Will You Break the Wall to Save Your Dearest?
In a windmill near a village named Alke, the night before Tenjin was summoned to another world…
A cloaked woman was standing at the top of the windmill tower. She was observing the village from her position.
The woman spoke as if she was talking to someone from afar.
“Is it true that the demon army is now advancing toward the human territories?”
A voice replied to her query, “It’s the vision of the elder mage. He also left a warning that it might lead to a series of destruction if not intervened as soon as possible.”
The woman fell silent for a moment.
“Aren’t you going to warn that girl adventurer friend of yours?”
“Celestine? No, not yet. I’m going to stop the demon army right here in this village.”
“Are you still bothered by the vision he saw about you?”
The woman picked the necklace inside her cloak. “Well, I’d be lying if I said I’m not. I’m actually scared that the vision was a curse and I’d be dragging anyone who becomes involved with me.”
“Is that so? By the way, want to hear the rest of the vision?”
“What is it?”
“He said that a person will appear out of nowhere. That person’s methods are unconventional and unpredictable. Behind him was the image of this world in its former glory. The elder said that he might be one who’ll bring everything to a conclusion.”
“When will that person appear?”
“Who knows? But I hope for his soonest appearance.”
The woman gazed toward the village and the cities sitting along the horizon. She smiled and said, “I do hope so.”
☆ ☆ ☆
As I prepared to depart from my spawn point, Eirunn pointed out my clothes. I was still wearing the same tracksuit from when I met the goddess. It took me a while to notice that, but I didn’t freak out, unlike earlier.
A window popped out from the screen. It looked like an interface of a store or an item shelf in an RPG game. There are various options for magic potions, magic items, clothes, equipment, and miscellaneous items.
“Well, choose whatever outfit Lord Tenjin wants.”
I tried to choose a lot of clothes, and tapping each item would automatically appear as a physical object. Some clothes were embedded with status effects. It’s a fantasy world, after all. Nothing would make sense no matter how hard I think about it. So I tried a generic adventurer’s set: light brown tunic, blue cloak, dark blue trousers, scarf gloves, and boots.
“Eirunn, is it any good? I’m not an expert when it comes to fashion. So if you could he—What’s wrong?”
“C-cool! Lord Tenjin is so cool!”
“Really? Well, I considered the status effects these items give.”
“As expected of Lord Tenjin!”
As expected, she says. Disregarding the status effects, it didn’t matter how I appeared or what I wore. There were more important things that I needed to worry about.
“Well, where are we now, I wonder?”
We’re still not out of the woods, literally. There were large trees, and the soil was moist, so I assumed it was a forest.
I checked the map feature of the tablet. It’s so convenient that I find its existence unbelievable. It shows my current location and the location of other living beings within the range of about 200 meters. So I found my current whereabouts, which never changed since I arrived in this world for a reason.
“So we’re close to a hill, huh?”
“Yeah,” Eirunn replied. “Lord Tenjin and Eirunn’s precise location is in a forest near Freeman Hill. About 500 meters from here, there’s a small village called Alke with a population of 342.”
– Did I hear it before?
Upon consulting my memories, I stumbled upon a realization. The village called Alke was destroyed in the first assault of the demon army in human territory. It already perished at the very start of Endgame. It was but a minor detail, so that village was as good as forgotten by most of the viewers. It was a miracle that I became invested in writing down the story’s details. Maybe that’s why I remembered such an event.
– But if Alke still existed, does it mean that I arrived in an earlier timeline?
That time, I realized that I needed more information about this world.
“Okay. Let’s head to the village!”
I traversed the footpath between the trees until I finally got out of the forest. Before my eyes, there was a breathtaking view. There’s a downhill trail ahead leading to the populace. Near the vanishing point was a huge castle surrounded by other structures. It was the city of Odina, the capital of the Kingdom of Fairburne. The goddess brought me near to where almost everything in Endgame happened.
I froze for a second. My hands were shaking. Memories of the scene from the anime flashed back. The tranquil, azure-hued view of the Kingdom suddenly turned into a grotesque, burned-out ruin for a second.
“Lord Tenjin, is there something wrong?”
“Nothing. I just couldn’t believe my eyes seeing everything.”
“Eh? Aren’t we excited?”
“Nevermind. Let’s go.”
☆ ☆ ☆
The downhill road led to the village of Alke, the supposedly inexistent place. I jumped onto a tree to get a good view of the whole village.
“Great! I chose the right boots.”
