|Author: Kobayashi Homare
|Original Source: Syosetu
|Word Count: 3449 characters
|English Source: Re:Library
|Word Count: 1630 words
–––A soldier’s viewpoint
“Hey?! What happened?!”
“I don’t know! We’re under attack!”
“Dammit! How did they get here all the way from the border?!”
There was a sudden explosion in the city, followed by a towering column of flames, which threw me and the other guards into disarray. At first I suspected it might be a monster attack, but I quickly shook my head knowing that was impossible. No one really knew how, but the higher officials of the empire had found a way to control monsters. They even went into the Haunted Lands to bring hordes of powerful monsters back, which walked through the empire without touching anything, and were sent into various other countries. I did not have to even think of what they were doing now, I was already fully aware. They had probably already claimed countless victims. Still, those monsters were docile while in the empire.
Sometimes I wondered, were they actually becoming violent in other countries? I would know the answer when we crossed the border. It was hard to believe they had made it all the way here undetected though. Had spies gotten in somehow..? But that did not make sense either. Such acts of sabotage usually targeted much smaller and focused areas. Whoever was attacking did not seem to have any regard for the difference in number between them and us, meaning they likely were extremely confident in their skills. If that was the case…did we have any chance to survive?
“They’re attacking again! Take cover!”
The moment a fellow soldier shouted that, I threw myself to the ground as another explosion started, an intense heat wave blasting across my back.
“It’s certain now…the enemy is trying to destroy all of us…”
What started as a bad feeling turned to conviction. I suppressed my urges to run away, instead breaking into a run towards the direction the fire came from.
Ciel’s magic continuously burned through the pile of supplies. Her magic had gotten incredibly strong compared to before, the flames spreading violently to the surrounding areas. We all dispersed to different locations the moment the attack started. Ciel would continue attacking from a distance, Diaria was near her to snipe anyone who got close, while me, Luvias, and Lapis went to fight the soldiers directly.
“There they are!”
An enemy spotted me and quickly rang a horn. I quickly unsheathed my sword while a large crowd of soldiers roared angrily as they gathered around us, armed with swords and spears. So many soldiers shouting would have certainly intimidated me in the past, but I could not afford to get distracted by the past here. I dashed forward, cutting down their leader barely making any sounds. Before the other soldiers could process that horrifying sight, I lopped off their heads. I quickly dashed to the side to avoid the spurts of blood, and then cut through the torso of a soldier with a spear.
There were terrifying screams everywhere. Some soldiers still tried to get their weapons and come stop Ciel, but I shot all of them. I could not let my emotions get the best of me. Leble’s soldiers were enemies, if left, they would soon harm the neighboring countries. I kept repeating that to myself as I faced the next enemy.
“It seems they’ve found us.”
“Leave it to me.”
I was sending bright fireballs from a tall roof, at night, so it was easy to spot us. A group of enemy soldiers were approaching us, trying to somehow stop me, but Diaria next to me took them out. Her arrows were accurate even from this distance. It was a bit hard to believe how well centered the arrows were as they pierced through the enemies’ heads. If they tried to raise their shields to enhance their defenses, their speed would slow down, making it easier for me to land spells on them. If they tried rushing forward without regard to protection, Diaria’s arrows would stop them. It was the worst situation to be in for the enemy.
Most of the piles of supplies in the city were up in flames, so now I was looking for my next objective. The panic had spread from the soldiers to the people of the city, things getting really out of control for them.
“Ciel, let’s move.”
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We jumped from rooftop to rooftop. Using Flight Magic here would be a bad idea, so we had to rely on physical strength. Still, we changed locations without issue, thanks to our strenuous training.
“Are you okay, Ciel?”
I was not able to fully stop my legs from shaking, but I just waved Diaria’s worries away and prepared my next spell.
I continued tearing through the enemy forces. Usually our difference in numbers would be overwhelming, but the result was different here. Such was the difference in skill between the soldiers and I. They fell like bloody messes before they could even raise their swords. The other soldiers would continue arriving to fight back, even though so many of their comrades had fallen already. Since they were in the rear lines, they could not see what was happening ahead of them very clearly. So by the time they realized what happened, they were already dying.
After I started living in my Master’s house, I had gotten a lot of experience fighting as an adventurer. Lately I was starting to feel like I was fighting more people than monsters though. I hated to think that the demons were successfully pitting humans against humans, but complaining would not solve anything, swinging my sword was more effective.
As Bordaule’s princess, I definitely had some grudges against Leble. As a hero I felt ashamed of it, but I hated Leble. Many of the people who died in Bordaule during the civil war had been my friends, or people I was close with. I tried to not let my Master notice, but now that I was alone, I put all my hatred into the edge of my blade. I knew most soldiers were not directly involved with any of those attacks, but even if I understood that, my emotions would not.
“Hate me if you want, call it unfair even. But I won’t hesitate.”
My sword continued slicing the enemy apart. I was not losing any momentum yet. The soldiers’ nightmare would continue for much longer.
“I guess we don’t need to use any flashy magic after all.”
Our current opponents were mere footsoldiers, we could destroy the entire city if we wanted. But they were forced to fight back. I picked a rather wide street as my battlefield. I could assume this was a main street from the many closed shops alongside it. This was the biggest city in this region, so I could imagine these streets were full of merchants and travelers by day. Now it was bathed in blood and corpses. After cutting through so many soldiers, my halberd had turned completely red too.
At first I wiped it with a piece of cloth to stop blood from splattering everywhere when I swung it, but even that piece of cloth could not absorb any more blood. It felt really gross seeing blood drip everywhere while I used it.
“Raise your shields! March on!”
The soldiers in front raised large shields before charging towards me. Meanwhile many archers began firing behind them, trying to restrain my movements. It was a rather coordinated attack. Quite difficult to pull off for soldiers stationed in the countryside. Maybe that was the average skill of soldiers in Leble, or this city was special somehow. That did not change much on my end, though I was still a bit impressed.
It would have been a very effective tactic against a normal opponent, but not enough against me. I lifted the corpses around me with one hand and began throwing them at the soldiers.
“Damn it! What’s he doing?!”
“Is this guy crazy?!”
I was using corpses as throwing stones, corpses of their dead comrades. They were enraged seeing me act with so little regard or respect for the dead. But no matter how angry they got, that did not change our difference in strength. Eventually the corpses managed to create an opening between their shields, which I dashed through and began mercilessly destroying them from inside out. With me amidst their lines, their archers and magicians could no longer support them, and it only took me a short time to dispatch all of them to the afterlife.
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The fight waged on seemingly endlessly, and before I realized the sky was starting to get brighter. We had defeated so many of their soldiers that they could no longer act as a cohesive army or platoon. Sometimes a soldier would peek from a corner, but they would always choose to flee immediately.
“Okay, that’s enough. Chasing a handful of soldiers sounds like too much of a bother.”
The street was covered in countless bodies, which I did not feel like counting. I had moved around a lot while fighting, so a large portion of the city looked like that too. Still, I felt no guilt. I pointed my palm to the sky, sending a bright fireball into the air, it was our signal to pull back.
“This should force Leble to send a large army as support to this city. We’ll just have to come back and take them out a few times…”
I had not told the rest of the party what my true idea was, I would leave that for later. But I could only think about that, seeing the many bodies around the streets.