Chapter 11 is here! This one was really long, but I really liked it 😀
So, regarding what I said about the novel not being the same as the manga, this is the point when that difference starts showing for real, and we’re also one chapter away from the end of volume 1!
This chapter was edited by me, so there’ll probably be some mistakes that I haven’t noticed, please do notify me in the comments if you notice any ><
Anyway, here is chapter 11, I hope you’ll enjoy it 😀
The vice commander of the royal guard’s second knight corps ordered the knights arond him.
Although they were on a wide highway, it was too narrow for the 80 knights atop their horses to walk side by side, therefore, they were advancing in multiple rows instead, but in this area, there was a part of the forest that was more open, like a prairie.
In other words, that meant it was possible to circumvent and slip through the knights’ formation.
Besides, the night had already come, and although they were using “Light” magic tools to broaden their field of vision to some extent, nothing could be done about the fact that it was more dark out than during the day, so they needed to increase their vigilance.
There was a possibility that the princess was being supported by some traveling adventurers. According to the reports of some subordinates, those adventurers were capable enough to kill a massive hydra, so the troops could not afford to be negligent in any way.
A report came from one of the knights who had been walking slightly ahead of the others.
【”Vice commander! We’ve found a carriage, and it’s coming right towards here!”】
【”They’re coming here!”】
Tension rose among the knights. What made them the most worried was whether or not that the sleipnirs’ charge would be powerful enough to break through their formation.
Following the vice commander’s instructions, the knights moved in an orderly manner and spread their formation into a semi circle.
This was commonly referred to as the Crane Wing formation, and although it would thin down the defense on the front, it would conversely entice the enemy to advance, only to envelop them and to make it possible to attack them not only from the front, but also from the left and right. Moreover, it would make it impossible for the enemy to slip through from the sides, which made this formation great for ambushes.
At any rate, once the carriage and the sleipnirs drawing it were dealt with, the knights would be able to crush the enemy with numbers.
【”Aim for the hoofs! We only have to stop them from moving!”】
There were many people among the royal guard’s knights who could use magic, and they had prepared bows and arrows as well. Their preparations were perfect.
Following the vice commander’s orders, all the knights readied themselves to attack.
But right before the carriage entered the range of the magic spells, something came down from the sky and knocked against a knight who was in the front.
The knight instinctively looked above him, and although he could not see much in the dark of the night, there seemed to be some kind of large bird in the sky.
And the moment he thought about checking the object that had hit him, bot h that knight and his horse blew up.
The object that had fallen from the sky was an ‘Explosion’ magic stone.
Following that, there were multiple other explosions, and some other magic stones kept coming one after the other from the carriage that was facing the formation.
There were so many of these stones that it was more appropriate to say they were being sprinkled rather than thrown, moreover, they were being aimed precisely despite the long distance separating the coach from the knights.
But there weren’t only explosions, there were also pillars of fire rising to the sky, storms of ice freezing the knights, tornadoes which were cutting everything to pieces, and there was even a toxic mist spreading in their formation.
Due to the explosions and the heat in the air, even the knights’ trained horses were falling in a panic and becoming hard to control.
【”H-how is this possible?!”】
Yelled one of the knights, and that feeling was shared by all the other knights as well.
They had not been careless nor had they looked down on their opponents, but Kyle and his groups had gone completely against those knights’ calculations, or rather, they had gone against common sense itself.
In total, the stones that Kyle and his companions had used were worth around a million Gadors, the fact that the group had so many magic stones on them was completely unimaginable.
Although the knights were also firing spells and arrows, they could hardly see anything due to the lights and the cloud of dust that had come after the explosions. So they could only fire their attacks while making an approximate guess about their target’s position.
【”Everyone, don’t break the formation! Dismount your horses!”】
As the vice commander desperately gave instructions to his subordinates, the magic stones continued to come towards them.
Then, the moment he thought he saw huge hooves come out of the cloud of dust and approach him, the vice commander was blown away and lost consciousness.
【”How can I say this… That was incredible.”】
Said the princess while feeling partly amazed as she watched the scene of chaos that the carriage had just left behind.
