The next day, Harrigan and the girls had returned to the 3rd fort.
Ais, who had finished her preparations, was about to return to the fort which had been attacked, bringing a spare doll and provisions.
Naga helped arrange the transportation as well.
He was not the only one helping, there were 2 other witches who would accompany them. He was fine with one of them, but considering who the other was it could be considered as a terrible situation. The person in question was of the same opinion.
“I can’t believe this! Why do I have to go together with a man? I’ll kill him. I’ll kill him without anyone noticing, mince him into a thousand pieces, and throw his chopped up bits to the wolves. “
The one who kept uttering that disturbing dialogue was none other than Yuki. Far from trying to hide it, you could sense the hatred, disgust, and killing intent overflowing from her body. Naga immediately shrunk back as he felt that aura directed towards him.
“You don’t have to worry about Yuki. After all, she’s not completely serious.”
Ais said as if trying to console him.
“Not completely?… then, how serious is she?”
Ais bent her neck slightly and pondered a bit.
“Hmm… Like 8 out of 10?”
“That’s serious enough! There’s no way I can relax when I’m sure she’s just waiting for a chance to kill me!”
“Well well. You just need to endure it for a quarter of the day.”
Naga twisted his face in misery and moaned,
“No, I don’t want to face her even for a moment. I’ll end up receiving constant abuse just by being near her.”
Ais had told Naga on their way back that preparations could take as much as a quarter of the day. Naga seemed doubtful and asked Ais
“It took us a half day just to travel this distance at full speed, isn’t it weird that we can carry that huge doll over in a shorter amount of time?”
Nevertheless, she replied calmly.
“Ara, speak for yourself. There’s no way that that was the fastest speed we could achieve.”
“Ah…that’s right. Speaking of which, how long would it take you to get there at your top speed?”
“About an hour and a half?”
Naga looked at Ais as if she was joking. Despite that, she added calmly.
“If it was Yuki, she could reach the place much faster than us.”
“Oi oi, are you kidding? Just how ridiculous are her legs?!”
“I’m serious. To begin with, in her case, she doesn’t even have to run.”
“What do you mean?”
Hearing his question she simply forced a little smile.
“You’ll understand once you witness it yourself.”
It was clear she wasn’t going to tell him anymore than that.
(If she says that, does it mean Yuki is going to show me? More importantly…)
Naga began thinking about the current state of the witches.
He wasn’t able to make any solid conclusions because he had yet to understand this world’s current situation. However, Naga felt that sooner rather than later the witches would face a miserable situation.
Despite his memory loss, Naga firmly understood that it would be alright as long as they did not lose. However, if they were always on the defensive, they would eventually come up against a power that could swallow them whole. It would be impossible to survive without fighting and growing. No matter how desperate they were, or how well they could fight, the witches would eventually perish.
Naga did not want to let that happen. He wanted to lead Harrigan and the rest to victory as much as he could, even if it meant he would be interfering or it would make them think of him as an annoyance.
Therefore, the first thing he wanted to do was to strive to understand the current situation.
For that reason, he was prepared to withstand any threat, verbal abuse, or bloodthirst that Yuki aimed towards him.
“Well then, we are leaving, Ane-sama.”
The large cart’s bed was filled with the wooden puppet as well as a multitude of food bags covered in cloth. Ais was harnessed to pull the cart via a thick rope tied around her lower back.
She waved towards Harrigan.
“Ais, Nonoeru, Yuuki, I’ll be entrusting this to you.”
Another person that was assigned to help Ais and Yuuki was a witch named Nonoeru.
She appeared to be about 4 or 5 years old. She had a small stature and short hair with cute round eyes. However, she looked quite shy, which gave Naga the impression that she was kind of like a small animal or a mouse.
She was probably afraid of him as well.
The last time Harrigan and the rest had rushed to the fort, she had been in the forest instead of being in the village. Thus, she didn’t make it in time for the battle. Because this was the first time Naga had met her since his return from the fort to the village, he had no knowledge about her.
