Section 7: Solretta Defense 1
The bent iron door was evidence enough of an ent’s strength.
“S-Switch to your axes! We can’t let them further into the city!! We stop them here no matter what!!”
A man looking like a captain started shouting out orders from on top of the wall. Just beneath him, a loud creak was echoing through as the ents continued to pry open the gate. Despite how widely the gate was torn through, the ents hadn’t actually managed to get into the city yet because of how massive their bodies are. But it only took a glance to be able to tell it was only a matter of time.
“Uwa, eh!? Eh!? Hit!? If we keep going like this, we’re going to run right into them!? Stop, stop!!”
The gate was broken, and the first ent was finally starting to fit its body through the entrance. There were already a number of soldiers with axes at the ready following their captain’s orders. But Unicorn was diving right in the thick of it all despite these facts.
“I’ll leave our master to you Unicorn.”
While I was desperately holding on tight like she told me to, Saluena lightly tapped the back of Unicorn’s neck, and……..no way, she jumped.
After galloping all this way and reaching a heightened speed, Saluena kicked off Unicorn’s back, rocketing her entire body forward through the air.
She drew her blade from its scabbard on her back as she spun two, three times through the air. And with that momentum, she swung down her sword towards the intruding ent which had finally managed to fully pry open the door.
“Woohoo!! Sweet, right in two! As expected of Anego!!”
The blade flickered white from the reflected moonlight, cutting the ent vertically in half as easily as if she were cutting through the night breeze.
…….amazing. With Lapris shouting right in my year, all my years of book reading failed me as that was the only word I could think of to describe what I just saw.
“….so yeah, after this……what are we going to do!? Do you even know how to ride a horse by yourself?”
Saluena stepped over the ent’s corpse, (actually, would it just be a pile of wood now?) and made her way outside of the city walls on her own.
“Hii!? Anego went outside on her own!? What do we do!? Is it okay to follow her!?”
“B-B-But how do we do that……I’ve never ridden a horse before…….”
“Graah!! Just like I thought damn it!!”
While Lapris and I were busy screaming “Ah!” and “Over there” from on top of Unicorn’s back, we finally made it to where the city soldiers were stationed.
Crash. That was what I thought was going to happen, but Unicorn flew through the air before we could hit anybody. No, I’m exaggerating a bit. But she did perform one, giant leap that pushed us through the air and allowed us to soar over all the soldiers’ heads as if we really were gliding.
I guess Marcus-san was mixed in together with those soldiers we jumped over because I suddenly heard him call my name.
“Marcus-san!! W-W-We’re here to help…….kyaaaaAAAAAAAAA!!!”
A tremendous shock radiated through my body as Unicorn landed back down on the ground. For as much as my head was shaking, I’m truly amazed I didn’t bite my tongue.
Unicorn is going to charge through the bent open iron door and follow Saluena out of the city……that’s what I thought we were doing at least……..
Lapris and I were equally stunned. Because just when we were wondering why Unicorn was vigorously thrusting out its front feet, she kicked the iron door with everything she had and bent it closed again.
I could hear the soldiers’ cheers coming from behind me. I suppose it is a huge peace of mind to have the gate closed again so no more ents can enter.
I was certainly astonished with Unicorn’s strength that allowed her to easily shut a gate that took an ent so long to break through, but right now I’m much worried about what is happening to Saluena now that she’s cut-off, stuck outside of the city on her own.
“Woah……W-What is this!?”
“That swordswoman, she’s amazing!!”
“No, that girl’s a knight!! I overheard some people in the guild talking about her!!”
I could hear the voices of soldiers still stationed on the wall shouting about her.
“Oi Iris! There are some stairs over there! Can’t you climb up and see what’s going on!?”
This girl still refuses to fly on her own. Pushing that thought to the back of my mind, I figured Saluena was more important than anything at the moment, so I made to jump off Unicorn’s back so I could run over to the stairs.
But before I could jump down, Unicorn started running herself. Right towards the stairs I was aiming for.
This child, can she actually understand what I’m saying?
Tightening my grip around her neck, I gave out an order as a test, and Unicorn immediately picked up speed. *Taka Taka Taka* her hoofs clacked against the stairs as she took them ten steps at a time. This is truly amazing. Even giving it my all I can only go up stairs two steps at a time at most……why, I shouldn’t be thinking about something like that right now.
There were over a hundred ents outside the city walls. And right now, Saluena is out there probably completely surrounded by that pack of monsters. No matter how incredibly strong she is, she can’t overcome those numbers through brute strength alone. Saluena herself had mentioned about how she had lost during the Illyarian War. That’s why she had talked about forming a chivalric order……
But, I arrived at the top of the city walls fully expecting to see some ridiculous scene outside the city that would blow those thoughts away.
“Anego, she really is amazing.”
“Ah, yeah……she sure is.”
Sometimes adventure novels like to use hyperbole to give action a bit of flare. A sword cutting a boulder in half……a powerful strike that causes the ground to shatter…….or something of the sort.
But Saluena, wasn’t mere hyperbole.
Right before my eyes Saluena was felling ents, chopping them clean in half with a single swing of her sword and turning them into nothing more than oversized logs.
But she’s still on her own. With one swing of her sword, she can feel one ent. But if they rush her all at once, it’ll be difficult for her to deal with them……I mean, it’ll probably be hard for her, right?
“Y-You…..who are you!?”
With us causing a stir by suddenly appearing out of nowhere, the bewildered captain shouted at us. But what should I answer with? What’s the best answer to convince these people we’re on their side? While I was arranging the words in my head to formulate the best possible answer, Lapris jumped up and used her wings to hover over Unicorn’s head.
“Please be at ease. I, am an envoy from the Goddess Illya. We have come here to aid you this day.”
“I-It’s a fairy!! And look closely at the horse, there’s a horn growing from its head!?”
“….is that, a unicorn? I’ve never seen one before……”
“Then, you’re really from the Goddess? We, We’re saved!?”
Lapris took on the same poise she had on at the church. When you seal away her terrible way of talking and combine it with her appearance as a fairy, the resulting effect is enormous.
And apparently the fact that we’ve come in riding on a unicorn has greatly contributed to our authenticity as messengers of the Goddess.
“S-So the Goddess didn’t abandon us after all…….”
The captain gave Lapris a salute followed by every other soldier around him.
“Ah, Iris-chan. I overheard that you are an envoy from the Goddess…….is that really true?”
Marcus-san came running up the steps out of breath in order to report that the gate had been fully closed.
“……..yes, it is.”
It’s true that the Goddess sent Lapris here, and it’s also true that we came here in order to deal with the ents.
“We’re here to fight too. In order to protect the town I was born and raised.”
So I nodded, answering with conviction in my voice.