The town of Elgrad, a major city of the south, was currently enveloped by a silent stir.
The soldiers of the Southern Army that were more than twice the size than usual were coming and going on top of the defensive wall that surrounded the town, and the gates meant to enter and exit the town were all closed.
Even the number of soldiers patrolling was greater than usual, and figures of soldiers that seemed to be running around to support the Southern Army auxiliary headquarters in the center of the town could be seen.
An enemy attack──Hearing those words that hadn’t been heard ever since it turned into Demon King Vermudol’s era, the inhabitants of Elgrad uniformly raised voices of anxiety.
During the time of the previous Demon King Gramfia, something like that was an everyday occurrence, and in the south where there was a huge disturbance every day to begin with, the concept of living as a group such as a town or a village didn’t exist.
Ever since the Dark Continent was unified as the Zadark Kingdom, Mazoku that really weren’t suited for battle called the Norm started to live there, and the south was extremely peaceful.
Within that, the current the situation was one that happened for the first time since the town of Elgrad was created.
Among the artisans that made up for a majority of the inhabitants, there was almost no one that tried to do delicate work during this state of emergency, but that being said, there also weren’t many that thought of shutting themselves up in their own homes alone.
They gathered in places like the town’s plaza and the coffeeshops, and they gossiped with worried-looking faces.
In one among those, in the Merlet Coffeeshop, artisans were facing grave-looking faces at each other with cups that had steam coming out in front of them.
「To think there’d be an attack…… What’s the point of attacking a town like this?」
「There’s rumors that it’s the Hero. Don’t they just intend on slaughtering us?」
In response to the Norm man that said something like that, a Beastia man that was at a different seat turned around towards him.
「Oi oi, don’t say something so reckless. The relationship with mankind is going well, right? There was even the talk of this town becoming a tourist attraction soon.」
「But, in that case, who could the enemy be?」
「Isn’t it the survivors of the western area? There’s rumors that there are survivors of Vermudol-sama’s great purge.」
Maybe because the men gradually got carried away, they transitioned to stories where the previous Demon King Gramfia was actually alive, or where the rumored anti-Demon King organization, 「El Darkness (the True Darkness)」, had finally taken action.
「Like I was saying, that rumored gigantic armor binding has finally……」
「Wait a second, that was concluded as being impossible at the time of conception wasn’t it.」
「That’s right, to begin with, making equipment for Dragon Mount Unit use was too difficult, and the blacksmiths were seriously crying. Think about it realistically.」
「That was pretty absurd too, wasn’t it. I mean, those guys don’t even need something like that to begin with, right.」
「Come to think of it, what’s going on with the Aqua Metal (flowing metal) idea? If that were completed, then that would also make considerable progress.」
「That also broke down at the time of conception. To begin with, the problem of weight hasn’t been resolved at all, and above all, the technology to make it flow isn’t even in sight. Whoever came up with that is an idiot.」
The shoulder of the man, who was getting heated up while gradually digressing, was tapped on from behind.
「I’m telling you that that’s not it! To begin with, it needs to follow the basics of the carved seal designs of the Sorcery Equipment!」
「Aaand there it is, a believer in the faith of Margaret-sama of Muraz!」
「Oi, hold on. I can’t ignore that either! Besides, Margaret-sama really is beautiful, isn’t she!」
「Geh, so you’re on that side!」
The man’s shoulder, once again──strongly this time──was tapped on.
However, the man didn’t notice that and continued the conversation. They no longer knew what the start of the conversation even was.
「Aan!? That’s some nerve, you crappy artisan! Get out of here!」
「Ahh!? Even though you can’t make anything but feminine designs that are only popular with women, don’t go acting so confident!」
A fist was swung down on the head of the man who stood up.
*Gokin* From that intense sound and pain, the man finally turned around to face behind him. Drawn in by that, the other men also turned towards that direction.
When they did, several soldiers wearing armor that was in the official style of the Southern Army were surrounding the artisan men with looks of amazement on their faces.
「You guys……We’re busy enough as it is. Don’t go causing pointless uproars, dammit.」
「Ah, no. Sorry ‘bout that.」
Glared at by a soldier in the prime of his life with an unshaven face, the artisan men curled up looking apologetic.
「Jeez……If you’re that energetic, how about you just stop being an artisan and apply for the Southern Army? If you want, I’ll even endorse you.」
「W, well. Look, I’m small in spirit, see. I’d be a bit uneasy and……」
「A guy small in spirit wouldn’t do any grappling fights. If you’re gonna be that noisy, be noisy at home.」
Although the artisan men had their faces go red in embarrassment, they glanced at the faces of the soldiers.
