I follow Celia into the city of Tortoent.
「The main battle has ended, but remnants of the enemy who failed to escape had apparently caused trouble. The citizens we have left alone until now were everywhere and friendly fire was possible if we entered the alley, so I chose not to act against my better judgment.」
「You’re right. It’s better if we leave it to Erich.」
As I move my hand to pat Celia’s head for a job well done, I stop mid-way and hold back a groan.
Maestus’s attack accurately struck me in the side of my body through a gap in my armor.
Because I had blocked it partially, his attack didn’t reach my organs, although it wasn’t exactly a minor one either.
「There it is! My troops already have it surrounded!」
What Celia excitedly pointed out was a lookout tower in the city.
It is a 12 m tall 5-storey building in the shape of a simple cylinder with about a 6 m radius and has one opened window in each cardinal direction for every storey above the first. Considering the beautiful exterior established by the neatly laid red bricks, the building is probably not for military purposes.
「There seems to be a dozen or so still inside. I’ll round them up in a flash!」
Celia huffs eagerly.
Alright, let’s see what she’s got.
「It’s no good, we’re completely surrounded. We can’t run.」
「Dammit, protect the flank of the thousand-man squad, my ass! They’re the ones who fled first!」
「In the end, they used us recruits like sacrificial pawns!」
I can hear the unrest and resentment from the enemy.
Celia’s battalion numbers 400 even when excluding the injured. Their overwhelming advantage is unwavering.
Arrows shoot up and rain down on the tower at Celia’s order.
Of course, they don’t have enough power to penetrate brick, but they prevent enemy soldiers from peeking out of the windows and shooting crossbows or throwing rocks.
「Eclair company, commence the attack!」
Her deliciously-named unit rushes forward.
Soldiers threaten the enemies from the windows of the second and third floor with spears while their colleagues bang on the door with hammers, struggling with those pressing against the entryway on the inside.
「Souffle, carry your ladders and look to climb up!」
Another tasty-sounding group brings out the long ladders used in sieges and props them against the side of the tower, quickly reaching the window on the fifth storey.
A well-executed two-pronged attack.
It is something which a bunch of remnants……and recruits at that, should not be able to deal with. Or so I thought.
「Stay calm, it’s over for us if we get flustered! A little more……now!!」
I hear a dignified female’s voice from inside the tower.
The door of the tower is thrown open and swordsmen burst out.
Celia’s troops flinch from the sudden emergence.
In that brief moment, the enemy takes advantage by pushing down the soldiers wielding hammers and kicking down the base of the propped up ladders.
Having the support kicked from under them, the soldiers on the ladders could do nothing else except fall.
「What are you doing!? Attack them back!」
Celia yells, snapping the stunned soldiers back into action. But as they try to suppress the enemy with numbers……
Crossbows stick out from the windows of the tower.
Several of them bunch tightly together in each of the laughably small windows and steady their aim.
The collective volley disrupts the movements of Celia’s battalion.
The allied archers providing suppressing fire would interfere with those trying to climb up ladders, so they stopped shooting.
Like skittering rats, the enemy soldiers scurry back into the tower and shut the door.
It was right after that when the allied soldiers’ arrows poured down, meaning the enemy suffered zero casualties.
Once all the arrows hit the ground, a spear sticks out of the window and waves around in a mocking manner.
「Heeey. Over here~」
They are taunting us.
Celia stamps her feet on the ground repeatedly in frustration.
You don’t have to get angry. There may not be many of them, but it won’t be easy to take them down as long as they’re holed up in the tower.
Even though we have great numbers, not everyone can attack simultaneously with how tiny the tower is, so that essentially forces us to split up into smaller groups and attack through the windows and doors. It is a time-consuming task to say the least.
The enemy’s skill and morale are also greater than expected.
It wouldn’t be strange for them to surrender after the first attack or scatter in a panic.
Although they are wearing gear for conscripts, it’s impressive how they can still keep up their morale despite the city falling.
「They’re pretty good.」
I don’t exactly hate the type of people who are bold enough to provoke us in a situation where they are rats in a bag either.
「In that case, I’ll launch an all-out attack! Bring out the cannons and plenty of oil!!」
Thinking that she was just humiliated in front of me, Celia turns red.
「Gyaa! The enemy is going to attack for real!」
「It’s because you taunted them!」
「Also, how long is this guy going to stay unconscious? Splash some water on him!」
I place my hand on top of the enraged Celia’s head.
