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Chapter: 98


The thugs have broken through the Knight Orders’ guard line.

Their number is… more than before. Is it because there are no places to hide, or are they prepared to sacrifice it all? It seemed that they were only rushing head-on.

Or rather, the guard line knights should be doing their jobs properly! Why do we have so many coming in? It’s not just a few people, if we’re not careful, we’ll be surrounded in all directions.

"Fuh!"

"Guah?!"

I cut down a man in black who ran ahead of the pack. This is bad, but it’s not a situation where we can’t even out our numbers.

At the same time, a little doubt arises about the ease with which my sword cuts them down.

Are they clearly weaker than the previous ones?

It’s true that there are many of them, but the skill level seems to be much lower than last time. Of course, not all of them are small fry, but it took a lot of time to deal with even one person during the first attack.

Perhaps this attack was a combination of numbers advantage, or because the quality could not be assured, they could only invest in these sorts of goons, or something like that?

That would be a nice miscalculation on their part, but what’s going on?

"Prince Glen, Princess Salacia! Please, keep your heads down!" I cried.

"Ye-Yes…!" the royals cried.

For the time being, I will continue wielding my sword.

It’s difficult to evacuate them. However, there are no places to hide.

In this situation, I have no choice but to have them hunker down and make themselves as small of targets as possible.

In this situation where there is no cover, even one projectile will be a fatal injury. Last time it was a close-range battle in the city, so it was tough but easy to figure out. We only needed to care about threats in the immediate proximity.

This place is open but the visibility is poor, which puts the defenders at a disadvantage.

If our opponents only had daggers, we’ve got no problem, but if someone is carrying a bow, it’s going to be a bit tough. I can’t help but be vigilant, so naturally, I can’t stray from Prince Glen and Princess Salacia.

Alexia and Henblitz, who would have come to the same idea, surrounded the royal families with me.

Still, it is impossible to protect them without gaps, and if a thug approaches, we have to fight at a distance so that our escorts will not be injured.

For the attackers, the situation is not too bad.

Honestly, this is a real pain in the ass.

"… Got it!"

Hyun, something flies silently flies through the air, I knock it out of the sky.

Goddamnit, I expected it, but I hate that there’re archers! Fortunately, their skill doesn’t seem to be that good, but it’s still pretty dangerous that our opponents have a means of a long-range attack. The difficulty in defending our escorts jumps up immediately.

"…! There are archers, too!" Gatoga yelled, now that he realized it, too. "Watch out for arrows!"

But even if you know that, it’s pretty tough to fend off all the arrows with melee weapons. Unless we manage them relatively early, we cannot deny the possibility that the Prince or Princess will be hit by one of them regardless of our efforts.

"Hinnis can use a sword, but he can also handle a bow…!" Gatoga hissed. "That bastard…!"

Seems the former Vice-Captain of the Knights of the Faith was also a good shot.

In that case, Hinnis and the other former Knights of the Faith are likely in command of the long-range soldiers. Did he realize that a close-quarters battle was to their disadvantage because he had escaped from his confrontation with Gatoga last time?

"… Sir Gatoga!" I yelled.

"Yeah!?" he yelled back.

However, if we do nothing, we’ll be in serious trouble.

In addition to thugs rushing in like an avalanche, if you have to keep defending against bows and arrows, you’ll soon hit your limits. This escort detail is full of talented people, but there are still limits to our physical strength, energy, and vision.

"Please kill the archers! We’ll stay here!" I cried.

What should you do then?

We have no choice but to send someone through their vanguard and kill their archers.

"… That’s crazy!" Gatoga said.

"Please, go!" I yelled. "We’re in trouble already, anyway!"

"… Fuuuck!!" Gatoga yelled.

Arrows pierced the backs of the black-clad men, then one of them fell.

They shoot at us regardless if friend or foe is in the line of fire. You’re really doing this at any cost, you bastards?

Obviously, we can’t afford to leave them alone.

To be honest, we could surpass and suppress the thugs who were approaching us, depending on how many of them were coming at us at a moment. However, if we don’t kill the enemy archers before they reposition or correct their firing trajectories, the royals will inevitably be hit at some point.