(Not to mention, I don’t even really know anything about the other members whom I’ve met besides from seeing them. The ones I personally know to some extent are Ais, Lela….and Yuki.)
Naga breathed a sigh of relief inside his heart.
He was thankful that among the witches it seemed that at least Ais had some common sense. Even if Yuki was to become violent, she would probably help stop her. Apart from that, it seemed she also possessed gripping and physical strength which was quite a threat to Naga, but…
“Please leave it to me.”
Ais replied with a strong smile like always and Nonoeru lowered her head gently. Yuki, on the other hand, looked away in dissatisfaction.
Grrriiipp – Ais grabbed Yuki’s pair of shoulders from behind.
“Yuki, is that how you bid farewell to Ane-sama?”
Ais’s fingers sank into Yuki’s shoulders
“Aw aw aw aw!”
Not being able to endure, Yuki raised a scream. Ais continued to grip her tightly. Her usually cheerful face seemed terrifying.
“Aw aw, it hurts.”
Ais loosened her grip slightly, but still wouldn’t let Yuki go.
“No matter who it is, you must greet and part properly Yuki.”
(Could it be that she’s talking about me?) – Naga looked in their direction, but as one would expect, she simply turned away.
Yuki’s body shivered with fear and she couldn’t ignore her once Harrigan called out to her.
“I’m relying on you Yuki. For us to carry this wooden puppet, your strength is indispensable, especially, during urgent times like this one.”
“U…Understood. I’ll do it properly.”
“In that case, good.”
Harrigan gave Naga a meaningful glance and he nodded in reply. She nodded back to him and she turned to face Ais.
“ Fine, now go, Ais.”
“Yes, Nee-sama. I’m off.”
Ais began to pull the cart using the ropes attached to her waist; she took 1 then 2 steps forward. Once she did so, the cart’s wheels began to rumble. Were the ropes restricting her movements? Ais advanced while bending her body forward as if carrying the weight on her back.
Naga too walked out. Since he was told not to push the cart, he didn’t lend a hand.
He suddenly looked up into the sky. Daybreak was coming and the sky was covered with dim, gray clouds, nonetheless, it didn’t appear to be raining.
As he glanced back he saw Harrigan and the rest behind her waving their hands in farewell.
(It feels like I’ve seen this scenery before.)
Naga proceeded with his walk while thinking on this faint memory.
Finally, the silhouettes of the witches disappeared in the distance.
They continued to walk down a small paved road as Ais moved at a brisk pace while pulling the heavy cart. Naga on the other hand, continued to walk empty-handed. (We’re going pretty quickly.)
However, the road soon turned into a rough footpath. It was barely wide enough to let a single cart go through.
From that point on, it didn’t seem they could keep the same speed however much they’d like to. Not to mention, were they to try anything reckless, it would probably become hazardous.
However, once Ais reached the start of the rough footpath she suddenly announced,
“Well then, should we try to speed up a little?”
Without realizing it, Naga let out a yell.
“You’re a noisy, ain’t you? I wonder if I shouldn’t cut off your tongue.”
Yuki looked at him as if he was a cockroach.
“No no, I mean it’s impossible to move faster on this type of road.”
Saying that, Naga pointed out the rough and uneven path in front of them.
“Maybe you can’t understand because you’re a fool, but it’s not impossible. Not for me and Ais, you see. Perhaps a fool like yourself isn’t meant to understand things that people with brains do, still…”
“Stop calling me fool over and over!”
Naga barked at her, then turned his doubtful gaze towards Ais.
“What’s the meaning of this?”
Ais displayed her strong smile as usual and replied.
“In other words, we are often helped by Yuki’s magic.”
As soon as he heard that Naga looked at Yuki with keen interest. Yuki spat out,
“Can you stop leering at me with those disgusting, impure, lecherous, and filthy eyes? If possible, can you please immediately and completely disappear from this world? Whenever you’re close to me the surroundings start to smell like rotten compost.”
“Isn’t compost supposed to be already rotten!?”
“Well then, you’re generally more rotten.”
“Whatever, don’t even glance in this direction, it gives me nausea and goosebumps all over my body.”
