Chapter 27 - The Goddess Blessed Human and Monster Equally
The forest between Bagan House and Maini House.
I showed the possibility of a dungeon appearing there. We gathered manpower and representatives from both houses and entered the forest. The forest grew thickly and it felt like you would fall down if you mistook the place your feet stepped on. But, for the people who were raised here, it was something they were used to. When we arrived at the site where the retainer of Maini House was killed, the people of both houses glared at each other.
From Maini House there were ten people led by Medard-san participating.
From Bagan House there were Dale-san, and then Paola-san and Pini-san……along with Zappa-san, four people. There were also five of us adventurers.
Certainly there was trace of fighting at the site. Just like Pini-san said, there were trees that were forcibly knocked down. There were also gashes at the surrounding that seemed to come from stone axe and great sword.
Medard-san shut his eyes in frustration.
「……What a tragedy. Don't worry, we will immediately prove your innocence.」
He was remembering his retainer who seemed to be an earnest person. Medard-san was desperate to recover his retainer's honor.
Dale-san looked around.
「This is obviously the territory of Maini House. Pini, the fighting happened here right?」
「Ye, yeah. I mean, yes, this is the place. An orc appeared here. It stole the great sword, then me and Zappa moved the corpse.」
Medard-san is glaring at Pini-san and Zappa-san. The people of Maini House that Medard-san brought here were also the same.
「Isn't it also you two who stole the sword?」
Dale-san couldn't talk back. He moved his gaze not to Zappa-san, but to Pini-san in order to ignore Zappa-san's remark.
Zappa-san isn't trusted anymore no matter what he said.
「We didn't do that. The great sword really was brought away by the orc!」
「……Do you think we will trust the word of you two who moved the corpse?」
It was a low voice. And then his eyes had sharp glint. Pini-san was surprised by Medard-san's pressure, his mouth was opening and closing repeatedly. Then, Zappa-san talked without any guilt.
「Even though you got no intention to trust us no matter what we say anyway」
Dale-san raised his voice to Zappa-san.
「Zappa, I don't allow you to talk. Open your mouth only when I permit it!」
Dale-san is acting more firmly compared to yesterday, but Zappa-san snorted.
「Don't screw around. I don't want to be told that by the guy who was crying, I don't wanna be the feudal lord. If only you were doing your job more properly, this kind of thing won't──」
I sighed while moving to stop Zappa-san, but Zelphy-san moved ahead of me and punched Zappa-san.
The First whistled and evaluated Zelphy-san's right straight.
『That's a nice punch using her hips rotation!』
Zelphy-san looked at Dale-san. Dale-san is nodding.
「We come here because of the request from Rodornia House. Listening to Bagan House's order is also our job. Oi, brat……you're a nuisance. Talk only when you are asked. You got that?」
Zappa-san who was punched flying got his left hand grabbed and lifted up by Zelphy-san. After getting threatened slightly, Zappa-san pressed on his cheek while nodding.
The Second is exasperated.
『He act strong toward ewak guy, but cowardly against someone he cannot win against……well, he is stupid and also got no tact. He isn't a man that can stand above others.』
The Third speak while laughing.
『This kid will surely rule tyrannically if he become a feudal lord.』
Medard-san was looking down on Zappa-san. His eyes looked really cold.
「……You placed that kind of person at your side. This is why Bagan House cannot be trusted. Perhaps there are still various other things that you all are hiding?」
Dale-san looked down in vexation.
However, the Third commented to me.
『Lyle, he is saying such thing but Maini House too should have done various things to Bagan House. Because, there are idiots anywhere. It's impossible for the whole populace to be wise.』
Just like how not all feudal lord is wise ruler, the populace also isn't all wise or virtuous people.
Conversely not all feudal lords are corrupt, and not all populace are idiot or bad person.
The Fifth spoke with his usual emotionless voice.
『After all interaction between neighbors is more or less like this. They have similarly done various things to each other. Even if the problem this time is resolved, they will get into dispute again later anyway because of different problem.』
Then what should be done? It feels a bit lonely if they continued to live while glaring at each other. The Sixth seemed to notice from looking at my face and gave me advice.
『If they are glaring at each other, you only need to create a third side. Tell them that one is the enemy and they will be united.』
……Is that really a solution? Creating an enemy in order to erase an enemy.
