Gang of Yuusha

Chapter 21 – The Gathering of The Strong

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『Karma Leg』Leschia took a morning bath to cleanse her body, then sat in front the dresser wearing only her underwear and brushed her hair carefully with a comb.

After styling her hair and applying a light makeup, she put on her casual adventure clothes and put on her custom-made boots-shaped golden leg armor.

She carefully fit the clasps around her calves one by one with her flexible fingertips, and making sure that the golden exterior is clean.

Making sure that the weight is just right, and flicked the decorative windmill with her fingers.

She swung her right and left feet in turn. She gave her bones and muscles enough rest.

She stood up and moved to the center of the room.
With a burst of energy, the upper kick sliced through the air―― A response that definitely cut through the air.

Her senses have been sharpened.
IT was a reaction that could obliterate any enemy.

The union fort on the outskirts of Error Knife Town also served as her private residence.

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「Hello」
『It is me』
「Ah, Shouji. Good morning. Today we can hang out for the first time in a while」
『|About that…… I have not been feeling well since morning, I did not tell you this, but I have been drinking too much potions and it is killing my liver. The doctor also stopped me from doing so』
「Ehh, really!? A-are you okay?」
『I want to rest today. That is why, I am sorry, but I have to break my promise to you. I will make up for it later』
「Should I go visit you? You are single, right?」

Her legs swings, Leschia thought as she tied up her hair.

She make a plan to buy some fruits. She can send her union’s magician to warm the room. She do not mind even if she have to nurse him all day.

A friend she have not played with in a long time―― Shouji probably did not think of her as a friend, but Leschia felt a surge of deep-affection for him.

There is also the fact that she felt a sense of camaraderie as a fellow Street Corner Heroes.

Surrounded by kind friends, Leschia could not speak to Shouji, who had even quit his adventuring job and was sitting alone under the shadow of a building.

His fighting style was tyrannical and he always had an intimidating air about him, but there was no need for him to be left out.

Leschia was not responsible for any of this, but she was left with an unspoken guilt.

『I’ve already called the Union members. I am sure they have already set up a capture party. Do not worry about me, just clear the『Ghost Road(ゴースト・ロード)』』
「Ehhh, I said I do not care about it, we can do that later after Shouji recoverd」
『…… Leschia, the truth is I am going to die. It is not just my liver, my gizzard was injured too. I am not going to make it」
「Human do not have gizzard, though. It is a bird organ, right?」
『It is just a figure of speech. Anyway, please do not worry about me」
「But still, to speak frankly, Shouji, you look poor, right? It is definitely better for you to work with me to make some money」
『Thanks, but let’s do it next time』
「Sorry. I want to work with you」

Shouji was silenced by the sudden tense voice.

There was a deep thought behind the communication stone.

Leschia noticed that her hands were sweating. The hand that held the stone was twitching slightly.

It was hard to be rejected by someone. Leschia sensed the subtle rejection and complained as if she were being chased.

She is a good-natured girl that is liked by everyone due to her delicate heart, and her profound kindness is one of the reasons why she is so popular.

『Leschia, let me tell you something. You do not need me』
「Eh, wait…… W-wait」

The feeling of weak magic power being cut off. The invisible connection was severed. The hand that held the communication stone fell loosely. She stared out the window in a daze.

You do not need me, those simple words pierced her heart.

She is not strong because she want to be―― She did not become a female hero because she want to be.

The raging waves of emotions hit her more than she expected. The emptiness that swirled in her heart made Leschia cry.

She felt as if she had lost something precious.

Perhaps she was looking for comfort and repose with an equal. She wanted to share the same position.

As she was wiping the corners of her eyes with her fingers, there was a knock at the door.

「It is already morning, Leschia-san
「…… Ah, Yes」

I slapped her cheeks and braced herself.

When she gave permission to enter the room, a boy with a familiar face showed up in a reserved manner.

He wore light armor made of pure silver that protected his shoulders, chest, arms, waist, and knees, a fluttering white cloak, and a fancy feathered helmet.

He was dressed like an exemplary student, and his straight back exuded honesty.

