Entering the slums of Swordland, the elves were each assigned a house for their families. It has been scheduled for them to be given a job according to Reni’s group’s decision as well as the wishes of the people themselves after a few days.
The humans harboured feelings of fearfulness towards the elves, but as they were simply existences “whom they know of but had never seen before” for the beastmen, everyone had a keen interest in the new immigrants.
Having been assigned a slightly larger one-story house together with Puuse and Shiku, Zanga officially accepted the role of being the mediator of the elves from Reni.
Zanga’s group, who had been called to the workplace of Reni, was told about that role for the first time when they had a preparatory meeting about the future from now on while enjoying some tea.
“I’d like you to teach magic to us beastmen as well.” (Reni)
“Magic, you say?” (Zanga)
“Yes. There are people among the humans who can use magic. I heard that elf-san’s group is able to use magic even more skilfully.” (Reni)
After pondering for a while while having her eyes closed, Zanga looked directly into the eyes of Reni.
“… What do you plan to do by learning magic?” (Zanga)
“I want us to have the power to protect everyone in this city.” (Reni)
No hesitation can be seen in Reni’s expression as she gives that immediate reply.
“Fufu… okay, I got it, I got it.” (Zanga)
Bursting into laughter, Zanga faced Puuse who was sitting next to her.
“Puuse, teach them magic together with the women who can’t do manual labour.” (Zanga)
Zanga turns a strict look at Reni who is jumping for joy with a 「Hooray」 due to that exchange.
“But, you know, sheep-san. I have been living for a long time, but I never heard something like a beastman being able to use magic. You don’t know whether you will be able to learn it or not, do you? It might become a fruitless effort. Do you still want to do it even then?” (Zanga)
“Of course.” (Reni)
Nodding strongly, Reni grabbed the hand of Helen who was close-by.
“After meeting with Hifumi-san, the two of use have been taught many various things, studied and are now able to live in the city somehow. However, there are still many beastmen and humans who are on bad terms with us. Although I want to invite our mothers as well, I think that it’s still difficult to do so.” (Reni)
“But”, Reni continues while breathing roughly through her nose.
“Even if it’s only in this small city, we were able to create a place where beastmen and humans can live together peacefully. From now on it will be together with elf-san’s group as well. Am I able to do anything to protect this city… since I won’t know if I don’t attempt as I’m not overly smart either, I will give it at least a try.” (Reni)
“Now that I remember, even the stuff like studying, Hifumi made us do, has its use, right?” (Helen)
Helen, who squeezed back the hand of Reni while looking embarrassed, recalled the time when she could study with they other beastmen and everyone while being confined in the inn. Now that she has risen to a position with responsibility the reading and writing of characters as well as the partial knowledge about calculation was a very priceless treasure.
The beastmen, who flowed into this city from being purchased by Hifumi and who haven’t originally lived in the slums, are generally able to read and write while a part of the beastmen like Reni is also able to calculate. At certain points their administrative throughput became even better than the city centred around the humans. However, not knowing of someone to compare with, Reni’s group believed that there are still many problems.
“We will know whether it’s possible or not once we try it.” (Reni)
Reni has included that detail in her calm calculations as well.
As result of abuse among beastmen, there are even quite a few injured people who can’t properly walk. They harboured emotions of shame for not being able to contribute to the growth of the city. Hearing the words from those, who are helping with Reni’s official work, and those, who are doing things like tending to stores where they can work without having to move around, it was a worrisome aspect for Reni in particular as she didn’t know what would be good to do about it.
If beastmen are able to use magic, it will probably become possible for them to play a support role with long-distance attacks and healing the injured on the battlefield with healing magic. If they gain a little confidence by being able to contribute to the city by fighting to protect it, won’t that calm their hearts? Reni wonders.
“Sheep-san… no, it’s wrong if I don’t call you Reni-san.” (Zanga)
Fixing her seating posture, Zanga bowed fully while facing Reni.
“Thank you very much for giving us elves, who lost their home, roles and a place to stay at. Please take care of us as we will be useful for various things besides magic.” (Zanga)
“Same for me, I look forward to work with you.” (Reni)
Zanga, who shook Reni’s small and soft hand, got anxious in her mind while showing a smile.
(What has Hifumi-san done to such a charming, little child… I don’t understand what that man is thinking, but I want to protect these children…) (Zanga)
Although that’s something vain to say for me who has abandoned her village, while smiling bitterly in her heart in self-mockery, Zanga firmly grasped the hand of Reni with her deeply wrinkled hand.
The demons, who ended up confronting Hifumi, have been slaughtered one after the other starting from those, who were close to Hifumi, regardless of their status.
The dagger, which is wielded along a sound of cutting wind, slashes through the demons’ throats and thigh arteries, pierces their eyes and gouges out their hearts.
A vast amount of bloodstains remain here and there on the way towards the elven village from the demons’ city.
The demon soldiers, who are running away in the lead, have already diminished to only three people.
