and holds it tightly.

“You’re not going to get away with this, Dormina! Come on, Ash! I’ve made my move!”

“I’m in your debt!”

Needless to say, this old man is already on the move.

He takes the “Magic Stone Pairing” from the item box and grips it tightly in his hand.

Take Dormina’s free left hand and place the ring on her finger.

“OK… Tina—! Please accept it…!”

“Stop… Don’t touch me!”

She resists, but I eventually get her to put it on.

The ring sparkles brilliantly.

B―ut not just yet.

“Kukukuku… I’m not sure what it is, but get off of me!

This old man pulls the ring from the rampaging Dormina and keeps his distance.

Barvel can’t hold back anymore as Dormina struggles.

“Is that your trump card?! It looks like the target was a dud!”

“No, this is only the beginning!”

That was just to determine who had “Magic Stone Pairing,” which is marked as belonging to this old man and Tina.

“Come on, Tina!”

The “Magic Stone Pairing” was kept in the item box by this old man.

The effect of the stored “Magic Stone Pairing” is as follows―

[Magic Stone Pairing]

Storage Status Bonus:

Arm Strength+30(Upper Limit:500)

Physical Strength +30(Upper Limit:500)

Agility+30(Upper Limit:500)

Magic Power+30(Upper Limit:500)

Spirit+30(Upper Limit:500)

When stored, the owners can use the property for “One Life”

“One Life” is a property that allows you to share the effects of your strength and weaknesses with a linked partner.

“One Life” would not have been activated if Tina had already given up on this old man.

However, the “Monocle of Memories” in Tina’s private quarters.

And how she acted just before Dormina knocked her out.

If you look at it, you’ll see this coming.

Usage Rate: 100/100%

Item List:

Martial Arts Pendant: 1

Mithril Sword: 1

Rapier of the Silver Knight: 1

Shield of the Golden Knight: 1

Great Axe of the Great Warrior: 1

Pearl of Life: 1

Flaming Jewel Staff: 1

Ice Jewel Staff: 1

Sage Staff: 1

White Silver Chain Shirt: 1

Magic Stone Pairing: 1

Mutated Mithril Battle Shard: 1

Other list:

Holy Sword Wave: 3

Curse of the Corpse Dragon: 3

Status Bonus:

Arm thickness: 480

Physical Strength:480

Mobility: 430.

Magic Power: 430

Spirit: 430

Additional Specialization :

Ki-Bullet

Sonic boom

Barrage Thrusting

Extreme Guard

Daybreak

Presence Detection

Weapon Transformation

Additional Magic :

Fire Arrow

Freeze bullet

Heal

Additional features:

All skills Increased x1,3

Automatic recovery (small)

One Life (Ash & Martina)

This old man and Tina are the targets of “One Life.”

And the power of the “Pearl of Life” has rejuvenated this old man to the age of ten.

Tina, too, will receive that kind of enhancement effect!

Bashuuun!

Tina’s body is enveloped in a seven-colored light.

Tina’s appearance changed to that of a young, noble, and beautiful Tina in her prime, around 17 or 18 years old.

For some reason, she appears to be older than this old man, but it’s a success!

Chapter 30: Martina and the Dragonmancer 20

“Oh, I did it!”

“Hey, you just made her younger…!”

Barvel was wide-eyed as he huddled on the ground.

“Pfft… Kukuku. So what if you’ve revitalized and strengthened this mistress’s vessel?”

“Yes, it did in some ways! Tina, are you hearing me? Dormina no longer has control over you, do you? You must regain consciousness and free yourself from Dormina!”

Tina was too strong to control as a young woman, so she waited until she was old and frail.

This is what Dormina meant while buying time for the Holy Sword to descend.

Dormina was pleased when we wasted time talking…

But she’d also revealed a critical flaw.

Dormina would be out of control if Tina were as young as this old man.

It was Dormina herself who had given this old man the idea.

“Uaaaaaaaaghhhh…?!”

Dormina comes to a halt and begins to suffer.

This old man then approaches Tina and shakes her shoulder.

“Tina! Hang in there! Let’s take this guy down and go on another adventure together! This old man is here to pick you up!”

“…!”

Tina’s eyes return to their original, beautiful sky blue.

Her eyes were sharp and determined… But now there are tears.

“A-Ash… Sorry. Y-You kept your words. I’ve been looking forward to seeing you for a long time…!”

“It’s this old man who should be apologizing for making you wait so long…! Come on, get rid of Dormina!”

“All right! Dormina! I’m no longer at your mercy! Get the hell away from me!”

Tina’s body is engulfed in a blaze of holy light.

It’s the [Holy Warrior] skill’s power.

Uuuuooooooooooo!

A blue-black translucent female figure slips out of Tina’s body.

“Is this the real Dormina?!”

A horned demon woman?

She appears to be a soul with no substance.

“Yes, Ash, it’s difficult to completely destroy her, but I can seal her up for good!”

“Alright, I’ll help you!”

“This mistress will have none of it! Then let’s put this big boy to use…!”

Dormina is about to leap at Barvel.

―Is Barvel going to be your host this time?

“I’m not going to let you!”

This old man steps in between them.

Barvel’s done me a favor. I’m not going to let her do whatever she wants.

“Fool! It makes no difference to this mistress if it’s you!”

Dormina goes straight for this old man.

Then―!

“Come on! Let’s see what you’re capable of!”

This old man releases the Holy Sword Wave and the Curse of the Corpse Dragon from the item box.

The usage of the item box is now―

Usage Rate: 1/100%

I’ve released a lot of energy, and there’s now plenty of space in the usage rate!

“I’ll give you a possession fee!”

Dormina’s body is insubstantial. To put it another way, it’s a mass of energy with a will.

Then―This is the way to go!

“Come on, I’ll store you!”

This old man reaches out to Dormina.

Dormina herself vanishes there, as if she were being sucked in.

“Huh…? What on earth is this?! Are you trying to eat this mistress in return? Stop… stop… stop…! I don’t want to vanish… This mistress, this mistress… Kyaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!”

The screaming Dormina disappeared into this old man’s item box.

“A-Ash? What exactly did you do?! Are you all right…?!”

Tina comes running up to me with a worried look on her face.

“Oh, it’s all right. I’m fine.”

―There’s nothing wrong with this old man.

Usage Rate: 81/100%

Other List:

Dragonmancer’s Soul: 1

[Dragonmancer’s Soul]

When stored, you gain the skill “Dragonmancer”.

[Dragonmancer]

can use and manipulate corpse dragons’ bodies and souls.

Long-distance communication allows you to communicate with corpse dragons who have become your dependents.

Dragonmancer magic can be learned.

Proficiency: 99/99

Status Bonus:

Status Bonus:

Arm Strength: 396(4)

Physical Strength: 396(4)

Agility: 594(6)

Spirit: 594(6)

Magic Power: 792(8)

The figures in parentheses represent the bonus value for each proficiency level.

No, it wasn’t all right…!

Despite the worrying usage rate, it seems to have exploded into strength once again.

“All right, let me double-check.”

Tina puts her forehead against this old man’s forehead.

“What are you doing?”

“Appraisal”. I’m going to look for anything unusual.”

“I  think you can use “Appraisal” without getting that close.”

Shouldn’t just a light touch suffice?

“However, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be close, right?”

“Well…”

“Then don’t mind it. I can’t stand this adorable Ash!”

Apparently, decades later, even after becoming queen and growing old and young again, Tina is still Tina.

I’m feeling nostalgic, partly because she looks so familiar and partly because I’ve been rejuvenated.

“Okay, nothing appears to be wrong! But…! What on earth is this…?! Skill proficiency level 9999?! Is it also the effect of this skill that you’ve regained your youth?!”

“Yeah. The “Pearl of Life” can be found in [Storage]. I finally made it because of it!”

It was a game of chance whether this old man died quickly or mastered the [Storage] skill.

But, at long last, this old man has awoken!

“Dormina is now also…That’s incredible, Ash! You finally got stronger and came to pick me up, didn’t you?!”

“That’s exactly what I meant. I apologize for keeping you waiting.”

This old man pats Tina’s arm.

Tina is about seventeen or eighteen years old, and this old man is about ten years old.

Because of our height difference, I can’t reach her to pat her head.

Tina began to cry uncontrollably.

“Uwu~uuuuu! I couldn’t be more happier! Of course, I’ll go with Ash! But I’m sorry that we now resemble a grandson and a grandmother―.”

Tina appears to have been so preoccupied with this old man that she was unable to see herself.

This old man begins to recite a spell.

“Come forth, be my servant, curse the ice, blue gravel…! Freeze Bullet!”

Pikiiiiiiinnn!

A large block of ice appears nearby on the ground.

“Ash…?! What exactly are you doing?”

“Tina, you’re not the only one who’s gotten younger! Take a look at yourself!”

Tina saw her reflection in the ice.

“?! Eh…! I’m young as well?!”

“Yes! I realize how beautiful you used to be…”

Tina’s hands reached out and pushed this old man’s face to the side.

Tina’s face was filled with nostalgia, happiness, fascination, and many other emotions.

“Fufufu… That naive Ash has matured enough to say such a thing to me…. It hasn’t been that long, has it?”

Tina’s face approaches mine.

There’s no need to be shy or embarrassed anymore.

This old man proudly accepted the way things were.

Chapter 31: Martina and the Dragonmancer 21

Following that,

Everyone, including this old man, stayed in the Royal Capital for a while.

To assist in the restoration of the destroyed castle.

Aside from the Royal Castle being partially destroyed, nothing important was found as a result of the disturbances.

Tina was quick to urge the evacuation and get the people out of the city, which was a good thing.

The city is now back to normal, as if nothing had happened.

And the castle’s restoration is moving along quickly.

It’s thanks to Barvel and the dragonewts he commands.

They are proud of their strength and ability to fly. They were instrumental in the restoration work.

Dormina was defeated, and the power that gave them a temporary life should no longer be able to exist.

However, because this old man has preserved the “Dragonmancer” skill, their power has been passed down to the world.

As a result, they have persisted.

Barvel’s followers, who had turned violent, were able to revert to their true nature and gladly assisted in the restoration of the royal castle.

Barvel’s injuries from the battle with Dormina were completely healed by this old man’s [Dragonmancer] skill.

And now that the royal castle has been restored, this old man and his men are ready to celebrate the occasion.

Of course, I’m referring to the day we leave the Royal Capital and embark on our adventure.

“Ash. Ash.. Get up right now.”

“Hmm… is it already morning?”

I’m tempted to stay in bed a little longer, but then I remember.

Yes, we are supposed to leave the capital today.

Pachi .

Tina’s cheerful smile was right next to me when I awoke.

“Good morning, Ash.”

“Good morning, Tina. This morning, we’re getting closer.”

“Yeah? I assumed you were expecting me to kiss you and wake you up.”

“No, that isn’t the case… and in any case…”

“Well, twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.”

Chuu

Tina kisses this old man and climbs out of bed with him.

“Breakfast has been prepared. Let’s eat, take one last look around, and then get going! I haven’t had a good time with Ash in over fifty years! I’m excited!”

Tina is having a great time.

“But, Tina, are you certain?”

“What exactly is it, Ash?”

“Tina is the country’s queen. I wondered if it was selfish of this old man to take her away.”

Tina’s safety made everyone at the castle very happy.

They were surprised that she looked so young again, but they were also relieved that it was good for her health because it alleviated her health concerns.

