After amply charging Kirika up with my magical energy, she used Alkanshel in order to cut down the locked gate and we managed to safely get outside. We also managed to meet up with Riruna who was loitering around.
........That was all well and good, however...
「What's wrong, Tachibana-san? Since a little while ago you've been really quiet?」
「Eh,, Ueee!? Th..... That's not, true? Yeah, I'm telling the truth, for real for real!」
We teleported using another device and after going outside and we were advancing through a passageway that was completely uninhabited, however, since a little while ago, Riruna has been acting really weird.
She was walking several steps behind both me and Kirika and as she followed behind us she would give us these glances towards our backs. Whenever I caught her looking she would panic suspiciously and then look away......... These types of suspicious behaviors were being repeated.
Previously before we got teleported here she was always brimming with energy and very talkative, she was usually standing in the lead as our vanguard and yet now she was timidly following us along, it was quite evident that something was wrong.
「Hey Tooru-kun...... I really think that the current Tachibana-san... is weird, don't you?」
「Yeah. As expected, Kirika also thought the same」
Kirika was whispering to me in a low voice, addressing her concerns that she felt the Gal Yuusha was acting a little weird compared to how she usually acted.
「By some chance could it be.... that we've been discovered?」
「D-discovered, wh-what ?」
「No I mean, after we did it, you know... Like, maybe by the smell?」
「Eh, uu, no way!?」
Panicking, Kirika started to smell her own clothes. *kun kun* (sniff sniff).
Although it wasn't as customized as Princess Sistina's dress, Kirika's Princess Knight outfitted still had some basic deodorization functions and other nifty magical enchantments to maintain the clean state of the outfit. Although there wasn't anything particularly noticeable to my eyes...... A woman's intuition is something that cannot be underestimated.
(Well, even if it was discovered it still isn't too bad. At least it would be better than if Oruto whispered some "unnecessary" things in her ear....)
At any rate, she was quite docile when she joined up with us again so at the very least I don't think that she's going to start attacking us at this moment.
Even for me, unless there was some kind of emergency, I don't really want to start forcing a fight with Riruna. At least not until I meet up with my other magical slaves. Right now, we were in the depths of this ancient ruins, so our first priority is obviously to search for a method to return.
I wonder how long we've been walking in this long passageway?
〈--There is some kind of reaction, beyond this door〉
Oruto who had been remaining silent started to talk in his usual monotone voice.
In front of our eyes, was another humongous door that was at least twice the size of the door we cut down.
「By "reaction" do you mean something magical? Is it another transference device?」
〈Unfortunately, that part is uncertain〉
「Well, it doesn't seem like there is another pathway, so we can only try to open it. 「Alright, Kirika can you cut this door down like the one before....?」
〈No, there is no need to do that. Riruna, please bring me closer to the door〉
「Hmm? Umm, is this alright?」
When Riruna brings her hand closer to the door and pushes Oruto's gem towards it, a faint green light was emitted.
And, just like an elevator that arrived, the huge door soundlessly slides open.
「.......Since when have you been able to do such a feat? If I'm not mistaken, you weren't able to open the door that we were stuck in just before?」
〈I've had to analyze the magical composition of the door and replicate the wavelength in order to use it as a key. I've only been able to complete the analysis just a few minutes ago〉
It spoke in a justified tone of voice. As usual, since I can't see the expression it's making, it's very difficult to tell whether it is telling the truth or lying.
According to Riruna, it is a magical living being with a lot of functions for investigations and exploration, so even if it was able to do something like this, it wasn't really unexpected...... However, there was something that was stuck on my mind...
The destination that Kirika pointed at...... looked like a room with the transference device, it was a spacious dome-shaped room.
Well this particular room did not have the same device, but there was another thing in here that was one of our "major objectives".
「This is..... There is no doubt, we've finally found it!」
Lined up along the inner wall of the room in a full revolution, was a countless number of metal pedestals kind of like a big bed leaning diagonally against the walls.
Moreover, the things on top of them were precisely the gigantic figures of the full body armored golems that we've been searching for.
There were individual differences between the shape of the head and the height of each body but, all of them still largely resembled Nana's previous form.
Unlikely the first one we found in the other room, these models were all brand new and without and damage or rusting.
「We did it Tooru-kun! With this we can save Nana-chan!!」
The red jewel stone which I've carefully treasured and which was always kept in my breast pocket was taken out.
The one who defended us from Flamia's rampaging magical energy, the one who protected us with her body and scattered when Cruz performed his surprise attack. This was the central core jewel of our very important companion.
「Tooru-chi, what's that?」
〈......That must be the nucleus central nervous system of the being Nana the armored golem 〉
Looking around I tried to find the same type of body that Nana once used, seemingly all the heads of the armors had the same type of shape. furthermore, there was an empty slot in them.
