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The Traitor of the Hero Party
Chapter 5 A town near the border
The hero party left the capital and headed towards the demon territory.
It takes about 3 days to reach there from the capital on a horse. They had almost crossed that distance and were now near the country border.
"There, I can see it."
A wall could be seen towards the way Alf pointed his finger. To gather all the necessities including food, they decided to stop by the town which was nearest to the border.
And that is the town… No, it would be better to call it a fort.
The name of this town surrounded by walls situated in the middle of the shortest route to the demon territory is "Agnim".
The walls reached heights of 15m and it had an outer moat. There were two gates which were tightly shut during nighttime. It was almost like a castle.
On top of that, it was located on top of a hill which let it utilize the catapults set up on the walls to their fullest. It was what could truly be called an iron fortress.
By the way, half a year ago when they were entering the demon territory, they had to take a big detour to avoid alerting the demons. But as they were in a hurry when returning, they chose to stop by here.
"Agnim is the second largest city after the capital after all. We can get everything we need here so we could come all the way here with light equipment."
"True. And not only that, we can also gather information here."
"Yep. The info we could get before was so low that we were forced to a halt inside the demon territory last time after all. Who would have thought such demons would be at such a place, huh?"
"I know, right?"
Alf and Edal were lively talking about the last time they went in.
The last time they went in, due to the lack of information they had, they couldn't do anything for days.
"Once we get in the town, Hak and Lulu, Edal, Sharon and me–we will gather information separately. That was what we talked about. No need for changes, right?"
Alf asked, looking at Sharon, Hak and Lulu in order.
As everyone nodded to that, they galloped once again at high speed towards the town. If everything goes according to plan, they will have departed Agnim tomorrow and head towards the demon territory.
For that, speed was of essence.
"Come on, Hak, let's go~. It seems like it might rain too."
Sharon and Edal were already galloping behind Alf.
Lulu was also getting impatient to chase them. But the reason she wasn't doing it was because she thought of herself to be Hak's guardian.
"Ah, yes. Let's go."
Hearing Lulu say that it might rain, Hak looked up to find that the sky was indeed cloudy. He nodded and they chased after the rest as well, aiming for the town near the border, Agnim.
"Haaak~! There next!"
"Wait a little, Lulu."
Lulu ran merrily on the streets of Agnim. Unlike the beautiful townscape of the capital, Agnim was built mostly with brick and stone–mainly to make it easy for repair and maintenance, prioritizing defence.
Her appearance when she went jumping around, calling Hak, looked like they were siblings from the surrounding. And so Hak also thought at first that that would be easier to blend in with the town.
However, the 'Grave' on her back just gave off too much of a different vibe that everyone who pa.s.sed by looked at Lulu… or rather, stared at her.
"As I thought, we do stand out."
"Hmm? What you talking about?"
"That thing on your back."
"Ah, my partner. Well, it is big after all! With this, I can blow off demons' heads with one swing so it's just the best!"
It seemed like she was saying some quite dreadful things with a smile but this was Lulu's normal behavior.
It didn't seem like it affected Hak much either, he just gave a bitter smile. A bitter smile to the fact that Lulu wasn't gathering information at all.
"You won't gather info, Lulu? Alf did tell us to."
"Hmmphh. He took along Sharon and not me."
She said with a pout.
Looks like she was upset about not being taken along. As expected, young girls would like a refreshing young man like Alf rather than Hak.
"Ah. I see. Sorry you have to stick along with me."
"Riightt? Well, Hak gets bullied real quick if I am not along so it can't helped."
The atmosphere became tense because of a sudden swelling murderous intent.
It seems like Lulu, who had been walking in front, also noticed and looked at Hak.
"To think they would come out in the middle of a town like this… as expected of the town closest to the demon territory, huh?"
"This is bad, isn't it? We need to meet up with Alf and the others."
The presence he felt just now wasn't that strong but it couldn't be called weak either.
At least a higher cla.s.s demon.
"Fufufu. You ran out of luck since you came to me. Now, come out, demon!"
Lulu took her stance with Grave. The people on the streets also started to get noisy wondering what's up but that didn't matter to Lulu.
That was also true for the opponent.
On the large road, a large amount of people walked. But even still, that area was completely empty. As if something was there, everyone avoided that place.
And then, a shadow quietly appeared there.
Wearing a mask as if it was going to a masquerade ball and a characteristic ribbon tie with a crimson brooch, a girl in black and white dress appeared.
At first glance, it does look human but the aura it's emitting is that of a demon.
"Ma.s.sacring a huge amount of demons at that age, Lulu Plan, the bearer of a serious sin."
She spoke with a emotionless detached voice.
It seems that is the voice of the demon girl.
"Aha. Serious sin? You know, there are no rules in the kingdom to be punished for crushing an ant?"
That was what Lulu had been specially taught from an young age.
To Lulu, demons were like insects–no, even lower than that.
"Appearing before Lulu in spite of being an insect? Are you a suicide applicant?"
Different from that voice just before, this time her laugh contained emotion.
Putting the back of her hand on her mouth, she laughed as if to sneer at Lulu.
"You… you have something you wanna say?"
"…..You humans talk as if demons are worthless beings, don't you?"
"And in fact, it is true."
"You know, I like seeing you people, trying to act all tough, become dyed in despair."
"Hmph. What a bad taste. I don't think nothing of insects' faces."
The people formed a circle and looked at the sudden commotion on the middle of the road.
They have no idea how dangerous that was.
"Lulu. There are people around us."
"Don't worry, Hak. It would only take me a moment to send this fly's head flying."
Lulu did say all that but Hak was having a bad feeling about all this from the start.
An indescribable feeling of danger.