The scene shifts outside the dungeon.
While Earth and the others were healing from their battle wounds, the surface world was in utter chaos.
This was especially apparent in the Holy Kingdom, Hà Giang Empire, and Magic City Endymion.
The masses, cowering in fear of the threat posed by the Demon King Agil, flooded into the holy city and imperial capital, pleading for protection.
Their momentum could now be called a riot.
The nobles and knights of the nations were at a loss trying to calm them.
If this hand-wringing continued, the functionalities of the countries would eventually cease. The situation had become that grave.
Magic City Endymion had also suffered immense physical damage purely from monsters.
The hordes of monsters that Agil had unleashed as scouts –
Their attacks had caused terrible damage to the city.
The city elders and guild masters requested aid from the Borhelic Kingdom.
Somehow the country was still maintaining its functions in this state.
But amidst the changing circumstances, some remained unchanged.
「Hmm, the chaos seems to have peaked」
He mutters as he casually eats a meal at the guild, gazing out at the scenery.
The hero who holds the highest S-Rank as an adventurer, Dragon Slayer Wald Nored.
No matter how chaotic the surface world has become, he has little interest.
「The profitable requests have gone down too… What to do…」
Rather, such things are less important to him than his own income.
Though the Adventurer’s Guild is an organization independent of nations, its ties to each country are strong.
The effects of this turmoil are unavoidably being felt.
The number of requests has visibly decreased.
It is a fact that due to the influence of the Demon King Agil, monsters are becoming more active and damage is increasing, but adventurers are also running businesses. If they can’t get paid, few would willingly go on perilous subjugation quests.
Above all, in this situation where sighting information about monsters is confused and normal functions have halted, the guild can’t even issue subjugation requests.
Wald himself is aware that he is a battle junkie, but to fight he needs preparation, and to prepare he needs money. As long as humans are economic animals, this problem is unavoidable.
「But Wald, if you’re at your level, you shouldn’t have money troubles, right?」
The one posing this question is the brunette female adventurer Farley sitting across from Wald.
For those wondering who she is, in short she’s a female acquaintance of Wald’s with little presence. That is all.
「Well, I do have savings.」
In reality, Wald was not particularly struggling financially.
He had just muttered it on a whim.
His real concerns lay elsewhere.
「And Beldi sure is late…」
「Oh, that’s right. Wasn’t she going to visit your teacher, Linwu? The one who suddenly disappeared?」
When Farley asks to confirm, Wald nods.
「That’s right. I thought he’d vanished into thin air, but then he was found on the brink of death. Honestly, what a troublesome master.」
Wald says with his arms crossed, recalling the events of that time.
The massive monster that had suddenly appeared in the Eld Mines.
And then the great battle against monsters afterward in the Ford Desert.
The scale of that fight was tremendous – more than enough to make people think it was the end of the world.
（But really, what in the world was that battle…?）
When he had caught up with Beldi in the Ford Desert, the battle was already over.
Moreover, for some reason the “Saintess of the Holy Ark” and “Gale” and “Water Princess” from the Holy Kingdom were there with her too.
When he pressed her for an explanation, she just brushed him off.
After that as well, no matter how much he grilled Beldi, her only response was “Sorry, but I can’t say right now.”
（The fact that she says “right now” means she’ll probably tell me eventually, but still, it’s so frustrating not knowing…）
Beldi had been acting strange ever since that battle.
She would press her left eye while muttering “Calm down… My left eye…” and things like “Stop it, Gungnir… Don’t unleash your power in a place like this…!” while desperately trying to restrain her spear.
…Honestly, it was a little painful to watch.
（She didn’t used to be like that…did she?）
Well, it’s true everyone has ‘that phase’ at some point, but isn’t it odd for a grown woman to do that sort of thing openly without regard for appearances?
For some reason, the taste of the tea in his mouth felt melancholy.
（And right after that, Master was found.）
Their master – the discovery of the Silver Demon Linwu Sousei happened right after that.
When he and Beldi returned to the guild in the imperial capital, a report came in that Linwu had been found on the surface of Fáfnir.
And what’s more, he was in a tattered state as though he were on the verge of death.
Naturally, Wald grilled Linwu on what had happened.
According to the man himself, he had settled an old score, but didn’t provide any details.
