Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 77 (Part 1)
The sudden situation that occurred forced us to hasten our journey.
Although we still couldn’t pull the carriage, the amount of snow as we approached the royal capital had decreased enough for the horses to gallop. So we rode the horses, with me behind Luca and Nina behind Noel, while Orobas flew with Cindy in his arms. Meanwhile, Miranda, Camilla, and Bennett were carried using my tentacles.
“…It sure is fast, but it’s a method of transportation that I don’t wish to be submitted to unless it’s an emergency. What is up with being able to sit properly even though it’s tentacles? I feel like being wrapped around the stomach like a package would be less embarrassing.” (Miranda)
“I completely get you! I was also a bit embarrassed when it was done to me before. I was happy that people were concerned about me, but that care made me squirm, or something like that.” (Nina)
“? I can’t simply carry my friends like haybales. It will put a tremendous amount of stress on your stomach.” (Zagan)
“Miranda, in times like this, you should just openly act proud and lay back. ‘Tis not like you are doing anything wrong.” (Camilla)
“Zagan-san, it’s really helpful that you are holding down my skirt so that it won’t flutter up. Thank you very much.” (Bennett)
“Miranda-chan~ If you’re embarrassed, do you want to exchange with me~?” (Cindy)
“That is even more impossible for me!” (Miranda)
I heard Cindy’s voice as I nodded toward Bennett in reply to her words of gratitude. Not only was Cindy being princess carried by Orobas, but she also had her arms around his neck to prevent herself from falling. It would certainly be a high hurdle for Miranda to do that.
The horses galloped across the snow-covered fields. Mana resides in everything in the world, and of course in the horses too. Hence, the horses utilised body strengthening and were able to cut across the snow at their usual, unburdened speed even with two people riding them. Luca’s and Noel’s control over the reins were also splendid.
As we got closer to the royal capital, the surroundings grew darker. Even in the game, there was an illustration of the demonic essence spreading in the sky but I could never have considered that it would be enough to cover the entire royal capital.
Yet at the same time, it was understandable. This country was overflowing with God Soleil’s negative resentment which caused the demonic essence to easily gather. Rather, even after all that conversion, the grudge itself might not have been appeased.
After a while, the outer wall came into view. The outer wall that surrounded the royal capital was about 200 km long, but it seemed that it was shorter when the country was first founded. It had a history of being moved and expanded by earth attribute users before finally reaching its present length, 5,000 years after it was originally built.
The landscape changed to a road where the snow had been removed and houses stood in a sporadic manner. Those who lived outside the outer wall were fearless fighters who constantly hunted monsters so that the royal capital was not in danger. Naturally, it was a job properly issued by the country.
In front of the 12th outer gate of the royal capital, perhaps because they had been informed of this raid two months ago, there was no one rushing out. Only the guards were present and it was quiet.
Luca signalled to Noel, who slowed down and stopped the horses in front of the guards waiting with a salute.
“I’m back. I’ll need you to let me through.” (Luca)
“Welcome back, Your Highness Luca!”
“Your Highness, allow me to report. At present, monsters are appearing all over the royal capital due to the Dark Organisation’s attack. We’ve even received reports from the mage corps near the royal castle that they are in battle with dragons.”
“Your Highness, you will directly be returning to the royal castle, won’t you? I implore you to be careful, Your Highness.”
“Thank you. I ask the same of all of you.” (Luca)
“We thank you for your concern. Godspeed!”
Luca nodded at their wish and nudged his horse back to a canter.
Those guards were amazing. My black hair would have been hidden from view by Luca, but my friends who were lifted using my tentacles as well as the flying Orobas were clearly visible. No matter how you looked at it, it was a spectacle full of things to astonish yet it was amazing that they weren’t shaken. Perhaps it was just nerves while in front of the prince or the emergency situation from the appearance of a dragon that kept them from doing so.
……A dragon, huh? That said, the game had several scripted battles before the battle against the Evil God, which I think included a battle against dragons. But unlike in the 9th city, there was only one dragon. Even so, if we actually ran into it, we would be that much slower to reach where Klage and the others are. However, if we consider the damage to the surroundings a dragon can cause, it cannot be ignored.
Although it just added to the anxiety, we had no choice but to press on.
A few minutes after passing through the outer gate, the demonic essence loomed overhead. Even though it was only slightly after 1 pm, the area was enveloped in darkness as if it were night. For those with the dark attribute, it was an environment that was easy to fight in. If all the monsters summoned were dark attributed, the people living in the royal capital might have a hard time.
That prediction became a reality about 15 minutes after passing through the outer gate. We spotted a group of monsters ahead of us, but the knights who were fighting were being pushed back.
Apparently, not many people were deployed here because there were only snow-covered fields and a few private homes. There were only 10 guards but there were about 100 monsters ranked B or higher. I guess someone from the Dark Organisation used summoning near here.
It’s a pity to spare the time to back them up. But when there are people who might die nearby, the option of not helping them is out of the question.
“Yeah, let’s help them.” (Luca)
I responded when I felt Luca peeking at me and he immediately slowed down the horse. I pointed my staff in the soldier’s direction and released my magic.
