9. Chapter 9
Leethia was an adventurer from the rural area of Myard. She had a talent in Magic, and her physical ability backed by her mana amount was outstanding even in her generation. Leethia, who made her debut as an adventurer triumphantly, steadily increased her rank, escaped from the E and D rank, the ranks called as “Scrap”, and reached the bronze C rank, but she met her dead end. The stagnation might have been inevitable for Leethia, who was self-taught and had no fixed companion.
It was Al, an A-rank adventurer who Leethia happened to meet on a large-scale request, who saved her, who was in dilemma. Al was also an adventurer from Myard, and his party members were also from the same country. After doing many requests together, Leethia, who had a close relationship with Al and his party members, was welcomed as a long-sought party member.
They were then active in a wide range of activities, both domestically and internationally, such as caravan escort, demon subjugation, and labyrinth capture, and lived an exciting and irreplaceable daily life. While living such a life, Leethia had slowly developed a faint love for Al. It was her first love and she wanted to get rid of that feeling, but didn’t know how to do it.
Leethia knew. No, it wasn’t just her. Any party member or adventurers who had experienced doing things together with Al’s party knew, that Al and Amy were dating. When she realized her emotions, Leethia fell into self-loathing, wondering how foolish she was. After all, it was Amy who patiently taught how to the adventurer way to the unfamiliar Leethia.
Although it was something reasonable between a couple, when she saw Amy entwined in Al’s arm, Leethia couldn’t help but be agitated. It was an emotion that she shouldn’t have. The night she saw them disappearing 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 her mess without a hateful face at all. At that time, Leethia decided. That she would bring her feeling to the graveyard. After all, it was a love that wouldn’t come true. Yes, Leethia was trying to hide her feelings and give up completely.
While Leethia spent such days, an event occurred that shook the adventurer of Myard. It was a re-invasion by the Highserk Empire. In the war at the time of the collapse of the Kanoa Kingdom five years ago, the Myard territory, which was part of the Kanoa Kingdom, sought asylum from the neighboring Ferrius Kingdom at the end of the war.
While accepting a small number of Kanoa refugees who were able to escape, Myrad and Ferrius struggled, but the result was that the status quo could be maintained.
The hometowns of Al and Amy were along the border, and if invaded, it would be severely damaged. So, 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 announced that they would fight together and participated in the war as volunteers.
At the request of the guild, Leethia had killed a human. It was a man who liked to make fun of people, he was a member of a bandit who had done a lot of evil, and so, the surrounding villages and citizens who were captured, sent words of gratitude and praise, and her friends also praised her. Still, Leethia couldn’t forget the feel and smell, even now.
After three of the forts, which were key points on the border, were defeated, they joined the Myard soldiers who had escaped from the pursuit, and decided to ambush on one of the traffic routes facing the deep forest. Bow and Magic attack, helped them to succeed in the ambush.
It was a small victory for Myrad, but it was the long-awaited victory for the defeated soldiers. Leethia and the other adventurers were delighted with the victory. Even so, Leethia couldn’t get rid of the cry of soldiers who died because of her Magic.
The wounded and surviving enemy soldiers sought mercy, but the Myard soldiers beheaded them to seal their mouths. “It can’t be helped, we’re in a war”… Everyone said that word. Still, Leethia continued to worry about not being able to change her mindset so easily.
The fighting continued as reinforcements from Highserk Empire were dispatched to annihilate Leethia and the others. Thus, Leethia killed two more soldiers. In those battles, while she was glad that Al cared for her, she was disgusted with herself who holding such feelings.
On the second day of the battle with the reinforcements of the Highserk Empire, it appeared. A “devil”. There was a devil. He looked like a man you could see everywhere. Only the eyes were different. Even though his eyes were black, it felt as if they were muddy. Just like cutting out annoying weeds, he was just slashing and killing Myard soldiers without changing his complexion.
Compared to Al’s sky blue eyes, Leethia could only feel scared from those muddy eyes.
Leethia concentrated magic on both hands and shot it to the man. The wind blade released from the short sword headed straight toward the man, but it scattered in the air. It was a skill, and with that one swing, it counteracted the magic.
It was something easy to say, but it wasn’t that easy to do with that angle, timing, and power. It was hard for Leethia to believe, but it was a reality that happened in front of her.
Two soldiers who felt the danger cut in between Leethia and the man, and at the same time thrust the spear. It was a skillful collaboration aimed at the neck and legs at the same time, and Leethia thought that the man only had two options, that was to dodge it or concentrate on defense. Leethia then decided to provide support by casting Magic to capture the man, but what she saw with her eyes was not what she expected.
The blow of the skill 《Strike》broke the spear and slashed the soldier. The remaining soldier also pulled out the longsword momentarily, but lost the sword and his leg was cut off, then as his movement became sluggish, his throat was cut off by the halberd. The soldiers around him 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 talked about his love for his homeland and vowed to destroy his enemies, and all the recruits who said that they were afraid of fighting, all of them――
“N-no, wait, a, help me.”
The fellow soldier who had his intestines scattered, was begging 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, while trembling, she retreated, but the man kept moving without changing his complexion.