「Don’t get so worked up.」
It’s dangerous to use cannons or start fires with allies and citizens around.
In the first place, the only reason Celia wants to settle this quickly is because I’m here. As long as she takes her time, she’ll take them down with certainty. Although in such a situation where anyone can see she holds a tremendous advantage, they might get disheartened if she simply took it nice and easy.
It’s definitely not because she is incompetent or because she made a mistake.
「Will you let me handle this? I still haven’t fought enough.」
I stroke Celia’s cheek and step forward.
「Escort unit, dismount.」
The accompanying soldiers on horseback turn into infantry.
I also hop off Schwartz’s back and wrap my arm around her shoulder.
The escort unit marches in lockstep.
The sound of their footsteps has a completely different intensity compared to Celia’s battalion.
After all, the escort unit is composed of individuals who are especially well-built and skilled in fighting.
Moreover, because they are prepared to enter battle with me, all of them are wearing a full set of armor, with a portion of them even using special dragonskin equipment. They are literally my strongest soldiers.
「Something seriously bad is coming!」
「Crossbows, aim! Get the stones ready too!」
「――guh, did I…… wait, isn’t that the escort unit!?」
The enemy shoots their crossbows.
The bolts hit the thick shields held by the escort unit and bounce off, doing no damage.
Throwing their puny stones at the armored troops don’t defeat any of them either.
And they’re not going to find any rocks as large as the ones used to break down the city walls around a tower in the middle of the city.
The escort unit closes in on the door, ignoring the overhead attack.
Looking at things calmly, the enemy is merely a ragtag group of light infantry.
There is no need for complicated tactics or complex instructions, just have a bunch of heavily armored soldiers run in.
「Break it down.」
The escort unit bangs on the door with a hammer.
They do the same thing as Celia’s battalion, but the door greatly vibrates with one hit.
It’s the difference of power between individual soldiers.
「Their strength is nothing like before!」
「Not good, I can’t hold it shut! At this rate……」
I also run toward the door as I hear the enemies start to get anxious.
And then with a sharp exhale, I kick down the door.
The right side of the double doors tears off and flies into the tower.
My side still hurts. It’s best if I don’t push myself too much.
I make eye contact with the enemy soldiers.
「I wanted to at least sleep with a pretty lady before I died…… or a pretty boy would do too.」
I see clear resignation on their faces. They should not have any options left.
I was just about to order my soldiers to attack.
Someone jumps over my head.
「Don’t give up until the very end! Follow me and open up an escape route!!」
A brave woman raises her sword and inspires her fellow soldiers…… so she is the commander.
The female commander carries out her own words and leads the charge.
Her readiness to die is evident in her face.
With that said, the escort unit won’t falter from that.
They deflect the woman’s attack with their shields and form a circle around her so she can’t escape.
「Kuh, need to find a weak spot……」
The female commander scans the surrounding area and identifies the tiniest seam.
She runs at the gap.
I think of calling Schwartz just in case she manages to get free, but I change my mind after some more consideration.
「Hardlett-dono! There are enemies here too!?」
The one who appeared shouting loudly was Irijina, who also blocked the female commander’s opening with perfect timing.
「Mu! An enemy!!」
Irijina reacts to the dashing enemy.
「Don’t do it Zillia! Irijina is――」
I hear a familiar voice from inside the tower try to warn the female commander.
「I’ll push through!」
「A challenge!? Come on then!!」
The enemy commander jumps at Irijina with a slash from the air.
Irijina was not fazed and easily deflected the attack with the shaft of her spear.
When the distance was closed and the two individuals’ weapons were locked in a fierce struggle, Irijina used the strength she is so proud of to repel the enemy.
「Now it’s my turn!!」
Irijina lowers her hips and takes a firm step before unleashing a continuous barrage of thrusts.
Despite the female commander’s best attempts to defend, she isn’t a weapon expert judging from what she displayed earlier.
Irijina on the other hand is on another level when she wields her spear.
「S-so fast! And heavy!」
The female commander is thrown off balance from the first strike, gets her shield knocked away from the second strike, and loses her sword from the third strike.
Irijina twirls her spear as she pulls back and launches a wide sweep.
Unable to do anything after being disarmed, the female commander takes the hit directly in the center of the chest area of her light armor and is sent flying briefly before falling to the ground.
