Chapter 081 – Black Silhouette
I, who had been driven out of the country, rendezvoused with Snow and the others and left the country on the airship.
Though I said ‘out of the country’, it was just next to the Enol national borders.
For now, we complied with the kidnappers’ demands and went outside of the country.
After disembarking the airship, we stood on standby, just barely outside of the border.
Fully equipped, of course.
Meiya sighed in discontent.
“But, to really drive Lute-sama out, there has to be a limit to being rude!”
“Well, his daughter did become a hostage. It can’t be helped if he wants to be careful. Also, we’re going to help Luna, aren’t we?”
“Speaking of helping, Lute-kun, did you make sure to get Luna-chan’s belonging from Lyss-chan?”
“Of course, I didn’t forget it!”
I answered Snow’s question by taking a handkerchief out of my pocket.
“Next is whether that guy will come here as instructed or not, but …. Chrisse-chan, try calling him.”
Chrisse temporarily let go of the mini blackboard and pressed one hand to her lips, which were pouted in the shape of a circle.
She inhaled deeply.
“Fushuuuuu”, she whistled.
A few seconds later, the Saber Wolf that Luna usually rode on, Lexy, appeared from behind the vegetation. It seemed that he had followed us as planned.
Chrisse was not startled and ruffled Lexy’s chin.
I proposed using the Saber Wolf Lexy like a police dog and looking for Luna.
A dog’s sense of smell far outstrips a human’s.
It’s a thousand or ten thousand times sharper than a human’s.
A Saber Wolf’s is even higher than that.
I remembered learning, on the internet and television, about the use of that sense of smell to look for people and drugs, and even in medicine they studied ways to discover cancer by using a dog’s sense of smell.
Incidentally, in my previous life in America, there were special units that used dog’s sense of smell to discover explosives―known as explosives detecting dog units. Secret services, customs houses, the national park police, the army, and a lot of civilian police organizations depended on a dog’s sense of smell to find bombs hidden by terrorists, or criminal who took delight in seeing people’s reactions to their crime.
This unit was formed in the year 1975.
There were 30 dog and trainer teams, and their assigned jobs were 80% searching for explosives and 20% patrol duty.
Training was done in the Secret Service Canine Training school in Beltsville Maryland, and took 20 to 26 weeks.
The contents of the training included suspect pursuit training and passing through obstacles like stairs or windows, as well as training to discern 13 kinds of explosives, including RDX and Semtex, by smell.
Drug-sniffing dogs were trained to snap at and shake suspicious people, but explosive detecting dogs were trained to sit when they sniffed out an object that might be an explosive.
If a dog snapped at or shook an explosive, they were liable to explode.
Those explosive-detecting dogs had more than a 75% percent probability of detecting plastic explosives.
It wasn’t 100%, but it was better than not being able to detect anything.
Also, the explosive-detecting dogs were no more than just one part of the bomb discovery system.
To return to the story — I put the handkerchief full of Luna’s scent near Lexy’s nose.
“Please Lexy. Your master’s life depends on your hard work.”
After lifting its face from the handkerchief, he started off towards the Enol border.
“Meiya, prepare the airship so it can go at any time.”
“Understood! Lute-sama, everyone, may luck be in your favor!”
I raised my hand to answer Meiya and ran towards Enol.
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――Third person perspective――
Late at night, three days after Lute and the others left the country.
The perimeter of the barrier stone was lit with magic and was defended 24 hours by up to 50 soldiers.
The condition for a soldier to be assigned to defend the barrier stone was being at least B-class magician.
Since it was such a position of honor even within Woodcastle, not even one of the soldiers at work yawned, even though it was late at night.
They possessed that much pride in the job of defending the barrier stone.
Which is exactly why they were shocked.
About 50 soldiers, magicians of rank B and above, had continued to monitor the surroundings without any slips.
Yet, there was one completely black silhouette standing still in front of the barrier stone, touching it with their hand.
It was wearing an overcoat that completely covered their head.
The pants, gloves, boots, and mask hiding their face did not have even one air hole.
It looked like a human shape cut right out of the night sky.
Thanks to that, one could not see whether they were male or female.
“You bastard! What are you doing!”
“Seize them right away, get them off the barrier stone!”
However, nobody could touch the black person.
The reason was because the 50 soldiers had air holes in their heads, chests, and torso.
In an instant, the 50 soldiers, magicians of B-rank and above, became corpses.
Despite the suffocating stench of blood, the black person continued touching the barrier stone without so much of a quiver.
It began with small, ripple-like oscillations.
The oscillations gradually became stronger.
If anyone were to notice, they would only see the surroundings of the barrier stone trembling, like a volcano right before an eruption.
The ground split, cracks appeared on the walls, and the trees fell.
Then finally, the pyramid-shaped barrier stone erupted powerfully, like a volcano detonating.
The fragments of the barrier stone rained on the black silhouette like a shower, but the person concerned paid it no mind at all.
There was no sense of accomplishment for hard work, nor satisfaction for the result of using their own power. Only nonchalance, for finishing the work that one needed to do.
Over the black silhouette’s head, more than an armful of barrier stone fragments rained down.
The fragments rained down to the ground, but the black silhouette wasn’t there.
Like a nightmare, a monster from a ghost story, the black silhouette disappeared from that place.
The gates of hell had opened.
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She was gazing vacantly at the steam of the scented tea Shia had prepared.
“I wonder if Lute-san and the others have found where Luna is yet …”
“It’s going to be fine, young master and the others will definitely help Luna-sama out.”
“That’s right, isn’t it. As Lute-san’s companion, I should believe in them.”
Lyss talked to convince herself in order to calm herself down.
“” !? “”
There was a crash that resounded in her gut.
The sudden noise caused the maid Shia to lower her posture, readying herself to defend her master Lyss, no matter what may have happened.
The crashing stopped, but…
There was a ringing neigh.
Lyss broke into cold sweat in large quantities.
“It couldn’t be, has the barrier stone been destroyed already!?”
She expected it to happen in a few days, but this is too fast!
She stood up from her chair and ran towards her room door.
“P, princess, this way!”
“I’m going to go see the barrier stone. Shia … will you come along with me?”
The barrier stone had probably been destroyed, like the record book said.
What happened next would be a battleground filled with multiple [Basilisk] and [Dragoon]; it would be hell. It would normally be suicide to head for such a place, at least it wouldn’t be hard for her to get away alone right now.
However, Shia smiled without panicking.
“Of course. I am your guard maid, princess, and also young master’s companion.”
“Thank you, Shia.”
As Lyss thanked her personal guard maid, she ran to the backyard, towards the barrier stone, in her royal dress. Shia continued behind her, still wearing her maid clothes.
With that, a raid-boss-like person has appeared!
Aside from that, there will be fateful encounters, subplots discovered, new foreshadowing and such, so please enjoy!