Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
Puffs of white breath left the horses’ mouths.
The moon and innumerable stars filled the calm night sky, and dawn was far from arriving.
The Dimo Earldom’s cavalrymen were all gathered in Fort Hill’s courtyard to witness this midnight scenery.
As a result of the pre-departure tension, the sounds of people whispering amongst themselves and armor rubbing against itself were mixed with the hoof beats of the horses.
Fort Hill’s gate, the gate which led to Salma Kingdom and was almost never opened, slowly began to open on a quiet morning.
The man at the head of the cavalry gave the signal as he dug his heels into his horse’s sides, vanishing beyond the opened gate.
The remaining one hundred cavalrymen whipped their horses and started after their leader. Lille quietly watched their departure before her escort Nina signaled the other guards.
Under the lighting provided by the bonfires around Fort Hill, Nina’s complexion showed no signs of worsening.
That wasn’t to say that my healing magic was the solitary reason for that, after I cast the spell on her Nina devoured any food she could get a hold of, attempting to accelerate her blood production.
Remembering the ghastly appearance of her scarfing down food caused a shudder to run down my spine.
When Ponta gave me a worried look I shook my head at her.
Even an adult man would be done in by such a meal…. My gaze wandered between the yawning Ariane behind me and Chiome in front of me. There were a lot of sturdy women in this world though.
“Arc, did you just think of something inappropriate?”
Her golden eyes peered over my shoulder, waiting for an explanation to the slight shift in my gaze.
I was a skeleton and wearing armor…… how could she tell what I was thinking?
Was it the result of reading your opposites movements in combat? ……There wasn’t any point in worrying about it now, so I pulled Shiden’s reins and started after the princess’s group.
“Giriiiin!” “Kyun ☆”
I ignored Ariane’s question and told Shiden to get going. Shiden’s large body shook once as he roared, Ponta also cried out when she slid down Shiden’s neck and struggled to right herself.
Chiome grabbed Ponta by the scruff of her neck and held the little creature to her chest.
Although Ponta restlessly wagged her tail she remained silent about the whole thing.
Without any street lamps to guide our way, we traversed the plains that lead to Nozan Kingdom……
Blades of grass were uprooted and tossed to the wind in the wake of cavalry and us.
When I looked back, the walls of Fort Hill, which extended to the horizon, were completely consumed by the world’s shadow.
Sunlight had gradually begun to pierce the horizon to our right, with the blackness of the ground beneath us giving way to a green hue.
Though we had to take several breaks to let the horses rest, we’d been passing through Salma Kingdom without incident.
“This is going surprisingly well.”
It was around noon, we had just finished letting the horses take another rest and our light lunch of preserved food.
Ariane’s gray cloak fluttered in the wind on the back of the saddle as she muttered her thought with a yawn.
The changes to the landscape hadn’t gone unnoticed since the gentle incline had gradually given way to modest hills.
…… Now, where were we going?
tting atop Shiden, I looked up at a bird flying in the sky as careless thoughts crossed my mind.
Thing started to get noisy when one of the cavalrymen spotted something.
“What is it?”
Ariane stared straight ahead when I asked that question.
“I see it! It’s one of those undead creatures!”
Chiome’s ears did a little pitter-patter in response to her shout.
“……Another one is also approaching them from behind. Are they more of the Princess’s pursuers?”
Chiome straightened her posture and narrowed her eyes as she spoke.
When I strained my eyes, I immediately caught sight of soldiers, flying a banner with an unknown insignia, in the middle of combating one those spider-chimeras.
“Perhaps…… the soldiers belong to Salma Kingdom?”
It seems that a unit of the Salman army had stumbled upon the chimera trying to sneak around in the hilly area, resulting in the current battle.
While our position gave us a good view, the other parties could see us if they tried.
However, the soldiers had their hands full fighting the spider-chimera and they couldn’t afford to deal with us.
The Dimo cavalry must have realized this fact as well, because they made a slight change in their course.
They were just gonna pass the whole thing by.
It was a rational decision to make, considering that we disregarded the border of a hostile nation.
