Chapter 19 ~ Elf’s Country Defensive Battle ⑧ Failure
Sati came running to me as soon as I get to the top of the wall. She must have been quite worried by the looks of her expression.
“My bad. I encountered some trouble getting rid of those Orcs. How is the situation over here?”
“This area is already under control. But, still……”
While saying that, Ellie take a glance at the Western Gate.
“I understand. Let’s go.”
The battle nearby the Western Gate is still fierce. If we don’t hurry then the number of casualties will gradually increase.
I equipped my bow again, and advance through the wall.
I can leave the takedown of the Harpies to Sati. If they decided to appear in crowds, then Ann and Tilika will shoot them down with magic. Ellie is still resting as for the moment. I’m going to the gate.
The number of escorts were increased. Lily-sama is a member of royalty, yet she moved to the battlefield alone. It’s strange how she is coming with us, when we were supposed to be her escorts. While pondering about the matter, the five of us were exchanged with the nearby Elf commander. We were supposed to be escorting her, but she is a natural at giving commands. Now she is directing command to the nearby elf to become her messenger.
We were moving through the battlefield while opening the pathways. Next, we climbed to the roof of the tower at the right and left side of the gate. The elves on this side were withdrawing temporarily due to the overwhelming assult of the Harpies. Since there were no elves remaining, the Harpies did not bother attacking the unmanned tower.
As soon we take over the tower, we sweep off the Harpies in the vicinity and take a close look at the battlefield.
The battlefield is far from Ellie effective range of magic, and there are many enemies on the ground like usual. On the other hand, the Harpies are the one putting some real heavy attack on the wall, therefore, the enemies on the ground can be neglected.
On the tower rooftop, there were many dead bodies of harpies lying around. Since they’re becoming an obstacle, I stored them inside my 《Item Box》. I will sell all of it later.
“The situation looks really bad.”
Ellie who was watching it next to me said so.
This tower too, it was one of the target for the Harpies. Like that, they don’t have to actually bust the wall to get through.
“I’m going to shoot the Meteor.”
Started chanting 【Meteor】――
I expand the effective range as to eliminate all the enemies on the ground at once. Like this, all of my mana will be consumed in exchange for getting an upper hand in this battle.
Meteor activated, the battlefield was instantly engulfed with a piercing sound and roaring flames.
Although the number of monsters are decreasing, across the burning field, it can be seen that new monster troops are advancing forward. We already casted wide range magic for a few times already. It’s about time that they’re going to disperse their troops.
“The messenger has returned. It’s okay to call out Drago now.”
I got told that by Lily-sama once we secured a safe place. This is my second time depleting my mana today. This is more tiring that I thought. I might collapse any moment now.
“Take out Drago. Is that right?”
Tilika tilted her head and asked me that.
This is a good moment, seeing that the enemy’s offense has weaken and the elves has regained some time to rest.
“Alright. Call him out.”
Hearing my command, Tilika immediately started summoning. Eventually, a large brown Dragon suddenly appeared in front of the tower.
“Th-this is a summon……”
Even after knowing that they will be on the same side, a huge dragon with fierce appearance suddenly appeared made the elves jumped. All of the elves were surprised and amazed, gazing at him breathless.
The Spirit Magic itself was already strange, but a Summoning Magic is much rarer. How on Earth can a large Dragon can appear out of nowhere suddenly like that. Next time, it might be interesting to ask them from where they come here from.
“Whatever your wish, is my command. My Lord.”
Just by telling that much, the Dragon step on the monsters on the ground, spit out fire breath, affecting whoever in his path. This is basically a massacre.
Everything went without any trouble. Since the elves side has known about Drago beforehand, there are no attack coming from them.
He truly is from the larger species. Regardless of their number, the Orcs and the Harpies are pretty much a small fry. They were pushed away just like that. We will let Drago run rampant to buy some time.
According to Lily-sama, the news regarding the Earth Turtle King defeat should have reach the fortress ears by now.
However, even if they were to send enforcement troops, then it will take some time to organize and moved the military. The fastest is one day to organize the troops, another one day to send them here. By this calculation, I’m required to withstand the monster’s troops for one more day.
Besides, that is just a hypothetical situation. They’ve refused to mobilize once.
There’s no need to worry about the West Gate breaking any soon. Still, the enemies are getting fiercer.
And the elves side don’t have that much resources anymore.
Aside from me and Ellie’s magic, the momentum from earlier is not seen from the elves side. Worse, unknown to where the monsters are coming from, the monsters still boast an overwhelming number.
“In addition to the hole that you just closed, the monsters are breaking through the other location too. It was already closed, but……”
Perhaps the damage is enormous.
We were in a tight spot, however just one more Meteor will be enough to turn the favour around. My mana is almost depleted, but on our side, we have Drago, and he surely can hold his ground. Will we be able to take a breath once the sun has fallen?
The Orcs and Harpies are not nocturnal. Especially for Harpies, they are extremely weak during night time.
“A, aaahhhh!? Drago was!”
