9. Chapter 9
Leethia was an adventurer from the rural area of Myard. She had a talent for magic and her physical abilities, aided by her amount of mana, were exceptional even in her generation.
Leethia, triumphantly making her debut as an adventurer, steadily increased her rank, escaping the E and D ranks, the ranks referred to as “Scrap,” and reaching the bronze C rank, but she hit a dead end. Stagnation was perhaps inevitable for Leethia, who was self-taught and had no steady companion.
It was Al, an A-rank adventurer whom Leethia happened to meet by chance on a large-scale quest, who rescued her from her dilemma. Al was also an adventurer from Myard, and his party members were also from the same country. After many missions together, Leethia, who had a close relationship with Al and his party members, was accepted as a long-awaited party member.
From then on, they were involved in a variety of activities inside and outside the country. By escorting caravans, defeating demons, and completing labyrinths, Leethia lived an exciting and irreplaceable daily life together with the party members. While living such a life, she slowly developed a faint love for AI. It was her first love and she wanted to get rid of this feeling, but did not know how to do it.
Leethia knew. No, it wasn’t just her. Any party member or adventurer who had experienced doing things together with Al’s party knew, that Al and Amy were dating. As she became aware of her feelings, Leethia fell into self-loathing and wondered how stupid she was. After all, it was Amy who had patiently shown the unfamiliar Leethia the way of the adventurer.
Although it was something reasonable between a couple, when Leethia saw Amy entwined in Al’s arm, she couldn’t help but be agitated. It was an emotion that she shouldn’t have. The night she saw them disappear into the city at night, she cried all night and even made a mistake when doing the request.
Ironically, it was the party members, including Al and Amy, who cleaned up her mess without making a hateful face. At this point, Leethia decided. That she would take her feelings to the graveyard. After all, it was a love that wouldn’t be fulfilled. Yes, Leethia tried to hide her feelings and give up completely.
While Leethia was spending those days, an event occurred that shook the adventuress of Myard. It was a re-invasion of the Highserk Empire. During the war at the time of the Kanoa Kingdom’s collapse five years ago, the territory of Myard, which was part of the Kanoa Kingdom, had sought asylum with the neighboring Ferrius Kingdom at the end of the war.
Myrad and Ferrius did take in a small number of Kanoa refugees who managed to escape, albeit it was a struggle, but the result was that the status quo could be maintained.
Al and Amy’s hometowns were on the border, and an invasion would severely damage them. Therefore, they declared that they would return home and fight to protect their hometown. Although it was announced that the party would be temporarily disbanded, other party members and Leethia also declared that they would fight together and participated in the war as volunteers.
At the request of the guild, Leethia had killed one human. This was a man who liked to make fun of people, he was a member of a bandit gang that had done a lot of evil, so the surrounding villages and citizens who had been captured sent words of thanks and praise, and her friends also praised her. Still, Leethia couldn’t forget the feeling and the smell, even now.
After three of the forts that were key points on the border were captured, they joined the Myard soldiers who had fled from pursuit and decided to ambush on one of the traffic routes towards the deep forest. With the help of bows and magic, they managed to attack the ambush.
It was a small victory for Myard, but it was the long-awaited victory for the defeated soldiers. Leethia and the other adventurers were delighted with the victory. Still, Leethia couldn’t get rid of the cry of the soldiers who had died because of her magic.
The wounded and surviving enemy soldiers begged for mercy, but the Myard soldiers beheaded them to close their mouths. “It can’t be helped, we are at war”… All of them said this word. Nevertheless, Leethia continued to worry that she couldn’t change her mindset so easily.
The fighting continued as reinforcements were sent from Highserk Empire to destroy Leethia and the others. Thus, Leethia killed two more soldiers. In these battles, although she was glad that Al was taking care of her, she was disgusted with herself for harboring such feelings.
