「Quickly go! Quick! 」
「Hey! That’s my stuff! Don’t you dare touch it! 」
「Hurry! The gate is closing soon! Just give up on the baggage and get inside! 」
「Mercenary-san, that’s impossible! I would go bankrupt if I left these here! 」
「My wife! I don’t see my wife anywhere! Wait up! 」
「Stop messing around! What if the demonic beings came here! 」
It was the pinnacle of chaos by the time Ardis and the others arrived at the west gate.
Farmers who stopped their work in the fields desperately trying to get into the city. Merchants who wanted to get their carriage into the city no matter what. Mercenaries who hurried the people as they wanted to shut the gate quickly.
The situation where people pushed each other, and slurs being thrown at each other. Although there weren’t many, there are people who exited the west gate and ran westwards, contributing to the mess.
「Fuu, we made it in time huh. 」
Ted let out a relieved sigh as they arrived at the gate.
Although the situation at the west gate is the worst, the gate is still open at the very least. Even if they are experienced veteran mercenaries, they probably can’t do anything if the gate shut before they entered.
It didn’t seem like the beasts or demonic beings can enter the town when the gates are shut but since there’re many people in Reiten, they would have to sustain themselves with whatever supplies they have in the town.
「Bad, the gate is about to shut. Let’s hurry, Ted! 」
「Yeah. There’re some small groups heading here already. 」
「Ugeh, they’re here already huh. 」
As Ardis prompted, Ted who looked behind them cringed. They probably came here after the east gate was overflowed with monsters. There’re figures of four-legged beasts running towards here.
The mercenaries who were guarding the gate realized that as well, as they formed a formation to meet the attack. But, behind them, there were still people queuing, trying to get into the city. At this rate, it would be dangerous for them who has no means of fighting.
「Get ready! Never let them pass! Hold up until the people evacuated! 」
A slightly older soldier who seems to be the commander shouted loudly.
「But commander! With just ourselves……! 」
The soldier beside him didn’t finish his sentence. After all, there were less than a hundred soldiers that was dispatched to evacuate the people. On top of that, different than the mercenaries who are fighting almost every day, Reiten which had been peaceful for a long time didn’t have any experienced soldiers on the fields.
Certainly, compared to the small group of beasts heading this way, the soldiers have more numbers. But, guarding the defenseless people from the group of beasts isn’t as simple as just winning.
On top of that, the numbers of beasts coming this way looked to be increasing by the minute. If more than two hundred of them came at once, the results need not to be said.
「Don’t say it. 」
「I understand what you’re saying. But we are all part of the proud Reiten army. If we are not going to protect the people, then what in the world is the reason behind our existence? 」
The commander looked at his soldiers once, the soldiers all had pale faces.
「Right right. Since you all act high and mighty all the time, it’s a good occasion to demonstrate your power. 」
It was the leader of 『Bright Stars of White Night』 who suddenly threw in an extra provocation.
「Ted with his excess meddling again……」
Behind him, Norris spoke with a smile that didn’t suit his fed-up tone.
「Mercenaries huh. 」
The soldiers who were beside the commander looked at Ted as if surprised.
「I would appreciate if you lend us a hand but, there isn’t any request from the country. ……You guys wouldn’t move if there aren’t any compensation after all right? 」
「Well well, don’t lump all of us together. We will at least help to buy some time. 」
Ted’s words were seemingly incomprehensible for the soldiers as they had round eyes. After all, a mercenary is saying that they will take action without payment. As far as the soldiers knew, mercenaries weren’t a species to say that.
「Again with that kind of prejudice……」
Even Orphellia was frowning at the soldiers.
Of course, Norris and Orphellia had agreed to help already, and they weren’t against Ted’s decision in the slightest.
A violent man at first glance, but their leader who wouldn’t do something despicable like abandoning weaklings or the people in troubles, he was their pride. That is the party known as 『Bright Stars of White Night』 that Ardis knew.
「What do you mean? Could you be willing to lend a hand in fending off the beasts? 」
Behind the soldiers who still seemed to have unbelieving faces, the commander came out.
「Of course, we don’t intend to become sacrifices but, at least we will help till the gate closes. 」
「……I don’t have a single coin on me though? 」
As if trying to grasp Ted’s intentions, the commander confirmed with him just in case.
「It’s fine. But surely you can treat us to something good later? 」
「Hou, that way huh? ……Fine, there will be excellent wine treated. 」
The old commander had a smile on his wrinkled face.
「Alright, that settles it. Norris! Orphellia! Ardis! So, since that’s the case, it’s a slight exercise before entering the town! 」
The tough-faced man turned around to his comrades.