It felt like such method is no good, but there is no ancestor who objected to the Sixth's opinion.
I took control of the place in order to begin the investigation of the area.
「Well, the problem won't be solved even if we talk here, first let's check this place. The retainer of Maini House was killed here. After that──」
「We moved the corpse. But, it's true that an orc appeared. I only saw it in book before, but that was really an orc.」
There is picture book of monster. It's something that unexpectedly is also placed in a relatively small village. There will be a large difference between knowing and not knowing the enemy.
Although, how many people among the populace are able to read it…….
Medard-san gave instruction to his surrounding.
「No matter what the truth is, we will search whether there is a dungeon or no around here. Inform your surrounding if you find a suspicious place. After that, absolutely don't move alone. Yell if the orc appear to call your ally.」
The gathered men──Maini House's people responded to the instructions that Medard-san are giving one after another, while a person who seemed to be a higher-up decided the detail. That person whose hair is mixed with grey hair divided the men into group of three and told them the place where they should head to.
The Second compared it to his own era and muttered enviously from seeing Medard-san and others.
『They are working reliably. It's a great difference from my era.』
Unlike Maini House that is starting to act briskly, Dale-san and others are bewildered of what to do. Their side's number is few. In addition, there is also the job of watching over Zappa-san.
Zelphy-san sighed seeing the dull movement of Bagan House.
「Can I ask you to stay quiet here because this is the territory of Maini House? Also, you can act together with them when we are searching the Bagan House.」
「You're right. It will be troubling if they arbitrarily move here. When we entered the territory of Bagan House, I'll ask them to accompany us. Oi, someone keep watch on them.」
One person came to look after Dale-san's group. His eyes are sharp and he showed dislike to Dale-san's group. Zappa-san tried to glare at the man, but when he saw the man is armed with hatchet and spear, he immediately averted his gaze.
I turned toward Zelphy-san and the girls.
「Then, because we can move freely, let's search for the dungeon. Err~……let's go this way.」
Novem nodded at me when I told them that we are moving through the route that is going upstream the nearby river.
「Lyle-sama, should we split into two groups too?」
I shook my head.
「No, we aren't familiar with this forest. It's dangerous so let's travel with five of us together. The vanguard will be me……and Zelphy-san. Novem will be in the middle, Aria-san and Sophia-san should be at both sides I think.」
Novem nodded happily to that. Perhaps she was testing me just now.
The First was about to say something.
『It's fine even if you act separa──』
However the Second rejected that opinion.
『No. Take some distance and move just like now. There is also a chance that perhaps there will be even more troublesome monster than orc. It's better to move in group. Besides, Lyle has Arts.』
The combo of the Fifth and the Sixth's Arts told me the situation of the surrounding accurately. The movement of the enemy monster. The movement of the ally, the two houses…….
I looked around, red reaction──the red dots on the map that is displayed by the Sixth's Search. The color that showed hostility is detected from nearby. Other than that the color is mostly yellow, while blue is Novem and others, along with Dale-san, Pini-san, and Medard-san, only them.
Red reaction could also be seen sporadically among Maini House.
And then, Zappa-zan was showing red reaction.
The Sixth sighed.
『Aa~, it's that. This Art react to hostility after all. It will show red reaction among your ally too if they think badly of you.』
Zappa-san must not be having pleasant thought of me.
……It doesn't matter.
「Lyle-sama, what's the matter?」
Novem called out to me who stood still and looked at Zappa-san, so I shook my head and started walking again.
Zelphy-san took a slight distance and walked beside me.
「Now then, let's go. Even so……if a dungeon really appeared, it will be the third in the area around Dalien. Haa, there isn't enough people for this.」
Dungeon's subjugation fundamentally will take time. It's necessary to settle down and deal with it.
Manpower along with time are necessary.
The second dungeon already appeared around Dalien, the knights and soldiers of Ventra-san, along with adventurers were spurred on to subjugate it.
Zelphy-san made a reluctant expression because there wouldn't be enough manpower if a third one is appearing. It's dangerous to leave a dungeon alone.
「It will be nice if it's entrance can be blocked or the whole thing can be set ablaze.」
The Fifth who listened to those words of Zelphy-san also had the same opinion.
