(389) Letter from the royal army
“You’re kidding me, it actually happened!?”
“It’s because you were saying those stupid things!”
The other guards scolded the guard who said it would be great if minotaurs appeared. Even though now wasn’t the time to say such things.
Minotaur – a monster that appears close to the lowest floor in intermediate dungeons.
It wasn’t a monster that would typically appear here.
At that moment, a minotaur raised the greatsword in its hand to cut down a guard.
After Carol cast her spell, the minotaur suddenly changed its swing and sliced at its fellow minotaurs.
“Nice one Carol.”
I drew White Wolf Fang and jumped into the midst of the minotaur herd.
And disconnected the torsos of five minotaurs.
Then, I sheathed my katana and cut down the final minotaur that Carol was magically manipulating with a quick draw (Iai).
“A-amazing – he cuts down minotaurs as though he is trampling on mini slimes.”
Was trampling on mini slimes an idiom like taking candy from a baby?
The fight was not over.
A golden minotaur with a height of 5 meters appeared from a hole that was only 2 meters wide.
It made me think of a jack-in-a-box.
I didn’t sense any sign of it climbing the stairs.
Did it come up while erasing its presence? Or did it spring up from the stairs?
“Baronet-dono – it’s dangerous. That is not an ordinary minotaur. It is a King Minotaur.”
“Yeah, I know.”
Since I fought one in Belasra before.
It wasn’t enough to be considered a threat.
Furthermore, with its height, I didn’t have to worry about collateral damage.
The King Minotaur’s head turned black from magic and the smell of charred meat flooded the area.
“I can no longer eat grilled meat.”
I heard that voice leak out from a guard.
【Ichinojo leveled up】
【Advanced Blacksmith skill: 「Revision」acquired】
【Sacred Practitioner skill: 「Healing Magic VI」has skilled up to「Healing Magic VII」】
【Magic Civil Officer skill: 「Log Record」acquired】
【Magic Civil Officer skill: 「Conversation Record」acquired】
【Magic Civil Officer skill: 「Status Record」acquired】
It seemed that the battle was over for the time being.
Revision looked like a handy skill.
The skill would increase the probability of good effects appearing when using Remake.
The newly learned Healing Magic was called Resurrection and it seemed that it would recover HP as well as abnormal conditions at the same time.
Log Record, Conversation Record, Status Record was a skill that allowed me to note down on paper the log, conversation, or status I have checked for the past month.
“Ichino-sama! Look at that!”
Carol noticed something and pointed into the dungeon.
The dungeon walls emit a faint light. Thanks to that, there was no need to bring torches when we explore dungeons.
However, it was nothing less than frightening when the light gradually approached us. It was clear that something was wrong.
Then, the light spread to the dungeon walls and the ground outside.
At the same time, carrots and mushrooms seemingly sprung out of the ground.
“The monsters are spawning out of nowhere!?”
“Evacuate the citizens!”
They seemed to be weak monsters as the guards were defeating them but the monsters kept spawning.
“Master, what is happening?”
“I believe … a part of the town is turning into a dungeon.”
Was that even possible … what was going on?
“Emergency! The dungeon has overflowed and monsters are spawning!”
A man shouted as he ran over but when he saw the beginner’s dungeon,
“Oh no, it’s the same here too!”
“Hey, you! You mentioned dungeon overflow, does that mean it’s the same for the intermediate dungeon as well?”
“Ye-yeah! No, it’s actually worse there. There are venomous monsters too so there have been casualties – although the guards have sealed them in for now.”
The monsters appearing here were all weak monsters after all.
But if the King Minotaur was allowed to rampage undeterred, there probably would have been casualties.
“You guys escape as fast as you can! The Frenzy Curse is already over, right? Then it should be okay to leave town!”
“ … Is everyone leaving town?”
I bit my lower lip.
I considered if I should stay back to help subjugate the monsters but,
“Carol, grab onto me! Haru, follow me!”
I said and carried Carol on my back as I rushed to the main gate.
Many citizens were leaving through the main street so it was difficult to run.
“Master, let’s go by the rooftops.”
“Right – Carol, clench your teeth!”
We leaped onto the rooftops and ran on the path that wasn’t a path.
We were like ninjas – although I recall actually becoming an Apprentice Ninja once.
Then, we arrived at the top of the town wall.
Luckily, the guard on watch was the man we knew but even without him saying a word, the current situation was worse than we imagined.
The front of the main gate was filled with corpses.