With a graceful movement, he shook his silver hair that was hanging down around his eyes, making his silver eyes sparkle. The boy, sensing Leschia dejected look, looked at her suspiciously, he saw her curling up palm.

「Leschia-san. What’s wrong?」
「No. It is nothing. It is about the capture of『Ghost Road(ゴースト・ロード)』, one of the party member said he cannot come」.
「It is the Hidaruma Yarou-san, eh(Jumping Fire。The disgrace of our Street Corner Heroes(Street Braver」

The boy, Kielnier, who specially use the name that is popular with the underground job express his disgust, he shrugged his shoulders as if he were refreshed.

Leschia wrinkled her eyebrows while expressed her disappointment.

「Heis not a good guy, but he is good at his job and he is skilled. You could have learned a lot from him」
「Originally, he is just a B-rank small fry. And a hero who got his swords snatched away does not have any worth」
「Even though you could not get your hands on his swords at the royal capital?」

Having been hit where it hurt, Kielnier bit his teeth and looked down.

Leschia knew that he had been invited to the home of a nobleman and had looked with glittering eyes at the twin swords that were displayed above the fireplace.

He had been allowed to wield them secretly, but even outsiders can see that Kielnir had not been able to handle them to his satisfaction.

「Twin swords are not my…… It is not my cup of tea. Let alone, those who handle the evil and strange swords will have to bear the corresponding karma」

The stubborn Kielnir had just turned 15, and with the title of hero on his back, there was an effort to change his brave front from a child to a young man.

It has been decided that he would eventually join the Knights, and follow the brilliant elite course.

Leschia has been asked to look after him at the request of the Ministry of War, in name, she is supposed to train him as a mentor.

「I want that thing though. If I can use it, it will increase my mobility, although the prince will give me a good scolding if I ever wanted it」
「No, you cannot. A noble and beautiful person like Leschia-san cannot use a barbarian weapon」
「Thank you. But it is a shame that he is not coming. He is so powerful to watch, and the way he throws and dodges the attacks is really helpful」
「I- I cannot tear monsters apart using my bare hands, but there is nothing that I cannot cut」
「Ufufu, how reliable. Well then, let’s go on an adventure」

Perhaps she was distracted by talking to someone, Leschia flicked Kielnir forehead to show off her bravery, smiled then left the room.

Kielnir who was left behind clenched his fists and vaguely knew that he was not being taken seriously.

Even though he know it, he can forgive that. He cannot ask for too much when he is being trained.

He have never been able to hit Leschia with a practice sword, because he is not good enough.

But there are other things that he cannot forgive.

「Shouji Quikk, eh. A mere addict(Janky)…… Dare to made my master cry」

There is nothing that Kielnir,『Rupture Hero』that was chosen by the God cannot cut.

No matter what it is.

 △ ▼ △

In the dim darkness, a huge mass of steel was running.

The pointed edge of the drill made an ear-splitting sound as it squirmed through the earth. The caterpillar track stomped its way through the wasteland. The dirt and rocks that had been dug up turned into cloud of dust as the ground was cleared.

Stark, who was sitting in the driver’s seat, handles the huge magical machine, rock drill skillfully.

He wears a headband even though his bald head was sweating profusely, he stares ahead with alert eyes, illuminated by the lights.

The hum of the rock drill is controlled by precise hand movements of levers that move up and down, left and right, aiming the drill at softer parts of the ground.

「Bando, it is hard here, go spray it with water!」
「Got it!」

He reacted quickly at the rough voice crying for help, Bando, who was riding on top of the rock drill’s armor, held the hose under his arm and shoot out a vigorous stream of water.

It is to soften the soil and also to cool the machine frame’s heat.

Behind him, Doldo was pumping the T-shaped pump earnestly, sending water into the thick hose.

The water pressure that was sent to the hose was not strong, but it was enough to submerge the bedrock.

All of them who were on top of the armor were making good progress.

In the meantime, Shouji jumped down from the rock drill and draws a measure line using red chalk, dropped the weights to position them, and looked through the lens of the theodolite to check the angle and calculate the point of arrival.

The Army’s surveying method is simple, but it is accurate.

Ideally, they should go straight, but there are slopes and sinks in place where the layers are fragile.

