Yuuki, who had gone out scouting, returned back on her hoverboard at full speed towards Fort Ein.
“They’re coming, they’re coming, they’re coming! A troop from Kasandora Kingdom is heading this way!”
Rapidly descending down on her hoverboard, Yuuki flew around the inside of the fort at a low height while shouting with a loud voice.
The witches, both inside and outside of the buildings, broke into a run after hearing Yuuki’s warning.
Yuuki had a minimum number of her ultrathin clothes put on her, but there were many witches wearing more or less some sort of armor. Despite saying so, their armors were either wooden or leather made ones, so as not to affect their flow of magic.
The witches kept gathering one after another inside an open space of the fort.
Naga who had already arrived there asked Yuuki for a confirmation of the enemy’s position.
“What’s their number?”
“I wonder if it’s not around a thousand.”
“Were they carrying any heavy weaponry for a castle siege?”
“I guess that would be a catapult. They had 2 of them, and apart from that, a single battering ram, I think.”
“Anything else that stood out?”
“Is that so? Thank you for your hard work.”
Hovering in the air, Yuuki averted her eyes with a slightly flushed face.
“N….No, I haven’t done anything in particular, just the usual. It isn’t something to be praised for, especially, not by you.”
“Doing what one’s ought to do, even that deserves some praise, no?”
“Ah, that’s right. Well, if you really want to compliment me, shouldn’t you do it as much as possible?”
(Not like I’m doing it on a whim, but….)
“While we’re at it, will you go and keep an eye on the enemy’s movements once more?”
“It’s what I’m in charge of, so I don’t need you to tell me that.”
The wind gathered around Yuuki’s hoverboard while creating a vortex. Immediately after that, she soared into the sky as if bouncing off the ground with an unnoticeable force.
Naga looked up at her hoverboard growing smaller inside the slightly cloudy sky. Finally, shifting back his sight and directing it toward the present witches, he issued instructions in rapid succession.
“Elysione will recheck if all the coats are available for use.”
“Kay, tag alongside with Elysione.”
“Ixine, Raibach, bring the horses.”
“Harrigan, we’ll be preparing for a sortie. Order others to open the gate.”
“Vita too, can you help me?”
“Harlequin, go release the animals.”
“Ais, you’re prepared to throw cobble, right?
“Those who are assigned to this fort’s garrison, take your positions.”
Receiving Naga’s orders, the witches continued to scatter.
Shortly thereafter, Raibach brought 2 horses by their reins.
“Ohh, good work.”
Naga, who easily saddled his own horse, reached out his hand towards Vita.
“I can do it by myself.”
Saying so, Vita lightly pushed off from the ground.
Once her body was thought to dance high into the air, she gently placed herself on the saddle just like a falling feather.
“Ah, true. I forgot you can make yourself light.”
“That’s right. Even if the horse was to be almost three meters tall, I can still easily mount it.”
“Even I would have a problem mounting such a tall horse!”
Naga turned around the horse after retorting like that.
“Excellent. Those who are ready, follow me!”
As soon as Naga kicked his horse’s flank and pulled its reins, he ran off towards the gate.
Raibach followed after on his horse.
“Ah~, Naga-san, please waitttt”
Ixine, whose setting off was a bit delayed, chased after them both while shaking her long hair tied in a bundle on her back.
Learning about Kasandora Kingdom’s movements from Yuuki, Naga postponed his investigation into his enemy’s state of affairs and proceeded to counterattack.
Just as Naga predicted, the kingdom of Kasandora would sooner or later come to retake their fort, but, their number was less than what he had anticipated.
One could probably say it was the best Kasandora could dispatch right now, as they didn’t appear to have any other forces.
In other words – they were weakened.
Naga, who ran off to the outside of the fort, could tell there were around a thousand enemy troops approaching.
(We can repel them if it’s that many. Once we manage to deal with Kasandora Kingdom, they shouldn’t have any spare power left to attack us. They’re trying to buy time, in order not to let us strengthen this fort’s defenses and establish the country of the witches.)
However, Naga still wasn’t aware of the most elite troop that belonged to the Holy Chivalric Order of the Old Church, the Brigade of 88, being included.