Kyle, Urza and Seran, who had been outside, had received some minor injuries due to splinters. Therefore, they once again entrusted the driving to the maid Aluka, and they came back inside the carriage to rest and drink magic medicine.
The sleipnirs were also given magic medicine to recover from their wounds, and although the coach had some traces of burns here and there, it was still able to go forward at the moment.
【”Forcing your way through by using the cumulated power of a large amount of power stones was clever. It was simple but it went quite smoothly.”】
The first shot from the sky had not alerted the enemy at all and had been a success, then, Urza was able to precisely throw the magic stones one after the other by commanding her wind spirit, Sylphide.
【”You can do some awesomely crazy things when you don’t care about spending money.”】
Said Seran, as he recalled the scene from before, when he had been on top of the carriage, activating the magic stones to then hand them to Urza.
(In the end, Zentos really did not show up.)
Kyle felt from the bottom of his heart that his companions and him were very lucky. In the first place, if Zentos had been there, it wouldn’t even have been possible to break through the enemy formation in such an absurd way. The Zentos that Kyle knew would have been able to instantly kill both of the sleipnirs, even in the middle of all of that chaos.
The truth was that, for various different reasons, Kyle absolutely did not want to fight against Zentos.
【”Well, anyway, we can be a little relieved now.”】
There had probably not been that many casualties among the knights, but many of their horses should have been incapacitated. Even if they were to reorganize their troops to chase after Kyle’s group, that was likely going to take some time, and their numbers would have considerably decreased by then.
All that was left for Kyle’s group to do now was to keep going forward, to sometimes lower their speed so that the sleipnirs would not collapse, and to give them some stamina recovery magic medicine.
There could be some more ambushes from that point forward, but Sildonia would be able to warn the group ahead of time.
However, naturally and as they expected, things did not keep going so well for long.
When the light of the sun started coming from the east, close to the middle of the highway that led to Archen, the carriage that Kyle’s group had been ridding was lying toppled on the ground by the side of the road.
【”Guess it was too much after all.”】
Said Kyle with a bitter tone, as he looked at the coach’s broken wheel.
The coach had likely been damaged when it broke through the knights’ formation. Rather, perhaps it was already good that it had held on until this point.
Fortunately, no one was injured when it fell down, but one of its wheels was completely broken.
【”We can’t do anything about this, we could repair it but that would take a lot of time.”】
Said Seran as he gave up since there was currently no time for this.
【”Now that it came to this, we have no choice, we have to abandon the carriage. Milena-sama, you and your maids should get on the sleipnirs, we’ll have to follow you as we can using Urza’s ‘Wind Walker’ spell.”】
Now that they had come so far, the best choice for them was to keep running away until Archen, but naturally, their speed would now be considerably slower than before.
The problem was the second knight corps that the group had encountered earlier.
Due to the magic stone attack, many of them had surely been rendered incapable of fighting, however, since Urza had not been aiming precisely at the knights themselves, some of them were certainly left unhurt.
The ones who were still able to move around that time had probably reorganized themselves in a group and were likely frantically pursuing Kyle and the others with a burning anger.
The worst situation would be if this new formed group were to catch up when Kyle and the others would be busy fighting against the enemies that could be waiting to ambush them on the way to Archen.
In that scenario, princess Milena, who did not have the carriage’s protection anymore and was the enemy’s top priority target, would be directly aimed at by long-ranged attacks from both the front and the back.
【”We just have to avoid getting caught in a pincer attack, no matter what…”】
Given that there was no time to ponder on the situation, Kyle immediately made a decision.
【”We need to stop the enemies who are coming after us. In other words, one of us has to remain behind to stop them. And since protecting the princess is our top priority… whoever stays will have to deal with them alone.”】
Said Kyle indifferently, but his words did not leave any room for objections.
【”Kyle, don’t tell me you….”】
Urza’s face became pale as she looked at Kyle.
Clever schemes like the ones from before were likely not going to work anymore, this time, the knights were likely going to come at full strength.
And the one who would stay would have to hold all of them back alone.
As Urza complained that Kyle was being reckless, he told her not to worry with a gentle smile, and then…
【”So, with that said, try to do your best!”】
Kyle patted Seran’s shoulder.
Seran found himself unable to say anything.
