The Final Adventure
“It’s almost time, isn’t it.”
On a certain day, Azel said that so nonchalantly that Serge almost missed it.
“Eh? Almost time for what?”
“For the permafrost to melt.”
In other words, it was almost time for the Millennium to begin.
In Winter of Year 3002 on the Continental Calendar, an omen had appeared.
The layer of permafrost began retreating in spite of the winter. Then, on the dawn of Year 3003, the trend became all the more evident.
Each of the country leaders opened communications with each other, but even though they sought to cooperate, it didn’t go well.
Setting aside Istria that had was as exhausted by civil war as it was, the strong, emerging country of Ogress took a neutral position.
The information Serge sent to them that he got from Azel had a hand in that as well.
Regent Guinevere’s opinions held heavy sway internally and Queen Ryuke Riana used the former ogres as an example. Both of them wanted to avoid hostile behavior in this.
Of course, as Casalia, the Magic City and Holy City all bordered the demons’ domain directly, they were vehemently against this. 
Humanity was unable to unify before the demon invasion.
Even the Magic City criticized Ogress’ attitude.
As someone from Ogress, they even kept a distance from Serge, though they didn’t say anything due to his capability.
However, his cheeks just loosened from what he read in the letter he got that came from Ogress.
In addition to Carla and Shizuna’s child from two years before, Fio’s first and Shizuna’s second children were born this year.
They were both girls. As far as Serge was concerned, that was the best.
“I wonder how cute they are~. They could’ve at least sent me a photo with magic.”
Even so, Queen Ria was doing her best.
For her to have four formal children in the last three years… did that make her lewd? Did she have sniper-like accuracy? Or maybe she should be called a hero? 
It appeared that Carla wasn’t pregnant right then, though that was as expected.
It wouldn’t be funny if the Dragonslayer couldn’t fight due to being pregnant.
A knocking sound came from the door. It was Chris.
“Serge, are you free?”
He wasn’t particularly trying to hide the letter. He just put it back into the envelope and placed it on the desk as normal.
“… From Ogress?”
“Yeah, it’s another one saying that Nee-chan’s kid was born.”
Serge sent information he learned from Azel to Ria, but Serge never received important information from Ria. At most, it was just her saying what information she wanted to know.
“So, what’s up?”
“The next expedition?”
Chris had stopped talking so formally with him at some point, too. It might’ve been because their familiarity had just increased that much.
“Ah, targeting the Hydra, right?”
Chris’s abilities improved a considerable amount in these past two years. This was due to Serge’s proper guidance of course, but this time she had her eyes set on defeating the Hydra.
“And… I want to make this the last one.”
What was that just now?
“You are going back to Ogress. People need someone of your strength there, right?”
“No no no, hold up! Don’t just go and decide on that!”
Of course, Chris knew of Ogress’s movements as a country.
However, her behavior was entirely the same as it had always been.
That’s why he couldn’t keep up with her saying something like that so suddenly.
“You know, Chris. This town belongs to humanity and is right next to the demons’ domain. I couldn’t leave you all in such a dangerous spot and leave to go back.”
Even Azel said that this town would in all likelihood fall.
He also said that he wanted to have all noncombatants flee as far as possible.
But even so, Chris remained stubborn.
“I already have the power to fight.”
This was a failure.
If she thought that she could fight with her current strength, she would be in trouble.
Something like enough power to defeat a single Hydra was nothing before a truly strong person.
“Chris, your power is better suited to the back lines. You wouldn’t be able to stand next to Queen Ryuke Riana and fight.”
“How do you know that if I haven’t tried?”
“Alright. Well, let’s make this next adventure the last one.”
Hearing Serge’s response, Chris trembled. Even if she knew it would be, it still made her sad.
“And I’ll have you know just how unsuited for war you are.”
He prepared everything carefully. They were going to go after a Hydra.
Both the supplies and mercenaries hired were assessed with an even more discerning eye than usual.
And moreover, Serge wasn’t the one to do it. It was done by Chris, alone.
From what Serge saw, nothing was lacking. Five warriors and a scout. She even employed an acquaintance from the academy that could use recovery magic well.
Their preparations for facing the Hydra were solid. With this, they’d definitely be able to defeat it. However, the problem was what would happen after that.
The group left early in the morning.
The leader was Chris, with Serge coming along basically as an observer.
Their pace firm, the group headed to their target location. It was a swamp that had a Hydra sighting reported.
Their search was going smoothly.
Chris no longer whined about wanting to go to the bathroom or bathe. That was because she learned how to do those things on her own, though.
And on the fifth day since they entered the forest.
Their group reached the swamp.
They threw the animal blood they’d prepared into the swamp. This was the first downside to their strategy. They had to burn down a bit of the forest to secure their footing.
As for what popped up, lured by the scent of blood… it was a Six-Headed Hydra.
The one that Serge had taken on himself before was a Five-Headed Hydra. This one’s difficulty would be a bit higher.
Chris’s magic soared over to the warriors. Right, this was the second downside.
If they couldn’t get the Hydra to step out of the marsh a bit more, it was highly likely to be able to escape.
Well, Hydras were essentially warlike creatures, so they wouldn’t generally run away though.
The battle went steadily.
The warriors and scout warded off the Hydra’s attacks while Chris’s magic damaged it bit by bit, followed up by the healing mage.
It was hard for them to defeat its first neck, but the fight got easier after that.
“Rushing Wind Blade!”
The final neck torn off by her wind magic, the battle was over.
Yeah, that’s all it took.
The warriors sat back on the spot to rest. Chris was using her staff to somehow hold herself up. The healing mage was on his knee.
Everyone did their best.
Serge approached Chris.
“See that, Serge!? We did it by ourselves!”
“Yep, but disqualified.”
There was a dagger in Serge’s hand.
Its tip was pointed at Chris’s throat.
“Using all of your strength in a fight, your throat would get ripped through afterwards. That is war.”
Serge spoke in a cold voice.
Chris stared at Serge.
She kept staring, not saying a word.
Their companions didn’t understand what was happening either. The only reality was that they could see Serge hold a dagger against Chris.
“Even if I didn’t catch you by surprise, do you think you could win against me alone?”
That would be difficult. To be frank, even if she fought with her all against a fully recovered Serge, her winning was unlikely.
“That is war. Chris, you aren’t suited for it. I believe that you would fit best in the rear, supporting.”
“… But… aren’t you going to fight?”
Tears collected in her eyes as she spoke.
“You’ll fight and suffer, won’t you?”
Aah, so that was it?
Her saying stuff about being the hero’s follower, so that was just an excuse?
Chris had wanted to be together… to be together, fighting alongside Serge.
“Me? Why would I?”
Her eyes obviously puzzled, Chris looked at Serge again.
“I’m in charge of logistics… didn’t I say that?”
Re-sheathing the dagger, Serge put his hand on Chris’s shoulder.
“I’m better at that than my skill in magic. That’s why I didn’t fight in the previous war.”
The only person he fought was that wolf man that attacked Carla.
“So Chris, you don’t have to fight either.”
That said, Chris simply nodded in response.
Her head probably wasn’t working right just yet, but at any rate, it looked like she understood.
“Alright, you guys!”
The standing Serge shouted at the warriors who were slowly recovering their endurance!
“Material gathering, begin~!”
Like this, his last adventure in the Magic City ended.
There was just one thing left for Serge to bring to its closure.
His promise with Azel.