Rockwall Lou – V7 Chapter 7

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟕

(7)

According to a representative from the Bureau of Magic, Luo from “Rockwall” was described as a ten-year-old child with poor judgment. About six months ago, he came to the city of Arche and was dispatched to the “Star Guardian” as a dismantler and worked as a lookout.

Ozma was pondering why a boy with no connections to the Mail Cult would accompany them on a journey of trials. He suspected Princess Tweney might be the reason.

Before being summoned to the royal capital, it was said that the princess lived in an old castle named Akkare. Luo had visited that castle on a dispatch job. It was evident from the princess’s behavior that the two were acquainted and shared a deep relationship.

Probably, the “Star Guardian,” needing Luo’s magical powers, exploited the boy’s naive feelings for the princess and took him on the journey of trials.

The relationship between the two is that profound.

If that’s the case, there’s a move to be made.

Pursuing the “Star Guardian” carriage in the “wilderness” went surprisingly smooth. All demon beasts blocking the path were defeated, roads were prepared, and they even left a comfortable and safe camping spot.

The “Star Guardian” is unaware of their presence.

Just before reaching their destination, while the “Star Guardian” was resting in an underground camp, the Hero Squad’s carriage passed them all at once.

Ozma dismissed Paulun’s suggestion to immediately defeat the “Blue Demon Beast.”

It’s risky to face the “Blue Demon Beast” head-on. First, let the “Star Guardian” fight, and attack when the opportunity arises.

Ozma ordered Battsu to create a space underground, where they hid with the carriage.

The next day, after completing a challenging journey, the knights of the “Star Guardian,” seeing the ancient temple, stood wordlessly. Such emotions are not understood by a child. Luo, looking bored, was lured by Ozma using tentacles. Children are attracted to strange movements. By protruding and retracting tentacles from the ground to guide Luo, he was tricked into peeping into an air hole. There, Ozma used the “Phantom Flame” magic on him.

[Hello, Luo-kun. My name is Ozma. I’m your best friend.]

Children tend to trust friends more than their employers. In a slow voice, Ozma informed him that the adults of “Star Guardian” were terrible people, deceived him, lied to him, and brought him to such a place.

[Only I am on your side. So you have to listen to what I ask.]

Luo was listening intently.

[And about the princess. . . . . .]

[Hey, Luo-boy. What are you doing?]

Unfortunately, it seems time is up.

In the end, Ozma emphasized.

[Remember, Luo-kun. Never forget me, your best friend.]

[Come on, let’s go.]

[Yes, I understand!]

Upon entering the temple following the “Star Guardian,” a roar from the “Blue Demon Beast” echoed, transmitting intense thoughts. Incredibly, it seems the knights of “Star Guardian” intend to take the princess back after saving the country.

The beast wouldn’t understand the conflicts of human organizations. As if representing the “Star Guardian,” Ozma boldly approached.

[Hey, Luo-kun]

Secretly praying, Ozma uttered.

[Could you restrain everyone from the “Star Guardian”?]

[What do you mean by “restrain”?]

[Well, um. . . . . .]

Though he was worried as he had no time, the “Phantom Flame” magic worked perfectly.

[Luo. Why?]

[It’s futile, Princess.]

This princess in particular must be watched carefully. Whether Luo prioritizes his best friend or the princess’s request is a delicate matter. It might be best to intimidate her into silence.

[If our goal is achieved, we have no further use for them. Let’s release them immediately.]

A trembling small hand was placed on the hand he offered.

Looking back, the journey was filled with miscalculations.

It was good until he became a part of the Hero Squad by disposing of Prime Minister Hou, but the maid and Captain of the Royal Guards colluded and rebelled. He ordered cooperation with Tabashika to trap them, but she refused because she had a lover. Thus, he had no choice but to finish her without the others noticing. At Akkare Castle, he tried to brainwash the princess, but for some reason, the magic didn’t work. In the city of Arche they let the enemy infiltrate, and the princess was taken away.

However, after overcoming numerous challenges, he finally arrived here.

Before him stands a beautiful yet dangerous blue-haired beast.

━I’m ready.

“Wait!”

The one who called out from behind was Paulun.

“What’s going on?”

The question was whether or not there was a plan to ambush the “Blue Demon Beast”. Paulun seems to be considerate enough not to alert the “Blue Demon Beast”, but once doubts arise, they don’t easily disappear.

“Luo-kun. One more thing, could you also restrain the four wizards over there?”

“Got it.”

Caught off guard, Battsu, Paulun, Tenku, and Fuuri were immobilized by stone ropes.

“What the━Hey!”

Battsu shouted in confusion.

“Ugh, not again.”