【”That’s true, Seran is certainly qualified for this.”】
Lize agreed with Kyle’s words.
【”What the hell!?”】
【”Alright, we can’t linger here. Let’s hurry and leave.”】
Lize and the maids promptly started removing the sleipnirs’ harnesses as Kyle instructed them to do so.
【”Hey, listen here! I’m talking to you! You seriously want me to fight 80 knights of the royal guard by myself?!”】
【”No, many of them were probably injured, and, above all, I’m sure a lot of their horses can’t be used anymore. So, there will probably be only less than half of them that will follow us.”】
『Mhm, that’s true, they’re already coming, and there are about 30 of them.』
【”Oh, then it’s fine… Wait, that still means I have to fight 30 knights of the royal guard who are full of killing intent!”】
【”Sorry but we don’t have enough spare time to keep talking about this. They should be really close to here by now.”】
Kyle put his hands on both of Seran’s shoulders from the front, and looked at him face to face.
【”Don’t worry, if need be, I’ll tell master that you were heroic in the end. Anything else you want me to tell her?”】
【”I don’t have any last words for that old hag!”】
When Seran said that, the maids finished the preparations and got on the backs of the sleipnirs together with the princess.
【”Okay, we’re leaving now. Urza, please use ‘Wind Walker’ on everyone.”】
【”Ah, yes… But…”】
Urza was looking at Seran with a conflicted expression on her face.
【”Hurry! I don’t know when they’ll catch up!”】
Urza gave her wind spirit Silphryde an order, and a swirl of wind coiled around the feet of Kyle and the others, making their legs lighter.
【”Aright, let’s go! Seran, I’ll leave them to you!”】
Kyle and Lize each gave Seran one last thumbs up in encouragement before departing.
Urza, princess Milena and the maids all looked back many times over at Seran, but eventually, he became blurry to them in the distance.
【”…Seriously? They really left without me.”】
Seran sighed as he looked towards where Kyle and the others had run away, but there was no time to waste, so he hurriedly started moving.
He entered inside the forest that was beside the road and brought an adequate, long tree branch from there. Then, he took out a the sleeping bag that he was carrying inside the bag on his back, and he skillfully cut it to make a squared and white cloth which he tied to the tree branch.
What he had made was the worldwide symbol of surrender, a white flag.
【”That will do it… wait, they’re already here?”】
On the highway, Seran heard a horse’s neigh that came from the direction of the Sanes village.
It seemed like Kyle’s words had been right on point.
Seran stood up on the carriage, which had been toppled on its side, and waved his flag in order to stand out. Then…
【”I surrender! I have no intention to fight! I’ll tell you everything you want to know so please spare my life!”】
Seran shouted, appealing for the enemy’s mercy.
Ordered the vice commander, whose whole body was still feeling a dull pain despite the fact that he had taken healing magic medicine.
The troops had managed to gather the horses that could somehow still move, and after healing the knights with minor injuries, they had resumed their pursuit.
【”Everyone, get down from your horses and advance, but stay alert!”】
Like they were ordered to, the knights dismounted their horses and dispersed to put a distance between each other as they advanced forward.
If yet another magic stone attack were to be used, the knights would not be able to put up a resistance, and if even more horses were incapacitated, it would become impossible for them to pursue the princess.
But those magic stones were the only attack to look out and prepare for. Normally, the knights would have been more cautious, but they did not have the time for that at all, since, upon the fifth crops’ return, the secret mission given by the king would end in a failure.
But if the second corps’ knights were to get close enough to the enemy, then he would find himself unable to use any magic stones due to the possibility of damaging himself in the process. And so, all of them pulled out their swords and got closer while perfectly prepared for battle.
【”I’m really sorry! Everything that happened was due to Kyle being an idiot, I was just dragged into this! Please forgive me!”】
Seran jumped down from the carriage and greeted the knights by getting down on his knees.
All the royal guard knights, including the vice commander, were slightly bewildered.
They had been ready to fight when they found the carriage, they truly had not expected that the enemy would completely surrender all by himself.
The knights had been ordered to get rid of everyone that was involved in this whole matter. But although they were supposed to kill this enemy directly without talking to him, they could not eliminate him without asking him about their top priority target, the princess.
