Chapter 5 – It Seems We’re Going to Join up with Her

 


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Just what is the current demon king thinking, while that question, which lacked an answer, kept swirling through her mind, Emil Rajah calmly folded her arms in a certain room while ignoring the reports coming in one after the other. The scenery visible outside the double window should depict an extremely beautiful, orderly city according to her memories, but right now black smoke billowed up as the red tongues of flames flickered all over the place, causing the sky to be covered by thick, dark clouds.

For a moment she succumbed to the feeling of having done a bit of injustice to Renya and the others. A while ago, a certain message had reached Emil through a route only known to her. Hearing the news that her parents, whose faces she couldn’t quite recall anymore, had been killed at the hands of the demon king had only given her a little shock. However, that shock wasn’t about their murder, but rather her once again remembering that she actually had parents to begin with.

Usually demons tended to not put much emphasis on their blood relationships. But topping this off, Emil had even forgotten her parents’ faces since she had immediately left home as her parents didn’t think overly well of her talent, and devoted herself to her beloved research, doing whatever she wanted.

The Rajah family held a reasonably high status among the demons, and could be described as nobility, if you were to use human terminology. The reasonably seemed to only be Emil’s impression, though. The people around them looked at the Rajah family with eyes full of respect and reverence as if they were gods. The head of the family seemed to believe that Emil’s exceedingly superior talent would lead to a division in the family, seeing as she had been born as a woman albeit being the legitimate successor.

Either way, Emil got heavily shunned by her father, and her mother didn’t stop him either. A while after she gave birth to Emil, she blessed Emil’s father with a son, and henceforth only cared about her son, completely ignoring Emil in the process.

“If I had been a human, this would have pushed me off the right path into becoming a bandit or robber,” Emil had often muttered with a bitter smile. Emil couldn’t comprehend the antiquated view of a family’s eldest son having to always become the legitimate successor, but once she concluded that it couldn’t be helped as the patriarch back then held onto such a custom, her next actions were quick and decisive.

Emil immediately left home, set up a base of operation at some suitable place, and immersed herself in research activities that allowed her to make full use of her bountiful talent. It was her way of showcasing that she had no intent to harm the Rajah family by obviously not caring much about worldly affairs. But then again, immersing herself in research was simply Emil’s own hobby, completely unrelated to any showcases or whatsoever. Either way, by doing this, Emil managed to gain the reputation of being a hopeless noble daughter who was completely infatuated with her own amusement and had no will to succeed the family.

During her research, as a result of examining various matters while also regarding her own body as just another test subject, Emil realized that her body appeared to possess slightly different elements compared to the other demons. Afterwards, just as she told Renya when they met for the first time, she began to devote herself to the research of living beings, and dabbled with experiments such as crossbreeding strong life-forms or inserting various elements into life-forms.

It was around that time that she gained the reputation of being spooky on top of being a prodigal daughter of a noble family. Emil herself didn’t care about one or two adjectives being added to her reputation, though.

Even though she invested a lot of time into research, she couldn’t grasp the slightly different element she had discovered in her own body in the end. Well, you could also say that she got caught by Renya before reaching an understanding. But, Emil didn’t really mind that either. The lifespan of demons was long, so even if she stayed with Renya until his death, she’d still have a long life waiting for afterwards. Thus she believed it’d be alright as long as she somehow managed to understand that element during that time.

At least it was her way of thinking until a little while ago.

“Father and Mother, you had way too nasty characters…if you had only told me, I’d have at least understood you.”

Having heard that her parents got killed by the demon king for some reason, Emil had decided to return home while keeping it a secret from Renya and her friends. It wasn’t as though she liked her home town in particular. In the first place, the family was supposed to be succeeded by her little brother whose name she didn’t even remember. It was a family matter completely unrelated to her, and she didn’t plan to take the succession right as eldest daughter from her brother now after all this time either.

However, although Emil returned home with the faint notion that she should at least witness the settlement of the inheritance, she ended up sighing after seeing a letter addressed to her in the masterless study, understanding that she had to go back to Renya’s place. However, she certainly hadn’t ever dreamed of getting dragged into a war against the demon army that came to attack her hometown for some unknown reason while she was there.

“Emil-sama! Emil-sama, where are you!?”

Leaving her reverie and returning to reality thanks to the voice calling for her, Emil turned over the hem of her dress, facing in the direction of the person getting closer while yelling.

