“I got a cooompletely late start!” (Alyssa)
Alyssa, who filled her stomach to her heart’s content after hearing that the big dining hall for nobles in the royal castle is for free, dashed through the castle at full speed with tears in her eyes right now.
Given that she’s running with a full stomach, an unpleasant feeling rises up from her chest to her throat, but she somehow manages to swallow it down.
She’s angry at herself for only noticing the noise outside the castle when she was about to enjoy her fourth cake after getting caught up in the moment. As a result of catching a knight, who was preparing himself hurriedly for battle inside the castle, and confirming the situation, she learned that a great number of demons had apparently flowed into the plaza in front of the castle.
“They have already started!?” (Alyssa)
Alyssa pretty much knows about Hifumi’s “plan.” The final wish of Hifumi of course, and she also knew that he’s actually making Queen Imeraria and the other races dance on top of his palm.
Why was she told about it?
Being given a handicap of possessing this much information ahead of the others, and yet only having few troops at her hand. How she’s going to deal with this situation is no more than a “homework” given by Hifumi, the previous feudal lord.
“I-I will be scolded…!” (Alyssa)
She was careless due to being able to anticipate the course of events. While praying for the safety of her subordinates, she rushes out of the castle.
The battle has started, and the short Alyssa can’t overlook the whole battlefield, but the soldiers, which sortied from the castle, were standing in a line, frantically holding back the pushing demons. It appears that the battle has spread across the whole plaza.
“You’re a hindrance!” (Alyssa)
Jumping upon a demon, she kicks his head while climbing the tall wall enclosing the plaza.
As the battle has developed into a melee, neither the demons nor the humans can fire arrows or spells. First she discovered Hifumi, who is throwing a remarkably huge presence, in the middle of the plaza, and then she found Origa who swung her iron-ribbed fan at a demon at a slightly distant place, unleashing wind blades at the lowest size even within this melee battle.
And, once she spotted Fokalore’s soldiers, who were in a defensive formation in a corner of the plaza, on the opposite side of Origa, Alyssa ran on the wall and jumped down in the middle.
“Sorry for being tardy! What’s the situation?” (Alyssa)
“The precise circumstances are unclear!”
The vicinity is a melting pot of screams and encouraging yells with desperate fighting going on except at the back of the walls. If one doesn’t shout at the top of their lungs, a normal conversation isn’t possible either.
Some idiot apparently used exploding magic. A couple of demons and humans each were blown away.
“The demons suddenly, umm, gushed out of a hole that opened up at the plaza’s entrance! Straight after they talked about something with the previous lord, the battle started…the exit from the plaza should be under control by the knight order and the royal army!”
While listening to the report, Alyssa intently wracks her brain. What should Fokalore’s troops do right now? Hifumi’s aim. No, wish. That is “to show what’s possible.”
“The knights, who have appeared from the castle, and the soldiers in the city; who do you think is stronger?” (Alyssa)
“Likely the knights. They were trained by the previous lord, weren’t they? Besides, the number of demons heading for the castle is still a minority!”
“Then it’s settled!” (Alyssa)
Alyssa went into action and repelled a longsword, which came flying from somewhere, with her wakizashi.
“All hands, form two columns! We will cut through a part of the demons’ forces located at the plaza’s entrance and launch a pincer attack by cooperating with the soldiers over there!” (Alyssa)
There’s no hesitation or doubt. Alyssa decides, the soldiers follow.
Those are the movements which Hifumi taught them and which they repeatedly practiced. Nowadays it has turned into a funny story, but back then it was so deeply ingrained into their bodies by training that it made them wonder whether they are going to die.
Fokalore’s forces might be few, but they are powerful.
Right now they are going to prove that once again.
“That’s right. You guys should move over there.” (Hifumi)
Watching Fokalore’s soldiers vigorously plunge into the demons’ forces as if tearing apart a huge cloth, Hifumi chuckles while bisecting a demon into upper and lower body.
As for what’s going to start from now on, Alyssa hasn’t been included in the count. She is a person to be left behind for later. She still has a role to play.
Above all, if Fokalore’s soldiers genuinely join the fray, Hifumi’s prey will decrease.
“What’s wrong? Use magic. You don’t have to hold back.” (Hifumi)
Loping off one head, Hifumi steps on the foot of another demon that had approached. Crushing the straightly extended kneecap of that demon with a kick, he completely pierces the demon’s head with his katana after he fell down. Alongside withdrawing the extracted katana, he cut open the throat of another demon.
The soldiers are completely sucked into his movements that are just like a series of dancing steps.
“There’s still plenty of you guys in stock, right? My life is over here. If you want it, come and take it. However, you have to put your own lives on the line.” (Hifumi)
With his pitch black left hand he beckons the demons, who are in the direction of the castle. A suddenly approaching fireball he erases with a wave of his left hand.
