The time when Ardis was fighting the bunch of demonic beings with Nicole. The vice commander was looking over the entire battlefield from the walls of Reiten.
「It seems that we can win somehow. 」
There was a voice that came from his back. As he turned around, there was a man with long brown hair with a friendly looking smile.
Although that man was wearing leather armor on him, it didn’t seem at all that he’s someone who knows how to fight. With a frail looking body seemingly in his thirties, there wasn’t any signs that showed he had experience in fighting.
He was obviously not suited for the current location. That was the sentence best to describe him.
「Yeah, fortunately. 」
The vice commander gave the shortest reply he could have given. He would’ve wanted to complain to him about it but, there’s a reason why he can’t do it.
The man’s name is Julius. He’s the president of one of the biggest merchant association in Reiten, the Jimberyl Merchant Association. Of course, it would be fine that Julius came to participate as a drafted soldier.
But the reason why he’s here wasn’t to participate in the battle, but to oversee it only. The armor on himself is only for the fact of protecting himself.
Even if he had armor equipped, it’s still inappropriate for a noncombatant to be here. But the Jimberyl Merchant Association was the leading association that had given their full cooperation in the subjugation this time. Not only providing supplies for the subjugation army, they had also allowed their contracted mercenaries to participate in the battle willingly.
On top of that, all of their contracted mercenaries are strong and known in their countries. The reason why the humans are advantageous in the battlefield is also brought about by their presence.
In fact, the mercenary parties, 『Freedom Cloud』, 『Dragon’s Pawn』, 『Spirit’s Guidance』 and 『Crimson Three Blades』 are all called by the Jimberyl Merchant Association.
If they haven’t come to Reiten on this timing, or if Jimberyl didn’t allow them to participate in the subjugation army……, it didn’t seem likely that it’s a battle that can be won. That’s why he couldn’t do anything to Julius’s self-centered actions.
The surrounding soldiers and mercenaries had a similar bitter expression as well. They were probably irritated to have someone who wouldn’t even fight be on the battlefield.
Having said so, the army and Reiten is in debt to Jimberyl’s cooperation. On top of that, it wasn’t clear who leaked the information but the efforts of Jimberyl Merchant Association contributing greatly to the subjugation attempt was known widely in Reiten, and they are praised highly by the citizens.
The voice of praising would probably grow upon the victory of the defense battle. Although he was an eyesore to everyone in the area, they could only endure it without chasing him away.
「It seems that the mercenaries are doing their job well. I’m also thankful to you for cooperating with us. 」
But, the vice commander continued his sentence in an attempt to hint him.
「Even if there isn’t many flying beasts around, it’s dangerous here. Why not leave the fighting to us and return to the town? 」
「It’s fine, don’t need to worry about me. I do think I’m being a bother but, I want to witness the outcome of the battle no matter what. And I have my escorts here too. 」
Julius glanced at the man behind him. That man was probably a mercenary. Unlike Julius, he had the aura of a fighter oozing out of his body.
In a battlefield, there’s no such thing as extra combatants. Even if there’s one extra mercenary participating, that would mean lesser casualties from drafted soldiers and the army.
Rather than having an escort, Julius would be better off staying docile in the safe town and letting the mercenary participate in the subjugation army. That was what they thought but couldn’t say out loud.
After all, the Jimberyl Merchant Association had let their contracted mercenaries participate in the subjugation army despite at their own inconvenience, on top of that, all their contracted mercenaries were strong. If they forced him to cooperate, it will just make the citizens think bad of the army.
「It seems like the demonic beings are almost cleaned up completely. 」
「Yeah. Seems so. 」
As Julius said, the direction of the battle was already set. Almost all of the demonic beings were subjugated, and the beasts were also suppressed by the army and the drafted soldiers with numbers. Of course, there are casualties on their side, but there would be unimaginably more casualties if the monsters made it into the city. It’s natural that the vice commander could finally take a breather.
But, the fight didn’t end as he thought. Having defeated many demonic beings, the mercenaries from 『Spirit’s Guidance』 who seemed to have no threatening foes in their ways, when an unfamiliar demonic being appeared in front of them, the vice commander who was confident of winning looked like he had witnessed something unbelievable.
The demonic being looked like a bipedal reptile, and its shape was similar to an enlarged Despair. Its body is in bluish grey hue. There aren’t any front limbs in sight, but he could see that there was something on its neck.
The swordsmen who thought that taking the first move would be advantageous rushed towards the demonic being, but in the next moment, crimson flowers made from human blood blossomed.
Even from afar, the confusion in 『Spirit’s Guidance』 was evident, they didn’t have the time to reform their formation before getting caught by the demonic being, and more blood splattered.
It was a painting out of a nightmare. The mercenaries known for their strength on the continent that had already killed countless demonic beings in this fight were all killed one-sidedly.
Everyone would’ve thought it was their imagination, but no matter how they rubbed their eyes, or peered further, the same scene was reflected in their eyes.
「W-What……, how……, 『Spirit’s Guidance』 was one-sidedly……」
Someone’s disbelief mutter reverberated atop the wall in the silence.
Julius seemed anxious as well. It was an unexpected development even for him.
