The surrounding was noisy even after entering the gate.
The people who hurried into the town under the fear of the beasts. All of them seemed listless and depressed.
「Thanks for the help. There would’ve been casualties for sure if not for your help. 」
Just like what the old commander said, although there’re some injured soldiers, there wasn’t any casualty.
「Since it’s an emergency, I shall thank you properly again some time. 」
After getting Ted and the others’ names and their inn, the commander took the soldiers and seemed to head for the castle.
「Well then……. For the time being, we will have to find out what’s――」
Just as Ted was about to voice out his plans to the other members of the party, a young boy’s preadolescent voice was heard from the crowd.
The owner of the voice is the familiar Kyrill from Rovell Merchant Association, the young boy who accompanied Ardis when he came to Reiten the first time. The small statured twelve-year-old boy weaved through the crowds of adults and arrived in front of Ardis and the others.
「Ardis-san, you’re safe. I was worried since I heard that you went for a subjugation request this morning. 」
「As you see, I’m fine. But Kyrill, what happened? We just went away from Reiten for half a day and quite the situation it has become. 」
「That……, it’s still not clear. It was all normal until the afternoon, but suddenly it became like this……」
Kyrill’s anxiety showed in the trembling of his dark blue eyes.
「Ardis-san, do you know what’s happening outside? According to what the people say, there’s a huge number of beasts heading towards the town? 」
「Yeah, an army of beasts――, it was quite the surreal number that surrounded Reiten. There were more than thousands of them when I saw them at the east gate but……, there might be even more now. 」
Kyrill was speechless at the unexpectedly large number.
「That……, isn’t that more than the entire army of Reiten……! 」
Of course, the most of them are just insignificant beasts like Grass Wolves. But there are some rare ones like the 『Beast Kings』 that Ted dealt with just a while ago, they are probably too much for the soldiers to handle. On top of that, although they were still far away, Ardis confirmed the presence of demonic beings as well.
「It might be too much for Reiten’s hands……」
「There will probably be requests for mercenaries to participate too. 」
Ted voice out Ardis thoughts after guessing what he’s thinking.
「In any case, let’s return to the inn first. Leaving aside if there will be any request or not, we should prepare as much as we can. 」
「Yes, it’s just as Norris said. 」
Beside Ted and the others who was talking about their plans, Kyrill said after seemingly remembering something suddenly.
「Ah! That’s right, Ardis-san! Marrieda-san was looking for you. It’s fine if you return to the inn first but please visit the Litte Merchant Association later. 」
「……Marrieda? Yeah, alright. I will definitely swing by. Kyrill, what about you? 」
「I will be going to 『Oversee stock』. 」
Since the soldiers are occupied with the threats outside, it seems like some ill-intentioned people would take advantage of it and cases like riots and burglary would happen.
Because of that, merchant associations would try their best to watch their supplies, sending all their capable men to guard their warehouses. That’s what the merchants call 『Oversee stock』. Looking closely, there were a few tough looking men behind Kyrill. It’s probably Kyrill’s job to guide them to the Rovell’s warehouses.
「Is that so. Sorry for holding you up. You need to hurry for stuffs like that after all. 」
「Yes, then I will be going. Please don’t forget to go to the Litte’s later. 」
Leaving that behind, Kyrill went to the baggage unloading area together with the men.
「Alright, we will head back to our inns first then. Ardis, what about you? 」
「I will be stopping by Litte Merchant Association first before I return to the inn. 」
「Got it, see ya later. 」
After saying goodbye to Ted and the others, Ardis headed towards Litte’s building.
The main street that’s normally peaceful was different today. Although it’s not filled with angry cries like at the west gate, it’s evident that the voices of the pedestrian are lacking their usual liveliness.
「Is Marrieda around? 」
The first thing that Ardis saw when he entered the Litte’s building was a disastrous place akin to an emergency medic outpost of a battlefield.
「――I don’t need to know that~nii! Rather than that, find out what all the upper echelon is thinking! Aren’t all the nobles supposed to do something after benefiting from us so much! What are you planning to do not use that now! ――Prioritize the coal, charcoal and the oil~nii! Food!? The country will control sales for those in no time right! Don’t buy so much that we attract attention! In the first place, it’s the worst idea to get on the people’s bad side! ――Haa!? There’s no one guarding our warehouses yet~nii!? Even the Rovell had sent people long ago! What are you all doing sitting around!? Quickly get two or three mercenaries to do that! ――Ah, Ardis-kun, you came at just the right time―! 」
Marrieda who was giving out instructions left and right finally noticed Ardis’s arrival.
「We need some capable mercenaries~nii! The pay will be one gold a day, interested in working for us? 」
「Why a straight answer immediately!? 」
「Is your matter only that? Then I will be heading back. 」
「Wai―Wait, wait! Wait a little! Not that, there’s something else~nii! For the time being, get inside first! 」
After handing over the site to the middle-aged man, Marrieda pulled Ardis up to the second floor.
「Oi, is that fine? It’s coming from an outsider but, wouldn’t it be a bad idea if the leader left the site? 」
「Well, of course it couldn’t be good. But it’s not something they can hear anyways~nii. 」
After closing the door behind after entering the reception room, Marrieda got to the point immediately without taking a seat on the sofa first.
