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“Oi oi, are you serious?” (Dokora)
Dokora showed a surprised expression in front of the knights that appeared, but soon changed into a smile.
“Young lady, are you the leader of this unit?”
“That’s right.” (Ilias)
“Is the guy that found this place here right now?” (Dokora)
“…I found it.” (Ilias)
“Don’t lie, Knight-sama! I can tell just by looking. You are an utterly straight-laced knight. Do you think such a person would be able to go ahead and block the assumed escape route on the premise that the enemy will escape while her comrades are fighting? You can’t, right?!” (Dokora)
“I can tell that. The one that sniffed out this place isn’t someone like you guys whose sustenance is pride. It is someone who knows our way of living.” (Dokora)
Hmm, that man called Dokora…rather than calling him someone with a fast brain, it is more like his sense of smell is outstanding.
I would say it is the sense he has won through blind belief of his experience.
“Hey, let me talk to that guy. If you do, I will deal with you guys properly. They are hiding, right?” (Dokora)
Dokora was looking around.
—No choice but to come out here, huh.
Ilias-san told me I definitely should not come out, but I would like him to avoid directing his attention to his surroundings.
“Cara-jiisan, I leave the rest to you.”
“Yeah, be careful out there.” (Cara)
I stood up, pushed my way through the bushes, and showed up in the open place.
I stopped Ilias-san who seemed like she wanted to say something.
“So you are going to fight without running away, huh. I don’t mind tagging along with this talk of yours. You will protect me if anything happens, right, Ilias-san?”
“Also, this is necessary.”
I whisper the last part, so Dokora doesn’t hear.
And then, I stand right by the side of Ilias-san and face Dokora.
This conversation for Dokora isn’t to buy time. It is an action led to satisfy his own curiosity.
This is something necessary for us too. That said, he is not someone we can smooth things over with.
I shall respond freely as well.
“Hooh so you are the one. You don’t seem like a fighter.” (Dokora)
“That’s right. I am confident in being the weakest one out of everyone here.”
“Nice, I like that defiant attitude. But are you really the one? Can I ask you a few questions?” (Dokora)
“How did you find the hideout of Gidou?” (Dokora)
“I got lost in the mountain and coincidentally found the cave. That’s all.”
“—Seriously? The possibility I immediately scrapped? Well, miracles and coincidences do happen at least once.” (Dokora)
So he is careful enough to leave coincidences at the corner of his mind, huh. I can see surprise, but no shake in his emotions.
Dokora believes in his methods, but he understands they are not perfect. Thus, he prepares the next move and the move after that.
He is a meticulous guy. In that case, the chances are high that he has a countermeasure for this current situation.
“The next question. How did you make them spill out the information?” (Dokora)
“I assumed necromancy was involved since they were fearing even their life after death.”
“That part is fine. Even if that may be far from related to knights, there might be ones in the clergy that would be able to come up with that conclusion after all. What I am asking is how you made them talk?” (Dokora)
“I had their executions delayed until the necromancer was dead. 3 at most.”
“—I see. So I should have said it can be used on the living too?” (Dokora)
“If you could actually show it. Falsehoods create seams.”
“…Last question. With what did you corner me?” (Dokora)
Dokora went silent for a moment.
And then, his mouth warped in amusement.
“Got it, there’s no doubt you are the one. I doubted it at first, but I got my confirmation with those eyes just now.” (Dokora)
“Great to hear.”
“Who are you? You are not a guy that should be tagging along with them, right?” (Dokora)
“How rude. I am a virtuous civilian.”
“A virtuous civilian wouldn’t understand a guy like me.
Or more like, what kind of hellhole did you come from that you would be considered a civilian? What are the bad guys doing?” (Dokora)
I don’t know what to reply with if you say that.
A bad guy is such a wide term. There’s tyrants that leave their marks in history, and also people who leave scars on the heart of just one person.
Those I have only heard about from hearsay, and there’s even those who I have seen with my own eyes and gotten involved with.
I had no intention of talking for a long time here, but how can I transmit this properly…?