As for the attire Emil was currently wearing – a beige, high-necked dress – she harbored a deep wish of wanting to ask how it had turned out like this. This dress, which lacked any unnecessary ornaments and was kept rather plain, was one of the things her mother had left behind, but somehow she couldn’t quite settle down in it as it was much too different from her usual outfit. She couldn’t help but to believe that her usual outfit was far more easier to move in, but since the chamberlain, retainers, and servants would insistently beg her to wear something more wholesome whenever she wandered around in that outfit, Emil yielded and wore her mother’s dress instead.

Isn’t it kinda impossible to fight in this? Emil wondered, but if she were to be told that a noble lady wasn’t supposed to fight in the first place, she wouldn’t have any way to refute it either.

“What’s all the racket about? Did something happen?”

“Emil-sama! I am overjoyed to have finally found you!”

The one respectfully bowing as soon as he spotted Emil was one of the military officers who had served the Rajah family for a very long time. He wore armor consisting of leather and metal plates, completely focused on practical use, on top of his forged, muscular, dark brown body. He was a great warrior with a sword, which would make any human scream out that it was unwieldable, hanging at his waist. It was obvious at a glance that he possessed quite the strength and ability. But then again, Emil didn’t remember his name at all.

For convenience, Emil decided to call him military officer A. Once military officer A lifted his face, he immediately began reporting the essential points.

“The evacuation of the citizens isn’t proceeding well. It’s close to 30% behind schedule. As might be expected, the battles around the wall aren’t advancing in our favor. The situation is dire.”

“I’ve heard those reports earlier. Isn’t it way worse at this point in time?”

Emil repeatedly tapped something similar to an Alice band with her finger. That plain, silver head decoration made one believe that it was an Alice band on a first glance, but in reality it was a magic art device for the sake of listening to the reports from soldiers, who were stationed at various places, through remote communication. The conversations she had heard were filled with nothing but advice to evacuate, appeals for reinforcements, warnings about an increase in casualties, and reports about delays in the work – or in short, not a single good thing.

“Even if it’s just you, Emil-sama, we’d be delighted if you could escape this place.”

“That’s what you say, but…” Emil looked outside the window once more.

Smoke and flames rising in the streets surrounding their current location was clear proof that the enemy had broken through the wall at several spots and was in the process of invading the city. The soldiers under the Rajah family seemed to frequently intercept the enemy soldiers, but in the end they were outnumbered. Sooner or later they’d die or become unable to continue fighting and retreat to the castle of the Rajah family.

This caused Emil to reminiscent, Come to think of it, my home was an excessively grand castle surrounded by a magnificent moat, wasn’t it?, but even if they could anticipate its defenses to hold out a while, they wouldn’t have any place to run if they got completely fenced in.

“Have you been distributing the medicine to the soldiers at the front line?”

“Yes, milady! Your medicines are very effective, and have been a great help to our soldiers.”

The stock of medicines was something she had prepared in Klinge. No matter how Emil looked at it, that city was completely outside any common sense. They used up outrageously expensive, precious goods from left to right as if it was a bad joke, abundant mana was pumped into every crook and cranny of the city, ingredients that were hard to obtain under normal circumstances were easily available, and neither research nor production posed any problems at all. For Emil it was a place close to a dreamland. Pangs of sadness assailed her whenever she thought that she likely wouldn’t be able to return there anymore.

“Still, those just buy us some time, right?”

No matter how high her family’s social standing or how strong its military power might be, the Rajah family went never beyond being nobility in the demon country. Even if they boasted a relatively strong military force for a single noble family, the number of their soldiers was finite. In contrast, Emil could see through the window how a carpet of enemy soldiers, extending far towards the horizon, bustled outside the wall. Confronted with such numbers that she hesitated to only describe with many, Emil could only spit out a sigh.

“You guys sure are all gung-ho about crushing a single noble family out in the province, is what I want to blurt at them, but when standing on the defender’s side, a high motivation doesn’t really matter as long as the outcome remains the same, heh.”

“We won’t let them. Absolutely not, even if they’re following His Majesty’s will.” The officer fervently objected to Emil’s comment who sought his approval while smiling powerlessly.

For just an instant surprise dyed Emil’s face due to the difference in their views, but then she shrugged her shoulders as if seeing no point in trying to persuade him otherwise.