「How much do you know about the current situation~nii? 」
「Well, only about the fact that there’s a bunch of monsters outside surrounding Reiten……. I just returned a while ago. I dealt with some of them before entering the west gate but, it’s strange how they would come towards the town in a straight line without thinking anything else. In the first place, why is there an army like that attacking suddenly. 」
Unusually, Marrieda nodded agreeing.
「It’s like that but……. Could it be the sword that’s the reason? 」
「You mean the red sword Kyrill brought back? 」
「If it’s a sword that Ardis-kun and I know about, isn’t it obvious it’s that? 」
「Who knows……, even I don’t know much about that sword. 」
「Something like this happened just a few days after it became a cocoon. It might be related after all~nii. 」
Certainly, when Ardis got it from the Corsas Forest, there were strange humanoids that attack during the night. It can’t be blamed that she suspects that it’s the culprit. Just like what Marrieda said, the timing matches the time when the sword is covered and became a cocoon.
「Is there anything in your dreams? 」
「I said it before but, if my dreams was that convenient, there wouldn’t be any troubles~nii. 」
It was unexpected this time, Marrieda added on.
「……Seriously, what an unusable ability. 」
「Nhee! Could it be that I’m regarded useless!? 」
Ardis muttered what he thought but, it seems that it had dealt some damage to Marrieda.
「How about verifying it if you’re concerned? If it’s because of that sword, then it’s better to dispose it somewhere remote. It would be good if the situation gets better just by that. 」
「Eh? Ah―……. Is that fine……? It would be troubling Ardis-kun though……? 」
Although Marrieda hesitated at first, leaving aside whether to dispose it, they just have to see if any of the beasts react to the sword.
「Then, let me have it for a while. Don’t worry, I will properly return it. 」
In the first place, there’s no guarantee that it’s the culprit after all. He left those words as if comforting Marrieda, before taking out the cocooned sword and left the association.
「Well then……. It would be easy to get out of the town if the sentries weren’t around……」
Ardis who got on the main street looked around the town walls that surrounded Reiten.
There wasn’t a gap between the fire posts on top of the walls and beside them were people holding torches. Although there’re people stationed on the town walls normally but, it seems that there’re more now since it’s now an emergency.
「……I guess flying the sword is the only way huh. 」
Flying above the walls of Reiten is an easy feat for Ardis. But now that there’re people looking out the sky for flying monsters, even if the night comes, there’s still a possibility he might get spotted by someone. In fact, there are some who are even intercepting the flying beasts on top of the walls right now.
Ardis climbed one of the highest towers in Reiten, and peeked outside the walls.
「There’re more now huh. 」
What reflected in Ardis’s eyes was the same army of beasts outside the Reiten walls. Although Ardis knew their numbers were in the thousands before but, it seems like they have increased again.
The walls aren’t so weak that it crumbles under the beasts. But there’s no telling what might happen if the army of beasts continues pounding on it. Even worse, there’re some strong demonic beings mixed in the army as well.
Immediately, Ardis took out the sword in question and used his magic to send it flying outside the walls without getting seen by the sentries. He tried changing the direction, height, and moved the sword around the beasts for a while, he sighed shortly after.
「Nothing huh. 」
The beasts didn’t show a single reaction to the moving sword, they just mindlessly continued crashing into the walls of Reiten. Ardis tried shoving the sword right into the army of beasts, but nothing happened as well.
Eventually, when the night had completely fallen, Ardis decided to recall the sword.
「How was it? 」
When Ardis arrived back at the Litte Merchant Association, Marrieda asked expectantly.
「It doesn’t seem like the sword is related. They didn’t show any reaction at all. 」
Ardis replied while looking at the cocooned red sword, Marrieda showed an unusual difficult expression.
「Here, I returned it as promised. 」
「No, it’s better than Ardis-kun holds onto it~yon. 」
Ardis offered the sword back but Marrieda waved her hands.
「What? You’re getting scared holding onto it now? 」
「It’s not like that~nii. It was the plan to give it to Ardis-kun anyways―」
Marrieda said it as a matter of fact, and Ardis narrowed his black eyes.
「The plan? 」
「I don’t know what time it was but, that’s something Ardis-kun should have, probably. 」
From what Marrieda said, it’s might be that she saw Ardis with the sword in her dreams.
「……Is that so. Then I will hold onto it. But, if something weird comes out of the cocoon, I won’t hesitate to throw it away. 」
「Go ahead. 」
Marrieda replied while smiling widely.
With the sword still in his hands, Ardis left the Litte Merchant Association.
Although it feels like something troublesome had just been pushed onto him, it’s true that Ardis himself is intrigued by the sword. After all, it’s the sword that he got from the ruins in Corsas Forest, and there’s Nere’s hair on it too.
After all, Ardis had stayed in Reiten for the sake of looking over the sword but, if he has it, then there’s no need to stay around. Of course, hunting daily with Ted and the others is not a bad routine, but it’s about time he returns home.
「I guess cleaning up the lots outside will be first huh. 」
Muttering softly, Ardis headed towards the inn where Ted and the others are waiting.