With them being split apart from their own groups, they remained to the bitter end in order to escape without minding their own appearances while their comrades were done in.
However, they haven’t failed to notice Hifumi’s pursuit.
Someone fell by pitching forward while voicing a short scream.
The soldier, who crashed into the ground starting with his face due to the momentum of running, has the dagger sticking out from the back of his head. At the time of falling he had already died.
Recovering the dagger by pulling it out while running past, Hifumi examined the blade of the dagger while keeping the remaining two in his field of vision.
“Well, I guess that’s normal.” (Hifumi)
Discovering several small nicks in the blade, Hifumi grumbles quietly.
The dagger, which hasn’t received a divine protection, has a sharp blade to bring out its cutting ability. Given that this part is brittle, the clinging grease will kill its edge and the blade will be damaged as well if one kills several tens of people, even if he mostly aimed at the soft throats and eyeballs.
“I guess it’s still usable for piercing, but… oh well, it will probably be fine.” (Hifumi)
Tossing the dagger into his darkness storage, Hifumi, who became unarmed, raised his speed even more.
The remaining two knew that beyond this point the elven barrier would stretch out. If they went in that direction, it would turn into a dead end for them.
However, the current situation was that they couldn’t do anything but run away straight ahead until here. Even while checking each other with a look, they wondered whether the human would come their way if they escaped by dispersing left and right.
“Haa, haa… It looks like that human threw away his weapon. He isn’t holding anything in his hands anymore.”
Once one of the demons said so after having looked behind with a glance, the other also turned back for just an instant and confirmed Hifumi’s state.
“You are right…”
“Won’t the two of us be able to somehow manage if that weapon is gone?”
The other soldier thought about that suggestion while running.
The figure of the human, I had seen with a glance before, has a small size compared to career soldiers like us if I think about it calmly.
If he has decided to abandon even his weapon which is able to cut to a terrifying degree and if it’s successful for either of us to pin him down, the victory will be likely decided with only that much.
“… Got it. Let’s stop while matching our timing. Please dispose of him somehow after I have restrained that guy.”
“Let’s start right away as long as we have stamina remaining”, the soldiers implement their idea immediately.
“Let’s go… now!”
The soldier next to him drew his sword while turning around while the soldier, who made the suggestion to intercept, released a fireball.
The soldier fixed his grip of the sword while judging I will aim at the chance of him faltering due to the fire, huh?, but far from faltering Hifumi raises his speed even more.
“Too slow.” (Hifumi)
Avoiding the fireball by jumping, Hifumi hit each of the two’s faces, who are dumbfounded, with both hands.
Making a muffled sound, one each of both’s eyeballs rupture due to the impact.
The soldier, who cast the magic, moreover received a kick at the moment of landing and his right leg was roughly torn to pieces.
The soldier, who barely resisted by not releasing his sword, desperately swings his sword within his narrow field of vision.
“Okay, it would have been great if you had done so from the beginning if you are able to fight.” (Hifumi)
While avoiding the sword, which is repeatedly swung vertically and horizontally, with movements similar to swaying left and right, Hifumi smiled slightly delightfully.
Deciding to ignore the pain of his eye for the time being, the soldier focussed on dealing with the danger currently in front of his eye.
Although he is tired from having run, he still plants his legs and loins firmly. Kicking off the hard ground, he stepped forward to overpower Hifumi with strength.
During that time the other soldier ran away while moaning in pain and limping, but without turning his eyes that way, Hifumi stands in front of the soldier who displayed his ability and intent to fight.
The demon soldier, who is one head taller, swings down the sword he held over his head with all his might and moreover wields it sideways even when his previous strike has been avoided.
Letting that slash go past by lowering his stance, Hifumi chased the hand holding the sword while straightening his body and struck it.
With the brandished sword’s speed being raised, the body of the soldier, who missed his chance to stop the sword, makes a full turn.
Grabbing the exposed back of his neck, Hifumi pulled him with the soldier being in a state of looking up.
“See you.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who just saw that the soldier’s head was at a place littered with stones, trampled down on the demon’s forehead with all his strength and smashed his head.
Scattering grey matter, the soldier died after several convulsions.
“Well then, there’s one left, but… mm?” (Hifumi)
The ears of Hifumi, who tried to go searching for the survivor while wondering whether he is still alive, heard the sound of a horse’s hooves hitting the ground.
“Haa, that was nice. They caught up…” (Hifumi)
Aren’t they used to mounting a horse? It was Pheres, who had a worn-out expression, and the one who was riding while clinging to her hips was Nyal who had the katana thrust in front of her eyes before by Hifumi.
“Hey, get off.” (Pheres)
“My butt hurts~…” (Njal)
Continuing after Nyal who descended from the horse while complaining incessantly, Pheres got off the horse as well and bowed her head towards Hifumi.
“We came to deliver a message from Captain… Vepar-sama.” (Pheres)
Receiving the parchment timidly held out by Njal, Hifumi checked its contents on the spot.