The muddy-faced men looked down at the results of their calculations as they made an underground map.

「Shouji. The trouble is, we have hit a gold vein. Look at the white lines on this rock. The hardness is getting worse」
「Bando, according to my calculations, we are already running for around 10 kilometers. We are halfway there. It is no big deal」
「Oi, Quikk. Look at the thermometer. The temperature is dropping fast. I think there is underground water in the area.」
「Stark. It is the Wraiths’ psychic influence. Thankfully, it is keeping our body temperature down」
「We do not have enough cooling water. What should we do?」
「We should not only move forward, but also consider to turn around and take a detour. If we detour, we can ignore the soil quality. If Stark gets tired, Doldo, you take over the driving」
「Darling. Your love is not enough」
「I do not have that. Just give up」

The men who wears 『Safety First』 helmets were working on their own tasks while pouring their hearts and souls into the dungeon run.

They did not fight monsters at all, they were fighting with stubborn large rocks and clay that got tangled up in the drills, but a battle is a battle.

Occasionally, they would attach and detach the drill to dump the leftover soil from the digging, and they also transformed the rock drill into a shovel car. There was also manual labor, using shovels and wheelbarrows, which required intense physical exertion, but for the sake of gold, silver, and treasures, they spare no efforts.

The work seemed to go on forever, but there was a lunch break, and Lorelei, who had come along to observe the robbery campaign, was preparing lunch.

「Hey, darling. Do you know what the other party are up to?」

Lorelei, who was pouring tea from a pot and handing out glasses to each person, pressed a wet towel on Shouji’s face.

The black skin covered with soil returns to white with scrubs and wiping.

「Drinking the ear potion will give me the ability to sense echoes. l will know about it as soon as the battle between Leschia and Wraith Lord begins」
「Darling’s ability is so useful. Really, It will be good if you use it honestly」
「There was a time when I used it for scouting and espionage for the state. And I was one of the elite」

When he see that Shouji was out of character, as his former comrade, Bando tried to make fun of him.

「You are more like an assault solder, aren’t you?」
「That was when I was a boy. As I got older, I became…… No, I became more unsuited to intelligence work. I did everything I could to get promoted in the old days, but I guess an uneducated man like me would never have made it to the top」

He sipped his tea in a quite manner.
His poor upbringing could not be concealed by the sophisticated scarlet military uniform.

There were various manners for holding a glass, and even the order of chairs and the way one sat down had to be taken into consideration.

Bitter memories flashed through his mind. he had practiced it repeatedly with his former schoolmates.

How to behave at a party.
How to ask a woman to dance.
He learned how to have a cultured and dignified holiday.

All of these things have vanished like a dream.
His dirt-covered hands are his reality now.

「Have you been in touch with the partner who was supposed to take you “up there”?」
「Bando」

The warning in a low voice made the air tense.

Everyone went rigid, as if a thread had been pulled out.

Lorelei gasped as she pulled her chin back, Stark, who had been meditating with his eyes closed, turned his head, and Doldo looked troubled.

Band, who was sitting on the armor, took a glance at his feet and then apologized briefly.

「Ah, my bad. I was out of line. It was crazy of me to mention the traitor」
「It is fine. I started the conversation in the first place…… But please do not speak ill of my friend」
「Shouji, that is not true. A traitor will never will――」
「Now, now, let’s get along. Look, hey, you know, you are hungry so blood rushed to your head easily」

Lorelei, who smiled forcibly to mend the place, inserted sandwiches into the two’s mouths by turns.

It cannot be said to be a quarrel, but Bando scratched his head and began to talk about the future in a more restrained tone.

