It was right on the morning of the third day after Kain’s group accepted Reina’s request. Birds fluttered about in Elarc’s blue sky, and their light chirps resounded.
The shopkeeper of the Dark Green Bear was stretching with all he had in front of the shop.
「Nn, nnnー! AHー! What great weather!」
While yeilding his body to the refreshing feeling after having stretched with all he had, the shopkeeper twisted his body and made it crack.
When the shopkeeper opened the door to go back inside, there was a harsh sound that was made.
After messing with the door whose fitting was a bit bad, he noticed that it seemed that the metal fixtures of the hinges were worn out.
Thinking “I guess I can’t do anything about it unless I call the carpenter……”, he looked up at the sky.
With the weather being this great today, it seemed like the carpenter would be busy going about here and there but, would he come here?
If it was at the level of metal fixtures being a bit bad, it felt like it would be put off for later.
After all, there were many places that should be prioritized. It wasn’t like the ruins of the Alva attack that came earlier had been repaired yet.
He felt that that sort of thing wouldn’t happen often, but it wasn’t like the First Princess Narika’s army wouldn’t come anymore.
As expected, since there was no way she would just go about killing the citizens, he wasn’t worried about his life in that regard, but that didn’t mean that the buildings would be completely undamaged.
「Well, Celis-sama would be much better than Narika-sama though……」
When the shopkeeper fiddled with the metal fixture while thinking “come to think of it, didn’t I have some replacement metal fixtures somewhere……”, *pakin*, the sound of something breaking could be heard from somewhere.
「Geh……Could it be that I broke it!?」
But after thinking about it more clearly, the sound just now wasn’t from fiddling with the door, but was heard from above.
In that case, was there something up with the signboard’s anchorage? Thinking that, the shopkeeper hurriedly looked up at the sky……and his movements stopped just like that.
What was there, was a cracked sky.
*Parin* A sound like something was breaking was made once again, and a richly colored space was created within the blue sky.
……Heavily, black hands came extending out from there. Slow, and heavily.
Bright red eyes could be seen. Pitch black horns, and a pitch black bodies. Long and very sharp claws, and wings like those of a bat.
The shopkeeper knew what that was.
They spread their wings underneath the blue sky, and came spilling out from here and there in the sky.
The Alva which were said to be able to easily drive a small village to annihilation with even a single one of them.
A group of those Alva that reached the tens of them were released into Elarc’s sky.
The fireball an Alva fired burned a male Adventurer that tried to cut it down.
The iron sword fell from the male Adventurer that became burnt black and had collapsed, and a *gashan* sound resounded on the stone paving.
Seeing that, a male spearman clad in blue armor shouted with a pained face.
「Jonas! Dammit……Oi, Rigel! Put up the magic barrier! We’ll decide this all at once……Oi, Rigel!?」
What lay at the end of the gaze of the male spearman that turned around was an Alva that repeatedly trampled on the corpse of the heavy armor knight that should have been protecting his back, and the figure of another Alva that pierced through the chest of a male magician.
「Rigel……!? Y, you damned Mazoku!」
The spear that the male spearman thrust out pierced through the head of the Alva that tormented the male magician.
Without even a death cry, the Alva turned into black particles and vanished, and the male magician that had his chest pierced through limply collapsed to the ground.
However, the male spearman didn’t even have the time to hold him up. It was because the two Alva that slaughtered the swordsman and heavy armor knight earlier had set their eyes on the male spearman.
「……I’ll do this. I’ll fuckin’ do thisss!!」
The male spearman started running, and his spear clashed with the Alva’s claws.
Here and there throughout the town of Elarc, similar battles were unfolding.
Elarc was the Canal Kingdom’s capital city, and even its population was remarkably different from the surrounding towns.
Naturally, many knights that protected the citizens were deployed here, and their headquarters was placed here.
