Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
Soulia, the capital city of Nozan Kingdom.
A high city wall had been built around the city to defend it from invaders…… sprawling fields, maintained by the city’s farmers, once surrounded the wall.
However, the fields had been trampled by the hundred thousand undead that had besieged the city.
The area around the southern gate was surrounded by countless suits of scratched and mangled body armor, a thick layer of ash covered the entire area and flaming pyres sent black smoke into the air.
These were the marks of a recent battle……
Only a single individual stood in the center on this battle-scarred stretch of land.
He wore a set of ornamental silver armor with white and blue undertones, in his right hand he carried a blue longsword which gave off a pale aura, in his left was an elaborately decorated round shield…… and a jet-black mantle on his back blew in the wind.
“Hmm, maybe…… maybe I went a bit too far……”
With a deep sigh I voiced my thoughts as I took in the surrounding area.
My original plan was to destroy at least half of the undead with the Heavenly Knight’s Area-Of-Effects skills, but this was the end result.
Other than those that had managed to slip into the city before I arrived, the entire horde had been purified, with only the scattered pieces of armor remaining.
The few remaining undead were a good distance away from me, but with their chain of command destroyed, they were just mindlessly wandering around.
There was a clear difference between these undead and the ones I encountered in Tajiento. While the same power controlled the two undead factions, it was obvious that these ones lacked clear direction.
If I had to guess, I’d say that seven hundred undead remained, but they weren’t much of a threat in this condition.
The only problem were those within the capital.
The backlash from using the heavenly knight skill still wrecked my body, but I couldn’t just stand here forever.
Following that train of thought, I turned towards Soulia’s destroyed gate, but a familiar and kinda sharp female voice behind me halted my step.
“Hold on, Arc. You don’t plan to enter the city by yourself, do you?”
Looking back I saw a tall, beautiful woman making her way towards me with long strides.
However, she wasn’t human. Her clothes, decorated with a distinct pattern, were wrapped around her voluptuous body, her skin had a lilac hue, and she had golden eyes and pointed ears.
She was what this world referred to as a ‘Dark Elf’. Even though she held her sword, whose hilt was decorated with a lion, at waist-level she still approached me while keeping a watchful eye on her surroundings.
“Oh, Ariane-dono. Our end of the bargain is complete.”
She was stunned by want I said and shook her head after a moment.
“I only came to scout ahead…… but only the matter of our payment remains.”
I couldn’t disagree with her statement and started chuckling in a manner unbefitting of this place.
“Hehehe, I overdid it just a bit this time…… sorry”
Ariane’s eyebrows shot up when she heard my apology.
“It wasn’t an accident this time, right? What was all that? Lille-chan and her guards cowered as they watched you single-handedly blow away nearly one hundred thousand undead while laughing to yourself, you know?”
She sheathed her sword and looked towards the heavens as she bombarded me with questions.
All of a sudden my entire field of view was covered by a ball of fur that had fallen out of the sky.
“Oh, Ponta. Were you a little worried?”
I started talking to the furball…… Ponta, after pulling her off my face.
She was about sixty centimeters long, covered in green fur on her top half while her underbelly and the end of her tail were white, and since she was capable of use wind spirit magic elves referred to her as a spirit beast.
Because of the puffy tail that made up half of her length, she was commonly called a Fluffy Fox.
Once Ponta had settled into her usual spot atop my helmet, she let out an energetic cry and wagged her tail before turning towards Ariane.
Ariane couldn’t help but sigh after seeing such a scene.
“If word gets out about an elf being capable of such a feat, it’s possible that the kidnappings might increase…… However, there was no helping it this time.”
I had to lower my head at her slightly resigned statement.
However, someone entered the conversation and interrupted us.
“Isn’t it all right? After witnessing Arc’s power, I can’t imagine that they would be reckless enough to show us hostility, given their capabilities. So……”
A girl was speaking as she approached us…… and one look showed that she wasn’t human either.
