Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Capital City Soulia」
Near Soulia’s destroyed southern gate.
Due to the destructive impact of my final attack, the hundred and fifty cavalrymen had enough room to maneuver their way inside.
Just how much would it cost to repair such an enormous gate?
For the time being, if we have to enter negotiations with the king I’d like to avoid having to pay for the destroyed gate and consider it collateral damage during the destruction of the undead horde……
With Zahar at the head, the cavalry ventured into the city. The scattered remnants of the destroyed gate made it difficult to steer the horse inside the city.
There were several undead soldiers in the open space beyond the gate, but they were immediately swept away by Zahar’s forces.
There were no signs of any living around, bringing the image of a ghost town to mind.
“With a major gate breached, the defense force probably retreated behind the inner wall! We’ll take the shortest path there!”
Once the square was secured Zahar directed his horse towards the main street as he issued his orders and set off.
In the meantime, Ariane and I had moved next to Shiden and were now following behind them.
Undead soldiers would crop up from time to time, but they were quickly dispatched by the cavalrymen.
Their numbers were few, but the occasional spider chimera would attack us.
The two-headed and four-armed mixture of a human figure that sprung from the lower body of an enormous spider where strange, to say the least.
While their strength exceeded that of a normal human, trapped within the confines of an urban setting, they proved to be no match for Ariane’s and my power.
“【Flying Dragon Slash】!”
I attacked the spider-chimeras as they appeared.
An arc of light was sent flying towards the chimera whenever I swung my sword in their direction, they raised its shield to defend themselves or had their legs severed.
『ーInfernal Flame, reduce all that you consume to ashesー』
Once they were immobilized Ariane would deliver the finishing blow from a distance.
The pale flames that enveloped her sword would spring out and attack the chimera like a whip.
Even though the chimera had a large field of vision, after the first attack distracted them Ariane’s flames easily slipped into their blind spot. Once the wound was dealt their bodies were devoured by the fire.
Even if the enemy tried to launch a surprise attack from above, atop of Shiden, Chiome unitized her superior senses to locate them before they struck.
“『Water Style: Water Kunai』 Arc-dono, the roof on the right.”
Chiome detected an enemy and attacked it, all without releasing Shiden’s reins.
Our position at the rear allowed me to use transfer magic with little fear of the others seeing it.
“Got it! 【Dimensional Step】! 【Shield Bash】!!”
When I materialized in front of the spider chimera on top of the roof, the creature was clearly startled by it, but I used my shield to knock it to the ground below without much though.
「Yoouuuuu, whou ari you!?」
While it’s multiple sets of eyes were blown wide open, it was completely unaware of Ariane’s waiting sword.
It reserved a vicious slash on top of the fall damage. Then the cavalry took their swing at it.
Once the spider chimera died its body began breaking down on the spot, leaving only a black stain on the street.
Originally, Zahar’s cavalry seemed to be fearful of the spider-chimera’s seemingly overwhelming might and their role as leader of the other undead, but their fear gradually dimin
ished thanks to our presence.
However, I felt one pair of eyes piercing me on the very spot I stood, the source of the gaze was non-other than a surprised Nina.
…… I forgot that she was accompanying Lille.
I’d been so concentrated on dealing with the enemy I unconsciously used transfer magic in front of Nina.
My eyes darted over the rest of the troops, searching for any other witnesses, but they were all cautiously scanning the area ahead of them.
Lille was clinging to Chiome and looking straight at the cavalry ahead of her.
Ariane glanced side to side before letting out a deep sigh and urging Shiden and the others forward.
Even though the other troops hadn’t seen the magic, now wasn’t the time to be relieved. Nina would most likely tell Zahar, who’d then inform the princess of it, meaning the magic’s existence would likely reach the King’s ears before our meeting with him.
“H〜mm, I guess I should prepare for Ariane-dono’s scolding after this……”
After I said that, Ponta started pounding on my helmet with her forepaw as she cried out and vigorously wagged her tail.
“For now, let’s focus on reaching our destination.”
While replying to Ponta, I swung my sword at the spider chimera that showed up on a roof across the street.
The instant I launched the 【Flying Dragon Slash】 I transferred to the opposite side of the street and delivered the finishing blow.
The human upper body let out a scream before falling off the roof to the ground below, while the spider half simply dropped at my feet.
After glancing at it for a moment I glanced in the direction the cavalry was heading.
“Hm, so that’s the inner wall……”
Looking over the rooftops of Soulia…… I laid my eyes upon the high walls that separated the inner city from the rest.
I looked back at the southern gate we entered from, trying to triangulate our current position.
“We’re about halfway there.”
At Ponta’s cry, I transferred to the back of the group and quietly returned to my place by Shiden’s side.
Nina gave me another surprised look, but she remained silent and returned to scanning the area, apparently deciding not to bring it up now.
Eventually, the troops arrived in the open square in front of the inner wall. The closed gate in front of us was smaller than the southern gate. Its large, wooden doors were covered by an iron grate you’d expect to see on a fortress’s last line of defense.
Above the gate was a stone rampart, probably used for surveillance, where I could see the figures of multiple soldiers moving about.
The cavalry was greeted with cheers from atop the city wall, as our trek through the undead overwhelmed streets was already known of.
Those among them had been shocked when they caught sight of Shiden bringing up the rear, however, they resumed their cheers when they saw Lille waving at them from atop the mount, the heavy atmosphere around us since we entered the city had vanished.
