XTOSTOS IS BACK! Wooh after six months :”) Glad to have him back on the team! Anyways, it’s a race against time for Erica and friends! Enjoy!
ED: eristol, xtostos
The festival seemed to be entering its climax, and fireworks were being launched in the distance.
Meanwhile, I was heading for the river together with Chloe.
While looking at the distant hustle and bustle, we moved at high speed on the roofs of the Magic Academy City Lindis.
As we passed by a giant skeleton golem, Chloe stepped in front as if to guard me.
I turned my gaze towards where Chloe’s gaze was pointed at.
There were shadows moving on the roof.
At that time, a huge firework illuminated the people lurking on the roof.
The number of silhouettes that emerged was five.
Everyone was wearing a dark brown robe with their hoods up.
I saw them pulling out their swords from the sheaths on their hip.
Cold metal glint sparked.
The glow was very similar to that of a snowsilver sword.
Those are the swordsmen of Lucanrant—the Military Order of Útför.
“Why are they in Lindis…?”
Chloe let out a confused voice.
She probably understood their affiliation in just a glance.
“Sir Harlan is visiting Lindis to inquire about the Bloody Saint case, Chloe-san.”
“…If that’s the case, I guess it’s better to escape for now. No matter how I look at it, they are not here for a friendly chat.”
“Yes, I agree…”
“It’s safer there, so let’s go down at once. It would slow us down, but it’s faster than if we’re stopped by those people.”
In the direction of Chloe’s gaze was the main street that was crowded with people.
Even if they are the Inquisitors of the Military Order of Útför, they wouldn’t pursue us by cutting down the throng of ordinary people.
Since at least in Lindis, a free city that is basically reigned by Ignitia and Hafan, if such a thing happened, it would become a serious problem for them.
“How about we split up and regroup later at our destination?”
“I understand, Chloe-san.”
Our destination is the dock on the Kullat-Nunu River.
That is where my drowned corpse was floating in the original game.
“Erica-san, can you buy me time? It’s fine even if it’s an overkill.”
With that said, Chloe made preparations.
She took the snowsilver accessory from somewhere in the pouch and hung it around her neck.
“How much is an ‘overkill’?”
“Something that would kill them eight times if it’s an ordinary person. The swordsmen of Lucanrant can take it.”
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I listened to Chloe’s reply and pulled out two wands.
I chose Crystal Cluster and Gust.
It’s easier to just go all-out, but I also need to be careful and keep things from going too far.
Aiming at their knees, three shots of crystal clusters were fired at all five people.
Since the starting point was shifted by 20 degrees each and the occurrence was delayed by 0.05 seconds each, not everything could be intercepted even by the snowsilver swords.
The shots dug between their bones, and until they were nullified, this would obstruct their movement.
Even for opponents with a magic-nullifying sword and healing abilities, this would still be quite annoying.
Two of the five people jumped and evaded the crystal clusters that were formed at point-blank range, which should be difficult to see.
I blew off the two swordsmen that were up in the air with Gust from below diagonally as I had anticipated that.
The moment the movement of those swordsmen was stopped, we blended with the crowd.
I proceeded along the main street crowded with people in costumes and giant golems for the parade with a light Leap.
“Have we lost them…?”
『Erica…50 meters ahead, there’s one guy who had escaped your attack!』
As soon as Auguste’s muttering was heard, Goldberry’s front leg touched my neck.
The vision was shared in an instant.
Ahead, a swordsman was hiding in the shadow of a huge demon-shaped parading golem.
“Thank you, Auguste-sama, but for now, please concentrate on searching for Beatrice!”
『I’m still doing that. But, since you’re being chased by something, why not help?』
“It’s certainly appreciated, but…”
I held the wand of Gust.
With the dragon’s vision, I set the starting point right beside the swordsman using wand alteration and waved it.
The swordsman was blown away shortly afterward and crashed into the barrels of cider that were piled up on the corner of the street.