It demonstrated Tina’s popularity among the general public.

that they needed her.

“You can be selfish―Am I that easy for Ash to give up?”

“No, I do not. I’m just wondering if Tina isn’t coercing herself into being with this old man.”

“Absolutely not. I’ve given so much of myself to my country. I should be able to retire freely. I’ve prepared a suitable replacement for that occasion. Don’t worry, take me with you. That is what brings me joy~.”

“I see―.”

Tina walks right up to this old man.

“If you’re feeling too restless, do you want me to kiss you again to cheer you up?”

“No, I’m perfectly fine.”

“What a pity…”

Tina was disappointed, but this time this old man kissed her passionately.

“…!”

“Tina, thank you for waiting decades for this old man. I’m extremely grateful.”

“Hehehe~… It’s wonderful that Ash is doing this with me.”

This old man said it seriously, but Tina appeared to be grinning and not paying attention.

Anyway, we got ready, and this old man and the others went to the castle’s gate to leave.

His Majesty Elfin and the court magician Erica were among those who came to see us off.

“Your Majesty, are you still going by any means?”

“Of course I do. And I’m the former ruler. You’re now the King, aren’t you? Bring yourself together.”

“But it’s still a burden for me… If you have been rejuvenated and your health is no longer an issue, you can reclaim the throne. “

“Don’t be silly. I’m going on an adventure with Ash. I’m just a wayward queen on my way to an adventure with Ash. Allow me to be myself once more.”

“Yes! Isn’t it wonderful that they kept their promise to each other and are now together? It’s romantic! You can’t mess with happiness!”

Erica screamed at His Majesty Elfin.

Erica-dono appears to be positive about Tina’s departure.

“Hahaha! That’s exactly what I mean! Elfin, Erica. You are the heirs of the [Holy Warrior] and [Great Sage] I discovered. You will be as good as me if you work together. Take care of everything else.”

Tina patted Elfin and Erica on the back.

“Yes…! I will remember what you said!”

“Thank you for taking us orphans!”

They were both overcome with emotion and bowed deeply to Tina.

“Let’s go, Ash!”

“Oh!”

When this old man and Tina exited the gate, Barvel and the Dragonewts awaited us.

They, too, wished to see this old man and Tina depart.

“Martina! Ash! It’s time to get started.”

“Barvel, I’m sorry. I owe you everything. Thank you very much.”

“The feeling is mutual. I’m still alive because you took Dormina’s power away from her.”

“That’s right!”

“We’ve finally come to our senses!”

“Many thanks!”

Barvel’s followers are upbeat and friendly.

“I appreciate it as well. You’ve sped up the restoration of the castle.”

“It’s nothing to worry about.”

“But haven’t you become Ashe’s dependents? Why don’t you join us?”

Barvel chuckles quietly and shakes his head.

“That is not something I intend to do. You two can have fun together on your adventures. We are now, as you say, Ash’s people. He can hear and summon us even when we are far away. Use us if necessary.”

“You’re a clever fellow for a man your size. Then I’ll flirt with Ash all I want!”

Tina is impressed.

“O-Oh…”

Barvel appears embarrassed.

This old man, too, is embarrassed to be told such a thing so openly.

“But what are your plans for the future? If you’re still in Lácia, why not talk to Elfin?”

“No, if we stay in the kingdom for too long, we’re bound to get into some unnecessary squabbles. I’ll find a quiet place to live and hone my skills.

“I see.”

“Well, we’d better get going―See you later, Ash, Martina!”

Barvel’s wings flutter in the air with each flap.

“Call me if you need anything!”

“I’ll gladly talk to you even if you don’t have anything to say!”

“On the contrary, if there’s something tasty, call me! I’d like to eat it!”

The Dragonewts and the others quickly followed.

“…Shall we also go, Ash?!”

Tina squeezed this old man’s hand.

Tina and this old man appeared to be about ten and seventeen or eighteen years old, respectively.

In this regard, they are not an awkward couple, but rather close sibling.

First and foremost, it is puzzling why there is an age difference when we share the power of the Pearl of Life. Tina would be ten if I were ten.

But it’s better than an old couple who’re worried about each other’s health.

“Yes! A trip with no specific goal!”

“No, Ash, in my opinion, we have a goal, don’t we?”

“Huh? What is it?”

“Isn’t it true that Ash is the child and I am the adult?”

“Yeah, that’s right.”

“We must find a way to transform Ash into a more mature Ash! You’re adorable as is, but I want you to grow up a little bit!”

“Why?”

“Of course I can’t have children with Ash in his current form, right? Quickly transform into a young man and impregnate me!”

“T-Tina, please don’t say that too loudly!”

This old man and others are walking down the main road that leads away from the royal castle.

People who were walking by heard Tina’s statement and were taken aback.

Chapter 32: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle 1

Tina and this old man left the capital and traveled north.

“There it is, Ash―The hot spring town of Kuphin.”

“Oh. It’s quite famous. “

The mountain town has a row of magnificent inns.

It is one of the world’s leading recreational destinations due to the high quality of the hot springs in this area.

This old man has never been here before, but it’s a lovely place.

“It could be a long walk ahead of us. Why don’t we rest our bones first, since it’s just around the corner?”

Tina gives this old man a friendly smile.

“I suppose so―Despite the fact that I’m young again, I’ve been fighting a lot lately―I had hoped to get some rest.”

He may appear to be ten years old, but he is an old man at heart.

I suppose it’s natural to be tired and want to rest after a hard day’s work.

“Well, it’s a shame Ash is still a boy… But I’m an adult. I’m young and spunky, so enjoy me to the fullest.”

“W-What exactly do you want me to do?!”

“I’d like you to… You can look at me, touch me, and do whatever you want with me. I’m always prepared, okay?”

Tina gives a seductive smile and pats her chest.

Her ample breasts swayed in response.

The sweet smells you can smell just being near them, and that adorable sight.

She appears to be more sensational and alluring than before.

Is it because this old man can now afford to care about it?

This old man was overcome by a sense of helplessness and despair.

“No, no, no… Now this old man is just a kid.”

“Yes―Now that you mention it, Ash.”

“?”

“We share the same life-force rejuvenating effect of the Pearl of Life, but our apparent ages are vastly different. What do you make of this?”

“Well, that’s what this old man wonders as well… I’m not sure.”

“Perhaps we’ve both returned to our best selves. I was at the pinnacle of my abilities and, more importantly, in love with Ash. I believe Ash avoided it unconsciously before the age of 15 because he was experiencing a lot of difficulties.”

“Well… Since the age of 15, this old man has been plagued by feelings of powerlessness and inferiority. Even now, that I’m an old man and my abilities have blossomed, I’m still thinking about it.”

“Yeah. I don’t believe Ash is ready to be satisfied with his life. So, to be a child who is innocent―and that means we only have one thing to do…!”

Tina tightly embraces this old man.

She hugs this old man tightly, most likely on purpose: his face is buried in Tina’s chest, and it feels like heaven.

“W-What are you planning to do…?!”

“Fufufu…I’m going to seduce you to the point where you want to forget everything that happened in the past. You’ll be in good shape to fulfill your desires when reason blows over, won’t you?”

“Is that the case…?”

“It’s just a theory. I’m not sure, but it’s better than not trying, and I’d do it regardless, so it doesn’t matter. Rather, I’m confident that I can do it.”

“How about tracing the origins of the Pearl of Life?”

With my [storage] effect, the Pearl of Life is currently rejuvenating this old man and Tina.

It is natural to wonder if it is possible to change the age by modifying it or using a similar object.

The Pearl of Life, according to Barvel, was left behind by a certain dark elf who appeared in front of the sealed and motionless Barvel.

He said he didn’t even mention his name, so he had no further information.

So we decided to meet the Dark Elves and gather information, so we headed north to a Dark Elven settlement Tina mentioned.

The spa town of Kuphin was located on the northern border of Tina’s kingdom of Lacia. It would be a good place to stop before we leave the country.

“Of course, I’ll take your lead. But, surely, the more options we pursue, the more likely it is that I will be the mother of Ash’s child sooner. That’s what I mean; let’s go!”

With a smiling Tina leading the way, we arrive at the hot spring resort.

We immediately started looking for a place to stay in town, but

“Huh…?”

“What’s the matter, Tina?”

“I feel like there aren’t many people around. It was much busier the last time I was here.

“Hmm…? Is that a sign that something is wrong?”

“Let’s go check into the inn.”

So I went to Tina’s chosen inn, “Ishibatei”.

“Sorry. We’d like to spend a couple of days here. We don’t mind sharing a room.”

Tina approached the hostess at the counter near the door.

“Oh, you’re siblings? You’re very close.”

“No, we’re in a relationship.” Isn’t that obvious?”

“Eh…?! You’re a little too green behind the ears to mess with a little boy like that Onee-chan…! That’s all well and good, but…”

The hostess’s face clouded a little.

“What’s the problem? Do you mean that this old man and others won’t be able to stay?”

“You have a peculiar way of speaking…”

“Don’t worry about it. It’s simply good manners.”

“It’s sort of a dialect.”

“I-Is that so? All right. And I’m not saying you can’t have the room, okay? It’s just… Okay, here’s the issue: The hot spring that used to flow has stopped bubbling. You’re welcome to stay if you still want it.”

“Eh…?! We’re staying in a hot springs hotel, but there aren’t any hot spring baths?”

The hostess sighs deeply and nods in response to Tina’s question.

“That’s right… One day, just like that… I’ve spent my entire life in this hot spring town. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. We’re in big trouble.”

“I see, that’s why there weren’t many people out on the street.”

“Yes,―That’s right. Not only have we come to a halt, but so have others. At this rate, all of Kuphin’s inns will go out of business.”

The gloomy hostess―Tina spoke softly to this old man.

“Ash… there doesn’t appear to be a hot spring. But can we still stay?”

“Yes. This old man is okay with it.”

“Then I’d like to stay here for a while.”

“Are we going to find out what caused this?”

“Yes. This is a province of the Kingdom of Lacia. I’m no longer a queen, but I was once one. I can’t just ignore it. I’m sorry…”

“Well, I guess we won’t be able to enjoy the hot spring. But this old man will assist because Tina’s problem is also this old man’s problem.”

“Oh! I’m happy to feel Ash’s love.”

Tina says with a cheerful smile.

“All right, hostess. We’ll be staying here for quite some time!”

“Really?! Thank you kindly. Have a great time!”

“One more thing… have any government officials looked into the anomalies? I’d like to know how the latest investigation is progressing.”

“No…I heard they dispatched a messenger to the Royal Capital, but… “

The capital, such as it was, was the capital.

Either they’re slow to respond or something happened to the messenger along the way.

“However, the Adventurers’ Guild here has requested an investigation. The best place to learn more is the Adventurers’ Guild.”

“I see. We’ll look into it later. Right Ash?”

“All right, let’s do it.”

This old man and Tina went into the room to rest for a while before heading to this town’s Adventurers’ Guild.

Chapter 33: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle2

“This is the place.”

The structure from which the Adventurers’ Guild’s sign hangs.

It’s probably the same size as the town of Kiriya, where this old man comes from.

The Adventurer’s Guild, on the other hand, has chapters all over the world. Overall, it would be a much larger organization than any other country in the world.

The most important thing, however, is that there is little unity among the adventurers, and the only way to bring the group together is through requests and rewards.

It is precisely because of this loose organization that the nobles who rule the land are able to tolerate the existence of the Adventurers’ Guild.

