While keeping in mind Minerva is still behind him, Moore was running with a feeling like dirt was shoved in his heart.
Young yet talented, it was about five years ago when Moore who was already a prominent figure as a mercenary joined the royal army. The reason why he was able to shut the fussy soldiers that had a better background than him up was because of his abilities, and he managed to climb to a battalion commander with just that. It’s an amazing feat considering his common birth.
Being one of the top ten strongest swordsman in the army, Moore had shut anyone that had problems with him with just his achievements. And someone like him is――.
(Am I afraid?)
He was confused at the tremors inside the core of his body.
There were only few that can best him in a one-on-one situation. Even if his opponent is a Despair, he was confident enough he had room to get by dealing with it.
But the demonic being a while ago wasn’t like what he had ever seen before.
(Just following their movements is all I could do, so depressing)
Moore could barely follow the exchanges mixed with magic and arts between Rona and the demonic being. He thought he needed to assist Rona but, even if he had done so, it wasn’t clear whether he could make any difference.
Moore bit his lips in frustration. Even so, he could only recognize it. The golden beast, Ardis’s partner is stronger than himself by multiple magnitude.
(In any case, where the hell is this?)
Moore changed his negative thinking and tried to reestablish their current situation.
At the very least, there was no such demonic being in his memories. Of course, Moore isn’t all knowing about demonic beings as well, but given its strength just now, there would be at least rumors of some sort.
Not just the demonic being from before, the six-legged beast as well. Though there’re still many things he didn’t grasp as he didn’t fight them for long, from the short period he did exchange with them, Moore judged they are stronger than the 『Despairs of Grasslands』.
(Outside Nagras Kingdom, huh……?)
Unfamiliar beasts and demonic beings. It’s likely they’re somewhere faraway from Nagras Kingdom. But at the same time, Moore’s senses told him that only a short period of time had passed when they were passed out.
It would’ve needed substantial time for them to be transported by someone outside the country.
(Whatever, no point thinking about it now. Finding a safe place first――)
「What’s the matter? 」
Minerva was concerned at Moore who suddenly swore. When she saw what Moore was looking at, her question immediately disappeared. There was a six-legged beast covered in dark blue fur. It’s a familiar look.
「Ah, ……that’s! 」
It was the same large-sized cat-like beast that was finished off by Rona just a while back.
But Rona isn’t around this time. Moore had no choice but to settle it somehow just by using his own powers.
「But if it’s just one……」
Moore knew that the six-legged beasts aren’t normal opponents from the fight previously. But there was only one of them right now. Although it isn’t an easy opponent, Moore decided to gamble on it since it’s going to be a one-on-one battle.
「Ojou-sama, don’t stray too far. Tell me if there’re more of them coming. 」
「Yes, please be careful. 」
Minerva was left behind a few steps, and Moore himself slowly closed the distance with the beast. Of course, the beast had already noticed them. It seemed like it was about to leap forward with its low stance at any time.
「Now then, I was taken aback just now but, it’s my chance to redeem myself. 」
As if Moore’s words were the signal, the six-legged beast started sprinting.
「I had seen that speed already! 」
Although it was agile enough that Moore was taken by surprise the first time, Moore wouldn’t be troubled so much at the second time. Moore swung with his all at the spot where he predicted the beast will arrive.
The intense slash ripped apart the air and came at the beast.
But of course, the beast wouldn’t be beaten quietly. Just before the blade reached the beast’s abdomen, it kicked against the air. Seeing the beast jumped sideways with a strange movement, Moore’s sword slashed thin air.
「I thought so! 」
Moore had seen that trick before, and he already prepared to follow up with attacks. He didn’t draw his sword back, but turned the blade around, and drew even closer.
「A little more! 」
As expected, it couldn’t do the impossible jump twice in a row, the next attack will surely land on the beast’s side.
「What toughness! 」
Moore felt the hardness that came through his sword.
The dark blue fur that is stronger than its looks didn’t receive much damage with blade made of Heavy Iron.
The response was cutting against a piece of chain, it was the proof that Moore’s attack didn’t do much at all to the beast. Moore who tried to dismiss his thoughts and move on to his next attack was met with claws at his face.
A combination attack with its front and middle feet. It was an attack that can only be done because it has six legs.
The reason why Moore could dodge the first two legs was because of his rich experience as a former mercenary. But even so, Moore couldn’t dodge all of them. The middle claw scratched Moore’s cheek.
Of course, it was just a graze. It was not a wound that would impair anything in a battle. But that was what bound Moore.
「M-my body……! 」
Moore’s movement became dull suddenly.
(Fast acting paralyzing poison!?)
With his body that suddenly didn’t move well to his instructions, his conclusion from his experience told him so. The claw that reached only a tiny bit didn’t only have the sharpness to easily slice his flesh.
His legs felt numb as he stepped.
Minerva raised her voice realizing Moore’s irregularity.
「I’m not done yet! 」
Moore yelled with spirit and moved his body with just his will.
It seems like the paralyzing poison isn’t very potent. Although it slowed down his movements, it’s not like he couldn’t move at all. But even so, he couldn’t move as agile as before.
