Shiniki no Campiones

By TAKEDZUKI Jou,丈月城

Shiniki no Campiones Volume 1 Chapter 3

Shiniki no Campiones Volume 1 Chapter 3

Chapter 3 - The Enemy's Name is Athena

.

1

Two days passed since the hero Achilles died in battle──

Rokuhara Ren's title was elevated from 『the passing by Japanese person』 to 『the brave warrior who saved princess Cassandra and assisted in defeating the hateful Achilles』.

Unbelievably right now he was staying in the palace of Troia as a guest.

His comrade Riona was also together with him. She also got the title of 『a witch who could transform into bird』 put on her and the people in Troia palace gave her respectful gaze.

……Of course, there was a reason for this friendly treatment.

「Ren-dono. The Greeks are attacking this city again!」

「Aaa, it would be great if we just immediately leave to somewhere at that time.」

A military commander of the palace came reporting to him, so he hurriedly went out of the city.

Greek army continued to besiege Troia even after Achilles's death. They came launching attack once more with great number.

The enemy's morale was high in order to take revenge for the hero's tragic death.

Troia army that was in the defending side was still unable to rally themselves.

There a request for Ren's assistance arrived. Although, it would be a bit too wasteful to use up the remaining Apollo's arrow here.

「Then, I'm counting on you Stella.」

「Good grief, what a hopeless man. Well, if it's this kind of crude matter, then we will be able to depend on that person somehow so……come god of war Ares, o god who is clad in bronze. If you haven't forgotten your roma──friendship with the goddess of beauty, grant me your momentary assistance!」

For some reason Stella's throat got stuck in the middle while she used her Friendship Circle.

A tank came running from the sky. Of course it wasn't the tank that was the invention of the 20th century, but a chariot pulled by two horses that was the same like the chariot Achilles used.

th

The one riding it was a war general wearing bronze helmet.

「Please Ares, can I ask you to scatter apart the insolent bunch of Greece!?」

「……You intentionally summoned the king of war that is me for that trivial matter?」

The war god Ares talked with a displeased tone.

His chariot came to a stop midair. Ren looked up to him from the ground. Stella who was sitting on Ren's shoulder was making a natural upward glance with moist eyes.

Well, there was no way Ares would be moved by that but──

「……Hmph」 Ares suddenly took off in his chariot.

The Greek army was advancing toward Troia's rampart, furthermore there were also soldiers watching for the timing to land from the Greek ships on the sea──Ares drove around his chariot above their head heroically.

*Rumble rumble rumble rumble!*

The sound of chariot wheels running through the sky sounded like thunder.

This roaring sound made the generals and soldiers of Greece to feel discomposed right away. These people who were bravely charging forward until then in order to take revenge for Achilles suddenly began to flee!

「……What, in the world is that?」

「Manipulating <ruby>fear<rt>deimos</rt></ruby> and <ruby>taking flight<rt>phobos</rt></ruby> in battlefield is also Ares's authority.」

Stella answered Ren's question. Her expression was relieved.

「He is a god who doesn't really hold interest to event outside battlefield, so it's fortunate that a scene where we can make a request to him is nicely arranged like this.」

However, Ren felt ill at ease.

It seemed that sometimes Ares would glare at his way from the chariot that was rushing through the sky with thunderous sound.

「Did I, do something to anger that god?」

「Rokuhara-san. Speaking of the war god Ares, he is one of the adulterous partners or the goddess Aphrodite.」

Riona smoothly informed him. Ren nodded in respond.

「Aaa, so that's it, I see now.」

「Stu, stupid-. That's obviously just a baseless rumor that is completely untrue!」

It was hidden by the bronze helmet, but Ares was quite handsome.

And then Stella=Aphrodite had the tendency to be『attracted by physical looks』. In any case, the army of Greek that was burning with vengeance finally retreated.

Troia's side that was in a hard fight could finally take a breather with this.

「We also get a chance to receive new present with this……wait, eh?」

Ren was surprised. Because the war god Ares who routed the enemy army was leaving to the opposite direction of the Greek army using his chariot.

「He won't even greet Stella before leaving!?」

「I told you just now, Ren. The god of war who is clad in bronze has no interest in anything other than war, so don't expect anything further after summoning him.」

「As expected form the god of the warrior tribe Scythians that rivaled the Saiyan……」

Riona commented in admiration.

Well, in any case, this was the victory of Troia's side. When they returned to the city together with the soldiers who had fought hard, the people welcomed them with loud cheers.

──OOOOOOOOOOOOO-!

──OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-!

Ren and Riona mingled with the army that formed lines and got showered fully with cheers.

「So this is the so called triumphal return. It feels really pleasant.」

「Although Rokuhara-san was simply relying upon others, you're still a person who has rendered a distinguished service and saved the city, more or less. I think you won't receive karma even if you feel good from this.」

The two of them had their achievement recognized and were put on a chariot.

The driving of the horse was left to a coachman, while the two of them had their feel of the cheers to their heart's content at the back. When they waved their hand, the gathered spectators raised their voices even louder.

.

And then a few days passed.

Ren and Riona were given private room inside the castle.

There was soft and clean bed that felt comfortable. They were also given exclusive slaves that cleaned the room and took care of the everyday necessities for them. All their need was taken care of. There was also no need to worry for food.

「This might be the first time I can have it so easy like this when coming to a world of myth.」

「It's great that we don't need to travel with only the clothes we're wearing, it's a completely different experience. Furthermore the bath here……we can enter bathtub that is filled full of hot water.」

「It's a palace after all, the servants worked hard to draw the hot water for us.」

The two of them were talking to each other with easygoing mood at a calm early afternoon with sunny weather.

They had just finished their lunch that they asked the kitchen to prepare for them at the palace's garden. By the way, here at Troia their breakfast consisted only of simple things like a single piece of bread and a bowl of oat porridge.

In return, the meal at noon and night was proper meal.

The menu that they ate today was boiled egg, goat's cheese, bread that was cut into triangle shape like cake, marinated duck meat that was grilled, almond pickled in honey, watermelon, and pomegranate juice.

「Unexpectedly even though they're in the middle of war, what's more in a battle that is like a siege, they aren't lacking in food. The streets where I went to play yesterday also had a lot of food stalls.」

Riona smoothly replied to Ren's muttering.

「In history Troia was a commercial city that became a trade center of land and sea. It's said that it was extremely prosperous. It should have abundance of foods.」

「It seems the Troia in the myth is also like that. This palace too feels like it cost a lot.」

「That's why Greece's allied army came all the way to this place to plunder it. Well, but, in Greek mythology the reason for them to fight──actually properly exist though.」

At that time, talking voices were approaching.

Those voices obviously belonged to "flirting man and woman".

『The brave brother-in-law Hector has died, will this city be alright?』

『Don't worry, beautiful Helene. Your husband it the hero who brought down the hateful Achilles, and a man who swore to protect you even at the cost of his life.』

『But Paris. When I thought that you would meet danger because of that, I……!』

Ren and Riona were──looking at each other's face and immediately hid behind a tree.

A man and a woman arrived. The man was someone familiar even for Ren. It was Prince Paris who shot down the hero Achilles at the previous battle. The big brother of the beautiful princess Cassandra.

