The castle gate wasn’t closed and the construction was continued.
With the slogan “1mm deeper, 1mm higher” for the empty moat and the embankment, people were working on the defense line.
Regardless of whether they were soldiers or militias.
Even girls and children who couldn’t tolerate heavy labor would throw the stone and soil away.
Many platoons were killing approaching monsters at the outer edge, and the soldiers were dispersing as it was necessary to kill as many monsters as possible.
A monster with an edible part would be dragged into the castle and used as emergency food. Walm, who had been insensitively killing monsters until now, had finally learned that other than the edible part, some other parts could be used as a material for armor.
In addition to the guard soldiers, the soldiers that successfully fled here were also guarding the gate. Right now, in this place, there were only three distinctions: combatants, workers, and non-workers. Age or gender didn’t matter.
All the Myard people who arrived at Dandurg Castle were lightly covered in dirt and it looked like their fatigue had reached its peak. The family passing in front of Walm had the father carrying luggage and the mother carrying a baby.
When the lines of sight cross, the family bowed to Walm, albeit awkwardly.
Walm pointed to a corner of the castle.
“Get some food there”
After seeing the smoke of cooking, the family thanked him again and their faces looked relieved.
On the other hand, Walm’s face became cloudy. To be honest, he wanted to tell them to ignore the shady castle and warned them to leave the castle immediately.
He understood that it wasn’t a good thing for a soldier to give such command. There was no solid evidence that it would be the best choice after all. No one could say for sure that the soldier could block the outbreak on all three main roads in Myard.
When Walm shifted his gaze, a group of 100 people could be seen. In a situation like this, while there were many sparse refugees, a big group was rare.
After all, a group without good resistance would be equivalent to a feast for the monsters.
He looked carefully at the group and realized that, the one leading the group was fully armed, and many villagers behind also had weapons or farm tools in their hands.
Judging from the blood on the weapons, it seemed that they had pushed out a considerable number of monsters on the way. The intrigued Walm squinted his eyes as he saw someone he had seen before.
“Knight-dono, where are you going?”
The soldier guarding the gate noticed that Walm’s expression had changed.
“There is something I’m curious about.
I’ll leave for a while.”
As the group realized a person left the gate and was approaching the group, the tension increased. About four or five steps from the group, Walm realized that it wasn’t just his own misunderstanding.
In the group, there were adventurers and the Myrad soldiers who once threatened the supply route and killed Highserk soldiers.
“Why did you come here?”
The face of the blue-haired adventurer at the front was distorted as if he had bitten a bitter worm. He seemed to have recognized Walm too.
“I know I’m saying something convenient but… I want you to help us.”
The man escaped from the monster to Dandurg Castle, so it was the answer Walm had expected.
Walm deliberately tapped the surface of the longsword on his waist with his fingers.
“Where is that pride of Myard? I just worried about the possibility of backstabbing from behind.
Now that you’re in a bad position, you dare to ask for asylum from us?”
Walm wouldn’t blame the man if he was just a normal Myard soldier or a prisoner of war. The problem was, that not only the man but the other adventurers and the soldiers in front of him had a strong patriotism and attacked the Highserk soldiers from behind before.
Walm didn’t deny those who were motivated by their love of hometown and strong patriotism. He could understand them. But, that was also the reason he couldn’t be convinced that easily when those people suddenly acted the opposite just because they lost their place to the monsters.
“At that time, we still had a chance.
The situation is different now.
Myard… has lost completely.”
“What a very shallow patriotism.”
There, Walm recalled the environment of the countries. Surrounded by unstable Demon Territory, it was an area where rulers change frequently.
Especially in the Highserk Empire, which promoted assimilation policy, it was often the case that only the head was replaced and the territory would be incorporated into the Empire. The occasional bounces and uprisings could be suppressed with overwhelming force.
As of now, the government in exile had been established on the peninsula bordered by Lake Celta.
But, perhaps many still didn’t know about it.
If the homeland is on the brink of being destroyed, will people change their attitude faster?
“You think it’ll be fine just because you bow your head?”
The close ones didn’t die in the battle with them, but the soldiers with who Walm had exchanged words, albeit a few times, were still killed in action.
“What should I do?”
Hearing that, Walm smiled.
“Could you give me your neck?”
Walm felt the murderous intention swell from the group. He returned it with only a straight face, seeing from one’s end to the other’s end.