Currently he is hospitalized in a medical facility in the imperial capital.
（To push that master to such extremes…just who in the world could it be, I wonder…?）
Even from Wald’s perspective, his master Linwu’s strength was unfathomable.
Additionally, he had the unique magics inherent to the demon tribe.
In a one-on-one fight, even Wald activating his Dragon Slayer ability probably wouldn’t be able to win.
（The only ones who could properly fight that monster of a master are probably the “Thunder Slash” from Wano Country…or that witch’s knight, Rugios.）
Twisting his face in irritation for a moment, a thought came to Wald.
（Or could it be…no way he got in a fight with the Demon King’s army… But still,）
Now he was recognized by the Emperor and had made a name for himself as an adventurer, but Linwu was a demon.
An ancient demon who had lived over two hundred years.
It wouldn’t be strange if he had some connection with the Demon King’s army.
Plus, when Master was found on Fáfnir, there was information about a mysterious six-armed giant being sighted.
（At the Continental Congress, there was also a six-armed giant next to the skeleton who was hostile to Rias…were they of the same group? Or the monster from back then?）
「W…Wald! What’s wrong, why did you suddenly fall silent?」
Jolted by the sudden call, Wald comes back to his senses.
Looking over, Farley is watching him with a worried expression.
「Oh, sorry about that. I was focused on my thoughts,」
「I see. …Sorry for bothering you,」
「Nah, you don’t need to apologize for that. More importantly, what should we do from here?」
Forcibly steering the topic away.
「I think it’s fine to wait until Beldi gets back, right?」
That makes sense, Wald nods and resumes his meal.
Not long after, Beldi arrived.
「Sorry to keep you waiting, you two.」
「No problem. We just finished eating. Do you need anything, Beldi?」
Farley holds out a menu, but Beldi waves it away with her hand.
「I already ate lightly earlier.」
「Beldi, how was Master’s condition?」
「He seems much improved. Though full recovery will still take a few more weeks it seems.」
「If only he’d just stay asleep forever…(mutter)」
「Did you say something?」
「Nothing at all.」
「So, what should we do from here? I checked the request board but doesn’t seem to be any decent requests (quests) right now. Should we just go hunt some monsters or something?」
「Let’s do that. The monsters have been getting more active lately after all.」
Ever since Earth’s decisive battle in the Ford Desert, the number of monsters on the surface had been increasing.
In addition to the scouts the Demon King’s army had unleashed, the monsters originally inhabiting this continent had also become riled up. Their numbers and quality were incomparable to the past.
The damage to humans was only increasing.
「Um, then while you two are out subjugating, I’ll go shopping to stock up.」
Saying that, Farley stands up.
「Huh? You’re not coming with us?」
「Don’t be stupid. There’s no way I could keep up with you two fighting.」
Though now semi-retired, Farley was a C-Rank adventurer.
There was no way someone of her level could join the adventures of two top S-Rank adventurers.
She’d die just from the aftershocks of battle.
During the fight in the imperial capital she had yelled at Beldi to protect herself, but that situation was different than this.
「Plus, there’s a place I’m a little curious about, so I’ll head over there.」
「A curious place? Where?」
Just out of interest, Wald asks.
「A fortune teller. They’re a bit of a talk of the town in the imperial capital right now. Supposedly really accurate.」
「Oh, fortune telling huh…」
In contrast to the intrigued Farley, Wald’s expression immediately cooled.
In the first place, this man didn’t believe in fortune telling deep down.
The future was something you carved out with your own strength. Relying on someone else’s sweet words was the height of foolishness in his view.
「I see. Then I’ll go along too.」
Both Wald and Farley look at Beldi in surprise.
「Unexpected. Didn’t know you were interested in fortune telling.」
「No, I have no particular interest.」
Hah? Wald tilts his head.
「Eh? Then why?」
「If I had to say…just a hunch. And also…」
「―――My ‘left eye’ is aching. It seems it would be best to meet this fortune teller.」
「Ah, I see…okay.」
Seeing Beldi holding her left eye like that, Wald felt conflicted.
Farley also directed a somewhat sad gaze at Beldi.
「Come to think of it, Farley. What was the name of that fortune teller?」
「The name? Um…」
Farley furrows her brow in thought, then opens her mouth.
