The wind magic that dwelled in form of the blade, “Wind Blade”, was unleashed and the monsters that rushed under his eyes were sprouting blood like a blooming flower.

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Al, was an adventurer who had risen in rank by doing subjugation and escort requests, unlike the labyrinth-specialized adventurer, which might have many battle experiences and good items. He had only done a number of battles with monsters, perhaps about 100 times.

However, how many people can stay in front of this number?

Al has already shot dozens of wind magic. Amy, who was in love with him, continued to shoot monsters with 《Strong Shoot》.
[TN: it’s different from the skill 《Hard Shoot》]

Fleck, who didn’t have his own long-range attack method, was also trying his best on throwing stones.

The earth and sand that came out during the construction of the empty moat were accumulated in the ramparts, and it was refined by magic users with earth attributes into a lump of soil that had hardness comparable to stone. Combined with Fleck’s strength, who used Great Shield in the battle, it was enough to break the orc’s skull.

There was an effect. It should have been.
But, the wave of monsters didn’t shake. It was like throwing pebbles into the ocean.

A resident of the village where Al lived had escaped into the castle. He couldn’t let the monsters break through the walls, even if he must force himself. There, he remembered the former party members.

A four-country alliance conducted a rebellious operation against the Highserk Empire. At first, it was just a rumor, but they actually started collecting adventurers at exorbitant prices.

The content of the operation was hidden until the last minute, but considering the exceptional reward, the more you thought about it, the more suspicious and dangerous the request sounded.

Amy and Fleck’s injuries hadn’t healed completely, and Al himself wasn’t an exception. The Principality of Myard also suffered a devastating defeat in the battle near the capital city, Aidenberg, and was annexed except for the territory on the Lake Celta.

Following the defeat of the Principality, Al fell into a sense of loss and helplessness, and with members who were still healing their injuries, he avoided the request.

Al must have been distracted at the time. He was unaware that two members of his party had left the hideout. Given the timing, they must have accepted the request. After all, Leethia was interested in the request of the Alliance.

Al noticed some dark emotion in Leethia’s eyes after the party members were seriously injured in the guerrilla battle with Highserk soldiers.

For sure Al did his best to take care of her. And considering that she went lefty, he thought she wouldn’t take any unreasonable actions. He realized that he had made a mistake as a leader, and so he only wished for the two to be safe, but then a great outbreak happened not long after.

The cause was unknown and no good information came in, but given the timing and their request of adventurers, there was no doubt that the Alliance must be the cause.

Al wanted to get information about the safety of the two, but he couldn’t have any spare capacity in his mind.

Al was about to run out of mana but the wave of monsters didn’t seem to end.

“Who could stop this kind of thing…”

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At that moment, Al doubted his eyes at the unusual sight. There was someone on the edge of the ramparts.

“What are you doing!?”

A Highserk soldier looked as if he was about to throw himself out of the rampart. It was unclear whether he was pushed down or not, one thing was for sure, the monsters that filled the ground were trying to welcome the human.

Al had seen soldiers fallen from the ramparts finely minced by the monsters and he didn’t want to see it more.

Al, who could use wind magic, might be able to run to the soldier, but it was impossible to rescue the soldier while beating the monsters and return to the ramparts safely.

Al looked carefully at the soldier, trying to keep an eye on the soldier’s ending. One of the eyes that could be seen through the mask, was muddy.
Such an eye gazed at Al for a moment, giving him chills on his back.

The muddy eye belonged to the person who ever made Al have a cold sweat.

Visible mana flowed from the body of the soldier, together with unbearable heat and violent wind.

“Oooo, it’s the 《Fire of Hell Gate》!!”

“Captain Walm wants to invite them to hell.”

Al had also heard rumors about the user of 《Demon Fire》. A Highserk soldier burned down Ferrius and his guards in the Battle of Aidenberg, overran the enemy’s chain of command and wrecked the defense layers alone in the Battle of Sarajevo Fortress, and took one of the Craist’s “Three Heroes” as a prisoner.

The monsters were reaching out to the soldier, but they screamed all at once and some of the monsters behind tried to take a distance. The monsters were rampaging like madness, trying to escape from the blue flame.

“What is this…”

Al felt the heat even though he had a magic barrier on and his lips and eyes were dry. He wondered what would happen if a human with poor mana received it in the immediate vicinity, and as he imagined it, he gulped.

Seeing from the perspective of an ally, nothing was more reliable than him. However, those who were hostile would be invited to hell.

Recalling the exchange in front of the castle gate, Al gulped. He realized that he was lucky. If Walm had the intention to kill him and his groups, he wouldn’t be here now.

At the same time, Al was truly grateful that Walm hadn’t awakened to 《Demon Fire》 when they fought against each other.

The blue flame kept burning monsters into carbonized corpses. The soldiers, including Al, were fascinated by the scene as if they were possessed.

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Three days after the monsters reached Dandurg Castle, the Highserk Empire’s army, which had been trying to defeat all monsters, began to see a glimpse of it.

Except for the invasion of monsters that could fly and monsters with excellent jumping power, neither the castle gate nor the walls had been crossed, and no monsters that were ranked high in the A class such as the feared crawler had been confirmed.

Nevertheless, the fatigue of Highserk soldiers who continued to fight in shifts had reached its peak. After all, the number of monsters outside the castle that were rushing in day and night didn’t decrease. Despite well over 30,000 monsters, had been defeated.

Walm consumed his mana for 《Demon Fire》and had been resting for 3 hours.
After another hour or two, he would have to use the skill again.

The soldiers packed in the barracks during the break were sleeping as if they were dead. Walm also covered his ears with a cloak and fell asleep until recently. Inside the castle, the rotting odor of monsters that had begun to rot around the castle was drifting. In the room with blood and sweat, the smell was already out of order, and now it became worse.