“They are doing anything. Anything.”
“Heeh, I see. Black hair, black eyes… It doesn’t seem like you are from the tribe I know… No, wait…” (Dokora)
Dokora seemed to have remembered something and pointed here.
“You are an earthling?” (Dokora)
This guy knows?
What he said was unexpected.
To think the ringleader of the bandits knows about Earth…
But this means it would be troubling if Ilias-san were to kill him…right?
No, could it be that Dokora is also from Earth?
“Looks like I am right. Man, to think there really was one, and that I would meet one in person.” (Dokora)
“I answered your questions, now it is my turn. Why do you know about Earth?”
“There’s no way I wouldn’t know about it in my standing. The necromancy that led my life astray, and the resurrection magic that brought the darkest era in the history of this world…that was the parallel world that gave birth to all of those taboos!” (Dokora)
Looks like the possibility of Dokora being an earthling is out of the window.
I moved my gaze to Ilias-san. Judging from her surprise, she must not have known either.
At any rate, an earthling created resurrection magic. Is that possible?
It is true that, within the history of the world, there exists anecdotes of alchemy and magic that served to create the foundation of fantasy worlds.
In that case, I can’t deny the possibility that such people came to this world before and created this magic that’s called taboo.
However, the magic in the modern era only exists in imagined worlds.
It is hard to believe, but Dokora doesn’t seem to be lying here.
In the first place, there’s no need to lie about this.
“Is there anything else you know about?”
“What, do you want to seal my mouth…just like that time?!” (Dokora)
“I simply want to know.”
“I see. Too bad. What I know is barely the entrance of the abyss. Necromancy is basically like an appendix of this.” (Dokora)
“If you really want to know, research it yourself. It is enough as a starting point, right?” (Dokora)
Saying this, Dokora unsheathed the knife on his waist.
“I have seen something nice. I am doomed as a business, but the sourness in my stomach has lowered. Thanks.” (Dokora)
Ilias-san stepped forward, wary about Dokora taking a battle stance.
We are done talking here, huh. I honestly wanted to continue talking for a bit more, but it can’t be helped.
I have fulfilled my objective here. Now all that’s left is to believe in them.
“Now, you guys, they have a biiit more people than us! Moreover, they are a lot more dangerous than the knights of before! That’s why, hang on for a biiit, okay? I will make an undead out of any coward!” (Dokora)
Their morale is high compared to the bandits of before, and they don’t fear the knights.
They escaped from the encirclement because they could escape, and they are trying to face us here because they have no choice but to.
I can tell by looking at their faces. Contrary to the bandits that feared necromancy, these guys have pure trust on Dokora.
They are enjoying the life they have right now.
They are bad guys, but I felt a bit jealous of them.
If the person I met first wasn’t Ilias-san but Dokora…no, I shouldn’t be imagining such ‘if’ scenarios.
I have to concentrate on protecting myself in this melee.
“Where should I stay, Ilias-san?”
“Don’t move from there. We will definitely protect you.” (Ilias)
There’s nothing I can do. The only thing I was told was to believe.
That’s quite the tall order here.
The bloodthirst of the bandits is directed here as well.
Enemies that can easily kill me are aiming to attack at this very moment.
This fear doesn’t lose to the time with the bear and the slime.
No, there’s fears that can be felt exactly because they are humans as well.
I bite my left sleeve to calm down the trembling of my jaw.
The strength of that bite was more than necessary because I was beginning to lose my calm here.
However, the pain on my arm was barely managing to keep my heart tranquil.
“Then, let’s go!” (Dokora)
Dokora threw the knife this way.
Ilias-san smacked that down.
There’s two knives stabbed on the ground?!
He only threw one just now… A hidden knife.
A projectile attack where he hid a small knife in the shadow of a bigger knife. I didn’t feel a single sign of it in his motion.
Ilias-san being able to smack away such an attack is reliable.
The bandits scattered with that throw of the knives, and a melee began in the surroundings.
Even in the eyes of a novice like me, I could tell that the knights of the Ragudo Division are superior just like before.
