Chapter 15 – Attack & The Unexpected
Front of Ruins
“On my command, advance according to the plan.” [Chie]
One last confirmation before the attack.
After separating from Claude, I had returned to where the soldiers were waiting and finished preparations for the attack.
We were about to start the attack on the entrance.
I exhaled deeply to calm myself down.
“….Alright! Now!!” [Chie]
There was a loud confirmation of my command as we rushed towards the ruins.
The mages used the spell ‘light’ to brighten the area.
We rushed towards the entrance while still under the effects of ‘hide presence’ magic.
“What’s going on!?” [Guard]
There were two guards in front of the entrance to the ruins.
They reacted in confusion to the sudden brightness and our rapid charge.
However, I could feel someone else’s presence hidden within the darkness.
He left his hiding place and confronted me, attempting to block my progress.
I prepared to draw Sakuya in response.
“Gu~a~tsu!” [Hidden Guard]
An arrow suddenly pierced the man’s chest.
He fell backwards with the arrow stuck in his chest, which had apparently hit his heart.
I looked towards the direction that the arrow had come from.
When I looked in that direction, I saw Captain Addinsell standing on top of a building far away.
I was impressed.
No matter how bright it was, there was still a considerable distance between us.
However, the arrow had hit the hidden guard’s heart.
Well, as expected from someone who had obtained Captain rank!
The Corp members nodded to my order and continued into the mansion.
Conrad and I split up, forming groups of ten, planning to use the wide corridors to reach the same location.
Our strategy was for my team to attack from the seating area while Conrad’s team attacked from the presentation area.
It was basically a pincer attack.
The routes had all been examined by Claude.
It was definitely the correct decision to recruit him.
Using the knowledge obtained from his scouting, we managed to progress smoothly, without getting lost.
So, just as I had thought, he was a man of his word.
Ahead of us, there were around five people, I think?
Some rough looking men in front of us blocked our route.
The destination was still further ahead.
The route might not be difficult, but that didn’t mean that they would make it easy.
I drew Sakuya as I ran.
Unlike the time with Claude, I wouldn’t have the luxury of not killing someone here.
The guards brandished their weapons and rushed towards us.
Without any wasted movement, I used Sakuya to block the guard’s attack as it came towards me. I used the opening created and Sakuya tore through the guard’s throat.
Blood spurted from the guard’s neck and sprayed over my armor.
The body fell to the floor, convulsed a few times before stopping, and became still.
On this day, I had killed someone for the first time.
However, I could not afford to stand around in shock.
When I looked around, I saw that the remaining guards had already been dealt with.
“Let’s move!” [Chie]
They responded to my words, and we continued moving forward.
We ran to reach the people in the viewing area and finish this.
We parted ways with the Commander’s group and made our way to the presentation area, using the information from Claude’s scouting.
Some men attempted to hinder us along the way, but they were all dealt with.
Thanks to Claude’s investigation, we were able to take a route that was large enough to comfortably swing a sword.
After learning of the sizes of the corridors, the Commander and I had decided to each take nine subordinates down them.
How fortunate to find someone with that kind of talent.
Initially, I had been anxious about his joining, but after observing him, I found his work to be quick and precise.
If it weren’t for him, we wouldn’t have reached this far so quickly.
As I had previously thought, it was fortunate that the Commander had appeared.
Oh, I had ran ahead of everyone due to my good mood.
My mouth had definitely broken out into a huge grin by now.
As I thought such things, we neared our goal.
Knowing the routes you needed to take made it much easier to advance.
Well done, Claude!
As it is, I’ll support a relationship between him and Alice.
However, with Alice, there would be various high hurdles to overcome.
I’ll tell him the things Alice likes to show him my gratitude.
As I thought about this in a corner of my mind, we arrived at our destination. I opened the door slightly and peeked inside.
“Everyone, thank you for your patience! We will now commence the auction!!” [???]
