|Author: Sasaki Ichiro||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: Mado||English Source: MadoSpicy TL|
Apart from the White Dragon mountain range to the north, the other cardinal points of Alra City are made up of great plains.
As an important traffic point, various main roads run through the flat terrain. Travelers would be very grateful for it, but the open area has no shelter or detour and the view range is wide, so other than clashing with an enemy head-on, almost no tricks could be used in fights.
“…A trench is the best we could do huh? But it would be nice if we had the chance to dig up the trench.”
While viewing the enemy rider who rode on the top of a beast type monster, Vice Master Gald muttered to himself with a bitter face.
It doesn’t matter what monsters are led by the ogre king, they are still a monster after all. Not using their mind and trusting only their instinct, the monsters should be rushing headlong towards the city, but contrary to expectations, the enemy movement is so surprisingly well organized that the first part of the plan is beginning to fall apart.
The plan was to dig the trench and lie in wait to ambush, forming groups to target the masses of enemies that come to attack. First, the initial strike would be conducted by archers and catapults from a long distance. Next, when the enemy gets disorderly, magicians and spirit users who hid in the trench would conduct the attack from a middle distance. At that time, several adventurers on stand-by will leap out, scatter, and attack the enemies.
With the situation fully in chaos, the military troops would be the main hammer joining in and aim for the ogre king’s head in one fell swoop. That’s how the plan was on the human side, but it appears the monsters are going to use the riders to reach the humans quickly and seal off this side’s archers and magicians. Then with that, the main force would come surging in. It seems they plan to close the distance to get into hand-to-hand combat and secure an overwhelming position.
“―I hope we can manage to finish them off with our archers and sorcerers before they get too close.”
I don’t have field experience, so for that reason I left all the rights to command this battle to you. As the best magician here, I am going to the front lines. Thinking about Collard, Gald gulps down his bitter saliva.
While gazing aimlessly at the front of the battle operation command post, a tent which extended atop the grasslands, there was a face among the armed adventurers that he recognized, reflexively he called out to that person to halt.
That person who was being called out, Joey, spontaneously stood completely still on the spot.
“What the hell are you doing?”
Gald uttered his shocked words while walking slowly towards him.
“O-of course, I am participating in the battle to intercept the monsters!”
“Haa? You’re still F-rank right? Didn’t the obligatory mobilization order tell E-rank and below to stay back?
“…That’s true but…but I can’t stay silent at a time like this. I can at least swing my sword!”
“You’ll just be a hindrance. A boy like you should get away from this place quickly!”
Judging that what Joey was doing was childish egoism, Gald spits out his words with an irritated tone.
“…Where can I go anyway? Isn’t the shelter already full with women and children, elderly, and people who couldn’t fight? If we lose here those people will be eaten by the monsters anyway, right?”
Gald sunk into silence after getting hit with a bullseye.
Surely the great majority of adventurers that could be called full-fledged, or D rank and above so to speak, are participating in the battle according to the guild’s obligatory mobilization order, but they number 7,000 people. An additional 500 people from the stationed army and 2,500 volunteers add up to 10,000 troops. Compared to the 7,000 monsters troop, it should be a 3,000 surplus, but theoretically, to deal with monsters there needs to be at least three times the number of humans compared to monsters.
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Presently their number is not enough to overwhelm the monsters. At this point, they’re in such a bind that they could use anybody who is willing to fight.
“…But you know, boy, you are still young. No one will complain even if you escape alone now.”
Hearing such words, Joey gives off a strange expression like smiling while crying.
“Mia also said that to me recently.”
Her existence is similar to Gald, who until this year was unmarried. He told her again and again many times over to evacuate before the battle operation began, but she stubbornly covered her ears and even now, she is here somewhere, checking on the materials and coordinating the relief squad.
“―Besides,” Joey smiled embarrassingly, “this morning, Hiyuki made her appearance all of sudden.”
Gald frowned hearing that name. After all, it’s unlikely that Hiyuki had any intention to help at all according to her declaration when she disappeared back then.
“She said, ‘Joey, you’re weak, you should take Mia and run away,’ like it’s no one else’s business. Saying things like I’m unreliable as she likes.”
“Muh…it’s annoying, but I have the same opinion as her.”
“I won’t do that―no, I can’t. That girl wasn’t escaping either, she said something unthinkable: ‘This is a very rare chance, so I’m gonna watch this on a special seat’. If that’s the case, I’ve got to stop the monsters to make sure they don’t find her!”
Towards Joey who said that full of determination, Gald was about to say ‘That person you fell in love with is more unthinkable than you think,’ but he saw the boy’s facial expression and swallowed his words. Faintly, his eyes and mouth loosened.