「Ahー, but. Although the current situation is called an attack, we virtuous citizens haven’t been told any information at all, you see. In that case, we have no choice but to amuse ourselves with gossip.」
「What virtuous citizens. You all cause disturbances once a day. If you make me laugh too much, my fist will come out.」
When the soldier in the prime of his life clenched his fists, the artisan men looked at different directions and started whistling.
Seeing that, the soldier in the prime of his life breathed a sigh, and scratched his head.
「Besides. It’s true that it’s an attack, but there’s no need to worry.」
That’s right, the soldiers had absolute confidence.
That was their own pride as soldiers of the Southern Army.
The ones who supervised over military affairs was the Western Army, but for the Southern Army, they wouldn’t be outdone in war potential.
No, when speaking of individual abilities, the soldiers of the Southern Army felt that they themselves were higher, and even thought that they wouldn’t lose even if they were fight against the Western Army.
Due to the fact that he had confidence that they, the Southern Army, was the strongest, the soldier in the prime of his life grinned.
「We’re the Southern Army, you know? Other than Demon King-sama, we’ll totally kill anyone.」
Hearing that soldier’s line, cheers were raised from the other customers of the coffee shop.
「Nice, go get ‘em!」
「Cheers for the Southern Army! Cheers for Demon King-sama!」
While calming the cheers by raising his hand, the soldier in the prime of his life glared at the artisan men.
「Well, in any case. We’re also pretty busy today. Don’t go giving us too much extra work.」
「W, we get it.」
「You always say that though……Well, it’s fine.」
Saying that, the soldiers left the store.
Today, there haven’t been any cases where things developed into a fight yet, but as expected, it seems that the inhabitants of Elgrad were feeling stressed. Without the people themselves noticing it, they were on edge. They would end up seriously fighting over trivial things.
They wanted this all to be resolved quickly, but as of right now, it seemed that there weren’t any movements of anyone that seemed to be an enemy.
Moreover, with the opponent being alone, it’s a situation that’s pretty hard to interfere in……that is how it turned out.
「There’s talk that Raktor-sama is personally coming here too……Just how is this all gonna turn out.」
After the soldier in the prime of his life said that, he noticed that he himself was also on edge and made a wry smile.
「No, no, that’s no good. What am I doing, gathering stress myself.」
Saying that, the soldier in the prime of his life stared at the defensive wall that surrounded Elgrad.
The soldiers coming and going up there probably have a grasp on the situation better than his group, but their stress probably wasn’t equal to their own. They should be thinking “I want this attack to hurry up and start and then end”.
After thinking that, his own group that was going around the town was better off.
As he was thinking that sort of thing, there was a soldier of a different unit that came running over.
「Are you the 3rd patrol unit!?」
「Ou, we’re the 3rd patrol unit. What’s up, did a disturbance happen or something?」
「That’s not it, I’m delivering an order!」
To expressly deliver an order to a unit that was in the middle of patrolling, this wasn’t a trivial matter.
After the soldier in the prime of his life made a serious face, the soldier delivering the order quietly whispered into his ear.
「That person has arrived. All units are to be prepared to respond to commands at any moment, that is the order.」
「……Are you serious. The enemy is just a single person, right?」
「They might be that much of an opponent. But, make sure you don’t stir up anxiety in the vicinity. Just act normally.」
While bitterly saying “don’t ask for the unreasonable……” in his mind, the soldier in the prime of his life nodded.
「Well then, I have definitely told you the contents of the order.」
「Yeah. I have certainly received it. Well then, we’ll continue our patrol.」
Saluting to each other, the soldier delivering the order ran off.
While seeing them off, the soldier in the prime of his life muttered.
「With this, the situation is moving……huh.」
Now that that person──Southern General Raktor has come, the situation will forcibly move.
It probably won’t turn into a situation where the town will be blown away, but at the very least, the highway outside of the town might be left without a trace.
「……It’d be great if it could be left to us though. I wonder if it could……」
While breathing a sigh, the soldier in the prime of his life spoke that out loud.
What he looked up at was the auxiliary headquarters that towered over them at the middle of the town of Elgrad.
While thinking about the man who was the strongest in the south who should have arrived there at this time, the soldier in the prime of his life restarted his patrol with his companions.