Chapter 35: An Elf Named Jerukku [before] (Part one)
The demon beast master waiting for Ren and Licia looked up at the night sky, a smile on his mouth peeking out from his hood.
“Sorry, but it’s a contract.”
The earth shook, covered with grass and flowers that filled the hillsides.
The ground everywhere begins to rise, and a high-pitched whine begins to echo from the earth.
“You’re not going to give up anyway. So I’ll have to use force. If that doesn’t work, I’ll just have to kill you.”
Two black whirlpools appear behind the beast master, and a maneater crawls out of the whirlpools with its arms outstretched. At the same time the maneater let out a ferocious cry, a monster appeared from the ground around Ren and Licia.
They were a variety of monsters, some resembling insects, others reminiscent of rats, and so on.
(They were of E rank at the highest.)
I could understand them because they were all familiar to me, but there were too many of them.
There weren’t up to a hundred, but there were close to that many surrounding Ren and Licia.
Then, a voice reached them from the forest behind them.
“There they are!”
It was the knights of Viscount Givens.
But their voices were soon replaced by screams.
“Eh……? Hey! Why are you coming toward us?”
“Stop! Wait! We’re on your side—-“
They were instantly surrounded by monsters and attacked on the horses they were riding.
It was as if they were being enveloped by a jet-black cloud.
The sound of hard metal crushing mixed with screams echoed through the hillsides, and Ren’s grip on the reins tightened.
“If they come suddenly, the order won’t be in time. But well, it doesn’t matter. They’re not going to help if they’re here. It’d be much more useful to use them as bait.”
The ruthless words of the beast master showed no sense of camaraderie.
“…… Ren. Can I borrow your sword?”
Licia was also full of tension and exchanged words for the fight.
“I’m sorry, but that is —-“
“Not your mysterious sword, but the dagger you used to make fire.”
Ren handed over the dagger Weiss gave him to Licia.
At the same time, the surrounding monsters leapt into the air.
Ren pulled the reins and swung the wooden sword, dodging the attackers.
He hit the first one approaching from the front hard in the eyes.
Licia easily slashed the neck of another monster that jumped right next to her with her dagger.
Even after easily defeating the two monsters, there were still countless of them left.
However, Ren slaughtered numerous monsters while riding his horse.
He created obstacles with his wooden magic sword and tried to gain the upper hand in the battle on the hillside.
“Hm. After all, a bunch of monsters of this caliber would be —-.”
The beast master, who continues to watch from on high, lets out a sigh.
His words weren’t within Ren and Licia’s hearing range.
The two of them were riding around the hill on horseback, still waging an overwhelming battle against the monsters that were leaping out of the earth.
Therefore, they had no time to pay attention to anything else but the battle.
(It’s fine. We can fight.)
The monsters fell one after another.
The trail where Ren and Licia had advanced was, without exception, littered with dead monsters.
Because the two had fought while galloping around the hills on horseback, the monsters’ corpses were scattered all over the place.
“Yes! I know!”
Licia suddenly bellowed.
Ren saw many monsters approaching in front of him.
He swung his wooden sword and made thick, stringy tree roots grow on the ground in front of him.
This prevented the monsters from attacking and continued to create a situation that was significant for them.
“The sword’s blade is short and hard to fight with, but it’s something!”
Then Licia showed her charm.
She had improved her skills over the winter and was very reliable.
“I see you’ve grown stronger again!”
“Yes! I wanted to win against you!”
(—- Well, we couldn’t spar last time because of her illness.)
She wasn’t in her best form.
The sword is also shorter than usual—- but it doesn’t matter at all.
The saint Licia Clausel was strong and beautiful.
Her swordsmanship is as beautiful and fluid as her dignified appearance.
She’s a sight to behold, and Ren, to whom she entrusted her back, was surprised many times.
“Ren, too, is getting stronger and stronger! Why? I’ve worked so hard!”
“Well, if you put it that way……”
The two of them were calm while defeating the infestation of monsters.
“I’m definitely going to ask you to duel later!”
“…… Yeah. Bring it on.”
It was a reply filled with many thoughts.
I must definitely send her home. I can’t allow myself to lose this battle. I wonder if my mother and father are safe.
While many other thoughts are mixed in his mind, Ren looks at Licia’s back and secretly thinks.
…… Since she’s here, it’s possible.
While fighting, I was somehow encouraged by her.
This was the same for her.
….If I’m with him. I won’t lose.
Like Ren, she felt supported.
Of course, she had trusted Ren before she came here, and he had encouraged her.
Now those feelings were growing and shaking her heart violently in the midst of the battle.
“—I’m so sorry!”
The sharp claws —- of the monster that Licia was unable to slaughter grazed Ren’s cheek.
“I’m fine! So don’t worry about it and fight as you wish!”
Ren took care of her without a moment’s pause.
Licia’s body, which had been stiffened, instantly becomes relaxed.
“…… You’re really kind. Hey, when we get to Clausel, do you want to go straight to my mansion?”
“What happened all of a sudden?”
“Because we can duel every day, and I know you’ll be nice to me when I’m mad at Weiss or my father —-!”
Wielding a dagger as she spoke, she struggled, forgetting her momentary strength.
Around them, the monsters lay in numbers that she could no longer count.
But suddenly, she let out a gasp uncontrollably as she felt the presence from the front.
“….. may I ask you to take care of that thing?”