While being surrounded by demons, who have become indecisive due to their comrades being killed in the blink of an eye, Hifumi calmly cleans the katana’s blade with a paper.
At that point, a loud roar reverberated from the center of the plaza.
“Oh, it’s finally Balsomething-kun’s revival, huh?” (Hifumi)
Balzephon’s head was stuck from the nose to above on top of Bashim’s body that’s staggering while trying to cling to the pedestal.
Once Balzephon raises yet another yell, his body twitches only once, and then he properly stands upright with his feet planted on the ground. Bashim’s face looking upward for the sake of Balzehpon facing forward was oddly misshapen.
“What are you doing to the general!?”
“Aim at only the head!”
The demons in the surroundings target the head with their swords.
The right arm of Bashim, which was swung while raising a scream, directly strikes the face of a demon from right in front. Next he skillfully steals the sword from the giddy opponent. And then he strikes down that sword at the head of its original owner.
“Oops, I forgot. This is a part of that body.” (Hifumi)
Bashim’s left arm, which Hifumi retrieved from his darkness storage, is spilling fresh blood as if it had be severed moment’s ago.
Balzephon, who caught that arm, which Hifumi had thrown in his direction, by stabbing it with the sword, pressed it at the spot where it had originally been connected to. Before long the arm, which was dangling heavily, is completely connected to the body.
“That’s a convenient skill.” (Hifumi)
Balzehpon’s transformed, cloudy eyes glared at the laughing Hifumi.
“Uh oh, scary, scary. …I guess I have to call reinforcements since you’re so scary?” (Hifumi)
Hifumi breathed in very deeply and screamed with a very loud voice while having his back turned on Balzephon,
“Midas! A civilian is under attack by the demons’ monster!” (Hifumi)
“Sabnak-san, please stay back here. Vaiya-san, go down to the first floor and command the knight order. At the moment, there’s still only few demon soldiers. You can probably force them back with ease.” (Imeraria)
“And then,” making a short pause, Imeraria orders,
“Take advantage of the demons’ annihilation, and restrain Hifumi-sama. An accident of swords and spears flying his way, even if it’s several, won’t be odd, right? I also believe it necessary to herd the demons into his surroundings to gain total control of the plaza.” (Imeraria)
“I heard and received your command. Well then.” (Vaiya)
Vaiya bows, steps backwards only once, and runs off after turning around.
Sabnak, who followed him with his eyes, shifted his eyes back to Imeraria. I suppose it’s not my imagination that the queen’s face looks slightly pale.
Sabnak himself was against this plan. He knows the reason why she feels anxious about the country’s stability, considering Hifumi’s nature, or rather his character as well as his outstanding strength. But if one says that, they have to go around and systematically crush any strong power.
And, I think only when Orsongrande’s royalty is left at the end, no one will really stand in their way.
“Ha? Yes, I’m sorry.” (Sabnak)
He had apparently been deep in thought.
“Sabnak-san, what you are thinking about is the same what I’m thinking about.” (Imeraria)
Imeraria glances at Vepar, who is watching the ongoing battle while on tenterhooks, next to her.
“I’m acknowledging that there are extremely many improvements thanks to his influence. But, it’s a truth that the matters of this world have to be settled by the people of this world. As someone ruling in this world, I judged that it would be best to remove Hifumi-sama from it.” (Imeraria)
“…I share your opinion as well.” (Sabnak)
Apparently having listened to their conversation, Vepar leaned forward across the balcony’s handrail while looking over her shoulder.
“Honestly spoken, if you allow me to state a childish opinion, it’s cunning.” (Vepar)
“Cunning, you say…” (Sabnak)
Once Sabnak frowned while thinking, I don’t think that’s a word that should be used by someone who is a queen, Vepar breathed out slightly and laughed.
“Don’t pull such a face. Even though I may appear like this, I’m serious…the promise between Imeraria and me is just “Let’s each other do our best.” To compete seriously without any hindrances, that man is an irregular at best.” (Vepar)
“I have a personal grudge with him as well, though.” Vepar stuck out her tongue and laughed.
“I also decided to remove him while harboring a personal grudge. Sabnak-san. You are also one of the people who will influence the country’s future after Hifumi-sama is gone. I won’t tell you to resolve yourself, but please stay levelheaded.” (Imeraria)
“Look,” Imeraria points at the plaza.
Over there one could see the knight order pushing back and utterly defeating the demon soldiers heading in the direction of the castle. Even within the overwhelming charge, a single knight was hit by what appears to be magic and collapsed with a spray of blood.