At my sides, Tilika suddenly leak out a cried. What!?
I quickly search for Drago. It seems that he went rampant deep inside the enemy’s territory. His body slumped down. What, there is a magic response!? Did he consume the magic?
Then came another shot. After the second magic, Drago fell down, and disappears completely.
“He is fine……but, I can’t summon him for a while.”
Although he got hit till he disappeared, he won’t die from that level of attack. Just, he need times to heal his damage. It’s possible that we can’t summon him anymore for today.
It’s obviously a tactical mistake. No matter how huge or strong it is, he is still a single entity. Without our support, he will surely encounter difficulties to keep defeating the enemies. We should have lured all the monsters to come nearer to this wall first. Like that, even if the enemy’s mage starts to move, we will be able to detect them earlier, and eliminated them before they be able to do anything.
The rice has turned into porridge now. Our last trump card is now gone.
“Let’s head back to Garland Fortress, Lily-sama.”
This is our only chance. All of us have very little mana remaining.
Nobody was injured yet, but it’s better to be prepared for our escape now.
If we can’t continue defending and get involved with the battlefield directly――I remembered the fallen elves from before. A mage who has lost his mana can be easily defeated by the monsters.
“Me and Sati will be able to survive, regardless of the situation. However, the others…….”
The demon’s army still boasts an overwhelming number. They are still surrounding the Elf Country. As for the elves, their number as well their individual mana has been tapered. A powerful rampart wall is just a high wall without anyone to defend it. I have no other choice but to think that we’re out of chance to win.
There is no room for winning anymore. It’s just a matter of time before this country fall.
At least, Drago managed to buy us some time.
“We can’t! We can still continue fighting! There is nothing bad about this situation at all!”
Ellie claims so.
“You have no mana left.”
“It’s recovering little by little. Plus, I can fight with a sword when the situation demands me to!”
It’s pointless to continue at this point. What if the enemies launch another large-scale offensive, when all of us has depleted our mana? We can’t even call out to Drago anymore. If we continue staying here, then one of us will get hurt. One of us might get defeated. It will be too late when that time comes.
“Just how powerful are you without your magic power? Let’s return to the fortress for the time being. We will recover our magic power there.”
Even with the combine might of both me and Sati, at best we can only take about thousands of them at once.
“We will return to the fortress and join the reinforcement. Didn’t Ellie promised Titus-san to bring back Lily-sama when the time comes?”
“You’re certainly right……but can’t we escape at any given time? Even my mana is slowly recovering while we are talking like this, you know?”
“Just a little.”
Will it be enough to shoot a weak version of Meteor after waiting by an hour or so? But, the battlefield is vast. One more magic shot won’t change the battlefield in the larger perspective. Even the strongest magic combined from both me and Ellie can buy us some time at most.
“The elves too are just holding on their last straw. Take a closer look. Just how many people left that can fight properly? This is where we stepped out……”
Apart of us and Lily-sama escorts, there are only 10 elves left on this tower. Even if their injuries can be healed by using Recovery Magic, they were already in a bad state. After we escaped, I don’t think they can withstand the Harpies onslaught any more. Not only this area. Same thing applied to other areas as well.
That’s why, I’m telling everyone to escape.
We might be able to earn another one and a half an hour, but what about it?
I still don’t want to die, especially in a place like this. I don’t want any of my wives to die, nor even to get injured. Isn’t that a normal line of thinking?
“Fine. You lots have done a very good job. I won’t blame anyone if any of you decided to leave now. Thank you, I’m gratified.”
But, Lily-sama continued.
“I will remain here. I will never run away. I will continue protecting this place until the reinforcement arrived.”
“Lily-sama, we are just temporarily withdrawing. When the elves finally give in, you will abandon this country and escape, won’t you?’
By logical thinking, how many elves can survive in this situation? Besides, both the King and the Queen are prepared to die.
But even if we are to sympathize with her cause, how much can we help without our mana?
Adventurers are supposed to fight with their lives, but there are limits.
Depending on our judgement, we are actually allowed to escape to save our lives. It’s reasonable and not something that will bring shame to the Guild. In the end, what matter is that you survived.
Even by taking Sati into consideration, as a mage without mana, I’m just another ordinary helping hand.
Ann and Ellie seem to be dissatisfied with my decision to withdraw, but if I insisted, I’m sure they will follow through.
I’m sure Ellie will fall into bad mood afterwards.
Will Ann forgive me for abandoning this quest?
I don’t know about Tilika. She currently has a sad face, but that might come from the realization that her Dragon was defeated.
Sati will always follow my orders.
I don’t know why I was put into a living or dying situation like this.
I just found a job that pays a lot, and applied for it.
I never think about becoming an adventurer.
Why did I choose to become an adventurer?
Although it is necessary to raise my battle prowess to survive, wouldn’t it be better if I chose to become a blacksmith, a merchant, or something entirely different?
