──Several days later.
Novem was helping with the work of creating moat using magic.
When she lifted her staff, the ground moved and created ditch outside the outer wall. People entered the ditch, and gave it finishing touch by hitting the ground using tool to harden it.
The repair of the outer wall was progressing a lot within several days, and soon the moat would also be completed. The cause of that was also because Lyle was dividing people into groups and making them competed with each other.
The better group would also be given reward in the form of alcohol and food from the supplies that they bought up.
The amount wasn't much, but due to this the sense of compet.i.tion was budding and the progress of the work became better.
Looking at the working people, there were also the figures of demi-human among them. The pet.i.te gnome or the short but wide-bodied and brawny dwarf could also be seen.
They were the demi-human races who were living in the town as craftsmen.
Novem took a rest.
It was because using magic continuously was forbidden. When there were people who suddenly got wounded, there was only Novem who could deal with it. Because of that, it was necessary for her to preserve her mana.
However, there were also people who didn't think well of that.
A thin man with unkempt hair was approaching Novem.
「Oi, woman! Why the h.e.l.l aren't you working!?」
Novem responded even while feeling exasperated. She didn't show any of her exasperation on her face.
「Using magic tire me. Please allow me to rest for a bit.」
「Who cares! They won't give us the beer if you don't work harder. I want to drink beer!」
Novem thought that someone troublesome was picking a quarrel with her. Around her, there were a gnome and a dwarf approaching. They warned the man.
「Oi, this good-for-nothing. Don't you dare complaining at a hard-worker.」
「Wha, what's with you pipsqueaks! Are you going against your better, a human like me huh!?」
This man must be a known good-for-nothing.
The dwarf was glaring at the man.
「Shut your mouth and return to work. Our group cannot drink beer because you're holding us down. Do you want to get beaten up by everyone?」
When the man looked at his other working comrades, they were glaring at him harshly. His shoulders dropped seeing that and he returned to his work.
The gnome apologized to Novem.
「Sorry miss. That guy is a good-for-nothing who's doing nothing but drinking. Don't pay any attention to that guy.」
The dwarf was also looking apologetic. He seemed to be a moody man, but he was interacting with Novem kindly even though he was looking awkward.
「Anyway we'll punch him to make him quiet, so forgive us.」
「N, no, please don't go that far.」
Novem said that doing that would increase the unnecessary work and she somehow stopped them from beating up the man──.
The town had been improved much for the sake of the battle.
The repair of the outer wall was progressing, and the placement of the traps was also nearing completion.
「Making them to compete improved the result.」
It consumed their supply, but right now speed was the important thing.
『Fanning up their sense of rivalry like this sped up the process. Well, it'll be even better if it also grow the awareness that they're comrades.』
It was the Third's suggestion, and it was the correct action to implement it.
The dawn came and I could see the whole town.
I only felt anxiety when arriving here, but with the wall restored to make it easier to defend the town, it reduced the anxiety of the subjugation force and the townspeople.
While I was staring at the scenery from the building's rooftop, I could hear a voice from below.
「Chicken d.i.c.kwad. I've finished preparing breakfast~. Please eat Monica's, this Monica's breakfast that is stuffed full with lo~ve.」
……This girl was lively right from the morning.
Someone was protesting to such Monica. It was Normsan.
「You~ My breakfast is just bread and soup! Why is it only that guy's breakfast that is luxurious!? Give me the same thing!」
Monica clicked her tongue with a displeased face.
「Just now, you clicked your tongue!」
「What about it? This food is from the ingredients that we brought ourselves. The same food for all those crowds over there is enough for you.」
「I'm the ten-knight squad leader! A squad leader!」
The two who were quarreling right from the morning because of breakfast──or rather, Normsan's thick skin made me felt both exasperated and impressed.
Then, the sharp cry of bird resounded through the nice air of the morning.
『Lyle, it seems they're coming.』
I grabbed the Jewel in respond to the Second's voice.
The map of the surrounding formed inside my head and I was able to check the enemy's number.
「There isn't many. It's not even a hundred.」
『Are they planning to check the situation? Or perhaps, they're planning to measure the strength of the new prey? It's really like griffon to play around like this.』
Far away I could see a hippogriff flapping its wings.