『Anyway Helene. Right now let the both of us enjoy the delight of love together!』

『Yes! Wrap me up with your love. Come, to the bed over there……』

The flirting of the prince Paris and his wife Helene didn't look like it would settle anytime soon.

The two Japanese people left that place. After taking far enough distance, Riona suddenly spoke.

「By the way, that idiot coup……no, that couple is the cause of Trojan War.」

「Eh, is that so?」

「The peerless beauty Helene is originally the queen of Sparta, a powerful country in Greece. But she fell in love with Prince Paris who was a diplomat, then the two of them eloped until Troia. The angry countries of Greece formed an allied army. They said 『We're taking back love!』 and began a battle to take back Helene.」

「So that's the cause of Trojan War……」

「What's more Prince Paris, didn't just do elopement without thinking.」

It didn't stop there. Riona enumerated further for Ren.

「In Homer's epic poem Iliad, he refused to participate in battle because of fear. Even when he unwillingly appeared in the frontline, he willfully deserted under enemy attack. And after all that he hid the fact that he ran away, flirted with Helene, and intruded into the house of his former girlfriend saying that it's to treat his wound……」

Ren groaned 「Uuunn」.

「That prince called Paris, he was really gallant when defeating Achilles and looked wonderfully strong though──. Somehow the impression is different.」

「Actually this is a really important point for us. ……Rokuhara-san.」

Suddenly Riona brought her face closer.

Whether it was Cassandra or Helene, this was a world with so many beautiful man and woman.

Those girls──didn't only have nice facial features. They were also clad in aura that was out of this world that was unlike that of normal people. They were existence that stood out and shined brightly just by being there.

Riona also emitted the same atmosphere while speaking.

「Could it be that Rokuhara-san is feeling optimist after defeating the great hero Achilles? Perhaps you're thinking that preventing the downfall of Troia──will be manageable somehow.」

「Honestly speaking, I'm thinking that a bit.」

「Then, it's better for you to brace yourself. Achilles getting removed even before the final part of Trojan War, is within the established plot.」

「Eh, you're lying right!?」

Ren spoke in surprise.

「The main character of Trojan War is Achilles. It's that kind of story isn't it!?」

「Yes. And then, there is one more hidden main character. It's Prince Paris. He is 『the one destined to defeat the great hero Achilles』. 『Sooner or later the sun god Apollo and Prince Paris will combine their strength to consign the immortal Achilles to oblivion』. There is even that kind of prophecy.」

Riona talked apthetically. Certainly Prince Paris fired the finishing blow after Rokuhara Ren fired the arrow of Apollo.

The plot of the myth didn't really change. Ren grumbled.

「Then, it will be better if he act more "fittingly" as that kind of character. Well, I don't hate someone like him though, I feel affinity to that easygoing atmosphere of him……」

「It seems that in the myth that preceded Homer, there is verses where he is more like the orthodox heroic prince. But the poets of Greece, especially Homer, they might have edited Prince Paris into a no good man in order to make 『Achilles who meet an untimely death』 stand out more as main character……」

Riona concluded that there was that kind of theory.

「In fact, throughout the long Trojan War, sometimes Prince Paris would be awakened as though he was a completely different person and showed a power worthy of a hero. Though that awakening didn't continue for long.」

「Perhaps that's a trace of his character before the forceful change remaining in the long story here and there huh.」

「In the first place, do you think that the immortal hero is so soft that he would get killed by a no-good man who only has good look?」

「No, indeed.」

They won exactly because the arrows of Prince Paris contained enough power.

It was just as Riona said. At that time, the protective barrier from Achilles's shield was still going strong after all…….

Ren's shoulders dropped. Riona watched him with a bit of delight.

When the two of them returned to their personal room in the palace──a Trojan manservant was waiting for them.

「Cassandra-sama would love to meet with the both of you too today……」

It was a summon from the beautiful princess.

Since that day, she was unusually interested to the two strange foreigners.

.

2

The fortress city Troia that was build on top of a hill.

It was surrounded in four directions by a rampart that was built from piled up sun-dried bricks.

The height was a little less than ten meters, the length of the east and west sides was roughly 250 meter, while the length of the south and north sides was around 200 meter.

The inside of the city was relatively lively despite the continuation of the long war.

……In the end, the 『Greece allied army=pirate theory』 that Riona advocated must be correct.

They were similar to 『a mish-mash of pirate groups』, 『even if they had enough number but there was no end to their internal dispute』『the leadership of the alliance was shaky』. That was why, 『they only attacked Troia and its sphere of influence sporadically』.

Thanks to that, Troia that was in the defending side had quite the leeway──.

「After all Paris-san and Helene-san can still act like that……」

Ren muttered seriously.

He was looking down on the city from the palace balcony that was built at the highest spot in this city. Other than the palace there was only single-storied buildings, so the view was wonderfully amazing. In addition the vividly blue sea was stretching without end at the other side of the hill──.

And then, the princess of the palace that boasted the superb view was right beside him.

「Is something the matter……with Onii-sama and Helene-sama?」

「Ah. We happened to see the two of them getting along really well just now.」

「That's good then. Especially Helene-sama──with the death of Hector-niisama, her position should become really difficult after all……」

The kind Princess Cassandra said with a relieved loo.

Prince Hector. The supreme general who was murdered by Achilles before this. Riona casually cut in here.

「The noble Prince Hector always treated Helene who eloped with his little brother gentlemanly──he is one of the few people who would do so. After all she is 『the main cause of the war』 after all……」

「Aah, certainly, doing something like that isn't easy at all.」

「His character is to the degree that the later generation praised him as 『the model of knight』, leaving behind Achilles who was the victor.」

People who badly treated woman in that kind of situation──might be the majority.

That was the custom of the world of man. Especially in an environment with a lot of stress that was war. Ren deeply felt that a person who was too good for this world had died.

Cassandra smiled gently seeing the foreigner male acting like that.

「I have the feeling……that Ren-sama is a bit similar with Hector-niisama.」

「Really? I'm happy if that's the case. If you want, you can call me 「Onii-sama」──」

「Rokuhara-san. In this case you should consider it as Princess Cassandra's polite words or momentary delusion.」

「Riona, I also faintly thought that might be the case. But isn't it fine for me to dream for a bit?」

「Seed of misunderstanding and wild delusion has to be plucked right away.」

「Fufufufu. The conversation of the both of you are really fun. Are all the people of the country called Japan like the both of you?」

「As a Japanese, I believe that this person is an extremely special case.」

「I return the same exact words back to you.」

「My. Is that so!」

Cassandra laughed looking really delighted.

Her reaction was really honest and virtuous. And then, it also looked a bit exaggerated, as though she was acting brave. The sadness and feeling of loss from losing her reliable big brother──she was deliberately acting cheerful to not show those emotions on the surface.

She wanted to meet with Ren and Riona every day must be from the feeling of wanting to have a change of mood.

By the way──the ears of Cassandra, Prince Paris, and Helene were curiously pointed. All of them were said to be descended from god.

Perhaps that sacred lineage became apparent from their ears.

However, the beautiful princess of another world's "unusualness" wasn't limited to just that──.