“Ah, is that so? Then, I won’t look at you at all.”
Sorry – As soon as he turned his face away, Ais apologized by raising her hand. Her smiling face too seemed somewhat strained.
Don’t mind, Don’t mind – Naga waved using his right hand.
“Then, I’ll be counting on you, Yuki.”
“Leave it to me.”
“Nonoeru, get on board.”
Nonoeru nodded and jumped onto the cart.
“Naga-san too, please get on the cart.”
He looked suspiciously at Ais but Yuki cut in from the side.
“Hurry up! Since the road ahead is in bad condition and steep, your leg strength won’t be of any use! It isn’t like Ais is doing this because she’s worried about someone pitiable as you. You’re a fool, indeed a big fool! Shouldn’t we leave a fool like him behind? Speaking of which, I want to do so. It would be better for him to get lost and die by the roadside.”
Naga looked extremely irritated but suppressed his anger like he had been asked to do by Harrigan and Ais. Looking at Ais, she urged him on.
“Yes, please get on board quickly.”
As soon as he jumped on, Ais gave a warning.
“You better hold on tightly to the ropes which are attaching the doll and the cart, okay?”
“Oi oi, is she seriously planning to run while pulling this heavily loaded truck on a narrow and coarse road like this?”
Naga gazed in turns at Ais and the small, coarse road ahead of them with eyes showing half curiosity and half incredulity.
After making sure that Nonoeru and Naga got on the cart and held the ropes, Ais looked toward Yuki and raised her hand.
“Then, please do it.”
Yuki stood behind the cart, closed her eyes, and concentrated while muttering something.
Shortly after, a wind started to blow through the still forest.
Naga understood straight it wasn’t just an ordinary wind as it came from all directions and surrounded the cart.
A naturally blowing wind wouldn’t act like that. In other words, this was probably…Yuki’s magic.
Finally, the wind started to coil around the cart creating a spiral. Fallen leaves and dried branches were drifting together, but fell the moment the wind stopped.
Saying that, Yuki jumped onto the cart. Because she sat across from Naga behind the giant doll they were completely hidden from each other.
Naga somehow recalled this feeling of loathing and distance. He felt that he could have even spent his childhood without any love shown to him. That’s why, he didn’t really mind being shown hatred or a cold attitude, but, he couldn’t say he felt nothing. Being detested was unpleasant, and it was painful to be abandoned.
Luckily, there was Harrigan who accepted him as he is. Therefore, it didn’t feel uncomfortable to be among the witches. Rather than that, it was more pleasant to be acknowledged.
Besides her, there were other witches who considered Naga to be suspicious; nevertheless, they didn’t express any ill feeling toward him like Yuki. However, he was mindful about her, or rather; he was hurt by the fact that she hated him so passionately.
(Still, she really does detest me, and there’s no way for me to cheer her up. Saying so, I’d rather her not be so hateful.)
As he was contemplating on that he glanced at Yuki whose appearance was hidden behind the puppet, his body was suddenly jolted as the cart moved. Naga grab the ropes tightly.
To his surprise, the cart travelled with the same speed as before. Rather, it was becoming much faster. What also surprised Naga was the feeling that the ride was becoming much smoother.
In this era, where buffers weren’t used for horse carriages or carts, the sensation coming from a riding on an uneven road surface was awfully bad. However well roads were built, the horse carriages and carts would sway in all directions with even a slight increase of speed. In the worst case, the axle would break down.
Even though this world should follow the same law of physics as in his world, it felt as if the cart was splendidly absorbing the shock coming from the uneven surface. Naga wondered what kind of mechanism doing this.
There was no reason for the road to better. No matter how he looked at it, it was as rough as it could be.
Its surface was uneven and there were small pebbles tumbling on it, even tree roots were sticking out from the road. Despite that, the cart didn’t jump much nor sway.
Not being to endure his curiosity, Naga called out to the witch nearby.
“Hey, you. Ehh, was your name No…something?”
The girl sat upright and didn’t try to run nor hide.