I sounded the set up bell.
──The sound of bell could be heard early in the morning.
*Clang clang*, it resounded noisily and made Lionel woke up. He was just sleeping with people of the same group just now.
「The noise is loud……what's going on?」
He rubbed his eyes and lifted his upper body.
In the end, Lionel was working under Lyle. There was also how all the comrades who came with him chose to follow Lyle, but other than that it was also Lyle who was distributing the food. He wouldn't be able to eat if he didn't work so he had no choice but to obey.
The surrounding was moving around noisily and busily.
The group leader was a subordinate knight of Norma.
「What're you doing! Hurry and prepare to fight!」
Within the group there were the soldiers of the subjugation force and the town's men. Everyone was given a weapon and they were sent to their station.
Lionel was following his comrades with staggering footsteps. During that time his head cleared up.
The sound of bell was still continuing.
「……So the enemy came.」
When he muttered that, he woke up from his sleepiness and he was pulled into reality. He forgot even the winter's coldness and let out cold sweat. The beating of his heart quickened.
The knight yelled.
「Listen, don't go away from your station! You just need to move like in training!」
The surrounding looked worried hearing those words.
「Training, you mean……we only did it for a bit you know?」
「Can we really win in this kind of situation?」
「I, I'm nervous.」
Everyone was uneasy. No matter how much they were told that they could win, no matter how they were told that they would be given money, scary thing would stay scary.
Lionel was also trembling, but he noticed before long.
(E, eh? The enemy isn't attacking?)
He thought that the enemy would come attacking right away, but there wasn't even any sign of it yet.
Someone spoke to the knight.
「Could it be a false alarm?」
But, the knight didn't listen to that opinion.
「Don't talk pointlessly!」
The other group was also gathering. Suddenly, a girl rushed to that place. She had jumped high and came down as though landing from the sky. It was Aria.
Aria's red hair swayed. Her body was wrapped in armor that showed her body line and her hand was holding a spear. The morning sun illuminating her form made her looked sublime.
Her hair that was somewhat disheveled from just waking up and her act of wiping her mouth for some reason were just trivial problem before that.
「Sorry, I'm late.」
The knight replied.
「No, we still have time.」
「Breakfast will also get brought here soon, so let's finish various things first before that.」
Lionel's cheeks blushed. He was unable to take off his gaze from Aria who was talking with the knight.
Lionel whose eyes were stolen by Aria who looked radiant from the sunlight felt like his heart got tightly grabbed──.
The monsters under the lead of a hippogriff came attacking.
Their number was about a hundred.
「It would be great if only we could prepare just a little bit more.」
The Fifth slightly laughed at my hope.
『It's normal for things to not go as you want it. But, you're lucky that you were able to prepare to this degree. In addition, the enemy is sending their force by piecemeal. This is so good you should be thankful instead.』
Rather than suddenly getting attacked by the enemy's whole force, certainly this might be better.
I hurriedly finished my meal and stared at the town from the rooftop.
After I rang the bell several times as decided before, I could hear bell sound from the outer wall. I confirmed that replies came from all four directions before ringing the bell once more.
We were conversing using the number of bell ringing that had been decided beforehand.
A voice came from below.
It was Clarsan driving Porter.
「Lyle-san, we finished the preparation.」
Clarsan who usually wouldn't talk loudly spoke as loud as she could. Even so it still sounded small.
「Please head to Mirandsan's location. The enemy is coming from there.」
I saw off Porter driving away with its engine sound resounding while standing still on that spot.
「……Will it be better if I do something?」
『Stupid idiot. If you're giving instruction then stay where you're firmly. You're going to get busy whether you like it or not anyway later. Even so, the enemy suddenly came to Miranda's position huh……send reinforcement.』
When the Fifth immediately tried to favor Mirandsan, the Second stopped him.
『Porter is already heading there. It's enough with that.』
『I, it's for just in case.』
When the two started retorting to each other, the Sixth also joined next and it became noisy.
──Miranda got into her position and stretched up.
Tension couldn't be felt from her.