I was guided by Ito Kami to fight the Wild Rabbit. Afterwards, I was advised by him to go visit the Adventurer Guild. Then, coming to this quest, everything was guided by him……
I can’t nearly thank him enough for meeting me with everyone else, but on the other hand, I don’t want to die at a place like this. With everyone, together forever……forever?
Will I even live in this world forever?
I won’t return back to Japan anymore? Am I really okay with that?
I raise my face and looks at everyone.
Abandoning everyone and survived, then returns back to Japan?
I will get a lot of remuneration and live in the safe world. Will I be happy then?
Without Sati, Ann, Ellie and Tilika?
No way. There is no way that is going to end up well. I will definitely not be happy with that kind of outcome.
After being silence for a while, Ellie cried.
“I will never run away. No, I don’t want to run away. I know that it’s wrong to expose everyone to danger by being selfish. But, I don’t want to feel like how when my father died again. I was helpless then. But now, I’m different. I have not lost yet. I don’t want to run away, when I still have the strength to fight back.”
“Masaru, I beg you, please.”
Even you, Ann……
“I know how much Masaru hates to be in the battlefield. I also know that Masaru is not of this world, and having no ties to our religion. But, please. Just a bit more. Let’s stay here and fight with everyone else.”
Just for a little while longer.
If we can manage these attacks till night time, then we will have some room to breathe. And if we can, we will continue enduring it until tomorrow where the reinforcement comes……
“Masaru said he will save this country. I believed that. Masaru underestimates himself too much. I believe that Masaru is capable of saving this country.”
I don’t want to die in a place like this――is what I have in mind, but I’ll never be able to utter it.
As long as they feel like dying, an adventurer is allowed to forsake their mission in order to live, that’s what I thought.
But everyone looks determined when they appealed to me. I want to answer that trust. I always put Sati into my top priority, but I do want to save the elves too.
“All of you might die here, do you understand that?”
“Even though Olba lost his legs, he still went to save Nania. At that time, there was nothing more that he can do.”
How heavy was the weight of the oracle to Ann, until now I don’t understand how heavy was it.
Because for me, it’s nothing more than a quest.
I don’t want to wager my life on it. I want to be in a safe place, the place where I can feel the warmth. In the first place, we are supposed to take the winter break around this time.
“At this stage, you can’t abandon the elves anymore. If the elf falls, even if the fortress manages to hold the offence for a while, the demon’s attack will continue spreading through this region like a plague. The most important thing here is for Masaru to live, even if it will cost my life. It’s the danger worth facing as an adventurer. When push comes to shove, I will create the opening for Masaru and onee-chan to escape. The two of you should be able to survive anything coming your ways.”
“That’s right. If the Gate are not usable when the times arrive, please feel free to abandon me too. Sati, make sure to take care of him, understood?”
“Yes, even if it cost my live.”
Together with Sati, while abandoning everyone else, it’s true that we have the chance to break through these hordes of demon’s army.
But there is no way I will accept such thing.
“Nothing to worry about. That is for emergency. The worst-case scenario.”
So, Ann said.
Right. There is just slim chance that situation will ever happen at all.
We are not driven into the corner yet. If we had some time to activate the Gate, then everyone can still escape safely.
“But, when the time comes……however it takes, Masaru need to survive. There is no need to worry about us, got it?”
Looks like it’s useless to try persuading them any further. It’s hard for a human to resolve himself for a sacrifice, but once he do so, there is nothing to stop him.
Since there is no choice but to accept that. This eases my stomach.
“In my opinion, it’s a better choice to run away. That’s why, are you guys sure to do this?”
“I want to return home and get on the bed. I want to relax.”
On more time, in the end, I tried to muster all the might from my heart.
“We can do that slowly once the battle ended. Here, I will serve you however you want. Deal?”
Ann’s service……it’s been a really long since I last embrace Ann.
“Anything? You will do anything I asked for?”
“Uu……a-anything you want.”
“If Ann said so, I will do my best for a while longer. It’s a promise!”
I can hardly wager my lives for these quests or this Elf Country. However, for these cute girls, I’m willing to throw away a life or two!
“Will you run away once things get dangerous?”
We are not in a pinch yet. There is still room to survive.
“Don’t worry. I won’t miss the time when I truly need to escape.”
But I’m slightly worried how Ellie san defined this ‘timing’…….
All in all, I might have been a little bit too pessimistic.
We will save the elves, returns back home and get rewarded by Ann.
The bottom line is I need to get all the monsters and destroy them all.
A power That can do that. Cheat.
“Our party seems to be more dangerous than I initially thought, Lily-sama.”
I inform Lily-sama, who seems to watch our interaction quietly.
I’ve been regretting my whole life. It’s rather miserable.
“Everything’s moving according to the wheels of destiny……we will definitely win this war. I give all my trust on you.”
There is no way I’m willing to bet my future on something obscure like that……
“In sickness, or in health.”
Lily sends a strange look when I said that out loud without context. Sati and everyone else however, seems to remember immediately that line of words.
――from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish――
“As long my life is intact, I swear to do my very best.”
The oath of marriage cannot be broken.