On the second day of the battle with the reinforcement of the Highserk Empire “it” appeared. A “devil.” There was a devil. He looked like a man that could be seen anywhere. Only that, his eyes were different. Although his eyes were black, it felt like they were muddy. As if he were cutting out pesky weeds, he slashed and killed Myard’s soldiers without changing his complexion.
Compared to Al’s sky-blue eyes, Leethia could only be afraid of those muddy eyes.
Leethia concentrated magic on both hands and shot them at the man. The blade of wind that was released from the short sword flew straight at the man, but it scattered in the air. It must be a “skill” that countered her magic with one swing.
That was easy to say, but with that angle, timing, and power, it wasn’t that easy to accomplish. Leethia could hardly believe it, but it was reality playing out before her eyes.
Two soldiers, sensing danger, placed themselves between Leethia and the man and simultaneously thrust the spears. It was a skillful collaboration aimed at the neck and legs at the same time, and Leethia thought that the man had only two options, to dodge or to focus on defense. Leethia then decided to support the man with a spell to catch him, but what she saw with her eyes wasn’t what she expected.
The blow of the skill 《Strike》 broke the spear and slashed the soldier. The remaining soldier also briefly drew the longsword, but lost it and his leg was severed, and when he was only moving sluggishly, his throat was cut with the halberd. The soldiers were slashed one after another and fell to the ground one by one.
A young man who talked about his family at night, the commander who spoke of his love for his homeland and swore to destroy his enemies, and all the recruits who said they were afraid of fighting, all of them――
“N-no, wait, ah, help me.”
The fellow soldier whose entrails were scattered begged for help. But the man with the halberd didn’t stop.
Leethia was scared and couldn’t move.
“Give up. It’s useless now.”
The man thrust the halberd into the throat of a begging soldier.
Leethia backed away trembling, but the man kept moving without changing his complexion.
“Why, why? How can you kill someone so easily?!!”
When Leethia asked, the man drew his eyebrows together mysteriously for the first time and muttered,
“It’s a battlefield, why are you so surprised? You also killing others… what a useless conversation.”
Leethia had certainly killed a human before. The first time she killed a human, she couldn’t eat for two days. Even now, after killing a human, her hands would shake. She hated killing. And what about the man standing in front of her? She couldn’t understand it, but Leethia understood that the man was trying to break off the conversation and kill her.
As she screamed, Leethia concentrated her mana to create a blade of wind. It was a blow aimed at the torso, but it was dodged by sliding. Then the halberd filled the field of view. It was dyed red with the blood of her friends. Breathing was difficult and thoughts hadn’t yet organized, but Leethia’s body still moved naturally.
Leethia held the round shield diagonally upward while bending her left elbow and using her right hand, still holding a sword, to support the round shield and prepare for the impact.
“Aah, ugh, urrgh!”
It was a catastrophic pain that struck her body. The round shield was severed and the short sword deflected, though Leethia did everything she could to defend herself. And perhaps her hand protector wasn’t enough to withstand the impact, her left arm was broken.
At that moment, not only did Leethia’s arm break, but so did her firm heart. She hastily backed away, but lost her balance and fell. There lay a Highserk soldier whom she had attacked and killed not long ago.
“At least, remember the place of the one you’ve killed.”
The man smiled for the first time. Why did he laugh? Leethia couldn’t, she couldn’t understand.
Leethia’s train of thought was on the verge of collapse. Forgetting shame and pride, she cried out against impending death. However, no pain came, and in the blurred vision, she saw the back of someone she always looked at.
Leethia was still screaming, but then she realized that she wasn’t dead.
“Step back, Leethia!!”
The member of the party who rushed in was Al. His blue hair, out of place, looked so beautiful.
“Are you okay with me…?”
“Shut up, you damn invader!!”
Leethia knew it was her inexperience that caused Al to help her and the Highserk soldiers he was holding to break free and attack the other Myard soldiers.
“… Huft, Don’t want to.”
The man sighed disgustingly and attacked Al.