Moreover, there was a chance that the princess was still inside the carriage that was toppled over, so they first had to confirm that.
【”Please, let me explain what’s going on! The carriage’s wheel broke and it feel down on its side. Right now, the princess and the others have gotten on the sleipnirs and are heading to Archen.”】
Seran started telling them everything before even being asked.
【”They threw me away like I was some kind of sacrifice! That devil, Kyle, told me to stay here and to hold all of you back…As if that was freaking possible! I mean, that’s crazy, right? Oh, don’t worry, we used up the magic stones a while ago, and they don’t have the carriage anymore either, so going at them with your numbers is basically the same as wining! So please have at it!”】
Although Seran was earnestly appealing for the knights’ kindness, there was no change in their sharp, bloodthristy eyes.
Seran became teary eyed.
【”Haha…. Ha… I, hmm… Oh that’s right! I can give you some good information! Here, look at all the money I have!”】
When Seran took his leather bag and turned it upside down, a large amount of dazzling trasures fell down, such as rings stacked with large gems, and gold coins from the Zanes kingdom.
Even untrained eyes would be able to tell that the precious goldl’s worth would well exceed a hunred thousand Gadors, and as expected, the royal guard’s knights became noisy and started exchanging glances with each other.
【”We found this in some ruins. I don’t know if you’ve heard of that legendary Sanguld mountain range, but it turns out that there is a huge labyrinth inside it! It’s thanks to that that we managed to prepare so many magic stones!”】
Seeing that he had excited their interest, Seran kept babbling.
【”I know that place! And I can tell you all about it in exchange for my life!”】
Seran rubbed his forehead on the ground as he prostrated in tears.
Seeing that, the vice commander sighed and then clicked his tongue.
【”Enough! Someone go check the inside of the carriage, we’ll get back to our pursuit after that. As for that man… get rid of him.”】
“We don’t have any more time to waste” added the captain to his order, and the knights took action accordingly.
The men who were the closest the carriage went to check it, while the other knights lowered their weapons and prepared to return on their horses.
Then, a knight who was near Seran approached him with a drawn-out sword.
When the knight took hold of his sword to get rid of the enemy as he was asked to by the vice commander, Seran’s response was to raise his voice like a dying frog, and to retreat back as he was, seeming like he was unable to stand back up.
He restlessly looked at his surroundings, then he focused his gaze on the knight in front of him, and he finally stood up on his knees and clung on the knight’s leg.
【”I don’t want to die! Please spare me! I’ll do anything, please!”】
With a face full of tears and nasal mucus, Seran kept clinging to the man’s leg while begging for his life.
The knight seemed to find Seran to be troublesome as he looked down on him with a gaze that contained some disdain but also a little pity.
And then, he prepared to attack.
【”Hey, are you serious about this?!”】
Urza, who had been continuously worrying in the back for a while, was finally unable to control herself anymore and spoke to Kyle.
【”Serious about what?”】
【”About Seran! Are you fine with leaving him there like that?!”】
【”Oh, that…. Well, even I wanted to keep the casualties to a minimum, but this can’t be helped. We just can’t give our own lives in exchange for that.”】
Said Urza to Kyle, with a voice that did not conceal her anger in the slightest.
【”I understand that you used that man as a sacrificial pawn…. but it doesn’t seem to me like that would earn us much time.”】
Said the princess anxiously while riding on top of one of the sleipnirs.
She was worried that this would, on the contrary, make the situation even worse if Seran were to tell the enemy about the group’s circumstances.
【”Ah, you do not need to worry at all. It will be fine.”】
Told Lize to the princess with a smile on her face.
【”Lize, you too?! How can you stay so calm?! He’s your childhood friend!”】
Urza flared up at Lize as well.
【”Huh? … Oh, I see what’s going on here. So you don’t know, Urza?”】
Said Lize, while thinking ‘No wonder she doesn’t get what we’re saying’.
【”I don’t know? Don’t know what?”】
【”Well… Not only is Seran incomparably stronger than me, he’s actually also stronger than Kyle.”】
The moment the knight was about to slash his sword at the man that he was looking down on and who was miserably begging for his life, there was a clear metallic noise.
Looking at source of the sound, the knight saw a circle of metal rolling at his feet.