“W-Wrong. It’s Nonoeru….”
“Ah, Nonoeru? Then, Nonoeru, there’s something I’d like you to tell me, but…”
Nonoeru gave the impression of being painfully shy, and her eyes which were directed at Naga looked around restlessly while she shook.
(As one would expect, she’s just like a mouse.)
Naga’s impression of her strengthened.
“Isn’t the feeling of riding much comfortable in comparison with before? The cart isn’t jumping or shaking even if we accelerate, or so it feels. Why is that?”
Since Nonoeru was confident she could answer that question, she breathed out a sigh of relief.
“That’s, you see, it’s because Yuki raises and supports the bottom of the cart using the accumulated wind.”
“After all, she’s a wind user.”
“Ehh….raising and supporting…..you mean, like reducing the weight of the cart?”
“You can understand it that way. Lela would describe this as a shock lessening device used to reduce weight by absorbing the impact. or so, but…”
Naga didn’t seem to understand the theory; however, his senses were telling him it was fine even if he didn’t get it.
He was the type of person who would accept the reality in front of his eyes as it is without overthinking it. Even if he was to perceive someone else as extraordinary, he would instinctively think about the circumstances and go with the flow. And yet, that fact alone had been the cause of frictions between him and his surroundings. Despite not being able to recall his individual memories, Naga could sense it instinctively.
(Somehow, it feels like I lived in the same circumstances as the witches?)
Naga put a gruesome smile which could make one’s blood run cold.
Seeing that, Nonoeru bent slightly backward with fear.
“No, I’ve understood it completely. Thanks”
Looking back at his face, the gruesome smile had disappeared. Instead a gentle smile took its place.
(E, Eh? Could it be that I was mistaken about the expression before? Or…)
Provided she was mistaken, was that brutal expression his true nature? Or was it the courteous one now? Not being able to tell which, Nonoeru became confused.
Taking his eyes away from her, Naga watched Ais pulling the cart.
Was it due to the supporting wind? As she pulled the cart small gusts of wind would gently flip Ais’s skirt giving Naga little glimpses of her ass. It was quite a charming view. Nonoeru stole a glance at Naga, who was passionately staring at the view while having a lecherous grin, and thought.
(I’ve no idea which expression is this person’s true character, but at least I know he’s a pervert.)
Ais pulled the ropes while advancing diligently. It was already a speed which far exceeded the walking one. Despite them bending left and right, the cart wouldn’t stray from the road even once. At this rate, they will indeed reach their destination within a quarter of day.
While watching the back of the earnestly pulling Ais, Naga felt a sense of admiration appear in his heart for her.
Two and a half hours had passed.
“We will soon arrive.”
Nonoeru who was watching the front spoke to Naga.
“Already? Rather than a quarter of day…not even 3 hours have passed, I guess.”
“Yes. It seems we are arriving today a bit faster than usual.”
(Is it due to Ais good mood? Or perhaps, due to Yuki’s magic improving? Or maybe….)
Nonoeru glanced back at Naga.
(I’m not sure if it’s because they don’t want to be spotted by anyone that they’re doing their best or because…)
At that moment a scream came from the back of the cart.
“Ais! Look at that, Look!!”
Before anyone had noticed, Yuki who was sitting on top of the doll pointed at the slope in front of them.
Ais slammed to a stop bringing the cart to a halt as well.
Naga held tightly to the ropes so as not to fall down.
“What’s the matter, Yuki?”
Ais turned around and calmly asked. Yuki, on the other hand, was standing on the doll and was clearly in distress.
“It’s smoke! There’s black smoke rising from the fort’s direction!”
Ais’s expression changed.
Nonoeru gasped and looked as well.
Naga too faced toward the direction pointed by Yuki, unfortunately, he couldn’t see the aforementioned smoke due to the tree branches hindering his view.
Ais untied the ropes that were hindering her and jumped high into the cart.
As she jumped her skirt flipped up and flashed a glorious view before Naga’s eyes. Both the angle and the content were magnificent.
(Wait a sec, this isn’t the time for admiring!)