Because status is meaningless to adventurers, they can also serve as a catch-all for those with lower social standing but exceptional abilities. It serves as a sort of relief function.

“Does my Adventurer card still work?”

Tina took out her gold card, the S-rank adventurer’s mark, and examined it.

It’s a little faded because it’s so old.

“Isn’t it safe to say Tina is a well-known figure in this country?”

After all, she is a former queen who only recently abdicated.”

“From the looks of it, they won’t recognize me. Besides, it’s been a long time. Few people remember how I used to be. Let’s go see what happens.”

“Hmm. Yes.”

When this old man and Tina enter the Adventurer’s Guild building, they will immediately attract everyone’s attention.

Be ready for that.

At the age of 15, one awakens their abilities.

To become an adventurer, you must be at least 15 years old.

As a result, a 10-year-old boy would be considered out of place here.

“”Excuse meー””

The voices of this old man and Tina are in unison, though not in a coordinated manner.

Together, we step into the guild building.

But no response was received, and no one paid attention to this old man or the others.

“”…Hmm?””

Any concerns I had were quickly addressed.

“Wahhh?! What are you up to…?! Please stop! I’m only here to talk! Kyaaah?! Let go of me! Where are you touching?!”

A seventeen or eighteen-year-old girl with a strange accent was being held down and thrashed around by a group of male adventurers.

Her hair was a light pinkish color, which I hadn’t seen before.

“Shut up!”

“You’ve been on a rampage all day!”

“You’re the reason we’re in this situation!”

Some of the men were cowering against the wall, possibly as a result of her.

She was in a rage, and the adventurers were trying to subdue her?

Or is she fighting back against the assailants?

It could be interpreted either way, but?

“The tone, the color of her hair, the earth-engraved diadem… She’s a dwarf..!”

“Huh, her…?… I’ve never seen one before.”

I’ve never seen a female dwarf before, but she’s just as beautiful as a human girl.

“What are you doing, big guys? It’s not the work of a principled man.”

Tina takes a step forward to address the men.

“Onee-chan, don’t interfere! This is not the place for a lady like you!”

“That’s right!”

“Hit somewhere else!”

“Please help me! I’ve done nothing wrong! Please, pretty Onee-chan..!.”

The men return the threat, and the dwarf girl begs for help.

“…Anyway, why don’t we talk about it? The girl says she wants to talk.”

“That’s not the case! Anyway, go away… Huh?! Ow! Ow! Ow!”

The man screamed as this old man grabbed and twisted his hand.

He was probably in a rage and was about to push Tina away, so I interrupted and stopped him.

For this old man, who had already fought two of the eight generals, Barvel and Dormina, this was no big deal.

Rather, it’s more of a measure of extreme caution to not break his arm in the heat of the moment.

“I’m sorry… Please don’t try to touch my companion.”

“I get it…! I get it… let me go…”

“All right, then.”

When I let go, the man rubbed his arm with tears in his eyes.

“What the hell with that kid?!”

“That’s not normal, Allen being so easy…?!”

“Or does he have some kind of super-skill? But he’s not even 15 years old yet!”

Tina’s eyes sparkle strangely as she calls out to the huddled adventurers.

“Fufufu…. How’s that?! In Ash’s eyes, you’re no better than a baby. So, if any of you want to get blown up, feel free to come forward!”

“T-Tina… you don’t have to stir things up so much―.”

“That’s fine in moderation. I needed a strong Ash to protect me! I used to beat the crap out of anyone who got in Ash’s way, so… It’s refreshing. This is what I’ve always wanted!

“…Oh dear…”

I’m speechless because she appears so happy, joyful, and ecstatic.

“Huh… You’re a funny-looking kid. Then I’ll let you beat me up.”

A voice calls out from the far wall to the right.

He was a man with a scar on his cheek and the appearance of a martial artist.

Chapter 34: Hot Spring Village and the Legendary Castle 3

“But, Gurdy-san. You don’t have to do that right?”

“That’s right, he’s just a kid…”

“I’d hate to see a kid die because you don’t know how to handle it…”

Gurdy is the name of the man who came forward.

His appearance horrifies the other adventurers.

“Fools! Do you still don’t get the boy’s power? Allen was the best of the bunch. And that’s exactly how he treated him.”

Based on the way he speaks, he appears to be a wandering adventurer who has recently settled into the guild.

Adventurers come in all shapes and sizes: some stay in one guild branch for a long time, while others move around, appearing at different guild branches.

This old man was the former before achieving 9999 Proficiency. I believe he is the latter.

“Typically, children do not learn skills until they are 15 years old. A child is supposed to have no power. With that kind of power, he’s either a prodigy or a demon disguised as a human. In any case, he’s not someone you can put your trust in. Then it’ll be worth my time…”

“They’re both incorrect.”

The correct answer is: an old man disguised as a child.

“Hah! I’m not sure what big shot you’re pretending to be, but you’re just a minor character in Ash’s game! Get the hell out of here!”

Tina is hiding in the background, yelling obscenities at him.

“…”

Gurdy, the man, ignored her, but his temples twitched.

Maybe he’s a little angry.

“Why are you hiding, Tina?”

“It’s customary for a fragile girl to stand in the shadows and keep an eye on battling thoughts and feelings! This makes me feel better! Oh, it’s so much fun…!”

A fragile girl ?

A woman who has mastered the dual skills of [Holy Warrior] and [Great Sage], a legend in the making, fragile?

First of all, I don’t think such a weak person would say such insulting things…

“I’m sorry. She’s been at home for a long time and is very excited.”

“… No worries.”

“But I refuse to be treated like a demon. As you can see, this old man is a true human adventurer.”

This old man takes a gold S-rank adventurer’s card from his pocket and shows it to him.

“Huh…?! That card―?!”

“S-rank…?! Then it’s no surprise Allen was beaten…!”

“Then Gurdy-san can’t be too careless, because they’re both S rank…!”

The man named Gurdy pulls a sword from his hip while everyone is buzzing around him.

A slightly bent, sharp-looking scimitar.

“Then there’s no need to hesitate. My name is Gurdy Gadd. [Swordsman] is my skill, and I have a proficiency of 61! Draw your sword as well!”

The Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales is the weapon of choice for this old man.

It was destroyed during the battle with Dormina, but Barvel replaced it with a new one.

I liked it so much after that battle that I didn’t put it in the [storage]. I’d rather use it on a daily basis.

This old man was about to place his hand on the hilt of the sword “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales,” but changed his mind.

“No, we’ll leave it this way.”

“What…?! Are you trying to lick me―?!”

Gurdy’s face is red with rage this time.

But it can’t be helped―this old man decides to identify himself in Gurdy’s style.

“My name is Ash Aberth, and I have [Storage] Proficiency 9999!”

“What…?!”

Gurdy’s eyes widened.

“Y-You’re a kid with strength and such a skill?!”

“That outlier [storage]…?!”

“But 9999 Proficiency is an absurd number that I’ve never heard of…!”

People around us are also confused by the information, as it seems to be a combination of a very unusual skill and a very high level of proficiency.

“Also, [Genius] skill proficiency at 99!”

“D-Dual skill…?!”

“Yeah, but it’s a [Storage] after all…”

Still baffled.

“One more thing, [Dragonmancer] Proficiency 99!”

T-Triple Skill…?!”

“What in the world is that?! How is that even possible…?!”

“I’ve never heard of the [Dragonmancer] skill…?!”

Confusion gives way to surprise and awe.

Even if it’s just the title of his skill, there’s a world of difference between this Gurdy and this old man now.

“You would be cut down and killed in an instant if I used the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales.” I’m not a bloodthirsty person.

It’s not a licking. It’s a necessary restraint.

“That’s bullsh*t! I’ve traveled the world and seen the strongest men, but I’ve never heard of anything like this!”

“Test it out. Come on, show me your stuff!”

“Then take this! Sonic boom!”

Gurdy’s sword creates a shock wave.

This old man does not avoid it, but instead begins to walk toward the shockwave.

“What?! He doesn’t even dodge?!”

Gurdy’s eyes bulge, and the shockwave is heading to this old man’s face, bamm―.

Nothing happens; it simply vanishes. Of course, it had been “stored.”

“What…?! The “sonic boom” vanished?!”

While he shudders, this old man walks ever closer.

“Uh-Uoooooooooohh!”

His “sonic boom” is repeatedly activated. But everything vanishes.”

A “sonic boom” of that magnitude would hardly increase the usage rate.

“That’s not possible…What in the world is going on…?!”

“I told you that, didn’t I? So… Can we stop here?”

This old man lightly patted Gurdy’s shoulder.

Then…

“?!”

“Hooyah!”

Oh, crap!

“Aaaaahhh!”

With a single tap, he blasts off with such force that he breaks through the thin guild wall and flies out into the street outside.

…He’s an S-rank adventurer, so he’ll be fine, maybe.

“Well, then, shall we all listen to the little lady’s story?”

When this old man calls out to the others, they all nod their heads, shocked and frozen.

Tina was the only one who stood out.

“Ash…! That’s so cool!”

Her eyes glowed, and she jumped up and down.

Chapter 35: Hot Springs Village and the  Legendary Castle 4

“Everyone is blown away by Ash’s strength! This is the Ash I’ve always wished to see! I’ve been waiting for this for so long! I never expected to have such a happy retirement…! Let’s keep knocking down the immature people in the world who are just a little bit skilled and arrogant from now on! Right?!”

“No… that would imply that this old man is the most enthusiastic. Why don’t you do it yourself, Tina?”

“But, I enjoy watching Ash knock everyone’s socks off!” It’s tedious to do it myself! It’s a difficult task for a maiden.”

Tina smiles and presses this old man’s face against her chest.

“Hahaha… I’d say it’s twisted.”

“What exactly are you saying? I’d like you to tell me that I resemble a wife who defends her husband.”

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

“I suppose you’re right.”

The freed dwarf girl approaches this old couple and bows deeply to them.

“Thank you very much! You really helped me a lot!”

She squeezes this old man’s hand.

“I’ve heard that human children are weak because they haven’t yet learned how to use their abilities, but Ash-kun is extremely powerful!”

She shakes her head happily. She’s more energetic than she looks.

“Oh-hoho. It’s not much, but…are you hurt?”

“No! Haha. Ash-kun has a peculiar way of speaking.”

“…No, I believe the same is true for both of us.”

In this girl’s case, it’s most likely a typical Dwarvish accent.

“My name is Donna! I’m a dwarf. Honorifics are too formal for me, so please speak normally!”

Her bright, healthy smile is quite pleasing.

“Then I’ll do that.”

“Is Onee-san over here a friend of Ash-kun’s?”

She looks at Tina.

“It’s Martina, and it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m Ash’s true love. Fiancée. wife. I’ll leave it up to your imagination. Right Ash?”

‘W-Well, I suppose.”

I have no complaints, but I am somewhat embarrassed.

“Whaaaat?! Martina-chan, aren’t you a little old? That is not acceptable…”

“Hahaha. Don’t worry about it. There is no discernible age difference when there is love.”

“Y-Yeah… It’s none of my business to begin with…”

“So, why were the Adventurers after Donna the Dwarf? Can you explain what happened?”

Dwarves are not hostile toward humans, but the majority of them live in underground tunnels where they have built towns and villages.

There is some exchange and trade along these lines due to their skills as blacksmiths, but only with a few. They are still uncommon in places like this.

“Actually, I came to request that you refrain from attacking our castle.”