That was a so called “Binding bracelet”. Since there was a ‘Gravity’ spell inside, it could quintuple the weight of the person wearing it and it was used on criminals who committed serious crimes. Any normal human would have a hard time walking with it.
But why was there such a thing here? The moment the knight asked himself that question, his whole world shook violently.
【”Sorry about that, but you’re the most competent among all of them, right? That’s why I had to kill you first, no hard feelings.”】
When the knight heard that, the ground rapidly rose towards him and soon filled his field of view. That was the last scene that the knight ever saw, and he died without even realizing that his head had been cut off.
Having witnessed that, the surrounding knights were petrified. Their brains were unable to process that sight which was beyond their understanding.
That man had been crying miserably and clinging to their companion while begging for his life, and then, he had suddenly drawn his sword with a godly speed to cut said companion’s head off.
Just before that happened, the knights’ tension had dropped to the point where they had even lowered their swords. They could not wraps their heads around the scene they had just witnessed, and even though they were veterans of the royal guard’s knights, their reaction was still delayed for a mere instant.
That instant was enough for Seran.
He dashed forward, almost reaching the speed of a hurricane.
He aimed for the knights who were walking towards their horses, and slashed his sword from behind them to quickly force his way forward.
Each of Seran’s slashes was aimed at their vital points. Be it their heads, their necks, or their hearts…. he sliced those parts with a dreadful speed and accuracy, so as to instantly kill the enemies, and he continued to rush ahead.
After six of them were killed, the knights finally drew their swords, but at the same moment, Seran leaped up as if wings had grown from his back.
He jumped so high up over them that he could be said to be flying, and he aimed for the vice commander who was standing behind them.
However, rather than slashing his sword at him, he attacked him with a dropkick in the chest.
After landing, Seran quickly ran after the vice commander, who had been blown away, and he stepped on him while pointing his sword at his throat.
【”All of you, don’t move!!”】
Like a roaring tiger, Seran yelled with a very loud voice which was filled with fighting spirit.
Any faint-hearted person would have lost consciousness just from hearing this.
As one would expect, the knights, who had been about to slash their swords, did not faint, but they still stopped their movements given that the enemy was pointing his weapon at their vice commander.
Seran did not believe that he would able to keep all the knights from taking action by simply holding their vice commanders hostage like this.
All he wanted was to stop the knights from moving for one more moment.
And in that moment, he took a magic stone from his pocket. Naturally, what he had said about having used them all up was a lie.
He threw the stone in the middle of the horses that were behind him.
Following that, an explosion blew the horses away. The ones who weren’t dead or injured were still driven into a state of panic, and ran away in all directions, either taking the highway towards the Sanes village, or going directly inside the forest that was on both sides of the road.
Since Seran was pointing his sword at the vice commander, the knights who were in front of him had failed to make a move and had lost all of their mounts.
At that time, the first knight who had his head cut off and whose body was still gushing out blood like a water fountain, slowly fell down, as if he was finally realizing that he had lost his life.
【”With this, your horses are all gone.”】
Said Seran with a fearless smile.
Seeing that, the remaining knights were struck with fear, like they had encountered a mysterious, unknown creature.
【”Still, I didn’t think I’d manage to beat eight of you with my first assault, that was lucky. Or maybe I overestimated you?”】
That was a direct provocation, but it only served to make Seran appear even more eerie.
Then, before the knights could come to their senses, he started attacking again.
He kicked up the vice commander at his feet, and the man with his heavy equipment flew away if he was a mere pebble.
When the knight at the very front dropped his focus as he hesitated about catching the heavily wounded vice commander, his face was almost instantaneously pierced by Seran’s sword.
【”That man is… strong? Even stronger than you, Kyle-sama?”】
Having been told that Seran was stronger than Kyle, who had defeated a hydra one-on-one, princess Milena was round-eyed with astonishment.
【”That’s not true at all, in my current state…. I should be roughly as strong as him if I use a seIf-strengthening spell.”】
Said Kyle while feeling somewhat grouchy due to Lize’s words.
【”Seriously!? As strong as Seran!? When did you become that strong?”】
It seemed like Lize’s reaction was one of genuine surprise.