「Say Cassandra. Don't you have times when your judgment is especially good?」

When they were getting cornered by Achilles, Cassandra showed 『foresight』 every time. Ren didn't forget it. The princess in question hesitated to answer it.

Then Riona answered in her place.

「Rokuhara-san. Princess Cassandra has precognition ability.」

「Precognition? That's amazing!」

「Attracted by the princess's beauty, the sun god Apollo granted her that ability. But when he approached her to become his lover as the compensation and the princess refused it──he placed a curse on her. It's said that anyone on earth become unable to believe Princess Cassandra's foresight……」

「My──. It's amazing that Riona-sama is aware of that!」

Princess Cassandra sent an admiring gaze at the Japanese girl.

「As expected from the person who possess the power of witch!」

「I'm honored. ……Actually, I should have noticed that right away. The story of 『Troia's Prophet』 is famous after all. But, at that time──I also got affected by Apollo's curse. Because of that I couldn't believe princess's words and even my presence of mind got disturbed……」

「That generous Apollo-san placed such curse?」

Ren tilted his head. There was still one remaining arrow that he received from Apollo.

Ren wondered if it was really true that such youthful god with radiance that was exactly like a sun would have that kind of episode that was obviously unsuited──malicious for him.

「Ah, no. That person, certainly the smell of a ruffian was coming strongly from him……」

Ren recalled Apollo's conversation with Stella and he resolved himself.

「When I meet him next time, I'll complain about Cassandra's matter.」

「No, Ren-sama. This is a punishment that is given to me because of──my imprudence.」

The princess of Troia suddenly spoke solemnly.

「With how I turned my back to his will to add me to the rank of his lovers and to appoint me as his priestess, it's only natural for a divine punishment to be passed on me. Furthermore Apollo-sama, in regard to Troia where a woman like me is living──he keep his protection for us without any change despite all that……」

Cassandra joined her arms in front of her chest and spoke what was inside her heart piously.

Now that she mentioned it, Ren recalled. The sun god Apollo, the war god Ares, and the goddess of love Aphrodite should be supporting the city of Troia.

On the other hand, the gods supporting the side of Greek if he remembered correctly were──

「Without the presence of the shining Lord Apollo, we won't be able to possibly contest the terrifying force of Greece. Because after all is said and done, at that side the beloved daughter of the great god Zeus, the princess goddess with shining eyes is present so……」

「Shining eyes──what?」

「The princess whose beautiful visage contained the radiance of star. The goddess of war Athena.」

Cassandra recited the goddess's name with awe and fear.

Athena's name was just too famous. As expected even Ren knew it.

.

「Yes, that's right. Compared to that double faced woman who pretended to be innocent, someone Achilles is just a small fry in the end.」

That guys is the weakest man even among the four heavenly kings──.

The one who cursed with such mood was Ren's "partner" Stella.

「Are you listening? The number of the force of Greece that is attacking Troia is as many as the stars. But the enemy who is the most crafty, burning with fighting spirit, and troublesome is──the goddess Athena without a doubt!」

After taking their leave from Cassandra's presence, they went to the palace's garden.

It was already night. When Ren called her name under the half-moon, Stella came out from the ground like a foam. There she mentioned Athena's name.

「That woman you see, she is the favorite of Lord Zeus. In the war this time too she put on air like a queen and spearheaded the heroes of the Greece that is the home territory of the lord. Even though she put on an act like a pure hearted virgin goddess, she made the men served her whim and got full of herself. It's really laughable.」

The mini beautiful girl with height of 30 cm laughed scornfully and sarcastically.

Her words were really full of thorn. Riona was in admiration while Ren was surprised.

「As expected from Aphrodite who is a preeminent carouser even in the world of goddess of all times and countries and the miss stoic. Their relationship is bad as a matter of course……. Even though both of them are Zeus's daughter.」

「Then, it's a sisters quarrel?」

「……Aah, we are officially sisters after a fashion aren't we.」

Stella spoke with words that contained a hidden meaning before she scornfully laughed even more. Perhaps this was Ren's first time seeing his partner expressing her antagonism until this far. Ren muttered.

「A goddess who Stella hate by this much huh. I want to try meeting her a bit.」

「You're stupid just as I thought, Ren. You've already──met her face to face.」

「Eh?」

「Speak of the devil and she will appear……. How shameful. For a goddess of all people to immodestly eavesdrop like this…」

Stella suddenly stared coldly at behind Ren.

Ren immediately turned around. There was an ash tree with splendid shape there. On its treetop──a single owl was perched.

「It has been a long time, princess of Cyprus Island. So you haven't forgotten my name.」

It was the mysterious owl that he encountered several days ago in Kobe City.

That mysterious owl appeared in front of Ren and others when they noticed.

.

3

「How do you do? Protector goddess of Athens, and the bitch princess who is wagging her tail to Lord Zeus.」

「You are still an ignorant lady princess like usual.」

The owl spoke with a girl's voice in respond to Stella's sarcasm.

「The servant beasts that are the retainers of me──this Athena are the birds of the owl kind, and then the snake. And then there is also the beasts of the forest I believe. I'm not particularly related to dog.」

「My. So the lady who is the goddess of wisdom doesn't even understand when someone is talking in sarcasm to her!」

「……Fuh. So that's it. Forgive me. I couldn't imagine that Princess Aphrodite with her empty head will be able to do such wordplay.」

It was a supernatural war of words by a doll sized girl and a suspicious owl.

However, putting aside the solemnity of the vocabulary that they used, the content was a 『woman's battle』 that was a bit vulgar. He saw it now, these two had rivalry between them.

And then, the owl silently descended to the ground──

The next moment, it transformed into a girl. Her age must be around 13 or 14. She was wearing a robe with dark green color, but the hood was lowered down. Her rather short silver hair contained radiance like liquefied moonlight, while her eyes reminded him of jet black onyx.

It went without saying that she was beautiful. But, what surprised Ren above all else was her gaze.

Even though her pupils were jet black──they seemed to shine with strong brilliance to him. The sharpness and sublimity of her gaze made him thought so.

「So this is Athena……」

The goddess of wisdom and war. Even a Japanese person who was ignorant of Greek mythology knew of her.

Here Ren noticed. Athena was holding a bishop's staff, but its tip had silver handiwork that was modeled after 『a snake with its fangs bared』.

The one who silently took a step forward toward Athena──was Riona.

「If you haven't forgotten of my impoliteness of the other day then……please forgive this greeting. It's an honor to meet you again, Goddess Athena.」

「I haven't forgotten. I also don't think of it as impolite. I remember you, surface dweller.」

Athena spoke large-heartedly to the high school girl in blazer.

「In the end, you hastened toward your death. You leaped into a world that will meet its end before long, furthermore──you're attempting to meddle unnecessarily into a strife where only gods and heroes can participate.」

「Because if Troia become the one that come out victorious, even that end can be avoided.」

As expected form the reincarnation of the sacred bird Yatagarasu who was "nearer to god rather than man".

She spoke brazenly with a great goddess as her talking partner. Athena formed a smile on her immature beautiful face.