Arrows were scattered here and there and countless people were pierced by arrows and fallen on the ground.
“You’re kidding me? The army should be protecting the citizens. Why are they still attacking the citizens?”
I checked the jobs of the fallen people.
The dead would not display any jobs so it looked like everyone was dead. Or so I thought but I saw a single girl with the job 【Commoner: Lv1】.
I used the Hide skill and leaped down the wall.
Even though I hid my presence with a skill, countless arrows flew toward me but I ignored them. An arrow pierced my shoulder but I almost didn’t feel any pain.
I pulled it out and carried the collapsed girl.
She took an arrow to the middle of her back and she was already no longer breathing. I prayed for her soul as I picked up the person she was shielding with her body and arm.
“ … Sorry, I was too late.”
When I said that, the child smiled.
It was a baby that was not even a year old. The baby probably has not realized that their mother was killed.
“ … Sorry.”
I said as I avoided the next volley of arrows and leaped up the wall.
Due to the sudden leap, the baby started crying loudly.
“This baby … I’ll leave it in your care.”
I said and passed the crying baby to the guard as I applied Petite Heal on my shoulder.
“What the hell is going on – don’t they think it’s weird?”
I looked at the royal army.
Why were they killing their countrymen so calmly?
Just as I was thinking, I saw a soldier protesting to an officer-like man.
So there were people with normal conscience among them? – I thought before the officer-like man stabbed the protesting soldier in the chest.
“What the heck?”
I couldn’t tell the details of the conversation from where I was.
But was that enough to warrant a stab to the chest?
“Ichino-sama, that officer’s movements seem similar to the monsters charmed by Carol’s spell. There’s a possibility that a portion of the officers has been brainwashed by somebody.”
“Brainwashed? Don’t tell me the King has been brainwashed too?”
“I do not know.”
What should I do?
Do I have to stun the whole army with a Pico Pico Hammer tornado as before?
No, the army encirclement was too wide.
Even if I made them unconscious sequentially, the first people I knock unconscious would wake up toward the end.
“If the King was brainwashed, won’t it be resolved if we undo the brainwash?”
Dispel should remove any brainwash.
“Even if the King was not brainwashed, if I took him hostage –”
“Master, please do not act recklessly on your own.”
“I have to do it.”
“If master is going, I will go too.”
Her participation was honestly very reassuring.
It would be difficult for me to avoid arrows from all directions by myself but with Haru, we could avoid most of the arrows.
“Ichino-sama, Haru-san, please calm down. It’s reckless! More importantly, Ichino-sama, there’s confusion at the front of the gate so they can’t shut it. I believe it would be best to move to a remote place and use Siren Song to induce the people to leave this place so please help me.”
As Carol pointed out, there was chaos at the front of the gate.
I followed her suggestion and moved to a rooftop near the town square and passed her a Loudspeaker Talisman.
Carol transformed into her adult form and sang the Siren Song.
Led by Carol’s song, the citizens came to the town square. Luckily this place was far from the dungeons so there were no monsters.
Somebody appeared on the rooftop.
Who was it – I was wary and was even warier when I found out who it was.
It was Felice, the Assistant Mayor’s secretary.
“Ichinojo-dono, why are you here –”
“I take it you didn’t come here because you knew I was here.”
“Yes – I have matters with that lady there. I thought that she would appear when there was chaos at the main gate.”
No, only I knew about Carol’s ability to transform.
“I received a letter from the royal army. The other day, when the citizens were leaving town, they received a report that a lady’s song bewitched the citizens. That person is highly likely to be the mastermind of this incident and was told to appear before the king. The mastermind and you – there are records that both parties were using Loudspeaker Talismans.”
“ – I am not the mastermind.”
“I prepared the Loudspeaker Talisman for her. It is unrelated.”
I said but Felice shook his head.
“If you don’t appear, they will take it as retaliation by harboring a national criminal and the army will be dispatched to enter the town – that was written in the letter.”
What would happen then?
The royal army that didn’t hesitate to fire at citizens. It would be a massacre.
“I guess … there’s no choice.”
“Yes. Thankfully, another person is allowed to accompany her. I will accompany her and advocate for her.”
“No, I am going with her.”
The royal army should know that Carol is not the culprit.
Were they aiming for me? Or for Carol?
At any rate, I couldn’t go to the royal army without a plan.
I returned to the top of the town wall and explained the situation to Haru.
We made a plan for what was to come.