She was dressed from head to toe in black clothes, cats ears stuck out of her head amd I could see a tail that was wrapped around her waist.
She was a beastman…… specifically, she was a cat beastman that belong to the “Blade Heart Clan”, which I suspected had been founded by someone named “Hanzo”, who had also crossed over into this world.
Even though she was young, her abilities had allowed her to become one of the “six great ninja’s”. Her name was Chiome.
Her almost completely silent approach was definitely reminiscent of a cat’s agile movements.
Seeing Chiome’s blue eyes suddenly snapping towards another direction made me follow after her gaze.
When I did so I was met with the slightly jarring sight of a little girl running across the charred battlefield.
The girl was younger that Chiome, perhaps ten or so. Her curly, light-brown, shoulder-length hair bounce around cutely as she ran.
While a leather breastplate had been strapped over her rather fancy dress, she was far from being suitably equipped for battle. She didn’t even seem to be carrying a weapon.
At first glance, it seemed as if a town girl had snuck onto the battlefield, but she was in fact the Princess of Nozan Kingdom, Lille Nozan Soulia.
She was also the one who requested that I serve as reinforcements to the soldiers in the capital.
A good distance behind the defenseless little girl, her two personal knights and over a hundred cavalrymen gradually lead their horses through the battlefield, each of them keeping a cautious eye on me personally.
“Princess Lille, please wait!”
The female knight called out to the girl…… It was rather obvious from her expression, that Nina was being vigilant of me.
However, Lille continued forward as if she hadn’t heard the warning, her small body didn’t stop moving until she right at my feet, looking straight up at me with her large grey eyes.
“Th-That was amazing, Arc-dono! Elves really do make strong warriors!”
Lille’s reaction was one suitable for her age, but the tension behind her eyes brought what Ariane had said to mind.
Despite her small stature, Lille still carried the responsibilities of a royal, and she was attempting to greet me in a friendly manner.
I slowly sheathed my sword so as not to surprise her, placed my hand on my chest, and kneeled down on the spot.
“It’s an honor to receive such praise. As promised, those that impeded Your Highness’s way have been removed. I humbly ask you to forgive me, it appears I got carried away……”
It was a slightly theatrical performance, finished off with Ponta tightening her hold on my head and crying out.
Lille’s gray eyes nearly popped out when she saw my behavior, but then a small grin appeared on her face and she corrected her posture.
“Arc-dono, there’s no need for such formality! It’s rather tedious!”
There was no longer any shadow of tension in her eyes as she looked at me.
However, the princess’s two escorts, Nina and Zahar, finally caught up with her. The fear and worry in their eyes were greater than the princess’s had been.
“Princess Lille! This place is dangerous, please don’t wander too far from us!”
The female knight, Nina, reprimanded the princess for wandering onto the battlefield.
She was clearly referring to me when she said “dangerous”.
Her reaction was to be expected, all things considered…… besides, there were those showing a more animate reaction. The cavalry’s movement slowed to a halt as they approached Lille and her two escorts…… the were hesitating to get any closer to me.
Even if you took the numerous pieces of damaged armor that littered the battlefield into consideration, their sunken faces and reluctance made it easy to deduce their feelings.
Nevertheless, they were troops dispatched to fulfill Lille’s request and they managed to lead their horse here, so they could be near her if need be.
After looking back at her escorts and the cavalry, Lille picked up on the atmosphere and began speaking with authority in her response.
“Everyone, there’s nothing to fear! Arc-dono has expelled most of the enemies! We’ll postpone the elimination of those that linger on the highway, enter the city and meet with my father!”
Her two escorts were bewildered by her declaration but quickly regained their composure as they tried to comprehend the princess’s commands.
Nina was the first to speak up.
“Princess, do you tend to let those people into the capital? If such a power were unleashed, the damage would be unimaginable! That person is too……”
Before Nina could finish her next sentence Zahar, who’d been silent up till now, held up his hand and cut her off.
