「What happened, it’s so noisy.」
「Our mood is dampened now.」
The nobles furrow their brows and the servants complain when the door is swung open with a bang.
But they don’t continue grumbling for long.
「The palace guards!? Whose mansion do you think this-…… uwaah, what are you doing!?」
I can hear the knight assigned as the security for the party scream and then run in on all fours covered in blood.
「Ruffians! H-help……gyaah! 」
The knight crawls into the hall and the pathetic man dies soon after he was pierced in the back with a sword.
「Ooh…… how cruel!」
Most of the people here are civil officials who have never seen a person die so they cover their eyes, while many wives faint on the spot.
「Mel, Leah, hide behind me.」
It sucks not having Irijina here.
First I have to determine what’s going on though.
Counting the man who pulled the sword out from the dead knight’s body, there are 10 men who walk into the hall together.
All of them are wearing chainmail and holding swords.
As expected, none of them had weapons like bowguns or spears.
「The palace guards? ……what on earth is-!?」「What the heck is going on!?」
I can’t blame the nobles for being shocked.
All of them look just like the guards that protect the capital.
「Are they palace guards?」
I answer Mel’s anxiously asked question immediately.
There’s a possibility that they came because the master here is evading tax or they’re in the middle of cleaning up any places that support criminal organizations, but it’s still strange to specifically target a party. There are too many unrelated nobles here and if by any chance they made a mistake and an irrelevant high ranking noble was injured, the guard captain won’t just lose his job.
Any armed groups loitering around and planning insubordination in the capital would be immediately suspected.
Their disguise as palace guards is just camouflage.
In that case, their objective is robbery? ……or maybe something else.
「We belong to the palace guards! Where is the Commissioner of Government Affairs!!?」
「Oh yeah, where is Marquess Baldwin?」
「Didn’t he go to the room in the back as soon as the commotion started?」
I guess Kenneth ran to the back room as soon as he heard the shouting.
That’s quite the leg speed if he didn’t know this was going to happen.
The fake guards realize immediately from the noisy nobles that Kenneth isn’t here anymore.
The men make a sour look and click their tongues.
「Now that it’s come to this…… there’s no stopping even though we only have a small group!!」
The men tear off the crest of the palace guards on their uniforms.
「We are proud members of the Magrado Dukedom! We have come to punish the evil Goldonian nobles in place of our late King and for our fatherland!!」
The men draw their swords altogether and start indiscriminately cutting down the surrounding nobles.
I knew it would end up like this.
「Don’t worry, there are only 10 of them. We’ll be fine.」
I can somehow manage numerically speaking, but the enemy seems fairly well-trained and it’ll be hard on me when I’m unarmed.
I can’t just nonchalantly walk out and come back with a sword.
「Peiza, I’m scared!」
「Leave it to me honey, I was once called the knight of the swift wind!」
I’m not sure who called him that, but the knight of the swift wind draws his needle-like ceremonial sword and stands up against the hoodlum.
Oh right, this guy was the one who did a swordplay performance as a sideshow for the banquet a little earlier.
「The area within my sword’s reach is my barrier! Only death awaits those who get too close!」
He swings his needle around quickly. It does look like it’ll hurt if you get stabbed by it.
Finally, the knight’s sword hits the hoodlum’s arm, drawing blood and a scream of pain.
That’s one point, you would win …… if you were in a match that is.
「Damn son of a bitch!」
The hoodlum shouts a curse and flicks away the sword stabbed in his arm with his two-handed sword.
The thin sword bends into the character ‘く’ and snaps in half, rendering the weapon unusable.
「Awawa, my sword! Time out! Let me switch my sword!」
The clamoring knight lost the will to fight along with his weapon and gets stabbed in the stomach while his hands remained pushed out in front of the enemy.
I look elsewhere to see the nobles all trying to escape and helplessly getting cut down one after the other.
Even without a decent weapon, there are 30 guys here against the 10 enemies.
I thought they would have been able to give Mel and Leah enough time to escape but it doesn’t look like I can expect much from them.
Unfortunately, I have to do it myself.