【”Ah, but obviously, if we were to start a combat, I’m sure he would forbid the use of magic… and I’m also sure it would be a very harsh fight.”】
The mere thought of such a fight made Kyle feel bad from the bottom of his heart, and that was visible on his face.
【”Ho-hold on! What in the world are you two saying?”】
Said Urza, seeming like she was unable to understand a single thing about the two friends’ conversation.
【”Well, it’s only natural that you can’t imagine this, but when it comes to fighting with a sword, and only with a sword, he’s certainly stronger than me.”】
“I don’t want to admit it but it’s true” added Kyle while sighing at the same time.
【”Seran has no talent for magic, and as a person, his personality is fundamentally rotten. But when it comes to the sword, he’s a rare talent; no, actually, rare is an understatement, there are no adjectives to express exactly how talented he is. Besides, he’s not letting that get to his head, and he’s constantly putting great efforts into forging his talent without being negligent. So, yes, if you compare our mastery of the sword only, he’s a genius who’s far beyond me.”】
Leila, who was Kyle’s master in the art of the sword, had told him that he was a talent that was seen only once in a hundred years.
But when it came to Seran, her son: “He’s the kind of talent that only appears once in a thousand years, no, maybe only once in history, there have never been anyone as talented as him, and there probably won’t be anyone else like him in the future” That was what Leila had said.
“Why do I have to teach him when I know full well that he’ll become way stronger than me anyway even if I let him train by himself? This is the worst, it’s so stupid.” That was how she used to lament, but she would still reluctantly teach the sword to Seran despite her complaints.
【”He often goes off alone to wander aimlessly, doesn’t he? Well, at those times, he usually goes to train his sword skills by himself. Though he’s helpless when it comes to everything else, he’s proportionally diligent when it comes to the sword.”】
【”That’s certainly true. But he has lost some important human qualities in exchange for that, hasn’t he?”】
It wasn’t clear whether the two were praising or insulting their childhood friend.
Kyle recalled that he never won any mock sword fight against Seran.
But as Kyle had said to Lize, if he were to use magic to strengthen himself, then he would likely be just as strong as Seran, and perhaps he would even able to gain the upper-hand if he fought him, although that would not apply against the strength that Seran had during the battle with the demon king.
However, at present, if they were to fight with their swords only, then there would be no contest. Kyle was quite conscious about that difference in their abilities.
Besides, Seran’s sword skills were not the only reason he was a strong, or rather, a troublesome opponent.
Due to his personality, he could do absolutely anything for the sake of his goals, because he did not have any pride and so he wasn’t concerned about using unfair or cowardly methods when necessary.
And that made him an efficient fighter.
【”But…. That doesn’t show at all in his behavior. If he’s that capable, how do you explain his usual attitude?”】
Urza was still not convinced.
【”… Would anyone ever be cautious of Seran when looking at the way he usually behaves?”】
Kyle’s words sent a chill down Urza’s spine, like a block of ice sliding down her back.
【”Surely you don’t mean that…. Seran’s usual behavior… is all just an act?”】
Upon seeing Seran behave in such a way when meeting him for the first time, anyone would make the mistake of ignoring him and making light of him.
In fact, Urza herself had made light of him, and even though she had been around him for a while, she had never seen through his true capabilities.
Had she fought him, she would probably have been killed instantaneously. If his usual attitude was nothing but a calculated facade, then….
A feeling resembling fear ran up Urza’s back.
【”No, I think that only half of his attitude is an act, and the other half is his true nature.”】
Said kyle briefly, and Lize followed up.
【”In the past, I also used to think that it was only half of it, but recently, I’m actually starting to think that 90% of it is his true nature.”】
【”….That true. In the end, I think he got that personality from birth.”】
【”Oh, so that’s what’s going on. That’s a relief.”】
Urza was somewhat reassured.
while thinking of the battle that was likely taking place around this time, Kyle looked behind him.
【”Most of the royal guard’s knights are just following orders. I didn’t want them to be killed if possible.”】
Since there were 30 of those knights, Seran was likely not going to be able to afford to hold back.
Moreover, he would never forgive someone who came at him with a weapon and killing intent.
Seran and the royal guard’s knights were confronting each other.