“A castle? Is there anything like this anywhere…?”

This hot spring town has no castles.

“If not above ground, then underground? Dwarves prefer to live underground.”

Tina makes a guess.

“Yes. There’s a castle underground that we dwarves dug up.”

“Dug up?”

This old man is bothered by Donna’s expression.

That makes it sound like the castle has gone underground, doesn’t it?

“Are you saying you built an underground castle? Dwarven technology must be incredible.”

“No, that isn’t it. We had just accidentally excavated the castle. But one day it just started talking and moving, and we were whisked away from place to place before arriving here.”

“The castle talks?! It moves…?!”

It’s an absurd story. But you never know what might be out there.

When this old man reached proficiency level 9999, his [Storage] skill suddenly became incredibly strong.

It should come as no surprise that anything can happen.

“I understand you don’t believe me. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it for myself.”

“Could it be… Maybe it’s The Castle Knight.”

Tina claps her hands.

“Yes! That’s exactly what the castle said! Martina-chan knows her stuff!”

“Fufufu. I haven’t used [Great Sage] in a long time.”

“What is the Castle Knight, Tina?”

“It is said to be the residence of a legendary hero. It was said to have a mind of its own and to be able to move freely across land, sea, and air. The hero who traveled the world fighting evil required a mobile fortress that was both agile and powerful. I believe we can think of it as a kind of angel sent by God into the world.”

“Oh…! That’s something I’d like to see.”

It’s history’s romantic side. It would be an excellent sightseeing excursion.

“…So the hot springs in this spa town have ceased to flow because The Castle Knight has gone underground? It most likely altered the earth’s stratum.”

“Yes. The Castle Knights must have dammed up the underground hot spring water.”

“Huh…? I see. That’s why there’s a hot spring down there…”

“Ash. Then maybe we should go see for ourselves.”

“Well, I’m curious to see what it’s like.”

“No, that is not what I want you to do!”

Donna puts a stop to this old man and the others.

“If we provoke it too much, the Castle Knight may go rogue and cause havoc! So, if we leave it like this, it will become bored and move on! So bear with us for a while… Everyone in this room appears to be digging underground, but I want you to stop! The Castle Knight has created guardians! They’re going to attack you! And even if we win, I’ll exhaust the Castle Knight and make It even more immobile!”

However, I would be unable to comply with the suggestion on behalf of the hot spring village.

The villagers’ survival depends on the availability of hot springs.

If they know what’s causing the problem, they’ll want to address it as soon as possible.

“Stop being ridiculous! You cannot simply tell us to give up!”

“What nonsense! It has to be seen to be believed!”

“If we can capture this midget and threaten her friends, we may be able to reclaim the hot springs!”

As expected, the surrounding adventurers who were listening raised objections.

“B-But…! It’s extremely hazardous! Even if it is the legendary Castle Knight, he is not a nice guy! Even my friends were forced to…!”

Donna has come to tell them about the danger, but they don’t believe her. That’s how it goes.

Of course, without seeing it, it’s impossible to say whether Donna’s claim is correct or not.

But, as far as Donna is concerned, she is advising everyone not to do anything.

“Hmmm…”

immediately after this old man groaned―

Dogaaaaaahhh!

The roof of the adventurers’ guild suddenly collapses.

“?! What the hell…?!

A massive shadow was standing in the landscape outside, visible through a large hole.

Chapter 36: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle 5

In a nutshell, it’s a stone giant.

However, it is more than just a large humanoid. It has a thick horn on its forehead, and the fangs of its well-developed mandible protrude from its mouth.

Its face clearly does not resemble that of a man. It is both vicious and fierce. His eyes were bright red.

It is clad in stone armor and has a stone helmet. But it’s so intricately designed that you’d never guess that it’s made of stone.

A large, yellowish, translucent ore sits on the brow.

I’m curious if it’s amber.

“What on earth is this thing?!”

It appears to be an ogre… some sort of giant who once served the demon lord.”

“What exactly is that stone statue doing here?”

“I’m not sure. An ogre, on the other hand, is a servant of the Demon King. Perhaps someone is manipulating The Castle Knights to do evil.”

“Are you talking about another one of the eight demon generals?”

“It’s possible. Because the Castle Knight is where the venerable hero once lived.”

Donna, on the other hand, disagrees with both this old man and Tina’s guess.

“No, it’s not being manipulated! On the contrary, it is under the control of the Castle Knight! It’s not some noble or respectable hero! It’s a dreadful castle!”

Gila!

The red gleam in the stone giant’s eyes has intensified.

Following that,

“Hello you! You think there’s no one around, and you’re gossiping about me behind my back! Aaaah?! You sl*t with a cute face!”

It started speaking in a terrible, gruff tone.

“Huh…?! Tina, did you hear that? It’s speaking…!”

“Yes, I heard it as well. I guess I’m not hearing things in my ears because I’m old.”

“…In fact, this old man had the same thought. Then it’s certain.”

“Isn’t it true that the feeling is mutual? A couple who has a strong bond will think alike~!”

She pulls this old man’s face against her chest.

“Well, the contents themselves aren’t particularly appealing.”

After all, it is a story about old age and hearing loss.

Tina is happy, but Donna is terrified at the sound of the giant’s voice.

“Ehh…?! Is that The Castle Knight itself?!”

“This boy has no trouble projecting his consciousness! I’m going to punish you for being a two-faced b*tch! I’ll have your whipped body serve my insides…! Geheheheh! I’ll make you thoroughly clean my insides for a month!”

“Hiiiiii?!”

“… surprisingly tidy punishment…”

I was expecting something more sexual, but…

“However, you can’t deny the feeling of shame when it comes to whether it’s worthy of being the Legendary Castle of a Legendary Hero. It appears to have been brought up in the wrong place.”

“Indeed, It’s not very well-mannered. “

“Aaaaaaaaaah?!

Thud!

It takes a big step in this direction and leans in closer to us.

“Hey, Hey, Hey! Didn’t your parents teach you to be careful what you say to each other?!”

“…I’m afraid my parents are no longer alive.”

“This old man is exactly the same.”

He may appear to be a child, but on the inside he is an elderly man well past his prime.

His parents died a long time ago.

“Then I can teach you a lesson. I’ll trample kids like you to death. See? Isn’t it terrifying? Cry, cry, cry!”

“Children are the world’s treasure, and they have enormous potential. Would you trample these earth’s treasures? This does not appear to be the castle of a valiant hero. And to use a stone ogre statue… Are you out of your mind?”

Tina is not at all intimidated. She’s ignoring the giant’s threats.

In this way, she retains the dignity that befits a former queen.

“Kek! This statue is just a fool from the Demon Lord’s army, turned to stone by the power of a hero during a long-ago war. He had been inside me for so long that my power had entered him and he had turned into a puppet. That’s exactly what I am! I am perfectly normal! There are no more heroes with the skills of a “castle lord”! I can do whatever I want now that I’m free!”

“Neither I nor Ash will tolerate lawlessness in this land! Isn’t it your fault that the inn’s hot springs have stopped bubbling? We won’t hold you accountable if you leave the area now and restore the hot springs…”

“Huuuuuuh?! Hello, sweetie! Are you trying to tell me what to do?! You have a lot of guts! Even if you cry, I will not forgive you! I’ll put you to work along with that midget!”

In a fit of rage, the stone giant is about to attack Tina.

Its fists, which are larger than these elderly folks’ bodies, are raised in a mighty clash!

“W-Watch out, Martina-chan!”

“It’s okay. You stay back, Donna. I need to brush up on my instincts every now and then.”

“Oraaaaahhh!”

The giant’s fist screamed.

But before it can reach Tina,

Bagiiiiiin!

The massive blade of the “Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales” hit the stone giants from the side.

“Ooooh?!”

The body of the stone giant was too large to be severed, but

I pushed it out of the way before knocking it down and dragging it away from the guild’s building.

This was, of course, an attack by this old man.

“Ash?”

“I sorry, Tina. I just couldn’t stop myself.”

“It doesn’t matter! Were you concerned about me?! I’m so happy to be loved by Ash~!”

In fact, that is true, but I was somewhat embarrassed and wanted to deny it.

Perhaps it’s because Tina is overly direct.

“No… All I wanted was to look good in front of Tina.”

“Of course, that’s perfectly fine.”

That seemed to please her as well.

“And anyway, I’ve only just pushed it out! Come on, Tina!”

“All right, Ash!”

This old man and the others exit the guild building and walk outside.

“You sh*thead…! Now you’ve done it!”

Though the marks of the sword flash are still visible, the stone giant in which The Castle Knight’s will resides is still alive and well.

Its piercing eyes lock on to this old man.

Chapter 37: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle 6

“Nuuuuhn!”

The stone giant bends down and thrusts its fist into the ground.

I’m not sure what it’ll do yet, but there’s one strange thing.

His fist was stuck in the ground, and there was no roar or thud as there should have been.

Bogogoh!

The stone giant extracts a massive chunk of boulder from the ground.

“What…?”

“Oh no! There are a lot of structures behind us! We can’t let it throw that thing…!”

Donna exclaimed as she followed me.

“Come on! Eat this!”

He swung his arm and hurled a chunk of rock at us.

The rage grows stronger.

If we avoid it, the building behind us will be in danger.

“Ash!”

“Oh!”

This old man steps into the path of the chunk of rock and lightly extends his hand.

Shwoon!

The boulder is “stored” in this old man’s item box and vanishes without a trace.

82/100% usage rate

This represents only a 1% increase over the original 81%. There is still no issue.

“Uhhh?! What in the world did you do…?!”

The stone giant is taken aback.

“…! The large rock simply vanished! That’s fantastic, Ash-kun…!”

“That’s nothing to Ash!”

Tina was proudly flexing her chest out as far as she could on behalf of this old man.

Her ample breasts swaying with the gesture would be more impressive than if this old man had done it.

“And you’re a hell of a guy…! If you can absorb any attack, it’s invincible…!”

In reality, it’s not possible due to the Item Box’s capacity, but it’s best not to say that in front of the stone giant that The Castle Knight’s consciousness resides in.

Tina was well aware of this, so she only smirked at Donna.

“Fufufu, I don’t mind if my Ash gets compliments, you know? But if you touch him, I’m going to kill you. Please keep that in mind, okay?”

“N-No, I’m not going to. I wouldn’t seduce a young boy in that way.”

This old man approaches the stone giant after hearing these voices behind him.

“You’re not even old enough to wake up with your skills yet, but your power…are you really human?”

“Of course I’m human… but not as old as I appear. But, as Tina suggested, can’t you turn the hot springs back on right now? I don’t want to damage the legendary hero’s castle.”

The legendary hero’s castle has incalculable historical value.

I don’t want to destroy history’s romance with my own hands.

I’d prefer to keep things as civil as possible.

“F*** you! I couldn’t care less! I’m not so old that I’m a historical relic! I’d just defeated the Demon King, and I was about to make all the good women in the world my servants and have a debauched banquet inside me every night and not work! But he buried me in the earth. Do you understand how I feel?! I’m going to enjoy my past glory to the fullest from now on! I’m going to reclaim my lost youth!”

“…Hmm… Perhaps that’s why Hero-sama sealed you.”

“Maybe Ash is right.”

“Shut the f*ck up! You little b*tches! Have some respect for Hero-sama’s legendary castle!”

“You just told us you don’t give a damn…”

“You’re a pain in the ass. I might have done the same thing Hero-sama did.”