When I peeked through a door, a voice echoed from the back of the room.
When I looked at the back of the presentation area, there were more guards like the ones we had met earlier.
However, they didn’t appear to be any more skilled than the previous ones.
I didn’t think that it would be a problem if that was all.
However, it bothered me that it was too easy.
There had been very little resistance on the way here.
When you were used to battle, you could get a feel for these things.
Was it just me, or did it seem like there were too few guards?
It was difficult to believe that the number of guards were just more concentrated toward the Commander’s side.
It would be nice if everything went smoothly.
On our way to our destination we were attacked by several more people, but we still moved on without any major problems.
Up until this point, all the guards we met were simply killed.
Growing up in modern Japan, I had known that people die all the time, but experiencing it first hand made my heart tremble.
Even though I thought I was prepared, I was still scared.
However, I was also relieved that I was scared of this.
As long as I remember this feeling, I am still me.
When I think of such things, I am able to move forward with a lighter heart.
We arrived at the destination.
The 2 men standing guard at the door were killed quickly.
The guards, who didn’t even have time to alert anyone, were moved to the side and the door was quietly opened to peek inside.
“Everyone, thank you for your patience! We will now commence the auction!!” [???]
It seems we arrived just in time.
It was a relief that we had managed to make it this far.
However, even though Claude scouted the way for us, it seemed too easy.
There were only a few guards on the way which made it easy to get here, though I’m not saying they were weak in any way.
Were they concentrated more on Conrad’s path?
No, there would be no reason.
Both paths arrive at the same place.
Whether it is the seating area or the presentation area, the paths are different but the location is the same.
If it’s only that then their security is a joke.
It would be nice if there was nothing else.
“Commander, should we go in?” [Soldier]
While I was lost in thought, a man from the Knight Corps asked quietly.
“No, not yet.” [Chie]
I answered in a similar voice.
We will wait for the right moment.
When I give the signal, Conrad will also rush out onto the presentation area.
Most likely, they have already arrived behind the door to the presentation area.
However, it’s pointless to go out now.
We must wait for the right moment to get conclusive evidence.
“Now, for the first auction piece!” [???]
I held my breath.
It’s okay, I’m not alone in this.
One of the men on the presentation stage placed a doll of wood in the center of the area and began to pour magic into it.
“Wait for my signal.” [Chie]
The 9 other soldiers nodded to my words.
A light enveloped the doll and it gradually turned into the figure of a woman.
“A young woman from Collas Village! Starting price, one gold!” [???]
Following the words of the speaker, the doors were pushed open with full force.
The subordinates lowered their bodies to remain out of sight.
A beautiful and luxurious venue entered my view once inside, the opposite of the bleak hallway from a moment ago.
“What! Why are you here!?” [Ackroyd]
Praetor Ackroyd, a familiar face, and also the organizer of this whole scheme. He raised his voice from the front row.
The surrounding started to become noisy, wondering what had happened.
I spoke while looking down on him.
“Why? Those should be my words Praetor Ackroyd.” [Chie]
Ackroyd clammed up at my words.
“I came here based on key information from a certain person. Apparently it was the right decision.” [Chie]
I said while looking at the presentation stage.
Even though nothing was said, the situation spoke for itself.
“Now everyone, please remain where you are. Even though some of you are from another country, you undoubtedly know that slavery is a crime in this country.” [Chie]
The faces of the spectators who were thinking of fleeing began to pale.
That was probably my fault?
“I recommend that you give up and quietly surrender.” [Chie]
“Hmph! You fool, it was your mistake coming alone.” [Ackroyd]
When Ackroyd snapped his finger, multiple guards came out from the back of the presentation area.
Only about 10 people?
“Fuhahahaha! Black Knight, are you too ‘feeble-minded’ to not understand the difference in numbers?” [Ackroyd]
Spontaneously spewing insults to your opponent, how absurd.