There were already only eight people left standing among the knights; in total, more than twenty of them had been sliced by Seran’s sword.
It was unimaginable that the power of those mighty sword swings was coming from Seran, whose body did not differ much from an ordinary person’s. His slashes could cut through everything, be it the enemy’s swords or the armors they were using to protect themselves.
And those attacks were sharply and accurately hitting the knights’ vitals. To defend against this, they had no other choice than to dodge very skillfully.
The difference in strength between the knights and Seran was akin to the difference between a cat and a tiger.
Nevertheless, those were still thirty of the country’s best knights. So, as one would expect, Seran was not left uninjured. He had some wounds here and there on his body, and he was somewhat running out of breath.
Initially, Seran had taken control of the battle’s pace and was able to manipulate it to his advantage, but the knights, who had regained their spirits, were well coordinated, and they were making the best out of their advantage in numbers as they fought.
(As expected of the imperial guard’s knights, they’re damn persistent. Even now, there is still some life left in their eyes. But….)
After thinking that, Seran sighed and spoke up.
【”What a drag.”】
He said while relaxing his body.
【”Let’s end things here.”】
Said dubiously one of the knights who had survived.
【”I told you at first, didn’t I? My role is to hold you back here. Slaughtering you all is not my goal. Your horses are gone and you’re out of time. At this point, there is no way for you to catch up with the princess… In short, I don’t have any reason to fight you anymore.”】
Having said all that, Seran put his sword back in its sheath and turned his back on the knights.
The knights were astonished by this. But even though that moment should have been a good opportunity for them to attack, they could not picture themselves killing him at all, on the contrary, they could vividly picture themselves getting killed by a slash of his sword instead.
【”Of course, it’s a whole other story if you say that you still want to fight, but you should be well aware of how powerful I am. I won’t chase after you if you just leave though.”】
The knights were not afraid to die on duty. However, that did not mean they were willing to die in vain.
As Seran had said, their mission had already basically failed. It would be meaningless for them to give their lives here.
【”If you’ve made up your minds, you should hurry and do it. Your vice commander over there is still barely alive, and there are some other fellows that you’ll be able save if you hurry up. I do have some healing magic medicine, but I have no obligation to share it with you.”】
Seran distanced himself from the knights and entrusted his back to one of the trees in the forest by the side of the road. Then, he showily started drinking his healing magic medicine.
Afterwards, having likely made their decision, the knights exchanged glances with each other before taking action.
Two of them used their shoulders to support their vice commander, and the other knights who were still breathing were also carried.
At that time, the knights had not dropped their guards and were still watching Seran, but once they felt like there was absolutely no way he would be able to chase after them, they left the scene.
Before long, they had taken a considerable distance away from him, and the moment when all of the knights started running towards the town of Archen―― Seran started running without making a sound and he threw his last magic stone at their backs.
The knights were blown off by the explosion, and before the resulting cloud of smoke could dissipate, Seran kept running and using his sword to skillfully finish off anyone who was still breathing.
【”Sorry, to be honest, I was already set on not letting anyone escape from the start. One of you seemed like he was about to run away for his life soon due to fear, so I had to put on a little act.”】
Said Seran while using his sword to deal a finishing blow to the vice commander, who he had kept alive to the very end so as not to have to go through the trouble of chasing after the other knights.
【”You guys already know about the treasures we found in the Sanguld mountains. Those treasures are probably one of Kyle’s important lifelines, so on the off chance that you’ll leak that information, I can’t let you go.”】
If Lize had been here, she would have retorted with “But you’re the one who went and told them about that”, but Seran was actually being very serious, he had not done this to mock his opponents.
Telling the enemies about the treasures so as to make them drop their guard, then silencing those same enemies because they had heard about the treasure from him, to Seran, each of these individual actions were completely natural and even necessary.
【”Hah~…. I’m beat.”】
After carefully confirming that he was the only man who was still alive in the perimeter, Seran sat down.
He had just put his life on the line to take on 30 knights of the royal guard all by himself. His stamina and injuries might have recovered thanks to the magic medicine, but mentally, he was exhausted.
【”I’ve done my part here, so you better not fail over there.”】
He muttered while directing his gaze towards Archen.