「See that!? Victory!!」
Irijina lifts her spear and laughs, encouraging the soldiers of the escort unit and Celia’s battalion to applaud.
「Good work, Irijina. It was wonderful how you finished her off with the shaft.」
I check on the fallen girl―― and see if this person named Zillia has any injuries.
It doesn’t look like she has any major wounds.
I’ll take her to the doctor just in case, wait till she recovers, and then fuck her.
I carry Zillia on my shoulder.
「Get the others to surrender. If they resist, kill them.」
I assumed that the soldiers would lose their will to fight once their commander went down and turned my back on the tower.
I stop moving and slowly turn around when I hear my name called.
So the one who was glaring at me with a sword in his hand was Christoph after all.
I guess this squad which was left behind was his squad.
His fate must be tied with mine, for better or for worse.
When I silently glare back at him, Christoph immediately averts his gaze and takes a step backward.
I am somewhat relieved that his cowardice hasn’t changed.
「Christoph――!? How dare you show your face in front of Aegir-sama!!」
Celia also notices and flares at him with a threatening attitude.
「I don’t have any comebacks. If you want to curse at me, you can call me an idiot, trash, a fool or a traitor as much as you like!」
I don’t feel any anger towards Christoph.
While supporting Zillia on my left shoulder, I extend my free hand out to him.
「You idiot. Come back with us already. Your squad can’t escape at this point.」
I don’t know what he was displeased with that caused him to switch sides, but there’s no point in him opposing us anymore.
But Christoph shakes his head.
「I can’t do it……I―― uwaaaah!!」
Before he finishes speaking, I punch him with my right hand.
He flies away and rolls on the ground until he crashes into the tower and faints.
Umu, his frailty hasn’t changed either.
「Drag that idiot back with us. That punch should open his eyes.」
「Understood. Let’s have Schwartz drag him back.」
Celia smiles maliciously and fetches rope to bind Christoph with.
I sigh and rub the ass of Zillia on my shoulder.
「What a nice ass. It’s well-suited for thrusting from behind. Fufufu, I’m going to show you lots of love.」
Zillia mutters feebly.
「You’re a commander though, so I guess I’ll interrogate you at the same time I release my post-battle stress. Don’t worry, you’ll feel good. Let’s see, how about your chest……」
I was just about to slip my hand into her shirt.
「General……remove…… your hand.」
Surprisingly, Christoph got up.
He would normally remain unconscious for several hours after being knocked out.
Celia is also staring blankly with the rope in her hands.
「Enough, just stay asleep or you’ll eat another punch.」
I turn my back on Christoph.
「Take your hand away, Aegir! She is……Zillia is my woman! I won’t give her to the general!!」
It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop.
I turn around slowly.
The greatest mystery has been solved.
「So the reason you joined South Yuguria is because of her?」
I carefully lower Zillia off my shoulder and onto the ground.
「I see, a woman huh, I see.」
I can understand that. Women are more precious than gold and fame.
But now that I understand, the angrier I start to get.
「I’m taking this woman. You can go to sleep.」
I run at Christoph.
「Guh, but I――!」
Resolving himself this time, Christoph gets into a defensive stance with his sword.
「It’s no use.」
I stop right in front of Christoph, step to the side and give him a roundhouse kick.
Chirstoph flies away and crashes into the tower again.
Christoph is not superior to me in any aspect of battle.
With such a gap in strength and speed, it’s a piece of cake to crack his defense.
「Celia, hurry and tie him…… hooh.」
Christoph didn’t faint.
Even though blood trickles down his forehead and his legs are wobbly, he still points his sword at me.
「You haven’t gotten enough? Or are you actually going to try to kill me?」
I stare intensely at Christoph.
It’s the same kind of murderous gaze I use on enemies.
Christoph ultimately wavers.
He takes a step back, but returns the glare after seeing Zillia again.
「I don’t want to kill you. Besides, I can’t hope to win against you……I was the one who betrayed you, so I feel sorry, not resentful.」
I increase the blood lust in my eyes but Christoph looks away.
「But…… Zillia is my woman. I will do anything to protect her!」
Christoph positions his sword at eye level.
The tip of his sword is unsteady and his steps are sluggish.
That’s enough for me to confirm how weak his stance is, but his eyes are genuine.
I point my Dual Crater at Christoph.
Compared to his mass-produced one-handed sword, the size, shape and sinister aura of my sword surpasses his.
「Here I go.」
I kick off the ground and dash toward Christoph.
