All the inquisition soldiers and the mercenaries came at Ardis at the plump-eared priest’s order. Was it bravery that allowed them to charge in without hesitation, or was it their belief in the goddess.
Just glancing, many were already injured. It’s probably the price of forcing their way through the forest. There might’ve been more people in the beginning.
「This wouldn’t have happened if you behaved well. 」
However, Ardis is not a benevolent person to stay quiet in a fight.
「There’s no holding back. 」
There’s no need for Ardis to be purposely holding back at this point. Only enemies are around Ardis currently. There’s no need to be bound by others’ opinions or laws at this point.
Since the other party was already coming at him outside the bounds of law, Ardis has no reason to deal with them like a gentleman.
「Don’t allow him the chance to use arts! 」
The priest gave out a useless order. After all, for Ardis who doesn’t need any chanting, distance and time is meaningless. All he needs is to properly grasp the situation.
Ardis’s arm swung to the side. Several sharp spears made from stone appeared from the earth lining up, then in the next moment shot out together.
「Don’t falter! Push through with numbers! 」
「Don’t just face him from the front! Circle around! 」
The mercenaries who were at the front suffered from Ardis’s first attack. There were about ten who received severe injuries, and also those that managed to defend with a shield.
Seeing that, the inquisition soldiers further back circled around the mercenaries to the side.
Ardis opened a 『Gate』 to summon his swords from the other world. A distortion in space appeared from nowhere, and within that tiny slit, 『Springtime Mist』 and 『Moon’s Blizzard』 showed their blades.
「Heads up! It’s sword magic! 」
One of the mercenary warned his other comrades. Sword magic that allows sword to fly in the air without a human wielding it. It is the arts that can be said as Ardis’s second nature.
Following behind the yellowish green and pure white blades, more appeared.
「Wha, how many swords are there……! 」
One of the inquisition soldiers was speechless. It was not just two or three swords summoned over from the other world.
As if the escorts of Ardis protecting him, the swords continued to appear and float in the air. Their numbers are already in the twenties.
Although Ardis’s performance in the war with the Empire showed his capability of manipulating close to a thousand blades, there wasn’t a single person here who had witnessed that.
For them, twenty swords are already a surprising number.
「Ignore the sword magic! Charge in! 」
A reckless order from the plump-eared priest.
「Try and see! 」
With Ardis’s words, the flying swords lined up. Despite it being a little spacious around the house, it is originally a narrow forest terrain.
Even with about a hundred people, only at most twenty or thirty people are able to take the front. The flying swords were stopping them from putting up a formation. Even without wielders, they are swords manipulated by Ardis.
Twenty swords is Ardis’s current limit where he can still perfectly perform his swordsmanship. It’s obvious that any normal opponents would be sliced as the result.
Although some managed to slip past the flying swords’ guard, it’s still considered advantageous for Ardis. A normal sorcerer wouldn’t be able to cast several arts at a time.
However, for Ardis who doesn’t need chanting, activating arts is as natural as moving his body. While manipulating the flying swords, multiple spears of earth shot towards the enemies.
「Kuh! Why is he not finished yet!? 」
Beside the plump-eared priest’s angry howling, the previous Marquis Holguin muttered to himself.
「But just a while more. A while more and……」
As if waiting for that moment, the previous marquis exclaimed.
「They are here! 」
Responding to his voice, soldiers appeared from both east and west encircling Ardis.
「With this, you’re as good as dead! 」
The previous marquis shouted as if the outcome is set. The soldiers’ equipment had the emblem of the Holguin house. It’s probably the territorial army that the previous marquis brought over himself.
While Ardis is busy with the mercenaries and the inquisition army at the front, they will hit him from the sides. It’s undoubtedly their plan. However, Ardis saw that from a mile away.
「Did you think I won’t notice? 」
With Ardis’s ability to sense mana signatures, it’s practically impossible for him to be surprise attacked.
He knew in advance that a considerable force had circled to the east and west, and it was obvious in their movements that they were trying to sandwich him.
Welcoming the new enemies, a sphere shining in rainbow colors appeared above Ardis. Waves appeared on the surface of the sphere, and the peaks of it became arrows of lights.
「L-Litte・Kyuol・Ro・Berne (Bow of Rainbow)!?」
The plump-eared priest’s face suddenly turned green. With light streaks numbered in the tens showered towards the sides, twenty or so vanguards had their body punctured and fell like dominos.
Beside the speechless plump-eared priest was the previous marquis shouting.
「Don’t falter! He’s only one person! He can’t manage if we charge! 」
Were they highly trained, or influenced by other factors, the soldiers were charging at Ardis without fear. As expected, with attacks coming from three directions, just twenty flying swords will be difficult to deal with them.
Ardis himself was swinging Skies of Myriad Colors in his hands as well, disposing of the soldiers nearby. The current Ardis has not a sliver of thoughts of mercy or sympathy.
He had endured over and over, respected the law and the society, this is the result of approaching it docilely. If the opponents are coming at him unlawfully, then Ardis’s choice of method would be the same.