But the overwhelming difference here is the movements of the bandits.
They wouldn’t pursue more than necessary and be defeated by a counterattack.
They were keeping each other in check, and didn’t attack carelessly.
Dokora also took out a new knife and began fighting Ilias-san.
His movements far surpass that of the other bandits.
He might even be as strong as the knights in the Ragudo Division.
Two knights came close to me to protect me.
If they were to use these members for an offensive, they would definitely win, but the weak point of this is that there’s an out-of-place civilian here that would die in an instant if targeted.
I was grateful for them while being fully aware I am being a hindrance.
“Haha, you are strong, young lady! You rarely see someone as strong as you even in Gahne!” (Dokora)
Dokora was fending off the slashes of Ilias-san with sweat on his forehead.
He is skillfully deflecting the sword rush that would take away the arm holding the knife if he were to take it on.
That pressure must be intense for the one-armed man.
In contrast, Ilias-san isn’t sweating at all. It doesn’t even seem like she is having fun in this battle.
She is just silently swinging her sword and cornering him.
“You have good technique, but it is a shame that you are mute. Let’s enjoy this more. Isn’t this the perfect opportunity to clear away the grievances of your training-ridden life, you know?” (Dokora)
“I have no obligation to entertain you scoundrels! And have no intention to either!” (Ilias)
“Kaaah! What a boring woman! I would prefer laying in bed with that man over there ten times more than you!” (Dokora)
Don’t say stuff that makes me feel chills on a different meaning.
But the balance of that exchange of blows was slowly crumbling.
“I see. I now get how you can call yourself the leader of these guys despite being so young and being a woman. My arm is going to break anytime soon.” (Dokora)
Dokora appealed to the fatigue of his arm in a really blatant manner, and then swiftly threw the knife he was holding.
Ilias-san smacked that away without changing her expression at all.
“Well, me being able to enjoy it to this degree with my skills should be enough. Allow me to use my trump card here.” (Dokora)
He took out a new knife. The blade is different from the ones until now -an ominous black.
Ilias-san must have felt something from that knife too, she readjusts the grip on her sword.
“Hmm, your perception is also top tier, young lady. But don’t worry, this is not to use on you.” (Dokora)
Saying this, Dokora raised his arm high and…
“This is how you use it!” (Dokora)
Threw it straight up into the sky.
The knife reached a point where it couldn’t be seen with the naked eye, and exploded.
A dark mist began to spread at an astonishing speed and was descending.
The battlefield was covered in a black mist in an instant.
“Set a barrier on him!”
The same time as this was shouted, my body was wrapped in what seemed like a light film.
It seems like the knight by my side has used some sort of magic on me.
The vision turned slightly darker.
It doesn’t look like it is something to steal away vision. The fact that they have set a barrier must mean it is poison? No, maybe it is that.
“Ooh, nice decision. It is pretty harmful for people with no mana after all.” (Dokora)
“Keen eye. That said, it is not like I used necromancy. That knife was infused with the mana created from necromancy. Ridiculous amounts of it. That’s why the magic seal stones you guys have are pointless.” (Dokora)
As expected from a guy that utilizes magic seal stones unsparingly. It seems like using magic while slipping through the special traits of it is right up his alley.
Why did he use necromancy here? In order to reutilize the corpses of his comrades?
I direct my gaze to the surroundings.
There’s bandits who have already died, but there’s no signs of them moving.
The other knights and Ilias-san must be thinking the same thing.
They are not forgetting to be wary about the corpses even within the intense battle.
“Aah, this is different from the one I used to increase the undeads for escaping. This is the correct way of using necromancy. One to control the undead!” (Dokora)
A scream was raised somewhere.
It wasn’t from the bandits or the knights.
In that case, this means…
“Be careful, we are surrounded!”
A hand creeped out from the ground.
It reminds me of that one scene in a movie.
The classic scary scene where zombies crawled out from their graves.
By the time we realized what was happening, the 30 knights that were surrounding the 20 bandits were now in turn surrounded by more than 50 undead.