“At this rate, the soldier will be annihilated……”
Half of the Salman soldiers had already died, the other half was struggling as is, and yet another spider-chimera was approaching their rear.
They had no way of dealing with this.
As I thought the situation over, Lille’s group suddenly lowered their speed to the point that they ran beside us.
“What is it, Nina-dono!?”
I yelled to get my question to be audible over the horses, but she still glanced down at Lille before replying.
“Arc-dono! Princess Lille has a request!!”
Following her statement, the small girl began shouting at the top of her lungs.
“Arc-dono! I am truly sorry, but I ask that you protect the Branier soldiers and subdue the monsters!”
The two people I was sandwiched between snapped their heads towards the small girl when they heard what she asked for.
“Lille-dono, are they not your enemies?”
“That is correct! However, I can’t just leave those people in a situation like this!”
Lille acknowledged the circumstances but still appealed for me to rescue the soldiers.
“There’s not a lot of time to think it over!”
Despite not being able to decipher their true intentions, Ariane’s warning had me nodding at Lille and placing a hand over my sword’s hilt.
“Very well! Let’s go and work off our last meal!”
With one tug on Shiden’s reins, he immediately understood my intentions and started chasing the chimera running down the hill.
Shiden increased his speed once he was directly behind the spider chimera, roaring as he did so.
I quickly drew my sword, which had been tied to Shiden’s saddle, from its sheath and used the stirrups as a foothold to stand, all while grasping the reins in one hand and my sword in the other.
“Chiome-dono, please lower your head!!”
When she realized what I was going to do, she lowered her head and clung to Shinden’s back.
“【Flying Dragon Slash】!!”
A wave of light was sent flying from my sword’s edge, beautifully severing a few of the monster’s legs.
The Spider Chimera’s balance was shattered due to the loss of its legs and its two heads released a gruff scream as it tumbled down the hill.
Shiden pushed his six legs harder, lowered his horns and sent the spider-chimera flying upon impact.
The spider-chimera’s shields and swords were sent flying through the air and several of its body parts were torn off by the high-speed collision.
Accompanied by the dreadful sound of bones shattering and grinding, the spider chimera was reduced to an injured insect.
As we passed it by my companions mercilessly attacked the wounded monster.
『──Stone and Rock, grind my enemies to dust──』
When Ariane invoked her spirit magic, a mass of rocks materialized in the air and started flying at the monster.
Ponta created razor sharp blades of wind that managed to put light scratches on the chimera’s skin.
『Water Style: Water Spear!!』
After forming her hand signs, a lump of water condensed in her hand before taking the shape of a spear. With as much strength as she could muster, Chiome thrust the spear into the spider chimera.
After such an assault, the monster’s body dissolved into nothing and all that remained were the black stains of its spilled blood.
Chiome silently stroked Ponta’s head, while the little fox proudly wagged her tail back and forth.
I glanced at the remains of the spider-monster for a brief moment before redirecting Shiden.
Sheathing my sword I sat back down and took hold of the reins once more.
When a sudden movement caught my attention, I turned my head just in time to see the Branier soldiers deliver the decisive blow to the spider chimera.
After directing Shiden in a large arc around the soldiers, we returned to the course that Lille’s group was taking.
Along the way, I briefly locked eyes with the person who seemed to be their commander, but hadn’t fully grasped what had just happened.
It was convenient for us though.
It’s better to put some distance between us before they regained their senses.
Although, keeping their current condition in mind they wouldn’t be able to pursue us immediately.
The injured would definitely slow the soldiers down if they wanted to pursue us, even if the commander attempted a chase it would take at least a day or two before he could do so.
“With this, Princess Lille’s errand is completed.”
The soldiers disappeared behind us when I tightened my hold on Shiden’s reins.
“Just what was her reasoning behind that?”
Chiome was lost in her own thoughts when she asked that question, she even started to pinch Ponta as she pondered it over.
With an unhappy tone, Ponta voiced her displeasure at such a treatment.
She’s probably doing that unconsciously, so please be patient…… after pleading with Ponta in my heart, Shiden increased his speed to catch up with Lille’s group.