Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
Attack at Dawn
The tolling came from the bell tower in the middle of the city. It was already captured, and there should be two soldiers on the lookout.
『H-Hey, what’s going on?』
『Using the bells was not part of the plan!』
『L-Let’s check anyway.』
The soldiers climbed the stairs up the tower carefully. Watchers on the other towers were arguing as well.
『Maybe the soldiers on the King’s side are ringing it to cause confusion?』
『But it’s coming from the central bell tower. It’s the first one we captured. If they took it back, then that means we’ve lost.』
『We don’t know yet. That’s why we’re discussing it.』
A captured guard watched the confused rebel army with cold eyes. He was on night watch duty alone, but he was suddenly tied up as he was taking a nap. They didn’t kill him, and was now just sitting on the floor.
『I suggest you use your brains.』the captured guard said.『Then you should be able to see the truth.』
『Something terrible is happening. Something horrifying that you would have no choice but to stop this stupid revolt.』
The rebels froze in terror.
『Wh-What do you mean something horrifying?』
『Who knows? But if my mates regained control of the tower, they wouldn’t sound the emergency evacuation alarm. They would instead gather at the palace immediately.』
『That may be true…』
『Besides, the fact that we can hear the bell all the way here means the citizens will move.』
The soldier ran outside as he realized that. Lights were already on in many houses. Some were already aware of the unusual situation, while some were just awakened by the bell.
—An evacuation signal!
—Let’s get out of here!
There was nothing the rebels could do now. Their plan to immediately seize control of the palace had failed.
『What now? We can ring the bell to correct the mistake. Either the citizens will calm down, or it’ll only make things worse.』
The soldier beside him sank down on the floor.
『Hey, what’s wrong? Don’t give up now. If we don’t fix this, we won’t have a future ahead of us!』
They were in the northernmost bell tower. A street stretched out from there, and the city walls could be seen towering to the north.
The other soldier stared in the same direction with his mouth wide open. The sudden confusion and the sound of the bell from afar made it difficult to hear, but if one listened carefully, they would hear the tremors.
The earth rumbled. Something was coming from the north. Under the dark night sky, the soldiers saw the upper body of the creature that caused panic in the city a few days ago—the Yamamaneki. And there were a number of them.
『Well? What happened?』the tied-up guard asked, wearing a dubious look on his face. The rebels were as white as a sheet.『H-H-Hey, calm down!』
Then he himself turned pale when one of them pulled out a knife and approached him. He thought he’d get stabbed. The man swung the knife and cut the rope tying the guard.
The rebels bowed.『Please ring the bell! Sound the emergency evacuation!』
The ground shook. The guard was completely oblivious of the situation.
『Quick or this country is done for!』
『Uh, ring the bell? Huh?』
『Fine, fine. I get it. Sheesh.』
The guard stood up, a knife pointed at his side. As he climbed the ladder up to the bell, he glanced at the direction of the wall.
『Huh…? Wh-What’s that? A monster? Oh, shit. That is horrifying, all right!』
He moved faster, grabbed on to the bell, and rang it frantically.
Paula stood still in the middle of the battlefield illuminated by magic lamps. Everyone was startled by the sudden ringing of the bell.
『What’s in the world is going on?!』Ludend exclaimed.
『I-I have no idea.』the Environmental Sanitation chief said, his face growing pale.『I’m sure we seized control of the central bell tower.』
『Well, it’s ringing right now! Hurry up and take it back!』
『It’s too late.』Gorja said.『The bell has been rung. The citizens will move.』
『Yes, you know that. Then there’s only one thing left to do.』
『Seize control of the palace as quickly as possible. We don’t have time to deal with the hostages now. If there’s a better time to fire the blast cannon, it’s now.』
Even though the catalyst was gone, the engineers still managed to gather enough materials for one shot, which they had been saving. Ludend turned his gaze to the Healer surrounded by sixteen men.
『Kill everyone including the Healer, huh?』Ludend muttered.
『If she’s gone, the enemy’s morale will drop immediately. It’s a shame we can’t heal everyone after this, but controlling the palace is our utmost priority.』
『She’s not even fighting back.』
『Chief Ludend. Weren’t you prepared to sacrifice everything for this uprising?! Why are you hesitating now?!』Gorja rebuked.
Ludend raised his head.『Bring out the blast cannon!』
Paula stood still, but the enemy didn’t say a word. Huh? Can I just stay here like this? she wondered, shooting a glance at Galixon. The man simply shrugged.
『My lady, look!』
A blast cannon appeared in front of them.
Huh? What? I thought Lavia-chan disabled that. Why is it here? A bluff? Wait, it’s aiming…
The cannon levelled, aimed at its target.
Paula froze. It felt as though her fear had materialized and pinned her on the spot.
—My lady, run!
—You gotta move!
The bodyguards seemed to be saying something, but Paula couldn’t process their words. She didn’t even know the language in the first place.
Even if she started running now, she wouldn’t be able to outrun the shell. They won’t shoot me, will they? Her wishful thinking would be shattered to pieces. The rebels standing beside the gunner covered their ears.
The blast cannon lit up, followed by a thunderous boom. The cannonball flew straight at her—no, it barely missed her and hit an empty ground.
Did they mess up the aim? No. Someone tackled the artillery from the side.
『Why didn’t you hold him down?!』
After tackling the cannon, the shock wave knocked the man back, breaking his shoulder and arms. Even lying on the ground, Luke Landon smiled.
「Don’t you underestimate us knights…」