He swings his sword to intercept me.
I deliberately choose not to avoid and let it land on my shoulder.
The blade makes a dull thud and bounces off.
I didn’t particularly do anything.
His slash was simply too slow and inaccurate, so he ended up striking the sturdiest part of my armor.
With that kind of swing, the result would have been the same no matter where he slashed my armor though.
I reduce the distance between us and lock swords with him, but when I make contact with the guard of his sword, Christoph flies away.
Our strength levels are too far apart.
Christoph rolls on the ground and tries to stand back up.
My running speed was not affected when I chased after Christoph, so I was ready to meet him with a downward swing before he could recover.
He flies away at an angle after being hit by the butt of my sword.
Then, after bouncing two or three times on the ground, he collapses on the spot.
「No…… I can’t go down…… I decided to protect her―― guwaaah!!」
I knee Christoph in the stomach as he somehow finds a way to get up.
He floats up in the air about 3 m, falls back down and writhes in pain.
Christoph’s strength and speed is, as usual, nothing special.
He has nothing that will help him win against me.
「Do you understand? You’ll never win against me. Even if you want to protect a woman, you’re not strong enough. Give it up and come back to our side. I’ll return Zillia to you after injecting her with my seed.」
「That’s enough, Christoph. If you stop now, I’ll forgive you after beating your face until it changes shape and plucking off all your nails. Don’t trouble Aegir-sama any further!」
Celia also advises him to stop.
But Christoph, after briefly struggling, stands up again.
「……I will…… protect Zillia……」
I’m impressed. I am purposely not using the sharp part of my blade so I don’t kill him.
Nevertheless, I didn’t really hold back with that combo attack.
It should have been powerful enough to bring Agor or Mack to their knees too.
I didn’t think the weak and gutless Christoph could stand.
「This……is where it ends. I won’t allow you to resist anymore.」
I deliberately show him that I’m changing the way I hold the Dual Crater.
「I’ll kill you next time.」
My tone should also be different. I said it with conviction after all.
I’ve gotten fond of Christoph.
Even now, after he lost his way because he fell in love with a girl, I still believe he’s a trustworthy guy.
However, I don’t intend to foolishly treat him as a friend if he continues to point his sword at me.
「You heard me? I’m going to kill you. Will you still attack me?」
I shut off the blood lust I was emitting until now.
There is no more need to intimidate him.
「Yeah……I heard you. But I won’t stand down, Aegir. She’s someone precious to me.」
Christoph smiles. I do the same.
Unfortunately, it looks like this is it.
「S-stop…… I’ll let you embrace me as much as you want……I don’t mind if you treat me as your plaything…… just don’t kill him……」
Zillia clings onto my leg.
I grab her shoulder and pull her away from me.
「I can’t do that. Look at his eyes.」
Christoph has the eyes of a determined man.
When he has those eyes, I have to meet him with my full strength.
Christoph declares his agreement and charges at me in a straight line.
Sluggish…… slow…… unstable…… almost like an infant.
If I look carefully, I see that even his eyes are closed. I thought he was determined and this is what he shows me?
「See ya, Christoph. It was fun.」
I slowly raise my Dual Crater.
Celia puts her hands together and prays for Christoph to have a peaceful death.
When I reminisce on our times together, I hesitate briefly, then resolve myself to slash at his neck from right to left.
My aim is perfect and Christoph, who has his eyes closed, should not be able to dodge.
I only have to cut through his neck.
Right before I could make contact, Christoph’s head suddenly dips down.
My sword which should have decapitated him instead sliced off a few strands of hair on the top of his head and whiffed.
「Ducking down while charging!?」
I hear the frantic Celia.
A high-speed maneuver of slipping through my attack in the moment before it hits during a sprint is impossible, or at the very least it’s an expert’s move which he’s not capable of.
I instantly lower my gaze to my feet.
「He just stumbled!?」
I spot a fist-sized dent in the ground.
His foot must have gotten stuck in that depression and caused him to trip.
The sword he sticks out approaches me
In a duel between experts, this would have been fatal.
However, the sword’s wielder in this case is Christoph.
「It’s not over yet!!」
I use all my might to retract my sword.
I go as far as lifting up my right leg and tilting my body to bring my sword back for a diagonal slash at Christoph who is now right before my eyes.
With his speed in mind, I should make it in time.
Unfortunately, my slash misses and my sword slams into the ground.