『Erica, are those guys from Lucanrant?』
“Yes, they seem to be the people of the Military Order of Útför, Auguste-sama.”
『…Heeh, I wonder what those Lucanrant people are thinking…』
“I’m sure it’s not something friendly.”
It is no trivial offense to pull out swords against students in the free city of Lindis.
Regardless of how suspicious Chloe and I might look for traveling on top of the roofs.
Is it perhaps related to the monstro that caused the abduction?
Or, is it to secure me and Chloe who were involved in the Bloody Saint case?
『Erica, above your head…!』
Through Auguste’s vision sharing, I became aware that there is a person on the roof of the house right beside me.
If I don’t consider the height difference, he is only about 10 meters away.
Given the mobility of those guys, I want to keep them at a distance at any rate.
It would be all over if he gets close.
With this short distance, how do I escape—
At that time, I noticed a fungal walker under the guise of a ghost that had slipped into the parade.
I feel sorry for the fungal walker, but it might become a useful tool.
“Tir, cling to my feet! Auguste-sama and Goldberry too, stay close to me!”
『Aa, I understand!』
I took out a wand and pretended to turn it towards the swordsman above.
The swordsman, who noticed me, immediately jumped off the roof with his sword raised.
With minimal movement, I waved the wand of Castling.
I turned around when I heard the loud scream of the fungal walker.
A sword-pierced fungal walker stood where I was before.
Along with the scream, a large number of spores were scattered to the extent that it turned the surrounding hazy.
The swordsman tried to pull out the sword that was deeply stabbed in the fungal walker, but gradually fell down.
He might have sucked in paralytic or hallucinogenic spores.
I feel good that I have successfully bought time.
Even so, to think that he would actually stab without hesitation.
Judging from the stabbed location, he was aiming around my right shoulder.
He wasn’t aiming to kill me; he was trying to destroy my dominant hand so that I couldn’t use my wands.
It was merciless, but it may be conscientious not to aim at my heart and head.
『There’s a guy who noticed this uproar. North-northwest from here, about ten buildings from here, only one person.』
I confirmed it through the vision sharing and immediately shot 10 simultaneous shots starting from the shade of the alley with Crystal Cluster.
It’s fine even if the magic is nullified or if he heals himself immediately.
The swordsman went in a completely different direction because the magic’s starting point was different from where I actually was.
With this, we should have avoided trouble for the time being.
『You did it, Erica!』
“It’s thanks to you, Auguste-sama.”
『Next are the two people along the southeastern street from here. It’s about twelve buildings behind. No…another group of three and a group of seven are gathering at a frightening speed!』
Twelve people, huh.
Just exactly how many Lucanrant swordsmen are hiding in this city?
『In addition, everyone has what appears to be a snowsilver sword. Watch out, Erica.』
“I may not be able to deal with this. We may be cornered.”
Should we surrender and raise a white flag?
…No, there is still a way.
I pointed to a skeleton golem, which could be seen far away, and asked Tirnanog at my feet.
“Tir, can you enlarge yourself here? For example, as big as that huge skeleton golem.”
『Fuh, that’s easy!』
It’s really great that today is a festival day.
The number of golems in the shape of a black dragon increased during the parade, so it wouldn’t be a strange sight for the citizens and tourists.
Once we were in a wide alley, I chanted the secret words that would release Tirnanog’s restraints.
Tirnanog’s starsteel armor came off and his body grew into the form of a giant dragon.
When he wore the scale-shaped starsteel armor again, a black dragon with curled up horns as if piercing the heavens stood towering.
『Erica’s golem…I feel like it’s familiar somehow…ugh, my head…』
Auguste, like Klaus, couldn’t remember what happened inside the Burial Chamber of Angels.
Seems like Palug’s oblivion magic is working.
“It’s a golem that imitates the legendary beast called Zaratan, which originates from Aurelia’s legend.”
I held my bag and Goldberry while making excuses.
I rode on the palm that Tirnanog offered and hid myself.
“As expected we will stand out if we deviate from the parade route, huh…return to your original form once we get out of the parade, Tir.”