『I've thought that before. Well, whether you try to burn it, block the entrance, or use poison……the end result will be the dungeon getting stimulated and cause it to go berserk so those methods aren't used.』
Apparently throughout the long history there were many countries that attempted such thing and perished. The way to subjugate dungeon was unchanged since the past, by the power of human.
However the First said.
『Stupid idiot. It's only worth it because you defeat it with your own strength!』
Those words were really like the First.
Like that I used the Arts frequently while progressing through the forest. Quagmire, tree root, grass……five people are moving through the place that is really hard to walk on. I advanced with a hatchet on hand. When we arrived to some distance away, the map floating inside my mind showed an obscure part. It looked like only that spot is distorted and doesn't show the map clearly.
There is also a lot of red dot reaction around it, and then the red dots can also be seen in the obscure part. But I cannot count the number.
The ancestors clamored seeing that reaction.
『You are lucky, Lyle!』
『With this the incident will become vague, the war won't happen.』
『Let's enter right away. Come to think of it……will the map stay visible even if you enter inside?』
The Fourth didn't know about the Fifth's Art in detail.
He asked for explanation was surely because the spot where they labyrinth existed looked distorted.
『It look distorted from outside, but it will become clear if you enter inside. No problem.』
The Sixth was also the same.
『It's a type that has floors, or perhaps a type that is extremely wide……well, my Art will also function without any problem.』
The Seventh sounded happy.
『This sense of exaltation when finding it. It remind me of the past.』
Normally people would panic when they found a dungeon. In fact, Dale-san and Medard-san reacted like that.
Could it be, for feudal lord with the rank of baron or above their reaction would be the same like the ancestors, they would look forward and feel happy to find a dungeon? According to the ancestors, dungeon would give experience and also magic stone and material. Besides, there will be treasure in dungeon too.
──If you thought of this as time to make profit, then certainly it might be a joyful thing to find a dungeon.
I came to a stop.
Zelphy-san who walked beside me looked at me. I told everyone.
「……There is a dungeon ahead.」
The entrance to the dungeon beside the river.
I held a saber with my right hand near it, stabbed the vital spot of a goblin that approached me while swinging around a stone axe before pulling out the saber.
When the goblin fell, I immediately searched for the next prey and unsheathed my short sword, throwing it to the head of another gobbling jumping at me. Its head was pierced and it fall face up.
A slight distance away, the soldiers of Maini House were surrounding a goblin and stabbed it with their spear. As expected it was easy with a lot of people. Looking around, the number of goblin that I defeated was five.
Novem recovered my short sword from the goblin and approached me.
「Lyle-sama, are you alright?」
I don't feel any enemy presence around, so I wiped the blood sticking on the saber.
「Yeah, I'm fine. There are also a lot of people around so it's a relief that we won't get surrounded.」
Then, I noticed Dale-san who is holding a sword while shaking──and Zappa-san who escaped to behind him are looking at me.
「What the hell. Don't screw around. Why is an ignorant city raised brat is that strong huh.」
Zappa-san seemed to think of me as weak before. He was trembling. It seems he fears me more rather than the goblins that are familiar for this area. Pini-san and Paola-san criticized Zappa-san.
「They're adventurer. There is no way they're weak!」
「That's right. More importantly Zappa, get to the front, don't hide behind Dale.」
Zappa-san made a complicated face looking at me. A younger person, furthermore someone accompanied by women──someone who he completely looked down on is actually strong, that must be scaring him.
「E, even I if I have a weapon!」
Zappa-san bluffed even then. Well, certainly having weapon or not is important. However, Medard-san approached us and glared at Zappa.
「Enough pretending to be tough. It's not even unsightly anymore but laughable instead. However, you are more skilled than I thought. Honestly I'm also surprised.」
I'm not used to getting praised, so I don't know how I should react. Anyway, I only said thanks and then Medard-san looked around. And then he told me.
「The adventurer there──she is an instructor you said? She along with several of my soldiers entered inside but, it seems there is no mistake.」
Medard-san explained to me while sending glances at Novem and Aria-san. Zelphy-san who returned back looked slightly relieved.
Even though it would be Bagan House's territory in less than a hundred meter from here, the dungeon is located in Maini House's territory. Because of that the right for it lies in Maini House. I felt a bit odd to that.