"… Understood! I leave it to you!!" Gatoga yelled.

Did I convince him with the time we wasted arguing? As Gatoga roars even louder, he launches his gigantic self into the vanguard.

This will be fine.

There may be a confrontation with Hinnis. Even if we don’t take into account his personal feelings, it’s already guaranteed that we can’t solve this situation without violence.

All that remains is to believe in Gatoga’s abilities, but also we have no choice but to trust the Captain of the Knights of the Faith. To begin with, I couldn’t stray any further from here. If I do so, Prince Glen and Princess Salacia will die.

With this, the guardians of the royal families are me, Alexia, and Henblitz. It’s perfect in terms of ability, but it’s poor against these numbers. Well, we’ve got no choice but to surpass this!

… Huh? What happened to Rose? Where did she go?

She should have been nearby while Prince Glen and Princess Salacia were looking at the farmland, but before I knew it, she was gone from the escort detail.

She has a serious personality, so I don’t think she’ll abandon her duty at the last minute…

"Ah."

She’s here.

Seems she was a little ahead of us and was acting as a vanguard against the assassins.

Hmm, well, there is a limit to the people that could surround the royals. Considering the distance required to fight, it is not possible to be right next to each other, swinging and risking hitting each other.

Hence, her judgment shouldn’t have been wrong.

Yes. She’s not wrong.

If she were able to stop the thugs effectively.

"Sei…!" Rose cried.

"Ugh, guh…!" a thug groaned.

She’s also alone. I cut down the thugs who have escaped from the line that Rose should have been holding.

Even if for a short time, she was one of my disciples from the dojo. I am also familiar with Rose’s strengths.

Her fighting style emphasizes defense and counters from a defensive stance, it’s extremely strong in defensive battles like this one. Rose’s sword handling, which can handle 1v1 as well as 1vMany, couldn’t be lagging behind these people, no matter how many mistakes she made.

To begin with, she had killed one of the assassins from the first ambush.

At the very least, she wasn’t a swordsman who would let an opponent she could easily cut down just pass her by like this.

"Kono…!" Rose cried.

She’s also alone. She knocks away a dagger slash and cuts with her sword on the return swing. Shortly after the black-clad man moans in pain, he sank into a pool of his blood.

Before all this, even:

It’s strange that this number of thugs have broken through the knights’ defensive line.

If you were talking about the attackers the other day, I could understand why they had gotten so far. They were pretty good blades. Moreover, they ambushed us by coming down from a rooftop. With our security all around the sides and on the streets, it’s little wonder we struggled to deal with an ambush from above.

But this time is different. Compared to the first attack, these soldiers are one or two levels inferior to before.

There are a lot of them but that’s it. The royals’ guards are four people including me—three, as of right now—but the Knights of Rebelio and the Knights of the Faith should have been forming up the defensive line at the outer edges.

Not everyone in the Knights of Rebelio could do such a sloppy job.

It would be outrageous as a knight to be unable to stop such brazen intruders. If there was such a person in their ranks, Alexia and Henblitz should have noticed them earlier. It wouldn’t be strange if they were expelled from the Order for incompetence.

"Kuh… there’s so many of them, huh…?!" Alexia grunted.

She’s beside me. She’s repelling the approaching thugs with single strokes, she seems to have muttered that unintentionally.

I can’t confidently say that each and every one of them will be caught alive. The next one comes while she tries to non-lethally subdue one of them. Regardless, we had no choice but to take care of them quickly and in the shortest possible time.

"What are you doing, Guards?!" Henblitz cried, furious.

It was justified. If not just a few people slipped passed the guard line, but this number of aggressive attackers coming in droves, is nothing short of negligence on the part of the perimeter guards.

"…"

The Knights of the Faith are part of the perimeter guard.

They are letting the thugs through. They dare to give way. The number of people rushing in was far beyond expectations, as you’d naturally think.

There was the incident with Bishop Lebios some time ago.

And, I remembered the conversation with Lucy.

Supheniardvania was in a civil war between the Papal Faction and the Royal Faction. Naturally, the influence extends to the Knights of the Faith, which is an organization directly underneath both.