Hearing the cheers of the other soldiers raised the morale of the cavalryman.
Zahar divided the cavalry into three units and ordered them to clear the square of the undead while he approached the gate himself.
I thought about joining in to help them, but before I could raise my sword a sudden noise near the gate drew my attention.
The source of the noise was at the center of the wall rampart…… a figure dressed unlike any of the soldiers had appeared.
The middle-aged man dressed in the clothes of a noble was causing quite a stir amongst the soldiers.
Given that the soldiers seemed to be frightened of this man, and that there were people chasing after him, the man must have been apart of the higher nobility.
I didn’t recognize the person, but Nina and Zahar immediately straightened their postures once they saw him and Lille joyful expression made it rather easy to figure out who he was.
“Father! Lille Nozan Soulia has returned!”
Atop the inner wall, the middle-aged man… No, Lille’s father and the king was shouting orders at the surrounding soldiers, who were quick to fulfill them.
“Open the gate! Open the gate!”
Shortly after the order was given the heavy iron gates began to rise and the wooden doors began to slowly open.
“Lille-sama, this way! All soldiers, remain cautious as we pass through the gate!”
Zahar prompted Chiome, who held Shiden’s reins and sat in front of the princess, to move forward and also instructed the troops to quickly make their way inside the inner wall.
Chiome gave him a small nod and directed Shiden inside.
Ariane and I were the last ones to pass through the gate and were greeted by the troops receiving a warm welcome from the citizen and soldiers gathered in the area.
“So many people……”
“Yeah. Looks like they don’t have any room to spare.”
Ariane chimed in when she heard my comment about the area inside the inner wall.
Since the outer wall had been breached, the other side of this gate had turned into a battlefield. The number of people gathering so close to the front lines was indicative of how crowded this place was.
If they’d been forced to remain under siege, it’s doubtful of how long they could’ve held out.
Even with our rushed march, we only made it at the very last minute.
My thoughts on the subject were interrupted when I caught sight of Lille’s father descending the rampart and heading towards Shiden.
Lille, who saw him as well, leaped out of the saddle and ran towards him.
The two of them seemed to beam with joy as they embraced one another.
Lille’s father, the King, must have thought the world of her, because he craned head and sent a prayer towards the heavens after kissing her cheeks.
Lille unabashedly accepted her father’s embrace without any sign of discomfort.
However, the King eventually recovered his composure and directed a harsh look towards his beloved daughter.
“Lille, why did you return? You were told to head to the Dimo Earldom.”
The King’s voice deepened as his hard eyes were drawn towards both of his daughter’s suddenly kneeling escorts.
Behind us, a clicking sound signaled that the gate had been closed. The sound echoed throughout the area, being the chatter to a stop and exposing the king’s disfavor to everyone.
The anger behind the king’s eyes originated from a parent discovering that their child had been brought to a dangerous location.
Under the pressure of the King’s gaze, Zahar lowered his head and began to apologize.
“I am sorry, my King. All responsibility fa─”
However, Lille moved her small body in-between the two of them and cut off Zahar in the middle of his sentence.
“The blame does not fall on Zahar and Nina! It was my decision to return here! To just do nothing…… to watch as my country dies……”
You could hear the tears mixing into her speech as she defended her two escorts and revealed that she had disobeyed her father’s wishes.
Even if she was royalty, she was still a little girl.
Still aware of the eyes that were on them, the King started stroking Lille’s head and comfort her while she struggled to say her next words.
“I’m sorry Lille…… Before I am a king, I am a worried father.”
The patted down Lille’s golden locks before crouching down and whispering into her ear, but he once again wore a King’s expression as he righted himself and looked in my direction.
“Then, can you identify those people and what purpose they have here?”
Unlike before, the full dignity of a king was now on full display, so Ariane, Chiome and I prepared to bow and reply to his question.
However, Lille wiped the tears from her eyes and answered before we could do anything.
“These are the people I hired to rescue the capital! If not for their power we wouldn’t be standing here now.”
The King’s gaze gave so another once over after hearing her explanation.
“An elf and…… a beastmen?”
The king was a bit confused as he looked over Chiome and Ariane, but the when I removed my helmet, ponta and all, his eyes seem to admit defeat over the matter.
Naturally, I drank some of the spring water in advance, since someone with a skeletal face was rather frightening to the denizens of this world…… so they saw the face of a middle-aged, red-eyed dark elf instead.
It was like a large question mark formed over the King’s head as doubt crept into his face when he looked over Ariane and myself once more.
“They seem different from the regular elves, are they from Rouen Forest?”
Just like when that question was asked before, Ariane was quick to delay the connection.
“No, we are from Great Canada Forest. I am a dark elf and the one in the armor is…… a strange elf.”
I bitterly chuckled at Ariane’s haphazard introduction and put my helmet back on before the water’s effects wore off.
“What reasons would elves from such a distant forest have to help a human country?”
The king fixed a cold stare on me as he asked us about our aims.
Zahar, who’d remained behind Lille till now, slowly began open his mouth.
“My King, there is something you need to know……”
Zahar’s voice trailed off as he half stood from his kneeling position and began filling the King in on what had occurred up till now.
The King’s expression was dyed the color of surprise as he looked in-between Zahar and me, his eyes bulged as he asked “Is that true?” in a small voice.
The King broke into a cold sweat as he Zahar informed him of the part the “reinforcement” played in recent events.
Silence fell over the area as the crowd watched their exchange play out until a shouting person pushed his way to the front of the crowd.