“You want to fight again? I’m a knight who keeps the gate.
If you can’t give it, go somewhere else.
Also, I can’t trust the villagers who pretend to prostrate, and support the soldiers and adventurers who like to attack from behind.”
“We don’t have our homeland to rely on anymore, we’re being chased by monsters, and the castle is full of armed Highserk soldiers.
We’re not stupid.”
An adventurer with a bow complained to Walm about their plight, but Walm didn’t shake.
“Is it useless except for the neck?”
A man with a large shield asked Walm if there was an alternative.
“I need to draw the line.”
Walm didn’t answer clearly.
“And that’s by giving Al’s neck…? It won’t happen.”
The woman who was holding the bow came out from the side.
“Shut up girl, I’m talking to him.”
Walm said in a strong tone.
An adventurer called Al wrinkled his eyebrows and kept silent for a few seconds, but gave up and spat out words.
I’ll give my neck.”
“Al, don’t say stupid things.”
The woman grabbed the man’s shoulder, but the blue-haired adventurer shook it off.
“It’s the only choice.”
“Is my neck not good? Al and Amy are the people valuable to the village.
I can’t let them die.”
The man holding a Great Shield, who fought with the Squad Commander Duwei before, said so.
“Stop this joke.
Fleck, don’t say that!!”
“He wants mine.
You don’t have to die.”
Leaving Walm in dismay, the three began to argue.
“Huff, the other guys? Are you going to stay on the sidelines? I won’t limit the candidate.
Anyone’s neck is fine.”
Walm lazily asked, but the people in the group just looked at his face and didn’t say anything.
Even all the dead Myard soldiers were brave, better than you all.”
Walm provoked, but they moved their gaze from Walm and didn’t answer.
In a sense, Walm felt reassured and satisfied with their human reaction. On the other hand, the drama of the three people continued.
It’s better to watch a soap opera than this…
It had already developed into a sour dispute.
In truth, Walm wasn’t really willing to take the man’s neck, though he would have cut the neck without hesitation if he had been instructed by a Company or Battalion Commander.
That said, he didn’t want to kill a well-experienced adventurer in an emergency like this and reduce the overall strength that could be used in dealing with the monster. And if he did take the man’s neck, it would only increase the grudges of the people, and he could be seriously stabbed from behind during the battle.
However, he couldn’t say that he didn’t want anything.
“You guys, shut up.
Then, line up there… tch, rest assured.
I won’t take your neck.”
The three people seemed reluctant to line up side by side.
Instead, I’ll distribute the pain to all of you.”
“What do you mean?”
Al asked with suspicion about Walm’s suggestion.
“I’ll hit you three until I’m happy.
No, I’ll hit you all.
Well, don’t worry, I won’t hit until you die.”
Walm made a slight run and punched Al’s face with his fist. The carving was deep, the tall nose bent, and blood blew out.
The blue-haired adventurer stood up silently. Walm grabbed his hair, and kicked the face with his knees, twisting the nose further.
“Yep, it’s flat now.”
The man with the great shield stepped forward himself.
I like his spirit.
Walm hit the man’s cheek with all his might. Even after a few hits on the face, the man didn’t fall down. The face swelled but Walm kept hitting it.
When the chin finally shook a little, the man collapsed to the ground.
The woman with the bow was quiet, standing straight. Walm suddenly squeezed his fist into her flank, not her face. The woman whose liver was struck in pain distorted her face and her body bent.
Hit the woman who endured the hard-hit again and once again. By the third punch, gastric juices came out from the mouth, wetting the ground.
The three continue to stand again silently. After three rounds, the faces of the adventurers swelled as if they were bitten by countless bees.
“The rest of you, line up.
I’ll just hit three times.”
The remaining Myrad soldiers clenched their teeth and lined up in a row.
By the end, the ground was dyed with blood, vomit, and gastric juice.
“There is no second chance.
If you betray even once more, I’ll cut the tendons of your limbs and throw them one by one from the wall passage to the ground.
After giving time to chew the words, Walm concluded.
“Alright, enough with the reunion party.
Welcome to the Dandurg Castle.”
Walm laughed at the villagers, shaking off the blood on his fist, but sadly he didn’t get a warm cheer nor a cheerful reply.
TN: I wonder if the three know the other two of their party members were among the ones who caused this situation…
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