“Why, why…? How can you kill someone so easily!?”
When Leethia asked, the man mysteriously distorted his eyebrows for the first time, muttering,
“It’s a battlefield, why are you surprised? You also killing others… what a useless conversation.”
Leethia certainly killed a human before. When she killed a person for the first time, she couldn’t eat for two days. Even now, after she killed a human, her hands would tremble. She hated killing. What about the man in front of her? She couldn’t understand, but Leethia understood one thing, that the man was trying to cut off the conversation and kill her.
While screaming, Leethia concentrated her Mana to create a blade of wind. It was a blow aimed at the torso, but it was avoided by sliding. Then, the halberd filled the field of view. It was dyed red with the blood of her friends. Breathing was hard 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 used her right hand, which still holding a sword, to support the round shield and prepared for the impact.
“A, ug, urrgh”
It was a catastrophic pain that came to visit her body. The round shield was cut off and the short sword was repelled, even though Leethia put her all to defend. And, perhaps, her hand protector wasn’t enough to hold the impact, her left arm was broken.
At that moment, it wasn’t only Leethia’s arm but also her heart that broke. She retreated in a hurry, but she lost her balance and fell. There, was a Highserk soldier she 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 screamed at the impending death. No pain came, and in the hazy view, she saw the back, of someone that she was always looking at. Leethia still screaming, but then realized that she wasn’t dead.
“Step back, Leethia!!”
The member of the party who rushed in, was Al. His blue hair, which was out of place, looked so beautiful.
“Are you okay with me?”
“Shut up, you damn invader!!”
Leethia knew that it was her inexperience that caused Al to come to help her, and caused the Heighserk soldiers who he held to become free, and started to attack the other Myrad soldiers.
“… Huft, Don’t want to.”
The man sighed disgustingly and attacked Al.
The other party members tried to cover Al’s position, but were disturbed by the subsequent 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, enough to bounce off an Ogre’s blow, but the longsword’s blow 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 concentrated her consciousness while favoring her broken arm. The aim was that man who was aiming for Al. Ignoring her broken arm, Leethia shot a deadly blow, but was avoided on the verge of dealing with Al’s attack.
Al could use magic, it was the same wind-attributed magic as Retia. He used 《Burst》, magic which Leethia couldn’t use.
Leethia had seen 《Burst》, the magic of momentarily accelerating whole bodies and parts of the body, tossed even great bandits with bounty and ogre, cutting armor even strong muscular bones.
But even so, it was dealt with by the opponent, and Al was on the defensive side. Leethia clenched her teeth, enduring severe pain, and took a stance again.
The one shouted was Lefty, the scout of the party, who was good at acting alone, setting and canceling traps, and also interrogating. The only companion in the party who had been always cold. Such a person, screamed like never before.
When Leethia turned her line of sight to the voice, she saw Fleck’s Great Shield, which should have the skill of 《Iron Wall》, was destroyed and one of his eyes was crushed. Leethia realized that she had made a mistake in her priorities. In the first place, she couldn’t imagine where Fleck would be defeated, so she gave priority to her own thoughts.
Fleck’s opponent was a muscular man that was comparable to an ogre. Seen from the ornaments, he was a Squad Commander class soldier. Leethia knew it, because she was taught by Myard soldiers the characteristics of officers and commanders of the Highserk Empire.
There, cold sweat flew on Leethia’s spine. Al was dealing with a soldier without a title. More than 200 enemies were still scattered in the forest.
Far from breaking through, there was no future with just one squad. Leethia, who was conscious of the death of her companion, had a pale face. She noticed that Amy started firing arrows to create a space between Fleck and the enemy Squad Commander. But, at the same time, Leethia also noticed that fireball was approaching Amy from the side.
“Amy, move awaaaayyy!!”
It was at the speed that could be avoided by Amy, who was nimble. But, Amy must have been distracted by Leethia and Fleck’s injuries. Although a direct hit to the whole body was dodged, Amy’s half body was wrapped in fire, and now she was bouncing here and there, then rolling on the ground of the forest.
This was the war ―― that Leethia and her companions thought, just them, was enough to protect their homeland. Leethia thought the A rank party was precious and special. But the reality was that everyone was dying in a war.
“Amyyyyyyy!! You damn crazy invader, even though you’re inferior to monsters, Damn it!”
“Even though you’ve killed that many, why did you never think you would die too.”
“Shut up, you, shut up!!”
Leethia saw Al, who was supposed to be calm, roar. The soldier, who seemed to be afraid to speak, deliberately provoked Al and made him angry. The two-handed sword and the halberd cross, then the halberd that win the pushing battle, stuck to Al’s shoulder, and as it was, he was being pushed to the big tree.
Pierced on his left shoulder, Al continued to resist, spitting 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 would decapitate Al.
“No, no, no, no, nooOOOO!!!”
LEETHIA’s desperate attack Illustration
Forgetting the pain in her broken arm, Leethia cut the wind with her sword. If it was delayed even for a moment, Al’s neck would fly, and if it went off even slightly, the blades of wind would penetrate Al. The blow of Leethia, who concentrated to the limit, opened her potential, and the wind ran through the forest.