Fortunately, there were some solutions for the corpses outside. Living monsters were eating dead monsters instead of troops.

A soldier stopped in front of Walm when he finally got comfy and felt sleepy again.

No way, there shouldn’t be a devil who will wake up a soldier who only has a little time for sleep to chat or have a meal in here…

Walm confirmed lightly. 

“I’m sorry for disturbing your break.
The Brigade Commander is calling you for urgent news.”

The man was a messenger. Walm made a judgment with a dull brain, thinking that it must be an important matter.

“I understand.
I will go immediately.”

After lightly dressing himself, Walm entered a room in HQ following the messenger.

“I’m sorry for being late.”

“Finally, you’re here.”

Brigade Commander Sigismund welcomed Walm.

“How about the frontline?”

Walm reported on the status quo without hiding it.

“We have succeeded in repelling the monsters that are rushing in day and night, but the fatigue of the soldiers is about to reach its peak.
The number of arrows and thrown objects is going low, and now the firepower of the magic users is the lifeline.”

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The attack of the magic users with fire and wind attributes that had good firepower was the core of blocking the monsters that rushed in. In terms of the degree of being abused, the ones with earth and water attributes were forced to use their mana until dry.

The ones with earth attributes who could knead the soil hard like a stone had been working on the production of something to throw and sometimes used “Earth Bullet” to attack.

Regarding the ones with water attributes, in addition to offensive magic, they had been supporting the villager by producing drinking water. They were an indispensable existence.

“How long do you think we’ll last?”

As the number of monsters kept increasing, the fatigue of soldiers would also accumulate, but the attack method of the monster would become more complex. Large-scale volunteers had been joining day by day, but the current situation wasn’t good.

“…I guess we can maintain the status quo for a few more days.
Some of them seem to start using their wisdom such as digging up the ground and even preparing logs for battering rams to break the walls.”

Walm was prepared to be criticized for being pessimistic, but his opinion was accepted favorably.

“It’s a good deduction.
In a few days, hand-to-hand combat will begin and exhaustion will jump in magnitude.”

“For now, we’re still in contact with the capital.
And it’s been decided that we will abandon Dandurg Castle while we still have spare energy, and stall them here as much as we can.
The place for withdrawal has been decided and the troops to withdraw have already been secretly prepared.”

Walm, who couldn’t wipe out his unpleasant premonition, asked questions carefully.

“Secretly… should it be to avoid confusion?”

“Yeah, to avoid confusion.
We will start retreating all at once in the early morning of the day after tomorrow.
When the soldiers in the ramparts consist of more volunteers and prisoners.”

Walm had expected a retreat, soon or later. He believed that it would still be in the planning. So, being told to retreat all at once the day after tomorrow was a complete surprise for him.

“Is it a retreat the day after tomorrow!? What about the Myard people in the cas――”

“Unfortunately, those who are not in time for the move have no choice but to stay in the fort and wait for the wave to stop.”

“Wait it to stop…? I’m sorry for being rude, but isn’t it the same as sending them to die? There are only a limited number of them that can pass through the castle gate where access is limited.
And what about the Highserk soldiers left――”

The gate is already limited, and with an excessive number of refugees in the castle, all of them couldn’t retreat.

Walm’s opinion ended without being told to the end.

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“You are not the only one who disagrees and complains, but do you think you can prevent those monsters? You can’t protect the people even if you fight until exhausted.
It’s just a matter of time before the complete annihilation.”

As a soldier, Walm could understand what the Brigade Commander said. In short, they would hang attractive baits to attract enemies, scraping off their strength and earning time with the discarded pawn.

What Walm found difficult to admit was that bait would be the majority of Myard people.
It was different from the rescue that those Myard people envisioned. The only consideration was only for those who could follow, that deserved to be saved.

“Escort Captain, I hear from His Excellency Gerard that you are a soldier who is faithful to the command.
This, is the command.”

It was fake salvation. The characteristic of the great outbreak was that it would go into a densely populated area, and if the Highserk soldiers that were said to have a great power gathered at Dandurg Castle, the people who ran away for their lives would come here for asylum.

Then, the monster would be invited to the strong place holding the refugees. It wasn’t difficult to imagine what would happen to the people in the castle if the top in command retreated all at once.

In Walm’s mind, an old general called the war god with a smile that looked good at first glance came to mind. If even one more of his country’s people could be saved, he would sacrifice many of someone considered unnecessary.
He was an old man who had strong patriotism, who would gladly throw other country’s people into a large pot of boiled water.

“Of course, I don’t need to say more.
If it’s you who is loyal to military affairs, I believe you will comply.
I said so, just in case.”

The Brigade Commander smiled, but his eyes were dyed black and on the back of his eyes, he wasn’t laughing. 

As expected of the companion of His Excellency.

It would be easy to say that it was inhuman. But, in the eyes of the Brigade Commander, you could see the unwavering color of belief and determination, full of emotion like a human being. Literally, he wanted to successfully defend his home country even if he must offer other people, as an offering.

No matter what Walm might say, nothing would change. He couldn’t change.

“I would like you to help maintain the communication line.
If all goes well, I’ll be able to save “some”.”

The Brigade Commander whispered as if he had spotted hesitation in Walm. 

You think I can refuse? 

I’m nothing more than a soldier, a citizen of the Highserk Empire.

You think I’m okay with bringing my country to ruin just because I’m so worried about other countries’ people?

Both in words and reality, it was as if he was being asked “What do you wish for with such a muddy eye?”

Walm could only clench his teeth and reply.

“Un-understood.”

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