The swirl of flames shot out by the Alva sped through the air towards Nino. However, the only thing that remained in the aftermath of the explosion was a burning roof.
Nino was no longer there. She flew from the roof to a tree branch, from the tree branch towards the Alva’s back. As the Alva spread out its wide, bat-like wings, she brought her foot down hard on its back, crushing its body into pieces.
A loud, dull sound and a short death cry was heard. By the time the crumbling Alva had disintegrated into black dust, Nino was already flying straight towards another Alva, ready to attack. The curved swords in her hands glistened. Moments later, the Alva was cut into shreds.
As she fell to the ground, tree branches grew from all around to pick her up, and she flew into the air once again.
An Alva had been targeting her from up above. Before it even had a chance to react, its dismembered head was sent flying. It crumbled into black dust.
As she safely landed on the branch of a tree, Nino tilted her head and listened carefully. She could hear the sounds of a battle raging on in the distance, in a direction different from the one that Ichika had ran off in. She could make out the sound of a sword, the impact of explosions, and the cries of a large swarm of Alva.
There seemed to be an intense battle going on, but she noticed that there was something strange about the way the Alva were gathered.
They were moving as if they were all ganging up against one person. Nino couldn’t tell how powerful that one person was, but there was no doubt that only one person was fighting back the group of Alva.
「…I wonder if I should go.」
Nino, who was already done exterminating the Alva in the surrounding area, quietly thought to herself.
She could hear the sounds of fighting from many different places, but none of them seemed as unusual as that one area. However, if she were to go, she would undoubtedly be moving away from the castle where “Reina” and the others resided.
As she stood wondering what she should do, she realized that someone was calling for her from down below.
Nino didn’t have any interest in the townspeople who stood below her, but she couldn’t help but notice how they almost seemed to be worshipping her.
「Thank you… Thank you so much…」
「Ahh, our savior…」
「You are a true hero…!」
Utterly disturbed by their blind worship, Nino held her shoulders in her hands, trembling with disgust.
Though she understood that they had just been saved from horrible danger, she was disturbed by how quick they were to bow their heads down to someone they had never even seen before. She had insulted them, referring to them as “trash,” but it seems that they did not care.
Just as she was going to tell them to go away, a thought suddenly drifted into her mind. Now that she thought of it, Nino remembered that one of King Vermudol’s goals was to establish a friendly relationship with humans.
If this was the case, there should be no problem with letting the humans worship her. Helping with the extermination of the Alva would greatly benefit Vermudol as well. Completely having forgotten that Ichika had already said something incredibly similar, Nino arrived at this conclusion.
「…Go away. You’re getting in my way.」
「Yes, my hero!」
「Please, take care!」
Shortly after the townspeople dispersed, two defense knights came over to look up at Nino. Glaring at the two knights, she called out to them.
「…What do you want?」
「I, I see that you’re a maid knight, so I was thinking… Are you an acquaintance of Reina?」
「Nope, Nino is not.」
After hearing Nino’s response, the two knights nodded to each other, though it was unclear what they were thinking.
「But, the people just now… Oh, now that I think of it, Reina had sent a request for reinforcements.」
「U-umm! How many others are with you?」
「Nino isn’t a reinforcement. Go away.」
As Nino annoyedly waved them off, the knights hurriedly bowed their heads and ran off. After making sure that they were out of sight, Nino sat down on a thick tree branch and took a deep sigh.
「…I don’t really feel like doing this anymore.」
She had decided to tag along because she had heard from an intelligence agent that Ichika was going to meet the legendary maid knight Reina, but… Once again, she was reminded of how pathetic humans were.
Vermudol had stated that 「even among the human civilizations, the Canal Kingdom was the closest to our idea of an ideal kingdom, and there’s a high chance that they are willing to establish a friendly relationship with the Zadark Kingdom.」 But from the way Nino saw it now, his judgement seemed completely off… or maybe the information he had gathered was just incorrect.
Wherever she went, humans were the same.