「I want to set up an office once the gems was sold. The potions sales are going well, also in order to launder the money and so we can do some front-line work. If we continue to spread our wings, the underground guilds will eventually ask for a tribute. A security money. We need to pay it because we will eventually competes with the Potion-Syndicates for the market」
「I do not want to work under anyone. Especially for the big guy」
「Assassinating Master Flamed and the rest of the Round Table would only make our job harder. Just because we are in the underground business does not mean we can get away with anything」
「I hope it does not turn out to be our doing. That is the scenario I am going to write. We can frame another big guy for the crime. If the behemoth fight each other, it will make the situations chaotic and easier」
「We can do that later, but for now we should not show any signs of disobedience. The same goes for the adventurer’s guild. It will give the other gangs an opening to come in」
「We will kill anyone who gets in our way. We will put their heads in a row in the open-air Sunday Market to make an example of them. If a gangster says he is from the conservative faction, it is like asking to be killed」
「Calm down. We just need kill all the leaders. We need soldiers. Treating bastards like them like shit is just incompetence」
「We need people we can trust. I am going to look for ex-soldiers. All of our beloved bastards are out of work and are too shallow to be bandits or pirates or something. They deserve to do more evil」

 As expected―― They really get along well.

Lorelei’s empty murmur that casually trickled down her cheek was not voiced, ignoring the viciousness of the conversation that was unfolding.

When it came to business, the argument was one of mutual trust and friendship.

They are both serious and credible.

In truth, she wanted him to go in the right direction―― But if she decided to follow him, so she would follow behind him.

As she decided, she pulled out a heavy pickaxe from the tool bag, dragged it, and handed it to Shouji.

It is used to break the small rocks that block the road. It has the effect of improving the caterpillar track.

Sensing her intentions, he grasped the handle firmly without saying a word, and walked to the end of the drill, carrying it lightly on his shoulder.

He waves his hands from behind.

He had a feeling that he was supporting the wrong direction, but it cannot be helped.

 △ ▼ △

Among The Beast King’s servants there is an executive that specialized in battle.

He is in charge of handling disputes, but he has not had much appearance in recent years.

He has severed ties with the underground guilds, the core of the human underworld, because there is no benefit to either side if they fight each other out in the open.

The ferociousness of the beastman organization is well known.
Their ruthlessness and severe retaliations are the protective barriers as they are the minority.

It is said that anyone who defies them will be eaten alive, without even remains behind.

Lox is a white werewolf, that is also known as one of the 『Five Demon Beasts』that are considered to be close to the position of the Beast King in terms of combat power.

Even though he is a beastman, his physique is that of a wolf, and his appearance is no different from that of a wild wolf. He walks on all four legs, not just two, and his beautiful white fur forms gentle ridges.

From his toes to the top of his head, it is over three meters long, and even when standing on all four legs, he is large enough to look down on humans.

As a beast, Lox has a nonstandard size, he usually lives in seclusion in the eastern forests of Error Knife.

He has been like that since the beginning, and he is still like that even now.

「Lo-aniki. The order has come. Here, it is a souvenir liquor」

Luck moved his wings carefully, so as not to get mud on his fine-branded jacket, and landed in the cave where Lox lived.

He straightened his collar and sleeves, plucked the brim of his hat and put it back.

A bottle of wine wrapped in mesh hung in his hand, and he called out into the darkness, but there was no response.

Perhaps had gone hunting somewhere.
He was pissed off that the organization’s executive was chasing wild deer and buffalo even as a joke.

「Damn it, this is why I hate these primitive man. It is like they do not want to fit into civilized society」
「Then, please take the gift from that primitive man, little brother」

The reply came from above, then Luck looked up, only to be crushed to the ground by a dead buffalo that had fallen from the sky.

Swinging his bloody fangs, beads of blood were scattered on the ground.

「So, what is the order?」
Aniki, please put this thing on my back away. I am going to die」

He pointed to the top of his head, but Lox cleared his throat and began to brush his fur.

「What happened to your pride of civilized society power?」
「I am sorry, okay. Aniki. But don’t you want to live in an air-conditioned mansion with young females who will let you do anything you want and eat the best food in the world?」
「There are many fools who was inspired by His Majesty’s life of debauchery, but I see that you are one of them」
「What is wrong with that? Isn’t it the best?」
「The depraved King was killed by his beloved daughter, who did not know how to fight. If he had lived like me, he would not have gone insane and died a horrible death」
「The King Lived a happy life. Even if the end is not good, it is fine as long as it was good along the way, Aniki
「A typical value for youths these days」

He sank his tusks into the buffalo’s hard hide above Luck, lifted it up and threw it.