『Umu. So we will let those twelve guys go past us, huh.』
A parade of golems under the guise of a ghost wearing giant sheets passed by the main street.
Following that, Tirnanog began to set out with big steps.
“Uwah~~ Mom, that dragon golem looks so strong and cool~~!”
“Wow, the golems suddenly increased!”
The small children nearby were very excited.
Tirnanog waved a free hand at them as a service.
Now then, we should get ready.
I took out the used wands from the glove of storage and replaced them with the wands that were stored in my bag.
『It seems those twelve guys have easily lost sight of us, Erica.』
“Embarking on a golem that suddenly turns gigantic would make them, after all.”
Be that as it may, we couldn’t advance from the parade route to the far outskirts of the town like this.
If we do that, the battle between Tirnanog and those twelve swordsmen will begin.
Of course, I think Tirnanog will win, but I want to avoid that battle.
Making an excuse about operating an unauthorized giant golem when it is exposed to public view, that would be too difficult.
In the worst case scenario, the existence of Tirnanog would become public and that would be a serious problem.
“Auguste-sama, where are they now? How many suspicious people are remaining?”
『The people you’ve stopped before have healed themselves. After regrouping and sharing information, there are more than twenty people that have begun to move.』
I confirmed it with the visual shared with Auguste.
“That is certainly scary.”
『I think they are scared. Because they’re always being shot at from somewhere within this crowd.』
What makes this possible is Auguste’s vision sharing and Marquia’s small dragons.
Looking up at the sky, the small dragons are flying everywhere.
“Speaking of which, how’s the situation on your and Klaus’ side?”
『On this side, we’re currently trying to resist Harlan’s unreasonable demands.』
A different vision was shared from the dragon.
Is this Auguste’s own vision?
In front of “me” was a man.
A dignified figure was wearing a pure white knight’s clothing framed by silver threads and a beautiful cloak made of silver fox fur.
On the upper half of his face was a silver mask that resembled a wolf.
—This is the Harlan Slayson.
Dark skin with brushed back light-colored golden hair.
I wonder what kind of face is hidden under that mask.
However, the color of the hair and skin are very similar to those of Citrouille.
…That couldn’t be Jack Citrouille, right…?
The rumored mysterious man, who has a commanding face and a powerful physique, was looking over here while baring his teeth as if he could see through me and laughed.
“Your Highness, it’s not that difficult, is it? All I want is one thing.”
It was a low and calm voice, but the contained compelling pressure was felt by my skin.
Is this what Auguste is feeling right now?
With a dry throat, “I” answered.
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“I can’t respond to that. It would run against the intention behind Lindis monastic school’s founding.”
“If the Military Order of Útför receives permission to be stationed permanently at the underground ruins, we can become that cornerstone of peace. It will guarantee the safety of everyone. That is what Your Highness wants and also the duty that has to be fulfilled by the school, isn’t it? So why are you refusing?”
Using anti-vampire measures as an excuse, he insisted on putting military intervention in Lindis, which is a free city.
I mean, he just wanted that first step towards real domination, didn’t he?
The senses that have been shared by Auguste until that point has been cut off.
“What excessive meddling. And despite Lindis being a free city no less.”
『The North has a strong disposition for wanting to be in direct control of things, so they must have wanted to get their hands on it. Seems like it’s going to be a verbal tug-of-war for a while~~』
Aren’t the Military Order of Útför and the academic city of Lindis too incompatible?
If anyone learning about heresy in the course of their studies, is suddenly arrested and subjected to confinement and torture, that would be no laughing matter.
『Erica, we will reach 〈Flask Street〉 soon.』
“Thank you, Tir.”
Thanks to the giant black dragon Tirnanog, we were able to pass through the main street safely.
Now, we need to find a safe route from the low-traffic outskirts of the town to the dock on the Kullat-Nunu River.
I stared in the scarcely illuminated direction of my destination while walking away from the hustle and bustle of the festival.
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