“More than proceeding towards battle, forcing battle is a crime. When I summoned Hifumi-sama I didn’t consider that at all. The responsibility for that also… The resolve and duty to make someone head towards their death for the sake of an objective. I’m pretty sure that’s what I should demonstrate to Hifumi-sama.” (Imeraria)
“I finally realized that it’s a mistake to fight myself.” Imeraria smiled feebly.
Midas, who plunged into the center of the plaza together with knights and soldiers trying to switch places with Fokalore’s troops after hearing Hifumi’s yell, finally managed to arrive at the place with Hifumi and Balzehpon who has revived for some reason.
Meanwhile the soldiers and demons kill each other in the vicinity, resulting in the number of people whittling down slowly. Even so, Midas wielded his word with the mindset of having to save a civilian.
Midas belonged to the Third Knight Order, which was originally focused on investigative mission, for a long time. It was a group that was weak at genuine battle, and yet you cannot say so either.
Standing in front of Hifumi while gasping, he looked around him, but as far as he could see, only demons were in sight. Otherwise he could only see the people of the Royal Knight Order pushing away from the castle.
“W-Where is the civilian?” (Midas)
“He’s right in front of you, isn’t he?” (Hifumi)
“It’s me. I’m the civilian.” (Hifumi)
Looking at Midas who clenches his fists while saying, “I’m sure no one will complain even if I hit you now,” Hifumi laughs.
“I’m not a soldier, neither do I hold the command over Fokalore. I’m a civilian as written in the books, who holds a weapon to defend himself. Or am I wrong?” (Hifumi)
“Besides, you know…” (Hifumi)
While saying so, Hifumi knocked down something that suddenly came flying at him with with his hand.
“This pitiable civilian is not only being attacked by demons, but even the knights. What do you think about this situation?” (Hifumi)
What was intercepted was a short spear as it’s used to guard by the royal knights inside the castle.
“Well, this much is just an accident…” (Midas)
Hifumi easily knocked down another two spears that came flying.
Seeing the short spears loudly rolling on the stone paving, Midas was lost for words and then looked in the direction of the castle.
Within the movement of trying to push back the demons, he found a single knight who is obviously about to throw his spear in this direction. If you go even further, the knight order moves for the sake of gathering and pushing the demons in Hifumi’s direction.
“I’m sure it’s Imeraria’s order. I guess she plans to get rid of me, using this disturbance.” (Hifumi)
“No way! Doing something like that…” (Midas)
“Have a look. Your guys’ queen is calmly watching this situation.” (Hifumi)
Midas lifted his face as told. He feels like his eyes met with Imeraria’s, but as the distance was too far, he didn’t make out her expression.
“Now then, Midas. What are you going to do?” (Hifumi)
“What, you ask?” (Midas)
“Are you going to restrain me in alignment with the royal knights? Or are you going to protect a “civilian” in accordance with a knight’s duty?” (Hifumi)
After being forced to swing his fist, he grasped the sword, which he had lowered while holding it with his right hand, with both hands and fixed his stance.
“All troops, line up in two rows! Prevent the attacks by the Royal Knight Order being hurled this way! …Hifumi-dono, to the bitter end this is my official stance. I don’t consider you a person that will allow for him to be protected obediently.” (Midas)
Shouldering his sword, Midas turned around towards the castle.
“This is for the sake of protecting the royal knights. Hifumi-dono, make sure to not get involved in unnecessary trouble. At least keep it like that in the royal capital. That’s my idea of protecting the peace.” (Midas)
He has no intention to listen to Hifumi’s answer. Saying so over his shoulder, Midas joined the defense line. He steps forward in its center.
“Humph. Whatever.” (Hifumi)
There are still enemies left.
The number of demons has diminished, but as that resulted in there being more space now, the number of magic attacks is gradually increasing.
Hifumi, who dodged an approaching rock by tilting his head to the side, sheathed his katana. Instead he takes out his kusarigama.
“All that’s left now is to focus on killing.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi knows that Imeraria’s aim is to seal him, but he still doesn’t know how. He anticipated that she would likely make a move here, seeing it as a good chance, but he didn’t hear how Origa and Puuse are going to move.
“Alright, alright. Come at me with your full power. I’m well aware that the current power of this world leaves something to be desired, but at least allow me to enjoy myself at 80%.” (Hifumi)
Brandishing the kusarigama‘s counterweight, he flings it into the face of a demon.
The instant he tried to pull back the chain, a presence passed next to Hifumi.
He perceived that, which displayed flexible movements, swinging its arm at the edge of his vision. He swiftly dodged the attack by inclining his head, however, one long cut is carved into Hifumi’s cheek.
The small person with his tiger-like face landed with a small sound, and licked the blood on his claw while glaring at Hifumi. It was Malfas who left the beastmen settlement after saying that he would join the demon army.