Naga and Nonoeru immediately scrambled to get to the top.
Ais, who splendidly reached the top, looked the way Yuki was pointing while shading her eyes.
It was hard to keep one’s balance on top of the doll’s trunk because of its small curves; nonetheless, Naga maintained his foothold and immediately stretched out his body. Once he did so, he saw a single wisp of smoke was rising up into the blue sky in between the gaps of thick leaf cover and tall trees. It was clear that the smoke wasn’t coming from cooking.
An ominous feeling came over Naga.
“Could it be that the fort is under attack?”
At Ais’s voice, Naga’s premonition was confirmed.
Provided that the fort raised a smoke signal due to the human forces attacking once more, what would happen to Lela and the rest stationed there?
A picture of Lela with a curt expression surfaced in his imagination, and the girl’s unique way of speaking reverberated in his mind.
Naga gripped his sword’s scabbard tightly in his left hand as he held himself back from desperately rushing towards the fort.
“I-If that’s true….what should we do Ais?”
Ais thought for a short while and promptly decided.
“Obviously, we will go support them!”
At Ais’s confident and strong assertion, Naga came back to himself.
“Yuki, fly to the fort ahead of us! You should probably be able to fly this distance without spending that much power, right?”
“Ah, yes. What about Ais?”
Ais looked at Naga who distanced himself a little bit.
“I’ll carry Naga on my back while running.”
Hearing that, he opened his eyes in shock.
“It should be fine for you to just leave this guy.”
Yuki puffed her cheeks in displeasure.
“We don’t have time for this Yuki! Go now!”
Yuki leapt off the top of the doll and bent her body.
Naga leaned forward to check what she intended to do. As he did, Yuki took out something from the corner of the cart.
It seemed to be thin and wrapped in a cloth. It was about a foot in width and was almost as tall as Yuki herself.
She removed the cloth and tossed it on top of the cart.
From Naga’s perspective, it had a shape of a board. Nevertheless, it was different from a simple one.
The plank had a broad body that gently bent and thinned as it continued up to its head. The tip of it seemed sharp.
Even the tail curved slightly and thinned, however, the tail fanned out as it maintained its original width. From the sides of the plank and its tail, there were fish fin like protrusions sticking out from it.
As soon as she put both of her legs on the plank and adjusted her body, Yuki lifted her hand toward Ais who was standing on top of the doll while watching.
“I’m off, Ais.”
“Yuki, once you confirm the safety of Lela and the rest, try to buy them time to escape!”
“It’s fine for me to kill humans, right?”
“I don’t care, but first ensure your comrades safety!”
Putting down her hand, the plank on which Yuki was boarding rose up softly. It looked as though the wind was dancing around Yuki while wrapping her body and lifting her up. The board began to slowly move.
(I see, so this is the magic that controls wind?)
While Naga made a small groan inside his heart and looked from the top of the puppet at the tray, the board on which she was boarding on suddenly shot up and immediately stopped in the mid-air. The board floated even higher than Ais and Naga.
“Well then, I’m going!”
“I’m relying on you, Yuki!”
The board that had stopped mid-air, shot ahead.
Naga saw off Yuki with an astonished face as she grew smaller and smaller.
As if riding a horse, she floated through the air and wove her way through the intervals between trees. Holding her left and right hands behind, she swayed her body repeatedly while attaining a perfect balance.
Her figure vanished within the blink of an eye.
“Grant me thy Blessings of power, thy Blessings of Earth, you who grants me thy support, Grant me the power of the Goddess”
It looked as though heat waves were exploding from Ais’s body as she chanted. The overwhelming aura that burst from her almost staggered Naga who was standing nearby.
Once Ais finished chanting, the surging heat subsided.
“Okay, we too should hasten ourselves. Naga-san please get on my back.”
Crouching down, she presented her back to Naga.
“W….What was that just now?”
“You mean that? That was my magic. I enhanced my body using that.”
Naga wondered whether or not Ais’s power had increased as her appearance didn’t particularly change.
As he was hesitating about what to do, Ais turned her head to look at him.