The main road that ran from the capital of the Kasandora Kingdom to Fort Ein was just like a path connecting a mountainous zone and a hilly area.
With only a mountain forest and a wasteland existing in its surroundings, there were neither cities nor villages, or even cultivated lands to be seen.
Apparently, the road was said to have been originally used by merchants who travelled along the Schweiz River from the city of Lancel, located near the mouth of the river. Even Fort Ein was built in order to protect them, and recently, it had become the frontline base for countering the witches.
On top of a slightly elevated hill located near the road, there was a small hut erected in a place of digging. The hut was most likely built in a big rush, as it was roughly done and had many cracks. Not even a single sign of life could be felt from its interior.
Inside that empty and confined room, only a single, thin mantle was spread out on top of the floor. However, that mantle began to slowly rise.
Finally, Elysione’s head stuck out from within it.
What’s more, as the mantle continued to rise, Elysione’s body was fully materializing.
“Umm…. did we arrive?”
A voice from inside the mantle was heard.
Elysione’s bare skin became exposed as she coiled the mantle.
She was wearing nothing apart from the mantle, but that was simply due to the nature of her skill, which only allowed her to carry living things. While it’s obvious that metal thwarts magic, even a single piece of cloth is capable of obstructing one’s skill. That’s why Elysione wouldn’t wear a single thread whenever she teleports with her magic.
At her feet, Kay was crawling out in a squirming manner, nevertheless, she too was fully nude. As long as Elysione held a person in her arms, they would be able to teleport as well, but the condition was they had to be naked.
“Can I wear something?”
“There’s no such thing here.”
“That’s because we would have to teleport to the next mantle anyway, sooner or later. Wearing clothes at each stop is a waste of time.”
Kay looked up at Elysione, who was wearing her mantle, with a miserable face.
“No…. do you mean to say I should remain naked, whereas, it’s fine for you to cover your body with that mantle?”
“Don’t you always look naked anyway? And now, you’re feeling embarrassed?”
“N, No. Well, that may be true, but….. but, even if it’s a single cord, wearing something feels different from wearing nothing?”
“Stop complaining. I’m going to leave you like that here.”
Seeing how Elysione’s head began to sink, Kay panicked while making a commotion.
Flustered about the fact of being left behind like that, Kay jumped at Elysione.
“Ah, hey, don’t coil the mantle!”
As a result of the mantle being rolled up by Kay, Elysione’s lower half of body became exposed.
“Let me in, let me in, let me in.”
Kay thrusted in her head through the part of the mantle that was coiled.
“Hey, that place, ah, don’t push your face thereee!
“Mufun. Elysione, I didn’t know you were this hair-
“Aw, that hurts!
“I told you not to push your face in there!”
Kay, who pulled out her head from the mantle, gently brushed the punched back of her head.
“Honestly, don’t punch me this strong when I’m not hardened….”
“Shut up. I’ll seriously leave you behind if you aren’t obedient. I guess, you’d enjoy walking around like this.”
“Uwaaa, please spare me from that.”
Kay bowed down in a docile manner toward Elysione.
“If you don’t want it to happen, then be obedient.”
Kay crawled under the mantle in a hurry, as Elysione spread out its hem.
“Fine, then let’s teleport to the next mantle.”
Multiple mantles containing Elysione’s own magic were placed along the main road, in case of emergency. With them, it’s possible for Elysione (and one more person) to move around the main road within a blink of time. Just now, Elysione was checking on the mantles’ functionality, whereas, Kay was tagging along as her guard. It was their last check.
“Ah, speaking of which,”
Kay raised her voice from inside of the mantle.
“Elysione, if Naga-san is determined to carry out an infiltration and survey, will you follow him?”
“No, I wonder about that. It hasn’t been decided yet, but…”
“If something was to happen to Naga-san, would you escape together with him?”
“I guess…. so.”
“In other words, you’d would do so even if it meant for you to transport the naked Naga-san, right?”
Elysione warped her face while slightly groaning. Naturally, Kay, who was hiding inside the mantle and clinging to Elysione’s waist couldn’t see it, however,
“Does it mean you’d be willing to carry him when teleporting? Regardless of being totally naked and clinging to each other?!”
“I, I don’t want to think about it, so don’t touch on that topic any further!”