“Our troops number a few hundred at most. There are many residents, but even if we were to recruit them as volunteer soldiers, it’s not said that we’d reach a thousand, and that still wouldn’t address the issue of our lacking equipment. On the other hand, the demon army has good gear, their soldiers are powerful, and they field several times our numbers. Under these circumstances I’d really love to call for some kind of help.”

If we were at least at my base, Emil ended up wishing. In that place sleep various creatures I’ve manufactured during my research. Thus it might have been possible for us to put up a reasonably good fight if I had thrown all of them at the enemy forces.

However, her base was located in a place far away from the Rajah family’s castle. It was extremely regrettable, but since she didn’t plan to return to her parents’ home after having left home, she had never set up any paths between the two locations to activate a transfer gate or some such.

“How are things going for my brother?”

“He’s taking command at the head of our forces. He mentioned that he wouldn’t be able to silently accept his death until he knew about the aim of this attack by His Majesty.”

Emil pondered about her brother, the Rajah family’s successor, whose face she couldn’t quite remember, let alone his name. She felt like he had drawn a very short stick under these circumstances where not only his parents got killed but his territory got suddenly attacked by the demon king as well.

Unlucky folks exist anywhere, but he’s trying to struggle against his fate in his very own way, Emil assessed.

“At the same time, he has ordered us to make sure that you would definitely be allowed to get away, even if by yourself.”

Emil stared in wonder as if having heard something unbelievable. Just like she couldn’t recall the name and face of her brother, she had expected that her brother wouldn’t give much of a thought about her either.

“Why just me? I’m a misfit demon who indulged in her own hobbies, just to get all chummy with humans afterwards, you know?”

“Even so.”

Not knowing what she should say to the officer who said this as assertively as if he was talking about a crucial matter, Emil turned her look back outside the window.

If I could run away just because I’ve been told so, I probably wouldn’t be here by now, Emil thought. In the past I’d have quickly escaped, letting the people here deal with their own issues, but somehow it looks like my thinking got slightly influenced by the humans after having stayed in a human country for a good while.

And then the face of Renya, who had created the opportunity for her to change in this way, crossed her mind. While still looking outside, she opened the window slightly, and muttered so quietly that the officer wouldn’t hear despite standing close to her, “It’s all because of you, you know Renya…?”

“I don’t know what I did, but I guess I’m sorry?”

A voice that Emil shouldn’t be able to hear in this place. Believing for an instant that she might have heard an auditory hallucination, Emil lifted her face, and of all things, the owner of the voice clung upside-down to the wall outside her room while peering inside through the gap Emil had created by absentmindedly opening the window just now.

“…HAAH!?”

“Yo, Emil. Long time no see. You know, if you wear an attire like that, you totally look like some princess.” Renya greeted her with a dexterous wave of his hand while remaining stuck to the wall upside-down like a lizard for some completely incomprehensible reason.

Perceiving a dragon circling in the sky above the castle with small figures on its back, Emil somehow managed to grasp what was going on in front of her, and yet she froze in place with her mouth gaping, feeling a dire wish to ask someone just how the hell things turned out like this.

 

◆◇◆

 

Going back a bit in time.

After the swordsman called Karen hinted that Emil would get attacked by the third person summoned by the demons, Renya immediately withdrew, returning to the campsite where Frau was still maintaining the barrier. As Frau was frozen on the spot in surprise due to Renya’s overly quick return, Renya cut open the barrier with one slash of his katana as he felt even ordering Frau to cancel the barrier would waste too much time. Seeing that none of the others had woken up so far despite him having told Frau to rouse them, Renya deeply inhaled while sheathing his sword, and loudly shouted without holding back at all.

“Rise n’ shine!”

Most people often forgot because of her abilities, but Frau wasn’t an expert in battle to begin with, and thus her decisions in that area tended to be naive. She had very likely believed that things would be alright since Renya had headed out himself, and thus considered it to be over the top to wake up everyone.

There was certainly still some time left until dawn, and thus it wasn’t as though Renya didn’t feel bad about forcing up everyone early, but hardening his heart here, he yelled at full volume.

In response to his voice which was loud enough to make the atmosphere tremble after ripping through it, Dra-kun jumped up, causing Frau to tumble off his back, Shion, and Croire rolled out of their tent while still wrapped up in their bamboo mats, and Rona peeked her face out of her tent in underwear while sleepily rubbing her eyes. Lastly, Az and Liaris – both nude for some reason – rushed out of their tent in panic, but Renya ignored all of that, and started to briskly hurl orders at everyone who stared at him quizzically.