“I want to go this instant. If you keep hesitating I’ll knock you out and drag you along by your legs… are you okay with that?”
Her face was cheerful as usual, but Naga could see the veins pulsing in irritation on her forehead. It was quite frightening.
Without any second thoughts, Naga jumped on her back.
Grabbing firmly both of his thighs, Ais lifted him up easily as he weighed nothing. Because of that, Naga put his strength into both of his arms and held on with all his strength.
“I’m glad that…you decided to cling on securely, but I feel that there’s a problem here.”
“Naga-san, your hands, your hands.”
Nonoeru poked him and pointed, Naga finally realized.
Since he jumped hurriedly, he hadn’t noticed that both of hands were inserted through her armpits. In other words, when he crossed his arms with his full strength he firmly and magnificently grasped Ais’s voluptuous breasts.
“Uhmm, sorry about that. B-by the way, I’m not doing this on purpose, you know?”
For the time being, Naga made an excuse.
“T-That’s why I’m telling you not to hold on so strongly like that.”
Ais twisted as her face blushed a deep crimson. Due to her twisting Naga had to grip on even more firmly to keep from falling down. And the result was…
“W-Wait, it’s no good, no good.”
Ais twisted and squirmed her body even more.
Naga was enjoying these amusing reactions and started to grope with his hands a little.
“Naga-san you’re doing this on purpose aren’t you?”
Nonoeru spoke with a cold penetrating tone. Hearing that, he immediately stopped his hands.
“No no, absolutely not. It was more I was simply confused and my unstable mental state caused such a mistake.”
(As one would expect, this person did it on purpose)
Nonoeru looked absolutely flabbergasted,
Naga released his hands that had been groping Ais and withdrew them from her armpits with obvious reluctance. Then, he moved them toward her shoulders and again tightly hugged her around her neck.
“Perhaps it’s better like this.”
“Ah mou…Even at a time like this is”
Squueeezze – Ais pinched the front of his right hand tightly.
“Aw aw aw!”
Naga suddenly felt the sudden intense urge to leap off, nevertheless, because his right hand was pinched and his left thigh was grasped, he was unable to move.
“If you do that next time, I’m going to snap your wrist. No rather than that, perhaps I should crush what’s between your legs?”
“U…Understood, Understood. More importantly, it’s an urgent situation, so let’s go, ok?”
Turning around, Ais glared fiercely at his face over her shoulders.
“Had you not done anything weird, we would be already running.”
(It’s the first time for me to see her face without a smile. Somehow this pouting expression is pretty cute)
Thinking so, Naga felt a bit pleasant.
On the other hand, Ais turned back her face in dissatisfaction and said bluntly.
“I’ll be running at full speed. I don’t care if you fall off, so hold on, got it?”
“I’ll be holding tightly, so you don’t have to worry.”
Naga put his strength into his arms with all his might as Ais lifted him effortlessly.
“Since there’s a shortcut, I’ll be going straight through the forest. Nonoeru, you too should hurry.”
After saying that, she broke into a sprint.
“UUWWAAA What’s This!?”
Naga let out a scream of surprise at Ais’s unbelievably fast pace. Nonoeru who was following quickly disappeared from his sight.
The trees were flashing by at terrifying speeds. As soon as he thought so, the trees had already passed by. It was quite possible that Ais’s running speed was much faster than those of horses.
Noticing a thick branch stretching out from a huge tree, Naga shouted.
“A branch, a branch, a branch!”
However Ais didn’t even try to avoid it, instead she leaned forward a bit and plunged directly into it.
“We’re gonna hit it! We’re gonna hit it!”
Naga became flustered to the extent of wanting to stop her with a stranglehold.
Despite his struggles Ais smashed through the thick branch with her head without slowing down at all. To think that she would snap the thick branch of the tree with a headbutt and run through like that.
Naga was filled with admiration and astonishment.
Naga felt a small shock coming from Ais’s back, as something ominous, or rather, ominous people appeared in his field of vision.
Figures of several enemy soldiers were moving as if patrolling the fort.