「Fufufufu. Do you think that you have influenced something after burying Achilles? But, that man, he was after all a human who shouldered the fate to be defeated halfway. Simply by defeating such person──」

「You believe that the big picture won't change? To think that Athena of the shining eyes of all people will be that naïve.」

Stella cut in provocatively.

「Don't you think that you should say such words after you consigned to oblivion──Rokuhara Ren here?」

「Eh? You are dumping it to me there Stella?」

Ren who was in the position and mood as spectator faltered.

In the first place, a man interfering with woman's battle wouldn't bring a good result. Even though he was secretly endeavoring to become one with the air as much as possible──.

「Hou」

It was like thunder in blue sky. Athena stared at Ren.

From the perspective of a Japanese, her appearance wasn't that much different from a middle school girl. But, there was no way there was a girl in her early teen with a gaze this sharp. Ren straightened his back and greeted.

「Thanks for the other day. I'm Rokuhara Ren.」

He had no intention to aggravate the matter. He smiled cheerfully. In contrast Athena behaved with a queen's haughtiness.

「Fumu. I've seen you before. At that time──I felt the same presence of the princess I'm acquainted with from you and thought of it as strange.」

「Hahahaha. So that was why you turned a blind eye to me at Kobe.」

Ren laughed lightly without hiding anything. However, Athena haughtily──stared strongly at Rokuhara Ren with a drilling gaze and ignored his smiling face.

「You're a fool but, that's not all……. I feel that at that time and also this time too. And then sure enough, you are sheltering Princess Aphrodite. A really interesting man, you are.」

Athena's eyes shined──as though she was seeing through him until his deepest bottom.

Perhaps his animalistic instinct to detect danger was working, because a sweat damply oozed from his forehead. Right now he shouldn't get into quarrel with her. Yes, he shouldn't right now, not yet.

He had to make some effort to keep up his inherent easygoing personality.

And then, Athena suddenly leaked out an implicating smile.

「Kukukuku. So this person is Princess Aphrodite's──new adulterous partner.」

「Wha!? Refrain from any stupid misunderstanding! Know that this man is a cart-horse so to speak, an existence that is nothing more than a palanquin to carry me around!」

Stella objected in a panic. Athena lightly ignored her.

「Let's leave it at that.」

「Uuuuu-. You, don't tell me you intend to spread a rumor about this matter in Olympus!?」

「How foolish. Do you think Athena will do such thing? Of course, when I'm asked about the relationship between you two, I will talk about it from my point of view in great detail though……」

「Yo, you don't need to talk about it, this pot head, dull-brained, two-faced woman!」

「? Are you saying that I, the goddess of wisdom don't know anything about the activity of love between man and woman? I'll ask you to stop with the false accusation. I possess thorough knowledge in regard to those matters too.」

「Geez──enough. Now that it has come to this let's settle it in the battlefield!」

Stella declared with a resentment that she couldn't clear from her expression.

「I'll absolutely bring victory to Troia that I am favoring and thoroughly beat up the force of Greece that you are supporting! Prepare yourself!」

「Understood. Then, let's meet again in the battlefield.」

Athena also responded with a scornful laugh.

「I'll also make my proclamation here. I will destroy Troia's army without fail and bring destruction to this sanctuary, in addition I will also guarantee that the destruction──will also reach earth without fail. O surface dweller, the days your birthplace meet its end is also close. You better resolve yourself.」

「……Wait a second.」

For the first time here Ren stared challengingly at Athena.

「If you speak about 『destruction』 that easily like that, then it will make me want to support Stella too. I hope you won't forget that.」

「Ackowledged, o man of the mortal coil. Then, this is farewell.」

Athena transformed into an owl once more and flew away.

She left toward the boundary of night's darkness. The trouble still hadn't ended. Next after the hero Achilles, the goddess who managed those heroes was waiting in the back as enemy.

.

4

A night passed after the confrontation with Athena──

Ren left the palace early in the morning and headed toward the city of Troia.

When he visited a plaza where a lot of stallholders gathered, it was crowded with people.

「There're a lot of people right from the morning. It's really lively.」

「The living here begin with the sunrise after all. The people here woke up far earlier compared to us.」

His company Riona commented. Ren nodded.

「Aa, certainly. The palace was also really busy from early in the morning. Cooking, cleaning, washing…….they're also working hard to grind the wheat into flour form the morning.」

The female slaves were striving to grind the wheat into flour using stone mortar in a corner of the palace every morning.

Because if they didn't make wheat flour like that, they wouldn't be able to prepare the ingredient for bread that was the staple food here.

By the way, they could also make oat porridge by boiling the flour as it was. However, its taste wasn't something that the modern people would want to eat proactively. It seemed that the wealthy people of this world also preferred bread-centered food due to the same reason.

And then right now a nice smell was drifting in the air.

Pork was grilled in a certain stall at the open air market.

「My stomach is also empty right now, let's buy some snack.」

「Agreed. Over there they're also selling grilled chicken on skewer.」

「Riona, when there are options of goat, pig, cow, and bird, aren't you generally picking chicken?」

「It's simply my favorite. Right now I'm not transformed, so it doesn't count as cannibalism.」

「I wonder about that.」

There was a lot of choice to buy food from.

Meat, garlic, and onion skewered and grilled together. A shop with whole-roasted pig where only the part they would eat would be cut for them. Squid, sardine, or white fish grilled with salt. Fruit sellers that sold watermelon, strawberry, grape, figs, etc. Freshly baked bread. Wheat paste product that was boiled in soup, and so on──.

They also had war fund. They were awarded cash as reward for their achievement in battle.

In this world──Sanctuary Troia, grain of silver was used as 『currency』. It seemed that even without paper money or coin, monetary economy could possibly exist.

Ren bought grilled lamb rolled with herb, and sardine grilled with salt that was put between flat bread.

Riona bought skewered wild bird meat with sweet and spicy sauce.

They each bought their own light meal and ate them along the way until they arrived at the city gate of the fortress city Troia. The gate was closed tightly when in the middle of battle. Today was also the same.

However, they showed a pass to the gate guard. The received this from the palace too.

Thus, the two Japanese people finally came out to the outside.

They walked for a while and arrived on a hill──at the edge where they could look down to the sea.

「Then as promised, let me show the map.」

Riona stood on the cliff that commanded a view of the sea and pointed her index finger to the sky quickly.

Then, nearly ten white herons descended one after another form the sky. The moment they came until near her fingertip, the white herons──changed into crane origami in a flash.

They were the shikigami that Riona released right after they arrived in Sanctuary Troia.

She gave them the command to scout the surrounding geography and situation. They finally finished their duty and gathered at Troia where their master stayed.

「If what the shikigami saw is projected with spirit photography like this──」

The notebook that she brought from earth. Riona tore a page of it and lightly caressed the ground. There a graphic topographic map floated!

The bird's eye view of Troia city. The topographic map of the surrounding. It increased piece by piece.

What Ren especially paid attention to was──

「The shape of this sea and land, I've seen it before.」

It was a picture like seeing to the land below from high in the sky. It was like a satellite picture.

Ren took up that paper and stared fixedly.

