"A few days later, at the fortress of the Order of the Sceptre...
"Tell the peasants! "Tell the peasants: 'You have nowhere to go! Be a soldier to defend this fortress so that we can bring about the Kingdom of Heaven!
The leader of the cult raised his sword and shouted.
The men in the fort responded by raising their hands.
The time was just after dawn, the time of the morning ritual at the fort.
The time is just after dawn. It's time for Imam Greer-Treasure to begin his training! Any delay will be fatal!
One of his subordinates hears the leader's voice and starts running.
When he saw this, he smiled with satisfaction and patted the giant dragonfly on his shoulder.
I'm not sure if the rumors are true that the ...... imam, Greer-Piller, has been defeated.
There is still no response from the unit that attacked the village near the frontier.
The main body of the Order is on the move for a decisive battle against the Kittle Patrol. We can't send soldiers to help. The best we can do is hold the fort.
I don't think there are any enemies that would climb up here.
The fort is built on top of a steep rocky hill. There is only one way to the top. It is fenced and guarded by a number of guards. It's not so easy to conquer even if regular soldiers come.
Between the human territory and the frontier where subhumans and demons live, there are a number of rocky mountains.
There were also disused fortresses in the mountains that separated the center from the frontier. There are five of them. The Order had their eyes on them and decided to use them. Since they were small forts, only a dozen or so people could be holed up there. Still, it was a good way to remind the lowly of their position.
On the ground, I built a watchtower and barracks. The underlings are confined there. The guards are under the direct command of a subordinate. The lowly peasants, who are desperate for their lives, will fight as hard as they can. Our leaders will be the last to fight. That's fine.
Our job is to secure the food supply. And to get behind the regular army when the time comes. We need to get those peasants ready by then.
"Captain of the garrison!
A soldier who had gone to send a message returned and knelt in front of the officer.
"There's a commotion below, sir. It seems that information has come in that there is a movement to attack this fort apart from Alicia's regular soldiers. ......
Yes. Before you know it, a cloth with words written on it is being spread around. "The cult will be destroyed soon. Run.
It's probably the work of the Kittle Guard in the southwest. Very clever.
But we can't ignore them.
It's a shame ...... that the little bastard is so quick to panic.
The executive laughed it off.
As if in response to his voice, the dragonfly on his shoulder giggled.
A black-shelled centipede crawled beneath his feet. As a demon, it is hard, and swords and arrows cannot penetrate it. They are more loyal than humans and are a useful asset.
"There's a mage here, Greer-Treasure. The regular soldiers of this rotten land are nothing to fear.
"But the peasant soldiers were brought here by force, and all of them want to return to their ...... villages. I don't know if they'll be able to keep their morale up in the event of a battle.
If you show them what you've done, they'll stop worrying.
As if to dispel the fears of his men, the officer spread his arms and shouted.
"There is only one way to the fort. There is only one way to the fort. We have plenty of provisions taken from the village. All we have to do is rain arrows, fire, and rocks from above. What do we have to fear?
"Well, I can understand the fears of the faithless. Send some of the high commanders in the fort down to the barracks below. Silence those who are making noise. And fortify the ground. Then your fears will disappear.
The messenger gets up and starts running.
When the officer looked out the window, he saw the messenger and some soldiers going down the mountain path.
The order has already come to us!
The officer shouted to the ground.
We, the Order of Rikaku, will replace Alicia and create a new dynasty on this earth. You are witnessing the birth of this dynasty. Spare your names more than your lives! You have been there at the beginning of a dynasty that will last forever! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
"Excuse me. I'm sorry to interrupt your excitement, but I need a minute.
I heard voices.
It came from behind the leaders and the congregation.
When I turned around, there were several people standing there with blue cloths wrapped around their faces.
They looked like suspicious people.
I've been observing for a while, but it looks like there are less than ten people in the fort, so I thought it was time to go.
I wonder how long he's been there.
The people who appeared on the watchtower of the fort - the balcony overhanging the west side - were quietly watching the man who was the leader of the cult.