Two knights who became her subordinates stood straight and reported to Miranda.
「Captain, everyone is in position!」
「There is no problem!」
Miranda's group that showed brisk and lively movement better than any other groups was undoubtedly the group with highest proficiency among the whole force.
「No need to be that nervous. The enemy is just a hundred monsters after all. For now, attack the enemy from the wall first, and if they charge then let them in.」
「Leave it to us!」
Miranda saw the two knights heading to the position of their subordinates, then she began doing calisthenics.
(Even so for the enemy to suddenly come to my place……it's lucky.)
Miranda was happy that she was able to do rehearsal before the full-scale attack of the monsters.
(But, as expected being able to prepare in advance is rea.s.suring.)
While she was waiting, Porter arrived. Shannon peeked out from the ceiling and stared at Miranda worriedly.
(Good grief, she's lacking tension.)
Miranda acted blind to her own shortcomings, but when the voices of the monsters came she gestured to Shannon to return back inside the vehicle.
Miranda gave instruction in reply.
「Give them a warm welcome.」
The archers fired arrows from above the wall. Although, most of them couldn't handle bow properly. But, they were placed there just to make the enemy hesitated and nothing more.
The monsters found it hard to attack in front of the moat that wasn't there before, the repaired wall, and the archers.
And then, a path was intentionally prepared in front of the gate.
But, when the monsters pa.s.sed through it──.
「They're coming, fire!」
──When they tried to pa.s.s through there, the archers fired their arrows. The monsters got pierced by arrows one after another and fell.
The few people who could handle bow were positioned at the sides of the gate to defeat the monsters effectively.
The hippogriff who was watching that happening from the sky cried, then goblins wearing robe came to the front.
The goblins were holding staff and muttered something in low voice. Then, fire b.a.l.l.s materialized before getting fired over the wall into the city.
Miranda was inside the city. When she sighted those fire b.a.l.l.s, she moved her right hand forward and waved it to the side.
A magic wall of faint light appeared. The magic shield was deployed in a wide range. The fire b.a.l.l.s crashed on the shield and they got deflected before vanishing.
「Unfortunate. We've prepared countermeasure for that.」
Seeing that the attack wasn't going well, the hippogriff above let out a loud voice.
Then, the monsters rushed all at once toward the gate as though they were ordered to attack.
The knight yelled.
Miranda guessed what he wanted to say and lifted one hand.
When she heard the sound of the monsters. .h.i.tting the gate, she swung down her hand.
Then, the gate was thrown open and the monsters rushed in one after another…….
「Yes, thank you for the hard work.」
The monsters were falling into the pitfall right after the gate one after another. The pitfall was lined up with sharpened stakes from the materials of the broken buildings. The monsters were getting stabbed one after another.
Even though they tried backing away, the allies coming from behind were pushing them and they fell.
There were also monsters who stepped on their pierced comrades to crawly out from the hole, but the knights and soldiers stabbed them with spear and they lost their life.
「Mine. They're my prey!」
「MY GOLD COINSSSSS!」
「Where is the next one! The next prey!」
The knights and soldiers were stabbing monsters one after another for money.
Even the monsters flinched back by their fervor. They tried to run away but their back was stabbed.
Miranda looked up to the sky.
「I wonder what it will do next?」
The hippogriff saw Miranda and cried loudly, then it swooped down to attack her.
「Oh, it's unexpectedly simple.」
It was approaching with its front legs spreading out its claws to capture Miranda. Miranda pulled out the short sword hanging on her waist and leaped aside while throwing it. The sword pierced the hippogriff's body.
For the hippogriff that was as big as a horse, it was like being stabbed by a short sword of that size was meaningless. It leaped at Miranda.
Miranda pulled out a new short sword and this time she slashed while they were pa.s.sing each other.
She landed her slash firmly, but the wound was shallow for the hippogriff and it didn't falter.
Perhaps it was underrating Miranda's attack power, because next the hippogriff attacked again to capture her without fail, but then its movement suddenly turned strange.
Its movement was dulling as though it was paralyzed. The short sword was smeared with poison.