“Wrap up the camp! Rona, resume the search for Emil after putting on some clothes. Emil might be in danger. Dra-kun, get read for take-off.” Having spoken up to this point, Renya cast his eyes down, squeezing out the continuation with obvious difficulty, “Liaris, hurry up and get ready to ride Dra-kun…Az, assist her. I mean, you two, I don’t really care, but how about covering yourselves a bit…”

Even Renya’s cheeks took on a faintly scarlet tinge towards the end of his remark.

With Rona fully waking up, the usual sharp glint returned to her eyes. However, contrary to Renya’s expectation that she’d get back into her tent to change clothes, she pulled her clothes out of her tent, and began to change on the spot.

On the other hand, Az and Liaris apparently realized how they had left their tent after having it pointed out by Renya. Az’s face turned bright red while Liaris screamed – both fumbling back inside their tent.

With a sigh Renya began to unfasten the ropes binding Croire and Shion, who were squirming around like caterpillars while still being wrapped up in bamboo mats, as Frau started to disassemble the camp.

“Damn, you guys are such a pain…”

“Hey, wait as sec!? Renya, you were the onte who put us into this state, didn’t you!?”

“It’s your own fault for doing stuff that required me to tie you up.” Renya curtly shot Shion down.

While waiting for her turn to have the rope removed, Croire asked, “Just what the hell happened?”

“I’ll explain the situation while we’re all searching for her.”

Later Renya concisely explained that he had been attacked by two Losts who had been summoned by the demons, that there was apparently a third Lost, and that this third Lost had gone to Emil’s place to launch an attack on her.

“Emil is a strong demon, but with a Lost as an opponent, it’s possible that she’ll be easily defeated.”

Losts were beings not adhering to the logic of this world. Not to mention that the three Losts this time were deliberately summoned, and obviously provided with enough power to confront Renya. If one of them had been sent towards Emil, it wouldn’t be weird for them to possess some ability that worked very well against Emil.

Having listened to everything up to this point, Shion, Rona, and Croire sped up. Once they fixed their clothing in a flash and packed their things, they handed their luggage to Renya. Then they quickly climbed Dra-kun’s back while Renya put their stuff away in his inventory. As they ended up doing all this in a big hurry, it resulted in Liaris and Az being the ones trailing behind, but after Frau helped them where needed, she pushed the two up on Dra-kun’s back with almost no delay.

“Liaris, instruct Dra-kun to open a path to me.”

“O-Okay!”

Although for just an instant, Dra-kun acted hesitant towards Liaris’ order. He apparently harbored the prejudice that it wouldn’t result in anything decent, going by his experience so far, but with Liaris asking him politely and Renya glaring at him, his resistance fell apart quickly.

A dragon’s wings bore almost no meaning when it came to flying. The wings attached to their bodies were way too small to gain enough lift for their huge frames to stay airborne. Thus some researchers were confused as to why dragons possessed them in the first place, but they had no choice but to accept it as given since the wings were attached to the dragons’ back.

But, if one were to ask how dragons were actually flying, the answer would be them applying propulsive and floating power to their bodies by using their mana. It was said that dragons unconsciously did something similar to casting the spell <Flight> as it was called by regular magicians. In other words, dragons consumed mana to fly, and mana was something that would run out sooner or later.

Now then, if you connected Renya, who might as well be called an inexhaustible supply of mana, to a dragon, with him pouring mana on end into the dragon, what kind of result would it bring about?

Shion and the others could fully experience the outcome with their bodies, whether they liked it or not.

“Nooooooooooooo!?”

The scream continued while the origin remained unclear. Renya admired that loud screaming for being powerful enough to not be drowned out by the thundering howling of the wind close to his ears, but the other members didn’t even have the leeway to pay any attention to it.

Just in case Dra-kun had deployed something similar to a force field to protect his passengers from the wind pressure and to make sure that they wouldn’t be blown off, but the very strong wind pierced through that force field, hitting the faces of the passengers, albeit barely remaining at a level that wouldn’t drive them off Dra-kun’s back. The only one calmly sitting cross-legged within that wind was Renya. Frau was sitting still in Renya’s lap with an indifferent expression. Croire and the others tightly held onto Dra-kun’s back scales, investing all their effort into resisting the wind pressure.