Julius was a son of a famed magician that had no talent in using magic. Although he was treated a failure by his father, his wisdom is in business.
After he left his house and came to Reiten to start a business, it bloomed quickly and had now become one of the largest merchant association in the entire Reiten. His father’s collection, which he took without permission when he left his house also helped him out greatly in starting up.
He wanted to prove his father’s wrong in ascertaining him, he wanted to get back at his father and look down on him who only judged Julius with the narrow standard of magic. That was the only motivation that supported Julius.
In Reiten, Julius’s Jimberyl Merchant Assocciation was a name no one would not know. It’s still only a large merchant association now but, its position can be set in stone if the association gets even more support and fame in Reiten. For that, a special occasion is needed.
That’s why Julius thought up of the plan this time.
The tool that he brought from his house, 『Demon Attracting Incense』 was apparently something that his father found from an ancient ruin in his young age. The Demon Attracting Incense works just like its name, an 『Incense』, it attracts beasts and demonic beings with the special scent it releases. However, the scent is too weak to be picked up by any human. It was practically undetectable by humans since it emits little to no mana at all.
With the large numbers of beasts attracted by the incense, everyone in Reiten would be in a mess. And there, letting the mercenaries that he hired beforehand for another request to participate in the subjugation army, under the image that the association willingly did so. The more contribution the mercenaries gain, the more praise the Jimberyl Merchant Association would get.
On top of that, providing supplies and equipment without charge, it would undoubtedly give another boost to their association’s fame. The loss incurred by providing them for free can be retrieved by reselling the medicines, burning fuel and herbs that they’ve stocked up in secret. There are countless ways to sell them to the market without exposing their name.
Even if they couldn’t recover their loss, the plan still had an enormous value. After all, they had already negotiated with the government officials to get preferential treatment than other merchant association, and even the army and Reiten wouldn’t be able to ignore them hereafter.
Eventually, Jimberyl would absorb Litte and Rovell Merchant Association to form a giant association, and the plan was to extend their reach to his hometown state after that.
Julius muttered barely inaudible to the escort just beside him. The scenario proceeded as Julius wanted till now. The mercenaries that Julius had hired performed incomparably outstanding compared to the other mercenaries or even the army.
Easily subjugating the demonic beings that other mercenaries would have troubles with, they were the core pillar of the entire subjugation army.
And those mercenaries were all scattered to death by a single demonic being that appeared suddenly. In a corner of the battlefield, where the blood of 『Spirit’s Guidance』 spilled, Julius could only do nothing, but stare stunned. No, not just Julius, the vice commander, mercenaries and all the other soldiers had an expression of disbelief on their faces.
Amidst that, the first that moved was 『Dragon’s Pawn』 that was fighting near 『Spirit’s Guidance』. Judging that it isn’t an opponent that can be left alone, they slaughtered the demonic beings they were fighting against immediately and prepared to intercept the grey demonic being.
Under the spectating gazes of the people on the walls, the end was determined quickly. The grey demonic being didn’t budge from any attempts of attacking by 『Dragon’s Pawn』, another one-sided slaughter started again.
Swords were deflected, and fireball didn’t seem like it was effective at all. On the other hand, the demonic being killed off the mercenaries of 『Dragon’s Pawn』 one after another.
With agile movements that didn’t suit its large body, it easily toppled over the members of 『Dragon’s Pawn』, turning them into corpses one after another.
Realizing the situation, 『Freedom Cloud』 and 『Crimson Three Blades』 were hurrying to join the battle but, it didn’t seem likely that 『Dragon’s Pawn』 can hold out until they arrive.
(It’s getting worse……)
All his plans would’ve for naught if it continues. While everyone is still stunned, Julius had already disappeared from the walls together with his escort.
Julius hadn’t had the slightest intention to attract something like that here. What he needed was a situation that mercenaries can deal with, and one that can’t be dealt with if there aren’t mercenaries. He didn’t need a situation that mercenaries can’t handle.
(The Demon Attracting Incense calling something like that is……unexpected!)
Without showing the slightest anxiety in his heart, Julius hastened back to Jimberyl Merchant Association’s building.
The plan to make the presence of Jimberyl known and increase its prestige was already successful enough. But if Reiten’s defense battle fail, it would mean nothing at all. He needed to stop the effects of the Demon Attracting Incense quickly.
「The demonic being just now was? 」
While heading towards the warehouse behind the building, he asked the mercenary who was his escort――.
「Who knows……. I was a mercenary for a long time but, it’s the first for me to see something like that too. 」
The mercenary’s answer was totally useless.
Can you win if it’s you, Julius wanted to ask that. It’s true that this mercenary is skillful. But the mercenaries that participated in the subjugation army aren’t small fries as well. It’s an opponent that 『Spirit’s Guidance』 and 『Dragon’s Pawn』 couldn’t touch, it’s a waste of time to even ask him that.
「In any case, the Demon Attracting Incense must be extinguished quickly. Damn, it was all according to plan till now……! 」
Together with the escort and the old man that he left behind to manage to association, Julius headed into the warehouse behind the building where the incense was being kept with rough steps.