「Do you understand now that human is scary? ……But it's unfortunate. There is no next time for you.」
A knight was running toward Miranda. His hand was holding a large axe.
「Captain, I brought it!」
The knights were working respectfully as though Miranda was their superior from the beginning.
「Thank you. ……Then, I'll leave the rest to you.」
The knight approached the hippogriff who was paralyzed and couldn't move. He then raised up the large axe and swung it down with his full strength toward its neck.
After swinging down the axe several times for a while, the hippogriff's head fell.
Most of the monsters were defeated and the gate that Miranda protected was victorious. There were wounded people, but the damage was surprisingly few.
「Now then, it feels like it'll be busy after this.」
Miranda was muttering while staring at the figure of griffon that was observing from afar. The griffon was leaving without doing anything──.
After I confirmed Mirandsan's victory and checked that there wasn't anyone around, I talked to the Jewel.
The Sixth was also greatly satisfied.
『It's a good start. However, how should I say it, Miranda is really strong. I thought she would be more girly. You know, after all she is Milleia's great grandchild.』
The Second was holding a doubt.
『Is that so? Somehow her movement was good, perhaps she has talent for this kind of thing. How frightening. More importantly Lyle, defeat the monsters outside too. Give pursue to them.』
I was going to give the instruction following the Second's words.
But, before that I watched at the direction that I was concerned with.
The griffon was watching this battle with a hippogriff in tow.
「Those guys aren't trying anything.」
『They're observing. That's all. They should be considering this town as prey. They'll surely comes again.』
The griffon and its companion left.
I also had the thought that I didn't want to see them anymore but, it would be troubling if they moved to a different place and rampaged there. If they weren't defeated here, the damage would become increasingly greater.
『Come on, give the instruction quickly.』
Being told that by the Second, I hurriedly called a messenger to send the command.
After that, there was no movement and we returned to normal work.
As for me, I was facing the soldiers who finished fighting with a table between us. It was for handing over the reward.
I didn't think that I would do clerical work right away after the victory.
「That's why, I defeated five. No, it might be seven.」
There were also guys who tried to obtain more money by exaggerating their achievement.
I looked at the list while speaking.
「It doesn't match the number of magic stone we obtained. If you really defeated that many, it means that there are other who is lying in their report.」
When I said that, jeers were flying from the surrounding.
「You didn't go to the front anyway!」
「You dare stealing other people's prey!」
Even so the man kept claiming that he defeated many.
「I did it. I really did it! Give me the money. It's eight gold coins!」
……Wasn't it increasing than before?
I let out a small sigh, then without delay I grabbed the man's head.
I used the Third's Art.
「I'm asking you one more time. Did you really defeat any monster?」
「Eh……aa, I definitely finished off one wounded monster.」
His gaze turned blank and he spoke honestly. Hearing that I prepared one gold coin.
The surrounding looked puzzled seeing that, so I grinned.
「Lies won't work. It's that kind of Art. The next one trying to lie won't get paid so be careful.」
Those who were planning to inflate their achievement in the report just like this guy averted their gaze from me.
Even so, why did I have to pay the reward right away like this?
The Fourth warned me while I was doing my work in dissatisfaction.
『Lyle, don't make a dissatisfied face. Listen well. If you show everyone how you're properly paying their reward like this, then everyone will do their best at the next battle too.』
I continued my work like that, and when I finished paying everyone's reward I became alone.
I was tired so I rotated my shoulder.
「Even so, the gold coin is running out in an amazing speed. War is really taking a lot of money.」
『Eh? Normally you won't need to pay them like this you know?』
The Third replied as though it was only natural.
『This time is a special case. In the first place, if this is my own territory then I absolutely won't pick this method.』
「You absolutely won't?」
『It's impossible. Absolutely impossible. See, when human is making comparison they'll compare it with the good time won't they? Well, this time you're being really lavish, but there is no way you'll be able to continue doing this, and the next time if someone else tell them that they'll be paying with the normal rate, they will lose motivation. They will complain that previously they were getting paid a lot more.』
「Isn't that bad?」
『Aa~, it's fine, it's fine. Because this isn't our territory, that'll be the problem of the royal family. After all this is the territory under the direct control of the royal family.』
Even paying reward would become a problem if it was done in excess.
