|Author: Natsuni Kotatsu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library|
The clash of metal resounded. Footsteps pounding the earth. Roaring cries. All of it surged toward the gate before gradually dispersing. The objective—a simultaneous annihilation of the multiplying monsters. To deny them the opportunity to call for help. To prevent any chance of reinforcement.
For the purpose of unerring slaughter and the reclamation of all that was lost, everyone had endured. It was as if the accumulated frustrations had erupted in an explosion of action.
The sounds of spells and battle cries echoed from various directions. Oddly, everyone was executing the strategy flawlessly, their coordination so precise that it was almost eerie.
Oh, no, they weren’t in a frenzy. My apologies for any confusion.
“Illya, what’s going on? You seem absentminded.”
“Oh, are you worried about Frank! That would be quite amusing actually!”
““She’s fed up with us?!””
An inadvertent sigh escaped as I observed Ria and Cynthia who were in high spirits, earning shocked exclamations from the two. It was less being fed up and more just feeling sorry for making them worry.
In the square, non-combatant individuals who weren’t participating in the battle remained. Even among the branch personnel, it wasn’t just Ria and Cynthia, but everyone other than Caron, Claude, Luke, Bard, Cathy, and Claris.
“I did mention that those not partaking in the operation needn’t make an appearance.”
“Are you asking why we showed up anyway?”
“Illya, you’re such a wet blanket!”
“Of course, it’s because we wanted to see them off.”
Cynthia and Elize added.
“Oh, Lashelle, are you here to bid farewell to your boyfriend?”
“I-I’m here for everyone!”
“You don’t have to pretend so much… But well, getting flustered like that is adorable.”
Lashelle was playfully teased by Cynthia and Ria.
“We also wanted to see them off until the Lord and others returned.”
“Just say that you’re here for your husband.”
“I hope he puts in some effort.”
The ladies from the kitchen shared a hearty laugh. Amidst the laughter that spread around, Amabelle was the only one keeping her gaze fixed on the gate.
“It’ll be alright.”
Ector was, in a sense, the supreme commander. He should have been focusing on his command duties, yet he insisted on going out there to fight.
After some persuasion, he agreed to spearhead the extermination of monsters around the walls of Luneville. Consequently, Frank became his guard… taking charge of the reverse route unit.
Good grief… participating in the battle does boost morale, but the effort could all be in vain if you happen to get injured!
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From the crowd that chatted around to ease the tension, a particular figure approached.
“No issues so far.”
“Thank you. I think they’ll return soon, so could you please continue a little longer.”
“Consider it done.”
With a natural affirmation, Claris blended back into the bustling crowd.
Her role involved monitoring for any messages from the guards stationed throughout the town and keeping a vigilant eye from above where obstacles were absent.
The placement of these guards serves a dual purpose: the overt reason was to verify whether any monsters have infiltrated from locations like the sewers, while the underlying motive was to guard against potential acts of terrorism by extremists.
Although the Empire, which could be considered their headquarters, had remained relatively subdued, it’s said that even a cornered rat will bite the cat.
Exercising caution during this period of slightly relaxed defense on the city walls was only wise, just in case.
Originally, someone else was supposed to be dispatched, but her claim that they would need as many fighting personnel as possible was accepted.
After a while, Ector and his team returned.
Having cleared out the surrounding monsters, all the city gates were opened, and the tax office adjacent to the square was used as a makeshift headquarters.
Ector and Frank’s units were reorganized, with one group becoming the security team and the other the strike force.
“Signal from the direction of Kuryune! One red!”
“Squads one, two, and three, move out quickly. After the sweep is complete, squads two and three transport the wounded back and return. Squad one, continue and join the others for the sweep missions.”
Ector issued orders to the young guild member who rushed in. Watching them, I thought, they’ve really had it together. And then, a sudden realization hit me. …Why am I here in the headquarters?
Though it’s technically within the town, this is a battlefield, and it’s certainly not comparable to a meeting room or a reception area, is it? …Why am I only realizing this now, of all times?
I shouldn’t accept this! Absolutely not!
“If only we could use the crystals like in the arena…”
“Yes, that would be convenient…”
Frank’s words brought me back to reality, and I found myself agreeing, though it’s quite ironic since I’m the one responsible for this situation.