This person thinks he has the advantage. Well, he’s completely mistaken.
“Who ever said I came alone?” [Chie]
“…….Can’t be.” [Ackroyd]
Ackroyd seemed to have finally noticed his current situation.
“Come now, how many guards were stationed up to this point? No reasonable person would rush into a suspicious place alone.” [Chie]
Conrad, who was waiting behind the presentation area, drew his sword as he entered through the doors.
Now both entrances were blocked.
“This place is surrounded. Other military personnel are waiting just outside. For now, remain seated as you are.” [Chie]
The faces of the people within the venue turned pale blue as they realized escape was impossible.
To help Conrad capture the people in the presentation area, a ‘binding’ spell was cast, restricting their movement.
‘Bind’ is a magic seal that restricts an opponent’s movements.
I used an non-attribute magic that can be applied to everyone in an area.
That way, even if there is someone who can use magic in the group, there shouldn’t be a problem.
“It’s the end Praetor.” [Chie]
I said while looking at Praetor Ackroyd.
“Hmph! Fuhahahahahaha!” [Ackroyd]
However, Praetor Ackroyd burst into laughter.
I’m getting a bad feeling about this.
“…..What’s so funny?” [Chie]
I asked Praetor Ackroyd while becoming nervous.
The Praetor stopped laughing and looked at me.
“Apparently I have been taken lightly. I have already prepared for something like this to happen.” [Ackroyd]
As he was talking, he took a red magic charm out of his chest pocket.
What is that?
It gives off an ominous feeling when you focus on it.
Almost like something is sealed within it.
“Heh! This is something that was given to me by the Demons! Black Knight, once you are out of the way, the assassination of the Imperial Family will succeed and the Parliament will gain full authority over this country!!” [Ackroyd]
“!?…….Heh, the Ogre attack was also your handiwork.” [Chie]
What a confession.
Is it because he feels trapped or is it desperation?
“That’s right! A signed contract with the Demons. In exchange, they will not harm this country. This is a part of that!” [Ackroyd]
He spread his arms wide open, motioning towards the entire venue.
Indeed, it’s quite the elaborate plan made by the Parliament and the Demons.
Well, it all adds up in the end.
The investigation team being understaffed.
The guards of each town and village being so small in number.
It was thought to be a small portion of Parliament, but it unexpectedly involved all of them.
Looks like His Majesty will have to elect a new Council after this.
“The plan started to derail when His Majesty became friendly with Conrad. We worked with the Demons and made plans to assassinate the Imperial Family, but those annoying servants kept getting in the way!” [Ackroyd]
Apparently the servants had worked together to protect the Imperial Family.
The mystery behind the servants of the castle keeps getting bigger.
I’m even more sure that the servants of the castle are special.
“And then you came along, Black Knight! Everything changed when you appeared!” [Ackroyd]
Praetor Ackroyd looked at me with a distorted face.
“You took away our military authority and rearranged the guards of the villages and towns, making it difficult for us to move. Then, the assassination request for you that was put into the Shadow Guild failed. Now you are here. Curse you!” [Ackroyd]
Ackroyd smiled fearlessly as he clenched the magic charm in his right hand.
“This is as far as you go, Black Knight. Now you will die!” [Ackroyd]
Praetor Ackroyd used the Demonic Charm, unsealing whatever was inside of it.
“Not good!” [Chie]
I held Sakuya in my left hand and used the sheath to summon a barrier over everyone around Praetor Ackroyd.
The Demonic Charm shined brightly, and the light emitted began to take shape.
The shape grew and began to break through the ceiling.
There was a loud sound as the ceiling and building collapsed around us.
When the ceiling had finished falling, the surroundings had been turned into rubble.
The barrier remained intact, and everyone inside appeared to be safe.
I focused on the barrier, modifying it to repel the rubble sitting on top of it.
“Commander, are you alright!?” [Conrad]
Conrad ran over to me.