I can't make out his face. In the dim light of dawn, even his form appears blurred.
"The information was given to me by the soldiers who attacked the village. The location of the fort, its strength. The Order's daily schedule. That's why I've come to visit you at this pre-dawn hour.
The man with the blue cloth covering his face mumbled plainly.
"So, I have a favor to ask. I've heard that this is the site of an old fort from the time of the Dragon Emperor, can I check it out?
What the hell is that?
Don't worry about that.
The man at the head of the group chided the officer.
We just want to check out this facility. Of course, if you resist, we'll destroy you.
We're on top of a rock! How the hell did you get in here?
A man with his face covered pointed to his back.
On the man's back, there were pure white wings.
The officer's eyes widened involuntarily. I know about flying subhumans. But they have wings for arms. I've never seen a subhuman with wings on his back.
And what's with the girls behind them? They're each carrying a sword and a club. Behind them are fallen soldiers. Even if they entered from the sky without us noticing,......, it is impossible for them to stun the soldiers before they can make a sound,.......
"Who are you ......!
The cult leader shouted.
I'm not sure what you're talking about.
The girls behind the man shouted.
The girls behind the man shouted, "We're here to defeat the cult that's attacking our village, and also to ensure a stable life for you, brother.
"In the name of the High King of the Deformed, we have come to conquer this fortress!
"Don't be silly!
The leader swung his sword and shouted.
"The High King? You've got to be kidding me! A king would never pass by here! Don't be ridiculous!
He's pissed off.
The man sighed and looked at the two girls.
I told you not to use that name.
"But, brother! It's a sister-in-law's instinct to boast about her brother!
I'll come up with a better name for you.
I'm telling you, don't be silly! Come on, you bugs!
The officer waved his arms.
At the sound of his voice, insect-shaped demons gathered around him.
Dragonflies with wings larger than a man's arms. Giant centipedes with shells harder than armor. Both are trump cards he has been given by the imam.
Most of the soldiers in the fort have been sent to the ground.
The fence we built on the mountain path was a bad idea. You can't have that many soldiers going through at once.
In addition, this is a supply depot for emergencies and a training facility to turn peasant soldiers into members of the Order. The number of soldiers is small, and their fighting power is low.
But that's no problem. There are only three enemies.
And we have a bug-shaped demon that the high priest gave us.
You'll regret underestimating the Rikaku Order.
"Kuro magic. ......
The man in the blue mask sighed.
I've heard that black magic increases the distortion of the world and the number of demons increases again. Can we stop?
"Shut up! I'll eat your head!
I'll eat your head!
The dragonflies are the first to move against the enemy.
They may look like dragonflies, but they're demons. The head alone is larger than a man's body, and its jaws can crush a man's head.
"Let's see what it looks like after we crush its head! Come on!
I'll burn it down! Crail Flare!
Behind the man in the bandana, a silver-haired girl waved her arm.
Behind the man in the bandanna, a silver-haired girl waved her arm, and from her fingertips came a blue flame...
The flames spread to the wings of the dragonflies.
"Oh, magic! "Magic? Magicians in the corrupt Alicia's regular army?
Oh, we're not soldiers of the state.
Brother. May I finish off the dragonfly?
Thank you. It's enchanted.
Yeah. Okay, then.
The red-haired girl swung down and crushed the dragonfly's head with her club.
"Why? With a wooden club?
Ta-da! What the hell are these people doing?
The soldiers on either side of the leader began to tremble.
They're useless... the cult leader spat. Whenever they attacked a village or fought the Lord's soldiers, it was the insects controlled by the leader that stood in the forefront. The soldiers were shouting and charging behind them. This was the first time that their stronghold had been attacked.
In addition, there were only two people present, aside from myself, a senior officer.
Both of them were already running for their lives.
"Just blow the bell! Blow it as loud as you can!
shouted the man in charge.
Then the peasant soldiers below will come! If we show them that they are being eaten by bugs, it will be an example to the unwilling peasants!
There were still six bugs left. The long worms with the black shells. This one's the real deal.
You can't pierce its shell with a normal sword. Kuro Centipede!