“Eh? You don’t like it? You don’t want to do those things?”
“As if I would?!”
“Eh~, you really aren’t interested in doing that? Even though I was envying you.”
Elysione warped her face again and asked back.
“E, Envy me? You mean embracing with a man while being naked?”
“No, it’s not about a man, but Naga-san, you see. Even I would hate to have a man as my partner.”
“So you don’t mind as long it’s Naga-dono?”
“You see, back when Naga-san gave me a ride, somehow, I felt a bit nostalgic after clinging to his back. You could say that the memories of my father came back to me?”
Elysione made an astonished face this time.
“You, can recall things about your father?”
“Should you describe it as recalling? It’s just a mere fragment from my memory, but you see….”
“Is that so?”
“That’s why I was wondering if I could remember more about my father, were I to embrace Naga-san”
“While being naked?”
Kay responded quite indifferently.
“Yes, while being naked.”
Elysione looked under her feet with a dumbfounded expression.
“In that case, I wonder if you shouldn’t place your trust in Naga-dono and say ‘Please embrace with me while naked’, or maybe, it would be better to get naked and intrude into that man’s bedroom?”
Uhyaaa – a hysteric voice was raised from the mantle’s inside.
“As expected, it’s embarrassing. It’s too embarrassing, so nooooo.”
“Hey, don’t struggle!”
Elysione scolded Kay, who was clinging to her while shaking her own body. As she did so, Elysione breathed a sigh.
“Good to know that even you have some shame.”
“Uwaaa, I’ve been told something rude just now.”
“It’s not the right time for idle talks, so let’s go to our next destination.”
“Yes, please do it~”
They both disappeared from the hut immediately after Elysione’s head had sunk down, and the only thing left was the mantle that spread out on the floor.
By the time Elysione and Kay finished their job and returned, only a group in charge house-sitting was there.
They both teleported to a mantle that had been put the closest to the place of anticipated counter-attack.
There, Naga’s group was in the middle of preparing to counter.
Elysione left the naked Kay behind and walked toward her comrades, after which she received a change of clothes and took them back to Kay. Despite them being spares, they were the same, usual, ultrathin clothes. Still, for Kay, who was able to use hardening magic, there was no need to prepare armor, even for a battle.
Wearing a minimum amount of clothing, Kay reached the place of Naga and the rest.
“Ooh, is that you, Kay? Thank you for your hard work.”
“Ahhhh, yes, you too.”
Being watched in front, Kay averted her eyes as if feeling something bad.
“What? What’s the matter?”
Seeing Elysione approaching from behind Kay, Naga moved his sight towards her and asked.
“Did something bad happen when you teleported together?”
“No, I don’t think that’s the case.”
Elysione replied while making a broad grin.
“Tha girl, Kay, she might come to Naga-dono’s bedroom with a request, I think.”
“Ha? What do you mean?”
In front of Naga who was blinking with surprise, Kay jumped at Elysione.
“Don’t say itttttttt!”
“KhKhey, don’t close people’s mouuh!”
Kay blocked Elysione’s mouth with her right hand as if trying to stretch herself. She was slowly fainting while following Elysione’s movements.
“Should you mention anything about that, I’ll strip of that mantle of yours, alright? And if that happens, it will be in front of Naga-san, you know?”
“Tha whoul be trouvesome.”
“With that, Elysione’s huge breasts and thickly haired crotch would be completely expo——”
This time, it was Elysione’s turn to close Kay’s mouth.
“Youh ah dwead if yu sah a word.”
Elysione and Kay blocked their opponent’s mouths while glaring at each other.
Finally, they both put a smile on their drawn faces and nodded.
“I won’t touch on that matter again.”
“I think we’ve reached a mutual agreement.”
“What’s that? Looks like the two of you’ve become quite friendly with each other. As one would expect, Has Kay finally opened herself up to others?”
Ais, who was watching the three of them from a place a bit apart, slightly bent her neck.
“It seems to be a bit different from getting along, but, well, I guess it’s a good thing for the witches from both clans to become close with each other.”
Ais could feel this was the result of ushering in Naga.