The ones protecting the Canal Kingdom’s populace were the Swords of Light Chivalric Order, the Shields of Light Chivalric Order, and the Staves of Light Chivalric Order. And in addition to that, the Elarc Defense Chivalric Order existed.
They were truly an iron wall defense, and if things were normal, the city wouldn’t fall with the Alva coming to attack by the tens.
However, the ones in the current Elarc were only the Swords of Light Chivalric Order, and the Elarc Defense Chivalric Order, which couldn’t be said to be elite soldiers when compared to the Swords of Light Chivalric Order.
In this situation where the Imperial Knight Chivalric Order that protected the royal castle weren’t there, the Swords of Light Chivalric Order had no choice but to act while giving maximum priority to the royal family’s safety. Even if Reina, who was extolled as the legendary Maid Knight, was there, the knights’ loyalty towards the royal family wasn’t cheap or light enough for them to leave everything to her.
However, their chivalry wasn’t rotten enough that they would think that it would be fine no matter how many of the citizens lives were lost either.
That complication had tormented them. But even while suffering through that, they were unable to do anything but intercept the Alva while protecting the citizens that came to the vicinity of the royal castle.
While knowing that they should be the ones out there fighting, the members of the Swords of Light Chivalric Order could do nothing but pray for the Elarc Defense Chivalric Order’s strenuous efforts.
On the other hand, the Elarc Defense Chivalric Order all far surpassed their limits.
Even though they would normally only patrol the local areas, the current Elarc Defense Chivalric Order was in a position where they needed to be vigilant of attacks that came from the outside.
It was necessary for them to go up against Goblins and Beastia, and even the occasional Ogre that came along. Even the fact that the repair of the main gate was advancing slowly was a source of distress.
Plus, there was also the problem of the First Princess’s army that they needed to be vigilant of the most.
Therefore, they needed to deal with the Alva while reserving a minimum amount of equipment.
However, at a time like this, there was a group of Goblins with lively fighting spirits heading towards the West Gate.
And while dealing with them, and while being vigilant of the First Princess’s army that they didn’t know when they would be coming, there was a need to subjugate the Alva that were overflowing in Elarc on top of all of that.
It was nothing but unreasonable, but they had no choice but to do it.
Fortunately, the Adventurers that were visiting Elarc didn’t run away and were also fighting here and there.
At the Elarc Defense Chivalric Order Headquarters that was near the broken main gate, a messenger knight came barging in on the Knight Commander that was firing loud orders over an opened up map.
「A, a report! A force that seems to be the First Princess’s Army has been identified! Right now, the East Gate garrison has entered a state of high alert!」
「At a time like this! They couldn’t be planning on attacking, right!?」
「N, no. There was a messenger saying that they would defeat the Alva if we obediently surrender Elarc to them……」
「Wallop ‘em and send ‘em back! Tell ‘em “are ya even part of the royal family like that” and spit at ‘em, I’ll allow it!」
After kicking the messenger knight and chasing him out, the Knight Commander returned his gaze towards the map and shouted.
「Listen up, according to Reina-dono’s estimations, spy bastards will definitely slip in and cause an uproar! If ya find guys that’s spreadin’ useless misinformation, for the time bein’, punch ‘em and send ‘em rollin’! We’ll gather ‘em up and toss ‘em in jail later! Also……Ah, oi! Bring back that East Gate guy from earlier! Remind ‘im about that mission!」
One knight answered, and started running to search for the earlier messenger knight that rushed out from the headquarters.
Here and there throughout the town, the sounds of explosions, bellows, and screams could be heard.
Holding down the feeling of wanting to start running towards the origins of those voices, the knight peeked over at the broken main gate.
There were figures of townspeople that seemed to have taken refuge there, and of the Black Knight that the children were clinging to.
It seemed like the Black Knight was being told 「Don’t go」. Having an outsider be relied on instead of them at a time like this was quite vexing.
But, if that Black Knight that had eyes with no life to them were around, the townspeople that were here would surely be fine for the time being. It would be fine since the headquarter knights were also nearby.