The clothes that I chose earlier were enchanted with various spells. The boots, in particular, are imbued with space distortion magic. It’s a type of short-range teleportation magic. It’s convenient in many ways, and I decided to use it in inspecting the vicinity of Alke.
The map showed no indication of any hostile activity around the village. But it seems that many people were gathering in a small area. On the other hand, captured images also revealed a low magic density in the village, except for a minuscule portion of the picture.
Out of the blue, Eirunn suddenly yelled, “Lord Tenjin! Emergency!”
“What is it?”
“Sorry, but Eirunn is low magic as of now. Maybe it’s because Eirunn is not yet used to being in this form.”
– Oh, it’s just that. I thought there was an enemy.
“Okay. You may rest for a while.”
“Don’t worry! Eirunn will recover magic by gathering loose spirit energy in the surroundings. With that, Lord Tenjin, please keep the tablet inside an enchanted bag so Eirunn won’t be contaminated with evil energy.”
“Got it! Leave it to me.”
I did as Eirunn said and hopped down the ground.
– Now, it’s time to stroll inside the village.
Alke village was just a tiny community, just as Eirunn described. It was circular, with the residential houses and other establishments built along the inner circumference of the village wall. In the center was a pavilion with a giant statue of a woman.
There were a handful of people in the street. It was like a preparation for some festival. Some were selling and buying stuff. Young men and women tidied up the road with unusual-looking lanterns springing from the statue. At the same time, children helped in fixing other decorations.
“Hey, young man with strange equipment!”
– Am I the one being called?
It was a random shopkeeper. I wondered why he called my outfit “strange”. – Could it be that my clothes were unusual in this world?
“I haven’t seen you yet. Are you new here?”
“Yes. I’m a traveler and happened to pass by this village. My attention was caught by this crowd. Is there some kind of event?”
“It’s Alke’s Festival of Lights. The villagers here are worshipping Luiseach, the goddess of light.”
So it seems that the statue at the center of the village was their deity. The rows of lanterns spreading from the statue’s bosom represented the light she gave to the village. I’ve heard that, after the sun has set, a massive dome of light envelops the village and protects it. It’s believed to be the work of that goddess.
But the story reminded me of something different.
“Is that so? By the way, you said ‘the villagers’. Aren’t you a resident?”
“No. I’m actually a merchant. I borrowed a space from a friend who lives here. By the way you said that you’re a traveler, right?”
“Be careful in your way! The demon army would target this village soon,” he said in a low tone.
– The demon army?
“It’s just a hunch, though. As a merchant, I’ve visited several settlements who were attacked by the demon army, and as far as I can see, they seemed to be moving toward Eardwulf.”
Although, it’s more or less what I expected. Humans were a considerable threat to the demon realm, relying on sheer power to conquer the world. They fear that the ingenuity of the less powerful might topple down their might. That’s why they are more likely to start an assault against an unsuspecting community. A festival like this might be a perfect opportunity because people were off-guard.
“Thanks for the advice, mister!”
☆ ☆ ☆
At twilight, the Festival of Lights began in Alke.
The villagers gathered under the statue of their deity. It was a colorful and lively occasion for such a tiny village. The village chief stood at the pavilion and spoke, “My dear fellow children of Alke, we’re about to witness an important highlight of this festival….”
When the sun had set, pillars of light grew over the walls of the village. From there, the fabled dome of light seemed to grow.
“...This light is not just a mere symbol but the manifestation of Lady Luiseach protection to our humble village. Darkness will never thrive under her light!”
Lanterns were lit. Different colors bathed the faces of the villagers as they shouted with glee.
Meanwhile, Tenjin was occupied right on his first evening in another world. He’s observing the village from his earlier vantage point.
“Eirunn, do you sense anything strange,” Tenjin asked the tablet, or rather, the spirit who had just recharged her spirit energy.
“Oh Lord Tenjin! Er, there’s a vague sign of malignant energy coming from above the village,” Eirunn replied.
“Above? Wait!” Tenjin directed the tablet to capture the view of the village. “It seems I’m a bit late.”
“What would Lord Tenjin do?”
“I wonder, but in this case, there’s just one thing….”
On the other hand, several magic circles appeared one after another above the village. From the villagers’ view from below, they were like stars. Everyone was dumbfounded but not perturbed, believing it was just a part of the festival.
Later on, bolts of flame emerged from the magic circles and headed toward the village.
☆ ☆ ☆