Having learned from last time, Tenku didn’t resist and just sighed, looking at the ceiling.

“Ozma, you!”

Fuuri applied magical power from his wand to the stone ropes, but not only did it not work, the wand was repelled.

After creating a calm atmosphere for conversation, Ozma answered Paulun’s question.

“The truth is, even if the “Blue Demon Beast” is defeated, this country won’t be saved. The root cause is a wicked god said to reside at the bottom of the “Great Abyss”.”

Ozma looked at the knights of the “Star Guardian”.

“And the princess of the royal family, inheriting the “Blood of the Goddess”, has the power to put the wicked god to sleep. Literally.”

Taking a deep breath, Ozma clearly stated.

“By sacrificing herself.”

There was no change in Tweney’s demeanor. At that moment, everyone realized she had joined the journey knowing all along.

“Why do you know such things?”

Gangi asked, voice trembling.

“In the royal capital, the “Star Teller” has survived. I was able to learn in detail about the “covenant” concerning the goddess and the royal family.”

Ozma deliberately made an unnecessary remark.

“Ah, the reason you “Star Guardian” folks don’t know the outcome of the journey of trials is because it’s more convenient that way. Another power given by the goddess to the princess. The ability to enhance the capabilities of those who protect oneself depends on mutual trust. Thanks to not knowing the tragic outcome, you had a pleasant journey, didn’t you?”

The knights of the “Star Guardian” were taken aback.

“Congratulations. You have overcome prolonged hardships and significant trials and successfully fulfilled your duty. Truly, well done.”

Shocked, puzzled, saddened, and regretful, the knights’ emotions swayed. After observing this with satisfaction, Ozma took Tweney’s hand and started walking towards the altar.

“Wait!”

Again, Paulun called out to stop them. He quietly glared at Ozma without resisting with his “mighty strength.”

“The “Illusionary Flame” magic was supposed to be Tabashika-chan’s. How can the captain use it?”

“. . . . . .”

Only Ozma’s head, in an unthinkable movement, turned directly behind.

Then, he shrugged.

“Because I ate it.”

At that eerie remark, everyone was at a loss for words.

“My parent demon beast is called a mucus orb. It can not only change its shape freely but can also “prey” on anything. Be it animal bones, tree roots, or even a highly poisonous demon beast. Hence, it’s nicknamed the “Omnivore”. And not just that. It can acquire the power of the demon beasts it consumes.”

“You, don’t tell me. . . . . .”

Paulun turned pale as he murmured.

“Yes, even the power of a wizard.”

“You!”

Paulun’s body inflated. Perhaps anger gave him strength, as the elastic rock ropes snapped. However, numerous rock ropes immediately grew and fully restrained Paulun.

Ozma’s head rotated back to face forward. He confidently took Tweney’s frightened hand and continued walking. Naturally, Luo followed the two.

On the hexagonal altar, a blue-furred beast waited patiently for Ozma and the princess, seemingly uninterested in human disputes.

“Heh. When I was a child,”

Suddenly, Ozma began to soliloquize.

“I was always hungry. As I indiscriminately put whatever I found in the trash into my mouth, for some reason, an egg of the mucus orb was mixed in. It was so poisonous that it almost killed me. But now, thinking back, it was a blessing.”

It was unclear what expression he had, but his voice carried a hint of joy.

“Since becoming like this, I feel nothing. I can’t taste or smell anything. Even sensations are merely varying vibrations. Eventually, I couldn’t even understand my own emotions. I had to consciously form expressions.”

No one could grasp the man’s intent. With an ominous feeling, they just listened.

“So, empathizing with others’ emotions was much more stimulating than mine. Do you know, Princess?”

The girl who looked up showed a face of fear.

“The public celebration for your father, King Ramon’s fortieth coronation anniversary. The events of that day. Thousands of people screamed and ran around in terror in the royal courtyard surrounded by walls. Just like when you submerge a trapped mouse in water. They were so desperate! That was━━”

The man’s body shivered as if it was being hit by waves.

“Truly, it was beautiful.”

The blue-furred beast rose cautiously upon sensing the unusual presence of a man.

[You]

Growling, it bared its fangs.

[Something’s off. Stop.]

“That’s enough.”

Without the princess, approaching this close would have been impossible. And the Horned Lion can’t harm the girl, who possesses the “Blood of the Goddess.”

Ozma’s hand transformed into a tentacle and wrapped around the girl’s waist. Without a chance to scream, Tweney was lifted into the air and thrown in front of the altar.

For a moment, the beast’s attention was diverted.

““Predation””

Ozma’s body melted viscously and attacked the blue-furred beast.

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