He didn’t bother asking about what had just happened.
“No problems. How are you?” [Chie]
I asked, while returning Sakuya to my waist.
This was the first time I had used the barrier. What an amazing sheath.
“I’m unhurt as well!” [Conrad]
I felt relieved when I heard him.
“Did you create this barrier, Commander?” [Conrad]
“Oh, yes. It’s an ability of this sheath, to be more precise.” [Chie]
I answered Conrad, while observing the surroundings.
To begin with, the collapse had ended rather quickly.
“Do you see Praetor Ackroyd?” [Chie]
When they heard my question, the other soldiers rushed in and began searching.
“!?……Knight Commander!” [Soldier]
One of the men pointed to the top of a pile of rubble.
Praetor Ackroyd was standing there, wearing a fearless smile.
There was also something else.
It stood on four legs, had a long tail and large wings, and its mouth was shaped like a beak.
Its body was covered with thick scales and was as tall as a skyscraper.
On Earth, he was a Dragon born from a curse in Norse mythology.
He frequently appeared in stories, sometimes appearing as a snake or a serpent.
The Dragons of this world are reptilian creatures and usually live in caves or secluded forests.
They would not show themselves to humans unless there was a very compelling reason.
Other types of Dragons were similar in that regard.
However, the cursed Dragon had definitely appeared before us.
Is this for real?
I remained speechless as the cursed Dragon ‘Fafnir’ appeared before my eyes.
I didn’t know all the details, but from the stories I heard, it was a Dragon that spits poison.
Such a Dragon had descended onto the Empire.
“Hahahaha! How do you like it? Fafnir, bring oblivion to these pieces of trash in front of me!!” [Ackroyd]
Praetor Ackroyd issued a command to ‘Fafnir’.
Not good. We would be wiped out if it attacked.
We needed to retreat, but the nobles and other members were still sitting on the ground, too stunned to move.
However, the attack never came.
“Hey, Fafnir! I command you…” [Ackroyd]
‘Fafnir’ roared loudly, interrupting Ackroyd’s attempt to issue a command.
It was a fierce roar that made one instinctively cover their ears.
The vibration from it shook the ground.
‘Fafnir’ opened its large mouth and attacked Praetor Ackroyd.
“What are…” [Ackroyd]
‘Fafnir’ grabbed Praetor Ackroyd with its mouth.
Each time its jaws moved, the sound echoed through the ruined venue.
After ‘Fafnir’ swallowed, the surroundings became deathly quiet.
“A-ah, uwaaaaaaaah!” [???]
The nobles who had seen what had happened went into a panic.
“Conrad! Evacuate everyone right now!” [Chie]
The Commander issued an order to me, who had remained dumbfounded and motionless.
I returned to my senses.
“Hurry up! Get everyone away from here!” [Conrad]
I ordered everyone to evacuate.
We ran for a while before finally exiting the ruins.
“Black Knight, Conrad! What’s going on!?” [Adolf]
Adolf called out to us as we left the ruins.
We quickly told him what had happened until now.
As Adolf listened, his face grew pale.
“Ridiculous! That’s Fafnir!?” [Adolf]
It was a voice that didn’t want to accept the truth.
That was to be expected.
It was originally a Dragon that was more powerful than an Upper-Class Demon.
It was so powerful that even if you attacked it with the military force of an entire country, victory was not guaranteed.
Only the highest class Demon could seal such a creature.
“Demon King.” [Conrad]
It was unpleasant to think about such things.
Was it possible that the Demon King really was involved?
When I heard the Commander’s voice, I turned to face her.
“You’re probably wondering if it’s true that the Demon King is involved. There is no doubt that it’s the truth.” [Chie]
Apparently I had been heard.
The Commander seems to have been thinking the same thing.
“Why the Demon King!? This has never happened before.” [Adolf]
Adolf said urgently.
Indeed, he was correct.