Speaking of Dra-kun: he kept flying at full speed in the direction designated by Renya with a face full of resignation while having mana poured into him. To put it bluntly, even Dra-kun felt the dire urge to scream. His scales hurt from being pulled all the time, but since this was still a rather small pain, he could bear it. The problem was the speed that was high enough to almost pull him in. After all, he had never experienced such a high flying speed during his entire life. One of the reasons leading to this was his lack of mana that didn’t actually allow him to fly so fast, but the biggest reason was the complete lack of reasons to fly at such a speed in the first place.

And yet, despite having such circumstances, the one flying here was still Dra-kun, so anyone would think that he’d just need to ease up on the speed a bit. However, you could describe that as an unreasonable demand from Dra-kun’s standpoint. After all, the amount of mana he was continuously provided with was too huge. If Dra-kun tried to suppress the mana consumption a bit by clamping down on the speed, the mana would easily exceed Dra-kun’s mana capacity, and Dra-kun himself would very likely go berserk due to mana excess.

For the sake of avoiding this fate, Dra-kun strengthened his body with mana, deployed a force field on his back, and flew onwards at a ridiculous speed. He had no choice but to use up all the mana poured into him. Such draconic circumstances were often incomprehensible to people, and as a matter of fact Liaris had been telepathically begging rather than ordering Dra-kun to significantly lower his speed. If he could, Dra-kun would have gladly granted her request, but if he did, it’d expose his own life to danger instead.

As a result, Dra-kun had no choice but to keep flying at a forcibly heightened speed, unrelated to what he himself desired.

“Rona, are we heading in the right direction!?” Renya’s tense voice drowned out the loud howling.

Seemingly having judged that her current posture would be the best to endure the wind pressure, Rona had placed both knees, both hands, and her forehead on Dra-kun’s back while clinging to his scales. After a little while, she nodded in silence. Even just lifting her face and looking in Renya’s direction apparently put a huge strain on her.

“Master, at this rate it’s going to turn into a chicken race to see whether we arrive at the destination, whether Dra-kun reaches his limit, or whether us passengers reach our limit first ~no.”

Renya’s reply to Frau’s implicit plea to do something about this, brought up with a flat voice, was merciless.

 

 

“It’ll do as long as they don’t die.”

“Their mind is going to break ~no…”

“I told you, it’ll be fine as long as they don’t die, but…still, being forced to fly under such wind pressure is worrisome. Frau, you’re going to be okay since you’re sitting on my lap. Shion is…well, she should manage one way or another. Rona is probably going to be okay with that body of hers, but Croire might be in trouble.”

Renya didn’t even worry about Liaris or Az from the very start. Not because he was heartless or anything like that, but because he believed that no dragon would throw off its rider. If Az, who was right next to the rider, fell off, Renya judged that Liaris would notice it right away.

“Shion-ane-sama does have her physical strength…Rona-ane-sama can rely on her own weight, right? In that case, your worrying about Croire-ane-sama is…because she’s slender and light ~nano?” Frau said something outrageously evil with her eyes still vacant.

It was a line that would usually earn her an immediate, physical retort, but as the three people named by her were frantically clinging to Dra-kun’s back, they didn’t have any leeway to lash out at Frau.

“But master, it’ll be okay ~nano. Croire-ane-sama is slender and light, but accordingly she can defend herself from the wind pressure by perfectly pressing herself down on Dra-kun’s back ~no. Since she’s completely flat, she should stick well to his back ~no.”

“Listen…you do understand that things will become quite harsh on you later for you, right?”

Renya thought it’d definitely count as a lie if she said that she didn’t consider that possibility at all, but he knew there were as many things that shouldn’t be voiced out as there were stars in the sky. Renya classified the nasty comment unleashed by Frau as the worst among them, but with her having apparently reached her mental limit thanks to Dra-kun’s speed, her self-restraint didn’t work as well as usual.

“Croire-ane-sama might also have no issue with laying on Dra-kun’s back face-up ~no! After all she got no place where the wind could catch on ~no! She’s as flat as a washboard ~nano!”

“Frau…I’ll remember this once we get back down on the surface…!” Croire spat out something like a curse with such a deep voice that it sounded as if it grumbled all the way up from the bottom of hell.