Shoo!

Something suddenly grabbed this old man’s body.

“?!!!”

As he looked, a stone giant’s hand appeared silently at this old man’s feet.

The stone giant was making a violent motion with his arms buried in the ground.

“Ash!”

“Huh?!”

“Fuhahaha! Play with your brain! Captured successfully by posing as a scum!”

The child body of this old man is light and can easily be suspended upside down in the air.

“Hey, hey, hey! If you don’t want to be slammed to the ground and have your brains cracked open, cry and apologize to me for all of your disrespect!”

“I don’t think it’s acting, I think it’s just the way it is…”

“Don’t be so f*cking coy! Do you know what situation you’re in now?!”

“I do. There appears to be no particular issue.”

This old man already had some plans in his head.

So there was nothing to be concerned about.

“Haaaa?! Don’t push it…! You’re really going to perish!”

“Why don’t you give it a try?”

“Give it a try?! Okay, I’ll give it a tryyy! HaaaaaaaaaーHuh?!”

Halfway through, the stone giant’s scream becomes a shout.

The giant’s body contorts and vanishes at the same time.

When he is released, this old man performs a somersault and lands safely on the ground.

“Ash! Are you all right?!”

“Oh Tina, don’t worry about it.”

“Ash-kun…! What did you just do?! The Stone Giant that the Castle Knight was controlling just vanished?!”

“It’s like a stone. So I stored it. “

This is the information that came to this old man’s mind at the time.

[Ogre’s Fossil]

Storage Status Bonus:

Arm Strength+100(Upper Limit: 750)

Physical Strength +100(Upper Limit: 750)

When stored, the “Earth Escape” skill can be used.

In other words, you can store the whole opponent you’ve captured in reverse―.

This turns out to be the case.

Because the Castle Knight is controlling the huge fossil, I’ve stored the fossil’s body as an item.

The use of the item box has increased by 5%, totaling 87%.

The usage rate tends to increase when you store attack energies like flames or shockwaves, but not so much when you [store] ordinary items.

5% is probably quite high for a single item.

But with this enormous mass, perhaps that’s inevitable.

There is, however, an additional skill called “Earth Escape.”

Will it be able to handle moves like putting a hand in the ground and pulling it out from somewhere else, which caught this old man earlier? I’ll try it later.

Chapter 38: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle 7

“Whoo…!”

Poof!

Half of this old man’s body emerges from the ground like a bamboo shoot.

This is the result of him experimenting with his new skill, “Earth Escape.”

It’s the strange sensation of being buried deep in the ground, and after that, I could move freely in the ground. Breathing was not a problem at all.

For the time being, I moved a little and showed my face like this.

“Wow! Ash-kun has emerged from the earth?!”

“It seems I’m able to move freely across the ground!

“Oh…! Didn’t you learn another new skill, Ash?”

“It’s the stone giant I stored from before… Yeah, It has the ability to move around on the ground.”

“I see… Perhaps that guy who just appeared also burrowed into the ground. And Ash took that skill, hm?…. Ash?”

When Tina looked around, this old man was already on the ground.

a little prank to surprise her by approaching from behind.

Looking up from the ground, it is almost virtually invisible.

I wasn’t certain, but I had an idea and.

Poof…!

“…?!”

Bohu.

It was pitch black in front of me.

“Kya…?! What are you up to, Ash?! Suddenly sticking your face up my skirt?”

“I’m sorry…! It wasn’t on purpose…!”

This old man panics and rushes out of Tina’s skirt.

“No, you don’t need to apologize. Ash is free to stick his face up my skirt as much as he wants! It’s only… It’s just… not in public. It can be a little embarrassing. Take your time sticking your face up my skirt when we get back to the inn, okay~?”

“No, no, that was a mistake! This old man is… Anyway, why don’t you come with me and go underground with me? It’ll be fun.”

“Hmm…? Do you think you could take me along?

“I’m not sure. That is why we will give it a shot.”

Tina smiles as this old man extends his hand to her.

“Okay! Interesting. Let’s go, Ash!”

“Alright!”

Tina’s body, hand in hand with this old man, sinks to the ground as if we were sinking into the water.

popping! popping! popping, popping, popping!

This old man’s and Tina’s faces appear here and there around Donna.

“Oh…! It looks like I can take Tina, too.”

“What an unusual way to travel underground! It’s quite fun!”

“Hahaha! With the two of you popping up all over the place, it’s like whack-a-mole.”

Donna laughs as she says this, and we continue to play for a while.

Tina looks down and whispers to this old man as he goes underground.

It seems that we can talk to each other underground.

“Ash…if we keep going down and down with this power, we’ll get to where The Castle Knight is, won’t we? The monster from before must have come up here with this power.”

“I think you’re right. It appeared out of nowhere, with no warning.”

If it had arrived by land from outside the town, the entire town would have been in uproar and heard it. But there was no such sign at the time, and the buildings’ walls were suddenly destroyed.

This means it appeared on the surface so quickly that there was no time for commotion.

“… Why don’t we go immediately? We need to get this mess under control before too much damage is done. It’s bad enough that people are getting hurt, but it’s even worse that the inns will close after the hot springs stop bubbling.”

“I agree—the sooner the better and for the sake of the country that Tina once ruled.”

“I’m sorry for bothering you, Ash.”

“What of it? I still owe you an apology for keeping you waiting for over 50 years. I would go to any length for Tina.”

Then we should come to the surface and talk to Donna about it.

“Ash. I love you so much~!!”

She hugs me tightly and passionately kisses me on the cheek.

“T-Tina. We won’t be able to get back on the ground properly if you cling to me too tightly…”

Whoop!

“Hyang?!”

Muggy!

As he wobbles to the surface, this old man’s face collides with something soft and flexible.

“A-Ash-kun…! No, no, you can’t do that! You can’t just go around hugging a girl’s buttocks!”

Donna is blushing slightly and looking perplexed.

“Whoa?! I’m sorry, I’m out of sight―.”

“Well, that can’t be helped, but do you care if Martina-chan is upset with you for doing this?”

“Huh? That is called force majeure. My wife wouldn’t be bothered by something like that… right?”

Rumbling!

A sort of aura of light began to envelop the smiling Tina.

“Hiiii?!”

Donna senses something is wrong and screams.

“Donna… Do you know what the “Holy Sword Tear” is? Even the legendary relic requires some care from time to time. And to put its wits to the test in battle. Fufufu… Would you like to be my partner?”

“Wait a second, Tina…! This is not how you wield the Holy Sword…!”

“… I know. I’m kidding, I’m kidding.”

But her face is all pouty , but it’s a good thing she stopped to think about it for now―.

“Hm…? That’s it! The key is the holy sword!”

An idea flashed through this old man’s mind.

Chapter 39: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle 8

After a few hours…

This old man, Tina, and Donna have been diving deep underground with the “Earth Escape” skill.

The goal is to reach the location where Donna claims the Castle Knight is.

Donna has always opposed attacking the Castle Knight.

She stated that it was safe to leave The Castle Knight alone until it became bored and left.

But when she learned of this old man’s power and strategy, she seemed willing to cooperate.

That’s a good thing, because I’ll need Donna and her fellow dwarves’ assistance.

“I think we’re almost there…!”

“All right, let’s keep going straight down…!”

“I think I heard something.”

Tina was right.

Hum, hum, hum… ♪

As we moved through the earth, this old man and the others could hear a humming tune.

It’s such a loud humming.

“However, it’s a bad song.”

Tina complained.

“W-Well…”

“Martina-chan, saying something like that in front of him will enrage him. You won’t be able to control him if he gets out of line, so let’s be careful, okay?”

“Don’t worry. Ash will handle everything, including the entire situation. Isn’t Ash’s plan perfect?

“Hehehe… I can tell Martina-chan adores Ash a lot.”

“Huh…?! I can see it, it’s hollow…! Let’s jump in!”

“All right, Ash, let’s go!”

“L-Let’s go!”

This old man and the others jumped out of the underground cave’s sides and into the interior.

A desolate landscape with large and small boulders strewn about.

However, it was filled with warm steam, which nearly obscured our vision.

The vast central space resembled a hot spring pond with steam rising from it.

There was a massive castle in that boiling pond.

“Oh! It’s really huge…!”

“That’s The Castle Knight!”

“Ah…! That’s right…!”

This is the hero’s fortress as he fights the demon king. A romantic piece of history.

The Castle Knight had a large rock hand growing out of the castle’s outer wall, which was spread out from the massive hot spring. The same could be said for the feet sprouting from the base of the castle section.

His stance was that of a sluggish old man soaking in the tub.

He was humming a tune and appeared to be in a good mood.

“He appears to be having a good time.”

“But doesn’t he have the hot spring stuck up there? Isn’t that why there aren’t any hot springs up there?”

“It’s been like this for days.”

“Wow, that was a long bath.”

“That lump of stone or rock has been immersed in a hot spring. It’s such a slacker, and it sings horribly too.”

Tina sighs, disgusted.

“Shut up!”

The humming ceases, and the air trembles with a loud, shuddering sound.

I’m not sure where it’s coming from, but it’s most likely The Castle Knight’s voice.

It appears to be aware of what we are saying.

“It’s because I’m tired! This is the castle of the hero, you know! Respect and admiration for me! Have you no gratitude at all for saving the world thing?! you ungrateful b*stards!”

“When are you referring to? Old things that cling to the glory of the past are an embarrassment. Always play the game in the present, not in the past. If you can’t, hide quietly and avoid bothering others. That is the definition of grace!”

Tina delivers an excellent sermon that appears to hit the nail on the head.

She used to be soft-spoken and had a lisp when she was with this old man back in the day.

I guess there are some things you can’t hide even if you look and act your age.

Tina, who exudes dignity with her pretty face, is a little, or maybe a lot, more attractive. It’s refreshing.

“…Hey, Nee-chan, just because you’re cute doesn’t give you the right to enter another person’s bathroom; that’s called molestation…! Even if I did something to you, you can’t complain, okay?!”

Tina snorts as she brushes her hair back over her shoulders.

“Try it. If you can.”

Tina’s attempt to attract the attention of the Castle Knight is part of the plan.

This old man is willing to wait and see what happens.

“You’ve got a lot of guts! I’m going to strip you naked and force you to say “that” legendary line that has been passed down since ancient times! Prepare yourselves!”

The Castle Knight reaches inside his body, pulls something out, and throws it at us.

It’s a familiar stone giant.

This old man’s item box also contains the ogre’s fossil.

One after another, they were thrown as if they were trash.

In the blink of an eye, there are more than a dozen of them, surrounding Tina and this old man.

“Leave this to me, Ash…”

“Yeah, but there are more of them than I expected. Are you going to be okay?”

“Don’t worry…! If that’s the hero’s castle, this is the hero’s sword…!”

Whoosh!

A shining, divine magic circle unfolds at Tina’s feet, spreading out rapidly.

The intricate patterns spread out at high speed are an art form in and of themselves.

“Wait, what the…?! How?! Isn’t that the magical circle of the Holy Sword?”

“Come out, Holy Sword Tear!”

The magic circle’s center distorts, and the sword’s hilt slowly emerges from within.

The glittering decorations and the translucent sword blade come next.

It’s a stunning sword that captivates everyone who sees it.

This is especially true when it is held by the equally appealing Tina.

Tina’s hair and skirt hem are ruffled by the wind from the magical circle.

Her chubby thighs jutted out, and you couldn’t see past them, which was also intriguing.