「Will it really be alright?」
『It's fine isn't it? The townspeople need money in order to live, and it's better to obtain money by working rather than receiving money without doing any work. Lyle wants to defeat the griffon. The townspeople want money in order to restore their town. See, it doesn't harm anyone.』
What about the subjugation force? But it was pointless even thinking about it, so I stood up from the chair.
「I wonder when they'll attack next. Will they come soon?」
『I wonder? Even if they're smart they're still monster after all. They aren't thinking like human. Besides──』
The Third made fun of me.
『──Human is scarier than monster though.』
Certainly they were scary.
Just because of a reason of people living in the same capital turning into nuisance, human spread out a fake information and sent others into a dangerous place to die. Compared to that, perhaps what the griffon doing was still cute. ……No, it's not cute I guess.
Seeing that the work was over, Luka entered the room.
「Lyle-sama, I'm bringing tea.」
「Thank you. Just place it there.」
I was making Luka to do this kind of ch.o.r.es. What he could do was limited, and making him to work for real would be too harsh.
Luka was looking at the weapons that were placed inside the room.
The swords and spears of the subjugation force. There were also bow and other weapons.
「Are you curious?」
「……I'm thinking if only I can also fight.」
I didn't know what was the good thing to say. Was he thinking to take revenge for his father?
The Second sounded worried.
『Come to think of it he's a son of hunter. Had he been taught the basic?』
Perhaps because Luka looked similar with his son, the Second couldn't help but felt concerned.
「Lyle-sama, please let me to fight too. If it's bow I had been taught a bit by dad. I swear I'll be useful!」
The Third also seemed to be worried. He sounded unusually troubled.
『I'm happy with his feeling but, absolutely don't let him get out to the battlefield. But, he won't accept something like that……』
Both the Second and the Third were extremely soft toward Luka.
While I was feeling troubled──the door was knocked and someone who seemed to be Luka's mother entered the room. She looked slightly tired, but she was a woman in her twenty with a slim body. I recalled Patto-san saying that she was a prominent beauty in Gioni──.
The Sixth's slightly stupid and surprised voice came.
The Seventh talked to him.
『What's the matter? Perhaps you remember seeing that woman before? It seems that she's Luka's mother……』
I also met her for the first time. She must be coming to check whether Luka was doing his job properly.
「Luka, don't trouble Lyle-sama. My apologizes. I am Luka's mother. I came to see how he's doing because I felt concerned……」
Luka looked down. Seeing the figure of the mother admonishing him, the Sixth muttered.
『……Gioni. I see, Gioni Village! That's right. So that's how it is!』
The Sixth seemed to understand something. Village? This place was a town though…….
『Lyle, Luka is a member of Walt House.』
The location was inside the Jewel.
In order to quickly ascertain the situation, I took a rest and sent my consciousness inside the Jewel. When I arrived at the room of round table, the Sixth was sitting with seiza posture on the floor while the other five were surrounding him.
Everyone was looking down on the Sixth with cold gaze.
『In other words, Luka is a family?』
『Just when I thought that he is really similar, it's actually because he's a blood relative huh. That's convincing. Because he look too similar.』
『A child who you had when running away from home in a village that was taking you in huh……what are you doing?』
『You're an idiot. I asked you! I asked you before if you have any children outside didn't I!?』
『……I thought you told me that I don't have any sibling who I don't know though?』
The Sixth was sitting seiza as though to shrink his large body while hanging his head down.
『A, about your siblings, at that time what I meant was that you don't have any unknown little brother or little sister. Be, besides, I properly left behind money!』
Now that he mentioned it, there was that kind of talk before.
The Second pressed a question in monotone.
『You mean that after impregnating someone, you only left behind money and didn't look after them anymore after that?』
『N, no, there is that. You know, my wives were a bit……』
『And so you abandoned the child you made at other place?』
『……I, I left behind enough money.』
『Other than that, you didn't do anything else?』
I didn't know how scary those wives were, but the Sixth looked pathetic, or rather the worst.
In conclusion, it seemed that Luka was a child who descended from Walt House's bloodline.