Renya watched how her nails, which appeared to be engulfed by some kind of dark aura, stabbed into Dra-kun’s scales. The sight of draconic scales, which couldn’t be even scratched by the sword of a second-rate swordsman, being punctured by the slender fingers of an elf was very likely something that had never been observed since the very dawn of this world. But then again, Renya put it off as a trivial matter which merely meant that Croire’s hold onto Dra-kun would be more secure than clinging to him normally.

For the time being, Renya held the head of Frau, who acted weirdly as if being completely delirious, between his hands, and irresponsibly shook it as if mixing a drink with a shaker.

“Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-Ma-…Ma-Ma-Ma-Master…-er-er!? Just what has Frau been talking about so far ~no!?”

“I’ll explain the circumstances to you now, and later you’ll apologize while prostrating in front of Croire, okay? If you don’t want to become a bloody mess, that is.”

Going by the fact that her tone had suddenly returned to normal, she must have suffered from some abnormal state for some reason. However, it was a different matter whether Croire’s rage would cool down from Frau explaining this fact to her.

“Frau is a fairy, so Frau reacts sensitively to polluted mana around her ~no. I’m sure this must be the corrupted mana of the demon country ~no.”

Renya should have gotten quite used to her since he started to associate with Frau, but he still looked at her with eyes full of suspicion due to an explanation he had never heard of before. However, he gave up on questioning her since he didn’t have anything at hand to deny her words, and turned his eyes in the direction Frau’s finger was pointing at.

The source from where the polluted mana was supposedly drifting towards them suitably laid in the direction they were flying anyway. And, at the far end of his sight, so distant that he couldn’t be sure whether he really saw it or not, Renya spotted what seemed to be a demon town, and countless monsters who were swarming towards that town as if to completely bury it.

 

◆◇◆

 

“So, you’re saying you simply jumped off and got here all by yourself?”

The dragon circling in the sky far above Renya seemed to fly at a fairly high altitude as far as Emil could tell. Emil couldn’t fathom that someone would jump down from all the way up there, just to cling to the wall of a building in the next step, but Renya’s reply to her question was truly short and simple.

“Correct.”

While pressing a hand against her forehead as if fighting off a headache, Emil used the opportunity to confront Renya with all the questions swirling in her mind, and continued, “Just out of curiosity, but how the hell are you holding onto the wall?”

“I’m using the unevenness of the stone blocks, relying on my physical strength and grip.”

There was no doubt about the wall having gaps between the blocks and quite a few unevennesses. But if someone were to ask Emil if she could use those to climb or hold onto the wall, she’d have no choice but to shake her head.

If something like this was a simple feat, all the castles across the whole world would become a paradise for spies, and guards would become completely obsolete. However, since we’re talking about Renya here, I can confidently state that this line of thought lacks common sense.

“And why are you clinging to it upside-down?”

“Once I peeked into the room to check the situation after hearing voices, I found you as you were bickering.”

“Let me confirm just in case: are lizards part of your family or something?”

“I’m a Lost without a single relative or kin in this world, but I didn’t have any lizard relatives in my former world, no.”

Even while considering his answer reasonable, Emil still believed that him actually being a hybrid between human and lizard would have clarified everything neatly, but since this was just another case where people knowing him would simply nod this off without doubting him as the other party was Renya, she couldn’t do anything about it either way. As it was a situation that would generally be wrapped up with the explanation of “I mean, we’re talking about Renya here,” Emil could only sigh very deeply.

“Is it okay for me to ask you something as well?” Renya asked while still clinging upside-down to the wall above the window.

Emil lowered the hand she had used to curb her forehead, folded her arms in front of her chest, and nodded her confirmation.

“Go ahead.”

“You’re unmistakably Emil Rajah, right?”

He greeted me with a ‘long time no see’ a little while ago, so what is he talking about at this point in time? Emil wondered. However, once she looked down on herself, she reassessed, Maybe, while staring at me, he’s become unable to match his memories of me with reality since I’m currently wearing an outfit running completely counter to what I’ve been wearing back when I was still in Klinge.

“I’m definitely the Emil Rajah who owes you a debt of gratitude for taking care of her in Klinge. However, you sure are talking awfully formal with me, you know master?”

“That’s…”

“In the first place, how long do you plan to keep hanging there? Isn’t it about time for you to tell me to quickly open the window so that you can get in…” At that point, Emil noticed that Renya wasn’t looking at her, but at something behind her.