Even though it's this near, but the right for it is clearly separated.
Dale-san and others also seemed relieved. With this the possibility of orc became stronger. And then, it means that now isn't the time for both houses to quarrel with each other.
「……There really is a dungeon here.」
Medard-san sounded dissatisfied.
「Yeah, there is. With this the possibility that my retainer was killed by an orc become higher. But, what you two did still cannot be forgiven.」
Medard-san's gaze is directed to Pini-san and Zappa-san. Zappa-san who was looking down in frustration yelled.
「Why!? It was a monster that did it! Certainly……we took the armor……but, you should be satisfied with this already!」
Then Medard-san glared at Zappa-san, and the soldiers raised their weapon. The weapons are directed to Zappa-san……and Dale-san and others, though not at us.
「Don't screw around, brat. Because of your fault my retainer's name got dragged through mud. He was ridiculed as incompetent who trespassed to another house's territory, got killed, and then got all his possession stripped from him! You are telling me to feel satisfied because it has been cleared up? ……Don't think that it's over with this!」
From the side who had been wronged it isn't something that can be endured. After all if Pini-san's story is true, the retainer of Maini House tried to protect Zappa-san and Pini-san.
They ignored that and let him died, on top of that they falsified the location of the death and looted the corpse after that.
Terrible. It's too terrible.
Sophia-san took off her gaze from Zappa-san.
「I cannot bear to look at him.」
Aria-san seemed to have the same opinion. But, her tone isn't as strong as Sophia-san.
「As expected that's wrong no matter how you see it.」
「Well, I have seen something even more horrible than this but, as expected this is still……」
Everyone showed reaction that as expected what happened is really something that is just not done. However, here──.
『It's that right? Perhaps inside Zappa-kun he cannot keep up with the situation anymore. Forget about saying what is good or bad, the problem lies before that. He cannot collect himself, or rather……everything he had done until now was always forgiven so his ego might be inflated. He is confused because reality is suddenly thrust before him isn't it? Well, he cannot be forgiven just because of that though.』
The Third said that until now Zappa-san lived in a confined environment──in the village where he did as he pleased and was forgiven for it. His childhood friend became the feudal lord and he was seen like his big brother. Even when he acted haughtily there was no one telling him anything. The adults who should be the one scolding him were gone and then he also had never gone out from the village so he didn't know about society──about the outside of the village. Because of that he caused big problem like this. If he had even a bit of knowledge and got out to learn about society, perhaps there would be a more different possibility.
He grew impudent and did something that couldn't be taken back. He suddenly got blamed by the surrounding and inside he couldn't collect himself.
The First said, 『This guy is just a brat』.
『He only know about his small village and the surrounding. He is lacking experience in many aspect and thought that he can do anything like a neighborhood bully. Even though he had gone out to battlefield too, just what the hell he has been doing huh.』
The Third was exasperated, but right now I'm troubled with the rising killing intent in this place.
When I was about to stand between them, Novem opened her mouth first.
「Everyone, it's dangerous to quarrel here. For now, how about we return somewhere safe and organize the situation there?」
Told that they could continue this later there, Medard-san reluctantly told his soldiers to lower their weapon.
I looked at Zappa-san who still received cold gaze from the surrounding and thought.
Would I become like Zappa-san too I made a slight mistake?
Before I was driven out from house──what I could remember is my own room and the garden that could be seen from there. I was living only in those places, I knew nothing of the world or anything else, when I went outside I caused trouble for other people, and then I was showered with scolding──I also got sick of that. I wonder what is the difference between us?
While I'm vacantly thinking about that, Novem called out to me.
「Lyle-sama, everyone is starting to move.」
「Ye, yeah……got it.」
I shook my head and then when I was about to start walking, I felt a bad premonition. There was no reaction from the Arts. Right now I'm not using Arts.
「Eh, somehow……the cry of the birds sounds noisy……」
The First yelled when I was about to look back.
『Lyle, take out your weapon!』
When I unsheathed my weapon in panic, the surrounding became noisy. I murmured with a small voice. I slowly lowered my posture and used Arts.
「Full Over……Map, Search……this is……enemy is coming!」
Did it see us who are going to leave the dungeon's entrance? The approaching reaction is displayed as red, and then there is the sound of something cutting a swath through trees.