「I think…it was ‘Torpa’.」
「Well, we’ll split up here for now. See you tonight back at the inn.」
And so Wald went to hunt monsters in the imperial capital outskirts, while Beldi and Farley went to meet the fortune teller.
This choice would greatly alter their fates.
Beldi and Farley, having parted from Wald, were walking down the imperial capital’s main street.
「Let’s see, it should have been around here.」
「Could it be that?」
Beldi points to a corner of the main street.
There a line of over twenty people had formed.
「Ah, that’s probably it. Wow, just as popular as I heard.」
「Meaning the masses are that desperate for ‘reassurance’…」
While lining up, Beldi gazes at the main street with a somewhat irritated feeling.
Unlike its former liveliness, now the imperial capital had a stagnant atmosphere hanging over it.
Everyone must be beside themselves with anxiety.
（If only I could relieve their anxiety immediately―――）
After that battle, Beldi had heard the full circumstances of this fight from Orion.
That the Demon King Agil and the monster that appeared in the Ford Desert were one and the same.
That the Demon King’s army, including its captain-class, had already suffered devastating casualties.
And that the ones who had defeated it were the Earth Dragon and Black Ant forces they had fought in the Eld Desert Large-Scale Subjugation Battle – she had been told many things.
If Beldi were to loudly proclaim all this here and now, their anxiety would surely be relieved.
The words of an S-Rank adventurer carried that much influence.
However, she couldn’t do that.
In exchange for learning the truth, she had been made to firmly promise to never divulge it.
She understood the reason as well.
（It’s different for me to yell it in the streets versus the Saint of the Holy Kingdom announcing it officially.）
While she could fight monsters, Orion’s political judgment and influence were far superior.
As was the speed at which information would disseminate. If Beldi yelled it out now, it could even disturb that flow.
There would probably be an announcement from the Holy Kingdom at the appropriate timing.
Though impatient, she just had to wait until then.
（…And that will be soon.）
Before she realized, it was almost their turn.
It was Beldi’s turn.
（What a peculiar looking fortune teller…）
Sitting down, Beldi observes the fortune teller called Torpa.
Their hood was pulled down low and the thick robe covered their whole body, so you couldn’t even tell if they were male or female. They were also garishly adorned with excessive jewelry and necklaces, and the hem of the robe was embroidered with geometric designs.
（Why did Gungnir want me to meet this fortune teller…?）
On the table variously patterned cards were arranged.
It seemed he would use these for fortune telling. Beside the table was a small box where you deposited your fee.
「Thank you for waiting. Now then, what would you like me to foretell fo――― oh?」
As Beldi sits down, the fortune teller makes a startled sound.
「What is it?」
「Ah, pardon me but, could you perhaps be the ‘World Piercer’?」
Beldi and Wald’s names had spread through the whole empire.
Since she had no intention of intentionally hiding it, she nodded.
「I knew it. Well, it’s an honor to meet you.」
「Save the flattery. Hurry up and tell my fortune.」
「Y-yes. What shall I foretell then?」
There Beldi was stumped.
The purpose had just been to meet this fortune teller, she hadn’t thought about what to have foretold.
As she was worrying over what to do, Farley came to her rescue from behind.
「Then how about your destined partner?」
「Good idea. Go with that then.」
「What is it?」
「Ah, no, I was half joking with that suggestion… Um, forget what I just―――」
As flustered Farley panics, Beldi gives a wry smile.
「I’m still a woman you know. Who my destined partner is, is something I’m curious about.」
Seeing Farley genuinely shocked, she feels a little annoyed now.
「Farley… Just how have you seen me until now?」
She reaches for Gungnir.
「Torpa! Please hurry and do the fortune telling! Quickly! Right away!」
「R-right. I understand, um… Please choose three cards from among these.」
Though feeling somewhat unsatisfied, Beldi randomly draws three cards from the proffered stack as instructed and arranges them in order.
According to the explanation, each card represents ‘time’, ‘place’, and ‘partner’ respectively.
The three cards Bellady chose were, in order: “Moon”, “Wasteland”, and “Queen”.
「Hmmm…now this is…」
The fortune teller makes a gesture as if thinking hard about something.
「What is it?」
「No, it’s a very rare pattern.」
「If literally translated, it means ‘In the near future, on the battlefield, the one who will defeat you’… It’s a very difficult combination to interpret…」
Though only the fortune teller’s mouth was visible, they seemed to be struggling quite a bit.