「It looks similar with "Mediterranean Sea and Aegean Sea" at our earth……」

「It just like I said before. Based on the relationship that the epic poem of Trojan War was modeled after the historical fact, the world of myth is also similar with earth in reality──」

Riona suddenly pointed at the coastal part of the Aegean Sea (lookalike).

「The city of Troia is located here.」

「Hey, this is completely near the Dardanelles Strait!」

The point she pointed out reminded him of a corner of Turkey territory that faced Aegean Sea.

If he looked a bit to the east, there was also a "chasm" that looked really similar with Bosporus Strait. It was a place that was considered as the border of Europe and Asia Minor.

「So that's why! There are a lot of variety of races in Troia because of this isn't it?」

Ren reached an understanding. The market just now was also like that.

People with black hair and black eyes that looked Latin-American. Fair skinned people with brightly colored hair and eyes. People with deeply chiseled face and thick beard. People with black skin. People with brown skin. Etc.

There was also three or four variety of language that they used. It was a city with extremely multinational impression.

「It's a world of Greek mythology, but this place is 『outside』 of that!」

「Or rather, the place name that came out in Greek mythology, like Peloponnesian Peninsula for example──there are quite a lot of place that is outside the territory of the modern Greece.」

「Ah, is that so?」

「For example Caucasus at the coast of Black Sea. Thrace of Eastern Europe. The country of King Midas who changed everything he touched into gold was at the inland area of Turkey. Cyprus Island that is the land of birth of the goddess Aphrodite is also at Aegean Sea that is near Turkey and Syria……」

Riona smoothly mentioned various place's name.

「That's why Stella……the goddess Aphrodite is an ally of Troia. She is originally a mother earth goddess that was worshipped in the land of Orient. She was "imported" to Greek mythology and localized into the goddess of beauty and love. It can be called natural for the goddess that was born to the east of Greece to support her 『brethren』.」

Thinking back, Japan was also a country that imported various religions and gods starting from Buddhism.

"Localization" to mtch them with the climate of Japan was also proactively done. Surely the same thing happened in ancient Greece too. Riona talked further.

「By the way, Apollo is also an "outer god" who originated from outside Greece's sphere of influence. The war god Ares was also a god who was worshipped by Thrace and the equestrian tribe Scythia. Originally they were also god that belonged to the orient, so they are allied with Troia instead of the Greek force.」

This was the profound solution of the mythological riddle. There was a proper reason why the sun god Apollo turned the Greek army and Athena into enemy.

「Aphrodite is considered as a daughter of the chief god Zeus, but in the end she is just an『adopted daughter』. That's also a great difference from Athena who is said to be born from Zeus's head.」

「So that's the meaning of what Stella said yesterday.」

Ren digested the various circumstances and reached an understanding.

.

Now then. The cause of Trojan War was the elopement of a handsome man and beautiful woman.

But, there was a prequel that preceded it.

When Prince Paris who was a related party to the elopement was young, he was approached by the war goddess Athena, Zeus's wife Hera, and then Aphrodite who we all were familiar with.

──『Who is the most beautiful among the three of us goddesses!?』 They asked.

It seemed that the three offered 『reward』 for Prince Paris. 'If you choose me, then this kind of special perk is waiting for you see', they said.

Athena said 「I'll make you the victor of every war」.

Hera said 「I'll make you the king of the world」.

And then Aphrodite said 「I'll make the most beautiful woman in the world into your wife!」.

……Honestly, it was a difficult question that would leave future trouble no matter who he chose. Also, it would be an utterly fraud choice by the time they offered him reward for his choice. However, Prince Paris wasn't your average person as could be seen from how he easily chose who the most beautiful goddess in the world of god was without dodging the question noncommittally.

「Hmmm……then, it's Aphrodite-sama!」

Several years later, by chance Prince Paris met Helene who was a married woman. With the divine protection of goddess on him, the flame of love was instantly burning up. They took each other's hand and ended up eloping…….

Well, setting aside the gaudiness of his personality.

It was an episode where "a certain personality" of Prince Paris could be well understood. In other words, he was an owner of love addled brain who had no interest to authority, strength, or achievement──.

And then, when Ren returned to Troia palace together with Riona.

A meeting with the worldly man with slightly troubling personality was waiting for them.

「Yo Ren-dono. I'm just looking for you.」

Prince Pairs called to them at the palace's garden with a refreshing smile.

The whiteness of his teeth was dazzling. It even looked sparkling. Also, the slaves following behind him were holding 『a shield and a set of armor and helmet』.

「It's decided that Achilles──that guy's armor and helmet are to be distributed to Troia's generals. As the person who rendered the greatest achievement, you can choose anything that you like from among them.」

Shield, helmet, breastplate, left and right gauntlets and greaves, and so forth.

Each one of them was familiar. They were the equipment of the hero Achilles who died on the ship.

They should sink into the sea, but it seemed they were recovered. It was said that they were excellent articles that were created by god's hand, so the feeling of wanting to reuse them was understandable. However, Ren asked the handsome Prince Paris.

「Prince, you are the one who defeated Achilles, so you should be the first one choosing.」

The prince must meant for Ren to take one part that he liked whether it was helmet, gauntlet, or anything else.

However the set of armor was still complete without missing any part. It was obvious that Prince Pairs hadn't chosen anything. The prince himself spoke calmly.

「I don't need any. I'm not interested at this kind of thing at all. Though it'll be a different story if it's a more stylish clothes or hat, or silk fabric.」

Today Prince Paris was wearing a combination of tricorne with vivid red color and scarlet mantel with a golden necklace around his neck. His hair was also combed prettily.

His outfit was really showy. He must be paying considerably attention to his personal appearance.

「Well, I already obtained the 『treasure』 that is the most beautiful woman in the world anyway.」

「Hahaha, I see.」

Because that was the case, Ren stopped minding it and pointed 「Then, this one」.

「The shield huh! Yup. If Ren-dono who is blessed by the gods also obtained the shield, then you'll have nothing to fear anymore. I'll be counting on you again for the next battle too!」

Prince Paris laughed in delight and left.

「Farewell to you too beautiful miss witch!」

On the parting, he sent Riona a flirtatious glance despite being a married man. As expected from a notorious playboy. On the other hand, Riona ignored the prince's gaze and commented.

「As expected, that shield really left an impact after all.」

「Yep. Its defensive power was absurd.」

The round shield that he just received from the slave following the prince.

Ren stared at it in entrancement. The base was made from wood, but it had five bronze planks affixed to it. It was profoundly heavy, the glorious shield that protected the hero Achilles.

It was a precious holy equipment. To this Ren──presented it to Riona.

「Riona. I want you to carry this thing.」

「Me!?」

「I still have a single Apollo's arrow. When I need the shield I'll borrow it from you. Besides──what I can do depend on the "friend" that I call at that time after all.」

Rokuhara Ren completely wasn't a character that got into close quarter combat using sword and shield.

He should act as 『reserve corps』 that wandered around while relying on Stella and the Friendship Circle. That way he would be able to do something that was completely outside the expectation of his enemy and ally, perhaps.