The footstep──is loud. Besides the birds are noisily flying away.
Inside the gloomy forest, the presence of something approaching made everyone took weapon into their hand. Dale-san also readied the sword he carried from his mansion.
「Paola, get behind me! Pini and Zappa too!」
Medard-san ordered his own soldiers.
「Form a line!」
The soldiers formed a line to protect Medard-san. The Second spoke in a good mood seeing their movement.
『Nice reaction. They are well trained.』
The red reaction is only one.
Zelphy-san held the shield on her back with her left hand and took a stance with her unsheathed one-handed sword. Novem readied her staff, while Aria-san and Sophia-san are also readying their weapon a bit late.
Dale-san stepped forward in order to protect his people, while Medard-san told his people to step forward on the contrary.
Their reaction here is also different.
The enemy's footstep is gradually growing louder. I knew that it's very near from the Arts.
「It's coming……from the front!」
Then, the rocky area dungeon entrance──there was a shadow jumping down from above there. The silhouette is humanoid, but it isn't human.
The Fifth is slightly surprised.
『Hee, it's unusual.』
The monster that appeared in front of us──the orc was holding a great sword on its shoulder with its left hand. However, its appearance wasn't like the orc that I knew.
Its size surpassed two meters, and felt like it could reach three meters. It has many differences with the orc in my knowledge. The two fangs jutting out from its lower jaw and the pig nose are the characteristic of orc. But, it also has body hair growing on its shoulders like fur. The color of its skin also feels different from what I know.
Other than the waist cloth that is normally worn by orc, it also wear cloth and armor on its limbs which make it look somewhat decent. Its large red eyes are directed to us, and a low growl rise out from its lightly opened mouth.
「That great sword……it's this guy! Bu, but, the weapon wasn't that big──」
It seems even the great sword has become bigger. It's absurd.
「SO IT'S YOU BASTARDDDDD! Raise your spear! Charge!」
Seven soldiers held their spear firmly and they all charged toward the orc and stabbed.
The sound of wood breaking. Metal made an unpleasant sound, and then the spears didn't pierce the orc. I heard that orc has thick skin, but I didn't think that it will be this hard.
「Back down! That thing is subspecies!」
The orc faced the soldiers whose spear was broken and swung its great sword. Brute force. That attack which contained no skill at all destroyed the spears that were still alright too.
A single horizontal swing. ……It was a swing like a hatchet brushing away the leaves and grasses in the way.
Zelphy-san jump forward.
「Lyle, you guys back me up!」
Zelphy-san held up her shield and jumped in front of the orc. She helped the soldiers backing away while taking a stance with her weapon. The orc who got attacked has a thick skin that is excessively hard, in addition his size is also larger than normal. His figure is truly the personification of fiendishness.
「Novem, cover us with magic! Do it in the way that doesn't burn the surrounding.」
Novem held up her silver staff and gathered wind to the surrounding.
Her tone is gentle. But, the gaze that Novem directed to the enemy orc was stern.
Aria-san and Sophia-san were standing still on the spot with their weapon in hand.
「Both of you, please guard Novem!」
Sophia-san stood beside Novem with her battle axe.
Aria-san held her spear and stood at the opposite side.
Novem said to me.
Novem who finished preparing her magic directed the staff's tip to the orc. Zelphy-san dodged the orc's great sword while attacking with her sword.
Fire balls flew from the sword. The opponent still only got scratches dealt on its body.
Zelphy-san who reacted to my voice dodged the great sword that the orc swung randomly while rolling on the ground to take distance from between the orc and Novem.
Novem chanted the name of her magic.
The compressed wind is fired toward the orc. The surrounding trees shook due to the fired magic, and then green leaves and fallen leaves were hoisted up toward the orc.
Speed, power…….it was a powerful attack that possessed both.
When the magic collided, wind blew wildly around with the orc at the center. When the wind settled, countless leaves fluttered down in the surrounding.
The orc stabbed its great sword on the ground and stood calmly. He was pushed back only a little……a distance that wasn't even a meter.
The orc slowly pulled out the great sword from the ground.
If it's the average monster……if it's a normal orc then Novem's magic will blow it away. But this orc is a subspecies orc that endured Novem's magic and even showed composure.
