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Everybody in Deidona City would likely never forget the nightmare that abruptly appeared that day. It would also likely become an absolutely unforgettable incident for one adventurer staying in the city, Iria Noishtel.
They would likely never forget the day they felt despair, and the day they saw hope.
At sunrise, from the depths of the Koringe gra.s.s field stretching in front of Deidona City, they abruptly came into sight, raising a cloud of dust.
A soldier on the watchtower shouted. If he had fallen asleep as usual, there might not have been time, but perhaps he had felt an omen for some reason, since he wasn't slacking and was doing his job properly today. And driven by fear, he shouted as loud as he could and rang the monster attack bell.
The morning in this world started early. Evening was considered late, so everyone woke up early. But few people woke up quite that early. Everyone got out of their beds with sleepy eyes at the sound of the bell and emerged out of their houses with somewhat uneasy expressions.
It was the sound of the monster attack bell they hadn't heard for several years. The residents headed toward the gate to find out what had happened. But then, the city was protected by stone walls. They were thinking that even if a monster attack was coming, they would be safe as long as they were in the city. But despair was waiting there.
Someone shouted. Everyone was trembling in fear as they saw the scene from the main gate. Hundreds of dragon bears were lined up and headed towards them.
Iria also saw those figures. The red eyed, covered in scales, 2 meter grotesque monsters that could breathe fire had been seared into her memory.
As an adventurer and a magician, Iria could see distant sights with Distant View magic. But this time, that convenient magic only hastened the breaking of her heart.
With a fretful expression, those words of resignation flitted through her mind.
The gate was closed after a short time. People rushed out the back gate to try and escape, but the city had been surrounded by Dragon Bears without them realizing it. It seemed they were also coming out of the woods. If it weren't for the people who tried to run away at the very beginning, they might have noticed too late. If they were slow in closing the gate, it might have been entered. But the destination of each person who couldn't run away and now couldn't return was decided; inside the bellies of the monsters.
The guards closed the gate while blocking out the cries to keep it open. The screams of the women and children would probably stay in their ears and haunt them forever. The screams of the feudal lord's wife and children were among those cries. The shouts and screams like people going mad changed into the roars of beasts before long, and all the guards in that place broke down crying.
And the Adventurers Guild summons bell resounded.
It was likely a compulsory request, but thinking there was probably no choice but to accept, Iria sighed. While it wouldn't result in them surviving what was to come, there was no choice but to do it.
Iria was still wrapped in those gloomy feelings when she reached the square in front of the Adventurers Guild office, and all the people gathered there had faces like they were expecting to die. Iria smiled bitterly when she thought she was probably making the same face. The probability of survival was zero. There wasn't a shred of hope.
The stone walls surrounding the city could be seen even from here, and Iria looked at them.
This city's stone walls were strong enough to withstand Earth Dragons, but they would probably only last a few hours with that number of Dragon Bears as the opponents. The gate was made of wood and iron. Even if it was strengthened by magic, that wouldn't amount to much, and the possibility was high that it wouldn't last as long as the walls.
Moreover, the neighboring cities had probably already been notified, but it would normally take a day for the soldiers and adventurers to make their preparations to come. They wouldn't be able to oppose them without sufficient numbers, and that might take 2 or 3 days. In other words, this city that wouldn't even last a day was already checkmated.
Sobbing voices and angry voices resounded here and there. That was dampening her feelings, so Iria wanted them to stop from the bottom of her heart.
(......I really understand their feelings, though)
After all, she herself also wanted to cry right now. Iria was struck by regret when she remembered that she had yet to convey her feelings to the person she yearned for. The face of the somewhat curt boy who handled magic swords was projected in her mind.
「Naoki-kun. Protect us...」
So Iria spoke the name of the boy who once saved her. When she did so, her companion Ruinz behind her whispered something.
Am I no good?... Iria could hear something like that, but Iria shook her head to herself.
(Sorry, Ruinz. I can only see you as a brother)
She knew he had feelings for her. But even at a time like this, Iria didn't feel like accepting those feelings. That was something that couldn't be helped. There was already another man in her heart.
But as a companion, Iria was prepared to die to protect the friend she considered a brother. That may not be the love that Ruinz wished for, but Iria was thinking she could repay that kind of love. She hoped from the bottom of her heart that they could at least be together in their final moments.
After that, an Adventurers Guild staff member informed them that the Guildmaster, the White Party, and Swordfish were in a nearby town and were right then heading to rescue them. The surrounding adventurers said things like「So what?」
It wasn't like the Guildmaster would be able to do something even if he was there. The White Party name was reasonably well known, and the first thing that spread their name was the『Berserk Ogre Subjugation』where they helped with preparations and battled to save the city. But weren't they simply escorting the prince wielding Minshiana's treasured sword for their famous Black Rock Dragon subjugation? That was shouted by several men. On the other hand, Swordfish was famous in Hyvern. The leader Glorias was a man zealous for righteousness, and many people were moved to tears when they thought he had probably resolved himself to death to come and help them.
The difference was probably the result of their deeds so far. The Guildmaster was famous for his opportunism in a bad way, and the various illicit rumors about the White Party were unending. So that evaluation also probably couldn't be helped. Even Iria had the same feelings as the others there.
Besides, one or two parties coming was a drop in the bucket. What they really wanted was the Hyvern armed forces in the vicinity and Dragon Knights. But they knew they wouldn't come for 1 or 2 days. Nothing could be done. And they also understood that nothing could be done about their lives.
Then the Dragon Bear subjugation request that couldn't not come was given.
I don't want to die. Iria thought so in the silence afterwards. Her tears fell, but the bell announcing the beginning of the battle rang, and Iria wiped them away and took action.