We had always had a hostile relationship, but they had never taken such drastic measures until now.
At worst, they had only partnered with criminals.
So why now…..
No, it wasn’t the time to think about such things right now.
“Anyways, it’s necessary to gather the entire army.” [Conrad]
“But Fafnir is here now, right in front of us!” [Adolf]
Again, he was correct.
By that time we managed to gather the army, it would be too late.
At worst, the Dragon would have already dumped poison on the city and wiped out the capital.
“…..Conrad, Captain Addinsell. Evacuate the people of the Shopping District to the castle. Remember to bring the nobles that were captured earlier with you.” [Chie]
As I wondered what to do, the Commander unexpectedly issued orders.
“Black Knight, what?” [Adolf]
“I will entertain our guest.” [Chie]
I couldn’t understand the meaning of those words.
You’re saying that you’ll do what?
Adolf quickly caught on to what she meant.
“You idiot! Your opponent is a Dragon!” [Adolf]
I finally understood.
What was the Commander thinking!?
“Commander! What are you saying!? Wouldn’t it be better to assemble the army and attack the opponent with our full force!?” [Conrad]
“It’s just as Conrad said! You want to die!? We should pull back and devise a….” [Adolf]
“There’s no time!” [Chie]
The Commander yelled to silence us.
“There is a solution. Look at Fafnir’s abdomen.” [Chie]
The Commander pointed at ‘Fafnir’.
“Fafnir’s weak spot is its abdomen. If you can manage to avoid it’s attacks and strike there, you have a chance at victory.” [Chie]
Just as she said, there was a spot on ‘Fafnir’s’ abdomen that looked softer than the rest.
Certainly, if one could hit that spot, they could fatally wound ‘Fafnir’.
However, there was still a problem.
“Even so! Fafnir can spit poison! It would be impossible to avoid it all.” [Adolf]
“And if it spits poison while in the capital, it will leave lots of damage.” [Conrad]
The problem was its poison.
One wrong move could end up causing a disaster.
However, the Commander didn’t even hesitate.
She moved a little ways away from us and turned around.
The ramparts and ‘Fafnir’ were behind the Captain.
The Commander vigorously pierced the ground with her sword sheath.
A transparent barrier covered the entire capital, excluding the Commander and ‘Fafnir’.
I had seen the same thing just a little while ago. It appeared to be the power of the sheath of the Commander’s sword, ‘Sakuya’.
“The city will be safe.” [Chie]
The Commander said. However, when I tried to get closer, the barrier stopped me.
I hit the barrier with my fist, trying to get to the Commander, but it only made my arm sore.
“With this barrier up, there will be no need to worry about poison. The rest….just leave it to us.” [Chie]
I wonder if I misheard?
Did the Commander just say ‘us’?
She turned her back to us and raised her right hand, holding it in front of her.
Then, a magic circle suddenly appeared in front of her.
Is that summoning magic!?
“Come! Hayate!” [Chie]
The contracted beast was called forth through magic.
That was summoning magic.
This magic didn’t need a chant because it summoned the spirits directly.
Hayate came out of the magic circle, responding to the Commander’s words.
He slowly turned and snuggled up to the head of the Commander.
We were completely entranced by the mysterious spectacle before our eyes.
“I can deal with the poison as long as Hayate is here.” [Chie]
I understood what the Commander meant.
Certainly, it was possible to purify the poison with the power of a ‘unicorn’.
The Commander nodded and mounted Hayate.
“Good. Now go evacuate the residents and everyone else! Do it quickly!” [Chie]
We nodded to show that we acknowledged her words.
We had felt in our hearts just now that if it was this person, it just might be possible.
We strongly felt this.
“We’re going, Hayate!” [Chie]
The Commander quickly galloped away on Hayate, holding ‘Sakuya’ in her right hand.
We hurried to the Shopping District to carry out our orders.
Please Commander, you must absolutely return!