「Bad news! The east gate has been breached! Monsters are entering the village!」
As Nachim hears this news, he begins to grumble.
「Ah, shit, it’s hopeless, it’s over... Damn it, it’s all that guy, Kurono’s fault... He’s a pest, people die wherever he goes, everyone’s going to die...」
This is the final line of defense to protect the villagers gathered at the center of the village – with that said, it is merely a simple barricade, hardly a reliable defense.
Nachim is standing here with a sword in his hand as one of the backup soldiers.
On his right is a young boy who is holding a sword for the first time in his life, fidgeting nervously. On his left is a withered old man staring into space with a spear in his hand, who would be better off lying in bed.
They don’t have any kind of fighting ability. They weren’t supposed to be fighting in the first place.
The men with at least a little battle experience make up the front line, standing against the wall and desperately fighting back the monsters.
The only reason Nachim himself is here is because he is better at backline support such as equipment distribution and relaying messages rather than fighting on the frontlines.
The one leading this group is a young knight from Spada who was assigned here in Iskia Village just this spring.
Still not even accustomed to the splendid red armor that he is wearing, he gives off a great sense of inexperience.
The older knights, his senpais, should still be fighting hard at the east gate that was breached just a little while ago.
「I’m not going to die here... in a place like this...」
He has to run.
Yes, just like that time he encountered the monster with the form of a little girl, without looking back at the villagers, his companions or even his family, he’ll run away as fast as I can.
That’s how he survived.
Because he held his breath and desperately hid in the Galahad mountain range, he was able to survive and arrive in Spada.
「I’m not going to die...」
However, the crucial escape path is nowhere to be found this time round.
The village is so tightly surrounded by the monsters that there isn’t even an opening for a single mouse to escape.
In the end, he has no choice but to stay here and endure this battle.
「Hyii! The monsters are here!」
「Fohohoho, those are Goblins, are they not? When I was young, I often saw them in the mountains –」
「C-calm down, everyone! Let’s get our weapons ready!」
On the other side of the curtain of pouring rain, there are small, faint silhouettes.
With the monsters finally upon them, unrest spreads among the soldiers – no, it would be more appropriate to call them villagers.
The boy on the right is gripping his sword’s handle with a face that looks like he’s about to cry, and the old soldier on his left is engrossed in recollections of his youth.
Just how many of these men are obeying the order of this unreliable knight that is leading them?
「Shit, damn it... We can do it, even I can defeat monsters like Goblins...」
Nachim finally unsheathes his longsword.
It is the item that his father sent him when he assumed the position of self-appointed chief.
It isn’t a magical weapon, but it is made of high-quality steel; a step up from the average longsword.
He has even defeated Goblins in the Fairy Garden before; there is no way that he cannot do the same now.
「Uwah! Th-there are a lot of them!」
「This is like a Slime fever, isn’t it?」
The number of monsters visible on the other side of the street is growing larger and larger.
At first, there is only a single Goblin.
And then some Slimes appear, and then more Slimes and even more Slimes after that – and as a hundred Slimes come into view, a group of Goblins appears to reinforce them.
There are a lot of them, but fortunately, they are all still Rank 1 monsters.
Even amateurs could defeat them if they landed an attack, but –
「Uwah, w-what are they doing out there, even letting Orcs inside the village...」
The Orcs’ muscular bodies can be spotted here and there, mixed in among the Slimes and Goblins.
Even that single battleaxe-wielding Orc over there could possibly wipe out every one of these backup soldiers that cannot even be called soldiers.
His overwhelming presence makes it easy to imagine.
「This is impossible...」
With the monsters coming from across the road, from the side paths, from beneath the shadows of the houses, absolutely everywhere – Nachim’s heart breaks before the fighting even begins.
Nobody can blame him. All of these people gathered here, who have no business being in a battle, are likely feeling the same despair.
The monsters finally begin charging in all at once.
The Goblins run down the alleys with nimble footsteps. The Slimes crawl onwards along the ground and across the walls of the houses.
And the Orcs give a roar ferocious enough to make the soldiers’ body hair stand on end as they charge in.