―This old man is pitiful for caring about such trivial matters.

But I couldn’t help but follow my instincts. I apologize.

Tina takes a few steps forward and climbs onto a nearby boulder.

… The angle has been corrected, and the previously invisible area is now visible.

“T-Tina?!”

“?”

“Y-You should go down there… I can see inside… “

“I’m showing you! How’s that? Are you excited?!”

Tina smiles as she returns.

“No… If you say that, it’s not nearly as exciting…”

“Come on, Ash! Don’t be shy! You can get as close as you want and look as hard as you want, okay?”

“Okay…I think I’ll do that next time.”

Wouldn’t the holy sword be offended if it was used for this?

But despite this old man’s worries, the sparkling holy sword shines satisfactorily in Tina’s hands.

“Right. Let’s first remove the distractions and then take our time, shall we?”

“I won’t interrupt you…! You can stand there for a while…!”

The voice belongs to The Castle Knight. It appears to be coming from somewhere near Tina’s feet.

Tina is standing on is actually an ogre fossil.

The stone figure’s eyes are looking right at Tina’s…

“You!! Aaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!”

Tina raises her eyebrows and flashes her holy sword.

Hiiiinnn!

The Holy Sword Wave strikes the stone ogre and shoots it in the face!

As expected, “Holy Sword Tear”.

Tina is the Holy Warrior, wielding the Holy Sword.

“I will never allow anyone other than Ash to defile me…! I don’t care if you’re a hero’s relic or a romantic figure from history…! As long as your existence is obliterated from the world, the fact that I only belong to Ash will be preserved…! Fufufufu, prepare yourself!”

Tina thrusts her holy sword into the crowd of stone ogre statues.

Chapter 40: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle 9

Hiiinnn! Hiiinnn! Hiiinnn! Hiiiiinnngg!

The Holy Sword Wave is flying around, smashing the Ogre’s stone statues one by one.

“Amazing, Martina-chan…! Ash-kun and the others are extraordinary people…!”

“But if we don’t act, this entire operation could fail…! Leave this to Tina and this old man and the others will go in!”

We have no plans to destroy The Castle Knight.

It’s a relic of a hero. The romance of history.

On the outside, this old man is a child, but on the inside, he is an old man.

In this old man’s opinion, old things should be treasured and cared for.

“T-That’s right! We gotta help Grandpa and the others!”

“Alright, “Earth Escape”!”

This old man and Donna return underground.

Then they approach the Castle Knight in a stealthy manner.

“Whoa-ohh! Oh, sh*t! What the hell just happened?! D-Don’t get any closer! Go, go, go!”

The Castle Knight, afraid of the rampaging Tina, pulls a series of ogre statues from his body and throws them at Tina.

He was completely distracted.

This old man and Donna make their way through the earth to the edge of the Castle Knight’s soaking tub.

“All right, we’re going in at once…!”

“Yeah…!”

We nod to each other in hushed voices.

Then we leap into the castle and through the windows into the interior.

The interior of the castle is made of polished stone, and the decorations aren’t particularly impressive, but it has a peaceful atmosphere.

The ivy growing on the ground adds to the image.

It doesn’t seem to match the Castle Knight’s words or actions.

“Hoho! It’s a very peaceful place… I didn’t think it would be.”

That’s exactly how this old man likes it.

“This way, Ash-kun!”

Donna guides and leads this old man.

The objective is to reach Donna’s fellow dwarves!

But…

Hyun-hun-hun!

The ivy growing along the corridor begins to move as if it has its own will.

“!Hyaaaaa?!”

Donna, who was running behind me, gets her arms, waist, and legs caught in midair and hangs.

“How…? The Ivy moves on its own!”

“It’s the guardian ivy, Ash-kun! Watch out!

Of course, the guardian ivy reaches out to this old man.

But―.

“Don’t worry! Barrage Thrusting!”

Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud!

With a series of blinding thrusts, the Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales blasts the oncoming ivy attack!

“Amazing~! I can’t even see his sword line!”

Donna’s eyes were wide open.

This old man then slashes the ivy that had entwined Donna.

“Are you all right, Donna?”

“Y-Yeah, I think so… They’re treating us like enemies, which is why the guardian ivy is reacting so strongly.”

“Hmm. Isn’t it a very useful guard?”

“But it’s troublesome! Look, it’s going to try to come right back at us again…!”

Donna points to the ivy that this old man cut down; it regrows as quickly as it can.

“Mm. Get on the back of this old man, Donna!”

“W-Wha, I get it…!”

When I carried Donna on my back, she was very large, even larger than Tina, and was squeezed onto this old man’s back.

But this old man begins to dash, unconcerned.

“Donna, show me the way!”

“This way goes straight up to the corridor!”

“All right…!”

The guardian Ivy speeds up and chases after us, but this old man kicks the floor and walls, changing angles in complex ways. The guardian ivy is fooled by this and fails to apprehend this old man and the others.

I could cut them down, but we aren’t here to demolish this place.

Let’s keep it civil because we’d rather take care of them ourselves.

“Huyaaahhhhh! Ash-kun, you’re also incredibly quick on your feet, aren’t you?!”

“Because I’ve been exercising a lot!”

“I’m really sorry for slowing you down, even if it’s just to show you the way. Grandpa and the others are always chastising me, saying I’m useless except for my breasts…”

“Well, I suppose it’s worth it…”

This powerful and indestructible elasticity is a treasure in some ways.

I’m not sure about the dwarf’s perception of beauty, but Donna is undeniably attractive in human eyes, which adds to her value.

“Huh? Really?”

I must admit that I am concerned about this, but I probably shouldn’t say so.

This old man does not want to endanger Donna.

“N-No… More importantly, Donna knew she wasn’t strong enough, but she risked it all for the sake of her people, didn’t she? It’s not every day that a stranger does something nice for a stranger, is it? On the contrary, acting because you lack power requires more courage than acting because you have power. That, I believe, is what makes Donna admirable.”

“Ash-kun is such a sweetheart. You’re cheering me on, aren’t you?”

“You never know when the strength will come to encourage you. Until recently, this old man had no power. So I understand how Donna feels.”

“I-Is that so? It’s hard to believe it…”

“All this old man has to say is that you never know what life has in store for you, so don’t be corrupt. Donna is not corrupt in that sense; she is a very good girl… This old man is just telling the truth, isn’t he?”

“Ash-kun…”

“I’m willing to help Donna if she’s not corrupt, and I’m not sure how this old man could be corrupt if Tina wasn’t there. Donna’s strength is this old man’s strength, so don’t be afraid to lean on him.”

“Y-Yes, Ash-kun. Ash-kun is a boy, but he is very mature. I feel at ease speaking with you…!”

“Hoho. Donna, it’s a little early for that. We need to save her friends and take care of The Castle Knight before we can relax. Now, which way do we go next?!”

“Take the stairs to the left, then the right, and the second right!”

“Okay…!”

Donna leads this old man to a large door.

And in front of the closed iron door―

“Oh…! That’s a huge stone ogre statue!”

The number of horns, the size of its body, the thickness of its arms and legs…

It appears to be several times the size of other stone ogres.

It appears to be much stronger than the others.

“Oh no…! That’s the most powerful guardian, Gurdy! He’s keeping an eye on Grandpa and the rest to prevent them from fleeing.”

“Do you mean It’s going to move?”

“We’ll win, won’t we? If it’s Ash-kun…!”

“Leave it to me!”

Then…

Rumble Rattle Rattle Rattle Rattle Rattle Rattle

A massive hand appears from the side and grabs the boss’s statue.

The boss statue in front of the door vanishes.

From afar, a scream can be heard.

“Aaaaaaaaaargh! Let’s bring in the biggest bad boy! Gurdy-chu I chose you!”

Apparently The Castle Knight has used the boss statue here as well for the fight against Tina.

Chapter 41: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle 10

“Hahaha…! Tina’s got the boss’s statue.”

“We’re now clear… Grandpa and the others should be inside!””

“All right, let’s open the door!””

This old man uses all of his strength to push the large door open. But―

“Damn…! This thing is heavy…!”

“I’ll help you…Ah, it’s useless!”

“Alright, I didn’t want to break too many things, but I’m going to break this open! Donna, back off!”

Donna is forced to step back as this old man raises the Greatsword of Black Dragon Scales to the sky.

“Weapon Transformation!”

Gnargh!

The blade has become huge. matched in length and thickness to the door, which faces upwards.

“Wow…! It’s enormous…!”

“Here we go… Daybreak!”

A massive sword blade with a golden aura slams into the door!

Dogooooooooooooooo!

The massive door crumbles and explodes, revealing a massive gap.

Some sort of gleaming golden light is leaking from behind it.

This old man and the others went inside right away.

“”””Oooooohhhhhhhhhh?””””

“And the door has been blown off…?! That’s a lot of strength…!”

“We couldn’t even get through that door with a bunch of us!”

There were several dwarves inside who were working on something.

The dwarfs were apparently painting a bathhouse in the castle with gold.

They came to a halt and stared at us in awe.

“Grandpa! Everyone! Is everything okay with you?”

As she walks forward, Donna yells.

This old man follows her.

“Well… It’s not a pretty sight.”

The Castle Knight is the one who imprisons the dwarves and forces them to do its bidding. It’s a terrible show that ruins the quiet castle atmosphere that this old man likes.

As I speak, Donna appears to have found her grandfather.

“Grandpa, Grandpa, are you all right?!”

The dwarves are small and muscular, but Donna’s grandfather has the most magnificent beard and body, and although he is an old dwarf with a white beard, he still looks full of life.

He has the appearance of a hard-headed craftsman or a master.

“Donna! That’s my line! I was worried when you didn’t come back after The Castle Knight punished you for screwing up!”

“I’m perfectly fine! I was having some difficulties, and Ash-kun over here came to my aid!”

“Oh! You’ve taken care of my granddaughter, boy. I’m Warr, Donna’s grandpa. Thank you!”

And he gives this old man a pat on the back.

“No, it’s your grandchild who has come all the way to the surface to tell us about the Castle Knight. Now this old man and the others know about this place.”

“What?! You went above ground, Donna?! I’m glad you were safe…”

“Yes! Everything works out in the end”

“No. There’s nothing you can do about The Castle Knight…! Boy.Thank you for rescuing Donna, but you’d better get out of here! We’re responsible for digging up this thing, so we’ll have to keep The Castle Knight happy and out of trouble. I’m sorry I didn’t bring you anything. No. if you don’t mind dwarf money? It’s real, okay?”

“No, no, I’m not here for the money. But why are you doing this?”

“I want to ask too! It’s threatening us with gilding the bath with gold from the treasury! It claims it will not let us leave until the renovation is completed! Who would want to do a job like that?!”

It appears to be a difficult task for the Dwarven craftsmen’s pride.

“I see. I knew it was a pastime of his. Then let’s put an end to this and let this old man take care of it.”

“What?! What can you do about it?! The force that shattered that door is impressive, but isn’t it just the tip of The Castle Knight’s little finger?”

“This old man can’t do much on his own, but we will subdue and tame The Castle Knight with the help of the dwarves here!”

“Huh…?! You mean tame it rather than destroy it?!”

“Yes, despite its personal issues, it is a hero’s relic. The allure of history. It is valuable. There is no reason to destroy it if we can properly take the reins.”

“You. You’re young and speak like an old man, but you have some linguistic sense. I wouldn’t nod if all you wanted to do was tear it down, but if that’s what you want, we’ll help you! What can we do for you?”