“Drop me off Ais, It’s the enemy.”
Having her shoulders tapped by him, Ais released Naga’s thighs from her grip.
Naga jumped off her back and judged the current situation.
There were as many as ten enemies moving around this forest. They didn’t seem to be fighting, so could it be that they were scouting? Or perhaps, the enemy troop was trying to siege the fort?
Whichever it was, there was no way for Naga to let them go after he encountered them.
“Ais, let’s battle.”
Ais straightened herself without realizing it at Naga’s unexpectedly authoritative voice.
“We are going to launch a preemptive attack. Pick those stone nearby.”
“Throw the stone. With your monstrous strength, it should easily reach the enemy.”
“Certainly, the me right now has an enhanced body, but to call me monstrous, that’s a bit….”
“Don’t mind, just go. Our comrades at the fort are probably in danger.”
Being told so, Ais hurriedly picked the stones at her feet.
“Even if you miss, it’s fine. Just throw them at the enemy. I’ll take that moment to approach them once they’re distracted by your throws.”
“Will you be fine?”
“If I take them by surprise, I should be able to manage somehow.”
He drew his sword from its scabbard.
“I’m going to approach them in secret. The moment I get close enough, start throwing stones.”
Naga moved between the shadows of the trees while hiding his body. As the enemies’ eyes were focused on the fort, it seemed that he would be able to draw close unnoticed.
The time he closed the distance by half with the enemy, something cut through the air while passing by Naga’s left side.
(Did Ais throw a stone?)
He opened his eyes wide and focused on the front, the flying stone struck the trunk of a tree near a large number of gathered soldiers, and produced a sharp sound of impact. The soldiers jumped up in surprise. Naga who hid himself between the trees as well understood. Once he turned around, an appearance of Ais springing out of the tree’s shade and holding aloft the stones while throwing was seen.
Another stone flew and cut through the air.
This time throw was splendidly aimed at a single soldier as it sunk into his chest and threw him backward, making the soldier faint.
(That’s indeed some power)
Naga felt astonished and even more respect for her, however, he couldn’t remain standing like that.
The soldiers began to make a fuss as they confirmed Ais’s presence.
One, two of them drew their swords and dashed over to her, nevertheless, there were those who dropped to the ground as they realized what was happening.
Ais threw stones at the soldiers who were approaching her.
“*Painful sounding grunt*”
Again, one more soldier was sent flying as he got hit by a stone.
Some of the stones that missed sank into ground creating cloud of dust, and some others caved in trees trunks.
The soldiers who witnessed her tremendous power realized that they couldn’t dash over to her while exposing themselves. They slowed down and changed their plan by trying to hide behind the trees trunks
When it comes to this, it was only a natural course of action for their formations to fall apart.
That’s when Naga struck.
He attacked the soldiers who were closest to him, he thrust the tip of his sword straight through the gaps in their armor through their necks.
Those were the ones who died instantly.
The soldiers died on the spot without a single sound.
The ones with whom Ais continued to distract weren’t yet aware of Naga’s attack.
Approaching another soldier nearby, Naga stabbed his sword straight through his opponent’s stomach.
As one would expect, the soldier screamed in agony which didn’t go unnoticed by his comrades. However, because they were scattered due to Ais throwing stones, they couldn’t surround him.
Naga moved swiftly while closing the gaps between the enemies. He continued to slice at them one after another.
The soldiers were no match for him when it came to one-on-one combat.
And then, Naga started to thrust instead of slicing them.
Whenever one slices, the sword becomes dull due to the clotted blood and fat sticking to it. There was also a fear of the blade chipping in case of its contact with bones. In the worst case, the whole sword could break. During a battlefield melee, it’s more efficient to thrust if taking down the head fails.
Within seconds Naga had killed 4 people.
Among the remaining 5 who rushed over to him, one of them was taken down by Ais’s stone.
With that, only 4 were left.
In order not to get surrounded, Naga smartly maneuvered himself while crushing the soldiers individually.
Thrust, thrust, thrust he continued killing.