“These guys move according to my mana. They are not like your regular weaklings that simply rampage. They are pawns that faithfully follow my orders.” (Dokora)
The undead are brandishing weapons.
Armed undead that obey their summoner.
And then, a remarkably bigger undead jumped out from deep in the forest.
The giant undead roared. I have seen it before.
The boss of the bandit gang we defeated the other day. If I remember correctly, it was Gidou.
He is carrying a greatsword that doesn’t lose in size to the stone hammer the other day, and began to charge towards Ilias-san.
“Aah, this guy was exemplary as material after all. Also, he seemed to hold a grudge against you guys.” (Dokora)
Ilias-san took on the greatsword that was swung with those strong arms of his.
It seems like she managed to block it, but the pressure of the blade went through the body of Ilias-san and created cracks on the ground.
He is far faster than the last time I saw him, and stronger.
The arms of Gidou explode from the recoil of using power that surpasses the limits of his body.
But those arms regenerate in the blink of an eye.
This is an undead… It is not only a corpse that moves, but the worst kind of soldier that can continue fighting endlessly.
We are being surrounded by such enemies. I can’t feel distress from the faces of the knights, but the tension has increased.
“I see, this would warrant a bit of sympathy.” (Ilias)
She swung her sword as she said this and severed the head of Gidou.
But Gidou began to regenerate.
“Now then, judging from your gear, it doesn’t seem like you have holy weapons that have been baptized. What are you going to do now, knight-samas? You can run away, you know? We don’t chase after the ones that leave.” (Dokora)
“What a joke. They simply don’t die. What is there to fear about that?”
Even when facing the bandits turned undead and the bandits that have begun to fight back, the knights were still not being pushed back.
“We are the strongest knight division of Taizu led by Lord Ragudo! Don’t think we will falter just from this.”
“Ooh, that’s impressive. But how long will that energy last?” (Dokora)
Dokora had a refreshing face in front of the knights that were releasing fighting spirit.
I can understand that composure of his.
Even if they can exchange blows with the undead, that’s all they can do.
The enemies are regenerating one after the other, and the bandits were doing sneak attacks at important points with deft movements.
The ones at a disadvantage in this drawn battle are us.
We need to consider escaping as one of our options.
“If we defeat the caster—”
“Unfortunately for you guys, I have already given the order. As long as my mana exists in this area, these guys won’t stop even if you kill me. I have no intentions of letting you kill me though.” (Dokora)
What an unbelievable pain in the ass.
If Maya-san were here, we might have had a way to deal with this, but she is not.
I confirmed beforehand, but there’s no one in this Ragudo division that has countermeasures for necromancy. They are all muscle-head gorillas.
I think about whether there’s anything I can do currently.
But I lack way too much knowledge about necromancy.
These undead are moving through the mana filling the surroundings.
Magic seal stones have no effect here. This means we currently have no method to undo this.
The actions we can take right now are to move away from here or do something about the mana filling the place.
But there’s a massive amount of magic seal stones in the surroundings. There’s no option of managing something with magic.
We should retreat here and corner them again—
“I see, so we just have to do something about this annoying mana, huh.” (Ilias)
Ilias-san lowered her waist deeply and took a stance.
The sword she is holding begins to shine.
“I won’t let you use magic!” (Dokora)
Dokora scatters magic seal stones around Ilias-san. Just how many is this guy carrying around?
But the light of the sword wasn’t disappearing and continued increasing its potency to a degree where it was dazzling.
“It is not magic?!” (Dokora)
“All members, jump!” (Ilias)
At the same time as Ilias-san shouted, my body floated in the air. One of the knights had carried me and jumped.
How can this old man jump more than 5 meters while carrying a person?!
Ilias-san did a horizontal slash just when I was shocked by this.
A massive amount of light was released as she did this, blowing away the black mist, and the undead and bandits that didn’t manage to get away in time were sliced apart by an invisible slash.
I choked on the impact of the landing and checked the surroundings while on the verge of a coughing fit.