In other words, all the armors here could probably act as a spare part for Nana. I will use it gratefully.
「Is that so..... so it's your companion Nana-chan, with this you may be able to cure her. I'm really happy for you, Tooru-chi!」
Completely forgoing the suspicious behavior, she was displaying previously, Riruna was smiling beautifully like the sun in summertime.
Truly, she's such a good-natured person to the extreme. I have only been thinking about the ways to outwit and manipulate both Oruto and Riruna. Considering this fact, it almost made me hate myself.
〈In that case, which of the body parts here should I activate〉
「.......You can do that?」
〈It's the same kind of trick as the one I used to open the door. Although it may take me some time, if I was to supply magical energy into the metal pedestal that is connected to the body part, I will be able to prepare a suitable condition for you to insert her nucleus〉
「Then, we should do that immediately, Tooru-kun!」
Nevertheless, unlike Kirika who was just innocently delighted at receiving Oruto's help..... I was different, I hesitated for a moment.
(....Is this really going to be alright? Letting Oruto operate this device--?)
This is just preparing Nana's new body for activation..... Unlike the time with the teleportation device, if I just thought about it rationally, I don't see any disadvantage just from letting it help us with this aspect...
On the contrary, if this was successful, it would only increase the amount of war potential under my control, it would be a very convenient result.
Putting it all together, even if Oruto's objective was to destroy the body, thankfully there was so many of them lined up here, and it would be impossible for it to just suspiciously "fail" the activation one by one without alerting us.
To begin with, the fact that Oruto purposefully manipulated the teleportation device to "accidentally" activate was only one of my conjectures and I had no actual proof or evidence of it.
And above all....... Being able to revive Nana is one of our most earnest wishes.
Even if I will owe Oruto a debt, this is a chance that I cannot possibly miss out on.
「I understand..... I'm relying on you. Please help us, Oruto」
Within the ancient ruin room, both Kirika and Riruna was leaning against the wall slightly apart from each other.
While waiting for Oruto to finish the preparations, the two of them were just idling waiting without much to do.
(Tooru-kun, as expected, you don't seem to trust Oruto very much do you?)
The Princess Knight was looking ahead to where Oruto was close to the pedestal which held the armored golem, she was over it watching it with a sharp gaze.........No, she was also looking at Tooru's figure which was keeping a close eye on Oruto.
Looking at Tooru have such a protective gaze on a magical living thing that couldn't even move was quite the strange sight.
Riruna had fallen silent again but she suddenly raised her voice to talk.
Seeing that she reverted back to this weird atmosphere, Kirika was a little worried about her. Suddenly entering this awkward atmosphere, she wasn't sure how to deal with it.
「What kind of...... relationship do you have with Tooru-chi?」
Hearing such an unexpected question, she leaned backwards and the sudden explosive force made her raven black hair soar up and flutter grandly.
「R, rrrelationship...... w-what's that. what do you mean....?」
「Ah, un. Well, how should I put it...... I mean the literal meaning?」
When they were former classmates in the previous world, they barely interacted with each other, until they met again in this world...
And...... and now.
When Kirika remembered the things she did "that thing and this thing", heat rises to the top of her head a like a boiler that was being cooked, and her whole body and her skin was turning a deep crimson color.
(Uuuuuuuuuu~~~~, w-why am I remembering about the things we did just then......?!)
As expected, maybe she heard my voice go through the other side of the door?...... thinking about this, her heart was pounding out of her chest and the Princess Knight who was her former classmate was darting her eyes in a fluster.
In truth, it was actually more than just hearing their voices, but it's probably best that she didn't know.
Riruna was faintly blushing as she sat on the floor grasping her own knees, she looked towards Kirika with glittering eyes. (Explanation Art: What is the Physical Education Sitting Pose?)
(Uu, uuuu......i-if I don't say something it will become even more suspicious, errr, ummm.....!)
Her heart felt like it was going to jump out of her chest and she took a deep breath which managed to calm her down, but her mind was completely blank.
Even if she wanted to ask Tooru's help in the matter, he was currently in apart from her and he was completely preoccupied with Nana at the moment. She couldn't depend on her usual life boat.
「I....I don't really know」
Avoiding looking Riruna straight in the eyes, Kirika was finally able to squeeze out a few words, it was quite the honest remark.
「I still don't know..... that much about him, about Tooru-kun...... There are plenty of times in which I don't even know how I should approach him, there's always a lot of things that I want to say but I can't convey them properly and.....」
Not being able to anticipate that she would be driven into a corner like this, Kirika started to utter all her emotions up until now...... The things she has never told anyone, were being honestly spoken without thinking twice about it.
