“This is a Stone Root……”
“I suspect we’ll only distract you if we stay and watch, so we’ll be waiting outside instead. We’re entrusting the rest to you. Call out to us when it’s done.”
After Ashitaba finished her preparations, Herbert gave her the Stone Root he was keeping fresh through Dimension. He had deemed it more troublesome than it was worth to hide Dimension now, so he used it right in front of her.
Ashitaba didn’t react or comment on it and simply received the ingredient. Herbert appreciated her discretion.
Herbert’s group then left the mixing room of Ashitaba’s store and waited in the sales room. The store had a sign saying they were closed for business, by the way.
Rodeo had a serious expression on him ever since they started their journey back here. Herbert had an idea why he looked like that.
“You’re worried about the demons becoming more active, aren’t you?”
“You can tell? I guess I can’t hide it from you, young master…I think we must alert the whole of Lindner through Maxim-sama as soon as possible.”
“……hmm, of course.”
Herbert had knowledge about the future through the letter his future self had sent. As useful as it was, it must be stated that it was ultimately just a letter, that is to say that there was a limited amount of information it could convey.
For example, Herbert knew about the large-scale events that the demons would cause in Lindner and he could even tell the exact date they would attack the humans. However, aside from those, or rather, regarding the things his future self didn’t feel inclined to include in the letter for one reason or another, he had no clue at all.
Herbert knew things about the future, but his knowledge was spotty at best. To make matters worse, the future itself was very much uncertain. Just by avoiding his disinheritance, Herbert had changed the course of many things already.
Everything in the letter couldn’t be guaranteed to happen anymore. Especially so if Rodeo were to report to the higher ups about their encounter with the demons from earlier. It might even make the demon forces hasten their timeline.
Speaking of, the encounter earlier was an event Herbert couldn’t have predicted. If the letter was to be believed, the demons were only going to get more active. It was likely that such encounters were going to happen again.
Then, it might be better to assume that they are moving in the shadows even at this point…I don’t think I should hope for a second or third letter to come, so to fight as best I could with what I already have, I must practice using spacetime magic more and also assist everyone so that they won’t make the gravest mistakes in the most important of times.
The information in the letter was credible enough, but it wasn’t all-powerful either. It was better to think of it as a clue to how he could obtain the future he wanted.
After the encounter with the demons, Herbert recalled one line in the letter over and over again.
<<Don’t look at demons with preconceived notions. Some of them are good people.>>
Following that remark, Future Herbert listed the names and descriptions of some demons who could apparently be trusted.
But demons were the enemies of mankind. Herbert had heard as much ever since he was young. His encounter only served to strengthen that impression. So, were there really such a thing as a good demon?
Herbert was grateful to his future self and all, but his doubt on the subject was only growing stronger.
Herbert decided to put a pause on his thoughts for now and agreed with Rodeo.
“Yeah, please do so. You can go make the report while we administer the cure to Kevin.”
Even if the very act of Rodeo reporting about the demons caused them to become active sooner, their side should still be able to manage. And if they could save more human lives from the demons, that should work in their favor in the future.
“I’ve heard demons were strong, but I didn’t think they would be that strong. If I fought Ignoa by myself, I doubt I could win.”
“Me too. And Ignoa was the weaker of the two too. The one Rodeo was fighting was far stronger.”
Just the last exchange between Rodeo and the demon Disreli was enough for Herbert and Marlon to realize that.
They needed to become much, much stronger to win against a demon on par with Disreli. Otherwise, they would not be able to survive the upcoming ‘demon invasion’.
“Rodeo, let’s go train until we drop tomorrow.”
“Can I perhaps take part in that special training?”
“I don’t see why not.”
“Yeah. Of course, I’ll be focusing more on training the young master, so I’ll teach you between our breaks, is that alright?”
Herbert and Marlon understood now more than ever just how weak they were and vowed to get stronger bit by tiny bit from tomorrow onward.
I’ve grown somewhat dull too. I ought to train myself up as well, I suppose…
Rodeo thought the same as the two. In the last fight, he noticed a slight difference in how he moved in his youth and now. It might have been slight, but in battle, even the slightest miscalculations could cost one their life.
Having a family probably contributed a lot to him becoming lax, he thought. Regardless, he renewed his resolve to forge himself to be like sharp, unbreakable steel sword.
But just how strong could these three become after undergoing a training regimen that was far more intense than what they had subjected themselves to thus far? No one in the world knew the answer.
But one thing was for sure: the demons would regret this day where Herbert’s group encountered their kin.
“It’s finished! It’s finished!”
Upon hearing Ashitaba’s loud knocking, Herbert, who wore an imposing look on his face, came back to his senses and remembered something. That the bedridden patient back home was short on time and desperately waiting for Herbert to deliver the medicine. That patient was the very same person who refused to give up on Herbert and believed in him up until the end.
“Okay, now that we have all we came here for, let’s go back! Wait for us, Kevin!!”
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Thank you! At least we’re not going to get the ‘all demons are evil’ trope.