A huge bull weighing over three hundred kilos flew through the air and rolled while making ground rumbles.

Luck quickly swept his muddy jacket and pants with his hands and picked up his hat.

He turned to Lox while groaning about his ruined clothes.

「A kill order. I want you to kill Shouji Quikk」
「That man from the Street Corner HeroesStreet Braver), eh…… Why?」
「He killed one of my guy」
「I cannot do that. There is honor. It is the family law」
「I do not really want to do it. The princess’s eyes are rotten, and why should I take care of those fools living in the city? They should wipe their own ass themselves」
「Then please let me hear the reason why my eyes are rotten」

Suddenly―― The two men turned their heads at the voice that rings a bell.

They turned their heads because the person they were talking about stepped out from the trees.

The beast king, Chateausea Totnakun, carried a hunting rifle on her back and wore a khaki combat jacket with pockets on both shoulders, sides and chest. A small knife was folded into her belt and a short rope looped around it.

She wears leather boots with hunting style.
Her fluttering silver gray hair was pulled together into one.

A rabbit was hanged down from her waist, giving a glimpse of how much she enjoyed hunting.

「Y-Your Majesty……」

Luck kneels down at the beast king sudden appearance, but Lox maintained his relaxed posture and only sniffed.

「You told me it was rotten, because you do not understand it」
「Don’t be a shrewd old woman. It is ridiculous to think that you feared the humans Street Corner Heroes(Street Braver)」
「…… I cannot listen to the orders of someone who is not a legitimate beast king」

Lox, who was also a member of the Beastmen’s Elder’s Council, refused in a mocking manner.

It is not the a parliamentary system, but it can be said, like the young
Beast King, he has influence over the beastmen, which makes him irreverent.

「Why don’t you die here, old wolf?」

Her vertical eyes showed a dangerous look.

The atmosphere emitted changes. As the roars disabled the seal, a membranous barrier visible to the naked eyes covered in purple lightning appeared and wrapped Chateausea.

Both Lox and Luck understood that the protection was in place even if it is unconscious, but it was changing for the attack.
「L-Lox-aniki, just say yes. Just give me a break, please」

Luck, who was hanging on to his rear legs, was trying to use Lox as a shield, but his plea was genuine. If the Beast King and the executives fought, he who was at the site would not be able to just get away with it.

It would not only result in physical injury, but also become a responsible issue later on.

The elders of the beastmen will surely pursue Luck, who was on the site, to the bitter end.

Even if he is powerless, he should bet his life to admonish them, or seeks the limit of action that he cannot do.

「Then, let’s do it like this, Your Highness. If you are going to executed the criminals, please treat me as your lap dog, in exchange」
「Do you want me to take care of a rough, stupid, beastmen-hating savage myself?」
「Of course, I will help you as your loyal vassal if you are in danger」
「Hoou…… How impudent. It seems I am the one who is being underestimated」

Chateausea folded her arms and bent the corners of her mouth in amusement, and shakes her hair.

Lox, who had softly told the new Beast King to show her power worthy of a king, bent his paws for the first time here and bowed his head.

「Please, ride on me」
「…… Fine」

The softening of his demeanor erased his vigour, and Chateausea straddled on Lox’s back.

When she try to ride him, her eyes rolls at how comfortable the ride is.

「Hmm…… It is so fluffy and soft, I love it」

Like a young girl, she is in a good mood and begins to touch his coat. Boldly.

A-Aniki, I heard that I heart that he went to a place called theGhost Road, (ゴースト・ロード), and it seems that Leschia the『Karma Leg』is with him. I think it is better to settle the score later……」
「I am not interested with the『Karma Leg』」
「I do not have business with her too」
「No, it is not like that, I am talking about the danger…… Oi, oi, wait, what the! Please do not leave me behind!」

The white wolf that started running disappeared from sight in the blink of an eye.

Luck flew in a panic, but not fast enough to track him, and he could not see Lux’s figure because he was hidden by a group of large trees.

However, he could not leave his great boss behind.

He used the communication stone to summon the strongmen and made up his mind to head for the Ghost Road(ゴースト・ロード).


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