「Ahaha, there’s no helping it right――」
「What’s 『Since that’s the case』. Seriously, you could’ve at least asked for our opinions first. 」
「Got it. 」
The three had different replies to their kind-hearted leader.
「Sorry for the inconvenience. You have my thanks. If we have mages on our side, it’s much more reassuring. 」
Looking at Orphellia and Ardis’s stature, the commander thought they were mages.
「So how much time should we buy? 」
Ardis asked the commander. Even as they are talking, the beasts were getting closer. There wasn’t any time left for them to spend idly.
「Another fifteen minutes, I suppose. 」
Seeing the crowd at the west gate, the commander judged.
「Got it, fifteen minutes yeah. 」
Since there wasn’t anything else to confirm, Ardis turned around.
Looking forward, the beasts had gotten quite close. With fast carnivores like 『Grass Wolves』 and 『Coyotes』 taking the lead, behind them followed 『Snatches』 and 『Green Knives』.
It was about two hundred beasts with a single glance. Seeing the numbers of shadow keep on increasing, there were probably more beasts gathering than what they saw at the east gate. The army of beasts that could no longer fit the east gate overflowed and circled around the walls to the west gate.
「Ardis will take the left, and Orphellia take the right. 」
「Okay, got it. 」
Ted swiftly gave out instructions to the members of the party.
「Norris will take care of the leftovers that survived the magic. And me―」
「Don’t even think of rushing in. It’s only buying time till the gate closes after all. 」
「Yeah, I know. Rather than me, Ardis! Don’t overdo it! It’s just buying time, remember that! 」
「……Hey, what kind of person does Ted thi――」
「Ardis! Spare the idle talk! They’re here! 」
Ardis who was shut up clicked his tongue lightly, and turned around to meet the beasts that came here. It’s still at a range arrows don’t reach but, it’s well within range of magic attacks.
「The fierce crimson that is the miracle of flames born of the ancient dragon’s breath ―― Ferno ・ Resta ・ Ganov! 」(Flames of Purgatory)
The flames manifested by Orphellia headed straight to the pack of Coyotes. Without ever having the chance to avoid the scorching flames, the Coyotes burned into black lumps and crashed into the ground one after another.
「That’s the power of advanced offensive magic……」
The soldiers who saw the destructive power of such magic spell for the first time were surprised.
Of course, there’re magicians in Reiten’s army too but, it’s not like they have a chance to show it off in the peace times. Different than practicing swords and arrows, shooting offensive magic at each other for training isn’t a good idea.
For the many soldiers here who probably never engaged in a real fight before, leaving aside basic magic, it’s probably normal that they’ve never seen advanced offensive magic.
「The dance of eternity of the shining deep green in the color of imaginary land and the silence――――Troa・Seus・Fote! 」(Storm of the North)
Then it’s Ardis’s turn to follow up with a blizzard that freezes everything. The intense storm of snow assaulted at the Grass Wolves.
The Grass Wolves which were running out of control just a moment ago only twitched sideways on the ground as their limbs were frozen. Just like that, their body got covered more and more in ice before they stopped moving completely.
「Oooh! With that……! 」
Although it was an overwhelmingly disadvantageous situation, the soldiers who were gloomy a moment ago brightened.
But, the beasts continued coming without having any signs of stopping. The second, third wave were all somehow dealt with by Ardis and the others but, eventually Orphellia showed fatigue.
「Haa, haa……. I suppose it’s almost my limit. I guess another advanced spell is the last. 」
「It’s fine! Everyone had almost gotten inside the city! Only one more minute! 」
The commander shouted loudly after verifying the evacuation situation. Surrounding them were the soldiers with their swords and spears in hand, dealing with the beasts that didn’t get caught in the magic spells.
Even if it’s advanced offensive magic, it’s difficult to cover a wide area. Although Norris is continuing to shoot down the beasts that avoided the effects of the magic spells one after another, there’re still a small number of them that made their ways to the soldiers.
「Don’t let the beasts get near the mages! 」
The soldiers took a formation surrounding Ardis and Orphellia as they kept protecting the people evacuating. Occasionally, there’re 『Beast King』 that breaks through the soldiers’ defensive formation but, they were all swiftly sent to the grave by Ted.
Thanks to 『Bright Stars of White Night』, the soldiers were able to hold out against the seemingly unending waves of beasts.
「Good! The evacuating is done! We will withdraw! 」
It seems that the people behind them had finally finished evacuating. In accordance to the commander’s retreat order, Ardis and the others withdrew as well. Ardis fired off another 『Flames of Purgatory』 as a parting gift, before swiftly joining the soldiers, retreating back into the city of Reiten.
Dealing with the beasts that pursued, when the west gate was finally shut by the mercenaries, the sky in the west was already stained a deep shade of red.