“Dark Blast.” (Zagan)
Camilla released advanced magic as well. Multiple explosions occurred where it landed. Several monsters were destroyed and turned into materials.
After lowering my friends to the ground, I also dismounted. Miranda rushed forward and Nina overtook her before unleashing her sword skill. Luca and Noel then rushed into the horde of monsters while still riding their horses.
“Do not give up, knights of Soleil! Live to protect the people! Swing your swords to live!” (Luca)
“Your Highness Luca!?”
They were stunned by the sudden assist, but when they heard Luca’s encouragement, they attacked the monsters with a roar. Bennett buffed them just before that so the monsters were steadily taken down. Some of them were reckless because their morale was too high, but even when they got hurt, Bennett and Cindy quickly healed them so there was no problem.
That aside, Luca has really grown stronger. Before I knew it, he was able to finish off an A-rank monster with a single shot of advanced magic. ‘Lightning’, which struck the target with lightning from overhead, causes minimal damage to the surroundings so it seems easy to use.
After a while, the subjugation was completed and the knights rejoiced. The huge difference in numbers had nearly broken their spirit, so the joy of being alive must be overwhelming. Some of them were even in tears.
Despite their current mental states, they all lined up and saluted when Luca called out to them. Then they gave their thanks for assisting them. Luca replied with a few words in response.
“I’m glad all of you are okay. You endured well in the face of that many enemies.” (Luca)
“Your Highness Luca… Thank you for your kind words.”
Luca nodded firmly at all of the soldiers who bowed. I couldn’t see his expression because I stood behind him, but I was sure he looked like the dignified prince he was.
Anyway, I thought we would immediately move on since we managed to overcome this obstacle, but Noel, who had dismounted, called out to Luca.
“Your Highness Luca, why don’t we take a short break here? I understand we have to hurry, but we should have lunch, just to be on the safe side. We still have a long way to go to reach the royal castle, after all.” (Noel)
“That’s true… Zagan, Cindy! Is it fine for you if we have a meal break?” (Luca)
“I don’t sense the Evil God’s presence yet, so I don’t mind.” (Zagan)
However, I didn’t know what Cindy’s thoughts were, so I glanced over to her. When I did, she smiled at me.
“Of course it’s okay~ Bennett-chan, you can get lunch ready in no time, can’t you?” (Cindy)
“Yes, I made a lot so I can prepare it immediately.” (Bennett)
“Then, let’s all have lunch together.” (Cindy)
Thus, we took a meal break. It seemed that the knights were also fighting without eating, but as expected, they were too timid to eat with Luca and told us not to worry about them because they would be picking up materials. So as usual, we put out only two tables.
Bennett placed a large pot and a kettle on the table. The moment the lid, which was held in place by a metal clasp, was opened, what wafted into the air was the spicy smell of curry.
Perhaps because my brain was stimulated by the delicious smell, my stomach rumbled loudly. I guess the body remembers to feel hungry even during an emergency situation. Before I knew it, Luca, who had dismounted from his horse, was next to me, whispering that I was cute before kissing me on the head. It was the usual occurrence so I just accepted it.
Incidentally, the horse was already being taken care of by Orobas. Demons didn’t seem to need much food and I had not once seen him eating anything in the past few days.
My friends prepared the meal with great dexterity, such as serving curry and pouring tea from the bottles, before giving thanks for the meal.
“Mmm, yummy~! As expected, curry is delicious!” (Nina)
“Haaah… It’s a delicious taste that seeps into the stomach.” (Miranda)
“Both the vegetables and meat are soft, it’s great~” (Cindy)
“‘Tis delectable indeed. As expected of Bennett.” (Camilla)
“Fufu, thank you very much.” (Bennett)
It was really good. It was so delicious that I had no words and instead continuously gobbled up more of it. Well, I did make eye contact with her. She happily smiled when I lowered my head so my impressions must have been conveyed.
I was concentrating on my meal when I suddenly noticed an uncomfortable feeling. It was faint, but I sensed the presence of a dark attribute other than Orobas’. Orobas seemed to have noticed too since he had stepped away from the horses and placed his hand on his rapier. However, those with dark attributes were good at hiding in the dark, and perhaps due to the magical influence of the demonic essence above us, I couldn’t grasp their location. Where were they?
When I put down my spoon and stood up, Luca looked up at me. Without responding to him, I cautiously looked around to see if there was anything unusual. There was nothing of note yet… wait, wasn’t there a large demonic essence appearing on the ground behind the knights who were preparing to eat a short distance away?
I headed over reflexively, but as if it were natural, the monsters were summoned first.
Darkness Fiend. An S-rank monster about 3m tall. The knights noticed its presence and tried to draw their swords, but the opponent was an S-rank. The greatsword was swung down faster than they could react.
Damn it, I won’t make it in timeーー…… Huh?
I couldn’t believe my eyes. The demon was blown away with a BANG! Its mana scattered and disappeared. ……How did that happen?
Despite being surprised, I turned my attention to the person who defeated it.