Dear readers, Clown here.
I apologize for the delays in getting the chapters out to you. I initially planned to finish the whole chapter roughly 24 hours ago. Sadly, some work came up that I couldn’t put up. I was thinking of how I can give you steady releases, and this is what I decided:
I will be uploading chapters in parts, no more than 2-3 parts per chapter, which will hopefully mean an update once every 2-3 days!
I will try to finish this chapter by Thursday, 3/3 at 11:59 pm GMT -4.
The Empire’s Invasion Arc
137. A year of Progress (Part 1)
After Yuuki escaped, we were unable to immediately pursue.
As they say: haste makes waste.
One could say that Leon’s impatience led to Yuuki escaping, but the real reason is the fact that we couldn’t trust each other.
As such, I noticed that we need to establish order amongst ourselves first.
I mean, there’s no question that all of us desperately want to save Chloe.
But no good will come from acting rashly, and who could have excepted Yuuki to slip into the Empire.
Fighting the Empire along with him puts as at a disadvantage. We need to prepare.
I was tasked with handling Milim, while Leon would handle information-gathering. But that entailed basically waiting for his spy to report in.
With regards to the resurrected red knight, the blue knight was delighted and Leon thanked Ruminas. Thus we decided on our future actions.
Leon will collect information while refraining from impatient actions.
Though Leon’s anger was easy to understand, the fact remains that he let Yuuki escape.
Well, maybe he can just create a barrier around the battlefield—though whether a bearer of an ultimate skill would be affected is a different story—but I still believe that we should not act independently.
Sure, we won’t come to trust each other with our lives; but we do share a common goal.
This common goal is the only thing that binds our group together. Should that common goal disappear there’s no way I’ll be able to control the other two.
While Leon is gathering information, there are places which we must visit.
For now, we need to return and prepare our countries for an eventual confrontation with the Empire.
But first, I have to deal with Milim.
Life got a bit complicated for me once I separated from Leon and Ruminas.
Soothing the raging Milim.
Telling her that her pet was resurrected, and getting thanked by a delighted Milim.
And have her “guardian” come right after Milim anger was soothed.
In short, I had to prevent Milim from rampaging.
I guess you could even say that I needed to manipulate her.
Her “guardian” (Frey) should have come sooner. She seems to have come the moment Milim regained her composure, but I don’t want to think that Frey was just waiting for the right moment to return.
In short: my life sucked, and I couldn’t help but wonder why I had to suffer through this.
Right… Leon forced me into this.
Well, since Milim’s mood improved quickly, I guess it wasn’t that bad.
From within the orb I carried the Chaos Dragon’s soul formed into a small monster.
A dragon hatchling… a DATCHLING!!..
He basically appeared from within the egg the moment Milim came.
「… Gaia, is that you?」
The dragon and the girl embraced each other.
A touching reunion.
After that, we “partied”… by going to the labyrinth and power-leveling Gaia.
What? No! We weren’t just playing around. I mean, we only got into our avatars—Ramiris, Milim, Veldora, and I—and delved into the labyrinth.
Since Gaia could fly, he followed close behind me.
And as you would expect from a Chaos Dragon,
The dragon got used to fighting after only a few battles, and quickly started using miasma breath against multiple opponents—miasma breath would drive our enemies mad.
The dragon also had a skill etched into his soul—gravity manipulation—which he used to create shield around us, thus becoming one of the most valuable members of our party.
The barrier is rather strong, and now, even if the enemy is a mage, my magic barrier and Gaia’s gravity barrier creates an impenetrable wall.
As a result, though we had previously struggled against the boss of the 30th floor, we have now cleared him with ease.
「Kua-ha-ha-ha! He’s no match for us now!」
「Yep! It’s only Gozule, after all!」
「Wahahaha! This made my day!」
That was fun.
Hmm? No! We weren’t just playing around!
Stop saying such foolish things. We’re trying hard for Gaia’s sake!
As long as it’s for Gaia, what’s the problem with us having a bit fun?
But soon we… no, I couldn’t help but be overcome with worry over Chloe.
No matter how much you enjoy the present such thoughts just creep up unexpectedly.
But, no, I must not worry. ‘Tis not an emergency yet, and undue worry harms one’s heart.
I wonder if Milim and the rest suggested we come here because my worry was showing on my face?
If so, I would be very grateful.
As soon as we tried advancing to the next floor, Frey appeared.
And though Milim protested, it was useless.
Even though Milim was crying and wailing like a child not wanting to leave he arcade, Frey’s iron smile and words of “persuasion” won in the end.
Figuring that Milim came over to play, Frey made sure that Milim understand that she’ll be working without a break for a while.
「I’ll be back!」
Milim said, leaving.
In and out like a storm.
As for Gaia, he continued wandering the Labyrinth in his current form.
It was too soon, he said, to have Milim train him, so he planned to return to her side after becoming slightly stronger. The labyrinth has an magical energy level, and Gaia has Ramiris’ bracelet, so he should be fine.
And thus another companion joined us in our labyrinth adventures.
By the way, we didn’t know of this at the time, but our five member team came to be known as the unique bosses of the labyrinth. Inhabiting the floor above the first, a bosses of unbelievable strength, they say.
In other words, when we controlled our avatars, we were so strong that adventurers would just roll over and die.
I found out about this later when these rumors reached me.
This, though, is how we appeased Milim’s anger.
None of us would dare to have fun while Milim was away.
So we decided to actually do some work. Well… I’m not sure what I can do actually.
There was that thing, about doing a joint research venture?
I was supposed to supervise it and make any requests I could think of to them, I think.
Thanks to Gerudo’s efforts in building a road and setting up barriers along it, the preparations for our various joint ventures are going well.
We’ll soon have a road running directly from Sarion to Tempest.
We also have a plan to build a railway heading towards the dwarfs, so as to facilitate faster exchange of goods and materials.
But I worry—should the Empire invade, would these railroads not harm us in the end? That’s why we prioritized building a road to Sarion first.
By the way, the researchers have arrived: the Dwarf Artisans, Sarion’s Sorcerers, and Holy Empire’s Engineers.
Though the roads have not been fully paved yet, they could easily travel here already.
That’s why they arrived even before we completed the roads.