Isn’t it essential for one to associate with a person of different view and sense of values? Living within a single clan and adhering to one’s belief, wouldn’t that turn into one’s own weakness? Receiving an outsider, holding a conversation and being open-minded toward that person, recently, Ais had been wondering if those points weren’t crucial.
(Later, wouldn’t we have to form a kinship with people from the outside? If it’s mine and Naga-san’s child, it will surely be born as a superior witch….. Wha, uwaaa?! Oh dear, just what am I thinking about?!)
Ais forcefully shifted her eyes toward the pile of cobble inside a cage.
(R, R, R, Right now we should prioritize and focus on our counterattack against the Kasandora Kingdom. There’s no time for pondering about anything else. No time at all. Calm down, me.)
She took a deep breath.
Ais had been repeatedly doing her throwing practice for days like this. She had become able to throw cobble at a distance further than 270 meters. Not to mention, her aim had improved as well.
Still, Ais can’t wear any armor due to her having to enhance her body with her magic. Because of that, she would need to wear her usual, thin clothes and have someone stand beside her to repel arrows. On the bright side however, Ais possessed a great offensive ability.
This time, the one in charge of guarding her was Nonoel. As long as she was close to water, Nonoel could keep away the flying arrows with a shield created from a water membrane. Holding a bucket of water in her hands, Nonoel was on a standby next to Ais. She too was wearing ultrathin clothes due to the nature of her magic.
(When I observe their appearances, somehow, it feels like I will lose my interest in this battle, which is troublesome. Nevertheless, it’s a nice view)
“Naga, what are you looking at?”
Harrigan, who had finished preparing the wooden dolls, approached him.
“While it’s the same as usual, I still can’t agree on your look, which isn’t right for battle.”
For Harrigan to move the dolls using her magic, she too had to wear ultrathin garments.
“Metal nullifies our magic, so it’s inevitable that we can’t put on any armor. By the way, shouldn’t it be all the more reason for you to be glad?”
“Well, it’s just as you say.”
“I see you’ve finally become honest, haven’t you?”
Harrigan’s jet-black, abundant hair floated in the air.
“N, No, it isn’t just me? Generally, all men would be happy at that fact? Right, Raibach?”
Raibach, who was on a standby behind Naga, caught a glimpse of Harrigan and turned away his gaze hurriedly.
“P……Please don’t ask me for an approval.”
“Well, I guess I’ll let you go.”
Because Harrigan’s hair fell loosely, they both sighed with relief.
“Speaking of which, it’s fine for us to completely follow according to the plan, right, Naga?”
“With the current situation, we should be able to win without any trouble.”
(Without any trouble, you say? As always, this guy is amazingly self-confident.)
“I shall amend the plan and give you new instructions in case something unexpected occurs, but for now, we’ll ambush them as arranged. Harrigan, please assign everyone to their posts.”
Harrigan returned back, so as to convey Naga’s instructions to the rest of her witches.
“Ais, you too should prepare soo…., hey, what are you doing?”
Ais, who became confused, stopped her deep breathing and swung with her opened, right hand.
“Eh? Noooo, I’m not doing anything?”
“I understand you might be nervous, but, worry not. This time, we should be able to win without exerting ourselves too much.”
“Ah…. yes, that’s….. right.”
Ais wasn’t particularly nervous before the battle, but, since it was difficult and troublesome to explain the reason why she was flustered, Ais made a vague smile and nodded.
“Well then, I guess I will go and take my position as well.”
“I’m relying on you. Vita, you too, please be prepared soon.”
“Umu, understood. Then, shall we make our last arrangements? Hey, Elysio, let’s go.”
Seeing off Vita and Elysione leaving his place, Naga faced toward Kay.
“Kay, be on a standby together with the wooden dolls.”
“Ah, yes, understood.”
Kay left soon after too.
Naga looked with a distant view at the main road running from the north to south. He couldn’t see well, since the road was zigzagging between the hills, but, Naga soon noticed the troops from the Kasandora Kingdom appearing in his view. There were roughly a thousand of them.
On the other hand, Naga’s countering group had a little less than 20 witches, still, he was confident in what he had said before.
(That’s right. There should be no problem as long it’s that many. We should worry about that…… afterwards.)
Naga’s thoughts were already focused on the next battle.