A few days passed while they were aware of the Empire’s movements, and Ardis was faced with a surprise attack that he had never expected.
Ardis whose name was called out suddenly turned around.
As the voice didn’t have any hostility, and it was one that he was familiar with, he was completely unguarded.
Two girls suddenly crashed into Ardis.
Below the platinum blonde hairs were pair of pupils in the color of bluish light green, looking at him.
「Fillia, Riana……. Why are you two here? 」
「Of course, it’s because we’re worried for Ardis! 」
「We heard that Ardis collapsed! 」
Fillia and Riana said at the same time towards Ardis who had round eyes.
Their expression was very serious.
「So, are you alright!? Anywhere hurt!? 」
「If you’re awake, then you’re fine!? Anywhere pain!? 」
It looks like they heard the news about Ardis passing out after getting defeated by Victor.
Although he didn’t know who, he guessed that it was probably Moore or Marrieda that contacted the hidden village.
「My body is fine. As you can see, no problems at all. 」
To have them not worry, Ardis stretched both his arms outwards and smiled.
After all, Ardis didn’t get particularly hurt by Victor other than the fact he was struck unconscious.
At most, there were only a few bruises, rather, it was less painful when compared to what he felt from falling from the sky.
「Still, don’t let Rona do all the work. As expected, it’s harsh for him to let both of you ride on him too. 」
「What are you saying? 」
「Rona is in the hidden village though? 」
Ardis totally thought they came here on Rona’s back, so he voiced another possibility.
「Then did Nere bring you two? 」
「We came here just by ourselves? 」
To Ardis whose understanding didn’t catch up at all, Riana sighed a little.
「Ardis, we’re already sixteen years old. 」
「……I guess so. 」
「And it’s been four years since we started using arts. 」
「Was it that long already. 」
「With four years of experience, we learned how to make footholds, and can also fly in the sky on our own. 」
Ardis who didn’t expect Riana’s words at all asked Fillia for confirmation, but the response he got back was a smug smile.
「That’s right. 」
Looks like they really did come through that demonic realm on their own without Rona or Nere’s help.
「Don’t tell me you came without telling the others? 」
「We came with Nere’s permission. 」
Moreover, they already have Nere’s permission, so in other words, they have gained enough power that she judged that they can repel any demonic beings even in the sky.
「Ardis, we aren’t little children anymore!? 」
「We can decide on our own what to do. 」
「We must decide how to live our lives on our own. Didn’t you say so previously, Ardis? 」
「……Well, I did. 」
Being cited of his previous line, Ardis couldn’t do anything but be convinced.
「That is why we decided. We want to be of help for Ardis. 」
「And we decided. To fight with Ardis. 」
「Ha? No, wait! 」
For some reason, the twins were speaking the same thing as Minerva, and caused Ardis to panic.
「It’s true that Ardis is very strong. That’s what we know more than anyone. 」
「But even such Ardis have occasions like this time. And we aren’t the powerless us that couldn’t do anything in the past. 」
「We want to repay our debt for being protected this long. We won’t be conceited to ask Ardis to be protected by us. But at the very least, a little help……, just to help a little in sharing the burden on Ardis’s back. 」
「That’s the path we chose. Even if you don’t approve, we won’t listen to any complaints. With our own will, for our own sakes. 」
Attacked from two sides, Ardis lost his words.
It’s true that Ardis had always been saying the words 『Choose your own paths, and bear the consequences』 to them.
At the same time, he recalled promising not to object no matter what they chose.
If he was to deny their will here, it would be the same as denying his own words.
If both were powerless, then he might’ve tried to convince them otherwise.
However, they are both genius magicians labelled by Kyrill who was even called the irregular in the Mariules Academy.
Even if he wanted to oppose their ideas, danger would be too weak of a reasoning considering they have enough power to fight against the demonic beings that flies in the skies of the Canobis Mountain Range.
In the first place, it’s unlikely to find anyone else more proficient as a magician than them.
「No, but……… mercenaries don’t just fight against beasts or demonic beings. They must fight against other people too. I don’t want to have you experience killing……」
Cursing his clumsy past self, Ardis who identified himself as a guardian voiced his difficult insistence.