Meanwhile, Beldi was fixedly staring at the three cards she had chosen.
（The moon, wasteland, and queen huh… It says the one who will defeat me? Don’t make me laugh. The one I’ll defeat is you.）
Beldi smiles lightly and stands up.
「Oh, what seems to be the matter? I haven’t given the results ye―――」
「No, this is plenty.」
Saying that, Beldi drops coins into the provided box.
「…I see, you already have the ‘answer’ then.」
「Yeah. Sorry, but as I thought, fortune telling just doesn’t suit me.」
「Not at all. People each have their own path. Following the path you believe in is the right way.」
「I see. It’s a relief to hear you say that.」
With that, Beldi and Farley take their leave.
The fortune teller watched their retreating backs for a long time.
And after the two had left, the fortune teller muttered:
「As expected, she’s been chosen by that spear for a reason.」
With a faint smile, the fortune teller stows away the cards.
「Sorry but I’m closing up shop for today.」
Immediately voices of discontent rise up.
Though there were still many customers lined up, the fortune teller forcibly closes up shop and leaves the premises.
Fortune teller Torpa enters a deserted back alley.
After confirming no one was around, he takes out a card from his robe and holds it to his ear.
『―――How did it go?』
『I made contact with the ‘World Piercer’, so I’m reporting in.』
『Oh, good work. Were you able to retrieve it then?』
『No. She’s already been acknowledged by the spear as its master. In that state, retrieval would be difficult. And finding a new master now would take too much time.』
『I see. What about the other weapons?』
『It’s the same. The ‘Holy Ark’ and the ‘Magic Sword Ridill’ also seem to have acknowledged their current wielders, just like the hero’s companions from five hundred years ago.』
『…What about the Caduceus?』
『Unclear, but it’s likely in the hands of that witch now. If we were unable to retrieve it during the incident with Lord Ouronus, it naturally would have fallen into her hands.』
『Then it’s just a matter of time before she’s acknowledged as its master?』
『Yes. What are your orders―――Lord Jibru?』
『The thunderous power I granted to the hero now rests in cute little Earth’s hands. Regarding the other weapons, I want them to gather under that child if possible.』
『It should be feasible. The wielders of the ‘Holy Ark’ and ‘Gungnir’ have deep connections to the young master’s dungeon – or rather, its followers. If we guide them well, they should make it in time for the ritual. If anything, the issue lies with the ‘seats’, no?』
『There’s no problem there. All the seats have already been filled.』
『…Surely seats two, three, and five were still vacant?』
『For seat two, there are some with little power but proper temperaments – the lovely children Earth made. As for five, Frauken’s descendants live in Eld Desert, and for three – with Kshathra it should be fine.』
『…Her? Could it be, you had her sent to the young master’s dungeon for that very purpose from the start?』
『What if I did?』
『…My apologies. It was an excellent decision.』
『So I’ll have you start moving in earnest too, okay? It’s good, right – Torpa?
No – Stellar Vein head follower, Alto Parto the ‘Fool’.』
『…As you command, Lord Jibru.』
Meanwhile, around that time.
「…are you okay, Mr Pig? Want to take a short break?」
「It hasn’t even been ten minutes since we started moving though?」
「Sorry Big Sister, Boss gets motion sickness easily in the carriage…」
「Who are you calling Big Sister!? Really, having motion sickness as a noble (pig), I ask that you please restrain yourself…」
「Urp…carriages…bleh…I’m normally f-fine but…bu-buhii…it’s just nerves…uerk…」
「He threw up! This pig…!」
「…calm down, Una.」
「Oh, Dos? Isn’t it Sir Schwein who is supposed to calm down?」(rubbing the pig’s back)
「Orion! Stop making unintentional jokes!」
「Ain’t got no other way… Oi, lay Boss down on his side.」
「Shorty, you wipe the floor.」
「Fatty, care for Boss with recovery magic. The rest of you, ventilate.」
「Urp…sorry about this everyone…」
Various feelings intersected, and were about to converge in a single dungeon.
Sub29: Hey there! If you enjoy the content and want to stay updated with all the latest, make sure to follow my channel on WhatsApp! Click here to follow
February 2024 Patron: GoatBeards