「Nooo-! Stop it!」
「Prepare yourself, Goldonian pig…… guhga!」
One of the hoodlums chasing down a noble’s wife gets hit with a sturdy and expensive-looking chair. The chair shatters into pieces while the man falls to the ground on the spot with his face smashed in.
「Tch-! Who was that!?」「Don’t worry about him, we have to kill the rest of them before they run away.」
Taking advantage of the opening when the men shifted their eyes to their dead companion, I take a candlestick in each hand from the top of the table and charge at them.
This heavy silverwork should have more effect than that needle-like sword.
「Is it you, bastard! Take that!」
One of the hoodlums realizes my presence and swings his sword down at me.
I react instinctively by blocking his powerless strike with the right candlestick, then follow up with a thrust using the left candlestick.
My strike was aimed at his face so the candle protruding outwards pokes into his eye first and embeds itself deep inside his head, killing the man instantly.
「This guy, he’s coming here!」
「Finish him off quickly!」
The candlestick crumpled after blocking the sword, so I throw it at the hoodlum, dashing forward using the opening it gave me.
「The same trick won’t work all the time! 」
After seeing what happened to his friend, he protects his face with both hands.
He probably thought the only place I could aim for was his face since his body was wrapped in chainmail.
「That would work if it was a weak man I guess.」
I thrust into his defenceless abdomen with all my might.
The slow and pointy candlestick bends while piercing through the man’s chainmail, lodging everything but the base of the candlestick into his body.
I move in to grab the man’s sword as he throws up blood.
「You killed three of them …… unforgivable!」
「Die, you brute!」
The two ruffians come at me simultaneously.
I was about to deflect their blow with my arm guard in habit, but I realized I didn’t have them on this time and jumped out of the way instead.
That was close, I was about to lose my arm.
「Hmph, you’re unarmed…… I’ll kill you soon!」
The men charge at me with cruel smiles.
Oh good, it would have been more annoying if you kept your distance and closed in on me from both sides.
I evade the downward strike by a hair’s breadth and step on the sword when it hits the ground so it couldn’t be raised up again.
「Hiih! H-help me! 」
There’s another one aiming for me so I have to finish this one off instantly.
It’s nasty, but there’s no choice.
I pull down the man’s chainmail and bite his throat, tearing out his trachea.
The other remaining enemy wasn’t the only one to voice his displeasure, the nobles also screamed out.
The inside of my mouth feels disgusting…… I’ll forget about it later when I go back home to do some playful biting with Leah and Mel.
I hold the man who is spewing blood from his throat in my arms as the other one charges at me and use the man’s body as a shield to block his friend’s sword attack before chucking the lifeless corpse at him.
The man drops his sword when hit by his companion’s dead body.
「Don’t come any closer, you monster!」
You’re the ones who came at me, just give up.
I grab his head and headbutt him, then pull back from the fainting man slightly before giving him a second headbutt.
After confirming his forehead caved in, I toss him aside and take a glance at my surroundings.
Because I was involved in a scuffle with their allies, the remaining five enemies are pointing their swords at me.
「Fumu, it feels a little light.」
I take the two swords which belonged to the two I killed earlier.
As long as I’m armed with some kind of weapon, there’s no reason to be scared of a mere five people.
After that battlecry, the five of them rush straight at me altogether.
I hold out my arms with one sword in each hand and charge at them too.
I block the swords which come at me from the sides and twist my body to dodge the attacks aimed at my vulnerable abdomen.
In that moment, the two men who slashed at me lose their balance and end up tangled with each other.
「Tch! Move it!」「You move!」「Gue!」
I use the momentum from the rotation of my body to slice off the head of one of the hoodlums and then quickly put some distance between myself and the other men. The fourth man continues pursuing me with his sword and I cross my swords to prepare myself to block his attack.
However, I move my swords and sidestep right before the blade makes contact with mine, making him swing at air before stepping on his sword.
The fifth person charged in hoping to get an opening to attack me after I crossed swords with his buddy, but ends up staring at me blankly as I stand in front of him.
「Looks like things turned out differently than you expected.」
I deflect his attack with one of my swords and then use the other sword to send his head flying.
The three remaining enemies are left feeling furious, while I’ll be the one initiating the attack next.
I charge at them with full-powered swings, hoping to finish them off before they could attack.