What if the Papal Faction planned all this?

The former Vice-Captain is rebelling. It wouldn’t be strange if there are also forces trying to claim Prince Glen’s head still inside the Knights of the Faith.

If then:

You assume that Rose is part of that group.

It makes sense. The logic fits.

"… Woah?!"

There was a shine. I use my sword to knock back whatever was glittering in the sunlight.

It was a dagger. Perhaps they saw they were outmatched in close-quarters, so they switched to throwing them. If my decision had been delayed for another second, that dagger would have sunk into Prince Glen or Princess Salacia.

There weren’t any arrows from bows flying now, probably because of Gatoga’s charge, but there was no way out of this situation.

Our opponent’s numbers shouldn’t be infinite. So, this offensive will peter out sooner or later. However, it’s doubtful if just three people will overcome this until then.

No, to be more precise, I think we can win, but if we can safely see Prince Glen and Princess Salacia back to the royal palace, there’s a question mark over that.

"… Alexia!" I cried.

"What is it!?" Alexia cried as she deflected an incoming dagger.

It’s a bad bet. However, it should be much better than being surrounded here.

And even if you can’t trust the Knights of the Faith, you can trust the Knights of Rebelio. Rather, if trust in them is shaken, this whole escort mission will automatically fail.

"Take the Prince and Princess and run towards the Knights of Rebelio! I’ll take charge of this place!"

"…! But…!" Alexia started.

"Just go!" I yelled. "We’ll be surrounded as it is! We’ve got no choice but to break through somewhere!"

Thugs are attacking from all directions, and daggers are flying, so I can’t see a future where they will be safe here and things turn around in time.

In this case, it’s still better to be on the move while gathering the Knights of Rebelio scattered along the guard line on the perimeter, strengthen our defense with people we could trust, and bring the escort targets back to the royal palace.

"Prince Glen! Princess Salacia! Follow Alexia and Henblitz! Don’t forget to keep your heads down!"

"… Un-Understood!"

It was a hasty suggestion, but they nodded.

I’m sorry, I know you’re terrified and hesitant here, but I want you to be prepared to do the rest.

"Kuh… Henblitz, prepare to move!" Alexia cried.

"Ma’am!" Henblitz cried.

They both start moving.

We don’t have time to get back on the carriage. To begin with, a horse-drawn carriage can’t get up to speed that fast, it’ll be easy to catch up to even on foot.

So, we have no choice but for them to run while joining up the Knights of Rebelio. The royals are forced to do it, but they have to put up with it in order to survive.

"Think again!"

"Guh, oogh…"

There was no one to protect I was finally able to move freely. There is no reason to struggle with this level of tactics from our opponents, now that I’ve nothing else on my mind.

I’m sorry, but I can’t account for the lives of each and every one of these assassins, so I cut them down without hesitation.

"Hmhp!"

That said, I couldn’t let the thugs pass behind me, either, so for the moment, I was slashing at random, something you could call "Back Alley Swordsmanship."

It was like I was doing something wrong. No, the people in the wrong are the ones who attacked us.

I kept on swinging my sword like that for a while.

The peaceful agriculture zone has quickly transformed into a brutal battlefield stained with blood and gore all over the place.

"… Fuuh…"

When the tide of people has finally settled down, I exhale.

Did the royals escape safely? Did I just have to believe in Alexia and Henblitz’s skills?

I don’t remember how many people I killed anymore. I only know that I have dealt with a tremendous number of thugs.

Even after cutting down that many humans, I’m amazed this sword was as sharp as ever. It might have been dangerous for me if this was an ordinary longsword.

"… Finally, we can talk," I said.

And now, the only one left standing before me is a heavily-armored knight in full plate.

"…"

She didn’t move.

After missing Prince Glen and Princess Salacia, she seemed to be standing her ground well, but if you know her usual movements, you’ll soon notice something wrong.

The suspicion is now confirmed.

However, there is still not enough information to know her true intentions.

"… Let me hear your real reasons, Rose," I said.

The woman before me was still smiling, like usual.


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