The other party members tried to cover Al, but were interrupted by the following soldiers
Fleck was a skilled adventurer with the skill 《Iron Wall》, Leethia couldn’t believe he was being pushed by a soldier. The large shield after the skill 《Iron Wall》 was used on it, was enough to deflect the blow of an ogre, but the blow of the longsword could damage it.
Amy and Lefty, along with fellow soldiers, outperformed the rallying enemy soldiers, but were clearly inferior in Leethia’s eyes.
Leethia then slowly focused on her consciousness while favoring her broken arm. The target was the man who was aiming at Al. Ignoring her broken arm, Leethia lunged for a killing blow, but was dodged by the man as he was dealing with Al’s attack.
Al could use magic, it was the same wind-attributed magic as Leethia. He used <Burst>, a magic that she couldn’t use.
Leethia had seen <Burst>, the magic that briefly accelerated whole bodies and body parts, knocked down even large bandits with bounty and ogres, and even cut strong muscles and bones covered in armor.
But even with that, the enemy was able to handle it, and Al was on the defensive side.
Leethia gritted her teeth, endured the severe pain, and regained her stance again.
The one who had screamed was Lefty, the scout of the party, who was good at acting alone, setting and picking up traps, and also interrogating. The only companion in the party, who was always cold. Such a person, screamed like never before.
When Leethia turned her line of sight to the voice, she saw that Fleck’s Great Shield, which was supposed to have the skill of 《Iron Wall》, was destroyed and one of his eyes was crushed.
At that moment, Leethia realized that she had made a mistake in her priorities. First and foremost, she couldn’t imagine where Fleck would be defeated, so she prioritized her own thoughts.
Fleck’s opponent was a muscular man comparable to an ogre. Judging by the ornaments, he must be a Squad Commander-class soldier. Leethia knew this because she had been taught by Myard soldiers about the characteristics of officers and commanders of the Highserk Empire.
Lost in a sea of thoughts, a cold sweat ran down Leethia’s spine. Al was dealing with a soldier without a title. More than 200 enemies were still scattered in the forest.
Far from getting surrounded, her, no, their future was on the verge of being cut by only a squad.
Leethia, aware of her companion’s death, had a pale face. She noticed that Amy began firing arrows to create a distance between Fleck and the enemy Squad Commander. But at the same time, Leethia also noticed that a fireball was approaching Amy from the side.
It was at the speed that Amy, who was nimble, could dodge. But Amy must have been distracted by Leethia and Fleck’s injuries. Although she was able to dodge a direct hit all over her body, half of Amy’s body was covered in fire, and now she was bouncing back and forth and then rolling on the forest floor.
This was the war ―― that Leethia and her companions thought, they alone would be enough to protect their home.
Leethia thought an A-rank party was valuable and special. But the reality was that they were dying in a war.
“AMMYYYYY!!! You damn crazy invader, even though you’re inferior to monsters, Damn it!”
“Even though you’ve killed that many, why do you think you would be excluded from dying.”
“Shut up, you, SHUT UP!!!”
Leethia saw Al, who was supposed to be calm, roaring. The soldier, who seemed afraid to speak, deliberately provoked Al and made him angry. The two-handed sword and the halberd crossed, and the halberd, which had won the push fight, stuck to Al’s shoulder, and so he was pushed to the big tree.
Pierced in his left shoulder, Al continued to struggle and spit out meaningless words
Sobbing at the scene, Leethia’s vision was distorted by tears. Her companions who surrounded her until just a few minutes ago were dying.
“You’re not used to killing humans huh… Really, I envy you.”
The man pulled out a longsword from his waist. Leethia was convinced that he was going to decapitate Al.
“No, no, no, no, nooOOOO!!!”
LEETHIA’s desperate attack Illustration
Forgetting the pain in her broken arm, Leethia sliced into the wind with her sword. If it was delayed even a moment, Al’s neck would fly, and if it missed even a little, the blades of the wind would penetrate Al. The blow sent by Leethia, who concentrated to the utmost, opened her potential, and the wind raced through the forest.
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