|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2366 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1043 words|
It was just by chance that I happened to be in Strom. While I was currently appointed as a hero, I still had my duties as the priestess, so I was visiting Strom for that while also seeing if there was anything I could do as the hero. The country had nothing special going for it as far as local produce went, and they had still not appointed their hero either. Just like the other countries, many gods were venerated here, but for some reason, they lacked many temples to Lumiere, so I went there to ask their king if they could please build more.
The relationship between Strom and Lumielle was perfectly peaceful. The countries were not close enough to have secret dealings, but their relationship was amicable. In essence, they did not think of each other one way or another. That is how Lumielle tries to treat all other countries, though I did not know if Strom did that as well. But when it came to propagating my faith, it was slightly different. I had to smile in as friendly a way as I could and tell everyone in Strom about the wonders of Lumiere.
“Freya, is our country’s food to your liking?”
“Yes, your majesty. It’s seasoned pleasantly, and I can taste all the ingredients perfectly. I’ve been enjoying it greatly.”
“I see I see, that’s good then.”
The king himself, a very pleasant person, received us. He was turning seventy this year, but he still smiled happily despite his age, fitting perfectly the image of a doting grandfather. In exchange for letting us build more temples in his territory, we were negotiating the increase in products Lumiere would import from them. Since the deal was beneficial to both sides, it was quickly approved and all I had left to do was to return to my country and report the result of my mission. I was already at the front gates of the king’s palace, the king there seeing me off before I left when things changed drastically. A group of heavily wounded knights appeared and stumbled towards us.
“I’m sorry for appearing like this, but a large army of monsters have breached the border from the Haunted Lands!”
“What did you say?!”
An army of monsters?! So far we had thought our side would take the initiative and attack them, I had never imagined they would charge into here… Had we humans been too lax all this time?
“The local armies of the territories near the border are trying to hold them back, but they’re so numerous that at most they’re only buying time for us. We need reinforcements urgently!”
“Hmhmhmm…Freya, I’m terribly sorry you had to witness this, but I have to go now.”
“Wait a moment!”
The king apologized and quickly walked back into the palace, but I called for him to stop. He looked heavily distressed, his friendly smile completely gone and only a frown remaining on his brow.
“Freya…I understand. I’ll accept your cooperation. Give the entire army the order to move out! We won’t leave a single monster alive in our country!”
A group of knights dispersed in all directions. I could only presume they were going to gather soldiers stationed in other places, or to hand orders to those standing by inside the palace to get armed. Others would go reinforce the walls of the capital and get people from nearby cities to evacuate and take refuge there. Ideally, I would like to go to the frontlines immediately, but my party lacked members with powerful spells that affected large areas. We could hold our ground against small groups of enemies, but if they were an army then we had little to offer. Our best shot was to go out together with Strom’s army and try to take down the monster’s leader with them.
§ § §
Following the king’s order, the gathered army set forth towards the battlefield. Everything had been prepared by the night of that same day. I did not think it was the wisest idea to gather an army in half a day, but the king was prioritizing speed over numbers. Everyone there was ready to fight right away, so we would depart and join with more troops from nearby territories as we traveled, and then a convoy with food, water, arrows, potions, and other supplies would follow us later. I was going together with the king and those first troops as well. We moved along rather quickly considering how short notice the army was formed, but it was still slower than traveling alone and it would take us days to reach the front lines.
“I’m sorry to report the troops stationed in nearby territories have been destroyed! The monsters are already attacking the next cities and towns!”
“Marquis Gents’ army is currently engaged in combat!”
“Bordaule has dispatched reinforcements to aid us in battle!”
“We’ve been informed a battalion of holy knights from Lumielle has been sent as a relief!”
As we moved, we constantly received updates on the fight. Hearing that both my country and Bordaule were lending their aid helped the army’s morale, but most of the reports were only bad news, so the king kept frowning. A monster army was usually led by a demon, and the one invading Strom was ravaging city after city with no mercy. They killed, looted, and kidnapped. All the soldiers and knights trying to stop them perished so far, and the few that remained were left to fend for themselves until we arrived. I really wanted to get there as fast as I could, but with all the reinforcements being sent we had to wait to regroup with them on the way, delaying us even more.
“So it’ll still be one more day before we’re there…”
The king groaned as he sat in his tent, his arms crossed. Since we departed the palace our army had increased twofold, comprising more than ten thousand members now, but from the reports we received, the enemy army was just as numerous. Though apparently, the majority of the monsters were low-level goblins and such, so we should have the upper hand.
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