Even if they were able to establish such a relationship with the Canal Kingdom, it would undoubtedly end with a betrayal, just like what happened with Borkio and the Cylus Empire.
As Nino sat there, deep in thought, she heard the explosions start up once again. They
seemed to come from that direction that she looked at earlier. The battle was getting intense.
There was nothing left for her to do around here. She decided that it wouldn’t hurt to go take a look.
Coming to this decision, Nino kicked the tree branch and jumped to the ground. She had wanted to save time by running on the roof, but because of the Alva’s attacks, it was now covered in holes and rough spots. Trying to navigate through uneven footing would just cost her more time.
After landing on the ground, Nino began to sprint in the direction of the explosions. Corpses lay on the road, people yelled out in desperation, screaming… But to Nino, this all meant nothing.
「You’re in my way.」
Swiftly cutting apart the Alva that blocked her path, Nino continued on. The twisted roads and the endlessly blazing fires got in Nino’s way, but fortunately, she could still hear the sounds in the distance so she knew which direction to run.
「H-help… Help me!!」
After reflexively responding to the sudden request, Nino turned around to face the person who called her.
She saw a large, muscular man running towards her, his face drenched with tears. Chasing him from close behind was a single Alva. It flew through the air behind him, tormenting him by shooting fireballs only to keep him at the verge of death.
When the man’s eyes met with Nino’s, his face glowed with relief, as if he were looking at some savior goddess… But as soon as he saw Nino try to leave him and run away, he yelled out desperately.
「H-h-help me! P-p-please, I b-beg you!」
「You’re disgusting. No thanks.」
Completely ignoring Nino’s expression of immense disgust, the man ran straight towards her with full speed.
Nino wondered if she should listen to her heart and leave him to die, or if she should remember her duty and kill the Alva for Vermudol, saving the life of a human in the process.
As she stood for a moment wondering what to do, the Alva, shrieking, flew into the air over the man, heading straight towards her.
Seeing this, the man yelled in despair, tripping and stumbling onto the ground.
The Alva must have been trying to destroy his hope even further by killing off his “savior” Nino, who was now the only one who could save him. Tricks like this would have worked if Nino was just an ordinary human. But unfortunately for the Alva, Nino wasn’t ordinary, and she wasn’t human, either.
Letting out a small, mocking laugh, Nino swiftly cut the Alva into shreds. Staring wide-eyed at the dusty black remains of the Alva, the man remained sitting on the ground, completely speechless with amazement.
「…You got lucky this time.」
As Nino turned back around, she heard the man mutter 「goddess…」 under his breath. Disgusted, she left him sitting there and resumed her journey.
She transitioned from the main road to the back alley, running through the intense sounds of fighting that seemed to come from all around her.
Suddenly, a robed man came falling through the air in front of her.
She could have easily avoided him, but she decided that she would rather not have to witness the unpleasant sight of him splattering on the ground, so she caught him in her arms. The robed man lifted his shocked face to look up at Nino.
「You’re in my way.」
The robed man let out a yelp as Nino tossed him aside.
The man must have been fighting on the rooftops. As she looked up above to check, she saw a swirl of fire speeding through the air towards her.
「N-no, no way…! Magic Guard Aqua!」
As the robed man stood up, panicking, he summoned a blue wall of magic. Repelled by the wall, the fireball vanished.
However, at that exact moment, an Alva plummeted down from the sky in front of them.
「A-, Attack Gua-」
The robed man tried to switch to an Attack Guard but, in his panic and confusion, he failed to cast the spell. The Alva shattered the Magic Guard Aqua in a single blow and began to rush towards Nino and the robed man.
Nino snickered. As the Alva tried to bring its claws down on them, she quickly sliced it into pieces.
Now this is gonna be a good story to tell, she thought. As she began to feel herself get into a good mood, she looked over at the man on the ground.
「…Are you alive?」
「I-, I guess so.」
「I see. You did well. Goodbye.」
Nino gave a brief farewell and continued her running. The robed man watched in silence as she ran off.