Although she was curious about the details, the response was just so unexpected, that it was Riruna's turn to stare in amazement.
「That's why I can't really decide what kind of relationship we have either, so much so that I wish he would just tell me himself....... Ahh mouu, what am I saying right now.....?!」
Looking down and covering her face with both her hands, the Princess Knight slides down on the wall as she sat down.
Straight from the space between her beautiful black hair that hangs down to the floor, a red and cute earlobe could be seen peeking through.
「.....Ahah. I'm kind of relieved」
When Kirika looks up, Riruna's expression changes radically and she returned to her usual carefree smile.
Standing up and stretching, the Gal Yuusha's full breasts which were wrapped under her blouse shook healthily.
「No....Well at the very least, your answer wasn't the worst possible scenario」
「Ah~ unn, that was just me talking to myself. I'm sorry okay, Hime-chi, for asking you such a weird thing」
Oruto guessed that Tooru may be the evil magician known as the Slavemancer.
Witnessing her two classmates have sex was such a big shock to her and so in order to deny the possibility, she thought that she should first clearly ask the current relationship between the two.
(......Yeah. At the very least, judging from how Hime-chi is reacting, she was not being forced into it and I feel like Tooru-chi is not the Slavemancer because of this...... Hm? but if that's the case then....)
Does that mean that the intense act they were doing a little while ago, is actually the norm for these two people? Something that they did on a daily basis......?
Thinking that this was the truth, the shock of the realization caused the Gal Yuusha's heart to hasten and beat irregularly.
At the same time, her actions of peeping at them doing it was replayed in her mind, at that time Kirika looked like a completely different girl, she had this seductive, melted expression on her face.
She was just about to stand up and approach Kirika, but this time it was Riruna's turn to slump into the floor covering her bright red face.
「Ta-Tachibana-san?...... Umm? H-helloo?」
Shaking her side tail hair as it trembled, she was just staying silent giving this mysterious reaction. She was exactly like Kirika was a moment ago when she panicked and didn't know what to do.
I was staring at Oruto who was on the metal pedestal next to the huge armored body.
The jewel attached to the hilt of the sword was blinking from time to time (Apparently this is how Oruto is able to gain access). Staring at this scene like an idiot in silence was not really what I wanted, but it was a necessary action for me to take.
Well, I was trying to convey the meaning of "I'm watching over you" as well as giving it a little pressure.
(However, although this is just my assumption, I feel like this fellow also has an above average resistance against magic....)
Back at the cafe, when I was testing my Enslavement magic on Riruna I also slightly gave off my magical energy to test it on Oruto, and I had already confirmed that it had some form of magical resistance (Is this perhaps also part of his many functions?).
As one would expect, this fellow didn't have the magical reflection ability which would have been the worst case scenario. As long as it had some form of magical resistance, if I for example tried to use my ability on it right now, it would realize that something strange was going on.
Lastly..... if it managed to realize that my true form is that of the Slavemancer, it will immediately warn Riruna and we would enter a forced battle state. In the current circumstances, I would like to avoid that possibility.
(.....Well, at least I know that this troublesome fellow was still able to be subject to my Enslavement magic, and that's still better than nothing. Well, I don't really want to attempt it until I am able to find the method to be able to capture Riruna as well though...)
Whilst I was thinking about these type of things, strangely enough it was Oruto who broke off our long period of silence.
〈Tooru-san. The woman behind you...... She is the same as Riruna isn't she? A person from another world〉
「Yeah, that's right. But what are you suddenly asking this now?」
〈No. I just started to wonder what kind of world you guys came from〉
It spoke as if it had no skills in socializing and it certainly did not beat around the bush.... That was the kind of feeling I got.
To think that this fellow would try to chat with me, how unusual.
「In regards to Earth, have you not heard anything from Tachibana-san?」
〈Although I have asked her about it previously..... Riruna's explanations are a little big biased and there are plenty of irrelevant things. For instance, I cannot understand in the slightest at the standard term "Cute" she uses to classify things〉
「Hahah, ah that really sounds like a plausible issue」
I burst out into laughter spontaneously.
I see, this hard-headed magical sword, being together and experiencing first hand her nonchalant "my pace" manner of approaching things, has really made it rack its brains.
Sharing the same weak point of being bad at communicating and dealing with her, I let my guard down against Oruto and I built a slight sense of affinity with this sword.
〈Moreover, it would seem that Riruna did not really have a huge attachment to her previous world so〉
「After all, she has that kind of "face forward and give your everything" type of personality..... So she could probably get used to living in any kind of place」
Considering that she has the Hero job class, she is also very motivated to help those in need.
Besides, she's one of those people that are always out of the norm, if by some chance she really wanted to return home to her previous world, I have this feeling that she would overcome the dimensional world barriers and she might just forcibly be able to cross back to her own world, that's the kind of image I get from her.