「When it's time where the shield might be useful, if it's me I might run away at that situation.」

「If only you don't say that, I would get a better opinion of Rokuhara-san as 『a person who can make rational judgment without getting caught by the item amount before his eyes』 just now.」

「Hahaha. That's regrettable.」

「But, certainly this is an appreciated suggestion. I will hold on it without reservation.」

Riona's hand suddenly held a talisman.

The moment it was attached on the shield, Achilles's shield vanished with a puff. It was a magic that stowed away an item compactly using a talisman. Ren was admiring that convenience.

「By the way. The people of this world are passionate with recycling aren't they. It's also like that just now, and Achilles himself also stripped off the armor from Hector-san who he defeated.」

「Taking possession of the armor of the brave warrior who died is a custom of Greek mythology.」

Riona talked with a solemn tone.

「Like that they take the strength of the dead hero's strength into their own. It's also a kind of religious etiquette. Perhaps it's similar like cannibalism ceremony. By eating a part of the dead human, the power of that human become their own……」

「I see. Taking the armor means stealing the opponent's strength for themselves!」

.

That night, his partner unusually began to talk from her own initiative.

「Ren. I need to talk.」

「What's the matter Stella?」

They were in the palace's corridor in front of Ren's room. Riona's room was beside his. They were just about to part. He exchanged glance with his company and the two of them entered Ren's room──

「Actually in this place there is my "close friend's son".」

A beautiful girl with a size that could be mistaken as doll, Stella sprang out from the ground.

「He──Aeneas-kun is Troia's royalty and a general, so I talked with that child. He said that they will launch a large offensive to Greece army soon. The other side has just lost their strongest warrior Achilles, so surely it will go well.」

「Certainly now that you mention it, this might be a good timing.」

「Please wait Stella. Speaking about the hero Aeneas, he is an illegitimate child that the goddess Aphrodite gave birth to with her adulterous partner.」

「Can you not seriously believe the strange rumor, bird girl?」

Stella dodged Riona's comment and immediately dived back into the floor. Ren crouched and tried touching the floor. He didn't feel his partner's presence at all.

「Looks like she is gone already.」

「So she can also separate from Rokuhara-san and act independently……」

「It's safer to be near me, so I wish she won't do such thing too much though.」

「By the way, about the Friendship Circle. Could it be that──it can't be used too frequently?」

Riona suddenly pointed out.

「If its ability can be abused, then summoning every god who can be summoned and demand useful item from them as tribute continuously……will be the smart way to do it, and you'll also be able to stockpile items.」

「Riona is really sharp. Actually that's true.」

Ren had no intention to hide it. He easily recognized it.

「When summoning a god from afar, Stella's MP will get used up completely. Recovering from it will also take a lot of time. If possible she want to use it when having coincidental encounter with a god she has connection with or a god who looks like they can become friend right away.」

Also──. At this time Ren was making light of his partner's outing.

He thought that even if she was the goddess Aphrodite, if she showed her face out of nowhere with that kind of appearance then she wouldn't be able to exert any considerable influence. However, that thought was easily betrayed.

.

5

「It became something amazing.」

「It seems that ships and soldiers are gathered not only from this city, but also from the surrounding city and town that are under Troia's rule as well as from the allied neighboring countries. It unexpectedly become a great fleet……」

Ren and Riona were looking down to the sea from the balcony of Troia palace.

A fleet of several hundred ships was massing at the open sea near Troia and anchored themselves there. There were also a great number of soldiers and generals gathered from outside.

The streets and palace of Troia became bustling with these reinforcement soldiers.

「To think that it will become like this in two, three days after Stella incited her "close friend's son"…」

「Perhaps the morale of Troia's side has increased higher than our expectation. Thinking back, the 『myth's plot』 is changing slightly from Achilles's death.」

Riona spoke beside the impressed Ren.

「In the original story, Achilles died in battle on land and his corpse should be taken back by Greek's side. And then in order to grieve the hero's death, a grand burial and──a martial arts tournament is opened.」

「Is it to enliven the whole Greece army just as I thought?」

「Yes. Furthermore the reward of the tournament is Achilles's armor. The equipments were distributed among Troia's generals before this but, originally it should be the heroes of Greece who reuse those equipments.」

「And that advantage ended up completely at our side……」

Unexpectedly wouldn't the tide of war leaned toward Troia at this rate? Ren was harboring such expectation. An unfamiliar Trojan slave approached him during that time.

「Eh? The king want to meet us?」

.

The name of Troia's king was Priam, and his wife was Hecuba.

However, Ren simply memorized them as the king and the queen. He would have no chance to call distinguished people with status as high as them by name anyway, so it was enough like that.

The king of Troia was sitting on the throne inside the audience hall. And then he spoke solemnly.

「Hero from foreign country Ren-dono. And the witch miss Riona. We still haven't fully thanked the two of you for saving our children the other day.」

He must felt heartache after losing Prince Hector who was also his heir.

It was obvious from just a glance that the king of Troia looked really haggard. However, his eye glint was sharp enough. It was filled with the dignity of a king.

「I wish that both of you will keep staying in our palace from now on too. The treasured golden arrow of god Apollo in Ren-dono's possession, I wish from my heart that one day it would be displayed before this decrepit old man too.」

The king of Troia praised up Ren highly before cutting into the case.

「By the way, there is a matter that I earnestly wish to discuss with the two of you.」

「King of Troia. Can I ask you to allow us to also participate in the next campaign?」

Ren cut right to the case. He already consulted with Riona and made the decision.

A delighted smiled surfaced on the king's tired face.

「I'm grateful that Ren-dono would ask that. Of course, we fully intend to prepare the proper treatment and reward for the noble will that the both of you displayed……」

「Your majesty. I have information that I wish for you to hear.」

Riona spoke this time.

「Currently, the Greece army is staying at a large island of the adjacent sea. My shikigami──familiars has pinpointed the location and returned back. Allow me to report the location and distance in detail.」

「Oo!」

It was important information that the military officers of Troia greatly sought──.

The king of Troia leaned forward from his throne hearing that we would teach them the information.

.

The next day, a fleet of few hundred ships sailed out from Troia along with the sunrise.

One of the conspicuously large sailing ship among them──was Ren and Riona's『ship』.

「I never even dreamed that I would become a『ship captain』 at the world of myth. Ah, wait. I'm also entrusted with all these soldiers under my command, so am I a『general』 now……?」

「This is a warship, so calling you『admiral』 might be better.」

It was a ship with the size around 20 meters long in total. It was an extraordinarily large ship for a ship of the ancient time.

The crews served as both sailor and naval soldier, but not only that. They would become infantry when arriving on land and fought as Ren and Riona's hands and feet.

Furthermore, the officers and soldiers riding on this ship plus eight other ships were also added under his command.

He was a military commander that was leading a total of 2, 300 Trojan soldiers──.

Rokuhara Ren had changed that drastically in the blink of eye (of course Riona was also included).

A few hours after the departure. Riding the eastern wind, Troia's fleet sailed through the sea.

The weather was clear. Everything was literally smooth sailing. It was at that timing.

「Ren-sama. I have a report.」

「……There is a stowaway? In our ship?」

A subordinate came to make a report. Ren tilted his head.

