Ch. 177: The Church of Ligaleo
It was the next morning.
After eating breakfast at the Cries of the Stars Inn, we departed for the Church of this city.
Cyril: “Ahhー wow…that soup. Henry, you made it for me before, but that was so good!”
Henry: “Oh, that. Yeah, it’s healthy to eat, and even helps with hangovers…..well, not that I drank that much last night.”
Mrs. Patricia made a special soup that had herbs from her garden and root vegetables finely diced. At the Cries of the Stars Inn, that soup was served at least every other day.
The Inn only served the soup to its inn guests, but it could be considered a Ligaleo attraction.
And when we went to the Salaiz Republic to go see Yuu, I remember making the same soup for Cyril who spent all night drinking with Yuu. It wasn’t that long ago, and yet the memory felt nostalgic.
“Well, to tell you the truth, we’re a little tired of it. But if she were to stop making it, I think I’ll miss it a lot.”
Henry: “Ohー that’s right. It’s been a while for me, so I enjoyed it, but I felt the same way back then.”
I nod in agreement to the Adventurer’s remarks next to me.
Henry: “What about you, Vincent?” Vincent: “Same as Harold.”
“But I like that soupー”
And Vincent’s Party who is walking with us also comment.
The Party was composed of Harold, Vincent, and Ruby. The only one not here is Bianca because it was that time of month for her. The four together made the Party, [Star Nights].
They also stay at the Cries of the Stars inn, and we have been friends before I left Ligaleo.
Cyril: “Oh, yes. Miss Ruby, thank you so much for yesterday. Please teach me more about this town whenever you are free.”
Ruby: “Sureー even in a town like this, there’s still fun things for us women. Like clothes or good dessert cafes. It’s a little pricey, but there’s still a lot of places you can try.”
…….last night, Cyril was pulled in to sit with Yuu and Ruby’s table.
And from there, they quickly became very good friends.
I watched the two chat, and I was relieved to see Cyril make friends here.
And Harold also smiled as he looked up on the two ーー well, more accurately, at Cyril.
Harold: “But I never would have thought that you would get such a cute girlfriend, Henry. When you were leaving here, you were so out of it. I was seriously worried for you.” Henry: “........hey, I know I was lucky to run into her, but even without that, I would have been living out my life to the fullest in retirement.”
And maybe……just maybe! I may have been completely burnt out and doing absolutely nothing, but there’s no way, I would have stayed like that. I could never imagine myself falling that low.
Vincent: “C’mon. At least we didn’t have to see one of our comrades in a sad state. We should be happy for him.”
Henry: “Hey, Vincent. Who’re you calling sad?” Vincent: “Say that to me again after you spend some time recalling those days.”
I quickly break eye contact and look away.
……no, it’s not like that. Yes, it’s true that after defeating Gilverte, I just sat in my room looking at nothing until the next expedition started. There was a time like that, but that’s…..different. Don’t ask me how it was different.
Jend: “Ummm, Mr….Vincent? What do you mean…?” Vincent: “It’s Jend, right? All I’m saying is that this man has also gone through trials and tribulations. Just that. I’m not going to embarrass him in front of his Party, so act like you heard nothing.” But aren’t you already saying way more than you should?!
Teo: “Mr. Henry, you do not have to mind. People go through all kinds of periods in their lives.”
Henry: “........hey, Miss Teo. Why do I get the feeling that you know a whole lot more about me than you should?” Teo: “? When Sister Ageha came to Flowtier, she told me everything.”
THAT. IDIOT! Opening her big mouthーー! Wait!! From that long ago?!
Ageha left this morning saying how she was going to take down something big and ran off. I swore to myself that I would get her back tonight.
Ferris: “Ohー well, Henry? I’ve gotten some training and knowledge on emotional illnesses. If you ever need someone to talk to…..” Henry: “.......Ferris, you don’t have to worry about me like that.”
Besides, I’m not mentally breaking down!
Harold: “Oh, picking on Henry’s so fun, but we’re already here.”
I caught all his words, but I let it go and pointed to the building before us.
Cyril: “Wow…….it’s huge.”
Jend: “Yeah, and look. It’s heavily secured.”
Both Cyril and Jend gasp in awe.
…….the building had a very sturdy wall built around it. The Church itself is only 2 stories tall, but if you include the training grounds in the back, this is probably the largest Church in the whole continent.
It was where all of us Adventurers fighting on the frontlines gathered. The Ligaleo’s Grandes Church ーー err, at least this is one of them.
Harold: “This is the Church #7 where our Party is based. Henry was also based here back in the day.”
And everyone turned to look at me with surprise.
Jend: “........#7? You mean…..”
Henry: “There’s 9 Churches about the same size in Ligaleo.”
Harold: “You’re wrong, Henry. They built one more since you left. Now there’s 10.”
Oh, there’s more now.
This city is 60% soldiers, 30% Adventurers, and the rest make up the Knights and city folks. When I was here, we were pretty much at full capacity, so I’m not surprised to hear that they built another one.
Henry: “Well, I know it looks like a fortress, but it’s just like any other Church on the inside. C’mon, let’s goー”
And taking the lead, we all entered through the front door.
The Star Nights Party received their instructions for where to do their hunting and headed off right away, but since this was our first day, we had to go through an interview.
“Mr. Henry, it is good seeing you again.” Henry: “It is good seeing you as well, Miss Nicole.”
I was able to get a hold of Miss Nicole, a Priest who I knew very well. We all sat around a tavern table - a piece of furniture deemed essential even on the front lines - and greeted one another.