However, Ardis knows fully well that it was very selfish of him to say so.
「We didn’t come here to kill people. We are here to protect Ardis. 」
In the end, the thought he had of not wanting the twins to choose a path of fighting, was just for his self-satisfaction when he thought about it.
Eventually, Ardis reluctantly accepted them under the pretense of respecting their will.
The impromptu defensive wall around the town of Glock was getting daily reinforced further and built on by Ardis, Kyrill, and Ellenoa, a group of magicians.
With Fillia and Riana who have considerable prowess as magicians joining, the efficiency dramatically increased. The impromptu weak walls soon became tough.
Just considering their defensive power, it was not farfetched to call them castle walls.
The problem was the lack of manpower to support that.
Thanks to a changed mindset after the previous assault from the Thoria army, there were a lot more volunteers that were willing to undergo training as militia, but in total, their numbers didn’t even make it past five hundred.
No matter how strong the walls were, it’s difficult to make use of them with just five hundred people.
For the town of Glock that has no ends of troubles, the biggest problem is the Empire’s movements.
After the previous battle, there were many that decided to leave.
Starting from the former capital of Gran, several towns of the old Kingdom, Reiten, and cities of the east in the Coalition, had started to regain their daily lives.
Naturally, there are many that want to return to their hometown and daily lives.
Like Minerva who has a position that doesn’t allow her to live in a territory controlled by the Empire, people that seek revenge and couldn’t stand the barbarism of the Imperial soldiers that caused them to lose their close ones, only such people with reasons remained in the town.
The Rovres Alliance antis started to gather at Glock, and as the result, just as the population started to decline after the Thoria battle, it quickly regained its former numbers.
At the same time, with Minerva’s presence, the town of Glock became known as a place of gathering for those that wish to rebel against the Rovres Alliance.
「Naturally, leaving this town alone―― is not something the Empire would do. 」
As if affirming Moore’s words, the news of the Imperial army closing in arrived.
「Do we know their numbers? 」
Inside the post, Kyrill who had well became an official member of the guards’ corps, asked Moore.
「Three thousand, it seems. 」
「That’s quite the splurging amount they have. 」
Ellenoa widened her eyes in surprise.
She was also one of the precious manpower for the guards’ corps like Kyrill.
Ellenoa who had received high-class education in Mariules Academy became an important fighting asset for Glock.
「They probably learned a lesson from the Thoria army’s previous defeat. But well, they might be too bored since there’s nowhere else to send their army. 」
「Being the target from that isn’t funny~nii. 」
Although she wasn’t personnel that was concerned with fighting, Marrieda who is responsible in handling supplies, also participated in the meeting.
「Please don’t come, it’s not like saying that to them would make them go away. 」
「It’s as Ojou-sama said. If they are going to attack, what we can do is to defend. Luckily, the defensive walls have been reinforced considerably since the battle with Thoria, but……」
「What’s the problem? 」
In place of Moore, Ardis answered Kyrill’s question.
「Honestly speaking, holing up isn’t desirable. 」
「But aren’t the walls reinforced for us to hole up? 」
「That’s right. But there’s a difference in numbers six folds this time, and on top of that, we have an obvious lack of manpower when compared with the scale of the walls. Surely there will be an opening somewhere if three thousand soldiers surround the walls. During the Thoria battle, it was unavoidable because we didn’t have many soldiers nor time, but ideally, we would finish the battle before they surrounded the town. 」
Then, Ardis’s explanation was next questioned by Cain of the guards’ corps.
「That means fighting on the field? But wouldn’t that be exactly when the difference between numbers is too big? 」
Responding to that, Ardis’s answer was although correct, but it was also very reckless.
「It ends as soon as the enemy commander gets taken down. 」
「You’re planning to charge ahead alone again? 」
He probably recalled the Thoria battle.
Moore who had a slightly soury expression had a slight blaming tone, but Ardis shook his head.
「What I’m doing is just to set it up. Taking the general’s head is left to Moore’s team. 」