―That boy is showing the face of a real man.
“Boy…no, Joey. We are adventurers; just think about your survival regardless of the situation. Not to mention… you’ve got two girls to worry about you like that!”
Joey replied in full spirit and joined up with other group of adventurers with a quick pace.
“…this is the so-called guys-only chat huh?”
Hearing the conversation between Joey and Gald through the bypass created by the magic eye, I unintentionally leaked such an impression of it.
Well, it’s a unique experience, I suppose.…?
“Is something the matter, Princess?”
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Tengai, who returned to his golden dragon form and carried me far above the sky of the battlefield, asked me curiously. I replied that nothing was bothering me and looked down below.
Although those humans should look like nothing bigger than sesame seeds, to me right now I can see them clearly, even each of their faces.
“Which side do you think would win, Tengai?”
“It would be the monsters.” Tengai easily made his statement. “It’s really not a question with that degree of arms and the number difference.”
“Yes…I guess I have the same opinion. If the humans want to gain victory, they have to rely on numbers in the first place. With 20,000 adventurers from E-rank or G-rank who didn’t participate in battle, in addition to mobilizing everyone who was willing to fight like even the women and children, they would press the enemies down with overwhelming numbers. There’s no other choice but to throw them in as extra manpower to stop the enemy’s movement, right?”
Well, with that situation too there would be a considerable amount of victims.
“However, that guild master is not capable of making such a decision.”
“It seems so. In a situation where you ought to sacrifice 50 people to save 100 people when needed, he seems like a person who would want to save 99 out of 100 and ends up getting everyone killed.”
As an individual he could be considered good willed, but as someone who stands on the top position, he is really unreliable.
To begin with, I have already given many hints and yet he just uses his means to arouse my sympathy. For example, he could gather information about the Lost Era as a top priority or he could have conspired with me in the background while keeping allegiance with the country as a front, anything would be acceptable. Collard can’t be on that level, so I can’t help but see him as unfit to be a negotiation partner.
“Really what a foolish one that human is.”
Tengai leaked his scorn. But come to think of it, I wonder if on the inside I’m still a human? Most recently I wasn’t really aware of it, but perhaps my outward appearance and environment are influencing me. While thinking about that I made my speech.
“Still, various things will take place so it’s going to be interesting.”
After that, by chance, I saw a familiar figure among the humans, to that figure I utter softly.
“I already warned you Joey. However, I see that you made your choice…”
It’s impossible to remember how many monsters were killed anymore.
At the beginning, the front line was holding out, but getting penetrated by enemy riders forced the firepower into a halt. Afterwards the front line was slowly pushed back as a result, before long the people were split up and fighting the monsters individually.
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Without knowing the battle situation nor the location of his allies, Joey too fought together with his company, but before he knew it one person had collapsed, two people were eaten, and then another….until he realized he was alone.
He drove through the battlefield holding his sword which was covered in blood, once in a while he killed the enemies that came across.
『Keep your distance, keep them within your field of vision!』
『Your movement is too simple so it could be easily evaded, your swing and posture are also disorderly making you full of openings!』
『Against a living monster’s reflexes, that obvious attack isn’t gonna hit!』
『Watch your opponent’s movement, don’t attack on your own except to feint!』
He moved according to the instructions he got merely a few days ago, but he was surprised by himself; he could fight decently against the monsters. Even so, the opponent’s attack wounded Joey’s body little by little, and each fight significantly drained his strength.
At that moment, an ogre appeared before his eyes.
“―Tch! Bring it on!”
Together with a roar the ogre swings its huge mace, and Joey reads the mace trajectory to evade it by stepping back. Then he swung his long sword downwards, aiming for the ogre’s arm that was fully extended.
But it seems his stamina was at its limits, the sword left a shallow cut into the ogre’s flesh and didn’t go any further. This made the ogre go mad and threw its huge mace sideways, simultaneously clashing with Joey’s sword that was being pulled out.
In the next moment, the boy’s body rolled along the ground like an old rag. Forcibly retaining his consciousness that seemed to pause, Joey searched for his long sword which had separated from him. Looking around the surrounding area, his eyes saw the blurry figure of the ogre that had fallen with his long sword stabbed into its neck.
“…at least I beat it…but, I wonder if this is also my limit.”
The impact from the hit broke several of his bones. Even his remaining stamina was exhausted. When the next opponent appears, he can’t fight anymore.
“…Mia, Hiyuki, I wonder if they safely escaped…”
As he murmured that, Joey’s eyelids slowly sunk.