Outwardly, the explanation was that we’ve depleted the wind factors in the crystals and they needed to be recharged before they could be used again. While that’s technically accurate, the main reason is that they couldn’t effectively cover much range without mediating with my own magic power.
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Assisting with something only I can do makes it feel like I’m already getting involved, doesn’t it?
Since they didn’t have those crystals until now, they should be fine without them! And, as it stands, they’ve been doing pretty fine so far.
As I was lost in these musings, the situation continued to unfold.
“Blue signal from the Beline direction!”
“Notify the transport team. Have them begin resupply operations using Beline as their base.”
Effective supply lines were crucial. We needed to swiftly deal with the situation and fortify our position before they increased even more, and before nightfall, when the monsters would become stronger.
Amidst these activities, another individual hurriedly entered.
“An envoy from the capital has arrived!”
“Allow them to enter.”
The person granted entry was not a knight from the royal army, but a guild member.
In fact, it was the vice master of the Union Guild, whom I had encountered previously at the Rondoville branch.
“I am genuinely delighted at your safe arrival.”
“It was thanks to your swift response and assistance.”
Though he exchanged handshakes with Ector with those words, his expression remained grim.
Encouraged to do so, the vice master took a seat and proceeded to share a piece of information that we were rather reluctant to hear.
“The capital’s military isn’t mobilizing. Or more accurately, they can’t.”
“I didn’t sense their situation to be so pressing during our last communication.”
The vice master nodded at Frank’s words, his brow furrowing.
“While there was no overt urgency, they must have been mentally strained. Despite our appeals, the king remained resolute. He wouldn’t risk reducing defenses and exposing the populace to danger without a guarantee that the monsters wouldn’t multiply further.”
That reasoning was entirely based on the well-being of the capital’s citizens, wasn’t it? Seemingly more exasperated than I, the vice master grimaced.
“Upon hearing that decision, some individuals left the military and joined the guild. Thanks to them, we managed to assemble enough personnel to proceed, though we’re still understaffed.”
“And how is the progress with the territories your side has been tasked to support?”
“About seventy percent of the planned progress has been achieved.”
While explaining, he placed the markers on the map spread across the table.
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“Our focus on swift elimination prevented us from allocating more troops, resulting in a delay in progress.”
“No, that’s the right approach. If we intervene recklessly, they might exploit it to increase their numbers, so it’s wise not to overextend.”
“…Your words finally grant me a sigh of relief.”
He seemed actually relieved and heaved a big sigh.
He quickly shoved down the simple food offered to him and stood up, donning his cloak.
While every second counted for him, it would be advisable for him to take a brief break for digestion. But he was probably eager to inform the guild master in charge on their side. I couldn’t stop him.
“By merging with this unit, our ranks will expand, but please adhere to the current strategy.”
“Understood. Then, I shall take my leave.”
Even after the vice master departed, our headquarters buzzed with messengers darting to and fro. Nonetheless, I haven’t contributed anything particularly noteworthy. Sure, I’ve taken care of various mundane tasks, but those are things anyone could manage.
Whether the situation is significant or trivial, it doesn’t really matter. Just like in the past, we were facing this challenge together, relying on the collective efforts of everyone involved.
Exactly. Not relying solely on my abilities, but on the collective strength of everyone.
“…It’s time. Send signals to all units. Finish clearing out the remaining monsters in the current area. No further combat after that.”
And thus, the first day of sweeping through the enemy came to an end. Despite the absence of the kingdom’s military and such unforeseen incidents, luckily, nothing critical had occurred.
When I turned in response to Frank’s call, he had a smile that seemed to ease the tension that had been present earlier.
“They’re all on their way back. Please greet them with a satisfying meal.”
Although I thought he needn’t concern himself with me, those thoughts unintentionally brought a smile to my face.
Returning to the branch, I teamed up with the kitchen staff and commenced cooking.
As the returning members relished their meals, they shared tales of their day’s hunting accomplishments and exchanged their enthusiasm for tomorrow. Amidst the joyous chatter, hope for the coming day was clearly reflected in their smiling expressions.