Fortunately, there’re only enemies all around Ardis. If so, without any witness left behind, there’s probably no aftereffects.
No matter if his opponents are nobles or clergymen here, no one would be able to tell what happened here if no one will be alive to tell. There’s nothing holding Ardis back in this remote place that law doesn’t reach.
「How!? How is dealing with just one sorcerer this troublesome! There’re only trained mercenaries and soldiers here! 」
Although the previous marquis was furiously denying reality and shaking his head, the future will not unfold in the scenario he imagined.
Even for the group of two hundred people that came from the east and west, their numbers had decreased by more than half. On the other hand, although Ardis himself was swinging his sword without pause, there wasn’t a single injury on him,
Just when the outcome was about to be clear――.
Another group appeared in the north direction. As expected, for Ardis who is busy dealing with all the enemies in his sight, there was no room for him to be sensing presences.
Ardis whose expression hardened a little widened his eyes when he saw the new group.
「Thoria soldiers!? 」
It is a group that appeared with uniform equipment. However, the problem was their familiar equipment. The insignia carved on their equipment are undoubtedly the Thoria’s.
Although their numbers was only thirty, Ardis was surprised to see opponents that he didn’t expect to see. Without regards of him, the Thoria soldiers shot fire arrows designed to set things on fire. Their aim was on the house where Nere and the twins are in.
They must’ve thrown in molotov cocktails as well. The flames engulfed the roof within no time, as the house was covered in a shapeless red. It had already spread to the entrance.
The flames that licked at the walls of the house was like a prison made out of heat. There’s no way people inside could escape unscathed. Their only choice would be dying in the burning house, or resolve themselves to die and run through the flames.
But however, that only applies if the people living inside is normal. The flames engulfing the house suddenly froze in time without any precursor.
The translucent ice covered the entire house, making the heat from a moment ago disappear like an illusion. The frozen entrance was then kicked open, and the beautiful but noisy self-proclaimed servant with Aliceblue hair appeared from within.
「The cleaning will be a headache, I suppose. 」
With an intonation as if the laundry won’t be drying because of the weather, Nere exited the house. And following behind her was Fillia and Riana.
The plump-eared priest and the inquisition soldiers who saw their figure were shaken.
「Filthy twins! 」
「He’s an apostle of the Evil God! 」
「It’s really there! 」
At the same time, voices originated from the other side as well.
「Long white hair with tinge of blue……! 」
「It’s her! 」
「So you were hiding in this kind of place! 」
They were from the Thoria soldiers.
I see, as Ardis somehow understood. Rather than Ardis or the twins that Lord Thoria had nothing with, Nere was the one they’re aiming for.
Ardis and the others had already left Thoria for more than six years. He didn’t think back at all about it recently but, it seems like Lord Thoria was a person to remember grudges and had been investigating him all this time.
「Was it the church? Or the previous marquis? 」
It was Ardis’s mutter directed to no one. Ardis’s name was something known within the Kingdom. Naturally, it should be also known by Lord Thoria and his soldiers. However, none of them should’ve known that Ardis and the others were living secludedly in the Corsas Forest.
The church and the previous Marquis Holguin had assaulted the house, so one of them must’ve called out to Lord Thoria, and had him sent over reinforcements as well.
「Get her! Capturing is unnecessary! 」
An order came from one of the Thoria soldiers. Another volley of arrows was once again released. About thirty arrows flew in the air, aiming for Nere.
「Futile efforts. 」
Nere’s hands swiped horizontally gracefully. Suddenly, the arrows flying towards her were blown away by an intense wind. Arrows that aren’t even reinforced with mana is not a threat that would need Nere to even deploy a physical barrier.
「Here is my return gift. 」
Saying so expressionlessly, several blocks of ice manifested ahead of Nere.
「Do well to receive them. 」
They were shot out the same time with her words, and the soldiers standing at the forefront collapsed defenselessly.
「Me too! 」
「I-I can do it too! 」
Fillia and Riana started going against the soldiers as well. Dense cloud of mana appeared beside Nere, and manifested as masses of ice and wind.
The blocks of ice and wind blades were thrown at the Thoria soldiers with a shout. The one surprised seeing that was not the Thoria soldiers, but the plump-eared priest and the inquisition soldiers.
「Without the needs of chant!? 」
「The works of a devil!? 」
Although still cutting them down, Ardis felt irritated, about the fact that why using magic without chanting even relates to a devil.
After all, Ardis and Nere had been using magic without chants for a while now. Despite so, both of them never got that attention, Ardis was stupefied at their thinking ability seeing the twins do the same thing.
People with narrow vision are fools. Ardis recalled the words of a past comrade who likes to talk hypocrisy.
However, now is not the time to be nostalgic. A momentary glare at the plump-eared priest, Ardis continued cutting down one mercenary after another.
He didn’t intend to show killing people to the twins but, it’s already too late to change to a no-killing policy now. With Lord Thoria involved in this matter now, even if he cleaned up the situation here skillfully, a next time would surely happen.
But in the end, the conclusion hasn’t change. That is, to not allow any one of the enemies here to return.