And then, Christoph’s body danced in the air.
The moment I tried to cut Christoph down, both of his feet leapt in the air for a spinning jump, and he managed to narrowly dodge my sword.
「Those aren’t…… human movements……」
I hear Celia’s comment again. Although she is proud of her acrobatic ability, even she couldn’t do something like that.
I’ve never seen such movements.
Some water splashes my face.
I glance in the direction of where it came from and find a small puddle of water, probably created by the elves’ water magic.
「This time, he just slipped on mud!?」
I can’t help shouting.
After stumbling forward, his foot landed in a puddle and slipped sideways because of the mud.
Christoph himself likely doesn’t know what’s going on.
After all, he charged at me with his eyes closed from the start!
Now, dodging is impossible.
Because my missed sword landed into the ground, my side was left open.
The screaming Christoph collides with me.
His thrust is beautifully drawn into the gap in my armor and into my side.
「Hardlett-dono got hit!!」
「I-it’s fine! A thrust as a result of a slip and fall won’t get through Aegir-sama’s muscles!」
Christoph’s weak thrust, even if it happens to find the gap in my armor, won’t pierce my skin.
However, he hit a bad spot.
Christoph’s thrust happens to stab the same place Maestus injured me.
I let out a groan from the depths of my stomach.
I instinctively grab Christoph with my right hand and pin him on the ground.
This time, he hits his head and faints.
But at the same time, I feel my legs lose strength and I fall to one knee.
「T-the demon was brought down……?」
「No way……Christoph did it?」
I hear the enemy soldiers cry out in disbelief.
The weight of the Dual Crater instantly grows heavier and drops from my hand.
My vision also narrows.
Celia and Irijina run to my side.
「I-I surrender……right now! We surrender! Spare the lives of my subordinates!」
Zillia yells and urges the other enemy soldiers to disarm themselves.
The escort unit also ceases their attack when they see me on my knees.
「Tie him up…… don’t kill him.」
I point to Christoph.
I’m glad I can still speak.
「Man…… I didn’t expect you to take me down……」
I proceed to collapse into the arms of Irijina and Celia.
Losing to a guy who only possesses good luck should be humiliating, but for some reason I don’t feel too bad.
I smile when I look at Christoph foaming at the mouth and lose consciousness with that as the last thing I see.
Protagonist: Aegir Hardlett. 25 years old. Summer.
Status: Goldonia Kingdom Margrave. Great Feudal Lord of Eastern Area. Mountain Legend.
Friend of the Dwarves. Friend of the King of Aless. Dragon Slayer Hero.
Elf Mediator. Sex King of White City.
Myla (pursuit), Celia (infuriated), Irijina (flustered), Luna (pursuit)
Gido (light of hope), Pochi (concealment), Leopolt (flustered), Tristan (staff officer B), Agor (urban warfare)
Yakov (pursuit), Mack (military engineer), Jim (negotiating)
Sekrit (flustered), T-99 (slaughter mode), Brynhildr (ー)
Natia (flustered), Felteris (total pervert), Ijaris (waiting), Yularen (waiting)
Annette (princess of the 105), Piris (relieved), Baroness Escaote (astonished), Seika (astonished), Naesys (sisterly love), Nasis (sisterly love), Busco (prostrating), Ivanna (gamble pastime)
Army – Southern Goldonia
Escort Unit: 50
Infantry: 4300 ⇒ 4100
Cavalry: 500 ⇒ 480
Archers: 600 ⇒ 550
Bow Cavalry: 7000 ⇒ 6700
Independent Celia Squad: 400 ⇒ 390
Conscripts + Security Unit: 9000 ⇒ 8800
Cannons: 40, Large Cannons: 21, Dwarven Cannons: 15, Field Artillery: 15, Chariots: 35
Reinforcements / Allied Forces
105 Army Corps: 3300 ⇒ 3100
Battleship Suvorov, Battleship Aless of Aless, and others: All grounded.
Transport Ships: 20
Ally Forces: Royal Army: 40 000 ⇒ 38 000
Conscripts: 50 000 ⇒ 45 000
Enemy Force: Regular Soldiers: 30 000?? ⇒ 20 000
Conscripts: 95 000? ⇒ 40 000
Cavalry Army: 20 000?? ⇒ 10 000??
Assets: -10 000 gold
Sexual Partners: 794, children who have been born: 69 + 567
Current Location: Tortoent