Once she looked back over her shoulder in surprise, she saw her subordinate brimming with hostility as he stood at the ready with his hand resting on the weapon at his waist. Even if it was Renya who was so outside every common norm that anyone would be tempted to ask whether he was truly human, it still didn’t change the fact that he outwardly looked like a human.

Emil had dealt with Renya as usual, but currently she was in the demon country, and just like the other races loathed the demons, the demons hated all races besides their own. This fact had completely slipped her memory. In other words, Renya’s unusual standing on formality stemmed from him belatedly having realized that Emil being on good terms with a human might worsen her position if seen by other demons. Emil also noticed, finally and after a good while, that she shouldn’t take an attitude as she herself should have also noticed this a lot faster.

“A-Aahh…relax. It’s okay, he’s no enemy.”

“B-But, Emil-sama!”

“I’m telling you he’s okay. And even if he wasn’t okay, that person is an opponent we wouldn’t be able to oppose anyway.”

If Renya was an enemy just as her officer feared, Emil would have absolutely no idea how to repel him, despite her having raised her abilities and knowledge to an extent during her stay in Klinge. The weapon he possessed would cut through almost everything and even nullify magic arts as far as Emil knew. The abilities of Renya, its owner, were at such a level that Emil, who was no expert, couldn’t tell just how strong he might be. However, the aggregate amount of mana in his body exceeded that of demons, the ones considered to have the highest mana capacity in this world, by leaps and bounds. Even someone like Emil believed that there had to be a limit to how broken abilities could be, but since such a being actually existed, she couldn’t help it either way, and she was simply grateful for the fact that she had managed to build a friendly relationship with that being.

“Renya, you too. Don’t mind it, okay? Even if people learn about the daughter of a country nobility that’s on the brink of ruin having been in contact with a human, it won’t amount to much of a problem anyway.”

“…Is the situation so bad?” Pushing the window frame and thus creating a gap, Renya used that opening to slip into the room.

All of his motions lacked hesitation and were completely soundless. Due to his body movements that didn’t even allow a footstep when he landed on the floor of the corridor, even the officer standing behind Emil perceived that Renya’s skill wasn’t just uncommon, but went far beyond his own. And although his mistress, whom he should protect with his life, was right in front of him, Renya’s ability shocked him so much that he actually forgot to stand in front of Emil to use his body as a shield.

On the other hand, Renya went down on one knee, unfastened the scabbard of his katana, and put it on the floor in the same moment as he alighted on the floor after smoothly letting himself slide down. He did this to show that he held no hostility towards Emil, or rather, the demon close to her. It also showed that Renya didn’t want to agitate the other party unnecessarily.

It was a scene unseen by anyone other than Emil and her officer. For an instant Renya entertained the idea of cutting down the demon in a flash, kidnapping Emil, and scurrying back to Klinge, but considering the current situation, he judged that Emil might not desire this, completely unrelated to whether it was possible or not. Hence he needed someone to give him a rundown on what was currently going on, and thus he had to avoid provoking the other side.

That train of thought was somehow passed on to Emil as well. While watching Renya place his katana on the floor with a wry smile, Emil let Renya wait for her next action for a bit, and then spoke up, “Yeah, we’re in a pretty messed up state. After all, the Rajah family’s head and his wife, in short the two people who are my parents, have been summoned by His Majesty the Demon King, and just as they headed to the demon king’s castle, they got murdered under some kind of pretext. At the same time, as you can see for yourself, the city with this castle got surrounded by the demon king’s army, making it impossible for anyone to escape. So yeah, we’re in a bind where I’m kinda troubled what to do next.”

“Emil-sama!?”

In the eyes of the officer, Emil willingly divulging their internal state to some suspicious human was a completely unexpected action. He raised his voice in a hurry, trying to stop Emil from continuing, but it only earned him being shut up by Emil’s gaze and a faint movement.

“I was just at the point of thinking that it’d be really great to get some help here, you know? How about it, master?”

“Is that an issue you can decide on your own discretion?” Renya remained genuflecting.

“If asked for help by a princess, any handsome protagonist would hurry over at once, wouldn’t they?”

“Allow me to humbly refuse the assessment as a handsome protagonist. Since I’ve already rescued a princess in the past, I’d say that it’s kind of my specialty.”

Come to think of it, something like that took place in the past, didn’t it? Emil recalled with a slight pang of nostalgia.