「My apologies. Firing even stronger magic than that in this place is……」
Hearing Novem's words, I also unsheathed my reserve saber and stepped forward.
「I'll buy time. It will be hard with just Zelphy-san alone.」
Zelphy-san already stood up and approached the orc. When I stepped forward, we took position that put the orc between us.
The Second advised me.
『If you keep it between you two and don't chase too deeply, you will be able to buy time. Even so it looks hard. It feels like fire or lightning will be really effective but……』
The Third watched the situation while,
『Haha~, the place here is bad. Furthermore the dungeon is nearby. It will be dangerous if you carelessly burn the surrounding and stimulate the dungeon.』
His tone was light like it was other people's problem.
The Third was as usual.
「Get a hold of yourself! Raise your hatchet! Protect that young miss!」
If there is any prospect of winning, it would be Novem's magic. Because of that it's indispensable to secure Novem's safety.
The soldiers stand around Novem. Their hand is holding a hatchet that is a tool for entering forest. It doesn't look fitting to fight a monster at all.
The First is laughing.
『What, so these guys have guts! Lyle, show your guts too!』
I want to show it here but, the skin is harder than imagined. ……It's hard to cut it with my saber. Even if I stab, my saber will be the one that snap.
Zelphy-san stand in front of the orc and tell me to move behind. Then, the orc showed opening when it tried to turn toward me. Zelphy-san slashed without delay in that timing.
When the orc turned toward Zelphy-san, this time it's me who slashed.
The orc who is swing around its great sword randomly slashed the trees. I thought that the sword would stop from hitting the trees, but the great sword cut through without stopping.
That power would easily cut up even armored knight.
It shocked me that a subspecies will be this different.
「This guy, he is really hard!」
Zelphy-san was also irritated. She take distance, and then she evade the attacks and send small slashes at the opening shown. I'm also the same. If its attack hit I won't get out of it safely, so I dodge and cut it with my saber only as harassment.
Zelphy-san intentionally put a nearby boulder behind her and raised her shield. The orc stopped moving and slashed at Zelphy-san.
Zelphy-san dodged that attack, making the great sword struck the boulder.
「Look, with this its weapon is brok……it failed huh. God dammit! Could it be a quality blade!?」
The unbroken great sword deeply slashed into the boulder.
Medard-san denied that.
「Impossible. That sword isn't something that──」
The orc forcefully pulled out the great sword that was stabbed deeply into the boulder. The boulder broke and then I looked at the great sword's blade.
For a moment I saw some cracked spots, but they shined and immediately returned to normal.
It make me want to call out unfair, but it's no use even if I say that. When I was about to harass it again, I heard Novem's voice.
「Lyle-sama, Zelphy-san! ……Here I go!」
Hearing Novem's voice, we take distance from that spot. The ground where the orc is standing reacts to Novem's voice and protrudes up.
「Eart Hand……Earth Needle!」
Novem used two spells.
Multiple hands made from earth appeared from the ground and caught the orc. But, the orc struggled violently and forcefully destroyed those hands.
However, it was fine as long as it stopped moving.
A large thorn in the shape of a cone made from earth immediately thrust out from the ground. The sharp thorn is larger than the orc. Half of its body is pierced and it lost its body part.
「We did it!」
When Aria-san cheered, the surrounding also felt relieved at that scene. But, I kept gripping my saber tightly.
Zelphy-san also clicked her tongue.
「Chih, it's the worst. Aah, shit!」
The orc that lost half its body……however, the orc moved its head and then destroyed the needle with the great sword in its right hand.
Its body that was pierced and separated is connecting as though pulling against each other. It was a really mysterious scene.
『Lyle, do it. You've no duty to wait for it.』
Hearing the Fifth's voice, I leaped out and slashed at the orc with two sabers. Zelphy-san also hurriedly slashed, but no matter how many times we cut, the regeneration won't stop.
Far from that, even when it's in a state of half body, the orc is swinging the great sword with its right hand.
When we take distance, I looked at my blood soaked sabers.
I stabbed into its body. I stabbed its heart, but the orc was slowly regenerating and looked at its own left hand. It was opening and closing it.
And then, it looked at us as though nothing happened.
