Two chapters until Camilla-sama makes her entrance…
Chapter 5 – Jessica and the Raid on the Capital
I can’t stay conscious much longer.
Ahh, I’m going to die here…
I don’t have the energy or stamina to resist anymore. But I want to curse God for having me die at the hands of my best friend.
It really has been the worst day of my life. I was attacked by the vampirised Geil-sensei. I came face to face with a demon that should have stayed a legend. And at the very moment, I’m on the verge of dying at the hands of my best friend.
Just two days ago we were laughing together so happily.
I was glared at by the hate-filled and terrifying eyes of my best friend, who then spat words at me so cold that a chill ran down my spin. Just remembering it makes my chest tighten with sadness.
I don’t care anymore. I don’t want to feel sad like that again.
Having half-given up on living, I was about to leave life for good when…
Edim suddenly cried out. Her hands naturally loosened their grip on me.
“Keho-! Kaho-, Kehoh-! …Hahh, hahh, hahh”
I madly gasped for oxygen.
Faintly opening my eyes, I found that Edim had lost her balance and fallen. Looking carefully, she had been hit in the side with a large hammer. It was a large hammer, used for fighting with large-type magic beasts. Had Edim been a normal human instead of a vampire, that collision would have smashed her torso to pieces.
Pushing the hammer aside, Edim tottered to her feet.
“Tsk. Looks like somebody came to save you.”
“Jessica, I’ll kill you without fail.”
After leaving curse-like words, Edim left the area.
Just who on earth saved me?
The exhaustion made me want to faint, but I desperately held back the urge and looked around. And then I noticed a silhouette approaching.
There was no mistake. It was the strong and reliable person that I looked up to and admired.
Aahh, Lyris-chan, so you saved me again.
Remi Lyris. A second year at Arcudas Magic Academy. Rumoured to be an infamous delinquent, there isn’t anybody at school that hasn’t heard of her. At first, I also thought she was a little scary. The impression that she left on me back when we were classmates was that of a proud loner. Even when everyone else has happily chatting together, she alone would stay silent and clad herself in an unapproachable aura.
One day, when I was wrapped up in an incident, she saved me. Even though all I did was cry, she risked herself with no benefit to herself in order to save me.
Her tone was brusque, but you could tell that she was worrying about me, and considerate. The moment that I noticed her hidden kind side, I saw her in a whole new light. Before I knew it, I was always watching her from afar.
Lyris-chan is here now.
Just that alone was giving me courage. The self-abandonment from before had totally left me, and I once again found the energy to live.
After picking up the great hammer by my side, Lyris-chan stood in front of me and held out her hand.
“C’mon. Get up.”
“T-, thank you.”
“It’s dangerous here. Leave now!”
“B-, But Edim…”
“Forget her. That thing ain’t your best friend anymore.”
The words ‘best friend’ pierced my heart. Edim’s earlier words came to mind. I was the only one who thought that, and she actually hated me.
“R-, Right. I-, It seems that she didn’t think of me as a friend to start with, so.”
“…When people get turned to vampires, the negative feelings that they had as humans is amplified, and eventually they know nothing but hatred. So Idunno what she said to ya, but don’t mind it.”
“Yeah. At least, you guys looked like best friends to me.”
“Thank you, Lyris-chan.”
Lyris-chan snorted in embarrassment as she looked away. She was trying to cheer me up, wasn’t she. A kind person as always.
“Really, thank you. If you hadn’t come, I would’ve been killed.”
“Seriously. I just happened to notice, so just think of it as good luck.”
“Whoaa, you’re so stubborn. Even though you noticed that Jessica-chan hadn’t come back to the dorm, and even raan around looking for her.”
“Wha-!? Vera, you bitch… Saying needless things…”
Who is that? And what’s with her clothing?
I didn’t notice before, but Lyris-chan was wearing the same strange clothes as Vera-san. It wasn’t the school uniform, nor was it the Public Safety Force’s. If I had to say, it resembled the vestments of a church priest. A simple, long outfit all in black.
Is she somebody from the church?
No, both Lyris-chan and Vera-san are holding weapons. Lyris-chan has a great hammer, and Vera-san had a great spear. That’s why it’s a mismatch with the pacifistic church.
Really, who is she?
Vera-san was a beautiful adult wearing priest-like clothing, and easily handling a great spear. Whether it’s that gap in figure and strength, or that mysteriousness, she’s just like Tilea-san.
Why is she together with Lyris-chan?
“U-, Umm, Lyris-chan――”
“Go seek shelter with this lot!”
At Lyris-chan’s words, I turned around and found fellow students coming my way.
“Ah-, where are you two going?”
“Soorry, but we can’t tell you, Jessica-chan.”
“Also Jessica, tell ’em this; prioritise the evacuation of the citizens, and don’t fight.”
“Eh? What do you mean?”
“I mean, it still ain’t so bad if they’re fighting the former humans, but they can’t fight the demons.”
“That’s right. If you kids meet any demons, run away immediately. They’re too much for you to handle.”
So warned Vera-san and Lyris-chan. And I understood. I knew the terror of the demons first hand. It was completely impossible for me to fight. Although it’s true that I was inexperienced, it was also clear that they were on a fundamentally different level to me.