It contained thanks mixed with sarcasm for the matter of him having cooperated at the time of her ascension to the throne and for the situation where she was going to be killed by her subordinates who had temporarily become hostile towards Vepar, like Pheres and Njal.
And it continues with her recommendation for him to depart from the demons’ territory in the following sentence.
“*Sigh* A thank-you-letter and a recommendation for departure has been lumped together.” (Hifumi)
The two girls waited patiently even while being scared until Hifumi finished reading.
Folding the document, he tosses it into his darkness storage.
The girls stare in wonder due to the rare darkness attribute and his speed in invoking the spell.
“I understood Vepar’s point. Since I planned to leave anyway, there’s no particular problem with that.” (Hifumi)
Nyal showed an easily understandable expression of relief due to Hifumi’s words while Pheres assessed Hifumi with a yet still tense expression.
“Let me tell you something nice. The barrier imprisoning you lot doesn’t exist anymore.” (Hifumi)
As she has a honest nature, Njal floats an expression full of joy, but Pheres’ is still stiff.
“Why do you know that?” (Pheres)
“I heard it in the elven village. If you ponder about it normally, it’s probably because they have escaped while taking the lot, who maintains the barrier, along… The wind is blowing from the forest. The barrier likely doesn’t function anymore.” (Hifumi)
“Are you a friend of the elves? Because you are a pawn of the elves, you have killed this many demons…” (Pheres)
Pheres gaze is restinng on the demon soldier who had been killed before.
“I have nothing to do with them. Demons, elves, beastmen and humans, if they become my enemies, they will be killed. You too, will you also draw your weapons in front of me? Will you aim for my life with magic if you are able to use magic besides healing magic?” (Hifumi)
“… I will pass on that. I don’t want to square off against a person who seems to be laughing even while making an enemy out of the world. However, I will express my gratitude for the matter of you having rescued Vepar-sama. Thank you very much.” (Pheres)
“You were also in the group who ambushed her though.” (Hifumi)
“I wasn’t aware that she was the target. Although I was unable to do anything at that time, I have the intention to properly serve Vepar-sama from now on.” (Pheres)
Bowing once, Pheres matched her sight with Hifumi’s.
“I have no other talent but healing magic. Thus I’m unable to fight with you. However, I’m capable of saving my comrades.” (Pheres)
“I see, that’s something valuable. Go for it, it will be fine if you help Vepar.” (Hifumi)
“There’s something I don’t understand. What’s your reason for assisting the rise of Vepar-sama while having killed the king and this many demons?” (Pheres)
Voicing out her question, Pheres looks at him properly and trembles only a bit.
In her back Njal clutched Pheres clothes with an obviously frightened expression.
“It’s tuning.” (Hifumi)
“The one called Agathion? That guy was strong. He was a fellow who was able to give permission to a plan, which put the life of his subordinate at risk, without a single change in his expression. If that person appeared on the world’s stage, he would probably finish off the elves, beastmen and humans one-sidedly. But, if it’s Vepar, who considers her comrades, including her own strength as well, it will become the best balance if she forms an alliance with the beastmen considering the number if it’s the humans, the size of the group if it’s the beastmen lot and the wisdom of the elves, but… anyway, I was able to tune things for the sake of a long battle with this.” (Hifumi)
“It was difficult, you know”, with Hifumi looking in the far distance, Pheres began to tremble for a different reason.
“Long battle, you say? You don’t mean…” (Pheres)
“I thought that I’d like you to go to war with the guys who are able to fight. It’s no good if the fighting strength is too overwhelmingly biased. It will somehow finish with all of it being occupied and that’s boring.” (Hifumi)
He places the katana, he took out from his storage, at his waist and adjusts its position.
“The demons won’t be able to suppress their desire of wanting to leave once they learn that the barrier vanished. Humans seem to instinctively have feelings of fear and rejection towards demons, elves and beastmen. Beastmen like to fight to begin with. If there are still cities of elves and beastmen, they have to fight the foreign enemies and win to keep that fragile relationship.” (Hifumi)
“I was able to prepare the stage”, Hifumi nodded in satisfaction.
“W-Why are you doing such thing…?” (Pheres)
“Hmm? I have no particular reason. However, it’s because I will be able to enjoy the battles if it turns out like this. If everyone is fighting for dear life, this world will develop as result, too. If it develops, the battles will become even fiercer. That feels pleasant, right?” (Hifumi)
Pheres can’t say anything anymore due to Hifumi’s reply.
“If someone somewhere pulls the trigger hereafter, the battles will probably spread slowly from there. I have moved in order for it to turn out like this. That means, from here on it’s the preparatory phase. I don’t know how long it will last though.” (Hifumi)
Swallowing her saliva with a gulping sound, Pheres bid farewell in a hurry, mounted the horse in panic, pulled up Njal placing her in the back and galloped towards the castle.
“Well then, let’s get ready myself as well, I guess?” (Hifumi)
He headed in the opposite direction of Pheres. Facing the residence of the elves, Hifumi set out.