「Something like this……how can we fight it……」
An enemy that regenerate completely whether you cut or stab it. In addition the place also isn't suited for using magic. It will be easy if we can burn it all at once, but we are inside a forest where we cannot do that. At present the terrain and affinity of this enemy is too bad.
「If we can escape quickly using Arts……that's impossible huh.」
If we run away using the Fourth's Art──Speed, certainly we might be able to escape successfully. However, even if all the people here use the Art, their body isn't familiar with it and they won't be able to escape well. Just like how when Aria-san and Sophia-san fought each other……if they are unlucky, the orc might kill them when they fell.
But, the Second was calm.
『I see……an Art huh. This Orc, its Art manifested. Perhaps his regeneration is the ability of that Art. However, the affinity is bad. It's best to blow it away in one go with magic but……』
When I'm wondering if such thing is possible, the Third speak to me.
『Eh? Lyle is doubting it? Or rather……the opponent has gone through "growth" you know? It won't be strange if it also has Art. It's rare though.』
I spoke with a small voice.
「If possible I wish you will teach me how to defeat it.」
The Ffirst laughed while,
『Something like that is simple! If you keep slashing him until it can't regenerate──』
Then the Third cut off the First's words again.
『It's simple. You should escape. We don't want to stimulate the dungeon by fighting here. Then, you should lure it to a place where you can fight it with all your strength.』
「Even if we're running away, where to……」
The Third said.
『It's no good if you said running away. It sounds more positive to say it as luring it to a place where you can fight it. Lyle, you can just ask the local. The shortest route──to get out of the forest from here.』
I held up my saber while yelling.
「From this place──where is the shortest route to get out of the forest!?」
While no one is unable to move, Medard-san yelled a bit later.
「I, it's faster to head toward Bagan House's territory! If we cross the river from here it will be the shortest route there!」
Why does Medard-san know that?
There is no time to ask about such thing, so I confirm it with Dale-san.
「Is that true?」
Dale-san spoke with a trembling voice.
「Ye, yeah, it's true. But, there is almost no road along the way. It's a place that no one passed through. Getting through there is──」
The Second immediately made the decision.
『It's decided. Get out from forest through the shortest route. The path we used to come here also isn't maintained after all. Then, it'll be the same even if we choose the shortest route.』
The Second's plan is to have the other members go ahead and protect Novem while getting out of the forest. We will fight the orc while buying time. And then, we will lure the orc until where Novem is, where she will hit the orc with her greatest magic──that's the plan.
I explain that to everyone. Zelphy-san who is attracting the orc's attention is already starting to tire.
She has been fighting until now and also bought me time to think.
「Novem is to head outside the forest through the shortest route──I will buy time. If you all can prepare some marker for me, I'll rely on that to lure the orc your way.」
Then Novem reject the plan.
「No! Lyle-sama doing that alone is──」
Zelphy-san's breathing was rising.
「Lyle, can you find the marker while in the middle of fighting and lure this monster there!?」
It will be difficult, but I also have Arts so I think it's possible.
If there is a problem, it's how I will have to fight the orc while also checking the map at the same time.
It's difficult to use multiple Arts. It will also decrease my magic power, so it will really tire me. I also don't understand how long my focus will continue.
「I'll do my best.」
「That's not something you do unless you can assert it confidently!」
I got yelled by Zelphy-san. When the orc slashed at Zelphy-san, Aria-san rushed in front of her.
It seemed she accelerated with Art and instantly leaped to in front of her.
「E, even I can do it! Rely on me……a bit more!」
Sophia-san also moved in respond to Aria-san's voice. She slashed at the orc with her battle axe. The orc turned its great sword to Sophia-san and swung──.
「I can do it!」
Sophia-san stopped the great sword with her battle axe. Looking closer, Sophia-san's legs are sinking into the ground.
With a serious voice the Third──.
『Hee, that's really an interesting Art. So it can make thing lighter and heavier. Right, okay……Lyle, try fighting together with these two. You will be able to buy time with certainty if it's with the three of you.』
When the Third recognized Aria-san and Sophia-san, the Second didn't sound amused.
『Good grief, relying on the strength of these stupid duo. Lyle, cover up for them so they won't get injured.』
The First muttered toward Aria-san with a voice that wouldn't reach her.