With such enemies before them, the backup soldiers simply grip their weapons, unable to take even a single step.
「... It’s over.」
It is impossible. There is no way that these men would be able to stop the monsters’ attack.
They will be slaughtered without even putting up a fight. As the reality of this dead-end scenario sinks into Nachim’s mind –
「– Meteor Strike.」
Light pours down from the sky.
A beautiful mass of light shining in seven colors.
It is as if the great rainbow that one would expect to see after this rain stops has been compressed into a spherical shape.
A large magic circle of light is drawn upon the canvas of dark gray rainclouds covering the sky. Nachim realizes that this rainbowy mass has spilled forth from here.
And then it flies down to crash upon the monsters, leaving a seven-colored trail behind it.
His eyes are blinded by the white light. His ears are deafened by a roaring explosion. He doesn’t know what has happened.
This chaotic period of time feels very long, but in reality, it all happens in a single instant.
When Nachim opens his eyes again, the monsters that had been closing in on them just a moment ago are gone, without a single trace or shadow left of them.
In their place is a colossal crater left in the ground’s surface.
「Ah! There’s something in the sky!」
「Hoh, that looks quite like the Fairy that I saw in the forest when I was a child –」
Where the boy is pointing with an expression that shows surprise at the fact that the senile old man is right, is a Fairy wrapped in a flickering, pale green light.
As everyone looks up, they begin to realize that there is a young woman with long hair inside the faint sphere of light.
And the only one who knows her name is Nachim.
It is unlikely that she is responding because her name has been spoken.
However, with a flutter of her two pairs of wings, the Fairy that has just annihilated the monsters in a single attack descends towards the frontline of backup soldiers.
「W-who are –」
The young knight representing the kingdom of Spada tries to ask for the identity of the beautiful, shining Lily in front of his eyes, but –
Nachim interrupts and jumps out in front of her.
「Hey you, have you seen Kurono, by any chance? I thought he arrived at this village before us.」
Does she remember him or not?
No, she asked Nachim a question with the presumption that he knows who Kurono is; it is likely that she does know him.
「Ah, no... I h-haven’t seen him.」
The answer that comes from his mouth immediately is a lie.
After he speaks, he remembers that the Fairy can read his thoughts.
「As I thought, he went to Iskia Fortress, huh... But with the village surrounded like this, continuing on is... There’s no other choice...」
However, Lily merely begins mumbling to herself; fortunately, she does not seem to be in a bad mood.
「Aah! There are more monsters coming!」
「Those are Centaurs, are they not? A long time ago, Grandma and I went to the Iskia Hills and –」
Of course, the monsters are continuing to pour into the village.
The first wave has been exterminated successfully, but it is clear that they are going to keep on coming.
「Umm, the knight in the red armor over there. You’re in charge here, right?」
「Eh, ah, yes!」
As Lily suddenly speaks to him, the inexperienced knight stutters in his reply.
「I’ll leave three of these here.」
Before he can ask what she is talking about, an incantation that sounds like a small bird’s song comes from Lily’s mouth.
Magic circles of white light are drawn on the ground, similar to the one that appeared in the sky a little while earlier. There are three of them.
「– Ein, zwei, drei, protect this place.」
Though the knight is unfamiliar with magic, he knows that this is some kind of summoning.
From within the magic circles that have a diameter of about two meters, large, Orc-like soldiers appear.
They are wearing white surcoats. Ordinary-looking longswords hang at their waists, but they look remarkably small considering the size of their bodies.
But the thing that draws the most attention is the ominous-looking metal masks that cover their faces.
「Lily-san, what are...」
As Nachim questions her timidly, Lily replies with an expression that is as if she is showing off a newly-purchased accessory.
「『Living Dead.』My faithful servants.」
Nobody here dares to press her for any more details.
「Well then, I’m going to go help at the east gate.」
「Lily-san, with your power, you should go to the west gate –」
「Ah, that’s already covered.」
Lily gives a wave of her hand, and as if to confirm her words, the sound of an explosion echoes out across the village.
Dense black smoke billows up from beyond the west gate.
「Because my witch friend is going to burn them down nicely.」