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.”
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.
immediately after this old man groaned―
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.