The Church is responsible for assigning areas to Adventurers. If they do not, then all the Adventurers will try to go to the areas with the best rewards. ……if that happens, that would lead to trouble, and with the Grandes Church playing a large part in the war against the Demon Kingdom, this would affect their reputation.
Even so, the assignments are based upon your skills and strength.
That’s why Adventurers who are new to Ligaleo must go through an interview with the Priest to testify to their level of strength.
……..and there are those who try to make themselves look weaker to get easier assignments and others who try to make themselves sound stronger to go to dangerous areas too.
But the latter would lead to the death of a precious recruit, so if push comes to shove, they would have the recruit show their ability on the training field.
And sometimes, it would turn out like the fairy tales. The Adventurer would fight with the Examiner, and although the Adventurer is a newbie, they would win and show off their strength……..kind of scenario.
Nicole: “I know your strength very well, Mr. Henry…….but from your eyes, how strong is your Party?”
But for us, that is not necessary.
I have fought here for 10 years, so I can accurately judge what my Party can handle. And she also trusts that I will report honestly and objectively.
I thought about this question a lot, so I was able to answer immediately.
Henry: “Well, I think we could handle the first line, and we might be able to survive a [Foreign Campaign].
But going on a Foreign Campaign on your very first assignment would be way too much. I still need to get re-adjusted to working here too.
Henry: “Just to be careful, I think we should spend about 1 week on the 3rd lines, and then gradually move up. Would that work?” Nicole: “I think that would work just fine.”
Miss Nicole was nodding with approval at my suggestion.
Henry: “Oh, that reminds me. Before we arrived, I think I already explained, but you guys know about the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd lines as well as a Foreign Campaign, right?” Cyril: “Yes! But I don’t remember it well, so please explain one more time!”
And Cyril energetically announced that she did not know the answer.
The others seem to be confident in their knowledge……..ugh, I should not have explained while Cyril ate dessert.
After letting out a deep sigh, I began explaining.
Henry: “The Demonic Creatures will generally come from the direction of the Demon Kingdom. And so in Ligaleo, we form 3 lines to fight against them.”
The first line of defense faces the initial wave from the Demon Kingdom. This is where the fighting is the most intense.
The Demonic Creatures that get past the 1st line of defense will be held off by the 2nd.
Finally, the 3rd line of defense takes care of the Demonic Creatures that spawn outside of the city.
And the different nations’ military and Knights Orders contribute to this formation, and this is how Ligaleo’s defense strategy.
And outside of this, there is a Foreign Campaign group that invades the Demon Kingdom’s territory, takes out creatures, and lessens the pressure against the 1st line. This is the elite of the elites. Sir Ezeal goes on solo missions all the time.
Cyril: “Thank you very much. I understand better now. But what is the 3rd line like?”
Henry: “It would be faster to show you. The density of corrupted Magic is thick in this area, so you would see an Upper-Tier creature appear even near the city. There will be plenty of Lower and Mid-Tier too. Corrupted Magic Type Areas would spawn occasionally too.”
Yeah, thinking about it, it’s a super-dangerous place to live. But in Ligaleo, it’s lukewarm compared to the rest.
Jend: “Ha, well, we’ll be out on 1st lines in no time. We’re more than capable.”
Ferris: “Yeah, and if you get hurt, leave the healing to me. We can be a little reckless as we push forward.”
Jend and Ferris were pumped up, but……let’s see if their motivation stays this high after seeing what it’s like outside the city gates.
As I looked forward to see what would happen, Miss Nicole interrupted.
Nicole: “Oh, yes. If you would like to volunteer for the 1st lines or Foreign Campaigns, just let me know. We always need people there.”
Henry: “I know, Miss Nicole. ……I still remember being sent out on the 1st lines for 3 days and 3 nights without any breaks or sleep.”
I stare disgruntled at her recalling the hellish memory.
While I was here, I had no other perspective, but looking back now, that was as close to a death sentence as you can be.
Nicole: “Yes, we are indebted for your work then. If it wasn’t for you, Henry, the casualty count of Adventurers would have been much higher.”
But the Priests were used to these kinds of complaints with assignments. She brushed off the glare and was unfazed.
Nicole: “Fortunately, because of the Magecraft Barriers working so well, we no longer need to do those forced marches to regain ground. We are extremely grateful to the girl who established the method of removing effects of Corrupted Magic against Magecraft Equipment.”
In the back of my mind, I fretted over how Cyril or Teo would be able to survive those insane missions, but……that’s……wow.
When I get back to my room, I need to say a prayer of thanks to Lana’s photo.
Henry: “.....that was inn keeper’s daughter living in Flowtier.”
Nicole: “Really?! Could you….actually, I would love to inquire for more details, but duty calls. Maybe another time.”
Henry: “Yes, so Miss Nicole. Where in the 3rd Lines should we go?” Nicole: “Let’s see…..”
Miss Nicole picked up her notebook to flip through the pages.
The area monitored by the #7 Church is determined by the Church Summit.
Though all varieties of Demonic Creatures spawn around Ligaleo, there is somewhat of a trait you can follow. Thus, each Church considers the compatibility of their Adventurers to certain areas before receiving the assignment.
……..but those traits only last for about a week, so the Church Summit occurs weekly. The Corrupted Magic in this area is really insane.
Nicole: “So then, it is your first day, so this area around the southern gate……please go here.”
Henry: “Yes ma’am.”
And receiving our assignmentー
ーーour very first adventure in Ligaleo was about to begin.
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 11 Preparation for the Journey
Ch. 119 - 135
Book 12 The Mages Tower
Ch. 136 - 155
Book 13 - Before Departure
Ch. 156 - 171
Book 14 - Ligaleo
Ch. 172 - 184