It was hard to think that a sailor who was also a naval soldier would be a gentle person. In fact, the person had rough look and manner. If someone like him found a stowaway, then it wouldn't be strange if he throw the stowaway out to the sea with no question asked.

However, someone like him came to report to Ren with an excessively conflicted look.

.

「My, Ren-sama and Riona-sama!」

The person who was brought into the cabin was unexpectedly someone they were really familiar with.

The princess Cassandra. Furthermore she was wearing a mantel with a hood attached that was used for traveling coat. She was obviously looking prepared for a journey. She was the aforementioned stowaway.

「Could it be, you ran away from home?」

「By hiding in a warship? I think she is planning something more reckless.」

Only the three of them remained inside the cabin. Ren and Riona whispered to each other.

On the other hand, Princess Cassandra seemed to be resigned. Her shoulders dropped and she said this.

「Actually……I could see another foresight. A lot of soldiers will fall and sink into the sea while holding regret──」

There was something murky coming and going inside Ren's chest again.

It was a feeling that made him wanted to decide that the foresight Cassandra mentioned quietly as a suspicious talk. Riona beside him was also frowning. However.

Before his Japanese companion could say something, Ren hurriedly closed both his eyes.

It was to clear his heart and mind. Right now he ignored the welling up emotion. When he opened his eyes, Ren turned his usual smile to the tragic prophet.

「How does that lead to Cassandra leaving home?」

「Ye, yes. If no one can believe my words, then I'll stop forcing myself to tell my prediction to someone else……. In exchange, I'm thinking to do my best──to do something in order to stop my foresight to become reality no matter what.」

The beautiful princess looked down while speaking words that were filled with resolve.

「I was unable to protect Hector-oniisama's life, but this time……!」

「So it's something like that.」

Riona suddenly muttered with a look of understanding.

「I felt baffled all this time. At that time, why did Princess Cassandra sneaked out of the rampart? ……You planned to protect your older brother didn't you?」

「Yes. But it didn't go well, so I thought to take revenge at least──」

The action of Cassandra at that time was backed with such resolve.

Ren also reached an understanding and felt moved. He knew that she was a brave girl, but to think that she possessed a heart this strong──he didn't realize it at all.

If she couldn't have anyone to trust her foresight, then she would stop the foresight from becoming reality with her own action.

Even though she looked frail and weak, she was a woman with amazingly firm core within her.

「But, as both of you know, I'm someone lacking in both wisdom and also strength. This time it might not go well too……」

「It's fine. I and Riona also will help you as much as possible. You can hide here in our ship.」

Ren immediately assured the princess who looked depressed.

「After all if your family or the big-wig found you out here, you will get send back to the land.」

「Is, is that alright Ren-sama!?」

「Leave it to me. Your foresight ability will surely become useful. Besides──putting me aside, Riona is smart and her magic is also perfect. She will do something somehow when we're troubled.」

「So you dump it all to me there……」

「It's fine. I'm your 『goshujin-sama』 after a fashion anyway.」

「Of course, I've already embarked in this ship with no going back, and our objective mashed with each other, so I don't mind at all but──. Rokuhara-san is really easy to get carried away.」

「Bo, both of you, thank you very much!」

Princess Cassandra was moved to tears.

Ren smiled lightly and wrapped the delicate right hand of the cursed prophet with both his hands.

「Let me take this chance to say a bit more 『carried away』 words. You see, Cassandra. It will be great if your good act will be suitable rewarded……I'm praying for that from the bottom of my heart.」

There was the word karma.

This was a concept that applied not only to an evil act, but also to a good act.

Since they came to Sanctuary Troia, they had only seen 『evil』 until now. That was why the 『good』 that the courageous girl showed them right now was really beautiful.

May the words that are chanted after this become reality without fail. Ren spoke along with such will.

「A person who act in order to save a lot of life won't always obtain good result that is suitable for them. But at the very least I'll make sure that feeling of yours get rewarded.」

「Thank you very much!」

「……What's the matter with you Rokuhara-san? You are using words that are unlike you so suddenly.」

Riona was staring at him with an unusual taken aback face.

It must be really unexpected for her. Ren lightly laughed.

「Isn't it fine for me to act like that sometimes? Even I have time where I'll say serious thing. Of course, I'm also thinking of Riona similarly like this.」

「I'm feeling sickened instead from getting told such thing so suddenly.」

Ren smiled bitterly hearing his traveling companion speaking cruelly to him like that.

.

However, both Ren and also Riona made light of Apollo's curse.

When they braced themselves to ignore the feeling of suspicious toward Cassandra's foresight, their mind naturally didn't focus to『the foresight itself』 instead.

That was why, they carelessly forgot it until the abnormality began.

『A lot of soldiers will fall──and sink into the sea while holding regret』

The announcement of disaster by the tragic Princess Cassandra.

It started with storm and large wave.

The sea suddenly became stormy and began to shake Troia's fleet!

.

6

「UWAAAAAAAH!?」

「The, the ship will sink at this rateee-!」

It wasn't just the sailors in Ren's ship that were making a ruckus.

It happened on all the ships of the fleet that sailed from Troia.

Even though the voyage was smooth sailing until now, a really bad stormy weather came without any advance notice. The wind blew violently *byuu byuu*, while the sea surface undulated up and down repeatedly.

Several hundred warships were shook up simultaneously by this stormy sea.

The body of the ship and all the people above the ship ended up getting swung left and right like pendulum.

The number of ships that got capsized also wasn't few. Naturally, the crews got thrown into the sea.

「This area is really far in the middle of ocean isn't it!?」

「It will be great if there is an island nearby! If there isn't any island like that, then the distance to land is something that absolutely cannot be traversed by swimming!」

Ren's ship──still hadn't sunken somehow.

Above the deck, Ren was clinging on the mast together with Riona.

The sea spray heavily soaked the crews on the deck and also inside the ship. It felt like they were swallowed into a washing machine. Everyone was already completely drenched from a long time ago.

All the sailors were panicking or praying to the god.

Well, that's obvious. No matter what they tried to do in this situation, there was nothing that a weak human could possibly do.

Also, the princess Cassandra was also holding on the same mast like Ren but──

「Aah!?」

The princess suddenly pointed at the sky faraway.

There were only dark clouds that suddenly enveloped the sky over there. However.

「Ren-sama, Riona-sama. Over there is the source of divine might that is tormenting all of us──!」

The girl with unparalleled ability of precognition also had excellent spiritual sense.

It was a revelation from the princess Cassandra. Perhaps because this wasn't an oracle, the usual feeling of distrust didn't well up. That must be why, Riona immediately reacted.

「Evil and impurity are to be chased and cleansed by water, Kyuukyuu Nyo Ritsu Ryou!」

The young onmyouji's hand suddenly held a talisman.

The spell that was written on it was 『<ruby>千邪万歳、逐水而清<rt>Thousand Evils Eternal Life, Pursuing Water Raking Cleansing</rt></ruby>』. Riona threw this talisman to the air.

「Fly!」

The exorcising talisman amazingly flew for several hundred meters. It reached until around the place that Cassandra pointed at and──transformed into exploding light.

Showered in this light, there was a 『shadow』 emerging in midair.

It was a human silhouette. However, that was if there was a human with a height that reached 200 meter.