Yeah, it’s just like these two said. A demon would be too much for any of the students to handle.
“Each to their own, okay? Leave them to our demon hunting specialist group, 『Decarabia』[Demon Destroying Pentagram].”
“Decarabia?[Demon Destroying Pentagram]”
“Oi! You’re telling her too much!”
“Just this much is fine, isn’t it?”
“Seriously, always messing around like this――well, whatever. Point is, be careful about demons!”
“Bye now, Jessica-chan.”
Leaving those words, Lyris-chan and Vera-san disappeared into the darkness.
Decarabia[Demon Destroying Pentagram]…
A demon hunting specialist group?
I had no idea there was an institution like that here in the Capital.
And what’s more, Lyris-chan is a member?
My head was in chaos.
Ahh, it’s no good. I’m too tired to think properly.
I reflexively sat down on the ground, just as President of the Student Council, Muvordelly-seitokaichou came running over.
“Nichol-kun, are you okay?”
“Kaichou. I-, I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine. Now let’s hurry and run. We’ve taken up camp up ahead.”
“Mn? You looked quite weakened. Drink this.”
“Is this a potion?”
“Yeah. There’s only a third left. Mix some herbs in and use it.”
I received the potion and herbs from him. First I plucked off a few leaves of the herbs and put them into my mouth, before gulping them down with potion.
S-, So bitterrr!
Because I mixed potion into it, the bitterness of the herbs became especially bad.
Uu, my tongue is going numb.
But the effect was outstanding. I could tell that mana was rushing about my body. As expected of the potions that are the pride of the capital. My stamina wasn’t completely back yet, but the potion recovered about 80 or 90 percent. I could even run now. I immediately headed to the camp with Kaichou and the others.
But still, I wonder what everybody else has been doing.
Now that I was consciously wondering about them, I decided to try asking Kaichou.
“What on earth is going on?”
“It’s an invasion by the demon race.”
So it really was just like what Lyris-chan and Vera-san said. It wasn’t just Arcyune. To think that there were more of those scary things around…
“And the counterattack?”
“The Capital’s counterattack system is mostly not functioning. The damage spread in an instant.”
“T-, That can’t be…”
“They really pulled a fast one on us. Not just the Public Safety Force Captain Remilia-sama, but all the powerful adventurers were absent when they chose to attack and invade.”
“Then Maira-san and Robin-san aren’t here either?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
Far from Remilia-sama, even the two other alias-holding stars of the Guild were out…?
The Captain of the Public Safety Force isn’t here, and neither are the two A-ranked adventurers. Our fall in war potential was obvious. In this kind of situation, we couldn’t put up a decent fight.
“Why did this happen?”
“Yesterday, Remilia-sama was pursuing a suspicious character. As for the famous adventurers, they’re out of the Capital at the moment.”
“Out of the capital, you say?”
“Remember? There was a rumour a while ago that there were demons in Beruga Plains, right?”
If that’s what he’s talking about, then I know about it too. Remilia-sama noticed a suspicious mana maelstrom and headed to Beruga Plains a few times. But although she went to investigate she never found any proof, and then simply put it on hold.
“I heard that she didn’t find anything, but?”
“Yeah, but she still had her doubts, you see. She thought that something might be lurking there.”
It makes sense that if they heard about Remilia-sama’s interest in the place, everybody else would wonder about it too.
“And amidst all of that, there were reports that an unconfirmed large-type beast appeared in the Beruga Plains.”
“I see! So as adventurers, they wanted to go and verify it, right?”
“Yeah. All the famous adventurers went over together to hunt it.”
“But it turned out to be just your regular pack of magic dogs, right? They didn’t immediately finish the job?”
“Mn, they were magic dogs, but they weren’t your regular pack of magic dogs. They were ferocious, much more so than the ones the Guild recognises, and the adventurers were forced to make expedition after expedition. Because of that, they grew increasingly far from the capital.”
“A mysterious whirlpool of mana, the appearance of ferocious magic dogs, and then the attack on the Capital. Could it really all be a coincidence?”
“There’s a good chance that it was all the plot of the demon race. Carefully hiding the fact that the Capital was their true aim, they lured everybody out.”
Oh my god! Neither the famous adventurers nor the Public Safety Captain are here. All we have are trainee Public Safety cadets, and third-rate adventurers. In that case, the Magic Academy is our only real war potential. We’re basically no different from a rabble. Just like the two of them warned, I don’t think that a fight with the demons is at all possible for us.
“Then doesn’t that mean the Capital has almost no war potential! There’s no way we can fight with the demons.”
“I know. But we can’t so easily just give up and idle either.”
“But, I heard that the Decarabia[Demon Hunting Pentagram] have set out to subjugate the demons.”
“Decarabia[Demon Hunting Pentagram]? Can’t say I’ve heard of them.”
“Eh? Ah, I-, I thought not. Just who on earth is Lyris-chan…?”
“At any rate, we’ve sent an express messenger to Remilia-sama. Until she returns, we of the Arcudas Magic Academy need to defend the Capital with our lives.”
The moment that Kaichou returned to the base, he gathered and organised the students.
I was stationed three kilometres behind our base, and was given the mission of sounding an alert if vampires came.