“”Master Warr! We’ll help too!””

“”Alright! Hey, boy! What are we going to do?!””

The other dwarves and Master Warr nodded.

Donna and I looked at each other and nodded.

“Everyone! I’d like you to lend Ash-kun your tool bags!”

“Huh?! tool bags?! That’s our souls. You know, our parents gave them to us along with our lives? When your parents pass away, this acts as a parental figurehead. You want me to lend it to you?!”

Dwarves are a race of master craftsmen who specialize in blacksmithing and crafting.

When a new child is born, the parents create a tool bag in which they store all of the work tools that will benefit the child in the future.

They are created through a secret process that is unique to them, and their storage capacity is said to be so large that dwarves who work with a wide range of tools and materials will not have to worry about storage for the rest of their lives.

The magical bags circulating among humans, including this old man, are simple, mass-produced products that replicate only a small portion of the manufacturing process.

Let’s say it’s the origin of humans’ tool bags.

Of course, this old man has to ‘store’ them, but for your information, the effect of Donna’s tool bag, which has already been [stored], is as follows.

[Dwarf’s Tool Bag]

Storage Status Bonus:

+5% Item Box Usage Limit

Chapter 42: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle 11

So, here’s a look at the entire item box.

Usage Rate: 87/105%

Item List:

Martial Arts Pendant: 1

Mithril Sword: 1

Rapier of the Silver Knight: 1

Shield of the Golden Knight: 1

Great Axe of the Great Warrior: 1

Pearl of life: 1

Staff of the Flaming Jewel: 1

Ice Jewel Wand: 1

Sage Staff: 1

White Silver Chain Shirt: 1

Magic Stone Couple Ring: 1

Mutant Mithril Battle Shards: 1

Cannibal Fossils: 1

Dwarf Tool Bag: 1

Other list:

Dragon Wizard Soul: 1

Status Bonus:

Arm thickness: 580

Physical strength: 580

Mobility: 430

Magic Power: 430

Spirit: 430

Additional Specialization:

Ki-Bullet

Sonic boom

push barrier

Extreme protection

Daybreak

Presence detection

Conversion of weapons

“Earth Escape”

Additional magic :

Fire Arrow

Freeze bullet

Heal

Additional Characteristics:

All abilities are increased by x1.3.

Automatic recovery (small)

One Life (Ash & Martina).

Additional Skills: [Dragonmancer]

The item box usage cap has been raised.

To be more specific, even the market’s item bags had the effect of increasing the usage limit.

On the other hand, it increases the usage limit by +1% and the usage rate by 1%. In the end, storing items bags makes no sense.

However, this [Dwarf’s Tool Bag] increases the usage rate by +5% and by no more than 1%. In other words, the more [Storage] you do, the more powerful this old man’s [Storage] ability becomes.

I should be able to reach my target usage limit with the help of everyone here.

That’s all this old man needs right now.

What I need right now is a lot of space.

But [Dragonmancer’s Soul] is consuming most of my usage, and I can’t let it go.

This is the body of Dragonmancer Dormina, whom we battled the other day.

If I let her out of the item box, she’ll cause more trouble.

Furthermore, because I have this in my item box, Barvel and the others who have been separated from this old man during this time can live on as his dependents.

If I let her out of the box carelessly, their lives could be cut short.

As a result, I must keep [Dragonmancer’s Soul] in my item box, and Donna and the other dwarves’ tool bags are the solution.

“Grandpa, I’ve already given Ash-kun my tool bag! Then Ash-kun can unleash his power on the Castle Knights!”

And―

Dogaaaaaahhh!

Outside, a roar can be heard.

The Castle Knight’s entire body shook.

“Huh…?! We have to hurry or the Castle Knight will be torn to pieces by someone’s attack from outside…! I’m sorry, but everyone, please hurry up!”

Tina’s power wielding the holy sword is terrifying.

On the contrary, I should be concerned about The Castle Knight’s well-being.

“Mmmmm… Well, whatever! I’m just loaning it to you! Simply return it when you’re finished! It’s like a keepsake from my parents!”

Warr then takes the bag from around his waist, turns it upside down, and begins to pull out the contents.

Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud!

The amount of stuff that came out of the bag was massive.

A large portion of them are hand tools for craftspeople, such as hammers and scissors.

I’m curious about how many different kinds of hammers there are. He is a bit of an obsessive.

This is his history. It was the size of a small mountain.

Some of them are a jumble of junk that I’m not sure what they’re used for.

“Wow. That’s Grandpa for you. There are also numerous orbs and materials that appear valuable. There’s even a blacksmithing book… Ehh?! Grandpa! Aren’t these naughty books?! Do not show your granddaughter this! It’s humiliating!”

Because she happened to pick up such a book, Donna’s face turned bright red.

“S-Stop! Don’t pick it up! There are some things from your youth that you just can’t get rid of! Pretend you don’t notice it! This is why I despise turning over my tool bag…!”

“Ohohoho. I suppose having an infinite supply makes you more productive.”

“Of course! Everybody has a youth! Hey, everyone! Throw away the contents and give the tool bags to the boy!”

“Before that…”

“Donna, turn away!”

“Look back!”

“Don’t even dare look!”

Other dwarves make similar noises.

“… Come on, now!”

Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud!

The dwarves’ belongings are strewn across the gilded bath from their tool bags.

Tool bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Some are simple round bags with belts, while others are square boxes with belts.

And then there are―

The girls in the Ero books appear to be dwarf girls.

I have the impression that I am learning something new.

“”OK, go ahead and take it!””

Alright then.

Usage Rate: 88/215%

The item box’s maximum usage rate has more than doubled.

This is going to work!

“Oh… great, we can do this! I’ll show The Castle Knight how it’s done!

“Didn’t you put our tool bag in there? What became of it?”

“The capacity of this old man’s item box has more than doubled. I can now [store] “that”…!”

“What…?!”

“Come along if you’re interested! Now, Donna, I need you to show me the way out of here!”

“All right!”

This old man runs out of The Castle Knight, carrying Donna on his back.

Tina’s Holy Sword Wave flies wildly across the battlefield.

Dozens of stone statues of ogres are already lying around Tina.

I can’t believe she destroyed so many of them all by herself in such a short period of time.

“That is incredible…! Martina-chan, did she do all of this by herself?!”

“By any chance, isn’t Tina stronger than this old man now?”

This old man thought he’d finally awakened his ability and transformed into a man capable of protecting Tina, so he went to get her, but it’s possible he wasn’t strong enough yet.

If that is the case, he will have to prove himself.

This old man has now increased the capacity of the item box by up to 215%.

***

Tina ripped to shreds The Castle Knight’s trump card, the Boss Ogre statue.

Tina is about to complete the finishing move.

“Die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die…”

She mumbled with a frenzied look in her eyes as she twirled the tip of her holy sword repeatedly in small circles.

The wave of the holy sword then begins to swirl around the blade, condensing there.

The greater the number of revolutions, the larger the swell and the more it swells like a tornado.

Whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

“Ahhh?! The Holy Sword Wave is swirling and growing enormous…!”

“Waaa… That thing is insanely powerful…!”

A wave tornado encircles the Holy Sword.

It is both long and wide.

“Dieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”

Tina raises it and slams it into the Boss Ogre’s stone statue!

Gogaga Gogaga Gogaga Gogaga Gogaga!

The vortex engulfs the Ogre Boss statue, and its body is cut down as it spins around and around, and it’s broken up into smaller pieces in the blink of an eye.

A pile of rubble and debris from the former Ogre Boss statue forms in a matter of seconds.

Chapter 43: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle 12

“Wonderful technique…!”

Is this Tina’s skill, the holy sword’s power, or both?

In any case, it’s a strong and impressive move.

This old man would like to use this technique too…!

A fiancée, a partner who makes you feel like this. Isn’t that fantastic?

“Kukuku… All right, now it’s your turn…!”

It’s a little unsettling to see her smile and wobble towards The Castle Knight, but―.

“H-Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! We’re going to go all-out war against the Demon King’s Army! Are you certain about this? Stop now, before it’s too late! This place and the human town above will pay for it! I’ll give you a pass if you just back off!”

“I couldn’t care less! The crime of defiling me, who only belongs to Ash, is too heavy! It is not up to you to decide whether or not to forgive me! Now make your decision! You can either continue to resist and be turned into junk, or you can surrender and be turned into junk peacefully!”

“No, they’re both going to crap, aren’t they?!” There’s nothing to forgive, is there?!”

“Certainly not! You’ll never be forgiven!”

“Tina! Stop, stop, I’m ready! “

This old man calls out as he runs to Tina.

“No! I’m not going to let this junk get away with it! I’m going to annihilate it!”

Tina pleads with this old man with teary eyes, as if she were a spoiled child.

When she tries to swing the holy sword again, the old man puts Donna down and confronts Tina.

“Tina, relax…! Just put down the sword!”

“Don’t stop me, Ash; I won’t be able to kill him!”

The height difference makes finding a good sprocket difficult.

It’s like receiving a hug from behind the waist.

And as we struggle, I lose my footing.

“Whoa?!” “

I fell down, Tina’s face was right in front of me.

Tina is lying on her back with this old man on top of her.

“Ash… um…”

Tina’s cheeks flush slightly, and she softly closes her eyes.

She’s in perfect posture waiting for a kiss.

Huh.

Furthermore, she takes this old man’s hand in hers and guides him to touch her breast.

“Tina…!”

Her expression is endearing, and her hands are soft to the touch. I’m drawn to her, but… But now is not the time…

“Please give me the sword. You don’t require that for a kiss, do you?”

Tina’s cheek is gently caressed by me.

“Yes, Ash is right…”

This old man stands up after receiving the holy sword from Tina.

“Castle Knight! This old man will peacefully settle this mess!”

“Huh…?! A shrimp like you will?!”

The Castle Knight fixes his gaze on me.

His tone is a bit of a scornful one.

Tina quickly rises behind me.

“Ash! Why did you not kiss me?! You only took away my sword!”

“W-Wait a minute, it’s a public place… I’ll give it to you before we go to bed.”

“Hmm… I thought I got one!”

“Wasn’t this old man borrowing the Holy Sword part of the plan?”

“Yeah, but… I was going to change the plans and smash that guy. Isn’t Ash also angry that that thing has defiled me?”

“No, Tina was making a big deal out of it. Let’s give it some thought, shall we? This old man will now be the owner of The Castle Knight. What’s mine is what I’ve done! I won’t let it happen again, so please forgive me…!”

“Oh, I see..I don’t think I’ll smash Ash’s stuff.”

The Castle Knight sees this and gives me a glare.

“Who will be the kid’s?! I don’t think you’ll be able to do it! That’s a lot less likely than Oneechan annihilating me!”

“”Hm…?””

“Look, the holy sword isn’t even shining! You are not permitted to use the sword! What are you going to do with it, you moron?!”

The “Holy Sword Tear” in this old man’s hand does not shine as brightly as it did when Tina held it.

This is due to the fact that this old man lacks the [Holy Warrior] ability to wield the Holy Sword.

Even so, the Holy Sword Tear is a fantastic sword for this old man.

In some ways, this old man may be able to use the holy sword better than Tina.

“You’re the one who’s a moron! Look, Ash will force you to kneel a thousand times in a row! No matter how much you scream and cry, no one will come to your aid!”