Back then, the vehicle they drove piqued her interest as it was something novel, not existing anywhere in this world. She also felt like wanting to drive it to her heart’s content once again. At the same time, she felt a tiny bit happy that Renya hadn’t shown any doubt about her using the word princess. If she had received a retort along the lines of “Since when are the noble daughters of provincial nobles being referred to as princesses?”, Emil believed that she might have felt slightly depressed despite the inherent truth behind those words.

“Well, I suppose you’re right. Also it might be a bit too impertinent of me to request help while going over the head of the current family head who’s inherited the title after the death of his predecessor.”

When Renya heard the term current family head, he grimaced slightly. Even while assessing that he probably found it to be somewhat annoying, Emil still didn’t have the authority to ignore the family head and move things along as she pleased.

“You there, sorry, but could you contact my younger brother and tell him that there’s someone I want him to meet?” Once Emil asked the officer standing next to her now, he violently shook his head.

“That’s absolutely preposterous, Emil-sama! No matter how you look at it, introducing a human to Milord would be absurd. Besides, Milord is currently in the middle of fending the enemy forces back, so he won’t be able to come back…”

“Hey, Renya, you heard him, so could I have you push back the enemy soldiers a bit?”

“I doubt that I’ll be able to buy you much time, but…is it okay for me to not annihilate them?”

Emil made such a request as if it was something mundane, and Renya accepting it as if it was nothing unusual was very typical for him, too. Ignoring the officer who flapped his mouth open and shut like a fish as if unable to understand what they were saying, Emil leaked a slightly troubled laugh.

“Even if they are enemies, they’re still of the same race, so far as it goes. There’s a considerable number of enslaved monsters mixed in among them too, annihilating all of them kinda doesn’t mesh well with me…”

“That’s a problem between demons and doesn’t really concern me, but well, if that’s what you want. Are there any allied soldiers who have gone outside the town?”

He accepts it so easily? The officer wondered in surprise.

Emil looked at him as if asking for his opinion, “Hey?”

“A-A-A…Ah, yes. I believe there are no allies to be found outside the town. Rather, the town is currently being invaded.”

“I think I won’t have any choice but let your side take care of those that have entered the town.” With those words, Renya grabbed the katana, stood up, and walked up to the window while sensing the officer staring at him from behind, probably wondering what he intended to do.

“Contact Dra-kun…ah, I think it should be okay to go through Frau. Tell him to reduce the radius of his circling and only fly above the town, if he doesn’t want to get dragged in…”

“Once we get a break, I’ll have that dragon land on the town’s central plaza.” Emil looked up to Dra-kun after having walked up next to Renya.

The flight path of Dra-kun, who had drawn big circles in the sky so far, turned into much smaller circles as he had apparently been told about Renya’s instruction by Frau. Soon his flight path was limited to being right above the city.

After making sure of that, Renya muttered, “Wind Wall.”

Just those two words were enough to cause a wall of wind to surround the town’s outer circumference.

“…Haaah!?” The officer cried out in a very silly way as he saw what happened outside the window when looking past Renya and Emil.

He understood by just looking that the wind wall blew the air upwards because that wind, which you’d never witness under normal circumstances, whirled sand, dirt, people that were very likely enemy soldiers, monsters, and mounts into the air altogether. He perceived it with his eyes, but the officer’s head refused to accept it to be the spell <Wind Wall> mentioned by Renya. But then again, if it came to the scenery of a wind wall with a height of several dozen meters surrounding a town with many kilometers of circumference, anyone would readily agree with the officer’s brain for refusing this.

“It won’t last overly long, you know? Even the enemy should have enough ability to cancel out the spell. And with that being there, we can’t go outside either.”

“Ten minutes will be plenty to explain the situation and have a short discussion.”

Although the demonic officer was confronted with a scene going against his comprehension, Emil and Renya kept talking without paying him any particular attention. As the officer was driven by doubts whether the human in front him was truly human, Emil glared at him, as if asking why he was still standing around here.

“You heard what we said, right? We don’t have much time, so could you quickly get my younger brother?”

“Y-…Y-Yes! I shall call him over at once!”

Either way, it’s plain obvious that something beyond my understanding is going on right now. Hence, I should just focus on carrying out the orders of Emil-sama, the mistress I’m supposed to serve right now, the officer switched his thinking, and ran off to immediately look for the family head after bowing to Emil.

 

 


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