Six centipedes crawl out from under the feet of the leader.
It's big. It's probably as long as two adults.
The body is covered with a shiny black shell.
"Captain of the guard!
I'll call him directly, since he might not be able to hear me. All right, all right, all right?
...... is trying to escape. You guys.
The executive pointed his fingertips at the men under his command.
On cue, the two centipedes begin to move.
The men swing their swords down. But the centipede's shell doesn't budge. Not even a scratch.
And then the centipede pushes his subordinate down and hits his body with its gnashing fangs.
The two subordinates who were pushed down by the demon blew bubbles and fainted. Still, the leader does not try to make the insects retreat.
Why don't you say you'll fight with me? There is no place under the Order for cowards!
I don't like it when you treat my men like that!
"I don't like the way you treat your men!
The red-haired girl's club struck the giant centipede.
The impact caused the centipede's body to roll to the side. But that was all. The centipede remained unharmed, but its red eyes flashed and it shouted in anger.
"Brother. The cudgel doesn't seem to work. Can I borrow your sword?
Yeah. Very stiff.
Oh, that's not fair. As your sister-in-law, I want your sword too!
You have a very hard long sword, right?
It's only meaningful if you hand it to me directly! d*mn it!
The three intruders were laughing.
The three intruders laughed. "...... What's with these guys?
A cold sweat broke out on the forehead of the cult leader.
Centipedes are approaching, but they don't seem to be afraid.
Why aren't they afraid? You're the one who's being hunted!
The officer didn't even know what they were doing.
He just knew they were dangerous. He felt a deep-seated fear that he must not get involved with them. But I couldn't leave this place. That's why the officers trusted the power they could see rather than their own senses.
It's too late to do anything! You'll be eaten! Intruder!
The long swords wielded by the three masked men sliced through the body of the giant centipede.
I'm not sure what to do.
The screams of the wounded insects and the dumb voices of the executives.
The intruders' swords had easily penetrated the giant centipede's outer shell. The centipede monster had probably never been hurt before. Forgetting the enemy in front of him, he continued to thrash and scream.
"One more time. Crail Flare!
The silver-haired girl flies her magic at the torn black shell.
The blue flame plunges into the centipede's body and burns the demon's flesh from the inside out.
It seemed as if the man was also spewing flames, but perhaps that was just an illusion of fear. The centipede was wiped out in a flash, and the executive who had slashed at it without question had his weapon easily destroyed. In other words, what kind of long sword could cut off a karma sword so easily? The moment I thought that, my mind went blank.
"How ...... did I get ...... into this mess?
The next thing you know, the executive is tied up.
The intruders had already left his room, as if they were no longer interested in him.
And after a while, from other parts of the fort, "What the hell? and "Gee! from other parts of the fort.
And there was a lot of poking and prodding and the sound of people falling.
The fort is being held by the direct subordinates of the leaders. If they were all wiped out, the only ones left would be the peasant soldiers they had forcibly gathered. I don't think they'll be a match for those intruders.
If this fort is destroyed, there's no way we can face the High Priest.
The Order is a meritocracy. The other leaders won't show mercy to me for losing the fort.
"There it is! It's a magic circle!
"...... magic circle, huh?
The leader of the cult murmured.
I remember seeing a strange pattern on the floor of the fort's warehouse. I didn't know what it meant, and it didn't help me, so I left it alone. ...... Was that what they were after? But what's the point?
I've got ...... on standby, then.
"...... is where the ice magic comes in.
You're going to make ...... the master of the castle.
They're talking about something. I hear another one coming from outside.
The officer on the floor listens desperately.
The fort was enveloped in a white light.
"It's ....... What is this?
There are particles of pure light waiting in the air.
It was strange but not ...... unpleasant. Rather, it was a peaceful light.
In the light, the corpses of insects were disappearing.
It was as if they were melting away. Not a fluid, not a shredded leg, not even a fragment remained.
It's over, it's over. Then let's go home.
(You're leaving? !) The officer shouted inaudibly.
Thank God. Now we can rebuild this fort.