Tina’s statement aside, the holy sword for this old man appears to be this.

[Holy Sword Tear]

Storage Status Bonus:

Arm Strength+1000(Upper Limit: ∞)

Physical Strength +1000(Upper Limit: ∞)

Agility+1000(Upper Limit: ∞)

Magic+1000(Upper Limit: ∞)

Spirit+1000(Upper Limit: ∞)

All Abilities Increased x1.5

When stored, the weapon gains the power of the holy sword.

When stored, the skill “Castle Lord” is acquired.

It’s a little insane to look at.

Chapter 44: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle 13

Status bonuses can reach four digits, with no upper limit.

The ability to discard all previous items.

The multiplier for all abilities is also the most powerful.

and, of course, the ability to summon Holy Sword Wave.

Last but not least, the “castle lord” skill.

The Castle Knight stated that he needed the “Castle Lord” skill to command him.

This old man recognized the skill’s name.

Yes, after defeating Dormina the Dragonmancer and reclaiming Tina.

I wanted to know what would happen if I stored the “Holy Sword Tear” that had changed back to its original form.

I saw the same information I see now at the time.

I tried to store it, but I couldn’t.

This is due to the item box’s limited capacity.

That’s when I realized what was going on.

The Holy Sword takes up an overwhelming amount of space in the item box.

Even 100% is insufficient in comparison to other items.

I guess that this old man is not a being that can be recognized by the holy sword, and forcing him to accept it would be a huge burden.

But now, thanks to the dwarves, I’ve managed to make the Holy Sword Tear work…!

“Go ahead, Ash, do it!”

“Oh…!”

In high spirits, this old man holds up the holy sword and proclaims.

“Holy Sword, enter this old man!”

Shuuuuuuuuun!

The sword vanishes.

“Huh…?! What happened to the sword?!”

The Castle Knight asks a perplexed question.

This old man’s item box is…

Usage Rate: 199/215%

Thanks to the dwarves’ help. I was successful in storing it.

However, the usage rate of “Holy Sword Tear”, which I took in by force, is 111% more than I expected.

It’s a heavy cost, indeed. Well, it’s absolutely required for the “Castle Lord” skill to work, and the other effects are also amazing.

Anyway, this old man decides to try out the “Castle Lord” skill he just acquired.

“Hey…! Castle Knight! Do you think it’s past time for you to stop taking long baths? Why don’t you get up and leave…?

“Aaaaah! Who are you talking to, you little sh*t?!”

Regardless of what it says…

Zabwun!

The Castle Knight rises and exits the hot water pond.

I hope this will restore the flow of the hot spring.

“WTF…?! How…?! What’s going on? W-What the hell happened?! Could it be…?!”

“That’s right! From today onwards, this old man is your “Castle Lord”! I’ll take good care of you, okay?”

“Noooooooooooooo…! Why do I have to obey this little brat?! I can’t stand it! I’ve just been freed!”

“Ash. It’s defiant. Anyway, let’s make it run around in circles three times and bark three times to show it the ropes.”

“No, no, don’t go that far…”

This old man said to Tina.

But…

Thud… thud… thud…

With a loud thud, the Castle Knight spins in place.

Once, twice, and three times more.

“Woof! Aaaaaaaaahhhh?”

“…! Does that mean it’ll obey Tina’s commands as well?”

“What did you do, you f*cking b*tch?”

“Another time!”

“… Woof! Aaahhhh!”

“OK, keep going until I say so!”

“Woof!”

The Castle Knight begins to spin around.

“See, Ash, it appears that I, too, have the right to be “Castle Lord.”

“I-I see… must be one of the effects of One Life.”

But the “Dragonmancer” skill doesn’t seem to be shared with Tina.

“Hmm, does the “Castle Lord” skill mean I can order The Castle Knight to do things because we shared “One Life?”

“Let’s not get bogged down in the details! That means the house is the couple’s joint property, doesn’t it? You understand what I mean!”

Tina satisfiedly nodded her head.

“Well, if Tina is cool with it, then this old man is cool with it.”

“You’re a jerk! You’re a “woof”! You desecrated the Hero’s Castle “woof”! You “woof” will die for this!”

They are pitiful, yelling and woofing.

“A castle on the move is ideal for our new mobile home! The only issue is that he has a bad mouth, but we’ll tell him to shut up for good, won’t we?”

Thump―thump―thump―thump―thump―thump

It couldn’t bark any longer, so it just circled in silence.

Chapter 45: Hot Springs Village and the Legendary Castle 14

“Oh, you poor creature…”

I was starting to think it was time to call it quits, when―

“””Ohoooooooooooh! Stop! “””

“””My eyes are spinning.”””

“Donnaaaaah! Do something about this!”

The dwarves peering out from The Castle Knight’s walls screamed.

“…Ash-kun, Martina-chan, I believe it is time to call it a day. The Grandpas inside are rolling their eyes…!”

“That’s right. Tina! We’ve got the holy sword in storage thanks to you and the dwarves, so let’s call it a night, okay?”

“If Ash says so, the dwarves are innocent.”

“All right, Stop! That’s enough, stop!”

The Castle Knight comes to a halt at the command of this old man.

“”Oh, oh, it stopped…?””

“”Oh, thank God…!””

“But it’s true, the Castle Knight is listening to the boy’s commands…! You’re amazing, boy! Taming the Castle Knight just like that…!”

“Thanks to everyone! It went well!”

This old man responds to the dwarves by smiling and waving.

“Haaaa! Haaaa! Just when I thought I was going to be able to enjoy being out in the open…! And now I’m going to be trapped in the basement once more…!”

This old man calls out to the frustrated Castle Knight.

“I’m not trying to lock you up or tell you not to have fun. I just don’t want you to get people in trouble. As Tina mentioned, this old man and the others are on a journey. So why don’t we go on a world tour together? I’ll make sure you have a good time as well, okay?”

“Tsk… Even if I don’t want to, I can’t defy your orders, so do whatever you want!”

So this old man became The Castle Knight’s “Castle Lord” and was successful in bringing The Castle Knight to the surface.

The problem of running out of hot springs in the spa town of Kuphin was also solved.

After that…

“Buhahahaha! I’m sorry, Ash! You’ve even set up a place for us to stay! You’ve even dug up the Castle Knight and brought him along with you in such a short amount of time!

A banquet was being held in the Castle Knight’s great hall with Barvel and the other Dragonewts and dwarves.

This old man and Tina, who had gained the title “Castle Lord,” had brought The Castle Knight to the surface and were hiding in the mountains while we contacted Barvel and the others and summoned them here.

“Well, if the journey leads you to your destination, the world will be kind to you, and because this castle is too large for this old man and Tina.”

We’re going to move The Castle Knight to the north, but the interior is too large for just the two of us.

Barvel and the others stated that they would look for a quiet place to live.

So I invited them to live here because it seemed like a good idea.

Tina did not object because this would still provide us with adequate space and time together.

“Many thanks, Ash-san!”

“The food is fantastic!”

“Drink up!”

“Drink, drink, drink! It’s a special fire sake made by us dwarves! A token of our friendship!”

“Mmm, this is delicious, Master Warr!”

Master Warr, Donna, and all the other dwarves are also going to live in this castle.

In my opinion, it is because of them that we are able to store the Holy Sword, and I see no reason to oppose it.

Even with Barvels and Dwarfs present, the castle is still quite large, and there are still more rooms available.

“In exchange, we would like you to use our scales as blacksmithing material!”

“It’s almost time to re-grow!”

“Are Dragonewt’s scales dragon scales?”

“Oh, this is good stuff!”

Dragonewt and dwarves appear to get along quite well.

“We’re just a swarm of rootless people digging holes everywhere… We’re in good hands if The Castle Knight can transport us from one location to another. We’ll be stuck here for a while.”

“It’s nice not to have to move around on our own! After all, we’ve been moving around underground so much that it’ll be interesting to see what’s above ground!”

Donna’s face brightened.

She was always cheerful, but now she felt even more liberated, thanks in part to the alcohol.

Her cheeks and skin had a reddish tint to them, giving her a sexy appearance.

“With these walls and so many guards, I’m confident that even if demons or something else attack, we’ll be safe!”

“Why don’t you have a drink, Ash-kun? Don’t tell me you’re a kid, so you shouldn’t drink? Dwarves have been drinking this since they were kids, okay?”

“No, no, this old man was never much of a drinker. One sip is all he needs.”

“Is that so…? It’s a shame… I would have offered Ash-kun something to drink… So I’ll leave it to Martina-chan…”

Gulp, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp, Gulp!

Out of the corner of Donna’s eye, Tina is drinking a large cup, many times the size of the cups used by the others, in one gulp.

“Fua~! It’s very tasty! It seems that the dwarf is not only a skilled smith and craftsman, but also a skilled brewer!”

She smiles unconcernedly.

“”Oooooh~!””

“”You’re good, maybe even better than master!””

“”I’m sure even Barvel-sama can’t compete with her!”

Clap clap clap clap clap clap clap!

Everyone applauds.

“Hmm, you’re not overdoing it, are you? Are you that much of a drinker, Tina…?”

This old man has always been a loser in terms of alcohol, but although Tina, in this old man’s memory, was somewhat fond of it, she was not a heavy drinker.

“Because I was feeling lonely! Ash refused to pick me up, so I had to drink my sadness! I drank every night, and before I knew it, I was a heavy drinker!”

“I-Is that so…? I’m sorry about that.”

Tina’s words and actions are so familiar to me that I forget them from time to time, but I suppose that after a while, there are more and more aspects of her that I don’t know about.

This old man bowed his head and apologized to Tina.

“I’m not mad at you, okay? But will you take responsibility, alright?”

“Of course, whatever this old man can do.”

“Fuhehehe~… So, then… Come on, Ash, sit on my lap.”

She forced me to sit on her lap.

Tina has the body of an adult, while this old man has the body of a child.

This is a picture of a child who has been spoiled by his adult sister.

“From now on, please let me drown myself in Ash’s instead of alcohol, okay? Promise me you’ll never leave me again, okay?”

Tina hugs me passionately from behind and kisses my cheek.

Tina’s entire body pressed against my back with soft sensations.

I tried to turn my back to see her expression, but my face was buried in her large breasts, making it difficult to see.

This was… It was good. I feel like I’m in heaven.

“Hahaha… I promise.”

“Well, well. You two are getting along well!”

“They’re not exactly what they look like, are they? And meeting again after 60 years, it’s quite a tear-jerker… By the way, where are you two going with The Castle Knights now?”

“For the time being, we’ll head north.”

This old man and Tina are being rejuvenated by the Pearl of Life.

We need to go to the dark elf settlements in the north to find out more about this.

“We’ll enter the Kingdom of Avalon if we head north from this Kuphin Spa. We can rent out the Pope’s cathedral for Ash and I to get married!”

“Oh…!”

“That’s fantastic…!”

“Wow, I’d like to see it! I’m sure Martina-chan will be a lovely bride!”

“”That’s a good one!””

“”That’s great!””

Barvel, Donna, and the others are getting excited.

“Hey, hey, Tina, you didn’t tell me…”

“Because I just thought of it! That’s the beauty of traveling, isn’t it?”

She has a lovely smile.

“Well, alright.”

This old man nods his head. He doesn’t complain about it.

You are free to go wherever you want and do whatever you want.

A few detours are acceptable as well.

“Shall we look forward to seeing Tina as a bride?”

“Yes!”

Tina nodded with a big smile.

~End~


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