"That name, that race. Don't tell me you're ......'
'...... what are you talking about?'
ãThe golden knight must have mistaken me for someone else, because he stood up and put his hand on the hilt of his sword, letting the relatively loose atmosphere of the past dissipate.
ãThe air trembles with spirit. My cheeks are chattering. This knight is strong.
ãThey stared at each other for what seemed like ten seconds.
ãIt was the knight who broke the tension that began so abruptly.
...... No, you're wrong. I'm not sure what to make of it. I thought you were his reincarnation or something.
'What?ãYou're one of us and you don't know?
ãEven if you say it in such a strange way, I don't know what I don't know.
ãI'm a player, not a pure demon, even if you call me a kindred spirit.
ãI've heard a lot of stories from Amber, so I think I know a fair amount about demons, but even Amber didn't react in any particular way when she heard my name.
ãEven the drunkard didn't change his mind.
ãSpeaking of which, I suddenly remembered something.
ãThe Siren knight I fought on my first day, Hush. I believe she also mentioned my name.
ãI'm pretty sure it was ...... "I have a strong name" ......?
I'm sure she mentioned my name too.
'Hmm?ãI think so. ...... He was strong, but there was always a demon next to him that was much stronger than him.
'A much stronger demon?
'Oh. He was as strong as a monster, so strong that even our master couldn't beat him. You must at least know his name, right?'
ãDrunkard. Is that name going to come up here?
ãI swallowed down my desire to say so and decided to go along with his story.
ãAs if I were a demon born in this world.
ãThe knight in front of me did not seem to be able to tell if I was a player or not.
ãI'm not even sure if he knows what a player is in the first place.
ãStill, if he thinks I am, that's good. That way, I might be able to get more information out of him.
'...... I know you. You're like a god to us.'
I don't know. Well, time passes differently here and there, so I don't know how much time has passed since I fought them. ...... If you don't know, that means there's a reason you shouldn't know.
'I see. Well, you're right. Thanks for the help.'
'I'm not so bad, but you're so easygoing too. Well, ask your grandparents, and they'll tell you something.
ãI thought it might be that Amber didn't tell me anything, but thinking about it, it doesn't necessarily mean that Amber knew anything.
ãI thought that Amber might not have told me anything. There is a great possibility that he actually does not know.
ãAnd at the same time, there is no doubt that ...... Shugen did not dare to say anything about this.
ãWell, I don't know when I'll see him again, but if I do, I'll ask him.
ãI don't know when I'll see him again, but if I do, I'll ask him about the demon that the drunkard must have spent time with, whose name is Sukuna like mine.
'Well, I'm not here to talk about this either, so let's get down to business.
My name is Gordo. I'm the second strongest of the twelve knights who serve the Sirens. Do you know why I'm here at ......?
You're here for the trials.
ãI answered his question without really thinking about it, with a bit of a smirk on my face.
'Well, half of that is true. But the other half is for another reason. Before we fight, it's my job to tell you about the one you have to defeat.
'The one you have to defeat: ......?
That's right. In the first place, this labyrinth is a big hole that our master drilled to invade your world, and your gods forcibly blocked the exit by holding it in the form of a gate. The hole is too big to close completely, so it can't be done that way. Even a god has a limit to his power. In this case, the gate won't break down in another three days.
ãWhat he's saying is the reason for the existence of those gates in the city. I don't know, but it seems that the gates were built by our god ......, probably the creator god, to prevent some kind of invasion.
ãIn other words, the monsters inside the gates are probably enemies who are trying to invade our world.
"Good point. Those monsters are just a defense mechanism created with the master's power as a resource. They're connected to your world, so they're only in the form of your world's monsters. Well, in the sense that it's just a defense function, we Twelve Knights are the same.
'Hmmm ...... defense function, what are you protecting?ãYou mean your master?
'No, they're only protecting one monster. Our master only sent that monster for the invasion. It's one of the master's favorite monsters, the enemy you need to defeat, as I said.
ãLet me get this straight.
ãThat gate is a hole that Gordo's master made in order to invade our world.