〈Well then, how about you and that lady over there?〉
〈Just as a hypothetical question......... But if it is possible for you to return to your previous world, would you want to do so?〉
What a strange question.
After take a short glimpse at Kirika who was crouching down against the wall and for some reason covering her face, I hardly paused to think before giving an immediate reply.
「I can't speak for Kirika. However, at least for me, I have never thought about returning」
In a literal sense, I was killed in that bus accident and I was reborn.
No..... My former life, I wouldn't even consider that a proper "life". Right now I am convinced of this fact.
Therefore, returning to that kind of incomplete and fruitless life, to me that is pretty much the same as dying. Even if I was begged, I wouldn't return.
〈Is that so......〉
「So, why did you ask me such a question?」
〈No..... I was just a little curious. There is no deep meaning behind it〉
Even this fellow has some surprising human qualities.
Somehow, I was reminded of how Nana would often react to things.
〈......Soon the body will be primed for activation. It is likely that it will be able to operate as a spare body without any problems〉
「Is that so? Thank you」
In a slightly soft tone of voice, I gave Oruto my thanks.
At last...... At long last, with this Nana can be revived.
And finally I will be able to return my debt to her and be rid of this suffocating chain that binds me. Moreover, I will be able to live even more freely than before. Within this new world.
「With that being said..... This new body looks really hard; would I be able to enter it......?」
〈What, do you mean?〉
「No, I'm just talking to myself... Don't worry about it」
Well a promise is a promise.
In her last moments, Nana told me that she wanted to try having sex with me, and I responded that even if I had to make a hole appear by force I would do it in order to satisfy her wishes.
Revitalizing my determination to do as such, I waved at my two classmates on the side of the wall.
「Oii, Kirika, Tachibana-san! The preparations are almost complete, so just in case anything happens come over here--」
An accident occurred...... in that exact moment.
An abnormal noise and vibration.
For some reason, the armored golems who were lined up against the wall started to get up one after another. Their huge figures were standing on the floor and they actually stood up!
Their heads and arms may be facing the wrong direction but they were still moving erratically nonetheless, seeing their figures, I could sense that none of these things had even a fragment of the biological warmth that Nana possessed.
It almost seemed like a crowd of zombies were creeping out from the graveyard one after another.
「Tooru-kun!? What's going on.....?!」
「Oruto, What's happening!?」
Both Kirika and Riruna ran up towards me with agile movements totally unlike the stiff armored golems, they stood in front of me blocking the path in case an armored golem was to attack us.
「Oruto.....Don't tell me, this is your doing!?」
By reflex, I tried to reach for the magical sword in front of me with my hand.
However, immediately before reaching it, we experienced another accident before our very eyes.
Without knowing how, the sword's long and narrow body started to implode on itself, crushing itself from the inside!
Worrying about her partner's condition, Riruna raised a tragic scream.
However, in the moment that I was protecting myself from the scattered sword fragments flying about, I saw it. I saw the truth.
I saw that the jewel core embedded within the sword fly out and when it was brightly shining..... I saw it's "true form".
「That is!? Don't tell......me.....!」
The green jewel globe that was floating in the air by a mysterious power was way too similar.
Even though the colors were different, it highly resembled the red jewel globe which I have been zealously protecting; Nana's core.
〈Allow me to give my thanks..... Riruna, and also Tooru-san. At long last, I will be able to accomplish my original mission〉
While it was still speaking in a monotone voice, I could sense that it was feeling satisfied with itself. The floating green globe slowly descended and settled itself.
It settled into the body of the Armored Golem it has been prepping all this time, right into the head.
「Is that.... What this is.....?!」
I finally realized it.
I finally realized who it was that it was trying to prep the armored golem for.
In order to revive itself, it needed itself a new body, it wasn't doing this for Nana.
Riruna's partner all this time had not been some mere sword, or some scabbard as you would call it. It was in fact one of the ancient relics that had been lost in time.
And, now everything made sense.
Why Oruto volunteered to search the interior of this ancient ruins.
Why Oruto was able to operate the teleportation device, the locked doors and was able to prep the bodies for activation.
And lastly, why it was necessary for Oruto to use such forcible means to reach this exact place.
「Are you really, Oru.....to!?」
〈I believe I've told you before, Riruna. That my name was a mere abbreviation of my original alias〉
The gigantic figure which looked like Nana's previous body slowly stood up before my eyes.
But, the jewel component which was fitted inside of its mono-eye was shining with this eerie light.
〈I am the same type of being as the one you call "Nana"-- I am one of the backup alternatives. I will accomplish the mission, which she was supposed to accomplish originally〉