Not only the open space that has become a battlefield, even the trees around collapsed.
The undead that were caught by this changed into pieces of meat and didn’t regenerate.
Dokora, who jumped on the moment, showed an agitated face for the first time as he landed.
“What unbelievable brute force, oi. You actually blew it away with one swing by charging up a whole ton of mana.” (Dokora)
It was a really gorilla-like method. I covered my opened mouth with my hand.
Ilias-san directed her blade towards Dokora.
“Looks like they won’t be regenerating anymore. If you have any other cards, you better use them quickly.” (Ilias)
“I will take you up on that offer then. This is the one thing I didn’t want to use though.” (Dokora)
Dokora took out a black ball as he said this.
Don’t tell me it is another one of those mana infused items?
“There ya go!” (Dokora)
Dokora smashed that ball onto the ground.
Thick smoke began to cover the area.
Wait, a smoke grenade?!
“You are running away, you coward?!” (Ilias)
“Of course I am, you innocent fools!” (Dokora)
Dokora turned tail and tried to leave…but collapsed in place.
A spear thrown from even further than the collapsed trees blew up both of the legs of Dokora.
Cara-jiisan was looking over here with a proud face from where the spear was thrown from.
Ilias-san was also making a shocked expression at this.
“…Aah, do you have no honor, knight-sama?” (Dokora)
“It wasn’t an order from her. It was a plan of ours here.”
I speak to Dokora. He moved his gaze at me.
That expression of his was extremely calm.
“So this was your intention from the very beginning.” (Dokora)
“You escaped once. I thought you would create an opening and try to escape this time too.”
“Of course you would. That was well timed.” (Dokora)
“I did fabricate a moment where you would feel certain you could escape after all.”
—Just as planned.
That’s right. This attack alone was coordinated with Cara-jiisan only.
I simply told Ilias-san this was preparation for when they escape, and got this secretly from Cara-jiisan.
I told Cara-jiisan that Dokora will eventually try to escape, and had him maintain his spear in position to throw it at any moment.
The reason why I stopped hiding and showed myself was because I wanted to avoid the risk of Dokora finding Cara-jiisan by checking his surroundings.
Even if it was a pure surprise attack, the blindspot of this being performed by a knight gave this the chance of succeeding.
However, I didn’t know just how strong Dokora was, so I took a method that would increase the success rate.
The instruction I gave Cara-jiisan for when he will be throwing the spear was this: “Please aim for the moment when someone curses at Dokora once he begins escaping.”
It ended up being Ilias-san who said it, but if no one said it, I planned on doing it myself.
Dokora must have felt certain of his escape when he heard our criticism.
This includes confirming the success or failure of taking action at critical junctures, and evaluating it.
Even if I was paying attention the whole time, the precision would decrease to a certain degree.
Dokora would have to be satisfied the moment his own plan succeeds as someone who believes in his own abilities.
That’s the biggest opening we can take advantage of.
I didn’t tell the other knights in order to create that situation.
I believed they would curse at Dokora if he were to try to escape with his underhanded schemes.
“Understanding, huh. You really do get it. I was toyed with to this degree, but I am instead happy about it.” (Dokora)
“Is that so.”
Dokora must have thought the same thing, he sighed and laughed.
“We might have ended up getting along nicely.” (Dokora)
“We might have. But it is not to my taste to take away the lives of people from pillaging.”
“You would get used to it soon enough. I assure you.” (Dokora)
“Then, I will be careful not to take the wrong path.”
“Yeah, that would be great.” (Ilias)
Ilias-san walked here from behind with sword in hand.
“—There’s a map in my possession. There’s also a number of bases that only I know of. Check the hardest to find base. It is a parting gift.” (Dokora)
Dokora laughed. The sword held by Ilias-san was already not in his eyes anymore.
“I am impressed that you can laugh.”
“Can I ask for your name?” (Dokora)
I gave him my name and the sword was swung down.
The mouth of Dokora moved as if speaking my name, but no sound came out, and he smiled once again at the end.