Making himself consent with that, the knight continued his running.
On his way towards the East Gate, he passed by people running to escape and Adventurers and other knights that were running around searching for Alva.
「It’s a curse. Raidolg-sama has become angry since the Third Princess had the nerve to occupy the royal castle!」
「It seems that First Princess-sama has come to the vicinity of the East Gate, and it seems she’ll help those she desires!」
He could tell that the ones shouting such things were mixed in among the evacuating citizens and the Adventurers.
「You all, what are you saying at a time like this!」
「Uwahー, I’m going to be killed! I’m going to be killed under the cover of the confusion!」
「They’re taking advantage of the confusion and doing a purgeー!」
Having eyes that were slightly frightened turned towards him from real citizens, the knight gritted his teeth.
「D, dammit! Everyone, do not be deceived by irresponsible words! Evacuate to either the royal castle, or close to the Defense Chivalric Order stations! We will definitely protect you!」
Shouting like that, the knight ran towards the East Gate.
He still couldn’t find the messenger knight from earlier. In that case, he might as well just run to the East Gate.
Thinking that way and continuing to run, the knight didn’t notice.
That in a back alley, there was the corpse of a man sprawled out that seemed to have been clearly killed by a person’s hands. Moreover, that it had a face that was identical to the knight that came earlier with the message.
That man’s corpse didn’t have equipment on. And then, one man with the appearance of that of the Elarc Defense Chivalric Order came rushing out from the back alley.
That man ran towards the royal castle, and while pushing his way through the citizens that had already evacuated to the vicinity of the castle’s main gate, he called out with a panicked tone to the Swords of Light Knight that was protecting the gate.
「It, it’s a message! The First Princess’s Army has appeared in the vicinity of the East Gate……They say that if we obey them, we’ll be saved with power that was newly awarded to them from Raidolg-sama!」
With those words, a commotion was spread amongst the gathered citizens.
The Swords of Light Knight that received the report let out a loud voice that sounded flustered.
「Y, you idiot! Don’t shout such misinformation with a loud voice!」
「B, but. Ah, there is also a letter addressed to Third Princess-sama! They said to send an answer immediately……」
In response to the man clad in Defense Knight armor that said that and pulled out what seemed like a letter that had sealing wax applied to it, two Swords of Light Knights that were protecting the castle main gate nodded to each other.
「……That is important. I shall guide you.」
「N, no. I cannot obstruct your professional duties. If you could at least let me through……」
「What are you saying. During this time where there are those Alva where there’s no telling where they’ll appear from, as if I could let you act alone.」
After saying that, one of the Swords of Light Knights opened the gate, and invited the man of the Defense Knights inside.
After the other remaining Swords of Light Knight made a loud noise and closed the gate, the Defense Knight that entered the gate collapsed as if he had lost his consciousness.
The Swords of Light Knight that was next to him supported him, and shouted in a panic.
「Were you injured……Even if it was the First Princess-sama, to think that she wouldn’t hesitate to injure someone of her own country!」
While purposely shouting with a voice that could be heard by those in the vicinity, the Swords of Light Knight carried the limp Defense Knight and walked further in.
「……You fool. We don’t call Celis-sama by “Third Princess-sama”. Using that way of calling her is the same as saying that you’re a spy.」
After whispering that to the unconscious fake Defense Knight with a low voice, the Swords of Light Knight continued on to the inside of the castle.
His destination was naturally not to Celis’s side, but to the cold and dark dungeon.
After confirming that his partner had safely captured the spy, the Swords of Light Knight that remained in front of the gate grinned.
However, noticing that the eyes of citizens that looked at him looked anxious, the Swords of Light Knight smiled at the citizens with an exceptionally gentle expression.
「Everyone, be at ease. Raidolg-sama’s divine protection is with us. Those Alva that fear Raidolg-sama and came attacking, they will immediately be exterminated this time as well. So, please do not be deceived by such nonsensical misinformation.」