I fixed my grip on the saber.
「Change of plan──Aria-san, Sophia-san, and me will buy time. The rest will move through the shortest route while protecting Novem. We will lure this thing there.」
Medard-san murmured while looking at me.
「……You planned that far in this short time. Got it. I'll cooperate with you. Everyone, move while protecting young miss Novem! Don't be slow! Run ahead and make the path easier to walk on!」
Then Pini-san yelled.
──Going back slightly in time.
Pini hurriedly approached Zappa.
And then he grabbed Zappa's shoulders. Pini said to Zappa who was unable to stand from fear.
「Zappa, there is a path to get out of the forest from here. From that time……the path we used to trespass into Maini House's territory!」
Zappa returned to his senses when his shoulders were shaken and he looked at Pini's face with a taken aback expression.
「I, idiot. That path is dangerous……it's not a path you use when hurrying……mo, more importantly gotta run……」
Pini didn't let Zappa finish.
「You think it's fine to run away at this kind of time huh!? Everyone will die! Besides……staying useless until the end. Are you okay with that huh Zappa!?」
Pini's tone became somewhat rough unlike his usual timid self.
Dale listened to the two's conversation.
「There is a path!?」
Walking on a mountain trail……furthermore one that wasn't maintained was difficult. Sometimes there would also be dangerous place and place that couldn't be passed. If Pini and Zappa knew the safe path even if only a little, they would be able to get out of the forest faster with these two's guidance.
Pini nodded. And then, he looked at Zappa with a strong expression.
「I will stay behind and guide Lyle-san. That's why Zappa, lead everyone to get out of the forest.」
Zappa was slightly relieved hearing that. But, he immediately looked at Pini.
「Wa, wait. Why are you staying behind? Together──」
Even if he was a hopeless idiot, Zappa too was a member of the village. If Pini who was his childhood friend was going to do something dangerous then he would want to stop him.
「I already have enough! Even though that person saved us……and yet, we did such thing……that's why, this time I'll properly……」
Even though he was saved by the retainer of Maini House, he was unable to do anything. Pini was regretting it.
Paola who was behind Dale looked at Pini.
「Pini……. Dale, let's leave it to PIni. We will have Zappa show the way and lead everyone out. We are just……a burden here.」
Paola muttered in vexation. The thing that they could do was few. No, there was almost none. Dale also understood that and said to Zappa.
「Zappa……I'll leave showing the way to you. No, this is an order. Show us the way. Everyone's lives hang on this.」
Zappa nodded several times while shaking. Like that he stood up, then Pini yelled at Lyle──.
「I will show the way for Lyle-san and others! Zappa will show the way for everyone else, so please follow him!」
I heard Pini-san's suggestion and worried. I want a guide. But, can I cover up for these two while also protecting PIni-san?
Then the Third told me to accept the suggestion.
『Lyle, let's leave this to them. If not, these two will be in the worst position. In order to make the event progress smoothly in the future too, you'll have to prepare a stage for these two to show their worth. Furthermore it will have to be a stage where they risk their life.』
I immediately decided.
「I, Aria-san, Sophia-san……and Pini-san will stay behind. Everyone else please get out of the forest.」
Novem was disapproving.
I strengthened my tone.
「Go! Other than me< Novem is the only one who can defeat that orc with a single attack……there's only you.」
Novem looked down and gritted her teeth, then she followed behind Zappa-san who started moving. Medard-san and his soldiers moved around her and they moved while protecting her.
If either one has to be done, then I who am able to fight in close quarter can only remain behind. Besides, if it's magic then Novem specialize in it more than me.
Zelphy-san looked toward us.
「My bad. But even like this I'm an instructor. Besides……if I run away here, I'll be a failure both as instructor and as a senior! No way I'll lose face like that!」
Zelphy-san who ran out of breath forced herself to stay behind. She had worked hard until now, so I thought it would be fine even if she retreat but──.
「That's reliable. I understand.」
In the end, the five of us stayed behind.
Sophia-san deflected back the great sword of the orc with her battle axe.
「So we just need to lure this thing. Then, if we fight while falling back……」
Then the orc largely opened its mouth and roared. The inside of the forest goes astir.
When I check the surrounding with Arts, inside the forest──red light dots were starting to move.