It seemed there was a period when the Sixth ran away from home before he became the head of the house. Apparently he made a child at that time in Gioni Village.
When he saw Luka's mother, apparently she was really similar with the woman who he impregnated so he remembered.
The reason why Luka looked really similar with Dewy also became clear with this.
If he was a blood relative then the probability of looking similar would also increase.
Everyone fell silent at my words.
The second scratched his head roughly.
『Now the reason why we can't abandon him is getting bigger. Lyle, sorry but can you clean up the mess of Walt House──or rather, the mess of the Sixth for us?』
The reason why we couldn't abandon Luka and his mother and also the town was increasing again. When I nodded, the Seventh grabbed the Sixth's collar and dragged him up.
『This rotten trash!』
But, the Sixth seemed to be irritated getting complained at by his son the Seventh. He also talked back.
『There are times when the village is presenting a girl to us! Even you, surely you have laid your hand on girl like that!』
『It's different from laying your hand on a girl on your own initiative and then leaving them behind!』
While I was unable to keep up with their talk, the Third shrugged and said.
『It's okay that you don't pay them any attention. More importantly, there're other things that you should do.』
The Second spoke apologetically to me.
『Lyle……can you teach Luka how to use a bow?』
A bow training place was made at the town's plaza.
In that place that only had simple targets set up, I was teaching Luka how to handle a bow.
Although, I was only speaking as the proxy of the Second's words.
When Luka fired the arrow, it didn't hit the target.
「……I'm sorry. I missed.」
I gave consoling words to the dejected Luka.
「It's okay, I'm not expecting you to do it skillfully right from the start. Come on, let's learn the basic.」
Luka was staring at the saber hanging on my waist.
「Lyle-sama, I want you to teach me how to use sword.」
「Sword is better than bow. I think I'll be able to defeat a lot more monster that way.」
The Second was bewildered.
『No, you're a hunter's son!』
The Third chuckled and advised me.
『Well, he is a boy so sword or spear will look better for him. But, in the future we don't know whether this kid will need a sword or not, I think it's better to teach him bow.』
The Second was complaining to the Third.
『You chose sword though.』
『That's because it was best like that. Look, I was a n.o.ble. A feudal lord. It would be no good if I kept using bow forever.』
Bow wasn't really used as a knight's weapon. As expected sword or spear was the mainstream.
『Bow has better performance.』
『It's not a problem of just performance but appearance.』
I was listening to the two's argument while talking to Luka.
「I think that bow will be best if you're a son of a hunter though?」
「……You can't become a hunter just by using bow only. Rather than that, I'll become an adventurer like Lyle-sama.」
This was troubling. Somehow the talk was progressing to a strange direction.
The Second somehow squeezed out a breakthrough solution.
『Got it. Then, a hatchet. If it's sword hatchet then it'll be convenient using that!』
It ended up becoming a teaching how to handle hatchet, but it seemed that the Second fundamentally wanted to teach bow.
I stroked Luka's head.
「I understand. Then, I'll teach you the basic how to use it. But, we'll also practice using bow. This is my requirement for teaching you.」
Luka replied energetically and brightly. Then we returned to training using bow.
The Sixth also looked happy. After all, Luka might be his grandson after all.
『Haha~, he is a good kid isn't he.』
The Seventh tsked.
『Truly. When thinking about whose seed he came from, this is practically a miracle. Although, he might grow up to play around when he is older.』
『You, do you hate me that much?』
『Are you telling me to like a parent who threw his son to a b.l.o.o.d.y battlefield? I don't have the slightest trust for the Sixth in regard of woman relationship problem.』
『You're saying that much!?』
Really, just what had the Sixth done in the past?
The Second and the Third were talking about Luka who was drawing his bow.
『He really look the same.』
『His kind side and diligent side too. He is really just like Dewy-niisan.』
The Second muttered.
『I wish……that he'll be happy. For his share too.』
I couldn't say anything.
That was why, I did whatever I could for Luka.
「That's good. After we finish with this I'll let you hold a sword.」
Seeing the happy Luka, I wondered if this was how it felt to have a little brother.