He was standing tall in the middle of stormy sea. Only his upper body from his waist came out from the sea surface. If the fact that he was impossibly huge was ignored, then he would look like a majestic character at the prime of his life.

His hand was holding a trident. He was clad in a garment that looked like a gown.

However his upper body was wholly naked, so his muscular body could be clearly seen. And then his skin──was bluish black all over his body. Riona yelled.

「God of sea Poseidon! It seems he is the one creating this stormy sea! He is a god who support Greece alliance like Athena!」

「Then, there's no other choice!」

Ren immediately pointed his index finger to the sky.

「The last arrow, I'll use it now Apollo-san!」

If he delayed more than this, the damage to the ships from the stormy sea would only increase. Ren fired the arrow of sun god Apollo with even an instant of hesitation.

A golden light descending from the sky tore apart the dark cloud filling the sky.

It became a blade of laser and poured down on the sea god Poseidon's gigantic body!

『Gu──NUOOOOOOOOOOOH!』

Poseidon groaned in a loud voice from the sun arrow dashing over his chest.

He was in anguish from the heat and pain. The gigantic sea god grimaced and shook his head. Then his bluish black giant body──vanished like smoke.

Ren tilted his head at the anticlimax.

「Eh? He retreated unexpectedly easily.」

「He might judge that it's an interference from the sun god Apollo and chose to retreat immediately.」

Riona immediately told him.

「The gods of Olympus has internal discord at Trojan War, but they tend to avoid direct confrontation between fellow gods.」

Accompanied by the retreat of the sea god Poseidon, the stormy sea rapidly calmed down.

The shaking of the ship also finally settled down. The sailors on Ren's ship also patted their chest in relieve. Well, there was quite a lot of people who got thrown to the sea from the chaos until now though──.

The person who the achievement of discovering the sea god, Cassandra was also relieved.

「Aa. Gods, I'm grateful!」

All the ships of Troia fleet that were safe must have seen the same sight.

However because they had got through that predicament──they let their guard down. The first one to fall into despair was the sailors on the warship located at the outer side of the fleet.

「It's the Greeks! Intercept them, the Greeks are coming!」

The whole fleet seemed to be washed away due to the stormy sea.

The area they were at was the place where the fleet of Greece's allied army was anchored at of all place. The force of Troia was cornered until this place by the authority of the sea god Poseidon──it was an ambush.

The raging waves of the great seat god in the end were nothing more than the prelude.

.

「It's fire arrow! The ship is burning-. Put out the fire quickly!」

「Water──bring water he……no good, we won't make it!」

「Jump into the sea! This ship is done for!」

The ships of the friendly troops around Ren and company were sinking one after another.

The cause was the great number of fire arrows that were fired from the warships of Greek force that was lying in ambush for them.

「Oops!」

Ren nimbly jumped to the side on the deck of his ship.

A fire arrow stabbed at the place where he was just standing. The flame was spreading on top of the wooden deck. Ren immediately sprinted agilely, running away from the second and third arrow that flew in succession toward him.

Riona muttered seeing this evasive action.

「Just like always, he is a goshujin-sama with good instinct only at this kind of time.」

「I told you that's my redeeming feature wasn't it? More importantly, this looks really bad……」

They allowed the enemy ships to touch their ship and many Greek soldiers boarded Troia ships.

When it became like that everyone took sword and entered close quarter battle on the deck. Troia army who was completely exhausted after the stormy sea was in complete disadvantage.

However──

The warship of Ren and company met the hardship of getting sunk was because of another cause.

A general who was riding a certain Greek ship fired an arrow.

「The firstborn of Laertes and the king of Ithaca, Odysseus is paying a visit! Receive the attack of my glorious bow and become scraps at sea, horse feeders of Troia!」

It was a hero clad in bronze armor and helmet with magnificent body build.

Also, the speech of the man called Odysseus seemed to be filled with haughtiness. Although, the black and gold bow in his hand was a tremendously powerful bow.

The fired arrow flew like lightning──it pierced the ship of Ren and others splendidly.

Just a single arrow gouged open a large hole on the flank of the ship.

「A, amazing power!」

「That attack strength might not even lose against Achilles!」

「I once heard from sister-in-law Helene. Odysseus-dono is a wise man among the force of Greece, and he is also a master of bow!」

Riona was surprised by the arrow's power while Cassandra also yelled.

With a big hole opened at the side of the ship, it became disconnected in pieces and the ship sunk in the blink of eye. The ship's material became pieces of wood with varying size that were scattered on the sea surface──.

Of course, Ren and the two girls also fell into the sea.

It was the same like in their previous battle against Achilles. The three clung on a drifting piece of shipwreck similar like that time to survive for the time being.

「Riona. Let's escape using that magic that goes *pyu-* to fly in the sky!」

「We'll be defenseless while flying using that. If Odysseus aims at us using his bow, it will be over for us. More importantly」

The incarnation of the sacred bird Yatagarasu spoke fearlessly.

「If I can leave the princess in Rokuhara-san's care, then I'm thinking to act as the vanguard of the counterattack. Can I receive the permission to release my full strength?」

「Of course. I don't mind if you fight with everything you got. Also──」

Ren focused his mind and chanted the name of his partner.

「Stella. Can I request you something?」

「Hmph. It seems you like falling into the sea very much aren't you, Ren.」

「My!」

Cassandra's eyes opened wide seeing the mini beautiful girl appeared on Ren's right shoulder.

But, there was no time to explain. First Ren exchanged gaze with Stella.

「I──the goddess Aphrodite is a goddess who was born from the foam of sea. That is to say I am the heaven-sent child of the sea. You are in luck Ren. If it's here then there is a good prospect.」

Stella called to the sea with a composed expression.

「Come, my obedient beast. I ask you to protect these people.」

A dolphin immediately came swimming from somewhere. It had a clever looking face and didn't seem to dislike it even when Ren and Cassandra clung on its body.

「If it's like this then I can fight without any worry.」

Riona's both eyes──were dyed with fantastical blue color.

It was the proof of the release of her full magic power. The sign of her transformation into the golden sacred bird.

Even at their surrounding, Troia ships that regained their footing from the shock of the Greece's surprise attack──were finally starting to turn into counterattack…….

However, Riona's eyes suddenly returned to its original color.

「I take back my words. It seems it's better for me to stay beside Rokuhara-san and others.」

One of Greece's warship was approaching this way.

On the bow of that ship, a girl clad in green robe was standing.

Silver hair that was like liquefied moonlight and shining black eyes. The tip of the cane her hand was holding had a snake engraving. It was none other than the goddess of wisdom and battle Athena.

Riona sighed.

「The ambush of Greece army this time is under the guidance of Athena as expected……」

「That's obvious. That woman is like this from the past. She will make a face of 『I'm always composed☆』 like a big-shot while forming sinister design behind the scene.」

It was a valuable testimony from Athena's rival since long in the past, Stella.

Goddess Athena's shining eyes were completely focused on Rokuhara Ren who was drifting on the sea and Stella=Goddess Aphrodite who was sitting on his right shoulder.

It didn't seem like there was no other choice but to become prisoner like this for Ren and company.