There's a second mage on the ground, Greer-Treasure. Give her the worm and we'll be back on track. We can rule the peasants with fear. The Order is not finished yet. .......
"What should we do now? Shall we go home?
We've hardly fought at all. Let's look for the next fort.
Yes, my brother. Maybe there's another magic circle.
I agree. There's only one fort left. I think it'd be easier if we just clean it up and go home.
Did you just say that there is only one fort left?
There are only four forts left in the Order. ...... What happened to the other two except for this one?
Are you done with your work? I'm sending you home.
The backroom staff was ready, but they didn't need it.
"I dropped the cloth with the letters on it. The soldiers were reading.
A voice came from outside the fort.
The voice came from outside the fort, but the figure was invisible to the officers who were lying on the floor.
Eventually, there was a sound like a large bird flapping and the ...... intruder's presence disappeared completely.
"............What the ...... was that?
The executive mumbled as he lay on the floor.
The body, bound by ropes, could not move a muscle. The inside of the fort was silent.
Probably, his direct subordinates were bound in the same way as he was.
The officer scrambles across the floor to his subordinate, who has been attacked by an insect. He seems to be unconscious, but on his chest is a whistle, a call to the peasants. When he finally got there, the officer took a deep breath and blew the whistle at once. Over and over. Over and over.
Moments later, footsteps were heard.
Dozens of peasant soldiers from the cult's raids on the villages.
They were rolling their eyes at the cadres lying on the floor.
"You've come! Brave soldiers of the Order!
The leader shouted.
"A mysterious intruder has defeated the worms given to us by the Lord, and now I'm in this mess. If this continues, our reputation will be ruined!
In an attempt to maintain a modicum of dignity, the officer raised his body and shouted.
"This can't be the end! I'm going to find out who these people are who invaded our fortress and make them regret their birth! Now, untie me first. And for the pride of the Order, ............ that ............ bit!
The peasant soldiers all had blank expressions on their faces.
They just look down at the fallen officer and mumble "huh", "huh", "hmm".
A few of them ran off to other rooms and came back a few seconds later. They all have nice smiles on their faces for some reason. They make a circle with both hands. The other peasants reply, "I see. The other peasants reply, "I see.
"What are you doing? Do what you're told! If you disobey, you'll be worm food for Master Greer-Treasure!
After raising his voice, the executive man realized.
The peasants were coming up to the fort. But the imam is nowhere to be seen.
The imam Greer-Treasure must be holding a position on the ground to prevent the peasants from escaping.
He should have heard the call. So why hasn't he come? .......
Master Greer-Treasure is gone.
What about ----?
He evaporated when the fort lit up a moment ago. Left behind a large crystalline body. It was retrieved by a figure in the sky. The insects that frightened us are all gone.
That's ridiculous! That's right. Check the warehouse! The intruder must have done something in there. If we destroy it, the imam will come back to life. ......
I couldn't get into the warehouse.
The peasant soldier replied, looking down at the cult leader with cold eyes.
The warehouse was surrounded by a huge 'wall of ice'. We can't even get close. But there's no point in us doing that.
"The mage and the bug are gone. And here you are, strapped down.
The leader of the cult that brought us here and forced us to fight.
The peasant soldiers are slowly approaching.
Cold sweat trickles down the officer's back. I don't understand the situation.
All I know is that the imam and the worm are no longer here.
A cold sweat runs down his back.
In other words, ...... his allies are nowhere to be found.
"You know ............ that ....... I'm ...... that.
The executive's face turns pale.
. 「「「「 hmmm . Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm 」」」」
The peasant soldiers began to laugh eerily.
「「「「 How dare you raid our villages, take our crops, and ...... rub our noses in it. ......」」」」
Wait, wait, wait. It was for the noble purpose of the cult: ...... Yes, for a new dynasty! Isn't a new dynasty great? If you create a new dynasty, you'll be heroes! What? You don't like it? Then let's get a general! How about a great general? An army whose soldiers are all generals is historically new. ────
I'm not sure if this is a good idea, but I think it's a good idea.