Chasing after the last one who tried to run away, Naga pierced him slightly above his abdomen from behind.
The armor which most of the soldiers wore was thin, and they didn’t fully cover their bodies.
For Naga it wasn’t that hard to aim for the gaps between their armors and helmets. However, to Ais he looked like a professional.
Naga’s swordsmanship was truly impressive, not only that, the level of familiarity and the way he fought with his sword looked like he lived and breathed it to Ais.
What’s more, the fact that Naga walked around and finished off the enemies taken down by Ais backed up her impression of him.
At first, she thought there was no need to go to such extent, but, she quickly made up her mind. Leaving the soldiers who fainted will only result in their agony.
Despite that, being able to calmly deliver a final blow to an unconscious enemy wasn’t something that one could casually do.
Ais had the feeling that Naga’s appearance in combat could be his real nature.
Lifting up his sword glistening with blood, Naga approached.
“You did a good job, Ais. I was rescued by you.”
“Ah, no, it wasn’t anything big.”
“No no, your help was crucial. It was the first time for me to witness such strength in throws. Or so, it feels that way.”
“I-Is that so?”
“Your arm strength is fantastic. Not just your arms, but also your legs are robust. Rather than saying your strength is monstrous, it’s super monstrous. You’re amazing indeed.”
Despite Ais knowing he was praising her, somehow, she was dissatisfied with the way he put it and she didn’t really feel too pleased.
At that moment, Nonoeru finally arrived.
When it came to advancing toward a fort sieged by an enemy, it was much better to advance as a group. With that, they drew nearer to the fort while hiding themselves between the trees.
As soon as they reached the line between the forest and open field, they took a peek at the situation.
It seemed that the fort itself wasn’t burning; nevertheless, the watchtower which was located in one corner was in flames.
And then, the enemy soldiers who had taken up positions near the forest, surrounded the fort and released a hail of arrows.
Without aiming at the fort, they continued to shoot in the sky.
Naga who wondered himself what they were targeting looked up in the direction of flying arrows, and noticed Yuki’s plank floating there.
She was trying to launch an attack on the enemy from the sky. The wind gusted down from the sky, and each time it did so, screams were raised up as the enemy was blown down. At most 1-2 soldiers would be taken down with every blow.
On the other hand, around 20 soldiers were all aiming at Yuki with their arrows.
“Oi, Ais, isn’t that girl flying too low? At this rate she might fall prey to those arrows.”
“If she hovers too high above the ground, her magic won’t reach the enemy. Even if her attack reaches by chance, it won’t have enough of destructive power. That’s why, she’s launching her attack from that position.”
“Is that so? Even if it’s true, that’s a little…”
Yuki was completely distracted by the constant need to avoid the arrows. Despite her needing to stay in that position, constantly dodging while simultaneously carrying out an assault from low altitudes was definitely an untenable situation.
As Naga thought this, Yuki’s board began to shake violently.
Naga jerked his head up in response to Ais’s muffled scream; Yuki’s plank seemed to have received several hits.
(Is her magic circuit going to be hindered by the piercing arrows just like the wooden puppet?)
As if in confirmation, Yuki’s plank swayed unsteadily and began to drop!
“This is bad!! If this continues she’s going to crash!!” – Ais screamed.
Naga instantly burst into action. He leapt out into the open field and bellowed.
“Yuki, this way! Land this way!”
Yuki’s eyes bulged at the sound of his violent roar.
His voice instantly attracted not only Yuki’s attention, but also that of the surrounding enemies.
“There’s somebody there!”
“Could it be an ally of witches?”
“Don’t come any closer!”
The soldiers shouted and raised their bows.
Ais immediately cried out.
Nonoeru grabbed a flask from around her waist, ripped out the cork, and flung water into the air.
“Water, Oh Water become a shield before me!”
As she uttered the spell, a water membrane appeared in the air above Naga in an attempt to cover him.
However, a few arrows came flying faster than the defense could form.
(I won’t make it in time!) – Ais looked on in desperation, but Naga calmly knocked the arrows down one by one.