「An attack of this level-geguh!」「-Can easily be stoppe-gyuh!」
The two men positioned their swords horizontally to receive my strike but their swords were shattered along with their heads, and then I send the last enemy flying with a front kick.
I thought I got in a clean kick to destroy his stomach, but the chainmail he was wearing saved him.
It would be too sad if I left him to suffer in pain.
I stand in front of him and raise my sword.
「Please wait, Lord Hardlett!」
Just when I was about to give him the finishing blow, a voice calls out from behind me.
「We need to ask that man about what happened today. I know it may be frustrating, but please……」
The one who stopped me is Kenneth, who showed up from nowhere.
I use the butt of the sword to hit a spot on the man’s shoulder.
With a thud, the man is knocked unconscious and collapses.
Seeing how the fighting is over, Mel and Leah come running to my side.
「Aegir-sama, you don’t have any injuries, do you?」
There, there, I’m happy that you two aren’t hurt either.
「Is Lord Hardlett a demon or something……?」「What a way of fighting, what strength……」
Not all the nobles looked at me in admiration.
They’re probably thinking about a beautified version of fighting where both sides cross swords for a while before the final clash where only one person falls to the ground…… like it is displayed in the theatres.
In reality though, brain matter, guts and pools of blood are sprayed all over the room.
The corpses of 10 ruffians and several nobles are lying on the floor while some other nobles got injured and are wailing loudly. It was probably like a scene from hell to them, and with me in the center of all that, they looked at me in terror and disgust.
As if trying to cancel that delicate atmosphere, Kenneth clapped his hands to make a loud smack.
「Everyone! These guys may not be the only villains. Many of you have also gotten injured. Let’s move to a safer area as soon as we can!」
「Aah……right.」「My son! Where’s my son!?」
「Count Irhid, you’re the host! Go on and take the lead.」
The face of the master of the mansion turned pale when Kenneth glared at him, but he starts walking forward with a trembling voice.
「M-my apologies! Well everyone, please come this way before the real guards arrive……」
「And also…… if Lord Hardlett wasn’t here, then all of us might have gotten massacred. I express my deepest thanks on behalf of everyone here.」
Kenneth lowers his head to me, which prompts the other nobles to also thank me.
I don’t really care either way.
And you were really just hiding away somewhere the whole time.
It might have been a wise decision on his part since he probably would have gotten in the way of the fight, but this doesn’t feel right to me.
More importantly, I’m worried about something.
「Marquess Baldwin, about this incident……」
「Is it about how the remnants of the Magrado forces are targeting me?」
「Don’t you think it’s strange?」
「……if we were to believe what they said, but still you would think that their target would, with all due respect, be His Majesty. Assuming they gave up because they couldn’t infiltrate the palace, you would expect their next target to be either Marquess Radhalde or Lord Hardlett. However, they must not have known you would be here.」
It was decided on the spot after all.
It would be bad if that was the case.
「It’s hard to believe they would purposely aim just for me…… which means it’s possible they simultaneously attacked the homes of Marquess Radhalde or Lord Hardlett.」
「I’m heading back home. A carriage……no a horse, I’m borrowing one.」
Without waiting for a reply, I take Mel and Leah with me on a horse. Unlike Schwartz, this horse looks like it’s having a hard time, but it shouldn’t need to travel a long distance.
I make the horse gallop like its life depended on it.
Irijina should have returned to the mansion although she’s drunk, so the only others who can fight are Pipi and Kroll.
I think they can manage somehow if there’s only about 10 of them, but any more than that will be dangerous.
「Hope I make it in time……」
But as I approach the mansion, a familiar stench wafts in the air.
The smell of blood, guts and burning flesh enters my nose.
Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett. 23 years old. Winter.
Status: Goldonia Kingdom Margrave. Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area. King of the Mountains. Friend of the Dwarves.
Citizens: 155,000. Major Cities – Rafen: 22,000. Lintbloom: 3500.
Assets: 60,600 gold
Accompanying: Mel (concubine), Leah (lover), Irijina (drunk), Pipi (??), Dorothea (??), Alice (??), Kroll (??)
Sexual Partners: 151, children who have been born: 32