ãThe mook monsters in the labyrinth are a kind of defense mechanism created based on the master's power to protect the monsters he sent.
ãThe only enemy we need to defeat is that one monster.
ãI guess that's about it.
'Hmmm ......, so you came here to invade us, and now that the entrance is blocked, you're waiting for it to be broken?
'Well, that's one way to put it.
'So we just have to find the monster and kill it within three days?
'No. What you need to do is to get as many people as possible to complete the trials.
'Whoa, we're back to square one here, aren't we?
ãThe words I said with some confidence were easily denied, and I felt a little depressed.
ãIt's not my place to do this. Rin, help me.
The master knows that if he starts to invade this world, he'll close the gates. Of course, he's hidden his most prized monsters so that they can't be touched.
'Yeah, you're right.
ãI'm sure you've heard him say that his master ...... probably means the Sirens, but this isn't the first time they've invaded.
ãThey've probably been invaded many times before, and each time they've managed to be repelled.
ãNaturally, they must have known that this situation would arise, and in fact it did this time.
ãOh, I see. I just realized that.
ãWe, the players, are the ones conquering this gate as a game this time, but up until now, NPCs have had the same role.
ãAn NPC with only one life.
ãTo defeat the Sirens' most prized monster.
ãMaybe even Amber. Or the ...... melty we met at the Fierce.
But, of course, there's a price to pay for creating an alien space that no one can touch. You can't have everything with only advantages.
'In other words, there are disadvantages.
ãIn WLO, the power that can get too large a return has its own limitations.
ãThe "Hungry Wolf" is easy to understand. It's a type that has clear advantages and disadvantages.
ãThe ãJudgmentã that Rin-chan used also had a certain amount of consumption and conditions imposed on its activation.
ãOf course, not everything can be restricted.
ãFor example, equipment, if it is not cursed, can only enjoy its benefits.
ãIt does not matter how powerful the equipment is, as long as it is made within the limits of the material resources.
ãMy "Moon Camellia Solo" is a good example. This hair ornament, which embodies the spirit of the Named, has the broken performance of 'halving SP consumption', yet it has no demerits.
ãOn the other hand, if you add some kind of demerit to an otherwise insignificant material, it may have a greater effect than the resource.
ãThat is why the cursed equipment is able to show powerful performance because it has such a heightened ability value.
ãAnyway, it seems that this law is also applied to Sirens who live in a different place from this world.
ãI guess they are subjected to the same laws as soon as they enter this world.
The disadvantage that the master put is that the other space will be released just before the gate is destroyed. However, there's one more condition to reach that other space. That is--
"So you're saying I have to break through the trials.
I'm sure you've heard of it, but I've never heard of it.
ãWith the release just a few years ago, few players would have been able to reach it. In addition, if you can't fight without going through the ordeal, it seems like a double restriction and not a restraint.
ãHowever, if you are sure that you can go to the monster's bed if you go through the ordeal, is it a valid restriction ......?
ãBut this solves a lot of the mystery.
ãThere are still a lot of things I don't understand, and a lot of questions I want to ask.
ãUnfortunately, it looks like he's about to reach his limit.
"Ha-ha-ha, you and I seem to hit it off. You know me so well.
'Cause I'm easy to understand. ......'
'...... In case you're wondering, there are several types of trials you can choose from. I'm not going to be able to do that. I'm sure you'll be happy to hear that.
ãGordo pulls out the large sword on his back with one hand.
ãThe hilt of the sword is golden, but the sword itself is blue.
ãThe pressure is thin for an orichalcone ....... My instincts told me it was probably a different metal.
"After all, I'm a brainiac. It's easier to talk with my fists. I'd rather go toe-to-toe with you than anything else.
'Hmm. Well, I knew that would happen.
ãHe pulls out the Kagewi on his back and sets his eyes on it.
ãYou can't be too careful. You'll be able to find a lot of people who are interested in this sort of thing.
'There are more questions I want to ask, but ...... let's do it for now.
'Yeah, I'll answer when I'm alive.
ãNo more words were exchanged.
ãAfter a breath, the sword and the metal rod crossed.
ãWith a hard metallic sound, the ordeal began.