“Arc-dono, you’ve saved the capit…… no, the Kingdom from this crisis. However, will you swear not to unleash that power within the city? Your strength is simply beyond comprehension.”
Zahar’s voice was rather tense as he and Nina glanced back and forth between Lille and me.
Ariane seemed like she had something to say, but she only shrugged and sighed as she shook her head.
Even if I promised to comply with Zahar’s request, whatever I said ran the risk of coming off as a threat to those aware of the overwhelming power their enemy possessed.
However, refusing to do so would only ostracize me further.
…… I needed to choose my words carefully.
After giving it some thought and taking note of the bad atmosphere, I cleared my throat.
The cavalrymen all held their breath because of that slight action on my part.
“We will keep the promise we exchanged with Princess Lille. For our own reasons, we wouldn’t benefit from having Soulia conquered or destroyed. In addition, that technique is not something that I can use recklessly……”
I let out a large sigh and shrugged while I spoke.
It wasn’t a lie per se. The Heavenly Knight skill 【Blazing Seraphim of Judgement: Executioner Michael】 had a massive cooldown-time, and to be honest I would rather not use it all that often.
The mental strain of fusing with the massive existence that was a descending angel was immense, since I was consciously aware of my own existence being overridden. To be frank, the pain which I experienced was equivalent to my first time using spring water at the Dragon King’s Tree.
In hindsight, having the main source of pain being tied to the use of a skill made continued use of it rather self-destructive.
I pondered over such thing would watching Zahar’s and Nina’s reaction.
They seemed to struggle with making a decision on whether or not they should accept the opposition’s condition, so I pushed them to hurry along their choose.
“In this really all right? While I certainly destroyed most of the undead this side of the wall, thousands of them still made it inside the city.”
The two escorts, the cavalryman, and Lille all stopped with they’d been doing and looked towards the capital behind me.
The flames and smoke still rose across the battlefield and the sounds of battle could be heard from here.
Lille looked back at her escorts shortly after hearing that.
“Now is not the time to cast doubt over Arc-dono! Zahar, Nina, we must enter the city and reach my father! There’s no time to waste!”
There was no room for argument in her voice as she turned her small body around and began walking towards the capital.
Nina quickly chased after the Lille before she got too far away.
“Princess Lille, wait! The city is still dangerous! Please, at least remain with the soldiers until we meet your father!”
Contrary to Nina’s anxious response, Zahar silently sent a signal the cavalrymen behind him before he started speaking.
“We will precede Lille’s entrance into the city! Do not falter! Arc-dono, can I entrust you with Princess Lille?”
Although I could feel Nina’s heated glare, I nodded in response to Zahar’s question.
“Leave it to me. I shall take responsibility for Lille-dono’s well-being. Shiden!”
I called for Shiden, who’d been waiting a good distance away.
With a mighty roar, Shiden’s massive body began running across the battlefield.
A six-legged, four meters long giant hammered his feet against the ground. Reddish scales covered his entire body, two white horns extended from his head and a white mane stretched down his back.
Watching the dragon mount paying no heed to the scattered pieces of armor it trampled, made him seem more like a living tank than anything else.
Shiden began to slow down after passing the cavalrymen and stopped directly in front of me to have an exchange with Ponta.
“Chiome-dono, can you ride with Lille? Ariane-dono and I will walk alongside you.”
Chiome nodded at my suggestion before picking up Lille and leaping onto Shiden’s back and grabbing hold of his reins.
After taking position at the head of the cavalry, he started whispering something into Nina’s ear.
She nodded at whatever he said and lead her horse over to Shiden.
It appeared she’d be acting as our watchdog.
“Many undead still roam the city! Don’t be careless!”
The cavalrymen shouted a passionate battle cry when they heard Zahar’s words.
Nina, Lille and my group were once again at the rear of the formation.
……It was in this manner that we finally entered the capital.