「What’s wrong, six-legged! Come at me! 」
The reason why Moore was provoking the beast was to make it come inside his attacking range somehow. Because the beast might turn its fangs on Minerva, Moore had to muster his strength and lure it.
But as if seeing through his intentions, the beast didn’t move closer to Moore at all.
Their distance was about five meters apart. It is a distance that Moore can easily close normally, but the beast that only looked at him from a distance pissed him off.
It was not a long period of silence.
It was the beast that ended the silence. With its mouth half open, a ball of flame shook and came to life in it.
The red color that made Moore doubt his eyes seemed to drip out of the beast’s mouth.
(Impossible……, you’re saying that it can even spout flames!?)
The beast’s cheek that inflated gradually, it looked like it was inhaling deeply. It was obviously a movement to prepare an attack.
(Something like that, now……!)
Cold sweat was felt behind Moore. The beast was doing an overexaggerated preparation. Moore normally would’ve easily dodged it, but the paralyzing poison in his body that dulled his movement made his senses ring.
The beast stopped inhaling. Moore who was barely standing on his two feet stared at it. The short period that felt long passed, and the beast opened its mouth big.
The shaking red flame was released towards Moore, but at the same time, an intense gale blew and something large covered his sight.
Of course, there’s no one to answer Moore’s question. Replacing that, there was a dull blow sounding, then a cry from the beast.
The beast that was about to spew flames on Moore was held down by something that came from somewhere. As he saw what it was, it is a similar shaped six-legged beast holding it down.
But the one holding it down had numerous wounds carved on it, two legs from its six had already gone missing. The beast that crashed into the one Moore was fighting was already on death’s door.
It didn’t seem like the beast could hold onto it any longer. It is a matter of time before the beast below could break free.
Moore who felt he was saved suddenly saw another six-legged beast jump into his sight. No, it’s more correct to refer it as something that used to be a beast.
Some had their heads missing, some had ruptured abdomen, some were totally charred black, numerous corpses were thrown and landed near Moore.
「From where!? 」
「Commander, they came from that side! 」
Minerva that came behind here unnoticedly pointed out in a direction on the grasslands.
On the far horizon, there was a small shadow running around. If it wasn’t a scenery far way, it would’ve looked like a bunch of flies flying around.
「It seems to be approaching. 」
The small shadows would sometime scatter, and then become one and move. The size of the shadow slowly grew in size. In other words, the group of shadows were slowly approaching their location.
「Someone is fighting with those beasts. 」
Eventually, when the figures become as large as a pinky nail, they could tell a single person silhouette is fighting against many six-legged beasts.
Though, its movement isn’t how a human move, Moore thought. It was as if invisible footholds were set up, and the fist moved in all directions without stopping. It’s more correct to say that the silhouette is flying.
「What the heck? 」
The number of six-legged beasts continued to diminish.
As for Moore who almost nearly lost his life just going against one of them, their difference in strength can’t even be measured. The person would scatter or blow away the beasts around to the ground every time he stepped.
And for the two that was entranced by the unrealistic and strange scenery, they didn’t realize the presence approaching from behind.
「Sorry for the wait――. What’s happening over here, it’s quite noisy? 」
The two people’s shoulders jumped up at the sudden voice, and there was Rona who fought off the demonic being from before.
「R-Rona? I see you’re fine. 」
「Since when……. Please don’t scare me like that, my lifespan is shortened. 」
「Isn’t it your fault for spacing out here. ……Nn? Aah, someone is fighting with a bunch of Nedulos there huh. 」
Easily pushing away their complaints, Rona immediately understood the situation. There was a figure of a human fighting alone against the six-legged beasts, as Rona narrated.
「Nedulo, do you mean the six-legged beasts? 」
「That’s right. They aren’t strong but, they’re all over the place, famous for being troublesome as they multiply everywhere. 」
Moore was depressed at Rona’s words. Since he was struggling and almost lost his life against just one of that 『Aren’t strong』 beast.
「Unn, it seems like they’re approaching. 」
Just like Rona said, the man’s shadow that seemed to scatter the bugs around him slowly approached.
「Shouldn’t we run? 」
「I think it should be fine. Though since they’re dumb enough to rush at anyone once they’re enraged, it’ll be smart to get away just in case but――hmmmm? 」
Rona who was answering Minerva’s question noticed a strange point.
「What is it, Rona? 」
「Could it be, that’s……」
Rona’s gaze was chasing after the shadow of the man fighting against the beasts. The distance had closed enough that the faces can be made out.
Moore saw a black-haired man with worn out equipment. His age seems to be in the thirties. The balance of muscles that showed as he fought was what Moore thought to be the ideal shape.
The six-legged beasts that surrounded him were as if insignificant beings, being cast away as corpses every moment. Although he was stupefied, he also felt his fighting style was emitting a depressing feeling and sadness.
(What, his face……, where did I see it before?)
Moore was strangely familiar with the face. It should be something he’s able to recall but, he wasn’t able in the end. With his thoughts fully occupied, Moore didn’t catch what Rona was muttering.
「Al? ……Why is he here? 」