It was time for the beginning of the end. The battle from here on wasn't to protect everybody in the city. Before they themselves were tormented, killed, and eaten, they would fight to decrease the number of victims as much as possible. That alone would become the proof that they had lived. It was that kind of fight.
Deidona City was already holed up under siege. So the beginning attacks were with spells and bows and arrows from on top of the wall.
Dragon Bears were highly resistant to fire, so fire arrows and fire spells weren't very effective. And that didn't mean Ice was effective just because the Fire attribute was strong. Half-baked Ice spells would be melted away by the heat of the Dragon Bears before they caused damage.
As a result, many Lightning attribute spells were released. Among them were Iria's spells. The number of enemies was huge. She would probably hit even if she closed her eyes.
But that didn't mean the enemy was only unilaterally receiving attacks. Dragon Bears could exhale fire breath and fireb.a.l.l.s like dragons. So fireb.a.l.l.s fell incessantly like rain on the stone wall.
Iria forced down her desperation and terror in the middle of that and waved her staff. It seemed like she would vomit from the tension, but she didn't have the leeway.
A magician beside her screamed from the spreading flames. He rolled on the ground like he had gone mad, and he immediately stopped moving after he received cooling magic from the nearby comrades. A Dragon Bear variant called a Dragonfly Bear that had wings had flown up and was rampaging a short distance away. Her comrades were being kicked around like trash.
And the fireball shower from the Dragon Bears didn't stop. Iria desperately chanted spells with a face covered in soot. But it was probably already hopeless. Her comrades were collapsing one by one, and her own Magic Power was about to run out. The gate was burning and would soon be destroyed. A death she couldn't do anything about was imminently approaching.
Ruinz' voice resounded from a distance. When she turned his way, a Dragonfly Bear was approaching her. Ruinz was shaken off by that monster and was frantically looking her way as he tumbled. Then Iria realized.
(......Is this where I die?)
The hands holding her staff lost their strength and fell. Her Magic Power was already exhausted.
And the face of one boy came to mind. Maturity that didn't match his age, though with his contrary parts, and a lonely seeming atmosphere; she thought of that boy and sobbed. And at the moment of her death, she wasn't a warrior, but a solitary girl, and she called his name.
「Save me... Naoki-kun.」
「Leave it to me!」
Then Iria heard an impossible voice. Was it a convenient auditory hallucination before her death? But reality extremely dramatically fulfilled her wish.
A countless number of swords suddenly stabbed into the Dragonfly Bear. Flames vented from the wounds, ice blew violently, and thunder danced. Then a boy sent the monster's head flying for the finishing blow and stood in front of Iria.
Iria looked at him with tears running from her eyes. It was to the degree that she wondered if she had gone mad. Since the boy she had wished for was before her eyes.
「Sorry. I was a little late」
Just like that time, he said that with an expression that seemed uncomfortable.
Then Iria broke into a run and embraced Naoki. She cried the boy's name while weeping. Naoki held that girl tight and stroked her head. In order to rea.s.sure her that she was fine now.
Ruinz made an「Ah!」expression as he saw that situation, but he turned his gaze to the side. He didn't like it, but Ruinz also understood that the boy in front of him was qualified to receive Iria's hug.
And ahead of where Ruinz had turned his line of sight, Emily and Lyle were finally catching up and were respectively making seemingly vexed faces as they watched Naoki and Iria, and he thought (the same as always) with a wry smile. When he realized he was able to smile even though they were still in a pinch, his smile became bigger.
This was probably the turning point. The surrounding adventurers also noticed it. The fireb.a.l.l.s had stopped flying towards them before they realized it. Where were the Dragon Bears looking?
The sound of thunder. A violent, thunderous roar as if it was angry resounded. Naoki kept holding Iria as he slowly pointed his sword past the wall.
And beyond that tip, there was purple lightning...
Name: Yuihama Kazane
Occupation: Magic Swordswoman
t.i.tle: Ogre Killer, Dragon Slayer, High Beast Summoner, Rea King
Equipment: Staff 『White Blaze』, Two Handed Sword『Black Fang』, Adhesion Sword『Gum』, Spell Dagger, Dragonscale Breastplate, Drake Gauntlets, Silver Sheep Clothes, Sylphyn Skirt, Plasma Pants, Dragon Ogre Greaves, Indestructible Cloak, Mysterious Pouch, Crimson Saint Coffin, Heroic Spirit Summoning Ring, Circlet of Wisdom, Aim Bracelet, Magic Acc.u.mulator, White Magic Acc.u.mulator
Level : 31
Magic Power: 205+420
Wisdom : 62
Dexterity : 39
Spell : 『Fly』『Torch』『Fire』『Heal』『Firestorm』『Healer Ray』『High Heal』
Skill : 『Kick Devil』『Warrior's Memory』『Night Vision』『Crushing Blow』『Dog's Sense of Smell』『Golem Maker: Lv3』『Rush』『Fire Principle: Third Chapter』『Healing Principle: Fourth Chapter』『Air Jump: Lv2』『Killing Leg: Lv3』『Fear Voice』『Invisible』『Tiger Eye』『Wall Walking』『Intuition』『Cheat Death』『Nimble』『Charge』『Material Shield: Lv2』『Information Link』『Optical Camouflage』『Dash』『Bloodsucking Blade』『Dragonization: Lv2「Dragon」』『Regenerate』『Soul Breaking Blade』『Stealthy Placement』『Thunder Chariot』『St.u.r.dier Teeth: Lv2「Dragon」』『Crystallization: Lv2「Dragon」』『Fabricated Coercion』『Stone Minotaur』『Mega Beam: Lv2』『s.p.a.ce Expansion』『Pseudo-silver Creation』『Poison Claw』
Kazane:「Well then, let's go!」
Yumika:「Yeah, let's do it grandly!」